Tired in pain

I am dog-tired today. Dragged my butt off the couch (slept sitting up all night – reasons to follow shortly) and into the shower and before I knew it D was sticking his head in to let me know I was late. Crap. I finished my shower and jumped out, slapped some make up on my face (haven’t seen a mirror yet to see how poorly/well I did there lol) and left the house in ten minutes flat. I’ve adapted to the pain flare up I’m having by contorting my body at odd angles to alleviate the pain….I even went to try a new treatment this weekend in the hopes of finding some relief.

I’ve been to this place before, this wellness centre. The staff are kind and friendly, the therapists don’t push you into regimented appointments every Tuesday and Thursday for the next ten weeks and they listen to you when you have something to suggest or add to treatment….they really make you feel involved in the decision making, which makes for great bedside manner in the end. The one massage person I’ve seen there was in on Saturday morning when I arrived and he talked to me for several minutes about the procedure he pushed the last time I was there; decompression therapy.

They have these neck collars that have inflatable pockets that gently lift the pressure of your head from your neck, allowing the cervical spine to separate a little and reset infused with blood and fluids, making neck pain recede. I’ve been wary to try this treatment, although I have heard wonderful feedback from other spinal pain patients, the thought of separating my cervical vertebrae sounds a bit scary. I decided to trust it though, and go for it. I mean, I had to try or I’d never know if it might help me.

The collar was not tight around my throat but there was a big psychological barrier there for me, having something secured around my neck. The collar is heavy and covered in a silicone feeling material…the smell was burning and overpowering from the cleaner just recently applied. Strong enough to make my eyes water (which made me feel safer, weirdly). The therapist adjusted it several times stopping to ask if I could swallow and breathe alright after each adjustment. Once I worked around the psychological aspects of it I relaxed and told the therapist I was ready.

The pump was turned on and I could instantly feel the pressure building in the collar. It came up to meet my chin and I felt it press against the back ridge of my skull and my chin at the same time, forcing my head into an upward tilt. The side bladders filled slower and the therapist asked that I let him know when to stop, and to do so before I found it uncomfortable or had trouble breathing or swallowing. The side inflation is what gently pulled my neck into a full stretch and the pain was more or less gone. Granted, my head was at a very awkward angle and i had to sit very straight and still while fighting the urge to rip the thing off from around my neck, but the pain sort of released….but I wasn’t sure it was a good thing. We did three sets of 10 minutes each, one step up from the last each time, elongating the stretch. When we were done I felt strange. This is what I think happened…or what it felt like, anyway:

The pressure was let out of the device slowly and as it rested the weight of my head back onto my neck I suddenly felt I was in danger. You know that feeling….it’s a warning system your body uses to warn you before doing something that might adversely affect your health. Like when you try to pick something heavy up and you feel the strain in the wrong place…if you carry on anyway, after that wary “I shouldn’t do that” feeling you’re pretty much guaranteed to pay for your stupid choice. That’s how my neck felt. It was as if my bones had separated and then, as the pressure came down, the bones reconnected (without the cushioning of discs between) and sat precociously, one on top of the next, I felt as if the whole thing would fall apart if I moved my head too quickly in any direction.

I picked up a bottle of water and it felt like my thumb and middle finger were about to snap off at the joint. I put the water down and got a straw. I picked up the toothpaste while getting ready to go out and tried to squeeze some onto my toothbrush. It didn’t even almost work. I had to mash the tube flat against the counter with my elbow. I can’t even use my palm to do this anymore as my wrists are behaving like my finger joints.

So…no more decompression for me. I think it set off a system wide flare up? I know that reasoning is not sound but what else could it be? My very limited range of motion in my neck is now ridiculous. I can’t look over either shoulder without turning my entire body. My hands are weak and sore, joints are freezing and cracking in and out of position and inside, it feels as if my entire muscular system is too short for the bones that stretch it. The worst, right now, is a pain in my neck that is radiating to the joints in my jaw, right behind my ears, and the headache that never lets go.

It makes me angry to have to put up with all of this. There must be a way that doesn’t involve sedating myself to a zombie-state with drugs that will allow me to exist without having to fight so hard. I can’t stop working and cannot reduce my hours (there would be no point in that as I’ll just end up with no benefits for the meds and would only spend my time off sleeping or making myself crazy by staying cooped up and miserable.) I feel a little hopeless today…like this is it. *this* bullshit, is what life is made up of now. Miserable pain and making it to the next day, all the while hoping the pain might dim. When it doesn’t, I float along like this, trying not to validate it too much without ignoring it. Pretending it doesn’t exist isn’t a good thing. Paying it too much mind isn’t a good thing. So, today, I’ll wear it as a cloak, wrapped tight around my shoulders, and will try to make myself believe that when I make it through my day…another 7 hours or so….and get home I’ll be able to let some of it go….even if I have to blast my brain with enough drugs to render me useless.

This fucking sucks. I’m sick of feeling like a 90-year-old woman. I’m trying like hell to believe I can change this, even if just by perspective, but really, when your head hurts so much you start to feel sea sick from the throbbing…. well, there’s not much promise in those moments.

Okay. Whine concluded for the day. Maybe a coffee will help perk me up some.

A Happier Friday

And it’s Friday. I weighed myself this morning and I was down 5 pounds from two days before. This up and down is insane…I can gain or lose up to 7 pounds over night. I’m sure that’s not normal….I’m thinking water retention? Anyway…I’m a little happier today and my clothes don’t look like they are five sizes too small so I’ll go with it.

Yesterday was a bit of a positive eye opener for me. There was a staff bbq (they hold one every summer at each campus and tons of staff attend. They are really good…burgers, veggie burgers, cold salads and ice cream sandwiches with fresh lemonade. They are funded entirely by the upper management from their pockets….it makes a huge difference to the front line staff, I think. Anyway, I went with some of my new coworkers and while there saw dozens of people I used to work with, of course. Many people hugged me, they were so happy to see me and over and over people told me I looked exactly as I did the last time I saw them, proving that the extra pounds are as irrelevant to others as they are to me when I see someone I used to know.

Rationally, I know it’s ridiculous. I couldn’t care less how much someone weighs and that includes my partner. D could weigh a million and I wouldn’t even notice…..standards seem different for me. I know they shouldn’t be…so weird, how the human mind works sometimes.

I have a friend here who I strive to be more like each day. She has the most amazing sense of self…she is beautiful, confident, strong and give herself credit where credit is due. I’m using her as a mentor, almost. I remember vividly a post she made about a day she felt really good about everything and she phrased her self confidence as feeling “fat and sassy”. It made me smile but also wish so hard that one day I might be able to look at myself and like what I see again, despite looking human with a few extra pounds and (god forbid) signs of normal aging. At least I can see it…that’s got to be a decent first step right? (Thanks Mama…for all the inspiration) xox

I have a meeting with my very super energetic manager today. She’s a fire cracker, this one. She has her hands in everything and micromanages like crazy but, after working with the execs and working around their complex personalities, this one’s a breeze. She’s very kind and has a huge heart…loves her job beyond belief. It makes her very good at it and pretty easy to work for, although she’s rather demanding. Often, she will ask me to complete a task and will actually do it herself while I’m completing it. It wastes a ton of time in duplication but, I can’t complain. It’s better than being dumped on last minute as I’m accustomed to being treated. :)

Pain levels are slightly down today. My head hurts still and it feels like my brain is rattling around my head whenever I move but I have so many drugs in my system the pain is tolerable. I wish it would go away, even for half an hour sometime. The break would be so incredible….too many of you guys know exactly what I mean.

Still, it’s a happy day around here. It’s a quiet Friday, it’s a gorgeous day outside and everyone I’ve seen so far is smiling, me included.

Hope your day is wonderful, my friends. Here’s to clearer vision and loving ourselves for the unique, beautiful beings we are.

Head. Ache.

Holy headache batman! I have always had trouble with headaches, ever since my spine was first damaged when I was small. (yay dad. Thanks for that lasting ‘gift’). I recall in grade 7 (age 11-12) I had a seizure on the playground. Friends said I looked like I had been shot…apparently I convulsed while on my feet and then fell over onto my back without moving my arms or legs to protect my head which *thunked* off the pavement with a loud, sickening crack. I had a goose-egg bump that was very painful and had an overnight hospital stay with tons of testing directly thereafter. The neurologist who saw me then scolded my mother for not knowing I suffered from migraines….I remember her crying and apologizing to the doctor and how bad it made me feel to watch my mom suffer like that. I made excuses for her on the spot.

“I didn’t tell her about the headaches…” I tried.

It only served to make the physician more suspicious, I think. They did call the CAS (Children’s Services) then but since my parents started out as fosters in the very same system, a few meetings were all that happened and the case was closed.

It was determined by the neurosurgeon I saw last year that the original start to the degeneration of my spine, especially the cervical part, would have been (most likely) the physical abuse I suffered at the hands of my father. The seizure could have been caused by the same, however, I’m not sure how since I have never had another issue like that again…..oh shit. Yes I have. I fell to the ground in the middle of a meeting in the board room a few years ago…I had forgotten that. Hmm. Maybe something to refocus on next time I do a round of MRI’s and appointments.

Anyway. The point of all that was that I have had headaches of this sort all my life. As a kid I would crawl into my closet and press my head against the wall, counter pressure and the force of my hand would spread the pain out and make it slightly more tolerable. I would see lights in my vision at times, which helped confirm the migraine diagnosis. Mind you, of all the migraine treatments I tried, none of them worked at all.

Last night I was in such pain but also so exhausted that I managed to fall asleep around it for short little cap naps. Of course, I dreamed constantly and most of them concerned something to do with an injury to my head. At one point I was in Emerg with a knife sticking out of my skull and they kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me. I questioned them, clearly pointing out the knife and they said that they couldn’t put me in an MRI machine with a metal knife inside my brain so, I might as well go home. haha…stupid, I know but it was frustrating while I was in la-la land.

I woke up over and over in agony and it was so disorienting. I would try to stand up, under the impression that I was trapped under something that was crushing my skull and would fall. Eventually, D started waking with me and would grab me to stop me from getting up to keep me from falling and making things worse.

So, here I am at work, medicated to the moon and I’m still in pain. Head, shoulders, neck, face and (weirdly) hands. I brought a bag of raisins to munch on for energy and have only water to drink to up my intake…never know when dehydration plays a role, although I drink fluids nearly constantly. Actually, always. I always have a drink near by if not with me. It’s one reason my doc keeps insisting on testing me for diabetes but my sugars are pretty much always right in line no matter how many times we do fasting blood work.

So here I sit, floating along, trying to figure out where to focus my energy today. I think I’ll shoot for transient tasks that don’t require a high level of concentration. Hmmm have a few minutes to type…that’ll be nice and dry.

Take care my friends. Hope today is good to you.

A down day

What am I going to do with my boys? Colt is having a great summer so far and is behaving very well for the sitter (s) but once school starts up again he’ll likely take a nosedive right back into his old issues. He tends to do that when he is presented with the same frustrations. I’m trying to help prepare him but Wow does this kid ever hate being told what to do. I mean anything….he does what he is asked to do most of the time but I can see the frustration bubbling just under the surface. This sort of thing includes being told to get dressed, brush his teeth, eat his dinner….I suspect this will only get harder as he gets older. Makes me want to cry and then sleep for a million years….escape into nightmares that aren’t real rather than face the ones that are.

D is miserable these days too. He’s not liking his job at all and although he’s doing a lot of really good work, the sit-around-and-wait type schedule of the place is driving him nuts. He is stuck sitting in the office 3 days out of 5 and the manager is a prick. The guy doesn’t want to pick up any more work and likes having someone at the shop to send out for emergencies. D isn’t that kind of guy….I mean, he can do it, but he loves working hard, meeting schedules and using his brain. Sitting in the shop all day isn’t stimulating him at all. He gets paid well to sit around but, like I said, he hates it despite the pay. He’s starting to come home, make dinner for Colt and then passes out on the couch across from me when Colt goes to bed at 8:30 pm. Last night I asked him if he wanted to go to bed at 9:00 but he wanted to finish watching the show that was on and by that time that happened we were both out cold. I feel like I barely see the guy.

So now my house is generally miserable. I’m in pain, D is unhappy, Colt is grumpy and unsettled. The cats are doing well, at least. Hah. All this misery is exhausting.

I’m doing well at work, even in pain, although some days I would far rather sleep in than get up and go to work. The nightmares are escallating with the pain, as they often seem to, and now I’m dreaming of being rejected for things because I’m overweight. (I knew that would come up eventually as I’m feeling really down about it these days). Last night I dreamed I was auditioning for some sort of musical and although I sang well, the producers just sat and looked at me in disgust. They played film of me from years ago when I was young and beautiful. Looking between the screen and my actual body they just shook their heads.

“What the hell happened to you…?” One of them wondered aloud.

I felt every bit of fat on me wobble as I left the room, teary and feeling horrible about myself.

I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t still gaining. I eat an apple and a granola bar at work and a small dinner each night with tons of water and green tea between and I’m still crawling upwards. It makes me freak out inside….I don’t even really want to be skinny again, like I was, but wow, is it ever hard to find clothes that fit. I bought a size 16 shorts and they didn’t fit right. 16. I was a size 2-4 not even two years ago. Was an 8 not six months ago (and that was fine too).

So it’s not my thyroid. My doc checks that constantly. I’m not diabetic, I have no weird tumors or conditions…the only thing that has changed from me being 135 and 155 is the addition of the birth control pill. I’m going off that for a month starting now so, maybe I’ll see an improvement and all will be fine. All I know is that this is the last straw. I don’t want to be fat. I don’t want to cringe when I see my reflection in the mirror. I don’t know where to get confidence from if I look like shit.

I hurt all the time and my head is just killing me with the headaches. I wake up every night now with a screaming pain in my head, throbbing and completely over the top pain-wise. I woke to it around 2 am last night and stood up to get some meds…fell over. Smashed my head off the coffee table. *sigh* Didn’t help, of course. I got the meds and then promptly threw up (the headaches often make me do so). It turned into a battle with my body where I take meds with a teeny tiny sip of water and then hold my head, front and back, as tight as I can with an ice pack on my neck and I basically sit in the dark and rock back and forth trying to ride it out without puking the meds up again. Somewhere around 4 am I was successful and the moment the edge came off the pain I passed out on the floor, waking at 6 when my phone alarm went off beside my head. (Also had an earwig smooshed under my face. Was rather disgusted, flicked it away and got in the shower).

All that said, I’m not really feeling lonely or seeking any comfort. I’m quite happy to have only a few people to keep in touch with these days. Coping with the pain is taking up so much of my energy and now my weekends are spent negotiating with two grumpy, unhappy, miserable guys who don’t want to do anything but sit around and mope. I guess they get a turn though…I did it to them for a while when I was in a worse place. It just makes home a place of stress and (what feels to me like) rejection. It kinda sucks. I wish we were happier. I wish there was something D wanted to talk about aside from bitching about work constantly. He can’t seem to stop…it just circles in his head and he’ll tell me the same story ten times in a row, ten different ways, explaining every little detail to the letter. I want to help him but I know that wallowing in his cycles won’t help at all….still, I listen and try to give helpful advice. I want him to feel better, be happier and look to a more promising future. Kinda hard when Colt seems to be self-sabotaging everything (hmmm I wonder where he got that little trait from eh? Crap. :S), while I’m in constant pain and D hates everything he does in his day.

When do I get to win? Seriously. I am thankful as anything to have this job so that’s one decent experience in the last while. I can’t complain, really. Two people I know are in the process of being fired or laid off and they are getting no help from anywhere, even the gal on layoff. She’s about to get her severance papers and get sent walking. The other…well, she made her own bed but I still feel bad for her. I could be much sicker than I am….it’s just pain, after all. Colt could be afflicted by a more severe form of Autism. Things could most certainly be worse and I feel lucky for what I do have but wow….will the fight just to be happy ever end? It’s one thing after the next around here.

Sometimes I still wonder if I’m bringing all this to myself but I’ve wandered this path so many times it seems futile. I think if we had someone to turn to…some family around who might be able to help us somehow; How, I cannot say. I know people, no matter how much they loved us, would not be able to fix Colt’s problems, or mine or D’s for that matter. It just is what it is. I will not be relieved of this pain ever, in fact, I’m constantly aware that *this* is about the best I’m likely to ever feel again. Colt will always have struggles to face and his behaviour will have to adapt or, it won’t and he’ll not get along well at all in society. D is the only one who might win out of us all but he is trapped in a place where everyone he loves is suffering. It’s a hell of a lot of pressure to think it’s all on him, I know.

We take walks through the woods on weekend, try to find some peace, but just beneath the surface D is thinking about work, Colt is thinking about not wanting to be there and I am ever-so-carefully trying not to break my neck in a tumble on some loose earth or a camouflaged tree root sticking out of the ground. The neurosurgeon told me to be careful of these things….My neck is a pretty messed up place. Imagine a Jenga game, blocks sticking out at all angles, threatening to collapse at any moment. That pretty much looks exactly like the MRI pictures of my cervical spine. The last thing I need is to be paralyzed from the fucking neck down. Although it should at least relieve the constant pain. (Oh shit no it wouldn’t! I’ll bet the only part I could feel would be the insufferable headaches!).

I’m starving. Maybe I’ll make myself some green tea to fill my stomach up.

Craaaaaaap this life is just so hard to stay positive about. What the hell did I ever do to deserve all of this? What did any of us do? *Sigh*

Dreams of my friend in the woods


I woke this morning near the end of this dream and it’s stuck in my body. I feel nauseous when I think of it and start to panic…heart pounding fear. I figure I’ll write it out to relieve myself of the memory, for now.

I was dreaming of my friend from the woods. We were sitting in her living room watching movies on television with some other people. We were sitting on the couch, curled up together with limbs intertwined. I loved the feeling of her hair tickling my cheek as I rested my head on her shoulder. The love I feel for her is overwhelming and intense, always.

We were discussing what we were going to do the next day. I had plans but wanted her to come with me…I always wanted her to come with me. She was part of my existence and I needed her around as often as I could get her. She seemed to feel the same way and agreed to come with me for the entire day. I smiled and snuggled into her body, happy to know I’d have her for all of the next day by my side.

She yawned and said she was sleepy. Wanted to go to bed. I told her I’d come up in a few minutes after the end of the movie I was watching. She didn’t kiss me goodnight but squeezed my hand in hers and made her way up the stairs to her room.

Her parents were not home, in fact, they hadn’t been home for some time. I was there constantly and never saw them, which was fine by me since they hated me openly and wanted me out of their house the moment they found me in it. I assumed they were coming home very late and leaving very early most days and left the thought at that….I had no desire to investigate futher.

There was a muffled thump from the upper floor a few minutes after my friend had left for bed but I didn’t think it was anything suspicious and ignored it. Shortly after I though I heard her crying so I got up and made my way to the stairs, listening intently. Another odd noise vaulted me into action and I ran up the stairs to her room. As I came through the door I saw her mother on the bed, on top of my friend and she was doing something awful to her….I couldn’t see exactly what was happening but I knew it was very wrong and very hurtful. The mother saw me and her eyes widened, ringed with ugly black eyeliner and poorly applied bright blue eyeshadow that smudged across one side of her face. She was on all fours over my friend on the bed and although my friend was fully clothed, it looked like her mother was molesting her somehow.

“What the hell are you doing?!” I yelled, much too loud for the silence in the house.

The mother jumped up and nearly hissed at me like a cat, then, with awkward movements and joints bending at all angles, she pushed past me and ran down the stairs and out the front door without a word.

I ran to my friend’s side. She was face down on the bed, fully clothed and unconscious. Her face was wet from tears and there were small bruises appearing on her skin. I rolled her over and called her name, now crying myself, and tried to rouse her. Unable, I grabbed my phone and called for an ambulance.

When the medics arrived they checked her vitals and, deeming her fit to travel, a large man picked her up and carried her down the stairs to the waiting stretcher on the front stoop. I ran after them and tried to jump into the back of the ambulance but the attendant pushed me out.

“You can’t come in here.” he said, gruffly.

“I need to be with her!” I pleaded, near hysterics at that point.

“Sorry. You cannot come in here.” he repeated and shoved me back once again.

They loaded her in and drove away, sirens blazing; the lights turned kaleidoscopic through my teary eyes.

I went back inside and up the stairs to her room, looking for anything out of place. As soon as I entered the smell of cold-fear sweat filled my senses and I immediately turned to open a window. I stripped the linens from the bed and remade it with fresh ones, changed her pillow cases and took the lot downstairs to the laundry room. I went back upstairs to see if the smell had gone and was happy to find that it had diminished. I could still smell it though…a mix of body odour and cheap perfume from the mother and a cold sweat from my friend who had been so afraid when her mother attacked her. There was a stinging medicinal smell as well, faint but there, and I started to search the floor under the bed for the source. I came up with a partially empty vial and a dirty needle…..her mother had drugged her with something. I picked both up and made a call to the police then sat on her freshly made bed with a shirt of hers in my hands. I kept lifting it to my face to breathe her smell in as a comfort. I already felt like she had been gone forever….I couldn’t imagine living life without her.

I got myself together and went down to the front door to see if my car was there. It wasn’t…that happens often so I wasn’t too surprised. There was a small, narrow truck in the driveway though and I knew it’s owner was still in the basement watching movies. I ran down the stairs and hit him up for a ride to the hospital. He was unwilling, but did so anyway, protesting all the while. I think he was my friends uncle.

The truck was very small and the seats were hard to fit into. I stared hopelessly down at my fat legs and shifted uncomfortably over and over again.

“If you’re going to complain, you can always walk to the hospital.” said my unwilling driver.

I said nothing. We arrived and I met the police at the nurses station where my friend had been taken.

“Hello Ms.” the officer began. “They’ve taken your friend down to the psychiatric observation unit and she is on lock down. No one is allowed in or out so you won’t be able to see her right now.”

I started to cry. I needed, so badly, to see her. I wanted to crawl into her bed with her and hold her, rouse her, make sure she knew I would protect her no matter what the cost.

“You can collect her things. They were left in the room she was originally admitted to.” He said.

I went to the room, somehow already knowing it’s location and found her purse, jacket and clothing, none of which had been placed in the ambulance with her and I paused to consider that as I started to fold her clothes. I could smell her on them and it quickly overwhelmed me. I climbed into the bed and cried, holding her clothes to me like a teddy bear. The woman across from me stared openly, silently scolding me for something. Her eyes were mean and it was clear she thought I had done something wrong.

After claiming her things, I found the uncle, fuming in the lobby, and we went back to her house through another uncomfortable ride in his terribly small truck. I felt good enough knowing that her mother would not be able to access my friend for a few days while she was kept in observation. I was overwhelmed with sadness, however, as I realized I would also not see her for several days, at least. I knew she needed me to heal her soul and if I couldn’t be with her, the healing would just stall until I reached her. I wanted to be with her so badly I could barely stand the need.

Once back at the house I went into her bedroom and barricaded the door, piling things in front of it so it would not open from the outside, just in case her mother returned. I spent a restless night in her bed, alone, with nothing but her clothes and the smell of her on them to comfort me as I lay there, awake and feeling hopelessly alone. I couldn’t stop thinking of what she must be feeling, all alone in the psych ward being stared at by medical professionals who didn’t really care. It felt like I was dying…like she provided oxygen and I was slowly suffocating without her. It was heart-wrenching, the loss. I just wanted her well. Home. By my side and not in the hospital. I hated her mother then, more than I’ve ever felt in life.

I still feel sick, in real life, even though I’ve been awake for hours and came into work, made friendly morning chit chat with coworkers. I hope this clears some of the emotion from my mind so I can focus on work for the day. Then, maybe, I’ll get to hunt her asshole mother down tonight in dreams. That would be fun, for once.

Anyway. Means nothing. Just a dream….but wow do I ever love this woman I keep dreaming of. It’s weird, having a deep emotional connection to a person who only exists in my dreams. I wish my brain would be slightly more literal at times.

Have a good day all.

Monday blues and a little love

Coping. It all comes down to how you cope, I think. I’ve spend the weekend thinking about this, how we (as in the Global “We”) spend our lives. Some of us will forever wallow in the darker waters feeling helpless and lost and some will survive despite it all. Some will be happy about surviving and some bitter….in the end, it’s all in how you look at it. Perspective.

Today I am in a lot of pain. This whole weekend was difficult, actually, and it’s only grown worse as the hours went on. The pain is from my shoulders, neck, upper back, collarbone, ribs, face and head and it’s unrelenting no matter what I do. I spent much of the weekend with ice on my upper half, meds polluting my bloodstream and I was very, very gentle with myself. I did a bit of housework, got out for some sun and managed to paint my nails. Pretty successful weekend, all things considered.

When I woke this morning it was in a torrent of pain streaming from my neck and my lower back. Every time I tried to move I nearly cried and I ended up sliding off the couch onto the floor and ever-so-slowly got to my feet, using as few joints as possible. I took my meds immediately and hobbled to the shower where I sat in the tub and bawled as the warm water washed away some of my pain. I cleaned myself from there, letting the shampoo run over my face as I rinsed, and then I dried myself still sitting there. I was stuck like that for nearly 30 minutes as my medication slowly kicked in and by the time I had a tiny bit of relief it was time to leave for work.

I arrived before anyone else (strangely) and had time to check myself out in the mirror in the gym (there are full length mirrors all over the damn place here – impossible to avoid!). I was stunned to see that I looked pretty together. I’ve bought some new clothes (mostly second hand) to better suit my now-bigger frame as most of my old clothes were made for skinnier people. I feel a lot more comfortable in the bigger clothes as much as I hate the size of them. Anyway, I was happy to see how bright and alert I looked…like the costume had been applied perfectly. I don’t want to sulk around here, at my new job, all miserable and hunched over in pain. I want to pull this off somehow, for however long I am able. So far so good. I can be in such pain I try not to draw a deep breath and still look like I’m capable of working an 8-hour day with ease. (ha! Maybe I should look again after I’ve been here a few hours – things might change. lol).

Fuck I’m so sore. I keep trying to stretch out the pain but it’s not in the muscles…plus I can’t seem to stretch the areas that hurt so much. It’s like having an itch dead centre on your back that you can’t reach no matter what you do, only it’s pain. I could take another pill and knock myself into a zombie state for the day, but really? Really?? That this is the only option mortifies me.

I keep getting tea stuck on my little throat-ledge thingy (did I tell you guys I went to my doc for that? She’s setting up a swallowing assessment for me sometime this summer) and setting off choking fits that cause coworkers to come running to see if I’m dying. (They are so kind to check on me…lol…even had a near crippled patient wobble over to me on her crutches to see if I was okay). :) Makes me happy to see that kind of compassion, but it’s still so embarrassing. I’ve already told the girls up front that it will happen and that I’m okay, just coughing, not choking. They are very good at calling off all the folks who want to give me CPR…lol.

On that note – the people here remain absolutely amazing. My first impressions were accurate – these folks love their jobs and care about what they do. Their patients are their top priority and it’s very common to walk by the gym to see several therapists gathered around a patient they are not currently treating just to cheer them on. One particular elderly woman has started stopping in my office to show off her progress each time she comes in….I adore her already. These people lift my soul up….I remain in awe of many of them and feel so lucky to be here. This job change has saved my life some…given me hope. So many patients walk past my office in worse states than I’ve ever been and yet they persevere; work hard to change the state of things. If they can do it I can do it.

On with my day. I’m going to go get a hot cup of tea and try to put a little space between me and my aching bones.

xx G

Pounds, ounces and another hurdle to jump

I’m struggling to wake up this morning. For some reason we were all up last night, tossing and turning. I was in pain before bed, pretty bad headache and pain through my shoulders/neck/chest/ribs but I took some extra meds hoping to get some good rest. Wasn’t to be. It wasn’t just me though, as I said….D kept waking me and I heard Colt up every time I woke. Must have been the weather or something.

Another issue that’s bugging me….I’ve been exercising more (walking, using the stairs rather than the elevator every time I need to go somewhere – up and down four stories from my office several times a day) and I’ve been eating super carefully for the last month or so. I keep a stock of fresh salad in the fridge here at work and I don’t use dressing aside from a splash of vinegar and some salt and pepper. I drink tons of water and green tea through the day and I try to eat a small, sensible meal at home. I’ve cut out snacks aside from small bowls of frosted mini-wheats and I’m not drinking any alcohol and very limited Pepsi. I don’t eat sugary snacks, salty snacks, pasta, fast food, or anything that tastes good. Somehow, through all of this, I’ve continued gaining weight. I was floating at the 145-150 mark for a while there and was coming to accept these changes in my body but now I’m going over 150 and it’s happening despite diet and exercise. It seems so fucking unfair.

I was 120 and so happy for the longest time. 130 was okay, same as 120 just fleshed out a little. 140 I didn’t like, 150 I hated and now I’m climbing again. When I was bursting pregnant with Colt I weighted 160 at my absolute max. If I hit that now I will be devastated.

I know it’s vain. I know weight doesn’t really matter. I know it’s what is on the inside that counts. I also know that people don’t recognize me anymore and some think I’m pregnant again, which is mortifying. I want to make a t-shirt that says “I’m not pregnant so please don’t ask!” I used to be slender, pretty and confident. Now I feel middle-aged and chunky….nothing fits me. I have a bad curve to my lower spine thanks to the arthritis and it gives me an “S” shape that accentuates my belly making me look even bigger. *sigh* It’s really hard to deal with this for some stupid reason.

I went to Walmart a few weeks ago and thought I’d try to find some shorts that fit. I used to be a size 4…..I couldn’t even get the 12′s past my thighs. I bawled in the change room like an idiot….I couldn’t make myself try on the 14…I was too afraid that wouldn’t fit either.

I know this is stupid. I know I have much bigger and more important things to worry about. I know that my body doesn’t define me, only….it kind of does in my head.

D is a great guy but not a particularly physically affectionate sort. Our sex life is fantastic (sorry for the TMI if you didn’t want to know that) but aside from the actual act, he tends to stay just out of reach. At one point in our lives together he couldn’t leave me alone but now….well, it’s just different. We’ve been around each other so long and life has changed so much….I don’t think he loves or wants me any less but with this new weight gain issue it’s gnawing at my brain.

I’m going to try stopping the birth control pill. I know that can reset your body and cause weight gain so I’ll go off for a month to see what happens. I’m worried that the issues I had prior to starting it will come back. I was having horrible hot flashes all the time, terrible periods and other issues. The risk/benefit ratio is not clear to me. Would I rather be miserable and thinner or well and fatter? Sadly, I think the former is more accurate. My other worry is that I’ll go off the pill, not lose an ounce and then go back on it only to gain another ten pounds. With everything else I have to cope with….this is just one I wish I could avoid somehow.

Bah. Life. Okay, time to drag my tired, aching body through today and see if I can make it to my couch without falling asleep on my feet. (I also made a little error at work and it’s killing my confidence. It was my first time through this particular audit and one of my two bosses is going to review it with me later today. She’s not angry but is a little miffed, I can tell. Will have to wait to see if she understands, this being my first time through and all.)

Have a good one guys.


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