Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Gummie sister

Saw the surgeon yesterday.

He doesn't think the pain is coming from my abdominal cavity. Ultra sound showed no abnormalities. He thinks its in the pelvic cavity, which is out of his league. He read the original surgeons report and saw he didn't go into the abdominal cavity so there is zero chance of any surgical adhesions there.

There isn't currently a surgeon in my town who does pelvic surgery, but one is coming and when s/he is here I will get referred over. In the mean time he is referring me to a physical therapist who specializes in pelvic pain. That will help narrow down the area/muscles involved.

Chasing down the source of the pain is getting more focused. I am feeling hopeful again.

I do worry once they find it...the scar tissue will be so bad they can't fix it. I've found that just KNOWING what is causing me pain eliminates some of it. For example, I am able to ignore my neck pain because I know what is wrong.

My older sister came over and we spent the day together. We laughed like rabid hyenas at our own warped sense of humor.  She damn near made me pee my pants in Costco!

Siblings are a wonderful thing.

They are people you might not have ever been friends with in real life. 

However you share ~18 years of close contact with said person,  you have seen them barf, hung there underwear on the clothes line, and slept in the same room with.

You know how they apply their deodorant and brush their teeth. You've bathed with them, worn their socks, and by gawd you know how to yank there chain and make'um mad.

You've shared snacks, toys and a bathroom with them.

Your Alias Smith and Jones, Johnny and Roy, Barnabas Collins and Daphne.

They are not anyone you would call on to be a character witness, a professional reference, but there first on your list for calling when you have dangerous or illegal nincompoopery to get into.

So back at Costco yesterday she hands me a sample of carne asada.  First off at almost 52 years old I had to ask her what it was.

"Your not feeding me goat are you?"

Turns out cows have more "meat-personalities" then most mammals.

I showed her how my dentures don't meet any longer and chewing up stuff like that is too difficult. My dentures only meet and one small point in the front. My jaw bones have deteriorated and I should have gotten new teeth eons ago. But at the prince of +3000$ I've just never bothered.

I can chew stuff endlessly and never break it down.

So as I "chewed" on the meat we slithered down more aisles getting stuff that wasn't on our lists and just chatting and laughing.

She picked up another sample of some weird alien fruit and extended it to me.

I politely opened my mouth and extended my tongue with the lump of carne asada.

She didn't miss a beat and ordered me to: "Spit out your meat gum and try this!"

"attention house keeping we have a pee spill on aisle eleven!"

With all the nerve and muscle damage in my pelvis I am a HUGE risk for peeing myself...and then you add hysterical laughing induced by your sister and you have the perfect storm.

BwahahahahA!

Even if they can't fix my pelvic issues, I will be okay. I will find away to laugh and live with it.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

ouch-less

I've been living with chronic pain since I tore ligaments in my foot in my tweens. Living like that does something to you. The only way I could deal with it was to ignore it.

Back injury's one and two added more pain. Neck/collar bone and rib injury yet more pain. Wrists and elbow injuries, more ...so when I developed groin pain 10 years ago I just sadly accepted it and added it to the rest of the pain.

I basically ignore by convincing my mind, that ...this is my base line. That I'm supposed to be in that much pain.

I tried twice to get it diagnosed and treated. First one might as well have been mother. I got a cold, "It's probably a hernia, we don't fix those anymore, just wear tight pants." WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!

Second time it flared to a point I couldn't stand it my doctor was off and the on call saw me. She wanted to do a pelvic exam as groin pain can be indicative of gynecological issues. well that triggered the hell out of me, and I ended up a bawling mess and left.  (Pelvic exams are something that take a lot of mental prep work for me. You just can't spring them on me.)

Last month it again got to FUCKIT ALL IM GOING TO THE ER NOW!!! on the pain scale, and I tried once again.

I got referred to a surgeon.

There are 3 possibilities of what it could be. Inguinal hernia from my last pregnancy, surgical adhesions from the horse falling on me surgery, or an issue with the Essure coils in my fallopian tubes, which last week I ruled out with the gynecologist.

Which means...holy moly....IT MOST LIKEY FIXABLE!!

For the first time I have hope that this constant pain can be taken away.

I see the surgeon on the 13th.

I hope he wants to fix this problem for me.

Less pain to be in would be such a welcomed thing,

Friday, May 12, 2017

Going to the ER when your suicidal

(trigger for suicidal thoughts and self injury descriptions)
SIV = self inflicted violence

Last month a suicidal man showed up the ER at one of the local hospitals. Only problem was he showed up with a gun, and was threatening the staff.

The police and security guards were able to keep everyone safe and defuse the situation.

Local social media was complementing the staff/police in one breath and then being angry with the man in the next breath.

Everyone was missing one perspective. The mans. What that tells me, is those commenting, thankfully, have never been so suicidal that they have been forced to go the ER to seek help.

Let me give you a look at what it's like to go to the ER when you are suicidal...from the prospective of the suicidal person.

I have lost track of the number of nights I spent sitting in the my car in the ER parking lot, bawling my eyes out, trying to summon up the courage to walk into the ER and ask for help.

The "I can't handle my head - I'm going to loose this battle - Suicidal as fuck - help me" plan was firmly in place before I left therapy.

I fought  like a motherfuckin' wildcat to stay alive in my 20's.

I wanted to be damn sure I continued to more forward after leaving therapy.

When Richard first suggested I go the ER for help, I blew him off. I mean 'common I couldn't even call him on the phone for help at that point.

There were the fears too. Images of being restrained and forcefully drugged...as well as the awful, awful knife to the gut fear that ....they wouldn't believe me, and turn me away.

Imagine, me, walking in to the ER. Calm. Collected, dissociated the fuck out to the point I am a smooth empty shell with no humanity in it.

"Hi." I'd say.

"What do you need to be seen for?" they would ask.

"I'm suicidal and want to kill my self." I'd say, then punctuate it with my high nervous laugh.

They would look at me eyeing me, judging me, trying to determine the truth to my words, and before they could ask my name I would loose my nerve and stammer an apology and beat a hasty exit.

"never mind, sorry for wasting your time, its nothing really, I'm fine."

When you go to the ER with a broken bone, or your guts hanging out, or writhing in pain YOU don't get judged. You are automatically treated with compassion and professionalism.

Because you can't see mental pain there is no way for them to triage you without having to ask you questions that make it sound like they think your faking.

The ONE time I got the nerve to go inside, I never made it a foot from my car. brain washing from my childhood stopped me and I got back in my car.

my mothers ghostly words "are you bleeding? no? then stop crying."

I bashed my face with a hammer until I was a bloody, snotty bawling mess.

"Now you can go in." I had told my self. Now I looked the part. Now the pain was visible...now I looked like I was in danger...........now....now I would be believed.

But it was too late. The self inflicted violence had dissipated the suicidal urges and calmed me, and put me in head space I could handle my self. The danger had passed. Totally defeating the purpose of coming to the ER in the first place...which was to deal with the suicidal state without using SIV as the coping skill.


There is a huge battle when you are suicidal and seek help.  Part of you wants to die, and another part of you is reaching for help. A wrestling match that is of epic proportions. Guess which one has the greater pull? If your head is thinking suicide, that is where the balance of the weight will rest. The internal built in preservation for life encoded into your DNA, is there to save you from dangerous situations, stuff like if you see a bear, it tells you to RUN!

No where to run when the danger is in your head.

This man who came with the gun to the ER told them he was suicidal. There was a war raging within him. GET HELP - DIE - GET HELP - DIE .....let someone take control and help me .... fuck let someone else kill me...

Perhaps he wanted the police to kill him. Perhaps he needed to make the mental pain visible so he felt justified in going to the ER for help.

either way its not as easy as the media makes it sound.

"If your suicidal, get help. Reach out. Go to the ER."

I eventually wrote what became known as my "Owners manual". A document with all the info the ER staff would need to know. So I could walk in and just hand it over, and not have to talk, or prove anything. 

My name is Paja, I am feeling very suicidal and I am not safe. I need help to keep my selves safe. I have a history of SIV and working with my therapists to stop that negative coping skill.

Don't let my quiet nature fool you. I am in danger. I wouldn't be here if I could take care of this my self.

(a list of my therapists/doctor's phone numbers)

(list of my diagnosis, and medications I was taking)

Coping skills that are useful:

1. Have me visualize snow
2. argue, with me, if you can get me to cry the rage/anger will dissipate and I can handle my self from there.
3. ect etc

That document was my voice.

It brought me great comfort. It was like an invitation to the ball. I no longer needed to crash the party with blood and violence, I could simply go in and hand it over.

I kept a copy in my car and in my trailer.

I have never had to use it, but you'd think otherwise if you saw how tattered the copies are.

I am brave enough now to go in without it.

Others are not so lucky. Be compassionate and thankful they make it to the ER at all.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

same song different day

(trigger for pathetic whining)

First off apologies for all the blog spam. I am trying to get my mind back on line and focused on writing. I desperately want to finish Skinned.  Its very frustrating not to be able to. Even more frustrating to leave a character in limbo like that.

My physical health is just overwhelming everything right now. Second only to the chaos of my mental health.

I asked the FNP last week to put me back on Zoloft.

Which is a HUGE thing considering the last time I was on it things got ugly. So ugly its listed on my chart as an allergy.

Any way we are back tracking through mountains of paper work looking for the data on the episode. I on my end looked though my journal entries.

Its always devastating to me to look through my therapy books/journals. For the primary reason....all I have to do is change the dates and those entries could have been written today.

If that isn't enough to make one feel crazy I don't know what is.

My paper chart from that time lists the symptoms I asked to be seen for.

Exactly the same ones I was seen for last week. I'm still trying to get help for pain issues that date back 20 + years.

Why can't I be helped?

garrrr, I shouldn't go in those books without a chaperone. They're pretty intense.  I also was in there looking for my old "owner's manual." A document I wrote in case I had to go to the ER. It was all the info the ER staff would need if I showed up on there doorstep in a suicidal state. I need if for the next blog I am working on. I can't find it. That's frustrating. I am going to have to write without it, because I can't go back in that pile of papers. Too triggering.

Just a quick jaunt through it has left me bawling.

Xanax on board, going to get a hug from hubby and then go to the store for a shit load of hostess crap to drown my sorrows in sugar.

What if I can never write again? what if who I level out to be after all the dust settles is no longer me?
Why is it ....only the pain survives each time I molt, evolve, and change?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Faded


I was recently featured in a magazine that our local paper puts out.


(there is an error in the article -   It incorrectly states I advise against "support groups" for self injuries. I advise against group therapy.)

A year ago I was in the paper and on the noon news. The residents at my work commented on seeing me in the paper, and on the news. But they didn't comment on the topic of self injury.

THIS time was different. BOY did they have questions!

I figured they wouldn't see it and gave it no thought. HA! boy was I wrong. They grilled me with all kinds of questions and most wanted to see my scars.

Which brought up an interesting observation.

my scars are faded.

I don't have any red scars. They are all ghostly white...and I am okay with that. In the past I wouldn't have been okay with that.


Healed white scars have been a trigger for me in the past. Some of my injures are reflective of trauma's that I don't want to forget, if my 'bookmark' is faded then I worry about forgetting why they're there, I've been known to re-injure to keep the scars bright red for the year it takes them to fade again.

I wonder if I'm okay with this because I'm more healed? Or is it because I've got my hands full right now with my health issues.

Being on prednisone rolls around in my head. It makes healing wounds more difficult. A burn would also artificially elevate my CK level and we need to keep tabs on that to see how bad the polymyositis  is flared.

I still have SIV urges.

BOY DO I.

I came awfully close last month to going on a SIV spree when I was so suicidal. I actually gave my self permission to do it.

Yet, I never even picked up my tools.

Some days I wish the urges were as faded as my scars.

*************** TRIGGER - GRAFFIC SIV IMAGES OF SCARS below ***************



I hope that one day the mental pathways that bring to reaching for SIV as a coping method will fade too. Be so dusty that I don't slide easily into them. There are days I am miles away from self injury...and days I wanna just do it for no reason.

I will always carry those reminders of the SIV on my skin. I'm at peace with that. My scars and me? We good. We good.

Mirror... self injury ...rorriM

* * TRIGGER for self injury* *  

The pain was crushing.

I had reached the end of my coping rope and had reached for the matches.

I sat on my bed in my little trailer and ran through all the things I should be doing instead of burning. All these healthy skills I could have reached for. I could reach out to my therapists. I could go to the ER, I could do any number of healthy things.

But in that moment all I wanted was to be comforted by the sweet pain of the flame licking my skin.

I was still in in the trenches of switching from the mentality of pain = comfort. Trying to learn and implement other things to bring relief. Trying to befriend my body and get reconnected with it.

The thick mental stew of depression, anxiety and resurfacing memories was making thinking clearly impossible. The constant state of dissociation was adding another suffocating blanket of weight.

I need to injure to breath.

cut a hole in my skin to let air in....

...or the demons out.

Any hope of stopping the injury went out the window with a flick of my wrist as the tiny match head igniting.

I lite the candle and moved into position to put my arm over it.

I stared into the flame. I could feel its heat on my forearm. My insides welled up in anticipation of the physical pain, which would drive out the mental pain.

Deep inside  a small part of me tried one more time to derail the burn.

you don't have to do this. go call for help, go ride the horse, go sit with the dogs, go to the store for pepsi, go for a hard run, call Richard, call Iona and Nola...

"I can't." I say with much effort to be heard from under the heavy weights

try

"I can't."

can't or won't?

My internal mercury switch tripped and I came up swinging.

"LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE. I AM GOING TO BURN. I DON'T WANT TO STOP INJURING MY SELF. I DESERVE TO BE INJURED I DESEVER THIS PAIN I AM A MONSTER. I KNOW WHAT YOUR TRYING TO DO! YOUR TRYING TO GET ME TO CRY TO DISIPATE THIS MOOD. IT'S NOT GOING TO FUCKING WORK I NEED THIS BURN!  I NEED THIS BURN!  I NEED THIS BURN!"

Angry now, the injury motivation moved from "burn for pain relief" to "rage burn for the sheer hell of damaging my self." I moved to the table at the other end of the trailer, in hopes that those two seconds of transit time would calm the rage.

I set  the candle on the table and got ready to burn. My eyes focused on the flame. As I raised my arm to apply it to the flame, my eyes defocused on the foreground and became aware of the background.

What I saw stopped me.

It was my reflection in a small  mirror.

I was face to face with my abuser.

That didn't look like the face of someone 'trying to help' me by injuring me. It didn't look like someone who wanted to be helped. It looked a lot like a angry animal trying to look fierce so everyone would leave it alone. She looked to be in a lot of mental pain/torment. She didn't look reachable.

I tried to get my brain back to burning my self by returning my eyes to the flame.

but my focus again returned to my eyes in the mirror. The rage and hate were gone, there was just a wounded me in there now.

My guts churned. what was this? What is going on?

I blew out the candle and ended up having a good sobby cry with my reflection.

******************************

The mirror became a tool in my arsenal to help me heal. It forced me to SEE. See not only who was harming me, but who I was hurting as well. Firmly connecting that "hello...you are both the abuser and the abused here."

It also was helpful in derailing injuries because it added an "audience" and took out the secretive/solitary aspect of the SIV.

For a long time there was a note on my box of matches. "look at who you are going to burn." A reminder to use the mirror.

I found quickly that I have zero tolerance for watching my self be abused/injured.

I can even to this day derail injury urges by sitting with a mirror and connecting with my self.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

still not dead.....just barely

Damn... do you all remember when you couldn't shut me up? When I wrote all the time?

My mental health took a nasty turn a bit ago and the suicidal soundtrack that backs my life, changed to suicidal plans. It was like the perfect storm of crap whirling in a tornado that I couldn't avoid.

It was....scary.

very scary.

To the point that I had to activate the KEEP YOUR SELF ALIVE AT ALL COSTS protocol that we came up with in therapy.

Just hanging on the life preserver wasn't enough. I had to let go with one hand and swim to shore.

The SIV urges have been INSANE.

It was no small feat that I am alive and injury free today.

Honestly, I am amazed I survived.

Yes. 

Yes I have follow up doctor appointments to try and prevent a repeat of this next month.

Still 2 weeks out from the eye doctor appointment about my blurry eyes. It's so frustrating. I can't see to type. Can't read the screen easily. makes it difficult.

Worse its affecting my job. We are switching to electronic medication books....and I can't clearly see the training videos.

I have tried and I can't write through the blurry-ness. It is soooooo frustrating. I'm having pockets of mental clarity where I am jotting down blogs and story ideas. Then sit down to blog and end up so discouraged.

So that is my update. I survived a recent bout of extreme suicidalness, and a barrage of intense SIV urges. Still struggling with prednisone side effects, and a flair up the polymyositis, blurry vision and a whole shit can of peri-menopause symptoms that are just stirring the pot with fiendish glee.

I can tell you....if I have to do that again next month I am just going straight to the ER and having them lock me up. That took EVERYTHING I had.

PCP visit May 1st, Eye Doctor May 5th, Rheumatologist May 10th.....and hopefully an Endocrinology appointment soon.

Cause my thyroid gets blamed for all my symptoms.....and my thyroid is a shriveled up radiated dead thing. How the hell can it be causing all this???

urgg, I have enough health issues to be a whole season of House MD.