Morphine Mania

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It’s no secret; I’ve had a rough two weeks dealing with a serious family emergency. If you’ve ever had to force a man (or any loved one) to go the hospital knowing that something was clearly NOT “okay”, perhaps you can relate.

My brother came out of surgery Thursday afternoon, a good three hours earlier than I anticipated based on the scheduling of the surgery itself. The look on my face when I saw the hospital’s phone number on my cell phone screen so early was scary; I wondered if I was about to be forced to make a medical decision on his behalf, but it was all good news. Surgeons in certain fields are a little too cocky for my taste. The better the school they go to, the cockier they seem to be. 😦 His surgeon told me how great he did (I wasn’t sure if he meant himself or my brother, the man was way too excited.) and that because he is young and healthy, he should be good to go after he heals. I’ve inherited a patient for the next 3-4 months once he’s discharged from the hospital. You can probably feel my enthusiasm from wherever you are reading this. People in Siberia can feel the warmth of that enthusiasm. I’m contemplating becoming an alcoholic in advance of his arrival. :/

My brother, when sick, is the world’s biggest pain in the ass. If he has an ear infection, I have to hear about it non-stop and deal with his whining. I could have headphones on and still hear him bitching from ten miles away. Post-surgery brother, which is an absolute first, is going to drive me to new levels of insanity. Feel free to send plenty of bottles of wine and hard liquor my way. My “water bottle” might very well have vodka in it later today.

He called me yesterday morning after they removed the tube they left in overnight because they were afraid he’d rip it out, and not only did he sound insane, but he openly admitted he couldn’t feel anything because they have him on a high dose of morphine. He told a nurse “Sure, take blood. I can’t feel my arms.” NICE. There’s nothing I enjoy more than hearing someone repeat themselves ten times in less than thirty minutes. Even better, he said he wasn’t repeating himself as he disclosed details of his surgery that I simply did NOT need to hear about. I don’t know him that well, he doesn’t need to share every single thing with me. 😛

In my brother’s infinite wisdom, he gave me a list of errands to run for him. However, he left out crucial information, like where he keeps certain things and how I can access them. Welcome to the land of the paranoid boy. “Do this…”, but apparently I don’t need to know HOW, I just need to “get it done”. I am shaking my head at the stupidity of it all, and the fact that I went to four different places to handle this crap. I can’t decide if I’m stupid or insane. By the time I got home last night, I had dinner and went to bed, and this morning there is not a single part of my body that doesn’t hurt like hell.

I did everything earlier than I anticipated so that Monday, once all the tubes come out, I can go to the hospital for a while, and perhaps then, I will be let it on the secret as to where all the other documents are so that I can copy, print, scan, and fax/ e-mail them to the necessary parties. I’ve seen a LOT in my life medically, but there are some things my brain does not need branded in it for life. I’m banned from his room until the tubes come out, as he’s afraid I will pass out and/or throw up on someone. I have NO idea why he thinks I’m some sheltered little creature. Far from it. However, he said he’d prefer that I not see him as he is now, but that I can come once he looks like a “normal human-being again”, whatever that looks like.

Things are all pointing in good directions for him health-wise at the moment, but I can tell that recovery will be slow. It makes me sick that he’s coughing and is in so much pain from every movement. I understand pain far more than he will ever realize, but I have been lucky to avoid surgery, despite one major hospital stay.

He can’t do anything for 12 weeks upon being discharged from the hospital, but he said he’d give the paperwork to me so I can A) Read everything and B) Learn about his new diet. Subtlety at its finest. 😦 I offered to make him homemade chicken soup this weekend and bring him some on Monday, but he refused, saying it was “too much work”. It’s roughly a few hours of letting the flavors simmer before I pull the chicken out, but if he’s going to be on an all liquid diet for a week or two, nothing is better than homemade soup. It soothes the soul and heals the body, or at least mine does. Then he told me it likely has too much salt in it, which was downright insulting (No one has EVER accused me of that!), so I will bring him something else once he decides what he wants. His vocal cords are going to take some time to heal, so for now, he’s asking for some pretty weird things, but I am happy to bring them if they will make him feel better. If I can keep his mouth full, it might even keep him quiet. 😉

I am glad to have this weekend to rest my body. Even after a night’s worth of sleep, I’d gladly go back to bed and snuggle with Cat, who returned to her spot in bed as soon as she finished her breakfast. She looks so warm and cuddly in her twisted upside down position while she purrs. There is something about watching Cat and Kitten in their restful states that often makes me sleepy, perhaps it’s how calm and relaxed they are in the safety of their home. Of course, Kitten just got smacked for jumping up on the bed and checking on her. As she has grown in size, Cat has become less amused by her antics. There is a definite balance between play and slumber. If she feels Kitten is getting out of hand or acting out of turn, she will smack her gently, to let her know she’s not in the mood. Kitten is still a baby in so many ways, so she will either smack her back and force her to engage in play, or walk away sad, which is precisely when she looks at me as if to say “Mommy, she’s being mean to me.” She defers to her ‘older sister’, but she won’t take crap from her either. They have watched over me these past two weeks while I’ve been in various stages of upset, and cared for me when I’ve felt sick myself. This is a great benefit of raising little creatures that unconditionally love you. People, I find, are too fickle to truly offer that level of love.

Since my original plans for this weekend are no longer valid, anyone who sees SPECTRE needs to let me know how they enjoyed it. Feel free to send me spoilers as well, since I have to pre-order it on Blu-Ray which won’t happen ’til next year. I absolutely HATE missing another Bond movie opening weekend. 😦 If you know me well, you know why.

And so, I am off to begin “the weekend” in some fashion. I’ve been up for hours, but haven’t made any definitive decisions as to what I will do. For now, I think Self-Care needs to be a priority.

Wishing you all an enjoyable, happy, & safe weekend. Do something fun! 🙂

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

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How Did Your Day Go Yesterday?

FYI: My hair isn't a mess, but I am in my PJ's.
FYI: My hair isn’t a mess, but I am in my PJ’s.

The best laid plans. 😦

I was in so much pain yesterday that I decided a “quick nap” was in order around 1:00 PM. We will not discuss that I slept way too long. In turn, I didn’t get any editing done. I fed cat and kitten because they were both staring at me pathetically, doing tricks, and bringing me toys as if they were forgotten street urchins. Meows and chirps were also involved. Mind you, they had full bowls of dry food, they simply like the can opening routine. After that I made sure my laundry was dry (Towels and bath sheets are screwing with me lately when they are normally dry in 40 minutes. It now takes an additional 10-20 minutes for them to be thoroughly dry. Perhaps I need to put them on a second spin cycle before drying from now on?), and then a migraine took me down, thus resulting in me retreating to bed at 9:04 PM. That was migraine #11. This morning, migraine #12 decided to pay me a visit. FML.

I am sitting here contemplating how bad the headache is (Can I clean my microwave and fridge without puking? Can I strip my bed and wash all of the linens without falling down the stairs from the newfound vertigo? Should I wait before I shower so I don’t hit my head and pass out?) because I still have things that need to get done. Essentially, these are all things that can wait until this passes (Please God, let it pass. I have exactly one Excedrin Tension Headache left and it is sold out in four different stores, including the generic version. WTH?!), but I really don’t want to “take a nap” and pray that I’ll be okay later on because migraines are fickle bastards and I am not in control of how long they stick around. 😦 I also wanted to do something fun because learning new things is a positive thing, but I don’t know if I can stomach that at the moment. When I’m in pain, i don’t have a lot of patience for minutia. When I’m not in pain I don’t have a lot of patience, so it is what it is.

I remember a time when Saturday was an enjoyable time to sleep in, do something fun in the afternoon, and leisurely enjoy the weekend to the fullest. Apparently that’s in the past for now, but I long for the days when the pain is gone and I can live my life without scheduling every last detail around migraines or Fibromyalgia.

Here’s hoping & praying there are cures in sight, or at the very least, reliable forms of treatment.

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

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Friday, How I’ve Missed You

I don't feel or think all of these things, but I know many people who do.
I don’t feel or think all of these things, but I know many people who do.

I have come to cherish my weekends like a newborn baby. The arrival of Friday makes me feel less guilty about self-care. This week in particular, I need it.

Early yesterday evening, I had a coughing fit come out of nowhere. In the midst of said coughing fit, I felt something in my upper spine pop. The sound resounded through the room. My immediate thought was “This is NOT good.” Already in a pretty harsh Fibro flare, I did NOT want or need to add to the pain I was already in. My brain kept saying “I can’t believe you hurt yourself coughing! Why can’t you have a more interesting way of causing your body excruciating pain?!” 😦 Don’t worry, I shut that fucker up.

Less than an hour or so later, I was in bed. On top of being exhausted, I could already feel that this sudden pop was going to make things worse for me for a few days. As I sit here writing this, the pain has escalated immensely between 6:45 last night and now. Moving my neck too much is completely out of the question. I’m contemplating Icy Hot. I already took over-the-counter pain medication, whatever good that will do, but I’d rather attempt to treat it as opposed to doing nothing at all. I know it’s going to be achy and sore for a few days. I just need to allow myself proper rest so that it doesn’t get worse.

ifanationI had planned on getting some editing done today. I have decided to limit it to a chapter once my neck loosens up and isn’t screaming in agony. Hell, I’ll do two chapters if I feel okay, but no more than that because I don’t want all that sitting and neck movement to aggravate this and make it worse than it already is, and it’s pretty fucking bad. If I feel better tomorrow, I can do another 2-3 chapters and so on. Hopefully that means I will finally rid myself of this nightmare manuscript, for good. It’s a first edit of a fourth draft. I suspect it will need 2-3 additional rounds of editing, but if I am asked to do additional work on it, I absolutely MUST price it better because it’s tormented me from day one and explaining that to my client in a nice way is -cough- difficult because this client isn’t a very good listener.

If you’ve never been edited before and you’re worried about how long it takes, not understanding the editing process and how thorough I am, then think about how long it took you to write it. If you tell me “I wrote this in three months.”, I already know it’s going to be full of issues. This manuscript is full of issues, and it is also one of the reasons that I want to focus on my work, which probably does have some issues in it, but if nothing else, it is predominantly clean and flows beautifully. I know this because I’ve been writing it for five years. I also know it flows beautifully because the last time I read it, I was so caught up in the story, I forgot that I was the writer. Color me impressed. 🙂

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I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night, but I did sleep. I was unable to take the 9:00 a.m. nap I thought about yesterday morning, mostly because I was in a lot of pain, have a lot on my mind, and couldn’t get comfortable. On the plus side, I did fall asleep pretty quickly last night and I slept soundly for nearly three hours before I heard my phone buzzing. If I don’t leave it on vibrate, any ringtone will make me come right out of my skin or it will make me yell at whomever is calling. After listening to the other person for damn near 30 minutes, I practically growled and hung up. It’s not wise to talk to me after a certain time when I’m A) Still in sleep mode and B) Hungry. It’s like trying to negotiate a ceasefire with a dragon. I’m not exaggerating, I’m aware when I am unpleasant.

Do you have anything special planned this weekend? Do you feel guilty when you have to prioritize your health over the demands of others? Let me know in the comments.

Have a safe, pain-free, pleasant weekend. If it can’t be all three, aim for one positive thing.

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

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Professional Headaches

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I am not known for my patience. If you’re not a child or a “little” (“Hello littles!” That’s how I talk to animals.), my tolerance for you is probably slim to none. God help you if slim leaves town.

People’s expectations are unreasonable, especially when I am given work that requires hours and hours of face time. There are only so many hours in a day. You can only write “rewrite” and “revise” so many times in a day. You can only make so many corrections that are crucial to the development of a story, and point out major errors before you slowly start to lose your mind. And when you do, if you’re like me, you take a few days to breathe. Unless I’m on a tight deadline, I am going to include some self-care in the mix, or I’ll kill the clients and no one wants that…or do they?

You ignore the “Is it done yet?” questions that have about as much impact as on you as “Are we there yet?” You try not to say what you really think and feel. You wait a few days and then you respond as professionally as humanly possible, but how many times do you really need to say “Please, let me work. This is way more than what I signed on for.” to the same person? How many times do you have to repeat yourself about how they should have read their work in advance of sending it to you? Yet, perhaps it’s nerves, impatience, what have you, but it is fucking annoying to constantly be asked the same damn questions. I’m exceedingly mature, so when people far older than I are immature, it’s an immense turn off, be it personally or professionally.

If you give me something and ask me to read it, be prepared for an honest answer when you inevitably ask “Is it good?” I used to ask people if they wanted my opinion or the truth, and to be careful with their choice. I no longer ask because whether it’s one or the other in terms of delivery, it is still the unadulterated truth. Dunkin Donuts and I have not teamed up to sugar coat your day. Mmm, donuts…

Editors still have lives. I work hard, but when I need a break it is usually due to my health or personal responsibilities. I cannot be glued to my laptop 24/7 looking at the same material every single moment. One, it’s not healthy and two, it’s important to get up and move when you work at a computer all day. Sitting is the new cancer, at least according to the medical professionals I know. I don’t know about all of you, but it makes me uncomfortable hearing the two words used together, so it’s not uncommon for me to walk away and do a load of laundry, or cook, watch the birds and bunnies in the backyard for a while, or simply shut the computer down for a few hours and focus on other things. I’m human. Moreover, I’m a human-being who suffers from Fibromyalgia. The days I can sit at all are miraculous. My pain gets worse each day, so I’m not receptive to whining from others.

I can either do something right the first time or not do it at all. If you consistently annoy me, you can pretty much guarantee I will be unavailable for future projects. I’ve already done enough work for 20 paychecks, not one. It’s hard not to be frustrated knowing that.

For future reference, too many people think they’re writers. Puking ideas onto paper does not make you a writer. Cohesive storytelling is a gift. Having honest people in your life who encourage the good and let you know when something is awful is also important.

There are days I wish I was an unprofessional hack. 😦

For those of you that messaged me about cutting off so much of my hair: I am almost certain today that it’s too short and I hate it, but I am trying to give myself time to get used to it. In turn, I am off to play with the Topstyler and see if that makes a difference. If it doesn’t, I am changing the color to blue until it grows back. Right now I am pretty sure I look like my brother with hair. 😦

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

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Thank God It’s Saturday!

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I hate the traditional work week, which is probably why I don’t have a “traditional” job. Granted, with my injury and upsetting things going on in my personal life, I spent most of my week making phone calls, practicing self-care, doing extensive research, texting with a close family member, and trying not to commit any type of crime that would land me in prison. I’m too pale to wear orange.

The future is unclear, so perhaps I will do a tarot reading and see if the cards have any answers for me. I haven’t had to do that in a while, but I know that whatever is placed before me, even if I say I cannot do it, I WILL persevere. I can have a breakdown when the storm passes, but not before.

One of the worst things about this week has been the weather. Hot or cold, sometimes both in the same day. The trees are blooming up a storm, the bees are enormous and keep bumping into the windows, and the pressure in the air has been hell on my body. There were many nights I was in bed by 7:00 PM because the pain was simply too much to bear. I slept a full 12 hours one night this week, waking up truly wanting to remain in bed. “Mama said there’d be days like this”- hell yes, but do they all have to be in the same week!? In that moment, I hated the clock and all it stood for. Too much daylight, not enough night. It’s poison to those of us who identify as night owls, and I’m speaking for myself.

Weekends are always way too short, but they do give us a reprieve from some of the things we think during the week. For many of us, it gives us time to get things done that we’re not able to do during the week, like grocery shopping, laundry, or catching up with a movie or TV shows we didn’t have time to watch. Or it allows us to spend time with friends or family. Two of my favorite shows return this weekend: Bitten and Orphan Black. This is the time of year when many shows wrap for the season and others begin, which means you don’t have to spend the entire summer wondering why you pay for cable, satellite, or streaming service.

This past week I’ve really been able to take stock of the word “family”. I’ve also been able to take stock of the word “friend”. Some people say things because it sounds good, and other people mean it. Many talk for the sake of talking. My definitions are pretty cut & dried. If I love you and care about you, you can pretty much guarantee that I’d take a bullet for you, be you family member or friend. However, I do not forgive and forget. If that works for you, I think that’s great, but it doesn’t fly with me. I might forgive a person at some point, but I’ll do it for myself, not for them. I will never forget. Sometimes when words get thrown at you, there is no way to unhear them.

Proper communication is crucial in relationships and it’s incredibly important not to take out your own issues on someone else. If you do, apologize immediately. Hear yourself. Don’t make excuses for vile words and pretend that it can be swept under the rug. I own my shit. If I hurt or offend someone INTENTIONALLY, and I am one of those rare individuals who KNOWS when she’s doing it, then I will apologize the second I realize my mistake. If you hurt or offend me and the words “I’m sorry.” or “I was out of line.” never come out of your mouth, then don’t expect me to apologize for something I haven’t done or to accept an apology that comes too late.

A mistake some people have made with me over the past few months is to throw out the words “You misinterpreted what I said.” I’M NOT DEAF and my I.Q. hasn’t dropped. This is NOT a habit I have. If it happened daily, you could say it was a pattern and take issue with it, but it isn’t. For many, the problem is that I actually called them on their shit, pointed out a major flaw, and they don’t like it. Or, they always believe they’re right, and/or cannot admit that they said or did something inappropriate, wrong, or hurtful. Put your adult panties on, apologize, and move on. Don’t drag it out. The world doesn’t revolve around any one person, myself included.

I have work to do this weekend, in between two errands. I’m double-booked and one of those jobs is due for completion on the 24th, so I’ve got to focus and get it done. Here’s hoping I didn’t ask for too little money on this one. Unfortunately, one never knows until one is presented with certain things.

Have a nice weekend everyone. 🙂 I am off to take as much Aleve as possible and crawl into bed in the hopes that I do not waste another day in pain.

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

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Exhausted

I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. I’d like to sit and cry, but I don’t even have the emotional capacity to do so today. I can’t remember the last time I felt so incredibly deadened.

I’ve spent an enormous chunk of my life taking care of others, being the dutiful daughter, being responsible and reliable, but now, all I want to do is not be anything. It’s not depression, per se, it’s having reached burnout. I’m not burnt out on work, but I am burnt out on almost all the exterior aspects of my life. Not all, because I am grateful for who and what I have in my life, but almost all.  Sometimes you just have to say “Enough!” to all the nonsense and all the craziness, and retreat. You’re not defeated, you just need rest. You need love and support, and people who can be relied upon no matter what. You don’t want or need drama. And that is precisely how I feel. To sit here today and write would be false, and I’m not going to do it.

In fact, I am going to go back to sleep and give myself some “self-care”. I slept horribly last night, and woke feeling like I’d waged war. It feels very “Lord Of The Rings” inside my head. Maybe after a few hours of sleep and a shower, I will start feeling human again. I cannot speak for tomorrow or anything else, I can only say I have to take care of me.

I hope everyone has a phenomenal Saturday. Don’t forget to do something nice for yourself this weekend.

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

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