Monthly Archives: September 2006

24 hours

I quit smoking. It’s been 24 hours since I’ve had a cigarette.

I am going to stay quit this time as I never want to go through these first 24 hours again. I can not pick up a cigarette and start again, because in a few months I’d want to quit again and go through this pain, then.

This is probably the 10th time I’ve quit. The longest was for most of a summer then I picked them back up. That was stupid. But, so was starting smoking as a young teenager, and continuing to smoke until I was 31. We’re looking at 17 years of being addicting to nicotine, plus 2 years before that of having a cigarette here and there.

Can you imagine what my lungs look like? I know how they feel, fucking awful. The coughing and the shortness of breath will not be missed. The smell on my clothes, my breath, my hair. The ashes on the desk (even if you’re careful, they float around.) The yellow fingers and yellowish teeth. None of it will be missed.

I can do this. I will make it through the first few days, then the rest of my life. I’ll find ways to destress other than lighting up. Even if that means I’m chewing up every pen without reach. I will, I’m done this time.

Bad Day

I hurt. It has been one of those days where the pain just stays on me all day. No relief, no matter what I do. So, I sit here and shake. I have no idea why but, it is how I cope. I do it in my sleep, as well, according to Tony. I shake half the night away.

Blogger is open to try and distract myself but the only thing I can focus on is the pain. I did my physical therapy exercises this afternoon and that just made everything worse, I laid down for a bit which made the back spasms work so I got back to sit and shake.

I am now keeping a pain journal (on paper, which is a novelty) since that was recommended to me by a few other chronic pain patients as something to give my doctor when I see her in October. Good lord, October 12th is so far away, I don’t know how I’ll make it until then. I hope and pray that they’ll do something, then. I’m even pushing myself harder to quit the smoking as I can’t go on anything for the nerve pain until I’m off the Wellbutrin to quit smoking.

And, I have to quit smoking. I am so tired of the smell, the taste, the disgustness of it but the nicotine withdrawal is horrible. I’m slowing down, on the Wellbutrin and have my quit date set as the 21st. On the evening of the 20th, the cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays are gone from me. I will put these down and leave them down this time.

Wow, I am all over the place here. It’s amusing to have to correct my typos from the shaking and rocking, though. I should have just left them alone. Maybe, I’ll do that one day.

For now, I’m laying back down.

Fuck

First, Nance is still there, she’s just updating in the open so go to nebshit.com to see her.

Now, I should have known better to have gotten some faith back in the medical system. Today was my followup at the orthopedics clinic. Different doctor.

A resident like last time, only this one was an asshole. The only thing he kept saying “You’re not a surgical candidate, yet.”

Well, no shit, sherlock. That’s a few years down the line, if I let you idiots into my spine in the first place. I asked him “What can we do for my pain?”

“You’re not a surgical candidate.”

“Can you send me to a pain doctor?”

“You’re not a surgical candiate.”

“I can’t spend the rest of my life like this.”

“You’re not a surgical candidate.”

Jesus H. Christ, since when do doctors think of nothing but surgery? What happened to the fucking JCAHO standards on treating pain? I guess they fly out the damn window if you aren’t a surgical candidate.

I told him the physical therapy was making things worse. “You’re not a surgical candidate but, you need to spend more time in therapy.”

My left foot isn’t working properly any more and caused a fall. “I don’t know” and a dumb look.

I was so close to leaning forward and snapping his overgelled hair into shards that Tony was ready to pounce and stop me from killing this punk ass kid. And, I mean that. When you are 31 (and that is all I am, 31) your doctor shouldn’t be that damn much younger than you.

And he did my favorite version of diagnosing a patient. He didn’t even look at my back. He looked at the initial x-rays, told me “The narrowing isn’t that bad, the degeneration isn’t that bad.” When the last doctor who saw the x-rays told me he could see the degeneration, pointed out all the herniated areas and bone spurs.

You know what? I wish I could reach into his back and turn his spine and nerves and discs into how mine are. I wish there was a device where I could show him how much pain I’m in every day of my life. And, I wouldn’t even wish it to be a permanent pain. No one deserves to suffer like this. Not even a asshat of a resident with no bedside manner.

The first resident I saw at Ortho will make a great doctor. He had a reassuring manner, was calm, and even though he didn’t help the pain, he listened to me. That right there is half the battle. The one today? He’s going to be the kind of doctor that you avoid, unless your insurance covers no one else.

Years

After posting the below congratulations to Rob, I got to thinking about how long I’ve been reading journals. I started reading various journals when I was just posting weekly notes to my Geocities website about what I had been doing.

Which means, I’ve been following some journalers as long as I’ve been married. Or longer, for that matter. After 8 years of following people, you get to know a lot about their lives, and you think about them when they don’t post, or when they post something worrying. It’s normal from what other journal readers have told me.

I got to meet some journalers at JournalCon DC. In fact, it was the first time I got to meet any journalers. The first person who talked to me was Pineapple Girl. In fact, she realized that I couldn’t push my wheelchair at that point (hours of travel in the heat, and in lots of pain and I just was wore out.) She wheeled me to the registration area, which in that hotel was a pain, as the floors had some odd things going on causing the wheels on my chair to want to go this way and that way.

She introduced me to several other journalers, including Rob (who looked shellshocked and spoke very quietly, I later learned Rob is very shy at first.)

I had a good time that weekend, connecting with people from TUS, 3WA, and various journalers from all over the internet. I didn’t spend as much time mingling, as others did, as it is just harder for me to do, with my gimpiness.

The best time that weekend, though, was being on a panel with TranceJen and Weetabix with Mo moderating it. Those women are funny and wonderful, and just amazing. I laughed so hard during our panel that I thought my face was going to crack open.

What really saddens me is that JournalCon seems to have died, there isn’t one this year, not even a mention of it. I had hoped to make it to another one, as the (and I hate this term) old school journalers, are really a great group of people overall.

I know that everyone in the world has a blog now but so many of them aren’t personal at all and you just don’t get the feel for people the way you used to.

There are still a lot of us long timers on TUS and 3WA but, the community really has changed. A lot of people have private journals, that you have to be friended or passworded to read, many have quit entirely. It’s odd and sad to see a large part of what made me like the internet drifting away.