Stages

I think we all know what is going to happen on Friday. I’ve chosen to steer clear of most things political on this blog. I have enough negativity going on in my personal life. I can’t add more negativity and dread about the future by bringing up the next four years.

I can however, acknowledge that the emotions I have felt since November have paralleled my own emotional journey through the process of a failed marriage.

There was that initial denial. I remember going to bed on election night as the numbers became painfully clear and pointed toward the most ridiculous outcome I could imagine. I know that I’ve laid in bed on countless nights, not ready to acknowledge the fact that the total number of years of unhappiness in my marriage turned out to be greater than the happy ones.

Anger filled those first few weeks after the election, and it was wrongly directed mostly at all those who voted for DT. There was name calling, there was blame, there was bitterness. Anger has filled me in my personal life for way too long and I want it to go away. I have gained some control, but it still rears it’s head. Right now, I can’t completely avoid the source of anger in my marriage, but I have chosen purposefully to remove myself from most of what passes as news concerning DT. I will not be tuning in for his big moment on Friday.

I’ve invested in bargaining with countless others who have looked for a means to oust DT before he officially becomes the President. It’s not going to happen folks. I have contemplated all the what if’s, and if only’s, and again, we are stuck with this man. I have had to bargain with myself, over and over, while trying to push forward to see an end, and thus a new beginning, for my life. I’ve contemplated my personal what if’s and if only’s and finally come to terms with the here and now, leaving the past behind…mostly…unless it’s been a bad day and I have too much time to think.

The bargaining must go on however, literally it must go on, so that this entire process can be finalized to suit our future lives as separate entities. I want to hope that we can do that easily.

I imagine that most of us who had different expectations after that night in November have, or are still dealing with depression. I was surprised at the great amount of sadness and regret I felt in the days following the election. Like real tears sadness and a deep sense of loss. I console myself that this will only be 4 short years of madness and crazy and hate. The sadness and regret that has come with marriage failure has been deep and profound, but it has been a process over many years. I am so very tired of being miserable and so very ready to move forward and say goodbye.

Finally, with Friday looming large, I have to simply and clearly acknowledge that our country is in an indescribable state of flux. I only hope that we survive. My own goal is a bit farther away, but change is still a huge part of my personal world. I accept, and value that change though. I don’t fear it as I do many of the transformations that America faces in the months and years ahead.

With a little luck, both myself and our country will come through all of this and out the other side stronger. We can’t let ourselves believe anything differently.

 

Moving forward, and likely back a bit as well…

I had my consultation today for the cataract surgery. But first, can I just say that I must have the biggest case of “white coat syndrome” ever. They took my blood pressure. It wasn’t good. It’s always great when I take it at home but today… the systolic was fine, the diastolic…not so much. She took it again after about 10 minutes and it was fine. It was strongly suggested that I consider having a small dose of sublingual Versed prior to my surgery if I was going to get myself that worked up. I don’t like the amnesia that accompanies Versed. I think meditation is a better option, or perhaps I’ll brush up on my Lamaze visualization techniques.

With that rather rocky start there was also a glitch tossed into what I hoped would be a straightforward consult. In general they tell me that my eyes are healthy, that I have no signs of glaucoma, that my left eye is already seeing 20/20 and that they can likely correct my right eye to 20/40. I do have old eyes though so I think some cheaters are still going to be in the works as my bifocals will disappear with my glasses. I can live with a handy pair or two of magnifiers.

The doctor then told me that she had two concerns, and that until they could be evaluated by another specialist, we couldn’t schedule the surgery. Apparently, at some point and completely unknown to me, I had a very small tear in my retina (right eye) that seems to have healed itself. As Dr. Abbie noted though, they don’t want to be messing around with my eye and have this ‘healed’ area decide to re-open. The left eye has some sort of vitreous attachment, that again, when the eye is messed with, could cause a resultant pulling, and/or tearing of the retina.

vitreous-2

Of course there’s a laundry list of possible causes for both of these issues, none of which seem to apply to me except the ‘generalized aging’ category. I’m getting a little tired of being told that I have old eyes. I already know that my body isn’t as firm, fit, or generally healthy as it used to be. I don’t need my eyes to keep reminding me of that.

Initially after this news, I had to not only adjust to the idea of another delay but also that the cost would now be going up. Something that I haven’t shared with you in the blog is that our current health insurance is crap. In short, the providers within the network that aren’t two hours or more away from me are not clinics that I want anywhere near my eyes. Their reviews and reputations are far less than stellar. I was referred to an amazing clinic for this consultation today, but they don’t accept my insurance. I have been working to find a way to pay for this surgery myself. When I was hit with the news that a preferred retina specialist (upon learning I was a private pay patient) wanted a $1000 deposit prior to even seeing me, I wanted to crawl under the schedulers desk and cry.

What I did instead was to come home, pull up my list of network providers, and found a specialist on the list whose office is 20 minutes away and who confirmed that yes, they accept our insurance! The evaluation will happen in a few weeks. Fingers are crossed that she will say that nothing needs to be done. When I called the cataract clinic back to tell them that I was still moving forward the scheduler mentioned that this doctor was fantastic. That piece of news helped me a lot after all the disappointment earlier.

I was also encouraged to here from Dr. Abbie that, once we can schedule the right eye surgery, and if it goes well, I can almost immediately schedule the left eye as well if I want. She said that they have had patients who have had both eye surgeries within a week of each other. Financial considerations will influence the timing, but as long as I can get the right eye done, then I feel like I can move ahead with all the very official stuff associated in ending my marriage.

Even though these eyes are old they have a clear vision of the final goal and we just keep pushing forward…

 

Lists and Plans. Oh My!

I really have no reason to be heading in this direction at this very moment. I have time to move on this assorted collection of must-do’s over the next few months or so, but for better or for worse I’ve started on some lists of things that are going to have to change in the future. I need something that will remind me of the things that will go from being a shared plan, or a joint account, or a bill in his name, to an individual responsibility. Plus, it pleases me to know that thinking about, and planning action on these things means that I am still moving forward, albeit with that little hiccup of eye surgery holding things up for a short time.

So, a few things that will need taking care of…

–Right now we have a family wireless plan. I’m seriously thinking of the old folks phone plan for my future. You know the one. AARP recommends it. It seems basic enough for my needs and as long as I can talk, text, take a few pictures and look up an address or get directions on occasion then I’m good.

–Car insurance. We now have a great rate and I think I can stay with the same company, although I have to verify that. I’ll be able to drop the coverage down as well so I think I’m set there.

–I have had my own credit card for years. That will just need an address change. I will need to remember to remove myself from the joint credit card however.

–My own bank account. That one makes me incredibly happy so I’m going to write it again: My Own Bank Account. I like the bank we jointly use now and have no intention of changing unless they start changing their services or adding weird fees.

–Amazon. This is another one that makes me happy anticipating the day that I remove him as a user of my Prime benefits. He purchased one of those Fire Stick things. I’m tired of seeing his choice of late night movie genres popping up in my recommendations list. Let’s just say we have very different taste in movies. And, I don’t really know that I will pay for Prime anymore anyway. Gonna have to watch my spending much more closely I think, but we’ll see.

–The family dentist. This one is up in the air. I don’t really have anything against our dental office I suppose, but like most of the anticipated changes, I value the idea that I simply don’t have to go there anymore if I choose not to. It feels like a time for change across the board.

–Medical insurance and physician. That’s a big one, as I will lose insurance coverage and the whole ‘new physician’ thing has been a work in progress for some time anyway. Plus we have a whole bunch of people in Washington DC planning to take away any option I may have for health insurance anyway (and dental as well) so these last two points are a bit anxiety inducing. Thankfully, once I have these cataracts removed, I’m generally a pretty healthy person. That is if you don’t count crappy arthritic joints as a health issue. Or the fact that I already qualify for senior discounts and early dinners at many restaurants. Why is it that aging past 55 is synonymous with being a “Senior” anyway. Personally I won’t acknowledge ‘Senior’ until I can get Medicare coverage.

Well really that seems to be about all. With the exception of some basic new household needs such as putting an electricity or garbage bill in my name when I have a place to call home I think I’m ready. The doing of all of these mundane tasks isn’t new. An original shared role that he shirked  gave up over 30 years ago, the financial responsibility for our life has fallen squarely on me. I’m well prepared.

Can I also just say that I am pretty excited to be anticipating the search for a new home. While the possibilities are by no means endless I can’t begin to tell you just how pleasing it is to know that the future holds new walls and doors and spaces. They may be old, or quirky, and I anticipate very well used by others, but they will be mine. I have always associated the word ‘mine’ with a bit of a selfish tendency. It’s easy to hear the quintessential small child shouting in my head, “MINE!” and visualize that same child snatching a toy or other object away from a friend or sibling. Honestly, I am using the world mine a lot lately, and feeling selfish isn’t even an emotion that I’m willing to consider right now. MINE! = freedom.

 

 

I Thought He Was With You

It was a welcome change to spend the day yesterday- NYE -out of the house. Many in the family have been sharing some sort of virus over the week between Christmas and January 1st. I will spare you the unpleasant details, but suffice to say, it wasn’t a respiratory virus to be sure.

Alison and I decided to do some antique browsing, something we haven’t done in quite some time. We both had actual items in mind to look for- mine a gift, and she was searching out picture frames. She had some beautiful photos of Snowflake printed that need frames.

In our area we have vintage stores, a few antique stores, but mostly large antique ‘malls’ as they are known around here. Huge old buildings that are divided up into stalls that vendors rent and fill with their treasures, or junk, or both. I’ve written about these places before and the feeling of overwhelming age, claustrophobia, and sometimes the genuine fear for your life when you enter them and begin to make your way into the deepest corners. We’ve come to realize just how imperative it is to map out exits before we get lost in browsing. Fire is always on our mind.

Alison and I hadn’t been looking for long when two things caught our attention. One, a youngish boy, probably about 7 or 8, darting in and around stalls. His parents were in the vicinity, each in their own areas searching for whatever treasures brought them into the store. The other, and for Alison a definite bright spot in her day, was the encounter with one of two store cats. We rounded a corner and there on an old carpet was a HUGE black long haired cat. Clearly very old, and having a hard time moving, he did manage to come over to her for some love, then as cats will do, went back to his spot on the carpet and laid down with his back turned.

She was fortunate enough to also have a personal encounter with the other black store cat later, who was on his way to a couch placed strategically in a front display window that likely got little customer traffic. Smart kitty.

We meandered, and browsed and as per our usual, found many items that we could daydream over. Always just around the corner was that family with the young boy. As we kept running into them it was becoming more and more apparent to us that the parents were finding it easier to be lost in their own heads dreaming of some perfect find while the young boy was getting more and more bored with spending his time among the antiques. He was also becoming more and more distracted and careless. We watched him darting here and there, touching and exploring while often holding our breath and waiting for a crash. Nearby, his parents were engrossed in everything but their kid.

Coming close to the end of our search we entered a stall and there again was the mom, heading toward dad who was a few stalls away. Clearly, a female voice was heard saying, “Where is ____? Isn’t he with you?”

“No, I thought he was with you!”

Thus began the loud calling of the child’s name, and the frantic darting of two parents who have lost their kid in a huge, messy, even dangerous old building that was surprisingly filled with many customers when you consider it was New Years Eve.

Now Alison and I had seen the boy minutes before this in some stall quite a ways away. We looked at each other, sort of nodded in unison because I think we both had anticipated this situation, and as I began to move in the direction I thought the parents had gone we heard clearly, “There you are! Where did you go?”

Alison and I turned and walked the other way, still shaking our heads. We weren’t surprised that within 20 minutes we came across the parents again, alone in separate stalls, no child in sight.

 

Snowflake

Thursday–I will be saying my final goodbye to this beautiful old kitty later today.20160811_122816

She has been living with Alison since August, but over the last few weeks, her tired body has been slowly failing. Neither of us can ask her to stay around any longer and so we will ease her out of our world gently and with love tonight.

Thank you sweet girl, for choosing our home, and for filling so many years with snuggles and scratches and even some frustration. Our hearts are breaking and the tears won’t stop.

We love you…

Friday–We spent many hours just holding and loving this girl last night, but now our baby is gone. She went without fear or pain cradled in Alison’s arms thanks to an amazing vet who was so very gentle and loving.

 

 

Eyes Wide Open

Not only has it become clear that my marriage has failed, but I have recently had the great pleasure to confirm that my eyes are failing me as well.

I know that in some past post many months, maybe years, ago I mentioned that my optometrist noted the beginning of cataracts, especially in my right eye. My latest eye exam, and yes I waited too long but my excuse is that I have had other things on my plate, showed that those small beginning changes are now ever thickening lenses and surely ready for surgery. Woohoo! I cannot tell you how much joy I felt upon learning that doctors with sharp tipped instruments and microscopic suctions will be messing around within my eyeball.

Don’t misunderstand. I love surgery. I am fascinated with surgery. If fully capable and allowed I would cut on any body part presented to me. I have even watched minor surgical procedures being done to me and found those experiences rather odd, but amazing.

However, I am incredibly creeped out by the idea of someone, no matter how highly skilled they might be, slicing anywhere near the vicinity of my eyeball. Rational Debbie knows that this is no big deal. Irrational Debbie is finding lots of imagined ways that this could be a really big deal. It also does not help to read patient reviews of procedures (not necessarily cataract surgery) that have somehow gone awry.

Rational Debbie will truly be glad to be able to see without this now very noticeable cloud marring her vision. Irrational Debbie just hopes she still has vision when all is said and done.