Uphill

I apologize for being absent for so long; I’m on the slow slog back to functioning again.  It gets boring about now – not that it’s particularly exciting to be really, really sick, but at least there are notable and dramatic things to report when really, really sick, like, “I couldn’t manage to sit up for more then ten minutes today.”

Now I’m to that point where I’m able to care for myself and not abjectly miserable but still subpar and subnormal. I went to the office for about four hours yesterday; Chimp drove.  I didn’t feel that tired when I woke up this morning, but I found myself working reclined rather than sitting up, which is probably my body telling me that I did more than I thought.

There are all sorts of great food things going on in the last couple weeks that I haven’t blogged on – we’ve had the miniscule grapes they use to make currants in our CSA box, and I’ve had some phenomenal Rose Concord grapes from Fred Smeds of Savage Island Farm.  It’s fig time in Fresno – the Fig Fest was on Saturday August 12 at the farmer’s market.  We’ve also had a quart box of figs in our CSA box two weeks in a row.  There aren’t many places where you can get local figs. This is about it.

I touched on that when Chimp was unpacking the vegetables and I was putting five kinds of plums into a bowl after a short trip to the farmer’s market yesterday afternoon. I said, “There may be things I don’t like about Fresno, but this is not one of them.”

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Never So Cool

Yesterday was up and down. I drove myself to a doctor’s appointment – albeit a mile away – and while I was driving for the first time in weeks, thought to myself, “This isn’t half bad. Maybe I’m not that sick after all.” Then, in the afternoon, when we had just come back from a short trip to the farmer’s market, and I stumbled into the bedroom, collapsed on the bed and was lying there whimpering, feeling as if someone had pushed me down a flight of stairs, I thought, “No, I think I might actually still be sick.”

The A/C guy arrived around lunchtime, turned on the air conditioner, headed around to the side of the building, and returned in less than 30 seconds to return to say that the compressor wasn’t running. He headed back out, and less than a half-hour later, was back to say that the hard start was broken and that he’d replaced it. He turned on the A/C, and sure enough, it was producing cold air.

And it is really producing cold air now. We were actually able to keep the house slightly below 80 degrees yesterday, which I don’t think we’d ever previously been able to do on a near 100-degree day.

Toasty

Our air conditioner seems to be broken again.

I suspected it last night, when it was as hot outside as in, but of course, we had turned a burner on for a bit to cook some beans. I suggested to Chimp, rather crossly, I’ll admit, that there be no more evening cooking until at least October.

This morning, when our sweary neighbors were out in front of the building swearing and yelling at 11:30 a.m. with their barking dogs (who sound as if they are swearing when they bark), I thought, “What the heck? Let’s close the windows and turn the A/C on early today.” Yesterday, we hadn’t bothered to turn it on until after 2:30, and I thought perhaps that might have been part of the problem.

No, the problem, I think, is that the air conditioner is not producing cool air, and having realized that only late in the evening yesterday and it being bedtime at that point, the house was hot, I had an awful time falling asleep, slept badly when I did, had terribly disturbing dreams, and as a result, am feeling worse today than I had the last few days.

The A/C guy is supposed to come tonight; I went with Chimp and showed my face at the rental office looking particularly pitiful. It is supposed to be at least 100 degrees tomorrow; if our air conditioner is not working, we will have to decamp to a hotel again. Close readers of this blog will remember that an overheated house and the process of moving us and cats to a nearby hotel was what caused my crash on July 22.

I am a container of milk. It is important that I be kept cool.

Now, we lived without an air conditioner and did just fine for three years in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but the average high there in July is 84 degrees, it is always breezy, and there are often these little puffy shade-creating things in the sky called clouds, as well as frequent thunderstorms to cool things down. In Fresno, it’s 97 degrees, the sun starts shining in April and doesn’t quit until October. Also, I swear, we have a different sun out here, one that has a profoundly sadistic bent.

Of course, in the three years we’ve lived here, it has never been anywhere near 10 below zero, which I can’t say for Kalamazoo. Every place has its advantages.

Tonight we will have lentil salad for dinner. It will not require a burner to be turned on.

More Small Steps

I seem to have mostly gotten out of the pit. The mornings are still quite crummy, and one small outing a day on average (or a little bit less) is enough, but I can sit up reliably now and I’ve managed to do a little something outside the walls of the house each day for the past five days.

Wednesday, as mentioned, we went to the farmer’s market. Thursday, I got my hair cut (though my hairstylist, who can spot the degree of my functioning with great accuracy, took one look at me and said “Oh no.”). Friday, we drove down to my office for a meeting, which took a pretty good chunk out of me. Saturday, we went to the farmer’s market for a few minutes. Today, I didn’t go anywhere, but while Chimp was working on cleaning out the garage, I sat in a patio chair next to the car’s front bumper and cut and flattened boxes for a little while.

Though I’m going in the right direction, I’m not going there at the rate at which I’ve usually done so in the past. I’m just not regaining my strength and abilities at the same speed. It’s not from a lack of rest – I’ve been very good about getting enough sleep. I don’t know why my body is so tired, but it’s still calling on me to really limit my activity. I do not wish for it to punish me any more, so I am continuing to obey it.

It’s boring to do so. You can only read so much. I would much rather go out and take a run – today, being one of the rare temperate days of our summer, would have been ideal for it.

It is hard to be patient.

Leaving Home

Today I left the house for the first time in – yes – ten days. It’s been a long way up from where I crashed down to after the CSNY concert, and there is a long way still to go.

Today’s outing wasn’t for long; Chimp drove and we went to WFM to get some groceries and then to the farmer’s market momentarily for fruit, then back home. I can feel it in my body – when I got home my left shoulder muscles felt spent from carrying my purse – but I can still sit up.

Several team members in Whole Foods said hello to me, as they are wont to do since I am so often there taking their stuff and giving them money for it. Most of them I didn’t even notice until they greeted me, being totally in my own little world of “Is this okay? Am I all right right now?” A few asked me how I was doing. It seems to be pretty apparent from looking at me that something is going on. I said “I’m doing okay” to a couple and told the blonde specialty guy that I was upright, and that was a victory today.

My days throwing 90-pound wheels of cheese around as a specialty person and hustling robustly around the store seem particularly far away right now.

Once we were back home, I could tell I’d made the right call in continuing to work from home. Just that little outing sapped me enough that it was clear driving thirty miles would have been a big mistake.

Just as I had been slowly increasing the amount of time I sat up and marking the change in how early in the day I was able to manage it, I’ve been working on getting back to making myself presentable. In the past couple weeks, there were some stretches of three days at a time there where I didn’t take a shower because I just didn’t have the energy.

Yesterday I got up, took a shower and did my hair, albeit that the hairstyle was a bit of an unambitious and halfhearted one. Today, I managed the shower, the same lackadaisical hairstyle, and got some makeup on too. I still haven’t gotten back to putting in my contacts in the morning. I don’t have prescription sunglasses, so when we went out this afternoon, I put my green vintage cat-eye sunglasses over my very-horizontal modern glasses. It’s a look, I’ll tell you.

I continue to take pictures of our CSA boxes. Perhaps tomorrow’s victory will be a box posting.