What I have been doing with my life? Well, one time-consuming hobby seems to be medical appointments of various flavors. Some highlights:
- Getting my braces off.
- Actually, getting my braces off, getting my implant uncovered (with lasers!), getting my implant temporarily capped, getting my temporary retainers, and getting my lower permanent retainer. Not to mention adjusting to all of the above, ingesting ibuprofen, and re-learning how to speak any words containing alveolar phonemes. There was also getting my teeth cleaned, and getting evaluated for the implant crown. Basically I spent the last week shuttling between the orthodontist, the periodontist, and the dentist & hygienist's offices.
- Going to therapy; twiddling my medication.
- DBT continues apace, with weekly homework. Dr. Noll, on hearing that I had gained 50 lbs. over the last year (as documented by the sleep clinic's records), thought it might be a side effect of the cymbalta. (Clinically it is recorded as decreasing appetite, but she has had other patients gain weight while on it, and the timeframe fits.) So she is having me try going back on venlafaxine aka Effexor, but this time in an immediate release form that I should get better absorption from (the gastric bypass surgery strikes again). Worth a try, IMuHO.
- Overnight sleep study at the Swedish Sleep Medicine Institute
- When I went in for my yearly evaluation at the SMI (the folks who prescribe my Restless Legs meds) they discovered -as mentioned above - that I've gained 50 lbs over the last year. This led them to have me schedule a re-evaluative overnight sleep study, in case I'd developed sleep apnea due to the increase in my weight. Additionally, since I'd only slept a total of 2 hours during the last test, they gave me an ambien to take the night of the study, so I would actually sleep enough and through enough stages that they could collect enough data to look for underlying problems. That was the night of the 6th, and I have my results discussion scheduled for this Wednesday. I predict: Restless Leg Syndrome (continuation of current diagnosis), Periodic Limb Movement Disorder (the foot-thumping), and no apnea. I'm reasonably certain I slept longer than 2 hours this time around, but I can't predict for certain as I felt like 2 hours was 7 hours at the prior test.
Also, I've been
- Tracking down the status of my retirement adjudication.
- Yes, despite it having been over a year since I left the IRS on approved disability retirement, my actual settlement (which includes things like a $300 reduction in the amount I am paying for insurance premiums) is still pending. When OPM sent me a letter back in February saying my personnel files from the IRS still had not reached them, I tried following up, was given a name and a fax number whereunto send the letter, and I did. What I failed to get was a voice number to follow up. So eventually, not having heard anything from either agency for two months, I called the general help numbers again, attempting to follow up on my following-up. This got me a phone call from a reasonably pleasant gentleman at the IRS who thought that OPM was trying to get me to do their work for them, and telling me with concern that even though I had a copy of the official letter, I might have to contact OPM and have them send another official request to his unit. I told him that what I had was my cc of the official request that should have gone to his unit, but instead had been addressed to the mythical and no longer existing HR office in Seattle, closed and centralized into his unit in Ogden lo these many years ago, all unbeknownst to the people who address letters of this type at OPM, apparently. He said all right, fax me the letter (again) and I'll see what I can find out, very dubious. So I did, and miraculously got a return phone call saying that based on the letter as faxed, he could release my files, and would send them off Friday. So at least that is a partial victory, although I have no idea how long it will take OPM to finish up my case after the files arrive there. I have a note to myself to follow up with them in three or four weeks. Of course, all of the above involved lots of waiting on hold, listening to scratchy music, to open trouble tickets so people could call me back, or to be transferred to voice mail, or... you know the routine.
- Reading various books.
- In addition to those detailed in other posts, I'm still working on the infinity book, I've started the print version of Lolita, and I've been dabbling in NESFA's Concordance to Cordwainer Smith.
- Knitting & crocheting.
- Scarfs, yes, but I'm actually kind of proud of the keyhole-pattern one because I had to rip out and re-knit one side of the part with the hole, and I managed to do it while leaving the other side intact. I just moved the stitches onto a third needle and tied them off with a twist-tie so they wouldn't go anywhere. More importantly, I figured out how to make the correction and then successfully did it all by myself - with help from the book, but still a major breakthrough. I may feel able to tackle the repairs tani_chick told me how to make on my big pink sweater, yet.
- Starting to help with IROSF
- I'm going to take a very minor editorial role again with IROSF again. I believe I'll be working on obits and editorials, and I certainly hope not too many of the former. I've missed it, and I feel like I'm finally getting to a point where I can make a regular commitment to something besides therapy appointments again. Or so I hope.
There's also the usual writing projects, but the really crazy thing is I have an idea for something novel-length for the first time in my life. I'm not going to say anything more about it right now, other than it feels really weird, and I have no idea if I will actually be able to make it work. And that I'm laughing at myself a little, because it's the last thing I ever thought I'd be doing in any number of ways.