Checking In Post-Procedure

Hello, everyone. Nothing major to report. I should be okay-ish in about 2-4 weeks. I had a minor in-office procedure done this afternoon and practically ran out of the building screaming because, sick people. If you’re sick, please stay home. Running to a hospital attached medical building might not be the smartest decision. I was there for continuity of care, or I would not have been there at all. I was as careful as humanly possible, but I’m sick of having to be. I am sure you feel this way, too. It’s a LOT.

This week, Peace Talks by Jim Butcher is on my reading list. I included a link in case you want to check out his books (Start with Storm Front, link included). I can’t believe how long I’ve been reading Jim’s books. Fun fact: He and I share the same birthday. The first time I read his work, I immediately knew he was a Scorpio. Jim is a brilliant story teller. If a friend hadn’t recommended his books to me, I never would have found 5-6 other authors, some of whom are friends all these years later. Everything happens for a reason.

I’ll get some writing done, too. After all, it IS my job. 😉

Anyone have interesting plans this week or a book they want to share?

Returned

It’s been over five months and I’ve missed you all SO MUCH. I wish I was in the perfect head-space for my return, but I’m not. Things have happened, and not happened. Things have been said and cannot be taken back. Things have been done, and subsequently, not done. People have come and gone, and I’m still pretty fed up and angry, which is justified. I’ve been bottling it all in this entire time, which has been difficult for me since I am a communicator, but I’m thrilled to be back here where being my authentic self is appreciated, respected, and dare I say, valued.

Health-wise, things have been rough. There’s been a lot of medical neglect from doctors who are seemingly both too arrogant and “too busy”. I am now under the care of a new primary care physician, so I’ll see how that goes long-term. At the end of this month, I go in for another round of treatment for chronic migraines. They have had their ups and downs. Summer was nightmarish for me with them, and I’ve recently begun getting regular headaches and tension headaches. Yeah, I know how that sounds, but when you suffer from migraines, you have to be certain what you have and how to treat it. A regular headache responds just fine to an OTC NSAID. Migraines do not.

Thanks to one of my best friends and my brother for gifting me a laptop for my birthday. It was the only gift I received in terms of the physical. It was also my only material goal for said birthday, and I’m immensely GRATEFUL to be back, even though this laptop is temporary and there’s a learning curve since the keyboard isn’t like my last two laptops, where I could type perfectly in the dark with zero errors. When you type as fast as I do, you can wear out the keys. This one is pretty solid, because the keyboard is completely different, but I’ll be okay. I still have software to buy, files to transfer, etc. I will get there slowly over the next few months. For now, just being able to talk to all of you is what I need.

I will continue the Black & White Photo Challenge until I hit two hundred days. I think that’s reasonable, and I’ve enjoyed doing it. Perhaps next year, I’ll do an HD color photo challenge. 🤷 We’ll see.

There will be add-ons and big changes over the coming year. I’ve had plenty of time to decide which direction I want to take this in and how big I want this to be. It’s time to expand and take some leaps of faith. Especially since so many people are supporting the expansion. Support doesn’t hurt.

I’ll be back with something more in-depth soon. For now, I need to get my head on straight and finish up my cleaning for the day. The fact that I went to bed early, woke up early, and did nearly all the cleaning I set out to do is miraculous. My body will either pay for it later or tomorrow, but pay for it, it shall.

I hope everyone gets the opportunity to enjoy their weekend. Have a good one, folks!

li

 

Election Day 2018

I voted via absentee ballot for the first time in over a decade. I had an appointment this morning with my headache specialist and despite the fact that I desperately wanted to cancel, I knew I needed a letter for my migraine medication to maybe be approved. Here’s hoping it’ll make a difference at next week’s hearing.

Voting, more often than not, feels like a choice of the lesser of two evils, regardless of party. I was surprised by the Massachusetts ballot this year. I was taken aback by some of it, the questions will probably bug me no matter which way they go, but at the end of the day I know I voted for people I think are relatively decent human-beings. You can’t fool everyone, and that’s a fact for another day.   

 

Brain Problems

10501792_1101324749884898_3992262528277158865_n
I have exactly ONE PERSON in my life who has done the research and offered his help. Out of so many who could use their brains, my cousin chose to use his.

No, the title isn’t meant to indicate an actual health issue. Not that I’m aware of. However, Fibromyalgia Brain Fog, also commonly referred to as “Fibro Fog”, has really done a number on me this month. It was slowly progressing, but now I feel dumber than a box of rocks with twelve piles of shit on top. It’s scary, freakish, and makes me feel terrible about myself. Only another sufferer can truly understand how much pain this puts me in.

I know these are common daily occurrences for a lot of people who struggle with Fibromyalgia and other auto-immune diseases, but my incidents have been sporadic and easily managed, up until now. This weekend has pretty much brought me to my knees on the memory front. 😦

If you ask me about something from when I was two or three years old, I have complete recall of the entire moment. If you ask me why I tried putting black pepper in the freezer, I’ve got nothing. If I didn’t set the timer on the stove, I’d walk away from preparing meals and never go back (I ALWAYS set the timer, even if it’s just ten minutes, it’s loud enough to bring me back in order to focus.). I have to be 100% in whatever it is I am doing, otherwise I am going to end up cutting myself, burning myself, or forgetting what the hell I’m doing to begin with. There is nothing normal or acceptable about this.

To add insult to injury, I put notes on my phone as reminders for pretty much everything. I take this phone with me wherever I go, and yet, I still forget what the hell I’m reading and end up deleting at least 50% of the note before I’ve left most stores. It’s utterly pathetic. It’s also sad, because I’m tired of searching cabinets and the refrigerator/freezer for things I forgot to buy. I then add the missing items to next week’s list, only so the cycle can continue on in an ugly manner. I have to start each list with cat food and cat litter, otherwise it’s entirely possible I will forget one, the other, or both. This past weekend, I forgot the litter. The plus side, there’s 20 pounds of it sitting near the litter box from the weekend prior, so all I have to do is change the damn thing. The fact that I can even lift 20 pounds these days is miraculous to me. 😦

I think I would be better able to cope with this lack of brain function if I were over 75 and had achieved all of the things I set out to do with my life. I’d be able to say “Hey, I’ve lived longer than my parents. I’ve accomplished all of this. I’m simply getting older and forgetting things. It’s not the end of the world.” However, I’m nowhere near 75, not even close, and yet, my brain is suddenly turning to mush. I tried refrigerating herbs when I was cooking earlier (obviously, that’s not where they belong). As soon as I realized what I was doing, I nearly dropped all of them on the floor and burst into tears.

These incidents are made worse by the criticism of others. “Do you even have a fucking brain?”, I was asked earlier this month. “You really DO live in your own world.”, I was told the other day. These are things I’d never say out loud to someone I know is sick, leave alone healthy.

If you have someone in your life with an autoimmune disease/disorder that affects their brain function, I would like you to walk a hundred thousand miles in their shoes. I want you to spend 365 days in their body before making a single derogatory remark in their direction. Our ears are fine; we can fucking hear your offensive, rude negativity. However, if you don’t understand the illness itself, shut the fuck up. You’re not making the situation better, and how you treat someone is just as important as how you speak to them. Unfortunately, we live in a world where everyone wants respect, simply for existing, but they don’t realize their behavior is what garners respect. Moreover, we all express our feelings differently. I prefer to say a lot of things to people privately, eschewing public professions. Some people seem to have a deep-seated need for the public professions though, and it baffles me. Just because we live in a selfie-filled world doesn’t mean every single thing we want to say ought to be made public.

You can argue that by writing it, I’ve made it public, but here’s the thing; I didn’t name names. I rarely, if ever, do. I talk in code with my friends, we have our own private language, and I write in code a lot of the time, too. You get the gist of it, obviously, you just don’t have faces and names to attach to what I’m saying. It’s like reading a book. You get descriptions of characters, but you are left to your own devices as to what they might truly look like if you met them on the street.

So, even with my “brain problems”, I don’t have “writer problems”. Thank G-d and Goddess for that!

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

fogbank

Thankful, Grateful, Yet Pissed Off

plymouth-rock-sign
My ancestors didn’t come to this country until the late 1800’s or 1920ish, if not later than that.

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the United States. There is much history behind this holiday (I currently live in Massachusetts and you can’t escape people talking about spending the holiday in Plymouth. I’ve never spent Thanksgiving at a restaurant; I’ve always participated among family, cooked it myself, etc.), but for me, especially this year, this is the first Thanksgiving where I’ll be completely without my brother.

He was just released from the hospital once again. He’s SO sick, and while I am thankful and grateful that he is alive, I am exceptionally upset that he isn’t in a good situation and is so far away. It makes me ill. The fact that the medicine he needs for his heart and lungs is more expensive than I can handle is also too much for me emotionally. I want to help him, to fix the situation and the problems, but I can’t fix every problem he presents me with. It kills me. You are only given so many people in a life and I have been given one living brother. Not helping when he asks (or doesn’t ask) is to be a lower life form. I can’t be like that. I stand up as much as humanly possible.

I have much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for what little in my life is mine. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, clothes, food, Cat and Kitten, my friends, and family. However, I’m also pissed off.

This has been an extremely painful year for me. I don’t know when it gets easier, or if it ever does, but I hope and pray that the coming year (and years) won’t wreck me like the previous dozen, or so, have. I’m a human-being, I’m imperfect, my feelings are real, and valid, and in 2017, I’d like to break out of this horrible shell I am in and be reborn in some way.

For the past six months or so, I’ve been experiencing bouts of Fibro Fog that are terrifying. I’ve done so many bizarre things that I’d never normally do if I was at 100% capacity (like trying to put black pepper in the freezer). For over seven months, I’ve been experiencing blackouts where I cannot account for my time. I’m not passing out and waking up on the side of the road or anything, and I’m lucky that they are no longer happening daily, but there are far too many days where I look at the clock and it’s 9:00 a.m. and the next thing I know, it’s 4:00 PM and I couldn’t tell you where my day went if you paid me a million dollars. These are not normal things for anyone, leave alone me. I stopped talking about these episodes with friends and family because no one seemed that interested or concerned, but I’m walking around on auto-pilot and I have no idea how I get from point A to point B most days. It’s scary and it’s completely unlike me.

plymouth1

This year, Thanksgiving will lack all forms of tradition. The only “tradition” I’ll be bringing to the table is a 40+ year old recipe for stuffing. In my entire life, I’ve only eaten one other type of stuffing and it paled in comparison to my Mom’s. However, to highlight my Fibro Fog I have to say I’m embarrassed and mortified that I remembered all of the ingredients for the stuffing, but once I hit store #3 on Sunday, I realized I never purchased the actual stuffing, herbs, or a turkey pan for it. I tend to make stuffing the night before, that way it’s perfect Thanksgiving Day (and only takes a little while to heat up). It also helps me pace myself because making it involves a lot of vegetable chopping and ingredient play. However, I am happy to make it and enjoy that piece of my Mom that she passed on to me; the ability to cook and cook well (In fairness, I did inherit other things from her, for which I am also eternally grateful.).

So yeah, lots of sadness at the moment. I’m praying I will somehow be able to come through for my brother, and as it has been nearly a year since I’ve seen him (Unheard of!), I am hoping & praying I will be able to see him next month. I have learned this year that the person who knows me best is my brother (only regarding certain things, not all things). Part of me finds that exceptionally sad, and the other part thinks it’s extremely fitting.

Wishing everyone, in advance, a wonderful start to the holiday season. You don’t have to be American to appreciate that sentiment.

cute-thanksgiving-turkeys-04

Be safe, everyone!

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Full Frost Supermoon In Taurus

superfullmoon-112016

A SuperMoon not only affects nature, such as the tides and wildlife, it also affects us. Our emotions will be heightened, our senses will be sharp, things that were hidden or in the shadows can now be seen.

The November Full Moon is also known as the Full Frost Moon, so-called because the frost and ice will start to set in as the earth grows colder. Animals will start to hibernate for the winter months, the last leaves will fall from the trees, and the land will become barren.

The Moon is rising in the sign of Taurus. We are amidst some strong planetary alignments that are heralding a need for great change and revolution both inside and out. Our attitude is of utmost importance during this time and can empower us and see us through whatever we are facing. Gratitude for what we have and a willingness to move with the energy that is calling us is required now.

This particular Full Moon will not be boring and will have an unpredictable vibe along with it. The places we have been feeling stuck in our lives may suddenly begin to move or shift. If emotions are clogged, they may surface and flow; let them, don’t hold anything in, let your emotions out. Be aware of dualistic thoughts, emotions and behaviors, as this may be generating a lot of mental stress and tension, plus sending out mixed signals to others and the Universe. Try to stay grounded and find balance. Finances are illuminated on this Full Moon, to watch what we are spending and to improve or bring in any extra income we can.

fullmoon2016-1

Tonight’s Full Moon brings change. We are coming to the end of the year, with Yule and the New Year fast approaching, we must become empowered to make the changes necessary to shift our situation. It is up to us, the time is now. We must let go and surrender to the deeper current that is transforming us. You are the master of your destiny. Take your power back from society and other people. Learn from your past mistakes. Vow to do better next year. Make a commitment to your success. Be adaptable. Make friends with change. It is not the enemy. Change is your friend. Change sheds the old and gives birth to the new.

This Full Moon is about communication, higher learning, and our sense of creativity and adventure. Something has been building inside of us and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos demands that we let it out. We are magnets to our desire now. We have the power to attract what we want toward us. Taurus is the sign of strength and truth; this will give us a boost in mind power, as we will be able to see things more clearly. We will see our own truths and a fog will be lifted that can show us a path that can lead us into improving ourselves both spiritually and mentally.

hugeenergyshift-supermoon

This Full Moon look into yourself and ask yourself what you need to move forward. Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this and ask yourself if you feel that you are strong enough to do this. If you feel that you are not strong enough, use the energy of this Full Moon to heal and gain strength. Ask the Goddess for guidance and to lead the way to a more positive, happier life.

Tonight is a good time to determine what you value and what you stand for, what you want to create in your life and carry forth into the next cycle of your evolution.

Have a blessed Full Moon. May the Goddess watch over you.

Written credit: Various

Photographic credit: Various

Edited by: Lisa Marino

supermoon-2016-2

Saying Goodbye

I’ve never been happier to say goodbye to a month. 😦 The month I most look forward to every year, October, has been bitter, painful, and full of things I do not want to take into the coming month, or any month in the future, for that matter. I feel like a snake, preparing to shed its skin. I NEVER want to feel the things I have had to feel this month.

I want to persevere in November. I want to pretend the birthday from hell never happened, despite the daily reminders of how demeaning and insulting it was. An epic slap in my face from pretty much every side you can think of (I refuse to celebrate from here on in, unless it’s by myself. People SUCK.). I want to remember who my real friends are. I want to be constantly reminded who my real family is, as opposed to those who simply get the label via birth.

Ultimately, I want to survive this month. I want to successfully achieve the goals on my list, one of which feels absolutely impossible. The last time I felt that way, I nailed it and was able to breathe again. All I want to do is achieve the impossible and breathe. I need to make it to 2017 in one piece.

I also apologize for all delays, as I burned out my laptop battery earlier this month and, to add insult to injury, fried the adapter. Say a little prayer for my laptop, ’cause I’m praying HARD for it.

Survival and deep breaths. Seems simple, but it’s not.

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

ghosts
It’s true.

P.S. And despite all threats, I did not give Cat away to a nice family tonight. She’s been taking care of her poor, sick Mommy when she’s not aggressively attacking her sister. Kitten is right by my side, as always. 🙂 I shall spend tomorrow squeezing them silly!

 

Full Frost Moon In Gemini

fullfrostmoon2015

Tonight is the Full Frost Moon, named as such because the frost and ice will start to set in as the earth grows colder, animals will start to hibernate for the winter months, the last leaves will fall from the trees, and the land will become barren.

The Moon is rising in the constellation of Gemini. We are amidst some strong planetary alignments that are heralding a need for profound change and revolution inside and out. Our attitude is of utmost importance during this time and can empower us and see us through whatever we are facing. Gratitude for what we have and a willingness to move with the energy that is calling is required.

This particular Full Moon will not be boring and will have an unpredictable vibe along with it. The places where we have been feeling stuck in our lives may suddenly begin to move or shift. If emotions are clogged, they may surface and flow; let them. Don’t hold anything in, let your emotions out. Be aware of dualistic thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, as this may be generating a lot of mental stress and tension, as well as sending out mixed signals to others and the Universe. Try to stay grounded and find a balance. Finances are illuminated on this Full Moon, to watch what we are spending and to improve or bring in extra income.

Tonight’s Full Moon brings change, as we are coming to the end of the calendar year. With Yule and the New Year fast approaching, we must become empowered to make the changes necessary to shift our situation. It is up to us; the time is now. We must let go and surrender to the deeper current that is transforming us. You are the master of your destiny. Take your power back from society and other people. Learn from your past mistakes. Vow to do better next year. Make a commitment to your success. Be adaptable. Make friends with change. It is not the enemy. Change is your friend. Change sheds the old and gives birth to the new.

This Full Moon is about communication, higher learning, and our sense of creativity and adventure. Something has been building inside of us and now is the time when the energy of the cosmos demands that we let it out. We are magnets to our desire, and we have the power to attract what we want toward us.

Gemini is the sign of knowledge and learning. This will give us a boost in mind power, as we will be able to see things more clearly. We will see our own truths and a fog will be lifted that can show us a path that can lead us to improving ourselves both spiritually and mentally.

This Full Moon look into yourself and ask yourself what you need to move forward. Ask yourself how you are going to achieve this, and ask yourself if you feel that you are strong enough to do this. If you feel that you are not strong enough, use the energy of this Full Moon to heal and gain strength. Ask the Goddess for guidance and to lead the way to a more positive, happier life. Tonight is a good time to determine just what you value and want you stand for, as well as what you want to create in your life and carry forth into the next cycle of your evolution.

Have a blessed Full Moon. May the Goddess watch over you.

Full written & photo credit goes to Wicca Teachings. 

Developmental Editing by Lisa Marino.