Thursday, April 4, 2013

Lawn Equipment vs Serenity

Hi, good morning. It's me again!

My apologies for the late post, but I promise to do another one today.

Yesterday I woke up at around 6:30 AM after passing out at my keyboard - yes, while working - around 4:45 AM, only to wake up at around 8 AM to the sounds of lawn equipment. There is nothing scarier than waking up at your desk at an odd hour, because you have to first figure out where the heck you are and why you're so cold, and then some how limp over to the couch to warm up (because I have yet to make my bed). Luckily for me, I keep this uber soft blanket (it's thin, but man, that sucker makes me feel all warm and cozy!) on the couch that my mom bought me for Valentine's Day this year.

Even worse, especially for me, is waking up to the sounds of lawn equipment.

Amongst my bag of "goodies," I have sensory processing disorder. I hate seams, rough clothing (I wear most of my sweats, leggings, thermal, and pj bottoms inside-out), bright lights, lawn equipment, bass and/or loud music, the sound of power tools, Nascar the Loud Vacuum Cleaner, and any sort of hummy-constant-all-consuming-cannot-think sound. If I'm tired and already on edge, humming will even make me loose it. As you can imagine, most places - e.g., the mall, stores, bus rides with multiple people listening to their music at top volume et al. - can drive me into sensory overload. It literally hurts my brain and I cannot think. All I want to do is escape. If I don't and I'm tired or sick, instantaneous meltdown. Three seconds to the ship self-destructing. Non-functioning Serenity. You get the idea. It's not a pretty picture.

Ear plugs don't work all that well because I am sensitive to vibrations. It is to my understanding that I am more sensitive to vibrations because I grew up with constant ear infections and, at one point during the fourth grade, was losing my hearing due to my ear bones trying to fuse together. As a result of all of that, I have low frequency hearing loss and auditory processing disorder (whether the autism or the ear infections caused latter, no one knows. They just sort of go hand in hand and it really doesn't matter where it originated as long as I know how to deal with it). Having auditory processing disorder means my brain hears EVERYTHING. Because I hear everything at once, it's like I'm deaf without being permanently deaf. I prefer silence. Too much noise and I become over-stimulated. My brain doesn't know how to deal with things one by one, and it's a constant fight to not sit there and channel surf.

So, the lawn equipment people. I hate spring. There's allergies (which means my ears pop and even the birds outside the window are too damn loud), more people milling about outside, construction equipment, and lawn equipment, my personal nemesis. These aren't your typical apartment lawn maintenance people, either. I know they have a job to do, but they love placing all their equipment right outside my building. It's a curse! Not only that, but they usually show up at random at 8 AM and remain until 4 or 5 PM. The only good news is that they're able to wake me up (you know I'm sick when I oversleep the lawn maintenance people).

This time, instead of holing myself up in the bathroom as per my norm and taking PTO, I decided to try to make it through and work. It wasn't so bad, but I wound up not going to my chiropractor appointment last night. The exhaustion only really hit me and rolled over me after getting back from the orthopedist (story below with picture!). My blood sugars were low because I had once again forgotten to eat nothing more than a protein bar for breakfast and dinner was nothing more than a box of macaroni and cheese (no vegetables - see explanation with picture below!) at 4 AM. I'm in this funk where I can't get myself to eat. Nothing sounds appetizing and I haven't been able to cook because of my knee (the joys of being single /sarcasm).

By the time I had come back - around 3 PM - they were still at it! Normally, I can do a little better, but on two hours of sleep and no regular meals, I was one cranky Serenity. The guineas didn't even dare wheek for food or attention (I fed and gave them attention anyway because I'm nice like that). I called into work, moved my chiropractor appointment to Friday, loaded myself up with insulin and pain medication, ate a bowl of cereal and some yummy empanadas, and fell asleep from roughly 4 or 5 PM to 6:30ish PM. I woke up feeling out of it, but minus the "I'm ready to have a meltdown and the apartment management peeps better have this place bolted down." I can tell I am growing up: in the past, I would have forced myself to go through the motions of going to the appointment and running errands on the way home (I still need to go do a drug run at CVS. I took my last anxiety medication last night, so yeah ....) and running the risk of the consequences of having a public meltdown (which I dislike even more than lawn equipment because no one knows what to do and I can't talk).

After working from roughly 8 PM to 12:41 AM, I passed out on the couch after laying down due to nausea. Thanks to the cortisone shot, I have a constant diabetic headache, but my knee is now less "You will die" and has subsided to a "You suck." MAJOR improvement. CHEER!

You're probably wondering why I am mentioning "cortisone shot" and are probably dying to know how the orthopedic appointment went. Too make a long short (too late!), pictures!

I wear Band-Aids like most women wear jewelry.
As promised: the results of the knee appointment! The orthopedic doctor says my knee pain is either a torn meniscus or as a result of peroneal nerve damage. For those not in the know, I injured my sciatica nerve back in October while apartment cleaning. The damage was so severe that I had pain down both legs, and lost most of my strength on my left side. By the middle of November, when I was finally able to figure out the health insurance, work/other doctor appointments timing, and financial quirks, I was dragging my left leg instead of walking. The sciatica nerve is still pinched and causing major havoc with my left side (on Sunday, my foot went all pins and needles for two days after vacuuming). The bus incident in December only made matters worse (Note to my readers: if you take the 97 bus route, hang on tight. The PM bus drivers like to speed and take their corners sharp).

At any rate, the orthopedic doc says to wait two to three weeks and then make an appointment with the MRI folks if the pain still persists and we'll go from there. So far, the pain has lessened and I only have the sciatica pain and diabetic headache from high blood sugars (steroids do some weird chemistry funky dance in the body to reduce swelling, but, unless inhaled, can cause high blood sugars in diabetics). I'm not sure which is worse: that the office staff at my orthopedist's or the MRI folks know me by name, or that neither are surprised to see me. They just sort of sigh and ask what I did this time. It's routine. I swear, one of them even knows the guinea pigs by name and asks how they're doing.

Look! It's modern art!
I'm proud of myself. I remembered I had left over vegetables in the fridge and heated them up to go with my macaroni and cheese. I must have been exhausted from lack of sleep (only three hours the night before, not counting the naps on the bus), because I forgot the dang thing in the microwave. When I woke up this morning, this is what I found. I need to call Rubbermaid and tell them that their products are not microwavable (I even vented the lid) and that they're not Serenity-proof, and can they please do something about that?

Almost like new!!!

Thanks to my quick thinking, I cleaned the container out as best as I could and stuck in in a pot of boiling water. When it was pliable, I used tongs to pull it out, cooled it off enough to use another container to make it square again, and then did the same to the lid. Instant-presto, it's fixed! Phew! I am so happy because I got this set as a Christmas present, and I am loving these things better than the plastic containers I have been using (usually, the Giant salsa plastic containers).

So, with that, funky cool readers, I have to sign out to get ready for work and feed Benny before he passes out from starvation. I told him 9 and it's now 10 AM and I'm regretting not feeding him beforehand (luckily, for me, his treats were on sale and so I stocked up. They only distract him momentarily, but whatever works!). Yes, I will feed you, you poor, starving, moments-away-from-death guinea pig! Until next time, guinea out!

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