Tags: debbie

me blue hair

Anxiety, Sedation, and Geodon

I've been getting overwhelmed by anxiety this past day or so, starting late yesterday afternoon, growing worse in the evening, and then becoming debilitating today. When I get overwhelmed by anxiety, I stop being able to identify what I'm anxious about and it becomes more of a generalized panic, with hyperventilation and inability to think clearly about anything at all.

Shannon helped earlier today by urging me to stop and sit and talk to him. I was able to figure out, while talking to him, that I'm anxious about how sedating the Geodon is at my current dosage: I keep having to cancel plans because I'm too groggy to safely and/or comfortably leave the house. Twice I've canceled morning plans and then ended up sleeping until noon.

I soldiered through when I had to go to La Cheim, but that was because it was sort of appropriate to be there when I was suffering a medication-related difficulty. It's harder to make myself go to things like casual social plans when I'm this sedated, because I can barely think or function, and I'm not going somewhere that specializes in dealing with such issues. It's hard to go out and enjoy a writing group, for example, when all I want to do is sleep and I can't think.

Since around December 4 (about 2 weeks), I've been taking 80 mg of Geodon around 8:30 each night, and I've been extremely groggy every morning until 1 or 2 p.m. When I last saw the Meds Doc, he said that I might need to go back down to 60 mg if the sedation continued like that, but I've been being stubborn about sticking with the 80 mg, because back in 2005-2009 (or so), I was taking twice as much Geodon as this (160 mg), and I was functioning fine, so I keep thinking my body will adjust. But I'm beginning to think that the Geodon is interacting with the other meds I'm taking, because the other meds I'm taking now are completely different from the ones I was taking when I took Geodon 10 years ago. Back then, I was taking Geodon with lithium and Lamictal (and some kind of anti-anxiety med, but not the same one I'm taking now), whereas now I'm taking it with Neurontin and Xanax. I don't remember if Neurontin made me sleepy on its own, but it could be exacerbating that effect in the Geodon. I don't know. I left a long message for my Meds Doc, asking him what to do, and in the meantime I'm going to reduce my dosage to 60 mg, because this amount of sedation is making me miserable. And, as I mentioned, it's making me very anxious, because I can't think straight for the first several hours of every day, and I'm having to cancel plans, and it just isn't working for me.

So: lowering Geodon dosage to 60 mg/day while I wait to hear from Meds Doc re: longer term plan.

We've had lowering the Neurontin dosage as part of our long term plan for quite a while now, because we increased it to help with my headaches and I no longer need it for that purpose. Maybe decreasing the Neurontin would fix the problem. We also plan to reduce my Xanax dosage, but that seems extremely unwise at this particular juncture, since it's my anti-anxiety med and I've been experiencing some paralyzing anxiety.

As I said, I'll wait to hear what Meds Doc thinks.

I've also been thinking about what other things are contributing to my anxiety, and I decided that the busyness of the holiday season is contributing tremendously, so I'm rescheduling some appointments until after Christmas. I think the combination of reducing the Geodon dosage and rescheduling some stuff until after Christmas will make a big difference.

In the short term, talking to Shannon helped. Since he had gamers coming over, I went upstairs and phoned Debbie and she calmly talked me through formulating a plan for dealing with the anxiety: 1) phoning Crystal to cancel my plans with her, 2) getting into bed to lie down so that I could sleep if I wanted to (since I was feeling so groggy), and 3) listening to an audio book to take my mind off my own stuff (listening to audio books almost always helps when I'm anxious). So I did those things for a couple hours and started feeling less panicky ... enough that I decided I felt able to think clearly enough to write a journal entry about the whole thing. I'm still anxious, but not panicky like I was earlier ... not hyperventilating and not unable to formulate thoughts. MUCH better.

So I'm going to go continue with the same plan and hope that the anxiety grows even more faint.
girl in tree, hiding

Catching up

LJ Entry

I haven’t written much the past month! Mostly I’ve just been sick & stuck at home, resting, because I’m slowly getting over the bronchitis.

On the Cough

I started the harsh coughing on April 7th & it only subsided in the past week or so. I still tire very easily & start coughing again if I overexert myself. It’s annoying.

The pulmonologist and my PCP both think I might have adult-onset asthma. (They said this when I had bronchitis previously, and theorized it again this time.) The pulmonologist gave me an inhaler med called Advair, but it gave me a sore throat, so I stopped taking it. I phoned & left her a message to this effect, but she never called me back. If I continue to cough when I overexert myself, I’ll phone her again. The inhaler she gave me last time (in 2013) didn’t cause the same problem, so we could try that again if necessary.

Note to self for future reference: The pulmonologist also has me taking omeprazole (for GERD), fexofenadine (for allergies), and Nasonex (for postnasal drip), because she thinks various minor health issues may be combining to contribute to the cough.

On Not Being Able to Do Stuff

Shannon has been incredibly supportive these past several weeks. He’s had to pick up a lot of the household stuff I usually do (laundry, errands, etc.), because stuff wears me out so easily. I wasn’t even able to fold an entire load of laundry the other day before becoming totally exhausted, which left me chagrined. I like to feel independent and capable, so tiring so quickly is frustrating.

Shannon has had the additional stressor of worrying about my activity level, because I habitually overestimate my stamina & want to do too much, so he is constantly urging me, “Take it easy!" When I feel a bit better & stop coughing, I immediately want to return to “normal” & do the things I haven’t been doing … but then I overexert myself & start coughing all over again.

I’ve been trying to live by the motto “Discretion is the better part of valor,” reminding myself that sometimes the best way to fight a war (such as the war against indolence and/or illness) is to avoid fighting until you actually have the strength to do so. It isn’t always wise to fight as hard as you can in the moment. Right now, it is wiser for me to rest, even if I feel like I can/should do more. When I do more, the cough comes back. If I rest well and thoroughly now, then I’ll probably be able to resume “normal life” more quickly than if I keep rushing it & causing set-backs.

It’s difficult, though, to lie around when I don’t feel sick & when Shannon is having to pick up the considerable slack. When I’m coughing my head off, it feels natural to lie on the couch & rest; but when I’m not coughing my head off, I feel like I should be able to do everything I usually do. I’ve been staying in my pyjamas most of the time, because it works as a very effective semaphore to remind me, “You are sick. Even if you don’t feel sick right this very moment, you are getting over an illness. You need to rest, even if you don’t feel like you need it.”

I’m working on it.

On My Social Life (and/or Lack Thereof)

I’ve been mostly housebound for the past 6 weeks, staying in my pyjamas and trying to rest, only leaving for necessary appointments. In my life in general, I have definite hermit tendencies, but lately I’ve been feeling isolated and lonely, since mostly the only people I’ve been seeing have been Shannon, doctors, and my therapist.

I did get together with some friends last Saturday for brunch to celebrate our friend Daniel’s birthday, and that was really fun … but then I coughed violently all day on Sunday, so I guess it was a bit much for me. It was great to see Julia, Crystal, Laura, and Daniel, though!

Also, other friends have been very supportive while I’ve been stuck at home. My friend Alan (not my brother) brought me a loaf of his homemade sourdough bread; Debbie brought me homemade chicken & turkey broths (along with a Zachary’s pizza I’d requested); and Jay brought Thai food for lunch one day. It definitely helps to know that there are people out there who love me, even if I’m not out there doing all the social stuff I usually do.

On Other Health Stuff

Return of the Headaches
My headaches have been making a reappearance, because I haven’t been able to go to acupuncture while I’ve been sick (since it’s a long haul to get there & would wear me out). It’s annoying, but I have an acupuncture appointment on Saturday & I’ve been doing my stretches devotedly, so I’m hoping things will improve soon. The headaches haven’t been constant & haven’t been too severe (never above a 6 or 7 on the 0-10 pain scale), so it isn’t too bad. They’re really more of an annoyance, especially when they wake me up early in the mornings, which they used to do but which hasn’t happened in months … until this past week or so.

Vision
The vision in my left eye is still fuzzy, still at about 20/50. It’s correctable with glasses around -1.00, so I’ve bought a pair of non-prescription glasses to wear when I’m watching tv.

The ophthalmologist says that the lens may have shifted for some reason after the cataract surgery. Apparently, this is extremely rare, but not unheard of. She said that one of her other patients had the same thing happen … and a couple months later, the lens just shifted back into place & the vision went back to 20/20. So mine may shift back or it may not. I’m going back to see her in another month or so to re-check the situation. Thus far, though, it hasn’t improved.

Fitbit
In more exciting health news, I’ve decided to buy a Fitbit wristband, which will track my sleep, exercise, and heart rate. I’m particularly enthused about it tracking my sleep, because that’s been an issue for me for years. It will be nice to have some actual data & see how my sleep interacts with my amount of exercise, what time I go to bed, etc.

I just received my new Fitbit Charge HR in the mail yesterday & started it charging this morning, so I plan to play with it this afternoon.

On All Kinds of Family Stuff

It’s been a weird family month. Mother’s Day triggers emotional stuff for me, but this year it coincided with a lot of other stuff: my grandma (who I was not close to) died the day after Mother’s Day, only a few days before the 8th anniversary of my dad’s death, which was the day before what would have been my dad’s 71st birthday. So I’ve been experiencing some emotional tumult, but don’t feel like going into it right now. Too exhausting. Maybe in another journal entry soon.

On TV

I’ve been watching tons of tv while I’ve been sick and recovering. First, I caught up on “The Vampire Diaries” (which I’d stopped watching about a year ago), then moved on to various stuff via Netflix streaming, including shows called "The 100" and "Switched at Birth" (which was interesting primarily because of its portrayal of deaf culture). Currently, I’m working on “Supernatural,” which has been on my mental list of “stuff to watch someday” for years, because so many people in Buffy fandom were into it. It’s okay. Nothing terribly exciting, but it gives me something to watch, to help keep me sitting/lying still on the couch when I need something to prevent me from running around.

I’ve watched rather more exciting stuff with Shannon, including “Agents of Shield” (which had an excellent season ender!) and “Doctor Who” (catching up through the most recent Christmas special).


But I’ve been working on this journal entry for hours this morning (after accumulating bits for several days) & am exhausted by that effort alone. I think I repeated myself a lot & perhaps rambled, but I’m too tired to worry about editing. I need to get ready to leave for therapy. I'm hoping to have enough energy to go to dinner at IHOP tonight with Shannon.
girl in tree, hiding

Continuing Recovery & Weakness

Lying around recovering from the gum graft surgery today. Played with my new Prismacolor pencils a lot, enjoying how soft and blendable they are. Love them madly.

Crystal & Suzen came to visit in the afternoon & we sat out in the front/side of the house in the Adirondack-style chairs Shannon kindly carried down from the deck. We couldn't hang out inside because Crystal needs Suzen with her & we didn't want Suzen traumatizing the cats.

I'd really enjoyed sitting out in the fresh air & sunshine with Crystal, so I suggested to Shannon that we go for a very slow, gentle walk out to Ben & Jerry's in the evening, because I was excited to get out and move around a bit. So we went out after dinner.

Mistake.

We walked downtown, about 3/4 mile away, and I was tired when we got there, but not too bad. On the way home, though, I became absolutely exhausted. So weak that I could barely walk & ended up holding onto Shannon's arm for the last few blocks to help keep me steady. By the time we got home, I was a dizzy, trembling wreck, good for nothing but falling into bed.

I sent some quick emails to Debbie & Julia, both of whom I'd been hoping to see briefly tomorrow, to let them know that I'd pushed myself too hard this evening & preferred to just rest rest rest all of tomorrow. I actually have a therapy appointment, so I'll need to walk to the bus stop, then from the bus stop to Melissa's office, then back to the bus stop near Melissa's, then home from the bus stop near our house. I think that'll really be my limit, based on my experience this evening.

I went to bed & lay down listening to a podfic (I was quite certain that I wouldn't be able to pay proper attention to the audiobook I've been enjoying lately), but my headache wouldn't let me sleep. So I got up a few minutes ago & decided to write this journal entry. I plan to go lie on the couch & do something distracing (color or play a game on the iPad) until I feel able to doze. Maybe watch some silly tv ("Big Brother") with Shannon if he likes.

I hated feeling so weak when we were out walking. I felt like an old lady & cursed my body for reacting so violently to such a tiny medical procedure. But Shannon pointed out that my body is putting a lot of its energy into healing those wounds right now, and I remembered that they're not entirely minor wounds, since I had no real gum tissue to which the periodontist could attach the gum grafts & so they're attached to tissue that isn't really hardy enough to support them easily. So the wounds may be requiring a lot more energy to heal than such small physical areas might lead me to expect.

In any case, whether it seemed reasonable to me or not, I was beyond exhausted & plan to get as much rest tomorrow as possible. And I'll hope that my headache gets better & lets me sleep soon tonight. It's ridiculously early, but I'm still worn out.
blah (artist: Alma-Tadema)

Gum Graft Surgery Is Done

Gum graft surgery today.

The surgery itself was totally relaxing, if you can believe that. I actually fell asleep a couple of times, even though we were only using a local anesthetic, like when you get a filling. I was just lying there with two very friendly people I totally trusted with their hands prying my mouth open & poking around. There was one time when I raised my hand to say that my mouth was so dry that it was uncomfortable, and another time when I raised my hand to say that he was doing something that hurt (this was when he was trying to get one of the sutures between two of my teeth, apparently, because some of my teeth are extremely close together), but the rest of the time I was just hanging out, listening to my current favorite playlist on my iPod & dozing off occasionally.

Unfortunately, the aftermath is not so pleasant. I'm having quite a lot of pain now & have been for the past 9 hours or so. I dozed on the couch a few times, though, so I've had some relief that way.

Even though the pain (and exhaustion) started not too long after the surgery was finished, I had a really nice visit with Debbie (How weird is that? I totally enjoyed spending time with her, despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, probably mostly because I don't see her often enough.), who came to pick me up & very kindly drove me around afterward to run a few errands before taking me home.

After the surgery, the periodontist had told me—much to my surprise—that I should only eat frozen things today. Only FROZEN? I'd figured I wouldn't be able to eat or drink anything hot, since it could stimulate bleeding, but a 100% frozen diet is pretty frickin' limiting!

I was feeling put-out about the "only frozen food for the rest of the day" rule (especially as my 2-hour surgery finished around 12:15 & I'd only had a light breakfast beforehand, as instructed), so I decided to go to Ici to get myself a pint of some kind of extra exciting ice cream as a bit of a consolation. Ici is one of the few ice cream places I've ever encountered that often has savory ingredients in many of their ice cream options, but their flavor menu changes every day, so I had no idea what would be available. Since I knew I'd be living exclusively on ice cream for the next 11 hours or so, I was really hoping for something a bit savory that would give me at least a tiny break from the sugar sugar sugar.

It turned out that Ici had my absolute FAVORITE flavor on their menu today: honey curry. It sounds weird, but it's amazing, and it's also a bit savory. I bought a pint. Then Debbie took me to the pharmacy to pick up my pain med. (Yes, I get to take a second pain med—some kind of Vicodin variant called "Norco"—in addition to my usual Tylenol #4—and boy am I glad about that right about now! This one also has acetaminophen in it, so I have to be careful not to take too much each day.) Then she took me home. I wish Debbie had been able to come in and keep me company for a little while, as I was feeling pretty vulnerable and desirous of coddling, but that wasn't possible for complicated reasons, and so she just dropped me off & waited to make sure I was able to get inside the house before heading off.

On my doorstep there was a package, so I brought it in and opened it, and it had excellent timing. Inside the box was a big stuffed Totoro and a set of woodless colored pencils, sent by my friend Katherine (my former former former ... heck I can't remember how many "formers," because my brain isn't working very well right now, but we lived together, then we didn't, then we lived together, and now we don't, so she's my former housemate a couple times over). Talk about the perfect moment to receive a stuffed animal! Totoro snuggled with me during the nap I had after finishing my honey curry ice cream, and then I played with the woodless colored pencils when I woke up. Because Katherine rocks. Thank you, webmacher!

And yeah, I said I "finished" my honey ice cream, because I came in the house and promptly ate the whole pint. It was delicious and comforting and perfect.

I'm supposed to take it very easy for the next two days, and so I probably won't be going out much, if at all. I keep stressing about my gums. There's a sort of flexible bandage on the sutured places—it's made out of a sort of paste—and it keeps feeling like it's coming loose. And my gums hurt a lot after I used the prescription rinse for the first time & I worried that I had moved my mouth around too much when I was "swishing." There is no real gum tissue left in the places where the grafts were done, and so the donor tissue is actually sutured to lip tissue. I worry that this means that moving my lips moves the site of the grafts. Maybe I should email the periontist surgeon to ask him about this. He totally encourages patients to contact him by email or phone with even the slightest question or concern. He rocks. His name is Filippo Cangini, and he's terrific.

Since I got home, I've been having a tough time taking it easy, which is always the case when I'm sick. I keep thinking of things I want from upstairs or such, and have trouble sitting still for more than a few minutes, even though I'm exhausted & would love to just sleep.

I'm also supposed to be putting an ice pack on my face pretty much constantly. 10 minutes with the ice pack on, then 10 minutes with the ice pack off, then repeat over and over and over until I go to bed tonight. (It makes me think of The Karate Kid: "ice on, ice off, ice on, ice off") I haven't been accomplishing this very well, but I'm trying to at least ice really frequently. I'm supposed to ice frequently tomorrow, as well (though Dr. Cangini didn't specify the 10-minute thing for tomorrow), and then the following day I'm supposed to apply heat packs. I've also been instructed to expect for my face to develop some really impressive bruises over the next couple days.

So right now my head is hurting & my mouth is hurting & I'm really really tired, but I had some excellent time with a much-beloved friend, received excellent gifts from another much-beloved friend, ate some much-beloved ice cream, spent some time (and received some excellent food from the grocery store) with my much-beloved husband, and so the day has not been all bad. Not by a long shot.

I go back to see the periodontist surgeon in 1 week, and I'm supposed to rest and recover until then. A whole week of resting: quite a challenge. I never notice how active a person I am until I'm instructed to rest.

I should go downstairs and put an ice pack on my face. Ice on, ice off, ice on, ice off...
hide, headache

9 out of 10 - but not in a good way

You know how doctors always ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10? My headache tonight is a 9. Even my coloring book is not really distracting me. It's just excruciating, and there isn't really anything I can do about it. I've taken my max number of Tylenol #4 pills, and I'm reluctant to go for any caffeine at this hour of the night: if I knew for sure that the caffeine would work, then I would totally go for it, but I worry that it would instead merely prevent me from sleeping & thus keep me awake to enjoy additional hours of nighttime pain.

I think I'll try to sleep first. Put on an audiobook or podfic in hopes that it will provide at least some small amount of distraction, and lie in the bed, trying not to pressure myself to sleep ... just offering it as a desirable option.

Sleeping doesn't get rid of my headaches—they are generally still there, just as bad, when I wake up (sometimes worse, sometimes waking me up during the night)—but at least while I'm sleeping I'm not aware of them. Any respite would be extremely welcome.

Lisa has advised me in the past that orgasms provide excellent headache relief, but I just can't imagine achieving even the smallest amount of sexual excitement while feeling this way. The idea actually turns my stomach, because it would mean paying even more attention to my body, when all I want is to become numb to its entire existence. I'm not angry or frustrated with my body right now—I just want a vacation from it. I just want it to give me a break, show a little kindness and compassion.

I apologize to those who have contacted me in the past couple days & received no reply (especially you, Debbie), but I've been a bit distracted. I trust you to understand.

I have other things I was hoping to write about, but I don't really have the energy or the brain power. I'll mention them briefly:

1. Shannon and I had a lovely 14th anniversary on Tuesday, including a very romantic dinner at Skates on the Bay. I've been feeling especially aware of the depth of my love for and connection with him lately, and that has been making my life really good despite the physical health issues. Most of the time, I'm feeling pretty happy, in spite of the frequency and severity of the pain.

2. I've been doing some actual drawing in my "Secret Garden" coloring book (because it has some pages that encourage you to do so), which is really cool, because I'm very self-conscious about drawing badly, and I've been feeling comfortable and happy with the results, just enjoying the process instead of judging my "skill."

3. I saw my nephrologist. He said (1) I no longer have diabetes insipidus, (2) my kidney function seems completely stable, and (3) he sees no particular need for me to lose weight. These were all happy things. I had a lot of emotional reaction to #3, but I don't have the energy to write about it at the moment. I could write a very long journal entry on that topic alone. Maybe sometime soon when my brain is working better.

There was other stuff, too, but my brain is done. Time to go eat some tortilla chips to try to settle my jumpy stomach (also a common problem recently), then lie down to try to sleep.
me blue hair

Kimberly's Big Adventure

Busy day today.

I started out with a pleasant (but hot) morning walk to The Vault to join the casual, constantly shifting gathering for wild_irises's milestone birthday. (She's one of my favoritest people in the entire world, so there's no way I would miss it.) She sent out an email saying she'd be there (at The Vault) all morning, and that folks should just come and go, get coffee or breakfast, and it would all be very fluid. It totally rocked. wild_irises's friends lean heavily toward the bookish, as she's been working in the publishing industry for much of her life, and I just looooove book people. So, besides wild_irises, I chatted mostly with abostick59 and waywardcats and wordweaverlynn and LJ-less Marcia (who is also tight with my BFF Lisa), and we talked grammar and books and the publishing industry and cats and iPods and all kinds of great stuff. wordweaverlynn and Marcia were raving about an author for The Atlantic named Ta-Nehisi Coates, and they urged me to check out his blog, which sounded fascinating from their description. (It's syndicated on LJ at ta_nehisi.) I really enjoyed the conversation throughout! I felt like I was among "my people."

I only stayed at wild_irises's gathering for less than 2 hours, though, as I'm not a big "group" person, and then I ventured on to take care of some long-delayed errands. I mean, I'd been putting these errands off for months. Maybe several months. Maybe years, in one case.

At this point, during my walk to the BART station, I realized that I had massively underestimated the temperature of the day. I was dressed all in dark colors, and the sun was shining down on me like a glaring ball of hellfire. (A few hours later, when my errands were finished, I would arrive home pretty much drenched in sweat. Ew.)

So, anyway, I headed off to downtown Oakland in search of a Clipper card (our local universal public transit pass, good on many different train and bus systems in various cities), because I can get one at a discount, but only at certain locations. No more carrying coins for East Bay bus fare, tickets for BART, tokens for MUNI, etc. Convenient! Okay, maybe a little Big Brothery, but in a good way, right?

I couldn't find my piece of paper on which I'd written the address of where I needed to go, so I was going just on memory, and I ended up stumbling into Oaksterdam University, the lobby of which simply reeked of pot. I am not exaggerating. A few very mellow twenty-something guys were just hanging out inside, and they welcomed me enthusiastically. I told them, "I don't think I'm in the right place." But they just boomed another hearty welcome and assured me that surely I must be looking for cannabis. Um ... no. "Of course we can help you!" they insisted. I asked with a straight face, "Can you give me a Clipper card?" This stumped them for a moment, then they admitted that they could not. The eldest stoner gave me directions to where I needed to go, and I reeled back into the sunlight, hoping I hadn't gotten a contact high. I figure the mellow guys probably ventured off in search of munchies.

Outside, they (okay, probably not the potheads, but people they hired) had painted an incredibly cool mural, which you can see here. It's a proud Oakland mural, with images of the Fox Theater, the Port of Oakland, Lake Merritt, the Tribune tower, a BART train, an oak tree (of which there are darn few in Oakland nowadays), and the funky triangular building at Broadway and Telegraph. In the center, the dot in the middle of the "O" in "Oaksterdam" is formed by a marijuana leaf. Still, cool mural. I'm a big fan of murals in general. (I should go back to the Mission District in SF sometime to do the self-guided mural tour. It's neato keen. Any of you local folks want to go with me?)

Of course, obtaining this special Clipper card required standing in line forever ... and then filling out forms ... and then standing in line forever again ... and then waiting to have my photo taken for the card (and I'm sure in all my sweatiness I looked charming) ... but there were tons of interesting people milling around, so it was actually pretty entertaining. There were all these people coming in looking for items they'd lost on the bus, like one guy who kept insisting that he'd lost his backpack on the #51 line two months ago when he was really drunk. Dude! You wait two months to come ask about it? What, did it take you this long to remember the incident? Another guy showed up saying that a bus driver had taken off before he could retrieve his bike from the rack on the front of the bus. Wow, that sucks! Anyway, so I listened to everyone's stories and it helped pass the time. Now I get to wait 1-3 weeks for my Clipper card to arrive in the mail.

From there, I caught an incredibly crowded #72 bus (and made great friends with another woman at the bus stop, since we both waited quite a while), in which there were no less than 3 teen moms with strollers blocking the aisles. The #72 goes through some very poor (though not dangerous, as far as I know) areas in west Berkeley, so the buses tend to be packed, a bit smelly, and a bit more aggressively peopled than on most other routes. I put in my earbuds and listened to Simon and Garfunkel and tried to ignore the arguments and ranting and unpleasantness around me. It was a looooong bus ride. Well, it felt long, anyway.

Arriving at Ohmega Salvage in west Oakland, I found myself in a sort of old-house-stuff wonderland. I was looking for plates and doorknobs for two of our funky old doors, but this place had a million gazillion other cool things to look at: all these antique bathtubs, windows, doors, light switches, hinges, locks, light fixtures, grates, and innumerable other things I'd never seen before. I ended up only buying a "spindle" and doorknob for our bedroom closet, but I will have to go back with more detailed measurements and opinions from Shannon to buy the rest of the stuff we need. So I see this as a successful reconnaissance mission.

Then I walked home, trying to stay on the shady side of the street, and promptly fell deeply asleep within 10 minutes of setting foot on our property.

In the evening, Shannon and I went on the exciting (no irony intended) adventure of cat tree shopping. We ended up buying this cat tree that has 5 levels, and it's over 6 feet tall, and the cats seem to love it. All three of them have been climbing all over it, with Lucy being the most enthusiastic (unsurprisingly). Getting it home was a bit of an adventure for us car-less folks, but we had taken our little hand-truck thingamabob, so the primary problem was dealing with curbs and uneven sidewalks. But in the end we were victorious, and much joy was experienced. (I'll try to post a photo of the new cat tree tomorrow. Right now I'm too tired.)

Tomorrow, I'm hanging with Lisa (as usual), but in the afternoon Ting and his guys are going to come over and do our Spectacular Sofa Swap. So I'm hoping that this time tomorrow, our living room will sport not only a new cat tree, but also a new couch and new love seat. Huzzah!