Sunday, September 29, 2013

Best and Worst of September

Well, September was in like a lamb and out like a lion and it's just about time to wake up Greenday.

So what have I been up to?

With detox going moderately well I took up a few crafts, including croquet (which I haven't done in years), painting (just finished a tea box; picture to come), and setting up a terrarium (an installation piece I call “Dry,” featuring a mini-ecosystem that including blooming baby toes, hedgehog cacti, a hermit crab, and a brown praying mantis).

 You can see him on the top.

Things at work are going better than ever. I am to be moved to the other campus of USC sometime this year, which is much closer to my house, will let me bike to work, and will let me have lunch with Jack and Andrew, as well as a few friends I've made there, like Christina. It will also put me closer to AA meetings if I ever feel like subjecting myself to torture/free coffee.

About two weeks ago, though, I got a bit of a scare. Esther (a co-worker) came and found me and said Bruce (supervisor) wanted me. I found Bruce and he asked if I had plans for the weekend. I immediately said no, because I didn't and also because I assumed he was going to ask me to come in over the weekend.

“No, I mean like, in the evening,” he said.

“Er, no,” I said.

“Ramiro wants you to call him,” he said. “Do you have his cell? Do it somewhere private.” Now, Ramiro is Bruce's supervisor. So, so far all I know is that the “Big Boss” wants me to call him, in private, and somehow my Saturday evening is involved. My thoughts were that either things were about to get weird or that I was going to be fired or something. I was in a huge state of panic.

I called Ramiro and he informed me he had a dentist appointment, which seemed like a weird way for him to start the conversation. Then he explained he had 4 Dodgers tickets he couldn't use and asked if I'd like them.

[Pictures to come.]

I was so thrilled by the offer and so excited to take the twins out, and it just completely made my day. Ramiro keeps surprising me with what an awesome boss he is. The reason for the conversation being private? He didn't want anyone to have hurt feelings about not getting tickets. On top of that, Einstein's Bagels fucked up my order so bad they gave me an entire meal free. So all in all I was feeling pretty peppy.

The next week Andrew went to San Francisco for a conference, which would have sucked mega shit dicks in hell forever, if not for the fact that it meant Jack stayed with me that week. I was able to stay mostly sober (lapsed Thursday) but overall came through it well and had a nice time. At the end of the week, Jack caught a cold. He offered to leave but I preferred his company even with the chance of infection.

By Sunday I'd caught it full-on and was wheezing up a storm. Monday morning I barely made it to my car to get to work, and when I did get to work, Bruce sent me home since I clearly couldn't breathe. I asked Andrew to take me to the emergency room, where you get pretty good service if you carve “can't breathe” in shaky letters on the admittance paperwork. I was transferred from the ER to the Marina Del Rey hospital and was there until late Wednesday evening. The whole thing passed like a lucid dream because my blood's oxygen saturation was so low. I have vague memories of the food being terrible, the nurse at one point leaving a sharp in my bed (yeah), and getting the worst IV of all time in the back of my hand. (She was literally trying to force it into the vein and I ended up redoing it after she left.) Jack and Andrew stayed with me in the hospital and that was really the only good part. Chest x-rays determined my left lung had turned into SpongeBob SquarePants and was swimming more than breathing.   Back in the day they'd tell you you had consumption and send you back out to sweep the chimneys, but since this is California twenty-thirteen, a million different kinds of antibiotics, vaccines, and steroids ensued to prevent further infection and swelling.  Thank God for insurance; the whole she-bang only set us back about $600.

SpongeBob Lung can costs tens of thousands without it.

You'd think, after 25 years of breathing, my body would have figured it out by now, but no.

So anyway, Jack didn't get to see my discharge from the hospital since he had to get a flight to Pittsburgh. See, the twins' older sister got married Saturday, and the twins had planned to leave Wednesday. But with me in the hospital, Andrew decided to take a later flight (Thursday night). He called to let his sister know first, and she said, “Don't even bother coming.” But she's pretty emotional and it's her wedding so I can sort of understand where she's coming from. Andrew called his mother next. 

Here pictured socialising with her friends.

His mother, hearing the news, immediately said, “Oh my God that's terrible. Is she going to be okay? Is there anything I can do?”

Ha, ha. Just kidding. She accused me of being lying, scheming, and manipulative. She told Andrew if he didn't come to the wedding (something he never even considered; he was just going to be delayed a day) that it would do “irreparable harm to the family.” Because people totally go into the hospital and fake pneumonia to ruin their boyfriend's sister's wedding for some reason.

Andrew went off on her, only after I told him to. I'm sick of how he's always saying that she'll come around and that she'll learn the error of her ways with time and actions speak louder than words and so on and so forth. Just once I want him to get angry for me, and he was barely able to do it this time. His mother is one of the most paranoid, cruel people I've ever met and I've never done a thing to her; I think Andrew would rather pretend she's just confused than admit and confront reality. The reason she gets away with this sort of shit is that he and Jack basically allow it and never challenge her. My Aunt Marianne warned me about Jewish boys and their mothers, which seemed a little racist at the time and so far has been nothing but Gospel truth. (See how I made religion the theme of that last sentence there? ...writing!)

Anyway, Andrew got on his flight and went to the wedding. I got left at home since I wasn't invited. Sometimes I feel really disconnected from Andrew and Jack. They have this “real” family in Pittsburgh, all these friends and roots, this whole backstory, and they regularly check in and I'm so removed from that. If I were part of it I wouldn't mind, but I'm not; it's like I live in a fantasy world. Their fantasy world. For me, it's reality and I can't escape it. For them, once or twice a year, they jet off to Pittsburgh and wear nice clothes and drink champagne and dance all night with people who love them, and I cease to exist. I just... don't know what her problem is. She's as tethered to her bigotry and hatefulness as I am to this stupid oxygen tank.

Me: Artist's depiction.

I'm still off work which is just killing me because I love work and I feel especially guilty since I JUST got informed about moving up to quails on the other campus, not to mention Ramiro's generosity and the raise that comes with getting ALAT certified.

In other news, Carlisle had 2 seizures this week, so we're upping his phenylbarbitol.  Not sure whether it was stress or just the good ol' competitive spirit; he's so used to being the sickest one in this house that it must have been a real blow to his pride when I came home with tubes in my nose.

"Oh, so it's a sick-off you want, is it?  ...I'm gonna go get my game ears on."

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