Notes from the Road, #11

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It’s so cold out here. This place is now basically what a tundra on steroids wants to be when it grows up. I’m so sick of it, and it feels like there’s zero end in sight.

Same way I felt sometimes when I was early in the game on both my previous major attempt at losing weight, and also early on when I lost the weight this time around. It’s so hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes, isn’t it?

I’ve spent the weekend caked in grime and mouse-chewed crap from cleaning out a family member’s room while they’re in the hospital. My game plan is to knock down as much as possible now, so I can cut down on the burden later on as we reach a more concrete time frame for the move. They’re in the hospital due to what turned out to be an infection that went systemic, and their other health conditions didn’t help things any. Knock on wood, all of that was incidental to this.

This strain of bacteria the doctor found isn’t commonly found, and they sent it to a research hospital in the state. I’ve done some of my own research, and what I was able to make heads and tails of, this type of infection is rare in any case, but when it happens, it happens in those with underlying health conditions.

None of this is pandemic-related, thankfully. Nobody here’s been exposed to it. I made damn sure of that, so we’re safe.

I planned on hitting up the dollar store for some garbage bags, since I forgot to look for some the last time I was at the bodega. As luck would have it, I found a whole box of kitchen bags slung into a corner, opened, but virtually unused.


Time to use these bad boys up. They’ve been living in this house for way too long.

I managed to salvage a few things, including some old stuff from other relatives that somehow survived that trash pit unharmed. I’m gonna keep it all somewhere safe to make damn sure it stays that way.

I know for sure they won’t be doing this at the new house. Even if that means I have to babysit them, then so be it.

I haven’t even had time to get started on packing my room yet. It’s mainly clothes (lol, naturally!), old magazines, books, and stuff from my day job. I haven’t had this blog long enough to have amassed a stack of notebooks and papers to the point I need another plastic file box yet.

I come to a good enough stopping place after cleaning the vacuum filters. I should really let those dry out, so I put ’em on the register in the bathroom, gear up, and head out the door.

I duke out the walk to the hospital, which is just over two miles for me with the route I’m taking. It’s longer, but it’s all safer ground after the near-misses I had on the route I usually take. The sub-zero temperature and the wind are relentless, and there’s gonna be another week or so of this nonsense.

Visiting hours will end soon, so I make my pit stop at the bodega snappy.

Mentally, I’m done for. I hammered out my stuff for my day job, and I plan to take on more work to help finance the move, wherever it ends up being.

I make it to the hospital, and enter through the ER entrance. It’s the only one that’s open this time of day due to the pandemic. I make my way to ICU, and I notice the TV was turned to the Super Bowl. I stuck around for the halftime show, which I liked, btw. The festivities ended, and with the lights turned down, I pulled my hat down over my face, wrapped myself up in my coat to try and warm up, in spite of the old leggings, sweatshirt, and footie jammies I had on already. I move around in the chair to find a way to curl up without torturing my bad arm, and strike gold on that one.

When my family member was in the hospital before, they used to let us stay all night. My game plan was to do so, since the wind chill had hit double-digits below zero, and the temperature itself was also below zero. The nurse came in and said that this was no longer possible due to the pandemic.

Just as well. It’s that time of the month for me, and I left the extra cloth pad I kept meaning to grab on my way out. Fortunately it’s toward the end, so it’s less of a concern, so to speak.

My family member could probably hear me, but they were on the ventilator, and drugged up something major. Just in case they could, I said my goodbyes, and told them I’d be back tomorrow.

I leave the ICU, and start heading down the long hallway for the main entrance, now an exit only. I walk toward one of the main thoroughfares to find the automotive repair shops closed for the night. The only places open are the fast-food joint and the convenience store. The abandoned motorcycle shop on the corner is so creepy this time of night. I swear, that place has been abandoned for like 30 years or something. I don’t remember it ever being open, and I’ve lived in this part of town for most of my life, haha.

As cold and miserable as it is outside, it’s peaceful. No horse dick street harassers to deal with, just the way I like it. I walk alone in the night, sidestepping the slick areas and walking in the street just to be on the safe side, talking with the people I’ve designated as my higher powers. I ask them to watch over my family member, and help them get better.

I want them home. It’s not the same at the house.

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