Masochist

I never thought I’d ever get pleasure out of pain, but…there I was.

Time and time again, chasing after men who either didn’t want to get caught, or men who claimed to love me, but constantly broke promises & tore my heart to shreds.

That would be me…always trying to hold onto that which harms.

Or trying to grasp that which simply dissipated through my fingers like smoke. Ghostly in its insubstantiality.

I must be a masochist.

I was constantly putting myself into a position of pain.

Well…no more.

I’m done.

I refuse to subject my emotional health, my heart, my self-esteem, into that position of self-flagellating hatred anymore.

I can’t do this, anymore.

So, I’m just done getting involved.

I am not going to participate in the game.

It hurts.

And, I really don’t like pain all that much.

Sure, I’d love to have someone come into my life who would be kind to me; someone who would be in a relationship with me. Something that had a hope for a future, at least.

But, survey says…that’s not happening.

So, I’m just not going to play the game at all.

It’s not worth it, anymore.

Not when I’m the one who has to pay the price of it in pain.

In the box you go…

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Snake Bite!

It’s funny what the cessation of pain can do for your perspective.

And for your attitude.

It’s hard to realize just how much your attitude is affected by pain, until the pain stops.

Now, I’m not normally someone who goes around recommending products for anyone.

I might try new things for myself, say they “work for me” or don’t, or whatever, but I don’t try to tell anyone else whether they should use something or not.

But – I’m breaking that “rule” today.

I’ve also never come right out and publicly endorsed a product on my blog.

I’m doing that today, too.

Any of you who’ve been reading my blog for very long, know that I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands.

I’ve been seeing a Rheumatologist for a few years now, and get steroid shots in my hands about every 6 months, just to keep the pain at bay. I also take daily anti-inflammatories to keep the swelling down. (My fingers get like little German sausages without them, and sometimes even with taking them – it’s yet another cause of discomfort, pain)

There is also a prescription gel that I have that’s supposed to help with pain. It does…a very little bit, but not to the extent I need anymore. It’s just not strong enough.

Well, I’ve been putting off going to see my Rheumatologist, because it’s kind of expensive, even with insurance, and I’ve been in a lot of pain. My thumbs, mostly.

Most people don’t realize just how much they rely on their thumbs for everything their hands do.

Pick up a stack of files?

Pressure on your thumb.

Lift a pitcher of juice out of the fridge?

TONS of pressure on your thumb.

Typing, which I do all day for my job, and typing on cell phones. Yes, different motions, but both rely on thumbs.

Getting dressed??? Try it with your thumb taped to the rest of your hand once, just to see what I’m talking about.

Luckily, the worst pain is in my left thumb, and I’m right handed, so at least I can “wipe” myself without pain. Geez.

Ok, so we’ve reviewed why I need pain relief.

Now, here’s the WHAT.

*I’m not getting paid to endorse this, wasn’t asked to endorse it, and the makers have no idea I’m writing this blog post. (I’m sure they have zero clue who I am, so, why would they know what I’m writing?)*

This is CobraZol.

And I’ll tell you right now, I’ve tried at least 4 other “arthritis pain relief” things that did- Zip. Nada. Zilch.

2 different types of daily supplements that were supposed to “boost your immune system, slow degeneration of joints & lessen pain, as well as 2 completely different type of creams. None of them worked – At. All. Binned- all of them.

But, the first time I rolled this stuff on my hands?

THE. FIRST. TIME.

Within 5-10 minutes, I had fucking relief from the pain.

The shoulders-falling, breath-blowing, muscles un-knotting, instant-smile kind of relief.

I found it on Amazon, & decided to give it a shot, after the last stuff I’d tried failed to live up to its hype. (I tried a hemp-derived cbd cream, no joy, & a strong smell, it went in the bin).

The CobraZol wasn’t expensive, just a little under $20 for a 2oz. roll-on bottle, so I figured, if it didn’t work, it wasn’t a big loss, right?

Well, I’ve been using this now since Wednesday night, so – approximately 3&1/2 days, & haven’t had to use my gel once, which is normally used 4 times a day. My hands have felt amazing, just some lingering muscle soreness (which could honestly be the beginnings of carpal tunnel, too, as I’ve been noticing some tingling & numbness in my fingers for about a week or so).

Ok, so, for those who noticed the name of the product. YES, it does mention COBRA.

The list of ingredients are on Amazon, as well as on the bottles, but, here are the main active ones:

Arnica

Capsicum

Rattlesnake venom

Bushmaster venom

Indian Cobra venom

Yes. 3 different types of venom. You read that correctly.

No, I don’t want to hear negative comments.

You see, I’ve done some research on this (I am a Google research nerd, don’t doubt).

I know the benefits of arnica and capsicum, so didn’t have to research those. (Witch, remember? I’ve read up on herbs, tinctures, & homeopathy)

Snake venom being used and useful for pain relief, however, I wasn’t familiar with, so I fucking looked it up. I don’t just buy things because some yahoo on the internet says so.

(Sorry, my mother had some things to say about this, or rather, we had a passive aggressive non-discussion about this, so I’m still a little tender around the mouth)

If you go look, and no, I’m not putting links in here, go look it up yourself if you want to read about the benefits of cobra venom in pain relief, you’ll find that there are many studies being done into how cobra venom, and even black mamba venom, have a better analgesic value than morphine, with fewer side effects.

A BETTER ANALGESIC VALUE THAN MORPHINE WITH FEWER SIDE EFFECTS.

Big pharma’s going to haaaaate that.

But, anywho.

Even if I couldn’t convince my mom that this was worth trying, I did convince many of the women in my office. I even got one of the others to try it, & she was convinced after about 20 minutes, when the pain she’d been having in her back for about a week was seriously reduced, & she had a better range if motion again.

She got on her Amazon account right away & ordered some for herself.

If that’s not a convincing endorsement, then I don’t know what is.

All I know right now, is that CobraZol works for me. The pain is so much less, which makes me feel better, & brings my mood up.

And lately? Anything that can bring my mood up is pretty much gold.

If that means snake venom?

Then…bite me.

I’m A 3-d Printworthy Genius.

I swear, someone needs to patent the shit that comes out of my brain.

And by someone, I mean me, of course.

Because then I’d be a gazillionaire.

I went to see my rheumatologist today about my hands.

I’ve had osteoarthritis for a couple of years, now, and have seen a couple of specialists. Last year, I got shots in not only my thumbs, but also in a couple of fingers. (The ones you don’t want to randomly show off to people, because they might get offended if you don’t explain, first, why you’re flipping them off)

Needless to say, the shots don’t last forever; osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that causes the cartilage between the bones to decay, allowing the bones to rub on each other. Causing pain, sometimes lots and lots of pain, and some swelling. Although, with my osteo, the swelling isn’t so bad, the aching & pain is.

Most days, my hands feel as though they’re just meat bags full of busted glass.

And over the last couple of months, I’ve developed a problem with my grip, especially in the mornings.

Osteo sucks. It really, really does.

ANYWHO!!

ON TO THE BRILLIANCE!

I went to the Dr., and he gave me a shot in each thumb again. ….and it hurts. As the afternoon wore on, it hurt worse, aching all the way up to my elbow by the time I got home, driving me to tears.

BUT, I came up with a BRILLIANT, SCIENTIFIC answer to the problem!

Ok, so my first idea…if they can make fake boobs – just make them smaller, & put them in where the cartilage is supposed to go…isn’t so brilliant. I can just imagine – the implants get put in, and a short while later – – POP! yeah… Not going to work.

BUT! My piece de resistance…

3-d PRINTING!!

Everything is being 3-d printed these days, so why not cartilage replacements?!?

Look!

They can 3-d print a whole hand! All I need is the little cartilage bits between the joints! C’mon! Waaay less work for the printer, right?!?

They can make prosthetics with a 3-d printer, but not cartilage??? What’s wrong with this picture??

Nanoparticles!

They can 3-d print Nano-fucking-particles! And yet they’re not curing arthritis?!?

I’ve cured arthritis, here, folks.

Where’s my damn Nobel Peace Prize??

The Little Match Girl

I had a stocking hung up on the wall, waiting for his arrival, hanging empty in anticipation of being added to – waiting to be filled with joy and the presents of the season.

My daughter took it down yesterday, carefully rearranging the hooks on the wall to look as though there was nothing missing, no void, waiting for its fulfillment.

She didn’t want me to have to do it.

Again.

Goddess, I love that girl.

I had thought about removing that stocking…I was trying to avoid it, actually, and hadn’t quite decided what I was going to do. Leave it, and have to explain to everyone why it hangs empty? Or take it down, and get the “looks”? 

Either way, I know my parents will be full of questions, ones I don’t really want to answer just yet, and some I don’t know the answer to just yet.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet, and I really don’t feel like talking about it, out loud, not right now. It hurts, and like an animal with a wound, I’d like to go off into a hidden place, by myself, and bleed quietly, thank you.

What makes it more bitter to swallow is the holidays… lonely enough as is, now?

I’m nothing more than the Little Match Girl…sitting out in the cold, lighting matches (what a metaphor for a dating site, Hunh?),  trying to stay warm for a little while, & seeing hope in the flames. Hope that never blooms into reality and warmth. Each and every time I strike a match, I end up getting burned, but can’t stop from lighting the next as the previous one gutters out. Soon, my heart will give out, tired from the exertion, it will lay down to rest, and freeze, not to get back up again.

Goodnight, dear friends, for a little while.

Until the holiday is over, at least, I don’t think I can be here.

Glass

Today is not a good day.

I woke up with a migraine- breath-stealing, nausea roiling, light/sound/smell/touch-sensitive; and all I wanted to do was take my meds & sleep it off. Stress has been high lately, & I’ve had more migraines in the last few months than is normal. I can’t afford some of the meds they want me to try, so I have to deal with them by smothering the pain in sleep. The doctor doesn’t understand… It doesn’t matter if a drug might help me, if I can’t afford it. It’s not even a guarantee of pain relief, just a chance. A maybe. 

I don’t make enough to throw utility money at a Maybe.

Then, I get a call from my regular doctor’s office. 

I have osteo arthritis in my hands, diagnosed by a rheumatologist. Most of the time, my hands, mainly my finger joints, feel as though they are full of broken glass, grating & grinding on itself, just under the skin. Occasionally, when there’s pressure put on those joints, the glass sets itself on fire, just for that extra-special kick.

He told me he couldn’t do anything else, as far as treating the pain long-term went, that I had to go to the Pain Clinic for that. I was to call my regular doc & have her send a referral to the Pain Clinic for me.

They sent a note back to her this morning saying they won’t see me.

Regular doc says I have to call rheumatology doc back, to see what my other options are. 

So, basically, the health care system here is telling me they want someone else to deal with it. No one is willing to actually sit down, LISTEN to me, & help figure out a solution. I don’t know if they don’t believe me about the pain, because no one is actually talking to, or listening to, me. They’re all looking at xrays & blood tests, thinking that tells the whole story.

I’m not a hypochondriac looking for attention. I’m someone who’s been through a lot of medical crap in her life, & because of that, has built up tolerances to certain pain meds. 

I don’t like taking pills. I don’t want to feel stupid & slow at work, & I don’t like the loss of control the drugs make me feel. I’m a control freak when it comes to my own body. I’m in charge, & I hate not feeling like I can say what happens with it.

In 2001, I finally had surgery that fixed a problem with one of my kidneys – that took 5 years & every test known to man & his dog to figure out. 5 years of flaring, excruciating pain, without a diagnosis to even give me a sense of reason. 

In just the past 3 years, I’ve had to deal with having my gall bladder removed due to gall stones & severe pain caused by inflammation.

I’ve had endometriosis, adenomyosis, & an ovarian cyst, which ended up with me having a hysterectomy. Following my surgery, my surgeon said he couldn’t figure out how I’d been walking upright, much less how I’d gotten into the hospital on my own two legs, due to the extensive pain the numerous occlusions of endo & adeno would have caused.

And now, the arthritis diagnosis.

I know pain.

I know how it steals your breath, messes with your senses, & turns your world into a small, very self-focused, & seemingly selfish, place.

I know that other people can’t feel my pain, they don’t understand that – even picking up files, taking a cap off a water bottle, using a pliers to take apart rivets & staples (part of my job, taking apart books held together by these things) – all these things cause my hands to flare, & tears to spring to my eyes because of it.

I gave birth to all 3 of my children naturally, without any drugs to aid the process, & ended up in shock due to blood loss during one of the deliveries.

I know pain. Don’t tell me I’m not perfectly aware of what my body is telling me.

I just want to be able to go to work & live my life without being either half-stoned on pain meds, or in constant, grinding pain.

Where do I turn now?

While I sit here with my hands full of glass, my head pounding, & my chest full of anxiety, depression & hopelessness.

What do you do when all the doctors, the “professionals” tell you that you’re not worth their time…..