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Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse

November 16th, 2015

Waitin' on the Thunder... @ 08:58 am


 Woke last night to sound of thunder/How far off, I sat and wondered....

Actually, I woke this morning to thunder and lightning, which was pretty spectacular, though mostly the rain has been a steady pitter-pat/drizzle instead of the wild storm the thunder seemed to promise. I have a few places I need to go in the rain, but not many so I'd say this is a pretty good start to my birthday week.  

Alas, my birthday this year is being overshadowed by the fact that we're having a lot of guests (some from overseas) this year for Thanksgiving, which Shawn keeps a running count down of the days until.  I keep saying, hey, this week, we should be counting down until my birthday! (Three days in case you're wondering.  Nov. 18.) 

Plus, since we fixed up the space for the loom in the basement, we've been working on making the other half of that downstairs area into a LEGO repository/gaming space for Mason.  We have actually removed MOST of the LEGO models from our dining room and the next big push is going to be to move the sorted and unsorted LEGO pieces downstairs as well.  But, that was all work that Shawn and Mason did this weekend.  

My jobs involve re-painting parts of the kitchen that I'd started to shift to green (we're going back to black, until Shawn finds the exact right match to the color she wants.)  My other big job is going to be to take the rag rugs to the laundromat.  I took a couple on Friday and I'm going to take a few more today after my chiropractic appointment at 10:15 am.

Speaking of, my shoulder pain is down to mostly a dull ache, which I'm considering a win.  I'm going to keep the rest of my chiro appointments in the hopes that they're the difference to making me ALL better.  Considering how sore I was after working five hours yesterday at Maplewood, the problem clearly isn't SOLVED. I still don't know what I did. I should not have this much problem from... sleeping.  I mean, I know our mattress is old and I'm old, but dang.

The library called twice just now to try to get me in for more hours.  I had to say no to both.  I kind of hate that.  But, Shawn has blocked off much of December with notes that say "no library," so I'm pretty sure my boss is starting to think I really don't want to work at all in December. I think I'm scheduled for all of two days.  Oops.  On the other hand, this is why I will be a sub for the rest of my life and never take a full-time position.  I LIKE the flexibility of being able to say no (and to say yes spontaneously, too.) I once showed up to work covered in blue paint because they were so desperate for a sub that they said, "JUST COME NOW PLEASE" so I stowed away the stuff I was working on (the downstairs bathroom) and showed up.  I like being able to be that person, too, though I did have to say no to the other one today because I would like to keep my chiropractic appointment, like I said, and they really needed someone to start at 10 am.  Ah, well.  Flexible employee is flexible.  :-)

Okay, well, I should pack up some rugs and other things to take with me to the laundromat.  

God my life is exciting.  Thank goodness I write this stuff down for posterity.   


November 11th, 2015

Left-Side Pain, Right-Side Brain @ 12:15 pm


It'd been bothering me that on top of all this hassle with my soreness/pain, I hadn't felt much like writing. I figured it was mostly because the pain tired me out, but all I wanted was for the internet to entertain me--which, by the way, it does a piss poor job of. I don't really have that much to occupy me online. Most of my computer time is taken up by writing. 

Anyway, today, the chiropractor was talking about how the brain manages pain, and we both realized (because OF COURSE I told him I was a writer and gave him copies of my books) that the right side of my brain, the creative side, has been occupied processing all the hurt.

So, I guess it's a good sign that I've been feeling like writing again, eh?



November 10th, 2015

85% Better @ 09:51 am

Tags: ,

 I'm still waking up stiff, but whatever the chiropractor did yesterday seems to have actually WORKED, which I only funny because I said to Shawn that I was pretty sure we'd dipped into the realm of quack this last time.  

The assistant did this completely bizarre "treatment" on my neck yesterday that basically seemed to involve scraping my neck with a metal bar.  I mean, not painfully, but seriously how could metal bar scraping have been the cure I was waiting for?

And yet it seems to have been.

I woke up in the middle of the night last night because the cat was barfing and I realized as I was lying there waiting to fall back asleep, that while it was still pretty uncomfortable to roll over on my side, I was lying on my back PAIN FREE.  I can now also sit upright PAIN FREE.  I can walk around with my head up and it doesn't feel like my nerves along my back and arm are on fire. It also helps, I think, that I got some specific exercises to do for 

Now, watch me jinx this by talking about it, but even if there's some backwards movement now, I feel like I can SEE what recovery looks like finally.

There is hope of getting to my birthday not feeling like an 89 year-old cripple. Yay!

In other news, our beta died.  I think now the problem is that that he was conditioning tanks that had stood empty for so long. I need to try some feeder fish in there again and see if we can't get over this hump. I'd like to have actual, living fish in the tanks for our Thanksgiving guests.  

Okay, that was creepy.  I was sitting here writing and all of a sudden the phone rang.  I picked it up and there was nothing but dead air.  So, I hung up and went to check our new phone that shows caller ID.  The "number" listed there?  My name.  It didn't give me a number, only "Lyda Morehouse."  WTF.  That's seriously freaky.  It makes me wonder if there's some phone spammer out there somehow fishing (or phishing) for my phone number.... weird.

Anyway, it's a good thing our car got repaired because this week is the week of doctors for Shawn and I.  I've got more chiropractic stuff on Wednesday and Shawn has appointments both today and Thursday. Sheesh.  We really are getting old.

November 7th, 2015

No Such Thing As a Free Lunch... @ 06:13 am

 ...but my car repairs were free.

I kid you not.  Despite the hassle, and me getting progressively cranky as the day slipped by, once they finally looked under hood it was determined that the part that failed was one they'd replaced not that long ago. The starter coil? F*ck if I know.  All that really mattered to me was that it was under their personal warranty and they replaced it at NO CHARGE.

All of the hassle suddenly seemed like nothing.  I even apologized to Dave's for calling them every two hours wondering when they'd get to looking at my car. TBF, the guys at Dave's apologized for taking so long too.  I guess it was a bad car day for a lot of people the last few days. Dave's was swamped to begin with, and then all of a sudden they had three other cars (including mine) towed in.  

But, free!  Did I mention I got my car fixed for FREE???!!!

In another weird turn of events, I slept pretty well last night. I think it was due to the fact that when I thought we might not have a car over the weekend, I decided a hike down to Whole Foods for some milk (and a few other minor essentials) would be a good idea.  It's a longish walk if you're not a walker, but walking is one of those things for me.  I spent a lot of my European travels walking everywhere, because it's a free and easy way to see a city.  So, walking several miles is not terribly daunting to me. I can get pooped out, but I when I walk at my own pace, I feel like I can go forever.  

But, so on the walk home I decided that I should let the bum side of my body bear the weight of the grocery bag.  It wasn't really heavy, but just heavy enough to pull down on the muscles.  

By the time I got home I felt like I was almost walking like a normal person (instead of hunched up with my head bowed). It felt so good, I quickly made up a grocery bag of approximately the same weight with the intention of using it as a kind of physical therapy in the mornings.  I suppose a normal person would carry weights (and I might even have some in the house somewhere,) but this was an easy thing to put together.

If it works?  I don't care how stupid I look carrying a grocery bag around my house.

November 6th, 2015

Train, Pain, and Bus Adventures @ 09:25 am

Last night was a tough one.  I didn't sleep terribly well.  The pain woke me up more than once, as did a desire to roll over.  Thing is I normally don't sleep the whole night on my back, but, instead, curl up on one side or the other. Staying on my back is tough and makes me restless, I think.  Also I can't tell if things are getting better or not because mornings are always the WORST. I felt pretty worn down and discouraged this morning because of it, too.

But... we got Mason to school via the train and bus.  Shawn has loaned me her Go Pass and you can use it to pay for more than one person.  The only thing that's weird about it is that you don't get a physical ticket (or at least I couldn't figure out how to get one) and that made me nervous.  Nervous enough that I just went ahead and purchased a ticket for Mason, so I may have inadvertently given MTC an extra couple of dollars today.  

Mason really wanted to use our lack of car as an excuse to stay home today.  He was VERY grumpy on the way to school.  He's not fond of that sorts of things that I've learned to classify as "adventures."  He much prefers a map, a compass, and a schedule, complete with a list of unexpected events, if you know what I mean.  And, he really, really hates the fact that I'm the sort of person who says, "Oh, here's a bus, let's see if it's going the way we want to and hop on!"  He particularly hates that my breezy, laissez faire attitude usually works out in our favor 9 times out of 10.  He was especially annoyed as we got off the 62 bus a block from the street that led to his school and we were there about ten minutes earlier than we usually get there by car.  He gave me a sour look and sighed, "Cripes.  We should do this every day."

Poor baby.

I wish I'd managed to instill in Mason the ability to enjoy the 'off the road' moments in life, but he's just not that sort.

It's so hard to realize that our children are not copies of ourselves, no matter how hard we wish they would be.  

I told him to day that I think he's a new(er) soul--that he hasn't been this way much before--and that's why it's hard for him to roll with the punches. But then again, maybe he _is_ more pragmatic than I am (which is what he usually tells me). He might be right because I have a tendency to believe that most things will work out--at least the little things in life. I used to believe the big things would, too, but that was before Ella.  Losing her made me a lot less trusting in the universe.

Which is probably part of why I'm having such trouble with my slow recovery. I don't entirely trust that it WILL get better.  Maybe I just need to think off all this as an adventure in pain.  :-)

November 5th, 2015

AAAAaaaaaaahhhhhHHHH @ 01:46 pm

Remember how I was looking forward to having a thought beyond, "AaaaaahhhhhHHHHH"?  

Well, today, our car broke down.

I'd finished dropping off everyone, decided to stop at Claddaugh on 7th, and then... somewhere on the way up St. Clair, right after where there's a community garden, the car started to seem to have trouble getting up the hill.  I had to give it more and more gas to get it to go.  I stopped to see what was going on, and also because there was a gaggle of turkeys walking around and I wanted to watch them for a bit.  Then when I tried to get going again it was all sputter and kick and knock and WTF.  

So I pulled over again and tried to take a look.  All I really know to do is check for gas (filled yesterday) and oil.  I thought the oil looked kind of low, so I hiked over to Randolph to the BP gas station there and bought a couple of containers of oil.  I put them in.  Hoped for the best.

Still no joy.

But the car ran.  So limped it home and called Triple-A from the warmth and safety of my house.  Then, I set about calling the car repair people and letting Mason and Shawn know about alternative plans for getting home.  (Mason will catch a ride with a friend; Shawn has a transit pass.)  So, it sucks and is inconvenient, but it's not the end of the world.

Yeah, yeah, it's probably time for a new one.  I know.  But, this is the great conundrum of the poor/not-so-well off.  It's exponentially more expensive to buy a new (or even new used) car than it is to continue to get it fixed.  True, true, I've probably spent the cost of a new/new-used car on repairs for this one, BUT, thing is, we're talking about a hundred bucks here or two hundred there.  I've actually got that to spare, whereas I don't have a thousand extra bucks of month to spend on a new car payment.  Right now, I pay zero a month for the car.  Our insurance is pretty low, too, since I only insure against collision.

In other news, my shoulder still hurts.  I guess it's probably recovering because I do feel like my ARGHWHATWHY moments are shorter in the morning and it gets to a dull sort of ache a lot sooner.  But, wow, I have no patience for this.  I'm not used to having to wait to feel better.  (I know.  Your sympathy for me just dried up.  What can I say?  I was previously fairly indestructible and had a Wolverine style healing factor.)

My birthday month is starting out pretty poopy.  I hope this means that the ending will be somehow be the opposite.  

November 4th, 2015

Western Medicine v. Chiropractors @ 12:18 pm


Yesterday, I went to my usual doctor, who is actually a nurse-practioner.  She took one look at the way I was holding my body and said, "muscle spasm."  She prescribed me a muscle-relaxant.  Now, I'm convinced prescription drugs are magic.  :-) Last night was the first time in what felt like forever since I slept really soundly. Just waking up rested improved the way I felt by a zillion times, you know?

But I'm continuing to see my chiropractor, too, because I figure between them my back/neck will fix.

I'm sore still, but I'm feeling different kinds of soreness now.

So, that's a yay.

Now, I'm looking forward to having thoughts beyond, "AAAAaaaaaaaaahhhhhHHHHhh."

November 3rd, 2015

Chiropractors are Kind of Magical @ 08:42 am


I didn't get instant relief, but there was a tremendous CRACK when the chiropractor adjusted my neck.  

Generally, I have to say my very first experience with a chiropractor was pretty awesome.  I went to Caron Chiropractor, which is literally up the street from me, on Snelling and Randolph, on the recommendation of my barista.  (Shut up, when you talk to everyone, you get lots of advice.)  At rate, as soon as I said to the chiropractor, "Explain this: why does it feel better when I raise my hand over my head?" he instantly knew where my trouble was and started pointing to parts of the spine and talking about a treatment plan.  

The coolest part of the plan?  Besides the fact that it seems to be covered, at least partly, by my insurance?  Massage.  ELECTRIC massage.  I told the lady who hooked me up that it really did feel like there were tiny little electric fingers massaging my shoulder.  I needed the massage because when the assistant asked me to relax my left arm, I actually couldn't. The muscles wouldn't let go. At all. Turns out I'd been tensing in order to stay in a particularly less painful position... and now I was just a giant knot.  So, they undid the knots a bit and then I got to go in for the adjustment, which was kind a thing I've been craving.  There have been days when I just wanted to slam my shoulder into something hard in the hopes that something would break free.  

It makes me think that this is why, when I was young, people figured chiropractors for quacks.  It seems both like that thing you really, desperately WANT, but which seems vaguely not okay, in that, aren't you going to hurt yourself??? kind of way.

So the crack was deeply satisfying. It was very, "AHHH, I KNEW THIS WOULD HAPPEN."

And,while I still have nerve pinch pain, I can now move fairly normally.  I see the "real" doctor later today, so we'll see what she thinks of everything.  I go back to the chiropractor a couple more times before I'm supposed to feel closer to all better.  

The only thing I really didn't get,which maybe the doctor can provide, is an answer to the question, how the hell did this even happen.  The chiropractor suggested that it was probably just a combination of growing older and a lifetime of crappy posture/habits.  He might be right, but it sucks that I literally went to bed fine and pain free, and woke up with this hardcore nerve pinch.

But I guess you can do it twisting funny, so there's no reason I couldn't just have twisted funny in my sleep.  It just sucks.

The good news is that, even though sleeping screwed me up again, my recovery time in the morning is already noticeably faster.  Yesterday I really didn't feel better for several hours after waking up, today it was a matter of minutes--a half hour at most of OH GOD WHAT WHY.  So, that's a big improvement.  Frankly, I'll take it.  If we can get this down to "a bit of morning stiffness" I'll be a happy camper.

Also, just so you know, this is what you get now that I'm turning 48 this month.  Blogs about my medical conditions.

You're welcome.

November 2nd, 2015

Pain in the Neck @ 10:00 am

I'm killing a little time before I head off to my first ever chiropractic appointment. I'm kind of doing this backwards since I actually have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, but OMG the pain in my neck!  I had actually been hoping to get to see someone over the weekend, but, alas, today was the earliest.  

I don't even know how to explain this pain (though I bet I'm going to have to in 45 minutes, anyway, so here goes...).  Right, so, kind of like a pinched nerve, maybe?  Shooting, but also constant... though the sharpness of it varies by position.  It also seems to improve with exercise/movement and get worse when I sleep.  Three ibuprofen mostly makes it manageable, but, frankly, WTF do I know about pain.  I mean, really.  I'm built horse-tough.  I hardly ever get sick or injured, and, when I am, I get back up to full speed really fairly quickly.  So, this is super-werid for me.  Pain that lasts more than four days is a brand-new experience for me.  I know that a lot of my friends live with chronic pain, and I will tell you I have a new appreciation for you all.  This sucks.  I can't even and it's only been five days. 

I'm kind of hoping that the chiropractor will be magic.  That, he'll take one look at me, twist my back in some way, there'll be this tremendous crack, and this strange pain will disappear.  

Because I seemed to have done this to myself just as magically.  I woke up with it.  Seriously, went to bed, woke up OMG OW WHAT HOW HELP

My weird neck/shoulder pain, however, didn't stop my family and I from having a lovely Halloween.  We did our usual Sargent Avenue trek. It doesn't mean much candy, but the houses are amazing.  This year, my favorite was the house of Memes.  They had basically put up a fence and came up/found a bunch of Halloween themed memes.  They also had a spot where you could pose to take a selfie of your own meme (with that meme background, you know the one--with the pie-shaped pattern thingie?)  Anyway, they were cool.  Many of the other houses have been the same for a long time, but it's always worth it to see the Morris Dancers and all the thousands of other costumed folks.  There were some inventive costumes out there!  My favorites were these two youngsters dressed as bioluminescent jellyfish.  They had umbrella hats with streamers and white Christmas lights dangling from them.  Hard to describe, but a magical effect.  I was impressed and told them so.

Anyway, I'm off.  Will update with how everything went.


October 28th, 2015

Anime Hair and Randomness @ 08:58 am

I don't know why this happens, but sometimes my hair thinks it's in an anime and decides that gravity is entirely optional. Yesterday I woke up with some SERIOUS volume, after having gone to bed directly after a bath with still wet hair. With my current "undercut," (in quotes because the hairstylist did NOT make me look like David Beckham, like I asked,) I was pretty sure my hair was attempting to cosplay this guy (we'll see if the pictures work this time):


Maybe that doesn't look like much, but that lift is entirely product-less.  Here's a slightly better sense of volume:

The haircut was kind of it's own story.  I actually got this cut about two weeks ago.  When I went into Great Clips, I got a guy named Arthur, who I got a sense might be 'family,' if you know what I mean.  So, I told him that I wanted that cute haircut all the boys are sporting, the undercut.  Okay, so what I really wanted was the undercut and some non-blended thing, but I couldn't remember what the cute boy at Breadsmiths had told me to ask for.  Because, seriously, I looked at this guy who was slicing my bread for me and I thought, "OH! That's IT!" so I said, "Hey, I love your hair.  Can you tell me what that cut is called EXACTLY so I know how to ask for it?"

Sadly, I did not write it down.  

Like, I said, I remembered the undercut bit, and nothing else.  At any rate, you remember my hair before, right?  It was nearly down to my shoulders, it was so long.  So, Arthur looks at me in that 'are-you-sure-soccer-mom' way and says, "RE-ally?"  So, after giving him a serious stink eye, I say, "REALLY.  I want the cute lesbian cut.  Because I am a cute lesbian."  And he suddenly breaks into a smile, and says, "Oh, honey, I am an EXPERT on cute lesbian haircuts."

Which is why I got this extremely cute lesbian cut.

And do not look like David Beckham.  I'd really, really wanted enough hair to pull back into what the kids are calling a "man bun."  But, as you can (hopefully) see, nope.  I got the blended cut, so instead of Beckham I have a TinTin tuft on my head.  Shawn and I were joking that would be one of the titles of my auto/biographies, "Less Beckham, More TinTin."  


BTW, my family has come up with several titles for the books about my life.  The first one is: WEIRD, BUT COMPELLING, which was how my first agent used to describe my writing to potential buyers.  Mason has decreed that the second volume needs to be titled, WE'RE NOT LOST, I JUST DON'T KNOW WHERE WE ARE EXACTLY, because I say that so often and he thinks it's a pretty accurate description of life, in general.  And now we have, THE STORY OF HER LIFE: LESS BECKHAM, MORE TINTIN.

Once I find out if the picture function is working properly, I will update this journal with pictures of the heirloom loom that we epically moved from my parent's house in LaCrosse to our basement.  This is one of the reasons, I've not been posting much here.  I've been working my butt off to prepare the finished half of our basement to house this ridiculously huge floor loom. I've patched concrete, filled holes in the walls and ceiling, and painted the heck out of everything.  Just Monday, we finally cleared out the coal room (one of those forgotten spaces in our house, where you think you'll probably NEVER clear out) and made space for the kitty litters to go in there.  Shawn was a trooper and got ride of a [bleep]-ton of crap she'd accumulated in the basement under the 'we might need it some day' aegis.  

Mason is super-looking forward to getting some comfy chairs down in the basement, because we're also devoting a large part of the space to his LEGO collection which is currently cluttering up most of our dinning room and part of the living room.  I've never minded having all his toys around, but w've now amassed so much that I think we're in danger of looking like LEGO hoarders.  I hope I will forever find Bionicles guarding weird things around the house (like the guy who appeared to protect my coffee bowl,) but it would be nice to have one space where everything is stored.


Day in the Life of an Idiot

The Journal of Lyda Morehouse