Daily Post 035: Kidney Stones VS Childbirth

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I’m not going to apologize for my life. I’m not going to apologize for not writing. I’m not going to apologize for spending money or for playing video games. I’m not going to apologize for being sick or frustrated or tired.

I still don’t feel much at the moment even though the depression and apathy I have been feeling for the past several weeks seem to be easing their grip.

Big Bad and I finally got to spend an evening together. I don’t know when we’ll be able to see each other again. Maybe not until the weekend after next. We enjoyed our time together we both slept well. In the morning, he went to the gym, letting me sleep in, though I did wake up when he text me to let me know he would be back. I replied with my own message to which he replied, “Go back to sleep :p ”

Our exchange made me smile as I snuggled deeper into the blankets and his scent. It made me feel like I belonged which was extremely nice after feeling so alone for so long. We finally were able to share coffee together again. We got to talk about the things going on in our lives which included my trip to the ER.

I had a kidney stone Friday morning. That sucked. Like, literally was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, level of suck which I feel is saying a lot for how hard I play with my partners as a masochist. I was in so much pain I threw up and couldn’t walk. Warren took me to the ER since of course this happened at 1 am and all of the urgent care clinics were closed. FML.

And to make it even better, on the way to the ER the pain faded. By the time we got checked in and I saw someone I was still dazed and fuzzy from the intensity of the pain, but I could walk again, and I could answer all of their questions though I was sort of slow on some of them.

They put an IV in my arm in case the pain came back I and needed medication. I had blood work drawn which included a pregnancy test. Good news. I’m not pregnant. Big Bad was also appreciative of that result. I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

I had a CT scan, which that stands for computerized tomography. You learn something new every day, right? I also had an ultrasound and a few other tests run.

Everything was inconclusive.

The doctor, an extremely nice lady, said given my symptoms and description they believed it was a kidney stone that was too small to show up on the scan.

While I was waiting in between all of my poking and prodding I consulted the wise and mighty Google, asking it what the causes of kidney stones could be.

Basically, it’s one of those, “if you breathe you might get one” sort of things… dehydration could cause it, too much protein in your diet can cause it, being sick can cause it, genetics can cause it. Most adults will experience at least one kidney stone in their life. I’m totally ok with having this off of my to-do list because when I say it sucked and was the worst pain I have ever experienced, it’s not a joke or exaggeration. According to the Internet, kidney stones are worse than childbirth. There’s some food for thought.

I think what happened is the stone formed due to my sinus infection or as a result of the antibiotic I took to fend off the ear infections because of the sinus infection.

Whatever the cause, I’m seriously done with this being sick thing.

On an unrelated note… Big Bad and I said the L word to each other. Actually, we typed it to each other since we were exchanging emails but as introverts, we both count it as “saying” it. Maybe “admitting” would be a better word to use.

I don’t think it will ever be commonplace for us to say it to each other. Not for a while at least. I think we’re both still skittish about things like that due to our past experiences, but we’re both happy we’ve addressed it. I know, at least for myself, when my friend asked me how I felt about telling him I love him I replied with “vulnerable”. I’m pretty sure he’s in a similar boat.

Yes. We love each other. That doesn’t change anything or require anything more or less from either of us. We like how things are. I’m glad that if anything were to happen to me, or to him, that we’ve had the exchange we did. Neither one of us will leave having doubt about the other person’s feelings. That means a lot to me.

I don’t like thinking that I might die and not get a chance to say the things I want to say to the people I care about. It makes me feel like I’m not living my life the way I should be living it. Fully, completely, every day. When I hold back from saying something I’m assuming I’ll have tomorrow, which isn’t true. Nothing guarantees me more time so I want to say and do the things I want to while I can rather than later because there might not be a later.

I finally said what I’ve been holding onto for months. It’s relieving. I’m glad I was able to say it and that we’re still ok.

Work is going well. I was going through overwhelmed feelings, but that’s eased up a little bit. Since I had to miss work Friday due to the kidney stone I’m going to be at my clinic all week next week. No mind numbing power point lecture for me. Woohoo.

Hey, Universe… just for the record… I would have rather sat through the power point than experience pain worse than childbirth… You know… in case you were wondering…

In other news, I have a new gym membership. I know… I seem to be going through them like candy. I feel a need to write this out so I can straighten it out in my own mind.

Because of the work schedule I have now, I can’t make it to classes at the boxing club like I was, so even though I enjoy my membership and I love the instructors, it’s not getting used and won’t be renewed. I’m actually going to talk to them about ending the contract, which that will require more writing about later.

I wasn’t using the YouFit, and the only reason I had that one was because it was $10 a month with no contract and let me run inside while it was cold due to winter. There really wasn’t much else going for it which is why I canceled it as soon as it started warming up.

I still have the dojo membership and I will be keeping this regardless of my schedule. It sort of sucks right now though. I can’t really make it to the classes, not without totally fucking over my sleep schedule, which is why I’ve switched over to doing private lessons twice a week. I’m mostly focusing on conditioning and technique, which I’ve already noticed some pretty serious results, so I’m not complaining too much about the switch. I do need to acknowledge my ache from not being able to spar with my dojo family at the moment. So while, yes, technically I am there, I’m still missing a large part of what it means to be at the dojo. At least for me. It’s a temporary change, but it still aches.

I do miss going to the YMCA like I was when I worked at Full Sail. I stopped attending that because I lost the benefit through work, but mostly because they tore the building down to rebuild it. I would possibly entertain the idea of going back except with my new schedule, even if the building was done, which it won’t be until next year, I would have the same issue as the boxing club. I work too early to workout before work and the classes in the evening are too late for me to do them after work.

So that brings in this gym. 24 Hour Fitness. Warren is actually the one who told me about it since he just got a membership there.

They’re open 24 hours, which is instantly a plus. They have saunas and showers. Already sold.

In addition to having those three of my requirements, they have a nifty system with their studio room. They offer classes during certain hours, but on “off” hours there’s a TV. You’re able to search for different types of classes, combat body, yoga, step class, strength building, whatever. You can select that class and do it on your own by following the instructor on the TV. They’re also working on getting punching bags because that’s a huge request from the gym members, including myself.

There’s a facility within biking distance of my apartment, and walking distance from work, though I would most likely drive, and you get access to all facilities with your membership; no having to pay an extra fee or more expensive membership to get that perk.

I’ve gone to the gym since Wednesday. Thursday I ran for the first time in what feels like forever. I’ve shaved two minutes off my run time. I didn’t hurt during or after my run. I was breathing extremely well through it, too. I’ve had a quiet empty space to do yoga every time I’ve gone, and once I’m done I get to sit in the sauna and relax, doing my dragon thing and basking and in general not giving a fuck about anything going on in Life because Life can’t touch me while I’m surrounded by the heat and warmth. For those 15 minutes, Life doesn’t matter. My run time doesn’t matter. Work doesn’t matter. Rent doesn’t matter.

It’s my 15 minutes of silence and I’m glad I have it back. I think it’s helped.

I still ache in my chest from my grief. I can still feel it. A heaviness. A tenderness that I don’t want to touch or deal with. Sort of like when a cut is infected. It hurts so you don’t want to do anything with it, but until you scrub out the infection and clean the wound it’s not going to get better. The pain has to get worse before it gets better.

I think that’s where I’m at right now. I think I need to do some meditation or further writing to figure out why I’ve hurt so much recently.

I think there’s a lot of factors for it. Not seeing my blacksmith or Big Bad for so long led me to feel disconnected. Being so severely sick didn’t help anything. There’s still stress regarding the apartment. There’s stress from work. Until recently there was also the reduction of workout time, which for me feels like a punishment; like I’m having to give up a part of myself.

I talked to my brother Thursday afternoon as I was leaving work. I needed to talk to someone. I needed someone who would understand why I was sad and crying and I needed to know that I could cry and still be loved I guess. That I wasn’t weak or broken.

I told him that all of my coworkers constantly tell me that I’m doing well. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive. I told him that I appreciated their words and that they really do mean a lot to me, but that I still felt like a failure because I wanted to hear mom tell me those things. I wanted to know mom believed in me and supported me. I told him that I started trash talking myself in my head, saying that I would never get this and that I should quit, but that I stopped myself because I can’t do that to myself anymore. Mom isn’t here to counter the Evil Voice. I usually don’t let it get very far anyway, but I CAN’T let it erode my confidence away. Mom’s not here to clean up my scrapped knees anymore.

I remembered something on the way home after the conversation with my brother. It was a situation from a while ago. I had been packing up my stuff at the apartment I shared with Zane. At the moment I was working on taking down the cards my mom had sent me. I always kept them taped up around my corkboard so I was taking the tape off of them and putting them away in a box. These were my last words from my mom. I couldn’t get rid of them.

I wasn’t really reading them, but I was looking at them. There was one, a gray and white picture of a baby duck on a board looking down into a large bowl of water.

I picked up the card and pulled the tape off of it, just like I had all the others. When I set it down the card fell open and on the inside was the phrase, “I believe in you”.

I remember I bawled my eyes out as I sat on the floor. And I cried again in my car as I remembered that event because that day all I had wanted was to feel like my mom believed in me and that I was doing the right thing. She’s always believed in me. I have to remember that even though I can’t hear those words the same way anymore.

I know my mom is proud. I used to pass out at the sight of paper cuts and here I am doing dialysis. Go me. Fuck yeah, I’m a badass, and even though I know that about myself I still wish she were still physically here to see it and to say those things to me. And I guess that’s why everything hurts so much right now.

So many things have been happening and I still long for that physical connection. Her hug, her voice, her existence.

I’ve been doing well. This past month will be known as “The Dark Age of 2017” since I’ve survived the plague that’s tried to kill me eight million different ways.

Today is 14 months. One year and two months since her death.

Today has been a decent day. I’ve started playing World of Warcraft again with my younger brother. We spend most of the day running my character through dungeons. I cooked all of my food for the coming week. I even cleaned the apartment.

Internally I’m still heavy though. There wasn’t really happiness today. There hasn’t been for a while. There’s something more real and less fleeting than happiness instead. I don’t think it’s contentment or acceptance. I don’t know what it is, but it’s very flat, calm. It wasn’t a hard or heavy day and in my tired state of mind, I’m glad for that.

Tomorrow I wake up early to go to the gym before work. I work until 3 pm. Afterward, I have training at the dojo. Then I go home, shower, eat, and go to sleep. Maybe I’ll play on the computer for a little bit depending on how tired I am.

I haven’t felt like writing. I haven’t felt like doing much, but despite that, I’ve done a lot and I’ve been hanging in there. I may not be ok. I may not be doing ok. But I’m surviving, and I still want to survive. I want that to count towards something. Like a solid baseline maybe. It’s not positive or negative. Getting through everything I have been contending with goes into strengthing my foundation.

None of this has been as hard as the weeks leading up to or after mom’s death, but a lot of this shit HAS been hard and I still got it all taken care of.

That counts.

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Daily Post 033: To My Keyboard

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Hello, dearest Keyboard.

Yes, you, Keyboard. This is for you.

You who I have typed on through this whole year. You who randomly double spaces every so often which most of the time I can ignore and correct while other times it provokes a level of irritation that can only be matched by lag during an MMO PVP match.

I realized I’ve never acknowledged you nor your contribution to keeping me going through this past year.

Every time I think about writing it’s you I think about sitting in front of. You who allows my fingertips to dance, playing the music in my soul, sometimes smooth and lulling, other times chaotic with the anguish and rage of my grief.

It’s you who had been consistent for me through all of my ups and downs. You who I constantly turn to. You who lets me bleed away my pain onto blank, white digital sheets of paper scrawled with red squiggle lines of doom because the computer loves to tell me that I don’t know how to spell.

I’ve missed you, Keyboard. I’ve missed having someone to talk to.

I miss mom.

I had left a voice message for John the other day. There were four parts to the message, all pertaining to different things. When he called me back he said, “What’s up?”

Me: Did you get a chance to listen to my message?

John: Yeah, I listened to about half of it. I got the gist of what you were saying so I deleted the rest of it.

He deleted the part where I told him I was feeling better from going to the urgent care clinic. He deleted the part where I said I had my first 12-hour shift at work and that I felt like I would be ok with the workload and my new career.

He deleted the part of the message that was about me.

We finished the conversation about his resume. We made plans for the weekend. I didn’t mention anything about the deleted sections. He didn’t ask how I was doing.

When we got off the phone my first thought was, “Mom wouldn’t have deleted my message.”

My next thought was, “John’s not mom.”

I’ve hurt since then, Keyboard.

It’s true. Mom would have listened to any message I sent her no matter how long or unimportant. She would have listened to every word.

I feel unimportant to my brother. I feel like this happens a lot with him. I keep allowing his actions to cut me deeply. I keep thinking that we’ll be able to find mom in each other but we don’t. We can’t. Neither of us is mom, but we both miss her so much it’s almost unconscious on our parts.

Maybe the deletion of my message wouldn’t bother me so much if mom were still alive. I most likely wouldn’t have left him a message at all since I would have been calling mom to begin with.

I don’t know. It’s all “what ifs” and “maybe would have beens”.

This is the life I’m living, and in this life mom is dead and my younger brother is his own person. Maybe one day I’ll understand that wholly. Completely.

I’ve been sick for a while. Two weeks and counting, though I’m pretty much well at this point. I caught whatever my classmates were passing around. Last Sunday it got so bad that I was looking up the symptoms of pneumonia, vowing to myself that if I was still super sick in the morning that I would go to an urgent care clinic.

I was still sick Monday morning, but I was better than I had been the night before, so I didn’t go get looked at. It was only on Wednesday when I was leaving work that I changed my mind. My right ear started hurting as if a nail were trying to drive itself into my skull.

John came down and took me to a clinic to get looked at, which ended up being a good thing. I had ear infections in both ears and pink eye in my left eye. The doctor said most likely what happened was I got an extremely severe sinus infection which ended up spreading to everything else.

The terms “eww” and “gross” come to mind.

It was extremely not cool. I had eye drops for four days, and I’m still taking my 10 days worth of pills for the ear infections. I was given a doctor’s note excusing me from work for two days, which I was luckily able to make up on Saturday. That’s how I was able to get a 12-hour shift in even though I’m still technically in training for another four weeks.

For the most part, I’m better. My sinuses aren’t draining nearly as much. The pressure in my ears is mostly gone. The cough which hurt so bad I was in tears is gone.

I felt well enough, and non-contagious enough, to go to the dojo for personal training today. MG pushed me pretty hard, though not has hard as she said she wanted to. My lungs were burning nearly as much as my legs by the time we were done with the sled work. I know tomorrow will be a yoga day to stretch everything out and get rid of acid build up.

Aside from missing mom and being sick, I’ve had to contend with more emotional ickiness in regards to the apartment. Since I was sick nothing got cleaned, and of course, once I was done being sick Warren got sick, so even if he were the type of person to care about cleanliness it would have been dickish of me to rant and demand that he help out.

It still sucks, though.

In my self-absorbed moments of sadness, I think about how it’s not fair. I was sick and still had to do the dishes. Why does he get to not do them while he’s sick? Shouldn’t it be fair? Equal? Couldn’t I have been cared for, too?

It doesn’t help with the feelings of worthlessness and meaninglessness I’m already feeling due to the deleted message.

When will I matter to the people who are supposed to be closest to me?

I have new coworkers, online friends, distant family, and distant friends who all think I’m an amazing person. They think I should be treated well and loved and cared for the way I care for others.

And even the people who hurt me think these things. So why do I hurt? Why am I hurt?

Why do I still not have rent money? Why do I still have to be the only one figuring out how to make financial ends meet? Why do I not warrant the respect to be told that a payment won’t be made at all, not even the partial of the partial I was getting before?

It sucks. And for the last two days, I’ve come home and curled up in bed under my covers and have allowed that pain to be almost all consuming. I’ve tried to understand why, and today I’m no closer than I was yesterday to an answer.

I don’t know why.

Today was different, though. Today I went to my clinic and I worked. I worked hard. I focused on finding my routine and flow and needing less guidance than I have on previous days. I still made mistakes here and there, but I can tell I’m getting better and my trainer constantly praises me for how well I’m doing.

I saved three people today.

Maybe that makes it sound more glorious than it really is, but it’s true. I initiated three dialysis treatments today and terminated them once the treatment was over. That’s three people who can live slightly longer, slightly better because I was there to help them.

It’s a good feeling. It makes it feel worth it. And right now I need something to be worth it.

I can see myself getting wrapped up in work once I’m allowed to work overtime. Maybe that will be good. Maybe that will be my form of self-medication for when I hurt, which might be bad. I already have a preference for being at work rather than home because home is stressful and there’s nothing I can do to change it.

Warren has a new job which starts on the 11th, but that doesn’t fix anything right now. And even on the 11th, nothing is going to be fixed. We’ll have to wait two weeks at least for his first paycheck, maybe 4 if his new company holds the first paycheck.

Things are still going to be painful for a while. They’re still going to be hard and there’s nothing to do other than to breath and wait and not lash out in my pain and frustration and claustrophobic confinement of being trapped in an environment I can’t change.

I had a dream last night where I yelled at Warren. He was upset that I was yelling, but nothing else I had done worked. Being nice didn’t do anything so I was yelling because that’s my way of breaking down. That’s when the frustration wins and rational through dies and the only thing that matters is letting out all of the hurt and injustice that I diplomatically tried to convey.

That’s part of why I was so tired this morning. I was fighting all night in my dreams.

Work was good, though. And the dojo was good. I got to see James for a few minutes after my session with MG. He said he hasn’t been able to make it to the dojo much because of a new job, too. We chatted for a bit, but all too soon we both had to leave. I hope to see him more in the future. I miss having him as a sparring partner.

When I came home I decided to clean. Not just clean, but hardcore clean. And so far I have. My room and bathroom have been bleached and vacuumed. My sheets are being washed. The stairs and floors are swept and mopped. The living room is vacuumed. I have a shopping list that I will take care of shortly. All of the trash has been taken out, including the bag that sat by the trash can for three days.

Part of me, the small bit of sadness still in my chest, knows that this, my cleaning, won’t matter. Dog fur will pile up again, the trash will build up from someone other than myself, and I will still have to take care of dishes that are not my own.

The order I have returned to my world will be eroded away day by day, action by action, and the thought of that makes me want to cry. I’ll still come home and not have my solitude because Warren’s waking up earlier in the afternoon.

I don’t know what else to say or write about in that regard. It is pointless. Hopeless. Meaningless. But in this moment, in my small bubble of a room with my music playing as I type to you, I want to take comfort in giving myself the illusion of control.

I can’t fix anything, everything, but I can clean my notebooks. I can put my clothes away. I can sleep in clean sheets. I can bleach the hair dye off of my bathroom counters. And for a few hours, the kitchen can be spotless and the floors free of gross Godzilla bunnies of dog fur.

I still need to go through and pay my bills since that’s another thing I haven’t done.

I’m trying to catch up on life, Keyboard. I’m trying to be an adult and to keep going even though I really don’t want to. I feel alone right now.

I saw Big Bad the other night, but even that isn’t enough to make me ok. We spent three hours together. Three wonderful hours. He held me in his arms and I was able to sleep with my head against his chest for a little bit. But because I had to wake up so early for work we decided it would be best for me to sleep at my own home. We had a cup of tea together before I left. I couldn’t fall back asleep, though.

Having been surrounded by warmth only to return to emptiness added to the feelings I’ve been struggling with. Big Bad has his kids this weekend. I don’t think we’ll get to spend any sort of extended time with each other for a while. My blacksmith and I most likely won’t see each other for a while longer, either.

I’m having a hard time finding a purpose, a reason, to keep doing all of this other than because I promised mom I would. I hate that there’s a part of me who doesn’t want to keep my promise. I want to give up. I want to let everything fall down around me and to say it’s too hard that I quit. I have nothing left to give.

Promises are important to me, though. I want to keep the ones I make and I promised mom I would keep going, so I have to keep going.

I started listening to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck about a month ago. One of the things mentioned in the book is how blame and responsibility are two different things.

I’m not to blame for Warren not paying rent. I’m not to blame for my brother deleting my message. And I’m not to blame for my mom’s death.

I am responsible for how I choose to act in regards to all of those situations, though.

Right now I would rather not feel. I would rather tackle Life like I did the last few reps of sled work that I did at the dojo today. I don’t want to think. I want to go on auto-pilot and push through this section because this section sucks. It’s hard. It hurts. I want to quit, but I’m not going to because I can’t quit.

I want to survive. I want to make it to the end. I don’t want to give up. I don’t want Life to win and break me because fuck you, Life. You don’t deserve to win. I won’t let you win.

I want to hold on because the end is worth it. When I’m finally able to rest even if my legs and arms and lungs are at the point of failure, it’s worth it. Maybe it’s more worth it because I push to my breaking point and then past it because, fuck you, Breaking Point. You’re not the boss of me.

In the end, the blessed end, the relief is so much more intense, so much sweeter, so much more gratifying, when you’re clinging desperately, reaching into the very core of yourself to make it the last 10 feet.

I just wish the people making this so much harder weren’t people I’m supposed to love and care about. I wish it wasn’t my heart chakra I’m having to close off and ignore. I wish it didn’t feel like bleeding out.

Thank you for being here for me, Keyboard. Thank you for not being upset for all the times I thought about replacing you because of your finicky spacebar tendencies. Thank you for letting write and complain and whine and bitch and cry. Thank you for not judging me or telling me to grow up and to stop being petty. Thank you for helping me figure out my life.

Thank you for being the best replacement for my mom that I didn’t know I had.

I know it’s so stupid. I know you’re just a keyboard, but I want to make you a promise. I want to promise that I’ll finish my chores today because I need to promise someone, something, so I actually do it. I want to make this promise to you because you’ve been here for me. Because you matter.

I promise I’ll be ok. I promise that I’ll make it through this. I promise that I’ll write tomorrow. I promise I won’t think about replacing you because of your annoying spacebar anymore.

Thank you for being here for me.