Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


Insomnia (Poem)

Hey, I'm up way late because CK had neuropathy pain in her feet making it hard to sleep after I'd already stayed up a little too late wanting to just comfort read with a hood up after eating ice cream.

It was a Trauma Therapy Tuesday and I did something new; I took my friend's online MELT class instead of having a float after the session. I relearned the hand treatment and my hands do feel better, but there's always some intensely painful moments in even the most restorative version of MELT. That kind of intensity post therapy, when I'm already tightened up, well, a float is really the best trauma therapy follow up.

The more you know, etc.

Anyway, I also ended making dinner at home today instead of takeout on my way home. Takeout on Trauma Therapy Tuesday serves a dual purpose; no cooking, but also NO major cleanup. Tonight we both wanted comfort food, mac & cheese. This is more complicated given that we both get our own version so there's a few pans involved.

Then I really needed a hot shower, usually I've had one after the float after therapy. Which is fine, I feel better, but also really still wide awake.

It's because my brain cannot decide what to catastrophize first! Honestly, I think my brain is focusing on getting us moved to Canada because it's the least horrible of the pile of things. I'm juggling bids from contractors AND I made an appointment for CK to be seen by a neurologist in late April. That's the worst one.

I'm keeping focused on the fact that all the blood and urine samples thus far have ruled out a good handful of really scary things, some of which were potentially deadly right away. She got a good referral and she's being seen in less than a month's wait. We're scheduled to get our first COVID vaccine in less than a week (given how late it is).

And on that note, it's officially April and National Poetry Month. I'm going to attempt another Month-o-Poems, writing something each day. Here's a poem about the fact that I'm up at nearly 2am writing poetry and blog posts.


Sleep beckons me in the
Bright and busy, middle day
And I
Stop for a moment
When it calls.

Late though, deep in the
When sleep is

Then Sleep offers
A game
Where I tally
All I have done

And, like
Sleep weighs

My eyes follow the
Swinging scales,
No longer

Have I done
To deserve
My rest?


Did You Do Anything

I'm having a night where I'm trying to recall what I did all day. It feels like dishes, meals, and a small amount of cleaning in addition to a few emails. It feels like I got nothing done. It also feels like I missed something.

I had this idea that is start to do a little something move related every day. Use the habit tracking pages to help me focus. I didn't make it happen.

It's not lost on me that earlier today I reminded a friend that we're still living through National pandemic trauma and it's not in unreasonable to be unmotivated and unproductive. And still, with "Whinnie" sitting at my side asking what the hell I did all day.

Finishing artwork doesn't count for Whinne's definition of productive, but I completed a cool collage today!


Fuck Off, Whinnie!

Realizing last night that my Inner Jerk, "Whinnie" as I dubbed her, was driving my anxiety helped some. When I realize that energy is getting big I can then invite it to settle down or just fuck off.

I still slept poorly and had some nightmare. I also thought I felt pee down by my feet and was convinced our elder dog had an accident at around 4:50am, thus sleeping even more fitfully until my alarm went off. When I got all the bedding pulled away there was nothing!

Thanks, brain!

It's not likely to be an easy week. I can't decide if adding two visits that will result in hours of wearing a mask and trigger shame feelings during the same week as my Mother's birthday is a good distraction or a terrible plan. I'm hoping distraction, plus the energy to get quotes for work that's necessary regardless of what happens but the end of the year.


March Comes in With Anxiety

I am having a bad "Whinnie" night. That's the name I gave to my inner jerk after working on an art therapy project to make a portrait of her.

It's the usual soup of feeling like I don't get anything done. I don't prioritize getting the "right" tasks done. I need to much rest and I waste to much time.

All I can think of is what isn't done.

It's triggered by the upcoming pandemic anniversary, "Pandemiversary", my Mother's birthday, making progress on the taxes (great of owing) and, the match on the fuse, scheduling time to have our realtor look over the property to help us prioritize some work.

Hoping a hot shower helps.



It finally happened this week. The 500,000th person died from COVID.

We still don't know when we'll have access to one of the vaccines. Many of my students and friends have been at their wit's end trying to get an appointment. A student in Ohio got hers at a grocery chain pharmacy, no trouble.

Meanwhile I'm making progress on hard tasks. I sent a pile of 2018 paperwork to our tax people today and I already have a question back to answer tomorrow. I sent an email today that officially kicks off The Great Big Change; asking questions that help us know where to begin.

CK is still having numbness in her lower body. Still surface based, but persistent. I sent a detailed chronology of all the weirdness she's had going on the past few weeks.

Meanwhile, I have a telemedicine session with said doctor in the morning to discuss my heart and general health. It's all been good news, but it's a recap on everything with my doctor.

Managed to capture Ursa alerted on a "Sparkle Beast”, what I dubbed a reflection on the ceiling or walls that makes his prey instinct go off. The results were hilarious


Times They Are a Changin’

Last week we received news that we're still integrating and strategizing the first steps to take in response. It will result in a significant change. We haven't talked much about it yet, not a huge amount ourselves or with others.

It hits as we approach the anniversary of shutting ourselves aways from social interaction, except a few outdoor occasions last summer. Who knows what this summer will bring, eventually our local friends and family will all manage to get vaccinated.

My Mother's birthday is next week, March 5, and it still seems to loom on the horizon like a leaden, grief balloon. I suppose it doesn't feel quite as big or heavy, but it's still there. I've been calling CK's attention to it earlier this year, so I don't suddenly collapse in a heap of anger/grief.

All of this gave me a big rush of anxiety this morning as I tried to get ready to teach. When my Dad's clock started chiming that it was 10am I jumped back into focus. Thankfully I'd had the room well set up already and just needed to turn on Zoom, and lights. I just told people, thanked them for their patience.

I'm really enjoying a set of pens I got for myself to write in the household calendar/diary. Hoping they encourage me to keep it up. I need all the help I can get!


Too Tired for Donuts

Today was the reschedule of Beignet Day at Doe Donuts. Since it was an icy mess on Mardi Gras, they opted for this safe choice.

I like to take beignets to students on Mardi Gras. It's not a family thing for me, we didn't make a big deal out of Shrove Tuesday or Lent. It's more an expression of of love for New Orleans and the spirit of Mardi Gras.

We eat fried food on Mardi Gras because you've got to celebrate the "fat" of life. The fat is where all the richness and goodness is, it's got to be celebrated when we have it. For people who observe, they abstain from richness for a time, so they're sure to celebrate before that withdrawing and after, it makes that Easter feast all the richer.

I like to pass that on. It's one of many fine lessons I've learned from New Orleans.

Pandemic Days means no classroom with students; nearly a year now without students in shared space. I was going to drop off beignets with friends this year to still have a little of that joy.

Only today I've been worn out and more headachy than just my sinuses complaining. I think 3 hours of breathing through the double mask, doing chores part of the time, took it out of me today. It felt like my asthma was acting up, so I think today I'm just depleted.

Like so many COVID losses, this isn't tragic. It's donuts. Special donuts that take me back to a city where a small piece of my heart most certainly lives, but still, donuts.

Yet, it's another chip of grief. One more small loss and disappointment, amidst many.

I realized I'm counting down the 14 days after the plumber visit. We've been so careful for so long, it would be hell to have a clogged drain bring this virus to our home.

Ursa is sleeping with Dora, whether she wants to or not.


Ants in Pants

I wanted to write about gratitude and how grateful I am for how our community is keeping connected and supporting one another. Especially because I get to avoid a Costco trip!

But for the fifth or sixth night in a row CK has had what she calls "ants in the pants" when she lays down to sleep. Previous nights a hand rub helped and she fell asleep. Tonight, no luck.

I've been reading about Restless Leg Syndrome.

I know it's not a good idea to research late at night, but here we are. I'm worried about her. It did give me some good ideas too.

Another plus to keeping a household journal/calendar is that I started noting the nights a hand rub was needed. It is unfolding in usefulness!


COVID Nightmares

Although it felt like I slept ok compared to the tossing and turning the previous night, but I also had a terrible anxiety dream.

There had been flooding, I got swept up in it, lost my stuff, and got separated from CK. I was going up to people begging them to call her for me.

As that happened we all watched Portland be bombed by military jets!! Very much in the style of Atlanta being bombed in the first season of The Walking Dead!

It made for a tiring day. Ursa was adorable though.


Wisdom on Wednesday

Moved ever closer to sending taxes! We're being sure to get a Certificate of Mailing to prove it was sent, this can only be obtained in a post office.

I checked with the local UPS Store and they confirmed this, with apologies! I was then given advice to not go at the time I was calling, around 2:30pm, because the neighborhood post office is busy in the afternoon.

Pre COVID I'd have gone and listened to something while waiting out the line. It's just a queue.

Now I'm taking the advice to go when they open at 8:30 tomorrow. Not my favorite thing to do, but it will reduce exposure and I'll be home to teach in time.

I was grumpy today because my sinuses hurt which makes me slow. This means I didn't get to make happy checkmarks of accomplishment in the calendar journal. Which means my head hurts and I feel like I'm not doing my share of the work.

I am grateful today for the arrival of a new electric kettle! It should be more impervious to ants and looks snazzy!