[Journal] A not so glorious (but better than expected) return

Ladies and gents, presenting your not-quite-neighbourhood-friendly Abigail!

It’s been quite some time – months, in fact – since I last submitted a blog entry of any kind. I’m honestly a little sorry for the time it’s taken me to get back in the saddle, but also feel an apology isn’t needed. My time off was quite deliberate and much needed.

To pick up from where I left off those months ago, I was admitted to hospital with what turned out to be a double whammy of atypical pneumonia and bronchitis. The heart palpitations have now become somewhat of a weekly guest, though only one or two at a time, until I get sick. In the time between then and now, I’ve been sick a further two times with various bugs and another bout of (slightly more mild than last time) food poisoning. As a matter of fact, as I’m writing this, I’m attempting to wrestle control for my body back from a nasty sinus bug. It’s been rough riding, but I haven’t fallen too far off the horse yet. It also seems necessary for me to basically pump my dreamteam of Zinc, Echinacea, Garlic and Vitamin C to boost my immune system during flu season.

While I was in hospital, I learned a few things:

  1. I am irrevocably, irrationally and totally afraid of being in hospital.
  2. Exactly how important you are in someone’s life when you DO go into hospital
  3. Which of my friends respected me and took my health seriously with things like avoiding me when they were sick
  4. That hospital food sucks balls.

To start with the first, it didn’t help that I was admitted while running a massive fever, scared out of my brain because my heart was backfiring left, right and centre, and so many kinds of exhausted. That generally doesn’t make for good terms to enter into any unfamiliar situation, let alone a high-stress one in a loud and artificially bright ward filled with screaming patients. You can add another layer to the “How the fuck will this make me more calm?” cake when they hooked me up to a heart monitor and every 35 seconds to a minute my heart would do the Macarena and the machine would scream. I swear I now have a Pavlovian response of complete panic whenever I hear the sound of an irate heart monitor.

I suspect the majority of my fear comes from the fact that you don’t exactly go into hospital to get a scratch-and-sniff sticker from the doctors. Every experience I’ve had with hospitals in the last decade have been because something has inevitably gone wrong with my body for the first time and part of me is half-convinced I may croak. What I find out after is that it’s just another perk of being Abigail, or more specifically, being stuck in the body of Abigail.

Point is, when you combine all of these things with my anxiety (which has gotten significantly worse due to the stress of it all) it makes for the perfect panic-attack-inducing shitstorm. To boost the “OHCHRISTFUCK” signal coursing through my brain, there was an utterly shitfaced bloke yelling at the staff and walking the ward. It was almost what I imagine a meth-addicted Santa to look like after Boxing Day. I can laugh about it now, but believe me, I was in almost histerics by my second night.

To move on to the second point, Manthing was incredible. He slept in a chair next to my bed the first night and on the floor of the hospital on the second. He brought me a book, my colouring gear, my DS and my favourite blanket, which I covered him with on the second night. The only time he left me was when I sent him home halfway through day two so he could get some sleep in an actual bed and de-stress a little. He put up with my panic attacks, kept the conversation up when I was anxious and did everything he could (including bringing me pajamas!) to make me comfortable.

I had some family contacting me when they could with reception, friends keeping track of my updates on Facebook (it was far easier to just comment on a status than message everyone individually) and taking to me to keep me distracted when I was stressing. I also had some friends fall short of what I had hoped my friendship meant to them. I wasn’t asking anyone to drop what they were doing and come and visit me. If I’m sick in the ER and under care of Infectious Diseases, what do YOU think I want you to do? But what I needed was the support of my friends to tell me everything would be fine, to tell me they gave a shit about my health condition and to just generally be friends. When I got single-word responses, suffice to say the ranks of my friends shifted a little that day.

Number three is a big one. If I’ve just come out of hospital and I’m really fucking sick, do you think I want you to come over and bring your flu/cold/arse herpes with you? It sucks that I’ve had to do this, but for the last three months, I’ve effectively had to screen people before they come over. I’ve had to politely ask people to just not show if they have a cold or the like, because I just can’t risk it. The fact that I’ve caught three bugs in this time kind of shows you just how stupid my asshole immune system is, and how careful I have to be now. If I go out, I take a risk. If I go to a public event, I have to pump my vitamin dreamteam for 3 days beforehand and 3 days after, just in case. Chances are, I’ll still pick something up. It’s not pleasant, but it’s my reality. I’m also at the point where being polite can go and choke on a big hairy cock. If you’re sick and in my house, I WILL tell you to fuck off, because you obviously don’t have any respect for me, and don’t give a shit.

Number four is an honest truth. You always hear the jokes about how bad hospital food is and you think it’s just a joke until you’re there. I swear to god, one night my dinner was breadcrumbed cardboard and string greens. It was honestly tempting to just order a pizza to the ward.

The important thing I learned is that the palpitations I get aren’t dangerous. I still have a perfectly healthy and functional heart, it just adds an extra beat from time to time, especially when I’m tired and run down. Getting a single ‘hiccup’ as I call it is the definitive point where my body goes “Too much! Bed! Now!”. Getting more than one is my body screaming that it’s exhausted and I’m run down. See: Sick with any kind of bug. It feels horrible and awful and then more horrible on top, but the bloody brilliant news is that it’s just uncomfortable, not dangerous, and I couldn’t have asked for a better answer.

All in all, I learned a lot from my miserable experience in the hospital. About both myself and those around me. I’ve also had to learn new coping mechanisms when my body goes batshit, I’m wrestling with the idea that it’s okay to go to bed during the day if you need to, and that pushing my body right up to the limit helps nobody, least of all myself.

I’m going to finish my blog here tonight because I’m god damn exhausted and need to put this meatsack to bed before I fall off my char, but I’ll be updating my blog regularly again and filling you guys in on all the juicy details of the last few months ❤

If I forget, feel free to shoot me messages filled with words that will make a sailor blush,

❤ Abi

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[Journal] Tweaking the meds again

Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that my ‘nerve pain’ has been coming back.

Nerve pain is the term I use to describe the sporadic, usually-short-lived bursts of pain from parts of my body. Sometimes it feels like a knife in the knee, another time it’ll be a back spazm, the time after that, it can be a very short cluster headache. It’s always random and entirely unpredictable and is very intense. Usually enough for me to cry out/swear/punch a table/use your imagination here, and stop me in my tracks. It can hit anywhere from between my fingers through to *ahem* very specific bits of my ladyparts (which is NOT a fun experience, I can tell you). Anywhere where there might be a cluster of nerves. It can happen once a day, or anywhere up to 50+ times a day. It depends on how much of an arsehole my body is feeling like at the time.

Now, I was initially put on Lyrica in the hope that it might help my overall pain levels, but it only succeeded in making me really groggy. We upped the dose to the 150s I’m on presently and found, quite conveniently, that it actually stopped my nerve pain. Not altogether, but to such a degree that it took my daily average of “[Inert expletive here]!” down from about 30-odd times a day to about 1 or 2. It was amazing. I still felt like a zombie, but I could go about my business without looking like I was about to have a stroke in the middle of the supermarket because my knee just felt like I had been stabbed by an angry dwarf on cocaine.

The problem is that my body, never being content to take the easy street, has decided we’ve built up a tolerance to the Lyrica. So we’re still Queen Derp, but the nerve pain came back and announced itself most spectacularly with a punch-in-the-head cluster headache the other day that had me hugging my own skull. I had noticed an increase in the amount of nerve pain up to then, but had chalked that down to stress and other things.

Now, I had called my specialist a month or two beforehand to let him know that we couldn’t increase my dose to the 150 because I was already on it, but had heard nothing back. This morning I left a message and got a call back after I had already discussed my issues with my GP.

– On an aside, awesome news. Turns out my sinus infection was a twofer. One bacterial, one viral. Yeehaw –

Long story short, I’m right in my assumptions, my GP no longer thinks I’m an idiot and I get to pay less for medication. Downside is that we’ve got two options, both okay’d by my specialist. Option A is to double the dose of Lyrica I’m on and see if it fixes the issue, but then I’m on twice as much as I was before with every chance of me just having the same problem. Or B, we can wean me off it, stay off it for a month to clear my system and then start it up again and see if it works. I feel like this is the human equivalent of “have you tried turning it on and off again”.

I’ve opted for the second one because, frankly, knowing how my body reacted to going on Lyrica, I’m going to be completely braindead if we double the dose. I’m barely functioning now, but at least I’m not putting-my-hand-in-the-sandwich-toaster kind of stupid. Yet. The issue with coming off the Lyrica, though, is the same as going up a dose. It’s not going to be fun. From what I know, it won’t be quite as bad as coming off the Duloxetine, but it’s still not overly fun. And this isn’t the nice, gentle let-down either. It’s a week of every other day and then cold turkey because we need it out of my system asap.

So, tonight is the first night of no Lyrica. I won’t fully feel the effects until about tomorrow afternoon, knowing my body (or maybe sooner, who knows) but I’m probably going to feel like I’m hungover without the ‘fun’ of actually getting there. After this, both my specialist and my GP have said that this is pretty much it. There’s nothing else we can really do without any more research or findings. It’s the end of my proverbial golden road of treatment until someone extends the footpath. Ultimately, if all the Lyrica is doing is stopping those shooting pains (and I’m getting a head full of wet sand in compensation), I think I’d be happier being off it entirely. I’m going to keep logs of how I’m going in regards to pain, just to see if it’s actually worth being on yet another tablet for much ado about nothing in the long run.

Anyway, I’m exhausted, so I’m heading in for the night. As a treat to those who have made it this far, if there’s any animal, mineral or vegitable in particular you want to see immortalised in a comic or just on it’s own, leave a comment and I’ll get back to you at the sound of the beeeeeeep~

[Journal] I can’t think of a title today

This weekend I finally got out of the house. I ended up completely butts exhausted from it all, but I’ve been fighting the same sinus crap and hoping that the antibiotics are working (only to wake up this morning with a nasty sore throat) and I decided to get out and have some fun. I was lucky enough to see some old friends there and got to have a catch-up, but I also ran into someone from my days in reenactment.

I was quite taken aback at our brief exchange. We’ve known each other as acquaintances for almost 6 years now and I make no secret of my disability nor my mobility aids, so to have someone with such a bullshit attitude about it all really irritated in a way I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Bearing in mind, by this point I was on my way to exit the event. I was limping quite heavily and leaning on the cane a lot and thinking about nothing but getting home to bed.

Tool: “Why on earth do you have a cane?”
Me: (flatly) “Because I’m a cripple.”
Tool: “I call bullshit!”
Me: “… I’m sorry, what?”
Tool: “Since when?! I’ve never seen you with a cane before.”
Me: “Since always. I’ve had it with me at every camp* and event I’ve been to.”
Tool: “Well, I’ve never seen it before.”

*Every medieval camp I’ve been to, I’ve needed my cane by the time the evening kicks around. I don’t make a fuss of it. It’s just an extension of myself these days.

Their tone of voice was very accusatory and disbelieving, like I had suddenly grown a third arm just to spite them. I wasn’t expecting anything like that, especially from someone who has known me in the past. I think the bit that confounded me was the fact that I make no secret of needing my cane, nor do I make a secret of being sick. It almost seemed like their reaction seemed to say “Well, I wasn’t informed, so you’re not validated in being ill”. It’s probably an overreaction on my part, but something about what was said triggered instant rage on my part. I don’t know whether it was the fact that he was just an insensitive prick, the assumption that I’m faking sick for shits and/or giggles and attention or something I haven’t quite put my finger on yet, but I’ve spent the last two days brewing about it in my quiet moments.

I feel that, in instances like this, it should be entirely legal to pimp hand the shit out of the stupid.

The perception of illness also brings me to another point that’s been on my mind a lot this morning: Short term/new pain versus old/chronic pain.

Over the years I’ve seen a few friends of mine have accidents, break bones and generally get hit with the nastier side of life when it comes to pain. What always has me curious is how people react to it, especially on social mediums like Facebook. Now, this has nothing to do with the ‘attention’ raised from an issue, but more the general reactions over time. This can also apply to any long term or chronic issue, be it pain, depression and mental health or general malaise.

First and foremost here is that pain sucks. It really, really does, regardless of who’s experiencing it and for how long. But what I always find interesting is that, if you take an otherwise healthy person and they end up in pain (whether it’s short or long term), people kick up a stink. there’s a massive furor about how unfair it is and how they’re thinking of the person. There’s messages that they should stay strong and that it will pass and everything will be okay. There is generally some kind of outpouring of well-wishes, regardless of how big or small.

If we skip forward a few years and that one person is still in pain of one kind or another, the universal reaction is that it’s become old-hat. They still have the few usual friends offering support, but the uproar and discontent at the situation has died to a dull roar. It’s no longer a matter for outrage at the injustice, but becomes something that ‘just is’. The person going through the issue doesn’t suffer any less, but their suffering becomes commonplace. It’s something you expect. It’s something that you can’t change, so what was once this vociferous show of solidarity becomes a “well, you know we’re here” from the back seat.

Suddenly getting up and facing the reality of the situation, day after day, gets hard. You know what to expect. You know what’s coming and what you’re going to face. You just don’t have the crowd cheering you on from the seats, just the memory of the support you had when you first got sick.

Go and hug a chronic kitty. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been dealing with shit a week or eighteen years. Give them a gentle hug and let them know you’re thinking of them. It doesn’t matter if their illness is mental or physical or emotional. It doesn’t matter whether you can see it or not. Go and give them a hug. Write them a letter. Send them a message. Let them know they have their own personal army cheering for them on the hardest days ❤

Selective exposure and when helping isn’t really helping

This is an issue I’ve wanted to write about for a while now, but due to circumstances on my end I’ve been unable to either find the time to do it, been in no headspace to write about it or haven’t physically been capable of doing it. I’m hoping that taking the time out tonight to sit down and get this out of my head will mean my brain will stop charging through at a million miles an hour.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been party to a handful of events that got me thinking. Some were good and some were bad, but they all ended up at the same two destinations in my head – the idea of selective exposure, and when helping isn’t really helping.

Most of the time when people see me, it’s usually within certain parameters. Somewhere between the “I’m feeling great” end of the scale and “I’m not feeling awesome” end. Anything beyond that and I usually rule out any form of social contact for a number of reasons. Have you ever tried to sit through a conversation and remain polite and chatty while someone’s trying to rip your toenail off? How about trying to have genuine interest in what someone says while you’re exhausted enough to actually fall over out of your chair? There’s only so far I can fulfill my social obligations on a day when I’m in above-average pain, my fatigue is playing up, or any other number of fuckery my body likes to pull.

What this basically means is that when YOU see me having a bad day, that may not necessarily be the same as MY bad day. That’s not to invalidate anything I’m feeling at the time, but my sliding scale for social activity stops at “Fucking ow”, but my whole scale goes all the way past that up to “Oh God Why?”

The bit that really frustrates me about this issue is that so many people seemed to assume that what I felt stopped at what they saw. Like, when they didn’t see me using the cane or with a visible limp, clearly I was in no pain at all, and when I did have the cane, I was still obviously okay because I was still up and talking.

I’ve had to explain to several people, some friends, some family and some other random people on the street that, when you see me out and about, when we come over for games or when I go out to get lunch, it’s a very controlled thing. I MUST be within point X and Y in order to function as a semi-competent human being and any deviation from that usually means I’m suck at home and in bed, in a world of pain. What you see is NOT what you get with me, but that doesn’t seem to stop some people thinking I’m leading them on or I’m some kind of liar.

That’s the problem with these invisible illnesses. They’re kind of just that. You don’t see them. You see reactions from them. You see the implications of them running amok in people’s bodies, but it’s not like we turn purple or grow horns. You basically have to take our word for it and actually believe us when we say we’re not well.

And now on to my next point. When helping isn’t really helping.

One of the things I’ve been struggling with over the last few months – longer, in fact. Just about as long as I’ve been sick, to be honest – is the idea of wanting to help. For the most part I try to be gracious about the whole thing and thank people where I can for stepping in. However, there are other times when people overstep boundaries in eagerness to help the cripple or, assist the female or even lend a hand to the friend.

First and foremost, there are two different kinds of help I want to identify, and there aren’t always defined boundaries between the two.

The first is helping because they need help. This is usually the case easiest identified by the audible “Can I have some help, please”. All sarcasm aside, it’s fairly easy to see when someone’s struggling with something and you want to step in and lend a hand. It could be a case of them needing help getting up the stairs, or opening a jar, or changing a light globe, remembering a birthday or even recalling what they walked into the kitchen for. There’s usually some kind of body language on the part of the helpee and an acknowledgement of some kind on the part of the helper.

The second kind is a little different. This involves helping because you THINK they need help. This one can be done for different reasons. Sometimes because the helper wants some kind of feeling of gratification for “doing what is right”, sometimes it’s because they think that the person they’re helping is a lot less capable than they really are and sometimes it’s genuinely out of desire to assist another human being.

Now, the problem with the second kind of help is that it’s not always called for. I had an incident with a friend the other day (which we talked through and we’re back to normal again) but it made me think about the other times where I’ve had similar situations and what all my experiences combined have taught me. People have assumed I have needed help and have gone out of their way to do this, without actually asking me if I needed the help first.

Unfortunately this division can be really hard to navigate for some people and toes end up getting stepped on.

One of the issues I find most frustrating is that we’re taught straight off the bat to assist those less able than us. In my situation I can be either more or less able in a lot of areas on any given day, so I’ve found people wanting to go out of their way to make life ‘easy’ for me without taking into account my choice on the matter, while other people that obviously require some help are left to fend for themselves. One thing that a lot of people seem to forget, though, is that (for all my cripple-ness) I’m a highly independent individual and take fierce pride in my ability to self-manage. The beautiful humour in that being that, on my bad days, I need help to dress, shower, use the bathroom, etc.

What this means, however, is that I usually don’t want help until I directly ask for it. I’m no stranger to asking for help, even if I can be a little sheepish about it at times, but when you’re stuck in body that takes a toss at a dart board to decide what you can and can’t do on any given day, you treasure those things that you can still do on your own, without help of any kind. You’re fierce about those things. You don’t want help pushed upon you because someone else thinks you need to be helped. You want to do it yourself because you’ll be damned if you can’t wash your own hair, or dress yourself today, or even go for a walk.

When someone comes along and helps you out with things they think you need help with, it crosses a line where they start robbing you of that independence. Suddenly, you’re no longer strong and capable in that area because someone else has just come along and done it for you. You’ve had the rug pulled out from underneath you and yet we’re still taught that we should say thank you because this other person only had our best in mind.

The problem is that when you live a life where independence is such a flippant and fleeting thing, rather than being preemptive help, sometimes you’re robbing that person of part of their identity. Part of who they are. That last part of the strong, capable person they were before they got sick, and that’s where things go wrong. That’s where frustrations break and feelings get hurt and it’s incredibly hard to explain a concept like this to someone who’s never known dependence on another individual. It’s hard to explain how something so well-meaning can have such a vastly opposite effect on an individual’s life. Sometimes helping really isn’t helping at all.

Far be it from me to discourage assistance when required, perhaps first ask if your person would like help with what they’re doing. If it’s not a routine you’re used to or they haven’t asked themselves, perhaps ask them if they want assistance before you jump ahead, and don’t be offended if they say no. It’s not said to reject the support you offer at all, but instead is perhaps their way of maintaining some form of normalcy over an otherwise abnormal life. Furthermore, it’s always far easier to ask first than to have a negative reaction to your good deed.

[Journal] Friends and chronic illness

To start, I’d like to clarify that this isn’t me seeking attention or looking for sympathy. This is me trying to make sense out of a series of situations I’ve been in recently and to work out where I stand in it all. This also isn’t directed at any one specific person, but is a collection of memories from past and present friendships, written at a very emotional point tonight.

I’ve written in the past about how maintaining friendships is a challenge when one is chronically ill. Regardless of what you’ve been afflicted with, it makes an impact on your life that few people can understand. I’ve written about how a careless word here or there can really bring someone’s world down around them. I’ve also written about how lonely it can get when one is cooped up at home all day, every day.

This post is more than that. To me, this is an attempt to make sense of everything I’ve been through with past and present friends to date.

Right now it’s almost 11pm. I’m sitting in bed with my laptop and I’ve just had a good 20 minute sob to Manthing about how unfair it is that people just don’t ‘get it’. I’ve had 7 days of above-average pain. It’s worn me down in places I’m not usually aware of. I’m beyond exhausted. Because of how run down I am, I’m in more pain than the last few days, anyway. I won’t lie. This is hard. This is really, really hard.

I used to tell people that I was very lucky because my support network for hard times like these were a select few friends I could call upon, whenever. Some online, some a few suburbs away. In fact, before myself and Manthing were a ‘thing’, there was one night when I had hit my first 9 on the pain scale. It was 3am and he had work the next day, but I could still ring him up and he talked to me on the phone for about an hour until my painkillers had kicked in and I could sleep.

In the last few years, this has changed. I find myself here on a night like tonight with almost no support network whatsoever. People have gone their own ways, life has changed, things have come up. One friend decided it was okay to treat his friends like shit. Another got a girlfriend and suddenly didn’t have time anymore. Another couldn’t understand that being sick wasn’t like being in bed with the flu. Another still decided to tell me that my illness was THEIR problem. One by one, all the people I felt I could approach at that 3am mark drifted away and left me here on my own little island of Fuck, where I find myself tonight.

I guess this entry is a bit of lamenting the fact that I feel so alone right now. Once upon a time, if a friend caught wind that I wasn’t doing so well, I’d have an SMS within minutes. I’d get a check-in every now and then. “Just thinking of you. Hope you’re okay.” I’d get a message online or they’d even just show up out of the blue. Once, I had someone even deliver a care package because I had spent the week in bed. You know who you are, and you should know I genuinely cried, even through I didn’t say anything out of pride when it happened. It’s the little things that turn a fucking awful situation into a not so bad one. It’s knowing that someone has your back that can sometimes give you the strength to get through the day. Right now, thanks to the pain and the depression, I feel like I could vanish for a month at a time and nobody would even know I was gone.

For what it’s worth, I always did what I could. I like to see myself as ‘that friend’. The one that would always check in. If you were having a shitty day, I’d send you an awful joke or a picture. If you were stuck in bed, I made digital get well cards. Driving an hour out of my way to help a friend out even though I wasn’t in the best state wasn’t something I thought twice about. I just did it because they needed me there. I’m the one that left the messages. “If you ever need an ear or someone to talk to, I’m here.” Maybe I wasn’t that person to everyone. Maybe I wasn’t that person to anyone. But god help me, I tried. I genuinely tried to be the best friend I could be.

As I got more and more sick, sometimes I’d miss a beat. Sometimes there’d be a week where I was stuck in bed and didn’t know you were upset. I tried to catch up and still check in. I really did. With more than a few people, I tried to organise times when I was well enough to meet up, but they were always busy. Things don’t often work the way we plan, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t genuinely put an effort in.

Right now, I feel empty. I feel like, for everything that I’ve been through, I only have Manthing with me. I feel so alienated from other people that it physically aches in my chest. People I used to be really close to. I think at one point I had half a dozen people and I felt so very special because of it. I think about all the 3am nights we used to spend out getting slushies and I cry. Things aren’t that way anymore. I think about the skype calls we had where we’d see who could burp the loudest and it hurts.  You got a girlfriend and I vanished off the face of the earth to you.  I remember the times we used to make running jokes and confuse everyone else in the room. You don’t even answer my messages now.

I think about how, once, I felt like I had people who were involved in my life enough that, when I needed someone to vent to, they understood I wasn’t looking for attention. I just needed someone that understood what I was going through. I know I’m not the easiest person to be friends with. I really do understand that. I’m a lot of work. I ask things of people, I can’t always go out or catch up and sometimes I hurt people because of it. But seriously, do you think that it hurts any less for me? I’m the token cripple friends. I’m the one people make allowances for. I’m the one that forgets and needs assistance during games. I’m the one that makes the group walk slower. But I’m still human.

Yes, I do still have friends, and people I talk to occasionally, but it’s not easy. Imagine how it feels to not be able to talk about some things because they just don’t understand – or, in same cases, just don’t give a shit. Imagine someone walking away mid-conversation when you’re trying to explain why you were so sick yesterday. I’m the one that has to make the allowances for other people. I have to watch my words so other people aren’t accidentally offended because they can’t deal with their own stresses. I have to curb my own humour because, god forbid, someone might be offended by a joke I make about myself. I have to constantly remind people that, for me to go out somewhere requires some planning. I can’t just get an invite half an hour before X starts. I often don’t have money with over $200 of medication per month. I am a difficult person to be friends with, but I’d like to think that I’m no less worthy of friendship for it.

I’m genuinely afraid of making new friends, even thought I’ve tried. Try to imagine what it feels like to be immediately judged as being ‘too hard’ or ‘too much work’ the moment you mention chronic illness. On top of dealing with all my other physical issues, I then have this exhausting charade of social interaction, and it wears me out.

I won’t lie. I have very little patience for those that can’t accept me as I am, but I’m desperate. I want friends and I’ll take what I can get.

I do still have people that genuinely give a shit about me, and I them. People that don’t care if I’m in my pijamas when they show up. People that are happy to change plans to a night in when I can’t move. People that don’t hate me for something I have no control over. I hope that, one day, they read this part and understand. But those are far and few between, and with some, we barely even talk anymore.

I don’t even know if I’ve made much sense with this post. Manthing actually pushed me to blog about it and, in it’s own way, it’s been a bit cathartic. That little voice of anxiety in my head warns me that I might offend or upset a past or present friend reading this, but then the little logical Abi in the front of my head says “Let them be.” I guess if someone’s offended by this, it’s because they feel that there’s an ounce of truth in my writing. Let them fix it. If someone feels a prickle with one of the things I wrote, it’ll be because they relate to something in there. It’s never my intention to offend with these things, but people are stupid. If there’s an issue, do something about it.

After a solid half hour of writing, I’m thoroughly exhausted and no less miserable, but I’ll leave it here for tonight.

[Photo] Earning my spoons

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(Caption because it may not be clear: Spoon reads “Earned my spoon”)

A while ago my mother got me this little pendant off Etsy. If I could remember who made it, I’d link them. It normally hangs in my kitchen below the clock,  or on one of the handles here so I always look at it.

Today is moving day. After over a month of complete bullshit, we’re finally moving out of this toxic house and into somewhere better. Rather than packing the necklace in my bag to get lost in the abyss, I thought it was rather appropriate that I wear it today. I’m fifteen kinds of exhausted, my feet feel ready to fall off and my body is trying to brew a migraine, but I feel genuinely humbled by the friends that have turned out to help us today.

After all the crap, good things do happen 🙂

[Journal] That little blue pill

Today saw another visit to the specialist. Aside from consistently being over an hour late every time I go to see him, very little has changed; we’re still exactly two tenths of bugger-all close to improving my pain, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to throw medications at it!

After much debate over just how awful Cymbalta was for me (it’s cool, disregard everything I say the first time around, doc) we came to the conclusion that the Lyrica does actually help the horrible shooting nerve pain, but does nothing for the muscular pain or the burning joint pain or anything else that’s going on. So, the Lyrica stays. That’s cool. We put me back on the Celebrex, double my dose and cross our fingers that this might help some other kind of pain – you don’t know unless you try these things. It’s also important that I go back on some kind of anti-depressant/anxiety control and get my sleep back into some kind of order. At present, I’m sleeping for maybe 3 hours a night, if I’m lucky. Unfortunately, I’m also suffering some major mental/cerebral fuckery. Memory loss. Major memory loss. The kind where I’ll forget what day it is, why I got up to use the bathroom (yes, when it’s kind of obvious) and what I’m talking about mid way through a conversation.

So, the deal is that I’ve been put on Amytriptaline. Some of you know that this goes very poorly for me, but this is my option right now. 10811614_10153360609232942_398713081_n Mostly due to my own cockup – I could only remember amytriptaline when I went in, not what it did to me (and I had Manthing with me, too, but he couldn’t remember) so there’s a good chance I’ll need to have this changed by a GP some time in the next week. Granted, I am on a very low dose, so if I do react badly, I at least won’t want to gnaw my own ankle off because it’s smack talking me. But, I’m going to have to start keeping a log of what shit I react badly to and what stuff I can take. Just, for the life of me, I couldn’t remember if it was the Endep or the Xydep, and he would have picked one either way and said “let’s try this and see if it’s this one”, so we’re functionally in the same place.

At the same time, there’s a lot going on in my  brain right now. The real estate have decided to functionally be dicks about the entire housing thing, but we got approved for a new place that we can move into after the 21st. We’re $2500 out of pocket, but jesus tapdancing christ, we don’t have to put up with the hell that is here. We almost wrote off the car today/died, but no biggie. I have no small amount of applause for Manthing’s driving skills for avoiding what would have otherwise been a really awful situation. I’m exhausted and my head hurts. Tomorrow tickets for the Foo Fighters go on sale and I want need to be at their concert in Feb. I’m crossing my fingers that I get tickets for myself, manthing and two friends. They go on sale in 9 hours and I will sell my firstborn child for one.

At this point, I’m running out of brain to write, so I’m going to wrap things up. I’ve got a few comics up my sleeves (just need the time/equipment to draw them and one of those  two are in boxes!) and a few other ideas going on, but you’ll have to wait for that 🙂

[Journal] God damn it

You may have noticed that I have been absent for the last little while. Things are tough on this end.

I had the procedure to repair the damage done to my toe by that arse hat of a doctor. Been keeping off my feet the last few days and in considerable pain. It’s been pouring rain here the last half a week. I’ve had a major pain flare, and then the weather-associated-fuckery to boot, and then the angry toe on top of all of that. I’m a misery burrito right now. Three layers of clothing and then a fluffy bath robe over the top of all of that. I am an angry pinata full of swear words and hatred for everyone and everything. Like assholes who manage to take up two parking spots in something the size of a Prius. When one of those parking spots is a disabled one. The spot I need to use on days like today. If people insist on parking like abortions, I may just have to start keeping a chalk marker in my bag and covering their windows in veiny phallus drawings.

Anyway, I’ve had ideas for comics but just no ability to really hold a pen steady. I’ve also got work for a client that needs to be done, but the same issue. Can’t hold an engraving tool when your hands are wonky as fuck. It would appear that the horribly drowsy side effects of the… Lyrica. That one. I knew it had something to do with music. The Lyrica is evening out. But now I’m also being weaned off the Cymbalta and today is my first day without so I’m wonky in the brain department, having shooting nerve pain, random dizzy spells and want to throw up on people purely out of spite.

if I can get my body to sort it’s shit out, I’ll be back in the swing of things soon. I need to make a few posts, catch up on my reading and nominate some awesome people for an award I was given (which I haven’t forgotten about!).

Anyway, this is as much as I can brain right now.

– Abi