Month: August 2017

Car Crash III

It’s been over a week since the last update. Lots has happened.

I’ve gotten my car back. I negotiated with his insurance agency to get more money to cover the battery replacement. Had a cow when I got the car that the power steering seemed dead – after driving in traffic an hour the next day was back to normal; something about power cycling? It had me making panicked calls to my parents, wanting to chat it over with my boyfriend (but he was unavailable), and researching replacement vehicles while making contingency plans for my various funds. Because it sorted itself out I am trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, though I am still a bit anxious about if I can trust this car any more or not.

My pain is way better. Tuesday of last week I tried to work but was on heavy pain meds, as in I took close to 4000mg of naproxen that day. No, that is not a typo or any extra zeros. I was super spacey, couldn’t concentrate or focus, and had a massive headache. While I did work that day, it was torture. I ended up sleeping the next two days mostly. Doing laundry, getting groceries, and putting out the trash were dramatic events that even drugged up were nightmares. But I took things slow and persevered. I know others would help, but I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to ask someone to do these “simple” tasks for me or to come keep me company or cook dinner.

Over the course of the week I slowly pushed myself to wean the drugs. It got to taking 500mg of naproxen a day. Then on Monday I had my first physical therapy appointment, where she told me to keep taking them on a schedule to help reduce inflammation and thus help things heal.

The physical therapy both worries me (due to $ and how that will work out with the insurance company – especially since I have to prepay and be reimbursed) and reassured me. The reassurance was that I had “good range of motion” and wasn’t being a diva. 😛 That I really wasn’t that bad off and therapy would be short and simple. Especially since I had already gotten into a routine of exercise before the accident. The therapist was impressed with the level and diversity of my exercise routine and told me to do what I could but keep moving. She couldn’t/wouldn’t settle the ice vs heat debate which has been raging among the folk in my life. 😛

Other than PT, a work moderately heated discussion over PTO, and slowly building back up my exercise routine – things are back to normal. I think that for now I will stay the course with the car as well as my plans for finances, which includes being able to pay that sucker off next month – 3 years ahead of schedule! While it is VERY tempting to either put that money elsewhere (hellooooo credit card debt) or to just keep it liquid, I’ve got a plan and need to trust in it.

Terrorism everywhere

Everyone has been speaking about Charlottesville, VA lately after the awful, anti-semetic, hate march. It came up at the gaming group last weekend, and I think I said something wrong. I mentioned how I had family there. I validated that the city of Charlottesville is very blue politically and actually a great place. I could feel the side eye.

The thing is, it has been clear from numerous articles and otherwise that many of the hate groups and domestic terrorists came from elsewhere, not Charlottesville itself. At least not entirely. Let’s face it, no place is free of any type of personality/group. One of my aunts wisely told me, many years ago, that “No matter where you go, you will always encounter the same people, just with different faces.”

Similarly to my eventual point, recently a hate group ate at a local restaurant. There was a big to do because the staff were not comfortable and the owner supposedly made little of it and supported the patrons rather than the staff. I made note of this place and marked it on my “places to eat” map with a note to NEVER go there.

I can see already in the Jewish community the general consensus to not go to Charlottesville, or Virginia at all. The owner of that restaurant made a very public apology and donated a significant amount to charities that were the opposite of the hate group; but I haven’t removed my notation to never eat there.

I wonder how knee jerk and how long our personal and communal memories are and how that will impact other communities. If someone never visited Charlottesville, VA because of this horrid march they would be missing out on great food, history (that is presented accurately and neutrally unlike other areas of the state and South), and amazing views of the Blue Ridge mountains – not to mention some awesome people and their hospitality. The fact it now has been tainted by people who don’t even live there, but happened to use it as a stage is so damaging.

I don’t know if there is a solution. Well, other than waving a magic wand to make the country less divisive, more tolerant, self self centered, and more educated in some instances. :\ I guess I’ll just have to do my part to bring reality/neutral/facts where I can and to be more educated and open minded myself.

Car Crash II

Woke today in LOTS of pain. Called my boss to tell her that after my test I needed to go to the doc. She said just take the whole day off. Because I was seeing the doc, I did not take any pain meds, wanting them to see me without any filters.

Next started a slew of calls accident related. Called body shop to give claim number. Body shop called back saying it was denied as claim was disputed – how did I want to pay? *facepalm* Turns out it wasn’t even reviewed yet by the claim adjuster – who was my next call. After she reviewed the case (she hadn’t even gotten to it yet) she called me back.

The test was hard – between the pain and trouble concentrating, as well as dizzy spells… I’m frankly surprised I passed it, and that I didn’t pass out when walking to/from my car. :disappointed: I had to reread questions a few times because I would space out half way through. (So not me.)

After the test many more calls and such. End result is that the insurance of the guy who hit me is covering everything. Car repair, my medical for 30 days up to $X, and a (very) small something for my pain and suffering. I’ll be calling a lawyer to check that this is legit and enough before I sign anything. Got the rental moved to the insurance, and canceled the rental company insurance coverage of the rental.

The nurse at my doc is so smart and better bedside, sometimes I wish I could just see her. :stuck_out_tongue: End result mild concussion (hence the extra fatigue, nausea, dizziness, and concentration issues), mild sprain of both wrists, common seat belt trauma (across abdomen and hips), and something with my back. We are waiting for the xrays to see if I need to go to an ortho AND PT or can just go to PT. The rad techs took a LOT of images of my lower back. I got fresh prescription for 500mg naproxen (as opposed to the 5 years past expiration date I was taking), muscle relaxers, and anti-nausea meds. I also have referrals for said ortho, physical therapists if I don’t need the ortho, and if the concussion symptoms don’t go away in a few days for a neurologist.
Since standing for more than a few minutes and walking more than a few feet has me tired and/or dizzy and tripping over my own feet, I felt cooking was not a good idea. I had to run a related errand anyway, so stopped on my way home at my local hole in the wall Mexican. \o/ Chimi-steak-fajita, amazing guac, fire roasted salsa, and of course a margarita on the rocks, no salt.

Tomorrow I hope to hear what looking at my slides result in and how long I will have the rental.

<<>>> I am liking this rental. Feeling very spoiled. Part of that feeling spoiled is due to how awesome D has been with all this. In sharing the update with my mom she even said, “He might be a keeper.” High praise from her. 😉

Car Crash

(Note, making life easier I am copy pasting from Slack where I shared this with friends.)

Ok, back home at at my computer (as opposed to on my phone.) I’m not ok but am. Physically I hurt all over (joints: fingers, elbows, wrists, shoulders, hips, knee, ankles; muscles up and down my back and across my abdomen (mostly lower, but also just under the boobs.) I’m tired. I am now extra hyper aware of things around me (even when Daniel was the one driving last night.) I’m nervous now to drive on the highway like I haven’t been since I first started driving. I’m worried about my car. Worried what if I should go to the doctor. Worried about my test tomorrow, because sitting for 2hours in a test center when I am not thinking clearly and am nauseated and sore doesn’t sound fun; never mind I don’t feel prepared for it and if I fail (it is pass/fail) I won’t be reimbursed the $1300 for the course from work. I’m worried why my car won’t start and what I can’t see that might be wrong with it. And that I couldn’t shut the driver window and it rained last night.

Long story short, I was in stop and go traffic (75south, getting ready to get onto 285) and was at a complete stop when shortly after I was hit from behind. Iwas very glad and lucky that a) while it bumped my car forward a few feet, I had left enough room that I didn’t hit the tractor trailer in front of me, and b) that I was able to safely and quickly get over to the shoulder.

Guy and I exchanged insurance. I took a bunch of pics of my car and his. My car only had some scratches on the bumper and the license plate is bent. His car the entire hood is accordioned and he was leaking fluid. His check engine light was on, he suspected his radiator was fuxored.

Huzzah for my car being a tank and living up to its really good safety rating. (Mazda 3, 2013) His car was a Chevy Cobalt. I didn’t have a good impression of GM vehicles before and certainly don’t now. :stuck_out_tongue

After all that and checking with Daniel and another friend I called 911 to get a police report filed. The cop showed up really quickly and was great to work with. The guy only got a warning for “following too close behind.”

Frankly, I was impressed with myself that I was able to remain calm, collected, polite, professional under this stress. I even befriended the guy talking about how he moved here from Bulgaria 18 years ago, his wife’s new car, his job…

Then as the cop was going to block traffic to let us safely get back in, my car wouldn’t start. Mind you, I had at that point the 4 ways on for 90 minutes, had been turning the car off and on, playing with windows (down to get breeze/air; up to reduce noise while on the phone with my insurance and his…)

The cop then helped me check to see if there was a release for the emergency fuel pump shut off. After lots of searching and googling we found my make/model doesn’t have a release. :neutral_face: This then left me with needing to be towed. And no body shop was open on a Saturday afternoon. And the tow truck was 90 minutes at the EARLIEST to me. I ended up waiting on the side of the highway with no ac and unable to charge my phone (that was at that point down to 26% battery) for 2.5 hours in 105 F. My insurance and the tow company urged me to abandon the vehicle and walk along the highway to the nearby exit and go somewhere for someone to pick me off. OH HELL NO. In Atlanta there are 1300+ roadside fatalities a year, mostly for that exact situation. That and I didn’t feel comfortable abandoning my car.

After the truck came, turns out the dealership doesn’t have a body shop and that is required when in an accident. But for them to tow me car to a body shop I had to get my insurance to approve the new location and update his dispatch. Luckily at that point I was hungry (having not eaten since 9 am, it was 330 pm),thirsty, and appreciating having the AC and way to charge my phone in his truck. After getting the approval, I tried calling the rental car agency that Daniel had reserved for me. They closed at 4. Luckily the tow truck guy said we could get there in time, he wasn’t going to leave me alone at the closed body shop, and the rental agency was nearby so he just drove me there. (No additional approval needed.) We got there at 3:58. :neutral_face: I had let Daniel know when the tow truck arrived (phone battery 1% left) but due to dealing with insurance and trying to call the agency I hadn’t reached back out to him. When I arrived at the car agency I let him know. Apparently my call wouldn’t go though because he had been calling asking about me and worried if they would stay open late until I got there. lol

I was given the actual LAST CAR on the lot.

So I made it home around 5 pm, because I took back roads home and was slower than normal both from nerves and driving an unfamiliar vehicle. I did lose my cool while waiting for the tow truck – crying, shaking. I was glad that I at least kept it together until I could safely breakdown.

Now I am waiting on the guy’s insurance claim agent to reach out to me about the tow and rental, as well as whatever repair I need done.

I have been taking left over 500 mg of naproxen (from a 2011 surgery) every 4 hours and it isn’t really enough for the pain. I figure if after my test tomorrow I’m not seeing improvement I will see my doc. (And make his insurance cover that too.)

Daniel was really sweet. After I got home I showered, took some time, and then turned around and went to meet up with him. We had plans for a group dinner, the first time I am meeting any of his friends (still haven’t met any family but that is in the works.)

On our way to dinner he was surprised I hadn’t called my parents, he insisted I call them. I called my mom and put her on speaker so she and Daniel could speak to each other too. lol That was amusing. Daniel was happy at how I talked him up to her. Then once we got back to his place after dinner (4 hours! It was fun, but I was dying by the end of it due to the pain) I asked him to give me a back massage to help with the pain.

A lot of folk have asked me that or if he was texting. Frankly, I didn’t ask him and don’t care. It doesn’t change the end result.

He said he tried to stop but wasn’t able to. But there was no screeching tires and no marks on the highway like when stopping quickly.

He also hadn’t honked his horn as a warning he wasn’t able to brake.

*shrugs* It is what it is. Accidents happen. It could have been worse. I’m just glad it wasn’t worse. I’m sure I will eventually feel better.

Some things just stick with you

I know everyone had a rough childhood. No family is perfect. Everything is relative.

I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD by a licensed therapist because of my childhood. And I had it under control, until recently.

You see, one of my family members used to harass me. It was mostly verbal, but there was the physical too of being forced to hug/kiss – or to have my face “smushed.” (The face smushing was worse after I got glasses – in the annoying factor, pain factor, and the “now I have to clean your greasy hand print from my glasses” factor.) Extra ick factor that this person smoked heavily.

For as long as I could remember – even before I started middle school – this family member would make jokes (repeatedly, over many years) about how I had to go to college in Guam. Why? Because it was so far away it wasn’t even in the same day. Bonus points for different hemisphere, country, and timezone. No one ever told him to shove it, or comforted me that they didn’t want me to be so far away. They never said it to anyone else that I recall, only me. To be fair, this person honestly thought it was funny and all in good fun. They did not have the intent to hurt/harm, and clearly no one who heard him thought they did either.

I know that the threat of nuclear attack is horrid and beyond scope of comprehension for those of use who came of age in the 90s. But all I can think about is Guam, how my family wanted to send so far that they didn’t want to be in the same DAY with me. How no one wanted me. That shit hurts, yo. Don’t tell me it was only kidding. If it was kidding it would have been a one time comment.

I hope nothing comes of all this rhetoric. At least nothing that many others, especially civilian and/or innocent have to pay for. I am sure I’ll get through this, I’ve developed a lot of coping mechanisms and have many “tools” to deal and heal.

Buckhead Diner

Recently I had the pleasure of dining at the Buckhead Diner with my boyfriend as part of the Summer Dine Around program.

We did make a “reservation” for preferred seating. Again, my boyfriend is true to his nature we arrived 15 minutes past our “reservation.” I am really curious how the ‘preferred seating’ works since, unless everyone had it, because several groups, even some that arrived after us, got seated before us. For a Monday night at 7:45 to wait a half hour says something; what I don’t know.

I enjoyed the classic, upscale diner vibe. One of the things I love about metro Atlanta is that all diners are “upscale” even though I do occasionally miss the trains and literal greasy spoons of New England. The chrome was shiny and leather seats soft. The rich, dark decor brightened by ALL THE CHROME.

I ordered a peartini, I don’t remember what the boyfriend drank. The peartini was perfunctory and uninspired. I should have tried the pomegranate martini as I was more in the mood for bold flavors.

We started with the meatball appetizers, to which the boyfriend listened to me wax poetic about how I judge meatballs and how they speak to the quality of establishment. I blame being brought up on good (Americanized) Italian outside Boston. 😛 I was not disappointed, the meatballs were the perfect density, flavor, and complexity. It was a cloud of beefy tomato goodness. That was heaven. I joked with the boyfriend that it was an A-. DAMN near perfect. I forget what my reasons for not giving it a straight A were.

We were served a basket of bread. The bread for all Buckhead Life restaurants is made “in house.” The Atlanta Bakery was designed just for these restaurants to save money, and happened to be across the street from the Diner. I love me some fresh bread. I LOVED that there were tiny corn muffins that were sweet (do you know how hard it is to find sweet corn bread?) with actual whole corn kernals in it! The breadsticks were also good, though when asked, I gave it all a B+. Good but not the kind of bread that the next day would be memorable. Good bread is tasty and fantastic density and perfect inner chewiness and outer snap for at least three days.

I had ordered the CBS burger (no tomato, no pickle, add provolone) with no fries. That was a very good decision, that was a DAMN good burger. The marriage of flavors, the level of juiciness (given it was cooked medium), on a brioche was amazing. Not the bet burger I’ve ever had (that goes to Flip Burger Boutique) but in the top five burgers of my life so far.

The boyfriend had a salmon dish that he said was really good. He let me taste the sauce, because it was curious looking and he said it tasted orange. Turns out it was lemon and grainy brown mustard and some other spices. Our server was going to get me the “approximate” recipe but never did. It was very tasty and would be better on poultry or a mild fish rather than competing with the salmon.

To finish off I had the key lime tart, he the banana cream pie. We learned how much we love these desserts that we chose, yet strongly dislike what the other ordered. It seems like the perfect thing, because it means neither of us had to share a single bite. He raved about his pie, which was a HUGE portion he couldn’t finish; it was about the size of a small cantaloupe! Finally, we had an A+ with this tart. The short bread crust was perfect in flavor and crunch. The key lime mouse was fluffy but hefty enough to feel filling. The flavor had the perfect tangy bite chased by sugary goodness. I opted to not get the strawberry sauce, but I never missed it. I loved having just the key lime flavor – with the whipped cream from heaven. The whipped cream was airy and the perfect touch of sweet.

Alas, the next location is Kyma. It is predominately a seafood restaurant, so with my “sensitivity” the boyfriend will need to take someone else. I am sure it will be as high class and amazing as Bistro Niko and the Buckhead Diner have been.