Old and Broken

Old and broken is how I feel. I am sore. All over sore. Headache. Back pain. Muscles aching. Even emotionally drained. You name it, I am feeling it.

It seems that the teddy bear sitting beside me shares my pain. Not much we can do about it but throw a bandaid on our wounds and push onward. Work through the pain and put on a brave face. A face that will make others smile when they see us, even though we hurt.

Old and broken. That’s how I feel. But it’s not what others see.

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364

364 days.

I have been a Trainmaster now for nearly one year. December 12,2016 I decided to “Change It Up“. Today is the last day that I can decide to return to the union and keep my seniority.

I took on the management role to challenge myself. For the most part, I’ve successfully navigated through the hurdles that I have set for myself. I’ve even taken on challenges put forth to me from my supervisors. But, over the past few days, work has been really stressful and busy; making me re-think my decision.

Going from union to manager was not without it’s difficulties. Most of my former coworkers accepted my decision without much animosity. There was a few moments of me having to exert my position as their supervisor, but that was fairly rare. The workload increased in some ways and decreased in others. I work 12 hour days now instead of 8, but I generally get a three day weekend every week.

Even though these past few days have been a rough ride, I won’t be returning to the union. I still respect those who I have worked with for nearly ten years and it was reciprocated as I took on my new role. I think the job I’m in now suits me better. I face mental challenges with a feeling of accomplishment nearly every shift. I have even made new friends with fellow managers and have had more of a social life than I did for the first while in my career.

I want to thank everyone again for the help and support as I took on this role. You’ve all been fantastic. Only one day left: Tomorrow is day 365.

The first day of the rest of my career.

Screaming Children

It’s that time of year again. Parents dragging little kids on errands against their wishes. Kids being taken to Christmas choir nights, or sports events for older siblings, even shopping lately means more families in the stores. These children, when unsatisfied, tend to express their displeasure with nothing more than a scream. A perpetual going-to-run-out-of-breath-at-some-point scream.

And it sucks.

It sucks for the parents. It sucks for the people around, it also sucks for the child. The child who really didn’t want to be there in the first place. Shushing starts, then bribes, usually a phone is handed off, and on the rare occasion- the parent takes the child away. Perhaps to punish the child, but more often than not to give in to the demands of a screaming toddler.

I feel for parents during these moments. I spent five years working at Chuck E. Cheese’s and saw it all. There’s no easy way to deal with it. The tantrums are like a storm that you just need to ride out.

I’m happy that my children are past the age of just screaming. (Although, it was rare that they would even do it.) I now just need them to stop raising their voices in anger at one another. Ugh. So much drama now.

Any advice besides locking them away? They seem to enjoy that “punishment”.

My Wife is Having a Birthday!

Today is my wife’s birthday. She is now — years old. I am not at liberty to say her age…

Here are some of the things she like as well as some wonderful things I have learned about her over the years.

  • She is as nerdy as I am.
  • She is a lot of fun once she lets you be her friend.
  • She loves anime.
  • She is a fan of “Battlestar Galactica” both new and old.

  • Her favorite place is California, specifically- Disneyland.
  • She is a wonderful and caring mother.

  • She loves to travel and wants to do more trips that take us out of our comfort zone.
  • She prefers dogs over cats.
  • She is amazing at cooking and baking.

  • Her sense of humor is borderline sadistic.(mostly towards me)
  • She loves “dry humping” my backside- especially when I’m trying to sleep.
  • She loves to sing made up lyrics.
  • One of her favorite films is “The Sound Of Music”.

Lee-Anne is one of the most spectacular people I have ever met. I’m happy that she’s a big part of my life and that I get to celebrate her birthdays with her.

Happy Birthday Lover!

Deep Sleep Awakenings

I don’t like being woken up in the middle of sleep. I don’t get angry about it, just irritated. It’s even more frustrating when sleeping during the day because of working night shift. Luckily for me, I’m a deep sleeper and can also pass out quickly. So my frustration is usually minimal.

But, there’s nothing more annoying than having to get up in the middle of a deep sleep just to go pee. Well, maybe leg cramps suck- those also wake me up from time to time. I need to drink more water to prevent leg cramps, but that’ll mean I need to pee more. It’s a vicious cycle.

Perhaps its middle age creeping up on me. It’s probably going to be a way of life at some point. I’ll just need to accept it and hope that I have a few good years ahead of me before I start to wet the bed.

Say Hello. It’s Ok.

There was a time in my life that I would’ve ignored talking with old friends if I met them in public. But something has changed in the past little while for me.

Maybe I was an awful person for it. But it was usually that my life was so busy that I really didn’t want to make time for small talk. It was hard when every waking moment was filled with kids, work, Conventions, and just running around doing errands. No time for idle chitchat!

Now I want to see my old friends. I’m always excited to hear about how their lives have changed over the years. No matter how long it’s been.

Last week I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in person for 30 years. But we picked up where we left off. Talking old times in elementary school and how our lives have moved forward.

Last night I ran into two other friends at the store while shopping. I paused with each of them and talked. Smiles, handshakes and hugs were shared. I forget how much we had impacted each other in the past.

These brief encounters make me happy. Life is getting shorter as I’m getting older. It’s already begun where I’ve lost old friends from this planet. I better take the time to say “Hi” because you never know when I won’t be able to again.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis

I saw my surgeon yesterday for a follow up appointment for all those tests I had done two weeks ago. My swallowing has still remained difficult, but I am hopeful that I can battle the frustration I was having. After I wrote about my experience: The Inner Me Hurts, I found out that others have had the same issues. Now I know what I am suffering from.

Eosinophilic Esophagitis. A big fancy medical term that sounds scarier than it is. The surgeon says it’s as if I have “asthma of the esophagus”. It causes a closing/tightening of my esophagus most likely caused by a food allergy. It also turns out that people with this condition also have asthma. Which is me. Fun. More allergies and tightening of throat tubes inside of me.

My surgeon talked to me about all of the possibilities to help me swallow. What I will be starting with is a prescription antacid. Followed by a meeting with a gastroenterologist in the future. Then an elimination diet to see if I can pinpoint what I may be allergic to. Now I have some mental relief, but a long way to go.

As I sat waiting to see my surgeon I stared at a poster of what our body looks like on the inside. It still amazes me at how complex the human body is and why our organs are the way they are. I had plenty of time to study the poster since the doctor had me waiting for over an hour. I began to wonder if it was something doctors do. Make people wait and get frustrated only to give them good-ish news. Pretty sure if it was something awful, I would’ve been told quickly.

I’m glad it’s not as bad as I thought. I’m still frustrated that there isn’t an easy fix. But I probably should focus more on a proper diet as I get older.

Just like what my wife has been telling me for years…

Doing Night Shifts with Day Plans

Days like today are a pain. I stupidly made a doctor’s appointment for mid morning. Which really isn’t so bad, except I’ve been on four straight weeks of night shift.

I went home after work to take a quick nap before my appointment. Before falling asleep, I didn’t feel that tired and thought, “it shouldn’t be that bad” when I wake up. I slipped into a deep enough slumber that I awoke to my alarm with my face in a puddle of drool.

I lay in bed. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Five more minutes. Then I had to race to get ready and ran out the door. Now I’m hiding in the corner of the waiting room wondering how long it will be before the doctor sees me. Anyone who needs sleep counts every minute they need before getting on with their day. He’s already seven minutes late!

There’s nothing I can do about it. So I wait. Hoping to get sleep at some point today before work.

Holidaze are Coming.

I love the Christmas season. Every year I go all out and decorate our home. I also spend a small fortune on gifts for my family throughout the year to make it a special time. But there is one thing I look forward to every year. The Christmas Booze Tree.

We have had it for a few years now. I like to stock it up by the start of December. It’s a great way to enjoy the end of a night shift by spiking a coffee before retiring for the day. It’s also great for a day off of lounging around.

It originally started out being set up off to the side of our kitchen counter. We’d also add in different liquors to adapt to our fancies. We love fireball and eggnog while decorating the trees! Best concoction ever.

But over the years, the “tree” has made it’s way to being more easily accessible as we walk past with a glass in hand. But by the end of December, I’m quite done with the sweet liqueurs. Much like a live Christmas tree, this tree slowly dries up as each bottle empties.

Then the New Year begins with a small haze of how the last year ended.

I Fooled The Aliens

I used to grind my teeth when I slept. Sqeaking loudly as my pearly whites rubbed against one another. I put in a mouth guard now to prevent this. It has become such a habit that even when I nap, I need to use it.

I don’t know why I like it so much, but I do. I believe it stems from my childhood a bit. After my braces were removed from my teeth, I wore a retainer at night. It was so uncool and ugly- I hated it. So in order for me to use it, I psyched myself out. I played mind tricks on myself. Really, really stupid ones. If I thought the retainer was uncool, sharing this tidbit of info is even more uncool…

I have mentioned before how I had cable tv in my bedroom growing up. I would watch it until the wee hours of the morning constantly. It got to a point that I could only fall asleep with the tv on. But the shows I would watch that kept me up the latest were about alien abductions or “Unsolved Mysteries”. So paranoia would take over, keeping me up later and later.

As a pre-teen, my paranoid adolescent brain would conjure up crazy ways of not getting abducted by aliens. Such as leave the tv on so that they thought I was still awake. Or leave the lights on somewhere in my room. One Christmas I was given a psychedelic light from Radio Shack. I turned it on every night for months until the heat from the bulb finally melted the plastic.

I wouldn’t say I was afraid of the dark. But I was afraid of the unknown. Part of my falling asleep ritual became telling myself that if the lights are on I’d be left alone. The second part was making sure 99.99999% of my body was covered up. And the third was to wear my retainer because it had a metal bar in it. I told myself that this small piece of metal wrapped in a hard plastic, wedged between my upper and lower teeth would prevent the ufos from trying to zap me through my window.

All I can say is that I think it worked. I don’t remember ever being abducted by aliens as a child. Just don’t ask about when I was in my early 20’s… those were some strange times. But now I use my mouth guard regularly. I just don’t have to tell myself that it’s to prevent aliens taking me away. I do it to prevent massive headaches and sore jaw.