Tag Archives: truth

World’s Worst Jobs: Part 3

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This is a continuation in a series I began a while back, where I analyze jobs I am thankful I don’t have. Check out part one and part two.

Circus Performer: Who actually does this, in our modern era? Pretty much only those born into it, or who are freakishly flexible and whose prospect for fame was greatly exaggerated, possibly due to being a member of The Abby Lee Dance Company. Please note that, while I romanticize running away with the circus, I realize they make peanuts (a suitable pun), have no job security or retirement plan, and are forced to wear sequins for, like, twelve hours a day. Do you know how itchy and uncomfortable that must be? Circus folk also take a lot of heat for abusing animals, shilling the rubes, and being hairy, more so than is decent for someone wearing such a skimpy v-neck. Truthfully, I thoroughly enjoy going to the circus when it comes to town (but have only attended sans child — now that he’s old enough to go I may rue the day we take him to the big top). However, I have a stable family, a mountain of debt, and no appropriate skill, which all prevent this dream of becoming a showman (showwoman?) a reality. Let’s break this category down a little further, with two especially unattractive options.

Acrobat: Vomit-inducing motion sickness unfortunately prevents me from considering participating in so many potentially life-threatening activities, that I’m assuming that walking the line (slang term for acrobat that I think I just made up) would be no different. How disappointing. Honestly, though, these people are literally one step, sneeze, or strong breeze away from meeting their maker. I cannot fathom the desire to follow in the family’s footsteps (another pun, but accurate, since we all know every acrobat does it as part of the family business — I’m looking at you, Flying Wallendas), when it is a career steeped in danger, as a quick google search will immediately reveal. These performers clearly have a lot of guts.

Clown: In fact, there is no safe circus job other than clown, right? Sad clown, happy clown, clown-car-extra clown, short clown, fat clown, clever clown, clumsy clown, hobo clown — there is no end to the types of clown someone could choose to portray in the circus. And yet, who wants to be a clown? When they aren’t giving the actual kinkers a break, they are probably the grunt workers, cleaning animal dung and kenneling the big cats. They have to wear so much makeup — there is a very good chance they all suffer from enlarged pores. Most distressingly, they make a living by terrifying children and 37-year-old female teachers in rural North Dakota…who live in my house…so me.

More to come.

Peace and love.

Books I Sincerely Regret Reading

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*These are just my opinions. Don’t come for me.*

Being an adult, it is rare that I am mandated reading outside keeping up with what I assign my students, though it happens yearly when I take classes for continuing education credits. Basically, reading is a favorite hobby of mine, and I can — and do — read mainly whatever I choose. I usually read reviews and try to choose books I truly think I will enjoy, because I almost never dnf (did not finish) a book. It hurts my sensibilities to think that I might put one or two hours into a book just to stop reading it and never find out what happens, which might only take another couple hours. (My husband, on the other hand, argues that I shouldn’t bother wasting hours of my life finishing a book I don’t like when I’m supposed to be reading for fun.)

I have finished a lot of clunkers in my life — books I really and truly hated at the time and even still — and the four or five hours it took to read them is time I will be begging for as I lay dying. That seems as good a place as any to begin.

1.As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

I read this novel because I was in a phase where I wanted to work my way through “the classics” that I wasn’t assigned to read in school. I remember thinking, “I really liked ‘A Rose for Emily.’ It’s time I read more Faulkner.” Well, that’s the last I read from Faulkner because, as it turns out, he sucks. The plot goes a little like this: a mom/wife dies so the family has to travel with her casket to bury her somewhere in the deep south, but they are terrible at it. It’s all sort of hazy in my memory, but I think there was a flood scene where they almost lose the coffin. Mom starts to smell as they travel (of course). And I know Dad steals money from his kids to get dentures so he can remarry as soon as his dead wife is in the ground. I just…can’t. I’m sure my college professors would have found some way to make this more memorable, enjoyable, or poignant, but I read it alone and had to bribe myself to finish it by setting intervals on my timer with snack rewards in between. I kept thinking, “This much bad stuff really wouldn’t happen to one family in such a short time,” yet the book just kept going…on…and on…until I thought I would still be reading it when I was riding in my casket in the wagon driven by my untrustworthy husband and delinquent kids.

2.Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

I can seriously not roll my eyes hard enough to portray my dissatisfaction with this piece of trash. Here’s the plot, in a nutshell: Rich man of her dreams marries her and turns into an emotionally abusive psychopath who wants to keep her locked up in a room in the basement. It starts on their honeymoon, I think, when he keeps her trapped in a room in, like, Singapore, or somewhere — he’s rich so I guess the hotel staff got good tips for helping him? She wants to leave him, but he keeps her passport. He says he’s going to kill her disabled sister when they get back to England so she devises a plan (with an alarmingly low chance of success in real life) to kill him first. I hated this book so much, mainly because all of the events seemed contrived and unrealistic. There was little explanation for husband’s behavior. The ending was cringe-worthy. The characters were flat and their actions were predictable. Skip it.

Finally, my memory is telling me this book is written in first-person present perspective, which is my least favorite narrative style.

3.The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

What is this book even about?! Holden Caulfield is a whiny, arrogant jerk who mistreats people and thinks that anyone who doesn’t do or say exactly what he wants is a “phony.” While perhaps a realistic look at the world through the eyes of a mentally ill teenage boy in the 1940’s, I, as a thirty-something woman found the protagonist unbearably irritating and the story uninteresting. Shockingly, this book still sells a million copies a year worldwide (according to Wikipedia), so somebody’s reading it. I’m guessing that it’s college kids forced to buy it for their American Literature course. Trigger warning: this book contains some language and at least one scene that is considered homophobic.

It is narrated mainly in first-person past tense, where Holden tells us what happened leading up to his current time. This is less annoying than first-person present, but still not my favorite.

4.The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

I dislike books for a variety of reasons, but this is an especially bitter case for me. I heard so many great things about this book — excellent reviews, pumped up recommendations from Booktubers — that I unintentionally let my psyche build it up to be “the awesome and terrifying American sadist novel of our time.” In all honesty, that was my bad — a rookie mistake. I should have known better, especially after seeing that Hutchison had never written an adult book before. The story seemed right up my alley — a serial killer captures, tattoos, and keeps teenagers in cages and poses them like butterflies mounted for display when he kills them. I was even on board with the villain recruiting his son to help tend the menagerie, or whatever. What I couldn’t get past was the stilted, forced, unrealistic dialogue: truly, some of the worst I’ve ever read. Each time the main character answered a police officer’s question, she was essentially performing a rehearsed dramatic monologue to a group of speech judges. Rather than an authentic portrayal of a police interview in which a victim is explaining the torment her abductor put her through, Hutchison writes it like a soap opera with our protagonist devising cliffhangers and puzzles and witty wordplay and cryptic foreshadowing, offhand, every time she talks. It’s beyond annoying. I would give this book zero stars if I could.

Is this another first-person perspective book? Is the Pope Catholic?

5.The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (and all other dying-children fiction)

As much as I respect John Green for his history videos, I could not fathom reading another book he has written if The Fault in Our Stars is his most popular. Part of the problem with this novel is the “cleverness” of the characters; it reads like someone spent a lot of time thinking up witty responses. The other part is the concept of this and other novels like it (My Sister’s Keeper, Thirteen Reasons Why, etc.) — fictionalizing children dying or being maimed by disease or losing their loved ones while making other issues the real focus of the book is in bad taste and gratuitous. Even if the story was interesting (it wasn’t), I would still feel the subject matter is nothing more than manipulative shock-value-based drama. To be clear, I am not arguing that writing about sick children is immoral. There are many actual children battling illness who could be interviewed and their story could be told in a powerful and memorable biography. Writing about fake kids who are facing diseases people actually have, while focusing on an improbable (and also boring and age inappropriate) love story trivializes a serious and terrifying subject.

Imagine this novel without childhood cancer. Imagine the characters meet at a church potluck and get together and decide to go to a book signing by an author they love, yet he rejects their questions. Then imagine Gus dies in a car accident instead of slowly withering from cancer. Would the story really be different? I mean, the characters would have to be well-rounded instead of flat (as they are in the book) — and otherwise the storyline wouldn’t change much. That’s how we can tell the cancer portion really is unnecessary to the story Green wanted to tell.

Furthermore, there is a risk of glamorizing dying that I fear negatively affects some of the most vulnerable: young teenagers struggling with finding ways to ‘matter’ or make an impact.

Do I feel this way about every single book where a kid is killed? No, because the subject matter is handled differently: as an important plot device integral to moving the story forward rather than an “excuse” for actions which set up “the rest of the story.” Books I’ve read that handle it best include Bridge to Terebithia, The Lovely Bones, and If I Stay.

Another flaw: it’s written in first-person present perspective, because of course it is.

6.Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Good heavens, listening to this on an audio book was literally torture. I would not be at all surprised if it was piped into the cells at Guantanamo on a loop. The “I’m so clever” first person present tense/keeping a fake diary to play the long game/husband not knowing how to act like a normal human thus creating added suspicion — nope, I can’t. I just cannot.

Side note: this book utilizes first-person past and present narration — the bane of my existence.

7.The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (and all other Holocaust fiction)

The issue I have with this book is the same as the “dying kids” trope: there are actual survivors of the Holocaust to write about in a poignant way, so why are authors making up fake people to cover a sensitive topic fantastically? Is death as narrator (who literally gives away crucial plot points and ruins any possible foreshadowing or surprise) that inspiring or original? Or could we just write a narrative biography with no fantasy but make it interesting? It would probably take too much effort — why bother to research when authors can just make up stuff they don’t know or use deus ex machina to solve otherwise unsolvable problems, such as how to make a main character survive a neighborhood-leveling bomb. I am just so tired of lazy writing.

Oh, and is there a bunch of first-person and present tense writing in here? Is the Queen British?

Happy reading, friends.

Peace and love.

Light Reading for an Impending Apocalypse

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I sit on my couch, cradling my aching head while trying — all at once — every known homeopathic remedy to fight my way through a sinus infection sans antibiotics, when my thoughts wander to a headline I recall scrolling past: Stephen King Insists the Coronavirus Is Not Like The Stand. 

First, let’s all take a moment to give thanks that Coronavirus is not the nonfiction counterpart of Captain Trips. Now, let’s pretend for a minute that it is. In that case, the people who are well-read will rule whatever is left of the world.

Follow me down this rabbit hole for a moment. Disease strikes. Mankind fights for its survival. With a decrease in available workers, plumbing, electricity, all modern technological advances (luxuries and ‘necessities’) eventually fail, including the internet. Doctors  will try desperately to heal the ailing with inadequate treatments. Farmers will have to shovel the land by hand. Politicians, repudiated for their weak understanding of science and poor preparation for global catastrophe, will be banished. Athletes will be relegated to the physical labor of repairing crumbling buildings and sidewalks (since, apparently, looters will destroy the towns and/or some natural disaster strikes everywhere civilization still exists), for their unmatched strength and nimble limbs will have been honed for just such a task. Who will be left to take control — to organize and plan, to seek answers to new, yet ancient, problems, to lead the populous into an era of peace and compassion, humility and togetherness? 

Nerds, it is us. Unite (even though we are mainly introverts who would come out this weekend but unfortunately we’ve already made plans…)! We’ve prepared for this exact scenario. We’ve read the books — like, all of them — every single one. We’ve studied the rhetorical devices, appreciated the wordplay, memorized the figurative language. We’ve stayed in the bathroom during breaks in hopes that our coworkers won’t try to talk to us. Now is the time we claim our power and use the knowledge of ages and the wisdom of the greats stored in our giant brains to recreate the remaining people into a happier, more loving, and gentler society, already properly envisioned in our overactive imaginations. 

As I consider the question of what to read to adequately prepare for the catastrophe the Doomsday Preppers believe is rapidly approaching, I think about the books I’ve read over my lifetime. If I was truly worried about an apocalypse, I think my final reading list would look a little something like this:

1.The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson

This is a series of ten adult fantasy books, and from the first time I read the books in college to the last series read-through when the final book was released, it has remained one of my all-time favorite stories. The premise is a very ill man finds himself, after an accident, waking up in an unfamiliar environment, which he suspects he is imagining. As it turns out, saving the Land becomes, for our protagonist, intrinsically linked to saving himself — what he believes is good, and worth fighting for, and worth making sacrifices to obtain — whether the Land is real or not. I can’t express how much joy I have derived from these books, nor relate to you how many tears I have shed over this series.

“There’s only one way to hurt a man who’s lost everything. Give him back something broken.”

2.The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 

In a similar vein to the Thomas Covenant series, I have read and reread these books numerous times. The overarching theme is that even in the darkest, saddest, worst, most fearful times, there is still hope and love and friendship and happiness to be found. We observe the courage and perseverance of our main characters even in what appears to be certain defeat (and, for some of them, unfortunately is). These stories can show us what dedication and loyalty truly are. They demonstrate how to overcome overwhelming odds, crushing temptation, and painful despair. They inspire me to be more optimistic and to recognize that, while I may not “win them all” I may “lose” with pride, and cling to my belief that the good in the world will defeat the bad.

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

3.Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

This lighthearted classic tale is purported to be an allegory, both of drug use and of politics of the time. As a card-carrying conspiracy theorist, I can attest that the allegations are one-hundred percent accurate, but also very probably not real. Even if it is true that the Queen of Hearts represents the Queen of England during Victorian times, that knowledge wouldn’t lessen my appreciation for the work as a silly, amusing story entertaining for both children and adults. It is cautionary in nature: Alice finds herself recklessly tumbling into a world in which she gets pulled deeper and deeper due to her insatiable curiosity and sincere appreciation for free food. The strangers she meets are crazy, unpredictable, treacherous, but, also, occasionally helpful and well-meaning. Basically, it’s life in a college dorm.

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

4.The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

This is a memoir that spent over 440 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, and with good reason. Jeannette describes her early life as one with many obstacles she worked to overcome: being homeless, living in poverty, and being neglected and abused. Her writing style is elegant and compelling. Her story is heartbreaking and uplifting. She begins by describing how she set herself on fire. Her tragic early life has propelled her into a successful, strong, college-educated career woman. I haven’t often read a book as moving and inspiring, yet relatable, which simultaneously made me feel guilty about the life I’ve enjoyed. It’s a rare gem.

“Pick out your favorite star,” Dad said.
“I like that one!” I said.
Dad grinned. “That’s Venus,” he said. He explained to me that planets glowed because reflected light was constant and stars twinkled because their light pulsed.
“I like it anyway,” I said.
“What the hell,” Dad said. “It’s Christmas. You can have a planet if you want.”
And he gave me Venus.

5.The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

A unicorn is led to believe she is the last in existence, and thus goes to search out what has happened to all the others. It is a tale of having courage, and forging unlikely friendships, and finding or recognizing purpose and meaning in life, and accepting our innate nature, and defying the greed of our leaders for the betterment of the public. It is also about a unicorn, so….

“What use is wizardry if it cannot save a unicorn?” He gripped the magician’s shoulder hard, to keep from falling.
Schmendrick did not turn his head. With a touch of sad mockery in his voice, he said, “That’s what heroes are for.”

6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

In the unlikely event of a civilization-altering calamity, it might be worth reading a story set in the midst of the “Roaring 20’s,” when people cared for little else but living in the moment and partying wildly on bootlegged hooch, recklessly squandering wealth in the expectation that their prosperity would continue unchecked indefinitely, in the time just before the stock market crash and Great Depression led many of these same players to suicide. Each time I read this book, I discover more to love. The tale of Gatsby and Daisy is timeless, and tragic, and unforgettable.

“I thought of Gatsby’s wonder when he first picked out the green light at the end of Daisy’s dock. He had come a long way to this lawn and his dream must have seemed so close that he could hardly fail to grasp it. He did not know that it was already behind him.”

7.The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

I have lost count of the number of times I have read this novel but the story has remained near the top of my favorite books list (which doesn’t actually exist, but if it did I would never forgive myself if I laminated it because I’m too indecisive to make that type of commitment). I have taught it to my students seven years in a row and every time it was genuinely enjoyed by a majority of the class, a feat so rare it only happens as often as a double rainbow after a Blood Rain in Kottayam. Albom’s powerful imagery, simple prose, poignant lessons, and memorable characters combine to create a novel which was on the New York Times Best Seller list for almost two years. As a bonus, this book is short and a fast read — perfect for a snowy afternoon snuggled on the couch with some hot chocolate.

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”

8. The Stand by Stephen King.

Because, well, it can’t hurt to prepare.

 

“Whatever lay ahead, he was glad to be alive.”

 

Peace and love.

Music You Aren’t Listening To But Should Be: Halestorm

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This is part of a continuing series. The first was on Billy Joel, and the second on Matchbox 20. I last posted about The Dixie Chicks.

Let me continue by showing love to a loud, edgy rock group with an intimidatingly beautiful, insanely talented, and terrifyingly angry lead singer to match. I’m referring to Halestorm, led by Lzzy Hale.

In this list, I’m going to be sticking to their original songs, but I also highly recommend their covers of Bad Romance and All I Wanna Do (Is Make Love To You) — they are phenomenal.

I got on the Halestorm bus right away, with some of their earliest songs. I remember the first time I heard “Miss the Misery.” I was driving to work and hadn’t caught the band or title, but I was so enamored that as soon as I pulled into the parking lot I used my phone to search the lyrics to find it again. I couldn’t get it out of my head. Her voice was so powerful and unique and, again, angry.

 

A song that always makes me smile — mainly because it’s a phrase I’ve heard my sister-in-law use countless times — is “You Call Me a Bitch Like It’s a Bad Thing.” It’s a catchy song, fun to sing along to, and very empowering.

 

Another popular crowd-pleaser, “Here’s to Us” was featured on the television show Glee. I appreciate the strength this band portrays — showing their listeners that it is not only good but our right to stand up for ourselves. It’s a message that cannot be overstated.

 

Admittedly, the loud yelling is not for everyone. But before you try to pigeonhole this group, I challenge you to listen to some of their more beautiful, touching, and meaningful songs. Take, for instance, “Familiar Taste of Poison.” Likely, the most specifically relatable lyrics are “I tell myself that you’re no good for me. I wish you well, but desire never leaves. I can fight this to the end, but maybe I don’t wanna win.” More impressively, this is a song off their debut album.

 

One that has a bit of an 80’s influence (I’m looking at you, Skid Row’s “18 and Life”) is off their third album. “What Sober Couldn’t Say” is a genuinely touching love song/ballad. Vocally, it’s clearly highly inspired by Pink and Lady Gaga. Lyrically, it’s a tragic story of what can happen when you are trapped in a relationship you can’t admit is long over and, thus, bad for you.

 

“Break In” is about the speaker letting someone in after (metaphorically) building a wall around themselves. She sings, “You are the only one — the only that sees me, that trusts me and believes me. You are the only one the only one that knows me.”

 

A top favorite of mine is “Innocence.” The speaker is telling someone she likes not to get too close to her because she will destroy him — that she has no interest other than the thrill of the chase. It’s haunting. I love it. Love. It.

 

Did I miss one of your favorites by Halestorm? Let me know — I love the group and would like to catch all their best ones.

Peace and love.

 

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 8

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“My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains.”
If that excerpt sounds familiar, it’s from “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley. In what way does it apply to a tonsil and adenoid surgery recovery? Well, it’s simple. I am Ozymandias: prideful, overly-confident, and foolish.
I was so smug yesterday. “Oh,” I said, “I’m feeling better. I have the answer! It’s so simple! Sleep sitting up! I’m a genius to have figured that out. It’s all smooth-sailing from here, ladies and gentlemen. Nothing but blue skies. Listen to the master of healing and take note.”
Nothing beside remains.
Today I awoke, as I should have suspected from the cockiness reflected in yesterday’s blog tone, in what I shall elegantly call a crap ton of pain. I even went so far as to cancel a coffee date I thought I couldn’t make it to, because I lost track of days and was a day ahead of schedule. As it turns out, my friend had to cancel for a totally different reason (in other words, she isn’t a complete moron like I am and is successfully adulting during her recovery, taking care of bills and house upkeep and pet care and talking to the cable company, while here I am eating six-packs of Jello pudding while painting my nails and watching The 40 -Year Old Virgin). But that is neither here nor there. The point is, I was so out of sorts due to the pain I so richly earned through hubris that I lost track of time and cancelled a date I didn’t have.
Nothing beside remains.
It turns out that I have no idea why I have been waking up in the morning miserable and have a lot of swelling until about lunch, after which time I start feeling better and more normal until night. It just comes and goes in waves, I guess. I don’t actually know anything. I don’t even know what day it is.
Meanwhile, I took my final Prednisone and my final prescription pain pill today. I’m about to take an Extra Strength Tylenol and hope for the best. I should be fine, right? I mean, how much longer can this agony truly drag on?
I have not, in actuality, been in agony since this morning. In fact, I’ve been hovering between a pain level of 1 and 4 all afternoon and evening. I ate some soup (with noodles!) and a piece of pumpkin pie filling today, in addition to an ice cream slushie and about ten popsicles. I’ve come to remember, through this experience, how much I love Cup a Soup! Do you remember that? Little packets of broth with a noodle in it that you heat in a mug in the microwave! I haven’t had so much of it since I left college, but now it’s like the best thing I can eat. I’ve also had a can of mushroom soup, which I would have married if he’d asked.
Clearly my diet has been poor this week. I’ve had either too few calories or too many bad calories. I was getting concerned about becoming malnourished — losing vitamins and minerals because I’m not eating the right types of foods. I’m already anemic, and haven’t been taking my iron at all, so there is valid cause for concern. While talking to a friend, she suggested I buy some ready-made protein shakes that have a lot of healthy nutrition in them. Those should be arriving tomorrow. Possibly, my lightheadedness and lack of concentration will be exiting tomorrow, too.
My doctor’s release forms say that the potential for excessive bleeding and also the prevalence of regular pain should be abated by day 11, so just a couple really bad days left, right?
Peace and love.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 7

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Today, I felt much better than I did yesterday. My pain levels consistently stayed between a 1 and a 4 the entire day. Part of it, I’m sure, is I’m continuing to heal. The other part is I slept sitting at an extremely elevated angle. As I mentioned previously, I thought that lying down was affecting the swelling in my throat. To test the theory, I slept basically sitting up last night and overall had a much better, less painful night and morning.

I have been eating more in terms of solid (but still super soft) foods. I had the normal popsicles, jello, and pudding, of course. I also ate applesauce, but it had citric acid in it. Big mistake. Seriously. Do not recommend. But, after having such a sore throat yesterday and eating almost nothing, today I was able to add back in more scrambled eggs with cheese and several bowls of mashed potatoes with gravy, as well as the filling from a piece of pumpkin pie. A friend sent home an iced coffee smoothie for me today, and it was incredible. Being Italian, when I’m full, I’m happy, and today I was really happy. There’s still some slight burning pain on the right tonsil area, which my husband believes is the sensitivity from the little new patches of pink skin peeking through where it’s healing. I also feel like I’ve developed another canker sore under my tongue on the right side, where I had one a few weeks ago (that is an altogether different type of soreness, with which I am recently all too familiar).

I had a little more energy today, as well. I’m not sure if it’s due to better sleep, better eating, a little more healing, or a combination, but I appreciated it. I snuggled my baby in the rocker and watched a couple cartoons with him this morning before he left for daycare. That wore me out a bit, and I did have to nap for a while afterwards. Then, before he ate dinner, I spent a little more time with him. I have been completely run down this week, so even this small amount of play time with him was extra special for me.

And I was in generally better spirits today, too. I’m feeling, overall, more like myself. I’m back to trying to find humor and enjoying looking through my nail polishes. I’m still playing that stupid farming game Townlife or whatever it’s called. No, this blog isn’t sponsored. I hate the darn game. But I can’t let my chickens go hungry, and I just fully restored the airport. I also watched, for the first time ever, The 40 Year Old Virgin. I made it through an entire movie without drifting off to sleep — that alone shows I’m healing more quickly. A few days ago I wouldn’t have made it more than a half hour before nodding off.

I’m anxious for tomorrow. My prescribed pain pills will run out and so will my Prednisone. I think it won’t be a problem to switch over to Tylenol only: all day today the highest my pain reached was a manageable 4 out of 10, so I’m certain some extra-strength Tylenol will be able to handle it. In fact, my friend has only been taking Tylenol because she doesn’t do well on prescription pain medications. Hopefully, with tomorrow being day 8, I won’t need so much pain relief, and also I’ll be able to start thinking clearly again once the strong stuff is out of my system.

I’m considerably more nervous about running out of my steroids. I know doctors don’t want to keep people on steroids if they don’t have to be, but the swelling in the morning has been the most consistently uncomfortable part of this whole week for me, and so far the only thing that’s reduced it (and the accompanying pressure) is the steroids. So, I guess I’ll let you know how it goes in a couple days. Maybe I won’t even need any more after tomorrow.

I do appreciate all well-wishes, good thoughts, and prayers you could send. So far, I’ve been very lucky and have had very few major problems/complications. I’d love to keep it that way so that this time next week I’ll be back to eating tacos.

And, because I know I would want to see it if I were you, here’s a picture of how my throat looks today. We think the little areas of pink are the newly healed patches. (Skip it if you’re squeamish.)

Here’s hoping for an even better tomorrow! Peace and love.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 5

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About an hour after I took my early morning pain pill, I awoke at 4:15 a.m. with an unusual and unpleasant sensation in my mouth. My pain at some point in the hour had defied the medication and soared up to about a 6 out of 10. I’d been coughing a lot, off an on, because it’s difficult to lie flat in this condition. If felt as if I had somehow managed to get a piece of soft but firm plastic lodged in my throat, just below where my ears meet my jawline. You know, in the tonsil/adenoid region. Obviously. In addition, there was a dull thud in my right ear.

I coughed, and distinctly felt. . . something come up. The dreaded “scab shedding” had begun, and about five days early, according to the approximation given by my doctor.

I gently gargled with some ice water and ate a popsicle, but both were as ineffective as an Independent running for President. Around 5:00 a.m., I began drinking coffee — four cups in total — and it helped the pain SLIGHTLY, mostly because I’d heard the warmth was supposed to help the scabs slough off easier. I’m sure that didn’t work, either, but it was a bit soothing.

At 6:30, I dutifully took my next prescribed medicine. By 7:30, I’d eaten 3 more popsicles. Nothing was helping. I was weak and shaky from hunger and lack of sleep, but Josh was still asleep and I had to care for Niko until my sister woke up. As though he could sense my discomfort, he was as well-behaved as a 13-month old baby could be. He was also super content to lounge with a mostly-asleep Daddy for a while.

 

By mid-morning I couldn’t take the exhaustion any longer and collapsed into bed. Niko was in the care of his aunt and his dad, and I was in the care of my cats. I slept, off and on, nearly the entire afternoon and evening. My pain level has been fluctuating between a 2 and a 5. There was coughing. There was also a little blood.

I woke up to eat lunch (a warm bowl of chicken broth and some jello). I woke up to eat a snack (a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream — no crust) and take pills. I woke up to eat dinner (more of the same) and take more pills. I woke up to tend my new farm on that stupid Township app I’m now addicted to. I woke up to say goodnight to my baby when he was off to bed. And, I woke up to write my blog.

I’m hoping the more I sleep, the faster this whole gross, painful, horrible process will go.

If you are squeamish, look away now. I’m posting below a picture of my mouth in this stage of healing. You seriously don’t want to see it.

You have been warned.

And now, for the image you’ve probably been waiting for….

Now, I’m going to lay back down until it’s time to get up and take more pills.

Peace and love.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 4

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Today was a day full of regret and honing poor decision-making skills. The alarm failed to go off for my 3 a.m. pill, so I awoke at 7 when the realization (and burning) hit me full force. In addition to the fire raging in my throat, one of my ears was feeling the dreaded “referred pain.” Though I immediately forced myself to drink some liquid, suck a popsicle, use my numbing sucker, and take my medication, it helped only minimally until I was able to fall back asleep; thereafter, for the next few doses, I was trying to both abate the pain and prevent its spread/growth. I mainly read my book or slept all morning and afternoon, and awoke several times throughout the day in a cold sweat or with a minor fever.

In the discharge papers, it states that I’m supposed to return to normal activities as soon as possible, so, over the course of the day, I spent a little more time outside my humidified bedroom, playing with my baby and helping a bit with his nighttime routine. He enjoyed it, but it exhausted me. And, it turns out, being in the humidified air is a super effective way to keep the soreness from coming back. The more time I spent out of the humidity, the sorer my throat got.

Additionally, I was incredibly hungry (due not only to eating so little — mainly liquids — but also from the lack of regular, uninterrupted sleep), so about lunch time I had a scrambled egg with cheese, and for dinner I had another egg and some mashed potatoes with gravy (delicious and absolutely worth the extra pain). It felt like both foods managed to get caught in the sores, despite my cautious over-chewing and small bite-taking. It was a highly unpleasant feeling. Eating mashed potatoes may have failed to relax my throat muscles, or whatever, but they succeeded at finally comforting my rumbling tummy.

To sum up, for multiple reasons I was terribly unsuccessful at managing my pain, and it kept climbing up to a 5-6 out of 10. Clearly, this initial attempt at stretching the prescribed pills from 3 to 4 hours apart was a complete and utter failure. Day 4 could have gone better, to say the least.

Here is a picture my sister took of the bruises from my faulty IV insertions today, a couple days after surgery.

I’m sincerely hoping tomorrow will go better. But, in either case, I’ll keep you posted. Peace and love.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 3

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Ahhhh, day 3. Day 3 began at 3:00 a.m. for me with my early morning pill, after which I was unable to fall back asleep until after my 6:00 a.m. dose. What does one do for three hours, awake and unable to eat, you may ask? Well, I fell down the rabbit hole that is YouTube while simultaneously decorating my heart out on a home design app, and when I ran out of money on it I had to start Fish Life and Town Life to earn more credits. Yep. I became a “gamer.”

I decided I’m going to try warm broth tomorrow and, perhaps, as was the advice of my friend, include a soggy cracker or two. That might be pushing it, but after the resounding success of eating pudding and fudge pops all day today, I’m feeling invincible. Unfortunately, I noticed, while drinking my Gatorade, that my taste-buds are, like, deadened — certain foods and drinks just taste “off.” Due to the pain in my throat and difficulty swallowing, a bit of the liquids I had today have been bouncing up into my nose, making me feel like I’m drowning.

I felt the need to sleep less, overall, but when I did sleep, the quality was better (longer and deeper, though fewer hours). My talking is still difficult, painful, and garbled.

Improvements include that I finally got to take a nice, hot bath (though the calmness and warm water temperature was dangerously close to lulling me to sleep), and up to this point I have managed to avoid the fever I was warned about by the nurse.

Graciously, my sister came to watch the baby for a few days, to give Josh a bit of a rest. It might be just exactly the right time, as I was informed that days 4 and 5 are, for some patients, the worst: new bouts of ear (referred) pain, throat bleeding, and coughing. My doctor also is having me monitor those exact signs for days 7 through 10, as well, so I’m starting to wonder if it all isn’t just one big, giant guessing game. “Haha! Stay on your toes THE WHOLE TIME!”

My pain was slightly greater today — staying in the 4-5 range before dropping down to a 1 again after my medicine kicked in. I think that’s why my boys were so observant and dutiful all night and day.

Peace and love.

Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy at 35: Day 2

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So, I didn’t die yesterday. I suppose that’s good.

Also, I was informed to cut off the hospital wrist bands (apparently there’s no “unbuttoning” them, so to speak?), and they are going into my journal.

Taking my normal medications last night (including the two irrationally large Metformin), literally brought tears to my eyes, for the first (and hopefully only) time since surgery occurred.

When I talk, I sound like I’m speaking through a mouth full of cotton. It’s unpleasant to hear and painful to do, so I try to speak aloud as little as possible.

My pain level has been fluctuating from a 1 (when not swallowing) up to about a 5 (when swallowing at the end of the time my pain pill wears off). The humidifier in my room has been running nonstop, thanks to the careful observations of my hubby, which I feel has helped a lot, particularly when I’m sleeping.

I slept for about two hours out of every three yesterday, last night, and this morning. Early this afternoon I was feeling slightly more lively, so I painted my nails, drank a cup of lukewarm coffee, and ate four Popsicles. In the midst of this energy blitz, I determinedly managed to do some online shopping, because I deserve new nail polishes. I’m even currently making my way through a Jello Pudding. I guess it’s true that every day is a holiday and every meal’s a feast.

I think today could have been a little easier, but I forgot to take the Prednisone my doctor prescribed me until literally just now (at 8:30 p.m.). I was supposed to take it this morning, but I was never going to remember to do that. It’s only a coincidence that I happened to be texting one of my good friends who had the same surgery one day before I did, and she was asking about my paperwork. When I looked at it, I saw the directions to take my steroids and immediately thought, “Well, huh.” I do vaguely recall the pharmacist yesterday telling me to take them right away in the morning. So it goes. Better late than never, right?

So far, the best part of all this is getting to snuggle the cats for days. The three of them snuggle me in shifts, like the good nurses they are. One comes in when it’s time to relieve the other.

 

That is, except when they fall asleep on the job:

I have no pictures of Hannibal, as of yet, because he takes the late shift: midnight to 7 a.m. I’ll snap one tonight, though, because wherever there is a Mommy in a bed, he shall be there!

Hopefully tomorrow I will see a decrease in pain as the steroids are meant to reduce swelling. That would be a dream come true. I did hear, though, that the two days following might be a nightmare.

I will keep you updated as well as I can. Peace and love.