Saturday, August 9, 2014

Just What I Needed

Today we spent several hours with friends at a bbq. It was a good day. It was just what I needed because yesterday was a crappy day.

Yesterday was the culmination of a bunch of frustrating things that come along with life after a spinal cord injury.

I started off yesterday morning by re-organizing my "to do" list. Every so often I have to start over completely with my list because priorities change, things drop off, etc. But lately I've been keeping my list going in my head. It had gotten to the point that too much was piling up in my brain causing some to spill over into the land of "Gah! I forgot to do that!" So I got a pen and started writing.

By the time I finished and looked over my list, I let out a sound that was somewhere between a whimper and gag of disgust. How did this list get so long? How could I possibly get through all this? When am I going to get time to do all this? It was only 7:30 am, and I was already feeling overwhelmed.

The time factor is a big one for me. I work 40 hours a week during standard business hours. And the stuff on my to do list often requires that I contact other business that also operate during standard business hours. You can see my predicament.

This means as much as I would like to take on several of the items on my list per day, I just can't.

And so the list grows.

I decided to tackle an item requiring me to contact a government agency. My frustration was already revving up. I had called a couple days before, so I knew which buttons to push to get me into the proper queue. I was pleasantly surprised when the automated system told me I could leave my callback number rather than stay on hold, and someone would call ME back in 30-45 minutes. Sweet. I punched in my number, hung up, and waited for my call.

My phone rang.


The automated callback system HUNG UP ON ME.

Head in hands - close to tears.

The phone rang again ten minutes later.

"Is anyone there? Can you hear me?"

"CRAP!" (Please note that what I actually said was much worse than this).

After more cursing and some stomping around, I decided to move to the next item on the list ... and the next.

Each item was met with more frustrations. Incompetent, unresponsive people (how do these people keep their jobs? Seriously?). The silver lining on my list was provided by a very nice customer service rep who was able to process several refills for Jeff's medications, though she wasn't able to help me with figuring out why half of Jeff's medicine comes to us via mail, and the other half I have to pick up at the CVS down the street.

Well, at least I was able to cross one thing off.

Yesterday was a clerical nightmare. Looked at individually, the items aren't big things. But when they add up, and when I can't seem to make a dent in my list, I feel unproductive and defeated.

I went to bed last night feeling frustrated - about how this injury has upended our life - about all the sh** I have to handle on a daily basis in order for us to have a relatively smooth existence - about how some days it's all just too much to deal with.

Luckily my pity party didn't survive the night and my frustrations melted away today with a well-timed bbq with some great people. We met up with the families who were all at the beach with us the day of Jeff's accident - plus another family we hadn't seen in a long time.

Despite the obvious difference from the last time we were all together, it was a pretty normal day. And that's what we need right now - to feel normal. Especially Jeff. He loved hanging out with his friends. Talking, being goofy, laughing. He wasn't able to do that for so, so long, and it feels good to get back in the game.

Here's some pics from our afternoon:






After we got home, Jeff and I joked about yet another "flawless victory." That's what we call an outing/scenario that we pull off which ends with everyone safe and happy and provides a feeling of accomplishment.

It was a good reminder for me that I don't need to be bullied by my "to do" list. 

I didn't do a thing on it today, and I don't plan on even looking at it tomorrow.

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