The Prisoner Dream

Sooo…I’m on a ship. Never see it, just know that I’m onboard something. It’s huge, apparently.

I’ve been captured and I’m being transported. Zip ties bind my hands, along with my two companions. Either via dream mechanics or I’ve forgotten what transpired, I’m then free of my ties, then lose the two people with me. I know my captors are tracking me. I sneak through this big vessel, going through sections housing people sitting in roads, following a washed-out dirt road, slipping through a jungle…

As I go, I observe the passengers. They’re also prisoners. None are bound in any way. It looks like they’re just taking a flight, traveling somewhere. I know better. Seeing a huge piece of cardboard, I realize that there’s a lot of waste and that we prisoners can utilize this waste to improve our situation. Food is hidden in different locations which we can eat, and there are materials we can use as clothing or to build shelters.

I try explaining to other prisoners what I’m thinking. Most don’t understand. Worse, they speak very loudly. One young woman finally understands me and tells the others. Going, “Oh, I see,” they lift a corner of the cardboard and see a pile of uneaten food. They all start passing food out and eating.

I hurry on because I know my captors are still after me. I come to a chute. In it, I find packaged food and help myself. Taking three of them with me, I move on.

I come to a sandy stretch. Not sure if it’s a desert or part of beach or something else. Briefly, I think, should I go through this? Am I going the right way?

I decide to go on because going back doesn’t seem feasible. As I trudge through the hot white sand, I became aware of small things fluttering around me. They’re on the sand and become airborne as I walk by them. They have wings, I see, and think that they look like very small, winged people about the size of ladybugs. All are white, in white clothing. As they fill the air around me, I see that all are females. They start landing on me, leaving small sand deposits. I start swatting them, trying to keep them away, and dust the sand off, and then I ‘know’ that they’re actually treating illnesses in me. I go still, because that will help them. The sand is gone. I’m instead in green water. The little fairy women are still treating me.

Dream end.

The Glasses

I broke down. It was time. I knew it – I’ve known it for years. I needed new glasses.

The issues aren’t costs or worries about my eyes. I dislike taking time out of the day to go somewhere, wait for a person to see me, etc. I’m an impatient person who tries protecting my writing time and routines. I’m like a grizzly mama about those things. Writing time and routines are my cubs, to beat that simile to a final death. This is due to a lifetime of giving and serving others, what people call ‘employment’. I sacrificed my writing dream for others’ worries and concerns. This is now my time.

COVID did play a role. So did changing insurance coverage. I no longer had any vision plan. That went away when I left IBM in 2015. Putting a year to it and doing the math is a thump on the head; that much time has already passed. It is not conceivable. Seems like just yesterday that I was dragging my ass out of bed before the sunrise and logging in, calling in, and doing all the other things to ensure I was electronically tied to the company. My work for them had been remote for the final eight years. The final three, visits to company facilities were cut to nil due to slashes in travel funding.

A new optometrist was required, too, as the other one had disappeared. My wife’s friends raved about the one at Costco. I was skeptical but they said she was great. “Make sure you go to her, though, and not her father.” Okay. An appointment was made, and they were right. She was good, as far as I know. $69 for a new prescription. In and out in twenty minutes. I liked those elements.

“Well,” she said. “You have very healthy eyes and your vision has improved. You’re probably having problems with your old glasses, aren’t you?”

Yup.

“They’re way too strong for you.”

Well, that was great news. I told my wife. She seemed stunned. “Your vision is getting better?”

Yup.

She turned away, muttering something about fairness. I didn’t press. I had some idea of her comment.

I found and ordered new prescription sunglasses from Costco. Didn’t really need normal glasses, I felt. Don’t use them often. My wife muttered something else.

The glasses would cost $129, I was told after I’d gone through the process. Whoa, wait. “What about protective lenses and the reflective coating, and all that?”

“It’s all included.”

I can see so much better now with my new sunglasses, and they’re much more stylish. They’re relatively large, making my big head look a little smaller.

We all need whatever edge we can find.

The Cycles of Mail

The cycles of life came in the mail. Credit card invitations when he was young. Cable and Internet deals in his middle age. House and window cleaning services as he aged, followed by landscaping and financial planning, then house-painting and payday loans.

As he reached his mid-fifties, AARP became friendly, as did companies like Prudential, offering planning assistance, worrying if he was saving enough for retirement. Cruise and vacation suggestions came every week. Everyone became concerned about his estate and his will. Hearing-aid flyers were frequently received. Then came funeral and cremation services, with coupons and discounts!

Reaching his mid-sixties brought flyers and letters for Medicare plans. Of course, every two years through it all were pieces from politicians, PACs, and political parties asking for a little money, pleading their cases, railing against one another, and demanding change.

Coming with weekly persistence regardless of the year or his age were advertisements from his local stores, catering to the holidays and time of year.

Fondly he remembered his past mail as he perused the latest offering from an assisted living residence and dropped it into the recycling bin, letting his imagination run wild about what his future mail would bring.

The CBD Experiment

My wife suffers from autoimmune issues that end up expressing as RA. Inflammation, swelling, and pain flare up without warning. Hips, back, jaw, fingers, hands, feet, back. Nothing is immune from autoimmune problems.

It’s not a new issue for her, starting back in 1998. It wearies her, of course, and frustrates me. All I can do is support her, and that just doesn’t feel and sound like much.

She’s gone through meds but as anyone who is prescribed meds knows, everything has a side-effect. Many meds cause their own problems, burning through other organs, upsetting digestive systems, etc. In her mid-sixties, she’s been a vegetarian or vegan for over forty years, for many reasons. As her RA progressed, she eliminated more and more foods. She keeps a food journal. Fats were strenuously reduced. Salmon was embraced. We’ve always eaten steamed vegetables, particularly broccoli and brusse sprouts, and roasted asparagus, so we just stayed the course with those. Black beans form a large component of our meals. Alcohol was gone, but she was never much of a drinker. Dairy, especially cheese, which she loves, was eliminated. Tomatoes (another favorite) followed. Sugar. Then she kicked the meds because the side effects were too deleterious. She’s always been a staunch supporter of work outs and exercising and has been a jazzercise enthusiast and weightlifter for over forty years. She puts a lot into both and has been asked by the jazzercise instructor to fill in and lead classes.

That’s the thumbnail sketch. With her diet restrictions, off the meds, she’s been doing well, and even improving. Know how it is, though, right? Something flares up, causing pain and problems.

That brings us to CBDs.

Friends of mine are CBD advocates. They and their wives use CBD and other cannabidiols such as CBA and CBG to cope with their health issues, particularly inflammation and arthritis, sometimes in conjunction with THC, sometimes with mushrooms, but usually with wine or beer. All are pleased with the results. A few raved about CBD with THC to sleep at night. Edibles such as gummies, easily obtained and ingested, garnered particular praise.

So I collected info from friends regarding brands, habits, dosages, and side-effects, and brought that to my wife. She did further research. Purchases were made. She took her first, Wyld Blackberry 25 mg CBD gummies. “How was it?” I asked the next day.

“I couldn’t sleep,” she replied. “And I didn’t feel anything for the pain, swelling, or inflammation.” She showed me her crooked finger, with its red, swollen joint.

I have minor inflammation, mostly afflicting my intestines. While I address restoring my biome’s balance through diet and probiotics, I thought I’d give the CBD a try.

“How was it?” my wife asked the next day.

“Great. Felt almost an immediate relief. I was really impressed.”

A low growl came from my wife’s direction. I may have imagined that. She tried the CBD again that day and experienced the same results.

Research was pursued. She determined, she believes, that she’s one of those people who suffer increased anxiety from CBD, and no relief.

For the heck of it, we tried other gummy variations, and also gave CBG a try. Same results for her. Which just sucks, you know? Meanwhile, I thrived on it.

But that’s how our bodies are, individualistic and unequal, following paths and micro-paths which we don’t fully understand, sometimes forged by genetics, but also by small biological quirks. That’s part of the life experience, understanding what your body is doing, trying to understand why, struggling to address your own unique needs and issues. The wildest aspect is that the body is always changing, and the hunt for understanding doesn’t end until we cease to breathe.

And that is life.

Friday’s Theme Music

Spring must be ready to take the scene. My sinuses said something is in the air. I guess it could be love.

We’re getting ready to ‘spring ahead’ on our clocks this weekend in the U.S. Spring ahead and win a prize: one hour of ‘lost’ time. Where will you subtract your hour?

Today is March 11, 2022, Friday, in weekspeak. The sun came for our valley at 6:30 this morning, bold, bright, and welcome, dragging warmth out the cold air and earth. Twas 31 at my house this morning but now the desk weather station claims it’s 49 F. We saw 60 yesterday and anticipate 67 today. Looks like good walking weather. Might even do some yard-tidying and weed pulling. The sun will take its light and warmth and go on at 6:13 PM.

Today’s morning mental music stream inhabitant is “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi from 1986. It’s cat music. Yes, it’s a repeat from back when the coronavirus kicked in on a massive global scale While Papi seems very recovered, singing a rousing rendition of “The Breakfast Song” this morning, (and more than one verse), sick cat, whose RN is Boo (our bedroom panther), seems to be losing his cancer fight. I raise a glass to all the sick and diseased, fighting wounds, diseases, sickness, and chronic pain, and their caretakers.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vaxes and boosters when you can, and send out some peace energy toward Ukraine and its people. Send them some hope that the invaders won’t kill or maim all of their people, that all of their buildings and lives won’t be destroyed, that Russia will stop this assault on their rights and lives. Pray for them if that’s what you do. Ask the Universe to make Putin come to his senses, or for Russians to rise up and rein him in.

That’s a lot to do. I’m gonna need more coffee first. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Good News

My cat Papi, aka Meep, Youngblood, the Ginger Blade, and the Ginger Flash, has been in the animal hospital for several days, suffering from concurrent inflammation of his pancreas, bile ducts, and liver, which is called traiditis. He’d not been eating, had vomited a few times, and wasn’t drinking water. After a few days of antibiotics, IV fluids, and rest, he finally ate last night and this morning. We can bring him home today.

It’s a relief. I shared the happy news with my big black and white boy, Tucker. “Good new, buddy. Papi is coming home.”

Tucker replied, “Who? What? What are you talking about?”

While Papi’s immediate threat has been countered, I’ll need to monitor his behavior and watch for a recurrence. Fingers crossed, this was a one-time thing, but you never know.

Thanks for all of your support. Look forward to bringing him home this afternoon at three. Just hasn’t been the same without him.

A New Word

Today’s word for the day is triaditis. It goes with words already familiar to me, like inflammation and pancreatitis, detoxing, dehydration, and a bonus new word, cholangitis. These are the words passed on to me from the vet. Triaditis is the concurrent inflammation of bile ducts, liver, and pancreas. Surprising to me is that it’s common in cats. Cats have owned me for fifty years. None of them ever mentioned triaditis. They did sometimes display triaditis symptoms of being lethargic, not eating, and vomiting something thin and yellowish. But they usually said, “Done,” the next day and went on being a uniquely entertaining companion.

That brings out two other familiar words, acute and chronic. Chronic, yeah, it flares up once in a while, doesn’t generally cause a larger panel of issues, etc. Acute is more critical and dangerous. The question before the vets is, which flavor afflicts Papi?

That’s what’s being explored today. His blood pressure was also initially low, but it recovered. There were some concerning matters about the kidneys, expected when a cat is not eating nor drinking water. We’d been forcing water in him and trying to entice him to eat.

I read up on what I could overnight and this morning about triaditis. Papi remains hospitalized. He’s young, so I worry that he’s experiencing acute triaditis. As expected, he was given fluids via IV, along with antibiotics. Because my wife has RA, we’re familiar with autoimmune diseases and disorders. The doctor confirmed that triaditis falls in that realm. Not much more is known about it past its symptoms and how common it is.

For now, Papi’s major issue is that he’s still not eating nor showing interest in it. We believe it’s because he’s in the hospital. He’s been treated for dehydration and given antibiotics. Provide us with some NSAID anti-inflammatories, if possible (I’d rather avoid steroids because of the collateral damage they can cause), and let us take him home and try to get him to eat.

It’s still a shock that he became sick so suddenly. This is how bodies function, though. Because we see such small, gradual, external changes, we easily overlook or forget that we’re really multiple internal functions, processes, and organs balancing and harmonizing. Keeping it all together requires shifts and adjustments. Sometimes genetics enter the scene. Other times, luck or injuries shift the setting.

We’ll see what we see. I don’t feel fatalistic about Papi; I’m optimistic. Maybe it’s just due to how he always presented, as energetic, happy, and healthy, so he remains so in my mind.

Cheers

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