Decluttering challenge, days 10 and 11

Oops…skipped a day, didn’t I?  Well, I did have a few things already pulled out for yesterday with the thought that I’d finish gathering the remaining items when I got home from work.  Then it ended up being a major struggle to make it through the work day…just felt weird (and that’s the official medical term for it) all day.  I told my boss I felt like I was walking sideways, if that clears anything up for anyone.  After work, I stopped at Pet Smart and CVS so I wouldn’t have to get out today.  By the time I made it home, all I wanted to do was soak in a hot tub and climb under the blankets with the kitties.

Scout climbing high

Scout climbing high

Scout didn’t feel like going to bed though.  Her thoughts seemed to be how high can I go? And she managed to climb pretty high without breaking anything.  What a good girl.

I didn’t bother to take pictures of the items I gathered for days 10 and 11.  And I’ll tell you why.  I cleaned out my chest of drawers (found several pair of socks with holes in them.  Why I ever put them back in the drawer, I couldn’t say.  It’s not like I don’t have a ton of socks.  I even have socks I’ve never worn, so why save holey ones?  Also found three bras that I never wear because  they simply don’t fit right.  You gals know what I’m talking about, I’m sure.  Again, not sure why I’d bother to save them…with the thought that they might become more comfortable??? Sheesh.  Also found a pair of pajama pants that are old and worn.  Then there were the two T-shirts that I don’t even like.  Oh, and I can’t forget the teddy that I’ve never worn.)  Combine those items with a couple of magazines and an orange (have I ever mentioned how much I dislike wearing the color orange?) canvas tote and I have my 10 items for yesterday.  I decided to just count all of the socks as one item in order to get rid of more stuff…my goal.

Then, for today, I decided to tackle the vanity in my bedroom (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my chest of drawers and vanity were refinished by the astronaut, Gus Grissom’s, dad…he was from Mitchell where I lived for many years…and where I hope to move when I finally am able to retire.)  Anyhow, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I’m counting as one item all the little pieces of paper with notes and phone numbers (some with no names…smh…).  I just threw all of them away.  There was also an older phone book, no need for multiples.  Heck, I’m not really sure how much need there is for a phone book at all any more, but I did save one from last year.  I found some post cards with kitties and puppies on them.  Figured Clara would like those.  I also found several notepads that had been mostly used up.  Clara gets those too.  There was a calendar from 2012…I don’t see myself needing to refer to it for any reason…trash.  Health insurance packet from 2005…we have a totally different policy now and get the packets every year when we renew…again, trash.  There were some small notecards with envelopes (some of the envelopes are so old that they’ve sealed closed…haha).  So I thought these would be something Clara could have fun with.  She likes to make cards for her mom and grandfather, so if she can use them she might as well have them.  There were several non-functioning ink pens…pitch ’em.  I also found several sheets of stickers.  Back in the day, when I actually wrote letters, I would decorate the envelopes with stickers.  Now, not only don’t I decorate envelopes, I don’t even write letters.  So Clara gets all of the stickers too.  There were also some cards that people had sent (or given) me.  I stopped saving cards a long time ago, so I’m not sure how those snuck into the drawer, but they’re history now (I have to admit, I did save wedding and birth announcements from my nieces and nephews, as well as the photo Christmas cards they send me).  And last, but not least…or maybe it is…there was a partially burned, soot-covered plain votive holder.  I’m sure I kept it because, well, you never know when you’re going to need a candle.  But you know what?  I have an entire little storage table filled with jar candles.  I don’t think I’ll even miss this little one.  So there you go.  Now you can see why I didn’t bother taking pictures…just a bunch of junk today.

I ended up with a small bag of trash to go out and a few little things for Clara.  But now my bedroom is almost clutter free.  Well…there is still the closet…yikes!

Not counting all of the items individually from yesterday and today, I’ve now managed to eliminate 87 items from my home in the first 11 days of January.  Who knows what the closet will bring?  But it sure is a good feeling to have the bedroom cleaned up, well…sort of cleaned up.  I should take down the curtains and wash them and the windows.  Isn’t it funny how decluttering makes you want to do some cleaning as well?

 

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In the mood to brood

Depression

Depression (Photo credit: GEEKSTATS)

I’ve been feeling, oh I don’t know, not so perky and bright of late.  I’ve been feeling moody, like I’m trying to fight off depression.  I’ve been down that road and I’d just as soon not take it again, thank you very much.  I know battling physical pain every day doesn’t help.  Then add not being able to get enough sleep to the mix and you have a not-so-appealing recipe for broodiness.

I had to go to work today.  I typically like my job, but things are more than a little rough these days.  It seems like there’s a lot of inter-departmental fighting about who isn’t doing what correctly, who is slacking, who is making things difficult for others, etc.  You know, we all go through those periods at any job.  I was off yesterday so when I walked in to the office this morning, I just stood there looking at the mess, asking myself how anyone could possibly work in a pit like this and why I invariably have to clean up after the other managers (all of whom are men, by the way).  Feeling a little put upon, you think?

I already had a lot to do without adding more to my list.  Then I started working on the deposit for the previous day’s sales…oh great!  The office specialist didn’t get enough fives for the holiday weekend after I specifically told her the banks would be closed Monday because of Columbus Day.  As the only manager working, I couldn’t even leave the store to go to the bank.  So I guess we’ll just have to try to make due.

Oh, and then the call-ins started.  That’s my favorite part about working on the weekends, so many people call in.  Of course, you can’t get anyone else to come in and cover on the weekend.  Most of the time, they don’t even answer their phones.  Goody!  Now I’m in a bad mood and running the store short-handed, which seems to be how we operate every single weekend.

As I was looking through the ad signs (we set our ads early Sunday morning), I noticed there were only about half of the signs I needed.  None at all for two entire departments.  Sheesh…seriously?  I got as many printed and ready to put out as I could, but I’m not even close to having them all ready to post.  What do you think that says about how tomorrow will start?

Anyhow, I know dwelling on these kinds of feelings just makes it worse.  I did manage to thank one of the girls who came in (the first opening cashier to show up on my weekend in probably three weekends) despite not feeling well.  And one of my framers told me she could work a little extra since my closing framer called in.  I truly appreciate both of them going the extra mile to help their co-workers.  I also spent some time joking around with the closing manager about work and how it’s making us feel a little (?) down lately.  See, it’s not just me.  But I am attempting the whole attitude of gratitude thing…you just couldn’t tell it by my earlier rantings.

 

Giving in to the pain?

Dr. Miles' Anti-Pain Pills, Edmonds Historical...

Dr. Miles’ Anti-Pain Pills, Edmonds Historical Museum, Edmonds, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have several doctor’s appointments coming up over the next couple of weeks.  And you know how much I’m looking forward to that, right?  The thing is, I find myself  blaming the doctors because I’m still in so much pain every day.  It feels like they’re not really taking it seriously.  I know I haven’t been actively seeking medical treatment for the pain for all that long, but I’ve been In a lot of pain for several years now.  Maybe I need to stress that when I see the various doctors this month.

There are days I go to work wondering how I’ll make it through the day.  Granted, I’m usually able to survive the entire day at work, but at what cost?  Sometimes I cry all the way home.  Other days I manage to work my way through the basics before I collapse in bed.  Isn’t there something the doctors can do to help ease the pain?  I’ve been on Celebrex for several months now…it’s sure not doing a lot for me.  Can’t we look at what I’ve already tried and find something different that might work?  Why keep prescribing the same thing when we know it’s not helping?  And why am I so dumb that I keep taking drugs that don’t do anything for me?  Why can’t I just tell them I want something stronger?

I understand that the doctors are trying to find meds that will work at the lowest possible dosage…I get it, I do.  In the meantime, what?  Just keep hurting?  Just keep on not being able to sleep?  Just keep trying to make it through the day in a fog of fatigue?  Most of the time I find myself giving in to the pain, thinking that I’ll just have to live with it, that there’s no help for it or for me.  Whew!  Do I sound like a whiny brat, or what?  Hey, there are times that the pain will do that to you…

Enjoy the good days

You know, whether or not you have any kind of physical ailments, we all have good days and bad days.  Every single one of us.  That’s something I’m trying to keep in mind.  On the bad days, I remind myself that the good days will swing around again.  And on the good days, I remind myself to enjoy every minute of each of those days.

Take pleasure in the things that lift your spirit.  Find the time to smile and laugh.  Do something that you feel passionate about.  It doesn’t matter what any of those things are.  They’ll be unique to each of us.  What matters is that you do those things for yourself.  Take the time to observe the joy that surrounds you.  It’s there, each and every day.  You’ve just got to open yourself up to it.

Each day that we open our eyes in the morning is a blessing…make the most of it!

sunflowers make me smile

sunflowers make me smile

 

RA sucks

If you have RA, you already know how much it sucks.  If you don’t have it, or some other condition in which you experience chronic pain (and don’t know someone who does), well…then you really have no idea.  I had the weekend off work.  And, of course, I had all these plans about what I was going to do with my free time.  We all know what they say about the best laid plans, right?

I spent the weekend in some of the worst pain I’ve experienced.  My left ankle froze up….I couldn’t bend it at all and it was pretty darn painful to put any weight on it.  That kind of threw a big monkey wrench in the weekend plans.  I just sat around most of the time.  Well, that and took naps.  Of course, I couldn’t really sleep because anything touching various parts of my body caused some pretty intense pain.  That makes a gravity-free chamber sound like a worthwhile investment…I’m just afraid something like that would probably wipe out my life’s savings and I might just need that money down the road for silly little things like, oh I don’t know, medicine?

I woke up this morning before the alarm went off.  I think the sounds I made when I tried to roll over scared at least one life out of the cats.  They both sat up and stared at me, wondering what language I was speaking and what it meant.  When I finally was able to struggle to the side of the bed, I tried to stand.  I’m thankful I never put full-length mirrors in my bedroom.  I’m pretty sure I was hunched over like a 90-year-old woman.  After hobbling around for a couple of minutes, I knew I wasn’t going anywhere today.  So I made the dreaded call in to work.  Fortunately, there were no threats telling me I better get in there or else.  Seriously, I’m lucky to have a great boss.  He’s understanding…or at least as understanding as someone who knows very little about RA can be.

After placing the call, I used the furniture and walls to support myself as I made my way to the bathroom.  I thought about going downstairs, but gave that thought up and climbed back into bed.  I couldn’t really go back to sleep, but Spooky snuggled up next to me, emitting her warm, healing cat vibes.  Amazing how much it helps to have a pet right there with you when you don’t feel well, isn’t it?

I finally struggled back to the bathroom and took a hot shower.  I really wanted to soak in the tub, but I was afraid I would have to crawl out of it today and that didn’t sound all that appealing to me.  I did finally get dressed…well, sort of…if you consider putting on a clean pair of pajamas getting dressed.  I think that’s as close to getting dressed as I’ll get today.

I made my way downstairs and fed the cats.  I looked at the juicer sitting there on the counter but couldn’t dig up enough energy to make some fresh juice.  I did have tea in the fridge that I’d prepared the night before for work.  What the heck, it’s wet.  It works just fine to wash down that handful of pills I take every morning.  And who knows?  Maybe I’ll feel like making some juice later on…it’ll taste just as good later in the day.

When I sat down at my computer, I started reading and replying to the posts of some of my favorite blogs.  That’s when it hit me.  I still have a week and a half before I see the rheumatologist.  I have no idea what to expect.  I do know this first visit won’t be that magic cure we’re all hoping for.  I think, in the back of my mind, I’ve been telling myself that once I see the rheumy, everything will be better.  I’ve read enough of other people’s experiences to know that that’s not likely to be the case.  So I’ve just got to suck it up and accept that this is apt to be a bumpy road. Guess I’d better look around and see if I can find a soft cushion to help me tolerate those big, bad bumps in the road, huh?

 

 

My head, my head…

English: A bottle of Excedrin's migraine formu...

Image via Wikipedia

…my kingdom (such as it is) for headache relief.  I woke up with a headache today…took 2 Exedrin thinking the caffeine in those babies would knock the headache out.  No such luck.  I went to work, the headache didn’t lessen.  It wasn’t the worst headache I’ve ever had, but it was uncomfortable enough that it was always on my mind (yes, and all in my head too).

Even now, at home, I still can’t shake it.  I’m hoping a good night’s sleep will be just what the doctor ordered.

The interesting thing was that several of the people I work with also had headaches today…could it be weather related?  I’d say something wrong in the building, but I had it before I went in to work so I kind of think that negates that.  Strange, huh?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 82

Capsule of shoulder-joint (distended). Anterio...

Image via Wikipedia

Holy moly..I am so tired tonight.  Went in to work at six this morning and left at six this evening.   I am already starting to feel the stress from work and it’s not even close to Christmas time yet.  I’m not sure how much worse the stress will get the closer we get to the holidays.

I did walk and do strength training (upper body) this morning, then ran around like crazy all day at work.  My eating was good until I got home tonight…then I had pizza…what?  How can this be?  I was feeling so frustrated with how things are going that I tried to comfort myself with one of my favorite foods…and we all know how well that works!  The stress is still there and now I feel full and disappointed in myself.  And the thing is, I knew this was how I would feel before I ever took that first bite…

I’ve been doing a lot of stretching and range of motion exercises for my shoulder.  I don’t know if it’s helped yet or not, but it’s definitely not making it worse.  I have a doctor’s appointment in a little over a week and a half, so maybe we can figure something out then.  Of course, I’m sure that hauling wood pallets to the dumpster after a truck doesn’t do anything to lessen the pain either.  And the thing is, we have guys working there, but somehow I end up dragging those things through the back parking lot.  Ah well…what are you going to do?  Can’t leave them on the loading dock.

Well, sorry that I’m such a Debbie downer tonight…not sure if it’s the pain or the exhaustion talking.  I’m thinking a good night’s sleep would do wonders for me and for my mood.