Here’s a summary of life in the Timewalkerauthor household this week: (also known as “Why I Didn’t Post a Blog Entry Until Tonight”) :
Number of hours worked: 40. No surprise there.
Number of hours slept: Considerably less than forty. I may have found the source of the problem!
Number of hours spent in doctor’s appointments: 8. That would be twenty percent of my work week, which is twenty percent too much. It seems that the answer to the question, “How do we integrate mental health care and physical health care?” is “Throw man-hours at them!”
Number of manuscript pages written: 26, which comes to 7,198 words (when, that is, the pages are in manuscript format—not a lot of words per page in that case). Twenty-six pages may not sound like much, but I felt good about it, considering that I wrote most of them between eleven p.m. and one a.m., usually with one eye already closed for the night. I’m almost afraid to go back and read it. (For the record, that puts the totals at 205 pages, 73,203 words for that manuscript. The end is in sight!)
Number of Tweets: Zero. Just like last week. And next week. THERE’S a trend for you!
School days for Emma: Four, only one of which (today) was full-length. Apparently Raleigh County, West Virginia has developed a pathological phobia with regard to winter. Even when it doesn’t do anything.
School days for Ethan: Two. He’s a pre-kindergarten student, and only goes for half a day. If school starts late, he doesn’t go. And his teacher wonders why he isn’t learning?
Theological discussions: One. Not meaning casual conversations, but actual focused discussion. Inconclusive, but aren’t they all? The discussions, not the theology. Perhaps not the best thing for a Bible college alumnus to say, but true, all too often.
Flat tires: One. Took care of it, but of course something would go wrong the week before I try to replace the car.
Best excuse: “I’m in my feelings.” I’m not sure what this means, exactly. If you are not in your feelings, would that make you an honorary Vulcan? The problem seems to be that our feelings are in us, or more to the point, we can’t keep them there; no, we have to get them all over everyone else! Incidentally, this excuse was used (not by me) for taking a nap, which is something I can ABSOLUTELY get behind.
Nuclear threats: One. Way to go, North Korea. Why haven’t we bombed them off the planet yet? Oh, yeah: China. That’s right.
Total number of heads painted blue: 2. Those would be my children. I wasn’t previously aware that there is such a thing as Dr. Seuss week, but apparently there is; so they went to school today dressed as Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat In The Hat. Our official family mascot—Om Nom, of “Cut The Rope”—got in on the action as “Thing Green”, which drove my slightly-OCD daughter up the wall; she insisted that he should be “Thing Three”.
Crazy behavior: At least three individuals, in addition to the ones I describe below. By “crazy behavior”, I mean “people are spying on me through the wiring in my home” crazy. That is not a joke. I really want to help the people involved, but it is a very slow, hard road.
Government Incompetence: 535 practitioners. Sequestration is something that simply should never have happened. I am no political blogger, so I don’t propose to suggest any solution—I don’t know all the details of what was needed. But it appears that it came down to childish stubbornness on both sides. Very disappointing.
Suicide Attempts: One, maybe two. Not me. A client at work (for reasons never explained to me, we don’t use the word “patients”) had a severe falling out with his housemate, and felt his life was in danger, so he settled on the novel solution of ending it himself via a brand-new opening in his right wrist. He survived, and is currently in the hospital. The “maybe two” refers to another client who claims to have taken a large amount of ibuprofen, but there was no physical indication that she really did so. Now, I don’t want to make light of something so serious—suicide and depression are enormous issues. My job exists to help people in just such a situation, and I like to think I take it seriously. It’s not easy, though, to stay levelheaded about it when on the one hand, you know that one person is only doing something for attention, while on the other hand, one is in desperate need of real help, but won’t accept it. This is the frustrating side of mental health work: You have the ability to accomplish so much, but the very people you’re trying to help won’t allow it, in one way or another.
Good News: A lot! For myself, I paid off a number of things that were pending, and things are starting to return to some semblance of normal for me. For others: One good friend became an American citizen this week (dual citizenship, actually, she retained her original citizenship as well), which should in turn open up new job opportunities for her. Another good friend ( a couple, I should say) received a check in the mail, unexpectedly, for a very-much-needed sum of money, at just the right time. My parents also came into some money—not much, but enough to cover an unforeseen expense.
Bad News: Also a lot! My sister, who at 22 already has cancer, will now need gall bladder surgery. The pastor of my church, already ill with a virus, fell into the corner of his bedroom and injured his neck, and is now hospitalized. An older gentleman at church discovered that he has some medical issues that are not life-threatening, but are not cheap, either, and may give him issues with his insurance. My father accidentally broke a window on his truck, to the tune of nearly $200. My son needs a parent-teacher conference concerning his progress report (it appears he isn’t learning his letters the way he should, probably because he’s too busy getting in trouble every day).
House cleaning: NO. Not yet anyway. Tomorrow. I promise.