Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Years Eve and a quiet evening in

Today was Rob's last day on his job. The one he worked at since he first came to New Jersey nearly nine years ago. So sad that at the holidays your focus turns to this. The company who took over his former company ran this site into the ground. Today there was no HR person there to even give him papers. He will FED EXed this stuff on Friday when I am at work. I would have liked to be here for that. It is my hope and prayer that he will find a better job with a company who is better run and shows respect to their employees. For the time being we are fortunate that I could put Rob on my health benefits.

I am trying to think optomistically. I know that Rob and I have been through a lot together and we will get through this. I hope that 2009 will see our country in a much better place, not just for us but for all the people hurting.
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I Need to be Reset

My body clock has reset itself. I am ready to sleep by nine p.m. and then ready to get up around 5. This is a problem for me. I work from 9 a.m. until 5:30 and I am petering out in the afternoon and tired in the morning. I used to sleep until 7 a.m. which was so much better. I can take something to sleep but that leaves me feeling hungover. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to set our body clocks to sleep when it was convenient for us?

I have agreed to work two hours extra on New Years Eve to cover for a coworker on another shift. He is closing on his house that day, at least he hopes to. It's a short sale and he is having a lot of issues recently learning there is a lean on the property for unpaid taxes. I warned him about short sales but he is an eager first time home buyer with a fiancee' who wants to be in their home before their wedding. Can we say stress? This guy is wound tighter than a top. Sometimes I am so glad to be older and have some emotional maturity. I know that there are so many more important things in life than a closing date. I know that if one deal falls through, there are others out there waiting to be found.

My husband has just two more days left at his job. He is looking forward to some time off. I am looking forward to coming home to some nice meals during the winter. He is going to take some time and go to visit family and friends in Rhode Island where he is from. Unfortuantely I cannot get the time off of work to join him, but that works because this way he can just go have a few beers with his friends there like the old days. I will stay home with the pets and perhaps catch up on a few visits with friends I haven't seen lately. I wish I could get more time off of work but in this economy I am just happy to have a job and a steady paycheck and most importantly, medical benefits.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Today is Sunday and that means tomorrow I return to work. This has been a holiday season in which I have struggled emotionally. Wednesday will be the last day of my husband's job. He worked there eight years and they still have not disclosed his severence. They have not treated him very well and it disturbs me.
He gave a lot, building himself up and they have offered to move him to the site near Boston but are not willing to give him enough money to make the move feasible. The medical benefits are not nearly as good as mine and I might not be able to find a job there. This company seems to be run very poorly and it's so unfortunate that the previous owner sold it to these people who ran it into the ground. It's hard to be worried about finances while trying to buy presents and enjoy the holiday spirit.

I am having some problems and not feeling well at all. My sleeping pattern is confused. I wake up at 4 a.m. ready for the day and when I could go back to sleep around 6 a.m. it is nearly time to get ready for work. I am constantly tired. Also having a few health issues my doctor is working on but she tells me they won't be resolved over night.

Two blogging friends have my concern. Connie has seemingly vanished. Calls to her home found her landline disconnected and the emails go unanswered. I certainly hope things are okay with her. My other blogging friend, Ronni, has had a relapse with her leukemia. She has had a long, difficult journey thus far and is back in the hospital. My thoughts are frequently with her and wanting the best for her.

I am going to run to the mall and see if I can find a few bargains when I try to exchange my shoes for a slightly larger size. Same brand but a different style that seems tighter. I am hoping and praying that 2009 will be a better year for us. I want to have the burdens of worry lifted. I want others to be free from worry. Maybe I am not being realistic. I want someone to hire my husband who knows how lucky they are to have him and to treat him with respect. I want to wake up just one day and feel rested. I do know that the world feels like a better place because our new President was elected despite all he had to overcome. I just pray he can fix the economy and turn things around.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Not All Christmases Are Created Equal

Not all Christmases are some that are so wonderful we will never forget them. I found myself feeling very emotional at times this year. Looking around at my grandmother and wondering who would be with us next year. That is not normally the kind of thought that I have on a holiday. My son developed a sore throat last night. He came over today to pick up his gifts and drop off gifts for us. (He continues to give me Vegetarian cookbooks which amuses me.) We got to spend an hour or more with him before he wanted to go home and crawl into his own bed. We went to my mother's and had a turkey dinner. There was a lot of activity with gift opening and consumption of way too much food. I felt disappointed this year with gifts I received from my sister-in-laws. Normally they give me things I love and htis year one gave me a leopard vest which was too small by a long shot and the other gave me a necklace that struck me as the type of chain Mr T might wear, should he wear costumer jewelery as opposed to real gold. It is silver color and just something I would NEVER wear being it is heavy and very long. This woman usually buys me something for my house or an ornament that I love. At this point in my life I have enough costume jewelery to open a consignment shop. I find I only wear my Brighton things and I have a large assortment to choose from. I simply hate returning things and without receipts you get so little for them because you get the lowest possible price it sold for and with sales and coupons, that's pretty low. Once again charity will benefit from these donations. I like making donations to charities but just once in awhile I would like to receive something and feel that the person showed they really knew me by their choice. My brave friend Melinda stopped all gift giving with family and friends. She said it was too much and a part of me applauds her for that. I love giving but I do put a lot of thought into what I give, or at least I try to. Time to crawl into bed and get ready for tomorrow, Friday. Then another weekend. Sweet.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas or Happy Chanuka

It is Christmas Even and I am exhausted. I never feel rested anymore. My doctor did blood work and called to tell me I had a high white count. We will discuss this further she said. Hmm. My thyroid was okay and I hoped that was the problem.

Today they allowed some people to leave work early, unpaid of course. Last year our company provided a holiday party in a restaurant with a bar and dancing. This year finger foods in our building and fruit punch. I didn't attend. Last year we got Christmas Eve off, paid. This year we had to use some of our precious time and request it months in advance or take it as unpaid once they determined we would not be needed today. I am happy to have a job but we are not well paid and the perks made our job seem a lot more desirable. My husband's job ends next week and he will join the long lines of people unemployed. He has some contacts and we are hoping this will only be for a short time.

There was a little controversy at work over helping a coworker. A single mother of three recently purchased a home. She announced to everyone there that she would not have money for gifts for her children. One coworker began a collection which I gave to. Shortly after some others became upset pointing out this woman had taken a lot of unpaid time off. There are many people hurting and they felt that just because she made everyone there aware of her situation, she should not be the recepient of help. If you had no money for gifts, why take unpaid time? I understand this logic and to a point I agree. Thing is, if someone's a child and their parents use questionable judgement should they be deprived? I can't make that decision and I felt the little bit I gave would cause me any form of deprivation. I actually gave twice as much for my bosses gift as the others to cover someone who never gave their portion. I would rather not hear the fuss made. I have always been the kind of person who hid my needs. When I got divorced and was going in the hole financially, I ate cereal for dinner. Didn't discuss this with others, feeling that was the path I had chosen. People have changed so much and it seems to me that a lot of younger people feel entitled to help. Even if they have created the situation for themselves they feel others should bail them out.

I am going to try to lay down and rest a bit. We go to my brother's later for a gift exchange and some wonderful food to eat. My brother's family has all the holidays with his wife's family and this is our one time of the year to be with them so it's very special. His kids were the youngest of the grandchildren and they are now in college. We are now having GREAT nieces and nephews joining the family. A fourth is on the way.

I want to wish you and yours a beautiful time with those who mean the most of you. Most of all, I wish you peace.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's Almost Friday

Nothing makes me happy like knowing my work week is coming to an end. I have been struggling trying to take some new medicines and work full time, at a sometimes stressful job. On Wednesday I had what seemed to be an asthma attack but the inhaler brought no relief. I was at the doctor's tonight who tells me that I have fluid in my lungs and legs from my heart not pumping as it should. This means lasix which I sometimes take needs to be taken daily. It also indicates that my heart is not functioning as well as it should be. As usual, I am taking this news in stride. Not going to allow fear or disappointment to rob me of the holiday spirit. Sometimes it's easier than others to apply that decision.
We are expecting several inches of snowfall tonight. I am committed to getting into work tomorrow. Looking forward to the weekend and the one or two things I still need to purchase. I also need to get some cookies baked. It looks like my sister will be spending at least one night here. My mother is getting too many guests at once and there will be an overflow. On Christmas Eve we go to my middle brother's house for a gift exchange and a lovely feast but not a formal meal. Christmas Day we go to my mother's (unless it's a year where I offer my home which happened a lot more before I went back to work). We all help out with a turkey dinner and more gift opening. Then anyone over fifty finds a spot for a nap while the younger ones scramble for something to occupy themselves with. It is different now that my son and nieces spend part of the day with their fathers. I love that my son gets the exact same gift for his father and my husband. He has his quirks but sometimes I am so very proud of him. Let me tell you what I am most proud of. One Christmas (a few years after his treatment stopped for leukemia) he announced that he wanted to take several bags of sandwiches to where he knew a lot of homeless people were. I made the sandwiches and he proudly put on his new down coat I had given him. He was gone a couple hours when he came home shivering. I asked where his coat was. He looked at me with concern and said he hoped I would not be angry but there was a homeless man with no coat who had been shaking and he gave it to him. I told him I was very proud of him and the following week I replaced the coat. He is very kind and generous. These are the things I hoped for in my child. He can be trying at times when he feels I am not taking good enough care of myself. He lectures me on my diet (he's a vegan) and the fact that I am overweight. He has brought me numerous books on diet, including one about your blood type and diet. I know he means well so I have to supress the comments about being nagged. As with my parents, I think there comes a time where the child tries to be the caregiver. The circle of life.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow and Slippery Roads

Today we had a beautiful snowfall. It was so warm here yesterday that most of it melted as it hit the ground. By now the ground is frozen and icey. I made it home from work just as the roads were getting slippery. What a wonderful thing to come into a warm house, with the glow of the Christmas tree lights and be greeting by my beloved dog and the pesky cat. LOL The cat adores me despite the fact that he knows I am a dog person. So I tolerate him. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Today I was afraid there might be an incident at work. One coworker wanted to argue about the Bible with another coworker who is of a different faith. I tried to tell them both I do not think religion is a work topic. Oh the wars and friendships ended in the name of religion. Why cannot people just let others believe as they wish? What made this especially ridiculous was the one coworker who wanted to quote scripture chooses to violate some of the ten commandments he so likes to quote to others. Sheesh. I wanted to grab them both and force them to sing "We Are the World". I took great pains to decorate our team with both red and green and silver and blue decorations. There are stars and candles.

It made me sad to hear the news tonight. Toys for Tots got so many less toys this year. Kaylee Anthony's body was found, or possibly found. Now the grandparents are asking for immunity. The value of homes in the entire country fell so drastically. We are in the worst recession since the depression. No good news to be heard tonight.

As I sit here in my warm home, with a full belly, safe from the elements outside I feel I have much to be grateful for. Right now my health is stable and I am grateful for that. This is a magical time of year. People all seem a bit happier.
I just want to feel carefree and happy for a few days of the year. Perhaps that means ignoring the news for a few days. Is ignorance truly bliss?

Good night to all.......peace be with you.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On The Road to Healing

I had my minor surgery yesterday and am happy to report that the surgeon believes she got all the skin cancer. There is a 90% cure rate and I accept that with joy. I am sore. It was rather wide and she didn't stitch it, because in order to do so she would have had to go much deeper. We discussed the pros and cons and went with letting it heal unstitched. It currenly has some gel foam in it until tomorrow. For the next month I must be careful to avoid any infection as it heals. No problem because I am always germ conscious. MOHs surgery is a great thing. They remove layer by layer to make sure they have everything that can be seen under a microscope. Once they have a clean layer they are done. While tedious it provides a much better cure rate. There were many people having them removed from their noses, ears and faces. People wear sunblock!

In my case, mine are caused by the radiation I had so many years ago. This one was on my back and the previous one was on my chest. I have to keep an eye out for them. I go back for three weeks to be checked. I am relieved it is over with.

Now I can get my focus back on my blood pressure and other health concerns.

I was able to go to work today, despite soreness and a rather restless night. Tomorrow is Friday and then another weekend to rest up.

During this season I am disappointed in the ads on television. With so many people out of work, losing jobs and dealing with the financial loses brought on by the stock market fiasco, how can companies be implying we should be receiving cars and diamond jewelery? EXPENSIVE cars that few can afford in good times no less. Would someone be sitting around watching television and suddenly say "Oh yes, I will buy my spouse a car instead of a new sweater!"

The materialism has gone over the edge in my opinion. Wake up advertisers and understand we are in a recession and the only people who can afford these things are the top executives of the companies whose greed landed their end.

I am concerned about some of the young single moms I work with having gifts for their children. These kids are hoping for game boxes and ipods instead of dolls and building blocks. Sometimes I am relieved I am not a young mother in this materialistic society. My grown son will get some books and clothes and other such items. No matter what I give him, he will tell me I shouldn't have spent so much on him. I want the gift of people's time and friendship. A gift of a song I can put on my IPOD to make me think of a loved one is the kind of gift that makes me happy. What are you wishing for?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Music Lifts Me

Today I got up feeling a bit better. I think it is the antibiotics. I have stopped coughing for the most part and my chest has stopped hurting.
I woke up today and put on music. I simply cannot say enough about how music lifts my spirits. There are certain fun songs like Little Red Corvette that just take me to another place in time. So many songs evoke memories and some are just fun to sing along with. When I was younger and thought the world would be my oyster I wanted to be a musical therapist. I did go to college for psychology and completed three years when my son fell ill and I stopped. Afterwards I just didn't have it in me to return and later I wasn't in a financial position to do it and needed full time income. I always thought it would be great to help cancer patients discover the ways music could help them. When my sister-in-law Jennifer was in the hospital they brought in a harpist for her. For some reason I am blocking the name of the hospital but it was affiliated with the Leahy clinic. Although she lived in Rhode Island there was not a surgeon there who would operate on her. She lost so many months finding a surgeon who would remove three tumors which every doctor told her were benign. The nerve over her voicebox was cancerous. It's so easy to get off on tangents........
Today I want to focus on the good things like music and like my wonderful husband (not my favorite word) I actually prefer life partner or significant other. He has been through the mill with me. He never complains. I think I'll keep him.
If you haven't seen the movie P.S. I Love You I saw it for the first time on Saturday night and have rewatched it twice since then. I also loved the movie Once and if you liked that one I suspect you will like this as well.
Irish guys truly are the least the most fun. I just love the character of Jerry. I once had a therapist tell me it's not how you feel about the person it's how they make YOU feel. We all deserve to have someone who makes us feel loved.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Meeting a New Doctor

The last internist I had been using went to another practice in an area an hour and a half south of here. I have been trying out new doctors trying to find one who can/will address all of my issues. I think I may have found her today, although she might be a tad younger than what I had hoped for. She was very kind although some might have thought a bit of an alarmist. I allowed my husband to be in the room and a part of me thinks maybe it was a bit much for him. I am so used to negative reports and such. My blood pressure was high, very high and she took it several times, each time with the same look on her face. I had been put on medicine which made me feel so dopey I could not function. I had told my cardiologist I was stopping it. He agreed that I should not have to go through life feeling so medicated I could not function on a daily basis. This doctor also said I have not addressed my blood test which says I am slightly over the line, meaning that I am diabetic. Sorry, still in denial about that one. She started asking me questions as though I wasn't grasping the possible consequences of taking care of these things. I had to tell her that for thirty years I have dealt with cancer and all the complications of it. In two more days I will be having another surgery to remove a skin cancer caused by the radiation. I took my scripts, had them filled like a good patient and agreed to try a time released capsule for the blood pressure, with a lesser dosage. I am also going to resume the lasix. Ever since my heart surgery I have a terrible predisposition to retaining fluid. My legs get as hard as rocks and sometimes my feet go numb. There are people who might freak out over things like this but hey, I have learned to roll with the punches. I am not saying I won't take care of these issues but I won't panic either. I go back in about a week for a follow up.
Perhaps this new doctor will help me to feel better and still get the meds I need.
I have to work. It's not an option. I also have to be conscious at work and capable of making judgment calls. I cannot do this if on medicine that makes me groggy. Fortunately I am going to be able to take tomorrow off as well.
Hoping by Thursday I will be able to return to work feeling much better and with my blood pressure under control.
I got in a few extra hours of sleep today. We got the tree decorated and my husband got the lit garland around our front door. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. I hope I have one or two more good days so there will be presents under the tree for my Leprechaun. I know it's hard on him with all that I have been through but he tries so hard to take good care of me, sometimes with me giving him a hard time. I was on my own for so long, sometimes it's hard to accept the help.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Snow Covered Sunday

I am still sick but now most of the problem has moved into my chest. Argghhh.
Last night as I tried to sleep I was gripped by coughing spasms. I finally got up and watched a movie I had DVRed earlier and you simply must see it! P.S. I Love You. Wow. I am so impressed at what the husband had planned for her it is a true story of love and I am all about that. Today I finally washed my hair. I have taken baths but my hair needed a good shampooing desperately. It feels so much better.
Yesterday ended up being a real trial in many ways. My poor Rob has been working very hard for his company who are closing their doors in New Jersey soon. They hired a company to come take down very high warehouse shelving and he has had to help load this stuff onto trucks. He was not hired to do this kind of work and with two steel rods in his back he is hurting. He was promised a severance package and glowing recommendations so he is trying hard to go with the flow. Apparently Friday one of the men from this other company injured himself and could not work. That meant only one guy was there and Rob had to be there in case anything happened to him. Eight hours of Saturday. He does get paid overtime but I would have loved to have him home with me and frankly he needed the break. Today he is back there again. Yesterday I was in desperate need of some items from the market as well as pet food. My son called and asked me to help him get his Dad a mouse for his laptop for his birthday tomorrow. I told my son I was sick but if he drove I would assist him. An hour later my son calls back and he has been delayed. It will be several more hours before he gets here. I throw on my coat and run the errands, including picking up the mouse. I was so overwhelmed at the market, Mary Higgins Clark was there doing a book signing, and grabbed only what I needed. I rush home
leaving the heavy stuff in my car and put the other items away. I am beat. My son calls again telling me it will be another hour. Now I am getting angry. I tell him so. Shortly later he arrives and brings in the heavy items. I show him the mouse, he reimburses me and I wrap it for him. He is a vegan and each visit he likes to lecture me on my eating habits. I was just not in the mood yesterday. He had a pizza, took a shower that was over half an hour and left. Several minutes later I see the wrapped mouse on my kitchen table. When I am feeling well I usually check to see he leaves with everything he is supposed to but I was too tired yesterday and I wanted to kick myself. Rob came home with a pizza for supper at which time the phone rang and my darling son began to lecture me for eating pizza with all the sodium in it. I told him I was not in the mood to hear it and that I really went out yesterday to help him and in the end the gift was here. Here is about twenty-five miles from there.
His Dad's gift will no doubt be late. His Dad never shows any real enthusiasm for gifts so I shouldn't let it bother me. Perhaps because I had previously called my mother and told her I needed pet food etc. and she told me that I should have my husband pick that up because she was on her way to her favorite flea market and had no time, I was feeling very put out yesterday. Sometimes I fantasize about what it would be like to have a nurturing mother. When I called my mother my Dad answered the phone. He is failing terribly and in a weak voice when he heard I was till sick he softly said "I will pray for you." That was the bright spot of my day.
I think I will make a nice pot of tea and rewatch P.S. I Love You again. It gives me a lot of ideas.

Friday, December 05, 2008

My Nose Runneth Over

I am sick. Thank you coworker. :::insert sarcastic smirk:::
Yesterday, Thursday, I hung in there until my scheduled time. I actually half jokingly asked a coworker Tim to roll me in my chair to my car. He laughed and said while we were friends, we weren't that good of friends. Ouch Tim. My other coworker was kind enough to call and see if I made it home. He called again today.
I am a human mucus producing machine. Unless it's the alternative time where my head is completely stopped up and I cannot breathe at all. It seems to be cyclical. I had to call out today. I haven't even gotten dressed and I rarely do that. I fell asleep but had crazy dreams and woke up feeling very confused. I hate when that happens. Why you may be asking yourself, don't I take a decongestant? The heart that I have reacts to certain medicines with tachycardia. This is so unpleasant. Then my neurotic self must decide if I can take something for that symptom while on a decongestant. I hate mixing medicines. If this seems silly you were not there to witness the Nyquil fiasco before I had my heart surgery. I was passing out every fifteen minutes or so. There was nothing they could do but let it work itself out of my system. Needless to say Nyquil is on my list of never take drugs.
I am longing for some very good chicken soup and matzoh balls that a nearby kosher deli has. My husband is working late tonight so it will probably wait until tomorrow. I find chicken soup works wonders for me.
My bathtub should be filled by now. Here I come Loveshack bath oil from the Gap. Time for a little pampering.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Can I get a Christmas Break? lol

Yesterday the force of our team at work insisted we get some Christmas decorations going. Many of the women I work with are single Moms who live on a tight budget. While I don't have a lot of extra money, I can afford to do some things they cannot. So yesterday I went by a dollar store and bought a lot of nice decorations. It came to about forty dollars. I walked in this morning and gave each lady her ornament for her cube and they put up the garlands and wreaths.
There is a team that sits next to us and immediately they asked if I had bought things for them as well. I am used to this and I replied that I did buy them their own wreath and gave it to them to hang. There was a lot of complaining amongst them and one asked the other why SHE didn't buy the decorations for their team. The woman responded that she didn't have the money. The other woman looked at me and said I must be CRAZY to do something like that. I hesitated before speaking when the lady she was in a conversation with said
For two days I have been fighting a cold that a coworker came in with. The guy was SHAKING on Monday from a fever, put his head on his desk and slept much of the day. Luckily for him, he was having computer issues and couldn't really get into the system needed. We don't get much time off. About fifteen days a year for everything; illness and vacation and personal emergencies. Each year mine are used up for medical reasons and then I end up not getting paid for other days I need. I hate that people come to work sick, but I understand the financial burden of staying home.
Despite that fact that my husband's job is ending late December and that I am having my surgery Dec. 10th I am in Christmas spirits. Each year I feel so grateful and fortunate to be alive for another Christmas. I am going to run down now and watch the lighting of the tree in Rockefeller Center. I so wish I could be there tonight. Maybe sometime this season I can get there to see if.
Stay warm and don't let anyone steal your holiday joy. :)