Tag Archives: Illness

Sick again.

I’ve had a kidney infection for the past week and a half, roughly. I will see my doctor tomorrow, and she will probably prescribe more antibiotics, which will hopefully put a full end to this and I can get back to other things. I had high fevers and constant vomiting during the worst part of it.

It’s left me feeling very weak and tired, considerably too much so to do more than scrape together a donation for the Buddhist holiday, Saga Dawa, instead of doing the practices I’d been planning on.

I wonder what I need to do to get into a place with my health where I can do the things I want to do. In general, my illnesses respond to good nutrition and mild exercise, like walks, or qi gong, or yoga, but both of those, and especially cooking, require a baseline of health that I’ve fallen below. I can probably manage the mild exercise, and take all of my vitamins again, and maybe that would help boost me back up to a place where I can do more cooking? Hard to say, but I would love to eat a more varied diet than I have been.

Attempting a comeback.

I’ve had a very difficult time since the car wreck in February of 2014. My depression has been intense, and there were many months of physical therapy, plus as usually happens to anyone suffering from ME/CFS. it got worse following the trauma/injury of the accident and I had little to no energy, turning being largely housebound to being almost entirely bedbound. I have hardly  had the energy to take care of myself and feed myself (I’ve had a few periods of losing a lot of weight because I couldn’t cook and eat regularly), and my ability to do spiritual things went away, and I could not concentrate to meditate.

Then we also had to move in the autumn when our lease was up because one of our neighbors was behaving very dangerously toward us, driving nails into our tires and things like that, and coming to our house to scream at us because he did not like it when we parked in front of his house on a street with no off-street parking. We double-checked: it is legal to park in front of anyone’s house anywhere. We also filed a police report. But we began to wonder if the accident, when our brakes made a strange noise and failed and we slid through an intersection on ice, was also due to sabotage on the part of this neighbor, and no one wanted to stay there.

There are willow trees near the new apartment and I’ve hoped that would ultimately be a good sign. It is warmer and I should walk over to one to visit with it when I can and see what it is like.

But it probably says more about my fatigue and depression than anything else that we have been here since November and I have not unboxed my altar yet. I don’t actually have any statues of Freyr, so it is mostly other little things like willow wood, or things that make me think of him (some little ceramic boars and deer), and my Buddhist stuff.

It would do me a world of good to start extremely small and try to meditate for ten minutes again every day, and work that back up to half an hour for daily practice, and then get back into my online classes that require a day of full practice to finish each module.

I have still travelled when I’ve slept, and sometimes when I’ve been awake, so I know that if nothing else, I have been able to maintain my friendships and relationship, with him and his household, and people like Brand’s parents, and some of the other gods and spirits that Brand works with or is friends with.

It isn’t very satisfying, though, to only do things that way. No one has seemed to mind it, particularly, except insofar as that I have been unhappy with it. He has never demanded more from me or been disappointed that I’ve been too unwell to do anything. He tells me love is not about what someone can do for you. When you love someone who becomes very sick, you do not stop loving them simply because they are in bed and very weak, and can’t do things like they used to.

I have, however, had the experience with other people that they do, in fact, stop loving you when you get sick. What few friends I had not already lost from being sick, I seem to have lost during the time when I was too tired to write emails or chat with them, and subsequent attempts at talking when I was feeling better resulted in things like, “I thought you weren’t talking to me anymore,” despite how many times I said in multiple places they could read that I was doing very badly. It hurt a lot, and has always hurt, every time it has happened, which  has been every time I have gotten sicker. Most people never stop being ill, so it is always going to come in waves, and if this is what is always going to happen, even with friends I’ve had for close to ten years, I feel incredibly hopeless about the concept of friendship with other humans.

When I mentioned this situation to him, he gave me a long look — the sort that he usually does when what he wants to say is something that I will not like and he is trying to find another way to word it. Then Loki saved him from it by saying, “You can do better,” and literally patting me on the head.

I don’t remember where some of the things are on wordpress like subscribers, but probably most people who read this journal are not still reading it, and I can’t blame them for that, but I am planning to use the extra energy of the springtime to try to regrow the barren wasteland of my spiritual life, and start writing nearly every day again.

Pain

Commentary on this post on tumblr.

My rapid decline in health after I was forced to move continues to worry me. I was already, most people would have said, somewhere in the Jar Jar Binks infinite loop region of a life lacking in quality or tolerability. But I have collapsed into areas I do not know how to label or define. My pain scale has moved into heights no one is buying.

“A seven is a profoundly good day, lately.”

“What’s equivalent to a seven?”

“When I had severely broken a bone and wasn’t given any medicine for it.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

What was once my idea of ten — 24 hours after the bone surgery to repair the break, which involved inserting six screws and cramming the bone back under muscle and tissue, when they had not given me any medicine for ten hours — is now residing around 8.5.

Right now, how do I feel? 9? 10? 11? Do numbers have any use, now? Do they make sense? If they’ve crossed into complete disbelief, what reason is there to try to accurately label my suffering?

try to imagine ‘the worst pain I can imagine’ so I can reset 10 to something I can point at with any lucidity. “Amputation of limb via dull hand saw without anaesthesia” is my current best guess.

I was speaking to someone recently, a chemical engineer, who was enraged about the complete lack of safety protections or measures for people who work in food service and handle large amounts of boiling water. I’d mentioned how often we all had gotten burned at work, and how very severe one person’s burns were (she would not remove her soaked clothing in the back room in private, and ended up allowing her skin to ‘cook’ for a lengthy period of time, which made it even worse than the water itself was). He was so angry about the commonality of serious and severe burns people get.

I thought about the day when I burned the entire back of my hand and between all of my fingers and silently put my hand under the tap for a couple of minutes until I was certain my skin was tepid, dabbed some aloe on it, and went back to work without anyone knowing what had happened. Later, I had to confess to it because I was having a difficult time unboxing individual cast iron teapots and rearranging the storage for them because my left hand was basically useless, and had to ask a coworker if I could trade them for what they were doing.

That burn? I suppose that’s a 3, by my current notions and using the descriptions in this image along with the other usual rating indicators. It was interfering with some tasks, but I could ignore the pain enough to do almost everything. Would that be a 3 to a normal, healthy person? Pouring boiling water over the back of their hand?

It seems my low end things, which typically are never worth mentioning, have been relatively static (judging solely by those physical responses, not what I would’ve said the number was back then, which probably would’ve been ratcheted up to 7), and I’m not sure if my sensitivity to pain has changed much — rather, I think my knowledge of pain has become extremely broad and filled with minute distinctions. I could probably work with numbers like 8.015, if I really wanted to.

3 is, however, functionally painless for me, now. My day to day chronic level used to be 4-5. At a 3, I was feeling pretty good. Then it went up to 5-6, then 6-7, then 7-8, and now 8-9.

I’d planned on doing the obvious pair of Fs this week and next: Freyr and Freya. Talking about how things have evolved and how they currently are, my life elsewhere, etc, and to talk about how she is starting to become a presence in my life after staying away almost entirely for the first year of our relationship.

I have no words for today. The widely varied agonies, including brand new TMJ pain that was so severe that I had serious trouble chewing anything and the joint is very swollen, the ongoing searing nerve pain, the three muscle spasms scattered around my body, the migraine, etc and so forth. I can write a list. Which is meaningless, really.

A blur of muddy red-black suffering with moments of shocking too-bright white, flinching, the glare searing through.

Plug a night light in
Leave the porch light on
Because the small dark corners have designs on me

Plug a night light in
Leave the porch light on
Because the small dark corners are establishing a colony

Plug a night light in
Leave the porch light on
Because the small dark corners breathe like heavy animals

Car accident

We were in a car accident yesterday morning at 5am, when V was taking me to the Amtrak station. The brakes didn’t engage at a stoplight, and there was a lot of slush on the ground, so we went straight into the intersection and into the passenger side of a massive truck. The car is destroyed.

I have severe bruising on my left pectoral area, enough to make it feel like a small breast, and scrapes across my chest and into the side of my neck from the seatbelt, as well as some whiplash, and bruising on my stomach, just above my waist. V has a badly bruised knee and some mild bruising from his seatbelt, but he seems to be in less physical pain than I am, for which I am grateful.

The other driver was fine and his truck was completely drivable, but incredibly unpleasant, screaming obscenities at us and so on while I was trying to call 911. The police completely blame V and gave him a ticket for “unreasonable speed” (had had been going under the speed limit on the entire road), and one for running a red light. If his insurance company can find out if something was wrong with the brakes, because they had made a loud crunch when engaged several stoplights back, I don’t know if it will help at all. His father is giving the information to his lawyer and V’s insurance company is going to look at the car, because the place it was towed to will not release it without V there in person. I guess if Progressive wanted to pick him up and take him home, he could go sign it over to them, or whatever, but we have no vehicle and he couldn’t drive even if he did, because his right knee needs to be stabilized.

He has an appointment later today with an orthopedist.

I would like to ask for as much healing and prayers as you can spare, and the same toward resolving the accident and insurance without him having a lot of points taken off his license or large fines.

Generally struggling.

Between extreme CFS problems and having so little money that not all of our bills could get paid on time last month, we’ve not done Anything since we moved for our gods and spirits beyond pushing some love in their direction when we’ve had a scrap of energy that wasn’t immediately consumed by stress, chronic pain, and trying to deal with all of the things that aren’t getting done like they should (laundry, dishes, food beyond a can of tuna and an apple, etc).

I have never had the feeling that they minded much (though some of the wights where we live are irritated that we haven’t formally introduced ourselves and established regular contact) and that they understood that on so many levels I just Can’t right now, but I’m very distressed (which, of course, cycles back around into feeding the cfs, pain, and stress) by my lack of doing anything.

But it has to change. Because even if they don’t mind, it’s creating a lot of distance, which hurts.

So I need to figure out a devotional structure that invites a lot of closeness, but doesn’t involve physically doing very much or buying things.

I don’t know if it’s a permanent loss or if we can get them reinstated, but we are currently trying to feed two people on only one person’s food stamp allotment, and cannot afford to spend any cash on food. The feds also decided that cutting the amount of benefits anyone receives was acceptable. So we have around $150 for a month of food. I’ve lived on $100/mo for myself before, but not $75, and, frankly, I’m worried, because our health visibly suffers when we aren’t eating a lot of vegetables and fresh mushrooms.

They do not make it easy to find food pantries here, but I feel like it’s something we need to do. Getting some of the dried or canned staples another way would free up some of the food stamps for vegetables, etc. 

We were given a crockpot, and maybe if I do soup in batches when I can stand up for more than a few minutes at a time, we will be somewhat more nourished. We don’t have a microwave, but soup is easy to reheat in a pot.

I’ve also been having nightmares and flashbacks for over two months more often than not. I woke up today actually confused because I’d had a normal dream.

Migraine Delay.

When I woke up and became increasingly incapacitated by a migraine, and wondered aloud, “What do you do about a migraine on your wedding day?” Brand responded with, “It’s like miGRAAAAiiiiAAAANES on your wedding day, it’s a free RIIIIeeeeIIII–” Except not nearly as loud as it sounds.

He and his father are, at times, extremely related.

I may be having my here-wedding tomorrow, instead of today, and my elsewhere-wedding today as planned, because sleep seems to be the most rational plan.

Unintentional Consequences

I hurt my shoulder worse than I think anyone could have expected by carrying some groceries which were not even that heavy on Thursday, though admittedly I did carry them a long time. It hasn’t improved much, and trying to type with the way it affects the nerves all the way down to my fingertips is unpleasant.

Interestingly, I was trying to buy some things for Freyr while I was there, too, and he told me to put it back and get it a different day — this Tuesday, perhaps, since I have to go downtown anyway.

I hadn’t hurt myself doing anything else by that point. I was tired and I was considering the weight of everything, but I didn’t think it would do anything but make me more tired.

Coincidence, maybe. Or the voices in my head are real.

As for wanting to write and having had Plans for writing, he’s also told me not to worry about it until I’m feeling a little better and I’m not muddled with either painkillers or muscle relaxants.

He is always so generous about things like that.

I hope to sleep well and wake up in a much better state, at least intellectually, so I can peck away at something proper to post.