Showing posts from 2017

I am fat.

I am fat.

I've always been fat.

Well, not counting my senior year of high school when I starved myself to fit into the prom dress I had already grown out of two months later. My weight has varied as well as my clothing size, but in many ways, when my chronic illness started, I was pretty healthy. Despite medications that encouraged weight gain, I was maintaining and even losing a little. I was working out and feeling good about myself. Then pain set in.

At first, when I was still trying to work, all I did in my freetime was lie flat, try not to cry, and go to one doctor's appointment after another. Even with all the physical therapy I have completed in the last twenty-one months, I am weaker and much less healthy. And most importantly, I am not happy about it.

We have been trying to eat more greens and less meat. I'm trying to cut most sugar from my diet and working on getting off the Pepsi train. Other than yesterday, I have completed a yoga youtube video everyday this week a…


I received a letter from my lawyer today. Our appeal for Reconsideration (where another employee at OOD would look over the information the first had and make their own decision) was denied. The lawyer sent us another packet of information to complete and I'm struggling to do so.

My memory has never been great. Meeting up with old friends is difficult sometimes because they remember a lot of things that I have no recollection of at all. My thinking is that my brain has always tried to compartmentalize things because of trauma in my childhood. That's always been the case, but usually as bad as my long term memory was, I had better recall of more recent events and information. Now I'm struggling to remember conversations and meetings I've had in the last month.

That is probably partially because of a lack of structure in my everyday, but the memory issue is also the cause of the lack of structure. I can't seem to focus and I forget what I am doing. I even have days whe…

The Familiar Swaddling

When Lazarus heard his name he took a sudden breath. With visceral trembling blood resurged. But then, as when awakening some days, he lay a moment, mired, reluctant to rise from the familiar swaddling of his death Rising, even more than dying, there could be no return: for if he chose to stand, all he knew would then be lost

And still now every morning, each momentary wish for healing is a risk, a wakening call to change, to choose, to leave so much behind, and be again made new. __________________ Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be well. That first day I woke up in so much pain I wished to die was over six years ago now. I first faced up to my mental health challenges a decade in the past when I was in such a hard place that I couldn't deny it anymore. This particular debilitating challenge has been with me for a year and a half now.

I worry that I won't know what to do with being well. How will I process being able to sit through a play or …

Tired of Pain

Today was a bit of a setback. My legs were knocked out from under me by one of the dogs' leads. Unfortunately, I hit the frozen ground, landing directly on the hip I had surgery on this past May. I just laid there for a while before trying to get up. That didn't work so well so I rolled over and got on all fours. I tried putting equal weight on my legs, but my right hip hurt so much I just couldn't. I crawled, awkwardly, into the garage, with the dogs following me and Davey crying at me. Luckily I hadn't put away my crutches after getting them back from a friend, so I was able to use a crutch and the chest freezer to get up. I came inside and called my in-laws, who came right over as they always do, and they got the dogs inside. I basically went to bed with frozen water bottles and iced off and on all day.

I have moved to alternating heat and ice with some gentle stretching in between. 18 hours or so out, I am doing a lot better. I have most of my range of motion and I …


Depression is a funny thing. Sometimes, even when you are doing everything right, it still comes along and grinds you down to dust. I have been sitting outside in the sun, bundled up against the cold. I've been sitting under the skylights or my daylight lamp when the cold makes me bones ache too much. I've been doing deep breathing and meditation. I've been open with friends and family about how I'm feeling. I've been taking my medication. And yet, I'm really feeling depression's grip today.

It would be one thing if it were an icy grip, but depression's biggest lie to me right now is that it's as warm and comfortable as my great-grandmother's heavy quilt. It would be so easy to wrap it around myself as I lay on the couch, podcasts playing because I'm having trouble focusing on written word, heating pad on because physical therapy is making me ache even more than the cold.

I received a letter from Social Security saying that my disability clai…

Go Fund Me

I took my car to a locally owned shop yesterday to get the exhaust system checked out. I don't drive very often anymore because most days, I do not trust my concentration levels. If I can't read through a paragraph and remember what it was about before I start the next, I have no business on the street. But lately I have been avoiding the Blueberry because it was rattling and incredibly loud. I knew something was going on with the muffler and from when I had to have it checked out once before, I knew the muffler was going to be expensive to replace. Luckily, the issue was the same as last time. It seems there is a weakness in the exhaust system that causes a certain point in the pipe, ahead of the muffler, to rust out. A $45 patch and repair job later, I was on my way.

I have been worrying about that repair for weeks, terrified of how much it would cost and how we would ever pay for it. One of the reasons I have really struggled with asking for help was that Adam's salary …

We all have our troubles.

When asked what I want to be when I grow up, which I admit is a rare question at 34 years of age, I usually say I want to be Angela Lansbury. She has been my man crush for most of my life. I even had a picture of her as a showgirl in my high school locker, long before I knew what a man crush was. :)

But to be perfectly honest, I really want to be like my Aunt Catherine. All of my great aunts, and the one great-great aunt I knew, on my father's side were as sharp witted and blunt as they were kind. They were all take charge women and you did not want to be on their bad side because they held a grudge like no other. At the same time, they were the kindest women I knew, willing to help you in anyway they could. Sincere. And boy, did they know how to laugh.

The last thing my Aunt Catherine said to me was, "We all have our troubles." My eyes well up just remembering that. She was barely lucid, but even then she was trying to give me advice.

Adam and I were with her when she died…

Unmovable Mountains

I had a pain management appointment today with my doctor. It was only our second office visit and our last. In April, he's taking a leadership position at another hospital. Three or four months ago at my first office visit, he told us that the goal would be to take the edge off my chronic pain and then work on getting me more mobile. I've had two thoracic epidurals since, but with no relief beyond a few hours.

Today, this doctor, with almost unbelievable - nearly cartoonish though I believe it was genuine - positivity and hope, said that he wants me to try physical therapy (after several months of this before I was sent to him from another pain management clinic) and visit with a nutritionist before we try anything else.

I think that he means well. I think he may also want to leave further treatment plans up to the doctor he referred me to, whom I will meet in 2 months. I agree with him that I need to lose weight and get back to exercising.

I also am in incredible pain. Exquis…

Eat Bitter

I listen to a lot of podcasts. To be honest, it's probably too many podcasts, but since I've been in constant pain, reading is difficult and my comprehension is worse. Even reading long form articles is difficult. For whatever reason, I do better hearing the words. I think the inflection given by the speaker helps me with the context and subtext I miss when trying to read.

Bitch Magazine's podcast Popaganda is one of my favorites. The editor has a unique point of view that I really appreciate. They just replayed one of the most affecting episodes I have heard called, "Growing Up Immigrant." One of the editors spoke about being the child of refugees. Her parents came from China, but were originally refugees from Vietnam. It was interesting to think about what is lost in a parent-child relationship when they do not share a dominant language.

She talked about a saying she learned from her parents; "eat bitter."

It's about the fact that all of us must &quo…