31 January, 2008


swallowed, morning
-2mg Klonopin
-300mg Lyrica
-40mg Prozac
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

At the doctor's office!:
anti-emetic cocktail

dissolved on tongue, swished around mouth and then swallowed
Maxalt, 10mg
Maxalt, 10mg, headache relieved to 4/10

trigger points injected
-back, right side spine, marcaine (~2" above yesterday's)
-back, left side spine, marcaine (~2" above yesterday's)

swallowed, mid-day
-2mg Klonopin
-Vicodin (7.5mg hydrocodone/750mg APAP) X2

going to be swallowed, night
-2mg Klonopin
-300mg Lyrica
-40mg Prozac
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax
-3mg Zanaflex
-10mg Abilify

I don't know what Abilify is. And I hate that, because I pride myself on being a walking pharmaceutical encyclopedia (Google after this). Here is all I know:

I walked into my shrink's office yesterday.

"How are you Mr Macklin."

"Well, I've felt like I've been having a constant heart attack since you both took me off Effexor and lowered my Klonopin dose from six to four milligrams."

"Do you feel anxious right now?" Barely a question, but more than a weird statement (like the above how-do-you-do). "Like you are having a heart attack?" (I don't write stilted dialogue. Guy just didn't use contractions. He spoke in a not-unpleasant, clipped, second-generation American Indian dialect. Which I'm trying to represent. Bonus: I speak just as though I am horribly pretentious.)

"Yes. I always feel that way now." But my detached attitude and learned-helplessness-colorless voice wasn't selling it. Flat affect.

"How is your sleep?"

"I only get four hours a night. Four and a half if I'm lucky. The pain and whole feeling-like-you-re-going-to-die-thing is a sweet alarm clock."

"I'll write you a script for Abilify. It should help you sleep. If it knocks you out the first night and you feel groggy when you wake up, just break the pill in half the second night."

He was writing his scripts, his mind was set, the session was over.

So I grabbed the paper entitling me to a month's supply of what Dr. 9 described today as an anti-psychotic of sorts, 4mg Klonopin per day, and 40mg Prozac per day.

There goes the shrink. I won't see that small man, not even for three minutes, again. Not if I play my cards right.

I hate that I can be prescribed what could be, for all I know, Super-Thorazine, in a three-minute session. Based on the fact I haven't been sleeping much? Maybe I was just on a meth binge. Or was it my flat affect?

[Pain, head: 4/10; thorax, 8/10; limbs, 6/10.Anxiety: Mind your own business on this one thing this one time, would you?]

PS: Vicodin X3 now.

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Neighborhood #2!


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Neighborhood #1!


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30 January, 2008



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swallowed, morning
-2mg Klonopin
-300mg Lyrica
-40mg Prozac
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

At the doctor's office!:
anti-emitic cocktail (no alcohol. How can something be called a cocktail if there is no booze in it? Especially if it tastes like charcoal, then leaves your tongue, mouth and throat numb?)

dissolved on tongue, swished around mouth and then swallowed
Maxalt, unknown dosage
Maxalt, unknown dosage (second time, charm -- headache mostly gone -- 4/10)

injected, trigger points
-back, right side spine, marcaine
-back, left side spine, marcaine

injected, intramuscularly
-depo-medrol, right "hip" (ass-cheek)

swallowed, mid-day
-2mg Klonopin

going to be swallowed, night
-.5mg Mirapex
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

(I'm sure I'm leaving something out... I just don't feel up to checking my night-time med-sched. [sorry for the rhyme.] It's been a long day... Blowing snow, ice everywhere,... Driving -- being driven about 100 miles from clinic to shrink to psychologist... I hate Wednesdays... But I love my psychologist. He has a bumper sticker on his Jeep: "When the going gets weird the weird turn pro." HST)

[Pain: I have that.

Anxiety: I have that too.]

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29 January, 2008



swallowed, morning
-2mg Klonopin
-300mg Lyrica
-40mg Prozac
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

injected, trigger points
-shoulder, right, X2, marcaine
-shoulder, left, marcaine

swallowed, mid-day
-2mg Klonopin

swallowed, night
-.5mg Mirapex
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

swallowed, morning
-2mg Klonopin
-300mg Lyrica
-40mg Prozac
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

injected, trigger points
-shoulder, right, marcaine
-shoulder, left, marcaine
-skull, base, right, marcaine
-skull, base, left, marcaine

injected, intramuscularly
-Toradol, left "hip" (ass-cheek)
-some anti-emetic, right "hip" (ass-cheek)
-eventually a drug that sounded like "new-caine." Described as "like Demerol, but without the unpleasant side-effects."

swallowed, mid-day
-2mg Klonopin

swallowed, night
-.5mg Mirapex
-18.7mg Effexor
-50mg Topamax

I was at the clinic for three hours this morning (from nine to twelve, and exactly. I mean spot-on), with a headache I knew would take a lot of work. Also I was incredibly nauseated. So much so that I couldn't eat my cereal this morning. It's always a struggle to get food down in the morning, but today... nothing doing. Disgustingly, the Honey-Nut Cheerios actually slid down my tongue and back into the bowl. That nauseated me all the more.

Anyway, I don't feel like writing because of the "new-caine." I feel like napping -- only eight hours of sleep between the last two nights.

I should say that, with all the needlepoint Dr. 9 and 1 did for me today, Humpty is put back together fairly well...

[Pain, anxiety, overall: 4/10.

...Until tomorrow. I fall of the wall in my sleep.

And jesus christ, at times just how self-absorbed an activity this is hits me like we imagine olde-time doctors slapped newborn babies' asses...


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26 January, 2008


This Brit living in Australia reviews video games in a very gonzo way and it's fall-on-your-funny bone hilarious even if you're not a nerd:



Huzzah and kudos, Yahtzee!

[Pain, overall: 7/10. Was given Vicodin to tide me over until Monday, when I can once again become my doctor's pin cushion. And that's not a complaint, that's a statement of fact. And the fact is one that makes me overjoyed.

And I used to be afraid of needles. Very afraid. Ever since I was about eight and a douchebag doctor tried to give me a spinal tap. He didn't use any anesthetic -- not even local -- simply had me tuck forward as I sat on the paper on the half-table-bed-thing and then there was JAB and SEARCH under my skin and through my vertebrae. I recall my hand going completely numb at one point, and wondering if I had become partially paralyzed at that point.

And, being a kid, I was crying, howling from the pain and the terror I was feeling while the doctor tried and tried again before giving up.

The procedure eventually was finished after my parents calmed me down and I was sedated. My mom held me as I cried for a half-hour, as I was still feeling the needle crawl everywhere under my skin, mechanical, lifeless steel, foreign, an intruder, no business among my living blood and through my bone and against my spine oh my god he almost paralyzed me!

I can still feel where the steroid and Toradol (I think I mistook it for Tagretol in a past post -- which I may have gone back and corrected...) needles went in my hips a week-and-a-half ago. The fucking needles.

But I love the feeling of my skin giving way -- a small depression, a dimple forming around the needle's odd tip that seems to swirl upward, the diameter of a sewing needle that would be impossible to thread -- the instant of clear and bright pain as the needle goes through skin and into muscle, straight into a a ball of pain causing more, the skin behind my closed eyes becoming brighter and clearer, white and translucent and I can almost see the end of the rainbow as my head begins to clear and I can open my eyes and breathe and everything looks different and the world has changed because everything is softer, the hard edges are gone -- everything doesn’t exist simply to injure me through the fact of its existence, the fact I have to see it or try to close my eyes to not see it or be somewhere else to not see it or have to deal with being that batshit insane crazy in pain because the world is kind now and soft and warm as the lighting on a Barbra Walters Special.

...That is to say, I am afraid of needles as a general rule, but I am less-than-afraid of trigger point injections.

Anxiety: 7/10. I am on Vicodin and Klonopin. On considerable amounts of Vicodin and Klonopin.]

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23 January, 2008

too happy to write

various trigger points are being injected in my person on a daily basis. it's been found that injecting the muscle around my temporomandibular joints results in headache pain reduction on a massive scale -- from 10/10 to 3/10: demerol-quality (it's improved since yesterday -- the left side of my face was done).

so i can't write because i'm not pissed.

but i don't expect it to last...

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22 January, 2008


The following is what I wrote in response to another blogger's post that referred readers to a book that boasted a "natural cure" for fibromyalgia. Goddam it I cannot fucking
stand books that claim they have the cure.

Um... usually we know what causes something before we know how to fix it. And to date we do not know what causes fibro.

And, regardless, we simply do not have a cure for fibro!

Anyway, enjoy the below. With any luck I've pissed off more than a few people with it.:

I just scanned the site you pointed people to, and it looks like a total croc.

By definition, fibromyalgia has no cure. It's lifelong, debilitating, and INcurable. So there certainly is no "natural cure" for it.

I'm sick of books saying they have cures for fibro. It gives people false hope, when they should be bugging the crap out of their doctors for effective treatments to MANAGE their pain.

My doctor does trigger-point injections (and my head is so much better), 300 of Lyrica, .5 of Mirapex for my jimmy legs (aka RLS), 4 mg Klonopin for anxiety and muscle spasms, working up to 60 mg Cymbalta for depression and possible pain relief, 40 mg Prozac for same, and steroid and pain-relieving intramuscular injections whenever I see him (daily to every other day).

So, you see, fibro is complex, and requires complex treatment.

And if your fibro can or has been cured, baby, you didn't freaking have it and you're harming those of us who really do. You're the people with relatively minor aches and pains that call what you have fibro, then find a cure in a book.

If you have been cured, and genuinely had fibro, you must have found the fountain of youth. I'm sure it wasn't in Florida, as many have thought it would be, since that's where Americans go to die...

Please tell the rest of us where it is!

[Pain: 5/10, head. Today my doctor and I made the breakthrough that my temporomandibular joints are causing the lion's share of my head pain. He only injected the right TMJ -- or, rather, the knotted muscle surrounding it -- because I already had had my 24 hours' worth of marcaine injected into my shoulders' trigger points. So he used lidocaine and depo-medrol on the right side of my face and my jaw relaxed and my headache (mostly) dissipated like London fog on a hot afternoon.

I'm going in tomorrow, too. My doc is injecting both sides, and I could not be more excited to get stabbed in the face repeatedly. It is going to be the best thing to happen to me in years. How fucking odd!

But it is going to be just fucking fantastic...

Pain, body: 8/10.

Anxiety: 7/10. (The shots helped my anxiety, too! And made my dick bigger!)]


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21 January, 2008


Well, I've reached the point where I feel compelled to post regularly. Which is too bad because earlier today I was given a 100 mgIM injection of Demerol, and so I am sluggish and apathetic.

But a 3/10 on the pain scale!

My pain was intolerable over the weekend. To get to sleep Saturday I had to hit myself on my thigh with my cane as hard as I could a few times. I experienced a rush of endorphins, and the pain in my head was outdone long enough for me to get to sleep.

Then I suffered through Sunday, basically counting down the minutes until today, staring at every clock in the house, my head swelled as big as the Hindenburg. I made it... After having to knock myself out at two o'clock in the morning with 400 mg Trazodone, 10 mg Sonata, 8mg Remeron. I was awakened at seven thirty, with my head about to ignite and the rest of me as stiff as a two-by-four. I walked by swinging my legs in arcs, unable to bend my knees.

But I am lucky in many ways. The primary one being that my mother works at the clinic I go to. She was able to get me an appointment with my doctor, who I saw at about nine thirty.

I was given trigger-point injections in my shoulders, which is routine. Normally they relieve my headache substantially -- if only for one to two days. This time they only relaxed my shoulders.

I was then injected with Tegretol (I believe it was) in my left hip, which was supposed to reduce my pain. Still nothing.

Then I was given a quick-dissolve tab of Maxalt, which I gathered is a migraine-killer. It made mine worse.

Finally, about one-and-a-half hours after I was brought into the office, I was asked if I drove myself to the clinic -- no -- and if I was allergic to any medication, including Demerol. Definitely not.

And so I was injected with 100 mg of Demerol, intramuscular into my right hip. My Dad drove me home, I played Mario on our Wii for an hour, then fell asleep while watching Inland Empire (David Lynch). I awoke just in time for dinner, then felt compelled to post this.

And I realize this is as dry and flavorless as a plastic-spoonful of desert air on a windless day. But I felt I should use this space to pledge my undying love to whoever discovered/first synthesized Demerol. I can stand being alive today.

And it's unfortunate that that's the best that can be done for me at this point... But I suppose I must have patience.

Actually, I should have written that it would be to my benefit if I could have patience. I seem to be hard-wired in such a way that does not allow me to suffer waiting. For anything. Especially relief from pain that makes me wish I could die from it.

And so ug. I'll end this post here. Give it a nice, big shot of Demerol to put it to sleep...

Stay tuned for something worth reading!

[Pain and anxiety: 3/10. Demerol is magic.]

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18 January, 2008


"The first thing they told us in medical school is that no one has ever died from pain, but plenty of physicians have had their careers destroyed trying to help people who are in pain."
--Comment from an emergency room physician requesting anonymity (2001) (1)

I am in pain. Incredible pain -- with an 8/10 being my baseline. It is agony that makes me think of suicide daily, as any sane person would (and, as any sane person might, not act on these thoughts).

You know that the marcaine injections provide me with some headache relief, but leave the rest of me wracked with pain. My head is almost satisfactorily, but certainly not completely, less-painful as a result of the injections...

So, on my best days, my head rates a 5/10 on the pain scale, the rest of me 8/10.

It is likely that it will take a year to two years for the marcaine injections to be given to all of my trigger points, resulting in my having pain that rates a 5/10. A five out of ten. It will be a mammoth improvement if it can be done and I will praise whoever invented marcaine from the highest mountain... But my pain will still be debilitating. Horrible. Nightmarish. I likely will still have to shun light and sound and walk with a cane. I still will be unable to enjoy life.

And doctors will call it the best they can do, pat themselves on the back for another miracle accomplished and flap their angels' wings back to heaven.

I have been given naproxen for pain and inflammation. This is a cruel and sad joke, as well as an insult I do not take lightly (esp. since anyone treating fibro should know we do not have damned inflammation of anything!).

However, if the naproxen masked my pain, it would be fine for me to take it daily for the rest of my life. Countless scripts would be written, and doctor/patient/pink elephants would be happy.
Unfortunately, my pain can only be controlled by the addition of a narcotic to the naproxen (used for this example -- I'm unsure whether there is an actual narcotic med. that contains naproxen).

Why is it fine for me to take naproxen for the rest of what would be an intolerable existence, but not fine for me to take a medication that will do what the naproxen is supposed to do?

Far too many doctors have said that, if I start taking narcotics at 29, I will develop a massive tolerance to them well before I die -- a tolerance that will make them unable to prescribe any more, and therefore leave me with no way to treat my pain. Therefore, I could suffer for decades.

This is untrue and an insult to the intelligence of anyone who hears it. Any person with Internet access can discover this for him-/herself the following: A miniscule amount of naloxone or naltrexone combined or taken with each narcotic dose prevents tolerance. Futher, Proglumide can prevent tolerance to any opioid altogether and, if tolerance already has presented, proglumide can reverse it. (1) Even more, simply switching narcotics, or taking a break from them for a short time, can be helpful.

Doctors have a range of options they are simply unwilling to excersize.

The above shows that one can take an opioid/narcotic medication indefinitely, and that it will be effective indefinitely.

My pain is going to last the rest of my life. It is, by the very definition of fibromyalgia, debilitating, lifelong and incurable.

But it can be effectively managed for the rest of my life, and only managed with narcotic medication.

Why should I be denied this medication, but allowed a laughably ineffective one?

What makes my pain, which is systemic, not worthy of treatment, while anyone with a headache can mask theirs with their choice of OTC meds?

Please explain the difference between me managing pain with a medication containing a narcotic and a person managing arthritis with Aleve. (And no, I do not experience euphoria from narcotics. Since I never have been on the proper narcotic at the proper dose, I've never felt not-pain. For years. Years.)

Specifically, riddle me why the person in this example, who has arthritis, is able/allowed to get total relief from her (I'm imagining a woman) pain, while I must suffer what feels like the worst case of arthritis in all parts of my body (fibro)?

Why can someone with arthritis get relief every day, while a fibro patient who rates 8/10 on a pain scale at his best not get similar relief? Why is the lesser pain, in effect, treated as the more important?

Why are people who experience pain that is, at worst, a 2/10 allowed to mask that pain, but a person who rates 8/10 at his best is not?

It has been said that prescribing me a narcotic medication will result in rebound pain. However, I will not experience this rebound pain as long as I take the medication. Since I will be in this pain my entire life, I never will stop taking this medication.

Which leads us to the logical conclusion that I would never experience rebound pain.
(This is the lamest, stupidest, most unfathomable reason I have been given by doctors who choose not to prescribe the only type of medication that can manage my pain.)

It is common knowledge that opiates do not adequately treat the pain experienced by a fibomyalgian. However, this is not so in my case. And I wonder if what has become common knowledge is simply a result of hundreds of pain doctors (I didn't write "pain management doctors" on purpose) using this supposed reason as an excuse, a way to avoid writing scripts for narcotics. I venture that all fibro patients would respond quite well to them, and ask to be proven wrong.

If I am wrong because the meds can never take a fibro patient's pain away completely, tell me what freaking can.

Onward: I have been on opioid-containing medication in the past, and my pain was reduced. Therefore, it is reasonable to assume that a dose of a controlled-release narcotic coupled with, hopefully, Proglumide (2) would control my pain on a daily basis and could be taken as needed. Should my pain subside -- or as it subsides due to the marcaine injections -- I will simply take, and be prescribed, less.

Also, a doctor already came to the conclusion that I should be on pain management medication, that it is my only hope to live a tolerable existence (the majority of people get to do a lot better than merely tolerable...): Dr. X. The doctor who has seen me, by far, for the longest time compared to any doctor (save my former psychiatrist) and knows me and my history with fibro better than anyone. And the doctor who kept me alive with Percocet while trying every single other medication available to him.

Given these facts, there must be justification for keeping me in pain. I ask, To what end?

Is it not morally/ethically reprehensible for me to be denied the pain relief others enjoy from Tylenol or Advil, simply because their medication needn't contain something synthesized from thebaine or the opium poppy?

Also, please be aware that the national mood toward narcotic pain relievers changed when the GW Bush (ptu!) administration took office, and John Ashcroft (my fingers are dirty from writing his name) began his holy war against narcotic medication.

The public was told OxyContin -- coincidentally and amazingly, darkly comical, the medication I believe most likely to benefit me -- was being diverted from patients and being used by the public. It was to be the next scourge: Hillbilly Heroin.

Those who follow the news should know that the public likes a good drug scare every two years or so. (3) Reporters, in this case, wrote of people who live in the Appalachian Mountains -- a minority looked down upon by most everyone else -- sucking the coating off Oxy to take the stuff straight, without the time release feature. It was called Hillbilly Heroin by magazines and newspapers willing to suck a lie's blood to sell their products.

In this manner OxyContin was demonized and its name sullied because stupid, inbred hicks who live in weird mountains and hate the rest of society take it.

Naturally, the above was almost completely a fabrication. Raise your hand if you know an Oxy abuser. And how is an infitesimal percent of Americans being Oxy abusers for a scourge? A plague in pill form indeed.

(Please see this Google search (4) for a taste of the incredible, horrendous crimes perpetrated on patients in extreme pain by Ashcroft's policies.)

Given the above, is it likely that I am being denied narcotic pain medication, at least in part, because of political and societal pressure on doctors not to treat patients by using narcotics?

Finally, my behaviors suggest those of an insatiable addict. My writing this seems especially desperate. And this is exactly how I should be acting. How would you act, how would any person with sense act, if they were in incredible pain but denied relief from that pain? How many months, years before this person would be driven mad (in every sense of the word) by the fact that effective pain relief is readily available but not prescribed to him? (2)

Justify my not being allowed effective pain management.

Does it turn me into a zombie? Then I'm on the wrong med, the wrong dose or both.
Any negative effects on how I act or am can be dealt with by a doctor skilled in managing pain instead of leaving it be (kinda like the one I'm seeing right now...). Unfortunately, it also takes a doctor who can cowboy the hell up to manage fibro pain aggressively and effectively.

Now please please please: Given all of the above, please describe in detail why my pain should not be managed through narcotic-containing medication. I especially would like an answer to why I can take a pain reliever that doesn't relieve my pain at all, and take it as much as I want, but can take none of a pain reliever that actually relieves my pain.

And I would like to know how anyone can sit by and go about their business, knowing they are next to a person who feels like he has railroad spikes nailed through his spine, who cannot depend on his legs to work, who would spend all his waking hours screaming if only, ironically, his own howls would not increase his pain, et cetera et cetera et cetera.

How is it possible for doctors, friends, family, to remain quiet -- or actively be against -- the only thing that can help a person in the kind of pain that has ruined his entire fucking life?

How is it possible?

(1) http://opioids.com/proglumide/index.html

(2) http://www.eperc.mcw.edu/fastFact/ff_69.htm

(3) http://opioids.com/oxycodone/oxycon.html


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17 January, 2008



It's good to have an organization that says what I mean -- and is actually trying to improve the lives of people in chronic pain.

Huzzah and kudos, PRN!

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16 January, 2008


Wow do I not feel like writing this today. Hopefully that should make this short and bittersweet chocolate.

It's too bad I suggested in my last post that I would would offer my musings on the difference between going in for marcaine injections at a clinic and being prescribed Percocet. I think I wrote that the former (I'm unable to look up the post. Basement office, no Internet access) allows the doctor to have complete control on how one's health is managed, while giving a patient a bottle of pills gives him/her the freedom to take more or less depending on their daily allotment of pain.

This situation makes me angry.

So I guess that sums it all up nicely. I really didn't need an entirely new post to write that...

Then again, I can't leave it at that: Percocet is a narcotic painkiller. Pain. Killer. And the way doctors act, apparently they are not in the business of getting rid of pain. And actual pain management doctors behave this way (see a previous post for a hilarious anecdote!).

Doctors act like pain is a good thing for fibro patients to have -- and maybe it is diagnostically, but I've already fucking been diagnosed with an incurable lifelong disease! I have fibro and I'm going to be in some degree of misery the rest of my goddam life. I'm 29 and walk with a fucking cane. And I just cannot motherfucking fathom how it is to anyone's benefit that I not get any relief that doesn't come through a fucking needle, held securely in a doctor's hand.

My favorite reason that doctors have given me for not prescribing narcotic pain relievers is: "But it will just mask your pain." Yes. That is exactly, 100 percent, absolutely the point. And you, doc, are so stupid your wife must tie your shoes.

And isn't masking their (your?) pain what non-fibromyalgians are allowed to do with OTC meds? Christ, I'm sorry I can't simply take a Tylenol and be fine; my Tylenol needs oxycodone to come along for the ride. All non-fibros can mask their pain as easy as it is to hate Hitler, but fibromyalgians are talked to as if our pain is worth keeping around, for some reason... Simply because it's always there. I have gathered that we are supposed to get used to it.

Unfortunately, to date no one with fibro aka fibrositis has gotten the fuck used to it.

And doesn't the fact that it's forever make masking it that much more important? Or does the suicide rate among fibros really need to climb higher?

(Aside: Yesterday I read that a study showed fibromyalgians have an increased chance of getting cancer than non-fibros. The kicks in the nuts just keep on a-coming...)

So, apparently masking fibromyalgians' pain has no worth... It's better to work on dealing with the trigger points themselves (with marcaine injections) at a snail's pace. My doctor was proud of saying that in three months the injections should reduce my headache pain 50 percent. At the time it elated me. And I'm still happy and grateful that this (please please) will happen.

But there's a tails to every penny: In three months I may be a 5/10 on the pain scale. In three agonizing, excruciating months my headache may be only half what it is now, which will mean itstill will be classified as debilitating.

And at the rate of 50 percent, three months, only my goddam headache pain, I should be pain free when I'm Methusula.

[Pain, head: 3/10. Pain, everything else: 9/10.

Anxiety: 9/10.

Writing while angry: Try it on a card to your girlfriend!]

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15 January, 2008


[Some of you may be fed up with my headers being all caps, all exclamation points, all the time. Which makes me wonder when you lost your lust for life.]

Today I took all my computer and personal effects to the basement and set up an office in what used to be our guest room. Now our guest rooms are the three unoccupied by my parents' three sons (three includes me).

I'd like to think of this place – the basement, with the TV, PS2, TiVO, pool table, countless weird pills, a workroom I will never again enter, storage room, treadmill I've used once and a day bed I use the edge of – as an English basement. The kind of apartment I never could afford, especially if I still lived in DC, and even if I had the job I had to leave.

I'd like to think of this place as an apartment... Of course, reality intrudes and is a bit of a downer.

Begin tangent: As has been taking Lyrica, I realized Sunday. I've been taking it for maybe a year and a half up to now, and am now tapering off it. I'll be done with it altogether in a month. I know taking these red and white capsules must have done something for me when they first kicked in, but I've forgotten what that is and simply can't stand being fat any more. My proper weight is XXX or so, and I passed XXX a while ago.

So as far as I know, at this point, all Lyrica has done is make me gain 70 pounds. And that can't be good for my joint pain.

Get back to the theme introduced in the first paragraph: A for instance would be that, after moving my computer, helping to move a desk and carrying all the electronic devices I've collected over the past five years (packrat) has rendered me almost unable to climb the stairs to the main level. I slouch on the railing while trying to use my cane at the same time, but it still takes me about two minutes to get to the floor above.

Which makes me think: When I wake tomorrow, even more sore than I am right now, I may not be able to make it to the bathroom. I could very well piss my pants, laid out on the top five stairs of a set of twelve.

And the really shitty thing is I would have to simply ooze back down the steps and then wallow in my own piss. Or get nude and stand to avoid getting my urine on any furniture until I could somehow be transferred upstairs. The standing would feel like it was going to kill me due to my legs being made of glued-together plastic Slinkys, and being found that way by my parents would off me for real if I have any luck.

Which I really don't lately.

[Pain: 9.5/10. The marcaine wore off and I would keep myself in a continuous sleep with Trazodones, Rozerems and Sonatas if my parents wouldn't have me committed for doing so.

Which reminds me that I should promise to write, hopefully tomorrow, about why marcaine is OK for me to have injected, while Percocet is not OK for me to posses. Spoiler: It has to do with one being totally controlled by a doctor, and one allowing the patient to have more leeway in the control of his own health care.

Anxiety: 10/10. Goddam I hate my shrink for cutting my Klonopin from 6mg to 4mg. Fucking hate him.]

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13 January, 2008


The marcaine is wearing off. Could I get these goddam injections the rest of my life every two weeks? Every day, so doctors can do my entire back, starting at my C1 vertebra, giving me the max daily dose of the solution then going on down to my coccyx then starting all over again in an endless cycle? What relief will that provide?

Everything. fucking. wears. off.

And why are doctors fine with injecting me with a sea of marcaine, but not prescribing a mountain of painkillers?

Is it simply that we're a motherfucking Puritan nation that sticks to The Old Ways? If it isn't, I'm in too much goddam pain right now to think of a better way to be angry about this! ...Still, as a former Catholic, I'm used to the formula: Anything that makes you feel good is wrong. So marcaine burns in the muscle, but gives me relief for two days. Two Kadian could, presumably, do that (I've never taken it -- my experience is with oxycodone and Kadian is extended-release morphine), but without the burn.

But pills are wrong. Pills can be diverted from their intended users...

...Which makes me think I should pull a raid on Lummox Life Care (a hospice with an Orwellian name like all of them). I would steal from only the already dead, and end up with IV bags I would have to store in the snow in the back yard so they stay fresh and sterile. Then I could have myself on a just-perfect drip and write this pablum forever...

Until summer came and the snow melts. Then it would be time to have a serious talk with the parents.


ANXIETY (repetition of the word is difficult and ineffective... Imagine if you were the noise from the radiator in Eraserhead...): 10/10 -- due, in large part, to how anxious I am about having to be anxious about my pain mismanagement... Fuck I hate the Jesusland.

REMINDER TO CALL DISABILITY LAWYERS TOMORROW: Very important. I have to get my back-pay and get the hell out of Lummox and to a city where there is concrete and public transportation and doctors who accepted long ago that fibro is motherfucking real! (I'm anxious.)]

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12 January, 2008


No more talk of Percocet: The taste of a new generation is marcaine injections!

I saw my new GP two days ago (I'll be staying with this guy at least until I start up my usual drug-seeking), and he gave me Marcaine injections into one trigger point per shoulder. I don't know how he found what were, apparently, the exact places he needed to inject, since my shoulders are (were? I think I get to use past tense about this for once) knotted as a forest of oak trees. (Ugh. What a horrible metaphor. Grade-school shit. And I apologize.... I feel decent right now and don't want to write. If I'm not in withdrawal, pissing off doctors and shrinks or being a general douchebag, where's the drama? What's the pull?... Please see past posts while I work this out...)

But he did find these magical places and stabbed me with needles and injected the Marcaine solution. He then held the needle in my muscle until the headache I've had all my life lifted off my skull, from the injection site upward.

I then repeatedly threatened the doctor with various signs of affection, but didn't follow through because the med student who was with the doctor didn't seem like the voyeuristic type. And he didn't give the shots, so he wasn't about to get to join in.

But as I walked out of the clinic, I began to believe I was getting my headache back. However, it was just my inability to process the fact I was pain-free from the shoulders up. I didn't feel achy or in pain, but... it felt like the shadow of a headache... Like it was a physical entity, a fog encompassing my head, trying to get back in -- pushing inward from all sides.

As of this writing the relief has gone down my back... The day after the injections I could feel the rest of my body for the first time, without a headache. And it hurt like fucking hell. I took half a Percocet in the afternoon because I wanted to outrun my back, where most of the agony came from. I've seen dogs chase their tails, and the outcome is never very good or interesting. Today, though, is actually a good day.

Then again, I've taken today the five pills a friend gave me yesterday. This Person described them as "better than Klonopin." I thought if they were a lot better, she was giving me the cup of christ. But This Person seemed to give them up too easily for me to be receiving that artifact in dissolvable pill form...

However, the two I took in the morning knocked me out for a few hours, which is a tall feat for any drug, so I would have to say they might eclipse Klonopin. Naturally, further study is warranted... But, then, I wouldn't want to get hooked on anything I can't get my own Rx for...

Or this 5/10 day [the pain scale encroaches upon the body text!] is brought to us by the increase in Lyrica and Prozac taking hold. It's been about a month since the increase, and if the extra mgs are going to do anything, the starting gun should be going off about now.

Or the majority of what seems to be a miracle of science is not that at all, and is due to me being in a waning period. I'd hate it to be that, but know it must be a big part of me not being in so much pain.

...Mustn't it?

[I'm going to cause massive civil unrest by ending this post here, lamely. It's been boring as hell anyway.

Anxiety: 5/10

Willingness to crank out crap: Apparent.]

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08 January, 2008


...though he and The Smiths are the best thing to listen to when you're down. Nothing else (and I like The Cure, too) allows you to wallow deep deep down in your own misery.

Moving on!

It seems (with crossed toes) that I may have been granted a reprieve. This happens to fibro patients -- the agony waxes and wanes. I think the more popular term is that we fibromyalgians (I prefer this term to "fibromyalgics." A fibromyalgian sounds like an alien, and to most people and most doctors we're the closest they'll get to seeing one) have flares, and I think this term is wrongly and stupidly applied to us. A flare would be an exacerbation of what is our normal, baseline pain. And we wish. The truth is that the so-called flare is the norm and the very limited relief of very limited duration --maybe a month out of a year -- is our reality.

The truth, like everything else, fucking hurts.

My reprieve happens to occur just as I'm coming off Percocet -- had my last one yesterday -- and the parents are making hay into gold on that score. Mom especially. I reminded her that it's an amazingly impossible thing for my cessation of taking pain relieving medications (I'm getting off Effexor and Mirapex too) to cause pain relief. And I've also reminded my parents that their pleas to allow me to "let the new meds work" and their reminders that the increase in Prozac and Lyrica, plus the addition of Cymbalta in about two weeks need a couple months to work are likely to have a downside:

In about six months (if I'm still in Lummox, so help me and my too-kind parents -- had to get that plug in because I have one trifle with them maybe once a month. Maybe. ...That, and they're keeping me alive) whatever the Effexor and Mirapex did for me is going to end, and they may have an entirely different animal on their hands. I've gone off my anti-anxiety meds before -- they work, ergo you're not weird, ergo you don't need meds -- and it has always been almost exactly six months before I found myself in an ER, thinking I was having a heart attack, knowing differently, but having a king-hell panic attack and in need of sedation, a referral to a doctor, and relief from the 49 percent of me that believed I really was having a heart attack.

The thing about having panic and generalized anxiety disorders? If I have an actual heart attack, I'll likely be older and more accustomed to the king-hell panic attacks I wake up with every morning. So if I wake up with a real heart attack, that should pretty well do me in. I'll just take a Klonopin and brush it off.

I hope I'm not the only one who finds that hilarious.

[Pain (the scales are back!): 7.5/10 -- It's not a big improvement, but it's still an improvement... However temporary.

Anxiety: 8/10 -- Good as gold!

Self-negating title: You read it, You can't un-read it!]

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06 January, 2008



All ow ow ow ow ow goddam it, ow!s today in every category (including sleaziness, if you've been playing along at home). And all I can, or will, do -- and feel awful for... But hey, why should I feel bad for desiring a little Old Testament-style justice! --

I should just start that over... I realize my parenthetical and other tangents make it hard to follow along. Joseph Heller was the master of these... I need to read more of his books.

OK, so I am an awful enough person (but hey, the Judeo-Christian god likely would sanction it, so 75 percent of you pretty much have to believe in its fairness... Fuck, another parenthetical... I'm trying to set up this awful thing I want in a way that makes it hard for people to challenge and easy for people to understand it... Unfortunately, I just brought up the Bible and pissed off about 75 percent of you... Oh well, today's churchgoing people tend to substitute church for the Bible... And to paste over, horribly, the fact that God's an asshole. Look it up. And I'm an asshole too, made in his image)--

OK, so I wish my doctor's and shrink's children get fibro that is as bad as mine. I think only then will they understand that sometimes you follow the goddam motherfucking protocol and give someone who doesn't respond to ANY other therapies fucking opioids! My head is going to explode and my body feels like the tin man's.

If only I didn't have a brain...

Last night I dreamed of getting electroshock therapy... My insane asshole doctors would prefer this to putting me on opioids, I'm sure... Give the man anything but one of the pillars of modern medicine!

Then again, chances are 80 percent, I think (I just don't feel up to looking it up. Seriously. ...But I feel up to typing this... The world is a many-splendored thing), that a person will get cancer. If anyone in my doc or shrink's family (or -- please please!) themselves has to get surgery for it, let them be offered strong drink and maybe ether.

Let's hope no one needs an organ removed!

Shit. The things pain turns you into. I don't wish the above... Except maybe for the first couple hours after I wake up. The images get me out of bed...

And how sick is that?

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05 January, 2008


Today I write you from the second story of my parents' house, as was my original intent. Heretofore I had been sneaking in my posts -- guarding them from everyone's eyes by switching to different Web sites whenever I was interrupted in the office/computer room. Today I'm using AbiWord on my Mac -- the computer downstairs is a PC (yuck!) -- because I can't get NeoOffice to work out. Abi isn't showing my apostrophes, and I would be incredibly worried about this except:


I'm out of Percocet. Well, not completely out -- I'm saving some for when I have to or want to be around other people, which I can't do unless I take high doses of strong painkillers... No, the SSRIs SNRIs NSRIs antispasmodics psychotherapy et cetera et cetera et cetera in any combination simply aren't enough for this little black duck. I'm special that way.

Which brings us to why I'm writing upstairs, finally, in what used to be my older brother's bedroom but is now mine for some reason (the change happened when I moved south): It's Time To Talk Shit About the Parents! Plus, I'd rather they think I'm jerking off or... well, pretty much anything but writing. Why? Because I'm writing, but haven't sold anything... So I'm a non-writer who is writing.

...I don't like the term blogger, but I couldn't say why. Probably because most blogs give opinions or useful information or infotainment or when twins are going to be of legal age, and I'm pretty sure this blog (or whatever it is) does none of those.

Anyway, wanted to write that I am in the full-on hell of full-on withdrawal. It was a lot easier the first two times. I should look up a real blog to figure out why. So it's too bad there is no InterWeb connection in this room.

Oh well... At least people feel like they should knock on a bedroom door. Even if someone is typing like mad, they still may be rubbing one out. Guys can jerk off standing on their heads. We're special that way.

Do women use euphemisms for masterbating, too? Do they have about 100 different ways to describe it? What do you (women) call it? America wants to know...

Now to end transmission... I can't take any more of this because my skin is crawling and I have to keep up with it. Also, I may vomit. Or just dry heave for a while.

Sorry I haven't talked shit about the parents. I'll do a lot of that in the future. In fact, I'll do a lot of talking shit about everyone I know because I'm a jackass who hates everyone. Or maybe I just can't understand them...

Let me end with this warning: If you grew up in a small town, don't move to a city then leave and go back, for whatever reason. Even for your own funeral. My migraines are made worse by the light shimmering off the foot of snow that covers everything, and my overall person is made worse by the attitudes of my parents and hick-ass doctors. Why didn't they go to X of X (and I write that as an XXX alum) and come out knowing something about fibro? About anything?

And why are my parents treating me worse as I feel worse for your god's sake? I know I'm acting like an asshole... How am I supposed to act when I have to stay in unlighted rooms (read: the basement) because of my migraines? And how am I supposed to act when I feel like I'm in Arizona for 15 minutes and the Yukon the next? And why why why and how how how...
Goddam it, it took me ten minutes to get up two flights of fucking stairs! Should I be happy-go-lucky about that one?

OK, there's the talking shit part after all. I know, far too little.

Anyway, now to put this in my jump drive and put it where you're reading it.

PS: If you can find me, and if you can afford it, maybe you can give me... OXYCONTIN! (Bullet holes spell "OxyContin" as the shots ring...)

PPS: Wrote this yesterday, but didn't get to upload it until today. I'm lazy. Or my every living moment is torture due to opiate withdrawal and fibro. If this that doesn't tug at your every heart string, remember that even the Devil deserves sympathy...

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01 January, 2008


I begin my New Year with a mammoth migraine, which three Percocet 10/325s didn't touch. (The "10/325" refers to the pills consisting of 10mg oxycodone, which is what god eats for breakfast, and 325mg APAP, aka Tylenol, aka just about the best way to ruin your liver.)
But enough of that, for now... There will definitely be more complaining later. At the moment, here are some resolutions (you'll notice all are contingent on Number One...):

1, sorta.: To get on Social Security Disability finally finally finally (my first decision is due before May. ...That is, the first go-round in which People of Authority say whether I'm fucked up enough to qualify for SSD. I think about 1/3 of people are successful here. What I'll call the second pass is an administrative hearing.

You stand in front of a judge, who has seen all the evidence and made up her/his mind (read it in chambers, which is why s/he was an hour late opening the courtroom door and getting things started, even though you saw a person with a face just like her/his drinking deeply from a flask in their car in the parking lot... But it was the public lot, so it couldn't have been her/him... Or could it? People who are drinking at 7:00 usually are keeping things going from the night before, and certainly not rational). I'll be wearing a suit and sporting a cane, grunting with every move and, when I have to stand before her/hizzoner -- if I have the grapes -- I'll tell the maybe-lush that "It's a bad day, and if your honor doesn't mind, I believe I should sit for this."

In other words, I'll be standing. But, to prove I'm not a complete wuss (and if my case even goes to The Hearing...), I'll lean on my cane until it breaks. Or at least bends...


OK, finally 2. To pay my parents back for room and board with the back-pay from the above. SSD pays you for some of the time you had to have a suck-ass life waiting for your benefits to come through.

Still, comparatively, my waiting period is likely better than many people's. My parents have a big house, a Wii, and the basement I call home is about 1,000 square feet. Plus I can TiVo Twin Peaks episodes... Though my daily watching of it is making me believe everyone in my town is a killer, and that strange forces exist in our woods...).

3. To move to Portland, Oregon with the rest of the weirdos.

4. To get and grow medicinal marijuana. (Legally, after number three -- so Michigan cops put away your batons!) All the Web forums and more and more medical literature is showing that it's one of the best things for pain. I read one where it topped everything but Kadian. And that's extended-release morphine, kids.

5. To buy a scooter! I imagine a great number of people in this country will say or think that doing so is "gay." However, the act of purchasing something cannot have a sexual orientation. And if you think you're insulting something by calling it "gay," don't make it a transaction... A swap of money for goods. Where's the fun in it?

Anyway, I'd like to think that going 60 mph on a seat cushion would earn someone a modicum of respect.

...My insecurities aside, if I have a scooter, I'll already be in Portland where, I hear, the scooter scene thrives. So riding a scooter won't be "gay," it will be, um... "Not-gay"? Whatever. Screw homophobes and screw using "gay" as slander.

6. Enjoy my retirement by writing books about writing books and losing weight on the food stamp diet.

7. Buy a big-ass teevee and a Wii! ...Because I'll have a lot of spare money for expensive items on SSD. Why do you think people refer to it as being awarded benefits?

OK, that's seven, and seven is enough for this morning, as I wait for my Klonopin and Percocet to take affect. But, since I could only take about 1/4 my normal dose of each because I'm being forced off them (see other ranting posts) I'll probably still get 3/4 the pain, migraine, spasms, etc.

Consarn it.

[Overall disposition: bubbly as champagne!]

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