Love Thy Neighbor…

Over the last several months since a single father and his teenage daughter moved into the other half of my duplex, I have done everything I can to be a good neighbor and a good person to them. 

The daughter, Samantha, smokes weed. I told her when they moved in that I don’t have a problem with her smoking weed, but it makes me violently ill and I asked her not to smoke inside the house because we share a ventilation system. 

Even when I realized that her father was dealing drugs, I still didn’t call the landlord or the police. I should have, but Samantha is an intelligent girl who was accepted into college at only 16 years old and I didn’t want to screw that up for her. She has a full scholarship. She also been abused her whole life and seriously deserves a break. She’s not perfect. She is quite an angry and sometimes violent person, as well as a bit of a brat. But she has been through hell in her life and this was her chance to build a better life for herself. 

Repeatedly, she has continued to smoke weed in the house and I have had to talk to her and explain over and over that I’m allergic and it makes me very sick. I usually talk to her and she agrees to smoke outside and that’s the end of it for a while. 

Then on Thursday I came home to find my house filled with weed. I immediately got sick, but I was also absolutely livid. I try not to talk to people when I’m angry, especially that angry. I waited until I’d calmed down a little and then I approached Samantha alone. I calmly stated that I have asked her multiple times very nicely not to smoke inside because it me makes me very sick. She replied and said she didn’t care and this was her house, too, and she would smoke inside if she wanted to. I told her that the landlady doesn’t even want cigarette smoke in the house, let alone weed. I made it clear that if she couldn’t respect my one request for my own health, I would be forced to call the landlady. 

She continued to smoke weed inside all night. I shut my air vents and turned off the AC, but it barely helped. She was smoking so much! I locked my cats in one room that smelled the least like weed. I was so sick that I was shaking, dry heaving and crying. I had to call the landlady. I was up all night sick. 

I was just starting to stop shaking at 10:00 the next morning when Samantha decided to smoke in the house again! In addition to being sick, I then started to panic. My reactions to marijuana is extreme, which is why I say I’m allergic. I’ve never been tested for an allergy to it. I don’t see how I could go to a doctor and request a weed allergy test. I have been hospitalized for it before, though, but I was too out of it to be able to tell the hospital that it was weed that was making me that way. 

The landlady called the police and I talked to them. I explained how it makes me sick and that I really didn’t want this girl’s future ruined over weed, but that I cannot physically tolerate it in my house. The cops arrived at 2:00 in the afternoon and the neighbors had still not stopped smoking it. In fact, despite the cops knocking on their door, they refused to answer the door and smoked their weed from 10:00am to 3:00pm. The cop could smell the weed at the door. He asked if he could come into my side of the duplex and I allowed him. He smelled the weed coming from the vents when I opened them. He stuck around for over an hour, but no one answered the door or came outside.

Samantha had left around noon, but her friend stayed in the house and continued smoking. Even her mother had been smoking in the house. The cop told me to call the police every time they smoke inside and hopefully if there are police at their house every day, they will stop smoking inside. 

Samantha’s father doesn’t want to get evicted, so he is angry at Samantha and angry at me. He hasn’t spoken to me since the police came. They called him when they were here. He has been at home since then, though, and hasn’t allowed anyone to smoke to inside. 

Last night, Samantha stood outside my bedroom window at midnight and screamed for 20 minutes about not being allowed to smoke inside. I considered calling the police again because I know this girl can be violent, and her father is a drug dealer, and they all hate me right now. I didn’t call, though. I still don’t want to get her arrested. 

I got no sleep again last night, but at least it wasn’t because of weed making me violently ill. 

Since all of this started, I have been afraid to live here alone. My friend, Sophie agreed to stay with me for a little while, and this guy I’ve been talking to about renting my spare room said that he can move in next month. The landlady is concerned for my safety, too, and even offered to let me move into her house until this is over. She is trying to evict them. I’m scared to leave my cats here, too, though. Sophie staying here is helping me a lot. I know my cats and my house are safe while I’m at work. 

I think I have been more than reasonable with my neighbors, considering all of their illegal activity. I think if you can’t smoke weed respectfully, to the point that you will endanger someone’s health, you are acting illegally. Similarly to someone who drives drunk and endangers people’s safety. I would never have called anyone about her smoking weed if she could respect my one and only boundary that is for my health and well-being. 

 

So that’s where I’m at right now. It’s not over yet. 

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To Have Someone Care

I haven’t had too many issues with my heart recently. I’ve been feeling pretty good. However, for some reason I had another episode today. I was at work and I got dizzy, then blacked out for a moment. I know that these episodes with my heart are likely stress-induced, for the most part. I’ve been trying to keep myself calm, keep my anxiety low, and not push myself too much physically. Today, it just didn’t work.

I got scared, as I usually do, and I texted Kay. I told her that I blacked out and wasn’t feeling well. She replied immediately, asking if I wanted her to take me to the hospital. I explained it wasn’t that serious. She insisted on coming to get me. She helped me into the car, carried my things, loaded and unloaded my bike, got me home and into bed, and even asked April to keep an eye on me. She texted me less than an hour later to see how I was doing.

She cared. Truly cared. She rushed to my aide. She did everything she could to help me.

Once again she made me feel important.

I remember when I was passing out at work, I’d texted Deven. I told her I was passing out on the sidewalk and couldn’t find a ride home. Deven did nothing. She didn’t care to see if I was okay. She didn’t care to come to the hospital, even when I begged her to. She didn’t think to call April or anyone. It had made me feel truly insignificant in her life. She wasn’t my girlfriend, but she was supposed to be my friend at least.

Kay isn’t my girlfriend, but she made me feel like I mattered. She made me feel like I was the most important thing right then. She had plans this evening, but she was there for me. Luckily I didn’t interfere too much with her plans.

I have the feeling that Kay would do just about anything for me. I don’t know why. I have to be careful what I ask of her because of this. I have to be more aware of her than others. I have to make sure I know she’s not doing too much or giving too much of herself. I have the feeling that she would.

Family

True family doesn’t have to be blood-related. 

 

John and Doris were my neighbors before I moved. They have been more family to me than my own. They were there for me anytime I needed them, and for anything at all. I very rarely asked them for anything, though. Just knowing they were there if I needed them gave me so much. 

When things got really bad with my mother and stepfather, John and Doris were there to listen and understand. They let me cry and vent, they encouraged me and they supported me. They acknowledged that my parents weren’t the wonderful, perfect people everyone else thought they were, and that I wasn’t the terrible daughter that so many thought I was. 

If I ran out of cat food and had no way to get to a store, John and Doris gave me cans of cat food. I never asked them for anything else, but they would sometimes stop by randomly to give me a carton of cigarettes. I would never ask someone for cigarettes, and they knew that, but they also knew addiction and stress and instead of ridiculing me for not being able to kick the habit, they understood. I know a lot of people will think it’s bad and say they contributed to my demise, but please try to understand with an open mind. They didn’t do it to hurt me; they did it because they knew how bad I would be going through withdrawal and they knew being forced to quit simply by running out wouldn’t actually be beneficial to me. I have that one vice, and sadly it is how I cope with my anxiety right now, as bad as that is. I have more options here, but I didn’t before I moved. 

John and Doris would periodically hire me to pet-sit (even if they were only going to be out for the day), and they would overpay me so that I could save my money to move. They never missed a holiday or birthday. They gave me loving cards with cash inside. They would take me out to eat and invite me over to visit. They made me feel like family. They loved me. And they still do. 

John and Doris had the choice to visit their son or me. They had just visited their son a couple weeks ago, so they chose to come see me instead. That made me feel so special.

They arrived yesterday and we spent the day together. They took me out to eat and we “played tourist” around the town. We rode the trolley and explored a couple museums. I got them a great deal on their hotel room because I work there and we get the “friends and family discount.” They gave me money, claiming that I did so much for them that I deserve it. That’s not true. All I did was talk to my manager. Another perk with the hotel is that I could free passes to the trolley and museums. Again, not my doing. They are just too sweet. 

We spent today together, too. They took me out to eat and we went sightseeing. We picked up my roommate from work, too. They paid for both of our lunches. 

John is in his seventies and his health isn’t the best. He walks a bit slower and breathes a bit harder. It breaks my heart to think that he may not be around much longer. I spent this time cherishing every moment with them both. Life is far too short and precious. I love John and Doris so much. They are my family, as far as I’m concerned. 

Medical Update

My friend took me to the hospital today to get the results of my heart monitor.

The actual doctor wouldn’t even see me to explain the results. The emergency room receptionist was kind enough to explain what she could. She said I have some sort of palpitations and I need to see a doctor and get meds for it. She said its likely because A) I’m 25 and people under 30 sometimes experience this, and B) I’m very thin which means I feel it more than others. She said it’s not life-threatening, just life-interfering.

So, I’ll be going to another doctor and getting meds for it. Then I’ll hopefully be okay. All good news.

Just a random post

I’m finally getting the 24 hour heart monitor today. I really hope it will show something. I had another episode at work yesterday and I couldn’t make it home on my bike. Daniel and Deven picked me up and drove me home.

Apparently one of the guests at the hotel where I work saw me last Monday when the ambulance came. He approached me yesterday while I was waiting for my ride and asked me what happened last week. He was very nice. He’s an Egyptian pilot. There’s a large group of Egyptian pilots who stay at the hotel for months at a time. I don’t exactly chat with the guests, but they’ve all been so nice whenever I do talk to them. There are a couple housekeepers who complain about the pilots and I don’t understand why at all. They’re friendly and polite every time I see them. Maybe a bit less interactive when we knock and wake them up, but no one likes being woken up.

I hate racism and judgement. One of the housekeepers gossips about everyone, which I can’t stand, and she complains to me that the pilots call the tissues napkins. So what? English is their second language. Give them a break. I hate it when people aren’t understanding with language barriers. It’s not like the pilots don’t speak English at all. It’s easy to figure out what they need.

I wish I was in a higher position at work just so I could make some changes there. The first change I’d make would be the attitude toward our guests. Most of the housekeepers are just fine with the guests, but there are a couple of them who are just rude. It’s not a housekeeper’s job to give an English lesson to our foreign guests. And you sure as hell don’t just walk up to a guest and rudely snap “Who are you?!” Whatever happened to “How may I help you?”

When I first started working there, I was offered the position of assistant head of housekeeping. I really wish I could have that position. I didn’t realize at the time that the position wasn’t open. They wanted me to take someone’s job- Michelle’s job. I love Michelle. She’s a great person and she does her job. She’s not perfect, but the main issues I’ve seen with her have only been on early school release days when she has to finish work early to go pick up her daughter. It’s not easy being a single parent. Michelle does her job and she’s good at it. I don’t want to take it from her. I’d really like to be head of housekeeping. I don’t think that will happen, though. The current head of housekeeping is wonderful and she’s not going anywhere. Who knows what the future holds, though!

I love working at the hotel. I like the position I’m in now, and I could see myself moving up as time goes on. I’ve been thinking about college a lot lately. I’m thinking I might be interested in going to college for business management. Years down the road I could see myself running a hotel. Since I’m friends with people in every position at this hotel, including the owners, I’ve found myself wanting to ask about the budget and financials because there are some repairs that need to be made and changes that could improve customer satisfaction. Things like that interest me greatly and I’d love to be in control of those aspects of the business.

Anyway, I’m off to the hospital now to get the monitor.

Emergency Room

Optimism doesn’t always set the tone for the day, unfortunately. I was certain on Monday that I would have a good day. The weather was wonderful, I’d woken up with Deven, and I was happy.

I got to work just to find out that I’d mixed up my schedule and wasn’t even supposed to work that day. Michelle ended up needing me anyway, though. I was doing okay through most of the day. I had 15 rooms to clean, but most of them were stay overs, so it would be easy. On room 14 I began to feel lightheaded and disoriented. I told Michelle that I needed to get lunch. I ate lunch and still felt really bad. I was exhausted and felt like I would pass out. I pushed through room 14 and then ran into Michelle and Erika. They’re my managers, basically. They told me to clock out and go home.

I was beat. I didn’t have any energy at all, nor did I have a ride home. I texted Deven to see if she could pick me up, but she couldn’t. I texted April and didn’t reach her. So, I went around the side of the building and lied down on the pavement. Apparently napping on pavement freaks people out.

I don’t know if I passed out or just fell asleep. Michelle and Erika found me. They said I was unresponsive. Michelle called an ambulance and everyone convinced me to go to the hospital.

Five hours later….. I still didn’t get an answer from the doctor. He was so rude and condescending. He said my vitals were fine, my blood sugar and blood pressure were fine, my blood work was fine, etc. However, he showed great interest in my heart. He kept asking me questions about my heart and family history of heart conditions. My father died of a heart attack when I was nine.

Doctor Jerk wouldn’t give me any straight answers about my heart. He was straight about everything else, though, so I think he saw something on the EKG. He told me that he wants to fit me with a 24 hour heart monitor halter. I should be getting that today if all works out.

It’s sad, but I’m actually hoping he finds something wrong with my heart. At least then I’ll have an answer. I’ll know what’s going on and hopefully be able to fix it. I can’t continue crashing every day at work. I almost feel narcoleptic.

On the upside, I felt very loved. Michelle and Erika both went to the hospital with me, followed closely by April and Jessica. Everyone cared. April stayed with me the whole time, of course. At one point I actually had a panic attack. I hyperventilated. It was very embarrassing. I’m not sure what happened. Jessica was very helpful with that, though.

I have wonderful friends and for the first time in my life, I actually have a support system. I feel very blessed.

Illness?

I feel like its been a lifetime since I posted last. Everything feels slower for me lately, though.

I’ve been ill, I guess.

I’ve had some weird “symptoms” for a long time now, but lately it’s much worse. I’ve had things like lightheadedness, confusion, fatigue, excessive thirst and dehydration for at least a few years. Now it’s a hundred times worse and interfering with my job.

I love my job and I love the people I work with, but I haven’t been able to do my job properly lately and my coworkers are understandably frustrated with me. They’re not angry or mean, just overwhelmed with having to pick up my slack. I feel terrible and I spend every day apologizing and promising to see a doctor.

My friend, Katie, is taking me to a free clinic tomorrow. I’ve spent the majority of my life talking to doctors and they don’t listen and don’t care, so I have little faith in them now. Katie promised to get me help. She promised to make sure the doctors listen for once.

I’m so weak that even holding my phone right now feels like too much effort. Breathing feels like too much effort. Everything is so difficult and takes so long. It took me all day yesterday just to clean my kitchen. I had to keep taking breaks and I would doze off whenever I sat down. I slept 9 hours last night and 10 the night before, and my exhaustion is persistent still.

Everyone has suggestions for what might be wrong. I could be diabetic or hypoglycemic. I could be severely anemic. I could have a thyroid condition. On and on and on. I need real answers from real doctors.

Blurred vision, double vision, confusion, memory loss, exhaustion, dizziness, lightheadedness, excessive thirst, muscle weakness…. Doctors in the last five years have told me that I’m fine. I decided to listen to them and assume it’s in my head. But everyone who knows me, spends time with me, asks me what’s wrong with me. They all tell me to see a doctor. It’s not in my head. Something is wrong. And now my job is suffering for it.

I do everything right. I eat right, sleep right, exercise right, and nothing helps. I’ve had blood work done, last time was 2010 I think, and it always comes back fine. I’m scared to go back to a doctor again because if they tell me again that nothing’s wrong, I’m just kind of screwed. I’m scared that no one will be able to help me and I can’t fix this on my own. Clearly ignoring it hasn’t helped. Pretending I’m fine isn’t working anymore.

I don’t even care what it is anymore. I don’t care if it’s something serious. I just want answers and treatment. I can’t lose my job. I need to be okay.