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Saturday. 6.20.20 7:17 pm
Be it extremely emotional, controversial, messed up, or whatever, this entry has been password protected.

If you know it, enter it; or, ask me for it.

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Systematic desensitization
Monday. 5.11.20 7:47 pm
I've tried typing this entry out so many times. And it's never come out the way I want it to. So much has happened in the last month and a half. Even more has happened since the last entry I wrote. It's been so hard to find the right words to use.

The panic episodes have gotten worse, and more frequent. The meds I've been put on for the first time in my life have been working, for the most part. I am on such a low dose that I can increase it on my own if I really want to, but I hate having to rely on meds so much that I'd rather just deal with trying to talk myself down from these episodes.

This next couple weeks is going to be rough. Hell, this next few months is probably going to be even more so. I'm just hoping they're not rough in the way that I'm terrified they will be.

I guess we'll find out on my next update. Whenever that may actually be.

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Recurrence
Wednesday. 3.11.20 6:34 pm
This is a continuation of containment, sort of. I went back to work on Monday, but by day's end yesterday I was all congested again. There was an apparent difference in my voice from the beginning of the shift to the end. Even just from lunch to the end of the shift, I'd become more congested. Because of this now apparent recurring issue, I reached out to my PCP to find out if there was something she recommended.

She prescribed me with a round of antibiotics (since allergy meds did nothing to help with the congestion, as I don't have any known allergies) and recommended just more rest for this week.

I feel almost unreliable at this point. It's annoying not only feeling well enough (compared to last week) to do at least something, but considering I felt fine going back to work and relapsed after only a couple days? I know it's best not to push it more. But I just feel so useless at this point. I know most of the people that know me, know that I'm not just trying to get out of working. I also know there's a select few who think that I'm just faking all of this to get out of dealing with the chaos at work. All of this is frustrating.

Things have also gotten rather crazy with this rapidly changing virus. School closures were announced today, as well as event bans on groups larger than 250 people put in effect by the Gov a couple days ago. Trump announced a travel ban to/from the EU. SO much has changed in just the last three days. It's nuts. I'm still planning on my vacation next month, but if things worsen over the next few weeks, then I'll have to cancel it and postpone until this madness has passed.

It's just a big ol' bag of wait and see now.

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Containment
Wednesday. 3.4.20 9:42 pm
This is the third time in less than 6 months where I've been sick enough to miss work. The first time back in Oct I just pushed through and dealt with it, even though I was sent home twice during that week, because we were short staffed with someone on vacation. It took about 2 months for me to fully recover. Long enough for me to be really good for about a month. Then the beginning of Feb, I was knocked on my ass with a horrid head cold. I missed almost an entire week of work. I forced myself to go in too soon, and was sent home. Then just dealt with it for the Friday. Then had to spend the weekend trying to rest and recover again.

Now? I've got the same head cold, with the addition of what was apparently a low fever at the beginning. I spent all day this past Sunday with extra sensitive skin. I didn't feel chilled or feverish. Just sensitive to the touch. Around 4am, I woke up drenched in sweat, which would typically indicate that the fever had broken. I apologized to my coworkers and let them know I'd not be in.

Monday I had a friend bring me some airborne, and I paid to have some groceries delivered. One of my coworkers was also nice enough to bring me a small care package consisting of more cold meds, Gatorade, and chocolate (because what care package doesn't include chocolate?).

I've been out of my apartment long enough to let my two friends in, to grab my dropped off groceries, and to move my car so that it wouldn't be towed. Otherwise, I've remained contained inside my abode. Thankfully I'm alone, and don't have to deal with anyone causing me stress. However, despite the fact that there are plenty of times when I'd prefer to be hermitted up like this, I don't like that I feel I have to be. Out of precaution, I am choosing to stay indoors until I've healed. With the non-contained coronavirus happening in my state right now, and my immune system compromised, it's safer this way.

My cold has definitely improved since Saturday, when I got sucker punched in the face with it. Again. My nose blowing frequency has lessened, and I slept better last night, still with the sleep aid cold medicine, than I have since Friday. My nose is raw from blowing it so much. I'm super thankful that I didn't get a cough with this. Normally when I have this much nasal congestion, it drips and drains in to my lungs triggering the chronic cough I've had my whole life.

Because I still spent most of the morning not being able to breathe through my nose, I am planning on remaining locked at home the remainder of this week, returning to work on Monday. I don't believe I had any plans this coming weekend, but if I did, they are no longer to happen. I feel bad leaving my coworkers short, again, but it seems like this is the smarter way to go about this. Everyone is panicking about the virus, and me coming in with a stuffed up, snotty nose would just add to the panic. I'd likely be sent to UC for testing, and then sent home against my will, requiring a doctor's note clearing me back to work.

I don't have enough PTO for this; it will create a deficit on the already planned out trip I have next month. Thankfully the way my job manages extended illnesses like this is that starting the third consecutive day forward of an absence comes out of a separate bank that is reserved only for this type of instance. My upcoming vacation will leave me only about 12 hours without pay, instead of a whole week. I'd likely have had to cancel the entire vacation if that were the case.

My mind has been wandering today. This seclusion is not good for the wandering thoughts. I want to go back to work, so that I have a distraction, but I know that's not smart right now given the reasons already provided. I don't feel myself wandering down a depressive path, but the reckless thoughts have been trying to seep through. Maybe I will go for a short walk tomorrow, just to get out. I won't get close to anyone. I'll make sure not to touch anything with my bare hands, nor will I touch my face if I happen to come in contact with anything. But opening the blinds and the window only does so much.

We'll see if the weather holds out long enough for me to get out. Otherwise, I will have to do something to keep the thoughts at bay. I can only hope that this is the last time I get sick this year. I'm really fucking tired of a shoddy immune system.

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PNW {edit}
Monday. 12.9.19 8:16 pm
Despite having lived in the PNW for 9 years now, I've realized that I'm still in awe of the beauty of this state. At least western WA. Having not explored really any of the eastern part of the state, I'm currently biased by which part of the state I find beautiful. Occasionally when I'm driving southward, the sun will catch just right on Mt Rainier and it'll just look gorgeous. The evergreens mixed in with the bare trees in the winter, or the blooming trees in the spring.

Yesterday I drove up in to the North Cascades to visit Diablo Lake. I lucked in to the fact that SR20 was still open for the season. Usually right around this time of year the road will close for the season, for safety reasons. It's a two lane road, one in each direction, and it's a very winding and twisty road through the mountains. Winter conditions make it near impossible to drive, and to avoid unnecessary deaths it's closed sometime between Thanksgiving and New Year, then opened again in the spring.

*edit* WSDOT announced that SR20 will be closing for the season effective 6am tomorrow, 12/11. So I REALLY lucked out by getting out there on Sunday!

I would like to get out and explore more this next summer. I didn't get out near as much this past summer, so I will try to make up for it next summer. I'm hoping we get a bunch of snow again this winter, because it was just so pretty last season. Driving in it is such a bitch, but it's pretty.

I'm not sure if I'll be writing anything else before year's end so I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

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12.4
Friday. 11.15.19 11:20 pm
So there's this beer that I've had for a couple years now. A special make; a bottle that had a wax seal and a handwritten count on the label indicating which bottle it was out of the only 2000 poured. I was saving it for something special, a celebration or a fun event. Originally the intention was to consume it after I moved; a drink to celebrate solitude again. But then life got in the way and I just continued not opening it.

Well, tonight was the night. I broke the wax seal and drank the whole bottle. I'm definitely going to be paying for it tomorrow, but it was yummy. I made sure to eat some protein and carbs with it in hopes to prevent as much pain as possible tomorrow, as well as drinking a bunch of water before I finally cave in and pass out. But because the ABV was 12.4%, I'm still going to end up feeling like shit in the morning.

It was worth it. After the week I had, the mood I've been in, I'm glad I finally indulged. Starting tomorrow, it'll be back to trying to be good and paying attention to what I'm putting in my system. We'll see how well that goes.

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