Happy New-ish Year

I have this odd habit of not really celebrating New Years in traditional ways. Mostly because I always seem to be single on New Year’s Eve and have no one to kiss at midnight anyway. I also don’t make my “Resolutions” until my birthday, which is in the beginning of February. I figure that I want to get a full year out of each  resolution. That has gotten me thinking about what my resolutions are going to be this year.

I try to be realistic and not make goals like “get back to my high school weight,” because let’s face it, I’d look skeletal at 103 pounds now. I wouldn’t mind dropping  a few pounds, but that just means I’d have to buy new jeans, so is it really worth it? I could do the old “get back in shape and start exercising regularly” again, but that’s going to lead me down that same slope of needing to buy new clothes. Maybe we should work on other goals instead. I’ve thought about “get more organized” but realistically, that wouldn’t work long term. I’m a fairly neat person, and I do tidy on a regular basis, but my living quarters will never be in a magazine, so does it really matter if my magazines are dumped in a pile on top of my desk instead of in a fancy magazine rack? I think not.

There are also the resolutions that I think are truly stupid, such as “I plan to be a nicer person.” Seriously, if you need to write that down as a resolution to work at, you’re a terrible person anyway and probably won’t change. (Just kidding, kinda) So, what does that leave me with? I’m not interested in starting up any new relationship, I can’t plan on moving out of San Diego until my knee situation is resolved, I already have a job that I think I’m doing okay at, even if it isn’t the most exciting reason to wake up every morning, I have the best group of friends I could imagine, and I’m sure as hell not giving up coffee. So, I guess my New Year’s resolution is to just keep on being me.

The choice is no longer mine

In my last post, I stated that I was concerned about what Monday would bring, in regards to the pain in my knee. As it turned out, I didn’t have to wait that long after all. My physical therapist was manipulating my patella on Wednesday, and I have over a 1/2″ of lateral movement in the kneecap. That means that it’s not tracking at all. It’s worse now than it was when I first injured it three and a half months ago. I’m in more pain, and all the strengthening exercises in the world aren’t going to help me now, because it would seem that I’ve torn or broken something inside. I’ll get a real answer on Monday, but it’s been a very emotionally draining week for me.

Of course, all the stress over the knee is aggravating my headache, so that has gotten worse over the past week as well. Some days, most days, I just don’t even want to get out of bed. Even with upping my antidepressants, I find myself crying regularly when I’m alone. I try to hide my emotions around other people, and maybe it works. Maybe it doesn’t. Shikata ga nai. I have no option at this point. My fate will be decided without my input. Whatever you’re doing, whether you know me or not, think of me on Monday afternoon and if you are so inclined, pray that it is not so damaged that I need to have the entire knee replaced before I even turn 40.

Thank you.

Waiting is the hardest part

Monday I go back to the orthopedic doctor and he tells me what the next step will be to fixing my knee. When I last saw him, he told me that he expected me to be back at 100% with no pain by the 23rd. That hasn’t happened. On Tuesday, the 10th, as I was walking down the stairs at home, my knee made another really loud pop and it felt like the patella once again slid sideways. I’m back to where I started three and a half months ago, except much more seriously depressed over it. He mentioned that the next step would be an MRI and then we could discuss what the next step will be. I am seriously terrified of surgery. I’m too young for a knee replacement. I’m tired of being in pain. I’m tired of trying to be strong outwardly while I crumble silently inside.

I want someone to hug me and tell me that everything will be alright. I want someone to tell me it’s alright to be broken. I want someone who understands that my brokenness is what makes me unique and special, and not something to avoid or dismiss. I just want to be me, without all the pain and hurting all the time. The problem is, I don’t know who I’d be if I wasn’t in pain. Would I be a happier person? Would I actually have more than a few friends who stick by me through thick and thin and don’t vanish when I need them the most? Sometimes I think that people are friends with me because I make their lives seem wonderful in comparison.

I’ll be back on Monday evening to let y’all know how my appointment went, unless something earth shattering happens before then.

A request from a long-time customer service rep

I have worked in the customer service industry for over 20 years now. That includes both call center as well as face-to-face retail experience. The following rant is mostly due to the time of year, but it really applies year round for the most part.

I know that this time of year can be stressful for anyone. Maybe you’re concerned about finding the perfect gift, or maybe you’re worried about being able to afford any gifts at all. Maybe you’re not concerned about gifts at all, but you have some other something that’s weighing on your mind. We all have something. I would just like to ask you to please remember some basic manners that will hopefully make the season a little smoother for everyone.

  1. Remember that the person helping you is trying to help you. Berating, belittling, insulting, or abusing your customer service rep is more likely to earn you worse service, not better. That old saying about “”If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is absolutely true. “Please,” “thank you,” or “is it possible to…?” will get you better service every time.
  2. We work on holidays such as Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, etc. so that you can shop or otherwise get help with some problem. Yes, we are getting paid, but being able to spend time with our own families has no price tag.
  3. If your request is not possible, ask nicely if there are any other options available. Getting angry and yelling is never going to help your case. See item 1.
  4. Some of us have different beliefs and don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s not sacrilegious, it’s just different from your beliefs. If you say “Merry Christmas” to me, I will probably reply with “Happy Holidays” because I am Buddhist and don’t celebrate Christmas. Please don’t lecture me about the fact that I don’t say “Merry Christmas” and lecture me about how I’m taking the Christ out of Christmas, or any other such lecture. I’m just choosing my belief system over yours. I’m not pushing mine on you, please respect that.
  5. If you see someone struggling, help them. If it’s someone loaded down with bags, take the extra moment to hold the door for them. It has nothing to do with chivalry; it’s just good manners.

Most of all, just be gracious. It’s easy to get caught up in the disappointment of not getting the newest, latest, greatest whatever. Some people here in the US (as well as millions in other countries) will not have anything to eat tonight, or no bed to sleep in. Be happy with what you’ve been given in life. It can always be worse.

 

Postscript – Thank you to all the servicemen and -women who are serving overseas who are separated from their families right now. Words cannot adequately express how much I appreciate your sacrifice.

I’m still alive, and occasionally even kicking

I haven’t been writing very much, because this is a very difficult time of year for me. Bad things always seem to happen in the autumn and winter. I survived the one year anniversary of saying goodbye to my Moo cat for the final time, although I was on edge all day long, and felt like I was barely keeping it together at times. Tiggy always seems to know when I am feeling especially down, and he gets in my face and demands that I give him attention, which usually snaps me out of my funk.

Mom’s cat Munchie has been going downhill steadily for the past several months. About six, to be exact. Mom keeps taking him back to the vet to get him tested, and to try new medicines and new foods, and sub-cutaneous fluids, and everything else under the sun to keep him going. For some reason, he seems to like eating Tiggy’s food, so I’ve been putting out food for him outside my door, and he eats it. It’s not the best food for him, but at least he’s eating. There was about a 5 day stretch where he ate nothing at all.

I decided to have a mid-life crisis and traded in my “mom-mobile” Sentra for a 350Z convertible, which I love, and everyone else in my family seems to dislike or disapprove of. Of course, since purchasing it, we’ve had more rain than I remember in San Diego in about three or four years. I don’t really mind though, because I’m used to not having the top down when I drive, so it’s not a huge hardship. It’s just odd.

Three months (as of next Saturday, the 7th) I will have been trying to fix my knee. I finally saw the real orthopedist doctor, and he started rattling off everything that’s wrong with my knee (surprise! There’s actually an injury in there, it’s not just a figment of my imagination) and then he started listing everything that’s wrong with my left (currently good) knee. He gave me and/or Mike an ultimatum that my knee needs to be completely better, with no pain by the 23rd when I come back for my follow up, or he’s going to send me for an MRI to see what may be torn in there that’s causing it to not heal. After this long, I should not be in pain any longer. It’s getting very frustrating. In the two or three weeks that I was not able to go to PT, my knee took a huge step backwards – no pun intended – and now hurts even worse than it did before. I’ve had to start relying on a cane to walk, because the knee cannot support itself.

I think the last major news in my life is that I spent Thanksgiving with my father, his wife, and my sister in Yucca Valley. It was really nice not having to work on Black Friday, and getting to see family I don’t normally see. It was great taking Morgan (the Z) out for a road trip, part of which I got to take the top down for. The whole drive home it rained, though. Overall, it was a nice couple days off.