Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Right now I feel like I'm a bit on a rollercoaster, and I'm not sure it's one of the fun ones either.
I think I feel this way because I'm tired and I need a day off and I'm not sure when I'll be able to squeeze that into my schedule.  Yep, that's normal reporting month exhaustion speaking there.  But it does go beyond that a bit.

Actually, let me change my first statement... I feel like I'm trying to ride three rollercoasters at once.  Yeah, that sounds a bit more like my reality at the moment.  You could probably add a 4th kiddie ride to the mix that would be the rest of life, but it's not being rough right now...

Anyhow, we'll start with the easiest one.  Rollercoaster number one is potty training.  I'm sure some of you have seen my Facebook posts.  If you've read for any length of time here, you've seen the few posts or pieces of posts here about our adventures with Boo and the potty.  Last week we were riding pretty high thinking that we were finally getting to the end of this ride.  Nope, this week we're at a low again.  Yesterday he didn't even want to wear his new Cars big-boy underpants, but insisted on a pullup.  And he had an accident at school not while at nap time.  (All last week his only accidents were after school when he was tired and just didn't care or didn't want to poop on the potty...)  And he's been having more accidents in general.  So, we're on a downward trend again and I hope it's short lived.  I know Gak is just about as ready as I am (if not more so) to finally be to the point where there may be the occasional accident but we're diaper and pullup free.  I have no real idea what Boo's thoughts on the subject are.
Knowing him, part of the issue this week is his "but I did that last week" mentality.  Or it could be the stubborn "I'm not going to because you want me to" streak he's got. *whistles innocently* I have no idea where he got that from... *sarcasm*  Or it could be that he really just isn't ready to do this full time and it really is being hard for him.  I'm thinking it's a bit of all of that and maybe something else too for all I know.  All I do know is that Boo's been in a pisser of a mood and letting his attitude fly in the evenings and really pushing buttons.

(Cute story though, last night as I was trying to get him ready for bed he looks at me as he's fighting putting on his pajama top and says "I'm pushing buttons on you.  I'm pushing buttons all over" and he starts giggling and poking at me going "beep!".  I couldn't help but laugh at that one... even though I just wanted to get him into his jammies and into bed at that point...)

So, we'll ride this coaster for a bit longer.

The other two rollercoasters are a bit more complex.  They're both important, but in different ways.  I'm not sure which one is "bigger" or "harder" so I'll just pick one and roll with it.

I sort of alluded to this rollercoaster in my opening lines.  It's reporting month again at work and that brings it's own normal chaos.  But, it goes a bit above and beyond that right now.  I normally wouldn't post this, but it's being a big deal mentally and I've got to get it off my chest.  You see, despite the fact that I'm one of the more productive members of my team, I'm in trouble for my apparent productivity.  Yeah, you read that sentence right.  I've been having a bit (a lot) more unapplied time on my timesheet that "people" think is appropriate.  And apparently "people" have noticed.  So, I've been officially reprimanded for it.  (And yes, I'm writing this during work, but my computer is mostly tied up evaluating reports for a customer and it's taken me about thirty minutes to write this much...)  The most annoying and frustrating part, I'm one of the more productive members of my group and because I refuse to lie on my timesheet, it doesn't look that way.  There are one or two other guys here who are always up and wandering around.  At least my unapplied time is usually spent at my desk being disorganized and not transitioning between tasks well.  I refused to point out the obvious lies on my coworkers times (he showed me a graph with all our unapplied time by week) because I know damn right well he knows about the worst offender.  It just so happens that my boss and that guy get along really well.  And I have absolutely nothing in common with our boss and even though I've known him about 11 years now, we just don't get along all that well beyond what I like to call "business friendly", we don't dislike each other most days, but we just don't like each other much either.  (Admittedly, the other guy's behavior has improved the last two weeks... but....)

I have a "follow up" meeting today.  No, I'm not looking forward to it.  It makes me feel like I'm in elementary school or something.  Sure, I can see the point that we can't justify adding people if I'm driving up the unapplied time.  But you know what, don't talk to me like I'm an idiot or that I'm 10 years old and disrupting the class.  Yes, it's "nice" of him to pull me aside and he doesn't actually yell, but man if I don't want to just explode.  Like I said, it wouldn't be so bad if I didn't feel like I was being singled out.  And, with the improvements in the other guy's time I know I'm not, but it does seem personal.

No, I probably shouldn't be posting this.  But, I've used no names and unless you know me in real life, I've never once mentioned who I work for.  Sure, if you're in the industry and stumbled across this little corner of the web you might be able to figure it out.  Sure, if I ever decide to change jobs (something that keeps entering my mind every few months but I keep ignoring) and a future employer sees this, it doesn't do me any favors.  But, I'm not going to apologize for writing this.  It's part of the rollercoaster that is my life right now.  It has me hurt, frustrated, scared and tired.  Not to mention just plain old upset.  I do try hard.  I know I'm not at the top of my game.  I don't really know why.  I'm fighting against things I've been fighting against my entire life.  I'm an expert in avoiding what I don't want to do.  And most of the time it's silly and stupid what I don't want to do.  And the sad part, is that teachers and employers get hung up on the silly things you don't want to do instead of looking at your overall productivity or absorption of knowledge that shows you really do know what you're talking about or doing and you're being useful and productive.  I have thoughts, but they're not ones my boss would remotely understand and would make me seem even more "weak" and probably even "useless" in his eyes.  (No, he's not against women in the workplace, but even though he's a young guy he just doesn't understand about being a parent in the workplace or any of the other things that are going on in my life that add outside pressures.  Or at least he comes off as not understanding and therefore I just don't try anymore with him.)

**two hours later and during lunch**

Anyhow, on to rollercoaster number three.  Dad and his health.  Or lack there of these days.  I'm pretty sure I mentioned Dad wasn't feeling well Sunday when we went over.  I mean, feeling worse than usual.
He's really been in a lot of discomfort lately and it's distressing and saddening and overall just plain sucky.

I'll try and keep this as simple as possible.  I don't know everything, and I know I've forgotten a few of the things I've talked about with Mom.

Let's see here... I guess I'll start with a general overview of the symptoms/complaints.  There's the memory issues I've been talking about for a while.  Some days are better than others but lately it has just been too frustrating for him to be involved in conversations for more than a very brief time.  This has really been rough.

The thing he's been complaining about the longest has been pain and aching and other sensory issues, not just with his joints but with his muscles and bones too.  (Yes, it can feel like your bones hurt.)  That's been getting worse and worse recently and the various pain medications he's been on haven't been doing a damn bit of good.  How much is psychosomatic and how much is real is always up for debate, but I know he's been living with joint pain of some kind as long as I can remember and it's been getting steadily worse over time.

Things got so bad a few weeks back that Mom called the family doctor and said what can we do?  Well, he got Dad an appointment with a neurologist and had some special tests done.  One was an X-ray which confirmed that there is arthritis damage in his spine. (duh!)  Another was some fancy blood work.  Apparently the blood work confirms that Dad has something called Sjogren's Syndrome.  Normally it strikes women more than men and usually manifests itself as chronic dry-mouth and lack of tears.  In bad cases it can cause the kind of joint pain that Dad's been complaining of.  It's an auto-immune disease, meaning your immune system attacks your own body.

Well, yesterday was Dad's appointment.  From the short call I had with Mom last night, it sounds like this guy is really on top of things and doesn't always think within the box of standard diagnosis.  Yes, he believes that there is nerve damage and that's what is causing a lot of Dad's pain.  He's got a special electrode test thing on the 30th to further investigate this.  He's taken Dad off the narcotic pain meds as they weren't helping anyhow and has started him on some anti-seizure meds instead.  I'm a little fuzzy on the hows and whys of this, but when Mom was talking to me, it made sense.  Also, he wants to get Dad tested for Lyme's disease.
Yep, you read that right, Lyme's.
What are the symptoms of Lyme's?
Well, according to the "great" Wikipedia:
"...Early symptoms may include feverheadachefatigue,depression, and a characteristic circular skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics, especially if the illness is treated early.[6] Delayed or inadequate treatment can lead to the more serious symptoms, which can be disabling and difficult to treat.[7]"
According to the CDC:
"...Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. "

Anyhow,  what does this mean for Dad?  This means that at least some of his memory problems could be caused by Lyme's.  Can it be cured?  Probably not completely.  I do believe that there may be some underlying problems not caused by Lyme's.  Do I think the possibility of Lyme's is offering us false hope?  I hope not.  I'd love everything we've been dealing with for the last few years to be caused by something so simple.  But I know that at this stage of the game that even if it is Lyme's, Dad'll never get back to "normal".  The damage is done.  Some of it may be reversible, but even that I kinda doubt.  If it is Lyme and we'd all figured it out two years ago, we wouldn't be where we are now.  But, since it is now and not then, the picture is very different.  In any case if this is Lyme or Alzheimer's or something else entirely, Dad's memory will never be what it was.  His life is and will be impaired by the physical symptoms he has of whatever is causing him agony and the mental problems caused along the way.

So, that's where the rollercoaster lies.  I'm glad that we might possibly be getting some kind of good news, even if it's only a little tiny bit of good news and not all that good in the grand scheme of things.  But, it also reminds me, yet again, how tenuous this whole mental thing is.

So, that's where things stand.  I'm feeling like I'm not really in control of much.  And normally I'm OK with that, but there is so much going on that's pretty big that I can only smile and wave at, that I'm feeling a bit out of it.  And I woke up with a big case of the grumps.

Anyhow, I'd best wrap this up and head back into the working world and try and transition to something I'm supposed to be doing.

Peace to all and may the only rollercoasters you ride be the ones you want...

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