#592 – As Advertised


Yesterday I mentioned that today we were likely going to do laundry, and maybe show our houseguest our new apartment complex, before heading off to one of our favorite restaurants to grab a bite to eat. That’s pretty much what we did today.

Except the part where my wife stayed home from work because her sinuses were absolutely exploding and she could barely move. And the part where we all went to a coffee shop and played Pokemon Go for a couple hours.

The Pokemon outing was lucrative. Restocked on supplies, and caught a couple of rare Pokemon, including my most powerful capture to date.

Tomorrow is likely going to be spent putting laundry away and generally taking it easy. Neither my wife nor I are feeling particularly well right now and I think a relaxing day is in order for us.

Sleep Deprivation


So apparently my recent sleep habits reached up and bit me on the bum today.

For the last several nights, I’ve been getting interrupted sleep, thanks to a backache (which needs my heating pad on the couch) or a headache (which needs Tylenol, water, and an upright position to keep my head from throbbing so badly I can’t get back to sleep) or, on one night, both at the same time. Combine the sleep that I’m losing being awake with those situations with the relatively early hour that I’m up and starting my day lately and I’ve been getting about five hours of sleep a night for the past week or so.

This morning, my body said no more.

I was up for a little bit overnight with my back, so once more I lost sleep. My alarm to take my vitals and meds at 8:30 went off, and I killed it and went back to sleep – at least, I think that’s what happened, I don’t remember the 8:30 alarm today. My alarm to feed the cats went off at 9:30, and upon noticing that my wife was already up I got out of bed and went into the couch, started my heating pad up again, tossed my new lap blanket over me and promptly fell asleep with my head leaned back against the wall. I woke up a few times over the next hour and a half, each time for only a few moments before drifting back off again. Finally I woke up, checked my phone to see what time it was, noticed it was 11:00, and got my day started at last.

It’s been a very low-key day. Over in Secret World Legends, my main character is stalled because of a bug, and I’m awaiting a response to my petition, so I can’t play her right now. Instead, I’ve been on another character that I’m teaming with my wife most all day. There have been breaks throughout the day – we went to the complex office to pick up a package for my wife, a cold-brew coffee decanter that we ordered through Kickstarter, and out to our usual go-to barbecue restaurant for potato salad. (One of my wife’s coworkers is a competitive pit boss in her spare time, so she smoked several pork tenderloins, vacuum sealed them, and brought them to the office to sell. Nine bucks for a pound and a half of really well smoked meat is a great deal, and that was our dinner tonight.) We’ve messed around on the Internet off and on, and really there hasn’t been that much for me to do today, so I’ve been taking it easy and enjoying myself.

Tomorrow we’re going to have to do laundry at some point, hopefully earlier rather than later as it’s habitually getting to be a hundred degrees outside these days, and we’d prefer not to melt going to the on-grounds laundry with all those dryers running in a poorly-ventilated room. But I think that other than that it’s going to be another slow day.

And given what we have to deal with next week, I’m okay with that.

Therapize Me


Today was therapy day. We started the session talking about rotten eggs.

Apparently there was something in her hot water tap that gave off a strong odor of rotten eggs. When I first went into her office, I went to the restroom, and noticed the smell right off as I was washing my hands. So our session was delayed while my therapist turned the fan on in the restroom, lit a scented candle, and closed the door so we wouldn’t gag on the smell.

So here’s what I’ve managed to accomplish in the last two weeks, without really intending to.

I socialized in person with three friends within a week’s time. Two of those instances were at my suggestion. It’s been weeks since I last socialized with friends.

I drove home from the airport on Friday morning – a trip I’m not intimately familiar with, with a considerable amount of traffic that I was uncomfortable driving in, and managed my panic.

I went out to dinner on Sunday night at a crowded restaurant where there was a wait list. I cannot recall the last time I did this. It’s been at least six or seven years.

I braved the laundry room, a space for which I have a completely irrational panic, long enough to wash and dry a full round of laundry.

I helped my wife through a very rough couple of days without trying to step in and fix the problem – I let her experience what she was going through and supported her through it. (To be fair, we were in different time zones, so I didn’t really have much of a choice but to just be a shoulder; there was literally nothing I could do to fix anything.)

That’s a lot of progress between therapy sessions, at least, for me.

I spent the vast majority of the session explaining all the things that had transpired over the previous two weeks and didn’t really realize I’d done all this stuff and how big it really was for me. (If you’re reading this blog for the first time, I’m on disability, and essentially agoraphobic at this point. We’re trying to break me out of that little by little, so that’s why these things, which seem fairly simple to a lot of people, are such a big deal to me.)

There’s homework that I have to do in future, something that I’ve been asked to add into my regular activities, and I need to talk to my wife about it. But once this starts up, I’ll be tackling one of my panic-inducing situations head on so it hopefully won’t be panic-inducing anymore. Wish me luck.

Laundry Day Progress


My wife is back in town, and we celebrated by … catching up on laundry.

It’s been hanging over our heads for some time now, but between travel out of state and sore backs and general malaise, we’ve let it pile up. (Again.) Apparently events while visiting her dad made laundry a necessity pretty much immediately. On a related note, my wife changed her first diapers in over 20 years while on this trip.

Because the trip was so rough on her, I wanted to alleviate as much of the stress of doing laundry as I could, so we deviated from our usual system this time. Normally, when there’s this much laundry (don’t laugh, you put laundry off too) I take one basket down to the car and she takes the other, then she drives to the laundry facility on site to start the wash, drives back to the apartment, drives to go trade the washers for the dryers, drives back to the apartment, then drives to go pick up the clean and dry laundry so we can both take it upstairs and both work to put it away, me working on folding clothes and her working with the hangers in the closet. This time I went with her to the facility and helped load the washers, went with her to help move the clothes from the washers to the dryers, then went along to empty the dryers and take the clothes back for us both to put them away.

This is an important step for me in that I’ve somehow worked myself into a panic about laundry. I’m willing to help by carrying a basket down to the car and bringing one back up and putting away the clean clothes, but I’d gotten it worked up into this horrific thing in my head about actually going to the laundry facility. While I was there loading the washers, I had to fight down a panic attack, and the whole experience was just overwhelming to me throughout. I made it through, however, and I didn’t die, nor did anything bad happen the whole time.

It seems silly to make such a big deal out of something as simple as laundry, but then again, I’ve managed to put a lot of everyday activities into that category of “too scared to do.” I still don’t drive unless I have to, and even then it’s almost always back home from dropping my wife off at work, then to my therapist’s office and back home, then from home back to my wife’s office to pick her up. Almost all of that driving is on surface roads, except for a stretch of feeder road from one exit to the next between home and my therapist’s office. Getting back and forth to the airport for my wife’s trip was an exceptionally difficult thing for me to do and I was fighting down panic the whole time.

So today, a little progress, and a little celebration. It was a nerve-wracking day, but I survived.