the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


I Am So Tired Right Now

If it isn’t already bleedingly obvious right now, I’m on a blogging hiatus.

I am so tired.


A quick note- there will be a little salt in the following words.  If coarse language offends you, I won’t be offended in turn if you gloss over the next parts, or even stop reading.  I will be grateful if you continue, however.

Hit the road, Jill

I trounced Boy’s ABA therapist.  As in I told her to get out.  Then, I could only take so much of her boss blowing smoke up my ass.  It’s a semi-long story that I just don’t have time or energy to elaborate on right now.

I am very excited to have a new artist- Saphyre Rain- to write press for We Heart Music.  (What’s We Heart Music?  For those who haven’t been here over the long, long slog, leave me a comment, and I’ll explain.  For now: a music blog I wrote for back in the day.)  It’s comprised of a husband and wife duo singing about hope for suicide and self-harm issues, which are very personal and important to me.  I’ve been corresponding with Amanda, the singer/guitarist of the group, and she’s been very congenial… I’m grateful she specifically asked me to take my time.

Errrrrgggh, this is so frustrating.  I’m really frustrated!

I’m so frustrated, in a certain way.  cough No, won’t elaborate.  It doesn’t help that Cimmorene has a new memory about being molested by a caregiver when she was 3.  Why thank you, fate.  Yes, I will have another bitch slap, please.

More work on this post than I was expecting.  I’m still tired.

It takes effort to distill thoughts to 120 characters, but Twitter is less exhausting… as was discussed in the previous post.


Descending further down the Abyss (Transitions)

I now have a collapsing disc just above the fused vertebrae, and awful swelling around the bone graft of the fusion.

Just how far can the pain go?

Thinking on my experiences with domestic violence— yes, sadly, that is a thing I’ve witnessed, and experienced.  Lindsay Fischer (then as Sarafina Bianco) and Amy Thompson welcomed me into #domesticviolencechat, another Twitter chat that intersected with the #sexabusechat community.  I wasn’t sure I fit in, at first… much like the other Twitter communities I mentioned.  But I was nevertheless accepted.

We’re all wondering where Timothy (@GerhardTimothy) is and that he’s okay.  I especially value the conversations we had, because then it was easier to feel okay as a man in the chat discussions.

I’ve told Amy a little bit about my experience, but haven’t told anyone else much in full.  That will change, soon.  I think Lindsay and Amy encourage my perspective (they’ve said this to me numerous times in various ways) because it adds more scope to the issue.  It’s not just a woman’s issue, and it’s not just an issue between couples.  In my experience, it involves generations of families- although such matters are usually discussed in abuse contexts (child abuse, adult abuse, etc.)

I think it’s also time to bring out the Redemption of the Four Kingdoms material.  It’s long overdue, actually– if many of you remember my teasings and many cryptic references to it, I’ll be amazed.

But so much of this writing is difficult to do when I am drowning in wave after wave of agonizing pain.  I’ll have to do it in bits and pieces.  I’ll probably write posts that I feel are lacking in quality, although I want to cut down on the perfectionistic traps and toxic habits mingled in such thinking.

I will try to sleep now, dear readers… it’s 02:39 as of this writing where I am.  I hope the pain will ebb, and the terrifying nightmares stop.  Only about a week ago, I dreamt I was molested and raped.  Again.  In a different way.  It felt so real, but I’d never experienced it in real life.  How?

A Journey of Recovery: Staples are out


Ooh, the staples! (25th of January, 2015)

laminectomy scar

Animated GIF of the nurse removing the staples (27th of January, 2015)
staples out


Trial stim a success– permanent to come

Click through if image isn’t already big enough


So the leads are out of my body, since the trial period is over.  All in all, it was a big success.  I was able to sleep better… I was awake before Cimmy and the kids were every single day of the trial– even as early as 04:30, and I wasn’t tired later in the day.  It was easier to go out, although having a chord coming out of my back was still a bit awkward.  For example, I went to a meeting with two of my daughter’s teachers, and I didn’t dread going (because I was usually grumpy and anti-social with all the pain).




Overall, my mood and alertness has been a lot better.




So what now?  Well, it’s waiting for insurance to approve the permanent procedure, which would involve a battery being implanted under my skin– probably just above my left buttock.  It might look similar to this, but lower down the spine:




English: Anterior view X-ray of a Medtronic Sp...


Enhanced by ZemantaWhat I really like is the surgeon I asked to be referred to was the one that did my fusion surgery.  The only thing is I’ll have to tell his nurse practitioner– “You said don’t come back for 10 years… sorry it’s a bit sooner than that.  If this goes as well as the trial, maybe I won’t come back for another 10, or whenever the battery needs to be charged.”

It’s Electric! (Q & A Time for the Electric Slide… errr, Fence)


Ooo, it’s shocking!

backside layout

Picking up from where I left off with Electric Fences and Spinal Cord Stim and The trial version of the electric fence

I’ve been putting my Medtronic representative Nick through his paces– I managed to ask a question he hadn’t heard before:

“Can I still use my TENS unit while on the trial period?”

Now, I found out the answers are more concrete about the permanent procedure (where the battery is implanted under my skin instead of a cord to an external battery coming out of my back, like it is now) than the trial procedure.  But, to sum up, the answer was basically don’t have both stim systems going at the same time.  Where some people go back to physiotherapy after the permanent procedure is done, some of their physiotherapists call Meditronic and ask similar questions, and this is much of the answer they give them.  I was also told that it was unwise to put the electrodes for a TENS unit over the implanted battery (e.g., again, after the permanent procedure).

It was heartening to have Nick tell me I was a “poster child” for the procedure, i.e., I was taking everything fairly realistically and in stride.  It was also heartening to have him echo similar sentiments to my doctor, in that I was level-headed about it all.

But speaking of questions, do you have any more?  Please, don’t hesitate to ask!  I promise I won’t be offended or intimidated– I believe in asking questions as means to educate.


Something new to my blogging style: This post was inspired by Joy at Joynpain2. My doctor and his partner had trouble inserting the leads as far up as they wanted to put them, because apparently, there was adhesions/scar tissue blocking the way, and causing the lead to bow out.  I thought of Joy, as she writes about her struggles with pelvic and abdominal adhesions.  It hurt a lot as the doctor kept poking– as Joy also writes about chronic pain, it was nice to think of a friend.

And as Zoe says at behindthemaskofabuse says, there is hope!

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Electric Fences and Spinal Cord Stim

The leads for the trial period of the spinal cord stimulator are finally in the epidural space of my spine (as of  16-17h approxminately Monday evening, Pacific Daylight Time).  I am terribly sore right now, and probably will be still by the time this repost publishes.  Please enjoy.  I will probably be re-running the Silver Surfer series next, filling out more Hero’s Journey stages to cover Surfer’s return to the cosmos and The Infinity Gauntlet storyline.

So I’ve already reblogged Steph’s marvelous What’s Your Electric Fence? post, but I figured it would be better to share my thoughts in a separate post, rather than try to cram it into the reblog, or in a comment on her post.

It’s my understanding that such is considered polite in the blogosphere.  So here I am.

Coincidentally, I was surfing YouTube the night before and caught this episode of Ren & Stimpy:

I thought, “Oh dude, don’t mention that– it’s so immature!”  Steph was talking about electric fences in a metaphorical sense– anything that holds us back in our lives.  But then she mentioned “using the public urinal” and I couldn’t help myself.

The other coincidental connection is more serious, however.  A receptionist at the pain center called today to say that pre-authorization (don’t you just love insurance terminology?) had been granted for the trial period for the spinal cord stim procedure and that we could schedule a time to have it done.  It will be the 30th, two Mondays from now.  So I joked to Steph that I was going to have an electric fence threaded up my spine.

What are my electric fences?  Steph listed a few that hold true for me as well.  I was never happy with my looks for years– and I mean my face, as well as my body.  I hated my Scandinavian button nose, as it seemed there was no one around me that had one.  Seriously– I remember years later seeing someone from a Scandinavian country post  their picture online, and I thought, “Hey, that dude has a nose like me!”  I didn’t like my deep-set eyes or my full lips.  Classmates in middle school were actually rude enough to suggest that my mother had to be Asian and my father had to be black for those facial features.

I still don’t like my boyish looks sometimes.  So many people think I’m 10 years younger than I really am.  I grew a beard to try to offset those opinions, but they still came.  When I got my hair cut last Friday, the stylist seemed to act surprised that I had grey hairs in my head.  “They look like highlights,” she said.  Heh.  Nice save there, hun.

Body issues… oh yeah.  My mother’s side of the family gave me mixed messages on eating, so I was worried about dieting… in the fifth grade.  Wish I could go back to my younger self and ask him not to worry, but he’d probably see my humongous belly now, and yell and cry.  Psychiatric drugs, a non-accident back injury, and emotional eating all grew that.  Even my belly button is fat now.

I’m not sure how to end this post now.  All I can think of is fluffy “I will overcome” statements that just feel insincere right now.  But I rather like Steph’s closing thought:

Maybe we can go electric fence trashing together, or at least cause a power outage so they’re just fences and we can jump them together.

She Said What?  Oh Yes She Did!  I’ll take you up on that, Steph.  Thanks again for your post!