Planting Fascists

So my feet have been hurting. I don’t mean in the sense of, “Oh wow, my dogs are really barking. I better take these shoes off and put my feet up when I get home. Ahhh, that’s better.”
It’s more like, “Oh my god, I’m the evil queen from Snow White and someone has put piping hot iron shoes on my feet,” kind of pain that keeps you up at night, makes you cry in your car on your lunch break, and turns you into a raging pain monster.

evilqueen

This is what happened to Snow White’s Evil Queen in the original fairy tale. Seems legit.

This began about two weeks ago when I started a new job. The job itself isn’t so bad, it’s just that it’s 11 hours a day, 6 days a week, and on concrete flooring. You don’t just stand there, thank the gods, but you are constantly walking and pounding that concrete.

Enter my completely flat feet. I mean completely. They actually make suction fart noises when I walk barefoot across linoleum. Yes, they are totally flat.
Why have I never gotten help for them before? It may or may not have something to do with my “Suck it up, buttercup” attitude. May. May .. not. Anywhoo, now I have to get help.

Help for my feet. Yes, I probably need the other kind of help as well, but one thing at a time.

'We've spent considerable time on it now. Isn't there anything bothering you besides your feet?'

‘We’ve spent considerable time on it now. Isn’t there anything bothering you besides your feet?’

I finally broke down after having to take two days off of work and went to the doctor’s office.
She listened to my symptoms, made me take my shoes off so she could feel my feet (a brave woman), and then said, “Yup, plantar fasciitis.”
“Plantar fash-what-is?”

So basically, my feet are taking root to turn me into a Fascist. Oh. That’s not what it means. Oh, tendons. Right. I totally knew that.

She explained what causes it and showed me how the foot moves with one of those foot model thingies and lots of pictures, because going to the doctor is like reverting back to Kindergarten. Must have visual aids!

Every word she spoke was like an, “Oh my God!” moment in my head. “Yes!” I would shout as I pointed at the picture or the model. “That is exactly what’s been going on!” It was so relieving to know there was something wrong that could be fixed/managed, and that it wasn’t just me being a big wuss.

So, a prescription of Ibuprofen, directions on stretches and ice packs, and some fancy-shmancy insoles later.. I am feeling pretty good about this whole thing. I won’t have to quit my job, afterall!

Ah, there is a catch. One minor hitch, really. It’s like it doesn’t even exist it’s just small..

Ursula.jpg

Just a token, really. A trifle.

If the swelling doesn’t go down (right now my arches are actually sticking out of the soles of my feet) then I have to go back and get a steroid shot.. in my arches.

So, the one thing on my body that is causing copious amounts of pain will be made to feel better by sticking a needle in it.

No.

She wanted to do it then and there, but I said, “No,” as I walked out the exam room and to the “check out” area.

No. No. No.

Please God No.

At any rate, I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the knowledge that this thing can be managed. I might have to get my ass to a Podiatrist and get some of those ridiculously expensive orthotic shoes in the near future.. maybe it can be my Christmas present. Sigh. Welcome to adult hood.

At least my feet won’t hurt anymore. Now, pass that ice pack.

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Bronchial Blues

So, it’s Winter here in the good ole Midwest. That means many things. First and foremost, the MidWest is Mother Nature’s PMS belt. It’s Spring one day, fuck-me Winter the next, and then Fall or Summer. Who knows? Not Mother Nature!

When it does finally decide to act like Winter and get cold, it gets colder than the tit of a witch soaking in an ice bath. I dunno, I have a fever. Just roll with it.

Anywhoo, it has been doing this all January and February long: Cold one week, warm the next. Blowing and cold for a few days, blowing and warm for a few days. This, as you can guess, has caused a lot of sickness to occur. Unfortunately, when you already have immune system and respiratory issues, it causes a non-stop sickness to occur that only worsens with each of Mother Nature’s mood swings.

This is how I have gotten into my current health predicament. I am in the throes of bronchitis. Granted, I’ve had far worse upper respiratory illnesses. The thing is, I’ve been fighting this thing for going on 5 or 6 weeks, now. I first got it when I had to go stay with Mom for her surgery. Damn you, hospitals!
I would start to feel better once the weather changed, and then worse once it got cold, again. At one point, eating really became a problem. This is a serious problem for me as my body is accustomed to having copious amounts of food pounded into it on a regular basis. I swear I’m going to be Diabetic if I can’t start eating like I usually do (read: if I can’t start shoving more food into my fat face).

I digress.

I was getting better. I thought my days of calling into work sick were over. I was looking forward to getting the next couple weeks out of the way so I could get to my three day weekend. Woohoo!

Haha, no.

Winter decided to rear it’s ugly head and threw such a terribly cold bite into the air, that being out in it for short periods of time (and with a scarf and hood) threw my upper respiratory issues into full blown bronchitis. I was not simply coughing, I was hardly doing anything else.

I finally called into work and Hubby coerced me into seeing a doctor. I got the medications I needed to get well and looked forward to not having to spend my days cooped up in the apartment.  I was starting to feel a little better in some ways: I no longer hurt all over as if I had the flu and my breathing seemed to be less labor intensive. I was still coughing nonstop, however, and couldn’t seem to catch my breath. Dizziness and fatigue set in and I wanted to go to the ER. I discussed it with Hubby and we decided to go to a different Urgent Care, instead. I’m glad we did.

Turns out that the afore prescribed dosage of breathing treatments was a little too much. It was like using a wrecking ball to kill a spider. It was making me hyperventilate and causing me to actually cough more.

Go figure.

The good news is that I’m actually starting to feel better. The latest doctor prescribed lots of fluids, 24/7 humidifiers and air purifiers, and a new cough syrup that should help expectorate any nasties still lurking in the cavernous depths of my lungs. And I’m not just talking cleavage.

Uh, sorry.. fever and all. Ahem.

At any rate, I went to the Pharmacy to get my cough syrup. Keep in mind, cough syrup that you can get over the counter is already seemingly pricey, disgusting, and you have to take far too much of it.

This crap was more expensive than date night, worse than the nuclear-waste-like syrup from earlier this week, and I had to take enough to down 1200ml in 6 days. That’s 240 teaspoons of this vile concoction. How vile is it?

It is bright pink and has a flavor to it that does not resemble bubble gum or berry in any way, shape, or form. Rather, I liken it to the vomit of a nuclear-blasted, sparkly pink, My Little Pony.

And I have to take 240 teaspoons in 6 days.

So, that’s the worst of it, right? I mean, just man up and take the damn stuff! Right?

Oh, it gets better.

It causes drowsiness, dizziness, and blurred vision. I’m used to seeing the first two, but blurred vision?! How much alcohol is in this?
Meh, turns out not enough. I am not having any side effects and Hubby can fully attest to why. I mean, there’s a reason I don’t drink anymore. Right.

So, things are getting better *knock on particle board* and I should be able to return to work on Monday. Not that they’ll be happy to have me there considering what happened this past Tuesday.. but that’s another story for another time.

 

 

It’s that time again!

No, it’s not Tool Time. It’s sick-o time. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen.  For a limited time only (one can hope) you can have all of the symptoms and troubles of the flu. But wait! There’s more! You can also miss work, leading to a smaller paycheck because America doesn’t do paid sick days.

On top of all of this, you will have to hold out for as long as possible before going to the doctor. Why? Well, I’ll tell you. They make sure to ask if this has been going on longer than a week (as if a couple of days of misery is not enough) and that’s only if you have insurance to pay for the visit! Gee America, what a great job you’re doing.

As an added perk, you won’t be able to sleep! Nope, no sleep for you. Your heart will pound, you will pass out a few times, and your day will be spent fighting a throbbing headache. But no sleep! That would just be too gosh-darned simple.

Ah ha ha Influenza, we love you.

 

*This post is not trademarked in any way, shape or form. Please be sure to contact your doctor if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. As always, we cannot be held responsible for your actions with our product. This product may cause the same exact symptoms you are already experiencing and we just can’t figure out why you’re still buying it.

Work Rant

Caution, this turned out much larger and precarious than I had imagined.

 

These past few weeks have been a tumultuous experience. First of all, I became very ill and for no apparent reason. It was determined that I had a secondary sinus infection, but that shouldn’t have caused a fever that was quite so high nor one that lasted so long. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the medicine had actually worked, but I just seemed to keep getting sicker. I had difficult staying awake, food did not seem like fun, and my moods were shifting into dangerous areas.

Sick from Work

Sick from Work

Because of all this, I had to take a week off of work. It’s a good thing I did, I couldn’t keep my eyes open just from moving from the bed to the couch. I can only imagine the very nasty things that would have happened if I had actually tried to withstand a full shift at work.  I was hoping that was it. Surely one whole week of rest is enough to conquer any fever, right? Wrong.

The pure stress from work combined with strange hours and an allergy to fine dust particles made it too much to bear. My body simply could not fight the fever off. After the first day back, my fever spiked again. My body ached and no medicine helped the pain. I was feeling delirious, again, and it took everything I had not to cry myself to sleep. Despite this, I forced myself to go back to work the next day.. I think. It’s all kind of a blur. I remember having to go back to the doctor several times and get different doctor’s notes. It is possible that I slept one day and then went back.

Anyways, on my next day back, I lasted 40 minutes. Yes, 40 minutes. I didn’t even make it to the first 10 minute break. I just couldn’t handle the physical illness on top of the exceedingly unreasonable amount of stress. I didn’t cry when I got home, I slept. I think I slept the next day, too, but as I said before, it’s all a bit of a blur. I know I still feel weak and if I miss a dose of medicine, I get sick again.

Stress from Work

Stress from Work

This is where I get confused. How can we live in a place that demands so much out of each employee that their physical and mental health is at jeopardy? Is it like this everywhere in the US? The factories I have been working at as of late all seem to have the same attitude: Work them hard, work them fast, and don’t treat them like human beings.

I know, any company has to make a profit. And yes, I agree that people do need to be held accountable for their actions. People need to be willing to learn how to function at the required task and do so efficiently. That being said, it would be great if those in charge understood the implications of their unreasonable expectations. The thing is, they do and they still don’t care. “Figure it out”, “get it done”, “make it happen” are phrases too often uttered by those in charge. Those in charge who have no idea what it actually takes to complete the work. Yes, they are working too, but they do not understand that just because a job is labor intensive and considered entry level, it is still a hard job.

After awhile, such a hard job can take it out of you. This is especially true when you are required to work an outrageous amount of mandatory overtime due to the inability of those in charge to properly schedule people. This could be because they are running out of people to schedule, which is just one of many vicious and dysfunctional cycles that exist.  Again, I am not calling out any one company in this. It has been this way at the last four factories I have worked at. I have been told by a few that it isn’t like this everywhere, but those who only live in the state I do, seem to disagree.

Fired from Work

Fired from Work

I suppose this is all from a much larger problem: at will employment. The ability given to employers by the state to fire anyone and to do so at anytime is absurd. It causes situations where people will not object to working exceedingly long hours, all the while doing the job of two or three people. They can’t afford to lose their job – they aren’t going to say no. This needs to stop.

We are all human beings, we are not disposable commodities to be replaced and discarded like a used razor just because we demand fair treatment. I can honestly see why unions were necessary once upon a time, and I think that time has come back around.

Because of all of this, I am determined to better myself and get out of the dysfunctional companies that care so little for their employees. Their employees – the very people making it possible for the company to sell any product in the first place.

Good riddance.

Fevered Delirium

Ugh, I’ve had a fever for a week, now.  It has slowly gotten worse, to the point of sweating beyond my comfort zone.  I constantly feel dizzy and light headed, and I’m having difficulty staying awake.  I finally broke down and went to the doctor’s office, yesterday.  I was fully convinced that I had a massive ear infection due to the dizziness, general pukey feeling, and stabbing pain in my right ear. As the nurse practitioner rammed the light down my ear canal, making me wince and jump, I was shocked to be told that it was not an ear infection. Instead, I have tons of sinus drainage flowing through my ears.  “Dear God,” I thought, “what pain must one go through to have a true ear infection, then?”  I hope I never find out.

On the up and up, the only thing I can stomach for certain is popsicles, ice cream, and ramen noodles with mashed potatoes. Yum.  On the down side, I have missed too many days of work for my already over stretched budget.  I hope I don’t point out and end up on the unemployment line. Then again..

I’ve been creating resumes and applying for other jobs in town.  I have to take a break from all of this because my past experiences of going to an interview in a fever induced delirium did not end well.  Yes, I’ve done it before. Usually, I was unaware of the situation until the following few days.  And now I am beginning to wonder if any of this is making sense.  Oh boy, here we go again.. The Twilight Zone.

 

Twilight Zone TV Show gif

Twilight Zone

Mental Un-Health

I truly enjoy reading the blog of “Depression Time”. I can not only relate to what is being said, but can also take into account that I am not there anymore while part of me is still there.  By “there” I mean at that particular stage in the illness.  You know, grieving and all that it has to offer; denial, anger, numbness and at the same time a feeling of being overly sensitive.  It is hard to keep in mind these things when it is your mind that is being affected.

I especially related to his most recent post, entitled: “The Biggest Lie”.  We all do it.  Everyone with a chronic illness knows about “the lie”. That way you sort of coax and con yourself into believing that you don’t need help ‘anymore’.  That mental broken record of, “I’m better now than I was then,” or “I can wean myself off my medicine/therapy/etc and still be ok, maybe even better!”  My favorite one of all is, “I’ll just think myself healthy.” You don’t actually say this one to yourself, but it’s what you mean. When you tell yourself to use positive thinking in place of medicine or therapy, then you’re basically telling yourself that you will think your way healthy. Think.  Healthy. That might work if it wasn’t your thinking that was the problem to begin with.  Think. Unhealthy.  Hulk Smash. Me Think Unhealthy.

So the premise is that you buy into it. You get worked up in the positive-thinking module. Who wouldn’t? We all want to believe that we are in total control and can change anything about ourselves. But we can’t.  That’s right.  I’m saying the big, bad, four letter word. Can’t. Hulk Smash. Me Can’t.

I remember being in First Grade and having the teacher talk to us after story time. We were all huddled onto the cartoony styled carpet and listening with the fullest attention our minds could offer. I distinctly remember her saying that can’t is a bad word and we should never use it. She told us that we always can, if we try hard enough.  Talk about setting people up for a fall.  Our society is so big on controlling ourselves and our destinies by just thinking we can do it that we fail to see reality. We can’t.  Instead of teaching us to adapt to these difficulties, we are taught to ignore them; to conquer them like the barbaric Conan. We hear testimony after testimony of other people being able to do this and being happy to boot. There must be something wrong with us if we can’t do it, too.  There’s not.

You see, being able to recognize that you can’t do something is far more wise. You can weigh options, you can dredge yourself in self-pity, and you can try to find other people who can’t.  I think that’s a lot more significant than pushing yourself to unreasonable and inappropriate expectations and goals.  You might not be able to do what you wanted but you can learn from this.  That’s more important than trying to kill yourself in order to reach that far-fetched fairy tale.

Why do we set ourselves up? Each.And.Every.Time.  Because of the rush. You know what I mean, that adrenaline rush you get when you’ve convinced yourself you CAN.  “YEA! I can so totally do this!” you tell yourself. Cue rush. Cue denial.  It’s so easy to believe that you can when you have a myriad of hormones and chemicals pumping through your body that make you feel invincible.  That’s what it all comes back to; the way we feel.  That’s where the trouble lies.

We believe that we are supposed to feel a certain way, all the time. Happy is supposed to be 24/7 and if we’re not happy, than there’s something wrong with us. Again, there isn’t. Hulk Smash. Me Not Happy.

We are human beings designed to feel a wide range of emotions. To set ourselves up with the belief that we are supposed to be obliviously happy all the time is a con.  When you throw into the works the wrench of Mental Illness, you get a much more compounded con.  You beat yourself up for not feeling happy.  You worry to the point of anxiety attacks about it. You wonder, “What’s wrong with ME?”  It’s just not worth it.  It has taken me decades of struggle with Mental and Physical Illness before I discovered that the way I feel is valid and it’s confusing at the same time.  The best thing, for me, to do is to just accept it. Stop trying to attain that lofty goal based on how you feel NOW. Set up some realistic goals: I’m going to get out of bed and shower today.  Give yourself the luxury of feeling good about these goals. They might seem little and even laughable to others, but they are important to you.

I wanted to comment on Depression Time’s blog about all of this, but I didn’t quite know how to say it.  It’s hard to separate yourself from your illness.  In fact, it’s outright impossible. You are sharing a body and brain with these things. They are apart of you.  That doesn’t mean they have to be your only sense of identity.  It is healthy to express yourself through your other identifiers: creativity, practicality, values, etc.  They are all important, too.  As much as we fight it, these illnesses are with us for life.  It’s not a good thing, but it’s just like failure. We learn from it. We have to learn to stop beating ourselves up over failure and start going, “Oh, that didn’t work. What else?”  This is sooo hard to do when you’re not thinking or feeling in a healthy way.  The world is over when you fail.. you’re a horrible person who doesn’t deserve to live when you fail.  Worst of all, you feel like that was it.. that was your only shot. How could you do this to yourself? Again?!

You blame yourself and demand all sorts of unreasonable explanations when it’s not even your fault. You have an illness and you (like everybody else with one) are still learning about it and how to live with it.  Keep it up! You really are doing a good job.  It just doesn’t seem that way, sometimes.

Exercise

Funny-Exercise-58

Today I did a workout from FitnessBlender.com.  Let me just say that I have had poor success with consistent workout routines.  I had a good stretch a couple years ago where I lost weight, gained energy, and built muscle.  Since then, I’ve never been able to “push” myself to workout on a regular basis.  The thing that holds me back is that there seems to be little purpose in the typical workout. I’m not doing anything but moving; I’m not accomplishing anything like gardening, building, or anything else.

I am going to try FitnessBlender, though.  I like that it shows a calorie bar on the side of the screen.  This bar increases as you work out to give your mind a visual representation of the calories you may be burning. I am aware that the calorie bar is showing the calories being burned by the lady in the workout video. I also know that this may differ greatly from my own calorie burn.. uh.. burnage.  However, it acts as a visual reinforcement for me to continue working out.  Look, I am accomplishing something!

The other thing I like is the guy talking while the workout is being done.  He gives encouragement (“Push yourself, you’re almost done!”), information on how the current exercise is helping you build muscle/burn calories, and he gives you alternatives to the current workout in case you just haven’t built up the strength yet.  I don’t feel bad about having to stop and take a breather in the middle of the workouts.  I feel like that’s alright, because I’m just starting and haven’t built up my strength yet.  I know that when I do build it up, I will enjoy doing the workouts as they were originally designed.

I’ve also realized something else: working out is my frenemy.  It’s my best friend and my enemy.  I’ve had Frenemy relationships in the past and I’ve learned to make the most of them.  The important thing is that I have experience with this situation, so I know what to do.  Here’s  a run down:

Starting the workout: “I can so do this, it looks so easy, I’m gonna be awesome!”

A little ways into the workout: “Umm, this is a little harder than I thought. I’ll just slow down a little bit and be alright.”

Half way through the workout: “You bleepin son of a bleep.  You suck! How can you do that? Uhhh..”

At the end of the workout when I’m drowning in sweat and unbearable body heat: “I.. will.. not.. give.. up.. *collapse*”

After the workout: “Death.. is.. a.. reprieve.. Sweet mercy.”

After the shower following the workout: “Dude, I feel so awesome! Why don’t I workout more?”

The next day: “Legs are jello.  Can’t . . move.”

Yea so it’s a love-hate relationship and I’m cool with that.