Happyy Blogaversary to me!

Firstly, I’d like to announce that According to Abigail has been active for two years as of yesterday 🙂 It’s a pretty spectacular landmark for me, especially considering some mornings I can’t even put my pants on the right way. Thank you to each and every one of you for following or getting involved with my blog over the last 24 months. It means a hell of a lot to me. You guys have been my strength and support on my shitty days and the reason I laugh on my good ones.

I hope that the next 12 months will allow me to bring you more comics, more interesting insults and a lot more Abi.

Speaking of, some of you may be wondering why I’ve been quiet lately. Truth is, I haven’t been well. Today I had to put out an announcement to friends of mine after the issues came to a head.

Consider this a PSA. The reason I ask people to be so god damn careful about sickness around me is this:

At [my last big event], I was given a case of tonsillitis from someone I knew. I was exceedingly unimpressed. It sucked, but wasn’t overly nasty. I considered myself fairly lucky. After a week of shit, I thought I had mostly recovered, but my sinuses played up again. And again. And again. Now a month on, after fighting off the same sinus infection, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t breathe and wake up gasping at night. My sinuses are nothing but blood and mucus. It’s now considered ‘chronic’ by my GP with the rest of my health issues and I’m on some seriously hardcore antibiotics to try and kick it. Continuous round one and two over the next 10 days. If nothing has been resolved by next Thursday, we go in for round three.

This is not fun. This is not a game. My physical health depends on the vigilance of those around me. I go to GREAT pains to avoid bugs, including sacrificing my in-person social life when I’m in a high-risk period. There’s a reason I ask my friends to get the flu shot. There is a reason I ask you to stay the hell away from me when you’re sick and infectious. There is a very good reason I rarely share food or drink with anyone aside from Kieran. It’s not just because I’m a rampant bitch, or at least that’s not the only reason. My immune system sucks. I’m vulnerable to shit that a healthy body would laugh at. If I end up getting the common cold, I’m in bed for a week in complete agony. Getting sick for me involves so much more than just having a cough or a sore throat. It physically pushes my body and immune system to it’s limits. It’s negligence of the most basic rules of being sick that can land me in hospital.

Don’t be that guy/girl, or I WILL slap the everloving shit out of you when I recover.

I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how someone can be aware of the fact that I am a chronic illness kitty, but still so completely mind-numbingly dense to the necessary precautions to take. Hell, not just around me, but when you’re sick with something as virulent as tonsillitis.

So, long story short, I’m not sleeping well, I feel like shit and I’m constantly run down due to the fact that my already stressed body is having to fight this shit off all over again. Because of the physical stress, I’m likewise in a pain flare and having all sorts of fun. Until I start feeling a bit better, I might just lie low a little while longer and love on you all extra hard when I get back ❤

Keep being awesome!

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[Journal] A not so short update.

I’ll be honest with you all. I have actually been avoiding my blog lately because I feel that, in order to post anything else, I owe a update of what’s been happening for me to be so quiet since my last post. To put things bluntly, all hell has broken lose on our end and I feel like I’m clutching at straws trying to deal with it all.

It started with the move from our old place to this one. For a bit of context, Manthing and I now live in a block of 10 town houses. They’re basically built on top of each other and, even though ours is one of two fee-standing ones, I can still hear my neighbours picking their nose at 3am. Anyway. Naturally we organise it all and the weather goes full retard. Torrential rain, flash flooding and weather warnings now bring up memories of moving house for me. The guys we hired worked well enough, though they decided to make snarky remarks at the new house about how tight we were, making them do their job by taking a few light shelves and boxes upstairs.

Manthing made his own snippy comment about how I had a disability and that’s why we hired them, otherwise we’d be doing it ourselves, and the eldest asked what it was. Manthing simply said it was like Arthritis. Of course, the mover couldn’t shut his mouth, so he said that he had Arthritis in his knee and took Prednisone and that fixed him right up, that I should try it. Manthing said I did and not only did it not help, that it made things worse. That shut them up. It really upset me, though, and for two reasons. One, we were paying their wages. The least they could do was keep their asshole opinions to themselves, or hold their tongues until we were out of earshot. Mostly, it was the fact that everyone seems entitled to comment on MY health lately. These guys moved my mobility gear. They shifted my scooter and my wheelchair and asked who it belonged to. They knew it was mine and yet still decided to act like my health was somehow their problem. Like I wasn’t affected enough to pay someone to help us make our lives a little easier. I could go on, but if I get bogged down in this, I won’t get to the rest of the update.

After that fiasco came the Unpackening. Living out of cardboard boxes is not what I’d call fun. It’s like trying to use the bathroom and knowing the toilet paper is in one of sixteen boxes. You really need to pee, but you can’t until you go through and hope to god you find the bog roll in time. Every square inch of the garage was filled by boxes and property. The lounge room, the bedroom, the office. All boxes. There’s standing room for maybe three adults (with no concept of personal space) in my office. Everywhere I look, cardboard boxes are grinning at me and we can’t do a god damn thing about it (see: I’ll get to that bit of the story).

We had been in the new place two nights when a friend came over to visit. He mentioned that it looked like someone had put mud on my car. Turns out some shitbags had not only covered my bonnet in coffee grounds, but either they, or some other assholes, had also broken into my car.  They had gone through the glove box, thrown shit around, tried to take the radio…  Two nights and my car (which had been parked on the street under a street light right near the driveway to our complex) had already been broken into and vandalised. Straight after that, I got an alarm fitted to my car. In the two weeks we’ve been here, it’s been set off three times. One of which was by a very loud truck driving past and another by one of the residents here reversing into me and driving off like the spineless fuck they are.

At this point I’ve got that “I’m done with this shit” feeling. We hadn’t even made it to our first week and already had shit going wrong. I didn’t want to see where we stood by Friday if this was how things were going. That week, we found out that the previous tenants had sanded the walls here rather than washing them. I learned this the hard way. When we moved in, I simply thought my allergies were due to some external force. We had actually picked this place due to the tiles and low-pile carpets being brilliant for my allergies because they didn’t hold onto dust well. In fact, the whole property is pretty damn new and that all worked in our favour. Anyway, I was unpacking and hanging up stuff in the wardrobe. I had changed my mind about where a hanging rack was going and moved some clothing, only to find white all over the raised crinkles in a skirt. I thought WTF. I remember throwing this in the wash. Another dress had the same issue. They had been touching the walls. I touched the wall myself and my hand came away covered in stupidly fine white powder. I touched another wall. The same thing. I went through the house, rubbing my hand on all the walls and found that for 80% of them, it was the same story. We were living in a house filled with micro particles of paint dust. They were in the carpet, on the wall, in my clothing and in the bedding. You couldn’t walk without kicking them up. I tried to vacuum them, but even my HEPA filter couldn’t cope and I had an asthma attack on the stairs. We decide for our own safety, we’re not going to unpack anything else. We’re already going to have to clean a fuckload of stuff once the issue gets fixed.

We report this to the real estate. Two weeks it took them. Two weeks with me crawling up their arse every few days. “Oh, can you send us some photos?” they said almost a week after I reported it. “Oh, we’ll get back to you” the following Monday. By this point, I’m having to take antihistamines every night to just sleep in my own bed. I’m waking up with nose bleeds. I’ve got all the signs of a sinus infection and I’ve got a serious cough. I’m fed up with their inaction. I walk into the office and the woman sees me. Gives me the “Oh fuck you’re actually here” look and proceeds to tell me that she was just about to call us, honest. The landlord has decided he’s “unwilling” to take any action on the issue. The agent looks at us and says there’s nothing she can do. I look at her utterly dumbfounded. I’m almost CERTAIN my rights as a tenant are being shat on here, but I’m not 100%. She says we’ll need to get it done ourselves. We walk out before I hit rage mode.

I spend the next two days calling up the tenancy advice line, fair trading and the works. I find out that not only am I in the right for asking the landlord to clean the house, but it’s is his legal obligation. Inaction on his part is a breach of both the tenancy agreement and our lease in three different places, and that our real estate are utterly spineless.

At this point we have three options.
1. We foot the roughly $400 cleaning bill to get the carpets wet/dry vac’d and shampoo’d and stay quiet, good little tenants.
2. We take the landlord before the tribunal so they can force him to clean the place. That’s going to take weeks at best, and all the while I’m living in what is effectively a toxic environment.
3. We give them a termination notice which states that the landlord has broken the lease in these places so we’re free to break the contract ourselves without having to pay the two thousand dollar fee.

We were advised by another real estate run by a friend’s parents that number three is our best option. If the landlord has already broken lease in the two weeks we’ve been here, imagine what shit will go down over the year we signed up for (which is another no-no on the part of our present real estate!). I have to agree. The complex is filthy. The bins are constantly trashed with rotten food thrown everywhere, nobody seems to care. In the lease we’re entitled to a quiet and clean place to live.  I’ll get to that point in a moment. But yes, three seems like the good option, even if it means we have to move again so soon. The problem is that it’s not quite that simple. You see, if we put in our notice of termination, the landlord HAS to agree to it. If he doesn’t want to clean the property he’s legally obliged to clean, I can’t imagine he’s going to want to have his source of rent leave. Which, by the way is $430 a WEEK. Yeah, that’s about the average house price here these days.

If he doesn’t agree, the matter STILL has to go before the tribunal and then they allocate the 14 day in which we have to leave (all the while still living in this dust nightmare). But guess what. We need somewhere to live lined up in those 14 days. Most places here take a week to process your application and then another week to actually sign you up for the lease, and nobody is going to accept someone still in a legally-binding clusterfuck like this one. So, basically we’re screwed if we do and we’re screwed if we don’t.

In between this mess, I’ve been organising a competition to help raise money for a charity that works for people with depression. Amusingly enough, my depression hit again the night before the event. The day was a complete and utter fuckup. As one discerning gentleman put it, it was a “blender in a brothel”. The woman that was supposed to organise it didn’t, I got flamed for 45 minutes from the organisers of the event we were at because our tiny little costumers group didn’t have fucking tanks and an airship. Where the fuck were we going to get them!? The whole thing was a nightmare. We got rained out by a freak storm, chased out of the mountains by a fire and then came home to more bullshit.

Yesterday after the fiasco I had to call the local police station about the kids next door. I won’t go into specifics, but there have been 4 families moving into the four units at the front, and one next to us. Each house has something like 4-5 children. Yesterday they ALL decided to play in the backyard of the place next to us. Now this isn’t an issue for me. What caused an issue was when they started throwing rocks at our corrugated steel fence, across the driveway at the neighbours house and at their god damn car. I mean, who the fuck does that? Anyway, I was out hanging up washing in the backyard when I heard the rocks being thrown. It was fucking loud. I asked the kids not to do that. Naturally the little fuckers didn’t. At some point they had thrown a ball into my backyard so I took it around to the front door to return it and also speak to the mother. Four doorbells later, she gets her arse out of the garage (where they had loud music blaring) and answers the door. I try to explain to her (because English isn’t her first language) that her little darlings have been little arseholes and are about to smash someone’s window and piss off the neighbours. She denies the whole thing, even when I show her the rocks in the driveway and under the car. The kids, all 7 of them, pile out into the driveway and deny everything. I go back inside, defeated. Not five minutes later the rock throwing starts again with rocks being pelted at the fence and at my back window, as well as the other targets. They also start screaming like blue murder, bring out recorders and blowing them until they screech and generally carrying on like feral animals in a backyard that’s less than 3m from my own. I put in a formal noise complaint but don’t ask the police to show up because they’ll know it’s me and I’m honestly afraid of retribution.

So right now I’m tired, fucking angry and stuck between a rock and a hard place with all of this. I have no idea what we’re going to do and, given that it’s Sunday here, I’m stuck with a day of inactivity where I can’t sort anything out because our agent doesn’t come into work until Tuesday. This isn’t including the fucking horrid pain flare I’ve had through the lot of it.

I need a hug.

I hate birthdays

Sketch430369Night before our house inspection, my body is in the process of going full retard. The household has collectively spent the last week cleaning like Dobby on a bender of red bull and cocaine.

I don’t relish the idea of strangers walking through our house to inspect the place now that it’s for sale, but that’s one of the perils of renting, I suppose.

IInterestingly enough, it’s now four days until my birthday – that fateful day I was stolen from a place of carefree floating, bladder kicking and the god forsaken jam, ice cream and gherkins my host would eat. I like to think I made a good parasite for what it’s worth. I can’t say I’m terribly looking forward to my birthday this year.

As usual, events like thing bring with it a lot of terrible memories from my old life. Massive domestics between mum and dad, being put into utter tears on what’s supposed to be a special day, being told you’re the reason the house isn’t eating tonight because you wanted a little backyard party with your friends. Shit that just doesn’t go away easy. Every year, my birthday was the day I got blackmailed by my mother about finances, hated by my father because he wasn’t getting the attention, molested by my grandparents because mum made me go see them and then got laughed ant and teased by my peers because I was the token poor kid and couldn’t afford the birthday cake for the class or the fancy party at the mini golf place. Every year I had secretly hoped it was all a giant ruse and, on my special day, I’d come home from school and all my friends would jump out and yell “SURPRISE!”. My parents never really knew my social life well enough to orchestrate something like that and my sister was in no better position, so it was one of those fitful, bittersweet hopes that helped me get by the rest of the year but came back to bite me on that day.

Since those years I’ve done what I can to make the best of a shitty memory and to try and put some new ones over the top. Once my sporting club surprised me with a trip to the riding ranch with the rest of the guys. Watching medievalists climb on to horses and not fall off was one of the funnier things I’ve seen. I’ve organised little get together here and there, working within what I can afford and around the busy lives of friends. I’ve genuinely done my best to try and shrug off the mantle of bad memories, but given all the shit at this time of year right now, it’s been harder than most times around.

We have to find a new place to live. I’m (very recently) being investigated for breast cancer. I’ve had a major flare in both the pain and fatigue departments. I guess the shit is just blocking out the more shiny memories right now and I’m really not feeling it. To be honest, part of me just wants to pretend it’s like any other boring day of the year and that my birthday doesn’t exist at all, but I’m sure I’ll regret that just as much in the long run.

Manthing ‘snuck’ out of the house tonight to get me a present. I had been avoiding blogging about this for a while now ( good old head in the sand trick) but having that kind of attention cast my way made me feel all kinds of uncomfortable. I can’t even explain why. I kind of wanted to curl up, not let him leave the house and pretend nothing was happening. I almost suspect part of my brain of trying to deliberately sabotage the situation so I just have another bad memory of the day, because at least that’s familiar.

Right now, I’m going to try and do that sleep thing and simply focus on getting past the inspection tomorrow.  Once that’s done, we find out when they want to hold the open homes and we can work out plans from there. Just work on breathing easy and taking things one day at a time.

Positivity

Today is one of those days where I’ve been in constant pain for as many days as I can recall now. Moreso the last week as my body has decided to go full retard. I’ve averaged about two hour’s solid sleep a night, and the rest of the time is spent tossing and turning and desperately wishing the ow away. I’ve tried to avoid painkillers as best as I can and only take them when utterly necessary because my regular GP is busy as shit lately and the others I’ve had to see have been trying to cut back my codeine prescriptions. Because, you know, I’m not in agony or anything. It’s cool guys. I’ve totally got this.

On days like today, it’s incredibly hard for me to remain positive. I’m worn down like a blanket that’s been frayed at the edges. I’ve done everything I can for the pain and nothing has helped. Baths, bed, warmth, more clothing, pressure, exercise and movement, distractions, painkillers and even a cider has done nothing to give me any form of relief. I’m presently working through a University Pain Course which focuses on removing the ‘negative’ or unhelpful thoughts associated with your illnesses from your mind through hard work on your end. However, my problem isn’t that I’m dealing with negative thoughts today. I’m depressed and I feel fucking miserable because I’m in PAIN. Not because I’m worried I’m going to keel over and die. Not because I’m worried manthing is going to leave me. Not because I’m a negative Nancy or any other bullshit. I’m sore and I’m run down and I’m exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally and there’s fuck all I can do. You know how I know this? Because I’ve already tried everything I’m either physically capable of or know how to do to fix my problem.

I feel physically ill from the lack of sleep. I can’t finish my dinner. I can barely stay awake. I can’t sleep. Games aren’t keeping my attention. I’m too upset to talk to people. I just want to cry, but it hurts to do so anyway. I want to get angry to try and break this mood, but my head is pounding just thinking of it. I’m sweating profusely because of the pain, yet my feet are freezing under two layers of socks and track pants and are making my legs ache.

Tonight is a bad night. Tonight is what they never tell you when they explain what you’ll face with FIbro and CFS.

On the down swing

Today is one of those very unkind days where you wake up with big plans to get stuff done, but your body has decided otherwise in your sleep. I had planned to finish cleaning the office and getting my business stuff back in order with the biggest event of the year coming up in less than 2 months, but I’m instead sitting at a 7 on the pain scale with most of it located in my shoulders as luck would have it.

If the pain had been anywhere beneath my navel, I could more or less deal with it. After all, that’s what computer chairs are for (see: wheels!) and I could just push myself about the room as needed, or just suck it up. However, shoulder pain is one of those things that floors me every time. It’s not a simple matter of an achy joint, but more feels like I’ve been shoulder barging a wall for the better part of 6 hours, and the pain tends to spread down my arms into my elbows, wrists and hands. What this means is that I’m effectively useless. Typing hurts, getting my medication is tricky and even using the bathroom on my own can prove difficult, which immediately rules out anything else I could need my hands for (see you later, craft work!).

The worst part is that I had a really good productive day yesterday. I guess I should have seen it coming, but when I have good days, I often forget the predicament my body is in and expect to be able to get back to doing things the way I used to before I got sick. While the expectations are unrealistic, the problem is when I run into this issue and hope to be able to ‘push past’ it all and keep going. I get sore and I get angry, and the more sore I get, the more angry I get until I’m mopping the entire house out of sheer frustration. When I finally decide to give myself a break, the damage is already done and I feel angry and defeated mentally, and physically… well, I keep forgetting to catch the numberplate of the truck that hit me.

Anyway, I’ve got a cuppa tea calling my name and a nice warm seat in the loungeroom on my bean bag. Mass Effect is the latest thing I’ve been playing through on the console and, thus far, I’m really enjoying it. It also gets me out of the office where I’d be inclined to start more projects.

Does anyone else have these shitty days? Perhaps you get days where you forget you’re sick for a while? What do you usually spend it doing?

I’d love to know.

– Abi

A nice quick vent and update

I barely slept, I’m dealing with a fuck of a pain flare, I’m angry because I just found out there’s about 2k of repairs on a car I paid 3k for, because the salesman was a lying scumbag and I have to juggle paperwork for warranty in the event that they consider covering it. I now owe close to about $8,000 to various parties for all the recent shit, my office is completely trashed, it’s too hot to sleep and my painkillers aren’t fucking working. I’m annoyed as all hell at the hospital staff my best friend/sister and her incredible husband have to put up with, and I’m upset that she’s still in pain. I’m rubbed the wrong way because Kieran is cranky as shit. I’m up for a new Xbox 360 console I can’t afford, since this one is now on it’s last legs and freezes every 10 minutes I try to play, if not more often. I just tried to break a toe by walking into a chair. The allergic reaction on the bottom of my foot is itching like Satan’s wrinkly balls, my hands are on fire with pain and my deadline for having a self-sufficient business that makes at least $200 a week so I can cover rent, food and bills is now in 3 months and I’m going nowhere. Fuckyeah for being completely stressed out of my brain, facing being broke again after working so hard to climb out of the hole and having my body just pack it in on me.

I hate everyone, everything and everywhere and I want to cry, but I have my mother doing her thing around the house today so locking myself away from the world isn’t even an option in my own god damn house.