Samantha, 43

My latest piece on the Higher Living Blog: My own story about pain and cannabis..

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.  Patient StoriesMost people call me Sam, in fact I prefer that.  Only teachers and parents ever called me Samantha.  I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself.  I’m a 43 year old woman with Arthritis all through my spine, hands, feet and hips.  I have Fibromyalgia.  I have Degenerative Disc Disease in 3 spots in my neck and spine, making it painful to sit or stand for any length of time.  I have Endometriosis which has caused me a few emergency trips to the hospital, surgery and the joys of being barren.  I’ve had depression for the entirety of my adult life, being medicated since the age of 18 for that as well as Anxiety Disorder.  I have insomnia.  I am constantly in pain it’s just a matter of behind able to hide it some days.  Some days I can’t hide it.  Most recently, in 2015 I…

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Obsessive Blogging and Too Much Caffeine…

The Blog Broad in Saint JohnToday was a day of scrambling.  I also write for a blog advocating medical marijuana for my friend’s shop.  For that blog, I interview patients of chronic pain, and other painful conditions that use cannabis as a means of medication and relief.  I get their stories either over the phone of via messenger then condense in to an article.  

I’ve been dealing with migraines the last few days that have left me feeling exhausted, nauseous and listless.  It took me a couple of days to finally finish my draft.  I was up until 2 am and back at it as soon as I woke up until about 1:30.  I then sent a copy to the interviewee to make sure I didn’t make any errors in her story.  After a couple of updates I finished.  That’s how it goes.  You finish writing, excitedly hit Publish then you realize you forgot something, or your photos aren’t spaced right, or you forgot to add a tag, or or or.   

One of my Besties is town so I quickly shared my piece all over Social Media, it’s like leaving a fart in a room then hurriedly walking away.   

I went for a drive with my buddy around Saint John and checked out some geographical beauties while we sipped our Pumpkin Spice Lattes and caught up.   I love it when she comes to town.  We’ve been friends since we were 13 standing outside our Junior High during a bomb threat.   Trauma bonds you.  Well not so much trauma as some kid who who was recently expelled or didn’t want to come to school or something ridiculous.  It was the 80s.  Not a lot of school violence at that time.  The most vicious thing that happened at our school was that you would get made fun of and shunned if you got caught wearing generic footwear.  If your parents bought your sneakers at KMart, you were in for one hell of a school year.

My headache is still looming.  Pretty sure I need new glasses and having my head down for hours at a time kills my neck.  I need to eat as well.  “C” tells me I get kinda crazy when I write a lot.  I often forget to eat because I’m so involved with what I’m doing.  I have a flow and have to keep it going as long as I can.  My sleep becomes erratic as well because all I can think about are things I want to write, or how I can improve my viewership, or change up my Social Media or or or.  Does anyone else get like this?  Maybe I’m some crazy genius trapped in a lumpy 43 year old’s body.  Maybe it’s just a writer thing.  Maybe I’ve had too much caffeine today.

Here.  Enjoy some photos of Saint John.

Saint John New Brunswick
Fall leaves and blue skies
Irving Pulp & Paper Mill
One view from Reversing Falls and the Irving Pulp & Paper Mill
Reversing Falls Irving Pulp and Paper
View of Reversing Falls Bridge
Uptown Saint John with Cruise Ship
A shot of Uptown Saint John w/ visiting Cruise Ship
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

Please Check out my other posts and follow me on Twitter @LezGeek

Photos are my own

Melissa, 48

My latest piece for Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.. A compelling story!

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.

Higher Living Wellness Centre BlogMelissa’s career came to a grinding halt in 2009 when she was attacked by a violent inmate while working as a corrections officer in a government facility in Truro NS. The patient was known to be violent among officials after attacking a parole officer in a previous incident. After that, the patient was sent to Melissa’s unit in Mental Health without any warning of her prior violent outburst.

Melissa, previously injuring her ankle on the job, was unable to get a good grip with her swollen right foot to defend herself. She was slammed against a bathroom wall. During the scuffle, Melissa tells me she noticed a razor blade lying next to a bathtub and she could only assume the patient meant to get her over there. She fought back as hard as she could but permanently injured her shoulder in the process.

Melissa, who previously worked as a psych…

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Mental Illness: A Cancer

Struggling with depression, anxiety or other medical conditions that make it difficult for you to work? Read a teacher’s take on OhWords…

OH Words

So it’s 4:39 am. I am awake. I’ve been awake since 3:50 am. So I thought… maybe I’ll write something. My good buddy, Sam, said to me, you haven’t been blogging lately. What’s up? Nothing is up. Everything is down.

You see I haven’t been writing because I haven’t been feeling the greatest. My anxiety and PNES has swallowed me up like a person trapped in a cove when the high tides of the Bay of Fundy come roaring in. I’m off work again because people have suggested to me that I should be. I didn’t want to leave my classroom. I love teaching; it is who I am. It was a difficult decision to take time off. The worst of it the fear of judgement. I have left the small town I live in and am staying with family in another city. Being in a small town and appearing…

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Things I Do That Drive My Partner Crazy: A Rebuttal by Partner

Things I do That Drive my Partner Crazy: A Rebuttal
After posting my prior post titled Things I Do That Drive My Partner Crazy , my ever loving, ever so sarcastic partner “C” decided she would weigh in.  Here are her responses:


Random Singing.

Hey. I’m fond of the random singing! It means she’s in a good mood. So sing on, girl! “Singing” the entire Fairlight part of Running up that Hill isn’t singing – it’s bleeps and bloops. You’re making computer sounds for heaven’s sake. You are a Dot Matrix printer. Beep Beep. Bloop Bloop.

Eating in Bed. 

How the fuck a human manages to eat an apple in 5.1 digital surround sound cranked to 100 is beyond me.

Patience with technology.  

Most of our technology is stone-age obsolete bricks. Having fits about running Windows 7 on a third-hand $200 laptop from 2007 is just silly.

Free? Yes please! 

Collect all the freebies you want, love. I’m poor too. Pass the purse hot sauce.

I love my dog.  

OH THIS IS A STICKING POINT FOR SURE. I love that she loves her dog! Pets are part of the family!

Having said that – I’d be just as angry if a family member took a giant steaming sloppy dump on the floor for me to walk in at 5 a.m.;

I’d be just as raging if a younger sibling sat on my partner’s lap for 12 hours a day and totally clam jammed me at every opportunity.


I tend to collect things. 

You call it collecting. I call it knick-knack hell.

I’m a night owl. 

You say night owl, I say as long as I don’t wake up it’s kosher. That 3:20 a.m. alarm, y’all.

Also – I don’t call her horror and supernatural documentaries stupid. Anything that someone is passionate about and interested in is not stupid.

I say that those horror and supernatural documentaries *might* have a role in the screaming night terrors…

BONUS! THREE THINGS I DO THAT MY PARTNER HATES!

This face
Things I do That... This face

This face

This face 2

and

This face

This face 3

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,


Sam


(Graphic designed by me-Canva)

Things I Do That Drive My Partner Crazy

I’m a bit of a weirdo.  I have many idiosyncrasies that drive My partner nuts.  Besides staying up all night writing…

Random Singing.  I sing and hum all the time.  I drove her nuts one day when I was cleaning.  I always play music when I’m cleaning.  I frequently sing along to the music or hum.  I hummed throughout Running Up That Hill by Kate Bush so much so, she got up from the couch to get her own headphones and proceeded to drown out my humming with heavy metal.

Liz Lemon singing

Eating in Bed.  She goes to bed early as her work schedule demands it.  I usually go to bed with her even if I’m not tired.  I watch TV on my IPad with headphones and the screen dimmed.  The problem is that I’m a big snacker.  I don’t have much of an appetite during the day and prefer to eat small snacks over large meals.  So when I’m up late watching TV I get the munchies and next thing I know, I’m bringing the peanut butter to bed.  Sometimes I eat chips quietly.  You have to put the entire chip in your mouth and kind of suck on it as to not make a bunch of crunching sounds to not wake your partner.  Other foods I have brought in to the bed include; granola bars, apples (although I have been banned from eating apples in bed because of the crunching) nuts, deli meats and cheese, pizza and ribs, yep- ribs are spectacular in bed.  I have a special “rib eatin'” tank top.  I am very careful not to leave crumbs utilizing a saucer beneath my chin as a catch tray.

Homer eating bed

Patience with technology.   Everything’s just so damn complicated and tedious now.  I’m a cranky ol’ broad who just wants to watch my Netflix.  Don’t tell me I have to upgrade my Windows 7, clear all my cookies, reboot my computer and spin in 3 counter clockwise circles with a fucking eagle feather whilst praying.   Also, why in the hell can I NOT copy and paste from Google docs to WordPress?  If you think I’m gonna re type everything like a fucking chump you must be mad!  I also threw my last record player in a dumpster.

Fuck computers

Free?  Yes please!  I am poor.  I love Freebies, even if it embarrasses my partner.  Sure, I took like 20 packs of hot sauce from Taco Bell.  My partner loves hot sauce.  I had purse hot sauce for months for her.  Who was the winner?

I love free

I love my dog.  She’s super cute and funny and loveable and perfect.  I don’t see the problem.  I am admittedly, addicted to dogs.

Dog freak

I tend to collect things.  When “C” and I moved in together, she was met with a plethora of Doctor Who memorabilia, zombie posters and various nods to the TV show, Supernatural.  I had a lot of clothes, records and books.  I have since scaled down my belongings, keeping only what I deemed essential.  Several TARDISs remain in the home and we’re still fighting over my Twilight books.

My stuff

I’m a night owl.  I love the the peace and quiet of night.  It’s often when I do my best writing.  I used to paint and knit at night as well.  My creativity goes in to hyperdrive during these hours.  I still sometimes draw funny cartoons for my partner to wake up to.  I have ALWAYS been a night owl.  I love staying up at night watching  my forbidden shows and documentaries.  The ones my partner deems dumb or boring or so lame.  Sometimes I am even still awake when her alarm goes off at 4 am enjoying a radio show or engaging in one of my weird hobbies.  A special nod to Alien & UFO Discolsure and Coast to Coast am for keeping me awake at night.  I also enjoy colouring.

40 year old virgin painting miniatures

In addition, I also have a terrible case of Dad humor.  

“You feel like chocolate?  You don’t look like chocolate”

*loud eyeroll*


How do you drive your partner nuts?  I can’t be the only one.
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam

 

Gifs

Peter Griffin writing with a quill  https://youtu.be/yKxGy8NJp44

Liz Lemon singing  https://media.giphy.com/media/9s5Vbbtmd1lkc/giphy.gif
Homer eating in bed  https://media.giphy.com/media/5EYxJigLKsNWg/giphy.gif
Hoarding  https://theblogbroadblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/d7c58-2bg-hoardfall.gif
Ron Swanson computer in trash  https://i.pinimg.com/originals/74/9d/64/749d64e129bd9f9eda94e5844bcb2686.gif
Freebies  http://media.tumblr.com/64839788fe3bd893aeda8fad4fbd40e9/tumblr_inline_mmhu2xRmFn1qz4rgp.gi

Dog lover  http://www.unfather.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/dog-forced.gif

40 year old virgin gif   https://media.giphy.com/media/11oJIpiuWk69mU/giphy.gif

Discarded Cups…

Sam Clattenburg loves Doctor WhoFresh pot of coffee on a sunny Saturday morning?  Don’t mind if I do.   I have been dragging my ever increasing ass all week.  I have been incredibly tired and have had a lot of pain in my legs, back and neck.  I’ve also been experiencing a lot of inflammation lately.  I’m supposed to be gluten free, dairy free, caffeine, refined sugars, alcohol free but I don’t always follow the rules.   Not because I don’t want to, it’s because I’m poor and would rather eat a sandwich than go hungry.

My partner and I are trying to get by on just her income and it’s just not enough to support all the things I’m supposed to do to try and keep symptoms at bay.  “Have you tried acupuncture?”  “Why don’t you take this?”  “Why not get a massage?”  What part of poor and uninsured do you NOT understand?

It’s being stuck in a situation where you need a job to pay for all the things you need, and are supposed to do but not being well enough to keep a job, even a part time one.  Since 2004, I have been fired from 11 jobs.  Not because I wasn’t a fast learner, fun to work with, a good salesperson or a hard worker.  It was because of illness and calling in sick.  

I have NEVER called in sick unless I physically could not make it to work to do my job- I couldn’t afford that luxury supporting myself.   I don’t have a car so that means walking everywhere to get to bus stops, standing and walking and walking and standing, no matter if it’s pouring rain or minus 30 degree weather.

I am now 43 years old with severe arthritis and ME/CFS, degenerative disc disease in 3 spots on my spine.   I have a hard time some days taking my dog out for a pee.  Days where I spend my shower time laying in the tub absorbing the heat letting the water pound my skin because I can’t stand.

I would love to have a job and be a normal contributing person.  No one chooses disability, illness and poverty.  No one.  I’ve had to resort to doing things like selling my paintings when I was able to paint.  I have dog sat, hemmed pants, blogged for dollars on paid blogging sites that don’t seem to exist anymore.  Currently I do laundry for a neighbor, I offer to walk my neighbors dogs, I have offered to make sales calls for a friend’s husband, I have created a site for my friend’s business and blog for that.  The money is minimal but it makes feel like I’m doing something.  I just need more.

I get depressed and bummed out a lot because I can’t do the things I want or need to do.   Most recently, my dog has gotten fleas.  Now, she is a city dog who is indoors and on sidewalks and always on leash.  I don’t give her regular flea treatments because she doesn’t really need them.  The only thing I can conclude is that my neighbors who have cats coming and going all the time are carrying fleas.  My neighbors, although nice guys are rather irresponsible and dirty.  They also have multiple pets in a one bedroom apartment.  Our apartments are very close and we share a (very dirty and cat sprayed) back hallway that leads to the rape basement and laundry area.   Plus any time my dog comes into contact with the neighbors’ cat, she seems to get fleas on her.  I don’t know, either way, I can’t afford the meds my dog needs to be rid of them.  I had one tube of Advantix left that I put on her after a bath.   I can’t tell you how guilty I feel for not having the things my dog needs.  She also needs a vet check up that I can’t afford.   It makes me feel like a bad dog mom.  

Feeling like a failure is a common theme for my days.  Even if it is beyond my control, I feel like I have failed at life.  A lot of my friends my age have homes, families, cars and go on trips.  Their Instagrams read like travel brochures then there’s mine.

LesGeek on Instagram

Lots of bath, blanket and book pics.  I also commemorate good meals I have enjoyed.

I really want to upgrade my blog and get my own domain.  It costs $60.   I don’t have it.  If we have $60 it usually goes on food and toiletries.   It’s so frustrating.  I always feel like I’m hog tied and told, “Ok, now do life.”  

Discarded CupI don’t even qualify for government services because I live with my partner.  The government says she makes too much for me to get help.  With that and the way my family treats me I feel like a discarded coffee cup that’s been tossed out a window and kicked to the curb.  If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Canada, you’ll see A LOT of discarded Tim Horton’s cups on the highways, streets and overflowing in city trash cans.  I bet for every one of those cups that have been deemed used and useless by someone, there is a disabled person struggling to live.  Discarded Cups

I brew my own coffee at home and use a travel mug.  

I believe everyone has a purpose.  

Maybe mine is providing a voice for others who are suffering.

How do you get by if you suffer from chronic illness/pain?

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,

Sam


Images

Tim Horton’s cup on street http://ecofriend.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/tim-hortons-coffee-cup-street_CFUMo_18770.jpg
Trash can full of Tim Horton’s cups https://i.cbc.ca/1.2111753.1382068838!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_1180/technology-100706-tim-hortons-cups.jpg
Instagram and Doctor Who mugs my own 

Another Fu**ing Poem: ME/CFS

fucking tired

Fuck this chilly weather change

Making me feel tired and strange

All I want is to sleep and sleep

Making me mad, making me weep

Throbbing head and swollen body

A bigger bitch I couldn’t embody

Trying to hear what you’re saying

I think “Hello” is what you’re conveying

My head’s all muddled in shades of gray

Repeating my words, my brain’s on replay

I’m sorry, I didn’t hear what you said

All I’m really thinking about is my bed

Shuffling and grunting like some old hag

Cursing and swearing at my Magic Bag

Why you so small Magic Bag?  You can go to Hell

I need you on my back, my hips and buns as well

In a rage, I plug in my heating pad

The time it takes to heat also makes me mad

Laying on my back, missing the warmth of summer

The period leading in to winter is a fucking bummer

Staying in due to cold means a belly and bigger ass cheeks

While I dream of sunshine, eating chips for the next 28 weeks

“At least you get to sleep in everyday” say the mindless few

You have no clue, the pain, the tears, the guilt I go through

So back to my fleece, hot bath and couch I go

I’m fucking tired and my back hurts me so

Because why I came I fucking forgot

Oh yeah, to tell others to not be a fucking Twat

If you know someone with Fibro, MECFS

Someone that you regularly address

Be compassionate, gentle and most of all kind

Because they are suffering; bear that in mind

 

Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously

Sam

If you enjoyed this, you might like this 

Images

I’m so fucking tired kitty   https://cdn-webimages.wimages.net/05197f03e21089241289b6b115c808dadf2f0b-wm.jpg?v=3

David, 35

My latest piece on the Higher Living Wellness Inc. Blog
David, 35

Higher Living Wellness Centre Inc.

spinal fusionWhat began as a High School sports injury has left David almost completely incapacitated.He was participating in gymnastics and while making a run for the spring board, his spotters walked away leaving David alone.

He missed.

He landed head-down with all of his bodyweight on his neck; the injury caused two tears – one in his spinal cord and one in his brainstem.
Now 35 years old, David moved from his hometown in the Barrington Passage area to Kentville, Nova Scotia : “to be closer to medical services”.
David has had more than 20 surgeries and fusions, although he admits that he has really lost count.
There was the leg amputation in 2010- a combination of spinal fluid build up and spine compression from being relegated to a wheelchair caused the circulation to be cut off in his leg. It also caused the infection that cost him his…

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CFS: A Poem

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
A whole new night of still no sleep

Nothing works, not even counting sheep.

I’m somewhere between asleep and awake

Another night of this pain I cannot take.

When I do drift off I’m plagued by dreams

Violent and bloody I wake up in screams.

It’s tossing and turning all night long

Thinking of all the things that I’ve done wrong.

Ideas for writing projects visit me far too late

I get up out of bed so I don’t disturb my mate.

Questioning myself whether I locked the door

Thinking of tomorrow’s shopping trip to the store

Worrying about money, food and bills

Wishing I could afford those sleeping pills.

Knowing I’ll suffer from this sleep lost

Going thru days in pain is often the cost. 

Sometimes when I pray I ask why I’m such  a mess

The answer I get is my dear, you have CFS.

Live Humbly,  Be Charitable,  Live Graciously, 

Sam
Image

http://www.insomnia.net/images/chronic-insomnia.jpg