Change

Well, there hasn’t been much change from yesterday. Well, except I’m now taking eight pills plus using a steroid cream to keep this thing at bay. Naturally, I’m still miserable with my patches of itchiness/hell and my husband is still an unpaid volunteer. Hopefully, I’ll start to see a change in the skin irritation rather soon. I’d really like to go back to my regular workouts and wear shirts. I’ve resorted to wearing a loose hoodie over my sports bra to stay comfortable. Or at least, try to stay comfortable.

I can’t say that I’m feeling great either. I’m not sleeping well, so I’m super fatigued. Unfortunately, I think the fatigue is magnifying my discomfort. The patches are quite painful and itchy today, which sucks. I feel better today than yesterday. Truthfully, the Mayor saved the day yesterday when he reminded my hubby to pick up my script. My hubby forgot to pick it up on his way home but forgot. Since we’re down to one vehicle at the moment that would have meant I would have had to wait to get my script filled until this evening. As it happened, the rink canceled the Mayor’s practice, so we would have been able to pick it up yesterday evening. Since he had no practice, the Mayor also made dinner. He really saved my evening.

Actually, I lied there has been one change since yesterday. I haven’t received a call from Herz’s vehicle recovery department. Yay for the small victories in life. This may be a byproduct of the flurry of tweets and Facebook messages I sent them yesterday. Unfortunately, I still have not received my closed contract or receipt for the rental. Nor have I heard back from Hertz about either item. Hopefully, the lack of a call this morning forebodes the resolution of my rental car debacle. At this point, I don’t know what’s more painful the shingles or the Hertz rental experience. Either way, stay tuned for an update.

Shingles, maybe

I woke up with a new patch on my back, so now they thinks it’s shingles, maybe…. There not 100% sure what it is, although I think we all agree it’s precipitated by stress and an overexcited immune system. Consequently, I’ll be adding an antiviral to the mix of antibiotics and steroid cream. Adulting is so much fun. Needless to say, I’m quite cranky.

The rental car debacle and my hubby’s apparently unpaid, volunteer job clearly aren’t helping the situation. Hertz called me again asking why I haven’t returned their car yet. Do these folks even read notes? Hertz had to have a CRM that is sued across the company. I can’t fathom how so much incompetence can impact one rental. Hertz has never screwed up a rental for me previously, but I guess when they do, they do it big.

At this point, I’m hoping I don’t have to go to the media on the wayward rental. Also, hoping my spouse gets paid sometime this year. This volunteering shit isn’t going to work. Obviously, my system is not handling the stress well and is absolutely flaring. Needless, to say I’m in need of serious vacation, sauna time and a moment to recharge myself. So anyway, yeah two patches and it’s shingles, maybe.

Becoming a Trilogy

My rental car saga from Chicago is becoming a trilogy. And not a good one. It’s becoming one of those trilogies Hollywood makes because they’ve run out of ideas. I have been working with Hertz since 1/14/23 to close out my failed rental car. You may recall, Hertz had to tow my rental back to O’Hare because it had a bad starter. Yet, here I am over a week later still fighting to get the contract closed.

Yesterday, Hertz customer care assured me that someone would be calling to resolve my case. Well, today Hertz called me about the rental. I answered thinking they were calling to resolve my escalation. You can imagine my surprise when they asked why I hadn’t returned the rental. Consequently, I lost my shit. By this point in the game, Hertz should have more than adequate documentation on this farce of rental experience Honestly, I tried my best to temper my reaction as it wasn’t that representative’s fault Hertz doesn’t have their shot together.

After forcefully explaining Hertz O’Hare has had my rental since 1/14/23, I provided her with confirmation that the tow was received at O’Hare and the roadside assistance case detailing the ordeal. How is it possible that none of this information is on their systems??? I have literally spoken to customer care at Hertz several times a day since before our trip. Candidly, I don’t understand how this went from a weekend rental to becoming a trilogy.

Thankfully, I blocked all charges from Hertz on my credit cards. Otherwise, they’d be charging me daily for a car they think I didn’t return. What an absolute clusterfuck. Hertz’s ubiquitous incompetence at all stages of this experience has been exceedingly frustrating. Here’s hoping this ends as a trilogy because I can’t deal with a whole series of this shit.

In other news, my right shoulder exploded with an angry-looking rash. I figured it was either dermatitis or cellulitis, so I set up a telehealth medicine. Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t do anything for me via telehealth because of the possibility the rash was caused by a scratch from one of our dogs. Consequently, I headed to urgent care this morning.

The name urgent care is such a misnomer. There is nothing urgent about urgent cares in Florida. I’m a reasonable person, but I have my limits. Clearly, I should have checked in at home and waited until they were ready to see me. Instead, I waited almost two hours in the parking room and waiting room. It’s so frustrating!

I finally saw the doctor, who felt it was likely it was a contact dermatitis reaction. Since, however, I hadn’t made any changes to my routine (i.e. no new soaps, shampoos, cleaners, detergents, or clothes,) he opted to treat me for both. I am relieved that it is not from my dogs, but I’m at an absolute loss as to what caused the reaction. Hopefully, the rash will clear up quickly with the steroid cream and antibiotics.

Today’s accountability tracker:

Night Off

Well, I’m taking a night off from the hockey rink since the Mayor will be sitting tonight. Apparently, his shoulder popped out and back in during the second game yesterday. Naturally, he didn’t think anyone needed to know until this morning. He tried to say he was fine but chuckled as he said it. Unfortunately, it was clear he was in pain when testing his range of motion as evidenced by his grimace. Nonetheless, the hubby and I decided he should sit tonight out.

Consequently, I’m home chilling with the dogs after a good day in the office. I’ll probably spend my night off from the hockey rink watching the Florida Panthers. To be fair, I’ll watch the Mayor’s game on Livebarn as well. He’s dressing out to serve penalties, but I want to be sure he doesn’t try to sneak in a shift. Also, their high school team is sometimes more exciting to watch than the Panthers, who are so boring this year.

After a week of intense fatigue, I finally felt up to working out. It stinks that my body is so finicky sometimes, but I got to listen to it. Perhaps if I had listened to it more when I was younger, it wouldn’t be so finicky now. I ran two miles and walked one. The run wasn’t smooth, but after more than a week off, I anticipated it would be hard. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to strength training with the Sweat app.

Today’s accountability tracker:

Ready for Bed

I’m ready for bed and it’s 8:05. Honestly, the temptation to skip writing the blog tonight was very real. The Mayor had two games in Estero today, which equated to an early morning this morning. This in the heels of one too many vodka sodas last night was a recipe for a winning day. Fortunately, I only woke up tired and not tied and hungover. Nevertheless, here I am at 8:05 ready for bed.

The problem this whole week is I’ve been fighting an autoimmune hangover since Chicago. What exactly is an autoimmune hangover? In my world, it’s incredible fatigue coupled with inflammation. Unfortunately, I’ve found that during this period of “hangover” I need to chill or my body will rebel. I certainly don’t enjoy an autoimmune flare after having spent years trying to calm it down.

Consequently, I’ve been shopping for saunas all week. One of the great things about my Endocrinologist is that she’s given me a lot of tools to manage the autoimmune side of Graves’ disease. Typical Graves’ disease treatment only addresses slowing down the toxicity of a hyperactive thyroid. It doesn’t address the underlying autoimmune inflammation that causes your thyroid to go insane. Honestly, it’s because we still don’t understand autoimmune diseases well.

So a sauna not only feels fantastic but is also great for reducing inflammation. Naturally, I have to go back to eating really clean, which will also help. Hopefully, this week I can get back to my workout routine. I try to work out daily, but I’m careful never to overtax my system. It’s a delicate balancing act between building my fitness and avoiding a flare. Anyway, I’m off to bed because I’m next level tired.

Wild Game

We had a blast at the Wild Game tonight here in South Florida. Fortunately, this was a win-win situation for us. We love the Wild but usually cheer for the Panthers. The only time we don’t cheer for the Panthers is when the Wild is in town. Wild’s first line looked good tonight, but obviously, that wasn’t enough to win.

To be fair, my vision sucks bananas. I most definitely need new contacts as I could barely read the names on the jersey sober. Once the vodka sodas were on board, the bets were off. I was cheering for white team versus red. Who the freak knew who was on the ice. Certainly not these old eyes. Speaking of which, I can’t wait to proof read this post on my laptop since alcohol and auto compete are not a great mix.

Even though the Wild didn’t win, the evening was enchanting and fun. We got to see a hockey dad we haven’t seen in quite awhile. (It was great to see you Chris!). It was interesting watching the cheerleaders do the same dance to Disturbed and Pitbull. One would think the dance would vary, it apparently not. I mean even very my copy when emailing different folks, I’d certainly mix up the dance moves for different genres. In case you’re wondering, the dance moves didn’t work for any of the songs. Special thanks to TJ and Val for the tickets!

Today’s song of the day is Red Cold River by Breaking Benjamin.

The Saga Continues

The saga continues as I am still trying to get my rental reservation from Chicago straightened out. Hertz has kindly charged my AmEx daily this week for the same amount. Now if you will recall, Hertz towed my rental back to O’Hare on 1/12/23. Due to my son’s schedule, I opted not to get a replacement vehicle and end the rental that day. When I spoke with roadside assistance, she made it clear that if I wanted a replacement vehicle, I’d need to call back to set it up. Otherwise, Hertz would consider the rental closed. Except apparently, Hertz hasn’t closed out the rental. This is a bit disconcerting given that I have spoken to Hertz customer care several times a day since Saturday.

Customer service has repeatedly assured me that the rental has been closed out. Yet here we are. Consequently, I called AmEx this morning. American Express will block all subsequent charges from Hertz. Hertz would have charged me $359 if I had kept the car. As of this morning, Hertz has charged me $505. To be clear, I rent from Hertz all the time and have never had an issue like this. Usually, the rental experience is seamless. Nevertheless, here I am trying to climb the allegorical mountain that is resolution. Anyway, the saga continues.

As far as sagas go, this rental car one is quite boring. I’d much prefer a saga in the mountains of Utah or Scandinavia. The Mayor and I were talking yesterday about our trips to Utah. We’ve had so much fun exploring the Wasatch mountains and the canyons of the Great Salt Lake Area. Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons will always be two of my favorite places. The hikes we did in both canyons were so refreshing and beautiful. The elevation of the canyons definitely helped cool us down. Unfortunately, the hikes closer to Jake’s base offered little shade and tons of heat. Nevertheless, every hike we’ve taken in Utah has been beautiful. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit Utah one last time.

Meanwhile, I have been cooking meat since my lunch hour. Our garage fridge/freezer somehow became unplugged and everything in the freezer defrosted. Since we just received a ButcherBox delivery, we have a lot of meat to cook today. Over my break, I sauteed up four pounds of stew meat and got a roast going in the crock pot. As soon as work is over, I’ll be back to cooking all the defrosted meat. Oh, the joy!

Today’s accountability tracker:

Chicago

Chicago is a hell of a town and we had a great time there despite our travel arrangements going cattywampus. We stayed in Schaumburg, which was perfectly situated close to both O’Hare and the rink we were playing at. Also, Schaumburg has everything a traveler could need in close proximity. There’s a great mall, several Dunkins, Portillo’s, Lou Malnati’s, and Giordano’s. Schaumburg is also right off both I-90 and I-290, which makes it super easy to drive downtown. To clarify, when I say it is easy to drive downtown, I only mean that you pretty much just follow the road into the city. As for Chicago traffic and left merges, those are not easy nor are they fun.

Saturday the boys played two games, so it was a hockey day. While the boys rested in between games, some of us parents went and enjoyed a Lou Malnati’s pie. It was my first time trying Lou Malnati’s pizza and while I liked it, I prefer Giordano’s. The boys split their games Saturday. The first game they could have easily won, so it was frustrating to see them walk away with a loss. The Mayor had an awesome day scoring two or three goals in the two games. They won their evening game, which was fabulous. After the second game, we enjoyed a catered Chipotle dinner at the hotel. Admittedly, I love the catered hotel dinners as it is much easier than doing a team dinner in a restaurant. Plus, it’s really easy to eat healthy with a catered Chipotle dinner.

Sunday morning’s game was a doozy. They were up 3-0 after the first period but nearly gave away the game. In the first period, the team looked like total rockstars, while the second and third periods got progressively worse. Tying the third game knocked them out of the semi-finals, which also gave us the rest of Sunday off. Of course, it wouldn’t be a hockey tournament if we didn’t have to wait with bated breath for other games to finish. There was a chance, if the stars had aligned, that they could have made it to the semifinals.

Consequently, my bestie Jen and I headed to Sky Spa/Sauna in Buffalo Grove. It was an awesome facility. The women’s locker room had a dry sauna, steam room, and hot tub. We stuck to the dry sauna with Himalayan sea salt walls. The spa also had an outdoor pool and co-ed saunas. We found, however, the outdoor pool to be too cool and the co-ed saunas to be too much of a sausage fest. Consequently, we stuck to the dry sauna in the women’s locker room. The experience was absolutely heavenly. We both left the spa feeling completely relaxed and pain-free.

After the sauna, I definitely wanted to go to bed, however, our friends were heading to downtown Chicago. I got changed quickly, so the Mayor and I could join our friends for an adventure downtown. The drive into the city was uneventful, at least for me as a passenger, but traffic wasn’t terrible. It was still pretty busy considering it was a Sunday night. Once we made it downtown, we found parking right off Michigan Avenue near Millenium Park. The parking is super easy to access albeit quite expensive. The vistas of Michigan Avenue never get old. It is such a beautiful stretch of road with parks on the Eastside and beautiful buildings on the west side.

To get into Millenium Park, we had to go through metal detectors and have our bags searched. Unfortunately, Chicago’s violent crime problem has spilled over into downtown including random acts of violence. When we lived in Minnesota, we drove down to Chicago quite often to visit Luke’s grandfather and I loved going downtown. The last time we were there, there weren’t metal detectors or police in tactical gear all over the place, so it was sad to see it this time. The Bean is cool and the park is pretty awesome. They could. have ice skated there, but they wanted to skate the Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park instead.

The walk from Millenium Park to Maggie Daley Park reinforced what I already knew about Chicago. It’s windy as hell and it’s a lot colder downtown. I kept checking to make sure my jacket was zipped because the wind was ripping right through it. When we got to the second park, the skating was sold out until 8:00 pm. Consequently, we headed to Giordano’s for dinner. The timing worked out perfectly. By the time, we finished our amazing pizza, it was time to head back to Maggie Daley Park. Unsurprisingly, the walk back to the park was completely miserable courtesy of the mighty Chicago wind.

Maggie Daley Park and the Ribbon were amazing. I highly recommend checking them out if you have the chance. While the boys skated, the parents walked over to the cafe and enjoyed some very hot chocolate. The hot chocolate served in disposable cups, complete with marshmallows, was far better than any rink hot chocolate I’ve tasted. As for the park, its elevation is lower than the street, so the wind wasn’t much of an issue while in the park. Consequently, it was the perfect place to take in the city. We thought the boys would skate for twenty minutes and then get bored with it. Boy, were we wrong. I’m pretty sure they would have skated all night if we let them. Thankfully, we had to. get back to the hotel for a birthday party, so we parents were able to defrost sooner rather than later.

The trip ended with a win in the consolation game and lunch at Portillo’s. To be honest, I’m completely obsessed with their cheese sauce. It’s amazing! Fortunately, we didn’t have an issue getting to the airport. Our hockey family came through for us big time, so special thanks to Lyssa for helping us out. We got to O’Hare almost three hours early as I had read the TSA lines were ridiculous. Apparently, this wasn’t the case in terminal five. There wasn’t anyone waiting. inline when we got to TSA. Once through security, we chilled in Delta’s amazing lounge where the Mayor took full advantage of the shower suites and buffet. We made it home at around 2:00 am exhausted, but happy to have spent a great weekend with friends in Chicago.

Today’s accountability tracker:

Back Home

We got back home early yesterday morning from our fantastic trip to Chicago. I had planned on writing yesterday, but after only three hours of sleep, I thought it would be an exercise in futility. As I crawled out of bed to work yesterday, having slept through all of my alarms, I was lamenting my choice not to take the day off. Fortunately, I had a really productive day at work despite my lack of sleep. My parents, who are in town, also brought me a much-needed Starbucks halfway through the day. They were complete lifesavers. I skipped my workouts yesterday because I was exhausted. It was one of those days that had I worked out, I probably would have made myself sick or injured myself.

I’m still utterly exhausted even though we’ve been back home for a day. Consequently, I’m taking another rest day. Fortunately, I did get to bed relatively early last night even though we had company. My parents and sister-in-law came over for dinner last night. While I was on my PanCan conference call, the Hubby grilled up some yummy hamburgers, brats, and potatoes. The grilled potatoes and onions bathed in butter is one of my favorite dishes that we make. He finished the food promptly at 8:00 pm, which was perfect timing. Goalielocks was also in town to pick up stuff he had forgotten and say hi to the grandparents. We made him put everything in the car immediately, so he wouldn’t forget it again. It was nice having him home even if it was for just one night.

Tonight the Mayor has practice, so we’ll just spend our night relaxing with the dogs. Who am I kidding? The dogs will be creating all sorts of mischief as we try to watch television. I’ll write more about our trip tomorrow when my brain is less foggy. Unfortunately, I’m still sorting out the rental situation. They’ve now charged my AmEx multiple times for a car I didn’t get to use. I’m waiting for them to send me my receipt, so I can see the actual charges. At this point, I think I’ll have to file a dispute with American Express to recoup my money. I’m a bit disappointed that it’s taking so long, but I’m sure the bank holiday isn’t helping expedite the process.

Staying on Theme

Well, my weekend is staying in the theme of a transportation clusterfuck. I went out to get my Dunkin’ coffee this morning, when to my unpleasant surprise the rental didn’t start. In fact, it didn’t even turnover. Fortunately, the hotel engineer had jumper cables and was able to give us a jump. Unfortunately, the car’s battery wasn’t the issue. Given the lack of sound from the engine, we surmised it was a starter or alternator issue. Either way it wasn’t a problem that could be solved in the parking lot.

Thankfully, my friend Lyssa let me use her rental to pick up my already order coffee. While I drove to Dunkin’, I called Hertz’a roadside assistance line. The customer care agent was amazing. She got me setup for a tow, so I wouldn’t have to wait around for the tow truck. After all, I am completely unwilling to miss any of the Mayor’s games while I’m here. Nor was I willing to miss out on the deep dish pizza.

As for a replacement vehicle, I’d have to call back after the game to set that up. Ordinarily, I would have setup another car, but sometimes the universe is sending us messages. Also, we’ve had no issue finding rides to the games. Honestly, the Mayor’s team is filled with incredible families, which has made this situation so much less stressful. Consequently, I’m leaning into the universe’s message and going rental free for the rest of the weekend.

This morning’s troubles were, but a blur after two entertaining games today. I was so grateful that my bestie Jen was able to come and watch both games. It’s such a gift to be able to see her and her kids. Moreover, I love watching the Mayor play. I love watching his scheme and plan with his teammates on the ice. Mostly, I love when he scores a nice goal or sets up his teammates for a nice goal. Tonight he got the game winner after great plays and passes by his teammates.

Today was all about redefining expectations for our transportation this trip, great company and entertaining hockey. Today’s bloganuary post asks what is your preferred mode of transporting. My answer is simple, a rental car that works. As for the rest of this weekend’s transportation, we are fortunate for the generosity of spirt from our hockey family. Hopefully, next trip will stay on theme, but it will be a better less stressful theme.