Today is Remicade Infusion Day. (For those new to my blog, I get a 2.5-3 hour Remicade infusion every 8 weeks to keep my Crohn’s Disease in check.) While I would love to stop getting them, I am grateful that I have good insurance which covers these expensive infusions, and that I have a job that allows me to adjust my work schedule so I have the day off to go to infusions every 8 weeks without negatively impacting my vacation and sick time accruals.
All things considered, it’s a relatively pleasant experience, for a medical treatment. Aside from having to spend a few hours here every other month and get an IV placed in my arm (and also having the adhesive tape removed from my hairy arm – ouch!) the nurses here are usually pretty friendly and pleasant, the other people seem to respect that we’re all here together in a small room getting treatments and behave accordingly (no outrageous behaviour or loud or obnoxious conversations) and I can easily entertain myself with all my electronic devices, since they have free wi-fi and plenty of power outlets. On occasion, there’s even a handsome fellow here to secretly ogle (but not today.)
I have become quite adept at withdrawing and “disappearing” in a room full of people for 3 hours while my infusion drips, thanks to my portable technology. While here, I usually grab the chair in the corner, if it’s available (so my back is against the wall, which allows for the most privacy for my laptop screen) where I read (and reply to) blogs, answer any sitting personal e-mails, and monitor my work e-mails on my laptop. I also like listening to music or podcasts on my iPhone or through iTunes on either device, to block out other people and conversations. Today, I am using my new Bluetooth ear pods, which have replaced my corded earphones (I love them) and I’m listening to EW Live, which is streaming on Sirius XM radio app. I usually listen to this show in the car in the morning on the way to work, (if the Fresh Air show with Terry Gross on “NPR Now” is a repeat) because they chat about pop culture, movies and TV shows, which is a welcome change from the depressing news on other news talk stations. I also brought my iPad in case I want to read digital comics, and I could watch TV shows or movies here on any of my devices if I really wanted to (but I never do.)
I really don’t know how people got through these types of things on a regular basis without so much entertainment and distraction at their finger tips. I see people at every infusion appointment who just sit here and stare off into space during their infusion. Wouldn’t you at least bring a book or magazine to pass the time?
Having a chronic illness sure sucks, but having the Technology to make it more bearable is wonderful, isn’t it?
“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”
Stephen Hawking, Advice He Gave His Children
When I arrived at work this morning, this was waiting for me in my chair:
What I didn’t realize is that they had placed a pile of chocolate covered raisins (“giraffe poop”) under the stuffed giraffe on top of the blanket, so when I yanked the blanket off my chair, the raisins went flying all over the place and I spent my first 10 minutes back to work on my hands and knees picking up giraffe poop.
My life, as I have lived it, with dignity.
It’s that time of year again when I (we all?) will suffer through at least one week of people being late and/or complaining about how having to “lose an hour” to daylight saving time (note: it’s not “savings”) has messed up their schedule and/or awareness of time.
As much as I hate the whole idea of DST, I’ve begrudgingly lived with it for 38 years. I am used to it and manage it quite fine. (For those who might be wondering, I am almost 47, but lived in Arizona for almost 9 years when I was younger, where they don’t do DST.)
Returning to work tomorrow, after a week away, means dozens of emails to pour through and respond to, projects to catch up on, and some other changes that are happening or will happen soon that will require some adjustment on my part. The changes could make things better or worse. Time will tell. (More on that later.)
There are other things on my mind about the future, both immediate and long term, that involve personal and financial decisions, in addition to the professional ones I alluded to, that have me deep in thought this morning. Whenever I’m at a crossroad and/or have decisions to make, I obsess over the potential impact of each choice, weighing the pros and cons, trying to discern which option will make me happier, healthier, or more content, and which option may result in less struggle and stress. I try to boil my choices down to a basic principle I hold: the pay off has to be greater than the price. Unfortunately, since I’m unable to see into the future, it’s usually a guessing game as to the final impact of the road I choose to take, which sometimes leaves me indecisive.
Or maybe it all only seems overwhelming because I had to move my clock’s hour hand ahead 60 minutes this morning.
1. All laundry washed, dried and put away:
2. Roaring fire in the fireplace:
3. Puppies snuggled and snoozing:
4. Hot Cocoa brewed (and topped with whipped cream):
5. “Veep” episodes streaming on Netflix:
No matter what kind of vacation we’ve had – adventurous, relaxing, enjoyable, stressful, short, long, near, far – there is always an adjustment period for us once we’re home again.
We arrived home yesterday morning to a driveway full of snow and a buried car (Mom’s). After a quick hello to Mom and the Dogs, we headed out to shovel and clear out her car. Once we got everything cleared and got Mom on her way, we decided to have a quiet day of relaxation and leave all the other stuff (unpacking and cleaning) for the weekend. We cuddled up with the pups and started binge watching Season 2 of Jessica Jones on Netflix. And that is how we spent our first day back.
This morning, I made gluten free buttermilk pancakes for breakfast, and we finished up the last 4 episodes of JJS2. Then it was time to get to work: We unpacked all our stuff, started the laundry, and then I cleaned out my closet, a job I’ve been putting off for waaaayyy too long. After that, I hit the exercise bike and treadmill, then showered and dressed for the next adventure of the day: grocery shopping. While being home and doing chores may not be as exciting as cocktails by the pool in Key West, it is nice to have some time to do the things we need to do before heading back to work Monday. Plus, no matter how great it is to get away, it’s also great to be back in our own space, with our dogs, with all the creature comfort that make our house a home, be it ever so humble.
These are quotes I came across on the interwebs, that I found meaningful, so I saved them to share here:
We’re heading back to Hartford, CT today, then we’ll drive home tomorrow.
As is usually the case, my Mom is staying at our house and dog sitting while we are away. The dogs get just as pampered, if not more so, when Grandma’s there.
Here they are patiently waiting for Gram to cook their eggs and bacon:
And here they are, gobbling down their breakfast:
We are excited to see them when we get home tomorrow, but not so excited to shovel the snow that fell while we were away:
Although, it is kinda pretty on the tree in our front yard:
(All pics courtesy of my Mom who has been texting me all morning.)
While I’m not one to prioritize doing all the typical tourist things while visiting a new place, I’ve been known to indulge from time to time (especially when we’re with friends who want to do those things.) This morning, we hoofed it over to the marker in the picture above and stood in line to record proof that we were here. It was a beautiful morning, so the walk was pleasant and the temps comfortable. I’ve been really impressed with the lack of humidity here, which I have almost zero tolerance for.
This experience has us wanting to visit other parts of Florida, eventually.
We headed to Mallory Square to watch the sun set on our second day in Key West.