One (A-Deen)

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“Overwhelmed. Disappointed. Hurt. Sadness. Grieving. Struggling. Stabbed in the back. Empty. Trapped. Darkness. Silence. Isolation, but I’m not lost. Beauty in chaos. Trying to find a way back to myself. Living in truth. Attempting to heal. Gunpowder and lead. Through authenticity; anything is possible. And yet, very few people understand that you can want MORE, without being greedy; without ego. Your idea of “more” isn’t their idea, and that’s fine. No one asked for their interpretation. Hell, no one asked for their opinion!

Universe, LET’S DO THIS.”

© 2019 by Lisa Marino and Blackbird Serenity, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Stressful Sleepless Nights

I have long since passed “tired” and have reached a state of pure “painsomnia”. No matter what I do, I am in too much pain to sleep properly, if at all. Physically, mentally, and emotionally, I’m not in the correct head-space to allow my body to rest as it needs to. It’s twisted when anyone who suffers as much as I do is completely unable to sleep at times.

Most nights I am sound asleep by three a.m., if not earlier. Last Wednesday night, no matter how many times I tried, sleep alluded me. I had my alarm set and finally got frustrated and said “Fuck it!” I knew there was no way I was going to fall asleep because I couldn’t shut my brain off and the pain I am in is over-the-top excruciating. When you cannot see past the pain you’re in, it’s bad. Pain, as it turns out, is a definitive breaking point. It is exhausting, it is draining, and it makes you feel insane. Your entire body goes on high alert.

I have tried everything to break this cycle, and yet here I sit, trying to figure out how to reach some type of “pain-free” state. But really, what are my options? The emergency room? Kratom? CBD oil? I have NO idea. If I understood the root cause of the pain escalation, I could at least handle it from a medical perspective and make a decision as to how to proceed. However, I am being waylaid by every single doctor that is supposed to be treating me. And lets face it, Kratom and CBD oil aren’t covered by insurance and they can be quite expensive over time. Yes, they are natural methods to relieve pain, but I can say I know very little about CBD oil, despite extensive research. I only know some people swear by it and others say it doesn’t help them, which definitely makes me question the enormity of such an investment. A friend even found a company willing to give me a huge discount, but still, it’s a lot of money for a “What if?”

I have an appointment in a few weeks with my soon-to-be fired primary care physician. The first time I was in her office, I noticed she had pain contracts for her patients in each room. It left me sour on the whole thing because I also noticed an influx of patients that were clearly there for monthly drug tests and new prescriptions. The restrooms are FULL of testing supplies. It looks more like a lab. So, while prescription pain medicine is covered by my insurance, do I want to subject myself to monthly drug tests? No. For one, I’ve never taken narcotic pain medicine daily, and if I did, it was in much lower quantities than prescribed. I’d fail a drug test because I don’t take six pills a day, or however many might be prescribed if I were lucky enough to be taken seriously. Asking me to “bring my bottles” so my pills can be counted and “pee in a cup” each month is treating me like a drug addict when in fact, I am a pain patient. Moreover, I find it interesting that I had to wait two and a half months to be seen for something serious, but she can see other people monthly if they’ve signed a pain contract. It’s insulting. She flat-out said, via that infamous e-mail, that I should “go to the emergency room” when I have a paralytic attack. As if they happen daily and I am able to call for help during said attacks. Instead of being a responsible physician who orders the correct tests prior to my coming in, she blew me off. I will be printing up the entire exchange before she has the opportunity to delete any such evidence. They might just be e-mails, but I honestly never know what a doctor might do to cover their own ass.

I have ZERO trust or faith in this woman to properly treat me, and that is precisely why I have to move on. The second I have a scheduled appointment with the new physician, she will no longer be listed as my primary care doctor. I can still switch at any time. That is a comfort because I’m sick of not being taken seriously.

My migraines are still eating away large chunks of my life. It took the neurologist quite a while to get back to me, but when he did, it was a short message to tell me he could put me on another class of medication. I called him back and said “I’ve been on all of those already; they don’t work.” If he’d requested my chart from my previous neurologist, he would know all of this already. He did not address my request for Relpax or a new anti-nausea medicine, he skipped over it like I hadn’t said anything in the three messages I left for him. I’m sick of playing phone tag. If he can’t get this straight, I can’t keep my appointment at the end of next month. It’s an inconvenience to begin with and the man lacks the ability to listen and actually hear you. It’s not my job to do his for him. Why should I repeat, and pay for, previously failed medications? I care about the crazy chemicals that go into my body and as a patient, I have the right to say no. I played stupid when I said “My insurance does cover Relpax, they just need to hear from you.” and “I belong to a migraine support group and this anti-nausea drug is talked about a lot, do you think I can try it?” A close friend also recommended the anti-nausea medicine, but he only needs to know the basics. Instead of appreciating the fact that I’m an educated patient, he would much prefer for me to be a moron that simply says yes to everything he says. Yeah, that’s not going to happen on my watch.

I’ve decided that if I can’t survive this coming week on over-the-counter pain medication for my back and neck, that I am going to the emergency room. The doctor can kiss my ass if she doesn’t like the decision because ultimately, the hospital CAN admit me, even if only for a few hours, and run all of the necessary tests. If they did, for example, do a drug test, they would find I am 100% drug-free, so they wouldn’t be concerned about giving me pain medication, providing they deemed it necessary. Trust me; I’ve never thought it was more necessary than I currently do. I’ve had broken bones hurt a hell of a lot less than my back and neck do. 😦 I can’t even sit up straight or do anything to stretch my muscles out gently without causing the pain to worsen. And yet, I am the moron popping Aleve, using a heating pad in July, and alternating with ice packs because I am also running a fever. But according to the physician’s assistant “It’s probably just the weather or like your allergies.” If you are trying to be any kind of professional, drop the Valley Girl routine. It’s not cute.

This week I get to meet a new doctor and someone who I believe will be temporary. I’ve once again been handed over to a student, after specifically requesting “no one temporary” (I heard myself say it, so I know it’s not my imagination.), and I will likely have something to say about that after the fact. I am on an incredibly short fuse, so I’ve decided that both people get exactly two chances with me, if that. I legitimately don’t want to go, don’t want to discuss a damn thing except the outrageous amount of pain I am in, and don’t want to waste my time, but again, two chances. If I’m feeling nice (I’m rarely nice.). I hate forcing myself to do things I am not okay with. Chances are if I can’t stand the sound of your voice on the phone, we will NOT get along well in person. I know precisely how intense I can be, and I’ve only recently realized it’s because I’ve been badly burned by certain types of people and I won’t allow the cycle to continue. While some people will say, and have, “You enjoy giving off the impression that you’re a bad ass.”, I don’t think it’s actually occurred to them that I AM a bad ass. You can be a lovely human-being and STILL be a bad ass when you have to be. Believe me, being a bad ass is far better than wearing “the bitch card” 24/7. A bad ass is a position of power where you make all of the important decisions and stand your ground, and it trumps being a bitch every day and twice on Sunday.

I once questioned who the hell a person was without passion; without something they stood for and believed in. I said this in observation of someone else. I said something along the lines of “What does she stand for? She lacks passion. She’s too worried about what others think of her to concern herself with what she thinks of herself.” I vowed not to become a person like that, to always know who I am and what I stand for. So whether it’s advocating for my health or speaking my mind about something specific, I want to come in fighting strong. I feel like hell, but I do not have to look like hell and I don’t have to ever act weak because I am NOT. I am human. I have horrible, bad days. I am stressed, functioning on no sleep and very little caffeine, and there are days I want to break down and hide. But ultimately, I don’t have a choice in the matter. I am doing my BEST. It sucks, it’s not easy, and there are days where I live in pure fear of how far I have fallen, but no matter what, no one will ever be able to say I had zero passion or thought.

She is brave, she is strong.
She will get up whenever she falls.
She knows herself inside and out.
And though she may face challenges, 
she will face them with courage and hope.
And though she be but little,
she is fierce. -William Shakespeare

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

No One Fights Dirtier

“No one fights dirtier or more brutally than blood; only family knows it’s own weaknesses, the exact placement of the heart. The tragedy is that one can still live with the force of hatred, feel infuriated that once you are born to another, that kinship lasts through life and death, immutable, unchanging, no matter how great the misdeed or betrayal. Blood cannot be denied, and perhaps that’s why we fight tooth and claw, because we cannot—being only human—put asunder what God has joined together.” ―Whitney Otto

Breaking Point

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I think it’s admirable when people say “Keep Fighting”, but in actuality, they do not know what you are battling, they do not know your mind, they do not know your heart, and they do not know your breaking point.

We all have lines that, once crossed, send us into different modes of survival. It is perfectly normal to freak out, panic, cry, scream, be incredibly angry, etc. It’s also okay to want to curl up into a ball and not emerge from that position for a while. It is okay to think your feelings through, in your own time and in your own way. When you’re going through something rough, something most people will never have to face, no one wants or needs to be yelled at like a dog that just shit on a persian rug.

I am going through something tremendous at the moment. It is terrifying, heartbreaking, cruel, evil, wrong, and a plethora of other things that I will refrain from saying. Maybe in a year from now, I will feel comfortable sharing the story without feeling as though I am being judged.

There may reach a time when I am not able to be present here on a daily basis. I might be able to check in once a week for a few months, if that. I hope that you can all be patient and stick by me through this, but I will also understand if you don’t. I’m not going to take it personally, but I do feel it is better to be honest in advance, as opposed to simply disappearing for a while without any explanation. I do not intend to abandon what I have.

I LOVE what I do here. It brings me an immense sense of peace and contentment. It is a daily reminder that I’m not just “some person who writes” or “likes to write”, but an actual writer. There’s a difference between the three, but I don’t have to explain it. A great many of you “get it”.

For now, I will remain as present as possible. I will let you know through my work when the insanity is going to start and hopefully have a “I’m going to be back full-time” date as well. Please know I am doing the best I can, trying to remain sane, and trying very hard not to cash in my “life chips”. I am reminding myself this morning that I have survived all of the worst days of my life up until this point. That’s a 100% success rate, and now I just have to keep moving forward, despite wanting to shut down and lose my temper.

In the meantime, I really want and need several solid weeks of uninterrupted sleep each night. My allergies have decided to become a full-on pain in the ass out of nowhere, so I took half a Benadryl last night before going to bed (Because that’s all I had left, or I would have taken two.). My eyes and parts of my face are still itching and burning with no logical reason whatsoever, except that I am stressed and already have eye allergies. Even my eye drops are utterly useless, providing absolutely no relief. Stress, it turns out, manifests in a myriad of ways.

Stay healthy and safe everyone. I’ll be around until I say otherwise.

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

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Do Not Confuse…

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I think it’s really important to listen to others and hear them, even if the subject matter makes you uncomfortable. I don’t like to denounce someone’s feelings, even if I disagree with their perspective. People say that words aren’t harmful, but they can be and it’s important to acknowledge that even the simplest way of saying things, at times, can make a person question who they are, or that it can do severe damage.

Sometimes, I think people say things to challenge me. It’s truly not meant to be harmful, but if I’m already bleeding on the ground, I probably don’t need another kick.

I’m so far from perfect, it’s not even funny, but I will be apologizing to a few people this week to be certain that they grasp the true meaning and don’t take simplicity the wrong way.

Above all, always be yourself.