Still Here...Still Alive

So I was thinking of something to call this post that wasn't some boring, lame apology-for-being-gone-so-long title. And then I thought that 2016 has me feeling a little like Season 3 The Walking Dead character Milton (spoiler warning I guess if you haven't seen it?) after he got beaten, pummelled, and stabbed by the Governor, and locked in the torture chamber to die, turn, and inevitably kill handcuffed Andrea. So they talk, share heartfelt feelings of regret and hope, and he periodically tells her "I'm still here...I'm still alive," helpfully reminding her to get her ass moving to free herself, but instead she just keeps rambling on and on with no real urgency considering her impending demise. But I digress...

So I feel like 2016 has been my personal Governor, but despite feeling pretty run down, I'm still here, and still alive. In one of my last posts, I talked about work changes, dealing with my anxiety, and starting medication for it. All of that has been challenging enough, but in mid April, a week before my 35th birthday, my dad had a stroke. And a week after that, the new library opened, and all the chaos that has come with it. So this past month or so has just been me trying to deal with these changes and keep myself sane.

My dad has been in the hospital almost a month, and is supposed to go to a nursing home for rehab this week. When he had his stroke (he got a blood clot, fell in the bathroom, and my mom had to call paramedics and they had to tear the door down to get him), I wasn't very hopeful. The surgeon couldn't remove the clot manually and he made it sound like he wouldn't get any better and said we needed to prepare for him to have a worse and more debilitating stroke. His bedside manner was lacking and had me basically mentally planning dad's funeral, and freaking out over what my mom would do. But dad survived, they dissolved the clot, and has improved so much more than I imagined- it affected his left side and speech, swallowing, ability to control that side was affected. He has progressed to eating regular food and can speak pretty clearly and can turn his head. He can stand for almost a minute though he is in pain and needed a double knee replacement before this. He still is having trouble with left hand/arm coordination though, but still, he is in good spirits considering everything and is focused in getting better. I know walking will be the biggest challenge for him, but I'm just happy he's alive.

My parents have always had health issues and I was no stranger to hospital waiting rooms as a child, but this was the scariest experience, the one where death was truly staring me in the face. I have NEVER cried at any of their health crises, but when that surgeon came out, I did break down. I think the medication I've started has actually helped me a TON with all of this, and has also helped me express myself without the crippling fear and anxiety that had me holding back for much of my life. I don't find myself getting worked up, anxious, overwhelmed, or angry over things as much, with far fewer fight-or-flight responses, but I don't feel emotionally flat either. I feel more comfortable saying things, expressing feelings without second-guessing myself as much as I used to. My mom is, as I've mentioned before, pretty much mentally ill and at times very self-centered and difficult to deal with ( I was emotionally abused growing up, no two ways around it) but G has been amazing taking her to the store, getting the rent paid, running errands with her, even though she hasn't always been super nice to him. I am grateful he's taken this on board as work as sucked up a lot of my energy.

I am also grateful I started the meds back in February when I did, as all of this would have been so much harder without it. Work has been crazy busy, so much more so than I'm used to, and adjusting to the huge new building, larger staff, and generally different way of working as been challenging, but I am...dare I say it...doing OK? My new co-workers are really nice and friendly for the most part and it's kind of nice spending time with some fresh blood, though we don't have much time to talk yet and get to know each other. It's been a lot of trial by fire and just fumbling our ways through, but there hasn't been a lot of drama or head-butting yet.

 I am out on the floor almost all day now, spending time "roving" with a walkie-talkie and a tablet, which means walking around, asking people if they need help, assisting with check-out and returns, computer help, etc. Then I spend an hour on the desk doing general circulation/reference work, then an hour "greeting", yeah, pretty much like a grocery-store greeter. And around and around like that. I'm in charge of supplies so my off desk time is mostly spent keeping track of that. I feel more productive/competent in a way, and patrons have been excited and mostly positive about the new building. I still get to see my favorite patrons from my original branch. A few naysayers have been grumpy about using the new technology for self-check and have claimed we staff now "have nothing to do" (yeah, right) or saying the building is "soulless" compared to the old branches, but mostly people think it's cool and have been super impressed. We have huge wall mounted TVs for kids to play Wii and Playstation, a recording studio, meeting and conference rooms to reserve, a cafe, so this has been major culture shock, but somehow in the midst of everything I'm adapting.

I have a lot less down time at work now, so getting any blogging done is going to be strictly an at-home venture, but I really want to get back into it as I have so many new smells and it would be a pity to leave them un-reviewed. Now that I'm starting (fingers crossed) to get my bearings and hopefully dad will continue to improve I hope to start posting again. I don't even know if anyone reads this anymore, but I will try to keep doing it at least for myself, so I can keep connected to the things that make me happiest.

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