Don’t Tell Me My Reality – Two Furloughs and Another Possible

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: /rant/, Too Long For Twitter, Work

I have so very much to say on others not knowing me well enough to tell my reality, whether it’s to me or behind my back. For now, I’ll focus on the possible furlough because I’m hot pissed about it as we are currently running various personal financial  scenarios with our crystal ball, so it probably won’t make much sense but I’ll feel better. (Identified- I regularly forget/drop/lose nouns when communicating. It’s very frustrating for me, at least as much as those bothering to try to understand what I’m saying.)

I’ve been too sick to tune in to the news today, so pardon my alarm, but if there is no Continuing Resolution signed for the budget and the gov’t shutdown/standoff happens, info on hardship assistance during that time is a struggle, so PLEASE share any you find. I’m adding links that we’ve gathered in preparation for the worst case scenario. (Links at bottom of page.)

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I’ve run back  to my blog because Facebook is too ridiculous.

I’m glad the rest of the country is keeping their eyes on the prize by focusing their intelligence and energy on the silly political reindeer games instead of making personal attacks on me and others living on the front lines of this fiscal crisis.

Oh, wait… that is what’s happening.
Well played, politicians, but… America?
I thought we had something special, but this is not the country I was told it was growing up. How can I be proud of my fellow citizens, with so much hate, judgment and cruelty — without even the ability to understand that they don’t understand, because they are not here trying to survive it.

They sit above us, knowing all, including that the food trucks and the restaurants in the region will lose their customers and that the nation’s capital is like a ghost town. Shopping for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be impacted. Travel is expensive, so airlines will be impacted.

Thank goodness for their superiority in their distant lack of understanding, telling me that “we will be fine.”

Either give me your check and I’ll pay you back when hubby gets paid or acknowledge that you and I don’t have a problem with each other.

The problem is in our country’s leadership.

On both “sides of the aisle” it should have been curtailed long ago. The last example is too recent. The biggest complaint was about National Parks and Monuments, and it seems they’ve seen a workaround for that. No worries, your trip to see the big green lady in New York won’t be a waste of your time.

But what will trigger the end of a possible shut-down this time, when it seems they are literally and specifically targeting your government’s civil servants. Why? Because we have been turned in to punchlines by comedians and politicians for decades. I’m not willing to jump in a plane and kill a bunch of people in a war, not even for my country. Without a draft, that’s my choice. But I did serve my country in several different Departments of the Federal Government and all I can say is shame on all of you that swallow it so eagerly. I worked damn hard and the stress is immense when working for DoD, so fuck you very kindly.

We are Americans. We are just like you, with families and bills and insurance payments and have needs like toothpaste, milk and toilet paper. Hopefully the lights, water and heat won’t get turned off for any houses with young families in them.

The politicians hope this time they can again hurt us all for strategy, because if they have National Parks staying funded and open, not enough Americans will notice this time and they won’t get blamed.

It’s embarrassing that these are the people we chose to be in charge, with such a recent lesson clearly unlearned.

And when you laugh at jokes about Feds, you’re laughing at my husband and I. And we both had at least one parent and spouse and/or sibling that work(ed) VERY HARD in our libraries, Federal contract purchasing and oversight, Post-Secondary education, Native Americans, banks, and other positions that support military members fighting for our country and for our fellow citizens. And it’s a shitty work environment, my friends. Unless you are so high up that you make decisions like these, while removed from reality.

For us, serving our country in this capacity is more than a paycheck, it’s a family tradition, so don’t minimize us. When you mock our reality, you’re mocking my Mom, my Mom-in-Law, my sister, brother and father, and other family, along with me and my husband. Every generation has been represented in the military, as well.

Come pay our bills, because for us, it’s not just a news story on our television. It’s the child support we pay; the rent check; utilities; medicine; doctor appointments; medical expenses; fuel and tolls for Chooch to go to work, unpaid; my own inability to earn an income after countless tries, so far.

There are so many that are far worse off than us, from the loss of medical funding providing medication and treatment that is literally keeping people alive; single parents with small children in the house and having to pay for daycare, groceries and their needs while forced to work, if mission essential. If not mission essential, you save on daycare, but you still freak out on feeding your kids.

Is this really the country we want to be? The Incorporated States of America? Because that’s where our leadership is taking us and holding our countries efficiency and budget hostage for their personal politcal chess games.

The cruelty to the poor, young and weak is nowhere near what the Founding Fathers had in mind and yet we still use their words as weapons to further injure the “huddled masses.” Only puppets blindly follow puppet masters, and that’s not the country that I grew up in.

Remember that when next visiting the statue of liberty, which it sounds like will be open for tourists, but closed for employees already here, with families, seeking to earn their income, raise their families and pay their bills.

It’s the new American dream. Survival, please?

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Here are 2 few things I found for Chooch to read up on, hopefully it is unnecessary.
*fingers crossed*belts tightening*

Washington Post – A government shutdown: What federal employees need to know about their pay and benefits

2015 Shutdown Furlough Guide

 

 

 

Saying Yes to Exercise and No to NaNo

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Books, Dizzy, Exercise, Health, Hobby, No Whining, Work

It’s National Novel Writing Month, which is a program that tries to get folks that want to write a novel motivated enough to put aside excuses and start writing. There are a few general rules, but it boils down to solo writing a minimum of 50,000 words of a new story in 30 days. It’s held every November and you can find much more information and still join at www.nanowrimo.org. And don’t fret about already being behind. There’s no such thing as being ahead or behind, in my opinion. It’s too easy to catch up or fall behind to either beat yourself up or take it easy. Just keep writing and don’t stress about word counts.

It’s a fantastic program, with tons of support, tips and advice available on their forums. I participated in 2008 and 2009, having won in 2009. By the way, winning simply means that you were able to write 50,000 words. I cannot recommend this adventure highly enough. Many write to have a novel to publish or podcast, but mine was purely cathartic. I will never show the novel to anyone other than my hubby, but it is still something I’m extremely proud of having written. It healed some uglies on my inside, which was the point.

This year, between college courses, doing freelance work for Patrick McLean, managing my health issues and a household, my schedule is very tight and I’m very behind on everything. That is why I decided over a month ago that I wasn’t going to do NaNoWriMo. Then I got this idea for a story that has been tinkling in the back of my mind, nearly constantly. I decided to try NaNo, even though knew that I wouldn’t win. There’s just not enough time. I figured any words I got down by tapping into the collective community support would be a win in my situation. Besides, I won last year when I was just starting down the path of finding out what my illness was, so why not?

Why not? Well, in my time calculations, I left out exercise. My work outs take a big toll on my day. The exercise time itself isn’t so bad, but the recovery time after I exercise is the big time suck. I’m dizzy, migraine-y and extremely fatigued so I just grab a tall cool drink and relax until the extreme symptoms pass. It can take anywhere from half an hour to two hours for this to happen before I can resume my day. On rare occasions, it doesn’t pass and my day is shot, other than being proud of myself for the workout.

My total exercise time includes stretching, anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour on the street or up to 90 minutes on the recumbent bike (when I’m too dizzy to run, I just hold on and pedal), stretching after, the Hundred Push-Up Challenge, core stretches and 100 or more crunches. This is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. After class on Tuesdays and Thursdays I take long neighborhood walks (3 mile minimum), do arm weights and floor work (stretches/crunches/core work). I try and do a long walk at least one day on the weekend, but that rarely works out with our busy schedule of late. If anything is planned for the afternoon or evening I just can’t risk having to cancel if my symptoms don’t clear up.

I follow this schedule as closely as I can. On average, I have to cancel a workout a few times a week because of a migraine or dizziness that has me nauseous. Last week, I only worked out four days instead of the planned six. Because of the unpredictable variable, I give my all when I work out, reminding myself that it may be the last one for several days.

I am nearly ALWAYS dizzy after a workout, sometimes leading to a migraine and/or extreme fatigue and sometimes not. This is the reason I gave up going to the track. It’s not safe to drive after I exercise because of the dizziness, so I only do neighborhood workouts now.

Now, I did attempt some writing on Monday, which was the start of NaNoWriMo. I spent most of the time researching my naming convention for my characters but did manage to get a little over 200 words down. I was happy for that, as I needed to get the image down before I forgot it. Migraine had me put it away at that point.

Yesterday was extreme dizziness and migraine, so I missed class and skipped exercise. No words written as any amount of time on the computer and the bright glow from it spiked the brain pain and the meds were completely useless. I was starting to stress over getting even my reduced goals met. It occurred to me that I could regain some time for writing by cutting back on exercise. When I realized that was the only way to find writing time, I knew it was time to walk away from NaNo this year. Exercise is the only thing that brings me any sense of normalcy right now. Even though it has gotten to extreme levels of illness, my doctor fully endorses it and believes as I do that improving my overall health will make my life better.

I still have some writing to do before I put it away. There are some scenes that I’ve got to get typed up before I forget them. And I would like to name all the characters, as I think that will help give them flavor as I give the story itself time to simmer away in the back of my mind.

As I planned a few months ago, I’ll likely pick a month in the Spring as my own personal NaNoWriMo. November is hell for this type of thing, in my life anyways, with the holidays so close that you can taste them. And plan for them. And clean for them. And decorate, and stress, and… you get the idea.

Reply in the comments if you’d like to write along with me in the Spring. April has thirty days, right?

Too Long to Tweet, Number One

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Books, Friends, Soulful, Too Long For Twitter, Twitter/Facebook, Work

There are so many stories of Patrick McLean’s  that make me mutter “Brilliant,” even on the 10th hearing/reading. But this one gives me shivers, too.

“What I do see is the guy with the gun walking up next to my car. Or more precisely, the gigantic black hole that is the barrel of the gun. If you’ve ever had a gun pointed at you, you know what I mean. The barrel seems huge. And why shouldn’t it? It has to be big enough to swallow your whole life.”

-“Getting Shot” from Stories I Told Myself and The Seanachai podcast.

You may consider me biased, but come on. That is a fierce string of words.

Welcome to my shortest post ever.

Health Update

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Dizzy, Health, Work

Last Tuesday’s follow-up with my neurologist went as well as could be expected. Due to the lack of improvement, he is upping the dosage of my daily migraine prevention medication. Because of some tingling and numbness in one of my hands, he is also performing nerve testing to see if I have carpal tunnel issues. If I do not have carpal tunnel and the tingling and numbness continue or worsen, he will switch my daily medication as that would be the likely culprit. This is a much less acute issue than when I was on the first daily migraine medication, which resulted in numbness and tingling/burning sensation in my feet. It was painful and maddening, and resulted in the switch to my current medication.

I am to continue the vestibular rehabilitation for one more month to learn more exercises, and continue maintenance at home. He doesn’t see a point in me going once a week when it is something I can continue on my own at home. I don’t disagree, since I am doing one session there and 10 – 13 a week on my own at home.

As a side note, my very favorite physical therapy assistant has left the practice for a better position elsewhere. Not only had we bonded on a personal level, but as a fellow sufferer she had great insight into what her struggle has been nine years after diagnosis. It provided a realistic view, and although I’m sure my journey will differ I greatly appreciate the information she shared, and how she copes with the ups and downs. Everyone there is perfectly wonderful, but she was my favorite and I’ll miss our weekly chat sessions during therapy.

Since we are now at over six months since this occurred, Chooch and I are having some discussions regarding long term plans since it doesn’t appear that there is going to be any “quick cure”, quick being a relative term. We haven’t made any decisions, but it’s been made clear that my employment is safe for only a brief time longer. If I can’t return before then, they understandably have to release me and fill the position. I also don’t want to delay them from filling the position if it appears I’m not returning. No grudge or sour grapes, as they have been exceedingly generous with me.

I held this post because I didn’t want to play the weak and fragile card over the weekend. My goal was to answer questions if anyone asked, but to try not and let it take over my weekend symptom or conversation-wise. That said, I am extremely grateful for the care and concern shown to me. It’s hard not to feel appreciated and valued in such a caring and supportive community.

I’ll be posting photos along with a post about my spectacular experience at Balticon later this week.

Spinny Viv is spinny

Author: Vivid Muse  //  Category: Dizzy, Health, Work

Posted in Facebook on January 7, 2009

Since the last week of October, I’ve been dealing with an odd collection of health issues, and they’ve caused me to miss all but four days of work. My bosses have been understanding so far, but I don’t know how long this will last. I’ve been anxiously seeking answers, and here is the latest info.

Before Tuesday’s tilt table test, administered at the Cardiac wing of the hospital, I had the following: Brain MRI and CT Scans (tumors and hemorrhages ruled out), blood work for a myriad of things (including lupus), and multiple various auditory/visual tests for MS among other things. All had come back normal until Tuesday.

The tilt table test basically tries to push your body to recreate the symptoms and see how your heart behaves. Strapped to a table, I was positioned at a 70 degree angle while my heart rate and blood pressure were constantly monitored by nurse and cardiologist. After a period of time, they applied pressure to my carotid artery and then after that placed a nitro tablet under my tongue. Yes, nitro. Big badda boom.

Although the dizziness and migraine symptoms were not successfully recreated, I did pass out. Let me say this, it’s interesting to be awakened simultaneously wondering where you are and who’s the crazy woman poking you in the chest and calling your name. I swear, I think she bruised my sternum!

This showed a different abnormality, although the doctor that was present led us to believe that we had now the test result we needed to diagnose and treat all my ailments he was mistaken. They can treat the syncope (fainting) if deemed necessary (which it’s not), but this hasn’t helped with everything else. It appears that it is still good news, as there doesn’t seem to be a major malfunction with my heart. I was however, devastated as I thought we were walking out with a diagnosis and treatment. I was already planning my return to work and exercise and well, normal life. Major bummer.

As it stands my cardiologist will work with my neurologist on all the info