Let’s talk about Bees

I am a farmer. I try to grow a decent garden each year to support my food usage and supplement my animal feeding bill. I understand the important part bees play in that process. That said, I hate yellow jackets. When I was nine I was following my Dad plowing a field because I was picking out grubs as the dirt turned over to go fishing with. I walked directly into a wasp/hornet nest that was in the ground and overturned and cut in half by the 6 bottom plow. I was stung some 150 times and damn near died.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. The weather is turning colder here and outside critters are looking for someplace warm to winter over. I one day find myself killing yellow jackets in the windows of the house. At first it was just a few, that turned into over 30 in a day.

As a patrolled the outer parameter of my home I came to realize that a nest existed under the house obscured by the front porch. Not being able to get to it I decided to button up from the inside. I expansion foamed every pipe coming out of the floor, caulked every hole, crack or crevice I could find and in desperation walked around with masking tape covering even “possible” holes. Nothing seemed to be doing the job. Last Sunday I got stung walking out to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. Now….its game on.

Image may contain: sky, grass, tree, house, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: grass, tree, sky, plant, outdoor and nature

I am not one to screw around for very long. I made a few calls and yesterday the porch come off so I can get to the nest.

This porch has been on the front of my home for 25 years. It’s been reconditioned only once. My construction skills put on the table and well done as the porch moved without falling apart.

Today I have situated a shop vac with a water nozzle under the hole of exit and entry to suck up as many as I can before removing the skirting to remove the nest. I will post picks of that step in the next post.

This is my home. I am agoraphobic. It is my safe place. That includes safe from bees.

And so it is….

 

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Extreme downsizing

Well, today has been somewhat heart breaking. Due to the financial situation I find myself in I have canceled my daughters Gerber plan. I have been paying on it since she was born. I have never had a pot to piss in, and wanted to leave something for her, now I can’t even do that. Dropped the homeowners insurance to an amount that would allow me to maybe buy a small camper to live in incase anything happens. And when I say small camper, I am saying small camper. Something to just keep the rain off my back.

The only thing left to turn off is the lights and basic internet. I need electric to run the pump in the well so that will be the last to go. I have secured the furnace and am using a Kero heater for heat. The furnace runs on propane ($3.00 a gallon) and also uses a blower to circulate the heat (electric). The kero heater fuel is about $4.00 a gallon, but uses no electric. Usually in winter the furnace blower will jump my electric bill $60.00 a month alone.

Burning Kero has a few down sides. It stinks. the upside to that is if I have to go to the doc…he will not spent a lot of time jibber jabbering cause he will not be able to stand the smell of my clothes, and neither will other people I have to be around for whatever reason. The other is making sure I do not succumb to carbon monoxide poisoning. One non plastic covered window should cover the ventilation need for me there.

I do have garbage pick up, thats $30, but I am pretty much stuck with that for now by law. I have gone around to very outlet and unplugged everything just make sure I have no parasitic draws going on. All washed clothes will be done in cold water and hung on the line…even in winter. Freeze dried is still better than wet.

I am digging out the old candles and hurricane lamps which I will use for light at night and only using the desktop computer a few hours a day as needed to pay bills.  I have a laptop that I will be using instead for most other stuff like looking for work I can do from home. This years garden was a bust because I was so sick for so many months. I will be doing most of my eating from the local food pantry.

So…here goes….

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Early morning, late night, same thing

It’s 5:54am. Been up since 4am, well, really, I was up at 10, 11, 12:30, 2, 3:30 and finally gave up and got up at 4am. Typical night. Up why? Let me count the ways…..Arms sleep, nausea, sciatica in right leg screaming bloody murder, stabbing ice pick sensation in right ankle, full blown panic attack (that’s a real lover to wake up to every night), back ache, sinuses clogged up, coughing, gagging from the sinus drainage, left side of head and ear so painful it feels like the side of my head is one big fat flat cauliflower head, then sometimes it’s just the ice pic being rammed into my left ear. And awe, lets not leave out the hot flashes and cold sweats. Most times it is a combination of two or three of these that finally wake me up every night, not just once in a while. Exhaustion is my middle name.

When I finally drift off to sleep it is my body’s way of shutting down, too exhausted to go on. Unlike normal people who go to sleep to get a refreshing recharge for their next day. In reality, if I were to sleep for more than 2 hours at a time…..I would be declared dead. I have to get up to relieve the pinched nerves in my arms, or the sciatica. If I do not do this eventually those nerves will get pinched enough to not work at all any more. Picture that extension cord that is run through a door that after a while gets a cut in it from the door being closed on it all the time.

Just before my Grandmother died many years ago she expressed to me how tired she was, and she was ready to go. I was young, full of energy and life back then. I could not understand what she was saying. Lately her words echo in my head, in her voice. I understand Grama, I now understand. I just wish I could make it to 92 like you did. I do not think I have 36 more years in me. You didn’t have it easy either. As a matter of fact your life was harder than mine would ever be. You were 2 years older than I am now….when I was born and was running a dairy farm. So Grama, if your out there someplace I need a kick in the pants or something.  I am tired, but I am not ready to go. Every minute of every day and night I fight it.

I just do not know where I fit in, what I am supposed to be doing. I have a thirteen page resume. I have dipped my toes in more occupations than someone who councles others on such matters. Nothing ever took. I can not seem to play well with others either. I can size them up inless than a minute, and and know how things are going to work out in the end long before it comes. Unless of course I fall in love…then all bets are off because that intuition gets flushed right down the toilet. I should know better by now since they never work out either. So…we will not be doing that again. I just lost five years of my life putting my trust and faith in another human being to have it thrown in my face…..again.

Maybe I am a slow learner, maybe that is the problem. I trust people too much. I believe that the normal average person is not out to rob you blind, burn your inner house down, or be vindictive. So why is it that I can not seem to connect with the average person. I am a dick magnet.

Today is the 19th anniversary of my maternal grandfather’s passing by suicide. It seems like only yesterday. Why can’t good memories stick with you like the bad ones?

Winter is fast approaching. There is much to do around the place. Today will not be the day to do it, I will need to try and spend the day resting to make up for the night before.

Sweet dreams.

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Things are always changing, whether you want them to or not.

I guess it’s time to bring everyone up to speed.  I have been pretty sick all summer, and am now starting back on solid food. My stomach and intestines are not liking it one bit but it is a one day at a time thing for now.

My husband took the dogs and left about 2 weeks ago. I am alone now. He was from the city. He was convinced that he could not get well (stomach problems) because the air, water and house made him sick. I live in rural upstate New York. No air pollution, well water uncontaminated by chlorine or fluoride additives..(or anything else a terrorist may want to add to it to hurt millions of people all at once), and more trees and grass than concrete. More over my “stuff” is hard to deal with. I get that. It’s hard for me to deal with my anxiety, depression, constant panic attacks, chronic shoulder pain and sciatica. I have many health issues that taken one at a time would be a challenge, let alone many at once. I heard once someplace that you can not heal in the environment that made you sick…which is where he went back to..so let’s see how that works out for him.

So..its me, the chickens, rabbits and cats.  Going back to living alone has been kinda scary. I’m back to the terror of dying  in this place and no one finding me for days..becoming sick and passing out while I am cooking or something and burning the place down and not being able to get out. Trying to walk and function so lightheaded and dizzy that the world is constantly moving while you are trying to also. You all know how the obsessive thoughts go.

I have been trying to keep busy. Sleeping a lot. Trying to figure out how to pay bills, eat, fed my animals, all that. The empath in me has been in overdrive. One minute I am fine…the next I feel like I could jump out of my skin…or off a bridge if it were closer to the house. I am tired of not being able to breathe. You would think that having pressure points gone from the house would leave me with a new found freedom. Change sucks even if it is good I guess. The challenge going forward now is to figure out how to get the things I need without leaving the house and without depending on others to get it. Being agoraphobic does not lend you a lot of friends willing to take time out of their day to help you. Mostly because they do not understand the illness to begin with.

Sun dehydrated some thyme and cilantro this week being its been in the 90’s all week. Tried to do some zucchini yesterday but I think it has way too much moisture in it to do it that way. My garden was a bust this year because I have been so sick since spring that I could not dedicate the time and energy to it that it needed. My brother gave me his old rototiller for my birthday this year, so next year hopefully I can put it to use to chop up all the weeds that did grow this year.

……….to be continued.

 

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Exhausted, frustrated and beside myself

I am going to rant. I really don’t rant very often since it really does not accomplish anything. I think ranting comes from a complete and unadulterated sense of frustration that almost goes into insanity.

For over ten years I have suffered from chronic panic disorder, anxiety that has left me with agoraphobia, shame and embarrassment. I doctor at the VA. Over this last ten years I also had a PE and multiple other dis-eases. In order to get treated I had to return multiple times to get a correct diagnosis because as soon as I walk through the door it’s like I have a neon sign on my forehead that says “nut case”.

This last bout beginning around May 20th left me unable to eat solid foods for over 8 weeks due to a gastrointestinal infection, which I might add is still a problem. I am nauseated to the verge of vomiting several times a day, can not do much more than sleep, can not eat more that a tablespoon of food at a time, and no more that at a hour at a time. As well as the fact my menu of foods that MIGHT not make me sick is few and far inbetween. While I suffer with this 24 hours a day my doctor is out partying for holiday, eating whatever they want, and as much of it as they want, sleeping through the night without having multiple explosive trips to the bathroom around the clock.

But…it’s ok for me to live like this day in and day out. I am not even an after thought once I leave that clinic. My first trip sent me home with the advice to drink fluids, the second trip a week later because I was not getting any better (already 4 weeks into it) they decide I have an infection (oops, guess we were wrong it was not anxiety after all this time either) for which I am given an antibiotic, which in turn a week later provides me with a secondary infection for which I am provided another antibiotic to raise hell with my already assaulted gastrointestinal system.

Has anyone called to see how I am making out? Nope. Does anyone care? Nope. Department of Health in NYS called because what I had was state reportable and wanted to make sure no one else in the house was sick. Unless I die from starving to death..they don’t give a shit either.

Because I do not leave the house unless I think I am dieing I asked for counselling from the VA, perhaps virtual to help me work on things so I could go out, after all…it has been over ten years with intermittent visits, when I could get down there….when I stopped going did anyone call? Nope. So on May 30 I get a call after a call to the suicide help line from them…oh yes, they said we are going to set you up with virtual counseling to help you get out of the house to get down here for appointments, it will take a few weeks to set up they said. I am willing to bet that a few weeks means..”well maybe we can get it done…maybe we can’t…we will catch up with you in a few months”.

So here is the fucking deal. Somehow I have to come to terms with the fact I will never get better. There is not a spiritual guru on the planet dead or alive that I have not studied, in depth, in an effort to turn this around for me because the VA wrote me off long ago…but I failed to get the memo.

As I stared out over the hay field this morning in front of my porch toward the lake I can no longer see because of the growth of the trees over all this time…..I got the memo. I just can not accept that this is how the rest of my life is going to go. Ten years-waisted. Its like they are letting me live just to pay taxes. I can’t even work to do that anymore.

I have turned out to be an embarrassment to my family. A burden to my daughter.  Dead weight to my husband and pretty much useless to everyone else around me. How does one live with that? How do you make peace with going from a independent, self supporting person to someone who has to depend on other people for about everything, yet appear to everyone to be perfectly fine? How?? I probably would not be nearly as dehydrated as I am if I could just stop crying. So if anybody has any advice..I am open to it. Please share. TYIA.

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Anxiety induced illness

I have been horribly ill since May 22 with gastrointestinal issues. I have been to the VA and all my blood work came back fine. I have not been able to eat and for the first 10 days of this ate almost nothing. Since last wednesday when I went I have tried to nibble as much as possible but its still running out of me like water most days and causing nausea. I just can’t believe how ill stress has made me.

At the VA they gave me fluids and two potassium pills sent me on my way with instructions to stay hydrated, and use a brat diet. He also wanted me to take a few potassium tablets at home. I have to be very careful with that because everytime I have tried to do that I end up with palpitations. The thing is if its too low you get palpitations too, so wtf.

It has been 16 days. I feel no better than I did 15 days ago. It is a struggle just to get up and care for the animals.

I have felt so crappy for so long overall (about 10 years now) that I can not remember what it feels like to be a normal person. I can’t remember what it’s like to wake up and be able to get up, and enjoy my day. What it is like to plan to do things, and get them done without worry and hesitation. What it feels like to feel well.

I do suppose that feeling well means different things to different people. I am grateful that I can walk, talk, and see. I read and see stories of people with all kinds of disabilities accel at all kinds of things in life. Aside of having all kinds of help I do not see how, or where their motivation and drive comes from. Perhaps it is acceptance. Perhaps I am fighting myself by refusing to admit I will be a basket case all my life.

The thing about the acceptance card is that somehow I see that as giving up. Surrendering. I am a Navy Veteran. Surrender is a swear word in my vocabulary. I do also know if I were to use that word my life as I know it will drastically change. I do not do well with drastic change. It would be a cliff jumping thing for me.

What I know for sure is that 10 years ago I was not like this. I was a Mom, business owner, medical professional and a respected productive member of my community. Now I am nothing but pathetic.

There is that “I am” thing. Wayne Dyer would slap me in the head for putting that out there like that, but I have been kicking the shit out affirmations and positive thinking, prayer and even begging. And here I am. And for the record. Where is my husband? He’s out in Michigan partying with his family out there. Been out there since last Sunday. I am pretty sure he expected I would be even worse off than I am right now. He planned on me not having any money to buy animal feed so they would starve. He planned on the place going to shit and me finally giving up and doing what he wants which is moving to the city. The surprise that will await him is that if I have to move….he will not be going with me. He will be on his own. What he did not plan on is the help of my family and friends. He has done his best to alienate from them all including but not limited to slandering their every moves. Nice try.

…and so it is.

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You cannot unsee what your flash light shines upon

As an agoraphobic, panic disorder sufferer, as well as a disabled vet my world is so much different than the typical person. I discovered yesterday that the health care worker just has no clue as to the gravity of the situation for an agoraphobic to leave the safety of one’s home to seek care. To the agoraphobic it means you are questioning your own mortality. To the healthcare worker you are merely sick.  I am disgusted with my profession. I heard the words last night, “There is nothing else we can do for you”. I will no longer associate myself with the medical profession.

I have been ill for about a week. Nausea and diarrhea. What I have eaten you could put in one stretched out hand this week. Typically a human can survive up to 3 weeks without food if properly hydrated. I took pains to make sure I was properly hydrated. I have read stories of people fasting for 3 days intentionally to clean out their systems, but because of the constant cortizol dumps I have from panic attacks I really do not think that would be to my advantage physically. To counter this blood sugar drop I supplemented with pure honey, a tablespoon at a time till I felt the shakes, disorientation, and weakness subside.

This did not however curb the intense worry about the fact that I could not seem to swallow some foods like bread, just could not swallow it. As the days turned into a week the panic attacks that I had so learned to tolerate became so intense that for the first time in many years I truly mulled suicide. I had thought that when I thought about this before I was semi serious. I was wrong. For the first time I found myself in a place where I was a sure I could do it. The line in the sand had finally been stepped over for me. I no longer gave concern to my family, friends, animals, property, or life. Like Anita Moorjani says once you shine your flashlight on it…you can never go back and unsee it. You can not forget what you have learned or experienced, or the understanding of it. The little mustard seed capsule dropped to the ground and broke, scattering the seed to the wind.

I sought help. I went to the VA. They thought I was dehydrated, they gave me fluids. The cause of the illness did not seem to be as much of a concern to them as it was to me. I wanted to know what made me sick and how to stop it.  I was sent home with no more that an advisement to drink fluids and a BRAT diet, which is what I had been doing for a week. When I got home I was worse off than when I went. Just lifting my head was an invite to pass out. Everything around me seemed unreal and a dream. At times I was not even sure where I was, how I got there or why I was there. I could not go through another night like this so I had my husband drive me to a local public hospital. When I asked him to take me he flew into a rage. He is a narcissist. I inconvenienced him for which I would pay dearly a little later.

There I was met with hostility.  I was chewed out for showing up in an emergency room without an emergency after I explained I had been to the VA earlier in the day and my experience there and the fact I was feeling worse. To me it WAS an emergency, to them  I was wasting their time, they were busy. Then the words everybody deads to hear, “There is nothing else we can do for you”.  I left.

I have put my farm animals up for sale. They were my reason for living. I can not care for them as they need be. I can no longer carry the 50 pound feed bags to the barn. I can not tolerate the heat/cold to make sure they have water all the time. The rabbits and cats will be next. I have mapped out a plan to sell/distribute/throw out my belongings. A process that will daunting and heartbreaking. The other alternative is to just leave this place and leave it to my family to do. Problem there is it will all fall on my daughter who has stuck by me through all of this. She does not deserve that.

So as the sun has risen this morning I have much to do, and will carry on until my body decides it can no longer go on, or heals on its own.  I will no longer seek medical assistance and have written DNR on my chest to make sure that when I do collapse no heroic measure are performed.

I cannot unsee what I have seen.

And so it is.

 

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