Tuesday, May 25, 2010

TV with Cody

Cody...He's about six feet tall, around 230 lbs., and...Well, the ongoing joke I have is that he could be the subject of one of those DEmotivational posters. Just a photo of him glaring at the camera with the slogan, "Cody is LOVE!" beneath it. He is a thorough believer that ALL humans are stupid and should be destroyed like the virus they are. Or something like that.

There's a bit more going on in his head than the "simple redneck" facade he puts on. I mean, the guy can claim he's a redneck one minute, then slap together a computer in less than an hour. He's well-read and is heavily into anime. If he IS a redneck, he's not the typical variety.

While Becky was here, we went to pay a visit to Wyatt at the store he manages. There, for all the world to see, was a copy of House, season 1, for $6.99. The price was an error, but Wyatt runs his shop with a high degree of honor. The customer sees an incorrect price? Well, it was the staff's mistake, and they'll be the ones to pay for it. Meanwhile, the customer gets the product at the extreme discount. In my case, I saved about $16!

I had little to do this evening, so I decided to settle in and start working my way through disc two. Since Cody had expressed an interest earlier, and Ray was out, I invited him to join me.

It's not the running commentary as when others are around. Just Cody and I throwing out the occasional comment about what's on screen. Even the worst episodes of House are so well-written than one is compelled to watch, hence his reaction when the episode "Histories" started.

Cody: (word-for-word) If this episode is about some crazy homeless woman, I'm going back to my room for a bit.
Character on show: (not exact) Patient is a homeless woman...

We didn't quite catch the rest because we were laughing at the...unique...timing of the line.

Yet Cody couldn't wander off as he said he would. "Good writing will glue me to my seat," I told him, and it held true, even for the "crazy homeless woman." What's more, I believe Cody thoroughly enjoyed every acerbic witticism that flew from Hugh Laurie's mouth. During one episode, House distracts a judge by simply making a comment about the judge's hands, which then preoccupies the judge. Cody's comment on the manipulation was, "He's a mind-ninja!"

Also a lot of fun was his reactions to medical procedures. Cody hates, HATES, HATES needles. Stab him. Shoot him. He's okay. Come at him with a sliver of stainless steel at the tip of a syringe, and he'll pretty much let you do as you please, just as long as you keep it away from him. So when a patient had to have some of the fluid from his eye drained via needle...Well, Cody threw his shirt over his face, along with his hands, and refused to uncover his eyes until the next scene started. (I then tried to get him to squirm by taking some insulin in via my stomach, but he remained unaffected. Maybe I should have played "Catch a Needle" with him again?)

Other significant events while watching House...

Patient starts to suffer a seizure. (No shock there; there was still plenty of time left in the episode, and their filler seems to be a seizure.) "Diazepam! IV! Stat!" I said. A split-second later, one of the doctors was calling for exactly that drug, calling out an IV dosage. Cody just looked at me and something to the effect of, "Well, we now know Rob has taken too many drugs."

I commented on how the show will take the simplest of illnesses and show the rarest symptoms, blowing them up into part of the drama that makes the show interesting. As an example, I spoke about I once saw an episode of how House and his team screwed up, killing a patient via a simple staph infection caused by a nick made by a bra hook. The talk of the destruction of the body's immune system had Cody dreaming of "an AIDS bomb," with which he could hopefully wipe out humanity. ("Cody is LOVE!")

In the episode "Detox," House receives a massage from a positively gorgeous woman. The way it was set up, the woman just shows up, relaxes the deep muscles in his hand, and, with his mind changed from "no massage" to "rub me wherever you want," she says, "Take off your clothes." This had Cody and I wishing random, gorgeous women would approach us with such a proposition. (I'm spoken for, not dead!)

A grand nitpick from me. You see, I watched some of the special features, mostly hoping to watch for bloopers, and there was a feature on the realism of the show. Supposedly, they wanted to be as accurate as possible. But when one patient suffered an uncontrolled heart rate, two things came from the doctors. First, the claim that the patient's potassium levels were up. Ummm...How would they know? The guy was hooked up to an IV and a heart monitor, neither of which measures potassium.

I can let that one go, however. Much of the show is great guesswork on the part of the staff. But when another doctor in the same scene cried out, "Ten units of insulin, sub-q, stat," I sat up and said, "What?!?" In fact, any insulin dependent diabetic who understands the illness would instantly know that some writer thought to throw something in there that sounded interesting, but didn't make any sense...AT ALL!

First, insulin is a hormone that allows blood cells to open up and allow sugar to be carried where it's needed. There was never any mention of the patient being diabetic, so he had no need of the stuff as far as I knew. Next...what kind of insulin? At this moment in time, I have three different types sitting in front of me. Lantus, Humalog, and Novolin R. All of which are U-100, meaning that they are pure solutions, without dilution or alternating strengths. Then there was the "sub-q, stat!" "Sub-q" is short for "subcutaneous," or "just beneath the skin." The fastest that insulin would work is 30 minutes, and I know this because my Humalog is the fastest insulin out there, starting its work in that time frame. Last, but certainly not least, INSULIN HAS NOTHING TO DO DIRECTLY WITH ONE'S HEART RATE OR POTASSIUM LEVEL! I know a lack of insulin or too much may have gradual effects on these things...but to order it to slow a man's heart rate and/or lower his potassium level? They might as well have shouted, "Slap his left butt cheek! Stat!"

You can tell how upset I am over this gaff by the fact that I now have three paragraphs dedicated to it. "How upset was Cody?" you may wonder. His response says it all. "It's a TV show." (*sniff* And just when I thought he cared about my world.)

* * *

Speaking of caring about my world, Becky is home, safe and sound. Her return trip took longer than her trip here, but that's because she stopped to take more breaks along the way. There was also some heavy traffic in various construction zones. It was lots of "fun" for her.

Meanwhile, I'm just glad she's safe. The insanely long drive had me just as concerned as when she was heading for me. The last thing I wanted is for her to get into a serious accident, me then feeling guilty about her coming to see me at all, and then have to face her family when they all came to KS to kill me for that very reason. Thankfully, we got on Skype, and I was treated to the view of her to which I'm most accustomed. She sat in her room, attempting to caress my cheek through the screen...and I reminded her that she can now at least remember what that felt like, instead of trying to imagine it.

We didn't discuss anything too serious. It had been a long trip and we were both tired. (Worrying full-time can be exhausting.) She didn't want to say good night, but I pushed her to log off. Shutting down Skype didn't mean I was shutting down our relationship.

At the mention of "shutting down," my meds are kicking in, demanding I get some sleep. I'm sure there will be more in the immediate future. Be well, all.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Nice try, Zeb!

Usually, when a troll says, "You come to party," you go to the party. I mean, it's a troll. Do you want to get eaten? Of course not. But when Zeb suggested in the comments of the last post that Becky and I MUST go to the GitP meet-up...Well, the odds of that happening are slim, as much as I would like to comply and not be eaten.

We had a little incident last week that I failed to mention. After our visit to the mall, and teasing one another about getting engaged, we returned to the motel, where I was experiencing discomfort in my right knee. Does anyone remember my right knee? It's the one with the torn meniscus. Once I was in a pair of shorts, it was obvious to untrained eyes that the knee was swollen. Abnormally so. I was kind of hoping that a little light exercise, combined with enough rest, would help it to heal. But, no...That would be too simple. This knee needs to be fixed.

Including my hopes, the plan for surgery was "elbow, elbow, knee." Not it looks like it'll be "elbow, knee, elbow." Due to the degree of urgency involved, I'm pretty sure I'll still be recovering when the time comes for the GitP meet-up.

But wait! There's more!

Becky left this morning. There were plenty of tears to go around, as we each tried to think of one reason or another as to why she should stay or I should go with her. Later in the day, it was why she should come back. "You forgot to take your leftover Chinese food! You have to come back and get it." Or my personal favorite, "You used one side of a Q-tip, but not the other. I'd hate to see it go to waste, so come back and use the other side." (Okay, I was grasping at straws by then.) By the time Becky had reached a motel for the night to sleep during the 18-hour drive home, I was holding up a few chewable Pink-Bismuth and asking, "Weren't you supposed to take these with you? Get back here and put them in your purse!"

But the heartache of her leaving was being overshadowed by pain in my left foot. It's near to where the two ulcers were. And so mu "logical illogical" fear has kicked it. I'm telling you, folks...It takes one, and ONLY ONE case of osteomyelitis to learn to fear it. A bone disintegrating and snapping because it's mass is almost gone isn't much fun. It hurts to this day, despite being healed. And now, if it's in the ankle...? G-d, there's a scary thought. Along with this "fond" memory is the medications, Vancomycin. There's nothing quite like an IV antibiotic that burns going in, and can irritate veins to the point of requiring a new IV line anywhere between doses one and six. (It's why I eventually shaved my arms, as taking an IV out of hairy arms tends to hurt more than putting one in.)

Tonight...? Well, I'm tired. Emotionally stressful days do that to me. Reality is too upsetting, so I retreat into the wonderful world of dreams. (Not always that wonderful.) So I'm tired, but can't sleep. What's more, I feel feverish, but have no fever. (I checked.) I have nothing to really say at an ER, other than, "My foot hurts." That's fairly common for someone with Charcot's foot. So the only thing I can do is wait until Wednesday, when I will followup on my wound care. On the off chance they won't handle it, since it's not an obvious wound, I'll have to wait until Thursday, when I go for my pre-surgical doctor's appointment. And I'll only be making a complaint at either if it still hurts, which I hope it won't...but fear it will.

Alternatively, this could all be a result of Becky heading home. Stress is making my brain malfunction, making me feel ill, when all that's wrong is that my "future fiance" has left. Nothing a little Xanax can't fix, right?

It doesn't help that Cdy decided to play devil's advocate tonight. He knows Becky works with people that are wheelchair bound. He suggested that my being chronically ill was the main reason she fell so in love with me. "If that's the case, there's still plenty of time for the charm of me being sick to wear off," I replied. What both of us said is entirely possible.

HOWEVER
, I don't think Becky fell for me because I'm probably going to need some kind of aid for the rest of my life. From what I saw over the last 10 days, Becky fell in love with me because I make her laugh, respect her, interact with her, and shed tender, romantic tears. (Those would be the tears you experience when you see you love interest, hug them tight, and whisper that you love them tremendously.) We can talk for hours, or sit in comfortable silence as we do separate things. I didn't see Becky enjoying any of the time when I wasn't feeling well.

My lady-love will be home tomorrow evening. I've been praying she gets there safely, as well as make some humorous threats. ("If you die in an accident, I'll kill you!") And once she's home, we will start focusing on our next meeting, which has been moved to late September. I would explain why, but meds are kicking in. It's after midnight, and I need rest.

Be well, all.

Oh, Zeb...? Maybe next year. I should be officially engaged by then. =)

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Shining

No, not the Stephen King story...although it did seem rather terrifying for Becky.

The thing she and I have perfected during our stay at the motel has been laziness. In fact, yesterday was the part where we took it too far. I caught the writing bug, so I've been putting a file onto her laptop that covers how she and I became a couple. Sure, it's all here on my blog, but I decided to write it as best I can from her perspective. Here's a sample:

Okay…It should be known right off the bat that Rob is actually writing this story. He’s the writer; I’m the artist. He tends to explain things better than me. However, it should be noted that nothing here is written without my approval. And with that out of the way, we begin with… …a metric ton of flirting. It all happened on City of Heroes, an MMO that Shawn, my fiancé, and I played regularly. This guy, “Adjective-Noun,” seemed like a funny, yet lonely guy. So I would occasionally let him flirt with me, or actually start the flirting with him. There was never anything serious about it. The private messages we would send back and forth were taken with such little seriousness that my fiancé even encouraged it every now and again.

While I wrote, Becky slept. We managed to waste away the entire day, me scribbling while she slumbered. By the time we actually got out and ate something substantial...Well, Becky's metabolism (which makes her hypoglycemic) didn't react so well. Thus, we decided to make an early night of it and get a decent start on today.

That didn't work out so well. For starters, we didn't turn out the lights to get some sleep until around 1:00 AM. For enders, the idiots in the room directly next to us aparently have no "indoor voice," thereby keeping me awake until 3:00 AM. The cherry atop this misery sundae was that I set my alarm for PM instead of AM, so we awoke closer to 10:30 AM instead of 9:00 AM as planned.

Moving as slowly as possible for two people that are actually fairly mobile, we finally made it out the door around noon and headed for the mall over in the next major town. Absolutely nothing was out of the ordinary until we reached our destination. That's when Becky encountered...THE SHINING!

That is, she encountered the shiny objects I was simply LOOKING at. And all I was doing was looking. We'd had enough conversations about it, and the verdict was that any serious decisions we planned on making would require time, thought, and discussion. So all I was doing was looking at engagement rings in order to see what kind of prices I'd be facing. It figures that I would first look at rings that would take me 10 years to pay off, possibly having to offer up my firstborn's soul when he/she finally came along. Becky, in turn, was looking at the least costly of all the rings. I think if they had a plastic ring with a cut piece of quartz she'd have been happy. Finally, I settled on a half karat, round, solitaire diamond ring for the low, low price of about $700.

Yeah, that's not happening any time soon.

As we left the jewelry store, I took her hand and asked, "So...any problems getting your heart back inside your chest?"

My curiosity over the price of rings scared and excited her at the same time. But...

The truth is that I completed this post in a very different manner. It included other information, like how we managed to gloss over the stop at that jeweler and move on to far less important things, like buying a few things at a used book store. But then tonight happened.

There's been a lingering topic throughout this day. I kept saying that Becky had altered my life plans. I still dread dying alone, without someone I love at my side. But I no longer believe such a scenario is an absolute certainty. Tonight, I explained how I actually had very little faith in our meeting. Experience had taught me that these things never worked in my favor. She would change her mind. There would be a car accident. (...which was faked in the past to avoid coming to meet me. (Too long to explain right now.)) Or she would drop "the truth" in my lap, and leave me to pick up the pieces of my heart afterward. Whatever happened, Becky wouldn't be in Kansas when she said she would be.

When did I believe it was truly happening? I confessed to Becky this very night that it wasn't until I saw her in the motel room during her mid-trip break that I finally accepted she was on her way. Oh, she could have been renting a room in the motel in her home town and talking to me from there, but that never even crossed my mind. There'd been just enough hope left that when I saw her on the camera with that fairly generic background, it FINALLY clicked that this one...this woman...Becky was, in fact, on her way to see me.

Really...Has my life been such a long list of betrayals that I would believe this woman a liar like so many people before her? I suppose it has. I've heard "I love you" from many people, only to have them prove otherwise.

Robin, the longest romantic relationship of my entire life, had vowed "for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health" long before we were going to take any ceremonial vows. I took her at her word. I mean, when you love someone and they make a promise, you don't sit back with a skeptical expression and demand they prove it. Yet when growing disability made it impossible for me to hold down a job, Robin's promises became a series of empty words.

Supposedly there is nothing stronger than a mother's love. Well, my biological mother certainly disproved that when she found me overdosed on two different drugs and my left arm sliced up. "Get up, clean up, pack up, and get out" still echo in my head, despite the fact that my mind was almost completely shattered at that moment in time.

My brother was dying. I busted my butt to get to his side so that I could tell him that I loved him. I made it just in time for him to make a truly miraculous recovery, (thanks to the aid of some of the most amazing human beings on the planet). When my time of need came, he declared that I was welcome inside his home, and promised that it was me, his brother, that he wanted. But his actions spoke louder than words. The moment I pointed out that living under his roof would cost me almost as much, if not more, than living alone, he exploded with unreasonable anger, and hasn't made any effort to speak to me again...even though I called back in January to wish him a happy New Year.

Finally, there's Julie. Nothing would stand between our friendship again. Well, I gave her plenty of time to cool off since the blowout so many months ago. The phone number I have is no good. She made no effort to tell me what was happening; she simply vanished. And the lack of contact all stemmed from the fact that I became so worried that I asked the police to check on her. Now I have no idea if she's dead or alive.

These people, all of whom claimed to love me, managed to damage my faith in people's promises that I probably have every reason to remain skeptical of anyone who followed in their footsteps. But here I am, in love, typing what's in my heart for all the world to see at the click of a link. My instincts, etched into my mind via repeated experience, tell me to hide my feelings, back away, and start running. Start running and never look back.

And what did I do instead? I sat on the bed tonight, talking about these very things with my sweet, beautiful, beloved Becky. Her promises are very much like those before her. Instead of running...instead of closing my heart to her...instead of making any kind of move that indicated a backward step, I asked her permission to start saving for that ring. I took a step between asking her out and asking her to marry me. I warned her that my life will likely not improve; that my medical conditions will either stay status quo (at best) or decline (at worst). She said she didn't care. So I asked if it was okay for me to ask her to marry me within the next year.

Becky smiled, kissed me...and said yes.

For the first time in a long time, my future is shining.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The best way to show one's love...

...is to wait until your partner is asleep, sneak into the bathroom, and violently toss your cookies.

That was me last night, and the best we could think of was that I ate something that simply didn't agree with my stomach. There was almost no other explanation. Becky's initial response was that she wanted to run into the bathroom and try to aid me in some way. But in all honesty, what could she do? Sit beside me, rubbing my back while I brought up G-d knows what? Ummm...No. That might help on a psychological level if the vomiting were going on for a while, but just the one time? Nuh uh.

And as I said, there was ALMOST no other explanation. I, ummm...Well, diabetic neuropathy can have numerous bad effects, including certain autonomic functions that make having a girlfriend a lot more...fun. (Since this is a genuine problem, and one that entirely too many men are too embarrassed to discuss, I have no real issue bringing it up. It's not something to make fun of, even if the commercials make it seem...well, they make the situation comedic. It's just not funny to those of us with the problem.) I got prescriptions for the meds that are most common to battle E.D., and...well, the one I've been taking was immediately suspect to my stomach issues.

Today, back at the trailer to do a bit of laundry, I hopped online to research side effects. I only filled one prescription, and have two others. The one I had was being scrutinized as the possible culprit of my vomiting last night, but I wasn't so sure about that. I mean, I'd been taking it since Becky arrived. I hadn't had any stomach upset before. So what, pray tell, was going on?

The verdict at this time is some microwaveable food we brought back to the motel. I'd had it before, no problem. But this time it just didn't agree with me. For all I know, it's actually one more issue pertaining to neuropathy, as it can cause such issues.

But those meds. Dear Lord, they're scary! Researching the side effects, it seems they're almost not worth taking. One of them, which I have not filled, listed the following as possible side effects in extreme cases: bleeding in the lungs, bleeding in the brain, sudden death. SUDDEN DEATH IS A SYMPTOM?!? I want to know what drunken crackhead actually put it into those precise words. "Sudden death" is not a symptom; it's a rather bad and permanent state of nonexistence.

Of course, my research did explain something that I'd been willing to attribute to being somewhat older and out of shape. Nope. All of the muscle aches I've been having are side effects that are experienced by 4% of patients taking the medication I was using. By stopping its use, I should be in better shape relatively soonish...I hope.

As for the activities that such meds would allow Becky and I to engage in...? Becky made it clear that that was not the reason why she came out here. She came here to see me, not my...ummm...parts.

And so the visit goes on. We have been debating as to whether or not she should actually stay until Monday, instead of leaving early Sunday morning. I want her to have a full day back home before returning to work. To have her get home late on the day before she works doesn't seem like a good idea.

So...Yeah. That's the update today. With luck, I won't be showing her my love in the same fashion for the remainder of her visit.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Is this officially the end?

As promised, I have things to update. I'll start with medical stuff, and finish with what's going on between Becky and myself. (Fear not, fans of the Happy Bor! Nothing terribly scary is going on between us.)

The visit to the surgeon was nothing spectacular, other than keeping Becky laughing non-stop. I see myself as having two choices when faced with something as terrifying as surgery. I can sit in a corner, shaking and crying, or I can crack numerous jokes and get everyone laughing and smiling. So I produced the humor for that visit, and Becky wasn't accustomed to such behavior at all.

There was a bothersome aspect of that appointment., in that they didn't seem to understand what was going on with my allergies. I have ONE known allergy, and that's it. Floroscein dye makes me toss my cookies in a rather violent manner. I gave this surgeon's office this information months ago, when I visited an associate of the surgeon and posted complaints about that particular jackass. (My new doctor is in the process of leaving the other practice, but still has access to my old data.) I was told years ago that the iodine in floroscein dye is what produces the vomiting, and I must have mentioned this while seeing the idiot. Thus, the idiot made a note that I was allergic to iodine. And when I said IV contrast for radiology tests wasn't a problem, he noted it as being an issue, thereby PROVING he was an idiot. All of this is frightening because it means a medical professional SOMEWHERE isn't doing his/her job. This is my life, and when they prove to me that they're screwing up, I get scared.

Equally as upsetting is that I am now relying upon my clinic to complete my pre-surgical testing BEFORE 9 June 2010. Before Becky arrived, I had a vicious case of "red toe." I call it that because I didn't know what else to call it. The second toe on my left foot was VERY red. There was no swelling. There was very little pain, if at all...but then that means little because I have diabetic neuropathy. The site also wasn't hot, which is usually a sign of infection. But being on my foot, there was reason for concern, and the people at my clinic seemed more than happy to see me...on 19 May. UNACCEPTABLE! If I have an actual problem, waiting over a week could well mean the difference between keeping and losing a toe. After making enough noise, I got in before Becky arrived.

But here I am, requiring clearance for surgery BEFORE a certain date, and I'm just a tad worried. Reasonably so, I'd say...Wouldn't you? And I need to have some tests done, so...Okay, Maybe I'm making more of this than necessary. I need a chest x-ray, and EKG, fasting blood work, a common blood panel, and a "clean catch" urine test. The idea that the clinic can get all of this done on time is worrisome. So I'm operating on quite a bit of faith right now. My pre-surgical screening...ummm..."begins" on 27 May 2010. Let's hope that two weeks are enough time to get everything done.

Okay...On to wound care, which was something of a disappointment. Disappointment on me, that is. There was a tiny piece of seemingly dead skin on top of my right foot. After a shower, when this piece of skin was nice and soft, I used tweezers to try to remove it...and ended up tearing off a nice chunk of skin. Brilliant. Truly brilliant. I immediately started treating it as I was taught, including a few days worth of antibiotics just to CMA. (That's not the "Country Music Awards;" it's "Cover My Ass.") I am to continue this care, and it will be checked next week.

The old wounds, however, have Gina overjoyed. She considers them healed. The goal is to protect them properly so that new layers of skin can complete their growth. I was instructed to use a kind of thick padding to prevent that growing skin from meeting with anything damaging.

As usual, it's a waiting game. Thankfully, I've been having good results with the new kind of care recently taught to me. So "wait and see" isn't nearly as scary as it's been in the past.

And now for stuff about Becky and I.

Yeah, the post title is panic-inspiring, but it doesn't refer to the status of my relationship with Becky. It's directed at the perspective we have on our search for that special someone to end the quest. Now that Becky and I have been spending quality time together, we have voiced several times the hope that each is the end of the search for ourselves. Although she's younger than me, she's tired of the pain that comes with the realization that a romantic blunder has been made. What makes it seem like the search is over is the fact that we see absolute perfection in the other.

Ah, but perspectives can change. And this is why I've been determined to hide nothing from Becky, as well as expose her to as much as possible during her visit here. For this reason, I had Gina show Becky what the ulcers looked like the day after I realized I had a problem. (Or have you all forgotten my post on 21 April 2010 entitled "Holy $#*%!!!"?) The ulcers were fairly large. They were thoroughly infected. And the swelling completely concealed the contours of my ankle. Seeing what the originally looked like was scary...and yet Becky remains unfazed. Oh, she was shocked at how bad they looked, but she has shown no desire to run.

That's been a radical change in my behavior. When she and I started this whole thing, I tried to unload every issue I had on her. If she was going to run, I really wanted her to do so early. I was trying to chase her away; it would be better for both of us if she would leave before we became too attached.

Now...? When I unveil my various medical horrors, I'm not chasing. I'm testing to make sure she WON'T run. I want Becky to stay...and stay...and stay.

Last night, despite how well things are going, I shed tears during a confession that falling in love was just so danged scary. I seem so confident, and relaxed, and fun-loving...but it's important that Becky also know exactly how vulnerable I am. It's rather easy to discuss past relationships with all the passion one would give a report on the weather. It's easy after a great deal of time has passed. Here and now, falling so long and hard for Becky, I felt she needed to see my naked emotions in that particular moment. I started to cry, which caused her to start shedding tears as well.

But is this officially the end of our respective searching? We want it to be. We say it with either great tenderness or great passion, depending on the moment it's said. If this is truly our great desire, why is it that neither of us is willing to put an end to it officially? Why is Becky heading back to PA as my girlfriend when she should be my fiancee if we want the quest to be over? We know it would be a long engagement if it happened, as I have various medical things to pursue immediately. I need surgery on both elbows, probably my right knee, and my oral woes. On her end, Becky wants to go to school to become a registered nurse. To become engaged would mean around three years before we officially tied the knot. Figure about a year for me to complete my pursuit of my medical stuff, while she spends two years going to school. That's a year of overlap, another year of her schooling, and then a year planning a wedding. Three years, total, as far as our estimates go.

So how is it that we somehow see becoming engaged as rushing?

The point is somewhat moot. Personally, until I could put a ring on her finger, it wouldn't be the real deal. Reality dictates that the ring won't be very big. But I would want a ring on her finger nonetheless. If we somehow manage to make this "insanely fast move," I imagine she'll shell out the money and I'll pay her back slowly over the next year.

We shall see. But...well, I wanted to share what's going on in my head with my friends. Some of you are around the globe, but you all mean something to me. Your feedback means something to me. While I may well repeatedly apologize for shoving this romance down your proverbial throats, know that my internet friends are no less important to me that those who might exist in the "real" world.

Be well, all.

With just a dash of guilt...

It's a common ingredient when it comes to the events of my life. No matter what going on in my life, be it good or bad, I end up feeling guilty for not being there for others when it's fairly obvious they could use my aid.

While Becky's been here, I've at least peeked at some of the threads on GitP. What te4nds to make me feel worst is when I see there's a fresh post on the Depression Thread. Short...Long...Something in between. It doesn't matter. When I see someone has posted, I have a desire to respond.

But to sit here and spend an hour or two crafting a response to someone's venting means time away from Becky, and she's leaving next Sunday, (possibly Monday, as has been "threatened").

"That's okay, Rob. We know she lives far away, and you want to spend as much time with her as possible. Still, we are kind of wondering how or why it is that you take the time to make a blog post. Care to unravel that little mystery?" Oh, sure. No problem at all. I've been posting to my blog to feed my ego. And how does posting to my blog feed my ego? Well, it's been stated several times that Becky reads this blog. What hasn't been stated is exactly how much she likes reading it. She LOVES reading this thing. That's because I use plenty of humor along the way, as well as give her further insight into what I've been thinking. It's been a great deal of fun for me to tell her I've posted, she hops online to read, and then I get to watch her smile, or hear her laugh and ask what tickled her fancy. That she enjoys reading my ramblings makes me feel good in many ways.

At the mention of posting, either later today or tomorrow, there will be an update on my medical stuff, as well as several things Becky and I have been discussing over the last few days. Being alone, without the interrupting sounds of someone using the bathroom right next to my room has offered us a much greater chance to discuss numerous things that could be deemed quite serious. In fact, I was free enough with my emotions last night where the tears started to flow from me...

...which tends to make Becky cry, as well. I think her tears ducts are directly linked to mine. My guess it's a radio transmission of some kind, since it seems to happen when I'm in KS and she's in PA.

And that's it for the moment. I need to get ready for my wound care followup. Posting again soonish. Be well. =)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alone at last!

Well, Becky and I have escaped to our motel room. Oh, I can't tell you how glad I am that she vowed to pay for it, or I'd be a very poor man indeed. $463 for a week. What happened to weekly rates and discounts, huh?

Once again, we went absolutely crazy once we were alone. That's right. The clothing went flying...only to get into something more comfortable, and then we busted out the Chess board. I tell ya, we really live on the edge.

Of course, being alone offers more opportunity for more "adult" activities...but I'm still determined to play the role of the loving, caring gentleman. In fact, there seems to have been quite a bit of role reversal going on. I'm the one taking things slow, occasionally suffering from a case of nerves, and she's the one looking to get into my pants!

SHE'S JUST USING ME FOR MY BODY! (Which makes little sense to me, since my body isn't anything worth fighting over.)

Today is my scheduled visit to the surgeon's office. As far as I know, it's my pre-surgical visit. I need to be physically cleared for surgery, since general anesthesia is required. Tomorrow is wound care followup. And these are the things I wanted Becky to truly experience...not non-stop making whoopee. Becky needs to see the realities of my life. Without such things, she can't make a true and proper judgment about keeping me in her life.

In terms of the surgeon, I'm planning of giving the okay to operate on the 28th of this month. By then, Becky will be safe at home, getting back into the swing of things after a long and relaxing vacation.

And that's another thing for which I'm ultimately glad. Becky needed a TRUE vacation. She said before leaving PA, "When you want to stab your clients, it's time for a vacation." Last night was a statement as to how relaxed she's become while with me. Here in the motel room we have a king-sized bed, as opposed to my full-sized futon back in the trailer. I was up several times last night, yet she remained asleep the entire time. This includes the point where I returned to bed, draped an arm over hers, and drifted off again. My actions never woke her.

Oh...and as a special note, our best behavior is being enforced by my body. An old pain has returned to haunt me. It's in my right hip. Usually, the pain is deep within, right in the joint. Occasionally, however, the pain occurs in the muscles on my hip, and that's what's been happening. In fact, I' been popping painkillers like they're M-n-Ms. (Still as per doctor's orders, but it feels like I'm reaching for them constantly.)

And that's all I have at the moment. As long as I still have something to report, I'll be taking advantage of Becky's laptop and the Wifi in the motel. =)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

And another thing...

In response to the utterly goofy idea I would bring Becky to any harm whatsoever, I have been...well, I've been as goofy as the idea itself.

Becky is to check in with her mother daily. So yesterday, during that call, I was in the background declaring that I hadn't killed her...yet. Becky was all smiles as she said I wasn't helping her mother's disposition. As I understand it, her mother laughed briefly and said Becky was correct.

I was no better today...kinda. I mean, I asked Becky if she'd called her mom, to which Becky said that she'd sent a text. Not good enough in my book. I want her mother to hear a voice, not read words anyone can type. So Becky called while I stepped out of the room. Upon my return, I picked up my cane and feigned the screeching of music heard during psycho movies. As the call progressed, I made a joke that I'd suggested earlier in the day. "Do you know just how axe-proof your daughter is? I've hit her at least 30 times, and even sharpened the blade the last ten. It didn't even break the skin, and I was swinging pretty hard for a disabled guy!"

This was the perfect opportunity for Becky to say, "Mom, I won't be coming home because I'll be in jail. 'Cause I'm gonna kill him."

It's good to see people taking this in stride a bit more. Oh, her family and friends will still worry. She traveled a long distance to see a guy she met on the internet. Still, we are getting along VERY well. So well, in fact, that Becky and I are getting into the habit of saying how we hope the other is the end of our searching.

We shall see. Meanwhile, we are both ridiculously happy in this moment in time, and that's what counts most.

You should all be so lucky!

Many, many years ago, I heard a toast that started, "To our wives and lovers...," and one immediately thought that the speaker was talking romantically about the woman he married. Then he ended it, "...may they never meet."

Well, yes...I suppose having the TWO women in your life meet would be quite the disaster. However, my wife and girlfriend have met, and they seem to have hit it off wonderfully. Maybe a bit TOO wonderfully. o.O

Some of you may have forgotten, since the post was made quite some time ago, but I'm married...to a cat. When I was living in AZ, had I left the apartment for even five minutes, I'd come home and receive quite the talking to from Nike. Her constant meows made me feel as though I was being lectured. "Where have you been? Do you have any idea what time it is? And is that another cat I smell of you? Oh, you are so going to get it, mister!" Add to the lectures the fact that she would climb into bed with me every night and snuggle so much that she eventually pushed me up against the wall, and one could easily assume that somehow, some way, Nike had married me when I wasn't looking.

Enter Becky. It really wouldn't have been a big deal if Nike didn't like her. I mean, Nike's a cat. She kinda has to accept what the humans say and do, or she gets shoved out of the room. Thankfully, Nike likes Becky...and maybe a little too much.

It's easy to imagine that two long-distance lovers would meet, their clothes would manage to fly from their bodies, the "adult extracurricular activities" would begin...and never stop. Well, you can stop imagining, as I report to you that last night I taught Becky the greater complexities of playing Chess. (She's a frighteningly fast learner.) And as we're sitting on my bed, staring at the board, Nike joined us...and did with Becky what she usually does with me. That is, Nike laid down with her hind end up against a human body, her tail wagging lazily in contentment.

I was astounded. Nike has NEVER responded to another person like that. The most she might do is rib against someone else to get her scent on them. But when it came to getting comfortable, she was always a "papa's girl." Yest there she was, comfy as can be, snuggled against Becky.

"Oh, I see how it is," have said in a feigned rant. "The little turncoat has replaced me. Well, just see if I feed you now, you traitorous b****!" Becky petting her only made Nike happier, and me feel more betrayed.

For G-d's sake, the women in my life were conspiring against me!

Okay, I'm not really that upset at all. Besides, there were two things that made it clear I was still the only human for my cat. The first was the fact that Becky was practically seated on my pillows. These pillows carry my scent, so it's likely that Nike had gotten comfortable for THAT reason, and not Becky's presence. The other thing was Nike's regular response to my "I'm addressing my kitty" voice. This amused Becky quite a bit, as Nike's tail would wag just a bit more whenever I used that voice.

This morning, there was further evidence that Nike remains happily "married" to me. I didn't sleep so well last night. I got up a couple of times. During the first round, Nike kept try to get comfortable wherever I'd been sleeping. First it was where my feet had been. I moved her to the chair next to the bed, and she responded by sneaking back and lying down next to my pillows. "Oh, you're funny," I whispered, relocating her yet again. The next two rounds of wakefulness had Nike waiting until I laid beck down next to Becky, then she would cuddle next to me on top of the blanket, effectively pinning me between the two ladies in my life.

And now, while typing this post, Nike came along and leapt into my lap, and is currently trying to fall asleep. She really should know better; I can't maintain one position for hours at a time, like she can. Still, it's good to know my kitty still loves me. =)

In other news, I ache. It's a result of working muscles that haven't been used nearly as much over the last 10 years. It's all of this cuddling we've been doing. And for those unsure of how cuddling could do this, the first thing you need to do is let various muscles go lax for a few years. Then lie down on your left side, head supported by your left hand, while your right hand caresses either a real of imagined lover for over an hour. Everything should be just fine...until the next day, when you wake to find your pectoral muscles screaming at you for rest, along with your forearm that received its workout from your wrist being in motion for so long. Seriously, Becky and I briefly marveled at the fact that my right forearm is starting to take on the shape of a baseball bat, while my left is still a skinny little thing.

And, of course, I have removed Nike. I keeping looking over at my bed, where my two women are sleeping. Nike is just a content little kitty. Becky not only looks beautiful, but peaceful. It's the latter that makes me happiest. I'm so glad she's comfortable and relaxed, with most of whatever nervousness seemingly gone from her. Also apparently gone is her anger at certain idiots in her life, and frustration from work -

Which reminds me! Becky received a call yesterday morning from a coworker. Said coworker's son had an asthma attack and needed someone to cover her shift. She asked Becky if that was at all possible. "I'd love to, but I'm in Kansas." Personally, I think Becky should have asked if the coworker's shift started in two days, as that's how long it would take Becky to get back. =)

And so, my friends, we come to the end of yet another blissfully happy post. I'm not sure if you'll be getting any more of these, as Becky and I head for the motel tomorrow. Privacy at last! And that means we'll be able to play Chess without people making explosion sounds from the living room! ;-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Neverending Hug

Well, Becky is drawing at the moment, and I've decided to add a bit more detail about the very moment we met.

As I said, she called when she was approaching her exit on I-70, and that we didn't hang up until she saw me waiting for her outside the trailer. Well...

Becky and I were all smiles. As I've said, I was awaiting for the whole plan to fall apart. Her mother would INSIST she turn around...or - G-d forbid - there would be a terrible car accident...or a plane would try to land on Becky's car, crushing it and her in the process. Now that she was pulling up, my numerous dreams of the last few weeks were FINALLY coming true.

We weren't even able to get away from the car. She opened the door, stood up, and we embraced. And it seemed that once we had one another to hold, neither wanted to let go. Now, I had tried to forewarn Becky that I might very well start crying once she was here...and there I was, fighting to keep the tears from rolling. Becky even added, "Don't start crying...because if you do, I'll end up joining you."

It's just...I didn't want that moment to end. I knew there would be many more moments ahead of us where we'd get to hold one another plenty...but this had only been a dream up until that moment. And when a dream finally becomes reality, you don't want to return to "the real world." If that happens, there's a chance the waking dream could be undone, and I didn't want to face that reality.

What's funny is that, as we stood there, arms locked around one another, a little thought passed through my head: We really should move so she can shut the car door. We're killing her battery. Lost in a truly romantic moment, and that's what goes through my head? I need help.

From there, much of the evening was spent being very "touchy-feely." For me, it's been 10 years since I've truly enjoyed the loving touch of a woman. For Becky...Well, no boyfriend of the past has ever treated her the way I treat her. In fact, when we awoke staring at one another, we talked, and I was flabbergasted that she has been denied the level of affection that I dish out. Honestly, I want to know if she's even been dating members of the human race.

Oh, but an extra bit of fun at this very moment. DAN has called. Becky finally told him where she is and why she came to KS, and he's currently laying into her. I've been pleading for her to hand me the phone, but she's refused thus far. She wouldn't even let me snore into the phone and say, "Dan, you're boring the crap out me me. Go away." Really, this is the second time he's called while she's here, and it's starting to feel like he's stalking her. And if someone is going to stalk my girlfriend like this...

Oh, that's right! Got some news. Becky and I are now OFFICIALLY a couple. I asked her out, and she agreed...but only after a lengthy internal argument with...Oh, who am I kidding? It took her a split-second to say yes. =P

The thing is that Dan is out of control. He just made every effort to make Becky feel as though she's done something wrong, and she hasn't. I even reviewed it with her, asking her to tell me EXACTLY what it was that she did wrong.

Becky: Well, I followed his advice and pursued someone else that I was interested.
Me: Right. He told you that was okay, so you still haven't done anything that's wrong. What else?
Becky: I canceled the trip to Puerto Rico at the last minute.
Me: After he started becoming psychotic. That was probably one of the smartest moves of your life, and no reason to feel bad. What else?
Becky: I've only been giving him half-truths.
Me: No, you've been withholding information from him that's none of his damn business.
Becky: There's also the fact that I never know what will set him off.
Me: See? He's like your ex. And you don't need that. So the final verdict is that you've done nothing wrong.

Becky is just too sweet at times. She doesn't want to hurt anyone, despite the fact that even inaction could have exactly that result. Dan has basically lost his mind. I don't trust him at all, and neither does Becky. What she should do is block him from her life and be done with him, but that still remains her choice.

Meanwhile, I managed to get a promise from Becky. She and I share the outlook that "a promise made is a promise kept." The next time Dan calls, *I* will be answering. Then he and I will have a little chat. And if he can't learn to behave himself with my girlfriend, he will be blocked out from her life, and that will be the end of it.

Enough about Monkey Boy. Back to our post already in progress.

Becky hasn't encountered someone like me when it comes to romance, and this has left her wondering what the heck she's been doing wrong in life. We're told that we have multiple options when it comes to romance, but it's the opportunities that seem to be less frequent. Those infrequent choices for her have left her with some of the dumbest males on the planet. I mean, really...Becky finds the level pf physical affection I show ON AVERAGE to be an anomaly. And it shouldn't feel that way! It should be the norm.

So...one of my goals this upcoming week is to make her feel more loved than her entire life. I want her to realize that she is powerful and strong as a person, and that the only way she can be made to feel she's done something wrong is if she LETS people make her feel that way.

Be well, all. =)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Boingy, boingy, boingy!

OhmyG-dOhmyG-dOhmyG-d! Becky is here. Becky is here. She's here. Boingy, boingy, boingy! That's me bouncing! =D

Seriously, folks, the wait is over. My sweet Becky has finally arrived in KS, and...Well, it went just slightly different than I'd imagined it. Y'see, she was suppose to simply turn the corner, see me, and the romance would flow. Instead, she called me mere moments before taking her exit off I-70...and we didn't hang up until she saw me standing there, waiting for her.

Now, I really want to give you all the glorious details, (like the hug that threatened to absorb all of her time here; it was close, but we were able to end it and get into the house), but at this stage...Well, my lady-love is here, and ignoring her as such is unfair. I'm just reporting on her safe arrival. After that...well, we're gonna spend a lot of quality time together.

Be well, all!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Anyone else wanna insult me?

It would seem that certain parties are hellbent on insulting me, and by extension, Becky. You see, I spoke to her not too long ago. She's safe and sound in a motel room for the night. She was even able to access the web from her room, so we were able to chat via Skype, cameras and all. But what she told me is making me more irritated with every passing moment, and it's nothing that she did.

Her mother has been checking in with her all day, asking every now and again if she'll turn around and come home. Her cousin apparently got in on the act, as well, and I have no idea if any others in her family were at it. Why are they asking her to turn around? They seem to be of the opinion that I'll turn out to be an axe murderer, and the next time they see Becky will be one tiny piece at a time, mailed to them in thousands of small envelopes. I mean, really. Do they have any idea what kind of money that would cost me in terms of postage?!?

When Becky planned her trip to Puerto Rico, her family was displeased, but they decided that she was an adult and could do as she pleases. Her mother even helped obtain the plane ticket. Ah, but Dan turned out to be a bit of a lunatic, and everyone was happy when Becky declared that she wasn't going to see him.

Compared to him, I'm a saint. The measures I've taken to ensure Becky's safety should speak volumes to the kind of person I am. Instead, everyone on her side of the world is determined to ignore my character and see me as only a disabled old man and/or a psychopath.

Old man? I'm only 42. I did the math, mostly for the laugh, and there's 18 years and four days between our ages. Becky was born at almost the exact hour I was. Meanwhile, there's a 22 year difference between her mother and her...whatever the heck he is. He's been around since Becky was a toddler, but they remain unmarried because...HE'S STILL MARRIED TO A WOMAN ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD! (Something about an argument over property that neither one can be adult about and give up.) So the woman that's been with a married man for 20 years, with a 22-year difference between them, is afraid I'm too old. "Hello, Kettle? This is Pot. You're black!"

Disabled? Yes, I am. That doesn't mean I'm dead. Becky doesn't need to spoon feed me or change my diapers, (which is actually what she does for a living at this time for wheelchair bound clients). Not only am I well enough to still dress myself, but I still behave like a horny teenager from time to time, much to Becky's amusement. I'm not dead or dying, so stop making it seem like I am!

A psychopath? Only in my imagination. I can pen a nasty murder now and again. I can even muster some sick jokes. But actually bring harm to another human being...? Of my own volition?!? My readers know me better than that, and...Okay, Becky's mother doesn't know me at all, but has she spent so much as a single minute thinking about what I've done to make sure Becky is safe?

Let's look at the list, shall we?

1: Gave Becky my full name and birthday. I did this WEEKS ago and invited her to do a background check on me. She declined. Still this information was there for anyone to take advantage of. And when her mother finally decided to act on said information, it was the day before Becky was to leave. Honestly, my thought was, Better late than never. Still...Did DAN ever make such an offer? No...Not ever.

2: Gave Becky my phone number, as well as the number to the local police department. Like everyone else with a cell phone, Becky's sometimes dies on her. I practically have OCD when it comes to keeping my phone charged, so they'll have an alternate number to reach her. And on the off chance that I don't answer, or they believe I'm acting suspicious, they can summon the police.

3: Gave my address, as well as that of the motel we'll eventually be at. Why? Because calling the police with nowhere to send them is stupid. Unlike DAN, I made sure they knew where to find Becky at all times.

4: Allowed Becky to snap pics of defining scars. Just watch a few cop shows and you know that they're something the cops use to identify a suspect. If they fear I'm doing something shady, they know exactly those things that will distinguish me from others. DAN, as far as they know, is...ummm...Puerto Rican. I supposed that means they can start by arresting 50% of the people living in Brownsville, Brooklyn, and make their way down to the actual country as time permits.

5: INSISTED Becky stop driving by nightfall to rest. Back in the day, I would have driven the whole thing in a day, tired or not. But Becky has never driven for that long, and being on an interstate 95% of the way means she'd be traveling with vehicles a lot larger than hers. Get safe. Get some rest. Finish the trip the next day. While no such thing was necessary for DAN, odds are excellent he would have wanted her to do it all in one day. Had she decided on her own to stop, he would have soiled his diapers and thrown a fit.

6: INSISTED that Becky call everyone she knows back home often enough to let them know she's safe. It would be great if Becky and I could hole up in a motel for her entire visit, ordering room service or take out meals the entire time, without a soul on Earth bothering us. However, I am aware that it's too scary a prospect to send her off alone and simply hope she'll be okay. She should call daily, especially her family. As for DAN...? Well, I've come to strongly suspect that his intentions were so far from pure that purity itself was no longer visible on the horizon.

7: Lectured Becky on "no is no." Look, we're adults. Kids our age are going to play adult games when left alone. But if there's anything she's uncomfortable with, she only has to say the word and I'll give her all the space she wants. We won't even fall asleep in the same bed, as that could accidentally lead to something she may be unsure of. DAN...? The way he started begging and pleading for her to change her mind about canceling the trip makes me believe that he would have gone completely deaf had she told him to back off. My greatest fear was that he would have raped her, and Becky would have been so alone in another country.

8: Offer to go to PA first. This was the original plan, before Dan blew a gasket. My intent was to go to Becky and meet her on her own turf. She would be infinitely more comfortable with the home court advantage. Opportunity knocked, however, and SHE chose to come see me. I may have nudged a great deal, but in the end it was all her decision. As mentioned before, DAN was BEGGING, trying to make her feel bad for following her heart! I have yet to use guilt to influence her.

9: Although her mother doesn't know this one, advise Becky on tornado safety. It's common sense. A region experiences a certain type of weather, you make sure visitors know what to do in an emergency. But had a hurricane hit Puerto Rico...well, I'm already down on the guy, so I can easily imagine him shouting over the wind, "Está en su propio," and run for the hills. ("You're on your own" in Spanish. (Thanks Google translator!))

I have done all I can to try and show Becky, and those who know her, that I'm a caring guy who tries to keep himself grounded in some form of reality. With the way people have been asking her all day to turn around, I'm tempted to drive back with her and let them all know face-to-face exactly how much I appreciate it. Y'know...maybe pour some bleach into her mother's garden, urinate in her clean laundry, or...To be truly cruel, make a run to the market, find some choice poultry parts, cut them to resemble parts of the human anatomy, and mail that with a note, "The rest of your daughter will be along shortly." (Hey! I said I can be a psychopath in my imagination.) After extending as much of myself as I can in terms of making myself seem like I just might be an okay guy, her family still thinks I'm a mistake...

...which is where it becomes an insult to Becky. Yes, she's made some poor choices in the romance department. That's obvious. Then again, we all have. And the only way any of us learn is by MAKING those mistakes. Treating Becky like she's a child is outright insulting. As a result, Becky has been sending the same message all day to various relations. "Odd...I thought I was 25 and an adult."

It's bothersome. And I pray that each one feels like a fool when Becky returns home, safe and sound, happy as can be after meeting the man she loves. Knowing humans as I do, however, makes me believe that they will find some way of ruining a good thing.

I need to get out of here and get some rest. With any luck, I'll be seeing my PCP tomorrow, and high blood pressure from being irritated won't look good.

Tale of the Tail (and other complications)

I have been waiting for Becky to feed me some excuse as to why she can't come to KS. It's happened twice before, usually leaving me brokenhearted. The first was a woman who claimed she would come to Las Vegas, way back in 2000, to rescue me from unemployment and misery of surviving surgery on my shoulder all by my lonesome. The other claimed that she would come to NY and rescue me from the boarding house I was living in...and then turned out to be lying about EVERYTHING! Even her name was a lie. (Yeah, that one was great.) Due to previous experience, I was waiting for my plans with Becky to crumble easier than a board of matzoh.

Yesterday was my wound care followup. Once again, Gina was thrilled by the amount of healing I'd done. The smaller ulcer did something unexpected, becoming dry, scabbed, and flaky, but she told me to address it with a strong skin moisturizer. (She gave samples of the latter.) We also discussed my second toe. The top of it is very red. Just the top. There's no discernible swelling, no noticeable pain, and it's not warm to the touch. It's just a worrisome red. I was told to keep an eye on it, and as long as it's just red, that Gina and staff wouldn't be doing anything else for it. Go to my PCP.

Easier said than done. I've been trying to get into my PCP for days with no success. At this rate, I'm thinking that if I had serious congestion problems, I'd have to visit the ER.

Okay...Overall, the wound care visit went well. Things are looking good, and Gina hopes that I may have only one more visit to go.

With that done, Ray was to take me on a that which has been commonly called "a Wal-crawl." It means a trek to Wal-Mart. The plan was to go, take our time, be able to think about whatever we needed back home, and me making the usual purchases that I've committed myself to. But Ray ended up hanging out with his sister, Jess, and Jess's boyfriend, and friend all-around, Wyatt. It was Jess's birthday. I knew this. But Ray Ray said that any activities associated with that wouldn't interfere with what we planned on doing.

Instead, it became a rush to "run" through Wal-Mart and get home as swiftly as possible, since Jess's son, who is supposedly being punished, would be home soon and probably doing all the things he's grounded from doing. I knew we wouldn't get home that fast. I had to stop at the pharmacy to get insulin and syringes, and the day the Wal-Mart pharmacy does EVERYTHING correctly is the day Hell actually freezes over. Sure enough, they failed to run my syringes through my insurance, so that had to be taken care of. What's more, there were TWO cashiers at the pharmacy counter, and both were moving at the speed of dark. Look, I understand Wal-mart employees don't have the best prospects, but if you can't do a job well, then why do it at all?

After that, there were several things I wanted to get, but being rushed meant I was sure to forget something along the way. I was right. I wanted to get a surplus of breath mints, since I have great potential to end up with a case of dragon breath. I'd rather remove my head before allowing Becky to kiss such a potential nightmare. At least I was able to get the vanilla candles I'd promised her. She likes the scent, and the candlelight can't do anything bad in terms of atmosphere.

After a quick stop for food, we headed home, where I called Becky. Worrisome news was awaiting me. Becky's mother, whom she moved in with after ending it with her fiance back in October - see? She did correct me! - wanted to "have a talk" when she, "mom," got home. Oh, our imaginations went wild. We couldn't actually think of what her mother could do, but we imagined the trip being destroyed with one threat or another.

Before that could even happen, Becky noticed something wrong with her cat, Ashes. (A gray cat named Ashes. Go figure.) He wasn't lifting his tail and was meowing in discomfort every time she touched the base of his tail. This brought Becky to tears. One of her kitties was sick, and so she was worried.

I did the unthinkable. I mean, I was truly loathe to ask, but I eventually found myself asking, "Sweetie, do you want to stay home and take care of Ashes?" She answered rather adamantly that she wouldn't do that. She made a promise to me and would keep it. "Yes, but I'm over here and seeing my Becky is upset, and I'd rather you take care of what you have to than come to me." No...she would come to KS if it killed everyone everywhere.

Meanwhile, as she tried to examine the cat's tail, I jumped online to see what the problem might be. The first answer I encountered was the possibility of a broken tail. How Ashes might have broken his tail was a mystery, but certainly not impossible. Was it stepped on by someone when Becky wasn't around? Had it been caught in a door? We had no idea. But discussing something other than the idea that this was a sign of impending death for the cat calmed her a bit.

I added to the fun chats we were having by going over tornado safety. I don't expect her to have such a problem, but forewarned is forearmed. I wanted her to know what to do should she run into such a situation, what with her entering "Tornado Alley" and all. "Travel at a 90 degree angle should you spy a tornado. Not all tornadoes have funnels, so watch for debris moving around at ground level. If a tornado appears too closely for you to drive to safety and there's no solid shelter, get out of the car, find low ground, lie flat, and pray." Really...Tornadoes are scary things, and tips I discovered online were the best pieces of advice I could give.

Then "mom" got home. Oh, this was sure to be "fun." Becky logged off of Skype and said she'd talk to me in a bit. I spent the next 10 minutes fearing the worst. But when Becky returned, it wasn't nearly as terrifying as we'd imagined. Becky's mother FINALLY decided that it was time to run a background check on me. Mind you, I'd suggested this weeks ago. Why no one leapt at the idea is beyond me. Still, if that's all her mother wanted, it was no problem. Becky gave her mother my full name and birthday, and I...Well, I went a little nuts. "Oh, your mom is worried about me? Fine. Let's start with noticeable scars." As I started aiming the camera at markers that make me stand out in a crowd, Becky took pics using Skype. I gave her the scars on my right upper arm, as well as the ones on the outside of both calves. Then I went to expose my right foot...

...and noticed a problem. My sock had gotten caught on the nail of my "useless toe" and ripped the nail up slightly. There was blood, redness, and a bit of swelling. After taking a pic of it, I immediately started applying all those methods I'd learned during my wound care. I even have some of the supplies needed to do it all properly, and did just that.

The situation with Ashes was also discussed. Becky's mother would take the cat to the vet on Thursday. All was well...

...until this morning. When my phone rang, I expected it to be Becky telling me she was getting in the car and on her way to KS. I was right in that it was Becky. Ashes had gotten worse during the night. There was now blood and pus coming from the base of his tail. Adding to this was the symptom of being unable to get to the litter box to relieve himself. As I understand it, he urinated on the computer printer. (New printer, anyone?) She needed to get him to the vet right away.

An hour and half after she was supposed to leave, Becky called again to report that things weren't as serious as she'd thought. The cat simply had an infected abscess at the base of his tail, and that he'd have to be kept overnight for the vet to drain it. Becky just needed to head home and drop off the cat carrier, and she would be on her way.

As I post this, Becky is heading for I-70, which goes from PA to KS, right through my town. She just has to find it and drive. She told me she should be able to get around 10 hours of driving done today. And some time between mid to late afternoon, my Becky will FINALLY be in my arms.

Am I excited? You don't know the half of it!

NOTE: Zeb tried to leave a post on "So THAT'S what I am." Blogger.com, however, wouldn't let me post his comment, nor would it allow me to post it under my name. So...He said:

"Well, I know you moderate posts. That last bit was just making mention to you, in case it was the second time you saw it, that I'd had some difficulty getting the comment made and it was unclear whether the first attempt succeeded or not. Apparently it did not. (This is not the first time I've had trouble. Either that or what I tried to post last time you found offensive. 8-D)

((Grrr! Third attempt on this one too.)"

Not sure what's going on there, but know that I'm receiving the comments in my e-mail, and they're always appreciated. =)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Post 300: T-48 hours and counting

Okay...Rather than discuss how many posts have ACTUALLY been made, as with post 200, let's just go with the counter I see when I log in and stick with that, eh? Also, while the time stamp may say one thing, by the time I actually post this, it will be 48 hours until...until...

OMG!!! BECKY IS COMING TO KANSAS!!!

Y'know, for all the times I mentioned this very fact, I don't think I've told you folks the plan. Becky and I certainly discuss it enough. We even spent about a half hour staring at the satellite views of various map sites, pinpointing exactly where she has to turn to get to my home. "No. No, sweetie, listen to me. The picture on the satellite view is wrong. There's a road there now. I understand that you don't see a road. None of the sites show one there, but that's where you turn. No...Ignore that part about driving all the way down that main road and making a U-turn. You'll end up in the wrong place. *sigh* Sweetie, I know there's nothing on the satellite photo but a barren field, but I swear to you that there's a road there, and..." Yeah, I think that one took up about 10 minutes of our time. Becky's a bright woman, but nervousness is turning BOTH of us into morons. (And I did state we were two happy idiots a few posts back.)

In 48 hours, Becky will be climbing into her car, directions by her side, a bag of travel stuff in the back seat, and beginning her 18-hour drive to KS. While I continue to tell her she need not do anything she's uncomfortable with, I have issued "orders" for her.

1: Call when she leaves. Lately I've been waking up early, usually after only a few hours of sleep. My normal schedule doesn't have me waking up until sometime around noon. Still, I want to know when she's on the road so that I can officially start worrying. Because as we all know, when you love someone, officially worrying is part of one's job.

2: Call when she stops for food or gas. It's my way on keeping tabs on her progress. Each hour on the interstate is another 60 to 75 miles out of the way, bringing her that much closer to me. Hopefully the excitement won't kill me. Driving over 1,000 miles to visit a corpse isn't exactly fun, y'know?

3: As the sun sets, find a motel for the night. When I was young and stupid, I may have dared to drive for 18 hours straight, but I've since learned a few things about what's actually on the road, especially after my lengthy chats with Leroy, a guy I've mentioned a few times. He's a truck driver, and he's told me about how strict his company is about following the law. But there are independent drivers who aren't as careful. The more driving they do, the more money they make. The last thing I need Becky to do is share the road with an overly tired truck driver that's falling under the spell of highway hypnosis. Find a motel at sunset.

4: Call from the motel. She may be on her way, but I still need my daily dose of Becky. The shorter calls throughout the day simply won't be enough. I'll need a real "fix" by then.

5: Repeat orders one and two, with the addition that she's to call when she reaches Topeka, KS. At that point, she'll be an hour away. That's when I'm sure to start experiencing a chemical overload from within. Adrenaline, endorphins, and whatever else my body can dump into my bloodstream. It's going to make me want to sleep. Instead, I'll shower and wake myself up. Then I will take up station outside the trailer and await her arrival.

6: Be prepared to be glomped when she arrives Thursday evening. According to online resources, "to glomp" is to initiate a flying tackle/enthusiastic hug. It's just over a week since we started officially planning this little trip for her, but it feels like an eternity. Glomping seems appropriate.

Orders followed...Becky is here safely...Then what?

It seems every motel in my area has conspired to not give us privacy. Each call we made had us face the reality that the first three nights of her visit would have to be spent here...in my tiny bedroom...with Ray and Cody lurking about the house. And both of those characters have plans for Becky's visit.

Ray had plans to clean. He somehow believes that he can get this place in enough order as to make a good first impression. My belief is that unless he plans on using explosives, nothing can save our home. Three bachelors live here, two of them greater gamer geeks than I could ever hope to be. It would require divine intervention for this place to be put in reasonable order. Still, he wants to make the effort, which is nice. Said efforts also include making sure the pullout bed from the couch in the living room is readily available. He's of a mind that Becky may want to sleep alone. One of our BIG plans is to spend many hours cuddling and talking. This can't be done with her sleeping in another room. Of course, that bed is bigger than mine, so maybe we'll BOTH end up in the living room. =)

Cody is going to be on the lookout for any sounds that may indicate Becky and I are...ummm...doing something other than talking or sleeping. The moment he has any such indication, he's going to stand by my bedroom door and shout, "Rob! The house is one fire!" But that's okay. Cody made it clear when I moved in that he has a great fear of needles, so all I'd need to do in return is play a brief round of "Catch a Needle" to get him back. >=P

On Sunday, Becky and I will, as the saying goes, "get a room." It's easy to imagine that we're doing this so we can have some kind of wild, naked romp for the remainder of her stay, but it's really for the sake of our sanity - that of me, her, and my housemates.

For her and I, it's the fact that the walls of this place are paper thin, and my room is right next to the bathroom. I can see it now...Becky and I cuddling up on my bed, her stroking my cheek...I whisper how much I love her...and then the sound of someone urinating from the next room over comes through loud and clear, accentuated by various gaseous emissions. Not exactly the height of romance.

For the guys, it's a matter of not torturing them with the fact that I'm nauseatingly happy, and the source of that happiness being around, teasing them with the fact that they've both been single a LONG time. It's not fair to inadvertently torture them. We will go off and get a room for another week.

And how are we paying for this room? It's all Becky. When her trip to Puerto Rico exploded, she called the next day to try and get a refund on her nonrefundable trip. The $1,100 that she'd spent would now be gone - simply gone - if she didn't try. Lo and behold, the 65% of the cost that was to go to her hotel was refunded in full. The rest of the money, her airfare, can only be turned into a credit that's good for the next year. And I assure you that we're contemplating various ways to use it. =)

What happens after that is likely a little taste of Rob's life. I have that pre-surgical appointment a week from today. I'll also probably have another wound care followup, as that second ulcer is now becoming somewhat stubborn in its healing. My plan is to have Becky sit in on BOTH appointments so that she gets a truly unfettered view of what I deal with.

I should be clear that's it's not my intent to shock her. The thing is that Becky has stated that my problems don't bother her. She will take me for exactly who and what I am. Well, saying those things when my problems are merely a discussion is easy. SEEING can make the difference. And do I expect her to run once she receives a good view of my problems? Not at all. I simply expect a slight change in her perspective of things, appreciating the gravity of my medical conditions.

All I need to avoid when she's here is some kind of mental meltdown. And what bothers me is the fact that those are sometimes too easy to come by.

Need an example? Okay. Imagine that she and I have spent a wonderful night together. It was a night with a boatload of cuddling, romantic speeches, and a million lovers' sighs. We drift off to sleep in one another's arms. In the night, we disengage from that romantic entanglement and end up sleeping back to back. The next morning arrives, and Becky wakes first. She reaches over to caress my cheek...

...and I scream like I'm being attacked. It's just a brief episode in which my PTSD strikes, and I start calming down in short order...

...only to start becoming depressed at the fact that I'm a walking, talking train wreck. My brain latches onto the idea that she's too good for me, that I'm unworthy of the affections of such a wonderful woman, and I start pleading with her to go home, try to forget me, and go find some guy who isn't carrying so much baggage that he practically needs a psychological valet.

And while I can see that happening, I can also see the results. Becky would refuse to leave. She'd hold me and let my tears flow as necessary. She'd remind me that she loves me, and that she doesn't want anyone but me. In short, she would offer to be the valet that carries my baggage for me.

I was right. I'm finishing this post, and Becky leaves in 48 hours. You'll all have to excuse me now, as I go spend some time trying to slow my heart, which is now racing with excitement and anticipation. =)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Ohhh. So THAT'S what I am!

I woke up yesterday morning and found no reason to venture through the living room. I didn't even need to get a fresh drink, as the diet root beer I'd opened before going to bed was still cold, due to a temperature drop in the night and no one feeling the need to turn on the heat. It was still carbonated, so why crack a new one open?

Becky popped on Skype mere moments after I got my computer up and running, so we started chatting...again...as usual. It was the typical babble, mixed with the occasional mush.

Before I knew it, the diet root beer was gone and I needed a new one. As I ventured to the kitchen, I noticed Steve on the couch. After my blowup a couple of months ago, I was a little surprised. But only a little. It's not like I was awake the night before for anyone to check in with me. In fact, when he and Ray arrived home the night before, everyone else was asleep, so it was judged, appropriately I might add, that if Steve didn't wake anyone, all should be well.

And it was. I mean, part of my explosion was the fact that Steve was spending several nights in a row on our couch. I don't mind him as a guest, but when it starts feeling like he's taking up residence here, THAT'S where I have a problem.

Steve was just waking up, and so I paused to chat briefly. (Oh, the torture of not speaking to Becky for a few minutes!) I found myself apologizing. Here, in the "real world," with just about anyone who has ears to listen, my topic of conversation is Becky. "Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky. Becky Becky Becky Becky, Becky Becky, Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky. Becky, Becky Becky Becky Becky Becky?" To be honest, I'm surprised people haven't told me to shut up already. And so we had the following chat...

Me: I'm sorry. I feel kind of foolish, but every time I start talking to someone, it's, "Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky-Becky." (Said in rapid succession.)
Steve: That's okay, Rob. You're twitterpated.
Me: (looking confused) I'm what?
Steve: Twitterpated.
Me: I don't know what this word means.
Steve: It's from Bambi.
Me: Ummm...Right. I'm going back to talking with Becky.

I still didn't know what the word was, although I had an idea. Words that sound a little off, however, require that I get a definition. Before I could actually do that, however, I was back on Skype with my lady-love...

Me: Well, that was odd.
Becky: What was odd?
Me: I just discovered Steve in the living room. I took a moment to apologize because you seem to be the only thing I talk about with anyone who has ears, and Steve said I was "twitterpated."
Becky: Oh, that's from Bambi!
Me: Okay, what the hell. A movie that I saw back when I was maybe five, and the two of you remember this "twitterpated" thing. (My poorly made point was that the movie was older than both of them, and they seemed to carry entirely too much information about it than I should, but that I didn't.)
Becky: Mmmm...My poor, twitterpated Rob.
Me: Okay, that's it!
Becky: (hearing me start to type away) What are you doing?
Me: I'm going to get an official definition on this word, even if it kills us all.

My dictionary didn't have it, so I completed my online search and found it most simply defined as "smitten." Well, if that's the case, I am, indeed, twitterpated.

And let me tell you, even during the short breaks, when I'm not talking TO Becky, I'm still managing to talk ABOUT Becky.

For example, I was out of smokes this morning. (Yes, I still have that terrible habit, despite having made my best effort to quit many months ago.) No one was awake, so I decided to walk down the the nearest gas station, (about 15 minutes at my best speed), to get a few packs. While I was there, I decided to grab a cappuccino. Once I was at the register, the cashier start ringing me up, and because I was only "faking" being conscious, I answered "yes" when she asked if what was in the cup was coffee. As I handed over my debit card, it dawned on me that I'd actually gotten the slightly more expensive cappuccino, and told her. She thanked me for my honesty, to which I replied, "Yeah, well...Sometimes I'm TOO honest. Still, it's my honesty that seemed to have attracted my girlfriend."

(Again, Becky is not officially my girlfriend as yet. Various things will be made official once we're face-to-face.)

So then I start hobbling home, and the gentleman who left the gas station before me had stopped to sit briefly. He had a cane as well, and as I approached where he sat, I said, "That looks like a good idea." So I sat, and he and I started talking. The poor guy is reaching 60, is a Vietnam vet, and facing several operations on his spine to address his degenerative nerve disease. Usually when someone starts talking about their illnesses, it becomes a contest. "Oh yeah? Well, I have THIS wrong with me. And THAT wrong with me. And you wouldn't believe the problems I'm having with the other thing." But when someone has spinal issues that occasionally force them to use a wheelchair, they win by default. For the time being, I can only empathize up to a point; there's no wheelchair in my life just yet, and hopefully never will.

He mentioned his wife of ten years, and how she tends to be the motivation for putting up his best fight against his chronic conditions. Well, that was like a door being kicked open for me to talk about my sweet, beautiful Becky. "Y'know, I've tried to have a romance here and there, but as we would become more interested in one another, I would tell them, 'Look, before we start getting serious, there's a few things you should know about me.' Then I'd go down the laundry list of problems I have, at which point they'd say something along the lines of, 'Well, it's been great getting to know you, but...Bye.' And they'd flee. But this woman that's coming to see me next week...I did everything in my power to make her run, and she refused. Her acceptance of me is what makes her the most wonderful woman on the planet."

The gentleman agreed with me, as his wife seems to be the same way. What got me was that this guy looked like a genuine brute. He's over 300 lbs., grizzled beard, fingerless gloves, black tank top (despite the morning chill)...I call him a "gentleman" because that's my style, but at a glance, that wouldn't be my regular assessment. If anything, I'd usually avoid being on the same side of the street with someone who looked like he could bend me into a pretzel. But listening to him talk about his wife...You could tell the love hadn't faded.

This prompted me to say, "It's amazing. There was a time not too long ago when women were often referred to as 'the weaker sex.' But without them, men like us would be nothing."

"Yeah," he said. "I think we all break just about even. Ain't no one really weaker than the other."

Well, not everyone needs to be loquacious to get the idea across.

I haven't told Becky this, but having her in my life changes a great deal for me. The biggest thing is that I feel as though I can stop existing. That is, the only thing I was doing prior to her becoming lodged in my heart was existing on a day to day basis. I was neither looking forward to nor regretting the next day. It was just there. And whatever that day brought, be it good or bad, was just another day in my life. On occasion, a friend would do something spectacular for me, and those were the days that were truly noteworthy. Beyond that, it was the popular phrase, "Same stuff, different day." (Okay, I didn't cuss. How often do I actually do that, eh?)

Becky has inspired me to start LIVING! No, I'm not living FOR her. I made that mistake in the past, and I'm trying my best to not do it again. But now I look forward to the next day, (and even start looking further into the future than that). Because the next day is going to still have someone who loves me for who and what I am, no matter what. While walking to work last night, Becky called (because I'd rather she be on the phone with me while wandering around in the dark than being utterly alone), and she started telling me how she wouldn't want me to change in any way. She stated that over the time she's known me, including the numerous months when we would just chat on City of Heroes, I haven't changed. She loves "this Rob," and the only thing that's been altered in our relationship is the fact that we have fallen for one another. And that, she said, is a good thing.

Her words had me sitting there, eyes closed, that contented smile plastered on my face, and once again basking in that glorious feeling that comes with having found someone you deem a perfect match. "Y'know," I began softly, "just when I don't think I could be anymore in love with you, you go and say something like that...and I realize I was wrong. I CAN fall deeper in love."

And so, my friends, I hope you can also forgive me. I have a condition that affects millions of people every day. This "illness" makes me want to babble on and on about someone special to me, and unlike my other other ailments, I pray this one will be chronic and untreatable. I'm twitterpated, folks, and thankfully there's no cure. =)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Now she said it.

I'm sorry, but when big events occur in my life, they're going to end up on this blog. The fact that I've found someone after 10 freakin' years is BIG FREAKIN' NEWS!

Last night, during one of those moments when I start speaking in my soft, smitten voice, I started going on about how Becky and I are the happiest accident I've ever had. We knew each other for a year before becoming a couple, flirting ever now and again on City of Heroes, with her idiot fiance encouraging it. Then we exchanged phone numbers, neither one called the other right away. And only when I believed she was inclined toward an adult conversation did I pick up the phone...only to find out she wasn't so inclined, and that she needed someone to treat her like a human being for once.

Even then, we were only going to be friends. She had Dan. She was going to see him in two months, and I didn't stand a chance. He was younger. He was fit. He was...

Okay, let me tell you what Dan was. Dan wasn't just an idiot for telling Becky she could pursue other guys. He was also what is commonly known as "a player." And I found this out while talking to Becky's best friend.

I deemed it important that someone on Becky's side of the world know who I am. It usually ends up that a woman travels to meet a guy somewhere and she ends up being front page news when she vanishes from the face of the planet. Around that time, the guy she went to see is arrested for her murder, and somewhere in the world is a grieving set of parents who wish their little girl had been smarter about things. I have been doing everything in my power to ensure no one fears this happening with me. You all know me as a caring, nice guy. They don't. Hence, I not only gave my address and phone number to Becky's best friend, but also the number to the local police department.

And if you REALLY want to get to know someone, start talking theology with them. This is what the best friend started doing with me. While talks about one's belief in G-d can be dangerous, I explained that as long as she didn't start preaching to me, all should be well.

There came a point where Dan came up in conversation, and Kat, (that's the best friend), started explaining how she was thoroughly against Becky's trip to Puerto Rico from the start. Why? Because there was a time when Dan was engaged. While he was engaged, he was having an online affair with Kat, making a claim to her that "his romantic needs weren't being met by his fiancee." If that's the case, then it begs the question, "Why had he gotten engaged?" With his recent dating history, one has to wonder why Becky was willing to go see him. She was about to spend around $1,100 to go see a guy who was likely going to make her another notch on his bedpost, and that's it. "I know we did things while you were here, but the sparks didn't really fly for me. I don't think it's going to work out." That would leave Becky wondering if there were ANY men out there who spoke the truth - EVER - and likely in no mood to even hear from me.

Once again, it's pure chance that things turned out as they did. Had Dan not let his disguise start slipping, Becky would still be heading for Puerto Rico, where I'm fairly positive heartbreak was awaiting her.

Oh...I haven't even mentioned the aspects of Fate that seem to be looming over my relationship with Becky. Like shortly after we had a chat about how there was a train station right there in her town. Days later, while glancing over the various articles AOL tries to get you interested in, there was one for their travel section about discounted fares for the train. Then there was the article about relaxing one's views on one's "type." Becky technically wasn't my type. (I won't go into the list, but being my height would normally have me crossing her off the list of potentials.) Because I had done exactly what the article suggested, Becky and I are now together...almost.

Yeah, "almost." Some things should happen in person. While we're completely invested in our feelings, I want us to become an official couple when we're face to face. Earlier in the evening, while discussing exactly that, Becky reminded me that she fully expects to return home no longer single. I joked, asking, "Yes. But will you have a boyfriend or a fiance?"

My joke is what led to me using the soft, smitten voice. The logical part of my brain says that becoming engaged would be moving to fast. But even my heart knows that if we were to take that exact action that it would be a lengthy engagement. I just established medical care here in KS. I have issues that need to be addressed. It would be a pain in the butt to pick up, move to PA, walk into a new doctor's office and say, "Hi. I need surgery." Then it would be back to doing all kinds of tests to confirm it, and all the other crap that comes with the process. I'm crazy about Becky, but I won't sacrifice my well-being like that for her.

So there'd probably be another year here, with the occasional visit between us. In my head, the visits all happen on her turf. That's how I'd wanted it to be from the start, but luck was on my side and now her vacation to PR has been canceled. Why waste her time off? She'll come here, and we will be two happy idiots in person. But the other visits...? Well, the current plan is for me to visit during our birthdays. There's a four-day difference between the two dates...month-wise. We'll celebrate together, have a good time...and then I'd see her again during the holiday season. I don't have anyone with which to celebrate, so I'll go spend time with her and her family. And then the next time we see one another face-to-face will be when I move out there.

Another thing is that I would like Becky to spend a little time living alone. This isn't a priority, but Becky has NEVER lived alone! She's always lived under a roof with someone else, and...well, what happens if a time comes and she needs to be on her own? She won't know what to expect in any regard. I want her to have that experience before she starts sharing a home with me.

Right. I'm done babbling with her, and she starts telling to me about how she was talking with Kat, and how Becky was wondering, "Is this what love is?" And one of the reasons Becky was wondering this was because we'd disconnected Skype the other night, and she looked at the no-empty screen and said, "I love you."

She's been so afraid to say it. It would mean that she was officially connected to me, and that was scaring her fiercely. She'd been thinking about it all day, and now she seemed to be searching for the words. I was trying to reassure her, when she cut me off. "I was thinking about how much I loved you."

o.O

Let me tell you, folks...My heart almost left my chest to go on a happy little trip of its own. The smile on my face was locked in place. And now, finally, AT LAST, we can say what we've been feeling without there being some fear that she will flee.

I'm on my way. I actually have Kat on Skype at this moment, and Becky is now off from work and making a few stops before she's on Skype too.

Be well, my friends.