February 8, 2020

Waking up in the early morning hours when some people are doing the opposite and just hitting the hay isn’t new for me. I’m not sure how long this has been going on; a good year or so, I think. Rolling out of bed between 2:30 to 3:30am is my norm. I’ve gotten used to it now, but the only caveat is that not many places share my odd hours. I would like to petition for Target being open 24 hours.

Early Friday morning around 1:30am, I woke up; not voluntarily, but rather quite rudely awoken by an intense, stabbing pain in my lower right side.

One shitty thing about being a gal and a gal with Crohn’s is that when you have pain in the right lower quadrant of your abdomen, you have three choices as to what’s causing the pain, if you still have all three: colon, ovary, or appendix. I felt rotten enough Wednesday and Thursday, and the pain was starting up under my right ribs and into my back, I called my primary care nurse practitioner’s office to see if she could see me that day.

I had my appointment with her at 11am Thursday and after much poking and prodding and peeing in a cup and getting blood drawn, she ordered an ultrasound to be done later Thursday afternoon. Cool. I had the test done and as I was laying on the table having my tummy gone over with the goopy gel, I thought, “huh, I wonder when she’s going to check the pelvic area out,” but that didn’t happen. I recalled the NP saying if the ultrasound was negative, she wanted to do a CT scan as that’s far more detailed and thorough than the ultrasound, so I assumed that was her next step.

I went home and waited for her to contact me about the results. Lucky for me, I have a patient portal and I got the results before she could go over it and no surprise to me to see it was normal. Then, I got a message from her and she asked why the pelvic ultrasound wasn’t done? Uh…because it wasn’t? Did you not order it? She went on to say that she would like me to have it done Friday but in the meantime, if the pain got worse to go to the emergency room.

Guess why I woke up at 1:30 Friday morning? It certainly wasn’t because I was ready to carpe the diem.

I’ve been to the ER once before about 15 years ago and I was fortunate enough to go back. I didn’t know what to do because truthfully, I was immediately concerned about the cost of just walking through the goddamn door, let alone the cost of the tests they’d order for me, which is a glaring problem with our healthcare system but that’s not a rant I wish to get into today. Should I just wait it out and see if the pain lessened? But what if it was my appendix and the goddamn thing burst? After fifteen minutes of arguing with myself and the pain not letting up, I drove myself to the ER.

The good thing about going to the ER at 2am is that it was relatively quiet and I got put in a room and in a gown within ten minutes of getting there, so kudos to the prompt service of the nursing staff and doc.

I had to explain my issues, that I also have Crohn’s, and yes, still have my appendix and ovaries. CT was up first and if you’ve never had the pleasure, when it’s not a scheduled imaging appointment and you don’t have time to drink the oral contrast, they push IV contrast and pals, what a wild thing that shit is. The tech told me I’d feel very warm and like I was going to pee my pants and was she ever correct about that. I also felt like I was being pushed into the frickin’ Stargate, which had this not been done in the ER, I would have found more humor in the situation, but alas, I wasn’t that jolly at the moment.

The doctor came into the room with the results. Not Crohn’s acting the fool, thank goodness; not the appendix, which also was good to hear because that would have meant immediate prep for surgery, but it was a large ovarian cyst and while the lesser of the three evils, he said that due to the size of it, I was at an increased risk for ovarian torsion and that would also mean immediate surgery. Fuuuuuuuckin’ fuuuuuuuck. He wanted to do a pelvic ultrasound–you know, that thing I was supposed to have done twelve hours earlier–to check the blood flow to the thing.

Quick aside: you may seem to recall I had a hysterectomy in 2014, but for whatever motherfucking reason and bullshit excuses made by the gynecologist who worked for a faith-based organization, the ovaries were left in place despite the fact at the time, my left ovary was fucked due to endometriosis. Why leave the ovaries? Well, what if I wanted to harvest some eggs later and have the precious miracle bèbè (sorry, too much Schitt’s Creek this week) I didn’t know I wanted yet even though I was adamant about the hysterectomy happening because I very much did not want children? Yeah, those ovaries. Cool, cool.

So. Pelvic ultrasound. One teeny, tiny, little thing about that: with pelvic ultrasounds, you’re supposed to have a full bladder as it helps to visualize organs better. See, the thing is, I hadn’t been able to pee since I got there and by the time the ultrasound was ordered, I’d been there for two hours and hadn’t even been able to potty for a UA. Crap. I was given the option of waiting over an hour to chug water and wait for my bladder to fill up…or I could have a catheter put in and they’d just balloon up my bladder with saline.

Dudes. I have much newfound respect for people who have to use catheters daily, and even more respect for those of you with penises because what the what. Unreal. I felt like I had to pee and then I was freaking Kegel’ing because I had a goddamn tube up my urethra and force of habit, I guess. In a word, it was unpleasant, but ultimately better than waiting around for me to have to tinkle.

I got wheeled back to the room to wait for radiology overread and results. While waiting, a commotion was happening in the hallway. A cardiac arrest was on its way in and everyone was bustling around and getting ready for the poor guy to come in. Apparently the EMTs had already paddled the fellow en route to the ER, so it was kind of a big deal to hopefully get the man stable. Now, I feel like a major asshole because by then, I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep but with everyone going into life-saving mode, it was a little difficult to relax and I also felt like I should have jumped in to help? But apparently it wasn’t that hard to doze off because the next thing I knew, the nurse was in the room and had to wake me up. Moral of the story is please schedule your own emergency situations during my waking hours because I can and will fall asleep during your time of need and I am sorry about that.

I don’t know what happened to the guy but they did get him stable enough to be taken upstairs, so that’s good. I hope you’re okay, mister.

After a long six hours in the ER, I was freed and told to see a gynecologist, which I am Monday afternoon. I hope to dazzle her with my Hoffmeyer Charm™️ and convince her that my ovaries are useless hunks of malfunctioning crap and let us rip those puppies right outta there, eh? Eh? How ’bout it? Yeah? Yeah!

And to put icing on the crap cake, for the fifth goddamned time, my debit card was shut off due to suspected fraud. It’s not like I had any goddamned money to steal, but it’s the principle of the matter. AND the CT showed a kidney stone on the right side, so that explains that pain, too.

I’m glad this wasn’t the bastardly colon being a bastard, nor my appendix, but I am still highly irritated I did end up in the ER because I very much could have avoided going had the proper tests been done. I could have still woken up in pain like I did, but instead of having a panic attack that something was going to explode in my abdomen, I could have been all, “well, golly gee, this sure isn’t much fun right now being in rather intense pain, but thanks to having a pelvic ultrasound earlier, I know it’s just that pesky ovary of mine acting silly and well, by golly, it sure is the pits but it’ll be okay.” But noooOOOoooOOOooo.

It’s fine, and I mean it and I’m not being passive aggressive for once. I have an appointment to figure out what to do next.

I know what you’re thinking: yes, I have leveled up beyond a hot mess to like, General Hot Mess. I’m the Beyoncé of hot messes. Nay, I am the Rockefeller of Hot Messes. I own my own hot mess island and have many hot mess yachts and hot mess vintage cars and a hot mess trainer and personal chef to help me achieve hot mess nirvana. The third hot mess eye has been opened, all my hot mess chakras are perfectly aligned, and I have transcended this realm and I am one with the hot mess universe.

At least I have a good sense of humor about it! And what character this has built! My goodness, what am I going to do with all this character? There’s just so much of it? I know what some of you are getting for Christmas! Winky face!

And that’s the story of how I went to the emergency room. A funny thing is that I messaged Ma about it and after a few replies back and forth, she was all, “wait, you drove yourself to the ER?” Well yeah! Being a strong, independent woman, I have to take care of myself! Extremely poorly, but I haven’t died yet, so that’s gotta count for something!

Thank you for going on this adventure with me. I hope you were entertained by the shitshow and able to say with confidence, “shit, at least I’m not Erin!” No offense taken, I promise.

As always, my sincere gratitude for reading. I hope you come back soon for more zany antics. Love you and god bless.

EEH

February 2, 2020

Good morning. It’s 2.2.2020. Cool. It’ll be even cooler in the year 2222 if this spinning rock manages to hang on for that long. Not to be a Debbie Downer, I have my reservations about that, though. Not that any of us will care because we’ll all be long in the ground by then, but still.

How’s it shakin’, everyone? Hope you’re all doing okay or at least trying hard at it.

Me? Would you like the typical, polite response or the brutally honest one? Or a mix of both? Livin’ the dream! Ha ha ha!

Because this is my little ol’ (ole) blog, it’s going to be both, goddamn it. I haven’t had this stupid site for thirteen years for nothing.

I’m…here. Stressed, but what’s new about that? Nothing, that’s what. Because I decided that I just can’t possibly carry on without GAIL as my next-door neighbor, I’m changing residences this month after three (!!) years here at Venice Lane. The hilarious part about this is that I’m moving like, less than a quarter of a mile away to the apartments at the end of the main road I currently live. Hilarious! I’ve been looking at apartments for a while and detesting every motherfucking minute of it, so to find a place that has met my rigorous requirements is goddamned great. I’m downsizing to a two bedroom, but let’s be real here: like I needed three bedrooms to begin with because the only purpose the third bedroom has served me is a minimalistic office space and storage closet. I very much cop to and admit that when I moved here three years ago, I was overcompensating for five years of living in basements and guest rooms. Go big or go home, right? Sure.

Apartment hunting is the worst. I don’t think I was being overly particular about what I wanted in a new place, and my wants were two bedrooms and a washer and dryer either included or at least have hook-ups available so I could find a cheap set. I’m not so pretentious that having to use the on-location shared laundry facilities or a laundromat was beneath me, but logistically and financially speaking, it’s better. I saw so many places that were charging an obscene amount of rent to have w/d in the unit, or oddly enough, places without w/d in the unit were comparable rent-wise, which pretty much made my butthole pucker. How can a place conscionably charge so much to live in a place and be outdated in everything? For real, though, I hate it, so imagine my surprise when I decided to check this new place out and not only is there w/d included in the apartment, but it’s a fairly new facility being built in 2010, a garage is included in my rent which was another not an absolute must a delightful surprise and the shit of it is my rent will be a few hundred dollars less. Hey now.

And, because it is me, the sentimental whore that I am, I’m feeling all sorts of emotions about moving. This was the first place I lived by myself. There are some wonderful memories lingering here. I actually moved here Super Bowl weekend 2017 and I remember PIC was here hooking electronics and sound system up and doing his audiophile thing and making sure the speakers were set up juuuuuuust right and positioned correctly to accommodate the size of the room without compromising the integrity of sound which was endearing as fuck, and we had put the game on the tv and I definitely passed the fuck out. PIC also put together almost every bit of furniture that needed assembled and this place very much has daily reminders of him in it, so to be leaving here is kind of gutting me because of course it is, so that’s been fun dealing with those wild emotions. I can’t afford this joint anymore, and for real, the new neighbors moved in Saturday and yesterday and guess the fuck what? They also slam the motherfucking kitchen cabinets and I am just flabber-fucking-gasted how people are not aware of these miraculous little gadgets that you can stick to the inside of your cabinet doors to dampen the sound. I know it’s such a stupid thing to be irritated about, but Jesus fucking Jones, y’all.

There’s that. I’m not excited to pack and haul shit, especially since it seems so stupid to have to pack up just to move two block away, but whatever. It’ll be fine…I hope.

Next on the agenda is school. I guess I’m officially enrolled and I start March 25. I got my current degree from this same school but it’s gone through some name and curriculum changes in the last thirteen years, but it’s essentially the same place. I had to meet with the nursing program director a few days ago and I don’t mean to sound arrogant or braggadocios, but she had a copy of my transcripts from when I was a student there and she was gassing me the fuck up which made me so wickedly uncomfortable because I was holding my transcripts from SCC in my grubby mitts and there is a big, fat F marring my anatomy and physiology class, but this woman is all, “oh girl, if how you did before is any indicator of what a good student you are, I have no doubt you’ll have no trouble with this.” Aaaahhhh ha ha ha…lady, I truly appreciate the compliment and your confidence in me, especially since we had literally just met ten minutes prior, but I’mma need you to calm the eff down. I’m older and dumber now, the brain fog caused by Crohn’s has me terrified how I’m going to be able to study and retain any goddamn information because as of now, I have to read things a few times in order for me to comprehend it, so yeah. And because this is an accelerated program with quarters being ten weeks long, I don’t have the luxury of time. Aaaaahhhhh again. I’m not religious by any goddamn stretch of the imagination and I sure as shit don’t pray, but I would rescind my atheism for 15 months and get down on my goddamn knees every fucking day and offer my voice up in prayer to THE LORD if that meant I’d be suddenly graced with a normal, functioning brain again.

Okay, not really, but still.

I know I sound like I’m greatly undermining myself and my abilities because I am because I’m awful like that, but I can honestly say I was having this same problem when I started classes again in 2017. Studying was painful because of the reading thing, and then when life really got interesting, my focus and drive to do well was just fucking nonexistent. I’m trying very hard to tell myself that I’ll be fine and that I have the knowledge required of me to get through, but the cunt brain is being a cunt about it. Cunt.

The smoking thing is slow. Still smoking, but a bit less than usual and I have noticed some disinterest in it the last few days, so I hope that gets stronger.

Let’s see, what else…

I don’t know if it is the Wellbutrin or my denying that I am actually an extremely sensitive and emotional gal when I let myself be such, but I was watching Schitt’s Creek yesterday (highly recommend) and some episodes made me cry. Granted, the context was appropriate for expressing emotions, ’cause it was the episode where David was freaking out about being in a relationship and his beau sang him an admittedly amazing acoustic cover of Tina Turner’s “Simply The Best,” and goddamn it, it got me good. There are some tender and relatable moments in the show and here’s me, laughing at Catherine O’Hara and her ridiculous accent one second and then I’m bawling the next because of David and frickin’ hell. I’m surprised that I’m surprised by this because I absolutely was full-on sobbing at the last episode of Cheer. Quit denying it, Erin. Hopefully as I continue to age, I’ll also let go of the need to hide my emotions and be one of those older women who unabashedly cries at anything like my mom. I used to tease her mercilessly about that, but now I’m realizing and understanding it’s actually a tremendous quality to have.

I’ve been on an FB hiatus the last few days because of Kobe Bryant, which is 100% not a sentence I’d ever thought I’d write, but here we are. A few people messaged me asking if I was okay because apparently not seeing 20 posts a day from me had them concerned, which only made me realize I am using the site too much. I’ve always thought it was an odd compliment whenever someone would tell me that I do Facebook well. I mean, I sincerely thank you for enjoying my bizarre and quirky self and often absurd/dark humor and I’m glad I can make people smile for a brief second during their day, but it still is a weird thing to me. And I obviously also appreciate the concern and I promise I’m fine; just enjoying the little break and not constantly having my face glued to my phone. I feel like Thoreau! Look at me! Ha!

One more story and I’ll stop because it’s Pain Cave Day and I like to do some strength training at the gym beforehand.

Yesterday, Kaj suggested we go get manicures and pedicures and never being one to decline an invitation to be a fancy bitch and get my nails done, especially since it had been three months since my last pedicure and about six weeks since my last manicure and my nails were in a serious state of disrepair. Anyway. I had been at the gym beforehand and was feeling a touch sore, so sitting in the spa chair and using the massaging back thing was heavenly. It hurt so good! Well, I must have been too enthusiastic about it and last night as I was sitting on the couch, I moved my back just right and had a sharp pain by my shoulder. I thought it was maybe a giant zit or something, so I reached behind me and felt around for what I was hoping was a massive blemish that needed popped (gross), but I didn’t find anything. Huh. What the what? Then I discovered my entire upper back across my shoulder blades hurts. Dudes. It’s because of the goddamn massage chair. I honest to goodness have a bruise from the chair because I like to press my back into the fucking thing and I apparently did it a bit too hard. Hilarious.

Good story, Erin; can’t wait for the made-for-tv series!

Alright, that’s all for today. Love you, thanks for reading.

EEH

Sign of the Times

I had a dream last night that my uncle had both of his legs.

I was riding in a vehicle with my mom–she was driving–and how I know for sure it was a dream because I never let her drive during my wakeful state.

I’m not sure where we were; the scenery was a blur outside the passenger side window. Blues and pinks and greys and yellows melting together as we sped along. Mom slowed down as she crested a hill, and suddenly everything came into focus. We were going through a small town, and to the left of us was a massive building with spiked roofs. Was it a church? Or a castle? I stared at it and tried to follow it with my eyes as we drove by, but I was starting to hurt my neck.

Mom slowed down more and suddenly we were drifting off the road into puddles of water that kept getting bigger and bigger until I realized we were stopping at a lake or an ocean. It was hard to tell, but it was beautiful even though the water was choppy and grey.

We got out of the car and were met by my uncle. He walked over to us, hugged us both tight, and asked us to follow him. Perfectly normal behavior save the walking part. He had part of his leg amputated due to faulty plumbing, but it seems like he didn’t get that memo in my dream.

I watched his feet as he ambled along ahead of me. His white sneakers (I think they were New Balance) getting wet as they soaked up the water touching the shoreline. One foot in front of the other, the water getting more bold in how much of him it should drench. Right, left, right, left, his should-be-a-ghost leg acting as if it had never been taken off. Phantom limb? No, sir! It’s right here!

I woke up feeling happy for him that he got to have both legs again, even if it was just a dream.

I’m not too big on dream interpretation. Are they subconscious messages to you? Or just your brain making gibberish out of your life? If anyone wants to take a crack at what it could mean, by all means, go for it. Until then, I’ll just enjoy seeing my uncle whole again.

********

I don’t much care for changes. I know I can’t avoid them, most are necessary, some are easy to understand and deal with. Others come out of left field and smack you right in the mouth.

Another friend is moving away. Today, in fact. It wasn’t sudden or unexpected news by any means, as they have been softly tossing the idea around for a few years but always managed to stick around. This time had more force behind it and it was decided. I’m not exactly sad about it since I had always supported the notion whenever it was mentioned, but in the same breath, I am melancholy for selfish and extremely dramatic reasons. Fancy that.

I don’t know if I’m going through a late emo/goth phase or if it’s the Wellbutrin or if I’m really this way, but her leaving is another hard reminder that everyone leaves. It’s unavoidable but that doesn’t mean it has to be tolerated.

PIC left almost two years ago now and some days it still feels like last week. Now Wrong R is making like a tree and getting out of here.

The three of us had an interesting dynamic. “Interesting” isn’t the word I want to use, but it’s the only word I can think of. We had good times together for sure. From road trips to weekly dinners to a little bit of everything in between.

Those two were with me a few weeks after I had moved and we drove to the closest IKEA and they helped me pick things out to furnish the joint. It was an emotional experience for me: moving into a place by myself, living alone for the first time in my adult career, and knowing none of that would have ever happened had my dad not died a few months before. His death brought on the sale of land, that sale of land brought on money, that money brought on being able to move out of a basement.

I think it was a combination of finally making our way out of the Swedish home furnishing amusement park and down into the warehouse level to pick up the heavier items, and the weight of what I was doing there is what caused me to start bawling. I know their furniture can be complicated to assemble, but not worth breaking down between aisles of pieces of Hemnes and Fjällbos, but there I was. I think we got a cinnamon roll after that. Cinnamon rolls make everything better.

I admit I am/was a shitty friend the last few years/still. A favorite hobby of mine was to engage in conversation with her that always ended up with me scolding her…not all the time, but a good majority of it. And on some occasions, she’d flip the table and scold me. Trust me; it was often needed and appreciated.

But, like I said, this is life and life must shed part of itself to make way for newer things. The Wisconsin transplant is taking her roots back where I truly hope they settle back down into the soil and spread. She’ll be missed. I’ll borrow a line from one of my favorite films, “this is an adventure.” Another line from the same flick is “a rattlesnake bit its throat,” but that is not fitting in this situation.

People leave and they sometimes leave for noble reasons, like to take care of themselves in better places where they hope to flourish in their different life. I can’t ever begrudge that. I may feel like an overly dramatic teenager about it, but I also get it.

Me? I’ll stay here, I think, and be a beacon for those who left and maybe be a reminder of the good life for them. Sounds good to me.

Safe travels, RAD.

********

Sorry for the weirdness of this, friends, especially the first part. That dream stuck with me all day and sometimes I fancy myself a proper wordsmith who’s able to write better than I actually can. Oh well.

As for the other part, well, I didn’t think RAD’s stage exit left was going to impact me as much as it is, but by golly, it is. She’s put up with some tremendous horseshit from me for the last seven years and that deserves respect. Our friendship has its normal peaks and valleys, with long stretches of silence between us at times. I’ll miss her for sure, as wrong as she is.

As always, thank you for taking the time to read this.

E

January 18, 2020

Oh, hello! Welcome to the first post of the new year, everyone! We’re eighteen days in and well, what an eighteen days it has been.

As I write this, it’s about ten minutes until 5am (edit: it’s now actually 5:04pm. I had shit to do today, like an eye exam and then take a nap because by the time noon rolled around, I was one tired bitch, and then I had–HAD–to finish a series on Netflix. So. Hi. I’m back) and I’ve been awake since 2am due to reasons which I am obviously going to speak/write ad nauseam. Let’s go.

Waking up at butthole o’clock isn’t new to me, as for the last year, I’ve been up between 3:00 to 3:30am. Why in god’s name do I get up so early? I assume it’s a combination of a few things: I go to bed ridiculously early, often by 7pm now because I’m so tired from the day. If I feel wild and cantankerous, sometimes I can make it until 9pm, and if things are really out of control, I have been known to make it to midnight. Insane, right?! My god! What a crazy life! Another factor is depression. Sleepy time takes away the sad time. I’m grateful my body overrules my brain when I go to bed and I can actually fall asleep and stay asleep instead of trying to fight off intrusive thoughts, so that’s cool. I know my hours are odd, but I do get seven hours of sleep, so again, super cool.

This morning, however, I woke up earlier than usual, much to my dismay, but there is a reason for this. I started taking Wellbutrin this past Monday and it can cause sleeplessness. It hadn’t been an issue the last few days, but now that it’s building up, it is apparently becoming one, so I’ll have to start taking it in the morning now to avoid this. Easy fix.

Why am I taking Wellbutrin now? Well, because I’m using it to help me quit smoking. I was going to announce this via Facebook, but since this is like, the 400th time I’ve made such a claim in the last ten years of smoking, and I probably have a solid twenty blog posts also about the topic, I figured some of y’all would be all, “oh…okay, here we go again…” and I’m even annoyed with myself over it, so I decided to keep quiet about it until now, that is.

I think 2017 was the last time I was serious about quitting and did a decent-ish job of not smoking for a few months. In fact, I know it was 2017–July, in fact. I had just started taking classes again at the community college and I vividly recall having the extremely unusual determination to quit. I was in the parking lot before class and I had one cigarette left and I told myself that was the last stick I was going to smoke, then I would switch to using the vaporizer again, as doing so had helped me quit for about six months a few years earlier. And by golly, I did it. I relied on the vaporizer for about three months, then I caved and started smoking again. I also recall when I did–it was during a goddamn Husker game I was watching on tv and I might have had a few beers. I was texting my sister-in-law and confessed I wanted a cigarette real bad and during halftime, I went and got a pack and it was downhill from there again. I also remember trying to hide it from PIC, which is just fucking ridiculous because a smoker tends to fail to realize that they constantly smell of stale smoke and being the astute guy he is, he knew. He always knows. I never claimed I was smart.

Why the attempt again? Because I am sick of having my GI doctor hassle me about it. Smoking is “apparently” a factor in developing symptoms, as well as exacerbating the disease, so every goddamn time I see the guy, the first words out of his mouth are “still smoking?” In fact, that was how he greeted me last week before my colonoscopy. No “good morning, Erin” or “how’s it going?” but this smarmy motherfucker sauntered into the pre-op room, logged on to the computer, and said, “Hey. Still smoking?” So, I guess out of spite, I’m going to try to quit. Well, spite and the fact that since I have started to feel better, I have signed up for several bike rides for the late spring/summer, so I started going back to the gym and using the bike trainer to get me back into riding condition, to which my lungs are voicing their disproval of, so I guess spite and not wanting to gasp for breath while riding are the two reasons.

Plus, one of my cousins shared recently she has given up smoking for just over a month and I can’t let that bitch do something I haven’t been able to master over the years, so also some friendly competition on my end? And I know Ma will eventually lay a devastating guilt trip on me because of my cousin, so I figure I’ll beat her to the punch. Is spite and a competitive nature honorable reasons to quit? Oh, probably not, but if both are giving me the determination to stop, so be it.

It’s too early for the medication to be working yet, but this morning, I did have my first “oy, what the fuck?” thought as I took a puff, so that’s encouraging. I had the cigarette in my hand, I took a drag, made a disgusted face and wrinkled up my nose and looked at the white, burning stick accusingly. I have actually been on Wellbutrin before. Back in 2014 after my hysterectomy and I was dealing with wild mood swings afterwards, my gynecologist prescribed it to help and as a two birds, one stone sort of thing, also help me quit. The good news is that while I was on it, my cravings did diminish and I don’t remember if I was able to quit for a short amount of time or not because the bad news is that I turned into a sobbing mess, so I stopped taking it. Luckily, thanks to results of genetic testing to determine which antidepressants I metabolize well, Wellbutrin is on the good list, so keep your fingers crossed that it works.

And it being an antidepressant, well, you know. That’s a bonus, too, I guess. I decided on the medication to help because I know myself and know I do not possess the mental fortitude to quit cold turkey. I just can’t do it. I’ve tried. I’ve also used every nicotine replacement therapy available, including but not limited to the patch, gum, lozenges, and the aforementioned vaporizer. I would go back to using the vaporizer, but recent studies have not been favorable to it, plus the scare of all the respiratory illnesses that have killed people. Granted, they were using cartridges purchased online from overseas and had THC mixed in, but still. And I refuse to use a Juul. Those are dumb as hell…like smoking is any smarter, but still. I also had a little stint with Chantix and I’m still unsure if I had an unfavorable reaction to it or if it was the stress of my father dying that caused the little breakdown I had, but it’s often contraindicated for folks with a history of mental illness, so I think I’ll skip it and stick to the Wellbutrin. Wish me luck.

For funsies the other day, I calculated how much money I’ve blown in the ten years I’ve smoked and let’s just say I could have made a down payment on a house, but I’m not about to shame myself over this. Shame tactics do not work with me at all, even though I shame myself daily. Look what that does for me: that’s right–abso-fucking-lutely nothing. No shame, just encouragement, please. Thank you. This includes please refraining from the super-obvious line of “you should quit smoking.” Well, no fucking shit, ya think?! Holy shit! Why didn’t I ever think about that?! Oh my god, what a revelation!! And for the love of all things, if I falter and smoke which is bound to happen, please don’t yell at me or make me feel like shit over it because friends, there is absolutely nothing you can say to me that I haven’t already said to myself about what a miserable failure I am. Even though smoking is a lesser addiction, it’s still an addiction. I mean, I could be out there smoking meth, for god’s sake, but I chose smoking instead. I thank you now for your patience and gentleness with me. I’ll get there eventually, I just have to take absurdly long way to get there.

Hey! Guess what? I have Crohn’s! I’m going to write about it! Because you knew I was going to! Because that’s all I talk about! Ha ha!

Also as mentioned a few paragraphs ago, I had a colonoscopy last week. The bad news is that was my third in a year and a polyp was removed. The good news is it appears Stelara is doing its job and the amount of ulcerations and overall inflammation has diminished, and the pathology on the polyp was negative. Excellent. I still feel unwell, however, which displeases me, but I’m also still dealing with Crohn’s-related things, which I will explain in painful detail.

Recent labs done indicated an abysmally low vitamin D level (10 ng/mL–it should be between 40-80 ng/mL), and components of my complete blood count still showed a B-12 and folate deficiency. Sorry to get all science-y here, but it needs some explanation. Okay, so, part of a CBC includes measuring mean corpuscular volume (MCV) which basically measures your red blood cells by volume. My MCV has been high, as well as my white cell count, and a type of white cell called neutrophils. Elevated WBC is my “new normal” because I have chronic inflammation, so it’s expected to see high numbers there. The combination of elevated MCV and neuts–the ultra-cool nickname I gave them–is indicative of a condition called macrocytic anemia. Instead of the normal anemia most people have caused by iron deficiency, mine is because my red blood cells are too big/abnormally shaped. Why? Well, a few reasons. One is caused by a B-12 and folate deficiency, which is a common partner to Crohn’s because vitamins are absorbed in the area of the colon where my disease is. If that area is damaged, obviously it’s difficult to get into your body. To combat this, I’ve been giving myself B-12 injections monthly since June. Logically speaking, that should normalize my labs, but so far it hasn’t.

My B-12 isn’t super low, and is actually in range but on the low end of what’s normal, but those dang RBCs and neuts are acting foolish despite supplementation from the injections. I sent Ike the GI an email last week about this, as a “yo dawg, what up with this?” He suggested a few options: celiac disease, or he vaguely hinted at another autoimmune disorder involving cells in my stomach, which is another place that B-12 and folate are absorbed. Because of who I am as a person, I began researching it and the disorder he’s alluding to is called autoimmune atrophic gastritis, but it can’t be officially diagnosed as such until I have an upper endoscopy to take biopsies, but we’re waiting for one more lab test to come back to confirm this suspicion and then go from there. And like Crohn’s, there’s not a goddamn lot to do for it, save for increasing the frequency of B-12 injections. I mean, it’s not anything major by any means, I was just curious why my labs were still fucked and I asked a question, but it was interesting to read that folks with this have a three-fold chance of getting stomach cancer, so add that to my “What Cancer Will Erin Die From” list. And also being the super-sleuth I am, I was also curious if the wacky blood was a new development or if this has been going on for a while, and lads, this has been happening since 2017 as my MCV and neuts have been consistently elevated since then. Fascinating.

I also found out from my detective work that the weird MCV/neuts thing could be leukemia, and if you don’t think I had briefly convinced myself I have leukemia, you severely underestimate my anxiety and propensity for over-inflating simple things. Shame on you. Shame!

How about some good news for once? Okay! I enrolled in classes again. Good for me. It’s at a different school because I really fucked up the community college thing in more ways than one. It would be fixable, but I have neither the time nor the patience to deal with it because I am an asshole like that, so let’s try a different school offering the exact same program. What did I do? Well, it’s so fucking stupid and it angers me and I want to go on a rant-filled tirade of how fucked the public education system is, but long story short, I had been paying for classes 100% on my own without any loans. Due to performing poorly a quarter, and then dropping a class, and running out of money to continue to pay for classes, I need to utilize loans again. I’m not thrilled with that, but I’m still paying for my loans when I was in school 13 years ago, so what’s another few thousand dollars? Anyway, I did the FAFSA thing, but then SCC so politely informed me that because of my failed class and dropping a class, my current loan–meaning they thought I was using federal aid from the get-go–wouldn’t be approved and I would need to both pay out-of-pocket for a semester and get my GPA up. You fucking fools. I hadn’t been using loans, I was using my own money, which I have none of now, so in order to get back to taking classes at SCC, I will need student loans, but because of how badly I fucked up, I don’t qualify for using student loans. Make sense? Sure. Fuck that noise. And to anyone claiming Bernie Sanders is a socialist pig for his wild, delusional campaign to make college free, I invite you over to my house so that I scream at your stupid fucking face for a few hours. Well, you shouldn’t take out such huge loans for school if you can’t pay them! Listen here, you absolute thick-skulled fuck. Shut the fuck up or put your stupid fucking money where your stupid fucking mouth is and pay for my stupid fucking school by your own stupid fucking self, you stupid fuck. Fuck!

I apologize for the language.

I completed and submitted my FAFSA a few days ago, I signed official enrollment papers, I’ve been trying and having rotten luck finding decent scholarships to apply for to help defray some of the loan amount needed, and pending whatever, I should be starting in late March. I actually found a scholarship offered by the makers of Humira for $10k and I got excited and said to myself, “well, Humira would be good for something for a change!” but my dreams of applying for it were dashed because I missed the deadline by a week. Goddamn it!

That’s all I have for today. Thank you for sticking with me, and for reading. Love you bye.

E

December 17, 2019

Two posts in a week?! It’s a Christmas miracle!

Gather ‘round, friends; I have a story.

I need to begin by saying the following story is 98% my fault. Lessons have been learned, growing has been done, character has been built.

I had to take my vehicle, Frigg, for routine maintenance, which I brought her to the dealership to have done Friday morning. The service department calls while I’m at work and regretfully informed me that her struts needed replaced, but they’re covered under warranty. The parts needed to be ordered, they should arrive Saturday and possibly be ready Saturday afternoon, or Monday, depending. I cringed at this unexpected repair, but it had to be done, so be it.

Before I go any further, I know she’s two years old, I don’t know why the struts wore out so soon, but perhaps part of the reason is because she has 40k miles due to driving across all of creation the last two years. I digress.

I was given a loaner vehicle to drive in the interim, an amenity I am grateful the dealership offers. They loaned me a sassy, robust thing to which I named Odin because of course I did. Naming inanimate objects is my thing; ask me about the twenty flying pig figures I have that are all named after musicians.

Former/current students and/or employees of the University or Nebraska-Lincoln know that the UNL parking police are, in a word, cunts. They are also lackadaisical sometimes, so it’s always a gamble if you’ll get a ticket or not. The parking police and I have a long, storied past and to date, I think I’ve paid roughly a gazillion dollars in tickets.

Anyway, getting to work Friday morning with Odin the Loaner, and forgetting to take my parking sticker out of Frigg, I still parked in my designated area in the lot behind the building where I work, because regardless of where I parked, I was doomed for a ticket without a permit, but I was feeling lucky and as I left for the day, all was well—no ticket. I assumed they put two and two together and a red Volvo got replaced by a silver one. I also worked Saturday morning, but parking is mostly unenforced that day, so no big whoop. It also turns out that Frigg would indeed be done Monday. No sweat. Take your time fixing her. She deserves it.

I again parked in my area Monday, and as I was leaving, I actually looked for a ticket as surely I was tempting fate. Nada. Ha ha! Success! Take that, parking police! I sure pulled the wool over your eyes!

However, I hadn’t heard from the dealership saying Frigg was good to go, so I went home with Odin and made a mental note to call them in the morning to check to see what’s up. They’re usually very good about keeping me informed, so to not hear anything was slightly unusual but not overly troubling. We had some snow this weekend and perhaps the shipment got delayed a day due to it.

I again park in my designated area today. I go to leave for lunch as I needed to put gas in Odin the Loaner and I couldn’t find him. Now, I thought I was having a classic Erin moment, that I was looking for red Frigg and not silver Odin like I had been doing since Friday because bless my heart, but he wasn’t there. Huh.

He got towed. Those motherfuckers towed Odin. Oh shit.

So. I get on the horn with parking, was all, “hey, yeah, I was driving a loaner vehicle and I think y’all towed it.” “Oh yeah, we did.” Okay cool. The nice parking lady was…nice, I guess, and waived the parking ticket fee, but I still had to go to Capitol Towing to get Odin out of jail. Mother of all things holy.

I call the towing company, yep they have it, oh it’s a loaner? You need proof of that to get it out. Aw goddamn it. I call the dealership, was told “oh hey! Yeah, your car was done like, yesterday! Why didn’t you pick it up last night?” Dude. I was waiting for the confirmation phone call I could! Oh and by the by, your loaner you so graciously let me drive an extra day is in the car clink and can you fax me a confirmation so I can spring it out for ya?

The service guy who usually is in charge of Frigg is named Josh. Josh is a nice man. Josh also sent me a copy of pictures he took of Frigg as my confirmation. Josh, you’re a nice guy, you do good work, but what the fuck good are pictures of my car going to do to help me get yours back to you? Think, Josh, think! I called them back and this time got the confirmation, but it was blank because I have been to the dealership so often, they know me and don’t ever have me sign anything for a loaner, so I had to fill the form out, photocopy it to make it look like I had done it three days ago, and pray to whatever god that Capital Towing accepts it. Oy.

I get off work, a coworker gives me a ride to the impound lot (THANK YOU, MEGAN), I try to play it cool, but as I’m handing over the forged document, I am losing it on the inside. Luckily, all was cool, I paid to bail Odin out, I fill him with gas like I was going to do six hours earlier, hauled butt to Omaha, apologize profusely to the lovely older gal who mans the front desk of the dealership, got Frigg back, and sweet merciful lord, what a goddamn fiasco. She’s shiny and clean now, and I guess drives better now? But I hadn’t noticed a decline, but that’s neither here nor there.

If there’s anything my shenanigans teach you is that:

1) UNL parking is dumb because that escalated quickly and I feel a ticket would have sufficed, but they went from 0 to towing your ass reeeeeeeaaaaaaaal quick. I feel resorting to towing is after you’ve gotten 2-3 tickets consecutively, or haven’t even moved the vehicle despite tickets, not this situation where I hadn’t gotten a single one and then blammo! Towed!

2) Capital Towing is very nice. If you ever find yourself needing to utilize them, I recommend it.

3) Volvo V60 Cross Country’s are also very nice. Odin had some power and it was like driving a goddamn tank.

4) I am such an idiot, and I admit my fault in not calling the parking police to let them know I didn’t have my permit and was in a different vehicle, but don’t worry pals, it’s me and we’re all good here, but I didn’t do that, so again, oopsies.

I’m not sure how I have made it this far in life, but as this point, I’m convinced it’s purely for comedic relief.

And that is my story. Thank you and god bless.

Smoky Mountain Chicken Casserole

Jesus Christ, I haven’t written since November 17! What the fuck, Chucks?! Allow me to fix that now.

It’s weird how seemingly benign things can bring on a wave of feelings. I’m having an oddly productive day, and felt like cooking/baking. I ran across an old recipe book of mine, and some food I haven’t made in well over ten years and at least three lives ago.

One recipe is what did it for me. The last time it was made, the former spouse was in charge of it. I was in school at the time, I didn’t get home until after 8pm because I was a tutor (I know, right?!), and I had asked him to make dinner. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

Fairly simple recipe: it’s a chicken and rice number with some chipotle peppers thrown in for umami. The recipe calls for 2 cups cooked rice. Now, I didn’t know the guy didn’t know that uncooked rice doubles when prepared. I think it’s also a good point in my little story to mentioned that he was also stoned out of his goddamn mind during this. I’ll proceed.

Obviously, he freaked out thinking he didn’t have enough rice, when in fact, yes, yes he did. He tried to come up with something to add to it to get the two cups, and this goofy motherfucker used oatmeal.

Now, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had chicken and a bastard mix of rice and oatmeal, but let me tell you what: it was a unique experience. Not awful, but certainly not very texturally pleasing.

I get home, he’s hysterical and panicking, and I don’t know how many pots he’s smoken at this point, but I assume it was all of it based on his reaction. He smoked all the pots. Every single bleedin’ one.

I thought it was funny then, it’s still funny now almost 14 years later. That’s the “ha ha, what a fun memory!” part of my tale.

The un-fun part comes when I thought about what an absolutely fucked up union that was, all the wild shit we put each other through, and how that marriage very, very much affects me still (effects? Man, I’ll never fucking figure out which one to use; and I want to be your latex salesman!) seven years after the end.

Y’all wonder why I’m so self-deprecating? This guy right here. When a person consistently chooses to spend time with their friends in a effort to get away from me, you kind of tend to think that every single person from there feels the same way. My like-pulling-teeth attitude about being vulnerable and opening up and having meaningful conversations? Thank him. We had abysmally poor communication. Just pathetic, really.

I’m not putting all blame on the fella; I don’t have to be like this anymore, I know I need work, and mostly how to correct it, but I’m a stubborn she-beast and well, here we are. I’m quirky and somewhat aloof because if you get too close to me, I’ll try to push you back because I don’t want a repeat of shit from my past. Ask PIC how much fun that is. Like, so fun. The most funnest ever!

The casserole is baking away now. It smells good. I’m sure I’ll contemplate my life while eating it, how vastly different it is compared to thirteen years ago…and how a motherfucker didn’t know the rice thing. I’m not a lady Gordon Ramsay myself, and why, just last week I burned a pizza crust so horribly I had to throw the whole goddamn thing away, so I can’t be too harsh of a critic, but goddamn!

All this over a casserole. Goodness gracious.

November 17, 2019

It’s three a.m. I must be lonely
When she says baby
Well I can’t help but be scared of it all sometimes
And the rain’s gonna wash away I believe it

One simply does not wake up at 3:00am to decide to write in their silly blog and not include a Matchbox 20 lyric (or Matchbox Twenty, depending on your generation). Thems the unspoken rules; I don’t make them up, I just stick to ’em.

Good Sunday, friends. It’s been quiet over here for a few weeks…since October 28, to be exact. How time flies when you’re trying to avoid the crushing weight of existence, and have become so forgetful you are seriously starting to question a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimers.

Since it has been a while, there’s much to speak of, but since it’s also me, none of it will be earth-shatteringly new, but rather a tedious recap of events because that is, as the kids say, how I roll.

In an effort to maintain your attention and captivate my audience (hi guys!), I’ll start from most recent and travel backwards. Here we go now!

As I’m sure you’ve all heard that the new Disney+ streaming app released recently and if you’re a Gen X to late Millennial, your world-weary heart beat for joy for a bit at the news, then it got all sad again when you remembered that you’ll never be able to watch D+ from a home you bought with your hard-earned money because those goddamn boomers fucked up the housing market back in the 80s.

I was wary of Disney+, and from here on out, I’ll refer to it simply as “DP,” which will make me giggle every time I type it. Wary? Why wary? Well, I’ll tell you why I was wary. I was wary of it because I thought it was going to be all the Disney Channel shit like Hannah Montana or that show with the twin boys living in a hotel, but I was wrong! And pleasantly so! Silly me forgot that Disney had acquired the Marvel Universe of movies as well as Star Wars and National Geographic! Sacre bleu! Plus, there are some classic damn movies on this bitch and I let out a squeal of delight when I saw that “Return to Oz” was available. Y’all RoO is great…at least to me it is. Those of you familiar with my shoddy record of movies are most likely instantly dubious of my claim, and rightly so, but it’s still good. And tiny Faruza Balk before she got all into witchcraft!

I wasn’t feeling the greatest as the day wore on yesterday, and had been invited to hang out with several friends last night, but I ended up going to bed extremely early and unfortunately missed out. I wanted to go, truly. I was looking forward to it for a few days, which is a rare thing for me, so when I started to feel like crap early in the afternoon and had taken two naps during the day, I knew that I wasn’t going to win and had to let the ol’ body dictate the rest of the day, so at about 5:30pm, I trudged upstairs, laid down in bed, fired up my trusty iPad, and decided to watch (“watch” aka start the movie to only fall asleep within five minutes) the Pixar movie “Inside Out.”

Dudes. I stayed awake during the whole thing!! Hey now! Partly because I have never seen Inside Out before, and also partly because I was openly and unabashedly weeping at several parts of it. I should have know that was going to happen as most Pixar films get to me like they just killed my entire family in front of me, but my god. I definitely was not emotionally prepared for this movie, even though I had an inkling of the plot.

What’s it about, you ask if you’ve deemed yourself too cool for school? Well. Allow me.

It follows a girl named Riley from the day she was born until about 11 years old. She has five emotions living in “main headquarters,” and they are Joy, Sadness, Anger, Disgust, and Fear. Joy is the dominant emotion but because Pixar had to make the plot interesting and throw conflict in there, Riley and her parents end up moving from Minnesota to San Fransisco and that’s when things go AWRY. Sadness starts touching core memories and turning them into sad, blue ones instead of their usual glowing yellow, and then Joy and Sadness get sucked up out of headquarters in an effort to save further memories from turning sad…yeah. I’m doing a shit job of describing this. Sorry. The first part that got me was when they showed Riley’s parents and their own emotions inside their heads and which emotion is their dominant one: Mom’s was sadness, and Dad’s was anger and come on now. That fucking gutted me. Then there’s a scene where Riley’s old imaginary friend gets found and is trying to help and spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it, but the imaginary friend ends up sacrificing himself to stay in the memory dump so Joy can get back to headquarters and I just motherfucking LOST IT. Not just a few tears crying, but full-on weeping. Motherfucking Pixar, man. At least Inside Out had the decency to save the real gut-ripping for late in the film, whereas Up cut your dick off within five minutes, so that’s cool and considerate of them. Fucking Pixar. So that was my Saturday night.

As I mentioned, I was not feeling great yesterday, and actually haven’t been for the last two weeks, so shout-out to Crohn’s for that. Let me tell you all about it! Yay!

My theory is that being off Humira, the medication that was kind of working-ish but not really is behind this. A year ago when I was misdiagnosed by the first gastro I went to with “ibuprofen-induced ulcers and not at all Crohn’s because I got my degree from Fisher-Price University,” I was having troubles with some food, so I decided to try the low FODMAP diet to weed out possible culprits. It worked for a few months until it didn’t and that’s what prompted me to seek out a new gastro doctor in Omaha, the delightful Dr. Eichele. When I started Humira, my food issues somewhat resolved and I was eating fairly normally. I’m sure the devil’s medication of prednisone helped that, as well, but we all know how I feel about prednisone. Stopping both medications has brought back some food symptoms again and I’m displeased. Stelara is not the same type of immunosuppressant as Humira, as Humira was a tumor necrosis factor blocking agent, while Stelara blocks two specific proteins. I dunno, man, that’s some science-y shit right there. Anyway, my intolerances to some fruits and vegetables is back, and boy howdy, is it ever.

Two weeks ago, I ate some grapes for a morning snack. Grapes used to be cool with me, they were FODMAP-friendly, but not so much fructose-wise. I ended up leaving work early that day because my belly got so goddamned bloated, that by the time I made it home, I was in serious fear of having to cut my scrub pants off of my person because the waistband was so tight, I could barely move. Fun times, great times. Ever since then, my food options have been severely limited, and I’ve been living off oatmeal, yogurt, natural peanut butter because that shit is literally just ground-up peanuts and salt as opposed to the normal stuff which often has a sweetener of some kind in it. Pineapple. A very short list of vegetables that must be cooked to oblivion because any raw vegetable causes symptoms. So, in a word, not much. The “plus side” is that I’ve lost ten pounds of the twenty I put on while taking prednisone, so that’s cool. But I’m really fucking sick of oatmeal now, which makes me sad because I actually like oatmeal.

Luckily, I was due to see Dr. Ike this past week and mentioned this to him, so he’s going to set me up to see a dietitian to help me figure out what the fuck I can and cannot eat. I’ve been trying to do this on my own, but it’s proving tricky because foods on a low fructose diet do not mesh with foods on the low FODMAP diet–aka grapes, bananas, most of the vegetables I like, etc…so hopefully they can help me. Please, dear god in heaven, help me. As a former chubbier woman who obviously loved food to be where I’m at now and developing a healthy fear of food lest any of it fucks me up. Do not recommend.

Also discussed with Ike is the need for colonoscopy #3 in the coming weeks. I’m sure my excitement is palpable through your screens. Why does he want to scope my guts out again for the third time in 18 months? One reason is to check out the status of my inflammation post-Humira/current Stelara. Is the inflammation just in the mucosal layer of my colon or is it sinking into the lining? Is there more of it? If so, whaaaaaat the fuck are we going to do about that? The other reason, and this is the reason we actually want to find, is to see if there’s a stricture in my small intestine somewhere.

What the fuck is a stricture as I’m sure if you tried to google it, your phone autocorrected to “structure” and that’s just silly. A stricture is a narrowing of the bowel by either inflammation or adhesions making it difficult for waste products to exit the building. Not to be gross, but if you’ve also googled Crohn’s, you are aware that one of the symptoms is diarrhea. Most of the Crohn’s support groups I was a part of on Facebook always posted about the diarrhea. I, thank fucking Jesus, do not have issues with diarrhea. I don’t even like typing the word diarrhea. No, my trouble is always constipation. What can constipation be caused by? Why, a goddamn stricture, that’s what! I also meet and/or exceed some of the risk factors for developing a stricture–under age 40; history of previous pelvic surgery (hysterectomy, which can cause adhesions); I smoke because I’m bad…so, as Ike said to me Wednesday morning, “this sounds bad, but I hope we find a stricture because it’s a fairly easy fix and would explain a lot of your symptoms being unresolved despite several drug therapies.” Yeah, boy.

However, if there is a stricture, that unfortunately means surgery for this old girl, and that will be a bowel resection where they cut out the narrowed part and reattach it. This is giving me teh anxieties because I’m reminded of my dad’s bowel surgery and how complicated it ended up being for him. With this type of procedure, there is a risk for developing the usual culprits–infection–but also something called an ileus, which means that the newly joined pieces of your bowel don’t “wake up” and prevent your poop from exiting. Pa ended up having a nasogastric tube put in to–swear to god–suck his shit up and out through his nose. Aaaaahhhhh…

I do not enjoy cursing my father after his untimely death over three years ago, but fucking come on, man. Obviously, that’s a worse case scenario, but still.

Alternately, if no stricture is found, I’m slightly fucked still and will be tossed more medications to control symptoms, so obviously, I, too, hope for a stricture. This won’t “cure” my Crohn’s by any means, which seems rude to still have the godforesaken disease despite cutting out diseased bowel. I’m in this for the long haul, baby.

Not to be fatalistic and dramatic, but I can definitely see why people afflicted with chronic diseases/illnesses end up taking their own lives eventually because it’s fucked up for sure. Dr. Eichele asked me if I was feeling frustrated yet, and yes, I am, but I have only had this horseshit officially for six months, so I feel like I can’t properly admit to the frustration yet because it’s not like it’s been six years or longer yet. I mean, yeah, I’m annoyed with all the failed therapies and having to have another goddamned colonoscopy six months after my last one, especially when I know there are people out there living their best lives and can get away with one scope every 5-10 years, but whatever, man. I am frustrated, but I think I would be even more so had I stuck with the first GI doctor who brushed this off as opposed to having a GI who is trying his damnedest to figure out what’s going on and help me. Ike is good people.

Enough Crohn’s talk! Let me discuss the Idaho thing for a few minutes. Okay!

At this point in time, I’m declining leaving and will stick around Nebraska for the time being. I’m sure that is disappointing to hear for some of you, but since I am a certified and professional disappointment, it’s cool.

What gives? Well, a lot of things. I have been fretting and overly stressing out about this decision for months and to me, that meant I wasn’t as ready and willing to leave as I wanted myself to be. I think the biggest thing was that I was dragging my feet so hard about this that I realized if I truly wanted to leave, the decision would have been a no-brainer and I’d have packed up months ago and boogied out of here. That’s not to say that I hadn’t tried to convince myself to leave, and had actually taken some steps to leave, such as applied for a few jobs in Idaho already and actually had a phone interview with one prospective employer, but ultimately, I choose to stay.

I have a tendency to uh…make rash decisions and go from zero to sixty real fucking quick in regards to some things, and I feel Idaho is one of these things. Things aren’t great here in Nebraska, but most of those things are my own doing and I can take the effort to correct some of them. I’ve been actively looking at smaller/less expensive places to live, for example, a task that very well might do me in because fuck the housing market in this goddamn town. I don’t feel I’m being overly picky or have incredibly high standards in regards to where I want to live, either, but there are places I will not go either for location in town or lack of certain amenities. For example, I, a single woman, probably should not live in the more sketchy areas of town by myself. That’s not being elitist, it’s being common sensical. It’s also proving difficult to find apartments with washer and dryers included in the units, which I also don’t feel is a wild desire, and when I do find places with w/d in them, the rent is either the same as I pay already or dumbfoundingly higher.

For instance, I looked at a place recently that was a 1 bedroom loft, which I actually liked a lot because it would accommodate most of my current belongings. It didn’t have a w/d, but the laundry room was right next to it. Okay, whatever, it’s fine. But by the time you factor in the money spent to wash your clothes either there or at a laundry mat with higher capacity machines to make quick work out of it, it’s kind of silly. They also offered a garage for a stupid fee a month, and again, not being elitist here, but having a garage would be great for extra storage and to park Frigg in during inclement weather. Again, factor that in to the rent, along with money spent on laundry, it would have been the same amount I’m paying now for a 3 bedroom townhouse with washer and dryer and garage. Why pay the same amount for far less? It’s ridiculous. Rent here is ridiculous.

For kicks and giggles, I googled the very first apartment we lived in when we moved to Lincoln 17 years ago (!!) and for a shitty one bedroom garden level apartment just two short blocks away from Ghetto Russ’s Market, we paid $350/month for it. Now? This sumbitch is $700/month. Dudes. Holy shit. But please tell me to cut back on some frivolous expenses in order to pay for the absurd inflation of goods and services despite the fact my wage will not increase to accommodate the increasing cost of living. Fuck off with that noise.

I’m trying to find a part-time job now, but trying to find one online so I can work from home as opposed to working retail again. There are a lot of these types of job, actually, which is cool. Plus, this option is ideal for me when I am stuck at home dealing with a flare, where having a part-time retail gig at say Target where I’d have to drag my sorry ass in would not be cool. If I can’t make it in to my real job, what the fuck makes you think I’d be able to do it for a side job? So. I had applied for one such remote job recently, made it through the screening process, and had to take an exam yesterday about the job (website rater), but I guess I failed it. Ha! Goddamn it. Oh well. I’ll figure something else out. I think. I hope. Wish me luck.

Switching gears yet again! I’ve been on a long hiatus from school and getting ready to take that on again, but obviously very nervous about that because friends, I am stupid. Now, hear me out on this. Having inflammatory bowel disease doesn’t mean the inflammation is isolated to just by colon. Oh, no, no, no. Inflammation is systemic, which means my brain is part of the mix. You might have heard me speak poorly of brain fog before and that is a direct result of IBD, as well. With the benefit of hindsight, I can actually somewhat confidently tell you all that my IBD was probably already making an appearance back in 2017 when I started taking classes again. I’ll elaborate.

Being the somewhat erratic responsible woman I am, I do annual visits to my doctor. After Dad died, I had such a visit in 2017 and had mentioned to my nurse practitioner that I would like a screening colonoscopy just because I was anxious about the high risk factor I presented. Insurance being the cunt it is wouldn’t approve it unless I was having symptoms, which I was starting to back then, but not enough to warrant the exam. Okie dokie. July 2017 is when I started taking classes again and I was having a fuck of a time concentrating, which annoyed the shit out of me due to the fact when I had been in school previously, it was a breeze. I was consistently on the honor roll, maintained a 3.9GPA the entire time, all that academic shit. 2017 proved I had gotten dumber. Sure, it could have just been that I hadn’t been in academia for ten years, my grey matter was rusty, then PIC had to up and move away in 2018 and I know that directly impacted my studies in its own way, but still. I could read and read and read my textbooks but nothing stuck. I think it was Crohn’s making its first appearance. And PIC. I’m not too naive to admit that his leaving also didn’t have a tremendous impact on me because it sure as fuck did, and I’m not blaming him at all for that because that’s just rude, but like I said, I also think CD was at play there, as well, I just didn’t know it yet.

But for real, I’m so dumb now. My short-term memory is trash, I lack focus, driving can be a real nightmare because I find myself zoning out which we can all agree that is not cool when operating a motor vehicle, all that jazz. I’m really going to have to buckle down and force myself to concentrate when classes start back up because I know it is going to be a shitshow. Hooray! And yes, I also know depression and anxiety play a role in this, as well. Double hooray!

And while I mentioned PIC, I had a dream about him yesterday during one of my two naps, and oddly enough, my dad was in it, as well, which threw me for a goddamn loop because I haven’t dreamt about my dad in like, two years. I don’t like to cotton to your subconscious being as influential as some people say it is, especially when it comes to dreams and shit, but gosh dang. Dreaming about PIC isn’t unusual, as he crops up every few months, but the Dad thing in conjunction with PIC was like….whaaaaaaat. It was a nice dream. Apparently, we were visiting PD at his house in Alaska? The content wasn’t noteworthy, just the players. I woke up both perplexed by and also oddly comforted by it. That was also the first dream I have remembered upon waking in many months. I’ve noticed for a while that when I wake up, I have zero recollection of any dreams had, which is somewhat unusual for me, so to have this one stick around and still be there in fragments today is nice. Also, if this is a clue that Dan had a hidden house in Alaska and didn’t tell any of us about it, boy howdy, will I be cheesed off. What else are you hiding from me, old man?!

Alright, that’s about enough of this nonsense. As usual, I thank you all for your support and love lately. It’s been wild, for sure, but knowing I have a pretty good team backing me up has made it bearable.

And for real, if you don’t have Disney+ and want to check it out, holler at me and I’ll totally let you use my login. Star Wars! Marvel movies! Obscure ’80s gems from our childhoods! But honestly, I just want you to watch “Inside Out” and bawl like a stuck pig like I did so I don’t feel so weird for losing it as hard as I did. Seriously, I was not prepared for that at all. Like, I cried so hard my fake eyelashes fell off. That’s impressive. And yes, I have taken to wearing fake eyelashes because I want to feel fancy, and what’s fancier than thick, luxurious eyelashes? Not much.

As usual and always, thank you so much for reading. All my love to you.

E