Posted in anxiety, auction, C-PTSD, cats, community, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, faith, friends, life, PTSD, storage, urgent

12/29: …The Dragon Lyfe Chose Me (#crowdfunding and stuff)

Crowdfunding will be at the top of these posts. $1141 needed. One donation today so far of $25. Please feel free to share my posts. I do have a little in my checking, but the next task I have won’t be until Wednesday, which will be too late.

What would get saved: My mattress and other household things I haven’t had (or needed to while homeless) since March 2017. Furniture, music, movies… some could get replaced, but many of the things I own are out of print or old and not available anymore. I have a coffee table in there that is vintage Mid-Century Modern that’s been through a few re-stainings. Once I get it out, a friend and I are going to tackle returning it to its original color. I’ve had it 30 years. My mattress is a bit important at this point because I’ve been sleeping on the floor with little padding for over two months now and I’m feeling it in my injured back and all over.

Dragoning: I call myself a dragon because I like to collect things (working on managing it better), don’t like to socialize, and prefer the company of other creatures than humans (like my cat). My nickname for 20 years has been Penguin, so a Dragon named Penguin fits.

Life has always affected me in different ways. Recent stuff, such as being homeless, has made me grumpier than normal. My C-PTSD hasn’t helped.

Portia, my cat (in the image) has been my saving grace. She’s 13 now, but still loves to snuggle.

~A

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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

4/7: long day, no big post. Still #urgent #crowdfunding

I have much of tomorrow off, so blog madness will possibly hit. I so desperately need the funds to save my stuff in storage. I had a task today, so my brain was on that. And swearing at bus drivers, obtaining more kleenex, and flipping off drivers who intentionally drove through standing water at the bus stop to hit us waiting at it. Assholes.

I’m trying to be patient. To be positive. But some days… not an easy task.

More tomorrow. I have a half-assed poem sitting, but not sure if it’s ready. Maybe something else will pop into my head…

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, C-PTSD, community, convention, cosplay, creativity, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, dreams, emergency, friends, homeless, homelessness, individuality, life, PTSD, Science Fiction and Fantasy, storage, urgent

4/6/18: Geeky Beggar #geek #starwars #geeklife #crowdfunding #urgent #cosplay #cosplayer #Jedi

I’ve never hidden my true geekiness. From music to books to movies to well, a lot of things. So now I’m putting the call out to my fellow geeks. I need help. I’m a freaky geeky weirdo of all trades. I’ve done what is now called #cosplay since I was a kid, really getting into it in my 20’s. Star Wars, Star Trek, some period stuff, creating my own characters, and eventually dabbling in #steampunk.

I still have all my costumes. But they’re stuck in storage along with enough brown fabric to outfit a small force of Jedi.

A bit of my geekiness over the years:

A storage unit that is going up for auction on 4/12, next Thursday.

I owe just under $1400 as of a letter I received via email earlier today.

I’m technically unemployed, although I do tasks through Taskrabbit, but most months have borne little income. I’m homeless and all my worldly possessions are in that storage unit.

To lose everything in that storage unit would be akin to losing my identity. Losing myself.

Any help, sharing and donating being the two things that can be done.

~Amanda

Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, chronic pain, depression, disability, dragon, health, life, medical, PTSD

1/4: Dragon: #Medical Fuckery #backinjury

I’m no stranger to exam rooms and new doctors. When I was 17, I injured what I later found out to be my low back. It took a year and around 8 doctors to finally find someone who knew what the fuck they were doing and not just verbally “pat me on the head and tell me I’m imagining things.”

I wasn’t.

I’m still not 28 fucking years later.

At 17, I fell and slipped two lumbar discs out of whack. At 18, I found out what had gone wrong and was able to move forward. By 23 or so, those discs were back in place, although the nerve damage was still there and always would be.

About 5 years ago, I lost my footing on some painted stairs in a house and first landed on my tailbone, then shifted my weight so I could try stopping my descent with my feet and hands on the walls. The remaining hits were to my right hip.

Oh yeah, that’s the same side I landed on at 17.

I went to the doctor, they did a lone x-ray of my tailbone. Nothing wrong, so I went on my merry way. Except for that ugly pain in my hip. You shoulda seen the bruise. It was a sizable crescent moon on my right ass-cheek. It took weeks to go away. I’m good at making bruises. In fact, I have several on my arms that I don’t remember where they came from. PT told me to stretch the muscles as it “must be” a deep tissue bruise.

Gee, thanks.

Fast forward to December 1st, 2017. I was at a client’s house (before you ask, as an independent contractor with TR, we do not have things like worker’s comp), stringing up lights and I slipped in some mud and down I went. The landing seemed soft, but my back doesn’t agree. Since then, my right SI (sacroiliac) joint has been popping. To the point where I can not only feel it, but hear it.

When I messed up the left one earlier this year, I never had that. My left one, by the way, corrected itself while I was at GearCon in July. One step and I felt a searing pain. I couldn’t move. I was helped back to my chair, and then moved to the couch in the room I was working. A couple days later, all pain on that side was gone.

I finally caved and saw a doctor in my usual clinic today. Not my normal GP. I thought (hoped) she would be open and would listen…

HA!

Not a fucking chance.

No matter how many times I told her I wasn’t looking for a quick way to fix this. I just wanted some fucking answers and to figure out what the hell was wrong. She responded each time with “There is no one who can give you an answer and a quick fix…”

GGAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT IS NOT WHAT I AM ASKING, YOU FUCKING DINGBAT!!!

All I want is a scan/x-ray/etc to look inside and see if there’s anything that stands out as damaged.

Why do I ask this? Because I know it can be done, dammit. I know there are humans out there who have graduated from medical school who can do shit that helps solve the mystery. Dr. Nolan down in CA was one of those humans. He’s freaking awesome. He’s also retiring and 600 miles away.

She relented on one thing and ordered x-rays for my low back and right hip.

She handed me my visit summary (complete with some exercises that may help, but I’m not counting on it. I’m still fairly flexible from my dancing days). I got on the elevator and stopped off at the 3rd floor for x-rays.

Here’s where shit gets interesting.

I’ve had enough x-rays in my lifetime to make anyone glow. I have never, in all my years, had a tech look at my first one (these are digital now) and tell me I really should see a spine doctor. For starters, the techs don’t have enough training to diagnose. Yet they see enough ‘films’ to know when shit is bad.

My first one, she came out from looking at it and said flat out I really do need to see a spine doctor. She said my right SI joint is bad… and there are likely other things.

I have to wait for the radiologist to do a final report/reading of the x-rays. I see my primary GP next week. I’m gonna bug the ever-loving shit out of her until she refers me to Ortho. The pain is getting worse. By the time I had picked up my mail after my errands today, I could barely walk five steps. I was in THAT much pain. Right around a 9 or 10 on the pain scale. At a point on the scale where I’m holding back tears from the pain.

When I get to that point, shit is bad. As in “most people would be curled up in a fetal position in the corner because of the pain” bad. But me? Still trying to function. Why? BECAUSE I FUCKING HAVE TO!!!

The doc brought up Degenerative Disc Disease. Something my dad likely also dealt with. I know he had surgery on his back several years ago. I know it was before 2009, as my mother was still driving… even though she shouldn’t have been. This doctor also had the cohones to bring up losing weight.

Bitch, please.

For one, I’m not at my highest. Secondly, I’m trying to lose weight. I have about 45-50 extra pounds I’d love to lose. But my eating habits are fairly healthy (not perfect, but not horrid), and exercise is minimal due to this thing called back pain. Walking for weight loss ain’t gonna happen when I can barely walk three fucking blocks. And unless you’re going to pay for my gym membership to a place fairly close to me (Planet Fitness is NOT close to me, for the record), then zip it about joining a gym.

Anyway… so I’m dealing with PTSD/C-PTSD and now likely Degenerative Disc Disease.

I’m beyond fucking done. I am tired of pain and panic attacks. I’m tired of doctors or other people telling me that losing weight will solve ALL my problems. Umm, y’all may not know this, but I was about 110 lbs when I first injured my back at 17… so no, it won’t solve a damn thing. Help a bit? Sure, possibly. But not solve.

I’ve dealt with way more than my share of idiot doctors. I’m sick of ’em. I can count the good ones on one hand with no repeats. Yeah.

I also am at this point where I hate saying I am well and truly disabled… I want to still take day hikes and be active, but my body and my anxiety won’t let me. It sucks.

So, I’ll meander off and try not to focus on the pain.

Much.

~Dragon

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)

Posted in activism, bigotry, cats, community, crowdfunding, depression, dragon, emergency, eviction, faith, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, housing, job hunting, life, Personal, politics, society, storage, urgent

8/27: Choices (Dragon on War and Life) #crowdfunding

My grandfather and all three of his brothers chose to fight in WWI.

My father and at least one of his brothers (I think both of them did) chose to fight in WWII.

I have cousins and others who chose to enlist. Uncles on my mother’s side (who married in, as there were 4 girls and 1 boy and my uncle was too young to serve) chose to fight in WWII and even in Korea.

Due to my various injuries, I would never have passed the physical, but I seriously tried to get into the AF as an officer. That was my choice. They just didn’t want me.

We can choose to fight fascism and tyranny, or -as some choose- to join said fascism and be those we fight against. I am not a veteran, but I have enough of them in my family and amongst my friends to know what they fought, and even died, for. To corral hate, injustice, bigotry, fascism, genocide, and so much more.

And we choose to fight it. We must learn from the history of this world, of our ancestors, so we can stop repeating the same bullshit.


There are things we also cannot choose to do or choose to happen. I did everything I could to find work and keep my apartment, but one really shitty month when things didn’t go as I thought they should ended up with me losing my apartment of over seven years. I didn’t choose to be homeless. I fought with everything I had, everything I could muster, but it wasn’t enough. So now I’m still homeless, struggling to make ends meet, struggling to keep my belongings safe from auction. Struggling to make the choices of what I need right in this moment to keep me and my cat safe and healthy. She needs cat food and litter. You don’t want to know how long I’ve managed to stretch the box of litter I bought while still in the apartment. Well, considering I finally was out at the beginning of March, you can do the math. She needs fresh litter. And food.

I refuse to give up my cat. That is my choice. I also will fight to keep my belongings safe in storage until I can get a place again. I’ve had people tell me that “if (I) can’t afford to keep a cat, (I) shouldn’t have one” … well, that asshole got blocked really fast. Portia is one of the few parts of my life that makes life worth holding onto.  She keeps me grounded and in reality. She comes first. I just wish my food stamps covered cat food (I can’t go to Pongo Fund, as the food they hand out is too rich and makes her sick. She has a very specific type of food. The protein and fat percentages have to be in a certain mid-range or she mats and gets sick).

I did not choose this ‘in between’ life. In between homes. In between jobs. I don’t like it. I’m working on changing it. Vocational Rehab for work help, fighting to finish school, doing odd jobs via Taskrabbit to make a little money, but it never lasts long and it’s feast or famine in terms of income.

I do what I can, but it isn’t enough. So my choice is to ask for help. So I ask.

~Dragon

Posted in dragon, grad school, health, Personal, storage, urgent

8/23: Dragon: Grad School, Appeals, and Eejits…

The latest debacle of getting my appeal processed with my school, which is in Kansas.
So, I’m a little pissed off at certain people at my school right now. Monday, I had an appt to see a PA (Physician’s Assistant) and get the letter for the appeal for school. They didn’t get the fax, so I took pics yesterday and sent them along to the lady in Kansas.
Keep in mind… this is fucking KANSAS. My apologies to those who are from there or live there, but that state is all fucked up in the head.
She responded yesterday that that should work and she’d submit it for review today.
I wait and wait and wait… then, just before my dentist appt today, I get an email:
“Our appeal committee members will not accept the letter from ******* ******** a Physician Assistant at the OHSU Family Medicine **** ************ *****. Only a letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead will suffice.”
What the ever-loving fuck…
I call the clinic, make an appt with an MD for tomorrow morning. Then I send her my reply:
“My GP is a Nurse Practitioner. I made another appt in the morning with an MD on her team. That’s the best I can do. They all have the same access to all the records.”
*
*
*
Her response:
“So, are you saying you are not able to obtain a letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead?
Or
Are you able to request a letter at your next appointment with an MD?”
……………….
::headdesk::
…………………..
I sent her a reply, but she won’t get it until morning…
“I can get a letter from the MD tomorrow morning. They’re all under the same clinic letterhead of OHSU.”
………….
This is the thing that kills me: Nurse Practitioners and Physician’s Assistants go through damn near the same amount of training as MD’s do. I know, as I’ve had my share of all three as a primary care practitioner over the years. This woman, and the whole fucking review board, are all a bunch of fucking idiots. If I have to school their asses from here on how little of a difference there is between the three titles, I will. I should NOT have to.
Everything else today has gone well… finally got my broken front tooth fixed and got my hair trimmed up (had a full punch card, so it was free). But this fuckery…
When I was explaining it to the lady at the clinic, she sounded confused by this whole mess… “Are you telling me this is all about a letter?”
Yes. Yes, it is. Because the school wants a motherfucking letter… and my GP, who isn’t in clinic until Friday (and we’re already in the first week of classes for the term I want to finish my degree in), said I need to make an appt to discuss the damn letter….  so I’m scrambling to get SOMEONE this asinine school will accept a letter from to get a letter to them.
My plan at this point is to call her in the morning before my appt and try to figure out what the breakdown of communication/understanding is. There is NO doctor-specific letterhead from the clinic. Period. End of motherfucking story.
So, yes, I’m pissed off. Her ability to communicate certain things isn’t her strong suit.
~Dragon out
Posted in activism, community, crowdfunding, dragon, emergency, empath life, friends, grad school, history, life, Personal, politics, research, storage, urgent

8/15: Dragon Quandries & #crowdfunding (of course)

(CW: Holocaust)

I’ve wanted to speak on this past weekend’s events, but I’m still stuck on words. I’m pissed that we still have to fight this shit.

Just dealing with this shitstorm quietly (more or less) as an Empath has drained me. I want to write something long on my blog, but I can’t find the strength and energy to do it. My father and most of my uncles served in WWII (those that didn’t were too young). We’ve been through this shit globally and yet there are some who just don’t fucking grasp the concept that they lost those wars… their ancestors or whomever… lost. They lost the Civil War and Nazis lost the Second WW. 

Just a sampling of the shit Nazi-wannabes have done this year alone

In one of my papers for school, I had to pick a maligned group in history and show my research methods and write up a decent summary on what was done to them. Originally, I thought of the Holocaust and the Jews, but realized that was likely a vastly overdone group and one many others likely turned to for similar papers. I still wanted to focus on that time period and what else Nazis did… and found my group: Gays and Lesbians in Europe. I knew the Pink Triangle came out of WWII, but I didn’t know the full extent of the atrocities. Medical experimentation on gay men, including full castration. Women had it only slightly easier, unless they were also Jewish. If they were Jewish Lesbians, they were as good as dead within the week. If they weren’t Jewish, they were still “marked” but kept alive and somewhat free as they were considered “breeding stock” for the Nazis. The pink triangle is the gay and lesbian version of the yellow Star of David patch Jews had to wear.

My professor’s comments on my paper were simple, “Excellent research. I never knew that about what they did during the war.”

In the years since WWII, we’ve had a lot of changes in the US. Some things didn’t change enough. Legally, we have civil rights for nearly everyone, but many want to take some of those back for LGBTQ and PoC.

Some people, however, still haven’t accepted that the Confederacy and the Nazis lost their wars. These are the people we’re fighting today. These are the people who picked up tiki torches and marched on Charlottesville. These are the people who believe anyone not “pure” white and heterosexual should be “put down.” They’re called by different names today, but instead of calling them by all these different names, it all boils down to one name.

Nazis.

They use the salute. They fly the flags of oppression. This is what they are. This is what they should be called.

Germany has learned from its history. Anything to do with Nazism is illegal. No flags, no salute, nothing.

It’s time we set some of the same boundaries. Speak up, as silence will accomplish nothing but letting them win.

~Dragon

Yes, I still need help with storage… any and every bit helps. YouCaring and PayPal.

Posted in chronic pain, community, crowdfunding, dragon, friends, health, life, Personal, storage, urgent

8/7: Busy, Grumpy Dragon & #crowdfunding

I should be able to get back up to speed tomorrow. I had two exhausting tasks yesterday and then a dentist appt today. I’m going to the OHSU dentist school clinic, so appts aren’t some half hour block… they last an average of 2-3 hours. Today was the first stage. A thorough exam of what work has been done and what needs work. Next one is more in depth assessment and then a treatment plan…

Yesterday’s tasks will net me a good chunk of funds, but I’m still roughly halfway from what I need to get storage caught up. Any help is greatly appreciated. Either the YouCaring campaign that’s an external link up in the menu or the PP donate button. I really want to get it caught up soon… like really soon.

Some of the padding is to cover September. Some is (ideally) to also help with getting some essentials food stamps don’t cover such as cat litter and canned cat food. I also desperately need to replace my sneaker slides… they’re at least 11 years old, more like 12 or 13, and are falling apart in a massive way.

I have a few post ideas floating around in my head… but I’m on pain meds at the moment so me blogging those topics while on meds is not the best mix…

I’m gonna head offline and lights out. This Dragon needs some more sleep. I was damn close to falling asleep in the dentist chair today.

G’night….zzzzzzzzzz*snort*fire*zzzzzzzzzzzzz

~Dragon