FWF Kellie Elmore

“We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.” — Louise Erdrich, TracksPain Teens (album)

I was weary, weak beyond anyone’s mind could see. It wasn’t just my physical pain that had failed me, I was used to pain. It stayed with me like a shadow every day and night of my life. This was different, this was emotional, mind pain that wrapped itself around my neck and pulled tight. I knew I could breathe but I felt like I couldn’t, like some evil demon was choking me, I could practically see inside myself, red, raw lines around my throat from the choke marks. This would be my undoing. I hoped it was.

I knew I couldn’t fight and the hysteria that I felt came bubbling up like a spring on a hot, dry day. I was out of control, lots of pills, lots of pills. Weed too. I could see the water but I couldn’t taste it or feel it. As much as I knew that logically, it didn’t prevent me from continually trying, again, the pain getting deeper, the vice holding my throat deepening every second. I was only thirteen but I had lived a thousand years already, I wanted to die, I was not scared of death. That was not a fear I had.

I knew what I was up against, I already had been living on the streets my whole life. It didn’t matter. No pills I bought from the street, that I dry swallowed, could lessen that inside feeling of feeling out of control. It was a horrible feeling, so I tried more pills, pink, blue, white, lots of colors. Like in a magazine, little pretty children wandering alone, not being able to find their mother in the middle of a busy city, constantly calling out, yet nobody would answer them. They were lost but not found. It did not have a happy ending. All these children could do was cry and be afraid and the story would finish just the way it started. I knew better than that. I kept popping more pills, nothing was happening to me. Yet.

Sometimes that’s the way the world works. Not everything gets tied up perfectly with a pink, lace ribbon, curled on the ends. Not everyone is a tiny ballerina on stage, showered with perfect red roses after a performance on their pointed pink ballet shoes. No, that was for dreamers and I was no dreamer. That was for people, the very tiny amount of people that lived in the rich life I never came in contact with but I heard about or read about it. My mother was a junkie, she lived on the streets, sometimes but not with me, no. I saw my mom who I called “Destiny” shooting up heroin in a corner, on a street. We didn’t say hello to each other. Usually she was so out of it she wouldn’t know me. When I recognized her, I pretended I didn’t. Me, popping pills, her doing heroin.

I was a street child, a crazy one at that. I lived here and there, whatever place I decided was mine for the night. The only name my mother ever called me was “gutter-child.” That’s the only name I knew.

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Escape To The Bedroom

8773 - St Petersburg - Hermitage - Aphrodite

8773 – St Petersburg – Hermitage – Aphrodite (Photo credit: thisisbossi)

I’m so tired, my eyes are threatening to close and go on strike forever. I see puffs of clouds through jagged corners of my weary green eyes.  Believe me, I don’t want to fight you, I just want to go under my covers and sleep. It is the fourth day of gray, cold, damp weather and I try to pretend I am not even here. My Fibromyalgia tender points are raw, if I even touch one gently with my soft finger I scream with pain. It’s as if a rainbow of sharply pointed colored pencils plunge deeply into my tender points with the power of a strong hammer, the tip of bold silver needles aiming for precision. There is no cure and no release, not on these cold, damp days. Welcome to my chronic world.

I am taking a trip now, escaping under my blankets, where I belong. It is warm and sunny, I regret not having stronger sun glasses.  I am wearing a short, dark blue denim skirt that I haven’t been able to fit into for 20 years, I have a white V neck short-sleeved top with stunning embroidery around the lace yoke, a colorful beaded necklace around my neck, blue, yellow, pink, purple beads held together with silver strands. I am wearing silver sandals and freshly painted pink toes and I am smiling, happily. I move my head to catch the breeze and my hair feels like it is joyously dancing. I am not alone.

My lips have just been brushed, my breath stalled, the lightness of butterfly wings with unfamiliar lips brushing mine and lingering for a second too long to think it was an accident. It is just a touch, which makes my heart start to beat rapidly, and I have  t rouble regulating my breath. Both of us linger, for a second, in the air as we try to understand what just happened. That first question of possible romance and sexual curiosity being stirred up after such a long time. Who knew that they still existed? I thought they were gone forever, I fooled myself into thinking that because it made my dreary life easier.

‘I feel awkward and shy, my cheeks blushing pink, childishly and I try to hide my face from my new love but he misses nothing. He curls his hand and gently strokes my cheek, lovingly as if I was a precious gift. He looks at me as if I am his treasure, I don’t remember feeling like anyone’s object of worship ever before. This is separate, a later in life gift, a precious offering that I am trying to fight but know I will attempt to struggle hard and eventually may give in. Who doesn’t want to feel loved and sensual and appreciated? Who doesn’t want their body to be stroked so slowly and lightly that all your senses awaken like budding flowers from the long, dark, icy winter. I have never heard compliments murmured in my ears, whispering loving phrases as if my body and soul were a beautiful sculpture, more beautiful than Aphrodite.

I am yours, under these covers, in our world, in my head. You keep me alive, you make me vibrate and tingle until I can imagine I will see you the next time. We both long for that, sometimes not having the access immediately intensifies the passion, the lust. I want our eyes to meet again, the first second of shyness, the second of hunger, of greed and then…..’

Someone is pulling on the covers, intruding on my safe world, someone is screaming for me to” wake up.” No, I don’t want to leave but leave I must. I don’t want to return to that world with its gray dullness seeping into every molecule of my ordinary self. My brain is dead, my emotions flattened; I am jealous of my own fantasies.

Inject Yourself !!!

It’s  been a very long time since I started my journey into medical madness. First stop: Menopause. Second stop: an underactive thyroid. Third stop: Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an auto immune disease) Fourth stop: Fibromyalgia. I was being treated for my underactive thyroid with  Synthroid and more synthroid. Cymbalta was added on top of Prozac, intertwined with various other drugs for various other ailments. Then, a very long period of feeling like I had the flu without a temperature, no energy, no strength, every body part and his brother ached, all I wanted to do or was able to do, was pretty much, sleep. I felt and looked like hell.

That was about a year and a half ago until I was forced to see a specialist in NYC that dealt with joint diseases and auto-immune diseases only. That became the start of more medicine, but more hope.  I had to keep a journal of how achy I was (yes) and how tired I was (still yes.)  Then came Plaquannel, high doses of Vitamin D and after that, folic acid. After a few more months he added methotrexate and to contradict some of the really bad side effects of methotrexate he added Levocoir or something that sounds like that.  That worked and it didn’t work, sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. There was no rhyme or reason as to when it would work and when it would not. In addition, he had me see his colleague ( girlfriend) an OB-GYN, and start me on bio-identical hormones.  I always swore, absolutely, positively swore I would NEVER , ever take HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy.  Again, I started rubbing the Estrogel in my arms every day. When does it stop? When do I stop?

Since I have not reacted most positively to all the drugs listed above, my guru Dr. wants to go to even stronger meds, including injectible ones. That’s right, injectable drugs, in my thigh, given by me, every day. From the diary he asks me to keep from one to ten, one being a mess and ten being (in my words)euphoric or on top of the world, I am at best a five. He is not happy with that number, he wants it to increase to an eight. I will never be a ten, with my auto-immune disease, but I should be higher than a five or sometimes a two. At least that’s what he says, my Guru Dr.  Me? I’m not so sure.

How much though, is too much?  How much more medicine to I want to take in my already overly medicated body. Why isn’t a five acceptable? Are these his standards, or mine? I am weary of taking stronger drugs and injecting them daily. For what? A higher quality of life? I have an acceptable quality of life and I am beginning to think that that’s enough for me. The name of the drug he wants to introduce by injection is Enbrel. Since I become hysterical at looking drugs up on Web MD, my husband always reads it first. For him to shake his head and say, “I’m not so sure about this one…..” is tantamount to me shrieking, feeling sick and fainting all at once. My husband is a calm man, I am not considered to be calm when it comes to medicine, illness or personal safety. I admit it. I worry.

Yes, I would like to feel better than I do but at what cost? Doctors often breezily refer to drugs with well known risks as if they were telling you to take a multi-vitamin.  I am going to have to seriously think about the next step, although I’m pretty sure I know what I am going or NOT going to do. I don’t want more drugs in an already inundated body. I don’t want to inject a drug that has more negative side effects than it does worth. I’m sick of all of it, sick of feeling poorly, sick of taking drugs and sick of Dr.s and yes, sick of myself.

I can’t tell you what I am DEFINITELY going to do, I need much more information. Why is a five in a range from one to ten such a bad thing? What about the hidden side effects of all these different medicines? And, what about quality of life? Maybe being a ten is not for everyone, or a nine, even an eight. Now I am going to weigh all the risks and get more facts,  but, for the meantime I will stay at five; and just be very grateful for that.