What Annoys Jeff this Week?

1. Masks. Yes, I know they make at least a marginal amount of sense, but that reality just doesn’t make wearing one to conduct day to day business any less annoying. That’s mostly because I can’t social distance while wearing my mask. Despite the various application of dish detergent, shaving cream, and other home remedies, my glasses are fogged over and I literally can’t tell a stationary person apart from a soda machine.

2. Hummingbird feeder. I put out the hummingbird feeders a few days ago. Because I have “less processed” sugar that’s about the color of nice beach sand, it looks for all the world like I’ve hung bottled urine in my backyard. Very soon thereafter I also learned that you should only use normal white sugar for hummingbird feeders, so the whole issue turned out to be a short lived and regrettable test run for actual spring feeder deployment.

3. Maybe the thing that surprised me most about how people are individually responding to the Great Plague is what I’ve started thinking of as the general lack of ability or interest in seeing the long view, opting instead to focus on the next day or week. Maybe I’ve always known people en mass tend to be short sighted pleasure seekers, but I was happily oblivious to how little thought they were putting in to the months and years ahead. So many seem to be bumbling through the day-to-day without any thought at all about what lies beyond that brief horizon. I’m not saying the here and now isn’t important, but hey, maybe cast an eye out towards the future every now and then.

What I Did on My Furlough Day (Part 3 of 11)

Someone furloughed shouldn’t be working as hard as I am. I got up at 6:30 this morning (Hush, that is sleeping in for people who normally wake up around 5:00), drank a pot of coffee, emailed my usual anti-furlough rant to the members of the Maryland Congressional delegation. I thought about calling them out on Facebook and Twitter, but thought better of it since I was on a schedule. I was on a schedule because I had my six month check up with the ol’ sawbones this morning. Ironically, I picked this doctor at least in part because his practice is not far from the office so it would be easy to slip out and back for appointments. Being Furlough Friday, of course, I believe I have discovered a flaw in what was an otherwise logical arrangement. And, please, don’t get me started on their rescheduling the appointment from yesterday to today with about 18 hours notice.

I could turn this into a long story, but I won’t. As usual the doc is annoyed that my blood pressure is good, blood sugar is well within tolerance, and the acid reflux has been gone now for well over a year without meds. They pulled blood in the hopes of finding something wrong, but I have no reason to expect it will come back as anything but “normal” as it always has in the past. So it was a typical visit – lose weight, less meat, nothing over 10g of sugar.

OK, look, doc. At some point we’re going to have to have a serious discussion about not just health, but also quality of life. Maybe if I eat nothing but tofu, almond milk, and salad with no dressing for the rest of my days I’ll live to be 106… but I’m not sure 71 years without steak, pizza, craft beer, or blue cheese dressing is a world I wish to inhabit. Sure, I’d be alive, but I’m not sure I’d really be living.

Not indestructible…

I’ve been going to the doctor alot lately. Probably more often in the last two months than in the last five or ten years combined. It seems that, and alot of years of hard living and not are coming home to roost. What started off as a simple complaint of not sleeping and extreme thirst have become a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes. Not what I wanted to hear on Friday afternoon, but not hard to predict with my love of all things sweet and carb-y. My A1C wasn’t quite off the charts, but high enough to get a “wow” from Dr. Good News. My blood sugar came in north of 180 and I know it’s gone higher than that in the last month… I didn’t get a “wow” for that one.

So yeah, Dr. Killjoy sat me down for the come-to-Jesus talk about getting right with my diet and less than casual acquaintance with exercise (apparently walking from the truck to the office doesn’t count). I’m pretty sure he was trying to scare me straight with talk about insulin, but my pain avoidance instinct is strong enough to want to avoid the needle if at all possible. I guess we’ll burn that bridge when we get to it. For the time being, I have a stack of new meds and will be hoping for better living through chemistry.

Last night was the great cleaning of the pantry – out with carb-y noms like cereal, pasta, juices, pop tarts, my beloved gummy bears, and maybe worst of all, the Blue Moon that was chilling in the fridge. I’ve got a fridge now full of dairy, protein, and vegetables – most of which I have no idea how to actually cook. It’s really like looking into someone else’s kitchen. Of course that’s nothing compared to the looks I’ve been giving the exercise bike that now lives in the spare bedroom – because, let’s face it, even on pain of death, I’m not bloody likely to go walk around the neighborhood in the cold. Exercise that can be done while watching TV seemed like something I would at least be able to tolerate.

I’m uneasy with change as a matter of principle and the change being called for here is no small order. It’s basically undoing just about every habit I’ve developed over the last 15 years. Apparently I’m not indestructible after all. That’s a tough one to come to terms with. There’s a fair chance that everything about this process will annoy, anger, or otherwise make me want to beat myself unconscious with a celery stalk… and when it does, you’ll hear it here first.