4 Reasons There’s No Post Today

I’ve been having a tough week, health-wise (see Monday’s missing post as an example), but I figured I could leave you with a short bit of dark humor

1. I think my head might explode: I have the headache from hell, and since it’s in my neck too, I’m having a hard time convincing my anxiety that it’s not meningitis. Also, my cat Spike is a mother hen when I don’t feel good. It’s sweet, except that he’s 18 pounds and he insists on constantly touching my face.

2. I keep falling asleep: And not just in inappropriate ways like when I’m laying down. Sitting up is fair game too. You know the warning they put on NyQuil about not operating heavy machinery? I need that on me.

3. The world is spinning: Since I started physical therapy a few weeks ago, my POTS has been in a consistent flare. It’s depressing that 7 minutes of laying down exercise can affect me this badly. I’m eating tons of salt, like the experts recommend, but my I can’t really feel my face anymore…

4. My hands are shaking: Another POTS symptom, it’s because my blood sugar is all over the place. My body goes into full-on trembling shaky sweaty rebellion if I don’t eat exactly every 3 hours. I never thought my pancreas could hold me hostage, but here we are. Who knows, maybe next week my spleen will demand $10000 in unmarked bills.

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope your bodies feel better than mine.

6 Word Stories pt. 26

See, just like I promised, no more medical stories! Technically only half of my steri-strips are gone, but I thought I’d let you guys off early. This week has been good. Quiet, which is what I’ve needed. Although the East Coasted is getting slammed by French Toast Weather (which is a phrase popular in St. Louis- it means a storm bad enough that people obsessively buy milk, eggs, and bread. I think it’s charming), we’ve been having lovely weather. I’ve been feeling a bit of a hole in my life now that the Winter Olympics are done. It was like a 3 week long super intense Special Interest that’s just abruptly gone. I also finished a big knitting project, so my hands feel a bit empty too. Guess it’s time to cast on something new!

  • Flapping to forget my wet socks.
  • I love sharing Special Interests together!
  • Sitting in the sun is rejuvenating.
  • On non-stop day I need quiet.
  • Knitting is such a productive stim.
  • My favorite TV show is back!
  • Pets are the best pressure stims.

This coming week should be good though, I finally start physical therapy. Time for some real progress!


5 Post-Surgery Necessities

I promise that I’ll lay off the medical stuff as soon as my steri-strips come off (which should be in the next few days!), but until I can go a whole day without screaming because a cat stepped on my incisions, you’re stuck with post-surgery me.

This list is less of a practical guide for after surgery needs and slightly more tongue in cheek, although if you find any of this useful, well great! What a happy surprise!

Two surgeries in two months have gotten me into a bit of a routine (which all you Neurodivergent folks know can be kind of dangerous), and without further ado, here are my post-surgical necessities.

1. Pancakes: One of the suckiest things about surgery is that you can’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day of. Now, I can handle the no fluids things pretty well, but I get seriously crabby when I’m hungry. Especially on days when my surgery is scheduled for 11 am, and I have to spend the whole morning with my stomach doing hungry backflips. It was after this incident that my wife made a deal. I make it through surgery, and we go and get pancakes afterwards. I love pancakes enough that this is enough incentive for me to get through the hunger pains with only minor bitching. On top of being a good bribe, pancakes are carb-y and syrupy, and if you add in some eggs, you could even call it a well-balanced meal. All I care about is the deliciousness though.

2. Stuffed Animals: It is a tradition in my family that after surgery, I get a new stuffed animal. This started about 8 years ago when I had urinary tract surgery. My mother-in-law bought me a stuffed tiger that I named Hobbes. To this day, I sleep with him every night, and the rest I suppose, is history. A stuffed animal is necessary for me, because when I’m exhausted and in pain, all I want is something soft to snuggle. And I think that they’re a great visual representation of the surgery, instead of just remembering the pain and the scars. Luckily I don’t have surgery that often, or I’d have a zoo!

3. A Movie Marathon: Post surgery sucks. Everything hurts, and thanks to leftover anesthesia and pain meds, I don’t have the mental energy to do things like read or knit. But my brain still needs some stimulation, and this is where having a to-watch plan comes in. I use the word movie marathon, which totally works- Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings all work great for this. TV shows do too. X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are two of my favorites. For me, I just need to make sure I’ve got at least 72 hours with of stuff to watch, otherwise, I’ll just watch Moana on repeat like last time (which isn’t bad, but it means I’ve got You’re Welcome stuck in my head for weeks.)

4. Ice. All the Ice: This is the most practical one. Not only does ice make things feel all icy and numb, but it confuses your nerves so at least if you’re in pain, it’s because your skin is freezing, not the giant gash on your leg. We’re in possession of several of these, that we rotate through the freezer, and are a thousand times better than the contraptions that they send you home from the hospital with. These things require you to fill them with a ton of actual ice- which I don’t know about you, but my freezer doesn’t have enough room to make, and while they insist that they seal waterproof, that is a lie. And the last thing that you want when you’re taking a restorative nap is to have ice cascade down your chest. Believe me, I’ve suffered enough for all of us.

5. Pets: There is nothing better than a snuggly animal when you feel like crap. Both of my cats seem to be able to know when I’m under the weather. Spike in particular zeros in on any trace of blood, and seems to think that it’s his job to eradicate it. Which is not sanitary at all. But does he listen? No. Angel hovers. No matter where I am, he’s within about 4 feet of me. If given the opportunity, he’ll spend all of his time gently patting me with his paw, which he seems convinced is helpful. They both try, they really do. However, there is nothing like taking a nap with a warm cat on your chest, and the most healing thing post-surgery plenty of naps.

So here we are. Hopefully at the end of my surgery road, and moving on to topics unknown! If you’ve had surgery, and have any post-surgery must-haves, let me know! (although I’m hoping that I’ll never need it).

6 Word Stories pt. 18

Well, at the beginning of the week I had zero upcoming surgeries, and now I have two. Both of them are good, one is the start of a therapy that should make a huge difference for my POTS, and the second should finally resolve the hip pain I’ve been having, but boy, after months of nothing happening, it’s all coming together! I also had a lovely birthday, and I think I’m handling being old (aka, 30, really well).

  • Doctors need to stop touching me
  • I guess being old isn’t awful
  • Other cane users smile at me
  • Everything I wrapped looks like potatoes
  • My health keeps me from life
  • Pet a puppy, best day ever!
  • Do your cats just…stare sometimes?

I hope everyone has a nice holiday, whatever it is that you do or don’t celebrate!

7 Pictures on My Phone

So there are more than 7 Pictures on my phone. More like a thousand, actually. I have trouble deleting them, even if they are backed up. Even more so, I’m showing my age by being baffled by “the cloud”. Like, I know that Cloud means information is stored digitally somewhere, but I just not quite there when it comes to using it. Eh, I’ve never been much of an early adapter anyway.

So what I did for this list was go through all 1000+ and picked out the 7 that I loved most. The number is 7 because I got tired of emailing myself images. That’s a great reason, right?

Jess and Spike.jpeg

This is my wife! Doesn’t she have a great smile? As you can see, Spike the Cat doesn’t care about looking good for the camera. In fact, he seems to resent the fact that neither of us are petting him. This is kind of an old picture, but believe me, he still makes that face.

Meesh Tattoo
Wow, my arm looks very large, but I guess it’s worth it so I can show you my tattoo! I got it this spring, and I love it! My best friend loved elephants more than I’ve ever seen anyone love an animal, so when she died, I knew exactly what sort of memorial tattoo I was going to get. The pain wasn’t nearly as bad I had worried about, but oh boy the pressure was a lot!
Cinnamon Roll Turkey.jpeg

Can you tell that it’s supposed to be a turkey? No worries, it’s a bit abstract, but they’re delicious, so it’s ok! This is the first time we’ve successfully made Gluten Free cinnamon rolls for my wife, and these turned out so well! Now we’ve got delicious pastries AND a new Thanksgiving breakfast tradition!

Baby Michi Judges You.jpeg

Would you believe this tiny judgey baby is in fact Me? Oh, well maybe you would. I’m about one here, and my sister found the photo when she was going through some old boxes. Somehow Baby Michi turned into a sort family meme, and let’s just say it gets sent back and forth a lot. 

Balloon Glow.jpeg

As you may know, I live in St. Louis, and every summer there’s a huge balloon race! The night before, they blow up all the balloons as the sun sets, and people bring picnics and blankets and just sit and watch. It’s a magical experience, one that I remember experiences during childhood, and now I get to share it with Jess (who loved it!)

Wedding Soot Sprites.jpeg

Weddings can be very stressful. Lots of people you don’t know, food you can’t predict, the music is usually loud and you have to make small talk with strangers. Not this wedding though! No DJ, no dancing, no small talk. Just Facepainters and Magicians and Sword Swallowers. They basically hired the Renaissance Faire to play the wedding. Those things on my arm are Soot Sprites, from the movie Spirited Away! I also had them on my tie, and the Facepainter suggested she give me some to match. I was so sad when they washed off!

Birthday Spike.jpeg

We started with Spike, so we’re going to end with Spike. This was taken on my wife’s birthday a few years ago. He had never seen flames before, and he was obsessed with getting close to the candle. After shooing him away a few times, we let him investigate, figuring that he’d stop when it got hot. Well, long story short, he didn’t, and this picture was taken moments before he ended up with some singed whiskers. Not the smartest cat, but he sure is cute!

Well, I hope you enjoyed talking a walk through my photo albums. In doing this I realized that while artistic value played a part in the photos that I picked, having a story behind the photo was actually more important to me. Are you a photo hoarder like me? Do you have pictures with stories? Tell me about them!

Gratitude Gremlins

So I’m going to need you to stick with me when I say that I have Gratitude Gremlins. The definition of a gremlin defines it as “An invisible being, that causes problems or difficulties”. And let me tell you- gratitude definitely causes me difficulties.

It’s not the concept of gratitude that I struggle with. I’ve lived through 29 Thanksgivings, with their required recitation of things we’re thankful for. I’m pretty sure for at least 25 of those, I’ve been grateful for my cats. Which says a lot about who I am as a person.

My problem is gratitude within the scope of mental health. Starting off my day reciting 3 things I’m grateful for seems forced. I think gratitude is much more authentic when it comes spontaneously. In fact, I would go as far as to say that pushing yourself to rack your brain for something you’re thankful for kind of defeats the purpose of the exercise.

I prefer to express my gratitudes as they come. “I love your hair!”, “This pie is delicious!”, “What would I do without you?”, “You’re hilarious, I love it!”. “I love you”. When I think something positive about someone, I tell them. It’s good for both of our souls.

That being said, I am thankful for many things, and I’d like to share a few of them with you.

  • The Cats- they keep me warm, give me someone to talk to, and they make me laugh.
  • Jess- my wife, my humor twin, my soulmate, my interpreter to the world.
  • My team- the doctors and therapists that keep me going.
  • My recovery- my life is so much fuller when it’s not filled with an eating disorder.
  • Coffee- for reasons I should not have to explain.
  • My Dungeons and Dragons group- they provide socialization and epic adventures.
  • The kids I volunteer with- they’re funny and unpredictable, they keep me moving!
  • My City- for giving me opportunities to get out and do stuff.

Honorable mention includes the Gluten Free cinnamon buns we made, they were amazing!

I hope all the Americans here have a happy Thanksgiving, and to everyone else, Happy Thursday! As always, I’d love to hear about your Thanksgiving traditions, favorite foods, and what you’re thankful for!

6 Word Stories pt. 13

So if the stories referencing hats, scarves, sweaters, and heated cat beds weren’t enough of a clue, it’s been cold in St. Louis this week! My POTS has been pretty flair-y this week. I overdid it a couple of times, but it was so worth it! We saw a concert, and Jess won tickets to see a musical at our local theatre! So yeah, I’m spending most of my time with my legs propped up consuming unnatural amounts of sodium. And to add insult to injury, the cats would rather sleep in their heated bed than snuggle with me. Traitors!

  1. Sweaters, scarves, and hats, oh my!
  2. NaNoWriMo is great for stress! Not.
  3. Heated cat bed 1, me 0.
  4. Of course chronic illness exacerbates autism.
  5. Do big crowds know they’re loud?
  6. Trying board games for sensory distraction.