Saturday, December 31, 2016

Last Straw?

I'm not intentionally airing dirty laundry, which is why most people will remain nameless. 2016 finally did it! Today I received a particularly depressing bit of news and reading it made me feel a combination of sick, depressed, and scared. Honestly, it's not anyone's "fault", although fingers could easily be pointed in every direction.  

The following is a story of good intentions gone bad. In mid-2013, acquaintances (a married couple) of mine had a series of unfortunate events happen to them, and they had to move to a remote location. Unfortunately, they couldn't find a buyer. Right about that time, Shilo and myself were discussing wedding plans, and were looking for a house that would fit Shilo, myself, Stitch, my dog (a lab) and our cats. The house was perfect as far as space was concerned, so I put down a hefty sized (for me) down payment and signed a 3 year lease option, fully expecting that my finances would be perfect and I would be able to make the purchase. I was told to treat the house like it was mine, and I did. I painted, added a security door to the front, and did other things over the first year. I got settled. I was happy. We "inherited" their (the previous owners) two cats. We adopted Donna (our pitbull) from the pound to keep our lab company. Unfortunately, our lab developed a sudden health problem, and had to be euthanized a few months later. Still, things were good.

About the middle of our second year, medical bills began to pile up due to Shilo having digestive issues, and making ends meet became more difficult. He was finally diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity. Shilo's mother died in July 2015, which only added to our stress levels. Last-minute plane tickets to Mississippi cleaned out our savings, and we were living on credit we no longer really had. Jonathan was diagnosed with cancer, I had a mini heart attack, and then Shilo broke his ankle at a dungeon, and all that happened on October 2015! In November, I injured my wrist, but fortunately, it was a sprain. December 2015 consisted of lots of ups and downs emotionally, as I continued to adjust to being the only driver. Jonathan went through several death scares, and I was buckling under the pressure. I'm human, and I realized that I can't do it all. Through all of the insanity, I continued to make sure we paid on the house, because I invested in it.

The endless windstorms in February 2016 caused our picket fence to collapse and it was irreparable. Cleaning up the mess wasn't my idea of fun, but I did it with the assistance of Stitch. In March, Shilo finally got better, and Jonathan got a bone marrow transplant. By late April, Jonathan developed graft vs. host disease and norovirus and I became his primary mode of transportation. Bills continued piling up, and my credit, Stitch's credit, and Shilo's credit was shit. Suffice to say, I could see the future, and it wasn't so bright, and I kept hoping things would improve. Only it got worse.

The end of July, I broke my humerus in two places, and, once again, I was taken by ambulance to the hospital. That injury disabled me. I was (and still am) completely unable to drive, and I required assistance for everything else. A week later, the refrigerator died. We tried to get it fixed, but were told that we should just buy a new one. We decided that renting would be easier. By early September the bone healed, but pain control was difficult, and I was unable to do my PT exercises and couldn't figure out why. 7 weeks later, near the end of October, my Ortho doctor explained that I had a frozen shoulder, which was a complication related to my being diabetic. I was sent to PT three times a week at $60 a visit. Shilo started working OT to pay for it. My prescription (narcotic) medicine for pain wasn't working either, but you all know that story.

In the meantime, at the end of September, we received an email reminding us that our three years were up, and we had to do something about purchasing the house we could no longer buy due to everything. We went through the motions of getting a home loan, and were denied. Lost doesn't begin to describe how we were feeling, and because of my injury and pain not getting better, I left everything up to Shilo.

Normally, leaving things affecting me up to Shilo works well. What I didn't know as that if it affects him as well, he's like a deer in the headlights. Things only got worse. Partly because of that, and also because the washing machine finally died as well. Again, it was suggested by the repair company that we buy a new one. We opted to use the laundromat instead.

We also kept looking for a buyer for the house, which has been a difficult prospect, although there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. Then, two weeks ago, our water heater wasn't working, so we bought a new one, expecting that we would be reimbursed, but it still wasn't working, so the gas company shut off our gas on Christmas eve. It turned out there was a gas leak UNDER the house, so we got that fixed as well, still expecting to be reimbursed. I thought Shilo was keeping everyone informed as it happened, but now it seems that the owners are not only getting a divorce (which makes me sad) but the male of the couple feels that Shilo was slow about informing him on what was going on.

I'm honestly not sure how to feel at this point, other than what I described at the beginning of this. While I understand that that that the male is no doubt going through a difficult time, it feels like he is blaming us for everything that happened, and he expects us to not only pay for the repairs (totaling nearly 2 months rent!) but also our rent. Or, at least that's what I gathered from his last email.

I'm trying not to panic, and there's so much more details I could get into, but all I see is huge brick wall on front of me. I'm hoping things improve.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A Word From Our Sponsor

No, this isn't a commercial, nor have I joined an "Anonymous" group. This is just a break from discussing my health and pain relief. I hope you learn something or at least enjoy it.

I really love so many people, and I feel blessed to be loved by others, whether or not sexuality is involved. Many of the people I love are polyamorous, some are monogamous, and others avoid using a label. I have wonderful people that I consider to be friends, and many others that I haven't met in person that I care about, and even more that I have met and care about. I've even gone so far as to meet people from here that have interested me. I feel enriched by each and every one of them. ALL of you.

Still, I don't get out as often, and, for many of you, it's been months or even years since we were in the same place at the same time. This doesn't mean that I don't think of you or wish you well. In fact, I'd venture to say that I wish we saw each other more often. Circumstances often prevent it. Sometimes distance as well. I already know I can't go to GRUE LA, but I will be there in spirit.

I don't always express my feelings very well, and my social anxiety will often prevent me from expressing them at all. It means that I often miss out on getting to know people better, or even developing friendships. I don't reach out when I should, and people aren't mind readers. If the other person has social anxiety as well, then we both miss out. I can't expect others to come to me either. 

I'm also not very good at asking for help, so for each of you who either helped me in some way or offered help, I want you to know again how much I appreciate you. For the ones who gave me "tough love" I'm glad you did. For anyone who didn't take no as an answer and pushed through to my tender spot and held my hand and reassured me, I'm proud to call you friend.

If I could, I'd hug each and every one of you. Know that you are a blessing in my life, even if we don't agree. There's enough room and love in this world for all of us. I hope every one of you finds your happiness.

With Love,

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I Can't Feel My Face! (12-28-16)


If you are offended by Religion (in general) what happens to a body when someone dies, terrorists (in general). Love or loss of body function, please leave now. I got nothing for you.

It was bound to happen eventually. Using edibles for pain requires trial and error. My morning routine of starting with breakfast and a sour strawberry straw was only working until about 3PM, and then I would eat a cola bottle to get me through the rest of the day, and it wasn't quite working. I was debating this yesterday when I woke up. I figured I'd see how I did with two sour strawberry straws (about 36mg) and go from there.

I got my edible bag (a purse that has my edibles in it) and noticed a caramel fudge that was 35 mg. I decided to eat it. I mean, what harm could there be? I put the sour strawberry straws away, and ate the caramel fudge instead. It tasted good. I played games on my phone waiting for it to work.

About an hour later, it happened. My vision got blurry, my body got warm, and my face was numb. The warmth kept washing over me, and my heartbeat skyrocketed. I thought I was going to die. I know that I'd have to consume more than I could possibly eat to actually overdose, and even then, it wouldn't kill me. I even knew it at that point, but my heart was pounding so hard, I was afraid.

I remember saying that I didn't want to die yet because I want to see my (overdue) grandson first. I put on my CPAP to help me breathe, and then I asked Shilo what would happen if I stopped breathing. Then I said "Nevermind, my lungs will just fill with air and then explode in my chest cavity." Then I went on about how when I died my mouth would pop open, so the air would rush out through it, and how it was a good thing I had on a diaper because I didn't want to piss and shit on the recliner and ruin it.

Then the inquisition started. The best way to explain it was that questions formed in my head about my life, and I had to answer out loud. I said That I believe in God, and I explained my belief regarding The Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I explained that I also believe that Satan is as real as God is, and that I believe in Heaven and hell. I asked about purgatory, and I said that I feel earth is purgatory, but I wasn't sure. I didn't get an answer.

I was asked about love. Could I feel enough love for everyone? Could I really forgive everyone, and find love in my heart for them? I found the forgiveness for everyone, including myself. Then I told them that since my Mom could do it, I could too. I even went on to say that I knew (person) asked forgiveness for the mean way she acted towards me, so I could forgive her and love her as well. I said that everyone who died before me had gone through this, and I knew it was the only right thing to do. I let go of my anger.

I saw where I held certain people to a standard that I have only recently reached myself. How dare I be angry at Jonathan's (now-ex) girlfriend for what she did, when I've done things I'm not proud of either? I remembered all the things I did and I explained why I did them, and how I could have handled it better.

I discussed that I realized how fortunate I was to be where I am. Soldiers aren't gunning down people in the street, and we aren't being bombed. Girls aren't being forced to marry and have kids before they're 12.

I asked Shilo what time it was, and was surprised it had only been 10 minutes. It felt like HOURS. I went back to the inquisition. I said "God knows I'm not perfect." and then I laughed, because for all I knew, it was God asking the questions.

I talked about my mental health, and how I hated being treated like I was fragile just because of the depression, PTSD I hate that there is a stigma. Why not just accept the mental illness? See the whole person. Don't be afraid. 

I talked about my fears. I realized I was less afraid by telling my fears. It got to the point I laughed after saying the words "I'm afraid." The truth is that because I believe on God, God watches over me, so I don't have to be afraid.

I talked about prayer and I explained that I felt it must be like being an "A list" celebrity. Everyone wants a piece of you. You have no privacy. All the millions of requests coming in at once. Why should I bother God with my concerns when there are so many people who are suffering more than me?

I was reminded that I need to stop being so selfish. "See the big picture, think globally." How do my actions affect others?

I talked about Osama bin Ladin,terrorists, ISIS, and people in other hate groups. How we all had different world views and that just because I viewed him as a horrible human being (just like Hitler) it didn't mean that everyone saw him like that. Surely, someone must have loved and admired him, and maybe even saw him as a hero. I talked about criminals in general and how I have no sympathy for them. They deserve punishment, but I also admitted that God is the Judge, not me.

I talked about "lizard-face" (Mohamed Atta) and how to me, he represented all that was evil on this world. I talked about "If you see something, say something" and how ridiculous it was. I joked about how I doubted he would have tweeted his plans, or added it as a status on Facebook or MySpace. I speculated that he probably only discussed it with people who would approve. Otherwise, wouldn't his plans have been thwarted? Never learning how to land a plane is a red flag.

I talked about romantic/sexual Love, desire, BDSM and Polyamory. About what my love style is, and how it came to be. Things I know God knows about me, but I was told to talk about it.

I asked about why submissive men worry so much about what they're wearing to a dungeon when it won't even be worn that long before someone takes it off. I never got any answers to my questions, but I got answers about what makes me me, and I saw all the love I really do have, and how easy forgiveness is when you know that everyone will get to go through it. It's easy to forgive when you know they asked for forgiveness with a pure heart, and knowing that if their heart wasn't pure, it was up to God. What mattered at that moment was the purity of my heart.

Sunshine came out a few times and complained that she was sick. I went through so many feelings, but late last night when I finally felt somewhat normal, I realized that having enough love in my heart for everyone, and forgiving them was important. Even more important, I need to forgive myself. Think globally. That was the message I got from my inquisition.

On a more practical note, I learned that I need to only eat predictable things.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Field Trip Report and Diary (12-25)

This was written over a 12 hour period with frequent breaks. My pain level is going down. Also, because pain is a subjective thing, and it affects my ability to do things, I added my personal pain scale for future reference. No matter what my pain level is, I can be nice and polite to people other than Stitch and Shilo. The last thing I want to do is alienate people who have a choice in putting up with me. On to my report:

For anyone who read my experience on obtaining my medical marijuana prescription, you know my experience at the dispensary was overwhelming. Fortunately, a kinky friend ("N") offered to take me on a field trip to a dispensary near my home and talk me through the process of choosing edibles. Since Long Beach only has delivery available, I did my homework and found a walk-in dispensary.

I had taken the time to read the reviews on Weedmaps and found a dispensary in Wilmington with a rating of 5 out of 5. It even had a menu of available products with pictures of them. "N" arrived on early Friday afternoon (12-23) I was dressed and ready to go, but I was stiff and in pain (9) because I had finished the last of my edibles on Thursday afternoon. This only further proved that medical marijuana is a miracle drug for me.

So, armed with the address, our prescriptions, and a GPS, we headed to parts unknown. We drove back and forth twice and we couldn't find the place. We parked about 2 blocks away and walked. We quickly discovered why we missed it. It was a white door with just the street number on it. No name, just the number. We would have never found it by driving, so it was a good thing we decided to park and walk.

We walked in, presented our ID's and prescriptions, and filled out paperwork. Once we were cleared, we entered the main part of the dispensary. It had all sorts of products, and I know that I would have become overwhelmed by it all if I had been alone. Because "N" was with me, she was able to point out the edibles, distract the employee from trying to sell me "flower" and I wasn't overwhelmed and I was able to ask questions. The employee seemed impressed by her knowledge and allowed us to just look and discuss the various edibles. He was much more knowledgeable than the person at the dispensary I went to before.

I'm currently on a limited budget, so I can only afford to spend $20-25 a week. I was able to bypass the Cheeba Chews in favor of more appealing edibles. This time I bought cherry cola bottle gummies (10 mg a bottle, 100mg altogether) and a paƧkage of 20 sour strawberry straws with a total of 375 mg, and I spent only $22. That should last at least 16 days depending on how much pain I'm in.I took "N" out for lunch and when I got home, I took 2 of the gummy bottles (20 mg) and gave "N" one. They had a slightly bad taste similar to the Cheeba Chews but not as nasty. I decided that I would require a "chaser" to rid myself of the bad taste. Because the pain was so bad, it took longer for it to work.

On early Saturday morning, (8:30AM) I had a sour strawberry straw. Within an hour I was pain free (level 0!) and able to move. I felt normal for the first time in months! My range of motion was improved as well. It lasted for about 8 hours, and other than a little sleepiness, I felt so good that I cut up 4lbs of roast into cubes for a stew without help! I did some modified exercises and even hung decorations on the tree and the wreath on the door. After all that, I went with Shilo to the 99 cent store and did some shopping. I came home with a backache, (pain level 4) I had spent all day standing up or at my desk on the computer. This is really an accomplishment! Also of note: My arm wasn't hurting.

At 5PM I ate one cola bottle gummy along with a "chaser" of cherry flavored skittles (a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down) and I was good till I was ready to watch TV and go to sleep. (about 10:30PM) Something to note was that my arm was still at 0 for pain. During the time I was up I made pizza crust from scratch and fixed 2 personal pizzas. I also sat at my desk and answered some emails and then wrapped a gift. I'm a bit superstitious, so I won't take my prescription medication within 6 hours of of having an edible so I took my medication for my various conditions (no pain medication, even though my back was hovering at a 4) about midnight. I woke up around 3AM for an unrelated reason and noticed my arm pain level was at 3 (tolerable enough to function, but very aware that I was hurting.) I was able to fall back asleep with the aid of a movie on TV. I woke up at 7AM (seems to be my "new" wakeup time) with my arm pain level at 7 and rising as I sat up in the recliner. The back pain was gone. I ate breakfast and a sour strawberry straw at 8:30. By then my pain was at 8 1/2 and I was ready to be rid of it.

My Pain Chart


0- no pain. Able to move and function at my best and "push" myself doing PT and exercises within my current physical limitations.

1- pain is slightly noticeable when I use my arm, but I can distract myself for short periods of time.

2- pain is moderately noticeable when I use my arm. More difficult to distract myself.

3- pain is tolerable enough to function, but I'm very aware of the pain even when not doing any activity.

4- pain is not nearly as tolerable, and I will avoid activity other than what's necessary. I will stay in the recliner unless I must get up.

5- pain is constant, and it's difficult to function, but I don't ask for help.

6- I will mention I'm in pain and most activities are done using my left hand if possible, or I might ask for help with some activities that I can normally do on my own.

7- I'm visibly in pain. Activities are done using my left hand if possible, or I ask for help.

8- pain is visible, I get whiny and grouchy and ask for help with everything. Depression sets in.

9- the pain causes stiffness and I must have help including in the bathroom. I will try not to cry.

10- I'm in tears, unable to function, and unable to even think about the most basic things. I just feel like giving up.

11- I'm beyond the regular scale. I will scream in pain and cry constantly. I'm unable to talk or be reasonable. I just want to die so the pain will go away.

I'm looking forward to better days.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Well, THAT was different!

Ever since I fractured my humerus in two places (#1 halfway between the elbow and shoulder straight across. #2 The ball portion of the shoulder straight down which was tiny but more serious.) I've had issues with pain management. At first, the medication (50mg of Tramadol every 8 hours) kept my pain level to a 3, but also put me to sleep most of the time. When it hit the two week mark, my pain was at an 8 with the Tramadol, so I added 500mg of naprosyn every 8 hours as well. That meant I was up every 4 hours, taking either one or the other. That kept me at 5 for about a week, but then it shot back up to an 8. When my pain is at an 8, I can't concentrate, I'm irritable, and I cry. (probably due to depression) Horrible thoughts go through my head as well.
Several years ago, a dear (vanilla) friend got injured, and to cope with the pain, she turned to alcohol and drugs. My mind went there many times. "Take a shot or two of brandy, it won't hurt." I wasn't able to drive (I'm still not) so I would invent ways in my head to get some, but I never followed through. Still, my pain was at an 8, so I stopped taking the medication altogether for about 10 days, knowing my tolerance for the medication would decrease and it would work better. I went 10-14 days with the medication and 10 days off. Nobody should have to live like that!

Getting a frozen shoulder as a complication due to my diabetes only made things worse. I'd cry at PT, and spend the next 48 hours in my recliner, only getting up to use the bathroom. I used Ben Gay, heating pads, and take the pain meds. It was ineffective at best. My entire life revolves around my pain and how it affects everyone around me. I'm rarely pleasant, and it's difficult to be polite when I can't take a shower without assistance. I understand. I know it's a horrible chore to bathe me and wash my hair. I used to do that as a job in a rehab center, and later, at an AIDS hospice. I was required to bathe my patients daily, and I'm lucky if it gets done to me 3 times a week. (YUCK!!!)

Misery loves company, so I sometimes vent on my status update. I guess it was a month ago, a friend suggested I try CBD for pain management. This requires a prescription for medical marijuana in California. I haven't smoked/used marijuana in about 35 years. I sat on this and debated until about a week ago. I had a long detailed discussion with Shilo and Stitch about what this would mean, and risks associated with it for me. We agreed that the benefits outweighed the risks. My next step was to google doctors who prescribed medical marijuana. I found one that was semi-local to me, and he had good ratings. The price for a visit wasn't horribly bad, so I made plans to go on Friday. (12-16)

There were 2 other people in the waiting room when I signed in. I sat and waited about 30 minutes. I had my most recent lab work with me along with questions. Whenever I see a doctor, I expect a short exam followed by questions. I also expect to see a live person who is concerned with my well-being. Imagine my surprise when I was sat in front of a computer and talked to a doctor via Skype! I was even more shocked (appalled!) when he asked me how much pot I was currently smoking! This guy was off to bad start already. His laughing and jokes made me even more uncomfortable. He was even more surprised when I asked him about edibles ("Don't worry, the people at the dispensary will answer all your questions." WTF???!!!) I felt cheated. Is this how it's really done? He told me I'd get my blood pressure taken and that I was approved. All I could think was Well, THAT was different! Then the receptionist told me that she didn't need my blood pressure and I paid her and got my prescription that was good for one year. Honestly, I'm surprised that there aren't stricter laws for getting a prescription. Maybe I'm old school, but this was definitely hinky.

I was kind of relieved that when we got to the dispensary a few miles away it was tightly controlled. Still, she tried to sell me "flower" (fancy term for the green stuff) Again, I discussed edibles, and she showed me what they had. I bought something called Cheeba Chews on her recommendation and 2 salted caramels because it looked good. I know I only needed a little, so that was enough to last me a week.


My Assessment:

Seeing a doctor via Skype is just a little too weird for me. He was unprofessional, and I doubt I would ever return.

The Cheeba Chews is just nasty tasting, but it's effective. I won't buy it anymore.

I like the salted caramel, and I only need half of one to be pain free for most of the day.

I think I'd rather stick to buying small edibles vs. the large ones (cookies, brownies, crispy bars)

The dispensary is almost too overwhelming for me.

I really think I need someone who is more experienced to assist me in picking out edibles that isn't an employee of the dispensary because there are too many choices.


No, I will not name the doctor or the dispensary.