ear infection and taking a steroid
I have right ear eustachian tube dysfunction partly due to my cleft palate. In my lifetime, I've quite a few times ruptured that eardrum when I had an upper respiratory infection. Last Sunday I picked up another bug and have been in bed since then, except for a couple of doctor's appts.
I saw my internist on Tuesday, who sent me to the ENT that afternoon. I have both an inner and outer ear infection in the right ear. Monday night the pressure had become so bad I thought the eardrum was going to rupture again, but I kept using warm compresses, and the pressure subsided. But I'm left with an ear that feels like it's underwater and there's a remarkable increase in my tinnitus. The ENT PA started me on oral Augmentin and Cipro ear drops. I've been using Afrin since Tuesday, so my three days are up tonight.
I don't have a great history with steroids. They trigger my anxiety really badly and can do a number on my stomach. But right now I'm desperate. My equilibrium is so off that I can't really leave the house alone (again, except to go to doctor's appts). So I reached out to the ENT PA and told her I was desperate and would be willing to give a low dose steroid a try. So it's being filled at the pharmacy right now. I will probably wait until tomorrow to start it so I don't have to do all first day six pills between now and bedtime. I'm dreading taking the steroid with the antibiotic and what it will do to my stomach.
Does anyone else here have problems taking steroids? If you do, have you found anything in particular that helps you with the side effects? I do have a PRN prescription for Xanax and I will add that to my day to help offset the anxiety, but I keep thinking there must be something else I can do to minimize the side effects. I am desperate to get this ear opened up so I can hear out of it again, even if just a little.
I might call my psychiatrist (who is also my therapist) and run this all past her, but if anyone has anything that helps, please let me know.
Monday, when doctor's offices were closed and I had to go to urgent care, I had a horrible experience of getting swabbed for strep. Because of my cleft palate and the surgeries I had at a very young age, my gag reflex is off the charts. She tried six times, three without a tongue depressor and three with. I started to cry, on top of feeling like shit. My fever is gone, as well as the horrible body aches I had on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but the ear fullness and tinnitus are almost debilitating. This shit isn't for sissies.
5 comments posted: Thursday, February 22nd, 2024
Adventures of a home renovation
Per Superesse's request, I will share our colorful relocation story for those wondering how we survived the ordeal. As a reminder, about six weeks before our move, I was diagnosed with a very early form of breast cancer. Had surgery in LA, then drove cross country with our dog, hitting up Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks (couldn't get out on any trails, though because pooch was with us). We spent a few nights in the Chicago area catching up with friends we hadn't seen since before the pandemic.
Got to the Boston area and I started radiation about a month later. The first weekday I didn't have to go to Dana-Farber for radiation, H ended up in the hospital with a 6mm and 12 mm kidney stones for three nights. That involved several procedures over 2 1/2 weeks - the day before his last procedure, my D, her H and I all tested positive for COVID. Needless to say, in a very short amount of time, we got a crash course on the Boston medical system.
We settled into our apt. with half of our belongings, while the other half went into storage and proceeded to go about our lives, giving as much attention as needed to the house project. Thankfully our apt complex had a decent gym, so I managed to get back into my workouts, which for me, is oftentimes more mentally beneficial than physically. I found a new massage therapist and Pilates instructor to help me regain some mobility in the pec wall and underarm area that were restricted due to surgery and radiation.
We returned to CA for Thanksgiving with our other D and her H and had a lovely time, but I think being gone for a week may have set us back a few days. Our pooch was not happy that we left him with our daughter here, which meant he was dodging their alpha Chihuahua and year and a half old toddler. I worried about him - he wasn't eating, but after a couple of days, they coaxed him into it, and he was fine by the time we returned. Our D from CA came out for Christmas, which was nice. We'd hoped to have the project further along at that point, but she got to see a lot of progress.
The lease in our apt. was up Sunday, so ready or not, our movers came Saturday and moved all of our apt. stuff into the house. We stayed at our D's house Friday and Saturday night, but Sunday H stayed here, while I remained at her house. Workers were due to be here Monday morning around 7, and I'm NOT a morning person. I stayed at the house Monday night, then Tuesday stayed back at my daughter's place since workers were going to arrive really early Wednesday morning again. We both stayed here last night. Interestingly, the two nights I did not stay here with H, the pooch had issues... wouldn't eat in the morning at all. He had a couple of accidents in the house, too. So I think when I'm not here in our bed, he's stressed.
For the first day or two, we only had one working shower and toilet. In anticipation of the day when I don't want someone to have to wipe my but, we decided to go with a 'fancy-damned' toilet, as H describes it... a bidet, in our bathroom. Costco had an excellent deal on a Kohler, which we ordered back in late November. When they went to open it early this month, it was broken, so we had to arrange for it to be replaced, which took almost two weeks. Well, the replacement came last week, and we checked it over very carefully for defects. But when our plumber went to install it, he saw a hairline crack in what we assume is the tank area. So we had to order another replacement, which came today, and when it arrived we checked out every inch before the delivery crew left. So tonight we will have a full-functioning primary bath. (LOL... I just watched them carry that toilet across the living room toward the bathroom - thankfully I heard no thuds!) The dumpster and port-a-potty were taken away Friday, so we can now pull into our driveway.
A couple of weeks before Christmas, a very large cedar tree in our backyard neighbor's yard that abuts the fence between our properties fell in the nasty storm we had. It took out at least half of the fence, but it was one we'd already talked to the neighbor about replacing this summer anyway. This spring we will start planning for what we want to do in the backyard with regard to hardscaping and any landscaping. We get good sun in the first half of the day there, and I may try my hand at some gardening if I can do raised beds (anyone here have any recommendations for using raised beds?)
Today has been a madhouse. Electricians are hanging some light fixtures, tiler is doing kitchen backsplash, HVAC put up all the vents in the ceilings and hooked up our generator, stovetop hood has been installed, cabinet pulls are being placed on bathroom cabinets, wallpaper was hung in H's office, charger for H's EV is getting hooked up (yay! we had no place to charge at the apt. complex). Yesterday Best Buy was here finishing installation of our AV system.
Tomorrow morning at 8, H meets the movers at our storage unit and the rest of our stuff will arrive here. Wallpaper hanger will be back tomorrow to finish up, as I guess the tiler will be, too. I'm hoping the electricians finish putting all of the outlet covers on today so they don't have to come back tomorrow. Technically, we don't have a CO yet, but if an inspector stops by, we can always say our stuff is in the house, but we're staying with our daughter down the street (which has been true a few nights).
Our last big project are the two fireplaces. They were initially installed too low (they met code, but were too low for our aesthetics). They will be here tomorrow to raise the boxes 4" and measure for the glass panels. Those will take a couple of weeks to get cut, and we are already scheduled for a 2/15 install on those. We also have to have some railing installed that divides our living room from the stairs that go down to the basement. Hopefully it will be here late next week after it's fabricated.
On the days when there's been a lot of workers here, we try to make an attempt to stop by Dunkin' Donuts and pick up a dozen or two to show our appreciation! I never realized what a big deal DD is in MA! I think there are four within our smallish suburb.
Being in such close proximity to our daughter's family has been nice. In the first 3 1/2 months, there were so many medical issues that we were kind of stressed. She has been great the last several days, stopping by to see if she can help. We haven't brought our grandson over in a few weeks because there's just so many ways a toddler can get into trouble right now! But we do see them quite often... several times a week. We've been asked to pick him up from daycare a few times when they had appts., and have babysat a couple of times. He's just recently gotten to the point of when we leave their house in the evenings, and we say goodbye, he starts to whine, so we know he's getting very attached to us. I hate to see him upset, but it feels good that such a connection is there.
One of our neighbors hosts an apple cider party every fall. A family member rescued an old cider press from the side of the road and refurbished it. The neighbors buy bushels of apples and neighbors and friends are invited over and if able, bring an appetizer. It was a lot of fun. We have gotten to know some of the other neighbors since arriving, too.
I look at this house as the last place I'll probably own. We are in our early 60s and have made choices that should make aging in place a bit easier. The only thing I 'have' to go down in the finished basement for is the gym, so if I get to a point where I can't do stairs, that's the only thing I'd miss out down there. H's office is down there, but mine is on the first floor where I took over one of the bedrooms.
It's been a very thoughtful process, but I'm sure there will be things we'd wished we'd done differently, but I'm in full acceptance mode. My only regret so far is that we didn't get out very much to explore the area this fall during peak colors. There was just too much to do. We only hiked a couple of times, despite knowing there are a ton of trails very nearby. We did make it to the ocean - I wanted to be able to say the pooch has now been to both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
12 comments posted: Thursday, January 25th, 2024
IC for waywards - did you make any requests?
We recently moved from the West Coast to the East Coast. H had been in IC since D-Day, although he'd had to switch a few times due to a previous move. When we were ready to leave the West Coast, he led me to believe he would find someone new at our new location. He told me his current therapist does not do video appointments, but she was going to get him some names of people in our new area. Fast forward four months after we arrived, and he had not done anything about it. So I brought it up in a couple's therapy session (we are still 'seeing' our West Coast therapist via video for appts.) after he made a comment about 'letting sleeping dogs lie' when we were discussing a non-affair related issue. It about set my hair on fire I was so livid.
He's been in therapy for six years, but again, three different people. He has learned a lot about himself, but from my viewpoint, I still see behaviors that raise red flags. For one... he led me to believe he was going to continue after we moved, and when at some point he decided not to, he didn't level with me (not that I would have been happy about it) - he just let me continue believing he was going to resume. Secondly, there are two major experiences in his life that he has never dealt with in therapy. He has no knowledge or memory of these experiences, but his brother told me about them when H was away at a residential treatment center: 1) their father had affair(s) - their mother told H's brother, who then relayed it to me. 2) H was sexually assaulted by some neighborhood boys when he was around 7 or 8 years old. H's brother has no reason to make any of this up. He provided me with details. When I went to visit H at the residential treatment center, I told him what his brother had told me. Again, he claims he has no knowledge or memory of any of this. So he has not made it a priority to explore these possibilities. So of course, his therapist never really pushed the issues.
I have a really hard time believing that those kinds of experiences are not formative; I believe that he's somehow rug-sweeping them because he doesn't want to deal with the possibilities and pain. Again, the 'don't let sleeping dogs lie' remark hit me hard when he made it in our couple's session.
He's always been completely honest that the only reason he was doing therapy was to save our marriage. He's never gotten to a point where he says he's doing it for himself. That bothers me. If I were to walk away tomorrow, he'd never resume. We've had many discussions with our couple's therapist about my anger at him for leading me on about his willingness to continue therapy in our new location. He has stated that he doesn't know what his goals should be in starting over again. Our couple's therapist has shared that most times, people go into therapy because they're curious about themselves and want to understand themselves more. He says he's not curious about himself... which again, is a red flag to me. But wtf good is it going to be for him to pick back up again if he's only doing it for the marriage? He wants to know how long I want him to do this, like what am I looking for. I don't have an answer to that is what I've told him.
I remember when I started therapy many years ago and was reluctant (mostly due to money). I remember my therapist encouraging me to consider why I didn't value myself enough to spend the time and money on myself. That alone was enough to open up a Pandora's Box. But it took me a while (at least 3-4 years) before I let go of the money and time sacrifices and committed to the process. I was pretty screwed up back then. I had a wonderful therapist who knew how to challenge me while being supportive. FWIW, his previous therapists all know that he was only doing it to save the marriage. I just kept hoping that they'd somehow make him see why it's so important to do it for yourself first, then a relationship.
So I guess this is all a long way of asking, did your betraying partners go to individual therapy just to save the marriage, and eventually decided they didn't want to look at more painful stuff from their childhoods, so they wanted to quit? Because I don't think I can stay with someone who possibly has that kind of trauma and is unwilling to explore it. He says that our being in couple's therapy is his way of showing he's still invested in the process. And to be fair, our couple's therapists have told him he's doing good work in therapy. But I don't think any professional therapist would force someone to look at childhood traumas.
For the past couple of weeks, he's been saying after the holidays he was going to reach out to a couple of names on the list he got from his previous therapist. But he won't admit he's doing it for himself. He says he's doing it for me. Why isn't this enough for me? I mean, he's an adult, he can do whatever he wants. I told him I was pissed he led me on right before our move because it was disrespectful to me, to not let me make choices based on his choices. When I explained that to him, he said he understood now how his behavior was hurtful to me. So with that in mind, he will make some phone calls this week.
I see people here talking about radical honesty. That's what I want, even if telling me something leads me to make a choice he won't like, like leaving him. I don't know how to explain that concept to him.
If he doesn't, what recourse do I have? How can I explain to him how dismissed I feel? I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who is not curious about themselves. Is that too much to ask?
18 comments posted: Tuesday, January 2nd, 2024
We made it to the winter solstice!
Yay! Starting tomorrow we start gaining sunlight minutes on both ends of the spectrum.
Interesting lesson I learned a couple of weeks ago. Although daylight minutes continue to decline up until today, starting around 12/13, we started adding a minute of daylight in the afternoon. I'd always thought that both sunrise and sunset didn't add daylight minutes until the solstice. But yea, we've added three minutes of sunlight at the end of the day since 12/13.
We had a whopper of a storm on Monday. There's an observatory about ten miles from where we live that registered a 90-mile an hour wind gust! We were at our house under renovation Monday morning and saw a HUGE pine tree at the fence line in our backyard neighbor's yard fall over. It took out the fence, but it was a fence we'd already been in discussion with the neighbor about to split the cost of replacing this spring/summer. H is having lunch with him tomorrow; he's a really nice guy. In MA, there's a really strange law that, if a tree in someone else's yard falls in your yard, it's your responsibility to remove it. So I guess we'll see if we want to make an insurance claim. The neighbor has already started to cut it up with his chain saw.
Monday as I was driving around, I hit so many detours due to trees or power lines being down. Our daughter (who lives in what will be the same neighborhood as us when we move next month) lost power Monday morning (the whole neighborhood lost power) and it didn't come back on until 1AM yesterday, so she and our grandson (and their dog) stayed with us in our apt Monday and Tuesday nights. She had throw out everything in their refrigerator. If this storm had come a month later, we would have been fine. We will have a backup generator powered by propane tanks, so we would have been fine.
Oh, well, next major storm!
6 comments posted: Thursday, December 21st, 2023
Am I the only one who didn't get excited about the new Beatles song?
I don't get it.
Let me preface this with, I will always choose the Beatles in the Beatles vs. Stones camp, so I AM a fan, but I've heard this new song twice now, and it does absolutely nothing for me. There are SOOOO many other songs I'd rather listen to.
My friends on FB who have chimed in, all rave about it. I don't get it. What am I missing? Is it just a longing for nostalgia that makes people want to like it more than they should?
4 comments posted: Sunday, November 5th, 2023
A whole generation of 'Friends' fans in mourning
So sad about Matthew Perry. My kids were HUGE Friends fans. It just seems so young. I'm sure his co-stars are devastated. I really, really hope it wasn't a relapse, but as many times as he had relapsed, I guess I wouldn't be surprised.
I guess all that self-abuse could have led to some health problems.
I saw him on The View last year after he released his book, and was hoping he had worked through it.
6 comments posted: Sunday, October 29th, 2023
Enough is enough!! No longer a Novid
This summer it was my breast cancer diagnosis, then surgery. Then the move from the West Coast to the East Coast, and 16 sessions of radiation at Dana-Farber. The first weekday that I didn't have to go to DF, H ended up in the hospital with a 12mm stone in one kidney and a 6mm stone in the other. They put a stent in, got his pain under control, but couldn't do the blast procedure for a couple of weeks because he started to run a fever and they put him on antibiotics to clear up an infection. So last week he has the procedure, they place a stent in the one kidney that has the 6mm stone (while in the hospital they only stented the kidney with the 12mm stone). I've never seen him in so much pain, and he's had some really painful bike accidents that landed him on a trauma floor. Has also had a ruptured disc in his back. Tomorrow he has an appt. to get both stents out, but....
I tested positive for COVID this morning - my first time. He called his urologist's office to ask them what he should do - they told him if he tests negative in the morning, he can still come in for the procedure, but has to wear a mask. And I can't drive him - he will have to go by himself.
I was at the retina specialist yesterday for establishing myself as a new patient, and when I got home, that's when I started to feel icky. So I had to call them today let them know I'd exposed them. I mean, eye doctors have to really get into your personal space to do their exams. I feel bad.
I got my booster almost three weeks ago, so I'm hoping my case will continue to stay mildish... mostly aches and pains and tiredness. I ran a slight fever yesterday, but haven't had one today yet. Last night I told H I should test for COVID, but we agreed to wait until this morning in case it was too early to detect it. When I woke up this morning, H told me our D and her H texted him earlier and they both tested positive. All three of us are first-timers. And of course, they've got the baby to take care of. He was sick over the weekend, but they tested him today and he's negative. When I tested, that damned line lit up in less than three minutes.
I'm so damned tired of my life being ruled by health issues. I think I will use the time to watch Downton Abbey again... escape TV.
Any other NOVIDS out there?
20 comments posted: Tuesday, October 24th, 2023
Questions about safety in Israel right now
I have a high school friend who was at the tail end of 'walking the steps of Paul' tour through a couple of different countries and was in Jerusalem when the war broke out. She is with a group from her parish with a paid guide.
The day the attacks began, she posted on FB that she was safe, sheltering in place at their hotel in Jerusalem, near Gethsemane until they could get a flight out. She shared that they had a very politically savvy tour-guide and although it was scary, she felt safe. A couple of days later she posted that their original flight out of Jerusalem had been cancelled and the tour company was working on getting them out. She also shared that those who wanted to, had the opportunity to go for a walk through the garden because it was so close to their hotel. (not something I would have done, but having never been there, I have no idea how safe this would be at this time)
Then, last night, both of those posts that refer to being in Jerusalem disappeared from FB. I'm wondering if they were told (and by who?) to take them down for safety, and if so, safety from what. Does the government think they are at risk of being taken hostage because they're U.S. citizens? Or killed? None of the attacks are happening near Jerusalem, and I don't honestly think Jerusalem would be a target because of its roots for three major world religions.
I'm no expert (not even an amateur) on Middle East conflicts, but I can only garner that she removed those posts because someone told them to for some reason.
Are there any international experts here who might be able to offer some insight for me? I've always heard how safe Israel is to travel to, except when it's under attack. The news is not saying much about evacuating U.S. citizens who are stuck over there. My friend and her group can't be the only U.S. citizens over there.
I do keep checking her FB page to see if they've arrived home, because I would think that would be safe to post. At this point, friends are posting on her FB page that they're praying for her, but no details.
14 comments posted: Tuesday, October 10th, 2023
Road trip has begun!
As important as our cross-country road trip is, today I conquered something else major. I had not driven on freeways in LA in over three and a half years. About a year after we moved to SoCal, I had panic attacks several times while driving, especially through intersections of major freeways with their on and off ramps. There have been a few times in the last several months I've been tempted to try it again, but as I'd get close to the on ramp (even if an off ramp was only a 1/2 mile away), I'd start to freak. Thankfully, 95% of where I had to drive day-to-day, I could do on surface streets, and the other 5%, H drove.
For the last several weeks, with the move impending, I knew my chances of conquering this were dwindling. And today was the last day as we pulled away from our house. I told H he would have to be very attentive to me, and if I started to panic, he'd have to talk me through getting over to the shoulder, or exiting. I was going to consider it a win if I made it more than three exits. Well, guess what fucking what??? I drove from LA to Las Vegas!!! 275 miles!!! Once we got out of the LA area, and traffic lightened up, it was a piece of cake. Quite a few times I had to talk to myself and tell myself I could do it. It felt amazing!
After our lunch stop in Vegas, H drove because I knew there was a section of I-15 in northwest AZ where you're driving through canyons, with little to no shoulder. It's only about 20-30 minutes, but you really have to be on your game, and I was already getting tired from not sleeping much last night.
We pulled off in a tiny town called Fillmore for the night, and tomorrow have to make it to Jackson, WY, where we have hotel reservations. Friday will be a 'scenic drive' day through the Grand Teton National Park, and Yellowstone National Park. The plan is to stay in Cody, WY Friday night.
Most of all what I will remember about today is conquering a three+ year phobia. (I texted my therapist when I got done driving!!)
12 comments posted: Wednesday, July 12th, 2023
Driving cross country - share your opinions on our route
Now that my cancer surgery is behind me, H and I are talking more about what route we're going to take for our move to the Boston area.
Before I start, I need to preface it with, we will have our dog with us, so lots of things people might recommend to us, we won't be able to do because he won't be allowed.
Here's the plan - head north out of LA on I-15 to Salt Lake City; we've been on I-15 between LA and where I-15 and I-70 connect, but have not been further north on I-15 (when we drove between Chicago and LA, we took the route that took us through Denver, then across Nebraska, Iowa and IL, so we're not interested in that route again, although it would save us 400 miles). Once we're north of SLC, we'll head up through Grand Teton National Park, then Yellowstone National Park. We'll do a night in Cody, WY, then spend two days on the road between there and Chicago after getting over to I-90 from Cody. We've done I-90 between Yellowstone and Chicago before, but it was 30 years ago! We did the Badlands, Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Devil's Tower, etc. So we won't feel cheated if we have to drive past these places this go around due to the dog.
And of course we'll have to make the obligatory stop at Wall Drug!
As we drive through Grand Teton National Park, are there any really short detours we should know about that are worth the extra minutes? Or will we just enjoy the view of the Grand Tetons off to our left from route 191? Maybe pick up lunch in Jackson and find a picnic area that's off 191.
Any other tips for driving through this part of the country during mid-summer?
Oh, is seeing the Great Salt Lake worth it? I'm not interested in taking the time to find a place to go swim in it.
16 comments posted: Tuesday, June 27th, 2023
My terrible, horrible, no-good day (yesterday)
Exactly five years ago this month, as we were contemplating whether we were going to move to SoCal from the Midwest or not, I found out I have a genetic mutation that puts me at a very high risk for colon cancer (up to 70% chance I'd get it) and I hadn't had a colonoscopy in five years. So we had to quickly get one scheduled because I wasn't going to move if I had a cancer diagnosis. I had a wonderful Gi doc who got me in within few days, and I ended up being all clear. But it was a really rough week or two. Now I get regular colonoscopies and they've all been clear.. not even a polyp.
Three weeks ago we listed our home here, since we are moving to the East Coast to be near our almost one-year old grandson. We ended up with 18 initial offers, which whittled down to seven after our counter. The offer we accepted is 20% above asking price, which we are thrilled about (the second closest offer is only $5K less than his). The timing is, we'd have a 30-day escrow, with a 29-day rent back for $1. This would mean we need to be out of our house by July 13th. All good stuff.
Last week I went in for my annual mammogram and ultrasound. Got a call back that they wanted to do a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound, so I had that done Tuesday. I wasn't too worried because I have really dense breast tissue, have had several biopsies before, and they've all been clear. So I get the diagnostic tests done on Tuesday, and yesterday my breast nurse practitioner called to say the radiologist saw a mass, under a centimeter, that she wants to biopsy. She knows the timing of our move, and told me when I called to schedule it, if they gave me some crazy date of weeks out, to call her back and she'd pull some strings. So I called scheduling, and their 'soonest' available is June 7th - two weeks away. Also, in all of this mess, we're supposed to be on the East Coast June 13-21st, to meet with our contractor, architect and designer to get our project of the new home renovations moving along. We will be signing a lease on an apartment when we travel out there next month. We timed the trip to coincide with our grandson's first birthday party.
All in the same half hour I got news about the needed biopsy, we got word from our realtor that this bro who wants to buy our house is asking for $47K credit in closing costs for repairs, which is absolute fucking bullshit. We had a pre-inspection done prior to our listing and know what the issues are. It's outrageous - he basically wants the quality of a newly-built house. We talked to our realtor last night and told him we'd support $15K on our part, and that's it... we move onto offer #2 and/or #3 (which we already have contracts with if #1 falls through). So I'm furious about this insulting stunt on his part - for instance, we agreed we'd purchase a one-year home warranty for any buyer, but he wants 16K credit now for our HVAC system - which is older, but working fine - which would be covered under the fucking warranty if it goes. I had the annual service done three weeks ago, and the guy told me it was fine.
So here I am, totally freaking out about the breast situation, I can't get an appt. for two weeks for the biopsy, which means if it came back positive and I needed treatment, I'd be getting this news four weeks before we'd have to be out of our house. I called the scheduling people back again this morning to explain my predicament again and they are still saying June 7th. She said she'd speak with her manager to see if they can do anything, but I also called my nurse practitioner's office back and asked them to relay to her that the soonest I could get is not for two weeks. Hopefully she can pull some magic.
I am just an absolute wreck. It brings back all the memories of five years ago and needing a quick clearance so we could make a decision on whether to move or not. Our current situation is such that we have to move. Wheels are already in motion. I talked to my therapist and am going to see her today, but I'm just a disaster right now.
Funny aside, H ended up having to get a root canal yesterday morning, and in the afternoon after all this other shit came down, he texted, "Who would have thought getting a root canal would be the best part of my day?"
47 comments posted: Wednesday, May 24th, 2023
Ewwwww! How would you feel about a month-old decaying corpse next-door?
Not us, but D texted us yesterday morning to tell us the police were next door, and that the home owner had been found dead. Then no details until today.
D has lived next door to this woman for almost two years, and the only way the woman communicated with them, or anyone in the neighborhood was by leaving a note at your front door if you did something to piss her off. If you waved to her as you passed by in your/her car, she wouldn't wave back. So very anti-social and in her 80s. You never saw anyone at the house, other than the landscapers. So I guess she was overdue with her payment to them, and they had a key to her house, so when they knocked and didn't get an answer, they unlocked the door and opened it, only to be stunned by the smell. They shut the door and called the police. I'm pretty sure this warrants an autopsy, but based on financial documents, they suspect she'd been dead about a month!! 🤮
I mean, it's so sad. This poor woman was so removed from society that no one missed her for over a month. Evidently she had grandchildren who lived twenty minutes away, but they were estranged from her because she was so awful. It reminds me of The Golden Girls episode where the nasty neighbor, Rita Claxson (who wants to cut down a giant tree in her parkway) drops dead, and no one comes to the funeral. She had no friends, and was just plain mean. Rita Claxson had no need for people or nature. I always thought that particular episode was an outlier - I mean, who, in a suburban neighborhood, has no contact with any of their neighbors to the point where they won't even say hello?
I remember my old hairstylist lived in a townhouse where the woman she shared a wall with died, and wasn't found for a week. My hairstylist said her dog had been acting funny for the few days leading up to the discovery - she obviously smelled something. And I thought that was horrific, but a month??
10 comments posted: Wednesday, May 17th, 2023
Nine years cancer-free today
The dreaded big C invaded my life over nine years ago. Today I am cancer-free. While the surgery wasn't a walk in park, it was seven weeks later that an abscess I'd developed (and had no idea I had), turned into sepsis and I was hospitalized for five nights. Scariest thing ever to happen to me. I'd never felt so sick in my life. From my work in hospice, I knew that sepsis had a mortality rate of 30%.
But here I am today, celebrating nine years of being cancer-free. I had a wonderful surgeon and hospital staff, both for the surgery and the subsequent sepsis hospitalization. The infectious disease doc was outstanding. My internist stopped by every day I was in the hospital to see how I was doing.
Most of all, I want to thank the 24-hour nurse on call with BCBS who, when I called because I had no idea what was wrong with me after going from feeling fine at 7PM, to feeling like death warmed over at 11PM, triaged my symptoms over the phone and told me in the calmest voice, 'Ma'am, you need to get to the ER within two hours. If there's no one there to drive you, call 911." My heart rate was 140 and I was running a fever of 102°. I'd been on the tail end of a cold and thought maybe I had developed a serious respiratory infection, but because of my surgery seven weeks earlier, I didn't know whether to call my surgeon or my regular doctor. Boy did that nurse take charge and direct me on what to do. I wish I'd gotten her name and could go back and thank her, but I was a bit distracted at the time. 😳
It was a several-months recovery from that sepsis, but I did, and thank my trainer for knowing how to start me out very slowly, just to get my body moving again (prior to sepsis, I'd gotten up to walking three miles a day after the surgery).
Man, what a ride...
5 comments posted: Saturday, April 29th, 2023
Pop, pop, pop - whose brackets have already burst?
Wow... I don't really have a team in this year's tournament, but with a #15 and #16 moving to the next round after knocking out a #1 and #2, it's kind of exciting. I love rooting for the underdog... unless I have a team in it.
So happy for Princeton and Fairleigh Dickinson. Those kids must be so elated!
5 comments posted: Friday, March 17th, 2023
Timing for Covid negative test
For those who have had Covid, how long did it take you to test negative after you tested positive? Today is day 8 for H, and he's still testing positive. His work Covid protocol is that he can go back to work with a mask at day 10 if he's still testing positive.
He is masking in the house anytime he comes out of his room for anything. I mask anytime I have to talk to him, and if I'm in a room (like the kitchen) where he's been within the last half hour or so. Honestly, I spend 95% of my time in our bedroom.
But I kind of want to know how long he's going to be contagious, meaning how long do I have to feel I'm in the clear for not getting it. From what I've read, the viral load starts to drop off significantly by day 5, but we're both still masking up and staying apart.
We are supposed to leave Tuesday morning for the East Coast and I'm starting to worry he won't be over this in time for us to leave.
He has felt fine (except for a lingering cough) for about three days now. I've heard the cough can last for weeks, so we can't use that as a rubric for when he's safe to be around.
7 comments posted: Thursday, March 16th, 2023
Troubled teen industry (tti)
Do I ever feel out of the loop. Until last fall, I had no idea that this was a thing. Then I found out that a family member had been sent there as a teen, and was traumatized. When I asked about the facility, I was told it was the same one Paris Hilton went to (I think she was at more than one). So I did some digging into what this industry was. I found a Reddit group and have done a lot of reading. You can also find exposés to watch.
It's worse in some states than others. The really bad ones are in Utah because it's the only state where you can't discharge yourself or leave. They can hold you against your will. Facilities in other states threaten their residents saying, if you don't comply, we'll send you to Utah. But at least you can walk out of those facilities, although most of them are out in the middle-of-the-fuck nowhere and these kids have no idea where they are and how to get someone to help them. I don't know how the people who own these places (they're all for profit), much less the ones who work at them sleep at night.
It is absolutely devastating what happens in these places. Parents are lied to (as I'm sure they were for the family member who was sent there). Phone calls are monitored and if a kid starts to tell a parent how bad they're being treated, they will lose their phone privileges. And these places are still open, although Paris Hilton and her mom are working on legislation to shut them down.
Paris Hilton was on The View today. I have to say I never really held her in high regard, but now I see her in a different light, and applaud her for her activism.
I suspect that one of my nephews was sent to one twenty years ago; I know he was sent to a wilderness camp/school for drug and alcohol issues discovered in 8th grade. Actually throughout high school, he went to a few different schools away from home (got kicked out of a military academy for drinking).
1 comment posted: Tuesday, March 14th, 2023
Pros and cons of induction cooktop vs. gas
I have been doing my homework with regards to our major renovation job on our new home. I asked our designer which trades have the longest lead times right now, so I know which to tackle first. She said cabinets and appliances. So we have to decide which direction we're going to go with our cooktop. While there's no gas to the house right now, we plan to bury a propane tank in the backyard so we have propane for our fireplaces (no thank you to wood - what a mess). So we can go either way with the cooktop. Our daughter, who lives a few houses away from our new place, also does not have gas to her house (this part of the neighborhood does not), so they opted for an induction cooktop. Yes, it's more expensive, and you have to buy new pots and pans (hey, the ones I have now I got over 40 years ago, so I'm not going to feel guilty about getting new pots and pans) that are compatible with induction cooking. I've used her cooktop several times when we've been visiting, but I'm wondering how others feel about their induction cooktops.
Are there any cons I'm missing, other than the cost? I REALLY like the idea of wiping up messes off of the glass top after cooking, as opposed to taking apart a gas cooktop and getting in all of the crevices to get it clean.
For those who have induction, what do you think? Would you do it again?
10 comments posted: Thursday, March 2nd, 2023
In light of our upcoming move later this year to the East Coast, I am researching new psychiatrists. When we moved to the West Coast 4.5 years ago, I grieved so much for my Midwest psychiatrist - she was phenomenal. It took me a couple of tries when we got here, but I found someone who I can work with now. When we first got to SoCal, I was a little over a year out from that even which shall not be named here, and the relocation did a number on me. I ended up in the hospital for a week and a half, about two months after we arrived. Let's just say, there was a lot going on in my life.
We will be six years out from 'that' event when we move again. But I am worried about the reality of making another major transition, even though this one will put me four doors down from our daughter, SIL and grandson. I've gotten the names of several psychiatrists very convenient to where we will be living, and have begun reaching out to them. I got the names from the college friend (who's a psychiatrist no longer accepting new patients but practices in the town we will be moving to, so she's familiar with the options) of my former psychiatrist in the Midwest who I adored. I've heard back from two of them (I just reached out on Friday). One of them lists on her website that she only sees patients between 18-65; I will be 63 this April, so when I emailed her, I asked her about her limitations of 65+. She replied back that she only treat patients up to age 65 as she's not able to see patients with Medicare for insurance reasons. I'm very confused. I understand that she doesn't take Medicare (none of the people I was referred to accept insurance - they're all out-of-network and I knew that to find someone I liked, that's the route I would have to go. But what if someone who has Medicare wanted to pay cash for her services? Why would she not see patients over 65 if the patient was paying out-of-pocket? I will not work with a psychiatrist that only does 15-20 medication management appointments. I want someone who is trained in psychotherapy even if I decide to use someone else for therapy. I know it's a dying art, but there are still some out there.
So can someone explain to me how Medicare works if you choose to see someone who doesn't accept Medicare? This might affect other providers I need to find. FWIW, we will have H's medical insurance (Blue Shield CA) until he retires, which won't probably happen for another 2-3 years (he's a year younger than me). If he does retire before then, we have the option of picking up his previous employer's medical insurance through the pension plan. It's really good insurance.
18 comments posted: Monday, February 27th, 2023
What documents/papers do you save and for how long - clutter clearing
I am pretty good at Marie Condo'ing my life; we've moved twice in the last six years, one cross-country. So I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff and feel pretty satisfied with my progress in that area.
But I really have a problem with all of my paperwork. I do try to keep up with shredding it, but I think some of the stuff I have can be destroyed. I mean, we have paperwork from the sale of our house six years ago, and we've lived in two different homes since. That's just an example. I have over ten years of tax returns, statements from financial institutions (credit union, bank accounts that were closed years ago, investments we no longer have, etc.). I know the smart thing would be do scan all of this stuff and save it that way, then shred the hard copies, but that really seems overwhelming. I'd have to buy a dedicated scanner to do that, too.
Does anyone have a responsible/reputable published guideline as to what to keep and what to save? We will be moving across country again later this year, and I'd like to tackle this task, slowly over time so that it's done before we move.
11 comments posted: Wednesday, February 8th, 2023
Countdown to the Winter Solstice
Only two more days!! Who’s excited to see more daylight minutes?!? 🙋♀️
9 comments posted: Sunday, December 18th, 2022
Dog behavior issue
Our dog will be 11 next month. He recently began a new behavior that we're at a loss about.
The morning routine is, H always gets up hours before I do. He dresses in the bathroom, and when he walks out of the bedroom, pooch follows him, and hangs with him while H is making his lunch for the day. H feeds pooch and lets him out to potty. Right before H leaves for work, he comes back to our bedroom and opens the door, so pooch can come back in, jump up on the bed and he has always gone back to sleep until I'm ready to get up.
About a month or so ago, after H let pooch back into our bedroom, pooch would jump up on the bed, but when he'd see H leave, he'd follow him out to the living room. He wouldn't stay in our bedroom, even if I would give him some nice scratches and rubs. He'd go to the dining room French doors, sit there, and just bark at the outside. Sometimes, if I use my sternest voice and yell at him, he will go back to our bedroom with me, but by the time I've done this, I'm so frustrated that when I get back in bed, I have a hard time going back to sleep. So my sleep has been poor the last month.
I decided a couple of mornings to let him bark it out, and see how long he'd do that. Yep, a full hour before he'd give up and come join me in the bedroom. Then he'd crawl up on my legs and go back to sleep; I would, too, if I'd been barking that long.
Then it occurred to me that pooch is barking... because it's dark outside! Once the sun comes up and it starts to get bright outside, that's when he's returning to the bedroom (which, BTW, has blackout curtains). So there's something anxiety-provoking to him about looking out the French doors, into the darkness. This is the first winter he's done this.
I know he's not responding to anything he's hearing outside because his hearing is terrible. He has long, furry ears and he really doesn't respond to noises (doorbell, door knock, phone ringing, etc.). We can return home from errands, he can be asleep 20' from the door on the couch, and we can walk in, start putting groceries away, etc., and he doesn't budge from his nap. He only really wakes up when his smell kicks in that we're home. Then he jumps down off of the couch and greets us.
We have a bark collar - the kind that vibrates, not shocks. Our daughter recommended it to us a couple of years ago when we were having issues with him barking at other pets walking in front of our house. But I never liked putting it on him, so it's been sitting in a drawer. That's an option we might try on Monday.
So this morning, H got up after it was light outside, fed pooch and let him out to potty. Then he left for the grocery store before I was awake, not letting pooch back into our bedroom. He found pooch on the couch, asleep when he returned from the grocery store, and he never barked once while H was gone, which is leading me to the 'barking at the dark' theory I've developed.
There's not much we can do about dark mornings right now, and I'm not going to start getting up in the mornings when it's still dark out. Any suggestions/insight? I've probably left out something, but this is the best summary I can think of right now.
21 comments posted: Sunday, December 18th, 2022
Questions about lead paint in older homes
The house that we’re buying near our daughter on the East Coast was built in the 1950s (yea, new by their standards). We close in early December, and have a lead paint test scheduled for the next day. Our realtor has told us that, since the house was built before 1978, it’s highly likely to have lead paint.
Our plan (I’m using the term lightly) was to rent the house for a while, while we work with an architect, designer, and builder to come up with a plan to enlarge it and renovate what is there. But evidently MA is one of the most strict states when it comes to renting to families with children under 7, where there is lead paint.
We have a potential renter - the friend of our D, who has a baby. They are doing some work on their house and need a temporary short-term rental, which would work great for us, as we only want short-term while we take care of all the pre- construction tasks. The potential renters know that we will be getting it tested for lead paint, and understand the strict MA laws, but say they want to rent even if there is lead paint.
I reached out to our real estate attorney, who said it’s a very risky move on our part - that disclosing the presence of lead paint does not protect us legally in MA. So if the house has lead paint, we have to find some way to remediate it quickly if we want this renter.
This whole idea of lead paint is foreign to us. What are the possibilities of what they could find when they test, and are there any remediation options, other than replacing windows and doors? We’re going to be replacing windows when we remodel (they’re currently single-pane), so we don’t want to do that now. Besides, I think there’s a supply chain issue with windows, so it might take longer to get any in, than the potential renters would be willing to wait.
What are some questions we could be researching at this time?
5 comments posted: Friday, November 11th, 2022
Living in close (really close) proximity to your adult children
The last couple of days have been roller-coaster wild.
Our plan has always been to relocate to the east coast when H retires. We now live about 15 minutes from our younger daughter, but she and her H are choosing not to have children, and will not be staying in our area more than a few years more before locating 300 miles further north. We want to live near our grandchild (who will likely have a sibling down the road). Both daughters have been aware that this was our ultimate goal.
When we were visiting D, we met with her realtor to feel the market out, wanting to learn more about the local market and how we might find a good fit. But we had no intentions of buying anything within a year or two at the earliest. Our parameters were: within a 15-minute radius of our daughter, and single-level living so we can age in place. We were more than willing to buy a diamond in the rough and put some work into it. In their market, smaller, one-level homes are notoriously being snatched up by builders, putting in 5,000 sq. ft. homes on 1/4 acre lots, so we knew the search would be tough.
Two weeks ago, a 'Coming Soon' sign appeared on the front yard of a house across the street and four houses down, a single-level living. D reached out to us immediately, got us the realtor's name, put our realtor in touch with the listing realtor, and unbelievably, we got an offer accepted yesterday! We totally expected this process to be long and competitive; to be fair, there were four other offers, two from builders, but we won (both H and I, and our D and SIL submitted love letters to the owner). So we bought a house with only two FaceTime tours, one with an inspector! I know, call us crazy.
We will get the house rental ready and rent it out until we are ready to move - the rental market is very strong in their area, too.
Over the weekend, our grandson got a nasty case of RSV, is very sick, and we realized even more, how much we want to be nearby. It's been really hard watching my D on FaceTime crying out of fear and exhaustion. Hopefully he will make a turn today, but since this weekend, they've had a doctor's appt., and been to the ER.
So because of what H and I have been through, which will not be discussed on this thread, we have become much better at setting boundaries, and have discussed that we will need to have ongoing communication with D and SIL regarding boundaries, going both ways. But neither H or I, or D and SIL have ever lived near grandparents - they were always a three-hour drive away, or a plane flight away, so this whole idea of our living a 90-second walk away is a bit intimidating. We've made it clear we will not be their daycare, and they weren't expecting that. But we are sort of at a loss as to what kinds of boundaries we should be discussing.
FWIW...while we look forward to being part of their raising their kids, we also know that, down the line, when we are older and need more help, they will be nearby, although we won't expect them to become our caregivers.
So what kinds of things should we be discussing between H and I, that we can come to agreement on before we even move out there.
19 comments posted: Thursday, October 20th, 2022
Update your Apple products software
Lots of people haven't heard about this, but if you have any Apple devices, you need to do this to avoid two security vulnerabilities that have been actively exploited. One story I heard is that millions of people have had their devices seriously compromised.
Just your friendly poster trying to inform people with Apple devices.
ZID: 646249 (async 300x250)
2 comments posted: Friday, August 19th, 2022
Wilting flower bouquet needs help
We frequent the weekly farmer's markets in our area and really enjoy our haul each week. Yesterday we passed by a booth that had $7 fresh cut bouquets that looked lovely... it had a couple of hydrangeas, a bird of paradise, and some greenery. I got one bouquet for me, and another for D2, who we always stop by and see after the farmer's market because it's close to her house. She immediately put her bouquet in some water, but mine sat out in the car for the hour or so that we were visiting with them. As soon as we got home, I cut all the stems at a diagonal, and put them in a vase with water - they were already looking a bit wilty, but I figured once I cut the stems and got them in water, they'd perk up.
As I finished putting the last stem in the vase, I looked down and saw ants all over my kitchen counter - obviously coming from the flowers or greenery. So I took the bouquet outside and put it on the patio dining table, which is not in direct sun, but it was hot yesterday (mid 90s). The flowers never perked up, and continued to wilt, so this morning I brought them inside, making sure all the ants were gone, cut some of the stems again, and waited. Part of one of the hydrangeas is just barely starting to open back up, but everything else looks as it did yesterday.
Could the heat of being in the car have doomed my bouquet? Then I added fire to the fuel by moving the vase outside when I found the ants? When I bought the bouquet, they did not provide any water in the plastic sleeve they put the arrangement in. But they had been in water when we got them.
I got D the exact same bouquet, and hers is fine. I'd like to start buying flowers each week at the farmer's market, but want to make sure I do what I need to to make sure they last. I've had hydrangeas in arrangements coming from a florist that have lasted well over a week. Obviously I did something wrong.
7 comments posted: Monday, August 1st, 2022
4th of July parade mass shooting
I'm just devastated by this last shooting. Without giving too many details that would identify me, we know the area very, very well, and in fact the shooter lived within easy walking distance of where we used to live, but not in the same town. We were just in shock yesterday as the images played on TV and we recognized many of the shops and restaurants we used to frequent. The hospital where they took most of the victims is very familiar to me; I've been to that ER.
I knew it was a matter of time before I started reading updates on my FB page that people knew people who were there (thankfully, no one I knew was there, that I know of at this point). One friend had a member of her temple killed. For the past 15 years, this friend has volunteered with EMT services at this parade, except for twice... and yesterday was the second time, so she wasn't there. She said she is always stationed at exactly the intersection where the shooting happened, but she was traveling this year, so literally dodged a bullet. Another friend had a professional colleague killed. Another friend's neighbor was there, walking with Rep. Brad Schneider's group, but they were all safe. These people's lives will be changed forever... not that other lives from other mass shootings aren't changed, but this time, it hits so close to home.
I was just sick to my stomach yesterday.
19 comments posted: Tuesday, July 5th, 2022
5 years out
Somehow I always feel the need to post when I hit a significant anniversary. It was five years ago today that I kicked H out of our home; the trickle truth began and took three months. Those three months are such a blur now, but I know it was incredibly painful, and I became severely depressed. While I still struggle with some anxiety (I had anxiety issues even before H's infidelity), it is so much better than it was in those early days and weeks.
We are about to become first-time grandparents in the next couple of weeks, so it will start another new chapter in our lives. I look forward to a transition and new identity that doesn't have anything to do with what happened five years ago, something joyful. I'd been soooooo afraid that our daughter would have the baby on today's anniversary date, and it would be tainted, but that's not going to happen as of an hour ago! So we're in the clear for an exciting time.
I've been an outlier in the recovery continuum. We read a lot about how it takes 3-5 years to heal; when years 3 and 4 came along and things still didn't feel settled, I began to worry. But I know I/we're in a much better place than we were a year ago. At year 5, I can meet new people and not feel the urge to blurt out, "I have PTSD, thanks to my H." I think that's a sign of healing. I'm looking forward to more healing in the years to come.
And with that, I've done my due diligence in documenting my experience.
8 comments posted: Friday, June 10th, 2022
Royal Family shenanigans at the Queens' Jubilee.
Whether you're a royal family follower or not, a couple of videos from this weekend are absolutely entertaining... the ones of Prince Louis in particular.
Anyone else see them?
The first one showcasing his personality is the one of the flypast during the Queen's Jubilee celebration. The look on his face, on the balcony, standing next to the queen, with hands over his ears is hilarious. Kate did her part by cracking up at his reaction.
The second one is of him giving smack to his mom, who tries to redirect his antics... him giving her the brush off as they sat in the stands.
I mean, maybe they should have left him at home, but how many times will this wee little tyke get to celebrate a Queen's Jubilee? I'm glad he was included.
21 comments posted: Monday, June 6th, 2022
Texas elementary school shooting
I'm just shaking, in a more visceral way than I did with Sandy Hook.
Maybe it's because my first grandchild is due in a month.
It has to stop. Why won't lawmakers do anything?? (that's a rhetorical question).
14 dead, some children. More hospitalized where the death rate could go up.
It has to stop.
12 comments posted: Tuesday, May 24th, 2022
It finally happened to our dog - encounter with a skunk.
I think it must be Friday, the 13th still somewhere... H went to let our pooch out to potty around 2:15AM, and he got sprayed. I could smell it in the house before H even got in to tell me. I grabbed the hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and Dawn and passed them through the door. H is outside with him now rubbing it in his coat for 20 minutes before the first rinse. He's really not going to like it when the cold water from the hose hits him.😤
I did fill up a bucket of lukewarm water to pass outside, but most of the rinsing will have to come from the hose. Thankfully it's still 70° out at 2:45AM. And of course, H has it on him, too, so he'll have to shower and scrub when he comes in.
8 comments posted: Saturday, May 14th, 2022
Travel triggers have come up
One of my cousins died this afternoon. It was not unexpected, but I'm sad, nonetheless. I was probably closer to her than any of my own brothers (I had no sisters). I'm waiting word on arrangements. I've known this day was coming as she'd been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer that was now terminal.
She lives in a city where H traveled to with his last affair partner, when he had a work trip toward the end of the affair. It was in that city that his AP got pregnant, and then a few weeks later had an abortion. H and I are doing pretty well in recovery - it's been almost five years since D-Day. But this particular city is a horrible trigger for me. We actually lived in this city for a year, early on in our marriage, when he did a post-doc. When we moved, I was ready to get out (actually the whole state makes me cringe, as a lot of my childhood PTSD took place there). I had a difficult pregnancy there, and the family I did have there (not this cousin), was pretty absent, even when we were in crisis. So the city has bad memories for me, prior to my finding out about the trip with the AP and the pregnancy. I have only been back to this city when my nephew died in 2007.
But I loved this cousin very much, and it will pain me not to go pay my respects at the funeral/memorial. One of her sisters (who I also loved very much) died a year ago, and I couldn't go as I hadn't qualified for the COVID vaccine yet, and I wasn't going to fly four hours to this area. It was very upsetting for me not to be there. So I've unwaveringly decided I'm going to go. I've asked H to go with me, because I can't go alone (anxiety issues are a real problem for me right now). He said I didn't even need to ask, that he'd do whatever I needed him to do. Because I've had time to think about this trip, I've played around with which airport I want to fly into. My cousin's house is closer to DFW, but I know that's the airport H flew into with the AP. We can fly into Love Field, but that will be further away from cousin's house. I think this is the option we need to choose (again, H says he'll do whatever I need to do to help us get through this).
H has asked me how he can support me during this time, meaning when we're there, and honestly, I don't know what to tell him, because I don't know how being there is going to effect me. Do I just grin and bear it while I'm there (there will be a lot of family around so it's possible I could be distracted)? Or ask for something from him in particular.
10 comments posted: Monday, April 11th, 2022
Let's talk grandparenting!
I know many of us here are newly recent grandparents, and some of us are inching closely to that milestone. I'd love to be in communication with others who are in this stage of their lives.
So let's open this up with, how old are your grandchildren if you have any, or when (approximately) are your grandchildren due?
And can I quickly add, damn, pregnancy and childbirth have changed so much since I had mine, but I guess that's a good thing as it improves outcomes.
I'll start... D1 due in ten weeks. Our first!
110 comments posted: Saturday, April 9th, 2022
Do you Wordle?
First and foremost, no spoilers here. Please do not give hints to any answer on the day of that puzzle.
So, who's doing Wordle? I was almost a month late joining the game. I'll have to admit, I was a bit intimidated. But once I started playing and figured out my own strategy, then it became a lot of fun. H, D2 and I share answers via text when we've played, but it's not a competition (vs. D1 and her spouse, who, sheesh, are very competitive). It's just interesting to see how other people start out, then get to the answer. At one point H told me his starting word (I think when he was showing me how he played), so I told him he had to change it up; I think he has. I don't want any advantages - want to know I can get it on my own.
I've had a couple of times where I didn't get it at all, and a few times where I've gotten it in 3. I haven't broken the 2 barrier yet, but I known several people who have gotten it in 2. I alter my starting word, depending on my mood that day.
How do you Wordle?
And yup, I'm aware of all the other games that have arisen since Wordle, including Nerdle, Qurodle, Octordle, etc. You could literally spend all day on these puzzles, so I'm just sticking with Wordle.
52 comments posted: Wednesday, March 23rd, 2022
Anyone been to baseball spring training?
During the pandemic, we became more of baseball fans than we ever had, since it was something to watch on TV. We have about 3-4 teams that we follow closely.
We have a trip scheduled next week to Phoenix to visit some friends and decided we might try to do some spring training games. We truly don't know what to expect. I know there are many venues in the Phoenix area and we'll likely have to go to a few to see the teams we want to see. Any tips for making it more enjoyable? I gather that some stadiums have grassy areas to sit on as opposed to regular seats.
11 comments posted: Friday, March 18th, 2022
What would you do? Therapist conflict
I will try not to bring in that subject which shall not be named on this forum, but here's the dilemma. Mods, feel free to move if necessary.
About a year after full disclosure, we relocated across country to our new home, and got a referral for a new couple's therapist from my new individual therapist. We've been seeing her for over three years now, and she eventually referred me to a new therapist when I got too stressed out over the commute I had to make to see new therapist #1. So I am on IC #2, and H also got a referral for his new IC from this couple's therapist.
Let me be transparent, I still miss our couple's therapist from our previous home. I really, really connected with her. Here's what happened - a couple of weeks ago, couple's therapist mentioned in passing (somehow the topic of Instagram had come up, I think that of one of my Ds, and how IG can play a role in keeping in touch with people we don't see) she has an IG following, then said she has a private account and a public account. I didn't think much of it that week, but for some reason, the following week (after we'd seen her again), I was goofing around and her comment came to me. I 100% thought, hey, she wouldn't have mentioned it to me if it weren't a professional account. I have various friends who have IG accounts that they use for education, so I thought I'd see what couple's therapist was posting.
Things went wrong very quickly. When I googled her name and Instagram, the first account that came up is a personal/private account (account #1) that is actually very, very personal. On that account #1, there's a link to a professional account (account #2), where she shares professional stuff regarding therapy, etc.
As I scrolled through #1, there were dozens of pictures and videos of her pole dancing, in very provocative clothing... two-piece outfits with bottoms that really didn't cover her butt. I am aware that some women are getting into pole dancing as a form of exercise, and I can't judge her for doing that. But on this #1 account, she also had some still photos of her posing very sexually... basically crotch shots, again in very little clothing. And her leaning across the front grille of a car, with her butt to the camera, and her looking over her shoulder. And again, not much covering the butt - probably the equivalent of a thong.
At first, I felt incredibly confused; I mean, why would someone I have a professional relationship with tell me about their IG following? And bait me with, well, one is public and one is private. In truth, they're BOTH public, because anyone can see them. Also, aside from the pictures on her IG, you can look at the pole dancing studio's IG account, and there are many pictures of her on that, too. What it boils down to is, all these videos and pictures are very sexually provocative and it is highly inappropriate for her to have mentioned the accounts to us. These are huge boundary violations to me, especially given that part of H's acting out was looking at pornography (which he no longer does). I mean, she refers to herself as a couple's therapist, and yes, is also a sex therapist. So I just sort of assumed she had a colorful sex life with her partner, but I don't need visual confirmation of that.
I.just.don't.get.it. Why do people go out of their way, to have other people take provocative and sexual pictures and videos of themselves, and POST THEM PUBLICLY??? And then, if you're a professional therapist, TELL your patients about it???
So the next day I told H about the information I'd found - we talked about it, and are really on the same page, that this is highly unprofessional, and unethical. I wanted to talk about it with my IC, but she was out of the office last week, so I won't see her until Monday. Because I couldn't talk to my IC about it, and how to handle it, we canceled our appt. with our couple's therapist last week, but will see her the day after I see my IC next week. I've made up my mind today it will be a termination appt. H mentioned all this to his IC when he saw her this week, and she knew exactly what he was talking about, and alluded that she'd found out from other therapists she networks with. She found it in very poor judgment and was very vocal with H on what she thought of it... that it's very unprofessional for her to be posting these kinds of pictures/videos for anyone in the public to easily see. So we've got one confirmation from another professional that this is wrong on many different levels.
Once you see these pictures, you can't just unsee them; she made the professional relationship untenable by implicitly directing us to this information about her activities. And what pisses me off even more is, now we have to find someone new to work with, and start over again, which is going to cost us time and money. One friend (who's a therapist) suggested we ask her to partly defray the cost of what it take to get us up to speed with a new therapist. I believe she does owe us something - it was her abysmal lack of judgment that is forcing us into finding someone new.
I'm mostly just venting here; yes, I'm judging someone for something they do outside of their professional life, but then don't make it public when you're a couple's therapist working with infidelity-laden relationships. It really just disgusts me. This is also now calling me to doubt the relationship I have with my IC because I got her name from the couple's therapist. Monday will be a big test for my IC, seeing how she handles this revelation I share with her. Ultimately, it may lead to my having to look for a new therapist, too.
22 comments posted: Friday, March 11th, 2022
Need manicotti advice
Tomorrow we are celebrating a family member's birthday. She has requested my ages-old recipe for stuffed shells. However, H hit up SIX grocery stores today, looking for jumbo pasta shells, and EVERY shelf was empty. And for some reason, at every store, they were on sale. Not sure what is going on, but we have to move to plan B, which is using manicotti shells. I've never cooked, much less stuffed, manicotti shells before. I'm hoping someone can give me some tips.
The stuffing will be a mixture of 1/2 lb. each, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, and 1 c. sour cream. After they're stuffed, we will spread marinara sauce on top and bake in the oven until cheeses are melted.
I do not own a pastry bag.
Any suggestions on how I can prevent this from becoming a disaster?
5 comments posted: Saturday, March 5th, 2022
yup, site is broken
I can read, but whenever I hit 'post reply to topic', it directly leads to starting a new topic. I have a MacBook Air, and am operating on Safari. Same thing happens when I'm on my iPhone.
I signed out of SI, closed my browser, and reopened everything. Nothing works. This started last night, and hasn't changed this morning.
10 comments posted: Friday, February 25th, 2022
Can we talk about the Ukraine/Russian war without it becoming political?
I'm sort of freaking out tonight. I've been following this story for several weeks now, even before the Olympics. I'm sitting here trying to figure out if I should come up with some sort of plan in case there's some sort of nuclear attack on our country. Tonight, Putin alluded to something 'never seen before in history' toward countries that interfere with his actions. I have been doing a lot of reading about Ukraine, familiarizing myself with its geography/people/history.
I have friends from Russia, who have family still in Russia, and our friends have absolutely horrible things to say about Putin. He's evil personified. I believe he would take the world down if he thought he was going down.
Seriously, if there's a nuclear attack, what can you do? I never thought, in my lifetime, that I'd see the threats of this kind that were this worrisome.
Can someone talk me down?
Does anyone here have any loved ones in Ukraine? It must be terrifying, although they saw it coming... but really, this massive in just a few hours?
31 comments posted: Thursday, February 24th, 2022
Anyone here have any Oofos recovery shoes?
Dang, after a long hike (well, long for us), my feet need to be in something other than my hiking shoes/boots when we get back to the car. My hiking shoes/boots are extremely comfortable, but when we're done and I take them off, I need something cushy to put my feet in.
In the past, I've known people who have worn Oofos, and really liked them (especially post-running). So what makes them so special? How do they compare to Crocs? I have a relatively narrow foot, although I can manage with medium width shoes most of the time. Would my foot wear these well? I'm thinking about ordering some online, but would like to hear from others.
6 comments posted: Sunday, February 13th, 2022
Peach tree nets
D and her husband have a peach tree in their yard that they planted a couple of years ago (yes they bought it despite being told how difficult it is to bring peaches to ripening). My life is all about peaches. I'll eat pretty much anything that has peaches in it. Thankfully we're now in a climate that allows for fresh peaches from about May through October!! They are abundant at our farmer's markets during those months.
Anyway, every year, this peach tree has blossomed beautifully, and small peaches begin to grow. But then the critters get to them... not sure if it's the birds or squirrels (or both). And the poor tree has yet to produce one fully ripened peach.
I am going to change that this year. D mentioned you can buy nets to put over the trees to keep the critters from getting the fruit when it's small. I would have no idea where to look, or how to find, or how to pick such a net.
Can anyone here direct me in the right direction. It's blooming right now, so I think I have a few weeks before it starts to fruit. I'm guessing peach trees aren't the only fruit trees that get pilfered. So how do I know what to get?
8 comments posted: Thursday, February 3rd, 2022
The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body...
Was wondering if anyone has read this book by Bessel A. van der Kolk? Thoughts? WH is reading it right now, but he's reading it from a different perspective than I am (BW). I have very early childhood (infant, toddler) medical trauma, as well as affair trauma. His trauma is parents who were alcoholics.
9 comments posted: Monday, February 24th, 2020