Catching Up for 2020, Pt. I – March 3, 2020

 

So, I know it’s been more than a minute since I last updated this blog… it’s been a couple of months, actually, so apologies for those few of you (or those non-existent of you) who have been eagerly waiting 😛

Since this is likely to be a very long entry, I’ve decided to break it up into several parts, so as not to overwhelm you all with too much TL/DR. I had meant to keep up with this blog much better this year, but for one reason or another that hasn’t panned out.

But, here I am now, so take what you can get 😉

When last we left off, I was writing to you from Varadero, Cuba, while on a Xmas vacation with my fam. The rest of the trip went great, and we spent Xmas day on the beach, returning home on Boxing Day. We did have a couple of days that were a little rainy and overcast, but overall it was a great trip, and I can’t wait to go back next year.

After returning, we spent the week relaxing (or at least I did, as I still had another week off of work), and meeting up with extended family and friends to do the delayed Xmas thing. We stayed in for NYE, deciding that since we spent Xmas out of the country we could do a low-key New Year’s. I fired up the red-neck smoker, smoked up some salmon and ribs and steak, and we had a bit of a feast while watching classic gangster movies until it was time to watch the ball drop with the kids.

The only unfortunate thing about NYE was I could feel the flu coming on, and though it wasn’t too bad at that point, it ended up being a really nasty bought of the “plague” that I was in for.

On New Year’s Day, we went out to the county for family brunch at my Mom’s. That was an experience in and of itself. Those of you who have been following along with my blog for the past year will remember the incident we had a year ago with my cowardly brother, who lost his shit on me at my mom’s 75th birthday, and ended up embarrassing himself in front of my extended family. You’ll also remember that he hadn’t shown up for any other family event since, not even the one held at his own restaurant.

Embarrassment at his own behaviour and fear of confronting me kept him away, much to my mother’s disappointment, as that meant she couldn’t see all of her grandchildren at the same time. She’d spent the past year trying to convince my coward of a brother to come to the various family get-togethers we’ve had, but he always had some bullshit excuse.

Well, she somehow managed to convince him to join us all for brunch on New Year’s Day, but of course, the asshole wouldn’t attend unless we all agreed to some ground rules. The rules were that none of us were supposed to talk to him or to mention what had happened last time out.

I was incensed, but they convinced me to play nice for my mother’s sake. It made for the most awkward of brunches ever. Basically, my man-child brother and his nanny/wife sat at the opposite end of the long table, sullenly playing with their phones and ignoring the rest of us, who were busy having a decent time despite them. My daughter had brought along her boyfriend, and my brother and his wife did not make the greatest of impressions on him as I’m sure you could guess.

I managed to restrain myself and didn’t start anything, though I really did want to. I came close several times, but my daughter and my wife did their utmost to calm me down and let things go.

I do plan to settle things with him eventually, whether verbally or physically, but I do have to admit I’m enjoying the fact that everyone else seems to be coming around and admitting that my little brother has been turned into a giant douche by his narcissistic and controlling wife.

They left early, because of course they would, without acknowledging their nieces and nephews, both my and my sister’s kids, which at this point didn’t really care. Once they had gone, I had it out with my mom and sister, letting them know that I wouldn’t be put through that again and that next time I happen to bump into my little brother, I’ll be giving him a very big piece of my mind and then some.

I haven’t seen or interacted with my li’l brother since, lucky for him.

Unfortunately, the first few weeks of the new year were not stellar. As I mentioned, I had come down with this year’s version of the flu (serves me right for not getting the shot this year), and that laid me up for a good two weeks.

We had to go back to work on the 2nd, which for the midnight shift meant the night of the 1st, and that’s when the plague decided to kick in full force. I sweated out the next two nights at work, miserable AF, and then didn’t leave the couch unless absolutely necessary.

We worked the first full week of January, and other than trying to make it through my shifts hopped up to my eyeballs on cold and flu meds, I didn’t accomplish much. The plague had spread to my wife as well, so when not at work, you could find us bundled up on the couch alternately napping or watching Netflix, and trying to sweat out the bug.

By the end of the week, things were looking better for both of us. The bug seemed to have run its course, and we were on the back-end of it when of course, something else came up.

I began having weird… let’s say stomach issues. At first, I thought it was just the last of the flu bug trying to hang on, but the experience was decidedly different. We were laid off of work for the next two weeks, and though this new situation wasn’t debilitating, after a few days, it started to worry me.

After about a week of this new weirdness, I decided I’d give things the weekend to see if it cleared up, and then I’d go and see a doctor. It didn’t clear up.

I was beginning to worry that I might have brought back some bug from Cuba with me, so when Monday rolled around, I decided to have myself checked out. On the recommendation of a friend, I went to a walk-in clinic I’d never been to, as getting in to see my family doctor is always a bit of a chore.

The doctor listened to everything I had to say and then sent me for some tests. Well, many tests. They took quite a bit of blood, asked me to provide some other “samples”, one of which was rather unpleasant, and told me to book myself in for an ultrasound. I wasn’t expecting that level of rigmarole surrounding my ailment, but I rolled with it.

The next morning, while out running some errands, I received a frantic call from the clinic. They wanted me to come in and get re-tested, and also wanted me to get the ultrasound done ASAP. The note of urgency in the receptionist’s voice threw me into a bit of a panic, but I went in as soon as I could and gave them yet more of myself. This time there were even more blood tests, and again with the other embarrassing sample missions, and they booked me in for an ultrasound for the very next day.

It turns out the issue was they thought I might have been suffering from an inflamed pancreas, though I had absolutely no complaints of soreness or pain in my abdomen whatsoever. Still, I went through with all of the testing, and fasted and went for my ultrasound the next day.

So, to make a long story short, I didn’t have an inflamed pancreas. The second round of tests showed nothing abnormal, I didn’t have a bug from Cuba, and all my abdominal organs looked fine on my ultrasound. All of that blood and sample giving, all of that panic was for naught.

They didn’t even give me anything to help clear up the issue I went in there for in the first place, but thankfully, that began to clear up on its own over the next couple of days. It’s still a mystery to me what it might have been, but I figure I should just be glad it’s over, and I’ve felt pretty good for the most part since.

I probably won’t be going back to that clinic again, though.

Throughout all of that, I didn’t manage to get any writing in. I had been writing steadily all the way up to our trip, and then while we were on vacation, but once we got back, and especially once I got ill, that kind of went by the wayside.

In fact, pretty much everything got pushed to the back burner. Those of you who have been reading along over the past year and change know that I’m a pretty active person, with at least a project or three on the go. I’m either working on my greenhouse, crafting a new cosplay, doing home reno’s or working on some other fun/crazy project.

All of the projects I had on the go languished while I was ill, and I didn’t work on much of anything new either, which as you know was unusual for me. I mean, yes, I was sick for a few weeks, but I could still move, and there were days when I did feel well enough to work on things, I just had no motivation.

While I do have motivation issues still, the current reason is something I’ll get into later, but at that point, there were a couple of things lurking in my immediate future that contributed to my sense of melancholy.

One was my approaching 50th Birthday.

… To be continued in Pt. II…

 

#NaNoWriMo

Final NaNo Word Count – 56,095
Current Word Count – 70,448

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