The Haunting Time Is Coming Near!

The Ghoullog - Mountaintop Haunt at Cranmore, North Conway, NH

Day 21 - Jackson Falls

3 weeks already.
A photo a day.
It's a little bit harder than I thought to do this- but it's not something I'm going to give up on.

Jackson Falls has some of the most beautiful pools and rock climbing. Some are slippery, others are not.

The water was beautiful, and I dipped my feet in as I sat.
Water so clear you can see pebbles in even the deep pools within the falls. Crystal clear.

When I'm better, I'll climb the steep part. But for now, I'll stick to the pools and soak my feet since there's little to no chance I'll fall.

Day 20 - Behind Blue Eyes

No one knows.
The secrets I hide, the things I don't say but should. It's so easy to paint on a mask- play a part.

Eyes truly are the windows to the soul.

They don't always tell stories truthfully though.
Behind mine, you won't see unless I show you.
You won't be let in unless invited.
You won't know anything until I choose to let you beyond my walls.
But I can't.
I won't.
I refuse.
So here I stay, behind blue eyes. My eyes. A safe little place no-one can hurt me anymore.

Day 19 - Eyelashes

Day 19 - Eyelashes, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

The look today was mauve tones on my eyes.
I put on one of my favorite skirts in the world- a paisley patterned, lightweight wrap skirt. It blows in the wind and I feel like a country girl... But I guess if this is where I am, this is where I am. I can look the part some days.

Today was slow... I'm very sore, and I'm very irritable.

I had a very nice evening with my Mom- we don't really go out often, because typically I can't, but we went to see a play tonight. Sappy stuff, but whatever- there were some funny moments.

This picture was taken on the way there.

Mauve tones. I think I like it a lot.

Day 18- The Scarlet Girl

(I forgot to get this to my blog last night...)

Some days I just don't give a shit.
I put on makeup to hide behind, it's just a mask.
To try and make me feel better, because if visually I look healthy and ok- perhaps I'll start to feel that way.
To hide the pain.
To hide the hurt.
To hide the blue black half moons under my eyes that have taken residence.
Sleep, honest, real sleep- eludes me.
I sleep, but I'm not rested.
It's getting exhausting.
I use the makeup to hide.
To step behind the crumbling down that I've been dealing with.
I don't cry enough. I need to.

I'm so used to keeping everything bottled up, until it's overwhelming and a simple word unravels me... And I'm crying hysterically- tears that just come flowing out of my eyes without me really understanding why. Crumbling bits and pieces that are falling from my hands as I try to hold on- and failing to keep them from continuing to slip from my grasp...

The primer for the makeup is great though- I hardly get a smudge.

I don't give a shit about the makeup or what it hides.

I just want to feel normal again.
No pain.
No weakness.

Day 17 - Red Head

Day 17 - Red Head, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.
I went outside today.
It was very nice, sunny, warm, breezy.
Not too hot, not too chilly.
Just right. A perfect summer day.

Tonight was spent in front of the fire pit.

I love the fire.
The smell, the sparks.
I need to have more good days.
I'm all made up because I was trying to re-create a makeup look... I think I did alright.

Day 16 - Brushes

Day 16 - Brushes, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

When I get down, I go to my makeup for consolation.
Why? I've been hermity. I don't really want to leave the house, see my friends, hang out... Blah blah blah. I've become increasingly comforted by staying home. This isn't me. It won't be me forever. But it is for the time being.
I take short rides, just to get out of the house. But increased meds now make me even more sluggish. I'm not liking it very much- the sensation is extreme exhaustion coupled with feeling like I'm underwater.

Loud sounds bother me.

Loud volume, I'm so sensitive to.
I'm so tired I can't sleep.

But... One of these brushes is small.

Once dipped in powder, it covers the black and blue moons under my eyes.
I get swipes of color with a large brush.
Shocks of bright color with another.
Touch up, yet another.
My brushes create magic.
My eyes.
Eye shadows in all different colors.
I create beautiful looks. At least, friends tell me it's beautiful.
They console me, because each time I touch a brush- I'm creating art on my eyes. Sometimes my sister. Soon, friends.

The brush takes away a little of the pain.

I can paint outrageous colors and designs on my eyes.
And it brings me a little happiness.
A lot of color. A shock of it.
It's created by my hands.
Somewhere... Over the rainbow...

Day 15 - Always a Bridesmaid...

Never going to be a bride.

Then again, I hear that what you want most usually happens when you least expect it.

What a lovely day yesterday... The food, the entertainment, the bride and groom.
The wedding cake was amazing to look at- and even better eats.
I only fell once- and at that, I was able to catch myself against the wall. I think because I stayed upright, my leg didn't stay numb as long and I got feeling back pretty quickly.

I was entertained by the fact I was the only redhead there.

Sat most of the time- but was able to get up and shake a little bit. Seated mostly because I didn't want to walk using my cane. I hate that I have to use it. But- that's life. It's mine until I get better.

The rain held off- and it ended up being a beautiful day.

Slept during the car-ride home. My backseat is quite comfortable.
Being barefoot was awesome. Everyone in the bridal party and immediate family looked amazing. I'm rambling.

Day 14 - My Little Butterfly

I'm a nitpicker.
I'm not usually so much when 'm medicated... But for the wedding, I needed to look nice.
I did my nails. Now, normally it's a one color deal- swipe on and I'm done.
But this time, I wanted something a little more special.
So I gave myself a french manicure. Wooo-hooo.
Not bad, if I do say so myself.

And to make me happy, to remind me to smile,
I perched a little butterfly on my ring finger. Along with a crystal.
So that each time I looked at them, I'd smile. My right hand has a butterfly too- no crystal.
Honestly, I knew my camera would capture the detail I wanted.... But to actually see the glitter transfer outline of my little flutterby- that's kind of cool.

Day 13 - Oh Moi

Day 13 - Oh Moi, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

Another eye picture.
By popular demand, I told folks I'll take pictures of my eyes. So... Here's another one.

Today was rough. Been very sore lately, and it's definitely going to rain. Built in barometer.

This was just what I needed.

So I did it with a multitude of colors.
Reflection of the mood I did not have today. But it helped.
Blues, purples, emerald. Just plain pretty.
Now... I'm going to bed.

Day 12 - Nap

Day 12 - Nap, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

It's been a long day.
This was supposed to be posted yesterday-I got a little tired... So I did what I've been doing lately really well... I slept.

I feel like I'm losing so much time by sleeping. Sleep away.
The minutes.
Hours. Days.
Past 4 months.
I feel like I'm missing out on my life- and essentially I am.

But this will not last forever.
I just need to be ok. And soon, I will be.

Day 11 - Not Working

Day 11 - Not Working, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

When people assume we like missing work, or can't come in- and it's like a mini-vacation.... This really pisses me off.

It's not the reason we're not at work.
Most times, the medications (as in my case) makes me so muddled and foggy that you CANNOT function to do your job properly. I can't.
It's not like we're out playing, running around, going places because we're out of work.

Most times it's days spent in a bed.
Or laying and sleeping on a couch, or recliner as I do.
It's consisting of forgetting important things. Or having a conversation and repeating what you said minutes ago- but not realizing it. This really aggravates people and doctors. Everyone.

It's missing out on camping trips, road trips, and get togethers- because we're sick. No drinking- out of the question.

It's maybe taking a ride, having someone drive you so you can get out for more than 5 minutes. Change the scenery. Get an ice cream cone. A coffee. Something small and insignificant that people take for granted in their daily lives when they feel great.

It's having the medicines turn you inside out so that you've become a hermit. Don't want the friends around, but miss them. Afraid they'll see you in this weakened state- and run. Forget you. Not be your friend anymore.

For some it's a dealbreaker in a relationship. For others, it brings them closer.

This is not a vacation we're taking.
It's legitimate time taken to get better, heal, to find a cure. Relief. That word is so elusive to so many of us.

So before you open your mouth and say something stupid like this... Just remember that maybe one day you'll need to miss work for a while.

You'll learn to hate the 4 walls you're confined to.
You'll start to crumble, slowly forgetting who you were.
Why? The pain overwhelms. Changes you. It's done so to me.
The meds- they muddle your thoughts, change as you do. Forgetful.
You'll push away some of your friends.
The true ones will say "I don't care- I'm still coming to check on you."
Others won't be able to handle the fact that you'll need help often- and won't be there for you. They'll step outside the circle.
Can't handle it.

Don't be an idiot and assume we're having "fun time off".

It's anything BUT fun.

Day 10 - "You're just having a bad day..." So... Lollipop

Another photo speaks.

The kink in my back has turned into a large knot, and it's spread from my right hip, through the spasm, and right up to my shoulder blade. Yes, it's painful.

But... On a positive note, I have one hell of a twisted, colorful and sugary treat.

Go on and have a laugh. I look funny in this one!

I'm savoring it- little bits at a time. I don't want to eat it in one sitting. That lollypop tastes like lemons. And yes, I spelled it wrong- and I can do it because I want to.

Lemons, and sugar bits- it distracted me for a while. And I didn't think about the knot in my back.

Day 9 - Tired

Day 9 - Tired, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

I know I missed the photo yesterday.

I fell, and landed on hard packed sand outside. I was reaching for my sister- but she was too far away. Right there, though. If my arms weren't so short...

The photo itself. It speaks. Read.
Hopefully, understand. Or sympathize. Don't think that going through something like this is easy- it's not.

It's quite draining. Difficult.
But the sun comes up each morning- and I hear the birds. And it makes me SO happy to hear them. To feel the warm sun upon my skin. Before I move, before pain- I have lucid moments I can just enjoy.

It's the only life you've got- make the most of it you can.

Day 8 - Before & After

A friend of mine gave me a picture today which has inspired me.

It starts off with:
Things NOT to say to someone with a disabling chronic condition."

It hit home.
15 reasons it gives.

This is the first.

"But you don't look sick".

Ok, let me tell you something.
Look up. Yes, that's me. Before, and After.
The first picture was taken this morning, BEFORE my meds kicked in. So I was in considerable pain, and I didn't care that I took a snapshot that shows my face breaking out, redness, the awful bags under my eyes and my seemingly endless pout I have. Not intentional.

Don't tell me I don't look sick.
I don't sleep well.
Toss and turn.
The meds help me manage the pain, not the spasm- yet.

But here we go... This afternoon, when I finally found the energy to do... The right photo.

A swipe of mineral foundation here, some concealer there... Blend it in, ok skin's an even tone. Add some more concealer to under eyes- try to blend the awful blue and black half moons that seem permanently camped out there. Fail. Well, not totally.... You can't see them AS bad.

Swipe some color onto my lids.
In an attempt to make myself feel better, I try different combinations. This happened to be Mandarin and Cranberry, and a pretty white shimmer on my brow bone. Color in my brows, I almost forgot... Then grab the black eyeliner.

Go over it with Fig to tone down the black... Mascara, and another sweep of the brush to put more foundation on my skin. Evens it out even more- great stuff.
A healthy swipe of bronzer (what a lifesaver...) mascara, and lip gloss.

There you have it.
I don't look sick anymore.
I don't look rundown.
I don't look tired.
In chronic pain.
In any pain.
The color distracts and draws attention to my eyes.
They, however, still reveal my story.

Don't tell me I don't look sick.
The consequences... Will be creative.

Give Hugs... Even If You Think You Don't Have The Time

I'm venting this morning. It seems this week has harbored so much death, and I finally thought it was time to write about it.

A young teenage girl that I didn't know, but two of my friends did, was murdered over the last few days.
An 18 year old boy died from severe head trauma after a car accident at the beginning of this past week.
A 30 year old Navy Seal died from a parachute accident today. Today. The day hasn't even gotten going. Not really for me at least.
Two people, unidentified due to pending investigation, died in a plane crash in Maine yesterday.
21 year old Kelsey died after being ejected from her vehicle, then having a semi-truck hit her. The police believe she was using her phone as she drove yesterday.

Rest in peace Chloe, Suda, Tyler, Kelsy, and the two unidentified people in the plane crash. They each have names. They stay alive in our memories. For close friends and family, there are pictures, memories- they won't fade if you don't let them.

They all have names. They all have family who loved them. Friends who did too. It sucks, but the reports should be good.
Chloe should have been in the paper for having touched so many lives as I've heard- so sad that such a bright flame should be snuffed out so early.
Suda should have been in the paper for playing in the string trio, along with his mother and sister.
Tyler should have been in the paper for his standout leadership and actions in the war, and the accolades he received for serving his country.
The two people in the plane should have been in the paper for their own reasons.
Kelsey should have been in the paper for her accomplishments.

I'm on a rant here for a moment- we shouldn't have these deaths. They could have, for the most part, been avoided. Beyond things that are out of our hands and unavoidable- there's no reason all these people, children, had to die. But... Sometimes that's what fate has in store for us.

The moral of this post?
Hug your children close.
Give your parents a hug as you run out the house to go do something.
Hug your friends as you share a laugh. Or leave for the afternoon/evening.
Don't think it's embarrassing, you don't need to do it... Or that it makes you feel funny.
Life is precious, short. We never know when it will be taken.
Live the best you can with each day you've been given.
Never forget to love.

Day 7 - Pensive

Day 7 - Pensive, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

Selective color.

I like it in some photos.

Today has been rough.
So I did what I do to feel better... I broke out the RED lipstick.

Put some on, always feel good.
Then I made the bad decision to take the picture outside- swarmed by mosquitos and horse flies. UGH.

Got some good shots, but this was my choice for today.

Shock of color.
Yes, my hair is that red.
Yes, my lips are now that red.
My eyes toned down today.

She Wants Revenge.

I don't wanna fall in love.
And things are not so easy.
I know I'll have regrets, but that's the price of having learned the tough way.
Heart's gone anyways.
I want to be known as the red haired girl around town.

Once I can get out and around... And who knows when that will end up being.

Hey look! I made it one week so far!

Day 6 - Curly

Day 6 - Curly, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

I spent a little time outside today.
It's nice to get out every once in a while.

So before all the thunderstorms and rain blew through- there was about 40 minutes of sunshine. Hot rays. It was quite hot and humid today.

I went to the backyard.
I laid in the sun.
Evening out my burn, you might say. My shoulders are still scorched- peeling now. Lovely.

40 minutes feeling the sun's UV rays penetrating through my skin. Focusing on the way it kind of hurt, but didn't. Waiting for the storm at one point, smelling the rain in the air. The breezes that were passing through got cooler and cooler.

I focused on how laying in the sun made me feel.
Then hot.
Baking away my anger.
But not the pain. Not the fogginess.
I know it will not last forever.
I'll play again.
I'll do all the fun things I want.
Without limitations.
The sun absorbed me.
I the sun.
The heat sinking through my bones.
I felt good.

I let my hair down, in the breeze that was now markedly cooler. The sun hiding behind some light clouds.
Oh, but I know better than that.
Like I said, my back is a barometer. The clouds got fluffier and darker.
The breeze got almost chilly.
And the storms came in.
I gathered my things and went to the deck- put my bag and blanket inside. I sat on the decking wood.
Little drops at first, turning into large splats.
Hitting my shoulders, my nose.
My back, my legs.
The rain came harder- soaking my hair, my tank top, two piece swimsuit, sarong.
I listened to the rain.
It washed away the hot from the sun.
The anger. Confusion.
I felt cool.
The rain came down as little drops of clarity- although I couldn't grasp each one.
But it's ok.

Tomorrow comes.
And I'm sure will more sun, then rain. More time to think. Ponder.
Tomorrow is another day.
Perhaps I'll smile.

Day 5 - Violet Femme Eyes

The eyes are the windows to the soul.
Mine are blank, unfocused, empty. Pretty. But nevertheless, expressionless most days.
It's the medication.

This is how I play.
I create.
Makes me feel better.

Today I wanted violet eyes. I got them.
Pinks and purples tones on my eyelids, and my faithful black eyeliner. Can't go wrong.

Last night I broke our stairs. It would have been better if I had happened mid-day, but these things don't work like that I guess. Went to go to bed, and boom.. There goes the stairs. Bottom 2. I thought I was going to fall through and slide down into the basement.

Thankfully, they didn't fall OFF.
But I panicked, jerked myself upright and backwards, nearly fell. Once I knew the stairs weren't going anywhere, I turned around and sat on the 4th step up.

The end result... Today has been a very painful day. Not even the increase of the medicine dosage was able to mask it. The spasm flares up. *sighs*

There's also rain on the way.
Yes, I can predict the weather.
The spasm gets knotted, the pain creeps further around where it normally centers right above my right hip, on my back. A little right of my spine. Excruciating.
No comfortable position can be found. Not for any amount of time at least.

So... In an (nearly successful) attempt at being bright and positive today... This is what I was. Violette.

Day 4 - Before the Movement Hurts

In my nest of blankets I could have sworn I folded up and left at the bottom of my bed, I wake up in a mess of quilt, sheets and down throw. I'm half in, half out of them all. I left my camera in reach, next to my bed- so I reached.

I didn't sleep well. The Lidocane patch on my back has scrunched up, and it needs to be fixed. This will stay on until 2:30 today- since that's what time I finally had Mom put it on this morning. A 12 hour run, it helps with the pain- but not completely. Anything that alleviates this awful stabbing, sharp, dull and achy spasm is being tried.

I'm guessing perhaps Mom or Dad came in and threw the covers on me- it did get quite chilly last night. But I always sleep with my windows open in the summertime. I'm typically good with a sheet. I have no idea how I ended up in the midst of a blanket nest.

Turning over, easing my hips to the edge of the bed so I could swing my feet over... Hurt. A lot. This is the only time of day that I'm lucid. I can't even say that I'm coherent, the pain is overwhelming. Then come the medications... Which make me numb.

This is no way to live life.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
This too shall pass.

I will run.
I will play.
I will swim, hike, climb.
I will canoe.
I will ski.
I will buy a motorcycle.
And a 4 wheeler.
I'll ride them like I did before.
I will have fun.
I'll go sailing.
I'll try kayaking.
I'll wear my high heels.
I'll go dancing.
This won't last forever.

Day 4 - Waking Up, originally uploaded by The Snarky Princess.

Two pictures today.

An early post.

This was especially hard, since I woke up in a considerable amount of pain. It's raining, the barometric pressure is crazy, and my medications have worn off.

The first few moments of opening my eyes, and having the new day register all hits me like a truck.... I focus my eyes, the light is too bright and causes an instant headache.

Simply bringing my arm up shifts me a little bit, and it's sheer pain radiating which I feel. From lower-back right down my leg. Thank you for being around, rain. You've made my day hard already.

The sound of the rain, relaxes me. It's strange how something that hurts me also has such a calming effect.

What do you see here?


Since taking the pictures, and making the post.... The medications have kicked in. I feel... Sludgy.

Like, I'm moving in slow motion. I'm underwater, murky water, can't focus on anything under there... But feeling the mud below my feet. Feeling the dirt circling me, the particles. Each particle. Hypersensitive. Underwater- is this what it's like?

I scratch my skin, and it hurts. I'm not pressing very hard at all. Surprised my fingers are taking over and typing the words for me, because they sure aren't making sense in my head. And I didn't expect my random thoughts to be legible. I thought I'd have spelling errors galore, but that's also what spell check is for. Look, I can still joke a little. Hah. That amuses me. Wow, using big words too. *giggles*

What's the point of getting out of bed, if I come downstairs, take my meds, and want to go right back to sleep? I should be smart and take them up to bed with me. There's an idea... But I forget. I'll forget in 20 minutes I did this. I'll forget I took the pictures, and will take more with every intention to post them... And only then will I realize that I already did. Hah. I do, though, really like the photo I had for yesterday. I love being home. Photoshop- the REAL deal- ROCKS. So much easier to use than GIMP (I'm not cracking a joke, that's the actual program) wow I'm rambling.

I've grabbed a blanket, so now I'm not so cold. Sounds bother me. Especially when you put in a DVD- that whole THX sound check thingy drives me bonkers. I hate that sound. I mute it. Dad loves it. He doesn't. Someone yells, even if it's myself, it's like it resonates in my head and I hear it twice as loud as it's done. AAHHH. It's awful. And I think the range of sound, in addition to it getting louder as it goes, is what gets me. It really, truly makes me plug my ears so I don't have to hear it. My hands are starting to have the tremors again. This irritates me.

I still can't believe he dumped me. After three years of waiting for him. After not seeing anyone, dating nobody for 3 years. He said he loved me. I said it back. When I say it, I mean it. I hate that word- but will use it if felt. And it was. Is. I'm so numb to this, thankfully. Otherwise- I'd be a wreck. Perhaps it's good that I don't have a chance to analyze it in the mornings when I get up. I'm too focused on needing to get downstairs and get my meds, eat some food, and sit to wait for it to kick in. Then I realize I think about things. I loved him so much. I don't think he understands. I think he's lying in saying he doesn't want me. Whatever. That thought for the day is done. At least on here.

I need more water. And a nap I think. Maybe not, the spasm is cramping and making me curl to my right side- elbow into hip. UGH. Maybe I'll work on jewelry. Yes, I need to do that. Need to sell some. I wonder if there are any craft fairs- I can have someone sit in for me or something. I can't think about that right now, it's too much. Too much. Too long I've been like this. Something's gotta give.

Day 3 - Introspection

I deserve better than what I've settled for.

I have more worth than I realize.

I will not let anyone walk all over me again.

I am strong.
I am beautiful.
I am grateful.
I don't need to be defined by a man.

Thank you for making me realize it

Freedom, to continue to be a free spirit.
Nobody will ever chain me to the ground- I need someone to fly along with me. Spread my wings, and fly beside someone that will discover alongside me.

Perhaps someday.
If I choose to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart. But I doubt it. I suppose we'll see.

I'll miss him, but I don't need him.
I do love him still. Always.

But I am me, and I will not change.
Not for someone that wants to mold me into something they want- if I change, it's because I want to. NOT because I'm told to.

I can do this.

I don't wanna play games...

With my medications. But that's what the Dr. said... And that's currently what I'm apparently going to do. We need to manage pain, get me out of it, before moving on to a medication that will supposedly ease the spasm in my back. I'm so sick and tired of feeling like this- pain, then numb.

This new medication I got a few weeks ago makes me feel underwater- foggy, numb. We're increasing the dosage because I'm not pain free- I'm just more comfortable on this medication than I was Tramadol. The one I'm taking now is Neurontin/Gabapentin. It's an epileptic medication- which apparently Tramadol can induce if taken too often, which I was doing and not aware of it- but it's also a very strong pain killer. It's baffling both my Doctors that this isn't under control, never mind healed at this point. The spasm in my back just will not let go. Torn muscles, ligaments... But not healing. Not getting better. It hurts.

It's been 4 months of this pain. 3 months since I came home, in 4 days. I wake up in the mornings, the only time of day that I'm lucid. And the pain is horrible- mind numbing in a totally different way than the medications make me. I usually ease down the stairs in the morning on my butt. Too afraid that if I step down, my leg will eventually one day give out and I'll go toppling head first down the stairs. It hasn't happened yet, I sure hope it doesn't. Some mornings, though, I'm able to step down- with my left leg first. Not often though. Then the meds kick in. I get the sensation of slowly going underwater, then the fog comes. And the pain disappears. Mostly. Not completely... But like I said, we're working on that. The medication will be increased gradually over the next few days. More fog. More sleep. The skeletal relaxant only relieves the stiffness in the morning. Celebrex, well, I haven't noticed much of a difference being on it- to be totally blunt. Maybe I just haven't noticed it. It's quite possible.

I think the water therapy is helping. Moving in the water, stretching out, it does help. Even though it's little steps at a time- it's better than no improvement. I'm just very down that I haven't had significant improvement. It seems I'm at a standstill, a red light that has no intention of turning green anytime soon. Things are just piling up, and I'm trying like hell to deal with the stress of it all. I'm antisocial, but I miss my friends. I'm hungry, but not. I'm losing so much weight, I might end up gaunt soon. (joke) I don't want to do anything, but I miss being out too. It's ridiculous.

My mood swings are up and down, ridiculously unpredictable. Not in a bitchy or bad way, only foggy. I want to do something, and then I change my mind and decide no. This medication, we've decided, will be increased. Which means I'll be sleeping even more than I have been. I'll be foggier and need to focus more on what's being said to me in an conversation- I'll have to concentrate. I may ask for things to be repeated- I'm sure I'll miss some of it.

Despite all this overwhelming shit, I'm determined to make positive out of it.
I don't want to stay negative.
The purpose of my new project- the picture a day for a year, perhaps longer... Gives me a reason to look forward to tomorrow. Not that I'm thinking any crazy thoughts- I'm not- I'm just tired of being in chronic pain. I need a positive influence- creativity to flow. I need to devise what picture I'll take. How I'll take it, the setting, the conveyance of emotion. Will it be happy? Sad? Unreadable? Portraits of me, each day, no matter now good or bad I feel. It may be my entire body. It may be my face. It may be my hands, eyes, back, or any other part of my body that I may or may not show. It's a work of progress- a work in progress. It's me, plain and simple. Watch as I change, a progression of growth and trying to cope with anything that life may throw at me. I think it's a good project. A positive growth experience. I'm two days in, and I'm happy with what I've done. We'll see how long it takes before I get aggravated with it- as I'm sure I will. But mark my words- I'll do this for at least 365 days straight. I said I would.

Day 2 - Cracked, Chipped, and Broken

He left, he's gone, and I don't really know or understand why. I suppose it's no matter now- since he won't even talk to me. Whatever. My heart is in pieces, and I refuse to pick them up again. It's just much too painful. But... This too shall pass.

"Honeymoon Red" polish. Hah. At least I didn't totally trust him at his word, otherwise this would hurt more. Still, after all these years, I trusted him more than the others. But, I always save a little piece for me. So I don't end up completely crushed. The medications are numbing me to this loss too. I'm devastated. But, can't say I'm complaining. No, we didn't get engaged or married. But he was the one I wanted to grow old with. He knew this. He lied when he said he wanted me closer. I wonder how it is living with that kind of a weight on your shoulders, as I haven't. At least I can say that I myself have been honest, loyal, truthful. I don't believe he can say the same.

I just realized this is the longest my nails have ever been naturally (acrylics used to be my best friend)- and my cuticles look awful. I'll have to make a mental note (and hopefully not forget) to give myself a new manicure. Take this "Honeymoon Red" off, and put a new color on. It's like an instant mood changer... New, fresh, pretty... Not chipped up and broken to bits.

Day 1- The Eyes Tell the Story

I came across a photo project last night from a photograph collection of an artist which has inspired me. One photo a day, for an entire year.

Oh yes, some days will be hard. And for my eye shots, I'll have to edit them before I post- but there will be creativity in all of these pictures. Some will be random shots that I'll pick up and do on a whim. Some will be staged, and viewed from an artistic eye as best I can. This is where a tripod comes in handy. Which I have. And will utilize.

I'm sitting here thinking now, I can't wait to burn my cane. The one I walk with. There's so much numbness going on in my head right now from all the medications- I need to focus on what I can make better. I need to be creative. This, I think, is the perfect outlet to do such.

So to you, I give me. Photographs. Once a day. For a year. Perhaps longer, if I find the time to keep it up. I think this is a positive focus to drag me out of the depression and sad view I've struggled with through this back problem of mine, in addition to someone very dear just "giving me up" like that. So easy. I wish hearts weren't so vulnerable to breaking... But I am, broken, into so many pieces I can't pick them all up. I'm not picking any of them up. I shall stay as I am for now. I will heal. Maybe, just maybe.... I'll be able to smile in one of them someday.

There's no place like home....

And happy endings are just stories that haven't finished yet.
Yes, I'm being pessimistic. I'm not ready to share why just yet.

Well, here I am... Still. In the recliner. Pain is being managed, but the spasm in my back still hasn't let up. I just don't know what's wrong. I've tried swimming in the river, and just floating- it's really low this year, and the current isn't that strong. I was quite surprised that I feel like I was able to stretch out and feel a little better- but the knot right above my hip remains. No wonder they have people using water therapy- you're weightless in water. It's easier to move. It's not as sudden as a movement.

However, if you're stupid like me and don't bring sunblock.... Well, you get burned. Or in my case- fried to a crisp. Blistered up on my shoulders pretty good- I hope I don't peel too bad. I've been able to get to the river three times this past week- and I'm hoping the rain we had this morning will bring up the water level a bit. Typically (and I'm obviously not taking part of it this year) we jump off the bridge into the water- but it barely hits 6ft on one side, and the other is maybe 7 1/2 feet deep. Much too shallow for safe jumping... Not to mention we're not supposed to do it... And there's a fine if you get caught. But there they are- the dumb boys, teenagers, showing off and doing backflips off the bridge. It's a decent sized fall. I have no problem doing it typically- but there's no way I'm walking all the way up to the bridge, climbing over the railing, then jumping. And I can't balance for crap, so I wouldn't be able to jump from the railing like I've done before. Meh. It's fine by me. I'm all about the leisurely float down the river when I hold my breath- and I don't really need to kick hard or use my legs... So my arms are getting a workout. Well, a little one.

The updates recently are not much, unfortunately.

I'm still in pain, but at least now it's being managed to where I'm comfortable. I've still got the spasm, which has not let go at all. The nerve blocks I had 2 months ago have already worn off, and the sciatica pain is starting up again. I'm still randomly falling, though the last few times I was near a chair or was able to catch myself on the counters here at home. I still don't have any warning when it's going to go, so it's a matter of guessing what the probability of me falling on a given day will be. I've lost my cane- it's been misplaced somewhere. And I really don't want to use my walker. UGH. I hate that I even have one. I shouldn't need one. I'm not ranting about that now, I could take up way too much time.

I was supposed to have an MRI this past Monday on my head, to determine if any of this is something neurological going on in my head- but because of my braces they couldn't get a clear picture of the area they needed the pictures most. The metal interfered with the machine, and "ghosted" out where the image of my brain stem would have started they said. So- the most important part of what they needed to see to determine if there's something wrong inside my skull- they can't see. The closest place I'd be able to have any of this done would be Boston, because the machines there have the capability to accurately "guess-timate" what's in there and produce a workable picture of it. My concern is that I've been through quite a bit of radiation exposure already. I don't want to do any more unless it's absolutely necessary. I see the neurologist again this coming Monday afternoon- my fingers are crossed that he can come up with something better than "adult shingles without the rash". Oh, yes, that was his preliminary diagnosis the other week. I can't remember when I last saw him... July 1 I think? I don't remember. Still forgetting things, dates, pretty much everything. I don't think adult shingles would make my back spasm so severely. I don't think it would make my hands shake, or when I cross my big toe over my smaller ones on my right foot- make it start shaking worse than a Parkinson's patient. I don't think shingles would do that. Plus, my foot cramps- so to get it to stop shaking is painful too. I forgot to show him that. Remind me to.

I'm so tired at this point, I barely sleep. Or I do if I take my Valium at night. I don't like doing that, because even though I do end up sleeping through the night- I don't feel rested. I've got such dark circles under my eyes, it's ridiculous. They won't go away. I can barely cover them up with makeup, and my eyes- just look dead half the time. It's scary how the physical toll is starting to really show. I came home the weekend of April 16th. Since then, I've lost 43 lbs. It's the medications that I've been taking- I have no appetite. I have to time it in the morning so when I come down, I take my meds and eat immediately. Otherwise, I won't have anything until mid-afternoon, which is a bite or two (literally), and then I'll eat a small dinner. I'm just not hungry. I'm tired ALL the time, but don't really sleep for more than an hour during the day- unless I'm completely wiped out. Typically, it's small 15-20 minute naps that get me as I sit in my recliner. Doing nothing. Well, doing this. Blogging. Facebook. Attempting to make jewelry. I'm not sure if it's safe for me to be in the sun with the combination of medications I'm on, but I went out yesterday and laid for a little while. Made the burn on my shoulders extend to one on my arms, lower back, belly and legs. Yep. I successfully made my little burn into a big one. Wonderful. Oh yes, I've lost enough weight that I bought myself a two-piece bathing suit. I won't call it a bikini, because those barely cover anything... But this one looks good. I just need to lose a little more around my middle before I go to the river in just the suit itself. Like, only 15 lbs to do it. Don't take it as I'm going down to the river and having fun... No. It's more like water therapy. Just... Free.

I have to be careful in the water. I've had my leg go numb on me a few times already- which on dry land would mean I fall down, injuring myself again. The danger here is that I can't use my leg to swim. Luckily, my arms can do the job for me. The water in the area I stick to is quite shallow- only really getting to about 8 feet deep across the far side of the bank, and of course much shallower to the side I go to- which means I can walk, or put my feet down on the ground if I need to. I can float without a problem- take a breath. Most people don't realize that- so here's my tip for the blog: if you're ever having trouble in the water, take a big breath and hold it, and roll to your back if you can. Stop flailing your limbs- it will sink you quicker. Relax. Float.

Back to updates. Um. Well. There really isn't much more to tell. My doctor's not sure what's causing what's wrong with me- but we know it's torn ligaments/muscles. That's what's causing the spasm. The nerve blocks should have lasted at least 6 months. It was more like 6 weeks. Oh, and Dad just found my cane. Whoop de doo. We'll see what the Neurologist says on Monday afternoon. My fingers are crossed that he's going to come up with some sort of different diagnosis other than... Shingles.

On another note, and I'll get some pictures unloaded soon... I did go and sit and watch the parades for the 4th of July. Then we went to the park and I sat for the evening in a comfortable chair, watching the different acts that they put on for a show. Let me say, they ALL were amazing. I then saw the best Fireworks show up here ever.

But for now... I'm going to rest. These medications really do kick my butt. Lucky for me, it also makes me numb to another situation that has happened. In time, I'll open up about that one.


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