Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, life, medical, society, storage

1/19: Whatever Comes

[Still need help to get storage finished and caught up. If I don’t get it caught up before the end of the month, it’ll go to auction and I get no more second chances. Help me get it caught up.]

Life is full of ups and downs and challenges and … you get the idea. I’ve been to Hell and back so many fucking times in my 46 years that it’s like a second home. I face the challenge, deal with it, move forward.

Today potentially presented a new challenge for me. I started to feel pain in my left armpit last night and it continued through today and is getting a bit worse. I’ve done nothing to the area so I checked it in the mirror for swelling. There is a bit of swelling, so off I went to Urgent Care.

*Disclaimer: I know absolutely nothing yet.

I left shortly after with a scrip for Amoxicillin. A swollen lymph node is the culprit. Why it’s inflamed, we don’t know. I see the plastic surgeon who messed up my reduction surgery in 2015 this coming Friday. If the swelling and pain has not begun to subside by then, I’ll request a biopsy.

I’ll also go up and get a boob squish session (ahh, mammograms) this week as well. It’s been a bit over 2 years now. They told me to go for 3 years, but this is a special situation.

There are a handful of things a swollen LN can be. The next level up on fighting some random infection, RA (no other signs, though), Cancer, etc.

Yes, I said the C word. What if it happens to be that? Then I’ll fight to the end of my damn days. The end of the world. It’s one more challenge for me to face.

It could also be nothing major. Which would be nice for once. I mean, shit, I’ve had cellulitis, a heart condition, C-PTSD, anxiety, broken bones and sprains that made the doctors wonder if I’d broken anything. I’ve been homeless. I’ve been raped repeatedly.

I’m still here. I’m still fighting. It would be nice to get a break health-wise. But if not, okay. Bring it on. Never tell me something is impossible. Or, better yet, DO tell me that so I can prove you wrong. I take perverse pleasure in proving someone wrong about me.

This is life. As sucky as it can be, this is life. If things in your life aren’t challenging, then you aren’t pushing yourself to truly live. Granted, no one wants cancer. But challenges are a part of life.

~A

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Posted in auction, cats, chronic pain, community, disability, faith, family, friends, gratitude, life, peace, storage

1/3: Long day *thud*

Thank you to those who helped me get to a smidge over halfway on storage. Saved it from auction and just have to get the remaining amount paid up before the end of the month.

I got it taken care of on my lunch hour from work, then headed back and worked the rest of the afternoon. My internship doesn’t pay a lot and is only 16 hours a week. Hence also looking for another job. Then I caught the bus and headed to a task, which I’m just heading home from now. The stress and constant go, go, go of today has me wiped out, but back to work tomorrow. Just the internship.

I just hope the elevator in my building is finally fixed by the time I get home. It’s been down for a week. I’m only on the 2nd floor, but the stairs are still difficult. And I can’t do much grocery shopping until it is fixed.

Gonna go home, feed and snuggle the cat (who will likely be rather peeved at me for not being home to feed her at her usual time), then get some sleep. Tomorrow is a new day. Hopefully one with a bit less stress.

~A

Posted in anxiety, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, life, Personal, storage, urgent

1/2/19: Panic? at $235, need $1467 #crowdfunding

I was gonna have something written for 3pm… but things fell apart and I was cursing humanity and trying not to break what little I have in my apartment (that will go to storage if I can save it with your help). I am still way down in the $200 range. It’ll be 4pm by the time this posts, so let’s just aim for 11am PST tomorrow (1/3).

I’ll keep writing posts and stuff. I do have to work in the morning, so the posts will drop off. If I can keep the Brain Weasels at bay, I can schedule some stuff for the morning. My only issue with that is that FB stopped allowing auto crossposting some time back, so I have to manually do it. And you can’t schedule account posts (pages, yes; regular human account, no) on FB. I can try to manually do it, especially if my only thing to do in the morning is my copy job (400 packets of permission slips, each one with 41 pages… I’m past the halfway point, but we ran out of paper. Seriously.)

So I’m not going to go into all the shit that blew up today. Let’s just say I’m not only stressed about storage, but exacerbating my chronic pain issues by needing to do some cleaning that’s difficult for me. I’m exhausted from everything pulling me in a million different directions. And the elevator in my building has been down for days. It’s difficult enough for me to get up and down the stairs without carrying anything, but this makes it more challenging to do things like laundry and trash. So, my frustration level has shot up exponentially this afternoon.

Anyway… Everything I own that matters to me is in that storage unit. I need to save it. Any and every bit of help is vastly appreciated.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, bugaboos, chronic pain, crowdfunding, disability, emergency, insomnia, life, medical, storage, urgent

1/1/19: Quieting the Monster Within & #crowdfunding

[Yes, still crowdfunding…. the urgency and the amount have now increased. Please consider helping by at least sharing, if not also donating if you haven’t. It’ll now be roughly $1450 and I have less than $200.]

I have anxiety. That frustrating little monster inside me keeps me from normal, restful sleep. The sleep clinic doctor thought maybe it’s my mild apnea. I finally got a CPAP machine. Didn’t help when the anxiety still kicked in and still took me 2+ hours to fall asleep and it was exacerbated by this “thing” [the pillow mask] on my face. The most minimal mask they have out and my claustrophobia bumped my anxiety up a few points.

So I turned it back in since I wasn’t using it enough during the initial three months. Took the last of the Ambien and woke up well rested last week. Went to the GP for something else and mentioned it. They gave me a 15 pill refill. I thought, ‘hey, I can finally start getting some nights with sleep!’

Forgot I had taken something else with it that one really good night. Something that told my Anxiety Monster to STFU. While Ambien alone has helped me STAY asleep longer, it isn’t helping me GET TO sleep. The Monster still wreaks havoc.

Add my daytime anxiety of trying to find more work and pay bills and not get sick and SAVE STORAGE! and struggle with the chronic pain so I can get dishes done and dinner made. I take Celexa once a day for the general anxiety levels, but it doesn’t silence the Monster. I know Valium does, but they don’t want me on it. Why, I’ll never know. Even though I think I do.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, C-PTSD, celiacs, chronic pain, community, cooking, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, family, food, food cravings, friends, homeless, life, storage, urgent, weight loss

12/29: I Didn’t Choose The Dragon Lyfe… #crowdfunding

Standard Issue Request for Assistance: Time is running out for me to keep my belongings from auction on 1/3. I’m working that day, so I need to do it before then, but their office will be closed on the first. And any time after 6pm on 12/31 will result in January’s rent also tacked on. Right now I need $1141.

Organizing: I have “stuff” here in the apartment. Why? Because after we couldn’t access storage (or get anything more into the part we could access), we packed as much up as possible and friends stashed it. Most of that is back here in my possession now. Save for some at a friend’s business in her storage.

Once I have my bigger things (mattress, sewing basics, desk, TV, chair), I’ll be able to move everything to a smaller unit. Then I can take the items here in bins (which have been better for stashing and moving… especially with a cat who LOVES cardboard) and shove them into the smaller unit with everything else. This weekend, my plan is to work on the stuff here and organize and streamline contents of bins. Then get into storage next week and retrieve as much as I can on my own (it’s only two blocks away, so I can get things moved in small runs with my mini flatbed cart). Then move the remains into the smaller unit. That’s the plan. Then storage will be cheaper.

Dragon Lyfe: I know I’ve been negative and grumpy and bitchy. Especially in person. I lost my cool twice at the shelter. As in telling another resident to fuck off. Yeah. Did that. She was manipulative and abusive. She earned that shit. Anyway, I’m getting better, but still prone to sniping at people. I am better at keeping it quiet instead of in the face of the person.

I’m not a social creature. Never have been. I have days where I can be more social and hang out with people, even in small groups. But I tire easily and get grumpy pretty quickly. Some of that is from chronic pain, some is my PTSD, some is… well… me.

I mentioned in last night’s post about weight loss and now really getting serious about this. I didn’t bring up the food aspect. Do I love baking and have cravings for chocolate or chips? Yes, but the chocolate craving can usually be handled by having a few bags of Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Chips in the fridge. Seriously, it’s good chocolate so that I can take out a handful, put the rest away, and that satisfies my craving. The only time there’s an exception is when I’m craving fresh Reeses PB Cups. There is no substitution. Thankfully my local Safeway goes through them enough that the boxes at the registers never have a chance to go stale.

For the most part, I eat moderately healthy. I did a food journal once for a dietitian and she said I eat healthier than most of her clients. I have Celiac’s and also have sensitivities to corn, soy, and now an allergy to cumin. This cuts out a LOT of things I love. I’m now honing the craft of making my own tortillas out of sweet potatoes. But food is clearly not enough to lose weight. I do my best, but I’m not getting anywhere. So, once things stabilize more financially (soon, I hope) I’m going to join the local LA Fitness. They have a lap pool as well as all the usual stuff. So machines and the backstroke are in my near future. I’ll do a full ‘weightloss only’ post with before pics at some point in the near future.

That’s all for now… ~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, faith, health, life, medical, Personal, society, storage, urgent, weight loss

12/28: #crowdfunding & #weightloss backstory

Storage first: If you can’t donate, share. I got the exact amount owed today: $1141. If I can get that by 6pm PST on Monday the 31st, I’m okay. I have virtually nothing as my other bills are eating up what income I have. PP is the only (and fastest) way.

Once basics are out of there, I can move the rest of it down to a smaller unit, possibly even half the size (8×20 to a 9×10). Also, half the cost. MUCH more manageable.

Weight Loss: In my adult life, I’ve struggled with my weight. I was a skinny kid and after I stopped dancing at 22, and then shifted away from regular exercise by 24, the weight piled on. I’m at my heaviest: 185lbs.

Now, I *could* live with the weight if it weren’t for my family history. I physically take after my dad’s side to an almost bizarre degree. Same bone structure, personality characteristics, etc… all (almost completely) from my dad’s side. This includes health. Dad and both of his brothers are/were heart patients (one uncle still living). My paternal grandmother had diabetes. Not sure what Grandpa had, but I suspect heart issues as well. I’m already on Toprol for tachycardia (it works for me, but I have to pair Celexa for my anxiety with it). I imagine my tachycardia might calm down a bit with dropping some of my weight. Also, the longer I go at a heavier weight, the higher my risk of worse heart issues AND diabetes.

So, here I am at 46. 5’2″ and 185lbs. While the timing is RATHER cliche (New year’s resolution stuff and all, which I’ve never really bothered with), I want to start now. Somehow, I will find the funds to join the local gym. They keep changing their specials, but I’m going to wait until the activation fee is back to $0.

This isn’t just for weight loss. My back has been getting progressively worse since the fall 7 years ago. And then another one year ago. All the docs can do is give me pain meds (and most don’t really do much of anything) and tell me to exercise. “Free” exercise is usually what they suggest. This means walking. The problem for me is that, most days, walking more than two or three blocks results in excruciating pain.

The gym two blocks from me not only has weights and a basketball court (yeah, not touching that), and classes, but has a lap pool and a hot tub. This I’m totally down for. My swimming skills are rusty, but I can do the backstroke the best. I have a hard time torquing my body enough to do most others so I can get breath. Backstroke it is.

Then machines. Work my way back up to leg presses equaling my weight (yes, at 120, I could do leg presses above my weight). Goals are to strengthen my back, core, and legs. This will help with reinjuries and stabilizing my back. It will also help with my weight.

I’ll announce when I join the gym. I’ll post pics. I’ll make my journey public. My inspiration today was this guy. I’ve followed him on Twitter. While my goal is roughly 55lbs (185 to 130), seeing someone kick ass like he has makes me know I can totally do this.

~A

Posted in auction, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, emergency, empath life, faith, family, friends, health, life, medical, Personal, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, urgent

12/9: The week and being disabled… #crowdfunding

Warning: this may end up rambly and bizarre. And, FTR, I am in dire straits again with storage. I’m still sleeping on the floor (much to my poor back’s dismay… ouch). It’s set for auction later this month. Even with the couple of tasks I’ve had so far and the weekly small paychecks from my internship, I won’t have nearly enough (I also have my phone bill, internet bill, food, cat stuff like pet-specific CBD oil, and other things). 

That last post, about standing desks, oddly sucked a sizable chunk of my energy. Not like I had that much to begin with today. I have been battling something along the lines of a sinus infection for about 3 weeks now. Starting my internship in the middle of that didn’t help. But I needed to get that going. So I’m working two days a week at a local non-profit which is a very cool place to work, at least in my opinion.

I also have about everything down for school. I’m going back to PCC next month for some accounting and business classes. As I took Intro to Business some years back at PSU, I won’t need to take that again, so I can take an additional class. I’m thinking payroll accounting, as that’s a HUGE part of accounting and bookkeeping. 

In the middle of all of this, I’m facing my chronic pain and chronic fatigue. I’ve spent much of this weekend, into today, resting and/or sleeping. I had hoped to get some creative stuff done, but my energy flat-lined Friday afternoon after I got home from a furniture assembly task.

In all honesty, I have no idea how the hell I’m going to ever work full time. I really don’t. I’m playing phone tag with my disability attorney, and I’m frustrated as all hell. I wanted to get some cleaning and painting done this weekend and I’ve barely gotten anything done. I managed to clear some of the kitchen, but knowing the meager size of my kitchen, that isn’t saying much.  I think the biggest chore I was able to tackle this weekend was cleaning the litter boxes. 

After I was denied this summer from my disability hearing (which, according to my attorney was a “sure thing” by the way the judge was talking), I read the report. Basically, I didn’t appear “disabled enough.” So, because I’ve lived with my back injury for 29 years and it’s getting worse and I’ve figured out ways to work WITH it or AROUND it, I’m not disabled enough….. fffffuuuuuuuu…. *ahem*

Honestly, right now, I’d love to have them see how I’m living right now. i’m sleeping on the floor because I can’t afford to get my storage caught up long enough to get my mattress and furniture out, I can’t stand in the kitchen and do anything longer than 5-10 minutes at a time. Yes, that was today. I managed to get up, rinse off some dishes and put them in the small dishwasher and then run that. It’s done, but not emptied. Bast only knows when that will get emptied. I don’t have a partner or roommate to help me with things. Honestly, I don’t really want one, either one. Especially after spending the past year and a half living with other people -either in the shelter or with friends. 

On that note, there was a woman at the shelter who couldn’t FATHOM why someone would not want to live with other people. Why someone would WANT to be alone. What bugged me is that she kept saying she’s also an introvert, but this was one of the most social women on our floor at the shelter. She wasn’t loud, but she was always out in the community room cooking or chatting or… yeah. For me, add being an Empath who can’t block to save my sanity on top of the whole being an Introvert. I can “people” in very small doses. The more people I’m around or interact with, such as on transit or at conventions, the shorter that amount of time ends up being. My PTSD doesn’t help either. I love hugging people, but have pulled away from being social in part because hugs make me a bit less comfortable now. And yet, if I’m greeting a friend or saying goodbye to them, I’m usually the one who holds my arms open to hug them. I’m a walking contradiction. I hate people but love hugging. Go figure.

Now, one may wonder why I did a post on standing desks. Well, a few reasons. I want one to help with my back. If I can go from sitting to standing and back when I need to for reducing the stiffness, and thus pain, in my back and legs, the better off I’ll be. Also, I started my little quest by looking at drafters chairs, you know… the ones that go up higher, for using possibly in the kitchen. This would possibly help my longevity in the kitchen. The way my apartment is, the desk would be right next to the kitchen, so a taller chair to go back and forth (which can be lowered down as needed) would be awesome. It also means I’d have a place to put said chair when it isn’t needed in the kitchen. This place is not that big. Seriously. Everything needs to serve more than one purpose or space. Chairs included. Hell, my bed will have storage (once I can afford to get the frame I want), my desk will be for both computers and the sewing and embroidery machines, and the shelving I want to use for my TV stand will also house my record collection, music and DVD’s and some books. The bench I want to put at the foot of the bed (if there’s room), will have books, shoes and be a place I can sit briefly to put said shoes ON. 

I’ve planned this apartment out to every damn detail. I just don’t have the money to execute my plans. First, I need to get storage settled and accessible. It’s three months behind. October sucked for work, so I couldn’t pay for storage… and then, as it does, it snowballed out of control. So…. halp?

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, disability, faith, grief, health, individuality, life, poetry, writing

12/3/18: Twisted (poetry)

(I figured it’s been a while… gonna try to keep this up to the end of the year.)

Bent and torn.
Pieces flaking off.
Laid bare
From anger.

Cocooned in blankets.
Picking up pieces.
I myself
In sadness.

Twisted and broken.
Heart lost.
The rubble buries
My soul.

Waiting for Spring.
New growth hopeful.
World won’t wait for me
To heal.

Twisted in pieces.
Anger melts away.
Pieces bind and will heal me
Some day.

~A

Posted in anxiety, auction, chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, emergency, faith, friends, health, housing, job hunting, life, nanowrimo, Personal, poverty line, storage, writing

How did it get to be December already? #nanowrimo #crowdfunding (again)

The last couple of months have been a blur. Still trying to settle into the apartment, but still don’t have my stuff from storage. October sucked for jobs and November, while better, ended up going to bills and food since they cut my food stamps back to a pathetic amount. So it’s gonna go to auction later this month and I’ll be screwed yet again unless I can get it caught up with nothing short of a small Christmas Miracle. 

I’m still sleeping on the floor. Which sucks for my back. But I’m dealing. I’ve started my internship (for privacy, I’m not going to disclose where it is until after it’s over).

I also did NaNoWriMo again, and ended up doing almost 14K words on the final day. Not my biggest final day marathon, but comes in second (1st place goes to 2009 with 16K on the last day). After a break, I may clean it up, do a couple of quick’n’dirty edit runs, make a simple cover, and then release it. It’s what I classify as EnviroSF… I think there’s another term as well starting to float around. 

I need to find a second steady PT gig to help with expenses. The internship isn’t going to pay enough and it is only temporary. Working it around the internship and classes will be the biggest challenge. I just simply need more steady income. 

The big thing on my mind right now, other than getting my paperwork and everything done for school, is storage. I’m now up to about $1100 needed. I’ll post when I hear the date of the auction. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for October being all fucked up financially, I’d be fine on storage. But it sucked. And I’m back in a bind. Once it’s caught up and I have furniture out, I can work on moving everything to a smaller unit that won’t be $300/month. 

~A

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, community, creativity, depression, disability, faith, family, friends, grief, health, homelessness, job hunting, life, poverty line, PTSD, society, storage, transitions, urgent, writing

10/27: Creativity and Storage

It’s now been a week in the new place. I also still don’t have access to storage so I can get my mattress and stuff out. I was depending on one person who said they’d help, but hasn’t so far.

Tasks are slowly picking up. I had one yesterday and have another one tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, those two will only get me closer to $0 in my checking account as I’m about $260 in the red. If I’d had work throughout the month, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.

So, I’m asking. It’s only one month’s rent plus late fees ($305 plus about 40 or so), and using PayPal will keep it from getting sucked into the checking account (I did finally deactivate the GFM).

It wouldn’t bother me so much if it weren’t for my back. I’m sleeping on the floor with very little cushion. I’m now getting numbness along my right side (the side I keep re-injuring), which isn’t good.

The sooner I can get into storage and get things out, the sooner I can move the rest of it into a smaller unit again. Which means less storage rent. My goal will be to go from the 8×20 unit down to a 9×10. It’s about half the price.


Now that that’s all out of the way…

I finally heard from the one place I might be doing that internship/job (the place doesn’t pay me, SE Works/state does). I like the place. They’re an arts organization that focuses on making arts education available to all, among other things. I’m hopeful.

Right now, my focus in on getting my life back on track, but I also can’t forget what drives and heals me: creativity. With that, I am happy to say that I will be doing NaNoWriMo for the 13th year running. I’ve done and won all previous 12 years. Last year, I was a mess, though. I admit that. I ended up piecing together my 50K words from various half-finished stories. This year, I have two small ideas that are going to be expanded into one larger tale. I haven’t decided if it’s going to be fully off-world SciFi or Post-Apocalyptic Earth… not yet. It doesn’t wholly change the story much. In the snippet I wrote earlier this year, I do reference a poison gas that was used in WWI (Mustard Gas), but it could still be referenced similarly in an off-world story. Just maybe the planet they’re on is one humans colonized and shit went sideways.

Who knows… I’ll let the characters determine that part. I know that Post-Apoc stories are a HUGE thing right now. It would be very easy to make this PA.

My writing has stalled in some aspects the last two years or so. Four years ago, my dad died, and he was my biggest fan and cheerleader. A month ago, I lost another cheerleader, my friend Connie, to cancer. She was always in awe of how I came up with the adventures and random shit my characters ended up doing. So this year is for Connie. I’ll make sure they get into a decent amount of mayhem.

Now that I’m coming out of homelessness, I can stop being on constant alert… hyper-vigilant mode. That’s from a combination of homelessness and PTSD. It’ll take some time to fully come out of it.

I think writing this tale in November will help pull me back into life again. Where I don’t have to keep looking over my shoulder.

~A