Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I struggle with change. I struggle with change because I exist by patterns and by routines.  And I exist by reading the signs about the house.  I updated my computer and found Pages and Numbers updated.  SIGH.  This was a problem because the Fios technician was here because I have had five outages in two weeks.  The network engineer wanted my equipment checked, even though I cannot understand how it could be my equipment if it comes back and works beautifully for days on end.

I really had no time to fret over having another strange man in my house so soon, since I learned yesterday afternoon about the appointment.  The man, however, was from the South so he found me not strange and he agreed that to have service come back didn't really sound like an equipment failure.  Nevertheless, I now have a new router, new thingy unit, new backup router, and new connectors and every single cable end from the outside of the house all the way to the router.  I am hoping that the router will work in the back yard, so I can watch movies under the stars.  But Becky reminded me that it only really needs to work in the house (especially the bathroom floor).

The new router password is way, way, way more complicated than the one on the three-year-old router.  As in insanely complicated.  So, I opened Numbers to enter it into my utilities spreadsheet and found the interface all changed and struggled to find the right spreadsheet in the workbook.  SIGH.  I had to put it into my Roku, my computer, my phone, my Kindle, and my ancient iPod touch.  Even so, I could not tell you even the first three letters.

The technician asked me about the signs in the house and so I told him about my autonomic nervous system and such.  He had LOTS of questions, as he helped me enter that insanely complicated password into all my devices with wireless capabilities.  He also was interested in the Roku.  I enjoyed teaching someone about that handy little bit of tech awesomeness that lets me watch Hulu and Amazon Prime stuff on my older television.

I suppose I should be thankful for something new to fill my time ... learning the changes in the operating system, in Numbers, and in Pages.  I was glad to notice a bit of a change in Amos.  He calmed down really quickly with the technician and was soon asking the technician to pick him up and hold him.  I laughed.  Amos really don't know how puppy dogs are supposed to act.

I struggle with change.  Early Tuesday morning (around 1:30 a.m.), I found myself battling incredible nausea.  It is such a strange thing, nausea.  Really strange.  Sometimes, it comes upon me like the proverbial frog in a pot of water.  Put a frog in boiling water and he will immediately leap out.  Put a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil and he won't notice what is happening until it is too late.  Or so the proverb goes.  Anyway, the nausea crept up on me without much notice until that critical tipping point when I realized just how ill I was.

Blood pressure?
Blood sugar?

Which of these were causing the nausea?  It is oft hard for me to figure out what is happening within my body—not to mention my mind.  If the latter two were the cause, I could take my beloved Zofran.    But if the former two were the cause, Zofran wouldn't be much help.  If it is low blood sugar, then I needed to eat.

Even dealing with low blood sugar episodes have changes.  I do not always have the same symptoms.  Sometimes it is this strange headache on the top of my head, a spot of agony.  Sometimes is the the typical shakiness and hollow feeling.  Sometimes it is marked anxiety and irritability.  And, now, sometimes this slow, creeping nausea.

I did not feel well enough to go upstairs to check my blood pressure.  (I really need to get in the habit of bringing the blood pressure cuff and pulseoximeter down stairs with me each morning).  So, I opted for the kitchen to check my blood sugar level.  It was at 48.  Strange.  Sometimes I plummet with no real warning and sometimes I feel horrible at just a tad bit below "normal."  Seeing that number, I started chowing down on glucose pills and shoving protein in my mouth.

A few hours later, I took a shower.  Doing anything with my arms above my head whilst standing is near impossible for me.  When I got out of my six minute shower, my blood pressure was 178/103 and my heart rate was 167.  My whole being was shaking, mind, body, and spirit.  It is very, very, very hard not to grow overwhelmingly frustrated and discouraged over the battle of a mere shower.

Even though I was utterly exhausted after my shower, sleep did not come until somewhere around 10 in the morning, which meant the headache I had finally escaped came back.  But I was also so blooming exhausted that when I got fresh ice packs at 11:30, I left the freezer door open.  So, when I awoke around 3:00 in the afternoon, I had a freezer full of melted ice packs.  No more sleeping.  No more even lying down in the GREEN chair.  That's when I discovered the Internet had gone down for the fifth time in two weeks.

From the little I still know about technology, I cannot see how it could be the equipment here since one moment it was fine and another not and then fine again for days on end before being out again.  However, I am not opposed to having a solution for the problem being a technician changing my dohicky unit, my battery, my router, and my connectors.  And give me an insanely complicated password.

Monday was my father's birthday.  Or would have been.  Or still is.  I am not sure how to say that.  Monday was the first anniversary of the birth of my father since his death.  Monday was also the first day that I felt as if the tide was turning in whatever was making me feel so wretched.  Until the blood sugar crashed early Tuesday and then I struggled to sleep and then made sleep impossible with all that melting because of my forgetting.

My innards are better.  My head is better.  The pain is better.  But the exhaustion is still great.  And my heart hurts.  Not merely because of the highs and lows of my heart rate and blood pressure.  Not even because of the pain in my chest that is becoming more and more prevalent.  All of that is slowly becoming a new normal, a change I've swallowed.

But how do you swallow the change of death?

When I left, I knew I would never see my father again.  When I left, I also knew that he did not have a long time left in his life.  When he started such a dramatic decline in November, I knew he was dying.  When I got the text that he had pneumonia, I expected the next text.  I was prepared.

In this weird, silly way, the fact that I still find myself wailing if I mention my father is the change I find the hardest to face.  And I do not know why.

I didn't shed a tear on Monday.  I felt better than I had in days.  I did not have an anxiety meltdown over having a strange repairman in the house.  I had a slice of the Apple Praline Bread that I made after two failures.  I played with Amos for the first time since I started feeling wretched.  And Marie and I made plans to cook again on Friday, to try out my best friend Becky's recipe for flour tortillas!  So, Monday was a good day, relatively speaking.

It was also my father's birthday and one of the 1,001 changes that I have had to swallow over the past three years.  Chief amongst those is the very fact that I struggle with change now.  Seriously, Apple, did you have to go changing even the icons of Pages and Numbers?  Was it really necessary to make it that much harder for me to use those programs?

Of course, a change today I can definitely live with is my Internet speed going from 0.02 Mbps to 25.68 Mbps.

I am Yours, Lord.  Save me!

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