Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pain. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2017

Somewhere Between Eden and Gethsemane

        A garden, by definition, is either a cultivated plot of ground or a gathering place such as a park which is generally adorned with plants and trees.  I guess I have never considered the definition until quite recently.  We had our Stake Conference this weekend, and one of the speakers mentioned two specific gardens found in the scriptures and discussed the symbolic differences between them.

          The Garden of Eden, as mentioned in Geneses,          is outlined as a paradise.  We see paintings of fruit and vegetation, peace and waterfalls, a beautiful place where everything is tranquil.  I guess it represents a kind of perfection.

          The Garden of Gethsemane, as portrayed by each of the gospels, does not have the same appeal.  Paintings often depict a drab setting with perhaps a few barren-looking trees, a hard rock or boulder, uncultivated dirt - it appears to be the opposite of the Garden of Eden.  There is no tranquility.  It represents hardships.  It represents trials.  There is sadness in Gethsemane and it takes faith to endure just being there.

          My youngest son seems to live in Eden for the most part.  He allows discouraging thoughts to roll off his back.   He tries to coax others to come into Eden by waving to them and showing them what the garden has to offer. Sometimes I have questioned whether he has been to  Gethsemane.  I know he's seen it. I don't know he's willing to leave his comfort zone to physically pull others out of Gethsemane.  I could be wrong.

          My middle son fluctuates between the two gardens.  He seems happy and content with one, but then something will set him off and he will mope around in the other.  And then there's my eldest who unfortunately has spent too many years in the Garden of Gethsemane and continues to delve deeper into the garden instead of trying to get out.

          Often his way of thinking (or lack thereof) remind me of John Steinbeck's character "Lennie Small" from Of Mice and Men.  Lennie is sweet for the most part, is seen as uneducated and slow-minded.  He doesn't mean to be harmful to anyone, but sometimes he gets frustrated and defensive when he is unable to communicate his thoughts to others.  I don't think that Biff is quite that far gone, but he tends to forget things he once believed. 
        Often our conversations are (and have been) like beating our heads against a brick wall.  I do believe that he would become bored with Eden in a matter of time, but I don't enjoy watching him struggling in Gethsemane, and I don't know how to help him.  Nor do I know how to comfort his mother-in-law who has visited Gethsemane more times than I have.

          I understand the need for trials.  I understand the need  for peace.  I'd like to see all of my children find their common ground between the two gardens.  I'd like that for everyone.

Monday, July 17, 2017

I don't know what to call this post . . . frustration?

                I am now taking two accounting classes.  The language is foreign to me.  I do okay in accounting 108 but I seem to be reading (and hearing) binary code for the other.  I have seen the names of only two other classmates who are currently taking both classes.  What is up with that?  Just because I don't see their names doesn't mean all my other classmates are taking the same two classes but with different instructors.  I personally would rather have just one at a time - or at least one on Monday morning and not have to wait for a walk through for both classes on Tuesday evening . . . and still replay the recordings over and over in hopes that I'll understand.

                I like my 108 instructor.  He's not boring.  He is easy to follow.  I understand what he says.  If I have a question or concern, he gets back to me right away.  I am comfortable with the subject - mostly input and data.  The class has been learning how to use QuickBooks - which I believed I'd been set up for prior to my account.  Unfortunately, I had my user name as my hotmail name and my server at yahoo - which I don't have an account for with my hotmail name.  And so I spent much of the first week trying to correct that and struggled in my 213 class.  I still do.  I don't know what questions to ask because I'm just not understanding the language or following my instructor.  Fortunately there have been a few students in the class who have been able to explain things in a more watered down version that has made more sense to me.  It's still a foreign language though.

                I have NO intentions of trying to start my own business or franchise.  It seems to be Roland's dream, but has never been mine.  Especially now.  I find his classes like a thousand times more confusing than any accounting class that I've had.  I learn from entertaining videos.  There are NO entertaining videos.  Let's face it:  Accounting is a subject that is incapable of entertainment.  It is definitely work.

                My instructor reminds me of my brother-in-law, who often tries to hard at entertaining.  It's not faked enthusiasm necessarily - it's like a teacher trying too hard to be accepted of his students that he does his best at becoming one of them.  I think he might have the approval of a few of my classmates, but honestly, I am not on board.  He throws us imaginary caramels as he can't toss us real ones.  His suggestion is that we each go out and purchase our own caramels but we're not allowed to take any from the container unless he "gives" it to us.

                You know what's great about being an online student?  You don't have to get dressed to go to class.  You can eat lunch as you listen to lectures.  You can roll your eyes or make faces at the  instructor and he/she will never know.  You can make snide comments so long as your mike is muted.

                My PC doesn't have a microphone.  I have to use the laptop if I actually want/need to converse.  It certainly is a lot faster than typing (especially on the laptop - for me anyway).  Most of the time the instructor mutes those with microphones anyway.  But it is quicker to ask questions vocally than to type them out.  Laptops belong to the school until graduation.

                I started discussions in both of my classes.  I enjoy the topic more in 108.  In 213 I did some research but not enough to analyze a satisfactory answer.  I stated how foreign the accounting language feels to me, gave a couple of examples, and how in-house financing might be perceived from the customer's end, but asked a question on how it's paid off once an invoice goes to collection or if how it works on the business end if a creditor advocate is involved.

                I'm still learning.  Sometimes it feels like a painful process.  Often I make more of something than really needs to be.


Saturday, August 30, 2014

So Glad I Took That Zyrtec

            While on vacation, I noticed a pain in lower left side of my mouth.  I was guessing a cavity – but I didn’t know what tooth.  After we returned home and I’d wake up with a sore mouth, I broke down and made an appointment with the dentist that I’ve been taking Jenna too.

            It has been a while since I’ve been to a dentist.  I know I should go twice a year, but we haven’t always been able to afford it.  Not to mention I am an incredible wimp. (If you look “wimp” up in the pictorial dictionary, you should know what I look like)

            I did not send Jenna in as a guinea pig to find my dentist.  Jenna LOVES to go to the dentist whereas I can't even admit to tolerating the dentist.   And it's nothing against the dentist himself.  I have a highly sensitive mouth, I guess. 

           Truth is, I’ve only been to three or four of them in my lifetime.  Whenever I have moved or insurance changes, I stop going to my current dentist and often take three to five years to even bother searching for another.

            So Thursday night I took a Zyrtec because I wanted to be relaxed while in the dentist chair yesterday morning. After Jenna and I parted at her school, I walked to the dentist office. 


     I was led to the dentist chair, I was told I’d be getting x-rays of my mouth.  I mentioned that Jenna and I have been blessed with the same gag reflexes and that I am not near as brave about my mouth as my daughter. I was just getting a cleaning. It really helped that I still felt drugged. Why should I want to be awake to have someone go and explore my mouth?

            I’m always amazed at the positive results I’ve had – even with waiting so long.  No cavities were found.  The dentist said my mouth looks good – he didn’t say “perfect” as he had with Jenna – before he removed three of her teeth and they still haven’t grown in.  I’m concerned as to why.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Removing Pains of February

I have never had a branch or knife gouge through my eye, but I would imagine the pain is very similar to what I have felt each year in February since moving to this cracker-box house in West Valley.  Apparently I had posted a few posts to my blog the first year I had it.  And I know I was driving.  This year I am in such awe that I was able to do it. 

Each year the pain has been worse than the last, and each year I have believed that death would be more preferable to the pain.  Because hey, once my spirit and body separate, I wouldn’t be able to experience the physical pain.

That first year I felt like a drug guinea pig.  Although the first drug issued was in December, but I had not posted the traumatic effects until February when the sinus pressure built up again.  I don’t know why I am so unfortunate to have this experience EVERY YEAR.  Enough is enough already (and I have had more than enough – thank you very much)

Worse than the pain is my distorted mind.  I feel so disconnected to my brain.  Last Sunday I did not attend Church for I knew that I would not get much (if anything) out of the meetings.

On Monday I went to a health clinic.  I told them which drug works best for me, and I got a prescription.  The packaging had changed and I’m guessing the formula did too.  It was after taking the meds that I felt worse.  I knew that the excruciating pain was due to the meds working to clear out the gunk.  I didn’t have dairy products or take any other kind of medication so that I wouldn’t jeopardize it. 

My eyelid and skin had surrounded my eye so that I was seeing the world through a slit.  I’d have the TV on and Roland would always turn it off – believing that my eyes were closed.  I didn’t realize how bad it looked until I went to put some eye drops in my eye.  It appeared that I had been stabbed by something or that a blood vessel had broken.  It was ugly – perhaps grotesque.

The next night the pain resembled that of a toothpick, and finally only a speck of dust which couldn't be removed.  Gradually the dark red faded into my natural white. 

I wrote a letter to Corey.  It took me three hours just to sort my thoughts.  If I read anything or write anything, it has got to be in a 24 font or higher.  It took me three hours to type up the letter and then the computer refused to save it and kicked me out of the system.

I cried.  I took the thumb to a different computer to see if anything was saved.  While I was waiting for the windows to open, I received a call from Harold’s daughter-in-law.  She called to inform me that Harold is now on hospice. I was crying.  But not about Harold.  Harold’s passing is actually a good thing.  I was still upset about the lost letter.  But it turns out it saved more than I thought.

I had the lesson to give yesterday.  Let me rephrase that.  I was supposed to give the lesson.  I had a few thoughts.  Not 30 minutes worth however.  I felt like a stone trying to keep myself propped up.  I was in a trans.  I would have been better off if I had stayed in bed.  Perhaps my class would have, too.

It has been a week since I went to the doctor. I feel better today than yesterday and certainly better than last week.  But not great still.  I still have a pain behind my eye.  But at least it’s not gouging.  It’s irritating.  But at least I can think more clearly than I could just yesterday or when I typed up Corey’s letter.  I miss him a lot.

I'm sorry that Roland says he is not feeling well, and I hope he isn't getting this same sinus infection that I have/had.  There are few people I would wish this pain upon: Hitler, Bin Laden, those who caused such horrible pain would still not experience the pain they caused.  But it would be a good start I suppose.
I’m grateful to those who are skilled in medicine and are able to create potions to put inside of little pills so that we might feel better.  How horrible it would be if we had to endure such pain without medicine.  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Getting Old Sucks Big Time

          There are some who age gracefully – some whose minds and bodies appear to be so much younger that many are surprised to learn that they are actually older than they appear.  And then there are those who seemed robbed of their minds and or bodies long before their prime and often give the illusion that they are much older.  And then there are those who don’t appear to be that old but their minds seem younger than their bodies – much younger.  How did Corey put it?  Elderly children.

  Leon Goodman described Alzheimer’s in this way:   Her life is being chomped away from present to past by a voracious PacMan which cannot be stopped. My mom does not have Alzheimer’s, but I think the comparison here is just as accurate.  Only it’s not so much from present to past as it is just a very different time frame.  A time frame real to her but in an imaginary zone from the average view.

          As we age there are many among us who lose strength that perhaps many of us have taken for granted.  For example, having the ability to stand up and move from the bed to the toilet without losing our balance or the cold that seems to last longer with each passing year because somewhere along the line our bodies have slowed down and don’t seem to have the same ability for fighting off infection.

          I’m only 50.  I think I will die young.  Sometimes it feels that way.  Some days when my head is clouded and I’m burdened with physical pain, I would just assume die.  When my body and spirit separate, I won’t have to experience the physical pain anymore.  But I'm told I’ll be taking my emotions with me.  Hope that umberellas are provided.

        On January 31st I wrote this post about my desire to ease into another routine – or attempting to rather.  I posted entirely too soon.  I have not made a routine for myself.  I have not put in any volunteer hours at either the cannery or the school.  I haven’t been to the temple.  Nor have I been out to see my mom.

          I’ve been nursing my cold and now Jenna.  She would rather be in school.  So would I.  I’d like to be able to sleep through the night again.  I would love to feel good again.  I would love for all of my household and other family and friends to all feel better and stay better.  I would love to get back on schedule – like I was when Jenna was in first grade.

          Actually, we are both feeling better.  But I am still in a fog.  Returned to the doctors for an ear flushing.  And there was a lot that came out.  But not all of it.  My hearing is exactly where it was two weeks ago.  I am so sick of being sick!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Going to the Dentist

My dentist was a good man.  I have always known that.  But the very idea of his profession made me cringe.  He would do his very best to keep gentle.  But no matter how he tried, it was always a painful experience for me.  The word “dentist” to me means “torture of the mouth”

There were two dentists at that particular location.  Mom had picked the location due to convenience of short distance – she could walk there really.  The two dentists were father and son who shared the same receptionist.  When my mom said she was there to see Dr. Rigdon, the receptionist asked which one.

Now here’s a unique way for selecting your dentist – both had uncommon first names – neither of which mom cared for – but chose the name she liked better of the two.  He actually turned out to be the better pick of the two – but not because he had a better name.  He was the son who used the latest in modern equipment, while the father seemed to have the original tools that one may find in the old west.  Scary.

Dr. Rigdon had told me that I was one of his juiciest patients.  I think I must have been his juiciest female.  My dad held the record of being the top patient with the wettest mouth.  Perhaps that’s more than you, the reader, care to know.  Oh, well.

He was good at trying to ease the pain.  There was the laughing gas that would make me forget that my mouth probably hurt.  He also provided his patients with headphones – the ones who preferred listening to music or just to drown out the sound of the drill or pick or whatever.

As an adult I remember having burned the roof of my mouth one night before seeing Dr. Rigdon – and so my mouth was extra sensitive.  To his credit, he really did have a lot of compassion.  He really worked as gently as he could.  Tears streamed from my eyes and he would wipe them for me.

The hardest part was when I left the dentist chair and passed the waiting area to the parking lot.  A little boy looked up to see my tear stained face.  What a frightening thought that must have been, to see an adult leaving the dentist office in tears.  What kind of torture would be in store for him?  I cried about having cried.

Dr. Rigdon’s not fully retired. I understand he stops by the office once a week now – though it’s been years since I have personally gone to him.  During my married life there have been a huge number of dentists.  Usually based upon whoever would take whatever insurance we happened to have at the time.

My boys were weird.  They would ask me to make dentist appointments for them.  I always had to be in excruciating pain before I would even suggest a thing.  But my boys were concerned with hygiene.  They WANTED to go to the dentist.  Weirdoes.
And then there’s Jenna.  She absolutely LOVES going to the dentist.  It hasn’t even mattered which one.  She has loved them all!

Her first dentist was a pediatric dentist.  Of course he had the most inviting waiting room ever.  The play area for the children was designed like a pirate ship.  She was big into steering wheels and would position herself at the hub.  Oh, she was the cutest thing!

She had only four teeth the first time we went to him.  She laid on the baby dentist chair and assisted him with looking into her mouth.  We saw him only one other time before our insurance changed and forced us to find somebody else.

A family dentist for all of us.  I was told he would look at children, but there was a concern with Jenna’s age.  Apparently he had never had a patient quite so young. But as it turned out, everybody in the office loved Jenna just as much as she loved going to the dentist. 

His office was not quite as exciting as the pirate ship.  There was a “skills” toy in front and a list of videos to request to watch while waiting and being worked on.  Jenna would assist and follow the aides around.  It seriously got to the point where the aide would physically have to walk out of the door that led to the parking lot just to get Jenna to follow.  But she was a joy.  She really had become a favorite patient.

Jenna’s first dentist now accepts a variety of insurances.  It’s still a weird location for me as it is awkward making a left hand turn on a busy road quite near the intersection.  Our family dentist seems so far away right now – though I had planned on returning, we never did.  I sought a dentist closer to where we currently live.
We do pass a dentist office on the way to her school.  Jenna had her first appointment with him.  His waiting room is set up with chairs.  There are no toys or set ups or videos – nothing inviting for a child.  And yet she still thrives on going.  This one tells us that Jenna has perfect teeth.  And she does.  She hadn’t with the other two.  We thought her permanent teeth would come in crooked as her baby teeth seemed to be.  But they are straight.  There are no cavities.  They are perfect.  And we both like our new dentist.

Well, I have actually not been to him myself.  Our insurance (as it turns out) is not that great.  Perhaps when the economy is over its downfall and we are more financially stable, I can return to the dentist and have him explore my mouth.

I am so grateful that Jenna likes going to the dentist and that she doesn’t view it as a traumatic experience as I did (and still do) and that I have never had to drag her there.  In fact, she is usually the one to insist I make an appointment.  Sometimes I’ve had to tell her, “NO”  Can you even imagine?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maybe I’m Allergic to the Alka-Seltzer

          When I was little, I used to spin around until I got dizzy and then spin some more.  Especially when I had pleats on.  My skirt or dress would twirl with me.  I thought that was major cool.

          I don’t know how old I was when I lost my balance or perhaps I had just spun into the end table.  Either way, I was bleeding from a gash just above my right eye.  I had to have stitches.  As a result I have a small indentation just above my right eye.  Sort of like a dimple.  Small though.  Not actually noticed by many.

          I have had some people notice that my right eye does look smaller than my left.  Not a noticeable difference to most people – but those who study my face harder have wondered about it.

          In December I had a sinus infection which pained my left eye.  In January it was my right eye – but only for a day. With January’s eye infection, there were been few people who didn’t noticed  the difference in eye size as my right eye appeared to have swollen almost all the way shut.  It was weird. I had considered making an appointment with the doctor again on the following day (for it was a Sunday that my eyelids revealed only a slit of my eye) but by Monday morning it was gone.

          By coincidence I had also taken Alka-Seltzer plus cold medicine all three times.  I used to think it was the absolutely best cold medicine for me personally.  But now I wonder if they changed the formula.  Or perhaps it’s counter-reacting to something else I had that day (like chocolate? maybe) or if it’s the very dry air in our house.  Or if it’s the water itself.

          The pain behind the eye is not the worst part.  The worst part is being so disoriented that I’m not quite aware of what is going on around me.  So disoriented that I forget to drink water and become dehydrated.  In December I was just such a neglectful mother towards Jenna – who was home from school for the holidays.

          Today it is my left eye.  The closure of the lid makes it appear almost even with my right eye.  They haven’t looked near the same size as one another in over forty years.

          I am grateful for modern medicine.  For medical science and research.  And for those who take the time to learn it and pass it on.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thoughts on wellness (unwellness rather)

          I used to think that a sore throat was the absolute worse.  I would rather have a headache, a backache, nausea, or sinus infection rather than a sore throat.  Or so I thought. A sore throat never made me disoriented.

Have you ever seen the movie Innerspace?  As the story unfolds, we learn that Dennis Quade’s character has agreed to being shrunk and injected into the body of a rabbit.  But due to circumstances beyond his control, he is inserted into Martin Short’s body by mistake.

          In order for him to see what Martin Short is seeing, DQ lands his vessel onto the optical nerve and then clamps on the seeing device tool.  On his initial land, MS experiences irritation.  Something is bugging him just behind the eye.  But then comes the clamp.  MS screams out in pain. 

          I have felt that pain.  It’s really quite excruciating.  Oh, no.  I don’t claim to have a little man inside of my body putting pressure on my eyes – I’m 99% certain that it’s mucus that’s causing the pain.  It hurts so much I feel like crying – only I won’t because that only makes it hurt even more.

          I had gone to the doctor last month as “over-the-counter” wasn’t taking care of it.  The pain was in my left eye and by the time I was able to get into the doctor, the infection had spread into my ear as well.

          I was given an antibiotic with the worse side effects ever.  If I wasn’t on the toilet I was over the toilet questioning whether the drugs were actually in my body long enough to do anything other than make me even sicker.

After a while it appeared that I had been beaten as there were major dark circles under my eye and much redness under my left eye that looked like it may form into a bruise. I usually felt much worse than I looked.

          Dishes and laundry had built up during my stay-in-bed.  Water pressure is the pits.  I can do dishes or laundry.  And I felt so weak and disoriented – I could only do five dishes at a time – if that.  So often I would stand and feel dizzy and unbalanced that very little gets accomplished.

My diet consisted of Jell-O and Yogurt – not consciously – it just seemed to be all I could hold down – if I indeed could hold it down.  Sometimes just the idea of eating something I ordinarily love makes me gag. When God passed out sensitive stomachs and high gag reflexes, Jenna and I were first in line
I have worn glasses for half of my life now.  During the two weeks I was sick I did not use them – my vision was distorted either way.  But I have come to the conclusion that I have to wear them ALL the time as I believe it is contributing to my soreness.  Maybe.

I have gone over this post several times – still disoriented.  Still not satisfied with how it sounds.  It’s been over a month.  I have actually seen two doctors since then. 

I was given a complete physical with one.  I was also given a clean bill of health.  The other was an obstetrician – who for the first time in my life was able to explain my unkeen sense of vision.  I have a small case of Keratoconus – which I shouldn’t concern myself with too much.  My brother, Corey, had to have a cornea transplant with his Keratoconus and so did actor Mandy Patinkin.  But at this stage it doesn’t appear that surgery will be needed.  So that’s nice.
          I also have “weird shaped” eyes that won’t allow in the amount of light needed for one to see properly.  Because of their weird shape I can never be qualified for laser surgery – and so even maybe someday if/when I should able to afford it, it can never take place.  I will always have strained vision.
          Fortunately my eyes seem to work the opposite way.  I think I am near sighted in one and far sighted in the other.  So they still seem to work well together.  Except for I’ve had eye pain in my right eye this week.  Grrrr . . .
          But I am grateful to hear that I won’t need a transplant as of now.  And I am grateful for my what vision I do have.

Friday, January 13, 2012

My First Pregnancy

         When our boys were 12, 13, and 15 I got pregnant.  I know the exact date, too.  Memorial weekend – May 28, 2002.  Only I didn’t know I was pregnant.  And I didn’t figure out until just before my child was aborted.  I still cry about it.
          It was the 11th of July (I believe) when I’d gone upstairs to use the only toilet in our house.  Sharp pains I’d never felt before.  I didn’t know why.  At first I tried to ignore it.  I went back downstairs to lie beside my husband.  No – I was in pain.  I went back into the bathroom – but it wasn’t a throwing up pain.  It was different.  I can’t remember what it felt like now – I had never experienced pain like that before or since.  It wasn’t until later – much later – that I learned my belly had been filling with blood

My husband shot out of bed and announced he’d take me to the hospital.  That was a little dramatic I thought – I didn’t understand until much later on why he had responded that way.  The boys’ mother had told him she hadn’t felt well.  He dismissed the idea and she lay down and never woke up.  She died of heart failure.

There’s really not too much about that night that I actually remember.  I remember checking in.  I remember receiving an ultrasound and listening to the heart beat.  I remember being told to move myself from the gurney to the operating table.  That’s actually the last thing that I remember.  Being told.  Whether I actually moved on my own or not remains a mystery. I don’t know what kind of drugs were used on me, but I was gone.  I was in and out.  I don’t even know how long I was in the hospital.  At least two or three days.  I felt like I was in a coma for two weeks.

There were needles stuck in both of my arms.  My right arm was hooked up to IV.  My left arm?  That needle wasn’t connected to anything.  It was just there.  I remember wondering why.  I would think I’d ask.  But then I would forget about it. 

Upon my release I was given a wheel chair.  I’m assuming that I somehow managed to sit in it myself – though I don’t remember.  I do remember the nurse bending down just before I was wheeled out of my room.

“Almost forgot,” he said as he bent down to remove the needle that had been pushed into my left arm.
Oh, yes.  I had forgotten about it myself – many times. 
“What’s that for anyway?”  I asked, still feeling the sensation of the drugs that were in me.

I don’t know how slurred I was or if I sounded slurred at all. He answered, “That was in case you needed a blood transfusion”

A blood transfusion?  That sounded serious.  But I was so drugged up I just let it sink in and didn’t question it any further.

I had an appointment to go back and see the doctor.  I don’t know if it was during those two weeks or if it was right after.  I was alert enough to know I shouldn’t be driving.

My sister-in-law kept asking me questions.  They were all good questions but I didn’t have answers.  I selected her to come get me and take me to the doctor and then she could ask him all the questions as I suspected he would probably have the answers – obviously more answers than I could provide.

I learned that if we had waited another hour (before going to the hospital the day of the unusual pain) that I might have bled to death.  Wow.  So that’s why I needed a transfusion.  She asked another question (actually lots of questions – that’s actually the only one I remember) My doctor turned to me and asked if I didn’t remember.

“I was kind of out of it,” I confessed – still in a fog from whatever medication was in my system.

“Yes you were!” he said matter-of-factly embarrassed about having even asked me if I remembered.

Chicken Soup for the Soul had sent me a manuscript about the mature women.  One section contained stories about older women giving birth.  I could relate to some story beginnings and wept for our unborn child.   

Roland thought we should give her/him a name.  Not knowing the sex of our unborn baby, we named her/him Tracy.