Friday, December 29, 2006

Not doing so well right now...

Oh it's nothing life-threatening, at least not that I know of - meaning I'm not a danger to myself. But I'm not feeling so great.

I don't like it.

Something's going on with me and I'm not sure what it is... I have some theories... I'm not thrilled with any of them.

The main thing I don't like, right now, the thing that's pissing me off enough to bitch and moan about it here, where I really have no business bitching and moaning, is that I'm not going out tonight. Yeah, that's the thing that burns me the most. I'm staying in.

Seems so trivial, huh?

But I'm missing something that makes me very happy, something that never fails to keep a smile on my face for a good two weeks or so... The Niagaras are playing tonight and I'm missing it. And yes, dammit, I'm going to whine about it.

If it were my choice, if it were because I had other plans or some such thing, well alright, no bitching. But this is not my choice and it gets me cranky.

Shall I bore you with the details? Sure, what the hell. You can always stop reading.

The physical problems, that's the problem. Which, yes, granted, better than the mental problems any day of the week, but I'm having a pity party tonight so pull up a chair and turn up the 'poor me' tunes (Patsy Cline works well, though the subject matter isn't exactly right, the woe-is-me tone is correct).

In August of 2002 I got sick. Really, REALLY sick... I thought it was the flu. Lots of people get the flu in August... don't they? Um... not so much. It wasn't flu. It was something I'd never heard of until I got it, and even then I didn't know just how serious it was until AFTER I'd gotten out of the hospital. It took the infectious disease specialists days and days to decide WHAT it was... it isn't seen in NYC all that often so they were stumped. It's called Meningococcal disease and it can kill you. Or you can lose limbs. I was lucky, I neither died (clearly) nor lost a limb. But I lost a lot, and gained some lovely pains in the process. My hands were hit the hardest. And they are what remind me...

At the time my hands hurt so badly that the AIR hurt them. They were swollen, looked a bit like catcher's mitts... red-polka dotted catcher's mitts. They hurt so badly I couldn't open the door to my apartment when my very dear friend trekked in from Jersey to force me to go to the emergency room. I literally could not touch anything without screaming. I had a fever of 104 and all I wanted to do was go to sleep and be left alone. Luckily my friend had a clearer head than me. If I had been left alone and gone to sleep, I would not have woken up. Meningococcal disease can kill you in under 24 hours. By the time the petechiae (polka dots) show up you're in VERY bad shape. We watched as the little red dots popped up before our very eyes... on my hands, on my legs and ankles... It's the outward symptom of the blood vessels bursting under the skin... simplistically: when the vessels burst, the blood stops flowing to the extremities, that's how people lose limbs - it goes to the extremities first. Which is why my hands are all fucked up and my ankles hurt...

Any way... that was 4 years ago and I've gotten back a HUGE amount of strength in my hands since then... but they will never be the same. I was studying American Sign Language when this hit me... it was actually something I was surprisingly adept at... I had dreams of becoming an Interpretor... now I can't even sign for more than a few minutes because it just hurts too much. I can't hold a pen to write for more than 15 or so minutes at a time without my hand cramping up so badly I need a massage... luckily typing doesn't hurt quite as much so I'm able to do that for much longer periods. BLAH BLAH BLAH

The aches have gotten worse lately. I'm also having some other, really odd pains that my doctor can't figure out and is sending me to a Pain Management specialist to deal with... I can't help but feel they are related to the damage caused by the Meningococcal disease. Yeah, good times, all from a disease I was not 'supposed' to get. I did not fall into any of the 'risk factor' groups for this disease. The Center for Disease Control and the NIH were treating me like a rockstar for about a week, while they tried to figure if I was the start of some huge epidemic. I wasn't.

So here I am, in such good spirits, so glad to be alive -- can you imagine, after THAT debacle where I almost died because of a bacterium that just a couple of years later I was planning to kill MYSELF? Amazing. Even to me. And I'm so blue tonight because I feel so shitty physically that I can't face going out to see something that makes me so happy emotionally... yet, blue or not I'm still glad I'm here. I wish I didn't hurt. I wish my hands didn't cramp up so easily. I wish my arm would stop being numb and my ankles wouldn't hurt and my knee would stop screeching every time I bend it. I wish I didn't have these crazy headaches and the weird vertigo... I wish I didn't have these pains... but I'd rather have them and be alive.

I just wish I could drag my sorry ass out to see the Niagaras tonight. And there have been times I could, but tonight I'm having 'the anxiety'. Sometimes it comes with the pains. The fear that I'll start hurting too much while I'm out, that I'll have to hobble home in tears... it makes you not want to risk it. Sure I could pop a couple of Xanax... but then I'd get sleepy and it doesn't stop the pains... so I'd be a sleepy, achey neurotic out on the town. Um. No.

Well. That was a bit of a vent. Goes to show though, you can feel like hell and be blue and STILL be thrilled to be alive. Weird? A little. But it's okay too. And that's about enough of my pity party for tonight. We're closing up, now - you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. :) No more pity parties... at least until next year. Honest!

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