Header snip originally from giphy, added onto to by other enthusiastic fans, and then I took it through memedad.
-Mobile continuation from Xanga blog PinkyGuerrero
-Most of the graphics and vids click to sources.
-Personal blog for Janika Banks.
 photo README2.gif


Friday, November 17, 2017

checking in, day 3 after

I'm about 1/3 of the way through the book I'm reading for review, third day out from surgery. Keep conking over today, lotta sleep going on. Feels really good. And so far so good on healing. No fever, no problems with incisions, little bit of pain from the hole punches but not enough to keep taking the pain pills on a tight schedule. Was able to start light chores, dishes and laundry getting back on track already.

All week has been a little bit gray out, nice autumn look out the window, but stepping out feels a little warm and muggy.

Got pathology back today- "Upon opening the gallbladder was found to contain greater than 30 yellow green multifaceted calculi measuring up to 0.5 cm in greatest dimension. The gallbladder wall measures 0.2 cm in thickness. The lining of the gallbladder shows intact mucosa. Numerous calculi are present within the cystic duct." Other liver condition and history is noted elsewhere, but this should definitely help.

And here I go again, about to tip over and conk out for another hour. But everything's still good. 💟

Thursday, November 16, 2017

turkey fam

Things going on this week.

On twitter-

My twitter family tree- Part 1 via Twitter Family game
Love my mama and papa! @DxDerailed @kurtzellner
Mama Deb is my go-to fandom nerd for #DirkGently and Dieter Laser
Papa Kurt gets after me all the time in #latenightmove @LNMgang movie chat at SyfyDesigns.com
You and me, babe @dawnsnarks 😆

My twitter family tree- Part 2 via Twitter Family game
So proud of my kids! @SesameSquirrel and @TScottBrave
My kid Seseme is my fave squirrel source linker and so much more
My kid Scott is my bug and spider expert and hopefully future reference checker on a side project

Also this thread about autism is awesome. Next snip clicks directly to that part of the convo.

On facebook-

In my G+ Lexx community hangout-

I prioritized my work schedule, AJ found out "May" is a college professor now, and Sanguinessa is starting on part 4 of a continuing Tales from a Parallel Universe fanfic series that I've promised to read and review.

I passed the 48 hour mark after surgery today with flying colors, incisions look great, no fever, was even able to skip the pain pill for 15 hours which was awesome because high dose opioids put your digestive system to sleep and I needed mine to wake up. 😋

click for article on wild turkeys
I have come up with a Thanksgiving plan. Our holiday is kinda blown apart with way too much happening around here, but I think this will work ok. I'm going to cook my personal Turkey food a day ahead and then have the kitchen cleaned up and I'm out of the way for Twink to help Granny get a bunch of cooking done with my stove. I'll get up early, as usual, and make hot chocolate on the stove like I do every year, and then I'm going to camp out on my bed with Jawn and hang out on Mo Creatures while I watch Macy's parade on the TV in my bedroom, and Bunny can hang out with me if mama needs her out of her hair. I'm sure I'll be popping on and off the internet randomly as the chaos rolls out, but I do want to hang out online through the day. Hopefully that will work out well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

gotta see your face some more


My first opioid since the 5 mg shot of morphine in ER last year that sent me straight into PAWS hell. Post surgery medication this time sent me super floating straight into euphoria. I. love. EVERYONE. And now that I've been intro'd to high dose vicoprofen, I'm already planning strategy getting back off it before I abruptly run out. Can't break them in half because enteric coating, so trying to stretch them out longer in between. So far handling nearly 6 hours between doses now. I know they want my pain well controlled but I started with only 20 pills every 4 hours and that drop off is going to be pretty evil.

And my dreams are wildly unreal. Everything disconnected the first night, literally watching myself doing cartoon dishes in a cartoon house, everything in my dream was animated and blinking back and forth between minecraft. Cartoon, blocks, cartoon, blocks, I finally just got up for awhile. When I went back to bed I started having memory dreams from being under anesthesia, like when my airway was put in. Felt my teeth clonk, abruptly woke up. It was fake. Felt a knuckle bump on the top of my head and abruptly woke up. It was fake. Kept falling back to sleep and abruptly waking up as I relived some of the prep before the really deeper going under, so just staying up nearly all night was easier. Couldn't really function, so just played on facebook. Sorry if I flooded your feeds with super share, lol.

The really cool thing was pre-op before anesthesia. For the first time in my life I had absolutely no anxiety at all in a medical setting. I don't know if I finally just reached a state of too tired and didn't care or what, but nothing at all bothered me or stressed me out. I knew I'd be knocked out soon and was looking forward to it, answered questions over and over again like a string pulled doll. I managed to do the smile and eye contact thing, everything went smooth with interaction, yay.

Pre-op was sad for the people around me though. A much older guy on my right was there for lots of lymph removal around his face and neck, would be a long surgery, and he rattled everything he knew about American presidential history, all the places of historical significance he'd traveled. Heard quite a lot about Andrew Jackson before someone asked him if family members were there to drive him home, then he stopped and there was a sad no. Was anyone out there for him? His pastor... Did he not have family living nearby? A son and a daughter, and neither one made the time to be there with him. He's obviously end of life in a high risk surgery and his own kids weren't there. He stopped talking after that.

An older woman on my left just quietly cried. Not quite sobbing, but nonstop quiet crying. She was asked if she'd like family to come sit with her, said no. Was anyone out there for her? Yes, her mother and her daughter. Was she sure she didn't want anyone? She answered with a very miserable sounding quiet no. I guess the relationships were better held at a distance. She wound up having a very horrible surgery involving vulva repair after leg loss, and we wound up in recovery beside each other. She was right, both her mother and daughter were emotionally distant. At least they were there, though. She got a call from her husband on dialysis during recovery, and she asked how much he'd been drinking before dialysis, sounded like he made it to fourth in a bottle of fifth and it wasn't even noon. She got after him, hung up, rolled on her side facing me and shut her eyes, didn't talk to anyone. At least he called, and at least they were there.

Through all this I reflected on my own life. I have family who loves me. We're not perfect and quite a lot of our backgrounds are highly dysfunctional, be we love. each. other. We are there for each other every day, we talk and say I love you every day, we care about each other having sucky days. And I felt fine in pre and post op knowing I was loved and I loved my people. I was truly at peace.

It's really nice to reach a place in aging life where you realize you don't have any sadness left in you about relationships. I've reached out, done what I can to heal with my loved ones, let go of the rest. Every day I do my best to reach out to someone, be there for someone. I don't always feel reciprocated, but I know those are my own brain chemicals, not theirs. I know all I have to do is say "I need help" or "please help me" and they'll be right there. If I feel blown off, I don't sit and sulk like I used to when I was younger. I ask the TV to be paused and I start talking. We talk until I either get tired of my own voice or feel like I said what I need to say. No one yells at me, and I know my own tension is a burden so I try to reign it in. I don't put head games on my people because I know I'm the one with the personality problems from my mental health diagnoses, and I do my best to communicate clearly, effectively, and succinctly. I need you, I love you, thank you.

And then realizing all the changes I've been working on also helped-

  • I changed my diet in 2011 and started healing my diabetes damage
  • I started physical therapy in 2011 and worked on better mobility and endurance
  • I have been working with a psychologist on depression since 2007
  • CPAP has been wonderful helping me get my brain problems under better control as I'm learning to sleep properly
  • Being on gabapentin has helped so much with the nerve pain that my anxiety levels have gone down in general
  • Being able to see success in what I'm doing through stats gives me goals, something to work on, so I feel productive. I hadn't looked at stats on wordpress in a long time, so when I got a real question asking for help yesterday with a real problem, I got to work focusing on helping someone instead of whining about myself after surgery. And then I looked up my stats and was blown away. Aspienado is my most viewed wordpress blog. I don't like using wordpress and rarely check stats, and Aspienado is a work blog for my first book and mostly private. But what is available to read gets found, from all over the world.
  • I also spent much of today downloading and reading a new book that I'm writing a review on, and I want to do a good job because I know it'll be seen over time by thousands, including a handful of directors, producers, actors, and a worldwide fandom. It's important to feel successful doing real work, and opioids through pain have made it really easy over the last 24 hours to focus on work. This is how it was for years, opioids and pain. I remember feeling good about being a difference to someone even with so much pain. Lately I've diverted into genuinely enjoying playing and being creative on a game server with a family of very diverse people, some with their own physical and mental/emotional challenges, but it felt really good getting back into writing over this last 24 hours. I'm glad I have built all that up to fall back on. I've come from hermit to twitter gang to facebook groups to #clanfam. I have a large network of people who care if I show up, and I love seeing them online, as well. I even got a phone call today and was elated. Barry is glitchy, too, like me, and we're both working on reconstructing how our friendship started. Imagine years of memories just falling right out of your head. We both know what that's like.
  • And most of all on my list of how I've come to be at peace is my joy. I was depressed for so many years, at times quite severely, and I hung on so hard. Bunny's little face very day is my joy, and I'm glad I'm still here every time I see her. She's my baby's baby, my pet kid, my challenge, sometimes my boss, lol. It's very fulfilling when a little kid genuinely loves you. I guess I was needing that.

Through all these things I've been learning how to balance my natural innate negativity through embracing publicity, challenging my baditudes and praying to be good for other people. I have prayed for 2 things for myself through the years. Usually prayers are for other people or all of us or something, but 2 very definite things I have prayed for myself.

  • Years ago during my worst illness and growing ugliness (hair loss, weight gain, attitude affected by meds and pain), I cried and told God if I must lose everything else, at least let Scott come home happy to see my face. I looked pretty rough for a few years, and I had to stop fixing my hair and wearing makeup. I couldn't afford nice clothes with all the money going out for medical, and we went bankrupt before I wound up with full disability. I was so depressed. God, please let Scott be happy to see my face, because I don't know how he can stand to even look at me. Well, my hair still hasn't gone gray and I barely have a wrinkle on my whole face and I'm 56. I've been told that being on estrogen therapy for 20 years can do that, but was also told I'd start aging very quickly after getting off those in 2012. Not really holding my breath resisting, still can't wear makeup, but I've been able to grow my hair back out and Scott and I laugh together about something every day. I'm glad to see his face because he's my best friend, and I guess and hope he's still glad to see mine, even when I still have bad days and get very cranky with him, and he doesn't deserve it. My brain is my enemy on those days, not him.
  • I also reached a point where I prayed for healing. I was raised stoicly believing that to pray for one's own anything was vain, so I've never really prayed for my own well being. We are all here to learn through our suffering, right? Well, after some deep thought just before I met my latest doctor in 2011, just before Christmas of 2010, I prayed for healing. I had come through some very hard years of months and months of back to back viral illnesses on top of severe nearly unlivable nerve disorder pain, and I was reaching a point where I wasn't sure I could keep hanging on out of spiritual duty. I was breaking inside and could no longer hide it. I reasoned for a few days that if I really do pray for healing, I mustn't be stupid about it. God doesn't work miracles for us to toss it back. If I commit to that prayer, then I commit to true healing with everything possible I can do to help take care of myself. I wouldn't get better to be stupid about it and ruin my health again. One day I was ready and I prayed. The next day the holes in my pierced ears had both closed up. They had never done that in 20 years. I immediately decided it would be blasphemous to get them repierced and gave all my earrings away. From then on has all been positive progress. It has been long and hard, but I wound up with the best possible primary care doctor, got diagnosed immediately and fast tracked so the right specialists and physical therapy. Years of doctors before him were just struggles with very addicting medications and the long slow descent into the hell of premature aging, without hope.

So laying there in pre-op, I knew I am ready now. I've done what I've apparently set out to do in this life coming to this earth, and I felt at peace. I've learned how to heal relationships, how to take much better care of myself, how to network with other real people with success and hope in mind for all of us. And I want to continue that. I know I'll have brain crash days and be very mixed up and brain chemical spills splashing on others, and I hope they can keep forgiving me. I'm facing a future of dementia as I age, and since brain problems run in my family, I've accepted the idea that I need to keep brain training now while I can to be good for people before I lose more control of this wonderful machine I live in.

This is very long and right now my brain is tired. I've made it through nearly 24 hours of fairly high dose opioids and enjoyed it immensely, but soon I let it go again. Addiction is a bitch, protracted withdrawal will make me mean again, and I wanted to write these feelings out before I forget I had them.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

goin nowhere in slo-mo

Part of the big lead up to surgery is covering all the bases so there won't be any medical mistakes or accidents. I'd love to go into it blissfully ignorant and trust that things will all work out fine, but of course I have just enough experience to know how those stats really work and not quite enough access to my own records (notes of interest) and medical knowledge (search engines and acing medical terminology and nursing school go only so far) to wring any confidence into my head. I'm extremely grateful I got such a good critical care nurse calling me for preregistration or I'd probably have backed out by now. I could tell that person had seen it all and knew every detail mattered for every possible fail rescue.

The propofol from a test last week screwed my brain rhythm, so I've been shunting through extreme depression and worse mood swings. Can't wait for general anesthesia to add to that. Plus the preregistration questions about chest pain and family history of everything cardiac and brain fail prompted responses as me being already there with the pain/fail stuff since spoonie nerve probs, pretty much whatever statistical outcome for more serious chest pain and brain fail during recovery might not even be noticed. I live with fibro of the chest wall and on meds to help control Lhermitte's sign level pain, so just saying 'chest pain' is pretty complicated. I won't even go into the brain part again.


And of course I'll be asking a nurse tomorrow to get a note to the surgeon to please consider a different pain med than he's used to scripting and then having to deal with protracted withdrawal all over again on top of recovery. While my support system at home keeps zooming around full blast over-planning, the main question is how quickly will I be able to be left alone again. Um... I just asked my husband to make sure I don't do anything stupid and not to assume I'm ok. I'm pretty sure my depression will be more severe for a few days with my brain coils all tangled up again.

I'm very much looking forward to this particular pain being over after surgery/recovery. I'm also very much looking forward to holidays. But I've already been through the kind of fail that kept me from driving for 4 months or being able to read or watch TV for a couple of years. I sincerely hope I'll be touching base as usual as soon as possible, but it may or may not be a few days. I don't know yet.

I don't have any contingency plans in place, so if I'm one of those weird statistical fails, oh well. The only things I've done for real are getting laundry and dishes caught up and the bathrooms cleaned, and untrusting everyone on my game server claims. Don't want to come back to my stuff pillaged if I can't log on for a week or something. j/k #clanfam Hopefully, though, I can log on and play through recovery for distraction.

Apologies for my rough week. A few people got caught in a bit of brain flux.

I'm dreaming of a Pinky Christmas

Looking up stuff like 'vintage pastel Christmas' for rotating wallpapers on Jawn.

click for a really pretty dessert table idea
I had saved ornaments just like these from my childhood and they all broke one year when the tree fell over. Oh, well.

click for a really nice collection of pinterest pix
It's taken a few years to get my holiday mood back on proper, and this year it's all good. I guess having a kiddo in the house is really good for me. I'm actually enjoying the idea of 'holiday season'. We had this next set when I was growing up, too, and they were probably vintage before I was ever out of high school. They'd be super vintage by now.

click to get to vendor description
I guess we can see where my 'pink Christmas' interest comes from. Pinky may have started further back than I realized.


Let's see, what have I been doing this week... I've passed 1600 hours on server. You guys coming in on mobile don't see my gamer banner.

I fixed up my MS solitaire with a minecraft mesa background at sunset and a floating autumn leaves screensaver to look like a desolate planet with falling embers while I play. I find it soothing.

Just finished #latenightmovie with the gang.

I found myself content curated into a page on nerf gun sales.

I haven't been on twitter much, but still checking in.

Main thing is we're not dropping too many eggs or chainsaws around here, although we are extra very tired this week. Bunny's mama is taking on extra shifts at hospital, my surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday, and mostly I'm just getting my house in order and my player shop stocked for down time. And naturally, while we're so busy, deer are practically walking up and knocking on the door during deer season. Bunny says Papa can't shoot one.

I think I'll be taking a nap tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2017


I really wish I had someone available to talk to irl that gets my head, knows my history, and can carry on a smooth convo knowing what I mean without it diverting off into misunderstandings or over-chatting. You know, someone who really gets how revenge works in the 'kindness is logical' thing. I guess the hallmark of any villain worth their salt is the long dark nights of the soul kind of stewing thing when nothing else is working out right and you still believe in everything you're doing anyway. I just really want it all to mean more than a cliche when I'm done. I think I'm just tired.

yes, I'm still feeling festive (facebook joke)

Click for tweet source
Fiber installation has officially begun. Crews are all over my subdivision clearing brush and limbs.

Click to see Macy's lineup
Surgery scheduling seems to have stalled over something. Maybe they noticed I'm a complicated mess.

Click for easy to load and read info on route, street closures, lineup, balloons, floats
I have decided to commit to a literary challenge and review, starting this weekend. Yes, Lexx stuff. I waited 15 YEARS for this book.

Click for new balloons announcement
In the meantime, lurking the medias, playing on Mo Creatures (I put up a Festivus pole at my player shop yesterday), and slapping myself back from pressing that big red anxiety button.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

all around you

Trigger warning for rape victims.

I dreamed last night I was in another waiting room, gathered up my stuff when my name was called, and as I was incidentally walking by Charlie Sheen, stolidly not looking his direction in my own dark glasses, he called out "Good luck!" and I just said "Corey Haim, dude" and kept walking.

I am neither shocked nor surprised. Ever since my first marriage, nothing about sex with kids of ANY age shocks or surprises me any more. I'm educated in the social sciences, I've seen the statistics, I've met quite a surprising number of people with stories to tell, and all I can say is it's all around us all the time. It's not new, it's not over there, and it's not rare.

YOU know someone who does kids (and even babies). YOU know someone with secrets that would make you throw up. You shake hands with them, work with them, pass them on a street, maybe even live with them, and even though all the signs are there,  you don't notice, not because you're dumb, but because you're that innocent.

Sex with kids is rampant in the U.S. It's not just in other countries, it's not just in bad neighborhoods, it's not just around people who do drugs. It's in your church, your school system, your area of employment, your hobby group. Someone you know, maybe more than one, is an untagged child sex offender. They might be the most stand-up person you know, and yes, you would be quite shocked. Being a saint in public is the perfect cover.

Open your eyes. When kids do something weird, say something off the wall, get quiet, get too rowdy- keep your eyes open. Pay attention. Stop brushing off weird and simply just pay attention. It might take a few days, weeks, months, but there will come a day that will curl your hair and make your stomach drop out your shoes, because you'll suddenly be aware there is a child who knows way too much and is so careful it's scary. Or maybe there's a kid who is way too young to be flirting like that. Something.

All around you.

Monday, November 6, 2017

scary thorough

I didn't make this, but I screened this pic.
Click the pic to go to server news update post with much better pix.
Clearing out my calendar this month as I get ready for the tuck and roll. Kinda feels unreal.

Aaaaaaaaaaand the Christmas decor is already up, lol.
I'm already making room for a couple of trees in my house. Papa's Vikings tree will be in the livingroom by the TV. Bunny's kid tree will be in the dining area bay window by the kitchen.

Speaking of football, total facepalm last night. Around 7:30 p.m. @bonenado goes "You didn't set your team, did you?", which screeched me to a frozen halt. I should have been on that, what *looks at invisible watch*, 3 days ago??? I mean, I'm on a fairly solid losing streak anyway, so maybe it wouldn't be too bad, right? So I asked how bad it was and he said I had 6 guys on byes. ##SUPERFACEPALM Ok, so maybe I just look negligent. I asked who I was playing this week, and he said Tony. I. about. died. My first thought was Oh no, it's going to look like Pinky Robot threw the game on purpose to the boss because #internetcrushhistory, and @bonenado said Yep, totally.


So I have absolutely no dignity this morning. Just drinking my coffee sideways through facepalm.


Now puns are spinning through my head. I really dropped the ball on that one. Etc.

BUT I'm all caught up with Shannara Chronicles, The Flash, Gotham, Walking Dead, Dirk Gently, South Park, and I'm sorry, Tosh, I made an executive decision and decided that I just can't be the superfan any more. I have seen everything digital Tosh has done up to something like 16 shows ago, but something's gotta give, and my timer is loading up with PJ Masks kind of thing. It was a good run. We'll always have the show with all those people doing an exercise machine marathon, and the show where you dressed up like a Ken doll for the human Barbie. *weeping* I've gotta stop before I lose it and go get that timer back.

My only plans today are to keep the ringer on my phone on so I'll get scheduling calls, chip away at some more of the piles in my room while I do the daily dishes and laundry, menu plan some kind of supper, and rip another mesa down in Mo Creatures before resource gets reset. I expanded my player shop into colored and glazed terracottas this fall and I am slamming through clays like you wouldn't believe, on top of smelting chestloads of glass blocks and restocking ALL THE WOOD PRODUCTS. I'm a machine. I should take a little time and sell some more farm harvest, kinda blew about $300,000 this weekend on player shops and coal restock, and currently talking to someone about purchasing a flying bigcat, so I need to pump back up to my $2M before I blow it back down too far.

I'm not done yet.

I've still got things to do.

There's always a reason to go on. I just noticed the time on this. Kinda like that other time. Seems to happen a lot around here.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

tentatively tentativating bcuz tentative

Making myself sit down and take a break. The surgeon pushed a magic button yesterday when I went in for consult and musta gooshed a little stone loose or something, because the pain level is dissipating and my energy level is coming back up. I'm cured! 😂 lol Seriously, though, I'm a long way from cured, so I need to not be stupid. Caught myself zipping around and up and down the stairs doing #allthethings, and @bonenado commanded me to SHTAP. He knows me well.

So this month has been rearranged, got the Bunny stuff onto a better track so I can stop, drop, and roll with whatever comes next. Mostly waiting on phone calls arranging new meetups right now. So far I will be scheduling two different procedures, the second is an actual surgery, the first could turn into a separate one if they find anything, and there is mention of something else completely unrelated down the road. When I hold back the dam, I HOLD BACK THE DAM. Well, the dam is busting, and now we're slamming through finding all the holes because I'm such a stubborn idjit that I'm sorely tempting a Darwin Award. I'm the one always saying we live in the golden age of information, and here I am leading the way off a cliff, wheeee. #goodone

Pagan's latest video release, per Michael Bilinski on facebook. I love this so much. You know I'm really into them, right?

That other thing still not yet in the queue doesn't necessarily cause any pain and can be very sneaky, so maybe I'm fortunate other stuff is blowing up so we're accidentally seeing that, too.
Managing Incidental Findings on Abdominal and Pelvic CT and MRI
Whole list of articles there. This is probably a common thing because people are so bad to put off actually getting real tests done.

Anyway, I'm actually feeling a little better today, which is sweet since the last couple of weeks have been pretty miserable, so I'm organizing some thoughts for a very laid back holiday season this year. Turkey Day will be simple on my end. I love Macy's parade, I'll probably be logged into Mo Creatures minecraft server hanging out, and I'll have a few nibblies around because that is just second nature. I've been cooking since I was 7 and I've cooked professionally, so as long as other people do the heavy lifting and follow instructions, it'll be delicious. (Barring complications complicating things up, of course.) And after that, I'm usually the one at home texting with Black Friday shoppers, so I'll be chill anyway. I've done the frenzy, it's fun to a point (especially on the retail and service industry side, I've worked through at least 8 Black Fridays or more in some capacity, 5 years of it retail), but it's also cool being the chill one sitting back laughing, so all good here.

And then after that, with December always being the crazy part of the year when schools and work places are doing parades and games and parties and stuff, I will still be chill and keep the ball rolling smoothly in the background. I'm really good at that, it's my comfort zone, and hopefully I will continue to heal and get even healthier while festivities roll around me. I'm already enjoying all the pretty colors coming out everywhere.

But yeah, @bonenado was right, sitting here I'm starting to feel it again, so I was pushing it. Bad me! I'm not good for anyone if I'm stupid. Stop that! Time to chill. I've had this list for awhile, but I just added it to my playlist page.

That reminds me, I'm so far behind in real life, I'm making a nonlisted playlist to catch up on the latest SNews, sticking it here so I'll see it and come back to it when I have free moments.

And if I get some rest today, I might be able to stay up for #latenightmovie with @LNMGang again tonight. 🍿

Friday, November 3, 2017

5 years from now

When I first came back out public I had a 5-year plan, and so far it's going ok, just on a slower track than I originally envisioned, but a much richer and more vibrant track, so I'm good with it. It hit me today that I haven't thought much beyond that, and here I am already past the 5 year milestone.

So- Where do I want to be 5 years from NOW? This is a game I've played with myself for a couple of decades, and it actually works because it makes me think about priorities and goals and stagnation and stuff like that. I got the idea from a survey I did once.

1) What were you doing 10 Years Ago?
Wow, the nursing school year.  I remember the big mystery over who was smuggling mummified cats out of lab, and practicing catheterizing fake people.  My favorite word was auscultate.

2) 5 Years Ago?
I crashed into the fabled midlife review crap I used to ridicule others for.  Can’t wait to find out why old people are saying “60 is the new 40″…  Sounds like a very loaded statement.  Let’s see how gracefully we can hit brick walls every other decade.  Heads up to the mid-30′s crowd.

3) 1 Year Ago?
Wasted out of my skull on medication just to be able to walk, heartbreaking end to an awesome friendship, discovering the joys of the empty nest, and plunging headlong into youtube fanaticism.

The year I took a break from the internet I did a lot of deep thinking about that stuff in reverse- where do I want to be a year from now, 3 years from now, 5 years from now kind of thing. I stopped at 5 because I really couldn't see past it. So many things in my life have abruptly changed or cut off and you never know who is next on the ol' chopping block and all the changes things like that entail, so I didn't force it.

I've done plenty of looking back and assessing how far I've come posts. I haven't really done any going forward that far posts. Part of looking and planning forward is assessing right now, and I think I pretty much assess right now to death, don't I? I'm done with physical therapy unless something changes, I'm continuing to self monitor with a medical team, OH, Scott's job finally sold so there's a little bit of a snip in the annual income, kiddos are in my house, and we're dealing with even more hard stuff, so this post is more an exercise in focus than actual planning, but this is a good way to lay down a foundation and set up scaffolding for that.

Let's get a direction. I could go in any direction, and a lot of it depends on financial independence (which my original plan was intended to help push). I have kiddos in Houston, I have people all over the world I'd like to see, plus things I'd love to do if I were able, but if I've learned anything it's Keep It Simple, Stupid. The simplest thing to do is sift top priority out, and that's kiddos. In the last 10 years I've seen my Houston kiddos what, 3 times? I think in the next 5 years I'd like to see them at least a couple more times. If I'm going to do that, I have to be able to travel and survive stepping out of my own routine and comfort zone into a different environment, and I'd really like to do that with more brain on. So of course, top goal for the next 5 years is be ready to travel. NO JUNK FOOD, no stupid mistakes like what happened with the new shoes being laced too tight, no wasting my money or energy on things (or people) who will make this priority drop into a lower place. And anyone who expects that will need to understand I might feel very crabby about making that kind of a choice. I used to be able to jump and go be with people through crises at the drop of a hat, and I did it all the time for a number of people, and I just can't any more. I need to be ready to say a polite NO and stick to my guns if I want my own kiddos to stay top priority.

I know this sounds trivial, but I want to be done with the junk in my room. Every time I've started going through this old stuff that has piled up (and a good chunk of it isn't even mine), more gets piled up on me. My room is like a catchall in a family of packrats. Granted, @bonenado is a very neat packrat, constantly rearranging the entire basement and keeping a spotless closet, but a lot of this stuff is pure junk in my eyes, and we're so busy sifting through more junk (Bunny is a funny cosmic joke on this whole thing) that I never seem to get back to the original junk I keep trying to get rid of. I used to have to keep organized piles of stuff from the bankruptcy and my disability case, just piles of EOBs overtaking piles of other stuff that never quite got done for Christmases and stuff, and it's just ridiculous now. It's been so long since some of that happened that I can now just burn whole sacks of stuff, but they're buried under more sacks of stuff that needed sifting out, including baby stuff and my mobile office stuff that keeps getting bombed apart. I finally taped my publishing contract up on the wall. I see it every day. I lost that piece of paper so many times because suddenly people in my house in the middle of sorting and writing. I need a whole room I can spread stuff out in that can be guaranteed no one will ever touch, but I have basically 2 feet of kitchen counter I've commandeered, a corner of a table, the dresser in my bedroom, and a strip of wall by my bed. Oh, and a corner in the closet I won't let @bonenado touch. I can't even tell you where my stuff is in the basement any more. I have entire music collections probably worth some money that have been engulfed. Everything ever done by the old guys like Bach, music from all over the world, a collection I dreamed of growing up and to this day have never enjoyed. I don't have the kind of life that allows me to have my own record collection out where I can get to it in my own house where no one will destroy it or move it or bother it, and it has sat for years down in the dark with the spiders. To get it all out now and listen to it- I'm trying to guesstimate how long it would take to listen to the entire collection in the few hours a day I actually get to be home, and that is usually interrupted somehow. 2 months? I'm guessing at least 2 months to listen to all that. Maybe 3. Chopin, Schupert, Rachmaninov... Yes, all the Beethoven, all the everything you ever heard of. I own it. I've talked before in the night was smashy about how I don't get to run my house the way I want.

dragging brain back into focus

Actually, that all reminds me of a very realistic dream I had a kind of long time ago that stuck with me and helped me let go of fighting for all that stuff.

I was a very old woman, at least for the time, and fashionably modern. I had all the latest in clothing, home decor, and lived very comfortably. In the dream I just knew this, I didn't see a lot of it. In the dream I was dressed to leave, in a sitting room detailed with brocades and dark striped wallpaper, velvet covered mahogany stuffed chairs, patterned prints and lots of lace, and I was dressed to the hilt right down to the latest dress boots, gloves, and hat.

I was looking around at all of it. I had to leave it. Something had happened (what?) and I had to leave all of it, and I detested the future that lay before me. Someone else would have all my nice things (the grand piano! the drapes! the imported carpeting!!!), and I was galled that I would be forced to step down into squalor. I kept looking around the room, cherishing the finery, cherishing my 'place' in the world, cherishing the quiet wealth dripping all around me. Cherishing my buffer against all the dirty world outside.

A carriage was coming to pick me up. Men would come into the house and escort me into the carriage, and I would leave this place and never come back. MY things. MY life. Another family would come in and mess up all MY stuff like a bunch of heathens. But I felt fine, even smug. In the dream I thought and felt all these things, and I felt smug that they would never take them away from me, never really force me to leave.

In the dream it was about sitting in that posh room and waiting. No one else was with me, no words were spoken, but deep down I knew that was me, and I watched myself like that, an ugly soul inside a beautiful home. Not one thought was wasted on remembering a person, not one moment of cherishing was about someone who was loved, not even a pet. All that went on while the clock ticked was looking around at the wealth and feeling smug that they couldn't take me from it. I realized after waking it was because I had overdosed on something and timed it for when the carriage would be arriving. They would walk in to find me dead, which would create a whole other fuss and stir, and technically I'd never have been forced to leave my house. Bah on them!

O_O I know, right. What a biatch. Well, I'm not sure what's up with the vividness of it and it really feeling like it was me unless possibly that's a past life or someone else's memories floating around in the night or a remote viewing kind of a dream, which I've done a few times, but whatever it was, I feel very strongly like I dreamed it for a very good reason, and that's NOT to make the same mistake again. In this life now I'm still very drawn to nicer things (not like I wish I had them but more like I feel that it's familiar) but shun them almost with repulsion and live a mostly immaterial life. I'm in a nice house, yes, but most of it is filled with hand-me-down furniture and decor, and not much of it matches. I'm not house-proud. I could (and have) easily lived in trailers and much smaller houses, and even slept on floors and in a car. I just have this really strong feeling that wealth is a trap for the mind, and that it ruins what we are supposed to be doing here.

I think the missed point is that every person is important. Every person is a wealth of potential. Every person is why we're all here, and it's the only common denominator in every other possible variable in our existences. To shun other people for things is to completely miss the point of existing as life. We may be autonomous beings, but we are still an interwoven part of each other in so many ways we can't even imagine.

For instance, I'm very aware in this life that other people create the things I enjoy. Other people labor over the food I buy, other people labor over the clothes I wear, everything I touch and see all around me is because other people are living lives and laboring. To cherish finery without acknowledging that people create it is, honestly, a bit silly. To hold oneself above others over materialism is about as silly as it gets. The materialism wouldn't exist in the first place without other people, the being above them certainly wouldn't exist without them, and the above ones can be ridiculously estranged from the very essence of humanity if they can't see this.

If I really was that old lady in a past life, I'm grateful I got past that. I'm glad my idiot choice to kill myself before I saw other people take my precious finery didn't ban me from going on to live a full life of loving people around me and learning to work together to solve our daily problems.

That was a bit off track of where I want to be 5 years from now, but I'm suddenly leaping to wonder where I'll be 5 lives from now. o_O Wow.

I know what I don't want 5 years from now. I don't want to be an idiot. I don't want to lose people over petty selfishness. I don't want to grow bitter and I don't want to wallow in being sad. I'm going to do a bit of thinking this month while I deal with this tummy ache that won't go away, and maybe I'll have some cool dreams in the meantime.

I want to still be here in 5 years. I want to be a positive force to reckon with.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

getting my pre-crash on for the holiday slide

click pic for more
I'm actually trying to get the lame
diamond hoe advancement on mo creatures
"Serious dedication- Completely use up a diamond hoe, and then reevaluate your life choices"
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."
You can read the entire poem at
The Walrus and The Carpenter, which is by Lewis Carroll, from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872.

There are a number of literary interpretations, which I don't really care about and have nothing to do with today, but that quote popped into my head after a long night of forever-going-nowhere dreams about stacking black and white terracotta blocks in my stomach and going in never ending circles trying to find my car on a huge college campus and deciding I needed to let a class go before I failed another.

One of the biggest walls my medical team has run into with me is I genuinely don't know how to rest. I've been commanded a number of times to stop doing things, stop powering through, stop everything and just rest. And I'm supposed to do this on a regular basis anyway since I'm super spoonie, and I'm so used to feeling awful that I just keep going in my own very restricted way.

I grew up working pretty hard. I still got in some play time and grew into a prolific reader, but I wasn't the kind of kid who could lay around for it's own sake unless I was reading or guarding the livingroom stereo so no one would change the record. I'm compulsive even on my worst days, and it's all I can do to be 'lazy'. That was a big word growing up, and a nasty word as an adult, especially coming at me sideways during a couple of really bad spoonie years. I try to rest my body by keeping my mind busy on other things, and I've developed quite an obsession with powering through minecraft server salvage and remarket, despite having pretty cool plans for a few builds. Even in my sleep, now that I'm finally actually sleeping, I'm extremely busy in all my dreams.

Part of not resting properly is the underlying prompt to pass for normal. I want to be useful and available, and that means pretending to be able to keep up. Pretending means I hide how miserable I might really be feeling or how hard getting through the day and keeping up might be for me. Pretending means blowing off red flags popping up left and right and dancing around the distractions like minor bothers are bothersome and I don't want to be bothered kind of thing.

I had gotten to a place where I was doing pretty good. Last year was actually pretty good. I was exercising regularly, getting function back along damaged nerve pathways, controlling pain levels with good sleep, nutrition, and real rest. Because I thought I was doing so well, I jumped a little more into holidays, and by January 2017 I was hitching an ambulance ride one day over a pain in my abdomen. My main concern was that I could feel my heartbeat in a very precise spot deep inside my belly, and every time it started thumping hard and fast in there I would get breathless and super fatigued. Naturally, they immediately jumped on ruling out cardiac and a variety of abdominal emergencies, including aneurysm. I've been bad to blow off abdominal pain since I've lived with it my entire life (my childhood was miserable, part of my adulthood was worse), so once I saw I was cleared of anything immediately life threatening, especially aneurysm, I blew the rest off. Yes, I saw a notation on the CT about something I didn't understand, and yes, I blew off follow up with my doctor.

So for the last 9 months I've been blowing off worsening pain coming and going. I'm already very familiar with a number of abdominal issues and had already learned to control a lot of it, and I kept thinking, Ok, this is all familiar, it's nothing, just keep going. And I got through some pretty rough nights without telling anyone and pulled through some really hard days not telling anyone because I want to be available and useful and I'm in a position to be very helpful every single day. After years of full disability, do you know how good that feels?

October went over the top, and I still kept hiding it. I kept telling myself that awful throbbing pulse inside my belly wasn't an aneurysm, and that the hard pain moving around was probably just some kind of flare up, disregarding the fact that autoimmune flares in organs are extremely serious. I toyed around with not eating and taking breaks and other little things that didn't seem to make any difference but helped me just enough to keep faking it. I was able to fake it right up to my girls leaving for a visit with relatives, and within hours I was back in the ER because the weird rose up and spooked me and I was free to collapse into that state of uselessness for a few days if I needed to.

I know nothing yet, except that the tests and consultations are coming like rapid fire after nearly being admitted. All the years I've had so many problems and even a heart surgery, I've never been admitted. So I'm at home dealing with some quite remarkable pain and fatigue and hoping this doesn't escalate into emergency surgeries during test events or biopsies coming back with really bad news.

A lot of people have told me over the years that I'm strong and I'm brave. I keep replying back that I'm stubborn and brazenly stupid. I'm very lucky is what I am. I have the kind of mental and cognitive problems that enable me to survive hard stuff without crumbling into self destruction (a plus for neurodiversity and mental illness, guys), and the kind of personal physical and emotional history that has blunted me to pain and self recrimination, so of course I 'look' strong and brave. I'm surviving. Survivors do what they have to do to keep surviving.

It's very possible that I may not have any time for wallowing or guilt over this next month, and it's possible the only way to survive what's coming is to let a lot of stuff go and focus harder than I've ever focused. I accepted long ago that any day could be my last and I've felt lucky for decades that I'm still here. I have my mood swings, of course, but underneath it all, I know I've been very fortunate to still be HERE, saying things and loving people.

When I was on Xanga, I used to answer the featured question once in awhile. On September 23, 2008 I answered If you got a terminal disease what would you do? That might not be viewable on mobile, so I'll copy it here.

We're *all* terminal in the end. I'm a 'slow' terminal. I've already lost a niece who was born terminal but lived to 20, in spite of all medical odds. So define terminal here. I was diagnosed 20 years ago, I'm lucky I'm still alive, and I get up and face every day with progressing neurological deficit and severe pain througout my body.

So someone is asking, what would I do if I found out I'm terminal. Well, if a doctor told YOU that you would be completely crippled and blind in less than 20 years if you were *lucky* and didn't go into organ failure first, what would YOU do? I went to college and got my degree. I went on to grad school. I raised a child as a single parent and then remarried and helped raise another child. Every day I prayed that I would live long enough to see my children grown up. Every day I did laundry, made meals, and somehow made it through my day. Recently, just this last winter, I faced that I might die from liver involvement. But here I am, I'm still doing laundry and making meals. Slowly, with lots of rest.

What did I do? I faced it and kept LIVING. I didn't ask 'why me?', because statistically, why not me? Everybody's got something, right? I didn't blame God, I didn't hate my body, I didn't go on big campaigns to fundraise for a cure for my disease.

What did Stephen Hawking do? He helped flip the world of physics upside down. And dang, he's still alive, too. Some of us just won't die.

Being diagnosed with a terminal disease isn't a license to feel sorry for yourself. It's not a 'get out of responsibility' card that says you are now free to smoke and drink and do whatever you want to your poor body. It's not a sign over your head that says you get to go to the front of the line or a free meal. In fact, being diagnosed with a terminal disease is a sure bet that all your friends will fade away because they don't know how to deal with it, and that you won't be able to keep up with the fun stuff any more. So you take a good long look at your life, you learn everything you can about medications and nutrition and how your body works, you have a long talk with God, and you get real with the people around you.

If anyone out there has recently been diagnosed with something scary, bless your heart, but take a deep breath and face it. Have a good cry, have another good cry, and keep moving ahead. Say the things you need to say to your friends and family, on a blog, whatever, and get that safety net around you. Communicate with your medical team, talk to a counselor, and don't be afraid to ask friends and family for favors, and tell them thank you.

Oddly, for those on the brink and about to step over (I've seen this a few times), some feel the need to reassure the ones they leave behind it's ok, even though inside they are scared out of their wits. They can walk up to the bridge with you, but you step out alone. I think that's what we fear most, unless we're so sick that we're glad it's finally over.

Live your lives. 'Terminal' doesn't mean you're done yet.

Everyone who has known me online in some way has met this person inside of me, whether you knew it or not. I don't always talk about my stuff. I might bring it up a lot if I'm processing through something, but I don't let it eat me up. Life is way too short to sink into the quagmire of everything sux. Yes, stuff sux, but I don't want people to say *I* suck. I know I suck sometimes, I'm human, but honestly, I don't like myself when I suck, and I try not to be like that, even if my day, my week, my month, and even my year has super sucked.

I don't have to pretend for anyone. There is no 'have to'. I chose to pretend for a little while because I so loved having a useful place with people I love. But I'm stepping back now, and telling them to go on without me, like I have been doing my whole life in this house. I am part of the background, and I choose to let go of being in the foreground so that I can stay here and keep watching my people. I'm still here, still lurking, even in my own house I am the lurker. I see the stuff other people get to do, I live vicariously, and I feel very grateful I got to be here this long to see it.

Yes, I have regrets, but they're the kind that involve not having enough money to see other people and do things I want, and going there turns my soul black and makes me forget the lucky parts, so I refuse to dwell. Yeah, I feel sorry for myself for a few minutes and get a tear here or there, but I've learned from hard experience not to follow that trail through my mind because once I wind up in the Swamp of Sadness, I drag other people into the sticky mire with me and we all get stuck in yuck. There's no sense in that, it goes nowhere and solves nothing.

So I smash my brain into this kind of stuff. 54 days till Christmas, guys.

I'll share more when I know more. In the meantime, pure distraction. I gotta love all the things and all my people while I still can. 💝