Tenuous

Q-Day 250

Had a dream that V’s dad arranged for her to get some kind of new experimental treatment – for what I have no idea – using an octopus. Surely this was a worm planted by a friend’s meme, of 2020’s Thanksgiving turkey – the body cavity erupting with octopus tentacles.

Did you know this week is Antibiotic Awareness Week? Well it is. I don’t know what you’re supposed to learn about it. I didn’t bother to look it up but it was in one of our many work emails. But I can tell you that I’m taking antibiotics this week. What a coincidence! And no, I’m not sick. I had oral surgery yesterday.

Why the oral surgery, you ask? I had a dental implant. So, I am now admitting that I haven’t been 100% real in my posts. Sorry. I just couldn’t. I was so upset. That emergency root canal I had back in June? When I went back for the crown, the whole tooth (what was left of it) had cracked horizontally and it couldn’t be saved. I was so depressed. I never wanted to be someone with a missing tooth. I told virtually no one.

The only good news about this development? Mandatory masking. Well, and the fact that it’s in the back of my mouth. And then, too, I happen to know an oral surgeon and got the implant and it was so gad dang easy I’d do it again without trepidation. (Let’s hope never.) So –healing today. Pain was/is minimal – though it increased in intensity on the drive home and I couldn’t help remembering the hell-ride home with Opac after his wisdom teeth extraction.

While we’re (loosely) on the subject of masks, drinking/snacking at our desks at work is a challenge. I unhook one ear loop probably 1000x a day to drink or pop something into my mouth, but in the latter case, I hook it back on – which in essence, makes me feel like I’m wearing a feed bag while chewing.

It’s been a rough week at work. I don’t feel like the most patient person in the world anymore. Was I ever?

People are nuts. Justifiably so, but nuts all the same. We have screening questions we must ask at the time of check-in. 2 out of 5 parents will impatiently say they’ve already answered these questions with a nurse (in the precharting call up to 3 days prior). Well, any of these factors can change – literally OVERNIGHT.

They will ignore the STOP sign on the door asking whether they’ve called first before entering, and then when asked, they’ll say, “oh, I’m sorry,” or “I didn’t know.”

They call while driving and the call keeps breaking up and I have to ask them to repeat themselves. Repeatedly.

Calling to schedule a sick child when they’re not our patient – we have no records in our office – and then get upset when we can only recommend they go to their previous doctor or urgent care. Sorry – policy.

People wearing gaters. We have to give them a proper mask when they come in. The dad on Tuesday asked, why isn’t this acceptable anymore? Coverings have to be 3-ply, or 3-layered masks. Well, can I wear THREE gaters then? Seriously. SERIOUSLY.

Every. Other. Call. Is about COVID. Either symptoms, exposures, or general questions about quarantine. Every. Other. Call.

Not surprising. It’s all over the news. The numbers are growing and the states I live and work in are grinding down to renewed restrictions. If you live under a rock (and I hope it’s a pretty one with a fireplace and cozy blankets), we’ve now surpassed half a million deaths in this country, with nearly 150,000 positive cases per day. Children are accounting for 17% of those diagnoses (this is real data reported by my organization).

Our drive-through testing sites are becoming overwhelmed. The county alone has had over 9,000 positive cases. The county where my mother lives has over 11,000. Governor Hogan (MD) has reinstated new restrictions and my daughter’s school has gone full-on virtual again. We all saw this coming, but it’s still disheartening.

More disheartening, is that the “president” of the United States has little interest in helping the American people and fighting this pandemic as we sink further into the darkest night America has seen in decades (9/11 notwithstanding). He’s too busy throwing tantrums over his loss and creating chaos here and now abroad, weakening the U.S. “on his way out the door.” And I still know people who voted for him – still support him. And I’m disgusted and, moreover, disappointed and sad. It’s like losing a loved one to a cult.

My Nanowrimo challenge is abysmal. I can’t get motivated on the original (2018) story and I started a new one that’s turning out to be a little too emotional for me to commit to right now. And in the middle of the night last night, I came up with another short story and another series of pieces united by a common theme.

I have had anxiety that can only be characterized as cloudy with a chance of wrecking balls. Things are getting worse – if that’s EVEN possible – for this country, and especially for this pandemic. We have had a taste of what it’s like, back in March, but now it’s going to look a whole lot worse. I fear it’s going to be way beyond anything we’ve seen thus far.

I lie awake at night thinking about the pandemic, worrying who’s going to get sick, fearing that it’s inevitable, thinking about my children and all the bullshit that’s been stirred in that particular pot, thinking about justice and retribution, praying to God, repeating my chant, frustrated with how life has changed in every imaginable way, wondering how we’ll get through the next 3 months, and fighting off the musings of just no longer existing.

This is not who I am.

With no further explanation, I offer these random tidbits:

Wolf Blitzer is from Buffalo. Get it? WOLF is from BUFFALO.

“Roids” in your 20s means something very different in your 50s.

Today is National “Have a Bad Day” day. So, go forth and have one. Or, knowing what it is – realize it aint all that bad.

It is also Equal Opportunity Day – very important – as well as National Blow Bagpipes Day and Play Monopoly Day.

On a more somber and important note: It’s World Pancreatic Cancer Day.

Books Read: The Turn of the Key. (Very good, very fast reading.) Ruth Ware is very adept at the tension and build of a good psychological crime thriller and then there’s that twist. Also recommended: In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10.

Still working on The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Paper Supplies: On this downward trajectory, toilet paper is well-stocked; however, the paper towel situation is growing precarious. WTF are they doing with paper towels?

Number of words in this post: 984* (based on the main post, not the extras beyond)

Nanowrimo words: 1,763

Today’s Polo Shirt: Lavender, under a pewter sweater

Days until Inauguration Day: 62

Days trump has been throwing tantrums over the election: 17

Today’s PSAs:

Gaters, bandanas, and masks with vents are NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE. They are no longer acceptable in the healthcare environment, even when our own local government officials don’t distinguish between proper masks and even defining masks as covering mouth AND NOSE. Cloth masks MUST be 3 layers to offer protection.

I repeat, cover your MOUTH AND NOSE.

Pay attention to signs! Whenever you approach an office/public door – read the damn sign! Does it ask you to call first before entering? Does it tell you masks are required? Follow the damn directions! You not giving a shit means you don’t give a shit about anybody on the other side of that door.

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