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Thursday, September 11, 2014

“in pain” survey

Originally posted 6-21-09.

Time for another summer rerun!  This one was done way back on 11-24-07 near the beginning of what was to wind up being a hellish 6-week CMV infection that went into my liver, although at this point in time we had no idea.


Looking back over this survey, I can’t tell if I’m being sarcastic and think it’s funny or what.  It’s weird looking back on something and remember being in the moment, and then seeing it from outside the moment.   I just know my pain level went to 50 (Princess Bride) several times this weekend.

1. What’s one thing thats heavily weighing on your mind?
Day 4 on antibiotic:  We’ve deteriorated to exploding into unstoppable coughing spasms within a minute or two of dozing off throughout the day and night, even sitting up.  Robitussin for cough and cold suspiciously making it worse.  Resultant fibro in neck up to skull and slamming headaches when I cough no longer responding to skelaxin.  Full blown occipital neuralgia on top of it will soon be turning me into a slavering werewolf, despite the codeine.  I’ll try not to eat Scott when I morph over.  If I suck on one more cough drop I’ll have to kill Willy Wonka.  Throat spray only helps when I miss and hit my eyeballs or nose or whatever.  Glands still extremely tender, throat still sore.  Scott wants me to go back to the doctor.  Thus concludes my 9th day since onset.  I’m ready for morphine.  If this were 100 years ago, I’m pretty sure it would kill me, if I didn’t run screaming into the woods first and plunge off a little cliff onto some rocks.  I’m ready to drink the entire bottle of vanilla and then move on through the almond, mint, and orange flavorings.  Don’t laugh.  A couple of those bottles are 80 and 90 proof.

2. What’s one thing you’ve learned from a good friendship gone bad?

When you run into someone in a mall or library 5 years later, and you find out the email or phone number they swapped you isn’t any good, you wonder why in the world did they act so happy to see you again in the first place.

3. What’s one thing you’ve learned lately from love?
True and abiding love is not expecting your husband to sit up and baby you through # 1.  True love is telling him not to feel guilty and to go on to bed.  True love is realizing that two crabby people during a health care mess is not a fun ride, and that when the tables are turned, I’ll want to go to bed, too.  Oh, MAN, I’ll want to go to bed.  I’ve got several days of sleep to catch up on as he gets this coming on.  He says his chest is hurting now…  :edit later:  He says now it was just heartburn.  Go figure.


I just looked this up.
from http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/students2/shs/flu.htm

Should I Call My Doctor?
In most cases, you don’t need to see your doctor when you have a cold or the flu. However, if you have any of the symptoms below, seek medical advice.
  • A cold that lasts for more than 10 days
  • Earache or drainage from your ear
  • Severe pain in your face or forehead
  • Temperature above 102° F
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarseness, sore throat or a cough that won’t go away
I’d call that a big yes…  I have the first 3 and the last one.  Don’t know what else a doctor can DO for me, except maybe tranquilize me.

4. Is there anyone special in your life in general at the moment?
Besides kleenex?  My ears are starting up a jihad, so we need to get past this mushy stuff.


5. What’s a happy time you’ve had in the past week or two?
Let’s see…  Ah, yes, the sweet nostalgia of rediscovering Vicks.  It’s worthless, actually.

6. Is there anything in your past that you’d like to try again?
Do you mean do it again now at this age?  I’m not really getting any bites here.  My brain is in the kitchen humming to itself.  Last time I saw it, it was nestled in the paper pile by the blender.

7. Who do you like to spend most of your nights with?
I spend ~all~ of my nights with Scott.  He keeps showing back up after work, and I keep making stuff for him to eat.

8. Are you an emotional person?
It’s hard to tell.  I went into total aspie freak out last night, which I haven’t done in quite awhile, after a super nasty coughing fit in the middle of a dead sleep, and I was on the floor rocking and crying and flapping my hands and not making a lot of sense with Scott while I dealt with unbelievable pain.  To other people, THAT looks like I’m terribly upset.  To me, it’s not actually feeling an emotion so much as being so overwhelmed that I lose control of my logic center and my brain scrambles for neurological feedback that it can hook into and get around the other stimulations.  About ten minutes and I was ok.  It was kind of odd because that was the first time Scott had actually seen me blow completely out after knowing me for 17 years.  I held so much in while I was raising the kids because I didn’t want to scare them or weird them out, because we didn’t have a name for all that until quite lately, and I didn’t know it was actually normal behavior for me.  So actually, this is the first time as an adult that I’ve been able to get feedback on my behavior, and amazingly, Scott was real open and calm about it and didn’t try to interrupt the process or snap me out of it.  I asked him if he’d seen me do any of that before, because I usually don’t notice when I do, and he said yes, in bits and snatches over the years when I’d get stressed, just not all at once before.  I told him when I was a kid, Mom would shake me and yell at me to stop because it scared her, and I never understood what I was supposed to stop, exactly, so I learned to just don’t move at all around her.  I grew up being a really stiff person in school and church and everywhere because I was afraid to move and attract attention to myself, because my mom would freak out.  Scott said he noticed that I am like that, like I’m really tense.  And I was like yeah, if she’d just let me be weird and touch things and flap and rock and all that stuff, I’d easily be a happier person all my life, because that’s just how I de-stress.  It didn’t bother him one bit.  All these years I’ve been afraid to ‘act out’ in front of my own family, and he’s fine with it.  He couldn’t believe how much that affected my whole life, having to feel like I couldn’t even fidget in public and holding myself so still any time even one person walked into a room.  I’m very different now since I found out I fit in a particular sort of normal.  Much more relaxed.  Funny how long it took to find out I’m really ok.  Anyway, it’s hard for me to tell sometimes if I’m being emotional or not when others might think I look like I am.  I hold a lot of reactions back over simple things like misunderstandings and being surprised and stuff, and sometimes I go ahead and react and I seem angry and look angry, but I don’t always feel angry or upset as much as just a little flustered.

9. Are you self conscious?
As per # 8, you would think I’m terribly self conscious, but I’m actually not very self aware at all.  I know this sounds incredible, but there have been times I’ve actually forgotten I still have my pajamas on and caught myself putting my shoes on to go somewhere in the car.  Even to church.


10. Do you think of others before yourself?
Constantly.  It’s kind of automatic after spending so many years feeding and cleaning up after other people and taking care of them when they’re sick.

11. What’s something that can always make you feel better?
I can’t tell ya how badly I would love to have even just a two hour nap tonight that is blissfully uninterrupted.

12. Who was the last person you had a crush on?



   
13. Where do you see yourself this time next year?
Good morning.  I started this survey Thursday evening.  This is now Friday.  Day 5 has started off much better because I actually slept last night.  Well, that sentence looks dang optimistic, so don’t get the idea I’m cured.  Let’s just say at this point the whole werewolf thing is less likely now.  As for next year, I don’t know whether to hold my breath or just give up and laugh.  I would so love to feel better than I have this year.

14. Do you tend to make relationships complicated?
I can jump into anyone’s whining and quell any complications that arise, but thankfully, I really don’t do that very much.  Everything boils down to a few simple variables, and the reason they become complicated is because things get overlayed with stuff like guilt, pressure to conform or change, selfish whining or insecurities, making excuses for someone being abusive, stuff like that.  When you strip away the passive aggression and learned helplessness, the path becomes clear.  If you don’t like the path, you just cover it back up and quit whining about it.  Yes, as you can imagine, no one comes to me for advice.  My children claw the walls to escape, and everyone else ran away screaming a long time ago.  It’s a peaceful existence, rarely being dragged into soap operas.

15. Who do you feel the most comfortable around?
Scott tolerates me amazingly well without question and helps steer me when I go a little too aspie, and I’ve come to I trust his judgment completely, so I hope the rest of our marriage is something he never regrets.  I wouldn’t trade him for any other guy on the planet.

16. Is there something that you’re waiting for?
I’m trying to wait patiently to feel better.  I slipped up a little yesterday and got kinda crabby and whiny.  It’s very challenging to act nice and sweet when you don’t feel well.

17. One thing you’re not looking forward to?
I’ve got a pile of dishes looking at me every time I walk through the kitchen.  Normally that doesn’t bother me, but I feel so crappy that I can barely keep up with the house at all lately.  That really gets me down.  Scott has decided that we ARE putting up a tree this year, a little one on the kitchen table to put in the bay window, so we’ve gotta clean off the table today, too.  After 6 hours of sleep for the first night in a week or more, I’m hoping a nap is possible, and that I don’t get crabby during Scott’s Christmas tree enthusiasm.  Last year we all missed Christmas completely because Twinkles was in the hospital for 11 days, and we nearly lost her.  The holiday was very depressing.  I think this year Scott wants to feel the ol’ fun come back, even though he’s been saying all year that we’re taking the year off, and even though he’s griped through every single Christmas we’ve ever had in this house.  He’s a funny guy.  I think he would love to be jolly and really enjoy it, but there are so many memories over the years that get in the way.  He has a love/hate conflict thing with the whole season.  Me, I’m just tired.  I’ve been too run down all year to feel enthusiastic.

18. How do you feel about change?
I resist all change that I can’t personally control.  It’s an aspie thing.  I’ve gotten better about it through the years, though.

19. What are you most looking forward to?
I think I’d really like to try going back to sleep after I finish my breakfast.  Scott is out shopping a little with Twinkles, the house is quiet, my coughing seems to have subsided a bit…

20. What are your plans for your next birthday?

I never make plans for my birthday, unless it’s to feed people.

21. Do you even care about your birthday?

Not any more.  Cake is always good, though.  Good thing there are birthdays so we can have cake.

22. Do you think anyone in the world loves you?
I think everyone does, they just aren’t always clued in to that.  I’ve noticed that people who are easily irritated by me are easily irritated by other things, as well, so they drag around their own stuff.  I don’t take it personally.

26. Why do you drive the car you have right now?
White sorta looks storm trooperish, and I like it.  For me, white is the ‘new black’ ever since Star Wars came out.  And at the time it fit me pretty good. I’ve driven old junky cars all my life, that one was the closest I’ve ever come to nearly new and fairly nice.  In the nearly 10 years since then, it’s getting a little junky itself, but it’s still my baby Lamborghini.

27. Have you ever seen your best friend cry?
He tries not to let me, but I’ve seen it, yeah.  It takes an awful lot to devastate him, but once it happens, he’s a real lone wolf type.  I am one of the privileged few who has seen a couple of tears here and there.

28. What kind of vitamins did you take as a kid?
Don’t talk to me about vitamins as a kid.  While other kids took a Flintstone, I had handfuls of junk stuffed down my throat.  I’m sure I came pretty close to vitamin A toxicity one year during one of Mom’s delusional driven spells to cure me of something imaginary and show the world ~she~ knew more than the doctors who shrugged me out the door.  When you know the difference between stearates and oxides in mineral molecular construction at the tender age of 12, among many other bits of health food store trivia, you’re a little too immersed in the vitamin culture.  And I’m here to tell you, vitamins *do* *not* *stop* illnesses like diabetes or lupus.  Mom gambled and lost.  She went into a nursing home before she even hit 65 and is already so deficit she’s not much more than a vegetable, and she’s not even 70.  And my adult life has been pretty miserable with illness.  So if you’re cramming vitamins down your kids’ throats, lighten up.  One Flintstone a day is plenty.  And I don’t mean to insult anyone, I’m just saying if it adds up to more than 40 pills a day, that’s a tad excessive.

29. Did you get any compliments today?
Scott noticed I’m a tad perkier and gave me some nice hugs before he went shopping, and said he’d be back as soon as he could.  That, to me, is better than compliments.  His concern is the best feeling I get in the whole world.  And I bet he brings me back a surprise of some kind.  :edit later:  Yep, he bought a set of various little Christmas candles.  Unfortunately, my nose is so plugged, all I could smell was a strong glue smell all evening after I lit a little red one called “Christmas Eve”.

30. Are you friends with your neighbors?
I normally show up for food, but this year was just too rough for that, between being so sick and their personal problems.

31. What were you just thinking about?
I really should go try laying down now while I have the chance.  See ya.

32. Name the places you have lived in?
Ok, that was nice.  I think I got a little over an hour of light dozing with no coughing.  Still feel incredibly tired and weak, and now I have a microwaved potato in front of me.  All the places I’ve lived, eh?  I’m just not in the mood to dredge up my whole life right now, sorry.  But I will say NW New Mexico and SW Missouri.  How’s that?  And if you’ve been around, you know those are like night and day.  Both are in my heart and soul.

33. When was the last time you drove more than 15 minutes?
3 days ago.  Geez, I live outa town, I have to drive at least 20 minutes just to get to the closest Walmart and doctor.  3 days ago I drove about 120 miles round trip to see my mom.  I used to do that once or twice a month, then it got to every other month, then every 3 or 4 months, then twice a year, and now it looks like I’m just about to the annual point because my chronic fatigue has gotten so bad over the years.  Seems like every time I plan a trip out I either get sick or wiped out.  This time I made it come hell or high water because it’s possibly the last Thanksgiving I’ll see her.

34. Have you ever had a crush on your sister’s/brother’s friend?
I am SO glad I’ve never had a crush on a ‘local’.  All my crushes are unreachable, which keeps me out of a lot of trouble.  Maybe it’s the Asperger’s, but I very rarely crush on people I can actually smell or touch.  I really dig Scott, but I’m otherwise terribly asexual, another byproduct of the Asperger’s.  I just have no interest in sharing myself with other people like that.  If you’ve never heard of this, or wonder about yourself or a friend, here’s a couple of places to start.  And don’t assume asexuality and Asperger’s always go hand in hand, because they don’t.  The key word is ‘spectrum’, ~all~ our brains are on a spectrum of developmental and chemical types.

35. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I haven’t looked in a mirror yet.  Last night I got the flashlight out and looked at my throat in the mirror.  I’ve had all kinds of sore throats, but this one was different.  I didn’t get the usual tonsillitis or strep or all the other stuff, and it didn’t even look very red or swollen until just lately, but man, it has hurt like heck all week.

36. When is the next time you will make out with somebody?

I’m having such a wave of weakness, I’ve gotta go lay back down.  I spent the last 3 days unable to really lay down and almost completely sleepless because I was drowning in phlegm, so I guess I’d better do what my body tells me right now.  It would be cruel of me to force it to stay up just to do this survey.  Later, taters.

37. What’s a word that rhymes with “LUCK”?

Hello again.  Not even sure why I’m here.  I can’t get over how weak I am today.  I remember some years back, maybe around 20 years ago, both my parents got pneumonia or something, and, neither one a big doctor fan, they stuck it out at home.  It took 6 weeks for them to get as back to normal as they were going to get.  I cannot even imagine feeling this weak for 6 weeks.  Wait a sec.  I was this weak with the Bell’s Palsy.  I was actually worse.  But this is different, the Bell’s didn’t involve my lungs at all, but it knocked my nervous system offline.  I discovered awhile ago one of the glands on the side of my neck is getting kinda hard.  We used to raise goats, and anyone familiar with goats knows that they get swollen glands all the time, and in goats, the glands literally rupture and drain, very gross.  Yes, it ruptures toward the outside, so there is a big lump of hard stuff under their skin high on there neck just behind the ear, about where my swollen gland is, and it eventually ruptures and drains and then heals up.  Goats seem to pick up every little virus out there and can get just as snotty and gross as any human, but I never saw any of that slow them down.  They didn’t lay around lethargically malaised, like I’m feeling.  But then, I never saw a goat get a lung infection, either.  Anyway, I think I’m going to go back to the couch.  I was able to eat a little and putter a little trying to clean off some of the kitchen table for the tree later, but that lasted about 10 minutes in very slow motion, so I thought sitting here would help me rest.  I guess I was wrong.  It’s 2:00 right now, maybe I can get another little nap in.  See ya.

38. What’s your favorite planet?
Nunchuck.  Answer to last question.  It’s after midnight now, so we’re heading into Saturday morning.  Had reached a point where I actually thought the coughing was about done, but around 10:30 it all came back, and nothing is stopping it.  I could literally sleep with my forehead on my arms at this desk and cough in my sleep.  Anyway, favorite planet…  I think I answered this in another survey and forgot what I wrote.  I think it may have been a fiction planet from a book or tv show, so it’s anyone’s guess right now.  I think I coughed my brains out.

39. Who’s the 2nd person on your missed calls list?
I don’t think I’ve missed a call in days.  Everyone knew I lost my voice, so no one is calling.

41. What shirt are you wearing right now?

Wow, same shirt as the last time I was asked this in a survey.  Don’t worry, it’s been through the washer since then.

42. What do you “label” yourself as?
Right now, “puny”.


43. Name the brand of shoes you’re currently wearing?
I don’t like wearing shoes in the house.  I need my freedom.  Besides, it’s nearly one a.m.

44. Bright or dark room?
My monitor is trying to turn pink again.  Aside from that and a very small lamp, it’s dark in here.

45. What do you think about the person who last took this survey?
I nabbed it off a bulletin from someone I really don’t know, but the answers seem to be short and sorta boring.  Once in awhile I see a glimmer of thought, but not often.  I don’t know how these people can put so many surveys up on bulletins and keep being so boring.  I’m not saying I’m a genius, but these things could be a lot more stimulating if someone really had a go at it.

46. If you’re alone in a room with two beds, which one do you sleep in?
I’m on the couch again tonight.  I can’t see putting Scott through all this torture.

47. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Working on this survey… a long and arduous task while one is sick.

48. What did your last text message you received on your mobile say?
People who answer questions like these aren’t the sort of professionals who can keep client info to themselves, like a private eye or psychologist would.  It’s strange to me that people are so ready to blurt out other people’s words to them.  If I had gotten this survey off a friend or relative and had seen an answer right off the phone, I’d be less inclined to text them in the future, knowing they’d so freely share anything I privately say with a whole list of strangers.

It’s weird when surveys end on unrounded numbers, but I guess it’s better than trying to reach a number and the questions getting stupider and stupider trying to fill up space.