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I aitn't dead... and might be starting to live. [Nov. 8th, 2018|09:47 am]
John
Sometime in the summer, I realized the constant hip issues and constant fatigue from them was killing me - mostly because of the continued uncertainty, day to day, of what I could do.

Healing from a tilted pelvis is not for sissies - and it's like a programming job, it takes longer than you expect, even when you're sure you've accounted for "but it'll be longer than I expect."

But I'm 99.9% sure I've fixed almost all of the cross body issues - issues where the hip hurts because some muscle on the other side of my spine is trying to hold it in place, because the right muscles are engaged.

That's huge - at that point, there's less question about what's wrong.

But damn has it been exhausting. I'm responding to months-old posts sometimes, and I've been trying to keep up on DW, but I think I have two metric expletive-tons of tabs opened, and catching up the past two weeks would make it three.

On the plus side, I have more mental energy, most days if I slept well the night before. On the minus side, I'm less and less likely to sleep well as this thing winds down.

I'm still out there - I still care about you (yeah, you, reading this right now - you're important). And I hope to be engaging more now.
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Because it's nice... [Oct. 8th, 2018|02:18 pm]
John
I had to share this twitter link; living in a nation where it's better to be loudly, angrily unjust, than it is to quietly seek justice, we need some nice thoughts, to remind us that the world hasn't gone completely made - just some very important parts of the nation.

https://twitter.com/omgShutUpDon/status/1047466232700526594/photo/1
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Further damning evidence against Kavanaugh... [Oct. 1st, 2018|01:58 pm]
John
I had heard he'd made a statement to this effect, but he also made it during his prepared remarks:

"I was not at the party described by Dr. Ford."


That's a fascinating statement. He was not at "the" party described by Dr. Ford. Which party was that? I mean, we know it wasn't "the party at which Ms. (then)Blasey was assaulted," because, remember, he doesn't know _anything_ about her being assaulted. So again, _which_ party?

Life is *not* an Encyclopedia Brown story[1]. And yet someone learned enough in parsing facts that we are considering him for a seat on the Supreme Court, in prepared remarks, made a statement that contains damning knowledge (knowing *which* party he purportedly was not at), with no further explanation.

I wouldn't vote to convict him of perjury, and certainly wouldn't vote to convict him of sexual assault, based upon this statement. But that he makes such a damnfool statement, not off-the-cuff, but after careful consideration; and that he attacks this as a partisan issue (rather than a serious question that merits serious consideration); and the rest of his ridiculous testimony; convinces me he's unfit to hold a gavel at *any* level.


[1] A series of children's books in the US revolved around a character called Encyclopedia Brown - a youthful (12 years old?) detective who spotted flaws in stories told by wrongdoers - one example I remember is someone sees a knife stuck deeply into a watermelon and says it couldn't be *his* knife, his had a longer blade (longer than what? He didn't try to claim it was long enough to stick through of the watermelon).
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Just to make it clear... [Sep. 27th, 2018|10:14 pm]
John
Just to make it clear, the statements "I believe Christine Blasey Ford" and "this is ... (well, anything other than "a vital part of evaluating Brett Kavanaugh's fitness for the SCOTUS, but especially "a smear" or "an attempt to derail the nomination" or, especially, *ANYTHING* suggesting that it was late in the game, since Ms. Ford sent the information in with *PLENTY* of time for the Senate to perform its due diligence) are completely incompatible.

So, for example, Lindsey Graham? He's calling Ms. Ford a despicable liar.

(ob-Beetlejuice: "th-these are *not* MY rules!")

Look: if she's telling the truth (whether you believe the doppelganger theory, or something else), she was right to come forward, she did so in a timely manner, and chose to go public as quickly as we can reasonably expect someone to do so, given the (proven!) suspicion that doing so would lead to vile verbal and written attacks, and death threats.

The only way this can be a "smear" or an "attack" or "an (unjustified) attempt to derail the nomination" is if the accusation is not only false, but without merit. Even if you think "well, she thinks that, but she's probably some crazy (female dog) who doesn't realize she's making it all up" then you still have to admit that, given her perceptions, she was still doing the right thing to come forward, and not attempting to "smear", "besmirch", "attack" etc., Kavanaugh.

You see what I'm saying? Even if you think she's *DELUSIONAL*, once you accept that *she* believes, you have to accept she did the right thing.

The only way this is a "smear" is if she's *lying*.

So: everyone you hear saying "smear", "derail," etc., remember what you're *really* hearing.
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Woke up with muscle spasms - and that was the good news! [May. 24th, 2018|09:01 am]
John
There's an old joke about how, if you eat a live frog, first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you that day. Alas, that's probably wishful thinking, as I'm sure some condemned prisoners, kept in damp cells, have learned. The joke was given a sequel, too: if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to *either* of you that day!" and I approve - frogs need love too! It's not easy being green.

My right hip/leg had spasms this morning, and they've now released. It was a rude awakening (but effective!) and it was a good sign. My right hip now has a single set of muscles that aren't working right, and all the rest is fine. The muscles that reach from hip to knee are having problems because of a sore muscle in the back of my knee; because of that, the muscles that manipulate the hip itself can't quite make the flip to normal functioning because I already twanged that muscle, months ago, and it's still sore. No way I'm going to risk that again!

This means, roughly nine months after my birthday, when I thought "life, the universe, and everything, is giving me a birthday present, and unkinking my hip!" I'm almost done.

One thing that seems to have helped - by which I mean, caused more muscle spasms, but also more range of motion recovery - was cold baths (I tried to get the water down to the 50s - 58 is in the 50s! - with ice if it wasn't there already) to reduce inflammation, followed by a not-painfully-hot bath, both to improve circulation and make my legs a bit less friggin' cold. Initially, I was angry that my tub didn't get deep enough to cover my hips and legs. Then I realized a ziplock bag over the tub vent, and a set of magnets, would keep water from draining through the vent, and give me the few extra inches of water I needed. Kind of a shame, though, that I can't save tub water to water my lawn! I feel like a wastrel.

For these past 9 months, my chronic fatigue has been on a hair trigger. "Eat, work (be grateful I'm so productive at work that my boss lets me work from home as much as I need), sleep" has been the order of the day. And if you've ever had me advise you about mental health, I'll caution you that old demons creep back when you're tired/weak/sick. Let me assure you, that's from personal experience!

This isn't want prompted the angsty end-of-weekend/beginning-of-week posts - but it sure didn't help. A dear friend called me out for behavior that I didn't think merited it; add that to the sense that I have had no control over my life (because any day could have nasty muscle spasms, causing the next day to see me wrung out and useless) and it wasn't very happy-making. But it's over and done, and settled. (That doesn't mean we discussed it of course. Ah well.)

So I woke up extra early and the first thought I had was bacon... parboiled and fried. What's parboiling? Well, a likely false etymology is "partial boiling" - partially cooking good with boiling. You see, if you put the bacon in a pan, cover it (just a bit) with water, and boil off the water, you boil off all the water - the water in the pan, and the water trapped in the bacon. When the water boils off, you'll be awfully grateful if you have a non-stick pan - I don't know if I have the courage to try this in stainless steel! - because the water will also pull out some of the grease and such.

But once this is done, you can cook the bacon very quickly, without spattering, because the spatters are caused by small steam explosions in bacon where the water hasn't boiled out.

I don't even need to _tell_ you all that I was out of bacon, do I? :-) But the way I feel today, I don't think I'll be so exhausted tonight that I can't stop by the grocery store
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"My" rules.... [May. 21st, 2018|06:47 pm]
John
I've survived a long time, and I've come to understand the rules for social interactions.

snipped for angsty stuffCollapse )
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An announcement... [May. 20th, 2018|11:21 am]
John
A few years back, I learned that I was broken; damaged goods; and not worthwhile. I learned that every thought I have about friendship and love are outward bound - it's what *I* will do, not what I should trust in. I mean, sure, I have some good friends, but I'll never know *who*, not until it's too late. And when trust is catastrophically broken, after being given in every confidence, it's not something that just comes back. Of course, in retrospect, the thing was my fault - I was fully aware that I was damaged goods, and getting worse: more boring, less engaging, less happy to be around. I should have walked out at the sign things were going south, rather than believing I was fundamentally worthwhile, and that I shouldn't - this is a good joke! - DEPRIVE someone of my companionship if they want it. (My companionship!)

It was a really shitty time in my life because I couldn't talk about it. I had no one to talk about it to, except one person, and that, only because I so desperately needed a sanity check, to convince me that *I* hadn't gone crazy. In the medical sense, of course. In the real world, everyone knows I'm weird, and most even know I'm broken, so I don't worry about that.

Parts of that, of course, are perfectly legitimate. I am broken/damaged. I've got an emotional injury that makes it hard to be human, on top of the rest of the crap that chronic fatigue/depression/ADHD causes. My brain tells me I'm nothing but an economic actor - I make money, I spend money, and that makes the world a bit better, in a way. And my my mind and spirit tells me that I should make connections, that I should *be* more than that, while my brain snickers cynically.

It's fond of telling me I'm boring; I have too little time to be human; I'm wrong, because, hey, of course I am; I'm too much of a pest; and for the past six months, my body has been pretending to be getting better, while causing me more exhaustion, more days when I'm completely worthless and essentially stuck in bed.

Y'all, do what I say, not what I do: believe in your own meaning to the world. Yes, there are people who will hurt you; but you can walk away, and the hurt will fade in time. Yes, there are struggles in life, but always remember the adage "when you're going through hell, *keep going*." Because hell ends - or, if it doesn't, you'll never know if you don't continue, and sometimes, sometimes night really is darkest just before daybreak. Let hope, not despair, be your guide.

Love without fear. Give of yourself - no one else can give *you*, so you're the only one who can. Trust people, cautiously if you must, but remember the times when trust is kept, so you don't remember only the times it's broken. Cherish those who listen to you, care about you, and who want to know *you*. Go out there and live, as best as you can; it might be hard, but no one said it would be easy, and there's great joy to be found, if you can find it and have the capacity to feel it.

Be true to yourself - I don't say "be yourself" because your "self" likely isn't perfect, and may need to change, but realize that who and what you are isn't going to change. Channel the changes so they map to who and what you are, so you can be the best you can be. Some people are made to be gentle; if you're not made to be gentle, find another way to be kind. Some people are made to strong; if you're not made to be strong, find a way to be stalwart. Some people are made to be generous; if you're not made to be generous, be industrious[1] and fair. Almost everyone has strengths and flaws, and finding out how to use those things, to build a life one can be proud of, might well be the purpose of life.

[1] Bill Gawne once countered the notion that "greed is good," in the business sense, with the notion that what might be *good* is being industrious - working for the reward, rather than lusting for it.
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Help searching Amazon? [Apr. 26th, 2018|11:10 pm]
John
So, I made a suggestion to a friend that I'd be glad to use my Amazon discount to help stock some handy "grab and go" food. I'd kinda sorta hoped that they'd be able to put together a shopping list, but I realized that wasn't exactly the brightest of thoughts. Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

One thing that was called out was that they weren't looking for protein bars - which, alas, is one of *my* standbys - and, alas-sub-2, my mental, emotional, and physical energy have been low. Does anyone out there have any suggestions?
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(no subject) [Jan. 25th, 2018|06:52 pm]
John
I had an interesting run in with recursive acronyms recently. I had a reason to use the recursive acronym "MUNG," which is painful to expand, because it means "MUNG until no good", so it becomes MUNG until no good until no good for the first iteration, then MUNG until no good until no good for the second, etc..

It refers to how, if one fiddles and futzes with something long enough, they can really break break it. (See https://www.xkcd.com/349/ for a fine riff on the same idea.)

Then today, I was trying to explain something bad wasn't cause for alarm or distress, so I said that "No, it's just SNAFU, only the F stands for FUBAR". If you've never seen these acronyms before, the polite-dictionary definitions are "Situation Normal, All Fouled Up" and "Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition."

And then I realized, who said that the F in FUBAR doesn't reference FUBAR?

In other news, if you feel a bit like Wonko the sane (who built a house inside out to "lock up" an insane world for it's own protection), you have good reason. I sometimes feel like the Trump administration and the GOP congress is performance art - proving that there's nothing too ridiculous for them to do, and that the news media will continue to treat it as normal.

In some ways, I can't quite blame the news media. If The President says something, it's news. In others, well, if a liar tells a lie, repeating it as if it is as reasonable as the utterance of someone who is fair to middlin' honest isn't good reporting.

Ah well. What can you do, except, as the Dr. Who's Winston Churchill said, "KBO" - keep buggerin' on.
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I thought massage was supposed to help! [Jan. 18th, 2018|09:04 am]
John
Well, they did - but "help" in this case means "unlock my hip muscles, causing me torment." Before the massage, I thought my leg was twisted *this* way (gestures don't show very well, do they?). After, I realized I was mistaking "muscle going the wrong way" with "weak muscle". I was out sick last Thursday and Friday (though I worked some from home), and then was out sick Tuesday of this week, once I found a few more issues on Monday.

The human body is fascinating. Relative to how my muscles are supposed to work, I've found a bunch of twists where only one muscle of a pair was engaging. (In general, you have muscles working in pairs, one expending effort, and one stabilizing, and vice versa when you make the opposite motion.)

This time, I found my leg was still twisted through three dimensions. Literally - three pairs were fighting each other! I started to realize my body was a living model for the "hairy ball" theorem, which states that a vector field can't be mapped on a 2-manifold (the surface of a sphere - or a femur!) without vanishing (going to 0) or a discontinuity. Which is to say, if you tried to comb a hair-covered ball, you'd need to leave a part (goes to 0) or a cowlick (discontinuity).

I think I mostly have the "parts" back in place in both senses off the word. Like, Monday night, I realized I could do an actual pelvic thrust - before, my left leg was locked to my hip, making it a kind of lepelvic thrust - see, that's "pelvic" with the "le" of leg, so with part of... yeah, not funny, okay, *fine*! Hmf.

Has anyone else out there known of anyone who got through the, well, I'll call it "reduction" (like setting a bone, or putting a dislocation back in place) of a tilted pelvis? I keep thinking there *has* to be a better way! At times, I imagined sedation, a paralytic, and a skilled massage therapist, or chiropractor, untwisting things manually.

Now, for the next two days, I'm going to try to pretend I'm not even *thinking* about the nightmare I sometimes have, that this started because of some underlying injury 20+ years ago, and I've jumped from the frying pan to the fire.
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