[Comic, kind of] CATFACE

As much woe and misery as there was in my last post, I’m still in the middle of a really bloody awful pain flare that’s kept me either chair or bed bound, but I’m emotionally feeling much better. My knees are footballs and I feel like I’ve been sodomised by a pachyderm, but my hands are mostly functional. I’m still mostly keeping to myself because I may actually maul someone. I’ve had some work to focus on and have been enjoying some reference/anatomy work on cats, because who doesn’t love something that’s half fur and half liquid in the least disgusting sense?

Since I haven’t posted a comic on a while, I figured I would share what I HAVE been working on.

Don't you dare judge me.

Don’t you dare judge me.

My cats are amazing. Especially because some of them actually look like cats. This is a big achievement for me. I couldn’t help myself with the captions. It kind of just happened.

For all my comicy friends out there (I’m looking at you Tony :3), I actually found a brilliant reference engine. It’s quite easy to find a reference engine for humans, nudes and inanimate objects/still life, but this is the first one I found that actually covers a detailed and broad range of animals and other things for when you don’t want to draw a semi-naked barbarian woman, or other frivolous human things.. Seriously. This is the equivalent to a wet dream for me.
http://artists.pixelovely.com/practice-tools/animal-drawing/

Have fun!

[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

Pootickets

On a scale of 1 to 10, today is pretty much on par with accidentally pushing too hard on a fart and soiling yourself in a crowded  elevator.  Had a really bad depressive incident last night that saw me up at 3am going hell-for-leather on the stationary bike to try and work out the anger and the frustration, but it caught up with me in the morning and I woke to incredible pain in my lower bits and pieces. Bath, painkillers, back to bed. Woken up again at midday with the same issue. Can’t move without assistance, on Endone for pain (which is barely helping) and generally feeling miserable.

I’m stuck between trying to sleep this off (which probably won’t happen until I hit the down from the painkillers and don’t have a choice) or sitting here and trying to talk to anyone who will respond on Skype so I have some kind of distraction at the very least.

What’s green and eats nuts?

~ Syphilis

Blogaversary!

Well, today is apparently one year since I started According to Abigail. It’s a bit of a milestone for commitment for me, since I’m horrible when it comes to procrastinating about getting a blog post done (in case you haven’t noticed) and find ways to put things off. The last few weeks have been a great example of this what with the pain flare more or less ruling my life.

The last pain flare is what I would describe as the worst one I’ve experienced. Daily highs of 8-9, lows of 6 if I’m lucky. Averaging 2-3 hours sleep a night, can’t stomach food, etc. I’m physically and emotionally worn out from it. Even now that the majority of the flare has packed it’s bags and hauled off, I’m still left feeling like a packet of poo tickets and just want to crawl into bed and sleep the day away.

I’ve also managed to go and bung up my left knee with some kind of soft tissue damage, so sitting at the computer desk for long periods of time is a no-no unless my housemates feel like hearing me do an awesome godzilla impression when I eventually stand up and make poo-face as the muscles and tendons realise they’re being forced to move.

I’m well on the road to sorting my shit out, thankfully. In contrast to this time last year, I now know what my diagnosis is and I’m actually starting to fight back and take control of my illness. Bitch, I’m going to make it work for me, or at least give it a DAMN good run for it’s money. I’ve found a Hydrotherapy place nearby, got my pool floaties (shit yeah!) and got my dr’s clearance form. Now all I need to do is get my ass down to the pool and float around like an angry meat muppet in the pool.

I had a podiatrist’s appointment the other day where I was both horrified and impressed with the amount of dead skin she removed from my feet thanks to my psoriasis (she was also rather cute, so that helped), I’ve seen a dietician recently to help me combat my case of the fatties and I’ll be seeing my exercise physio next week to work out what I can do that won’t kill me or my joints, so to speak. Thankfully all of this is under Medicare for the moment. With the way our government is going, I wanted to try and cram in as may beneficial appointments as I can get on this scheme before they nerf it entirely. As it is, I’ll be paying almost $10 a doctor’s visit (not including scripts or anything else) under the new scheme. For me, it’ll be tight considering how many times I need to see my GP for pain scrips and the like, but I’ll manage. There are others out there that will likely actually die with this new fee because they just can’t damn well afford to see someone. It’s a seriously screwed up situation.

(On a side note, there was a protest in the city today. I couldn’t be there due to mobility issues, but my housemate could so I sent my sign with him. “Gay, disabled, foreign women – still better off under Joffrey”.)

I also have an appointment with a specialist in July that may be able to help me with the big issue of pain management. I love my GP. She had a patient move up from the coast that sees this particular specialist and immediately thought of me when she heard that he does a lot of work in the area of Fibro. Interestingly enough, the ‘new thing’ in pain management is apparently Ketamine infusions. Yes, you heard correctly. They’re going to pump me full of horse tranquilizer. From what I know, it’s a very low dose and it’s administered via a drip over a course of several hours so you’re not likely to get any of the ‘street high’ the drug is commonly used for, rather it tells your nerve endings to calm the fuck down. The added benefit is that you’re also able to perform a perfect trot and have mad cravings for carrots and apples.

Unfortunately, his initial consultation is going to set me back almost $450.00, disregarding any follow ups or how much the actual treatment may cost. I frankly don’t want to think about the cost of the infusions, but you have to do what you have to do I guess. I’m willing to try just about anything at this point if it gives me a chance at having a semi-normal life.

In the mean time, I’ve managed to keep myself busy with a bit of work on my end. This is positive in two ways. Firstly, it allows me to very slowly save up for my medical appointments and whatnot, and it also keeps me focused and busy so that when I’m having a mega poo-brain day, I can still do basic things like sew my squid beanies. I’ve booked myself in for a big market event on the 31st at a fancy-pantsy school so I’m hoping I can cover the $80 stall fee and bust a few sales on the day. I’ve also been doing some business fanciness and have been contacted by a shop in the mountains that’s interested in stocking my gear, a photographer that wants me to be involved in some pretty awesome photo shoots and I’ve been working in the mean time with a client to get a LARP costume together for them.

Candy being a darling and helping me out with the fitting process

Candy being a darling and helping me out with the fitting process

I have to admit, I’m pretty damned proud of the way the outfit turned out. I’ve mentioned a few times now that I run a small business. Part of what I do is costuming and reenactment gear involving both sewing and leather work. In the awesome little image to the left, you can see my housemate/minion Candy being an utter darling and helping me out by holding still and ignoring my mockery while I took a picture of him in the outfit. I needed to make sure it would fit the client and he’s more or less the right size, so it’s a win/win! The client gets to see what his costume looks like and I get to call Candy a hobbit since he’s just a little too tall for the outfit to work properly.

Since I don’t get to talk about my work very often, the costume is entirely hand made and comprises of a cape/short cloak, a tunic and a pair of pants, all of which I designed myself from the concept stage, all the way through to finished item. What you can see in the picture is only about 80% done. If the client is willing, I may ask for a photo of the finished item on them so you can see how the tunic looks when fully hemmed and with the split up the front. All in all, I’m really god damn proud. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve made a tunic like this and the fact that I’ve still got it all upstairs enough to run a project like this actually makes me feel really pleased with myself. I figure that alone makes this little story worth sharing 🙂

Also, yes, before you ask, that is my LARP sword and it IS Glamdring. Ten internet points for those of you that remember what Glamdring is 😀 Anyhoo, I figure this post is long enough as it is at this point and you’re all probably greying while reading about it. I’m also in the process of getting my shit together for more comics and a few blog posts as well, so I am active and alive, just a little gimpy right now.

I should also point out that I DO love ideas for new comics. If there’s something you want to see immortalised in the Abigail style of comical shenanigans, let me know and I shall see what I can do!

Well, that’s all for me for now.

Much love, chickadees. Remember, we’re taking over the world for our Overlord Abigail, one day at a time!

 

Trash and Treasure

Today is a very emotionally complicated day.

In fact, this entire weekend has had it’s own lot of ups and downs.

Pro: I got to spend time with friends.

Negative: I spent the entire weekend in high levels of pain.

Pro: We played Pathfinder and it made a decent distraction.

Negative: It made me realise how much I rely on these distractions to get through daily life, and how I never play a character with my illnesses.

Pro: I made awesome food and I should be proud of it.

Negative: I missed my adoptive dad’s surprise birthday party and hated myself for it.

Pro: Did I mention we played Pathfinder?

 

I’m making a marked point to leave this post with more pro points than cons, but it’s bloody difficult. My memory is at the worst it’s ever been. I’m forgetting names, places, details and where I parked my car. It’s starting to get scary. I’m less and less mobile. I need more painkillers and begin and end every day with a steaming hot bath to ease the pain enough so I can sleep, or get a small amount of shit done. I honest to god feel like I’m starting to lose parts of my self to this illness.

On the plus side, today I was sold as chattel to a bandit camp as an entertainer. I Inara’d the shit out of it, demanded a bath, to be unshackled and put on a performance of a lifetime. I actually earned 12gp out of a bandit camp (rolled a 37 on my perform check) and hit the soft spot of a poet-gone-rogue so to speak and, with the rest of my party, we killed the Stag lord (their leader) and I single handedly shot dead seven people from a guard tower with zero detection, and the NPC was utterly smitten – and a little afraid of me – and joined our party. We formed a kingdom, and I went to bed in utter misery because I had not only a fucked up pain flare, but a massive spike of depression when I realised just how much different the life of my character was to my own.

Right now I feel seven kinds of awful. Emotionally I feel fairly crushed. I’ve hit a new physical low. Mentally I feel like I’m drying to dig through a brick wall with a dull spoon. Everything is more or less really shit. Hell, I’ve got three or four comics to upload for you all, but I can’t sum up the effort to do it. Just the overwhelming feeling of being utterly useless seems to be overshadowing everything else I do right now.

I suppose the plus side is that I’m seeing my psych tomorrow. I’ll at least be able to talk through some of this shit with her, but the shit side is that we effectively can’t really do anything about it. We tweak medications, my chemical levels flail wildly, I still have pain flares, I still forget things, I still feel like shit. I guess that’s one of the biggest reasons I decided to make this blog so, on nights like tonight when I really don’t feel like talking to anyone (not even manthing about this shit, though I know he’ll read it anyway) I can still find some way to get it all off my chest. There just seems something harmless about writing it down. Like I somehow take the sting out of the feelings when I translate it into words. I don’t know. At least this way I don’t have to look people in the eye or deal with them hovering around me and asking if I’m okay.

Through the other side

You may have noticed it’s been quite some time since I last posted here in my little blog. In case you missed out on the news, I moved house between now and the last time I bothered you all. The new place is wonderful and has made life a lot easier in certain aspects of my life, including my health. I now have have a house with minimal stairs, LOTS of space for when I’m having my bad days, my own personal bathroom so I don’t have to make a trek across the mountains to use the bathroom of a night, and I also have access to a BATH.

It’s amazing how much these little things can make a difference. I’m finding that, now we’re settling in, I can self-manage my health issues better (when they’re manageable, but I’ll get to that), my stress levels have gone down in regards to petty household stuff, and I now actually have the space to move and breathe. I no longer feel like a sardine in a tiny little can.

This is what our bed feels like now. Not actually our bed, but god does it feel big.

Manthing is also doing much better now that we’re out of our old house. He especially likes the fact that I no longer have to climb over him to get out of bed when I need to use the bathroom of a night. We can have the double bed with access to both sides 😀 I also no longer have to bother him to put the phone on charge or to pass me things I need since I have my own bedside table. See what I mean when I was saying it’s all about the little things?

So, the new house is great. We live in a nice quiet area. I’m not kidding. We’re actually across the road from a cemetery here, but it’s amazingly peaceful and not at all creepy. Rather than the usual grave stones, we’re across from the family garden section, so our view is of well-tended gardens, sandstone boulders and manicured lawns. Mind you, they DO have the barbed wire on the fence facing IN, so in the event of a zombie uprising, we should at least have time to grab our pointed sticks.

Now, speaking of manageable health issues, the move didn’t go very smoothly. I learned the hard way what my body’s ‘hard’ limits are. In terms of BDSM, hard limits are anything you WILL NOT do under any circumstances. In this instance, my body’s hard limits are being pushed to a certain point, going without rest and being shunted along on energy drinks. I had minimal rest, a major pain flare the week before the move, Shark Week also decided to show up for it’s once-every-six-month visit that same week and I was so run down it wasn’t funny. However, half the people that said they’d offer us help for the move bailed on us and we were left with myself, Manthing, our other housemate and one other friend over the weekend of the move. To put it frankly, it was bullshit, but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.

To cut to the chase, I ended up in hospital with heart palpitations, headspins and my body generally giving me a big “FUCK YOU!”. I got strapped to a 24-hour EKG (that was a very un-fun experience, as was trying to wash the contact goo off afterwards), I pushed myself into another massive flare up and basically slept for a week afterwards.

Quoth the body…

It took me almost two weeks to recover from that stupidity and I’ve learned my lesson in that area. However, my body is still punishing me. Because of that incident, I’ve had a big follow-on Fibro flare up and my Chronic Fatigue is presently kicking my arse. I’m heading into what we call the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ week where my CFS basically renders me bedridden and otherwise useless until I rest as much as my Evil Overlords demand. At the same time, I’ve had to get two ugly ingrown toenails dug out, so my left big toe looks like it lost a fight with a blender (and feels about the same) and my ladyparts are having some kind of spastic attack where I’m now lactating out of just one breast. Fucked if I know why. I’ve had the blood tests and the ultrasounds and they’ve all come back negative for chest-bursters and hormonal reasons, so it seems that my body is just exercising it’s right to hit that next level of crazy.

On top of all of these things, I’ve had some massive financial issues hit me lately. See, I finally got accepted for Disability Pension. Over here, it’s not an easy process at all. It involves more scrutiny than a full cavity search at the airport, and less humanity. I won’t go into details, but the point is that I finally got confirmation that I had been granted the payments. This in itself was a wonderful thing as I wouldn’t have to worry about where my next rent payment was coming from and I wouldn’t have to beg my mother to cover the cost of my medications. The amount I was granted was also enough for us to afford a better place – see: where we live presently. So things were looking up. We moved out, it was fantastic and I was finally getting somewhere. I was paying off people I owed, I was going to be able to afford access to the heated pools at the local gym in a few months and, god forbid, I’d be able to put a bit of money into my business.

Twice they screwed up my paperwork and I hunted them down to make sure they corrected it both times. The third time they screwed me around, they changed my payrate to less than half of what I was getting (and what I was promised!), AFTER we had already signed a 6-month lease for the new property and had moved out. I spent 6 hours on phone calls to various departments, different social workers and generally being degraded by the people on the other end of the phone. Long story short, they had screwed up initially, and had done so HARD. In point of fact they had actually lied to me about the rate I’d be getting. Yes, the one I confirmed twice with them and the one I based my decisions off.

So things are a little complicated now. I’m in a new and more expensive house, I have stuff I can no longer afford, I can’t get certain basic needs met and I’m struggling to make ends meet. On the upside, I still have my pension card so my mother no longer has to pay for my medication. They still cost me about $100 a month, even with the subsidies, but all of my money goes towards that now. The really shitty bit is that Manthing and I sat down and worked this out. My payments were cut because of his wages. If he lost his job and became my full-time carer here, my rate would go back up, he’d get the full amount and we’d actually be bringing in more than he’s earning at the moment. Mind you, he’s earning a dollar above minimum wage which is the stupid bit. I still don’t understand how a Government can allow it’s most vulnerable people to essentially rot when there’s no option for them to return to work. I’m trying to get the business up and running again as quickly as I can after the move, but with all the health issues you can imagine just how easy that is.

So I’m here trying to manage my day-to-day life with Queen HateYourFace throwing a wobbly (yes, I’m referring to my body), trying to balance household finances and not let it eat at me, and on top of it all, because of how run down I’ve been, I’ve also had massive depression issues :/ Depression is one of those stupid things that everyone seems to know about but nobody really seems to know what it involves. It’s like knowing that Mister Smith down the road has this issue where he farts a lot, but you don’t really know why, nor do you bother to question it.

To give you an insight into depression in my case – as I must impress upon you all that it is different for each and every person – imagine all the worst things about yourself, take a picture, and put that over every mirror in the house. You’ve also got this little gnome that follows you around the house and kicks you in your joints (because there is a physical side associated with depression) when you’re not looking. He also spits, swears, points out everything that’s wrong in the house and is the voice in your ear telling you everything you’ve failed at, everything you can’t do and all the things you should be miserable about.

You’re a sick, useless butt head. You smell, you’re ugly and nobody loves you. Yeah, even that guy you’ve lived with for 3 years. He’s sick of your shit. Everyone’s sick of your shit. You’ll never amount to anything because you’re always the sick one and nobody wants to deal with that. Best of all, guess what? You can’t do a damn thing about it!

– Grognar the shitfaced Gnome

So I’m here dealing with all these physical issues beating me up. On top of that, the chemical imbalance in my brain has decided to help tag team me as well. Fortunately I’m really lucky living where I do. I’m one of those privileged people that has access to a reasonable free healthcare system and, because of that, access to a therapist. She and I have done a lot of talking about the issues at hand and have been able to identify key points I beat myself up over. We’ve worked out a plan of attack, per se, and I’m slowly working on kicking Grognar’s hairy little arse out of my house. All the other issues will be dealt with later once I have a stable head back on my shoulders.

I know this has probably been a bit of a marathon read, but for someone that doesn’t normally blog I can assure you that it’s been just as much of an endurance event. As part of my commitment to kick depression’s arse and get my shit back on track, I’ve promise to keep this blog active and see every post as an achievement, whether it’s a written post, a meme or a comic I’ve drawn. I can’t promise a post every day or even every few days, but I will do what I can and I have nothing but the greatest admiration and gratitude for those of you that have followed my blog (all 40 of you. That’s utterly insane!) because it’s you people that have made me commit to getting my story out there. It’s because I know that someone somewhere will read this that I will continue writing, and I’m going to learn to love doing it for my own reasons as we go.

I do actually have a slightly more bright post lined up for you all in the next few days 🙂 I’m also making a point of getting back into drawing my little single-page comics since they’ve been so well received here.

I honestly hope you’ve all been keeping well in my absence and I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to, even if you’d prefer to message me privately. I’d really love to get to know you all!

Anyhoo, it’s late here and my bed is making sexy eyes at me. I think it’s time I go and get some shut-eye.

– Abigail

Tired

So, I managed to swing out of the major exhaustion patch I had (nothing like needing to sleep for +6 hours on top of your normal routine) and into another pain flare. This time it’s not a friendly one.

With most other flares I can manage reasonably well and it doesn’t impact my life too badly. However, the last three days have been miserable. I’ve had shooting pain through my hips, back and knees, constant hip pain, migrating leg pain and pain all the way through my lower back. I haven’t been able to sleep, painkillers have barely touched it and, unlike normal flares, moving makes the pain SO much worse. Usually I get a little bit of an increase in pain, but this time it feels like I have sand grinding between my joints.

As if all of that wasn’t crappy enough, my doctor ordered me off my usual contraceptives (used to control the angry vagina, rather than contraception) and said I needed to let my uterus do that angry thing. So, I’ve been hormonal as shit, randy as a 90-year-old discovering Viagra and feeling awfully bloated. I honestly feel like I may birth a balloon. Unfortunately, commies in the fun house also means triggering of ANY sore spot I already have on my body and making it worse. So I’ve gone from having an ordinary pain flare to an “oh dear god why” pain flare with the added annoyance of wanting to jump poor manthing at 3am on a worknight and this is without anything actually happening downstairs. Once I get past the first day or two of the ‘main event’ then we’ll be fine. But, god damn it, there’s a reason I deliberately avoid having my period! Both my body and I hate it! Fortunately I no longer black out with the pain, but due to several other issues (POS, Endo, etc) it’s like having your own personal nuclear melt down.

I think I just need to build a pillow fort and hide in there for a week or three. Can someone send me chocolate?

Can I go back to bed now?

I’ll be honest with you all. Today pretty much sucked. In fact, the suck rating is so high that it’s only 5pm and I’m willing to bet that the time between now and bed will also suck pretty hard, too.

After having a really motivated night, I crawled into bed, fell asleep within 10 minutes and only woke up once last night. That’s kind of a new record for me. Unfortunately, when I woke up in the morning, it was more like a scene from Shaun of the Dead than that bitch Snow White being woken up with her kiss. I walked into two doorframes, nearly tripped over my pants while trying to have my morning pee, eventually made it back to the kitchen and tried to make a bowl of cereal sans bowl, put my phone in the fridge and took the milk back to my desk to send a text.

Image

On the upside, I still had a visit from my sister and her incredibly adorable spawn to look forward to, right? Yeah, about that. I got the following message from my body:

Yeah, we know you had plans and all, but there’s been some scheduled maintenance for a week now set for today. Oh, you didn’t get the memo? Well, we sent it out. Clearly the issue is on your end. Anyway, back to the mainta- … Yes. We’re aware that we could have scheduled the work to be done while you were asleep already, but you’re sick. We figured you wouldn’t have plans anyway.

Oh. You DO have plans? Well, we didn’t get the memo. (Further proof the issue is on YOUR end, not ours) Point is, you needed to be asleep an hour ago. Don’t like it? Too bad. We’re hitting system shut down in 5 minutes. You can either be in bed where you’re comfy, or wake up drooling on the keyboard again.

Your call.

 

Sincerely,

Management

So, aside from coming to the conclusion that my body is a complete, engorged, throbbing dick, I did my best and lived in hope. Surely I only needed an hour or two of sleep, right? I could pick back up in the afternoon, still see family, maybe even cook dinner for everyone and we’d have an awesome time, right? RIGHT?

Gogo 4:20pm. I wrench my eyes open to the sound of my phone screaming at me for the 3rd time in the last 20 minutes as manthing attempts to ascertain whether I’m actually around or whether I’ve eloped with the postman. I manhandle my phone to mash out something semi-coherent, letting him know I’m still alive (fat thumbs do not a touchpad’s friend make), try to make sense of the platitude of nightmares I had to deal with (everything from being at a carnival to suddenly being Arwen from LoTR, being back at home, trying to run away with Ron Weasly, calling the police on my father and then trying to retrieve a precious set of books from the garage. Meds are fun, kids!) and then before you know it, it’s time to jump in the car, get petrol, get dinner and try not to maul anyone at the shopping centre.

On the upside for today, I don’t have to cook dinner. Yay.