mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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It seems that during the last week I've been too busy or too wiped out or both to have posted any of my "done yesterday" posts. In some cases, like during Baycon, too busy even to make entries in the to.do file. Too busy to think, which can be a good thing at times.

If I ever schedule three concerts in one week again, somebody please beat me unconscious with a clue-bat and tell them I'm indisposed. They went pretty well, but between rehearsals and taking care of Colleen there was essentially no time for socializing. Let alone work.

Colleen continues to need a lot of care; this was complicated by the fact that the hotel's "wheelchair-accessible" room wasn't particularly. I am very glad that we had gotten another room for the kids, though.

Remind me to stay out of Hyatt hotels whenever possible. Remind me that out-of-the-area travel is simply out of the question until Colleen's condition improves.

Only two walks, neither fast enough or long enough to provide any exercise to speak of.

It doesn't feel like I've had a vacation at all. The time I've spent working from home doesn't feel as though it's been particularly productive, either. Procrastination hasn't helped; now I have the May 31st deadline for my (2008) "flexible" health-care spending account looming, with a huge pile of receipts still to be processed. Motivation? What's that?

There have been a few bright spots: time with a 5-year-old girl, one fantastic concert and two pretty damned good ones, a little quiet time with my friends. Seeing Colleen back in her element: presiding over Wednesday Open House at the Starport, in her usual place in the lobby at Baycon.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth, though I sometimes feel as though it might be a welcome vacation. This is just a quick note from Baycon -- I haven't even had time to update my to.do list with completed items. No, I will not tweet them.

High order bits:

The Tres Gique concert kicked serious ass -- probably our best yet. In spite of (or perhaps because of) our having to vamp for half an hour or so while the next act got unstuck from traffic. And we were afraid we were running a little long...

The Tempered Glass concert kicked ass, in spite of Callie losing her voice mid-song toward the beginning of the set. And Naomi having a blood-sugar crash, and my voice flagging a little. We adjusted, moved on, would have had to drop a song anyway, and made it through.

Filk tonight was great fun, though I wish we could have stayed longer.

Caring for Colleen took up a good chunk of time and energy. So did caring for a five-year-old, even a fun, articulate, well-behaved five-year-old.

And finally, an Announcement: Colleen and I are fan guests of honor at next year's Baycon!!!

More if I ever have time.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
Very quick note: Colleen's scooter arrived this afternoon. We were going for a walk to the Rose Garden and she took a spill coming down the first curb cut. Injuries appear to be very minor, mainly a cut on her cheek, but we're at Kaiser getting her checked out. More info as I have it.

(10:29pm) Home, with two stitches in the cut above her left eye. Other than that the only things injured were her dignity and her composure.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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It was a pretty good day, with glimmerings of hope.

I went to the 1800wheelchair.com site to check on my order for Colleen's scooter, only to find that it had actually shipped Wednesday morning, and was due to be delivered today!

Kat said "I loves you, mdlbear" in an IM, for no particular reason except that she was thinking about me. Wow.

Colleen surprised her PT with how well she's doing, and had an appointment with her gastroenterologist where she got prescriptions that will, hopefully, take care of the diarrhea. He said by Tuesday. She's already revising plans for Saturday, but I remain skeptical.

Naomi and I settled on a tentative set list for Tempered Glass's Baycon concert, and Joyce and Jordan came over for a Tres Gique rehearsal where we firmed up that setlist.

Yeah, a pretty good day. I think I was mostly happy and guardedly hopeful, though too busy to really think about it much.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Apart from a trip out to Cosentino's with Colleen, the day had more discouragement than otherwise: Colleen's diarrhea still wasn't under control (that may be changing with new meds today, but we'll see), we still hadn't gotten tracking information for her scooter (it arrives tomorrow!) and we decided to cancel Saturday's trip to her cousin's party (also back under consideration). That last was sad, but also something of a relief, and laid the groundwork for a calm, pleasant evening.

For me, that started off with a totally unexpected call from [livejournal.com profile] cflute -- I'm delighted that she feels free to call me when she's not feeling cheerful. (Though of course I'd rather have her too happy to call me.) I also got a delightful backrub, and worked on Tres Gique's setlist for Baycon with Joyce.

Several people mentioned that I appeared to be much more relaxed than the last time they saw me. I'd noticed too, which is unusual in the first place. It's even more unusual for me to have my self-assessment validated by other people's observations.

I must be making progress, even though it seems slow at times.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Colleen had visits from her occupational and physical therapists yesterday, and continues to surprise them with her progress. She got up and opened the door for the PT herself (with walker, of course). The step up to the shower continues to be intimidating, though; she's still getting sponge baths.

Loperamide seems to be performing at least part of its intended function.

I had a nice, long walk at lunchtime, combining grocery shopping with one trip around the pond. My call to [livejournal.com profile] cflute didn't go through, but I called again just before going home and had a really good conversation. I was a little worried that two calls in one day might be excessive, but apparently not. At least when I'm in a good mood, which I was. Still.

I've been reasonably happy since Sunday evening now; I'm guessing it's because the stress around Colleen's coming home has mostly gone away: the care has become routine, and most of the remaining problems are being worked on.

A couple of links: Gizmodo calls it a robot ribcage keytar, and the inventor calls it Irregular Incurve, but it's actually a particularly beautiful midi-controlled, one-octave harpsichord without benefit of a case, keyboard, or most of the other inventions that perfected the instrument between five and three hundred years ago.

This photo of me taken at Conflikt by [livejournal.com profile] vixyish is particularly good, perhaps because I'm looking almost directly at the camera and don't have a music stand and microphone in front of my face. It's rare that I know a song well enough to get away with looking away from my lyrics; I'll have to work on it.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Colleen started using loperamide; it seems to be making some difference now, but the main effect yesterday was relieving some of the tension by giving me the feeling that Something was being done.

I basically spent the entire evening with Colleen: drinks (well, gin and olives on the side for me, just olives for her), dinner, and conversation. Then we went to bed early, about 10:30, and continued the conversation until we both went happily to sleep. It was the most relaxed, comfortable, happy time I've had in the last three weeks, at least. Maybe the last six months. Maybe more.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Yesterday was, of course, Mother's Day. The morning was lovely -- we went out to brunch at MacArthur Park - a lot more crowded than I was expecting, more expensive than Colleen was expecting (I'd read the website), but very tasty. The YD came along, of course -- it wouldn't be Mother's Day Brunch without at least one kid. I'm going to miss that.

Back at home I had a lot of cleaning up to do (TMI later, but you can get some idea from my subsequent purchases). Colleen went to bed feeling worn-out and sore; I went shopping and was feeling thoroughly wrung out and drained. No walk :(, though the shopping and rollycat-wrangling included a fair amount of exercise.

Dinner helped both my energy level and mood considerably, as did a phone call from the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf with mostly encouraging news, as did a nice IM with the [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi. Did a little lyric tweaking, which I immediately went in and tried out on Colleen.

What I sang was Get Up and Go (with the lyric tweak), Where the Heart Is, Gentle Arms of Eden, Riverheart, and QV. I need to make lyric files for a couple of songs, and print a new songbook. Baycon is coming up frighteningly fast.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I've already posted about yesterday's big event: ordering a scooter for the Cat. Or the Electric Rollycat, which will be quite a step up from the Turbocharged Snail.

We also had a nice drive and some good snuggle. I feel particularly good about how I settled her down with a couple of hugs and sympathy when she started to go all embarrassed and apologetic at me. I'm learning, slowly.

I got in a walk; I'd originally wanted to go with Colleen, but she was tired enough after our outing that neither of us thought it would be a good idea.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Colleen wanted to go to ABC Medical to look at scooters. She immediately fell in love with a Pride Go-Go Elite Traveller 3 Wheel Scooter, which they wanted some $1500 for. A little outside our price range, seeing as Costco has a somewhat similar scooter for $799. We nearly bought it anyway, but one arm was damaged and wouldn't be in until later in the week; we left my contact info and went out for a drive.

When we got home, I found it for $899 at 1800wheelchair.com. Much as I like to buy things locally, $600 is a lot of money. They quote delivery as 3-5 days, so it ought to arrive before we need it next weekend.

Colleen and [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi can have scooter races at Baycon.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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The main thing is that Colleen continues to recover. After spending Thursday in bed recovering from having overdone things on Wednesday, she did as much or more on Friday and is still in pretty good shape.

I made our reservations for brunch on Mother's Day. Which is tomorrow! Eeeep!

Segmented sleep is still working for us, and I seem to be getting almost enough sleep. On the down side, I'm still having a lot of trouble squeezing a walk into my day.

Between the two of us we managed to get enough information about our friends up North that we're not nearly as worried about them as we were on Thursday, though there are still reasons to be concerned. I still have a River post or two that need writing.

I have the vague feeling that there must have been more going on, but I'm not going to worry about it. Some of that was at work, which was interesting but not something I can talk about yet.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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We seem to be falling into a pattern of waking up around 4am, which is when Colleen usually needs a bathroom break. Sometimes around 2am as well. I'm a lot more comfortable with this now that I know that segmented sleep is normal in many cultures, and know that I can usually get back to sleep if I need it. I posted about this a few weeks ago, and I'm pleased to discover that, as I recalled it back then, a little bit of quiet conversation and snuggle in the dark of the night is a Good Thing.

Went for a walk around 1:30 (after working from home in the morning and checking in rather late at work). Unsuccessful call to [livejournal.com profile] cflute. I'm worried about several of my friends; her most of all, I think.

Just because I'm on Good Drugs doesn't mean I don't occasionally get depressed, anxious, or freaked-out, and perhaps more deeply so than ever. It just means I don't usually fall apart completely, and usually bounce back pretty quickly rather than getting into a downward spiral, though I think my baseline has been lower for the last week or so. Colleen and I came very close to a mutual melt-down last night; I handled it by leaving the room for a few minutes so we could both calm down. We'll have to find better ways of doing that [livejournal.com profile] acelightning's suggestion of hugging while calming down and sorting it out has a lot to recommend it.

This business of taking care of myself while being a caregiver is hard, and I still don't know how to go about it. It's all very well to say I need time for myself, but it doesn't do much good if I don't know how to make proper use of the time I do have. I've written before about my inability to identify things I can do to make me feel good, as opposed to not feel anything at all. I need to work on that, don't I?

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Colleen had visits from her visiting PT and nurse yesterday, and impressed them both with her walking. She's paying for it today, of course. Got some exercises from the PT.

On my way back from my Kaiser appointment I bought a little aluminum dumbek at Guitar Showcase's consignment shop. There was a prettier brass one for only $10 more, but it weighed about twice as much and had a skin head instead of plastic. I wanted cheap, portable and comparatively hard to damage.

Some noodling and, at Colleen's urging, a little singing.

Had a rather unpleasant conversation with the 14-year-old son of one of the guests. Started out by walking into the office and asking "who are you hacking", and went nonstop downhill from there, mainly about fighting other boys at school. I don't think I was ever like that. Very much the kind of person I try to avoid, only he was in the office and I didn't want to tell him to leave.

I spent most of the evening being pretty completely non-social, but wasn't in much, if any, emotional distress or dissociated as far as I could tell. Which isn't very far, of course.

It was wonderful to have Colleen out in her chair where she belongs, presiding over the Wednesday gathering. The house just doesn't feel right without her. She seems to be OK with me retreating to the office most of the time, now that I've explained what a strain the crowd is.

I'm also becoming more comfortable about waking in the middle of the night, and having less trouble (so far) getting back to sleep now that I know it's pretty normal. Having Colleen to talk to and snuggle helps a lot. I still wish I didn't need the second sleep -- I don't have time.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not much to say about most of yesterday. The walk, though, was great. One of my neighbors down the street had just installed a ramp, and I saw him getting out of his car and asked about it. Turns out it was installed along with a scooter under workman's compensation. The price was probably out of my range unless insurance was paying for it, unfortunately.

Shortly after that, I got an unexpected call from [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi. Had a good conversation, and she helped me clarify my thinking on dissociation. Yes, it probably blocks out positive emotions as well as negative ones. More on that later, perhaps.

We went to bed early, and slept pretty well. I don't think either of us is really caught up.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Back to work. Worked from home in the morning (thanks to ssh, X11, emacs, and galeon) because we hadn't arranged for a Cat-sitter. The YD took over in time for me to go in to work for the afternoon group meeting.

Colleen is continuing to improve, though it's still slow.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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It was another long day; I was tired and stressed.

Coming home from shopping I felt a strong sense of unreality -- perhaps halfway to feeling as though I was in a dream. Colors seemed darker than usual. Apparently that kind of derealization is part of my way of coping with stress.

Spent the evening sleepy and generally zoned out. Not a very productive day.

mdlbear: (sureal time)

Colleen's homecoming has made a lot of things better, but not everything. She needs a lot more care than either of us had been led to hope, especially using the commode (bathrooms are out of the question at this stage). We both expect that things will improve rapidly now that she's home and on her own schedule, but we're in unfamiliar territory nevertheless.

Colleen called one of her friends, who came over and took care of her all day, and cooked dinner before she had to leave. I am indescribably grateful. Even so, when I went out shopping I was distracted, and on the way back the world had an incredible look of unreality about it, as if I was seeing things through a thick, dark scrim.

Thinking back, it seems even more pronounced than the scrim that lifted when my depression ended. I think it is mostly a combination of depression and anxiety, and definitely situational this time.

A totally unrelated train of thought led me to look up dissociation, and its closely-related components depersonalization and derealization. Especially the latter. Yeah. That.

Put bluntly, Colleen needs somebody with her virtually all the time right now, and I can't do it. I can only hope that we can set up a rotation among our friends, so that I can get to work most afternoons. Mornings, I think, are hopeless: I plan to work from home. And hope that I can learn to actually work again, instead of spending my time either reading the web or being zoned out on sleep-dep and whatever drugs my brain is manufacturing for itself.

A couple of plates of pickles and olives seem to be helping; I may have to stock up at the office. A brief chat with Colleen (while working on this post), and the knowledge that she's used the commode several times without my assistance, helped even more. A fair amount of unreality still remains, however; the scrim is lighter now, but it's not all gone.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Yesterday was rough. On the one hand, Colleen was at home all day. Emmy's prom happened; we ate at Chevy's at separate tables, and picked up her tab. She was gorgeous, of course.

On the other hand, Colleen needs an unexpected amount of care -- mainly assistance when using the commode. She may stay in bed all day. The filk community lost one of its own yesterday, and even though we didn't know him well, it was painful. And picking up the kids after the prom was made significantly more complicated by the cops starting to block off downtown in preparation for tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo parade.

I didn't get the shakes until I came home and started getting ready for bed, but I pretty-much fell apart then.

On the gripping hand, I had Colleen's arms to fall into. We both slept well, with the help of some cyclobenzaprine.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Yesterday morning the bedroom was cold and practically empty, with nothing on the newly-cleaned carpet but our two dressers, a chair, and a single hospital bed. This morning it's nearly as empty, but there's a second hospital bed with my wife sleeping contentedly in it. That makes all the difference in the world.

I told several people yesterday that Colleen's homecoming wouldn't seem real until this morning; that the new arrangement of beds wouldn't feel like our own bed until we'd slept in it together. I was right.

My sister-by-choice [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi said yesterday, "Welcome home to you too, [livejournal.com profile] mdlbear, since if you're anything like me, it becomes home for you when and because your partner's in it." She was right, too.

And hospital beds are lovely for breakfast in bed.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I spent the entire day being rather very stressed, despite picking up Colleen at White Blossom and taking her to Cosentino's, then home. I told several people that it wouldn't seem real until the next morning, which indeed proved to be true (more on that downstream).

There were a few glitches, but no disasters.

By a little after 9pm I was feeling completely drained and mostly out of cope; Colleen walked to the bedroom, and we both went happily splat in our new (rented) super-adjustable king-sized bed. I finally relaxed in her arms, for the first time in over two months.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Colleen's home at last!!!

Even going to Cosentino's on the way home I was strangely anxious. It wasn't until we got home and ate lunch that I started relaxing. The house has its Cat again, and everything feels right at last.

I'm still worried about care. But we'll deal with it.

Meta: the discerning reader will note the transition from the colleen-200904 tag, which I used for planning the Cat's return, to colleen-200905, which will be used for health-related issues now that she's home.

The second hospital bed arrived about half an hour ago. I get to sleep with my wife tonight!

Happy Bear.

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