Crazy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

As many of you know, the past few months have been… trying. There was Kyle’s summer lacrosse tournaments and subsequent visits to college campuses, my heart palpitations, the hospital visit, and the ensuing heart monitor, and the prostate cancer scare.

The bacon bits sprinkled onto this crap salad has been the stress of Christmas, and the fact we are moving my mother into a residence this weekend because her memory is fading fast.

As a result, I have a few bad days interspersed between the good ones. By that I mean, there are some days where I feel the depression creeping back in. I am not at that threshold yet, but since I share pretty much everything here, I wanted to make a note of it.

While shopping Saturday, I stopped in the parking lot and cried for five minutes. I have no idea why, but I think it was the stress of the day. It was the only time in the last six months where I thought to reach for the Zoloft. I truly believe this is the culmination of my health problems, and I was never able to stop and take in all the bad news. That’s my m.o. – I hold things inside until the kettle boils, and when it does, I kinda lose it, emotionally.

I got past it, and for the most part I’m having many more good days than bad. I also know if it gets to be too much, I’m headed to the psychiatrist again.

The fact I haven’t been able to walk/jog for nearly two weeks because of the weather doesn’t help, either.

The reason I mention this is because I have been more or less scarce on the blog. I’ve been trying to respond to comments and such, but honestly, it hasn’t been a priority. Today is my last day before my two-week Christmas vacation, so I should be back to normal very soon.

Again, this isn’t a cry for help or sympathy; it’s to let you know I understand what’s going on inside my head and I am addressing it.

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Four On The Floor

Yesterday, much of the east coast suffered through Snowmageddon. The local weather douchebags predicted a coating to an inch, only to be washed away by rush hour.

Spoiler alert: they were wrong. Again.

Instead, Philly – like my high school girlfriends – caught between three to five inches. Normally that wouldn’t be an issue, but I guess since we were told we were getting nothing, the idiocy came out in droves. Thousands of people in my awful city fled work early, clogging the roads with teh stoopid.

Worse still, the local municipalities believed these plastic-haired bimbos and decided there was no need to salt or plow the roads. By time they realized, “Hey, all those mass transit buses are wiping out and sliding into ditches” it was too late. The damage had been done.

I left work at 2:45pm. It usually takes me no more than thirty minutes to drive home. Remember that.

Continue reading “Four On The Floor”

Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit my primary care physician to follow-up on my heart trouble. It’s been two weeks since my ticker went into overdrive, and while my cardiologist appointment is still two weeks away, this was a good time to make sure everything is okay.

The doc did his usual poking and prodding, checked my vitals and went over the cardiologist’s report. While I had a few premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) after I was released, I haven’t had many since. Actually the one I had Wednesday was the first I’ve experienced in almost a week, so I was feeling good.

Then the doctor turned to me and said, “I think it would be a good idea to fit you with a heart monitor until your cardiologist appointment.”

Eh, what?

Maybe I dozed off, but the doctor had just explained to me the PVCs were not serious, and my heart was very healthy. Dude, either I’m okay, or I’m not. What gives?

The doctor left the room to call the cardiologist, and came back to tell me they both agree. The reasoning behind the move is they want to track any PVCs from now until the appointment, so the cardiologist can better evaluate what’s happening. So now I get to be part cyborg for a fortnight, and who wouldn’t want that?

Naturally, I had a PVC incident about three minutes after I left the office, because of course I would. I’m attributing it to the stress of the day.

Wild At Heart

“Don’t let them bury me! I’m not dead!”

Well, not yet, anyway. The past few days have been stressful, to say the least. I was finally discharged from the hospital yesterday around 5pm, after twenty-four hours of misery. Here are the post-game highlights:

Wednesday night was patently awful. I met with the E.R. doctor, then a cardiologist – I really shouldn’t have a cardiologist at the age of 49. The cardiologist’s last name was lax – which in the sports world is short for lacrosse – so I figured karma was on my side. I explained my symptoms and my family history, so he decided an overnight observation would be the best course of action. I was sent for a chest x-ray, which came back negative, then had dinner brought to my room at 6pm. (Holy Redeemer Hospital’s food is actually very good, for the record.)

From 6pm through 8am, I was woken for vital sign checks and bloodletting. That usually isn’t a major deal for me, except the schedules were off. Both were done every four hours, but vitals and blood were two hours apart, so I was woken up every two hours. I don’t believe I had more than a total of three hours sleep that night, so… fun.

Continue reading “Wild At Heart”

The Heart Of The Matter

Well, it’s been two years since I was last hospitalized, and I missed it so much, I figured I’d return.

On Tuesday night, I left work, headed home, and sat by the computer to put up some posts. While typing, I noticed my heart – yes, I possess one – was beating very quickly and I felt a tightness in my left chest. Me being me, I ignored it… and the two other events that evening.

Wednesday morning I woke up and picked up Erik at school. He got out early for the PSATs. While in the car, it happened again, but this time the heartbeat was heavier and faster. So was the pressure.

That was it. Mrs. Earp drove me to the hospital, and after a chest x-ray, blood tests and meetings with the ER doc and a cardiologist, they put me on a heart monitor and kept me overnight.

Today I get a heart scan and a stress test. Hoprfully, the monitor will catch the events and the docs can see the problem and rectify it. If not, I’ll have to wear a heart monitor for a few weeks.

So, how was your day?

Tired And Re-Tired

So let me tell you about my yesterday…

Monday was my first day back after the cyst removal. My stitches are still laced through my skull and the headaches are still bothersome, but I sucked it up. On Tuesday morning, despite my better judgment, I woke up early and decided to address my tire situation. The front passenger side tire of my beloved Saturn VUE has been suffering a slow – read: fast – leak, and in two days went from 35psi to 14psi.

So I trekked to the local tire shop – I won’t give the name because they’re usually top-notch – arrived at 9am, and asked them to replace the tire. No fuss, no muss… for any normal person.

Since this is me, a simple exchange of money-for-services became a nightmare. First, the man at the front desk was a noob. It was literally his first day. The guy claimed it would be an hour – in fairness, they were busy – but could be as long as an hour and a half. No biggie, at least I’d be home for lunch.

While sitting in the lobby, I scoured the interwebz while ABC’s awful morning program blared from the only television. (My god, The View is an awful, awful show.) An hour and a half transformed into two hours, and the noob kept telling me, “You’re next on the lift.” My headache was competing with my stress level for most annoying internal malady.

At the two and a half hour mark, the noob came out to tell me they didn’t have my tire size. This after telling me – twice – it was in stock, and after my SUV was high on the lift. But it was okay, because the noob said he could get me a tire – by driving two hours (round trip) to the closest store with my size.

It’s as if my Saturn VUE was the Ark of the Covenant, and no ordinary tire would do. No, they needed one of gilded gold with diamond studs.

Hour three featured the local news – something I haven’t watched in years – and the appearance of the assistant manager, who sheepishly told me the noob read my tire size incorrectly. In fact, the tire was not two hours away, it was two feet away, sitting on the rack.

After apologizing profusely, the assistant manager replaced my tire, gave me a discount, and got me back on the road in only four and a half hours. It was just enough time to get home, shower, and rush back to work. Hooray for me!

Men At Work

Well, it’s been six days since my cyst extraction, and while I still have another week before the (blue) stitches can be removed, I am attempting to return to work this evening.

Why, you ask? Well, partially because I don’t want to take two weeks’ worth of sick time, and partially because I am going stir crazy at home. The doctor said I can’t bend over for a few days, I can’t walk or jog, I can’t sleep on my right side, etc., etc. In short, all I can do is sit down at the TV, computer, or by a window like Grandpa Simpson.

Now while that may seem like a dream to many of you, my personality – certifiably crazy and hopped up on Mountain Dew – will not allow me to do that. I’ve been trying to do things around the house, and after fifteen minutes I get dizzy. I go outside to trim bushes or pick things up and the headaches start. I figure if I go to work and sit at my desk, I’ll be following doctor’s orders. More or less.

So I’m giving it the old college try, and if – or when – I start feeling awful, you’ll all know you were right and I was wrong.

Besides, Julia accidentally sneezed into my stitches Friday night, so work can’t be much more unsanitary.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

While we didn’t need to be out of our beach house until Saturday morning, we followed normal Earp protocol and left Friday evening. The twelve hours before our departure were a whirlwind of relaxation, activity, and stress.

I wasn’t able to get to sleep until 1am the night before, and the sun burned my retinas at 7am. I malfunction with less than seven hours’ sleep, so I knew Friday would be a tough go. Mrs. Earp, ever the angel, bought donuts from the bakery, and after scarfing one, I considered walking/jogging the promenade – Sea Isle City’s version of the boardwalk. I got up from the chair and immediately canceled those plans, as I was still sore from the previous day’s jog.

Mrs. Earp wanted an early day at the beach, so we – eventually – dragged the kids out of bed by 10:30. By 11 or so, we were sitting on the beach. Our last day was our best beach day – of course – with very few shells, fairly calm waves, and warm water. Julia, our Little Mermaid – spent most of our six-hour stay in the water, and despite reminding myself I saw Jaws as a child – lousy parents – I stayed with her in the water for much of the day.

By time we were headed home, my kickass straw cowboy hat – which I’ve had for years – was ruined from salt water and sand, my right shoulder was thrown out after a few days of throwing the frisbee, and my knees were destroyed by the waves. Between the wear and tear and the lack of sleep, I just wanted to lie down.

No such luck…

Continue reading “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”

In The Heat Of The Night

I gotta stop this exercise crap.

I have been walking/jogging five miles a day nearly every day this summer. I’ve had 399 workouts for 176 miles so far, and with the exception of the occasional knee/back pain, things have been going swimmingly – or it is walkingly? I feel better and I’m down from 212 pounds in the spring to 190 yesterday.

Yesterday was the problem.

I spent the late afternoon cleaning the shed, but the heat index was 100 degrees. Add in the shed’s vent windows weren’t open, if felt much hotter inside. The shed needed straightening and we needed to reach our beach equipment, as summer vacation is fast approaching. After about an hour’s work, I was sweating profusely and my shirt was soaked.

I went in for dinner – the kids wanted pizza – so I knew I needed to walk/job afterward, lest I pack on the pounds. I felt okay starting, but by mile three (much of it jogging) everything gave out. My legs didn’t feel like moving and I started feeling dizzy. Unfortunately I was still a good two miles from home, and since Kevin and Julia were at karate, I couldn’t have the missus get me.

So I walked home. It sucked.

By time I got home, I logged in 5.36 miles in an hour and nine minutes. I was sweating profusely, and even with the water bottle I felt unwell. I sat down on the patio and drank two more bottles of water, hoping to restart my engine. Even Kyle ran to the store for me to grab a bottle of Gatorade. After cooling off, taking a shower, and lying down, all was back to semi-normal.

Naturally the missus scolded me for getting dehydrated, but in my defense, I always take water with me. My guess is since I haven’t had an off day in over two weeks, ager and the heat caught up with me. Today is an off day, even though I’d rather be out there walking the streets like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.

It’s A Mental Health Day!

To quote the immortal Ferris Bueller, “I’m taking the day off.”

I’m taking the day off from the blog because I cannot take the day off from my career. Allow me to explain.

Since I took two weeks vacation during Christmas, the weather has gotten worse – snow is omnipresent here lately – we lost two detectives to other units – bringing the squad number to ten detectives from its usual fifteen – and I have spent the week in court.

Yesterday was my day off, and after coming home from court, I spent much of the day sleeping and shivering. In short, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I don’t feel like blogging, I don’t feel like going to court, and I don’t feel like doing, well, anything.

I don’t think this is the depression seeping back; I think I just need rest. I’ve been averaging five hours’ sleep since the trial started, and I need a day to recharge.

Everything will be back to normal tomorrow, and regular postings will resume. Thanks for your understanding.