Saturday, June 27, 2009

Morning wood.

This isn't as interesting as it sounds. I'm talking about fibro sufferers who get morning stiffness. Mine is usually in the mid back and neck and sometimes will lessen throughout the day. Other times I can just be standing or sitting there and suddenly my neck will spasm and sort of seize up. Like today -- I was standing in my studio and without moving a muscle, it happened. I could swear it actually made a sound as it began to tighten. See the accompanying illustration? That's where it hurts, yep. Usually on the right side and today it doesn't seem to be getting better. So, I'm on pain medication and it's barely making a dent. I realize this could be your run-of-the-mill, old-guy stuff, but seeing how I was just standing there like a slug when it happened, I suspect something more sinister is at work here. OK, I was ironing, still, I can say with all confidence that it was less than rigorous. Believe me, there are times I iron with an unbridled passion, (Who doesn't?) this just wasn't one of those times, is all I'm saying. So, there I was, "calmly" ironing, when I paused to check my water levels, meters and gauges, Hazmat suit (it's a Black and Decker, industrial "man-iron") and then, without so much as a memo, pain and the sound of me whining.
Weekends really blow when you don't have access to a really good massage therapist. I'd even settle for a heating pad right about now. I guess I'll be living better through chemistry over the next few days, which means things will be a bit fuzzy... er. I wonder if anyone in my house will notice?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pardon me, while I puke

Somewhere in Iowa we're sitting in a hotel room with two kids who are wired like midget, crack addicts and me fighting the urge to throw up. I'm taking two different antibiotics and my guts are doing that freaky dance that Rerun did on "What's Happening". My wife is the only voice of reason here. It's Father's Day and we've spent it on the road, which wasn't all bad -- the scenery was nice...ish, but I'm ready to be home and not living out of a suitcase. A word about Des Moines, Iowa. I've only driven through a small portion of this place and from where I sit, they've figured out how to inject the Jesus into just about everything here. Now, I have nothing against Jesus, I mean for the love of Pete, the dude bought the farm for our sins and all. You don't take one for the team like that and get badmouthed by me, no way, no how... not here... not like this. But weird displays in restaurants and gas stations all promoting Christianity? What the hell is it with middle-aged, Christian women and their fascination with everything Elvis? And, while I'm Jerry Seinfelding here, what's with the blown glass? I mean their just ape shit about the stuff... who are these people? A word of caution if you're traveling down I-80 and come upon the Red Roof Inn. Keep driving. Even if you're really tired and in danger of crashing. You're likely to have a better dining and sleeping experience upside down in your car, bleeding from a torn anus than stopping at the Red Roof Inn. This particular "hotel" is a crap hole. Some of the lights were burned out in our room, the toilet leaked and well, aside from the TV having horrible reception, the place smelled like a combination of stale smoke and the inside of a baby's diaper. Needless to say it had a real depressing feel to it. Perhaps that's what really happened to David Carradine, he stayed at a Red Roof Inn. Whoa, too soon for DC jokes? Perhaps. But I was ready to choke myself (and not in a sexual way) to keep from seeing the inside of this place any longer than necessary. Not to mention the sound of the highway right outside the window, of course that was just a bonus. I'll be honest here, I really enjoy a clean hotel and a little room service. It doesn't have to be fancy, just clean and well run and some burgers on the menu. Anything in addition to that is gravy, and from now on I'll look for those little gravy droplettes any chance I get. There is nothing more depressing than staying in a cruddy hotel room, unless you have a different agenda. Now, if I were smuggling heroine or needing to dispose of a body, this place would have been ideal. Gun running or snorting cocaine off a hooker's ass? Yep, this was the place to do it. Hiding from the law or going under witness protection? Bingo -- Red Roof Inn. But, my vacation included none of these activities. Oh hell, I just realized something. I'm not angry that this place sucked -- I'm bitter coz I haven't snorted cocaine off of a hooker's ass. God I'm transparent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Say cheese

Holy crap my back hurts. That's what I mean to imply with the art here. Also, it could mean that you shouldn't poop stars and pie wedges in public...
I'm on vacation now with the family. We're in Wisconsin, right near Madison. The people here are very friendly -- except for me. I'm not sure how this has played out, but I've been ill since I hit the road last Sunday. I had prostatitis, which in turn made me more vulnerable to other things. The fibro stuff is out of control -- back pain from hell, radioactive skin sensitivity and a pissy disposition. I had almost the exact same episode last year ... while on vacation. Shit. Now I have a sinus infection. I'm beginning to think that every time I plan a vacation, I should just schedule an appointment with the local hospital. I went to the urgent care last night because of the sinus thing. I know I sound like a punk-ass bitch, but after three nights of not sleeping and the intense pain, I knew I was starting to slip. I'm here for a wedding and need to have my wife's back (it's her friend getting married) since she's one of the bride's maids. I'm on kid patrol while they have the bridal shower. I know if this were something new or really bad she'd drop everything and be there for her husband. But, it's the same old turd-fest with me -- which I'm sure most fibro sufferers experience.
"Oh hi, this is my husband, he feels like ass... so, how are you?..."
So, I'm now on two antibiotics -- Cipro and amoxicillin. If you ever had the pleasure of this lovely cocktail, it really jacks with your stomach. I'm taking enough probiotics that I should start shitting mushrooms within the next few minutes. Ironic that I'm in cheese country, with a head full of snot, a stomach full of bile and an ass full of spores. Or maybe it's just comical. As I said in my last blog, guilt is a real sock to the pills. I wish I could figure out a better way to cope with the timing of this particular episode. I wonder if seasonal allergies are part of the problem, since it has happened three times in as many years. Of course I could just be a big girl's blouse.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To sleep, perchance to scream

Yep. It's official. People with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are perceived as whiny bitches. To make matters worse, even though the medical community (at least a majority) now acknowledge that these conditions are real, the stereotypes are still there and many sufferers are adding guilt and isolation to their long list of symptoms. I was surprised as hell to learn that roughly 60 percent of fibro and CFS sufferers also endure some form of depression and/or anxiety. The correlation between mental/emotional health and physical health is something the average person tends to miss. Sure, we know that if we lose our job, our wife runs off with .. well, someone's wife, the world is gonna close in on you in a hurry. Losing or gaining weight and feeling depressed are certainly a good bet. However, when you see the commercial on TV about the "The Pain of Depression" whoever they are, they're bloody serious. Mental and emotional trauma will bitch-slap you so hard that your unborn children will feel it. It's no surprise that so many people in their 30s and 40s crack up because of unresolved abuse they endured in their youth. Hell, it's likely they're still repeating the cycle of whatever abuse that forged them in the first place. So, if you are dealing with either of these conditions, chances are, a friend, relative or an uninformed (dumb-ass) medical professional has cast a weary eye your way. In my case it was a chiropractor. I was surprised when he went off and said "That's not even a real condition, is it?" Well, some would say you're not a real doctor, but I keep coming back here so you can smack me around like your own personal bitch. OK, I didn't say that, but I played it over a few times in my head after I left his office and each time I looked like a hero.
Don't listen to this doubting crap. It's real.
Of course, this doesn't give us permission to sit around and cry about it. We have to get up off our collective asses and be proactive about feeling better. I know for some sufferers it's nearly impossible. But there are some of us who are too comfortable with the condition defining them, and not getting up and moving around. To those people I say, don't do it. Do anything you can to grow a pair (testicles or ovaries, name your poison) and give fibro and CFS the flying cock-punch they deserve.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A sphincter says what?

Note: This is what I get for making light of getting my prostate checked in my last blog.
As I understand it, infections are commonplace with fibro sufferers. You name it, sinus or urinary tract -- there's a lovely buffet to choose from. It's difficult to say which came first, the chicken, (infection) or the egg, (fibro.) I've read that certain viral infections (and some bacterial, due to weakened immunity) can trigger fibromyalgia symptoms in those who have the condition. Or, does the condition make you more susceptible to infection? Before my head explodes, I'll just say that prostatitis (infection of the prostate) is my personal favorite. Not an uncommon infection among middle-aged men, but none-the-less, a real pain in the arse, if you'll pardon the pun. I get this maybe once or twice a year with all the usual fanfare:
Me: "Hello, is doctor jelly finger in?"
"Sure is! And he's got a hand the size of Hellboy, just waiting to make your acquaintance!"
"Well, that's all the invitation I need. Can I come by and have him route my tail pipe and jiggle my jumblies, while we casually discuss sports, American Idol and pretend my undercarriage isn't resting in his capable, monster-sized hands?"
"You betcha, cowboy! Besides he's good and drunk after a round of golf."
... I digress.

Still, it was my good fortune to have a female doctor see me today. I know what you're thinking: Well yeah ... dude... you don't want another dude ... messin' with yer ... uh ... junk. Frankly, women doctors are just a hell of a lot more considerate and gentle ... at least with me. However, there was this volleyball-coach-looking doctor, she made me feel like a prison bride ... but again, I digress.
So, as suspected, I have an infected prostate. It's nothing to get too weirded-out about right? We're all adults here, and men get goofy stuff going on with their hoo-hah-area just like women do. I heard that some fibro fans go into antibiotic therapy to help alleviate symptoms of ongoing bacterial infections and again, it's difficult for me, who isn't a doctor (other than the one I play on TV) to say how all of this fits together. Since the "condition" seems to have unique symptoms for everyone, see your MD and for the love of God, insist on a nice dinner coz something under your Dockers is gonna get fiddled with.