Sex, Mortality, Age, and Illness: I'm in my 30s

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Location: United States

It's everything I want to tell people when they make small talk and profound talk, but I often can't. Sickness, sex, and the process of dealing with aging parents feel unspeakable and sometimes unreachable, but they sure aren't here.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Drafty

Originally uploaded by shadowplay.

It’s cold. This is an understatement.

This is the truth: I’m wearing three parkas, which makes it hard to write. The floor is cold enough that I’m standing on only one foot at a time before getting socks on my feet so I won’t touch the floor as much.

The heat has been off in my building since last evening around 4 p.m. I am refusing to shower this morning. While I should be getting clean for the day and scrubbing off sleep, I’m instead focused on trying to do a little work, not out of any ethic, but out of a desire to distract myself from my permanent state of goosebump.

At some point, I want to lower my shoulders from my ears and stop being hunched over. But I need heat for that.

The rheumatoid arthritis component of lupus + drafts of 30 degrees with a wind chill of 18 degrees = not a good match. I keep putting my knuckles in my mouth and sucking on them. It works.

Later today I head to the OB/GYN, and I’m actually looking forward to it because the table is heated.

Photo credit: Photo by shadowplay on flickr (click on photo for direct link and more work by this artist). His website is ShadowplayImages. Permission obtained for use.

Re-juggling, re-enacting, recycling, and so on

Hi folks, you might have noticed some changes in the order of the posts. I decided to research some copyright issues as I have come to love flickr.com more and more. I want to stay on the absolute strongest side of caution regarding copyright issues. While every link for each photo was intact and properly linked, the two lines of credit under each photo did not appear in every browser. In some cases, I found they didn't load consistently with each loading of the page (it appears that font size might have something to do with it, but I'm not sure). I have not found that Wordpress has experienced these problems, but Blogger is certainly showing a bug here. That's not okay, so I changed each post (I'm still working through them) to include a credit at the bottom with some additional links to the photographer's professional site, blog, etc. This means that some readers may be seeing two separate credits on each post, but oh well. I think it's pretty cool to share the stuff I like, and if it brings business to someone else, even better. I am also erring on the side of caution and etiquette by going back to every person, Creative Commons License or not, to obtain permission for use, since sometimes not everyone is clear on what the "Blog This" button may mean to someone, myself included. It will mean some jumbling of the order of the blog. I might post some text while waiting on a permission for a new pic I want to use, but I figure it's worth it. I realize that this might be tedious for some regular readers here, but in the interest of the utmost fairness to the photographers, I think it's best. Final note on recycling: I trashed some posts that I didn't think were so good, and I removed some photos that didn't work or seemed forced or even irrelevant. Always a work in progress. This post may appear from time to time as I need to update readers on the renovation at this blog - please pardon any redundancy as a result.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Things Jen Is Not Allowed To Do (Updated)

Pervert Originally uploaded by -Birdy-.
1. May not begin comments on people's flickr photos with the caveat, "Not to sound pervy, but..." 2. May not use the expression “Holy crap!” as an expression of gratitude when presented with professional kudos from colleagues and superiors. 3. May not indiscriminately talk like the Swedish chef (“Bjork, bjork, bjork, chickeeeeeen!”). 4. May not try to show the research staff at outpatient oncology my newest panties in front of other patients. a. Even if they ask. b. Even if they ask nicely. c. Even if I’m wearing the Barbie panties. 5. May not tweeze eyebrows when angry or under the influence of drugs. 6. May not engage in spontaneous discoing in my computer chair when other people are not sufficiently prepped. 7. May not try to dance in public like Peanuts characters. Especially if I want anyone to speak to me. 8. May not let everyone know how fabulous I smell more than once every hour. Even if do smell fabulous. 9. May not try to speak rationally with an AOL representative. Ever. 10. May not try to pretend that I won’t spill iced tea on myself when hyper (so far today, twice on me, once on the floor, once on my tushie cushion). 11. May not attempt cooking any dish that may be extremely flammable and not advisable for nine year-olds to attempt. May aim low. 12. May not try to change my shirt, brush my teeth, and dial the phone simultaneously in order to “multitask.” 13. May not construct paper clip shrines to the Flying Spaghetti Monster while under deadline. 14. May not believe I have been touched by His Noodly Appendage and must stop trying to "testify" about it. 15. May not try to taunt or manipulate staff with banana muffins (they taunt and manipulate back). 16. May not "perform research" at my desk by stuffing as many malted milkballs as I can into my mouth. 17. Must clean off malted milkball spewtum from my monitor as soon as possible (i.e., pre-crust), not when I feel, you know, "kinda inspired." Photo credit: "Pervert" by -Birdy- on flickr (click to see more of this artist's work). His blog is You Are a Cog. Permission obtained for use.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Baring it...the nude diaries, part one

gunnar runner Originally uploaded by fast boy.

Sometimes compliments are revealing. Sometimes the recipients are. Compliments on a particular day can often indicate more about what you are like on *other* days. Inhibited about my body I'm not, generally, as if my public declaration of boob joy and boob theatre weren't enough to tip you off. When my sister arrived on Christmas day, I greeted her in the living room. "You look beautiful!" she said. I hugged her. "You're all dressed up!" she continued. I looked at her. I was wearing a thermal shirt inside out and my pilled sweatpants with the faded wear marks on the ass. My puzzlement was obvious. "Well, I'm really not used to seeing you in clothes." It's true. I realized for the previous eight to nine months, my sis saw me in only a sports bra (refer to avatar) and minishorts. I am very comfy in them and wore the set as a uniform. Seeing how "real" clothes actually fit my body was a new experience for my sis. When I moved to an apartment in June, my sis was around for the whole thing. I walked around in my usual ensemble all around the complex, and it never occurred to me what anyone thought or how they reacted - including family. I have never been a fan of clothing. I am also a resolute naked sleeper. One perk is that people's expectations of you lower immensely, so that even inside-out thermals can get a rave response. The other perk is knowing who loves you anyhow.

Photo credit: "Gunnar Runner," by fast boy on flickr (click on photo for more of this artist's work). Permission obtained for use.

Things that go poot in the night

Troll Originally uploaded by CarlosBravo.

"Ew. Where's that smell coming from?" "Eggs. I'm making hard-boiled eggs. I'm trying to put on more muscle weight instead of being all Kate Moss-y. I’m sick of being skinny." "No, it's the Fart Gremlin." "It's eggs. Sulphurous goodness that they are. Lots of protein." "Fart Gremlin! Running loose and cropdusting all the way." “I have to eat these, ya know. Eggs are good stuff.” "That just means the Fart Gremlin has been set loose.” "Okay, okay, it's the Fart Gremlin."

Photo credit: "Troll" by CarlosBravo on flickr (click on photo for more work from this artist). Permission obtained for use.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wobble

more jello Originally uploaded by xetark.

I've been surreally suspended in Jello since veddy, veddy, veddy early on Monday morning. Not fresh Jello either, but the kind with a rubbery skin on it like a Nerf ball. Sunday: sleep oddly as needed during the day to deal with pain and fatigue. Indulge fits of productivity and be grateful as hell for them. Result: ready for bed at exactly 6:00 a.m. on Monday morning. Not perfect. Not the first time, either. Reality: wake up at 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning to drive to methotrexate shot. Hyper-consume caffeine, steroids, and Plaquenil in a huff before dodging to the car without a brush or comb ever greeting my hair. Yes, seriously, and can I get an "oh freakin' well"? My regular nurse says, "You look beautiful," anyhow. Stay wired through the afternoon. Crash, and consequently screw up my metabolism's expectation of its next 3 drugs. Feel my head start to pull and separate into a big bubble that trails like a helium balloon bobbing toward heaven. Tuesday: wobble, bobble, and generally splat and squish my way from bed to the kitchen for COFFEE, where my body simpered and tugged at me, "Ummmm, steroids? Now steroids? Can have steroids now? How about now?" I'm not quite connected to the world, and I have only hit one, exactly one, thing on my to-do list (oh, this isn't it). Knuckles and knees: no swelling, no redness. Nausea: not so awful, not fabulous, improving as I stuff down plain rice with a spoon, but really, it would go so much better with a plunger if only my jaw had full-extension hinges. Guess who has a bunch of writing she hasn't finished and even more laundry? Guess who will refuse to do all dishes today?

Photo credit: "More jello," by xetark on flickr (click on photo for direct link and more work by this artist). Permission obtained for use.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Slobber Like a Pro

drool2 Originally uploaded by Perfecto Insecto.

No one wants to be in a position where people see them as a drooling freak. My reality is that I am sometimes freakishly drooling – in front of 40 law peers, an evaluator, and a camera, for all of posterity. Awwwwww, yeah! My response to bodily pain throughout law school, in particular, was to continue a longstanding tradition of literally gritting my teeth. I received what is called “injection therapy” or sometimes “injection surgery” over a period of nearly two months in order to manage what became a bad case of TMJ, complete with broken teeth that required intervention. At one point, the pain of the TMJ became just as unbearable as a tooth I wrecked during that flare, so I hit the pain meds. The next day, two things were happening: my appointment with an oral surgeon in the morning and a major presentation that evening in my sports law class. I called my group to let them know I very well might not show up for my portion of the presentation, but I would drop off somehow my handouts. I was sick from lupus and jaw pain, sick from painkillers, and sick from a doctor poking in my mouth with a instruments. I couldn’t stand the idea of not showing up and essentially admitting in public that before a major presentation, my body had punked out on me in another way, and I had "consented" to it by staying home. I can't stand this kind of failure. It is soul-crushing. I wondered if this truly was one of those times that I had to give into the realities of my complications. I realize and accept that there will be those inevitable moments of having to "take it easy" that are not about character but about body malfunctions. I don't, however, accept it gracefully.

I decided that I would figure out whether I should stay home or whether I should push…as I went along. I reminded myself that I could pull out at any moment if things nose-dived. I drove to school, my face swollen, in my suit. Right before I entered the room, I ran my hands over my body, checking for upturned hems and untucked edges. I glanced down briefly to see that there was a darkened spot, smaller than a dime, on my collar.

I had forgotten but suddenly remembered with a thud:

I. Was. Still. Drooling.

And then the full reality hit: In. Front. Of. People. I whispered to my group as we filed in: “I’m drooling.” You can file this line in the folder of statements that I thought I would never utter, including, "Do you believe I can still smell elephant poop on my leg?"

B., ever a gentleman, a Boy Scout, and a sweetheart, handed me an entire packet of tissues. “Do you want to go home?” J. asked. Yes, I wanted to go home, but the thought of not being there and even humiliating myself set my jaw further on edge against itself. My blazer would have to be cleaned for the drool as it was already – might as well sweat it up, too. And I did. I had put on baby powder as a means of absorbing the results of my jagged nerves. I can speak in front of groups; it’s been a professional necessity over several fields and jobs. However, I truly don’t like it most of the time, particularly in an evaluative setting when I am not feeling up to snuff, but that’s the transcendence right there: doing it anyhow. Regardless, my sweat output was beating my slobber output by about two parts to every one part. 'Twas a night of clear fluids - mostly...the powder had already turned to a wet, cement-like mixture, as if a first-grader smeared paste on my skin. My group was wonderfully supportive. I was the second person in our group to speak. By the time I had to stand before the room, the evaluator, and the CAMERA, I simply stated for all, bunched-up tissue in hand: “I’m coming from a dental procedure and experiencing some issues from that, so I’ll be pausing occasionally.” There was a weird energy in the room for a moment, and I charged into my speech, wiping all the way and swapping tissues as they became saturated. My material was decent to good. My delivery: adequate, possibly not bad. It accomplished the job. Was it an event where the evaluator came up to me afterward over refreshments to give me congrats on the performance, like other times? No, hell no. But he did come up to me afterwards and patted me on the shoulder for getting through. That was plenty.

I felt sticky and gooey all over by the time I came home and fell asleep that way.

Photo credit: "Drool 2" by Perfecto Insecto on flickr (click photo for more work by this artist). Permission obtained for use.

Chores

Keeper of thy Gems Originally uploaded by feastoffools.

Yesterday was yet another laundry day, except, unlike the photo, it was neither glittery nor fabulous. It sure as hell did not involve gold lame, though Miss Confuckinggeniality will admit to once owning a green metallic bra with a velour trim, and it was not the '80s. However, laundry did give me lots of comforting home-y smells. I'm not sure how three people can generate so much smelly stuff. I did two jumbo loads (one load for that washer equals two regular loads) and one regular load. That was three trash bags' worth of lugging. I'm not sure if we are very dirty or very clean. Laundry is, surprisingly, one of the soothing things in my life. There is immediate gratification as soon as you dump the clothes in: you *know* you are about to check something off the to-do list in 34 minutes. My other chore has been my renewed commitment to getting more veggies in my diet. I was warned in '98 to increase my consumption of green veggies, and I am, slowly, one chomp at a time. I don't approach this task as eating. I think of it like folding, sweeping, dusting, or chucking the garbage into the dumpster. It's merely a chore, not me against my stomach, or me against the green veggie, although I *am* against brussels sprouts. Intensely.

Photo credit: "Keeper of Thy Gems" by feastoffools on flickr (click on photo for more pictures by that artist). Pictured: Leslie Hall, interviewed on the Feast of Fools podcast at www.feastoffools.net. Permission obtained for use.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Speed

Originally uploaded by Arnold Pouteau's.

There's this fear that even though I am fully in the driver's seat of my life, I am left far, far behind everyone else, just waiting, and my car is going nowhere. My resume testifies to the slow, plodding achievements of my life so far, or rather all the things that the outside world would accept as achievements. The outside employment world may not care what it was like to learn to walk normally again after a major walker stint or to rehab my spine. Those aren't the things I have listed under "Projects" or "Skills." This is the reality of fatigue and hours spent sitting in medical settings: compromised productivity *at times*; adding hours to the work day to compensate for the time lost to medical things; or simply not working 12 hours in a day when that's exactly what I want. What if everyone is moving faster than I am? What if they are, in fact, leaving me in the dust? Is it a race? When I saw my neurologist and internist this week, we talked about the realities of not wanting to sleep so much and the ongoing battle of fatigue. Previously, another internist prescribed Inderal, but I stopped it after the first pill for several reasons, a strong contender being the resulting "sluggishness," as the doctor called it. That simply won't work. I am already in a battle with my white cells and drugs for energy. I get first crack at it as much and as often as possible. My doctors and I this week talked about ways of avoiding narcotics and other lethargy-inducing drugs. We thought of ways to use hormones and steroids. We found ways of allowing me to incorporate my mega-caffeine: "Why do you need all this caffeine? Is it just habit to keep taking it for hours?" "No, I need it. If I want to run on the same playground as the healthy kids, I have to be awake and go just as fast. I have to make results happen, just like them, and I have to invent ways of tricking and coaxing my body into letting me do that."

Photo credit: by Arnold Pouteau on flickr (click on photo for more work by this artist).

Monday, January 09, 2006

Pain Removal Machine

buddha gaggle Originally uploaded by Perfecto Insecto.

A thousand Buddhas meditating in my brain could not have stopped the heebie-jeebies crawling up my spine as I drove with Bobblehead to the neurologist. It wasn't just Philadelphia drivers that made my sphincter curl like an angry fist - though they helped. Are people morally opposed to the use of turn signals for reasons I don't know?

This Monday trip to the hospital (after just being there on Friday for methotrexate) starts with a premise . . . Blinding pain is unacceptable.

All the pain is unacceptable, technically, but I have to pick and choose where I will focus and what I will sacrifice to escape it. I am going to yet another doctor in another non-descript building to ask not for a solution but for options. For something.

I'm scared of what I'll hear, but I am counting my blessings even now: this neurologist already knows the deal is hit-and-barf, and that playing doctor is about detective work, not throwing pills at people to stave off a sense of impotency. While I may work from home and set my hours, I still have to make deadlines and produce, produce, produce. That is impossible when my body decides that IV narcotics are the only answer; not only do I miss precious time to screaming and puking, but the hours are also lost to hospital processing and being strung-out on whatever is pumped through my veins. Narcotics are no longer the answer. They lose their punch after too much exposure; like everything else, after a while, they are too tedious. Dilaudid, my former angel, is the biggest slack-ass bore. Even Kevin Federline at his grimiest with Dorito fingers would look competent and motivated next to its lackluster effort. Dilaudid and I have to break up.

Dilaudid: "Why leave? I'm trying my best."

Me: "I think I need to see other drugs."

Dilaudid: "But we've been together for years. You hussy, have you no sense of history?"

Me: "I've changed. You've changed. We have different needs and goals now. I'm not sure what we have in common besides my rusty veins."

Dilaudid: "I think we should give it another chance."

Me: "It's not you. It's me."

There, the death blow. I said it. We are so over. I can't ruin a project/commitment I have from now until March. I can't have my head implode into shattered brights lights as I hurl into paper *and* plastic bags (that's right, I can take them BOTH out) while someone is waiting for me in the lobby. I can't explain to them how neither my arms nor legs are working.

I gotta pull it off, disabled professional or not. I can't be afraid.

I have to make my options, if not solutions - again. That means being pro-active, so I went to see the neurologist where he ticked off the names of drugs like roll call. I sat at attention.

"Compazine?" "No good." "It's a great drug. Why not?" "The ER has forbidden me from taking it. I shook until the bed rattled and moved on its own. It was not an excellent day for an exorcism. The ER doc gave me the legal limit of IV Benedryll, which didn't make anything stop, and then the legal limit of IV Valium, which means I remember nothing after that. I can remember that even my jaw shook." "Reglan?" "Same deal, but the hospital will use it as long as they give me a shot of Benedryll first so the shaking is tolerable." "Phenergan?" "Made my tongue swell. Is that okay?" "No, no, that's not okay." We had to decide priorities. Daily treatment meant chomping another pill in addition to my cocktail o' joy: more side effects, more possible interactions, more brow-furrowing from doctors in deciding what was really wrong when shit invariably hit the ER. Daily treatment was no longer an option: goodbye, Inderal, you were a great one-night stand who could deliver the ooooo and the ahhh, but you made a terribly grumpy breakfast partner. I won't miss ya. The real priority was decided: fast, acute care to deal with problems as they presented themselves so that I could just get through. We decided that I would take a wallop of prednisone when I felt an aura - whether from a migraine, body pain, continued nausea, dehydration, sleep problems, medication cocktails, whatever. He calculated one milligram to every kilo of body weight. It would be a big dose. I would take two other drugs with it that have both worked at various times to help with pain while not inducing lethargy too badly. They could work together as a triad, as another cocktail. I would break the pain as soon as it presented and then run around as unfettered and hyper as a meth junkie.

So goes the theory. Works for me.

As I left, he told me to call to update him on the results: it might work; it might not. My veins conduct an ongoing chemistry experiment. The point is trying as pain teaches the way.

Photo credit: "buddha gaggle" by Perfecto Insecto on flickr (click on photo for more work by this artist). Permission obtained for use.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Spreading joy like pollen

bee Originally uploaded by ko-knia.

Here I am buzzing around again in my own private Idaho, doing things my way, even if it makes me stand out a little for some people. "Do you know how long I've been walking around with my bra hanging from my wrist like this?" "Two hours, forty-two minutes, sixteen seconds." "Close. I keep meaning to put it on, then I see something else I would rather do. Lemme just get into this before something else catches my eye." *Commence Operation Bra-Wearing Without Removing Any Clothing First* "WHOA!" "Hold on - I can't hear you when I'm hopping. Okay, what?" "I have NEVER seen anyone put it on like that before. Where is your bra?" "It's on now - didn't you see me just go through that?" "Oh, it is. Wow. Isn't that a bit . . . unusual?"

Photo credit: "bee" by ko-knia on flickr (click on photo to see more of this artist's work).

Friday, January 06, 2006

How the f*%! does this thing work?

Originally uploaded by angrysalad.

This morning, before leaving for a methotrexate injection, which I can only assume had me highly discombobulated: "What did you bump into this morning?" "Oh, I closed the bedroom door on my own head." "I heard you whimpering afterwards." "Did you hear that it was BOOM-boom?" "Yes, actually." "That was the door slamming into my head and then my shoulder going oomph against the jamb."

"You might want to keep that between us." BRILLIANT! Shortly after this incident, I turned on the stove to heat water for coffee and put bread in the toaster. I was keenly aware of my access to fire, knives, and electricity, and I was not reassured. My trip to chemoland should go fine this morning as long as there is nothing too complicated, you know, like doors on hinges.

Photo credit: by angrysalad on flickr (click on photo for more of this artist's work). Permission obtained for use.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

6:39 a.m.

old car Originally uploaded by lightpainter.

At 6:39 this morning, I was already walking to the garage, keys in hand and jangling along the creek, and thinking about the oddness of driving while steak knives settled around my knee. Everything in the dark felt like it was waiting. Trees and rain moved like thirteen year old girls at their first dance, furtive and giddy. The cruelty of daylight and malfunctioning, autoimmune joints seemed ages away. Even with my knee slightly billowing, I could taste dew and not think about the imminent physical therapy routine that involves tying weights to my ankles. I walked with a consciousness of my legs and feet that only pain, slippery joints, and slipperier paths can bring. The rheumatoid arthritis component of lupus, in combination with a fibromyalgia flare, woke earlier with a bang. The only way to keep mobility and unfurl the knots is to work through pain. No one ever promised me that embodiment would be as easy as waiting for dawn. Miss Confuckinggeniality knows better than that. This is not a post about expectations. Once it is over, I drive home to play with food and hope that it stays put. I consider showering for a 9 a.m. meeting but realize I won't be able to move quickly enough to make it. Clock-bound I am not. The sweat and dew from 6:39 a.m. will simply have to stay glued on me, patient and encompassing.

Photo credit: "old car" by lightpainter (David Ramage) on flickr (click on photo to see more work by that artist). See his work and sale items at here and his thoughts on his photography and process at Ramaged. Permission obtained for use.

Social Deviance

creamer Originally uploaded by kreet.

Some people will never behave properly. Some people will always manage to land in their own private Idaho, no matter what the latitude. That's where I wind up, with dem folks. Evidence that I was right to think Maria was Miss Thang: She recently confessed to being busted in college. Pot? No. Drinking? Entirely too pedestrian. Orgies? Nope, better. She was charged with HOUSING A MARSUPIAL. Perfection. I thought I really had something when I stepped in elephant shit in the utter dark wasteland that existed behind the circus tent and asked, after trudging through and over an odd hill remarkable for its texture, "Did anyone else think that hill was weird?" (only to hear, "What hill?" and "JESUS! Do you smell that?"). While cleaning it up might have compared with slummin' it in one of Dante's rings, I certainly didn't get charged with anything. I mean, there's nothing on my permanent record, though I wound up throwing out a pair of shoes. Maria, may you always have something this wonderful in your...uh, pocket. Or pouch. Or something.

Photo credit: "creamer" by kreet (Krista Milito) on flickr (click the photo for more of this artist's work). Krista is a professional photographer with a gift for portraits and fine art, which you can see here. Permission obtained for use.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Balancing in the air

Speedway to heaven? Originally uploaded by Pensiero.

This is a delicate balance, this floating above earthly flesh while performing the mundane like it's my ticket to the divine. This is the way that the day proceeds. Get to consciousness. It's not so easy nor direct. It floats like ether and is just about as easy to catch in a butterfly net. Work for two hours. Move the completed stuff to the left side of the desk and admire it. Get food. Come back to work. Work for a shorter period and move less to the left. That's okay. Clean the dishes. Work short again, move to the left. Admire again. This part is very important and makes the throbbing through the right side of my body easier to ignore; work suspends me above it and makes me float lightly. Sort the laundry. Put the cycle on permanent press. Be grateful for the presence of plentiful panties in the drawer soon. Do shorter work and leave it on the bed, because I know I have to do better, and I must. It is required.

Throw the clothes in the dryer. Stop being afraid of what will hurt next because it will, in fact, hurt. That is okay, too. The sun will rise and will, thankfully, set. This is the kind of lucidity that arrives only through the simplicity of chores and the repetition of even simpler goals.

Work a little more, move it to the left. Scrub the crusty stuff off the other plate in the sink. Don't contemplate what colonies it might have spawned. Back to work. The goal is to keep moving it to the left.

Photo credit: "Speedway to heaven?" by pensiero on flickr (click on photo to see more work by this artist). Permission obtained for use.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Eyelids

Keep Lids Closed Originally uploaded by filmgoerjuan.

I can't keep my lids closed anymore.

I have to wake up, even if it feels like parts of my body are missing in action and my eyes are going in different directions. Which they are, at the moment. During these long, druggy sleeps, I dream. I drool copiously. There's a map of my mouth's locations all over my dark pillow cases. I remember two things from these dreams. First, that I was living in my old home where someone said, "We are still alone," at which point I gagged on something and pulled a stone out of my mouth (I can only imagine the quantities of droolage that oozed like party strings from my mouth at this point). Second, I recall saying with the force of a general to this person, "That's my quiche, dipshit!"

I didn't say they were profound dreams. I said they were drooly and druggy.

It's already dark now, possibly after midnight, but I'm not sure of that. It's quiet here in front of the monitor. I can feel the humming vibrations of the computer against my calf. It's better to sit here, suspended beyond time, and keep tapping away at letters to see if they reach you. If I lean over at a 55 degree angle to see the digital clock on the floor, I may very well baptize it with the French toast I just crammed in my mouth. First food, then drugs. Well, okay - more drugs. I've slept through the day. First it was 50 mg of painkiller, and then another 50 mg, because I was allowed and because I was not going to hang over a toilet cajoling the deities to save my sorry ass as I tried to keep my hair clean. I tied gel ice packs to my body with bands from my physical therapist that are supposed to offer resistance in the "baby-level" exercises I started so long ago.

Resistance is coming from other sources. I went to the gym last night and realized that my ulnar nerves were singing. There were two fifteen-pound dumbbells not in use and singing back. I will not have my ass whooped by fifteen-pounders, for fuck's sake. I picked them up and curled. And again. I didn't care that some guy was giving me "hint, hint" looks in the mirror because he wanted them. Miss Confuckinggeniality I am not. In time, the spasms through my arms stopped, and I finally shared.

Does work still happen in between the times when time is suspended? Yes. It does. I will not have my ass whooped by tasks I know I can do, even if I can't do them successively or quickly. The contacts were contacted, and the writing was written. I am four hours into a nine-hour project and will finish before 6 a.m. Clock-bound I am not.

There is a pacing that seeps into the air at these times. My body wants to keep the lids closed. I know the only answer is to initiate the chemistry experiment of chemicals with strange names (if I didn't know what Arava actually was, I would think it's a great name for my first-born -- yes, I would be one of THOSE cringe-inducing parents), get food, hydrate like a mofo, start stretches, and not lie there like I am a dumpster full of toxins. Even when I am.

Photo credit: "Keep Lids Closed" by flimgoerjuan on flickr (click on photo for more work by this artist). His blog is The Calm Dreariness, where you can see more of his work. Permission obtained for use.

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Sunday, January 01, 2006

I see trashed people!

I will venture out on New Year's Day, and I will deal with people who look like this. They will utter things like "uuuuhhhrr" and "ahhhm." They will be badly dehydrated and poke at me with a prickly attitude. They have scratchy, unseeing eyes and indulge in excessive mouth-breathing. I will intentionally speak louder than I must and slam doors with vigor. Miss Confuckinggeniality does not take kindly to people who induce their own barfing knowingly and intentionally. I will also open strong-smelling jars of condiments near them. Tags: , , , ,