How I See Things

How I See Things
Cartoon-like drawing in shades of dark to medium purple. Eyes with beautiful eyelashes, looking through a pair of glasses.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Life is Overwhelming at Times

Well, sometimes life throws us big curve balls. 

A cartoon image of Jodi lying down underneath a gasoline gauge.
The gauge reads “E” in the red zone, symbolizing “empty.” 

I have once again been going through big things. 

My son has expressed an interest in learning to drive. So I was all ready to give him a driving lesson in the beginning of July. And I took a mis-step while we were walking to my car, and I ended up with a sprained ankle (and a face-plant full of dirt). 

It is now closing on the end of August, and I am still dealing with this sprained ankle. Who knew these things could take so long to heal? 

In addition to that, I probably did a face-plant into some sort of shrubbery that I was allergic to. Because a few days later, I ended up at the doctor again with something on my arm that had been there a few days at that point. 

The doctor diagnosed me with Shingles. Ack - I only just turned 50! I hadn’t yet had the moment to get a Shingles vaccine. I am only barely 50. And they sent me away with 2 medicines - one to take with water and a meal, and another to apply topically. They told me, “do NOT use any heavy cream, like Vaseline, with the Shingles.” 

Well, it turns out I was allergic to the topical cream. It gave me a chemical burn on my arm. I am such a stranger to medicines, that I didn’t know what I was experiencing was abnormal. I used the cream twice, then just couldn’t do it again. And it burned my arm so badly, my skin all peeled off. It peeled off layers of color of my beautiful tattoo, too. I didn’t want to photograph my arm to show friends, either, because it looked horrifying. 

After a week of this, I finally did send a photo to a close friend of mine. They showed their co-worker who said what I had been thinking - “it looks like a chemical burn.” 

Meanwhile, I had to babysit my arm around the clock. My arm. Babysit my arm. It’s a bizarre thing when someone has to babysit their own body part. It was draining and burning and hurting and the only relief I could find was when I ran it under cold water. This went on for about 2-3 weeks in July and early August.

I finally went back to the doctor and showed them my arm. The nurse who admitted me said, “that doesn’t look at all like what it looked like when you first came in.” That opened my eyes that what I was dealing with had been completely different (and much smaller) than what I was dealing with now. 

The doctor had no idea what it was, but he told me I now had a bacterial infection in addition to “whatever it was,” and he told me to follow up at the emergency room the next day. 

So I went to the emergency room the next day. They confirmed the bacterial infection, confirmed that the new medicine I was put on was a good one to clear up the bacterial infection, and they told me I needed to follow up with a dermatologist (a skin doctor). 

I tried several “local” dermatologists (all “local” ones are an hour away!), and either they couldn’t see me at all, or they could see me as early as January. No joke. 

Thankfully, where I used to live, I have a dermatologist. That’s 2 hours away, but I called her just the same. Her receptionist made a slot for me the next day. Thank goodness!

She also confirmed the bacterial infection, said the medicine I was on for that was fine. And she gave me 2 topical medications to mix with Vaseline (!) to apply to the chemical burn.

My pharmacy closed before I could drive back the 2 hours home, to pick up the new medicines. But I decided to just put the Vaseline on without the other medicine added to it. Hoping that would help. 

Oh wow - did it sure help!! It softened the chemical burn, torn up skin so much, that the next day, when I showered, most of the bad skin just fell off in the shower! It was such a relief to have a lot of that stuff off of my arm. It had been pulling and stretching and tearing at me. It was so painful a

I got the medicine for my arm and mixed it with the Vaseline, and it’s been about 2 weeks now, and my arm is staring to return to its normal color, sans “tan from the sun gained over the years.” It’s like new baby skin forming. 

In addition to all of that, my landlord was raising my rent, so I had to figure out what to do next. I have decided that for the moment, I will have my stuff in storage while I stay with friends and figure out where I will be living now. I am grateful to say I have a few wonderful friends who are going to let me stay with them for now, while I figure things out. It’s been quite the experience to pack my belongings in to boxes and label them, while only being able to use one arm. 

And, I have 2 other very big things going on that I don’t post about on public forums, and those things have their own paperwork and issues cropping up here and there. It’s a LOT to deal with, and I have been overwhelmed beyond what I have ever felt like overwhelm was. 

At some point, does life calm down? I sure hope so. I have books I want to write and paintings I want to paint. And my dogs would love to have fun things to do, too, I am sure. 

Thursday, August 18, 2022


 Last night, I was walking my dogs, and I saw a gorgeous sunset. 

It went from far off in the distance (orange lit small, closely spaced clouds) to over my head, where it was white puffy clouds, still close together.

I followed the orange clouds from the distance to see them all the way up and over my head. They were so beautiful, I had to stand and enjoy all of them. 

Looking overhead, I saw these clouds:  

The image is a light cyan blue sky with white puffy clouds. 

I stood there, looking overhead at these clouds, and it was amazing - they were in 3D to me. 

I have never seen clouds as “near me.” They have always looked like a postcard image to me - 2 dimensional. 

These clouds? They looked about twice as far away as the telephone pole’s top that I was standing next to.

I wished I had a person right there, next to me, who could have validated that the clouds were close and that I was in fact, seeing them in 3D. No one was around me, and I didn’t want to look away and figure out how to find someone (a stranger) to look up and validate my weird eye issues. It would have been super weird to have to explain all my eye issues or even some of them, to get them to then validate what I was looking at. 

Anyway, It was an amazing sight for me. And I stood there, hoping my brain was making new connections : we can see clouds and perceive how far away they are!

This sighting and 3D view for me helped me understand something about my vision: it’s possible I can see 3D when something is very large. I saw the tree in 3D when driving (see a previous post about this), when it was in front of a mountain. And now I saw the clouds in 3D - it was like they were coming towards me, away from the blue of the sky behind them - like things come towards me in a 3D movie with those special glasses on. (That’s the only way I had ever seen 3D before - when I was wearing special glasses that make things forcibly pop towards you. 

Now I am wondering if I should go to more 3D movies. I am thinking I should! I feel like I remember seeing Nemo and Dory in 3D, maybe it was at a ride at either Walt Disney World or Disneyland. That’s probably where I saw 3D Nemo - at a ride at a Disney park. What 3D movies do you think are worth it?

I sometimes wonder if folks who can see in 3D read my posts and close 1 eye to look ahead of them and not see in 3D, and wonder what it’s like not to have something in their life every day, that comes so naturally to them. Let me know. I look forward to your comments. 

Please forgive the odd formatting of this post. I just don’t have the energy to fix it right now. 

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