I was recently reflecting on some things that I own that I’ve come to realize I really enjoy and found they were worth the money to purchase. So here’s a list of things of them.
- Wool socks
I’ve discovered that if my feet are cold, I’m cold. If my feet are cold when I’m trying to sleep, I will shiver like crazy instead of being able to fall asleep.
- My REI jacket
A while ago I was at an REI and I found a nice waterproof windbreaker jacket. It’s nice by itself when the weather has been rainy and dreary, which has been a lot lately here. It also works great for layering a warmer jacket under it.
- Wool socks
Nothing like good headphones whether it is using them at work or at the gym. There are the Taotronics Bluetooth earbuds I got that nicely snap together via magnets so that they can’t fall off. Next there’s the cheap Sennheiser HD 206 headphones that I got for work because well they are cheap and it won’t be so terrible if someone walked off with them. Of course, eventually, work noise became too much and I had to research and invest in noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. Getting those has helped me so much in focusing on my work and drowning out outside noise, from people talking too loud, to the leaf blowers going outside, to that damn bird that starts up a full hour before sunrise.
- Bluetooth USB adapter
To go with the Bluetooth noise-canceling headphones, I got an adapter for home and one for work. This too quickly became a “How did I live without this?” item. I no longer needed to navigate what I was listening to via my phone, I could finally navigate via my PC as I used to do with my corded headphones.
- Google Hub
I managed to snag one of these on a great deal. I wanted something to tell me about the weather, commute, and news as I walking around getting ready for work. I thought that it might fit the bill, and it did. Not only that, but one of our cats has taken to watching cat videos on it as well. Plus when I’m not using it, the hub doubles as a nice clock so I don’t lose track of time.
- Food & Drink
- Forlife tea infuser & dish
While this tea infuser is great for brewing loose tea, the dish also doubles as a place to put your tea bags after brewing.
- Monbento square box
I started with the MB Original, but soon moved to the MB Square. It has been a staple for what I use to pack my lunch. Even my husband has been using one to pack his food for work.
- Ebags lunch bag (Crew Cooler II)
I’m actually on my second Ebags lunch bag at this point because of how much I used the first one I had. It fits the Monbento box, breakfast, snacks, drinks, ice pack, etc. It’s my all in one food bag that I bring into work with my food for the day.
- Sistema cutlery set
I got this portable plastic cutlery set from the Organizer Store and it has lasted for quite a while. It’s great using it for eating my meals.
- Hydro Flask
I got myself the 40 oz Hydro Flask to use at work and later got an additional one for home. I don’t know what it is, but this particular tumbler has worked great for making sure I drink enough water during the day. I’ve had other drink containers, but this one has consistently worked for me.
- Forlife tea infuser & dish
- Everything else
- Spotify premium
Spotify premium has been a godsend on my commutes to and from work. The offline ability to listen to various playlists that I’ve saved to my phone help with dealing with the drive and traffic.
- Lihit lab
Oh Lihit Lab, how I love your products. From your Teffa Pen Case, to your stand pen cases (and PuniLabo), the Smart fit carrying pouch, and your A5 Smart Fit Cover Notebook, this brand just delivers.
- Eye mask
It took me a while to find an eye mask that I thought I could comfortably wear at night, and it has made such a difference. I have noticed my quality of sleep is much better while wearing it.
- Deflecto organizers
I discovered these when watching a YouTube organizing video. I picked some up and yeah they work great. My pens, markers, and highlighters are organized and out in the open for easy use and access.
- Inverted umbrella
I got one of these on sale, and yeah it works. It’s a nice large umbrella and it’s easy to open when stepping through a doorway or opening my car door. Sure it takes a lot of space, but it works.
- Portable heater
My boss recommended a small 250w portable heater. I find it useful the few times at work when my feet are freezing. Even though I work in a cubicle, having it under my desk pointed towards my feet does help.
- Spotify premium
So I’ve been having a lot of health issues since late last year.
Last year a blood test came back saying that my cortisol level was high. I had to go through several tests to confirm or deny if my cortisol levels were indeed high. I even had to go to a new endocrinologist so I could get some saliva test kits that were used by the lab that is in-network for my insurance. My first saliva results were mixed, so I had to take the test again. For those who haven’t had it, you need to take the test around midnight. Least to say I had to wait until Friday or Saturday nights so I could sleep in and recoup sleep. After a long time of going through this and waiting for results, finally the tests came back and said my cortisol levels are normal.
Then there is this year.
I tripped and fell in my office. I turned as I fell trying to catch my fall. In the process I hit the side of my head against a piece of furniture, just above my ear. So for a few weeks I had to wear earbuds as headphones hurt that area too much.
Then I got really sick. I went out for some soup as I barely started to feel better. However, I have this bad habit of both trying to push myself and be productive with my time. As I was feeling a teeny bit better I decided to go to a store across the way for some very quick shopping. Being sick I wasn’t mentally at 100 percent. I didn’t notice that the concrete parking barriers for the spots in front of the store extended the whole length of the parking area. Normally they just sit in the middle of each parking space. Well my foot hit the concrete barrier and I went flying. Again I tried to catch myself. In the process I very badly hurt my right (dominant) hand. I scrapped it very badly, especially on the side of my pinky finger. My hand was shaking from the shock and pain. I ended up injuring a tendon in my hand. I couldn’t even pick up a mug of water with my right hand at all without being in instant pain. Gripping anything and putting pressure on it hurt. It took over a month for my hand to heal properly.
I’ve tried to learn from this lesson to not be tempted to overdo things when I’m sick. As much as it may be beneficial to do X while I’m out sick to be productive, chances are pretty good I’ll just injure myself again. So I’ve forced myself to squash any temptation to do more than sitting at home and recouping. (I tend to feel guilty if I’m home sick. I feel like I’m not doing anything. I have to realize self-care and resting IS doing something.)
Then I got vertigo for the first time in my life. 0 out of 10 would recommend getting vertigo. It came on suddenly while I was sitting in a chair at home. I finally got some will to head to bed. Except that made it a thousand times worse. When I lied down it was like I was on the worst waterbed in the world. I watched as the fan on the ceiling quickly moved left, then snapped back to the center of the ceiling. Then move, then snap. Yeah my stomach didn’t like that feeling at all and reacted accordingly. I spent a couple of hours just sitting up, trying not to move, with a bucket in front of me. I slowly inched backward on the bed to see if I could at least lie while sitting up as it was already evening and I was getting very tired. Every time my stomach roiled. Finally, I had to throw in the towel and ask my husband to call 911 for an ambulance to the nearest ER. There was no way I could survive a car ride to the hospital with the condition I was in. I got several doses of various anti-nausea meds injected and spent hours in the ER just waiting for the nausea to stop, and fearing that lying back would make the world spin again. After a few hours I finally felt, well not better, but not horrible as I had been. After the doctor confirmed I could walk around while looking up they sent me home with some prescription medications for me to take for the vertigo. I spent the next couple of weeks having lightheadedness and small brief dizzy spells. In the end the ER doctor said that one of the crystals that sat in my inner ear probably got loose and messed with my sense of balance which caused the vertigo.
Finally there was the day before Easter. I was busy getting dressed and accidentally smacked my right foot against the frame of an open doorway. I hurt a couple of my end toes and bruised the top of my foot right below the toes. The next day I wanted to go to an urgent care as I was realizing that this really hurt, except the urgent care places that are in-network were all closed for the holiday. After a couple of weeks of pain, I went to the urgent care and they buddy taped my pinky toe, but she didn’t see anything on my x-rays. Then in the middle of the night both taped toes hurt like hell. I’m guessing she wrapped them too tightly. I made an appointment with a podiatrist the next day. So there I was 3 weeks in and getting x-rays again. The podiatrist says there’s an area that looks suspicious that may be a fracture, but of course it’s hard to tell with the pinkie toe being so small. He also gave me a special (huge) boot to wear to keep pressure off the toe. As of today the pinkie toe still hurts, though it seems limited to one spot now. I’m suspecting that’s where the fracture is. Ugh. Another injury that is going to take some time to heal.
This has been the worst luck I’ve ever had medically. It’s just been one thing after another.I swear I need a good luck charm along with a good health charm.
You know I would like to think there are better ways for the universe to tell me to slow down and take care of myself more. Blarg.
I’ve been putting off writing this post because it’s difficult for me to go over my memories and images of this time all over again.
At the end of January our cat Boo, one of our 2 oldest, got really sick. The first response from the vet was that his kidneys were failing. I feared the worst and cried my eyes out. The vet was trying what they could for Boo, and I knew I had to visit him as much as possible to keep his spirits up.
The first time I saw Boo he was grumpy. He growled even at me like he didn’t recognize me. It took me a few times calling his name for him to realize I was even there with him. Then he was just quiet and looked at me. I gently petted him after making sure he was okay and realized who I was. I stayed for a bit and then I had to leave as the vet was closing for the night.
The second time they took me to Boo’s cage in their basement. Boo seemed depressed. He was lying in the back of the cage. He had peed on the newspaper back there and he was just lying in his urine. I softly called to Boo as I played some soothing music on my cell phone. I also brought a cat brush and started brushing his fur, trying to cheer him up.
I asked my husband to visit Boo in the mornings and to bring the brush too. I was really worried that Boo would just give up. I wanted to do everything we could to lift his spirits, to remind him that we were still here and we still loved him.
Over time Boo did fight back. He was diagnosed with a bad UTI which lead to the kidney problems. The good news is that, as far as we know so far, Boo has no lasting damage to his kidneys. However, at the same time, we found out Boo was diabetic. The vet gave us some long-acting insulin to take with his meals twice a day. Boo also needed to be on a special canned diet for his diabetes.
Boo came home and improved. Then days later after Boo’s breakfast, my husband found Boo unresponsive. Thinking quickly, he made some sugar water and ‘fed’ it to Boo. He responded and when I got home from work I took Boo to the vet. His blood sugars were very low. So I had to leave Boo for a few hours while the vet gave him glucose until the insulin shot wore off. The vet discontinued the insulin, but he still needed to be on a special diet.
Eventually, Boo’s diabetes got better and we were able to get him off the special vet canned diet. He still needs a canned diet now, but at least we can buy stuff off the shelves instead of special food with a prescription. He can’t have anything with gravy, just pate and flaked canned food. No more dry for Boo because it has so many carbs. And of course this meant all of the cats went to eating canned food for now on.
Since this whole ordeal Boo has gotten better. Though he has been a lot more clingy to us since coming home from the vet. His fur on his leg grew back, however some fur at the very tip of his tail turned white. Even the vet isn’t sure why it happened. I like to call Boo’s white tuff on his tail his ‘flag.’ I say things now like, “Boo, I love you flag” and “Boo, where’s your flag?”
I’ve been grateful every day since Boo came home that he’s still with us. I spoiled Boo before, but now I pet and whisper to him when he snuggles up to me. Boo follows me around the house still, not wanting to be alone. The poor boy just went through so much. I can only hope he doesn’t have any more major health issues.
So in the past, my boss went to a convention in Houston TX. While there, as he told me, there were people there bringing attention to the bats in the area. They were using the noisemakers pictured below. True to my boss’ nature, he asked if he could get one. They told him only if he would use it. Oh, he assured them that he would. So they gave him one.
Prior to him and all the other librarians at work going to a major convention last month I joked he should give it to me because it will be so quiet at work. That way I could make some noise. He obliged.
While they were at said convention, one of my coworkers came to visit me for a chat. She noticed the noisemaker and I told her everything I just mentioned above. Then I talked about the bats in Houston, and how the bat population was hurt by Hurricane Harvey. Then I talked about how bats eat insects and then fruitbats and how they eat fruit. I even showed her some Youtube videos of a bat rescue in Australia. I even shook the noisemaker a bit.
Fast forward to later that night. We had a power outage right before bed. I woke up at around 1 am to the sound of the power coming back on, and eventually got myself back to sleep. 45 minutes to an hour later I woke up to the sound of flapping going back and forth above my head. It stopped and I thought maybe I was still dreaming a bit and started to fall back to sleep. Then the flapping sound happened again. I tapped my husband awake who awoke with a start muttering all sorts of things. I asked him if he, “could hear that?” He paused and listened and we heard more flapping. My husband grabbed his cell phone and turned on the light on the phone. Hanging from the bedroom ceiling was a black bat. (And of course, a few of the cats in the room were going crazy watching the bat. Some were on the floor, some were on the bed.)
I am not joking. This seriously happened.