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.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Gravity Works

Oh yes, gravity works. Unfortunately.

Halloween started out pretty good. I had my nifty witch costume on and got a lot of compliments (especially on the fuzzy tarantula I was wearing on my shoulder), but there weren't a lot of trick or treaters out. After it got slow, I put the Things in the car, and we went over to a neighborhood where a bunch of Thing 1's friends were. I was herding around quite a group of kids, when I had to break and take one of them home.

On the way to the car, me and my screwed up neurological system decided that it was going to forget how to walk. Next thing I knew, I was coming down on my left leg, and my ankle snapped sideways underneath me. I hit the ground, but at least I know how to fall, so I just have a skinned right knee .... and the ankle.

It immediately started swelling up and totally filled the combat boot. I managed to drive everybody home, with a whole lot of whimpering and groaning. Then I made the big mistake. I took the boot off.

At that point, the Things bolted for the neighbors. One took me to the ER, while the other took the kids.

It's not broken. That's the BAD news.

The ER doc told me I'd have been better off I HAD broken it. Every Single Tendon and ligament in my ankle is fucked up. Those that aren't torn are pulled. I'm in a hideously annoying splint for at least 3 weeks, and on crutches for that long as well. I also was ORDERED to see an orthopedist to work on trying to handle the damage. Hopefully I can see the same one that rebuilt my arm and worked on DG's ankle.

Unfortunately, they gave me the exact same pain meds I regularly take, so for this intense new pain, they ain't doin squat. I HURT.

And of course, DG is off and working, so it's just the wounded and crippled me here with the kids. Fun fun fun.

SO .... how was YOUR Halloween?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Still can't sleep right.

Got the phone call this morning from the animal hospital. Zam's ashes are ready for us to pick up. Sigh.

I still keep looking for him, expecting him to be there. It hasn't entirely registered that he's gone and not coming back, but there's a big empty space, not just in the house, but inside me.

I'm not the only one. Ozymandius is having serious issues. Zamboni was his play partner. Felimid is too fat and lazy to play chase, and Harley just runs and hides. Now he chases the Things around the house when they're wearing skirts or anything that dangles. I'm going to have to buy some new toys to entertain him.

Now, when -anyone- leaves the house, Ozzy sits and HOWLS. I went through the grief-stricken kitty hysterics three times this morning, when DG left, and when each of the Things left for school. Add this to my inability to sleep, then the phone call, and getting back to sleep was right out.

Ozzy just started the mournful howling again. Thing 2 left to go to a friend's house.

He's become Velcro cat. Follows us around the house, pounces immediately, Must Have Lovings Now. Poor Oz has become completely neurotic and paranoid with Zam gone.

Double sigh. We just got a sympathy card in the snail mail from the animal hospital. They did good by Zam, and the card is just another example of how well they try to treat both the pets and the people that love them.

Is it September yet? I think I've had enough of August already.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Goodbye, my friend

Stick a fucking fork in me, I'm done.

Zamboni went from his normal loving Maine Coon self to hiding. One night, he was normal kitty. Next day, after not seeing him all day, I hunted him down to find him hiding under Thing 2's dresser. He was yellow. Skin, eyes, mouth. Overfuckingnight. Don't ask me to spell the hepatic whatever.

We took him to the vet immediately. He'd been there since Thursday, I think. This last week has blurred with everything else going on. He wouldn't eat at all, he was on an IV, they were having to force feed him. He wasn't improving, but he was at least stable.

Until today. When DG went in to see him, he was just laying there and drooling. DG knew something was really wrong when they took him straight to a room instead of to Zam's cage.

I know DG made the right decision in having the vet go ahead and put him down. Zam was suffering, and the vet thinks there may have been a cancer involved, or some other problem they hadn't found yet, because this sort of mass liver failure usually attacks older cats.

What sends me into total hysterics is that DG didn't come home and get me first. I didn't get to say goodbye. I'm mad, I'm furious, I'm hysterical. This was MY cat. I know that he didn't want me to go through it again after Blackthorne, but dammit....

The vet will send his ashes home to us. I need to find the perfect container. If anyone has any ideas, please help, because right now I can't think straight at all.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Letter to the Devil

Dear Lucifer,

I apologize for all of the snow you've been recently inundated with. I realize that your enviroment is not designed for such elaborate amounts of ice and cold, however, while I am sorry for any inconvenience this may be causing you, I must say that the circumstances enabling hell to freeze over have been created by such sadistic virulence that I think you would be proud of me.

You see, I found myself swept up into a massive cleaning spree, and apparently it was contagious in ways that I had never dreamed of. Now while in the past I have been known as a neat freak, and obsessive about keeping things organized (even my 'clutter' is organized, I know where everything is and why it is there), in the past few years I have just simply been unable to maintain my former diligence. I'm certain that the initial light snowfall was little problem for your continued operations, but now I realize that the scale must have increased to a magnitude approaching total shutdown.

Critical mass of hell freezing over, if you will.

While I have not yet been able to infect my rebellious offspring with the cleaning virus as of yet, it has been passed on to one who, for the most part, has spent all the years I've known him as -- well, there's just no kinder, gentler words for it -- a slob. Certainly, the virus has yet to reach complete cellular amplification in his system, for one still cannot walk in the small space along his side of the bed.

However, when one takes into account that he's finally cleared out boxes that have been in place and blocking not only my dresser, but his dresser, his desk, the closet, and the walkway to the bathroom since we moved into this house several years ago, you'll see that there is a more than valid reason why the cold front has set in and you're now having to deep freeze the damned instead of roasting them over pits of lava.

I hope that Hell's version of FEMA is far quicker to respond to your current disaster than ours is, and that your order of snowplows and shovels arrives soon. You may want to add parkas to your purchase order as well (and I do know how difficult it will be to find a manufacturer that takes tails and horns into account, but I'm certain someone with the resources you have available will prevail), for the disease is still progressing with no end in sight.

In closing, while the saying does go that "cleanliness is next to godliness," I would like to point out that conniving, pleading, manipulating, and infecting others into doing half the work for me should still help ensure my position there in the future.

Keep my seat warm.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And now for something completely similar

I'm sure I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but at least for now the playback is without all the nasty scratchy sounds.

Had my follow-up appointment with the pain clinic. Unfortunately, my COBRA'd insurance won't pay for PT with that clinic, but they will pay for it elsewhere, so as soon as things settle down a bit with DG's new job, I'll be starting 'occupational therapy' instead of straight old boring PT.

They're also setting me up for biofeedback and meditation to try and help control my response to pain surges, so that I can THINK my way to lower blood pressure and less agony. Taking into account what I've seen about Buddhist monks being able to totally control their bodies through thought -- even body temperature -- it's certainly possible to do it.

Considering the pain psychologist's commentary about me, I believe that to be entirely possible in my case. He said that I was already in the proper mindset for pain management, at a point that he said he usually doesn't see in patients until they've been coming to the clinic for months, so I'm already ahead of the game. Impressed him several times, the weight loss totally blew his mind, and convinced him even more that I was going to be a successful patient. Shiny.

The horrible brain spikes are still absent. This is just amazing, I feel like a totally different person at this point. Sure, I still have normal pain, and the burning throbbing from the RSD, but it's all tolerable pain that I'm used to by now. So long as my head isn't exploding, I can handle just about anything. Still get the dull headaches from the Chiari, but they're tolerable.

And I'm FUNCTIONAL again. I've been out of the house more often since the nerve block than I had in the year before that point. I've totally torn apart and reorganized my office space. Ditto to the bedroom, and not just my side of it, but have most of the rest of it under something resembling control.

It helps the mindset, with everything going on, to see at least SOME sign of organization and control. I may not be able to control everything, but I can control my personal space and sometimes, that's all that matters.

I have a curling iron now for my hair, which has actually been used. My way-too-old makeup has been tossed out, the remainder reorganized, and I actually wear it from time to time. I wear nailpolish again, even though I have to keep my nails ridiculously short because of the way they curve under.

Been reading like a fiend as well. Lots of quantum physics, forensic science (pathology, psychology, crime scene), epidemiology. While my mind still isn't as reliable as it was years ago, without the intense pain it's easier to concentrate and pay attention.

The Things have finally gone back to school, which is an inordinate amount of relief to stress. Kids were starting to drive me screaming up the walls bugnuts insane this summer. They seem to be adjusting pretty well, with few dramatic angsty moments (so far, but you know how teens can be).

"It's life, Jim, but not as we know it."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Image Stream - Ephemera

A random collection of new pieces off the tip of my digital "crayons."

Dead Man's Party
"You’re late," Dax rumbled.

"You started without me."

"Negative. They started it." Dax ignored the incredulous look Liya spared him as she reloaded.

"I suppose you just ‘returned fire,’ then?" Liya scowled. "Self-defense, was it? May want to duck first next time, cowboy."

Dax’s sigh turned into a groan as he handed her another round of shells.

"I’m really going to feel this tomorrow."

"Caladorn -- Tree of Light, he calls you."

Laurel is in trouble in the Dreaming again -- or is she? An enchanted harp in the hands of a bard ...

Character portrait to replace an old one that I got lazy on.

I hate trying to paint webbed hands. The gills turned out nicely, I think, but the hands ... meh.

Coming of Shadows
I don't know WHO put this particular expression on Liya's face, but I sure hope they've got really good insurance and have made their peace with whatever God they believe in.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Objects at Rest

Do you know what it's like to wake up, get out of bed, move around, get your morning caffeine, check mail, and take a shower without effort or pain?

I had forgotten what that was like.

Oh, sure, my body still aches, but I'm used to that, been living with it for so many years that it's nothing for me. It was the headaches that really got to me, and made me almost completely unable to function. Never have dealt well with pain above the neck; earaches, headaches, toothache, etc. Over 300 days of headache, well, you forget what "normal life" feels like.

The injection sites are still tender, but only really ache when touched -- like taking a shower. But it wasn't bad, just caused a few winces.

Got a party to go to tonight, and I'm actually looking forward to being social for a change. It's different, when your brain isn't trying to explode and ooze out your ears and eyes.

I have another appointment at the pain clinic August 4th, to start the actual pain management program, total profile, complete workup, and they're getting all my MRI results. I really liked the doc, too. I'm finally getting real help with conditions that are never going to go away.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Post-Op Update

I'm home.

The initial local has worn off, and the sites are a little sore, not bad. Got an icepack on it now, lounging in bed.

BUT ....

My head doesn't hurt.

I mean Does Not Hurt. I can turn my head without turning my entire body, and pain doesn't explode. I can look up. I can look down. I can COUGH without my head detonating. For the first time in a year (without the one day where I had benefits of morphine), my head DOESN'T HURT.

Still a little fuzzy from the Versed, but otherwise, things are looking pretty shiny.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Not TMI, TMS -- or Too Much Shit.

So, I was looking in my purse of holding (just ask Jon -- and yes, Jon, I'm still using that same brown stressed-leather purse I had in DC), trying to find ... well, something, that completely escapes me now like most thoughts do these days.

Now, keep things in mind. In DC, my purse not only held all my vacation need stuff, but all of Jon's while we were out as well, with room to spare.

On the way to Houston for Christmas, knowing we had to go through some Really Bad Places to reach my parent's house, this same purse, along with all my necessary road trip stuff, held the Beretta, along with 3 full clips.

The asides done, as I went in, just digging and not looking (hey, we females usually don't have to look, we know what's in there) and my hand kept hitting metal. A lot of it -- and it wasn't the same thing, over and over. Curious.

So, in the spirit of "What the hell", I dumped my purse out for a regular cleaning. And found:

-- my mini-Swiss army knife
-- my Mini Pal punch blade
-- a 4" hooked Fury serrated knife
-- 4" serrated Gerber knife
-- and that I was missing my actual Gerber multi-tool.

I have four knives in my purse. Why in the name of screaming sweet baby Jesus do I have four knives in my purse? I could not tell you.

There's also a blow-torch lighter, my metal credit card Bill of Rights, an LED flashlight, and a bottle opener. Two pens, a notebook, copy of "Get a Grip on Physics", bottle of meds, 4 shooter's earplugs, bandaids, hairbrush, dental floss, powder compact, lip balm, packet of tissues. And a purple crayon.

Yes, not just any crayon, but a single lonely purple crayon in my purse.

Huh. So, I examine my bedside table, where I'm sitting.

-- 7 bottles of meds
-- three candles, two lit
-- 2 bottles of eardrops for chronic swimmer's ear
-- EIGHT tubes of lip balm
-- 2 bottles of moisturizer
-- scissors and hemostats
-- resin 'goblet' with half a dozen orphan jewelry bits
-- an uber powerful Sylvania Dot It LED light for emergencies
-- Oh, yes, and a fully loaded Beretta.

This makes me really not want to look at my desk.

1 am. Happy Birthday to me. I'm going to clean up my mess as a present to myself.

Now where the hell is my Gerber?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Objects in Motion

We're not in such a great place right now. Okay, a pretty bad place. Husband has lost his job, which means no money, no insurance -- well, you get the idea. Without insurance, my meds alone are 1200 a month. He's diabetic, which means he needs meds too. Which he's ignoring, but I'm used to that.

He COBRA'd my insurance so I'd have it through July, which actually enabled some real progress to finally be made with my last neurologist visit.

Bad News: Add Occipital Neuralgia to my list of Things Wrong With Pooka

Good News: It earned me a trip to (wait for it) ... A PAIN CLINIC!

My appointment at the pain clinic is this Thursday for a nerve block on my occiptal nerve, which -should-, theoretically, take care of the worst of the break-through and OMFGSBJ Can I Die? headaches.

I'm supposed to be there several hours. I already got the phone call, with the "no food after 8:30, clear liquids only" orders. So I know it's not just a background and history visit. People trying to HELP me. Whodda thunk it?

So it's going to be two days late to be a 'real' birthday present for me, but who counts when it's a GOOD present, right?

Pain relief. Better than freakin diamonds, as far as I'm concerned. Oh, who am I kidding, I don't really like diamonds anyway. Better than a new 260 gb hard drive and a 21" flatscreen monitor. Yeah, now THAT works!

Yep. I'm turning 38 tomorrow.

No fretting over aging at this point, I mean, I'm already poking 40 with a short stick, and my body is going about its unnatural business and aging faster than my years spent breathing anyway. Maybe it's a flux in quantum mechanics, or my body is going by "mileage" instead of "years". I suppose that would quantify out why my body is definitely trying to push the 65+ range instead of a nice perfectly normal 38.

So, the List:

--Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy/Complex Regional Pain Syndome (RSD/CRPS)
--Fibromyalgia (which I argue with after the new findings)
--Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (same argument, just symptoms misread)
--Arnold Chiari Malformation I
--Cervical Spinal Stenosis
--Peripheral Neuropathy
--Occipital Neuralgia

Quite a doozy to look at, huh? And of course, I'm already wearing bifocals, which I knew I needed, but never realized how much till I had them, and suddenly I could read things again without doing the "find the right distance" dance.

The List sort of destroys the whole "aging gracefully" concept. There's very little graceful about me anymore. I stay bruised from stumbling, bouncing into things, and half the time not even feeling the impacts that leave the marks.

About the only part that IS aging gracefully is my face. Which is weird, since that's one of the places that usually shows signs first. But no, you can look at my hands and tell, but I am surprisingly free of most wrinkles and lines on my face. Granted, my face is now so gaunt that there's not much to help make wrinkles visible, but trust me, I've LOOKED for them, and I really don't have the things.

I guess you take what you got, and that has to be good enough.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bored = Teh Bad?

Oh dear.

When I get bored, I get weird. When I get weird, I get creative. And then things just go downhill.

I did ... things ... to my hair.

Um. "Newly spilt blood" is sort of close to the colour, but doesn't quite cover it. Dark raspberry, maybe?

Hell, I don't know.


It's a bit more orange than that, I just couldn't get the lighting to capture the full ... bizarreness of this colour. Odd that now I match my journal, which in some way I find remotely disturbing.

And yes, yes, that nose and those cheekbones CAN cut glass, so shut it.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Maxwell's Silver Hammer

Well ... no surgery for now. The Chiari hasn't changed in size, thus, no surgery. Okay, fine.

It gets better.

C4-C5 disc is ... uncooperative. Bulging, was the word used. Cervical Spinal Stenosis, for accuracy. "Avoid car wrecks and whiplash and you should be fine." Hah.

(Teri's comment was "...and you told them to avoid attempts at humor?")

There are lesions on my brain. I have RSD, which is degerative. I have a cervical disc hating on me. I have Chiari --- AND YET MY @#$#*& NEUROLOGIST CAN'T FIGURE OUT WHY I HAVE HAD A HEADACHE FOR 300 DAYS!

(Teri's addition: "Because your neurologist has never had a headache? and is a borderine moron?" I love her.)

He tells me it's just migraines -- cept, migraine drugs don't help. He tells me the Chiari isn't bad enough for all the symptoms -- cept, every Chiari patient and everyone on my Chiari list says that at ANY point it's enough to SHOW on an MRI, it's enough to be a problem.

Though his confusion boggles me after looking at the patient receipt with the ICD-9 codes and diagnoses on it. Compression of the brain. Cervical Spinal Stenosis. RSD. And yet he's confused. Uh huh.

Today, he decided to go for a dual attack -- an anti-depressant that also is used to treat headaches and neurological pain, particularly the peripheral neuropathy I have -bad-. And you know what?


"Okay. I'm lost, I'm angry ... and I'm armed."

Yeah, I took the drugs.

I wonder what my GP has for rising homicidal mania.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Jude the Obscure

Ren ci de shang di, xing dai wo zou.
Wo xiang mei er, mei xin, biar shi tou.

(Loose English Translation: "Merciful God, please take me away. I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone.")

Friday, June 02, 2006

... You can tune a piano ....

So, interesting.

I just heard Jethro Tull's "Bouree" coming from Thing 1's bedroom. Shiny. Good taste, that kid ... wait.

There's no other background music. Just the flute.

And then it hits me.

It's Thing 1.

I check. Sure enough, it's Thing 1, doing a reasonable enough Ian Anderson impression that from this distance, I didn't know it wasn't Tull at first.

She doesn't have the music. She's playing by ear.


Oh, my lovely Hobbit lass, I wish you were closer to give her more music lessons.

Brain Drain

My neuro appointment was this morning.

I got the call an hour ago that they had already contacted insurance, and the MRI was approved.

Just got the phone call to set up my appointment.

It's Wednesday. Like, as in the 7th Wednesday.

Efficiency in action -- is this even legal?


EDIT: No, it's NOT legal, apparently. You see, AETNA (refer to previous Asshat posts) won't pay for "two area" MRIs in a single day. They'll be doing both brain and cervical to check for SM as well as the Chiari.

So, Wednesday AND Thursday. Two fun days of MRI machines.

At least they managed to work it so we only have a single copay for it, but DAMN.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Is it dead yet?

Well, I sure feel it.

The Chiari is kicking my ass with a vengeance. For a while, the meds the neuro gave me helped, but I can't even walk across the room without stumbling into things. My coordination is just gone. Visual disturbances totally blow goats for quarters, whether it's a sudden lack of depth perception, or halos, or an inability to focus at all. Memory? Forget it, I can't recall even simple things that I've known for years. I get frustrated over feeling so stupid.

And the headaches, oh god, the headaches. I've spent since last Thursday night crying. Drove DG crazy all weekend, because I was just hopeless. When I woke up crying today after only getting about 4 hours sleep, DG had enough.

Saw my GP today, filled her in a little more. Nice happy shot of Toradol to the way too scrawny ass cheek (mercifully, my sobbing at her during moments where I couldn't remember stuff distracted her from my weight -- yes, I've lost MORE weight, but that happens when the drugs stop working), and suddenly, I can move my neck again. It was a start.

Unlike my neuro, my lovely GP believes in pain meds. If you are in pain, you don't rest, you stress, pain gets worse. Some relief, and you can heal, or at least function. I have drugs. Life is improving already, just from the Toradol. Gotta bloody remind myself to just give in and stop being so stubborn and hit the ER for a Toradol and dialudid shot BEFORE it reaches the pain point that it did today.

Of course, as usual, gotta fight with insurance over them not wanting to pay for a med. GIVE ME MY DAMN ZYRTEC, YOU FREAKS. Stupid AETNA. I wanna BREATHE, people. Anyway.

I also see the neuro Friday.

At that point, we'll set up my next MRI, which will -hopefully- indicate the Chiari is bad enough for me to have my skull carved on as a birthday present. Ghoulish me, yes, I know, but frankly, getting the decompression surgery around my birthday WOULD be a present. I might finally see some real relief here.

I'm going to attempt to try to keep up a bit more here, it's just not always easy. Words are no longer my friend, they like taunting me from a distance. I will however, make sure I update when I know about the MRI, and the results, and if they're going to carve on my skull or not.

They damn well better. I can't handle another 6 months of this.