Posting around here has been slim. Things at chez moi have been grimmer than they’ve ever been and I can’t seem to find the optimistic spark that usually gets me through horrible times.
This is how things went after unemployment. At first I was purely depressed. Fil was away – for a top secret reason – and I was stuck alone in a big empty apartment with two sleeping cats. I pretty much watched TV and ignored my parents’ phone calls. Once Fil got home, what got me to the next day was the optimistic ‘what if’. Applying for jobs always leaves that sense of “I could get this, and I could earn that salary and get those benefits and be OKAY.” It always leaves me with a great sense of possibility and fulfillment. So I tend to apply myself in abundance, knocking through Craig’s List, Yahoo! and the Chronicle with wild eyed enthusiasm. This wears off fast, and what kept me sane and afloat was the extension of my friend’s Netflix account so I could stream movies and TV shows online. It seriously saved my mental status from breaking.
With the introduction of this remarkable thing, I suddenly had pleasure. Something I hadn’t even felt while working. When you have money, things need to be done. We needed to run to the store to do Christmas shopping, or we needed to get groceries or something like that. Without money, there are no errands – except for grocery day, which happens since we get food stamps, but that’s once a month. So, with unemployment came free time, and with Netflix came something to fill the sucking void with noise and shiny happiness.
And then, here I am, saved by alternate realities. Some shows post their episodes as they air – Spartacus: Blood and Sand is one (Legend of the Seeker also has the current season streaming) – but most shows I just watch to enjoy. Mostly sci fi. There, I admit it, science fiction has saved me. And it dawned on me today how startlingly nerdy I am, how I am totally in love with that fact. I may have hurt my ankle (the one that I sprained a while ago) while running and had to put that on hold. I may have the worst writer’s block since forever. I may not have a job and have heartburn and argue with my partner on a far-too-frequent basis. But goddamnit if I don’t have something to keep me sane and happy and it’s science-fucking-fiction. (Don’t mind the cursing, I’m a passionate person at 4 a.m.)
What I’m really posting about is that, despite the unforeseen advantage of finding myself unemployed (as in, reacquainting with a friend who eventually gave me access to Netflix) is that I can finally take Monster to see his asthma specialist. The asthma specialist who put him on this great inhaler and super expensive name brand nasal spray that we couldn’t afford without Medicaid. This guy is wonderful, and although he seems to devalue our knowledge of our own kid, he knows a lot more about asthma than we ever will.
For the past two years Monster has become increasingly sensitive to the allergies in Austin. Anyone from Central Texas will tell you the allergies here are unique and terrible and no one is truly immune. I like to say I’m immune, but I right now I’m feeling the effects of Spring blooming in the form of painful headaches and a sinus infection brewing. I also get hit hard with cedar fever and I feel sick when the molds get crazy high like they tend to do. When Monster first moved here, it was like a light at the end of a long painful tunnel. His asthma seemed to resolve itself! Shock! The lack of constricting smog and chemical vapors seemed to help a lot and he rarely needs an emergency inhaler – usually during a coughing fit to relax his lungs, rather than during an asthma attack. But the seasonal allergies are so intense and cause such bronchial irritation, it is adversely affecting his asthma. Though he hasn’t had any asthma attacks – he takes a nightly inhaler for that – he never goes 3 weeks without getting mucus-y lungs and a terrible cough.
So, this free time I have to take him to his doctor will be used wisely. He’s got that terrible cough again and it woke him up about 30 minutes ago. I told him to turn his alarm off, I couldn’t send him to school with a good conscious, not after hearing how deep and booming it is.
I feel bad for him, because he’s always taken medicine of some sort; nebulizer, ADHD medicine, allergy pills, inhaler. I have no idea what that’s like, so it’s hard to understand how weird it makes him feel. I rarely got sick as a kid, my only regular medicine was a Flinstone vitamin in elementary. Until recently, when I started taking woman’s vitamins, glucosamine and Nex!um I only took medicine when I needed it (i.e. ibuprofen, antibiotics). He’s gotten a rough hand, but I always remind him it could be worse. He just takes a small pill, uses an inhaler and nasal spray every night. He could have to stab his fingers for blood glucose readings all the time, like his aunt, or eat a special diet like his cousin with Crohn’s. I feel bad for him, sure, but I never want to see him feel so bad for himself he thinks he’s been dealt the worst hand. Not a lesson he’ll ever have to learn, because someone always has it worse.
*I’m writing Monster’s year letter. It’s taken me a bit to get it together, but I’ve been … well, blocked.