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sailorpanda
26 October 2014 @ 02:12 pm
It's been so long since I visited LJ! I've just been super busy and won't get into everything.

But to summarize things that have gone on since my last post:

• My uncle that had the head surgery has adjusted and is pretty much back to normal.
• My mom collapsed at the beginning of the year and I had to deal with that. She's doing fine now.
• I got involved in a relationship, which I'm still technically in, but it's not going so well.
• One of my best friends got engaged so I'm helping with plans. Harry Potter World next year for her bachelorette event!
• Roof started leaking during heavy rains and we ended up hiring people to remove a fireplace and put in a new roof.
• Dealt with an ant infestation - hundreds of ants in the house! Yuck.
• I'm slowly whittling away at my car payments.
• Been working more overtime this year more than any other year with the company. The insurance business is crazy this year!
• Visited NYC. It was fun but came back sick.
• Got an infection which led to my eardrum being sucked in on itself aka ETD.
• Visited Portland. Also fun though the plane trip didn't restore my eardrum as one of the possible 'cures' so my body has felt off balance most of the year since it happened.

I haven't been keeping up but I hope everyone else has been having a better time of it than I have. I try to keep a positive outlook on things, but it gets difficult when I only want to curl up in bed after putting in a 10 to 13 hour workday.
 
 
sailorpanda
13 September 2013 @ 05:23 pm

Uncle got to come back home Wednesday from the hospital. He still has to have nurses visit to check up on him and take it easy for the next month at least, but we're all happy to not be at the hospital everyday now.

Changes at work too. Big desk move and everyone got shifted around. Same type of desks, different location as space is consolidated to make room for new hires after a large group of people were sent to work from home. I hate the packing and unpacking of stuff accumulated over the years, especially when I'm only moving a couple yards away from my previous location. But at least it's done now. Hopefully it'll be awhile before management decides to shift us around again.

Now off to B&N! Meeting some friends there for a special butterbeer night being hosted. Wonder if the taste will be true to the Harry Potter world version. Guess we'll see!

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sailorpanda
09 September 2013 @ 04:17 pm

My uncle's out of surgery now - the doc says it went well. Though my uncle's speech is a bit slurred, that's probably due to the anesthesia. Even with the aftereffects, he keeps trying to get out of bed and walk about without the nurses so the family is yelling at him to take it easy since he just got done with having his head opened up and tinkered with. But nurses say he's in pretty good condition to be able to move around like that despite some pain he's experiencing. They estimate they'll need to keep him in the hospital for maybe a week while they drain his surgical wound and monitor any signs of infection or other problems.

It's been a long day. I didn't sleep easy last night and none of our alarm clocks went off so we ended up 30 minutes late for his first appointment. But, fortunately, there were no other patients there that early so we were still able to have him do the tests and surgery pretty much on schedule. Still, overall stressful. We'll probably stay with him for a few more hours until he has his dinner and then head home. My mom and I are do tired, we'll probably crash when we get back as soon as our heads hit the pillow. It's still only mid-day but I'm ready for sleep!

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sailorpanda
08 September 2013 @ 10:31 pm

Whoa. Can't believe my last post was back in March! Gonna have to try and catch up one of these days, but it might have to wait.

The past few months have been filled with work (too much overtime!), my uncle's recovery which involved taking him back for follow ups and tests...a lot, trying to have some semblance of a social life and squeeze in meet-ups with various friends, and dealing with the rest of the daily grind. I also just became involved in a relationship; it's coming at an awkward time, but most of the year has been a series of upheavals for me so I guess it's fitting. Oh, I also got a new car since my old one (13 years!) kept giving me a lot of problems, especially in the prior 6 months. I love my new car, but means I gotta worry more about finances while I pay it off. There's been a lot to stress over when I look back over the year.

I haven't been sleeping well as I've been worried about a lot off stuff. Truthfully, I should be sleeping now but my kind just won't let up so I can rest. I gotta get up at 4 am - my uncle's going back into surgery for the 4th (and last, hopefully) time. He has to have tests done before the surgery which the doc says is even more delicate than the previous ones and will like take at least 4 or 5 hours. So I've been praying that all goes well tomorrow and worrying over things we need to do before and after his recovery. I hope everything is resolved by the end of the year - I don't want the next year to as eventful as this one's been!

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sailorpanda
26 March 2013 @ 08:02 pm
So I had a three day weekend, which I had thought would be mostly relaxing. Turned out to be the most stressful three day weekend I can remember having! It think it started going downhill on Saturday when I was heading to Outback Steakhouse to meet up with other relatives for a lunch out. I was in a two lane turn off the highway and my mom was in the car chatting with me so I was following the other car in the two lane turn, which turned out to be a big mistake! The intersection was set up a little oddly and the car had turned into the westbound lane instead of staying on the eastbound and because I was following the car as I was distracted by my mom's chatter, I ended up heading into the wrong lane too! It was a scary thing seeing other cars heading for me on the same lane. Fortunately, that road's median didn't last long on that particular intersection so I was able to merge into the lane heading into the correct direction but my stomach was in knots. I caught the plates of the other car I had been following who turned out to be out of towners from half the country away. I've got to stop trusting other cars on the road.

Then in the evening I went to see a movie with a friend who was so last minute about things that we didn't have a restaurant we were going to eat out before the show picked out until the late evening, bad idea on a Saturday night. I called in ahead while I was driving there and was told there was a 30 minute wait time, so I had to still wait about 15 minutes after I arrived with a table which was a very tiny booth that only two people could sit at. It was okay for me since I'm small, but a real squeeze for my friend who three times as big as I am. That's what he gets for being so last minute.

But the food was good and we went saw the movie which didn't end until after midnight. Here's where the stress was piled on again. My mom works a night shift so bid goodnight to my friend and we parted ways as I headed downtown after the movie to pick her up. While I was waiting outside for my mom to come out, I checked my phone and saw my friend had texted me - his car had died and he was still stuck at the the theatre! Since it was nearly half an hour after I had left the theatre, I texted him to check if he'd already gotten someone to help jumpstart his car or if he was still there and needed me to go back an pick him up. Well, I took my mom home first and checked my phone. He didn't answer my question about whether he needed me to pick him up though he did say the cables caught on fire when he was trying to jumpstart his car! So I texted him again if he wanted me to come pick him up and take him home so he could deal with his car in the morning. Another 15 minutes or so passed, I still hadn't heard from him and I saw it was starting to snow. I was tired and wanting to go to bed since it was 1:30 AM but I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep without knowing if he was still at the theatre or not. So I got in my car and started heading back to the theatre and the snow was starting to come down harder. Halfway to the theatre, I finally got a text from him saying he already had his mom come pick him up. Ugh! At least I got to turn my car back around and go home though it was way past my bedtime. I'm so not used to going to bed after 2 in the morning since I have to get up early for work.

Sunday I woke up with a major headache. I almost never get headaches so I think it was a combination of stress and lack of sleep. Also, when I woke up the world was white. It was snowing so much harder and weather reports were predicting 6-10 inches of snow. Since my mom was supposed to work that day and I was supposed to drive her to work in the afternoon, I started to stress out over driving in inches of snow with it still coming down heavily as my car tends really not drive well in the snow. My mom ended up calling in to say she wasn't coming into work but now I was stressing over clearing out driveway of snow since it's so huge that six cars can park in it. Also, I was stressing out over my aunt and uncle being on the roads as they had driven my cousin back to his college in Champaign. After clearing the driveway twice during the day with snow still coming down, I started to stress over Monday because my uncle that had driven to Champaign was supposed to take my other uncle to the hospital in the morning for surgery and I was worried about him driving back to Springfield from Champaign in the dark and still heavily falling snow.

18.5 inches of snow!

We got way more snow than the forecast had predicted. My uncle called from Champaign and said they booked a hotel room to stay overnight because the snow was coming down heavy and what was usually a 2 hour drive turned into a 4 hour drive. That, and they saw a lot of cars on the way that looked like they had been driving too fast and had run off the road into the ditches along the highways.

I was glad they were safe and glad I had Monday off since my uncle wouldn't be back in time to take my other uncle to the hospital. But how would we get there? Though I had cleared the driveway, the city snowplowers had cleared the main roads but the snow they pushed aside had plugged up my driveway by a couple of feet high! Plus, it was still snowing. I called the different taxi companies and each one only had a busy signal as I'm sure they were getting a lot of calls for the same reason. Fortunately, one of my mom's friends lived right on a main road and she was free to pick us up and drop us off at the hospital.

In the hospital, they took my uncle for some tests. It was supposed to be a minor surgery to drain some some liquid that kept coming out from one section of my uncle's scar where he had the major surgery last year. It still wasn't healing completely and close all the way. Well, shortly after they took him away for the surgery, we'd been there for hours so my mom and I went to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat as we were told the surgery would take an hour. Right in the middle of when we were eating, the receptionist at the waiting area called my phone saying the surgeon wanted to talk to me. Right away, I had a bad feeling. I called the surgeon right back at the number the receptionist gave me and it turns out his minor surgery needed to be a major surgery!

The lab tests and scans were back and what they thought was a minor infection just at the area where the scar kept leaking from turned out to be an infection that was spread all over the entire left half of his head! They were going to have to completely remove the entire bone flap on that side because the bacteria causing the infection was seeped throughout the bone of the skull that had been removed and put back during the first major surery he had last year. Of course I gave the okay for him to have the procedure done right away.

The surgery lasted two hours that my mom and I just sat in the waiting room worrying. Another half hour for him to wake up from the anesthesia and moved to recovery so that we could see him. Fortunately, he was much more coherent after this surgery than the first one. We don't know how long he'll have to stay there at this point as they still have to pinpoint exactly what time of bacteria it was as it was a slow spreading one that didn't give the usual symptoms that a body usually shows with a more aggressive bacteria. Once they do figure it out, they can administer the right antibiotic treatment. The infection has to be cured first before they can put in a new structure to replace the removed bone flap in his head.

So that means at least another six weeks of antibiotic therapy where we'll probably have to inject him 3 times a day again and then another surgery to put in the replacement skull part once he's infection free.

Since he's no longer employed since the first surgery last year, his insurance benefits through his employer ran out last month. We were waiting on his application with Medicaid but still haven't heard back from them, just told that it's still in process. With no surety of insurance to cover medical costs, which is likely to be another several hundred thousand dollars, we were rushing to fill out the COBRA application as the deadline is in a few weeks to get that it. The cost of COBRA to extend the benefits with the original insurance with the employer is ridiculous. Over $500 a month, but I would rather pay that than the several hundred thousand that the costs turned out to be from his first surgery which his original insurance had picked up.

Ugh. I need some worry-free downtime!
 
 
Current Mood: stressedstressed
 
 
 
sailorpanda
18 March 2013 @ 06:49 pm
So there was an announcement at work that inventory's all caught up which means no more overtime hours are offered. The overtime is bound to come back (it always does) and I'll miss the extra income, but it'll be nice to just have regular 8 hour / 5 workday weeks because 12 hour / 6 workday weeks just sucked. I can use the extra time not at work to catch up on things. Yay for that!

I think I'll take a week or so to just relax and chill after work and catch up on some movies, TV shows, and books that I've been wanting to get around to. Also, some major housecleaning and laundry is due, some other home projects too if the weather warms up.

Afterwards, if the muse is feeling right, I'd like to try and get back into writing since I won't be feeling as tired after work (hopefully). Just gotta figure out what I want to write!
 
 
sailorpanda
17 March 2013 @ 10:36 am

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! I hope everyone has a good one.

Though it's not a day me and my family really celebrate, being of Asian descent, we all love the corned beef and cabbage sales that crop up this time of the year. And green just happens to be my favorite color so I enjoy seeing crowds of people decked out in it. I'm not a big fan of green beer, but spinach soup and shamrock rice krispie treats will be on the menu tonight along with the corned beef and cabbage so I think that's suitably celebratory!

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sailorpanda
10 February 2013 @ 01:18 pm

It's the year of the snake. Celebrating with the family which mainly consists of lots of drinking, eating, swapping stories, and listening/watching Chinese music variety shows that are in theme with the new year festivities. With the crowd from out-of-town relatives visiting, the noise level from so many people trying to talk over each other can sometimes get deafening.

It's the celebrational norm in my family. Good times.

Here's hoping everyone is blessed with better luck, love, and happiness this new year!

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sailorpanda
01 January 2013 @ 12:00 am

Good-bye, 2012. It's now officially 2013 in my area. As the last year was one of the most stressful years I've had in a decade, I won't be sorry to see it go. Good things happened but the bad things were bigger. I hope a new year brings better luck to me, my family, and everyone else out there. That being said:

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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sailorpanda
25 December 2012 @ 12:51 pm

Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope everyone will be safe on the roads if venturing out and has a wonderful time spent with family and friends!

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