Making a Murderer & A Dose of Self Awareness


On November 15, 2005, I wrote the following on this blogsite:

“I also had an idea about writing a book about this man in Wisconsin, Steven Avery. He was in prison for something like 18 years for a rape before evidenced proved his innocence of the crime and he was set free. There were then stories in the media about how this poor man lived in a small ice fishing shack because he had no money and his life was taken away. I remember seeing these stories and feeling so bad for him. Today, he is being charged with the rape and murder of a young Wisconsin woman. Tell me there isn’t an interesting story here.”

Charlie and I binged on Making a Murderer the past few days. It is a documentary series regarding Steven Avery’s conviction in the Teresa Halbach murder. I am still trying to reconcile my feelings now with my beliefs before the documentary.

At the time and up until a few days ago, I really felt that this was an evil man who got what he deserved. I did think there was impropriety within the justice system. But, in my mind, if it got him off the streets – I was okay with that.

So, why was I so convinced he was an evil psychopath? Because I am far more influenced by the media than I was willing to admit. It was actually without any conscious or active absorbing. In one part of the film, we noticed that a news reporter used the term “compound” in regards to the Avery property. We both chuckled at the absurdity of that. Switching terminology here and there can make a world of difference when it comes to the forming of public opinion.

Another thing that really bothers me about my own assumptions – during this very time, I was going through my own trauma within the justice system. I was accused of a crime I did not commit…of being something I could never be. It was one of the most difficult, horrific times of my life and probably the only time I have ever truly come close to considering suicide. Not long after, I was treated for PTSD due to that event.

Even though I had first hand experience of being caught in the merciless claws of the justice system; even though I had people lie about me, turn against me and felt as if my life was torn apart – I didn’t consider that maybe this was also happening to Steven Avery. That makes me feel ashamed.

Did he kill Teresa Halbach? I do not know. I don’t know if we will ever know. But I do now think it is VERY possible that he did not.

I may write more about the particulars at another time. I don’t know. A lot being written lately – so probably no need. But I really urge you to watch this 10 part docu-series on Netflix. It will really open your eyes to what probably happens far more often than we would ever imagine. Power drunk egos with an axe to grind can ruin many lives and much too easily without consequence. Scary as fuck.

MTHFR: Motherfuckin’ Genetics



I am such an asshole. Really. I am pretty mad at myself for not writing the second part of my addiction blog yet. I do promise that I will. And soon. I know what I want to write – it is just a matter of doing it.

I have been slow because…well…I am slow. I feel as though I have been trying to run through knee high mud these past two years. While some things have improved, others have not and the search for answers has been annoying and frustrating and I just want to kick a wall.

I had some lab work recently. One showed low levels of magnesium. This made no sense because I take A LOT of magnesium – knowing for a long time that my body needs it. I also found out that I am vitamin B6 toxic. Yea, because that’s a thing?? Seriously. My body is obnoxious as all hell. So, it was becoming clear that my body is not processing shit correctly. This led to testing for a genetic mutation called MTHFRAs it turns out, I have Compound Heterozygous MTHFR mutations. Meaning, one of my parents gave me two different mutated genes (probably more, but I cannot afford the extra testing right now).

What does this mean? Ugh. I am trying to figure that all out. But basically, it affects how my body processes, metabolizes, absorbs (or not) certain vitamins/minerals. It also means that my liver can easily become toxic/overloaded. And, really, this explains so much.

Throughout my entire life, I have reacted oddly or very sensitively to many medications, vaccines, supplements. I often have an opposite reaction. For example, melatonin keeps me awake. Same with trazodone. I could never really drink very much without getting violently ill. I suppose this is a good thing since it may have kept me from my genetic predisposition to alcoholism. (Silver lining, people. I DO see them once in a while!) So, this really does explain a lot.

Last year, when I had a toxic reaction to a very common antibiotic immediately after surgery (including many drugs, anesthetic, etc) – it was probably because my liver just said “fuck it” and couldn’t take anymore. Thus, causing my liver injury and neuropathy. And that alone took a LONG time from which to recover.

Now, I am fighting constant fatigue due to the inability to get restorative sleep. I have also been in physical therapy almost weekly (sometimes twice a week) for constant muscle tightness and spasms. This could be from not having the right amount of vitamins absorbing or the buildup of B6. We are not completely sure – but that seems to make sense. Along with this comes a very embarrassing brain fog that makes me feel like a Trump-esque moron (only with a heart). I have a very hard time writing or even carrying on a conversation at times. Finding words has been difficult. It is a very strange thing for someone who always has some fucking thing to say.

This has been a long, irritating road and it doesn’t seem like it will be ending soon. Treatment is a trial and error sort of thing. But I am hoping for the best. I have a Dr who has been helpful with her willingness to order the right tests and keep an open mind. Although, she is soon leaving the practice and I will start with a new,highly recommended doc in January. I also have the help of a nutritionist, physical therapist and chiropractor. I have my husband who does his best even though he is (self-admittedly) not the most sensitive guy in the world. And I have a couple of friends who have been there to listen to me whine. So, I think I will make it to a good place, eventually, with their help.

Anyway – that is why I am seemingly such a lazy slug. It sucks – especially when people look at me like I am nuts. But honestly who cares. The people who matter are the only ones who matter. And I also realize how much worse it could be. I am grateful for my progress, my intuition and all of the privileges (which I do not necessarily deserve) that I have been afforded in order to make it this far. I am grateful. Tired, sore and cranky – but grateful. And whether you like it or not, you’ll be hearing from me soon. So don’t get too comfortable with my silence (insert evil laugh and maniacal hand rubbing…and then a cough and probably a fart…while I trip on something and completely ruin my attempt at sexy badass).

When the Prescription Runs Out (Part One)


In the next couple of weeks, I will be writing on the topic of opiate drug use. Particularly prescription pain meds, heroin, pain management, overdose and the loss of some really decent people. I think that people try to whitewash this topic out of embarrassment, shame, fear. And that is understandable. But it also will not help slow this epidemic. Brutal, honest conversations are where we need to start so that we can figure out how to break free from this fucking mess. New FDA pain medication laws are not helping. I do not have the answers. But I am going to ask the questions. I am going to speak the truth as I know it. And I am going to do my best to show you that these victims of addiction are not any different from those you love…or yourself.


When I realized that my father had a pretty serious drug habit, I felt little to no compassion. I loved him but all I could think about was how he was choosing it over me. He didn’t love me enough to get his shit together and be a father and that really pissed me off. I didn’t think about his spending months in a full body cast as a kid or the numerous back and knee surgeries he had throughout his life. I never considered the pain he was in or the frustration he must have felt when he could no longer stand or sit for any length of time let alone play the sports he once loved. I just knew that he would come in and out of my life as he pleased. I just knew that through my anger, I still had to be his defender. I just knew that I was never going to have the dad that I needed. And then, at the age of 46 (when I was 23), I sat in a room – just the two of us – as he took his last rattling breath.

He was a big, strong guy but even he could not survive his addiction. He didn’t OD like many. But had it not been for the drugs, he would have been able to meet his grandchildren. His addiction started with a prescription, a genetic predisposition to dependence and a long sought need for relief. I did not understand or develop my compassion until much later.

My dad had many legitimate causes for his chronic pain. I was told that he was a hypochondriac and that he just felt sorry for himself. And I suppose that may have been true. But his pain was real and he had many scars to prove it. That’s one part of having chronic pain that can be so frustrating – the need to constantly prove to others that it even exists. As if hurting wasn’t enough but having to constantly deal with people who think you are full of shit or weak or pathetic – yea, I was not the only one lacking compassion. Our society is a cold, heartless bitch.

I remember my dad showing me his bottle of pills that he kept in the kitchen drawer with the hand towels. “Just ONE of these would kill a horse! Never, ever touch these – got it?” he warned numerous times. Even in my pot years, I was terrified of pills – so that warning was plenty to squash any tiny curiosities. As time went on, the horse killing pills were no longer enough. And they probably became harder to come by as doctors grew increasingly frustrated with him. I knew he was trading pills and belongings for something else. I didn’t know exactly what – even though I found spoons in the bathroom and saw marks in his arms. Towards the end, I learned he was a methadone patient and that is when all of the oozing dots became connected.

To this day, I have guilt. To this day, I think to myself, “If I had been a better daughter…” To this day, I wish he had just loved me enough. But I know that is irrational. I know now the power of these chemicals. And I know that those drugs killed the father I knew long before his body gave out. As I child, I remember his flaws. But I also remember his hilarious humor, his energy, his creativity and how very fun he could be. Slowly, those parts of him began to disappear. I will miss those parts for the rest of my life.

He died in the late 90s. So far, this year in Milwaukee County alone, 189 people have died from overdoses. Many of these people started with a legitimate reason for taking prescription pain medication. There are many people you speak to every day – people you love and respect – who need daily pain relief. And this country treats many of them like criminals – if they treat them at all. There are also those who no longer need prescription relief but became addicted in a very short timeframe after an accident or a surgery. And once that prescription runs out, the patient is left on their own with very detrimental alternatives.

This is complicated. This isn’t about blame. This is a difficult tightrope for everyone involved. But let’s talk about it. Too many people are being lost and it simply does not need to happen. There is no “meant to be” in this fucked up scenario.

LCHF: Worth a Try…We Shall See…



I have written about my weight before. Some may even think I talk about it too much. Or, at least, worry about it too much. I suppose I would agree. I certainly don’t want my daughter to be as concerned with her body image as I have been with mine. I get to the point of beating myself up mentally whenever I look in the mirror. I cry. I yell. I throw my clothes on the ground and refuse to leave the house (this isn’t a regular thing, but it has happened). I would never want Cassidy to feel this way – so why do I do it to myself? It has been ingrained in my head since childhood that how we look is the basis of our value. Cognitively, I know that is crap…but my subconscious sees my fat or cellulite or signs of aging as unworthiness. It truly is fucked up. And telling me “stop feeling that way” is about as productive as telling a depressed person to “cheer up”. Believe me, if I could – I would.

So, a little background…When I was pregnant 11 years ago, I gained 70+ pounds. Shortly before becoming pregnant, I went on a beta blocker for my heart – so that didn’t help. After having her – using a multiple of dieting methods – I was able to lose some but a big chunk wouldn’t budge. I honestly tried everything. Finally, I went off of a medication (cymbalta) and the rest fell off with sensible eating. I lost over 30 pounds in less than 3 months. And I kept it off for a number of years.

In 2014, my medical issues got worse, I had surgery and then post op complications (the whole antibiotic thing I wrote about a few months ago) – I gained about 30 in a fairly short block of time. And with my liver injury – my body has been holding onto fat for dear life. Again, it just wouldn’t budge. Over the last year, I have VERY slowly been able to lose about 13 pounds. But that stalled a few months ago and no matter what, the rest just won’t leave.

So, I have decided to try the LCHF (basically, Atkins) diet to get things progressing. I do not know if this will work. I do know that I have never really tried this before. I want to lose 15 lbs but would be happy with 10. It isn’t like I have a shit load to lose. So, I realize my results won’t be like those who lose 10 pounds in one week. And there ARE a lot of people like that.

But I want to make this clear – I will never be a militant dieter. I am of the mindset that life is so very short and I plan on enjoying as much of it as I can until I can’t. And, yes, that includes cake. I enjoy food. I am not addicted. I am not obsessed. I enjoy it. It is a great pleasure in life and I will never be one of those people who simply use it as fuel. That just isn’t me. During those years when I kept the weight off – I basically ate healthy, fairly low carb most of the week. On weekends and vacations, I allowed myself to splurge. I am happy with that way of eating.

So far on the LCHF (2.5 days) – I have lost 2 lbs. And I can even see the difference already. We shall see where this goes as it is certainly worth a try. The food is most definitely limited – but also very filling. I am trying to keep my net carbs (carbs minus fiber) under 25 grams per day. This isn’t easy, but so far has been do-able. But if I have a piece of cake at a party or some corn at a fair – I am not going to torture myself as though I am some kind of failure. Because, really, what I want more than anything is to be okay with what I am and how I look in each moment. I am 41. I will never look 20 again. And it simply is not fair to myself to expect that and punish myself because I don’t.

If anyone is interested in learning about LCHF…I will put a couple of videos below. There is also a lot of info HEREBut, again, I am not pushing this diet…not even recommending it yet. I think the science is very interesting and I have seen a shit load of success stories and I am trying it. That’s all. At this point anyway😉

Nurse Jackie: Addiction Fucking Sucks


When the series finale of Nurse Jackie ended and the credits began to roll, I was kinda like, “Ummm…so, THAT’S it?!” My feelings were mixed and I felt dissatisfied. After a few minutes passed and I really started to think about it, I soon realized that it was actually quite perfect.

While the writers brought to us: colorful characters (Zoe was by far my favorite), tragically hilarious storylines and sarcastic one-liners – the show was about addiction.  There was no real beginning and therefore, no real ending was called for. They wrote, for us, merely a glimpse into the life of one woman and her illness.

We are spoiled, as viewers. We like to have everything spelled out for us and then wrapped up into a box of closure topped with a bow. We want that big shoot out or that island wedding or some cataclysmic lesson. When everything doesn’t fit back into the packaging at the end, we are frustrated. “Fuck that! What happened?!” Well, folks, life happened. And I guess we just have to accept that the end wasn’t part of the story.

The tale here was simple: addiction fucking sucks. And addicts just aren’t who we once pictured them to be. They don’t come with flags and badges. And no one is immune. Addicts are smart, creative, funny, successful, kind, compassionate – they bear the most wonderful human qualities. They are loved and respected. They live their lives like everyone else – until, they can’t.

Jackie was very good at what she did – a skillful and polished addict. Her lying was survival. Her manipulation – masterful. And Eddie was as textbook co-dependant as one could be. Where there is a Jackie – there is almost always an Eddie. “You are my everything,” he said. They almost welcome the torment – they feed off of it. At least, for a while. Then there are also Zoes – who will worry and tend and clean up until they are strong enough to finally break away. They still carry their love, only it is more and more carefully protected as time goes on.

I cannot count the addicts I have known and even loved. I cannot measure the impact of each blow by their actions. But I am grateful that I have been able to avoid being a Jackie, so far. And for the most part, I have not stood in Eddie’s shoes. I have, however, been a Zoe. I have also been various co-stars and extras standing in the background attempting to duck from the impending shrapnel.

I have my issues, that is for sure.  This bouquet of neurosis has sheltered me from personally developing the disease a number of times in my life – and for that I am thankful. Having had a father, step father, grandparents, uncles, cousins and friends who battle with addiction – I know just how easily it could come for me. My father died at 46. My stepfather has been sober for decades. Others I have known and loved have all lived (or are living) their own story – each with different outcomes.

Dependency is a tightrope and each acrobat comes with their own finite set of chances. Sometimes there is a net on which to fall but eventually that net will fray and become unreliable. Either way, the exact conclusion can never truly be predicted.

How does it end for Jackie? What happens after they run to her as she lies half-conscious on the floor? It doesn’t really matter. We have many options from which to choose if we wish to fill in our own blanks. Perhaps we can insert our own experiences. Or maybe we can just be okay with knowing that the story wasn’t about how it ends – but rather the tenacious grip dependency can wield.

We know what we need to know – that Jackie was enslaved by an illness – like so many we see, know and love. That this illness can creep on suddenly or take decades to evolve. That some people do gain their freedom – to a certain extent. And that many end their stories dreadfully. But most of all, we know that addiction fucking sucks.

A Different Kind of Freak Flag



“Getting rid of a flag isn’t going to end racism.”

“A piece of cloth didn’t oppress people.”

“This is just a band-aid on a bigger wound.”

Well, no fucking shit. Thanks for the brilliant insight. Perhaps now you can explain to me how gravity works.

No, taking down the confederate flag will not end the institutional and deep seeded racism that is brewing like a smelly cauldron throughout our country. But ya know what? Leaving it up sure won’t help things, will it? Flying a flag – that for most, represents oppression, hate and slavery – condones the negativity it represents.

You want to get all historical on my ass and expound upon the flag’s origin and true meaning? You want to tell me that taking it away disrespects some kind of glorified narrative of the good ole days? Guess what? I don’t give a shit because I live in the here and now. Reflecting on the past is good for little more than learning from it’s mistakes – not celebrating those mistakes with some hooch and a cheek full of tobacco. I know the origins and it changes nothing about how I feel in regards to the flag. And quite frankly, I am surprised anyone would think that it would.

Also, if the removal of the flag is so insignificant to progress, why bother stomping feet over it? If you are THAT concerned about this being a “distraction” or a “band-aid” then I sure hope you are out there doing something that will make our society a better place. Because even though this may be a simplistic baby step in the forward direction, at least it is something. If you are poo-pooing the merit of such action – you better be creating some action of your own. Otherwise – shuttie.

I highly doubt there are tons of people who think that taking down this racist rag fixes any real problem. But if there are, please let me smack them upside their empty heads. If ANYONE thinks that this actually fixes the issue – then they truly have no idea the depths of racism that are oozing from every corner of society. This is a step. A little, baby, tiny, seemingly obvious step that should have been made many decades ago. We have a lot of catching up to do because the fact that this is even a thing – is embarrassing as fuck.

And for those of you who think waving this flag means you are a patriot…you are just a total moron. This flag AT BEST represents those who wanted to sussed from your beloved ‘Murica in order to continue to own slaves – feeding their economic growth with their field labor. Freeing slaves meant less profit. And they were all like – “Fuck that…let’s get us a new country with this here new flag.” Yea. Patriotic like a sonabitch.

In the years (50s-60s) to follow, it was adopted by many to show their opposition to equal rights and integration. And it soon became a symbol of the KKK. In recent years, I guess it was just a passive aggressive way to let others know just how proud one was to be the lighter version of American. Of course, some people just didn’t know better and wanted to pretend they were Luke Duke or some shit. But this whole thing about historical pride and patriotism – give me a damn break because that is some scripted ass bullshit.

Listen, no one is taking your flags – so, put the shotgun down, Cletus, and call off your dog. Keep your flag. It lets the rest of us know which neighbors we’d rather not talk to. The issue here is having such a gross symbol flying above government buildings. That’s it. If this brings to light the offensiveness of this flag – an offensiveness some may have not considered in the past – then great. Let them stop flying, selling, displaying the damn thing too. But this isn’t a freedom of speech issue. It is a decency issue. And you can fly any goddamn flag you want – on YOUR property.

I could be worried that *you* will think this is all about you and your comments on social media. And while you may have contributed to my recent reflections – know that everyone and their grandma is talking about this lately – so I have many different conversations and threads running through my consciousness at the moment. Ain’t all about you, darlin’. I just had something to say.

Hey You! Yea, YOU. Read This Please.


Well, holy hell! My site has taken off in the past two days with nearly 20k views!! I would be pounding my chest a little harder had it been due to my own writing. But, alas, it was for a Scott Walker joke (three words that go oh so well together). While the joke is quite hilarious – this has prompted me to examine my recent abandonment of my blog. Sure, I have my excuses. But they are no longer good enough. I need to start writing again. My brain and creativity are atrophied and in much need of exercise. SOOOOO – this is where YOU come in. Give me some topics. Anything. What would you like to read? What would you like me to write about? I won’t promise that I will say what you want to hear…that I will write it in any respectable time frame…or that I won’t completely disappoint you in every way possible. But I will use your ideas to get my mind and fingers moving. Can ya help a chic out?

The Path of the 41 Year Old Me


It is no secret that I have been dealing with some pain in the ass health issues in these past few years. It is also not news that I have a history of anxiety – especially when it pertains to health and death. I am terrified of death. It angers me and stresses me the fuck out. Honestly, as natural and absolute as it is – the concept of death has been my most agonizing hurdle. And with the different and odd health issues I have dealt with – nothing has antagonized this fear as much or as often as my heart blips. Without a proper heartbeat…you’re a goner. This is just a real thorn in my psyche. But I think…maybe…possibly…I am making strides. Kinda.

These past months have been full of pain and frustration and constant fatigue. The struggle has been a true crapfest and it is ongoing. But through it all, my heart has been behaving fairly well under the circumstances. And I haven’t let that fact go unappreciated.

Aside from the very occasional (like once a week TOPS) muscle relaxer, I do not take medication for my pain. I have been offered several referrals to a pain clinic, steroids and other drugs. But I have decided to try to beat this weird shit without medications and their side effects. Because as sensitive and annoying as my body is – if there is a possible side effect – I will probably have it. Fuck that, I have enough to worry about.

I do, however, take a medication for my heart and for anxiety. I have gotten down to the lowest possible doses of each. I need them and I have accepted that. As I weaned down to this lowest dose of my beta blocker, my heart was a trooper. I started years ago at 100mg daily. Today, I am taking 12.5mg daily (with the occasional extra on a bad day). This, makes me happy.

However, yesterday, my heart decided to be an asshole. I was just sitting here looking shit up on Pinterest when I felt a few flops. “Ugh…I guess it’s going to be one of those days,” I thought. Oh you funny bitch. I had no clue it was going to be one of my worst heart days in many years. My heartbeat kept getting stuck in what’s called a trigeminy pattern. It basically feels like this – BEAT BEAT PAUSE BEAT BEAT PAUSE BEAT BEAT PAUSE. I am used to getting the “pauses” for the most part – but not in this pattern or in the amount I was getting them yesterday. When not in trigeminy, I was having 7-12 PVCs (“pauses”) per MINUTE. It feels like a fish constantly flopping around beneath your ribs. All. Day. Long. It even lasted until this morning. The most PVCs I have had recorded in a 24 hour period has been a few hundred. Yesterday was probably more like 10-15k.

Now, if this had happened a couple of years ago, I would have freaked the fuck out. I would have panicked and probably gone to the ER. But I didn’t. I did call my cardiologist’s office as I have been told to do whenever something changes or seems off. And I took my extra beta blocker. And I laid in bed most of the day (Dr’s orders). And I took my pulse a lot. But I didn’t panic. And I think I know why.

I might just be coming to an acceptance stage of this whole stupid mortality thing that I hate ever so much. I know I am going to die. I read stories about children dying for Pete’s sake. I have known many people whom have died – some younger than me. I watched my father die at 46. Life is moving faster than a Republican from an original thought (sorry). Seriously, though, I am getting motion sickness from the speed of this crazy ride. If I do not accept this soon…I am going to have a really rude ass awakening.

I was driving earlier today and my heart was skipping away – being its jerky self. But I still couldn’t help but to notice the blue sky and the greenish grass. These are the kinds of things that remind me to be in the now. No matter how I am feeling at any given point, I am still here. And I absolutely must make the most of it. Because, hell, I am getting old and fat and saggy and tired and achy and I may not have many more of those big firework life experriences that easily snap me into those Ode to Joy moments. I have to recognize the good and the pretty and the strange and the tasty that are right in front of me each and every day. Whether it is watching a funny show with my adult wannabe tween daughter or a juicy burger staining my shirt – these are the snapshots I need to relish and try to hang onto every second that I can.

I read a story today about an 18-year-old girl who is fighting stage 4 brain cancer. When asked why is she fighting she replied, “I don’t know what else to do.” Well fuck. Who the hell am I to worry about when and how my time will come to an end when this kid is hanging on by a thread? None of us have a guaranteed amount of time.

And ya know why I don’t want to die? Yea, maybe it can be said it is because I don’t “know Jesus” or have a faith or can look forward to some promised afterlife. But really it is because I really fucking like it here. I really enjoy eating yummy food and laughing at funny jokes and feeling love and dreaming at night and smelling summer grass. There is so much here to savor and appreciate. Even the shitty things have something to offer. Crappy people restore my gratitude for those less crappy. Illness makes me feel so much better once it is gone. I still haven’t figured out the benefit of bad peaches or war…but perhaps my enlightenment will eventually expand.

I have made mistakes. I have wasted wayyyy too much of the time I have been given. I have been a dickhead and have allowed others to be dickheads to me. And chances are, these things will happen again. But I am going to try really goddamn hard to stay on a path towards acceptance, appreciation and mindful presence simply because…I don’t know what else to do.

Okay, okay. I am done with the hippy, Oprah-esque sermon now. I have to go find a way to enjoy cleaning a toilet…hmmmm…this may be more challenging than I expected…

What a Pill


These past few weeks have been pretty nasty for me health-wise. But it seems I have found the cause for some of the problems and I couldn’t be more grateful!!!

Several weeks ago, I began having some very uncomfortable and startling symptoms.  My heart rate, which is typically 65-75, started averaging around 85-90. And yes, for me, this is very noticeable and uncomfortable. When you have SVT, you are VERY aware of your heart rate without even taking your pulse. I also started having many more PVCs (what feels like a skipped beat) and constant adrenaline surges. And to make matters worse, I went from my regular crappy 5 hours of sleep a night to 2-3 hours each night. I would jolt awake whenever my body would start to go into a deep sleep. I was fucking miserable!!

My Dr. prescribed trazodone to help me sleep. I took a low dose the first night and my heart went INSANE. Not only was I having more PVCs than usual, I started getting them every 4th beat for HOURS. And I was tachycardic off and on throughout the night. Oh, and I didn’t sleep a wink. It was awful and I will never take it again. It has been known to have some heart rhythm side effects, so screw that noise. Anyway, my cardiologist had me come in for an EKG the next day and it was fine as the med wore off. But she said that my decision to never take it again was probably a good one.

During this time (and a little while before), I started a pretty strict diet. I was measuring and logging everything I ate – staying around 1200 calories a day. I also started exercising 50+ mins per day instead of my typical 30-40. During those weeks, even with large calorie deficits, I couldn’t lose even  1/2 of a pound. It was very discouraging.

Okay, so…I have been taking a beta blocker called metroprolol for over 8 years for my arrhythmia. It has worked great. I have taken the same dose and same brand forever. Suddenly, a few days ago, I realized that my symptoms started when my Dr. ordered a different brand. Same dose and active ingredient, but it was a different manufacturer and formulation. I have heard of this happening to others, but I never thought the difference could be THAT severe.

I had a few older ones left over and went back to taking those. Within two days, the adrenaline surges were gone, heart rate was down and the past two nights I have slept 6 hours each (with some interruption but nothing compared to previous weeks). Sleeping 6 hours after days and days of only 2 or 3 is like eating a feast after being stranded on an island with only snackable bugs. I am still on the look out for the perfect ear plugs but those and the mask do help as well.

I called the pharmacist and she said she also has a bad reaction if the brand of her medication is changed and she sent a med change request form to my Dr. right away. Wow! I wasn’t crazy! Well, in this case anyway.

So another weird thing about this…and I am not sure how it relates…but something odd happened with my weight. Those weeks of working so hard, being so strict and losing nothing, even with such a significant calorie deficit, was depressing. This past week, I didn’t exercise AT ALL. I mean, with only 2 hours of sleep, screw that. I also didn’t log my food or cut out carbs. I suddenly lost 6 pounds. In ONE week. It makes no friggin sense.

Also, around the time of the change, my muscle relaxer (given for severe muscle tightness/spasm and pain) just stopped working. I am not sure if this is related as well, but I may give it another try.

I absolutely am shocked that such a thing could make such a life altering difference. I really hate having such a sensitive body. And God help me if they ever stop making this brand of my medication. Wowzers. That SUCKED. Yea, I still have my other issues and we are in the process of figuring all that shit out. But holy hell I am so glad I can at least feel a little better while I limp around aching and moaning.

But I Get Up Again…Eventually


It’s been a rough couple of weeks. So much for 2015 being the great comeback year. Well, I suppose there are still 343 days for that to get into gear. But, so far, suck city.

If you have known me for a while, you may remember my mentioning that I have, at times, had physical symptoms just before learning of bad news. Precognitive symptoms I call them. Do I really, truly, fully believe this is what goes down? I am not sure. But there have been some serious coincidences.

On Saturday, we ordered some food and after two weeks of strict dieting, I was super stoked to eat some carbs and red meat. Right before I started to eat I had some sharp odd pains in my abdomen. These weren’t familiar and not the usual scar tissue pains I have been having. I tried to eat a little but my stomach wasn’t having it. I took a bath and drank some peppermint tea. Still, yucky. So I decided to just go to bed. As I laid there listening to my audiobook, I received a text from my mother in law that her long-time and my new(er) friend, Sara, was in the hospital and may not make it through the night. She had been battling cancer. I told her I would meet her there, got dressed and left. My stomach then felt fine.

I later said to Charlie, “Maybe that is why I was having those weird pains.” He nodded. Cassidy asked what I meant. I kinda just told her it was hard to explain but that sometimes I think I feel icky right before something bad happens. She said, “Maybe it is a power.” I just smiled and said, “Maybe, hon.”

Though she was unconscious and finally (thankfully) free of pain, I was able to say goodbye to our friend that night. And she died minutes after we left. Needless to say, this is very sad and yet another in-your-face reminder of how short life really is. Her kindness, laughter and strength will be sincerely missed.

The next day, I decided to watch the movie Wild. I really didn’t have much desire to see it before and was never a big Reese Witherspoon fan. For whatever reason, the movie didn’t appeal to me until that moment. Something told me that Sara would like it,  so I watched.

In the movie, she quoted Adrienne Rich:

…her wounds came from the same source as her power…

For some reason, this struck a chord. I am still not entirely certain why. But it occurred to me that this was the second time in 24 hours that the term ‘power’ caught my attention. Power. This is not a word I use to define myself…like…ever. In fact, it is usually quite the opposite. I often feel powerless against my health, my weight, my past, my future, the opinions of others, my regrets, my desires…I could go on. Feeling powerless sucks but it is like one of those blankets of thorns you get used to as it pierces your skin while still keeping you warm. Kinda pathetic, but real.

While I do have many moments of feeling weak or powerless – I still hold with me the knowledge that I try. You remember that horribly annoying song from the 90s…well wait…here it is…

Anyway, I remember a friend telling me that this song was like my anthem. Whether it was getting knocked down by my own dumb self or some other asshole or shitty situation – I always found a way to get back up. I may whine about it, but eventually, I stand. So, you can have your complaints about me and my demeanor…but don’t you dare tell me that I don’t try.

I received a diagnosis yesterday that I have seen coming for quite some time. I am not happy about it. I am quite angry, actually. And I am not going to get into it right now because I am still waiting on some tests. It isn’t anything life threatening – but it is life altering. Just, crappy really. And I will write about it later.

Along with this, I have been experiencing some pretty serious insomnia. On a very good night I will sleep 5 hours. But mostly, it is around 3 hours of actual sleep. This is seriously messing with my emotions, health, heart and mind. Along with other symptoms, I am in the pits lately. Could it be worse? Fuck yea. And I say that all of the time. But that doesn’t make my pain invalid.

What is another thing you can say to me that might get you a kick in the neck, aside from “Try harder”? “Cheer up” or “Relax” or “Turn that frown upside down” or any other motivational 80s poster platitude that was hanging in your high school counselor’s office. When a person has depression or an anxiety disorder or a chronic illness or anything else that you may not really understand…it would be best to keep the trite bullshit to yourself.

You really want to help? Listen. Validate. Or just offer a hug. Because saying things like I mentioned above implies that we do not have a right to feel the way that we do. It implies that we are choosing our pain. It implies that not only do we have to feel bad about our circumstances but that we are also doing it wrong. Do not deny me my feelings. And ya know what…if it were as simple as flipping a switch…I would have done that a long fucking time ago.

Just because a person is down or even severely depressed, that doesn’t mean they do not appreciate what they have. In fact, it is often true that we appreciate these things even more. So many of you take those beautiful moments and gifts for granted. We savor them and are thankful more than you could know. I see the wonderful things in my life and I am thankful for them every day. Some days I am more verbal about them than others. But that gratitude is most certainly there.

And one more thing, the fact that some of you view me as some kind of oddball isn’t news to me. I share a lot. I do not hide my sensitivity and my flaws. My Facebook wall won’t be full of cheery self congratulatory applause or exaggerated life descriptions. You get what you see and you see what you get – for the most part. I mean, there are some things I will not share, so no – you don’t get the FULL picture. But I am me, warts and all. And I won’t hide it because I think that is inauthentic and annoying. So you can think I am weird…but I know there are things hiding in your heads and closets too. The fact that you hide them doesn’t make you any specialer. (yes, I know that is not a word)

Today sucks. Tomorrow will probably not be any better. But I know things will lift eventually. In the meantime, allow me my sorrow, accept me for who I am or get off my lawn.