Thursday, June 23, 2016

Work Trial

I'll take the pats on the back - today was my first day back at work in almost three months. And I survived!

Seriously, it was only two hours and I just sat and studied in the lobby. But it is a win, nonetheless.

One of the kids at work decided to ask if I wanted to trade places with her. She would rather have a brain injury than be at work... She obviously thinks it's a great vacation. Kids these days. Oye.

MRI downtown tomorrow.

Free spirit tank sew-a-long hosted by beanpop fabrics starts tomorrow as well. Have the pattern, might have the fabric. Doing it no matter what, lol. Pretty excited about trying out this new pattern. :)

All for now, thanks for stopping by!

~ KSJ

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Back to Work

90

Tomorrow is my first day back at work. And by back at work I mean that I'm sitting in the lobby studying for two hours.

So for the last few days I've basically been  having up and down bouts of anxiety and panic where I sweat buckets, hive and hyperventilate. It's been super great.

Moving along... I spent the last few days making a relaxed fit raglan with an added hoodie. The pattern was pretty easy. It's from patternsforpirates. Really beginning to like their patterns :)

I don't have photos of it yet, but I did make it large enough to go over my work clothes. It's made of lightweight cotton knit and I added the hood so I can have a hidey hole if I need one in the lobby. I like to be prepared lol.

My MRI is booked for Friday evening. My ENT appointment is the 29th. My physio consult is booked for the 30th. I am hopeful there is a solution on the horizon.

Off for the night.

Thanks for reading :)

~ KSJ

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#rescuedogs and #mentalhealth

It's 86 days into a whole new me.

And it's one of THOSE days.

To be completely honest, I don't stink. But I've had trouble getting to the laundry room without my fab sister to make sure no one is lurking around trying to eat me. I'm not actually worried that I'll get eaten, I just have very bad anxiety and can't seem to leave the house alone.

So today, I latched our older girl, a rotti cross we rescued almost eight years ago, to my waist and went down to the laundry room. (Trial run, still couldn't do it without my human!)

Lady Jaye (the dog) did such a good job! She made sure to check the place out before I went in. She sat beside me watching the door the entire time my back was turned. I still shook like a leaf on a blustery day, but nobody ate me.

I think we may be on to something.

If only I could bring her everywhere.

Friday, June 17, 2016

MRI, OITNB, and Brazis :)

85

My MRI has been booked for a week today!

(This is exclamation mark worthy, as this is Canada, and my MRI was booked in April for the end of August...)

I've been watching Orange is the new Black like it's some kind of addictive drug. I struggle to remember what's going on and what has happened, but it's so funny.

This morning I forgot what my dogs name is. It's Flint, in case you didn't already know. Easy,  right?  I called him Shane. *Smh*

And below,  you'll see the photo of the (almost) finished brazi top I've been working on this week from the www.stitchuponatime.com - they have a sew-a-long every month on their Facebook page. There's no deadline, it's just good to have something to do with my time.

Thanks for reading :)

~ KSJ

As promised

As promised, here's a photo of the peg legs I made Monday.

For some reason, the blogger app is being finicky, and won't let me post two photos at the same time, so I suppose I'll need to post the brazi in a separate post... Oye. 

Anyway. The pattern is available at www.patternsforpirates.com

It is incredibly user friendly. Make sure you use the right fabric and measure yourself correctly!

Cheers!

~ KSJ

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

T.R.I and Sew

83.

And the counting continues.

I'm apparently not very great at the whole "post every day" thing, but I am doing my best. And usually, I remember at some point that I missed the post. Typically it's the next day, but it's progress.

Yesterday I went to Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (T.R.I) for the first time. Parking was a nightmare. I was a nightmare. Lol. I had to get up early, I hadn't finished sleeping off the night meds, and I really have terrible anxiety. BUT the doctor has assured me that we are going to work on all of this. The balance issues and hearing issues are going to be assessed on the 29th by an ENT at Toronto General Hospital. I feel that this is progress.

Today I had a meeting with my boss and the work transition specialist from WSIB. Both were super awesome. Lost my focus a few times by getting distracted. But the sounds of the kitchen were familiar and comforting in a strange way. I'm looking forward to getting back to work. Work means normal. I may not get normal the way it used to be, but I will accept new normal as long as that incorporates old normal with it.

Sewing wise I made my first pair of peg legs from patterns for pirates. I'm a little behind on the brazi sew a long from stitch upon a time. I have been tired the last few days so just being quiet and resting. I'm struggling to post photos of the fabrics I'm using, and of the peg legs. (Brazi and pegs are same fabric.) Hoping tomorrow I catch up! 

Anyway, night meds are kicking in, and I'm hearing to bed!

Thanks for stopping by :)

~ KSJ

Monday, June 13, 2016

Inner (And Outer!) Battles

Day 81

Last night I was very tired and forgot to post. Really, though, you didn't miss much.

Saturday night I finally decided that I would participate in the stitch upon a time brazi sew a long, so yesterday I printed and pieced the pattern. I also spent six hours with my handy dandy seam ripper, removing stitches from a spoxxy Racerback tank that I made. (Band wasn't sitting right. Too much stretching on my part.)

Today is day two of the sew a long so I need to cut the fabric for it.

I'm hoping to also finish the spoxxy, but I'm still very tired.

Tomorrow is my consult with the rehab clinic, and I need to be downtown before nine in the morning. Esh. Rush hour. No thank you.

Wednesday is a meeting with my boss and my work transition specialist to assess the suitability of the job and potential modifications. Noise is a trigger for me, and my work is very noisy... So we are brainstorming.

I'm still struggling with things, and the actual headaches do not make the struggle any easier. I'm battling a bout of horrible depression to top it all off. I hate feeling useless. I hate that even the simple things are so difficult. Collaring my dog? Getting milk in the coffee?

Every day I push against myself is a win, though, I think.

Anyway, cutting to do!

Thanks for reading :)

~ KSJ

Saturday, June 11, 2016

So much to do....

Day 79

Early this morning I actually got to feel what it meant to be paralyzed with fear. Over a thunderstorm that woke me up from a deep sleep about five thirty this morning.  Seems ridiculous now, but at the time... my entire body tingled and went numb, and I was basically stuck lying there, unable to move. I was terrified of the storm that raged outside!

In other news, yesterday I managed to finally figure out the shorts pattern that I have been trying to use to make the boy some summer wear. I have been mourning the loss of some super great fabric for over a week. Now I've worked it out, and I even managed to save the fabric!

Last night I got this (seemingly) fantastic pattern for leggings and shorties absolutely free from patternsforpirates. They are called "peg legs" and I am extremely excited to have a go at them.

Today I need to muster up the energy to prewash some fabrics for the boys summer wardrobe, and get moving on that before he arrives here with nothing o.O

And sadly, this morning I heard the news that Christina Grimmie had been shot and killed while meeting with fans yesterday in Orlando. Very sad news. I've been a fan of hers since before she was on the voice.

~ KSJ

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Success

Day 77

And I did it!  I went downtown and meet with workers comp. They did not eat me. Or chew me up and spit me back out.

It certainly felt like they would, though. And I had a massive panic attack standing in front of reception. I ended up crying and giving myself hives. Not one of my finest moments, but there's nothing I can do about it now.

The worker was very nice and did everything she could to put me at ease. I'm not sure what brought on the entire thing, but hey, I hear that's brain injury for you.

Finally got the call from the rehab institute. My consult with them is Tuesday morning. Another stressful ride downtown, but maybe it'll get easier. It's really just 22 km away. Not at all far. I keep telling brain that. Brain keeps laughing like a lunatic.

Oh well. I did it. I went, I saw, I conquered. I didn't turn tail and run back to the car. So score one for me.

I did take a 3 hour nap when I got home though. Lol.

This evening we figured out how I could walk the dog without hurting the dog or myself. It's genius, really, and we've had the solution at home the entire time. It's a bungee type leash that attaches to a waist belt that we use for hands free runs with pooch face. So we walked when I woke up and it was quite enjoyable for all parties. This is exciting!

Off for now. Have yet another appointment with the doc in the am. That one is within my comfort zone, so I'm only a little anxious about it.

Thanks for reading :)

~ KSJ

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

76 - Tackling the "To-Fix" List

Tomorrow I head downtown Toronto to have an intake meeting with my Work Transition Specialist at Workers Comp.

No matter how many times I've told them that the drive is very very difficult on me, with the increasing anxiety and panic attacks, they still would like me to attend.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had made a seatbelt pillow - complete with pocket! - to help me be more comfortable. I also put together an ear bud case that is attached to my keys so I stop losing them. I like having access to music when I'm out of the house because it helps drown out some of the noise, which I find to trigger my crazy mood swings.

Today, to help me cope with being left alone at home, I turned to the pile of items on my ironing board that needed to be mended or that were projects in various states of completion.

Happy to day that I finished stitching the leg and waist bands on two pairs of undies (yes, I make undies - they are super comfy and the pattern is easy to follow.  Plus, since I have the attention span of a rutabaga, I can walk away from them and not be lost when I return). I also reinforced the stitching on another the pairs,  and put the arm and neck bands on my tank top.  The latter didn't turn out so well - will probably end up redoing one of the arms. For now,  though - they're done!

My sister *did* return two pairs of undies to the fix pile - but she had forgotten to write down what she needed done to them, and I forgot that she had even mentioned it. Whoops.

This evening we took the pups for a stroll and then I curled up on the couch with the beautiful quilt my mom had made me and tried to stay awake for a few episodes of "Bitten" - Season 3. I recall reading all the books the series is based on (The Otherworld by an exceptional Canadian author, Kelley Armstrong). Unfortunately, these days I'm not following the tv plot line very well,  or with much recollection.

Early start tomorrow,  so have already hopped into bed. Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading!

~ KSJ

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Day 75 - Coping

I didn't post really post yesterday, choosing to take a moment of blogger silence to honor the valiant men who stormed the beaches of Normandy 72 years ago.

When I say "blogger silence" I mean I posted a photo and a sentence. I know me, if I neglected to post one day, it'll be another year before I post again, because I'm lazy like that.

Regardless, yesterday was a bad head day for me.  There was a storm front moving in that couldn't make up its mind,  and I think I *may* have overdone it with the skirt on Sunday. I spent the bulk of the day in bed,  after being on and off the phone with Workers Comp for about an hour while I waited for the anti-inflammatory to kick in. Story of my life.

Today I plan on trying my hand at a seat belt pillow, for all the appointments that are going to take me downtown this month. Driving and I are not friends at the moment, but I have some meetings downtown shortly after rush hour starting Thursday,  so I'm putting my coping kit together today and tomorrow.  Fingers crossed that I can keep my butt outta bed long enough to make this work.  :)

Thanks for reading,

~KSJ

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Day 73

I feel like the protagonist in my work in progress (Desolation). Always counting up the days from a trauma. Basically counting each day of the new life we have both been given, against our wills.

I had never looked at it quite like that until this moment when I began revising this post.

I have been gifted with a "new life". Perhaps it's time I began embracing it rather than squandering it like I did my old life. Starting things I never finished. Procrastinating because there would always be tomorrow. Until there was no longer a tomorrow. Yes, I'm alive. But not in the same way I was 73 days ago.

Last year, following an incident at work, I ended up in hospital with multiple organs failing to do what they were supposed to. Two surgeries later I sat in my lonely hospital room and wrote out a list of what I wanted to spend the year improving.

I've made many changes, BUT the one thing I've still struggled with is the whole procrastination piece. I tell myself I will finish something (usually writing/revising of some sort) and then I just put it off. Always tomorrow, I constantly told myself.

Until I've finally woken up and tomorrow isn't coming. Not the way it used to. Not the way it should be.

And now I want to write. I'd give anything to be able to revise Fallen - the manuscript that I've worked on for a decade - even though I wanted to burn it three short months ago.

Today I sewed a skirt for the sister. It's called "The One Hour Skirt". Sounded great in theory.  In practice? More like a twelve hour skirt, that used up 550m of thread because I needed to keep pulling the stitches out. Ugh.

I did it though. I saw it all the way to the end, even though I smoked a pack of cigarettes and threw a tiny tantrum between steps. She loves it. I am quite proud of it. And the day is over.

Tomorrow is a new day. It may or may not be as productive as today. But I will take it on, just as I have been doing, because I'm slowly discovering that as long as I wake up, no matter the pain in my face or my head, I am alive, and I have as whole new me to discover.

Thanks for reading :)

~KSJ

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Day 72 - Learning to Cope

I've learned over the last two plus months that one of the (many) things that send me into a blind rage (trigger) is when my mentally ill niece is bullying and/or bitching at her mom. They've learned to respect this trigger (for the most part) and  at least wait until I'm not within earshot before the claws come out.

So I'm currently sitting on the balcony with the dogs, a can of soda (fastest thing I could grab in the middle of it - baby, it's hot outside), and cigarettes.

I'm shaking. I can hear the teenager above the sound of the air conditioner that is right beside my head. I want to barrel in there and defend! Instead, I'm writing this and texting one of my best friends.

Eventually it'll stop and one of them will emerge winner. Hopefully it's the adult.

In boring news, have been up for roughly three hours. Anti-inflammatory has finally kicked in so the swelling in my jaw has subsided. There's a beautiful garden growing on this balcony - I assembled it for the sister using some lumber and discarded dresser drawers. Currently there's about a half dozen of each cherry tomato and strawberry that I can consume if they take too long. (They are earmarked for grandmother's,  but a girls gotta do what what a girl must do, right?)

Plans for today include napping and a visit from the above mentioned bestie, so long as I can get off the balcony :)

Thanks for reading!

~KSJ

Friday, June 3, 2016

Day 71

Today I struggled.

My sister has been given the opportunity to beta read a novel written by the illustrious Kim Mills over at sheisfierce.org and for some reason this seriously bothers me.

I'll rewind for a moment.

Good Friday I happened to be checking for ice build up on the walkway outside the restaurant I work at. Low and behold, I found the ice. And my head found the windowsill as it tried to stop my fall.

It started innocently enough, "head injury" the doctor at the emergency room said. "No work this weekend but go back Monday. Don't strain yourself. [Hahaha]"

Easter Sunday rolls around, and I'm back at the ER, being seen by the same doctor.  This time the ambulance took me, as my neurological deficiencies were concerning.

"Concussion," the doc tells me. "Post concussion syndrome. This is normal. It should be good as new in three to six months. Take the week off work."

Thanks, buddy.

Back to present day.  Still off work. Still struggling. MRI is booked for the end of August (because that really helps me right now).

And on to the beta reader sister.

For some reason, maybe the fact that I have struggled to read and write coherent paragraphs since March, it really burned my butt that my sister was beta reading for this fantastic woman.

At one point, she rather patronizingly asked if I was feeling left out.

Let me think.

Um. Yeah?

The manuscript I've been working on for nearly a decade is two clicks away on the computer. I can't touch it. It's waiting for me to finish revision round zillion, before it heads back to the editor for edits.

So yeah. I'm feeling "left out". And grossly inadequate. And stupid. And useless. And frustrated. And on and on it goes.

Finally I just napped on it, because I was starting to rage and wanted to smash things - apparently THAT always helps...

Today was not such a good day. Tomorrow might not be either. I am getting there, though. Getting to the point where I can write entire posts and maybe even have them making sense. Soon, I hope. I need to be writing. I'm not really me unless I am.

Thanks for listening.

<End rant>

~KSJ