Lost my most recent patient, Miss Pattie, to liver cancer this week. I wasn’t there when it happened, but I was with her quite a bit leading up to her final moments.
I really enjoyed the time spent with her while she was still functional. I only had about a week or two of that time with her, but I’ll treasure it.
I firmly believe that everyone we meet leaves an impact on our lives, even if our time with them is brief. Miss Pat introduced me to honey.
I mean, I’ve always been a huge fan of honey. I spend way too much money at the local farmer’s market buying quality honey. I have spicy honey. I have a lot of honey. But I’ve never quite known what to use it for other than adding it to tea. Yes, even my spicy honey.
(Spicy honey in tea when you have a cold is the best. The spice clears your sinuses and the honey soothes your throat. And tea is also good for a cold too, of course. But I’m serious, get yourself some spicy honey for your next cold.)
In her final days, Pat didn’t eat much. But what she would almost always agree to eat was honey on a toasted English muffin. Now, my kids are big on English muffins, so I usually have some on hand. One evening after my shift with her, I tried it, and it opened my mind to a world of honey uses. The next day I excitedly reported back to her that I’d tried honey on a muffin for myself and understood why she lived on them. She sent me home with a fancy jar of honey from her friend’s bees, and instructions to try it on vanilla ice cream.
I’m telling you here and now, honey on vanilla ice cream is absolutely the best way to eat ice cream.
From there I branched out to fancy honey. Expensive honey. But EBT paid for it, and we currently have extra EBT because of Covid, and it’s use it or lose it. So if ever there was a time to try acacia honey and manuka honey, it’s now.
Next on the list was honeycomb. Because I’m trying to honor a woman who I’ve known for a very short time, but touched my heart, I’m diving head first into honey adventured. I will say autism and beeswax in the mouth aren’t the best mix for me, but the honey is good enough that I’ll finish what I have. I melt it over muffins and that helps with the texture. Also, my 13yo, who has a chewing stim, got to discover raw honeycomb, and he is a huge fan.
My final adventure will be creamed honey. I haven’t bought any yet, but that is simply because I forgot. I plan to do that in the next week. That too will probably land on an English muffin.
I really appreciate having met Miss Pat. Watching her die from liver cancer is probably the most triggering thing I could ever watch someone die from, but I honestly think in the end it was worth it.
I’m currently working towards getting certified in basic first aid and CPR. I feel these will make me a better caregiver to the elderly, but also a better prepared mother.
I achieved my first aid certification last night. Most of the class was online lessons, but there was an in person demonstration of how to use an EpiPen which is an important skill that you don’t have time to stop and read the instructions for when in the heat of the moment.
Next week is CPR. That course is fully in person. I’m looking forward to it.
I still want to get my EMT certification. Again, I feel it’ll have me better prepared in an emergency, but also I want to volunteer my services at things like pride. Or even street medic protests. Though my best friend will beat me to death with a flip flop over that last one.
I enjoy learning. I really enjoy learning useful things. And has my brain heals from brain damage from prolonged lack of blood, I’m finding myself capable of learning again.
Speaking of healing, I say my cancer doctor the other day. I am confirmed in remission. I bought us cake about it.
So I have been noticing lately that if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours, I start getting really sick. And it can no longer be something small. I need a medium meal around the clock every 3 hours (that I’m awake) or I get really really sick.
I spoke to my bestie, who knows medical things, and she informed me it was the hypoglycemia. I responded that I’m not hypoglycemic. She bopped me with a flip flop and informed me I am and. And that further, based on how quick I am to get hangry, I probably have been for a while.
The thing is, I’ve been actively working to kick start my metabolism, so it’s far more noticeable. I burn calories a lot faster than I did 11 months ago and so I need to eat more food more often.
Speaking of… I’m actively losing weight. I’m no longer going to the gym, but by eating regularly throughout the day, I have kick-started my metabolism and I’m losing weight. Which wasn’t exactly my goal. I thought it might happen, but I mostly just wanted better mood control through regular calorie intake.
Hold up. Let me dig out and transcribe what I told my friends. I was having a good brain day at that moment and it’s pertinent.
Not eating puts you into starvation mode and you retain and even build fat. So if you eat a reasonable meal (based on the amount of hunger once you learn to listen) every 3 hours you drop out of starvation mode and start to burn fat. Sure you might gain a little at first because your body still wants to store the calories. But once your body realizes it’s being fed as often as it needs, it drops out of starvation mode. Also, because you are eating regularly (seriously every 3 to 4 hours around the clock so long as you’re awake) you stop like hugely craving to eat the entire all you can eat buffet. You learn to recognize when you are full and you learn to self regulate how much you eat in a meal because you aren’t literally starving to death.
Also, for those of us with mental health issues, regular food helps regulate mood. It doesn’t have to be a huge big thing if you’re not hugely hungry. Just something. Listen to what your body is saying and give it sustenance every 3-4 hours the best you can.
I have an alarm on my fit bit that goes off at set times based on what day it is. (I work third shift some days and second shift others and my sleep follows a pattern but that doesn’t mean it’s the same hours every day.) When my alarm goes off, I assess how hungry I am and eat accordingly. If I’m really seriously just not hungry at all, I reassess in 30 minutes.
I’m also making other changes. I spent some 4 years eating a cliff bar for breakfast every morning as I walked out the door. That used to hold me for 5 hours because I never fucking ate. But now? I’m hungry again after 2. So I am using protein powder to make myself a breakfast shake with milk, oats, and berries, and that really just holds me the 3-4 hours I need it to. And yeah, the protein powder is expensive. But it sure as fuck beats getting sick all the time. I was getting sick at least once a day on most days. And I didn’t know why until I finally realized it was then I was missing a meal during my work shift. I had the food with me and the ability to eat, I just ignored my watch alarm. So I’ve stopped doing that, I’m making sure my snacks are slightly larger. And I’ve added the morning protein shake.
One of these days I’ll remember that quarantine has two A’s and won’t be as reliant on spell-check. That day is decidedly not today. Anyway, without further ado, he’s what I’ve been up to while stuck in my house. Picking up from where I left off.
Day 13 of isolation
I hurt a lot today for regular shinanigans reasons. The usual crud so I’m taking it easy.
Lots of New Leaf fishing. I caught my first shark. I paid off my first town project. Starting tomorrow I’ll have a bridge on both ends of the river. I’m stupidly excited about that, let me tell you.
Might fuck around and finish that book I started yesterday tonight. Only 300 pages to go. It should only take 6 hours or so and the day is young.
I made lentil soup today using the majority of systlin‘s recipe. My spice cabinet was barer than I anticipated. (Note to self: restock spices next grocery trip.) But I made due. It tastes amazing and I’m on my second bowl for the day.
Day 14 of isolation
Iris is now a temporary blond. Tomorrow I turn their hair green.
I’ve started the process of getting Sammy diagnosed with ADHD. It’s a process but the ball is rolling.
The rest of the day is otherwise quiet. Lots of reading. I’m determined to finish the book I’m reading.
Day 15 of isolation
Left over lentil soup tastes better than fresh lentil soup, which was already good.
I’m up to 4 sharks caught in 3 days. They aren’t as hard to catch as I thought they’d be, once I learned the trick. There is still luck involved but I at least have the skill.
More DnD. Finished our first dungeon.
We’re already planning our next game where we’re all young dragons.
Gonna finish this book tonight. Not maybe. I’m determined.
Day 16 of isolation
Had a bad experience with the DS and ACNL. I dropped the system mid gameplay and it shut itself off. I was sad to lose the time spent so far that day but it usually resets in a way I can recoup except the fishing bit. Only when I turned it back on the internal clock thought it was January 7, 2020. So I had to fix that and it fucked up a lot of things. I almost quit the game then and there. I had just prior to dropping the system bought the last piece needed to complete my butch lesbian outfit and well… who knows if I’ll be able to get that piece again. I’m super sad. But alas, I’ll game on.
The rest of today will be spent watch Ducktales season 2.
I did indeed finish that book last night at like 3am. Time well spent. If you like period romances it’s called The Girl in the Gatehouse by Julie Klassen and it was good. Very happy ending!
Otherwise, it was more of the same. Lots of ACNL and some Ducktales season 2.
Day 18 of isolation
Feeling lethargic, depressed and apathetic.
Day 19 of isolation
Treating myself to a Pirates of the Caribbean binge. Never watched these movies as an out lesbian. Debating what my crush on a Will Turner means for my lesbianism. (To clarify I have zero interest in Bloom himself.)
Trying to spark debate on tumblr.
Day 20 of isolation
Wow. It’s been 20 days and there is no end in sight. I was originally meant to go back to work tomorrow. The kids were originally meant to go back to school today. Clearly neither is happening. We may finish out the school year at home. I’m not sure when I’ll feel safe to job hunt. So much uncertainty.
My appetite is disappearing. Probably stress and depression based. I’m making myself eat, but I’m turning down things like beef curry which is worrisome on multiple levels. But I am willing to eat lighter meals. Lots of Turkey sandwiches. But at least I’m getting protein. Doesn’t help that I’m suddenly drinking pop again because I can’t find mu usual water bit the soda aisle it’s well stocked. We’re do have a water filter so I am getting water in me. But I prefer to drink something with flavor. Anyway, all this soda is messing with my acid reflux which kills my appetite too.
Today I kept myself entertained with finishing season 1 of The Magnus Archives. I’ve started session 2, but I might break from that to watch the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie later tonight.
20 days. Huh.
Day 21 of isolation
I baked the best bread I’ve ever eaten today. It was devoured by the family before it could even fully cool.
I watched the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie and have opinions. Strong opinions.
Day 22 of isolation
Returned my office key at work and picked up my stuff I had in my desk. Wore a mask ADHD used hand sanitizer.
Got the hang of deep sea diving in New Leaf. Sort of.
The Biden post shit storm.
Day 23 of isolation
I was up until fairly late working towards catching up on B99 last night so today I slept in.
Somewhere in the night, I realized I own the full Avatar the Last Airbender series on blue ray so I gathered all the family members who were interested and we’ve set out to watch it all, 4 episodes at a time.
Realized I’m addicted to caffeine again after giving up soda over a year ago.
The storms that are rolling through and the rapidly cycling temperature changes mean I’m in constant pain these days, so now is not the time to cold Turkey caffeine.
The storms have been amazing though.
Day 24 of isolation
Days are starting to blend together. I’m aiming to keep a schedule of sorts. No set productivity quota or anything like that. But I sleep at night, wake before noon, eat my meals around the same time. Things like that. I am too neurodivergent to be able to afford to completely break my schedule.
That said, days still really run together. And it’s becoming harder to journal the key activity or two of a certain day when I’m having trouble keeping track of what happened when. But, I’m not just giving up on this journal. I may be a nobody, but my record will show what a nobody from Ohio was doing during this global pandemic. If enough nobodies do this there will be actual historical records left behind. I follow enough academics to know that this record could matter even if I don’t on my own.
I’m not reading much at the moment. I’m focusing on watching things. Avatar, B99, and some Ducktales in between. Once I get bored with screen time I’ll pick up another book, but it’s not like I’m behind on my reading for the year.
Knowing that I work fulltime and have 3 kids I really only aim to read 1 book a month when I set my Good Reads reading goal. I’m already 4 books ahead for the year. It doesn’t sound like much when I put it that way, but I’m more than halfway through my goal and the year has barely begun.
I suppose the thing of note for today is that I made chicken noodle soup. Usually an all-day project for me, but about 2 hours before dinner time I decided I wanted it, so I threw some things into a pot and it turned out the best I’ve ever made. I think I’ve finally mastered my recipe.
Otherwise, today was just another day in a long list of days that seem to be exactly the same even if there are minute changes.
I quit soda in the fall of 2018. The sugar in regular soda was getting to be just too sweet. But the diet soda was giving me migraines. So I went with the healthy decision to just quit all soda cold turkey as soon as it became cool enough outside that I could make up for it with warm tea.
Instead I ended up taking on a major water habit that has me going through about 75 oz of it through the course of the day. I am hydrated, to say the least.
I was also still drinking kickstarts, usually two at a time. See, kickstarts aren’t soda. They are juice based with added caffeine. Caffeine I was using to self-medicate my ADHD. Also, I was drinking them enough that if I went without I went into wicked caffeine withdrawal and, again, migraines.
However, a 2-3$ a day habit when you’re hurting for food money is not a good habit. It wasn’t every day. But it was close enough. So I took advantage of the stomach flu I had and while I was already dying, I detoxed from the kickstarts. This was very early February, so just recently.
That left me with coffee and tea. Which I was fine with in moderation. For the most part I don’t have access to coffee, at 4-5$ each, and only regularly drink tea. (I only like lattes and cappuccinos. No matter how much crap I add to office black coffee, I can’t drink it. So I buy it from the Starbucks next door or at the Kroger and it adds up, even for just a few times a month.)
The thing is, after I gave up the kickstarts, and was only drinking a cup or two of tea a day, my headaches all but disappeared.
Then one fateful Thursday I had access to too large coffees in a short span and suddenly my headaches was back to how it had been.
Which leaves me to believe I have a caffeine sensitivity. And am probably better off quitting coffee too.
I’m still going to drink tea, but tea has yet to make me sick. Even black tea. So I think I’m safe there?
Or it’s possible if I quit black tea too, the mild, simply annoying headaches I still have will clear up completely. I’m not sure.
I know my resting pulse even without recent (6-12hrs) caffeine intake is around 120. Which might be anemia. However, my hemoglobin is currently healthy and my rate is still up.
So I’m curious to see how this all plays out.
I don’t want to give up tea. I really don’t like most herbal teas though. But really, as sick as I am, drinking nothing but water and the occasional juice might be what’s best for me.
But tea is good for my mental health.
So we’ll see how this plays out.
Anyway, it’s in writing. I’ve given up soda, energy drinks (aka kickstarts) and now coffee. And I’m drinking more than the daily recommended water intake.
Edit: Since writing this, I have since quit all caffeine including tea. I have fewer headaches and my pulse average is down 10 beats. I’m thinking this decision is for the best.
Over the weekend I asked Tumblr if an olive was a fruit. I got a few responses and some general conversation that affirmed, yes it is a fruit. It has a stone pit in its center, that qualifies, as far a botanical definitions go.
I then followed up with the suggestion that this in fact made olive oil, juice, and invited people to discuss.
That’s when things got out of hand.
I’m not going to spoil for you all the many directions this conversation went in. There are over 2,000 notes, at the time of typing this Sunday night, and most of them are golden.
So what I will do is link you to the starter post and let you explore the notes as you please. Or you can just read my tumblr from that time period, if that is easier for you. I was very involved in the conversation and managed to capture most of the high points.