Too broken to know better.

I don't know why I did it. I shouldn't have. I know better....

But I listened to her sing.

And she wasn't horrible.

And in an alternate universe, one where it didn't involve me getting shit kicked in the head for it to happen, I could see why someone could fall for her because of it...

If I were more arrogant, or had even the least bit of confidence left in myself, I'm sure I could list off things I have or am that she isn't, but let's be real, I'm broken and damaged. My long ago ex left me with a traumatic brain injury before I hit the age of 25 and my very dutiful luck picked up where he left off. Needed a surgery. Had the surgery. Ended up with a type of anemia that has fatal in it's damn title as a lovely little side effect from the surgery. Didn't know this for eighteen months, though, so picked up some more brain damage along the way from a lack of blood to all the important bits. Yay.

And thanks to all that, I feel like any of the good shit I did hang my hat once is gone....

So, who is left of me other than someone who isn't as good as her....

I really shouldn't have fucking listened.

Self-Isolation Meal: Shepherd's Pie.

I will survive. We will survive. We must survive the shit storm magnified dumpster fire of a year. (I would normally say something here about "if it kills us" but I'm a touch concerned that might be construed as insensitive given the real chance that it could kill us.)


Let's be real, this shit has put us through the wringer already AND IT'S ONLY FUCKING MARCH!

In my world, I've got four people stuck in this house with each other, one does nothing but eat everything in sight, one person who is hungry all the time but never for anything I make, The Teenager who is out of school for the rest of the school year and then me who is apparently allergic to food now, so I've got to sort out food options that use what we have and what we were able to get at the giant pain in the ass of a grocery run that happened the other day....

So....

Drumroll, please......

It's fucking casserole time. Up first: Shepherd's Pie.


Well, Cottage Pie, technically, since we eat it made with ground beef in this house. My requirements for this meal were simple: The only starch we could get at ShopRite the other day was potato, so I made a pound of ground beef, a pound of mashed potatoes, a super simple beef buillon gravy with canned corn and canned green beans and bam (!), a casserole that I pray to the gods feeds these animals for at least three meals.

It's Thursday. And I'm in love. With a lotion...?


This post may contain affiliate links.
I am supremely cheap. I can be open about that. I run a four person housebd on essentially no money, so we wouldn't survive if I wasn't. Especially when everyone in the household insists on acting like we're not on a budget when I'm making the weekly shopping lists.

Because of that part, I have to do the coupon thing on a regular basis and sometimes I find some surprises when there's a solid sale and a coupon and that's what happened with this amazing Nivea Daily Moisturizing Lotion. Normally $7 at my local ShopRite, this stuff was never on my radar. I go for the cheap stuff. Like a buck. Max. Luckily, this happened to be on sale for $3 with a coupon for $2 off, so it slid right into my One Dollar maximum.

And I swear I'm in love with the stuff. I'm a shave my legs everyday type of person and then religiously put lotion on post-shower, but with my recent flu bout, I've been less inclined to care about the shaving thing. And also the putting lotion on after a shower thing. But for four days, that's through four showers, and four drying my legs and then hanging out in the super dry winter environment that is my house in February, my legs stayed crazy soft.

So, the next time I see a coupon and a sale, I'm stocking up, til then, hello Amazon!

I'm alone, I'm alone, I'm alone, but I'm not lonely.

That's a lie. Actually all of its a lie. I'm almost never alone. Between The Teenager, The Husband and the SiL, someone is ALWAYS at the house with me...

Gone are the days of being able to run around naked or in a thong.. Hell, gone are the days of feeling like a sexual being in any way, shape or form...

Heard a story about a (non)friend's relationship about them being on "sexual probation" and it was all I could do to not busy out laughing. Sexual probation at least infers that maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel... I'm not certain there's a light for me. And it's shaken me to my core.

Anonymity is bliss.



There were some rather significant benefits to being anonymous online... And while it really doesn't matter as my choice to go public was not my own... Here are a few...

I never had to sort out how to explain to my dad the true extent of my brain damage when I was anonymous...

I didn't have to take shit from people who have never met her but said they're trying to defend my sister in law from my "vicious" attacks of her online when I was anonymous...

I never had to cope with seeing pictures and videos that someone sent me for the express purpose of fucking with my head when I was anonymous...

I never felt alienated for truly expressing my pain when I was anonymous... Specifically the pain of the emotional sort.

I never had to inspire resentment for the shit my crew has taken online thanks to some deeply personal attacks that couldn't have existed when I was anonymous....

As much as anonymity protected others from knowing who I truly was, it seriously protected me from having to know some things...

Ignorance is bliss and for that I truly miss it...

Delusions of Disability: A Tale About #UHateDisabledPeople. Part Two.


Now, the fifteen or twenty days following are a bit of a blur. My brain had started down the path of irreversible damage and as anyone who has dealt with that particular issue knows, the beginning of it, when you don't know what's happening to you or how to cope with it, is the toughest period. My brain is medically worse off now but I've had four years with it and even though it's gotten progressively worse thru the years, I have tricks to handle it now. And a really solid grasp on how to find the words I'm really looking for by using the words that are actually coming to me. Not a perfect system, takes fucking forever and it wears me out so easily, but it wasn't like this then... I sounded like a stroke victim. Seriously. From what I remember of it anyway...

For a while following the first quarantine, I was getting regular transfusions, regular b-12 shots and I was maintaining some level of blood in my body. And over the next six months or so, I fought my ass off to feel more at home in my own head. First I learned to talk. Then to write. Then to walk. And then my doctors told me I had a good grasp on my hemoglobin and that while the damage, both nerve and brain was done, I was at least not going to need to fuss with the anemia thing anymore.

They were dead wrong. A bit less than a year later, I ended up with a hemoglobin of 2.4...

So along with the damage I'd already done, I was now progressing it at a very rapid rate and as of the ten minutes into my first transfusion, I could no longer feel my legs. Not in an "oh, they're asleep" kind of way or maybe they felt weak, I genuinely could not feel them at all. I recall banging on one of them while yelling for one of the nurses to look up and when they did, they unanimously responded that I was fine and I wasn't feeling what I thought I was(n't) feeling.

I was. I very much was. And I didn't walk again for nearly a year. And even then, it was with limited range and a lot of pain. I've gone through ebbs and flows with my leg strength since, to the point where I would be considered an ambulatory wheelchair user, meaning I can stand for limited periods before the pain becomes too much and I can walk for a bit before the pain level becomes too much, but inevitably, I will need my walker, a cane or my wheelchair in order to keep going.

And that wasn't the only super fun side effect that came along with the extended lack of proper blood flow to my brain with that go round, I also developed more cognitive issues, delays and that sort of thing, and a condition called peripheral neuropathy in all four limbs. And not just a nice fun starting point of neuropathy, my shit went straight to 11.

My hands and feet suddenly felt like I'd plopped down onto a fire ant mound in the middle of a Texas summer. And even now, years later, it hasn't stopped. I take medication for it that I try to avoid if possible. It's not very helpful, takes me to about a 7 on that unhappy pain face scale, but it at least makes it easier to not cry from the pain so constantly. It comes with its own problems, though, the worst being called brain fog. I can't think when I'm on it. The line that usually follows through on thoughts in my head has vast potholes in it, and my memory just deadstops. I've tried other medications and they made other physical issues worse, so my choice is feeling like an idiot who is still a solid bit in pain or crying all the time from the pain, well, I take my meds mostly as directed.

Throughout all of this, I have lost my ability to be a contributing member of society. And it fucking hurts worse than anything else of it. I'm a hard worker, I have a work ethic that was instilled in me at a super young age. I got my first job at 16, went full-time as soon as I graduated at 17 and then I stayed with Best Buy in progressively higher titled positions for five years past that. Then I worked for a large wholesale jewelry company in progressively more responsible positions for years beyond that. Then a newspaper and I was managing the classified department in less than a year. Then a medical school. Then I chucked it all and became a traveling freelance journalist who was quite successful. I'm proud of everything I've done...

And now I can't do any of it. Anything I write has to be dictated, and by the time anyone sees it, I or someone else has been very heavily editing it to make it somewhat readable. While I can write things with a pen, I've got about a page in me before I have to rest for hours. If I try to research things like I've done before, it takes me days, not hours now... I simply am not the capable person I was before...

And so I did something I assumed I never would have to do, I applied for disability using the system I'd been paying into since my first job I started at 16. I allowed myself to see it for what it was and that the system was there for people who needed it and I need it. And now? I've been in appeal hell for years. I've been told over and over again that they see no reason why my life is impaired while I've been on a medical rollercoaster that has taken what feels like everything from me.

The first denial/appeal hit me like a brick. I had already tortured myself with this decision when I first applied. I felt horrible about doing so. It felt like giving up on myself and than I just needed to overcome my issues and get my life back. Eventually I came to accept that what I had wasn't something I would have anymore. And it wasn't because I just wasn't fighting hard enough for it. My world has changed. My body has changed. My brain has changed. This is just where I am now...

And if I've accepted it, as fucking much as it hurt and as hard as it was to do, why must I now be told over and over again that I'm just not trying hard enough?

It takes everything in me to force enough food down my throat every day when eating hurts. And then supplementing with weekly shots that burn like hell. And IV treatments of potassium that hurt so bad I want to scream (and often do). And transfusions when all of that doesn't keep me strong enough to stay alive. And ER and ICU visits where I lose time because my brain is eating away at itself bit by bit by bit. (As an example, my last ER/ICU stay had me thinking I was a 12 year old for nearly 20 hours. I kid you not.)

So for years now, along with the psychological attacks of being told what is simply isn't, I've been struggling. Purely existing only via help from friends and family. I've had no income and no means to create one. I've needed help from a system I've paid into, but I keep getting told no and I'm wrong. It feels a bit like they're waiting me out, like if I die, they don't have to worry about it, so why not just keep ticking off that 'denied' box?

For that, and to the system I say: #UHateDisabledPeople. And yes, I am a disabled person.

Delusions of Disability: A Tale About #UHateDisabledPeople. Part One.


On March 1st of 2014, I went into the hospital for a routine surgery. One they told me I may as well have because just because they couldn't find any gallstones using imaging, that didn't mean they weren't there. So they went in and removed my gallbladder and, surprise surprise, there were no gallstones there. Just inflammation that is now believed to be tied to a chronic Lyme infection.

And my life would never be the same.

Most people's body's rebound after a gallbladder removal, some simply don't and I sadly fell into the latter category. My body didn't even come close to rebounding and every doctor I told about it reacted like I was being dramatic.

I started spending most of my time in the bathroom and what little I had to be able to spend on the outside of the tiny porcelain prison, I was spending in misery on the couch anticipating my next adventure.

After a year of this, I was experiencing extensive fatigue, my skin was losing all it's color, I started to feel stupid with my new memory issues and cognitive decline... My body was so weak that I could no longer stand or walk without significant assistance and even with that, moving a few feet was torture. I was delusional. Having hallucinations. I went through hours where I couldn't talk, and then when I finally could, all I could muster the words up for were statements like "This is what dying feels like," everyone around me legit thought I was just being an asshole.

Long story short: I was on my deathbed. as part of my body's super duper fantastic plan to not rebound from the surgery, my body stopped producing Intrinsic Factor which means I was no longer absorping the B-12 my body needed to make blood.

So I had none. Well, almost none. Technically my hemoglobin count was 2.1 with a hematocrit of 14. Had I not finally gotten a doctor to take me a little seriously, and I do mean just a little, I could practically hear her eyerolls, I would have fallen asleep and simply not woken up likely within days.

I was admitted to the hospital's ICU and given immediate blood transfusions. So immediate that they fucked up the crossmatching on my first. Within a few days of realizing they didn't know why I was the way I was, they released me with a generic diagnosis of Pernicious Anemia, of the B-12 variety. Prescribed shots in hand, I was also given a laundry list of specialists to go see but before I could even get in to see any, I was in an ambulance on my way back to the hospital a mere two days later.

My hemoglobin count was higher but everything else in me was still broken. Delusional again and hallucinations still omnipresent, I was still having trouble talking and walking was completely out of the question.

And since they still couldn't figure out what was happening to me and why, they went a step above ICU and decided my ass needed to be quarantined....

Too broken to know better.

I don't know why I did it. I shouldn't have. I know better.... But I listened to her sing. And she wasn't horrible. And ...