It's been a long week... and it ain't over yet. On one hand, I wish it were over; on the other, I wish Sunday was days and days away yet. It's like I'm hearing a drum roll and the theme to Jaws at the same time.
I had my follow-up appointment with the neurosurgeon this past Monday afternoon. He took at look at my x-rays from the Friday before...
and said everything looked great. When I last saw him, he had mentioned possible physical therapy in May, and I don't have to do that. Thank goodness. I didn't want the appointments nor the bills. My range of motion in my neck is doing well. I can finally, finally start back to work in the office on Monday. But, and there always seems to be a but... only 4 hours 3 days each week in the office. He said I could work from home as tolerated. And... he wants me to stick to that schedule until I see him in 2 months. Though, I can contact him earlier to renegotiate... I hope to just get back full-time in the office and back to normal well before early July. I'm ready to have my life back.
Then I got a call from a person in our company's health services area on Tuesday; she was just checking on me. Last time she called me I told her I had an appointment with the surgeon on May 5th, and I'm pretty sure she made a note in her calendar to call me on May 6th. And then another call from her on Wednesday. Laid the ol' Big Time stress on me. I don't think this person meant to do that, but also, I didn't get the feeling her conversations with me were well planned out. On Tuesday, she discussed something about a 6-month time frame, how I may have to be put on long-term disability (WTF?!) and how she needs to talk with my boss, and how she's sure they'll hold my job for me (again, WTF?!!). On Wednesday, she was all about making sure I was doing ok and not overdoing things and thus, I would not be allowed to work from home, and that I had to stick to the schedule my doctor had ordered of 4 hours 3 days per week. Long story, short, I got a revised written return to work order from my doctor that includes "work from home as tolerates" so that I can get my job done. It seems incredible that I have to argue to put in more work hours.
One thing I really messed up on was not keeping track of any of the hours I've been working from home all this time since my first surgery. I felt, after that conversation, like I would need the proof. And that sucks.
This person also kept saying how she wouldn't want me to have a relapse. Um... hello... I had an infection. Serious, sure, but an infection. Not a disease. My blood test Monday shows it's ALL GONE. Once it's gone, it's gone. No relapse potential there. The only thing I have to worry about seems to be pain management.
Things have kinda been crappy at work lately, meaning the shit's hit the fan on some of my stuff... Consequently, I worked from home yesterday from about 6:30am to 6:30pm with very few breaks. So today has been all about pain management. I sure did overdo it on Wednesday, but that health services chick stressed me out Tuesday morning and it was all downhill from there.
Anyway, I won and can get work done from home. I'm hoping to take a couple of weeks to ease back into it and then charge ahead. Fingers crossed.
We built our house 15 years ago, and yesterday we finally got our downstairs (basement) carpeted. YAY! We have a big room down there, about 42' x 18', plus the stairs going down. We got a gorgeous piece of carpet with a wonderful thick padding, all very expertly installed, plus an edged 15' x 12' carpet remnant (rug) which I'm putting into our laundry room, for about $1,500. And that, my friends, was a spectacular deal. Turns out that Mike's family is super good friends with the folks that own Magic Carpet in Bay City, so he hooked us up. If you're in the Tri-City area and need carpet or any kind of flooring, check out Magic Carpet, 1112 Garfield Avenue, Bay City, MI, (989) 894-2857. The installation was excellent, too.
After the guys put the pad down, Kevin said he could tell a difference downstairs... quiet and nice.
I kinda freaked Kevin out on Sunday and decided we needed to paint the walls before the carpet was installed on Wednesday. Kev had previously painted the walls Eggshell White or some other Standard White Blah Color. Joyce and I picked out "Apricot Butter" and bought 4 gallons on Monday. Kevin, Joycie and Sammy got it all done in good time before Wednesday, and it looks wonderful. Warm and wonderful.
Now they have to move the furniture back out from the laundry room and my craft room, along with the ping pong table and the air hockey table, and... the piano (ugh). I can't wait to see it all put back together... but first, Kev has to finish putting the trim up. He had planned to work on that today, but he ended up working a 16-hour shift yesterday, so all he did today before going back into work at 3:30pm is sleep. There's no big rush, anyway. My 10-pound lifting limit is no longer in effect; I have no restrictions... but I'm gonna let them move all that stuff!
I finally got a clear glaze coat on some pottery projects that I did way, way before my first surgery. I picked them up at Space Studios on Monday, and I'm so happy, happy, happy. I'm looking forward to getting into pottery again. Space Studios started a new thing called a Clay Club. I'm so excited! And of course, I'm already a member. I'll post photos of my stuff that's done soon.
The beavers have recently been at it again, and they plugged up the tube at the end of our road causing a flood back there. Our ditch was getting really full, and I kept forgetting to call the Road Commission... but someone noticed, and the big trucks were out there Monday. It was amazing how quickly that water flowed out and the ditch level and creek level dropped. I don't know for sure how many times the beavers have done this, it's been enough that I've lost count. They love to plug up that gigantic tube.
The road commission did a great job, and then they smoothed out our dirt/lightly graveled road. Then some dumb asses on ATVs spent a lot of time Monday evening tearing the road up and doing brodies up and down it, and at the end of our driveway. Nice.
I have been taking tons of bird photos again. Or still, I should say. I have been enjoying that bird feeder so much. I'll be posting some pretty cool photos soon... just have to sort through the hundreds I've taken. Ha! What I've really enjoyed lately is watching the birds go at each other, it's like a constant sparring contest out there. A comical sparring contest. Though there is one baby Rose-breasted Grosbeak that's positively vicious.
I heard a super funny gay joke the other day. Normally, I hate jokes that target one specific group of people because those jokes are typically degrading in some way. Except blonde jokes. I mean, yes, they're usually degrading, but I don't hate those... coz they're funny! Although I feel compelled to point out here that a very good friend of mine is a true, natural blonde; she's an accountant and very analytical and very, very smart (Hi, Tami!). So I'm not saying those blonde jokes are stereotypical of natural blondes, mostly bleached blondes, methinks.
Anyway, the town I live in is the usual middle America thing. Conservative to a fault. In fact, at our local mall, which is not that large, there is a kids' play area in the middle of the mall near the food court. The Victoria's Secret store is moving from one location in the mall to a store whose front is near the center of the mall. Oh, the uproar! Because it's near the kids' play area. They called Victoria's Secret "soft porn." Oy. Our town is also known as "The City of Churches." For good reason, there's a lot of them.
The company I work for does something great, though... it offers employees the option to cover their "domestic partners" under their medical insurance. This would include whoever it is they are in a long-term live-in relationship with but are not married to... which could be a gay partner or a hetero partner who chooses not to marry. I applaud this heartily. Some folks don't. Of course, Michigan doesn't allow gay marriage, like most states. I think that is such a huge load of crap. I believe if 2 people love each other and want to get married and enjoy all the benefits that legal agreement implies, then they should be able to do so, no matter who or what they are. I also know I'm in the minority on that opinion in the town where I live. I also know some friends and family likely don't agree with me either, but... I'm right. It's not fair to deny a person the same legal rights as everyone else simply because they have a different thought process and emotional response than you may have. It reminds me of the struggles the African-Americans had back in the 1960's to get their rights. I wasn't that old, but I remember the riots in Detroit and being very afraid it would come to our town. It made an impression on me, and basically it sucks that it had to take riots to get the job done. Hey, here's a thought... maybe parades aren't enough?... (just kidding!, I'm no advocate of violence)
If one can believe the statistics, then our town has plenty of gay people. There are some that are open about it. But there has to be a lot more that are not... because a good percentage of our town isn't holding it's arms wide open to embrace the gay lifestyle. I am, c'mon over for dinner! And bring your mom's ex-husband's half-brother's daughter's adopted child with you, ok?! As long as they're not a porn star, that is. (I do have some hangups. Apparently porn stars are not welcome at my house for dinner.)
Anyway, back to the joke. To my usually inept recollection, it goes something like this... and what the heck, I am localizing it just for fun:
There were 2 gay men walking along the Rail Trail together near Emerson Park. Coming towards them was a jogger; a young, gorgeous blonde built like a brick shit house. The 2 men watched her. One of the men was especially attentive, and after she passed by, turned to his partner and said, "When I see a woman like that, it makes me wish I was a lesbian!"