brightlotusmoon: (Magic Goddesses Mix)
Well, when people ask me how I manage being married to someone whose work involves constant traveling around the country and occasionally to other countries for many days at a time, I apply a quote from Captain Awkward:

" to day during their separations the most they ever had to go on was “If we both survive this, I promise to try really hard to still love you” because that’s all anyone has ever had to go on."

This quote was applied to her grandparents while her grandfather was in the military and this far more intense than working across the country for two weeks. However, it applies to many, many things. It applies to couples of any status going through, well, anything.

Actually, my ultimate favorite was always from "The Princess Bride" (both book and film). You know, the scene in which Westley wanted to first make money across the sea so he could marry Buttercup properly: "Hear this now: I will always come for you." And much later, upon meeting with Buttercup after his supposed death and her arranged marriage: "Death cannot stop true love. What it can do is delay it for a while."

Years ago, my husband wrote, in soap, on the bedroom mirror "I will always come for you" and drew a long-stemmed rose alongside. It will be there until the mirror goes away.

That's the core. That's the cornerstone. "I will always come for you." He will always come back to me. When he was working outside the country for two straight weeks, when it was too expensive to call, he would arrange video chats via cell phone, preceded by a quick text; luckily we were in the same time zone this time. Even if we can't communicate for a while, we know we will be reunited soon enough.

The result is good money for bills and food and necessities and small luxuries, and his travel is worth that. Since I am disabled and literally, officially unable to work by government standards, earning a bit of Social Security Disability Insurance monthly, it is up to him to make the bulk of the payments - and we are unbelievably lucky and grateful to have a tiny mortgage and small bills and are surrounded by nearly a dozen varied food markets, shops, and stores that I, unable to drive, can access by public transport. We make sure to stock up on things I and our three cats will need for however long he will be out of the state. I am lucky that my disabilities don't hinder me from getting around, doing some light shopping, cleaning the house poorly, etc. I'm very introverted and very good at being my own company while he's gone.

We are aware of the privileges we have and don't have with this life, and that is important. It's very easy to say, "It could be worse..." but it's an overused phrase for me. We have our problems and issues and near-misses (traveling as an IT/AV technician sometimes means getting injured, getting damaged, or just missing a fatal injury; arguments happen all the time and are quickly resolved because we hate fighting; no doctor appointments set until we know when he has time, etc). We do everything every other couple does, just often at a distance.

And you know, we started out at the very end of the 20th century. All we had were house phones, simple emails, simple instant messaging. We didn't get cell phones until we were already living together. Social media was barely more than blog posts and message forums. We've been doing this for so long that we're experts and pros. And yet... I still really don't know what to tell people. Because I can only explain what works for the two of us, which might not work for others.

I will admit that I do still roll my eyes when someone cries because their partner will be away for "a day or two" - particularly if it seems dramatic. I absolutely bite my tongue and resist that urge to play the Suffering Olympics, because I'm a jerk like everyone else and I'll be judgmental. But I will sympathize and empathize deeply enough to care about their concerns. Because you don't know what will happen.

And so, to the people I forgot to respond to in the first place, here is your answer: I still don't know how I make this work. It's a long distance marriage born out of a long distance relationship. It works because we were friends and will always be friends. It works because I am amenable and casual and I like being alone and he likes traveling and his work and adventuring, and we love each other and we like each other so much that we just... know. You just know. You know? I guess?

I'm sorry that got so vague and incoherent near the end, but I cannot explain it much better. It's a thing you have to work out and work at. You have to know, feel, and understand yourself and your partner; you have to completely commit to knowing that plans will change constantly and you will be sleeping alone for a week. You have to want this life. I think a huge part of it might be never taking the relationship for granted. Not the love, not the like, not the good days, not the bad days. And I mean, really meaning it. Also, saying "I love you" as much as possible always helps.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Thanks to another trip to Michael's craft store, I have a new set of Faber-Castle Pitt artist pens below Fine, and Calliope has a Beanie Boo dolphin to cuddle, which she has been doing. I have an owl, which seems to work well as a knee pillow.

We went to the nearby Whole Foods as well, where I found my loved chocolate hemp milk, Guayaki Yerba Mate energy shots in Lime Tangerine, Orgain Chocolate Nutrient Shakes, a bottle of Acai+10 Superblend with Seabuckthorn and Mangosteen, and the rare Badger Balm large Lime lip balm. Adam picked up some fabulous cheeses, and a Coffeeholic Cream Cake for me.

Mom called to chat about an NPR medical science podcast about migraines and the placebo effect, and I revealed that forty percent of my smaller headaches can be slightly reduced by intense meditation after taking certain supplement pills. Good talk. Doesn't work all the time, doesn't work for the more intense symptoms, but I know how powerful placebo effects can be for mild and minor pains sometimes.

Luna and Calliope seem to be starting a... well, a tolerance, on Luna's side. As long as I give Luna attention first, she is nice to Calliope during cooperative play, feeding, brushing, etc. As long as Luna Moon knows she is still the precious queen and Calliope Io is submissive, there is peace. And Jupiter has been gently playing with Calliope, with the occasional soft bap on the head. I am pleased overall.

So, while at Whole Foods, I was limping down an aisle with my blue aluminum cane, right behind a tall man who had the same cane, in sparkly black, and we smiled at each other. "So, how are you?" he asked. I said, "Oh, well, the back pain and sciatica are acting up. How about you?" "Yeah, I'm going to need hip replacement and knee replacement soon," he said. "Oh, ouch," I winced. "I can't imagine. I mean, I'm 34, I was born with cerebral palsy, I'm still learning how to use this," holding up my cane. He nodded. "Yeah, my whole left side has been crazy for years." "Oh, mine too! I have spastic hemiplega on the left! The chronic pain has been getting worse for a long time, but I don't need surgery. Yet!" We grinned at each other. He looked around forty or so and over six feet. I could see right away that his joints were bothering him. "Well," he said, "You look absolutely lovely!" I smiled widely and said, "Thank you! You too!" He grinned back and thanked me, then said, "I hope the pain reduces as much as it can." And I said, "Same for you. Good luck with the surgeries." We said our goodbyes and hobbled off. It was as though we had been friends who hadn't seen each other in a while, commiserating in that cripple language that stays away from "Feel better" and steers toward "I hope your symptoms ease up" which, well, we all understand in the chronic pain community.

And that got me thinking. People tell me "You look beautiful/lovely/great" and of course the silent "even though you're in pain" follow-up. And I actually honestly don't mind that at all. It isn't an insult to me. I know they're usually talking about my chronic pain specifically, not my disabilities as a whole. It's an unspoken thing - "You're chipper and glowing and not letting the pain show, rock on with your badass self." I know that so many cripples would see it as a back-handed compliment and insult, because it totally can be. But for me... I guess it lifts my spirits, especially and specifically when a fellow cripple says it and even able-bodied people who may have invisible illnesses. It is something I need to hear from other disabled folks, because even when I think I look hideous and shitty, to hear someone tell me I look great despite my pain makes me happy, which in turn makes me feel psychologically and psychically better, which helps me try to combat the symptoms, etcetera.

So, my fellow chronically ill and disabled folks, how do you react to such a comment? Is it an insult or backhand compliment for you? Is it a lovely compliment? Do you view it differently when it is said by other chronically sick and disabled people as opposed to able-bodied people?
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch Light)
Back pain back pain back pain backpain backpain backpain NNNGGHH.
It's the lumbar area, leading to sciatica down both legs. Of course, you know? I've got an appointment with my new orthopedist on January sixth, and we're going to get be fitted for true customized orthotics... although I am going to insist they be cushioned, if not highly comfortable. The ones I had as a teenager actually made my feet hurt whilst walking. I still have the left one from those days. It is not comfortable. I understand practicality and function, but still.
Nnngh. Back, hips, legs, knees, ankles. Come on, drugs, work faster.

When we came home from grocery shopping, I looked up at the stairs and whispered, "Mama's home, Rose." I had meant it merely for her memory, for her spirit that now lived in the house, free to leave the clay statue that was a vessel, as Adam had not bound her to it. Adam said, "She's still gone, sweetheart." And I knew, and I reminded him that it was just... oh, I couldn't even find the words. It was just for her ghost. But he knew. We held each other and he knew.

My friends have cried for me, I think, more than I've cried for myself. I will have pockets of moments in which I will break down in gasping sobs, but they are so quick and triggered. A brush that had moved through her fur while I was comforting her in her lethargy, before I understood what was really happening, tufts of fur clinging to the bristles that I may not remove for a while. My pillow, and the soft bean-bag type pillow behind it that served as a general cat pillow but which was generally used by Rose especially in the mornings. A bag of Greenies treats that I realized I no longer had to move to a high place where Rose couldn't grab it and tear into it. Sitting in this desk chair, now, and knowing that Rose will never jump onto my lap and rub her cheeks over my mouth. She will not curl up on the floor, waiting for me to announce that Mama is going to bed so she can lead me there and see me to sleep. Oh. Yes, I'm in tears now. Oh, babygirl. Luna is on my lap now, kissing me, nuzzling. In her own Luna way.

We will be adopting another cat. Yes. It may be sooner than anyone thinks. I've already dreamed of her. I've already named her. I already know her age range. But... you know, someones through the grief and the numbness and the deep deep shock and the horror of physical death, we know deep deep inside that even if it takes only a week or two to get another pet, it is nothing like a replacement. It just means that the throbbing empty hollow burning in our hearts might start to heal, just a little. Luna is still my heart and soul, my queen and my moon goddess, my precious love. Jupiter is still my beautiful big boy, my chatty feline child who brightens my day just by smiling. The new kitten, the new young cat, will never be Rose. She will be herself.
Rose is never coming back, not even in a new incarnation. I'm not even sure I want that; it might hurt too deeply. Rose herself was already the reincarnation of Adam's patchwork dog, Ralph. Rose spent five glorious years learning to love and be loved. In Buddhism, that is a vital thing. All animals understand this. It is slightly Jainist. Adam and I, in our eclectic paganism, are mildly Buddhist in various, often conflicting, ways. It is not possible for us to be fully Buddhist in any way, but eclecticism is a wide arena.

"Life is a journey.
Death is a return to earth.
The universe is like an inn.
The passing years are like dust.
Regard this phantom world
As a star at dawn, a bubble in a stream,
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp - a phantom - and a dream"
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)
Seizure happened in the kitchen. Jupiter meowed and rubbed against me while I crouched. Adam came in and gently lay me on the floor. My eyes were open and blank. Adam touched my face and reached for my mind, and I spasmed and gasped and blinked. I asked why I was on the floor. Adam helped me up and stood me against the large freezer. My memory is swirling. Alicia is holding me. Earlier, Adam said he told his boss, a fellow animal lover, that he needed an extra day to care for his wife. I rolled my eyes and said that was not necessary; that I was fine. Never mind. It was so dark and so white equally braided as order and chaos magics. I was spinning at ninety-nine percent light speed and thirty-five miles an hour. The world was elsewhere. A few seconds lasted a thousand years. Adam suggested I go upstairs and rest. Jupiter is suggesting a cuddle. I am thinking coffee and clonazepam and baclofen. I am made of light and love and pure order-chaos magic in its simplest form. I can give myself the right strength. May be that I can regenerate. As brightly and intensely as a Time Lord. I always shine enough for everyone.

brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Ruby Blood Dragon Witch)
Things are moving along very very well. Mom and I haven't even gotten annoyed at each other, not once.
Adam and I traveled through Sag Harbor and Southampton cheerfully. My parents gave me prepaid gift cards, which I spent at Provisions in Sag Harbor and Second Nature in Southampton, both small local natural health shops that sell some products I can't find in Whole Foods, Roots, Dawson's, etc.
Dinners here have been fantastic, between Mom and Adam as chefs. Mom gave me several pairs of jeans, which she hemmed, as well as jackets and blazers. But the best was a pair of beautiful black Doc Martens ankle boots that zipped up the sides and featured perfectly fashionable soles with incredible tread. They look like these, with silver buckles for a visual fashion look. I am seriously in love; these are like the ideal ankle boots for me, with my spastic ataxic hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Mom always sends me home with clothes that no longer fit her, so I know full well to pack light. But oh, these boots. Oh, how perfect.

Yesterday, I did have an intense fibromyalgia flare with extreme fog and fatigue, which was all right, because I was able to take naps throughout the day.

Today, I was overloaded and overwhelmed a bit, and I did have a complex partial seizure, which Mom and Adam soothed me through. When I'd woken up this morning, the hemiplegia was in full force, causing near-paralysis. Adam helped me stretch, and then Mom came up to help as well. We wound up playing Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock with my left hand. Success was achieved, and I got dressed without incident, pulling on a beautiful sweater vest from Mom's collection. Dinner is still being made. Turkey, brisket, meatloaf, all the sides. The menorah is out, some pagan symbols are around, we've been watching science shows, shows about quantum physics and the supernatural, and atheist documentaries. Now Adam's Playstation is showing Futurama. Ideal.
Also, we watched Pacific Rim again last night. Mom hadn't seen it, but as she has always been a Godzilla fan, she appreciated all the kaiju themes.

Everything is truly going well. This may be the first Thanksgiving where Mom and I did not argue even a little. Especially now that we can discuss the autism and other neurological issues I've been having. She knows me so well, but now we can really get to understand my brain. Beautiful.

Also, according to today, Adam and I have been together for fourteen years. 14 years. Yes.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
And now something is happening in my brain, and I cannot pinpoint it well enough. It could be another wave of depression, or a wave of panic, or a wave of just... I don't know. I have two dozen medical issues; pick something. It feels as though my brain is physically spasming. My amygdala feels weird, as though it wants to say something and cannot remember.

Adam is off again, so he can take me to my pain specialist, and then maybe we can go to Barnes & Noble so he can get me the Twilight Sparkle plushie to go along with the Fluttershy vinyl doll that he brought home from New York City along with bagels.

We made chocolate chunk cookies, with cream cheese instead of butter. We practiced Reiki. Adam is what I like to call a raw magic mimic. All he has to do is watch someone perform an energy form and he can re-create it in raw form. Like when he was in New York, a random monk brushed past him and slipped a wood bead bracelet around his wrist, whispering, "peace to you, mage" - and with that touch, Adam absorbed that energy, and when he came home he touched me in concentration and I felt so much calm and serenity that it was almost like being high. I guess it's kind of like being Peter Petrelli, or Rogue as she can now control her powers. He can call the energy at will. I'm envious. I need to to that for myself. But maybe I can't. Maybe it wouldn't work if I tried it on myself. Maybe the energy would only move outwards. We shall have to discuss the physics and chemistry and neurobiology behind it.

We've replaced the coffee grinder. It is black. Black fridge-freezer, black big freezer, black oven with black microwave range, black dishwasher. All we need is a black Mr Coffee and a black can opener.

I love my Chobani Lime Greek Yogurt.

Yeah, it's a depression. With a slowly stalking panic attack. Regarding my previous post: I definitely would want a cure for that. It is strangling.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Light Pale)
Why is it that, in most dreams where I am in physical danger, I am unable to scream or move quickly?
My last dream involved a bad fall and crash at the top of the stairs, while a large group of people were downstairs having a small quiet party. Something supernatural was with me, something insidious. I grabbed the stair ledge and pulled myself up to a kneeling position. I yelled my husband's name, but it was only a whisper. I couldn't call for help, not with the shadowy creature surrounding me. I was moving so slowly. It felt as though nobody was in the house but me, me and the cats.
And abruptly, I realized that nobody was in the house. Adam was at work. There was no party. The cats were all downstairs. It was only me and the shadow entity. I struggled to call on my internal resources, my spirit guardians, but even my psychic voice was muffled. I was not afraid. I was determined. I was badly injured, and I only had myself, and my powers to create weapons and defenses were drained. I stopped trying to stand. I knelt there and mouthed words, calling on the water in the bathroom, the air circulating around the house, the earth under the house, the fire downstairs used to light the gas stove. I pulled in all into me, and with a desperate burst, I unleashed it. The shadow creature shrieked and vanished.
Without any warning at all, the house filled with presence again. There was that quiet downstairs party. I whispered my husband's name again, struggling to turn it into a cry. Someone must have heard. Adam came up the stairs and found me, sagging against the door of the bathroom, my nose bleeding. He spoke to me. He half-carried me to the bedroom and helped me lie down. He brought damp towels and tissues and water with electrolytes. I managed, somehow, to tell him that a negative spirit had entered the house and stole my strength, and I pulled all the elemental power I could to drive it away. He was very proud but also puzzled, since the house was supposed to be powerfully shielded and guarded. I was crying but I didn't mean to cry. It was just a reaction without intention. He stroked my hair and curled up with me, and me took my hand and fed me energy and power and strength, and he said, "Go to sleep, my darling. I'll be monitoring you through our psychic bond and everything will be okay. I will strengthen the wards." He needed to check on our friends. He would back be up soon.
The dream ended there.

It has been something of a recurring thing: My slowness in dreams. My exquisite agony in dreams. My whispering words in dreams. Sometimes I can barely walk for the pain in my hips and knees. Sometimes I can only speak with thoughts instead of physical words. Sometimes my body is wrapped in a floating translucent shell and it is the only way I can move. In my dreams, the pain is so much worse than in reality. But I have access to weapons of all kind and I feel safe, even if something horrible grabs me.

When I was a child, I had flying dreams every night. Even astral projection. Like my father and cousins in their younger years. And if a harmful person appeared, I just waved my right hand fiercely, shouting "Shoo! Shoo!" to make then disappear.

When I was a child, I dreamed of dragons, of ancient tortoises, of unicorns mixed with white tigers, of phoenix birds with feathers of every color. Dragons have never been dangerous to me. Even if some were, there were always other dragons who were benevolent.

It is why I always bristle when I read an article comparing chronic pain to dragons. The only way I can see such battles happening is dragon against dragon. And I am a human amalgam of dragon, phoenix, tortoise, unicorn, white tiger, and fae, wrapped in the skin of a moonlight witch.

Then, why do my dreams cripple me? The only reason I can think of is to teach me to use the insides, the powers coming from my spirit and not my body. My body is very important and vital to me. But perhaps not so much in my dreams.

And I think this piece of art, beyond anything, is one of the greatest ways I can understand myself. Every time I look at it, I weep. I even have that same cane. I know Shinga and I barely know each other, but she knows chronic pain. She knows what being a warrior means. She was in the US Army and was badly injured and treated so poorly during therapy that she has severe PTSD. She is disabled badly. She knows battles. And I want to hold her and hold her and tell her what this means to me.
(Note: Please please refer to Shinga before borrowing or using this image. Please use the Deviant Art link. This is her work. Copyright Shinga. The only reason I displayed the actual image was in case someone can't click on the link.)
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Today is my eighth wedding anniversary. Adam is currently working in Manhattan but should be home late tonight, if not tomorrow. That's common - most years, he's working out of town on an anniversary or birthday. We just celebrate when he comes home. Money needs to be made and bills need to be paid, after all. And we did just put a lot of money into repairing and remodeling our home. Happy anniversary indeed! My present to him will be a cleaner house, with Charlotte's superhero help. Needed desperately since I awoke with a postictal migraine, a pulled muscle in my neck, spasticity all around, and sciatica like whoa. *shrug* The shower helped. Ah, pain relief and muscle relaxant pills. Of many kinds. Good, good.

After the vacuuming, I will rest and try not to damage any other part (ha).
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Body is very slowly getting better. Adam put a game hen in the deep fryer, I made herb rice, and I ate salad greens. My stomach finally began registering fullness.

Adam wondered if both the fibromyalgia and the fibromyalgia medications are having this effect on the nerves in my stomach; he fully understands now that I tend to vacillate between being unable to eat much and being unable to feel full despite eating plenty. He actually knows more about how the digestive system and nervous system work in tandem than I do, so I'm taking his suggestions to heart. He approved of the Ensure and since he has tomorrow off he suggested cooking tantalizing meals together.

I came for the love, I stayed for the food. When Adam was a teen, he was given a half scholarship to the Culinary Institute of the Arts, but it was still too expensive, so he just cooked amazing foods for family and friends. He's been doing such since his preteen years, when his mother was hospitalized for three months with pleurisy and he was forced to learn to cook to prevent three months of hot dogs with his father. When I first became anorexic, it was Adam's chef powers that saved me from hospitalization and feeding tubes. Oh, the man can cook.

A migraine is beginning to happen, again triggering nausea and sinus pain and muscle spasms inside my body, which is such an insane sensation. I am unhappy. I shall be receiving a skull massage from Adam, who also knows Shiatsu, Reiki, psychic touch... I did mention that randomly, probably. Yes yes, I love and adore and cherish him, etc, he is as a demigod to me.

Time for medical meditation with amber and lepidolite and charoite and kyanite and tourmaline. This is what the bracelets and rings are for. Connecting to Gaia, the cosmic consciousness, and healing deities like Apollo always seems to help, even just a little. I cherish the sensations of chakras opening and aligning, of energies moving, of my quantum psychic consciousness activating.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Well, yeah.
My body is starting to do that thing where it refuses to acknowledge food in the stomach regardless of how much food and what kind of food. This morning saw me unhappily using half a roll of toilet tissue and doing that steady breathing where you calm nausea. So I keep getting vicious hunger feelings even after I have eaten. While at CVS picking up prescriptions, I bought a pack of dark chocolate Ensure Plus, because fuck you body. I've been steadily keeping fluids in me, but for some reason it's like, "Nope, there's no food in here. Put food in here!" "Body, I just put a huge bowl of cereal in you not half an hour ago." "No you didn't. There is no food in me."

And I do need to finally acknowledge this. A few days ago, husband came home very late after over twelve hours of work, and I knew he was overly exhausted, frustrated, and irritated in general when he stomped in and yelled at me for having the air on, even though I'd only had it on for less than an hour. And then he asked what I had done for dinner, and when I said, "Nothing yet..." while I was getting ready to get some leftover pasta - and that was when he channeled his mother's extreme guilt trip worst case scenario powers and said, "You know, I'm tired of you starving yourself. You wonder why you keep having seizures and paralysis when you're not eating. And then when you fall apart, I'll make sure to put you in the nicest nursing home I can since I won't be able to stay home to care for you." And I stood there, calmly feeding the fish, and I said, "I am going to pretend you did not say that." And then I said, "Well, I am going to microwave this bowl of pasta, and I am going to take it upstairs, because obviously talking to you is not a thing I can do right now." Later, he acknowledged his extreme dickish behavior and he apologized, but the hurt was still hurting. I can't blame him for guilt tripping me if he forgets he isn't clairvoyant and assumes I haven't been eating. Because I used to do that. And it hurt him and I knew it. We both know how to cut each other deeply because we've known and loved each other since before Y2K. When you love that intensely, you hurt that intensely. But that's okay, because sometimes it really needs to happen especially when you love each other enough to fear such a loss.
Adam often voices his fears as worst case scenarios, in order to make the reality easier to work with. I'm so used to that I often startle myself when I get emotional. I mean, he's Libby's son. My husband's mother is a true master of absolute martyrdom with such extreme guilt tripping that Fox could turn her into a reality show star, and most likely has bipolar disorder. And he's Bernie's son. My husband's father is an extreme genius who once worked for Lyndon B. Johnson's administration doing civilian military top secret engineer jobs that helped change the face of war, defense, food, space travel, and security forever, even if nobody will ever know (selling patents to the Pentagon means never seeing your name mentioned) - and Bernie may have undiagnosed Asperger's.. So Adam is a damaged extreme genius with extreme ADHD, mild precognition, mild clairvoyance, strong clairsentience, and the ability to change the world and get inside people's heads in the most subtle of ways. And I, being my parents' daughter, am a damaged genius in denial with the ability to become a massive force of nature if I must, exploding, destroying, and damaging on emotional and psychic levels that I normally would never reach without effort. My ability to strike below the belt is kind of ninja style, and people often assume that I hate them when I am mildly frustrated and irritated. Together, Adam and I can literally turn the universe upside down for brief moments that nobody will ever know about.
So, indeed, while those words made me bleed like hell, they needed to be said.

However, I really really am not starving myself. It's happening when I don't want it. And I am doing my best to stop it. It's mostly the fibromyalgia and anorexia teaming up. Fucking body, am I right? I don't have IBS, thank fucking gods. But I do have moments. Sometimes I have days. And sometimes it gets bad enough to warrant a nutrition shake every few hours just to keep from losing nutrients. And then it stops. It gets completely better all on its own. I haven't been hospitalized for anything since 2008. I consider myself extremely lucky. But still I am always vigilant...
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Our contractor, Victor Faustino, arrived with swatches for new carpet and new sheet vinyl and our estimate. The price is only a couple thousand over State Farm's payment, which will come out of our tax refund - funny how life works out like that. Happy birthday, we're getting a new kitchen. Dark granite-like kitchen floor, dark gray carpet, honey brown cabinets. Victor was awesome; we had long talks about all sorts of things. I would recommend him. We gave him a bag of dried goji berries.

Adam then took me to the CVS in the Gaithersburg Square center, where I picked up several hair serums - much needed now that my hair is getting longer. (Nubian Heritage Indian Hemp & Tamanu Grow & Strengthen Serum as well as the matching conditioner; Optimum Salon 6-in-1 Miracle Oil; Motions Salon Naturally You Radiant Gloss. Chosen for their ingredients, such as argan, bamboo, neem, tamanu, biotin, shea, avocado, coconut. With the coupons, we saved just under twenty dollars.

We then went to H-Mart, and luckily we found seasonally rare soft shell crabs, which we shall deep fry, because the fryer also still has bacon grease. Dinner shall be awesome. I also grabbed that awesome Real Beanz Energize Coffee and Coco Cafe coconut water coffee in Mocha - Mocha has the best taste. They also had Bai5 coffeefruit juices and BodyArmor energy juices for half price. Grand Mart may have the wonderful whole milk Indian yogurt, but H-Mart has... all the other stuff.

I know I had put other things on my list, but they became unnecessary. I was just happy enough to spend time with the husband before he had to go off to work for several days once again.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Adam and Luna.
She really is such a precious and royal cat to us.
And she adores him so so much.

brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Adam is now home after putting in 176 hours in two weeks and we just had WATER DAMAGE because there is a leaking pipe in the downstairs hallway closet that contains, oh, the water heater and the A/C unit.
State Farm has been called. A plumber has been contacted and will call us soon.
Can't use the washer, can't flush a toilet, can't leave water on. Fuck.
Seriously, fuck all this. I'd love to blame the neighbors who spent the last two days chopping down a tree out in front across the sidewalk, y'know, maybe they struck a line or who the fuck know and oh my fucking gods I am graaaagh. Also it happened just as we had ordered food, and then we had to clean up all the water and we just now got to the food TWO HOURS LATER and I am TIMESTAMPING EVERYTHING for the insurance policy and FUCK A BUNCH OF THIS YOU GUYS I WANT TO RAGE.
My husband is starved, exhausted, has a gash on his leg, and just wants to rest, and he spent almost three hours mopping and sweeping and snaking and now every towel in the house is soaking and we can't wash them and we need a new mop head and I can barely eat my chicken parm sub and my cats' paws are wet and I want to cry.
Don't even joke at me. DON'T. I will break you if you even dare joke at this. Just pet me on the head, murmur comforting things, and hope a plumber comes soon.

Also? YES IT COULD BE WORSE. I FUCKING KNOW THAT. I am just tired and full of soaky wet hate.

Plumber will be here within the next half hour. WOO FUCKING YEAH. Roto Rooter, too. Never used them before. Plus, a specialized crew working with State Farm to dry us out completely, tonight AND tomorrow.
Okay, calm now. Because, see, as we were sweeping around that leaked closet, I saw the yellow Water Meter Reading notice that had been hanging on the knob for days because I am too short to read the water meter. Which is in the closet. At which point, I began laughing. Then crying. Then openly weeping. Adam read the numbers, which I wrote on the notice. And I laugh-cried some more. And Adam took me in his arms and I shrieked, "And I haven't had a fucking hug in ten days until you came home" and he hugged me tighter and told me to breathe and then we held hands and meditated the fucking hell out of my breakdown, with Adam gently moving energy in and out until my body was flushed and I started twitching. And then I realized my nightly medications were two hours late. And now I am about to write up everything that happened so I have yet another timestamp record.
About 6:30 or so, Adam came home. I had been in bed with a migraine, so he came upstairs with Luna in his arms, and they cuddled and purred with me for a while. We went downstairs and flumped on the couch with Jupiter and watched a series on UFO sightings. *shrug* Adam had just put his clothes in the washing machine. Adam said he was too tired to cook, and there was cash, so I got a menu and we ordered. That was around, oh, 7:15?
Around 7:30, as an episode was ending, we heard a rather fantastic splash. Rose came running into the living room, bounced on the couch, and came to us. She was soaking wet from belly to feet. Adam and I blinked at each other and went to the hallway and OH SHIT WATER AND DIRT EVERYWHERE AND IT'S GETTING IN THE CAT LITTER CLOSET AREA SHIT SHIT SHIT THAT IS AN INCH OF DIRTY WATER FUCK.
We grabbed every towel we could find, and the mop. This was around, um, 7:45? The delivery guy arrived, stared at the mess, I smiled and gave him a big tip, and took the food and put it in the kitchen - where it stayed. Adam realized it was that specific pipe, connected to the house's main line, yelled "shut off the washing machine NOW" and I mopped up more water. GAH.
And so, yeah, then we spent over an hour cleaning up, moving things around, cleaning out the entire cat litter closet (wood floor there) and putting the litter boxes in the living room. Then we took a small fan and left it to dry out the hallway. OH! Also, we had been squeezing the mop out in the toilet - and realized that if we flushed, water leaked AGAIN. So, if water went down any drain, that pipe would leak. Well, fuck. We called our friend Billy, who works for a disaster reconstruction company, and he recommended a plumber and an insurance claim. We called Burt, our agent, but since he wasn't available, we just called the main number. They were fucking awesome. They called a Service Master company for us that would come dry us out. We then looked up plumbers, saw Roto Rooter, said, "Sure, what the fuck" and they said they could be to us within two hours - DAMN STRAIGHT WOW. And then Service Master called, said THEY could be here within two hours. And that was all around 9:00 or 9:15. So we may still get to flush, shower, etc, tonight. Adam just duck-bathed with a basin full of hot water, alcohol, a sponge, and the last few clean towels. Poor guy. Oh gods I feel so bad for him. He did not deserve to come home and have the house fall apart like this.
We have put on Mr. Coffee for Mr. Roto Rooter Plumber. The price is lower than I'd thought. The guy is very sweet, and he shall be thorough.
It's going to be a long night...
Also. Adam brought home REAL NEW YORK CITY BAGELS. I CRIED.

Also, Adam brought home two cans of 28 Black, which I have only ever found in New York City. I CRIED.

Also, Adam is the greatest man I have ever known and he loves me. He loves me. I still don't know why but he loves me. I'M CRYING.
Well, the Tramadol and the Carisoprodol and the Clonazepam have kicked in. I am a puddle of not-stress and not-pain and OHM relief. And there is coffee with chocolate.
brightlotusmoon: (Snow White Blood Red Dragon Witch)
Okay, so, I need to tell this story... because. Just because. Facebook is a breeding ground for trolls who try and yell at me because I am not like them. So, here is a story.

When I was fifteen years old, leaning toward sixteen, I had a recurring dream. I was married. I was twenty-six. I was in a hospital bed, in labor, and the bed was tilted up so I was kind of sitting. My belly was swollen. Cramps and contractions forced me to bear down, and somehow I knew it was with the same muscles used to move my bowels, except I'd had an enema. I had no idea how the pain was, so in the dream there was extreme pressure with menstrual-type cramps, and I was sobbing. Someone was holding my hand - my husband. I looked at him but his face was shadowed. All I could see was that he had bright blue eyes. I knew his voice was a tenor voice. I cried, "This will kill me. I can feel it. I'm going to die." My husband said, "No, no, sweetheart, you will be fine. What should we name her? Our daughter?" In a fit of pain, I screamed, "Amara. With your grandmother's name in the middle. Amara! Everlasting! Immortal! It will kill me but she will live!"
A doctor told me to PUSH, and I PUSHED, and I very clearly, intensely, felt SOMETHING being pushed through my vagina, something huge... and then it was pulled, PULLED. I was sobbing and screaming and I could feel my hips shattering. A voice said, "Don't cut the cord yet, wait until the fetus takes all the nutrients." And I sobbed softly, "Taking everything. I give myself up."
My husband's tenor voice said over and over, "There she is. I love you." All I could see, through a haze, was a human-shaped thing covered in blood and white goo, squealing like a kitten. "Everlasting immortal voyager through life," I murmured, and I closed my eyes.

I just remember that pressure, that disconnection, the thing TAKEN OUT OF ME, the way I couldn't feel anything below my waist afterward. I don't know if I died. I don't know if I went comatose. I just know that I was twenty-six, my husband had blue eyes and a tenor voice and his name ended in -m, and it was the most horrific experience I could imagine.

And here's the thing: When I was twenty, I met a man with bright blue eyes and a tenor voice, named Adam, with two grandmothers who had names starting with B. One grandmother was named Beatrice - "Voyager Through Life" - and when we dated and considered future kids, he suggested that a girl's middle name could be Beatrice. But then we decided that children were not for us, not after I became so ill with various disabilities.
We got married when I was twenty-six years old. The wedding was one of the most stressful and frightening experiences of my life.

Now, those people insisting that I should have children, that "I would be a wonderful mother" (an insulting slap in my face), might see this as a premonition. It was a premonition. I predicted the person I would marry. I predicted the age at which I would go through an extreme change in my life. I predicted that I would go through an intense, frightening series of medical problems that would change my life.
But it had nothing to do with pregnancy or childbirth. Nothing at all.

This is what I wrote on my Facebook:
"Dear certain people with children who are being very annoying and loud and religiously fervent:
Yes, yes, your children are beautiful and amazing and the greatest creations you have ever created and the absolute loves of your lives and the brightest stars in your sky and your reasons for living and the greatest most talented most gorgeous most intelligent children ever, I get it, I get it. Good for you. I'm thrilled, truly.
Now quit insisting that I must have children of my own. I don't want any. Never wanted. Will never want. Do not want. Medically should not have. I have reasons. I don't care what you think of my reasons. Go away and stop talking about this to me. I don't want children, I don't want to get pregnant, and I don't want to automatically love your baby. If I have to save this and use this as a Standard Response every single time, I shall. Stop telling me I must experience your overwhelming joy, the way you never knew true love and pure happiness before your children. It appears that you are experiencing plenty of overwhelming joy and true love and pure happiness, so you seem to have more than enough. Please enjoy. I will be over there, not being you."

The reason I revealed this dream was to explain that not everything means something literal. And also that I often have precognitive dreams - which is hard to do, since there are so many futures and they're all fluid. Maybe in an alternate reality, I did have a child. But not in this one. Never in this one.
brightlotusmoon: (Fae Dragon Alien)
Adam and I were going shopping at Big Lots and its neighbor dollar store. But first, Adam went to Office Depot - and suprised the hell out of me by letting me try various task chairs so he could buy one for me.
Happy all eight days of Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, and Christmas all in one, holy shit. Not only was the chair I chose perfect for my body, height, size, comfort levels,
and lumbar support requirements, it was on sale by almost half.
This really was something desperately needed. Adam said that if this brings me a year or two of working comfort, it was worth every penny; he had been willing to buy a pricier chair if it made me happy. I love this little chair. I love it so much.
At Big Lots, I bought a foam pillow to support my back even more, but the lumbar and sciatic support from this chair is awesome. At the lowest setting, my feet only just touch the floor but that's fine. It perfectly aligns my line of sight with the laptop so I don't need to strain my neck - and I can raise it if I need to. This is almost a physical therapy chair. I can rock back and forth, I can perform isometric exercises, I can spin while working my muscles. And it really is so comfy.
I am totally pimping this chair, obviously.

(Also, Big Lots has the best prices on 4-blade disposable razors, which work best for me (these were Qu4ntum by Reliashave, which is just as good as Gilette and Schick). I got several packs of ten for 3$ each. Also, I got cheap but well made microfiber cleansing cloths, pantyliners, hairbands, hair ties, etc.)
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
This may be the first time I've ever said this, but I am grateful for who and what I am and what I can do and my own potential.

I am grateful for my husband, Adam Paul, whom I have loved for thirteen years and still feel that giddy joy that comes from falling in love deeply until the neurochemicals and hormones inside me explode into insanity. I am grateful that he is such a mensch - that he is almost a polymath in certain ways, that he knows so much and does so much and is so much. I believe I struck the lover lottery with him. Seven and a half years of marriage still feels like a honeymoon.

I am grateful for the friends that are still with me, who still love and adore me, who like me for myself, who respect what I am unconditionally. I really do love you all so much that it brings me to tears just to think about you; it doesn't matter if I know you in person or I know you online only, I love all of you intensely.

I am grateful for the medical assistance I have been receiving since being placed on SSDI. Somehow, I have fallen in with a team of doctors and specialists who are so compassionate, willing, kind, sweet, and intelligent that it also brings me to tears.

I am grateful for my parents, who have supported me and loved me and shaped me and have set wonderful examples of love and talent and creativity and joy. I am grateful that I was raised by an atheist mother and agnostic/semi-pantheist father who enjoyed teaching me about various mythologies and religions to allow me to choose my own path. I am grateful for their intense, amazing love for each other, and their combined ability to do whatever needs to be done to help me become myself.

I am grateful for knowing firmly that I am a polytheist, polyagnostic, pantheist, eclectic, humanistic pagan witch who is fully open to the understanding that I could be wrong or delusional.
I am grateful for being able to access the skepticism that lets me step back and view things from so many perspectives.
I am grateful for quantum physics and theoretical physics, which I consider to be occasionally mixed in with supernatural and paranormal magical practice. I am grateful to be a magic practitioner who loves to hear dissenting ideas and theories that enrich me and expand my brain.
I am grateful for my Quantum Psychic Consciousness, which is my Higher Brain mixed with my Subconscious Mind, which is always in touch with all sorts of things that can never be measured, understood, known, seen, or felt by simple human experience.
I am grateful for the universe, for being made of stars, for things that we as humans may never be able to understand even as they insist on a lack of proof and existence. I am grateful for the unseen beyond the veil, no matter how real or unreal it is.

I am grateful for my powers of writing, specifically my ability to write urban fantasy and future fantasy and supernatural or paranormal fantasy. I still want telekinesis, but I will settle for writing characters who have telekinesis.

I am grateful for my ability to take life in stride, even if I often don't get the joke. I have learned to not take everything personally, to become a rock in a river, to become a river over rocks, to move without fear of ridicule anymore.

I am grateful for my knowledge of skin and body medicine, so I can happily reply to my friends when they ask for advice. I am grateful for concealers and makeup, which I will always use because they enhance the palette of my face, even if somehow my skin becomes smooth and flawless.

I am grateful for who I am and what I know and everyone who loves me. Thank you.
brightlotusmoon: (Pixie Model 5)
We spent the day running little random errands, and I got to completely geek out with our friend John who is awesome.
Tonight's linner (late lunch and early dinner) will be pasta in a vodka cream sauce. I had better eat a bunch of it. *shakes fist*
Tomorrow, we go to Kaiser Permanente, where Adam will have physical therapy at 11:30 and then the MRI of his lower back at 4:00. In between, we will go shopping and have lunch and discuss things.

I myself am trying to do all the home therapies I've been taught, all the exercises and meditations and such.

Also, we went to Home Depot and bought flower bulbs, and I spent some time planting tulip bulbs everywhere along the front walk. Multi-colored tulips, Spring 2013. Also an amaryllis, and an olive tree and a pomegranate tree.

I don't know what else to say. Mainly because Rose is on my lap demanding snuggles.
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
Adam is home. At least until Saturday, when he may be off to Chicago for another job. Ahh, the life of a field computer technician and IT/AVproject manager. On Friday, we go back to his Kaiser Permanente doctors for follow-up appointments, and then... who knows. A couple of days off is lovely, though. Now that I'm on Disability, there might be more opportunities for me to come with him on jobs in the future. That would be sweet. Charlotte would happily look after the cats, which will always be my concern when we're away.

Exhaustion levels are still very high. Appetite is still poor. I did eat three small pieces of Adam's pizza made completely from scratch, and they were delicious, but my stomach is now crying over how full it is. Maybe it shrank. At least I am eating something, right? At least the anorexia scars haven't opened, right?

So many books that still need reading. I got distracted from John Scalzi's "Redshirts" when Charlotte insisted I read the newest Sookie Stackhouse book that she'd bought. I hadn't realized how little of "Redshirts" I had read. I am still trying to finish "Trance" by Kelly Medig and the long-awaited "Ashes Of Honor" by the awesome Seanan McGuire. And then there is the "Shadow Falls" series by CC Hunter, "Endlessly" by Kiersten White, "Bloodlines" by Richelle Mead, a few HP Lovecraft books, "The Folded World" by the wonderful Catherynne M. Valente, and the "Clarity" series by Kim Harrington. Not to mention "Sex, Drugs, Einstein, & Elves" by Cliff Pickover and "The Untethered Soul" by Michael A. Singer. And the Kindle For PC books, like "Team Human" by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan.
Oh, my beloved books. So many of them. And my own speculative futuristic paranormal fantasy novel, which is almost finished, if I could just get past the lesser scenes to the larger scenes. The lesser scenes are always important to provide just enough information, since this is such a big book and I am not writing any direct sequels.

Ah, the Baclofen is working. My left arm has blissfully stopped spasming. And I'm not even tired, not even as a side effect. I love you, Baclofen, almost as much as Soma the great pain killing muscle relaxer.

Adam is downstairs in the living room, on the awesome couch, playing Playstation 3, and it's all good. As long as we are in this little townhouse together, as long as I can limp downstairs and see him and touch him, it is all right.
brightlotusmoon: (Pixie Model 1)
Adam and I got on the road at 7:00 PM. Made a few bathroom stops. Blew through Brooklyn at 90 miles per hour. Jersey Turnpike was quick as well. I tried to sleep through most of it. When we reached our parking lot, my head felt foggy and upset and dizzy.

So, upon returning home around 1:30 AM, we unpacked, I had a simultaneous seizure and mental breakdown due to stress, fatigue, exhaustion, and some emotional issues, I took Klonopin and Baclofen, and we slept long and hard.

I am fine right now, perky as I can muster. A very mild depressive episode, but that is to be expected after seizures combined with crying screaming wild anxiety attacks.

(Slightly related: I really don't like talking about this here, but that is what LJ is for, right? My mother and I keep having irritated emotional debates about my body, health, weight, finances, and mental idiosyncrasies. I admit, I consistently have a very insane anxious desire to buy stuff that I already have due to my bizarre fear that everything will disappear, but I've gotten much better, although Mom disagrees and often sends me emails in capslock, scolds me over the phone, and insists that I am a mentally ill addict; I can't deny that. My OCD issues concerning my spending are very very slowly getting under control, and those compulsions are fading more and more; but it takes time. You can't slap a bandage on something like this and watch it heal in a week. There is an active part of my brain that separates when these compulsions strike. The treatment will take months of Klonopin at the new dosage as well as therapy. But I know my sickness, I have admitted and embraced that I need help, I am getting help, and if anyone wants to fight me on it, my psychic teeth and claws have been sharpened to gleaming needles.)

This afternoon, we cleaned up, organized, admired the organization that Charlotte did all over the house, and played with three very happy adoring cats.

I painted my nails with a natural varnish from Honeybee Gardens, a color called Renaissance, a shiny rich burgundy red with subtle gold shimmer, which almost
matches my favorite Honeybee Gardens lipstick, Vintage Merlot, a very deep dark blood red with wine and brown tones and subtle gold sheen.

Jupiter is poking me insistently with both paws and headbutts. Cats come first, after all.

Also, since I completely missed the series premiere of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2012 on Nickelodeon, I am about to watch it online. My fingers are crossed that it will be fantastic. The voice actor lineup still cracks me up:
Leonardo (voiced by Jason Biggs)
Donatello (voiced by Rob Paulsen)
Raphael (voiced by Sean Astin)
Michelangelo (voiced by Greg Cipes)


Sep. 10th, 2012 09:11 pm
brightlotusmoon: (Default)
According to Adam, I had one of those ridiculous complex partial seizures in which I froze in place for a few seconds, staring blankly, upon which my first garbled words after were "What? What now? Oh. I'm so cold." And the rest of my words were jumbled by momentary dysphasia, and also a bout of sobbing and apologizing. There was much use of the sound "shmoo" inserted into words. Gave new meaning to "wharrgarbl." What fun, yes? And Adam hugged me tightly and I went upstairs and here I am. Dumb brain.

If I forget things, please remind me. This is why I always say I love you.


brightlotusmoon: (Default)

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