Saturday, June 28, 2008

caturday catblogging

As promised a couple of weeks ago, FluffyCat edition of Caturday aka Friday Catblogging a Day Late.

Eep just hanging out in the basement, recharging her eye lasers

Also from the basement, I present Callie, who is doing her very best cat model work

She really did sit there in her basement window and look that unbearably adorable long enough for me to snap several photos.

For those of you who are not new to the Oubliette, Callie is even more sweet, talkative, and loving than she was when I had the adoption fund-raiser. She's EvilTimmy's cat more than mine; she likes to curl up with him on the couch in the basement and try to burrow into his neck, snuggle until she cannot physically get any closer. She's still a talker and my new quest is to record Callie talking to me, having a full two-way conversation.

I know my promise was, besides taking Callie in and preventing her from going to a shelter, was to post pictures of her here. I haven't forgotten that, so I'm trying to be sure she is featured often.

For those of you who discovered the Oubliette more recently, here is Callie's tail, er tale. You can also do a Google search of this site for "Callie" and find her entire story. At the moment the bio for each resident of the Oubliette is AWOL, but I'm still working on updating stuff around here. Each cat's bio will return and newer entries have labels that make browsing through the archive by topic a little easier. I might go back and add labels to some of the older posts, if it's worth the time and effort. It may not be worth it; my time may be better spent creating content and not filing the archives.

I do have a story to tell you, and I'll bet you've never heard this one before. But that's another post...


Don't forget, the Friday Ark #197 is up and running at Modulator. There's plenty of kitties and critters, so go check if out if you haven't already.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

tuesdy critterblogging

I missed out on Friday Catblogging and even Caturday, but fear not. I still have photos to share. Not of cats directly, but cat related. Enjoy Tuesday Critterblogging.

window squirrel 2008 002
That squirrel is a regular to the buffet I've started putting out on the window ledge. It does keep them out of the bird feeders, which I like, and squirrel watching is an added bonus.

window squirrel 2008 003
The squirrel knows exactly what glass is and what it does. It poses for the cat and the camera.

I didn't get a photo of it, but there's a momma squirrel who was showing her kits the window ledge before she kicked them out of her tree. Little baby squirrels. Absolutely adorable and completely unafraid of any movement on the other side of the glass.

time dilation strikes again

This is a perfect example of how I lose track of days. Without actually looking at the date of the last post, I thought it had been 3, maybe 4 days, tops since my last post. Definitely not a full week.

Yet another fun challenge of learning to live with MS.

Now, I wasn't exactly planning on writing War and Peace this past weekend since my in-laws were in town and CRAP! I've lost an earring. A very nice ear ring that was a gift. It's now time to play scavenger hunt.


Okay, found it. Not going to be wearing those ear rings around the house anymore. They're too nice to risk losing again and I'd have to go back to the hospital gift shop to replace them. So, yeah. I have a cheap pair on now that if I don't care much about. They're ear rings; they're plain silver hoops that have no sentimental value and little monetary value.


Back to living with the time dilation nonsense. I'm used to losing track of hours at a time; I'm an artist, it's pretty common for me to get into my work and suddenly have been at it for 8 hours and in desperate need of a stretch, a pee, and something to eat, not necessarily in that order. This is different, this is days at a time.

During the work week, when I'm home alone, I generally have no clue as to what day it is. I have to use post-it notes to remind myself to go to doctor appointments on the correct day, which usually works. Having the day of the week on the computer also helps, usually.

Then I'll have the other extreme: completely skipping a day in my head. I showed up at the Pain Center to pick up my Friday prescription on a Thursday. Swore it was Friday and what bites is I couldn't pick up my prescription until Friday since my doctor wasn't in to sign it. Plus it would have been considered an early refill if I had picked up on Thursday, and early refills are only allowed in extenuating circumstances, which forgetting which day it was wasn't.

My sleep schedule doesn't help, at all. I tend to sleep during the day, it's always been what works best for me. Unfortunately, I can't keep a daytime sleep schedule mostly because of doctors' appointments. Today is a prime example of that.

I couldn't drive Hubby into work since I had taken some meds that make me very drowsy for about 3 hours. So he drove himself in to work and I slept. In an hour or two we'll do a car-swap at lunch. He'll come and take me out for lunch then after lunch I'll drive him back to work. I'll go to the appointment with my GI by myself, and not on any meds that make me drowsy. Later in the afternoon, I'll go pick him up at work. Typical car-swap day for us and we have the procedure down to an art since we only have one car. We'll fix that once we pay off the current car loan, but not before because we don't need two car payments. Just no.

To top it all off, sleeping for 8 hours = new day, right? That's how I end up jumping ahead in the week. I went to sleep then woke up after several hours (not a nap, a real sleep), so it must be a new day. I thought it was Tuesday yesterday evening because I had just woken up from eight hours of sleep and was a little disoriented.

At least I'm no longer waking up and wondering what happened to my hospital room, why is the bed different, where are the windows, the is the TV mounted on the wall. It's sad when you don't recognize your own house.

Monday, June 16, 2008

i'm going home!

Today! In a couple of hours, I'll be at the house. That is all.

the stigma of pain medications

From the "chaps my ass", maybe that's not quite the right description. How about "pisses me off"?

The stigma of being ill. It's there, and it's real. If you've ever been sick and not wanted to tell someone the truth, you've been there.

Why? Why should we be ashamed of being sick, of having an illness? Why should some symptoms of a disease be acceptable, and some not?

I'm not talking about polite conversation here, about descriptions of diarrhea. There's a time an place for thing which may squick people. And I know there's the grey area where polite society meets genuine social stigma, a taboo.

Pain Medications

I'll admit, I've felt ashamed of the fact I have to take opiates/opioids/narcotics/the heavy-duty shit or whatever you call them. There is a genuine stigma, a social taboo, associated with taking opiates on a regular basis. If I don't take them, I'm in severe pain, and that's the end of it. Well, the opiates also slow down the digestive tract, which in me is a good thing. There area actually prescription anti-diarrheal meds that are opiates.

But I digress.

Why should I feel ashamed of taking an opiate every day so I can maintain functionality? Why should anyone feel that way?

You're just getting high. Pain patients only want the narcotic high. She keeps getting stronger drugs, she's hooked. Candy-man. Taking narcotics every day makes you an addict. Addict...dope-head...not really in that much pain...cope with it, everybody had pain...

Did I miss any?

Why? Why should this be?

I expressed my nagging anxiety about being on opiates to the psychiatrist who did the psych consult for me, to prescribe the meds to even out the steroid/demerol psychosis. He asked me to define "addiction" and I ended up with more or less, using or taking something for the pleasure of it, because of a want, not a need.

A want is addiction. A need is a symptom and a controlled medical condition.

I had to get over this anxiety. Why should I be afraid of being an addict? How do I take my meds? Every 6 hours maximum of 4 a day, says the bottle. But sometimes, when the pain is bad, I take two and ration out the remainder to last until my refill.

Both the psychaitrist and my pain doctor said the same thing.

It's OK.

It's OK. Some days are worse than others, and that's the nature of pain. The 4 a day is a guideline, and a double dose is fine; what would be prescribed, and perfectly safe.

I signed a contract with the Pain Center that I would use my opiate prescription exactly as prescribed. I would not take extra or double doses, I would not run out early. If I break the terms of the contract, I will be completely SOL as they drop me as a patient.

My doctor said it was fine to break the contract in that way. It's expected, from every patient, just as long as I don't go trying to get early refills.

- What about nausea/vomiting with the Crohn's? I asked. If I take a double dose, throw it up [he could see the anxiety building in me], I'll come up short...

Hmmm...well, if that happens, we know about your Crohn's and you take both phenergan and zofran for nausea/vomiting? Just let us know, I'll make a note of it in your chart, you can have early refills in this case, until your Crohn's settles down.

- What about alternative routes? Trans-dermal patch, oral gel...

We can give you some fentanyl patches to use for bad days. They're not for breakthrough pain, that's what 2 percocets are for, since the fentanyl patches takes a couple of days to build in your system. Use them for a few days instead of the tablets during bad stretches. Talk to us if you look like you're going to run short. We'll take care of you.

- OK, but sometimes I think the phone messages I leave end up being a game of telephone and by the time it gets to you it seem like I'm not having as much of a problem as I actually am...

Yeah, that happens. Just call us back, make sure I get the message. I'll take care of you.

I'll take care of you.

Now, as a patient, I really should keep a pain diary. Log my pain levels each time I take my meds. I have three diseases which are painful individually, not to mention the snowball effect pain has. It has real physical effects that are negative. Higher blood pressure, higher pulse, higher stress overall.

I do not need any more stress. It has a history of making my diseases worse, especially the Crohn's.


So I've just revealed to the entire blogosphere what I take, why, and even how much and how often. I feel better, less stressed, because I know there's no shame in taking my medications the doctor has prescribed, needs me to take.

But. This should never have been an issue in the first place. I'm not telling you about taking my migraine preventative, after all. That med is not an issue in society.

Why should being treated for severe pain, by an anesthesiologist be any different?

It shouldn't. Unfortunately it is. For me, for other patients, for society. There's something very wrong with that.

going home, maybe

Well, it looks like I'll be going home later today. Maybe, if the detox continues to go well.


Ok, here's the short version of why I'm in the hospital.

Memorial Day - Woke up with blurred vision. In denial about serious problem, blamed eyestrain, needing new glasses prescription, anything but something neurological.

May 29 - Had appointment at the Pain Center. Was told to get my butt to the neurologist, and I assured them I had an appointment the next day.

May 30 - Get thee to a hospital! Optic Neuritis, definitive diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, despite having mild symptoms but no lesions for 3 years. All previous symptoms could be blamed on other medical problems, and were.

That weekend - Hospital Hotel. Solumedrol IV twice a day to get my eyes back in order, get the swelling down. Didn't feel sick, enjoyed the stay as much as possible, considering I was in the hospital for a serious medical problem.

Monday, June 2 - Went home. All was well. Taking oral prednisone to taper down from the solumedrol.

Friday, June 6 - Woke up with gastric bleed, and a very serious one. Called my gastrointerologist, waited to hear back with instructions. Went to ER, admitted to the hospital.

Saturday - Continued to bleed from somewhere in my large intestine. Received 2 units of blood that night.

Sunday - Began prep for colonoscopy the next day. Had blood count monitored every 6 hours, as I had since admission.

Monday, June 9 - Colonoscopy, upper GI endoscopy at the same time. Bleeding had stopped by the time the scopes were performed. Recovered in my room, blood count continued to drop. Second transfusion of 2 units overnight.

Tuesday - Thursday - convalescence. Began to show signs of demerol/prednisone/solumedrol toxicity. Tapered down as quickly as possible on the prednisone. Switched from demerol to nubain to control pain.

Friday - now - Consults with various specialties - physical therapy, psych, pain doc, pharmD, psurprise pseudospeciality. Detox by IV and oral fluids like normal saline and iced tea.

So here we are. I've had internet access the whole time, wireless broadband. I love living in Huntsville. High tech rednecks. Bless this city.

I went downstairs with my nurses - I've moved in by now, on staff or whatever, and hung out in the Smokers' Den (courtyard) when I saw this....

huntsville hospital june 2008 008_bright-contrast

How cool is that?

ETA: A couple of my nurses had gone down to smoke and I went with to get the hell off this floor. I went out to the smoker's courtyard with them, chilled, chatted, then saw the landscaping. I had my camera, and snapped the photo. Although they had no idea what I was doing - possible crazy patient alert - which was hilarious. Then they loved the photo, and how I saw what they didn't.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Carnival of the Cats #222

The Carnival of the Cats #222 is up and running at Mind of Mog. Go forth and check out this week's moggie round-up.

Seems like only yesterday that the Oubliette was hosting CotC #57 or CotC #70. My how time has flown by...

Saturday, June 14, 2008


Happy Caturday, all.

In celebration of the Oubliette being back in business, now, 1000% more cats.

First: Arming lazors...

Son of First: μFuzzy and her FuzzyMomma - AKA Freya and McCullough

Photo the Third: Cat on a Cold Shingle Roof - Leo, the neighbor cat.

And so begins the Oubliette's first ever (since the re-inventon) caption contest. Submit which photo your caption is for (1, 2, or 3), your caption and the winner will be chosen by Oubliette staff. We have a second volunteer staff member, an editor, who I'll introduce in a later post.

Next time, the fluffy ones. Mwah-ha-ha...

Friday, June 13, 2008

we have internet again!!! and friday catblogging

Having drug-induced mania and insmonia and not having internet is really not cool, at all.

Of course as soon as the hospital fixed their internet problems, it was Consult Time. And vitals checks, and lunch, and another consult, and, and...


The parentals arrived from a land far, far away where there is a metric shitload of water covering everything, floating down here in their custom-built ark. Well, not an ark exactly. It's a Toyboata, so it's a bit smaller. You have to have a Dampervan before you enter the ark size range.

Just google those two vessels.

On with the show.

Insomnia, mania, tremors, paranoia, depression, inappropriate emotional responses, auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations. Name that condition.

No, you're wrong.

Steroid psychosis. It's so much fun, and deserves it's own post. That is one of those topics.

It's still Friday, it must be Friday Catblogging. Tonight, Freya's tonsils.

Momma, why you flashy light at me?

Now for a bonus photo...

When bloggers end up in the hospital what do we do? Take pictures and post them on the internet.

The track marks on my arm from repeated sticks for bloodwork. Photos? Yes or no.


Be sure to head over to Modulator for the Friday Ark and some soggy moggies, among other beasties.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Greetings from the other contributor

Just wanted to drop in with a quick introduction. I'm the "other guy" here, Telephorus. I am good friends with the author. I'm currently swamped in my new position as an attorney for a state government agency. When I'm not doing that, I'm also a volunteer paramedic and EMS educator. And yes, I've heard the jokes about attorneys and ambulances.

I'll contribute rarely, but I'm honored to be asked to contribute.

what i'm doing and why i'm doing it, plus a cat picture

I have decided that fate, karma, destiny, luck, deity, or whatever you want to call it has a job for me to do...

Hello, my name is Mira d'Oubliette, or Mira of the Oubliette. I hope you enjoy your stay in my small, dark corner of the internet.

I am an artist. I paint in oils and acrylics. I draw in anything I can get my hands on.

I am a photographer.

I am a writer, a wife, an aunt, a sister, a daughter, a granddaughter, an in-law, a niece, a patient, a retired EMT, an art historian, a thirty-something woman, a Roman Wiccan, a cat lover, a sci-fi geek, an internet geek, a geek in general, a National Weather Service Storm Spotter, and a Jill-of-many-trades. (You can stop humming Meridith Brooks now.)

I have Crohn's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, and Rheumatoid Arthritis. These are all autoimmune disease, and I collectively call this the Autoimmune Trifecta. I have had Crohn's the longest, since 1986. I was born in 1976. Yes, you're doing the math right.

I am now a professional writer and photographer who works from home due to multiple autoimmune diseases. Working from my home allows me to have some professional life while being able to take care of physical needs as they occur. As I have a two decade medical history, and I am not getting any younger, this is the best option for me.

I will write here about my life. I will be frank, possibly offensive on occasion, and unapologetic. I will write stream-of-consciousness style mostly. I will share with anyone who wants to read this blog my ups and downs, stories of coping with Crohn's disease as a nine year old child, my thoughts on a thunderstorm, pictures of my cats or whatever else strikes me when I have camera in hand. I will answer emails as I best I can and at my discretion, which means I may not answer every piece of email. Also, please, for the love of the internet, remember spam filters sometimes grab non-spam. They go for spam and get Vienna sausages instead...

This is my job, and I am serious about doing it, although the content will not always be serious in nature. Yes, serious about not being serious. Anyone may ask me any questions about anything. That doesn't mean I'll answer every question. I have my prerogative and I will exercise it. This is also not a crisis line. Please, if you are having a medical crisis, call 911, don't email me first.

This blog is about real life, the good, the bad, and the otherwise. I will write frankly and honestly, within my comfort zone, about my life. My comfort zone can vary from day to day, but in general it is fairly broad. I will try to keep this website work safe, at a PG-13 level. I will talk about medical conditions and procedures using proper medical terminology, and I will provide links to definitions or define terms within a post. If there is something you are unfamiliar with and I don't explain, Google it or go to Wikipedia. Wikipedia will be your friend for general "oh, that's what that is" information. It's mine. Do not think I'm talking down when I take the time to explain something in detail. I'm saving a link to Wikipedia.

I will try to update daily. I understand, and you should too, that I may not be able to do that, or that some days my post will be very short. I have good days, I have bad days, and I have really shitty days. Understand this. I am writing this from my hospital bed after having lost more than 4 units of blood in 36 hours from a bleeding ulcer in my intestine. I'm having a good night, I can't sleep, but I'm not feeling that bad, and I can type and think.

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that effects the central nervous system. This is the brain and spinal cord.

Multiple sclerosis can cause a variety of symptoms, including paranoid delusions, changes in sensation (hypoesthesia), muscle weakness, abnormal muscle spasms, or difficulty to move; difficulties with coordination and balance; problems in speech (Dysarthria) or swallowing (Dysphagia), visual problems (Nystagmus, optic neuritis, or diplopia), fatigue and acute or chronic pain syndromes, bladder and bowel difficulties, cognitive impairment, or emotional symptomatology (mainly clinical depression).
-Wikipedia, Multiple sclerosis signs and symptoms

I could suffer from any one or combination of the above at any time. I woke up partially blind one day, and that is how the "Yes, it is definitely MS" diagnosis was made.

People with autoimmune diseases do not always look sick. Often we don't. Crohn's disease attacks the digestive system, yet I was heaver than ideal. Then I began to lose over a pound of body weight a day. A pound a day, and that could last for months, in an extreme situation. I'm not as overweight as I was just 10 days ago, I'm about 15 pounds lighter, depending on which sets of scales I use for the before and after weights. There is a margin for error in this, but the physical signs of my skin becoming loose on my body is obvious.

Have you seen Silence of the Lambs? Where the killer puts the victims in a pit, doesn't feed them for a few days to loosen their skins, before killing them. I would be easy to skin right now.

You have probably noticed I have an eccentric sense of humor that can be on the grim side.

If you can't handle it, go somewhere else.

If you can't handle rapid mental gear changes, go somewhere else.

As of right now, because of the MS and medications I'm on, I fixate on things. This post is an example. I'm currently fixated on writing this, laying out how it is in no uncertain terms. I could and probably will be fixated on something else in an hour or two. I may want to write about it, I may be doing something completely different. That's how this works.

I have been told I am an inspiration, a hero, an amazing person, and many other wonderful things. I have been told every day from May 30, 2008 to June 12, 2008 that I should tell my story. Maybe I'm an inspiration, but I don't think I'm a hero or doing anything all that special. I'm living my life. I've had to make major adjustments in my lifestyle that I thought were many years away, but caught up with me sooner than I expected, sooner than I wanted.

I see this a work, a job. My job is to provide entertainment; something enjoyable, interesting, thought-provocative, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet, writing and photographs. That's my job. I get paid by readers dropping money in the Oubliette's PayPal Tip Jar. You decide what to pay me. This is a different kind of new internet economy, right here. I get paid whatever you think I should get paid. I am not asking for a hand-out. I will be documenting my income, and the rest is my problem. You are not donating to a charity, you are buying a subscription to a dynamically written journal. This is business, but there are no ads on this site, and there never will be. I have complete control of the content of this, my little corner of the internet.

I write stream of consciousness. Sometimes this is good, sometimes this is bad. I'm a fairly good self-editor, but typos and screw-ups occur. Some thing will certainly get past spell check and all the other electronic assistance these days to make sure writing is coherent.

I am not alone in this. My friend is helping me with this. He is Telephorus, the Accomplisher, named so after the son of the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. I have a long-time interest in the religion of ancient Mediterranean cultures (Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Minoan, and so on), and people will be named after figures from these cultures. Telephorus may post here on occasion, at his desire, but I'm not going to let him steal my thunder. Along the same vein, privacy will be respected and defended for everyone. I will use pseudonyms for everyone unless I've been told it is unnecessary.

*takes a deep breath and looks at the verbal diarrhea*

If you made it this far, congratulations. You just read my terms of service, mission statement, and some randomness.

As I stated previously, this is a profit-making venture, to a point. I have operating costs to create this, then I have medical bills. Constant medical bills. That's what I'd like to have a little extra $ for. You may subscribe to this blog as an RSS feed, so think consider paying for your subscription. The amount is at your discretion, what you think this is worth to you.

Thank you for reading this, and allow me to extend a whole-hearted welcome to my little corner of the internet. Stay as long as you like, poke around, or just take a moment to look at a cute cat picture.

And you can't say I didn't live up to my promise of a cat picture.


Say hello to Freya, the youngest Oubliette cat. There are 4 more.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

good intentions, crappy timing

This is a very abbreviated version of what's going on. Oh, do I have stories for here, when I feel up to writing them.

I am in the hospital, again. I was out 3 whole friggin' days when I was admitted to the hospital.

Three days.

Friday, June 6, I developed an intestinal bleed. Tests were performed, and I have "quite a few ulcers" along my transverse colon (the bit of large intestine that goes sideways, up high). One or more of the ulcers had started bleeding.

I had to have 2 units of blood transfused Saturday night and 2 more units on Monday night. At this time I am resting in my room, seeing how I tolerate the switch from IV to oral steroids. Medication and blood count monitoring.

No, there is no guarantee that I won't need more blood.

And that's just the Crohn's disease.

I'm still having MS symptoms, and good for me, the treatment for them are steroids. This not a two-for-one-sale on disease treatment. For a limited time we will throw in treatment for rheumatoid arthritis for no extra charge. That's right folks, three diseases, one treatment. And as an extra bonus, we'll throw in pain management with heavy duty opiates. This is a limited time offer, we can't do this forever....

I have just two words: pain crisis. I have an abbreviation, too: IV.

I'm not going home before Thursday, and if things go great, I'd prefer Friday.

Thank all that's holy my doc has "you'll be here as long as it takes" attitude and isn't trying to get me out of here in X many days.

In the mean time, I forgot I had a MySpace page, Go friend me, I'll return the favor. Tell me you wandered in from the Oubliette so I can make an Oubliette group or something. No, I'm not a big MySpacer, but it is really convenient in mass-updating people.

Freya will never let me leave her side again. Ever. I will have a furry tumor on my leg that will be impossible to remove.

Stay tuned for Freya the Service Cat.

I'm not shitting you on that, either. Really, Freya the Service Animal.

Friday, June 06, 2008

hey, it's friday

It must be time for catblogging.

Freya decided the color exercise I had done in chalk pastel was the perfect place to roll. Don't worry, the pastels are non-toxic. The worst she suffered was a bath and the pigments staining her fur for a week or so.


Be sure to check out Friday Ark #194 @ Modulator for more fuzzy, feathery, and critter goodness.


I finally have trackbacks enabled again. Haloscan added a new (to me) 5-star rating feature for each post. I'll leave it up for a while; I don't know if I'll end up keeping it.

Thoughts, anyone? I'm trying to get caught up on all the new and shiny blog toys that have appeared in the past year or so and suggestions of what to look at and what to avoid would be appreciated.


@ Omnibus Driver - Thank you. It is good to be back.

@ Desert Cat - Thank you. I'm working down my antiquated blogroll in alphabetical order, so yours was one of the first to pass the "good, still there" test.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

let the cleaning begin

I hadn't quite realized how out of date parts of this place was getting. A random click on my blogroll went to some crap that definitely isn't a blog.

*glances at blogroll*

This is going to take a while. On the upside, during my hiatus, blogspot became very easy to use so revamping the look of this place only took a couple of hours. I'm not even going to pretend I can do serious HTML/CSS anymore. I've been out of the game way too long for that.

From cutting edge to back of the pack. Don't get me wrong, I don't really care about my rusty HTML skills, since I've forgotten more than most people on the interwebs ever learn.

*pokes sidebar, sneezes*

Yeah, the griping is pretty much just stalling.

reinventing the oubliette

It's taken a while, but I think I know what to do with this blog.

First, cat-lovers, have no fear. All the furry monsters are still here and will continue to get their fair share of fame. Or more than their fair share.

If you've scrolled through the archives, then you know that I do have some medical issues. (I know some of you are laughing. Go right ahead. I'm trying to do the same; it's healthier.)

In a nutshell: I have had Crohn's disease for 22 years, Rheumatoid arthritis and Ankylosing spondylitis for about 10 years, and I have now been diagnosed with Multiple sclerosis, although I have most likely had it for 3 years now. Or about when I stopped updating here every day.

I was talking to a nurse last week, and when she learned what I have, and for how long, she said something along the lines of "You should write your memoirs about this".

And you know something, she was right.

So, that's what I'm going to try to do now. Write about living with four autoimmune diseases. My daily ups and downs, the good and the bad. I don't get out of the house much, but I do have a life. I do things during the day, and while it's not as exciting as EMS and rescue work, it's my life now. I paint, I draw, I write. I take pictures of flowers in my yard, my cats, and storm clouds when severe weather heads this way.

(Can you smell the acceptance?)

I'm a wise-ass and love sarcasm. I'll make fun of myself, my diseases, and nearly anything else. I don't mind sympathy, but I don't want pity. (Usually. If I'm throwing a pity-party here, it will be very obvious.)

I don't mind people asking questions about anything, and I'm not trying to discourage questions. I simply might not answer them.

I'm not trying to be an inspiration and I'm not looking for glory or anything like that. I'm just trying to live.

And if you were looking for the webcomic, that project has been scrapped, at least as a regular feature. It took too much effort for me to keep up with the schedule I wanted to. I'm not saying I won't do any more of the strips; I just don't know how often any new strips will show up.