2014/10/22

Sick of Being Sick

Da Goddess @ 04:00

I’ve been sick for a week now. Laryngitis, headache, occasional fever, some congestion. You know the drill. And I’m sick of it. I’ve exhausted all my patience with being sick, of having to strain to be heard, of getting dizzy when I move. I’m so done with it all.

On the plus side: I’ve seen a bunch of good movies, binge watched some shows, almost caught up on all my regular TV shows, read some books, snuggled with the cats, and managed to NOT get King Arthur sick.

Bad news: I got this update from the San Diego Zoological Society in my mailbox:

We regret to inform you that over the weekend we received terrible news: Suni, one of the last remaining northern white rhinos, passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where he was living with three other northern whites. Poaching is not suspected as the cause of Suni’s death.

This brings the total world population of northern whites down to only six: three remaining in the preserve in Kenya, one at the Dvur Kralove Zoo in the Czech Republic, and two here (including our Nola), at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

As profoundly devastating as this news is, with your support we will continue working to save and protect the world’s most threatened species.

You know how I feel about rhinos and this makes me exceedingly sad. For anyone (like you, Pam!) who has watched the Stephen Fry series Last Chance to See, you will likely remember Fry’s trip to Africa (and to the Czech Republic) as he documented the efforts of scientists to move two northern white rhinos to Africa in hopes of getting the few remaining animals breeding. Personally, I hate to think of us losing a magnificent animal in our lifetime simply because humans have hunted them out of existence. And that is exactly what’s been done. Sometimes we humans suck. For more about the death of Suni, Nat Geo has an article very much worth reading.

To end on something more positive, I found a sweet series of photos of stray cats by the same guy who did the series of photos of his neighbors (sans their consent — of which I’m not a fan and find his intent to profit from it a bit exploitive, but no one’s asked my opinion). Anyhow, I figured I’d send you off to look at both and see what you think. (I adore the Strays series immensely as it totally captures the essence of absolute catitude, and while I’m not a fan of the method of capturing the images of The Neighbors, I do see the beauty in the images.) So, go on…have a look, then come back and share your thoughts. I’ll be waiting here with my nasal spray and tissues and remote control.

2014/10/15

Home & Death

Da Goddess @ 01:07

The best part of traveling for me these days is returning home. As much as I’d like to really enjoy being out and about, the simple fact is my body doesn’t agree with my head and my heart.

After I recovered from the faire, we had the drive to contend with. It was exceedingly painful. My shoulder was frozen up again. My right leg and hip were locked and painful. My left leg and hip were grinding as if there were glass on raw nerve once again. I medicated for the drive and was shit for company for poor King Arthur the entire way home. God bless this man! He puts up with so much of my physical pain beyond what most people would. I cannot begin to tell you how very much that means to me. Yes, he gets mad and yes, we argue about it, but when all is said and done, he’s exceedingly patient and helpful when I’m going through the worst of it. If I didn’t already love him so much, that would certainly seal the deal.

Because the meds I’m taking do a number on my dreams and sometimes on my partially-sleepy mind, and because of a few recent events, I got to thinking about what I’d want to have happen at my memorial should I die. Don’t go getting worried! I’ve always been this way. I plan for the future.

One thing I want to have happen at my memorial service (and I hope there would be one!) is to have a playlist already picked out. You know, music that means something to me. Music that moves me deeply now. Music that would hopefully lift the spirits of those in attendance. (You have to plan these things or else someone who doesn’t know you puts together the most dreadful stuff!) Of course, all that got me thinking about what kind of legacy I’d leave behind and, you know what I got? Nothing. Instead of depressing me, it gave me pause. It makes me wonder how I’d be remembered, leaving me feeling as if I’d betting get my priorities in order and start being the sort of person who would be missed after I go.

Weird, huh? But that’s where I’m at. And I’m okay with that. It’s given me a great deal to think over.

What about you? Any plans on how you’d like to leave this mortal coil?

2014/10/12

Slooooooooow Poke

Da Goddess @ 01:38

The internet connection at the timeshare is about the slowest damn thing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve had dial up connections that were faster!

But that’s neither here nor there. I wanted to tell you about my slow stroll around faire. And I mean…s.l.o.w. I took my meds before we went and felt okay when we arrived, but it wasn’t long before I could feel my left shoulder lock up and my right leg lock up. The left leg was really hurting, too, but it didn’t freeze up on me like the right side did. No, the left side felt like broken glass being ground against every raw nerve possible. We made it most of the way around the faire before I said anything about the pain (I count that as a big WIN!) and when we finally stopped, I realized I’d left my pain meds in my camera bag back at our friends’ guild camp. D’oh!

A slow walk back to their camp later, I got my meds and we sat around talking with our friends, met some new people, and basically rested. By the time we were ready to leave, I was feeling a lot better. It didn’t take too long before everything began to hurt though. Got back to the timeshare, took my meds, and settled in to watch some TV.

King Arthur fell asleep early and I’ve been trying to edit photos and write this post. It really has taken a very long time to get this written and posted. Oh well. It’s done.

Oh! At faire, there was the most gorgeous dragonfly hanging out at our friends’ camp! And I got photos of it! Woo hoo! I haven’t uploaded those photos yet, but they’re on the camera just waiting and I promise I’ll get to them this week. Really and truly.

Well, I’m going to hit publish now and see how long it takes for it to happen. Fingers crossed!

2014/10/10

Mostly Live from Las Vegas

Da Goddess @ 19:19

King Arthur brought us out to Vegas for ren faire this weekend. We won’t be going until tomorrow afternoon, but we’ve managed to have fun even still. Last night we went to see Human Nature (thanks to my friend who is in the band), went for dinner afterwards, and then threw a couple games of darts.

KA got to meet another one of my dearest friends and they hit it off well. I love when that happens! I credit Big B with saving my life when he encouraged me to move out here years ago. For those who remember, my living situation before the move was horrible and I didn’t see any way out of the whole sordid mess. Once I moved, life got better. So Big B is one of those very special people to me, just like KA. That they met and liked each other? HUUUUUUUGE! It’s a very big deal to me.

Also spent the better part of this afternoon in a meeting at the time share KA owns. Couple hours doing that isn’t so bad when you end up getting to stay somewhere nice for basically nothing. The property is very nice and the people are accommodating (yes, it is their job, but when it’s genuine, it’s even lovelier). So, after that meeting, we came back to the room and have settled in for the evening. I’m wiped out. Yesterday’s drive wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t exactly great for the old back and it’s left me a bit exhausted. Now it’s off to early bed for me. Maybe. Probably. Could happen. Who knows?

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

2014/09/27

Uuuuggghhh! Catching Up

Da Goddess @ 19:03

I survived last weekend, barely. Actually, the temps were much nicer than the weekend before and I didn’t melt. So, that was good. The bad thing was that my back didn’t want to play nicely. Yet I survived and that’s all that really matters.

The past week has been spent in recovery mode. Lots of sleeping and lots of TV watching. In that respect, it’s been nice. The cats have been extra sweet and cuddly. And funny! Fletch has been my constant companion and I rather love it. Celia has been all over King Arthur. Kind of cute how she’s become his lap kitty almost entirely. They’re very sweet together.

This afternoon was spent with King Arthur’s ex-wife and her family. Weird, huh? Except that it isn’t. She’s a truly lovely lady and her family is wonderful. I mean this most sincerely. KA’s family is the same way. It’s always nice to be around people who are genuinely kind and fun. So, we had a cookout and got to play with Baby E and visit with the other kids. Good music, good food, good people, good times.

Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the final episode of Outlander until April. I love the show. I may have to look for the books at the library because I’m hooked. I don’t necessarily want to read ahead, but I may have to. Anyone else watching the show?

Oh, before I forget, I did manage to take a lot of photographs last weekend, so I suppose I’ll have to upload them soon. And when I say I took a lot of photos, I mean A LOT! At least 300. And, I almost knocked the Queen in the head with an oar. Thankfully, she forgave me. Anyhow, tis time to pay full attention to Outlander and get my fill of handsome men with Scottish accents wearing kilts.

2014/09/17

Relief Comes in Jabs

Da Goddess @ 15:18

I went in today for my two week recheck with the pain doc. I had everyone poking at my huge knots on my neck and trying to figure out what would most help me. Y’see, the knot on the left side of my neck (up near the hairline) has receded a bit, but the new one on the right has grown. I know it’s not really all that big, but it hurts like something huge. Something the size of an emu egg. My doctors? They could feel them. And my doctors? They are awesome. I have achieved a measure of relief from the insane pain.

Two words: trigger point injections. Yeah, I know it’s three words, but whatever. I’m not one giant ball of pain at the moment. There is pain. But it’s at a manageable level. I can actually feel other areas of pain. Which, as strange as it may sound, is also a relief. It’s really difficult to convey an accurate picture of one’s pain when one has such a concentrated area that overrides everything else. Right now I can pinpoint exactly where everything hurts and how much it hurts. I can deal with that.

While they were injecting me, I was trying not to curse and punch, which amused them. “Go ahead, curse all you want. We’ve heard it before.” I mumbled something about it not being too bad, interjecting an occasional “Oh gaaawwwwd! Mmrrrmmksgjlaksd!” I knew the worst would be the last two up near the hairline. The one on the left was horrible. The one on the right? As soon as the needle entered it was as if the pain had an escape route. Yes, it hurt. But not like the other side. Go figure. Six, eight, twelve jabs with a teeny tiny needle did oh so much!

I wept with gratitude when they were all done with me. I had honest-to-God relief! I can feel areas starting to come back to life, but nothing as bad as it was.

Another two weeks on Oxy. Now that I know how much better I do on it, I’m not afraid of it.

At the moment, all I want to do is kind of sit here and enjoy the relief I do have, so that’s exactly what I’m doing. Heat and humidity are locked out of the house. I have plenty of recorded TV to watch. King Arthur made the most insanely yummy carnitas last night and we’re having those leftovers now. The cats are relaxed. The laundry we have left to do will just have to wait. This moment has been long awaited, much deserved, and I’m going to make the most of it.

2014/09/07

So Much Nothing

Da Goddess @ 01:34

I’ve been adjusting to another round of increased pain meds this week. Between P.T. and the drives to P.T. (really, driving makes my neck and back so much worse…and I’m just the passenger!), I’ve been having the worst time knocking the pain down to a manageable level. So, the doc has me on another two week course of Oxycontin to go with all my regular meds. It’s either that or I’m miserable. Except that I’m kind of miserable anyway, what with it making me sleep all the time. Poor King Arthur! He’s stuck with this lump of nothing all day long.

Also started reading a new book that’s rather interesting. “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson. It’s very good and I’m having trouble putting it down. Kind of like the last book I read, which was “Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein. Do yourself a favor and pick that one up immediately! “Verity” is simply heroic and joyous and heartbreaking and everything in between. It’s beyond words. I’ll have to let you know what I think of “Life” when I’m all through with it.

Been on a bit of a Stephen Fry tear again. I can’t help it! He makes me happy. As does Craig Ferguson. Sigh. I was supposed to go audition for Ferg’s new game show, but my back said, “No, No, Nanette!” Bother.

There’s a great piece on Joan Rivers over at Vulture. Man, she was the best! She was way ahead of her time. Always.

I’ve become the cat beacon once again. Fletch has returned to sleeping on my head, or at least nearby. Celia is often close, too. Perhaps it’s my pain level they’re sensing and are trying to comfort me through. Who knows? They haven’t left many clues as to the why.

OOOH! Also found a great article about a new Viking ring-fortress that was recently found in Denmark! Color me intrigued! P.S. I love that Viking kings had names like Bluetooth and Forkbeard (and yes, I knew this because I’m weird).

What else? Hmmm. Oh, yes. King Arthur and I went to his daughter’s to have dinner and see the baby. It’d been so long and she’s so big now! Doing a lot of cruising and crawling and eating and being adorable. I miss those days with my kids. They really were great babies and they’ve grown into great adults. So very proud of them. Just as KA is proud of his daughter.

Finally, I’ll leave you with this weird dream I had yesterday: King Arthur and I were at Burning Man (he was watching a doco on it when I fell asleep), but we were there early to set up and had faire garb with us (hmm, could be because faire is coming up again and we have to get ready for that). At some point, KA did something mean and had me in tears and I refused to go to meet up with our group because I didn’t want them to see me crying. Somehow or other, I ran into him at a beer stand (??) and he wept profusely and begged me to forgive him. I was still upset and set off to distract myself with entertainment. I passed Par1s Hi1t0n (???!?!?!!) who was dressed like a total hooch in the middle of the desert on my way to see Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi (????!) on the big stage. Eventually, I went back to our car because my back hurt so much (yes, even in my dreams I hurt…which is normal, except for last week when I was dreaming of my life before I got hurt) and began freaking out because I couldn’t find my medication anywhere. Talk about crazy ass dream! I’d like someone to sort that out for me. Also include an old high school boyfriend, a former LV boyfriend, Shemar Moore, a brother I have never had, and some unknown people who were in two groups: either hassling me or exceedingly kind to me. Oh, and a sculpture I made out of trash and recyclables for my Burning Man art project (because you MUST participate). If anyone can make heads or tales out of that nonsense, please do tell!

2014/08/03

Rollercoaster

Da Goddess @ 22:05

Life is like a rollercoaster these days. I start feeling a little better, steadier, and back off the meds a bit. And then the pain creeps back in. It’s frustrating. So I slowly add back in a med at a time, limiting them so I know which helps more than the others.

It’s a tough endeavor to break the pain cycle and do it effectively. And do it so it doesn’t fall off quickly, setting off on the cycle all over again. I really don’t know how to make it stick at this point.

Granted, I’m not in tears 100% of the time right now. That’s GOOD. But there’s a huge uptick in pain to the point where it’s threatening to cause, at the very least, welling up.

Heat packs. Ice packs. Meds. Up and walking. Then back to the big comfy couch or the recliner. That’s the pattern at this point.

I’ve slept a lot over the last 10 days. The sleep isn’t always very restful and the dreams are weird. That’s the nature of pain. I just go with what feels best and hope more of it will increase my odds of healing me enough to take me to a level of pain I can live with.

So that’s where I am right now. If you need me, you’ll likely find me on the sofa or in my chair, heat or ice pack in place, meds on board. It’s not exciting or glamorous, but it’s what I got to work with.

2014/07/28

My Life as a Slug

Da Goddess @ 20:48

So here I sit, for last — gah, I gotta do math? (I’ll show you!), however many days. My back has been miserable. MISERABLE. But I’m slowly getting back to feeling better. Not normal. Just. Better.

The meds are doing what they’re supposed to do. It still hurts, but not as much. Each day is a tiny bit better than the last. However, there are some crazy fun (NOT!) side effects. Side effects like constipation. Side effects like swelling in my legs and feet. Side effects like constipation. Oh, I already mentioned that? It’s that bad. If I take anything, anything at all, I chase it with stool softeners. Doesn’t matter what it is, it could be Benadryl, I will still take stool softeners with it. Because it’s like there’s a boulder in my gut. I keep waiting for my own mini-ressurection. I mean, I remember this from when I had surgery years ago. The dachshund, the “broken” toilet bowl, the barking. (I tried finding that post but it’s gone, gone, gone in the lost archives, I guess.)

Anyhow, it’s not fun, this constipation thing. It is, however, somewhat exciting because each time I go to the bathroom it’s a bit like playing Wheel of Fortune.

I’ll let you just think on that for a bit. No need for graphic details from me.

Basically, my lack of movement (actual physical movement) is contributing to my other lack of movement. All that comes down to my back and the medications and my general feeling of noooooooooooooooooooo! It’s just how life goes sometimes.

While I started off with a full head of steam for this post, it’s quickly dwindled to a mere trickle as I wandered off to find my dachshund poop post. I’m easily distracted these days. I don’t remember where I was headed other than to complain how crappy (or not) life is at the moment. I’m sore. I’m tired. I’m stopped up. I’m cranky. Blah blah blah.

P.S. I had to laugh last night as I watched a show and one of the people kept saying her mother had “installed a love of cooking in me.” At least twice I yelled at the screen, “it’s INSTILLED! INSTILLED! INSTILLED!” but the woman didn’t seem to hear me. I have lots of time to ponder such things at length and it’s not as fun as it sounds.

2014/07/23

After All This Time

Da Goddess @ 18:36

I am alive and, well, not kicking, but definitely close to screaming. It’s been a bitch of a day, a bitch of a week, a bitch of a month. But things are looking up.

Got meds straightened out. Got adjuster drama straightened out. Got new meds for pain that’s not controlled by regular meds. And I got myself some circus peanuts to help ease the pain and frustration of all the bullshit I’ve been dealing with lately. Circus peanuts work wonders. As do Bullseyes (caramel and cream candies).

Also had to send more documentation for LD’s enlistment to his recruiter. Oy vey. So much to do. And it’s now done. I’m toast.

Now that all is done, I’m going to lie down and hope for some good rest.

2014/07/22

Protected: Epic Fail

Da Goddess @ 03:12

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2014/06/19

Arm & Hammer Got it Wrong! Simply Saline is Ruined

Da Goddess @ 04:24

Here’s the deal: the moment I discovered Simply Saline (under the Church & Dwight label), I became an ardent devotee. At the first sign of congestion, I’d grab my dispenser and get to clearing out my nasal passages. Considering how bad my sinuses have always been, this was a godsend! I could cut my infection time in half. I could function. Part of the beauty of Simply Saline was the fact that it was just what it said it was: simply…saline. No added ingredients. No preservatives. No funky taste/smell. Nothing to gunk up the body for those with ultra-sensitive mucous membranes. Perfect for babies. Perfect for adults. I told EVERYONE about it.

Before Simply Saline, I had tried just about everything else on the market. I tried making my own saline solution. None of it worked. The other stuff sold in stores contained ingredients that caused me further irritation and/or adverse reactions. Whatever I tried to make at home was never right; it didn’t matter if I followed the directions given to me by doctors because it was never right. Never.

And then came Simply Saline. The clouds parted. The sun shone brilliantly as if God Himself blessed our union. I was in love. I had relief. Simply Saline made it possible for me to stop taking one of my decongestants. It was a miracle.

But now Arm & Hammer only sells Simply Saline with added ingredients.

Original recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride

New recipe: Purified Water; 0.9% Sodium Chloride; Sodium Bicarbonate

People with certain medical conditions can’t use products with sodium bicarb. It can cause increased blood pressure; it can decrease the effectiveness of aspirin; it can cause alkalosis; and it can cause edema, congestive heart failure, hyperosmolar syndrome, hypervolemic hypernatremia, and “in patients consuming a high-calcium or dairy-rich diet, calcium supplements, or calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate (e.g., Tums), the use of sodium bicarbonate can cause milk-alkali syndrome, which can result in metastatic calcification, kidney stones, and kidney failure.”

So, really, why would a company that has a great product that can be used by everyone suddenly change the formula and reduce their consumer base? It’s bad business. At the very least, they really should have an additive-free version of their product in addition to the new formula. Loyal customers who loved the original version would be satisfied and they could still make money. As it stands now, I’m sick and I’m angry. Angry that I can’t find a product that has always served me well.

Arm & Hammer, this is just bad business practices. There was nothing wrong with the original Simply Saline. It was a great product that was very effective. Shame on you for not giving your customers a choice.

2014/06/12

Mumblin’ (the) Word, Hummin’ (the) Tune

Da Goddess @ 22:16

After a full week of feeling like shit that started with sinus crud, moved into glandular crap, and consistently headachey, I’m finally starting to feel a little better. Still fatigued. Still headachey, still congested, and still a bit enlarged in the glands, but definitely moving in a more healthful direction. Lots of sleep this week. Lots of pain that refused to go away. Lots of watching movies I’d likely never watch otherwise. Lots of tv shows to catch up on. Lots of trying out of new shows (the best thus far are Jennifer Falls on TVLand and Gang Related on Foxx. Also, really love Murder in the First on TNT. We’ve also been watching Penny Dreadful on, I think, Showtime. It’s weird, but good. Sadly, we only have one more episode of the season for Game of Thrones, which I’ve come to love beyond all reason. About a month ago, we watched from the very first episode of the series through to the current season and I am so very much into the stories and the characters. I may even need to buy the books.

Gotta have something to do while my voice recovers, right? And you know me, I’ll take books any day.

Also, I’ve spent the past couple days watching a hummingbird nest. YES! Baby hummingbirds! Mama was there one day feeding the two little ones and now I check on them at least three times a day, just to see how they’re doing. I get my camera and my 70-300mm lens out, zoom in as far as I can and take photos. I’ll post some later. It’s really amazing to see baby hummers! They’re adorable. I knew there were somewhere in the vicinity when I had a mama come after me whie I was cleaning the litterbox. I just couldn’t find the nest. Probably because it wasn’t where I expected it to be. But I know where it is now. And I study them throughout the day (between naps, cups of steaming hot tea or soup). I can’t wait to see them finally emerge and test their little wings. I wish I had video mode on my camera for that!

Now, it’s time to go back to sleeping. Gotta heal up. Life won’t wait for me. Gotta get back to my Rear Window activities asap.

2014/05/30

Weeping Willow

Da Goddess @ 14:47

Celia did her typical, “oh my God, you MOVED! I must now jump up, startled, and claw you as I run away” last night.

The scratch wasn’t too bad. In fact, it was just barely there, with a droplet of blood. However, since then, it’s been weeping clear fluid. Not sticky. Not dripping like a leaky faucet. Rather every few minutes there’s enough to wipe away. Over night, it soaked through a bandage and my jammie bottoms. It dries mostly-clear. It takes hours for the fluid to turn even anywhere near semi-straw-colored.

It’s weird.

The more I move around, the more it flows. I think it’s related to some slight edema as opposed to anything else. It’s. Just. Strange. I feel like a damn weeping willow.

In other news, my pharmacy sucks. My new adjuster is cool. And I think I’ll be switching pharmacies because I don’t want to keep pestering my adjuster when it’s the fault of the people at the pharmacy causing trouble now.

Thank God it’s Friday!

2014/05/06

Rebooting

Da Goddess @ 21:06

I’m so very exhausted and sore from two weekends of faire that I’m declaring the next few days as Reboot days.

Talk amongst yourselves. Enjoy. Topic: Cats. Domestic Lovebugs or Feral Terrorists.

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