Adulting

Pretty much me looking at my bank account.

Growing up, I always assumed there were greater dangers I’d face, like quicksand or aliens. Now that I’m ‘Adulting’, I’m basically fighting with myself to make ends meet. The irony of it all is that I dug this hole I’m in, simply by having manic spending episodes. I’d buy, buy, buy, then I’d look at my account and see all my money had gone bye, bye, bye (N’SYNC: Don’t sue me… wait… they’re not a band anymore).  I don’t mean to complain, I actually am in a good place, and that’s pretty much why I’m posting this!

After years of debt, I’m happy to say: I’m still in debt…. but less of a debt…. like, I’m able to get Emily the help she needs while treating her to the things she deserves. Everything I do, all the money I save (loosely used word here) and spend is to make her more comfortable. The fact of it all is, I’m preparing surprise Christmas things for her (gifts), because her aesthetic is 100% Christmas (very pastel and happy). Even though we have our darkness, she never likes to put hers too far out there. But her darkness isn’t like mine.

All the bad in me is front and center due to me being bipolar. All of hers is pretty much tucked away, hurting her. Prime example is the whole thing with her Wicked-Witch (Bitch) Step-mom, who hates me and wants to see Emily hurt by me so that everyone will agree with her that I’m evil and manipulative… yeah. Emily, in her own words, said she, “Feel(s) sorry for her” and doesn’t hate her. I, of course, have a polar opposite view, and am vehemently happy to hear that her step-mom is crying in her car a lot and very unhappy now-a-days.

Where was I going with this? Oh, wait, yeah, the darkness thing.

I’ve recently been able to afford to get Emily things she wants and needs. I’m even working more often to find the right doctors for Emily, seeing as her current group is threatening to lower her dose of Oxy! Her primary care doctor said that there’s a law now where her dose would have to go down by 25%, in order for her to even keep getting the only medicine that helps her. There is a law out, though, saying that they are to limit the daily dose to an equivalent of 100mg of Morphine. We’ve been fighting to get her off of the Oxy and onto something long acting, but her doctor repeatedly, politely refused, and pretty much made her feel bad about asking. One doctor even said, in something of a dark-joking manner, that she prescribed her something that didn’t work to make her more grateful for the limited dose she gets now!

Now, let me clarify: Her step-mom is not her doctor… though, cumulatively, her treatment team shares certain traits with the aforementioned evil. Keeping this short, and failing, the update here is that we’re working on getting Emily better help, I’m able to afford better things for her, and I am more hopeful for her than I have been in a long time.

There remain great trials to be handled, but I feel hope for her, for us.

~Tim

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Methadone, Topamax, and Gabapentin Trials

A lot has happened since I last posted, Tim went back to work after the accident, and he’s been doing much better other then the headaches. He’s still seeing doctors about it and trying to figure out the best plan of action for him. I have a lot of hope that they will find something that works for him, mixed with time’s healing properties. It’s been hard to see him in any kind of pain, in a way it was watching a fear of mine come true; Tim having to deal with a constant pain. It’s very likely that it will go away, but there’s still that fear in me that it won’t, as I’ve seen what the body can do.

In the past few months I’ve been tried on 3-4 different medications in hopes of any of them helping my pain levels, but all of them only came with horrid side effects. The worst was the drug that every doctor had been pushing on me since the beginning; Methadone. I finally caved in and decided that I needed to give it a solid try. In high doses, this drug is used to wean heavy drug users off of things like,  Heroin, Codeine, Morphine, etc. It’s als0 widely used for chronic pain treatment, and for many individuals, its a miracle drug. I read tons of raving reviews, and although I was nervous (As I am starting any new medicine) I was hopeful.

Around the end of August I started the Methadone Trials

To sum up the entire experience, the week that I was on Methadone was one of the worst times of my life. You are required to cut your pain medicine way down, the methadone blocks most of the withdrawal symptoms, so what I was left with was my body in it’s almost natural pain state. Just, complete agony. I was brought back to nights before I was treated at all when the pain was intensifying at night and I would just cry knowing there was no way to stop the pain. If you have never been in chronic pain, this will be all very hard for you to imagine..but I’ve tried to explain it as if, someone invisible was torturing every part of your body nonstop, and theres so way of stopping them. It messes with your thoughts, it exhausts you, causes intense fatigue, and gets in the way of you functioning. With my DID, I would find myself disassociating when the pain would get overwhelming. I’d stare at the wall, mouth dry from the new medicine, hurting to even turn my body over. I took 3 warm epsom salt baths every day on this week and my boyfriend (whom was suffering from a concussion) would try to talk to me and keep my mind occupied so i could stay in the bath as long as I could. He was on temporary leave this entire time and he would help me so much even though he was dealing with his own pains. He’d still offer to make me tea, or just hold me while I cried, and sometimes I think we would just hold each-other so tightly because it was all we could do.

Finally when my mother came to see me she suggested we get in touch with the doctors an tell them what was going on. My pain team decided the medicine just wasn’t right for me in the end. I was instructed to go back to my normal pain medicine dose, but even as I upped it, the negative side effects of the methadone stayed in my body for almost a week. After It was out of my system, I had some of the most productive days I’d had in a while. I was out of the house a lot and functioning really well.

August 31st I started The Topamax Trials

They put me on a new medicine very soon called ‘Topamax’. I went down another rabbit hole, spiraling down. I couldn’t sleep for more than 2 hours without getting woken up by pain, even with my sleeping medication. The cycle would exhaustingly continue until I reached morning. In the day i was constantly weak and tired. I was overheating more, Eye dryness & burning, dry mouth, etc. I would try to take naps during the day, but they would seem to not help. This was no Methadone, but It was still almost impossible to function. I called my pain pharmacist after a while of this, and on September 7th we mutually decided to give the first medicine I was tried on for nerve pain (About 2-3 years ago) another try..

 September 7th I started the Gabapentin 2nd Trail Run 

This brings us to the present. I’ve been taking this drug twice a day now, and soon will up to three times a day. My body agrees with it quite well! No noticeable negative side effects. Sometimes it can work in conjunction with my pain medicine and help it work longer and maybe even better. I noticed this more in the beginning, but maybe I need a higher dose. I have a LOT of hope for this trail, and I plan to go hard at it with my pain team guiding me.

Soft hugs

xoxo

Emily R. Inman

Soft Brain Tissue and Warm Blood

First off, let me start by say I’ve never had any serious car accidents where I was hurt. I always felt too young to be impacted by such a commonplace event, as if I were in control of my own destiny. Well, recently my perspective on that changed.

I didn’t take it very seriously…

What happened was I was driving home from work and an elderly lady ran a stop sign and broad sided my car, making it quickly spin then come to a halt. The whole process is harder and harder to recall, but we’ll get to that later.

I got out of my car and looked around, a lot of people had stopped and were on their phones, blocking traffic. I then looked at my car:

Honestly, it looks fine.

All-in-all, things seemed okay. The other drive came running up exclaiming how it was their fault, and I made sure they were okay. Fade to black.

Now I’m in a rental car, shortly after the accident, driving with Emily to see a doctor. But we get there and they tell me in a muffled, distant voice, that I need to go to the Emergency Room. I’m starting to hurt more: Neck, back, and head are all ranging from fuzzy to painful. Somehow the whole body no longer felt like parts, but more like a collective mess, a confusion source. Fade to black.

I’m in the local Emergency Room and they’re doing a CAT scan and I am in pain. Fade to black.

There’s something about whiplash, but my head, why does it still hurt? It’s common I guess. 8/10/2017 ends.

I wake up on 8/11 and don’t remember sleeping. I must have though, because I wasn’t tired. The coffee I make is okay, it’s just coffee, and I’m ready for work. In and out of my own world again. I find myself at work, taking to my Director about my accident and that I’m forgetting things. Darkness.

I’m in the same hospital as the prior night (was it really last night?) and I have a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) along with whiplash. They give me a note saying take 3 days off and then return to work on Monday. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday I’m at work, somehow I’ve worked the previous 2 days, but I don’t remember what I did. Was I even there? Darkness.

I’m standing in a hallway in the main hospital campus, meeting coworkers to do something, and I think I might cry. I don’t know how I got here. I don’t remember anything. All I feel is pain and shame, for having shown up and not knowing why. A flash of light, I’m in the Emergency Room again, but it’s a different one. I have a concussion and memory loss. But I should be good to drive.

I end up at my primary care doctor’s office, and am talking to her, but the voices are distant, and I can’t make out what we’re saying.

I can’t work for 2 weeks and I need to see a neuropsychologist.

Everyday after is in and out, with no real remnants of memory, just a lingering pain in my head. People say I’m happy, and I forgot who or why they say it. I’m not. My mind and body are a cage now.

 

 

Today, Thursday (8/31/17) we have three appointments: 2 for Emily and one for Me. My coordination is back, my memory is stronger, but the pains I have are like nothing I’ve ever felt, like an itch I can’t reach that slowly turns to a burn.

I look the same, I act pretty much the same, but I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m so sad knowing a part of my life is missing, the days I never lived, but was there for.

 

Oh Well.

 

~Tim

Marijuana Laws And The People Who Suffer

I’ve been quiet a lot again… Emily’s going to get on Methadone soon and she’s worried that it won’t work… we’re both worried.

Something I’ve wanted to talk about for a while is marijuana. For some people, it’s a touchy subject, but for me, for us, it’s important. Marijuana should be legal in Pennsylvania and open to people with chronic pain, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and so on. I made this video on our youtube channel, ‘calmly’ lashing out at where we live and our legislators for remaining aloof on the issue.

For those of you who don’t know: Pennsylvania allows medical marijuana, but for a very narrow group. I want to take her to the marijuana doctor to see if they’ll accept her, but it’s $200, and we’re struggling. Please watch, and thank you for caring/tolerating me.

~Tim

P.S. I thought the title was funny, but, I know, it makes no sense… and I curse A LOT in the video… sorry.

This Very Simple Life We Live

I know we haven’t really used this in a while, because we’ve become more involved with YouTube, but I (Tim) just wanted to give an update.

Following our YouTube shows a bit of us, but the truth is we’re always facing trails in our lives. Be it health (both mental and physical), money, feeling safe, or even being able to function, Emily and I are in a constant battle to maintain a normal life. Emily fights harder than I do, and my fight takes a deeper toll on me than her’s does.

The problem isn’t that we’re unhappy together, far from it, the problem is together we’re fighting in a world that seems unaccepting. Her father doesn’t really believe that Emily is sick. More or less, he believes she’s just becoming like her mother: something of a hypochondriac. I swear to you, with ever fiber of my being, I hate him for feeling this way.

Emily’s step-mother is worse though. Her step-mother is something of a ‘social-alcoholic’, and by that I mean she’s an obnoxious wino/drunk who lashes out verbally at Emily’s father and all of his ties to Emily (including Emily’s sister). From my side, I think of her as a blemish on the world, an ugly spot, that radiates sadness, anger, and negativity around her general vicinity.

That being said, I have a constant twinge of anger when I think of her father and step-mother, but I try to contain it, because I’m not helping by being so angry at them. Emily is so sweet, so idealistic, that she only feels sorry for them for not being able to be happy. I am so negative, that sometimes I can’t fathom how she doesn’t hate her father and step-mother.

I love Emily. I want to (and will) spend my life with her. But, going back to what I initially was saying, we’re in a constant battle.

Emily recently upped her Lyrica (a medicine for fibromyalgia) and it helps, but she’s still very weak, and unable to function. She told me yesterday something along the lines of she needs to space out her days with people other than me, because even talking to others leaves her with fatigue and pain.

I wish I could take her pain away, take her away from here, and give her the life she deserves. Sadly, I face every day knowing that we’ll live paycheck to paycheck in order to maintain this very simple life we live.

 

~Tim

Breathe – A Chronic illness Pep Talk

Hey guys, I uploaded a new video a few days ago! This kind of video style is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, and I would really appreciate your feedback 🙂 The past few days have been rough, but I’m working on staying positive.

Soft hugs

XOXO

Emily

Painting to keep busy.

Hi guys! I’m sorry there’s been a big space between the last post and this one, but I think it’s time I come back and chat. I’ve been doing a lot of painting lately. My paint collection has grown from a crayola watercolor pallet, to countless tubes of paint, brushes, and canvases all around the apartment! (Thanks to Tim!)

I’ve always been uncontrollably creative, and that comes out of any outlet it can. Singing has always been my passion, but since that has been difficult for me to do with my fatigue, I took up painting. I like using watercolors, but mainly acrylics.

I’ve put a few of my paintings up for sale on this new site I found, and I’m thinking about selling prints of work that I do on paper at some point. I haven’t sold anything yet, but I cross my fingers!

{ Click here to view my buyable artwork }

Puppy Love

Sorry for the long pause, for anyone that’s been following our blog. I haven’t been doing the best with my chronic pain, and I wasn’t in the writing mood for a little while. As a musician, sometimes I discipline myself and think that if I’m not writing songs, I shouldn’t be writing at all..and this is silly in retrospect. Hopefully I’ll continue to write here, and maybe post a new video on youtube.

I’m not sure if you guys know this about me, but I am Vegan. I care passionately about animals, so I do not consume animal products. That’s going to be a whole other post, but for now I want to talk about my puppies!

The Morkie on the left is Pluto, and the Maltese on the right is Tinkerbell

Screen Shot 2016-02-06 at 9.05.28 PM

I guess you can say that I’m kind of an unconventional “Dog Owner”..I don’t crate my dogs, they mainly go to the bathroom inside on dog pads, we get the best quality dog food we can afford, and they sleep on the bed with us. When it’s cold outside I put sweaters on my dogs because they are small and get cold easily. I give them what some consider “People Food” almost every time I prepare food, or snack. All of the things I mentioned,  at some point get negative comments about.

That is ironic to me, because I do all those things because I treat my pets like equals. I don’t feel like I am on top of the food chain, or that I have some sort of special right to eating fresh bananas, or carrots, or even a pasta noodle here and there. My dogs deal with  separation anxiety, and because I know what that feels like, I don’t like the idea of locking them in a tiny cage for hours. Instead, there is a special spot underneath the couch with blankets and pillows for when the dogs feel the need to burrow. Have I lost a couple lipsticks or letters because of their freedom? Of course, but those things aren’t as important as my dogs.

I grew up watching a neighbor a few houses down leave their dog outside for hours and hours, just to bark and be unhappy. Just because you can’t understand what they are saying, doesn’t mean that you should treat them as something below you. When my puppies  are curled up by my side during a bad pain spell, I know the comfort and happiness is mutual; and I think that is really important.

 

Soft Hugs,

XOXO

Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working for Verizon Wireless

I know it’s been far too long since either of us has posted on our blog, and to anyone who is reading this and cares: I apologize. Emily has not been finding the right treatment for her illness and I have been without a job for a while, except in February I started working for a hospital as IT Support! It’s an awesome job, and one which involves me doing what I’ve always wanted to do, ever since I went to school to study IT programming. But I digress; I’m here to talk about something I don’t think I’ve really talked much about, and that’s what it was like for me when I used to work for Verizon Wireless.

It’s a huge company, and one which pays well to do one thing: Sell. I only worked there for 6 months, 1 of which I was in training outside of the store I was to work in, so really 5 months. If you’ve ever worked retail, and I’ve discussed this, you know the deep down hatred you feel/felt going to work. But Verizon Wireless is a special monster to me, because, though I’ve spent most of my life working retail, Verizon Wireless taught me that everyone is a mark and there are core rules to this:

The Rules:

  1. No one should leave the store with less than $150 in merchandise. Should they: you are a weak person and unworthy of the job
  2. Everyone is a potential new line, because everyone (whether they know it or not) always has the need for MORE
  3. Verizon Wireless is the best network, no matter what you hear
  4. We are not sales people, we are leaders, bringing people to a better life, and one which benefits all parties

These ‘Rules’ may seem basic, and expected, but how they were used will always leave a dead place in my heart.

Sell, Sell, Sell: The Time I Went Against My Own Morals

I had a manger, his name was Nick. He was short, with greased back black hair, and the demeanor of a rat, except he was able to make older woman love him. Nick used to be the top sales person in the region, until they brought him on as a manager, thinking he could teach others how he made these sales. ‘Lucky’ for me, I ended being something of a project to him. I hate Nick, I hated Nick, and this story will make you hate Nick.

One night, we were about 2 hours from closing and Nick, myself, and a few others were working. The night had been okay, relatively slow, but we had a few new lines and our sales were on the lower end of good. I was set to take the next customer, and Nick was always watching over me, because I had weak numbers. So, in walk an older woman with her daughter, and I chip up, thinking, “Maybe she’s getting her daughter a new phone?” Then the customer walks in, the person at the door leads them too me, I had on my best smile, and then I saw their faces and my smile faded slightly: They had been crying.

I started by asking how I might be able to help them, “…on this fine night” (it was actually after it had snowed, so everything was a plowed mess outside). The older woman began to talk, but faded without saying anything, so her daughter explained to me that her father had just died (the mother stifled a cry when she said this) and, with a slightly weak voice, they needed to disconnect his line.

I kind of stood there, slightly disappointed, but overall filled with sadness for how there two looked, and the state they were in. I started playing with my tablet, looking into disconnecting a line, but the line was only 6 months in, and disconnecting required a manager’s approval.

Nick, like a vulture, came over to me as I was headed to the back to see if any other manager was still in. Nope. He asked what was going on and I explained. By the time I was done you’d think I’d told him that he’d just won the lottery by the expression on his face. I remember the next words quite well, he said, “Tim, when people are in high emotions they’re more willing to buy things; this is AWESOME!” He then lead me out to the people (the second he turned he put on a fake expression of grief, almost as if he were mocking theirs, and proceeded to talk to the people.

The mother and daughter, soon were tearing up, I felt awful and tried consoling them. Nick told them that disconnecting the line would be no problem, and how sorry he was for their loss. Then, he quickly turned into a different person. While typing in the approval to disconnect the line, eyes on the tablet, he began talking to them about how, with the line gone and the money to be saved, maybe tablets would make sense (since, at the time, a phone line was $40 per month and a tablet line was only $10). In his snake like words, ones which I still don’t remember, he convinced them that they needed 2 tablets and cases, along with screen protectors and anything else they might need, “…because, I know it’s hard now, but these things will help you, even distract you, from all that’s going on.” I was stunned, but he was doing all of this under my sign in information, so it was going to be my sale.

I nodded dumbly, agreeing with Nick and even backing him in certain instances.

The mother and daughter left that night, still weak and sad, but with bags full of tablets, accessories, and enough money to make my days sales put me in great standing. I went home that night and slept soundly, but within a month I quit, because of Nick.

This was not the only instance of anything like this happening, but this was my experience working there, and how I know Verizon Wireless stores work.

So if you’re ever in the need of anything tech or phone related, go to Best Buy or, better yet, do it online. The coercion and greed that drives companies is normal, and this story isn’t unique.

 

~Tim