Rose
Title: The Uneasy Path
Fandom: Chronicles of Narnia (Books)
Series: The Harder Choice, The Greater Reward
Pairing:
Lucy/Caspian
Rating: T – changed due to future discussion of serious topics that might not be appropriate for those under the age of 13
Word Count: To be added later.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the plot. I make no money. I write out of love only, and I hope I don't make Lewis roll over too many times in his grave.
Notes: I apologize for the extreme delay; my various treatments for my health problems are as bad as the diseases themselves, really, and they've been very hard one me. On top of that, my insurance is using dirty tactics to try and deny paying for parts of it. Real life, by necessity and sanity, must come first, but I promise this story will be finished. I now have a regular update schedule. :D
Other Parts | Table of Contents:
Distant Prologue: The Little Hellcat of the North*
Immediate Prologue: The Balance of Justice and Mercy*
Chapter 01: What Happened in Caspian's Cabin
Chapter 02: Lucy and Caspian Discuss the Choice
Chapter 03: The Discussion of Two Kings
Chapter 04: The Parting at the Edge of the Sea

Chapter 05: What Happened In The Queen's Cabin <--NEW 
Chapter 06: Edmund and the Painting <--NEW
Chapter 07: The Return to Ramandu's Island
<--NEW

* Both The Little Hellcat of the North and The Balance of Justice and Mercy can also be viewed as stand-alones; The Little Hellcat of the North is part of my Myths of Narnia series, which I will write more of. This one is the Calormene's version of the defeat of the White Witch, as well as a Calormene Lord coming to the Cair to court the youngest queen, and what happens.
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Rose
30 August 2014 @ 04:28 pm
Trying to update more. Trying to read my flist more, too, though updating more I'm trying to first.

Found a few people on LJ and here both had been accidentally unfriended and fixed that, so I've some to fix yet. I plan to do so if over time.

It took me a while to realize why, really, I'd stopped updating. Mostly because my reputation was trashed by some with untrue things--even though some who did the trashing believed it to be true, I'm sure, so no blame nor accusation of lying meant--and most of those who knew the truth didn't say it. Some people who'd called me one of their dearest friends stopped speaking to me and, in some cases, flat out lied to me, and despite my hurt and anger, I missed them all the while.

I still miss most of those people. From both groups. I'd still be friends with most of them again, if they'd with me--truly with me--but my heart and soul are both much more callused than once they were.

So after all that, being kept informed by more than one that gossiping was being said about me behind my back yet, and after going through various mixes of anti-depressants, I stopped. Stopped updating. Stopped reading.

Didn't stop crying or wishing, but that was the work that seemed much more important than blogging.

So, here I am. Back...back in the way I first approached LJ and DW and such, I hope.

We will see how it goes. If those I've refriended and will yet refriend do the same to me. Talk to me. I'd like them--you--to.

For the rest, we'll see.

I've no time to waste on lies or those who say they love me and call me friend and ignore me for bouts on end, or any such.

I literally don't.

But I've all the time in the world for forgiveness and love and reconciliation and friendship.

I'd like to hope that all you do too.

Current email: running.towards.spring@gmail.com.
 
 
 
 
Rose
19 August 2014 @ 03:27 pm
Slickdeals.net has some awesome deals today. Go check them out! (No, I make nothing if you buy these things. You just save money. Which, y'know, always rocks.)
 
 
 
 
Rose
Are you aware of AmazonSmile?

Located at (in case for some reason you can't just...click the embedded link) http://smile.amazon.com/, it allows you to support one of any number of charities every time you shop at Amazon.

The first time you go to the site, you choose the charity you want to support from a huge list. (You can change the charity to another at any time.) Every time you shop at Amazon, the company will make a donation to the charity of your choice--IF you go to http://smile.amazon.com/ instead of simply http://www.amazon.com. The two sites are identical, but starting at the AmazonSmile url is what triggers the site to make the donation. If you go to just Amazon, no donation will be made.

This costs you absolutely nothing extra. It just requires you to type in five extra characters--six if you count the period--when you type in the web address to start shopping.

(And, yeah--if you want to help me and use my affiliate link, I believe I can connect it to AmazonSmile pages, including the very first page/main AmazonSmile page, meaning anything you buy on that visit is associated with my affiliate account. Or I can directly link you, which is a little less risky, to the pages of the items you want, with the smile subdomain included in my affiliate link to the item(s) page(s). Just contact me and let me know when you're shopping and I will get back to you with either my affiliate link to the main site page, or to the item(s) page(s) for what you're buying. The latter preferred, grateful if you contact me about either.)

The above paragraph aside: this is something that costs you really nothing, like using an Amazon Affiliate link. And it helps one of many charities, and you can choose which ones, as I said, and always change the one you have Amazon donate to.

I hope all of you use this in the future.

If anything here is unclear, email me (running.towards.spring@gmail.com) or comment here, and I'll do my best to explain it better.
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Rose
20 June 2014 @ 01:37 pm

“How bitter were
the Prozac pills
of the last
few hundred mornings”
- Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

Today I think I'm going to die.

It started with a nose-bleed.  Nothing I thought about much; easy enough to deal with.

Two hours later I'm being rushed to the doctor's office, covered in blood, because I've just thrown up a toilet-bowl's worth of life's precious liquid.

The taste is still in my mouth.  The stench won't leave my nose.

I think that I might actually be dying, and for a moment, I'm not even sure how I feel about it.


 

Turn out it's a reaction to a medication.  Dried out some blood vessels in my nose, which burst; blood ran down my throat in my sleep.  The nose-bleed was just the first sign.

There is relief, but there is exasperation, too; I am so very tired of taking poisons to try and extend my life and improve my life just a little bit more, a little bit longer.


FDR survived polio and became president, I tell myself, so I can survive this.

It's become a mantra.  I'm obsessive about reminding myself of this.

But I don't always believe it, I have to admit.


My doctor had me giving myself shots with insulin needles.  Shots of magnesium.

Except I hit a blood vein by accident one day.  The magnesium strips all the flesh from the vein; everything becomes necrotic, but it's under the skin.

I can't even see the problem.

So it takes a while, until I find myself in a wound clinic. They've numbed my leg and are cutting, cutting, cutting away dead flesh, dead skin, dead fat, and by the time they are done it the hold is so large you could put a golf ball in it.

It looks like a zombie took a bite out of me, I find myself thinking, and I know I'm a little bit in shock as I stare at the hole in my leg and my father helps me walk best I can to the car.

It's not so bad until the numbness wears off.

Then...

Then I start to cry and grit my teeth so I don't scream.

I refuse to scream.

If I could keep the tears in, I would; my eyes are squeezed so tightly shut it hurts, but they insist on coming out anyway.


I am a slim woman who has such inflammation she's gained over fifty pounds that she can't lose with exercise.  Only treating the inflammation will do that.

And I understand.  I accept.

But I feel so ugly every time I look in the mirror that I want to sob.


I want my life back.


I'm on so many medications that make my already-pale skin sensitive that no matter the time of year, I must wear sun block to go outside.

I sometimes forget if I'm going out for just a few moments; I burn as a result, and I can blame no one except myself.


The medications I take eat away at my stomach.  I call them poisons, and they are; they poison the disease.

They just poison me too.

I just want my health.  I want my life.

Why is this so much to ask for?


At one point my hair started falling out.

It's grown back.  But it was one more thing; the illness is no longer so invisible.

I wish it was again, even if it meant fights with people who didn't believe me.

I didn't hate myself or my own reflection so much, then, at least.

That was better.

[Words: 597]

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Rose
14 June 2014 @ 09:31 pm
 The entry I'm writing is one of the hardest to write: side-effects of treatment.  

I'm trying to not let it turn into the length of a formal paper, which is taking a bit. I've finally set it to talking about no more than five side-effects and so it's become much more manageable. 

So. Final product should exist soon. 
 
 
 
 
Rose
10 June 2014 @ 09:19 pm

The injury to my leg basically made me look like a cannibal took a bite out of me.


It's finally healed enough for me to get online. The pain was distracting. 

So tomorrow I'll put up the next blog-a-thon entry. There are...I think five more. Batya, I'll let you know the various totals of entries and words when I'm done. Desert Vixen, if I forget to put the word count at the bottom of an entry, let me know?

I'm sorry this blog-a-thon has taken so long, but between my mother and father both having health problems and the agonizing pain from my leg, life has been kinda full. But I said I'd finish and I will.

Tomorrow's entry: dealing with side-effects from the treatment.

(By the way: I'm totally broke as a result, but because of this and the donations, I have paid off almost all of my debts and helped my parents out by using some donations to pay for my bills, rather than letting them do it. Hopefully when I finish this I'll have all debt gone.)

Meanwhile, would anyone like to buy a 160 gb iPod Classic, 6th generation? Literally perfect condition. Price negotiable. 

And I hate writing this, but. If you're interested in buying any of the Shadowcat statues that exist, let me know. I own them all. I don't really want to sell any, but. Needs must. 

I was unable to crochet when my leg was hurting so badly, but I can now.  I'll put pictures of things I make up here. If you like any of them, I'll make you one of your own. 

...I have to. I can't go into family things but it's become important I begin to earn some money of my own.

Meanwhile, I was told not to come home for Christmas. Reasons aren't exactly complex, but they take up a lot of space. 

And that's my life atm. I'd start the next blog-a-thon entry now, but there's no wordcount feature on my kindle.  So, tomorrow.
 
 
Rose
29 April 2014 @ 08:40 am
Oh my God, my leg hurts so badly I cant stop crying.

This make for a great Lyme post about the immune system and how it's affected and things that may happen. And Kindle books from the Big Deal (over 400 books that cost under $4) that I think I'll be buying will be a great distraction.

...I'm rambling in my post because I hurt so badly already, and I'm scared how much more it will hurt when the wound is cleaned out and the packing and bandage is changed today.

God. I'm stuck in bed. I am going to need those books, as I hurt so much I can't even sleep. But I've been trying to save money. One more thing messed up.

And thank you, new and crazy drug laws that kept the Wound Center from writing something for me. The doctor and every nurse said they used to write them, but don't any longer because of the changes. And the all felt so badly for me.

I appreciated it from the nurses. Not so much from the doctor, who COULD write it, and bit get lip debating doing so, but decided not to. Thanks, doc. Your fear has left your patient in vomit-inducing levels of pain.

 
 
 
 
Rose
28 April 2014 @ 09:19 pm
 It MIGHT get finished by May 1st. But with family things, like mom breaking her ankle, this month? I think it was wise just to make a set list of topics for this and decide to just finish as possible.

Though it won't run past May, as I have a class start in early June.

Meanwhile, I'm about to pass out from pain, due to essentially having out-patient surgery unexpectedly today, and the doctor who did it didn't give me any pain killers. (She wanted to, but the crazy changes in laws have thrown the baby out with the bath water. She felt really badly, at least?)

At least this unexpected-like, found out about it this afternoon right before they did it-surgery works wonderfully as an illustrative example for my next Lyme post!

In which you will hear all the details, but as a preview and to give you an idea of the kind of pain I'm in?

I literally have a hole in my right leg that you could put a golf ball in, with room to spare.  Though it has gauze in it, instead of a golf ball, thankfully.  
Though I don't believe that there is a difference in how much pain is involved in the one scenario vs the other.

I'll leave you with that, to give you an idea of how I feel, until I wake up and write the next blog-a-thon post. As between pain and crying, I'm going to pass out for a few hours now.

I hate diseases that affect the immune system and mess with how things heal. I will say that much more for now.


 
 
 
 
Rose
26 April 2014 @ 05:55 am
BTW, due to lots of spam that was driving me mad, along with not receiving emails being sent to me and a few other more private reasons, I have a new email address.

It is: running [dot] towards [dot] spring @ gmail [dot] com.

 
 
 
 
Rose
26 April 2014 @ 05:46 am
I can't believe I forgot this one.  While I edited it in, it deserves a post on its own.

Resolution: 
I will read my f-lists again, as often as possible. 

Given my health issues, probably not every day.

I will still miss posts.  I will still have days I read your posts but cannot type to leave a comment. 

But I am doing my best to connect with you and your life.  Please, help me do so.  And do the same with mine.
 
 
 
 
Rose
26 April 2014 @ 04:20 am
I'm starting my new year with my birthday, this year.  It's more personal.

My vision with computer screens is still not great, but the migraines have stopped.  So I'm making online resolutions and sharing them here--because they may relate to you.

1) I will be online every night (barring going out, migraine, or homework) except for Friday nights.  This means I will be on AIM using the username the mirkat.

2) I will be messaging, emailing, or otherwise contacting people I've fallen out of touch with--or even defriended--and miss.  I'll be letting people know how I feel in those emails, as well as how I felt, and I will be honest. 

Honesty is not an attempt at emotional blackmail. 

I was accused of that in an in email once, and a counselor I discussed it with said the best hing I could do was to distance myself from the person who made the statement, as s/he had issues of his/her own that s/he needed to deal with and was not.  The result in such a case, for me, would probably eventually be a painful one.  (The counselor was right in every respect.)

The point of sending these messages is that I miss that person and want to re-strengthen or resume our relationship--in some cases, I'm not even sure what happened, except that the person just stopped talking to me. 

But, again, for each person I message in some form--and this will take some time for me to get to everyone I want to, I know--I am doing so because I still think about that person, miss them, pray for them, wish them well, and would like to resume our relationship.


3) I will become active in fandom again. 

- This means: RP, fanfics, playlists, fanmixes, reading comics, watching TV, reading new books, etc.

- Recs in all of those areas (tv shows, books, comics) are appreciated.

4) I will read my f-lists again, as often as possible. 

Given my health issues, probably not every day.

I will still miss posts.  I will still have days I read your posts but cannot type to leave a comment. 

But I am doing my best to connect with you and your life.  Please, help me do so.  And do the same with mine.

5) I will be posting book reviews that will be copied from a wordpress blog that I'm setting up as soon as I decide on a domain name.  Something short and sweet.  Mirkat.net is for fandom; I need something that's not for professional things, but could be found by an employer without embarrassment. 

Suggestions are appreciated.  (Think dooce.com, mirkat.net, that sort of short thing, but something that works for me for general blogging, reviews, etc.)

There.  That looks manageable, no?

 
 
 
 
Rose
25 April 2014 @ 09:26 pm


“How bitter were
the Prozac pills
of the last
few hundred mornings”
― Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing

As today was the birthday from hell, involving (as the worst, but far from the only, thing) my father yelling at me literally for no reason and to the point of reducing me to tears, only one of the thee posts is going up. My family has officially declared my birthday to be tomorrow, instead of today, and hopefully the others will be up then.

So. The pills. I was going to take a picture of all of my pills that I take in one day, but after I had fifty out and was not near done, I decided to just put the pills back into their bottles.

I feel that statement makes the same point that a picture of all the pills (and bottles of liquid medications) would.

Fifty pills out on the table, all of which I need to take to keep living. And that not being all the pills I take on an average day. Liquid medication that costs $1,000 a bottle, and which I am always a little concerned, in the back of my mind, that the insurance company will one day decide to stop paying their share of the cost for it. Medication for Lyme, for bartonella, for babesia. For my adrenal system, which is basically destroyed at this point. Medications to help get the toxins out of my system, medications for pain--and that's plural, because no one pain medication works on all the kinds of pain I have. Though they're not all what you think of as "pain medications". Some are muscle relaxants, some are anti-inflammatories, and some alter how my nervous system perceives pain--oh, and yes, I'll be needing treatment for damaged nerves at some point, too, but we can't do that until we get these other diseases dealt with.

Yes, I ended a sentence with a preposition. It's not a sin.

Medications for depression, and that's plural, too--I'm on two, technically, but only one of them am I on continuously. We pretty much constantly try to find a second one--because the depression caused by the bartonella chemicals is just that bad--which will help without negative side effects.

Medicine to help me fall asleep. Medicine to keep me from falling asleep during the day, and not only to keep me awake--because that's one thing--but also to give me energy to get up and go do things, which is another thing entirely. The first one we tried just kept me from being able to fall asleep--but it did not give me any energy with which to go do things.

That was pretty much hell.

Pills for nausea, pills for migraines. Pills and creams both for when it feels like I'm walking on broken glass when the bartonella flares up, so I can at least walk to the bathroom from my bed without wanting to scream.

I haven't even gotten into the vitamins and supplements yet.

You're getting the idea, yes?

And that's the first half; the pills, and how many there are. I can take more pills at once without choking than you want to think about.

But the second half of this entry--and the dangerous part, the part I have to fight against--is pill fatigue.

You see, you reach a point, after months and years of taking dozens of pills every day, you reach a point where you go to get your first pills for the day...and, well.

The mere sight of them makes you run and throw up.

You just can't take any more pills. Your stomach rebels. Your mind rebels. I don't know why it happens, but I do know it happens to everyone I know of who has taken large amounts of medications for long periods of time.

And the logical thing to do is to give yourself a break from the pills. Not a bad idea. Doctors agree it's not the end of the world and that sometimes you just need to not swallow those capsules and tablets multiple times every day for a bit.

The dangerous part? Is remembering to end the break. It's so very easy, even if you decide on an exact date on which you will begin taking your pills again, to let that break just...sort of not end.

Which means your infections build back up somewhat.

I've managed to get that under control with a system--managing the lengths of breaks, I mean--and even the longest ones I've had haven't come close to, like, undoing all the good work I have done for getting rid of my infections. But it was time lost, and it frustrates the hell out of me.

Except at the time, I just. Could. Not. Take. Those. Pills. Or at least not all of them, to be accurate; I never go off all of my medications, even when I need a break. Just some. But still, each time, it was some time lost on the path to being healthy again. (And, by the way, people who say Lyme cannot be cured, only go into remission? Are wrong. The problem is that their doctors a) did not treat them long enough and/or b) did not address the issue of biofilms. Which I won't go into explaining in detail, as that isn't my point. Or, sadly, c) the person was bitten again by a tick nymph, which is invisible to the human eye and may not cause a rash...but can still re-infect them. But, again, not my point. What is my point is that yes, I can and will be cured of all three diseases. I know of people, patients of my doctor, who are actually, truly cured.

Which is why I do, in fact, put up with the dozens of pills.

But I hate taking each and every one of them.

[Words: 976]
 

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Rose
24 April 2014 @ 10:54 pm
One is mostly done and the other half done, but my eyes are literally burning from crying--as it is apparently now tradition that my mom reduces me to tears the night before my birthday--and having acidic toxins in your body makes saline really, really burn.  Sweat, too, but then, that's part of one of the lyme blog-a-thon posts, so I'll leave that topic for later.

Three posts tomorrow, then:

- Pills and Pill Fatigue
- Effects on the Body and Body Image as a Result
- Where there is life, there is hope.  And that's why each year on my birthday I blow out a candle instead of swallowing pills and vodka and letting it all drift away for good.  Because even if the only result of all of this, in the end, is that I fought until the end and lived the best life I could, forgave those who hurt me and was always wiling to talk to them over the pain caused by one or the other or both of us, whether they were willing to or not themselves, well--if, in the end, that's all there really is?  That's far from nothing.  That might be just about everything, really.  Or, rather, almost everything.  Not quite the whole and all--but the best attempt that a flawed but fighting human woman managed to make out of her life.  And that's, at least, enough.

So say we all.
 
 
 
 
Rose
23 April 2014 @ 09:46 pm
 I fear this won't be done this month, as taking care of my mother and house things has left me exhausted most nights. 

But!  Two important ones tomorrow, and, as said, I had a set list  of topics at the start of this, and I'll just keep going until it's done.  (Have I really only done nine entries?  That's pathetic.)

Anyway.  Tomorrow, you may look forward to a) an entry on pills and pill fatigue and b) an entry on distorted body image and how it affects my sense of self. 
 
 
 
 
Rose
14 April 2014 @ 05:58 pm
 
“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”
- Lance Armstrong

All right.  This is the topic I knew had to come, and this is the topic I knew I'd have one of the hardest times writing.  I'm shaking a little even trying to think of it.

But it has to be written.

I had no pain killers for the first several years after I was diagnosed with Lyme.  I had tylenol.  Ibuprofen.

That was it.

It never helped--and I mean those over the counter pills never helped at all--but I coped.  Mostly.

Except over time, the pain got worse.  It's hard to describe all of it.

Intensity-wise, I can say that I was on a very strong prescription pain killer, and it did not touch the pain at all.  Part of that may have been my fault; I never took the full dose as written, especially when I learned some people were spreading rumors I was a drug addict.  And yes, my doctor yelled at me for not taking the full dose.

Eventually, I had no choice but to take the full dose.  Thing is, though, I have this neat genetic quirk from my father's side of the family.  It does many things.  One ting it does?  I can't get drunk, or even tipsy, no matter how much I drink.  The one time I was drink was because my appendix was about to rupture and my system went haywire.

More to the point, it means my body gets, well, sort of "used" to pain killers quickly.

And then they stop working.

The pain was bad enough that when the prescription pain killer I was on stopped working--which neither I nor my doctor had realized yet--I collapsed, literally, on campus, and had to be taken to an emergency room.  And I thank God that the doctor who treated me knew about Lyme, figured out what happened, and got the pain under control until I could see my normal doc.

That's intensity, though.  What's it actually like?

When bartonella flares up, I barely sleep at all.  I might get six hours of sleep in two days.  Medications do nothing to help.

When I walk during that time, it feels like I'm constantly stepping on shards of hot glass.  My lower leg muses ache constantly, as do my arms, and nothing touches the pain.  Nothing.

When the babesia flares up, I sleep all the time and I just ache.  All over.  And the best way to describe it is that I feel sick.  Puny.  I want my comfort things; my dad reading to me like he did when I was a child, my cat, my own bed, my favorite blanket.

And the Lyme, well.  The Lyme is aways there.  I'll go into all the symptoms of it in another post, but to give you an idea now?

I always--and I mean always--feel like i have the flu.  Which is extremely dangerous, because when I actually get the flu--which I do most years, because I cannot take the flu shot for allergy reasons--I don't notice that I'm sick until the flu is in a rather advanced stage.

Which is how I ended up with pneumonia this year, by the way; didn't catch the flu signs almost at all, and the flu weakened my system and went into walking pneumonia.

My joints ache all the time, especially my hands, my back, my right hip and my right knee.  My right knee actually gives out frequently which means 1) I fall a lot, and 2) I now have to use a cane.

There are nerves which run up the back of your neck and over your skull.  I feel them more day than not, and I feel them because they're inflamed and causing me such migraines that I feel sometimes like I must be dying.

And the inflammation.  The inflammation is horrible.  Lyme eats up magnesium like it's candy, and after having it so long, I finally am suffering the effects.

In three days, I gained ~35-40 lbs, all water, due to inflammation.

I can't just exercise and eat healthily to lose the weight, either--because, after all, the cause is the lack of magnesium.  I give myself shorts, and I'm going to have IVs of it.

Both the shots and IVs hurt.  A lot, really.  But I don't have much of a choice.

I don't look fat, the way the inflammation spread out.  I know this.  But I don't feel like I'm in my own body any longer.  And that's one more thing that Lyme has taken from me.

Some of the pain is emotional, not physical, after all.

I could go on.  For the Lyme, at least, I'll make another post with a list of all Lyme symptoms, highlighting the ones I have--and, as I'll mention again in that post, if you have 20 or more of the listed symptoms, you should see a doctor ASAP about Lyme.

But there's a fine line between sharing and complaining, and I'm working hard not to cross that.  So I'll end this here.

For those of you who've read this post, though?  Thank you more than ever for doing so.

[Words: 890]

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Rose


“It would be ridiculous for me to say I am unlucky, but, like any other family and any other girl, I've had my ups and downs.”
- Poppy Delevingne

Ahahaha, I say, because yes.  Though maybe not in the way you're thinking.

Penicillin and its variants (amoxicillin, bicillin, etc) are the "to be tried first" treatment for Lyme.

Except I'm allergic to all those medications.  One doctor I had (and hated) wanted to see if I was "still" allergic, as I hadn't had any of that type of medication for 15-ish years.  He wrote a script for a pill of penicillin and told me to take half.

And, just like when I was a child, I broke out in a huge rash and had to immediately take benadryl.  I chewed him out, too, and told him I did not like his attitude towards my allergies, nor the way he implied he wouldn't continue to treat me if I did not do this trial.  I also asked my parents to let me switch doctors; my mother would not let me until this doctor left the practice in DC, where I was living at the time.

Instead, I take minocycline.  But the thing is, you can't JUST take medication to kill off Lyme.  You have to take medication that burst the cysts, or protective bubbles around the Lyme spirochetes (aka bacteria), as well.  Or the medication to kill the spirochetes cannot get to said spirochetes.

Plus, please remember, I do not just have Lyme; I also have bartonella (the one that could kill me) and babesia (the one like having malaria).  These three infections work in a very strange way, so that when one infection is strong, as a side-effect, it "protects" the other infections; it makes it harder to kill them off.

So, even though a medicine to kill Lyme may technically work, if the bartonella is too strong, there won't be any (or any good amount of) die-off from the Lyme.  If the babesia is too strong, the bartonella cannot be killed off.  Etc.  It's a nasty, pain in the ass cycle.  And I hate treating the babesia more than anything, as it results in horrible, chronic sweats and hot flashes.  I can have them for up to a week at a time, and in addition to being horribly hot and sweaty all the time, it leaves me utterly wiped out.

Not good for attending classes.  Or having...any sort of a life, really.

But more of that for the co-infections post, I think.

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Rose
When it comes to certain math problems, I always take over the tutoring for my mom.  Mostly, parts of Geometry, parts of Algebra I, and all of math that's taught after those.

Student tonight is studying for a math test in Geometry.  First of all, he's studying the whole chapter in one night, after running for track.  He's tired.  He needs to come for two nights to study a chapter--which my mom told him before.

But he's here for one.

There's one lesson that he just doesn't get.  Can't remember the equations for special triangles.  I have spent over an hour working on them with him.

He went to pull out his calculator for 7 * 2.

I snagged it out of his hand.

Went to grab it for 2 * 20.

Again, I took it, and this time I kept it.

So I'm watching him labor over really, really basic multiplication and division problems and finally I ask, "Do you now your multiplication factors, STUDENT'S NAME?"

STUDENT'S NAME: "Nah.  They started to teach them to us in 3rd grade, but when we got to the 5s they said, 'we're going to do more advanced math and give you calculators now'.  I don't remember the ones we were taught anyway."

Me: "*STARES IN HORROR*"

STUDENT'S NAME: "I kinda think I should learn them, at least before college."

Me: "I...yes.  Yes, you should.  In fact, the next time you come, which will be as soon as possible after the test tomorrow?  We're going to start working on them, and keep working on them until you have MEMORIZED all factors for 1-12."

STUDENT'S NAME: "ALL IN ONE NIGHT?! *horrified*"

Me: "No.  No, I think we'll split it up a bit.  *goes to find her mother*  Uh, Mom?  Did you know STUDENTS NAME doesn't know his multiplication factors?"

Mom: "*almost chokes on absolutely nothing* You're kidding."

Me: "Not so much.  *relays story, so her mother can join her in hating the public school system*  I'm thinking the next thing that needs to be done is for him to learn them."

Mom: "You're thinking right."

Just.  I am so angry on his behalf right now.  This work that's taken 90 minutes would have taken...at least no more than an hour, maybe less time, even, if he new basic math skills.

And he doesn't.  Because they want him to rely on his calculator instead of actually teaching him the things he should know.

I am so angry.

And I still won't let him use his calculator when I'm working with him.  When he takes the time to think, he pretty much does come up with the right answer.  But watching him do it is kinda painful, because you can see that he's dredging something up, or a process of thinking up, that he hasn't had to use in forever.

Painful, but good for him.  Which is why my mother, in another room, is holding his calculator.  (I am making him finally work three problems of the type he's having issues with on his own, and if I sit in the same room with him, he won't put energy into actually working them.  He'll flail and say he doesn't know or is too tired.  Funny enough, when I refuse to accept that answer, he suddenly has enough energy to eventually work it out.)

I suspect he's trying to play me.  But hey, I get paid for all the time he's here.  It's his free time that's being eaten up without pay, not mine.
 
 
 
 
Rose
07 April 2014 @ 10:55 pm


“We are not people who touch each other carelessly; every point of contact between us feels important, a rush of energy and relief.”
―Veronica Roth, Allegiant

There are so many symptoms of Lyme, and really, that's a post unto itself (and one I plan to make).

But one of the hardest to deal with is the skin pain.

All the time, my skin feels--wrong. Too tight, slightly burning, too hot--it hurts, but it doesn't just hurt. Or rather, it doesn't hurt in just one way. It hurts in various ways, and it's also uncomfortable in various ways, and tuning it out took a great deal of practice.

It also means that I am, for the vast majority of the time, denied one of the simplest (and far too frequently over-looked) pleasures of daily life: touch.

Not just touch of another human being, but touch in general. I turn on the shower, step under the water, and I try so hard to enjoy the feeling of the heat, the light pressure of tiny droplets washing over me--but instead I think of grains of rice pelting me.

Imagine that, and think of a shower of it, at a constant pressure.

Do you see why I almost always take very quick showers?

Buying clothing is a miserable experience, more often than not. An article of clothing may fit perfectly, flatter me, and be something I really do want--but if it rubs the wrong way (and most of the time I won't know until I try a piece of clothing on if it will or won't do so) then it's back onto the rack for that particular item. It can take hours.

I almost never wear jeans any more. Or trousers at all, really. Not because I don't like them, but because the way they rub my legs when I walk is a constant distraction that has me gritting my teeth.

And yes, there is human touch. My father patting my back as I go to bed for the night, like he has since I was an infant, and kissing my forehead. My mother holding me close, having washed her hands and face, changed her shirt, and brushed her teeth just for me, so I don't have an allergic reaction to the tobacco from the cigarette she'd just finished smoking. Hugging my dear friend tightly without thought--or my friend doing the same, not hesitating and asking if it's okay--when I see him or her, or when one of us is upset.

All of those things--and I don't mean just human touch, but I mean that the most--are no longer just a part of my life. And now that they are not, I realize--especially with human touch--how much all of it mattered.

My friends care. Many know how I am, in this area, and they ask if it's okay to hug me before doing so. (My heart breaks that they have to do so, but I am grateful that they remember to do so. It is different than them deciding for me that they will not hug me to ensure I have no pain--but that's also another post to come.) I treasure each gentle touch and wish, on one level, that the person hugging me treasured it as much as I do.

I know it's unlikely that he or she does--you don't know what you have until it's gone, and all, and I don't want any of my friends to experience losing this grace, this gift. The feeling of hot water pouring over your body, trickling down your curves and angles and soothing away the stress of the day, the simple fun of updating your wardrobe...

Not even thinking about sticking out your hand to shake someone else's, or to wrap your arm around their body. Not having to think about them doing so in return.

I've lost a lot, and I mourn all of it. And I don't know that this is what I have the hardest time with.

But it's in the top ten, yes.

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