Let’s start with…well, how the hell does one describe THIS?


Yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment.

Yes, I realize it seems that I start every other entry with that phrase, but I have a lot of doctors, and therefore there are a lot of appointments to be had half of the time. And I have to work to keep them all straight sometimes. It’s a good thing that three of them are in the same building, or there would be some trouble. Anyway, the usual happened—poke, prod, measurements, weight’s high, blood pressure’s…actually, THAT was alarmingly low that day. We’re keeping an eye on that.

I’ve mentioned once or twice that there’s a problem with my system—peripheral neuropathy, that thing where your body’s nerves are just sort of fried, misfire, and in general HURT A LOT even without provocation. The problem is, we couldn’t figure out why it was happening, because I’m not diabetic. I don’t have rheumatoid arthritis. I don’t have MS. I don’t even have your basic pernicious anemia, the B12 deficiency that would ALSO cause the problems I’ve been putting up with.

The last few months have been a game of Dr. House—work with a list of ideas, throw ideas at the list, throw as many medications as my constitution will allow at it, and see if it will work. Everything that we did that approach with had some problems with it—the annoying one, the time we thought it was shingles (excuse me, the time we HOPED it was shingles), the medication gave me the worst nosebleeds, and I had to drop it like a hot potato. It was unpleasant. What was MORE unpleasant was the fact that it took three instances of elimination process—dropping everything else I was taking at the time—to uncover it.

*record scratch*

I don’t recommend that, especially if you’re on a crapton of head-meds. It will Fuck You Up if you don’t know what you’re doing.

*music resumes*

Anyway, back at the doctor’s office, I explain the NEW annoying crap that my system’s been doing, plus the return of the stomach ulcer and the havoc it’s wrought on my system in the interim. As I’m explaining the new neuropathy stuff, the doctor explains that Ulcer 2: Electric Bugaloo is because—LUCKY ME—I have severe IBS, and anything that could irritate my gut will therefore come with a free dose of the It Gets Worse trope. In my case, that means the ibuprofen that I had to take after the time I got shot wrecked my stomach a bit more hardcore than it would have otherwise. All I really can do right now is avoid any stomach irritants until it heals.

Oh, and THAT’S the good news.

Next thing that happens, doc orders me to stretch out on that cold table thing and starts prodding at places
To my shock, EVERYTHING IS RAW. (Especially the ulcer zone.) The bad leg goes twitchy when he gets to it, just like it did at the neurologist’s office, which I explain when he jumps—it’s a fairly violent twitchy, like if everything in the leg was a joint and he hit all of it at once with one of those reflex-hammer-things (I have no idea what those things are called).

It’s at this point that the doctor informs me that now we KNOW what we’re dealing with, and that there is no way my insurance is going to cover these medications.

“What are they?”

“Gabapentin, Neurontin, that sort of thing.”

Fuck, I think. “That sounds like fibro meds.”

“If I were you, I’d think about filing for partial disability, or medical, both if you can manage it.”

Fuck, I think again. “What if I did and it didn’t work?”

“Keep at it, make’em tired of seeing you, and as SOON as you even get a MAYBE,” he says, “get back in here, because if we can’t get this managed, it WILL get worse.”

“Ain’t gotta tell me twice.”

So, what Friday boils down to is this: the neuropathy diagnosis was an UNDER-diagnosis with a dose of optimism, hoping that it WASN’T worse than that. What we’re actually dealing with is fibromyalgia, which is a step ABOVE your garden-variety neuropathy—for one, it doesn’t take the diabeetus to show up. Medicine knows jack shit about it, or what causes it, or why it hits who it hits. It doesn’t kill, but boy will it make your life hell.

But there is an upside:

Chrysanth WebStory What’s your WebStory today?

Nintendo Hard a Turn-On? Hard Games Compared to a Certain Kind of Sex

This makes a strange sort of sense. I’m going to dive into this using one of my favorite genres as an example, fighting games. All games have the effect to some extent–I remember actually getting weak in the knees when I finally finished off Kefka in Final Fantasy VI, after so many attempts over the years ending with disastrous failures–but it’s most immediate in a brawler.

Anyone who, like I, has gotten into the habit of getting to the quickest finish at any given difficulty level just so that they can ramp it up higher to feel that struggle, that rush again, can agree with this, even if the Freudian interpretation of things is a little bit derivative. (Keep in mind that I am not an expert–just a gamer who remembers that very first huge, whooshing frisson of pleasure that happens right after you land that very last hit on a boss and that split second happens where the music just stops–just halts–and the explosions start, and your adversary becomes a slowly disintegrating pile of STUFF that isn’t going to exist anymore.) It’s a mini-chill of sorts, and in some cases it can feel better than sex. You’ve just grabbed this thing, pounded it into submission, and now it’s just watching you stand over its beaten body like some sort of more civilized barbarian.

In a way, it’s a primal return to the activities that helped shape civilization. We fight and destroy, and instead of looting, or fine slaves and wives/husbands to be had, we’re in it for nothing but that rush that we get from pulling off each victory. 

On the other side, each hit that we sustain in the fight is remembered, stored away as motivation for the rest of the encounter, and we return it–double–treble–sometimes more–each more satisfying than the last. It gets to the point where you think you’ll never get anywhere, and then–it happens. It’s different from game to game–maybe there’s a flash. Maybe the music stops abruptly–or maybe there’s an abrupt tonal shift in it. Or maybe you see that the numbers are in a range that can best be described as “Damn, no one could survive THAT.” Maybe suddenly there’s a TIME STOP–and you see that you can end it right here with a flashy finishing blow.

That might not be the same sensation as a sexual climax, but it can feel damned close. It’s a rush that is more than enough reason to make you pick up the sticks again, and again, and again. 

Chrysanth WebStory What’s your WebStory today?

Flat What: Work Isn’t Anymore


I woke up to a series of angry, incomprehensible texts this morning. More than a few were flat out ad hominem attacks. Thinking that it was just too early in the day I place a phone call to my supervisor—maybe it’s a case of reverse word salad.

Nope, I see, as the attack continues over the phone. I’m getting berated for calling to ask if I am on the schedule earlier at three AM—what, I was awake, next door was loud, and it occurred to me to check. I had the beginnings of a migraine, but I mentioned I was confident the meds would work. They did, and I was up and ready to roll when I notice the messages.

Then I called wondering about the messages left in my inbox, trying to find out if I am in fact working or not.

What I get is yelling and rambling, a long speech about my supervisor’s bedbug issue, period, car, and problems with the rest of the staff, and THEN I’m told that from here on if she’s working then she’s making sure I don’t.

…incidentally, that is why the WTF Just happened bitstrip.

Oh well. More rest—more energy to combat.