Sunday, January 4, 2015

It Was What It Was: 2014

Can we just pretend 2014 didn't happen?

Help me, 2015! You're my only hope!

Long story short: 2014 sucked. Apart from my son's Confirmation (which, since, he's become an agnostic) and his elementary school graduation and turning into the most popular schmuck in his artsy crowd in high school with his own radio show and Peter Framptonesque long tendrils, and being Student of the Month in his photography class, the year was wrought with disaster after disaster, which sucked, Luke being the gleaming north star at the end of a very dark tunnel.

Luke saved my life from a paralyzing panic attack late this summer, that I'll credit him. I got stuck in the mud, literally, needed a Valium (which I had on hand), he bummed a fresh bottle of water off another fella, and pulled me out. Later that evening, we got to visit with a dear friend I haven't seen in a couple of years for a good, long while. (Yes, THAT friend.) He adores Luke, who wouldn't? He loves me, who wouldn't? The mud trap sucked but, uh, that friend most certainly brightened my life in spades. After many suicidal considerations and plans and means to carry it out, I kept peeking in at my boy, we'd talk or get laughing and the impulse would pass. It's nice that I have a teenager who doesn't hate me, who doesn't think I'm a bitch and still hugs me goodnight every night.

I had to switch grad schools, which turned out to be a big old mess because I have to repeat 2 courses due to absences for health-related problems. My current school has these ridiculous in-residence intensive weekends, for 3 days, and if you miss ANY of that class time, you automatically fail the course. That's when I got a serious infection in one of my right fingers after a doctor and 4 nurses had to cut one of my rings--my thickest ring--off of my hand because it was getting infected underneath and wouldn't come off, because I was so water-weighted down with edema. The infection caused me to miss 2 days of this particular residency weekend, so booted was I. It just sucked.

In the other class, I simply couldn't keep up with the workload because I was in and out of doctors' offices on an almost daily basis while my medical team tried to figure out the swelling. The diuretics finally worked and in a matter of a little over a month in November and December, I lost 35 pounds, which helped my back pain and knee pain. (I still have to go to physical therapy for the pain in my knees.)  So I now have skinny legs again but I'm top and neck heavy. Most disproportionate, which is embarrassing and aggravating. I'm a little woman trapped in a heavy body, which has done a number on my self-esteem. My asthma is also slowly improving the more weight I lose. Most of that still sucks.

Never mind with the school, I can produce dozens of medical visit reports, doctors' notes, etc. to corroborate my absence and lack of completion of work. It just sucked.

I had a battery of tests and long visits with an ear doctor because I was getting piercing earaches in my right ear when I was lying on it, which would wake me up from sound sleep. Several doctors looked at my ear, and it wasn't infected. It, as with most of my medical problems, was a mystery. Had an ear MRI (leaving all my piercings in, thank God) and the ear doctor was baffled. I went for a hearing test, and apart from markedly poor hearing in my right ear (huh?), I'm just using numbing drops when I get an earache. That sucks and doesn't suck. Ok, well, yeah, it sucks.

This Long QT Syndrome issue is still of prevalence. Getting in to see the electrocardiologist won't be happening until the middle of this month. I've tapered off the antipsychotic which was to blame, and my liver function issue should also be improving. (Geodon malfunctions the liver, the heart, I swear--every rare but life-threatening side effect has befallen me after having taken the drug since 2009.) Next week, I'm having an EKG, an echocardiogram and an abdominal ultrasound, then seeing my psychiatrist on Thursday. She wants to see an EKG to see if the Long QT has improved or escalated. Did I tell you that my psychiatrist was really intrigued with a long-term study that came out which blamed Geodon for multiple cases of pancreatitis? Well, if that don't beat all. Let's rewind to 2010-2011, when I had it 4 or 5 times and was in the hospital or operating room.

'Twill be a busy week with tests. I don't start school again until the 15th, and I'm lucky I don't have to be on campus that day. Uber has become my best friend. Parking downtown for school costs twice as much. That just sucks.

Sad to have said goodbye to "The Colbert Report" right before the holidays, as it was one of my favorite shows. I have not only deep respect and find Stephen Colbert a comedic genius, but he just seems like a really sweet guy out of character as well. That, and he did receive an honorary doctorate from my alma mater, Knox College, in 2006, which he tried to burn on his show at some point, but it wouldn't start on fire. Between "The Office" reruns, "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report," I don't watch much on the boob tube. Colbert's finale was a star-studded spectacular, and I'll have to start DVR'ing the "Late Night" show when he replaces Letterman. But then I found this picture on Pinterest, and it's just too much oof for me to handle. What can I say?

Christmas wasn't necessarily stress-free but it was enjoyable after all. My nephew and his boyfriend (who was also part of the festivities) got me "Cards Against Humanity" as a gift, which, if you haven't heard of it, has the tagline: "A card game for horrible people." It's filthy and insulting. And who played it with us until 1am on Christmas Eve? My mother! Oh, Mylanta! Christmas Day was just my mother and I, so we ate a fancy dinner she whipped up and watched "Silver Linings Playbook," which was most excellent. (I wonder if Guy ever got the "Lego Movie" I tried to anonymously send to him after he kicked my ass to the curb.) That all didn't suck too badly. Nobody killed anyone. Always a good thing.

New Year's Eve could've been more boring, but the TCM channel was showing "Elvis on Tour," "A Hard Day's Night," "Gimme Shelter," and "Tommy." I was pretty much set, with my laptop in the dining room, spending time with my mom. Luke was out at a house party until 1:45 in the morning (yes, the parents were home).  Toasts with sparkling grape juice that I wish was champagne, some good snacks, so that didn't suck as badly as it could have.

I missed a lot of band this year because of illness, injury and school, which bummed me out. I even missed the contemporary Christmas carols service because my knee was too swollen to play my drums and I was in too much pain. All of that alternating heat and ice. Heat and ice. Heat and ice. THAT sucked.

I'm not writing as much as I could be, given all the free time I'm seemingly allotted. I just haven't felt creative spunk lately. It's bad enough I'm blogging now, relaying all of my woes of the year and believe me, my friends, family and acquaintances all concur that 2014 was just a plain shitty year. It was all over Facebook--friends bidding adieu to the year which has thankfully passed. In all seriousness, I haven't seen THAT many people proclaim unhappiness in synopses over a few days as I have since around the 30th of December. Those poor people! The year sucked across the board! It wasn't just me!

Other friends have had serious problems too, both physical and emotional. I've tried to be the rock that holds everyone together, but like a globally warming glacier, I'm disappearing. I can't remember the last time I was truly manic, though right now I feel a little hypomanic (probably because I was looking at pictures of Stephen Colbert on Pinterest) and not yet sleepy. (He really should hire me as a writer. I am hella witty and sharp when I want to be, when I'm not constantly bitching.) Mostly it's been bipolar depression. I would love to exercise, but I'm not cleared to yet, and even if I tried something relaxing and healthy like swimming, I could go into cardiac arrest. That would suck.

The burgeoning year, 2015, you know, things can only get better. They have to, because too many of us have seen and been to the depths of hell and back in the last 365-ish days.

Heading off to make my Sleepytime tea (which I'll no doubt spill on myself in bed trying to use the laptop and drink at the same time, and one more smoke (down to half a pack a day with the e-cigarette!) outside in the rainy sleety mixture that's supposed to turn into 4-7" of snow by the end of tomorrow. Super. I can't shovel, which I actually enjoy. It's an OCD thing with me.

My wish is that you all fare well, have happiness and not suckiness in your new year. Don't make resolutions you can't keep, or promises which are empty to the people about whom you care. Don't break anyone's heart if you can help it. Smile a lot and make up jokes. Be free. Don't cast the first stone. Eat, drink and be merry. Do your best to tell the people you love that you love them, but if you don't really love them, don't say it at all. Support gay marriage and marijuana legalization, and the women's right to choose what happens to her body. Don't watch Fox News unless it's for amusement purposes only. Eat less cheese and drink more water. Those are the best pieces of advice I can muster at this late hour.

Most of all, don't suck and don't let the year suck you down.

Happy New Year, 4 days late, from The Offbeat Drummer! Wish me luck!


BMF said...

Look up, hun. The new year will be infinitely better than '14 was. Mine wasn't much better, as you know. But we got to hang out! :) :) :) With Luke!

Rob Cheney said...

Finally caught up with all the recent posts.

Wishing the offbeat drummer and BMF a most excellent 2015