Thursday, September 24, 2015

To light or not...

The antenna (and the other four items) arrived early today.  Installing it was so easy I was almost embarrassed over my worry about it.  I have it temporarily stuck up in the window, but I shall endeavor to clean the window and used the double-sided tape ... soon ... to have a more secure installation.  This is the antenna I chose.

See the football on the screen!!!!!!

See the UGLY monstrosity of an antenna (on top of the book case) that I replaced??  Maybe having it broken was a blessing of a sort with the whole visual rest aspect of my living room????  Now, if you look carefully, you can see the cord running above the printer, but with the antenna in the window, you cannot see it ... at least not at night.  I have yet to tuck the cord behind the printer because I am considering moving the television to the corner and putting the printer on its other side.

Yes, I am using an antique tea table with inlaid wood as a TV stand.
In this instance, I am NOT the daughter of an interior designer!
No one is perfect.

The cooking items have me all excited about the next two curries, but I also am committed to waiting until Sunday (the beginning of my budget cycle) before shopping.  I did, however, buy milk. I decided that I was NOT going to ration milk just to meet my severe austerity goal.  Instead of saving $400 for the month, I will have saved $396.42.  I think that I should be just as pleased with the slightly off-goal amount as much as if I had met my goal.

Plus, I have lots of milk to drink as I celebrate the approaching light at the end of the proverbial tunnel (Sunday).

The other package that arrived was the replacement dongle for my FitBit Flex.  It took me a while to realize the reason that I was not getting the battery reminder emails was that my dongle had died.  I was ASTOUNDED that when I called FitBit, IMMEDIATELY an order for a replacement dongle was placed and arrived just three days later.  In today's age of having to almost always FIGHT for customer service, this was nearly a miracle.  I am all synced back to my computer.

Getting the antenna in time for Thursday Night Football was a pleasant surprise and a good ending to an otherwise difficult day.  Also, getting the antenna reminded me that it was Thursday and football was on because setting it up I ran through the channels and spotted the game.

Not last night but the night before, the motion sensor on the three-year-old light outside the exterior entrance door to the basement failed.  My neighbor has never liked that I installed a light.  However, being single, I am a FIRM believer in having the entrances to my home lit up all night.  I chose a light with a motion detector so that it could remain off unless someone walked on the side of the house.  It is hardwired without a switch.  Anyway, with the motion sensor causing the light to flicker on and off, I decided to switch to the dusk-to-dawn setting.  Thinking of how little my neighbor cares for the light, I went to the basement and fetched the tools, fetched the stool from behind the parlor door, and took apart the light to replace the 100 watt bulb with a 60 watt one.  I planned to see if I could find an even dimmer light since the white siding of the two houses reflects the light quite well.

My neighbor has yet to cease to send upset texts to me about the light.
I am not going to forego safety to appease her.
It has been a rough time for me.

I realized, in the middle of the night, lying on the bathroom floor writhing with violent nausea, that I fear my neighbor.  When I am doing all the things she likes, it is great.  But whenever there is something she does not like, such as the light or some of my landscaping choices (she particularly loathes my herb bed), I bear the brunt of her upsettedness.  Sometimes it is not acknowledging me for weeks or even months.  Sometimes is it a repeated litany of my wrongs ... a recap of all the ones since I moved in next door.

Over the years, I have learned to not take on her upsettedness and to just wait for it to pass.  I have ceased kicking myself for being a "bad" neighbor and just hoped for a more pleasant exchange soon.  I absolutely do not believe that a light outside the door is an unreasonable or inconsiderate act on my part.  I tried to consider her desire for a dark upstairs bedroom by switching out the bulb and am willing to try an even lower wattage.  There is a street light out front, so there is light on the other side of her bedroom anyway.  Light ... is not un-neighborly.

However, I puked when the texts started coming in again last night as she went to bed and was shaking for hours.  I very much disliked my reaction to ... upsettedness.  But I eventually realized that the truth is that I fear her temper.

I hear her fighting with her son a lot and fighting on the phone.  Growing up in a family where alcohol abuse fostered much fighting, I do not do well with anger at all.  It frightens me. And, with dysautonomia, the tiniest bit of stress is magnified exponentially with physical responses beyond my control.

The bane of my existence.

Today, I talked about the situation with the counselor I started seeing because she asked me why I was so agitated when I arrived.  I honestly thought I was hiding how I felt about the current ... failing ... as a neighbor.  And, well, I asked my friends if they thought it was unreasonable to have the light at the door.

I have wanted to talk with a counselor again.  I stopped before because, yet again, the counselor I was seeing at the free program left.  It is inordinately difficult to try trusting a therapist when you have to start the process over and over.  Non-profits notoriously have a high-turnover rate, especially ones with low pay and high stress.  There is simply no way I could afford counseling out-of-pocket.

The counselor is a hippy.  Nice and seemingly sincere.  But a hippy.  I feel like I should buy a tie-dye shirt or ... hoodie!  What is interesting is that she Googled dysautonomia after my first appointment and today asked for my medications, so she could learn more about my health.  She was disappointed that there was very little about dysautonomia, when it came to research and causes. I just smiled.  Yes, I know.

I admitted to her about my realization about being afraid of my neighbor, but also my frustration because I have tried so hard to set boundaries with her and yet I STINK at setting boundaries.  I feel the failure trying to manage the relationship.  The counselor asked me if I would be friends with my neighbor if we lived elsewhere.  The honest answer is: No.  Walking on eggshells from time to time is exhausting.  However, I do live next to her.  She does help me.  And I can help her.  Given that I help practically no one these days ... I want to keep trying.

I am just tired of living in fear.

What I found most ... interesting ... about today was that the counselor talked about how it has not been very long since being diagnosed.  I was stunned.  I mean, it has been 5 years.  She pointed out that 5 years of 48 is not a long time.  And, in that short period, I have had loss after loss after loss with the disease itself, setting aside anything else in my life.  Well, when you put it that way....

She doesn't think I understand how much I am grieving ... in the midst of all the nausea.

She asked me what could help, with facing the dysautonomia.  Her very hippy attitude is that "we" can start a dysautonomia support group so all of us in the area can help each other.  I would LOVE to have a support group, but I have nothing ... nothing in me that could bear the weight and work of starting a group.  SIGH.

But help.
I have been wanting something.
Asking, though, just ... well, getting hopes dashed is hard.

Help.  When I am really, really ill with innards misery, I will oft email Mary or text Becky.  With six children and infant twins, Mary cannot really email back.  Becky sometimes texts back, but not always.  I just want so very much not to be alone with that.  I wish that I had a cohort of folk to cycle through texting in the terrors of misery just to say I am pukey.  Or battling beached whale status. Or waiting for my blood pressure to rise so I could rise, too.

I am not looking for any particular response.  Gosh, an emoticon would do at times. And I don't expect and immediate response because I am usually worse in the wee hours of the middle of the night.  I just want to know that it is okay for me to be so ill and that I am not actually alone on the planet.  For at those dark times I feel as if I am alone ... sole survivor of some apocalypse.

Being alone makes enduring severe illness more difficult.

I called to try for an appointment last July.  The message was misdirected.  A few weeks went by without a response, so when the return call came, I had chickened out in asking for help again.  Then, nearly a month later, I returned the return call and made an appointment.  I called ... asked for help ... not really expecting help but to say that I am deeply struggling with the physicality of dysautonomia, with the pain I have in places that are a sharp and seemingly inescapable and overwhelming reminder of the abuse of my past.  The times of such pain—pain that I must simply endure until it passes—are the proverbial straw that is breaking this camel's back.

I manage so much.
I endure so much.
But the pain is too much ... for me.

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