Sunday, September 02, 2018

The Labor Day Weekend Sale - 2018

So, Half-Price Books is having a 20% off all merchandise sale this Labor Day Weekend (Aug.31 - Sept 3, 2018).  I had a couple of things in minds to seek out, a couple of old tomes that they might have.  The first, an old Bible.  The second, an old medical or health-related book that might help me with my pain.

Now, before you get all excited that I might be seeking some sort of absolution, I'll let you know that my faith hasn't been shaken.  My domestic partner, Kerry, and I have been having some philosophical discussions spurred on by some of the televangelist rants we've seen, on the t.v., mind you, that we've called into question.  Both of us have referred to our copies of the New King James editions, that were published in different years but say, pretty much, the same thing on the subjects of Cain and Noah.

I wish I still had my mother's Bible.  It was a beautiful book, black leather cover with gold-foil adornments.  Thinking back, aside from the toys I had that went missing during my childhood when we'd move (which was a constant thing, for whatever reasons), I wish I knew what happened to a few things of my mother's.  But I digress.

I pulled myself up and into the car, drove down to Overland Park on Metcalf to make my first stop at Half-Price Books #70.  With cane in-hand, I hobbled my way into the store.  I had to check out the graphic novel section and see if there might be an Essential Marvel or DC Showcase that I had missed.  The lone Ghost Rider was shelved and I did check to see that they had indeed jacked the price of that up, no doubt due to the recent passing of creator Gary Friedrich, and it being "OOP" (Out Of Print).  Well, they're ALL oop, so...

Amused, I continued on to my original intent to search for a Bible.  I was amazed and dismayed at the selections.  Various sizes, colors, and bindings of The King James Version, mostly new-ish, and then -- ONE --  An old, black-leather, very tattered cover, but pages well-intact edition.  I looked for a print-date on the inside, but to no avail.  I skipped to the sections of Genesis that I was mostly curious of, especially if they might be different than what I already had in my Bible.

Aside from the wording, which had more "thees" and "thous" than my version, the text reads the same.  I have to wonder if I need to look for something other than KJV to understand where the televangelists are getting their interpretations.  My fear, of course, is they are just making it up ("It", by the way, is some story of Cain being the son of the serpent and not of Adam).

I would have liked to have gotten the old tattered Bible, but it was a bit expensive for my budget, so I put it back and went onto the Health section.

I was disheartened to see so many new books in the health section and so MANY that I already have.  I don't think I'm going to find my answers in new books of health remedies.  The closest specific books on the shelves to what I have are probably the Fibromyalgia books or the ones on Multiple Sclerosis.  The problem with these books is they do not talk about treating the disease.  They talk about managing the pain.   I already know how to manage pain.  I don't like how I have to do that -- manage the pain -- but it's my only option, it seems.  I can only do that with NSAIDS, which have their drawbacks, as I don't have a doctor, nor can afford one.  And even with a doctor, they might -- I say MIGHT -- prescribe an opioid.  You know, there's an opioid abuse epidemic.  They say so on t.v.  It's the worst in your state, you know.   It's on all of the news.

For me, though, having access to opioids would be good and there wouldn't be a problem with abuse as my relationship with them would be consensual.

On the non-flippant side, I have known a number of people that have had chronic pain for up to 30 years that are on opioids and NOT addicted to them.  They get their allotment and mostly have to make-do with that and have to put up with continual harassment by doctors and physicians' assistants that want to "get them off of" the opioids.  The problem is, they don't want to try to figure out what causes the pain and don't have an alternative to just -- managing the pain.

Disappointed in not finding something from my list, I hobbled over to the DVD section and did find something to take advantage of the Half-Price Books' sale. 

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Something's Happening

Lately, people have been nice to me, passing strangers, people I don't know.

When I go to the grocery or to the post, I encounter people that are nice to me.  I know sometimes it is because I'm walking with my cane.  But a lot of times, I'm using a shopping cart, like today, so I don't think they are seeing me as some old man.  I'm not sure what they are seeing, but they seem to want to just be nice.  They say, 'hi' or smile and ask how my day is going.  I really like that.

I don't see a lot of people that I know in person these days.  With the pain I have, I don't get out that much, except to go to the grocery, which I have to do.  I need to eat.  So, with few exceptions, I don't see that many of my friends any more.  I rarely just run into people I know, like I used to.  I even traveled to Seattle and ran into people I knew from Boston, and I lived in Wichita, at the time.  I didn't take it for granted, but almost accepted it as ... well ... me   (I do occasionally run into BeeJay and her family at the Hy-Vee). But I digress.

I have been trying to interact with people when I go out.  To make others smile.  Say something quippy and humorous.  I do try to draw them in for a brief moment, not being intrusive, just interactive and positive.  Yet, there are days I am not feeling up to the challenge and I just go thru with my task, to pick up bread or milk and go home.  I wish I could remember all of these times that I've had these interactions, so brief, but so important.

Maybe, in the grand scheme of things, with things the way they are, seeing so much hate and adversary on social media, I guess it's that I've been afraid that it would leak over into my social reality.  I like joking about that I am searching for that one product in the cereal aisle and notice the person next to me searching in the same manner.  I look at them and say, "I'm going to be really mad if you find yours first, and I'll be really, REALLY mad if you're looking for the same thing and there's only one box."  And we both laugh.

It's a moment.  Mere seconds, really.  But it seems important.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Medical Exam Tomorrow

I slept for a while tonight before waking up around 1am.  I have a medical examination tomorrow for my SS disability.  It's south -- way south Kansas City.  I'm dreading the drive, but hopefully something good will come of it.

This past week, I had my SS disability hearing.  I can only say that I did my best at trying to explain my situation with pain, insomnia, and the inability to work properly.  My hands, feet, stomach, and back and my stamina are all terribly inadequate.  My sleep is not a good sleep.  I tried to take a nap this afternoon because my stomach was upset.  I dozed for about 5 minutes before the phone rang and woke me completely and jangled my nerves.  I couldn't settle back down and gave up and got back up.  Ate some cheese and crackers and that seemed to quiet my stomach down, at least.

I'm going to try to get some more sleep so I can get down to the exam safely later today, as it's almost 4am.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

I have a new pain tonight.  I was just awakened to it.  It was why I went to bed earlier tonight while we were watching t.v.  I'm going to try to describe it as well as the host of others.  Each pain is different, sometimes in combinations, but each has a specific feel.

Tonight, I add what feels like someone has smashed my shins with a cinder block and then throbbing pain afterwards.

Smash.  Throb. Throb.  Throb.

Smash.  Throb. Throb.  Throb.

Smash.  Throb. Throb.  Throb.

It has subsided for now.  I should try to get back to sleep, but want to post this entry.  The other pains include:

A sort of numbness in my feet and now my hands as well.  When I stand, it feels like I'm standing on gravel stones.  My hands do not recognize what I'm holding and many times it feels rough when the object is soft.  When I close my eyes and I'm standing, I'm disoriented and almost dizzy.  Unstable on my feet, with the feeling that I will fall.

Pins and needles in my feet and now in my hands.  These come and go.

Ice pick jabs.  These occur in my toes and now to my knees and calf muscles.

Knife jabs.  The bottoms of my feet, most specifically, to the arches of my feet and mostly to my right foot but has happened to the left as well.

Sensitivity to cold.  I notice this mostly in my hands.  If I touch something cool, my hands are immediately cold and it takes the better part of an hour to warm them back up.  I have noticed this in my feet but I usually wear two pairs of socks these days.

Insensitivity to heat.  This is a terrible one.  I am not aware that something might be hot if I'm touching it with my hands until it has already started to burn me.  This one scares me, but I'm trying to remember to always have a hot-mitt.

There is pain around my midsection, mostly on  my right side, that comes around from the back to just above my navel, to the left.  I don't have this all of the time.  Not sure of the reason of this uncomfortable, distracting pain.  Maybe some nerves in my digestive tract, but it doesn't seem to be following my intestines.

The pain in my feet has begun to creep up my legs. 

All of this pain is exhausting to me.  It keeps me distracted much of the time.  When it's really bad, I have a difficult time understanding what people are saying, what I am reading, what is going on around me, and even what is going on in a tv show or movie. 

That's all I can think of at this time.  I know I should have chronicled all of this throughout these past two years.  I should have written down what I've eaten, when I've eaten it, when I've had a b.m., when I've been able to sleep...  all of it, but I didn't.   Time to do better.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

My Older Baby Sister

She's down there somewhere. Rochester Cemetery, Shawnee County, Kansas. Just West of North Topeka.  She was born June 5, 1959 to Rubye and Wayne Sullivan.  She died weeks or even months prior to this.

You may not want to read further.  It's pretty disturbing, but it's part of my history.  I'm not sure why I'm remembering things like this now, after so long, but they are coming to the surface of my mind and I think the only way to ease them is to write about them.

They wouldn't name her.  I'm sure it was too painful.  We only talked about it once that I can remember.  It was the Summer of '69.  Now, I can understand it as 10 years after.  My parents were going to have a baby.  No, not really.  My mother was going to have to have a stillborn child.

The umbilical cord had wrapped around the baby's neck and she was strangled in the womb.  For whatever reason, they said that my mother had to carry it to term.  To have to give birth to a dead baby.  When she did give birth, they didn't allow her to see it.  It was dead and apparently hideously deformed because ... well, I don't know, but I assume decay.  I can't imagine what that was like for her. 

The birth and death dates are the same on the memorial.  But she actually died before she was born.  I keep thinking about that.  Apparently, there was some
incompatible nature to my parents' blood or genetics.  I was told that Mom had to take certain drugs for it to be possible for me to be in the world.  For her to safely have a child with my dad.  I wonder about this too frequently, but not really acknowledging the poor sister I might have had.

Maybe now that I've written this, I can sleep a little bit tonight.  Good night Infant Daughter Sullivan.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

A Gloomy Day

Today was a rough day.  Waves of nausea and aches, maybe due to the rainy weather, I'm not sure, kept me from accomplishing anything.  And now, I'll probably be up most of the night but at least the nausea is gone.

I can't keep my hands and feet warm today either.  I have my heating pad, but there only so much you can avoid doing to keep them under a heating pad.   Definitely makes typing difficult.  Ha.

Lydia © 2018 Mike Sullivan
Any time I touch something cold, both hands are immediately cold.  When I stand on my feet, they become immediately cold.  I wear two pair of socks and my memory foam shoes.  I guess it's just my current process.  It's what I have to do.

I'm not totally sure where this blog-post is going.  My  mind isn't very focused.  Maybe I'll do some drawing.  I really need to make that a habit.

Here is s character design for one of my graphic novels.  Her name is Lydia, if I don't change it to a color-name.  She's the queen of a human-offshoot race.  Her husband, the king, will be named Indygo. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Dream Today During My Nap

I had to lay down, as I do most days, for a nap.   The pain was bad.  Anyway, for the hour I was down, I did fall asleep and actually had a dream.

In it, I lived in a big, old, multi-story house.  Some big men broke into my house and threatened me.  In the dream, I knew who the men were, but I don't really know anyone like them.  They were big men, long hair, scruffy beards.  They thought that I knew something that they wanted.  Some information of some kind.  I'm not sure what, but something.

My cat, Buff, was there and was hiding.  I was glad he was hiding because I didn't know what these guys would do.  There were, at first, three of them.  Then, two, and finally just the one doing most of the talking.  He threatened to break my cell phone (I don't have a working cell phone) and I told him I didn't care if he did.  It wasn't important to me although in the dream my father had given it to me, so it had sentimental value and I didn't want him to break it.

I somehow lured him out of the house, onto the porch.  The big house had one of those big wrap-around porches with the railing and big steps to the front.  I looked over the railing to the side and my cat, Tomas, was there, playing in a box next to some flowers.  I was so happy to see him (Tomas died last year,  March, 2017). 

I didn't want the big, bad man to get him, so I jumped over the railing and got Tomas.  I had him in my arms and brushed the leaves off of his fur.  I held him to me and then woke up from the dream.

Buff was laying next to me.  I startled him awake and he came up to me.  I pet him and talked to him.  I was glad he was with me. 

But the dream still made me sad.  It's funny what dreams come to you.

The Return

It's been a while since I posted. Many things have happened and not many were what I consider good. I'm still in pain and it has, of course, increased. One of the reasons I stopped posting about my pain was in reaction to the reaction I was getting. 

My intention was merely to inform people of where I was and how I was feeling. Hoping to connect with others that might have similar symptoms and no relief. It seemed to upset more of the people that I care for. I haven't found a doctor. I don't know where to go to do that in our country. Medicine is a money-making capitalistic endeavor. I don't have money. I can't afford to waste what little I have searching for a doctor that will ... doctor. So I'm left to my own research. 

I think blogging about it is helpful for me. So, I've decided to try it out again, hoping that people will understand and not freak out.