Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's been some time...and stuff

From time to time, when talking to my friend Julie, she would mention that she and the kids have a stomach bug, and I would think, It's been ages since I've had anything of the sort. Oh, I've had me some exciting bowel issues, like the fact that all of my medications are binding. Then there was that parasite I picked up some time ago when I made the mistake of eating airport food on the way to my Dad's in FL. This past week, however, I came down with...something...and I still have no idea what it was.

It took hold of me late morning, after I'd had myself a couple of cups of coffee. My stomach, located closer toward mid-torso, and not lower, where the bowels are. (Many a time have stomach issues been confused between the two.) It was an ongoing ache, neither sharp nor dull, hurting all the time. I immediately when into "stomach virus mode," restricting myself to unsalted crackers and diet ginger ale. Alas, even this simple diet was causing my pain to increase, and so I was ingesting incredibly sparingly.

And I waited. I waited for some other symptom to strike. Vomiting. Or an unexpected run to the bathroom to "vomit out the other end." But there was nothing. It was just my stomach, and I was surprised at how much it hurt. It was the kind of pain that would wake me up, keep me up, and allow me to sleep only when exhaustion hit. It also made me quite the grump, with me occasionally unloading my misery on my beloved Becky. (Sorry, my love!) There was even talk of taking me to the hospital if the pain persisted.

Thankfully, it didn't. I got a little better each day, with the pain receding just a bit more as the time passed. I suffered completely on the 18th. On the 19th, I didn't suffer as much, but was still in just enough pain to remain miserable. I thought I was over it by the 20th, but played it safe most of the day, sticking to my restricted diet until late that night, when increasing hunger made me crave something else. While I took that as a good sign, my stomach wasn't 100% happy with anything else. So it was that I was still taking it fairly easy on foodstuffs on the 21st; I tried having my morning coffee, but digestive complaints made me go back to being cautious until dinner rolled around. (Becky tried her hand at a kind of "stir fried" ("stir boiled?") food, and I didn't want to pass up the chance to eat something more substantial.) Then it was back to crackers and ginger ale for most of the evening.

In the end, I still have no idea of what it was. I know the pain was bad enough for me to prepare in my head the answer to what a hospital staff would ask. "On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst pain imaginable, where's your pain?" I was at an 8 on that first day. I was down to a six on the second. By day three, I vacillated between 1 and 2. On day four, I was still getting hints at a one, but nothing major. And there was still no other symptoms; just pain.

I can't even remember the last time I had such a thing. Diabetic ketoacidosis doesn't really cause stomach pain, despite all the vomiting. If my stomach hurts, it tends to be from pulling muscles as I heave uncontrollably. And when I had that lovely parasite, it was my bowels that cried out in discomfort, and even that wasn't that bad...just uncomfortable. Becky feared it was an ulcer, but such pain, according to a quick search online, isn't as persistent, lasting three hours or less. We also tried to make a joke that it was cancer, because, as we all know, when you research a pain on the internet, it can always lead to a self-diagnosis of cancer.

So now I'm on the lookout for a repeat experience. If it happens again relatively soon, (with "soon" being within the next six months), I'll have Becky cart me off to the hospital to have myself checked out. This morning, however, the morning coffee is going down without a single twitch from my gut. All I am is tired, and that's a symtpom of a different color.

* * *
And now some news of our new idiot. I mean, our new neighbor.

We're in an apartment at the back of a house that's been renovated into a number of apartments. We're actually lucky, as some of these places are about as big as a sardine can. The apartment directly opposite us, in the front, has had some real idiots lately. Last year, it was a guy named Matt, who couldn't care less about those who lived around him. He blasted his music whenever he pleased. There was also a point where he was either watching porn or was getting lucky with a VERY loud girl. Whatever it was, we heard Matt's activities entirely too much through the walls. And these walls aren't all that thin. Not that thick, but not so thin as to hear everything a person is doing next door or above us.

Thankfully, Matt is gone. He moved out at the end of December, probably back to mommy and daddy, who were responsible for his bills. (We knew this from all the phone calls made to the landlord.)

He was replaced about a week and a half to two weeks ago by Katie, an older woman who seemed nice enough. I mean, she came by to use Becky's phone while she waited for a land line to be set up. (Like I several years ago, she doesn't believe in cell phones.) She informed us that the landlord had told her all about Matt, and she passed herself off as someone completely unlike him. She also told us then that she rarely has guests, is essentially quiet, and tends to listen to jazz peacefully in her home. She also added that if we have any problems, just come by and tell her.

And we bought it.

Early last week, she had an incredible blowout with...someone. It must have been a "male friend," as Becky pressed her ear against the wall to find out what the hell all the screaming was about. Eventually, I could hear the screaming quite clearly without needing an ear to the wall. In addition to this nonsense, they were shaking the entire house with some kind of violent activity. The was no "knock on the door and tell them to keep it down" kind of situation. No...we called the cops.

End of drama...or so we hoped.

Last night, starting at somewhere between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM, the raised voices started again. This time, they lacked the house-shaking violence. It was after midnight when Becky and I looked at one another and said, "Enough is enough." We traipsed out into the snow, (we've had a few inches fall), and got an earful of country music as we passed her windows. (So much for peacefully listening to jazz, eh?) I pounded on her door, and when she answered, I said loudly, "If you don't keep it down in here, my next calls are to the cops and the landlords!"

"What am I doing?" she asked stupidly.

"The blasting music and your voices through the wall...?" I replied incredulously.

"That's not blasting," she tried to say.

"The cops and the landlord," I repeated. "Another peep and I make those calls."

There was blessed silence after that...for the most part. Becky and I think she might be a bit of a drinker, and it's obvious that she's a flake from some of what she's said.

The thing is, I have zero tolerance for liars. I used to be quite the "tale-teller" in the past, and I now understand why people would occasionally be so ticked off at me. Over the years, I've developed a "one strike and you're out" kind of attitude. Katie has had her one strike. She advertised herself as one kind of person, and it turns out she's another. I thought we had a human being for a neighbor, and not some spoiled college brat who thinks he/she owns the world. Instead, I'm praying she earns a Darwin Award.

Is that bad of me? >=)

* * *
In much, much lighter news, I am thoroughly enjoying my "pity present." Becky bought me "Skyrim" at my behest, along with the game guide. I delved into the game before the guide arrived, and was absolutely astounded at the amount of detail that went into the monstrous game. I'm also something of a "bad player," because once I learn there are cheats to be enabled in a game, I tend to enable them. But I didn't go insane. I mean, I didn't activate "god mode," but I DID pay a visit to the secret room where all of the items in the game are hidden. I grabbed some of the best armor I could find, as well as quite a bit of items I could use to increase my various skills...

...and then the guide arrived in the mail. (All stores we visited were sold out.) The book is well over 600 pages long! SIX HUNDRED PAGES LONG! Dear G-d, but that's A LOT of game content. I was going to keep going, rushing back to cover a few things that I missed, but...

Well, my computer has been having issues since a new graphics card was put in. Every now and again, in the middle of one game or another, my computer freezes for a split-second, and then I get the BSOD. It happens to fast for me to read everything it's saying, but I did see something about a "data dump." This happened right after I saved a game, and somehow the save file became corrupted. Because none of my older saves were kept, I ended up starting from scratch.

Which, as it turns out, isn't all that bad. I now have a better idea of what I'm doing, thanks to the guide, and so I was able to get myself back to level 11 within a day. (With cheats and two days of playing, I'd gotten to level 16 before.) I still have the best armor, as well as some rather nasty weapons, but that hasn't stopped me from being close to death on occasion. (I'm not a video game player like Cody, who can master just about any game he comes across. (Hmmm...I wonder if he's mastered "QWOP"?)

* * *
And that's the update for the week. I've been distracted from anything pertaining to my mother's death. Good or bad, I'm glad to not be dwelling on such a miserable past.

Be well, and DFTBA!

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