Aggravating on Principle

Have you ever been faced with a familiar situation, one that happens semi-regularly, that you can’t realistically stop from happening unless you significantly change something, that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things but that royally ticks you off every time it happens?

I’ve just had one.  I no longer even wait for the situation to fully bloom into its annoying fullness.

Instead, I’m trying to forestall the arguments before they can even happen.

But the heart, it’s still racing, my ire still high, cheeks flushed and clearly my fingers typing in aggravated, frustrated and semi-righteous fervor.  Obviously in anticipation of the supposedly potentially forestalled arguments.

Yes, I’m aggravated on principle before said principle has even been pushed on.  I do believe this is referred to as a knee-jerk reaction.

Sounds about right.

🙂  Well, nothing like a good aggravation to clear the arteries.  I feel better for sharing.  Thank you.


Day 12? of Hell

I’m writing this out so that I won’t completely forget what the past couple of weeks have been like when (notice the optimism of when cf. if) the pain finally goes.

Yes, pain.  Agonizing, excrutiating, overwhelming, unignorable, incapacitating pain.

Apparently I have a slipped/herniated disc leading to sciatica.  Did you know that there is a posterior sciatic nerve (which is the agonizing pain straight down the back of the leg) AND an anterior sciatic nerve (which causes pain down the outside of the leg)?  I didn’t.  But now I do, and oh OW how I know it.

The onset was slow, inexplicable, no sudden movement or funny accident that caused a sudden burning agony.  Instead it was slow.  At first I thought it was just a muscle ache.  One that lingered for two weeks growing increasingly worse.

I finally dealt with it by going to the chiropractor who put my hip back in (apparently it was strangely twisted) but alas the pain didn’t disperse.

It got worse.

I saw the chiropractor again, then the physiotherapist, twice, then a doctor at work.  That visit was simply because the pain was too much by then.  Or so I thought.


There was such a remarkable scale of pain yet to be encountered.

So I got painkillers, tramadol.  At this stage sitting was pretty problematic and walking hurt, and I couldn’t stand still, but little did I know what was yet to come.  The tramadol helped.  Mildly.  Fyi, tramadol is a synthetic opiate.  Over the counter was doing shit all so it was time for the big guns.

But the big gun wasn’t really cutting it so once my doctor’s office opened again I went in to see her (This was about Dec 21?).  Thus the diagnosis of a slipped disc.  And you know what you can do about it?

Shit all.

Take drugs, stay mostly immobile, wait for the swelling to go down.  :/

So I got a triple prescription of more tramadol for the pain, cyclobenzaprine for a muscle relaxant and naproxen for the anti-inflammatory.  Did I mention that my doctor is in Vancouver but I live 45 minutes away in New West?  My head went woozy at least twice on that drive home from the pain of sitting.

I made it to the Pharmasave and got my prescriptions filled in under 8 minutes.  Yes, I looked that bad.

Made it home, got the medications, water and myself to the couch and I’ve basically existed between the couch and bed ever since.  Luckily for me, pretty nearly every day felt the same or worse (mostly worse).  The outside of my left foot went numb (I long for the day I can feel my baby toe again) and a couple of days ago the numbness migrated up the outside of my leg to my knee.

Do you know what you do for this?  You wait.  Because in most cases it goes away on its own.

Within a couple of days of when I admitted defeat and collapsed at home, the pain for standing and walking had grown to the point where I could only stand or walk for a minute or two before I *had* to get back to a prone position or collapse weeping.  I don’t remember the last time that I cried from pain (the tattoo doesn’t count imo) or nearly passed out from it.

Huge massive thank you’s to my friends and family for helping me out through this.  For things like groceries, the new pain prescription (I’m now on ‘real’ narcotics – oxycodone/supeodol) and kitty litter cleaning, etc.

Naturally with any action causing shooting agony followed by waves of scorching pain once I was horizontal again, I was very limited in what I could do, forcing me to consider what where the most necessary things in life.

Hair brushing didn’t make that list.  Teeth brushing only occasionally.  And everything had to be orchestrated for maximum time standing effectiveness.

My days have gone something like this, where this is the worked out most efficient morning when the pain has been at its worst:

  • wake up and cringe because the first hour of the day sucks
  • reach down and grab yesterday’s pajamas and put them on carefully while still lying in bed (if they were getting too smelly they would get changed out during the day if I had a shower or bath)
  • grab the water bottle, pain medication and cell from beside the bed and head straight to the kitchen
  • feed the cats as quickly as was humanly possible (they’re now on wet food but that’s a whole different story) and pick up yesterday’s food plates (picking them up the previous day would be an extraneous action, you see), and grab a banana
  • limp frantically to couch, drop phone, pills and cell beside couch as I collapse carefully onto it
  • spend 5-15 minutes (depending on the day) with waves of pain rolling up and down my body that I keep breathing through and consciously relax into so that they’ll pass faster.
  • eat banana and take all three medications (anti-inflammatory requires food with pill)
  • get up and go to the bathroom.  On a good day I would brush my teeth first, most days my teeth got brushed several hours into the day.  First because sitting down (and that’s what our toilets require) causes too much pain so after the bathroom it’s always straight back to proneness on the couch.
  • spend 10-25 minutes recovering
  • spend day alternating between couch on back and for short periods of time on stomach.
  • getting a meal was usually get up, throw bagel into toaster oven, crash back onto couch and breath through pain, get up when ding said done, put cream cheese on bagel, crash back down on couch and eat
  • there were occasional bathroom breaks, always leading to owie time on the couch
  • if no one came over who I could convince to clean kitty litter, then I would do that at some point during the day
  • I have read many books.  Hardcovers are easier on the wrists if you rest them on your chest when you read them.
  • I have watched a ridiculous amount of tv.  Turns out that dvd’s require you to bend or kneel down to pick the next one and then y0u have to be in that same torturous position to change out the dvd.  Not worth it.
  • I have had several visits, yay peeps!
  • I have cuddled cats.  A lot.  I’ve also kicked them off me a lot when the pain was too much
  • This is the first day I’ve been capable of spending any time on the computer typing, so not a lot of net surfing has been happening.  Okay, essentially none.
  • I have waited for a positive change in my condition (ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone but I think today is better than yesterday!)
  • I missed half of present opening on xmas day due to overwhelming pain.  There was an incident involving a 140 pound dog stepping on my breast (on the piercing no less!) causing back spasm on top of the pain of the 10 minute drive to get to mom’s house, not to mention the agony of walking from apartment to car.
  • Each day has been measured in time chunks related to when I would next take a pill (one was 2 x/day, 1 was 3x/day, another was 4…you get the idea)
  • And in the middle of it I got my period.  Wimpiest period I’ve had in probably two decades, for which I am eternally grateful.

Thankfully the drugs kept me from caring too much.  Sleeping’s been torture though.  Turns out that I have three sleeping positions:  they are all flat on my back and simply variations of how my legs are arranged.  I never sleep on my back, as in it’s practically impossible for me to fall asleep except on my stomach or maybe my side.  So I haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in almost two weeks.  That doesn’t help I must say.

I have learned that looking after my cats’ needs is one of my basic requirements of living (it’s a responsibility thing), then that which may help me get better.  Food and water.  Everything after that, and I mean everything, was negotiable.  Because doing anything results in lying flat on my back breathing through waves of pain.  And that’s for things that took two minutes or less.  Washing hair is at least 8 minutes of standing = lamaz breathing agony.

Okay, done now, pain calling.

Oh, with one addition, this isn’t shared as a pity request.  I really do want a record from when I’m in the midst of this for later when I forget, and in case anyone wonders why they haven’t heard from me, well, this is why.

Ciao bellas/bellos.  🙂

Society Encourages the ‘Me’-A Spiritual Christmas?

Okay, so a couple of days I got a tad tipsy, saw an ad that was for some high ticket item.  It was definitely a Christmas ad, but it was promoting that we buy the item for ourselves, not for others.  This led to something of a rant.

I’ve hopefully cleaned it up enough that you can garner some smidge of a booze-addled insight from my rantings.  Feel free to correct me.

(Of course, it’s always possible that the commentary is also completely obvious, but letting it out made me feel good.)

Christmas ads are apparently now about getting stuff for yourself, before christmas.  Giving license to all of us to  be self-interested at this time of year.  Oh yeah, don’t forget to get something for the people you care about, but don’t you also care about yourself?  If you did, you would buy that fabulously priced 60″ lcd tv now to save yourself stress and money.  Waiting for Boxing Day and using only those funds left after christmas that you can afford?  That’s just silly talk.

We’re saying it’s okay to put yourself first.

Do you remember when Christmas was about giving to other people and yes, also about getting, but it was about what other people gave you.  It wasn’t about what you could get for yourself.  When did it stop being a social, community, all about each other event and become all about the Me?

The Me?  What’s that?  You know, the individual, the I I I me me me that wants to come first.  Like when we were five and didn’t really get why we had to share our toys.  Mine first, you can have it later if I decide to give it to you.  All about me.

And here we are, 17 days to Christmas and the ads are telling us to go out and buy this cool ‘x’ for ourselves.

Commercialism is clearly driving our society.  It is the driver of the chariot of our social opinions.  It gets money by getting us to spend.  We’re letting it tell us that it’s time to let go of the spiritual meanings in our lives in pursuit of getting the next cool thing.

It makes me ill.  It’s hard enough holding onto, finding, and/or drinking in our spiritual experiences.  It’s just that much harder when we are being slapped at every turn with instructions on how to be a more selfish, self-interested, self-involved individual.

Show your love this season by showing that you care.  Which does not mean buying the biggest thing you possible can….for yourself.

Okay, I admit, I should stop watching tv again.

Happy holidays!

Lost in Fantasyland

Ah, the joys of obsession.  You know them, don’t you?  When you start a project and in your head you’re thinking ‘this is cool, this project of mine, I’ll have fun with it’.

Do you know what those phrases have in common?

They all presume that ‘I’ am in control of the process.


I should know better.  I have cats after all.  The illusion of control is one that has been repeatedly stripped from me but still, hope lingers.  And it lingered in the taking on of the NaNoWriMo challenge.  My fiction persona, Samantha Herne, has taken over my life and it’s been write write write all the time.  As I type that I feel a little bit like the Mad Hatter.

That brings me comfort.  Which just goes to show that my world is a strange one.

But as disruptive as such obsessions are, I do believe there is something good in them.  There is a freeing, a releasing in giving yourself over completely to something you love.  With caveats of course for things like eating, sleeping and not killing or torturing people.  Well, live people.  I write fiction so tormenting people is something that I’m required to do.  Muwhahahaha.  Oh, sorry, outside cackle.

Regardless, I will be attempting to stay in better contact.  Because I know I’ve been a bad blogger and I will attempt to rectify that.

Abysmal Witch, out.

Hello attic!

By city decree the storage room created by the previous owners of my apartment must be turned back into attic space.  This was not the most fun thing on the planet.  It did make for some good pictures at the end, though.

First came the getting rid of things.  Purge, baby, purge.  Not in my nature, but I’ve done well.  Then came the day of good friends and much workness.

We got the old icky insulation bagged up.

I rather liked this action shot:

It all fit in the elevator, too:

Really, it could have been much worse.  That’s what I need to remember.  😉

And then there was the end of work and enjoying the endness of it.  Must record these moments for posterity.

And now the big reveal.  Here is the attic-that-was-previously-a-storage-room.  Just imagine how much stuff I could have (and did have!) in there.  I am proud to say that my apartment looks essentially unchanged by the absorption of that which didn’t get given or tossed away.  We are nearing the end of the saga.  Just need to have the inspection and then it is all done.  Yay?


I hate days like this.

There is an underlying pall that wants to drag me down into…I don’t even know where.  Ha!  A lie!  I have a damn fine idea of where.

It’s all nicely hidden at the moment.  A general malaise.  A sense of dissatisfaction with my world but without inclination to do something different.  A quiet burble of sadness happening at a level just below awareness.

The familiar questions:  am I on the right path?  If so, then why this feeling?  If it’s not the right path, then where else should I be traveling?

Heart-tired, soul-tired, body-tired, mind-dazed, all different ways of saying sadness.

Sneaking up on me for days.  No idea at all where it’s going to take me or even if I will let it take me anywhere.  Such a fine line between exploring negative thoughts for the purpose of embracing/releasing them and falling prey to them.

There’s no where else to go with this for right now.  Will work.  Will feel (gah!).  Will find a way through.

It’s the dark forest at night, when all you want to do is get home to the safety and comfort of your bed, but the owls call to each other around you and the outside chill is sneaking into your bones and bringing with it the stirrings of fear.  And the only way out is to move your feet forward and walk yourself home.