Sunday, October 30, 2016

monster, never leave home without it

There is a savage beast living inside me.  Dexter (the serial-killer) has his dark passenger.  I have my migraine monster.

Not many people can see it.  I've learned to hide it so well.  I used to have a good friend in college who could always tell, no matter how well I thought I was hiding.  She said it was something about my eyes.  I think most people don't look that closely.

It's changed me into someone I don't always like or respect.  I used to be intrepid and love adventure.  Crave it, even.  Now, I am more cautious, more fearful of the excruciating torture that I know can arrive at any minute from this invisible, merciless barbarian.

When I did a zipline tour in Costa Rica several years ago, which was 600 hundred feet above the ground, I wasn't scared of dying.  I got stuck along the line because my weight wasn't enough to zip me to the end.  That wasn't scary somehow.

And now?  I'm scared to eat too late or to stay up too late.  I used to travel all over the world, but now I'm resistant to spending an entire day away from home.  Twenty-year-old me wouldn't like current me.  And that has to change.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

--Friedrich Nietzsche

Saturday, October 29, 2016

wisdom -- it's a kind of magic

I had another rough week, but I woke up again this morning, so here we are.  Me, with my woes, and you as my muse. 

I don't like being down, and most especially, I don't like being knocked down.  So I force myself to rise again, both in spirit and in the physical sense.  I've been doing brief spurts of calisthenics three times a day.  One day, I was too weak to do that, but the rest of my week, I did it, despite the pain and weakness.  Does it help?  Who knows.  But I feel like it does, and that's half the battle, right?

It seems to me that wishing life were different is not at all helpful or beneficial.  Therefore, the wise soul will be in the current reality, not wishing for a different one.  I tell myself that on days when my anxiety levels skyrocket.  Lions don't have anxiety.  They hunt when they are hungry and relax when they aren't.  Can't my life be that simple?  Why do I need to over-complicate it?

“Study me as much as you like, you will not know me, for I differ in a hundred ways from what you see me to be.  Put yourself behind my eyes and see me as I see myself, for I have chosen to dwell in a place you cannot see.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

vote early and vote often

I early-voted yesterday.  Now I can ignore every political argument and discussion as irrelevant.  Yay!  I was surprised to see other voters there.  Usually, I'm the only one.  I was told by a poll worker that I wasn't allowed to have my phone on.  Hmm, I had all my choices written down on it.  She said fine but told me no pictures.  I was on my way to the gym in an old t-shirt and shorts.  Didn't want my picture taken anyway. 

Then it was off to the gym, which is always a challenge when I'm anemic and out of breath constantly.  My workout partner and I rewarded ourselves with burgers afterwards.  For medicinal purposes.  Yum.

On the way home, I stopped by the only grocery store which carries liver.  They didn't have any liver.  The butcher apologized profusely.  Thanks, but that's not gonna rebuild my blood cells, buddy. 

I finally made it home and worked like a fiend until I received a text asking if I was there yet.  Oops, I was late and hadn't even gotten ready yet.  Fortunately even fancy events here can be attended in jeans and t-shirts.  Or at least that's what I tell myself. 

I filled up on canap├ęs and socialized even more.   That's a whole lot of me being friendly all in one day.  I came home and went straight to bed.  

Friday, October 14, 2016

I miss having fun

I laughed so much last night and really enjoy my old, fun-loving self.

I met up with a longtime friend, with whom I had sort of lost touch for years.  We were giggling in about two minutes flat, much to our Asian waiter's consternation.  The restaurant was mostly empty (not sure why, but I feel fine today, so it's probably not rumors of food poisoning).

I parked behind the sushi restaurant, and the dudes smoking out back let me cut through the kitchen.  One even complimented my attire (I wasn't dressed up).  My friend told me I had my mojo back.  I guess she was right.  I did however put blush on my face before I left the house, in case I ran into my horrible neurologist telling me I'm too pale.  (Who wears makeup to the doctor's office?)  Yes, I'm still bitter.  Sixteen migraines a month doesn't lend itself to sunbathing or playing outdoors in Florida.  Asshole.

Back to delicious sushi...

We hadn't hung out in years, so we were busy chatting and slow to look at menus.  Our waiter rushed us every step of the way.  Not sure why because there were at least 12 empty tables, and it was hours until closing.  Plus we laughed so much that we gave the place a festive vibe.

I need to start getting out more, but it's so easy to make excuses when I'm comfortably ensconced at home.  And most people wear on me in about 15 minutes.  I've been trying to force myself lately, hence the stretch yoga a few weeks ago.

Perhaps she'll move back to town and help spice up my social life...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

it's not failure if it moves you forward

Or at least that's what I tell myself.  

I got lectured by my neurologist today about my anemia.  He went for the full-on scare tactics.  "Your heart could stop, and you could just drop dead, young lady."  Asshole.  Glad I rarely have to see him and can mainly interact with the nurses.  Three years of monthly visits and that's the second time we've spoken.  

I know it's serious, you fucker, but making me cry isn't the way to work with me.  I'm doing my best.  Of course, he didn't want to hear about my history or what I've tried so far.  Arrogant know-it-all mofo.  Plus I really hate doctors, so I will not be seeing a specialist.  I know more about nutrition than my neurologist did obviously, going by his advice.  

I cried most of the hour drive home, in-between swearing at him and making Italian road gestures.  Asshole.  Listening to Adele probably didn't help much either.

The nightmares aren't completely gone.  But my mood was great, until my doctor's visit.  My head has been great the last few days.  I'll take it. Here's hoping my monthly injection doesn't fuck me up.

Monday, October 10, 2016

pretty sure the loop is no longer a scenario

But I'm scared to put the goat milk away.  It's sitting in a place of honor on my buffet.  It reminds me how fortunate I am.  My brother asked me if that was the same can I've had for years.  It is not.  I've used it and replaced it as necessary.  I think a few cans were foster kitty dinners.  I keep the can current in case I ever need to use it for food.

I've been on my hands and knees scrubbing my back deck because it's filthy.  And cleaning is therapeutic.  Plus the furniture is all moved, so I have easy access.  It's hard work, and I'm anemic again (what else is new), so I get out of breath frequently and have to take breaks.  I hope to finish in a few more days.  It's a great way to get in an hour of exercise when I first wake up.  It's a nice stress-release, too.  And the weather has been cooperating.

My nightmares are lessening, and Kitten has calmed down, as well. 

I need to clean my front porch, too.  Something puked on it, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't Kitten.  I'm guessing some other cat took refuge from the storm in the alcove and had anxiety.  I rarely go outside through that door, so I keep forgetting to clean it.  It's just a couple blades of grass, so it isn't nasty.  And it's incredibly easy to procrastinate uncoiling and dragging the hose around.  Plus, I know I'll have mission creep.  It's taking discipline to finish the back first and not have many started, incomplete projects.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

hurricane PTSD

I'm mentally exhausted.  Did a little bit of cleanup.  Unpacked my go bag.  Un-barricaded my big windows.  I'm leaving the rest in case this fkr loops.  

I have no energy or motivation to do anything else.  

I've had nightmares the past two nights, one of which was completely hurricane related.  I watched my ceiling fill with water and collapse on top of me.  And then I woke up -- the split second before impact.

I have friends who live in areas that got hit much harder, both of whom evacuated thankfully.  They still don't know what they'll be going home to.  I truly am grateful for my situation.  

I could do without this never-ending migraine though.  And the nightmares.  Kitten is still extra needy, too, so maybe it's a barometric pressure thing.  Or maybe I'm making my cat crazy.  :(

I have an intact home, power, AC, food, and lots of meds.  I'll stop my crying now.  Thanks to all of you who have been following along and sending me encouragement as I needed it.  It helped tremendously in feeling less alone.

Friday, October 7, 2016

dodged a machine gun

Holy shit, my Lucky Goat Milk helped again.  The hurricane wobbled north just enough to mostly miss me.  And looking at reports, it kept wobbling enough to stay offshore up the coast.  I'm hearing people on Merritt Island are not doing well, though.

My only casualties seem to be my papaya tree (RIP) and my head.  This fkn migraine, OMG.

Kitten came up to me many times during the past 24 hours, which isn't typical for her, crying and needing reassurance.  It makes me wonder if the dropping barometric pressure hurts her, too.  I had quite a few people tell me they had nagging headaches from this, and they all wondered how I deal with so many.  I didn't have the heart to tell them that their lingering headaches are nowhere near a migraine with all of the neurological shit that comes with it.

Yesterday, I had no appetite.  I knew I needed to eat, but between the crushing pain in my head and the adrenaline shooting through my body, my stomach kept saying STOP.  I forced some food down anyway.  I had to hand-feed Kitten her dinner last night, because she didn't seem hungry either.

My head is better this morning.  I'm hoping as the pressure rises, it will stay better.  I have a lot of cleanup to do.

I am so very grateful that my home is still intact.

snapped clean off

Thursday, October 6, 2016

ready as I'll ever be

I slept fitfully last night, in my dry home, in my clean sheets, in my air-conditioned comfort, knowing it might be the last time I experience that.  I've done all of the physical planning I can do.  I've prepped the outside and inside of my home.  Now, I need to walk through and say goodbye to it.  It may be the last time I see it whole.

The outer edges of the storm should be hitting soon.  I took a long hot shower and washed my hair while I still have power.  My bugout bag is packed, sitting next to the cat carrier, in my one internal room with no windows.  This house is full of windows.  It's one of the reasons I fell in love with it.  It felt so light and airy.  Now I get a front row seat to one of the most dangerous storms to visit my lovely state.  Deep breaths.

Even though I'm always barefoot, I have shoes and socks sitting conveniently out.  I learned that lesson from my mom, who gashed open her foot when running for her life through the house during Hurricane Andrew.  Windows go fast.  My brother and I eventually went to look for my mom and dad at the hospital because they had been gone over eight hours.  Holy hell, I never want to see that sight again.  A state of the art hospital looked third world, running on minimal generators, with leaves and debris stuck to the ceilings and walls.  Everyone had dazed, shell-shocked looks on their faces.

My migraine has gone way down (after too many doses of meds), so I'm able to function today.  So far.  I went through two Amy's meals yesterday.  Yay for planning ahead.  I think I'll skip the coffee again today.  I'm roaring around on too much adrenaline as it is.

I'll try to keep updates going while I have power and access.  Please keep me in your thoughts.  :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Kitten anxiety

They say animals know things.  Kitten is getting more and more anxious, although perhaps she picked up some of that from me.  I'm over mine now, so I'm hopeful she will pick up on that, too.  But she vomited yesterday  She's not good with change and probably didn't like the patio furniture in the house.

She keeps waking from her naps and crying.  I wonder if she can feel the storm that's coming.

I certainly can.  My migraine-free streak ended.  Owwie.

I barely slept at all.  Well-meaning family and friends have been texting me shit that is not at all calming.  However, one of my brothers and my father (both of whom have been through many hurricanes) were soothing.  Fortunately, my father is out of town, so he won't have to endure this.

The forecasts keep getting more and more dire.  Now it's supposed to be a category 4 that hits us.  FUCK!

I should probably text my local brother and see how he's faring.  Not that I can be of much use to anyone right now.

I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.  :(

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

putting on my big girl panties

Whilst I was lying awake in an anxiety-drenched stupor this morning, I gave myself a lecture.  I had forgotten who I was.  I'm not some sniveling little coward who sits in corners.  I'm motherfkn Wendy!  My brother reminded me last week what a bad-ass I used to be.  When did that change?  How did I pick up so much fear?

I've been through many hurricanes, albeit none of them solo.  But my ex didn't have any special weather powers (that I know of).  I can do this on my own.  I'm the one with the Lucky Goat Milk.  This storm won't kill me, although it may destroy my home.  As long as I can keep Kitten and myself safe, I can do this.

I've started moving my patio furniture inside.  It's quality stuff, so it's heavy.  And I have a lot somehow.  I'm almost half done, but I had to rest.  I suppose I workout to be able to lift my own furniture, as well as to open my own peanut butter jars.  I have a few extra bruises I didn't have before.  And I'm hoping I don't have any extra spiders or crawlies inside that I didn't have before.  But I can do this.  I've been through it before.  Many times.

Monday, October 3, 2016

gas tank is topped off

Fuck you, Matthew, bring it! 


I've had hurricane anxiety for the last several days since Hurricane Matthew rapidly intensified and became a catastrophic category 5.  It's down to a measly 4 now.  Holy fuck, that's still terrifying.  I had to take deep breaths to calm myself while typing this.  Facing my fears head on.  Go, Wendy!

With hurricanes, we get lots of time to prepare.  I have canned food, bottles of water, and a full tank of gas.  However, the flip side is that I also get a least a week of anxiety, panic attacks, and migraines before enduring hours upon hours of house-shaking winds and torrential rain.  A sudden earthquake is starting to sound better.  JUST KIDDING.  I don't want that either.  I was in a couple in California, and they are severely disorienting.

I also stocked up on frozen dinners for the days right before, when I'm incapacitated with migraines but still have power and need to eat.  I love me some Amy's.

This storm has so much uncertainty surrounding it.  The experts are still not good at predicting intensity.  And apparently there are so many other weather factors, that the path isn't as certain as it usually is.  I still remember Hurricane Andrew suddenly veering off and hitting farther south than they anticipated.  And of course being much stronger.  Hehe, I sound like an old-timer now.  Might as well park myself on my porch and ruminate.