Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Sunday, January 26, 2014


Tomorrow I am going to the doctor.  I have been sick for most of the last 2 1/2 weeks.  First influenza.  Then I never got to sleep again because my asthma meds do horrible things and even though I've not touched them in a week I still can't sleep.  Then I have vomiting and diarrhea.  Now it appears I have strep, except that i also have a runny nose so I may have something else that includes an ugly looking throat that hurts.  I've been running fever after fever.

The irony is that I made it until 1 week for getting Medicare without seeing the doctor.  But I have to see someone as opposed to trying to describe this via email, and to go to Cleveland and see someone who isn't likely to have seen someone on an MAOI is too much, especially with the weather.  And it's cheaper to pay to see Dr. Body and he also will not give me anything bad for me so I'm praying I can get in.  I think with this history I should be able to even if they are busy but who knows. 

I have to reschedule Dr. Mind for the 3rd time this month.  I feel awful about that but I can't expose him.

So that's why there isn't much blogging.  Too many fevers and other issues.  Seems like I've had it all these last few weeks. Gotta quit going out in public.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Suggested rule for the internet

It's a simple one:  If you don't know psychiatric disorders in great detail don't start assigning their names to people you don't like.  If you have never set foot on a psychiatric unit don't assume you know a thing about how people are admitted to them or what happens on them.  If you have set foot on one do not assume it is the only way they operate.  They are radically different.

That is all.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Annoying phrase

Please know that I am STILL sick (the dr. says I have influenza so I have another few days of this before I am better, although I am improved since 2 days ago) and fuzzy headed so I may not say things as clearly as I ought to and I am in no way intending to put down anyone who disagrees with me.

I just read a phrase that makes me cringe every time I encounter it: "rape survivor".  I am not even completely sure why I hate that phrase.  I think it is because I do not equate what happened to me to things that could have taken my life.  Survivor of war, of polio, of cancer, yes.  Of a terribly traumatic, painful, life-changing experience, not so much.

I also don't think rape defines me.  It is something that happened and eventually life moved on.  And ultimately I had to go back and relive a lot of it to handle the pain better but I didn't do anything to 'survive"; I just kept living.  And that doesn't deserve to be equated with those who go through so much to maintain life.

I am not saying what I lived through wasn't terrible and traumatic.  It was.  But it was also not life or death.

I just don't quite get how that phrase became so much a part of our language.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Illness update

Geraldine has RSV.  RSV is a very bad thing for a baby her age to catch.  It's a virus that we all get and the first time it is usually pretty bad.  By the age of 2 it has usually done it's dirty work and from then on you get periodic colds as it mutates.  Anne and I may have it as well although we're sicker than it sounds like we'd usually be.  (If I didn't have asthma though I might not be so sick and Anne may have had it the first time; I don't think asthma really is my main issue but it's hard to tell).  Geraldine was up all night last night with the vaporizer and her mommy and is at risk for the next 2 days of getting sicker and potentially needing hospitalization.  The good thing is that she is far out from her surgery and that is not affecting her immune system.  The bad thing is that she does have this potentially really serious virus.  Thus far her body is handling it well; her lungs are clear and her fever is not that high.  But this is the 3rd day and not even the sickest point.

Anne is a little better.  Still sick and cranky but better than she was.  So 5 days of being really sick seems to be the magic number for her. 

I'm a little better too.  If the tylenol wears off I'm really achy and I'm sleeping a lot but  my throat isn't so painful and I did stay downstairs for a little bit today.  I'm not even going to go see Dr. Mind this week; I may still be contagious and if I'm not doing badly there is no point in risking making him very sick so that he couldn't help a bunch of people.

My main issue right now is worrying about Geraldine and he can't do much about that one.

Nebulizer is done, which is my cue to end.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I managed to hurt my older niece at Christmas, badly.  I can't stop feeling terrible about it.  She's so upset and not moving on easily (more on part of why later) but we've never had hurt between us before and I can't make this better.

Christmas is nearly always overwhelming.  I was doing pretty well but my brother yelled at me for letting his dog out (she pushed past me and through a door that doesn't latch).  He was really upset about something totally different but he took it out on me and I was upset and so some of my be careful with the girls filters were off when they shouldn't have been.  I was teasing Anne and her back was to me so that she didn't see that I was teasing.  Mistake one.  And then in telling her I was teasing instead of saying I was teasing I said I was lying.  And that hurt her.  She cried and cried then and we finally got her to calm down and I thought it was ok.  It was a little weird that she positively refused to try on her cape I made for her but she was so overwhelmed with Christmas that I thought it was that.

When she came up last week she was being kind of mean to me.  Mean in 3 year old at least.  Everything I did made it worse.  And so finally at supper one night it came up and my mom and sister had her talk about her feelings about worrying that I'd lie to her and we talked about word choices and the like.  By the end she ate dessert on my lap and seemed a little better.

And then that evening she got sick.  She is now 5 days into fevers, coughing, aching, sore throat, etc.  She went to urgent care here because her mom had a positive strep test 24 hours before she got sick but hers was negative.  Then she got REALLY sick and went to urgent care at home.  We're still waiting for results from there but she probably has H1N1.  So does the baby.  And so do I.

So she was undoubtedly more sensitive last week because she was getting sick.  I just couldn't handle the hurt of having hurt her and that probably had to do with my own developing illness as well as this is just a terrible thing.   I never want to hurt either of the girls.  I think it's time to introduce the idea that Aunt Jen's brain sometimes makes mistakes but we need to be healthy first.  The goal all along has been for her to grow up with enough information that my diability seems natural to her and is never a bombshell.  I just wish  I hadn't hurt her by poor judgment caused by being overwhelmed quite so soon.  I also wish she'd touch the stupid cape.  Not only because I put a lot of work into it and it's the first thing I've really designed myself that I've made but because I know it's something she's wanted and would lovce and she's refusing it out of hurt and anger and so she's hurting herself, not me (although I'll admit to being very, very sad about it.  THis was supposed to be a favorite gift and she hasn't touched it in nearly 3 weeks, even with encouragement.  My sister doesn't want to make a thing of it, which is very valid, but it's just killing me.

Otherwise I've exposed Dr. Brain to whatever I have and if it is H1N1 Dr. Mind as well.  I was just tired yesterday until evening and then I thought I had strep until i woke up this morning with a cough and runny nose and oh the body aches.  It's time for tylenol now, finally, in fact.  I've been counting minutes for 2 hours.  I'm not dreadfully ill but I certainly don't feel good and if Anne is positive for influenza and especially H1N1 I"m stuck inside for a week or so.  That is one contagious bug.  It's also possible that I/we (the girls and I) have both influenza and strep.  I don't think my throat is that sore but I've never had throat pain with strep so who knows.

Anyway, I'm a terrible aunt but I was repaid by lots of germs and I am feeling so sorry for those 2 little girls.  All the baby wants to do is nurse or she cries and her sister has watched a lifetime worth of tv because she isn't up for much else.

I'm going to try to watch a movie now.  The cough syrup is making me sleepy but I have to do a nebulizer treatment in another hour.  Bad timing.

Watch here for some exciting news.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Happy birthday!

Well, not yet, but it's coming and I'm pretty sure I know what I'm getting....Are you ready for this?  It's big......One pulled cat tooth.

For the last several weeks my 18.5 year old cat has not been eating.  She approaches everything ravenously but only licks off the sauce and walks off, waking me over and over to feed her.  Last night she barely ate.  I was going to take her to the vet this week anyway but this pushed my hand and I took her today, below 0 weather and all.  I was concerned that she wasn't eating because of potential tooth problems because her breath has reeked.  But that can go with renal failure.

I talked to the vet for a while.  My vet is about 25.  I am reminded of how I felt as a new OT at that age when I had to prove myself to everyone and supervise 5 assistants who were all 10 years older than I was.  Once in my early weeks we had a phone call from a nurse in assisted living for "that little girl who helps out in therapy".  My assistant who took the call laughed and said "You mean my boss?" which helped the gossip sort out that I was a clinician.  I remember how self-conscious I felt.  I know I make the vet feel that way a bit because I'm familiar with labs and vital signs and the like.  I try to gently say something about being a healthcare provider but it's tricky.

Anyway, we agreed to do labs and a urine to see if these were the issue.  She said that sometimes renal failure goes very quickly all of a sudden.  I didn't realize until later that she meant "I think your cat is probably dying" but she did.  So they drew the blood and tapped her bladder and brought her back and we waited for results.  THis is only my 2nd time at this vet's and I'm really impressed that they took her away from me from the draws but still listened that she's a really hard stick.  When the tests were done and she came back in she was smiling.  She had clearly expected to tell me that it was time to begin saying good-bye to Anna and instead Anna is healthier than I am.  She isn't in renal failure.  She is concentrating urine and I can't do that thanks to lithium.  Her labs look like a much younger cat.

So that leaves us not knowing that is going on.  It may be arthritic pain.  She's been on glucosamine during the winter the last few years and I failed to start it this year.  It didn't seem to do much last year and honestly things are so chaotic I forgot.  So she got that tonight, assuming she ate it; I haven't checked yet.  So that may help some.  But chances are good she needs a dental done.  Plaque alone can be painful to a cat and she has that.  She has nothing obviously inflamed by it's impossible to tell when she isn't sedated if her teeth are loose or decaying that a brief glimpse doesn't show.  The vet feels she is healthy enough to handle anesthesia and they'll monitor her overnight.  They are also very proactive with pain meds which I appreciate as her prior extraction of one tooth was a disaster of pain and vomiting blood when she was sent home too soon after surgery.  I actually wouldn't let them do it without that.  The bad thing is the cost.  $400-$600 depending how many teeth come out.  It sounds like $600 is likely since if there is a problem the teeth need to come out; we can't keep putting a cat this old through so much.  The vet suspects 4 molars need to come out.  Molars make it more expensive because they are harder to extract.  Her age makes it more expensive because of additional care during anesthesia. 

The thing is that if she isn't eating in a few days I can't put this off.  It's not like I can not do it; she's clearly in pain when she tries to eat and I make a commitment to my pets to keep them comfortable.  I think that's part of responsible pet ownership.  Plus I can hardly let her starve to death.  If the labs had said she was dying I would have said send me home with meds for comfort and we'll be back when it is time.  But the labs say Anna may well live a few more years. (Unless this isn't her teeth and instead is cancer but the vet couldn't find anything).

So contributions to this fund are my request for my birthday.  Yippee.   so important, yet not quite what I was hoping for.  It also may challenge my debt-free in 10 months plan.  Oh well, that was probably a little optimistic.

So tired and confused.  I am thankful for the great news about her health, I'm just adjusting to it as I've been thinking she was slowly dying for 3 1/2 years now.  And those labs left out some important stuff.  I'm so glad I changed vets.

Another post coming soon about my huge blunder with my niece.  The older one.  The baby finds me to be a sleep whisperer.  99% of the time I can get her to sleep within 5 minutes.  It's weird but it is really nice to get her to nap without any tears.

Anyway, more to come.