Monday Musings

24 Oct

Another Monday Musings, wherein I discuss the previous week – my surgery recovery, work, astronomy, meds, and other thoughts.


I keep sneezing. Unexpectedly, so I can’t fight them.

I’ve been fighting sneezes since last Tuesday, and have been successful until today. So far this morning since arriving at the office I’ve sneezed twice. They came completely out of the blue, no warning nose-tickle, no diaphragm pre-hitching, no weird feeling in the stomach (these are all of my typical pre-sneeze signs). Each time I sneeze it feels like some angry donkey is kicking me in the lower left of my abdomen.

It hurts.

The first thing one of my co-workers said to me after seeing me in the office today way “Man, we really needed you Friday.” It’s already been a busy day and I’ve been here two hours.

Busy is good, right? Busy means I’m needed here; means I’m necessary. Necessary means secure, and means I’ll continue to have a job once the hernia dust settles and I’m back to 100%. I have managed to be out fewer hours than anticipated, and will narrow that margin by virtue of this being a ‘B’ week and working overtime. It’s entirely possible, though improbable, that I will make up all of the time I spent out, given enough work to do. I really want to prove to my superiors that I’m taking this time without pay seriously – it’s expensive for them as they have to continue paying for most of my benefits, while I’m not providing anything to the company.

Last week is mostly a haze, memory-speaking. The Vicodin they gave me post-surgery has run out – I took the last one yesterday, after attending HFS and spending some time with my kids at the park. I didn’t do anything strenuous at all – walked mostly, sat upright on benches, on the ground, etc., but by the end of the day yesterday I was in bad shape. I’m worried about this evening to be honest.

This is a little personal and embarrassing, but was very difficult to pee after the surgery. The first couple days were the worst, especially the first day after I got home. It took me a good 15 minutes, and my bladder was pretty full. I think it was a combination of the local anesthesia still being in effect, my muscles having been weakened through the surgery, and my anxiety about using those muscles for anything at all that contributed to the problem. I had to will myself to pee, consciously relaxing the muscles that keep you from wetting yourself throughout the day, and it frustrated me so badly that day that I ripped my shirt off, Hulk Hogan style. Funny, right?


It isn’t all bad though. This week Jupiter is at opposition, the point where it’s directly opposite the Earth from the Sun. This makes for amazing viewing conditions, and already I’ve had good results. I didn’t do any viewing last week of course, as after the surgery all I’ve wanted to do is sleep. This week is mostly clear, until next Monday, according to the Weather Channel. If I feel alright in the evenings I’ll be doing some Jupiter and Moon watching. I’d like to get some sketches done, and find a scanner so I can start displaying them.

The sketches I did of Jupiter and our Moon when I first got this telescope have, um, been misplaced. That’s ok – I haven’t started my official log book yet, though I’m not sure why not. Something’s holding me back from diving head-long into this – I know several constellations (Cassiopeia, Orion, Cygnus, some of Ursa Major, Cepheus), the names of several stars and their locations (Vega, Polaris, Arcturus), and the approximate locations of several Messier objects (M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy, M45 – The Pleiades, and M42, The Orion Nebula) but I haven’t learned anything new in several weeks. I’m sure it’s the month-long hernia issue, but I’m not completely sure. It doesn’t take much bending or lifting to lie on my back at night, watch the stars, and use a planesphere.

I’d print one right now, but I’m at the office and they don’t take kindly to using office supplies for personal use. I’m going to be picking mom up from work this evening; I’ll try to remember to ask about printing the planespheres in this document[PDF] when I get there.


I’m back to taking my meds again. The whole week after my surgery I stopped taking both my Vyvanse and my Latuda. As far as mood goes, I don’t really feel much different. I haven’t had any high highs or low lows since not taking the Latuda, although that’s probably a factor of the low-stress lifestyle I’ve been living at my mom’s house. Not having to do much of anything, I imagine, will help even you out – although I did have a bit of a blow-up last night.

(I’m going to put in a disclaimer here and state that this is my perception of the events as they happened at the time. I know that none of this was her intention, and also that my view of her feelings and motivations was incorrect. I was in pain, frustrated with myself, and trying to concentrate on exactly one thing; none of this she was aware of, and all of which colored my perceptions at the time.)

I had swallowed a sip of my drink, and some of the liquid ended up in my larynx, triggering the cough reflex – that damned throat tickle that demands you cough. The liquid wasn’t a problem – I was able to get it out of there with some creative swallowing – but the tickle doesn’t go away when the liquid is gone, so I tried to suppress it. Whilst in the middle of this battle of wills – my rational mind vs my body’s irrational reactions – my mom tried to get me to get up, bend over, and cough, to reduce the pain from coughing.

I get that she was just trying to help. I really do, and I appreciate it. What I needed to do, though, was to concentrate on not coughing, and she was distracting me. I tried to say something, but the only thing I could manage through the pain and concentration was (what I thought was) an exasperated look, and a very strained “Mom, please.”

She appeared to have gotten exasperated, and she said something like “I’m just trying to show you how to cough.” I got more upset, because I still wasn’t done trying not to cough, and I blew up a bit on her. I don’t remember exactly what I said. Tasha, who was over to hang out a bit and to pick Kaylee up, took her side (rightly so, when I look back on it), and that just made me angrier, mostly because I wasn’t able to explain myself, or to explain why I just needed to be left alone for a minute.

I accused her of getting upset when I don’t jump to take her advice. I actually do feel like this, by the way – there have been many times in the past where she’s offered advice on how to deal with something on the spot (without invitation), and when her advice wasn’t followed, she’d gotten… Indignant? I don’t know what the word is exactly, but she doesn’t like it when her advice is ignored. At least that’s the perception I have. She denies having done this, so I’m not really sure how to proceed here – but that’s a later blog post I think.

Anyway, the point is, aside from that one minor blow-up (which was over a few minutes later – once my initial anger passes during something like this I usually let it go without letting it ruin my day), I’ve been fine off Latuda.

Staying off the Vyvanse had, of course and as expected, caused me to become extremely scatterbrained. I didn’t get almost any work done over the week, like I had intended to. Part of that was from the meds I was taking – the Vicodin – but the other part was that every time I felt the urge to get something done, I would sidetrack. This wasn’t just work – this was everything. I didn’t get any crocheting done, I didn’t do any writing except for the one blog post I wrote Wednesday. I didn’t even do any reading at all – I spent my entire time watching movies and TV shows.

Great for the motivation, those TV shows… </sarcasm>

I took my 50mg Vyvanse today, before I came in for work. I expected to have a resurgence of side effects – I thought my heart rate would go nuts, my blood pressure would spike, my weird muscle tics to flare up (I’ll post about those later too). The only one so far to have much effect, though, is the appetite suppression. That’s in full form, as I haven’t eaten yet today, it’s 11:30, and I’m not hungry at all. I do also notice that this is probably the longest Monday Musings I’ve ever written…


Ah. So with that, I think I’m going to call this a post. Vyvanse does seem to improve my prolificacy, which I think is a good thing – at work last Monday I was able to write code documentation for 9 hours straight, for example. Even when I’m taken off a task for some interruption I find myself drawn back to it. I’ve taken a few breaks from writing on this post today, to do actual work, but 15 minutes into whatever I’m doing I start thinking about the post again… Interesting.

Okay seriously, back to work time.

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Monday Musings


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