Thursday, September 27, 2012

If it's NOT "The Count of Monte Cristo" I have no freaking idea.

"We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it... Anyone can love 'because.' That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something 'despite.' To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect." -Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man's Fear

You should probably ignore this post. To be honest, I'm not certain I'm going to publish this post.

I don't recall which classic story ended in the perpetrator getting walled into a room forever. I thought it was The Count of Monte Cristo, but I'm likely incorrect. I just have a vivid mental image of him screaming through the tiny remaining open space as the final brick slides into place.  

That's where I am right now. Only I'm bricking myself into my own prison.  

Amidst all the horrific stress and terror of the past month, I've been desperately pushing down/aside/away other things that have cracked my foundations and left me on precarious footing. I locked it all away for a time, ignoring everything for weeks under the wave of fear and worry associated with the accident. Now that Husband is doing significantly better and I no longer wonder if he'll live, I'm getting to the point that if I DON'T let something out that last brick will slide into place. And I'll be trapped in self-imposed isolation.

Ultimately, the main drama will be resolved somehow or another, and it doesn't really matter what it was (because it will eventually be dealt with). What matters for this post is this: I'm a person with many acquaintances and very few real friends (by friends I don't mean people who consider me their friend: I mean people I'm willing to trust and lean on when I need them).

I don't trust easily or well, and I don't let many past those outer periphery "I know you and generally like you some" edges. When I discover someone isn't actually trustworthy in my moral code, fair or not, I purposefully withdraw from everyone. I bury everything deep under a pasted-on a positive attitude and keep going on the outside.

On the inside I'm slapped by shock, followed by incendiary overwhelming anger, followed by humiliation and despair...who hold red-hot pokers in their evil little hands and beat me as long as I let them. Those devious bastards insert and foster dark thoughts and invite anger back to the party, particularly when I'm alone at 3am.

And now I'm sorely tempted not to trust anyone again. I'm caught between "you never should've anyway" and "if you don't open up now and again you'll be alone."

I'm aware of the over-dramatic nature of my anxiety, pain and depression. I'm even aware that my moral code is harsher than most and likely an unfair standard, particularly in certain situations. I find this to be somewhat of a failing in my character, that opening up isn't often worth the risk to my heart. It's a part of me that's been under construction for quite some time as I try to keep myself from alienating people in general and be more...positive...about humans.

Husband keeps telling me how proud he is of me for dealing with everything that's going on and keeping it together, but all of that is an utter sham. I'm not and don't deserve any sort of praise here. I'm a brick or two away from being completely walled-in and emotionally frozen. I'm not suicidal. I'm just broken. I don't know what to do about it.

I put the quote about love at the top of this post to remind myself what I want to work toward: loving despite and including flaws. Even when I'm talking about my own.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Groupon is making me fat...and other random crap

My time in the hospital inappropriately jump-started a new diet plan (hey, I lost 12 pounds in that first two weeks and it's stayed off...might as well get SOMETHING good out of this shit!). I find the following Groupon really annoying, now that I'm making a conscious effort to eat better and do some sort of sweating activity.

Groupon hates my weight loss!

Screw you Groupon, I'm not eating your damn cake and I'm pretty sick of the Zumba coupons. So there. Poor marketing! Bring back the Conceal and Carry discount. Or martial arts. Or even aerial yoga, which I'm DYING to try when I've lost enough weight that I won't bring the ceiling down...and it arrives in MN (generally we're years behind the coasts in any trend) if you MUST give me something I'd classify as girly.

In the meantime, I've been wasting time today on today, because buying from small artisans is like buying from local businesses: I've found it's often far better. Not always, but often.

I found THIS FABULOUSNESS today, and am planning to scare the bejesus out of the neighborhood kids with my lawn as soon as possible. Go forth, zombie lovers, and make YOUR lawn disturbing. Just in time for Halloween!

Of course, that brought me to other Halloween-type etsy crafts, which brought me to the Poe/Raven Print that I utterly covet for my office. It's finally getting chilly and dark in the evenings, and it smells like dying leaves and impending winter. Time for my annual Lovecraft and Poe reading marathon...modern horror just can't compete.

PS: Spellchecker doesn't recognize "bejesus" or "girly" (never mind Groupon or etsy, which are made up words anyway). I'm amused.

UPDATED: Thanks to The Bloggess I also now MUST have the Weeping Angel from Amazon. Except I'll have to buy two. And make them face each other.

Just in case.

Friday, September 21, 2012

My Middle Name? Definitely not THAT.

Have I mentioned I'm not a terribly patient person? Yeah. I'm not.   I have no intention of turning this blog into a medical-world-recovery diary, but it's likely to creep in here and there...
The way people react to a crisis is fascinating, and if I wasn't in the midst of one I'd likely be really interested in dissecting all the weird little peccadillo's that surface. Someday later I may do exactly that, because it's ASTOUNDING what sort of idiot dramas, petty fights, intentional exaggerations for attention, and territorial snarkiness all pop up when someone with a lot of acquaintances is hurt. Luckily, 99% of people mean well, and I definitely remember that. :)
Instead, I'm saying "fuck off" to being patient with all the drama and stress and writing about shit that's distracted me this week.
  • I've determined that all family/loved ones/friends seating in a hospital are somehow designed to get you to move on after approximately 23 minutes.
  • 23 minutes is the average amount of time it takes my ass to fall asleep in the incredibly uncomfortable chair in Husband's room. Yes, I do mean an average...some days when he's napping I time it. Because I'm mental that way.
  • I'm quite sick of pudding.
  • Yesterday it occurred to me that in the past three weeks there has been a near-constant stream of non-husband-men (and a few women) in my house at odd times of the day. I wonder what my neighbors think. 
  • Particularly the neighbor across the driveway from us, who believes he's an ex-CIA agent and spies on the entire neighborhood with scopes and night-vision-goggles. I've mentioned him before: he's the peeping dude.
  • Well, my next-door neighbors probably think "that's the birdkiller's house!" only in Spanish, which I'm far too lazy to translate here.
  •  In finding the old peeping post I looked at a bunch of really stupid post titles and have come to the following conclusions: 
    • I liked the word "abounds" WAY TOO MUCH
    • I'm significantly better at coming up with titles now. 
    • My blog was totally inane for a long time (honestly, it still is, but at least I'm occasionally better at pointing out the funny/stupid/inane crap now).
  • I did have a couple good ideas in there, like Monster Mondays and know, themes and shit (instead of the chaotic random word-flailing I'm doing now). Seriously considering starting some of them again.
  • Which requires actual thoughtful writing.
  • Which I think I'm ready to start doing again (without having a meltdown, I mean).  
 I'll try to create a real post over the weekend. Promise.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What the's mid-September already?

Jesus Hannibal Christ. (Hey, the "H" has to stand for something, right?) The past two weeks have been a sleep-deprived, stress-induced blur...all of the sudden summer is dead and we've moved into MY FAVORITE SEASON.

Conveniently, this happened just when Husband is awake, out of the ICU, on the (cranky) mend, and able to coordinate his visitor schedule so he has more company. WOOHOO! While I miss him TERRIBLY when I'm not there, this does allow me at least time to go for a walk to smell the leaves change. Which allows Chewy to shuffle through dried leaves...which results in crushed leaves in his coat, on my floor, etc etc.

Speaking of Chewy, last night I left the door open to the guest room, because I'm a nice dog-mom and I know he prefers to sleep on the guest bed than on the floor. I was rewarded with dog puke on the comforter. Sigh. Apparently my delay last night providing dinner was a mistake, but still: really dude?

One of Husband's nurses told me this weekend that people bring their dogs in to visit all the time.

Imagine for a moment a 150lb white furball SKATING ACROSS THE SLIPPERY HOSPITAL FLOORS.

Now add the long, thick ropes of drool hanging out of both sides of his mouth. I mean long enough to leave a trail behind him.

Now add a fluffy tail curled up over his back and wagging madly as he tries to drag me through the lobby.

I can just see the poor security guard trying to wipe slime off his pants while Chewy bowls him over in his insistent I-will-sit-on-your-feet-and-lean-so-you-pet-me-NOW sorta way.

Does this sounds like a good idea in a very small room with an IV stand just WAITING to be knocked over?

Yeah. I don't think so either.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Birds are Significantly Slower than Flies

We've always had a really good relationship with our next door neighbors. This is an important thing when your home is the end unit in a townhome complex and you have two excessively large dogs. In all the years we've lived here we had one incident, when Thor was a large and boisterous 8 month old puppy and accidentally stepped on the toy Pomeranian while they were playing in the back yard. He broke her leg. We paid the vet bills, and he's been terribly careful around small animals ever since. We were remarkably lucky that Annie never blamed us or the dog: called it an accident and we all got along great for years.

Last spring, Annie accepted a job in San Diego, I think, and moved out. We now have renters next door: a young Hispanic couple (I point this out because I'm not certain how much English they speak, which will come into play in a minute) and their children. The kids are terrified of the boys (who are DYING to go over and visit and play), so I keep the dogs well leashed when we go outside now.

Last night, I didn't have a good enough grip. The parents were outside with two songbirds in a cage: the smallish green kind that are about the size of my hand. I'm not sure what they are, but they're not tiny and they're not full parrot sized or anything.

One got out of the cage.

Thor jerked himself out of my grip. Chewy barked like a damn madman and charged the poor woman sitting on the grass (to snuggle, but she didn't know that).

Chaos ensued.

I should explain here that Thor DESPERATELY loves chasing flies in our house, and tries over and over in futile jaw-snapping extravaganzas to eat them.


As it turns out, small green songbirds are REALLY FUCKING SLOW.

He caught it. He didn't eat it: just caught it, but that was enough. So now I have a dead bird, crying children, and parents who don't speak good enough English for me to say I'm sorry clearly enough. I started balling (please could I have any MORE reason to feel bad right now? How about NO MORE) and offered to get them another bird when they're ready, and reiterated again that Thor loves kids and would never hurt a person. Sigh. Of course I don't speak Spanish, and can't even remember if "lo ciento" is "I'm sorry" or if I just said something rude.

I realize in a few days it'll be mildly funny, the sight of him standing there in the yard with green bird hanging out of his mouth, TOTALLY CONFUSED. I think he didn't expect to catch it, and he thought he'd done well, so getting in trouble for it was clearly a big shocker for him. I'm just waiting for the association or the cops to come tell me he's a dangerous dog (yes, I have anxiety and paranoia).

They don't behave this way when Husband is home. Then again, neither do I.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Hospital Universe

Husband is entering day 12 in the intensive care unit, and I'm futzing around at work this morning until my 1pm conference call is finished so I can go work from his room.

A hospital is a really strange alternate universe where time moves strangely and you're in a weird microcosm of "we're all worried together." I celebrated when a family whose son FINALLY moved to the rehab center after 27 days in the ICU. I cried when the parents of the French foreign exchange student hit by a car the same day Husband was in his accident found out she didn't make it. I commiserated with another wife of a motorcycle accident victim, when she said bikes are out of their family for good (and privately sighed, knowing the stubborn nature of my husband will likely overrule any attempt I make at banning motorcycles).

The ICU is an excessively depressing place and I can't sit in the waiting room anymore, but I've found amusement in a few things during this stint in the hospital.

  • Yesterday I watched Lifetime (television for women, duh) for a couple of hours. I'd finished my book and didn't want to sit there in the non-silence of beeping machines and nurses/PCAs/docs/etc coming in and out to poke and prod my unconscious husband. So I figured if he's dreaming I'd give him the most fucked up dreams possible by watching his most hated channel. Because I'm evil. I was told if he wakes up with a sudden desire to learn to knit, I'm in big trouble.
  • Nurses are remarkably fascinated and cheered up by the most disgusting things. I overhear a lot of it sitting quietly in the chair by Husband's bed.
  • Being around nurses for the past 12 days has ME cheering about gross things. Sigh. This morning I told Chewy he was SUCH A GOOD BOY...for pooping.
  • I got the evil eye, and I mean SERIOUS evil eye, from an older man in the waiting room on Friday. NO IDEA what the hell I'd done to get the death-stare, until he walked past me later with (presumably) family members. The woman walking 3 steps behind him was completely swathed head-to-toe in veils, including one across her face so only her eyes showed, and they were cast down.
  • Being perverse and irritated, I stared right back when we passed in the hall and he had the I-just-ate-a-lemon face directed at me for the second time that day. Apparently my jeans and t-shirt didn't meet his approval. Petty? Oh probably. But it amused the hell out of me to not back down the way he expected I would.
  • The day nurse spilled an entire tray of breakfast on me last week (this would've been the day before husband was put back on the ventilator and was trying to eat real food, like pudding. And cream-of-chicken soup. Ish). It's sort of gratifying to know I'm not the totally ungraceful person in the room once in a while.
  • ICU psychosis is a real thing dude. Real thing. That, or there are some SERIOUSLY interesting side effects to the drugs. I'm keeping a list of the fucked-up stuff I overhear in there, particularly when the walls are moving or the ceiling is falling...

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

This is not real. Is it??

BaaRamEwe Bitches
Seriously...I'm tempted to buy this and put it in Husband's office as an evil surprise Christmas present (since that'll be the next time he'll be able to get upstairs in our house).

Sunday, September 02, 2012

One moment changes everything

I'll likely be sporadic about blogging the next few weeks. Last week my husband was hit by a truck while on his motorcycle.

We are remarkably lucky that he's alive with an intact head, back and spine, but it's going to a long road to recovery. And by "long" I mean a fabulous Christmas present will be him walking around out of bed. Today (whatever day of the week that is...I honestly don't know) I'm just waiting for him to get good enough to move from the ICU to a regular room.

Hug your loved ones. Seriously. You don't want to celebrate the things like "woohoo his eyes opened" or "he's off the ventilator"...believe me. Although I've been enthusiastically celebrating each step forward since I saw my broken husband in the ER. That's an image I never want to relive. Luckily, all the kings men can put him together again.

And for fuck's sake, use a sober cab instead of taking out motorcyclists.