instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2017-06-19 12:40 am

reverse S.A.D.

I have been depression's bitch lately. I know part of it is that during this latest bout of "Paul gets a cold, mel gets walking pneumonia" I was *not* Johnny-on-the-spot with my daily meds and that's certainly a contributing factor but I remember last year at this time I had a bit of a breakdown. I don't know if it is that knowledge that is pushing this struggle or if there's something else I haven't identified yet. I thought today maybe I have some reverse form of seasonal affective disorder. Most people get it during the grey and gloom, I get it when the sun comes out and the weather gets warm. We went to James' graduation Friday and it was outside at Cheney Stadium and it started at 10 goddamn 30 in the morning. Thankfully it's 5 minutes from our house. But we're standing in line on a grey but bright day and Paul says "Are you...squinting? My God, you really are my little vampire!" And yeah I went on to burn on a cloudy, drizzly day. I don't remember my graduation from UWT being so long but that could be because *I* was graduating or our class was smaller but OMG 4 speakers, plus the president/dean and nearly 1000 graduates. Sitting in a stadium seat for over 3 hours was not kind to my body but it was worth it to be there for James. He was really excited for Paul & I to be there so how can you say no to that even when it means getting up at 9:30 in the freaking morning? Afterward we went out to lunch and Kyra met us there. She's been a friend of the family for I don't even remember how long. But toward the end of lunch she asked me how work was & I had to remind her that I hadn't been able to work in years thanks to Rupus. It could be that it hasn't come up the last few times I've seen her or maybe she forgot or whatever but it kind of hit a nerve. One of the speakers talked about not letting some setback keep you from pursuing your dream or career and it had me fooled for the day thinking "I *could* find something, stupid Rupus shouldn't hold me back!!!" Then I spent the rest of that day and the next day drugged up on the sofa because my skin got pink and my body is an effing trainwreck. And in August I turn FORTY. I need a vacation.
instantkarmma: (Default)
2017-05-01 01:16 am

change as a constant

It seems so strange that LJ is basically dead to any of us that won't let Russia tell us what to do. 15 YEARS of life and memories that thankfully could be transferred here but now we've got to figure out how everything works.

Paul & I have been trying to get this house refinanced for 2 years and just the weirdest crap keeps coming up to delay it and this latest one is the appraisal came in crazy low. We even filed a rebuttal but appraisers are beholden to like, nobody so nothing much came of it. We could have still gone through with it & were waiting for rates to stabilize but after talking with our finance unicorn figured the only way to get the rate and payment we want would be to bring $12K to closing (because sure, who doesn't have $12K hanging around on a moment's notice?) due to the low appraisal. So she & I thought...that appraisal expires soon, let's get a different one. She was over the other day dropping off some paperwork and got to see the progress we were making on repainting the living room and saw the granite we're going to use for the new mantel and the new light fixture in the dining room and figured a $500 appraisal could save us tens of thousands and appraisals are happening much more quickly (it took MONTHS to schedule last time). With that in mind I spent the weekend finishing the living room paint and boy are my arms tired *rimshot*

Now I'm in this weird place that I get thanks to Rupus where I'm full of energy but I can't move. I liken it to having mono, when you started to feel a bit better and thought "I can totally get up and do all these things today, I feel good! I've got oomph!" and then you go to get up and physically can't. Body say "NO". I was just so psyched to get things accomplished that I want to keep going and we know I'm never good at limits. Drug #373593743876 is doing OK. I seem to have hit a wall like 3 drugs ago but I can mostly function and I'm so tired of new drugs and new side effects that I'm just staying put for a while. I just get frustrated because things take me so long. We've been in the house a little over 2 years and have removed the wallpaper in the kitchen and repainted, removed the wallpaper mural in the TV room and painted that wall (all the walls are actual wood paneling and I'm hesitant to paint over it. The feature wall looks nice but I hate painting good wood. Maybe I'll do a light white-wash), put tile on the master bath floor, changed the TV room light fixtures, changed the dining room light fixture, and now the living room focal wall and other walls. Those last 3 have been done since January when the last appraiser came. This would take normal people like less than 6 months. Fucking Rupus. My living room sure is pretty though.
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2016-07-16 03:10 am

not the mama

Libby and I were talking about handbags the other day and I was her I needed to pare down what I keep in my purse because I keep *everything* in there: advil, allergy pills, kleenex, pens, paper, a maxi pad (though I haven't had a uterus for 6 years), etc. And she says "keep an emergency bag with all that stuff in the trunk maybe but you don't need to lug it all around. You're not everyone's mom" and I said "that's what it feels like though, it feels like I'm the entire world's mom" because everyone depends on me for freaking everything. I mean, I like to be prepared. I like to be able to help if someone needs tylenol/a breath mint/lotion/etc. but I'm also...kind of tired of taking care of everyone. I feel like in a lot of cases I don't have friends, I have people that need things and know I'll help. And it's not that I normally mind caring but for once in my life I'm recognizing the need to take care of myself and I can't do that properly right now and still be able to take care of the rest of the goddamn world. Right now we have someone staying with us because her boyfriend assaulted her. And we also have her cat. And we don't want to be dicks to her cat but our cats aren't super-welcoming so it spends most of the day in the guest room but then we shut the door to the rest of the house so her cat and run around a bit but of course our cats are pisssssssssed that they don't have the run of their house. And she's been through some sh*t and I'm sympathetic because I've dealt with it before but damnit I can't fix your mental health right not because I have only a tenuous grasp on my own at the moment. And she's going to stay with Alice for a couple weeks Monday because Alice has plenty of room and will also be in Minnesota for a few weeks but I have to spend Tuesday and Wednesday getting the guest room ready AGAIN because we have company coming to stay for a week Thursday. I'm so done. I'm so goddamn done and I feel like I'm being punished for being stable & having my sh*t together. What is it like to be undependable?Teach meeeeee.
instantkarmma: (BS)
2016-07-12 01:02 am

Nope. Can't.

There is too much coming at me. I got hit HARD with depression a couple weeks ago and felt like I'd been clawing my way out until a few days ago. More black men dead. A surprising amount of #alllivesmatter BS from people I know. My heart hurts, I'm just f*cking broken. Then I get word yesterday that a friend of ours got beaten up by her boyfriend. Luckily my brother was over there visiting for the weekend (they live..er..she *lived* in Idaho) and woke up to her screaming his name. He punched the dude, headlock/choked him out and threw him out of the apartment where, thanks to nosy neighbors, the cops were already pulling up. James doesn't know a lot about my time with Stump (he was young, it's not something that comes up in everyday conversation) but I'm so proud of him. He stepped up and stepped in. But I'm like...out of emotions. I truly have nothing left to give but I keep on giving. I'm so tired. I'm SO tired and broken and empty. I need things to stop.
instantkarmma: (zedd)
2016-04-04 02:09 am

does breathing into a paper bag actually help?

I got my disability review paperwork in the mail a couple weeks ago. I've been staring at it like it's trying to kill me since then. I kind of feel like it *is* trying to kill me. It's a totally routine thing, everyone who gets disability benefits is on a review cycle. Alice says it's a 3, 5, or 7 year cycle (I think) and I could have sworn I have done it at least once before but I've only had benefits for 4 years. My diagnosis was 6 years ago though so maybe I'm on a 3 year cycle and they started on my diagnosis date and that's why I think I've done it before? Anyway, they sent me the long form which I of course took as some crazy sign that they are terminating my benefits and I'm going to have to move or try to get a job which I will lose as soon as a flare which won't take long because OMG SO MUCH STRESS RIGHT NOW. I forced myself to fill it out tonight so I can mail it tomorrow so my benefits don't get terminated for neglecting to return my forms before the due date. But I'm terrified. I'm 150% terrified. Alice assured me it's all routine and I know she's right and was like "OK, it's all routine. I don't have to worry, it doesn't mean they are terminating my benefits" and she says "well, there's always a *chance* but yes everyone has to do this. Just fill out your forms HONESTLY. Not 'I'm mel & I'm stubborn as Hell and I can handle this, whatever!' but 'I have insomnia and vertigo and I still can't put on my own bra and my drugs make me nauseous and I haven't shaved my legs since October because I can't hold a razor" which was one of those "you're 100% correct, quit knowing me so f*cking well" moments. Still terrified.

Paul and I joined a gym again this past weekend. It was cheaper than I thought and their pool is nice and doesn't allow children so I was sold. We signed up yesterday after using our trial pass and Paul actually gives a damn about using the whole gym and improving health and such so the girl signed him up for the free personal trainer assessment. She asked me and I said "Nope. Crippled. Just here for the pool" but now some trainer is calling me and I know I'm going to have to either answer the phone or tell this person in person "Hi, I have Rupus. I'm not gonna get better. I eat just fine, I've seen nutritionists. But between my disability and all the drugs to treat said disability my body resists any kind of change like weight loss and in some cases actively fights it. Please don't try to talk me into some program that's just going to make me feel like a goddamn failure for not meeting your goals. My one and only goal is to get in the pool and try to be comfortable for a while. Weight loss is not my goal. Fitness is not my goal. Please leave me alone." Paul and I had a discussion about it at dinner after going in to get the tour/trial pass thing. I told him how hard it is to try and set any goal because I never know what I'll be capable of on any given day until I get up so any time I try to be like "I'm going to do X 3 times a week!" I feel like a pretty instant failure. He suggested just making the goal "when I get out of bed and I find I have the energy, I'm going to commit to swimming that day" which I think will work. And we touched on the whole personal trainer assumptions about my health that I knew were coming (thanks for proving me right, answering machine! LOL) and he's like "Hello, black guy here. I know all about people making assumptions on the basis of how you look. I'm perfectly suited to understand you right now" and of course he's right, it was just funny to hear him say. I made it through 5 laps with my little kickboard yesterday and I'm not dead today so I'm cautiously optimistic...
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2016-03-07 02:28 am

where is my mind?

I've been forgetting my pills like...a lot. My Rupus meds anyway, I try to be a bit more diligent with my depression/anxiety stuff. I have this massive "days of the week" pill holder and usually Sundays I sit and fill it for the week with alllllll the crap I've gotta take but lately I don't know, I feel...disillusioned maybe? My mental state has been funky and I honestly wonder if I'm not going through the damn "change". I got my period super early, so why not go through menopause before 40 right? I could also be wrong but DAMN hormones. But back to my pill stuff, it sort of feels like when schizophrenics are like "I feel good. I'm going to quit taking these pills..." and all Hell breaks loose. It's like- I'm tired. I don't know what to do with myself most days, I feel like it's stupid to restrict myself so much because I feel OK but there's that (probably 100% correct) part of me that knows I'm doing this well because I have restricted myself so much. So I've become lax with my pills, maybe as a test of how I"m really doing and the answer is: not nearly as well as I want to be or think I am. Yet I'm still shirking my meds. The thought of having to sit there sorting all those pills is exhausting and I don't want to. And I don't want to have to.

Now I'm falling back apart. This past Friday my dad came down to have lunch and I had to use my cane. I had to use it to get around the house, much less leave the house and that hasn't happened in a while. And I hated that it had to happen on a day when I saw Dad because I know it scares him. I've been that fun flavor of nauseous where you are hungry but the thought of eating makes you nauseous but so does the thought of *not* eating. I'm seeing a lot of things that aren't there. I hesitate to consider it hallucinating because it's not like computer animated babies are dancing in my living room but it's still becoming frequent enough to be bothersome. It's almost exclusively peripheral vision type stuff where I think I see one of the cats but realize it's a grocery bag, I see people on the side of the road that aren't there- that kind of thing. I need to get my shit together, I need this to not be another symptom. It's hard not to resent the sh*t out of your body and I'm not sure how to stop.
instantkarmma: (zedd)
2016-01-05 02:33 am

Oh realllllllllly now?

I've been helping Uncle Jim with his website and he actually gave in and made a facebook page (I am his only friend, but this way he can monitor and interact on his artwork page). He calls me at least once or twice a week and I have to spend like 30 minutes walking him through something. It's really kind of adorable, but I've been so damn exhausted lately I hate to hear the phone ring for any reason. But apparently my grandfather asked about me when he was at Uncle Jim's on Christmas and mom & I about passed out.

Some history: I have not seen or spoken to my mom's father since I was two years old. Neither has she. He cheated on my grandmother and left her for another woman and wasn't discrete about it. She had no way to support herself and Uncle Jim was young enough that he still lived with her. This is how I acquired Grandma & Crappa- they were mom's parent's best friends until Jack split and they stayed loyal to Grandma. After she died, they took over as my grandparents. Mom helped her fight to get alimony and half of his State Patrol pension. After she died, mom sued him. She would have inherited that money eventually but since Grandma died so soon afterward there weren't really any plans or a will in place. So she sued him, it was a precedent-setting case that's still in law books. So naturally, there's a rift there. She had my dad and grandma & crappa, etc. but Uncle Jim didn't have any other family so he went to live with his dad and they had a pretty normal relationship. But even if Uncle Jim brings us up, Jack's never asked about us. I ask about Jack every so often because I know he's having health issues and I want Uncle Jim to have family he can talk to about it.

Back to the present: Uncle Jim is showing Jack new artwork on his tablet and shows him the facebook page I made him and all the people who have liked and commented and Jack asks "are there any pictures of your niece on there?" Who knows where that came from and I can't begin to read into that but of all the things to catch you off guard...
instantkarmma: (BS)
2015-12-15 12:33 am

Bork bork bork

A week or so ago I totally borked my hip. I can't really think of a better term. I was half asleep and getting back into bed and just...rolled funny? I heard my ankle snap, then my knee, then my hip. Since I sound like rice krispies anyway I didn't think anything of it until I laid down and realized my hip really hurt. I woke up the next day and things were not good. By the end of the day I was actually Googling the symptoms of a dislocated hip. My mutant pain tolerance is so high I figured if something hurt *this* bad then something was really wrong. But I'm also super stubborn and didn't want to go to the ER and have some dicknuts doctor lecture me about how my weight is probably causing the pain and sends me home with tylenol without so much as an X-ray. It's slowly feeling better and I talked to Mom and ruled out anything serious. I probably just snapped a tendon or something. Because why not. Ugh.

i switched drugs *again*. I've gone from Rituxan infusions to Xeljanz pills and from Imuran to Arava. So far so good aside from the nausea and upper respiratory bullcrap.

Today (well, yesterday at this point. The 14th) marks 16 years since I left Stump. My least favorite day of the year and lucky for me it coincided with my hormones going cuckoo. Plus I've got a major Lupus rash signalling a big flare, which is no surprise considering the stress surrounding this time of year. So I feel like crap mentally and physically so I'm a real joy to be around, I'm sure.

I did roast a chicken for the first time though so I'm officially an adult. It was f*cking tasty too. So all is not lost. This yearly slog is nearly complete and I'm even sort of looking forward to my Christmas nachos in my jammies watching 24 hours of "A Christmas Story"
instantkarmma: (zedd)
2015-10-13 01:09 am

out of my way, I'm buying pudding

Two different people cut in front of me at the deli today, one old dude very obviously. Like he was trying to gague if I would raise a stink. And normally I would have said "excuse me, I was here before you" but I've had a weird headache for like 10 days and my Lupus has decided it would be an awesome time to flare up so I didn't want to open my mouth because I knew what would come out was "what, you think you can cut me off because you're older than me? Because you're a MAN? WELL I'M A CRIPPLE GODDAMNIT AND I NEED THAT CHICKEN AND FOR YOU NOT TO BE A DICK. FEEL BETTER NOW? FEEL GOOOOOOOD ABOUT CUTTING IN FRONT OF A POOR DISABLED WOMAN???" So I bit my tongue and concentrated on the chocolate pudding in my cart.

My hips and especially my lower back have been killing me to the point that I grimace when I straighten up and resist doing anything requiring bending or...or moving in general really. And my depression is popping back up in really weird ways and it's all getting difficult to handle. Dad gave us the leather furniture from his family room and it's crazy comfortable. They bought it at a yard sale and the guy was very tall so he had it custom made to be deeper to accomodate his legs. And he never used it. It got delivered and he decided to sell his house. James and I have been fighting over it for years but Dad & Kate are getting their house ready to sell (which is seriously weird. They've been there almost 25 years) and James hadn't found a place to move yet so we got them. Muahahahaha. And they are so comfortable it would almost make you weep and it's the only place I'm comfortable sitting and I don't know if it's because I'm flaring and it's a good place to sit or if it's such a good place to sit that my body is like "f*ck everything else, give me the couch and I'll shut up"

Now we're planning on going to England to meet Alice in November so of course I'm worrying about money and planning and all of that crap. But I reserved a taxi tour in Manchester to see all things Smiths related so I'm trying to focus on that. And pudding.

instantkarmma: (zedd)
2015-08-12 02:06 am

the only thing that's constant is change

Med change. AGAIN. I just can't with this anymore. I almost just want to say "I felt OK on drugs A, B, & F. Let's just go back to that and ride it out" But regardless of how I'm feeling, there is the underlying joint damage to consider and I think preventing it is her driving force and I understand that. So now instead of infusions I'm doing twice daily pills, which I'm discovering is a huge mistake because I've remembered to take the "morning" dose once in the past week. Plus I'm living on ginger beer and saltines. *sigh*
instantkarmma: (yarr)
2015-08-05 02:45 am

everybody *please* just chill

Spent the weekend agonizing over a friend who I knew damn well was suicidal (he admitted as much) but he's in California so it's not as though I could hold his hand through it. Then he makes a very odd facebook post and disappears. I made sure he had my cell number and slept with my phone two inches from my head. Turns out he's living in his bus and doesn't have a phone but can tap the neighbor's wi-fi. So he got in touch Monday and things seem to be evening out for him. Honestly, I haven't seen this kid since high school. He was two years behind me and I was friends with his older brother but he was like "I remember you from Kyle's parties" And it was another one of those "oh crap, I had forgotten all about X!" Like when Sean tried to convince me I went skinny-dipping in high school with a group of people and I was like "BULL. I never went skinny-dipping" Then I was talking to Lynne and she was like "remember the time we went skinny-dipping at Steel Lake with X & Y? And we were on opposite sides of the dock but before we really got in the water that cop car went by and we freaked and jumped back in your car?" and I thought "OMG, that happened!" To be fair, it wasn't with Sean in the group he was thinking of so at least I wasn't wrong there :)

But back to this weekend. Paul said "You should be a counselor, you're good at it" and I told him "I AM a counselor..." "Well you should do it like for a job though!" And I reminded him we talked about it last time I pulled a friend off the ledge (so to speak) and both he and Alice said "You would be great at that, but don't!" because I will lose someone and I doubt I can handle that. If I wanted to do a private practice-type thing though, you cannot bill insurance unless you have a Master's degree and there's no way in Hell I'm going back to school for my MSW. Maybe it was just the BSW program I was in, but that kind of tedium is not my jam. I had my counselor's license when I worked at CSTC though, but I'm pretty sure I had to state where I worked on the application so I'm not sure I can get one for private practice. It's all a moot point for the moment though, I'm still way too shaken up to consider anything. For crying out loud, if you're having these feelings how about you come to me before they get so bad? Ugh, my brain hurts. My heart hurts.
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2015-07-14 12:38 am

Normal-ish...again.

The whole medication debacle has been taken care of, thank God. I'm wondering if I should have done more of a transition back to the good stuff because WHOA. Things have been a little bumpy. The little monster that lives inside managed to get its little talons in me yesterday. Chest hurt, blood ran cold, the whole nine. I managed to focus and get my thoughts back where they belong but it wasn't easy and it gets so terrifying even though I know it will be gone soon, or at least more securely at bay. It also dawned on me that hey- I still have ovaries! So I'm going to watch these little episodes a bit closer and see if they may be amplified by hormones. If so, I can at least be prepared.

This past weekend by infusion drug waved bye-bye. I was feeling a little odd; feverish, general malaise, etc. I thought maybe it could be chalked up to the whole brain med fiasco but then it was like...I felt the drain plug get pulled out and the goodness get pulled out. Not even metaphorically, I could literally feel it all draining out of me. Then I glanced at the calendar- of course it's about 4-5 weeks before my next chemo visit.

I wish I could take my body/self by the shoulders and go "settle down, damnit!"
instantkarmma: (BS)
2015-06-22 02:20 am

I just cannot with this woman anymore

My stepmother, good Lord. I don't even know exactly what it is but I've known her since I was...5? And have never liked the woman or gotten along with her. After my dad and I had our falling out however many years ago I told him I was never comfortable around her and didn't want him to take it personally that I never wanted to spend time there. I love my dad and I love my brother and want to see them often but there's Kate to deal with. She has said some horrible things to me in the past few years to the point that Paul will even speak up and tell her politely to shove it. And my dad was like "why didn't you ever say anything? Why didn't you just leave if she was like that?" but I told him "because you're my dad and she is your wife. I don't want to hurt your feelings nor do I want to give her the satisfaction of seeing me make a scene" So now unless it's a family gathering I just avoid her. Dad and I will go out to lunch or dinner, James is a grown-up now so I can see him whenever. But one of the things she's taken to bitching about over the past couple years is that she'd never come to Paul & my house, despite us having events there that she was invited to. We didn't entertain like dinner-party-wise there because that house just didn't lend itself to such things. So here we move into this nice big house. James has been here a number of times, Dad has been down. And it's Father's Day so I invite Dad down for a barbecue. The butcher shop nearby has Kobe steaks, so I splurged and got steak for all of us, including Katie since I had checked with James to make sure she was coming. Then today, only Dad & James show up. So you know what bitch? This one is on you. You were invited, you were provided for, and you chose not to show up. It made the day far more pleasant for me. We ate fancy steak, we drank margaritas, we watched Archer and had a good time. If James gets his way and makes me follow through with my (STUPID) offer to host family Thanksgiving this year she had better show up and steer clear of me. I'm done trying, even on the most pedestrian level.
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2015-06-15 01:58 am

Chemical dependency

The pharmacy switched manufacturers of my anti-depressant/anxiety meds. Walgreen's used to do it all the damn time, which is why I switched. So I know which ones work and which ones don't. The pharmacists try and tell you "it's the same medicine!" and yes, the active ingredient is the same but the inactive ones aren't and the release rates vary and all of that affects the absorbtion and your body's reaction. I'm really not sure why they do this. I understand they are businesses and need to be cognizent of costs and they get what their warehouse sends them. With most medications, this likely isn't an issue but damn this is people's (sometimes very FRAGILE) mental health that they are toying with. And I wish there were an option that if your prefered brand wasn't available or the cheapest that you could pay the discrepancy and keep things consistent.

Because right now my mental health is precariously balanced on the head of a pin and swaying dangerously. Thankfully I filled my prescriptions early last time so I still had some of the good pills left and have been mixing them with the sugar pills they stuck me with. Plus I knew these pills did nothing so I have that knowledge in the back of my head when things feel like they are getting out of control to try and ground myself. Stuff always sneaks through though and it can't be stopped. The other night I was crying because I couldn't feed all the raccoons. Like *ALL* the raccoons everywhere ever. But Paul knows and Alice knows so if thngs get wierd they can step in. May was a rough month for me for various reasons and I finally felt like things were settling back down. Guh. I didn't realize my balance was so delicate.
instantkarmma: (BS)
2015-06-09 01:13 am

It's like being given a beautiful gift that stabs you when you open it

My uncle Jim has recently gotten into painting. He'd done some watercolors when he was younger, spent a lot of years designing/building/painting model train layouts (he's in magazines and on tours and everything), then some photography on his vacations and now he's painting things inspired by those photos. He won the audience award at last year's art show in Ocean Shores and we have a couple of his pieces. (He gave me one last year that he made with me in mind because it reminded him of something my grandma/his mom would have hung up behind her sofa. So there's that first stab) Interest has been building so a month or so ago he asked me if I'd make a website for him and run the business side. Thankfully they make easy "build a website!" sites, because that's not really my forte. I got it up and running over the last weekend and him not being um...well versed in tech stuff, he's been over here quite a bit checking things out and giving me the go ahead. I talked to him today about some little bugs he'd noticed on the site. Then he remembered something but called my mom because he didn't want to "pester" me and asked *her* to give me the message. While they were talking he said "Jill, I just want you to know what a cool kid you have. She's so smart and cool and can do so much. I left there yesterday thinking 'If my kids were just 1/10 the person Mel is I'd be so happy' I'm so glad she's doing this" There's that gaping wound. It's such a nice compliment but it hurts all the same because he doesn't have a good relationship with his kids, or any relationship really. He'll be the first to admit he wasn't the best husband but he was a great father. When he and his wife split up, she moved back to New Hampshire with their daughter and their son stayed with him. His wife poisoned that little girl against him from day one and that was the last he heard from her. A few years later his son went back to visit one summer and never came back. It's such a crazy situation. It's like, I'm glad I can help him out with his artwork but I hate thinking that it's a reminder of how shitty his kids are. What a fun position to be in :/
instantkarmma: (yarr)
2015-04-13 01:58 am

A sort-of resolution

Not really a "new years" resolution but more of a "moved here, fresh start" resolution. I try to get out of the house at least 3 of the 4 days Paul works each week, because fresh air & sanity & social interaction whathaveyou. Since we moved I've decided when I do go out I'm going to at least wear a bra (now that I have a couple of front-hooking ones I can manage on my own) and some lipstick (basically colored chapstick to be honest) to feel a bit more human. I've succeeded about 85% of the time and it does help put me in a better mindset. Being constantly at war with my body, it seems beneficial to have this little truce and try to take some pride in what I'm still able to do.

Rupus and pleurisy have kept me away from yoga for a while & that hurts my heart. I'm trying to remind myself that it's going to take me longer to recover from the mess that was our home-buying process & that beating myself up about it will only make things worse both mentally and physically. I miss class though and I really miss Pamela. She's so encouraging and understands my crap so well. I'm wondering if part of my lack of motivation is that the last time I made it to class (for the first time since we moved) there was a substitute teacher and now I'm a little gun shy to go and have it not be the class I'm expecting again. It was a weird hit to the routine-center in my brain.

Tuesday I'm going to get a pedicure with Tami, our mortgage unicorn. It's nice to have someone nearby. It can get lonely when it comes to little things like that since so many people are up in Seattle or further away. Alice comes by every Wednesday but it's not as though she lives down the block and I don't want to be this company-hungry friend asking her to come this far out of her way all the time after working. Saturday we're getting together with John & Alan for our first strategy session for the smiths/Morrissey show we're putting on, probably in August to time things with my drugs. So I'm getting some stuff on the horizon and that's nice since my horizon has been pretty empty for a while.
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2015-04-06 12:54 am

Ow. Just...ow.

Once again we come to the point in our hero's chemo journey where she wants to KILLMAIMDESTROY and also not move at all, both at the same time. I finally figured out how to articulate the post-chemo "I've been hit by a bus/soundly beaten with a cricket bat" pain as the feeling you get when you've gotten a pro massage but didn't drink any water and get that weird "full of toxins" feeling. Well duh, I was pumped full of toxins Thursday- of COURSE that's what it feels like! It's a description most people seem to be able to fathom though. On top of that I'm so effing exhausted. It's so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel at this point in the cycle, especially since that light was never too bright to begin with. Oh, and still pleurisy. I try not to bitch or wallow or whine but God DAMN this gets hard sometimes. And just hurts. I've been so inseparable from my ice pack lately, I hardly even feel it anymore. It's more just the act of doing something that helps than the ice pack being super-effective at this point. Why doesn't Baskin-Robbins deliver?
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2015-03-23 01:30 am

In which I make my first (AND second) trip to the ER

Well the past few days have certainly been FUN! I had an appointment with Dr. Gorman Friday that just could not come too soon. I've been having weird back/occasional chest pain. Too high to be kidneys so I wasn't *super* worried. I talked to my friend Beth who is an RN and we came to the conclusion it was likely pleurisy (the outer lining of the lungs become inflamed, not uncommon with autoimmune diseases). When I talked to my mom the next day she suggested ice packs and ibuprofin or percocet for the pain (muscle relaxers didn't help) and I tried to get into see my primary care doctor. By this past Friday, this had been going on nearly two weeks. Well lucky me, traffic was so bad I never made it out of Tacoma. I had called Dr. Gorman and I was going to be her last appointment that day because she had to leave ASAP so there was no chance of being squished in when I managed to get there. I'm guessing that added stress turned my pressure pain into a sharp pain and I thought "hey, I'm near an ER...I'm gonna go to there just to be sure this is what I think it is" Well the PA that first day came in after all my labs were done and was all "show me/tell me" about the pain and then went "KIDNEYS!" despite my manymanymany assurances that I both actually knew where my kidneys were and that wasn't where the pain was AND that I had had kidney infections before but since I didn't have a fever and my urine was normal there was no reason to think it was kidneys. Paul got there not long before they took me for my cat scan. After a while the PA comes back in and says "well the scan and your labs say it's not kidney related (NO! REALLY???) but it looks like you're awfully constipated." "I'm not though..." "Well sure, you can see it here on the scans. Now, this can happen when you get dehydrated..." at which point Paul cuts him off and says "she's not though, she drinks more water a day than anyone I know because she knows it's easy for her to become dehydra-" and the PA cuts him off to say "well then you have to look at diet. See, when you eat a diet full of meat and cheese and not enough fiber then you can get stopped up!" and both Paul and I were like "um...I don't think" and he says "well, what have you had to eat so far today?" and I said nothing and he looks at me like I must be trying to starve the piggy pounds off and says "WHY NOT???" and I told him I had just woken up less than two hours before I got to the hospital "oh, and you just *weren't hungry*?" "No, I normally don't eat until I've been up for a few hours otherwise my stomach gets upset" and then he sends me home with something that is supposed to make me poop, convinced that is the root of all of my problems and tells me to come back the next day to be rechecked. I asked why, since my labs and scans came back clean and he's like "well...just in case" In case what? You wrote me off because I'm fat and you assumed I didn't know what I was talking about? In case it was related to one of the drugs I take that you never asked me about? At this point I wouldn't let Paul touch me because I would dissolve into tears because I was so hurt and upset. Like every doctor that came before Dr. Gorman, he wrote me off because I was fat and if I was fat I couldn't possibly know anything about my health.

Headed back for my recheck the next day and thank the good lord it wasn't the same staff. The new PA asked about all the meds I take and what made me decide to come in the day before and what the previous PA did/said and he's like "that weird, that pain isn't near your kidneys. Why was he so insistent?" Good question, dude. "So...did you poop?" Oh yeah, I was hollow inside at this point. "And the pain didn't change?" Nope. He said he'd rerun my labs and wanted to do a CT of my chest to rule out a PE but that he thought I likely had something called pleurisy at which I threw my hands up in triumph and Paul said "that's what she's been saying it is the whole time" We sat there way too long, but it turned out it was good that we did because you have to wait 24 hours between cat scans that use contrast dye and when the CT guy came to get me it had *just* been 24 hours. Scan was clear, no PE (which is something Mom, Beth, & I were glad to have ruled out) and I got to go home with a diagnosis of (surprise!) pleurisy.

Now I'm back to my routine of ice packs and anti-inflammatories until I can get back in with Dr. Gorman but I'll call her nurse tomorrow and will likely have to do a course of steroids to try and get this under control.

Fun times, y'all. FUN. TIMES.
instantkarmma: (BS)
2015-02-18 02:35 am

Dang, moving- you're expensive

I do not have the plague...though I'm still dubious. With my luck I'll incubate until no other person alive could still muster an illness and THEN come down with it. It's pneumonia, by the way. We found out our houseguest/squatter was in the hospital for about 4 days with it. Awesome. Also, during my "OHGODNONONO" google-ing I realized I had walking pneumonia when we got back from Denver. Because I am fancy. Thankfully Dr. Gorman had figured it was *something* deserving of a course of antibiotics and that plus waiting it out is all you can do, which is what I did. But still, dang.

We're mostly settled here and are hitting that "oh shoot, we need X" phase that tends to cost more than you think. Of course, I am a cheap bastard. There's the "Hey, we give a damn about this house and want to make it awesome. Let's hang up all of our artwork!" part. That part requires a bunch of frames for previously un-framed stuff and of COURSE nothing we have can be a normal size that you can buy at Target or whatever so I had to buy them on Amazon and $$$. Then there's the "these blinds aren't enough for our day-sleeping vampire eyes and hanging up our old curtains by clamping them to the valence rod makes us look like hillbillies"  part. So I scour the intertubes and find nice ones at Target and $$$. New bookcase and $$$. Building pantry staples back up and $$$. Replacing exterior door hardware and then replacing a door because the doorknob was set really far in on the other door but we're keying everything to work on the same key so we need to replace that whole door and $$$. Our tax refund was pretty hefty though since the house closed before the end of the year and we got to deduct ALL that shiz, so it's not like we can't afford it but I'm bad at spending large-ish sums of money.

Since we moved I got a hold of Robbie to see what he wanted out of the gear he had left in the basement and to make him come carry stuff. But now I just miss being in a band again. Part of it is wanting to be back on a stage. We've been so wrapped up in the house stuff for the last many months that I'm feeling really isolated and want people to clap for me. The biggest part though I think is just wanting that band camaraderie back. I miss the jokes and practice and post-practice hang-outs. I'm toying with the idea of getting a couple friends together and doing like a Smiths/Morrissey or college radio cover night just to get it out of my system.
instantkarmma: (*sigh*)
2015-02-03 01:20 am

Work should not be at home.

So we got a message on Paul's cell phone the other night from a friend of ours. He had been riding around on busses for days straight because he had nowhere to go. Paul went and picked him up and we parked him in our guest room. Problem is, he's sick as Hell and I'm trying to be hospitable but whatever he's got could literally kill me. I'm not dying from something lame like the flu, I'm only 37 damnit. I called to get the power turned on at the other house though so he has a place to stay for a few weeks until the tenants move in.

Part of me is upset that I can't be more accomodating but...wacky immune system etc. The other part of me though is screaming that I cannot be his social worker nor his therapist but he's in such a bad way that it's hard to bite my tongue. It's sometimes a hard line to walk between "I'm chatting with a good friend and they need advice/reassurance" and "give me the reins, you're cocking this up and I'm going to give you step-by-step instructions on how to fix it." This time though, I can see the edge of the abyss and I know I need to stay the Hell away. We're helping in the best way we are able and I'm glad, but I need it out from under my nose because social work is my job and your job doesn't belong at home.

On top of all of it, he's gone very conspiracy theory/uber-hippy pothead who is trashing vaccines and pretty much all of Western medicine. And I can respect that, I've seen Naturopaths and Acupuncturists and am open to all of that but so far all that has kept me functioning is hard-core, chemical-laden chemo. So having someone come into my house and trash the means I use to stay alive...sucks. (he wasn't attacking me or my treatment, just speaking in general but you don't eat your BLT's in someone else's Kosher household)