Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hooray for GA! And Boyfriends! And Naps!

Good news! We spent the morning at our local General Assistance office (GA) and left with an debit card worth a couple hundred in food. Look out, produce section! Mama's comin' home!

Actually, minor correction. I sat in the car and reread The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan while my man dealt with the masses of paperwork and the masses of masses all crammed in a DMVish waiting room with the loudspeaker blaring automated numbers and fluorescent lighting glaring supreme pain and punishment. It's really not a happy place. I am so lucky to have my boyfriend, and I've thanked him about thirty times, because we were there for four hours, though I was in and out in about ten, which were miserable enough, thankyouverymuch. Once I was fingerprinted and photographed (yeah, that'll be a pretty one) I scurried back to the car and comforted myself with more Amy Tan. I had a phase with her in high school and ever since, she's like hot cocoa for me. Her and Stephen King.


Again, let me reiterate to the internet at large at how grateful I am to have such an understanding, compassionate and self-sacrificing partner. Without him... I can't even imagine.

OH! But here's the annoying part, even though I stayed in the car, I still got hammered with triggers. The sun reflecting off of metal and windows, wafts of cigarette smoke, car alarms and motion sickness from the trip there and home have left me feeling strange, drugged and vaguely sick, stumbling over my words, losing my balance, and feeling generally disconnected. My instincts tell me a storm is coming. I haven't yet rebuilt from the last one. Dishes are dirty, laundry is still piling up. I got some done yesterday but today is a day not to push it, I think.

So I'll be here, watching Lost or finishing up that Amy Tan. Reading blogs and taking surveys.

Maybe a nap. Now there's an idea.

PS: I had to come back and edit this post to tell you all: the nap was awesome. I know you would have worried.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Will Blog For Produce

My internets got cut off. They don't like it when you don't pay. So, now I am borrowing my neighbor's wifi. Thanks neighbor!

I am having a really hard time writing lately. Every time I start to write something real I end up crying or needing to medicate. I can't organize my thoughts. I constantly feel like I'm whining. My circumstances are shitty and it feels like I can't do anything to do to improve them. I keep typing out sentences that explain what's going on, and then deleting them. I'm not really making sense. My head hurts.

The worst of it is being poor, I guess. We're low on food and behind in rent, too. I can't think about it too much, because I get really scared. We're in talks with the assistance people, and should be getting the food stamp card thing squared away any day now, so there's a step. But the staircase, it is a long one. And steep, man. Really steep. Also, no handrail. Wheee, metaphors.

I'm all over craigslist, hoping to find some work from home that's not a scam. No luck yet.

I have a couple in my life, an older man and woman. I ran into them accidentally the other day and had a brief chance to talk with each. The conversations were radically different. The woman, who has migraines herself, dominated the conversation with her own stories, asking a few token questions and interrupting my answers within seconds. This was frustrating, to put it mildly. The talk I had with the man was the polar opposite. He asked how I am and I answered honestly, he hugged me and we changed the subject to something happier, his recent travels and how cute my little dog is. It was a mutual give and take of love and support. Unfortunately, since the interactions, it's the negative conversation that has stayed with me. I keep replaying it in my head, feeling invalidated and used. It makes me more afraid to open up to people.

Unapologeticaly not-subtle reminder: I have that cute little donate button on the sidebar, if you are so inclined. We need any help we can get.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I Hit My Peak With The Sandwich

I like to think of myself as a very rational, stable, level-headed person. I play the mediator well, I'm fair and open minded. I have emotional outbursts, of course, but they only tend to come about just before my period. Oh wait. This was me three years ago. And three years ago, I didn't have a constant headache. Three years ago I was in control. Now, it's like PMS all the time. I struggle with daily life under the weight of crippling pain and when things don't go the way I expect them to, I often become a dramatic crybaby, having histrionics over every little thing I can't control. It's embarrassing to admit how upset I get over a mess in the kitchen, or shoes in the middle of the floor. Usually I remember to curb myself, after the initial rage overwhelm. I breathe slowly and deeply, try to step outside my emotions and remind myself that it's not as big of a deal as it feels. And usually, this will calm me down, allow me to express my displeasure without sobbing, or screaming, and we can all move on with our day. But, two usuallys don't make an always, and I do have breakthrough crazy. And I say crazy not as a slang term to mean I occasionally act a little outrageous, but because I sometimes wonder if I am developing some psychosis over here.

It would be expected, wouldn't it? Three years without a break. Just pain, day in and day out. I go to sleep with pain and I wake with pain. I talk through pain and eat through pain and poop through pain and try to be happy through pain. Try try try. I never stop trying, but somewhere along the line here, my success rate plummeted. I have bursts of happiness. I still laugh and enjoy activities when my head permits, but I'm not the same. And I'm afraid of who I'm changing into. This new person that I am, she has no patience and she gets SO ANGRY, and she cries easily and she's really becoming very pessimistic.

I am resistant to antidepressants because I have had horrible side effects. But the side effects of leaving my misery untreated are really starting to show.


ON A HAPPIER NOTE. Wendy at Transform Your Chronic Life has endowed me with The Lovely Blog Award, which has led me to find a few more awesome people to add to my own reading list. Again, I'll be shirking the passing of the award, preferring instead to spread the love evenly. So, check out my blogroll, because they are all Lovely Blogs.


I've been walking nearly every day. Sometimes it's up and down our street or around the block, but I'm often going for an hour or more on my treadmill. It is so hard some days, but always worth it.


I submitted an older post, The Falling of Pride, to last month's Disability Blog Carnival which was kindly hosted by the great Dave Hingsburger. The carnival ended up in two parts, so here's one and two.


I'm having computer drama and currently have no access to Hulu. So sad. Instead, I've been catching up on my reading, devouring some fluffy Grishams a friend lent to me ages ago, and watching cable, which I mostly hate. We've rented a few movies from our local Redbox, and I feel like I've rejoined the human race a bit now that I've seen Avatar and Shutter Island. They were both pretty and engaging, but predictable. Actually, no. I need to make special mention of the end of Shutter Island. I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it, but Leonardo diCaprio's choice really hit me where I live. Sometimes, you guys.


I made a sandwich today that you all need to know about. I made a little tuna salad (one can of tuna, some plain yogurt and yellow mustard) and mixed it up with a chopped apple. I slapped the tuna-apple mix on some wheat toast that'd been lightly smeared with horseradish and sweet mustard and topped it off with fresh basil and softened red onions. SO good.


There are a lot of somewhat abandoned chronic pain blogs out there. I wonder what happened to their writers. Did they get better? (Will I ever get better?) Did they get busy? Are they writing somewhere else under a whole new blogging identity? Did they die? (I always go there, for at least a second.) Do those abandoned blogs live on forever in the vastness of cyberspace or will they eventually get chewed up by some url gobbling monster, like the one that finally ate that embarrassing old profile I made up for some obscure short-lived social media in 1998 in which I said things that I am really glad are finally not accessible through a creative google search for my name. Things to ponder.


I've been needing my glasses more when watching tv, as the subtitles are uncomfortably blurry without. Unfortunately, I can only go so long wearing the glasses before my face starts aching from the pressure points and my eyes start feeling unfocused and throbby. So, for half of the shows we watched last night, my head hurt from trying to read the blurry captions and for the other half, my head hurt and I was nauseous from the distorted perception with the glasses.

Another day, another trigger, another ice pack, another blog post.


Friday, July 9, 2010

I'm Becoming a Serial Blurber

It's time for more Botox. I keep wavering. Three days ago I "made an executive decision" that I didn't want to try it again, but this morning, when my boyfriend said I should at least try it the recommended second time, I sort of agreed with him. Just not in the neck. Never, ever, ever again in the neck. That was too horrible.

Oh hey, I just got a thousand million google alerts that Botox has been approved for migraine in the UK. You go, UK.


Keeping a daily record of pain, activity level and food intake is proving invaluable. I just can't remember anything anymore, so being able to look back and see how often I worked out or how I've been eating lately or how much sleep I've been getting has been really helpful, and it definitely helps me keep an eye on my pain levels and provides an objective view of my quality of life. Because whenever someone asks me how I've been, (I mean, really asks, not just the superficial greeting) I usually give them an optimistic answer. This is fine for the general public, but sometimes I need to not be so optimistic and be a tiny bit more realistic. Like, when I'm talking to my doctor. She needs to know more about how badly I'm doing than how well. The diary helps, here. I may try to sugarcoat hitting an 8 out of 10 every day for the past month, but having it all there in my own handwriting, in undeniable ink, is not leaving any room for denial.

Also, on my bad days, my handwriting scares me.


I've been having a hard time emotionally. Every single day, my boyfriend helps me cope with this unrelenting pain. He lets me cry on him, snap at him, rage at him, and then apologize all over the place like the hot mess I am, without a single word of judgement. He calls me strong. I think I'm just well supported.


Shalunya, over at Gypsy Shalunya gave me one of those new-fangled awards for most versatile blogger. That was pretty cool of her. So, there's like, rules to this. A warning: I won't be following them all. First, there's the thanking of the award giver. I can handle that.

Thanks Shalunya! I like your blog, too!

Next, I should share seven things about myself. Okay.

1. I love vegetables. Except beets. I really hate beets.

2. In my youth, I was a sun worshipper. I basked, frolicked, baked and soaked up the rays like they were my lifesource. The heat relaxed me, even sweating felt good. So, I got a tattoo of the sun the summer after I turned 18. Now that I am light sensitive and the heat turns me into a puddle of misery, I'm thinking of tattooing a few clouds over the sun.

3. I had a tongue ring for ten years.

4. I am irrationally afraid of most bugs, birds, and horses.

5. Reading is my favorite coping skill.

6. I didn't wear a dress or a skirt for twelve years, save for two occasions I remember clearly. I hated them. Too girly, I'd say, or too breezy. Suddenly, last spring, I became obsessed with them. I have no idea what happened, but now a long cotton skirt is my ideal comfy.

7. I call unrestrictive lounge clothes and pajamas "comfies". I live in comfies.

Last, I'm supposed to name a bunch of blogs to give the award to. I'm no good at that. I love everyone on my blogroll equally, so how about, if you are on my blogroll, you can claim this award! Is that a terrible copout? Sorry. But really, my blogroll brings all the boys to the yard, so scroll down there and take a read.