Friday, October 17, 2014

Medical Update: Wheels and Word Salad!

They're now used to my taking anatomy-fetish
snapshots at the clinic;) This is the spinal cord
stimulator I have in my butt.
I saw my pain management doctor this week to evaluate this last round of epidurals—I've had three caudal injections of anesthetic and steroids. Caudal means it goes into the very bottom of the spinal cord, which with regards to the patient means:

  1. Nurses expose me down to beneath my ass
  2. Nurses then sanitize said ass including my actual ass crack, which after all I've been through medically in my odd life is the most intimately embarrassing thing I've ever endured while awake.
  3. The neurologist then numbs the area, resulting in a completely numbed bum and partially numb legs all day. It feels very strange to go to the toilet that day.
  4. Neurologist transforms into a sadistic demon and pushes a needle into my nerves and searches with it until he finds the area that's most irritated and ignites every pain sensing nerve in both legs up to about a 35 on the 1-10 pain scale.
In debriefing after this round we decided they aren't helping consistently enough to continue. That's obviously awesome on the surface, but at times they've given me a good amount of relief, so that's unfortunate.

The plan now is to increase my neurontin dose to a degree that is bananaballs crazy. I have been taking 200mg morning and afternoon then 800mg at night. I skip the daytime doses if I have to write or interact with anyone, though. I get this very annoying side effect of my verbal skills turning to shit. I switch random words, like calling a table a phone. More infuriating is mistaking words like there/their/they're. I'll be taking 600mg twice a day and 1200mg at night. The dose I'm on now makes writing very difficult, of course—hence the dose skipping. I whined about this to Doctor B, who shrugged and gave me a 'whatcha gonna do?' look. I pouted and said I'd just tell my volunteer editor. (I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year) I'll be a little extra creative with my verbiage.

Then he suggested I get a folding wheelchair for my bad days. I stayed the stinging tears in my eyes and agreed that it will significantly improve my social life if I don't have to cancel more visits and appointments than I attend. So, my vanity or pride or whatever the block is about getting a chair is going to be squished. I've mentioned several times that I was going to borrow one and then I made excuses to avoid it. Having the doc suggest it helps for whatever reason. I suppose it's as simple as the fact that reality and practicality often sound more solid from someone else.

Today, I'm off with the Triangle Family to see my darling sister-in-law and her sweet boys in North Carolina for the weekend. I can't wait to see them, and I'm stoked beyond description to be traveling. Nomad soul stuck in bed is a recipe for the bad.

As usual, the brother will be house sitting with his very impressive weapons collection, but Finn gets to come with us. I'm thrilled to take my trusty pup. He smells like lavender baby shampoo today after a bath, and I could snuggle him until he's nearly choked. That guy. I love that furry sweetheart.

Have a fabulous weekend, bl'eaders! May Autumn's deliciousness surround you like the best scarf ever.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Photos from Charleston WV's ShockaCon Day One

This post is REALLY late in coming, but the weekend was insane, and the week that followed was much the same. But you want to see the geeky amazeballz photos, and so I shall deliver.

Tomorrow I'll post the sugar skull makeup I did on friends, though we missed the costume parade because I am a slow face painter and the makeup killed my back. The family we hung out with took Birdy to a picnic, so everyone got to show off their skullies. There are just so many photos here and I don't want the makeup to get lost.

So, feast your eyes, nerdy bl'eaders!

I wish I'd asked who built this TARDIS. It was glorious. And Shane cannot BELIEVE I didn't peak inside, but I never even thought to try the door, and again, I didn't know who'd brought it. We agree that it should've been placed in front of a door to a huge room. Sadly, I kept missing the impressively accurate NuWho Dalek when it was assembled and rolled out where I could snap it. But trust me (I'm The Doctor) it was so freaking awesome.

This is the most adorable Freddy Kreuger that ever existed in the world, Miss Zoe ScarboroughSeriously, could you die?

This sweet pop painting of C3PO is by Gary Vaughan, but I can't find a link for him yet.

I love this painting, Last Light of Humanity, by Brittney Hackney. We talked for a bit about Alex Grey, whom we both pretty much worship. She also has a site about horror effects, Atomic Beast Studio.

These are the Arkhams, and are by all accounts super fabulous guys. They were so friendly when I asked them to let me take their photo.

And my old friend Chris Woodall, who is Such. A. Badass! With a buddy whose name is lost to my chaos.

I am going to own a print of that delicious Nosferatu and a Lugosi Dracula I didn't get in focus. I'm going to buy them or DIE.

And I was a Maenad, with the ivy and berries I didn't have time to paint as grapes, but that fascinator/crown was so epic and I made it in ten minutes. I mostly wanted an excuse to wear ivy in my hair and flaunt those FUCKING yummy green lashes. I got them at K-Mart in the Halloween section, and they have many really great eyelashes.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flash Fiction Challenge: 'Unquiet'

Chuck Wendig, of the wickedly smart and funny writing blog terribleminds, hosts weekly flash fiction challenges. This week the promt is to write a 500 word half story. Then participants will trade stories and finish them. I'm posting what, an hour and a half before the deadline? Of course I am. 

This is the first time I'm participating. I'm nervousgiddyexcited.
If you'd like to, let me know what you think or offer criticism; I've decided to reopen comments on the blog. Also, gratitude and cookies to Geoff, Freyja, and Nell for encouraging the fictions. 

Away we go:


Silence no longer existed. At its most quiet, the house was a muffled pastiche of breathing rhythms and the percussion of snoring. Beneath, the rushing swoosh of blood and her own heartbeat. The collage of sound fell hard and thick when the child’s suckling finally slowed to a stop. These moments, when her daughter found sleep and released the Mother’s nipple with a soundless little pop, were the Mother’s favorites of each evening.

She’d curl herself around the baby, still and warm, and ease into half-consciousness. And then, inevitably, her muscles would protest their sudden slack and give a full-bodied jerk so hard it would bring a tiny scowl from the baby.

Then the anxious waking would begin. There was the wait between feedings: Two, three hours apart. Then the ugly ritual of not-sleeping repeating for nights on end. She’d lost count of how many concurrent nights she’d spent waking.

In the next room, her husband snored softly. Night like these, the Mother actively loathed him for his ease in sleep. He could doze anytime. If he were still for more than a few minutes, his glasses would slip to the end of his nose and his head would loll to one side. She hated him. She scooted the child away from her, carefully folding the coverlet away from the infant.

She hated the baby too. For the depth of her sleeping, the little feather breaths puffing from tiny lips.

The Mother rose, and swayed in vertigo. She hadn’t eaten in... she couldn’t remember her last meal. Her stomach was a writhing spiked thing, and everything tasted dry and metallic. She was thirsty though, and walked to the kitchen. As she moved, her peripheral vision swam with strange, unsettling shapes. When she looked directly at them, they would skitter to the edges again, taunting her. 

She shuddered. The shapes reminded her of the dark little hallucinations she’d seen everywhere before she’d gone inpatient at the psych department. She had thought of those as evil sylph-crows, though they'd clung to the floors and baseboards more like rats. She hadn’t seen them since stabilizing on medication years ago. Seeing these wicked cousins made her wish again that she could have stayed on her meds with the baby. If nothing else, they’d help her sleep.

The darkness of the room swirled around her, seething with the creatures. Here, without the nursery nightlight, she could look directly at them. They looked like snakes, with ridged spikes all around them and they twisted over and under each other, flitting into and out of existence. They were the ghost colors of after-images—red and green at the same time. 

She closed her eyes for relief, and it worked though it seemed odd that it should. When she opened her eyes, the undulating mass was there again. She set her jaw and filled a glass of water, reminding herself they were insomniac tricks of the eye. She felt ridiculous: A little girl telling herself her scary book was only a story.

She drained her glass and looked up.

One serpent sat on the counter, perfectly still. Its red-green eyes caught no light, but they were fixed directly on her.