Still here

In years past, I have often, if not always, participated in NaBloPoMo, posting on my blog every day for the month of November. This year, it didn’t even occur to me. What did occur to me was to not post even one blog post for the month of November. “What if I take the entire month off?” I thought, “would the world end?” Of course not. If I don’t care, then why should anyone else? Those heady days of busy busy blogging are long gone, at least around here, and no one worries if I don’t have anything to say for a week or two. Or maybe a month.

But tonight I’m sitting, sipping wine, watching old reruns on TV. Ted’s at work, Maya’s upstairs doing homework. I’ve got a good book next to me that I’ll dive into after I finish this, so I thought I’d say hello.

In my last post, I mentioned several books that I had put on hold at the library. As sometimes happens, three books came in at once. This is a situation that can stress me out. The books are all due in three weeks, and what if I can’t get through the books in time? When the books are popular, I can’t renew them. Rats. The first one I read was “Let me be Frank with you”, by Richard Ford. It’s 4 novellas in one book, all around the same time. Frank Bascombe lives in New Jersey, and the stories all take place in the months after Hurricane Sandy, though they don’t all relate to the storm. They’re internal stories. Not much happens. Mostly Frank observes and considers what is going on around him, trying to figure out his place in the world, how to do the right thing when he’s not always sure what that is. I liked it a lot, and I would recommend it to anyone, whether or not they’ve read any other of Ford’s books about Bascombe.

Next is “This is the Story of a Happy Marriage”, which is a series of essays by Ann Patchett. Thus far she’s writing about the experience of being a writer. I’m enjoying it, and I think there’s a lot of good advice there. Next up could be short stories by Tom Perotta, or it could be the new Felix Francis book. I’m looking forward to that.

It’s that time of year at work, where things get busy. Busy busy busy. I like being busy, but I don’t like everything about it. I don’t like how we sometimes are made to feel guilty for wanting to take time off on weekends. I don’t like how my company, this year, decided that the day after Thanksgiving is not a company holiday. Jerks. Thankfully, my immediate boss isn’t a jerk, so I have that day off.

Maybe you’re wondering how the arthritis thing is going. It sucks, is how. Here I’ve been healthy my entire life, and suddenly I feel pain almost all of the time, in various parts of my body, and I don’t know how much worse it is likely to get or if it will ever go away. I finished the prednisone two weeks ago, and the pain has been coming back ever since. Actually, it started coming back when I was tapering off of the prednisone. But since I’ve been off entirely, the pain is worse. I hate it. It’s not nearly as bad as it was before I started the prednisone, but the fear of whether it will come back is scary. I’ve read about rheumatoid arthritis, and everything I read sucks. I try to keep focused on the knowledge that every person’s body is different. Every person reacts to medications differently. Sometimes issues like mine mysteriously go away. I cling to that, hoping that will be my story, and that this almost-but-not-exactly rheumatoid arthritis will go away and life will be pain free. In the mean time, swimming helps. Ted bought passes to our local community pool, and days that I go are generally better than those that I don’t. Did I mention work is busy right now? Sigh. Also, sleeping with my wrists in braces helps. Also, wearing my bite guard helps, because the discomfort in my hands seems to make me grind my teeth, which make my cheeks hurt, and also maybe gum recession gets worse. I feel very sexy, with my hands in braces and teeth in a guard. Blech. Taking some new meds that so far I’m not allergic to. They take a couple of months to kick in. So let’s see. I sure hope they work, and that things get better on this front.

What else. Maya’s liking her job at her elementary school. She’s starting to think about where she’d like to transfer when she’s finished at the local junior college. She isn’t enjoying her time there, sadly. She does have several friends nearby, but no one at school to hang out with. I hope things get better there.

Thanksgiving is coming. We’re going to Ted’s parents’ house, where the plan is that we all chip in so no one person has to do everything. My contribution is cranberry sauce, yams, rolls, and vegetables. Pretty easy stuff. Really, none of the Thanksgiving dishes are that complicated, so I’m not sure why some people get so stressed about it. Maybe if it were at my house, and if it were anyone but loved relatives, it might be more stressful.

I was supposed to go see my Grandma yesterday. We got a call at 7:30 in the morning, that Grandma had been in too much pain all night (arthritis in her back) and hadn’t slept. Ugh. My poor Grandma, tiny like a little bird, in so much pain. I don’t know why her being tiny makes it worse. She just seems so frail and vulnerable, I guess. Which she is. She’s also amazingly strong. Strong in her spirit and heart, frail in body. She told me that the only way to avoid this crap is to die before you get to be her age. I need to put some thought into this whole process, and what I want when I get to be old.

The plan right now is to go see Grandma next Saturday. I hope so. Maybe even if she’s not feeling better, I’ll go. A difficult decision. I should likely leave her alone and let her rest, so she doesn’t feel like she has to be up and feeling well when I’m there. On the other hand, sometimes having someone come and visit makes her feel better. I know it would make me feel better.

That’s it. Nothing else here. I hope you’re well, that November is treating you well thus far.

This entry was posted in Musings.

8 thoughts on “Still here

  1. That’s funny. I am so out of the loop on social media and had to look up NaBloPoMo to see what it was. I’ve had times I post more regularly but now I keep it to twice a week for Rain Trueax and once a week for Thoughts– with the rant happening whenever a rant comes to me ;). I think about quitting totally but probably won’t. It’s a long engrained habit and I like having places to share photos or thoughts.

    Sorry about your pain. It’s hard to get past something like that and hope it is better soon. So many things have no real answers as to why.

  2. You mentioning NaBloPoMo really makes me think back on the good old days of blogging. I miss blogging and even more the sense of community. Micro blogging platforms such as Facebook and Twitter took over but it’s not the same. I do enjoy your posts and glad you have continued.
    I’m so sorry about your health issues. Try to be as proactive and positive as possible – easier said than done.

    • I very much agree about blogging and how it used to be. “Like” buttons are not the same. They have a sort of hit and run feel at times, or perhaps a bit sterile.

  3. I’m terribly sorry about your arthritis. It does seem to come on suddenly like that, and I think it’s hereditary. I could not escape it; my entire family had it in various areas of their bodies, and the crushing guilt I have because Jared and Sam already have it (knee and back, respectively) is truly awful.

    Regarding Thanksgiving Dinner stress: a lot of it is because of timing, I think. I only cook for my immediate family, but I have only one oven. With so many dishes requiring oven time, and with everything needing to be ready at once, it does necessitate some deftness, some intense organization and juggling of burners, oven space, etc. It would be fantastic if I could even set up the big table ahead of time, but alas! CATS. They would assume it was solely for their luxuriating benefit.

    Finally, I’m sorry about your grandma. Were she round and robust-looking, it would be different, I agree. But when the elderly are birdlike and frail, they look breakable and brittle. It’s like we can see the Pain wracking their bodies. Take her a pair of fluffy, toasty socks or a fleece-covered pillow to warm up next to in bed. I hope she sleeps better soon.

  4. I have not been blogging for a couple of years (eep!) so I totally understand, though I do still peek in from time to time (and am starting a new one). Sending many positive blessings that your arthritis improves! And my grandmother is going through something similar right now, at the age of 96. At this point I struggle with whether to make the twice-a-month trip to have dinner with her. It hurts so much to watch her decline. It is only a matter of time before she doesn’t recognize me at all – I don’t know how I will handle that day. But she is always happy to see me, and I know your grandma, as pained as she may be, will be glad to see you too. It’s the best we can do at this point – just be there as a comforting presence as long as we can. And when we can’t, they will understand.

  5. J, very sorry to hear about your arthritis. I really hope you’re able to resolve, adjust, medicate this, or some combination of those, so that you can get back to being more active.

    Also, I was too late to comment on your prior post, but I did very much enjoy your Giants notes. I’m simply amazed at their good fortune in 3 Octobers. They’ve now beaten ten playoff opponents in a row, without losing a series or wildcard game themselves. It’s particularly incredible in that they’ve often been far more mortal in the regular season (I watch/listen to most games), yet when October comes around they rise to the challenge. I’m afraid we are about to lose The Panda, however.

    I like both Richard Ford and Patchett. Thanks for the reviews, I hope to get to the books some day, maybe soon.

  6. Oh ack, I am so sorry about the RA. I know that it can be very difficult to deal with, and I hope that you find the right mix of things that work best to keep it at bay. I also hope that it will spontaneously go away and not come back for a very long time, or not at all!

    My grandmother, who is 93, says the same thing about being as old as she is. That she and my grandfather (97)have lived too long, and their days just stretch endlessly because they are home bound due to lack of a car. Neither of them are capable of driving. I feel bad for her, because she and my grandfather are very social people at heart, and it hurts them that they no longer have the freedom they used to have.

    As for NaBloPoMo, I remember the angst of trying to come up with a new blog post every day that wasn’t complete filler material! As everyone has mentioned in the comments, those days have long since past. Which I think is kind of sad, because those were heady times, indeed.

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