Posts Tagged ‘#quarantine’

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I posted to my blog. I knew it had been months but had no idea to what extent I’d lost track of time. The last year has been surreal in so many ways. I didn’t realize how deep my depression was until 11 days ago when I was able to secure an appointment to get a Covid vaccination. As soon as I made the appt. a weight lifted from me. I received my first Pfizer shot Wed. April 7th and have felt nothing but hope and freedom ever since! I go back on Wed. April 28th for the 2nd one. I am so lucky I’ve had NO side effects at all. The 2nd shot is supposed to be harder on the body but I’m hopeful that I’ll have no reaction to that as well. I was able to get in at the next town over (Des Plaines) and it was run like a well oiled machine. The national guard was in charge and I was in and out within a half hour (including the 15 min. wait afterwards). My hubby and I went to lunch to celebrate right after. We tried “Rand’s Red Hots” for the first time. It’s a hot dog place similar to Gene & Jude’s (our favorite) in River Forest. We brought our own sodas and ate in the car. I am just dying (poor choice of words) to eat inside a restaurant but I’m still not willing to take any chances. It’s not worth dying to eat in a restaurant. As the saying goes: “I didn’t come this far just to come this far”. 

My husband is a federal employee and they set up their vaccinations through work. He went to the huge convention center (McCormick Place) to get the Moderna shot back in Jan. & Feb. He had mild side effects from his second one. I know many people have been working from home the entire time. Greg had a few months of work from home but then they instituted one day a week of coming into the office. Then at the end of last year it was 2 days a week for him to go in. The end of March they sent out a notice that everyone had to come in 3 days a week. Before that happened, they cancelled it because the Covid rates are starting to go up again! They are trying to limit the number of people in the office at any given time. So he’s been going in on Mondays and Fridays. He also has to wear a mask the entire time at work. I guess you do what you have to but for me, that would be very hard to get used to.

In some ways it’s hard for me to grasp that the past year has been hard for EVERYONE. But it has. Life is like nothing we’ve ever known before. It really makes me wonder if this is just a single event or if there is more viruses coming that we’ll have to deal with. Some people have handled things much better than others. They really don’t miss a beat. I withdrew from social media more than I’ve ever done. I wasn’t taking many pictures and wasn’t posting. I didn’t feel like there was anything good in my life. Obviously that wasn’t true but that’s how it felt. While others were using the last year to purge their closets, reorganize their drawers and do crafting, I was just existing. Kind of paralyzed in mind and body. Just since my vaccination and knowing quarantining isn’t forever, I’ve been looking forward to every day and seeing how much I can get done around here.

What were we up to the past year? We gave blood a few days before the lockdown and then went again Dec. 17th, 2020 and March 17th (this year) to donate blood. They offered “free covid screening” via the blood so after donating in Dec. we could look up and see if we’d had Covid. We didn’t think we had and it showed we hadn’t. Vitalant usually gives a tshirt for donating but they quit that. We knew ahead of time but gave anyway. It still feels good to give especially with all the craziness going on in the world.

We went to the doctor last Oct. and then the end of March (this year). Doctor Z is 67 and should retire but his wife is younger so he won’t. When we went in March, we found out our doctor had had Covid right before Christmas! He had lost 30 lbs. and looks gaunt. He told us about our gastroenterologist Dr. Ohri. He had gotten Covid and didn’t listen to his doctors. They told him to stay home and rest for a month. He was super fit and always doing bicycle marathons. After only a week of rest, he went for a 21 mile bike ride. He got so sick afterwards, he was admitted to the hospital and intubated. He was transferred to Northwestern Hospital (downtown Chicago) where his son is a surgeon. He ended up dying in January. He was only 66 years old. The disease is just insidious.

We had to have a plumber come twice. Last August there was suddenly no hot water in the bathtub. We had hot water everywhere else. I found someone online and called and gave him the brand and model of our shower knob. He showed up with a part and fixed it. He came in with a mask on and Greg wore a mask. I took the dogs into the back yard and waited. Then last month it happened again! We had the same guy come again and this time he said it was “sediment in the hot water line”. He had to go from upstairs (where the bathroom is) to the basement (2 floors below) a few times to turn the water on and off and pound on some pipes. This time I had the dogs in the bedroom while Greg dealt with him. The dogs are wonderful around people and we could’ve had them loose but I just wanted it over with. It cost like $280 the first time and $230 the last time.

Greg turned 60 on April 1st. He wanted a propane fire pit so I told him to order it. He found it on Amazon and it’s lovely. We plan to spend a lot of time on our deck and in our backyard this summer. For his birthday, he got phone calls from his mother and 4 of his siblings (he’d just talked to the 5th a few weeks before). His mother turned 86 and actually sounds more “with it” than the last few times we’d talked to her. The last time we’d talked to her was on Christmas and we had called. She had only been on the line a moment or two and she got another phone call. She didn’t say who it was but was like “I’ve got another phone call, we’ll talk again”. It was highly insulting. His brother who lives across the street from their mom is moving this month. They are trying to talk her into going into assisted living but she wants no part of it. The brother that’s across the street’s son has been living with her since last summer. Another of Greg’s brother’s is dealing with his wife’s breast cancer. She was diagnosed right before Covid and has been doing treatment for a year. They got it all but now she has to have her thyroid removed because it spread to there. 

The dogs are all healthy and doing great. We took them to the vet for their annual checkup on April 8th. Amber will be 13 years old in June and Ivy is 12 1/2. Elvis is 9 years old and still acts like a puppy. They were a godsend the past year. So many people were adopting animals while home in quarantine. I hope they keep them and don’t decide to get rid of them when they want to be able to go on vacation. 

The one thing I’ve noticed more than ever the past year is how angry a lot of people are. I don’t know if it’s the pent up frustration from the lockdown situation or what. The whole politics situation got uglier than ever. Social media turned nasty. The “Next Door” app is a nightmare. All it seems to be is people fighting with each other. It doesn’t matter how innocent a comment is, someone will take it in the worst possible way and attack them. It takes away my faith in humanity. Then seeing all the violence going on. The shootings and protests and looting. I don’t know if there is a solution for all these problems but there needs to be. I think it starts with respecting others.

When we went to the doctor, my husband weighed the same. Much to my dismay, I gained about 13 lbs. Even when I try hard, I notice no results. I may just have to ignore it and just DO THINGS instead of worrying. A few months ago I got my vertigo back. I had it almost 8 years ago and it hadn’t come back since. Out of the blue it came on and I had a day of nausea and dizziness. I couldn’t even eat lunch. Now it’s off and on dizziness. Usually it’s getting up from sitting or laying down. Or sometimes it’s turning over in bed. I don’t know if it’s my sinuses, my eyes, my heart or what. I mentioned it to the doctor and he said I have terrible seasonal allergies. I knew that but don’t know if that’s what’s causing the vertigo. He gave me a shot of a steriod called Solumedrol. It is supposed to work for sinuses. It can last from 8 days to 3 months. He said it would probably last a month and I’d have to come back and get another. Some people it doesn’t work at all on. The next day when I got up my sinuses were better. It lasted about 10 days. I often have a headache when I get up in the morning but it goes away after being up without taking anything.

I was also suffering with my left knee most of the year. The “nurse practitioner” told me to use a cream with pain reliever in it. I don’t know why I never thought to do that before. I’ve only used it a few times but it helps. We’ve been going to the dentist every 6 months for our cleanings like always. I got the crack in my tooth fixed last year and Greg got a root canal this year. I went in to get my driver’s license renewed in Oct. They extended it a few months after your birthday but then said they wouldn’t extend it anymore. There was a huge line (outside) but everyone kept their distance. We appealed our property taxes for the first time. I found a company online and we did it last Aug. It took them until March to finish it. We won’t get any benefit until Aug. or later. We had to pay them 1/3 of the savings already. It should save us a few thousand dollars.

I am going to post more often so will save the rest of what I want to say for another time. Thanks for coming back to see what I’ve been up to. I hope you’ve been healthy the past year and that you’re looking forward to some semblance of normalcy. Take care and God bless!

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Today has been an interesting day already. While out walking the dogs, we saw a guy pushing a baby in a stroller and his young son was riding a bicycle behind him on the sidewalk. For some reason, a square of the sidewalk near the corner was filled with wet asphalt like the road would be patched with. The father should have maneuvered everyone around that but instead went through. The son on the bike got stuck. He left the stroller a short distance ahead with the dog’s leash tied to it. He went back and pushed his son onto the regular sidewalk and looked back. We were walking up from the side and saw the whole thing. The dog was starting to pull towards the kid on the bike and the stroller had completely flipped in mid-air with the baby hovering a foot from the ground (face first). The guy had amazing reflexes and grabbed the stroller and righted it before any harm came to the strapped in baby! I kind of gasped but kept walking. Most people walking would’ve stopped and just stared. I didn’t want to make things worse so we kept going.

Then about half a block later, 2 giant black labs charged us on the sidewalk. I know black labs come in smaller sizes too but these were like Great Dane size. They just kept circling us and barking. Ivy was so scared she was ready to lunge and take a bite out of them. My husband didn’t handle it too well and started yelling at me. Which in turn made me yell at him to yell at the people who let their dogs loose, not me. He wanted me to take the dogs down the street and he was going to round up the dogs. I told him take them down the street because I knew I had to have words with the owner. He left with the dogs and I saw the door of the house we were in front of open and a kid let one of the dogs in. The other was running around yet and finally went to the door and was let in. I told the kid, “I need to talk to your mom or dad.” I wasn’t mean because it’s not the kid’s fault. I waited a few minutes and then the mom came out. It was just as well because I calmed down and was able to talk without being upset. I told her why I was unhappy because of the past attacks and how it’s ruined my dogs. She was nice enough to listen and she apologized. She said with the kids home, they weren’t used to shutting the gate. I told her I knew it was a terrible time now and she had her hands full with all her kids home and I wasn’t trying to make her life harder but I  had to say something. She actually made me feel better instead of worse. I told her, “Don’t let it ruin your day. I’m over it, you be over it, too.”  I’m starting to think if it happens a few more times, I won’t even blink an eye, I will be so used to it.
We are coming up on 6 weeks since I’ve been home and hubby is finishing up his 5th week of working from home. He wore me down and last Sat. we ordered breakfast food from the Sunrise Grill just down the street. They give you a vat of scrambled eggs, 6 strips of bacon, 6 sausages, 6 French toast, 4 waffles, 6 pancakes and hash browns or $20. We gave them a $5 tip. It was a good deal but the food was mediocre at best. Maybe we’ll order out again in another 5 weeks. 
I’ve been cooking up a storm. Since I last posted I made homemade mushroom soup and spinach soup. Both were delicious. My next soups to try making are carrot and asparagus (separately). We went out to the grocery store on Sunday and stocked up again. We’d been out of bread and milk for a week. Tonight I’ll make a hot dish with ground veal and pasta and some vegetables. I’ve made banana bread once. Everyone online seems to be making sourdough bread. I’ve always wanted to make a starter from scratch and try it. We’ll see if I’m brave enough to give it a go.
We’re up to the end of Season 6 in the Walking Dead. I’m enjoying it more all the time. I have a ton of other things I want to watch on Netflix too. I don’t know how people get so much watched. Maybe they’re watching all day, too. We only watch in the evenings. We try to get some book reading in every afternoon.
2 days ago I was due to run out of my blood pressure medicine. I usually go to the doctor every April for a checkup and to get the prescription. We had just gone on Oct. 30th so I called on Monday April 13th to the doctor’s office. I had had the pharmacy try to get it refilled and the doctor’s office had declined. I told them I just needed a medication refill, I had nothing “wrong” with me that warranted a doctor’s visit. The nurse talked to the doctor and said, “He wants to see you!” I said, “I REALLY, REALLY don’t want to come in while there’s a pandemic going on!!” His office is in hospital for goodness sake. That didn’t matter, I had to come in. Greg needed to go to since he’d need a refill on one of his in the next few weeks. I was almost in tears. I didn’t think I was being unreasonable AT ALL!! We have had nothing but trouble with this doctor and he’s cause us so much grief. I don’t want to change doctors but will. I looked all over the internet and did a bunch of reading on doctor’s ratings, etc and found one we like in Lincolnwood. It’s not that close but it may be worth it. Unfortunately, no doctor in his right mind is taking on new patients right now. Most aren’t seeing the patients they already have unless it’s urgent. I was even toying with the idea of going off blood pressure meds for awhile but then worried I’d have a stroke or heart attack!! 
So we caved and went in last Tues. April 14th. When you go in the hospital, they take your temperature and give you a mask to wear. We were already wearing gloves. The doctor wouldn’t give me a paper prescription which is what I wanted. He said he’d send it in electronically to the pharmacy. Instead when we went to pick it up, he’d sent in the wrong one. He had our blood drawn and then the nurse called on Thurs. with results. My thyroid has gotten worse since taking the medication. I was on 25 micrograms Tirosint Solution and now he’s got me going up to 50. My thyroid is interactive and a year ago when diagnosed, it was 4.94 or something and now it’s 5.95. It makes no sense that the higher the number, the more inactive. It is supposed to be under 4. So then he only calls in one month and I needed 3 because of insurance cost. Finally got it picked up yesterday. No refills on either that or the blood pressure meds!! What an a-hole! He wants to see us in 3 months. (Vomit emoji)
Yesterday our city announced that everyone needs to wear a face mask in public. I only have the one from the hospital and need to get a fabric one. I was looking online and it’s so hard to choose without being able to touch or try them on. My first instinct is to go funny. But the selections are limited so maybe I’ll have to go floral. It really looks like face masks are going to be the norm for months after the country opens up. Cook County where we live is one of the hot spots in the country yet with the town next to ours, Des Plaines, having the most cases. 6 weeks ago when they said masks were optional, I took them at their word. I dislike having anything over my face. Hubby is used to his c-pap so it doesn’t bother him. My sinuses are such a hot mess, I can never breathe well. I had sinus surgery in 1996 to remove a polyp and enlarge my sinuses. It did no good. Decides ago I gave up taking any sinus meds, over the counter or prescription.
Today is my mom’s birthday. If she were alive, she’d be 99. I miss her terribly but feel like she is slipping away. Memories of her are harder to access. She’s still the only person I feel is 100% always on my side. Not having that in my life anymore is very noticeable. I rarely get DMs (direct messages) on Instagram. Lately I’ve gotten 2 different people on my original (almost abandoned) account (@ynotkissme) trying to talk to me. 2 guys who I had to block. I usually just block random creeps without saying anything. This time I tried to see if they just wanted conversation. I’m pretty sure it’s never conversation… One asked my name and when I told him, he said “that’s my grandmother’s name”. First off, no one else in the world has the name Chrisor. It just filled me with a great deal of sadness to know that someone has to lie like that. 
I got the phone number of a couple who we used to see at estate sales. The one running the sales is friends with them and us. I haven’t seen Pete and Ruth since about Oct. 2018! They are in their 80’s, I would say she’s 85 and he’s 87. I can pretty much talk to anybody but some people I just feel like we get along like a house on fire. Ruth started talking to me a few years before my mom died. She would ask how my mom was and what was new with us. A lot of the people who go to estate sales are standoffish but Ruth was friendly as am I. Ruth’s mother is 113 years old! It’s amazing to me. Anyway, we would go way early to a certain sale just to hang out with this old couple. They’d come early and we’d visit for like an hour. Then they fell into ill health and stopped coming. I would ask the one running the sale and she’d tell me how they were. Finally she gave me their number and I called on Monday. We didn’t talk long but it was so nice to hear her voice again. They’ve both had surgery and are recovering and stuck home like the rest of us. I hope to someday see them again. 
Hope everyone is hanging in there and staying healthy and safe!

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I had hoped to get back on here with regular updates of our quarantine status but got waylaid by life. Hubby has been home since March 20th. He’s on his 3rd week of working from home. It is going fairly well. Previous to home confinement, he would get up at 5:20 am to go to work (45-60 min. drive) and I would roll out of bed when I felt like it which was usually 7-8 am. Now I’ve been going to bed when he does (11:30 pm) and getting up with him. I am a zombie and fall asleep a couple of times during the daytime and sometimes in the evening. I end up taking at least a one hour nap most days. I never believed in naps but now it’s out of my control. My body just gives out and I pass out. So the days seem longer but no more productive. Hubby seems to love working from home. He is tired but less so because he gets to cut out all the driving both ways. 

I’ve been cooking all our meals for almost 4 weeks. They are pushing curbside delivery and takeout but I don’t see how it’s safe to rely on someone else preparing your food during this time. As much as I could use the break from cooking, I’m willing to wait until the Coronavirus is in the rearview mirror to eat out. We took the 3 dogs to the vet yesterday for their yearly checkup/ heart worm blood draw. Ivy also got her rabies shot. I know I could’ve put it off but I don’t want to be worrying about the health of our elderly dogs now. Amber has been acting odd. Over the winter she was a bit constipated and then I’d find she’d sneaked downstairs to the basement and crapped on the floor. Now we keep access blocked and it hasn’t been a problem. About a month or so ago she started eating dirt. I read up on this online and it’s pika like people get. She seems to have stopped that after a few weeks. Now her eyes have started to weep and she is getting stains under her eyes. I’ve always hated to see that on dogs. I try to clean it but she won’t let me. She doesn’t like for me to brush her or pet her and she screams and gets aggressive. Next month will be 2 years since they got attacked and she was pinned down by the Newfoundland. The vet seems to think that it’s not physical or dementia but “phantom pains” from the traumatic experience. I don’t see it getting any better but she’s got a good few years left yet. She’ll be 12 years old in June. Greg has been walking the dogs with me daily which has been nice.
March 23rd our internet/ wi-fi went out at 10 am. It had been working that morning and then when we got back from walking the dogs, it was not. Greg called AT&T and spent 2 1/2 hours on hold. All he kept getting was a recording to reset the modem. We had tried that countless times before calling. He called again on Tues. and was on hold for 1 1/2 hours. This time he got someone to schedule a technician to come out the next day. Between 8 am and noon is always noon. He didn’t even have to come in the house. There was a break in the line on the telephone pole above our neighbor’s yard. It was great to have internet back after 50 hours without it. Mostly because we’ve been watching Netflix and couldn’t for 2 nights. We started The Walking Dead which Greg was a huge fan of. He and my mom had watched it together. I tried at least twice before to watch the first episode and couldn’t get into it. Greg had watched up to Season 6 Episode 10 but we started from the beginning. We are already up the middle of the 4th season. He says there’s a lot he doesn’t remember. It just seem appropriate with what is going on in the world. Yesterday walking the dogs, we saw 2 older people with masks on walking. I swear they looked like “walkers”. Somehow I refrained from “taking them out”. 😉
Greg’s birthday was April 1st. Anyone having a birthday during quarantine knows that it won’t be your typical day. We didn’t really celebrate at all. I didn’t make a cake or any dessert but did make what I now call, “Birthday Beans”: canned beans doctored up with brown sugar, molasses, ketchup with chopped onion and ground lamb. So good! Last week I was able to get boneless, skinless chicken breast for 99 cents a pound. I bought about 8 lbs. and cooked it in the crockpot with onions and peppers. You can make a multitude of things with it. Today I’m making homemade broccoli soup. 
Last Sunday I had a terrible backache. I’d had it most of last week but Sunday was so bad, I almost went through the roof. I felt like I’d been in a car accident without knowing it! My upper back/ ribs on both sides felt injured. I finally broke down and took 2 Tylenol which helped. The next day it was gone! I’ve been in shock all week that I don’t have the awful pain anymore. I tend to believe the body will heal itself but not in all cases. This Coronavirus seems to be a different animal. One of my local online friends just said her dad is in ICU with pneumonia from Covid19 now. 
I had all kinds of plans to write snail mail letters to keep in touch (I owe everyone). So far I’ve only managed one. There’s always tomorrow! How is everyone else coping so far? I was so thrilled to find toilet paper yesterday. I never thought something so mundane would actually bring joy! Now if I could only find liquid hand soap. If we can’t, we’ll end up busting out 25 year old bar soap from hotels/ motels. Hang in there and glove up! 🙂

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