(no subject)
patient_travelr
I've gone back to my old journal. If you remember it, I'll be putting stuff there. I'm forcing myself back in the habit of writing something, anything, everyday. That's where you'll find it if you're interested.

Getting the fear
patient_travelr
I moved up here to be brave. Even if it meant being alone, to wake up every day in a place I loved was worth it. I spend most of my time inside looking out of windows, and the views out of all my windows in Portland have always been beautiful. Almost inspiring, but I have succeeded in failing to be inspired enough to create anything.

I moved here to be brave, but I'm scared now. As clean the air, as green the trees, they don't give me what I need. This part of my life, I can't do alone. I'm not that brave anymore.

In 2 hours I meet with the plastic surgeon. He will look at my foot and pronounce the healing complete. I can start learning to walk again. Maybe he will approve physical therapy to help. If not I already bought a walker, and I still have the cane from the car accident. Even without medical assistance part of me knows what I'm supposed to do. Pick myself up, put one foot in front of the other, and recover. Again; it's what I do. What I'm supposed to do, but i'm tired. I'm so damn tired now. I sleep for 12 hours at a time, and can barely drag myself out of bed. There is a grocery store literally across the street from my apartment and I can't make it over there most days. I managed to make it yesterday, and carry home 3 Mexican pepsi's (in the glass bottles!), some cereal, and some spaghetti-o's. As of now I have eaten my way through all of it, and my fridge is empty.

But I have no energy to go get more, and no time. Medical transport will be here in an hour to take me to the fateful meeting where they tell me I'm ok to get on with my life. I just don't know if I can get on anymore. I dream that I will move back to Southern California where maybe there are people who love me. Maybe they will help me walk. At the least they will help me keep the fridge from being emptied.

But I don't knowwhen that will be, or if. Months away is the soonest it would be possible, and months away is more than enough time for anyone to fail to reach. Especially me. Especially now. I'm no longer brave, and I don't know if I'm strong enough to make it home.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
It's been a long time, and all that time has been mostly hard. Not all of it bad, but a lot of it. So much has fallen apart, and so much left teetering, balancing on what sometimes seems little more than hope and optimism. Two things that are very hard to maintain in bad times.

At the moment I am sitting a wheelchair. This chair has been my primary mode of transportation since the new year. Also since the new year began has been my lack of half of my left foot. Yup, I've been rolling around my apartment with half of an exposed amputated foot with only some gauze and some foam separating exposed bone and muscle from the world. At best it's only mildly noticeable. At worst it feels like I'm walking on glass. Even though there is no walking, there is just rolling around my apartment, or laying in bed waiting for the pain to pass so I can sleep.

It's a hard time to be this lonely. And lonely I am. Occasionally I get visited by one or two people, and it's always the bright spot of my week. Which is about as often as it happens - once or twice a week. The first 1/3 of this year has seen me cry more tears then any year before it, and there's a sinking feeling in my stomach, and a pressure behind my eyes, that tells me there is more to come.

But these particular hard times, the amputated foot, the wheelchair, and the isolation should be ending soon. May 9th I have a surgery scheduled to cover the exposed area of my foot with a skin graft. My birthday is May 10th. Recovery from a skin graft is about 5 days, during which they make sure the graft is healing well.

So many things can go wrong. Hope and optimism are all I have to keep me taking care of myself until that day. Only 11 more days to go but it still seems so damn far. I don't know how long it will be after that until I'm walking again. I hope not long, but even if it's another month before I can ditch this chair, life will be easier after the skin graft. I should be able to do my own shopping at least. Now I have a tube running from the foam covering my exposed foot meat to a machine called a WoundVAC. It's disturbing, and worse than that, troublesome. It gets caught on things, or tangled in the chair wheels, or rolled over, tugging on the foam, and on the tender nerves it rubs against. It's a fucking nightmare, but one that should be over in about 2 weeks.

By then I expect more bad news. I can't escape it, these horrible thoughts. I am apart of no one's life, and the few people left that are apart of mine don't want to be. How many times I can rebuild the bridges I leave to rot, I don't know, but I know that some of them are gone for good.

So goodbye to those who are going and gone. Maybe in a few weeks I can find those of you who are left.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
I can't make sense of much of anything lately, but somehow the bad luck of my health and the good luck of my human associations have balanced out enough to help me survive my life thus far. That the good has continued to overcome the bad time and time again amazes me, and fills me with gratitude and joy. I don't know how the amazing people I've met found me, but I'm very glad they did.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
Mood swing

Everything sucks. Apparently I'm worthless and no one likes me. According to the data that's available anyway.

Don't have enough oxy to kill myself. Don't have enough self-worth to deal with the alternative. Just going to sit here and play Bejeweled Blitz until the flesh melts off my face and someone bothers to open my door and find my rotting corpse.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
Hope, like life, is delicate, easily lost, and ultimately futile. And so, if you value life you must ultimately value hope, as they are not only similar, but linked. Without hope, life is no more than a series of monotonous steps until no more steps can be taken. A number of breaths taken until the breath is squeezed out of you. Without hope life ends without being lived.

I'm fortunate that I don't know anyone who truly lives without hope. I know plenty of people who feign hopelessness. Who guard their hopes, defend their hopes, and hide their hopes, but all of them, when pressed, are hopeful for something. Dream of something. Want, yearn, and wish for something, and as little as they may let that hope show, it's there and it makes them more than shambling meat sacks plodding through another day until the muscles them animate them stop moving. Hope, even the barest hope that someday something will be different, is all it takes to keep the life in someone.

And like I said, hope is easily lost. It can be shattered, betrayed, denied and falsified. Ultimately some hopes are futile; I'm probably not going to walk on Mars. Fortunately hope doesn't require probability. The only requirement of hope is possibility, and possibility is easy to find. As long as there is life, and as long as life can imagine, there will be hope. And as long as there is hope, life will continue to dream greater and greater possibilities.

I have lost hope more times than I can say, but I have always found it again. I suspect that as long as I continue to shamble through my days until the muscles that animate me cease to do so, I will find things to hope for. Even though those hopes may prove false, or be broken, or even lost again, I see no reason to stop pursuing or embracing them as the alternative seems much, much more sad. And worse, much much more boring.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
The only thing more depressing than thinking no one knows just how angry you are is the realization that no one cares.

To anyone who has had to deal with me lately
patient_travelr

(no subject)
patient_travelr
There are still things I want to be, you know? Still things I want to do. Labels I still want people to attach to me that haven't been attached before. Husband, oddly enough, is on that list now. It didn't used to be. It's a recent thing, but it would be nice to have someone look at me that way. Call me that. Think of me that way. It's been the goal for the last three years, really - to be well enough to live up to that label. There were times I felt I was getting there. Like it was just around the corner. Just out sight, but never too far too reach.

I don't feel that way tonight. Tonight as I lay there in bed I looked down the length of my body and saw all the scars. My chest. My stomach. My groin. My thighs. My knees. My shins. My feet. All scarred. Long straight lines and spherical blotches marking surgeries and accidents and illness. This is what people will always see when they look at me. No one will look at this and see the body of someone they love. They will see a patient, a victim, and one day a corpse.

And on that day when they see a corpse there will be no one to identify that corpse. No one to claim the body. No one to bury it, and no one to mourn the passing. Because, really, there is that much that will be lost. Just another person who failed to connect with the world around them. One more lonely person who lived just long enough to die alone.

(no subject)
patient_travelr
It's a strange thing about prednisone; there are moments of clarity. I don't know what it's like for other kinds of addicts, or mental/emotional disabilities, but I find I reach a space after a few days (or weeks) where I feel normal again. Even though I am constantly aware that while under the effects of the prednisone my emotions are out of control, and that I am, to put it simply, crazy, I can't remember what it was like to feel any other way than how I do under the effects of the drugs. But sometimes, maybe just for a few minutes, I am me again. I don't know what causes it, or what makes it go away, but there is a break in the confusion and emotinal maelstrom and feel... normal.

Tonight the moment finds me back in Emanuel hospital. Time is weird in hospitals, and it doesn't feel like 1am. I'm pretty sure I don't experience 1am like most people since I've been nocturnal most of my life, but time seems to pass differently in hospitals. I used to be much better at explaining things but I have fallen out of practice. All I can say now is that 1am is just a number on a clock, and the onlky reason I know it:s late is because there is far less activity in the halls of the hospital outside my door. With my door closed this room becomes a world unto itself separated from the flow of time. A cell of quiet isolation where all the maddening stimuli that has provoked and tormented me for the last few weeks does not reach.

It's nice. But I still want to go home.

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