Today’s flare-up is brought to me by my brother. I am thisclose (not a typo, it’s intentional) to cutting him out of my life completely. He is so fucking selfish sometimes and refuses to understand that getting quality rest determines my days and nights, and pain levels. When I tell someone at 6:00 PM or so that I have to be in bed before early, that means you cannot text me incessantly and call demanding “just five minutes” because you want something I already told you was not going to happen.

If you cannot respect me enough to give me space to rest and decompress, then you cannot be a part of my life.

The pain is so bad that I am rescheduling my appointment for this afternoon because I am concerned for myself pain-wise; imagining that between the pain and the cold, I won’t make it there and back safely. Tomorrow is another day. 😦 I, however, don’t have to be happy about it.


Artificial Sweeteners & Fibromyalgia Flares: Is There A Connection?

Artificial Sweeteners & Fibromyalgia Flares: Is there a Connection?

You tell me. I only drink water and herbal teas, and I use real sugar in my tea, or honey.

Can Stress Cause Your Fibromyalgia To Flare Up?

Can Stress cause your Fibromyalgia to flare up?

My answer? A resounding YES.

Irritability Isn’t Cute


I HURT. There’s no getting around that. After nearly two straight weeks where I haven’t missed a single dose of Topamax, a migraine broke through last night. I was waiting for it. I expected it. It wasn’t nearly as bad as a migraine without a preventive in my system, but after almost two weeks with just an occasional mild headache, it was still an awful lot of pain during a time when the rest of my body was flaring up something fierce. It was only made worse by the fact that I couldn’t sleep.

This morning I decided not to punish the medication. It didn’t fail me, there will always be migraines that break through, so I took my dose, managed a little water, made a quick phone call, and now I am sitting here waiting for that call to be returned. I have documents to proof for printing later today and honestly, I am OUT after that. Just put my whiny, bitchy ass to bed and leave me here until my attitude improves. No one ever said irritability is cute, but when you can hear yourself sound utterly miserable, all you want to do is duct tape your mouth shut. Or maybe that’s just me?

Update on Maggie: This poor dog is STILL being mistreated. Apparently her paperwork checked out and the father backed off, but my next door neighbor (the husband) is expecting to be sued over the dog bite. He never added the dog to his insurance when they agreed to take the dog on temporarily for six months. His wife’s son is across the country doing some sort of mandatory USMC training and left the dog with his mother. I’m not sure if he’s ever MET his mother, but last night, while I was trying to do I don’t even remember what in silence, all I could hear was her screaming “Maggie, NO!” at the top of her lungs. I was already sick, or I would have gone outside and said “Hey bitch! What the fuck is this poor dog doing that is worth yelling at her for? Have you ever heard of a dog trainer? Perhaps they can take you for a few weeks and train you how to behave. All the dog ever does is bark and run away from you. That should tell you everything you need to know.” Alas, I was stopped because someone (not me) thought that was “a bit harsh”. I truly don’t think it could be harsh enough. Yelling and screaming at an animal is tantamount to abuse. Surely there are other family members that could take her and care for her until November/December. If you love an animal, you don’t leave it behind with an insane person. You also don’t name it like it’s a person, but hey, to each their own. People do tend to do that with dogs.

Animals don’t understand or respond to yelling. It is simply traumatic for them. I’ve seen animals run and hide if a person is simply speaking loudly, not even yelling, so some animals are more traumatized than other from being in a shelter, foster situation, from being re-homed, etc. Much like people, animals have triggers too and it is important to pay attention and be able to identify them.

In this, animals are a lot less dramatic and wishy-washy than people are. They either love you or they don’t, but once they do, they are with you ’til the end. Animals understand loyalty far better than people do.

When I come back in my next life, I am coming back as a cat.

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


Pain In The Neck

Good morning. Buenos dias. Buongiorno. Guten Morgen.

I’ve been up since 4:50 (I know this because I checked, hoping it was later.) and the only thing I can say is “UGH”! I’m in so much pain, it’s wrong. I slept in a delusional fit early last night, and again for a few hours early this morning. I am trying not to let the pain get to me, otherwise it will result in yet another migraine from the stress it is placing on my body. I do NOT need that. I do, however, need to be adopted. Any takers?

I suspect I am in so much neck pain partly due to my marathon laundry session yesterday. Did it all need to be done immediately? No, but I was trying to make the most out of a Sunday after suffering on Saturday through migraine hell. My efforts resulted in two phone calls: One to my mattress manufacturer, the second to the store where I bought said mattress.

Upon removing the mattress protector to throw it in the wash, a protector which has remained on the mattress at all times (I have more than one, obviously) since I purchased it, I discovered a hole in the top of the actual mattress. It was not there two weeks ago, or even a month ago. My immediate reaction was “What the fuck is THAT?!” At first I thought it was merely a surface tear, which wouldn’t have been an epic deal, but no, it’s a one inch by one inch hole. If you stick your thumb into it, you will hit a spring pretty quickly. The second you do and realize what a piece of crap a nearly $2000 mattress is on the inside, you feel a plethora of things. Mostly I was glad I got it on sale with my bedroom furniture because in that initial moment, I wanted to throw it at someone.

The mattress manufacturer said I should try to work with the store first since I didn’t buy it directly from them, but that if they don’t make it right I should call their warranty department and see what they are able to do for me. Yeah, I bet. 😦

I will say this: The store called me back pretty quickly. On a Sunday. Damn near unheard of. After a nice conversation with one of their “furniture specialists”, I took some photos for him and e-mailed them off yesterday afternoon. I am sure they will want to send someone out to personally inspect it before deciding if they’re going to honor the “lifetime warranty” and replace it. If it weren’t for the spring and the fact that it is a hole that will only get worse with time, I’d let it slide. The fact that they guaranteed the mattress when I bought it means they should stand behind what they sell. I hope they make good on their promise because if they don’t, you can expect to hear the store name and the names of all of the employees assisting me blasted from here to kingdom come. Chica takes notes! If the manufacturer screws with me, they’ll definitely be hearing from me via social media and every other means of communication.

I was told by two employees that it sounds like the mattress might be a “production lemon”, but that they do need to determine if the damage is their responsibility or not. I may be a major badass, but I assure you: I have never harmed a mattress in my life. Besides, you’d have to take the protector off to do that kind of damage and the protector is 100% in tact. You do the math. I loved being asked if I “had a dog”, because we all know a dog that puts such a precise, spring sized hole in a mattress, right? OY!


I was able to do some editing yesterday and talk with my client, albeit briefly. I worked on 80 pages and I am still coming across so many issues. I don’t want to prolong the process, but I don’t want to submit work back that is going to require another year of additional edits after the revisions and rewrites are done. Since this client has always self-published, she is not used to the editing process, knows nothing about it, and probably doesn’t realize how time-consuming it can be. The more work I do, the more problems I find.

                                    “I’ve got 99 problems and this manuscript is one!”

If you find continuity issues in chapter 22 and they exist through to the end of the manuscript, it requires you to go back to the beginning and correct things from page one all the way back to the current chapter, solely because continuity errors are a bigger issue as you continue to work. You will quickly lose your patience as you find these little gifts. I don’t know how most people write, but I check my work thoroughly and would never submit a first draft to ANYONE to edit. I fixed my first draft within the first few months of writing book one, so yes, I lose my patience with people who don’t read and proof their work before submitting it to me.

When you’ve got dates in a manuscript, make sure you look at the calendar for that year and get your facts straight. If you reference a full moon on a date when there was no full moon, you don’t look like a creative writer, you look like a moron. Perhaps I’m the only person that notices such things (probably not), but you MUST have your facts straight, be it fiction or non-fiction. You can’t play around with certain things. The majority of your readers won’t notice little things, but the percentage that does notice will tell you, and no one wants to be embarrassed by continuity issues, or other things that make me grind my teeth from the stress of having to work on something so distracting as a professional. I’m developing a twitch in my eye from dealing with this.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled insanity. Me? I need a nap. Apparently writing about this made the pain worse. No, I’m not surprised.

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


Pain Levels

I’m sitting here, minding my own business, and my pain levels shot from a 4 to a solid 15 in just a few minutes. Has this happened to anyone else out of nowhere?

Not being in complete control of your own body is HELL. I cannot see past the blinding pain that starts in my neck and spreads down the body, right into my toes. It’s terrifying and nauseating. The strongest thing I have to “fight” this is two Aleve. Yeah, I know. I might as well just call in dead.

No one should have to live like this, except maybe Hitler, members of the Taliban, religious extremists, and terrorists. Give me a few hours, I can probably think of other people to add to the list.

I am off to procure Benadryl cream for the “itch that refuses to stop”. It’s only my eye… It’s not like I need it or anything. <rolls eyes>

Is a 9:00 a.m. nap completely pathetic? I am sending someone an e-mail to wake me at a reasonable hour. This shit has GOT to stop!

Pissed Off, Pained, & Frustrated,


As A Direct Result

It’s also an evil life-destroyer.

I’ve decided that today is going to be a work-free day.

I went to bed this morning sick as a dog. I suspect my brief time out yesterday affected me more severely than it ought to. Within a few hours of coming home, I got my fourth migraine of the week. I took a brief nap and I wasn’t entirely okay afterward, but now? UGH!

Sadly, with migraines, you often question whether you did something wrong, ate the wrong thing, etc. All I did was go out in tremendous heat for an hour and a half and come home. It wasn’t a lot of physical exertion, but my body says otherwise. I had a mild headache upon returning, but it wasn’t until I actually felt pain in my head that I took something for it. By 7:30, as my neighbors attempted to power wash something right near my bedroom window, I contemplated outright murder. My ears simply cannot bear the noise, and what are they up to at this precise moment? Yard work. At 9:23 a.m. On a Saturday. When it’s already 85 degrees and a heat advisory has been issued for the entire area, AGAIN. Schools actually closed early yesterday, if they opened at all, because it was over 100 degrees with the humidity and people were experiencing breathing problems. But hey, dumb & dumbest need to make noise on a yard that requires no work at all this week. This is where I would like to point out that I refrained from putting #TheyNeedToBeShot. I’m not a violent person…just don’t make noise when I’m sick or on any day ending in a y.

As a direct result of this migraine/heat/stomach agony, I’m trying to decompress this morning. I’d rather be asleep, but I desperately need to hit the grocery store. Not a fun task, I do not look forward to this, but I am going to try going once it cools down. There’s no point in making myself any sicker by attempting to do it early on in the day. Everyone and their grandmother will be there to capitalize on the digital coupon extravaganza, which has already turned into an epic fail because 9/4’s of the coupons don’t come off at the end of each order, which means customer service is inundated with questions as to why they didn’t work and precisely “Where are my savings? Are you going to give me my money back?” Actually, the store is set up to make sure you actually loaded the coupons on to your savings card in the first place. If you didn’t use the physical coupons that were also provided for the week, chances are you didn’t get the savings on those four items. I clipped all of my mine last night and will print up a few others later on. I’ve saved nearly $1000 this year alone in coupons at one store. That is a small accomplishment, but it feels good every single time I look at my receipt.

I’ve completed all of my work this week (though I am seemingly still loosely on the consulting job), except for the manuscript, which I will devote more daily time to next week in my attempt to complete it. I’m not looking forward to that, I’m simply tired of seeing it and knowing that it’s not complete. I do NOT relish the line of questioning that will come with the delivery, but since I stated in the contract how much time I will spend on answering questions before charging again for my time, I hope that will make the client aware that I mean business. It’s in black and white, how hard is it to follow guidelines?

Before I forget, I want to thank Writerstream for featuring my work this week, and I’d also like to give a huge shout out to the dozen or so new Twitter followers in the last 12 hours alone. (Special thanks to Lillian for encouraging me to join Twitter. Hugs sweet pea!) I never knew I’d grow to love it so much. To the friend that reads my Tweets and isn’t afraid to joke with me and laugh, I appreciate it. (You know who you are, doll!)

If you need me, I’ll be here for the next few hours. Drinking coconut water. Praying that it helps. If it doesn’t, I’m seriously considering an ER visit because this level of pain is out of control.

Have a great weekend everyone! And please, stay out of the heat and wear sunscreen.

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


Weird Worthless Weekends Lost To Pain


Friday morning I stated that I’d rest this weekend and get things done inside my home, as much as humanly possible. I mentally calculated exactly how much laundry needed to be done, and then factored a few others things into the mix. What I did not factor in was a terrible Fibro flare and bouts of sleeplessness that drove me up a wall. Why couldn’t that have happened last week? Because I was working like a dog in between migraines and the day and a half I spent unable to move, so apparently my body waited and the second I had time to breathe, I got slammed. I’m livid that it is now Monday and that my “weekend” was so bizarre in it’s lack of time.

I know I am being unfair to myself. I’m not a machine and I do have to factor pain into my daily life. There was a lot I wanted to get done from Friday until now. As I angrily folded laundry a little while ago, the only load I did this weekend that isn’t even my stuff, I realized just what a wasted weekend this was.

Who’s looking forward to another hot, miserable work-filled week? Not I. Plus, I’ve got about four loads of laundry that need to get done. In all fairness, one could be up right now, but I will not move a happily sleeping kitten off of my bed in order to yank the linens so she can think it’s some kind of evil game and destroy another set of sheets. I cannot get a soul to hold her so I can trim her nails. Apparently everyone is afraid of the world’s sweetest, sassiest kitten. I don’t want to traumatize her by pinning her down with my body to get two nails, if I’m lucky, before she hisses, cries, or attempts to bite me. Believe me, I understand her frustration and I don’t take her reactions to heart, though the crying kills me. She’s not a mean biter and she’s not mean, period, she simply doesn’t understand why her nails need to be cut. As sweet and loving as she is, a lot of basic kindness is scary to her. I have to keep trying as patiently as I can so that she doesn’t have these fears later on in life. This is residual shelter trauma; it has nothing to do with her life with me. Knowing that, I can utilize far more patience than if it were a person. Animals and babies are one of my speeds. People need to handle their own shit.

I am looking forward to work this week in a “I really like this particular client” sort of way. I spent about an hour on the phone with a client one afternoon to be certain of what he needed from me. We had a lovely conversation and he was incredibly pleased with the work I turned in. During our conversation he said he wanted to keep my information close at hand in order to hire me again for other editing/writing jobs. That is the only time I will write for someone else, when they know what they want, but can’t quite put the words together cohesively. Most times, that’s less than 500 words and it takes no time at all, but some people cannot put their internalized thoughts onto paper, so an idea is scattered and hiring someone to polish the idea is a good way to find the right person for the job you’re looking to hire for. Hiring field specific people is a really great concept.

My point, however, is that he contacted me yesterday for another job. I wasn’t 1000% sure I’d hear from him again, but I’m glad that I did. It’s nice dealing with people who get it and have respect for your time, knowledge, and the work you do. Most people just made rude demands. I had someone point out a tiny error I made, which happens. I’m not perfect, it was late, and all she had to do was delete one word. I asked if she wanted me to redo the entire file, but instead she took up over an hour of my time asking me to proof the work that SHE had just re-edited. (Did your jaw just hit the floor? I was astounded by the stupidity because it resulted in a two hour phone conversation the following afternoon to make sure I’d get paid for the time.) Did I mention that this was a corporate job and her English is swimming somewhere between broken and non-existent? I suspect she was using Google translate because revising her thoughts was like playing with a puzzle, and the message “Is it done yet?” grated on my nerves because I informed her precisely how long it would take and that I’d get it back to her by late Thursday evening EDT. It is all too easy not to want to do specific jobs after a while based on the treatment of clients that do not understand that not everything can be done in 60 seconds. It’s incredibly unrealistic to expect that, but it is what it is and I have the right to pick and choose the jobs I take, for that reason alone. I am excited to see what this new opportunity brings. I wish every opportunity was a prosperous one. Alas, many are not, so I do my job and move on. That’s all I can do, my best.

And now, despite all this back pain, I am off to tackle at least two loads of laundry since kitten has moved along. I suspect she will be back soon to thoroughly inspect all the clean linens I’ve put down since stripping my bed and quickly dashing downstairs to the laundry room (Cat has already given me a mixture of approval, disdain, and attitude.). Now if I could just find the perfect pillow…

The truth is, the evil never truly rest. 😛

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

This is crucial.
This is crucial.