Well, hello there.

I have been absent for a while, I know. It’s been a difficult non-winter. Ever since the non-surgery, really. I’ve been struggling with pain, which leads to isolation, which leads to depression, which leads to ‘can’t think of one thing to say when I look at my blog’. So absent it was. I was. I think I am getting better, but I could be just having a better day (night). My sleep schedule is so screwed up it’s not even in the realm of controllable. I haven’t been out of the house in about three weeks. I did go downstairs and get my mail once. My life is soooo interesting.

Then there is the political climate in my country.  I find it very disturbing, and feel hopeless as far as doing anything about it.  Hate, prejudice, blame-the-victim, all seem to be running rampant in the discourse.  This is NOT a good sign.  No.  No it isn’t.  It is quite scary, when you think about it.  All the progress that’s been made in recent decades is teetering on the brink of being lost.  It makes me sad.

Okay, I guess I’m not actually any better, but if I have any readers left, I’m still here. Just having a hard time lately. Send me something cheerful in the comments. I need it. Thanks.


SnowflakesOr Freezer? It was 8 degrees yesterday. I am wearing jeans, my regular white socks topped with my big fuzzy Santa socks, a tee shirt, a heavy pullover, and a light but warm pullover on top of that. And I’m still cold. I am darned if I’m going to turn the heat above 66, though. Sixty-six is balmy at this time of year, right? I would have the windows open if it was 66 degrees outside. So anyway, I have my electric fireplace going, and use my little portable heater/fan to keep my feet warm at my desk. I love winter. I want SNOW, dammit! SNOW, do you hear me?

On the illness front, being sick sucks, as you all know by now, I’m sure. My sleep schedule is so screwed up that I am asleep more than I’m awake, and I sleep mostly during the day, regardless of what I try to get to sleep at night. My body either thinks I’m still a kid, praying for dawn so I wouldn’t have to be afraid of my dad coming home drunk, or that I am still working nights, which I only did for a year about fifteen years ago. Come on body, get with the program. This is depressing me, I’ve realized. I am feeling once again that I have no control over my life at all. Can’t even sleep at night like a normal person. I’m just here in my little box, time and life passing me by, with no hope and no purpose. This really stinks.

I’ve thought back to other times I’ve felt like this, and told myself that it’s time to change things, but it never worked. The illness always wins. Always. I fight, and I fight, and I try to be normal, and I pretend to be normal, but it always is just the same old same old. My body’s illness runs my life. I’m out of ideas. I want to live, not just exist, and I cannot seem to manage that. So this is the whiny post for today, folks. I’ll be better, now that I’ve put it out there. Thanks for reading, if anyone is still reading. 🙂

UPDATE: And it’s snowing. Finally. SnowRedHouse

Good Morning


Yes, it’s not quite 11am, and I am up and showered. Going to lunch with a friend, then to have bloodwork done to check those pesky potassium levels. It is a gorgeous sunny day, 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Nineteen degrees, and still no snow. This is not winter, it is a freezer. But after gray day after gray day, sunshine is lovely. I’ll be outside in it. I want to go outside every day, even for a few minutes, but it is so hard to motivate myself amidst the pain and the fatigue and the just plain why bother. I need some encouragement, dear readers. Help!!!

>It’s Still Morning


Still in my jammies, in a total fog, just wanting to go back to sleep. But my homemaker will be here in about an hour, I have to go back to the doctor’s to have more blood taken, and then to the hospital for the x-ray. Noooooooooo. Can’t I please just go back to bed? Apparently not.

This has been the month from hell. Well, not hell maybe, but it hasn’t been pleasant. Tired. So tired, all the time. Pain and more pain. I want to be functional again. I want my body to work. I want to stop whining. I feel like I’ve done nothing but whine the whole time. I hate whining. Where is my positive attitude? Vacationing in Florida maybe? I don’t know. It’s just not here when I need it.

Get up, get dressed, get moving. Just DO it, darn it!! Right. That’s working out for me. NOT!

>It Was A Cold and Windy Day

Now it’s heading into a cold and windy night, as well. Last night a blizzard, tonight just cold but still the wind is over 20 miles an hour with higher gusts. Lovely. Of course, I don’t have to be out in it.

I am still having some pain, but in general feeling better. I think I was having a bit of Christmas depression. This year I wasn’t invited to my friends house for either holiday. Thanksgiving they were in turmoil with the new house, so that’s fine. No one is obligated to invite me to anything, anytime, but when you always do and then don’t with no call or word til Christmas Eve just to say hi and let’s get together soon, I think it kind of hurt my feelings a bit. Even though, and this is why I’m just so lame to be even a bit upset, I would have had to say no since I have been having so much pain and feeling like crap all over. I spent Christmas alone with the cat, on the couch, reading fan fiction, with a frozen dinner, Indian vegetarian. Tasty. I guess it just all got me down, the whole build up and then the day. It was really no Christmas at all for me. And I didn’t get one single Christmas cookie. What’s that about?

Usually I take things in my stride, I don’t know why this year was hard. I’ve missed out on the celebrations before due to the stupid illness, and it didn’t bother me that much. Feeling alone and lonely, maybe. I miss my husband. Sometimes life just gets hard to cope with. It’s the pain. I think that’s the problem. I’ve been in almost constant pain for a few weeks now, and it wears down your spirits as well as your energy.

So…get over myself and all will be well. I see my doctor next week and plan to have a discussion about my meds and what else can I do that doesn’t involve more pills. I’ve turned Workrave back on, so I will be reminded to get up and DO SOMETHING once an hour. That really does help motivate me. I can do something for fifteen minutes. Well, some part of fifteen minutes anyway, before the pain gets too much or I just run out of energy. Today I am cleaning the stove. One bit at a time.

And another thing. My computer has decided I now live in London. ?????? I wish, but hasn’t happened. I’m still here in good old New England.

>It Was A Dark and Stormy Night….

>And day. But that was yesterday. Today is just gray. Very, very gray. I have been feeling really awful since the doctor’s last week, and on Wednesday I managed to damage my leg somehow and have been hobbling in pain ever since. It’s times like these that I just want to crawl into bed and never come out again. I get so tired of feeling lousy. Sometimes it takes everything I have to keep a positive attitude and sense of humor. But if I didn’t, if I couldn’t, I would be lost. I don’t know that I could come back from the black hole one more time. So I am very aware of it all the time, because I have to be able to recognize the spiral before I reach my Rubicon.

Rubicon. I loved that show. They talked about Rubicon during the show, but I didn’t really understand it until I looked it up. Point of no return, is basically what it means. You’ve gone too far to ever get back, and the only way left is forward. When it’s forward into the black hole, you NEVER want to reach that Rubicon. Never.

How many people have been lost because they did, and there was no way back for them? That point where you absolutely believe that the only way to end the pain is to end yourself. I’ve been there. It wasn’t anyplace I ever want to be ever again. I was lucky I was saved. A lot of people aren’t.

It scares me, I admit it. I never want to feel that way again. It was worse than the worst thing I could imagine. Like I was being ripped apart by pain. Not physical pain. Emotional pain. Physical pain is different. I think it can reach a point where the only way to end it is to end yourself, but there are lots of pain interventions, and someone usually is aware you are suffering. Not so much with psychic pain. It’s much easier to keep it hidden. To put on the ‘good’ face. I’m fine, everything is fine, it’s all fine. I’ll tell a joke and make you laugh and you’ll believe it’s fine, too.

Life can be very hard. It’s harder for some than for others, and it’s really sad that so many people aren’t saved. Don’t get a rescue, an intervention of life-saving caring. Serious depression needs all-out emergency-room trauma-center type care, but I’m not sure that’s really available in the same way it is for physical trauma. No one will call the ambulance when they can’t see that you are dying emotionally. You have to be either very lucky and have someone be there and understand at the exact right moment, or somehow find the ability and strength within yourself to call your own ambulance, metaphorically speaking. Not really that likely when you are surrounded by the darkness. Life can be very hard. Very. I try to keep on my toes about it.


Having a little introspective moment here. Something occurred to me just now. I can be a real jerk sometimes. Consciously, I don’t mean to be, it’s just who I am, giving people a hard time, being a pain in the ass. However hard I try to convince myself that I am an okay person, just a bit strangely peculiar, slightly eccentric, but not malicious, I always end of feeling like shit about myself. Anyway…….it just dawned on me, I think I am subconsciously trying to drive people away before they leave on their own. I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t really think of that before. I’ve lost everyone I cared about in my life, from the time I was very young and my cousin and I lived with our grandparents. Her father came and took her away. She was my idol, a few years older, and helped me cope with a difficult world. Then, my mother wanted me to live at home when I started school. I was terrified of my alcoholic father and dreaded it, but had to go. From then on, life was hell. Then my grandfather died and my grandmother went to live with my aunt. This was all before I was nine. More losses followed, with the worst being the loss of my granddaughter, and then my husband, who left me and later died. I never see my children, and our relationship is sometimes very rocky, sometimes okay. I always have in the back of my mind that I just need to be alone all the time, because I am so bad with people and don’t deserve to have friends. So, the driving them away. I think I am one strangely peculiar, eccentric, crazy, and broken person. Mostly broken, and broken beyond repair. I know. I was in therapy for years after my husband left. Some things can’t be fixed, and I think I am one of them. I used to just think I was scatter-brained, dense, too stupid to know what was wrong with me that made everyone dislike me, but now I know that I am all of those as well as really, truly, broken. That’s it for today’s episode of self-indulgent feeling sorry for myself-ness. And a big boo-hoo, let’s all feel sorry for Jean from the world. Shit.

>Update On A Book Rec, Illness

>Quite awhile ago I posted about this book: “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandin. I just read that HBO has a movie about her. I don’t get HBO, but I look forward to seeing the movie when it gets to Netflix. It was a very interesting book. Here’s a link to the post:


Now to illness. Good old illness. It’s always there, it never goes away. My pills all quit working so I am just doing the sleep when I can thing. Up all night and then sleep till 3pm yesterday, 2:30pm today. But I feel better. Hmmm. Allergies better today, too, but still taking allergy pill.

Sometimes it gets really hard to cope with all of this. My life is about what I can’t do, which is not what I want for myself. I never wanted my illness to be my identity, so I try to keep an interest in other things besides being sick. Politics, religion, humor. But I realize that the inner ever-present anger comes out pretty strongly at times. It’s been that way recently, I know. I’m angry at the world, at the politicians, at religious leaders who use religion to discriminate and even worse. But at heart, what I am really angry at is life. MY life. After my husband left, and I got over that hurdle, my life had such promise. That job I loved, going to the gym, signed up for classes at the local college. There was so much ahead of me. Then I got sick. With illness came more loss, lots of pain, isolation, loss of dreams and hope.

I was at Border’s the other day with a friend. I used to buy books by the armload when I was working. Before that, I would bring home armloads of books from the library, too. Now, no books. Nothing I want. Nothing that catches my eye. I’m never going to have a garden again, so why buy a gardening book? I rarely cook, so I surely don’t need a new cookbook. I don’t do crafts anymore, so no craft books necessary. I have lost hope. I can’t change anything, I can’t fix anything, I have no power over anything. It hit me in Border’s.

I have lost hope. This is it. This is all my life will ever be. Me, here in this little prison box of an apartment, with my invisible cat. Nothing to look forward to, nothing to hope for, nothing to get excited about. This is depression, people, and I haz it. I did not ask for illness, isolation, loneliness, but I have tried my best to accept and cope with it all. Right now I am not succeeding. There is so much to life, and I am missing most of it. At times like this, I just don’t know how to cope anymore. How to be accepting. How to pull myself up by my bootstraps (bootstraps?) and move on. I just can’t do it right now. I miss my life, my job, my husband, my dreams for the future. But they are all gone and I can never get them back.

>Feeling Better


I guess I’m lucky that the depression doesn’t last very long. Thank you meds. I’ve been in the black hole, and I do not ever want to get that far down again.

These pictures are my favorite dishes ever, from my current favorite blogger, which delightful blogger seems to have more dishes than anyone I have ever known. I am very good at sentence construction, you may notice.





>Went to look for some clip art for this post, and instead found several articles on coping with chronic illness. I’m not coping very well recently. But the articles made me feel a bit better. I realize I am struggling again with the knowledge that I will never again be the person I was. Read the decorating magazine, the cooking magazine, the having a nice life magazine, thinking I am that person, or will be that person. You know, the person who decorates their home, who cooks more than the easiest basic food, who does all the little things that make for a comfortable life. I’m not going to be her ever again. I went through this once before (probably more than once) but I haven’t ever really come to terms. I still have in the back of my mind that I can cook that, make that, decorate that, whatever. In my mind I still am that person. In reality I am not. It is hard. It is hard when your life diminishes in scope. When ‘I can’t’ seems to be the rule of the day more often than not. No matter how much I gear myself up mentally, the reality of my physical limitations is always there. I want to do it, I believe I can do it, but I can’t do it.

Today I was going to lunch with a friend. She was to call me this morning to set the time. I completely forgot to turn on the ringer in the bedroom phone. I had a bad night sleep-wise and am still having a lot of pain, so I probably would have had to pass anyway, but I felt like such a loser when I woke up and realized that it was way past the time when she called. I called and apologized. For the umpteenth time. How hard is it to be the friend of someone who is always letting you down, whether it’s within their control or not. My friend understands that I am ill, and does not ever make me feel guilty, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling terrible about always being the person who can’t. Who messes up the plans. Who spoils the fun for someone else. I don’t want to be that person. I don’t like that person. I want to be me again, I want my life back, and it is never going to happen. That makes me very, very sad. I usually am much better at dealing, but sometimes…………it crushes me. I look at the ruin of my body, the messiness that is my apartment, the food that I buy and then can’t prepare, all the gifts that illness has given me. And I am crushed, devastated, miserable, sad. It’s been eleven years since I had to stop working. You’d think I’d adjust to the new me. If only. I just realized…..I am still in mourning for myself. Hmmmmm.

>Something has changed

Not sure what, exactly, but I have been more depressed lately, feeling sad a lot. Maybe it’s realizing that I may never find out what happened to my brother, that most of my family is missing or dead, just being alone a lot again lately, more pain, nothing on tv, any reason I can think of. I just feel sad a lot. Maybe I’m frightened. I seem to be losing more mobility as time goes on. It’s getting harder to do the things I want/need to do. Maybe I’ve been better for so long that I’ve forgotten that sometimes life is like this with illness. I don’t know. I just want to feel better, physically and emotionally. I want to not be in pain all the time. I want my garden back, my life back. I guess I just want to feel sorry for myself today. So I am. I’ll be better tomorrow.

>Snow (More)

>It snowed a lot more today. Guess it really is winter. It’s only a few days til Christmas, so we’ll be having a white one this year for certain. Doesn’t feel very Christmas-y, probably since I’ve done nothing at all about it this year. No decorations, no tree, no cards, no presents. Nothing. Up until the last few days I was just too tired and draggy, and then it seemed to late to do anything anyway. It’s depressing. I’ve been getting flashbacks of Christmases when the kids were little, and it kind of makes me sad. I like living alone, but sometimes it would be really great to have family around. Something to look forward to, something to hope for, something to plan for. I’m tired tonight, and I think it makes me kind of maudlin. I had a pretty good day. I figured out that Friday I had, in addition to my morning coffee, three extra strength Excedrins, so I overdosed on caffeine. No wonder I didn’t sleep well. No wonder I’ve been having problems. I had been taking 2 excedrin every night when I went to bed. I’ve switched to Ibuprofen, but have to be careful with that or it does a number on my stomach. Of course, I don’t sleep at all well if I don’t take any pain pills, so it’s a catch-22 kind of thing. Anyway, the snow is pretty.


>I did a lot of computer-cleaning over the past few days, including my pictures folders  Was concerned that I messed up the blog, but the pictures are right there where they should be.

It’s been a good week. Saw and liked the new doctor on Monday, had some dental work done on Tuesday.  Not only did I remain pain free from the work, and did not go into a flare, I actually had a really good productive day Wednesday.  I am surprised, but very happily.

It is raining.  Just a brief shower, one of several today.  Except for the humidity, it has been almost fall-like this month.  Cool, lots of clouds, lots of rain.  Really lovely, lovely weather, and completely uusual for August.  I am NOT complaining.

I find that the longer it’s been since my Simon died, the sadder I am.  I really miss the little bugger.
Gertrude is blooming, but slowly, and she does not have his personality at all.  I miss him.  Darn it!!


>I’ve noticed than I am getting more and more depressed since Simon died. I don’t think it’s because of that, but because he was such an in-your-face animal that he took up a lot of my time and energy. There was always something going on with him around. And now there isn’t. It’s really shown me how alone I am, how empty my life has become since I got fibro. Things I didn’t have time to think about when he was around. I’ve gotten more and more immobile because of the pain walking causes, and there’s my innate fear of being out in public by myself. That has been a life-long issue. I need to think about this. What to do about it, how to change my life some more. I’m feeling really, really sad, and I need to fix that. I just want to cry all the time, and that can’t be good. I don’t want to up my meds, because that just masks problems, it doesn’t help to understand or make them better. I don’t know what to do just yet, but I’m hopeful that I can figure it out.

>Weather Pixie

Don’t know what happened to her, but I’m going to wait and she if she returns. Can’t get into the web site, either.

Lots of people have sent me ehugs. That’s very comforting. It’s nice to know people care. Feeling pretty sad today. As time goes on, and I miss his presence in various settings, I am really missing him a lot. It’s way to quiet and uneventful without him, and Gertude, being the invisible cat, does not take up any slack. I miss my Simon. I really, really do. For such a darn annoying cat, he sure took up a big space in my heart.

>It’s Done

>It’s over. Took Simon to the vet today, and she agreed it was time. The tumor had doubled in size in the past two weeks, he was barely eating, and starting to be pretty miserable. It went well. First they sedated him, and we just petted him and talked to him as he slowly faded, then they gave him the final injection. I feel at peace about it. I knew it was the right thing to do, since he was not going to get any better, and why let him just keep going downhill and getting more and more uncomfortable and miserable. I think he knew, and was pretty calm throughout. We cried off and on, my friend Tess more than me. I will undoubtedly fall apart tonight. But I did the right thing for him, and there is no more suffering. I am going to miss him so very much. He has been such a huge part of my life for ten years. But life goes on, so I will.

>Some really bad news

>Some potentially devastating news today. Simon may have cancer under his tongue. He’s been having a dirty face the past few days, which is totally out of character, and since yesterday has not been quite himself. So off to the vet today and in Friday for a biopsy. If it is cancer he only has a month or so left, she said. Pretty soon he won’t be able to eat, and that will be that. Whatever will I do without him. He’s been my constant companion for ten years. Trying not to react til I know for sure what is going on. I do think he’s in some pain, though, as he’s just laying around on his cushions or my bed, which is not like him at all. Poor baby. I don’t want him to suffer, but it would be really hard to lose him, if it comes to that.