May 18, 2010

A Year Without Television


Photo by Frank Okay on Unsplash

 No Television For A Year


In 2008 I moved twice. 


I went from a six-room apartment with my mother, to a 3-room apartment with my mother and boyfriend (a disaster!), and now a room with my boyfriend, Mark.

That's right. A room.

Because we were trying to save money, we decided to go without cable television for awhile. 


That is, he decided. I wasn't happy about that at all. 


Now, you must understand, I am NOT a television-obsessed person. 


I watch no current sitcoms or dramas. 


But I like to watch the 10:00 News, baseball games, Larry King, and my favorite, Home and Garden Network (HGTV). I love House Hunters!

As far as Mark is concerned, there is no need for television at all. 


His reasoning is that we can watch all the television we need on our computers. We found old shows on various websites. 


Breaking My Foot Changed Everything


When I broke my foot in March 2009, I was so bored. 


Even I can't read twelve hours a day. I had no television to watch, and I hadn't discovered blogging yet.

When a special event was on, it was hard to find. 


Take the 2009 Academy Awards, for example. I desperately wanted to see it, and frantically scoured the internet for a live feed. 


I finally found one to a British television broadcast, and sat hunched in my uncomfortable hard chair (didn't have a decent office chair, yet). Halfway through the show, the feed died. 

However, I was able to locate a live feed from the ABC broadcast. Every few minutes, I shouted "Slumdog Millionaire won another Oscar!" 
But Mark was riveted to some lame technology website that he could read anytime. I kept asking him if he wanted to watch the Oscars, but he just muttered, completely hypnotized by his computer.

A few days later I told Mark that I was so glad I had watched the Oscars. 
He looked at me blankly. "You watched the Oscars?"


I also completely missed the New York Yankees championship season last year. 
I didn't get to see any of the games in the regular season and the playoffs. 
However, when they reached the World Series I demanded action. I wanted to watch the World Series. 
Finally, he prevailed upon his sister and her husband to let me watch it at their house. 
They won!!!

Now, the irony of all this is that even though we live in a tiny room, one wall is dominated by a "Hitachi 52-inch projection TV with six sets of inputs in the back" in Mark's own words. 
It just sat there, unused and unloved, gathering dust, for more than a year.

This year the Olympics were on! I was not going to miss that! Even though my favorite all-time Olympic athlete, Michelle Kwan, was not participating, I could not miss the Olympics. 
There were also gymnastics meets coming up, and I wanted to watch the news. 
I just don't enjoy watching everything on the computer. 
Besides, we had this beautiful television just sitting there. 
We also had plenty of movies stored on our computers, just waiting to be projected on the big screen.

Let's just say I gave Mark an . . . ultimatum. 
So now we have very BASIC cable. That means no Yankees, and no HGTV. 
I was able to watch the Olympics, and I can watch the news.

However, I discovered Verizon's nifty On-Demand button, where there are free movies and TV shows to watch. 
Guess what? They have some HGTV shows including House Hunters
They don't change the episodes that often, but it's great. 
I also discovered that they show Yankee games days later on Yankees Encore! For free! Yay! 
You may also read: The "D" Factor.

May 14, 2010

Sister, Can You Spare (Two) Dimes?

American Money Dimes
Photo by Katie Harp on Unsplash


Two Dimes

In addition to my health troubles (see my previous post), I recently received my employee review. I received an excellent review and my manager informed me that I received a raise.

Twenty cents an hour.


That's right -- two dimes extra an hour. It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry, it's so insulting. So when the taxes are taken out . . .

Meanwhile, rumors are that the CEO of my company has a personal make-up artist on call that the company pays for, in addition to his multi-million dollar salary, stock options, etc.

My manager told me to be happy, however. Some of my co-workers received no raise at all.


Unhealthy Work Environment

Now, I know that some of you are unemployed, and you think that I should be happy to be employed at all. 


But if you knew what my salary was for a very difficult job, you'd cry. 


The work environment is so relentlessly negative that sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. I know the job has contributed to my health woes.

Something has to be done. 


I'm going to have to proactive about this situation, too, just as I'm being about my health.


You can also read A Year Without Television

May 12, 2010

The Waiting Game


Healthcare - The Waiting Game
Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash

I Am Waiting To Find Out The Results Of My Tests

If you read my post of May 11th, you'll know that I have been suffering a lot of pain lately. 


I have had to take some time off from my job, because I simply could not function. I am going to take every medical test I can to find the causes.

So far I have been to an internist, podiatrist, and even a psychiatrist. 


I went to the internist who examined me and then sent me to a lab to get blood tests and some disgusting other tests.


I also went to the podiatrist for continuing heels spurs.


I went to the psychiatrist because I was told that I might have fibromyalgia which is supposedly caused by depression. 


Well, I am suffering depression and anxiety, but that is because of the pain and because I cannot function because of the pain.


Tomorrow I go to the dentist, and next week I go back to the internist, where I hope that I finally will get the results of all those tests. 


I will also go to a gynecologist in two weeks to do the usual exams (ugh) and check my bone density. I might need some low-dose hormone treatments.

The reason everything is taking so long is because all of these doctors have long waits for appointments because of their packed schedules.

I spent the entire weekend in bed, because it was too painful to move, let alone blog. 


I thought that I'd feel better on Monday morning, but instead the pain was worse. 


Pain All Over My Body


I had tingling pain all over my body, especially in my arms and legs. It felt like needles. It was not pleasant. 


I have suffered for years from carpal-tunnel like symptoms but have never been properly diagnosed.

Several years ago my mother went for a long time without going to a doctor, because she did not have insurance. 


One day she was hammering a nail into a wall to hang a picture when she hurt her thumb. 


She finally went to the doctor and they discovered that her blood pressure was sky-high. 


She was sent to the clinic at the local hospital where they gave her a complete physical and discovered that she had breast cancer. 


Fortunately, it was caught in the early stages and she received no chemo or radiation, just Tamoxifen. 


My father had diabetes and high blood pressure, and it killed him because he stubbornly left it untreated. He died of a heart attack. 


My mother now has Alzheimer's. Clearly, I need to be more vigilant about my health.

Hopefully, I'll have good news about my health soon. 


I really do urge anyone reading this -- male or female -- to get regular exams instead of putting it off. 


It could save your life.


Please also read: Sister, Can You Spare Two Dimes? 

May 11, 2010

Making Healthy Choices

Making Healthy Choices
Photo by Jannis Brandt on Unsplash

I Need To Make Healthy Choices


I have not been feeling well lately. I have all-over body pain. 


My legs are always painful, and I recently had a virus that just seemed to make it much worse. 


I also suffer from carpal tunnel-like symptoms in my arms.


I finally decided to be proactive about this problem. NOW.


After taking care of other problems in my life and other people in my family, especially my mother (I'll describe that process in future posts), I have decided that I now need to take care of me.


I Went To The Doctor


Today I went to the doctor for the first time in a couple of years. He is an old-school doctor, who checked all the basics: heart, thyroid, reflexes. 


He took his time even though he had a full waiting room. He seemed like he actually cared and was not rushing everyone in and out of the office as quickly as possible.

I'm going to have lab work done to check for things like diabetes (which my father had), and have blood work done. 


I'll be tested for vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems. I'll have tests for fibromyalgia and arthritis. I'll probably do this on Friday. I also have to see the doctor again in 3 weeks to discuss all the tests.

I'll also have go to the gynecologist (ugh, haven't gone in years) to check for bone density and a regular gyno checkup.


I'll also go to my dentist to have work done on my teeth -- I need a cleaning, and I have two broken back teeth.


No More Procrastination

I've put this off long enough. I really haven't gone because I'm afraid of what they might find! 


But really, that's a really stupid way to think. What if I have a serious illness and it's too late? 


Even though I've been pretty healthy (I don't smoke, drink, or do drugs), my family history includes breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes, dementia, and heart disease. It's about time that I got this done.

I've been paying a huge chunk of my salary each week for insurance, and it's about time that I use it. 

Please read my post about my health issues: The Waiting Game.