Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Grandpa

My Grandpa passed, I forget how many days ago. It was quiet and peaceful and my parents, Grandma, and Aunt M. were there with him. 

They brought out his old Army picture. He was a WW2 Vet who served in the Army's corp of Engineers as a typist. Later he became a school bus driver, a teacher, and later a college librarian. He was awarded a "Master Teacher" award by peers and students at the college he worked for, which is kind of a big deal. 

This was back on his parents farm.  And this was the day he and my Grandma got married 66 years ago in her parent's home. Grandma said he watched her slip and fall down a flight of stairs in high school, run passed her, and she still married him. 

He liked to fish, travel, look at maps, tell jokes and stories. He and Grandma took me to museums when I was younger and national/historical landmarks. He taught me a lot about gardening, how to paint a shed, and put up with my crazy hair-brained ideas as a kid. He came to every band and choir concert, every play and graduation he could. And he ripped apart every damn paper I ever asked him to look over just to make sure it was good. He was also the only family member who asked me what my writing processes were/are. Well, aside from my Dad but Dad doesn't have to ask because I've already told him. He even let me borrow a word processor for a whole summer to work on a story because my mom only let me have two hours of computer time a day. 

He always talked about wanting to come see me up here in the Pacific Northwest. And we liked to talk about the weather in our respective places. 

He was at war with the squirrels in his backyard. For years this went on. I bought him a stuffed toy squirrel one year for Christmas that he immediately tried to throw away. I used to hide under his pillow or in his bed. Once I even taped it to the ceiling above his bed so he would look up and see it when he tried to go to sleep. I'd often have to rescue the poor toy from a makeshift noose hanging between the dining and family room. But I'd just go hide it again, sometimes in his underwear or sock drawer.

Grandpa wrote a 300+ page history of the college he worked at. It took him a couple of years and then a couple more for someone to finally edit and publish it. They cut a majority of the book, but somewhere, Grandma has all 300+ pages. 

My Grandpa was also a devout Christian and part of Gideon's International, the American Legion, and Association for Retired Teachers. He knew I wasn't going to church anymore. He didn't fuss at me for it. I guess he thought Grandma did enough of that. I think he only yelled at me 2 or 3 times in my whole life. 

At the funeral, one of my Aunt M.'s friends said he was the model of what a good Christian, father, and husband should be, and that he provided a safe place for everyone to be. She's right. 

At the funeral I felt him come in and sit next to me in the pew. Like always he rested his hands on his cane and laughed at something someone said. He was with me for a little bit before he moved away, I think to be near my Grandma, but I was caught up in something someone was saying and then we left had to go to the after funeral receiving line where we thanked people for coming.   

Grandpa's flag, given to my Grandma at his funeral by officers from the Army. 

I wish I could write something more, something more elegant and deserving, but this is what I can manage. And I think Grandpa knows all the things I want to say or tell him, and how much he meant and still means to me.

As much of an update as I can manage.

A lot of stuff has happened in the last two months, all of which has added heavy weights to limbs scratching for the surface of my depression. I’m going to try to put piece it together so I can attempt to make sense of it all.
·         Some friends and I are dealing with the loss of connection with another of our tribe. Some feel that we’re not good enough, all of us are concerned, and some are angry and hurt, or confused. It’s hard not to feel resentment and angry toward the things that created that loss. Maybe it isn’t for us to know or understand. We’ll just have to nurse hurts, pick ourselves up on our end, and love said friend as we always have. But things are different, I feel it, I know it, and I’m still struggling with a lot of it.
·         I’ve had an overwhelming sense of feeling lost. I can’t explain it. I’m not sure which way to turn and can’t seem to decide which path is best because they all look damning. Doesn’t help when others keep stepping in to decide for you and will not shut up long enough for you to actually think and make the decisions you know you can make for yourself if only they would let you breathe.
I am angry because people want me to tell them what I need but how can I say when I don't even know? I do not expect people to be mind readers. I don't expect them to fix it all for me- its not their job and I don't want them to. I know I don't think and feel the same everyone else does, but damn, does anyone have to know the answers or know what they need? Perhaps I am being selfish in my slow sink and not considering others' feelings. But I thought I was by not wanting to bother them and drag the down with me. If that's wrong, I wish someone would tell me. 
·         In-laws have taken over my house and I was powerless to stop them. So, in classic fashion, I rebelled a little and refused to do much of anything. Which in turn got Amanda chewed out. Which then, in turn, got me chewed out. But what else are you supposed to do when the people around you are sucking the joy from your bones? And then, to top it off come snide comments. Fuck you, you won, shut the fuck up and leave me the fuck alone!
·         I had to change medical insurance to keep my therapist because the company I had was doing shady things and about to get into trouble. In doing so, I had to report that Amanda and I got married. That cost me my medical insurance.
·         My stress began manifesting in hot patches of skin and hives.
·         My therapist badgered me to seek out new health insurance and I spent two weeks fighting with the market place people trying to find something we could afford. There is NOTHING we can afford. The deductible is 2 grand, the monthly cost just for me is more than we can swing. There just isn’t money for it. PERIOD.
·         I had a gall bladder attack and ended up in the ER, not know what the hell was going on only that I couldn’t breathe and was passing out.
·         I learned my Grandpa had fallen while sick.
·         My Grandpa died either the next day or the day after- I can’t really remember.
·         We flew to Kansas and spent 4 days. The only blessing was feeling my Grandpa sit down beside me at his funeral, seeing my Grandma, and my parents and cousins for a tiny bit.
·         My Grandma told me every day I was there that Grandpa wished he could have seen me before he died, because I was his girl.
·         Came home and losing Grandpa began to finally register. I couldn’t deal, so I threw myself desperately into writing. It’s the only thing keeping me together.
·         A couple of days later I had another gall bladder attack which resulted in surgery that evening.
·         I did not handle the anesthesia well. There are bruises on my body I can’t account for and the medical staff told me I woke up “wild” and that they had to bring two extra nurses in to hold me down. I did not know where I was or what was going on. I’m scared I hurt someone because if that much effort was used to keep me still, I came out fighting.
·         I got to go home the next day and accident slept on my stomach that night.
·         Second day after surgery was hell. It was not the worst pain I have felt, but close, and bad enough that I was panicking and scared the shit out of Amanda’s Mom. I could not remember when I had taken aleve or when I had taken a pain pill or how many. She counted them and said I was okay, but it was still scary. I’m ALWAYS so careful with pain meds.
·         I’ve been having horrible nightmares since surgery, the kind that leave you upset for days.
·         One of the pieces of tape over my incision sites fell off too soon and I had to put something over it to help keep the wound closed and prevent infection.  
·         I’ve been freaking out a little over the fact that I have been sleeping so much- even though I know I need sleep to heal- and losing writing time.
·         We just learned that my depression/fibro med is going t cost us 240 dollars a month with a prescription assistance card for the generic. We couldn’t afford 130 a month for medical insurance. So now we have to find a different depression med and a medication for fibro that won’t make me gain all the weight I just lost back, that s affordable, or see if there isn’t something- some program- out there to help me stay on my meds. Being without them isn’t an option right now.
·         And I am without my meds today. I’m starting to go through withdrawal while Amanda scrambles at work to find out if an online discount pharmacy is a legitimate and the real deal.
·         I just learned from one of my best friends what she might have ovarian cancer and that there is something wrong with her youngest daughter’s spine. She doesn’t have test results back yet for her or her daughter.
·         I’m worried about my parents and my Grandma. I’m worried about my friend and her kids.
·         I’m worried about the two hospital bills.
The good news:
-          I’m writing  
-          I’m getting lost in music
-          I still love my in laws and am thankful for them taking care of me when I’m sick. At least there is that.
-          Amanda is amazing and she’s putting up with me.
-          UPDATE on meds: Amanda got it worked out and my doctor’s office was super helpful to her.    

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

What's it like? Dehydrated, Fight.

I can't remember if this picture help part of the inspiration for a short story I wrote for school or not... It may have been one element of several stitched together. Either way, I really love it, and could look at it for hours. I could sit and come up with a scenario or two as to what led these two to this point, and to be honest, I have, although not all of them are on paper. Its escapism, a distraction, and most certainly a form of self preservation- something I've been doing an awful lot of lately. 

I was supposed to have a craft post and in some respects I do. Or rather, it is coming. I wanted to try and focus on some happier shit, mostly in effort to not be so rawr and doom and gloom. I do have semi-productive and happy moments in my life. I will also have a wedding and honeymoon photo post- as soon as I edit what little we have. And I would like to do a full garden tour when it gets mostly finished as well as a house tour. The last two are going to be on going "works in progress", but I want t share some stuff.

But, the reason all of that is coming instead of here now, is that I continued to sink further in my depression. I probably should have gone to the hospital a couple of times, but I didn't and the reasons why are for Amanda and I to know. I probably should've called some friends, we live not far from a set, but I know how busy they are and two of my fears are dragging my friends down with me and exhausting them- thereby seeing them run for the hills/ dropping me- i.e. abandonment issue, and also I don't want to interrupt or be a burden or even worry people. Grandma told me a long time ago not to tell the truth when someone asked me how I am doing. People have their own stuff going on, their own problems, and they don't need anything extra from me, so when asked "how are you, just smile and say 'good' or 'fine', and then quickly ask how they are doing". Maybe it's a generational thing, a Midwest thing, or even a family thing, but from there on, I grew up with the idea that people didn't really care even if I did. That it was small talk and more polite and helpful to listen and help other people and not expect the same in return. Because we gotta do it all ourselves... which kind of lead into if you're not productive you aren't worth anything to anyone and you should be ashamed to be seen in public idea I somehow equated.  And also, your needs come after everyone else. Not that the latter really bothers me most of the time, I often volunteer without a care or a thought of me other than I genuinely want to. Except I can't do it as much and because of that, I feel that sense of worthlessness... 

But, I finally broke down and messaged a few close friends. I talked to a couple as well. Amanda didn't think people understood how bad it has gotten and knowing how much of a told my struggle is taking on her, I thought I had better suck it up and ask for help before I destroy her right along with me. 

Laying out as much as I could felt wrong, made me feel crazy, unstable, and disgusting. It felt like someone dragging a steak knife hard and slow over my nerves and even a layer of skin was being removed. My friends were kind and caring and asked me to let them know what I needed. I don't know. I don't know what I need. I'm seeing a therapist who is doing DBT and going to try another type of therapy to see if we can't take some of the intensity of things away. I'm taking depression meds. I'm making sure to do some things that I enjoy as some self care. I am playing with the cats and I am trying to make sure I get out of the house even though right now it scares the hell out of me to do so. 

Shortly after I reached out for help from my friends, I had to change providers for my health insurance so I could keep my therapist, and since Amanda and I got married, I also had to report a change in household. In doing so, they deemed me, us, ineligible for state health care. That would be fine if it were just a matter of me be going to the doctor every six months to do a med check and the once or twice a year I get sick. But I really need the therapy. Thankfully, I have an amazing therapist who went over some options of what we could do in case- when I reapply- I still can't get insured. There's some financial questions I may or may not have gotten right when I did the household stuff, so I am going to do it again, with Amanda, and see what happens. If we can't get state insurance, there are some lower cost plan options that might work, it just depends on how they are structured. 

However, it was the thought of money the night prior and the day of visiting DSHS that really made me sink deeper. The people at DSHS were very unhelpful. In fact, a woman I spoke with, in front of her coworker, the security guard, and Amanda and her mother, told me to get a divorce, my marriage annulled, or lie because the government doesn't know. I was so shocked and angry, I could hardly stand it. She was telling me to commit fraud. WTF?!  And then they kept us for two hours under the guise of "let's help you do food stamps" to give us 15 bucks a month. Um, thank you? Amanda's Mom was pissed. She said it was an insult. Be that as it may, it's 15 dollars of me being able to get sunbutter for sandwiches and fruit and veggies I want to eat. No, not a lot, but it gives me a tiny sliver of control back.  

Amanda and I got into a fight a couple of days ago. All of this stuff has been piling up. We're both tired and spread thin. Neither of us has been sleeping well. I've was suffering from heat sickness, Amanda thinks I was dealing with full on heat stroke, before we got the air conditioner in the window. Add in the fact that both of us are kind of shit at communication, and we had a small blow out. Since we had been out, I wouldn't let her go inside the house when we got home until we'd talked, more for privacy's sake than anything. That and I won't let her run away from something until I feel that we are at least okay, else it bothers me until I am physically ill. Apologies were given and I don't know if we are going to be any better at communicating, we've been working on it for 10 years and will probably still be working on it in another 10 years. But we are okay, at least it seems like it. 

A lot of it is that I don't like seeing how tried she is. I know living and taking care of someone with depression is difficult and draining. My parents both have severe depression on top of my mom's health problems. Knowing that there is a potential for an extra drain on her, in the financial area, really upsets me. Because I'm being honest with her and she wants me to tell her what I am thinking and how I feel so she can help or get me to someone who can where she can't, I told her that I'd had a thought of off I could alleviate someone of it for both of us, I'd tell her to donate my body to science so she wouldn't have funeral costs, and go step off a bridge over the highway. And that's just one of many planned outs, but I know it will upset my friends, and hurt my Grandparents, and devastate my parents and Amanda. I don't want to bring that much hurt to people I care about.  

But those are the thoughts and the brief picture view of how bad things have gotten. Still, I'm trying to remind myself that I know that its the depression monster. I know that people do care. I need to (begrudgingly) remind myself that I am only human. The good news is that I do realize all of these things and while that doesn't cure it, it helps to help me get to the step back place so I can look at the mess and figure out how to make it manageable. Sometimes I wonder what it's like to live without depression. I know everyone experiences some depression, you can't grow without suffering, but to be a quote "normal" person... I can't fathom it. 

The other good news is that in my escapism, I started reading again and a friends reintroduced me to some dating sim games. They are weird and I certainly didn't expect to get to drawn in. I have several that I'm playing and they have really interesting story lines. In one of them I'm worried that my character married the bad guy and its kind of upsetting. I keep hoping that he's really not, or that there's something he hasn't said or revealed about the other characters. And I have helped out two friends who recently bought a bakery. I was able to sit and make cake pops one evening and then I told them to send me home with labels and the little bags that go over the cake pops so when I watch TV, I can help them out too. I got the first batch finished and asked one of the girls to bring over some more and take what I had done for them when she comes over tonight. 

Lastly, I managed in all of the pre-airconditioner days and doing some yard work and grocery shopping and going through things for the garage sale, to not keep up with my water tracker... So, I dehydrated myself to the point of bad stomach issues. I realized it yesterday and have since been working to correct it, but I am still having some stomach trouble. It probably doesn't help that despite us sleeping in the living room where the air conditioner fits and is, I haven't been sleeping very well. I mean I'm getting more than I have been, but I'm wondering if I've been trying to knock myself into a manic mode. It might be time to try the melatonin for a week again, just to get me back on routine.   

Excursions in Family Drama

There was once a time when my Dad asked me why I didn't write about our family. He was of the opinion that we have enough fodder for me to write a soap opera. My reply was that I write to escape all that shit. It was true then and it is still true today, except, once again I need to vent. 

Pretty much everyone knows that my mother's twin is my 'psycho aunt'. Cousin Shi-Can and I used to joke that her mother was the Wicked Witch of the West and sometimes that my mom was the Wicked Witch of the East (sans the house falling on her). Fitting since we were born and raised in Kansas. Anyway, Aunt Laura has been know to been known to be an abusive, vicious, vindictive, melodramatic person. She's lied, stolen, worn people wet tissue-paper thin, and so on. But, despite all the crap we've put up with over the years, she's still part of the family and she does have some good moments. I know part of why she is the way she is part mental issues, the abuses she suffered as growing up, and the physical maladies she's living with now. No, that doesn't give her an excuse to be bitch, but it does give some insight into the bigger picture- when you can remember that as she's tearing into one of your cousins or your Mom.

Back to her "good moments". My Aunt Laura can be, at times, kind, loving, and somewhat generous. She's helped each of her kids financially when she is able. Despite all of the shortcomings, she does love all three of her children and wants the best for them. She loves my parents, me, and even her in-laws. Its easier to see all of this not being in such close proximity to her. 

Well, I called my Mom the other day to vent and cry over a recent problem. Mom let me vent and we talked about options and so on. Then, it was her turn to vent and since she's been pretty much the one to really take care her twin and deal with her over the years, she has tons of frustration. (Dad and I keep telling her not to answer the phone or open the door, but they are twins and Aunt Laura NEVER takes 'no' for an answer.) 

The recent influx of family drama centers around my Aunt and my cousins. Her eldest, the alcoholic since 16 and once again druggie, needed a place to live along with his equally as substance abusing new girlfriend- who I might add is older than our Moms- not that I have an issue with age-gap love, but in this instance, is it really love or opportunistic sex mixed with illegal substances until something better comes along? To each his own, I guess. Anyway, since Aunt Laura came into some money she helped said cousin and his girl friend get an apartment. 

I haven't heard how she's helped Shi-chan, but I'm hazarding a guess that its with bills. She's the middle child.

But the youngest takes the cake. She is the baby, the pretty one- I think she looks like a fucking rat, but maybe that's because I know her personality, no insult to rats- and she gets everything she wants. If no one gives it to her, or she can't win it with her looks, or use her kid as leverage, she takes what she wants and that is exactly what she did, AGAIN, recently.  To make a semi short story shorter, my aunt was bullied my her late husband's parents to out the youngest kid's name on the car title of the car my Aunt bought. That is a horrendously terrible idea! At the time of the call with my mother, my Aunt had only driven her car a total of 4 times. She also had my Aunt's debit card. Now why anyone would, in their right mind, give that girl free access to their bank account is beyond me, but maybe my Aunt was trying to help. Oh boy did she help! My cousin with drew 800$ from the account and got an apartment for herself. But, it gets worse, she didn't ask, and certainly didn't tell her mother  until she was physically moving her things out of my Aunt's house. And then she wouldn't return the debit card. Aunt Laura told my Mom and my Mom went over to help her get her car and debit card back. For her efforts, Cousin Shi-chan, the middle of my aunt's children, got particularly vicious and said something nasty and wholly untrue to my Mom, landing her smack dab on the top of my shit list.

*long heavy sigh* Thankfully, in the few days since then, the youngest cousin returned the car, empty of gas of course, and returned the debit card. It had 4 dollars left on it and my Aunt hasn't paid bills yet this month. Yes, it is on my Aunt for letting her use these things. But she's essentially dying and perhaps trying to make up for her mistakes. Still that doesn't give my cousins the right to take advantage of her. What they should be doing is spending time with her and I don't know, helping my Mom take care of her when she gets bad. Unfortunately, they are all too self centered and opportunistic to do that and eventually, she's going to die and they will have missed out on time. I mean the woman thinks a friend of Shi-chan's deserves AIDS because he is gay, which is completely unacceptable and horrible and I will always be disappointed, hurt, and angry over that opinion, but she is my Aunt, I do remember good moments, despite that and a whole string of other crap, if I were in Kansas, I would be rolling my sleeves up and helping my Mom to take care of her. I wouldn't need to be asked. I would do it for my Mom. 

As I wrote that last sentence, I realize that if my Mom or Dad needed help or were dying, my cousins wouldn't lift a finger unless they knew they could get something out of it. Unless there were pills or items to steal. Or unless they were getting paid. Or maybe I knew it all along. 

Lastly, there is something diabolical in the way my youngest cousin has her elder sister wrapped around her finger. Shi-chan, as always, defends and protects her sister, despite all the horrible things said and done. The lies, theft, or down right abuse her younger sister has done to her, she will always be on her side. I get sisterly devotion, but for fuck's sake, I haven't done any of that crap to her, nor has my mom, and yet, every time we are upset with her sister or get into it with her sister, she chooses her over everyone else. It's sickening. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

Busy, first time in a long time, and friend and family problems.

There were so many pine needles! I raked the crap out of them for spring clean up... and then deeply regretted it that evening and for the next few days. Amanda helped, but she did most of the stone laying and some of the mulch work. Her mom did some too. 

After an unintended hiatus, I think I am back, at least for the foreseeable future. Today is the first day in over a month that I have actually opened my laptop and did anything on it. I've had it in my bedroom, the living room, and in the office with the intent of getting online to read blogs, check e-mail, and look up supplies for home improvement and decoration projects. Only I never did and for a number of reasons. 

The chief reason was that we were intermittently busy. On weekends we had shopping days, food prep hours, and had some company. We also had a couple of events. During the week, when I felt up to it, I was cleaning and watching anime and or TV shows on Hulu. 

The second reason was that my depression monster had been raging almost with a vengeance. With the drop in pain management from the one medication made the pain from flare ups higher and more intense, and more debilitating, which in turn made things harder emotionally and mentally. To top it off my Mom threw some stuff at me one day that was upsetting and then a couple of days later, before I'd had a chance to really explain my concerns and feelings about it to her, she called for a third time to let me know that her identical twin, my Aunt Laura, was in the hospital with renal failure. She wanted to let me know that if it came to it, that she would donate a kidney to her sister and wanted to know my opinion on the matter. As much as I don't like this Aunt most of the time, I don't want her to die. Further, I told my Mom that it doesn't matter what my opinion on her donating is, its her body and her sister, and I would never tell her what she could/should or couldn't/shouldn't do. That is her decision. Well, after getting off the phone with her and then processing everything, I got a little pissed and very worried. And then with those two matters plus the pain, some other things, and already raging depression, I fell into a horrible downward spiral. Things were so bad that Amanda literally said "you're drowning in this and I don't know what to do". 

But then, they got even worse. I had a horrible day one day, called Amanda at work, broke down and took a whole nerve pill at her insistence. I have been avoiding taking that med because I know it is addictive and I don't want it to become a crutch. I wanted to learn to work through and deal with stuff on my own. She also wanted to me to call a friend and see if someone could come over or if I could ask her parents to come up and sit with me. That's so much easier said than done. I have such a hard time asking for help. It takes so much to for me to tell people certain things. Surface stuff is easy. Occasionally I vent here and sometimes I vent a little to friends, but I know that people have their own problems and while I know my friends might want to help, I feel so guilty about adding to their stress. Even when I am internally screaming and hurting while giving a friend a hug, the guilt is so stifling, I just say, I'm fine or okay.

  Anyway, the medicine evened me out. For a few hours but then by the time we'd returned home from out D&D game, I was exhausted and the medicine had worn off and I was quite frankly just done. I told Amanda I was tried of fighting the fibro, the depression, the low back pain, my weight, my family, sometimes my friends, and just everything. She wanted to know if she should take me to the hospital and I told her I didn't know. Instead, she cuddled me and helped me get ready for bed. 

A day or so later, I can't really remember, we went to a friend's. I wasn't feeling that great, but I was trying and had decided to leave all my upsets at home and try to enjoy the day. Things were going well and then a friend asked me a couple of hours in, how I was doing. The moment I opened my mouth to reply said friend turned their head away and began talking to someone else. Amanda was just as surprised and almost as upset as I was and she took my hand. I think if she hadn't been there and we hadn't car pooled, I would have left. That is the very thing that reinforces and cements the core belief that I'm not worth anything and don't matter. Somehow, I shoved all that down and made it through the rest of the night. But it is still bothering me. A lot of things are. 

However, I have since seen my therapist. She gave me a back up person in her office to call if I can't get a hold of her and we talked about some other things. Its a work in progress.  I also called and spoke to my Dad for a couple of hours. We talked about a lot of things and after I felt loads better. He also was a bit frustrated with my Mom and assured me that no doctor would consent to my mom donating a kidney with her health the way it is (which I figured and others thought also) but that Aunt Laura isn't even eligible because she has M.S. So while that's upsetting in and of itself, the somewhat selfish silver lining is that I won't have the possibility of losing my Mom due to this instance. 

On to cooler stuff!

Meet Yukiko, our Japanese Snowblossom tree. We've been working on our front and back yards as well as the inside of the house. I will share the inside of the house when it is more cohesive, we're almost there but not quite. So back to the front and back yards. 

This is our strawberry patch. Amanda built the raised garden bed herself and planted the marigolds n the corners. She has since added a pot in the middle with a lily. She's also going to build one or two more of the raised bed for our veggies and I am going to take one of the house doors we found in the garage and make an herb wall. 

This is the majority view of the back yard. I'm not sure what we're doing with the large metal beds, that part of the yard doesn't get sun. So shady place flowers until I can make my meditation spot? Along the fence we're planting some flowers and some vegetables. The gravel part will be raked clean, weeds killed, and will eventually have flagstone or concrete pavers laid to make a patio. 

This is the other part of the back yard. You can't see the drive way and raised garden bed, they were behind me. What you can see is the garage and the small gated section behind it. We are thinking about clearing out that area behind the garage for pumpkins. We don't know if the small deck was supposed to become part of a larger project, but we might break that apart to and use the wood to build something else. I've decorated the side of the garage with wind chimes, and couple of bird feeders, and some yard decor from the Dollar Tree and what we had left over from our apartment. 

Amanda bought me this fairy solar light and I picked up the Peter Rabbit watering can from a Thrift store. I planted some daisy seeds in it. I have a couple of other pots I've planted some pansies in, but I need to get more pots or take some more of the yard for flowers. 

Lastly, I leave you with the kitties. Miss Narcisa took over my spot in the bed one night and presided over it like the head of the Black Cat Yakuza she is.

And here is Thorin, lazing atop the cat tree in the sunlight, leaning against the window frame. This is also a tiny teaser for my living room. Amanda calls my design scheme for the room "elegant nightmare". I just hope the end result lives up to it. So far there's a little elegance and a few somewhat creepy yet beautiful pictures. 

Coming soon... Craft projects.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

An update and backtracking with depression monster.

Fear the Mind by wacalac

The last couple of weeks have been a struggle and I have learned and or realized a couple things. But first I'll update the medical situation with a short recap.

I was taking neurontin for fibromyalgia. I also take another medication that doubles as an antidepressant but is largely prescribed for fibromyalgia. Since I would like to lose weight, my doctor decided to take me off neurontin because it causes weight gain and the plan was to max me out on the other med. In addition to that, he put me on a weight-loss drug to help boost the process. Except he decided not to max me out on the other med until the neurontin is completely out of my system and thus my fibromylgia has been a screaming bitch the last couple of weeks, which I will get more into in a moment. Secondly, I don't think the weight-loss medication gives me any more energy, just makes me feel unsettled, occasionally antsy, and dizzy, and on a few occasions I've felt like my heart was racing when I wasn't moving. The latter at least passes quickly. Third, I don't know what the heck is going on with my insurance and my GERD medication, but for some reason they didn't want to fill it. 

So I've been trying to curb the symptoms with aloe juice/water. I've also been drinking kombucha lately to try to get my stomach in order. I have been more nauseated than usual, which makes me not want to eat and the newest issue, not want to drink anything either. Swallowing has been difficult. It;s like when I swallow food or liquid, it goes down but then it feels like something painful is coming up. My throat feels a little tight and sometimes the pain reaches up into my jaw. It's different from the TMJ pain I get because of the fibro, so I know it's not that. Either way, it is fucking weird! I was about to call my insurance to see what was going on when the pharmacy called yesterday to let me know I had a prescription ready. I just need to go pick it up tonight. Still, I'm going to discuss it with my doctor when I see him next, which will be soon.

Back to the fibro, its been bad and with out the neurontin taking the edge off, the bad flare up days have been worse. I've been practically making love to the heating pad. Still, I've been trying to capitalize on the better days to get some walking done and also work out with a friend. Fun fact, you can trigger a fibro flare up by exercising! I would go for a very short walk, get in and get busy doing something, and the next thing I know my body is screaming at me. I've exercised before, in the pool and on the elliptical, and yeah, I would hurt, but not like I have been. My thought was that maybe that had something to do with the fact that I was pre- hysterectomy? And well, I also had a decent amount of fibro medication taking the edge off. In my research about how to navigate this problem, its kind of a crap shoot. I can't get my heart rate up too much, have to workout for shorter periods, and doing water aerobics and yoga might be better. 

My depression monster has upped its game the last couple of weeks as well. I know some of that is pain induced. But there is a lot that's not. I had a day where I was looking for something to cut my skin off with and when I realized what I was doing, I did my best not to freak. A couple of times I've found myself scratching at my face or other places but managed to stop. Worse, I'm having instances where I am too afraid to and can't move. I just sit and cry quietly and stare at the wall for sometimes up to half an hour. I've been trying grounding, the 5-4-3-2-1 technique, and a good deal of the time I can at least get myself back to mostly neutral.  The rest of the time I have to ride it out. I've also had random bursts of crying for no good reason or feel like I need to cry all day long whether or not I actually do. My usual distraction or escape methods to make me feel better (anime and music) haven't been doing as good job as they usually do. These are all things I'm going to talk to my therapist about, of course. Don't worry, I'm not in danger of offing myself. I told myself I couldn't die until I got a book published. More importantly, hurting friends and family is something I can't handle.

Despite my no picnic last couple of weeks, I have had a few good moments. Cuddles with the cats have been and are always good. I've finally been reading a little and I've been talking with my cousin Shi-Chan a bit. And I downloaded Pokemon Go on my phone so I could play it while I walk. I like it, so far, but it certainly drains the hell out of my battery.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

An Equalist, a planner, and rabbit holes with a side of pain.

I've not felt good the last couple of day. Fibromyalgia has been kicking my ass as of late. No, I'm not off the fibro medication yet, but as of tonight I will be. My doctor wants to see how I feel over the next two weeks before he does anything else. *sigh* Right this moment I am dreading the two weeks of withdraw since in past every time I missed a dose I could tell. Which is damn obnoxious! But I'm trying to remain positive and focus on other things. 

Today, I have been busy. I've made several calls, looked up directions for Francis, been to the local library to get a new card, taken Amanda to work, and not all in that order. I've also spent some time researching medieval historical element such as what exactly kings and queens attended to on a daily basis. Some of it I already knew from school or had gathered from reading books or watching TV, but I wanted the actual details. I also looked at some castle construction because damn it, I might have a map drawn out for the story I seem to be gravitating toward, but I don't have a clue as to what the castle layout is like and it is driving me nuts. More importantly, I wanted to know where the best location of the city it should be in (you know for strategic defense) and so forth, you don't want to read about that.  And then I somehow fell down a rabbit hole wherein I stumbled across a Quoara answer author Mercedes Lackey had about Mermaids and if they draw breath when they were born. According to her, they don't because they don't exist. Actually the whole of her answer gave me a giggle, but then again, how does she know? The ocean is a big place... just saying. 

Office: north wall. It's not finished yet, things still have to go up and eventually we're painting the room gray and purple.

I found my planner yesterday. It was buried under some stuff on Amanda's desk, which is the one with the ship picture above it. Mine has the lamp on it with all the collage pictures (and my manifestation boards) on the wall under the shelf. Anyway, I've missed it. And, I don't like it. I miss decorating it with planner stickers and I miss making planner sticker too. That's a kind of self care ritual I'm going to pick back up again. 

Also in yesterday's news, I saw something on facebook about a feminist art show that's soon to go on. I thought, maybe I would try to go, but when I was reading their about section I was a bit turned off. They claim to be promoting equality and not against men, but it doesn't really sound like it to me the further down I read. I know that all groups have their zealots, but there are some feminist groups that sound more like man hating bitch clubs, than anything else- not that this group is or could be. I haven't met them, I'm just saying they don't sound as equal as they proclaim. And hey, at one point in time, I used to be part of a man hating bitch club, but I was in high school and I have sense grown up. Instead, as I was trying to describe to my Dad in our conversation yesterday, I'm more of an Equalist. Skin color, race, gender, sex, clothing, social status, financial status ect... shouldn't be an issue. What should be an issue is whether or not you're an asshole, break the law, hurt people ect... My Dad hadn't heard of the term and I said that's because I made it up. He thought that was clever. Which, quite honestly, is a nice complement and not something I'd heard anyone say to me before. 

When I was telling Amanda about she said Feminism is about equality. At least, it is supposed to be. We talked about it a little bit and also talked about affirmative action, which was something else my Dad and I talked about, given that he was the one who hired for the correctional facility he worked at. My personal thought is, if the person could do the job, I would hire them. But Amanda brought up a point that in a retail environment that doesn't always work because you want who will make the customer feel comfortable around- which, yes, I get. But that's retail. She also brought up that a prison isn't likely to hire a skinny girl as a guard because big guys could beat the shit out her. But then again if said skinny girl holds a black belt in some martial art and knows how to defend herself, she might just be the person for the job. Anyway, those are just my thoughts. 

Lastly, I've had to restart my computer to see if that would help the issue I am having with my printer. Some times it doesn't recognize that they are connected. I unplugged the printer just for good measure and am going to try again for the few things I need to print off. Tomorrow, I need to address some issues with my friend's kettle corn website and see what I can do to fix it. I also have to read about dialectical behavior therapy- something my therapist wants me to look at before Friday.