Saturday, November 22, 2008

Driving Me Mad

For someone who spent so many years on the road you'd think a simple trip to the store would be no big deal.

Well you'd be wrong.

Some nut had to have an accident on the interstate, which, fortunately, was on the opposite side from me on my way to town. But the further I drove the more backed up traffic I saw on the eastbound side. MILES they were just sitting there waiting.

I sat and ate my drive through dinner hoping that would allow time for the road to be cleaned up, and then I continued the last few miles to the pharmacy on city streets. By then it was dark and all the bright lights were bothering my eyes so I was hoping to get out of town and be home soon.

No such luck. Even the back roads were a mess, clogged with traffic trying to avoid the interstate, which was still backed up, even worse now actually since some idiot got into another accident. I say some idiot because the 2nd accident was on the same side of the road as the first and miles behind it where traffic was barely moving. How do you get in an accident when the average speed is .1 mph?

I don't like driving any more, especially at night. It seems like headlights have gotten waaaaay brighter over the years and they make it hard for me to see. I have enough problems as is without glare from super bright lights factored in.

THEN I got lost on the unfamiliar back roads. Yay for living way out in the country, yet not far enough to get away from the traffic. I finally made it home over an hour and a half after I left the pharmacy, a drive that normally takes 20 minutes.

I made an early New Year's Resolution not to drive in the evening again if at all possible. I'll try to get anything I need done, done in the morning or early afternoon. It's enough of a challenge to keep my eyes focused and drive my standard transmission pick up with my clumsy hands and feet without throwing in darkness and bright lights and Friday night traffic and accidents and idiots and and and.

In the daytime it isn't really that bad! Just concentrate on shifting properly, concentrate on keeping the old eyes focused, steer between the lines, easy peasy. But trying to see through blinding headlights and dodge lunatic drivers? No thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

And Then There Were Eight

In loving memory of Ed.

Ed was a good guy. He liked to hang out with several of his best buddies. They traveled together, made money together, and spent all their time together almost from when they were born.

Then one day something came rocketing out of the sky and blew Ed up. We'll miss you Ed.

Tip: If your hands are clumsy and you're storing scissors overhead be sure to verify that they are firmly stored before releasing them. When dropped from a height of approximately 4 feet, if they fall with the sharp end down, they will pierce a can of Dr. Pepper, and it will spew all over the rest of the cans in the case, necessitating a lengthy clean up process and one can only imagine the trauma suffered by the surviving cans.


Okay I'm calm now and everything is straightened out. It seems that the Cellcept, the medicine my doctor wants me to take in addition to my Rebif, is not as expensive as I was told. It IS, but that was the price for 180 pills and I only need 60 for the 1st month, which would be $500. Still expensive but just the one time I can handle it and after a month I'll be well into my insurance coverage, which is through Medicare so has no restrictions on pre-existing conditions.

Also I finally got to talk to the doctor, well his P.A. which is just as good, and he is calling it in for me just for the one month supply instead of the larger dose so that I won't have to pay for it all at once.

Big sigh of relief. I knew things would work out somehow I am just not very good at putting things out of my mind when they can't be resolved immediately. I'm still not happy about the large expense of this month's medicine but like I said, I can handle the amount for one month and I should be able to pick it up later and I think I will treat myself to something yummy for lunch (a little reward to convince myself to get out and pick up the darned stuff).


This is really just venting so feel free to ignore it if you're not in the mood to read an angry woman's ranting.

I am so freaking angry with my neurologist. I didn't get to sleep until around 4 o'clock or 4:30 this morning and I got woke up at 8:30 by my doctor FINALLY returning my call from yesterday morning and because I was SLEEPING and I have MS I couldn't get the phone picked up before he hung up so all I could do was call the office AGAIN where AGAIN no actual person answered so I had to leave a message AGAIN which AS USUAL has not been returned yet so I STILL haven't been able to talk to the EFFING doctor about the matter of the prescription costing FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS and the fact that I am on a FIXED INCOME and can't afford this with no insurance which I CLEARLY STATED more than once when I was in his office to begin with. It makes me SO ANGRY that there isn't even a chance of getting an actual person when I call. I haven't called and gotten anything but the DAMNED MACHINE in over a YEAR. Aside from this I do like my doctor but it is a long long way to drive to see him and it's so freaking hard to talk to anyone on the phone if they send all calls straight to voice mail and don't even return them on the same day. What kind of way is this for a doctor's office to be. I UNDERSTAND that you're busy but does the phone REALLY ring so much that a REAL LIVE PERSON couldn't answer it at least SOMETIMES? No no no. I have to arrange my entire day around YOUR office hours so that I can be available and RIGHT ON TOP OF the phone for EIGHT HOURS a day. Obviously I have MS so I have nothing better to do than sit around for two days and wait for the damned phone to ring. It is SO RIDICULOUS that they are so difficult to actually speak to. Sorry for the rant but I think it made me feel at least a little better to get it off my chest and I had to stop yelling at random to no one in particular because there is someone trying to sleep ten feet away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tired Tired Tired

Today is going much better than yesterday, tired is all that can describe yesterday. I dreaded doing an entire day out because of how easily I get fatigued. I had an MRI in the morning and an appointment with my neurologist in the afternoon. Mostly what I dreaded was the MRI; I hate those. As it turns out that was the easiest part of the day.

Apparently Mercy Hospital has been so busy in the MRI department that they needed another machine. There wasn't anywhere to put it so what they have is a mobile MRI unit. It's in a sort of fancy trailer at the dock. This made me feel right at home! How many years did I spend in a truck at docks? Heh. I told the lady technician I found that very cool. Also, this newer machine was much roomier and also shorter so you could leave your arms laying at your sides and you didn't have to be so far in. Unbelievably more comfortable and didn't make my back hurt at all, the way MRI's normally do when I lay flat like that.

After the MRI I managed to lose my valet parking ticket (Mercy has free valet parking, which is extremely nice). The valet people found my truck and I drove to the next parking lot and went to see my doctor. He compared yesterday's MRI pictures with the ones from a few months ago and verified that there are new lesions, new activity with the MS. It's not nearly as bad as before, obviously since the symptoms it's causing now are much more minor, but he said he wants to get it under control better and prescribed me a new medicine, an immunosupressing thing like the chemotherapy they did but this is just a pill. Sounded good to me, I like pills better than infusion.

So I went on my merry way, exhausted by now. I get so tired so easily. It's annoying but I figured I'd just call in the prescription to make sure they had it in stock at my pharmacy and then I'd drop it off and grab lunch while I waited. First I dropped the prescription when I was getting my stuff into the truck, then I found one of the pieces of paper, fortunately the one for the actual medicine, so I could call and check on it. Still don't know what happened to the second script with the order for the weekly blood work he wanted done when I start the new medication but whatever, figured I'd deal with that later.

So I called the pharmacy and find out this is going to cost FIFTEEN HUNDRED dollars. WTH. Doc we need to have a chat. I had already told him I still have no insurance until next month. Sigh. However I was so completely wiped out there was no way I could walk back inside and talk to him right then. I just came home and slept for something like 4 hours. That didn't entirely get me feeling rested up but after a good night's sleep I feel much more able to deal with things. I put in a call to the doctor and am still waiting to hear back from him. Chances are they won't call until tomorrow morning but whatever.

I was too tired to really look at the new lecture in my fiction class last night but I read it this morning. I wanted to listen to an audio short story too which was listed in the discussion section by the instructor but it put me to sleep, ha. I'll try it again later, I think my thinking skills are better in the morning really. I'd also like to read the chapter in Gotham's book on writing fiction that involves the same topic as this week's lecture. I think this class is inspiring me more than the first one I took because I am anxious to get started on a short story and maybe something shorter for my grandpa to put in his newsletter, though I'm not sure of exactly what I'm going to do for either project yet.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Random Thingies

Wow has my blog gotten the cold shoulder from me this week. This bad habit of mine, namely forgetting my own blog, can often be attributed to the World of Warcraft, otherwise known as WoW, popular MMORPG, addiction of many, and this week is certainly no exception. They released an expansion pack on November 13th, a sizable addition to the game two years (ish) in the making. When they do these monstrous expansions they add so much new content from new levels to new lands to explore to new items found, earned, and crafted...well it's like a whole new game that provides endless hours and days of fun. So yea...I got caught up in that and the blog got pushed to a back corner of my mind.

Not to be totally discounted as far as reasons things didn't get done, I think there is a good possibility that I'm in the middle of an exacerbation (flareup) of my MS. My balance is more off than ever, my muscles are being contrary and uncoordinated (more so than usual) and some new places (like parts of my face) have decided to be numb and tingly (like my hands and feet always are these days). My neurologist was less than happy to hear about it (and that I didn't tell him sooner but hey it's not like it happened all at once and I didn't think too much of it, every day stuff can happen or unhappen with this wacky medical condition). At any rate he ordered an MRI a.s.a.p. with an appointment to see him right after. Joy. Just can't get enough of being stuffed in an extremely small space and lying perfectly still while my back starts hurting more and more from lying flat while someone takes pictures of my brain with a very very loud machine. Oh yea.

Despite my own blog getting ignored I have been reading other people's. And one I go to often is The Daily Snooze, a blog by someone whom I first found in AOL's J-Land. I go there far more often than he even posts just to listen to the personal radio station he has embedded in his blog. Love it. I like to keep up on good ol' Scalzi as well. Never a shortage of interesting material (and humor) there. That doesn't even come close to my full list of blogs I enjoy but random thingies don't include full anything.

I got a letter from my grandmother the other day and it included a copy of their church newletter, with something I wrote on the front page. I was surprised and proud. It seems that something I printed out and gave to my mother for her friend that expressed interest in seeing the results of my class...well it ended up in the hands of my grandparents who liked it so much they put it in the newsletter. Just wow. Grandma even mentioned that Grandpa is expected to come up with some little story or poem or something once a month for the front page so if I ever had anything else they'd love to see it. Hmmmm. Contemplating doing Grandpa's homework for him, sometimes anyway.

Last thingy for the day is Feedjit. I found this through someone's blog, though God knows whose. I can't remember now (my neurologist tells me this isn't a memory issue so much as faulty processing in my in stuff comes in and stuff goes out, doesn't always get properly processed and stored for later retrieval). Regardless how it was found, I am liking this feedjit thing very much. It has various things it can show but what I like the most is to see where visitors to my blog are from geographically. Very interesting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Hello, my name is Xendra. I am an elf and was born in the forest nearly 400 years ago. I don't remember my parents; my earliest memories are of being taught by my elders how to help preserve the balance of nature in our land.

One of the many things they have taught me is how to draw from the earth to cleanse and to heal others. I have also learned to supplement my own abilities by using plants and flowers to create concoctions that will help those who have been injured, or fortify the strength of those who have not been hurt but need help to get them through trials and challenges.

Technically I am not employed, but I make it my job to help any friendly creature who needs it by whatever means that I can. Sometimes I do go on expeditions with others to accomplish greater goals than I can alone. Some of those trips have been highly successful while others have been less so, but always I have pulled through and made it back to my beloved forest where I find peace in the shade of the ancient trees by the still lakes.

Often I travel alone and have made my way far and wide across our land, learning and growing, and have helped many. I try to avoid unpleasant beings as best I can, or at least I have always aimed for that in the past. Lately, I have found myself entering into more and more situations where there has been strong opposition. Fortunately I have managed to pull through and to enhance my skills in the process.

In the future I hope to continue my travels. However, it grows more and more difficult as ill-willed creatures unite in attempts to take over our peaceful lands and I fear that someday we will not be able to fend them off.

This, of course, is not about me. As much as I've thought it would be fun and interesting to be an elf, I've never been one. This is my first assignment for the new writing course. I felt after I'd turned it in that it lacked detail and that is pretty much what the instructor thought, though he didn't use those exact words. He said that while he thinks it is a very creative bio he is left wanting more, wanting to get more of a sense of who Xendra is and of the world that she lives in. Basically that's what I was thinking when I felt that it lacked detail.

I may try to rewrite this at some point and make it better. For the time being though, I'm putting all of my imagination into my next assignment which involves character. I have two basic characters to pick from and to flesh out and portray to the readers, who will be the entire class this week. Eep. Characters can be fun and interesting and endlessly entertaining. The trick is to get that across in writing. I'm sure (at least pretty sure) that I can do this. I'm just finding this particular assignment more challenging than others. And I'm nervous about posting it for the whole class to see! From reading the bios I feel that this is a group of highly intelligent, highly interesting, highly experienced people. In comparison I feel under-educated, less than extremely interesting, and inexperienced. Again I say eep!

Friday, November 7, 2008


I made up my mind to get my assignment for this week in writing class finished today. I was torn between the idea for a biography of an elf and another idea I had for writing a biography of a cat. The elf won out so I put it down in print. I just hope it's a decent biography.

I felt like it needed a little more detail but I wasn't sure what to put in to make it better. We'll see what the instructor has to say.

I'm a little nervous as in looking at the booth scheduling it seems I'm one of the first that will have to put work in the booth. The longer class works a little different from the 6 week course I took. Instead of one assignment being posted for everyone to see and leave comments on, each student is scheduled to post different assignments there, twice during the 10 course.

If I understand the schedule correctly, it is the very next assignment that I will have to put up for everyone to see and critique. It's not optional as it was in the last class I took. So, yeah. Few butterflies in the tummy over this upcoming assignment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Ideas from the World Around Me

My new writing class started today and I think I will enjoy it just as much as the first one. Today's lecture was about fiction, literary vs. genre, and about writing what you "know" and getting ideas from all around you. The first assignment is simply to write a 300-400 word fictional biography.

I am finding that, contrary to my own opinion, it's easy to get a multitude of ideas for things to write without ever leaving my own home. I just went over the lecture a short while ago and already I have at least four possible ideas.

I've thought of doing a short biography on an elf, like the ones I play in my online game. I've always found elves to be fascinating creatures. I also had an idea about a tiny hunter, hunting lady bugs. This came from watching one of our cats intently stalking lady bugs in the living room. Other possibilities I've thought of are a small town waitress (an idea that sprang from a game that my mother plays, and that I know a bit about, having lived in small towns and having waited tables myself, though not in those small towns), and a maid. This last idea came simply from picking up a piece of trash and throwing it away, and led to memories of going to a neighbor's home with my grandmother while she cleaned it.

I'm rather amazed with the number of ideas that have popped into my head so quickly without ever going anywhere exciting. All of my ideas do have the element of something I "know" to some extent, whether it be from games, reading, or actually experiencing. And to think that I couldn't think of anything that I "know" besides trucking!

I definitely think I need to finally follow another suggestion from the instructors of both of my writing classes and get a small notebook for jotting down ideas when they come to me. Whether or not I ever use the ideas is not important. Making notes of flitting ideas before they flutter away is.