juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
I went down to Corvallis for my mother's 65th birthday almost-surprise party—not a surprise that there would be a party, but a surprise that out-of-towners, including her sisters, would be there; they also gave me my ride down from Portland. I am very bad at social events, even casual ones; I went and I didn't fail miserably (just moderately), so that's something, I suppose.

And I talked with people, uh oh. )

Then I spent ~10 days closed in Devon's bedroom, speaking to no one except a very good dog and occasional cat (and also Devon), lying in bed and reading, and playing the occasional video game; and it was approximately enough recovery.

- - - - -

I came back to PDX because I wanted to see my cat, and we made the mistake of driving up on a weekday afternoon because it fit every schedule except traffic and the first heat wave of the season. The car began to overheat once we hit the Portland traffic, so we ended up pulling off to the dead end of a residential street—a vacant lot and a half, tucked under an overpass and against a power station, nothing there but the shade of trees with their sudden vibrant green and the quiet backs to apartment complexes. We hung out for an hour, to let the car cool and traffic pass; I read 1984 for the millionth time. Then we drove home through back ways we know from when I lived in SE. It was, bizarrely—the unexpected 4-hour car trip, unseasonably hot, broken radio, rush hour traffic, and yet—a lovely, long goodbye, relaxing despite the stressful circumstances.

I hate summer, don't get me wrong. But summer is such an intense experience, so physically present, that the first signs of it conjure something akin to nostalgia: memories of spending all day in bed with all the electronics off, reading, reading, coaxing a crossbreeze out of my opened windows, and the anticipation of sunset and the full-body relief of tired eyes and tired skin. I saw that in the haven we found in that dead end.

- - - - -

These things are over a week old, now, but I've been been so tired lately; I've been having back issues for the last three or four weeks, the "wake up already in pain" variety, which is part of it. All I want to do is lay down and read, but the more time I spend reading, the longer the omnipresent backlog of book reviews becomes, fie. (It is so long.) But there've so many great books lately! Almost everything hovers at that 4-, 4.5-stars level, not quite flawless, but that can't really be a complaint.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
I had a dream last night that I made a deal with a witch so that she would spare my family, the price for which was unrelenting pain in my lower back, like the witch's thumbs digging into the muscles at the base of my spine, a localized, piercing, unremitting pain. (Last night was also the onset of my period; cramping means the first 24 hours of my period is reliably my worst back pain of the month.)

1) This is beautiful imagery; it's not actually how my pain presents but my internal mythology still wants to internalize it as a metaphor for my back pain, to live alongside the black dog as a metaphor for my crazy. 2) But if that's the case, what bargain did I make and why have I not got shit from it? 3) I suppose this is the thing about chronic conditions: to assign them meaning seems to give them purpose or justification, but the valid truth is that they have none—and pointlessness is a big part of the experience. 4) Apparently Hexenschuss (literally: witch shot) is a German word for lower back pain.

I had a quiet Halloween: I took Odi for a walk while listening to Tanis, and on the way home we passed a lovingly-decorated yard, including a cluster of human-tall handmade carnivorous plants; someone was out finishing the decorations and I was able to compliment them on it. We only had four groups of trick or treaters, and Dee answered the door. One day I'd like to be energetic enough for Halloween as an event, I suppose, but I've grown content with Halloween as a season, September through the start of December, and then the long dead spread of winter after that.

My only regret, then, will be watching social media make an immediate left turn to Christmas Town. I think stretching out festivals of light (especially in modern times) deadens their effect, and would much rather embrace the dark seasons so that they have something to contrast. There's still so many haunted stories for this time of year! Sleepy Hollow's bare branches and leaf litter is best in November; there's so many books about the punishing, barren wilderness of winter (the second of Cherryh's Finisterre books is waiting on my shelf for then).
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Last month was my birthday. Dee's family came down just before it (her brother and I share a birthday); her brother stayed a few days and her mother stayed some time longer. I went down to Corvallis in the middle of her mother's visit, to see Devon and go to dinner with my family. When I came back up I housesat for a weekend while Dee drove her mother back up north.

The company was lovely and only a little introvert-taxing. Dee, her mother, and I went down to Powell's for an afternoon and Dee bought me my birthday gift of books: three CJ Cherryh novels (one a reread) and the Steerswoman series that I just finished and loved. I went in with my alphabetized, color-coded* to-buy list and still barely managed to hunt everything down and make purchasing decisions in a reasonable amount of time. I'm used to feeling harried when I go book shopping, but I dream of one day having time to browse.

* colors since updated to reflect Powell's room colors, because it's a useful mnemonic and also pretty

The trip to Corvallis was mostly miserable, and I blame that on myself. Birthdays have become harder and harder, this one especially so, and when I see Devon I always dredge out my worst in some subconscious expectation that he will fix it. I've never matured, never become self-reliant; most of the frustrations in my life exist because I am a dependent, not a contributor—thus the long-distance relationship, living circumstances, material goods both frivolous and essential that I don't have, untreated health issues, &c. It's easier to get away with those things in your twenties, when people assume you just haven't grown up yet. But with each birthday, it's more obvious that I will never grow up; my maturation was halted by mental illness and now all my energy is forever diverted into dealing with the crazy. I'm aware that birthdays are universally fraught, but this one was especially dour.

Devon gave me Nagisa Momoe Nendoroid I've wanted for a while, though. That was good.



Nagisa/Charlotte/Bebe is one of my favorite characters of all time. I love her creepy/cute imagery and the way she changes the tone of PMMM; and while I had arguments with PMMM: Rebellion—and normally dislike mascot-/moe-bait characters—I loved her in the film. It's powerful and narratively-appropriate to turn a witch into a person, and, cutesy and mascoty as it is, I resonate with the cheese thing. I've called her Our Patron Saint of Cheese, and it's not quite in jest: she's an icon for the frustrating longing of what we want and can't have, which is indulgent and foolish but remains legitimate, none the least because it indicates why we can't have it (see: fan theories re: her character). There are a lot of things which would make my life better: if I were self-reliant, if being a dependent were financially viable, if there were societal accommodations for my dependency—all valid wants, so the smaller wants are valid too, even when petty or obsessive or in the form of a cute figure. And I have so many wants, small and large. To have her seems to prove the rule; still, I love her, my idol of wanting, so well-timed to my birthday-related frustrations.

When I saw my parents, they didn't have a gift, they just asked me to provide a wishlist of things I needed or wanted, with a subtext of "we can tell you don't really have the means to look after your basic needs; can we help via a birthday gift?" which is true, thoughtful, and hit too close to home: another reminder of the tie between my longings, my disability, and my age. I still need to write that list.

Anyway. I came back into town, had a quiet weekend housesitting the cats which I absolutely consider an auxiliary birthday gift. And then I was hit by a week of debilitating back pain, which (knock on wood) has since passed and which had no trigger, cause, aid, anything really; it was out of the blue and unrelenting. And as soon as that began to clear, my keyboard blew up. It did a low-key, static "acts like you spilled water on it" crosswiring, but no water had been in its vicinity for a year so fuck if I know; I unplugged it, made do to a shitty wifi keyboard; got fed up with shitty wifi keyboard, plugged my old one back in, and it worked perfectly again in a sort of universe-provided bit of gaslighting, "none of your frustrations or problems are real, ahahahahaha"—and then 24 hours after that it broke again in precisely the way it had before. I don't know. A new keyboard is here now, because unexpected necessary purchases don't trigger aforementioned anxieties at all, my old keyboard is probably possessed by capricious minor demons, and the answer of "how do I keep breaking keyboards when I've become so careful with them?" is probably: cats, who are less careful, and covered in fur and litterbox dust.

I've been reading a lot, gaming a lot, caught up with Critical Role which is, in itself, vaguely terrifying because it was such a long, immersive journey to get here; I am fervently not in my own head, because the only way to cope with the anxiety "I am not a real adult who can engage with life" is to refuse to engage with anything. I have my Bebe figure and I adore her. Everything else has been sort of shit, for reasons which stem from me, my vulnerability and inability and this persistent longing for a life different from my own, but, again: these reasons are real.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
Provided in bulk to cut down on spam. I am so behind in book reviews, as in all things. I've been quiet and I had some things going on around my birthday, and as soon as I was ready to write again I was hit by a few (ongoing, but today I'm stubborn, fed up, and working to spite it) days of unremitting back pain that medication just will not touch. But I've been reading a lot, and have more to read, and have been writing my notes in a fresh, new, larger Moleskine—5x8 inch; my last two were 3x5 inch, and there are benefits to both, but this larger size is so much easier to structure and to hold, and I'd forgotten how much I like it; summer is most definitely winding to a close, and I know because it rained today and Dee and I took Odi walking in it; I want to at least pretend to turn all that into some sort of record before the month is up. Ergo:


Title: The Geek Feminist Revolution
Author: Kameron Hurley
Published: New York: Tor, 2016
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 385
Total Page Count: 200,115
Text Number: 590
Read Because: personal enjoyment, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: A collection of short essays, most harvested from blog posts, about intersectional feminism within literature, media, and other geek spheres. This intersectionality is intentional, valuable, and imperfect—I wish it stretched to include mental illness, which is instead equated to bigotry in problematic ways. But on the whole, this is a step above white feminism or feminism 101, although it fails to say anything truly revolutionary. I'm not sold on the tone: anger is a valid and valuable tool, but the swearing combined with the repetitive style and content smacks of what it is: blog posts, edited but still informal and unrefined. I appreciate the intent of this collection, but as a published work I don't think it's particularly successful.


Title: Sword of Destiny (The Witcher Book 2)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Translator: David French
Published: London: Orbit, 2015 (1992)
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 380
Total Page Count: 200,495
Text Number: 591
Read Because: continuing the series, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: Six short stories, largely chronicling the dissolution of Geralt's relationship with Yennefer and his first interactions with Ciri. This collection is less enjoyable than The Last Wish, mostly because it has a slow start—"The Bounds of Reason" and "Eternal Flame" ("petty politics instead of dragons" and "a comedy of financial errors," respectively) in particular run overlong. It's also, arguably, braver, offering more in the way of overarching plot, reoccurring characters, and a dense emotional register. But that last is a strange: the gritty, crude worldbuilding grates against the persistent coyness of Geralt's emotions and even his actions. His character could be profound—but the production of profundity grows tiresome.

And the sexism, in the worldbuilding and the narrative, of course persists; that Yennefer's infertility is her sole motivation is predictable and simplistic. Again, in contrast, the female character themselves are complicated and strong, especially willful child Ciri—she's lovely in the title story, which also offers complex, solid worldbuilding and an evocative atmosphere.

I will continue these, and look forward to starting the novels proper. But I can't recommend this collection and, oh, does this series have problems.


Title: Cold Fire (The Circle Opens Book 3)
Author: Tamora Pierce
Published: New York: Scolastic, 2011 (2002)
Rating: 3 of 5
Page Count: 350
Total Page Count: 200,845
Text Number: 592
Read Because: continuing the series, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: Daja and Frostpine are working in the snowy city of Kugisko when a rash of devastating fires breaks out. The structure of this quartet remains formulaic, but this installment is surprisingly good. The setting, fire against snow in a well-defined woodworked city, is evocative; the plot is simplistic but the characters are not—gracelessly in the antagonist's case, but the supporting cast is strong. The nostalgia is toned down and the themes of maturation are less clear-cut, which gives Daja room to shine instead of slotting her into the series's formula. I still don't love this quartet, but this is one of its better installments.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
As a Christmas gift (which I picked up belatedly, since I skipped Christmas) my parents got me tickets for their Ashland trip to see Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and The Wiz. I used to make at least one yearly Shakespeare trip with my family, and miss it fiercely; it was particularly painful to see these plays on their calendar, because they're personal favorites and because we saw them together once when the Shakepeare trip was to the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon. So when they told me I was invited, I actually broke out in tears.

Of course, as the actual trip approached I remembers to be consumed by anxiety, because I'm not good at a lot of uninterrupted public time, especially without Devon with me, so I didn't know how I'd fare in three days company with my parents. But not only did I survive, it was a lovely and storied journey. I'm not going to write about the plays in detail here (that will be in the next post); this is a recap of itinerary, weather, and food.

We left noonish on Tuesday, June 14. It's a ~3h drive. I requested no news coverage in the car, as this was two days after the Orlando shooting and I just could not deal; instead of a few uninterrupted hours of repetition and Islamophobia, my mum put on the Hamilton soundtrack. I was aware of Hamilton and had heard a song or two, but had never listened to the entire thing. It is such a productive, powerful way to spend that time.

We got a divided room at our favorite hotel, which meant one king bed and sofa bed, separated by privacy curtain. For both mental and physical reasons, I'm a troubled sleeper—but the accommodations plus the bedding and hotpad I travel with, and the hours we kept, worked beautifully; I was surprisingly comfortable there. We also kept a two meal/lunch and dinner schedule, which is what I prefer.

Hotel wifi was speedy and stable (!!!); I used VoIP to catch up with Devon every evening (because normal people have cell phones but my particular anxiety means I don't), and that worked beautifully.

Tuesday dinner was Standing Stone Brewing Company. I got nachos; greasy, sometimes chewy chips, which was unfortunate, but the rest was flavorful and had good texture. Huge serving portions. Mixed bag, but, like, upscale tasty nachos, I can't complain about that.

The ongoing problem with eating in Ashland wasn't finding vegetarian options, but finding vegetarian options that had at some point rubbed themselves against a form of protein. I eat significantly more protein than most people, so perhaps this only bothers me—but while vegetarian (and vegan, and gluten-free) options were often exhaustively labeled, the first two were "normal dish with meat removed." I forget how spoiled I am by meat alternatives in Portland and even Corvallis.

Tuesday evening was Hamlet, in the open-air Elizabethan. Rather than raising an American flag, they raised a pride flag to general cheering; it was striking against the gray sky of dusk, and a heartening public gesture. It sprinkled just enough to warrant rain jackets, and got cold enough to demand one more layer than I wore, but neither required modifications to the play. I would rather it be a little chilly than horrible and hot while I'm traveling, I thought! Oh, little did I know.

Wednesday and Thursday brunch was Morning Glory, which is twee (a bit like stepping into a Mary Engelbreit illustration) and crowded and overpriced, and doesn't accept substitutions which is hard for me as a vegetarian/picky eater. On Wednesday I had a fantastic open-faced egg sandwich, but on Thursday I tried an omelet which was overly full, too strongly flavored, and had an awful texture. Mixed bag.

Wednesday afternoon was Twelfth Night in the Angus Bowmer. Afterward, my father and I went to the Q&A with Ted Deasy, who played Malvolio—what a marvelous experience. The volunteer introduced him as one of their favorite actors in the company and said that, after this talk, he would be one of ours too; absolutely correct. He had active, informed insights to his role, the play (esp. how it handled gender), and acting, with some particularly thoughtful anecdotes about how playing two characters in a single season forces those roles to inform one another, often in unique ways. (The particular anecdote about an audience member from a previous Q&A like this one asking, "I saw you in X play and Y play this season; why do you perform both roles the same?" which prompted a season-long bout of self-doubt, do I play these roles the same? why? should I? that lead him to realize what similarities united the roles, and then to be increasingly aware of how the overlap was both strengthening and muddying his performance.) The occasional talk by an actor devolves into them advertising their independent projects, but most are equally as compelling as the plays—and this was one of those.

Wednesday dinner was Caldera. A tip: when possible, eat as early as possible and/or drive outside of downtown; no waiting for a table and less rush. The dishes weren't particularly strongly flavored, but were robust; and one appetizer was a baked avocado, which isn't even that different from a normal avocado except for being warm and with a somewhat deeper flavor, but was still somehow a revelation: I can love avocado even more than I already loved avocado. Desserts, by contrast, were bizarrely strong in flavor.

Wednesday evening was The Wiz in the Elizabethan. Learning from the night before, we had stocked up on extra layers and a blanket. This helped somewhat, but not an awful lot, because it rained. It rained almost torrentially until intermission, and then only sprinkled while growing increasingly cold, "I know I probably won't die of hypothermia in the two hours' traffic of our stage, but I'm a little worried" cold. About two thirds of the audience left, and we toughed it out in part because you don't go to Ashland to bail on a play and in part because the cast enthusiastically toughed it out, too. Half of them wore ponchos, I'm sure some choreography was modified, and the adlibbed responses to the weather were delightful. Certainly an experience! But, as we commiserated after the event, by the time they made it back to the Emerald City we were all three of us thinking, "click your heels, Dorothy, just click your fucking heels."

Anxiety is a strange monster. On one hand, it well prepares me for this sort of thing, because I know to bring my suitcase full of comfort objects and I know to always have a book to read so that I never have unwelcome idle time which is my surefire way to begin panicking (and there's a lot of downtime in car rides/waiting for tables/before plays and during intermission). On the other, it infallibly makes me assume things will be awful, while things are not infallibly awful. It turns out that, given a busy enough schedule that we are either completely occupied or crashing during all available downtime, even I can do things for three solid days without a nervous breakdown.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Title: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers Book 1)
Author: Becky Chambers
Published: New York: Harper Voyager, 2015 (2014)
Rating: 2 of 5
Page Count: 410
Total Page Count: 187,610
Text Number: 551
Read Because: about a thousand BookTube recommendations, buddy read with Teja, ebook borrowed from the Multnomah County Library
Review: The crew of a wormhole-tunneling ship makes a long haul to their next job, a planet occupied by a strange, violent race. So: what it says on the tin, but only nominally because plot is not the point; rather, the journey is a mere vehicle for interpersonal exploration. The crew and their interactions span a wide variety (which is almost satisfactorily alien), and the messages within are often hamfisted but as obviously well-intended. It's creative, snappy, sappy, heartfelt; rather like Mass Effect on a smaller scale. But all of this was ruined for me by one plotline: Ohan's, which is ultimately about spoilers )—a message that hits me close to home and which I find inexcusable. This perhaps shouldn't eclipse the rest of the book's more successful diversity, but, for me, it does. I can't recommend this, or forgive it.


Longer form, more anger, explicit spoilers, as posted to tumblr:Read more... )


Shorter form, more swearing, as sent to Teja: Read more... )

Teja and I have remarkably similar responses to the novel, despite our different tastes (he has more tolerance for feelgood, I have more demands from narrative structure) and the fact that illness and autonomy isn't a hot button issue for him. We've had a lot of back and forth chatter about most character's arcs, which—while not always positive—certainly indicates that these arcs are engaging. We both were disappointed in the dearth of plot, and the fact that the mega-arc was the least developed and most redundant of the bunch. But the book is a promising combination of elements, and I can see why it's had such positive reception; to me it feels like Mass Effect, and he compared it to Firefly—speculative/found family opens the narrative to a lot of creativity and feels. If it hadn't been ruined for me by Ohan's storyline I still wouldn't've loved it, because the tone was too cheesy for me, and he didn't either. It's hard to call a book with such an obvious, weighty, and varied interpersonal focus "insubstantial," but it sort of is nonetheless.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
A week ago: While sitting up in bed, I threw out my upper back. How? with magic? a perverse force of will?? My trapezius on both sides were just gone, goodbye; everything hurt, but the worst offenders were sleep and the computer. I have a huge pain tolerance and endless experience with back pain, but it resisted every one of my treatments. (In retrospect, I should have iced it—the one thing I never do for my lower back, because it causes cramping.) What is it about a different pain that's somehow worse than chronic pain, not so much because it is worse or even more debilitating, but because these carefully honed coping mechanisms are now inapplicable. I've been dealing with my lower back for 15 years; I should either be exempt from other pain, or equipped to deal with anything. I was not. It went about 4 days without improvement, but is now back to normal anxious-person's-muscles level of ow.

A few days ago: Dee's mother's dog, Casey, died suddenly. Cut for brief discussion of pet death: Read more... ) This is not my immediate pain, but I still care immensely. All dogs are good dogs, but he was such a good dog, surfeit with love, content if he could just lean on you or lay against you and be touched. And so obedient, especially when I knew him and his puppyhood awful (of which I've heard horror stories!) was gone. And so engaged with his people. The loss hasn't quite registered for me, yet; but I've never been so glad that I had Thanksgiving with him and Odi. This was Casey: one, two, three, four.

Last night: Dreamed the mother of all anxiety dreams: I was back in school, living simultaneously-via-dream-logic at Devon's parents's house and in a boarding environment, and became convinced that the environment was so unhealthy and I was so stressed that I shouldn't have pets anymore, so I drowned August by luring her into a swiftly-flowing river with treats. Cut for suicidal ideation: Read more... ) I know what factors underlay all aspects of this dream; it was still singularly awful.

Tomorrow: Taking the train down to see Devon, to celebrate our 13th anniversary. (See: dreaming about his parents's house.) This is absolutely a good thing! It also bring with it "I have to leave the house" anxiety and "why do I have to travel to see him after thirteen years?" anxiety. It has been a long and strange week, an unearthly haze of blurred vision and intense pain and abstracted loss and anxiety. It will be good to make a clean break with it by traveling.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
That massive depressive episode that began with my sister's cancer diagnosis finally died a lingering death (I gave up tracking its length by the end, it started in July 2014 and lasted until ~June 2015, so it was basically a year of my life), but a ~month later I had a resurgence of my normal month-long (I think, I hope, but I'm not measuring; I'm too tired for real records these days, I'm just trying to wait things out) episodes, so: I have been absent-ish from social spaces/friendships because I'm not feeling great; it's not a severe episode, but I was just beginning to feel hopeful about recovery when it began so it's bitter and gently spirit-crushing. You know, more than depressive episodes usually are.

- - - - -

May-June back pain episode did resolve a few days on Tramadol.

- - - - -

Dare is settling in well! When you adopt a pet, but especially a cat, you make an (informed, one hopes) gamble: they are their own people, so, while they do adapt, their underlying personality will shine through. We gambled well with Dare—her outgoing nature counterbalances her blindness, and makes her a good fit into the house's preexisting social structures. What amazes me most is how bright she is, how proactively engaged with her environment; she's more aware than anyone in the household, nevermind not having eyes.

- - - - -

Made a brief visit back home: my sister got a puppy, a Red Merle Australian Shepherd named Tiber who is currently 3 months old. She's still living at my family's home, so Jamie (who is now far into Old Lady territory) has to deal with him. He's ... well, he's a puppy, engaged and bright but overflowing with energy. They're doing pretty well by him training-wise; Jamie isn't pleased with the new dog.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
(Previously discussed here.)

Went to Devon's for a week, spent four days on Tramadol (three doses in three days, two days off, one day on; timing was largely happenstance, but it worked out well). It was a lovely trip for obvious reasons—Tramadol is by far my favorite drug—but also did what it needed to do and essentially hit a reset button on my pain cycle. My back is still bad, and I'm unsure what degree of bad or what this sort of bad indicates in the long-term, but it's a sort of bad I can treat, now; before, nothing was touching it.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Making a note here, huge success minor failure: I've been dealing with another episode of worse than usual back pain; my first recorded note of it is two weeks ago, so I imagine I'm actually at the three week point now. I'm not sure if it's an independent episode or another "this condition keeps getting worse" escalation (see: old entry describing the escalation-plateau cycle). I do know it's resistant to naproxen sodium, and I don't have access to the big gun painkillers for another week. I do know it's at least as bad as the episode I had in 2012 (the one where my hotpad broke from overuse). I do know it's interfering with sleep, because everything (sitting standing lying down sleeping) hurts. And I know that with my period starting, I have ~36 hours of cramps to look forward to on top of/aggravating the preexisting pain.

That's it, no deep thoughts about how my back makes me feel, because I'm exhausted; but I know I want to have these episodes recorded and tagged for future access.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Just got back from a week in Corvallis, a longer than average trip because I caught a cold on the way down. It was pretty minor, in large part because I had Devon to look after me and didn't try to travel while sick. I was nervous when I developed symptoms because I'm never great at dealing with adversity but I'm particularly shit at it right now, so I'm thankful. Unfortunately, finding ways to sleep with congestion has done a number on my back and I imagine I'll be recovering from that for a while.

My parents were out of town by the time that I was well enough to visit the house, but I did stop by to pick up a bag of Liberty apples (a tradition; these are my favorite apples in the world) and this year's crop is phenomenal, firm and tiny—I find the smaller fruits to stay firmer longer, be more flavorful, and be an ideal serving size.

While I was there I had a nice long talk with my sister; we haven't talked in person since her diagnosis, so the conversation was long and weighty and hugely reassuring. She's halfway through chemo, and has run into most of the predictable issues but none of the big and dangerous ones. I've always had an unshakable faith in her ability to deal with this, and that's not something that I say lightly: it's something that I know I couldn't deal with, not right now and maybe not ever; I believe that praising a sick person for their strength and bravery can easily slide into the realm of the problematic and belittling. I have a lot of predictable, essential anger at the whole Cancer Thing: it isn't fair and she shouldn't have to be strong—but she is: she has an intense capability and self-control and will, she's giving nurses and doctors What For to ensure she gets the treatment she needs and is able to continue to work and live as she wants to, she's dealing with intense emotional burdens with great aplomb. I'm proud of her and it was nice to have the chance to say so.

All that she's been dealing with also makes me confident in my decision not to get tested at this time, because I cannot do what she is doing.

I was also fairly honest with her about how I've been, which was—well, it was weird. Weird and pleasant, I mean; it fit the situation and felt good to share. But I tend not to be forthcoming about my personal life/health issues with my family, and there's something about the sentence "sorry, I've been too busy being sad to be present and supportive while you were diagnosed with cancer" which triggers every anxiety about the veracity/severity of mental illness.

I'm at ~4.5 months with this major depressive episode, which is by far the longest episode I've had since I dropped out of school; I'm sure that what's been going on with my sister has contributed to its longevity. The day-to-day experience is somewhat more tolerable than it was at onset, but I'm so worn down that it barely matters.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Sometimes I want to give people a sign that says I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE DEPRESSED (slash ANXIOUS slash MENTALLY ILL) and then have them wave that around instead of talking.

This is directed at no one; it is a whispered response to a complete internet stranger that wasn't even talking to me. Just so as that you know.

I'm still not doing great. Two weeks ago my sister graduated from the University of Oregon, so I went for that—and Father's Day, as it was the same weekend; and attendant extended family (uncle and his family, grandfather with wife) activities. To my surprise I was happy for her almost entirely without jealousy/resentment (on account of my failed college experience), although graduation itself was mildly triggering. The whole weekend went fine and it was absolutely exhausting, in part because events like that always are, in part because of some specific circumstances, in part because I'm still just not doing well.

It's depression, mostly at this point. The back is still bad, more or less, but it's plateaued at this new level of always this bad and so I'm learning to live with it. That was hard to do over the graduation stuff, so I ended up trying two new happy pills. Verdicts: Vicodin (hydrocodone/paracetamol) was moderately effective but had more side effects, largely spaciness—intense, emotionally non-responsive spaciness. Neurontin (gabapentin) was extremely effective, rendering all my muscles (all of them! even my shoulders, which hold tension, not pain) into limp noodles and me likewise; I experienced some moderate unsteadiness but Devon, who would better know, says it did less to my cognition. Neither were as awesome as Tramadol, but 1) they were out of Tramadol and 2) much of my love of Tramadol stems from its side effects, which worries me. Would I take Neurontin again? Yes, but I'm not constantly thinking about how badly I want to take it again, which makes me think it's the better drug for me.

After graduation I stayed a few more days in Corvallis and just spent time with Devon, and they were good days, but the monotony of depression is a mire, it rises over anything good and renders the entire landscape a bland sort of miserable. It's been months of this now, it's dull and not worth recording, and I invite it to fuck off, please and thank you, at its earliest convenience. This time around it's killed my appetite, which is fantastic because I just didn't have enough food-related neuroses; but no one wants to hear about how hard it is to shower or do laundry, and I don't want to write about it.

Dee and Devon both have been angels, in their limited possible capacity—further "it's not you it's me." I could write about August but I don't know how to do her justice. No spoons these days, so evenings when she's whining for food can be torture, but when I got back after a week in Corvallis ... she always demands immediate snuggles, and we had that, but seeing her again also rekindled this love affair and we've been head over heels for each other since. She is my cat in this devastating, heartfelt way, and I have never known a creature so beautiful. That doesn't idealize her, and I don't think she's half the cat I was expecting when I adopted her, but even at her most annoying I would not change her for the world. Even when the intensity of this love fades down, again, to background noise, the truth of that will not alter.

And everyone should have an overenthusiastic wigglebutt of a puppy come to meet them at the train station.

It's not awful but it's not good either, these days, and at this point I'm just waiting them out, but I might as well mention that they exist and so, still, do I.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
I've been trying for about a week now to link to [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling's My life as an essay question without writing a very familiar post about feeling less than okay.

So let's get that part out of the way: My back is still not awesome but it is, at this point, under control; I am however probably in the midst of a major depressive cycle, because it's been a few months now of feeling not so great, and even if my back instigated that it looks like it's here to stay. That's not particularly enjoyable, of course, but neither is it that big of a deal. On account of the current state of my daily life and an actual, exeunt support structure, this is a minor version of a major depressive cycle—it's worse than my usual dysthymia, but is not aggravated by external stresses and as such it really isn't that bad. My major depressive cycles usually last about six months; they used to occur in six month rhythms (six on, six off, six on again), but they're more infrequent now that my situation and thus, to the degree that it can, my mental health have improved. The only way out is through and so I'm probably going to be doing this for a while longer—and if this is the new level of my back pain, then aspects of it will be indefinite—but I'll survive.

But no matter how I phrase the thing, it's still rotten. At this point in my life it's rotten in a mild way, a manageable way, and I'm grateful for that. But it will never not be rotten, and this episode is a six month reminder of that.

So. [livejournal.com profile] naamah_darling writes about filling out the functionality report of her disability application. When I applied for health insurance I went through a smaller, similar version of the same thing. Talking about your health issues, putting them out there for someone to approve or disapprove (because after all, who better than a biased stranger to stamp "legitimate" across your health problems?), is painful and shameful. I don't dare apply for disability because I don't think I could survive that process and the probable results.

But more than that it's what she writes about the frankly pathetic side of being mentally ill. About the days you waste, and the way your life looks like a vacation, and the fact that none of that makes it feel one whit better. The embarrassment of what you can't do and won't do and where that leaves you. That's why I'm linking, I guess. I write too many posts about the frustration and anger about being trapped in a cycle of pain, be it mental or physical. I don't want to write one more. But this matters to me, it is me, it's how I've been feeling these last few months and so I might as well link.
juushika: Screen capture of the Farplane from Final Fantasy X: a surreal landscape of waterfalls and flowers. (Anime/Game)
Beautiful changeable spring weather, today. Took a walk while waiting on an install—I left to gray skies (rich as velvet, the perfect backdrop for all the verdant spring gardens) cut through with swathes of yellow sun that reflected off the pages of my book (Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House, a month or two too early but still impeccable). I had planned to walk the height of the peninsula, but found myself walking the width towards downtown St. Johns instead, and the fewest drops of rain began to fall from the sky. I figured I might as well stop for a coffee and some reading time; as soon as I found a seat with drink in hand it began to pour outside, a slate blue sheet of it, soaking and solid. I read a chapter and left to pale gray skies and the beginning of sun, not a drop of rain but the street corners still flooded, listening to Vocaloid on my headphones. I came back to Odi in the kennel, wagging his tail; he whined and I ignored him and went upstairs, because that's what training is. On my flist were two [livejournal.com profile] damnportlanders posts, one bitching about bad bicyclists and one searching for people in samurai armor.

There is no city like this one, and few places that I would rather live.

Odi is settling in well, by the way! The first day was exhausting, but now that the OMG EVERY SINGLE THING SHINY NEW has passed things are settling into a more manageable routine. He's still a puppy, mind—goodness but he is such a puppy. The mind of a young dog amazes me. They don't yet know how to filter things: this effects me, this I can ignore. His first ringing phone, his first bicyclist, his first cat were all overwhelming, so direct and relevant in his dog brain. Jamie—my family's dog—doesn't seem to notice these things at all, anymore, televisions and passing cars; Odin's only just starting to filter them. His energy is halfway boundless. His intelligence is impressive—watching him go from constant hand-biting to reacting to "no" to, now more often than not, opening his mouth and lifting it towards a tempting hand or pant-leg and then turning it away so deliberately that you can almost hear his interior monologue of "wanna but not suppos' to." We can tell when he's getting tired not because he settles down but because he gets more rambunctious and less obedient. He's taking to crate training with aplomb, has only had two accidents, both caught mid-stream and occurring in his first few days here. and has pretty much picked up on "good," "no," and variations of "get it" and "bring it." His favorite game, other than chew the rawhide until has been reconstituted with dog slobber, is to carry a toy back and forth between Dee and me when we're at either ends of the downstairs hallway.

I haven't been doing horribly well, lately—my back just won't get better, and I guess I should stop expecting it will, but that's .. sort of soul-destroying, in the way these things are. I think it's fair to say I've been depressed, leaning towards the major depression side instead of the dysthymia side, complete with fucked up sleep and eating patterns and a shameful inability to do difficult things like clean my room or shower. It's a blessing that Odi is Dee's dog—not that I haven't been interacting with him, not that I don't try to be at least a little useful (mostly by playing with him, so she isn't quite so constantly interrupted and consumed by the dog), but that I can sometimes go upstairs and it can be just me and my cat, quiet and alone. But while a dog is no miracle—while there aren't miracles—I think there are fewer things in the world which are so full of pure joy and energy as a 4-month-old puppy.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
In Corvallis, housesitting while my father is in Calfornia, meeting my mother at the tail end of a long stay in Texas. They'll be down there a few days, visiting friends; it's just Jamie and me in the meantime, hangin'.

Devon and I went round one in mission: tame the back pain last night. "Is it any better?" "Yes, actually." "It'll be worse tomorrow." And it was, starting when I woke at the end of my first sleep cycle at 3a, and I slept like shite on account. This battle with my back has been one of the toughest yet—in part just because the pain's been bad, in part because it's been going on for weeks now, in part because it's been one factor in many: exhaustion, maybe some depression, triggering (but good!) media, people I know with mental health and substance abuse issues, people I know with chronic pain issues, all of them filling my head to one whirling blur of problematic thoughts. But they are primarily thoughts; the only thing which is concrete is the pain—and even that is half as often phantom pain, a pain I can't feel directly but still know to be there because it effects me or just because I know. Writing about it seems insincere—like I'm appropriating other people's much more pressing issues, or dwelling on passing problems, or just making up problems entirely. Ten years in on this—my back problems started when I was abroad in England at sixteen; it terrifies me, in a way, that it's been so long—and I still don't believe it's real. On some level, I still think I'm faking it for attention or just because I enjoy being miserable. If I don't have rights to it, I certainly don't have rights to all the other thoughts, that blur. Before this trip I'd reached a point somewhere between resigned and angry, where I wasn't even trying to treat it anymore, I wasn't trying to do anything but watch TV and not think, but I was also taking these long walks despite a 80 degree heatwave, trying to pour all the agitation into blisters and sweat, trying to get so tired that I could actually sleep.

I don't know.

Today Jamie and I went for a walk. 60 degree weather, overcast and windy. Jamie's coming up on ten herself and often it's hard to tell, but man did all the uphills tire her. She's sleeping well, now. We went up a hilly residential street and into the Timberland forest, a walk I've made hundreds of times. I found sacred art in the woods, feathers tied a vine on a tree with bows of red fabric. They added a new road and residential development up that way about a year ago, and I hadn't been up there since, but to my surprise so much of the wilds are still intact—the field is gone, but the path beside it remains, and you can still walk in nature instead of beside a road. The wind was noisy through the tips of the pines; outside the forest, wild iris dotted the path. I felt grateful to be there. I ... haven't felt that in a while.

I really don't know. On one hand I'm full of thoughts about what it means to have a decade of chronic illness behind me (and a lifetime more to come!), and how I consider myself an alcoholic who's just never had a drink, and how ironic is that what keeps me from drinking is primarily that I'm too mentally ill to obtain alcohol har har har, and what it means to think about suicide, and if it changes things to admit that I think about suicide, and ... and. And yet I come here to a boyfriend that loves me beyond reason, and there is wind in the trees. I don't know how the two balance out, right now.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
This is my life: In the midst of some of the worst back pain I've experienced, my hotpad kicks the bucket. This is my darling, beloved wet-heat hotpad of which I have written odes because it is that good—or it was, because what probably killed it is the fact that I've been using it for hours every day on full heat, not because it wasn't performing to spec but because my back has come to require industrial-strength heat.

And today, it won't go more than four degrees above room temperature. (Which is mid 70s through mid 80s, what the fuck, but still.)

I imagine wet-heat hotpads aren't a Fred Meyer sort of thing, and so Devon and I will buy a new one online and if we do it will only be here in a few days, but. This is the icing on the shit cake, such as it were. I had about one spoon left and I used it up being mildly anxious about what I'll do about the pain now, but at this point I can barely care. Honestly it's laughable. I needed my hotpad a lot so I used my hotpad a lot so now I can't use my hotpad at all now that I ... still need it a lot. Universe you so hilarious, yes you are.

(This beautiful beast lasted me seven years, however, and I've been pushing it harder and harder with each one, so don't take this as any kind of negative recommendation. It's an awesome pad and I loved mine and do recommend them. It just turns out they aren't indestructible, and this is a super awesome bad time to figure that out.)
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (I should have been born a cat)
Made the train trip home from San Francisco yesterday, the best overnight trip I've had. They turned off the bright overheads at night (they don't always; yes, it's cruel), my seatmate barely look up her side least of all encroached on mine, and everyone learned an ingenious trick from the woman across the isle: put your feet up on the fold-down tray, do it do it do it. It exhibits no grace or manners, and you can't stretch your legs out all the way, but who cares because it's the only thing on the damn train that creates an acute angle at the hips and so takes pressure off the lower back. I actually got a few hours of sleep, I only took one pill, and I was not in incredible pain.

When in San Francisco I almost feel like I could live there. Express is a fantastic roommate, because we know each other so well and because he works out of the home, and I will drink up all the downtime you give me. The most basic acts of housekeeping seem like miracles to him—he'd do well with a roommate, I think, if it were someone he knew well or a lover: someone to dirty enough dishes to warrant using the dishwasher, and make the occasional miraculous dinner. It makes me feel like some sort of domestic goddess just to make a quiche, so. The city is visually fascinating, although I haven't fallen in love with its social culture. The weather is tolerable—fantastic, for California. There was even a thunderstorm when I was there.

And then we come up over the mountains and down the other side, the evergreens start to fade into deciduous and it begins to rain, and the world outside is the Willamette Valley and I'm like: yanno what, never mind. There are actually a few places in the world that I would love to live, but they all look like this (verdant yellow green against wet black-brown with the spring) and they all have this heart-gripping sense of home.

If I dare try to do something foolish when walking in the door after I've been away—like, say, check my email—August will climb all over me with an awkwardness that's unusual for her and stare at or bite any hand which is not occupied by petting. My best bet is just to lie down so there are no distractions and she can throw herself against me, a black puff made solid by desperation and purr. This time I ended up with her sprawled across my chest and belly (let's face it, she's not a small cat) while I lay on my back, nose nuzzled between my breasts but her tummy up in a dignity-less feat of flexibility, and we touched each other all over until we had been painted in love (and I in cat hair).

I was going to tell a funny cat story here but, you know, I think I'll save it. What matters is that I love her. I love her so much that it feels as though my heart may burst.

And I came home to this on the whiteboard:

The whiteboard when I came home from San Francisco
Best roommate? Best roommate.
juushika: A black and white photo of an ink pen. (Writing)
Last night while trying to sleep I composed a lengthy Tumblr post in my head, one which should more properly be a number of posts because, well, it's Tumblr—go tl;dr and go home. Yet writing an LJ post, lengthy or otherwise, seems difficult these days. I know in large part it's just that my daily distractions are focused around content that ends up on my Tumblr, namely Let Me Tell You About My Video Games.

It's also that I think my back has reached a new level of suck ... probably since the start of this month? Time is fuzzy. It's that sort of stealth/background pain that I think I don't actually know I feel, which makes all of this sound like the worst sort of bitching: behold, the suffering I experience because I can't tell I'm suffering! But it ruins my mood and my patience and tries do to the same to my brain; I don't know how there can be pain I don't recognize (freakishly high tolerances? loss of feeling in my back? skewed expectations? yes to all of these things), but it's no better for that, I still get almost all of negative repercussions of pain with even more limited ability to treat it.

I was worried about this before the trip, and stuffed myself full of naproxen sodium on the train, and could tell the exact moment that the pills wore off. I hate medication; the only reason I'll take this one is because it treats cause as much as symptom, relaxing muscles instead of just dulling pain. I used to be able to get away with just one happy pill every other month, as a sort of system reset. Because I never take meds, that little blue pill was so effective. Now I can feel it as the effects wear off and behold, it all comes back.

In case you were wondering, reading back through my back pain tag is one of the more depressing things I do to myself.

There's two things about my back problems which are soul-sucking: the permanence and the progression, in short: it will continue to get worse for the rest of your life. Every now and then it does this, it climbs a little higher, gets a little worse, hurts a little more more often, until it finds a plateau further up the mountain which seems nice and has a good view, and decides to rest there for a while. The climb hurts in an active sense because pain one isn't used to is always the hardest to stomach, and adjusting to the new plateau is effortful: deciding how much of the pain I can tolerate, and figuring out what tools and pills may hold it at that point. And, atop that, knowing that not only am I settling for "how much pain can I tolerate," but that the cycle will continue and I will learn to tolerate more and more, forever—that's almost as hard. It may be as much of what destroys me as the pain itself.

Which is to say, as I think I had a point under all that:

This isn't a climb and plateau in my usual sense because it's almost all been stealth pain, but I think the cycle is repeating once more. I don't like it. I don't like it in a way I have no words for but hyperbole. I'm in an awesome place with an awesome person, and I'm distracted by ... this. This little view into "maybe this isn't just a bad week, hell it's been a lot longer than a week, maybe this is the future." This reminder that that tend to be exactly how it works and guess what, self! there's shit all you can do about it. I'm also a bit restless and grumpy on account of pain doing that to a person, but there's something more, insidious and miserable, my little whisper into a void about something bigger than this moment. I don't want this, I really don't want this, and I know that in a universal sense all of this is so small and I just don't care. I don't want this anymore.

And let's be honest, writing about that doesn't make anyone happy.
juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
That moment when you strip the bed and start laundry and almost put a book in the wash.

So I'm heading back to San Francisco this weekend, to spend about ten days with Express. I've been having some sleep issues coupled with another spike in back pain (the sort of which I don't really notice until I mention offhand to the boy that "oh, I've been in excruciating pain lately"—and you think stealth pain would be a blessing, but it just means all of the fatigue with none of the ability to treat it and a bonus feeling of utter disconnect with your own body), so I'm going into this with a mantra of "I can't hear you, I can't hear you." It's not that I won't love being there, it's that I'm afraid I'll exhaust myself just by preparing to be there and then I'll be done with the visit the minute I arrive. So I'm not doing an incredibly intelligent advance packing job, or thinking about it overmuch, but I figure I'll try not to forget underwear and this is Express: I know him, I don't need to fuss about any of this.

And it'll be a good visit.

I was down in Corvallis a week ago, and came back to a cat who for a full 24 hours would not leave me: the only time I was not obligated to hold her is when we were both lying in bed. She hasn't quite caught on yet to the fact that I'm leaving again, but she's starting to figure it out (just wait until I pull the suitcases from the closet). It is ... good to be loved. When I first moved up here, it was on a weird "I don't know if I'm visiting or moving!" basis, and while we'd talked about a cat—a cat has been my lifelong dream; of course we did—it wasn't until I actually started signing paperwork a the shelter that it hit home that I had a ... sister/daughter/dependent. I still manage to spend weeks away, in Corvallis, taking the train down to San Francisco; Dee is an angel who doesn't mind feeding a rabid food-beast (and a half: there's Kuzco, too) and otherwise sharing a cat. But I'm tethered, now—not just to a place, although I love it here (but I've lived in and loved so many places over the last few years—those are less permanent), but to a person, a floofy little cat person who climbs on and over my shoulders until I let her bury herself into my lap.

Last time I was headed to San Francisco I wrote a near identical post—hmm. Oh, except then August had just started to sit in my lap—and now I have a semi-permanent fuzzy black lap tumor, guys, you don't even understand. I fell head over heels for this cat in the first moment, but we have become kin now in a way that's easy to take for granted, the way that mostly sounds like "hey August no one cares shut up" and really means "I love you move than anything in the entire world."

The minutiae of a depressive's daily life are pretty boring, even when half her wishes are fulfilled (cat! friendship! city!). I consume too much media and think about food a lot and have problems sleeping and snuggle with my cat: it ain't fascinating stuff. And when I'm in San Francisco I'll consume more media and think about food and have problems sleeping and snuggle with my friend, who is hugely unlike a cat but I guess that's a good thing. Still it's a bit of a revelation, each time: that in the midst of being me, my life can still be this—not always, which is fine: it would exhaust me; but sometimes it's pretty wonderful.
juushika: Photograph of the torso and legs of a female-bodied figure with a teddy bear. (Bear)
My father has tried to make the attempt to get me health insurance as easy for me as possible, handing as much of it as a third party can and then finding me a professional to help with the rest, and I'm beyond grateful for it—because not only is it wonderful in its own right, it shows a knowledge and tolerance for my inability to handle ... well, you know, basic adult responsibility. That's not something he's had, at least not so explicitly, until recently—and while it's not something he should need to have, it means a lot to me that he does.

But neither he nor the professional helping us can do everything, and the little bit that still falls to me has me tied up in knots inside. I need to contact my old doctor to try to request info they probably don't have* in order to give one insurance company information they don't actually need**, and it's been weeks now and I just ... can't do it. It means making a phone call, to talk about my health, with an old doctor because I haven't seen a doctor in years, because being a grown up and doing grown up things is literally beyond my abilities—and once that's done I have to do more paperwork, and send it in, and then wait to hear what else I need to do before this business is finished—meanwhile both of the other people involved with this keep sending me emails checking in and asking for updates. It's like a checklist of things of things that make me anxious, and would you look at all those tick marks. Instead of being grateful about the enormous kindness my father is showing me, I'm failing to do the few tiny things I do to repay him and I have no excuse for it other than lalala I can't hear you.

It came at a bad time, at the end of a busy month when all I wanted was just to sleep for a week and do nothing social for two more. I don't even know. When I write it, it sound small and I sound irresponsible, but there we go. This is the sort of thing that keeps me up nights.

I mean literally. I'm trying to right my sleep schedule after spending a few days in reverse: sleeping at dawn, waking an hour before dusk. I sleep better during the day (read more) and like shit at night (read more) and for those reasons among others I do this sometime, wander around the clock. I'm lucky that I can, no responsibilities or schedules, but it's not a good thing, no matter how peaceful it is to sleep in sunlight. It means that I'm worn so thin, that the anxiety is worse than usual and sleep is even more inaccessible, and that I have to go into full isolation- and indulgence-mode to get by.

So I stayed up a day and a half and took a nap and stayed up some more, eking out half hours of waking daytime, half-lucid and very tired—and then as soon as nighttime proper rolled around and it was okay to sleep I didn't want to. And here it is at 3a the next day and I'm doing the same. It's not even a present sort of anxiety—I've been procrastinating this so long that I honestly am forgetting to call instead of thinking about it all the time and trying to make as though it's slipped my mind. It's a background thrum, a general depression, a desire to be not here and not me for as long as possible—but not via sleep, now now, not while it's not safe to sleep.

Every time I write a post like this, I end by saying: I have no big conclusions. It sounds pathetic when put in words. I'm writing for my own records. And each time I find myself in this cycle I feel betrayed anew: by my body, for creating the problems that need doctor's signatures; by my brain, for finding every reason—the problems, the signatures—to be upset about it.

My sister comes back from studying abroad in Italy on Saturday. My parents are picking me up, then her, and we'll go out to dinner and then take her home. We'll decorate the tree while I'm in town, and Hanukkah begins on Tuesday. My father's birthday is on the 21st. There are many reasons why I need to be rested up and sleeping nights; reasons why I want to be happy. Instead, I'm still not sleeping.

* I have minor scoliosis and major lordosis. Scoliosis is frequently diagnosed and, when diagnosed, measured in degrees of curvature. Lordosis is a rarer diagnosis, has more complex points of curvature, and as such is rarely diagnosed with a degree of curvature. ** One insurance agency wants the degree of curvature for my back, by which they assume scoliosis, which is basically asking the wrong question: that number alone doesn't warrant a diagnosis; it's that it aggravates a more severe back problem that makes it an issue. In other words: fuck you.

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juushika: Drawing of a sleeping orange cat. (Default)
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