2017/10/18

Woke Up Dreaming

Da Goddess @ 13:36

Or maybe I should say woke up nightmaring, except I don’t think that’s a saying. Or even a word.

Woke up sobbing hysterically. It scared me to the core. I’ve never cried like that in my life. I couldn’t catch my breath. I couldn’t stop. I gave in to it for a few moments to see if that would help, and I guess it did, to an extent. But I remain shaken.

I’m currently going through another round of withdrawals from meds. This time, however, aside from the intense and unrelenting pain, I’m having more trouble with the antidepressants. I’m on two different antidepressants for pain management and have carefully been tapering off. Yet it seems to be hitting me harder this time. I’m not sure if that’s what’s behind the crying, or what. I only know I’m not faring well.

Waiting for the doctor to call back to advise me as to whether or not I go to the hospital, and if I do, what do I say?

This has been a nightmare. Twice in three months? No bueno. Especially when my crying scares away the cat. Yeah, that happened.

The only minor smile? A camping hedgehog. Go figure.

2017/10/01

Three Wheels and Sparks

Da Goddess @ 04:02

Ever have one of those dreams where everything is off…by just a little bit? On the surface, everything seems normal, but there’s something not quite right? Well, I’ve been having dreams like that for the last month or so.

I know that it all comes down to not having the meds I need in the right doses, but it freaks me the fuck out.

Trying to keep everything in some sort of balance is difficult on a daily basis for most people. With chronic pain, it becomes a battle no one wants to fight, but one you must fight nevertheless. It’s your way of life. It’s all you know.

I was barely hanging on with all my meds. Now, I spend even more of my energy on just trying to get through the day with the least amount of pain. It messes up my life and comes through in my dreams. Which, of course, means I can’t even escape for the few hours I fall asleep.

Because I’m not taking my Ambien regularly, I’ve found I sleep longer when I do take it. Again, it doesn’t mean that sleep is more restful or restorative, but at least I’m asleep.

Still, when I awaken, I’m left feeling off-kilter.

It’s a bit like driving around on a flat tire — your spare, because you’ve already had a flat and the closest gas station is 100 miles away. At least, that’s what you think, only to discover that station closed and the next one isn’t even on any map. So you drive on because you’re in the middle of the desert and it’s too hot to wait for another car to come along and you have no cell service. Yeah, that’s a fairly apt analogy. You know you’re damaging the car, but you have no other choice. It’s push on or perish.

My doc, oh my wonderful doc, he’s doing his best to find a way to get me my meds, to push through my spinal cord stimulator, to get me back to feeling somewhat human. I’m so grateful. And I’m grateful for King Arthur for not killing me in my sleep for making his life crazy. Trust me, this is what I’d likely want to do if I were in his shoes. But, he doesn’t, or hasn’t been successful in his attempts. So, yeah, I’m grateful.

Here’s to another day of driving on a flat tire, throwing sparks into the brittle heat of the desert.

2017/09/18

This Much I Know is True

Da Goddess @ 10:41

Chronic pain, chronic illness, depression, isolation… All of these things can make life unbearable. It happens to many people. For some, medication helps. For others, medication only barely gets them from one moment to the next. There’s no ONE answer for everyone collectively.

For one man, he found hope in a Broadway musical based on a hit movie. Groundhog Day the Musical. I happened upon his post and it not only touched me, it spoke deeply to the broken parts of me and the life in which I find myself.

Life is difficult for me these days. I’ve been without ads here, which means I have absolutely ZERO income. True, the revenue generated by the ads I did have was miniscule, but it was just enough to help with 1) paying a bill or two, 2) help buy the kids a gift for birthdays/Christmas, and 3) gave me a sense of security that at least there was *that*.

Aside from the ads, my back and neck have grown even more painful, leaving me wondering how that’s even possible. It weighs on me more each passing day, each passing year. I find myself asking, “is this really how I want to spend my life? Is this who I really want to be?”

Because this was an injury that occurred on the job, I’ve been at the mercy of a system that favors the insurance company, not the patient. I’m stuck in an endless cycle of praying an adjuster will approve my medications or a treatment the doctors feel will help me get control of the pain. Time after time, though, my hopes are dashed and it takes a toll on every part of my being.

Twelve and a half years of living this way has left me more cynical and dejected than I’ve ever been in my life. Despite the medications, my pain has become what identifies me, what defines me. I don’t like it: I don’t want to this person!

Because of the treatment I’ve received from the insurance company, my life has become a roller coaster without a safety bar or seatbelt…that goes underwater and I have no air tank.

I’ve spent the last month without the majority of my meds. Where some patients simply pay for them out of pocket and then submit receipts for reimbursement, I don’t have that luxury. With a VERY deep discount the pharmacist gave me, my monthly tab for my meds would be over $700. That’s WITH the discount! King Arthur and I just can’t afford to pay it. I don’t know anyone who could. So I’ve tried to make do with the bare minimum, which doesn’t do much of anything other than keep me from crying 24/7. I cry, but not ALL DAY LONG.

My attorney drove up here Friday and handed me $500 to help pay for the medications. I was gobsmacked. What lawyer does that? Yes, it’ll need to be repaid, but still, what lawyer does that, I ask you. I’m as grateful as I am stunned. And even with his generous loan, I’ve had to adjust my prescription order so that I get the most bang for the buck. I won’t be getting full prescriptions of several drugs, though I will be able to get the meds that are vital for me to function as your basic bitch.

While my lawyer was here, I signed a new retainer agreement because he’s filing a lawsuit against the insurance company. This is not the norm for a work comp case. However, because they’ve continually played fast and loose with my care it’s our only real option. My brilliant attorney has also filed a formal complaint against the insurance company with the state.

We’re in uncharted waters here. In my attorney’s almost 50 years of practice, he’s never had to do this. He’s never come up against a company that’s so reckless with a claimant.

I doubt there will be a big payout from the lawsuit. I doubt they’ll be run out of the state. But at least we’re DOING SOMETHING! It’s my little glimmer of hope. My only glimmer of hope.

And this is why a total stranger’s post about a musical has given me pause. I’m lucky enough to see a new day, to still be breathing, to fight for my rights to adequate healthcare as the law dictates for injured workers. Maybe my case will save someone else from my nightmare. That thought is enough to make me keep looking at the horizon, hoping to see the first rays of sunshine each day.

All of this… all of it comes down to a Broadway musical I haven’t seen, but whose very message has had a ripple effect on the lives of enough people that its message has been spread far and wide.

I’m off to look for my sun today and tomorrow and the next day and the next and on and on.

2017/09/03

Don’t Dismiss the Miss and Her Pain

Da Goddess @ 08:47

As you all know, chronic pain has been my constant companion for the past 12 years. As far as getting treated for it, I’ve been fortunate enough to be taken seriously. (We’ll leave the discussion about the insurance company and their shoddy treatment of me for another time, m’kay?)

But, the fact of the matter is that many women find their pain is minimized by the very people they turn to for help.

I read an exceptional article this morning to which I will now direct your attention. You can come back with your thoughts and we can discuss afterwards, if you’d like. I’ll be here.

2017/08/24

The Ol’ In and Out (S)urge(ry)

Da Goddess @ 06:21

I’m currently on my way to the outpatient surgical center to get my spinal cord stimulator trial!

This is a big deal for me. It’s a step toward possible ACTUAL pain relief.

Unfortunately, we’re due for a major heatwave during the week I’ll have this thing in my body. And I’m not going to be allowed to shower. (I’m totally going to find a way to shower.)

Fingers crossed, eyes dotted, prayers almost non-stop. Hoping I don’t barf before or after the surgery.

Wish me luck!

2017/06/16

This Is How You Do It: Body Positive Message

Da Goddess @ 02:57

A mom on Instagram had this discussion with her kids after her daughter called her fat:

My daughter called me fat today. She was upset I made them get out of the pool and she told her brother that mama is fat. I told her to meet me upstairs so we could chat. Me: “what did you say about me?” Her: “I said you were fat, mama, im sorry” Me: “let’s talk about it. The truth is, I am not fat. No one IS fat. It’s not something you can BE. But I do HAVE fat. We ALL have fat. It protects our muscles and our bones and keeps our bodies going by providing us energy. Do you have fat?” Her: “yes! I have some here on my tummy” Me: “that’s right! So do I and so does your brother!” Her brother: “I don’t have any fat, I’m the skinniest, I just have muscles” Me: “actually everyone, every single person in the world has fat. But each of us has different amounts.” Her brother: “oh right! I have some to protect my big muscles! But you have more than me” Me: “Yes, that’s true. Some people have a lot, and others don’t have very much. But that doesn’t mean that one person is better than the other, do you both understand? Both: “yes, mama” Me: “so can you repeat what I said” Them: “yes! I shouldn’t say someone is fat because you can’t be just fat, but everyone HAS fat and it’s okay to have different fat” Me: “exactly right!” Them: “can we go back to the pool now?” Me: no.

Each moment these topics come up I have to choose how I’m going to handle them. Fat is not a bad word in our house. If I shame my children for saying it then I am proving that it is an insulting word and I continue the stigma that being fat is unworthy, gross, comical and undesirable. Since we don’t call people fat as an insult in my household, I have to assume she internalized this idea from somewhere or someone else. Our children are fed ideas from every angle, you have to understand that that WILL happen: at a friends house whose parents have different values, watching a tv show or movie, overhearing someone at school — ideas about body image are already filtering through their minds. It is our job to continue to be the loudest, most accepting, positive and CONSISTENT voice they hear. So that it can rise above the rest. Give me a (high five) if this resonated w u! Just do you! Xoxo Allie

When we stop allowing media or other people define beauty for ourselves, when we consistently teach and remind our children that true beauty comes from within, we will have stronger, more well-developed kids who’ll spread that message, who’ll grow up avoiding fad diets and unhealthy practices, who’ll grow up with stronger, healthier senses of self, and who will be advocates for body positivity.

God created each of us to be unique and that’s what we are. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Beauty comes from within. It’s something we all have innately. But we forget. We allow media to dictate the definition of beauty and that must stop. We don’t need to have people who have long forgotten that beauty is about the light and love we have within us rather than some airbrushed image they paste on the cover of their magazines. We are more than what someone who’s never met us tells us we are or should be!

YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL! WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. Just as we are. Remember that. And help others believe that.

2017/05/18

Five One

Da Goddess @ 21:24

Today I turned 51.

My exciting day has been full of thrills, the likes of which you’ve never seen. Well, you probably have, but I’m betting you wouldn’t wish to experience.

I got back my voice after a day of not having one, the consequence of some crazy ass sore throat of unbelievable intensity. My uvula was swollen and bumpy, as was the back of my tongue. The tongue bumps were large, scratchy, and raw, surrounded by hard patches. I’ve never had anything like this before and hope to never have again. I’m dousing my throat with chloraseptic spray, eating jello, drinking tea and water, and basically resting as much as possible, while also trying to keep my back pain to just under a roar.

This was on top of knowing my sister was dealing with my dad getting out of the hospital for the second time in three weeks due to congestive heart failure. It’s a new diagnosis for Dad and I know all too well what that means for him. He insists he feels fine in between hospital stays, but it’ll eventually get to the point where he’ll need more meds to help keep fluid from building up and he’ll become less comfortable more frequently.

Dad’s 86 now and even though I’m older, I don’t like the thought of losing him (or my mom, or any sisters) any time in the near future. I’m not ready for this.

So. Yeah, so. That’s how I’ve spent my birthday. Happy fucking birthday to me.

2017/01/24

I Meant to Write More

Da Goddess @ 08:38

I really meant to write more this month, but I’ve obviously failed. Spectacularly.

Part of my problem is the fact my life is rather boring. Other than doctor appointments and various therapy sessions, I’ve done close to bupkis. Maybe not even that.

So, um, yeah. Boooooorrriiinnng! That sums up my life in a single word. You want a second word? Pain. Or painful. Either way, you can imagine how much fun that’s been.

Uh, we had a lot of rain over the weekend. So, I guess, there’s that. And watching (or trying NOT to watch) Fletch “love” on his stuffed rhino buddy. He basically goes into kitty biscuit making mode atop the rhino and it looks more than a little sexual. He can’t help it. He’s just doing what cats do.

And that, my friends, is why, despite my best intentions, I’ve failed to write.

P.S. I also did a bit of reading. Or maybe a lot.

2016/05/19

50 & 14: I Did It!

Da Goddess @ 03:57

I. Fucking. Did. It.

I’ve made it to 50! And the last 14 of those years included blogging. Crazy, isn’t it?

This past year’s been a rough one. Frustration, pain, and heartache seemed to be around every corner. My own health issues, my family’s health issues, deaths of friends and my sweet Celia, and having to say goodbye to Mojo as she packed up for Alaska. But this is all part of life and we get through it, don’t we?

So I’ve survived and am grateful for making it this far. Of course, I wish things were easier, but without sadness I’d never appreciate happiness; without pain I’d never appreciate pleasure. It’s all part of life. LIFE. I’m still here! I almost feel like hunting down that vice principal and a few friends’ parents just to say, “you were WRONG!”

Heavy sigh, deep breath, and many prayers I get to try writing another post like this next year!

2016/01/30

Ouch

Da Goddess @ 19:11

Had a truly wonderful time yesterday with King Arthur’s family. They had a party at his cousin’s house in Santa Monica. She lives not even a block from the beach.

I got in lots of baby time and it was heavenly! Baby Evan is just adorable and big sister Emma was very helpful. There was another baby there as well and I got in a bit of time with her as well.

Today, though, I am wrecked. I’ve taken all the meds I can take and don’t feel any better for it yet. So I’m missing out on another gathering as I type. Big unhappy face.

Plans with my family have been moved back a week. I hope there aren’t any further delays as the lost sister is moving in a couple weeks. Talking with my mom, she’s excited to meet her, too. I’m hoping I’m there for that moment because it means so much to both of them and I very much want them to meet before my mom’s health declines.

In the meantime, I’m icing my back, waiting for my next dose of meds, praying they do the trick. There’s only so much I can take with the pain these days and I’ve reached my limit this year.

2016/01/27

Three Things

Da Goddess @ 02:51

First thing: my favorite doctor I’m currently seeing for my back is leaving to start his own practice or something like that. I found this out on Monday and promptly felt abandoned. There will be another doc taking his place, but it won’t be the same. He could tell just by looking at me how I was feeling and seemed to understand my and anticipate my needs. I’m going to miss him greatly.

Thing, the second: I’m finally going to celebrate Christmas with the family! Woo hoo! Very excited about this.

Thirdly, I’m going to meet my lost sister. I feel as though I have waited forever to meet her, and I suppose that’s accurate. I mean, since I found out about her I’ve wanted to meet her and now I’m going to! (Yeah that super high-pitched thing you heard but thought you only imagined was my squeal of delight.)

Yes! I managed a concise post! Make note of this, friends. It’ll likely never happen again.

2016/01/12

Waiting for Everything

Da Goddess @ 12:17

This is going to sound ridiculous, but I’ve yet to celebrate Christmas with my family.

I know, huh?!

We’re blaming it on the plague. Don’t know how I managed to catch it. I did, though.

Coughing, fevers, headaches, eventual sinus congestion, the works. The coughing was horrendous. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I’m still stuck with a little, lingering cough, but nothing like I had. And I’m not wanting to sleep 24/7, which is a nice change.

Other than that, my holidays were fantastic /sarcasm.

I can’t wait to get down to see my family now that I’m no longer contagious. I’m hoping we can manage to do so before February. Fingers crossed!

2015/07/19

Hot… and… Muggy

Da Goddess @ 23:51

Hot and muggy trending high in this part of the coutry. We are not fans. Not in the least.

As far as my meds go, I’m settling in with the higher dose of Oxycontin and having no real problems with the Baclofen. Well, I’m a bit sleepy on all of this, but that’s to be expected. I have noticed, however, that I tend to kind of fall out in the middle of typing or watching television. If l begin to drift off here, you’ll likely see random letters appear in no particular order. kkkkdddddddoooosssssssds]sssssssss yeah, kind of like that. I don’t even know it’s happening until I snap to and feel the heaviness ooi in my fingers and have to fight to get them to let upllllllllllllllllkkkkkkkkkkkklllll laasddddddddddddddddd

It’s kind of an odd sensation: that total disconnect with all the rest of the world at the drop of a hat. It’s very disconcerting, to say the least. I sort of nod off during conversations, watching TV, trying to type or play a game. Sometimes I’m just llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll do that. I do a lot of backtracking with the TV. And convos. If you saw how many times I’ve had to backspace this post alone, you’d be amazed.

Well, I’m going to lie down and hope I get some sleep. The sleep I’ve had since starting the Baclofen is working out well. I still wake up with numbness and tingling extremities and pain, but the sleep has been significantly more restful than I’ve had in ages. I”ll take it!

Oh, one more thing (I’ve turned into Columbo all of a sudden): My mom just turned 80 this weekend. Have a slug of some beverage of your choosing in her honor, please. We’re going to keep celebrating each and every event with my parents now that they’re both octogenarians.

Okay, now I’m really going to lie down, listen to the rain, and fall asleep.

2015/07/16

Limbo

Da Goddess @ 02:00

God bless my doctors for working so hard to get me back up on my feet and reduce my pain to a level that doesn’t require increasing my pain med dosage to something that should knock me out cold for a week (on JUST ONE PILL). I’ve been doing a lot of crying lately out of sheer frustration and because of the pain. Something has to happen soon to reduce my pain to a much more manageable level. Yesterday, the doc read me his last visit report and told me exactly what he was going to say in the next one. If his drastic demands are denied this time, I’m afraid I might make like a volcano and erupt. Violently. And I’ll ground all air traffic within a thousand miles from the debris. Granted, it’ll likely only be my blood and guts and such, but still…

Current meds:

Oxyconxxx 30mg twice a day
Oxycodxxx 10/325mg every 6hrs as needed
Baclxxxx 10mg three times a day
Cymbxxxx 60mg once, at bedtime
Amxxxx 10mg at bedtime
Enough Colace to ease a plugged up elephant’s bowels but, apparently, not enough for me

Had to drop Flexexxx because I’ve blown up like a doughy balloon while taking it. Not fun. And, of course, when I went to the drugstore to fill new scripts I thought I’d grab a diuretic to help rid myself of the extra fluid that’s caused my lower half to resemble a whole lot of sausage. They didn’t have it. They don’t carry it. They used to, but they no longer feel it’s something they feel good having in the store. They sell liquor and smokes, but they won’t carry OTC diuretics. Go fucking figure.

On top of all this, it’s been hot and muggy. I mean HOT AND MUGGY! HOT AND MUGGY!

Mama ain’t havin’ fun.

2015/06/07

We’re All in Recovery Now

Da Goddess @ 02:54

It’s been a fairly shitty couple of weeks around here.

We said goodbye to my darling Mojo and have been dealing with her absence, fretting about the drive. She arrived in Alaska safely and we all breathed a sigh of relief.

I ended up in the emergency department twice in one day for my back. Spent much of the next six days fighting back tears because I hurt so damn bad 24/7.I’m only now getting to a semi-comfortable place.

Then I get word that a friend’s cancer has spread and gone from survivable to inoperable and terminal. That was after finding out two other friends are battling cancer, too. It’s heavy on the heart, y’know?

Celia had to be rushed to the vet on Thursday as she had stopped eating, drinking, using the litterbox, and went into hiding. Her ears had bubbled up, as had part of her nose and a paw. Luckily, we found a new vet who said it was likely a food allergy, treated her with steroids and antibiotics (secondary infection from open wounds), and sent her home with us. Once home, we closed off the rest of the house so we could get to her and, lo and behold! She ate. And she started acting like our little princess again.

Of course, all that was manageable…and then I get The Call. My sister called to say my mom was in the hospital after having what they thought was a stroke. Now they say it was likely a T.I.A. or two. Her left arm, hand, leg, and foot are weak and she’s complaining that there’s some weakness on the right as well. At this point, I simply lifted my eyes to the heavens and begged for all her pain and infirmaty to become mine. I don’t care that she’s 80! My mom deserves better.

And now here I sit…praying like there’s no tomorrow.

If there’s another shoe or two? No, thanks. I have plenty. Besides, my feet have been swelling.

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