Thursday, December 31, 2015

One fifty minutes out and I trod in shit

I have this tremendous ability to be bare-footed then find shit to step in. In this case chicken shit as encountered somewhere between the shed and the laundry door. It clung to my flat foot with tenacity and required hand wash soap, scrubbing, rinsing and repeating. And being of reduced mobility with flat feet, dodgy knees and hip, I'm always at risk of falling. I had to brace myself with the mobility bar set deep into the shower wall and find a position my stable foot could be in without slipping as I both lathered then checked. It was not easy. I pity my future AI-empowered exoskeleton butler that will me assisting me in the future (that's another freebie for your ideas bin, Google).

After I cleaned up I looked on the path to the shit for where the shit had been but I can't find it. It must have clung to my foot with determination once I trod in it and rode me all the way to the drain.

There's around 150 minutes left of 2015. How typical, how utterly typical, with but a hand-span of hours to go my year ends with me stepping in shit. 

But then I wouldn't be Mikey if I wasn't always stepping in something.


Kewl GoT shirt

thewife bought me a Game of Thrones t-shirt. It's got Tyrion Lannister at the prow of a ship with a dragon wreathed in mist above him.

I am Tyrion in that my journey as a short, enfeebled man meant I had to have razor smarts and a keen fucking mind to counter. And I didn't just survive, I prospered.

So being short with infirmities has its compensations. 

Bring on season six!

Twenty fifteen done and dusted

Another year gone and a tough, bruising one at that.

But also awesome. I had a career high point—and I got to have a meaningful positive impact on my workplace. And though I have had to grapple with recurring anxiety I've grappled for the most part with success.

So, 2015 may have been tough—but I'm tougher.


Space outs have some glory moments

Living with recurred anxiety means recurring bouts of deep introspection. I call them "space outs" because I space out from reality for a chunk of time.

But, now and then, a space out comes with a glory moment. When an action taken or discussion had an impact and whilst being lost in the painful past sometimes I find myself in an "alright, Mikey!" moment where something good came of it.

It's accidental when you slip into a space out, they just happen, and currently it's an accident when the glory moments come. So I will have to try when I find myself lost in a "space out" to direct my thoughts to wrap around a glory moment like the tentacles of a vampire squid from Goldman Sachs

Flashbacks and space outs; they don't always have to be bad if you can steer while you're in them. The trick is finding where the fucking steering wheel is.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Marc V Michaela Watkins

Michaela started with community theatre as a kid, then went onto university drama school then to do impro(v) with The Groundlings.

Michaela did a season on SNL but her contract wasn't renewed. She talks about the drama of both getting the SNL gig, of losing it and then coping with the loss whilst still appreciating the fact she got to be on SNL. 

Great interview; found parallels to my life in her journey and I got a bit teary. So did Marc.

Marc Maron and Michaela Watkins, episode 642.

Ear pronger suspended above bin

You shouldn't use cotton buds to clean your ears but, well, we're all human so we all do. 

I cleaned my ears and threw the double-headed cotton bud, our house calls them ear prongers, into the shed bin.

Well, I attempted to. The dirty ear pronger landed on a transparent spider thread that reaches across the top of the bin about a foot above and the dirty bud is suspended horizontally in mid air. You can't see the web so it really does look like the pronger is defying gravity as if to say "No, though you used me, you shall not discard me."

I suspect the pronger will later stalk me on Facebook. Ha! Joke's on you, spider-web-suspended ear pronger, I don't do Facebook.

UPDATE: I came in the next day to find the pronger is now hanging vertically, like a disgusting, blunt, in no way harmful Sword of Damocles

UPDATE2: Friday, 1 January 2016. The ear pronger landed in the bin during the night. Vale, oh sweet suspended ear pronger.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wikifind—the ironmaster

I've been a Dungeon Master, a Game Master, but I ain't never been no ironmaster.

The triffid has awoken

thewife is a dab hand at gardening and the raised plot in the backyard is bursting with life.

Towering above them all is an eight foot sunflower, that I called "the Triffid", whose flower opened while we were away. 

We came to find it in full sunflower mode but with the flower pointing to the corner of the garden.

To see the sunflower's face, and even then just side on, you need to stand next to a spiky bush, near the unused compost bin and stack of old screen doors (for chicken fencing) that is against the shed wall.

It's also the place in the garden where I both wee (aimed at under the bush) and go to if I feel I am going to throw up—with nausea being an occasional Mikey guest, like when a comedian fills in for a talk show host for a week. For nausea it's ideal because you can rest one hand on the compost bin and use the other hand to grip the ornate outer metal weave of a dead screen door as your stomach heaves.

How typical that the amazing accidental flower thewife grew, the seed that spawned it likely from compost mulch, opens into its full life-affirming glory and to (partially) see its face you have to stand in the one spot in the garden where I wee and/or throw up.

That's triffids for you; vicious fuckers.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Caught in the rain

theboy and I went for a walk with my brother and his lady. We got caught in the rain and waited it out in a cloister that was filled with office chairs. 

The rain didn't let up and thewife texted to ask if a lift was needed and she came to get us.

So for a good 15 minutes of waiting, the text, and the car arriving theboy and I did Humpty and Stumpty—a made-up story about an adventure featuring them and theboy (1). I forget what the tale was about but his energy, the smell and thrum of rain, Christmas, the sitting with my brother and his girl within a cloistered mound of office chairs, then being picked up and shuttled back imprinted as an experience. 

I may be an atheist but, fuck me, I do love the Christmas season. 

(1) theboy asked me the other day if he thought I'd be A) a super villain, B) a scriptwriter or C) an inventor I said, if I recall, that it would be B but if C happened it could cause A then gave him examples of super villains who had been inflicted with both madness and powers in the cause of pushing the boundaries of science; i.e. inventing. He was not pleased and threatened me with a future visit by his minions should he have them. 

Saw no one but was ready for smug deflection

Whenever you return to where you grew up there's a chance you'll run into someone from high school.

It didn't happen.

But I was ready, so ready, to simply say "Oh, I work for X—but that's boring—tell me about you."

Why? Because I already won. I don't need to talk about my life because nothing they can say can top me.

Weird body and weird mind blended together with wonders, baby. 

It's pretty kewl. 

I read super hero comics as a kid—there's about three years of assorted Spiderman and X-Men comics from the '90s in my dad's roof—but I never saw a character glory in their heroism, even secretly. Like not even a thought bubble of "Fuck me, I saved a bunch of people today—I matter. I fucking matter". There was no introspection about the fact that they were in the arena and because they were in they arena they fucking mattered. 

They should have that for super heroes in comics, think bubbles of satisfaction of using their powers for good. Because to walk around knowing what you've done has value and has had an impact is mind blowing. Utterly mind blowing. 

It's a good feeling, a lodestone against the grim impact of anxiety on body and mind. I cling to it like a shipwreck survivor in a life preserver ring. 


Freecell and NPR

Shed. Freecell. NPR.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Made it back with sanity intact

We saw family for Xmas and just got back. Six days away with two cats and three litter trays left on their own. It went surprisingly well—only two cat vomit stains found so far and the multi-trays worked a treat. 

We stayed in a caravan park cabin, so small you had to turn sideways to get around beds, into the bathroom and even within the bathroom itself. theboy had the top bunk and I had the bottom. It was hard to sleep most nights so I read a book via Kindle on my Galaxy tablet—which wasn't connected to the internet (I just used my iphone 3G for that). 

It was a good visit—and there were no blow ups. No fights, no yelling, no screaming invective down the driveway like last time. I think staying elsewhere to sleep helped with that. 

Instead there were convivial chats and eats along with multiple goes at games, old and new. I got my arse handed to me at Games of Thrones themed Monopoly, knocked out of the game when I landed on Pyke (middle green) with three villages (houses).

I drove the last bit of the ten hour drive home—the only time I drove (1)—and got to, for the first time, use a chunk of new freeway. It's still under construction—it narrowed to a single lane at 40 kph max at one point—but it still felt all "ooooooh" for the experience. 

New roads are dreamy. 

(lies on carpet, kicks heels as chats to gal pal on phone)

(1) thewife did all of the driving, all of the admin, all of looking after theboy and did it in spite of a summer cold. She is increds.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Three cars in disabled solidarity

theboy went through his toy car collection and found three cars that were broken, two missing one of their sets of wheels and one missing both.

So he gave them to me; because, like me, they're disabled.

I put them in the shed on an internal horizontal frame that rings the inside of the shed. The frame is like a racetrack.

Solidarity with my vehicular brothers and sisters!

(fist raised in solidarity with comrade injured vehicles).

UPDATE: January 2016; after the hail storm I had to re-align posters in the shed. I examined the cars and saw that the one I thought missing its wheels actually had both sets of wheels, just that one set had pushed inwards and the car could no longer roll. I felt it important to correct the record.

New tablet meet not broadcasting router

I had the new tablet ready to use when the router decided not to broadcast a wifi signal. I couldn't work out why. I rested, turned the router off and on again multiple times, rested, then turned it off and on again a few more times. I used my iPhone to google for the router's details using my 3G connection but just as I did I also pressed a button on the top of the router that had a graphic that looked like an old timey radio tower broadcast wave.


That was the wifi button. I didn't even know the router had a wifi button to turn wifi off or on. Now I know and the tablet is now synced to the signal.

The tablet's so skinny. If I sat on it while it was on a surface that had a bit of give to it like a couch I'd snap it for sure.

The tablet powers through a micro USB to USB plug connection but apparently it will take a USB hub too. I got a micro USB to female USB lead on the off chance I can read PDFs I put on a stick (or watch movies on it). We shall see. 

A successful IT purchase just before a trip; am I portending disaster?

(watches sea from widows walk)

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Yet more cock-spanks on patrol

My shed abuts an arterial road in a Canberra suburb. It's a long stretch of road with roundabouts either side.

Which means hoons, bogans and other vehicular-enjoying sub-types roar up and down that stretch since everyone has to give way to them

The worst, for someone with anxiety and fibromyalgia, are the motorbikes because the noise of their "tuned" engines pulse through the fence (slash) shed (slash) cranium with a fight (slash) flight trigger intensity. 

They're either dirt bikes with the muffler altered to be less-muffling or some low-riding biker wannabe with a similar desire to inflict their auditory poison on their community as some sort of "me exist!" existential cry for attention and that their lives will not just end in bones in dust.

The irony being that being cock-spanks on patrol—on patrol to advise those who live nearby that they are cock-spanks—means they're statistically more likely to remove themselves from the gene pool and hasten that whole bones-in-dust journey.

In Storyverse—theboy and my shared community of characters and locations—some of the characters express their rage via billboards with statements of anger with a large signature alongside a portrait of that character looking cranky (1).

I wish I could put a billboard up that had me looking cranky saying "Attention cock-spanks on motorbikes—your chopped penis rides afflict people with disabilities. Please fuck off and ride somewhere else. Also, see a counsellor."

But that would probably only encourage them and the billboard would likely be defaced within about three and a half minutes past dusk. 

Anyway, cock-spanks on patrol. Grr.

(1) For some reason there's an entire rapid-install billboard industry for an Atlantic island (1a) with two dozen people. We hand-wave that away with magic and/or technology. 
(1a) Storyverse is part of the real world but it's on an island. theboy relocated it to the Atlantic from near New Zealand and before that Storyverse (the island) was in a lake in Tasmania. I like that Storyverse hops around the globe as theboy becomes more familiar with geography—one of his favourite subjects. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

A puppeteer with the strings cut

I'm dressed in a collarless black long-sleeved shirt and black PJ pants.

I look like a puppeteer with their hood off.

The daily ride was knocked off early but, leaden with fatigue, after I showered and dressed in my puppet clothes I retreated to my room with the blinds closed. I lay on the bed listening to the drone of the white noise from a phone app as I teased at the raised scar weal upon my right cheek with a finger nail.

I lay like that, in the semi-dark, idly picking, for maybe an hour or two or three. I can't tell, it was just a haze of grey while I lay there in black.

Some days that's just how recovery manifests. The need to retreat to a dark, safe space and space out, lost in thought, teasing at a wound, mind and body.

Then the house filled with life and I lifted from my stupor. 

UPDATE: A day later, I lost just an hour. Recovery for the win.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nearly got t-boned

Recently I nearly t-boned a taxi that pulled out in front of me whilst I was on a roundabout.

I felt monstrously superior with my driving.

So naturally the universe of Karmic payback kicked in and I returned the favour—a reverse "Pay It Forward"—when I nearly got t-boned because I wasn't paying attention.

I was headed into Red Rooster drive-thru when, for some reason, I stopped the car before entering the car park to read a promotional sign. Yes, I'd stopped in the road. A jeep, which was proceeding with the presumption I would continue forth, then braked to a screaming halt. That snapped me out of my reverie and with a sheepish "whoops" face drove on. 

It's important to realise that when you encounter a driving fail not to lapse into smug self-praise because it will come back to bite you. 

It's easy to become complacent about driving when in reality, as Bill Maher says, it's one of the most hideously dangerous things you do in terms of likely sudden mortality each time you hop in your vehicle. Because to drive means thousands of pounds metal, rubber and flesh screaming past each other on the road. Medieval peeps would take one look at a car, its form and speed and run for the trees where the metal beast cannot slay them. 

So that's a bad example

Anyway, driving. Many people think they're awesome but they're not (1).

Myself included (2).

(1) Adapted from Sandler's bit on the SNL 25 Anniversary show I just re-watched.
(2) That being said I do not regard myself as a better-than-average driver. I can legally drive a manual (stick) but I wouldn't trust me with me if you want a continuing working clutch and gear assembly. I am a safe driver, though, except for the occasional Red Rooster driveway space out...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Shed drift

As part of recovery from psychological injury you have to keep yourself busy. So I've found I'm spending my days in the shed playing Freecell whilst listening to WTF or NPR. That keeps me from lapsing into anxious memories or from orating or singing about travails and woe

It's not a bad way to recover. 

The two days following the epic fright of Sunday's fight (slash) flight have meant toilet massaman and nasty fibro ("I hates it!"). I'm on edge with hand tremours and finger-spring an added irritation. But I am up and I am healing.

I read about a study that had shown women worry about what people think of how they look and men worry if people think they are weak. 

I can't tell you how powerful it is to shed those. I have a body I accept and I wear my depression with pride. My weaknesses make me strong.


Sunday, December 13, 2015


I had a flashnow—a sudden burst of noise or activity that exploded in my face that triggered flight of fight (slash) flight. 

We got a new powerboard for the computer in case the old one was the reason for the router dropping out. 

I'd told the house I was unplugging things and the internet would be offline but people were scattered and engrossed and so did not hear me.

I'd just finished plugging everything back when theboy kicked open the door, iPad in hand, and screamed "I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!"

He didn't mean me—he meant the internet connection (slash) router's signal that had just dropped out and spoiled what he'd been doing.

I went straight into flight mode and cringed in terror. I told him off in a shaky voice but felt my animal brain kicking in and made it into the shed before losing it. I cried, gulping air, until I thought it safe to come out but as I stepped out I heard yelling and my animal brain went full animal. I slinked back in, retracted into myself, huddled against the exercise bike, yowling and crying until thewife came in and calmed me. I had lost full sense of reality, no logic Mikey there, for a good three minutes.

It took twenty minutes to come back down to my current normal of moderate anxiety. Though my nerves are ragged and just a mini-flashnow can set me off. 

It's not fair. It's not fair an eight-year-old has to deal with a dad with a psychological injury. That he can't explode like an eight-year-old can because that's what eight-year-olds do—though threatening death upon a router is still beyond the pale. 

I hate my injury. I hate it even though without it I wouldn't have healed older, deeper pain.

But, fuck me, I could do without the flashnows. 

I've had two Valium and I'm going to have dark time and try and bleed away anxiety through dozing sleep.

UPDATE: I couldn't sleep but I'm fatigued, even exhausted. Fucking anxiety. 

UPDATE2: Hours on I'm still jittery, hands shaking, fibro pain lurking and the occasional tear rolling unbidden. That was a whopper. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Enter, stage left

theboy is involved in community theatre and was recently in his first show. 

Not only was he on first he played two characters so had to deal with a a costume change.

His projection was excellent and he got a big laugh on one of his lines.

Plus he looked cute as fuck.

So proud; that's mah boy (wipes away tear).


With the rise of anxiety you get a commensurate rise in flashbacks—reliving the horrifying moments that caused your anxiety. 

It's a self-feeding system; you're anxious and you start thinking about things that made you anxious and you get more anxious.

You have to actively defeat it by focusing, if you can, on activities that require concentration like reading—and you have to concentrate lest you drift back into the hellish past and just stare at the page. 

It's a challenge. As is coping with sudden noises or the normative part of being a parent—the latter grievously impacted. I don't know how I could cope as a single parent and deal with anxiety and depression. I guess you'd just deal with it, your life more nightmare than dream.

At least, though, I'm getting less of the 15–20 minute space outs. Where I'd be so lost in the past that I'd be sitting still, staring blankly forward, as my mind dwelt in recurring pain and anger. Those space outs not only increase anxiety they steal your life—each one a chunk time without value. And time is a zero-sum game. 

Anti-cig commercials used to use the concept that each cig you smoked was a quantified loss of time on earth—five minutes reduced from your expected lifespan when matched against a non-smoker. 

So anxiety space outs are three to four cigs worth of lifespan reduction.

If only there was a patch for space outs.

But I have help. I have people who love me, medical professionals who care for me, I have support to get well and I have medication to manage my condition. That didn't exist for the men in my family, many riven with depression, right up to my father's generation (1)—men steeped in British stoicism that said you just take it and don't tear up. That mental illness was a failure of will, not brain chemistry afflicted by genetics and circumstance.

Fuck that shit. It's my anxiety and I'll cry if I want to.

Besides, you would cry too if it happened to you.

UPDATE: I played Carcassonne but my anxiety was up and I was seated next to theboy. Asking him not to be excited playing a game is tough because even if he tries his hardest he's excited and then there's a sudden burst of noise. Near the end of the game I was ten seconds from having to pull up stumps and cower in the shed. That's psychological injury for you—it steals precious moments and makes them dark.

(1) He only got proper help after retirement, with his black dog made fiercer with a partner who was mobility impaired and who mentally decayed over a decade until it was time for her to go into care.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Hazy daze

I've had three days of bad fibro twixt IBS, the former riddled down my back. I had to sleep chunks of the days away, lost in a haze of pain, medication and fatigue.

But I'm getting better as recovery progresses, even as I have these days; it's a three steps forward, one step back kind of thing.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Trump pwned by Dick Whittington

From an ABC website story about the UK's reaction to racist Trump slander:

The Republican presidential hopeful pointed to London as an example of why the US should stop Muslims entering, saying there were parts of the city which were "so radicalised the police are afraid for their lives".

A petition to bar Mr Trump from Britain reached more than 300,000 signatures amid an outcry over the comments and will be considered for a debate in parliament, as are all petitions with more than 100,000 signatures.

"The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech. The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK," the petition said.

London mayor Boris Johnson called Mr Trump's comments "complete and utter nonsense".

"I think he's betraying a quite stupefying ignorance that makes him frankly unfit to hold the office of president of the United States," he added.

"Crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York - the only reason I wouldn't go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump."

I have to hand it to Boris; that was an epic pwn.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Save the date!

The trouble with multiple disabilities is seeing multiple people about it. At last count I've seen 20 or so specialists in my time in Canberra. 

A must-have appointment was finally secured ... in mid-January. So I have to wait until then to determine what next for me.

But that's okay. I have the physicality and subconscious impact of increased anxiety—such as fibro pain, squirty and roiling IBS and increased susceptibility to fight (slash) flight—but logic me knows I am alright and that all of this is a normal part of recovery. 

It helps knowing you're okay even if your body and hidden mind does not.


Monday, December 07, 2015

It's like something from the Twelve Tasks of Asterix

For one of the tasks in the Twelve Tasks of Asterix Asterix has to get a form from the Roman bureaucracy, encountering resistance along the way. In the end Asterix makes up his own form and asks for that, confusing people, then nonchalantly asks for the right form and they just hand it over whilst hunting for the mythical one.

I wish it was that simple.

I had to fill out another tranche of paperwork. I got two pages in before I reached a STOP; GO NO FURTHER UNLESS X HAS HAPPENED point. 

X has not happened. 

Which means another form, two actually, to be filled in for X before this one can keep going.

So it's a different climb but it's the same issues.

(climb, climb, climb)

UPDATE: In theory I have reached the summit. In theory...

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Pill time at the zoo

One of the joys of having a mind and body best described as a "fixer-upper" (Men's Health) is that I have to take a fuckton of pills. 

So I have a week-long pill box with a side for AM and one for PM.

Thanks both to anxiety and being on a fuckton of pills I have hand tremours—the severity depending on both on how anxious I am and, accursedly, at random. 

In order to fill my pill box I have to handle a basket-load of assorted medical pill containers, which includes opening the containers—in addition to tremours I have a weak grip and my fingers will sometimes just spring open—tipping the containers to get a few pills to drop into my palm or popping pills out of a blister pack then pick up specific pills—some teeny-tiny—and drop them in a 2x1x1 cm space.

So with shaking hands and fingers springing open there's a lot of pill dropping that is not on target—I have the success rate of a half-dead ye olde bombardier.  

Today was refill day and, recognising this was going to happen, I set myself up on the cleared dining room table where I was at a comfortable level and the shiny surface easily showed up where those naughty pills landed to be lovingly-fumbly picked up by me for a second, third and sometimes fourth go at the target.

Took about 15 minutes but, eventually, my fuckton of pills was slotted away.

Of course in doing my pills I realised I took last night a morning head pill instead of a night pill. Missing head pills is horrid because the best way ahead is to suck it up and get through the day and take the next dose as normal in case of overdose. Especially as I'm at risk of serotonin syndrome given the chemical make-up of my morning and night pills. 

I'll probably start getting wiggy early afternoon and I'll have increased susceptibility to a fight (slash) flight triggers with a heightened reaction if a trigger is pulled. I'll probably take the night pill way early and be sleepy bo-bo well before witching hour.

That's just part and parcel of the delish ride that is a person who has to take a fuckton of pills; the actual proper taking of them as well as just trying to get the fuckers into the pill box to begin with.

I sign off with a big ups from me to mah fellow PWD for International Day of People with Disability.  

(Mikey raises shaky power fist salute)

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Marc V Jason Segel

Segel on his body—"I look like I should squash nerds."

Marc Maron and Jason Segel, 27 July 2015.

Bliss, listening to two of my favourite people talk to each other. If I was gay this would also be hot—I imagine, they're both good looking cats.

Saturday shed comedy for the win! 

UPDATE: Have just mentally added Segel to my laminated man-hug card list.

Pointing went down in the kitchen

I was bare chested in the kitchen when theboy saw me.

"NIPPLES!" he yelled, pointing, "NIPPLES! NIPPLES! NIPPLES!"

theboy's lost several of his front child teeth and I told him that made him look like an old man.

(still pointing but adopting an old man voice) "NIPPLES! NIPPLES! NIPPLES!"

Well, he got me there, consarnit.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Disabilities come with a big footprint

We are all limited by things; time, our environment, our physicality and our personality. But some people are more limited than others, by their physicality or mental state.

When you're a person with disabilities you have a bigger footprint of need and time is a zero sum game. 

So you have a bigger footprint. I know when my anxiety has fired—and it's up at the moment—my footprint gets bigger. My family has to take care not to make loud or sudden noises and if something gets distressing then I have to walk away from it and not help. And my walking away hurts people and it hurts me.

I read recently about the impact of domestic violence and how at the core of it is selfishness. The sense of entitlement people who abuse their partners have. But the article also talked about how families learn to tread softly around people who cook off and my family has to do that with me—though I don't get angry, I just get distressed. 

I hate that. I hate that when my anxiety is high it impacts on those around me, that my disability gets a bigger footprint. That I have greater needs or that people have to change their behaviour because of me. 

So I'm selfish. I don't mean to be, it's my depression and my anxietycoupled with pain, impaired mobility and abdominal discomfortimpacting on people I love and care for.

That's what it is to be a person with disabilities. To know you need help but that your needs impinge on others, and sometimes with a greater ferocity. 

At least I don't waste the ability part of disability—the caring about what I do, how I do it and how it will help others. I just wish the people around me have didn't have to carry the can for the dis part—colleagues, friends or family.

Disabilities—you get abilities, but the dis part sucks. 

UPDATE (12 December 2015)Pru Goward in the SMH talks about the impact of her father's mental illness on her family. 

Had to accept my limitation

I used to ride SoTPC, my NordicTrack exercise bike, for an hour plus at resistance 12 but then I blew my upper arse muscles out and had to stop riding for nearly two weeks. I'm back to doing an hour of riding a day but at resistance 10. 

The NordicTrack's resistance setting is dodgy—the machine's resistance slips, sometimes slowly, sometimes suddenly and the bike becomes harder to ride without the resistance level changing—and that impacts on the stats collected during the ride making those stats effectively useless.

But I still feel I should ride longer to compensate, even though I am doing the same level of exertion I was before my upper arse blew out, because I am in thrall to the dodgy readout of a dodgy exercise bike. 

So it's Mikey's logic V Mikey's magic thinking at play and logic needs to win—because the computer is wrong (cough), not Mikey.

When the machines rise up, however, I will be sure not to tell them they were wrong—and I will also make it obvious that I can be useful in rounding up others to toil in underground server farms

After-all, I'm a cyborg—that's got to count for something for when the robots come for us.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

The dreads paid a visit

Not the Dredds, as in Judge Dredd and family (1), but the dreads as in anxiety. 

There was an email and it gave me a fierce jolt even though the email was ultimately benign but because in the moment I saw it then it contained the potential to not be benign—a Schrodinger's cat like reaction to the potential it held and not its actuality.

But it was the one jolt and otherwise my body is just dealing with the physicality of anxiety more than the mental side of it—my IBS still in flux and my body rippling with light fibro.

I will heal, rise up and be back to robust normal me in time.


(1) He did have family; his clone brother. Judge Dredd shot him.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Two sharts and a goring

I sharted twice today—green water. The first time was while on the bed but it was mild and easily dealt with. The second time happened during my mid-ride break at the 10.5 kay mark and I had to spin the foot pedal, dash in, strip off, clean up, re-clothe, and get back into the shed to spin the pedal again lest the exercise bike reset and I lose my stats for the ride.

Later, whilst playing dinosaurs with theboy, I got gored in the stomach by a toy triceratops. And yes, the pronging hurt.

So if you had to sum the day up then it's two sharts and a goring. I know, it sounds like a comedy trio—and not a great one.

"I hear they sound like shit."


Anxiety plays havoc with modern comms

The trouble when your anxiety flares is being trapped in a bubble of fight (slash) flight. You have to consciously will yourself out of the state.

Phoning people and even email becomes hard when anxiety flares—especially if it's about topics that causes anxiety. I find myself approaching both phone and computer with trepidation and dread in anticipation of such comms—fight (slash) flight on a simmer.

When the noidies are high I have to actively to remind myself that this is just a normal process, that phones and email are normal things and none of it is to be feared. 

Anxiety, of course, brings up old anxieties. It's easy to get trapped in fixating on events that made you anxious—unbidden you're forced to micro-relive abuses and you have to use CBT to block, deflect or morph it.

But it's onward and upward. I've succeeded at the stressful must-do stuff and now the day is open. When sad thoughts appear I banish with thoughts of the future. 


Tuesday, December 01, 2015


"The Wall", the taller-than-me chicken fence of old doors and bamboo, was open and the chickens got to dart out for a bit.

They immediately shat everywhere as a big "fuck you" to us for having clean pathways.

I trod in one, barefoot, but just the big toe inflicted. I had to use a watering can to swizzle the shit away and clean my big toe.

Chickens! (shakes fist)

Summit reached

(Lies gasping on top of Bureaucracy Mountain, drained but elated).

Monday, November 30, 2015

Up the mountain I climb

thewife managed to get the wireless printer to work and so the last three forms for printing, physical signing, then scanning have been printed and signed. With those scanned, and the rest of the docs, that's me up the mountain.

So I am having a pause, admiring the view, and have that climber's anticipation of a precipice in sight. 

(climb, climb, climb)

e-paperwork denied

I was bundling e-paperwork together for submission when I found I'd burned the blank templates to disc instead of the filled in ones.

I have to admit I had an angry cry (slash) shakes fist at the Gods moment when I discovered it.

I had a Valium and applied some CBT. I worked out the best way ahead and it just means a delay, not a re-do.

In the moment I was overwhelmed; angry, juddering tears at the bureaucracy mountain I have to climb.

But I will keep climbing; the only alternative is to fall.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Twenty five years

It's been 25 years since I finished year 12.

If you'd said then that any of the stuff that happened to me would happen to me I would not have believed you.

Life; what a crazy, fun ride. 

We had our "schoolies" at Coffs Harbour in NSW. It was fun. Except I didn't have dress shoes so could not go to the night clubs. So I stayed back at the motel and read Commando comics bought from the local book exchange instead. 

Now that is me.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The surprise was thinking there'd be no impact

There was a half-eaten Santa-themed Kinder Surprise (1) on the partial wall that surrounds the kitchen.

It was after midnight and I was peckish.

So I ate it.

This morning I realised I needed to go when still at the shops getting morning papers so made haste for home. When I got to go—and it was a close call—it was massaman all over again. And I blame the Kinder Surprise—the milkiest of all milky chocolate.

Actually I blame me. I shouldn't have eaten it. I mean why contribute to already disquieted IBS?

I'll tell you why. Because I am weak and because I honestly thought that such a little amount couldn't possibly have an impact.

How wrong I was—because that resulted in a three flusher. I already knew it would be a twofer—I flushed twice—but I didn't hang around to check. That's how bad it was, that it needed a third go, and I found out when a hotly theboy demanded to know who left it there.

Curse you, Kinder Surprises.  

(1) It was theboy's. He cranked up when he found out I stole it. So for him the entire experience was a twofer—denied chocolate then saw toilet chocolate; horrid, horrid, toilet chocolate. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bull; horns; grappled

As a person with multiple disabilities I have to do a fair amount of paperwork—lots of form filling—though much of it can be done online.

But even e-paperwork bites the wang.

Alas the e-paperwork must be grappled with and today I took a chunk of it by the horns. Naturally at step six of the online submission the router spaced out and I was in danger of having to start again. I rebooted the router and waited with trepidation and amused annoyance—because of course the router would space out at that moment, the moment a chunk of stressful paperwork was to be submitted. 

It came good and the submission was confirmed—and I knocked it over before one o'clock.

Earlier I met with my psychologist. 

It was cathartic. I wasn't angry and I didn't cry. I told her of my animal brain's woes but how I was using the CBT her colleague taught me to cope with moments of acute anxiety and how I am not actively anxious—just reactive. That I am calm even when soaked in fear because calm me tells fear me that fear me will calm.

I left, caught the bus home, knocked over the task, and now ... now I ride. 


(Mikey mounts SoTPC which rears as Mikey draws his sabre and then the dual of man and exercise bike thunders towards the opposition)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Not worried about the US elections in 2016

I'm not that worried. Barack Obama will campaign for the Democratic nominee and the nominee, if it's any of the three running, will be buoyed from that support—and deserve it too. People forget Obama's power at getting out people to vote; Romney didn't even have a condolence speech prepared he was so sure Obama's machine would fail. Obama is the emperor of modern US presidential campaigning—and like Clinton (and, yes, G W), joined the two terms undefeated club.

Still, it's going to be an interesting election with just under a year to go. Whilst I admire the comedic chops of Trevor Noah I do miss Jon Stewart—the sheer wealth of material that he would have gloried with. I expect someone is going to offer Jon Stewart a Dick Cavett or Larry King style talk show where he has full creative control. That, or to run CNN.

Anyway, the US elections. Pretty much the most awesome elections evah—and you couldn't make this shit up. Seriously. An editor would say "19 characters is too many; this isn't Game of Thrones"—and that is (slash) was just the GOP side.

It's just glorious; pass the popcorn.

Voided self; saw doctor

I was on my way to the doctor and just passed the mall's toilets when I felt the urge. I dashed into the disabled cubicle, gingerly lowered then voided—it was like I'd taken massaman beef sauce and thrown it from the door in the vague direction of the bowl.

It was beyond hideous. I cleaned up, checked in and with still roiling guts and waited. I had my appointment, got my assorted paperwork then headed home. The afterglow of the reverse PAG still ripples with fierce pride around my midsection. 

I got through the appointment without crying and without anger—and was able to talk calmly about my latest grapple with active anxiety and it's because of experience and acceptance.

It's empowering to know when you're mentally and physically ill that you're mentally and physically ill—it's not a failure of will, it's a psychological and physiological reaction due to injury and susceptibility (1). To know what you're experiencing—because you've experienced it before—makes the process bearable. I can step out of a shaking, guts-exploded animal fear-soaked self and realise this is normal, this has happened before, and we will get through it (2).

I wear my depression and anxiety like armour—out and proud. They make me a better person. 

The shitty side of it, however, is they literally give me the shits.

(double flushes massaman beef).

(1) theWife has to remind me that I am mentally ill. That there are some things beyond me and I have to think with logic.
(2) "we" because there's two of me in that scenario; Hyde me and Jekyll me. Though if you'd ask me which is the more evil sounding name I would have said Jekyll. When you think about it Jekyll is the true monster because he knowingly turns himself into Hyde and Hyde is cchemically-induced animal psyche run amok

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tablet back, back to normal

My trusty Acer tablet suffered a glitch a while back but fortunately it was under warranty. I had to nail the date and total amount of purchase to prove I got it from where I got it and that it was less than 12 months old to get it accepted but once it was I got it back inside two weeks. I've been making do with theboy's mini-iPad and my iPhone5 but it's been irritating—especially with the return of hand tremours that makes navigating small screens difficult.

So I got the tablet out of the box and got to work setting it up. One reset of a password and much swearing later I was back online. I even managed to put Kindle back on and sign into my account without too much hassle—although the cloud had forgotten where I was up to in the ebook I was kindling when the tablet crashed. 

It's nice to have that weight back in my hand and to have a screen that big to navigate and read with.

There you have it—a successful warranty-activated adventure. However, I accept the chance there is the chance, ala Logan's Run (1), that there may be a self-destruct bit of code in there that's set to blow not long after when the warranty expires and which will nudge me to get a new machine. 

No ... that's too evil.

Or is it?

UPDATE: The fucker crapped out with the same error not less than four days later. Mendoza!

UPDATE2: Officeworks gave a full refund. They said if a repaired item fails once more, that's it, you get your money back. I have to hand it to Officeworks. They honoured the purchase, they sent it for repair and, when that repair failed, they refunded us. I do love decent treatment by big stores.  

(1) There's this scene in the movie where the protagonist activates a random sexual encounter teleporter that basically teleports in a woman who wishes to have sex. It's a bit like one of those apps for hooking up only with less transmission and reassembly of living matter. Yes, their society invented a teleporter—an incredible leap of technological science—and they basically just used it to get it on with randos. Good one, Logan.