I’m You From The Future!

This is the post excerpt.


Greetings, Past Selves!

I’m You From The Future! is the personal blog of Michael K. Ferrante, occasional writer, former artist, budding activist, would-be filmmaker. Basically a seething well of untapped potential.


What? What?

Hi again, Past Selves.

Well, I went through an experience that shook me up pretty bad. I lost most of my hearing for about ten days due to ear infections and am still recovering from it.

It started with a sore throat about 2 weeks ago. Then, as that faded, I got a terrible earache and went to the ER. They put me on an antibiotic and a couple of nasal meds, to clear it up.

The next day the pain was fading, but now I had severe trouble hearing in both ears. I went to my primary care doc, and they assigned me a stronger antibio. Still, I could barely hear. They told me it might take time to recover my hearing, as fluid had built up inside my eardrums.

As the days went by I got more disturbed and frustrated. I started to wonder if my illness had done permanent damage. A phone call to the Doc clarified that it would be WEEKS, not days, to recover fully.

Even now I’m still only partially recovered. Being nearly deaf was a profoundly isolating event. I could not follow conversations. I had to ask everyone to repeat everything several times and play Mad Libs to fill in the blanks of whatever I could not interpret. Persistent tinnitus made me unable to determine if most of what I heard was real or just the jangling of overactive nerves.

My Mother is somewhat hard of hearing and wears hearing aids. I now have a new sympathy for her and for everyone in that position. In the past, I’ve gotten frustrated or impatient at having to repeat things or speak loudly to get her attention. No more. I have taken a few steps in her world and I know now what it’s like for her on a daily basis.

I donated to a couple of hearing loss charities including one for children. My brief experience showed me how traumatic that can be, to lose something you count on every day to connect you to others and to the world around you.

High Anxiety

Hello Past Selves. Among my other mental health issues, I am prone to anxiety attacks. Triggers can range from crowds to actual danger.

Lately, although my depression is slowly getting better, I still find myself suffering anxiety attacks when I watch or hear news about the Trump administration, especially when they talk about health care and Medicaid, or see anything about Congressional health don’t-care plans.

I am literally dependent on Medicaid for my life and sanity, especially now that I’m diabetic. Those supplies of meds and equipment are a necessity, not an option. I cannot function without them, and may die without them. So I am understandably panic-stricken that some reality show con man and his cronies are obsessed with playing political tug-of-war with my future health and well being.

I know my family fully supports me and will do whatever they can to help me stay mentally and physically healthy, but the problem is, whatever they can may become limited, especially if my Sister loses her job (due, once again, to Trumpublican dumbf*ckery). So their best may not end up being good enough if worse comes to worse.

I try not to dwell on it, but I have to think about and plan for the long run. But too much of the most important parts of my life are out of my control, and I may end up suffering or dying so that the rich can get richer. Meanwhile every time a news program or channel comes on, I die a little inside.

I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know what I’ll do, what my family will do.

Movin’ On Up

Greetings, Past Selves.

We just accepted an offer on this house, and got our offer accepted for the home we want. It’s pretty exciting, and fortunately my Niece and Nephew are excited with the moving idea.

It’s going to be a big change. I was never really happy in this house anyway, and the town I’m moving to is more like the Connecticut suburb where I spent the majority of my childhood. Still, moving is stressful and I want to make sure the kids stay positive about no longer primarily residing in their childhood home. It’s the only one they’ve ever known aside from bunking at Mom’s house temporarily.

The new place is bigger and more open, so there will be a lot more room than our current crowded living arrangement. We will need a walkie-talkie app just to find each other and communicate. Which is a plus in my book, since Mom is hard of hearing and yelling across the house results in a lot of repetition and misunderstanding for us all. And it’s near the kids’ school, and several close friends of the family.

I’m impatient for it to be over, but it will probably take two months for us to close and move in. I’ve already got my crap packed up and ready to go; I even packed the stuff I’ll need in the meantime, and had to unpack it for the boxes! An-ti-ci-pay-ay-tion!

My Sister’s ex is of course being a butt about the whole thing. His self-absorption won’t let him be anything but a victim in all this, even though it’s largely his own fault. But he’ll never see his own culpability in anything; it’s always someone else doing it to him. He gets pretty nasty to my Sister and then turns around and begs her to come back.

But anyway.

Hopefully we will be moved before Christmas. We’ll be able to celebrate the holiday in our new house, and let the kids develop some sense of normalcy again. At least that’s what we’re hoping. Wish us good fortune, all.

You might be a Diabetic if

My doctor had me do some blood tests to rule out autoimmune problems. He said every test looked fine except for my A1C, which told him my blood sugar had been out of whack for a while.

Basically, I’m developing diabetes. He has already prescribed a new med for it, and is sending me to a dietician and a class to learn about diabetes.

This is similar to what my Father went through a few years ago. He started a program of diet and exercise to take care of it successfully. I suppose I’ll have to do the same.

In the long run, this may do me good, as it’ll force me to finally get fit. But at the moment, it sucks. The timing could not be worse. My family and I already have enough stress on our plates to deal with.

House wheres?

Well Past Selves, we had our first showing of Mom’s house yesterday. A nice young couple with a 4 year old boy. They seemed interested in the place, but I was very nervous. I became hyper-aware of every crack, stain, weed, or scuff in the entire place. I had felt ready after cleaning my own room and seeing Crystal scrub the house from one end to the other, but now I suddenly saw the entire house and yard from an outsiders’ eyes and it does look pretty “lived in”. Grass not mowed in a while. Tall weeds behind the fence and a few on the inside as well. A few small holes and cracks in the siding and porch light cover. The outdoor shed has not been maintained in years and was in sad shape. Et multiple ceteras.

I’m also becoming anxious about the eventual destination. Will any of the nice houses we saw stay on the market until we get a solid offer on this place? Where will we end up when it all settles out? Will we have to settle for second best? How much will it all cost and how deep will we go into debt paying for it? All, of course, on top of the already existing stresses and uncertainties about Mom and Deb’s health, the divorce, May’s situation, Deb’s job situation, my Medicaid and how it may fare under the relentless assault of Trumpcare variants, nuclear fears I’d thought were dead and buried with the Cold War, and the general state of the nation.

Past Selves, I know I’ll get over this. At some point, the situations will be resolved and I’ll either be relieved, or I’ll roll up my sleeves and get to the hard work of getting over it and trying something else. But that day won’t come soon, and this constant not knowing is wearing on my already frazzled (funny word!) nerves.

I wish the central conceit of this blog were real, and I could just time-travel a year or two ahead and see how it all works out. (Yes, I also skip to the end of mystery novels to see if the Butler Did It. I’m impatient that way.) Unfortunately Ole Doc Einstein is still right about physics, and I still can’t violate the causality of the Universe. So the only way through this messy time period is through it. I know my family and I will support each other no matter what, and manage to muddle through somehow. But it’s hard going while we’re in it, and the short and long term problems we face are still in our face(s). The stressors are stressing the stressees pretty badly. The hardest part is seeing the kids struggle with it all. They don’t show it as much but they are still suffering from symptoms of depression. At least they aren’t burned out like the adults in the house are.

Wish us luck, Past Selves! We sure could use it.

Better yet, just wish us some inner Peace.

Alone again, naturally

Hey, Past Selves.

I feel like I should address something that I’ve become more and more aware of lately. I have always thought of myself as an isolationist, an absolute libertarian of personal relationships. I thought I could be independent, self sufficient, a Heinlein-esque pioneer, alone in the wilderness. I am a rock, I am an island.

I am a rock is a crock. All islands are connected by bedrock. All humans are social animals and require social contact regularly to maintain their mental and emotional equilibrium. I’ve found that out the hard way. In hindsight, my attitude was a reaction to the botched social interactions and bullying of my youth. I wasn’t good at making friends, so I rejected the concept of friends.

I thought I could go it alone. I was wrong. I need and will always need support of my family and efforts of friends and even strangers to survive. Heinlein’s Competent Man characters relied on starships and covered wagons made by whole communities and industries and societies of total strangers. His total independence was a carefully crafted delusion, propping up an insecure and weak ego that needed to feel “independent” and “strong” “alone” to be important.

Now, I’m never going to be the social butterfly. I still cannot deal with crowds or strangers well, I still occasionally need time alone, and I’ll always take a while to get comfortable with individuals. That’s just my nature. But my nature is also human, and humans need other humans. We lived in bands for 300,000 years for a reason, and form tribes and nations today for the same reason; People need people. No one can go it totally alone any more than you can give birth to yourself. And that includes me.

Without the support of my family I’d be dead or homeless today. I certainly would never have found the meds and therapy that saved my sanity and made me a new person. I would not have this Blog or the wherewithal to write and communicate like this, knowing that others will read it and come to know more about me. I actually like to be and talk with friends now, or even friendly strangers if they give me the time to overcome my social anxiety, and I am thankful that I am part of the imperfect but comforting social networks of us messy, awkward, unreasonable, irrational, sometimes entirely too apelike human beings. We still need each other.

Excelsior, y’all.


Past Selves, I finally cleaned my room, and it looks AMAZING.

(Thanks also to our friend Crystal for the housekeeping!)

I now find myself looking forward to the move and all that it entails. Honestly, I was never really thrilled with this house. It never felt like a home to me. (The fact that we moved around a lot has given me a diminished sense of place anyway, but the house in CT was a Home. The house in RI was a Home.)

Maybe this new place will be something I can anchor myself to and feel comfortable with. At least I hope that Deb’s kids can do so and that it will become Home for them. It’s difficult to judge because they have always lived in the same house, they have deeper roots there than I did at their age. But maybe that will make the transplantation more likely to stick.

We already have a viewer coming later today to look at Mom’s place. Wish us luck!