Monday, October 27, 2008

Poem for Monday, October 27, 2009


by Roger Sauls

I couldn't see the nuthatch
or the wren as they raked alphabets
on the dull tin of the gutter.
This early, waking is a kind of weather,
a fog, perhaps, that you meet
on the way to the mind's next landscape.
So I set out for the yard, where grackles
threw pebbles in the air for joy.

Burke's Book Store
936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I have been struggling (as always) with feeling extremely run-down this past week. the wind has picked up considerably (between 10-25 mph) this past week and I've been having a lot of of pain in my chest from riding without enough layers. I've skipped the Zen temple for several weeks in a row and have suffered emotionally as a result. I try to meditate at home but I'm pretty lazy. I know if I want to keep functioning and not let stress send my body into a static feedback crash I have to make time to take care of myself, whether it be a 10 minute sit, an hour walk, or a trip to the library.

today it was a trip to the amazing, ginourmous, better-than-church downtown library. got a few books, one of which I am quite excited about.

I'm about two chapters into All in My Head, writer Paula Kamen's fantastic book about her battle with chronic headaches as well as that of others. So far it's a thoroughly well-written and researched read. it's inspiring for when I ever get around to writing my fibro book.

on her site there are a decent set of links, mainly dealing with headache. there's a very, very well-done list of Dos and Don'ts for relating to someone with Chronic Fatigue that made me want to cry and pump my fist in the air and then send it to everyone I know.

For example:

DON'T suggest that my symptoms might not be so severe if I didn't dwell on them, cater to them, give them so much attention, let them run my life. In fact, that is the very philosophy that led to the collapse of my health in the first place. I maintain what vitality I do have by careful attention to even small changes in my body.

DON'T suggest new supplements or treatments unless I have asked. Like most single dykes with the disease, I have experienced a drastic and terrifying reduction of resources. And like most women living on very low fixed income, I have had to evolve a highly refined and customized process for cost-benefit analysis. It has taken me years to fine-tune my regimen of supplements and foods. Yes, I am sure I would benefit from massage, blood tests, medical care, organic food, acupuncture, and chinese herbs, but I can't afford them. Unless, of course, you want to buy them for me. Classism and ableism go hand-in-glove, and in case you don't know, health care in this country is a privilege, not a right.

really effing brilliant. I've had so many well-meaning people tell me about some miraculous supplement that cured someone they know and it's getting harder and harder not to take offence. thanks, but when my life is a choice between eating enough to keep my weight up and taking yet another supplement, I'm going with food.

I've started taking St John's wort again in addition to 5-htp, what with the winter breathing down my neck already. I've been having bad bouts of depression at more or less the same time every day, the early afternoon. it's hard not to let it suck me in. getting my blood flowing helps, as does chocolate. it certainly does feel like a dementor attack...

time to watch Lost until I'm ready for sleep.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

oh and

my bloodwork all came back negative. my doctor wants me to eat 3000 calories a day and if I can't gain a pound a week, come back in a month or so for more tests.

still feel pukey a LOT of the time. still having thumpy heart and tight chest. still having trouble sleeping.

but I'm not dying any time soon.

good lord willing and the creek don't rise.

ned called me "hipster bait"

"if i wanted to catch a hipster guy, i would put you in a cage with some marquez and a gameboy and come back later in the day with like 12 skinny jeans boys all crammed in there."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Poem for Monday, October 20, 2008

Waiting on Elvis, 1956

by Joyce Carol Oates

This place up in Charlotte called Chuck's where I

used to waitress and who came in one night

but Elvis and some of his friends before his concert

at the Arena, I was twenty-six married but still

waiting tables and we got to joking around like you

do, and he was fingering the lace edge of my slip

where it showed below my hemline and I hadn't even

seen it and I slapped at him a little saying, You

sure are the one aren't you feeling my face burn but

he was the kind of boy even meanness turned sweet in

his mouth.

Smiled at me and said, Yeah honey I guess I sure am.

Burke's Book Store
936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I forget to give myself credit.

I've been through a lot this past year and still managed to keep my self-destructive behavior in check. I was having a rough time for a couple weeks, and despite the fact that inside my mind and body was not a fun place to be, I still managed to take refuge in things that keep me safe. Meditating, biking, reading, watching Lost; I haven't gotten wasted or used someone else's body as a means to escape mine in more than half a year. which is definitely a new record for me.

I seem to have accepted the fact that my physical condition might never improve much more. it's a hard and bitter pill to swallow, and I sure do get dose after dose of it multiple times a day, but I am being brave. I am strong. I might cry a lot, but I'm nota drug addict. Every other person with chronic pain I've met was an oxycodone addict, but I want to have a life, and being on pain meds is a dead-end street. Hell, it's a Thelma and Louise style full on acceleration towards a cliff.

Lately, when my physical state becomes overwhelming, I try to tell myself "this is just one more thing you will be good at treating."

it helps.

but I sure as hell can't sleep for shit lately.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Poem for Monday, October 13, 2008

If the Moon Happened Once

by Kay Ryan

If the moon happened once,

it wouldn't matter much,

would it?

One evening's ticket

punched with a

round or a crescent.

You could like it

or not like it,

as you chose.

It couldn't alter

every time it rose;

it couldn't do those

things with scarves

it does.

Burke's Book Store
936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Sunday, October 12, 2008

the waiting is the hardest part

I've been steadily losing weight for a while now, way past what I put on drinking and taking meds, I'm down to 112, which is what I weighed in, um, 9th grade?

during my acupuncture treatment Friday my intern told me the clinic supervisor insisted that I go see a physician to get checked out. I looked at her and said "what could it be?" she shrugged and said "glands? cancer?"

so of course I've been totally freaking out for the past couple days, more than usual.

I'm fairly certain I have hyperthyroidism, because my grandmother had thyroid disease and I seem to have inherited a lot of her health problems, and because I have all the main symptoms. unexplained weight loss, nausea, hot flashes, heart palpitations, elevated pulse, joint pain, diarrhea, yeah... fun.

if that IS what I have, I'm still sticking with Chinese medicine and nutrition, because the western treatments involve burning out your thyroid permanently via injection of radioactive iodine or else taking medications that kill all your white blood cells.

I'm really, really scared. I have no fat left on my body and I feel very, very fragile. It is painful for me to sit on most furniture and my bedsprings poke me through the mattress pad so I wake up feeling bruised. I've been crying for three days. it's so scary not to know what is wrong and to feel so horrible.

and to go through this alone, without a close friend to cry on, with no-one to go to for comfort, it's almost unbearable.

all I can do is keep breathing.

I get my blood tested Wednesday.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I'm really good at writing personal ads and filling out online profiles. it's so easy to summarize myself in a handful of snappy lines. I ride my bike I like to cook I have various geek/literary themed tattoos I am hella wicked smart I read a lot I don't drink I don't smoke I like Battlestar Galactica.

when I write it all out I think I come across pretty well. I sound downright awesome. hell, I totally fracking rule. so why am I still so sad?

I know I am pretty and smart and funny and caring. I try to balance all this out with the feeling of worthlessness I have left over from my adolescent traumas and from dealing with my sickness.

7 months of menstrual suppression and I have morbid PMS. I'm inexplicably sad. there's not much I can do but hole up on the futon with Dr Who, then spend all the money I will get from cleaning my boys' house on chocolate.

wait it out.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Poem for Monday, October 6, 2008

To a Reader

by Robert Hass

I've watched memory wound you.

I felt nothing but envy.

Having slept in wet meadows,

I was not through desiring.

Imagine January and the beach,

a bleached sky, gulls. And

look seaward: what is not there

is there, isn't it, the huge

bird of the first light

arched above first waters

beyond our touching or intention

or the reasonable shore.

Burke's Book Store
936 South Cooper
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

take us apart and put us back together right

This band from Champaign,Headlights, are my favorite biking music lately.
I've been listening to this song in particular a whole lot in the past few days. it seems pretty relevant to what's going on in my life right now, in a very comforting way.
Put Us Back Together - Headlights
Strange winds are blowing me down this way.
There's no prize in sight but the pain in my feet but I won't remember after tonight.
The clock turns red and the word on the street is that we are getting ready to leave.
Behind me I've forgotten to check all of the things that somehow now I don't seem to need.

Stepping over broken doors down in the street, all the chairs and tables lay on their sides.
We have to turn them over and stand them upright so we can leave them on their feet for the night.
So we can leave them on their feet for the night.

Take us apart and put us back together right, so we can leave on our feet in the night.