Category Archives: Environment

Physical, biophysical, and social

I need to see a doctor about this arm. 

Back in January, I had Kj at the shop with me.  I had just cooked him his “favorite” lunch of a plain omelette and proceeded to make my own while he danced and capered around me.  Finally finished I start to head back to my desk… And I trip.

Foolishly I try to retain control of my sandwich and drink.  Had I been smarter I would have flung my meal away and landed on my hands to cushion the fall.  Gravity is no joke, falls kill 17,000 people each year in the US.

So I land on my forearms, sandwich plate in one hand, drink in the other.  The sandwich naturally goes flying.  The drink? It was a “Mexican” coke, and shattered in my hand. Soda everywhere. Glass also everywhere, including inside my hand, so now there’s blood everywhere too.

After getting Kj calmed down and cleaning up the mess as best as I could I notice that my arm is hurting, the shoulder in particular.

That night it’s difficult to sleep. I wonder if the bone is broken. “Let’s give it a few days” I tell myself.

Six weeks later, it no longer hurts constantly, but I don’t have my full range of motion. Raising my arm over my shoulder causes a pain like a bone chip is cutting something inside, or a tendon is pinched or something. Laying on my side in bed and using that arm to put something on my nightstand caused pain.  I can’t fully rotate my arm during supination, attempting to do an overhead press causes intense pain if a significant weight is used.

I don’t know if I’ve torn my rotator cuff or cracked a bone. Waiting hasn’t fixed it.  My larger worry is that I’ll need surgery and how much that will cost, despite insurance.

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Life’s little difficulties.

It’s been a trying time of late.

Last week, the downstairs furnace went out; it’s gas with heatpumps and when we had the 9″+ of snow along with -5 degree temperatures, fate decided this would be the perfect time for it to go inop.  Despite space heaters throughout the downstairs, the lower level quickly dropped to a temperature of 40 degrees that Thursday.  A repairman made it out on Friday, and pronounced it fixed.

Naturally the furnace went out again shortly thereafter.

The repairman returned late Friday and determined that the issue was a pressure switch; unfortunately the warehouse was closed.  His advice was to just reset the furnace and it would turn back on until the pressure valve went off again. Naturally the furnace would work for 10 minutes and then go off again.

Friday was cold.

Saturday saw the temperature rise above 32, and the ice started to melt.  Thankfully this meant the ice everywhere started to melt.  This had the fortunate side effect of clearing off our heating units and allowed the downstairs furnace to function properly again.  Saturday was warm.  As was Sunday.

Unfortunately there was a side effect to the ice melting at the house.  The ice also melted at the shop.

The shop has a series of issues.  The landlord was nice enough to finish the shell and have the place wired to spec… well actually I wound up footing the bill for the wiring.  The one thing he didn’t do is put a new roof on, and I’m paying the price.

When the snow & ice started to melt on the roof, the accumulation blocked the drainage areas, causing pooling. That pooling found each and every hole in the roof, and decided to come for a visit inside the store.  So, where there were already intermittent leaks I discovered pools of water all over the store.  The bathroom was flooded.  The northest wall was flooded and had water streaming down it.  The shipping computer got soaked – fortunately the PC was shielded but both printers drowned and the phone was ruined.  Water was all through the warehouse.

New printers cost me $1k.  I’m not sure how much a new phone is going to cost yet.  Until new printers arrive, I can’t ship orders.  When it rains, it pours.

Jennifer’s Indignent Waking Quotes, a new series.

I’ve decided to start logging these as she always doubts my recollection when I tell her how she acted the next day.

Scene: just after midnight, I’m laying on my back, reading Reddit on the kindle, Jennifer is laying on her right side.  The room is dark, the house is quiet.  She’s snoring softly.

Jennifer: [snnnnnnrrrrKKKKTTTT!](Wakes up, sits up angrily) “What?!?! What is it, what did you say?”
Me: “Nothing”
Jennifer: “What did you say to me, you said something!”
Me: “Honey, you snored yourself awake.”
Jennifer: “Oh sure, it’s all my fault. You never do anything wrong; it’s all me”

I’m trying not to giggle.

KJ development

We had KJ’s parent teacher conference last night and in several areas he is ahead of the game – he’s very good at counting, alphabet, and many of the other milestones needed for his age range.  Unfortunately he has a couple areas where he needs work.  I really need to try hard at getting him potty trained… he makes it incredibly difficult though.

He’s very headstrong and likes to fight and scream and gnash and wail about the pettiest of things, which makes any sort of battle of wills exhausting.  He’s is also very sensitive and hates to see that he’s upset anyone, so when he knows he’s screwed up it’s the saddest thing to see.

We were told that we needed to get him enrolled for next year at his school; Jennifer went over to do this just now and was informed that he’s already enrolled; she needs to come back in a month to make changes. Nothing like time wasted on unnecessary tasks.

Stolen moments

I woke up at 6:50 this morning, checking the clock after a noise brought me to full consciousness.  Song was in the upstairs bathroom, finishing her makeup before leaving for school.  She fled down the stairs shortly thereafter, thankfully turning off the bathroom light before leaving.

KJ must have been woken up by her descending footsteps as he shuffled into our bedroom and crawled over Jennifer before snuggling into his customary barrier position between us.  A few minutes later Song came back upstairs to let Jennifer & I know that she’d missed the bus.  Jennifer & I whispered back and forth, playing footsie with each other – with KJ between us, it’s the easiest way to reach out and have some gentle intimacy.

Jennifer left shortly thereafter to drop Song off; she returned bearing Starbucks and I was grateful to have her climb back in bed on my side.  A few stolen minutes of murmuring, sharing our thoughts and laughter and kisses, hoping that KJ would stay asleep.

Of course, since it was Friday he woke up at 8:50 and was rarin’ to go.  On school days it’s a struggle to get him out of bed at 9:15.  Those few minutes, though… they make the day better.

I’m tired

I rarely have excess energy anymore.  I feel like go through each day in a fugue; I’m swaddled in blankets that don’t warm me, and the world is muted.

I don’t get good sleep because KJ constantly comes into the bedroom through the night, or the kids are making noise downstairs, or I’m in some sort of pain, or a litany of other reasons.

I have no outlets for stress release other than reading or working out, and they are largely mere postponements or temporary reprieves.  The problems never go away or are resolved, they simply lurk and bide their time until they can return to the surface.  It’s no wonder I have headaches at least 3 days a week.

I haven’t eaten since Saturday night, but I’m not hungry.  I’m not even thirsty, really, though I know I need to hydrate in order to function.

I’m numb, or I’m angry, or I’m deflated.  Who knows what the future holds.

No matter how bad it gets

Midnight plus thirty and I’m at Skyline, eating my most wretched of comfort foods.

I don’t know if the guy behind me is trying to be polite because he’s had too much to drink, or if he’s flirting with the waitress in a painfully cringeworthy way.  I choked down my usual food substitute while reading 50 Foot Ant’s fourth story, then left as I had no excuse to stay longer.

Sitting in the 4Runner, trying to get warm. I ate trying to fill the same hole, The truck hadn’t begun to warm up and already there’s man walking up on me.  I crack the window and make sure my strong hand has access to my holster.

He says that he’d just gotten out of jail, and wasn’t trying to run a game on me; he just wants to get enough money for a beer and a bus ticket.  I appreciate the brazenness of that approach, so I give him all the folding money I had on me: 7-12 dollars, I don’t count it, He needs it more than I.

As depressed as I am, as empty as I feel, there are people who have it much worse.

Carl told me today that I have the patience of Job.  I am just a man, trying to do what I can to make it through. Lord, it’s tough.  I don’t ask for help with my journey, just the strength to make it through.