art, bipolar, blogging, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, fibromyalgia, health, Life, Movies, watercolors, weightloss

spontaneous blog post

I’m laying on the couch all propped up with pillows with a heating pad behind me. I took an mmj edible and a prescription NSAID.

My back is a bitch. My spine problems are acting up. I can just hear L4 and L5 screaming. Sometimes it’s like needles poking inside or sometimes an intense ache or a feeling of extreme tightness or it can be something that feels like a great deal of pressure.  It occurs to me that I should check out things specifically for lumbar support.

Low back pain is the most common medical ailment. That’s what a doctor told me when I saw him a few years ago, for….low back pain. He told me to take Ibuprofen. If he had paid a little more attention, maybe he would have been able to see that I needed more than to just take Ibuprofen. I’m sure he was right about his statistic, but he never even asked questions about my pain or any specifics. Doctors probably see a few people a day who say they have low back pain. I can see how they have an automatic answer for the problem, but that doesn’t keep me from feeling some measure of bitterness

I got the feeling that he thought all the low back potential patients were drug seekers. I have to admit that I would have been glad if he had given me painkillers but that’s not why I went to see him and I didn’t ask for them.

ANYWAY, lol, I didn’t go to the movies this week because there was nothing to see. I was very disappointed; I love going to the movies, it’s such a treat! Maybe if I have a couple of weeks (there’s nothing good showing this week either) without going, it will keep it a treat. Wow, though–July and August are going to be fab movie months!

Netflix has become a really close friend. I think most chronically ill people would agree. I’ve been having a fibromyagia flare, a spinal stenosis flare, and my newly coined term, a depression flare. So I’ve been watching anything that seems mildly interesting.

I was able to keep creating through everything. That’s a sanity saver. I painted every day! Lately I am using my Japanese watercolors on watercolor paper. For the last two years when I painted with watercolors, which was a lot, I used Yupo, a synthetic paper that isn’t pourous.

I need to start working in my watercolor journal with watercolor pens again. It turned out that I liked the first set of those pens, which I bought spontaneously when I was in the art store for some paint, enough to get another set a couple of weeks ago. I’m going to finish this watercolor journal and get another. I like making these as epic gifts or to sell.

I’m on a plateau in my weightloss journey. I’m mostly 57 pounds (26kg) down but right now I’m going up a pound or two and down a pound or two. I’m eating sparsely to try to getting back to losing weight. Basically I’m maintaining my weight which is enough for me to feel ok, in the short term.

Saying how much I have lost and that there is more to go, is really really hard because saying that shows that I was pretty damn big and I’m not small in the least now. I’ve never said that on the interwebz before.

That’s enough for now.
Happy weekend!

anxiety, chronic illness, chronic pain, disabled, drugs, health, illness, medical marijuana, surgery

epidural steroid injection

on thursday i am going to have my sixth epidural  steroid injection. the injection helps control the pain from the problems in my back. i have spinal stenosis which is a narrowing of the spinal column which causes some if the discs to get squashed (like my technical term?) and pinch nerves.

i have problems at L4 and L5 as well as the sacroiliac joint. my pain doctor performs the procedure.

they say “procedure” but to me it seems a lot like surgery! i have to fast, stop taking NSAIDS several days before, etc.  i go to the surgery center and change into a hospital gown, a icky  papery shower cap sort of thing to gather up my hair. they give you cool socks with treads on the bottom. i love them. i’ve quite a collection now.

two nurses come in and put you under a blanket from a warmer, oh jeez that feels good. no matter how hot it outside, it’s freezing cold in the surgery center, plus it’s just reassuring to have a warm blanket over you. they put in an iv and ask me a million questions. even though i’ve done this many times, i still feel a little scared each time.

the nurses are so very very nice. when the doctor finishes her previous case she comes in and talks to me and then they roll me into the OR which is incredibly cold. i have to roll over onto the operating table and lay on my tummy. there is a head rest, like they use during massages. they start giving me fentynal and versed–conscious sedation. you are high as a kite, so it’s almost fun. lol

i hate laying there for 45 minutes with basically nothing on, my butt just hanging out, uncovered. joy. luckily the drugs make you not care too much because i find it extremely discomforting to be nude in a room full of people. there are lots of nurses. the doctor wears a lead apron because they use a giant x-ray  machine that is mounted  on the ceiling and tilts around as they need it to. that’s how they know exactly where  to inject the cortisone…pretty important since they’re putting it in my spine. the injections hurt some going in, but after that it’s not too bad.

when they’re done i get back on the gurney, more embarrassment because the hospital gown is totally open and practically flapping around as you move. then everybody gets to see everything!  i’m sure they don’t give a shit, seen it a million times. but i do! once you’re on the gurney they immediately drown you in warm blankets. the feeling is so good, like the drugs, it’s almost worth it just for that. lol

in the recovery room they put ice packs on your back, keep you awhile for making sure your vitals are good and you’re not going to have a bad reaction or flip out or whatever.

omg i have to pee once i get out of the operating room, so that’s a priority! another time i had this surgery, the surgeon was an hour an half late so i feel asleep. i woke up  and they were rolling me into the OR and i had to pee bad, i mean really really bad. but we were practically there so i couldn’t say anything. it was horrible!  i was pretty sure i would wet myself on the table. that’s not so good for a sterile environment. thank goodness the drugs made it so i didn’t feel like i had to pee. when i got out of surgery, i didn’t have to pee badly, go figure!

you don’t stay in the recovery long and your ride comes and takes you home. you have to have someone stay with you for 24 hours. then the back pain kicks in. it’s pretty unfun for a few days. i’ve got quite a bit of various medical marijuana edibles for that time.

after that, you wait. sometimes the injections work and sometimes they don’t. it’s a crap shoot. last one keep my pain low for about 9 months! most of the others did nothing. but i’ll try anything time after and after.  the pain is very motivating.

so now i get to worry about it until 8am on thursday. 😦

i’ll be ok though, i always am. 🙂

anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, depression, diabetes, driving, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, health, mental illness, oakland california, spinal stenosis, stress relief

Last night I didn’t sleep at all. My knee and leg pain are coming back strong. I don’t know why Monday and Tuesday weren’t too bad, but yesterday and today, my-oh-my! The pain and painsomnia spurred me to go back to the dispensary for more edibles. Ahhh…

It rained here this morning! Rain in  California virtually unheard of between April and October. Crazy! The drive up to Oakland was pretty rainy. I felt more novelty than the fear I usually get when I drive on the Freeway. I’m so used to that drive that nothing about it freaks me out. there are​ parts with 8 narrow lanes, no shoulder and a line of merging trucks.

I got capsules full of ground up cannabis which is toasted sesame oil. They work like edibles but aren’t high sugar/ high calorie. That keeps me from eating the edibles just cause they taste good! I’ve been known to do that!

The pain is already improving!I’m tired! Maybe I’ll watch TV or draw. Damn, my eyes hurt!

How is your afternoon?

anxiety, art, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, comics, depression, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, medical marijuana, medicine, mental illness, Movies, spinal stenosis, writing

the state of my mind this week 2

i think it’s been longer than a week since i wrote about the state of my mind. as usual, no one mood can last for long. bipolar is a bitch. if there’s a theme, like in this case, it was the procedure, i moaned and groaned , as you who read this blog will know..

i stayed up most of the night before the because i was so anxious. the middle of the night is the worst.

i woke peter up an hour before he had to take me to the doctor for the injections. i thought he should hang out with me because i was so worried. good grief! who wants to hang out with someone in that state! peter took good care of me the all through the aftermath.. he brought me everything i needed, cooked foods i love and often came down from where he was gaming, and later was sleeping, to it visit me on the couch.

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to injections is the kind of pain i’ve been going through. since it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that.

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg THC medical marijuana edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack) and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible.and i needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want, down stairs!

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazing! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid i got at the hospital. the last three times scared badly. this time when the pain was at it’s worst i cried out loud and held my husbands hand hard.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like
this time. the last 2 times the terrible pain happened again but i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period.

before i scheduled these injections, one in each knee, i wanted to find out more, like if i got something nobody else got, or is there a quickfix?
i checked out a couple of arthritis forums. when i looked for “Synvisk side effects” bingo! there were pages of people saying they got my same horrible reactions i did. many of the people who posted said a few days of helll, then no arthris pain for a year.

i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!

i’ve been very into painting with watercolors. i paint a couple times a day and a doodle all the time. i’m wearing gloves to preserve my manicure. vanity!
of a gel medicine that acts as a cushion between the bones where cartilage used to be (it’s gone or part way gone when you have pain).

for this set of injections i decided to use the newish Synvisk One. the reaction to it is too horrible to go through it 3 weeks (it takes quite a while to recover from one) i was so worried the pain would be the with 6ml, the whole dose from the small shots, at once. would it it be 3 worse? would the recover be 3x as badly. i couldn’t imagine that. the shot

the shots were bad, though not 3x as bad! the needle getting to the joint with the needle was the same, really effing bad. the difference was that there was so much medicine and it was so thick she had to push it slowly into the center of the joint. she got me talking about me losing a lot of weight which is a great way to distract me. i did a lot of deep breathing while i was waiting because there were two giant needles full of something that looked solid.

long story short, all of that went ok. huzzy took me home and i ate a 200mg mmj edible. it did exactly what i wanted to happen. i was asleep all day, until the huz woke me up for dinner, but i didn’t eat (unless you call eating another pot snack and was in and out til bedtime. i slept on the couch for two days because getting upstairs to the bedroom was impossible. needed to be able to be near music and tv , art supplies and comic books and medical marijuana thing i could possibly want.

i continued with the edibles. the pain was so powerful that i never got remotely high. i took some cannabis oil, a oral dose, and then i smoked a joint. i got through it without screaming or going to the hospital or making my husband want to divorce me! i took more edibles and then some capsules that act like an edible. that’s pretty amazingz! the large doses of edibles, etc, kept the pain low enough to avoid the fentenyl and dilaudid the hospital. but i really needed it, i was scared.

i got these shots for years and never had much pain, some, but nothing like this, the last 2 times it happened i had no idea why. later i asked the surgeon and she was very cavalier about it, and said different people had them like i was before the medicine started making me want to die during the recovery period. i think i’m doing pretty well today, because…..!!!!!!

!!!!!!!…….because i got to see Wonder Woman. i’ve been waiting and waiting. it kicked ass! the heroine was fantastic. so were the other actors and actresses. this one was well done enough that it was easy to lose all track of reality. that’s one of my personally are movies and tv that are unreal, meant to be unreal, but everything else is realistic. it depends entirely on the director to make this work. they did it right this time. diana is the kind of warrior who cares so much so that ….oops i almost gave something away! better stop there!

blogging, chronic illness, comics, depression, diabetes, disabled, drugs, fibromyalgia, h.r. giger, illness, medicine, Movies, spinal stenosis

update on the state of my mind

i heard an audioslave song, one of my favorites, on a grunge station and i choked up, got tears in my eyes. i keep wondering what chris cornell was thinking during that time between the show, alone in his hotel room, to hanging himself. what pushed him over the edge? all these years i’ve seen interviews with  him and he always seemed so thoughtful and intelligent. i have depression too (i’m bipolar), so i can imagine those feelings pretty clearly. i understand being able to play a show without anyone knowing that you’re feeling like you just can’t make it anymore. (not that i’ve ever played a rock show in front of thousands, but i have had to put an “i’m normal and happy” face when i had to. he had to a lot.  i know you can hide even the worst feelings.  i feel for him so bad. i wish i could have talked to him in that time between the show and his suicide. i don’t know if i could have helped at all, but it seems like if there had been someone there, who got how he felt, it might have gone differently. although, someone who wants to die enough to actually do it, will do it sometime, no matter what you do. i just wish and wish and wish it hadn’t happened. i try to hear it in his voice, when he sings, and i think i might.

i’ve had a lot of pain these past few days. it’s my back i think. that and my knees. the injections in my knees have worn off. you’re usually supposed to get the injections twice a year. you get them in your knee joint (or in this case knees).  you take them in three set sets, both knees each week for three consecutive weeks.

the last time i got them was a year and a half ago. i was having problems with my legs because of my spinal stenosis. at first they thought it was diabetic (yup, got that too) neuropathy, but then decided my symptoms didn’t fit. i was also seeing many doctors on the way to being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. in the middle of all of this, i got two sets of the arthritis injections (the medicine is called Synvisc) and each time my legs became incredibly painful. i figured it was the shots, since it happened each time i got them. i refused the third set (but it still worked for all that time!).  the pain was insane. the second time i ended up screaming and going to the hospital in an ambulance. the EMT gave me iv fentanyl . the pain was still intense, but it made me stop screaming. at the hospital they gave me a couple of shot of dilaudid and that did the trick. they sent me home and the pain went down a lot, but was still feeling too bad to function. it was like that for several days. i don’t know how i got up the stairs but i didn’t go down for 3 days. the staircase was impossible. sitting down on the toilet made me cry out from having to bend my legs.

so! it’s time for synvisc again and i’m fucking terrified. but the knee pain it too bad to live with forever, or even much longer now. i have to try sometime! eep. gasp. panic.

i’m doing something that might be smart, or it might be stupid as hell. i’m getting the one shot synvisc injection. you get all three sets in one injection. it’s 3x as much medicine as i’ve been getting spread over three weeks. the doctor says things like, there will be a great deal of pressure. and the nurse says, the reason not very many people get the synvisc one is because of the pain.

the medicine is thick and the surgeon puts a hypodermic needle that seems like it’s a foot long into the center of your knee joint. it hurts. a lot. but i could deal with it, i’ve been through a lot of pain over the years, so i was ok. but i’m scared about this one. will it be three times worse? i can’t imagine that. the only anesthetic they use is lidocane on the skin where the needle goes in. it doesn’t do shit and it hurts like hell when she puts it on, burning cold. beyond that, and more importantly, than that is the aftermath. will it be 3x worse? i can’t imagine that either.

i decided have the one time shot so that i wouldn’t have to go through the pain afterwards 3x. fear fear fear.  i have a lot of trouble with mental pain, but physical pain is usually something i feel very brave about. but this time is scary.

my tablet died. i finished orange is the new black and it was sooooooo super good. i can’t wait for the upcoming season. my new show is breaking bad. i missed it when it was so popular and i hear so many people say they loved it, i have to watch it. i want to watch better call saul, too, so i thought i’d better watch breaking bad first. i’m reading a superman comic called “secret identity.” it’s a little different than a superman comic we’re all familiar with. it starts with a kid whose parents’ last name was kent. they thought it would be a laugh riot to name him clark.  he’s the laughing stock of the town. but things change. i’ve only read the first couple of issues within the trade paperback. but already he’s developing superpowers that he keeps as a closely guarded secret, hence the title.

i saw Aliens: Covenant yesterday. a lot of the movies at my favorite theater play before noon. all of the movies before noon are half price! so i saw it at 11:30am. it wasn’t very  good. but that’s not to say i didn’t enjoy it. there were some jump out of your seat moments,  and some interesting new additions, but a lot of it was the same thing i’ve seen in all the aliens movies. people see pods and get right over them and look in, well surprise! an alien jumps out and plasters itself to their face. that never happens in an aliens movie! there were running down tunnels or hallways that are sealed and the person running gets locked in with the monster.  that’s an old aliens favorite. it was fun to watch, especially if you’re a die hard aliens fan, like me. one of the things that bothers me the most is that there isn’t any Giger art. i know why, he always battled makers of aliens, maybe ridley scott, or who knows else, used his art for almost nothing and i think they even used things of his after he left the job because they were screwing him over. (this might be quite flawed, but i saw a documentary about giger and that’s what i remember.) i know he was very bitter about it. in this film there were a couple of piles of drawings that you see that look or are giger’s work, but there are vast areas of things like columns with nothing on them when i can imagine them covered with carved giger art.

that’s about it for now, but i think that’s more than enough!

bye!

 

anxiety, bipolar, chronic illness, comics, fatigue, fibromyalgia

the lie or the cold shoulder

today when i went to get my coffee the clerk asked how my day was going. i couldn’t help but answer with the truth i told him i was really really tired. he asked why and i told him, i have this disease and it makes me tired. how long have you been sick? it was clear he thought it was a cold or flu. i was embarrassed that i said it to a total stranger.  i just mumbled that i had a disease that was forever. there! i said it in public, even if i did mutter it!

it’s so hard to deal with situations like this. one option would have been to just say, oh i’m fine, thanks. that’s what i say when i’m nervous, or i’m actually doing really badly. i hate it. why does everyone have to ask. sometimes if it’s an internet person that i only know a little i say, do you want to know the truth or do you just want to hear i’m fine? i suppose that’s kind of rude, but that’s exactly how i feel. if you must ask how i am, be prepared for a lot of complaining or the cold shoulder.

sometimes i wish i didn’t have an invisible illness, that i had something you could see, or at least something people know about, but who knows anything about fibromyalgia? spinal stenosis is even worse. even fewer  people know what the hell that is. it’s not as invisible as fibro. i limp and walk with a cane. but the pain in my back and those awful flu-like symptoms of fibromyalgia don’t show, not does the awful nerve pain in my legs, not to mention the arthritis in my knees which doesn’t really affect my walking, it just hurts a lot.

i really wanted to explain fatigue to the guy i bought coffee from. of course he’d never get it, and in truth, i’d never actually say it, but it’s tempting. fatigue motherfucker, try it sometime! sometimes when i’m getting into to bed, for a nap,  or for the night, i have to sort out the covers, arrange the dog. get myself comfortable, etc. part way through all that, i’m hit with a flare of fatigue. i just fall back on the bed, none of those things done, i was just overwhelmed by frightening tiredness. sometimes i want to cry when i feel like that, but i’m too fatigued to even do that. i just laying bed for a little while and slip into sleep very easily.

i want to look fuss with my tablet and maybe even watch some Arrow, but my arms hurt too badly to hold it up. i have to sit at a table to do it. sitting up at a table or desk is hardly  comfortable with my ouchy back and hips.

i’m almost desperate to communicate. my sweet  husband is a very quiet introvert, he really doesn’t like hearing about things like my chatter when i’m nervous, or manic like right now. he’s not like my best friend; we don’t sit around and discuss problems or advice or support. his favorite thing right now is Planet Money podcasts. i shouldn’t complain, but sometimes i wish for a warmer, fuzzier partner.

i read the the first volume of Wonder Woman in the rebirth series (DC). it was really good. in terms of the art, most of it was great, showing her as the Amazon she is, tall, ready to fight at anytime. her costume is a little more stable, lol, it doesn’t look like her boobs are about to fall out at any moment and you wonder, how can she fight with a metal bustier on? she has a regular human lover! she’s been with Superman in the past, but this is intriguing and new.  the thing that i liked in every drawing of her was her hair. they (there are different issues by different artists contained in the volume i was reading.) all drew her with gorgeous flying and floating and curling hair in a great wavy, black and massive mane. i wish my hair looked like that! 🙂

anxiety, chronic pain, comics, corgi, dachshund, depression, diabetes, disabled, dog, dogs, dorgi, fibromyalgia, oakland california, pets, pictures

My angry toe.

I am having a difficult time today because my pain has been bad. I have a decent size split in my big toe. It has something to do with dry skin, but it seemed like it was much better since I was getting pedicures and doing the lotion and socks thing regularly. Now it’s open and slightly bloody. it doesn’t seem red or swollen. It’s throbbing and is super ouchy to walk on. Good thing I already use a cane!

The part that worries me is that I’m diabetic and this is a cut on my toe that hasn’t healed. I don’t have diabetic neuropathy, but if I did, I might get wounds on my feet that I wouldn’t feel until they were in really bad shape. It can lead to foot or leg amputation. You have to have regular tests, very simple, that check to make sure you have feeling on the bottoms of your feet to avoid all that. I’m going to the doctor tomorrow, just to be sure. That, and because it hurts so damn bad.

I went to the dispensary at last!!! I bought good stuff, buds and pre rolled joints (actually, cones). I smoked one of those joints when I got home. Such pain relief and relaxation, huge improvement in my mood, too. I managed keep my munchies to fruit. I smoke now and then, actually most of the time when i’m hurting this much.

I walked Mackie a bit since I was feeling better and being outside in the bright warm sun was joyous.
We played more inside. Mackie barked his happy bark several times. I answered him and we had tehe most bonding happy dance!

mackie_rolling_in_the_grass

 

I ordered a wonder woman comic as well as a volume of daredevil and a one of the most recent justice league books and the sandals that I lost one of (how the fuck can I have done that??!!),again. That’s a testament to how much I like them! They were going to be my all the time shoes.

addidas sandals

I got dropped from my car insurance after getting in two accidents on a week. I don’t think that will ever be funny.

dent in hood

The drive to Oakland, home of Harborside Health Center, was nice. It’s the only place I can go on the freeway without having a panic attack. it’s a 40 mile drive from here! I’ve done it so many and been so scared that I’ve conquered it! But I can’t get off course at all ever. lol

Have a great night!🐸