Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day Nine Catch-Up

I posted yesterday and then updated, and so even though I had more to share (driving range status), I figured I'd start a post for today, yesterday. Actually, all of this is happening on Saturday, but I won't be posting until Sunday. Ennyhoo. "Golf update":

We coddled Daddy a bit, and I wasn't thrilled with it... but I realize that if he doesn't do his physical therapy the way he wants to, then he won't do it at all... so, we loaded a folding chair onto the golf cart so he could sit between shots. He grabbed a thermal "mug" and filled it with diluted Pedialyte, for when he sweats away his electrolytes. He soaked a dish towel to mop his brow. I let him, because if I hadn't, we may not even have made it as far as the golf cart, much less to the driving range. Tough love is as tough on the giver as the receiver, I'm finding!

So he drove up to the club, or whatever that building where they rent balls and such is called, because he didn't want to walk the extra 100 feet from where we usually park the cart. Tough noogies, Daddy. You get to walk that extra 100 feet to the range (because I moved the cart to where we usually park it). I still had to unload all the crap and carry it down for him!

He'd brought two hybrid wood clubs, a #2 and a #4. He hit 6 balls off the fairway with the #4, 2 off a tee with the #2, and then sat down to rest, mop his brow, and replace his electrolytes. What a big baby! I made sure he was sitting up straight so his airways would be nice and clear, and then he went back to it. Eight balls off the tee with the #2, and then back to fairway hitting with the #4. We moved the chair to the "fairway" so he could just sit for a sec a couple of times, and he finished the round with 28 total balls hit! 95% or better really "pretty" shots, or what we've decided are "Happy" balls!

There are now 30 balls in the bag, and the next round will complete our driving range dailies...

Started our Sunday fairly early, since we were supposed to meet Uncle Leroy and Laurie for late-ish lunch... Took a driver and a #3 wood to the range, dumped our 30 onto the lane, and collected 6-8 more that had been left behind (honestly don't remember if it was 6 or 8, but it wasn't fewer, nor was it more). Set up the chair and the Pedialyte and wet towel, and Daddy did some stretching. He'd taken a Naproxen before we left the house, but it hadn't kicked in. He also had his back brace with him, #JIC.

He hit a few with the wood. They were neither pretty nor ugly shots, but Daddy didn't like them. Sat down for a bit, pulled out the tee, and hit a few with the driver. He was pretty unhappy with them, and switched back again. Sat down a couple more times, feeling twinges in his low back, and gave up before we finished. Still and all, he'd hit 21 this morning, most of which were neither pretty nor ugly. Pain is pain is pain. It wasn't a great morning, but really not that bad, in the grand scheme of his health improvement. We dumped those two clubs in the "reject" pile, not to be used again!

Lunch date got cancelled due to Uncle Leroy's feeling "puny", so we fed ourselves, watched a bit of telly, and then I walked to the pool. Got a little exercise, got a good bit of sun. Returned to the house, and Daddy decided he'd hit the rest of the balls from his back yard (since the course will be able to collect the balls anyway), once the sun and temperatures were descending.

So more feeding ourselves and more telly, and then hitting balls. Two good clubs and 17 pretty shots!

We're caught up on the current season of Doctor Who, and we're deep into Season 4 (just met River Song and have been to Midnight). Rose returns next episode! Turn Left, of course.

Are these posts of interest, still? Back in the day, when I was blogging daily, I got bored with it myself. I know family's reading, but what about you, my non-family? I'm in Florida for a little while longer... is there something else you'd like me to address while I'm here?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Stuff we probably won't do

I got up this morning and cooked some bacon. I keep offering Daddy more than one slice, but so far, he keeps declining. Between now and the end of time, Daddy probably won't buy any more bacon that isn't pre-cooked. He probably won't eat more than one slice that I have cooked, at a time.

Before I traveled out here, we'd talked about brain games, like mah johngg, solitaire, and sudoku. I play all of those, so this morning, I installed the Sudoku app on Daddy's tablet and taught him to play. It took a long time, because he'd never ever even tried one before, but I have a feeling that between now and the end of time, Daddy probably won't ever solve another Sudoku puzzle.

Also before I traveled out here, not knowing how long I'd be here, I "looked into" work-from-home possibilities, to have an income stream in the event that I was needed here longer than originally expected. In the foreseeable future, I probably won't pursue any kind of work-from-home anything that isn't voice acting in a home studio. Also, I probably won't build myself a home recording studio for voice acting, unless I get back home for more training and labs and workshops and experience and then have to return to Daddy for his health.

Last week, when we caught up with the cousins and aunty, the ringleader cousin had made possible plans for me to attend an improv comedy show with her (last night), because her friend who performs in it is "actressy" like I am. The friend had emergency surgery done on Thursday, so last night's plans were cancelled. That is perfectly reasonable, and while the cousin would still like to maybe get together again before I leave, it probably won't happen.

And there's other family what needs seein'. I had hoped to trek up to meet the newest niece and nephew, either by traveling the full distance in my rental car, with or without Daddy, or by meeting the families of those newest niece and nephew halfway-ish. Not happening. Not even "probably" not happening. If I were going to be here for an extended stay of a month or more, then we'd find a way to make that kinda visit happen... so, if I end up with a home recording studio for voice acting that I've built HERE because Daddy needs me to RETURN, well, then, there you are. But for now? Nopesies.

This morning, I mentioned a visit with Uncle Leroy and Laurie. Daddy said, sure, we can do that. But he didn't call or email Uncle Leroy to see when that might could happen, so... we probably won't do it. UPDATE: Daddy made the call, and we'll be having lunch with them tomorrow! W00t!

But this list of probably won'ts doesn't mean we're sitting here doing NOTHING. In fact, we were both awake fairly early this morning, and we've both cooked real food and consumed it, taken morning vitamins/meds, caught up on internets, played games, and Daddy's in the middle of laundry! No, he didn't ask for my help, so I'm not helping him (he won't have it once I go back home, so why coddle him, #amiright?).

I've been blogging fairly regularly whilst here. He will hit half (?) a bucket of balls today. I will (probably, possibly, maybe, um...) do the 5k steps to get in the pool today. I will check the mail today. I might book my return flight home. We will binge more Doctor Who!

What's some stuff YOU probably won't do? What's some cool, fun, weekend stuff you probably WILL do?

Friday, April 28, 2017

Day Seven with Daddy

Early follow-up appointment with Daddy's doc was a "spitballin' session", a negotiation, brainstorming next steps on Daddy's care. Since the ÉR visit yielded, in essence, "negatives" across the board of tests, Doc suggested some stress tests, but we also told him how we had decided to change his daily activity goal from walking to golf... slowly but surely, the plan is to get him feeling strong enough to play a round on a frequent basis. So far, just trying to knock balls outta the park at the driving range. Doc seemed pleased to hear that shortness of breath doesn't seem to be an issue anymore, or at least, not nearly to the degree that drove him to the ER on MONDAY of THIS WEEK. So, yes, we've made some progress. Still have much progress to make before I can feel comfortable leaving him to his own devices. We haven't formed a new habit yet, per se.

Since the appointment was earlier than either of us were truly ready to be out in the world, when we returned, we chilled for a bit, and then Daddy took a decent nap. Once I knew he was up, we ...

went to the driving range! #QuelleSurprise #NoIDontSpeakAnyFrench, #WhyDoYouAsk?

We reached the end of the last bucket he'd "rented", so tomorrow, he'll need to "rent" another. But today, he did a few stretches with a club over his head, and a few twists of his torso, and he was ready:

#6 iron, hit 6 darn pretty balls off the "fairway"... then the driver, hit 2 beauties off the tee.

Mentioned a little hip pain, and came over to the bag stand for a short rest. This was not a breathing rest, although I did admonish him to sit/stand straighter, with his shoulders back and head up. Then he stepped back into the batter's box (if only it were baseball, but that's just me, I'm sure).

#6 iron, hit 7 pretty well (scuffed one once, but who's really counting?)... then the driver for the remaining 5, off the tee. We still had 5 (extra) balls in the bag, because we'd only had 20 as our "goal" today, but, ya know, JIC.

The last ball was so beautiful that he said, "gimme another one". (Yay!). So I did.

Shoulda gone out on a "high" note. But really, he shoulda taken some Naproxen before we even left, so that pain wouldn't be the thing to stop him. He hit 21 balls today. He had some physical joint pain. 85-90% of the balls he hit were beautiful shots. Really great.

And now, Season 4 of Doctor Who!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Today is Thursday. We did some stuff; what did you do?

So, currently, at nearly 7 p.m., Daddy's in the middle of some flick about Marines... or not. It was becoming boring, so he decided to return to Doctor Who. I ain't got a problem with that.

Earlier today, hmm, let's see...

We got up, earlier, at a reasonable hour, and after checking all the internets we needed to check, he got dressed, goaded me into changing my own clothes, and after we traded the BEAST for something more reasonable, we took the golf cart over to the driving range. We also grabbed the cardkey for the pool, just to check the water temp, so I could make an informed decision regarding "walking over there and getting in" or not. (answer: any day I could really use the steps, sure, yeah, why not?)

Daddy's plan was to hit 15 golf balls at the driving range; I decided pretty early that we'd load his wine-carrier bag with 20, JIC. He grabbed a 5 iron and a 5 wood, so he still wouldn't need the brush tee and could act like he was golfing on "the fairway"...

Yesterday, he hit a total of 13 balls, from the "fairway", with one breathing break. Today, I dumped 20 balls at his feet, and he started with the 5 iron. He hit four pretty lovely shots, and then took a little breathing break. Then he hit five decent hits with the 5 wood, and took another break. I told him he only needed 5 more hits to surpass yesterday, and only 6 to hit "his" goal of today. Had my phone with me, so I took some VIDEO!

Ya wanna see it? Of Course you do! Here's the iron:
video
Here's the wood:
video
I'm really really proud of him. Good thing for him, I tell him so. I'm really proud of the progress he's made, both physically, and um, well, physically? I'm no shrink, so I really can't speak to his mental or emotional health. But I am really proud of his physical health... at 73 human earth years old.

It's Daddy. My Daddy, and I'm trying to make sure he doesn't "give up" physically before all of us who love him are ready to "accept" that he's done. #HeAintDoneKidsAndIAintGivinUpOnHim!!!

In addition to the driving range, we watched "Blink"and "Utopia", we hit Publix and the liquor store, I made a coupla Greek-ish wraps (that he didn't love but also didn't hate), I took a little walk whilst he was watching his Marine thingy, and now we're on "The Sound of Drums", and since Daddy finds The Master/Harold Saxon to be funny, we'll probably finish Season 3 ("Last of the Time Lords")...

I'm not going to publish until we part at bedtime, so for now, Salt & Vinegar Crisps (potato chips)! I expect to update... so for now, see ya in a bit...

yeah, completed the Harold Saxon trilogy/ I informed him that "in a distant future episode, we'll see the Master's regeneration", and he took his night-night meds to go to bed, so we can be up for his early (9:15 a.m.) doctor's follow-up appointment... We'll be up. We'll be there. I'll be so happy to report the progress I think he's made.

Wonder if it's all been psychosomatic, all along? Maybe he only misses his bffs more than anyone in the world, ever! Whaddya think? Betcha we know something before I check here for replies tomorrow! ;)

Days Five and almost Six, as it turns out (if travel day was Day Zero)

Yesterday was a pretty chill day. We were both up at a reasonable hour, and since I had replied to the card I'd received on Tuesday, I went out to put it in the mailbox and raise the flag. I hadn't mentioned before, because I'd forgotten, but a few days ago, Daddy and I fixed the flag on his mailbox. The housing had broken, so if you stood it upright, it might fall down again, and if the carrier dropped it down, it was a very sad drop. But superglue and an extra washer (and of course, a bigger hammer, in case it didn't fit), and the thing is #GoodAsNew! Well, almost. It still qualifies as a #JerryRig, but unless you inspect it closely, you'd never know.

Ennyhoo. Put my outgoing mail in the box, raised the flag, and just "hung out" in the sunshine, because #WhatAGorgeousDay!

Once Daddy heard from his pharmacy that his Rx was ready for pickup, he got dressed and loaded up the golf cart for his outing on the driving range. I hoofed it over to the CVS, met him at the drive-thru window, and we went to hit some balls.

Not wanting the range folks to "know" that we'd taken home the bucket, he'd loaded 13 balls into a bag, and brought his #4 and #7 irons, so he wouldn't need the tee. We set up nearish to a dude who had his full bag of clubs and a full bucket, and we knew that even with breaks, dude would still be there when we left. 'Sokay, the driving range isn't exactly "social", nor is it "antisocial". Golf is an "alone" sport, according to Daddy. Still, we all exchanged some pleasantries.

Daddy scuffed his first two balls, so I had him step back and take a couple of practice swings. That helped. He hit 3 very lovely shots, and then he needed a rest, so we did the same "prop yourself on the bag stand for a sec" thing, and he held his posture up and breathed. Then he went back and hit the remaining 8 balls, slicing just a little, but mostly getting them straight down the "fairway". 13 balls with only one breathing break! Not bad!

I opened his inhaler and spacer for him, but so far, he hasn't used them. When we got back in, he put on "Bandidas", because he likes it, and it wasn't horrible for me to watch, either. Penélope Cruz and Salma Hayek, robbing banks across Mexico to help the peasantry who've been swindled by Dwight Yoakam's New York banker/land developer. It's a romp. Then we hopped back in the golf cart to hit Publix (well, I walked, but anyway). I'll be making some Greek-ish sandwich wraps today. Sure hope we like 'em (since I have to learn to make Tzatziki first... oh, wait, no I don't! Just now, in Googling the spelling of this wonderful cucumber dip, one of the Google autofill options included Opaa! Poblano Sauce (which I neverinamillionyears woulda known was tzatziki)... so I'm gonna return the Greek yogurt and cuke we bought yesterday, and get the pre-made stuff. Yay for not havin' to learn nothin'!

Ennyhoo, we got back from our little grocery adventure and sat down to binge some Doctor Who. Daddy felt like "Daleks in Manhattan" was really sappy, and he wasn't too pleased that it was a two-parter, but we watched "Evolution of the Daleks" to finish the story (even though I told him he could skip it). He was much happier with "The Lazarus Experiment" and "42", and we even got as far as "Human Nature", which, as it turns out is also a two-parter, but at least it wasn't sappy, so yes, we finished our day with "The Family of Blood".

Which means next up is "Blink"!!!!! I sure hope I haven't oversold it for him...

Today, more golfing. More Doctor Who. Return the Enterprise rental for a Rent-A-Wreck or extend the contract, whichever makes more sense, $-wise. Wassup witchoo?

Oh, and I also gave myself a lazicure this morning:
too lazy to remove the purple, so I just threw a little pink on top

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I don't even know what "day" it is anymore...

So yesterday, I froze my ass off in the local hospital ER. You read that already. If you didn't, shame on you. What kinda friend/follower are you, if you're not reading me semi-daily? C'mon!

TODAY:

I awoke 8-ish, after hitting the sack just shy of 1:00. I missed my non-Fitbit thingy's step challenge by 800-ish steps (fuck it), and I missed my non-Fitbit thingy's bedtime by 8 minutes (fuck YOU, non-Fitbit thingy! You're not the boss of me!)

Came downstairs 9-ish and almost immediately heated the second half of the can of corned beef hash, because STARVING. Offered Daddy a bite; he hedged a bit, saying, well, I can just make myself an egg salad thing in a bit; this of course meant I would be sharing. #IHadToLearnMyPassiveAggressiveManipulationSkillsFromSomeone!

Shared the hash. Finished yesterday's big ol' Los Angeles mug of French Press cold mocha, with a Boost protein shake added in for good measure. Was #ReallyGladISharedTheHash, and #SaidSo.

Checked the mail... found the package of Boost Daddy had ordered a day or two ago, which *apparently* also contains a pulse-oxymeter, which tells you a numbered-scale (it can't be a percentage, but it is on a scale of 100) of oxygen you're getting in your bloodstream. Yesterday, in the ER, his pulse-ox stayed in the high-90's, and I even saw a 100 for one beat. We haven't opened the box yet, so we have no idea if the thingy's even in it.

Got dressed and went for a walk. I wanted to see how many steps away the pool is. It's about 5k, round-trip. So even if I continue to not care about getting 10k daily steps, if I walk to the pool and back, with a bit of water-treading, then I'm still doing okay with my personal health.

Got back and checked the mail. Multiple times. I have new penpals in @TheBloggess ' Twitter followers, and I'd brought 3 letters I received with me to reply to, but I knew there was at least one letter/card on the way, in c/o Daddy. There was an a/c repairman in bff's driveway, and the garage door was open. WTF? Met the "other" neighbors, who, like Daddy, keep an eye on bff's condo. Apparently, I'd met them a decade ago and didn't remember. I was here a decade ago for Mommy. Sue me for not remembering (they forgave me already, so you don't really have to sue me).

Got the letter/card I was expecting. Daddy got dressed and went next door to check that errything was okey-dokey. He was over there for a bit, but now that he was dressed, we decided to snag the golf cart and head to the driving range.

We took a #1 driver and a #3 fairway wood (iron), a brush tee, and a single glove, jumped in the golf cart, and toodled over to the driving range. Daddy's plan was to "rent" a bucket of balls, but not really hit more than 6 today. He hit 2 off the tee (poorly, IMO) with the 3, and then smacked the hell outta 2 off the tee with the driver. Then, since we hadn't brought over with us a stool of any kind, he leaned/sat on the bag stand that the "course" had provided. After a coupla good deep breaths (and my reminder to sit up straight with his head up), he went back to the tee/"fairway". Hit four really lovely shots with the #3 wood, and then came back to the bag stand to rest. Then he hooked two shots off the tee with the driver, and he was done. 10 shots, not 6! I was really happy with that.

We hid the bucket and drove the cart home. Sat here bingeing Doctor Who ("Smith and Jones" and "The Shakespeare Code") and consumed a little alcohol, proteins, and carbs. We have discussed the need for him to binge the Harry Potter films (actors that he loves, that is the only reason), and we will likely binge a bit more Doctor Who before bedtime tonight (UPDATE: currently on "Gridlock").

Today has been both relaxing and productive. He's got a follow-up appointment with Dr. Cooke on Friday; I dropped off his Rx but we haven't heard back from CVS to pick it up yet; we've both been physically active, and we've both "caught up" on our personal "catch-up" stuff. And it's not even 6 p.m. !!!

I intend to SLEEP this good night, at a reasonable hour, and then GET UP at a reasonable hour tomorrow, to be productive again. Whaddyougot?

Monday, April 24, 2017

Adventures in Daddyland, Florida!

So, if you've been keeping up, you know that two days ago, Uncle Dan said "come tomorrow"... which we did.

If you know my Daddy at all, you know that he is Not Concerned with his Own Health really, at all, beyond taking his prescription, non-narcotic/non-barbiturate/non-addictive Rx meds that have been appropriately prescribed. Oh, well, yeah, that and alcoholic beverages because... #UmYeahAlcoholismInTheFamilyAndIDontMindAndImOldSoSTFU

It's all right, Daddy. I hear ya. #UmYeahAlcoholismInTheFamilyAndIKindaLikeItAndImAMixologistSoSTFU... I won't allow either of us to endanger anyone else.

So, Uncle Dan. I had been led to believe, by my "old" and alcoholic-but-also-retired-RN Daddy, that Uncle Dan was likely on his "last leg". We drove over there yesterday at lunchtime, but not for lunch. We had been instructed to come "having had" (that's typical of film sets, btw), because Uncle Dan only eats when he's hungry. Still... I didn't want to arrive without food, in case our visit might be (normal for me but) on the long side for either of the older men (older than ME, of course). So, since Daddy's female bff kept emptying her fridge and pantry in our general direction before the grand bff departure back to Canada, I just packed all of the non-perishables back into the grocery bag she'd left with us, and when Uncle Dan greeted us at the door, I warned him,

"Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts." I don't think he got it. That's okay. He accepted my grocery bag, and after hugs and sit-downs, I never saw that bag again.

Let me just say here that TheOnlyThing that bothers me about Daddy's life on the golf course is that he lives about a million miles away from anyone who matters to him. Sure, he's either walking- or golfcart- distance to his grocery, pharmacy, liquor store, Domino's Pizza, and GYM/Golf Course... but people about whom he cares? That's a drive in a car. That bothers me, at least a little.

***** Uncle Dan Is Not On His Last Leg And Stepping Into His Grave!!!!!***** Just in case you were worried. Sure, he's short as fuck. Sure, he's still (obviously) grieving the loss of his wife. If he can manage to go out into his backyard and inspect the avocados growing on the top branches of his tree without faceplanting in the dirt, I imagine he'll make it past the first year. And if he makes it that far, it will be a little easier, day-by-day, for him to get in a car and visit Daddy, or get on with his life, and survive well into the next Decade, as his younger brother has managed to do. You Go, BOYO! (btw, he and Daddy worked out an "accountability" system, where Uncle Dan sends two texts per day: morning "okay" {or other descriptor} and evening "okay"... with day/time on the message)

That was a pretty short visit, considering we had to drive across Egypt to get there. That's okay... that's my own issue, and I'm all right "owning" that as an issue.

TODAY, after I went to bed at a reasonable hour and awoke TEN hours later (I was exhausted), I came downstairs, heated some corned beef hash for bofus (*"both of us"), and overheard Daddy on the phone with his primary doc's appt/receptionist "desk"... he made an appointment to be seen today at 2:00 p.m. Hmm... in the meantime, we watched two Doctor Who Reboot issues, "Doomsday" and "Runaway Bride". Yay!

On our way out the door, he "confessed" that he'd awoken at 2:30 this morning unable to breathe. Well, unable to catch a full breath. What I'd classify as 50-60% lung capacity breathing, he, as a retired nurse, put at 85-90%. FINE. It FEELS like only filling one lung! Ennyhoo...

We saw Dr. Cooke, and just as I suspected, bff's protestations of "bullshit" whenever he took Daddy to the doc were a bit "glossed over" (probably more by Daddy than doc, but what can doc do if Daddy doesn't agree?), and my input as "middle child" daughter were met with "is this true, Jerry? Whaddya wanna do about it?" ... and I told the doc EVERYTHING that Daddy had "confessed" to me, so...

So Dr. Cooke called over to the hospital ER triage nurse, and ordered a battery of tests, and once we found our way there, we waited less than an hour before they "admitted" him to a room (in the ER) so they could get the ER doc to order said battery of tests.

It was the ER. Things only move as quickly as they can, considering everyone in there is in a bit of an "emergency" situation. Still, his nurse, Andy, was awesome. The doc was as attentive as she need be (but also pretty damn awesome for someone who wouldn't be spending much time with him). Every phlebotomist and tech and orderly we dealt with was awesome. For being there 5 1/2 hours, we were never neglected or treated rudely or unkindly or rushed. In fact, I had to remind Daddy once to be a little "nicer" with the aortic phlebotomist, because I could tell she was new enough to not "get" the sarcasm of a retired RN! Bless her heart, she was sweet, but thinner-skinned than I! (not that I'm thin-skinned, so wth am I saying?)

I began a group text with the family. Uncle Terry didn't recognize all the phone numbers, so he called me back. Just about everyone else group-texted. It felt really good to be able to relay info in real time, even if my medical background is limited. When this test or that test was being run, or we were waiting for results, or now we had results and were just waiting for discharge, all along, if I knew something new, so did the group text. And everyone had something to contribute, so conversation wasn't just one-way. While Daddy and I waited for his discharge, he wrote on the whiteboard: "Andy is a good nurse, even though he is Air Force". When Andy saw the note, he laughed, and whispered to Daddy, "Get the fuck outta my ER, Marine" (or something equally funny and apropos).

My last text message out (after listening to the rental car's computer voice read female bff's and InnerHippie's incoming texts) was "we're home, and we're ingesting proteins and carbs like crazy people, because it's been 10-11 hours since we've had more than a sip of water"... then Daddy took his nite-nite meds, hit the sack shortly after that, and once I'd caught up my Twitter peeps on the sitch, I started this blog.

It's not as late as it has been (of late), so that's good. I'm tired because I spent 6 hours in an icebox. But Daddy has Nothing Wrong With Him *medically, which means, after we've checked in with Dr. Cooke again, and filled the Rx for a rescue inhaler like mine, I'm free to try to get him walking the block again!

Poor Daddy. He probably feels he'd have been better off if he'd been have a stroke or MCI. Oh, well. Too bad, so sad. Suck it up, Buttercup. You-n-me are gonna be walkin' erryday, until you're strong enough to swing a golf club again. I honestly don't care, as long as you find an activity you can and WANT to do without keeling over!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Day "Two"

So, yeah... didn't get to sleep until after 2 a.m. last night... BUT I forgot to mention that I'm still trying to meet "step challenges" set by my non-Fitbit thingy, so after Daddy went to bed, I tried walking around his block for the ~2000 steps I still lacked for my challenge for the day!

His "block" is at least 4000 steps, and in the dark, that's a really fun challenge. And with Daddy's "baseline" still somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 steps, I knew that he's not likely to attempt a "round-the-block" trek anytime soon! But the good news is, if we decide to do HIS walking after the sun's gone down, we're not counting shade trees, and the temperature is much cooler, and more conducive to getting any steps in (for him, at least)! Score!

So yeah, last night I more than met my step challenge, but didn't fall asleep right away at all, and had to do sleep math to decide what time was "okay" to get up this morning (no earlier than 9-ish).

Guess what time I was wide awake this morning? That's right, kids. EIGHT o'clock. I LIED to my non-Fitbit thingy by taking it off, and leaving it on the bed, while I got up and showered and brushed my teeth... until I could "legit" be dressed, put it back on my undies waistband, and tell it to "wake up".

Why do I LIE to my electronic device about my sleep? Because I can, plain and simple. I can't fool it re: how many steps I take, but I can convince it that I've "hit" my sleep goal. Do you/would you do the same?

So, Daddy. I told him about my walk last night, and suggested that we wait until before he's supposed to take his "night-night" meds (8 p.m.-ish), and get his "steps" in after sundown, for all the reasons previously listed. He seemed pretty cool about that.

He really only wanted to maybe see Uncle Dan today. But I'd been in contact with my cousin, Uncle Dan's step-kid (and my sis' "astrological twin"), and she wanted to maybe meet up with us for lunch or something. I had texted that she should call Daddy, since he'd at least be familiar with potential places to meet, and neither of us had any "agenda". So, while I waited, I made myself some breakfast and French Press mocha.

Whilst my mocha brewed, she called, and from what I could hear from Daddy's end, we were leaving shortly. So with a general plan in place, I plugged my phone in, finished brewing my mocha, refrigerated same (without even a taste!), and out the door we went!

We arrived super-early. Like, plenty of time for Daddy to grab a table for five (five? who were we meeting?) while I waited outside in the sunshine, "acting" like a doorman for everyone who came through. It was great. No, really. Hold a door for people who aren't expecting it. You'll bring out the polite in the rudest people on the planet. #HighlyRecommended. Plus, I was wearing a pretty skin-exposing top, and soakin' up that Vitamin D, along with beautiful tanning UV rays! #NotKidding

When my cousin arrived, she had her mother (my aunt) in tow, whom I hadn't seen for several years, as well as her big sister (my other cousin), whom I hadn't seen IRL in decades. Seriously, I had not seen this particular cousin since our youngest cousin died at 18, when we were all young adults, or possibly even before that, when we were all still children. It's an odd thing, to reach a certain decade of life, and realize that, without losing touch, you just haven't been in the presence of certain family members. Daddy and I were both really glad she joined us. We covered a lot of ground in our catch-up lunch date. #GoodTimes

After lunch, on the way home, I had Daddy call Uncle Dan, to see if he wanted us to visit today (like NOW) or tomorrow. Go home, young lady. We'll head out to visit tomorrow, noonish. 'K. No worries.

Once we get home, it's pretty much Chill Time. BFF Neighbors have also just returned from an outing wherein they got to catch up with some old friends, so they came inside to catch up with us before returning to all the packing they needed to do... except they came bearing gifts. Yesterday, with female bff, we'd had a lovely chat about stones and tumbling and jewelry, so today, she gave me THESE:
Handmade necklace and bracelet from "beach glass" found on a Scottish shore!
... and not that turnabout is fair play or anything, but when she sat down, I removed my coloring book and pencils from behind her in the seat, and we ended up in an in-depth convo about adults coloring, and the fear of "messing up", which delays the "jumping in". She indicated that she'd received a coloring book as a gift from someone, but she was really admiring mine, so I left her for a moment and ran upstairs to procure the "extra copy" that Amazon had misdelivered but I had managed to acquire (because the new tenant/s at the old place had set it above the mailboxes as a return, and since it had MY NAME on it, I rescued it from Postal Hell). I had been hanging onto that spare, waiting for someone with whom to color, or at least someone who seemed to really need and appreciate the tone/message conveyed throughout, which is one of healing through laughter and coloring, particularly dealing with any mental illnesses you may struggle with. Remember, this is @TheBloggess we're talking about. Jenny Lawson is so funny, and so honest about her mental health issues... to the point that she has a following of #TheBloggessTribe on her blog, Twitter, and probably Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tinder, Grinder, and The Gap. Seriously. She is Hella Good to follow.

Ennyhoo. Female bff neighbor was so grateful for my gift, and male bff neighbor was grateful that she'd have sufficient distraction during their long drive home to Canada! It made me happy to find the right home for it.

So after they left to continue their packing adventures, Daddy did some online researching of some stuff, including looking for ways to stream the next episodes of Doctor Who, and I started coloring another page. Daddy and I had a pretty frank discussion about the medical issues faced by the extended family, and why nobody ever really asks him for details re: anything medical. It was a really good conversation about how to explain things on the level of the questioner, rather than to the nth degree of your knowledge, and in the midst of it, I had opportunities to continue coloring (the lunch visits had taken their toll on his energy level, so this convo lasted a nice, long while).

When we had reached a good understanding, I had also finished coloring my doodle, but had been inspired to add WORDS to it. So I took a pic with my phone and posted it to my Twitter tribe, and then I was overwhelmed by the response!
... and began... I don't know where each one will take me until it takes me There... and I won't ever know, unless I allow it to Take Me There, by Letting Go and Jumping In and Beginning.
Thank you, Jenny, for this place to Let Go.
... and I am NOT a fan of "Frozen"! But just this simple doodle, that I didn't even color IN, per se, so much as darkening the lines within it, elicited those words from my brain. I dunno. It felt good.

So after awhile, Daddy decided he needed to say one last "good-bye" to his bff neighbors, knowing that they wouldn't likely be stopping in before their (relatively) early-morning departure. I carried my book over to show to female bff, and she showed sufficient admiration, but more than that, I think she may have the courage to jump in... starting tomorrow... on one page from one of her two new books. I look forward to her text messages or emails, with photos of her WIPs or completed pages.

Meanwhile, Daddy said goodbye to male bff neighbor, and he had a bit of a sad when we left there. As his night-night alarm was approaching, he put his sneakers on for his (begrudging) evening walk. I told him I wanted to aim for the fourth shade(less) tree, and he seemed okay with that. But I don't think we made it that far. He got winded pretty easily, pretty quickly. But we'd had a grand adventure out in the world, and he'd earlier ascended and descended the Entire Staircase to his second floor (18 steps, unassisted!), and his bffs were leaving. So I get it. #IHazATiredAndASad

Tomorrow, we're on the books, as it were, to visit Uncle Dan. An Adventure.
On Monday, we're probably going to arrange/DO the early drop-off of the Enterprise rental and exchange it for a Rent-A-Wreck. I mean, seriously. This thing is a beast, compared to my tiny-on-the-outside, TARDIS-on-the-inside Honda Fit. And it ain't cheap. So who needs it? Let's get a run-around!
Who knows what we'll decide to do on Tuesday?

In the meantime, walking. Standing. Sitting up straight. Focusing on posture, and breathing, and diet, and reasons to get UP.

At this point, I have sufficiently worn myself down. Think I'll brush the teeth and hit the hay! I have already missed the bedtime my non-Fitbit thingy set for me, so in the morning, it'll be giving me a good talking-to! At least I managed to give it a new battery today (it was screaming for one, most of the morning)... :/

Day "One" with Daddy

Since I'm here to "whip him into shape", as it were, here's our baseline:

The bff neighbors leave, officially tomorrow. Daddy will haz a sad then. (I think he already haz a sad, but I'm expecting it to potentially "worsen" over the next few days, so I'm focusing on physical changes I can "Drill Sergeant" for him.)

Yesterday, I awoke to his throat clearings. I'd managed to get to bed/sleep at a reasonable hour, even though I had traveled forward in time by three zones. Went to bed somewhere in the 11-ish hour, Thursday night. So Friday morning was following a decent sleep. Yes, I'd awoken "in a strange place" a few times, but returned to slumber straightaway & got up with Daddy's "noise" at a reasonable hour, as well (8-9 "ish").

Neither of us had any particular agenda for the day, so we determined together what we planned to accomplish. I want to get him walking in his neighborhood. Number of steps don't matter; speed doesn't matter; time spent outside doesn't matter. Let's just put on our sneakers and take the walker out, walk as far as we can until he gets winded, and then rest by him sitting on the walker. He also figured we'd visit with Uncle Dan and his bff neighbors. That was all the plan we had for Day One.

So we each checked our electronic devices for news or notifications or whatever we checked 'em for. We ate breakfast. He called Uncle Dan, who sends him daily text messages re: how he's feeling, but then he follows up by phone, to see if a visit is in order for that day (especially if he's got a "ride", i.e. me driving a rental car). No visit yesterday; Dan was not "up" to it.

He called Uncle Leroy, just to see how he was doing. He called Uncle Terry, for the same reason. I'm here to make sure Daddy's doing all right, and in the meantime, he's making sure other family is also all right. Apparently, the caregiving apple doesn't fall far from the RN tree. ;)

We put on sneakers and went for a short walk, with the walker. He hated it, because he can't not hold the handles of the walker, and the position(s) of them makes walking feel too much like "work" or physical therapy, or possibly just "looking old". So we discussed "Jerry-rig" improvements, like somehow attaching a long strap so that he could drag it along behind. We stopped at the third shade tree (counting his own), and he sat down to rest. Then we returned to the house to sort some of the ideas we'd had, and set back out again. Made it as far as the third shade tree, having failed in "Jerry-rig Attempt #1", & returned to the house with more ideas.

He'd gotten a bit winded, so he was sucking on a very small, portable oxygen canister. Like, really small. This is the sort of thing that hikers pack for high altitudes, I think. Ánd no, he wasn't actually "sucking" on it. He depressed the button long enough to "spray" straight-up O2 into his mouth and down his windpipe, once or twice.

This action, of course, generated a conversation about his Rx Albuterol. He'd been the one to most clearly explain the delivery of Albuterol into MY lungs when I got my inhaler, with prescribed spacer thingy; why wasn't he using his Albuterol? It didn't work, most likely because he'd had to "Jerry-rig" a spacer... so we planned to stop by CVS to see about getting him a proper one.

So... "baseline" walking distance, check. Convo re: each of our motivations/goals, check. Hopped in the golf cart for the short jaunt over to CVS (no, you need an Rx for a spacer, and glucosamine/chondroitin is NOT CHEAP if you're having joint pains) and Publix (we needed milk and lunchmeats and some crackers and of course, ice cream) and back home, after he'd introduced me to everyone he knows. It was interesting, meeting "his people"... because I'm an extrovert, of course I have "my people" (at my Trader Joe's and Costco, at least), and it made me feel good to know that there are local customer service peeps who would look for him, even if they couldn't necessarily find him... they'd worry as much as family does.

FINALLY got a visit with his bff neighbors! Now, I had met the female half of the couple, and we're in long-distance group convos with the rest of Daddy's progeny, when we need to be. But we hadn't spent much time together. I decided yesterday that she was to be my new bff! Later, we had a separate visit with the couple, when I FINALLY (after all these years) got to meet the male half. My greatest shock was discovering that Daddy's bff neighbors all these years are MY generation, not HIS. Whatever.

Daddy and I wrapped up our pretty-productive (baseline-setting and deep conversation-having) first day together with him going to bed well past his normal bedtime. I grabbed whatever I needed to occupy myself in my upstairs bedroom, tried to hit the sack ~midnight-ish, and found that I Just Wasn't Sleepy. Or Tired. Or able to sleep, for whatever reason.

So I replied to some snail-mail I'd brought with me, and I completed the page I was coloring on my flight. Got to bed/sleep shortly after 2 a.m. just by forcing myself to it. The coloring had in no way calmed me or made me sleepy or relaxed or anything like that. It gave me a stiff neck, frankly, because 1) this is my first experiment with adult coloring and 2) I was sitting/lying in bed, trying to make it work. However, I was pretty damn pleased with the end result, so after posting the photo to Twitter, I did some easy sleep math, and planned to awaken no earlier than 9 a.m.

Easy Peasy, Right?


Friday, April 21, 2017

Traveling is FUN!

You probably don't know, unless you communicate with me on Twitter or IRL (Twitter-speak for "in real life"), that about a week ago, I booked a flight from Cali to Florida, for a visit with Daddy, to help him transition through his best friends' departure (they're snowbirds, about to move back to Canada), and also to help him deal with some health issues. More about that later, if there is progress to report (and he's okay with me reporting it).

So YESTERDAY, at Dawn's Tramp Stamp o'clock, with electronic confirmations of flights/rental car/routing to Daddy's safely tucked into my phone, and one big to-be-checked bag plus two carryons, Stephen walked with me to the North Hollywood Red Line subway station and said "good-bye" for however long this trip will be.

From there, I traveled without incident by subway to "our" Union Station (doesn't every big city in the world have a Union Station?), to catch my "Flyaway" shuttle bus to the airport.

The bus trip was not without incident. About halfway, or maybe 2/3 of the way to the airport, we all hear a THUD in/near the back of the bus, followed by a male voice calling forward, "um, driver?". Looking to the back, we see a body on the floor in front of the last seat/row. The man says "I think she passed out" and a woman from near the back crouches down and starts asking standard First Responder questions, like "Are you all right?" and "Can you hear me?"

I'm sitting directly behind the driver, who keeps calling back, "is she awake?" and "is she okay?" to no avail. I feel badly for the driver, who may have some training related to this, as a customer service rep, but primarily her job is driving folks to the airport. Can't delay the route for 20 people just because one is passed out! Not on LA highways, at least!

So I called to the back, "Is she breathing?" because I can see the woman is beginning to loosen the fallen woman's outerwear (several layers of jackets, from what I could see, because LA at dawn is still pretty chilly). First Responder Chick calls back "she's breathing", which allows all of us near the front of the bus to breathe a little easier, and I relay that info to the driver, so she can breathe a little easier. The driver finds a little pie-piece stretch of road to park the bus in (between the highway and an off-ramp), which gives her an opportunity to assess the situation for herself.

Things being what they are (which, at this point, who even really knows?), the driver returns to her seat and gets us to the first terminal. When she stops, she sort-of tells everyone on the bus that we're at the first terminal, and if your stop is anywhere near here, you might want to go ahead and disembark, since she didn't know how soon she'd be continuing the route. I think the general consensus was "how do I know how near MY terminal is?", but for me, it was good news. I could see that Southwest was the very first stop, so I got my stuff and headed to the terminal. As soon as I could find a uniformed officer of any kind, I indicated that someone on the Flyaway bus needed medical assistance.

End of the incident, at least for me. Sorry if that sounds cold, but there wasn't anything else I could do, and I had a flight to catch, and really, the only person on the bus who might be delayed was First Responder Chick, since it sounded like Passed-Out Woman actually worked at the airport (not sure how she was able to use Flyaway, unless they have a deal for employees). Ennyhoo, not that it was ever in my hands, but now it was definitely outta my hands.

Made my way to my gate, got on my plane, got a text from Stephen asking if I'd boarded yet (just now, yes), settled in, and we were off! The only "incident" on that first flight was a general chastisement/goading by the flight attendant to get me to say "PLEASE". Good Times! ... and yes, after I "got" the message, I had a convo with her (and the other flight attendants) to Thank Her for the goading. There is never a reason to neglect our manners. ... well, maybe there are plenty of good reasons, but certainly not when asking for a particular thing from a nothing-less-than-pleasant customer service rep! So again, Good Times! Thank you for flying Southwest, and thank you for saying please and thank you!

Second leg somewhat uneventful, except for the fact that I managed to snag a SECOND-ROW AISLE SEAT but had to put my carryon in the overhead above row 6. Yikes. Seatmate was very chatty with both of us on the row, and I'm cool with that. Window dude was going on a cruise, his first time ever on a boat. Middle chick was visiting her daughters, who both live in Orlando and are planning to never give her grandbabies!

I spent most of that leg coloring. I follow Jenny Lawson's blog, and I own her books, including her 3rd one, which is called You Are Here, and is, in essence, an adult coloring book. I had pre-ordered it, so when it was delivered, I gently read through it, put it in a tote bag to carry with me on set or wherever (with a set of colored pencils that I'd abducted from Stephen's coloring collection), and then never started coloring, for fear of "messing it up". Yesterday was the day I began adding color to Jenny's doodles.

Seatmate kept commenting on how pretty it was (thanks, seatmate), and we also talked about Anxiety, Depression, #TheBloggess, #TheBloggessTribe, and adults who color, and where to get appropriate coloring books and supplies. So my first page of coloring is still a #WIP (work in progress), but here's what a two-hour flight reaps:
still need to finish all the "doodly" parts, but I'm not unhappy with THIS.
Arrived, waited at baggage claim for an interminable time, got my shit together and headed over to Enterprise. Loaded up the car, and couldn't figure out which of the electric controls would put the gas pedal in reach! But the rental dude had paired my phone with the car before escaping back to his rental counter, so I actually had Daddy on big speakers while I searched for all the right buttons to push. Got the seat adjusted. Got the mirrors adjusted. Found my way OUT of the parking garage, and the airport, and on some unknown road.

Daddy had sent me a "best" route out, but I also rely on Waze navigation, which was having a difficult time figuring out how to get me from MY APARTMENT to Daddy's. Seems the "incident" here was communication with the GPS satellite(s?). I'm not still at my apartment, Waze. Get a grip!

Waze did, eventually, get a grip, and I made it to the Publix parking lot, where Daddy met me with a gate pass to get into his gated community by car. Yay! Safely arrived, we caught up a little, and Daddy kept trying to curate me through his personal art collection, even though I kept saying "save it for daylight. I wanna look at all the art in the daylight". He finally relented, and we went our separate ways for slumber.

...more to come, I'm sure. For now, yesterday is gone. On to today, and tomorrow, and beyond!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I'm just a barrel of fun lately, aren't I?

this is so the OTHER pic is not the first one you see... trust me.
Here's a brief "catch-up":

Awhile back, I broke a tooth whilst eating a french fry at a local burger joint. The only "pain" I experienced at that time was SHOCK at breaking a tooth on a french fry, and the callous that formed on my tongue, as it was forming, from rubbing against a jagged tooth. The tooth itself didn't bother me too much.

This was either followed by or more likely, preceded by (I forget) some pain in the opposite side of my jaw, likely due to an infected tooth, which I "remedied" by chewing on the other side, causing the tooth to break on a french fry.

Then we moved, and I had to fight shortness of breath (SOB) and wheezing, and major "cough up a lung" coughing fits. So, while I still had insurance, I saw a doc at Kaiser, who prescribed a rescue inhaler. That got me through our California winter.

Also while I still had insurance, I took care of the pain on the right side of my mouth, which was, in fact, due to an infected tooth that had at first been Rx'd (a year earlier? I forget) "ROOT CANAL & CROWN", to which I had said "STFU" and attempted to heal myself with coconut oil pulling and close attention to flossing and other nearly-OCD dental hygiene. Of course, by the time that year or so had passed, my nearly-OCD dental hygiene had flown out a proverbial window, and the pain returned, and the infection was so far gone that the dentist said "we have to extract" (after I had walked in the door saying "I need an extraction". DUH). So that tooth got pulled, and my jaw pain abated a lot, and all I dealt with was my nagging breathing.

Then I ran out of insurance and applied for Medi-Cal.

Then I got really angry with the Shitologists next door, and had to find a way outta that headspace. That headspace was #NoBueno for me or anyone else. With the help of my friend, I found some peace. #YayMe #Blessed

Then my Medi-Cal came through just as I was about to die from SOB and wheezing, and I got my inhaler refilled. For Free.

Then I started having jaw pain on the other side, pretty much directly under Mr. Brokey. So I looked into seeing a dentist on an urgent basis, because my damn jaw was throbbing so badly, I hardly slept at all on Friday night (this past Friday, a week ago tomorrow). Saw the dentist on Saturday... made a "walk-in appointment" for, eh, 15-20 minutes from now-ish? and walked the 3 blocks up the street. Filled out appropriate paperwork; receptionist took my Medi-Cal info; x-ray tech led me back to the most x-rays I have EVER had to have of three regions of my mouth, considering there was only ONE tooth to inspect. Also, I had to hold the thingy inside my mouth, as well as steadying the x-ray "camera" against my aching jaw. #Weird?

Dr. Gandhi came and took another look at my mouth, looked at the x-rays, and said, "your (broken) tooth is infected, and it needs to come out. We could do a root canal, but Medi-Cal doesn't cover it, and it takes a long time, and how do you feel about extraction?" and I was all, Yee-Ha, take that sucker OUT!

So he had me schedule the extraction for Tuesday and wrote prescriptions for amoxicillin and 400mg Ibuprofen (what? no Vicadin? Day-Um!), and I was out the door, having paid zero for the office visit... I had to drive to BF Egypt to fill said prescriptions, because it was SATURDAY, and most Kaiser Permanente facilities are NOT open on Saturday, and the only KP HOSPITAL with a 24-hour pharmacy is located in East Jesus. So I drove to Podunk, got my Rx's filled for free, and went home to start taking them.

Tuesday, I booked a couple of workshops that I am so glad I attended, so I had to reschedule the extraction for yesterday. Appointment for 2:30 in the afternoon, I walked the three blocks and got in a little early. I was seen pretty much immediately, and while Dr. Gandhi was waiting for the Novocaine to take effect, I was tweeting that I might need some "positive vibe" emotional support. He told me to put the phone down NOW so "we" could focus on the task at hand, before I even got to hit "send", which meant I just had to believe that the emotional support was there. I'm not sure why I was nervous yesterday, but I was definitely nervous yesterday. My back was sweating, and my hands were clenching/unclenching/flailing a bit (not too much) nervous. Possibly because this particular tooth was in no way "loose", so doc had told me that he might have to cut... the tooth, or even the gums. #Yikes!

But honestly, the only "pain" I felt during this incredibly quick procedure was on the opposite side of my mouth, when he needed a little leverage. And I mean, this procedure was incredibly quick, and he got the tooth out "whole"! (Meaning, it wasn't whole to begin with, but he didn't have to break or cut it to get it out). And it was FREE.

So I got the gauze and I still have the antibiotics and ibuprofen, and I went back for a follow-up today, which took probably a whole 60 seconds of him looking inside my mouth. I'm fine. Everything's fine.
sexy, amiright?

But what a roller coaster, eh?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Twenty-One Days

is what it takes to break a habit, "they" say. It's how long it takes to MAKE a new habit, too, curiously enough. I think it's a nice memory device, that 21 days. It's less than a month, so it doesn't feel daunting. It's more than a fortnight, so you know you will face a challenge or two. But, "they" say, if you can make it 21 days, then you can succeed in whatever that lifestyle change you're attempting.

Unfortunately for US, this post is going to go "live" at the end of the next (for me, it's the next) 21 days, as I need the next (for me, not for you) 21 days to document the progress. Because of what it's about, it does not behoove me to blog it as I go. You'll understand in just a sec.

"Yesterday" was Day Zero. I had needed to update/upgrade my wardrobe for background work, and I know that Stephanie is both highly fashion-conscious as well as being incredibly deal-spotty. I hate clothing shopping for myself (or probably for others, too), because I am not a finder of deals, I just refuse to spend too much. Also, I don't feel like I have any real fashion sense. Lately, Stephen and I have been binge-watching Arrow, and I wanted to emulate Moira Queen's style. I wanted some basic suit and dress pieces that would be timeless and would only need accessories (another thing I have no skills in, but let's get the big pieces outta the way first).

So Stephanie came over, and we went shopping. Whilst trying stuff on, I noticed what looked like bites or bacne near where my bikini top sits. It doesn't itch or hurt or anything, but having just noticed it, I had Stephanie take a look. She immediately pulled a Stephen (or even Daddy) and tried to diagnose me. Since Stephen's been dealing with a lot of itchy bites lately, Stephanie kept coming back to bedbugs. I was sure we don't have bedbugs; Stephen was sure we don't have bedbugs; Stephanie kept pressing the issue, and guess what the two of them found? Bedbugs. So this 21-day countdown (up?) is going to be about getting rid of the damn things. #KillItWithFire

Day Zero (Wednesday, summer): find and kill 3 bedbugs from the bedskirt. Pull all of the linens off the bed and wash them in hot water and dry them twice per Stephanie's urging. Discover dead bedbugs after laundering the linens. Dunno if it was the hot water or the twice-dry that killed 'em; don't care. Tweet "thanks for the nightmares, Stephanie! ;)" and she makes me take it down. Fine. I took it down. Just as we were ready to go to bed, Stephen killed another one because it had just bitten him. Dammit. We put a bunch of lavender oil in the corners of the bedding, and I went to bed while Stephen kept puttering.

Day One: no evidence of bedbugs anywhere, I go ahead and do a bunch of my own laundry. I also pick up a couple of sprayer bottles and those cheap ketchup/mustard squirt bottles. Whilst laundering my clothing, I spray the baseboards throughout the apartment with undiluted lavender oil. Smells so good! I also Take. Apart. My Bed. so I can spray every surface of it with diluted tea tree oil as I rebuild it. I also vacuum and mop the bedroom again. Then I shower and drive to a fitting, because I booked a day of background work next week! Woo Hoo! Masters of Sex, I'm comin' back! When Stephen gets home, he fills the ketchup squirter bottle with Diatemaceous Earth, which is a pet-friendly way to kill fleas, but also works on bedbugs. He then proceeds to open all the electrical outlets he can get to to lace them with D.E. He's also inspecting the media shelves and will treat them with diluted tea tree oil just as a precaution. We're not fuckin' around!
I can't tell you how many times I filled this bottle, to spray all the bedding parts... I sprayed Every Single Bedding part before putting the bed back together! There was not a single square inch that did not get sprayed. Srsly.
Day Two: no evidence anywhere of any issue, and Stephen slept well last night, once he turned on the A/C (we're in another heat wave, which doesn't help us discover living bedbugs, because they don't care for heat, which is why they don't actually crawl on you, they just bite you where they can reach ya). Neither of us has gotten a new bite since Night Zero. The apartment stills smells very lavendery, and we both slept through the night, as did the cats. We had discussed setting a dry ice "trap" for any living adult bugs (they're attracted to CO2, which is why they feed off the blood of humans... they know where you are because you're exhaling in your sleep!), but frankly, we're unable to purchase less than ten pounds at a time here, and we really only need about a pound or less, and the trap does involve a little bit of setup, and what a waste of nine or more pounds of dry ice! And we're not seeing evidence. So we'll keep spraying lavender and tea tree oils around the place, and if we don't dilute it, those oils will absolutely kill any adult bugs we find, plus we could also draw little lines of D.E. around the walls, to see if the oils need any help... KILLING the BUGS!

Day Three: I'm on set as a Scripty all day in Riverside, which is about sixty miles away. Call time is 3:00 p.m., so by the time I get/got back in to go to bed, I just fell asleep immediately. Awoke early on Sunday for my NOON call time, and had a chance to discover that we're still seeing no evidence, and the bites we have are definitely fading. As we near the end of this particular 21 day cycle, any eggs will/should have hatched, and we'll probably have to step up our game a bit. I'm happy that at this point, we've got a decent handle on the "problem". We managed to get diagnosed in time (Thank You, Stephanie) to reduce the infestation. I'll probably be able to come back to this post by Day Five. Right now, (Day Four), I've gotta pack up my shit so I'm ready to head out when my carpoolees arrive!

Day Five: Nothing to report ... until Stephen was up in the darkness in the wee hours of morning, searching for the little bastard that bit him. It was a teeny bite, so he's assuming an egg we'd not found had hatched. So,

Day Six: He spends his day off spraying diluted tea tree oil everywhere, vacuuming and mopping, and spreading D.E. into the baseboards of the bedroom and then masking-taping all of those little cracks and crevices. Late into the day, we purchase more lavender and tea tree oils at GNC (because they honestly had the best local prices; we found cheaper online, but aren't ready to deal with shipping just yet), and then I sprayed the undiluted lavender oil on all of the baseboards in the bedroom and closet (the only room I'd "missed" the first time, because I ran out). We went to bed that night in lavender heaven.

Day Seven (Wednesday): I'm on set again today, but this time for the 1960's show that I'd had a fitting for last week. Have worked a little, but mostly I'm sitting in holding with the other background actors, waiting to work. This is my "second look":
no, those are my real glasses!
the other "profile", to include my Hunger Games pin (?)
I'll let you know (here, probably much later than from set) whether we have any bedbug evidence today... um, I have no idea; I forgot to tell you. #SorryNotSorry

Day Eight: Stephen's place of business receives stock on Thursdays that includes pet foods packed in dry ice. So today, I raced over there to pick up a little so we could set our "trap"!
tape a t-shirt to an inverted dog bowl; dust insides w/D.E.,
 put dry ice in the cup, and seal the room for an hour
Just a little white powder everywhere either means we have NO MORE BEDBUGS, or (more likely), we may have some eggs still waiting to hatch. Good news is, we can set this trap EVERY Thursday until we're free of bites/evidence! W00t!

Days Ten and Eleven: I'm on set as Scripty again. This time, we're in a soundstage. It's for a YouTube (or other) web series, and it's crazy fast-moving (unlike the student film last weekend that took for-freakin'-ever because there didn't seem to be anyone actually in charge), and again, not a lot of time at home other than sleeping, so I dunno what the hell the bedbug sitch is this weekend.

Day Fourteen: I picked up a rush call for a SCRIPTY gig! Day Playing, officially! It's for a feature (I think), and they're almost done with their shoot, and we're filming in the middle of nowhere, and I may have gotten a bug bite or two near my ankle on one of these set days, but I don't think I've been bitten in bed. Honestly, I don't really know, because my earlier bites never itched, which I think is supposed to mean I'm immune or something.

Day Fifteen (Thursday): We're diluting the essential oils less and less, but this means we'll run out again soon. No dry ice in any shipments from Stephen's work, so no new traps. At some point in here (I'm back-blogging this week, because I just haven't been keeping up), Stephen gets bit again, So I re-wash the bed linens and apply DE and tea tree oil (both) to all of the edges where the suckers might climb up. Still don't see any evidence of 'em.

Day TWENTY-ONE (Wednesday): I'm on set, in the background, of a popular television show, out in the middle of nowhere. I'm wearing jeans, so I can't see if I'm bug-bitten, but there's a good chance. Also, on Monday, Stephen and I were out in the world, and I stepped into what felt like a bottomless hole (as I was stepping). It was one of those holes in the sidewalk where there should have been a tree. Had there been a tree there, I'd have missed the hole. But no tree means I wasn't looking, and didn't see that the concrete had ended. RUNNING on set for the television show may have exacerbated things; my knee is now jacked up (but I don't know it yet).

Day Twenty-Two (yeah, that's right, kids, this saga's gonna take a few more weeks, probably): I had put myself on the overnight availability list, and got rush called for some BG work on a new show, with my car. Great day; highly productive and lucrative. I'm really hoping they'll have me back. Fingers crossed! Nothing new to report on the bedbug front, but when I changed into the new suit-dress that Stephanie helped me purchase, I discovered my knee was beginning to swell. Argh. Also, no dry ice again, so we can't set the trap even if we wanted to. ArghArgh.

Day Twenty-Eight (Wednesday, still summer): I'd gone to Kaiser on Monday to catch up on my Depo schedule (I'm behind, primarily because I Just Friggin' Forgot, All Right? Quit yelling at me), and while I was there, a nurse checked out my knee and made a phone appt for fifteen minutes from then with a doc, who ordered x-rays and a follow-up in-person visit (for today, Day 28). Over the phone, she'd Rx'd rest, elevation, ice, and ibuprofen or naproxen sodium as needed. By the follow-up, the swelling had abated quite a bit, so she told me to continue what I'd been doing, as well as some stretching. I'm really bad about "forgetting" to stretch.

Day Twenty-Nine: I get Stephen on a plane very early so that he can visit his mom for what could be the last time she remembers him. Or not. She's no Spring Chicken, and her issues with memory loss could easily be just ... NORMAL ... for someone her age. But she lives in a facility near her younger son, who happens to be the worrier in the family (he takes after his mom), so Stephen scheduled a visit. After I dropped him off, I headed downtown to attend the Production Meeting for my Next Scripty gig, an 18-day shoot for another YouTube series, this time for a dude who already has a real YouTube presence and following. It's gonna be crazy. I'm looking forward to it, and I'm probably also looking forward to a mid-winter night's dream (my next expected good sleep).

Day Thirty: I have no idea how I'll even know if we still have a bedbug problem while Stephen's out of town, but I went ahead and ordered vast quantities of the essential oils again, since we were out of everything. My package arrived today! 16 fluid oz. of each should last to the end of this trauma, even if we don't bother to dilute Any More. Out of sheer joy, I sprayed the edges of the bedding (mattress, foundation, and every pillow) with undiluted lavender oil. Heaven.

Day Thirty-One (Saturday): I've completed most of my prep work for the shoot that starts Monday. I still need to print out script pages, but I've had two cups of French-Press Chocolate Milk-based Vanilla-Nut coffee, and I've vacuumed the bedroom, and cleaned/WD-40'd the air ionizer, and spent the morning on Twitter. I wonder when, in the future, I'll be able to hit "publish" on this post? I wonder when, in the future, I'll have time to sit back down here and catch you up on anything? My life's about to get crazy-busy, and even if it's an amazing ride, I won't have time to keep you up to speed. I now haz a little sad. Lemme drink some yummy coffee.

Day Thirty-Nine (Sunday): Stephen got in on Monday, back from his trip. I went to five consecutive 12-hour workdays, and he stayed home, using PTO to "recover" from the emotional draining he'd just endured. He came back either to or with bites, all clumped together on his back. We have no idea if they're from the futon or from travelling, but we've measured the futon and will invest in a bedbug-resistance mattress pad to put under the duvet, once we've washed and double-dried it again. We just keep treating any "problem" areas with essential oils, and maybe this week, there'll be a shipment with dry ice at his job again.

Day Who-The-Hell-Knows?: I had let this post sit as a draft for a very long time, because when your "current" housing is the root of a problem like bedbugs, you cannot publish that. We resolved the issue long before we moved outta that place, but there's always a lingering anxiety, before and during a move, that we might be bringin' the little bastards with us. If you've been following this blog with any regularity, you already know that the new place is kinda sorta divine, or at least has washer and dryer in the unit, good airflow throughout so we open the windows as we like when the weather allows, and all the mammals that are living here are pretty damn comfortable. Before we moved the first piece of furniture in, I spread DE and sprayed essential oils in all the baseboards. We haven't had to reapply anything, other than using essential oils to make the place smell good, or for soaking in a hot bath. I'm out of lavender oil, and I may re-order 16oz online, which should last me another very long time, considering what I use it for!

Have you ever had to deal with bedbugs? How long did it take to get rid of them? How long did your anxiety last, after they were gone?