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Scott has gone off to teach our niece and a couple of her friends how to play D&D. I'm chipping away at certain bits of household chores that have needed doing for quite a while as well as working on more urgent things. I was considering taking a bit of a walk, but it's too hot out there for me. Maybe this evening.

Before he left, Scott brought up one of the boxes of junk from the basement. I've almost finished sorting that. Most of it is trash, but I've got a grocery bag of stuff to donate and a grocery bag of Cordelia's old report cards and certificates and school work. Scott wants to keep all of those papers, but we don't have a defined place for them. I want something other than a paper bag for storage.

There are a lot of index cards in the bottom of the bag. I'm not quite sure what to do with them. We might still use them, but they're loose and kind of grimy. I'm pretty sure Scott would want me to keep them, but... I think that the bottom of the box has mouse droppings all over, so I'm inclined to pitch them and the box.

I also found Cordelia's 3DS which she had apparently never realized was missing. I didn't find the stylus, but I suppose that's easy enough to replace if she gives it away or donates it.

I have no clue at all why there's a rock the size of my fist at the bottom of the box. It's gray, dirty, and ugly, and I don't recall anything that would have given us something of the sort as a souvenir. I feel ridiculous putting it in the trash, but putting it in the yard will just mean the lawnmower hits it the next time Scott mows. I can't see myself walking to the science and nature center or to the railroad tracks in order to put it down.

I kind of want to write, but I'm not sure I have sufficient brain for it just now. Last night was not great for sleep, and I had to be up with Cordelia this morning.

I have managed to find my cloth sling and am wearing it so that I don't keep using my left arm. I'm hoping that the elbow will start to recover if I can just keep it still.

The results of my blood draw on Monday are mixed. My blood sugar is stable, but for the first time ever, I have high(ish) cholesterol and triglycerides. I was expecting my A1c to have gone up because my diet, with regard to sugar, has been terrible during the last few months as I've struggled to keep myself functioning. My blood pressure at my appointment today was 98/63, so that's still fine. It bounces around a bit, but it's never once gone higher than 110/80 which I've been assured is still solidly in the middle of the normal range.
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A book I thought I could renew suddenly has a hold on it. All copies are checked out, so the one I have that’s due today is actually needed. I might be able to finish the dratted thing, but I’m not sure I will. I’ve only got fifteen minutes left to watch on a DVD that’s due today, so I probably will finish that before we go to the library.

We have to make that trip earlier than we normally would because Scott’s parents are expecting us mid-afternoon. Scott’s sister’s birthday is this week, so this is to celebrate that. We need to fit in flu shots before we go, too. Scott wanted to do those yesterday, but Cordelia asked for a day’s notice, and we only told her yesterday.

We ended up going to IHOP for dinner last night. I had pumpkin spice pancakes and turkey bacon (I didn’t dare go with regular bacon at that time of night because of reflux issues). I know I shouldn’t have because of the blood sugar issues, but this is something we do once every three or four months, and I’m not quite ready to give it up. We tend not to go to IHOP weekend mornings because the wait is always more than half an hour. When we go in the evening, there’s no wait, and we get our food in under ten minutes.

My hands have been cramping, and I can’t figure out why. I haven’t been doing anything new or different. On both hands, it’s the bit between the base of my thumb and my wrist. It’s more my right hand than my left, I think, but that may be because I use my right hand for more things and so notice it more.

I need to try sock glue again because, if I can’t use it, most of my socks are useless. Knee socks were okay when I wore stretch pants under a dress because the pants held up the socks. I’m now wearing loose pants, so the knee socks end up bunched under the arches of my feet after about two minutes of walking around. They’re not terrible if I stay in the house and only walk to the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom, but if I walk to Cordelia’s school, I have to pull them up three times on the way there.

The difficulty is that I have lots of knee socks and lots of ankle socks and only about three pairs of intermediate length. I paid $8-$10 for each pair of knee socks, too, so I’d like to wear them out. Also, they’re pretty. I don’t think I’ll try sock glue today, given that we’ll be away from home for hours, but tomorrow is definitely an option.

There’s something else I was planning to try tomorrow, and now I can’t remember what it was. I just remember that it’s something I was worried might give me physiological problems and didn’t want to try on a day when we’ll be in the car a lot. Oh, I know! Scott bought some Mio, and I looked at the ingredients and didn’t see anything that I know I can’t have, so I thought I’d try it because, if my body’s okay with it (and if I like it), it would give me some options for drinking something that tastes different.
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Drat. I have no idea what to do for a sweetener. I can’t have sucralose or aspartame or sugar alcohols. Now, I’m discovering that stevia has issues because I have problems with the bulking agents added to it in processing. Whole Foods adds maltodextrin which is actually high glycemic which defeats the purpose of using stevia (I only found that out a few days ago. I’d think the nutritionist might have warned me). Sweetleaf brand adds inulin which is fine glycemically but seems to give me gas and diarrhea even in quite small quantities (a single packet). All of the other brands I can find add sugar alcohols which give me worse issues than inulin seems to.

Oh, and apparently one’s not supposed to have processed inulin if one has a ragweed allergy because it’s usually processed from plants closely related to ragweed (chicory, mostly).

On the plus side, the problems from the Sweetleaf stevia mix have completely stopped the problems I had from Zoloft. Um… Yea?
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Okay, I’ve been groggy all day, but I had eight ounces of orange juice with psyllium husks about an hour ago, and I’ve slowly started to feel better. I can’t have the psyllium within one hour, either direction, of taking medicine, though, so that’s not viable as an early morning thing.

Scott has been on the phone with Comcast for about three hours now. The difficulties getting our service going appear to be entirely bureaucratic and rather Catch-22 in nature. Scott’s talked to three or four different people without getting things sorted and is currently on hold. The impression I’m getting from listening is that the support people really don’t have any clue what to do with someone who’s trying to set up a bundled service.

Now Comcast is telling us that they thought we were at a different address (we’ve lived here for twenty years) and that we have a request for some sort of service on the outside line at this address. They also seem to have not closed our old account (which we asked them to do in June) even while they opened the new one, and the equipment got put on the old account and so couldn’t be activated under the new account.

We have an hour and a half left before the library closes. I have one hold to pick up, and it doesn’t expire until Wednesday, but I’d still like to get it today. We’ve got two DVD sets that must be returned before the library opens tomorrow, but that’s easy to do even after the library closes.
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Ugh. Coffee with whole milk and stevia is pretty disgusting. Neither the milk nor the stevia mellow the coffee anywhere near enough, and the stevia adds an extra layer of ick on top— I had a swallow of coffee more than five minutes ago, and I can still taste the stevia. I haven’t managed to choke down even a quarter of my cup, and it’s been an hour.

I have no idea what other options I have for getting this much caffeine without sugar or artificial sweeteners (pure stevia is the only one I can have). Black tea might be possible, but I’d need a heck of a lot more of that to get the same level of caffeination. At half an hour a mug, how much time would I need for that? I’m also suspicious that caffeine without sugar won’t do anything to help me wake up and think.

The last time I stopped caffeine was right after my gall bladder surgery, six or seven years ago. I did that deliberately because I was pretty sure that I’d be too out of it to notice the withdrawal headache, and that worked. The thing is that without drinking coffee (with sugar!) every morning, I ended up having to nap every morning, losing about three hours out of my day every single day and running into problems with doctor/dentist appointments because the best time to schedule them was late morning, at least in terms of getting home in time to pick Cordelia up from school. I also didn’t do very much writing because school day mornings are the best time for that. Afternoons involve lunch and exercise time and are generally broken up into pieces too small for me to use. Also Cordelia comes home an hour earlier now than she did then.

Right now, I’m wondering if I could manage being awake and doing things in between when Scott gets up and when Cordelia leaves for school and then nap because I’m pretty sure the fact that I seldom get much sleep during those three hours is a big factor in my needing either coffee or a nap. The biggest problem is that I’d be stuck in the bedroom for most of that time because Scott naps in the living room and because Cordelia really, really doesn’t want me awake while she’s getting ready for school. I think we could compromise in terms of me being awake as long as I keep the bedroom door closed.

Tumblr sent me a we’re about to give away your user name email to get me to log in. I debated whether or not to bother but ended up doing it just to keep my user name. I don’t know that this will make me visit Tumblr with any regularity because I find it overwhelming. I’ve thought about trying to disable the images there, but if I do that, is there any point in Tumblr at all?

We turned up the ceiling fan in the bedroom last night. That helped some but not as much as I’d hoped. I slept middling well. I’m still really exhausted (and the lack of coffee/sugar isn’t helping). I think that I’m going to have to push for changing the AC at night.

Cordelia spent most of yesterday with Scott’s family. They didn’t end up going out in the boat because it rained, but they played a lot of Telestrations and some card games and had dinner. Scott and I met his sister in Brighton to retrieve Cordelia and bring her home.
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Well, the nutritionist had a few concrete suggestions. She wants me to get away from using sweetened creamer in my coffee. She thinks whole milk might work and then try stevia in place of the sugar in the creamer. My suspicion is that, done like that, the only thing that coffee will actually do for me is to keep me from getting a caffeine withdrawal headache. She wants me to add a bit of psillium (sp?) husk powder to my orange juice so that the sugar hits much, much more slowly. She wants me to find a way to sleep uninterrupted for long enough not to feel the need for sugar to help me wake up.

She didn’t have any suggestions for the brain fog/fatigue, but she did understand why I’m not willing to pursue gastric bypass options (for GERD and weight loss).

She seemed to believe me when I talked about how different foods affect me physically. I got the impression that she’d really like me to do an elimination diet of some sort to see which foods really give me IBS and/or GERD problems and what kind. I don’t think she understood when I tried to explain that my anxiety levels affect that enough that something can be okay one month and not the next.

She was pleased that I’m reliably walking ten to fifteen minutes a day. She thought that that should make me sleep better, but I’ve been doing it for months, and it doesn’t at all.

She strongly suggested turning up the AC at night given that overheating seems to be a factor in my having problems falling asleep and that having problems falling asleep is pretty huge in terms of me not sleeping enough. She thinks that lack of sleep may be a big factor in my blood sugar issues.

Scott and Cordelia won’t be comfortable, but maybe I’ll be able to fall asleep faster. Right now, it takes anywhere between thirty minutes and two hours for me to fall asleep. That will be a huge problem when Cordelia goes back to school because she wakes me two or three times every morning (only once deliberately) and is getting up an hour and a half after Scott does.
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I can’t seem to wake up, and my muscles feel like cooked spaghetti. I’m trying to decide what to do about it— I could make more coffee, probably. That is, I made some earlier, and I think I could manage again. It’s just a matter of filling and heating the kettle. That sounds like a huge thing right now, though.

I could eat something, assuming I can force myself to prepare food. Right now, all I’ve had is some dry cereal and some orange juice because I couldn’t handle anything more complicated. It’s grocery day, so the options are extremely limited. I think dry cereal, dry bread, and almonds are all we’ve got that won’t require more than I’m able to do. I can’t deal with cutting up an apple or making instant oatmeal or canned soup or even with spreading something on a piece of bread.

I could try going for a walk (not guaranteed or even likely to help). It’s actually only about 65F outside right now, so maybe the temperature would wake me up. I don’t know. I’d probably make it out and back on sheer stubbornness and then collapse when I got home.

I could give up and go back to bed. I don’t want to do that. There’s stuff I actually want to do today and was looking forward to doing in a general way. It’s just that, right at the moment, I can’t do any of it. I can write here because I already had the document open and because it involves no decisions beyond word selection.

I have showered. That didn’t help at all on the wakefulness/energy front, but at least I’m clean. Maybe it will help if I try to gather dirty laundry. If I can get myself to do that, maybe food or coffee or a walk won’t seem so utterly impossible.

I’m not feeling particularly down or anxious. My best guess is that this is lingering effects from the migraine and, possibly, my blood sugar doing something screwy and not getting to my brain and muscles. I’ve had the medications I’m supposed to take at more or less the right times, and I slept about nine hours last night (anxiety dreams but still pretty solid sleep).

Scott is currently out, so I can’t ask him for assistance. He’s also not willing to make decisions for me, even when I’m like this. He’ll help if I ask for something specific and in detail. I don’t think he understands that I really can’t manage that when I’m like this.

Why are bodies so uncooperative?

ETA: Nothing hurts or anything, so I don’t feel particularly bad that way.
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I didn’t eat the right things at the right times yesterday. I was tired enough at the point I was looking for lunch that I ate a small bag of microwave popcorn and a little cheese. By the time Scott was talking about dinner, I was having trouble staying awake. I lay down and couldn’t find the energy to get up until Scott gave me a hand up. I had to have him help me get food. Fortunately, we had some bread. A slice of that with some margarine gave me enough energy to be able to heat up some meat and eat some green beans. A little bit after that, we had ice cream, and then I felt awake and fine. I managed to walk down to the church and hack the portal.

Cordelia and her friends watched The Empire Strikes Back yesterday evening. They were at someone else’s house, so Scott and I had some time to ourselves. Of course, it all got spent on me being exhausted and then us trying to figure out how to get the recording of the concert off my phone. My phone won’t talk to Scott’s laptop, not by cord and not by bluetooth. We started uploading the file to Google Drive, but it went very, very slowly. We started around 8:00, and it finished uploading at 6:30 this morning. Fortunately, leaving the range of our wifi just suspended the upload rather than killing it. I would have hated to miss my trip out to hack the church portal.

Some of that is that our internet was flaky. My laptop wanted an iTunes update around 5:00, and that failed four times in a row without telling me what had gone wrong. I finally gave up. I’ll probably try it on Monday or Tuesday when there’s less competition for bandwidth.

Today, Scott and I need to go to the bank, the post office, the Comcast office, the frame shop (to pick up a reframed print), and the library. I only absolutely need to be there for the bank and the library, so we’ll probably do those and the post office first since they’re all in one direction from our house. Cordelia’s not at all pleased that we’re cutting cable. There’s something she wanted to watch that will air on Sunday. It’ll come to Netflix eventually, but it’ll be a while. I’m not sure how long Disney sits on episodes of Girl Meets World.

I managed to finish filling out the genetic counseling forms. Well, sort of. It’s more that I hit a point of not caring if I had all the details right. My father doesn’t know his mother’s father’s name. The man died before Grandma was born, so it’s not like my father ever met him. I’m sure Grandma knows his first name, but it doesn’t seem important enough to call her. I’m kind of vaguely curious, but I know approximately when he died and that it was flu. My father’s father’s father apparently died of lung cancer, but he had smoked all of his life. His wife died after he did of a bad medication interaction in 1966.

I emailed my mother to ask about the cousin whose name I couldn’t remember— It’s James. I knew it was a pretty unremarkable, common (for my culture) boy’s name. I’d have sent the forms in without his name if I’d needed to. He’s about twenty five years younger than I am and healthy, and those two pieces of information matter more than his name.

I woke this morning with a migraine, and my legs ache like crazy. The latter is generally a sign that I’m way, way low on sleep, so I’m puzzled because it usually takes days of bad sleep to do that. The migraine may well be because I was stressed about needing to get up at a particular time this morning. Although, I’m not sure what the point of getting up at 8:00 was given that Scott’s been sitting with his laptop for over half an hour as opposed to getting ready to head out the door to start errands. He really ought to be pulling the Comcast equipment since that’s the one errand that can’t be done at any other time than today (it might be weeks before he next has time off while their office is open).
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I’m dithering. I’ve got twenty days to finish this WIP Big Bang story, and I can’t seem to write at all. I know that eating certain types of junk food will jumpstart my brain and let me write, but it’s terribly bad for me. It would just be so easy to have Scott pick up a bag of Cheetos and/or some cookies and/or some jellybeans. He’ll do it if I ask, but he won’t make the decision for me, and I really don’t want to make the decision.

It’s very easy to say that this is just once, but I’d really like to find a better way to work than playing stupid tricks with my blood sugar. Maybe if I can get a solid night of sleep tonight? Eating junk is a tactic I’ve employed successfully pretty often in the past when I was having trouble getting my brain to focus enough to write. I remember needing to chew sugary gum when I spent hours at the computer labs in college. Food wasn’t allowed, but gum was, and I went through a lot of it. At any rate, it goes that far back.

On the plus side, I had a little bit of fruit yesterday (about three slices of cooked peach), and I’m doing okay. I’ll try some more fruit later today, probably applesauce since that’s what we’ve got.
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On the plus side, my body has finally settled down in terms of the migraine. On the minus side, I’ve gotten nothing done beyond posting and reading here and emptying the dishwasher. Well, I fed myself, too— Hamburger for breakfast and collard greens with salt and mustard for lunch. I’ve been eating lunch very, very slowly over the last two hours or so, and I still haven’t finished. I suspect I won’t. I think that drinking a lot of water is what finally killed the nausea.

I got myself together to email my doctor about the food/fatigue/brain fog thing. I didn’t explicitly ask about seeing an endocrinologist, though. I couldn’t quite get myself to. I poked around online a bit. I found not a single website, in pages of results, that talks about fatigue/brain fog that is resolved by eating. Almost every single thing talked about having issues after eating particular foods which is not my issue in the slightest. The closest I got to my issue was stuff talking about eating disorders causing brain fog and fatigue in teenage girls.
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Yesterday was quite a good day. Scott and I dropped a box and bag of books at Cordelia’s school and two bags of books at the downtown library. We mailed three packages (I managed to misplace the receipt for that, so I haven’t emailed tracking numbers to the recipients yet. I will). We bought more bus tokens for Cordelia. Then we parked in the library structure and walked to State St to go to Totoro. It was unpleasantly warm, but I really needed the walk.

I had a salmon teriyaki bento. Scott had a chicken teriyaki bowl with vegetables and rice. My sister (the one who just had surgery) called right after we sat down. She and I arranged for me to call her back when we got home.

My sister seems to be recovering really well from her surgery. She sounded happy and energetic. From what she said, the main problem has been the gas left in her abdominal cavity. Oh, and the hospital transitioned her from I.V. painkillers to ibuprofen at OTC concentrations even though the doctor had given her a prescription for percocet. She couldn’t get pain relief until she got home which is pretty stupid.

Scott and I watched part of Deadpool. We wanted to evaluate whether or not Cordelia would be interested in watching it with us. My verdict is that she might want to watch it but would absolutely be mortified to watch it with us. I’ll probably talk to her about that. I don’t think the level of violence is more traumatic than, say, The Hunger Games, and I’m a lot more concerned about that than about sex/innuendo and swearing.

I lay down to nap, and then my mother called. We talked for most of the time that I had for napping. She thinks I need to see an endocrinologist. I was surprised to hear from her. This is only the second or third time in my life that she’s called me on my birthday.

We ended up going to Bob Evans for dinner because I wanted pancakes. I also got a hamburger, carry out, that I ate for breakfast this morning. I felt okay doing that because Bob Evans costs about half as much as the places we generally go for birthdays and other special occasions.

Scott gave me Langston Hughes’ Collected Poems, the Rurouni Kenshin New Kyoto Arc DVD, and the Weiss Kreuz DVD thinpack (some of my old DVDs don’t play reliably any longer, and this was under $20, so I thought it was worth doing given that I’m not going to stop writing in the fandom). He told me that he’s still expecting one more item, and two packages arrived today, one addressed to me and one to him. I don’t remember any pending orders, except some shirts from Blair that only shipped today, so I’m not opening the package addressed to me until Scott gets home.

I discovered last night that Cordelia’s English teacher had marked four of her five PT absences as unexcused. She told me that it’s because I didn’t call the office about them and that I’d better do that now. I’m fairly pissed off about that because I walked into the office every single time and told them that Cordelia had physical therapy. I signed her out each time and then back in after the appointments. The office, when I called them, confirmed that they knew she was going to PT and that those absences should be labeled as medical and thus excused. The lady I talked to fixed those in the computer records immediately. I just shouldn’t have had to do that.

There are also, from the same teacher, some unexcused absences when Cordelia was doing mandatory standardized tests that she had missed due to PT. The teacher claims that she is utterly helpless to address that problem and that the absences will remain unexcused. Every other teacher in the school has correctly marked all of those absences, both PT and testing related.

I woke with a migraine this morning that hasn’t quite dissipated. At this point, it’s more nausea than headache, but I really don’t feel well at all. The only reason I haven’t gone back to bed is that I’m not convinced it would help. If I’m going to feel rotten, I might as well do it while watching TV or listening to music. Plus, there’s no way to charge my cell phone in the bedroom, and I would like it to be at at least 50% charge when I take it in there with me.

I am thinking that my mother is right that I need to see an endocrinologist. It will be a PITA because of where that clinic is located and because I suspect my primary care doctor won’t want to refer me. She thinks my thyroid issues are simple. I’m just wondering if there are other issues we should be digging at. I have pretty constant fatigue issues. If I don’t eat regularly and sufficiently, I stop being able to think even enough to watch TV. My diet skews to the foods that experience, going back to high school in the early 1980s, tells me will help the most.

The first time I ever tried to diet (under a nutritionist's supervision), I failed an exam in a college physics class because my brain wouldn't function. I had the option to retest because it was an independentish course where one could take tests at any time and retest as often as one needed to. I went and bought a bottle of pop and drank it. I passed the retest less than an hour after failing the first test. The nutritionist didn’t believe a word I said about it.

I tried Provigil at one point (my psychiatrist considers the fatigue a big deal. No other doctor has ever paid any attention to the matter), but I couldn’t tolerate the smallest dose made— 100 mg— and half tablets weren’t helpful at all (my psychiatrist wanted to get me to 3/4 of a tablet, but the tablets were oblong and not scored for cutting. They also tended to crumble when cut. Quartering was not a viable option). There was a period, a few years back, when I was taking Provigil and drinking coffee right on getting up and still ending up back in bed for a two to four hour nap about an hour later (right after getting Cordelia to school) at least four days a week. I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that the creamer I add to my coffee each morning is more effective at waking me up than the caffeine. I suppose I could test that by skipping the coffee and just drinking the creamer one day and just black coffee another day, but the creamer is kind of unappealing on its own, and black coffee makes me feel sick.

August 2017

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