100% brand protection. Do a quick search on all the MLB players that have had to retire due to concussions, and then look at the very LONG list of NHL players that have lost so much of their normal ability to function due to concussions. I have a professional hockey player type history of concussions that began when I was under the age of 4. I’m now hitting double digits and doctors refuse to take me seriously and realize just how much this has affected my life. People seem to think anyone that isn’t an athlete is faking these symptoms, but it can and it does happen to people who are no longer athletes or never were athletes to begin with.
Do bad days ever just turn into bad months, culminating in a series of moments where you realize that you’re experiencing a bad year, or possibly bad years, plural? That’s how I’m feeling right now and yet, people refuse to mind their own business, step back, and fuck off. I should be wearing a Do Not Disturb sign as a t-shirt because I am all sorts of pissed off and there’s just no getting around it. I wish I could say it was *just* PMS (sorry guys), but honestly, I think I’ve simply reached my limit for the next 10 years worth of idiocy, ignorance, stupidity, and douche-baggery.
I actually had someone start an obnoxious passive-aggressive “fight” with me via Facebook this week. If a person doesn’t speak to me at all for well over a year and a half and then proceeds to comment on my status with a “Hehe” (My God-daughter will be three in six months, and her vocabulary is far superior to that of an almost 40 year old woman. How sad is that?!), I am going to want to harm them. This is just plain fact, though most of the time I am very good at ignoring one’s idiocy, depending on how high you are on my friendship/love scale.
Pretending to be a “friend” wanting to “brighten my day” is bullshit. If a person wants to brighten my day, there are so many private ways to do that, you do not need to do it on Facebook so that others can think you’re a good person. Moreover, either I am your friend at all times or you can fuck off. There is no middle ground. I am not here for anyone’s amusement. I take my friendships and relationships seriously because honestly, why bother if you’re not going to be genuine?! Be real. Don’t pretend with me and then passively aggressively ask me if you’ve done something wrong. Yes, you’ve done something wrong. You’ve behaved like an idiotic jack-ass and even better, everyone on Facebook gets to see how childish you are and how curt I am in turn. When I tell a person that Facebook is not the time, nor the place for this, and that if they have something to say to me personally, to do so, that does NOT mean you ask me a question via Facebook messaging. It means you put on your big girl panties and send me an e-mail like an adult (this only pertains to friends overseas. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, pick up the fucking phone. I asked several people if I was wrong and they agreed with me, so I know I’m not being childish, petty, or dramatic.). And please, do us all a favor and don’t claim that I’m a treasured friend “regardless of the miles between us or how busy our daily lives are” (I’m paraphrasing here.) when I haven’t been a treasured friend in quite some time. In fact, do yourself a very big favor and un-friend me ’cause it’s very clear to me that we are not friends, as most people on Facebook aren’t any way, despite knowing each other for 18 years.
A formerly dear friend (who I will eventually blog about because after discarding me for a guy she barely knew three years ago, I need to get the situation off my chest before I show up at her front door and do her serious harm. That’s not a threat, it’s not often I feel such anger and hatred toward someone I once loved like a sister.) once told me that it’s ok to outgrow people and move on from friendships when they no longer work for you. She also said she believes in having closure and saying something to the other person, as opposed to just leaving them hanging (apparently not, but it wouldn’t be the first time a huge lie came out of her big trap!). I did not know if I agreed back then, but now I’m feeling like maybe she was right. Of course, maybe my tolerance level just isn’t up to snuff this week/month/year. Who knows? Who cares? Vicious mood shall remain vicious. I have a weekend full of sports to take out my hostility on.
I’ll be back with your usually scheduled insanity when my post-concussion nausea and dizziness subside. Does anyone have any ginger? This is NOT the time for me to run out of ginger tea. Note to self: Buy stock in Lipton.
Enjoy this amazing poem and song.
It’s bizarre how quickly this year is blowing by. Stop to appreciate the beauty in your life and in your days.
For everyone who makes it sound like Fibromyalgia will get better or simply go away. Nice try. Making a photocopy of this for future reference.
Summer’s Effect On Pets
*I have gotten into some pretty heated discussions about this particular topic with people. It absolutely enrages me when someone will leave a newborn baby, or their toddler, and their dog/cat in a car with just one or two “cracked windows” so they can run into a store for 30+ minutes, and then come out and say they were only gone for 5 minutes. Why people think this is a good idea on a triple digit day is beyond me! Whenever I see this happen, or I come out of a store and see a dog going insane in the confines of a vehicle, I wait to see exactly how long it will take before I have to call the cops and animal control. Strictly speaking I’m the kind of person who minds her own business, but when I see this, I become dangerously enraged and can’t just sit back and do nothing. It’s far too dangerous to do this, period. How many times had a child died in a hot car over the last few years?! It’s far more common than it used to be. Hopefully people will become a little more aware and knock this off because it’s one of the most dangerous things I’ve witnessed and it is not beneath me to stand up and say “This is wrong.”*
The Pain Game: Trying To Stay Sane & Keep Yourself From Exploding
I don’t find anything even remotely amusing about pain. I couldn’t be any more unamused than I am right now. By pain I don’t mean a paper cut or your cat scratching you, I mean mind-numbing, nausea inducing pain. Suffering from a spinal injury, I am constantly being told that my injury is inoperable. That’s fine, because I’d never agree to surgery. I saw what it did to people I loved, and I continue to hear horror stories, which pretty much gives me a number in my head that the success rate for such operations is nowhere near as successful as surgeons profess. None of these “it will fix the problem” surgeries improved their quality of life or range of motion. If anything, it deprived them of a more complete life, but I understand that when you’re in pain and suffering, all you want to do is find a way to alleviate your suffering.
Last weekend (Saturday morning) I reached a very critical point in my own pain levels and decided to take a medication that is being used off label for Chronic Pain. That was my first mistake, because for the first time in a long time, I took the “Very high success rate for Chronic Pain sufferers.” statement and the numbers at face value. I didn’t look too deeply into the medication until it was already in my system, and by then it wasn’t like I could reverse it because it’s a time release drug with an extremely long half-life, one of the longest I’ve ever seen in any drug, be it for pain or not. For the record, I’m usually very on the ball about this sort of thing to avoid problems and potential allergies. The pain was just so bad, and I was irrational in my attempt to rid myself of it and be able to function. Instead, I was pretty much bed ridden for over a day and a half, in between dealing with some pretty vile side effects. Because I’d only heard ½ of the prescription instructions, and no one had ever told me to not drink water before and after taking it, the medication released into my system much too quickly. Less than 30 minutes after taking it, I damn near threw up on my laptop before returning to my bed to pass out for a few hours. After several trips to throw up and return to a passed out/asleep phase, I woke up at one point and realized I was completely pain free. I did not hurt at all from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. My muscles, which had been killing me earlier that day, my spinal injury which had been screaming for months on end, was completely silent. No migraines, no muscle pain, no physical pain, but a complete inability to eat or keep fluids down (big problem, since this medication makes me thirstier than anything else I’ve ever been on. Water does NOT aid nausea though, so I had to switch over to iced tea at some point. Unfortunately I couldn’t keep that down either. Ginger ale wouldn’t stay down, fluids were becoming pretty hopeless.). As it slowly started to trickle out of my system, I was finally able to eat and drink without problem, but I was still really concerned and waited until I thought I’d pass out from hunger before I allowed myself to eat. I did not want to endure any more “fly out of the room” moments to puke up my guts. It’s not something I’d like to relive anytime soon.
By Sunday night though, the pain had become unbelievable. I was fine and completely pain free, and the next thing I know, my lower back was completely shot. It felt as if I’d been doing heavy lifting for weeks without a break, lots of bending, digging ditches, you get the drift. The pain was so bad I could not sit, stand, and could barely walk. There was no relief in sight. My mind was screaming “partial paralysis” at me in a very bad way. I used a topical roll-on product easily found at Walmart called Max-Freeze. In the past, this product has worked for me and worked quickly. I’d apply it, lay down, and by the time I woke up the pain would be gone, or at the very least manageable. The problem this time around is that I couldn’t even feel the product working, because even though I know I applied it directly to the source of the pain, I couldn’t feel it activate on my skin. I panicked a bit and after a while, resorted to ice packs. I probably should have made my ice packs hot, but because of the Max-Freeze I chose not to. Eventually I was able to get in my bed, some of the medicine still coursing through my system, and I was able to fall asleep, but Monday morning I was still in pain, and still experiencing that “What the hell did I do to my lower back?!” moment. My brother asked if I had tried doing anything out of the ordinary while on the new pain medicine and I said “I could barely walk from the bathroom to the bedroom. Do you think I was lifting weights at the gym, or doing something that I already know would aggravate my lower back?! What damage do you think I did in a less than ten foot radius?” I probably sounded insane, especially with the slurred speech and sudden whiny tone to my voice. I tried really hard to hold solid in my belief that my lower back would eventually loosen up and I’d be fine, that maybe I’d twisted wrong or caught an air conditioning chill. With Fibromyalgia, you simply never know.
It is now Friday and I can sit, which is a huge bonus. There’s still some pain, but I’ve got other pain to focus on too. Pain in my head (the migraine that just won’t quit. I’ve had it for two days. It’s trying to break me. I’m determined to break it first,), pain from wisdom teeth (Yes, I still have both of mine. I never saw the need to have them removed. They shift and cause some pain a dozen or so times a year, but outside of that, they do not affect me much. Plus, I am not a big fan of oral surgeons. They creep me out. They simply take way too much joy in pulling teeth and ripping your mouth open. Some people are fine to go and leave with pain medicine, but I’m not one of them. If something has to be done, they’d better bring in the anesthesia because I really don’t feel the need to see, hear, or feel what’s going on.), pain in my spine, and that emotional pain we all know called depression.
In my attempt to rid myself of pain, I ended up wasting a week of my life. That’s extremely upsetting to me. Life is short, pain makes it feel so much shorter, and I want to live. It’s hard to live when you can’t sleep, or you sleep, but you sleep too much. It’s hard to live when your body is geared up for every twinge that hits you and becomes the next great battle. And outside of the pain you experiences physically, you still have a real life. Bills to pay, things that need to be done, fixed, etc. Pain makes you feel like your life is a disaster. When you feel this crappy, faking a smile, pretending you’re fine, and lying to yourself to get through the next hour is just plain unacceptable to me. If I don’t feel good, I say so. Not because I want someone’s attention, a response, sympathy, pity, or anything else, but because it’s the truth and I refuse to feel ashamed because I suffer from more than one form of Chronic Pain. People usually say “I’m sorry you don’t feel good.” or “I’m sorry you’re in so much pain.” and my response is always the same. “Did you cause this pain? If not, don’t apologize for it. It is what it is.” I am a firm believer that I probably take on pain for those not strong enough to handle it, but honestly, I’ve had enough. I’d like to check out of my life for the next ten years, pain free, and do what I want to do. I want to live, I want to get up and go, I don’t want to deal with stress, anxiety, or all the other things that come along with the pain. I don’t want a half-life.
Am I being a kvetch? No, I’m being honest. The “pain game” is not a game I want to play. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone (except maybe Hitler, but honestly, Chronic Pain is too good for him.). I appreciate having a voice and a forum where I can say “I’ve had enough.” and no one judges me for my honesty, but I’d also like to use that voice and that forum to discuss happier, more successful things. I’d like to be able to say that I can get out of bed and feel good each day, or simply that I can get out of bed. I’d like to say “I laughed ‘til it hurt.”, but not because the pain is unbearable. Unfortunately, the pain IS unbearable, I’ve had enough, and I’d like a new alternative that doesn’t kick my ass and torment me. Doctors and scientists are making all kinds of advancements, yet they claim they know too little about the brain to help Chronic Pain sufferers. That’s bullshit to me. If one in every three people that sufferers from some form of Chronic Pain got a grant and became a doctor or a scientist, I guarantee we’d have better medicine and eventually, a cure. I’d like better medicine and a cure in my lifetime, and I’m sure everyone else that suffers would too.
I’m sick of all this crap. It’s time for a change.
Changing The Pain Scale
Has anyone else been dealing with an outrageous level of pain over these last few days? I wish I could say it was all due to the rain affecting my area, but my pain actually escalated once the rain was out of the area. Bizarre, right?
I’ve never felt that the doctor/hospital grade pain scale is one that can truly be used on anyone who suffers from any form of Chronic Pain. It’s so ludicrous for me to ever be able to say “I’m at a one.” when in reality, my daily pain levels rarely, if ever, reach a one. Our bodies are over-producing pain, so our scales should read something like this.
#1- “I feel good, lets wait five minutes, the dynamic can change in an instant.”
#2- “I told you the dynamic would change. Weren’t you listening?”
#3- “I’m used to this level, it’s what chronic pain sufferers often call “normal”. The truth us, there’s nothing “normal” about it.
#4- “Shit, where did that new twinge come from?!”
#5- “Great, my day is officially SHOT TO SHIT!!!”
#6- “Taking something for the pain. Cannot allow it to escalate over a 6. In fact, I refuse to allow it to escalate over a 6.”
#7- “Motherf!@#$%! The pain has escalated OVER a 6.”
#8- “Trying to remain calm through this pain, so I don’t flip the hell out and do something I will regret.”
#9- Writing down things we might regret.
#10- Getting to 10 is not a goal. It’s something that happens all too frequently. For a “normal” person, they’d be demanding pain meds at their doctor’s office or the ER. They’d be screaming for that medicine like they were giving birth without an epidural, or like someone was cutting them open and burning them at the same time. Somehow, we manage to endure a 10 when it’s really a 50. When we emerge, we’re back between a 3 and a 5, but we know 10/50 is always in sight.
The pain scale for sufferers of any form of Chronic Pain needs to change.
“What is it about the moment you fall in love? How can such a small measure of time contain such enormity? I suddenly realize why people believe in déjà vu, why people believe they’ve lived past lives, because there is no way the years I’ve spent on this earth could possibly encapsulate what I’m feeling. The moment you fall in love feels like it has centuries behind it, generations—all of them rearranging themselves so that this precise, remarkable intersection could happen. In you heart, in your bones, no matter how silly you know it is, you feel that everything has been leading to this, all the secret arrows were pointing here, the universe and time itself crafted this long ago, and you are just now realizing it, you are now just arriving at the place you were always meant to be.” ―David Levithan
Two Full Weeks
As many of you know I have been without power since 9:30 a.m. on May 13th. It may not have been “Friday the 13th“, but it was still a supremely bad day for me. It’s cause is personal and yes, I am angry about it. Too many people presume that kindness equates to weakness. In my case, it really, really doesn’t. This has really made me re-evaluate a lot of things in my life, especially as I embark on week 3.
#1- I watched an insane amount of TV prior to not having power. I am sure that won’t change once the power goes back on (Please God, SOON!), but not having a TV, DVR, Blu-Ray player, OnDemand, or even a battery operated radio has shown me that I waste a lot of time. Knowing that doesn’t make me feel very good, despite the fact that I never, ever spend days on end in front of anything. A few hours here and there when I need to clear my mind. I suppose the things I watch are kind of like cigarettes & alcohol in some bizarre analogy, though far easier to “quit”, even if only temporarily. Besides, we all have a show or a movie that we can watch on a loop, that we love. I worry about people who don’t have one guilty pleasure in that sense.
#2- I’ve been dealing with some supremely unhappy, tumultuous, potentially life-altering things in my personal life for quite some time. Not just my physical health, but my mental health as well. When my health insurance was unceremoniously cut back in November & my therapist called to say she couldn’t see me until it was reinstated I said, “There goes my sanity.” and she LAUGHED. Since when is a person’s sanity a fucking joke?! She laughed and said “You’ll be fine.”, and that was the end of that conversation. I was dismissed, abandoned by someone I had come to trust, and it’s definitely affected me and how I deal with new people.
She & I have a great rapport, I am 100% myself with her no matter what, so believe me when I say that when I go back, she’s going to catch absolute hell for that comment, as well as for the message she left me back in January when I called her mid-breakdown. A message in which she stated that she couldn’t talk to me unless I had insurance and/or an appointment to see her, and that I should go to the emergency room. Guess what people….. ER’s are NOT equipped to handle depression of any kind, unless you want to harm yourself or you want to be hospitalized. They’re equipped to handle it if you’re over age 55, but God forbid you be under age 55, you’re basically shown the door. Is mental health in this country nothing, but a fucking joke to people?! Personally I don’t find anything amusing about it. How many people over age 55 are shooting up schools, going back to their former place of employment and killing people after being fired, etc.? I’m not saying every single situation of that nature has involved mental illness, not by a long shot, but being told to “Go home and take a pill.” is a seriously grave insult. Not just to me, but to many others. My recent ER visit did involve me inquiring about help for depression & anxiety and the doctor wouldn’t even come downstairs to speak with me. I explained that I just wanted to find a balance while I go through the process of having my insurance reinstated. I was referred to a different hospital for treatment, and simply handed Map Quest directions after they spent hours amping up my blood pressure (unless you piss me off, my blood pressure is never 170/110. For me, that’s not normal in the least!), and running tests to determine the extent of my previously aforementioned concussion. When I followed up on their referral to the other hospital, I was informed that they ONLY handle hospitalizations and that I needed to call a different facility that could handle “my type of problem”. Nice, hmm? The third place hasn’t even called me back and it’s been over a week, so either they’re not good at returning phone calls or they really don’t give a flying fuck. My guess is the latter.
I am still feeling the effects of the concussion and trying to recover slowly. I already know it can take weeks, months, or years to be “back to normal” after a severe concussion that literally made me see stars. Right now, just putting my hair up makes the “smack spot” ache like I just bashed it into the armoire again. Forget a ponytail or anything complicated, I might as well just stay in bed and cry. That’s ok, I don’t have to be pretty, I just have to keep it out of my face and off my neck.
Back to the point at hand: Telling me, or anyone, to “take a pill” is only apropos if it’s a headache, or something minor that responds to medication. Why would anyone listen to that kind of “medical advice” (and I use the term so loosely I hope they can hang themselves with it.)?! It’s NOT medical advice, it’s the beginning, the very start, of malpractice. Watch for it closely. It’s easy to see. Doctors of late only care about Covering Their Own Ass, not so much about helping a damn soul. Why spend money to go to medical school if you can’t follow something as simple as the proper etiquette of your job?! If you are an inadequate doctor then it is your duty to find one who is not inept. The last time I checked “Do No Harm” was more than just a canceled TV show (But hey, if Steve Pasquale was my doctor, I’d definitely go into the office more often. Someone get him on a new show STAT! I am mesmerized by my fellow Scorpio, despite his being married, which does ruin some of the fun for me. LOL.).
#3- The writer finally has time to immerse herself in reading. I’ve read about ten books that I’ve been putting off, and I’ve got another 8 on hold. It’s been a really long time since I’ve utilized a library for reading purposes, but I’ve been having a blast reading and returning books in such quick succession.
If you have never read anything by Chris Kuzneski, I strongly urge you to do so. I’ve read almost all of his books thus far and I’m about to read Death Relic. He is remarkably talented, a total hidden gem. You can learn more about him at: www.chriskuzneski.com. Chris has great characters, their sense of humor and dialogue tends to crack me up.
As for other books: I stayed up ‘til 5:00 a.m. the other day reading Divergent. It was so good I read it a second time before I returned it. I’m enthralled with this story and I am going to snag Insurgent ASAP. If you haven’t read it, I strongly urge you to find a copy. I’ve got a date with my local Walmart or Target as soon as humanly possible for both of these books.
#4- I’ve had no time to write. That’s one of the down-sides of not being able to plug your laptop into the wall whenever you please. I am at the library 2-4 days each week to check e-mail, re-charge my laptop, Kindle Fire, and cell phone. These have become my life-lines. Just keeping a little food on hand is a struggle without a working refrigerator. I am NOT looking forward to cleaning it out once the power comes back on, but I’m glad there wasn’t a lot in it to begin with. That will help. That, paper towel, and a full bottle of antibacterial spray. If you knew just how much I hate to put on gloves and clean anything smelly, you’d know the look on my face is one of total grossed out disgust.
In this vein, things aren’t all bad, but they’re definitely not all good either. People keep asking me when my power will be back on and the answer is: I don’t know. I have already had to sell some extremely personal items over the last five months to try and keep my head above water, and am now looking for another item I can sell to get them to turn me back on. A newer client I was editing for screwed me out of her remaining payment plan (to the tune of $1700, so anyone who thinks they’ll be getting their work for free via BSF has got the next thing coming. Payments have to be made, unless you pick up the phone and make arrangements with me for less on a payment here and there. I’m agreeable, and I “get it”. I am well aware that we all have bills to pay, that many of us are struggling, that the economy sucks, etc., but this is my livelihood, and my electric company was completely unwilling to work out arrangements with me. In fact, they shut me off without even notifying me, which is illegal, yes.). That’s how this happened. Anyone willing to take me on as their editor and pay me in small amounts so I can get turned back on will get my very best editing and will, right now, be my only client, so if you need someone or you know someone that does, give me a holler. E-mail me immediately, I will get back to you as quickly as I can.
So, there you have it folks. My life is insane right now, but I am doing my best to put it back on track. Wish me good luck, I definitely need it. If I owe anyone a response to an e-mail or message, I promise to get back to you ASAP.
Hugs to all…..Li