Category: complaints

Sweating the Small Stuff

If there’s one thing I could change about me, it’s probably my tendency to stress out too much about small things that don’t really matter. (Okay, maybe that’s not the only thing I’d change, but it made for a good intro to this post.) Case in point: this last Memorial Day, Denisa and I had a cookout with the kids. The only problem? I almost never use my grill, and so I’m far from comfortable when it comes time to put it into action.

You’d figure most normal people wouldn’t be too worried about something like that. After all, it’s a private family dinner, no one else is going to be there, and if things go wrong, what’s the big deal? But I just couldn’t seem to not worry about it. Was I lighting the charcoal the right way? Was it hot enough? Were the burgers cooking right? Were they too burnt? It sounds silly to write it all now (and I felt silly for feeling that way at the time), but I was seriously getting upset about those things. To the point that I was grouchy with my family and had a hard time relaxing.

Second case in point: my dislike of flying. It’s something I know is silly. It’s something I can recognize as being unfounded. I’ve been on planes plenty of times, they’ve always gotten me where I wanted to go (sooner or later), but I just can’t seem to talk myself down from being anxious each time I know I have to fly. It takes me out of commission for the days leading up to the trip. Once I’m parked and past security, I’m usually a lot better. I don’t know why.

Both situations are facets of the same thing. I just get so worked up about things that there’s no need to be worked up about. I can mentally acknowledge it, and I can wish I were different, but I haven’t been able to actually do anything to correct it.

So I turn to you, smart friends of mine. Are there any experiences like that you have, where you know the easy solution (“just get over it”), but you can’t seem to apply it? It’s not like I let it stop me from doing things (most of the time), but I sure would appreciate it if I could figure out a way to get this part of me straightened out.


A Real Pain in the Foot

(Name that movie!) Hey–I haven’t complained about my health all year, so I was figuring you all were beginning to wonder if I’d been swapped with a doppelgänger. Have no fear. I’m here to put that rumor to rest, while simultaneously building off my “foot theme” from yesterday. I’m a man of many facets–what can I say?

For all the various aches and pains I’ve had over my years, one thing that never really bothered me were my fee (when they’re not being cold). They were sturdy, stalwart companions who went about their business, day in and day out, doing what they did best: letting me walk around places so I could do cool things. It’s not a glamorous job. There’s a lot of sweaty, smelly working conditions, the hours are long, and they never really got too much in the way of pay raises or even Christmas bonuses. (Seriously. Who wants socks for Christmas? Ironic, isn’t it.)

But they didn’t mind. They just did what they did best, and every know and then I’d give them a scratch or a foot rub, and we called it good.

Then, last year, I upped the ante. I started that whole “jogging in place” thing. And to be honest, I never really talked that idea over with my feet. I just kind of assumed, you know? And to make matters worse, I didn’t even let them do it in anything so cushy as a sneaker. I used my regular shoes. My normal, worn out and getting worner, shoes. In my defense, the plan was to get new shoes for Christmas. I even had those shoes in my possession. I was only waiting for Christmas morning for their unwrapping.

And I guess that was too much for my poor feet. The right one, at least. He finally threw in the towel and went on strike.

A week or so before Christmas, my right heel flared up with severe pain. Pain that just hung around and wouldn’t go away. I tried to walk it out. Tried to ignore it. But I soon discovered there are some pains in this world that demand attention. That cannot be ignored. (Plus, it was putting a serious cramp in my whole “exercise” thing. I didn’t want to risk getting sick because I couldn’t exercise regularly.)

So I went to the doctor. (While I was there, I asked about my headaches, as well. Just in case you were wondering still. Two birds, one doctor visit.)

The verdict? Plantar Fasciitis. And it might be here for a while. Thankfully, I got some insoles for my shoes (and finally cracked open the new pair), and my feet are feeling better-ish. Weeks later, it still hurts (especially in the evening), and I have to hobble around some, but it’s so much better than it was. (Imagine having an open wound in the bottom of your foot, just in front of your heel. It was kind of like that, but without the blood.)

Moral of the story? I no longer take my feet for granted. They have been promoted to full and active partners in my daily life, and they now get the respect they deserve. (And the socks to boot.)

Even if they still have to keep working in dark, smelly environments.

A Brave New Headache

I’ve experienced a fair range of headaches through my life. Virtual headaches, like reinstalling operating systems when your computer goes horribly wrong. Real headaches, like the awful migraines I get every year or two. Small headaches that pop up in the afternoon. Eye strain headaches. Stress headaches.

Me and headaches. We go way back.

Which is why last night was so strange. I’d been feeling really tired and worn out for the last while–it’s the final push for Denisa to finish teaching her classes, and we’ve had all the Christmas preparations to do in addition to that, plus work . . . I don’t want to whine here too much, so let’s just say it’s been busy. I stayed in bed the whole morning, asleep. I woke up refreshed and in a good mood. Then, around 4 o’clock, I started getting a headache that ran in a strip down the left side of my head–like someone had painted a stripe of pain from my left eyeball, up my scalp, and down to the back of my head. It wasn’t intense, but it was annoying.

Still, there were no visual auras that come with migraines, so I just dismissed the headache and went about taking a lazy Sunday.

Except the headache didn’t want to be dismissed. It gathered its forces and dug in right behind my left eyeball, and then it started drilling. Quite literally. It felt like someone was jabbing something through my head back there.

But like I said, I know me some headaches. I ignored it. Watched a movie. Read a book. Checked fantasy football scores–anything to keep my mind off that pain.

Around 5, I finally gave in and took some ibuprofen. That’s usually the biggest sign that my headache is bad: when I’m willing to take drugs to try and dull the pain.

The headache laughed at my puny efforts, and kept drilling.

What followed was anything but pretty. Was I writhing in pain? Yup. For hours on end? Yup. I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say it was like a migraine without all the special effects. No numbness, no aura. Just pain pain pain.

Yeah. It was an interesting Sunday.

I’m mostly better now, thankfully. Just really drained and exhausted. Severe pain for that long really takes a lot out of you. I’ve done a bit of Googling, and I still have no idea what this headache was. The symptoms sound like a cluster headache, but those happen repeatedly. Does this mean I can expect another one soon? I really hope not.

Anyone out there have any experience with headaches like this? How do you treat them when they come? I’d love to know how to avoid another yesterday . . .

How Deep Does the Mouse Hole Go?

Okay, peoples. This stuff just got real. The internet company finally(!) sent someone out to figure out what was wrong with our connection. It didn’t take them too long: they went around pulling on wires until they found one that jerked a little too easily.

A mouse had chewed right through it.

That’s right. My mouse problem and my internet problem are *one and the same*!

Words fail to capture the exact feelings of loathing and hatred coursing through my veins when it comes to mice at the moment. Suffice it to say that I’ve ordered an additional 20 traps of various shapes and sizes. They’ll be arriving Friday, and Operation Mouse Eradication will be escalated to Code Red.

It’s a small comfort, but as I’ve talked to other people in the area, it seems like mice have been especially bad this year in many places. Maybe we had too good of a summer? I have no idea. But I do know that these rodents must go. (Not that I didn’t know they had to go before. In a way, I feel like the US Government, where the only way I can show just how serious I am about something is to go and spend more money on it, despite the fact that all my money spending to date hasn’t done a blessed thing to stop the problem. Thanks for pointing that out, smarty pants.)

And no–a cat still isn’t a viable option. I know you people love ’em, but I think they stink and they’re annoying. In other news, I’m not in a particularly good mood at the moment. Can you tell?

All mice must die!

Living in the Dark Ages

Early last week, the internet at my house went down. I wasn’t too concerned. It was likely just a router issue–happens all too often–so I went and reset it.

That didn’t fix the problem.

This escalated the problem from minor concern to minor annoyance. I was going to have to call the internet peoples and have them perform their voodoo on the connection. And they were probably going to want me to hook my laptop up directly to the router instead of just using the wireless, which meant I’d have to find an ethernet cable somewhere. It is a hard life I lead, what can I say? So I picked up the phone and called tech support.

Fifteen minutes later, I set the phone down, stunned.

The voodoo hadn’t worked. They were going to have to put in a ticket to “escalate the support.”

Normally, this would mean a day or two more of no internet. But at the moment, my internet company is kind of on strike. Well, no “kind of” about it. It’s been going on since October 16th, and I have no idea when it’s going to end. I do know that in the meantime, the odds of my downed internet being escalated anywhere other than nowhere are “slim to none.”

What does this mean?

It means all my internet use at home is down to the trickle I sip through my phone. It means no Netflix, no streaming music, no news updates, no playing any online games, no checking upcoming movie trailers, no watching any sports. In a nutshell, it means I have a lot more time on my hands, if you want to get all “glass is half full on me.” I’ve been reduced to watching my DVD/Bluray collection people. Physical media!

I think I just saw fire and brimstone raining outside my window. I think the world may be ending. Not that I’d know about it on time, since I have no internet at my house.

Somehow, I’ll see my way through this. It might require massive amounts of chocolate, but thankfully Halloween has provided me with an abundance of the stuff by way of the Dad Tax on my children’s seven pounds of candy. (Seven pounds, folks. Count ’em.) In the meantime, any and all care packages are welcome, though calls to the Red Cross to send assistance are probably just a tad premature.

Thank goodness I have an internet connection at work . . .

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