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Last week? It was bad

Last week was a nightmare through and through. I’m having a hard time comprehending what all happened but that might be the migraine talking. Migraine? What migraine? That will be at the end. First, everything that happened BEFORE. Note: I’ve been pretty whiny lately and I’m pretty sure a lot of people would call these “first world problems.” It’s also a wall of text and I have no pictures (that’s also in here somewhere). Also? I didn’t really proofread.

Last weekend- actually, August 22, we picked up the remains of my husband’s computer. He had shipped it to a friend back in October of 2009 through a company that uses Big Brown Trucks. The package was damaged and we hadn’t actually seen it for ourselves yet. It was a little shocking. I don’t mean a dented case or a slightly damage USB port. The thing is basically not salvageable. We have been going back and forth for over nine months now to resolve the insurance claim on it but still have heard nothing. I wrote up a long entry with details and pictures but delayed in posting it. I contacted a customer service representative and was given a magic phone number that was supposed to fix things. We’re still waiting. Depending on the outcome of a phone call that husband is going to make tomorrow I might just push the Publish button and name names. Waiting over nine months on a legitimate claim is ridiculous. I’m talking call the BBB AND email The Consumerist ridiculous. I probably should have done something like this sooner but I am too much of a forgiving person.

So that took place on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday I sat down to work on my pictures from the weekend and also from the beginning of August. My thoughts were to use some of them for a Wordless Wednesday post. Little did I know that more than two thirds of the photos had been corrupted. I’m using a temporary set up for my hard drive because my own computer is definitely out of commission. The hard drive containing my photos, though, is so far fine and I wanted to remain consistent with my storage methods. The hard drive is jury-rigged using a SATA to USB cable. All that I can guess is that somehow when I transferred my images from my camera card straight to that hard drive the files were corrupted. I did find a free program called PhotoRec that allowed me to bring back most of them. The others I think are lost because my genius self said last Friday (the 20th; this is what happens when you don’t update for so long- last, next, etc lose their relevance) “Self, you should format your card because that article you read said that regular formatting made it easier to retrieve accidentally deleted files.” Oops. But in the days between realizing the original copies were toast and being able to resurrect (some of) them I was a total mess.

Also, that whole week, The Place I Don’t Talk About Much was causing crazy amounts of stress. I don’t go into specifics about my job but some things happened that make me question what some people I work with really think of me. I’ll give you a hint: it’s definitely not like an equal. There is so much more I wish I could say but the Internet Police might get me. So in a word: stress.

Thursday night terrible things happened. Things were fine until around 8:00 when what turned out to be one of my worst headaches EVER started. And I do mean a literal headache. Sharp stabby hot poker-like pains behind my right eye. I thought no big, that usually goes away after a half hour or so. NOT THIS TIME. It progressed in to something bad so I took an Excedrin Migraine. I used to swear by the stuff; just a half a dose usually gets rid of whatever I have. It didn’t. So about a half hour later I took the second half of the dose. Instead of anything getting better it settled in to a mixture of a steady/sharp headache that after 2 hours was no better. Thinking that I could sleep it off I went to bed. WRONG. I woke up a few short hours later. I think it was from the headache itself. After sleeping just a little while longer I continued to wake up and eventually emailed in to work to say I couldn’t come it.

All day Friday I waited for it to go away. And waited. Once again I tried sleeping and got the same result: a nice, painful headache that woke me up. Since my go-to medicine had failed and you’re only supposed to take 2 every TWENTY-FOUR HOURS (read: eternity when you have a headache like that), I didn’t take anything else. Come Friday night I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep lying down so I tried to sleep in our papasan. That didn’t work. At 4AM I was literally counting down the hours until the weekend clinic would be open. That wouldn’t be until 10AM so I eventually gave in and slept on the couch.

I dragged the husband out of bed at 9:30 (ON A SATURDAY) and asked him to drive me which he did without fuss. The doctor there told me pretty much what I expected to hear. Need to visit my family doctor… oops, I really don’t have one of those yet. Should probably get a referral to a neurologist to schedule a CT scan “just in case” this is something abnormal. Was not pleased at all to hear that I had been on Accutane this year. (Oh hmm. I never mentioned that here, did I. Maybe another day.) Said I should also visit an ophthalmologist because it’s been way past time I do that anyway. My last pair of contacts? They’ve already gone past the time I should still be wearing them but I don’t know that I can get an appointment before SEPTEMBER 28th.

In the end I walked out with a prescription for Fioricet, which the pharmacy took over an hour to fill. Thought that was a bit crazy. Anyway, got the medication, took it, and waited. Nothing much happened. Four hours later took another. Still nothing. Yet another 4 hours later I took another and decided it was time to sleep. AND I GOT TO SLEEP. I can’t tell you what really getting to sleep for several hours straight and not waking up with a raging headache was like. Some of you might know but it felt AWESOME. I continued to feel good for most of Sunday. I did end up taking more medicine once but that was it. Decided I could go to work on Monday (meaning this morning) so I did. Most of the day I felt pretty fuzzy headed and was told at least once that I didn’t look so good. –Doesn’t that always make a person feel GREAT? For other people to go “You look terrible” or “Your eyes make you look exhausted”? I always just have to kind of smile and nod and try to go on.– I ended up leaving a bit early because I felt extremely tired and thought a nap would help. I also have a meeting in the morning that I need to go to and I didn’t want to make myself sick by staying.

So I came home and tried to rest. And woke up with my head hurting again. It’s like I can’t shake this at all. From all of my 4AM Googling and research I keep wondering what if something is truly wrong. What if there is no cure? What if I’m stuck with chronic headaches for life? WHAT IF I NEVER GET TO SLEEP AGAIN?? I know it’s crazy but I’ve talked about my irrational fears that I continue to have even when I know they’re irrational. I’ll find some way to deal. I’ve made one of the appointments I need: ophthalmologist (I have said that so much in the past few days that I don’t need spell checker for it anymore). I didn’t get an appointment until September 28 (as mentioned) so we’ll see.

I have started keeping a headache journal to see if there is anything I can identify that triggers these things. There hasn’t been a single thing that I can remember but I don’t think my memory is sharp enough to keep up with every headache I’ve had.

Oh, and Sunday? (I had written “Monday” but realized that today is Monday, so yesterday was Sunday. GAH.) My host had the motherboard go out on the server I’m on. Had I sat down to write when I intended I would have found out then but I didn’t until later.

I almost forgot this part: on Thursday night I had tried to order my computer. I found what I thought was a decent priced pre-built computer that should suit my needs. It should definitely be faster than what I had. But the company’s website wouldn’t let my order through. Friday the husband tried to order it for me but the free shipping coupon wouldn’t work (my order was totally eligible) AND the site still wouldn’t let my order through. He started a chat support session with the company. I don’t know what all they said but they were like “If it’s eligible the shipping coupon should work. You have to create a profile to order the computer. That computer isn’t eligible for the 25% discount coupon. The site still won’t let your order through? Just give me your credit card number in this chat and I’ll order it for you.” That last bit is where I put my foot down. Putting a card number in a secure cart system is one thing; giving it to an agent in a chat session? Totally out of my comfort zone. They ended up calling us and getting the computer ordered on their side. I still feel like they should have given us something extra for the trouble but OH WELL. My computer should be here September 8 or earlier. I will finally have something to really work on photos with.

So that is all of last week’s tweets in the expanded form. I think. I have a few other projects that I’ve been trying to work on and here I go being cryptic but I may also have some hopefully good news to share. I’M NOT PREGNANT; my family always seems to jump to PREGNANT when they hear things like “good news.” If by some chance I actually am (I SHOULDN’T BE) I would probably pass out and you wouldn’t hear from me a for a while because I don’t think I could handle the shock.

I’ve got to do something about writing these massive walls of text.

Explanation: my poor car

What is this? I posted it to Twitter this morning because even though my husband told me about it yesterday, I didn’t see it until then.

This is the hole husband put in the dashboard. He says that (while stationary) he was getting something off of the windshield and his elbow just came down on the dashboard, didn’t hit it hard at all, and made this hole. I’m not sure what I imagined when he first told me but it wasn’t this because I saw it this morning and thought THERE’S A HOLE. IN MY DASHBOARD. WHY? IT’S HUGE!

Unfortunately all but one of the pieces fell down inside the thing. I don’t think it’s possible to get them out without taking the whole thing apart. The somewhat irony of the situation? It needs to be taken apart anyway. The vent that is just below this GAPING HOLE? It’s the only one that really functions. Something is wrong with the fan and that is the only vent that is able to blow air more than an inch away. My mechanic cousin said that I would need to take it somewhere else where they could pull the entire dash apart in order to see if it could be fixed. Which, of course, it probably could if I could a) afford the time to take our only car somewhere and leave it for who knows how long and b) pay them to fix it. I honestly have no idea how much that would cost but it sounds labor intensive.

The lucky part is the hole in the dash didn’t make a hole in the vent. However, it might just be my imagination but I don’t think it was blowing as well today as it had been.

To be fair to him, a different part of the dashboard already has a good size crack in it. I think the plastic is just worn out and brittle to the point of breaking from a tap after 10 years of sun and the resulting heat of a baking car.

But his solution to the problem? Electrical tape. And if we found all of the pieces? Duct tape. Because you know, a little tape and anything is as good as new!

Wordless on Wednesday

Wordless on Wednesday

Work in progress

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this site and what I do on the web. I haven’t done a lot to get the word out about it. I don’t think I have that many readers and I often neglect to write for months at a time. And let’s just not mention the fact that I haven’t touched the layout in a long time. These thoughts have been rattling around in my head for a while and they’re probably still a bit jumbled up.

I don’t consider myself that good of a writer. I always feel like I can never fully express what it is I want to say, that whatever I write is inadequate. I figure I’ve got the technical part of it pretty squared away. (Is saying “I figure” less southern than saying “I reckon”? Cause some people have made fun of me for saying “I reckon.”) I can generally piece together coherent sentences and even some well structured ones. It’s the art of choosing words and knowing how to use them effectively, placing words so that the flow instead of standing stiffly that seems so elusive.

So while I may not be good at it I love writing. There are a lot of times I use it as a type of therapy. Even when I know that not many, if any, people will ever read it I feel better putting thoughts down. And I want to get better with my writing. I’m not going to sit here and say “I’m not a writer” because that would be stupid. I write, therefore I am a writer. I may not have aspirations of writing for publications or creating novels or making a living from writing but that doesn’t mean I’m not a writer. (This sort of goes along with my “not a photographer” gripe.)

I’ve struggled to find topics to write about for this site. A lot of my life right now focuses on my job, which I am not willing to write about. I don’t view that as a form of censorship; I see it as being smart. I’ve never tried to keep this site anonymous and I take full responsibility know that family, friends, and employers (current and theoretical future ones) could find and read to their heart’s content. I have no desire to start password protecting posts, either. That’s why when I do mention anything remotely job related I make sure that, given the chance, I don’t say anything that I wouldn’t say to someone’s face. Besides, it would mostly be boring things about SQL and report writing and– here’s where I stop myself.

What I’m trying to say is that I feel like I lack purpose. Why do I write here? I don’t have a cause. I’m not an advocate for anything. I don’t lead an amazingly interesting life. And I’m not a mommyblogger (not that there is anything wrong with mommybloggers). I’m not out to monetize the site through sponsorships or advertising. And I’m not about to start regularly blogging about my cats because I’m not a crazy cat lady. Yet.

In spite of all of that I feel like I could be doing something with this site and writing in general. I’ve been doing ok with having Wordless on Wednesday posts fairly regularly and while I highly enjoy sharing my photos (I think I’ll be writing another post on that), I want to write. Having a blog seems like having a mass of potential that is just waiting to be used. So I must ask myself why I haven’t used that potential yet.

Maybe I just haven’t found “my thing” yet. Or my niche if we want to get fancy. I’m about to equate this with my “real life.” Actually, now that I say that, I don’t want to have to make a distinction between the two. I am who I am; I don’t need to create a different persona. This is part of my real life. Also, it pains me to see writers who say they are afraid to write certain things because they’re worried about what their established readers will think. (Watch, I’m about to really contradict that statement.) I think that happens because maybe sometimes they intentionally or unintentionally create this online person that is only part of them or is entirely fake. I don’t want to create a persona that isn’t wholly me. (Wow, that’s a whole other issue to tackle.)

Rabbit trail over! What I mean to say is that fairly often I feel like I’m sitting on the sidelines. Part of that is intentional. I really value my alone time and I don’t always need to be in the thick of things. I’m no stranger to being called an introvert and let’s just say I didn’t socialize much when I was younger. Or ever. And while I’ve been raised to believe in “hogwash labels” I think I have some form of social anxiety. I have irrational thoughts about how I just know that people are going to judge me for saying or doing ANYTHING and I just freeze up and do nothing. As I said, they’re irrational. I know this. It doesn’t keep me from thinking them. The fear of being judged is really strong for me. Awesome thing that is the internet: I tried to see if “the fear of being judged” has an amazingly cool name like triskaidekaphobia. (I ALMOST SPELLED THAT RIGHT WITH NO HELP. Stupid “k.”) (By the way, that is fear of the number 13.) From what I can tell it doesn’t. It’s the definition of social anxiety or social phobia.

So. Social anxiety. It’s not extreme to the point of my not being able to be in any sort of social situation. I can and do function. I do, however, feel like I don’t and never will fit in anywhere. Not even in online communities and the quasi-anonymity they offer. I will never meet most of you who read this. I could hide behind my screen and write whatever I want and probably never have to deal with the consequences. I don’t want to be like that (but I could).

There are so many times that I see people talking to each other, having conversations, and making good friends and I want to jump in and say something because I don’t want to be a total hermit. But then fear of people not liking me holds me back. I want to be a part of their group but what if they hate me? What if they think I’m being rude or totally random and crash their party? Why should my opinion be worth anything? What if they call me weird or crazy? I joke and try to tell myself that everyone I know has called me crazy at least once. I think that’s a coping mechanism. While it may be true that many people I know have called me crazy it’s a very painful truth. I am not literally crazy. Why do they feel the need to label my behavior as such when I’m no more crazy than they are? Maybe that’s a separate issue.

There’s a vulnerability to opening yourself up to others. (There is a lot of vulnerability in sharing art but I’m saving that for another post.) Maybe my social anxiety has developed from the number of times I have been burned and now I’m afraid to open up to anyone. Because that fear of being judged? It’s not completely irrational. I’ve experienced it before, and from the people I had thought most would be the ones to at least accept, if not understand, what I had shared. I’ve never ever had buckets or even slightly moderate amounts of self confidence. So why am I writing at all?

I want to get better. The little reading I did about social anxiety said that cognitive behavioral therapy is the way to correct it. I think cure is too strong of a word. I’m not about to sign up for therapy. Not yet anyway; I’m not going to completely rule that out but I don’t think it’s likely. Besides, I can’t imagine what some people would say about needing therapy for this. Or anything because all psychologists and psychiatrists are quacks, right? (I’m joking; others wouldn’t be.) From what I can tell, all of this is in my head. There isn’t anything wrong with me in a neurological or chemical any other sort of sense. It’s thought processes, processes that can be retrained. The first step to recovery is usually admitting that there is a problem in the first place.

And so, using my own form of therapy, I’m writing about it. Writing a massive post that is starting to resemble a wall of text. I should give a cookie to everyone who reads it all. Virtual cookies. This is definitely a work in progress and I plan to revisit the topic of social anxiety as I try to figure out how I can overcome it.

And I wish that I had some pretty pictures to break up this massive wall of text but I don’t. I’m making do with a laptop that has lasted over 7 years now. That qualifies it for the label of dinosaur, right? And the edit area for my WordPress dash on this laptop screen is SO DAMN TINY.

Oh, I said damn… what will people think?

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