The Shoulds

A big struggle in my life right now is dealing with The Shoulds. I’m over it for the most part in certain areas – that I should talk like a lady, that I should have a certain body type – but there are bigger areas that I can’t shake it. Like when it comes to working.

I’ve obviously got some struggles with my health. Sometimes things are okay (not great, but okay) for a while and then BAM! I get hit with a big ass 2×4 and I’m down and out for a while. I have to be particular about how I use my time. Sometimes I can’t tell until it’s too late that something is going to steal all of my spoons.

The problem is that I have student loans. All those fancy letters weren’t cheap. When Mr. Lyndsy and I were getting to know each other, I told him that was my debt and that he wouldn’t ever be responsible for it. But here we are now. My health is such that I feel pretty gross a lot of the time. I work, but it’s not paying the loans. I can’t work in a traditional setting here because I wouldn’t have the protections I would back home. Even if I managed to not get fired for all the time I’d have to take off or because I can’t make it in before 10am, I wouldn’t be able to do anything EXCEPT work. My life would be look like this: Struggle to get up, get to work, work, go home, pass out.

Which brings me to my real issue: Do I have the right to have a life or should I force myself to work even if that’s all I could do? We live here to save money and saving would be severely hampered by me not working. If I were in the US, I probably would have already filed a claim for social security disability, and I don’t say that lightly. Because I don’t live in the US, I can’t do that, so it doesn’t matter anyway.

There’s a voice inside my head, I’ll call it MOM, that is yelling at me and saying, “Of course you should work! It is your responsibility to pay those loans. Your husband does not pay those for you! So what if you can do nothing else? Life is about sacrifice! And, are you really THAT sick?”

And then there’s another voice, quieter though, that says, “But how is that living? Is it even worth being around if that’s all you do?”

Then I end up in a downward spiral because I know that my body would suffer tremendously if I tried to work like I would need to in order to pay my loans. They work longer hours here and many jobs are 6 days per week. More than once I’ve thought something along the lines of, “If you can’t work, you shouldn’t be anymore. Do something about that.” Then I have to work to pull myself out of that dark place.

It makes me sad that I feel like my life doesn’t have value unless I’m sacrificing everything to work. Is that really an American value? Work at all costs? You have no value unless you work?

I didn’t ask for any of it. I don’t think my current conditions are my fault, I don’t think I did anything to cause them. I think my mom blames me for the diabetes, but science doesn’t exactly support her on that. I also don’t think I gave myself an autoimmune thyroid condition either (and I’m pretty sure this is what causes the crushing fatigue and brain fog that make my life hard). The neurosurgeon who did the spinal fusion surgery looked at my MRIs and said I was born with a bad back. (Back issues are what the vast majority of social security disability claims are for.)

And yet, I feel like I have to push myself anyway. I buy into the idea that I’m not THAT badly off, so I need to push myself to work. It can’t hurt my body that much, can it?

Shockwave Treatment: Commencing April 5

I finally got into the doctor to see about getting rid of the pain in my achilles tendon. (I made this appointment in early January.) Since I’ve been weight-bearing  after the surgery, I’ve had pain in my achilles. I thought I tweaked it (and I may have) but the surgeon said that the lengthening he did could cause pain and inflammation. So he referred me to another doctor for treatment. The real issue is that it affects my gait, which probably causing hip pain from time to time. I’ve got a vacation coming up that will involve a lot of walking, so I need to get as healthy as possible!

I totally love the doctor. Because my tendon transfer was so unusual and because of my tattoos (lots of doctors apparently watched the surgery), I’m pretty memorable there. There were two doctors there and they were both really nice. The one I was referred to discovered that I actually have a lot of pain in the ball of my foot and created a foam support to help with that until I get firmer shoes.

He was very cautious in promising results from the treatment, but said that it does help a lot of people. I may not get a 100% reduction in pain. I told him I would take anything at this point.

From what I gather this will be a multiple-session event. The only downside is the traffic getting to the office. I just hope I can get some relief and start walking more normally. As a bonus, I get to go shoe shopping!

Personal Mission Statement: In Progress

I spend a lot of time thinking about what I’m doing with my life (I feel like I’ve even written that sentence before on this blog). I’m not sure that all this thinking is productive though. It doesn’t seem to have any kind of end result. Without that end result, it’s hard to take action. It would be nice to act and live purposefully.

Stephen Covey’s book “How to Develop Your Personal Mission Statement” was available on Kindle Unlimited. I think I read “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” but even if I didn’t finish it, the guy seems to know what he’s talking about.

The book is fairly short but gives plenty of guidance on what a personal mission statement should include and urges you to include the four important areas of life – physical, mental, emotional, spiritual – in the statement so the no area of life is left lacking.

When I bought the book I assumed that I would have a good idea of what my personal mission statement was. Covey says you should take weeks, if not months, to develop your statement. I laughed. Until I read more.  Turns out I was wrong. I started spelling it out in my head, but faltered. Quickly.

My initial thought was pretty shallow and I couldn’t see crafting what is supposed to be a timeless statement around what I had in my head. That life would have been unfulfilling. As I read more, I was able to add some things to it, but it’s still not quite right. It’s not a life-long statement.

I’m going to spend some time thinking about this, taking notes as I think of them. Hopefully over the next few weeks or months I’ll be able to develop something I can live by.

Do you ave a personal mission statement? Are you interested in creating one?

Movie Review: Allegiant (The Divergent Series)

Full disclosure: I read the book before seeing the movie. Sometimes that doesn’t make much of a difference. However, this time it did.

Going into the movie I expected some differences. It’s hard to take the complexities in a book like Allegiant and adapt them to the screen. What I did not expect was for them to largely ignore the depth of the book in favor of action. Huge parts of the book were left out – characters who had major roles in the book were reduced to tiny parts. Some of the heavy interpersonal relationships and tensions disappeared. We lost a lot of character development.

Speaking of the action, some of the green screens were just terribly obvious. I get that there are limitations when trying to create the torn up landscape of a war-torn Chicago. But this was… poor. The fighting scenes were fairly well-done, but the larger placement shots were not good.

The pace of the movie is very fast. Two hours goes by in a whir. I assume some of that pace is because they skipped the character and story development. Those would definitely have slowed down the progress of the movie. I don’t know if it was worth the cuts, though. I suppose if I hadn’t read the book, I may not have noticed.

Overall, it comes across as very superficial, with so-so visual effects. I would probably still see the movie, just so I could feel that sense of completion. Just don’t expect a lot.

2

I’m a PERSON, not just test results

Yesterday I was reduced to numbers:

  1. TSH – 1.65 (within range)
  2. Free T3 – 2.09 (within range)
  3. Free T4 – 1.01 (within range)
  4. TG Antibodies – >800 (way out of range)
  5. TPO Antibodies – 45.5 (way out of range)
  6. A1c – 11.4 (so far out of range the doctor is panicking)

The first 5 numbers relate to my thyroid. This is yet another set of lab results that confirm the diagnosis of autoimmune thyroiditis (a.k.a. Hashimoto’s) (that’s the antibodies – shows they’re there to attack the thyroid). However, the rest of my thyroid numbers are within the “normal” range. So yet again, the endocrinologist won’t put me on a thyroid medication. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard it from him and also not the first time I’ve heard it from an endocrinologist. They’ve all said it.

I know what you’re thinking. If they’ve ALL said it, they must be right, right? Au contraire, mon ami! I told the doctor yesterday that I’d done research and found studies that confirm that treating Hashimoto’s patients with thyroid medication can slow the progression of the disease and alleviate symptoms, even if the rest of the labs are in the normal range. When I mentioned that though, he said there were no such studies.

He was more concerned about my A1c, which is a number that reflects my blood sugar over the past 2-3 months. I knew that number would be high. I stopped taking the diabetes medications because they were causing diarrhea that was preventing me from getting an uninterrupted night of sleep (which is crucial for my overall health, I’ve learned).

My complaints to him are that I’m constantly fatigued, that I have trouble focusing and concentrating (brain fog), and that my menstrual cycles are all messed up. All of those are symptoms of thyroid problems.

He chooses to focus only on the fatigue – which can be caused by poorly/uncontrolled diabetes. I have repeatedly told him that even when my diabetes was controlled, I suffered from fatigue. Also, uncontrolled diabetes doesn’t explain irregular menstrual cycles. I’d already had an appointment with a doctor to examine my lady garden, and there’s nothing there that would cause problems with my cycles. In the past I’ve had hormone testing done and it was always normal. So gee, what might it be?

He said that there are 7 causes of chronic fatigue – diabetes, thyroid, PSYCHIATRIC, adrenal issues, and some others I can’t remember. I’ve had adrenal testing done by the second endocrinologist I saw, who also decided my thyroid was not an issue. What this doctor seems to be missing is that depression is a symptom of Hashimoto’s. I’ve never heard it as a symptom of diabetes though. Wonder why that is.

I am tired of going to the doctor and not being listened to. Having my symptoms ignored. Having the doctor completely discount my telling of my history. It’s bullshit. I know that I don’t have a medical degree. However, I am an intelligent human being capable of doing research. If what I’ve found isn’t legitimate, the doctor should tell me that she or he has seen the study I’m referring to and explain WHY it’s not legitimate. That’s the professional thing to do.

What also floors me is that they don’t ask about any of my other medical history. I find it a bit ridiculous that the chronic pain and inflammation from my back and leg/foot don’t have an effect on the rest of my body. Given that we know that chronic pain changes brain wiring, it seems likely that it affects a lot of other things as well. Of course, this doctor is clearly uninterested since he actually tried to do a reflex test on my bad Achilles tendon. I’m not sure why the inflammation and scarring on it didn’t put him off, but whatever. Thanks, dude.

What happened to practicing holistic medicine? I totally understand the need for specialization, but it seems like it’s better placed in research, rather than clinical practice. There needs to be some kind of feedback loop on this – someone researches, using data provided by clinicians, and then the two work together to figure out what’s best for patients.

There are doctors who treat patients and their symptoms, rather than just the lab results. When it comes to patients with Hashimoto’s, the numbers don’t often tell the whole story. This is why there are boards, websites, and books dedicated to people like me, who leave their doctors feeling like they’ve lost their minds. We go from doctor to doctor, until we find someone who will listens to us and our symptoms, rather than relying solely on labs for answers.

I know I didn’t help myself by going off my diabetes meds, but when you’ve hit the point I have, it feels better to do it that way. The meds were causing massive stomach upset and ruining my sleep. Past experience taught me I wasn’t going to feel good even staying on them, so why feel worse?

Perhaps I should have gone to medical school instead of law school.

 

The end of party politics as we know it?

This 2016 election cycle has been interesting, confusing, and a little scary. What’s been most interesting to me is how the behemoths that are the Republican and Democratic parties are coming under fire.

The GOP is imploding. I have had more than a few friends tell me that if Trump is the nominee, that’s the end of their party. That’s just it. It seems that the GOP leadership has recognized that as well. For a while the focus was on Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist views regarding Justice Scalia’s Supreme Court replacement. Now the GOP is trotting out Mitt Romney (seriously?) to try to talk some sense into people. Newt Gingrich has weighed in. Discussions are being had by Republicans everywhere to find ways to ensure Trump is NOT the nominee, including rules that would enable them to take the nomination from Trump at the convention even if he’s won the required delegates.

Despite all this chatter by the party leadership, Republicans across the country are still voting for Trump in primaries and caucuses. The GOP should have known this was coming. They prepped their constituents for this with years of campaigning on fear and hatred. The real problem is that they ignored the majority of their base. People get pissed off after years of swallowing promises and ending up in no better a position than they were four or eight years ago. The results just never materialized. It says something that a xenophobic, racist, misogynistic megalomaniac has been able to capture the vote and race to the nomination.

Not surprisingly, this is also where the Democratic leadership is failing so miserably. The fact that Bernie Sanders is still in this race (regardless of what the media is claiming) demonstrates just how out of touch they are with the majority of the voters. People are desperate for change. They want to see the progress that’s been promised for years. They’re tired of losing out to corporations. They want someone who understands and represents them.

The Democratic Party isn’t imploding in the spectacular fashion that the GOP is. It’s more like the Titanic. Sanders’ popularity is them seeing the iceberg. The crash is inevitable, but they’re still pretending like something can be done, that they won’t go down. They can’t avoid that at this point, but if they act intelligently, they may be able to avoid catastrophic loss of life.

It says something that the vice-chairwoman of the DNC resigned her post to endorse Sanders. It’s been talked about for a while now how the party has been trying to derail Sanders’ campaign. It seems to me that they’re doing this out of fear. From their perspective Sanders is a wildcard. As an independent senator for the majority of his career, they don’t have an extensive amount of control over him. He’s not beholden to the same people the party is. This puts the party at risk. They’re doing what they can to save their own assess. They’ve forgotten what their jobs really are, who they’re supposed to represent. This failure will be what brings them down.

So what will happen next for the parties? Even if Trump somehow isn’t the nominee, how does the GOP recover? If Hillary Clinton is the nominee, how does she make sure that she brings in Sanders’ flock? How do the Dems move forward with candidate selection to make sure that they’re not in position of feeling like they’ve got to protect themselves from the people they’ve been elected to represent?

People are pissed off. We clearly want change. We want people who represent US, not congresspeople or presidents who have their own best interests at heart. If that’s what they’re about, they can find a company to run. We want results. We want sensible policies on healthcare, immigration, education, infrastructure. We want them to do their fucking jobs, even if it means compromising on things. We are rarely so far apart that some middle ground cannot be found.

Regardless of the outcome of the general election, it’s clear that changes need to be made by both parties. If not, the consequences will be dire for the people who have made careers out of ignoring the very people who elected them.

Book Review: United by Cory Booker – Must Read

I didn’t want to read this book. I’ve a general lack of interest in books by politicians. I feel most of them are disingenuous and I assume their books follow suit. However, I’ve been following Cory Booker on social media for probably two years now and done some research of my own on him because he’s a rising star. I thought I’d give his book a chance.

To say that I was impressed would be an huge understatement. First and foremost, the book is believable. I’ve never met Senator Booker in person, but he comes across as trustworthy. Human. Caring. In the Introduction he emphasizes that the book is less about what he’s achieved, and more about the people who helped him do it. Throughout the book he demonstrates just how true that is.

The book is divided into chapters that seem to focus on a particular person and part of his life/political process. His parents and their values feature prominently throughout the book. Lessons like not taking credit for a triple when you were born on 3rd base and reminding him that he was standing on the shoulders of a great many giants who made his life possible. He seems to never have forgotten that.

Each of the steps he’s taken politically, he did at the urging and with the support of Newark community members. He learned a lot of hard lessons on the way, readily admitting that he fell short of where he wanted to be. He asked for the forgiveness of those he harmed as it happened. They gave him that forgiveness and continued to stand by him.

His commitment to public service and the public was probably best exemplified by his 10-day fast to bring about changes at the low-income housing buildings where he lived. The residents in that community had been forgotten and left behind, but Senator Booker wouldn’t stand for it. He got the whole community involved during his fast, holding prayer meetings and strategy sessions. Finally, the mayor of Newark deigned to appear and tae with him. The promises made by the mayor at the time were forgotten, but not by Senator Booker.

Living in Newark, particularly as mayor, Senator Booker witnessed the destruction crime wreaks on the people who live around it. He literally watched people die. He went on ride alongs with the police to better understand the issues they face and the issues the community had with the police. He even tried to stop a fleeing criminal on his own once. Those events touched him deeply and through his words it’s easy to see that continue to affect him today.

Senator Booker never lost sign of the privileges he had and how they affected him as he interacted with the citizens of Newark. Sometimes it blindsided him, how different his world was growing up from those he served. He worked hard to keep that at the forefront of his mind and it prompted him to work to end the injustices faced by black and Hispanic men at the hands of the criminal justice system.

As senator, he’s reached across party lines to get things done. He remembers who elected him and who he serves, pushing him to overlook party politics to make sure the people he represents are taken care of. It may not make him popular among the party, but for him, that’s not what matters. He seems to reflect deeply on his actions and in order to sleep at night, he’s got to do what’s right.

The real reason to read this book is that Cory Booker IS a rising politician. It seems almost guaranteed that he will run for President of the United States one day. As interested as I have always been in politics, I never saw a candidate I was willing to attach myself to. That always bothered me greatly. I was always willing to serve on someone’s staff, but it had to be someone I could believe in. Someone I could trust. Someone I knew would do the right thing, even if it made him or her unpopular.

All that being said, Senator Booker IS someone I would work for. I believe he has the best interests of the American people at heart. I believe that he would stop at nothing to see the right thing done. He has compassion, empathy, and a deep understanding that not all of us have it so good. Those things are critical in a leader.

To Senator Booker, if you read this, I wish you the best of luck in a messy political world. I hope your heart and soul propel you to great things.

Super Tuesday… was it so super?

I have been watching elections with fascination since 1992 when Bill Clinton was elected. I majored in political science because I find it so interesting. But I have to tell you, I have no idea what Super Tuesday ended up meaning.

As far as the Dems are concerned, it seems like the Clinton people are treating this as a major victory. The reality is that the battle isn’t over yet. Clinton doing well in the South isn’t particularly a surprise. She’s Christian, more conservative than Sanders, and she’s from the South(ish). There are places for Sanders to make up some of the delegates. At this point in 2008, Clinton seemed to have the momentum, but we all know how that turned out. Obviously the question of the Superdelegates looms. I would be surprised if they went against the will of the people in the event that Sanders manages to overtake her in delegates.

On the Republican side… well, I just don’t know. Trump won a lot of states, but none with more than 49% and that 49% was in Massachusetts. Cruz winning Texas was no surprise. That’s his “home” state. Rubio won Minnesota, which also makes sense. Rubio isn’t as far right as either Cruz or Trump and Minnesota isn’t a super conservative state.

As a friend has pointed out, Trump has a lot of opposition. He’s average 60% opposition. So, while he’s winning, he’s not really winning. There is plenty of room for Cruz or Rubio to overtake him. But where? According to The Atlantic, Cruz expected to do a bit better in the Southern states. Cruz is calling for others to leave the race, but I’m not entirely sure why. He hasn’t proven to be a much better candidate than the rest of them.

Between now and March 15 there are 15 more primaries or caucuses. Florida and Ohio, both swing states, have their primaries on March 15. That may provide some additional insight. Many expected to have a clearer picture after yesterday, but so far, we’re staring at one big mess.

I’ve seen some friends who aren’t sure who to vote for in the primary/caucus. My advice is to pick who they want to be president, ignoring what the media has to say about who the likely nominees will be. If nothing else, the nominees will have a lot to think about as they go forward into the general election.

We are all to blame for Donald Trump

Living overseas during an election cycle is interesting. I’m detached from all the horrible ads and phone calls. I am so grateful for that. I’m still amazed that anyone buys the crap in those political ads. People should be doing research on all of the candidates and not relying on biased ads to elect our leaders. But, we’re lazy. We take the sound bites the media gives us, intentionally ignorant of the fact that news agencies aren’t often about the news anymore. Instead they’re playing for advertising, trying to get the money to keep their salaries.

And that laziness, combined with not-so-latent racism, xenophobia, and superiority complexes have gotten us to where we are today: Donald Trump as the leading candidate for the Republican party presidential nominee.

Understand what I’m saying – It is our collective fault that Trump is in the position he’s in. That millions of people are being fueled by his words. I don’t place the blame just at Republican feet. Their party is out of control in ways that were previously unthinkable. The vast majority of Republicans I know are horrified by what’s happening and seem powerless to stop it.

However, all of us are to blame. You, me. Republicans and Democrats alike. Conservatives and liberals of all stripes.

We let the politicians and media whip us into a frenzy with their fear-mongering about Islam and the Middle East. So when Donald Trump says he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the United States until we can sort out which ones are terrorists, people buy into the message. People weren’t doing the research they should have done about Islam or they would know that with one BILLION Muslims on the planet, if they were really hellbent on destroying America, that would have happened by now.

We’ve been led to believe that America is THE country, the place to live, and that no one does it better than we do it. But how many of us even try to understand how other countries do things? How many of us have traveled overseas to learn? While there are certainly many things to love about the United States, we have a lot of work to do. We tend to speak only English. That’s embarrassing on so many levels. Even though BILLIONS of people speak languages besides English, we don’t make it a priority to learn any of them. Homelessness is still a major problem. All the money we have and we can’t get people into jobs, into treatment if they need it, and into a stable place to live? The fact that we have so many people with inadequate medical care is astounding. You may not like socialism, but there is something to be said for making sure that we’re all living at a basic level of health. Don’t even get me started about the disparities in education between poorer and wealthier communities or the fact that so many CHILDREN and adults in the United States go hungry. None of that is okay. None of that is right.

The fact that there are textbooks and COLORING SHEETS that explicitly state that the slaves were PAID and voluntarily came to the US for a better life should tell us that Donald Trump was an inevitability. Whitewashing history, for whatever reason, has made it possible for millions of Americans to grow up thinking that it’s acceptable to try to RE-WRITE HISTORY to make themselves feel better about the horrible things that happened to millions of people. It makes it so much easier to dismiss entire groups of people based on arbitrary characteristics. For Donald Trump it’s Muslims and Mexicans. Who is it for you?

In our rush to help preserve the idea that we’re better than anyone else, we’ve made it possible for a man who has repeatedly professed hateful ideology to become the face of the United States. We are working so hard not to be the melting pot we frequently call ourselves. You can’t be a melting pot if you’re building walls. So much of our innovation creativity, and brilliance comes from outside the US. But, there are so many people worried about immigrants taking jobs they don’t even want or taking their jobs because they’re willing to work harder that Donald Trump is the result. We’re so focused in the scramble for money that we would rather turn people away than help them try to achieve the dream we’ve been boasting about for years. It’s disturbing and disgusting.

Liberals, we should be ashamed of ourselves for letting it get to this point. Why weren’t we getting more involved? Doing the research others aren’t willing to do and showing people how wrong we’ve been? Why aren’t we in marginalized communities doing more help them? Instead of spending a few hours each week trying to make someone else’s life a little better, we’ve succumbed to the force of American individualism. As the party who claims to care more, we’ve done little to demonstrate that. We’ve been sitting around, watching the madness. And only now, when it could come to be that Trump is our president that we’re outraged.

Watching the election from overseas has been interesting. Non-Americans are horrified at what they see. And they’re laughing at us. Which is what happens when you’ve been pompous, superior asshats. We are finally getting what we deserve. And it’s our own fault.

We have to do better. We have to get informed on our own from the least biased sources possible. We need to travel and meet people from other countries, other cultures. We need make friends with someone we see as “different” so that they stop being “different” and the “other.”

At the end of the day, we’re a lot more similar than we are different. Race is a function of geography and melanin. It’s not a real thing. The major religions all lead to the same thing. Sexual orientation isn’t something we choose and fundamentally, we’re all looking for the same thing – love. Gender is fluid and our biological sex doesn’t define anything about us. We need to start respecting each other as humans and remembering that we are all deserving of dignity and respect. It is our quest for division that led us to where we are today. If we don’t want to see this happen again, we need to erase the lines that divide us and focus on what we have in common.

30-Day Project: February Wrap-Up/March Project

30-day Project

Hahahah. Oh holy hell was February a complete failure. I think I stitched maybe 7 days total. Which is terrible. I had projects I wanted to finish if I was going to start selling them on Etsy. It’s not a the world’s biggest deal obviously, but crap. I did finally frame things I had finished. I feel like I should get some credit for that.

My goal for March is to journal every day to sort of track how my body feels from day to day – back pain, leg/foot pain, stomach issues, etc. – and see how my activity, eating, and sleeping affect how I feel. A friend does it and while hers is a lot more detailed than mine will be, it’s a good start.

It’s not exciting and don’t worry, I won’t post the day to day in here. That would be terrible of me to do.

While I’m here, I may as well give a quick update on my leg/foot. I still have a bit of pain and my gait is totally screwed up. I walk with my foot turned out and I don’t step all the way through because of pain that happens in my foot and achilles. At the January 6 appointment with the surgeon, he acknowledged that due to the Achilles lengthening, there could be some inflammation and scarring in there that are causing pain and making it difficult to walk. He referred me to a doctor to get an extracorporeal shockwave thing to help break it down and hopefully help me walk. Unfortunately, the first appointment that doctor had available was in mid-March. So, in a couple weeks I’ll see him and get this sorted out. Maybe.

I had an MRI yesterday to make sure there isn’t any nerve entrapment that’s still causing pain down my leg and into my foot. I doubt there is since they did an MRI right after the spinal fusion that caused the foot drop and there wasn’t any then.

I do attribute some of the foot/leg nerve pain issues to the work done by the physical therapist after the surgery. He can pretty much suck. A lot of the other nerve issues had resolved, but NOT in my lower leg. I do wonder very seriously if the foot drop would have resolved if I had never seen him.

At any rate, that’s where I’m at. I’ve had some days where I wasn’t having a ton of pain and it was amazing. I think it was over a week! Still had some pain, but nothing like it had been. Then yesterday I was reduced to a sobbing mess because my back, hips, leg/foot, AND arm hurt (thanks cellulitis!). Today is better. I chalk that up to getting a fuck ton of good sleep. Yay for melatonin!

Anyway, I hope you all are well or if you’re not, that you get there soon!