“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.”
―Emily Dickinson

Another Week, Another Needle, Or Three

It’s been another one of those weeks where time has flown by, and I feel dizzy from the rush of it all. I realized this when traffic was backed up in Sumner Tunnel. The whooshing of the fact that you’re underwater is the first thing you can feel, and it made me nauseous. Normally, tunnels don’t bother me, but Boston tunnels make me feel like I’m in a Bond movie and about to be shot at. Every.Single.Time. I would not have been in the tunnel if it had not been for the fact that I was headed to an appointment with my headache specialist. Generally, that’s not the normal route, but again, traffic.

I thought I did okay. I rewarded myself with an iced green tea (Which is my standard Starbucks order when I want something cold and naturally caffeinated. My other one is the iced Passion Tango Tea, which is herbal and caffeine free, and tastes amazing. Occasionally I’ll order an iced green tea lemonade. It all depends on how much sugar I’m thinking about, or not. Are they doing something special other places aren’t? No. They just happen to be in the building and I’ve got a ton of gift cards to use up. I don’t drink coffee any more.), and then got startled when I stopped off to get a genetic test done at the lab. The lab was full, and a Grandmotherly type barked at me for looking for the check-in sheet like I was an untrained animal, so I walked out. I logged onto their website and scheduled an “appointment”, and came back when it was less crowded. The phlebotomist managed to mangle me. I’d show a photo of my arm if I wasn’t utterly grossed out that she did such a horrific job for a single vial of blood. I’m always straight-forward about which vein is the best one to use. I have two that are guaranteed to not cause issues, so I feel like speaking up is helpful, not to mention, honest. Being a woman, you’d think she’d listen to me, but she didn’t. She chose a tiny vein in the crease of my elbow and then made a rude comment about the shape my veins are in. There’s a reason I offer up the best veins I’ve got so that I don’t have to deal with that kind of nonsense. The end result is that it is painful as hell (It’s not even a bruise, it’s worse.), and she made me paranoid about my veins in general. I left feeling dirty; truly. The comment was completely inappropriate and disrespectful. I will never allow her to do my lab work ever again.

My actual doctor’s appointment was for nerve blocks. My insurance is arguing with my doctor about the necessity of them. They called the treatment for my trigeminal nerve, “experimental”. She was LIVID. As a result, she’s going to argue the point with them for the next two months, which is when I go back, so next time I go in for this procedure, I will actually be getting a bunch in the back of my head which they refused to pay for this time. She should have warned me that these involve a larger needle. I am generally fine with needles. I’ve got the piercings and tattoos to prove it. 😉 But there’s something about these that was quite different. It might be that half of the nerves she blocked are in my face. At one point, I couldn’t see because she had me pressing gauze to both of my eyes. Like I said, she should have warned me. I was trying to process the pain, but she kept injecting.

Overall, these were not a big deal. I didn’t appreciate the ones in my face, but that’s okay since I can’t feel my nose or my right ear at all (That’s how it was before the nerve blocks.). The rest of the injections went into the top of my head and then I had trigger point injections in my neck and shoulders. This is to see if they help at all with chronic migraines and tension, as well as the arthritis in my neck. She mentioned that most of her patients who were athletes for half of their lives have the same neck pain I do. Hello, gymnastics. Thanks for the memories and the injuries. 😦 She said I’d be able to tell if these are working right away. I think they are, and I say that because I haven’t reached for my muscle relaxers once, which is not something that happens very often. Ostensibly, the nerve blocks could last three to six months, but will likely wear off before February. When I go in next month for my follow-up, I will be given the next appointment for nerve blocks. She can increase the dosing as I try this treatment option, and since she was great at explaining it ahead of time, and before I sat down, I felt more comfortable overall about saying yes. My previous spine specialist refused to answer any questions about trigger point injections because I wanted to know why steroids were necessary at all. The one’s I got this week were a local anesthesia, and they did make me seriously drowsy once I was able to fall asleep the following morning, but beyond that, no issues. You know, after I came home and washed the blood off of my face (I’m not kidding.).

It’s a wild thing to put yourself through all of these different treatment methods in the hopes of feeling better. There’s a list of things I’ve been doing for years which I’ve never talked about, and I am not sure if I ever will, but I would discuss it if I thought it would help even one person. I know so many people who are afraid of the treatments I put myself through, and I always assure them that it’s their choice. I cannot rely on daily medication to help me with anything, so I have to go with alternative methods here and there. I’m grateful they exist, but I know they are not the answer for everyone, which is precisely part of the reason why I’ve kept my mouth shut about one method. I know there will be some serious judgment involved if I feel comfortable enough to bring it up and explain my decision, and honestly, I don’t share these experiences with my readers to be judged. If you’re reading my work and sitting in judgment of me, then you should unsubscribe and develop a hobby. I hear knitting in popular.

As for work, I’m trying to kick my ass into gear and get something important done. Unfortunately, I have not felt well enough to do so, which was disheartening as the deadline approaches. My only option is to prepare a different deadline date, and nail that one. Ultimately, I feel that’s the best decision for all involved. When anxiety, stress, and discomfort due to knowing you’re about to jump right out of your comfort zone are involved, it’s okay to take a step back and reestablish your personal boundaries. It’s not failing to say, “I can do this, but I know in my heart I need a little more time.” When In doubt, trust yourself. I know so many people struggle with this, and I am here to tell you that your intuition does not lie to you. Everything will fall into place if you are patient with yourself. It’s the patience I struggle with, most.

On that note, I’m off to refocus a bit on the task at hand. Wish me good luck. If I don’t have the opportunity beforehand, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Hopefully, I’ll be back before then, but just in case, I will be thinking of you all. My WordPress anniversary is fast approaching. It might look like I’ve only been here for seven years, but that’s not actually the case. I started on a blog in 2012. The blog has sat, untouched, since I decided this was what I truly wanted to do, and I am grateful every single day for making the decision to walk away from that which did not feed my soul, and for investing in my voice here.

If you need me, I’ll be writing, because that’s what writers do. Even if we’re not one hundred percent thrilled with the first draft, we know we can always come back to something and hit it out of the park. Here’s to hitting it out of the atmosphere. Here’s to moving closer to a major goal.

Udakhgüi ta nartai yariltsiya (Talk to you all soon),

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


I know everyone wants to be hopeful today, and many are full of joy, as the 46th President of the United States is sworn into office, alongside the first female Vice President (!). I have to be honest; I always thought Hillary Clinton would be the first female President, but I am quite hopeful for Kamala Harris (She’s smart, strong, and incredibly likeable.) and her role in how we move forward as a nation, but I realized earlier today that I had ignored my own mantra for a while in my attempt to tune as much of this out as humanly possible.

My mantra has been, “Question EVERYTHING” for as long as I can remember. It’s a good mantra. I am not the most trusting person. I often wait for people to fuck up because it’s inevitable. But today, I can only hope the new President doesn’t fuck up royally. This country can’t afford any more screw-ups. We have to take care of our citizens and remember who our long-time allies are. Now is not a time to pick fights or look for war, because it’s all too possible the war we face is on our own soil.

Many of us are far too young to remember slavery on U.S. soil, Civil War, World Wars I & II, Pearl Harbor, or Vietnam, but we aren’t too young to remember 9/11, Saddam Hussein, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, ISIS, or the constant crap pulled by Hamas, the “Palestinian Authority”, and other extremist terrorist groups. Let the record state, I feel it’s important to discuss terrorism on all levels.

As I listened to people I know talk about their views, post the incident at the Capitol Building earlier this month, I realized how sheltered many truly were regarding White Supremacist “organizations” and other documented hate groups that are alive and well, functioning daily in this country.

Growing up in New York City, I didn’t encounter a lot of these things (Jehovah’s Witnesses? Yes, on the regular. I’ve actually never managed to escape them wherever I’ve lived. Unlike my Great-Uncle, I have never felt the need to invite them in for coffee and a religious debate.), but I was always highly aware. I was the girl who was always writing, but I was also the person who wanted to become a police officer who would make detective, and then move on to the FBI. Law enforcement was something I believed there was honor in. My detective instincts are a natural part of who I am; ask any of my friends who’ve been on a bad date or had a guy mistreat them. I recently offered to do a background check on someone, and I wasn’t joking.

My awareness of hatred started way before kindergarten, and because I’ve been lucky enough to have certain opportunities, groups like the KKK are something I’ve always known about. I knew they had a plethora of fringe groups with similar ideas and ideals, and there are so many of them who recruit online, but I could never wrap the blind hatred around my own mind because nature versus nurture is a real thing. It’s also impossible to brainwash me because I truly do question everything.

Nancy Pelosi was one hundred percent right to call out the fact that many wore Neo-Nazi t-shirts. She referred to one individual in particular and called him a, “punk”. The truth of this statement was way too polite, but I was proud of her in that moment. I hate politics, but I respect people who can honor the wrongs and do their best to correct the hate we are seeing rise every day. I’ve never stood for hatred of anyone, but I always stand for truth.

If you lost family during the Holocaust, you would understand this feeling (seeing those shirts) in a deeper way. Jews were not the only people murdered. Hitler was insane and evil (Remind you of anyone?) and believed he was annihilating anyone who didn’t fit into his, “Master Race” image. The Nazi regime also killed their own people who would not help them (Many died by refusing to turn in neighbors, friends, etc.), Roma Gypsies, anyone who was disabled or ill, and anyone from the LGBTQ+ community they could find.

My cousins were freedom fighters during the Holocaust, putting themselves at severe risk. Whenever someone denounces it as being “a Jewish propaganda lie”, wears an offensive t-shirt, or accuses Israel of apartheid actions, I think of them, and wonder how many people are alive today because of them. How many people got away, immigrated to another country, and rebuilt their lives because of their kindness and fighting spirit? I will never know, but I do know they’re out there. I occasionally wonder where my fighting spirit comes from, and despite not being like anyone else in my family, I know I’ve inherited traits along the way.

The Holocaust is not the only mass genocide the world has seen; and many ignored it while it took place. Until the camps were liberated, we cannot ever forget that the United States turned people away on their shores, people who arrived by boat, and they did so by Presidential order. It’s not spoken about enough. However, the Holocaust is not alone in its horrors. It is not without equally disturbing stories which took place in other countries.

The Armenian Genocide came first, beginning in 1915. Turkey still denies this ever took place. As though a million people, possibly more, simply vanished. Many other countries have committed atrocities against their own people over the centuries, and it needs to be discussed openly and honestly. If I can’t shrug my shoulders about any of it, then no one else should get away with that type of behavior, either. It is not okay to denounce the horrors man has allowed. When I think about these things, it fuels me into a tunnel vision mindset.

Slavery was once rampantly accepted all across this country. It’s heinous. It is now synonymous with human-trafficking, and the darker undercurrents that many are blind to. I can’t close my eyes and pretend I don’t know about these things. I don’t want to ignore the history because if I do, then I’m just another ignorant person who is useless to this world and its betterment.

Overall, it would be nice to have hope, but seeing as how I’m always going to be myself ,and this lends to certain things, I can only say I’m going to be realistic. Because after the past few years, it’s truly all I’ve got to offer. Realistic honesty.

If you have hope, more power to you. I’m tired of all the division and hope it can be bettered, but again, I’m realistic and honest about change.

Here’s to 4-8 years with minimal fuck-ups.

copyright © 2021 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC.