How was YOUR week? Redux

Hi again.  Just wanted to update this post, since it’s SOOOOOOOO apropos.  Again.

Last Wednesday I had back surgery.  4 Laminectomies (L2-L5) and 2 Microdisectomies (L2 and L3).  They sent me home the same day.  I laid low for a few days and was feeling much better, but due to a situation beyond my control, I went into work Monday – Thursday.  Didn’t do myself any favors, and now my back hurts very bad again.  I feel like the surgery was wasted, because I didn’t follow the doctor’s directions.  Maybe some people are like Superman, but apparently I am not, and have enough additional problems with my health to really warrant taking it easy.  But alas, I am afraid it is too late.  Again.  Sigh.  But I will put my smile on and not complain, because I don’t want to be a drama queen or a negative person.  So here ya go.      🙂

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

howwasyourweekendcat

P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

Advertisements

How was YOUR week?

 

how was your week

Everyone has good weeks.  Everyone has bad weeks.  I am no exception.

It seems, however, that I have more than my share of bad weeks.  I really do try and stay positive and rise above it, which makes me feel so sad when people try to tear me down for not being a more positive person, and I know there are so many people out there that have it so much worse than me, and my heart and soul hurt for them.  Nobody knows what another person is going through.

But let me have a moment.  I deserve to have my own moment, just one moment, when it seems that everything has gone wrong, and maybe get a tiny bit of props for just weathering the storm that descended upon me.

Before you judge me, let me tell about a week I had a couple of months ago.

I booked a little trip to Florida.  I was SO excited.  I had not been anywhere in many years.  The past four years I have spent dealing with hip replacements/issues.  Many surgeries/hospitalizations/nursing homes.  Not much fun really, so I was really looking forward to a few days of fun in the sun with my wonderful cousin.

About a week before I was to leave, my back started to cause me some issues.  I tried to baby it and ignore it as much as possible, but it got worse by the day.  I really didn’t want to cancel my trip, so I soldiered on.  I arrived ok and my vacation started off with a great evening!  The next day, though, things started to go horribly wrong.

I fell.  I fell pretty bad.  One moment I was getting out of the car, the next I was flat on the sidewalk.  I don’t really know exactly how I fell.  I was in a hurry to catch a train.  At first I thought I tripped.  But later, I realized that my sciatica leg most likely gave out on me, as it had prior to my trip.  So, I fell.  I remember thinking, oh shit, this is NOT going to end well.  I purposely fell straight forward, because I didn’t want to land on my hip.  So my poor hand took the brunt of the fall.  But the brain works in mysterious ways.  I fell, and immediately felt the pain of my hand, and looked at my fingers, and they were all bent this way and that way.  My first thought was, get up and get on the train, and you can worry about bending your fingers back then.  Then I made the mistake of wondering where all the blood was coming from.  I turned my hand over, and a lady who had run over to help me had to turn around and walk away.  Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  A lot of blood and bone.  Open dislocations I believe they call it.  Luckily my friend who was with me kept her wits about her (love her so much) and ran to get some tissues to wrap around my hand.  A nice young gent helped me get up and wanted to call an ambulance, but my friend insisted upon taking me to the Level I trauma center.  Thank goodness.  It was quite a night, a painful night.  Try getting double dislocated fingers pulled out when the whole back side of your fingers are open bleeding wounds and the multiple Novocaine shots are not working.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  My poor cousin had to drive a long way to come and get me, and my poor friend had to spend her evening with me in an ER.  So, after getting relocated (or undislocated), stitched up, and casted, I was on my way again, lol.  However, the drug store would not fill my pain med Rx because I had one on file back at home.  Where my pills were.  Back at home.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

I actually had a good time the rest of my vacation.  My cousin took great care of me.  We went for massages and wined and dined.  I do feel bad, however, because I did complain a few times.  I think I was crazed with pain. I made it home ok, had help on the plane from a nice young gent (again).  My co-worker picked me up from the airport and I went straight to work.  I lasted a few hours, and went home.  Next morning I was at the cancer infusion center to get a Crohn’s infusion.  5 tries for the IV.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Then I went to the  hand surgeon, where they manipulated my fingers around looking for nerve/tendon damage.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  Next day I was back at work in bionic metal fingers.  Day after that I was in the ER once again, not able to walk anymore.  My back just gave up the ghost at that point.  ER tried 6 times for the IV.  In the same veins.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

Once they took me to a room a specialist came in and put in a mid-line IV.  Not fun.  So not fun.  They try to numb you up, but they have to go deep.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?  So there I was, flat on my back, with open wounds on my fingers that had to taken care of, and a new herniated disk.  Ok fine.  The pain management doc couldn’t take me for an injection for a few days.  Ok fine.  So my Crohn’s Disease (inflammatory bowel disease) decided to join in the fun.  With a vengeance.

Let me define, with a vengeance.  It means having to get up out of bed, with one hand, and severe pain upon standing where you are immobile for a few minutes until the electrical shocks running down your legs subside enough that you can bear weight, and then shuffling off to the bathroom with a cane.  Every half hour.  With a buzzer on your bed so you can’t get out without assistance.  So you have to wait for someone to come.  Or just let the alarms go off.  They come quicker then, lol.   I’m not even going to say ouch at this point.  It was so much more than that.

Finally get my injection into my spine.  Always fun.  Even though they inject you with Novocaine, it’s still needles.  In your spine.  And you need multiple injections, until they get it in the right spot.  But once they hit that sweet spot, the relief comes quickly.  By the next day, I was feeling better.

Once again a co-worker came to pick me up, and took me back to work.  I worked for a few hours, and then went home.  And went about the business of trying to live my life again, living alone, in a house with many stairs.

I’ve got to say, I am SO over the ouch.  Or ouches in my case.  And this has been happening to me, off and on, for 4 years now.  I try SO. DAMN. HARD to stay positive and smiling through it all.  Sometimes it gets to be too much.  Sometimes maybe I become grumpy at times, or don’t “act” like I should.  Sometimes maybe I get angry at the situation.  Sometimes maybe I feel sorry for myself.   But mostly, I just am sad.  Sad that people don’t understand.  I have actually been accused of doing this all to get attention.  Seriously.  Sigh.  But I understand.  I don’t like to be around myself either sometimes.  I guess I can understand why people get tired of me.  But you don’t have to be a mean girl about it.  Just saying.

I am trying to be proactive now, and take steps to remove myself from this situation.  The sad parts, anyway.  I need to stay away from toxic people.  I need to learn that it’s ok if people don’t like me, not everybody has to.  I need to make some positive changes in my life, that will help me, instead of continuing to hurt me.  The emotional pain is SO much worse than any physical pain I have endured.  That is the real ouch.

So what is the meaning of all this blathering on?  I just wanted to share a week of my life, which wasn’t the best week of my life, but it wasn’t the worst week either.  It does sound unbelievable.  But you can’t make this shit up.  I wish it was made up.

So if you see me and I am not little Miss Sunshine, please believe when I say I wish I could be that way all the time.  I will try not to be a drama queen.  I spend most of my time alone in my home.  And that is fine with me.  I am learning to love myself, despite my flaws.  And I’m really not alone, I have Ozzy, Izzy and Mickey Moo to keep me company.  Pets are great.  They love you unconditionally, and don’t judge you.

howwasyourweekendcat

P.S.  Today I have to go for another injection in my back, as the electrical shocks are becoming unbearable again.  For realz.  Ouch.  Did I say ouch?

P.S.S.  And I am booked to go to Florida again in another week or so.  Let’s hope this “trip” goes better!

 

Silent Support

support

I cannot begin to tell you all how many people have come up to me recently telling me how wonderful I look, how they have been following my journey on Facebook and my blog, and how much my courage in the face of adversity has impacted them.  They love my Positive Thoughts for the Day and say I am an inspiration.
Who, me?  Wow.  Well.  I do know that I had great positive relationships with all my nurses and therapists in the hospital, rehab, and home health care.  And my doctor just shakes his head time and time again and asks how I can keep smiling through all these ups and downs (most downs).  I guess having a chronic incurable disease (Crohn’s) has prepared me for the worst case scenarios in the past, and that is why I wasn’t too surprised to have all these issues and extra surgeries and PICC lines and infections and meds etc. with this hip replacement.  Been there, done that, alone most of the time.  This time I had the support of my family and friends, so many visitors, cards, phone calls etc., which really made the difference.  I would not have made it without them. Especially my little 3-year-old niece, who loved all the blood and guts aspect, and kept me laughing through it all.

Sometimes you don’t realize the impact you have on people, positive or negative.  That’s why I always try to have a smile on my face, and be friendly and courteous to people.  It just might make their day a little brighter.  So thank you, everyone, for your support, silent or otherwise.  It encourages me to keep on going, knowing that you are reading and rooting for me.  And it really makes my day when one of you comes up and hugs me and tells me that!

I am SO blessed….

2013 is on!

goals

This is it.  Now or never.  New goals are written.  Plans are in place.  January is booking up.

Went to the doctor last week, with a difference.  I have health insurance now, first time in 4 years.  Many things have been neglected, now is the time to catch up.  Blood work was drawn.  Medications tweaked.  Many are gone now.  I spent most of last year weaning myself off what I thought was unecessary.  Did find out my thyroid is totally wacked out, and needed a huge dose adjustment for that.  Done.  Mammogram appointment needed.  Done.  Diet overhaul needed.  Done.  Joined Weight Watchers 360.  Crohn’s doctor appointment scheduled.  Will schedule colonoscopy.  Will look into new injectable biological meds to help both Crohn’s and Crohn’s related arthritis, which is crippling my body right now.  Join YMCA for swimming classes.  Done.  Still need to schedule skin cancer screening with oncologist, have missed 3 annual appointments, not good for someone with a history of malignant melanoma.  Naughty girl am I.  Still need to fix my damn back/leg.  Appointment calls are in.

Next up, grow my home business.  Tax season is upon us, that will help.  Design new business cards.  Check.

Most of all, write.  And write more.  And more.  Grow the book.  And keep reading the good books from the good book list.

It feels good to have a plan.  Gonna catch that tiger by the tail and shake it!

Tiger-by-the-tail

We are heathens

We all think that we live in the most progressive country in the world.  I’m afraid to burst your bubble, but we do not.  We are heathens compared to the rest of the world.

I’m talking toilet.  Yes, that porcelain God that you sit on (or bow to occasionally!) multiple times a day.  We don’t give it a second thought usually.  We use it, we clean it, we buy toilet paper.

Toilet paper.  See, that is the issue.  The tissue issue.  It’s a great invention for sure.  Especially for the manufacturers.  Charmin has been a large part of my budget forever.  All that soft billowy goodness.  That has been clogging toilets and septic fields for decades.

Now, most people don’t give toilet paper a second thought.  Unless it becomes a tissue issue.  Think back to the last time you had a bad stomach virus and how many times you had to use that tissue and how, sensitive, shall we say, your bottom got.  Made you scream to even touch it, right?

If you had a bidet?  Non issue with the tissue.  Don’t need tissue.  Clean yourself with water.  Give your bottom a mini-bath, instead of smearing things and germs around with tissue.  Hands free too folks.  Think of the sink soap you will save too!

Also, as a person with Crohn’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, I cannot begin to tell you what a life saver this has been for me.  I do not know why every GI doctor doesn’t suggest this to their patients.  I am going to make it my mission to remedy this situation.

You don’t need to run out and buy a new porcelain fixture.  They sell bidet fixtures that attach to your current toilet.  Some are cheap $20 and use just cold water.  Some have a line to the hot water and cost around $70.  That is what I started out with.  For a week.  I loved it SO MUCH I upgraded to the fancy remote control model with lighted heated seat, self-cleaning nozzles, and a warm air dryer.  Yes, I said dryer.  It washes you, AND dries you!  So no need for TP whatsoever!

bidetI love my bidet.  You will too.

 

 

 

The most wonderful time of the year

It’s here again.  Christmas.  My favorite season.

This year I have so many things to be grateful for.  I have been through hell and back and now I can see the light, in so many ways.

It is so liberating to feel free and in charge of my own destiny now.  I have the time and finances now to fix myself, physically and mentally. The scars, both figuratively and literally, will always be there, and they were hard-won.  My emotions have finally settled, just in time for my fav season.

It’s the little things that make me happy now.  I don’t need big shiny expensive things.  I have lived frugally so well for the past few years, I find that SAVING money gives me more pleasure than spending money.  Money is the root of so many problems anyway.  I am more happy being frugal.  My biggest enjoyment in life is the afternoon matinée movie for six bucks.  I find joy in fixing up my house the most economical route, and feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Today I received notice today that I have been accepted in the Illinois Pre-existing Insurance Plan.  For that I thank President Obama.  All you haters out there, be grateful that you do not have a chronic, incurable disease like I do, because you too would be uninsurable.  Thanks to Obama, I now have affordable insurance coverage.  I haven’t been to my Crohn’s doctor is over 3 years now, and I REALLY NEED TO GO.  Now I can.  And I can get all my female tests I haven’t had in 3 years either.  When I went to the mailbox today, I ripped the envelope open, and started screaming in my street.  (Hope I didn’t scare the neighbors too much, but I think they are used to me, ha!).  This is HUGE for me.  Please Republicans, do not take away the health care I need.  It’s NOT free, far from it.  It is 125% more than a normal person’s premiums and I have a $5,000 deductible to pay before anything is covered.  But it is something, and I want it, and I need it.  So thank you to the powers that be, here on Earth and in Heaven.

More and more things are falling into place.  Every Sunday when I go to church, I like to sit back and thank God for all the blessings that have come my way, and pray for good things to come to other people.  I treasure my holy water I have received from dear friends who have traveled to Lourdes, and use it when I feel the need.  I used it when I went to court, and God stood up for me, and I will use it for my back surgery.  I used it on my BIL for his heart surgery, and he pulled through like a champ.  Miracles do indeed happen.

As Christmas approaches, I feel the spirit everywhere.  I love the cold, crisp air, and the beautiful twinkling lights everywhere.  I love all the parties and get togethers with family and friends.  I love seeing the delight on children’s faces when they open their gifts.  I love making my great niece’s FIRST hot chocolate.

Christmas gives me feelings of hope and peace deep within my soul.  I hope you all can feel it too, and have a very blessed holiday season.  Don’t forget to keep the “Christ” in Christmas!

When is it MY turn?

I just don’t get it.  I must have been evil in a previous life.  I try to be a nice person, and even succeed sometimes.  When someone I know gets sick, I bring them a nice lasagna.  When I get sick, I still bring them a nice lasagna.  Cause nobody is bringing ME a nice lasagna.

I’m the person that drives herself to the ER cause she doesn’t want to bother anyone.  I’m the one that apologizes when she can’t loan somebody something because the last loanee never returned it.  I’m the one that will run out and buy someone a card, a book, a gift because they lost a pet.  I’m the one that is all alone when she has to say goodbye to her pet at the all-night emergency vet.  I’m the one who “handles” everything for everyone.  Including myself, even when I can’t.  Nobody steps up and “handles” me.  Nobody sends me flowers at the hospital.  Nobody brings me a casserole when I come home.  I’m the one cooking for them.

I do this to myself.  All I have to do is ask, and I shall receive.  But I guess I figure I shouldn’t have to ask.  So I don’t, and then wonder why I get nothing.  I keep hoping people will be like ME, and just do it because you should help people in need, without being asked.  I shouldn’t expect people to think like me.

There are exceptions to the rule.  I was pleasantly surprised this last go round in the hospital, because I actually had multiple visitors, and a beautiful flower from my SIL.  Lots of phone calls.  And lots of Facebook messages.  Facebook has been a huge positive in that regard.  In the past I would be in the hospital, usually for at least a week, without any visitors or flowers.  No one would know, because I didn’t call them up and say, hey, guess what, I’m in the hospital!  I would be embarrassed because the nurses would feel sorry for me.  I would make up stories about how far away my family lived or that I insisted they not come.  I have taken limos home from hospitals because I had no ride to come get me.  Now I make sure I drive myself there, if I can, so I have a way home.  A few times with my Crohn’s, I had to call 911 and an ambulance took me to the hospital.

People don’t realize that when you live alone, you don’t have anyone to cook for you, do your laundry, clean the house, feed the cat, clean the litter, or even get a drink of water, when you are sick.  When you can’t even lean over to put your underpants on, let alone get dressed, you are stuck.  So you do what you can, and do without for the rest.  You pour the cat food on the floor, try to pour the water into the bowl, keep pouring more good litter after bad, eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner, watch the dust bunnies grow, and wear your summer PJ’s when you run out of winter ones.  You just don’t realize how helpless you are until you are crippled and have to rely upon other people who don’t reside there.  People always say the usual “let me know if you need anything” but what am I suppose to say?  Yes, I need someone to clean the litter box, and bring me dinner?  I just can’t do it.

I do have family close by, and they will go to the store for me and stop by for a few minutes.  But they have their own lives and work etc., so I don’t expect a lot out of the them.  Everybody has their own issues.  Unfortunately, with my Crohn’s disease I have been in and out the hospital a lot, and people just get tired of it.  Luckily I have been doing good in that regards for a few years .  But now I have the 5 herniated disks and sciatica, and I am waiting to have surgery for, for almost a year now, and things just get worse and worse.  I joke about going to Wal-Mart and riding the scooter, but deep inside I am horribly embarrassed.  I don’t like to think of myself as handicapped, even though I have been lately.  I use Peapod for my groceries, and try to save my walking steps for laundry, which is down two floors.  I hate my raised ranch!

I can only walk so far until I have to stop or I will fall over.  I am in chronic excruciating pain at all times.  My doctor actually sent me home from the hospital with Fentanyl pain patches, in addition to the usual Vicodin.  I’ve used a few but they don’t really work.  I would much rather do my hot tub twice a day than wear the patch (I can’t wear the patch in the hot tub).  My pain is way beyond pain killers.  I need my surgery!  I hate waiting on the insurance company to approve it.

Ok, done with my whining.  Thank you for listening.  Time to try to sleep again.