Tuesday, July 26, 2011

We're Moving!

I'm getting a bit disenchanted with Blogspot and have moved to WordPress; combining both ‘The Rant’ and ‘Shear’s Shorts’ into one site.  You’ll be able to read updates on my day-to-day activities as a disabled veteran, and catch up on my recent poetry, photography, and short fiction.  I hope you all find this as exciting as I do, and I’m excited to have you visit.

Here's the Link!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Where Has Kevin Been

  The long and short of it is I've been buried in pain and unconsciousness.  When I've been well enough to be awake and about, I've spent that time with my family.  My humblest apology to all my readers for this neglect.  I value your opinions, thoughts, feelings, and all the care and respect that you've showered me with.  I'm sorry that my two blogging projects were put on hold for so long, and I'm looking forward to getting back into them.

  I find it vaguely humorous that this dilemma is exactly why I stopped guitar lessons.  I loved to teach, but when I had the strength to do anything I did it with my family.  This time around has been more about me not being able to do much of anything over the past weeks.  I've been getting up, eating, and trying desperately to get back to sleep to avoid my pain.  Typically, this process ends when I pass out on the couch from the pain, and come to some time later to get a drink, and then repeat the process.
  Not all days have been bad.  I had a nice, long day last week, spending time with my best friend, Jhon Baker.  That adventure took place on Wednesday and I didn't recover until late yesterday.  I was able to go watch my son swim again last week.  That half hour ordeal left me worried that I wouldn't be able to make the Wednesday trip...
  This is the way my life works; is carefully balanced.  I have to select what I want to spend time on, and let go of everything else.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Battle Won

For those of you who haven't heard yet, we won our Social Security trial on Friday.  Now all that is left is to tackle the beaurocratic mess for V.A. benefits.

  The trial was set to begin at 9 a.m., and we were informed that we needed witnesses to be present.  The case doors opened at 9:30, and the actual proceedings didn't begin until 10:30.  There was no room for my wife or mother to attest to my claim.  Most of the delay was due to the judges computer monitor not working.
  Once the trial began I was sworn in, and questioned for thirty minutes by the judge.  The questions ran from, "what kind of disability do you have," to "What kind of guitar do you play?"  Then the judge opened the floor for their "medical expert" witness.  An overweight foreigner, with an unpronounceable name.  His degree in internal medicine, with a specialization in gastro-intestinal, really had no bearing on my case, and as he presented his facts he stared at me and wore this crooked, snobby, smile that wreaked of contempt.
  He began by stating that he was well versed with my case, and began to suggest that I didn't have CRPS. He claimed that there was no physical symptoms demonstrated or recorded in the medical evidence, and that he concurred with the findings of a quack neurologist we had to see at North Chicago.  The neurologist had recorded that I was non-compliant with my medications, and that I had a somatic conversion disorder.  Basically that it was all in my mind.  I couldn't keep my mouth shut...
  I started by listing all the physical findings that had be documented throughout my various trips to Milwaukee.  That my foot had lost a half inch of length and the hair growth on my right foot had thinned (findings by the orthopedic doctor), that my foot and leg were dark red and swollen (recorded by several doctors), and the end all for diagnosis of RSD, that there was a remarkable change in temperature variation after sympathetic blocks.
  He began by stating that he didn't have any of those records.  I replied that those were all records that should have been obtained by the administration for my appeal; that it was reprehensible that they had not pulled any new information for the appeal.  The judge agreed.
  The doctor then stated that the podiatrist notes should be disregarded because he's not a neurologist or pain specialist.  To which I kept my mouth shut, but wanted to point out that he was neither a neurologist or a pain specialist.
  His next attack was that people never get their RSD back once it goes into remission.  There are tons of documented cases of individuals that have had a remission period that ended with the re-emrgence of symptoms.  He claimed that he didn't have any studies there to demonstrate his point, and thus couldn't argue one way or another.
  He finally stated that it was not required of us to prove that I had RSD because he was going to find in our favor regardless.  This was a means of him stating that he didn't know anymore, and that he was giving up, without admitting that he gave up.  I still wanted to punch him in the face, and I still want to go lynch that neurologist from North Chicago.  That neurologist had even stated to my wife and I that he didn't believe in RSD, that it didn't exist.  And he's the one that everyone turns to in regards to my case...

  Regardless, the battle is over for SSDI.  We should be collecting in about a month or two.  The judge ruled with a bench decision, as opposed to mailing his decision in a week or two.  That helped speed the process.  He also stated that he did believe that I had RSD, completely overruling the statements of the pudgy, snide, idiotic, medical specialist.
  I will be creating a tabbed page with information on how to insure you get your SSDI for people with RSD/CRPS who are trying, but haven't succeeded yet.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Delayed Update

  Sorry for the delay in updating my information.  I've been fairly laid up and unable to do much, and when I was able to do something I did it with my family and then spent a few days paying for it.

  With that said...

  Friday's appointment with my primary care was a joke.  We arrived early in the morning for my fasting blood draw, which went fine, and then patiently waited for my appointment.  The Pain Clinic was supposed to have put in directions and recommendations for all of my new medications so my primary care could fill them, but, go figure, when it came time for him to put in the prescriptions he couldn't do a single one.  There was also a recommendation in the system for me to stay on Fentanyl and utilize oxycodone to control break through pain.  The only thing that was correct was the request for the new muscle relaxers...
  Up I went to the pain clinic to find out what had happened to our plan.  The pain fellow, a very snobbish, young, indian woman told me that everything I had heard was wrong.  That there wasn't a decision to move to a new narcotic, and that the primary care could put the prescription in for cymbalta.  Now, I had just come from the primary care who showed me that it wasn't within his computer options to place the order.  Her comment was that he didn't want to...
  This is also the little tart who claims to have only talked to me once on the phone, and then changes her tone to two phone conversations.  She doesn't chart properly.  Because of her negligence in changing the dosage of my venlafaxin I ran out.  I was even told by the pharmacy that this was a terrible mistake on her part.  She still claims that it's not proper to change the dosages while titrating up...
  This woman has made so many claims that have been false.  It's nauseating to even deal with her.  I honestly can't wait for her to be replaces by the next individual.  Hopefully they'll have a better grasp on proper treatment and correct procedures.

  So I'm waiting for my cymbalta to be approved.  They aren't going to move me over to methadone until after the cymbalta is in play, and I'm on a new muscle relaxer.  I'll update my medications page with the correct information.
  On a side note, I'm now on Synthroid.  It seems that my Thyroid isn't working properly anymore.  Since there's no family history it would seem that this is due to the medications.  This aught to be a magnificent battle to get the doctor's to admit it, because until I do, I will be paying out of pocket for the medications.

  Tomorrow is my hearing for SSDI.  I'm terribly nerve racked about the whole ordeal.  Amy is getting a wheelchair from her work for me so that I can get around a bit easier, and I've been told that there will be a location within the court room for me to be prone and keep my leg up.  The attorneys seem to be very excited about the case, and very confident, so I'm going to do my best to trust in them and try and relax...
I'll have more updates tomorrow evening after the ordeal, if I'm not incapacitated...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the Shadows

This post will more than likely be dark, disturbing, and contain profanity.  I will not be upset if any of my readers stop reading here...

  I've been stripped of my ability to drive, go for a walk, pour a glass of milk or water, shower daily, shave daily, fix my own meals, and clean my area of living.  This week I've been stripped of the desire to do anything.  No postings, just a few lines here and there in scattered journals, my personal journal left empty for too long.  And now I'm finding myself angry.  I have no where to aim my venom, and have been lashing out in every direction.  I simply want to yell 'FUCK' into the wind and let it find the ears of everyone.
  Three days have passed since I made an inquiry of the VFW.  They still haven't called me back.  In a perfect world those agencies that render the hopeless veteran homeless should be homeless as well.  I'm willing to bet that they'd all work a bit faster, act in a more diligent way, if they found their shelter missing every time they played these games.  For as much drag time that they have, you'd think they were disabled too.  Could you imagine if they had to work while suffering with pain that blinds; renders the victim feeble minded.  We showed Illinois the governments bare ass, caught them with their pants down, and there still is little progress made.
  Perhaps, if the nation (or the state) had to sacrifice like our service members, they'd have a different perspective.  Perhaps if they all had to spend just a few days crippled and in pain, they'd never let a transgression of this magnitude to go on.
  I still haven't heard from my mayor.  He didn't have anyone running against him... again...  Where does a non-caring windbag have a secure job where he doesn't have to do anything?  Crystal Lake, Illinois.  I've often spent time thinking about causing him as much pain as I suffer with and watch him.  I think I'd actually laugh.  I honestly don't think the bastard has had one day of adversity in his whole life.
  I've been lectured about respect, and I live in a place where I don't feel that I'm offered any.  My door is constantly opened and shut while I rest, my work is interrupted when I'm actually able to accomplish anything, my belongings and my safe haven are often trashed.  Where is the respect?  Today I rose to requirements stemmed from individuals simply not wanting to follow simple directions, and now I can't rest because there's voices in my room (yes, they belong to people) that are annoying.  I have to ask for permission to see my daughter, but no one asks me my permission to have their friends over.  They simply don't care what condition I'm in, what I suffer with.  The rules only apply to myself, my wife, and my child.  They're one-sided and ignored when they don't fit the life style of those who are housing us.
  Now most people will be up and arms at this statement.  I can hear the comments already.  "It's their house, and they can do that," "They don't have to follow rules if they're in place for only you," etc.
  Perhaps the voices of opposition are right.

  So with no regard to me, life moves on in whatever way it wants here.  It seems like those who have given us shelter don't feel like they need to bother, like I don't need to be.  That's it...
  I feel like I don't need to exist; as if there is no regard to me and my situation.  I feel like the government has swept me into a corner, and my providers of shelter have completely disregarded what I go through.  I feel like a small fleck of dirt; tired, and drawn thin, from the constant sweeping into corners.  I find my breath hard coming, and the pressures of trying to demonstrate my existence slowly compressing me into nothingness.
  I'm tired, of just about everything......

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hurry Up and Wait

  Ah, the old axiom of the Marines, 'Hurry up and wait...'
  As I had previously shared, I've been told to utilize new medications.  I haven't started the new regimen yet because they need to be prescribed by my Primary Care.  I won't see him until next Friday.  In the mean time I'm expected to continue with current medications.
  The real exacerbation is the amount of money wasted on these older drugs.
  Rather than simply send me partial fills they've sent me full month supplies of all of my old medications.  This means I'll have near three weeks worth of medications to throw away.  What a waste.

  This week I'm going to try and adhere to a schedule to see if this helps mitigate my symptoms and boost my productivity.  My current approach doesn't seem to be helping any, may as well try something different.
So I'm scheduled to awake at 8 in the morning (this morning I actually woke at 7:30), and have scheduled time frames for different works.  I hope this gives me the chance to take a little more control back...

  We received a letter in the mail, from my attorney, with a few attachments.  The first attatchment was a request of acknowledgement in regards to the date, time, and location of the hearing.  I had signed and sent in this same form several weeks ago when it was sent to me directly.  The second was a request for all my current medications.  This information is all in my medical documentation which they are supposed to have a full copy of.  The VA even prints a medications page, which lists all medications prescribed over the service members life time.  The last attachment was a request for a work history.  Now, when I filed the initial claim I did a detailed work history, and for my appeal I did another detailed work history, what the hell do they need a third one for?  What a complete waste of time.
  The letter itself actually asks me to bring any pay stubs from work I had done during the course of my disability.  Amy freaked.  She felt this was a mark of ignorance on the attorney's part.  I'm starting to wonder myself now.  I had explained that it was probably a simple form letter they send to every client.  Perhaps I should give them a ring on Monday, if I remember...

  The Chicago VA medical center finally got me in for the scan of my back that was requested by the compensation and benefits doctor.  My case has been held up for three weeks because of their inability to pick up the phone and give me a call back to schedule the appointment.  I finally called the advocate and explained that this was exactly why I have all my treatment done in Milwaukee.  I doubt they'll find anything.  More than likely I'll get a phone call from the doctor asking me what is in my back, despite the fact we explained to him that I had an implant.  I'll let you all know if that's the case so we can all enjoy a good laugh.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my thoughts,

K.M. Shear

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Page Changes, Tiredness

  For those of you who haven't noticed, I've added a couple new pages to my blog.  You can reach them at the top of the page.  The first one is a treatment log, and the second one is images, articles, and videos that directly relate to being a veteran with RSD.  I have also changed one of my links to Rebecca's Whims.  I felt inclined to add this link because she makes herbal pillows that really do help with relaxation and muscle fatigue, things I know others with RSD and chronic pain are very familiar with.  That's about it for page updates.  Oh, and I've been hearing many people comment that there's no place to comment on my page.  Please make sure you're in the blog entry by clicking its title and I assure you there will be a place to comment.

  The weekend was a busy one, and I've been paying for it dearly over the last couple days.  I've been in a bit of a daze and fading in and out of reality.  I'm sure this would be a fun thing if I was on vacation and wanted to catch up on sleep, but it's simply what life is now when I attempt to exert myself.  Today has been a bit of a recovery day as well, but I think the worst is over and I'm ready to sit down and write some new poems and short stories, as well as work on other projects I have going.  Please follow the link to the right to Shear's Shorts to read some of my work and listen to my music if you have the time and inclination to do so.

  Sorry this is such a brief entry, but I assure you there will be plenty to write about over the next few weeks with my Social Security trial coming up on the 3rd of March, and my medical exams having been completed for the Veteran's Benefits claim.

  Thanks for stopping by,

        K.M. Shear

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Medicinal Updates

  My appointment with the Pain Clinic was yesterday morning.  The journey to Milwaukee has left me reeling, but it was a productive one.
  I'm not sure if I have discussed the difficulties I have with different modes of transportation, so I'll explore that here and get back to the medicinal updates to close this entry.
  Prior to my RSD outbreak I would travel by train to Chicago on alternating weekends to take custody of my daughter for visitation.  I can no longer ride a train due to the severe increase of pain caused by the seat designs, vibrations during movement, and overall roughness of the trip.  My visitation has been nearly reduced to 0, and I only visit with my daughter when I am able to find vehicular transportation to Chicago, and then it is only when she has large portions of time off of school.
  So trains are no longer a possible form of transportation.
  My mother owns a Subaru something or other, and it's seat design is a nightmare for an individual with RSD in a lower extremity.  The sides of the bottom portion of the seat have large pads that stick up roughly two inches from the bottom pad.  When sitting in these seats those side cushions inevitably bump the leg and put an undue pressure upon it.  This causes severe pain that can take several days to recover from.
  My mother is the individual who takes me to roughly half of my appointments.
  Other vehicles that don't have elevated sides to the bottom cushion are fine as long as they have a decent suspense system.  If the shocks are overly stiff it causes rough jolts that severely increase my pain.

  Back to medications.
  The doctors are putting notes into their system requesting changes to a majority of my medications.  Instead of Fentanyl, they're requesting a prescription for Methadone.  Vinlafaxin (or however it is spelled) will be replaced by Cymbalta, and they're prescribing a powerful muscle relaxant for all my muscle spasms...
  As the medications come in I'll update my medications page.
  I have to admit that, despite the increased pain, I slept well last night with zero nightmares.  Very exciting!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my thoughts.

K.M. Shear

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spills and Misplaced Thrills

  I'm having a rough day today...

  Currently, I have a room that is set up to be my safe haven.  It was put together to offer me a certain level of comfort while affording me the maximum opportunity to work on my writing, art, and music.  During the evening hours I enjoy hosting my wife and child in the room.  We watch television, play video games, chat, etc.  But it seems as if my safe haven is being left in greater disarray with each morning I wake.  Some mornings are better than others, and I'm not too terribly upset about it.  I understand that my wife comes home from long days in the office and just wants to unwind, and let's face it, picking up after a 3 year old is not relaxing.
  My wife and I have already had a long discussion about the topic, and she was very understanding.  Amy never ceases to amaze me in her ability to hear what I'm saying.

  So, back to my bad day...
  This morning my little monster woke up early and joined me in my room to watch children's shows.  All morning he was trying to poke my feat, and, on more than one occasion, he caused me a great deal of pain.  This was followed up by my mother's desire to protect her investment in her window trimming.
  Throughout the evening hours a large amount of moisture collects at the base of the windows and causes warping and mold growth on the wood trimming.  Every morning she comes in to wipe down the trimming and, some days, to remove the trimming to clean.  Today, while she was going through her routine, she moved a can of soda onto the swivel portion of my desk.  With all the drugs I'm on, and my lack of solid sleep, I tilted the desktop and poured soda all over my keyboard, trackpad, floor, etc.  I was devastated.

  At some point my son had decided that he wanted to play one of his games which he could not locate.  I had assumed that he had moved it somewhere and couldn't remember where he had placed it.  I found the racing game along the chair my wife likes to sit in while she's immersed in her social networking.  She had set it on her table and somehow it fell off.

  So my morning hours have been invested in cleaning, picking up left overs from last night, and walking round the house trying to find a copy of "Sonic All-Stars Racing".  I'm exhausted, in a grand amount of pain, and in a funk.

  For those of you reading who have a loved one that suffers with chronic pain or RSD, please realize that the more ordered their environment is, the less pain they have to suffer, and the more productive they can be.

  On another note; I received a letter from the judge that will be overseeing my social security hearing.  It was addressed to the apartment we had been evicted from.  I had informed my attorney of the eviction on multiple occasions, and had given them the new address, but it seems that they didn't take the time to inform the department of human services...  I suppose I'll have to call them at some point today.
  I'm sure that my VA claim is being held up because the North Chicago radiology department hasn't called me back to set up the appointment.  I think I'll be talking sternly to them soon here...

  Sorry this entry has been a bit of a downer, but I think the messages it sends had to be written out.

  Thank you all for taking the time to read,
      K.M. Shear

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In A Puddle

Over the weekend my family celebrated my son's third birthday.  It was a wonderful experience watching the children play and eat.  We went to the Rain Forrest Cafe in a nearby mall.  We rented a wheel chair for me so that I could visit some of the stores and get around easily.  The trip was overly painful and exhaustive, but worth every minute of suffering.
I was very pleased with how quickly I recovered, and in my excitement of feeling mildly 'ok' I asked my mother to take my son and I to the bookstore yesterday.  During the adventure my son misplaced his hat, and my mother went to look for it while Lincoln and I browsed the kids area.
I turned round and Lincoln was gone.  He had run off to play in the toy area.  The poor child looked up at me and said, "I peed."  His eyes were pleading, and his little hands were stretched out as if he was asking me to pick him up and take him away to a safe place.  All I could do was stand there and hold his hand while we waited for his grandmother to come and help get him cleaned up.  I felt I had failed as a parent because of my disability.
Today the pain is very severe.  The combination of the trip to the mall, and the trip to the bookstore, has left me reeling in agony.  Everything burns on my right side, and all I can think to do is hope I pass out sooner, rather than later, and pray when I come to the pain has subsided.  I'm not at a point were I may have to go to the hospital, but if the pain continues to grow I may end up there at some point.  Time will tell I suppose.

I'm up to the full dose of the PTSD medication I was prescribed, and I'm not sure it's working.  I'm still having nightmares, but I'm waking up in the midsts of them very startled.  If, in my dream, I'm dropping something, I awake grasping for it.  The sudden jerks at the time of awakening have caused pain levels to be aggravated due to accidental bumps of the limbs during the thrashing about.  I'm also still very jumpy and sensitive to loud noises.
When anything gets loud I start to loose my patience, grind my teeth, and if it's sudden enough I find myself curling away to protect the parts of my body that aren't afflicted with RSD.  I have no control over these reactions, and, believe me, I've made several attempts to minimize the behavior with no success.

Thank you all for taking the time to read,
K.M. Shear

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Full Dose

  Last night was the first time taking the full dose of my PTSD medication.  I haven't seen much of a change in my dream patterns.  It's interesting that I now wake up mid dream though.  Last night I had a dream that my son was falling through an elevator shaft, the door had closed on my leg, and I was reaching for him desperately.  I woke up flailing and in tears.  The flailing doesn't seem to be helping me with my pain.
  I have hopes that I'll be able to clean up a poem I began work on during my appointments last week.  I wrote it in the waiting area.  I hate that area.   It's sterile, white, and wreaks of mental institution.  I'm only mildly psychologically impaired and I felt like I had been committed; can't fathom what this would be like for an individual breaking at their psychological core.  The room is complete with old fashioned television broadcasting some form of white trash project, unfinished puzzle on the single round table at the back of the room.  The windows are covered with a metal mesh screen, and the men in white lab coats drift here and there collecting their next subject with the mild call of a name.  You can feel the discomfort of others as they glance about wondering what form of hell they just stepped, or wheeled, into.
  I set out to write a journal entry, but the only thing that came to mind was poetic in nature.  I hope I can finish it and post it on my Shear's Shorts site.  There's a link to the right that you can click to get to it.
  My Fentanyl patches seem to want to only stick to my fore arms.  I've tried to get them to hold on for their three day period in other places, but to no avail.  I'm sure the appearance of the patches on my arms makes doctors question my use of them.  Even when I try to explain they turn a distrusting eye in my direction.  Since the appliance of the patches I haven't needed to be seen in an Emergency Room, and I think that should be a check mark in the 'win' column, but my sleep schedule is wrecked, if not non-existant, and some days I feel an unstoppable drag pulling me into sleep state while other days I can't seem to calm down.
Enough droning for one morning.  I have words to craft.

My humblest appreciation to those of you still reading,

K.M. Shear

Monday, January 31, 2011

Exhaustive Progress

  I would like to start by expressing my sincerest apology to all of my readers.  I had never intended on letting my disability get in the way of providing detailed information and opinions to my readers' awareness.  It's been several days since my last posting.

  Truth be told, I've found myself very drained since my last set of medical appointments.  Last Monday I was scene in Milwaukee to evaluate my nightmares, and then a full day was spent this past Thursday at the North Chicago facility for evaluations in conjunction to my claims.  Progress was made, but was severely taxing on my own level of will.  I've spent several days now over the last week simply unconscious; with a mind to create and write, but no will to do so.  I'm not sure if it's a matter of depression, or simply my body quitting on me.  I'm unsure if I'd even want to know.  If it's depression I'm doomed to adding more mediations to an, already, oversized list.  If it's my body unable to handle the stresses I put it through then it stands to reason that future endeavors may put me out of commission as well...

  I learned that the symptoms I'm exhibiting are those of an individual with PTSD.  They prescribed Prazosin to help ease the nightmares, and want to keep an eye on me to combat my other symptoms if they get overly grand.  Sadly, because my trauma is ongoing, I can not be diagnosed with PTSD, but they'll be treating me as a PTSD patient...  I'm not sure what kind of medical sense that makes, but that's what I've been told.

  The full day of diagnostics on Thursday really took a toll.  I was examined by 4 different professionals and had multiple ex-rays and scans completed.  The doctors seemed honestly baffled that I was denied my initial claim.  The neurologist even told us that his initial write up was of an individual barely able to conduct the basest of human activity.  We were given his name and express instructions to contact him should we be denied another time.  Amy was allowed to be present through every examination except the psychological exam.  This was a major difference compared to previous visits.  There was a certain level of remorse and explanations that they couldn't comprehend how they denied the benefits increase.  I suppose that if things have to go to a hearing level we'll have their doctor's testifying on our behalf...

  I'm hoping that I've caught up on my sleep and have recuperated enough to start my life again.  I'm not overly tired at the moment and think I'll journal a bit (I keep a paper journal) and work on some poetry.  If I manage to stay awake tomorrow then I have plans to finish 'The Three Musketeers' and find a new piece of literature to delve into.  The last few days my vision has been terrible, and I attribute it to the exertions of last week.  Time will only tell.  I'll make plans to have a new post with updated information later in the week...

Thank you all for taking the time to read,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lacking Tools

  I was going to do a follow-up post about my appointment last night.  Amy beat me to it.  If you all don't mind taking a minute to click a link and read about it there, I'll fill you in on some of my views when you get back... (You may also want to follow her blog because she often has entries from a different perspective)

Amy's Blog

  I was privy to some profound outlooks on my disability by my Primary Care doctor.  The most profound was that he didn't believe RSDS/CRPS pain was worse than natural child birth or cancer.  It's been reported, consistently, by people who have had two of the three, but he doesn't agree with the reported findings.  Second, possibly tied with the first statement, was that it 'may be time to seek treatment somewhere else.'  This is a service connected disability, and he's the second medical professional to tell me I may want to look into getting treatment outside the VA....

  Mind you, that this conversation was taking place while I was on the verge of blacking out from my pain and mildly dribbling urine into my pants.  The appointment ended with a prescription for Fentanyl, and the feeling that all the evidence wasn't going to be included in the doctor's notes...

  That's a big kick in the chops, because the VA won't award me benefits due to the lack of solid notation by my doctors...

  So, I'm home, mildly stoned from the high concentration of narcotic (Fentanyl is more powerful than morphine), and trying to organize my thoughts into some form of attack plan for the rest of my day.  God willing, I'll get something done today!  ;)

Thank you all for taking the time to read.
You're appreciated,


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let's Try This Again

  Last week I missed my appointment with my primary care because I ended up in the emergency room.  The appointment was rescheduled for today, and last night I thought I was going to end up in the ER again.  This morning is a different story.  I'm awake, in pain, but doing well enough to not need the ER visit.

  We'll see how the rest of the day goes...

  I've been trying to dedicate a little bit of each day to working on some writing.  I'm in the midst of co-translating a Danish novel for my friend L.G. Jensen, working on three poems, my own novel, and writing three songs.  A little bit each day is all I aim for, and, when I can do no more, I lay down and rest. It's aggravating not being able to work through things consistently, but I'm happy I get a little bit of time each day to try and accomplish things.

  The pain is getting very difficult to manage.  I hope today's visit will yield a better arrangement to controlling my pain.

Friday, January 14, 2011

One More Time, With Feeling

  So, for those of you who haven't heard yet, I spent the majority of Wednesday in the ER, and the majority of yesterday trying to recover.  Today is a new day, and I plan on making the most of it; the most of what my pain will let me.
  The ER visit was a 'new' one.  We were headed to the Milwaukee V.A. for an appointment anyway, so I just spent an hour, passing out here and there, in the car to get to the ER versus twenty minutes.  The doctor was great, taking detailed notes and switching me from morphine to dalauted and valium.  I was there for six hours, and they kept coming in every hour or so to shoot me up with more pain killers.  I wish I was closer to the Milwaukee clinic so I could go there for all my ER visits.  They really have a remarkable staff and facility there, and I would highly recommend anyone to go there vise anywhere else.
  Yesterday I felt like I'd been hit by a truck.  My heart rate in the ER was in excess of 170 beats per minute when I arrived.  My leg still feels like I'd been breaking boards with my thigh, foot, and calf.  The prescribed muscle relaxers aren't helping much either.  My muscles are still very knotted up and firing at odd times.  I'm surprised nothing broke mid trip.

  Today is a new day, and I plan to take full advantage of what my body will let me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wicked Dreams

  Yesterday evening we spent in good company.  Children doodled, smiled, ate, and talked excitedly while we grown ups talked about many things.   One of the conversations I enjoyed was about Jhon's book, 'Hands on the Hips', which is a must have for any poetry enthusiast, lover of good writing, or people looking for something new to discover.  We also discussed our current reads and his future works to come. I honestly can't wait to get my hands on his next collection.  From our family to yours, Jhon, our sincerest thanks for a wonderful evening.

  For the last few weeks I've been having these terrible dreams from which I can't escape.  I know I'm dreaming, and I can't wake up.  They're terrifying dreams where my leg and arm are being destroyed by one thing or another, and I honestly don't want to close my eyes.  Some mornings I don't even know if I'm awake, or still dreaming...
  I feel like I'm coming unraveled...

  Today I'm going to try to add some new songs to my growing list.  If you're interested in taking a listen you can find them on my SoundClick page or on my FaceBook page.  Hopefully I'll have two new songs up by the end of the week.  At least that's my goal.  And to keep writing, a little bit every day.
  There's a meeting of the Illinois RSDS Association, but I'm unsure that I'll even be able to make it today.  The pain in my leg is horrendous, and my arm is swollen and throbbing.

  In the near future I'll hopefully be getting another free art lesson from my good friend Scott Little.  He's a freelance artist in the Crystal Lake area, and he's VERY good.  I'm also highly anticipating another couple lessons on poetry from Jhon.  I couldn't be more fortunate when it comes to the incredible people in my life who are helping me.  God bless all of you.

Thank you for reading,


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Dust Settles

  So the dust has settled and I'm able to write again.  My family is safe and sound; gifted with parents who love us and took us in.  The Chicago Tribune article caused quite the ruckus, and I already have appointments for re-evaluation in a couple weeks.  Funny how it took months before, but now only takes a day or two...
  I plan on putting up all the ratings material from my case after the appointments and ratings letters arrive.  This can then be used for others in the military with RSD.  They can hand that in and use it as a template for how they'd like to be rated.  God willing, it will make their road an easier one to traverse than ours.  To all of you who have helped me with my cause, my sincerest thanks.
  The room I'm living in is providing me the capabilities to write, and record, my music because I can recline while recording and don't have to sit upright.  Sadly, my RSD seems to be spreading into my right arm and hand...
  My night terrors are getting worse, and I'm finding it harder to wake from them.  It's like being trapped in hell most nights.  Those dreams where you fall, and awake before you land...  I don't wake up and suffer the landing.  I have some medical appointments with a PTSD doctor to discuss these symptoms.  I pray they have an answer...

Wind blows.
Fire burns.
Water runs.
And the earth,
She's rising up,
To meet my feet.

Thank you for reading,