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Due to extreme shoulder pain (arthritis, tendonitis, and my good ol' painful muscle tenseness and inflammation making it worse) I've not been able to draw much in... god, like... a year. Coloring is even harder.

Today I kinda managed.

It's not much, but every bit of progress is something. Now to dig a lacrosse ball into my screaming shoulder and then ice that bitch.

RWBY fanart )
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The existential crises I've been facing lately are all about what I DO. Or what's been taken away. I've lost art (even if it's temporarily), I've lost dancing, I've lost working, driving.

But I've not lost ME.

It's something I need to remind myself of a lot. I am a force in and of myself, without having to DO a damn thing. I have the heart and soul of a fighter, a warrior, a Valkyrie. Everything is set against me, trying to stop me? It's only stopping activities. It's stopping things. It's not stopping ME.

Keep trying, pain. Keep trying, disability. Some days I'll feel like you're winning. But those are just small little battles, little skirmishes where you look to be the victor. In the long run, the war is mine. I own this battlefield and I'll never let you forget that again.
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So I know there are people talking "behind my back" (probably not in a purposefully mean way, just talking) about the fact that I post a lot or "too much" or whatever on FB.

Well, to those people...

Deal with it.

I don't have a workplace. I don't have the option to drive and go out during the day. I don't have SOCIALIZATION. If friends can come over, they do, but my friends have busy lives and it's a rarity. I have Will but he works all day and has his own social obligations outside the house.

I do not talk to anyone, all day. Facebook is my way to keep in contact with friends, with the world. It's one of the only ways I can share my life with them and vice versa.

So get the fuck over it and unfollow me if my frequent posts are so annoying to you... if you find me "pathetic" for being too disabled to find some other social outlet besides social media.

I won't miss you.
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My shoulder is in so much pain. So much. I knew eventually this would happen, using a cane for 10 years catches up to you. I have an MRI next month, and I want my VA doctor to help me make the argument that because it’s from the cane use that it IS related to my disability and SHOULD be considered when I try to get my percentage raised… because… I can’t draw. I miss art, it is physically and emotionally gutwrenching to not draw. Without art? All the money I get is is from disability which is only at 20%. I can’t live on that. I’m terrified. How am I going to pay my mortgage? My bills? Will our water be turned off? My husband has an okay salary but a lot of debt so he can’t take over all the bills for me and even if he did I’d be so overcome with guilt that I’d have an anxiety breakdown of epic proportions. So after my shoulder MRI I want to schedule an updated hip and leg MRI (no matte how painful it’ll be (they tape my feet in an awkward position to see the hip joint better and it is BRUTALLY painful and lasts forever)) so the VA can see how horribly my injury has progressed in the last few years. I want my doc to write up how bad it’s gotten since she sees me pretty regularly. I want to FIGHT for more coverage just so I can pay my bills and have enough left over to do things like “pay for my own damn food once in a while” and “not have anxiety/panic attacks every time I see an e-mail from the bank because I assume I’m overdrawn again”

I have a birthday coming up next month. I hate that I want to ask people just to send money. I feel miserable about it. That a time of celebration is just me hoping it might help me survive.

I can’t put the burden of all these finances on my husband. Both because he has other financial things to worry about, and because it makes me anxious as his partner to feel so… “unequal”… there’s a sense of… I don’t know… “loss of power”? Imbalance. When you feel financially strapped to another person you give them the power to utterly destroy you. I know he wouldn’t. But that fear would still be there. To worry that I’ll become a burden to him, that I’ll feel like just another financial responsibility to stress him out. He insists he would never feel like this, but I know he also has his own anxiety to battle with and there might be feelings he can’t help.

I can’t drive. I can’t work. Now with my shoulder pain I can’t even do commissions or comics so that money’s out.

I don’t know what to do.

Part of me wants to find some way to “take advantage” of the political tenseness right now and contact some senator or congressman or something and be all “look I’m a veteran and can’t survive, helping will make you look good with voting coming up” but I feel ugly and awful turning to that. I might eventually be desperate enough, scared enough. But… ugh.

I feel like I’m losing so much. I don’t want to lose my house. I don’t want to lose my husband. I don’t want to end up homeless and starving and alone because my partners just can’t financially carry their useless disabled partner…

I feel sick to my stomach right now. I want to cry but the pain is so overwhelming I don’t have the energy required to cry.

I’m scared.
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I feel like I'm losing myself more and more every day I'm in too much pain to draw.

If I'm not an artist... I'm not anything. I don't know what I have left to offer.
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2016 is already the year of "Shinga is finding style again"

pics )

So far so good. More thrift store shopping, more being sexy for no other reason than "I want to" (though that second pic was for a very romantic date, so okay that was a pretty good reason)

Yeah. Is good. <3
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Losing friends because they look down on you for being disabled too long. Good times.
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This is my last week of physical therapy. I have a check-up on Friday to sort of test my progress but I'll probably ask for a range of motion test sometime this week with the folks in the physical therapy section of things, since the doctor might not do that. I know a couple of weeks ago they said it was already improving. And the pain has lessened immensely, while my upper back has gotten a lot stronger (which has done wonders for my posture as well)

I've learned so much. How to use muscles correctly, how to properly stretch and work them, even some tips on how to handle my hips' scar tissue pain (which, since it was unrelated to the accident, they didn't need to do for me but wanted to)

I might ask them on Friday to check my insurance, see if I can be covered to come back at LEAST once a month just to keep learning, keep growing, keep shaping myself like a sculpture. I can see a difference in the mirror. I can feel the difference, and not just physically. There's a change in my demeanor, and I'm not the only one noticing it. I'm more confident, I'm less stressed. I mean, I'm still stressed, but... it's not nearly so bad.

Skipping two appointments last week to spend some time in Houston with the boyfriend may not look smart from the outside, but that was necessary too. I needed a change of scenery, and a few days of nothing but peace and a lack of worry. I didn't have my scanner and wacom pen within eyesight, mocking me daily. I didn't have unfinished work looming over my head. Boyfriend happily paid for things this time around (whereas I normally grab the check before he can get to it when we go out to eat)

There was a noticeable difference when I got home. Less tense, less angry, less... everything negative. I'm still tired. Well, that might not be related to much of anything, I started shark week like the DAY I left Houston. So this last week of PT I'm playing in hard mode. ;)

Will bought me some simple headphones so I'm bringing the ipad with me to PT to listen to music while I do the cardio part in the beginning. I know myself... get the right music going and I will work up a sweat and have my heartrate right where they want it in no time xD

Maybe once I get some better income I can get a bathing suit that fits and come back to try their aquatic exercises too, to get more of the legs and hips moving.

I don't know. This whole experience may have started out shitty. I mean, who WANTS a car accident? But... it's changing how I look at myself. How I look at my body. Slowly I'm beginning to see my body as mine a little better. It's become such a separate entity in my mind that I was beginning to blame it, hate it, see it as an enemy. I always referred to my body and pain as something I was fighting all the time. Which worked for coping for a while, but... I need to work on not doing it as much. Because it's part of me, and something I need to relearn how to love and work on instead of hating and fighting.

I'm already excited for October. On the 1st is my anniversary, also the second-to-last PT appointment, and Will and I have reservations to a lovely restaurant in Denton. I wish to hell I had some spending money so I could grab a nice dress at a thrift store for the occasion. It's not a huge anniversary or anything, but it's been a while since he and I really celebrated it beyond a small gift or card or something.

<3 A lot of crappy stuff has gone down this month. "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is usually bullshit, but this time... this time it's been true.
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First physical therapy session done.

They started with a heating pack on my neck. Next they wanted me to do cardio but there's pretty much very little I can do physically. I told them that, he had me very gently try the stationary bike just to get the muscles moving. Moving is fine and it didn't hurt too bad. After that he showed me a couple of tricks to start breaking down some of the muscle damage and build some strength back up in the hips. All very useful stuff.

Then we got to the actual reason I was there... fixing the upper part. So we worked on my shoulders, including trying to strengthen my upper back muscles because right now my shoulders and chest are pulling at those muscles and weakening them which leads to spasms.

I'm sore right now, but it's clean pain. The therapist working with me was communicative, patient, complimentary, encouraging, and didn't talk down to me (especially when I told him I've researched a lot and have worked in the medical field)

So I'm sore and tired and chugging water like crazy but I'm encouraged by this first session. Next one is Thursday, then Saturday, then we repeat that schedule another three times after that. By then I hope my back is tougher and my shoulder and neck pain is lessened.

The range of motion in my neck is bad right now but the muscles are strong. That doesn't shock me, with hair this long I would HOPE the neck is strong. :P


Also, while I was focused on this today Will made a gofundme for a new computer for me so I can get right back to work as soon as the physical therapy has progressed enough that I can draw without either crying from pain or just downing painkiller after painkiller.

I miss work. I miss the comic. I'm going a bit stir crazy.

Also, since the accident I've now had two instances where I drank a bit too much and the affected muscles FREAKED OUT. So until this month is over, not having much booze. One or two drinks tops, anything more than that seems to exacerbate the issue.
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So, I'll be frank. I wouldn't be crippled right now, ten years after the fact, if it wasn't for physical therapy utterly ruining me. Yes there were other factors, but physical therapy blatantly ignoring where my pain ACTUALLY was and "treating" an injury that wasn't there tore my muscles to shreds and has left me a pain-ridden useless blob covered hip to feet in muscle scar tissue.

Tomorrow I start physical therapy for something else entirely... my neck, upper back, and shoulders. These pains from the car wreck have been keeping me from drawing, chores, basically anything with the upper body. Considering I'm already fucked out of my LOWER body... well let's say I'm stressed.

And fucking terrified.

I've had nightmares about this place for ten years. Terrified of talking about it, like saying it out loud would be some kind of bloody mary/beetlejuice bullshit and suddenly they'll magically find paperwork that they messed up and they'll force me to go back and I'll be stuck there forever, breaking more and more every day as they force physical punishments I can't endure, "therapy" that makes it worse, etc. It's illogical but that's pretty much what ptsd does to you, folks. This was a traumatic 6 months that's not left me for 10 years.

So even though the therapists I'm meeting tomorrow are civilians, in a really good facility with good reviews, and for an area of my body that ISN'T the crippled part... I'm still scared. Terrified. Worried. It might not make sense, logically. I'm arguing with myself so much. But it's there. I'm scared that they'll have no empathy, no kindness. I'm scared they'll ignore me and force me to do things that harm me permanently. I'm scared... I'm scared to lose the biggest thing I have left. Art.

I predict that none of this will be happen. These next four weeks of therapy will make my neck/back/shoulders stronger than ever. I'll be confident and I'll grow from it so much. I'll be back to drawing in no time.

But it doesn't erase the terror. It doesn't make it so I can name the place that broke me, because I still fear the name.

... It's okay that I'm scared. Fear doesn't make me weak. But tomorrow afternoon that fear won't stop me. I'll walk into that office and I'll meet who I'm working with and we'll fight this new pain together and it will be an entirely different experience. I'll be wiser from my old experience... if they turn out to be assholes, I'll leave. Cancel my appointments. Find another office... because I can. I'm allowed to do that.

I control the next four weeks. I'm not trapped. I'm not forced. I'm not threatened and abused and mocked and alone.

I'm terrified, but that's not going to stop me. I can't lose art too. I can't. But even if I did, I'll find something else. I'll survive, and thrive, no matter what the world throws at me. That place... the one that tried to destroy me from the inside out. I'm not there anymore. They can't hurt me. I don't ever need to go back.

I'll win this.
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Was in a lot less pain today. Slept like... somewhere between 10 and 12 hours. I needed that. Still tense, pain's still there, but it's not overwhelming. I spent the day forcefully relaxing. Will caught me on Photoshop and was all "I thought you said no art today" and I was like "I said no WORK today, this is for fun"

So I did a shit-ton of fanart. Mostly Dragon Age stuff, but started out with DC fanart.

So, yeah. Art. Relaxing and watching TV and movies with Will. Cuddling and petting the kitty cat when she was behaving. Will made cookies.

I needed today. I needed it a lot. :)
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In a good deal of pain. It spiked really badly at Panoptikon last night. I still had a good time despite this. The drive home was brutal. Had to take two heavy-duty meds to sleep through the pain.

Woke up late. We went car shopping, which was already the plan with Will but we took Roq as well considering his car might be totaled now. We tested a Mini Countryman and a Jeep Renegade. Leaning towards the second, mainly because of price. I slightly preferred the Mini but it's Will who will be driving it and making the payments so the Jeep is absolutely fine by me too.

Overheated while at the Jeep dealership though. It was really hot out and we spent too much time standing around in the boiling parking lot. That and pain and dehydration... I gave up and waited in the car with the A/C blasting.

After finishing up with the cars we had pho for lunch. It was really good and gave me just enough energy to be able to handle the drive to our friends' place for a party. Unfortunately the pain, dehydration, overheating and just general exhaustion made me sleep pretty much the whole time I was there. I felt bad, because I really did want to socialize. Right at the end of our time at the party I did what I could to at least make the rounds and talk as much as I could handle.

There was a second party nearer to home, a friend's birthday. I really really wanted to go, but... we stopped at the house so I could take my evening meds and I realized I was just too tired, in too much pain, too drained... just couldn't handle more people. Will and Roq both pointed out that there was a hot tub at this party that might help the whiplash pain stuff but I pointed out to them that I overheated today and sitting in a hot tub in August, even though it's night-time, is a god-awful idea. MAYBE I'll take a bath tonight or tomorrow. We'll see.

I have a massage scheduled later in the week. I also need to get checked out in general... neck and shoulders and upper back hurt like hell. Also want to get an ultrasound around my lower abdomen. I'm spotting... which could be because I'm ovulating and I have the IUD but considering how roughly the seatbelt dug in I worry the IUD is out of place and causing bleeding. That's PROBABLY not it, it would likely hurt and be bleeding a lot more. But I still want to make sure everything in that general area is okay.

Ugh. I just want to fall asleep and wake up healed.
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Car wreck today with Roq. We're both okay. I mean... I hurt. I'm tense. But I can't tell if any of the pain is related to the wreck or just the stress of it.

It's been an insanely long day. And I'm still determined to go to Pan tonight so it'll be even longer - but hopefully in a good way from here on out.
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It's been a quiet weekend. I spent a lot of it gaming. Stayed up late last night. Will got in late and was chatty so I didn't get to sleep until maybe 3-ish. The cat woke me up at 5 for snuggles. Woke up again at 9 for pills. Went back to bed and stayed until 11 or so. Got up, made myself some coffee (which I've been yoinking from Will, haven't gotten new coffee for myself yet)

I started on the comic while watching Netflix. When Will got up he took control of the TV to game for a while, which was fine. He was playing SWTOR and so long as I have a story going on the TV that I can half-focus on while working I don't get stressed.

Then at some point in the late afternoon/early evening I fucked up my back so fucking backly. I don't know what happened, really. I was sitting on the couch, I reached for something, and something just... twisted. Sharp crackling pain, intense and constant. I could barely move. I still can't turn/twist my back... after four different painkillers and hours on a heating pad I'm able to breathe again but I still have to be careful.

If it's still really bad tomorrow I'll see about going to a doctor.

Hopefully sleep tonight comes easy and I don't make it worse. I'll be keeping it easy this week. Soon as I can trust myself to get in and out of a bath without further injury I'll use hot baths too. Or hell just do that starting tomorrow but wait until Will is home so he can help me in and out of the tub.

We'll see how this goes.

Got the comic done despite the pain, though it took way longer than I would have liked. Didn't finish until after midnight. Hopefully the upload got through in time for a Monday update. Fingers crossed.

I'll also keep trying to work on commissions throughout the week. Just have to watch how I move my arms while I draw... got to make sure I don't twist my back too much. Because I did that a few times today and ow.

In other news, watching this new-ish show with Will called "Dark Matter". I like it so far, we got about five or six episodes in today. It's one of those shows I like watching with the thought of "ha, this is a roleplaying group dynamic"... and it really does feel that way. In a good way, mind you. Also totally makes me want to play a game in this kind of setting with the same premise (you wake up from stasis with no memory but a whole lot of dangerous skillsets and your personality in tact, whatever it was)

Oh and there's an episode where Ruby Rose plays an "entertainment android", so... that was enjoyable to watch. Goddamn Ruby Rose... *swoons*
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If I ever post/see a photo of myself from years ago and I lament that I'm not her anymore, here's a comment that doesn't fucking help:

"You're better now, you look like a little kid in this picture!"

#1, I call bullshit. Most the people who say this are people who hit on 18 year old girls all the time so clearly "looking like a little kid" is a selling point if anything. Secondly, you're missing a shitload of context when I say I miss my old body. Yes the youth and being thinner and all was nice, but you know what I mainly miss when I see those pictures? ABILITY.

Guess what I could do back in those pictures. I could DRIVE A CAR. I could hold down a full time job. I could walk without the cane for long distances. I could dance. I could clean the house easier.

I've lost SO FUCKING MUCH. So having my wishes blown off with just telling me I'm hotter now? Is really missing the point. And also makes me want to snap at people because it's inevitably the same people who are INTO women who still look like "little kids", so you saying that's a BAD thing in those old photos is sending a mixed message. You're either into that or you're not, make up your mind. ;P

But do not mistake my grief over my losses for just looks or me worrying that I'm not attracting men who are into little girls. I damn sure don't want THAT type of guy anyway so win/win. I'm missing EVERYTHING about what that body was capable of. I'm mourning a TON of losses, of strength and independence and capability. I miss it all. I don't want to look like I'm a little kid. I want to dance. I want to drive a car. I want options for my future that aren't painfully limited to what I can do from my livingroom couch.

So, please. When I say I miss what I used to be, stop making it all about my looks and your sexual desire for me now vs me then. That doesn't help. That's not what it's about. Laughing off my pain with "you look 12 in this! lol!*" just makes it hurt more.

(*also a lot of people making this comment were hitting on me years ago, so... what, you were hitting on me when I looked 12? Who's the creep now, dude? :P)
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I don't know what I ate or drank or took before bed last night but my dream got WEIRD. Like I woke up going "was this a movie I saw, or just want to see?"

In the dream I was a Korean girl, ALMOST sure it was North Korean but that part was fuzzy. I was young and my older brother had pressured me into this mail-order bride thing in order for us both to get to the US. It didn't quite work out in the "find a husband" part but unbeknownst to both my brother and I, the mail-order-bride service was a cover for the Korean government to secretly brainwash and train and experiment on these girls to turn them into super soldiers (unbeknownst to me because, you know, they erase that part of your memory)

So the mail-order thing doesn't work out, as I mentioned. My brother's mad that we didn't get to the US successfully so I run away and hide out at some all-girls boarding school or something. The government doesn't like that their super soldier just got away so they track me down there. Meanwhile I STILL have no idea, and am baffled when soldiers attack the school.

This is when a rogue soldier or ex-soldier or something from some other super soldier program (who looked like a young Schwarzenegger (yeah, random white dude in the Korean army, okay) like half the time but then just looked like another more believable human being) decided to help me out. He protected me while I slowly began to discover what I was, find clues that led me to find out about the super soldier project.

At the end of the day the rogue soldier helped out a lot and everything, but I realized my full potential and saved my own damn self.

Then I woke up.

And, as I said, went "... was this a movie? WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?"

I told Will about it. His response was "It's not a movie I'VE seen. But I totally WOULD."
shinga: (Default)

Upped my selfie game today.
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I might not have a working laptop. Well that's a fan-fucking-tastic thing to wake up to.

Seriously if I lose this thing I can't work. This isn't fucking funny, universe.

Tried multiple plugs, two different chargers, it's the first time it's been on today so I doubt it's overheated.

I'm half pissed half scared. I'll try it again when I get home from my appointment but this is not okay.


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