Adding insult to injury

So a couple of days ago, I’m doing a downward dog, and I feel a sharp pain in my shoulder. I quickly gave up on that video and went to one that I knew wouldn’t have any downward dogs.

The next day, I’m once again doing downward dog and getting sharp pains in my shoulder. I fell to to floor in a heap and did the ugly cry for a while. Until I realized that I was getting all stopped up with snot which is never good for me or my COPD because all that snot drains down into my lungs and then I’m sick and really feeling sorry for myself more than I was when downward dog kicked my ass.

I got myself pulled together enough to text my BFF and scream into the void. That didn’t help as much as I had hoped so I texted my 12 step sponsor. That helped a little bit, but I still felt sorry for myself. So I did the only logical thing I knew to do.

I called my mom.

My mom has no patience for her kids when they feel sorry for themselves. My mom doesn’t allow herself to feel sorry for herself. It doesn’t do any good, she says.

Of course, being the amazing mom she is, she could hear the congestion (how the fuck can moms do that shit?) and so I had to explain to her that I had just spent a stupid amount of time wadded up in the floor crying because I hurt my shoulder doing downward dog.

Being the pragmatist that she is, my mom has always had one simple response to “it hurts when I ……………..”.

“Well then, don’t do ………………”.

So of course her advice was “don’t do any more downward dogs”.

We had a nice long chat, and by the end of it my mom had me laughing my ass off at how she dealt with her financial advisor when he sold the firm and said she needed to do a bunch of paperwork. My mom is no dummy; she told him she wanted everything to stay the same and she wasn’t filling out any more paperwork. Then she called the institution that actually holds her funds and they told her she didn’t have to do any paperwork.

My mom is one of those “steel magnolias”. All sweet, gracious, southern hospitality on the outside; core of solid steel (with a dose of raging mama bear) on the inside. So of course we were laughing at how men have always treated her like an idiot and it has always been a big mistake. Huge.

I’ve digressed. This is supposed to be about my shoulder, and here I am talking about how my mom taught me to question everything and never get taken for a fool. Sometimes, I’m so distrusting and cynical and intolerant of clutter that I’ve recently had to ask her “are you 100% positive that I’m not genetically yours?” She swears I’m adopted, but sometimes I wonder. I guess that’s just a testament to how much she loves me and how well she raised me.

Anyway, my shoulder. It’s the shoulder that was damaged in the 90s. The last xray I saw of it was fucking scary, but lately I had started to question my memories (because I did a lot of dope in the intervening years). Mr B, who was once a mortician, did a quick poke around my right clavicle that I know is fine, then a quick poke around the left and said I wasn’t imagining things, it didn’t feel normal. This latest pain is new and different and worse. It’s in the shoulder joint, and its sending pains down my biceps and triceratops and shit.

My doctor poked around the shoulder joint and miracle of miracles it actually did that popping and crunching thing and it disturbed her so she ordered an xray and now I have to figure out where we’re going to get the money to pay for xrays with no fucking insurance.

Sunshine says we’ll find a way to pay for it, and I love him for it. I hate having to throw something like this at him at a time like this, when we’re really scrambling to get the house finished so we can move in. He gets excellent (and completely free) healthcare from his tribal clinic, so he always comes up with the money for mine because I fall into the coverage gap (fucking asshole Texas not expanding the Medicare/Medicaid).

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post except screaming into the void. Its frustrating to have chronic pain standing in the way of actually following doctors orders to exercise; the fact that I’ve now added a new insult to an old injury is just making it that much worse.

Ultimately, I suppose the moral of the story is this: don’t be an idiot that doesn’t follow doctors orders after a major car wreck breaks your bones, because that shot will come back to bite you on the ass when its least convenient.

Final note: thank you for listening to my navel gazing and lint picking. XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

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A day in the life

Yesterday, I took a much needed break. I pretty much stayed on the couch all day and crocheted. I wound up frogging a lot of what I had crocheted, but at least I enjoyed myself. I did some beginner’s yoga for flexibility, did some laundry, and binged on “Versailles”.

Today, I got outside and started planting stuff in pots: tomatoes, peppers, and lavender were on my to-plant list. I got tomatoes and peppers (jalapeno, Tabasco, Serrano, and multi-colored bell) done before I ran out of spoons and had to come inside to sit.

I’m sitting here feeling every single day of my decades spent on this planet. I was feeling them yesterday, too; I can’t stretch like I used to stretch. I’m not feeling sorry for myself or anything; I’m just feeling old and tired.

I probably wouldn’t be feeling so old and tired if I had been kinder to my body in the past, and if I hadn’t gotten so LAZY since I quit being a stagehand.

Good news: some of this is totally fixable. Now, do I think I’ll once again be able to pull of some of the contortionist-lite shit I could do in my 20s? Likely not.

However, I can make my days more pleasant. I have utterly failed at my March monthly goal of self-care. Mostly. I did figure out what was keeping me sick (mold), and dealt with it. Bonus points for using vinegar to deal with it instead of bleach or other chemicals (more eco-friendly cleaning was another goal).

In keeping with the self-care goal, I have swapped out the Pilates for some beginner’s yoga for flexibility, in hopes of starting to stretch the muscles that are giving me fits WITHOUT causing them to give me fits. I’m enjoying it as much as the Pilates, if not better, so I’m counting that one as a win.

I’m having to come to terms with aging in ways I hadn’t considered before. I have long appreciated the wisdom that comes with my age; I just never realized how much everything would fucking hurt. It doesn’t help that I am aging with a chronic illness and chronic pain. It’s forcing me to deal with it, on an emotional level, pretty quickly. I mean, when reality slaps me in the face as hard as it has the last week or two, it creates a mental crisis of sorts; denial just ain’t working because my body keeps saying

YOU’RE NOT CLEOPATRA, DENIAL ISN’T THE NAME OF A RIVER YOU IDIOT

Which means I’m already dreading work this weekend, which is robbing me of today.

All of this whining and ranting makes me realize how grateful I am for my 12 step recovery. I understand that these feelings shall pass, all I have to do is ride them out. I understand that there are solutions to the problems I’m having; Hell, I can remember a time when I wished I had the kind of problems I’m having right now.

So thank you for listening as I scream into the void. Now, I’m off to rest a bit before I head outside to finish planting stuff in pots. Because I’m excited about the lavender I want to plant.

A labour rebellion

I’m on strike. Again.

Sunshine is out of town more than he is home. I’m trying not to be too bitchy or whiny about it, because I get that he doesn’t want to be away but we need the money to finish the house.

The boss had a family emergency last weekend, so I worked Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday AND my usual Friday plus he took my Sunday and had me come in Saturday. On Saturday, we were moving some tables and I tripped over a cross tie and did something bad to my hip/lower back. Yep, that hip; the one that has had sciatica since the great septic system debacle. Yesterday, I barely got off my ass except to make a desperately needed 12 step meeting.

This morning, I’ve got all of my DK/Sport weight yarn out because I’m mid-project finally making a something out of the fun yarns my niece gave me for The Christmas. I originally thought “blanket” but as I look at it, I’m thinking tree skirt for the holidays. The upside to a tree skirt is that I can leave the ends alone instead of weaving them in to hide them, because the back side will be against the floor and tree stand. I really hate weaving in ends.

My neck and shoulder hurt from work and Pilates. I’m still dealing with some sort of allergy sinus problem (this is my fourth bout with upper respiratory infection in 2018 and I’m disgusted with it), which means antibiotics. For the second time this year. If this keeps up, my body will be more bacteria free than a bottle of bleach.

I’m about to do a whole lot of nothing this week. I’m on strike. I’m fucking sick of being the only adult here to deal with chickens, cats, mail, construction decisions, house cleaning, laundry, and everything else one has to deal with in order to seem like an actual adult instead of the overgrown 12 year old I am. I have a tree skirt to work on. I have a closet to clean out and organize; The Purge is beginning here in the magic bus and it’s going to get ugly.

Side note: seriously ugly. I’m going to be getting rid of a lot of clothes, yarn, shoes, and anything that annoys me. Sunshine isn’t here to stop me, so nothing is sacred and nothing is safe.

In the end, I’m realizing that my “whole lot of nothing” is actually a lot of different somethings. Which makes me a total fucking liar when I say that I’m on strike. I guess what I really mean by “I’m on strike” is ME FIRST. I’m putting on my oxygen mask before I try and help anyone else put on theirs. I’m doing a whole lot of “whatever in the fuck I want to do” this week, with a dash of “whatever Mollie wants to do” thrown in for good measure. My body and spirit need it.

This body

I was listening to some music a couple of months ago, and this woman was singing about her body. She sang about how this body had birthed children, and done this and done that and so on and so forth. It was a powerful message of hope, that acceptance of my body just as it is… well, that’s possible.

I’m just not there today. My doctor has ordered dietary changes and exercise, and I’ve actually gotten serious about it. I’ve gotten so serious that I’m even keeping a makeshift journal of sorts about what I eat and vital signs and so on and so forth.

I’m sitting here right now, acutely aware of all of the ways this body is failing me. Along with the inevitable aches and pains of aging, I deal with the remnants of all of the abuse I heaped upon this body in active addiction. I have a bad shoulder that likely needs surgery to reassemble a bone that was broken in a car wreck. I have fingers that don’t work right because they were cut off in that same car wreck (reattached by an Emory surgeon at Grady Hospital, they mostly work but they look a little different now). For fuck’s sake, I cracked my T1 vertebra in that wreck (luckily it just cracked without moving). My right hip aches extra much thanks to a car wreck in the early 2000s. That’s the same hip that now has sciatica thanks to the great septic system debacle. My left knee hurts sometimes and I have no fucking clue why. I struggle to breathe sometimes, because all the cigarettes and dope I smoked left me with COPD. I could do this shit all day, listing body parts that don’t work right anymore and the insanity that caused the malfunction, but I think you probably get the point right now.

I’m sitting here typing this, fighting back tears. It’s hard to NOT be depressed about all of this, especially when it is standing in the way of actually following some simple doctor’s orders to exercise.

Walking aggravates the right hip. Running is out of the question with this hip and these lungs. Yoga often hurts my right shoulder and that right hip. Pilates? The right shoulder and my neck mean that I have to modify the modified versions of the exercises in the video.

It fucking sucks, and I’m on the verge of sinking into a pit of despair and self-pity. I refuse to call my sponsor about it because I already know I’ll get a writing assignment out of it so I might as well just write already. I can guess what the assignment would be, even: a gratitude list, and a list of all the things my body has done and can still do.

So fuck it. Here it goes:

  • This body has danced
  • This body has laughed. Laughed til it cried, laughed til it hurt
  • This body has solo piloted a Harley Davidson. Hell, this body survived a solo flight on a Harley where the brakes failed with absolutely no warning. This body kept that bike under control and safely stopped it, upright on both wheels. Barely, but it did it, and that was definitely a case where the ends were more important than the means
  • This body has survived active addiction. 26 years of active addiction, to be more precise.
  • This body has survived some seriously ugly DTs. More than once, more than twice, more times than I can even remember, this body has made it through very painful detox from drugs and booze–the kinds of drugs that detoxing from them can literally kill. This body survived.
  • This body survived the gated community as a guest of the state
  • This body has survived car wreck after car wreck that should have been fatal
  • This body has survived surgery after surgery to try and repair damage that some utter insanity or another has caused
  • This body has survived damn near 48 years on planet earth and is still mostly functioning
  • This body has survived through not one, but THREE, physically abusive relationships (the first of which involved having a handgun pressed between my eyes; I’ve been too fucking stupid/crazy/something to ever let a man scare me again since that moment)
  • This body has survived rape
  • This body has planted gardens
  • This body has harvested and preserved the fruits of gardens
  • This body has done construction work
  • This body has laid out concert stages for some major touring acts, and it did it after most of the damage had already been done. This body, with boobs and ass and no penis, did a hard fucking job in a male dominated industry, and this body did that job very very fucking well (I was good at my job as a stagehand; so good I always got assigned to that one British asshole on every tour that hated all the local stagehands, and none of them hated me after 5 minutes of working with me)
  • This body is surviving anemia, COPD, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and a never-ending allergy season here in this part of Texas
  • This body is building a house, a place for this weary spirit to call home

Now for the gratitude list:

  • I’m grateful for the doctors appointment I have today, hopefully we can start finding a solution to the shoulder problem
  • I’m grateful for Sunshine, and his willingness to find a way to do what’s necessary to get me healthcare. I’m grateful to just have his calming presence in my life, and getting to be married to him is positively delightful
  • I’m grateful for Miss Mollie, who constantly reminds me to enjoy the moment
  • I’m grateful for my recovery
  • I’m grateful for my sponsor
  • I’m grateful for each of you. I’m grateful for every person who reads my drivel, and who sticks around for those times (like this) when I am just screaming into the void out of sheer frustration
  • I’m grateful for my mom, who would instantly talk me down from this pity-pot I’m perched on if only I would just call her
  • I’m grateful that, in spite of the ways he irritates me, Mr B has opened the gate to his property to try and create a community that welcomes my weirdo self
  • I’m grateful for the physical warmth inside my RV, with all of my layers of warm clothes and faux fur blankets to fend off the wet, grey cold that is knocking at the windows today
  • I’m grateful for the dark chocolate cocoa that is just waiting for me to get up off my ass and go fix myself a cup. (The gratitude list isn’t supposed to include things I can hold in my hand but DARK CHOCOLATE IS A GIFT FROM THE GODS THAT IS A BALM FOR MY TROUBLED SOUL and I will scream that at my sponsor if she ever dares question dark chocolate on a gratitude list 😇)
  • I’m grateful for a job I enjoy and a boss I actually like
  • I’m grateful for my oldest stepson, who is visiting us today. The growth I’ve seen in him over the years has been beautiful to witness, and it reminds me that miracles happen–even for an addict like me

Thank you. Each and every one of you reading this, thank you. Each of you reading this is carrying a tiny little piece of my burden today, for pain shared is pain lessened.

Humidity

I grew up near Atlanta, Georgia. I thought I knew what humidity was. Then, around the turn of the millennium, I found myself in the northwestern Louisiana area. That gave me a new appreciation for humidity; I thought I knew what humidity really was. Then I traveled to New Orleans the summer after Katrina. Now, I really am starting to get a sense of what humidity can be, because that was some seriously sticky air.

Humidity is one of those things that can affect my breathing; barometric pressure and dewpoint can affect it, too. COPD is a motherbitch like that some days.

It’s been humid and/or rainy here for over a week now, and it isn’t going to stop before the end of the coming weekend. It’s really starring to piss me off. I’m supposed to be exercising to lose weight, and that’s hard to do when it’s cold and rainy outside and one lives in an RV that has no space for any sort of exercising. I’m struggling to breathe BEFORE any exertion. I’m exhausted from the effort, and from the anger at something I can’t fucking change.

I wish I could say that my humidity woes ended there. However, this morning, as I’m tripping through my RV because I’m too fucking lazy to re-tie my slipper lace that keeps trying to kill me, I’m on an epic bleep-fest behind all this never-ending humidity.

The purple wall tile for my shower? Not setting. My clothes that are hanging inside to air dry? Not fucking drying, and it’s been days. I have dirty clothes I need to wash and I have nowhere to hang them to dry because the laundry from several days ago is still hanging to dry.

I call bullshit. I’m over this shit.

NOW that I’ve bitched about it, it’s time to put on my big-girl panties. It’s time to get out of the problem and into the solution. I’m off to deal with the leaky window in the bedroom of the RV. After that, I’m headed down the hill with the laptop and a workout video so that I can take advantage of all that space in my under-constriction house.

Dear diary,

Some days I feel like we’re just reading each other’s diaries here in blogland. Which is kind of awesome, to be honest. It means that we’re sharing ourselves with each other and forging connections. Connection is important.

If I were to keep a diary, there would be many posts that read like a diary of a journey through a wasteland searching for water.

“Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Dear diary,

Trudging along, no water found, but the camel finally took a shit and can now carry a larger load. Which is good, since many of us are too dehydrated to walk.”

“Thursday, April 6, 2023

Dear diary,

Trudged some more today. Found no water, but did encounter a dead cactus. It’s spines punctured George’s boot and we fear it has poisoned him as he is feverish and speaking in tongues.”

“Monday, April 10, 2023

Dear diary,

George died last night. Breakfast was steak and some sort of red juice, although I can’t imagine where either came from. This sustenance should allow us to trudge further in our search for water.”

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m just trudging along through life, biding my time until the universe decides I have trudged enough.

My hip hurts. My neck hurts. My shoulders hurt. I have high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. I need both reading glasses and distance-vision glasses. My lower back hurts.

It pisses me off that my body is now failing me when I need it the most. We are trying to build a house, we have a spring vegetable garden to plant… hell, just making up the bed in an RV takes Herculean effort.

Dear diary,

I’m tired. It seems to be the usual state for me here lately, perhaps the universe is in stasis and nothing is changing. I trudge down the hill to the new house, make many decisions, and never see any finished projects or progress. Perhaps tomorrow, I will see the results of some of my decisions. Until then, I shall do my best to nap as I trudge through life.

I’m off to take a nap. Because I’m a “it’s not even noon and I already need a nap” years old.

If you can’t beat ’em….

….then get a pill organizer.

I found Sunshine’s old one and appropriated it. He had to get a larger one to handle the sheer volume of pills he has to take for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, and thyroid. I’m hoping that my daily pill routine doesn’t outgrow this one.

Final note: Sunshine is home from working out of town. He will be starting work on our little house again; hopefully, we’ll make some significant progress.