I Guess I Just Need to Stop Talking

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Over the years, I’ve recognized that whenever I’m dealing with increased depression, with increased chronic pain, with severe migraines, etc., people I love seem to take advantage of my weakness and make a point to criticize and highlight every mistake I make.

I’m struggling with pain, with feeling physically compromised, with depression and the emotional insecurities that come with that, it’s at times like these that people I love feel the need to point out every mistake I make, be it forgetting something we talked about, forgetting where I put something, correcting me in front of other people, arguing with everything I say.

I’m really starting to think I’ve lost it. I feel confused ALL THE TIME. Everything I say evokes a correction, a rush to defensiveness, the suggestion that I should know different or should remember I’ve already been told or known something many times over. Sometimes what I say inspires an argumentative response, even though the argument being made is in agreement with what I said.

Every time I try to relate a story about something that’s happened in my life, in front of a person I love, they feel the need to jump in and correct what I’m saying in front of the person I’m talking to.

When I had a heart attack a year ago, when people asked me about it and someone I love was with me, they contradicted whatever I tried to say. For instance, I didn’t think it was acquaintance’s business to know about my medication, or why I had the heart attack, so if they asked me about those things, I’d say I don’t know, but my loved one would jump in and say, “yes you do, you know why it happened…” then they would tell people.

People seem to get some sort of pleasure from making me look and feel foolish. I and my loved ones know that I have short term memory loss and the older I get, with menopause, it’s getting worse. I would think folks could cut me a break, maybe not feel the need to jump on every single thing I say.

I’m really to the point to where I just feel I should stop talking. I shouldn’t share my opinion, shouldn’t comment on anything happening around me, shouldn’t ask any questions, just keep my thoughts to myself.

I spend a lot of time crying because I get reminded constantly of how much I’m forgetting, how much of an inconvenience my memory loss is to my loved ones. I also cry because it feels as if loved ones enjoy being able to flex their muscles, so to speak, and feel superior, suggest that I’m inferior.

I would hope that loved ones would lift up someone close to them who is struggling, not see it as an opportunity to emphasize short comings, to remind them they are struggling.

Autumn has finally arrived!!!

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This Summer has been absolutely brutal. We’ve had hardly any rain, sustained temperatures in the 90’s for days, week after week with high humidity.

It’s been so hot and dry that the dirt in our yard has cracked, our grass is burnt off brown and crunches when you walk on it. We ran the AC non-stop since early June.

It was too hot in the afternoons to walk my dog, so we spent most of the Summer sitting in the backyard in the afternoons and evenings, braving the morning humidity just to get a single walk in daily.

Finally, about a week to a week and a half before the official start of Autumn, the temperatures began to drop, the humidity with it. It’s been so much more comfortable, we’ve had windows open almost constantly.

I finally got to decorate for Autumn and today will begin to decorate for Halloween.

Another Dog Attack

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When I had my last husky, Kodiak, he was attacked or charged at no less than 20 times by dogs in our neighborhood, loose dogs, dogs off leash with their owners.

Since getting Noni in March 2019 we’ve encountered a number of loose dogs, little dogs that have gotten right in her face with their owners with them.

Last Friday, September 25 we came home from grocery shopping and I got Noni ready to go for a walk. We only got 3 houses from our home when our neighbor’s visitors started oohing and awing over Noni and came out to the sidewalk to visit with her. We had a nice visit, talked about the breed, etc. Our neighbor’s bulldog, who always goes ballistic when we walk by, thankfully always tied to their side steps, was barking and growling. The visitors tried to put the bulldog in the house, as we turned to walk away. The screen door bounced when it shut and the bulldog charged out of the door and attacked Noni.

Noni was fierce, defending herself, defending me, as she maintained a face to face posture with the attacking dog. Noni had saliva all over her body where the bulldog had tried to bite her and at one point in the flurry of snapping jaws I saw that the bulldog was about to lunge at Noni’s neck.

I put my hand out, hoping to push the bulldog’s head back, but instead she clamped down on my had. I got my hand out of her mouth and the visitor came out to get the dog. Noni didn’t appear to be hurt, but quickly it was obvious I was, as blood ran down my hand, dripping off my fingers.

I hurried back home, calling out to my husband as we neared the front of the house. He came out and I told him what happened, asking him to get Noni inside and go over her body to be sure she wasn’t hurt.

I cleaned up my hand and discovered 6 wounds, one very deep between my knuckle and base of my ring finger. The side of the same finger had a big puncture wound and there were smaller once on the palm side of that finger and on my pinky finger.

The visitor that had accidentally let the dog out came to my house to check on me. He indicated he was a paramedic and brought super glue down to seal the wound to try to stop the bleeding. He told me if I needed medication, to see my doctor, anything, I should call him and let him know.

After he left, the super glue pulled up as I used my hand and I noticed part of my finger turning black and blue. A friend suggested checking with my doctor as to what I should do to keep it clean, prevent infection and that I might need antibiotics. I called my doctor’s office and they told me to go to the Urgent Care center to be looked at.

I did go. They cleaned the wounds out, wrapped them up, gave me a tetanus shot and a prescription for an antibiotic. They told me sealing the wound is the worst thing to do as infection from dog bites are common and I should be concerned about a joint infection. They gave me a series of symptoms to look for, that if any of them appear, I should get back to the center for further treatment.

Yesterday I noticed the second largest wound on the side of my finger was infected. I cleaned the pus out, used peroxide, anti-bacterial soap and triple antibiotic ointment. The finger is swollen, continues to bruise and a red line has appeared where my wedding rings were, which I can’t get back on my finger.

It’s gotten so we can’t safely walk in our own neighborhood. Recently we were confronted by two stray dogs wandering around together, 2 blocks from our house. I watched a rottweiler jump his fence and lunge at a man passing by on the sidewalk a half block from where we were. A neighbor’s little dog has charged at Noni barking in her face and lunging at her several times.

Two weeks ago, a man and his son walking their rottweiler behind us kept increasing their speed, closing the distance between us, even as I hurried her to keep moving. I turned off onto the bike path and didn’t he follow me, less than 6 feet from us. I pulled her off into the grass, trying to put space between us as his dog lunged at us multiple times.

I’m constantly looking for new routes to walk without threats to our safety. Walking with my dog has always been a sort of relaxing, zen time for me to quiet my mind, enjoy nature, but recently I’ve had to become hyper vigilant of our surroundings. I feel like I can’t let my guard down, not for a second.

I’m so tired of irresponsible pet owners. When we’re out walking and someone approaches us I shorten up her leash, put her in heel at my side and ask her to sit/stay until the person or people walk by. I don’t let her visit other dogs on leashes because we never know how they will react, if they’ll feel threatened and trapped by being on leash unable to get away if necessary.

So, once again I’m scoping out a safer way to walk, to avoid potential issues in the future. Don’t know yet if I’ll need more treatment for my bite, hoping not, but will do what I need to do.

A Cautionary Tale

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Tuesday, September 15, 2020 my best friend of 43 years passed away from a massive heart attack. She was 56 years old.

For years I’ve loved her like a sister, she lived with us a number of times before and after she had her son. She was there when I went through some of the most awful times of my life and some of the greatest times. She was someone I knew I could be brutally honest with, because we knew each other so well.

As much as I loved her, she frustrated the hell out of me. I’ve written about her before.

She was diagnosed as diabetic (type 2) probably between fifteen and twenty years ago. She absolutely refused to take the medications she was given the way they were prescribed. She always hated taking medication and was never able to swallow pills, she’d chew them up, even though some medications shouldn’t be chewed up and are time released.

Her doctors have tried to recommend diets, exercise, but she has refused to comply with them.

Over the years I’ve known her she’s tried nearly every fad diet that’s been advertised. She never completely followed through with them as directed, but she’d order every “kit” on the market.

In recent years she turned to the internet and had begun to follow a number of “doctors” online, some of whom had written books, some produced videos to watch. All of the ones she told me about advocated diets and treatments that were contradictory to everything her family doctors and specialists she’d seen had recommended.

A few years ago she’d had a lump come up on the side of her back. She’d shown her boss at work and asked her what she thought it might be. They felt it and determined it was mushy, it felt like fluid and encouraged her to get to a doctor. Since it was causing her some pain, she did seek treatment and found out her kidney had died. It was encapsulated in a sack of pus. She had to have it removed.

They recommended a renal health diet as well as a diabetic diet. They wanted her to follow up with a kidney specialist, but she told me she didn’t. When I asked her what she was going to do if she didn’t take care of herself and her only remaining kidney shut down. Her response was, “then I guess I’ll just go on dialysis.”

As well as refusing to listen to her doctors or take medication correctly, she was eating everything she wasn’t supposed to, nothing but starches, carbs such as rice, pasta, breads. She was ordering take out every single day and her portions were out of control, by her own admission.

Her doctor put her on cholesterol medication, blood pressure medication, new diabetes medication, but she wouldn’t take them appropriately. She refused fluid pills as her legs and feet started swelling.

She’d been complaining, for the last five years or so, that her legs felt funny. She said she didn’t have pain, per se, and not really numbness or tingling, but just heaviness and an unsteadiness when walking. She’d begun using a rollator after seeing mine.

She had a terrible time trying to describe her symptoms when something was bothering her. She tended to look them up online, then call her doctor and “self-diagnose” instead of communicating her symptoms. As a result, her doctor told her to her face she was a hypochondriac looking for attention. Often doctors and nurses would have a hard time understanding what she was experiencing and as a result simply dismiss her without actually treating her for anything.

I had a hard time understanding what she was feeling, as she’d say she knew how I feel, but if I asked her if she was having pain she’d say no, if I asked her what she was feeling she’d start telling me what she wasn’t feeling.

The last time we talked she’d told me her cholesterol and blood pressure were through the roof. At one point she’d told me her blood pressure was in or nearly the 200 range. She said she’d gained a lot of weight and was having trouble breathing. She dismissed her symptoms as something to do with the air conditioning in the house.

This blog isn’t meant to trash her, or gossip about her, but to help others understand just how important it is that you take care of yourself, if you’re taking medications take them as they are prescribed, try to eat sensibly, keep track of symptoms that are bothering you and relay them to your doctor in a clear and concise way. Please don’t try to self diagnose, or look up symptoms online and think you know what you’re dealing with.

She was adamant that doctors only schedule appointments, prescribe medication and order tests to make money, in her mind they were not interested in helping anyone and therefore she disregarded everything they said to her.

Please know, anyone reading this, that you need to take care of yourself, you need to act responsibly and remember that even if you don’t really care about your health, think nothing like that can happen to you, don’t worry about symptoms until they are impacting your life, that someone loves you, worries about you and will be devastated when they lose you.

I went today to see her ashes buried on her brother’s property, under a tree, as she’d requested, so that her ashes would feed and nurture the tree to maturity. I wish she’d have thought more about self care, sought therapy and treatment when she needed it, rather than what she did.

She thought that no one cared about her, that she didn’t make a difference, that the world wouldn’t miss her when she died. I don’t know about the world, but I do and will.

Nostalgic and Melancholy

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This time of year always brings a flood of memories and emotions with it, as the temperatures get cooler and the leaves begin to change. I love Autumn. Of all the seasons, Autumn is the most physically comfortable for me and the most uplifting with all the colors, cool breezes, early evenings and colorful sunsets. Autumn marks the beginning of the “holiday season.”

While it brings about some happy memories, images from childhood, it also reminds me of losses, changes, and aging.

I miss the revelry of jumping into piles of leaves, carving jack-o-lanterns, the smell throughout the neighborhood of burning leaves, the joy of seeing Halloween decorations appearing in neighbors’ windows and on their porches. I always enjoyed raking fallen leaves, the smells of the season, the overcast skies, wearing hoodies and jeans and the sound of crunching through leaves on a walk.

I enjoyed Autumn baking, making pies, cookies, breads and making homemade stews and roasts. I loved the scents of apple cinnamon and vanilla candles burning. I loved to bake and send goodies into work with my husband to share with his coworkers with coffee in the morning or dessert after lunch.

As a child, I looked forward to picking our a Halloween costume, getting dressed up and going around our neighborhood trick or treating. Every porch light was on, people greeted us happily, some of them dressed up themselves.

Thanksgiving brought its own joys. My grandmother on my mother’s side of the family hosted Thanksgiving dinners, with my Aunt, Uncle and Cousin eating dinner with us. Everything was homemade, from scratch, it smelled and tasted so good. It was special getting to share dinner with everyone.

As an adult so much has changed over the years. The older I get the more I see the simple joys of my childhood disappearing, being abandoned.

The familiar tell tale aroma of leaves burning in Autumn no longer exists, as open burning has been illegal for quite a long time. In the city where I live the city comes around a couple of times during Autumn and collects fallen leaves left in piles on the street. I can maybe count on one hand the number of times in the last 30 years that I saw kids playing in piles of leaves in their yards. One can’t even crunch through leaves on a walk through the park because they literally vacuum them up and remove them from the park.

Carving jack-o-lanterns is a waste of time and energy because kids will come right up on the porch and steal them, smashing them in the street somewhere on the block.

There is virtually no trick or treating anymore, as most people turn off their porch lights, don’t decorate and keep their houses dark so they don’t have to provide candy, complaining that kids trick or treating are beggars with their hands out, and many parents don’t trust their neighborhoods to provide safe treats, so they participate in a new trend, known as “trunk or treat,” where kids can get candy from the trunks of cars parked at strategic locations in the community, usually sponsored by schools or community groups.

People spend a lot of time complaining about the cooler temps, the earlier evenings and shorter days. They seem to have lost the ability to enjoy the simple things about life.

I don’t do as much baking these days because the cost of ingredients is so dear. The last few times I baked for my husband to take to his coworkers most of the goodies came home. Some people question the motivation behind baking for others.

Since I left home, family holidays ended. I tried to institute them with in-laws, friends, etc., but that ended as well. Our families are splintered into cliques, cliques that don’t associate with one another. Friends have fallen by the way side so even that avenue for gatherings has ended. Many family members are no longer with us, so all we have are memories of holidays past.

So much has changed. Trying to carry on traditions I grew up with sometimes invites ridicule. I’ve encountered people who chastised me for decorating the outside of my home, saying in these times when so many are struggling, it’s insensitive to decorate and signals that I have money to waste, or that I’m reminding others of what they don’t or can’t have.

People begin complaining about the holidays coming, about stores carrying holiday decorations, about the attitudes of people in public, the weather. It sometimes feels as if people can find nothing to enjoy, and if they can’t enjoy it they are hell bent on preventing anyone else from enjoying things.

Aging brings with it a whole new set of complications and changes to adjust to. It’s far more difficult than I ever imagined to see so many things coming to an end, changing, being lost to the past, having younger people not appreciate or understand the things that have meant so much to you. I find myself remembering the best of my youth and missing the carefree joy of those days. It makes this time of year a mixed bag of happiness and depression.

Can’t Get Motivated Again

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I’m really struggling this year. I have gained almost 40 lbs since October 2018 when I hit one of my weight loss goals, losing 200 lbs. I had a heart attack in December, got a new diagnosis for the bone disease in my lumbar back, was told to cut back on walking and recently got a diagnosis for the severe pain I’ve been experiencing since last Dec. in my right shoulder.

I want to get back on track, to get back to losing weight, but depression and emotional eating are preventing me from doing so. I just can’t get motivated. I feel like no matter what I do, how much effort I give, my body seems to be sabotaging me with one new issue after another.

I keep thinking what’s the use? I’m exhausted.

This Summer has been so hot and so humid that I walk my dog in the morning, but can’t take her for a walk in the afternoon or evening because it’s so hot we both mind it terribly, so we sit out in the backyard.

Trying to walk more is hindered by the pain I’m experiencing in my feet, the fact that my right knee has begun to grab and fold up as I’m walking, I’m still experiencing pain in my right shoulder though it’s lessened since the injection, the small of my back is aching terribly, particularly early in the morning.

I walk around daily feeling so exhausted. I don’t want to do anything. Some days I get a burst of energy and try to take advantage of it to get some housework done. Most days I’m just so achy, experiencing so much pain that I just want to sit and do nothing. I force myself to walk my dog, to sit outside with her.

I’m hoping that with the cooler Autumn weather that’s coming, I’ll be able to walk with my dog a little more, even if it’s short distances, maybe I can go more often, if the pain doesn’t increase due to the cooler temperatures, as cold affects my joints.

I put up my Autumn decorations inside the house this past weekend, trying to lift my spirits, to feel better emotionally. I’m excited to decorate outside when corn shocks and pumpkins are available, though with the pandemic causing a cut in my husband’s hours and wages, we don’t really know whether we will be able to afford them or not.

I hope I can get motivated again soon, as I don’t want my weight to get out of control. The last 30 or so pounds were the hardest to lose the first time, so I can imagine what it will be like this time, with more physical restrictions and increased pain.

Just had to purge these feelings….

Keep Fighting? I’m Tired

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When you have a chronic illness/disability people often don’t want to know how you’re feeling, what you’re dealing with. They don’t want to hear how you’re feeling depressed, they are uncomfortable knowing what you’re experiencing, so they dismiss your emotions, your physical pain and limitations and offer platitudes that do nothing except make you feel even more broken.

When I express how tired I am of “fighting” to maintain any accomplishments I’ve had, of trying to hide how bad I feel so I’m not a burden on anyone, of trying to be productive and relevant, without fail someone will begin to list off all the things I should be thankful for… my home, my husband, my son, my dog, etc. They simply don’t understand that I can be thankful for those things, and feel depressed and exhausted at the same time, one doesn’t necessarily cancel the other out, but suggesting that I can’t express what I’m feeling, that I need to struggle in silence, is not helpful.

How long is someone supposed to “fight?” I started experiencing these chronic conditions in 1994. I’ve been struggling to be productive, to contribute, to not be a burden all this time. Every time I feel as if I’ve made headway something new comes up and adds to my struggle. I started out dealing with depression, PTSD, anxiety, Degenerative Joint and Disk Diseases, obesity, and high blood pressure. In 2005 add loss of a disk, bulging disks, lumbar Stenosis and Spondylosis, a Synovial Cyst in my spinal canal, Sciatic nerve root damage and edema. I also lost my gall bladder that year. In 2011 I had a medium large hernia in my abdomen and had to have a 5 cm tear in my abdominal wall closed. In 2019 I was diagnosed with significant degeneration of my spine, including facet deterioration and narrowing of my spinal canal, as well as self-fusion of my vertebrae. That same year I had a heart attack and was instructed to cut down on any exercise to preserve my spine as long as I can. This year I’ve been diagnosed with bicep tendonitis.

How much can one person take? How long am I supposed to “fight?” It’s terribly difficult to get through each day, each week. I’m back on anti-depression medication, trying to stay ahead of my emotions and the overwhelming feeling that I’m losing the battle against my body.

It would be so much more helpful for people to listen and let me express how I feel, than to try to make me feel guilty for having these feelings by reminding me to be thankful. That’s a little like telling a person in pain it’s just pain be thankful you’ve not died.

What Has Happened To Us?

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I can remember my Grandmother telling us what it was like during the Great Depression. She talked about how her neighborhood took care of one another, helped each other. She talked about how she’d make extra bread, or have extra eggs and would give them to a neighbor who had some extra vegetables or fruit. They pulled together, pooled their resources and got through it.

My Dad was much like that, sharing extra with his neighbors, with us. I’ve tried to be that person as well. If I have extra and you need it, I’ll gladly share with the people around me.

Since the outbreak of the novel Corona virus, Covid-19 I’ve held off on sharing my thoughts, but the longer it goes on, the more disappointed and troubled I am by what I’m seeing and hearing.

There have been fist fights and hoarding of groceries, toilet paper and hand sanitizer; people trying to sell such items at a premium to profit off of the need and fear of others; people who think and openly say the elderly and chronically ill should be willing to sacrifice themselves for the economy; people who say that their rights are being taken away because they are asked to wear a mask, social distance from others, self quarantine; etc.

In my state there are legislators actively trying to pursue impeachment of our Governor because he issued a stay at home order, closing down any business that wasn’t considered essential. They accuse him of purposely trying to destroy the economy, thinking he’s a dictator because he tried to protect us, following the guidelines issued by the Federal Government/CDC.

There have been armed protests to demand businesses reopen, initially beauty shops, bars, restaurants, etc.  People have been assaulted because they asked someone to wear a mask, or to keep their distance.

There have been those who sow conspiracy theories, suggesting the virus is a fake, only a political ploy, meant to control the populous.

There is no sense of personal responsibility, of empathy for those who may be immune-compromised, no concern for the elderly or chronically ill. No caring or common decency for anyone beyond themselves.

What has happened to us? What happened to compassion? Why do people not understand that we are all in this together, what affects me affects you and vice versa? All these “patriotic Americans” who are whining about and raging against wearing a mask and being considerate of others are putting on display for the world to see just who we are, how morally void we are. The so-called “Christian nation” living as if survival of the fittest is in line with their values, is ethically acceptable within their ideology.

What has happened to us? Who have we become? Is this really who we want to be?

Another Diagnosis… does it ever end?

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Right after my heart attack in December I shared with my doctor that my right shoulder, upper arm, collar bone and neck were hurting. I asked if it was related to the heart attack, since women have different symptoms than men do and she’d told me no, it was likely unrelated, but didn’t address the pain.

I had an appointment with her the end of May and again addressed the pain in my arm. I explained that I’d been using my arms and shoulders to lift myself out of my recliner, that it hurt to lay on my right side, that I couldn’t lift my arm over my head without pain, it hurt to lift things with that arm, to crochet, etc.

She finally addressed it, telling me, after manipulating my arm herself, that I have bicep tendonitis. Never heard of this before. She gave me some exercises to do, told me to use ice or heat whichever worked better for me. That was it.

She suggested I not use my right arm at all, to let it just hang there, as if it’s not there. She wouldn’t sling it because of my arthritis, she was afraid it would freeze my joint.

She put me on an antidepressant that really hasn’t done much at all. I’ve had a couple of very bad days since this new diagnosis, new pain.

I am so tired… tired of the pain, tired of trying to focus, tired of forcing myself to keep being productive, tired of feeling as if no one cares that I’m suffering this level of chronic pain, I’m tired of saying I’m tired and in pain.

A friend of mine said the universe needs to give me a break.

No Gratitude

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I find myself questioning whether there is any such thing as gratitude…

A friend of ours has a 19/20 year old daughter who was due to have her first baby. She and the baby’s father were not together the last time we chatted. She’d said her daughter needed everything for the baby, hadn’t gotten anything and didn’t really have the money for what she needed.

A sweet friend of mine offered her a 3 in 1 crib that would turn into a toddler bed and day bed as the baby grew. She offered a pack ‘n play, a glider rocker with ottoman and some clothes. She said she knew what it was like trying to do it on a tight budget, so our friend’s daughter could have the items, no charge, just her way of “paying it forward.”

They were thrilled, so they said, but every time I tried to arrange a time to pick up the items (our friend dropped them off here in mid January), they had an excuse why they couldn’t come to get them. They were getting a newer bigger vehicle (they got it), they had stomach virus through the house, someone had the flu, they had an appointment out of town, they’d forgotten, they weren’t feeling good, then it was the corona virus and social distancing. I offered to disinfect the stuff and put it out on my deck where they could come and pick the things up without contact.

Four months went by. Our friend who’d donated the items noticed they were still here and said she had a friend about to deliver a baby and she could give the things to her, so she came and took everything back.

I had given the young mother’s family several opportunities to back out, telling them we understood if they had a baby shower and got what they needed, but they’d continued all along to tell me they still wanted and needed the things.

Then there’s a friend on Facebook who learned I was making masks. She asked if I could send her 5, one for herself, one for her mother, one for her husband and one each for her sons. I showed her pictures of the masks I’d made from remnant material, but she kept asking me if I had this or that color of fabric, that she wanted certain colors for the women and the men. I told her I didn’t have those colors. I suggested a combination of different patterns I could send, but she didn’t respond. When she did get back to me she said she needed 6. When I asked her if the ones I’d suggested were okay she again questioned what I could get, until I made it completely clear I wasn’t buying material to make masks, I was using left overs from previous projects because I was giving them away, not charging, therefore I couldn’t afford to buy material. She finally settled on 5 masks, the colors I had and gave me her address. I sent the masks. In 10 days I got the envelop back with a sticker that said “street address does not exist.” I contacted her and told her the address I sent them to and she said, it was her fault, she’d not given me the right zip code, so I had to buy another envelop and pay postage again to send them a second time. At this point I’d invested $10 in packaging and postage.

Then today I finished up a crochet project, a shrug sweater, I wanted to give a friend. I asked her if I could bring it down to deliver it. She asked me if I was bringing my pup with me. I told her I was going to, but only wanted to stop and hand her the gift, not stay for a visit. She wanted me to leave my dog home and come to visit for a while. That wasn’t my intention at all. I told her I was going to let my pup ride along, she said the yard was muddy, it was supposed to rain, etc. I explained again I didn’t intend it to be a doggy play date, just delivering the gift, I was excited to see if it fit, see her reaction. I decided to wait until another time, rather than feeling frustrated and manipulated. All I wanted to do was drop off a gift.

The same lady who’d demanded special patterns and materials for 5 masks saw the baby clothes quilt I finished for a friend and asked me if I could make her two. I thought she was asking for her grandkids. I explained doing so long distance was probably more of a headache than she imagined, having to ship me clothing to use, material, batting, etc. I told her I’d started another project that might take a while, I didn’t think I could do it, then she informed me they were for her dogs and she wanted neutral colors. What?

Lately, instead of feeling as though people appreciate and are grateful for the effort put forth, I feel as though they are selfish, demanding, don’t appreciate the effort being made, aren’t grateful for a kind gesture. The effort made isn’t enough, they want more.

No one seems to have empathy and few people seem to be grateful. Rant over.