Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Hmm, I need to blog about this..." ... "Interesting... I should share this on the fibro blog..."

Aaaand, then I forget. I get busy or distracted by something shiny. I intended on keeping track of things through this blog as a way of being able to look back on this or to help others realize they're not alone. That's a huge thing, by the way, not feeling like you're alone. I live in a house with people who do not give a damn how much I hurt from day to day or if my fingers are numb and tingly (they are today, by the way). And now and then, seeing that someone else has this very same problem... it feels good to know. It was a relief, that day, in the VA hospital when my doctor said, "You have all the classic signs..." I couldn't believe it. I kept waiting for a "but..." and she never said it. She just reiterated that I was, indeed, suffering from fibromyalgia.

Today sucks for two reasons. The spouse and the son came home on Wednesday night. And I haven't slept good since. When I sleep, I rarely move from my little bubble of space, even when I'm alone in the bed. It comes from almost thirteen years of sleeping next to a disabled person. (You're thinking to yourself that we're closing in on sixteen years of disability and how is it I've only spent thirteen sleeping next to him. I'll tell you: the first year, he slept on our hide-a-bed because he couldn't get out of our full-wave water bed. The second year, I worked nights and the one or two nights I was home, I ended up sleeping mostly in the La-Z-boy recliner. The third year was the year he decided to leave us. But he came back and here we are). With him in the bed, well, he's a bed hog. And a blanket fiend. He also pushes me in his sleep and snores- no joke- as loud as a lawnmower. His snoring has damaged my hearing (not hyperbole, but actual fact).

The second reason is all my fault. I haven't had the energy to put on shoes for two days in a row. I'm just bloody tired. I'm worn out and I have to keep doing stuff and mustering the energy to put on my shoes isn't a priority. Of course, every time I stand up, it just about kills me. My own damn fault.

Today, my body feels like its been pressed through one of those old-fashioned clothes-wringer thingies you see in movies. I feel like every muscle has been pulled tight, rolled flat, then left to slide back into place under its own tension. Except for the fact it hasn't slid back yet and still feels like its pulled tight. And I slept wrong on my right arm and you tack on that "I slept on it wrong" pain, then you have my day.

While the Disabled Guy was gone (for five long weeks), he texted me almost constantly. He said he'd try to be more caring or more attentive. I mean, after all, I have a real disease, diagnosed by a real doctor. I take medicine for it. Its kind of hard to deny that it exists, right? Well, for you maybe. For me, definitely. For him? Not so much.

It took him all of... well, less than a day to go back to his usual responses. Which are either: Ignore her while she speaks and maybe she'll shut up; or pretend to listen and then say in monotone, "Yeah" or "you'll be okay."

On a lighter note, today is Halloween. Blessed Samhain to you who know what that is.

Because of a book called Drop Dead Gorgeous by Wayne Simmons (set for re-release in early 2011, get a copy!), I decided to "zombie it up" for this year's Halloween. Then I ran the photos through my Photoshop lomography technique. And then I added a layer of red to the eyes and I came up with this:

Added layer of red to the eyes.

That's all done with eyeshadow and store-bought fake blood. I used green and blue eyeshadow on my face, black around my eyes, and "black cherry" lipstick. All of my Halloween-themed photos can be seen here on my Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I survived a week without Vicodin

Not by choice, mind you, not by choice. Each month, when I get to about two weeks left of pills, I call the automated number and request a refill. Usually the automated voice tells me to "allow ten to fourteen days for delivery"... and once in a while, it will say: "This prescription has expired, press one now to request a renewal" so I press one. About two years ago, there was a fiasco with the automated thing and I didn't get a refill of my Hydrochlorothiazadide. That's a water pill for my edema. When I finally got in to see a doctor- who was not my regular doctor- I got a thirty day supply (I usually get a ninety day supply) and when I got home, the regular refill was there.

Well, my Vicodin ran out. A week ago Wednesday, I asked- because I was there and the computer said it was "processing". That's good... because that means I should get it soon. Well, it turns out that I was lower on my supply than I thought and I took my very last Vicodin pill (which is one-third of what I usually take at night) last Thursday night. But, I'd been lowering my dose over the course of two weeks- just in case something like this happened.

And I've been doing okay. The Cyclobenzaprine has been helping me sleep- so that's good. I've been surviving during the day, too. I even did a day and a half at the Stronghold Olde English Faire (pics below). The whole "daytime without Vicodin" has been okay, till the last couple of days. But the nights first- er, more like the mornings. The roughest part of the day is when I wake up. Every muscle in my body feels as if it has tightened like a body-builder lifting dead weight. It takes me a good three minutes to actually get moving. I flex and relax my muscles as much as I can before I try to sit up. When I take Vicodin at night, it makes the mornings just ever-so-slightly easier.

Then, there's the last couple of days. The itchy skin came back. Well, it never really went anywhere, its always here, otherwise I'd look pretty freaky out at the Wal-Mart without my skin. The last two days or so, I've been itchy and unable to do anything. Even the Australian Panadol- which works so well on headaches and sprains- didn't do anything for my itching. On top of the itching, I also have the fatigue. Tired. So very tired. Every single day since a week ago Wednesday, I've had to go somewhere and do something. Granted, the two days at faire were of my own choice, but still. Even today- the day I thought I could just lie around and be a blob- I have an orchestra meeting. Plus I finally had to do the laundry- the ren faire laundry. No! I didn't take my clothes out and beat them on a rock and I didn't have Timothy Olyphant's abs around to use... but that's probably an overshare into the dark places of my psyche. What? You don't think Timothy Olyphant is hot? Well, you're probably a straight guy then. Not that there's anything wrong with being a straight male!

Wait, what was I talking about? I got distracted by Mr. Olyphant's abdominals. Oh, ren faire garb laundry. Its heavy and I have to hang it out to dry. Not because its so delicate or anything, but because its not cheap and I don't want to ruin it in my clothes dryer. Now its done and ready to go back into its Rubbermaid container till next May.

So, now I know I can live without Vicodin, but I also know that its a necessary evil in my life. I hope it gets here soon, because this hurting all the time is starting to get on my nerves. And the whole itchy skin thing, that's already on my nerves.

I promised you some ren faire photos- here they are. Stronghold Olde English Faire, in Oregon, IL.

I've been told I have a "good eye" when it comes to taking photos. I specialize (if you can call it that) in macro (close-up) and nature photography. So, while at faire, I got really close to things. And the living things I took macro shots of- don't worry, I asked for permission first. I've also discovered that my style of photography isn't for everyone. Not everyone gets the point of the macro and the abstract. But that's okay. It doesn't bother me. Enjoy the photos.