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.

Pre-Thanksgiving Jitters

Hello, everyone. It’s been a minute, and the reality is, I’ve been sick for over a month. 😦 I haven’t had any real energy, and I’ve struggled with not getting enough sleep and then getting too much sleep, if too much sleep is actually a real thing. <Sigh> According to my body, it isn’t.

Fighting pain 24/7 is exhausting, let’s be clear about that. I might be the only person I know who can have caffeine in her system, or any stimulant (My normal amount is none, but extended quarantine and curfews have led to MANY changes. I keep saying I’m not myself, and I say it because it’s true. I don’t feel like myself, sound like myself, and I am definitely not behaving like the person I truly am.). and fall asleep fifteen minutes later. Not for a short period of time, either. I can be out for twelve hours straight, or longer. My body cannot seem to get enough rest no matter what I do. Yes, it’s possible I’m burnt out, but I am still concerned.

I am seemingly more allergic this year than ever before, so I’m kind of glad I ordered tissues in bulk a few months ago. If I’m not coughing, I’m sneezing. I only noticed this recently. Apparently, you can still get the mother of all colds without being around too many people. Epic suckage.

I’ll be honest; the last thing on Earth I want to do is partake in any type of traditional Thanksgiving meal. On top of having no appetite, which I will be addressing in another piece soon, I would have been totally cool making homemade pizza or anything less complicated than a turkey, stuffing, etc. So when the turkey arrived, along with other traditional items to accompany it, I was immediately nauseous. Let me be clear: I am by no means ungrateful. I know I am extremely lucky to have a roof over my head and enough food to feed my own hockey team, but I already know how time-consuming and energy consuming this type of cooking is. I felt like I had made this clear, and still, I found myself deeply annoyed, bordering on hostile, and then I settled down and decided I cannot be responsible for that which is not wholly my idea. Period. Others have the right to celebrate, even if I do not feel well enough to do so.

I have not made anything traditional for Thanksgiving in a long time, and not once did anyone complain about this. But now, my head cannot stop going over my stuffing recipe. It is actually easy to make, but thinking about it tires me out. Lots of chopping and nailing down the flavor, toss it together in a huge cooking pan, a short amount of cooking time (under two hours), and then you have enough food for a week or more. It’s my mother’s recipe. I have since tweaked it, and yet, it tastes exactly like hers. But do I want to make it, or any carb heavy dish right now? NO.

The more I factor in the realities of “Thanksgiving”, the less I want to partake in it. The historical inaccuracies to modern day truth is something I struggle with, and I know I am not alone in this.

I spent a large part of my life being told I was white, and there was always a measure of shame added to this because of the, “privilege” it may, or may not, bring with it. I am pretty sure my long form birth certificate states I am a Caucasian female, which is incorrect (and my parents were not asked for any unobvious information, either.). To be clear, I was told at a very young age that we were Russian. Eastern European. Nothing else. Blood tests and cheek swabs would tell a much larger story, and it would explain childhood dreams of countries I had never even heard of (Circa, age two), the things I would say before ever learning anything about world history, and the things I surmised from hearing different languages spoken around me. So as someone who is more rooted in her culture(s) and ancestry, “Thanksgiving” is merely a date on the calendar. And it makes me sigh, in sadness.

Someone mentioned this is the 399th Thanksgiving which will be celebrated on U.S. soil. The history of how European settlers were somehow bestowing kindness upon those who actually showed them kindness, and as a result of their arrival, brought illness and death to the Native American tribes upset me into a headspace of feeling the way I’ve felt for a long time. Un-American. And by using that particular phrase I mean, “Different.” or perhaps, “Other”. That’s the best way to explain it. Usually when someone meets me for the first time, they will describe me as, “Otherworldly”. They don’t mean I’m alien, just different to a degree they vibe with.

For me, this is another year without my Grandparents and parents, and that’s painful no matter how I look at it. It reminds me of all I’ve lost. It is another year separated from my brother, who could not be here even if he wanted to be because traveling is unsafe, and while we knew this ahead of time, we did not know traveling into New York City, even if you did not intend to stop, would require being stopped at bridges and tunnels to ensure you have a negative Covid test in hand. This requires a LOT of on the ground manpower for every out-of-state vehicle. And because of his job, I know he can’t be away for too long because he has so many professional responsibilities. I’ve come to terms with the fact that we won’t see each other for a while. If he was a better communicator, this would not be an issue, but he’s horrendous. I have a texting relationship with the asshole. And he’s likely to read this, which is fine. I do miss him, but I have no patience for him these days. And by, “him”, I mean everyone. 😉

However you are choosing to celebrate this year, I wish you good health and peace. Thank you for being on this journey with me. For that, I am incredibly grateful. 🙂

copyright © 2020 by Lisa Marino & Poison In Lethal Doses, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

 

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Wishing every one of you the start of a lovely holiday season. 😁

Thanksgiving is EXTREMELY controversial, for obvious reasons, but I remember family gatherings and I’m missing a LOT of people today. Thankfully, I woke up to messages from my brother and my best friend, who is the sister I always asked for. 🙏

I’m staying put because I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia on Tuesday. I’ve been sick for three months straight, complete with a vicious cough, and each doctor ignored my symptoms. Each one decided something different. This time, it was a nurse practitioner who listened to my lower right lung where the issue is. She said it’s entirely possible that the flu morphed slowly into a bacterial infection, but instead of giving me something for this insane cough, she simply prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics. She believes a chest x-ray will give me cancer, so I will NOT be seeing her again. It’s two minutes, not a trip through Chernobyl. 🙄

I hate being sick and left out, but I don’t want anyone getting sick because of me  so I’ll just simmer in my stressful misery. 😒

However you spend today, please be safe and responsible.

Much love to you all,

li

Let Us Be Grateful To The People…

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This pretty much sums up every day, at least for me. I have amazing friends, which is an incredible blessing (I’m not too shabby, either. 😉 Some of you are extremely lucky to have me.). I have a handful of family members who value me. I’ve got people on my side who respect me, care about me, and treat me like a human being with a great mind. I’m not fully capable of happiness at the moment, but someday up the road… Maybe.

Sending love and hugs to everyone today.  🦋🔮💛

P.S. Cooking shall begin in about an hour. I’m not looking forward to chopping several pounds of vegetables at the last minute, but I only learned yesterday afternoon that I’d be cooking at all. I’m grateful I was able to sleep with the level of pain I’m in. I’m currently praying I can avoid Urgent Care this weekend. Something about this weather has my sinuses and ears in agony. I keep hoping it’ll pass, but the last time I did that, I ended up with three infections. 😦 Bleh!      

Happy Thanksgiving!

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This photo is copyright 2016 by my amazingly talented friend, Jamie. If you’re interested, her nature-based photos will be for sale via this site sometime next year.

I hope everyone is having a lovely day.

So far I’ve made probably the best stuffing, EVER. I also roasted peppers for a salad I will be making while the stuffing bakes in a little while. Sounds like “no big deal”, but I’ve been working on all of this since yesterday when I chopped up all the ingredients for the stuffing, and I started cooking a little before 11:00 a.m. today. The salad was a last minute request and I decided to use the fresh peppers from the farm, that way they’re enjoyed and don’t go to waste. They turned out beautiful, along with the homemade dressing I whipped together in between texting people nice things. Yeah, I’m proud of myself. My feet don’t like me any more, and I’ll probably be physically grounded tomorrow, but I’m glad I was able to do these things.

I’m thankful for my friends, family (The few I actually like.), readers, the roof over my head, food on the table, Cat and Kitten (Cat has provided much entertainment today. She’s such a cutie.), the support I have received almost daily from absolute strangers, and the hope that better days are ahead for all of us.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy! And if you’re partaking in early holiday shopping, please be very careful out there.

Thankful, Grateful, Yet Pissed Off

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My ancestors didn’t come to this country until the late 1800’s or 1920ish, if not later than that.

Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the United States. There is much history behind this holiday (I currently live in Massachusetts and you can’t escape people talking about spending the holiday in Plymouth. I’ve never spent Thanksgiving at a restaurant; I’ve always participated among family, cooked it myself, etc.), but for me, especially this year, this is the first Thanksgiving where I’ll be completely without my brother.

He was just released from the hospital once again. He’s SO sick, and while I am thankful and grateful that he is alive, I am exceptionally upset that he isn’t in a good situation and is so far away. It makes me ill. The fact that the medicine he needs for his heart and lungs is more expensive than I can handle is also too much for me emotionally. I want to help him, to fix the situation and the problems, but I can’t fix every problem he presents me with. It kills me. You are only given so many people in a life and I have been given one living brother. Not helping when he asks (or doesn’t ask) is to be a lower life form. I can’t be like that. I stand up as much as humanly possible.

I have much to be thankful for this year. I am thankful for what little in my life is mine. I’m grateful for the roof over my head, clothes, food, Cat and Kitten, my friends, and family. However, I’m also pissed off.

This has been an extremely painful year for me. I don’t know when it gets easier, or if it ever does, but I hope and pray that the coming year (and years) won’t wreck me like the previous dozen, or so, have. I’m a human-being, I’m imperfect, my feelings are real, and valid, and in 2017, I’d like to break out of this horrible shell I am in and be reborn in some way.

For the past six months or so, I’ve been experiencing bouts of Fibro Fog that are terrifying. I’ve done so many bizarre things that I’d never normally do if I was at 100% capacity (like trying to put black pepper in the freezer). For over seven months, I’ve been experiencing blackouts where I cannot account for my time. I’m not passing out and waking up on the side of the road or anything, and I’m lucky that they are no longer happening daily, but there are far too many days where I look at the clock and it’s 9:00 a.m. and the next thing I know, it’s 4:00 PM and I couldn’t tell you where my day went if you paid me a million dollars. These are not normal things for anyone, leave alone me. I stopped talking about these episodes with friends and family because no one seemed that interested or concerned, but I’m walking around on auto-pilot and I have no idea how I get from point A to point B most days. It’s scary and it’s completely unlike me.

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This year, Thanksgiving will lack all forms of tradition. The only “tradition” I’ll be bringing to the table is a 40+ year old recipe for stuffing. In my entire life, I’ve only eaten one other type of stuffing and it paled in comparison to my Mom’s. However, to highlight my Fibro Fog I have to say I’m embarrassed and mortified that I remembered all of the ingredients for the stuffing, but once I hit store #3 on Sunday, I realized I never purchased the actual stuffing, herbs, or a turkey pan for it. I tend to make stuffing the night before, that way it’s perfect Thanksgiving Day (and only takes a little while to heat up). It also helps me pace myself because making it involves a lot of vegetable chopping and ingredient play. However, I am happy to make it and enjoy that piece of my Mom that she passed on to me; the ability to cook and cook well (In fairness, I did inherit other things from her, for which I am also eternally grateful.).

So yeah, lots of sadness at the moment. I’m praying I will somehow be able to come through for my brother, and as it has been nearly a year since I’ve seen him (Unheard of!), I am hoping & praying I will be able to see him next month. I have learned this year that the person who knows me best is my brother (only regarding certain things, not all things). Part of me finds that exceptionally sad, and the other part thinks it’s extremely fitting.

Wishing everyone, in advance, a wonderful start to the holiday season. You don’t have to be American to appreciate that sentiment.

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Be safe, everyone!

copyright © 2016 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Struggling

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It is the early morning hours of Thanksgiving Day here in the States. After spending hours preparing stuffing yesterday (which I highly suspect might suck today), I ended up with a highly stressful day which resulted in a migraine. That then turned into insomnia, which is the only reason I am awake at such an hour. Turns out, Patient X is not the only one in pain. 😦 Poor kid.

Lucky for him, he has a sister/maid who will go back to the hospital tomorrow to pick up a prescription and take it to the pharmacy on Black Friday, a day I avoid like the fucking plague because of the insanity that ensues, all because his doctor did not see fit to prescribe the appropriate amount of pain medication upon discharge. I thought it was an incredibly odd number seeing as how he’s supposed to take twelve pills a day until he’s healed enough to not be in such severe pain. He is healing, the swelling and bruising are almost fully gone, but he’s still in an incredible amount of pain. I couldn’t stand by as if it weren’t happened as the pills diminished.

I realize there are always pre-holiday emergencies, but it shouldn’t take a doctor’s office nearly twelve hours to return two phone calls where the words “pain management” are used. I find that unacceptable.

Moreover, not being able to call a prescription in to the pharmacy in an emergency simply because it is a controlled substance, even if it means faxing a hard copy from your office or sending the hard copy via FedEx, is a major time and energy drain on caregivers. I realize doctors and PAs are busy covering their own asses on this shit, that patients do NOT come first, but it makes me angry that my brother is in severe pain and that I, in my agony, have no choice but to schlep somewhere I don’t want to be in order to get the appropriate medication for him. It should have been done correctly the first time, except now, I am going to be fully present and since his voice still isn’t better, they’re going to have to put up with mine, and oh, how loud can I go?!

The physician’s assistant was the epitome of rude, dismissive, and unprofessional (I’d like to think she’s just stupid and/or had a stressful day that she would have preferred to be spending somewhere else with family, but I was then informed that she’s always like that, so I knew it wasn’t simply my perception.) and proceeded to lecture me on post-op appointment scheduling. Excuse me; I’m NOT his secretary. I was not handed the discharge papers, so outside of dispensing medication and doing a plethora of other things that contribute to my misery, I am also supposed to be a mind-reader. News flash: There’s no such thing as mind-readers. Also, the job of physician’s assistant to a surgeon is basically glorified prescription pad, especially when you don’t know how to communicate with people as if they’re human-beings. Instead of wasting time acquiring healthcare experience before entering the three year program, I strongly suggest going to medical school and then try giving me attitude. I get to say this because it’s the truth. If you happen to be a PA and you’re reading this, I can only hope you treat people the way you’d want to be treated and don’t hang up on people mid-sentence. When you work with the public in any form, it is crucial to be courteous and respectful. For the record, I said nothing to warrant the ‘tude. If anything, I was overly polite and respectful. I won’t make that mistake again.

Is it convenient that they only see patients on Tuesdays? No. Instead of being able to enjoy some semblance of a holiday weekend this snit tells me to “call on Friday to get him into the office on the 1st”. Because apparently, Lisa has no life of her own and can drop everything on Tuesday so as to miss her own doctor’s appointment. I would like to know precisely when I entered a life of servitude. I wonder if there’s a uniform…

At this point I can only assume I am over-tired, hungry, feeling the effects of the Full Moon (If anyone else saw it rise last night, was it uncharacteristically enormous?), and/or in desperate need of hitting something. It might very well be a combination of all of the above. I can deal with that because it’s honest.

However, to add insult to injury, Patient X is running a fever and might very well need to return to the hospital tomorrow to be certain he does not have another post-op infection. If he does have another infection (which would be lucky number three), I will be on the 10 o’clock news in the Philadelphia area demanding that this hospital be investigated.

I wish I were able to set aside real life and focus solely on fiction (it’s a far better world on paper, as is often the case), but sometimes a writer has to be supremely real and not gloss the serious shit over. I may not currently be writing about NaNoWriMo, WIP’s, my experience editing this or that, or spewing nonsense, but at the beginning and end, I’m going to be real. I’d rather be respected for that side of me than have someone fuss over something completely unimportant.

There’s no rest for the wicked. Only the good die young, so I’m going to be here forever!

Wishing everyone stateside & all members of our Armed Forces a Happy Thanksgiving. To everyone else in this world; have an amazing Thursday where your priorities in life supersede all the bullshit.

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

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My Apologies

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Hi everyone! I know this isn’t a typical visiting experience at the moment, but I assure you I am doing my best.

When you’re caring for a post-op heart patient, every single day blends into the one before. I likely wouldn’t know it was Monday if I hadn’t intentionally bypassed Friday and Saturday’s normal routine of running errands, only to overdo it yesterday. I have spent a lot of time putting off every aspect of my life to dispense medication at regular intervals, to pour drinks (apparently I close everything very tightly, who knew?), and coax Patient X to eat a few times a day. These may seem like simple tasks, and they are, but if I leave the room for 45 minutes, sometimes less, I hear a tiny voice asking “Are you hiding from me? Am I making you sick?” That’s if I listen for it.

The fact of the matter is: I like silence and privacy. In fact, I crave these things. I don’t like being up ’til 3:00 a.m. unless it is my choice to do so. I don’t like sitting on the couch for 4-8 hours a day in order to keep someone entertained, because while the TV is clearly on in order to “entertain”, I can’t watch anything I truly want to see (I spent an hour in my room late Saturday night watching an episode of a show that ends in a few weeks because I can’t do so downstairs; some asshole didn’t want to see it and despite the fact that it’s my remote, it’s not worth it.). I find myself looking down at my phone a LOT, and no matter what I do to try to be in bed by 10:30 each night, I cannot sleep.

If you have any experience with a cardiac life-saving device called “Life Vest”, you know that this device can go off for any reason, even while changing the battery. Thursday morning the piercing sound threw me out of bed in its utter alarm, and I went flying down the stairs to make sure he was alive and conscious. He later told me I shouldn’t have panicked; the device has a 100% success rate at reviving someone if anything should go wrong. It’s intended purpose is to shock you back to life if need be, and it can probably be heard down the street. Mind you, from the second they put it on him, he has complained that it’s the equivalent of a “male bra”. It does sort of look like a sports bra and it looks uncomfortable because there’s so much to it, so I’ve had to listen to it go off several times over the last week. I tried sleeping through it Friday morning, as it was still dark. Saturday it went off in the early evening hours, but it was still annoying as all hell to hear the sound out of nowhere. Not as annoying as someone dying in my presence (No thanks, I’ll pass.), but it’s simply that noise itself does not agree with this chronic sufferer of migraines.

Certain types of noise are triggers and unfortunately, I never know what will cause a migraine. I only recently switched up my medication, but I did have a very long stretch over the last few weeks where one migraine lasted over a week. I had no choice but to ride it out. 😦

Today, I hurt from my neck to my toes. There’s not a part of my body that doesn’t feel bruised and battered. Okay, there are a few parts that are okay, but that’s about it.

Thanksgiving in the U.S. is this Thursday. In my last-minute prep attempt, I decided what to make and bought everything yesterday. I am grateful that no one in their right mind thinks it’s acceptable for me to make an entire turkey for two people. I cannot fathom tackling that at the moment. Every turkey I so much as glanced at was over 20 pounds, but since they were frozen solid on top of that, who knows how much they actually weighed. I found something small that will fit the bill. I don’t expect it to last more than two days, which is perfect. Wednesday I will make the stuffing in advance (Let’s face it, I will be eating stuffing Wednesday night. I am addicted.) so that I don’t have to cook for hours on Thursday. Patient X is on a little-to-no salt, low-fat diet. I’ve already broken multiple health rules in order to get him to eat. I’m making a small amount for him with as little sodium as possible. He has told me for nearly a week now that everything I’ve made is “full of flavor”. Apparently that is the component missing in all hospital food. :/ I can safely make sure that the rest of the stuffing actually tastes like something though (Yay!). I’m contemplating a citrus base for the main course. If only I had known in advance that I’d have a sudden craving for mashed potatoes, I would have also put that into consideration because apparently this is a carb kind of week. I still might make them, at the last-minute, providing I have a medication run to use as an “excuse” to do it. As things stand now, I might very well need to get another pie too. While completely unnecessary, it does make Patient X happy. Personally I don’t want vegetables made into pie, but perhaps that’s the American in me. Pie should be something enjoyable if you’re going to have it at all.

I am exhausted, in a lot of pain, caring for someone I normally can’t tolerate for more than short periods of time, and I still have my real life going on amidst all that. I’ve shelved as much as I can for the remainder of the year, but there is still much to do. The last thing I can even bother to think about at the moment are the truly stupid things in life. Wow, that statement covers so much…perhaps one day I will write about it. Hell, I’m lucky I remembered to pay my bills this month with all that’s going on! 😦

I hate the holiday season. It is a constant reminder that I am alone in this world, that my family is gone, and that those who are still alive (minus a few people) are horrible human-beings.

Despite amazing friends and loved ones, despite the adorable sweetness of Cat and Kitten, the holidays suck for me. I did get some nice gifts in advance of Chanukah (Shout out to my awesome Aunt.) and two belated birthday gifts (Again, my Aunt, but also a fabulous necklace from Sweet Blossom Gifts that I adore. If you’re going to be shopping on-line this year and you want something personalized and unique, I highly recommend them. They have everything from coffee mugs and pillows to jewelry. I can say for a fact that the jewelry is stunning in person and their prices are very reasonable.) that were such a lovely surprise (If you know the name of one of my favorite stores, you know I will be hitting up the post-holiday sale.), but I won’t be gift-giving this year. Things are simply too stressful and I have absolutely no time to do it. I barely know my name, the last place I need to be is a store. I also lack the desire to do anything for anyone over the age of five. Everyone knows they’re in my heart and that I am there for them 24/7. They don’t need expensive gifts to remind them of that fact. Sometimes, people truly just want to be thought of in a positive way. I’d rather someone send me a card and tell me something of value as opposed to forcing themselves into stores and not taking the time to enjoy the season itself. Those are precious moments. Actions are just as important as words.

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I am trying, with all of my might, to get through the remainder of the year with my head firmly on my shoulders. Patient X has a long road to recovery (If one more person tells me he will be chopping tress down in six months, I will hit them. For starters, he’s never chopped a tree in his life, so I highly doubt he’s going to take that up once he’s healed.) and while he is indeed healing (there’s been remarkable improvement this week), he is also weak and will definitely require physical therapy. His vocal cords are still pretty bad, but hopefully I will know more after his first post-op appointment after Thanksgiving. The fact that I’ll be able to force him off of my couch and into the fresh air, albeit cold, for several hours almost makes me giddy. The not so giddy part is that I do have to go with him, otherwise I won’t know precisely what the doctor says. Let’s just say that the anesthesia that was used has some side effects and there are parts of his memory that simply aren’t there at the moment, which is quite scary for me to hear, but scarier for him because he knows he should know these things and keeps wondering why his brain is foggy and he can’t form coherent thoughts or access his memories. If ever I find that anesthesiologist, I might have to sit him down and explain certain things to him in thinly veiled threats. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to do it and I’m certain it won’t be the last.

If you’re celebrating this week, I wish you a wonderful, happy, and safe holiday. If you’re not, I wish you were coming to my house so I could cook for you. 😉

Be safe on Black Friday. It’s a fucking jungle of psychosis fueled by insane amounts of caffeine. I will be as far away from the madness as possible. Of course, I will still have someone hogging my TV and eating my food. If you see a good-looking man being auctioned off on eBay, I assure you I’m the seller. LOL.

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

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This has been me, for nearly a month. I’m not 100% sure what I’m even buying any more.

Overreaching

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I decided a few weeks ago to forgo all the “traditional” Thanksgiving Day fare. I did not relish the idea of dealing with a turkey when a good half of it would end up in the garbage or making stuffing because I made it last year and there is simply NEVER enough stuffing one can have. I’m a carb fiend, take my word on this. FYI for all pet owners: Do not give your dogs or cats dark meat, it’s too rich for them.

Alas, I came up with a different idea. It’s a great idea. However, after a very long day of shopping in two different stores for everything I needed yesterday, I woke up this morning (way too early) and had a moment of utter panic.

What possessed me to think that chopping 7 pounds of vegetables would be “no big deal”? I’m more concerned with my Fibromyalgia, because it is flaring up BIG TIME today from my neck to my ankles, than I am about my skills with a knife (I already sliced myself last night on a mixer blade.). I will have no choice, but to take breaks in between each veggie (there are 4 in total, but there is, obviously, a LOT of it.). My only “plus” is that having had a migraine yesterday afternoon, which required medicine with caffeine to abort it out of my system, I was left wide awake into the wee hours of the morning. It was around 10:30 or so last night when I decided I was “awake, therefore I should bake”. It took more time to mix up the batter than it did to bake the two cakes I made. I thought they were awful, until I tasted the 100% cooled product this morning. It’s a little like dying and going to heaven, depending on what you like cake wise. I’m only feeling certain flavors these days. But hey, that’s one additional thing out of the way. All I have to do is frost the cake, though I do have to say that certain frostings are so disgusting, and filled with chemicals that terrify me, that I wish I’d taken a spare 30 seconds to read one can before agreeing to it. However, it’s not going into MY body, so it’s not on me. At least the normal one has ingredients in it that I can pronounce, as opposed to “Let me just Google this…” That is the quickest way to ruin dessert.

I think Aleve should be forced to change their advertising slogan from “It’s your life, pain shouldn’t get in the way. 2 pills will provide up to 12 hours of relief.” (Less than ten years ago, they claimed that 2-3 pills was 24 hours of pain relief compared to 8 Tylenol. Who the hell are they kidding? Neither of them work.) to “2 pills MIGHT give you an hour or so of peace.” There’s absolutely no drastic difference if I use the brand name or a generic version, there’s no such thing as true “relief”. I’m willing to do a LOT right now for true pain relief, but I have my limits. I already feel like someone beat me to death and no one has found my body yet, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, I must have posted from the spirit realm.

Dinner won’t be “early” tonight, hell, it might not even be served in a timely fashion, but I’ll do my best to get it all done. I have an assistant, we’ll see how long he lasts before I throw him out of the kitchen. As long as there’s no bloodshed (from my chopping knife), it’s all good.

No matter how you spend this holiday or where you are spending it, especially for our troops overseas who are away from their families, take a moment to appreciate the good things in your life and all the unhappy, bad shit that lead you to this place. Take stock of all that is important to you. Sometimes we find that the list is huge and other times we find that the list is smaller. My list is in the acknowledgements of Book One. I cannot say it’s short.

Don’t just be thankful today, be thankful every day.

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

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