insomniac? Insomniac.

Insomnia.

It’s a little past 8 in the morning and I am not rested. I occasionally get bouts of insomnia, which if you know insomnia is kind of a dick. It was four something this morning when I was still up, bitching at the ceiling and my stuffed animals that the pill I’d taken for nausea was doing the opposite of its job.

So to keep missing busy I decided to install an assistant on my phone. An English patch isn’t available for my favorite anymore, so I decided to try something different.

Kicked myself in the teeth when I asked Andromeda (yes, my phone has a name) how to set up Siri. I am an Android user. I do not have Siri. I’m two seconds from correcting myself when Cortana opens and—

Well, I liked that tutorial. It boils down to “Boss me around, we’ll work on nuances later.”

I then set about half a dozen reminders—a function I’ve missed since my Windows Phone days—and took a hit of grape Tylenol.

I woke to a jangly cacophony of alarm tones at about five minutes before it was time to leave. For some fucking reason I glanced at my phone and muttered: “More cowbell.” THEN I spotted the pair of redflats that had made snack of my hand. It will swell up ugly but it’s all they got. The morgue grows.

Shotgun meds, out the door. Not nearly awake.

I’m still amused that CHILDREN’S TYLENOL stacked on this tramodol—which my doctor’s claiming to be a narcotic but all the research says no—is in fact helping. I’m also amused that he almost wilfully overmedicated the otc component but undermedicates everything else. A round of applause for the ever underappreciated pharmacy technicians who keep us from doing the dumb when the doctors aren’t paying attention

I’ll let you know what I think of Cortana in a week.

Of pain and a troubled relationship with its imperfect, impermanent cure.

It’s 0330 or so. An errant pain spike has woken me up.

The realization that it now takes a double of my pain meds has me feeling some type of way. Those would be scared and disappointed.

___

For a long time I have felt that these things are just a crutch for weakness. Specifically my weakness. And I can’t stand thinking of myself in that zone.

But lying here, I… Almost know better.

With my pain almost wrangled, I can feel the three worst parts inside of me so clearly—the tear just near the diaphragm; the one in my middle, the one that fails me so often sitting up; the one that starts low and radiates into my groin.

I’m able to swallow water that I carried in a bottle next to me. It’s my first intake since Sunday. The sensation of “thing in stomach” has revived pain center number three.

Drinking water is pain. But I hadn’t had it in a day. I am not brave enough yet to try food.

___

0340. Nauseated. Praying that sleep takes me back. It was only an hour of respite.

I am not OK.

Grocery day is a very dangerous day

image

About a week of groceries there. There is not much variety today. Or much there at all really. The tear in my abdominal wall muscles keeps me from carrying much, as well as from eating much—if my stomach is close to half full that part of my body is nothing but pain.

So dinner is a single bologna sandwich, made with the cheapest brand I’ve ever seen, praying that “flavorings” on the ingredients list doesn’t involve anything related to juniper.

The pain in my side is about the worst it’s been in a while… And the worst part about it was that it decided to kick in at the store. An impulsive decision to use a European style shopping cart paid off when I used it to keep from hitting the floor.

I should have got a motor cart was my first thought. The second was blinding panic. You know, the usual. Is this that bad this can’t be that bad SUCK IT UP MOTHERFUCKER

The aisle goes Laser Floyd. Muscle spasms in the area force me back onto the cart.

Is this it? Am I DISABLED?

It took a lot of good Samaritans to get me home today. The groceries were put away, only mildly smashed—the bread may reinflate from where I landed on it—and I was finally able to rest.

I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. This is the kind of injury that I’m not supposed to do the things that are in my line of work. But if I don’t, bills and rent…don’t. If I keep working, I could really wreck my body… Well, worse.

…I think I’m gonna sleep now. I really can’t see straight from this pain anyways.

On the new transantagonism

The recent influx of these so called bathroom bills is just the latest round of body policing and transantagonism that has been going on since the time of the colonizers. People don’t understand something, so instead of trying to understand it, they seek to violate, dehumanize, or rationalize away their own internal revulsion of it.

It happened before in every culture that embraces nonbinary identities as something to be acknowledged—but, slowly, we remember our heritage as our spirits wake. And it happens now as our sisthren, brethren, and sibthren come into their identities and walk their truths. At the same time, they—we—live lives like the other people, like those people who do so dislike being called what they are—the cisgender.

And it is with the cisgender that I take my current beef.

(Any comments to the effects of “not all cis” are subject to a metric buttload of side-eye. Only warning.)

It should be no one’s business what is in anyone’s trousers/kilt/skirt/long dashiki except their significant other and the owner of the parts, yet a mob of legislators wants to control where people can go to the bathroom or change clothes at the gym based on this. Were we to subject the cisgender populations to this treatment it would be called invasive harassment and overturned so quickly that your head would spin.

But since it’s “for their protection,” this is fine. The double standard is disgusting. It makes me furious. And more than a little sick.

It has also brought back the old chestnut that equates gender to genitalia, and I’m seeing more and more talk about how people would immediately drop a partner—even a long time partner—if their genitals didn’t match the perceived or presenting gender. No other justification is even given, just “I thought you had X” and “bye, Felicia.”

This revelation makes me sick. Just plain sick. And I don’t understand how this line of thinking could be interpreted as anything but transphobic. Putting my cards on the table as nonbinary gets the same reaction. And the reaction is always the same:

“Never mind. Thought you was a woman” and a fast walk away with much dusting of shoulders.

Determining partners on plumbing exclusively is fetishist at best, phobic bull at worst, and needs to stop.

People forget: we are whole persons, with minds and lives and interests and hobbies. Not just sets of genitalia for you to fixate on.

At least the management got shook out.

And now, a tale of public housing. (I bear no responsibility if you hear this entire thing in the voice of Cecil from Welcome to Night Vale.)

It says something about the state of government housing that I have developed a sort of Spidey Sense for the common Cimex lectularius Linnaeus.

(SLOW YOUR ROLL. DO NOT GOOGLE.)

Building management, after two years of doing jack shit, has actually been ousted wholesale and replaced, and I have just treated the current linen so thoroughly with chems it would be working backwards for a week to swap. MINOR nosebleed from all the chemical in the air (or the fact that it took a bite to wake me this time and I am allergic)  but I’m tired of bugs.

Folks who have been in cheap motels, unfortunate Air BNB experiences, seen every other news report about pesticide resistance, noticed things moving on buses or movie theatre seats, or have followed me through this fight know what I’m talking about when I talk about this bitey bastard. Folks who are confounded by that Latin up there, DO NOT GOOGLE THAT WITH IMAGES ON. DO NOT. DO. NOT.

The sick irony of the struggle is that though the entire building had been reporting this since jump, WE’RE the ones that have to be trained how to spot them or face eviction. Um. Hi. Ten years hospitality, know the chems, just need the license to operate the giant heater thing that kills them. I THINK I’M GOOD.

To add insult to injury, the spot where I’ve been talking about the mold on the ceiling that totally blew, leaking and flooding my clothes and a TV, is turning an unsavory color. It continues to smell of old meat and paint and now has a jagged, small maw-like opening. It also looks vaguely like where Morpha spawns in Ocarina of Time and I don’t think I like that.  At least if it leaks again, it will go straight for the improvised bucket and not for the replacement television, which is just the one from when I first moved in. Thanks to growing up in one of those houses that had a garbage bag full of garbage bags, the garbage situation is no situation at all.

But, this one room, buggy, drippy, flood, faulty fridgey experience that so disproportionately affects PoC of low income (because really, why would you WANT this) costs thirty percent of what little bit one makes a month before food, meds, bills. If you’re lucky (?) you’re in bad enough shape that you might get help with one or two of those, but chances are if the meds are the thing you’re getting help with, you’re not going to be getting a lot of hours. And assets? Forget it. Too much of those and you’re outta there, without your income having gone up… So where can you go?

So you report bug after bug, construction failures after failures, until management is turned over, futilely treating your little one room for the biters as you go, making a mental note to save enough money for food and that one med that your healthcare coverage doesn’t cover, the one you were stuck without for two months because it’s been that slow.

And now… A nap. I don’t know if it’s the fumes or all the lifting I had to do to manually remove those red flats—same bug as cimex lectularis—but I am exhausted a mere hour from waking up and spraying the place, and the hernia area is in violent spasm. I can do laundry and yell at management in an hour.

Mundane Pain.

The fact that I have received a full refill for my pain killers shouldn’t be something that makes me this happy. Seeing the little “2” next to the thing on the bottle was a mundane little thing. Shouldn’t have meant much of anything.

I did what passed for a little jump dance.

It meant a couple weeks of being able to function again.

The last few days have been hell. Now they might be less hell.

Insult AND Injuries

So, the OB went looking for the mass and almost knocked me out, right? And he says that if the thing gets removed we might lose that ovary but do you realize there’s also a fucking hernia here

And I’m like “ask again later when I’m not seeing lightning bolts?”

Five minutes later in the room with the books he literally goes down the textbook and

Yeah

It’s also probably already INCARCERATED even and he’s gonna kill my GP for missing it last month before it got here.

___

He doesn’t think it’s the mass causing the pain—in fact after the pelvic almost knocked me out, he was positive. It was why he went through the book and looked at the signs of a hernia (after I’d recovered enough to answer his questions) actually. We’re going to need more exams to see if the thing is benign or something else, but the fact is this thing is kicking from one side to the other in my guts along a hernia scar that is literally the same age as me—the hernia that was repaired in it is older (I WASN’T BORN YET).

___

It gets better/worse: we are having a fuck of a time finding a surgeon who takes my HMO.

Literally my best chance is to blow this thing at work and wind up in the hospital from there.

So yeah, this kinda sucks.