Labor Day Weekend: Musings on

I spent Labor Day Weekend working. I was a vendor at a local first time sf/f convention called CoKoCon. We did very well. Made more money than our first two outings combined. However, the hours were long and the dealer’s room was *freezing*. By Monday, I’d accumulated a sweater, a hoodie, a knitted infinity scarf, dragon scale arm warmers and heavy socks. I was still cold by the time we packed out and headed home. And this is Phoenix AZ in the summer! It was over 100F outside and I was shivering and my bones ached from the cold.

The last time we were at this location, the dealers room was in a different ballroom and it was slightly too warm. Hopefully, they’ll get it right next time.

Seeing the numbers and chatting with people makes me think this will work. I hope it’s enough to sustain through the dry periods. My Etsy shop gets lots of views but few sales. I’m hoping to up my marketing game.

I’m looking for the next place to set out my wares. It’s hard breaking in. Trying to network and gain contacts.

I am achy and still haven’t fully recovered from my post Worldcon crud. But working my table did help lift me from my depression pit. I know post con drop will happen but hopefully, it will still mean I’m no longer at the bottom of the dark well.  There’s also a drop that will happen when my wolfcub goes back home.  That one will be more profound.  But if I’m able to get us in another show later this year, that will mitigate those feelings.

Next week, I get dental work.  I also need to reschedule with the ortho.

My 50th birthday is coming.  I’ll have more thoughts about it soon.

 

Health and other challenges

I’ve had a slew of follow-up and new consult appointments in the last month.  I mentioned a few in my last post but let me go more in depth.

I finally saw a neurosurgeon about my back.  It was to find out if my issues required surgery.  They do not at this time.  He also made many, many passive comments about my weight.  Super irritating.  Saw a rheumatologist about my arthritis or whatever the heck is going on.  I have some vague immune disease (listed on my health summary as: nonspecific immunological findings).  There’s a test called Thyroid Peroxidase Antibody study which showed that yep, my immune system was indeed attacking my thyroid.  Good job, immune system!   I was given a NSAID that was very mild in consideration of my CKD.  It was working with helping keep the pain to a dull roar.  At my follow-up with the nephrologist, however, he firmly told me NO NSAIDs.  None. Nada.   I’m borderline Stage 2/3 and he apparently wants me to stay more on the 2 side.  Anyhow, I let the rheumatologist know and now we are trying another drug that doesn’t reach peak effectiveness for like six months.  Oh, otherwise, my kidney disease is stable and I follow-up in November.   I follow-up with the rheumatologist in September.

So, the neurosurgeon and the rheumatologist suggested physical therapy and maybe pain management.  I’m leery of the pain management given all the stupidity around the opioid crisis.  So I got a referral for PT.  Which I started on Wed.  It’ll be three times a week for six weeks.   I’ve had two sessions.  The team is great and encouraging.   I have a variety of exercises to strengthen my back and core muscles.  Plus some stretches to loosen the super tight muscles I have in my lower back and glutes.

I’m following up with my primary care doc on Monday.  I’ll ask her to refer me for carpal tunnel since that’s started flaring up again.  Super painfully.  Both hands.  Yay me.

The other specialist I went to see was an ENT about my weird voice issues.  My left vocal cord is paralyzed.  But with speech therapy, I should be able to have a normal sounding voice one day.  Meanwhile, he wants to do a CT scan to make sure there aren’t any other processes going on.  And he’s wondering about a connection with my immune issues.  Follow-up with him in a few months.

Good times. I tell ya.

Mental healthwise.  It’s been dark, black, darkness.  I’m super down about my finances, about my relationship (the live-in one, the other one I’m only sad because we can’t visit as often as I’d like).   Working on it.  I still have weekly therapy sessions.  I’m trying to come to a clear understanding of what would make me happy.  Then we can figure out the steps to get there.  I’m entirely dependent on my partner for shelter, food, transportation and clothing.  So, I need to figure out how to remove that dependence and then look at the relationship.

Speaking of  which, drop my shop!  Dragon & Wolf Crafts

Also, you could help by Paypal donation

I take custom orders at my shop.  You can use the links there or send me an email if you want something special for yourself or as a gift.  See below for the types of creations I offer!

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NOT OKAY

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I’m really struggling with my depression.  I am in therapy every week so I have that on my side.  The unpacking is going very slowly.  The Etsy store is okay.  I need to put more into marketing and into getting quality components to make saleable goods.  I’m hoping to get an influx soon.  It’s really disheartening to see all the page hits but no sales.  I know the items up there appeal to folks because I’ve gotten feedback.  I don’t think the prices are unreasonable either.  The last show we did was a bust.  Didn’t quite make back our expenses.  But many valuable lessons were learned and there’s another convention coming up over Labor Day weekend.  Hoping that one will be a success.

I have several follow-up appointments coming up.   My pain levels have been awful.  I am on a new med prescribed my the rheumatologist for pain.  It helps but with the moving and now the unpacking,  some days I can barely get out of bed without crying.

I’m very weepy and spending a lot of time navel-gazing.  I have an app to chronicle my mood each day.  Most of mine have been “meh”.  Just feel stuck, I think.  My therapist wants me to sit down and write down a list of my need and wants.  Then I guess in our next session, we’ll figure out a strategy for getting my needs met.

My relationships are unsatisfying. I think it’s because I need more in person time with the partner who lives in Tucson and more quality time with the partner I live with.

Not having things unpacked and semi-orderly is causing me great anxiety.  I like having stuff put in some kind of order.  I love shelves and boxes and cabinets.  I want everything in its place. I’m working on it as I have the energy and when I can manage my pain.

I’m trying to remember to use my coping tools: music therapy, journaling, making pretties.  I’ve not yet successfully reincorporated exercise/movement yet.  I am a work in progress.

Worried about my kitties.  They seem okay but I’d feel better if I could get them a wellness check.

I need to write down all the things I want to bring up with my doctor (who I see at the end of the month).  Stuff keeps coming up.  I also have two more specialists to see in the near future as well as follow ups with ones I’ve already seen.

Feels like too much sometimes.  Plus all the things my partner expects me to track and take care of.  I mean, I know I have broad shoulders but dang.

Looking forward to vacation next month.

PayPal Donation link

My Etsy shop

Good, Bad, Ugly…It’s my Life

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A person in my extended circle lost their battle with depression.  Thinking about them and about my own battle put me in an very introspective headspace.

I wrote that quite a while ago and then got stuck.  It is so hard to articulate all the emotions I’m feeling.  Plus so many incidents in my personal life slammed me.

On the good side,  my goods are selling!  Dragon Wolf Crafts      I also managed to enormous task of vending/dealing at a conference.  Along with my OSO, we sold enough to cover the cost of the table. Not quite enough to cover the cost of food and gas.  It was a great learning experience and we both are eager to try again.   I’m learning a lot about marketing and promotion.  More than I ever really wanted to know.  But it’s also sort of fun.  In a way.  If you tilt your head just right.  I’m deeply happy that I’ve found a way to pursue my passion for sparkly.  Plus with reading more poetry during National Poetry Month, I’m finding words spooling loose from my soul.

On the other side.  Frankly, I am uncertain about my home life and the future.   The partner that I live with is going through a lot of changes right now.   I understand it and am as supportive as I am able.  However, they are also volatile.  Though now that I think back over nearly 24 years, this isn’t much of a change.  I guess I’m too damn broke and tired to cope well anymore.  We are both in therapy.  I’m hope they get the help they need.  My therapist is encouraging me to take a break. Just go somewhere and chill.  The stress is making my health issues worse.

Speaking of which, still haven’t been able to get an appointment with the neurosurgeon.  I have to steel myself to call my insurance and find another candidate and then contact my doctor to let her know.  Then wait for the referral to the new person is approved and then call or wait for them to call me to make an appointment.  ~sigh~  I’m trying a CBD cream to help with the pain in the meanwhile.

Oy!

In addition, YouCaring has been bought by GoFundMe so if I want to continue begging desperately for money from folks, I’ll have to create a whole new campaign before July 31.  I do still need help.  Even though I’m selling things, it’s very much not enough at this point to sustain myself.  I need room to breathe and get this well and truly a thing.  The shop is the best thing I ever did for my mental health.  If only I can get my physical health on an upswing, I’d take that campaign down and start paying it forward.

Argh!  Now I’m frustrated with myself for being a burden on the world.  Will go do music therapy and make things with stones.

Reclaiming My Childhood

For a long time, my memories of my childhood were vague and felt very, very distant.  In part because I actively shied away from fully remembering.  I’ve spoken of  being raped when I was nine years old.  However, as I approach 50, I find myself remembering happy times and a loving family.  Memories of great adventures with cousins, large family gatherings and celebrations, church family, friends at school and in the neighborhood; all crowding forth in my mind lie whispers.  It has moved me to look at the one family photo album that I managed to salvage after my mom’s death.  So many great snapshots that made me smile and laugh.    I want it back.  I want it all back: the fun, the struggle, the pain, the love.  All of it shaped who I am today.

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I have reached out and reconnected with some family and friends on social media and will continue in my efforts.  I’m enjoying seeing these amazing people and learning about who they are now.  I really hope to return to NC sometime in 2018 to see them in person.

I feel like I was missing a part of me and now I am working to reclaim it. To make myself whole.   Yes, it includes some really painful and sad parts but it also includes some really amazing, happy and loving parts as well.

To my friends and family, please share stories with me.  I may not remember them all clearly but the more I hear, the more I remember and the more I feel myself.

 

Things that make me tired

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Medical stuff.  Seriously.  Trying to get healthy is exhausting.  And expensive.  Why?  And now Congress is trying yet again to make it harder and exclude people like me from even getting the bare minimum health care coverage.

So after my fun diagnosis, I went to get blood drawn for more tests.   It was like 8 or 10 vials!  So I felt a bit run down after all of that blood left my body.   But my nephrologist is being thorough so I should be glad.  He’s checking for Lupus and I think trying to get a more precise diagnosis of my kidney disease.

I’m researching renal diets.  And my partner got me an instant pot for my birthday to make it easier for me to cook real food.  Yay!  There’s a lot of information out there and it’s taking me some time to sort through it all.  I suspect I’ll end up consulting with a nutritionist.   sigh

I still need to find a therapist.  I called a couple of people and found out they were not taking new patients.  I also need to get my eyes checked.  Oh, and the dentist.

In better news, I did submit an appeal for disability.  Now I have to worry myself sick with waiting for a decision.  I’m actually hoping I can just let it ride and not fret about it every damn day.  But that’s not how my brain works.  Anyway.

I got to see my wolfcub!  So that was a happy.  He gave me a pretty!

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~kermitflail~

He’s making many pretties to sell.  I’ll let you know where you can get yours.

Since it is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month  I want to remind you, that you are loved, you are worthwhile and you are not alone!  you-are-not-alone

  • If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
  • If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.

 

 

If you want to lend me a hand, here are a couple of ways:

https://www.youcaring.com/HelpCherylThrive

PayPal

 

 

 

Gratitude

Over the past few days, I have received so much support and generosity. I am humbled and frankly stunned to see how much my community, my chosen family, my tribe truly cares. Not just about me. I have seen beautiful expressions of support and love. I have teared up many times.

Y’all keep my hope a living, breathing thing. I am deeply grateful to each of you.