Wondering When It Gets Better

It’s hard to believe tomorrow is February, but it’s harder still to believe how sick I am. This virus is no joke. A few days and I’ll feel better? Not so much. Third bottle of cough medicine. Insomnia and parasomnia. The overall feeling this will not go away because it was a misdiagnosis on top of multiple misdiagnoses. I hardly know what day it is, and sometimes, I don’t know who I am. Quite frankly, none of this gives me “virus” vibes. Yes, I may need to see another doctor. What kind of doctor? Therein lies the ultimate question. <Sigh>

Last week, things got really scary when, within a few hours of feeling like I was freezing to death, my temperature had spiked to over 102 degrees. I had checked three times, and each time my fever increased, but I was way too sick to rationalize with myself. Moving was difficult. I was really weak. I couldn’t keep down water. I was sick in all caps, and my throat was raw. In total, it took about six hours for me to be able to swallow four Tylenol. I was deathly ill and so slow; and I have repeatedly tested negative for Covid, so I was pretty sure this was more of the same (With a follow-up negative for Covid.). I rescheduled an important appointment that morning because keeping my head up was too painful, and quite frankly, too much work. I then proceeded to sleep for almost seventeen hours straight. That is definitely not normal for me.

One benefit of being sick is having Cat and Kitten be sweet, little caretakers. Kitten only leaves my side for meals and short breaks. I go to sleep and she’s by my side. I wake up, and she’s watching me. I go back to sleep, and she’s snuggled up close. Occasionally, Cat is also with me. Either by herself, or within 1-2 feet of Kitten. Even though the new vet stupidly referred to them as “old lady cats” (I suggested they bite her.), it is more appropriate to say they are adult cats. Cat turned nine this past Fall, and Kitten turned eight. Collectively, they still have far more energy than I do. There’s something so pure and genuine about the affection when I reach over and pet Cat’s bunny soft fur. She almost doesn’t feel real, but she is, and the second I do anything she doesn’t like, she will run off. I require written permission for affection, which means, no touching. Kitten wants all the affection, all the head scratches, all the chin scratches, everything. She doesn’t hold grudges or take anything personally for too long. They truly have very unique, individual personalities.

If only this virus would move along as quickly as Cat when I so much as move a muscle. Being sick has zero perks. In a full months I have gone to Urgent Care, the pharmacy, grabbed groceries and some cat supplies. I got sicker after the grocery run, and that was with two masks on! My life has legitimately been sleep, sleep, and more sleep. It’s important to listen to my body. None of this rest has seemed to help, and neither have all the vitamins and healthy choices I’ve made, either.

Yesterday was my first step back into “real life”, and I ended up in bed before six o’clock, exhausted beyond words. I felt overwhelmingly ill. I still don’t feel great. Never a worse time for Amazon to lose not one, but TWO tissue deliveries when I need them so badly. UGH! “We promise you’ll have these on Monday.” That was on Friday, so I thought, “Okay.” No delivery. We promise you’ll have them by February 1st. HOW THE HELL ARE YOU LOSING 18 BOXES OF TISSUES?! How does it leave a facility and disappear? Why can’t you lose the orders I try to cancel?! Yeah, I have questions. Who wouldn’t?!

Despite the fact that Covid restrictions are going to be lifted this Spring, I still don’t feel well enough for certain things. February is a short month and I am concerned about how to navigate it in a healthful way. The same is true for March and April. It seems far away, but one look at my phone calendar says otherwise.

Ultimately, I had to make the decision that 2023 would not be the year where I would be able to post daily. This hasn’t been true in the past, even at my worst, but it must be true this year. I have to heal, focus, and work on projects I am passionate about. I will share things as they come up, but I’m going to do what I feel is right. I hope you’ll hang in for the ride.

I’ll be back with an update when I am feeling better. Wishing you all the best. Also, Happy Lunar New Year!

copyright © 2023 by Lisa Marino-Molchanova & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses®™ is a registered trademark.

Ultimate Guide To Letting Go…

I apologize for not being able to write this weekend, as intended. I’ve been suffering a few weeks now, not knowing exactly what was wrong. I hadn’t been exposed to anyone, so I was more in the mindset that maybe my migraine treatment was not working, which can happen. It’s not an exact science and your body can metabolize certain things faster than the next person, but yesterday things got so bad with my migraines that I went back to questioning what was causing my skull and face to hurt so much.

I took my new CGRP drug (Nurtec ODT) and hoped it would help. It made things considerably worse. By the end of the day, my skull was on fire, and I pretty much knew what was wrong. Because I’ve been suffering for weeks, I also knew I needed to see a doctor ASAP.

I went to Urgent Care to be seen, and to avoid any possible Covid exposure in my doctor’s office this coming week because Boston is still seeing an increase in cases and hospitals aren’t very safe. I’m glad I did. For the first time in a long time, going into a new experience with someone I’d never met before, I was treated like a human-being who was not “drug seeking” or trying to be a pain in the ass. I was treated like an intelligent patient who simply wanted to feel better, not worse. In less than an hour, I had my diagnosis, my prescriptions had been sent to the pharmacy, and I was glad I know my body as well as I do.

I will be down for the count for the next ten days, perhaps longer, though, as they chose to run a PCR test on me for Covid, and the results probably won’t be back until the 14th. Suggesting I hunker down for the time-being was a given. Even though I am pretty certain I wasn’t exposed to anyone who is actively ill, the nurse practitioner thought it would be a good idea since I could very well be asymptomatic. I can already feel the first dose of antibiotics working. This one is new to me and hits hard, almost as if it’s telling you, “You are NOT okay. You’re sick and you need to take care of yourself.” This is true.

I’ve been dealing with so many rough things that when I first started feeling lousy, I attributed it to lack of quality sleep. At one point, during the summer, I was almost convinced I had Covid, except Fibromyalgia patients can experience many of the flu-like symptoms of this particular virus. When I started feeling better two weeks later and had no fever, I didn’t sweat it. I’ve been extremely careful. I am not running a fever. In fact, I’m running at about 95 degrees. I can taste and smell everything far more than one might care to. I’ve mostly had head and an insane amount of face pain, sometimes stemming from my neck (Stress and tension in an arthritic neck is horrendous. I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone. Add in rain and snow. I wanted to rip my bones right out of my body. My injured foot from January was so bad the other day, I was nearly in tears from the pain.), and this morning I woke up with a sore throat. I am grateful to the person who saw me today because there was a lot of compassion present. I will be informing the company she works for how amazing she was, because everyone deserves to be treated as I was today, but especially as someone who has experienced over a decade of medical trauma, gaslighting, and neglect, it meant the world to me.

If you need me, I’ll be writing and reading this week, in between taking my medicine and resting as much as possible. Oh, and don’t touch my Starbucks cup. As of thirty minutes ago, it became Strawberry Bubly and a heavy pour officially made it 100 proof. When I’m really sick, I usually do a couple of shots of whisky or vodka a day to disinfect my throat and speed up healing. This is a tried and true method that always works for me, and it’s something I know other cultures also incorporate into healing. I can’t hang with you if you can’t shoot straight vodka. 😉 Not the American crap, either. It’s got to be Russian. There are rules.

Be well, everyone, and stay safe.

Dobrey nochi,

Happy Thanksgiving 2019



Wishing every one of you the start of a lovely holiday season. 😁

Thanksgiving is EXTREMELY controversial, for obvious reasons, but I remember family gatherings and I’m missing a LOT of people today. Thankfully, I woke up to messages from my brother and my best friend, who is the sister I always asked for. 🙏

I’m staying put because I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia on Tuesday. I’ve been sick for three months straight, complete with a vicious cough, and each doctor ignored my symptoms. Each one decided something different. This time, it was a nurse practitioner who listened to my lower right lung where the issue is. She said it’s entirely possible that the flu morphed slowly into a bacterial infection, but instead of giving me something for this insane cough, she simply prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics. She believes a chest x-ray will give me cancer, so I will NOT be seeing her again. It’s two minutes, not a trip through Chernobyl. 🙄

I hate being sick and left out, but I don’t want anyone getting sick because of me  so I’ll just simmer in my stressful misery. 😒

However you spend today, please be safe and responsible.

Much love to you all,


Sharing Color

I’ve been having a terrible, rough time of late. I started writing about it, and was too sick to finish what I was writing, but I’ll get there.

As we head into this excruciatingly hot weekend (115 degrees with heat, heat index, and high humidity, as well as a few nights in the 90s), I thought I’d share a bit of brilliant, nature made color with you all. The lilies are unique and you won’t see them in anyone’s yard in random fashion. The purple one is called “Bela Lugosi”. I thought it was going to be more on the brown side, but as you can see, it isn’t. Most of these were just 4-6 flowers initially and now there are tons. The petals are thicker than you’d expect. I did my best to capture them the same day they bloomed.

Be well, everyone.



Writer Down

Hello everyone! I want to thank all the new readers who have come on board in the past month or so. I appreciate each of you and hope you will leave comments and participate in this aspect of my life as a writer.

I rarely apologize for not posting regularly, but this time my body is just plain DONE in the sense that I’m way beyond stressed out. I’m dropping things I normally have no problem handling, I’m rarely hungry (I feel like my taste buds have died.), I’m bottling way too much inside, and nothing seems to help.

For the past few weeks I have been on medication for a health issue I desperately tried to avoid getting. I mean it; I did EVERYTHING right in order to avoid being diagnosed with it. Having a nurse tell me “There’s nothing more you could have done. It’s here, and now we have to try to fight it and/or keep it in check.” I would have had a better reaction if she’d broken a foot or a hand with a moving car. 😦 Some things don’t bother me, but other things I just have this emotionally painful reaction to, and this part of my health is one of them.

Bone-deep exhaustion set in right about the time I started taking the medication. As in, I can sleep for eleven hours (or longer), wake up, write a little, catch up on some things, and by noon I need to sleep for 3-4 hours because I cannot keep my eyes open or my head up. I am SO embarrassed to be SO ill that I can’t function. There are a lot of times I’m not asleep, I’m just lying here unable to move, unable to speak, and I’m fully aware of the fear coursing through my body that I might be completely paralyzed in some way. Alas, the paralysis wears off after a while and I’m able to move, but I’m still struck with being wide awake and unable to do anything. It is painful and scary, to say the least.

When someone suggested that my exhaustion might be related to the flu, I definitely wondered if it was a legit possibility. However, my symptoms don’t match up at all. They do, however, match up with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. I made an appointment to see my doctor, after I was informed that it’s definitely NOT a side effect of this new medication. Because this diagnosis (ME) is predominantly NOT one you see in the United States (virtually every article I found about it was out of the United Kingdom), I am going to bring some documentation along with me. Hopefully she can diagnose this herself or refer me to someone who can, preferably before I keel over from the insane exhaustion I feel. Even now, I just want to crawl under the covers and SLEEP for the next month…or five.

Not being able to make important phone calls, do laundry, clean, and handle normal daily tasks is upsetting when you’re sick like this. It leaves me with zero purpose, because if I am going to be faced with a lifetime of this, I’m not accepting that. This CANNOT be my sole purpose in life. I can’t agree to suffering for the rest of my life. That isn’t the kind of life I signed up for.

Please know that I DO have posts I am working on. Unfortunately, at the moment, I’m too sick to finish them.  I’m around, barely. I’m doing my best.

Has anyone else been diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis? If so, who diagnosed you and how long did it take for you to respond to treatment, if available?

copyright © 2018 Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

You Never Plan For This


There’s nothing more unpretty than me when I’m sick. I don’t just mean looks-wise, I mean in the miserable troll sense. I’m a terrifying, sleeping dragon on a good day, but when I’m sick I’m the three-headed dog from Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone.

I take a lot of precautions to avoid getting sick. I figure suffering from Fibromyalgia and Migraines is more than enough for one person, and being sick on top of one, or both, is highly unnecessary. And guess what? I’m RIGHT.

I am the person at every grocery store who wipes down the shopping cart thoroughly with a sanitizing wipe. I get the strangest looks from people every time I do it (especially in Walmart), but I don’t care. I don’t want other people’s germs. If you just put your child in that cart with no pants on (Really?! When did this become acceptable?!) and a diaper, you damn well KNOW I am not just going to put my hands on that cart. Dress your children and keep them in check. They’re germ-carriers, but as their parents, so are you.

If you work with the public and don’t use hand sanitizer throughout the day, you need to. Not because I’m OCD (I am, to some extent), but because of germs. I’ve NEVER been tested for influenza before, but I was assured that a very nasty strain is going around before my test was run. Good to know. Damn near every person before and after me was coming in with the exact same symptoms. I’m sure someone had a case of the flu in the twenty or so people that came through.

Yesterday was bad. I spent the entire day with my ears crackling and popping like a bowl of cereal. I did NOT want to hear noise, and I still don’t. It physically hurts my ears. I’d woken up in the middle of the night unable to sleep and after going back to bed, I was woken by a team of idiots outside my bedroom window repairing the next door neighbor’s garage door. Two hours of sleep ruined by music and people yelling at each other in Spanish. They were here for about two and a half hours. I wisely remained inside and did not attack anyone, even though I wanted to.

My temperature decided to do a 360 on me, too, last night. My body always tells me when it’s not okay, so I decided to check and the look on my face when I read the thermometer was NOT a happy one. I have taken four ibuprofen to lower this fever. I think it’s getting better, but I have no clue what today brings because I don’t plan for this shit to happen to me.

The #1 side effect of one of the medications (which actually works) is nose bleeds. The pharmacist spoke with me about it and said he didn’t think it would happen, but that it’s the most common side effect for this drug. Do not for a single second think I did not get a fun nose bleed this morning, because I did. I’d been using a different medication these past few weeks for the exact same thing and it NEVER caused a nose bleed, but this one? Of course! Welcome to my life.

All day yesterday I just wanted a nap. I didn’t get it. I went to bed a little before 8:30 and was wide awake at 11:00. I’ve been up ever since. These non-drowsy medications are wiring the crap out of me.

I am unpleasant, whiny, red-nosed, and red-faced. To add insult to injury, I got some very disturbing, upsetting news regarding my brother around 2:30 this morning. I can’t sit here and say it doesn’t effect me, because it does. I cannot pretend. I wish I could discuss how bad the situation is, but so as to avoid possibly breaking his trust in me, I will simply say I hope and pray some donations come through because things are BAD and I am afraid for him. On top of looking like death (he’s a shell of the person he once was), he was robbed AGAIN, which is the third time in less than a year, and will not be able to contact me until I’m able to replace his cell phone. I’m very worried, very freaked out, and VERY upset. I thought he was finally in a safe space and that I could catch my breath, but I come to find out he is not. I’m not a special snowflake, so why all of this horrible shit is happening to my brother is beyond me. Every single day, I am afraid the phone will ring and it will be a police officer asking me to come down to Pennsylvania and identify his body. If ever I receive a phone call like that, I know precisely where the blame rests. No matter how down on their luck a person is, turning your back on them is despicable. I don’t always agree with my brother, but I do whatever I can for him. I’m not perfect, but I make an effort. I have not spoken to him since January because his other cell phone was stolen. I literally cannot keep up with the insanity. This is someone I normally speak to every single day. Over three months is a LONG fucking time to not speak to him and I’ve not seen him since December of 2015. We’re very close, so this is disturbing to me on more levels than I care to count.

I wish I had better things to say today, but I don’t. All I have is the truth and the pain of that truth. Now, more than ever, I feel like the future is a little pointless. The things other people are worried about seem so childish and trivial to me in the grand scheme of things. I don’t think anyone realizes how privileged they are until their entire life is stripped away, leaving them with nothing.

I’m not the kind of woman that sits around and hopes. I pray, I despair, and I pray again. I do hope for the best, but since I continually see the worst in others, I am shocked when good people step up.

I pray for better days ahead. For my brother, and for humanity on a whole.

copyright © 2017 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Utterly Useless


Hello everyone! I’m sorry that I’ve been completely and utterly useless for the last few days, which explains my lack of posts. I got slammed by allergies and haven’t really been able to function a whole lot. The shift into Spring is difficult for those of us with allergies, especially if you live on the East Coast and you’re experiencing the incredibly odd shift each day. The nights are either cold or mild, the days are mild, warm, sometimes way too hot, and if the pollen count is high, forget it. There is nothing consistent about this, it’s all incredibly random. This time around, my allergies are seemingly pet related. I’m not giving cat and kitten to someone else, so I just have to suck it up. Clawing at my face and eyes all day isn’t exactly a clear picture of who I am, so I think it’s best to handle it and get on with my life. I’m fine, until the Benadryl wears off. Basically that means I’m fine, so long as I am knocked out on Benadryl and resting, to some extent. My eye drops haven’t been very helpful either, which makes me grouchy. In my attempt to “make it better”, I obsessively laundered every single thing either of them has touched or slept on that could affect me, because naturally they both insist on fussing over my things and only sleeping on their own when convenient. I discovered one additional item this morning. If I contemplate it for too long, I will end up in an allergists’ office demanding allergy shots. Alas, it can take years for those to work, if they work at all.

If it hasn’t been killer allergies, it’s been other things keeping my “under the weather”, for lack of a better expression. I simply do not feel right these days. My Fibromyalgia has been so bad that I feel bruised, achy, and sore from the top of my spine down to my calves. The sparring I did Sunday night resulted in a bruised right hand from a knuckle on knuckle hit. Properly job is apparently equals out to “more pain”. Unfortunately, it’s one of the few things I can do for several hours that doesn’t make me want to rip my limbs off. I have to chalk that up to a cruel joke.

Beyond that, there’s really not much to report or say. I am working on some ideas, letting them stew. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day for what I want and need to do, especially when I feel like crap. This, I suspect, is the chronic fatigue aspect of Fibromyalgia that often rears its ugly head when you’ve done too much in a short period of time. It certainly explains my intense desire to take naps when I normally power through the afternoons with writing or editing projects.

Here’s hoping all of this passes soon and that I can return to status quo. Pain is still pain, but sleeping like a coma patient and acting like a zombie the rest of the time is disturbing.

I hope your week is turning out to be far more productive. Just don’t brag if it is. No one appreciates a smart ass. 😛

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.




It Doesn’t Feel Like A Saturday


Perhaps having a stressful week and being sick has made me feel like today is Friday, instead of Saturday. It’s disorienting. The sunrise looked more like a sunset, so incredibly stunning in blues and pinks. I have little interest now though in watching the actual sunset. I think it’s just laziness.

I completed a job this afternoon. I must be underestimating myself because I don’t usually pay attention to how many words I read in a day. I am very pleased to have this one behind me, it was incredibly quick and painless. I have several jobs waiting in the wings, minus the contracts. Until the contracts are signed, I get a brief respite. One contract will be printed, signed, and scanned tonight. Hopefully that will keep me busy for a while, especially since the only part of it I’ve worked on thus far is the first two pages.

I am fighting off something ugly (Kindly pull the knives out of my back so that I can feel my lungs, thank you.), so I’m trying to get better rest and do what I can to de-stress. All easier said than done. One day I was fine, the next day I was coughing so badly that my ribs feel bruised. Being sick like this has a way of making you feel far more fragile than you actually are.

I’m exhausted. Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I’d like my own personal cave, complete with WiFi.

Yesterday, while in the middle of cooking, I finally got to see Gone Girl. The book was excellent, and I’m pretty sure it reiterated by issues with marriage, but the movie was also well done. Kudos to Gillian Flynn for not only writing the book, but also writing the screenplay. Next up will be The Judge. I’m looking forward to that.

I’m happy to say that two weeks in a row, I managed to score a good two hours of “me time”, with no interruptions. It really helps ones’ psyche to place themselves first at times and not allow anyone to interfere with that. I will be busy this week, but I still intend to set aside a few hours for myself, even if only to breathe or catch up on all the shows I’ve been missing.

I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

When not sprawled out like spoiled beasts, this is precisely what my girls have been doing. I think they’re multiplying.




Praying For Sleep

It is about four hours past the time my body said “Feed me!”. I have maniacally proofread and critiqued a novella until I thought I’d pull my own hair out of my head. I’m certain that high quality brain cells are now gone, never to be heard from again.

All day today I kept saying “I’ll be fine.”, but my head is telling me otherwise. Said head just forced me to take a Nyquil Liquid Gel. I will be drinking for the next 5 minutes to make sure it’s not sitting someplace odd, refusing to dissolve. I have no idea why pharmaceutical companies can make the tiniest birth control pills on the planet (Less than half the size of a Tic-Tac!), yet Nyquil has to be bigger than every vitamin I’ve ever taken. Explain that to me, please.

I am waiting for my infusion of soup. I threatened someone’s life kindly asked someone to pick some up for me, so I am hoping that it will arrive in a semi-hot state of being. All I want right now is soup…and my bed. God help me, this shit had better knock me out until tomorrow! Moreover, I do NOT want to be awake if and when the sun does rise (I didn’t check the weather forecast) because I am utterly sick of bright light. In fact, I might just have my soup in the dark.



I might even call in dead tomorrow. 😛

copyright © 2015 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Okay, Here’s The Deal…

Fall is still in “full bloom”. The trees are lush with color, but there aren’t a lot of completely leaf free trees, mine included. Naturally, this is right about the time when I might get sick.

It’s slowly been affecting me for about a week now, but I kept saying “Oh, the time is about to change, I just need more rest.” Turns out, I am SICK. I would betray you right now for a constant influx of hot tea, soup, mashed potatoes, and a few other choice comfort foods.

It’s hard to tell if you’re actually sick when you have Fibromyalgia. I take all the necessary precautions. Vitamins, balanced diet, as much exercise as I can do without ending up in a body cast, and I wipe down everything with Lysol at home, and antibacterial wipes in public. It might seem a little OCD, and it is, but I’d rather be safe than sorry. I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in my purse. Bath & Body Works has the best purse size versions and they smell awesome. You can get them in store, or buy a few on clearance on eBay. I usually buy 4-5 at a time and keep them in different spots. They’re lifesavers.

I know I am sick because I have swollen glands. That doesn’t happen for me with Fibro. I don’t have a fever, but I feel frozen down to my bones, and this is with the heat on. I finally bit the bullet and took a multi-symptom tablet with all the things I think it should have because whatever I have, it’s all from the neck up, save the physical aches and pains, and the weakness and exhaustion.

If you know me, you know I HATE being sick. I’ve had illnesses that have left me in bed for weeks wanting my mother (who is sadly, no longer there to call upon.), and other times, I bear it through weeks of soup, tea, ginger ale (for some reason, diet root beer is immensely helpful when I’m sick. I discovered this a few years ago and now I’m obsessed with it.), and toast because the thought of anything else being in my stomach just isn’t going to happen.

I definitely don’t have the flu. A close friend thinks I’m having sympathy pains, which is not unheard of. In fact, it’s entirely possible.

So, if you see a woman running around the Northeast with a purse size bottle of Lysol and hand sanitizer, stop and say hello, but make sure she’s a short brunette, or you might end up looking like an idiot. LOL. (My friend is writing me a letter of permission to carry said objects with me, lest I be arrested for trying to disinfect every store I go to.) 



copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED