anxiety, bipolar, blogging, chronic illness, depression, fibromyalgia, illness, mental illness, spinal stenosis, weightloss

3 reasons for me to feel good today

There are three reasons for me to be in good spirits today. Yay!

It’s National Fried Chicken Day!!I LOVE fried chicken! The second) good news will be ruined unless I only eat a little bit o. But oh I really want plates of it! 

What a bummer that other countries aren’t having national fried chicken day. If anyone hasn’t had American style fried chicken, come have dinner at my house. My husband is frying enough chicken for thousands!

The other news is pretty exciting!

As of this morning I have lost 57 pounds! (26kg)

I’m still losing I don’t have a goal, even though they say you should. if someone asked my advice even *I* would say it was a good idea. Right now I don’t I’m trying to pretend it’s not happening. That can help me do well and to stress less. I really don’t get it. I eat very lightly but I just don’t feel tempted. I don’t think about food most of the time. Maybe my depressive episode is to thank for it. Yay for depression. Ugh.

I want to go in an imaginary world where I can lock myself into my bedroom and have a pillow fight with myself. It would be zero gravity, so almost no pain! I need my beloved soda stream! My dog, water, comicbooks, alllll the pillows and blankets we have,and …LOTS of other stuff!

My huzzy does everything that needs to be done. I’m struggling to stop feeling guilty; last night after dinner I played with my phone while trying not to watch him clean up the dinner *he* cooked.

Everybody who reads my blog a lot (thank you lovely people) knows that I’m disabled. I have fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis, I walk with a cane. I have a lot of chronic pain, so there’s no way I can help with anything. I want to so much. I want to do things, like very simple stuff like putting the dishes in the dishwasher, but I can’t. I can’t stand up very long and bending over is not an option.

I want you to know, fuzzy huzzy, that you are the best husband a girl could have! Our 24th anniversary is at the end of July. Pretty impressive, I think!💞🌹

The huz takes excellent care of me. He’s a fab cook and he really enjoys that. But who enjoys going to the grocery store  and the farmer’s market to, go to the post office and such. Thank goodness we’re able to have a cleaning service come in.

He never complains, he’s never late, he doesn’t neglect things that need be done. He’s not perfect, but he’s the best choice i ever made. 💘💒

It’s hot and i didn’t notice again. Lol it’s 90F (34c)!  Lol!  I think i’m going to walk down the stairs very very carefully! Have a good evening, all.

art, art therapy, artist, drawing, Handmade jewelry, modern art, painting, stress relief, surreal, writing

art is therapy (illustrated)

Art has been a powerful form of therapy for me. i’ll show you!

 

conjoined alien twins return

This was one of my first acrylic paintings. I wanted to create something surreal. almost all my experience with art was abstract. It came to me naturally. surreal was a lot harder!

the lizard print is from when I was in high school, one of the toughest times in my life. My parents were in the middle of an ugly divorce and my bipolar was  undiagnosed and out of control. I was drinking heavily.

My four years of art class was a haven. We got to use the 2 big art rooms and supplies on lunch or after school. The teacher, Sister Claire was wonderful.

this is a lino print i made in one of her classes. she taught us to cut mattes too, i did a good job, but this photo doesn’t make it look that way!

“lino lizard” 1989

lino lizard-crop

I didn’t paint a lot until 2009. It was a very difficult time in my life.. I felt hopeless and shut down. I found art as a form of therapy. I knew I was creative and i’ve appreciated modern art as long as I can remember.

I didn’t know what to do about it. Then I read about prismacolor pencils online. I bought a ream of card stock and a set of them. I used up the whole ream and half of the pencils.

“pachyderm” an early colored pencil drawing

pachyderm_by_merpagigglesnort

I drew all day, most days and I felt better, as time went on. I joined deviantart and started to learn. I asked everyone everything.

I worked on learning to paint and draw. It was practice and obsession. It was incredible. The world seemed open again. I tried as many mediums as could.

I made friends with artists on social media sites. We discussed artists we liked, techniques, inspiration and motivation.  We validate each other and give and get positive feedback.

As I said, my art epiphany happen in 2009. It wasn’t the only time I painted. Both times my muse was my depression.

In 1995 I was asked to take a leave of absence from a job at E*Trade Securities that I hated, because of my bipolar disorder issues, I wasn’t able to act appropriately in a corporate environment. I cried at work, I missed way too many days, got angry when I was micromanaged, on and on. It was much too uptight, high stress, and just wasn’t what I wanted for myself.

After getting pushed out of my job i became extremely depressed. I was angry and scared. I felt ashamed. Thank goodness I had my husband to save me.

My dear father wanted to help. He gave me money to buy art supplies because he, my husband, and my psychiatrist thought it would be therapeutic. it was. 

I went wild! It was feeling the thrill of buying art supplies for the first time. I chose large format canvases, oil paints, linseed oil, turpentine, brushes, drop cloths. I was really excited again. I started painting. Some of it was really enjoyable. I didn’t like making all of them because they woke up feelings I needed to feel but didn’t want to. Therapy! Catharsis!

“comet cleanser” an oil painting i did in 1995. you can see the catharsis!

comet_cleanser_by_merpagigglesnort

Unfortunately, I only did that for a year. After that I made notebooks I filled with pen and ink drawings and oil pastels. i have no idea what happened to them, which is really too bad.

at one point I drew on a big pad of newsprint with sticks of charcoal. I put the pad on my old easel. I did lots of scribbling, making marks, (and making a mess!), practicing graceful curves suggesting the human body. Making big strokes and lines, drawing freely made me *feel* free.

I made and sold artisan jewelry for a couple of years after that. it kept my creative juices flowing and was a lot of fun. During this time I also did some oil painting.

one of my necklaces. i sold it to someone in australia!

tribal_choker2_by_merpagigglesnort-1

 

one of my oil paintings done during the time i was making jewelry, before i got serious about painting.downpour_by_merpagigglesnort

Now I paint with many kind of paints and inks.  I make psychedelic drawings with markers and fine liners. 

drawings:

 

paintings:

 

 

It’s still going on. I’ve learned so much! That cliche about the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know is definitely true in this case. I think it will get more and more interesting as I carry on my art journey. It is still, and always will be, a large part of the therapy I need for my mental and physical ailments.

“woman on the wind” water color

woman dancing on the wind

 

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, 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! 🙂

abstract, anxiety, art, batman, bipolar, chronic illness, chronic pain, comics, depression, dog, drawing, drugs, fibromyalgia, insomnia, mania, medical marijuana, mental illness, oakland california

still manic, still manic, still manic

i spent my day feeling too jumped up, a lot like being on meth. yes, i know a lot about being on meth. oh boy, i’ve never said that in public before. so yeah, i wish manic was like being on coke, but unfortunately it’s like being on meth.

i ate a big dinner which i am regretting because i haven’t been eating much so i feel bloated and gross. sometimes being really hungry for a couple of days makes me feel so clean inside. no, i’m not anorexic. my moods just throw me around a lot, and i’ve got that and all the meds i take and the fibromyalgia and spinal stenosis, and a nasty childhood all contribute to making me do, and feel, and act a little strange…a lot strange…  i do things that don’t make sense some of the time. i got hooked on meth because i was so depressed and it made me feel so much better, that i kept using it. untold energy, no appetite, no need for sleep, elevated mood, euphoria. sounds like being manic, too.  ahhh and delusions of grandeur, i hope i don’t get those, but maybe i’m not bill gates.LOL

i went to the comic book store today. alex the comic book guy was there, of course he was there, it’s his shop. hehehe actually, the only day i’m sure he is working in the shop is tuesdays, so i go about every other tuesday. he’s a cutie, deep, and really smart. not to mention he’s an incredible authority on comics! i bought two issues of batman all star, the rebirth reboot. i got an issue of jessica jones, but i really didn’t like the way it looked. bummer. i still don’t have money, so that’s all i got. i went to starbucks and only got an iced tea, but a cake pop was calling my name. but i averted my eyes and asked for no sweetener in my passion tea.

it was a gorgeous spring day, first one we’ve had this year. i actually drove around with the windows down in my car. a rare thing. i like to listen to music in the car, not wind noise. i am 100% out of mmj. i scraped up every bit, i used the kief in the bottom of the grinder. i am DRY. i hope it’s nice tomorrow because i’ll be driving up to Oakland to go to my dispensary. i call it “my dispensary” as though i owned it. it’s just mine cause it’s the one i’ve chosen to give all my business to.

i saw my psychiatrist today and she thought i might be manic partly because over the last couple days it got to be full blown and that when i had little or no marijuana. we adjusted the meds to, not take ritalin (that’s a no brainer), and to take less wellbutrin because it’s activating.

i saw a woman come home and greet her dog, who had been home alone all day, and they were both so happy to see each other. that’s the kind of thing that really makes me feel good.

Ant_Hills_by_merpagigglesnort

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anxiety, bipolar, disabled, feelings, fibromyalgia, Life, medicine

snapshot

i usually get coffee, about 7:30. i get my coffee at 7-11. i can make better coffee at home, but i like getting up and going somewhere. the guy working smiled and greeted me, and i him. he knows i like the hazelnut coffee, so if it’s gone or not fresh he’ll make a pot for me as soon as he sees me. 🙂 so the coffee is always really hot and fresh. sometimes, ok, i’ll admit it, most of the the i get a donut, a chocolate long, bar shaped one. it has custard inside. ahhhhh…when i’m feeling strong about losing weight i don’t get a donut. yesterday and today i didn’t get one, yay! i sit in my car and eat my donut, drink my coffee and drive around or go  to a store and buy something under a dollar.

i never want to be around the house when people are getting ready. it makes me wonder what it would  be like to be able to take a shower everyday.it makes me wonder what it would be like to look nice with my hair looking nice and jewelry on. it makes me want to be able to socialize with my co-workers and enjoy it.i’d love to have NO MEDICINE to take before, during, and after work.

i have a lot of things most people with jobs never have, good things. not working, can be as much a bad thing  as a good. you enjoy it for about the first six months and then you start to feel bored and useless. and you have to accept you’ll never work again. i was politely asked to go on disability. that was in 2000. gaaaaaaaaaaaaah i expected to be successful, not shuffled out the door. i felt like i was fired. i never dreamed that it could happen to me.

as i was saying i was there are bad things about working and i miss having to  have something to do with my life, but c’mon, i get up when i  feel like it, at least by the time my huz gets up when his alarm goes off. that’s at 8. when i worked we had to be there and bright and shiny, between  5:00am and 7:00am, depending on the schedule.i’ll never miss that job, except for the stock, but that’s an entirely different story.

now i  only have appointments like taking my dog to get his claws clipped, or for  my manicure, very very low stress.i don’t have to have short lunches where i run around and try to get errands done.i don’t have to deal with rush hour. i have a dog that’s getting older and i can take him out every two hours, i can’t imagine the poor thing shut out on our balcony having  having to wait desperately for 8-9 hours. he wouldn’t get enough  play or exercise.

weekends still excite me! i think TGIF! or have a good weekend or it’s gonna be great to have some time off. all my time is free time. the huz is home on the weekend.and i’m really glad about that!

mind you, that’s all great but i’m chronically ill. the only time i leave the house is that trip for coffee. i’m in pain, i have limited mobility, fatigue,  on and on.

so maybe i should say, i wish i had somewhere to go in the morning, to have a point to my day and be able to do a good job. but all that hinges on my being healthy. and i’m not.

but i try to make the best of it. i still do thing  things as though i was getting ready. but on fresh clothes, brush my hair or and do zillion things to my face, make sure my nails are ok; put on psoriasis cream, put lotion on my legs and feet. and then i have to carefully clean up after myself because we share the master bathroom double sinks and the huz is a nazi about that counter. it has to be completely bare except for our electric toothbrushes and some hand soap. i had to fight just to get the hand soap on there, too. jeez.

so, it’s complicated, and i think i won’t think about it anymore! Shame on you fibromyalgia, spinal stenosis, and diabetes. there is nothing good about any of you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

chronic illness, chronic pain, diagnosis, disabled, drugs, fatigue, fibromyalgia, illness, insulin, spinal stenosis

spinal stenosis, why haven’t i written about this before?

i’ve written about fibromyalgia and diabetes and psoriasis but i’ve never written about spinal stenosis. i’ve never really talked about it to anyone before. it’s a bit hard to explain, or at least it takes a little while and not nearly as many people have heard of it.

spinal stenosis causes me more pain than any of my other ailments. it’s a narrowing of the spinal column, caused by a few different things, it’s arthritis in my case. the problems occur at  L4 and L5. the column narrows enough to cause the discs to bulge and pinch nerves. i also have the same problem at the sacroiliac joints.

i have a very hard time walking, i’ve talked about that a lot. people don’t believe it when i tell them about how long i can stand up and how far i can walk. more about walking in another post. i walk with a cane most of the time. sometimes i wish for a walker or that i could collapse  into a wheel chair. like fibromyalgia, the spinal stenosis has flares.

when it’s bad i have to drag myself around with my cane. trying to go upstairs makes me cry. laying in bed is better than standing or walking, but it’s far from comfortable. there is intense pain in my low back. pain in my hips and butt, weird inside pain in my pelvis. that pelvic pain makes me nauseated. i felt pain like that from endometriosis, too. i should talk about that, too (endometriosis, that is). pain from internal organs is different than any other. awful. nerve pain is also different than any other. then there’s injury pain, like broken bones, and the pain from pain in muscles and ligaments is all it’s own too. ahhh and arthritis pain. argh! and stomach pain. lol, i have it all!

my legs are very weak. i trip and fall too often. it bothers me. i see stairs and i imagine falling down them  and just feel terrified. every once in awhile i wipe out at home and end up on the floor. it’s no fun! standing is very difficult. if i am in the kitchen and i want to use my phone to control my stereo, instead of being able to just stand there and do it, i have to sit down just to do that. i don’t go to stores very often because i can’t trust my legs to survive it without buckling, or getting a stab of pain down my leg or in my back and making a grunty ouch noise, lol, cause sometimes i just can’t help  it! leaning on things like shopping carts helps a little but not nearly enough.

the stenosis is bad enough that my huz has to do 99% of what needs doing to keep things going well in our lives and home and meals and shopping, laundry, etc. my  jobs are to make his lunch before he goes to work and taking the dog out to pee (he takes doggy out to poop 2x a day) 6 or 7 times a day. he’s getting older and i want to make sure he’s comfortable. i have to make sure i take all my meds and my injection and blood sugar, take care of myself (it can be a challenge because of the fibro fatigue.. we hire people to clean.

it didn’t take too terribly long to diagnose this. an MRI shows everything they need to see. it’s cool to be able to look at the MRI pictures with the doctor and have him show me exactly where the problem is and what’s going on.

there are drugs to take to make it easier. in general you don’t take narcotic pain relievers for it because it’s chronic. i take a prescription NSAID, use hot and cold packs, do stretching (i could be a lot better about doing that on a regular basis!) and unfortunately, bed rest.

i have degenerative disc disease, which means things will just get worse.

one day at a time!