Out of Time Blues

I blinked and it’s Thanksgiving week. How the hell did that happen?! The past two years have truly been a blur, and I definitely wasn’t having any fun. Yesterday was the most Friday-feeling a Monday could be. I spent the entire afternoon confused about what day it was and what the damn time was. Genuinely sad. We’ll add it to the list of things that make me feel completely fucking pathetic. 😦

I’m chalking a lot of this confusion up to burnout. Nine to ten hours of sleep most nights doesn’t really fix anything for me, either. The body needs constant rest and calm, two things I find extremely difficult to achieve long-term. I was born stressed (that’s not a joke, but an actual fact.). I’ve struggled with insomnia for so long, I don’t think about it much any more. Not until it interrupts my life and screws with my ability to be a functioning human-being. It’s doing that now; interrupting my life, and it has been for a long time. I’ve worked so hard to regulate it and get it under control. As soon as I do, and I think I’m on to something, something else happens which completely interrupts the new cycle, and then I am back at square one. I will address that with my doctor next year (In truth, I am looking for a new doctor because this one makes me contemplate evil things.).

I have been experiencing bone-deep, soul-deep exhaustion. A misdiagnosis for chronic fatigue is evident, and I’m going to confront it. The last time I made the statement about how exhausted and drained I feel, my doctor found my Vitamin D levels were almost non-existent. It has never happened to me in my entire life (Especially as someone who avoids the sun.), so he blew it off as a New England thing. Yeah, I rolled my eyes at that ridiculous explanation, only to find out it IS quite common here. He put me on a two month prescription to replenish my stores and then ordered me to take 2000 mgs every single day afterwards. Not a single change in how I feel as happened by supplementing Vitamin D, and I’m not going to keep taking them if they’re unnecessary. My other tests were normal, but the few that were questionable were also blown off. I have major organs I need to be concerned about, and a doctor who doesn’t give a shit because his agenda doesn’t involve actually helping me. The previous doctors who treated me were big on recommending Tylenol and Aleve any time my chronic pain came up. They didn’t care if I was taking a bottle a month, so long as I wasn’t talking to them about my physical pain levels, because G-d forbid a pain patient should want quality of life! This doctor had a low-key meltdown over the mere mention of Tylenol, and when we spoke, I had stopped taking it entirely. His thought process was that it was killing my organs. Gee, ya think?! Stop pushing it at pain patients like it’s 1982! We aren’t amused, and gastrointestinal bleeds are at an all-time high right now where pain sufferers are concerned. It ISN’T overdose, it’s neglect. We aren’t being given options, unless it’s to be treated like hardcore addicts at pain clinics, with monthly pill counts and drug testing. If you come up negative for the prescribed drug, you don’t even get to say, “Maybe I metabolize it faster than other people do.”, which is a real thing, because you’ll immediately be accused of selling your pills. Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who regularly goes to a pain clinic. They’ve seen it all, and it scares them. A friend of mine was shamed by the doctor at a clinic because one pill a day is not helping her. She’s suffering, but was given the riot act on how she should feel like a failure if one pill a day isn’t enough. I was OUTRAGED when I heard what happened. I find the language used towards pain patients pretty despicable to begin with, so this was a new low.

I decided to set a few of my writing projects aside in order to focus on something more important, for now. I’m not going to walk away from solid opportunities, even if that means moving out of my comfort zone a little, or in this case, a lot. I caught myself being pulled in too many directions and at the end of the day, there’s only one me. Telling my brain is harder than telling myself what I am doing on any given day. The brain is slower on the uptake. If you ever assume I’m being hard on myself, it’s because I am. Harder than I care to admit.

Sometimes I don’t think other people realize how blessed they are to be in good health. They will mention minor issues to me and I’ll find myself utterly dispassionate and disinterested in such things which can easily be corrected. I openly admit to lacking empathy and compassion about a LOT of things these days. Most people don’t know me well enough to know that’s how I’m reacting, but I’m being honest about it. What bothers me day in and day out doesn’t seem to affect other people, and I slowly catch on to their behavioral changes (I love when people think I don’t notice how they’re behaving towards me. They’re underestimating my intuition.), and then make adjustments to my response system in accordance. It’s a psychological survival technique, and for some of us, it’s every day life.

Getting out of bed each day without pain is something people should be grateful for. Little things you go through with no issue or suffering… Please consider how it sounds to people who are suffering so much that they have stopped communicating how bad it is to you because they are met with disinterest. We’re glad it’s easy for you, but we’d like to be considered, too. I’ve become dispassionate as a result of the lack of support. I am not alone in my emotional responses, either. I talk to people who are experiencing the same damn thing. We’re fed up, and we only feel supported in our own communities.

This year, I’m ditching Thanksgiving entirely. I am grateful for what I have every single day of my life, and Chanukah begins on the 28th. I decided to embrace that above all else. I had the best time finding unique, handmade items for my close family members. I’m not entirely done, but I paid attention to the things that bothered them last year, and tried to find happier things for this holiday, which is my absolute FAVORITE. I boxed up a bunch of treats for my brother, which he’ll likely get in time. He’ll also be receiving some cool things from a company I found on Etsy. I did almost all of my holiday shopping by supporting small businesses on Etsy’s website. Not only were they happy to help, but they were also timely in getting things shipped out. I had to hide things in some ridiculously uncreative ways, but I’m so excited to see the joy on people’s faces when they open up something that not everyone will own. Anyone who is receiving a surprise in the mail will hopefully be delighted, as well. I tried to be thoughtful and unique in all of my choices, and it stems from years of cringing every time someone would ignore me, and give me something I’d never in a million years look at.

Is it odd that after all these years, I’d be happier with a Harry Potter memento, as opposed to a book I probably won’t read (If you follow me on Goodreads, you probably have an idea of who my top ten favorite authors might be.)? I’m only slightly furious that Pandora created all these amazing Harry Potter charms, yet made them overpriced as hell. That’s okay, though, as I don’t buy their items anyway, but if you were looking at these charms, I will say the detail is incredible. They’re beautiful. I’ve had my own Harry Potter charm bracelet since 2003. I had it custom made in Arlington, Texas and while I do have to polish it, it still means a lot to me, as does my original which is so jam-packed you can hear me coming if I wear both of them together.

Is it terrible that I don’t think Ulta gift cards EVER go out of style (They don’t, and you can tell by how I used my birthday gift cards from the brands I work with throughout the year. Asian skincare is THE BEST, but have you tried The Ordinary? Excellent product line. It’s affordable, but they don’t skimp out on quality. Their most expensive item is under $30. Since I also use 111 Skin, which is not cheap, it is very easy for you to do the math between the companies.)? If I want something badly enough, I will get it for myself or save up for it. I am the person who expects nothing from others, but gets a kick out of being the giver of gifts.

I will be staying out of big box stores this year for holiday items. I want small businesses to get the support. I plan to book an appointment at a local New Age/crystal shop, as well. I’ve become friendly with a local reader. I like her so much (You rarely hear me say I like anyone, so when I do, it’s a big deal for me.), and I’d rather support her as opposed to a total stranger who might not have the accuracy she does. That’s a gift to myself. I’ve found it’s wise to reward myself this time of year, too, especially since December is difficult as I move towards the anniversary of my Great-Uncle and father’s passing. It doesn’t get easier. Every year, the memories are so vivid for me and if I were a lesser being (As in, less emotionally intuitive and less emotionally intelligent.), it probably wouldn’t bother me, but it does. Honoring loved ones, even if the relationships weren’t what you may have hoped for, is still important. It’s my responsibility to do it as the leader for my generation. I could eschew it, but that feels wrong.

Next year, I will likely make a pilgrimage to all of the cemeteries involved since it’s important to make sure everything is cared for. My parents are low maintenance because it was their express request, but I haven’t been back to most graves in at least ten years, and I know it’s time. Especially when I consider how long it’s probably been since I’ve visited my Great-Grandparents’ graves. My Grandmother was still alive when I did it, so I know it’s been way too long. It’s depressing, but I feel a strong sense of responsibility for these things, even though they’re unpleasant parts of life, they’re also reality.

I’m sorry this is not an upbeat piece of work, but at least it’s honest. I look forward to sharing as we head toward a brand new year. 🙂

Wishing you all a good week,

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Poison In Lethal Doses©®™ is a copyrighted, registered trademark.

Forks In The Road

Welcome to all the new readers, and those who’ve been with me for years or months. 🙂 I’m happy to greet you all.

I’ve been working on a piece about racism and my personal experiences with different forms of it, but mostly, I have started to notice just how worn out I am, which lends to me feeling completely useless. I am not sleeping well; and I am trying not to rely on prescription sleep medication because it either doesn’t work or it leaves me with sleep paralysis. I am burnt out, stressed about life and the future, thinking about all of my relationships, etc. I’ve been trying to allow myself the honesty of all of my feelings privately, which hasn’t been helpful, though perhaps I am too close to say if it’s helping or not. I do know there are abysmal highs and lows these days.

I will be taking some brief breaks for the next month or so. I don’t know if they will be obvious or not, but I think it’s necessary and needed. I think it’s time to get my head into some sense of normalcy and keep pushing for betterment. I hope you will all understand the reasoning. I will still be present, but there will be days when I’m not. I hope it’ll be fine, no matter what.

For the month of March, I will be focusing on a few charities in support of Colorectal Cancer and Women’s History Month. I also have my Goddaughter’s tenth birthday approaching. People always say, “You’re way too young to be a Godmother.” I don’t think they understand what an honor it is to be asked to be a part of a child’s life in such a deeply personal way. There is no age requirement or limit involved. It’s an honor and a privilege, and yes, it is also a responsibility. It says something about me, as a person, that people fully trust me with their child.

I will do my best not to be too “out of it” here, but will also do my best to rally. For now, though, this picture near a local trail says it all. I’m walking towards the color, because everything else feels too harming and bleak.

Wishing you all a peaceful week. Bright Blessings.

Tuesday Thoughts

Hello one and all. I hope you’re having a great start to the week.

My procedure yesterday afternoon went okay. I think I’ve just gotten used to it, though my anxiety was still pretty awful. Usually there’s an epic migraine and so much physical pain after this treatment that I come back, feed my cats, and drag myself straight to bed. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel as horrible as I normally do. Completely different side effects this time around. I wasn’t quite prepared to be slammed with nausea late last night into the early morning hours, but that’s what Promethazine is for. It helped quite a bit, and I did sleep, but today, I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally numb and exhausted as hell. I’m supposed to rest, not push myself too hard physically, etc. I felt overwhelmingly exhausted by 1:00 PM, and spiked a fever around two. 😔 Hopefully it’ll be gone soon, otherwise I’ll call tomorrow since this has NEVER happened before. Is it a potential side effect? Yes. I’ve just never experienced it before. A few other rare side effects have popped up, too. I’m erring on the side of caution.

Traffic was mostly avoided yesterday, which was awesome. 🎉 Boston’s tunnels make me feel like I’m in a James Bond movie and about to be shot at. Plus, they definitely mess with my head in the “sensory deprivation” sense. I was able to avoid returning with a migraine. My headache specialist is REALLY pleased with my progress. It’s helping my cervical spine tremendously, and since I was the first person to report remarkable results, she said, “Isn’t it amazing how, we don’t always know if something new will work, but we try it and we end up feeling so much better?” It nearly eliminated my daily neck pain and helped me reduce how many muscle relaxers I take. It has reduced my migraines by about 30-40%. I still get migraines, and there’s still pain to contend with, but they don’t attach themselves to my skull for 3+ weeks anymore. Going 21 days without a major migraine was shocking. Sadly, it takes a while to realize you’re not in agony every single day. Bear in mind, I still have Fibromyalgia to contend with, but help is help, and I feel relieved that this is something I might be able to stick with. 🤞

I chose, from day one, not to disclose the treatment method because I was already being judged by friends and a handful of family members, and because, from a public standpoint, I wanted to see how I’d do before talking about it. No one wants to discuss another failed effort. The fact that it’s successful doesn’t mean it will remain so. My doctor has a backup plan should this fail at any time, and I am confident in both options. Until I’m ready to discuss it, I think it’s perfectly okay to keep it private. Thus far, I highly doubt I’ve run into a subscriber in the building, but you never know. 🤷

I definitely feel blue today. I feel isolated, unsupported, stressed, and exhausted, but I’m trying to look forward towards better days. I KNOW they’re on their way.





Sadness Had Very Little To Do With It

“It wasn’t that she was sad—sadness had very little to do with it, really, considering that most of the time, she felt close to nothing at all. Feeling required nerves, connections, sensory input. The only thing she felt was numb. And tired. Yes, she very frequently felt tired.” ―Nenia Campbell

Another Caturday











I am really struggling today. 😦 My insurance company denied my doctor’s request for an MRI, so even though he got on the phone and argued with them, I received two separate letters “explaining” the denial. They want me to do six weeks of physical therapy in order for them to agree to an MRI. Does this sound even remotely cost-effective to any of you? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I will be writing my own appeal letter this coming week because, quite frankly, I don’t appreciate being told “Unless you have cancer…” as one of the reasons why they would be willing to pay for it. Most of their reasoning is bullshit, and they know it as well as I do. My doctor was at such a loss, because he didn’t understand their explanations, either. He asked me if I wanted to even pursue this further and I said “I need to know what is causing this and how to proceed. I don’t want to live with un-diagnosed damage.” He agreed with me, and I was glad that he’d spent a week arguing with them before calling me back. Very few doctors would be willing to do that.

My father experienced a lot of pain in his shoulder for months before finally listening to me and going to the doctor. He kept thinking, much like I often do, that he’d slept on it funny. An x-ray showed a broken shoulder and bones in his arm were also badly broken. The doctor was confused, because these aren’t normal breaks one gets without an underlying issue. Because x-rays only show bone (my x-rays show nothing but perfect bone), it was an MRI that showed a baseball sized tumor on his shoulder, which is what caused the broken bones and resulted in major surgery and reconstruction of the bones. It was a tumor that, when removed, it took additional time to get it out because it was bigger than what the MRI showed. I believe the words “It was more like a softball than a baseball.” were used. I don’t know what is going on with my neck at this point, but I do know I am in excruciating pain, experiencing a lot more paralysis (Most nights, I cannot move or vocalize the paralysis, so I just lie here, hoping it will pass. I am awake the entire time, even though it looks as though I am asleep. I’m not, but I can’t scream out for help.), and I can’t deal with it for another minute. Physical therapy will only result in me screaming the second someone touches me. This should be an interesting experience for someone trying to assess me.

There is legitimately too much stress going on in my life right now. Jumping through hoops for my insurance company isn’t on my list of “things I’d like to do”, but I am NOT forcing myself to do anything until I exhaust the appeals process.

As I sit here bone-tired from lack of sleep, feeling guilty that I can’t run errands like a normal person, I desperately want to sit and cry. Unfortunately, I currently lack the emotion to do so.

A rainy Saturday being ignored by my cats. When two feels like twenty, it’s terribly exhausting on top of the fact that I couldn’t sleep, have a migraine, and everything is dull and uninteresting to me. I hope I come back as someone’s beloved cat because being human isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. 😦


Cat And Kitten Send Mommy To The Doctor

I know what you’re thinking. “This is the first time they’ve thought of it in all the years they’ve owned you?!” In all seriousness, I made the appointment myself, long before my Urgent Care fiasco of last Tuesday.

However, at 5:00 a.m., I really don’t need Large Paws (Kitten) walking all over me from head to toe to shove me out of bed. I’m not sure what that was about, other than to annoy me and get me into the kitchen to give them their breakfast. Five a.m. Really?! Since when is that acceptable?! I mean, it was still dark out (at the time). This is what happens when you raise food-aggressive cats, people.

When I woke up and started making actual sounds, having dragged myself to the cough medicine, I heard Cat plummet down from wherever she was with a little “Boom!” onto the hard wood. The second I do anything even remotely interesting, day or night, I am subjected to the “Boom!” and her elephant steps come flying down to see what I’m up to. I walked into the kitchen and said “Are you both in here?” before turning on the light. There is NOTHING normal about that kind of behavior, or discussions with cats who only want food and nothing else. I swear, I won’t see either of them until I get home from the doctor. Unless I’m feeding them, they now have zero use for me whatsoever. Can you feel the love?!

Later today is my first appointment with a new doctor in a little over five years. My last one went a little something like this “I don’t want anymore pain patients!”, which was practically yelled at me, disdain as long as a month on this doctor’s face. Yeah, and I don’t want a doctor with a stick up his ass, but “pain patients” are probably the reason you can pay your student loans from the subpar ‘medical school’ you went to and we’re probably the reason you can make your car payment each month, so shush.

If you’re a D.O. and not an M.D., you didn’t go through the same training methods or learn the exact same things. If I wanted someone to treat me holistically, I’d go to a naturopath, not a D.O. Call me a snob, but I want someone who has their shit together, regardless of the two letters after their name. I’m a person, not a number in a chart. I don’t want to be passed on to the Physician’s Assistant (especially not this doctor’s assistant who could have killed me if I wasn’t a smart patient that spoke up last week.), Nurse Practitioner, etc. I just want to keep it real. If I have to wait weeks on end for an appointment with the actual doctor, then I want to SEE the actual doctor. It’s not a lot to ask.

I go in today with zero expectations. Honestly, they couldn’t be any lower than they are. I did write up a detailed medical history for her since it’ll be a while before she gets mediocre-at best records from my previous physicians. The lab is next door to the doctor’s office, so I suspect my first order of business is to be thoroughly vamped. Good luck. The only way you’ll get so much as a drop of blood is by going into my hands or wrist. You might have better luck with a paper-cut. At the mere mention of blood work, my veins disappear. I typed that and only two are visible in my left wrist and forearm. The others have gone bye-bye. They’ve been through a LOT over the years. 😦 My appointment is a little before 3:00 PM, so there’s no way in hell I’m fasting on the potential she wants to run tests I don’t actually need. I don’t have diabetes (Thank God and Goddess.), but she can run a hemoglobin A1C ’til the cows come home. The only thing I think will be high is my cholesterol, because it runs in the family, but it’s always been good previously, so I’m not going to agonize over it. My white count will be elevated, as it always is, which is indicative of an infection OR an autoimmune disease. This time, it would be hard to tell which because I’m fighting off two infections. I’m usually just fighting my body. 😦

In the history report I started with concussions and worked my way up to the reason I’m going there. Not once in this report do I use the words “Chronic Pain” or “Fibromyalgia”. I decided I want to be diagnosed properly, and therefore, she can refer me to a Neurologist and a Rheumatologist, and whomever else for that matter, but I’m not using those words until a new doctor does. I do not want or need another doctor treating me like crap because the words “Chronic Pain” and “Fibromyalgia” make them uncomfortable. Or worse, label me as a “drug seeker” when I am not. I’ve never once asked or demanded pain medication from a doctor.

I am still recovering from the infections I have and the case of Bronchitis. I missed a couple of doses of antibiotics, so I still feel pretty awful. My sinuses are terribly painful. I keep hoping it’ll rain and that some of the pressure will ease, but thus far, not a single rain drop. Figures.

I won’t lie; I’m concerned that so much is wrong with me and that no doctor on this planet will ever get to the bottom of it. I’m sick to my stomach, wondering what I’ve inherited genetically considering my brother has had a quadruple bypass, which the doctors said was not anything he did or didn’t do health-wise, but a genetic issue. Both of my parents had heart issues young; my mother died as a result of her heart giving out. My Grandfather died at 40 from a massive heart attack. More than half of my family has had or had cancer. So while I’ve got good genes in the looks and youth department, internally, I have just cause to be concerned.

I am the only person in my family with any form of Chronic Pain. My brother told me that his migraines got better post-bypass surgery. Ever since then, I’ve wondered if my heart is a ticking time bomb waiting to take me out, despite being told twice that it’s healthy and working as it should. And when it comes to cancer, I have a lot of cause to worry as a non-smoker who was subjected to secondhand smoke for the majority of her life, which is precisely how my Grandmother got cancer, twice. She also hid from the sun my entire life and still managed to get skin cancer. I’ve spent the majority of my life covered in sunscreen, and now and then, I still get a little burn here and there if I haven’t reapplied and have been out in direct sunlight longer than two hours. We talk about global warming, but we should also address the holes in the ozone layer when we discuss the need for sunscreen. People are developing allergies to the sun, and are wearing SPF 100 just to be outside for 10-30 minutes a day, if that. Hell, they have to wear it indoors too, because UV rays can and do come through the glass.

Less than an hour has passed since I fed Large Paws and Bunny Paws. I haven’t seen them or heard from them since. They’re doing a lot to boost my self-esteem, let me tell ya!

And so, today’s journey begins with pulling my shit together, preparing myself for this appointment, and going. Like I said, my expectations are low, but I’ve managed to work myself up into some very respectable panic attacks between Sunday and this morning. 😦

Wish me good luck. I keep hoping I’ll just be hit by a MACK truck and be able to call it a day. What can I say? I’m tired of this crap.

I zoomed in on this photo, so you could see that Cat is sitting inside a bag of bags. She’s OBSESSED with bags from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. She’s also annoyed that the camera comes out every time she does something even remotely cute. Doesn’t she look bunny soft? She is.

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