Friday, October 08, 2021

Some Updates

So, it has been awhile.

A lot has happened and my weekends just never seemed to have time for a blog post.

I'm not sure if my Saturday mornings will eventually settle down again and I'll be able to bring Weekend Reading posts back. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. I've decided I have to just let things evolve for a bit and see where I land.


Let's start this update with something unequivocally good. Petunia turned 12 last weekend. We got her first covid shot on her birthday. She hates shots in a way that approaches a phobia but she wanted her shot as soon as she could get it. She also wanted it done first thing on her birthday so that the dread of the event didn't hang over too much of her birthday. After much searching I found a place where I could get her an appointment without lying on the form that would become the basis of her online vaccine record and we got her shot at about 9 a.m. on her birthday. She'd requested Krispy Kreme doughnuts as her shot reward and a birthday treat, so we had those waiting for us when we got home. 

She had her birthday all planned out, culminating in a party in our backyard. After much discussion, we'd found a covid-safe party option that she was excited about. We rented an inflatable big screen and projector and she watched a movie in our backyard with some of her friends. It all went beautifully.

The big screen

I am so glad she got the birthday she wanted because the pandemic has been hard for her. It was nice to see her so happy.


In other pretty good news, Petunia has also started taking ballet classes. My online searching yielded exactly one class for beginners her age in San Diego. It is in Balboa Park, so there is a side benefit that my husband and I have had dinner out in Balboa Park for the last few weeks. We eat at Panama 66 at the Sculpture Garden and it is delightful. Also, Petunia is loving ballet so far and it turns out ballet buns are pretty easy to do.


In less unambiguously good news... Petunia's hamster had to have surgery last week. We noticed some blood Sunday evening and after an anxious night, I called the vet Monday morning. He quickly diagnosed a uterine tumor and said the solution was to spay her. Since she is "just" a hamster he presented the option of doing nothing, but I couldn't stomach that. She would have slowly bled to death. We could afford the surgery so we got her the surgery and she came through great. She had to go back to the vet yesterday because she's been a bit lethargic, sleeping much more than usual, and not eating her favorite treats. She had chewed off one set of stitches, but those were apparently just the surface stitches and the vet didn't think the incision was infected. Still, he gave us some cream to put on her tummy and some antibiotics to give her and she already seems to be improving a bit. She is a much loved hamster and we are watching her anxiously, hoping she is back to her usual energetic self soon.


In just downright ambiguous news... something may or may not be up with my heart. I've had a couple of instances of irregular heartbeat in the last few months. On the second instance, I thought to put my pulse oximeter on my finger and discovered my heart rate was also alarmingly high. I went to urgent care after the first incident and was pronounced completely normal. I didn't bother the second time because the incident was over within about 5 minutes but got told off for that by my doctor who thinks I should call 911 and go to the ER if it happens again. I am not at all enthused about showing up to the ER 15 minutes after an incident has resolved and I am no longer "emergent" because I think that will mean I'll spend hours in a waiting room surrounded by people with COVID. So hopefully I don't have another incident.

I did buy a personal EKG monitor that works with my cell phone, though, so that if it does happen I can try to capture some data that might tell the doctors what is going on. (This is what I bought. It is pretty cool even though so far all my readings have been normal.)

I have also had some short periods of chest tightness which might be something new or might be asthma or might be stress... it is so hard to know what to think. 

My doctor also ordered a Holter monitor (which is essentially a portable EKG) which I had to wear all day yesterday. I didn't have an irregular heartbeat incident but I did have a few periods of the short feeling of chest tightness. I will be interested to see what the monitor readings show, but I am not getting my hopes up for any answers.


Back to the unequivocally good news... we had solar panels and a battery installed last month. They had their final inspection last week and were made operational a couple of days ago and so as I type, the lights in my house are being kept on by our battery. We have a fancy app that shows how much power is coming from (or going to) the solar panels, the battery, and the grid. Today was a sunny day and the panels produced enough power to keep our house running, charge the battery, and send some power to the grid. It will be fun to see what our power usage will be over a longer period of time and figure out what the best settings for our system are and when we should charge our car now. We had been charging in the middle of the night when power was cheapest but maybe now we'll charge in the middle of the day when the power is free!


I think that's the main news here. Work is still too busy and a bit fraught. I am hoping to fix it soon but there are some unusual circumstances that are legitimately slowing things down. I'm not sure how long I'll give my management to sort this out, though, especially if I decide the heart issues are aggravated (or perhaps even caused) by stress. At some point, I will have to stop being patient and understanding and get the changes I need even if that means running a job search and finding a new job. I hope it doesn't come to that!


Share your updates, theories about what is going on with my heart, and random other things in the comments!