Pain, or not

friends 2

So after being up for 36 hours, I fell asleep around 9 last night and woke up at 6am with a slight ache in right side of lower back. (Six is normally the middle of my night, so yay, me.) After being up and around a bit, had some actual pain in right side, not as bad as normal, either. Iced it a few minutes and much better. I think from what they told me that it will continue to get better over the next few days. Moving around without back pain. I will be able to stand up for more than a few minutes, and walk without pain. I’m hopeful, and so grateful for my friend Tess, who drives me to all these things, and always, always makes me laugh.

Lovely winter’s day again, sun and blue sky, but lots of clouds. Is it going to rain? Snow? Who knows. So I am happy to be better. Pain is very, very wearing. Makes you tired and keeps you from doing the things you want/need to do. So far, I am really glad I went to the pain clinic.

Pain Clinic

Went this morning.  Was there about an hour and a half, but the actual procedure took ten minutes.  Lots of needles in my back, one after another, but little tweaks, not really any pain.  Was nice to be pain-free from the numbing agent, and now that it’s wearing off, there is still very little pain.  Will see how it is tomorrow.  They said it could be a few days before it works.  Back in a month for another diagnostic, which is what they call this procedure.  Every one was very nice and there was laughing and it was a positive experience.  Laughing is always good.

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Was supposed to rest after, but went to lunch at the Olive Garden and then to Trader Joe’s, which is practically right next door to the Olive. Bought a packet of frozen steak and stout pie to try. Yum? Seriously, who doesn’t love pie.

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What Ho?

Bah!  Humbug!  Well, actually, I am slowly getting a bit better since I’ve upped the Prednisone, and tomorrow I have the pain clinic.  Shots to block nerves in lower back.  I hope it works.  Still  lots of pain, but not as lethargic, and can actually think somewhat clearly.  On the bah humbug side, Gertrude is doing really poorly.  She just upchucks everything she eats, and in the past week or two has gotten extremely thin.  So back to the vet on Friday.  Poor baby, I feel really bad for her, and she has gotten clingy, which she never has been, so that’s not a good sign.

Trying to avoid all the political stuff.  I just can’t deal.  I want to.  I want to do something, but right now I really need all my energy just to get through today.  Every day.  Hope things are going well for all of you, my invisible readers.  🙂

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Doctors

I have been pretty miserable for a while now.  Saw the rheumatologist, told him I am gradually increasing the Prednisone til I find a level that works.  Oh, okaaay.  Call in two weeks.  If not better, want you to go on Cymbalta.  Google Cymbalta.  Side effects of the not-good variety.  I am confused.  Prednisone works, when I am at the correct dosage.  Everytime I get there, they have me decrease again, and then when I inevitably have to increase again, it takes longer and longer to get back to that doing relatively okay phase.  The side effects at low doses are not bad, and I’ve read that at 5 mg and below, there are no side effects. 5 was working fine for me back several months ago. Then they had me cut back again. Today I increased to ten in hopes of not being in constant pain and sleeping more hours than not.  The thing I am confused about is, given what I just said, why do they want me to get off Prednisone and take something with worse side effects?  Like the meloxicam, which caused bloating, shortness of breath, and severe back pain.  What is the logic behind this?  My doctor just seems laser-focused on ‘get off the Prednisone’ and nothing else even registers with him.  The only other rheumatologists I am aware of in this area share his practice, so changing doctors is kind of iffy.  It’s not bad enough you feel like crap, the doctor just seems to be in another universe or something.  Fed up am I.  Totally.
>Well, barf!

Had a really bad weekend, and did not even fire up the laptop for three days.  Realized how nice it was to not have any politics evident.  I don’t watch tv, just netflix and hulu, so I have been out of the loop.  I want to stay out of the loop.  It’s too disgusting and upsetting and overwhelming to see what orange gas-bag man and his supporters are doing, and even though I want to be part of the resisting this shit movement, I am ill, and it’s healthier for me to avoid it.  When I stopped watching tv, it did not take long to notice how much less frustrated and angry I felt, now even more so with avoiding on -line politics.  Let me just read my fan fiction and my crochet and cooking and pretty pictures blogs and let the world take care of itself for awhile.  I’ll get back to it when I’m better.

RESIST

la-hbranson-1485527124-snap-photoSome things I came across today:

“With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” Jean-Luc Picard

“Trump violated the first amendment prohibitions against a state religion”  headline from: http://www.dailykos.com/  And nothing is being done about this??????

http://io9.gizmodo.com/stranger-things-star-rallies-freaks-and-outcasts-in-sti-1791775499

study-historythe-1950s

Rambling

Good stuff on Tumblr today.  Lots of pictures of ‘the biggest turn out ever’, showing virtually empty viewing stands and empty streets.  Lots of pictures comparing the Women’s March turnout to the inauguration turnout.  Lots of pictures from the Women’s March.  Stand and be counted.  It’s a good thing.  Meanwhile, I’m still here just signing petitions and reblogging things.  Oh, well.

My oldest friend, who I don’t see very often, may come tomorrow for a visit.  My house is a disaster and I will be humiliated and embarrassed, but I will still get to see my friend.  So I guess I can deal.  At least my fantastic, wonderful, marvelous new homemaker is coming in the a.m., so it won’t be quite as bad as it could be.

Seems like my life lately consists of laying on the couch, or thinking, “OMG, I need to lie down”.  Today I woke up at 9, took a shower, sat on the couch to wait for the hour to be up after my pill so I could have coffee, woke up at 1pm.  No coffee.  Oh, well.

It has been gray day after day after day.  I don’t mind gray winter if there’s snow along with it, but it’s just gray or gray with a bit of rain here and there.  Mother Nature, I am so disappointed, but I know it’s not your fault.  It’s ours.  Global warming is real, in case you didn’t get it.  No need to even reiterate how stupid we are as a species.  I mean, look who we put into the office of the Presidency.  You can’t get much stupider than that, I think.  He actually is making Bush the second look not quite as moronic as we know him to be. “May you live in interesting times” is the old Chinese curse.  I’d rather have had some mundane times, I think.

Here’s a donut, for no discernable reason.  It just looks good right now.

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The Friday Five

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  1. How do you like your coffee?  White, no sugar, hot, hot, hot.

2. How do you like your tea?  Same.  I don’t like sweet drinks. Sometimes I prefer lemon in my tea, depending on what kind of tea it is.

3. What’s your favorite late night beverage? Right now it’s hot cocoa, but I’m going to try that ‘Viking Thaw’ someone mentioned.  Tonight.

4. If you could only drink one thing for the next week, what would it be?  Have to be water or juice, something hydrating.  For survival.  It’s a week, I mean.

5. If you were on vacation, what would be the first thing you’d drink to celebrate?  Probably water again, cause you’d need hydration after traveling.

Found Online

Here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/

This:

After a long absence, The Twilight Zone returns with one of the most ambitious, expensive and controversial productions in broadcast history. Sci-fi writers have dabbled often with alternative history stories – among the most common is the “What If The Nazis Had Won The Second World War” setting – but this huge interactive virtual reality project, which will unfold on TV, in the press, and on Twitter over the next four years, sets out to build an ongoing alternative present. The story begins in a nightmarish version of 2017 in which huge sections of the US electorate have somehow been duped into voting to make Donald Trump president. It sounds far-fetched, and it is, but as it goes on it becomes more and more chillingly plausible. Today’s feature-length opener concentrates on the gaudy inauguration of President Trump, and the stirrings of protest and despair surrounding the ceremony, while pundits speculate gravely on what lies ahead. It’s a flawed piece, but a disturbing glimpse of the horrors we could stumble into, if we’re not careful.

ruscared

Depression

I seem to be falling into one. Constant, debilitating pain wears you down. Saw my doctor, got an antibiotic for my sinus issues, which means the pain clinic is put off til February. She prescribed a pain patch for me, but Medicare won’t authorize it. It costs 300 dollars, so I can’t pay for it, either. So no pain relief for Jean. House is a complete and utter disaster, as I am virtually useless almost all of the time. Alone and in pain, and burning out the one friend who still wants me in her life. You can only give so much, right? If she gets burned out, I will be left with no one. She’s the only person who actually even emails me on a regular basis. If she gets fed up with me, I will have no one. Big burden to put onto one friend. I know, whine, whine, whine. “Let’s all feel sorry for mom”, as one of my DD’s once said to me. Sarcasm runs in the family. 🙂

On the bright side, I have been reconnected to my old agency, and am getting a new homemaker starting Tuesday. This agency at least hires people who know what they are meant to do. Some of them are even CNA’s, which I don’t need, but it’s good to have someone who has experience with people who have chronic illnesses.

Trying to remain upbeat and hopeful, but it is a struggle, I admit it. I am dreading when I will no longer be able to get the meds I need, or the homemaker, or housing assistance. Thanks to all of you who voted for Trump, or worse, did not vote at all. Didn’t think about people like me at all, did you? This is America, where the motto is “I’ve got mine, so screw you. Oh, and I’ll take whatever scraps you do have, as well.” Yep, it’s the American way.

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“The bright day is done, and we are for the dark.”

Read this: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel
by Annie Barrows. Lovely book about WWII doings on the island of Guernsey. Some horrors of war, too. But a really nice book. There’s a quote from Shakespeare in it that seems very apt, given what’s going on in my country (and the world, really)right now.

“The bright day is done, and we are for the dark.”

theguernseyliteraryandpotatopeelpiesociety_bookcover-portion-864x648

Snow!

januaryi-love-wintertumblr_n6hrvmcQQj1ro6jb7o1_r1_500RedhousesnowSnowmanglobeAt last, we are having a real snowstorm.  Hooray!  I love snow.  I don’t have to shovel it or drive in it, so what’s not to love?  Still in pain, still in a daze, still spending most of my time on the couch.  So looking forward to this phase being over.  It will be over, won’t it?  Please tell me it will be over.  Anyway, WINTER!  Yes!

Yay!

Got a corded mouse today, so back on the laptop.  Posting from a phone is not fun.  Saw rheumatologist’s PA today, and all is well, except need to up the Prednisone again.  Apparently that’s the cause of all my latest problems.  Why they keep having me cut it down everytime I’m doing well is beyond me, because I always get worse a week later and it takes forever to get back to where I was when they have me increase it again.  Just let me take 5mg forever.  5mg is not supposed to cause the side effects, and I feel relatively human on that dose.  Relatively.  🙂

So not a bad day, just really, really tired.  And happy to be using the laptop again.

Oh My

Still in constant pain, still sleeping almost more hours than I’m awake, but I did manage to make chicken soup with a fowl I found in Market Basket.  Love that store.  Haven’t seen a fowl in years.  Why a fowl, you may ask?  Old chicken, tons more flavor, just needs long slow simmering.  Yum.  Chicken soup is easy.  Large pot, chicken, water, onion, celery, carrots, peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, garlic.  Bring to boil slowly, skimming, then simmer low a couple of hours depending on size of bird.  Set bird aside, strain broth, chill and defat.  Debone bird.  That’s it. I did not debone the bird.  I barely had enough strength left to cover it and put it and the broth in the frig.edit: Parsley.  I forgot Parsley. Fresh, if possible.

  You can use the meat for salad, add it back to broth, sandwiches, whatever.  Add noodles, chopped veg, whatever to the broth for soup.  Or just drink it hot.  Tasty.

After a few miserable days spent wishing I had someone to HELP, I rallied and determined to do it myself.  Unloaded dishwasher, spent some recovery time with laptop, reloaded dishwasher, repeat laptop time, cleared a counter, laptop, moved toaster oven, laptop…Then my mouse died.  Not the battery, the mouse.  Found a corded one in my stash, but it only clicks, won’t move the cursor.  So need a new mouse.  Thus typing this one-fingered on my phone while laying on the couch with Gertrude sitting on me.  Fun times.  Well, okay times, anyway. 

It’s 2017.  Let’s hope this year is better than last 

Here’s Gertrude.  Just pretend you don’t see the disaster my flat is right now.  Thank you.

Well, Here We Are

Just about at the end.  Of the year, but possibly, of us as well.  I’ve lived through times with a lot of things that were appalling, like the Viet Nam war, riots, 9/11, Ronald Reagan, George Bush the Idiot, but I don’t remember ever being faced with the devastation that is being brought about by electing a fascist to the most powerful position in the world. A moronic fascist.  A narciscisstic man-child spoiled brat, frat-boy mentality fascist.  (Not that he ever was a frat-boy, was he?  Does he actually have more than a third-grade education?)  A person who has set out to destroy every bit of progress we have made over the past decades.  A person who is leading us back not only to Nazi-ism, but to the Dark Ages. This was a year of devastating blows, people I admire dying, the resurgence of everything bad about humanity, Brexit, the realization that a good portion of my fellow citizens are hate-filled, undereducated cretins who lack the ability to think for themselves and just believe everything Fox News tells them.  I am struggling to be hopeful for the future.  I am trying to think ahead to how I will survive without the programs I depend on that are looking to be eliminated when orange gas-bag man gets into office.  Be prepared to the best of my ability is my new motto.  The best of my ability is not very good, either, since I am in constant pain and spending most of my time on the couch sleeping, reading, or watching Netflix.  Happy New Year, world.  I can’t even come up with one thing to laugh about right now.  I will work on that.

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I don’t do resolutions, but my goal is to try to go outside every day that pain and fatigue allows the whole getting dressed, getting presentable, and not having to go back to bed from the exertion.  We’ll see how that goes. I hate to post when I am feeling so negative, but it helps me to write things down and send them out there.  Sorry about that, readers.  I hope you are all well and happy and have a fantastic 2017.

What Can I Say?

People keep dying. Carrie Fisher died, George Michael died. How many is that? I don’t know any of those who died this year, but I knew their work, and they’ve been part of my life for a long time.

After a month of miserableness, capped by well over a week of super-miserableness, I think (hope) I am slowly coming out of the pain/exhaustion cycle. I hope. Too soon to tell. Going out today, hoping to have enough energy to last. Not been on the computer much, since sitting at the desk for more than half an hour doesn’t seem to be possible. Oh, well, days are getting longer, had the windows open yesterday (DECEMBER, Mother Nature. What the f?)

Guess I’m not back to happy, happy just yet. LOL

The following article is good. Comments, too. I love comments. I used to read all the letters to the editor, back when I read newspapers. Like to know other people’s take on things. I wish I could celebrate those morons who supported Drumpf getting what’s coming to them, except I’ll be getting it, too. Social Security, Medicare, all the protections we have (had) are going to go away, I’m afraid, and the supporters are saying, “What? I didn’t know he was going to do that.” Because clearly all you cared about was getting permission to hate and discriminate overtly, and didn’t pay attention to anything else orange gas-bag man said. So yeah, up yours. Except, as I said, I will suffer along with you. Anyway, here’s the thing:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/12/27/1614776/-Message-to-my-Trump-supporting-Facebook-friends

Here’s another in a similar vein: It’s kind of disturbing to realize what many of my fellow citizen are really like, but there it is.

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/12/25/1614376/-Why-Trump-voters-are-not-welcome-in-my-house-this-holiday

In the last one, someone said a lot of evangelicals voted for Trump because they believe he will usher in the End Of Days.  Not being religious, this did not occur to me, but I do think this is going to be the end of us..  I was hoping for more progress and enlightenment, not a return to the Dark Ages.  We are so screwed.  I do what I can, which is mostly signing petitions, but we all need to do whatever is possible for us to fight this moron and his hateful band of really poor excuses for human beings.  Stand against them at every opportunity.  If we’re going to go down, we should at least go down fighting.  Right?

Why Do You Read My Blog?

If it’s for fibro/illness related posts, here’s one.  I feel like shit.  In spades.  On the bright side, since I  quit the omeprazole (prilosec), my back is hurting much less.  It’s one of the side effects, back pain.  On the other hand, I have heartburn every time I eat anything, and a pill got stuck in my esophagus the other day (oh, painful is an understatement), which has never happened in all the zillions of pills I’ve taken.  Turns out, getting OFF the omeprazole is as bad or worse than being on it, because your stomach now has no defense against too much acid on its own.  So they give you meds that destroy a necessary part of your digestion, in order to keep you from having too much acid. Does this make sense?  ‘You take a lot of meds that are hard on the stomach.  Here, take this to help with that.  Oh, you can never get off it, because now everything you ever ingest will cause too much acid and you have no defense.  Or something.  The meloxicam side effects, aside from stomach bleeding, are bloating (your stomach keeps expanding and is hard as a rock)  and bad breathing, like you can’t take in enough air in a breath.  Among other things.  These are bad drugs, and they are still finding out just how bad, according to my pharmacist.  I seem to have forgotten the rule, somewhere along the line.  The rule is ‘never take anything that has not been out for at least ten years, because it takes that long for all the side effects to show up’.  And maybe even not all of them show up in the ten years, either.  Medicine is a profit-driven industry, it is not about the patient’s health and well-being.  Not anymore.

I wish you’d comment, people out there, because sometimes I feel like I may as well address the wall, but I keep typing anyway.  Oh, well.

God, I feel awful.  Really, really awful.  Weak, tired, in pain, heartburn, exhaustion.  I’m supposed to go out for dinner tonight with a friend I don’t see often, and I really don’t know if I’m going to be able to when the time comes.  Merry Christmas, Jean.  Yeah, right.Exhausted

Better

Barely.  Been a tough week of pain and exhaustion, mainly sleeping, reading, watching stuf on my Amazon Firestick.  Love that thing.  So much better than Roku ever was.  Anyway, I think my body was adjusting to not taking those two meds, and is slowly adapting.  Did not take any pain meds today at all…yet.  Will probably take some when I settle in for the night.  Helps me sleep better anytime, not just now.  Rechecked the side effects of the meds I quit (omeprazole and meloxicam), and opted to deal with the pain for a while in hopes it would get better, and it seems to be.  I hope.

Snowed last night and this morning.  Lovely snow.  Slushy mess, but I don’t have to go out in it.  🙂Snowmanglobe

Have binge-watched some things.  Dicte, which is a Danish show.  First season of Bosch.  Getting ready to do season 2.  Started The Last Ship, but really, the plot was kind of stupid, and another ‘everybody tries to kill everybody, and oh, yeah, there’s a spy on board’ which seems to be the only ideas they can come up with for disaster scenarios, unless it’s the one where weirdly dressed and tatooed motorcyclists run rampage.  Really, come up with something else, will you?  Maybe people could attempt to work together to find a solution, or to make new lives or whatever, but noooooo.  Gets really old, even though it’s probably accurate as far as how humanity will act in such situations.  Depressed enough, thank you. Two main characters in Dicte.  She is Dicte, he is a cop.dicte

Oh, typing hurts.  Typing.  Back to the couch soon, I think.

christian-kaneSo more tv:  Kind of binge-watched The Librarians, which was kind of lame, but has people I like in the cast.  Christian Kane, for example, who I alternated watching here and on Leverage.  Leverage.  Read a thing that said the writers had to tone down their research for subjects, since real life was so much worse than they could depict on the show.  How surprised am I?  Not at all.  Greed and corruption are the rule in today’s world.  Or ‘you can’t trust anybody’. Really.

Just started ‘Homeland’, which is riveting.  Claire Danes and Damian Lewis are so intense, such good actors.  I like him from ‘Life’, which was another quirky show I loved, but quirky doesn’t play well with viewers, it seems.  All the ones I like get cancelled.  Terriers, anyone? Or Backstrom?  Never seen them, right?  Well I did, and I liked them.  So there.

Watching Rizzoli and Isles, which I’ve seen already, but it’s kind of like easy reading, only with pictures.  Man, are those ladies unprofessional, crying over corpses in the morgue, among other things.  No other pathologist cries over corpses, at least not in any shows I’ve seen.  Seeing it more often than once a week makes me realize how annoying Maura is, too, and kind of idiotic, as well.  Liked the actress better on NCIS.

Oh, binge-watched Shut Eye on Hulu.  Almost didn’t watch it, but Jeffrey Donovan.  He was so good in Burn Notice, which I am revisiting as well, and is just as good in this show.  Yes, it’s fortune tellers and tarot cards, but much more.  It’s really good.jeffrey-donovan

Tried to watch Greatest American Hero.  Loved it when it was on tv, back in the Dark Ages (which we may be revisiting for real starting in January) but it is just sooooo corny now, had to give up.  Did DCI Banks, New Tricks, which was sort of like comfort food, Elementary, all that were available, am doing Midsomer Murders for the second time, more comfort food and beautiful scenery, The Detectorists, which was just lovely and calm and lovely.  There’s tons more, that I’ve been watching for the past however long, not just this week, really, there aren’t enough hours for all those things I’ve mentioned and the ones I didn’t.  Noteven if I watch 24 hours a day, every day. These are The Detectorists.  I guess you’d call this another quirky show.  I loved it.the-detectorists

Going to check out The OA and Department Q on Netflix.

I have rambled, but this is the longest I’ve been able to sit at the desk in a week.  Oh, there was another update last night.  Second one that killed the laptop.  Had to unplug, unbattery, let sit, before it would go any further than a black screen.  Do they mess things up on purpose at Microsoft?  Would not surprise me.

Listening to Abney Park’s free Christmas album.  I love Abney Park and it’s great that they’d put out an album for free, but I’m sorry to say they all sound kind of off key.  Maybe they’re smashed.  They’ve recorded while drunk before.  But the off-key?  Is it just me?  It’s here:

Abney Park

christmas-dinnerGuess you’re all gearing up for Christmas.  I’ll be spending mine here, alone, again.  Although my new homemaker invited me to her parent’s house.  Not going to happen, but nice to be asked.  Probably won’t even get a Christmas-type dinner.  I didn’t get a Thanksgiving one.  Poor me.  LOL   There will be no peas in my Christmas dinner, should I get to have one.  I do not love peas.  Green chili relish, yes.  Peas, no.  My late Father-in-Law always took pictures of the Christmas dinner.  I thought he was weird, but he was just ahead of his time, it turns out.  🙂 Happy, happy, everyone.

Pain

Not taking the meloxicam has helped my breathing and my stomach is not rock hard, but….pain. Had the MRI yesterday, was a general all-over pain day, but doable. Then today I am just a mass of pain. Everything that can hurt, does hurt, it seems. Fun times. Seeing rheumatologist tomorrow, hoping they have something else that will work. If the idiots in the government would realize that the War on Drugs mostly hurts people who are in pain, maybe there would be something I could take that worked without killing me as a side-effect. But no. Puritanic ‘punish the victim’ attitudes always seem to win out. A bit peeved today. Pain tends to do that.

It got cold. It was 15 degrees F around midnight last night. Been cold for several days, and it was only bit ago I had the windows open all night. I love New England. Really, I do. Variety is what makes life interesting, I think.

Got my itty-bitty Christmas tree up Friday, so yeah. Some years I don’t even have enough whatever I need to get it out of the closet.  It’s on the dining table.

Just so you know, I suck at cinematography.  Besides, I was in pain and lying on the couch with the cat, who was NOT helping. The colors never seem to show up well, but it’s my phone, so maybe I expect too much. Can you imagine?  You can take videos with your phone. Your phone.  Technology is amazing.  I think you have to double-click on it to make it run.  Oops, no single click works.  My brain is drain when I am in pain.  Oh, I made a rhyme.  Not going well here, people.  Not going well at all.  LOL