Fiera Fights Back


Croupy whistling made it difficult to fall asleep last night. Unlike anything I have experienced. I slept 6 hours more or less but am disappointed that I don't feel refreshed. It will make today's planned chores a bit difficult or even delayed. Will see if ability to focus steps up a notch after matcha/tea. I hate to waste another day but it really is not within my control.

The world is very silent and grey at the moment. We had rains, at times heavy, yesterday. I know that sunshine (or lack thereof) has a big impact on my mood. Maybe should run to AZ for a long weekend instead of pondering picking up FDog.

Yesterday I got some referrals for carpet cleaning and can get that scheduled. The den is long overdue and I am not ready to replace the carpet at the price it would cost.

I don't have much right now; mostly just needing quiet and rest.
Weds 4AM

Woke up at 3. Sinuses draining, throat sore, sitting upright trying to clear everything out. Going to have to mask all weekend taking care of dad, which he will complain about. Lovely. I actually will be shocked if he and Peaches don't come down with what I have (likely RSV) since I was with them Weds-Sun and symptoms started Sat eve.

I have dogsitting of Caddie today. I need to give some thought as to whether it is worth it if I eventually have to pay taxes. And whether business income would permit me to write off some expenses.

Yesterday I got an issue sorted with my financial software/blances. Picked up groceries from wholesale club and grocery store. Measured den to get carpet cleaning estimates. May still just rent machine and do it myself. Started Laundry, bulk to be done today. Checked w Tax guy, expect to see return today for review.

It helped productivity yesterday to get off couch and sit at DR table. Go me. Zane today like it or not I will be dog walking in whatever weather arises...we are expecting some wintry mix conditions,

Hopimg to get back to sleep here...zzzz....
Was able to snooze until first alarm at 6:15 and then backup alarm at 7:05. Client is running very late with Caddie, probably due to the snow which is coming down apace. 8:30 arrival is looking more like 9:00. I considered offering to meet at her office and pick him up there, after all I always enjoy helping people, but I am proud that I stopped myself. For one, it is precedent setting, and will put me in the awkward position of saying 'no' another time. After all, this is only her 2nd visit and if it is too much for her logistics, today won't be the make or break. For two, I'm not sure I really want to do daily dog sits long term, as opposed to trips or weekend sits. It's OK for now.

In any event I am tired of being sick now. I had read that RSV gets worse before it gets better, and that seems be true.

Yesterday Proggy's cousin Brad announced he is entering hospice, after years of battling cancer and being hospitalized for pneumonia. Brad is Proggy's closest (in sentiment) living relative and they regularly text back and forth. My heart broke for him. Although it is understandable that after years of suffering, he would want to say "enough", Proggy is just in such a tough place right now. He misses the large immigrant family he grew up with. His lack of a close relationship with his brother haunted him. He daily struggles with the job search, ageism, etc. I am scared that my friend is not going to recover from this period and all his losses. He is depressed. He hates where he lives and wants to move but is afraid to list his house without steady employment. There is only so much I can do. I have run myself into the ground trying to be there for people. I talk with him on the phone, or check in via text, a couple of times per day. I need to focus on my own wants and needs and hopefully we can find things to do together. After I'm done being sick.

Time to go take a shower.
Oh man, really not feeling well. It was struggle to walk Caddie or do anything else today. Coughing sneezing blowing nose, fatigue, even a bit dizzy. Hoping a good nights' sleep will start turning things around.
It sure sounds like covid. That sucks that you are feeling so sick, Fiera. Your defences are down. Take care :grouphug:
Oh dear, what an incredibly unexpectedly long and misersble night. Went through a box of tissues and woke up coughing every 10-20 mins. Went through so many changes underwear and bladder leakage pads. Truly miserable. Now my neck hurts from all the sneezing and coughing. Just shocked that it went downhill so much.

I took a home covid test a couple of days ago which was negative. With the whistling I think it's RSV. Whatever. I'm so useless. And tomorrow I am supposed to go take care of my dad for 3 days while Peaches goes with some other ladies to a bowling tournament. Just praying for a major improvement in the next 24 because I am going to have to mask up,

Have done my dad duties by getting a hold of his primary and heart doc before a chemical stress test this morning. The medical assistant says that it is not a concern even if his C02 IS elevated. I don't know that I believe her. At least the office is close to the hospital should anything go wrong. I hate doc offices who "hold" lab work until they have reviewed it. We are not two year olds.

Yesterday saw some improvent. The pace of the coughing and runny nose slowed down a LOT. It still kicked on when Iaid down at night (propped up) to go to sleep, but it was much improved and I think there were 2 2-hour sleep blocks. Progress!

I am still really low energy though. I finally figured out when I had super bad dry mouth that I am having a sjogren's flare in addition to the virus. So self care = yes! But mask wearing = bad when you can't breathe! It will be one bit fat effing adventure lol!

Also, this health episode makes it less likely that I will bring FDog home from the kennel on Sunday for 2 more weeks of fostering.


Guess I never posted that before I left home this morning. At Dad's. I'm concerned about him medically. But he sees his docs starting Monday and he should be OK until then.

Better vomit here than do/say things to Dad I might regret.
I'm holed up in the spare bedroom drinking some hazelnut coffee. I feel OK leaving the mask off in here, I keep the door shut and the windows open. Or I go outside too.
I can hear him grunting and groaning and moaning, but he needs to be his own company for a while.
I had audibly commented on a text I had received. When he asked what was up, I said that the dog Fxxx I sat a few weeks ago is at another sitters' and she is having problems with him marking all over the place. I explained that I felt bad because I had referred the owners to him and said that he "was easy". "Whatever" he said and went off to sleep.


That emotional trigger that is more about the past than the present. That dismissive, self-centered asshole. I've already spent some time earlier today on a park bench, pondering a reply to AN, coming to some clarity that in part I want to learn to overcome those huge barrier walls which made it impossible for me to be L's friend when we still underneath it all cared about each other. But also realizing that AN is not the same person as L, and accordingly may not be wanting or deserving of a continued friendship. Remembering some of AN's deliberately inflicted hurts, and outright lies or hallucinations....L had some faults but he was never a manipulator. So I am thinking of this and how I have sometimes been "too nice" to people like TB who really didn't deserve the bandwidth, and whether AN qualifies in that category. And thinking about the man who conditioned me to try harder and harder for love, approval, acceptance, or even simply acknowledgement that I existed. So when that man dismissed me - and everything - with a "whatever", I snapped. I was angry. And I don't want to blow up AT him because it won't do anything contstructive. In the first instance his mind is not right. In the second instance, he already tried to walk out of the restaurant this morning when I criticized his choice of...a full order of sausage biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon (I was of course sitting across from him in my N95, getting my food to go so I could eat it later). "You're getting worse than Peaches!" He wants to do what he wants to do. He can't empathize with how it feels to move mountains to get him home for surgery, and to all these appointments, and basically revolve our lives around him, only to watch him sabotage everything. He ate EVERY bite of that breakfast just to be ornery. I know when he is with Peaches he always takes half home. When later I tried to talk about it, and say that OK I understood that he is tired of being nagged/reminded and I apologized. And I tried to explain that I felt like he is not working at being ready for surgery and it is not fair to expect Peaches and I do all these things to help him get ready just to have him sabotage - he reacted and said "I NEVER asked for your help. Just like I told Peaches, go away and LEAVE ME ALONE I CAN MANAGE BY MYSELF."

He has a point. He never asked for help. I mean he asks for help sometimes picking up something he dropped or changing his wet Depends. But for the most part, we just do things because he obviously needs the help (meds management, driving, etc.). And I could see that he is hanging on to control and independence as much as he can, so much that he is in utter denial. It's like AN. If I could "help" AN financially without him asking outright, then he was able to say that he never asked me for anything. I would make it my job to "find work', I "loaned" him money for which filming equipment was collateral (written contract) knowing he would never repay it. I paid him to paint the back porch. etc. When he was super destitute, he would mention not having food in the fridge...I made up an excuse to drive over and then pressed cash into his hand, and one time I took him to the grocery store and just paid. Technically he can say "I never asked." It's like if no one says that part out loud, then it allows them to keep their dignity. But it is a lie and denial of reality.

Later on she told me that he sometimes talks about wishing he could simply die. Now, being a fan of voluntary euthanasia, if it was permissible here and he was to bring it up, I wouldn't say no. He's done. He is suffering, physically, mentally, emotionally. He is losing personal dignity. He has lost his independence (though he is still in denial about it sometimes). He is a stubborn old man of the Greatest Generation who really doesn't have much left to live for. I'm sure he is depressed and without taking this surgery seriously as his Hail Mary, he has sealed his fate.

The anger has abated and I can go back to being kind and supportive.

I know his actions and behavior are entirely about HIM. But it is the reminder of some of the most painful formative experiences that made it so personal for me. The same experiences which led to my very dysfunctional and unhealthy relationship patterns...the same things I'm trying to understand with AN and figure out where *I*, the REAL Fiera, really AM in all of it. What are my needs and wants? What are my boundaries? If someone says "Whatever" and dismisses me, is that EVER really acceptable? Especially when they don't see it, don't want to see it, would never think it would be necessary to apologize? I mean, WHY would you ever let people treat you like that, and yet it is SO much a part of my past that I'm only beginning to even see it for what it is?

Ultimately do we just accept bad behavior as a term of endearment, especially knowing that the sun will eventually set? When you know that typically it just leads to more beating your head into the wall?

So much material for thought here.

I know I'm also just depleted and run down and tired. But these are precisely the times in life where it makes sense to ask "what's it all for? what am I doing here? what do I want for ME?"

Today is a pretty big mile marker for a lot of reasons. 15 years now since the Ladytron concert in Toronto a few months after my divorce from L. I was aching from the failure to launch/letdown of a promising relationship, but tbh I was also drowning in booze and nightclubbing like I was in my 20's. I ran away on a business trip to Canada and let the anger of "Destroy Everything You Touch" out on the dance floor as the clock struck midnight. 15 years. Things have gone far differently than I ever would have imagined.

That's for another chapter, maybe tonight if I'm feeling it.
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April 7

Home around 6PM.

It was tough. Dad ended up gaining lots of fluid after his ridiculous breakfast and apparently the subway turkey sandwich was not so great due to sodium in bread. So he is not in good shape today and he sees the kidney doc tomorrow. Oh. Well.

I felt very angry this morning. Fed up with my life being put aside for him and then he isn't trying. So, I left him at home and drove up to the kennel to see and walk F****y. I just love him. He was wild, not to see me so much as just to be out of the crate and check everything out. It was the solace to what was an otherwise ratty day.

Stopped by mom's grave, but it started raining pretty hard. I was shocked, not in a good way, when I saw that it has a layer of crud and the concrete perimeter is green with some kind of moss or mold. Hers was not alone, many neary look similar. It doesn't seem like it has been that long since I visited. The shocking appearance made it look OLD all of a sudden, as if she was buried 100 years ago. But, it has been over 22 in essence I guess it is a full generation ago. So devastating and so so sad to realize how much time has passed. I wasn't able to stand out in the heavy rain or even hang in the car to sort through the thoughts and feelings evoked as I needed to get back to Dad.

I just felt has been all this time and rather than flourish I had slid down the slope and I had not much good to share with her in the quick moment. I told her Dad was still alive, and he is 80. I told her I'm 55 now. I told her I wish I could talk to her. Then the rain drove me away.

Made dinner for Dad, and found out Peaches was going to be later than planned, so I went to grocery store and bought dinner for me and him, then cooked it. I washed and sanitized everything as much as possible, did laundry and dishes, I tried not to feel melancholy in spite of the rain. It was rough being indoors with an N95 all the time and I thought quite a bit about the pandemic healthcare workers. It shut up any feeling sorry for myself - at least as far as masking.

But overall I was feeling down and sad and empty today. It was worse when Peaches came home and reported that she is feeling discoordination in her feet, like they don't remember the pattern to the line for bowling which is something she has been doing her entire adult life; and also words are not looking right on the page (she can pronounce and spell). Obviously she needs that assessed pronto. I have noticed memory loss things here and there but not really anything super concerning. This is quite concerning. I can't pickup everything she is doing for my dad, I barely made it through this weekend.

I was sad driving home, sad that Proggy has not manifested and is depressed and pulling me down, and forgot about something important....twice. I was sad about mom. About dad. About not having a life. About coming home to *this* house and everything it represents.

When I got home and was carrying my stuff into the house...I said "If I haven't figured it out by this time of life, after trying for 15 years, I am probably never going to figure it out. Like - like. Peace. How to have a house which doesn't have a leaky roof and basement and peeling paint, and lead paint etc etc etc. I also told myself that all these thoughts and feelings are temporary....everything is impermanent....and to come up with WHAT could I do this evening which would cheer me up or feel better,

Heat cranked up against the damp rainy chill
Chardonnay Poured
Steak Tacos delivered
Chocolate Cake Delivered
Noir Films on Tv

Tomorrow we start over and try to make Eclipse Day a day to cherish and remember.
Heard from my brother last night. Also a guy who worked for me in my last years. Dad. EF. Peaches. Brother. CF. No Proggy. Strange day.

Felt a bit of regret about not driving to see totality today. My brain wanted to fabricate a resentment and pin that on Proggy's lack of enthusiasm, it is really due to me being run down and sick combined w taking care of my Dad near the hometown all weekend. I would have needed to hit the road driving yesterday or very early this morning to get to a viewing place and I know physically I could not have handled more. Sitting here coughing up croup for the better part of the last hour.

So - brain adjusted. Will make the most of this backup plan and go somewhere pleasant. And be kind to Proggy, who is still trying hard to find a job and keep depression and financial worries under control. I have been feeling distant from him but it is because I just don't have the energy to deal with his issues on top of my own any more, In fact, I feel pretty distant from everyone right now. I gotta get healthy.

Speaking of...the Sjogren's flare...just in case I look back on this and say "gah" why didn't I just get up and go? When I was younger I powered through anything and everything. Between the sjogren's and bring older, I just can't push it like that....pushing just ends up in a bigger flare and worse/longer fatigue. It has been a grudging acceptance but I recognize that I am no longer capable of whatever I set my mind to. Maybe I should think about this when I consider my housing dillemma,

Also, I was so happy at the kennel and out in the rural area. I starte considering whether I might want to move to L or G where I would be closer to Dad but have some amenities and start a more rural chapter of my life. I don't take advantage of the city or nightlife any more. I can't stay out/up late. Everything is so expensive. A the free things like parks and lakefront have lost interest. Done to death, or too many memories of times past which are reminders of how sad and isolated life is now.

My mind just said well, why not just move to Ireland then and I immediately of course reverted to my Dad. I'll never get to do what I want while he is around. And what if this goes on for another 10 years? It's already been over 8. Oops there came the tears again. It is one thing to let go of a toxic friend or boyfriend but another to leave a family member to fend from themselves.


My dad is not wholly toxic. Not by a long shot. He is, rarely, but some times, supportive or affectionate. He doesn't really empathize and he certainly is very self centered. And he is often angry, selfish, and emotionally abusive. He is a racist. He worked hard and financially provided. He taught me how to bowl and fish and golf. He buys into lies and conspiracies. And he is the root of a lot of my issues with relationships esp w men.

As I was thinking about all this in the context of his bad behavior this weekend, I realized that like a TB, like a Mike C. like a SHBJ, it is the intermittent positive reward which causes the greatest effort. Like when training a dog.

It's one thing to do classical Pavlov's Dog (you ring the bell and give the treat over and over again, every time, then eventually can take the treat away).

It's another thing when have you ring the bell and start intermittently giving g the treat. The dog starts to experience uncertainlybecause it doesn't know what it needs to do to ensure that it gets the treat. It can cause anxiety and vigilance. It will start salivating when the bell is not rung, And this is I think the case when a parent's love and attention are given so intermittently and with no discernible pattern to the child. Or are intermingled with abuse. I am not expert on any of this, I can just say that my Dad's way of being caused me great developmental issues as a child/teen and his way of being still causes me issues today. And his my way or the highway bs on Saturday was really triggering. Because I know what is right and I am not going to abandon him. I also know that I will not change him.

Not going anywhere with this. Just thinking about the fact that my (half brother) left all this behind more or less many years ago...not his biological son...and how it still is this thing that is so pervasive my entire world has been conditioned by many relationships have a hung on past the point of hope or reason? Do I miss signs, do I stay around for too long, for too few scraps, like I did with TB? And is this, this where things are at with AN (I suspect so, even though previously he was the clinger).

I need a dog back in this house, I need to blow the croup of of my lungs and go get F-----dry in another couple of days.

Yesterday was partial eclipse viewing. I drove to Proggy's, went to HW for lunch (indoors, sunny but very windy), then down the road to MM for viewing in a secluded picnic grove. Proggy was not himself, stressed-preoccupied-depressed. Mondays are usually a busy day for job hunting and as it was the first day of the quarter he was getting lots of hits and scheduling things for Tuesday. He knows you need to get on the hook quickly or risk getting left out, and I can see the anxiety and vigilance. He really was not fully present and I think it worries him in our relationship, the same way I used to worry about BG when I was having anxiety problems.

We took a walk after the eclipse. Later we hung at his place, went for pizza slices for a snack, watched N embezzlement documentary I had found interesting. Would have watched sports but but both the NCAA final and the baseball game were late starting, and I need to head home around 8.

At one point during the eclipse we spontaneously started making up song lyrics.I like it when that happens. He has a quick mind for it. I can't remember it now maybe it will come back to me. I had been streaming a solar eclipse playlist out out by the RRHF - carefully curated by me to avoid the Bonnie Tyler song. Ha.

I put contacts in to make it possible to safely use the solar glasses. It has been a long time. I was really so happy with my field of vision! It was like a whole new world! Driving was great, no side blind spots! I also however found that I am going to need a bit stronger cheaters now.

I had a bathroom emergency during the eclipse and could not wait. It was probably triggered by the lunch food as there was a lot of oil in it. Quite inconvenient. This has happened two other times now in the past few years. First time was in Spring or Summer 2020, with BG, pandemic, anxiety, her or my bday sunset watching. Second time was Summer, 2022. Now Spring 2024. I know that last time I was also in the general time frame of having a bunch of other symptoms while taking care of my dad. And this time I am also in the middle of a Sjogrens flare while also taking care of my Dad. In other words I now wonder if bowel emergencies are connected symptoms to the Sjogrens. And even the recent sensitive/weak bladder. Just wanted to get it down (rather inefficiently) as a reminder to research.

Either way, the more important thing is to engage in self care and pace myself so I can get my strength back. No one around me cares or expects me to be anything else but strong. And certainly not my Dad, who shockingly got cleared by the first of 3 docs yesterday for a knee replacement. What in the hell is my game plan if this really goes forward? Because I can't do it. It isn't a matter of want. My body is exhausted again rn. I am not even picking up F------y dog from the kennel because I simply can't do that to myself rn.

I am grateful for two nights in a row of real sleep. I slept like crud the night before flying to FL. I slept short in FL and on the road. And then I slept short due to the virus for over a week. The cough and mucous are much better. The sun is out today and it is warm enough that I might take a healing paced a lakefront walk after lunch.

But first....need to wrap up taxes.

Fear. Rapid, hard-hitting, palpable. I am going to use all my tools to vent this and sit in calm abiding.

Its a gorgeous day. I had the windows open. But I got a whiff of something rotten smelling. Mildewesque. I thought perhaps it was the freecycled patio furniture as I had last summer once or twice. After all the older damaged parts of the wood looked suspect...or the plastic mat which went underneath...maybe that also trapped some odors which activated when wet. And my sense of smell right now is a bit unreliable because of the virus. So I made up my mind to just pitch the freecycled stuff. I also took out the door poop container, installed the grill cover, pitched a dry old cardboard box that was sitting under but I can still smell it. Now I am worried it is coming from the roof leak. I did smell the musty smell of rotting wood the last time I was in the attic there, but not like THIS. Could it be the mulch from the removed tree? The patio furniture? I can't track it down better, in part because my nose is not really functioning on most frequencies.

I called one of the roofers, the guy who installed my attic windows 2 years ago now, and told him what was going on. He will come later this week or early next. I said I thought we might have to reconstruct the dormer and he said that sounded pretty extreme. I don't care about money any more, as long as the madness stops. I can't live like this especially if it is health related. If it costs me $15 to fix the masonry and $30K to reroof, at least I should be done for a little while. Right?

I AM feeling a bit calmer now. Running away from it and hiding in a journal entry is good for processing and also good for avoidance (lol).

That stressed burst of yard work when I tossed everything out is really the kind of thing I need to avoid while recovering. So dumb,
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I went and got the hose reel out of the garage to prepare for using a mildew spray when I have a bit more energy. It still smells out there, disturbing. I ended up grabbing garden handheld shears and clearing some grapevine. I tried to break an old large limb and instead it pulled up the stump using the fence as a fulcrum. It is too large for me to saw through on my own after being sick so I have out in the request to the landscapers for help.

I had two leftover steak tacos for lunch, Didn't need brekkie since I had a late chopped salad after Proggy's.

I am feeling physically tense and a little bit dizzy...anxiety. My health cannot afford this. I will take a xanax and hopefully that will help. I am too tired now to go get that walk in.

Made an appt with the rheum doc's 2 weeks.
Snacks ~ dried cranberries, almonds, mozzarella string cheese, bacon, pita chips, choc pudding cup. Bit of leftover rice and beans. Milano cookies for dessert.
Still gorgeous out but just hiding out trying cope right now.
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Arizona rolled back abortion to a regulation in effect before it was even a state.
Police shooting - video proof the deceased shot first - people protesting - I am ready to hit the streets with a baseball bat to defend police
My Uber Eats driver CINTHIA" - magically an Asian male who declined speaking English - magically changed my order resulting in an overcharge and they won't refund it.
I'm over this day.
I know all I am doing is bitching and complaining, I'm struggling. I'm depressed. I'm tired. I guess the best I can do at this point is try to limit the damage and get to bed.
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Whelp. The wine helped me get to sleep early. I woke up at 2 but was able to get to bed. So 9-10 hours of sleep. I don't regret it. Other than the whole negativity and anxiety thing, and not getting anything useful done thing. But the checking out and resting were a pretty good idea,

I still feel tired and croupy so it will be another light day. I took cod out of the freezer so I can have a light dinner later. I need to review my taxes still. It's hard to do because the numbers are tiny and my ability to focus is weak. needs to be done. It's Wednesday already!

Sun out today (yay!) expected to give way to rain later. So need to get outside.
On back porch, noticed the smell seemed to have dried up/dissipated overnight. Did a little tidying cleanup/sweep of debris. Lifted up rubber mat on porch to clean and found a definitive mildew source there. Bleach spray-scrub-rinse where mat was, will do mat itself separately. So yeah I need to get a hose sprayer of mold and mildew cleaner and tackle the back part of the house. Back stairwell, porch, siding. Hopefully that will get rid of it. It gives me hope that the source of the odor is not the roof after all. 👏
Wiped out the bottom of the freezer, which was decidedly dirty and had some strange old spill which glued the turkey burger box to the bottom. Cooked a turkey burger patty on the grill, made into a sandwich with thin-whole grain, avocado, and thousand island dressing. Quite good. Also costs me nothing while the beef burger I wanted would have been $20.

Wondering if the hospital grade germicial solution for the dog bedding is good for cleaning/destroying mildew. if so I can do both projects at once (when ready).

I have developed a sinus infection (yellow green mucous). Likely explains the continuing fatigue. Hope to fight off without antibiotics.

Peaches and Dad just called. Cardio doc cleared Dad for surgery, says heart is a bit better than last year. Peaches ran her symptoms by him and he said possible TIA, she needs to contact her primary and get some tests. Really praying that she doesn't have a problem while my Dad is going through surgery/recovery. I can't even imagine how much worse things could get.