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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Moving

My nesting partner and I moved last week. Everything about it was incredibly stressful. My voice finally came back, though. I will still see the ENT about it just to make sure nothing is seriously wrong.

This new house just *feels* right. It has problems as you’d expect for a house built in 1975 but we can adapt. We will need a stand alone island in the kitchen to provide more work area as well as storage. The den is now the bird room. I’m still trying to figure out my office/craft space.

So much unpacking needs doing. We may have too much stuff. I’ll be listing some of it on freecycle or somewhere. I’d like to ditch the old treadmill and get something that we can fold up when not in use. We have the usual excess of computer cables, hubs and the like that any pair of computer geeks accumulate over time. Plus the stuff I got to accommodate for lacks in the San Jose house and the Scottsdale house that don’t exist here.

I’ve had several of my medical appointments rescheduled due to issues at the doctor’s office. ~sigh~ But I am finally seeing the neurosurgeon about my back tomorrow! Next week is the rheumatologist. My follow-up with the nephrologist got moved to July. My follow-up with the hematologist is in Sep. Plus I’ll be due for my annual visit with the podiatrist (new orthotics will be needed, they cost $200 last year for three pair, hopefully the price hasn’t gone up and more importantly, I hope my bunion isn’t worse).

I have a show coming up this month. Really hoping to sell out of stock. Got turned down for one in Nov and waiting to hear about one in August. I have gotten a number of sales at my Etsy shop though.

I’m still running my fundraiser to help me until I can stand on my own.  I have dental work coming up plus I know the orthotics will cost me something out-of-pocket ($200 last year).  I’m not sure what treatment options I’ll have for my back.  Guess I’ll know something more after tomorrow’s appointment.   If you want to help me with these out-of-pocket medical costs,  PayPal or  GoFundMe  or buy something awesome from Dragon & Wolf Crafts 

A reminder since suicide is back in the news.  #nostigma you-are-not-alone

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.

Dreamtime

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Sleep has been elusive but when I do sleep, I dream.  Boy howdy do I dream.  In vivid Technicolor with THX digital sound.  In three-part harmony.

I’m assuming these dreams are created out of my anxieties, worries, concerns and other deeply, deeply buried issues from my psyche.  Some of them are quite….disturbing.

I regularly dream about dead people.  My dead relatives visit me often.  I suppose I could go all woo and say that they are bringing me messages from the cosmos or that there is some deep philosophical and/or spiritual shit going on with those dreams.   I also regularly dream about being part of a resistance/rebellion/super secret agent.  Usually hiding from THEM(tm), fighting THEM(tm), saving refugees or an asset from THEM(tm).    Plus I dream about bathrooms.  Not sure why.   Luxurious and large tubs and showers.  Enough room to have a party in the bathroom with several people plus a sideboard for refreshments.  And a full bar, of course.  The type of bathroom Heinlein frequently included in his books.

Recent dreams include vacationing somewhere (the hotel room had a large hot tub in the center) and my partner having a heart attack while we are out touristing.  He got taken to a hospital and I am assured he will be fine.  But I am left alone and uncertain.     Ugh.  I woke up feeling really panicked and upset.

I’ve had several dreams of late that leave me feeling uneasy, upset and generally exhausted emotionally.  My dreams take me to places that I do not wish to go and explore all the dark places of my mind.

I had serious, no tricking,  night terrors when I was a child.  I frequently would lie awake listening to music hoping to not sleep.  I learned lucid dreaming and how to reshape my dreams from the incredibly terrifying things they were to something rather less icky.

I have a *LOT* of fears around protecting my family/loved ones and my ability/inability in that regard.  It may come from losing my parents and brother when I was in my 20s. So many of my dreams were/are about threats to those people and my attempts to save them. The worst ones are where I am kept somehow from taking action.  Those really put me in a poor headspace for the day(week..month)

So my head is full of darkness and it is seeping into my dreams.

 

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Coping

It is so hard sometimes.  Now and then, it seems that life is determined to grind you into the dirt, spit on you, set you on fire, toss you off a cliff and then kick you in the shins.

I’ve been having a difficult time of late.  It culminated when I found that I’d managed to really, thoroughly  fuck up.

So, my brother, the only family I have left invited me to his wedding (he’s been married for 6 years and they are finally throwing themselves a little ceremony).  This is a huge bright point that I eagerly, enthusiastically tried to grasp.

I poked around for inexpensive flights (there are none between here and the three airports that are sort of nearish to him).   I bought a pretty dress, and underpinnings and things.

Did I mention that it was short notice and the wedding very soon?

Anyway.  Back to me fucking up my finances.

I managed to catch the flu of hacking snotfullness and spent a week out of work (sleeping, taking meds, sleeping some more, hacking my lungs out, putting them back into my body).  Somewhere in there, I lost track of what the hell I was doing and managed to make myself broke-ass.

Now I am trying to get a refund on the airfare.  I’ve returned some things I bought.  I have no idea is any of the things I’ve done will get me out of the deep hell hole I managed to dig.  But I am trying.  I will keep trying.

Meanwhile.  I have not see my brother in over a decade. I have not met my 5 y.o. niece or my 3 y.o nephew.  I have not been back in my home state in…well, I don’t know for sure exactly.   I desperately want to go to this wedding and see them.

Plus, I have been not sleeping at night.  My dreams are full of dead people and strangeness.  Like Supernatural levels of strangeness.   Actually, I think Dean & Sam showed up in one or two.

Then.

On Saturday, my partner took me to the beach.  I don’t know if I can express what that means to me.  No, I really can’t.  There are simply no words.

I needed to stick my toes in the sand and the surf. And just sit and be.  There in the sun and wind, hearing the crash of the ocean, watching the tide come in.

It was glorious.

I don’t know exactly what I will do but I feel much better to handle whatever.