Posted in activism, bigotry, bugaboos, community, faith, homeless, life, society

11/7: Humans aren’t always Humane

Humans are strange critters. Granted, the homeless man probably shouldn’t have been begging ON the MAX, but nevertheless, he was. This woman across from me though… she had this air about her that screamed “I’m a churchgoing conservative” … I know the type all too well. He stopped and asked her. Her response?
“What are you asking ME for?”
Here’s what I take issue with: You can (and should) be polite to all people, no matter where they are in life. Many of us are one or two paychecks away from being where this man is… hell, where -I- am. Homeless. Not enough people realize this is very much their reality as well. We are all made of the same starstuff. Her response could have been much better. Even a simple, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash” is enough. I rarely have cash on me, and when I do, it’s usually for something specific. If I do have ‘spare’ cash, I will give it. Because I know what it feels like to ask for help.
I imagine that woman on the train today has never had to ask for help. I pity her more than the homeless man. If she is a churchgoing “Christian,” I don’t think Jesus would be too pleased with her behavior. His teachings were few, but enough to get the general idea.
Love, not hate. 
Not a difficult concept, really. But it doesn’t seem to get through to enough people. I’m not going to get all preachy or anything right now. I just wonder about people like that woman today. If she were in his shoes, even for a while, maybe… just maybe, she would come out the other end of that experience a better Christian. For those who consider themselves people of faith, especially Christians, how would your God react if they saw you treating someone this way?
~A
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Posted in activism, bugaboos, disability, faith, life, nanowrimo, Personal, society, writing

11/4: Writing and Respect

I hit 2500 words last night and then had another task today, which took up a chunk of my afternoon. So I’ll write this evening and then tomorrow.

On my way home on the bus, I noticed things. The more I’m on public transit, the more I see both good and bad behaviors. One dude wearing a camo jacket and had camo on his backpack (and a trucker hat… with a trucking company name on it) sat across from me and was entirely too guilty of “manspreading.” And I really wish he hadn’t. There was a hole in the crotch of his filthy jeans… not big enough to know what color his undies were, but noticeable. Which is bad enough.

Then two examples of people wanting to get on the bus not waiting for people to get off the bus. The first time was when I arrived at my destination and these two kids just got on and even after I said ‘Excuse me,” loud enough, still stood there like they had zero clue. It wasn’t until the adult in the group (mom or aunt, I presume) who was still outside on the sidewalk spoke up and told them to get off the bus and let me get off. Because of being disabled and having my wheeled crate with me, the front door is best.

Then, on the way home, two ‘kids’ in their early 20’s or so didn’t bother waiting for an elderly woman to get off the bus. The only difference was that no one, not even the driver, told them to wait. Most drivers will hold up their hand and tell boarding riders to wait because someone was exiting. This driver was younger and female and had a new setup with a plexi-glass barrier up (that can unlatch and swing open for her to get up) for her protection. Maybe she’s fairly new, or she is concerned about getting any riders upset, but she said nothing. These two just pushed past the older woman.

This brings me to a bugaboo I have: lack of respect. I’ve seen, and dealt with a lot more of this on public transit recently. I use a cane and I still am expected to ask for a seat in the priority seating area for elderly and disabled riders. None of us should have to ask. The signs are actually pretty damn obvious. A couple days ago, a fellow disabled rider had to tell a woman who purposely turned away to ignore that someone else with a cane (me) needed the seat she was in. The older woman said I needed the seat. She reluctantly moved. We chatted and she said she recently watched as someone requested that an able-bodied person move so the disabled person could sit in the area designated for us, and the guy sitting there refused to move. Another guy, who was disabled, told the reluctant guy that he was required to move for people like us. He still refused. I can’t remember what she said ultimately happened, but man…

We. Should. NOT. Have. To. Ask.

It’s called respect. Try it sometime.

Sadly, I’ve seen a decline in it in recent months, even in the last few years. I do my best to respect others. But it’s a two-way street, ladies and gents and everyone else. If you want my respect, you gotta earn it. You are NOT entitled to it. Shit, you aren’t entitled to anything other than being able to breathe… and equal rights. I don’t give a shit who you are, where you’re from, what you do for a living, etc. If you treat others like shit, expect that in return. You are owed nothing. Want respect? Be worthy of respect.

I believe that every person who makes it to adulthood has earned a basic amount of respect… say 5 points. You can lose some of those points by being an absolute asshole to people… or you do massively evil things. But I believe we all start adulthood with those 5 points. You want more? Earn them. Do good deeds, be kind to those who maybe aren’t as lucky as you are. Respect those around you, even simply by being polite and kind to them. Let them off the damn bus before you board. It isn’t difficult to do. It just takes a few extra seconds and a little patience.

Practice kindness and respect. You’ll earn them tenfold in return.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, disability, health, life, medical, Personal

10/12: “Back” History

Me doing a few dishes is another reminder of how fucked my back is and yet how little can be done medically… ten minutes rinsing dishes and such… just… ow.
For those who may not know my “back” story:
I first injured it slipping and falling on ice when I was 17, halfway through my senior year of high school (this, for those who know me from high school, is why I started using a cane after Spirit Week).
It took a year and going through about 8 docs to find one who didn’t look at my age and dismiss me. Dr. Nolan. Best damn Ortho in the region (SF/Bay Area) He found the two slipped discs in my low back. These put pressure on my sciatic nerve.
Fast forward 5 years and, despite the nerve pain, the discs were no longer slipped out of alignment. I had still been dancing during those years, whenever I wasn’t in pain. The sciatica flared up time to time, but with being active, it wasn’t as severe.
Then about 4-5 years ago, I slipped on some painted wood stairs and first hit my tailbone, then turned to brace my hands and feet against the walls, but still bounced down on my right hip, the same one from when I was 17.
I went to the doctor as the bruising was QUITE colorful and… sizable. I had a massive horseshoe shaped bruise on my right ass cheek. Yes, there are pictures… no, you may not see them.
They did a single x-ray of my tailbone, found no issues and told me to ice it and be more careful. In the radiologist report of that x-ray, I found they mentioned the same two vertebrae from years ago were a bit out of place. Familiar situation…
I asked, and have still every so often, for an x-ray of my hip and right side of my pelvis, to no avail. This pain in that hip is still VERY prevalent, especially when I’m using my cane (which is every time I go out. when I’m at ‘home’ I know there are things I can lean on or sit on if needed, but when I’m out and about, I can’t be sure, so the cane comes with me) and carrying nearly anything more than 2 pounds in my left hand (because of the most recent SI joint pain, the cane is usually in my right hand, but I will switch when needed as both sides are pretty fucked up).
Hence part of my post from last night about my tools and tool box. That fucker is heavy. Likely closer to 10-12 pounds when loaded up. My new mallet doesn’t help that, as it’s not a lightweight itself.
I’ve put up with it for almost 28 years (February will be the actual ‘anniversary’ of the first injury). There isn’t much that they can do surgically… in fact there really isn’t anything they can do surgically. I can’t afford a gym membership to help strengthen the muscles. I don’t have the space to try any dancing here. One thing I wish they would do is to just x-ray my damn hip and see if there is real damage. If I didn’t have medicaid, I’d just start doc-hopping like I did that first year.
Also, if I were closer, I’d go back to Dr. Nolan and I know damn well he’d help me solve the mystery. He’s closing in on retirement and mentoring someone else to take over his practice. He’s one of THE best Orthos in the SF/Bay Area. Just wish it hadn’t taken a year to find him. I’ve asked to get a referral to Ortho here, but they apparently only will take cases that have a viable chance of surgery… personally, I think that’s a huge mistake. There’s so much more that can be done.

I’ve injured other things over the years: both knees, left ankle, both feet in some way, had two or three minor concussions… it sucks ass… trust me.

But my back? That’s the one that’s never going away. Never will truly heal. And it makes every day life difficult at times.
Like doing dishes.
~A
Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, domestic abuse, empath life, health, job hunting, life, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/12: Social Anxiety and C-PTSD

I’m gonna try putting this into actual words rather than just swirling around in my head. Hopefully, it’ll make sense.


Despite medications and such, I feel disconnected. Maybe it’s partly because of being jobless and homeless, but I don’t feel like I’m part of anything. Despite (slowly) working on finishing school and trying to find work and having lots of friends… I just don’t feel it.

My social anxiety is ramping up even worse, probably because the C-PTSD is so not helping matters. I want to have my own place and just stay there. Not go anywhere unless I really have to.

The C-PTSD is from recurring sexual assault during a relationship over 20 years ago. I thought I’d moved past that part of it with therapy and could handle things again, but since a massive trigger nearly a year ago, I now know otherwise.

[This section came from an f-locked post on FB… with edits.]
**This person don’t know what happened. What he triggered. I know, in some way, I should explain it to him, but I can’t. Mind you, he did nothing inherently wrong
. I do NOT blame him. I have believed I had my shit regarding the sexual assaults from 24 years ago handled. Bast knows I’ve had tons of therapy dealing with it. But one touch -as friends- that wasn’t even super-intimate set me down a path I’m still fighting with today. It was something that reminded me of what my ex used to do. There was no ill intention on this friend’s part. 
And I’m not getting any better. Right now, as I’m typing this, I’m crying, trying not to go into a full panic attack.

When you see what I’ve been through since last November, it makes sense that I feel my life is spiraling out of control, no matter how much I may seem -on any given day- to be doing better. It isn’t just the C-PTSD… it’s anxiety, it’s stress, it’s not knowing when shit will get better.**

More and more, I’m hesitant about going out, being on public transit. While many are hesitant about it for reasons such as the potential of being attacked, my reasons are different.

  • strong perfume/cologne/body spray causes headaches
  • loud noises/talking makes me cringe
  • and lastly: I can’t handle sitting next to someone and us ending up touching (usually hips or such)… especially if they’re male.

I’ve had so many moments in recent months while out on transit where I feel the urge to lash out at people. I want to snap at the person sitting next to me to MOVE… or the person talking too loudly to STFU. I have no interest in violence, but

Since last year, I now ask male friends and other men I come across, to ask for permission to hug me. Even women, although I’m better with them. No surprise that the ex in question is male.

I don’t know how to deal with all of this. I figured after 24 years and tons of therapy, I’d be better, but I can’t help pulling away from people in the physical realm (as opposed to online) because of what I’m dealing with.


One of the hardest things about this is that I need work. Which means being on transit, being in an office setting around others, having to negotiate physical space while trying to sort out this anxiety and C-PTSD.

I had a job yesterday assembling some cabinets… was supposed to continue, but my back and other joints decided against it. There really is no amount of pain medication that can help. Trust me on this. I can do physical jobs here and there, but not hours on end. And my body still pays for even those small tasks.


I wish I knew how to fix this part of me. Still fighting an anxiety attack… but calming down a bit… the C-PTSD and related things severely affect all the other things in my life. I hate it.

I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, chronic pain, depression, disability, faith, health, individuality, life, Personal, politics

10/4: Stubborn Independence

I have -always- been this stubborn, pain in the ass, fiercely independent person. Even when I was painfully shy growing up, I preferred to be on my own and do things myself. I was raised that way.

My financial independence hasn’t come so easily, even at this point in my life…. fuck, ESPECIALLY at this point in my life.

But this past weekend, in Seattle, I realized one thing: I can’t be so damn stubborn all the time. I need to let go of a bit of my independence and let people help. Taking a cab to and from the Amtrak Station, getting my rolling duffel up to the 3rd floor w/o an elevator at the hostel I was in. Getting from Union Station here in PDX back to where I’m staying.

And last of all, help going between the train and the station.

I’ve never kept it a secret that I have disabilities. I’ve just never let them rule my life. I still don’t want them to rule my life. But I have to accept that I cannot always do everything.

I injured my low back at 17. While the discs themselves healed over the next few years, the sciatic pain has remained. Then, about 4 or 5 years ago, I re-injured the same damn discs. I’ve also broken my patella, one toe, knocked a few other things (such as my SI[Sacral-Iliac] joint) out of whack, more pinched nerves in places other than my spine, deal with Cluster Headaches, TMJ pain, and a few other things. And those are just the physical things. Also depression, anxiety, heart issues [tachycardia], etc…

And yet I want to push myself and see being 45 as my “half way point” in life… wanting to hit 90 still kicking ass. I’ve tried so hard to deny that I’m truly disabled… “oh, I JUST did this to my back/knee/ankle/shoulder… I’ll be fine”

I think my friends have heard that a few too many times from me. I downplay my disabilities. But I’m also currently curled up on my bed from spending the whole day here due to the headache, back pain, feet having issues, and just generally being really fucking exhausted.

I say yes to helping friends move things. I try to tackle the bins and boxes in storage on my own… because if I can’t do this alone, why should I have all this stuff? If I can’t manage it…?

Currently, I’m also emotionally drained from the overwhelming emotions coming from the massacre in Vegas. I have a little research to do, but there is a post forming about what can be done by echoing a certain other country I love dearly. And they are NOT a Bastion of Liberalism, yet they have very strict laws on the books about firearms and ammo. But more on that later. I’m also reading what friends and FoF’s post in the calmer discussions on FB.


As for those vile Cluster Headaches. Last week, I had two phone calls… same day. First was to schedule the oxygen tank for home therapy so I can manage it myself. Second was from the billing department from the same company. She didn’t realize the other person had already scheduled it, but we did a “wait and see” on whether my insurance would cover it. The scheduled delivery is “sometime” tomorrow, 10/5. I’ve heard nothing else from them on whether it’s been approved or has to be rescheduled, etc… so this should be interesting. I may call in the morning, if I’m coherent enough, and check with them.


Back to the whole Independence thing… I may blog more about it later. I know one thing though… When I’m out and about, riding on the buses or the MAX here in PDX, I see others with walkers or scooters. While I’m aware their situations may be different, I see similarities as well. I don’t want to go down that path. My cane, yes. Crutches when needed for immediate injuries, but when I say I wouldn’t mind a new set of wheels, I’m not referring to a walker or scooter.

I think that’s it for now…

~A

Posted in artsy stuff, bugaboos, creativity, individuality, life, Personal, poetry

9/23: The Rebel

Standing back.
Apart from the crowd.
Distanced by social
Expectations.
Not welcome
In a sea of
Monotony.

Be me.
No one else.
But not
TOO
Much
Or no one will
Accept you.

Stand in the center
Spotlight shining on you.
They walk past.
Around.
Not coming close.
Why?
Too different.
Too out of place.

Destined to
Be.
Wholly alone
In a sea of monotony.
The rebel
Being
True to
Herself.
No one else.

~APA 2017

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, dreams, faith, feminism, gender, health, life, Personal, poetry, society, tattoo

9/22: When I am Old…

I’ll be turning 45 in a little over a week, and I read an article earlier today about older beautiful women which prompted me to make the status in the image above on FB.

When I am old
I will dye my hair purple.
But probably only the mohawk. 
I'll be proud to be grey.
When I grow old
I will say 
FUCK!
As loud as I damn well 
Please.
Growing old is 
NOT
For wimps.
I am not a wimp
Therefore,
I WILL grow old. 
I will wear bright colors.
And mismatched socks.
And no matter what
I'll still say SHIT a lot.
I will be the old lady
With the NERF gun pointed
At the kids crossing my yard.
But have cookies and soda for them
When they return to apologize.
They say to grow old gracefully.
I will grow old
However I damn well please.
Likely raising Hell 
My dress flapping in the breeze. 
I will be the one
Others gossip about.
Without a care in the world
Refusing to bow out.
With my purple mohawk 
And greying sides,
Wrinkled tattoos and
Still watching the tides.
I'll eat what I want
And do as I please.
For no one can take
My freedom from me.

~APA 2017

Posted in anxiety, bugaboos, cats, crowdfunding, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, society, storage, transitions, urgent

9/20: Laugh While You Can… At What You Can #crowdfunding still

I’ve learned one thing: Find something to laugh about, even during the darkest times.

So, in my last post, I mentioned Portia was sitting next to me… shortly after that went up, I made the mistake of shifting my body and thus my jar of grape flavored water (that was sitting solidly on my pillow, mind you, no jiggling) tipped and spilled all 24 ounces of water onto my narrow bed, going all the way to the mattress. Yup, I’m one of THOSE people… the ones who just can’t seem to get shit going right.

I guess I needed to flip the poor mattress anyway. Everything else went into the basement for laundry. Tonight. I have nothing else to sleep on or under. And this room gets a smidge chilly in the ev- well anytime really… but worse at night. There’s a reason I’m wearing layers of warm clothes even during a heatwave… this room is cold.

Yes, I’m frustrated with myself for it. I spaced on the fact that the water was still there. But I’m also laughing at myself over it. I have to. It’s a survival mechanism. I taught it to my dad while we were dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s… and I use it to deal with the super-shitty year I’ve had. Being homeless sucks… no matter how your situation is, whether you have friends to stay with like me, or you have a tent or are in a long term shelter… it sucks. The tension, feeling of not knowing how or when you’re going to finally land on your feet… it’s hell. And when you have a dependent, whether it’s a child or a pet, it gets even harder.

I hold onto the things of my life, my past, and my hopeful future… much of which is in storage. It’s all I have left. Hence why I’m trying to save it.

~A

Posted in activism, anxiety, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, emergency, family, health, homeless, life, medical, Personal, politics, storage, urgent

9/20: Round 3: #Healthcare, ##GrahamCassidy & #crowdfunding Life

Yes, still on the non-violent warpath to get storage covered before auction. As of this post, I have $609 and need to hit a total of 1025 (plus yet another damn lock, which is $15 or so) before Noon Thursday the 21st…. tomorrow. Preferably today before 6pm Pacific (3.5 hours) so I can sleep easier. So a little over $400 needed. Small donations, large donations… I’m not gonna be picky. I don’t expect any one person to cover the rest… but any little bit helps.


While I am merely crowdfunding to keep my belongings safe from auction while I’m homeless, others out there have to do the same for things like medical and vet bills. Vet bills, I can understand as pet insurance isn’t a huge thing still… and past a certain age of the pet, you can’t get it (at least what I looked at years ago). It isn’t required and it is somewhat affordable. Human healthcare, however, is not affordable. And now, here in the U.S., it is a requirement.

Only now, for the umpteenth time in less than 12 months, the GOP is trying to yank our coverage out from under our collective feet. They’re like the little kid who refuses to listen to “mom” and not put their toys in the microwave and setting it for 10 minutes.

Fool me once, shame on me; fool me twice, shame on YOU. 

Why? Why do they do this? Because they can and because it was “that black dude” us Liberals voted into office for two terms who got the ACA passed. Is the ACA perfect? No. Was Obama perfect? No. But when it came to a number of things, he still did a lot better than the GOP is now. The latest bill to repeal the ACA and kill off American Citizens access to coverage for millions of people. GOP Cruelty at it’s finest ugliest.

If we had the money, I say we form our own superpac or similar and lobby the ever-loving shit out of them, luring them away from Big Pharma (who does some good, but not as much as they’d like us to think), billionaires, and the like. I get it, they want to keep their money. But they’re risking the lives of those who do pay their taxes.

I have a say in this. While my senators are working to fight the GOP insanity, there are too many who don’t listen to their citizens.

One of my many health issues right now is cluster(fuck) headaches. Not much can be done for them and even narcotic pain meds weren’t very effective at even knocking the pain down more than a notch or two on the pain scale. So I was frustrated. It renders me unable to do much of anything. Doctor on Monday suggested oxygen therapy. I had no clue if it would work. At that moment, the pain was lower, so I didn’t bother. But it returned with a vengeance shortly after and I went back yesterday to try it.

It fucking helped. The pain went from a 9 down to a 3 and then I was able to take Aleve (I have prescription strength at 500mgs) and knock it down completely. I still have a few twinges of pain here and there. Now comes the hard part: Getting my insurance (OHP+/Medicaid) to cover a tank for home therapy. The doctor/clinic will be going to bat for me and hopefully get it covered. I had wondered why I never heard of this option before. I thought that maybe it was a new thing. But then I looked it up. Nope. They’ve known about this since the 1930’s. Holy shit.

A friend of mine from the UK said it’s used over there and is one of the first things tried. That’s when it hit me: Big Pharma. Like I said above, they do a lot of good. I’m pro-vaccine, etc… just got my flu shot even… but this is my theory about why this therapy isn’t offered. Pharmaceutical companies would rather you be pumped full of their drugs first. Oxygen therapy isn’t lucrative, after all.

So, back to crowdfunding and the financial burden of human healthcare…

I had sub-sub-sub-par health insurance back in 2008 when I landed in the hospital with Cellulitis. After it was all said and done, and after my bone-break a year later (patella… that was fun to explain to the doctors), I was over $60K in debt. JUST medical debt. I had about $5K in consumer debt… I ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2013. I had to. There were no other options.

When the only options if your uninsured or underinsured are bankruptcy or crowdfunding, the immediate future looks dreary. There’s no way I could have crowdfunded 60K. Not a chance in Hell. Changing my name and moving to Ecuador sounded really good there for a while. But I stayed.

I have a friend who live in an assisted/independent care facility. Her fiance moved in and then was diagnosed with a form of dementia. They moved into an Assisted unit, but his dementia is already beyond what they can do. They were not going to get married because it affected certain financial and medical insurance arrangements, but now that he’s in a different facility, they will be. There are a vast number of reasons why, but I won’t go into them here. The reason I do mention their story is that for two people in need of a senior facility, being legally married should never have a negative impact on their Medicare or Disability.


I’ve seen rallying cries of “Medicare for ALL!” recently. Here’s my take and then I’ll go on my merry way. I watched from a distance as my father struggled with caring for my mother in her last weeks. Hospice had been set up, but they struggled to find a bed for her. After weeks of home care and searching, a bed was finally procured in a facility where they lived (and where I grew up). She was admitted on a Sunday or Monday. On Wednesday, my dad was informed that, DESPITE BEING AT END OF LIFE, she would be discharged Saturday because MEDICARE only covered 6-7 days. My dad, the doctor, and a few others scrambled to get my mother on Medicaid (Medical, technically, as they were in CA) in time. They got it Friday. She passed away a few days later.

I don’t agree with “Medicare for All” mostly for that issue. I say expand MedicAID, include some of the good parts of Medicare, and make it one giant Single-Payer service. Cut the insurance companies out, except for possibly dental and other secondary services (vision, for example).


This is one of my longest posts yet. I don’t normally go over 1000 words on here. But medical care is a big issue with me. And the GOP want to take mine away. The very coverage that handles my dental, my physical therapy (when needed), women’s services, medications that I couldn’t otherwise afford but help me function, and the list goes on.

Call your senators, especially if they’re GOP. Help them understand who is really getting hurt with this mess. Let them know that their constituents refuse to be silenced.

~A

Posted in bugaboos, community, creativity, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, eviction, friends, genealogy, grad school, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, music, Personal, research, storage, urgent, writing

9/6: No Soul-Sucking Allowed, Dammit (but #crowdfunding is)

I started this on Facebook, but opted to bring it over here. And yes, still #crowdfunding to get funds to save storage. 

This is only slightly tongue-in-cheek. Slightly.

My ideal work environment: not dealing with random humans. The occasional co-worker might be okay. I’m currently feeling a smidge Dragonish (i.e. anti-social), so occasional contact is okay.

And no cubicle farms. No/few phones. Email is preferred. I don’t stumble over my words as much. Also my foot doesn’t end up in my mouth as much. 

And not soul-sucking work. I’d like to keep my soul intact for a few more years. At least until I turn 50. Five more years is all I ask.

Let me enter data, do creative-ish things like websites or social media, have a variety of tasks/projects. Research. Gimme things to research. I lurv research. Just not medical, as they want bio degrees. I don’t have one of those. Research and write things. 

Pays well enough for me to move into a market rate studio close-in and cram the rest of my stuff into a smaller storage unit again. Also be able to pay for storage, utilities, Netflix and Hulu again, and eat without needing food stamps. Oh, and put money into savings and pay off a few bills.

*   *   *   *   *   *

Yeah… that shit would take a fucking miracle. I’m screwed.

~Dragon 

(Below is what I need to not lose my storage. Before the 15th)