Problems and complications

J- you aren’t wrong that they are problems for me. I’m not disagreeing with you. But whether something is a “problem” or just a “complication” depends largely on your perspective, mind-set, and attitude. And all of those things fluctuate for me wildly and in difficult to predict ways.

Some days I feel like I have problems. On those days they are problems. I can’t surmount dealing with many situations. I don’t know how to work around something in particular that is happening. It’s not a complication–I can’t get past it; I have a problem.

Other days I wake up seeing the web of privilege I sit in and I think, “Not much can touch me that will seriously disrupt my day.”

My ongoing mental illness is much much much more of a problem than the dishwasher breaking. And yet there is only so much I can do about my mental illness and it is hellza easy to fix the dishwasher if you have money. Perspective.

I have problems. I’m not trying to argue with that. It would be obnoxious and annoying if I tried to say I have no problems. But it is hard for me to see the dishwasher or the car breaking as problems. I think that on some level having things like that break energizes me. I get to feel extra competent because HA HA! I CAN FIX THINGS!!!

I like complications. Complications make me feel alive and competent and like I have my shit together. Complications are “problems” that are easy to solve and they won’t actually hurt me. I will feel slightly annoyed by having less money to throw at my mortgage but not that annoyed.

I am even sitting pretty on the wildly swinging mood swings about my physical problems. This morning I had the loosest stool I’ve had in eight days and it is still well within my range of acceptable poop. My body is being really nice to me even though I’m having eggs and dairy (including cream!). I’m feeling weird about egg seeming to be sometimes a problem and sometimes not. But I hear that with IBS that will be true.

The more I read about the intersections of IBS and PTSD the more the PMDD makes sense and I worry about other comorbid issues. I’m never going to be able to medicate for my physical problems. That is more clear with every book I read. Diet, exercise, stress management. Those are my options. Massage, acupuncture, chiropractic are known to help manage the pain but I will not be able to find a medication that fixes me.

I feel a tremendous amount of relief in that acknowledgment. Some people feel a lot of pain. Life works like that. It’s hard, but it’s true. I can’t ignore it.

It means that my body stuff is less a “problem” and more an ongoing complication to be managed. If I want to not hate myself. Or I can think of me as a problem with no solution but death.

Somehow trying really hard to reframe it as not-a-problem seems important?

I’m glad I sat down and read three books on IBS this week. That was a good choice. It is helping me feel less frantic. It is helping me feel resigned to the life I’m going to have.

Frankly, in the world of IBS sufferers… I’m pretty mild from what I read. I don’t have overwhelming pain most of the time. I don’t feel like I’m being stabbed in the belly with knives a lot of the time. I’m a little abashed to read that having diarrhea with few other symptoms (the joint pain might be related but it might not–I have a lot of other conflicting things that could cause that) means I’m just about as lucky as someone with IBS can be. Oh. Ok. I should… not be so pissy.

It’s kind of like getting all self-righteous that you suffered THE MOST as a poor child in America and then finding out how it goes for poor people in third world countries. Oh. I… didn’t have it as bad as I thought. Oh shit I’m totally a self-absorbed asshole.

At least I already knew that fact.

J–you are being supportive and wonderful. I appreciate your validation and concern a lot.

I’m trying to figure out how to hack my brain.

This is part of that resiliency shit I read so much about. Reframing things from problems to complications is a big part of what allows people to thrive. I read these things. Implementing them in my life is harder. I get flashes of it.

This week it is really weird how having the dishwasher and car break has snapped me out of a depression streak. I was very focused for many weeks on the things I can’t fix and can’t make better. All of a sudden I’m seeing how many things I can fix and that’s huge.

And my arm hurts a lot less today. *phew*

Perspective decides how you feel about things. I’m afraid a lot of this post sounds like strident arguing and I don’t mean it that way. I mean, your response sent a clarion call through my brain and I’m trying really hard to figure it out.

I watch a lot of repetitive tv shows and movies and I read a range of books but a few repetitively nearly to the point of religion. When a new idea causes me to feel excited I have a lot of response partially because I have consciously created such a rut in the rest of my life.

Difference is striking.

I notice that when someone expresses support for me, my main response is an almost 1000 word post (and counting) defending why I don’t really have problems and I don’t deserve support, see I’ve got it all covered.

Does that mean if more people expressed support more often I would never write about the problems because I would be locked in a haze of trying to pretend there are no problems here. I don’t know. But it is interesting to me how much I want to not want support.

J, I do appreciate the support. You are right that I do have problems. I do have situations that need to be dealt with. I’m very good at tunnel thinking. If I don’t want to believe I need support this second I will be nearly rabid in my denial that I need support ever. I bite the hand that feeds me.

Well, is this biting a hand? I’m babbling about how I have money to pay to fix some problems so I shouldn’t complain. Is this biting a hand that feeds me? It makes it less likely people will express support in the future.

When I read about suicidality there are a few key categories of things that make people off them. When I go down the lists one of the things that jumps out at me the hardest is the need to be taken care of. I don’t really let people take care of me. When they express even mild support I will rant about how I don’t need it. I’m scared.

I don’t really know how to let people be support for me. This is an ongoing issue. At this point in time my early coping methods have become toxic. I think they were appropriate when I developed them. My life is different now. I do need to have friends who will confirm that I have problems. I need that validation as I try very hard to climb under a rock labeled D-E-N-I-A-L.

There are two kinds of problems in the world. The kinds money can solve and the kinds money can’t solve. I have a lot of problems money can’t solve. That is hard. My friends try to be kind to me as I deal with them. Then a problem that can be solved pops up and all of a sudden I have a burst of feeling-competent. (Which is pretty stupid because I have money because of Noah instead of because of competency on my part. Ok, fine I could fritter more away… but I don’t earn it.)

That feeling of competency makes me really want to white wash everything into being Just Fine, Damnit.

That makes it really hard to have perspective on what is a problem,what is a complication, and where is the dividing line of denial.

If I’m reacting this much to the words that someone says… I’m probably sitting on some denial. I am so ridiculous to deal with.

Today is less Zen. I feel a lot more anxious. A lot more like I’m letting “someone” (not sure who) down all the time. I can’t do anything right. I can’t even have the right feelings of gratitude when someone is nice to me. I am such a piece of shit.

I wrote thank you cards that were nearly apologies to Noah’s relatives yesterday. We are opening Christmas presents as they arrive this year. Waiting until Christmas morning has gone very badly every year so far. This year: few presents on Christmas morning. Just…….. can’t do the deluge. Overwhelming. Hysteria. Crying. No more.

I don’t want to be mad about the mess and them being unable/unwilling to pick up after their new stuff hitting all at once. They can’t sort out a huge new pile. They can find homes for one or two new things at once. They are that resourceful.

Yes, I could just write the cards now and hold them till after Christmas and mail them then and pretend we waited. I’m not really willing to present myself dishonestly to these people. They need to see what they are getting. Warts and all.

I feel like I am threatening people as I write on their Christmas cards “We are coming to your city next year….” I’m really scared about the reactions we will get. I need to not care.

Years ago I flew to New York City in large part because there was a guy I had flirted with/played with many times at large bdsm conferences and I wanted to have individual time with him. I wanted him to beat me so much I went across the fucking country to beg him to do it. I uhm, didn’t have an inspiring performance from him. He was tired and had a back injury and he wanted to sit still and have me “please him” and he didn’t want to do anything.

I’m not that kind of service bottom.

My traveling is a mixed bag. Sometimes the reception I get is stellar and sometimes it kinda sucks. (The guy in New York invited another woman over while I was there. For their first date. He played with her. He vigorously beat the shit out of her and fucked her wildly while I watched. But he “hurt too much” to play with me. Fucker.)

But I take enormous comfort from the fact that when I travel with my kids I travel with my own little reality distortion bubble. My kids are starting to sing at me, “Mom–you have to have a good attitude!” They learned it from one of the other home schooling families. I could wring that mom’s neck. (I’m totally kidding.) I get told it a lot. Pretty much any time we are on an out door adventure and I start getting grumpy they sing at me with a big cheesy smile. So I think grumbly thoughts at the mom who taught it to them. But I also close my lips on my complaints more often than not.

My kids are teaching me how to be. In some sense, my kids are showing me the difference between a problem and a complication.

J, you are right that the car being broken is a problem. It has to be routed around for many days. It will cause impact on our financial budget in ways I’ll have to deal with. This may cost thousands of dollars which kinda blows. I’m enormously grateful I have it to spend but that is kind of beside the point. It will have negative impact. You are right that it is a problem.

The dishwasher feels… more like a complication. Our dishwasher barely worked. It’s been actively, literally falling apart for years. You have to wash everything completely before the dishwasher can “wash” the dishes. And it is around $900. Given our budget… that seriously doesn’t feel like a problem.

It is hard to have perspective. It is hard to evaluate things for myself.

I need to just stop typing. Getting sore. So repetitive anyway. Yick.

Let the sun shine

Today, unaccountably, I’m waking up in a good mood. We can’t go anywhere because Noah has the only working vehicle. My day will consist of puttering around the house and yard. I have reading to do.

My bowels have worked in a perfectly acceptable manner for a week now. I haven’t pushed my luck with gluten but I’ve been having eggs and dairy (sometimes on purpose sometimes from stupidity) and I’m doing well.

I have a big bowl of oatmeal with candied pecans and strawberries. I will have a spiffy-as-heck new dishwasher in six days. The car should be done today or tomorrow. Tonight we will go see The Last Unicorn in Pleasanton.

What do I have to complain about? Pain in my arm? Pain in my ankle? Bah. I did those to myself. I’ll stop typing to stop exacerbating the one.

Days 59-62

59- Brekkie: oatmeal, strawberries, banana, pecans, almond milk, sugar, tea

Lunch: gf bread, soy cream cheese, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts, ham, grapes

Dinner: chicken lettuce wrap, chicken fried rice (whoops with egg), Mongolian beef with lots of green onions

Dessert: peanut butter mochi balls

3:45am- long ribbon of yellow poop, formed but thin, smooth like tooth paste

8am- small ribbon of medium brown poop

12:30pm- long, banana-like pieces, smooth, shaped, tooth pastey

60- Brekkie: gf bread, egg replacer, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, lactose free yogurt, sugar, tea, candy cane

Lunch: REO Speedwagon on gf bread with no mayo, rice stick thing

Dinner: chicken, broccolini, mashed potatoes (made with regular dairy)

3pm- long, solid log. brown. minor cracking because it is so firm!!!!

61- Brekkie: Noah-special French toast, yogurt, canadian bacon, maple syrup

Snack: peanut butter candy and banana

Lunch: lettuce, strawberry, parmesan cheese, bleu cheese, pecans, balsamic vinegar, chicken

Dinner: yellow curry with chicken and no onions, spicy green beans, pineapple fried rice, sticky rice

6am- solid, two pieces, banana shaped–a little thin

3:45pm- multiple pieces, mostly formed, clouded when flushed

62- Brekkie: canadian bacon, gf pancakes with blueberries and butter, black tea, sugar, regular pasteurized milk

Lunch: pineapple fried rice, yellow curry,

Snack: banana and peanut butter candy

Dinner: chicken soup, stock, carrots, bok choy, broccoli, roasted tomatoes, potato, celery, celery root, probably garlic, bell peppers, brussels sprouts

Dessert: three cookies. Definitely has egg.

10:45am- very solid brown log

1:15pm- solid poop, on the thin side but formed and brown

 

As far as I can see, that’s seven days in a row of reasonable poop. It’s like fasting for the procedure cleared out my system such that I can poop now. Weird.

Drips and drabs

(The time references will be weird. This was written over multiple days.)

Yesterday morning my dishwasher broke. That sucker is D-E-D. And then last night the Prius died while I was driving on Alameda.

That was after a day of no-medication where I was shrieking and shaking and freaking out about making it to a dance recital on time. It was a festive start to the day. I don’t shriek or shake in front of people I don’t live with. I save that for the Gibbs.

But you know what? I can afford to fix these problems. They are very small problems in the scope of my life. Truly, these are problems that are tiny. I will barely notice the hit to my bank account.

We already bought a spiffy-as-heck dishwasher this morning. It will work better (not hard–ours was a piece of crap when it was new 15-18 years ago), be quieter, and use less water. A total win.

Tomorrow we have babysitting lined up that will make it easy to go back up to Alameda and figure out what the heck is wrong with the Prius. Noah will be slightly inconvenienced but it won’t be a big deal.

In the past two months I’ve had something like eight doctor/dentist visits. That’s a lot of driving. That involves going to Cupertino a few times and Pleasanton a bunch. That has massively cut into my spoons for driving.

One of my friends keeps prefacing comments with, “I’m sorry things are so hard right now” and I feel a little bewildered. On one hand, things certainly aren’t swimming along smoothly. On the other hand shit dude, do I even have problems?!

My belly isn’t being more cooperative than usual but it has calmed down from the serious trouble it was giving me. My ankle is feeling a lot better but I’m still not quite up for running/ice skating. (It twinges if I pull sideways at all–but I’m walking on it more.) I am now up to 7 straight days of pooping normally. I want to throw a party.

I fudged on egg in fried rice on Friday night. By Sunday night I’m still feeling good and pooping solid. I feel so confused by my food stuff. I think that eventually I will find patterns in “I can’t have more than x amount of y food” but right now it is still feeling tricky. At this stage I’m pretty darn sure I don’t have a real allergy. Real allergies are consistent instead of being about, “Well you can have 8 oz of z but not 10 oz.” I have irritation and sensitivity issues.

I’m reading yet more books on living with IBS. The doctors who specialize in it seem to be unsure if they feel hope or not. “You will never be cured. Stop looking for more medical tests to find out what is ‘really’ wrong with you. Learn what your body needs in terms of diet and then learn how to manage the pain. It will be part of you forever. The more you fight it the worse it hurts.”

Well shit, dude.

What I’m appreciating the most is how adamant the consensus is that there is no such thing as a standard treatment. Every individual with IBS has to figure out how it works in his/her body. Much like autism! If you know one person with autism you know one person with autism and you know nothing about the disorder. IBS seems to be somewhat similar.

I’ve got to just say that I felt super validated and supported by the specialists saying that IBS patients tend to be wicked sensitive to medication and are often unable to medicate for their problems because the medications are more problematic. That is a huge validation point.

I’ve already been on every medication they recommend. Can’t take them.

Why can’t I? Because as much familiarity as I have with diarrhea even I have limits. I need to be able to sleep. I need to not hate myself so much that I am incapable of thinking about anything but how much I should die. All the meds recommended for IBS treatment fuck me up. I live with enough suicidality. I don’t need a fucking antidepressant that makes me unable to function through the haze of wanting to die. No thanks. And oh man the insomnia. I went about two weeks without sleeping once in high school.

My longest span of sleeplessness during adulthood was eight days and that freaked my therapist out. I don’t need more meds that make it impossible for me to sleep.

And the drugs that completely kill the libido aren’t an option. I won’t be able to survive that. And my marriage won’t survive that. Just no.

They don’t improve my IBS symptoms so having all the extra shit dumped on my lap is self-hating to such a degree I won’t do it. I’m not going to do it just so I can make doctors feel better about having “managed” me.

The problem with IBS as a diagnosis is–they do have to check and make sure you don’t have other issues. But once they check you shouldn’t keep checking. That’s a hard balance. If you don’t check to start with you don’t know if you have IBS or something much worse. Tricky.

Ok, now it is another day. I’m only sorta still thinking about the things I wrote about above. And my arm hurts really badly. Like, can’t pick up a pitcher of water and pour it with one hand pain.

We spent many hours this morning trying to get the Prius fixed. The first shop couldn’t do it. The Toyota dealership in Oakland will fix it though. It may be expensive but  …

I keep feeling these waves of excitement. When something breaks I can FIX IT. That’s… a weird feeling. It’s an awesome feeling. This is privilege. When I have a problem I can just find pay to fix it. No big deal. My bank account will barely blip. I doubt that our petty cash will drop below six figures. This blows my mind every single day. I’m not poor any more.

Holy fucking shit I’m not poor anymore. When my car breaks I can just fix it. When my dishwasher breaks I can just replace it. Hell, I could walk out and buy a new car today. (I don’t want to do so and I won’t…)

I feel like I don’t have a lot of room to complain about my life this minute. Yes, things go wrong. But I have resources and the ability to fix problems. I am so very lucky.

This morning I got a call from the remodeling company. I should have an email today or tomorrow with the proposed design. Things are moving along.

And I figured out who sent the mushroom kit! It was my friend in Oregon (who is one of my big encouragers for gardening stuff). So exciting! We are supposed to plant on Christmas Eve.

food cravings

I’m alternating between feeling like I’m really craving low calorie foods (I’m weirdly drawn to vegetables–I totally WANT alfalfa sprouts) but I’m super duper hungry to the point where I feel almost frantic.

I feel lethargic and depressed, but better physically. I feel like I’m getting a low amount of bloating/abdominal discomfort but a high amount of the depression flattening.

I downloaded an application that is supposed to help you figure out some of your IBS symptoms. But in order to use the app you have to only eat the meals they tell you to eat exactly how they tell you to eat them. Well that won’t be a useful app for me. I don’t follow directions like that even if I “should”. I’m eating off the “appropriate” list–fuck you for saying it isn’t good enough because I’m not doing it in the way that is easiest for you to program.

I need a nutritionist/doctor who will do breath testing, apparently. IBS specialists say they can test your breath to see what you aren’t digesting properly–the problem is things fermenting in your gut.

Today I have nothing to give. No support. Nothing useful to say. I’m not good. I’m not kind. I’m not worthy. I really want to shove my head through a window. The kids finally cleaned up (took three days) so they are on the screen again. It was good to have that three day break.

Noah tells me that I am reacting to the books-should-be-free thing because I am objecting to what Ayn Rand calls spiritual looting. Great. That will be awesome for my reputation. I can channel Ayn Rand as I get older. That will make me more fucking popular.

I understand that lots of people hate her. I feel like reading Ayn Rand was what allowed me to see my family clearly and divorce them. Before Noah read me Atlas Shrugged I just didn’t see how clearly my family hated me and would wring me dry at the same time. Afterwards it was so crystal clear how they would live off my hard work and be nasty to me for working the whole time.

I’m not overall a Randian, but I think she makes some good points about human interactions.

My family would cheerfully act like Hank Reardon’s family. Be nasty, rude, and demeaning to him while asking him to pay for their extravagant idiocies. Yeah, I can cut off those blood suckers.

I’d like to spend the day in the bathroom cutting. I honestly can’t think of anything else I want to do. It isn’t that we are having a hard day–we aren’t.

Instead I will go make some food and reread a Tamora Pierce book. Thank you, K for the gift of Tamora Pierce. I didn’t know what I was missing.

Feel like I’m fucking up everywhere

I have apparently upset a bunch of people in the unschooling forum by describing those who do a lot of more formal music learning as doing “fancy pants music” as opposed to my making up rhyming songs with no instruments. I wasn’t trying to be an asshole. But apparently I succeed without trying all the time. Wooo.

Yesterday I got into it on twitter with a woman I barely know from home schooling. (Mostly what I know about her is she was kicked out of my home schooling group because she posted a lot of pictures of other peoples kids on her home schooling group website and made it look like we were “clients” for her home schooling assistance organization.) She was posting about how people should give her money to buy books because books should be free for kids. I kind of went off. It wasn’t necessary or nice.

I told her that as long as she thinks books should be free she is saying the time and energy of the authors isn’t worth anything. If you seriously want to campaign hard about how books should be free… you are saying authors should die of starvation. Their children do not deserve to live in homes. If someone knows something you want to know they have to cough it up no matter how it effects their life. I got really mad. The funny part was when she told me not to put words in her tweets. That was funny because her posts are 100% barely-literate hashtags. She doesn’t use words in her tweets.

I know a lot of authors who are struggling to survive. I’m really tired of hearing that it is just that they barely survive.

“Money has no value. We should stop treating it like it is important.” Only she said it in a hashtag run together and not mostly spelled like words. But that is what she said. I told her, “If money has no value why do you keep begging for it on the internet?” That is when she finally got mad enough to write an actual sentence and tell me to stop following her.

She runs indie-gogo campaigns asking people to fund her home schooling efforts nearly once a month.

I’m a judgmental asshole. If you want people to give you money while you are saying loudly that it has no value… I’m going to call you on it. If you are saying that my friends who write books should not be compensated for their time… I’m going to get really fucking hostile. Many of my friends pay their rent and buy their food with money they earn from their writing. Stealing from them is not just.

Yes, I think that kids need access to books. When I said that the solution to her problem (Wanting books and not wanting to pay for them) was the public library she went off on how I just don’t understand. Yeah, I don’t understand that you feel you have the right to benefit from other peoples time and they should suffer to give you benefits. It’s only just.

No kidding people, the public library is the solution for not being able to afford books. Acting like people owe you free books is really… I’m not going to be nice. Fuck you very much. Books cost money. They cost time. If you think you deserve that exchange for free you can fuck yourself. You don’t. You don’t deserve shit. You don’t deserve free books any more than I deserve a mother who loves me. These aren’t things you can “deserve” and then get.

If you want your kids educated for free we have a free public education system. Yes, it isn’t very good.

This is about the most judgmental I will ever be about poverty related stuff.

I have a hard time with the idea that a public education is completely intolerable and unacceptable because… I was entirely publicly educated. Yes, I have done an extreme amount of outside self-study… that’s available to anyone who wants to do it. I think that if you believe your child is owed a free education, here you go. We have a public system set up to provide that.

If you think that your child is owed a free unschooling education where everyone in your community gives you books and money so your kid can do anything (s)he wants… no. You may not have it. That’s not how it works.

Your kid is not owed free ice skating lessons. The fucking instructor needs to eat. Your kid is not owed free music lessons. The fucking instructor needs to eat.

I notice how you only think your child’s “need” to learn is important here. The need of other people to not die doesn’t seem to rank in the importance chart and that’s not something that is going to provoke a lot of sympathy for the needs of your kids.

No, your kid DOES NOT NEED FREE BOOKS and fuck you very much. Your kid needs food, water, and shelter. Those things cost money. The very money you are saying doesn’t matter and you won’t give any to other people to help them provide for the needs of their own children.

People have survived without free books for many tens of thousands of years.

Especially now that we have the internet I think demanding free books is just fucking ridiculous. Get a god damn library card and borrow books on the kindle device on your fucking computer. The whole process is free. (I live in the same county with access to the same system–no really, it is easy to use.) If you have the internet you have no standing to require that people owe you free books. That’s lazy, self-absorbed, and just about malicious.

I know how much it sucks to not be able to afford books. That was my childhood. I am so grateful I can afford to buy lots of books for my kids. I think it is very sad that not every child gets to have a whole library in their house the way my kids get to have a library.

But I don’t think the solution is saying that books shouldn’t cost money. It takes time, energy, and resources to make books. That can’t be just passed along as “free”.

If people started saying with more seriousness that Noah should be giving away the books he was writing I would no longer allow him to write books. He takes time away from his family to write those books. That has a cost *I* have to bear. The money he earns from writing I use to make it easier for me to deal with the fact that he is not with the kids a lot–he is working or writing books most of the time. If someone wants me to just suck it up and bear all the cost… fuck you. No more books for you, asshole. Making your life better at the expense of mine is not a fucking trade I’m making for any fucking asshole who fucking demands it of me. Go to hell.

I feel like an asshole for having this position. But people would line up around the block for Noah to spend 24/7 teaching them for free. I would never see him again if I didn’t have boundaries. He has a lot of stuff to teach that other people can use to go make money. Yes, it has value. Maybe I’m a selfish asshole for not wanting him to share his knowledge completely freely.

I don’t care how many people tell me money doesn’t matter, I’ve been poor and I’ve been rich and I’m going to god damn act like money has value. I like my surprise Hawaiian vacations. I like spending a month in Scotland. I like getting to build a park in my backyard. These things cost money. I don’t think I deserve money more than other people. I think Noah is better at earning it than average. That’s not about “deserving”. It just is.

But I think if you have a product to sell and people want to buy it there isn’t shame in selling your product. I think that demanding that people give something away just because you want to have it and don’t want to pay for it… that’s… that’s a special kind of entitlement.

But this is how rich people always justify keeping poor people down, right?

The thing is: when you are talking about authors not deserving to be paid for their books… mostly you aren’t talking about folks like Noah who write as their second lower-paying-job. I have many women of color in my life who write books. They pay their rent with the proceeds. My stance may seem “convenient” because it is protecting Noah but I’m a lot more concerned with the women who have kids and no other income. They need god damn protection.

I practically give my books away. I charge very little. I’m not selling books to make money. I will cheerfully give a free copy of my books to anyone who asks. I’m not trying to support a family I’m trying to get information out into the ether. Different approach. One I’m perfectly entitled to take if I want to take it.

But no one has the right to demand it of me.

Demanding that I give up my financial security so you can have a little knowledge is… not a fair trade. Saying that someone else should go massively into debt paying for college so they can learn things and then write books for free so that you don’t have to incur debt for the knowledge… that’s a special kind of entitled.

I don’t think I am entitled to other people doing work for me for free. Hell, I think I can pay people buckets of money and still not get them to actually work in a way that is helpful. (Hello medical profession.) And I don’t think this attitude is because I have money in the bank. I had a much larger chip on my shoulder about people giving me things when I had just about no money in the bank.

If you want to find a music teacher and offer to trade cooking meals for classes… that’s great. If you want to find an ice skating coach willing to trade for produce you grow in your yard, awesome.

I don’t think that money is the only valid unit of transaction for “paying” for services. I really don’t. I think trades are totally valuable and worthy. However when you say “books should be free” you aren’t offering to trade for the knowledge. You just want to steal it. And I have no respect for that.

People do not respect things they get for free. If you are able to demand a completely free education (oh wait–one is already available) then you place no value on it. (See recent uptick in home schooling demographics. We don’t appreciate that which we can get for free. Instead we want to reinvent the wheel and do it ALL OUR SELVES which makes it harder and… more valuable.)

I’m not trying to say that all home schooling people expect the community to hand over stuff for free. I’m not saying that wanting free resources is bad. (I think wanting a free public education system and a free library system is basically a healthy set of goals for a society.) I think saying that authors should write for free is crap. What a user. (Either that or you are saying that the government should be subsidizing authors the same way it subsidizes the library and public schools and… that’s a bad idea too.)

There are just as many users in the public system as there are out of it. I don’t think this woman is the only example of entitlement. I’m just being a ranty-pants today.

I haven’t said much that was mean about anybody in a while. I get a backlog of “want to be mean” feelings. I think it is a little funny that my “want to be mean” feelings are now saved up for ranting about how unjust it is that people want free books. That is what I’m getting my panties all in a twist about?

Are you going to tell Toni Morrison that her books should be free? Are you going to tell bell hooks she doesn’t deserve to be paid for her writing?

Oh man. I’m sure they would be better at telling you what is wrong with your position. Much more articulate than me.

I write for free. I’m not saying that authors should never write for free. I am saying readers do not have the right to decide whether or not authors should get paid. I think the author should be allowed to gate keep how much money their writing is worth. If I want to write for free, whatever. If Noah wants to write for pay, it isn’t ok to steal from him.

But would I shoot someone who wanted to steal a copy of his book? That’s where these property-rights come up. Are you willing to shoot someone to defend your stuff? How much force is appropriate to defend your right to “stuff”? I don’t own a gun and I wouldn’t shoot someone to defend my stuff. If someone walked into my house and stole my wedding ring set (by far the single most expensive thing I own) I would not think it was worth killing someone to protect.

I don’t think that people who steal books should go to jail.

I think life is very complicated. I think that people who steal books should be forced to have a full time job in a library so they can be surrounded by books full time and get past the feeling that they must be stolen to be enjoyed.

If what you want is an education, there are many ways to get one for free. Why are you saying books should be free when so many websites want to give you the information for free? All you have to do is look at the blinding ads.

I think my desire to have a friend who wants to talk to me every single day is much like the desire that other people have for free books. If it requires work from someone else you can’t just decide that you want it. Well, you can want it. But you can’t decide that someone else has to provide it. I want a relationship that is close enough that someone wants to speak to me every day. But I can’t demand it. That doesn’t work. You can’t demand that authors give their work away for free. They will stop writing and go find a different job that will provide them with money so they can eat.

There is no deserve in this life. You don’t deserve books. I don’t deserve friends who want to interact with me in the ways I want to be interacted with. I get what people have to give. You get the free books people want to give away as free. You can’t just pick which ones will be free.

Mostly I’m procrastinating. I can’t submit the book anywhere until I can come up with a biography. “Krissy is a stupid bitch who should die” is probably not going to sell copies.

I feel like a mean nasty bitch who should never speak to anyone again. I want to hurt myself so badly.

Oh, didn’t have 8 hours of babysitting yesterday. Second babysitter called and said, “Uhm my phone says I shouldn’t drive anywhere… can we reschedule?” I’m flexible. Even though I’m not really flexible and I have explosions of negative feelings.

My stomach hurts and I feel sad. I feel mean and nasty and like I don’t deserve love at all. I don’t deserve love any more than she deserves free fucking books.

For the record: I’m not sure that I’m “right” and she’s “wrong” on this topic. I’m just babbling.

Day 58

took: pot, fish oil, b-complex, multi-vitamin, probiotics

Pre-Brekkie snacking: mozzarella, banana, strawberry lemonade (for the swallowing of pills) Strawberry and lemons are both “ok” but I’m not 100% confident I should be having this in FODMAPS.

Brekkie: fried potatoes, ham, ghee, sugar, olive oil, cinnamon, tea, almond milk,

Snack: peanut butter candy piece

Lunch: oj x 2 (this was definitely not kosher), beef soup, gf roll

Dinner: spaghetti, tomato sauce, asiago, 1/2 a banana

4:30am- dark brown, toothpaste like, not very solid but fairly connected

10isham- long, thin, like a pencil. very dark brown. pieces were breaking off.

5:30pm- solid pieces, not big, not real hard, very dark brown.

I need a biography.

So I’ll babble for a while. Every company wants a biography. I don’t know what to say.

————————————————–

Krissy Gibbs does not always make wise choices; this means she has really great stories to tell about near death experiences and which safety measures are actually necessary. Krissy had a bad childhood and tried every bad coping method at least once: drugs, sex, alcohol, self-harm, killing yourself, running away from your problems. As far as Krissy is concerned this means she has some great stories to tell, but maybe you should make your own choices for your life.

It is much easier to make good choices when you understand what has happened to other people who have made similar choices.

After barely surviving childhood Krissy decided it was a good idea to be retail service employee, and a library technician, and a food service employee, and a high school teacher, and a graduate student. Apparently suffering is just a lifestyle choice.

These days Krissy home schools her kids and tries to keep in touch with former students. She’s busy painting murals and trying to not lose her mind.

———————————————————–

That is not fucking cheerful. Ha.

I’m not focusing. I don’t know what to say about myself. I think the above is shit.

———————————————————

As a kid Krissy fell through every crack in the system that is supposed to help poor kids with problems. This means she had a lot of time to examine these cracks up close and personal. At this point in time an uncountable number of medical professionals have told Krissy, “You should be dead.” This means she believes her survival to be nearly miraculous and she’d like to talk to you about how it has gone.

Krissy will not tell you what you should do; she doesn’t know. But she will tell you what she would do in a similar situation and then you can decide what is most appropriate for you.

———————————————————–

Krissy is kind of a hard person to describe. Is someone defined more by what happens to them, their personality, or by what they do? Krissy has survived a lot of traumatic events and experienced the benefits of a lot of privilege. She is both kind and very willing to be unkind when there is a reason. She tries to do good for the world, but just about every action can have negative consequences.

How do you measure the worth of a person? Krissy hopes that this book will help other people experience less pain. That seems like the best thing a person can do–lessen how much pain is experienced in the world.

—————————————————————

Krissy Gibbs has the unusual experience of being a high school drop out and a former high school teacher. This dichotomy of having the system not work combined with learning how to help other people navigate the system gives Krissy an unusual insight into the cracks that exist in the system.

Krissy moved more than fifty times before turning eighteen. She has lived in rural towns with one blinking yellow “stop” light and in major urban centers and everywhere in between.

—————————————————————

Much like a cat, Krissy Gibbs has nine lives. S….

fuck this is hard.

I want to say bad things. I want to say Krissy is self-absorbed and self-obsessed and she desperately wishes that her ridiculous self-interest might pay off to help someone else some day.

————————————————————–

That all took almost three hours. Pathetic.

Tone is absent

For the record, I thought “Ha, ha, ha, no” was hilarious. Pam said it was really sad. Oh. Whoops. This is why I have no future as a funny writer. I think it is pretty funny how out of commission I am for sex. (For the record, my ankle only hurts when I’m sitting cross-legged and my foot is pushed sideways. It no longer hurts when I’m sitting in a chair or when I’m walking. Some improvement!)

I went to the grocery store with a FODMAPS shopping list and sauntered through Whole Paycheck practically kicking my heels together. I have so many new options!!! Nothing like extreme deprivation to make you think mild deprivation is awesome. (That’s a for-real-studied-phenomena. If you really get to thinking your life sucks. Take a deprivation vacation and you’ll think your life is awesome when you go back to it.) FODMAPS allows many types of cheeses and low-lactose yogurt and raw milk is probably fine so it barely feels like dairy restriction. No cream cheese or sour cream. Big whoop.

It also helps that Whole Paycheck can accommodate any weird food limitation/need so I was reminded that if you are rich you can eat no matter how annoying your body is. I constantly have feelings about that. I’ve been talking to a lot of the moms in the home school group about body-issues. Many have issues in the same league as mine even if they aren’t exactly the same and… they just can’t afford to follow what they know is “appropriate” for their body. They literally cannot buy the food.

I am so lucky at this stage of my life. My privilege comes from Noah. And I didn’t earn it. And I’m not better than anyone else. And I don’t deserve it more than anyone. I just have it.

I don’t know how to live with it. I mean, I’m living with it. But I don’t know how to be… sensitive? Appropriate? Not an asshole? I don’t know. I don’t have rich people skills.

Rich people and poor people talk about money differently. Not long ago I was talking to one of the wealthier moms and she mentioned that she was interested in buying a set of camping dishes like the set we had. I told her, “How funny because I think I’m getting rid of the set we have because it is too hard to pack due to size–want it?” She offered to pay me.

When poor people hand stuff to their friends, it is rare to expect payment (unless someone starts out saying “I want to sell ____” the expectation is that when you hand stuff off… you hand it off) but with wealthier people I notice that they often offer to pay for things. They want to feel less beholden.

I give things to friends a lot. I donate a lot of things. I don’t do a lot of reselling my stuff any more. Partially because I feel like a leech. I could extract money from the women around me when I have extra stuff, but most of the stuff came to me for free. I have plenty of money and extra. Why should I sell things under those circumstances? It seems… like the reason people hate rich white people. I have extra. I don’t need to wring pennies from people for my cast-off stuff.

But if I needed the money more I’d have no shame about selling stuff. I did it when Noah made a lot less money and there was more of a gap in the budget.

I just… I’m in a weird position and I don’t know how to handle it. I feel awkward when people give me a break financially. Last night the server didn’t charge me extra for the gluten free bread even though she was supposed to. I pointed it out to her. The guy on the Christmas tree lot undercharged me and I pointed it out to him. People are always shocked when I say, “Hey. You undercharged me. This is supposed to be +$10 and you didn’t get what you are supposed to get. Here.” Often they try hard to talk me out of giving them the additional money.

I don’t want to take from people. I don’t need the charity any more. Save your charitable impulses for someone who needs it, they will be along soon. I’m glad you want to be nice and all. If you don’t want me to pay for mine, can I pay for the next persons so you can let them have the benefit?

I owe the world something. I leapfrogged up the ladder so hard and so far that I need to not be selfish about landing where I land. I don’t need to act “deserving”. I need to be humble. Pride means it all goes away. I am so influenced by all the time I spent reading the Bible. (I’ve read that bastard cover to cover. Many parts of it I read many times.)

I spend time talking about the people in my life. I talk to my shrink, my other friends, Noah… I talk about the people in my life. I talk about my feelings and what my behavior should be. I’m not a huge fan of the golden rule (treat others as you want to be treated) I like the platinum rule (treat others as they want to be treated) but that takes a lot of thinking and work and making mistakes and trying other tactics. It takes processing.

One of my friends said something interesting to me about a situation I’m struggling with. She said, “Maybe she needs to not think about the road not taken. Maybe she needs to forget that they exist.” That was kind of startling for me. I… I’m not capable of not thinking about the road not taken. I’m completely fucking obsessed. I’m always in the mode of preparing for additional options. Other people… they don’t work that way.

Lots of people get through their days by putting their heads down and not acknowledging that there are other options possible. That’s how they endure.

I’m sort of vaguely aware of this. I have book learnin’ that tells me this is so. I think it is so fucking weird. But I try to understand people. I try to understand why this works so well for people. I don’t get it. I really don’t. But whether I get it or not, I can clearly see that it is the coping method of choice for many people. Oh. Yeah, that’s probably part of what is going on in that situation over there. Yeah, I would be quite distressing under those circumstances. Whoops. Crap.

I had a different conversation with a different friend about how we can manage our interesting overlapping PTSD triggers. I like treating these things like they matter and will take work. That way I don’t just hurt someone and then tell them to go away when we have overlapping issues.

Today I have lots of babysitting time and no ability to do outside work. I think today is a day for me to work on getting my book out to publishers. I have eight hours of babysitting today (in split shifts with more than one person) so I should be able to get some work done. That will be exciting. I haven’t made book progress in many months. I completely stalled.

Other than book stuff I can’t think of much I have to do today. The storm cancels out the majority of the tasks sitting here waiting for me. (There are many things I need to do… most of them are outside. Like putting together the travel trailer. I bought it then got really sick and haven’t had the physical strength to go move around the huge pieces of metal alone. I’ll get back to it. Damnit.)

I have made contact with a nutritionist who was recommended by a friend. She’s in Chico. She gave me contact information for people in Oakland and Berkeley. Someday some interesting people will move to Fremont. That day hasn’t come yet. Well… I’m here…

Another friend passed along contact information for a doctor who could help me out with fecal transplant, I just have to get to Portland, Oregon. (I do that pretty regularly.)

Being rich changes things. “Just suffer” isn’t really the same sort of situation. I have options that exist in the world. There are more things to try… if you have time and money. It feels crazy to me.

I want to talk to a nutritionist because I don’t really understand what the symptoms of having specific food problems look like. I was told yesterday that if dairy doesn’t give me horrible smelling gas I almost certainly don’t have dairy problems and I should reintroduce it to give myself more variety. (The person who said this has been to college for a medical degree so I’m less snotty about her telling me her opinion on this sort of thing than I could be.)

Why do I go back and forth between believing people with medical degrees more and hating them so much? Because it feels like they have the knowledge to help me it is just whether or not they think I am actually worth thinking about. I’m a hard puzzle. I’m work to figure out. They went to school to help them learn how to figure out puzzles like me. Most of them have decided that I’m too much trouble and I should be silenced. “Just eat more cereal” is a silencing sort of answer.

When someone tries everything they can think of and it all fails… I don’t get mad in the same way. I’m sad, but grateful they tried. I understand that different methods work for different people. I’m ok with the knowledge that some of the things I try will fail. I’m not ok with the feeling that the doctors don’t care very much and aren’t willing to try very hard. When someone isn’t willing to try very hard I hate them and hate them and hate them and hate them. I hate them with all the fury I normally reserve for my mother and father.

Because they don’t love me enough to try. Big theme.

My needs are too big. So they just aren’t worth trying to meet. Ok.

I have several tabs open on my Chrome screen for doctors I will call in January. That’s when I get my new insurance information. My neighbor has had a nightmarish journey over the past few years on her journey to a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis. Her husband said she found a great gastroenterologist in town and I’m going to try talking to the woman. Worth a try. I’ll talk to the nutritionist in Chico (and hell, maybe the one in San Diego my other friend recommended). I’ll talk to the poop-transplant-doctor in Portland.

Because that is what privilege gives you. The ability to pay for the time of professionals. Sometimes it feels crazy.

I am very grateful that I get to keep trying things. That is such an unbelievable gift. That is hope all wrapped up in a shiny wrapping with a string.

I got to wake up and eat a cheese stick this morning. There is still hope.

Day 57

I feel like I cheated. I ate a large variety of foods I haven’t eaten in a while. They are all on the fodmaps list, but they represent a massive expansion of types of food and I feel liberated. It’s kind of funny.

Brekkie: gf steel cut oatmeal, strawberries, almond milk, sugar, black tea

Lunch: gf bread, soy cream cheese, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts (that’s the sandwich–it’s hella good), arugula, spinach, vegan honey mustard (contained a little onion–crud), brownie, grapes, carrots

Dinner: more salad! lettuce, arugula?, some radish slices, olives, sweet potato tots (so fucking good), ham and brie sandwich on gf bread.

5am: multiple small solid-ish pieces, very dark. (technically hard to see through blood)

7pm: small pieces, dark brown, very soft

7:30pm: very soft, bordering on diarrhea, still gnarly dark brown

Days 55-56

55 needs updating

From 2-4 am I drank Sprite and chicken broth. Then I gave myself enemas to make sure I had nothing in me. Many enemas. Oh god.

Lunch: mozzarella, goat cheese (fodmaps says these cheeses are ok and if fodmaps says so I’m fucking eating them), gf roll, ham, mustard, cabbage, olive oil

Dinner: rice pasta, tomato sauce, basil, carrot, paprika, asiago

I had diarrhea, just a little, over and over all day. I didn’t track. (Yellow bile. Hurt. Burned. No fun.) Not worth it. I also started bleeding like a stuck pig right after the sigmoidoscopy. This is the heaviest period I’ve had since my post-partum bleeding. I’m cramping like a mother fucker and I can’t take pain meds because of the scoping. Wheeee.

56- pills taken: pot, b-complex, multi-vitamin, Chinese digestion herbs (from acupuncturist), fish oil, probiotics

Brekkie: rice cereal, almond milk, mozzarella, prosciutto, black tea, sugar

Snack: peanut butter candy Noah made. mmmmm.

Lunch: gf roll, soy cream cheese, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts (this was hella good–I am craving raw green things something fierce), banana

Dinner: beef soup (home made stock, steak, bok choy, ginger, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers) gf. roll, lemonade

Dessert: brownies my friend made for the open house. Mmmmm tastes like love. And no egg brownies. Yay!

3am- solid log of brown poop

2:30pm- solid brown poop–not a full log. Dainty-like.

This morning wasn’t a solid log, but it was solid pieces and being on my period usually liquifies my bowels. So I thought that was pretty good.

 

Ha, ha, ha… no.

Noah wanted to get frisky last night. Dude.

On Monday they stuck a scope up my butt, which was already completely flipping out from diarrhea and hemorrhoids. So that means my butt is not happening.

I started bleeding about two hours after the scoping procedure and this is the heaviest period I have had in many years. I’m soaking through overnight post-partum pads in 4-5 hours and I don’t do that. I don’t really want to clean the bed up from a blood bath so uhm…. no.

And I had dental surgery just recently and I had to go in yesterday morning to have extra drilling/shaping done on the new crown because when I keep my jaw open for a two hour dental appointment, by the end I am physically incapable of delivering my normal bite and they can’t adjust everything. My dentist said, “With folks like you (TMJ + panic disorder) often the muscles get so inflamed during a procedure that we have to have multiple adjustments over many weeks as the muscles heal from the procedure. So keep your jaw shut as much as possible for another few weeks to let the muscles heal.” I thought but didn’t say to the dentist, “Ahhh… no blow jobs.”

Do I need to mention that my arms hurt too much for a hand job?

So yeah. There goes our sex life.

So he wanted to rub against me for a while. I had to stop him because he was rubbing in a way that made the cloth pad rub really hard on my hemorrhoids and that is just not fun.

Then he tried rubbing on a different part of me and I had an intense horrifying flashback of my father doing exactly that when Noah reached in to kiss me and his beard started tickling my face.

I’d like a new body and new brain, please?

Weird food cravings.

want salad. This is not a usual craving for me. Also: I don’t feel “hungry” but I feel drastically under-caloried, if that makes sense. I feel like I’m not eating enough to sustain my activity so I’m weak and tired. But I don’t feel like I have stomach capacity for more food.

I agree shalyndra–it is really unhappy making that no doctors seem concerned about my Rainbow o’ Poop. I see everything from reddish brown to bright bright bright yellow (it’s practically neon) to the weirdest green. Sometimes I get this intense maroon brown, which is supposed to be kind of bad but no doctors seem to care.

Man. Food.

Lettuce is actually on the FODMAPS list. I didn’t buy any today. Instead I got arugula and spinach and I hope that will satisfy the same craving. I know I need more greens than I’ve been getting. I know I also need way the hell more fiber but that’s tricky without gluten.

Working on it.

I find it funny that I was sent home from the appointment yesterday with guidelines for treating constipation. Since obviously if I have hemorrhoids I must have constipation. Actually, I’ve had them since Shanna’s pregnancy. And I don’t get constipated if by “constipation” you mean that it is difficult to poop or my poop is really hard.

What I’m sending to member services this morning

Dear Member Services

Yesterday I went in for a procedure. I was not told in advance what procedure I was to be given. When I finally received an instruction set (after the appointment had to be rescheduled because I was given no prep instructions the first time) I looked up the preparation online. Looked like I was getting a colonoscopy–otherwise there would be no reason for three days of low fiber/eating practically nothing before the day of all liquids.
Yesterday when I got to the hospital they informed me I was not getting a colonoscopy. I was getting a sigmoidoscopy. Now that I have had a chance to come home and look up the difference between these procedures (and the expected preparation) I am completely furious. I feel mishandled and abused.
Why did I have to go through three days of practically not eating for a procedure that would only check 1/3 to 1/2 of my colon? That is not necessary. That is a terrible thing to do to me. And given the degree of problems with diarrhea I have, what I was just given was an incomplete exam such that I will have to go through this procedure again to check the rest of my colon.
I am so upset that I am crying and I haven’t stopped shaking in a day. I feel like Kaiser has demonstrated time and time again that they have no caring for their patients. As of January 1st I will no longer be a Kaiser patient and I will never come back in my lifetime. I’m tired of doctors treating me this way. This is entirely unprofessional, disgusting, and abusive.
Kristine Gibbs.

 

Fud. next step.

I came home from Kaiser with a list of things I’m supposed to start eating. A large number of them directly conflict with what I have been eating or what I’ve been told to eat so far.

I’m going back to FODMAPs. That is the most sane group of limitations that seems to have some relationship to my health issues. Although eggs are considered awesome in FODMAPS and I really think they aren’t working for me.

But of course, my problems are all conflated with anxiety. Maybe I have no food problems and I’m just crazy.

Kaiser continues to unimpress me.

Sigmoidoscopy. That’s the name of the procedure I experienced today, which makes me pretty unhappy because I thought I was going in for a colonoscopy. They decided not to give me one. They found lots of hemorrhoids inside and outside so now they want me on high fiber. They sent me home with the constipation diet regime. Because clearly constipation is my problem.

163/91 was my blood pressure, which is ridiculously high for me. I border on problems for low blood pressure. I’ve never seen my blood pressure higher than 125/85. They thought that was fine. Mostly my blood pressure hangs out in the 115/79 range. I go as low as 110/75. But it’s no problem if it goes super high. You are fine. The lady said I was just nervous and I had a laxative.

I am very grateful for my friends’ company today. They tried to tell her she couldn’t stay with me. I picked someone as forceful as me and between the two of us saying She Is Staying they relented. They told me that next time I can’t have anyone with me. I said then I will never have another procedure done at Kaiser.

Which is probably true. I am glad I got this testing done for a whopping $20.

I’ve been shaking all day. I feel like shit. I should eat now. But right this second I don’t feel like I can.

Days 49-55

(This is getting so hard. I feel so little hope.)

49- Brekkie: rice Chex, almond milk, turkey bacon, black tea, raw milk, sugar

Lunch: turkey soup, gf bread roll, peppermint tea

Dinner: turkey, Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, I think juice.

4am: big cloud of green poop, entirely soft

1:30pm: log of greenish but mostly brown, hard to wipe up–sticky

50- Brekkie: gf pancakes, blueberries, maple syrup, turkey bacon, tea, raw milk, sugar

Lunch: gf roll, turkey soup, grape juice, I had a Pepsi and one meringue cookie before I had the brilliant thought “meringue= egg”. Fuck. (It was hella good though.)

Dinner: lemon rice, carrots, kale, garbanzo beans, onions, garlic, tomato, coconut milk, xanthum gum, ginger, cilantro, cayenne pepper, turmeric, galangel, probably more spices

1:30pm: small brown logs (multiple)

8pm: many small green pieces

51- Brekkie: fried potatoes, bacon, gf roll, peppermint tea, ginger ale

Lunch: gf/dairy free apple pie

Dinner: white rice, turkey, ginger ale

7:15pm- completely solid wicked green log.

52- Brekkie: gf roll, mustard, chicken lunch meat, coconut milk yogurt

lunch: rice, turkey, chicken

dinner: gf roll, vegan cream cheese, chicken

5:30am: very solid brown log

2ishpm: lots of small pieces, yellowish brown, very soft, turned to cloud when flushed

6:15pm: small yellow pieces–clearly diarrhea

53-Brekkie: gf pancakes, pork bacon, maple syrup, black tea (with some caffeine) (no milk or sugar)

Rest of day: rice, soy sauce, mustard, chicken, ham. Eaten at intervals during holiday party.

7:15am: completely liquid yellow

8:30am: little squirts of yellow diarrhea

54- NO SOLID FOOD.

I had jello- lemon and berry blue, chicken broth, apple juice, and Sprite. In the evening I took magnesium citrate to cause more diarrhea.

5:15am- yellowish paste-like poop. Lots of air and pushing before stuff could come out.

Starting at 12:30pm I had diarrhea every 30-90 minutes until about 9pm. Then I fell asleep and slept till 2am when I woke up to start the diarrhea over again.

Day 55 is today. I drank chicken broth and Sprite between 2 and 4am. I have used two enemas this morning. My butt hole hurts so bad I want to cry just sitting still.

I’m sure I will eat something later. I may even be good and come back and record it. As of this moment, it sucks to be me. My friend picks me up in a little over half an hour. My appointment is in less than an hour now.

Oh god. Someone is going to touch my anus. This is so bad.

Edited.

I want to say incredibly hostile things about someone. But I won’t because that won’t be helpful. I should just be happy when other people get to the party not be upset because it took them so fucking long. But sometimes people repulse me.

Sometimes my fellow humans make me think the only good thing for the planet would be to kill my whole species.

Probably doesn’t help that I’ve had burning diarrhea hourly for the past 30 hours and I finished the third Hunger Games book again this morning. I doubt that makes me feel happier about my species. I’m really dreading having medical professionals touch my anus because those bastards are never gentle.

This sucks.

I have had so much diarrhea in the last 24 hours that it is kind of horrifying. It burns and burns and burns and burns. Based on the color of things coming out of me, the blue jello went through me in under an hour. I would guess that the extreme burning is stomach acid coming through with the poop.

Noah and I had a very unfun conversation about “support” and medical procedures. Namely: that begging on my blog for a friend to come with me is how I get support during medical procedures and I’m not all that happy about that. He agreed that it kind of sucks. That said, we both think DSH may be slightly more useful in managing Kaiser anyway.

Basically I said, “Remember me begging for you to be more involved in Calli’s pregnancy and you remember how you didn’t do it? Yeah. At this point begging other people for help seems more productive so I don’t waste my breath asking you any more.” That can’t be fun to hear.

When my family sat down to a lovely dinner I wanted to go in the bathroom and cut. I didn’t, but that was all I could think about. Not being able to eat is becoming a real problem for me. Psychologically this is getting really bad.

Yes, I know that I was going to have nasty diarrhea right now by design. They made me take a fucking laxative (as if I need help causing diarrhea) and I’ve had no fiber in four days, going on five. Apparently no fiber also causes me major diarrhea. So I’m going to have diarrhea right now. This is for a medical procedure.

But my poop book is an exercise in crying and feeling bad. I have a few days in a row that are ok then I’m back to diarrhea and I haven’t cheated on wheat or dairy in a while. And I still have wicked diarrhea all the time. Somehow I am finding it hard to believe that wheat and dairy are the problem when I’m up to day 55 and I still mostly have diarrhea. Yes, I did cheat a few days so I suppose there are going to be people who tell me it is all my fault I haven’t really cleared my system so I can’t truly be sure. But give me a fucking break.

I’ve had wheat on five or six days out of the last 55. I don’t think wheat is the current problem. I really don’t. Yes, I understand that a lot of the current problem is stress (when I’m not preparing for a medical exam) and I don’t know how to get that out of my life.

Part of the problem is, if you start telling me how anxiety causes my diarrhea you spike my anxiety… and my diarrhea… and you convince me that the only solution is dying. It is my fault I suffer. The only way out is death.

Now, after several mugs of broth I know I just couldn’t do the GAPS diet. If I tried drinking straight broth daily I would throw up after a few days. Just like I can’t consistently take multi-vitamins or I projectile vomit them. Festive!

I’m scared that I am going to get to the end of this procedure and have the same diagnosis I have now–IBS. The thing about IBS, they don’t know what causes it and other than managing stress and trying to figure out which foods trigger you the worst… nothing can be done. And the foods that trigger you aren’t true allergies. You just have to play with food forever and someday something will give you wicked diarrhea and sometimes not. (Some people get constipation. The internet makes me think that I am starting to alternate constipation and diarrhea because that would explain the massive uptick in gas pain. Since starting this elimination diet the pain in my belly is 4 or 5 times as bad as it was. I *never* got abdominal pain like this from gas before the elimination diet. Sometimes I double over in pain and have to breath for a while.

Sometimes I think the gas pain is worse than labor. I think it is funny that I am developing this list of things that have happened to me that actually hurt worse than labor. Given that I had a 9 day unmedicated labor at home followed by a hemorrhage that left me unable to walk for two weeks… that really is kind of saying something.

Right now it is 3am. I woke up at 2am to drink as much as I can. Only clear fluids at this point. No liquid past 4am. Not till after lunchtime. Seemed important to tank up now. And quite frankly: when you have this much diarrhea, getting dehydrated hurts. Yay Sprite! I am drinking Sprite! Even though it has carbonation. Fuck the universe. I already hurt. I need calories. If I have more apple juice I will puke. (I’m also drinking home made stock. Which, at the bottom of the cup, makes me totally fucking gag. It’s great in soup. By itself… not my thing.)

I’m going to drink a minimum of four cups of liquid. Maybe I’ll try to force six cups into me. Phew. Now the broth is gone. Bleh. Yuck. Ew. Cover the taste with SUGAR!

We had a great interview with a babysitter last week and she no-showed last night. I looked at her profile again last night and I’m the fourth one star review saying she interviews great then never shows up to work. At least it isn’t personal? A different babysitter no-showed an interview yesterday.

I’m kind of amazed by how many people will email me telling me they want a job and they they either don’t show up to interview or they interview and don’t show up for work. It is just about impossible to find people who want to show up consistently and earn money. They want money but they think that an exchange of their labor for the money is ridiculous. Given that I pay right in the middle of the babysitting scale for my area it isn’t that I’m under paying.

My shrink keeps telling me that I have to find another babysitter. Given that I can spend 10-20 hours a week on hunting for a babysitter only to end up with no babysitter (there have been a minimum of six weeks that I’ve tried this since Shanna was like two) I’m starting to question the point of the search. I could find a daycare to drop them off at, no problem. I can’t find people who want to consistently come to my house to babysit. That’s just… onerous. (Thank goodness for the homeschooled teenager three doors down. But her parents are looking for a house in Modesto. I’m going to cry a lot.)

In positive news: we got a Christmas tree yesterday. I put up the lights and garland and I let the girls decorate the rest. So we have kind of a hilarious band of ornaments. It actually makes me feel very happy. This is the range of their current competence, neatly illustrated. so cute.

In general I feel the kids deserve medals for how patient they are being with me lately. When I start crying when I’m eating (because man my food doesn’t taste good anymore) Shanna comes and pets my shoulder and tells me, “Mom I know this elimination diet is really tough. But it’s not forever. You can get through this. We will figure out how to make you hurt less. Then we’ll figure out how to make it taste good.”

I feel so guilty for my suicidal thoughts. How could anyone want to get away from someone as wonderful as Shanna? Or Calli. Oh man Calli has been the biggest love bug lately.

I feel grateful all the time that I get to be with my kids instead of people who wouldn’t appreciate them as much. Sometimes my friends tell me they would “shut Shanna up” and I think “That’s why I’m so glad she’s my daughter and not yours. I don’t want to shut her up.”

Calli has been trying to figure out volume stuff lately. She’s experimenting with whispering voices and how close to someones head you have to be for what volumes. I think it is wonderful.

Once in a while Shanna asks me what’s wrong. I suppose at those times I don’t have a great facial expression. I tell her, “Something isn’t going right with my body or I would be smiling. You are enough reason to smile all day every day. But my body isn’t.”

Recently a woman I know was talking about her experience moving through the world with what she described as “resting bitch face”. I don’t think I have that. Of all the ways I trigger people to be more hostile to me, I at least skip one magnetic pull for hostility. I’m a smiler. Big time. Safety decision. A very long time ago I figured out that doing something other than smiling was kind of dangerous.

I feel weird about what I’m teaching my daughters. Don’t be quiet. Smiling is safer. Take up space in the world. People will protect you more if they have more of an emotional bond with you and the way to create that bond is to seem personable and friendly no matter how you feel. Your feelings don’t matter; the feelings you cause other people to have matter.

I’m glad my kids are getting to the point where they will rattle off that clothes don’t make you pretty; your behavior, or not, makes you pretty.

It has taken many many many times of saying, “I’m not going to tell you that you are pretty because you changed your clothes. I’m going to tell you that you are pretty if your behavior is awesome.” Earn it or you don’t get it.

I’ve had many people tell me over the past 15 years that I’m not one to give idle praise and that is part of why people trust my praise. I won’t say you are awesome until you are and then I will say it thousands of times.

If you believe suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems then I want to live with you for 15 years and cause you as many emotional and physical problems as I have before we have a conversation. And fuck you while we are at it.

I want to stay. I want to see my kids grow up. More than anything I want to find out what Shanna is like as a 35 year old woman. Whoa. What will Calli do with her life? I can’t guess. She doesn’t even have any “When I grow up” beliefs yet. Other than wanting to be near me.

There is no doubt in my mind that if I had not had children I would be dead. Sometimes it seems like cheating that having kids is not only as good as I hoped it would be, it is better. I could never have imagined all of the life I have now. I didn’t have the imagination. And I’m going to do some intensely cool things in the future. Even if I do have diarrhea.

My shrink tried to tell me that if I get a “real diagnosis” that means I’m likely to have diarrhea forever that will be the end of travel. I laughed. I told her that I have a travel toilet. I’m going.

My kids are going to see this country. And many others. My kids are going to find out what a range of humans exist here. My kids have so much privilege that sometimes it kind of breaks me. My kids are growing up being told that with great privilege comes great responsibility. I say things like, “There are a lot of people in this world who are so hungry they are not able to think of solutions to the larger problems. It is the responsibility of people who have enough and more to solve these problems because you have the ability to think. If you waste what you have, that is terrible. That is hurtful. You are damaging the people who cannot do what you are doing just out of… what? Not wanting to? Not wanting to deal with making mistakes and having to learn from them? You are going to fuck up in ways big and small. Try to change things. The world needs changing.”

A former student told me that Outrunning Suicide is the book she wishes she had read when she was twelve. She said she cried because of all the mistakes she made during her teen years that could have been avoided if she had read this book. I need to find the time and motivation to submit this for publication. Man it takes spoons. She described it as “It’s like The American Girl Body Book but grown up…”

She says I’m very good at presenting facts and options and not telling people what to do. *phew*

I don’t want to tell you what to do. I don’t know what you should do.

H’okay. 90 minutes since I’ve been in the bathroom and 5 cups of liquid later time to leave the garage. Have a good day, y’all.