Here’s to a Happy (or Better) New Year!

I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas or just enjoyed the holidays as may be the case (or just had a good, regular day depending on your culture).

With the new year almost upon us, it’s time to gear up for new beginnings. Usually, I do not pay much attention to New Year’s — every once in a while, I’ll come up with a resolution that I abandon not long into it — which is why I make sure they don’t involve any monetary commitment. (Learned that lesson the hard way after getting a gym membership years ago — only went to work out for two months but unfortunately had the membership for two years.)

Bring on 2020

For 2020, I’m just hoping the change of calendar brings an uptick in good fortune. The last half of 2019 was a mixed bag:

  1. My time at Bigfish came to an end
  2. I started doing freelance work and it was like gangbusters at first then budgets were slashed or projects finished
  3. My work on my book picked up
  4. The stupid kidney stone hit during a brief period of shitty insurance coverage causing medical bills to skyrocket
  5. The new laptop I bought was having problems
  6. My cell phone is on its last legs

When times get rough, that’s when things seem to pile on.

Anyway, I’m starting my new year early so I can count the good things that have happened toward it.

  1. The kidney stone has been vanquished. I came out of the anesthesia almost immediately with no grogginess (unlike some of the poor bastards around me who were having a hard time with it). Minor pain. I told the doc that there will be a month gap in my insurance, so instead of removing the stint he left inside my right ureter, he ran a string down it through my bladder and out my wedding tackle and taped it to it — I’m supposed to try to yank it out in a week (I wince every time I think about that).

I’ve been under anesthesia numerous times for colonoscopies, so I wasn’t nervous at all for the procedure — that is until two nurses came in to put in my IV. The first one said she was there to “Try and put it in” which did not have the tone of confidence one wants their nurse to exhibit in such a circumstance. I felt like quoting Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.” But I held my tongue.

Turns out she is a nurse but wanted to be trained on a new machine. So normally, something that is quick took forever as the trainer walked her through checking out my veins on a scan. It was kind of alarming. “Okay, advance it forward — no, no, the probe, not the needle. Okay, wait — adjust the angle. See how it’s oval, that’s too much pressure. Advance the needle. Okay, wiggle it. No, move it over.” Holy bejeezus! The trainee finally says “I think it’s good to go.” And at this point, I felt compelled to tell her half-jokingly: “Uh, can we get to “I’m positive it’s good to go?” The trainer didn’t find this humorous and they began explaining how everything was fine.

Anyway, after they left, the regular nurse came in and said she normally did the IVs but they wanted to get this other nurse up to speed. (Shouldn’t I get a guinea pig discount?). She double-checked their work and it was okay except they hadn’t taped the tube to me properly so she fixed it.

Oh, and in a sign of maturity, I didn’t pull a hoax on the Houseguest. You’re supposed to have someone with you for 24-hours after anesthesia in case you fall — I was 100% okay within an hour, so not needed. The Houseguest was going to be at work all day. So the plan was when I’d heard her unlocking the door, I would lay on the floor with my eyes crossed and my tongue hanging out so that would be the first thing she’d see. The joke would be obvious — but that’s usually when someone is guaranteed to not take it as a joke, so with much regret, I abandoned my plan.

  1. My laptop problem — I think I’ve solved it. When I bought it for contracting, I had a problem with it the first two times it flashed its BIOS and Lenovo sent me a replacement, but I thought I’d solved the issue and sent the replacement back (Probably a dumb move). Anyway, I was having massive problems last week.  Lenovo sent me to a local partner. A scan I ran showed it wasn’t hardware related. The tech at the local shop said it wouldn’t be covered under warranty work if it was software. I explained to him all my fix attempts and he said it would probably require a reinstallation of Windows. He showed me how to do it — that would save me $130 dollars for two clicks of a mouse. That was really nice of him. My stupid laptop hung up again when I tried to reset windows. After some frustration and googling, I changed a setting on a hunch and that got Windows to install, and it appears to be acting normally! Huzzah!
  1. It looks like my freelancing might be picking up — this client in CA sent me a bunch of potential projects. The main drawback is the subject matter expert treats me like I’m an assassin and is hard to track down. Also, I start a part-time copywriting gig, so that will help me get this hospital bill paid down.  I had friends contribute donations on GoFundMe, an unexpected Godsend. I still have a large chunk to pay, but I feel more positive now. Thanks to those who contributed.
  2. Unfortunately, I will probably need to replace my 4-year-old phone as the battery won’t hold a charge and you can’t replace it (Built-in obsolescence anyone?). I get an hour or two out of it and at around 50% it shuts down. Problematic when I’m not by a charger. I’ve been using it to record a client who loves it because he likes to dictate and I don’t have to keep bothering him for clarifications. The thought of my phone dying mid-interview freaks me out. I’ll settle for buying an older, cheaper model for now.
  3. My book has been moving along — not so much in the past few days, but overall it is. I need to get back to it before I lose momentum.
Anyone else looking forward to the new year? Hope everything is positive for you and I wish you good health.

Photo by Caio Resende from Pexels

6 thoughts on “Here’s to a Happy (or Better) New Year!

  1. You do a lot better with anasthesia than me. I’m what they call a “lightweight”. I take a long time to wake up, and feel sick the rest of the day, after being under. I’m glad your surgery came out okay, but don’t envy your job of having to yank that stint out on your own. Yikes.
    But I hope you have a happy New Year, in spite of that little medical job you have to take care of.


    1. Sean D. Layton

      Thanks. Yeah not looking forward to the follow up. I’ve been under a number of times for colonoscopies and have tolerated anesthesia well. They very first time I was put under, I was out of it and remeber counting down and the next thing I knew, I’d been magically teleported into the lobby, fully dressed. But since then I tend to come to quickly, thank God


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