Purification by fire

Posted: July 29, 2014 in The Personal Journey

I don’t know how, but, so many WordPressers (at WordPress blogs, and on Twitter) are drawing it out of me.  Splinters, impurities, pain.

So much pain, but hurt, that must be drawn out and released, and then valued.

Metallurgy is a wonderful thing.  I mean, it’s truly incredible how the symbolism really applies.  I don’t have it on hand, but I remember reading about electrolysis extraction of gold from an anode of copper.  The thing I remember reading was “and the process is still considered profitable.”  Also, I remember reading that gold was often found mixed with other metals, very, very often with copper.

The forge is an older method, of course.  I couldn’t verify all the things that a friend told me, but I don’t doubt that purification of gold is a time consuming process that way, but, still, all the impurities that are drawn out– iron, tin, copper, zinc, and more– are considered useful and valuable.

The tears roll down but I will persevere.

There’s nothing like a good game of UNO to start a better day. (Image credit: unorules.com)

Princess is off to church camp today, and will return on Saturday.  She played a round of UNO with Cimmorene and I before she left.

My stress level just keeps increasing… if only I could make diamonds out of the lumps of coal in my life.

Princess is our delivery girl for the post (or snail mail, if you will).  I did get some bad news.  There was a letter from OrthoNet– a notice of denial of medical coverage.  So I dialed the number listed for management (Utilization?  Medical?  I guess it’s customer service) and was grumping to two staffers before I realized maybe my surgeon’s nurses goofed, and that I should gripe to them.

You see, one of them (the surgeon’s nurses) had called earlier saying they were waiting for Humana to respond.  After waiting a week or more, I called back (to play the Phone Tag Voicemail game) and my call was returned with the nurse now saying they were new, i.e., green as grass.  Now, the letter said “Epidural Steroid Injection with J.S., M.D.”  under the Your request was denied section.



That’s not what the surgeon told me he was doing.  He wasn’t recommending more cortisone– I found out between two doctors, one nurse, and 6 courses of cortisone (5 of them epidural injections) that cortisone does NOT work for me.   He wants to use Novocaine, not cortisone, as a diagnostic tool to determine where my pain is.  Right now, he can’t tell if surgery screws, a bone spur, or another failing disc is causing my pain.

“It would not be a covered benefit to repeat the same interventional pain medicine (IPM) procedure that was already proven to be ineffective.”

Well no sheeeet, bean counters.  (Yes, I pointed out to OrthoNet staffers the request was wrong… then I realized that the surgeon’s nurses must have incorrectly filed the request.)

“OrthoNet values its relationship with Humana members, and our goal is provide exceptional customer service.”

Bob’s Big Boy Be Trippin’ Balls

A canned response deserves canned laughter, but I must point out that they were very patient with me even though I was complaining like a irritable curmudgeon.  Although this wouldn’t have been terribly professional, I would have laughed if one of them had said, “I got one of them Bob’s Big Boys on the line and dayum, is he trippin’.”  (A fair number of customer service reps I talk to on the phone sound like BBBWs from the South.  They either sound incredibly bored, or I get the nice sweet talk.)

Then I realized I was going to be late to my meeting with a new dietician.  My last lab reports were mostly very good, except for my A1C.  My physician specializes in internal medicine… I said I sounded like a grumpy irritable curmudgeon, right?  Well, I have a physician that admitted to me he normally sees seniors.  But that’s totally cool because, well, he’s my father’s physician as well.  He’s a really good fit for us as a GP, and I have the benefit of being able to reference my father for family history.

Thankfully I didn’t have too many problems even though I came in late.  I wasn’t administered a questionnaire because this was my third visit to Diabetes Education, but, the dietician still wanted one because this time, I had a pre-diabetes diagnosis–  well, for all intents and purposes, a diabetes diagnosis.

English: Blonde girl Русский: Блондинка

Not quite this blonde, but, you get the idea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was suitably impressed with the dietician.  Yes, granted, I noticed her brilliantly blond hair and light freckles.  (Laura A. Lord will remember I find freckles a charming feature, and as to the blond hair, well, I haven’t seen many women with naturally light blond hair in a while.)  But seriously, I was very impressed that she got down to business right away and was able to keep the conversation on track despite my tendency to ramble and slide off onto tangents.

What I really liked was that she explained the carbohydrate counting system to me in very plain, simple terms.  One of my sisters is type I diabetic, so I remember very well when this system was first being publicized as an alternative to the exchanges system.  Believe me, dear readers, I think counting carbs will be MUCH easier than counting calories based on an exchange system.  She also asked me to keep things easy and simple– I remarked that I had difficulty with keeping a food journal.  I was also impressed that she wanted to keep hydration simple– because I take lithium, she didn’t want me to make any drastic changes.  I said that I was going to consult a psychiatrist again and discuss that more in detail.  She was also right when she said many mental health care providers don’t really discuss hydration with patients that take lithium.  I agreed that they should– I know full well that lithium is a salt.  Why does it work the way it does?  My father-in-law explained it VERY well… lithium has a smaller molecular structure than sodium, and is therefore absorbed by the brain cells more easily.  Of course, salts help regulate electron flow in those brain cells and neurons.  My uncle got very dehydrated once, and experienced toxic levels of lithium as a result.  So, yes, I understand that water and salts need to be in proper balance– doubly so because a particular salt is part of my medicine regimen.

Good times, baybee.

I also got a meter system for testing blood sugar levels.  This morning, I realized that I can’t effectively test first thing in the morning… if I’m not hydrated well enough, I have a devil of a time getting any blood.  The lab vampires can corroborate my claim.

A Zynex representative called Sunday to clarify a few things, as well.  She said I could keep the electrodes if I wanted to.  In Home Medical didn’t have reusable electrodes– only one package of disposables was available, so it was nice to know that I could keep the electrodes I’d gotten with Zynex’s machine.  (My physiotherapist said that electrodes were pretty universal to most stim machines.)  She also said a return envelope to send their machine back was on its way.  I was also relieved when she said that I hadn’t made them wait longer than normal.  I was well within the normal amount of time for a machine to be returned.

I was supposed to have an intake for counseling at CFCS today, but, I’d had enough, and blew them off when they made the reminder call.  They’d eliminated their office that was close to me, and I didn’t want to drive out a half hour or more to their main office right when we usually take the kids to school lunch.  Setting up the appointment was also a distressing experience– I felt like the woman had lectured me like I was a child.  Yes, I know I’d missed (no-show) a few appointments.  Yes, I know about so many no-shows mean that I’d have to go to another agency or otherwise wait for a year.  I’d been to ALL of the agencies that the bi-county agency appointed to serve Medicare/Medicaid recipients– INCLUDING the mental health agency that lost their approval!

And that’s about all for now, dear readers.  I really don’t want to go into cPTSD or how badly I’ve been triggered lately.  Tonight, we will set up my old dome Scout tent for Boy to sleep in, so he can “camp” like Big Sister.

An old picture, but here to show you he already likes it.  Just one repair to make (it was damaged in a windstorm) and then we'll be set.

An old picture, but here to show you he already likes it. Just one repair to make (it was damaged in a windstorm) and then we’ll be set.

Deeper into the Forge

Posted: July 28, 2014 in Random Thoughts


Stay tuned…

My brain is slowly turning to mush with fatigue, so, besides the rather unoriginal title, I’ll be amazed if what I write makes sense.

So I need to make some phone calls first thing tomorrow.  Those of you who have played the game of phone tag may relate to this: Two of my calls happened nearly at the same time, and when I was gone.  My daughter had a very short pediatric appointment, but I wanted to visit the gym nearby.  (The wind was fierce and it lightly rained, so, I thought getting into the pool was worth it.)

One call came in the morning, actually; I was mildly surprised that it came because I hung up on the dispatcher.  I called the RAINN hotline.

I don’t like talking about this, but, I’m going to do it anyways.  Last night I was triggered, not by a post, but, by a comment.

I think the most that I will say is that men do not seem to understand the reality of women abusing men.  Yes, the statistics right now say that the vast majority of cases involve men abusing women.  That does not erase the instances of men being abused, especially when women perpetrate.

I wouldn’t doubt that such cases are vastly underreported.  And when they are?  Society doesn’t believe us.  They tell us we should have been able to stop it.
sigh I… don’t want to write anything more about this right now.

Except sometimes I think it would have been more clear cut if my mother had fucked me physically instead of emotionally and mentally.


A hidden post that I’m bringing up to the surface… I am reliving pure rage, shame, fear right now. Can’t explain it right now.

Originally posted on the tao of jaklumen:

This is a time-sensitive post of a personal nature and will be password protected in the usual manner.

One of the things I have been working on with my counselor is re-establishing a healthy balance of trust. In short, I have been stuck between extremes of complete trust or complete distrust, which were necessary to survive during periods of trauma, but have done me little good in more peaceful times. In other words, it has been difficult for me to measure partial trust, or trust that is refined and adjusted over many interactions with a person. Sadly, as I count my mother among my abusers, that sense of measured trust has been lacking with women. (Men are a different story– sometimes I can partially trust, but sometimes I just completely distrust them.)

This has been MUCH harder on the Internet, where some users hide behind a sense of pseudo-anonymity. To…

View original 376 more words

I hate being put on hold- Bureaucratic Limbo


Today I made many phone calls to the pharmacy, to doctor’s offices, to insurance.

  •  One of my prescriptions will be taken care of tomorrow.
  •  A permanent TENS unit is still being worked out: the physiotherapist’s office and the medical provider are not on the same page yet, apparently.
  •  No word from the orthopedic clinic, or the surgeon’s nurses about the Novocaine injections.  The insurance rep I talked to was outsourced… somewhere in Asia or Oceania, as it often is.

I hate putting on the dog and pony show for bureaucrats, more so when I must do it repeatedly and not everyone’s paying attention.

Pain is a leech on creativity.


I wish it was more of a forge, or a refiner’s fire.  There is so much content I want to finish here on the blog.

For example, more of The Hero’s Journey series:

Cover of "Superman - The Movie"



Cover of "The Transformers - The Movie"

 Transformers: The Movie


Redemption of the Four Kingdoms (fiction that Cimmorene and I are working on)

Superman is hard… I don’t have the good strength to write the explanations out, and I’m having trouble finding media from Superman: The Movie and Superman II, which I will be focusing on in one story.  I’ve got posts already- you can find them all here (or see some of the Related Articles), but I don’t have enough yet to fill out all of the Monomyth stages.  Equilibrium was easier by comparison– I had a wealth of clips on YouTube and a fansite.  Then, I realized the whole script fell VERY neatly into all the Hero’s Journey stages!

Transformers: The Movie is even more difficult in some ways.

Redemption of the Four Kingdoms is forged in my personal experiences with abuse and other trauma, so… I hope you understand why those words of fiction (based on some reality) aren’t coming too easily.  Maybe if I tell you I started it over five years ago, that would make more sense.







Daily Tanka —

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Random Thoughts


and then, Rob reflects on his journey… and realizes his own Call to Adventure.

Originally posted on Rob's Surf Report:

Welcome Summer

(Image credit: Christian R. H)

forever –
as time blooms anew
we unfold

finding our places
with best intention

Have you ever considered the roles that you’ve left in your wake on the journey to where you find yourself now?

View original 441 more words