Saturday, May 26, 2012


We are rolling up on another Memorial Day. Funny how they keep coming like clockwork. Just like birthdays. Like Christmas. Time just keeps ticking on.

It is a hard holiday to celebrate. You can spin this one all sorts of ways. You are celebrating death. However, it is the deaths of people who gave their lives in the causes of Freedom. That makes it go down somewhat easier. It just seems sad that the battle seems so never-ending. It started with a Civil War and still rages on today.

They are heroes, to be sure, the men and women who sign up for our military. They know we are not at peace. Heaven forbid people stop signing up and we should have to begin the draft again. That didn't work out well before.

I could say what I think (it is time to start recalling our soldiers home in a safe fashion), but I know that as soon as you start opening your mouth on this sort of topic people immediately get all angry. And want to tell you why you're wrong. And, I say to you who think that all of our soldiers should be off fighting in foreign countries, "You are entitled to your opinion. Just let me have mine."

So, let's take a moment for the real life soldiers who are out there doing their thing. Wish them well. Send a prayer and some positive energy their way.

And now I am going to share with you some clips from one of the best TV shows out there. I love this show because the characters are just so darn good. And they believe in what they are doing. Each episode they fight to get to the truth of the death/murder of someone in our military. Of course, it is about the science, forensics, and all of the details of the murder stuff. But that isn't what makes the show great. It is always the characters that make a show great. And greatness always trickles down. As does moral bankruptcy.

They couldn't have cast this show any better. Mark Harmon plays the leader of this team. Everything about this man has always said strong moral fiber to me. Always. And it still does. Without making you want to throw up in your mouth. He is quiet and unassuming. He just IS. He doesn't have to force people to follow him. They want to follow him. And that is what makes a leader. This clip illustrates Gibbs and his Rules. It is a compilation over many seasons.

Now, this clip is specifically from Season 6. Yes. Season 6. No one really knows where the rules comes from until RIGHT NOW. This episode takes Gibbs back to his hometown and he gets lost in a memory of the first time he talked to Shannon. This is the woman that he would marry. She would always be the love of his life. She, along with his daughter, would be murdered. However, it takes the writers six years to unravel the character of Gibbs enough to let you know that until you understand THIS, you aren't even close to understanding the man. I cry every time I watch this scene because it is just so SWEET.

Now, Gibbs is a man who puts pictures of men he doesn't know on his desk. Cases solved. Justice obtained. It doesn't bring anyone back to life, but it brings closure to the families, and that is the best he can do for them. I like to think that there are real-life Gibbs' out there doing the job. Heroes. Just doing the job. It's not a great job. But, it's something that they can give back at the end of the day for the people who died here at home that served their country.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Let's Kick This Around

I've been a bit distracted by all of the Crazy in my world, so I haven't been keeping you up to speed on my other stuff. My Less Crazy. Or just Ordinary Stuff. Or even mildly interesting or even Somewhat Off The Wall Ideas that I sometimes get. Those are kind of fun.

I did determine from talking to my PCP that I am going to have to go back to my neurologist at the Headache Center. When I first saw him over two years ago, I thought he is *awesome.* That was back before I had good insurance and we couldn't actually do anything to implement any of his great ideas. Then, I actually got good insurance and he no longer thought they were good ideas. In fact, he said he no longer recalled even saying them. Uggghhh. I was hoping to change doctors when my SSD came through, but it turns out that there is nowhere to go. They are the PRIMO outpatient care facility for people with migraines, which is what I need. And when I say PRIMO, I mean ONLY. At least in this area.

So, I am trying to figure out how to make him think this is his idea all over again. Because it was. And can be again. I just really pissed him off a couple of times in the last couple of years with self diagnosis. Doctors don't like that crap. However, when you have a migraine for ten years, you kinda know it's a migraine. And when you have side effects to a medication and it's the only new thing, you kinda know it's that medication. They just don't like it if they prescribed it. I would think they would be used to being WRONG at some point. Guess not. So, I am working on this one. Planning and all.

Meanwhile, back when I was in group therapy for chronic pain they talked a lot about slowing down your breathing to help with the pain. So, I do that sometimes. Ironically, until you slow it down, and start breathing deeply, you don't realize what shallow, fast breaths you are taking. The other thing my therapist mentioned in our second session is not thinking about the pain at all. Imagining yourself somewhere else. Somewhere pleasant.

So, I was in the Think Tank yesterday thinking about the above stuff when I also started thinking about the TV show Fringe. I watch it on DVD, so I haven't watched this entire season... yet. Anyway, they do a lot with Fringe Science. Ta Da. That was a big reveal. It is actually one of the coolest shows on TV. Anyway, I started thinking about what if there was a way to facilitate this process of making a person focus on that pleasant place. Sometimes I get stuck because I get "hung up" on a detail. If I am in my childhood bedroom I can't remember where something is and it frustrates me. And then I can't maintain the "illusion." Or if I am at the beach I can almost smell the salt in the air, but not quite. I can't quite push past the pain in my head. But, what if Fringe Science hooked up an electrode of some kind into the memory area of my brain and stimulated it? And I could see/remember everything clearly, so clearly that it was truly like I was there. And then they were able to just barely tap the pleasure center of the brain during that memory the entire time I was under. Like the wisp of a brushstroke. For most migraine sufferers, if you could keep them under twenty minutes the blood vessels that constricted in the neck that caused the migraine would have had time to decompress. When they came out of it, the migraine would be gone.

Stress is the root of so many other health issues, I can't help but wonder what this sort of therapy would accomplish for heart patients, etc.

I just finished the last book of The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. By and large, I don't remember YA books being so good when I was that age. As always, I hate coming to the end of a series. Makes me a bit sad. Like saying good-bye to old friends.

And you say to me, "The characters were onions all the way through. Real or not real?"

Without hesitation, I reply, "Real."

Thank you Suzanne Collins for keeping it real.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

Stepping Out

It seems like everything on this blog has been weighty and stressful. One big fat *ugghh* at each reading.

The band Train came out with their new album, California 37, in April. I have been psyched about this ever since it arrived on the scene. I even downloaded it on my IPOD immediately. Every song on it is amazing.

I first discovered Train when I was dragged to one of their concerts by the ex-husband. He wasn't an ex at the time. They were playing right here in our hometown, the concert was outside, and it was fairly inexpensive. That meant we were going. This man was willing to travel several states away to see a concert. So we were going. I didn't even know who Train was at the time. I was less than thrilled. However, as soon as they started playing, I was hooked. And I mean seriously hooked. I bought a T-shirt before we left. He didn't. I still have it. I also made a point of buying their CDs after that. I became a FAN.

So... when this album came out, I got on the computer and looked up the tour schedule. Sure enough, they are on tour. And they will be in the south this fall. I bought tickets. The venue is outdoors, which is much more tolerable for migraine sufferers. And I am hoping by then that I have it better under control. I haven't been excited about a concert in YEARS. Mostly because they are painful. But I am optimistic. And excited.

So, what is the fuss about? Some of you may be scratching your heads. Train who? I don't know whether to enlighten you by way of their old stuff or their new stuff. Heck, it is all awesome. This is a new song, not yet released, that I think is just wonderful. It is live.

This is the new single, obviously the video. Professional job. Very cool. Awesome song.

This is something from the studio sessions for the new album. Gives you some insight into the band.

And this was the song on that first tour standing in the audience when I knew it was love. I can't remember if there were tears running down my face or not. But there probably were. Because that is just who I am.

It's good to have things to be excited about, things to look forward to, etc. And when I talk about Train, it feels really good not for it to be in the context of riding on the Crazy Train... lol. I am learning that people do need these things in their lives. (these positive things to focus on) I think that these are the things that help us get through the days. If all we have are the bad things, the negative things, the scary things, then we have nothing.

It is slowly occurring to me that my life has become so insulated by doctor's appointments and migraines and things that I cannot do because of illness that I don't have positive things to look forward to that are actually substantial. As in real. I have things that I want to happen. Things that I envision happening someday. But not much that is on the books. I need more on the books. I now have a Train concert. To some of you that may not seem like a whole lot. To me that is major progress. It is huge. No one ever made it anywhere without taking that first step. I haven't stepped in a long time. Hello world. This is me stepping.

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bullet This

This feels like one of those blogs that might not ever get off the ground. I have been staring at the screen for a while now and it is beginning to sink in that maybe the only way this blog stands a chance of making it into actual words is if I go "bullet style." That way I can just shoot thoughts out as they come, rather than to come up with something "cohesive."

  • I wish I could explain what the last week has been like, but I don't think I can. The relief of being given the SSD benefits and not having the hearing was short lived.
  • I know this sounds crazy.
  • I was so tired from not having slept hardly at all before the psych evaluation that my fibro symptoms were out in force. Add all of emotions that came with finding out about the SSD decision, plus some other things I will tell you about later, and I was a MESS.
  • When I say MESS, I mean a crying ball of anxiety that constantly was having to be peeled off of the floor or ceiling. Yes, there was pretty much constant crying. Horrible depression. And my fibro symptoms were on overload. Everything hurt. All I wanted to do was sleep. None of this evened out until about Saturday. I finally slept enough that I was roughly back to normal.
  • That meant that my migraine took over as my primary pain maker, once again, and life felt a bit more "normal." Ugghh.
  • JJ said something in my comments about how I would have felt better had I not stressed so much. I laughed when I read that. Absolutely true. However, I do not remember a time when I didn't stress about the smallest thing. And this was pre-migraines. I used to have conversations with myself in the mirror daily in junior high school. It was a coping mechanism.
  • Thinking about that had me pondering when I didn't feel stressed. I couldn't remember a time. Before I was 10. Before my dad got sick. Pre-1978. Yeah, that is the last time I remember truly feeling stress-free. Ever since then, not so much.
  • I can't say I haven't had moments. Summers when I was out of school after my dad got better. But, after high school, no. And during school, no.
  • My dog is having an "issue" with her front leg. There have been numerous visits to the vets, x-rays, etc. She has been on pain pills and anti-inflammatory pills for about a month now. The vet is saying that he doesn't see a break, fracture, puncture wound, or what traditionally presents as cancer. However, since the swelling isn't going down and she is still not wanting to walk on it, everyone is concerned.
  • People who are not animal lovers are not going to get this, and I am not going to be able to explain it to you. Right now, the only option left is to biopsy her leg, which is going to be done tomorrow. It will take a while for the results to come back.
  • She is twelve years old. I am not sure how many years she realistically has left. If it is cancer, we are talking about amputating one of her legs. I don't know if that is the humane thing to do or not. Or just the selfish one. I am really struggling with it.
  • I know I am struggling with a decision that I might not have to make, but cancer really hasn't been falling my way here lately. And I don't feel lucky.
  • When I got Miss S. she was six weeks old and she fit in my hands. I held her like an infant. And I still do. She only weighs 20 pounds, so I can get away with that. In fact, when she is scared, it calms her down. Not many dogs like being held like that, but she does.
  • I don't know if this is a better or worse case, but I have figured out that I am a proactive person. A doer. This is all nicely phrased for something of a control freak. So, the things that make me most "crazy" are the things over which I have no control.
  • Understanding that put all of my friendships that have gone bezerker into perspective for me. I worked on them and worked on them and worked on them, but I was the only one doing the working and got nowhere. I was spinning my wheels. The ball wasn't in my court. Yes, it made me crazy.
  • And I went to doctor after doctor who wouldn't listen to me. I got sicker and sicker. And that made me crazy. Finally I found one who did. And then I was really sick. And down the rabbit hole. And here we are. But, I learned a lot.
  • And then my dad and aunt died. And I had no control over that. Crazier still.
  • And now my dog. Welcome to Insanity Land. Or as I call it Home.

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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Case Closed

I got up early this morning for a psych evaluation. It was the only time slot the doctor's office had this week, and my SSD Hearing is fast approaching. May 22. The weight of that date has been crushing me just a little more every day. So, I needed the test with the follow-up appt next week and the time to get the medical records requested BEFORE the hearing.

This has felt a bit like standing in line at the amusement park. Hurry up and wait. With the added benefit of the standing being the worst part. The walking from ride to ride isn't so bad, but that hour or more stand in the line is just a killer. Walking is movement. Standing is just... well, standing.

My hearing is slated for 8:30am on May 22 so I knew this morning appt would be an excellent dry run at how well I do. Last night at 4am when I was still wide awake and completely stressed out, I had a fairly good idea of what that would look like. Scary as crap. I began to develop alternate scenarios of sleep all day the day before and then stay up all night so that 8:30am is the END of my day and not the beginning. That is desperation thinking.

I got about two hours sleep before my test and was in excellent humor when I arrived at the doctor's office. Ha. In reality, I looked like the victim of a mugging and was mean as a snake. My whole body felt like it endured a beating all night long. So, I was in the perfect state of mind for a Psych Evaluation. LOL. Several hours later, it was over and I was completely creeped out. Some of the questions on those tests had my mind spinning. Another blog peeps. Maybe.

I get home and there is a message to call my Disability Reps. All I WANT to do is go to bed. But, I call. It is a person I have never dealt with before. And my brain slowly processes what he is saying. But I make him repeat it because I am running on IDIOT.

The judge has reviewed your case and your petition has been approved. Your hearing on May 22 has been cancelled. You will be getting your official notice in the mail. The various people in our office will be following up with you to help you with your Medicare benefits, and to make sure you get your monetary benefit(s).

He may have said more but I started crying the first time through, and the second time around I just wanted to be sure I got it right.

There are no words to express the relief that I feel. It still isn't over because the red tape still has to be processed, but we are almost home. I can stop worrying. An end is in sight.

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