…higher than the ceiling.

Hey guess what?

Wilford-Brimley-Diabeetus

The good news – I do not have to be on insulin, even though I have to take oral meds.

The bad news – holy fuck I miss sugar.

The good news – my HgA1C went from 11.4 in May to 7.2 in July (meaning my average blood sugar dropped from 283 to 150 in 2 months).

The bad news – no seriously have you seen that Speculoos Cookie Core Ben & Jerry’s?

The good news – I’ve lost ~50 lbs from my highest weight.

The bad news – that number happened 3 weeks ago and it hasn’t changed. Perhaps that’s because work has been very stressful and even though I haven’t given in to my urge to eat my way through Hershey’s entire inventory I have drowned my sorrows in various other foods, like honey roasted macadamia nuts. Also, because I have been working a lot of overtime, I have developed a serious Starbucks problem (as has the rest of the office). At least I’m getting them sugar-free, right?

In other news, apparently being diagnosed with the Beetus is stressful, because my hair is falling out. I had two doctors test my thyroid, and they’re like, nope, you’re fine. REALLY you’re fine. Have you tried vitamins? Yes? Well, try some more, and we’ll send you to a dermatologist who will also confirm that you’re fine. PS, you need to get out more, you have a Vitamin D deficiency. The dermatologist was like “yep, stress. I promise. It’ll be better in a few months.” That’s ASSUMING I have any hair left and also assuming I can afford enough Drano to keep my shower drain unclogged.

Further news, my back is not making me very happy right now either. You would *think* that since I had a spinal cord stimulator installed a year ago, and that because I’ve been exercising and have lost weight, that my back would be awesome. Not so much. Even though the radicular pain from the jacked-up discs is better, I still have inflammation at the S-I joint…which makes it hurt to sit for any length of time, even in my fancy Tempurpedic chair. Basically, this inflammation can really only be treated by burning the nerves with an electrified needle. It’s about as much fun as you would imagine, as the whole “conscious sedation” thing doesn’t work so well on me. Dear body, why can’t you metabolize french fries fast, instead of Versed? I had this done again in July. It worked on one side, but the other side is still being an asshead. So I’ve had to take painkillers again, and while they help with the hurting part, I’m not sure it’s worth it to not poop for weeks. (I’m just being honest. My doctor laughed when I said this, but agreed with me. IT’S A MEDICAL FACT. Why no, I don’t have a filter.)

Fuck you, hair.

Fuck you, S-I joint.

Also fuck you, genetics.

I suppose I have started some healthier habits. I get in my 10K steps every day. I really have been trying very hard not to eat a ton of refined sugar. I go to bed at a reasonable hour.

God, I’m so fucking boring.

Song of the Day: “Diane Young” – Vampire Weekend
Today’s Time Waster: You know you’ve missed cat videos more than my lame blog entries.
What I’m Craving: I think that has been made abundantly clear.

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She is smiling alone.

I guess it’s been a while. Things have been kind of crazy. My 83-year-old gramma was not doing well, so I went to Michigan to visit her. Of course, the phone call from my mom sounded like it was the end, but by the time I got there, she was getting back in fighting form. She’s still not doing great, but she’s back to being an asshole to everyone, which for her means she’s feeling better. She’s driving my mom and my aunt nuts, and she’s being bitchy. The thing is, she has never been like that to me, ever. Gramma’s was my safe house. Some of my best childhood memories are from staying with her and my grampa. She let me do whatever I wanted, like stay up all night to watch Charles & Diana get married and eat ice cream for breakfast.

Seeing her was hard. Since she lives so far away, it’s been tough for me to get the time off work to go visit, and when I was unemployed, I didn’t really have the money. I knew she wasn’t well, but the weirdest thing was seeing her with her natural gray hair. Since I’ve been alive, her hair has always been a platinum blonde football helmet.

Anyway, the day I got on the plane, I had another stupid epidural steroid injection, which sadly, hasn’t helped. The doctor said Plan B is not necessarily surgery…there’s a procedure they can try where they basically implant little electrical contacts and wires and connect them to the nerves, and then implant a little device that you can control with a remote. The current is suppose to alleviate the pain. We’ll see. I’m really tired of dealing with this shit. The doctor did, of course, mention weight loss, but was cool about it…he acknowledged it would be hard to work out if you were in constant pain. I’ve been trying to eat a little better, but stress is a hungry, hungry hippo. She especially enjoys Russell Stover Coconut Cream Eggs and McDonald’s french fries, but occasionally wants something else, like nachos.

Oh and also, work got fucked up last week…I had gotten my friend a job there, and they fired her for what appears to be no reason. I think the decision may have been financially based, which worries me. I was also worried about my own job security, because I’ve had enough drama, and while by all reports everyone wants me around, still. The office manager assured me that no, no, everything’s fine, in fact you’re getting a raise….

Still do not trust them. I got a bonus right before I got shitcanned last February. Guess I’ll just wait and see what happens, but keep my eye open for anything that looks interesting. That’s about all I can do, really.

Enough rambling. Let’s move on:

It is time again for Friend Makin’ Monday. If you have a blog, I would like to invite you to answer the questions as well. Leave me a comment here, so I know you are playing. Then you can also leave a comment over at Losing Weight and Having Fun, so other folks can check out your answers as well. It is a fun way to connect to other bloggers.

1. Have you ever had a reoccurring dream? What was it?

I have a couple, and they’re both nightmares. In one, I am competing in an obstacle course, and the rules are much like those in the book “The Long Walk” by Stephen King (SPOILER ALERT)…if you drop out, you die. When I have this one, I’m usually under a LOT of stress, and the obstacle course gets more horrible night after night. Like the first night it might be swimming across a pool, by night #3 it’s swimming across a pool full of sharks. The second one is about school…I think high school. I’m in this giant, rambling school building comprised of almost every school building I’ve ever been in (since I competed in speech tournaments in high school adn college, this is a LOT of school buildings)–everything from crumbling, gothic looking brick to the 70’s and 80’s super-streamlined office-cubicle like hallways. I can’t remember my locker combination, I can’t find any of my classrooms, and when I do find them, it’s for a class I have forgotten to attend all semester.

2. What was the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Hm. I’ve eaten octopus and squid, many kinds of seafood in a shell, eel, and alligator. I don’t know. I’ve pretty much sampled everything on a giant Chinese buffet. Does that count? (Hey, I’m picky.)

3. Can you comfortably eat in a restaurant by yourself? Go to movie?

Both. I don’t mind eating out alone as long as I have a book. Sometimes it’s very relaxing. I actually just did this last week. I was planning to meet some friends for some local activity, but they couldn’t meet till like 6:30 and I get off work at 5. So I went and had some delicious seafood and a $5 hurricane.

4. What would you leave in your will for the person you care about the most?

I’m sure I’ll be destitute and alone, so there will be nothing to leave.

5. Would you rather…Go without television or fast food for the rest of your life?

TV (I mean, I can still watch movies, right?). Sometimes my hormones get hungry for french fries, and that shit stinks up the house. Also, what the hell else are you supposed to eat after a night out besides Taco Bell?

6. What was the best thing that happened to you this past week?

One of my BFF’s turned 50, and we went out to celebrate. She showed up trashed. Someone made the mistake of giving her a wand with a star and streamers, and she bonked everyone on the head with it all night. Even though the bar DJ was mostly lame (if you follow me on Twitter, I posted a few updates), the night out was fun.

7. List the food items you take at a salad bar.

Are we talking a Golden Corral salad bar, or just a puny old-school steakhouse one? Spinach (if available, or if not romaine lettuce), hard-boiled eggs, mushrooms, carrots, cheese, bacon bits, ranch dressing, and CROUTONS. Lots and lots of croutons.

8. If you were in the “Miss America” talent competition, what would your talent be? (Note: both guys & gals have to answer this question)

I would sing something totally cheesy like “Memory” from Cats. (Shit. I just realized I mentioned this song in my last post. Well, fuck it. I would say “Defying Gravity” but I can’t hit that note anymore. Maybe “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from Carousel, or “Goodnight My Someone” from The Music Man.)

9. What do you keep in the trunk of your car?

Oh god. There’s actually not much in mine right now except for the plastic protector things you’re supposed to use on the convertible if you leave the top down. But I don’t ever leave it down when it’s parked, so I’m debating tossing those fuckers. Otherwise, there are a few random things…maybe a broken umbrella, a stuffed triceratops, and a couple mostly empty bottles of car products (like transmission fluid and antifreeze). Fortunately, I just cleaned it out a few months ago. Before that, don’t even ask. I’ve had my car for 12 years. Things end up there.

10. How many rings before you answer the phone?

Not very many. If I plan to answer, it’s usually by the second ring (unless it’s buried in my purse and I don’t hear it). If I don’t, I just send it to voicemail. At work, if I get stuck with phone duty, I answer after the first ring. The phone ringing annoys the living FUCK out of me. I used to work in an office where I was supposed to be “backup” on phones, but the chick whose job it was didn’t answer till like the 3rd ring, which drove me insane. I ended up answering it a lot because it interrupted my work just as much to glare at her to answer the phone than it did to just answer it. Plus, at that job, it was for me a lot of the time, anyway, because my boss was never there and it was family law and those clients are the worst about calling all day. This is where I learned never, ever to answer the phone after 5 on a Friday, because it was never anything you could fix but they wanted to TALK about it for an hour.

Song of the Day: “A Beautiful Mess” – Jason Mraz
Today’s Time Waster: Classic album covers in Google street view.
What I’m Craving: Something fried.

Talk of Circadian Rhythms…

I’m kind of sorry I used lyrics from this song already for a title, because I don’t like repeats (most of my titles are song lyrics. Not all. But most. If you’re bored, try to identify them without Googling. Of course you’re bored, you’re reading this!).
So, as many of my past entries have made abundantly clear, I have persistent insomnia. Not just a little, a lot. I’ve been this way since I was a wee little tot (a comment in my baby book reads “Kelly always wants to play when we’re ready to go to bed”), and I’ve never shaken it. I am a vampire bat, a night owl, whatever.  The last few years, though, it’s gotten progressively worse. I’ve tried just about all the prescription and non-prescription sleep aids available (I almost needed more lines to write them down on the questionnaire from the sleep specialist, and I was writing SMALL). I have tried bed being ONLY FOR TEH SLEEPING (no reading blah blah blah GOD get your minds out of the gutter), I’ve tried hot tea (gag), hot milk (ok, not really, the thought of drinking milk at all and especially warm makes me throw up in my mouth a little), beer, wine, hard liquor, weed, painkillers, benzodiazepines, decongestants, antihistamines, old-school antidepressants, natural remedies, dark, light, pets, no pets, it doesn’t fucking matter. All that changes is (a) what room of the house I stay awake in and (b) level of morning hangover.

I had a sleep study. The only good thing about it was that it was scheduled the week we had all the stupid carpet fans and it was a night of quiet. So at least I didn’t need noise-canceling headphones to hear myself think too much. However, these sleep study people needed to get their shit together. Apparently, this is a $10K test.  Their deal with the insurance company means they write off about $8K. But they expect you to pay…UP FRONT…the remaining $2K because who has met their deductible by the beginning of February? Right. They break this news to me about 8 hours before I’m supposed to show up. I can’t remember if I actually said on the phone out loud “what do you expect me to do, just shit 2 grand?” I might have. Anyway, I had to call my dad and ask for help, which I fucking hate doing and which I especially hate doing when I really need it right then. Because no matter how much he says he is willing to help out with the medical bills, you can still hear the sphincter puckering when you say “hey I need money right now.” (My dad has plenty of money, because he was a stingy bastard while I was growing up. I think he’s only spending it now because he doesn’t want my stepmother to get any. They hate each other but he won’t get divorced because then he would have to pay her a lot. I guess the pre-nup vested or maybe I missed the part about he has to pay if it’s his idea. I mean, he left it sitting out in the open on his desk, of course I fucking read it. I was 19 at the time but I’d still do the same thing. I didn’t look for it, it was really just stuck in this pencil holder/light thingy on his desk with “PRENUPTIAL AGREEMENT” in big letters at the top. But I digress.)

So I report to the sleep center at 8:15 p.m. One of the pieces of paper from them said 8:00 p.m. check in, one said 8:30, so I just showed up in the middle. In case anyone ever has to do this, yes, you can bring your own pillows and pajamas and whatever you want, really. (Well, maybe not a bong. I didn’t ask.)  I had to have it done at a hospital, because my insurance requires that an actual doctor be present and not just a tech. Ok, I don’t die in my sleep every night, so why the shit do I need a doctor on site? Ugh. The room was pretty tiny. It had cinderblock walls painted this gross pastel yellow, ugly non-matching sheets, flat-ass pillows (I was glad I brought a couple of mine), an ancient TV which may have really been a surveillance camera, and a nightstand mostly taken up by a CPAP machine and some other random medical equipment. The bed was ok, I guess, and they did manage to find at least one fluffier pillow. They adjusted the temperature to your liking, there was a bathroom outside the door, and it was super-dark with the lights out.

After I checked in, the tech explained what they would be doing, and then started hooking me up to about 80000 wires. There is one big wire coming out of your head, which they glue on there with some Vaseline-type goop that takes a LONG TIME to wash out. Then he starts with some peel-and-stick electrodes. I told him that I’m a little sensitive to adhesives (by which I mean welts and itching and the worst scar from having my gallbladder removed came from a bandaid covering one of the incisions), and asked if these were going to irritate my skin. My concern stemmed largely from the fact that he was gluing this shit to my FACE. He swore that no one ever had a bad reaction. I noticed irritation the next morning, but it wasn’t that bad. The oxygen sensor under my nose wouldn’t stay put. The wires kind of wrap around your head, and I was pretty sure it was going to be like being garroted, because they attach them to this power strip thing that they drape over the headboard. They also attach wires to your legs and arms and put some straps on either side of your boobs. I think I need a bra made out of those. After all this stuff is hooked all over you, they’re like, “Okay, now just go to sleep!”

ARE YOU HIGH?

I am here for insomnia and I am not in my own bed and there’s no kitty and I am seriously going to choke on these motherfucking wires.

It took me 158 minutes to fall asleep from the time they turned out the lights (which was around 10 p.m.). There is deliberately no clock, but I had my Kindle and my iPod and my phone. 158 minutes = almost 3 hours…and this is after I took an Ambien. Then apparently they said I quit breathing a few times and had almost no deep sleep and my oxygen saturation was low. I’m not entirely sure it’s as low as they proclaim, because those sensors were fucked up and not attached right. So I go into the clinic with the nurse practitioner to go over the results. I deliberately made an EARLY appointment. I ended up being a few minutes late (like 5) because I forgot that the building was past the second stoplight and drove around a few times looking for it. Then I’m sitting there. WAITING. And I mention to the receptionist that I said I’d make this appointment but only if I didn’t have to wait very long because I’ve missed enough work already.  I’m sure the nurse practitioner was mad about having to actually start her job on time. Then she starts with this “you need a CPAP (oxygen) mask” routine, and I start crying. First of all, there is not one thing attractive about the mask. It looks like Darth Vader has middle school orthodontic headgear. Second, I have to have everything JUST SO to even consider sleeping, which includes the pillows being in a certain order and the sheets tucked a certain way and no socks and almost no light and my favorite blanket, and even then it takes me hours to sleep, and she wants me to add some suffocating-looking robot mask to this? I explained to her that the reason I even HAD the study done in the first place was because I CANNOT GO TO FUCKING SLEEP AND FOUR HOURS ISN’T CUTTING IT ANYMORE.

Then they finally decide to refer me to an actual doctor.

The actual doctor was wonderful. He read (and even highlighted) the questionnaire I filled out (which was at least the third such document). He asked how long the problem had been going on (my whole life) and which one of my parents was the night owl (my dad, but the real one is my gramma – my mom’s mother – I loved going to visit her, she let me stay up all night watching Benny Hill and Charles and Diana and eating junk food). He said that what I have is a circadian rhythm disorder, and that unless I want to get a graveyard-shift job, I had to follow some steps.  Step One: Cut a hole in a box…kidding. He has prescribed a regimen that involves melatonin (which he says people mostly are doing it wrong…you need to take it 2 hours before bedtime, or you are fucking up your clock). I am supposed to take it at 8:30 pm (that’s SO EARLY), then no more bright lights until I go to bed.  Bright lights include the TV, my Kindle, the computer, overhead lights, etc. If I can’t dim the lights, I have to wear sunglasses at night. (So I can, so I can keep track of visions in my mind….ok fine he didn’t sing the song.) Then, when I get up, I either have to go outside for 30 minutes or use a special sun-light for 30 minutes. Regular overhead lights aren’t adequate. Allegedly, if I do this for a few months (!!!), I will be able to reset my internal clock.

I really hope he’s right. I mean, I’m ok with midnight to 6:45. I’m just not functioning well with 2:45 to 6:45. My happy light and melatonin and Kindle Paperwhite arrive tomorrow. So fingers crossed that this is the last midnight-not-a-sound-from-the-pavement entry for a while.

PS – Maybe I don’t really need the Kindle Paperwhite but I like new gadgets.

PPS – Maybe I also ordered some shoes. I’m just REPLACING the ones that the broken pipe ruined. PINKY SWEARS.

PPPS – Amazon is pissing me off lately, or maybe it’s UPS, but my two-day-shipped replacement boots were supposed to be here last Wednesday and finally arrived today. Weather delays my ass.

Song of the Day: “Bravado” – Lorde
Today’s Time Waster: Need to post this on the fridge or something.
What I’m Craving: Marshmallow Peeps. I have only eaten ONE package of green bunnies. I believe this shows remarkable self control and also does not mention the micro Reese’s cups. Feelings are hungry. Insomnia is hungry. Depression wants to live at Golden Corral with its mouth under the chocolate fountain.

I’m just like financial statements – I show up quarterly.

So I was leaving a comment for Hailey, and then I realized that I should probably update more often than quarterly, but seriously, it’s all been so awful and I’m tired of hearing myself talk about it. To sum up: Christmas = Xanax; I should not be allowed outside after three months of pain management for my back because I will fall down and undo all of it and it will actually hurt worse than it did four months ago; one should never trust little baby maintenance dudes about what is wrong with one’s plumbing because they will lie and then your pipe will freeze and burst and flood your apartment and part of the neighbors and the damage will be JUST ENOUGH to cover the deductible on your renter’s insurance and also they give you FIVE — no, SIX — industrial carpet fans in an 800 square foot apartment and it’s like living in a goddamn jet engine for a week. /facepalm

That about sums it up.

Seriously though. Inches of water; cat missing; clothes on the floor because I needed to do laundry and/or I’m just messy, at least 15 loads of laundry; bitchy white trash 5th apartment manager in 4 months acting like I shouldn’t be upset when my house is under three inches of water and I can’t find one of the cats. I have rarely wanted to beat anyone’s ass more than I wanted to beat hers.

Anyway. Let’s move on to Friend Makin’ Monday, shall we? Since Kenlie has been busy, it’s being taken over by Sarah. The theme this week is “Randomly Getting to Know You.”

1. Introduce yourself in under 10 words.

Cranky, Cats, Cohabiting, Chocolate, Creative, Chips, Cheese, Contradictory, Crying, Crampy.

I would have added PMS to the list, but it didn’t start with a C and the alliteration was amusing me.

2. How did you find Friend Makin Mondays?

Through Hailey, I think.

3. Have you ever met any of your blog readers?

You mean other than my friends that I made/make read it? I did meet Lando (my current live-in partner, who doesn’t ever update his blog anymore and therefore I am not linking), back in the day when we were both blogging at Diaryland. I don’t think I’ve actually met anyone else in person, but I am FB/Twitter friends with several readers, and I’ve exchanged mix CD’s with a lot of them.

4. How many states have you visited?

I think 36, if you count the airport on a layover (which is really only two states: Colorado & Utah). I say it counts, especially since the Denver airport is directly responsible for introducing me to the wonders of Crocs, which you can now pry off my cold dead feet.

You disbelieve?

Yes, those are Jack Daniels pajama pants.

Yes, those are Jack Daniels pajama pants.

5. What did you have for lunch yesterday?

Cool Ranch Doritos and Chocolate Chip Little Debbies. I’m not even kidding. See the 11th word on #1, above.

6. How many different places have you lived in?

I think…6 cities (Flint, MI; Houston, TX; Pittsburgh, PA; Norman, OK; Naperville, IL; Oklahoma City, OK), 5 states (Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Illinois). I’m boring.

7. What’s your favorite color?

“She feels like kicking out all the windows/and setting fire to this life/she would paint everything about her/with colors bold and bright…” ~Dave Matthews

But seriously, if I have to pick…red. Followed very closely by bright turquoise.

8. Do you have any pets?

Three cats: Miles, Zooey, and Amelia. They’re being difficult right now and all I’m getting is a curled-up ball of cat, but here are some pictures from the last few months that you probably haven’t seen unless we’re friends on Facebook:

They like to snuggle.

They like to snuggle.

She does not like to snuggle with them and she's not entirely sure about snuggling with us.

She does not like to snuggle with them and she’s not entirely sure about snuggling with us.

9. What would your ideal job be?

Powerball winner/philanthropist. Cat-hugger. Broadway star. Advice columnist. Musician. Writer.

10. Do you have any tattoos?

Not yet…but I might get one for my 40th birthday. I have a whole Pinterest board called “Midlife Crisis.”

That is all. Carry on.

Song of the Day: “Poison” – Bell Biv Devoe
Today’s Time Waster: Pudding Pop. I wish they would bring back real pudding pops.
What I’m Craving: A raise. So we can live somewhere else and I can buy a new car.

I wanna be sedated.

So, I can’t remember if I have talked about this shit on here before or not.

Anyway, starting in 2008, I have had off and on lower back issues: basically, a couple of bulging discs and an inflamed sacroiliac joint (where the base of the spine meets the pelvis). In October 2008, I was at work one day, doing whatever stupid bullshit law office job I was doing at the time, and all of a sudden, my back was in screaming, unrelenting pain. It wasn’t like “oh, I picked up something too heavy” or “oh, I should have known better than to move the couch by myself.” It felt like someone was poking me in the spinal cord with a hot poker. That night after work, I went to the minor emergency clinic. The doctor had me lay on the exam table and then lifted my right leg at a 90º angle. I thought I was going to die. Evidently, this is a normal test to see if the pain is muscular or discogenic. My reaction indicated that yes, one of the discs in my back *might* have a problem. He wrote me a couple of prescriptions and sent me on my way.

Up until this point, I never really thought much about pain. Sure, I’d had my wisdom teeth out, had a little stint in the hospital for mono where I was in pain, sprained my ankle god knows how many times, had a couple of fairly brutal ear infections in high school and again in my mid-20s, but those were bullshit. The doctor at the minor emergency gave me some 5/750 Lortabs. They might as well have been baby aspirin for all the good they did. The next morning, I called my regular doctor. He watched me gingerly limp into his office, said that the Lortabs were of COURSE not going to do shit, and gave me some Percocet. For a couple of weeks, I was marginally okay. A month, really. I went on vacation, and while my back wasn’t feeling 2000% awesome, I was able to walk around and do touristy and family-visiting things without too much incident. A few weeks later, though, around Thanksgiving, the pain was back with a vengeance. I went for an MRI. They confirmed the disc bulge. I was “laid off” right before Christmas and given 6 weeks severance. I was referred to pain management, but unfortunately, they couldn’t fit me in for anything until January.

In January, I went for the first epidural steroid injection. During this procedure, they sedate you, then shove six-inch-long needles into your spinal column. Well, they did the SECOND part. The first part didn’t really work so much. I had no idea that this was even a possibility. I’d been sedated for the wisdom teeth (don’t remember shit) and for an endoscopy because they thought I had gallstones and not mono (don’t remember much except the lead-lined cheerleader outfits the techs wore, which I thought for a while might have just been a hallucination because I was on IV Dilaudid for 2 days before they did this and it’s a little hazy, but it turns out the x-ray/CT techs do wear these outfits at all the procedures). It never occurred to me that when someone injected some drugs into a vein, it might not do anything.

So basically, I felt the needles in the spine. I was too shocked to even move, or scream. It was over pretty fast. After I went back to the recovery room, Lando went out in the hall with the nurse and chewed some ass. I had the same procedure done two weeks later (they usually do these in twos or threes), and while I remember it, I don’t remember FEELING it. A week or so after that (it takes a little time to heal after one of these, it pretty much feels like someone stabbed you a bunch of times and then kicked you while they were at it), the back pain was mostly gone. It flared up occasionally, but went away fast and wasn’t an issue.

A couple of years later, another disc decides to act up. This time, instead of the weird shooting pain and numbness on the right, it was on the left. Also, if I sat still for too long, it felt like someone was slowly heating up a small, hard object in my chair cushion. The disc was L5-S1, the lowest lumbar vertebrae/first sacral, so it’s kinda right at your buttcrack. I know y’all wanted to know that. The other pain was from the sacroiliac joint.

This time, the course of treatment was not so smooth. There was the MRI, where I got fat-shamed by the tech. He was a such an asswipe. “Do you have diabetes?” “Nope.” “Do you have high blood pressure?” “No.” “Are you SURE?” “(nonverbal-eat shit and die, cockmaster) “Yes, I’m sure.” Then, even though it was an open MRI (the first one I had was closed), he brings out this thing that looks like a giant metal ribcage. Basically, if you can fit under the cage, they get better images. I fit. Barely. If I didn’t take deep breaths. The test takes about half an hour, during which they tell you not to move, and even though it’s an “open” machine, it’s pretty claustrophobic with this ribcage bullshit on, and I can’t really breathe like I want to because it will dislodge it and then they have to start over. It was horrible, all the way around.

After reviewing the MRI, my regular doctor sends me to an orthopedic surgeon. After my prior experience with epidural injections, I’m not so anxious to start that shit up again. He sends me to physical therapy. It seemed to help at first, a little, but then it seemed to be making things worse. The MRI was in June. I don’t decide I’m really done with PT until early September, when I was in so much pain after a session that I just wanted to crawl into the fetal position and cry. Then he sends me to pain management. The doctor there decides to address the S-I joint issue first. This involves cortisone injections into the joint. They kinda sedate you a little, but they really weren’t that bad. However, they only worked for like 2 days each, and they were several weeks apart. I go back to the orthopedist in serious pain still, and he calls and bitches at the pain management doctor, so they do a couple of epidurals. The sedation isn’t great, but at least it keeps the top edge of the pain to a minimum. We schedule the last procedure for November, which is a nerve ablation on the joint. I guess the insurance requires two injections to diagnose the problem before they’ll pay for the ablation, which involves sticking a lot of needles in and then electrifying them to deaden the nerve endings that are causing the pain.

In the meantime, my gallbladder says “fuck you,” I end up on antibiotics, the ablation gets cancelled, Lando’s car transmission takes a shit, my gallbladder comes out before Christmas, and I have to put the last of my elderly cats to sleep on New Year’s Eve. Fuck you 2011, you go to hell and you die.

The ablation was not pleasant. The sedation for that is kind of sketchy, because they have to have you awake enough to make sure they’re hitting the right nerves. Also, the healing process, while the nerves actually die off, is brutal and involves two weeks plus of worse pain…but then, I was pretty much pain-free.

Until this August.

And it’s all back. The discs, the S-I joint, blah blah blah. So I had the ablation first this time, on September 11th. This time…the sedation didn’t really work at all. The anesthesiologist (I think they’re nurses for this procedure, but not positive) was this older lady, and even though the doctor and I both told her that I’m not easy to knock out, she doesn’t believe us. NO ONE ever believes you when you say you’re hard to sedate or that pain meds don’t work. She finally zapped me with some more Fentanyl, but by then, I’d already dealt with 15 minutes of electrified needles.

Cut to October…23rd? Yes. Time for an epidural. Doctor tells anesthesiologist to turn up the juice, which she does…she gives me a double dose of Versed. I get a little talky for a few minutes, but by the time the needles are going in, I’m stone sober and crying, and by the time they get some more juice going, it’s basically over. I go back to the recovery room in a non-good state, and they bring me some drugs and some juice.

Today, I emailed the doctor’s office and said that I was dreading the procedure I have scheduled for Wednesday and I really don’t want to do that shit sober again, so can he please at least give me some Valium for before.

No response. If I don’t get a response tomorrow morning, I’m going to have to call and get all ass-chewy.

Apparently, this anesthesia resistance is more common in redheads (they have actually done studies on this) and also has a genetic component. When I talked to my dad, he said he has had the same issues…needs 3x the novocaine at the dentist, Versed & Fentanyl basically wear off in 30 seconds, blah blah. My dad isn’t a redhead, so who knows.

Also, in addition to all this bullshit, the back windshield is falling out of my car. Kids, the convertible will look shiny. Dudes will want to sex your car. But IT IS NOT WORTH IT unless you have a garage to keep it in and it’s not your primary vehicle. The fuckers leak. They leak in the rain, and they REALLY leak if you do something dumb right after you buy it like run it through a gas station car wash. And when you put the top down, it stresses the seal around the glass in the back and then it falls out. (This is not the first time, but the first time, the top got slashed by vandals and it was fixed in the process of replacing the top.) So we have to drive to goddamn Edmond (which is at least 30 minutes away from here), drop off the car, and leave there in enough time to be to the hospital by 8:15 a.m. Then I won’t have a car for 2 days. Assuming, of course, that the convertible guys are not full of shit.

If I were the sort to bet (which I’m not, because my luck is pretty fucking bad), I wouldn’t count on my car being done till at least Friday.

*** UPDATE ***

Had epidural today. Explained to the nurse (who thankfully was the same one from last time) that she needed to keep the drugs rolling because apparently they are the only thing my body metabolizes fast. OF COURSE it’s fun drugs. Sigh. Anyway, I also got my pregame Valium, which did improve my mood. I was still slightly nervous, but at least I wasn’t a total basket case. However, I am now pissed off at my goddamn doctor’s office, because the nurse who handles the refills on the prescriptions is being non-helpful. It will be 30 days on Sunday since my last refill, as it should be. I’ve been hoarding, because they always get goddamn picky, even when it’s not anything that GOOD, but the pain after the last injections was awful for a week and I couldn’t not take them. But she’s telling me that you *always* have to make an appointment for a refill (which is a lie, because this same chick just called it into the pharmacy last time); they only make appointments on Wednesdays and Thursdays; etc. Okay, but you also have to sign this stupid contract that says no refill requests on Fridays, no refills on procedure days (Wednesdays), no other doctors can give you drugs, they can make you pee in a cup, basically everything they can do to make everyone in pain feel like a fucking addict even though THAT IS WHY THE SHIT EXISTS. Thanks, hillbillies and teenagers.

I didn’t think I was going to have a car on Thursday, but it turns out I would have bet wrong, because they called today and said it was ready. I asked if the glue was dry, and they said they actually use staples instead of glue. I don’t really care what they use, as long as the window stops leaking and doesn’t fall the hell out. So I call the doctor’s office back and ask for an appointment tomorrow, and of course there’s not one but call back Friday. When they don’t give refills.

Jesus Tap Dancing Christ.

I suppose this could all be worse, but it’s just frustrating. And I don’t even want to go to work tomorrow, because it hurts worse the 2nd day, but if I don’t go, I will get shit from my boss, who has been acting like an entitled dicknugget lately and I’ve had about enough of that shit. He claims to hate certain assholes we used to work for, but like most people in abusive relationships, he is perpetuating the cycle and I’m done with that. (1) He is not the only one with things besides work on his mind. (2) There’s no need for this shit. He wants my “A” game, but he knows and I know that the “B-minus” game is still better than the rest of the office. He is also one of those “I am too macho for doctors and aspirin” types. Well, son, I’m not. So go fuck yourself. (Interestingly, he is also a member of the group of dudes that give each other shit about what they eat for lunch…like “I’m eating fruit and yogurt…what are YOU eating?” The guys are way worse than the women in my office. The women (at least the ones I usually see in the break room) are eating tacos and hot wings and pasta. It’s usually the reverse.) I’m done with entitlement, and if he doesn’t realize this in short order, we’re going to have a problem.

Song of the Day: Ylvis – “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)”
Today’s Time Waster: Why the above is stuck in my damn head.
What I’m Craving: A new car or some good drugs.