Veni, Vidi, Ventus --
The randomly chaotic and crafty scribblings of a deranged, wannabe artist allowed too many colours in her Crayon box.

Surgeon General's Warning: Some content of "From Pooka's Crayon" may not be suitable for: work, blue-haired little old ladies, the politically-correct, rabid moonbats, uptight mothers, priests, chronic idiots, insurance claims agents, Democrats, children, small furry quadropeds from Alpha Centauri, or your sanity.

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Santa Thing

Thing 2: (rushes out into the living room with the exaggerated arm-pumping) "Gotta drink more CoRed! Gotta keep up my emergies! Can't let my emergies stop!"

(repeats rushing and exits, stage right)

Thing 2: (from other room) "What?!? Don't make me kick your rear!"

Me: (thankful she at least didn't say 'ass' this time)

Thing 2: "Ho ho ho, now shut up! I gotta put THESE over HERE. Move it, people!"

(loud crashing noise)

Thing 2: "I didn't do it!"

This is going to be a very long day.

... And Cancel Christmas!

Christmas is cancelled.

Come out this morning, my laptop is dead. D-E-D dead. No power. Nada. Flickers pathetically at me. Extended tech discussion (after my phone number popping up sends the techs into a DefCon 4 panic and the one with the shortest straw has to take my call without benefit of cyanide pills) resulting in the same bloody conclusion I came to half an hour before my total hysterics started -- Power Supply, 1 each, D-E-DOA.

Estimated time before box gets here: Saturday. Estimated time for it to be fixed: How does some time in 2005 sound?

All my client information is on that harddrive. All the documents. To work, I'm going to have to email every one of them, providing I can find all the email addresses somewhere in my brain, and ask them to resend.

The images and base files I had been finishing as Christmas presents for others are all on that machine. No presents now. Shit. I'm sorry, guys. Dammit.

The money DG and I were given as pretty much the total of our presents from the monster is Gone. Spent. Poof. All the little things add up. No presents for us.

Big freakin winter storm last few days. Pooka has no limbs, just these deformed objects that used to limbs and are now closer to nuclear meltdown. "Whoosh, into the ground. Like a big ole glowing gopher!" I couldn't sleep last night. Hurt too much.

Had my first severe asthma attack in months last night while failing to achieve sleep.

The weekend at the monster's was mostly awful. She started on me before I even finished getting out of the car. I'm not even going to go into that Hell. It's not worth the additional stress. At least the Things got presents.

Did see Two Towers with Klash and Lisa. Only bright point to the weekend. DG got pulled over for speeding on the way home.

We get home, to find out that Voodoo had another car wreck. At least he's safe and alive.

I feel like I'm in a twisted virtual reality version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," surrounded by mutant Whos.

We're here. We're together. We're alive.

It will have to be enough.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

Please ignore my age and any past suspicions that you weren't real. No one else is listening, and I think I've moved beyond the hope that prayer is going to do any good.

I want my body to work again.

I hurt so bad, Santa. The last two weeks ... I'm sitting here crying, Santa. Every day the pain seems to get worse. I can't even control my own hands. I'm shaking and aching and nothing is making it better. I have bottles of meds that do little more than dull the increasing agony.

I'm tired, Santa.

I'm tired of hurting, tired of disappointing my children and my family. I'm tired of waking up in tears because the pain is too much for me to stay asleep. I'm tired of having one of my children ask me a question, and suddenly going completely blank. I'm tired of going 3 or 4 days with only a few hours sleep total. I'm tired of waking up feeling more exhausted than I did before passing out. I'm tired of the drugs, I'm tired of the doctors, and I'm tired of being tired.

There's a wheelchair on my Christmas list, not because I want it, but because I'm slowly losing the ability to walk. The cane doesn't do me any good when my arms won't work. I have a handicapped placard for my car, the one that is permanent.

I want my mind back.

I want the brain cells that have been short-circuited to wake up. I don't want the fogs and confusion and frustration. I want to be able to do a damn crossword puzzle without bursting into tears because I can no longer remember anything.

I want to be there for my family. I want to be able to stand up long enough to make dinner. I want to be able to make bread again, or even something as simple as a cake. I want to be able to go to school plays and open house and go roller skating with my kids at parties.

I want to remember what my husband told me five minutes earlier without him having to tell me again. And again. I want the look of frustration and the growl in his voice to vanish. I want to remember being me, and I can't even remember what it was like.

I want to help my kids with their homework. I want to splash in puddles with them and chalk up the sidewalk and go to the zoo. I want to hold them in my arms, I want to be hugged, I want to be touched by them without crying because the pain of contact is too great.

I don't want my children to be afraid anymore. I don't want to hear "Is Mommy going to die?" I don't want to hear "Mommy, I hope you get better." I don't want my children to have to pick up after me because I can't hold onto anything and can't bend over to get whatever I knocked over.

I want to make love to my husband again. I want to be touched. For it to not hurt. I don't want to be scared of it.

It all seems so very selfish, but Santa? For Christmas ....

.... can you give me back to my family?

Monday, October 14, 2002

COW-umbas Day

Thing 2: "Do you know what howiday it is, Mommy?"

Me: "uh."

Thing 2: "It's COWUMBUS Day, Mommy, and I got to make one of his ships!"

Me: "Did you make any of the Indians that got massacred because of his discovery?"

Thing 2: "No, Mommy, I wan out of time."

...She ran out of time.

And it's not even halfway through the school year yet.


Thing 2: (dramatic sigh) "Hi Mama. Apparently I'm naked."

(minute later, naked Thing runs into living room)

Thing 2: "Whoa, this is scaring me!"

She's holding up two matching pairs of underwear.

Me: "Your panties are scaring you?"

Thing 2: "YES, cuz they're the same! Oh. My. GOD! I don't believe it!"


Tuesday, September 10, 2002

Total Recall

How do you remember? What does it take for a moment to sear itself into your memory? Pain, joy, grief?

How clear is your recall?

I remember the day the Challenger exploded. I was in my computer math class, with the scary bug-eyed bleached blonde teacher. We had a TV on in the room while we worked. We couldn't believe what we saw. Surely ... The loudspeaker came on. The principal, a definite hard-ass, was crying.

I remember the day that DG proposed. I remember what I was wearing (and I still have the skirt, though it stopped fitting me years ago). I remember the car he was driving. I remember when he pulled over to the side of the narrow country road, and I gave him the "what the hell?" look as he stopped. Not a lot of passing room. He shushed me, got out of the car, picked a handful of wild flowers (including some black-eyed Susans), opened my door, got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him.

I remember the night that my paternal grandfather died. I was in bed, it was late. The phone rang. I heard my father start to sob. I've never heard him cry like that. My dread of late night phone calls started then. My father sounded broken.

I remember the day DG came home, with that hesitant little smile. I met him at the door, since he didn't come further inside. He took my hand, and slid the ring on my finger. A silver band of roses from James Avery. My engagement ring. So I would always have fresh roses, no matter the season. It all started with a rose, after all.

I remember the day we went to pick up my baby sister from the adoption agency. I was only 3 and a half at the time. I remember, because as we were getting back into the car, I cut my hand on something on the seat. A deep slice, between the webbing of my fingers.

I remember the phone call from Sabrina. I was getting ready for a date, Charlie was already at the house. She was crying, and as she tried to explain, the news show finished the story. We'd heard sirens maybe half an hour before. Two of our graduating seniors, two of the most popular and friendliest guys in the class, had an accident only a few blocks from our house. A drunk driver ran a light. One was killed instantly, thrown through the windshield. He wasn't wearing his seat belt. His passenger was critical for weeks, and suffered permanent brain damage. Graduation was only two weeks away. I always wear my seat belt, have from that moment on. And when we pass the cross erected where the accident occurs, I still tear up.

I still remember falling/jumping out of the persimmon tree that was in the field behind our house, knowing fully that my grandfather was there below. I knew that I would be safe, even if I couldn't fly.

I remember "falling" into the lake with my sister. "Don't get wet," my mother would scowl as we left with my grandfather. "Oh no, we won't," we'd tell her. And every time, we "accidentally" managed to fall in. And since we were already wet ....

Blackberries. I remember trip after trip with my grandfather, many times with me on his back. "No, THAT one, Poppie!" And he'd bend and pick that very one. We'd go out with bags and buckets, and every time we'd come back with only half full, and me stained utterly purple from lips to fingertips, scratches from brambles on us both. They never tasted so sweet. I had to pay for blackberries this year. It hurt. And they just weren't as good.

I remember seeing the look on DG's face the day Thing 1 was born, the day he thought he was going to lose us both. The day he almost did. I remember feeling like I was floating (blood loss isn't such a bad way to go), and my only worries were for DG, and for the baby that wasn't breathing.

I remember playing Danny's Game Boy (Tetris) while I was in labour with her, and the doctor coming in, scowling, and asking me if I knew I was having a contraction. I told him to hush, I was about to get a high score.

I remember Danny showing up right before visiting hours were over and after we'd both been dragged back from death, with food, with a huge chocolate milkshake. I hadn't eaten in two days before that. Milkshakes haven't tasted as good since then.

I remember ... GRRR ... that because Thing 1 was two weeks late, that DG and Roy used MY tickets to Jethro Tull and WENT WITHOUT ME to the concert while I sat in the hospital and sulked. Damn them! :P (Yes, I told them to go. We'd paid for the tickets anyway, no use in wasting them. The bastards.)

I remember getting the phone call saying that my great-grandmother was in the ER and that it didn't look good. We rushed to Tomball, and then SAT and sat, waiting. She had still been alive when we got there. By the time they talked to us, she was gone. They let us into the room to see her. She was still on the table in the triage room. I remember the towels over her throat to cover the emergency trach that failed. And I was Angry. Furious. I fled. Ran out of the room, out of the ER, down the halls ... I remember stopping when I couldn't breathe anymore. A nurse came over, gentle, with a clucking scold that I was bleeding on her floor. Somehow, in my flight, I'd ripped open the back of my hand.

I still have the scar.

I remember the absolute ROAR that Thing 2 gave out when she was born. The doctor and nurses were startled. No butt-spanking for this kid. She was out and ready to take over. I remember the words: "Oh, she has a birthmark" and utterly panicking. Imagination took over fast, but it turned out to be a relatively cute round brown "witchmark" under her right arm on the side. Talk about foreshadowing against the future.

I remember the utter shock at having my name called out after our UIL One-Act play performance for All-Star Cast. I remember my father, chasing me down after we were through to hand me an enormous bouquet of pink roses. I remember power-barfing in the bathroom AFTER we were done. I always let stress go afterwards. Before, I was the rock. I remember, in my shock at being named to All-Star, seeing an old boyfriend in the crowd that I hadn't seen in years. Jeff smiling, and giving me the thumbs up.

It is amazing how we remember, and the clarity that surrounds some moments and yet is absent from others. The human brain is an amazing thing, and it frightens me now that many of those pathways are being closed off or severed as my illness progresses.

Still, I think that, no matter what happens, there are some things that will never be forgotten. There is always paper, there is always my journal to record those moments that might slip away.

I will hold them to my heart forever. No matter how painful, or how full of joy they might be. It is my past, my history, my future, and they are parts of what has made me who I am.

just me, pretending to be

Monday, September 09, 2002

On Remembering

It's not that I don't want to remember.

I never want to forget. But it's not just one thing that's the problem.

September 11.

It's a birth day, an anniversary. It's "special" to many people for many reasons, but life went on before, and it will go on after.

Something tragic, unfair, and horrible happened on that day. The thing is, horrible things happen all the time. To Other People. When bad things happen to Other People, it often doesn't seem as important, or isn't even remembered. It was Them, not Us.

But people do remember.

Mai Lai. Pearl Harbour. Hiroshima. Columbine. Fairchild AFB. Rwanda.

Nanking. The Holocaust. Jonestown. Yakaolang. Srebrenica. Apartheid.

The Challenger. Tiananmen Square. Bosnia. Khmer Rouge.

The list has no end. Perhaps it never will.

A few years ago, I was visiting Jon, and one of our trips was to the Smithsonian. (Several of them, including art, cultural history, and Air and Space, as Jon and I try to remember what all we made it to that afternoon)

Jon lost me for a while when we reached the Enola Gay.

I don't know how long I sat there and cried. It is overwhelming, when you see her. Everything hits you at once. Everything is suddenly, painfully REAL in her presence. And it hurts.

People are stupid, greedy, vicious, and single-minded. For every good, there is a corresponding evil. Someone will always want something that someone else owns. Someone will always want to be more in charge than anyone else. Someone will always have different beliefs, different faiths, different ideas of morality. Someone will always disagree with someone else.

And it isn't fair. It never will be fair.

We cannot forget what we as a race have done in the past, in hopes that in the future, someone will think twice or even three times before engaging in conflict. Violence sparks violence. There is no right way to answer violence, when every response seems and feels wrong. It hurts when it happens to you.

What we must keep is perspective.

No one atrocity is more important, more painful, or more vital to remembrance than another. Each act of violence is a failure on the part of us all. Commemorating a single event that happens to Us instead of Them is an act that will always be repeated. It's human nature, for the most part. What happens to Us is easier to feel and remember and is more Real to us than something that happened to someone else, far away.


Should you chose to remember the One, try to keep in mind the Many that came before, and that will come after.

Should you shed a tear for heroes lost, remember the others that have sacrificed their lives for the sake of freedom and peace.

In the end, we have only one world, and we must live on it together.

Some things, we should never forget.

Random Wisdom

-- First impressions are important, but not as important as to whether or not you maintain it.

-- If your track record is public, don't be surprised if the public knows about it. And discusses it. Often.

-- Physical pain can be forgotten, otherwise women would never have a second child. Emotional wounds take longer to heal. If ever.

-- Never do yourself what you can delegate. Then be prepared to do it yourself anyway.

-- Never light a cigarette with a blowtorch. It may look cool, but it takes your eyebrows forever to grow back in.

-- If you have a gut instinct about something, you probably had bad pizza. If you haven't had pizza, pay attention to it. It's rarely wrong.

-- To err is human: to forgive yourself, impossible.

-- The RED wire. Always cut the RED wire. Unless it's blue.

-- There is a reason why hair dryers come with a warning label about not using them in the bathtub -- people are stupid.

-- If you can't find anyone else to blame, it probably IS your fault.

-- Cold pizza and hot beer are only safe breakfasts if you're in college. After that, they just give you ulcers.

-- A cat will always decide to lay down on you at precisely the moment you need to move.

-- Your fart might be funny, but trust me, we don't want you to describe it in depth. Same goes for what you just did in the bathroom. We've already suffered enough.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

Superwoman is D-E-D

Somewhere I lost what I think I was going to say, and it turned into some painful self-contemplation.

There are friends that I have made online that remember Super Woman. Invincible. Offline, as well. Nothing phased me. A catch-phrase: "I'm all right. Always am." has fallen flat. It was something of a thin running joke for a very long time.

I survived it. Didn't matter what you threw at me, I survived it, usually with strained laughter and sheer stubbornness. I'd get over it.

So how do you explain to these people that Super Woman is dead?

There are people that I have never met in person that have been closer to me than any relative. People I utterly adore with heart and soul and that have been there for me, and I for them, time and time again. How do you tell these people that despite that, you no longer would accept a chance to actually meet them? That to show them what I have become and what I have lost would hurt me deeper than the lost chance of becoming closer?

It frightens me.

My husband told me yesterday that he had told one of our old circle about it. We haven't spoken with him much, DG much more than I. He explained, and that I could not walk without a cane, how I could no longer do simple things.

Part of me was torn. I was ... hurt. Angry, that he told, and didn't understand why.

Some part of me still wants to be remembered as invincible.

I know that most of my family does not know, that my monster has not bothered to tell them. She never had before, when I had surgery, or anything else went wrong. And it is strange, where she doesn't seem to care, I know that they do.

I've not told them either. Super Woman syndrome again.

Yet, she invites us down for the traditional holiday dinners. What does she expect to happen if I come, if they see me and realize what she had been hiding? She hasn't done herself any favours. My uncle's wife (as opposed to my mother's sister, who is perhaps the neatest lady I know, and who DOES know) already dislikes my mother intently. I used to wish that I'd been his daughter instead, so that Liz would have been my mother.

It did not take long, the last time we went down for Thanksgiving a few years ago, for them to find out why our trip down there lasted less than 24 hours. And Liz was Angry. I was invited to next time, stay with them.

It is not a bad thought.

My husband has the time off for us to go down this year. But it's at the monster's house this time. (Every year, Christmas and Thanksgiving trade out.) I don't know if I can do it. I don't know if I can face what is to come when we show up.

I suppose in a way that a lot of it is that fibromyalgia is actually the least of my concerns, as it is also with Heidi and Cairyn. We have other problems that just amplify everything we can worry about.

I just don't want to be remembered as I am now.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

CAT for sale

I'm not sure whether I should laugh, or gross out.

Zamboni moved slowly out into the living room, and hunched in the position that indicates that either A) the carpet is looking at him funny, or B) he's about to yark.

Another turn, and he saw me looking at him.

He turned a little again, looked up, and yes, I was still looking at him.

He gave me the Evil Cat Eye, the one that says "I hope you're a mouse in your next life so I can eat you, bitch."

AND HE TURNED HIS BACK ON ME so I couldn't watch him throw up.

DG, your cat is SO weird.

Of course, now someone needs to clean the hot cat barf off the carpet.

Monday, September 02, 2002

What Thing 2 has learned at school:

"I pledge allegiance,
To the Texas flag.
Under God,
I am invisible."

Monday, August 26, 2002

Stray Thoughts

Why, yes, yes I am STILL awake.

Spent most of the weekend with the Esoteric one. Lots of running around (okay, they ran, I limped and staggered and trudged a lot), food, movies, computer babbles.

Harley keeps leaping onto the back of the futon and staring at the back of my head. I don't really want to know.

Wow. I could actually hear the vacuum sucking the last remaining brain cells out in a glorious eruption of Brain Fartitis. Whooooosh!

Harley thinks it's fun to leap onto the table, then leap to my computer tray, then leap past me to the futon. She's also staring at the ceiiling again.

Things are up. They ain't awake, but they're up.

So why is everyone but me eating breakfast? I need a better slave, mine seems to be broken.

There goes Harley again. Boingy. Boingy. Boingy. The world is freaking Harley out.

Boingy! Almost right into the syrupy waffle plate of Thing 1. That would have been Bad.

WHOOOSH BOINGY BOINGY. Christ, Harley's turned into a gas molecule.

Thing 2 is sitting, um, mostly upside down in the computer chair. I seriously doubt that's going to help her wake up.

BOINGY! Ceiling looked at Harley funny, now she has to Make It Dead. I keep picturing the cartoon where the dog keeps sneaking up on the cat and barking, and then they have to pry poor Claude out of the ceiling. Instantaneous cat levitation. Harley is practicing it now.

Thing 2 is still upside down.

Black hole.


Dude, what is this "morning" crap and why the hell am I experiencing it from the wrong side of consciousness?

Boingy. That one almost clipped my ear, kinda like the arrows and Elrond at the beginning of LotR. WHOOSH.

Oh look, breakfast. I guess I'll keep him after all.

Zamboni is staring wistfully at the place where Thing 1's waffle plate used to be. We've had that experience, and I have no urge to repeat it. Cat looked like a feckin cactus, his tail and butt all covered with syrup bits and EVERYTHING else he came in contact with. Coulda used him as flypaper. And boy, did he yowl when DG had to bathe him.


He burned the toast. What is up with that?

Moooom, Harley's doing it again!!!!!!!

Whaff fis? Wha ... whaff fis? Fere is food in my mouf. Whaf fis?

No. I mean it. No. Okay, well, maybe.

Brraaaaaaaap! Guilty!

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Nerd Alert

Pooka: Uh. ::whoosh, black hole, this is the sound of everything on the list being consumed in a fiery brain fart::

Dax: Oh oh oh! Can I have one of those?!?! It would be great to have at least a couple a day at work. That's the great thing about the military sometimes. You can get away with not thinking for hours before people catch on.

Pooka: I still don't get the whole Gandalf breakdancing on his head scene.

Dax: Because we would turn him into a toad and shove a magic missle up his ass ... but this was suppose to be a pseudo-family movie.

Pooka: ::mope:: Yeah, and WE would have used grenade launchers on snipers.

Dax: They did just fine with the snipers, actually. :Grins, then cracks up: Actually, that would make a great cartoon. Aragorn with a grenade launcher, looking at a pissed Legolas, the caption reading "Sorry man, but you just became obsolete."

HP - 0 Pooka - 1

I just got an Error Message Report notifying me that the Error Message Report had an error, which it wanted to report.

Nemesis has given up on subtle and has launched an open campaign to drive me screaming off the deep end.

::CROWS louder than any Lost Boy::

"If you receive this error message randomly, or when you try to start a program, remove extra memory or have the random access memory (RAM) in your computer tested. This behavior may occur if you have bad RAM."


Fuck you, Compaq techs.

Yipe. Had a Tarin moment going on there. Next thing you know, I'll be shouting "Ain't I good? Told ya I'm good!" at a room full of illusionary people.

Hunted down that damned blue screen error message, turned off the reboot, wrote the first error I got down.

Bad RAM.

I mentioned this repeatedly, but figured it wasn't applicable since I hadn't added any new RAM.

Too bad it was fucked straight from the factory.

Phone calls begin again tomorrow. With a vengeance.

UPDATE: Got three more errors. Curiously enough ....

"STOP 0x0000001a (0x00041284, 0xca9a2000, 0x000077e0, 0xc0c00000) MEMORY_MANAGEMENT

STOP 0x0000004e (0x00000007, 0x00007abf, 0x0000f17e, 0x00000000)PFN_LIST_CORRUPT

STOP 0x00000050 (0xc2332b94, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA

This behavior can occur when the random-access memory (RAM) on your computer has become corrupt."

And, more curiously ... HP/Compaq support is truly and utterly clueless. DG, I hope you're up to getting on the phone and barking at some folks, I still don't have my voice back.

Hey, speaking of RAM, does anyone know if DDR memory has a particularly short lifespan? Not as a known issue, per se, but via experience? Klash keeps getting DDR sticks eaten, and this machine apparently came with a bad one.

Harum. Growf.

Monday, August 19, 2002


Ever hear a Maine Coon complain?

They do it so well. And loudly.

Siamese have a thing about the weird voice as well. The two breeds have relatively distinctive sounds.

Zam walked over towards the door, cocked his head. Looked confused.

Turned around.

"MREOOOW? Mroooooooooow. Mrow. MREEEEOOOOOOOOW."

Walked around a bit more. Stopped and MREOOOW?d at the floor.

Then at the ceiling.

The Mother Ship has been trying to communicate again, only, Zamboni seems to have his wires crossed.

I want a salad. A big Olive Garden salad.


Why is Harley sitting on the table, staring at me?

Or is she staring at the scary thing only cats can see that's lurking behind me, waiting to ...

Uh. Harley? You can stop that now.

But it looks so CUTE ... so long as you don't look into her ... eyes.

Yeeeees maaaaaster ....

Friday, August 16, 2002

HP Technical "Support"

Complete wipe of the drive with a tech on the phone. Drive is completely empty.

Total reformat, all disks present.

Final boot.

There is no sound. Check. Sound card has the big yellow circle with the !.


Uninstall. Install hardware. Get a failure, not found. Hmm.

Reboot. Same thing.

Call tech support.

Remove the (!) again. Add via another method.

Driver not found.


No sound.

Hear tech flee for his life. Endure hold music. For a long time.

Contemplate axe.

Kick self for not buying a @*!*#$# Macintosh.

Be told that I have to use the Application Recovery CD.

Prepare to award a new "Unclear on the Concept" award.

Try to explain that, right out of the box, very first boot, There Was No Sound Card. In place was happy (!).

Be told that's what the application recovery CD is for.

Point out that, out of the box, nothing says that you have to individually install sound card drivers later. Point out that paperwork says no disk needed, just plug in and answer the questions. Point out that, should this extra step be required, it should be mentioned in the "Start Here -- Now you're ready!" paperwork.

Be told that's what the application recovery CD is for.

Point out that RECOVERY is generally a Bad Thing, and means that Something Is Wrong, requiring it to be recovered. Point out that Out of the Box should not automatically have something wrong. Point out that this is not mentioned anywhere -- again -- that you should have to do this.

Be told that's what the application recovery CD is for.

Point out that, yes, you realize this, having mastered the skills of reading both the English language and the instruction sheets. Point out that yes, you looked at every piece of paper and every disk before ever turning machine on. Point out that you are well aware of what RECOVERY means, and that it implies a Bad Thing. Point out that still, despite the instructions, out of the box meant no sound card. Ask, politely, why this is not covered in documention.

Be told that's what the application recovery CD is for.

Question as to whether or not he got his tech certification as a K-Mart Blue Light Special. Point out, ever so politely, that you will offer them the choice of a cyanide pill with a hemlock cocktail to wash it down for a clean death, as opposed to what you will do once you cheerfully volunteer to help them reprogram their entire service center with plastic explosives.

Be told that the computer should not do what it did, and that he has no understanding of why it happened.

Point out for the fifth time that despite what it isn't supposed to do, that it did it anyway. Twice. Twice squared. Point out that, next time, should there prove to be a next time, you will never ever ever buy their brand of computer again. Point out that if they insist on delivering products that are disfunctional right out of the box, that you will recommend their need for therapy to the BBB.

Point out to self, once realizing that he is truly Unclear on the Concept, that next time, you really will buy a Macintosh and save the headache.

.... would it help if I got out and pushed?

Computer has officially been named.


Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Resident Evils, or ...

... am I dead yet?

My voice sounds like a foghorn.

If you've seen 'Resident Evil,' (and even if you haven't, this is relevant) you'll know that it follows a somewhat traditional Romero approach to zombies: get infected, you die, you get back up. Injuries inflicted by zombies turn you into one eventually.

/Brain tangent: comparison of Zombification to Ebola and the other filoviruses. Even in death, the virus causing each is deadly and can spread to others. Both stay "hot" for a long time after the death of the host. In Ebola's case, though, once the host dies, the chance of infection is limited to those that come in contact with the body's fluids. By killing the host, it kills the chance to spread. The T-virus for RE also kills the host. Unfortunately, the host gets right back up again to cheerfully spread to anything the host attacks.

"Becomes" the virus. Phrase that easily applies to both the filoviruses and zombification viruses. By the time they kill you, the virus has replicated so many times that no part of the body is untouched, and any and every contact is a chance to spread infection. Groovy.

/end tangent.

So. Character gets chomped, goes through process towards death and zombiedom.

I look like that right now. Then again, I pretty much feel like that as well. I *think* I slept, in between fever delusions and bouts of painful coughing that were so intense that even Felimid avoided my side of the bed instead of snuggling. Pooka the Undead, just before going off to chomp and infect someone else. I got it easy, all I have to do is cough on them.

Thing 1 goes to school, tummy hurts, barfs dramatically and is sent home. This is how I started a few days ago, so it's not a good sign.

Thing 2 went to school and turned into Clark Kent. All she needs now is the dorky glasses. Yes, Thing 2 poofed into the meek and mild-mannered alter ego the minute she got to class, lasting until DG had her home and in the house.

Both Thing 2 and the teacher survived their first day together. Me, I'm thinkin it's all a setup, lulling the teacher into a false sense of security.

At least Thing 2 said that she wanted to go back tomorrow.

Watched Daria after the Dax-man left last night (prior to which was just weirdness squared). If only it didn't have all the funky Noggin filler in commercials. Yuck. Noticed that the show I caught early repeated at midnight. Till then, hadn't even known it was on other than at midnight. Sure enough, 9 and 9:30. Hot damn.

Saw somewhere that they were finally going to release more Daria to video. Bout time.

"If tinwhistles are made out of tin, what do they make foghorns out of?"

AaaaOOOOOOOOOgah! Dive, dive, dive!

Tuesday, August 13, 2002


You know your fever is going up when ....

... your food has tracers.

... you find yourself dancing to the end-theme to Daria -- after the credits are over.

... "it wasn't that kind of goat" sends you into what should be helpless giggles, only it comes out in a strangled pathetic croak and scares off the cat.

... what was I saying?

... you STILL don't understand the whole "men in feather boas" thing.

... there is this ... thing ... in your face, and you can't quite figure it out and it won't go away and you swat at it but it doesn't move and it's in your face and won't go away and you move and it moves and you dodge and it dodges and you swing at it and it's still there and so you try to yank it away AND SONOFABITCH THAT WAS MY HAIR AND THAT HURT!!!!!!

Alien Death Plague


Not just any kind of sick, either. Sick sick. As Opal would say, Alien Death Plague sick.

First bronchitis of the season, and, more surprisingly, my first time of being this type of sick in over a year.

It's amazing what having your tonsils removed again can do for you. For the new folks, yes, I did say again. Had em taken out when I was 18 months old (sounds WAY too young, but it was desperate), and again some 30+ years later. Yes, they've been known to grow back, but the theory in my case is that since it was so long ago, the procedure wasn't as efficient and they missed a piece.

So, when I got terrifyingly sick with strep and several other goodies and ended up in the ER to get shots so my throat didn't close entirely, the bug moved in to stay. Nine solid non-stop months of severe tonsilitis, four cases of strep, and a thousand dollars or more of antibiotics later, back to the hospital I went.

Took another two years or so for the chronic death plague to fade, and then I made it through last winter without ever catching the flu. My immune system is not particularly cooperative, and I can catch a virus if it winks at me from across the state line, so this was impressive.

Started sneezing a lot, hard, about a week ago. A few days later, because I have trouble fighting things off, the cough set in.

Today, I croak in a voice that the love child of Demi Moore and Barry White would envy, I'm running glorious amounts of fever, I'm shaking, and I hurt. Coughing up icky things for those of you that thrive on TMI.

Sleep? Who's that?

My baby, little Thing 2, starts kindergarten tomorrow.

My baby. Baby no more. Two kids in school.

Can't decide if I should celebrate or mourn the passing of my baby into child.

But I'm damn grateful that being sick held off until this point.

Nurse, I'd like another gallon of NyQuil, thank you. And while you're fluffing my pillow, feel free to smother me with it and be done with the whole mess.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Thing 2 Rides Again

Thing 2: "Right here, this is where my heart is. I have to keep track of it, you know?"

Me: "Why, does it wander off if you stop?"

Thing 2: "Yes. Yes it does. And sometimes it even goes up into my NECK! For Real!"

Me: "Well, if it goes to your foot, let me know and we'll amputate."

Thing 2: "Mo-THER. (scoff) Now you're just being SILLY."


Overheards ...

"If you don't stop that RIGHT THIS MINUTE, I will kill myself!"

"Jesus H Keeee-rist!"

"Kids, don't do this at home!"

"OOoo, dang, I wish I'd never done this before."

"Help me, help me! No, I can't, I'm too scared."

"I hope that spider eats you."

"No, wait! Don't tell me, I'm going to fall!"

"Um. Nothing broke!"

Friday, July 05, 2002

The Aging Thing

The idea of getting older isn't bothering me half as much as it used to.

I mean, on the surface, I'm older than I look, and far far younger than I feel. I ache too much to be this age, I know too much, I've done too much. I hit 34 in two weeks. I'm not dreading it. I'm not cringing, or hiding from it, or avoiding it. It makes sense to me now.

I think I even welcome it.

It seems like I have finally reached some sort of balanced agreement with the way things are and must be. We all age. It's not a Wrong thing. It's going to happen. Even once you die, the years still pass, and your body follows along the proper path to return to the earth.

I'll pause sometimes when we're out, suddenly feeling like myself again for a fleeting moment. Small things can bring it on, sensory delights that pick me up and fly me away from what I've become. Then I have to take another step and I can once more feel the cane in my hand, and the spasm and aching that makes it impossible to walk without out.

Four legs, two legs, three legs. All tripod anatomy jokes aside.

BEING older no longer stings as much as FEELING older.

DG and I were talking about Esoteric's trip to Six Flags, and how old it had made him feel. DG shook his head and agreed that we were getting too old.

Too old. What the hell is TOO old, anyway?

Does "too old" for an amusement park mean I'm too old for the action figures on my desk? Does "too old" mean that I have to stop wearing clothes that I like and dress in some prescribed Old Manner? Does too old mean I have to give up the things I like and enjoy because I'm "too old" for them now?

There's no such thing as being too old for anything. If my body allowed, I'll be damned if I let age keep me from zipping down a slide or playing on a swingset if I felt like it. I may have to make allowances for comfort, but that's not age demanding it. I could be sixteen again having to spend money on shoes that support correctly, and not be too old.

So why the heck would that make me too old now?

I remember sixteen, vaguely. I remember sixteen and amusement parks. I remember riding roller coasters that I adore -- and then spending the next hour curled up next to a trash can, shivering and hurling and unable to stand while my sense of balance tried to recover. Ah, the burdens of destroyed inner ears. Vertigo, fun for the whole system.

Didn't stop me then. Didn't make me feel old then, either, to have to stop and sit and rest.

I do know my limits. The nice thing about the limits of my body, however, is that for now, they aren't constant. There are days when I feel like I could walk forever -- such as the day some time in the last month where I wore DG out and HE was the one to say we had to go home. And I can make alterations for days where I cannot. I don't *always* need the cane to walk, but I make sure I have it with me. I won't let that stop me, either.

I'm getting older. Big deal.

I'm just not getting Old.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Brand new doctor.

Walked in, the dude at the desk involved me in a talk about my nose ring. Had promise right off the bat.

Didn't have to fill out a lot of medical history new patient paperwork. Curious.

Was called back near immediately. Hmm.

Got weighed (UGGGH), and put in a room. Oh my. Room had TV with patient information network stuff -- remote at my hand. Computer across. Nurse sat with me, and input all the information directly into the system. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING was taken down. Very cool.

Doc walks in, peeks at computer, tells me to hang on. She has another patient that will be a short visit, and since I'm new, she wants the other one out of the way so she can spend extra time on me.

Pick jaw up off floor. Pick jaw up again as the doc peeks in to check on me while she finishes the paperwork on the other patient.

If she'd been 6 inches shorter, I'd have sworn she was my baby sister. Perky. Talkative. INTERESTED. Intelligent. Discussed the fibro -- including the conventions she regularly attends. Didn't give me a blank look at the RSD. Had a FIT over the dual diuretic that I'd blinked over, switched me back to plain Accupril to go with the Maxide.

Blank shock on doc when she finds out that Elavil was the sole control for the fibro. A frown over the Neurontin, she might up the dose.

My right hand cooperated. Sure, alone, it was nothing. But next to the left hand ... whoa, momma. RSD verified happily.

The weird peeling and splitting and thickening of my skin is noted and on the chart. Not a worry yet, with no inflamation or sign of infection, but she's seen it and will keep an eye on it with me. An optional med added to see if it helps with the thickening and weird callouses for no reason.

I have Ambien. There is a God. Her suggestion, not mine. Her, annoyed as shit that the old doc wouldn't even consider it.

Another appointment in one month for a complete physical. Not throw drugs, see you in three months. No, I Will See You in one month. Total bloodwork, PAP smear, the works.

She cares.

Her office staff gave each other shit the whole time. They LIKE each other. They like her. These people SMILED, for God's sake.

I have a new doctor.

I'm still in shock. I'm considering tears.

Honey, I'm home.

Monday, June 24, 2002


Thing 2: "Yes. No. Yes, yes, No. NO! No no no no no. Yes. Yes. No. Yes, no, no, yes, no, yes."

(This is all right in my ear.)

Thing 2: "Yes, no. Dammit. No. Yes yes NO NO NO! Yes. No. No. No. No. Yes. No. No. No."

(five minutes later, still ...)

Thing 2: "Yes. Yes. Yes. No. No no no no no. No. La la la la la la la la la la la la la la TADA!"

(waves a Lego wand at me)

Thing 2: "Petrificus totalis!"

(stares at me)

Thing 2: "No. No. No. Yes ... no. No no yes no. No."

Summer vexation is arrived.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

Animal Safari

Aaaaaaaaaand another Animal Safari break.

Had to go out and catch toads for the Things.

Thing 2: "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom mom mom mom MOM! There's something hopping outside the window and I think it's a FROG!"

Thing 1: "Mom, mom, can we go look? Mom, it IS a frog! Mooooom ..."

Yeah, yeah, okay. Pooka the Beast Catcher is on duty.

No, we are not keeping him. We're going to look at him, pet him, and leave him outside to catch bugs.

Thing 1: "Wow, will he eat the bees?"

Thing 2: "Aw, but it so precious, Mommy. Can I keep it? Will it eat my sister?"

Thing 1: "MOOOOOM!"

Monday, May 27, 2002

Shades of Grey

Black and white. Good vs Evil. Night and Day.

Dramatic contrast.

Despite assuring ourselves that we are rational, logical, thinking beings, there are times when mild superstition still wins out. Granted, some of us are deluding ourselves by any claims that we're rational, but we're going to ignore that particular facet of delusion in the face of the current subject.

"At least it has to get better from here."

How many of you cringed at that? How many of you automatically groan and try to shush anyone foolish enough to say, "It could be worse," because invariably, it promptly gets worse?


It has to get better. There has to be an upswing, all superstitious paranoia aside. Note that I'm not saying that the instinctive cringing at the words is wrong. Too much evidence exists to remind us that if we say it can't get worse, or could be worse, that it usually does just to remind us that we aren't perfect.

But it has to get better. Stay with me here.

Black and white. Good vs Evil. Night and Day.

Better vs Worse.

At some point during the storm, when we're so numb from our world collapsing around us and feeling sorry for ourselves, the human brain reaches a point where Enough is Enough. It stops even trying to make sense. The amount of pain that we can properly process reaches a certain pinnacle and we grow tolerant, desensitized to what is being thrown our direction.

At some point, hysterical laughter often takes over. At some point, it all seems so bloody unbelievable that I often think we start questioning whether or not it's even real.

It has to get better, if only so that Worse remains a frame of reference and not a void. Without the contrast, there is nothing to measure against. There's no standard, no way of knowing whether something truly is a Bad Thing or not.

If there's nothing to gain, what does loss mean? If you have nothing left to lose, how will you know it if you do not also stand to gain something in return?

It has to get better, if only to remind us what we're fighting for in the first place.

Saturday, May 25, 2002

Words fail me

Thing 2: "You better put Super Me on that bag, Kaiwey."

Me: "Are you Super?"

Thing 2: "Yes! Because I kick butt!"

Thing 1: "And I'm her sidekick, the smart one!"


Thing 1: "Heather's trying to suck my blood!"

Ahem. They're SUPPOSED to be cleaning their room.

I guess I should know better than to expect any work to be done after dark.

Children of the night ... SHUT UP!

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

The Weird Kid

I was always a Weird Kid.

Frisco and I had this discussion once when I was arguing with Jon that Pooka was NOT cool, despite rumours started by the deranged. Frisky and I were both Weird Kids, the ones that were never ever cool at the time. The kids that thought and did and dreamed and wanted. The ones picked on by the "cool" kids because we'd rather read a book, or learn, or fiddle with figuring out how something worked. The ones generally shunned because we were, in the face of the endless masses of normal, Weird.

We were too old, too young. And now that age has caught up with us, the cool people now tend to look up to us and realize that somewhere, they might have just missed out on things that could have been pretty damn neat.

Hindsight is 20/20, and Irony is a Bitch that does not swallow.

Watching Scooby with Thing 2, and it all came back. It's rare that I get such clear memories of my past, so I had to pause and indulge.

I always wanted to be Velma. Yeah. The "weird" one of the Scooby gang. The brains. The smart ass. Maybe it was the glasses. I got glasses very early, and Velma was one hell of a role-model to a budding and repressed genius. No ego there, I'm the first one to admit that I've never been even half as clever as I thought I was. It just fit, so deal with it.

I used to write. A lot. I had notebooks filled with stories, most of which revolved around fantasies of BEING Someone Important, someone smart, someone that people liked and went to for answers.

It was definitely an escape from reality.

You have no idea how much I used to dread Class Pictures. Remember how they do that? They get everyone together, and arrange them by height, tallest in the rear, shortest in the target hollow next to the teacher.

Guess who was *always* standing next to the teacher, at least until puberty started and I went into 6th grade Normal in size for a change. Well, except for the breasts. I went from flat to a B right off the bat, and was one of only two fifth graders wearing a bra. By 6th I was already a C. It didn't help.

The "Incident" came in fifth grade. We'll get back to that.

Fourth grade, in retrospect, marked the largest mistake of my entire life. In 3rd, we were all subjected to a usual battery of tests. Mine apparently informed all involved that I was A Genius. As a Genius, I shouldn't be subjected to Normal schools.

And so I was shipped off every morning on a bus, all the way across town to River Oaks and the Rich Kids Smart School. While the Normal kids were practicing basic math and handwriting skills, I was playing on computers and learning foreign languages and reading Real Books and doing expansive projects, including one where I (with the help of my grandfather), did a visual tour of the entire Houston underground system.

I was no longer the Weird Kid. I was surrounded by Weird Kids, thus making us all Normal to the other. I had REAL friends. I was home. I was comfortable. I learned.

I really had a chance to escape.

See where I'm going with this?

Yeah. I went back to Normal School the next year. My choice. The details of Why are somewhat hazy, I think that knowing it was an amazing mistake and enduring hell afterwards have made the circumstances deliberately absent from memory. I know a lot had to do with the god awful bus ride, but again in retrospect, it wasn't so bad. I even learned on the bus, and interacted.

A futile tickle of memory says that I whined about missing my "friends" from the Normal School. Yeah. Right. Who the hell was I trying to kid? I had a total of two, tops. If that.

But I went back to Normal School, and that was the year I got put in a bra and got my period for the first time and was told that I had to have glasses. For a geek, none of this would have been bad. An early "bloomer" in Normal School was a target.

It didn't stop me from writing. Not at first. Not until one of the Perfect People got hold of one of my notebooks. And shared the stories. And it escalated into Hell.

All chances of a real escape were pretty much lost forever at that point. Going back to Normal told my monster that I wasn't fit to be a success. I was a quitter. I remember that clearly being the point where all support stopped. Oh, sure, band was initially taken when I hit 6th grade to mollify the parents that were determined that I was a destined loser. After that, I stayed in band for myself, at least through Middle and into High School until the Adult Part of my too old brain made me realize that nothing I did would matter to my parents anymore. I'm digressing.

We can stop most of the flashback right there before it gets too painful. Trust me.

Writing died damn near forever with the loss of my great aunt. "Harper" comes from her, the maiden name she kept until the cancer ate her away until she was little more than a shell, cracked and broken and in pain ... and still believing in me.

It was over 15 years before I started writing again. Oh, sure, I hacked out some really crappy poetry every now and then, did a few term papers that earned me lots of weird looks but high enough grades, but it wasn't the same.

Some people, knowing the situation with one of my writing partners who suddenly fell off the planet without a word wonder why the hell I started working with him again when he finally returned almost 2 years later.

He's the one that Woke Up that part of the Weird Kid all over again, the one that somehow managed to pick the lock that long ago rusted shut. The writing started again with him. It wasn't that he particularly inspired me. He just made it easy.

Now, when I write, the laughter comes for all of the right reasons. Most of the time, they're laughing with me now.

The Weird Kid is still here.

Embrace your inner geek, baby. It is never too late to have a happy childhood.

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Hello, God?

"Um, hello? Is this thing on?"

"Great. Um. So. Okay. I'd like to have a few words with whoever is in charge, if you don't mind."

"Well, yes, I suppose God really is a busy being, what with the state of the world as it is and all, but couldn't he just take a few minutes to talk with a dissatisfied customer?"

"No, no, I understand that, but you see, the complaint box has a waiting line about a mile long and there's a complaint box for the complaint ... what?"

"No, I'm really not trying to be a wiseass. Yes, I realize that you're just doing your job. No, wait, don't put me on ..."

"... hold. Right. 'Stairway to Heaven,' the Muzak version. Maybe I misdialed the phone number or asked for the wrong extension, because I don't *think* that horror could be associated with ..."

"Yes, I'm sure you thank me for holding. Yes, I'm sure my time is valuable and you appreciate me as a customer. Yes, I'm sure that when I get so frustrated and go running screaming down the street totally naked that ..."

"Oh. You're back. No, of course I didn't mind waiting, I truly enjoyed having enfeebled Zepplin horking at my ear drums."

"Okay, look, I'm not asking for all that much, I just want a few short moments ... no, wait, don't transfer me to another ..."

"...extension. Sigh. Oh sweet merciful Lord, no! Not ... not ... John Tesh! Aaaargggh! All right, who's the feckin wise guy that ...."

"Yes? Oh. It's You."


"Oh. What did I want?"

"Well, I know you're really very busy and all ... but can I call a Do-Over?"

Thursday, April 11, 2002

I married him WHY?



"Uh. Don't worry."

Uh. Yeah. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.


"Look, Mammy, I colour coordinate! See -- STRIPES!" Hiyukked at me by DG as he goes outside in an outfit that even Cher would turn away from.

Blue and grey rugby, sleeves cut out. Purple and teal swim trunks.

Yep. It's laundry day.

It damn well better be, because otherwise I'm calling first his mother to chew her out for not raising him better, and then the optometrist.



DG blasting some Neil Sedakaish girly freakin weepy music on his computer while I'm trying to headbang over here on my dinky little laptop speakers -- then LEAVING THE HOUSE with it blasting -- is permissible grounds for Homicide in Self-Defense ... right?


Work with me here, dammit.

Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Stray Thoughts

I feel very random today.

Trying to read and respond, but when I get the comment pages open, my mind blanks and I come to the conclusion that nothing I would come up with to say would be worth the waste of bandwidth, particularly in response to well-worded or deep thought posts. If you're looking for responses from me and I fail you today, o/` "Just remember I love you, and it'll be all right." o/`

I ... I ... feel a song coming on.

STOP IT, no singing!

Ha ha ha. My meds have played funny trick on Pooka. Pooka now goes to bed, sleeps, and gets up. Pooka is no longer able to try to sleep late. Pooka must crawl out of bed by a certain time or funny funny meds steam eject her fat white Irish ass. Ha ha. Very funny.

How can I lose my lighter when I haven't touched it and knew where it was when I sat down? I think the cats have opposable thumbs.

This is the sound of my soul. Unfortunately, the decibel level of the sound is so painful to human ears that if they were to listen closely, their brains would implode.

Jane, you ignorant slut! Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball!

So, this squid walks into a bar ...

Thing 2 is currently having conversations with people that are not there. Since she's doing their voices for them as well, you have to listen for the falsetto, the squeaky whisper, and the deep troll voice along with her own to tell them apart. This means I'm not as worried about her as I otherwise would be.

Thing 1 did this before, too. Unfortunately, I think one of her voices had more common sense than she does.

Didn't I tell you to put that in the sink before it festers?

You've currently entered a "No Thinking Zone." Please check all grey matter at the door. Management is not responsible for anything that might happen to personal articles left behind. Small children left in lieu of grey matter will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

No surprise, we've lost our cable again. If you no longer see me online, assume that the modem hasn't been paid for either and I'm down for the count. Do Not Panic.

Gravity just isn't what it used to be.

Music. That's what today needs. Music.

Hey, didn't I warn you already about that singing thing?

Oh you shut up. No one asked you anway.

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Nerd Alert

Sitting here going through the April Wizard (geek alert, non-geeks flee while you can), and ....

Well, let's be honest. I'm considering a stealth attack on wherever my ex-husband currently lives. With my luck, though, he's already ditched everything. Grr.

See, Wizard is running lots of "Top #" lists in this issue. Like the Top 100 Comic covers of all time. Picture Pooka with little squinty annoyed eyes getting squintier by the moment as she realizes just how many of these comics she actually owned -- at one time, before the troglodyte gave me the infamous 30 to pack.

I managed to hang onto most of my Moon Knight comics. Teen Titans, New Mutants and X-Men were all lost, as was (gasp sigh hissy fit) my stash of Detective and Batman comics. And Cerebus. And Alpha Flight, Wolverine, and X-Factor. And Cloak and Dagger. Hellblazer. And ... Man, I just can't go on.

Grr. Growly grrr.

The thought of all the #1s alone ... Grr.

Of course, since it's the April issue, I'm not sure how much of the rest is accurate, but: Coldsmoke, BB: RoTJ to be released UNCUT on DVD on April 23. Ditto for Justice League. LOTS of animated titles, including some Batman that I've been screaming about them not having on DVD to hit the shelves in April. We'll see how accurate that is. (Jon? Frisco? Any serious news there?)

(And Pssst ... either of you guys have a spare or access to a spare of the 10c Adventures Batman?)

Non-geeks can come back now. If I go on my liver will implode or something.

Big hint -- when faced with a divorce, give up trying to "be nice" to make it easier. You're gonna get SO totally screwed.

Monday, March 25, 2002


I never thought I would say this: Thank God it's Monday.

Started this post an hour ago. This is as far as I've gotten. Not a great sign.

Another Monday, another week without PT. I'm thinking that's a sign, too, but I'll refrain from actually voicing what I think that sign points to. I'm sure it would just start another fight that I'll back down from and end up feeling worse than ever.

I may look brave to some of you, but the reality is that I honestly and absolutely loathe confrontation. It's part of why I get such lousy medical treatment, because I just sigh and resign myself instead of questioning or arguing. I don't have any support to fight back, and I just can't do it alone unless I am totally fed up and angry over it.

More and more I find myself hoping that they'll finally tell me that I have something terminal, just to get one specific person to act like it matters. It's a pipe dream on that level because I'm honestly not sure that even that news would make it through.

Guess I'm a little blue. I'm sure someone will cheerfully tell me to see a shrink and that I need to up the dosage. If they do, I'll just send them the RSD latter stage photos that I posted semi-privately the other day and ask them if THEY would be Shiny Happy Stupid if they knew they might end up looking like that for the short amount of time they survived.

Yay, RSD increases your risk of sudden fatal heart attacks. This one might kill me after all. And the peasants rejoiced.

I need more caffiene. DG forgot to start a pot this morning. I'm not physically capable of handling fragile glass at the moment, so I guess I'm stuck with soda. Yay. Not.

And as if this weekend hadn't been crappy enough ... My monster will be here next weekend!

DG told me, and I started stuttering again almost immediately. I wonder if I can get out of the visit by pointing out the multiple underlines and heavy blank ink of "***AVOID STRESS!!!!!!!***" that Captain Ed left on my PT paperwork. Not that I've gotten to visit Ed for over a week.

I think I may lock this entry. I'm just too tired to deal with some of the bullshit if I left it open for everybody to read.

Ever been too tired to qualify as tired? Yeah, me too. This is soul-deep. I know it will go away, it always does. It just takes time. Last week was really hard on me both physically and mentally, and now I get to pay the tab for all that "Fun."

I'm trying to get over the urge to entertain in my journal instead of using it to help work through all the things going through my head. It would be easier if I hadn't had so many bad experiences trying to do just that.

It's not that misery loves company, I think that's somewhat incorrect. What misery really wants is for someone to say, "Aw, poor baby, everything is going to be all right." I know that I have definite comfort issues, somewhat pertaining to not getting sympathy, support, or even a reaction to my failing health. Comfort was not something I got as a child, and especially not while I was a teenager when I really needed it the most. I was never told that it was going to be all right. I was told that it was probably my fault. I wasn't told that it was going to get better. I was told that I had screwed this up and was probably going to keep screwing up because I couldn't do anything right. When I knew what I wanted from life, I was told that I was wrong, that *I* could certainly never do that and why should I even bother trying. Comfort and support withdrawn, thank you for playing.

A little voice tells me that I could have gone on ahead and done what I really wanted to do. That little voice has no logic to it, it's just the stubborn little me that won't die. Thank God. Instead, logic pointed out that if I tried to do what I really wanted to do that I would fail spectacularly because it honestly couldn't be done without support, particularly the monetary kind. I ended up shuffled to a college that cost maybe 1500 a semester, TOPS. My baby sister's school was over 18,000 a year. Do the emotional math on that one.

If I'd had the balls and the knowledge of just how unhappy with my life I'd end up, I'd have said "Yeah, Fuck You, lady" a whole lot sooner and ended up on Parris Island with a real chance to reach my own goals.

But, I was short on brass and long on an abusive boyfriend and had had it hammered into my head for so many years that I was supposed to do what THEY wanted me to do and to hell with my own ideas that I was totally incapable of taking the steps to take control of my own life.


This wasn't how this post was supposed to go. Yay me, and pass the detergent cause I'm airing the dirty laundry.

Knew I shouldn't have mentioned the monster coming up here. "Hi there, I'm your adopted mother and I'm going to totally fuck up your head for the next week and I'm not even there yet!"

Yeah, fuck you, lady.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Save. Me. Please.

Thing 1: "Heather's got a boyfriend, Heather's got a boyfriend."

Me: "Oh? Is he the same one she was calling an 'asshole' yesterday?"

Thing 1: "Marshall? Yeah. Heather's got a boyfriend, Heather's got a ...."

Thing 2: "You shut up, jackass!"

Dear God, give me strength.

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Pooka's Test Kitchen

Yet Another Notice from the Pooka Testing Kitchens:

Gummy SweeTarts Rabbits are indescribably Ucky.

::chew chew chew chew:: Mastication does absolutely nothing to change them from their lapin form to something even remotely edible.

::chew chew chew:: I fear that they go into the stomach in the same toxic shape as they entered the mouth. I think they're supposed to be in traditional SweeTarts flavours, but I wouldn't put any money on how close they come to acheiving it.

"Tangy," sez the bag. The bag lies.

"Candy" sez the bag. I consider this a lie as well. Goodyear might produce something like this, were they to tint their tires pastel colours.

"Try our funny, yummy, gummy varieties," the bag sez. Let's inspect each part of this sentence in turn.

"Funny." Yes, calling it candy or a food product is most amusing.

"Yummy." On what fucking planet does this actually apply to the crap I'm chewing?

"Gummy." Yes. Yes. Here we have some semblence of accuracy. Gummy. Yes, yes they are, in the way that an infant's teething ring could be considered gummy. Nowhere does this honestly indicate edibility, so I'll let this stand.

"Varieties." So far, I've found ... nasty gummy, foul gummy, and what the fuck did I just put in my mouth gummy. I guess we have to let this one slide as well.

A very very frightened part of my mind is babbling in horror over where the 3 g of Protein in the gummies might come from. And they're even Kosher!

There are just some questions that one should never ask.

Not only shall I avoid purchasing such a thing ever again in the future, I feel the uncontrollable urge to walk into the bedroom and beat DG with the remnants of the bag for bringing them home in the first place.

::chew chew chew:: Anyone want one?

Sunday, March 17, 2002

If I leave here tomorrow...

"If I leave here tomorrow, will you still remember me?"

A question for the masses: If something were to happen to you, does any member of your family/immediate close-by circle of friends know to tell the friends you've made online?

Does your family even know about your circle of friends online? Your significant other? If you were in an accident, would we ever find out?

Missing persons, missing faces.

Do you have a "Just In Case" security net set up?

Now that the question has been posed, think on it a bit.

Despite the emotional attachment we have to friends we have made online, how much do we really know about them? A first name, maybe a last? A phone number? Maybe?

Could you, if asked, name both the first and last name of twenty of your online friends? Ten? Five?

If a story aired on the news, would you recognize the name? Their location? Or even a face?

Do you even know what most of your online friends look like?

The unfortunate reality is that there is still a line drawn between flesh and electronic. The media blasts us with the potential horrors of online stalkers and psychopaths while failing to acknowledge that the psychos would be there if you were offline as well.

One world only reflects the other. You're just as likely to be knifed in a dark alley by someone you meet in a nightclub as by someone you talk to online. You're just as likely to be raped by someone you've met in a bookstore as you are by someone you met online.

So why the fear? Why the line at all? What makes it so different if someone online asks for your phone number as opposed to someone in the flesh? Is it the immediacy of the judgement, seeing that person right there before you that you can judge worthy or not? Does the lack of a face and a voice make that great of a difference?

Or is it something simpler, that friendships made online are more disposable? You don't have to clean up after them if they come over, you don't have to throw them out if they stay too late or close the door in their faces at four a.m. You can just sign off. You don't have to get dressed up for them or wear makeup. You don't have to be dressed at all.

That convenience is a drawback when Need arises. You isolate yourself too far, and when you realize that you really need someone there, right then, there's no one but the illusion of friendships you've created because you've kept them too far away.

For you, how much "personal" information about yourself is too much?

How much personal information FROM someone is too much?

Should there be a "minimum requirement" of knowledge before you take a step to meet someone face to face?

What quality makes you decide to share your information?

Do you have am offline Contact List in case of emergency?

Do you have one for your online friends as well? If not ... why not?

The Voice of Reason

I cannot help but wonder at what point I became the Voice Of Reason.

On the surface I suppose it seems relatively simple. I'm older than some 75% of my friends and acquaintances, have two children and a relatively stable long-term marriage, so long as DG isn't being A Guy at the moment. If there's something I haven't been through, well ...

That's where it gets more complex. Personally, I can't see how anyone could see me as anything resembling sane and stable. My body is falling apart around me, we're completely broke and struggling to make ends meet, and sometimes it's just Too Much for even me.

There's a LONG running joke. "You gonna be okay?" "Always am." I'm lousy at quitting. I'm good at falling apart, and then picking the pieces back up. In a way, letting yourself fall apart every now and then helps keep your liver from exploding due to everything you bury. I've never met a person capable of letting every single thing slide off their backs without having some problem with the internal pressure it causes.

I have my faults. There's a pretty damn long list of them. To me, they're glaring and brash and rude and unacceptable.

Voice Of Reason, my fat white Irish ass.

Yet consistently, people come to me.

I don't know if they're coming to me for answers. Sure, I've got an answer for everything, and straight answers without some twisted humour cost you a hundred bucks extra. I don't know everything. I don't pretend to know everything, and I sure as hell don't know how to solve everything, either.

I don't know if they come to me because no one else will listen. Listening, I'm good at. Listening without making comments ... now that's another matter entirely. That I can't do.

I don't know if they come to me because I'll tell them they're being silly and that's what they need to hear. I don't know if they come to me to have me validate their own responses, or to provide that extra voice telling them if they're right or wrong to help them make a final decision.

I don't know.

I've never enjoyed politics. Back in the years when I was actively involved in the SCA, I was dragged into the murk of Knowing The Game and playing politics with the big kids. I knew everyone Important and what who was doing to who and all of the behind the scenes crap that really took all of the fun out of it. It didn't stop me from being good at it. I knew how to play it, I learned from some of the best. But I loathed it.

Getting away from it and starting over elsewhere helped for a while, but eventually I found myself in the same position because I was good at it. I walked away again.

I'm the mediator. I always have been. I have problems saying No. I end up in the middle by sheer accident more times than I care to remember.

It happens online a lot. DG has a talent for pissing people off. When he does, they come to me. I don't get that. "Your husband is at it again." "So?" "Well, can't you ..."

No. I can't.

I'd like to think that I'm a somewhat sarcastic and heartless Evil Overlord ... so why the hell do they bring it to me? Because he's better at being an asshole?

I've been through this with RP partners, too. One specific character just made the head of a particular forum foam at the mouth. I mean he HATED my partner to the point of trying to find some 'legal' way to have him banned. There wasn't one, but every time we showed up, I'd spend the next three or four days dealing with the aftermath.

My partner was never once approached over it. Never.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not really complaining about the whole Voice Of Reason thing except on those levels which are just plain silly. If you have a real and serious problem with something that someone else is doing, take it to THEM, particularly if the other person you are trying to get involved has absolutely no idea what is going on.

I just don't fully understand it.

And I feel very, very old sometimes.

I'm not fishing for answers here. I'm not sure that I'd completely believe any answers handed to me anyway. I definitely still have some serious self-esteem problems.

But I'm feeling introspective lately, and this was among the little bubbles that danced around on the surface until it finally nagged me into babbling about it. For those that read my journal for the questionable humour, I should probably apologize. There hasn't been much of that at all lately, and I'm not sure when there will be again.

It's a phase, you know, and I think I'm getting too old to grow out of them quickly.

In the end, though, it's still Just Me, Pretending To Be.

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

T.G.I.Forget it

Have any of you had even a remotely decent experience at a TGIFriday's?

We went to our local one for the first time around 3 years ago. To say it was a disaster is putting it mildly. The food was cold, incorrectly cooked, service took forever, and the food tasted flat out bad, even after numerous attempts to get it fixed.

Fast forward 3 years, and a little back in time from today since I'm only now bright enough to remember to complain and ask.

What the hell, we'll try it again.

In three years, it not only had not improved, it had gotten substantially worse. Keep in mind that the place is in a highly strategic position on the highway in a long strip of other restaraunts. They definitely aren't out of the way or difficult to access.

The place was mostly empty, maybe 10 others in the entire restaraunt.

At least two of the napkins on our table had been drawn on by previous customers. Two of the plates in the stack had debris and food particles on them, including a broken toothpick -- not just residue from the washer, but things flat out left in place by the bus staff.

It took forever to get seated. In an empty store. Trying to find an empty table among all of them was more than the hostess could handle.

Thing 2 had a larger serving of food in her kids meal than I did in an adult dinner.

And of course the amazing vanishing waitress. God knows she wasn't actually too busy, she just didn't care. Empty drinks, dirty plates, used napkins ...

I'll call it strikes two and three, man. Game over.

Is this standard for the chain, or did we just get lucky?

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Pet Peeved

Pondering a Pooka's Pet Peeve: Our National Anthem at sports events.

This has been just driving me crazy for some time, and I still can't quite figure out the reasoning behind why this is done in this particular fashion, so I'll submit the argument for your dissection.

WHY, when performing the National Anthem at a sporting event, do 90% of the singers perform the number in such a way as to make it TOTALLY impossible for anyone in the audience to sing along?

Isn't this considered a participatory thing anymore? Are we supposed to just nod our heads and wait with hands over hearts for the singer to stop turning it into a Broadway show?

Instead of being able to join in as I was brought up to do, I sit and cringe and wait for the warbling to end, surrounded by hundreds of other people who are feeling the same lack of cohesiveness.

Instead of a show of appropriate patriotism, it's a one man show, and each man seems to need to try to outdo the ones that came before.

Or worse, the ones that turn it into a dirge. Ouch.

I know it's not a huge problem in the greater scheme of things, but if we're going for togetherness, why the heck can't we seem to pull it all together?

Monday, March 04, 2002

But this one goes to 11

Thing 2: (checks watch) "Wow. Two minutes. That's good."

Me: "What's two minutes?"

Thing 2: (shuffling) "Um. But it goes to eleven."


I *think* Thing 1 is trying to play air guitar to Metallica.

I'm not entirely sure. Maybe she's just having a seizure.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

Just skip this post.

Why do I insist on wanting to know more? Is it out of the hope that someone somewhere will say something better? That someone will give me some hope on this?

I feel pathetic right now. This is just ... overwhelming. Really. And it's a train wreck because I can't make myself walk away and stop reading it. I'm posting it for me, and I'm not even sure why I'm doing it.

No one else needs to wallow in my pool, but please feel free to push this whale back into the water.

A footnote: "b RSD causes TMJ disease and vice versa. The two usually coexist. Injections or operation for TMJ disease due to RSD aggravates the condition."


"The dysfunction changes to dystrophy manifested by edema, hyperhidrosis, neurovascular instability with fluctuation of livedo reticularis and cyanosis - causing change of temperature and color of the skin in matter of minutes. The dystrophic changes also include bouts of hair loss, ridging, dystrophic, brittle and discolored nails, skin rash, subcutaneous bleeding, neurodermatitis, and ulcerative lesions.

It is accompanied by sympathetic dysfunction in all four extremities as well as attacks of headache, vertigo, poor memory, and poor concentration. The spread through paravertebral and midline sympathetic nerves may be vertical, horizontal, or both. "

Shit. I'm apparently closer to the evil 2 than I thought. Well ... the bruising, ridged nails and breast ulcers are accounted for, aren't they?

Oh. Well. That settles it, doesn't it? Apparently the number of stages depends on the one writing the article, and it goes from 3-4 depending on the author. I'm *well* into Stage 2 by most of them and partially into 3. It looks like they split stage three into two levels, one having the most extreme and "final" misery of this damn thing.

"RSD is a definitive chronic pain syndrome called by several different names such as reflex sympathetic dysfunction, (stage I), reflex sympathetic dystrophy (stage II), "

Man, I have to stop reading up on this. This is depressing enough without knowing more.

"RSD is accompanied by a certain degree of inflammation in practically all cases. This inflammation may be in the form of swelling (edema), skin rash (neurodermatitis), inflammatory changes of the skin color (mottled or purplish, bluish or reddish or pale discolorations), tendency for bleeding in the skin, skin becoming easily bruised, inflammation and swelling around the joints as well as in the joints (such as wrists, shoulders, knee, etc.) which can be identified on MRI in later stages, and secondary freezing of the joints.

The fourth component and pre-requisite of diagnosis of RSD is insomnia and emotional disturbance. The fact that the sympathetic sensory nerve fibers carrying the sympathetic pain and impulse up to the brain terminate in the part of the brain called "limbic system". This limbic (marginal) system which is positioned between the old brain (brainstem) and the new brain (cerebral hemispheres) is mainly located over the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. The disturbance of function of these parts of the brain results in insomnia, agitation, depression, irritability, and disturbance of judgment. Insomnia is an integral part of an untreated RSD. So are problems of depression, irritability and agitation. "

And ...

"This can be in the form of flexion deformity of the extremity, difficulty with walking, flexor withdrawal of the muscles of the extremity, and lumbar and cervical paraspinal spasm. As a result, the patient develops muscle tension headaches, as well as spread of the muscle spasm to the facial muscles with resultant stress on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and severe pain and spasm around the TMJ.

With passage of time, the same phenomenon results in chronic trauma to the TMJ as well as clinching of the teeth and trauma to the teeth. The patient develops severe pain in the distribution of trigeminal nerve (sensory nerve for the face) and develops moderate migrainous vascular headaches (trigeminal vascular headaches). In later stages of RSD the immune system becomes disturbed, and the patient develops poor oral hygiene and dental deterioration.

Long-standing unilateral (one sided) spasm of cervical paraspinal muscles causes increased input of pain into the upper portion of the cervical spinal cord. As a result, a referred pain develops with resultant facial pain and secondary muscle spasm around the TMJ and the jaw. The same referred pain causes migraine headaches, TMJ pain and chronic stress on the teeth with dental deterioration"

Can someone please explain to me how every single doctor until now MISSED all of this?

Look at all the fun of the final stage!

1. Failure of the immune system, reduction of helper T-cell lymphocytes and elevation of killer T-cell lymphocytes.

2. Intractable hypertension changes to orthostatic hypotension.

3. Intractable generalized edema involving the abdomen, pelvis, lungs, and extremities.

4. Ulcerative skin lesions which may respond to treatment with I.V. Mannitol, I.V. Immunoglobulin, and ACTH treatments.Calcium channel blockers such as Nifedipine may be effective in treatment.

5. High risks of cancer and suicide are increased.

6. Multiple surgical procedures seem to be precipitating factors for development of stage IV.

RSD will leave significant residuals and will stay with the patient for the rest of their life under the following conditions:

1. Misdiagnosis.

2. Delayed diagnosis after two years and longer.

3. Additional trauma due to surgical procedures at the area involved with RSD (e.g., "tarsal tunnel", "carpal tunnel" surgery "rotator cuff tear" surgery).

4. Prolonged improper treatments such as ice application, inactivity, abuse of narcotics and benzodiazepans, etc.

5. Sympathectomy, amputation, or insertion of a needle in the area of scar of RSD for injections, blocks, or other purposes.

6. Prolonged litigation with resultant emotional aggravation and delay in treatment.

All right. This is me just walking away. No more.

The hard part of the cold front has just hit, so I'm gonna crawl into bed and pretend I'm not freezing and that my hands aren't starting to burn and swell despite the meds.

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Well. So. Now what?

Finally got some sleep. A little more clear-headed today.

While the drugs didn't put me to sleep, once I got there, I *stayed* asleep for a change. Woke up and got up without much more than the usual "omigod I have to move now" aching. No sign of drug hangover after beginning dose of Neurontin.

So busy being in shock yesterday over the diagnosis that I pretty much forgot to mention everything that did happen.

Nerve damage in my left hand is confirmed now. The good news is that nerves can regenerate, if they have a chance to stop being damaged. Therapy and the new meds might give me a chance to be able to hold a pen again.

My Raynaud's (which fibro can mimic) is actual Raynaud's and relatively severe. It's a problem with capillaries not doing their job right, so blood flow to extremities can be limited. Cold aggravates it something awful -- just holding a cold can of soda can spark it -- so one of the main treatments is to make sure the extremities stay warm. Gloves and socks, man.

I need to find gloves that work with it AND the RSD. So here's what I'm looking for, if you stumble across them. I need a glove without thick seams in the fingers or no fingers at all, rather like the arthritis gloves with no fingers, that don't stop at the wrist. I need ones that go to mid-forearm at least. Just cutting the fingers out of long gloves won't work because the seams will still get in the way of typing and other fine motor skill activities.

My FMS is actually relatively minor. Yes, I do have reaction in almost every trigger point when tested, but it's the RSD that really screws me over on pain. The IBS is really the worst of the fibro effects for me.

Knowing what part of the fog is and isn't fibro is easier to tell now. Now that I KNOW what to look for, I have a good idea of which is currently making me STOOPID, FMS or RSD. Fibro is more of a general ditzy fog with the blank stares and mild forgetfulness.

It's the RSD that makes me completely unable to parse and understand things sometimes -- like being able to file away and recall small details. Not being able to remember the LJ cut-text code, no matter how many times I look it up, is one of them.

RSD is usually linked to some sort of trauma (Reflex Sympathetic -- like post-traumatic stress, this attacks the nervous system). Surgeries can do it as well as injuries. Considering how many surgeries I had in a VERY short span, it's possible that sparked it. We know that I have some weird strain on my neurological system anyway. Between the Cubital Tunnel, the nerve damage in my hand, and the weird injuries linked to nerves and capilliary disfunction in my feet (the little weird bone infection in my foot spawned by them and I can't even remember what it was called anymore), it's not real surprising.

However, RSD usually manifests in the single, main traumatized limb. I have RSD, quite pronounced, in all four limbs, plus my head -- I do the weird swelling blotchy burn on my face and neck as well. RSD can spread in time across the body to other limbs if uncontrolled like mine has been.

But I didn't think about it until we'd left the doctor's office and DG brought it up. About 13 years ago or so, I had a really bad riding accident. A friend of mine and I were out on her horses and had to cross a road to get to the next field. Like dumbasses, we rode across it (two lane asphalt) instead of leading the horses. A car full of frat dicks drove by and honked.

The honk spooked my mount. I was thrown backwards off the horse, my right hand tangled in the reins. I hit the asphalt head-first. Knocked me out for a short time. Broke two ribs, my pinky (from the reins) and had one hell of a concussion. Roo said that she honestly didn't expect me to be alive at all. She said that when I hit, my head made the wet "pumpkin drop" splatting sound.

Direct trauma. Head, neck, spine. It could explain everything, including some of the more extreme memory damage. All my headaches, the migraines just getting worse, the dizziness that I've lived with for years, all of it.

It explains why none of the usual suggestions of causes and treatments haven't worked.

It explains why things like Flexeril and narcotic meds don't work. My brain doesn't process them correctly. It explains why my trembling is SO bad, why the muscles seize an I lose control of them.

Hell, I fell out of the computer chair last night when my leg seized. I hadn't had one that bad in a while. Total loss of control so bad that it literally threw me out of the chair with no chance to stop it before I hit the floor.

We'll never know what brought it on for sure. I do know that the splotchies and burning did NOT show up until after the accident, around the time that DG and I married. I've done it since we got together, which was after the fall. I don't remember it ever happening before.

It has also been manifesting in my face during that time -- which is why they always suspected lupus but I always tested negative. I get the butterfly rash, raised and puffy and red. But it's the RSD.

I am going to ask, once we get the therapy started and insurance is caught up with the program, for an MRI. It's possible that it might tell us more and help us figure out how close I am to the danger zone of stage two to three.

I don't like to lose. Liya and I have that much in common. I didn't give in when the doc told me I WOULD lose the use of my left arm and hand without surgery. I said Let's Do it without even thinking hard. Fix it.

And after the surgery, I fought to get it back. My recovery was so spectacular that I didn't have to endure the months of therapy to bring my hand back to full. I had regained full range of motion in my arm by the second visit after the staples were taken out.

If it means that half of my day is spent in therapy to try to force the RSD into remission, so be it. I'm not fool enough to think that it won't come back. I've got too much else wrong with my body, and the first new trauma can and probably will set it off all over again and then I get to repeat the therapy.

But I will not let it win.

I may be a mouse, but I'm a damned stubborn mouse.

Pretending to be

Just me, Pretending To Be.

Well. Nothing has really changed. Really.

I didn't just find out that I have something terminal, that I'll finally get lucky and the miserable pain will actually get to end -- how's that for a silver lining, but no.

I finally have a diagnosis that EVERYONE will take seriously on top of other Bad Things. The words "possible remission if we've reached it in time" are scary.

BUT Talk about no bloody respect. No, it can't be nifty and KILL me or anything, no, it's happy with just MAIMING my fat white ass and letting me go. Like branding a fucking cow, here's your wheelchair, mooooooooove along.

"Might as well put a potato on a string and drag it through South Boston ..."

Nothing has changed. I'm still in the same pain I was. I'm not any more fragile, I'm not going to suddenly crack and go climb a clock tower (face it, I couldn't make it up ten steps) or drop dead.

I'm still me, for whatever that's worth.

God has seen fit to once again prove to me, however, that not only does he have a really really sadistic sense of humour, but he really likes to draaaaaaag the joke out.

I have Four, count them, Four conditions that will not just up and vanish. Asthma is fickle. Fibro has No Cure. Raynaud's has no cure, plus the groovy possibility of bodily dismemberment -- call the gang, green is here. RSD can take all four of my limbs away from me, eat away at my brain and leave me as some sarcastic fat chick in a wheelchair with cybernetic drug pumps stashed in her body.

They'll push me and stab me and burn me and scar me until something ELSE finally makes me drop dead. How @$&*#$ ironic.

Who the @#$*& comes up with this? What do they do, have some sort of Predestination Bingo Night, Winner #$#*& takes all?

Coldsmoke also wants to know why the same doofus that cooked up these hairbrained plot twists of mayhem had to sink the final nail in the coffin with blue balls.


Because you don't even get a coffin, in fact, you just might live forever (or at least it will seem that way) because you're going to 112, tooling around in your little wheelchair cybercoach, and some fat bastard in a bus is going to run your ass down just as you finally beat that very boss in ....

Aw, game over.

Uh. Shit. This was not where this post was meant to go, but there it is.

I never really contacted with the denial stage here. I went from relieved to stunned, to borderline panic to bloody annoyance and finally to generally taking the whole thing in with the same sarcastic crap that's seen me through the last thirty years and seems determined to drag me kicking and screaming through the next thirty more.

If you got to laugh -- or at least crack a grin, yes, you the Doo of Voo -- then I guess my real work here is done.

And until that time when the thundering grey dog comes bearing down on your ass with all the forces of heaven and hell behind it and you're looking for a port in any storm and not even God appears to be listening, you just keep your hand on the grip because when you're facing The Man at last, you'll know he's finally played his last card. You just do what old Jack Burton does ...

Oh come on, what? Do you want to live forever?

I'm Channeling Me, Pretending To Be
pooka who would like to point out to the world at large that SHE IS STILL FREAKING AWAKE!

Friday, February 22, 2002

Take 200 of these, and don't call me

I've seen gourmet recipes shorter than the instructions on my new meds.

Prednisone to start to control the RSD. Yum. Nasty foul stuff. 60 tabs, well, at least I'll be breathing well. Label print was switch to a font smaller than the "X refills remaining" text to fit it all on.

Excuse me, but I'd like to make claim that I deserve to use the F word here, thank you.

FUCK! The damn bottle Prednisone has a worse coating than the dose-pak ... ie, it powders slightly in mere movement, so when you take one ... WHAM, you gotta shave your tongue and it feels like the floor of a NY movie theater. This is gonna be a LONG three weeks.

I'm currently considering Death as an option.

Itty Bitty Elavils to up me from 75 to 100. She was Not Happy with the wussy Elavil dosage at all, especially after finding out how long I'd been stuck there with it not helping. She gave me enough Elavil at 25 mg that I can take 125 if the 100 doesn't work after a few days.

I also got ... more Zanaflex (YAY, SAMPLES!) -- which Cigna should cover automatically because RSD is a seizure-class disorder.

And the crowning touch for my nighttime digestion ... Neurontin. Starting at 100, and working up to 200, then 300, all in itty bitty precise directions on the itty bitty label.

Dude, I CAN'T fog and forget this. She is SO cool to cover my ass like that.

Course, it doesn't change the fact that YES, I AM still awake!

Or that it still hurts to move. Or that it still hurts to NOT move.

But ... having the spasm/seizure swelling splotchy scarlet and purple Pooka furnace kick in RIGHT THERE at the office ... is Priceless.

For everything else, there's a really big hammer.

Take one as needed.

Welcome to the Last Day of the ... no, wait

Okay. Some days you really wonder why you crawled out of bed. Especially when there's a doctor's appointment involved.

Yes, the Pooka has Fibromyalgia. It's a "minor concern" right now ...

Think and chew on THAT phrase for a minute.

Yes, I have confirmed Raynaud's Phenomenon, Primary -- severe. "Why in God's name do you not have socks on your feet, girl?" I got my butt chewed for Birks. Course, DG DID lie to me about how warm it was outside. I knew I had it, and knew it was pretty bad, but even she seemed impressed by the degree. My hands and feet performed their gold medal skate for the doc, doing the whole shebang.

Cuz, um, Raynaud's can cause gangrene and your fingers and toes can rot off if you don't keep them warm enough so the blood will circulate. I'm supposed to wear gloves and socks as long as it's below 70-75. Like, fingertip to elbow gloves to help with ...

This is where I sort of lose things.

The Pooka has RSD. Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.

It doesn't get any better than how it sounds right there.

This post gets really long after this, going into details about RSD.

RSD is often progressive. It's also incurable. It can be treated, but many patients (that don't kill themselves, I looooove how the notes point that out -- "Emotional depression developed to such a degree that suicide was the final outcome in many of the cases." -- yeah, nice) end up in wheelchairs, with implanted drug pumps just to make it day to day.

Burning Pain, aching pain, shooting pain, swelling, limited mobility, hyper-sensitivity to slightest touch, withdrawing from commotion, short term memory loss, depression, living on a tight rope between doing too much, causing pain, and doing too little, causing pain, these and many more are symptoms of Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome.

As RSD progresses, the abnormal pain of the sympathetic nervous system has an effect on other areas of the body and can result in total disability as muscles, bones, skin and the autonomic immune system become involved.

The first indication of RSD is prolonged pain usually more severe than the injury. The symptoms are severe burning pain in a localized area, intense sensitivity to temperature and light touch, and a color change to the skin.

There are several stages to RSD, which progress at different rates in different people. Initially, there is swelling and redness in the affected area.

Next, the area becomes blue and cold, with increased pain and stiffness of ligaments and joints, and Osteoporosis may become evident.

Finally, there may be a wasting of affected muscles, contraction of tendons, and a definite withering of the affected limb. In all of the stages, severe chronic pain continues to be a major complaint.

Many patients who are not treated early will experience spread of the disease and this may become a lifelong problem. Even with early treatment this may become a chronic condition.

I wasn't caught early. I'm between Stage One and Stage Two of the syndrome.

Treatment can send RSD into remission. It may subside for years and then recur with a new injury.

There are many other symptoms that an RSD/CRPS patient may have, including movement disorders (difficulty starting movement, increased tone, increased reflexes, tremor, muscle spasms), weakness, fatigue, skin rashes, frequent infections, migraine headaches and others could be found as more data is accumulated.

(Remember my mystery flush and hives? I was going into a flare up. Now I know. And knowing is half the battle. Too bad I'm gonna lose the war.)


Pain is the first and primary complaint, described as extremely severe and burning & aching in nature
Swelling and joint tenderness
Loss or diminished motor function
Muscle spasms
Increased sweating
Changes in skin temperature and color
Bone softening - patchy osteoporosis

The disease causes constriction of vertebral arteries resulting in poor circulation to the brain stem, this in turn causes poor focusing of eye muscles, and poor balance, dizziness and migraines.

This constant pain in the limbic system (Frontal and Temporal lobes) causes poor memory, irritability as well as insomnia. Antidepressants such as Trazodone or desipramine and better control of the pain seem to improve these symptoms. This goes along with paravertebral and epidural blocks.

The person suffering may develop abnormal function of the sympathetic system causing constriction of the blood vessels to the brain. When the blood vessels are constricted in the distribution of vertebral arteries in the cervical spine and in the distribution of the blood vessels providing circulation for the brainstem, the person develops attacks of dizziness, white spots, migraines and difficulty focusing with the eyes. All of this is due to the brainstem dysfunction, which has the responsibility of coordinating our eye movements.

Many patients develop hostility towards any individual coming in close proximity, reflex from trying to protect affected hypersensitive limbs from contact.


I get to deal with fibro which is aggravated by the RSD. Mmm, double the symptoms, double the pain, double your FwordI'mstillnotusing fun.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go indulge in a completely out-of-character screaming fit of hysterics.

.... appends.

NO, wait, there's more! I forgot the one bright point (other than an answer for so much unexplained and ignored symptoms that have been wrong with me for years).

I was told to .... NOT avoid caffeine. Yes, yes, brothers and sisters of the sacred bean. Coffee may actually HELP the Pooka, balancing out all the weirdness that makes me shake and shimmy like a big ole vat of Jello.

No, wait. That was just me trying to put on my jeans. Never mind, carry on.