Posted in anxiety, C-PTSD, cats, chronic pain, community, depression, disability, eviction, faith, friends, gender, health, history, individuality, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, PTSD, sexual assault, society

10/16: Wake Up Tomorrow #metoo

TW/CW: Talk of suicide, sexual assault, C-PTSD, etc…

I’ve talked about all of these things in spades over the lifespan of this blog. With the #metoo tag flying around on FB and Twitter the last two days, I felt like expanding on mine.

Now, I have (at some point) ticked off all the times I was sexually assaulted.

  • At 17, by a 22 y.o. acquaintance.
  • At 19, by a blind date. Tried to force me to perform oral on him, pushing my head down. I broke free and threatened to call the police.
  • At 19, by a guy I met at a Twelfth Night event… friends invited him to our Rocky Horror outing later that evening. While he had been in costume, he was mostly a gentleman (save for trying to un-lace my bodice in public)
  • At 21/22. After 6 weeks in an increasingly abusive relationship, I started to pull away from him, which he noticed. He spent the next 2 and a half months raping and assaulting me (using various areas of my body to ‘get his rocks off’) all against my will. I cried, I begged, I said no every damn time, but even making me bleed repeatedly didn’t matter to him. This happened 2-3 times a week… on a good week.

Those are the major, or most distinctive, events. Getting catcalled, being told by some older guy in Chicago (as we passed each other in the crosswalk) that “damn, you got some bigguns!” … no matter what I’m wearing, what my body language is saying (usually “don’t fucking get near me, asshole”), what I’m doing, I’ve had hands brush against my butt, breasts, etc… hands that should stay up near my shoulders wandering down… at a club one night (partly why I fucking HATE clubs) getting dragged out onto the dance floor and made to dance with some stranger, who kept putting his hand on my thigh and slipping it up to my hip under my skirt (which wasn’t that fucking long to begin with). I was 18, I think. It was an “Under 21” club.

Do I need to go on? I think I’ve made my point.

This shit happens every damn day to women of all skin colors, sexualities, cis or trans… you name it. Fuck, I got catcalled just a month or so ago… wearing all baggy grungy clothes heading to the MAX stop (I think I was going to an appt or something). Me with my mohawk and baggy clothes and beat up sneakers and a cane… getting catcalled.


I’ve also, as I think I’ve said in previous posts, had many phases or short contemplations of suicide. High school, a period in my 30’s when my asshole doctor decided to put me on Prozac, which made me want to slit my fucking wrists so badly, it outdid the suicidal ideations of my high school years. That shit fucked me up so badly.

In the past couple of years, I’ve had shorter bursts of contemplating it. Usually when I’ve been in full panic mode over possible eviction as well as earlier this year with the eviction itself. I lost count how many times I sat on my bed or my couch … or in the bathtub … thinking of why the fuck I should keep living? Then I got either of the girls, Portia or JoJo when she was still alive, just coming up to me and purring and either nudging me or tapping my arm or leg with a paw.


Life isn’t easy. I’m dealing with C-PTSD, my asshole ex cyberstalking me like I’m his damn “internet chew toy” … being homeless in a tentative situation that needs to come to an end, but my means to get back into my own place again are virtually non-existent. Trying to finish grad school, find decent work, organize my stuff in storage, handle medical and dental appts, go on tasks to make some income, and remember to take my meds and eat decently. Some of those, especially the later things I listed, are basic, normal-ish things I can handle… working all the big stuff around them is the hardest part. With chronic fatigue and pain, getting up at a decent hour that isn’t close to noon, but earlier in the day, is not always easy to do.


So, you may wonder what the subject heading of this post means… here’s my lesson and philosophy behind it:

Look back up at all the shit I’ve been through. Add verbal and emotional abuse by some family, used and abused by people I thought were friends, etc… I’ve dealt with a lot.

Wake Up Tomorrow

I adopted this years ago during a bad run… I think it was later in high school. Say you had one of THE shittiest days you can remember in recent months. Everything went wrong and in some seemingly catastrophic way, or at least that’s how it feels. You may already be battling a period of depression or severe pain. You contemplate ending things. You’re absolutely SURE tomorrow is going to also suck and you can’t imagine things getting better any time soon.

So you think about it.

But you can’t guarantee tomorrow will suck. Shit, you don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or the day after, or the day after that. Maybe it’ll suck, maybe it’ll be awesome, but you won’t know unless you wake up tomorrow. And the days following it. You can’t know for sure that it’ll be horrendously awful. Unless you wake up tomorrow. Go to sleep, get some rest, cry if you need to (man, I’m surprised the tear stains aren’t permanent on my face by now), and wake up tomorrow. Sounds simple, I know. Take each and every day as it comes.

Will that work for everyone dealing with shit? No. I know it works for me. I’ve had friends and a few strangers, in the past 24 hours or so, call me brave. I’ve done therapy off and on since I was 16. I understand so much about my past, but I don’t really know how I’m getting through it… except for one thing:

I wake up every day.

I’ve had close calls, due to medical stuff, not attempts on my part, and they’ve taught me this: Not everyone gets the chance to wake up the next day. No one knows when they’re going to die. The fact that, despite pain and all kinds of other things, I wake up every day and am able to feed my floofy monster kitty, that my heart is still pumping blood, my lungs are still taking in oxygen, my legs work… mostly. I have those days when my legs/back/feet/hips/knees/etc just rebel and go, “nope!! what was that about going somewhere today? yeah… not happening, bitch.”

Life isn’t easy. But I figure that as long as I keep waking up every day, I have a fighting chance to make things better. Never know unless you wake up.

~A

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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 chronic pain, disability, health, life, urgent

10/11: Tool Junkie

I admit, I’m a Tool Whore. I love me some time in a hardware store, baby. I’m more comfortable in a hardware store than a nice dress shop.

I’ve made it known in the past that I do stuff via a website/app for folks to hire people like me to come and do things like assemble furniture or clean (not one of my offerings, mind you). My hand tools come with me to every furniture gig. More and more, I find I also need to bring things like L brackets and such to fix goofs by either the client or -if they purchased it second hand- the hand-handed disassembly of the previous owner. I have bits and pieces from IKEA and hardware stores, ready to fix whatever may come up.

The problem is that that shit gets HEAVY. One thing I’ve also mentioned is that I have a multitude of injuries from over the years. My back being the worst (other than the cluster headaches, but those are less common). I walk with a cane while out and about because I know something will start hurting. It just does. So, carrying a heavy tool box is getting harder and harder. Sometimes, if I know exactly what to bring and don’t need the supplies, I can keep it light. The strain on my back has become more and more noticeable and painful. To the point where today, I had to switch my cane to my left hand for a while because the pain in my right low back was so excruciating. I then switched back a couple blocks later because then my left hip/low back was griping at me.

Despite my injuries, I enjoy the task of furniture assembly. I’m GOOD at it. I get a lot of really great reviews from clients. I can’t do it all day every day… but I love doing it, regardless.

So, I’m eyeing wheeled tool boxes. I’ve picked one potential out on Amazon. I put it on my wishlist, but it’s more than I really can/want to spend ($55). At first, I was thinking one of those collapsible crate thingies on wheels… but then I’d still need closed things that can fit in it and I’m not sure my tool box will fit… and I KNOW the container with the hardware from IKEA won’t.

Just a handy little tip for my fellow IKEA lovers: Go to the as-is section and look for the little round spinny rack. There are taped up bags of loose hardware and things like dowels for $5 a bag. Get a couple of those and you’ll spare people like me the mess of trying to find parts to help you fix things.

I’ve also added their cheaper single piece rolling caddy… I like the separated elements of the pricier one… but either would do… at least for now.

Do I collect other things? Hmm, do penguins, fabric, sewing supplies, crafting supplies, and art supplies count? Yeah… silly question…

~A

Posted in anxiety, artsy stuff, chronic pain, creativity, depression, disability, health, job hunting, life, Personal

10/10: Blargh

So, I know I’ve been fairly quiet. There are multiple reasons for it, and some I can’t/won’t discuss publicly. Seattle and GeekGirlCon wiped me out emotionally and physically. My back is still swearing at me for doing too much. Other stressors haven’t helped. I swore I’d catch up on school and I’ve fallen behind on catching up… which isn’t good.

My energy levels tanked since Seattle and I have a day or part of a day here and there where I have some energy, but then it vanishes about as fast as it appeared. I drink coffee and such even though I’m technically not supposed to have caffeine (issues with borderline hyperthyroid when I have too much, so I can’t drink much of it… and it doesn’t have as much of the effect on my as it does with most people).

The things I need to work on (in no particular order):

  • School
  • Job hunting
  • trip to Wallyworld for some items much needed for ASAP things
  • art stuff (commission and Inktober, which is more for fun, but a nice way to get me drawing more)
  • cleaning
  • and many other things…..

So many things to do and not nearly enough energy to do them. I have a Task today in a bit, and almost had another for later this week, but that fell through. I need all the income I can get, so that one was kind of important. Oh well.

I’m still here… still kicking… just facing a lot of stuff and not enough energy to tackle it all.

~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 birthdays, community, creativity, depression, dreams, faith, friends, health, individuality, life, medical, Personal, semicolon

10/2: Birthday Post

So, today was/is my birthday. I have never been ashamed of my age. I celebrate each birthday. The main reason is simply because I’ve had far too many episodes in my life where I almost didn’t make it to the next day.

Today, I turned 45.

I also turned 9.

Nine years ago, I was in the hospital fighting this nasty infection called Cellulitis. It’s essentially a Staph infection (there are many types) that comes in through a primary infected wound (in my case, my left ear piercing decided that, after 20 years, it really didn’t like nickel or some other metal) and settles just under the skin. For me, it settled at the base of my neck on my right side

I was sent to the hospital on September 26th with a white blood cell count that was somewhere hovering around the moon. After tests, pre-dawn blood draws, massive doses of the antibiotic Vancomycin, a mild case of pneumonia, and a bunch of things… I was discharged mid-afternoon on October 2nd… my birthday. My 36th birthday to be exact.

So, to grasp how bad shit was, there are three stages of Cellulitis:

  1. redness and swelling in and around the affected area, pain and stiffness, fever in many cases.
  2. if there are lymph nodes in the area, they absorb some of the infection and swell up. the fever tends to peak and then break (I hit 103.2 or so, then 24 hours later, no fever). My lymph nodes were the size of ping-pong balls when I walked into the ER on the 26th. They shouldn’t get that big. Really.
  3. From the lymph nodes, the infection starts to spread, called ‘going septic.’ I could feel it going up my neck to my brain and across to my heart. If it had hit either, I would not be alive today.

I was in 3rd stage.

There. Is. No. Fourth. Stage.

Unless, as I like to joke, you count a body bag as a stage.

So, I almost fucking died. Not an experience I’d like to ever repeat. Until I’m old and grey. I never want Cellulitis again… ever. It is NOT a fun experience.

As I was deemed well enough to leave the hospital on my actual birthday, I celebrate not only the number of years since I showed up on this planet, but the number of years since I had a second chance.

I keep asking for gift certificates to the LEGO store, but no one ever does it… LEGO and IKEA.

But for that one year… I got the gift of a second chance. I’m doing my best to not waste it.

One lesson I learned from that experience is this:

No matter how cliche it seems, you really never know how long you have. You may not wake up tomorrow. So stop hesitating. Go back to school for that degree you’ve always wanted. Save up for that “bucket list” vacation. Make shit happen. Want to learn to paint? DO IT! Volunteer with an animal rescue? Do it. What else? The way I see it is that as long as it isn’t illegal, so way out of the boundaries of morality, or has a surefire risk of death, go for it. Step out of your comfort zone and “learn to fly!” If you’re fortunate to make it to “old age,” the goal is to be able to sit in your rocking chair and look back at your life and have as few regrets as possible. Instead of “I wish I had done ________” you can say, “I did this and it was an incredible experience.”

~A

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 C-PTSD, chronic pain, creativity, depression, empath life, eviction, food cravings, friends, grad school, health, history, homeless, job hunting, life, medical, Personal, research, silliness, storage

9/21: Like I Really Need to Write More on Here Today… SQUIRREL!!! (shit)

*sigh* It feels strange to NOT be begging for help after the last several days. I would say the last week-ish has been madness for me. I went from “great! I’m gonna get back to school and finish my degree!” to Cluster(fuck) Headache for 6 days, then that resolved, then “oh shit, storage!!! help!”

No wonder I’m freaking exhausted right now. I think most people would just curl up into a ball after the past 8 days. Actually, I kinda want to do that. I also want Thai food… and Hot & Sour Soup. I LOVE me some really good H&S soup. It better be a bowl of incredible goodness that can clear the magma chambers of Mt St. Helens… nice and hot. Dammit.

I had nothing left… well, not enough to order food via Postmates. Also, they’re being assholes with my debit card… sooo…. yeah. I ended up with Annie’s Gluten Free Mac & Cheese… microwave M&C… it’s decent… but it isn’t Pad Thai and H&S soup.

In case anyone who reads this blog hasn’t noticed, 2017 has really, REALLY SUCKED for me. And I’m not even bringing political fuckery into that picture.

Oh… yeah… when I’m tired, I get all rambly… like now.

Someone sent me a message request on FB… asking if there was a way for me to split my stuff up and have friends store it. I still haven’t accepted his message (I will, really) and replied, but this is my answer in case anyone else was wondering the same thing: No one I know has the room. Two friends (well, married pairs of friends, so four friends, technically)

Oh look… SQUIRREL!!!!

Where was I? Oh yeah… friends of mine are holding a few bins of fabric from when I had tried to downsize a previous storage unit and hauled them back to my apartment… and then the management said “no… you can’t have all those in your apartment… it’s a fire hazard” … welp… fuck. I need to get those bins back from said friends (one pair has asked when that would be possible… ummm.. when I can make enough room in storage?).

One must understand geeks/creatives like me. We have “stuff” … a lot of “stuff.” Some of the “stuff” in storage can be (and will be… once I can reach it) downsized, trashed, etc. Some will get sold off… I really don’t need three sets of speakers. One set… one is good. I have a buyer for one pair… some furniture will be broken down and trashed… I kinda beat them up a bit during the eviction. Sadly.  That really was a nice sideboard… it would just need a lot of shoring up with metal bits to hold it together (which I could realistically do… not sure yet)

(don’t mind me… my brain is bouncing around between ‘things’ as I type… this is kinda ‘stream of consciousness’ blogging when I’m like this)

I don’t have the physical energy (yay for chronic pain/fatigue… NOT!!!) to tackle my storage unit alone. I get a few feet in and I need to sit my ass down and rest. I am not joking.

This has been a wild week. Still need to play catch up with school stuff (thinking of taking my Chromebook, Kindle, and iPod with me tomorrow and alternate between school things and working on storage… I’d be offline, as it’s one huge steel and concrete building… signal? What signal? Psshhh).

One of the many things I am grateful for with this week is an answer to the issue of my headaches. The fact that it responded well to oxygen therapy is HUGE for me. I’ve been on birth control to help manage hormones, as they were presenting after every other month’s cycle. We chalked it up to wonky hormones and have been managing them that way. But even if hormones are affecting them, the headaches are something else. I looked up “one sided headaches” and cluster headaches were the clearest answer. While migraines and tension headaches can present on one side, they tend to be present on either side, and mine have always been on the right. Cluster headaches are always one sided and most commonly on the right. No one really knows what causes them. I looked at a few medical sites. But oxygen therapy helps them. Seriously, it fucking WORKED. 15 minutes breathing pure oxygen made the vast majority of the pain go away (I also have TMJ pain, so that wasn’t helping either).

Medical stuff is one of the “big uglies” that has impeded my life. If I even tried to list the shit I’ve been through that has sidelined me for some length of time… I know I’d forget something. Big things, little things… everything from Cellulitis to breaking a toe… This year, it was the eviction, which exacerbated my back injury, knee injuries, drove me deeper into depression, sidelined schooling and job hunting to some degree… I’m not fully out of the woods, but feeling better. It’s been a shit year, but I’m slowly climbing back out of the abyss.

With a little help from my friends (and a few strangers online).

When I got back from my errands today (which ended with an eye exam and ordering new glasses… I’m getting old… new pairs will be bifocals… and Voc Rehab is covering them as they are something needed for working), the number of page hits for this little personal blog were higher than I’d ever had since I started blogging. I’ve had different sites/blogs over the years. This is my personal one. I have another one I’m working on starting, but it’ll take me a bit. It’ll be about archives and history. That’s what my grad degree is in. But other than linking to it from here, I want to keep them separate. Last thing I need is potential fellow archives folks (and potential bosses/coworkers) seeing all my personal ramblings…. yeeaaahhhh, no. It was around 172 at the time. Now? 188.

I think I’ve gotten most of the rambling out of my system. That’ll be all for the night… I think.

~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