Scatter my ashes here...

Scatter my ashes here...
scatter my ashes in the desert...

Friday, March 27, 2020

I Can't Even...

I've been gone a while. And it's not because I've had nothing to say. I have a ton of stuff to say and I don't even know where to start.

Here in Larimer County we are only on the first full day of a stay at home order, and honestly, it doesn't affect my lifestyle all that much. I work from home normally, and beyond grocery shopping I don't go out all that much. We do go out to restaurants a few times a month normally. I walk the dogs, and I run. I do socialize with a group of runners once or twice a week under normal circumstances. That's about it.

So now, I just work, walk the dogs, run, and occasionally grocery shop. Not that different. All my races and events so far have been cancelled, which is good. I can run anywhere, any distance, pretty much any time, so it really doesn't matter to me. It's not like I'm training for performance.

I need to bitch and vent a bit here but then I'm going to focus on some positive things and what I'm looking forward to, although without a clear timeline at this point. I'm feeling slightly depressed today, but it seems to be related to the lack of sunshine. Today happens to be overcast and foggy. When it's sunny out, I do much better. Today, I'm not doing so well.

As of the end of last year I stopped contributing monthly posts to a nursing online publication I've been writing for, for about 2 or 3 years. I couldn't come up with any more things to write about. And I just didn't care anymore. I didn't feel like anybody really cares about the stuff I think about. Nobody questions anything. I wasn't deriving any pleasure from writing it, either.

The local nonprofit I was working with, imploded, and the timing was perfect for me because I was suffering from burnout there too. And fortunately my side gig is turning into a basically full-time endeavor for me as of the beginning of next month. And it will be more hours than I want, but in a way, it will be a relief to not be spread so thin in a million different directions. Plus having a steady income and benefits will help.

I managed to lose some weight last year and now I've nearly gained it all back. My outlet of boxing classes is on hold for now, since everything is closed, and for good reason. Crazy shit has been happening in my family and to friends of mine. Just yesterday we lost a friend in our running community, Doug DeMercurio, husband of my friend Connie, father of my friend Marissa. It wasn't from coronavirus, but the social distancing aspect of end of life care and making memorial arrangements creates all kinds of unfortunate difficulties.

My stepbrother is very ill right now. He has myelodysplastic syndrome, which is a blood cancer that is often a precursor to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Since his is very aggressive, they treat it as if it were AML. That means the option of a clinical trial and/or a stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant). Except he is so sick that right now the only thing that has a chance of slowing it down and possibly getting him through to the point where he could have a transplant, is starting on chemo. And that has been delayed since he needed to wait 8 days for his coronavirus test results to come back as negative, and then there was another delay.

He went to a big name West Coast cancer center and they seemed more interested in getting him to become a research subject in their clinical trial, than in taking care of his needs as a human being. Not surprising to me, of course. But maddening. I finally had a phone call with him in which I laid out all of his options and started discussing the pros and cons of each, since the cancer center didn't seem to be capable of doing that. Including talking about advance directives.

My dad broke his hip last fall. He has recovered well physically from that, but he has Parkinsons and that presents a whole range of other issues. My stepmom is on double duty between my dad and my stepbrother. I've been down there 4 times since November and trying to provide some company for my dad while she goes out to California to see her son, and now traveling is not wise at all.

In a nutshell, F*** the ### in the $$$!

I won't even go very deep into politics here because it raises my blood pressure and makes me angry and I don't need to do that when I'm already stressed. I am not even one bit surprised at the idiocy that has further revealed itself among our politicians and citizens and healthcare executives. I have had to limit myself on social media because I read all the stories about nurses and doctors and I have too many friends who are nurses and doctors and I can't stand it. They are being exploited in ways that should never, ever have happened and it's a function of our for profit system and the worship of productivity and profit above people.

Yesterday I was out walking and ran into a former coworker from ICU. She's been there for many years. We talked over about a 12 foot distance. But she told me what I've been hearing from my other nurse colleagues across the country- one mask a day, you can go into work if you test positive for coronavirus as long as you don't have a fever. WTF?

She is a mom of young kids and I heard the pain and worry in her voice. She said there is so much anger among the workers. And of course the suits are nowhere to be seen. They tell the staff to go in and risk their lives and then they are fired or threatened if they speak up in protest of any of these dangerous policies.

Yesterday it occurred to me that all the emergency preparedness training and disaster training my husband had in his old position could have been put to good use over the last 8 months, except he changed jobs after them pushing him out of management. And he would have been paying attention to this virus threat and would have pushed for preparation, because that's who he is. Not sure the higher ups would have listened, but what a waste of all that training.

When this is all done I would like to think people will see how ridiculous our system of siphoning off all the resources to the wealthiest few in our country is, starving the infrastructure and the public well-being, so that we end up in crisis situations like this, totally unprepared. But I don't have a lot of hope. People are so damn stupid and there are so many of them.

Trying to go outside in my usual running routes right now is a joke. Normally I get plenty of solitude where I run, but lately people are out at all hours in droves. It sucks, because I hate people breathing down my neck or having to listen to their conversations within earshot. Right now it's impossible to escape people, and I do know some places I could go, but I don't have the desire or energy to drive that far.

I was supposed make this positive by the end. I'm not sick, I am okay. My husband is not sick. We have our beautiful, fun, sweet dogs. I can still go outside and run. I have a job. I have friends. I have a Zoom account. I use it to stay in touch with my friends and running buddies. But I am watching myself for slipping into depression, because people vulnerable to that, like me, need to pay attention early, and this whole situation and current circumstances are the perfect host for a raging torrent of quicksand.

I bitched. Now here I am with nothing much to say except I hope we learn something from this as a society. I hope people realize that government is there for a reason and that it needs to function. And that we're all in this together, and it's not about me, me, me like that orange boneheaded dimwit who is making things worse on a daily basis.

So I guess my positive thoughts will be to you, readers of this blog. Stay well. Stay safe. Wash your hands. Stay the fuck home. Six feet apart, or six feet under, your choice.

And when the dust settles, let's make this country, and our healthcare, something that actually serves its people and not a few rich ass, empty-headed, heartless motherfuckers.