Oh Me Oh My! My Battery is Dead!!!!

I am not speaking metaphorically here.  I have a battery in, well… close to my lower right butt cheek.

I have something called a spinal stimulation device that includes a wire that runs up the inside of my spinal column and has leads coming off of it that has contact points where I experience chronic pain.  This device is powered by a battery that is buried under my skin and controlled via I Pod.

The original purpose of this device was to lower my pain threshold for my stupid, deformed pancreas.  It is always painful.  After I had the spinal stim device placed in May of ’18, it took quite a while to get it adjusted.  However, I did finally getting it working well and it has been a great help.  However, in order to get relief I have to run it at a level that I can constantly feel a “buzzzz” rushing through my system.  It is strange but whatever works is fine by me.

Because I am running the device at such a high level I made an appointment with the company representative through the pain care office.  (This was about four months ago.)  I asked her directly if I needed to have my battery replaced more quickly.  She looked at me like I had two heads and said, “No! It’s fine!  Those batteries are designed to go for two years at a minimum and usually last up to three.  Besides, you can just check it on your Ipod controller.”

So, I put it away in my mind and tried not to be too concerned.  Guess What?

It died about two weeks ago.  Dead as a door nail.  I called the pain care folks and they rushed me right in and said it was probably just a programming error.  I kind of knew at that point it was no programming error.  As soon as the representative ran his magnet near the thing in my hiney I knew from the look on his face my battery was d.o.a.

And I began to realize just how much pain relief the thing was actually giving me.  It isn’t 100% but it sure as heck helps.

I have been really, really irritated about this.  I know it wasn’t anyone’ s fault but it has just made me feel, all over again, how helpless I am over my screwed up body.

By the time I get the battery replaced this coming Thursday, it will have been off for three weeks and I have been in pain every single day.  Once the new battery is in, they cannot turn it on full speed due to swelling, so I won’t get the full effect for a while.  And, as a side note, I am upgrading to a rechargeable battery:)  This new one is smaller and  can last up to five years but I have to recharge it but putting on a magnetized belt that is then plugged into an outlet.

I can be a one stop charging station for my butt, my phone and my I watch!

So, yes, the point of all my kvetching here is the helplessness:  I live, day to day, with pain, fatigue and gastric issues that might keep someone else bed bound.  In fact, it used to cause me to run to a hospital.

I have just decided that I am not going to let it all  rule me anymore.  At least, not if I can help it.  But some days, I cannot make myself go… I am too nauseous or my legs hurt to much to  move or some such thing.  I try to just push and go but there are days I would rather not.

But, I fear that on any random day that I let myself rest, entropy might set in.

What if I never move again?

What if the pain and discomfort start to eat me alive again?

What if I reach for the pain meds again?

I won’t. I won’t. I won’t.

If I do those things: I’m dead.

And yet, if I don’t pace myself, I am making life harder for myself.  It is a perfect conundrum.

Over the winter holidays I was able to get out and walk and exercise a lot and I really enjoyed it.  I could push myself farther and farther and it felt good.  But I noticed I felt like my legs wanted to drop off of my body and my wrists and my fingers ached.  I could feel every joint as though someone was sticking needles in every possible place.

This pain usually signals a flair of lupus and means I should take some steroids.  I resisted.  Steroids bring their own issues.

After I started back to work this past week, I didn’t get to walk as much.

My bad joint pain disappeared.  I figured out that I had been doing exactly what tons of physical therapists have told me NOT to do: exercise on days back to back and push farther and faster too quickly.

In other words, I was doing it to myself.

So, I ran my battery too fast and it died.  I pushed my joints too hard and they screamed in protest.  I get all up in my head and worry about problems I cannot solve and lose sleep.

There seems to be a pattern here!!!!!!!

Hopefully, writing about it and ‘going public’ will help me remember the lesson.   I would love to hear if anyone who  reads this if they does anything similar.

Please, tell me I am not the only idiot that does this to myself:)

Ah well, who would wanna admit that!


Stress Is A Funny Thing

Okay, that is a stupid title if there ever was one.  For some odd reason I have to have a title to start writing… so, there it is.

I have been pre-writing (sorry, English writing teacher jargon).  I mean, I have been thinking, dreaming, humming and washing dishes to the ideas I want to spill on this virtual page; yet, where to begin?

I realize I am a neurotic, middle aged Jewish woman with a great deal of privilege, but I don’t think that negates what I want to say here.

I  want to say that I feel there is a level of stress in our lives, our culture, our country right now that is dragging many of us down, including me.  Stress causes us to produce cortisol.  Cortisol lowers our immunity to whatever bugs are circulating.  For me, that is a recipe for disaster.

But,   I am not that big of a concern.  I am very fortunate.  I am by no means whining about myself in this post.  (Oh, and by the way, please, please forgive my incredibly  simplified explanation of what stress does to the human body!).

I worry for the people that live on the edges of society.  Who are they?  The people whose jobs are at stake.  The people who are trying to make do on a salary of less than $8.00 an hour.  Not to mention all of those without health insurance.

Just recently I got a note from my insurance saying I will have to change brands of medication that I use for my IGG infusions.  This is not a simple request.  These drugs actually come from other people’s plasma and include their antibodies.  I can’t use very many of the formulations.  I can’t just randomly switch between the brands. Previous experience tells me that I have reactions to most of the formulations of the igg drug.

Someone will have to go to bat for me against the insurance company and hep me keep receiving the brand that works.  That person will be my doctor so I am headed across town to break the bad news to her today.

Can you imagine what would happen if I didn’t have a doctor or insurance in the first place?

I would be very dead.

And now, we have an entire country that is constantly in stress, in flux.  The nightly news is littered with strife.

There are protests, gun shots, lying, pointing of fingers and corrupt dealings at the highest levels and the business of running our country has not been getting done for several years.  It has been getting UNDONE.

Whether you agree with me or not doesn’t matter.  The fact is that we are at an impasse where I think we cannot move forward without a big change.

We cannot go on as we are and maintain this country as it has been.  More and more of us are suffering for the behavior of those who were elected to represent our best wishes; our hopes and dreams and ensure our safety.

And now we are on the brink of war in the middle east.  I have been praying for peace.  It is not worth it for the US to fight Iran.  I had trouble sleeping last night and that was one of the things that kept me awake.

Speaking of sleep, I can’t seem to get any.  I have had insomnia all of my life but nothing like what I am dealing with now.  I  chose to get off of all the hard core sleeping medications.  I have herbal supplements and a prescription for an older type of anti depressant that is supposed to help me sleep but have no side effects.

I am going to finish this post from hell even if it kills you, oops.. Me:)

I wrote all of the above during the fall semester.  Then, when the semester was finally over and the holidays hit, I didn’t do any writing.  All I did was run, run, run.

Ironically, I do a lot more sitting in one place when I am at work than I do at home.

I wrote all of that oblique/being anxious Sheisse (Shit) before the impeachment proceedings in the House even got underway.  I thought I was stressed out in the fall?


Now we are all watching a three ringed circus on tv and in or news media, daily! I cannot believe this has come to pass.  We have a president, (and yes, I am going to go there) whose lawyers are arguing that the fact that he withheld Congressional approved monies from a foreign power in order to force them into an investigation of his personal political ally is perfectly fine.  In fact, his cadre’ of lawyers include men who have had close relationships with the like of a former dishonored impeachment and who is also the recently resigned president of a University  (Baylor and Ken Starr) because he protected a football culture that condoned rape.   His other top dog lawyer is someone who was friends with and a long time lawyer for: Jeffrey Epstein/Human Scum.  The other is a man who was once fairly decent but now descended into darkness: Alan Duschowitz (Dershowitz).  These are the quality of people our president has chosen to argue his innocence.  What does that say to you?  Oh, yes, we should  not forget Sekulow or the president’s big friend, Crazy Guiliani.

Man, that is one heck of a team.

I am going to stop writing now.  I think I will just end here with my major feeling at this junction in our history as a country and when I turn on the news or read another article:


Months ago I saw an interview with Sarah Silverman  on a talk show.  She had a great idea.  Whenever you see another person who  feels similarly about the current situation as you do you should slam the heel of your right hand into your forehead.  This would form a kind of salute of stupidity and thereby give you a sense of unity:)