shinga: (Default)
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.
shinga: (Default)
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.
shinga: (Default)
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.
shinga: (Default)
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.
shinga: (Default)
Another day sleeping in too late. But honestly after the DOOM-PAIN I brought on myself that slowed me down so much yesterday, I probably needed the sleep. I do feel a LOT better now. So I feel a little guilty and panicky for sleeping so much, but... if that's the price to pay for a healthier happier body then I guess I'm okay with it. Mostly.
shinga: (Default)
I put on make-up. Dressed in half-nice clothes. Felt good. Wanted to burn off some energy so I went to see friends I haven't seen in a while.

Made it three hours into the night before I wanted to die.

The ride home was miserable. I immediately laid down and just burst into tears from the pain. White-hot piercing stabbing pain.

Three hours. I was sitting for most of it, it should not have been this bad.

I'm so fucking... tired.
shinga: (Default)
PSA: Kids, sometimes you will say something to me. Something innocent, something that is not meant to hurt me. Please know that I KNOW you do not mean this. Know that I probably won't be angry that you said it. But sometimes your foot just ends up in your mouth. It doesn't mean we're suddenly not friends. It's just that, every so often, a topic is a sore one. If you talk to me about your walking-intensive vacations, your dancing, your exercising... every so often, especially if I'm having a rough pain day, it will hurt to hear. I will struggle with the loss and the pain and the jealousy and I might get upset. Not always. For the most part I'm pretty good about not hearing details about my loved ones' lives and making it all about me, me, me. It's just on the hard days, in the rougher moments. Moments where I'd kill to go on that vacation, where I miss dancing, the times I'd give anything to be able to bitch about how rough my two mile run was that day.

I'm not asking you to stop talking about your lives. Just know that sometimes this will be my reaction. I'm not angry, just... very broken. If it's a problem and I want the subject to be changed, I'll ask or I'll remove myself from the conversation. You're not actively the one hurting me, it isn't your fault, and it isn't about you. I just don't always handle the pain very well and for that I'm sorry.

Carry on.
shinga: (Default)
I did not waste my youth.

I was young, hot, able-bodied (or close enough to it) and I took every advantage. Sure in my teenage years I limited myself a bit much but then I joined the Army and really put myself at there. That had some admittedly bad last effects but in my early 20s I lived it up. I danced, I partied, I had sex, I explored life, I traveled as much as money would allow, there's very few people on this earth who can ever claim I threw that time away or didn't appreciate what I had.

Because in that time, I was in pain. And it was getting worse. I was young but I wasn't stupid - I knew eventually life would end up like it is now. Where I'd be in too much pain to move, to walk much, to dance, to have a lot of sex, to party. I knew my body would give up, I knew the pain would get to me and I'd be depressed and possibly alone. So I fought to fill that time up with everything I knew I could lose at any point. I pushed myself too far a few times, danced too much, partied too hard.

I have no regrets.

But it doesn't make it any less depressing, wanting it bad. It doesn't make it easier when some young 20-something flippantly complains to me that her knee hurts a little after hours and hours of dancing.

It's not quite the same as jealousy. I tend to see jealousy as me feeling threatened by something, this is just... me wishing I had something. Not because some one else has it and I don't, because it isn't about THEM, it's about me.

I miss dancing. I miss sex, I miss walking, I miss exercise, I miss feeling that powerful, I miss going days at a time without needing the cane, I miss driving, I miss working outside the home.

I miss... so much.

If a doctor suddenly cured me magically tomorrow, there's still a lot I'll never regain about being 21. And that's okay, age happens. But I could get dancing back, I could get exercising and sex back. I'll never have that youth back, but god I still wish I could get SOME of it back.

I'm so drained and exhausted from being some kind of inspirational cripple. I'm told it's amazing that the constant pain hasn't driven me mad. It has, in some ways. I'm worried about that getting worse. I just... I don't know. In some ways the pain has shaped me into a better person because of the patience and such that it's made me learn. I've grown into some one I'm happy to be and I'm excited for ANY future that offers more of that emotional and mental growth.

But as much as I've been able to help others going through similar things, I think I'm comfortable in the selfish desire to trade that in an instant to be able to dance and drive and work and explore and travel and... *sigh*

It's been a rough day for pain and a brief awkward reminder of my youth and the pain of losing those things kind of got to me. I'll be okay. Venting a little helped.
shinga: (Default)
I can barely move I'm in so much pain. We're having people over tonight. Will's aware my pain levels and is insistent that I ask him for anything I need. So... it should be fine. If things get too bad I'll go hide in the bedroom. Will has already given me a drink and some dark chocolate. Yeeeah. Gonna marry that dude so hard... right in the face.
shinga: (Default)
Yeah, probably need a new video card. Not very pleased about this.

Stepped away from the computer for now. Did some dishes. Tried to do more chores before pain got too rough. Checked the forecast to see if there's rain on the way... it says no but it's been extra inaccurate on that front lately. Ergh. Took a painkiller. Resting now and trying not to get stressed looking around at the mess. We have people coming over tonight. Friends... no one who would care much if the house isn't pristine. So long as everyone can sit comfortably and it doesn't smell bad it should be fine, but... the fact that it's out of my control is bugging me.

If the painkiller works I'll try to do at least a few more things.

Bleh.

On an unrelated note, I'm letting myself ignore "Wedding planning" stuff until Will's back from Austria. But once he's back? I want us to start checking out venues, talk ideas, make some really solid plans. He's leaving most the decisions up to me since he's been married before and thinks the experience should be mostly for/about me. I'm fine with this but I still want him involved every step of the way (especially since he's experienced). On the bright side I pretty much have my "theme" down, just have to make colors work for it and figure out dresses and decor and all that shit.

So, yeah. Lots to think about coming up soon here.
shinga: (Default)
This whole "in a fuckton of pain" thing really got to my head today.

I hurt myself last night. Not on purpose, not that kind of "hurt myself", nothing intentional. We were sitting and playing Pathfinder. I was in the comfiest chair. The chair helped. But the chair was also very close to the chairs on either side so every time I had to get up to use the bathroom I had to pull some fucking acrobatic shit just to get free. This involved some hip twisting... and as careful and deliberate as I was, I still managed to twist wrong and ended up hurting myself pretty fucking badly.

This was about three hours before the end of the game. I managed to focus enough to get through it, though a couple of times I had trouble adding numbers or remembering when it was my turn in combat. For the most part I'm pretty sure no one but Will noticed (except one person making a snarky comment about me getting my numbers wrong - he meant it playfully and I wasn't upset at him but it did make me feel a bit awkward for a while)

We ended around 10, the ride home was long and quiet. I took painkillers as soon as I got home (had forgotten to bring them with me - honestly didn't think it'd even be a problem) and crashed hard. Woke up around 2am when Will came to bed. The pain was... dizzying. I remember checking my phone and messaging for a bit before falling asleep on the couch. I woke up several times more throughout the night. I didn't want to take a second painkiller.

Woke up fully around... I don't know, eight or nine. I did okay for a bit. I don't remember much about this morning, really. The pain stayed consistently bad. A fellow local chronic pain person on FB mentioned that the weather might be a problem but that the pressure SHOULD change by tonight and hopefully relieve some of it.

My mood was pretty awful. I was hungry but unable to get up and make anything. The simple solution would be "ask Will or Roq for help", but I just... I got tired. I got exhausted. I'm so... so fucking sick of needing help with almost every aspect of my life. Yes this is a pride thing, in part, but it's also just craving very basic levels of independence and I don't think I'm being absurd or irrational in wishing I had these simple capabilities. Things like, I don't know, "being able to fucking feed myself", or other things like "getting myself to the goddamn store to buy milk instead of needing some one else to do it", or "drive myself to a doctor's appointment for once instead of begging every fucking time for help" or "pay for a meal for once instead of needing some one to pick up the fucking tab because you barely make enough money to pay the bills much less buy anything else because you can't have a normal fucking job".

I'm just tired. It's easy for people to smile and say, "But people love you! Just ask for help, they'll help!" ... I know they will. But I'm tired of HAVING to ask. And yes I'm also paranoid that their patience will run out. That eventually Will's going to wake up one day in a year or five or twenty and say, "I'm done, I am fucking sick of taking care of you, you offer nothing in return and I'm drained and I can't handle it anymore" and leave. It's not that I actively think he'll do this, or expect it to happen, but I still worry. Because I feel in my heart that it's true - that he has to take care of me and that there's a huge lack of balance in this relationship and eventually it'll destroy him, and us.

I don't know. It's not always so bad in my head. I know there's more to me than my physical capabilities or my ability to bring in steadier income. I know I offer more than that. But when I'm so overwhelmed by pain that I can't even eat? Yeah it's not easy to remember. It's not easy to convince myself that I'm worth a damn.

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