Jumping the gun?

Okay, so after more than a week of severe knee pain, I finally asked my doctor for a referral to an orthopedist. Now I wake up with the pain much more in the mild to moderate range, and I feel a little silly.

Do I still keep the appointment if my doctor can get me in with the specialist? I mean, I still have osteoarthritis in my knees. That’s not going to go away. And if I can’t get my weight back under control I’m still putting unnecessary pressure on them.

I really have to make and stick to a lifestyle change. Eat less. Eat better. Exercise more. Get un-fat.

It humiliates me that I’ve let myself go to the point where it’s seriously affecting my health. I keep telling myself that I’m going to eventually lose the weight, but it keeps creeping up. Granted, even though I’m almost 230 pounds (according to the electric scale at the doctor’s office last week), I’m also 5’10”, so I don’t look as fat as I am. Except for the damn belly. I hate that I look pregnant all the time.

Keep track of your health, folks. I let myself go, and it resulted in extreme pain that could have been avoided. I’m going to take it easier on my walks, but I’m still going to walk. I have to get healthy. I finally got the rheumatoid pain mostly under control; I can’t let this osteoarthritis beat me.

Play through the pain

Today marks the start of another work week full of walking, standing, sitting, stooping–basically all the things my knees are currently opposed to doing.

I’ve got to keep going, though. I can’t just call out because my knees are sore. I went to the doctor last Friday and found there was no injury and no rheumatoid activity (my knees have osteoarthritis, which shows up different on x-rays), so I have no excuse to call out. It would have been nice for the doctor to give me some kind of medicine to help with the pain instead of just doing a quick range of motion check in the exam room and getting some x-rays. Not that I’m trying to be a drug hoarder. I just want to be free from pain for a little while.

The only thing he really gave me for the pain is a lecture on being overweight and taking more walks to try to lose that extra weight. Thanks, doc. That’s kind of what I was trying to do when I hurt my knees. Way to make a patient feel bad for trying to do the right thing.

I’ve known for a while that I need to lose weight, but it’s tough. I’m hungry almost all the time, so cutting down on food intake is difficult for me. Sometimes the hunger gets to the point where I feel as though I’m going to puke if I don’t eat something.

Self-control is another big problem of mine. If someone brings snacks to work–which 99% of the time are not healthy–I want to eat them. And do. The other 1% of the time? It’s a healthy snack that I really don’t care for. So yeah, the only times I don’t eat the goodies at work are when the goodies are actually good for me.

My psychiatrist tried giving me a medicine with a side effect of appetite suppression, but that did nothing to curb my drive to eat.

My sedentary lifestyle doesn’t help matters, either. Sure, I’m fairly active while at work–there’s no option not to be most days–but at home I don’t do much that’s actively active. Hence the walking I was trying to do.

I’ll figure out a way to lose weight someday. Maybe not soon, but someday. I can’t keep living like this.

Flash Fiction Friday–Winston’s Revenge

Beaming with excitement, I took my brand new Huggy Bear stuffed animal from my father. I had been begging for weeks to get one.

Huggy Bears were the bestest. They were teddy bears that hugged you back. Imagine that! A stuffie that gives you hugs. I loved hugs.

Daddy didn’t give many hugs. He was pretty busy with work and all. Mommy only hugged her special bottle. I wasn’t allowed to touch Mommy’s special bottle–or Mommy–but now I could get as many hugs as I wanted from Huggy Bear. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday present.

I carried my Huggy Bear everywhere. I named him Winston, and Winston became my bestest friend. He wasn’t much of a talker–he didn’t talk at all, actually–but I didn’t care. I chattered on about my day and told him all the stories that were in my head. There were a bazillion stories swimming around in there, and Winston listened to all of them. Mommy usually told me to go away, and Daddy said he was listening but I knew it was just pretend; he never even looked up from his newspaper.

One day a week after I got Winston, I accidentally dropped Mommy’s dinner plate when I was setting the table for our Louisiana Baked Chicken dinner. Mommy got really mad. She even threw her special bottle at me; she missed, but I had to clean up the glass.

Then Mommy got scary. She screamed at me and took Winston from me. She blamed Winston for distracting me from my job of setting the table. I watched in horror as she pulled Winston’s head off. Mommy killed Winston!

I cried myself to sleep. Poor Winston.

The next morning, I woke to Daddy screaming. I tiptoed to their room, scared, and saw the strangest thing.

Winston’s head was back on. His neck was all red, but his head was back on, and he was hugging Mommy’s neck. Why was Daddy screaming? Winston was back and giving hugs again. He should have been happy.

Daddy rushed me back to my room and told me to stay put. After a while, I heard sirens and lots of people talking. When they left, Daddy opened my door and told me that Mommy had been really tired and had gone to sleep forever. I tried to reassure him that Winston would make her feel better with his hugs, but he didn’t listen. He never listened.

Daddy got mad at Winston. Just like Mommy, he ripped his head off, then he ripped off his arms. His arms! How was Winston supposed to hug now?

Two days passed. Daddy didn’t say a word, and I didn’t either. Who did I have to talk to? Winston was gone.

On the morning of the third day, Daddy didn’t wake me up for kindergarten. That was strange. I went to his room to check on him.

Winston was back, and he had given Daddy’s neck the biggest hug ever.

Kneed to take it easy this weekend

When am I ever going to learn my limits?

Four days after a two mile walk my knees are still killing me. The only thing I can take for pain is Tylenol, and while that helps enough to get me through work I don’t want to take too much of it. Bad for the liver and all.

I also don’t want to have to go to the doctor. Copays, prescriptions, lectures, possible referrals or physical therapy…as the meme says, “Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.”

So this weekend it’s lots of rest and taking it easy. Not that I normally do much on the weekends, but walks are out until this gets better. Maybe sewing and driving will be out, too, as the right knee is worse.

Off Kilter

By the Gods, my sleep cycle is shot. I’m going to bed around 8pm every night, but either Rory or my own body wakes me up between 1-2am every morning. Sometimes it’s just Rory kneading on my throat that wakes me up, but sometimes I wake from some strange, vivid dream and I get so disturbed by it–regardless of the dream content–that I don’t want to go back to sleep.

It wouldn’t be so bad if it was temporary, but this has been going on for months. I just don’t sleep. On average (according to my FitBit), I’m getting 3-5 hours of sleep a day.

The 5 hour days are the ones where I take a nap at some point.

I can’t blame it all on Rory. I started having insomnia before we ever got him. But I can blame myself. I should be getting to a doctor; getting by with a Ritalin prescription and a couple energy drinks a day really isn’t any way to live. I’ve been trying to convince myself that I get more done in the mornings–sewing, drawing, writing, critiquing–but to be honest these are things I can get done after work. Sure, I make the excuse that if I don’t do them in the morning they won’t get done, because I’m less likely to do work of my own if my husband is awake and off work.

No idea why this is happening. Right now I’m fighting it with every breath, even though I know I should go back to sleep. As soon as I can find the time off from work, I need to get a doctor’s appointment.

Stitches in time

Hello. My name is AJ, and I’m a cosplay addict. It’s been 10 minutes since I’ve sewn anything for a costume.

The sewing machine for my birthday was both a gift and a curse. I love being able to sew now, and I’m gaining confidence every time I use it; however, the pedal kills my knee and hunching over the machine kills my back. Still, I’m making new things on my own, and it’s great. I’m obsessed.

I’m not just making cosplay. I’ve also made myself a scrub top (two, actually, but I have to lose weight to wear one of them–stupid pattern doesn’t match its own measurements) and a few pairs of fingerless gloves to wear for typing, drawing, or just plain whenever my hands get cold. They’re my own design, too, which I love. I can actually design things and not take weeks to make them. Now it’s a matter of days or even hours, depending on the size of what I’m making. It’s amazing.

Unfortunately, sometimes I get carried away. I wake up stupid early in the morning (usually thanks to my cat, Rory), and with nothing to do on some of those early mornings I end up sewing. Or plotting sewing. It’s crazy.

I suppose it could be worse. I could be addicted to drugs or alcohol or something equally destructive. This, at least, is a creative outlet that makes me happy.

Hello. My name is AJ, and I’m a cosplay addict…and I have no intention of stopping.

Lost in Transmission

Well, I’m fucked. My car’s transmission just randomly started going out today on the way to my parents’ house. We got there–eventually–but now we have to wait until Monday to even find out how much an estimate of the repairs is going to be. The only place that’s open for us to ask is the local dealership, and they’re always more expensive. The other mechanics, however, will probably charge us just to diagnose the car. Oh, and there’s the matter of getting the car to wherever we end up getting it fixed–if it can be fixed.

Looks like I might not get a new laptop for Christmas after all. The car has to come first. What money we’ve managed to save for the laptop might have to go to repairs…or a down payment for a new used car.

Damn life’s responsibilities.

Flash Fiction Friday–“The Spider and the Fly”

The Spider and the Fly

by AJ Mullican

Richard strode up the walkway, rife with anticipation. The ad online had been enticing, and he couldn’t wait to meet the woman of his dreams.

As he drew nearer and more details of the house’s décor registered in his mind he thought, “This must be one freaky chick!”

The house was dark and could only be described as “gothic chic.” Black turrets and grey scrollwork accents stood out in the quiet suburban neighborhood. In place of a picket or chain link fence was a neat row of polished iron chains connected by iron stakes topped with fleur de lis.

When he reached the front steps, he was greeted by an ornately-carved front door with a stained glass window patterned after a spider’s web. In place of a light next to the door, spindly iron fingers extended from the wall and grasped a lifelike carving of a skull. Red light bulbs illuminated the empty skull, casting an eerie glow over the black widow carapace that, judging by the size and location, must be the doorbell.

Pressing the red hourglass, Richard heard a scream of ecstasy inside the house. He grinned, thinking to himself that any woman with that kind of a doorbell must indeed be just the kind of companion he was looking for.

Through the stained glass he saw the voluptuous silhouette of a tall, curvy woman approach the door. When the door opened, he was not disappointed.

Standing just under his six foot height in her stiletto heels, the woman from the ad was everything he could have hoped for. Not too skinny, not too fat—just enough curves to look delicious. She answered the door in a racy negligee, its black leather straps matching the pattern in the stained glass, and he could see long nail caps on the ends of each of her delicate fingers, adding to the dramatic look. The ensemble was accented with carefully-applied spiderweb eyeliner on her upper lids.

“You must be Richard Fly,” she purred, her voice both soft and husky. “Welcome to my web.”

Richard smiled and stepped inside the door. As she closed it behind him, he removed his hat and trench coat. The woman turned back to him and screamed in terror.

She was even more stunning when viewed with all eight of his eyes. He grabbed her waist with two of his arms, pulling her in closer. Two more arms restrained her struggling arms, and the last pair caressed her cheeks.

“And you must be Ariadne. Pleasure to eat you.”

These tennis shoes were made for walking

I think I’ve found an exercise routine I can stick to! I learned about a fun zombie narration app for my phone that tells you zombies are chasing you to motivate you to walk fast/jog at various intervals, and it’s a 5k training app so I can build endurance slowly (instead of trying to go on hour-long runs from the get-go).

My husband got the app, too, so now we can go on nightly walks together, get our exercise, and get out of the apartment for a little while. I’m excited to hopefully lose weight and get more fit. It’s also going to motivate me to eat less at dinner time, because I learned last night that 30 minutes of exercise soon after a big spaghetti dinner is not a good idea.

In the past I was terrified of people watching me exercise. I didn’t go to gyms for that reason, and I didn’t even want my husband watching me do workout videos. The walking/running seems to be fine, though, because I’m in my own little world with the narration (and my own personal playlist in the background). It’s great that I found something to push me past my apprehension and allow me to exercise and get fit.

Don’t let yourself get to the point I’m at. I’m unhealthy and sluggish. Find a way to make exercise fun or challenging, and stick to it. It will suck at first, but it will get better.

Get out. Work out. And kick ass.

Whittling down…

Slowly but surely, I’m ticking off things on my to-do list. Are my scrubs done? Not yet, but I put them on the back burner since I have more pressing things that I need to do. Album and single reviews done, two of my drawings for the RPG project done, and I even squeezed in some (much-needed) exercise both days this weekend.

I still have interview questions to write up (yes, I took on yet another project), two more critiques, and of course the scrubs. I totally have a feeling I’m forgetting something, because it seems I had a much longer list of things to finish. Right now, though, I’m taking a break. It’s almost dinner time.