Why I Hate Insomnia

I broke my phone on Thursday.
Dropped it into the sink (no, not full of water), & gave the damn thing an aneurysm.  If I had the headphones plugged in, I could answer calls, but the screen was stone dead.

No making calls, no social media, no blog, no pictures, no texting.

Oh sure, I was able to log into my social media & blog on my laptop, once I got home…

But any texts I had on my phone are looong gone.  None of that saves to the cloud.

So, yesterday, I filed an insurance claim, & my new phone was delivered today.

A trip to the anxiety – ridden & claustrophobically populated mall later, & said replacement was up & running.

3 hours of updating & re-downloading all the apps I had before (nope, still don’t have it all back the way it was), & I’m once more feeling marginally more in control of my life again.

Fast forward to now…why aren’t I sleeping?

Fucked if I know.

All I know, is that my nerves feel scraped raw, I’m on the verge of tears, & I’m pretty sure at least part of this is from having gone more than 24 hours without my phone.

Yes, I have no trouble admitting it.  I depend on my phone.  I don’t have a landline in my house.  I actually thought about everything this little box does for me, & it’s awe-inspiring.

It’s a clock, alarm, phone (derp), address book, calender, shopping list, magazine, television, news source, encyclopedia,  dictionary  (for those spelling emergencies), timer, level (yes, I have a bubble level on my phone, & yes, I’ve used it), flashlight, house alarm system, bank,  radio, diary (like, right now), camera, photo album, instant messenger, TEXTS, blah, blah, blah… in short,  as I told my supervisor on Friday “it is the sum of human knowledge. ..and I DON’T HAVE IT!”

I felt like Gollum wringing his hands & crying about tricksy hobbitses & his precious.

And now, I have my replacement phone.

I should be sleeping.
But anxiety doesn’t work like that.

So, I’m up, & over thinking Every. Damn. Thing.

Aaagh.

Destination, Determination, Deliberation

I’ve been re-reading the Harry Potter series of books again lately.

And have a phrase stuck in my head, as I sit here, struggling through the remnants of today’s migraine. 

It’s rather like fighting through a sticky spider web, only the web has thorns that unexpectedly jab me in the head & neck…so forgive me if I ramble a bit & sometimes fall off my train of thought altogether.

I have an appointment with my regular doc on Thursday. Since the “specialist” told me that my abdominal pain is not kidney-related, I don’t have much choice but to begin the whole investigation process over.  So, it’s back to the first square on this freaking chutes & ladders game I’ve been stuck in.

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Always, you think you’re getting somewhere, when suddenly – the ground opens up & you’re on a chute headed for the beginning again.  Milton Bradley, you’ve got some explaining to do about that deal you made with Satan…

Anyway, I’ve got this phrase in my head “Destination, determination, deliberation”… which is used in the HP books when the kids are learning about Apparition – or the means of traveling instantly from their current place, to a destination of their choosing.  They have to focus their determination – see themselves with their mind’s eye, standing in the place they want to be… and use deliberation to get them there, meaning they force the magic within themselves as wizards to move them, displacing time, space,  and probably about 12 other laws of physics.

So, you ask, how does this, in my pain-med riddled brain, equate with my doctor’s appointment?

Well, I’ve decided that I’m going to make my Dr. sit & listen to ALL that I have to say, so we can actually get to the bottom of whatever it is causing my pain. 
My destination is to be pain-free.

My determination is to not leave her office until she hears everything, & agrees that I need to have different tests run, something that will encompass the whole area that is governed by my pain, not just one small organ.

My deliberation?
Well, there my path diverges slightly from norm…

As I told my mother the other night, I’m going to make my doctor see my pain, by circling it in Sharpie.

Yup, I’m going to pull a surgeon’s own modus operandi, & mark the areas of pain.

What the hell do I care if my belly has permanent marker on it for a few days? If it’ll get the doc to really look at me, see what it is I’ve been trying to tell her?

Not like there’s anyone I’m trying to impress with unblemished white skin, lately. 

So, fuck it.

I’m making myself a walking incident report.
Let’s see her ignore that.

Deliberate enough for ya?

Quality/Quantity

How do you decide between Quality vs. Quantity?

How do you make a choice so fraught with emotions, that, either way, someone will end up hurting?

How do you say, I’m going to live,  really LIVE for a little while, rather than spend months & years with loved ones…but be in pain, sick & tired?

How do you make this choice?

I don’t know.
I really don’t.

I know/knew 2 people who’ve made this choice. Both choosing Quality over Quantity.

And as much as I can say that I understand, even respect, their choice…

It still hurts.

And I know that it’s not my choice to make.

I hope that I am never faced with this choice…because honestly, I don’t know how I would answer the question.

Do you fight? Do you go down swinging, even if it’s a slow, pain-ridden ride?

Or do you finish out your time in a blaze of glory & adventure,  knowing that every moment could be your last?

How do you choose?

Worn

I’m tired.
Tired of pretending that everything’s alright.
Tired of telling people “I’m fine”, or “I’m better”, when it’s a blatant lie.

I’m tired of hurting- every day- and never finding a surcease of the pain. There is no “eye of the storm” for me…there is only the unrelenting wind.

I’m tired of doctors who will not listen, will not actually take the time to give me, one of their so-called “valued” patients, quality care. Instead I’m shuffled like cattle thru the chute, “Poke it with the needle, Bob, & let’s send it back out to pasture! There’s a whole ‘nother corral to treat! What? There’s one telling you it hurts? Cattle don’t talk, Bob, send it on through the chute.”

And the ever-present pain that radiates from my side. Where do I begin with that?
How about the fact that, yes, I thought it was my kidney, as I’ve got a history of troubles & pain with that, & the pain is so similar to what I felt back then. But, the tests they’ve run have shown it’s not that. So, good news, right?
Well, great news, I don’t have to have a permanently enlarged, slow-acting kidney removed.

But then, I ask… where is the pain coming from?

And the doctors look around, shrug, & say “dunno.”

Or, how bout we start with the fact that I’ve told 2 doctors that I’m also experiencing constant pressure & pain in the region of my right ovary…
And yet, neither of them has done a physical “poke & prod” exam, nor have they run any tests on that area. “Cysts? Oh, you don’t look that old…oh, that’s right, you’re 45, hunh, you don’t look 45.”
Aren’t you going to check it?

Or how about that fact that my doctor has prescribed me some pain meds that- sure, make my hands & the arthritis I have there feel great… but it does nothing for the stabbing, grinding pain in my side.

I sleep hard at night, though, because of them.

And yet…
I’m still tired.
I’m exhausted.
Bone – weary of waiting for someone who will hear my sighs and realize that I’m still sitting in the waiting room, still waiting to be heard, to actually be listened to, not just patronized, patted on the head, & sent on my way with some do – little pills & a smile that tells me “it’s all in your head, you hypochondriac,  now go home & suck it up”.

It’s not in my head, it’s in my side, in my abdomen, and it’s only getting worse with time.  Fucking look at it. Fucking hear me. Stop watching the damn clock, stop thinking about the next patient when you’re in the exam room with me.

I’m worn out with yelling, pleading, I’m tired of crying in their offices, because I’m always alone when I have to deal with this. I don’t have anyone to lean on, who’ll believe me & go to back me up, to confront the doctors when they wear me down.
Maybe I should just print this & hand it to the next doctor I see.  Maybe.

Just No.

Until you’ve been there, until you’ve lived it, learned it, cried from it, raged over it, fought against it, and ultimately laughed in spite of it… you have no idea.

Don’t assume that you’re qualified to give advice to someone going through the fire, if you’ve never been in the flames.

Don’t pretend you understand the storm, when you’ve never stood in its eye, and been bowed by the force of the gale.

And save your anger for your own bad decisions, faults & failings.

The person standing in front of you has their own battle to wage, and you yelling at them to do it the way you think they should belittles only you.

You don’t get it. You never will. Until you stand in their shoes, live their life, and are faced with the exact same situations & consequences – you can shut the fuck right up.

Housecleaning

I was cleaning my house today, & was thinking about all the things I’ve gotten rid of…all the things I could get rid of… and all the things I should probably hang into.

And then, tonight, I had a thought.

Whose memories am I holding onto?

I’ve accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Kid’s stuff, my stuff, ex’s stuff, shared stuff.

And I know that some of the things that I have in my life, belong partly to other people.

At least, the memories connected to them do.

A giant, oriental fan that hangs in my living room, was a gift from my ex-husband while we were dating. I still love the picture on it, but it’s time for it to go.  I’ve got to cut the cuttable ties that still bind me to that past.  My son has some keepsakes, an old family portrait, a couple of knick knacks… I don’t need to hold onto things from his father for him.

And I do need to clear away the detritus of the memories.  Leftover crumbs from a broken relationship are not something I need hanging around the house.

If I’m ever going to forge ahead with a life outside of the broken past, I have to clear away the rubble, first.

So, tomorrow, I begin.

Tallyho.

Specializing in Not Much

2016 seems to be my year.
Seriously.

It’s my year- – – for specialists.

A few months ago, I started having pain in my right side. Right where my kidney is. The kidney that I had to have surgery on in 2001, and thought I’d never have trouble with again.

And here I am, having troubles.

Yay.

So, I packed my happy ass off to my regular doctor, & told her all about it. She ordered the usual suspects – blood tests, urinalysis,  and an ultrasound.

Some results pointed at a possible issue, but it’s not kidney stones, so she didn’t know what it could be.

Whoopee. Time to swing out the big guns.
A urologist.

Monday, I went to see Herr Doktor – and wound up seeing Herr Doktor’s Nurse Practitioner instead.  We’ll call him “Precious”.

Why? Because I had to wait a freaking month just to get in to see a Nurse Practitioner, for one.

Two? Because Precious didn’t even do an exam! He talked to me, asked me where it hurts, what makes it better, what makes it worse, blah, blah ,blippity  blah.

He didn’t even have me get on the exam table so he could do the usual prod & test of the offending area.

He sat on his little rolling stool, legs crossed, and talked to me as though I am some kind of hysterical, hypochondriac female.

And when I told him my history – how I’d been through testing before my surgery – 5 FUCKING YEARS OF TESTING, with the exact same pain I’m experiencing now, same place, same batchannel, same bat time – you know what he told me?!?

No, you don’t,  because it was so far out from left field, I couldn’t believe it when he said it!

“I think it’s musculoskeletal “.

Dafuq?

AND, he can’t schedule any additional testing, he has to make a recommendation to the urologist.

Precious little got accomplished at this visit, but you can bet it’s going to cost me a precious penny or 12.

When did it become impossible to actually SEE a doctor?

When did it become a mine field of obstacles, nurses, automated phone systems & “nurse practitioners ” surrounding the Precious Doctors like a Wall of Doom?!?

All I want is someone to fucking listen to me, to believe me when I tell them that, after going through 5 years of pain, and every test known to man and his dog, then surgery… that MAYBE, JUST MAYBE I KNOW MY BODY PRETTY FUCKING WELL?!?

#\$&$\!\#*$(@*!&!&/! $@!*#/(/($£7=£&!&×!!!

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Oh yeah, and I had to go to an Endodontist today to have a root canal redone. The guy was pretty cool, actually, & is Donny & Marie Osmond’s nephew.

And all it took was $1000.00 out of my pocket after my insurance paid their part.

But he’s got a nice tenor voice, and a good sense of humor, so there’s that.

Whoopee.