Friday, September 16, 2011

Original oxymorons

For those who know me, it's not a secret that most people get on my nerves. I am a people person, but still have my limits and prefer small groups over large crowds.
When I see someone, in person or otherwise, performing a case of 'monkey see, monkey do', I wonder how long that someone waited to rule out whether or not that person's friends would approve or not, before proceeding. I also wonder if that person felt the need to do exactly as someone else, just because. I know I have been guilty of it, but I eventually grew up.
As sad as I sometimes find all of this, it's equally sad when people who claim to be original are often the total opposite, after weeding out said original person's shiny and new exterior.
This also applies to people with die hard political associations who never stray from those beliefs, regardless of how ridiculous and/or unattainable those beliefs may be.
No matter how hard we try, we can't all be originals for every minute of the day. Simply put, it's not possible.
Most of what we think has been thought before. If we looked hard enough or researched long enough, we would find that somewhere in the world, someone has actually lived out our thoughts.
You can back unions, but you will still need corporations for one thing or another. You can back corporations, but you would be sadly disappointed by calling a CEO if your house is on fire.
You can call yourself a rebel, but rebels come in all shapes and forms, especially as the world becomes a much smaller place due to advancements in technology for radio, television, internet and cell phones.
While formats can and will become outdated, there indeed are some which have yet to be outdone in quality.
As you poke fun at common name brands, realize that your product of little recognition is being sold by a major department store, be it in a mall or on a website.
The list of examples can go on forever, but the ultimate moral of the story is this: More often than we care to admit, we are what we decry. We can't help it. Being human and having humility will sometimes mix like oil and water. We open a can of laughter and spill a good amount of it on ourselves, because we deserved it and that's what fate handed us. That's just the way it is.
So, did this article upset you? If so, I did my job as an unworthy freak.
However, the point is not that we just stop doing everything, simply because most of what we do has been done before. It's that we realize how dorky we often are for thinking that we are somehow better than most other people.
I am me and you are you. Let's continue to be the best 'us' that we can. It's how we all get along and get by in this crazy, oxymoron of a life.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Interruption of peace

The past few days have not been good. Plenty has been on my mind, enough that I have lost sleep over it all.
September 7 made one year ago that I took Jack to the emergency room and he was admitted to the hospital.
September 11 made 10 years ago that our nation was attacked by a rogue piece of shit who took what should be good about religion and contorted it to a sick degree of mental imprisonment for millions, plenty who are struggling with it to this very second.
September 12 is Jack's birthday. Because of September 11, he never celebrated his birthday again. Because of having to go into the hospital, he certainly didn't celebrate it any better, on that day.
Also, I viewed one of the 'worthy widow' blogs. I was disheartened by what I read, rather than being annoyed or offended.
So, there are the 4 main topics which have been bothering me. We widows have a bad habit of quietly psycho-analyzing our past. We also have a bad habit of living in moments that made us and our better halves who we were, as a couple. Don't try to understand. It's simply not something you should worry about, if you're not one.
I do have to say that I am even more glad to not have become one of the 'worthy widows', though they have their blog and chat related grief support networks. It doesn't appear to working out too well for them, or so it seems. Truly, the one blog I read was sad. 
I said what I did about not judging others without having walked in their shoes, and I will do my best to live up to my own expectations. After all, it's the least I can do and still expect to be taken seriously, by anyone. However, it saddens me to know that there are people with friends, children, jobs, active social lives and even financial stability, who are still in such a tragic degree of pain that they are blinded by it. I know, deep down, that most of these people are deep within the trenches of post traumatic stress disorder. Sadly, the diagnosis applies to many of us, and I am no exception. 
The biggest difference is that I am improving my life and making progress with what little mind I have left.
How I miss my mid to late 20s, though. I had my groove on like never in my life, and have yet to get that feeling back within me since. 
Perhaps one day, time and progress will allow me another shot at some form of success, beyond peace of mind. While that is my main goal, I don't want it to be the only one. But, if that is all life allows me to give myself, I will gladly take it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Breakthrough, part 2: My ears don't burn without a reason

I'm sure that my first installment of this post has people talking. After reading my post a few times, I can see why. This is not an attempt to roll back anything I said. This is to better elaborate a few points. Beyond this post, I will answer questions but will not do another post on the subject.
First of all, we have been conditioned from childhood to believe a lie. Marijuana is nature, and nature is how basically every medication is made. If you have a problem with the nature your god created, I don't know what to say, except for a suggestion that you read your bible.
Second: I miss working. I miss having that extra purpose of waking up, other than to watch programs I usually find boring, or listen to the same music repeatedly and the like. I miss the daily interaction. Work has rewards which exceed money and benefits. Not only do I remember them well, but I wish I could have them back. Speaking of back......
In April, 2001, I fell down my staircase (ALL the way down) into my basement. My ribs, shoulders, middle back, lumbar region, basically all of me, felt every hit from every step. One side of my hip is still larger than the other (Realize that this is more than ten years later).
I still cannot stand for more than 10 minutes without feeling severe discomfort that is well on its way toward annoying pain. Even with that pain, I also have Spinal Stenosis.....a condition in which parts, or all of the leg, or legs, will go numb.....and this is on top of the pain I already deal with. This happens while driving, has happened while walking, has hit at the moment of back injury, and has caused many a subsequent fall.
I am used to walking fast. Even with my condition(s), the urge to walk quickly is just there and always has been. I don't walk as fast as I did, when I got down here. I pay much more attention to what I do and how I do it. To a degree, it has helped. But, that creates limits on what I can do, because I am taking the risk of having no medication as a buffer.
You did read the last sentence correctly: The next time I have a fresh back injury, there will only be Neurontin to fall back on, and there is not enough to sustain me, should I have to begin taking it on a regular basis, again. There is no opiate related narcotic relief. For the past 3 years, I have been off of it and luckily, have not injured my back bad enough to need them....yet. Furthermore, Neurontin is only supposed to be good enough for nerve pain and that's off label use. I ignore more pain than I address.
So, incase you think I am collecting disability because I am lazy, do think much further. On top of that, feel free to take on the knowledge of my psychiatrist, who has 18 years of medical school behind him (and the proof of 2 MRI results, on my back). Moreover, a family of 3 spends more on groceries than my disability check, per month. If you think you can live like this, go right ahead and try. I will be waiting and laughing my ass off, when you return my responsibilities to me.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. I did say that I am not going to lie and while I would prefer not to revisit this subject, I will still answer questions if they are presented with reason and without tired, stereotypical rhetoric.
The reason I conclude that there is a lot to be said for medical marijuana is because there is legitimate medicinal properties to the stuff. There is actual pain relief, there is a calming 'effect' not related to getting high (thus, eliminating the need for Trileptal), though I still get to deal with panic attacks. I can't do anything about those, once they start. In fact, no one can.
There is a huge difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks. I should not be doing your homework for you, but these can be crippling. There are witnesses to what mine are like and everyone of them will tell you that they have never seen an attack like these. My heart rate is not affected, but my fingers draw inward until they touch. You can pull them apart, but they literally slap right back together, as soon as you let go of them. The attacks are that severe. Before my diagnosis, 2 paramedics saw what happened (as did a restaurant full of customers). Even the paramedics knew this was nasty.
I understand, very well, that taking the "Physician heal thyself' approach can be incredibly dangerous. I am removing the safety net, which has been there for at least a decade and in some situations, almost 2 decades. I would be lying if I said I were not apprehensive about even trying this. I took 3 weeks and pondered most possibilities, should something bad happen. I did my research, read testimonials (taken with proper grains of salt, obviously) and took into account that it could possibly be overstated, as well as under appreciated. To me, the risks outweigh the side effects of all that medicine I stuffed down my throat, day after day, year after year. Enough, already.
All indicators (In other words, my own living proof) are that this is a better solution and for now, that solution is a reality. But, don't worry; If this solution becomes a bust, you will be among the first to know about it.
From here, feel free to ask your questions. If they are not related to common rhetoric, I will gladly answer them. But, if I feel you are using them to a political angle, I will trash you big time, in the next post. Count on it.
Don't pretend to know how someone's feet are feeling, until you have walked at least a mile in their shoes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Breakthrough: A BIG ONE

I can now openly state, for the first time, that I am now safely off all 3 prescription medications that I was taking upon my arrival, here in Florida.
First medication I began taking, way back in October, 1994, was Xanax and while there is no cure for Panic Disorder, I am now willing to try using a VERY SMALL amount of Valium, only as needed. This does mean that the odds of a panic attack happening will heavily increase, but I don't really care. I grew tired of being a slave to medication and that includes what I take for pain....which, by the way, is not an opiate or synthetic, therein. What I took for that is called Neurontin. I began taking it in December, 2000. My physician replaced it with opiates, in February, 2001, and there were several. I eventually ended up on OxyContin from several back injuries and the pain from nerve damage. After 4 years, my doctor also included Lyrica. I had to discontinue that, because I was swollen all over, from it. I quickly went back to Neurontin, because there was so much of it left, from when I was originally taking it. The pain is still there, just not as much because I am far more careful with myself, these days.
Last and absolutely not least, perhaps the most important medication of the past 9 years and 11 months, Trileptal. This is what I took, in place of an antidepressant, because all of what I took either didn't work or I ended up receiving too much side effect, not enough medicinal and/or mental and/or physical benefit.
Before anyone can begin thinking this was all a fake: No, it never was. Some of us have a much harder time adjusting in the world than others, and that's just the way it is. We end up fighting within ourselves, and become our own worst enemies as the consequence of not directing attention to the problem, soon enough.
There are ways to survive, and I am learning all about it with each passing day. Every day will not be an adventure, nor will every day be a success. I don't expect that. What I DO expect, however, is more out of myself than what happened with my 30s, which was wasting them to a world of medications for partial benefit.
Incase you're wondering if I am now taking anything over the counter, the answer is no.
What I AM taking, however, is advantage of a very small amount of medical marijuana. You don't have to agree with it, but ask yourself if you really think I could have safely removed myself from those other medications on blind faith and will power, alone. If you need assistance with the answer, try this: HELL NO!
There is A LOT to be said about medical marijuana, because there is absolutely no way the regular, cheap and compressed garbage from Mexico would yield this kind of benefit to me. I have no idea what else I can say about the fact that I'm successfully using it, except that I am NOT using it to just get high. Seriously, this shit is WAY too expensive to use, in that manner. Also, the 'buzz' I always got from the other stuff is not the same. Truly, there is a revolution going on, in that world. I would dearly love to be a fly on the wall, just to see what all these growers are doing to create such.....dare I say of art, such as what is now available for use.
I tell you, everyone, this is as real as it gets for least for now. I am thinking much more clearly. I am now beginning to sleep better. I am not getting stuck on just one thought or staying hyped on just one particular subject, as I used to do. So, if this is all in my head, fine...I will gladly take it. Something about clarity of the soul, I don't know....this is interesting.
I do have to say that I specifically asked for supervision, from my 2 room mates (One is a lifelong friend, and the other a very dear friend of almost 15 years), while this transition has taken place. To my knowledge, they have only voiced concern to me on 2 or possibly 3 occasions. Thus far, that has been the only concern. So far, so damn good. I am happy, even if you are not. Time and success willing, I might even try being happy for you, when you're not.
Never put anything past me, for I am nothing more than a middle aged man with absolutely nothing to lose, except my last breath.