Friday, August 29, 2014

Not much to share today...

The first day in a while that I've even been able to sit at, and use, the computer in the studio. And that, only barely. Someone came by to talk to me while I was typing this, and the time that took added to the challenge of just sitting here. Which I am not, not, enjoying. In the least.

Not much to share, since I've basically been living in the bed. Earlier this week, a friend came by and did me a solid, working on my truck for me. I did him a solid, just by giving him someone to talk to about Some Issues. A good day of mutual support; the first of many, I hope.

MS has still been gifting me... I'm just not always receptive to what I need to see.

Like that's different from, you know, life.

Gotta Google something specific, before my "typing" finally gives out and re-typing stops causing me more pain. Then back to bed. I don't really "watch" things, but I do listen. Actually deal with watching, only occasionally, to catch something really fun to watch.

Like Stephen Universe introducing a new gem fusion, Sugilite. Somone you definitely do not want to mess with.

I wonder what the gems would do with MS? Gotta tell you, spare arms and eyes might come in handy...

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time to do The Work

It has definitely been a while since we last chatted... The first time in days that I've had the strength to sit at the computer and type... and I've already hit the wall, having typed three letters and a web page. Dang, it sure doesn't take much to stop me in my tracks.

While I was at my MD/acupuncturist this last Monday, my wife took my wheelchair tires t a wheelchair shop to get them seen to. Folks, if any of you have wheelchairs to deal with, treat 'em better than you probably treat your car. Having the failed tire repaired makes a HUG!!!!!! difference, in the way everything works. Safety, maneuverability, everything gets better.

Can't wait to take the whole device in for a going-over.

Yesterday, I had a very odd acupuncture treatment... summoning the seven dragons, to clear "possession," which I don't even vaguely understand enough to describe but dang, do I feel better after it has been cleared.

And a good "reality check" with my not-quite-unattaching from the past. I was telling him about how I was very clear of My Former Work7place and all my issues with it, and I was asked in precisely these words: "Why do you care at all?"

A very good question... I barely eat anything (a reminder to self: finish this and go eat something, idiot, even if you don't really want to), simply sitting at the computer as I am now takes me down the road of hand-control failure of failed typing or control of pretty much anything, I can't really read (whether its glasses problems or eye/brain problems) and as Professor Farnsworth of Futurama would say, "Lordy Loo..." it's not like what's easily readable on anything is worth reading at all, delusion chasing delusion chasing delusion, a very good way to get deluded yourself. But attachment, insidious attachment...

And besides copping to "I'm still attached," there's nothing else TO be done. As Ram Dass writes, if they don't appreciate you, that's on them, but if you're stuck on being appreciated, that's on you. Time to do some work.

Well, that's definitely a gift of MS. Time to do some work? Well, besides keeping up with the Cath Club, remembering to eat and take my herbs, deal with a few other Unfun Medical Things... what other work do I have to do?

Not "stuff" to do, but work to do? Even if, as I definitely have right now, have hit the wall and need to get back to bed? Well, yeah, eat first, but it is definitely time to pack it in... and, clearly, Do the Work, and let the Work Do You.

Clearly... as Arsenio Hall used to say to start his show, "It's time."

Time to do the Work. Well, the MS Highway does provide many interesting... opportunities, does it not?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Memento Mori Management

Been following surprisingly challenging doctor's orders this week. Simplest way to convey at least one of them is "Dude, get outta the damned house!"

I've gotten out of the house every day for the past week, starting with two doctor's visits Monday and Tuesday. Even tried to go out for lunch Wednesday and Thursday.

Not that it made much difference, for lunch nowadays I basically eat a poker chip or something that amount/size, which at least one of the other doctor's would like to change (zero interest in food means I lose even more weight, given what little I weigh nowadays, that's no good). Hoping to make it to the LA Tea Festival tomorrow.

Doc #2 told me to drink pu erh tea, but be sure it doesn't have mold on it (a characteristic of some varieties). Said mold was a good herbal-istic idea once, but not today. So I got some nice dry stuff right off the cake, zero mold, and the Jedi Tea Master told me that if I treated it correctly, I could get twenty washes from a single "dose" of tea. Very economical, indeed!

Had a surprise visit from a former co-worker, who's still at ... There, shall we call it. Sounds like things haven't changed, in the "makes life miserable" department. That it continues to have been a really, really good idea to bail when I did (might have even been better to bail earlier, but as Alton Brown is famous for saying, "That's another show") and for various reasons, it might very well be a good idea for said former co-worker to bail too.

Taking care of somebody else's business is one thing. Taking care of your own life is another.

Eventually, even I realized that the latter was the superior approach.... especially when it seems that you have to choose only one of them.

As we have all heard, I'm sure, that not a single gravestone either says, or ever will say, "If only I had spent more time at the office." As the Good Book says, their tombs are the fairest white alabaster, but they are full of dead men's bones.

Life is memento mori enough as it is. Middle management making you wish you were dead is a life not worth spending. We only get so many moments... fighting with management's vagaries is not really the best way to spend them, are they?

Saturday, August 9, 2014

New homework

A thought on witnessing and awareness...

Time after time, I see how my right hand is withering. How every day it seems to be able to do less and less... How I type next to "only" with my left hand, fever watching the screen, instead staring at the keyboard because I'm already making enough errors as it is, at least this way (staring at the keyboard) I catch the errors as they are made. Mostly.

But what I don't witness is success. Instead of seeing "I managed to do X" I see "Doing X used to be possible and now it isn't." It's the classic "Is the glass half full or half empty?" question... I would probably be happier to see "I was able to X well enough to achieve Y" rather than fixating on "I should be able to X, I used to be able to X, and now I can't."

Man, attachment is indeed a subtle trap...

Yesterday I found myself musing on My Old Life, at the place I used to work and even called home, and I remembered This Thing... This particular memory used to pull me down the rabbit hole of fury, of offense, of rage; but that particular time, reminiscing was very quiet. "Yeah, I think I am still pissed at that." That's as bad as it got. "Better?" I suppose, and certainly "better" simply by being honest with myself, but I guess I'm still stuck there. Not as virulently as I used to be, but attached is attached, and letting go for real is letting go for real.

It's very interesting what angers me and what doesn't. Being in the Cath Club doesn't bother me. Being in a regular (if you can use that word) relationship with Dulcolax doesn't bother me. Being unable to play or even sit at the organ doesn't bother me like it used to. Being wheelchair-bound doesn't bother me; maybe it's being good at navigating it... But the "hand stuff" is really getting to me. Being unable to type. Being unable to deal with a "piano-style" keyboard, even for data entry, really bothers me. Having problems operating the mouse really bothers me. Having such poor control over my legs that they "pretzel up" and lock each other up when all I'm trying to do is to get them under a sheet, or trying to get them underneath me in the wheelchair (or any chair) really bothers me.

My spiritual advisor would demand not "What do you think," but "What do you feel?" And that, I can't answer. Whatever I feel is buried so deep that I can't even describe it shoddily. Well, that's more work, I guess, and Ram Dass would (probably) suggest that I should thank this difficulty simply for being there to each me a lesson.

And thus MS gives its gifts. There was NO OTHER WAY TO GET YOUR ATTENTION so I had to try this!

And it's gonna keep pissing you (me) off until you (I) learn what is necessary. The neurological nonsense may never abate, but "taking affect" from it, as my Spiritual Guy would say, that's another matter. As Ram Dass would say, that's on me.

So again, MS has set a gift before me. Which is gonna sit there and keep pissing me off until I receive the gift as offered.

Clearly... new homework.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wonder if...

As Jon Stewart has been known occasionally to say, "I got nothing."

I can barely control my right hand with enough precision to use a mouse, type, tap a button on my iPhone without putting my eye out or dropping the phone on my face or even tapping the "tap here" surface, much less a selected spot on said surface.

Could barely spread jam on a waffle. Without "spreading" it everywhere. The floor, my lap, the napkin, the... everything.

Rocky Mountain MS Society this week has an article about "fatigue."

Wonder if I'll have the strength to read it?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Gotta have your priorities

Ah, Seth Godin... Yesterday's blog post, about "Analytics without action," was almost the very picture of where I used to work. Except they would gather bad data, badly, creating untrustworthy analytics, whose only purpose was to make Them happy. We've got data, you see! And merely by the having of this data, They were proven Right, which of course was the only reason to gather said data. Who needs to be so scrupulous about data gathering? This proves We're Right, which was after all what We wanted.

I guess I'm not really over my last workplace. Attachment is a powerful thing...

I'm not as violently enraged simply by remembering the existence of Said Workplace, but I've clearly very deeply rehearsed the telling of the story, and although I omit the "You stole [x] from me!" pretty much all the time as I used to, but clearly I'm still channeling the Cosmic Owl, muttering "You messed up."
Not much more to say... I was hoping to do some kitchen work today, making refrigerator pickles, sharpen a knife maybe... eat more before checking out & heading back to bed. We'll see what happens... "Eat more" is priority, so I'm going to do one more thing online... Nope. I feel like I'm hitting the wall, so that'll wait, the "do stuff online" stuff.

Gotta have your priorities, right?

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Quite a gift

Bathroom remodeling proceeds apace. We're down to the final day (or so), installing door moulding, a bit of priming, maybe another handle or so (or other hand-hold fine-tuning).

It rained last night. A few days ago there was a brief thick and substantial mist (San Diego, where my wife was at ComicCon, had by her description full-on Florida-grade downpour, plus spectacular thunder and lightning), but last night it was actual rain. Drops and all.

It only took moments before the plants in the garden began positively radiating happiness. Finally, FINALLY, the sky is watering us. Life is very, very good. Even the back-garden kami seemed to be back, not burned to a cinder by the summer heat and drought; even the kami was happier, from the rain.

Sitting on the veranda last night, it was a truly beautiful evening. The sight, the sound, the smell, even the taste of the air of a late-midsummer-night rainfall, was truly beautiful. California is going through a horrible drought, but last night, the sky was sharing water. And it was very, very good.

I've been reading a lot of Ram Dass recently, courtesy my mighty iPhone. One that really caught my eye was about learning to grieve... about saying farewell, about letting go.

This is something that confronts us MSers very directly, very personally, very deeply. Like humanity doesn't do that anyway. Well yeah it does, but somehow, on the Neurological Highway it's somehow... accelerated.

It was a horrible struggle to let go and grieve leaving my last workplace, without judging or accusing. "You took my [whatever]!" As time went on, it became clearer that no, it was simply time to leave. What they (whoever They are) do, that's on them. Choose the path, choose the consequences... the path They choose is their path, and the benefits and consequences are theirs. Not mine. If I choose to weigh myself down, that's on me... and I do not choose to do that any more. Been there, done that. As Stephen Colbert likes to say, "Moving on..."

But not just watching the end of the train moving away, but actually speaking truth to experiencing the loss, truly grieving... that's different. So many things are gone... my driving. Riding a bicycle, still hanging untouched, and untouchable, in the garage. Let's not talk about playing the organ, that's been something I've been working on grieving for quite a while... Same for playing timpani and drum set, all kinds of percussion... Gone. For now, at least, but for now at least... gone.

Bathroom stuff... standing up to brush my teeth, not always a good idea even to try that, and of course the Elimination Polka, which is doing many things but "getting better" ain't one of them.

"Stopping caring," or as usually happens, saying that you have stopped caring, and grieving, are different. Very different. As past master of Denial in all its insidious forms... Very different.

So, I don't need to swim through the sea of anguish, but to tell the truth with love... and when it calls to me to do so, to grieve with love...

Quite a gift, indeed, should I choose to open my hands and heart, and receive it.