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House of Pain

Saturday, August 23, 2014

11:57AM - Outliving My Teeth

It appears that I get to outlive my teeth. I am not happy about that, at all.

I haven't given in completely, even though I fully know the futility of trying to save what's left.

When I do finally throw up my hands in defeat, there will be benefits to conceding defeat. The main thing will be no more toothaches. Mouth pain has been such a part of my daily life, I have forgotten what it's like to eat without pain.

I wanted implants. They promise to perform like natural teeth, prevent jaw bone erosion, and be easier to care for than prosthetic dentures. Unfortunately, I don't have enough skull left to hold the posts, except on two places in my lower jaw. Those would be used to affix overdentures to, making the bottoms, at least, more secure.

My upper jaw, though far less diseased than my lower jaw, would never hold the posts for implants. The bones in my skull are very fine, and are the reason my upper wisdom teeth were so severely impacted. The wisdom tooth on the right side was just a millimeter from encroaching my sinus cavity. Removing it has improved my sinus conjestion, but left me minus some cheekbone. It's not immediately noticeable, but I can feel the divot through my skin. I am having a few complications from it's removal, like a sprained jaw muscle, and the tissue on the roof of my mouth is pissed right off. I have to go back in a couple of weeks to make double damned sure there isn't a hole leading from my sinuses to my jawbones. I understand such a development could be a bad thing.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8:45AM - So There!

And there, and there, and waaaay over there, too.

Before the sun even thought about peering above the horizon, I have managed to:

get up (3:30 am)
get Carl up (3:45 am)
grill two sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches for Carl's b-fast (3:50 am)
gather and sort laundry (4:00 am)
packed Carl's lunch for work (4:15 am)
drove Carl to work (4:20 am)
dropped Carl off (4:45 am)
loaded laundry into car (5:15 am)
washed laundry (5:30-6:45 am)
hung laundry (7:00-7:45 am)
got Jessica up and in a shower (7:45 am)

This still doesn't cover what the rest of my day promises.

Left to be done:

Take Jessica to school
Make beds
Gas up the car
Buy tobacco and cigarette tubes
Grocery shopping
Storm clean up
Dust, vacuum, mop, spot clean walls
Feed cats
Take down and fold laundry
Pick Jessica up from school
Pick Carl up from work
Make supper
Get Jessica to bed
Clean up after supper
Make cigarettes
Get Carl to bed
Shower and then collapse into bed, just to wait a few more hours to do it all again tomorrow.

A lot of people (mostly my family, except Carl) tend to think that as a housewife/stay at home mother, my day is consumed with daytime tv, shopping, and eating bonbons all day while I file my nails and gossip on social media. The above "to-do" list is not nearly comprehensive, and there might be things added/deleted from the list as things crop up. If I'm lucky, I might get a minute or two to grab some lunch.

Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining. I love my job, ad I get to dedicate my energy and passion to caring for my family and home. I count myself fortunate that I don't have to compromise between winning the bread, and serving that bread to my family.

Friday, August 8, 2014

3:28PM - i survived.

Ouch. Though my whole head is numb, my whole head hurts. And I am hungry and thirsty. And waiting in the target cafe for my prescriptions.

I just made the mistake of rubbing an ice chip over my parched lips. Now I can taste the blood.

Flash forward two hours, through the magic of not posting this until two hours after we left target.

I still haven't gotten brave enough to eat anything, but thanks to the fist full of pills I took when we got back to Dad's house, I don't hurt. Three hours after being done, and my face is still numb in large swaths, but my tongue works. Even my nose is numb.

Instead of the planned six extractions, though, he ended up doing seven. The seventh was the remnants of the wisdom tooth I had had attempted to be removed about 20 or so years ago. It's gone, and he closed the hole the shards of tooth caused.

Anyway, what was a great big scary thing I had to psych myself up for is over. Well, at least the scariest part where I got knocked out, and a whole fuck ton of teeth got taken out of my head.

Now, to plan and figure out replacement options. Of course, the doctor suggested implants for the lower jaw (the upper is too deteriorated and small). I am more inclined towards prosthetic partial dentures, since none of my front teeth were effected.

And, now it's time for more sleeps, whether I want to be sleeps or not.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

12:03AM - Mystery: Solved

I have been feeling like crap for a long time. It's been so long since I've felt "well" that the feeling is a dim memory.

Due to excruciating oral pain I have only recently been unable to tolerate the pain, so o broke with tradition and sought medical intervention from a dentist.

Holy crap, it is worse than I thought. I got so many xrays of my head, it's a wonder I don't glow. The findings are grim: of 32 teeth, I have 10 that can be saved. There is exposed jaw bone on my lower jaw, wisdom teeth in my cheek bones and a raging infection eating away at my jaw bones and gums. I have literally lost skull bone mass to a bacterial infection.

This gets even better: the only way to remove most of the bad teeth is surgically, which will be done all in one go, along with the three impacted wisdom teeth.

All told, with jaw and root planings to remove tartar from my fucking jaw bones, the extractions, and the fillings: $1000 after the insurance. The thought that I will be able to eat food firmer than boiled potatoes by Thanksgiving: priceless.

For now, I am bombarding my body in a scorched earth campaign with 2000 mg of penicillin daily for 10 days. I am not pleased with the prospect of the "trots" and inevitable yeast infection, but that steak I'm gonna eat without wishing my face would just fall right off will be worth it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

6:44AM - The End of My Tether

I am seriously at the very limit of my ability to "cope."

For weeks on end, everything, and I mean Every Thing has been "almost, but not quite." (to include the following not exhaustive list): Two weekends ago, Carl and I were granted our One Night Off of the year. The plan was to eat sushi, see a movie, have a couple of cocktails, come home and have passionate sex.

We managed the sushi. That's it. Just sushi. It was great, and we tried hot sake for the first time (i liked it, he didn't). Even that was just short of minimum expectations due to a pile of unrelated things. I got a piercing toothache from a tooth that broke about a year ago, which I thought was long dead. That was quickly solved with heat and ice. The food was awesome sauce dipped in amazingness, except it took f o r e v e r to get the appetizers, and plates to eat them on. We weren't done eating the appetizers when our assorted rolls came to the table. Also, the sake took 45 minutes, since they had run out and had to go get more, then heat it to boiling (for some reason) when it should have been served at just above body temperature.

We got done there, and looked up movies. There was nothing we wanted to see showing before 9pm, so we decided to do a personal pub crawl.

Ugh. Either the pub was shut down, closed, featuring tone deaf "entertainment", or crowded to SRO at 7 in the evening, or all of the above. No quiet cocktails for us, but certainly loads of dirty looks from tourists as I sat well out of the way on a bench to have a smoke outside. The way one woman snatched her children across the street you would think I was flicking syphillitic sores at passing children while vivisecting puppies with a rusted machete. Everyone else was satisfied with just glaring at me and treating me like a leper begging for alms.

So, defeated and disappointed, we headed home in hopes of salvaging some part of our evening. By this time, it was four hours after we had eaten, so we stopped for takeout pizza and wings. The wings were cooked to within an inch of their lives, and the pizza was topped with lunch meat. For $30.

We got home, ate the "food", and fell soundly asleep at the ungodly hour of 10pm. Him in his chair, and me on the couch.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Hot, sultry breezes stir across my brow as the clouds billows and gather into thunderheads. In the distance, I can hear the drone of a mower, undoing what Summer rains do to grass and the other green things growing there.

The air is faintly sweetened by the confederate jasmine vine in bloom next to me, gentle on my senses. Small beads of sweat gather on my face, all the better to feel the breeze touching me.

Soon, will be the bustle of cooking, eating, and cleaning up after supper.

For now, though, there is the breeze, and the cicadas emerging from their shells, and the knowledge that I am alive, sitting in the shade of an oak tree, next to a jasmine vine on a summer afternoon.

Friday, June 20, 2014

10:07PM - neveah

It is midsummer.

The night air is sultry. Warm and humid, the darkness is filled with the calls of cicadas, crickets, frogs, and other creatures hidden in the night.

The delightful scent of jasmine and fresh cut grass and distant rain mingle with summer sweat and cold sweet tea. This is the smell of paradise.


There is a stray kitten curled up on my chest, quietly vibrating his appreciation of his new family. He's scarcely old enough to be away from his mother, but knows the ins-and-outs of using the litterbox. He hates kibbles, and will stand with all four paws in his wet food as he eats until his little belly looks like he ate a baseball in one bite. He puts both front paws in his water dish as he drinks and comes away with a wet chin.

He will cry outside our bedroom door until we let him in. He immediately curls up between Carl's shoulder and his pillow, eventually ending up tucked under the covers with just his little nose poking out. When either of us gets up to potty, he'll join us and make polite use of the litterbox in our bathroom.

His name is Spider. I mean, he's still so young his eyes are infant grey. He is a spotted grey tabby with white paws (when they're clean) and white "mascara". His coloring is good (dark pink gums and ears) and he is very energetic when he's awake. It's like he has three modes: sleep, devour, and blur.

The rest of The Horde accepted him immediately, each taking their turn washing and grooming him from nose to tail tip. The queens have argued over who gets to "adopt" him, but he's having none of their nonsense. The toms tolerate him chasing their tails and sleeping next to them, snorgled into their sides. He's already figured out (after three days) that his name is Spider and will appear at the mention of his name. He likes to groom my eyelashes and eyebrows.

Monday, June 9, 2014

1:55PM - First Anniversary

A year ago today, Carl and I became legally man and wife.

There has been so much water under the bridge, and over the dam in this past year.

I'll tell ya, the way our relationship is, it seems at once that we have been a couple for a million years, and just since last week. We have always felt like we've known each other forever, and like we just met this exciting new person.

We have been a couple since August of 2008. We were best friends since 2003 or 04. Maybe earlier. My memories of dates gets really fuzzy during that time due to my workaholism.

He is my center of calm. Of all of the billions of people on this planet, I know I can give myself over to him in complete trust.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

4:24PM - Playing Possum

As I had no legitimate reasons to burn over a quarter tank of gas, Carl kept the car today.

It's been kinda nice staying home, puttering here and there. I haven't had to worry about how I look. I haven't had to deal with traffic. I haven't had to listen to Jessica constantly asking for stuff we don't need nor can we afford.

I did, however, have to deal with a young possum.

I had gone outside with the intention of scouting a good place to put a flower bed. As I walked past a five gallon bucket by the front steps, movement caught my eyes and I saw a small, pissed off possum. The poor thing couldn't have been away from its mamma more than a couple of days.

I searched for a local rescuer, but came up empty. Idropped a scant handful of cat food kibbles into the bucket, and as soon as I was out of sight, the little joey started crunching away.

It calmed down a little, and with leather clad hands I gently removed it from the bucket. After seeing no discernable injuries, I put it on the ground. It took off like a shot until confronted by a cat, at which time it bowed itself up as big as it could, gave a loud hiss, then kicked up sand until it got to a place too small for the cat to follow.

I hope the little guy makes it. It was beyond cute when it wasn't displaying all 2000 of its needle sharp teeth.

This episode has me considering getting educated and licensed as a domestic wildlife rehabber. If I had been either of those things, I would most likely have kept it around until it was close to fully grown to ensure its survival.

Now that I know there are possums present, I will be even more diligent about not leaving trash in the yard. I've seen the aftermath of cat vs possum. The cat rarely wins, if it even survives.

Current mood: good

Sunday, June 1, 2014

4:56AM - What's Missing

Carl and I just realized we haven't seen any possums, racoons, or armadillos around here. Also, very few squirrels.

My guess is the neighborhood is just too full of dogs (ours is about the only yard without 2-3 dogs).

Oh, and the cobbler was divine. Wild berries just plain taste better than store bought berries.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

11:44PM - Bounty of Summer

We are settling in nicely into our new home and lifestyle.

Carl got his first paycheck from his lateral transfer. It was less than half of what we are used to, which was already less than enough. It's only temporary, though. Soon, he will be making about 20% more than he was before the transfer. Meanwhile, it is going to be leaner than lean.

That is not what this post is about, though.

This post is about filling in the gaps with the bounty of what grows wild.

When I was a kid, my Daddy took my sister and me out into the wild. He taught us to fish and forage for edible fruits and plants. He showed us what to avoid touching and what plants would help keep insects at bay.

It has been 20 or more years since I have had the opportunity to use this knowledge. The property we live on backs up to JEA high tension power lines. To keep the lines clear, they've created a prairie boardering the oak hammock to also act as a fire brake.

This has allowed an explosion of wild, native edibles to flourish, as well as created a haven for gopher tortoises, mule deer, foxes, rabbits, and an aviary of raptors to turn any well-appointed zoological garden green with envy.

For the next few months, wild blackberries, blueberries, huckleberries, pawpaws (primitive papayas), turtle apples, sumac, indigo (inedible but useful), and saw palmetto shoots will be seeing us through this struggle.

Tonight, we will feast on wild blackberry cobbler topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Current mood: grateful

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Seeker: Do you know the secrets of the universe?

Master: Some of them, yes. All of them? No. Anything useful? Depends.

Seeker: Then tell me, Master, what have you learned?

Master: I will for a price.

Seeker: Name it.

Master: Bring me that star, over to the left, back behind the moon.

Seeker: That's impossible!

Master: It's right there. Go get it, bring it to me, and I will tell you all I know.


Years pass as the Seeker strives to bring the Master the specified price for knowledge, until one day:

Seeker: I have brought the price you required for your knowledge.

Master, incredulous: Have you now?

Seeker: It's right there, to the left, back behind the moon.

Master: Damn you're a slow learner, but alright.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

10:11AM - Strength through Adversity

This past weekend was nice. Amazingly wonderful weather, mostly low to no pain, and very little drama.

Friday it was stormy, and apparently my stove got struck while I wasn't home. At first, it just appeared the oven was damaged, with both heating elements blown out, and the heat box getting slightly damaged.

I put everything to right in the oven and tried to use it. For 15 minutes, it held together. Then blue sparks arced out of the oven, tripped the breaker, and that was that. The stove top still functioned, so we were sorta OK.

Later that night, though, without the stove being used, a small electrical fire started. That was definitely THAT for my poor stove.

Landlord to the rescue! I texted him about what happened Saturday morning and by Sunday afternoon, I had a new(ish) stove.

Saturday, we got So Much Done. The entire laundry washed and hung to dry, the yard cleaned up, and a sapling fence erected over the entrances to the paths the ATV riders Ihave carved through our property.

It has been suggested that we do things that would damage these people's toys. I will not be that person. I don't want to take anyone's fun away, and if they had been respectful of the private property they were driving through, I wouldn't have minded them going through my yard. When they carved out donuts and mud wallers and tore up the entrance of my driveway is when I took offense.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

10:14PM - Feels.

I am having all of the feels today.

All of them.

It's as though my soul is too big for my body to hold. I feel everything. There is no filter.

This is the warning shot over the bow of an impending manic episode. It's been lurking, just over the horizon, running my thoughts in multiple streams.

My impulse control dangles by a damaged thread, beaten, battered, bleeding.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

8:06PM - bad pain day

I woke up this morning in a little bit more pain than I usually do, but it wasn't a surprise really. Yesterday after supper, I went outside to start correcting some of the neglect allowed to pile up by raking and removing several years worth of leaf litter and the trash that was buried in it.

After a while, the pain in my neck and shoulders receded from a six down to a two. I went ahead and did the light housekeeping for Dad. Afterwards, the pain level started creeping back up, but ended up staying a low four. After supper this afternoon, it receded all the way to a one.

And then I got stupid. I somehow got it into my hard head that I needed (like it was imperative) to free what was left of my potted confederate jasmine vine from my wrought iron planter, then dig a hole and plant it in the ground. The job wouldn't be complete until I also tied it to the two iron shepherd's hooks so it wouldn't just be laying on the ground.

Those iron hooks were stuck very firmly into the ground, but not where I needed them to be for the jasmine. I swear to the sweet baby Jesus I heard and felt something snap in my shoulder when I pulled them out of the ground. It didn't hurt at first, it just felt peculiar.

So I kept at it until not only was the jasmine where I wanted it, but other large container gardens were moved and arranged just so to compliment my newly transplanted vine. I got all the way to the part of the task where I'm neatly coiling the waterhose.

As I wound the last coil into place, though, all of the pain hit me at once. When I looked at my now useless arm, I fully expected to see it dangling by a gory thread from my ravaged shoulder.

No such luck.

So now, I am sitting here, waiting for the aleve to do its thing as I pretend my arm isn't on invisible fire.

The really sweet thing is Carl just called me from work, somehow feeling that I might need one of the narcotic pills I had him hide so I would need to ask for a pill instead of having unfettered access to them. I hadn't complained about any of today's pain, nor told him my plans for more yard work. He just knew I was hurting and needed help.

I feel safe about knowing where the pills are, considering I haven't asked for a norco for three days. I'm also still amazed he sensed, 20 miles away, that I was hurting.

Current mood: loved

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

7:18PM - Dammit.

So, I went to the orthopedic surgeon about my shoulder. After looking over my X-rays and testing my range of motion, he determined there ain't a got-damned thing wrong with my shoulder. He thinks the source of my pain and weakness is in my very arthritic neck.

So, fucksticks.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

3:40PM - Giving in...

Giving in isn't giving up, is it? For the second time in less than a month, I am being tested by pain.

I am not a stranger to pain, and I steadily rebuff its charges on my resolve to remain narcotic free.

And then, the pain got the better of me. Full on yelling and crying, wishing for the release only death can bring.

Last Sunday, I wrenched my shoulder getting out of the moving truck. Today's diagnosis is a likely rotator cuff tear/detachment in my right shoulder.

Carl took me to the emergency room just as dawn lightened the sky. I was seen immediately, examined, and my neck and shoulder were exhaustively xrayed.

My bones look good, with no obvious defects.

However, and it chilled me and comforted me, but staring back from the cervical aspect views was my Mother's face. Not obvious like a living portrait, but there in my bones. I hear Mamma in my laugh, which haunts me. I do see a resemblance to her in my reflection, but seeing her skull peering at me through the shadows cast by my flesh was almost too much.

I have aspired, all of my life, to be at least as good as my Mamma's best parts while not only forgiving her worst parts, but accepting them. It is through these efforts to be as capable and strong as she was that I keep getting physically hurt.

I feel like a failure because of that.

I feel like a failure, also, because I gave in to the pain. I couldn't stand in the face of it any longer. I am only taking a tiny dose (5mg) of oxycodone, and it's not enough to completely banish the pain, but enough to make me not want to die just to escape the pain. I fear the fallout once all treatments have ceased and the pain is once again manageable. Am I just crawling back into the pill bottle I suffered for so long to be free of?

I want my Mamma to tell me it's going to be ok, that she approves of my home, and that she loves me in spite of my inability to just forge through the pain. I miss her so much, I would even welcome her harsh judgements.

Current mood: crushed

Thursday, April 24, 2014

10:36AM - pain update

We left our intrepid heroine in the throes of intractable pain in her right shoulder. Nothing would relieve the pain: ice, heat, rest, OTC pain relievers all failed.

This morning, as I got dressed (which involved reaching behind my back), a sickening pop came from my shoulder. As I recovered from the jolt which left me dizzy, the pain began to fade and I can now use my arm, which previously hung uselessly at my side. It's still weak, but I can move my arm in almost every direction again.

In conclusion, I think it may have been dislocated. I need to have it seen to (eventually) because randomly dislocating a joint is not healthy.

Current mood: relieved

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1:57PM - ow

Several years ago, I fucked my right shoulder good and thoroughly.

I never got it fixed, but I adapted to diminished use and occasional pain.

Right now, it hurts so bad I am nauseous from the pain.

I would give everything I own for my arm to just fall off.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

11:18AM - The Inconvenient Tree

This weekend was moving day. Holy fuck me running, Batman. I haven't slept since Thursday. We were too wound up and nervous to sleep Friday, so gave up trying and went to Denny's. Then we were at it on Saturday, packing and loading the largest U-Haul available. We crammed that shit slap to the rafters and still needed to make another trip.

The really fun part came in trying to park the truck at the new place. I tried it one way, and then another. We tried to park that thing literally until 8am. It just wasn't happening thanks to The Inconvenient Tree.

The Inconvenient Tree was juuuuust low enough on it's secondary bough that to try to squeeze past it to line up with the front door threatened catastrophe. Eventually, I couldn't move another inch, so gave up and just dragged the mattress and bedding inside to try to sleep.

The next morning, Easter, the fellas showed up to put the master bathtub in. It's half done, but for now, it's ok. They helped get the appliances in, only slightly damaging them and the house.

Then we went to dinner at Dad's. I mentioned the Inconvenient Tree, and Dad went and retrieved the electric chainsaw. It was almost dark by the time we got back to the new place, but the truck needed emptied, time was eunning short, and we had more shit to get.

I hopped out of the car, grabbed the chainsaw, plugged it in, and just whaled on that tree. Well, maybe not whaled. I examined it, studied it, and determined that some restraint was called for. I found the perfect place to trim off, and in the dark, cut the offending limb off.

I got the truck perfectly lined up and docked in one pass with that Inconvenient Limb off of the now No Longer Inconvenient Tree.

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