February 19th, 2005


Pain Meds, Thunder, and Lightning

I love this fishy card, it's by Chiostri. I was lucky enough to find a huge oil painting last year at a garage sale that yhis card reminds me of, but that is even cooler than this -- lots of weird, spooky, deep sea fish, bubbles and seaweed -- very funky retro kitsch and soooo great.

This family was moving and they had dozens and dozens of their grandmother's paintings that they were selling! She was this super cool artist, and since they had already divvied up their favorites, they were thrilled to be getting any money for the left overs. I can't imagine selling art that anyone in my family made -- I save everything -- even my poor, sweet Grandfather's horrible clown paintings.

Here's my fortune for today but this is always an appropriate fortune;

Look Inside Yourself Instead of Filling Your Life With External Things

I think I'm finally starting to feel just a little bit better -- bladder wise. It might be this last antibiotic that my super-conservative and very uptight, old-fashioned country doctor decided to try as a last resort, or it might be these anti-spasmodic pills from Tehran that Atra gave me.

I really am an arrogant idiot when it comes to dealing with my health. I just can't stand following this overly-codified, stupid, Fucking, basic routine; Call the doctor, wait forever to get in to see her, sit in the waiting room, get transferred to an exam room, listen to her talk on the phone for ages before she finally comes in, see the super busy doctor who is never very friendly, and acts like she is always disappointed in, and possibly hates you, go over the current health issue, say things you could have said over the phone, remind doctor what meds you are taking -- what health conditions you are dealing with, roll your eyes as doctor does very basic things to confirm the self-diagnosis you have already come up with, listen patiently as doctor prescribes the very medication you would have prescribed for yourself, pay bill, walk away with prescription, pay ridiculously high Santa Monica parking lot fee...or cut to the chase, get medication from housekeepers who buy it from some Latino pharmacy in Downtown Los Angeles, save money, get better faster -- sometimes, and feel guilty for being such a schmuck that you think you know as much as someone who has gone to medical school and devoted their life to health care.

She was so pissed off at me for being such a self-medicating dope, and I was prepared for this. She said, "If you act like people in third world countries you're going to get sick like people in third world countries." In her inimitably charming and insensitive way she was basically telling me that fooling around with under-the-counter Mexican antibiotics is liable to give me a bad case of the resistant-to-antibiotics, and make anything she prescribes pretty ineffective at fighting bacteria. But thankfully, after making me feel like an idiot, and irritating my bladder further by pressing on it several times, she did prescribe a stronger antibiotic for a longer period of time and I'm just praying it will work.

The thing with getting basic, bacterial cystitis, when you already have chronic interstitial cystitis, is that none of the folk remedies everyone wants you to do helpful, in fact most of them make everything much worse. For example, cranberry juice is like fire water for my bladder, and would have me doubled over in pain faster than a jalapeno caffeine sandwich with a double shot of Patron Silver tequila on the side.

When I asked my doctor for pain medication, because Lord knows I've been in pain, she was her usual unempathic and stoic self and predictably said, "No." I felt like a naughty little girl trying to score some kind of forbidden cookie. It was hard enough for me to ask while knowing how consistently reluctant she has always been to prescribe anything slightly over the line, but I just kept thinking about how hard it was going to be to get through the night, while waiting for the antibiotics to kick in, if they would kick in. And she doesn't even know I had a very slight bout of pain medication dependency that had me going to NA just last year.

Pain meds, for an addictive personality type, are like food is to someone with an eating disorder, unlike liquor or cigarettes, that while hard to get off of, you can avoid almost entirely -- set them aside and never have to dip into them for the rest of your life. With pain meds there are always going to be times when you just have to take them, and with food it's even worse because you have to face it three times a day, at least.

Thank God for my gynecologist. She's the tops, really, she's won all kinds of awards, published books, invented things, and her subspecialty is bladder disease, specifically Interstitial Cystitis, so she has a hell of a lot more compassion when it comes to dealing with this. She wasn't in today but she always has a nurse practitioner available to take our calls and help us out. Understanding that an already painful bladder infection can be that much more torturous for someone with a raw, stripped-bare bladder, she kindly filled a Vicodin prescription for me and this is the only reason why I am sitting here right now writing. It made me feel so much better when she said, "Interstitial Cystitis is so hard to treat, it's such a specific specialized area of medicine that not everyone knows how to deal with it, or that a common bladder infection would be so much more painful and complicated for a patient dealing with this." Phew. After a long three days of trying to get help -- trying to get someone to understand, after carrying my damned cell phone around with me, waiting for it to ring, waiting for the results of tests, hoping someone would notice I was really suffering here and return my calls, it was such a relief to be in the care of someone with a bit of compassion.

Earlier tonight I had just taken off the clothes I was wearing and was about to get changed into a tee-shirt when I remembered that the cable guy had knocked all of my Netflix DVDs off of my dresser and they had fallen behind the TV and were wedged somewhere between this piece of furniture and the wall. I bent over to look under the dresser and then had to get down on my hands and knees to reach under there but got hit with such a wave of bladder pain and nausea that I just kind of collapsed and had to lay there naked on my dirty bare wood floor until Scott came and got me. I felt so pathetic but I had the cats for company and that was nice, honestly.

It's just occurred to me that I haven't taken a picture of myself with my newly, super-blonde hair that I haven't made up my mind whether I hate or not. I've got to remember to show it to you before I change it again.

I finally got the cable company to send someone experienced enough to install a DVR on our new HGTV TV. The last guy they sent out was so inexperienced he couldn't even find the signal and made up some crap about not being able to get a strong enough signal up to my room to support the HDTV feed. Yeah, try telling that kind of crap to Steven Spielberg. Dude, you have too many TV's, can't help ya, sorry. Argh.

I knew he was full of shit, not just because I worked for the same company he works for, for years, but because from the moment he walked in it was obvious he wanted to be anywhere other than here. He was so draggy and miserable. In contrast with the last guy, the one who came over today knew immediately what to do and ripped into the last one saying, "What da Fuck he tell you? That guy was stoopid? I'll have you fixed up in five minutes," and he did. Now I just have figure out how to work this thing. I have the basics down but there must be some reason why they've given me a fifty-five page manual so I'll have to force myself to read through it, or I could put it in line right behind the manual for my Palm cell phone, the new IPod, and the dusty manual for the laptop I'm using right now.

Oh my God you should have seen the lighting that just lit up this room -- this is gonna be loud...oooooh, yes, wow! Excitement! I love rain storms.

Oh joy and happiness, I've been watching this string of Osbournes episodes on MTV and hadn't realized I had missed the latest one. I thought the last episode was the one where Kelly got sent off to rehab and now their airing this new one, yeay!!!! I'd better go pee, that's all I seem to be doing lately, anyway...

Ooooh I forgot all about you while feeding my reality TV Osbournes tummy. This storm is wild and so much fun, I wish I could show it to you. Oh ho ho the skies are rumbling. I wonder where all of the birds are.

All of the cats and dogs are snoring -- I think I need to get some rest.

Love you guys,

PS: Wow, we're under a severe thunder storm warning with the possibility of a tornado and nickel sized hail. These flashes of lightning that flood the room with such pure white light are followed by thunder so loud and powerful it shakes the whole house and rattles the windows. The cats are looking for comfort in between brief periods of time spent staring out of the windows at the bright flashes of lightning that interrupt my radio listening with loud bursts of static noise.

Severe Weather Warning

... A Severe Thunderstorm Warning continues until 600 am PST for
southern Los Angeles counties...

At 450 am PST... National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated
a line of severe thunderstorms from El Monte and West Covina
southwest to Long Beach. The line was nearly stationary... while
individual thunderstorms in the line were moving to the
northeast at 15 mph. Thunderstorms capable of producing quarter
size hail... and damaging winds in excess of 60 mph will affect
the San Gabriel valley and much of the Los Angeles County coastal
plain through 6 am PST.

Doppler radar has indicated weak rotation within a few of these
storms. While not immediately likely... weak tornados may develop.
If a tornado is spotted... act quickly and move to a place of safety
in a sturdy structure... such as a basement or small interior room.

These are dangerous storms. If you are in their path... prepare
immediately for damaging winds... destructive hail... and deadly cloud
to ground lightning.

Lat... Lon 3422 11813 3388 11855 3378 11804 3407 11762