Making a plan

Leila Raven Posted in General
2

Well, it’s the end of August, and despite the best of intentions, with no structure or plan, just intentions.. my weight has remained ‘stable’ all summer. My weight has been ‘stable’ since… oh, the beginning of the year. Don’t get me wrong, after getting the lap band surgery, working with it, and working hard, I’ve lost exactly the ‘average’ most people who get the surgery do, I’ve lost about 60% of my excess body weight. I started at my highest at 295, I was about 280 time of surgery, and I’m 210 now. With my height, 5’9″, I’m still ‘obese’ according to the charts, not just overweight. I’m in a size 16, and thrilled to bits about being able to shop in regular size stores for clothes again, and not be relegated to a couple of plus size stores. However, I feel I’m only part way to my real goals and desires. I want to be a -healthy- weight. I want to be in the ‘normal’ weight range. I don’t want to be model thin, I just would like to be not only not in the ‘obese’ category anymore, not in the overweight category, but a normal healthy weight.  I have had SO many health problems over the years, many in recent years, and am now dealing with some kind of undiagnosed health issue, over which I have little to no control. I have been in the last month focusing on eating healthier and being really good to myself in trying to do the best I can with this situation. However, that being said, I haven’t been doing portion control, have had no idea how much I’m actually consuming in the day in terms of calories, carbs, protiens, fats, etc. I also have been periodically binging on carbs for the self-medicated ‘high’ I get from eating large quantities of sugar or simple carbohydrates. It’s not the kind of coping mechanism I need to be turning to right now with my health.

So, I’ve made the decision to go back to a focused effort on healthy weight loss. I use a program called fitday that I love. I started using it almost 1.5 years ago at the beginning of my weight loss journey,  but once I got in the habit of eating what I should, how much I should, when I should, I dropped using it. It didn’t seem useful. Then, over time, I let it slide, I started eating a little more, a little less healthy, and just settled with the fact that I was maintaining my weight. So, I’m back with fitday. I have the upgraded version that you pay for and have on your home computer, and I can’t say how much it helps me. It calculates with input from me, what my basic caloric needs are based on information I give it to my activity level. I put in the information, and my goals, and it tells me exactly what I need to be taking in in calories, how many grams of protein, carbs, fat, as well as all my micro nutrients. It allows you to enter in activities like minutes of time spent grocery shopping. You literally can chart -all- your activity, all your food, and you know what is going on in your body.

When I was using it before, it was so accurate, I new exactly how much the scale was going to say based on what fitday predicted I should have lost. Unless I was premenstrual, otherwise, it was always on the money.  I know if I create a program with fitday, shop so I have the groceries I need to follow my plans, and document what I do, that in general, I do what I need to do, and have success.

So I’m excited. I feel great. I have a fridge full of the foods I need, love, healthy, to meet my goals for nutrition and weight loss.

Thankfully  the pool re-opens from maintenance tomorrow, and I can start adding some activity to my food plan.

I can’t sit, and focus only on the health issues I have no control over, I need to focus on the health issues I DO have control over.

So I’ll lift a glass of high fiber v8 juice, or a protein shake with oodles of frozen berries in it, and propose a toast… sante! to your health!

And before I sign off, I’ll share a few of my fave food choices with you.

artificial crab sticks
1% cottage cheese
fat free smoked ham
light herb cream cheese
fat free activia yogurt
Kashi cereal (high in protein for cereal)
1% milk
loads of fruits, berries, plums, nectarines, watermelon, pears, apples.
sun dried tomato rice cakes
cracker jack rice cakes
reduced fat peanut butter
healthy request clam chowder
carrot soup

I -love- the sundried tomato rice cakes with a light spread of light herb cream cheese, a few slices of fat free ham, and some sliced tomato… purr.

I also -love- the cracker jack rice cakes with a thin spread of peanut butter.. yum!

Okay, I’m off to make myself a snack.

Updates going… no where new.

Leila Raven Posted in General
0

Well, my testosterone levels were bang on normal, so no supplementation options there. Today I also got results back from the nuclear medicine scan I had of my thyroid nodules. Results show no differences in the tissues, which is… inconclusive. My Dr. did say that he didn’t feel a needle biopsy was warranted at this time.. yay! I was not looking forward to potentially having a needle stuck in my throat digging around looking for samples. I do have to go back for follow up ultrasounds, the next one in November. In terms of all my chronic pain and fatigue, and all that mess of auto-immune/rheumatic type symptoms, I have an appointment with an internist.. Oct. 9th. Which is a while yes, but honestly, could be worse, waiting lists for specialists these days is the norm. The reality is, a diagnosis will likely not make much difference in terms of action any ways. It’s pain killers and trying to do what I can, rest, not stress myself physically and mentally, and live as healthy as I can given my limitations. I’ve been eating well, and trying to take really good care of myself.  I’m looking forward to the pool opening again later this week, and getting back to doing some gentle exercise.

Thats it from me today, hands and forearms, sore again…

Mixed bag

Leila Raven Posted in General
0

I actually have things to do today, okay, another Dr.’s appt. but still, it’s something. My morning started well, no major pain, just the usual waking up exhausted, bleary, fatigued and weak.. but.. not sore. That’s one of the good mornings. Even though I sleep 10 hours, I always wake up feeling tired now, and stiff. Bad days, waking up with pain too. Good days, no pain. So far it’s a good day.

Then the mail came, and I was delighted with an envelope from my sister, with hand made cards in it from my two nieces and my nephew from Victoria. Get well cards, each with it’s own age branded flavor, scribbles and Dora stickers from the youngest, and elegant collage from the eldest. They are on my mantle in view, cheering me up. Cards from kids you love, good medicine.

After a few previous false starts, she wasn’t quite ready before, Luna my precious puggy is off for what is hopefully her first successful ‘date’ with the stud. Wolfe’s taken her, I was going to go too, but I’m pacing myself today. When they get back we’ll be heading off to Abbotsford to visit the hormone specialist.

This was the Dr. I started seeing about adjusting my testosterone levels before I started getting all the symptoms I have now. I finally go see him about my free testosterone level test results to see if I’m a candidate for supplementation. I don’t know whether that’s still an option with my current health issues or not. Hopefully it can still be a go if the tests say I’m low.

I’ve started to let myself think about the possibility that my health issues may be related to the silicone implant I have around my stomach. I need to at least look at it as a possibility. For decades women with silicone implants for breasts have complained of rheumatic symptoms. Symptoms like the ones I have now. The literature says typically when women seem to have these immune responses to silicone they happen most frequently about a year after they’ve been implanted. It was last summer that I had the lap-band put in. Maybe I don’t have an auto-immune response triggered by infection, or a disease like fibromyalgia. Maybe I have an auto-immune response to my silicone lap-band. The upside, no chronic illness. The downside, surgery for removal, and no longer having my lap-band. I am taking fewer of the medications that caused much of my previous weight gain, but still, I have no idea whether I can maintain weight, or continue to lose, without the lap band as an added tool in my arsenal.  However, if there is any good liklihood that my health issues are caused by my band, it’s a no brainer decision, even if I have to pay for surgical removal, it would have to go. I go visit my family Dr. tomorrow for follow up on my radioactive scan of my thyroid nodules, and I’ll discuss the possibility of exploring this possibility.

I can’t wait till our local pool is done it’s annual maintenance an opens for business again, just a few more days before I can be back starting to get active. It hurts whether I move a little or not, so might as well try to gently get my body more active again, the pool is the best way to do that.

Waving the white flag

Leila Raven Posted in General
3

Some may see it as weakness, not to ‘fight’. For me, it’s a decision about what is best for my own health and well being, physical, mental and emotional.

We’ve decided to shut down all events by Raven’s Retreat until further notice. I don’t think we’ll re-open to public events, but you never know, never say never, which is why we chose ’till further notice’. Than a total closure.

There is a very fractured and volatile kink community here in BC, and behind smiling friendly faces, people have done nasty horrible things to others.

There are people in the community, that have hurt many friends of mine, have hurt many vulnerable submissives, and have hurt me. I’m not going to name names, play the blame game, or even disclose specific actions. I don’t want to empower these people or dis-empower them.  I don’t want to go into details of who did what to whom and why.  It is no secret to many that there are competitive, greedy, and self focused people among us who will hurt or use, sabotage, lie, do anything and everything they can, if they feel it will benefit them in their own goals.  I cannot stand against these people, I don’t want to be a part of these ‘games’, of people using other people, organizations, legal channels, etc, etc, to manipulate to meet their own ends.

It doesn’t matter if I’m in the right, and they’re in the wrong. If I get drawn into proving myself, and in the process bring them down.. I’m still engaging in some kind of fight, and the community loses out, and I don’t want any part of it. I have voluntarily shut my services down. No parties, no pro-domination, no educational events.

Honestly, I don’t think these people are ‘bad’ people. I think they’re a little lost, I think they’ve gotten so focused on their goals and/or needs, that they’ve lost track of life’s big picture. They’ve gotten caught up in the money and/or power game, and in the process, lost the genuine connections to people that often happens as an expense of that.  I feel in some ways, they are their own worst victims.

I’m withdrawing from any form of ‘perceived’ power position in this community. What I love about the kink community, is the diversity, the acceptance of alternative desires, relationships, dynamics between people. It’s about alternative loving, passion, play, exploration. It’s about creating things, building experiences. Positives. I don’t want to be involved, pulled into, a destructive process.

Right now, our local community seems to be tainted with some people who feel in order to create they need to alternately destroy or take away from others. For those reading who feel you may know who I’m talking about and make inferences, please don’t.  I will continue to treat everyone with respect, and good will. I sincerely hope that all the current venues locally thrive and continue to supply places for community to gather and to play. I may not respect everything they have done in order to create, promote, or maintain what they do, but I respect that they do provide needed spaces and services. These are essentially good people, who have made some bad choices. I don’t necessarily dislike them, but some of their actions and motives.

The public, the players, should not be ‘punished’ by feeling they need to take sides, or boycott, or become political, because of the actions of others in the community. My advice is to do your best NOT to be pulled into the politics, the power plays, the drama. Do your best and what it takes to remain positive and powerful in your own personal interactions. Continue to create the joy and the good that exists in the community, by your own personal integrity. I’m hoping to get out to venues, and just ‘be’ in the scene, without being involved in much of the nastiness behind it.

For now, going to focus on health, happiness, friendships, and how I can create the lifestyle I would like to lead, without inviting unwanted drama into it.. can it be done? I don’t know. I may need new lifestyle plans.  In fact, I know I need new lifestyle plans, just waiting for all the dust in my life to settle, to see what pieces I have available to me, before I attempt to plan what to build towards. ie, medical diagnosis and prognosis for whatever health issues I’m dealing with and how that may or may not limit me. Financial situation, etc.

We may sell and move and take up somewhere new, more remote, smaller… or? who knows. Lots of options.

No news is no news.

Leila Raven Posted in General
1

We’ve been going back and forth and back and forth on whether or not to breed Luna , we had some concerns because pugs often have difficulty with the size of their heads and need c-sections. We’re afraid for her, but really want to at least once experience having puppies. Controversial, I know. Pug cross puppies are always in demand, and after much deliberation, we’ve decided to breed her with a local Chihuahua stud. I’ve met with the Chihuahua breeder, and met all her dogs, and the stud, with Luna, and we looked over one another’s dogs, talked about things in depth, and decided it’s a go. Luna will go over this evening for her first of a few ‘dates’ with her handsome little mini paramour. This should result in a pregnancy with some little pups with little heads that will be safer for her to deliver. Chugs, as the cross is commonly called, tho I prefer ‘pughuahua’. Wish us luck, and a healthy happy litter.

Not much has changed with my health, though I am getting used to my different feeling body. There’s less fear and distress over the constant aches and pains, the soreness and weakness in my body. You know how when something changes in your body, new dental work, a piercing, how after a while you adjust to the newness and it seems like it’s always been that way. It’s a bit like that. Though I still remember clearly, it wasn’t that long ago, what it was like to feel pain free and have energy. I think sometimes when you have a cold or flu that goes on a long time that can happen to, and one day it’s gone, and you’re like… ‘wow, I feel SO good’. You’ve almost forgotten what it was like to feel normal, that normal feels good. I have to keep in mind that for me, this constant fatigue and body malaise and pain, may be my new normal, and adjust accordingly. If it ends up being something temporary and goes away, great. In the meantime, I’m going to do my best to adjust and normalize what is happening now for me. That means trying not to avoid ‘life’ in order to avoid more pain. I can’t live on my couch for ever. I did get out to the gym a few days ago and walk on the treadmill, and the other day I did some shopping. I’m trying to get out maybe every other day or so, even if it’s for a short bit to do something. Even something small. It’s going to be about finding a new balance.

I currently have an appointment for an internist in October sometime.. but my family Dr. is going to try to get me in earlier, maybe on a cancellation or something. I found a local rheumatist here in Chilliwack by searching, and they specialize in diagnosing fibromyaligia and related disorders. I’m thinking I may ask my Dr. to refer me to him, and at least they may be able to let me know whether it is or isn’t. He may hopefully have a shorter waiting period. I will call them later today and see if we can set something up.

If I don’t -do- anything, take pain killers, and zone out, I can almost pretend nothing is wrong with me. Maybe it’s all in my head? Wishful twisted thinking. But doing something, anything, like writing this journal entry, quickly brings it home. It’s painfully obvious as my hands and fingers get more and more stiff and sore and aching, and that pain spreads up the muscles in my arms from holding my hands up to type.. that things are honestly really physically.. fubared. Then, it’s hard not to get emotional, feel sorry for myself, feel scared. I think of the people I know in life facing worse situations than me, worse health issues, greater adversary. I think of all those people with so much less, and so many more troubles, and I try to be compassionate with myself, and instead of tell myself I’m being a pussy… just gently remind myself bravery isn’t being without fear and hurt, it’s about doing your best despite of it. It’s not always about succeeding, it can just be about surviving failures. I don’t have to be a heroine. I don’t have to change the world. I don’t have to rescue people. I don’t have to improve my community. I don’t have to influence each and everyone in a positive fashion. I don’t have to take so much responsibility for everything all the time. I don’t have to be the ‘fixer’ my nature drives me to be. It can be okay to step back, and just let things be broken. To let others take responsibility. To be okay with doing just what you can do, and no more.

It’s been hard.

It’s difficult knowing that I can’t make any real plans for my future, until I know what is happening with me presently. I’ve been on disability for a few years now. I’ve known I’d likely never return to my ‘ideal’ work situation, being a psychotherapist, or the home support organization I was a manager for, etc, given my past and current health issues. But I was hopeful I would be able to do very occasional part time work to supplement our income. There’s no way I can do that currently, and I may not be able to in the future, and that’s difficult for me. Not the money part of it really. I’ve never been a money/wealth focused person, if we have to down-grade to a smaller living space and/or more remote, etc. I’m fine with that. We lived in 465 square feet Wolfe and I for several years. My regret is not being able to ‘do’ things I love to do.

Well, who knows, right now it’s a waiting game, waiting to find out if my changes with my ability/disability is temporary or permanent. If permanent, then we have to decide how we will proceed from here, where, when, how…

I’m off to watch Wolfe put bark mulch in the garden beds.

Live in Love

Mutation time?

Leila Raven Posted in General
1

Well, today I got to go all the way out to Surrey Hospital to drink radioactive material. I’m getting a radioactive imaging done of my thyroid because of the nodes in it. I tell you, it may be painless to drink that stuff, but it’s spooky. They serve it to you in this little bottle that is encased in a heavy metal canister, very heavy, I’m assuming largely lead, with the lovely radioactive warning sign on it. They stick an ordinary plastic bendy drinking straw in there, since you can’t drink directly from the container, in the lead container. Plastic bendy straws always remind me of fancy drinks or being a kid having a sweet drink, it’s a weird combination with the lead canister. The technician handles the container and straw with gloves on.  Drinking something out of a lead container that has a radioactive warning sign on it… with a bendy straw… is a surreal experience.  Between now and tomorrow it will infuse my thyroid tissues, it’s radioactive material that ‘likes’ thyroid tissue. So if it’s made of thyroid, it will light up with the stuff. If my nodules aren’t made of dense thyroid, they won’t absorb it.  It’s not a test that will tell me if they are malignant or benign if it isn’t thyroid tissue, but if it is thyroid tissue, then it’s not cancer. If it isn’t thyroid tissue, then it will be biopsy time to figure it out. Here’s to hoping it’s thyroid tissue.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to mutate, but I am enjoying the idea that I am radioactive material infused. I have just had a radioactive pee… too funny.

As for all my other health crap, I’m still waiting to for an appointment with the internist for the next step. So far today has been not bad for pain.  It’s always nice to have some respite from the worst of it. However, I am starting to feel the typing, so that’s enough out of me.

I’m so not a fighter, just a lover.

Leila Raven Posted in General
5

Well, running a public dungeon and having parties was kind of an experiment, one I’m currently questioning. I have had the best times being a hostess to these parties, planning them in detail, making door prizes, shopping for drinks and munchies… the chocolate fountain, my custom pinata at my birthday, etc. It’s never been about income, any income was always put back into the next party, paying for presenters, party stuff, etc.  it’s always been about a good time, and hopefully with presenters, some educational fun too.  I’ve gotten so much positive feedback from party goers, it’s been mostly really good. Unfortunately, what’s started happening, which I was hoping would not come, has… I’ve become pulled into scene politics. It seems even if you don’t voice an opinion on conflicts, people will have assumptions.  People who don’t know me, have never met me, as well as people who have, have all kinds of ideas and beliefs about where I stand in our community.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love everybody, I don’t think everyone in our community is peachy keen. I think a lot of us could use some improvement in some areas, interpersonal, play dynamics, ethics, what have you. Some of us make the occasional faux pas, we’re only human. Others seem to repeatedly run into conflicts or issues of a certain pattern. I don’t want to fight any of these people, I don’t want to remove them from community, I don’t want to be a part of sides or factions. I would like it if we could try to support one another so that people who need help, get the help they need.  I don’t hate anyone. There are some people I don’t particularly ‘like’ for one reason or another they, or their choices or behaviors rub me the wrong way.

Know what? I’m not the kink police, and even though I’m a psychotherapist by training, my MA was in counseling psychology, I don’t want to try to personally ‘fix’ these persons either. I’d like it if we could try to as a community be cohesive and supportive and caring of one another. That the people who do things they probably shouldn’t have, have caring friends who may be able to point out the issues and help resolved them. Or that the people involved in these conflicts would take more ownership in trying to resolve them together.

I’ve been talking with Wolfe about pulling out of the whole mess, moving on into more seclusion and not dealing with the drama. I’m a sensitive person. As strong as I can be, I also am emotionally vulnerable. I’m also struggling with major health issues, and knowing that I’m supposed to avoid stress at all costs. As much as I wish it wouldn’t, knowing people are talking negatively and untruthfully about me, making assumptions as to the nature of my character that are ugly, is hurtful and stressful to me.

A beautiful woman in our community recently passed away, someone I related to deeply.  I don’t know why or how she passed, I do know she had attempted suicide often, in the recent past. It’s been a few years now, since my last attempt. Since I had that level of depression and despair. I’m scared of going that route again. I’ve found lots of great friends, supports, beautiful caring and giving people in the community who have brought a lot of joy into my life, and fought the depression monster away. The parties in my dungeon, like an empowering celebration of life for me.  But now… I’m getting the backlash, the dark side of being involved in a large group/community. and I don’t know if I can handle it.

I know how easily that death could have been mine. I grieve her passing, and yet, I understand her need for escape and peace. I hope she has found it, and is in a place free of pain and hurt and sorrow, and filled with love.

I’ve been thinking about selling it all off, all the money I put in the dungeon, all the hours of work, done just by Wolfe and I, the paint, the sweat. Packing it off, keeping just the few things we use ourselves often, and moving away from the drama of the scene. We could sell the place, and move farther out, have a lower mortgage, maybe a little more land, I’d lose the things I love about the scene, but I’d be protecting myself from the hurts.

I guess becoming a more public figure means there will always be more people, some people, who will choose to perceive you as a threat, as competition, as an enemy , as something.  even if it’s something you’re not.  If I were a stronger person, and not coping with one chronic illness, and now potentially another, not yet diagnosed, chronic illness. I might try to do things differently. I honestly don’t know if I have the strength to hear all the negativity. I barely have the strength to respond to negative assumptions and accusations made towards me. I don’t have the strength to stay silent. I don’t have the strength to keep on refuting negative assumptions about me. I don’t have the energy, literally, to speak out and set records straight as to who and what I am.  Today in the alt group someone talked about me being versus another kink venue… nothing could be further from the truth. How they came to this belief is unknown to me. I try to make my views clear, yet people seem to read things between the lines, things that simply don’t exist.

I’ll give myself some time to think about it, talk about it more with Wolfe, we’ve shut the parties down for this month with the option to resume in Sept. and that gives us time to plan what is really important to us.  Right now, I have enough on my plate trying to cope with physical pain and the other symptoms of my illness, and doing my best not to give in to stress and depression in these circumstances. I need to stop letting the negativity in the community engage me. Easier said than done.

Fingers hurt.. typing time’s over for now.

Floating away.

Leila Raven Posted in General
0

The title of the post is not particularly accurate. As I tried to float at the pool today, and for the first time in my life… couldn’t. I’ve always been a floater, even when I was younger and skinny. I think it’s the muscle tension along with the muscle pain and fatigue, I couldn’t relax enough to float. I was looking forward to not feeling gravity on my body, but I didn’t get there. I couldn’t do any of the exercise or swimming that I normally do at the pool, and I couldn’t really feel comfortable in the cold pool or the hot hot tub. Luckily the leisure center I go to has 4 pools, 2 hot tubs, one really hot and the other more of a therapy hot pool suitable for children and wheelchair accessible. and two larger pools, one for laps etc, and the other is a wave pool, which is warmer than the Olympic style lap pool. Normally I use the cold lap pool and the hot hot tub, but today I just alternated soaking in the more temperate pools. Moving was uncomfortable, and I tried to relax as much as possible. Wolfe hurt his back working out and came down early, which was fine with me, as a long visit would have been tiring. Unfortunately now his mobility is challenged and he’s also dealing with some pain. I think we’re ordering in tonight. LOL. In terms of the negative stuff happening in the kink community. I’ve decided just to pull away entirely for the time being. Even before it was told to me in martial arts, I always believed that you don’t start fights, you do your best to avoid fights, if someone starts a fight with you, the goal is to finish it, but not my hurting them, but by getting away, hurting them as little as possible and preventing yourself from getting hurt as much as possible so that you can get away from the fight. It doesn’t matter if you’re stronger, a better fighter, or in the right, the goal is minimize the damage, minimize the hurt, not ‘win’. It doesn’t matter what others think, or if it makes you look bad, or good, or like the loser of the fight, or look guilty or innocent, you do what you know to be right for your own ethics. Let other peoples assumptions be other peoples problems, I can’t control other peoples beliefs and actions, only my own. Just as people I’ve tried to develop friendships with have decided not to act as my friend, I can decide not to act as enemy to those who have tried to develop relationships of animosity with me. I am no person’s enemy, and I need to be my own friend first. I’m moving away from the action for a bit. There’s too much stuff getting slung around. I don’t want to be a part of it. Going to float away for a while, and focus on keeping comfortable and sorting out my health issues as best I can.

“Do not ask the world to change, change yourself” Buddah.

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are” Anais Nin.

“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Ghandi

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

Pain

Leila Raven Posted in General
0

I woke up in pain this morning. I woke up groggy and confused, after 8 hours sleep, sore muscles all over, stiff, exhausted and weak. I woke up feeling like I had to desperately pee. I got up and staggered to the bathroom. After peeing I still felt like I desperately had to pee… oh joy, those mock symptoms of a urinary tract infection I don’t have, tingling urgency, restless painful discomfort of having to pee and an empty bladder. I looked for the container of urinary analgesic pills that turn my urine reddish orange and take that feeling away, found it, empty. I staggered back to the bedroom. I needed pain killers for aching pains I had plaguing my body, and those little pee pills too. I could hear Wolfe banging away outside nailing down the new roof on the shed. He would know where more pills were, or could go to refill the scrip if we were out. I couldn’t move… too weak, too sore, too tired, my eyes watering in feelings of helplessness and pain. I tried to force myself to go back to sleep, being still exhausted, sleepy, hoping I could escape it that way. No way, too agitated from the urinary symptoms, too sore from the pain, pugs wrestling in the bed.  Went to the back door, and got Wolfe’s attention on the roof, he came in and brought me meds, we weren’t out of anything, they just were in another location.  I stepped on the scale, to find a bunch of the weight I dropped from having no appetite and not feeling like eating real food has been regained from me comforting myself by eating maple fudge, ice cream, and other junk that goes down easy.  Not a great start to the day. Even with painkillers, I still have some pain… which is annoying, but not as bad as without them. Sometimes I can go most of a day without taking anything, the soreness is tolerable, but then it builds to a point where I can’t take it anymore, and I have to medicate. I’m trying not to feel sorry for myself, which is all too easy to do when you feel bad in any way. I keep reminding myself how good I have it. I have a beautiful home to be ill in, I’m not on the streets or in a shanty in a third world country suffering with an illness like aids with no food and no family and no medications to treat symptoms. I live in a beautiful home, with a beautiful husband, with good food, and with something that as uncomfortable as it may be to cope with, is not likely to be life threatening, though it may end up to be life altering, with medications and medical support. I’m reminded of the proverb “I was angered, for I had no shoes. Then I met a man who had no feet.” Whatever it is I have, and am dealing with, someone somewhere else is suffering more, is braver, is conquering a greater adversary than I am facing. It also puts any kink lifestyle drama into perspective. Life is too precious for me to let others destroy it for me. Let them attack me, let them get it out of their system. Even if they succeed in having a negative impact on Ravens Retreat, and I have to shut down or some such… it’s not important in the big picture. Yes, it’s something I love, no, it’s not my whole life.  I won’t go to war, I won’t retaliate, and it’s not out of fear or being threatened or anything like that, it’s because I don’t want to make my life about that kind of negative dance. If someone comes and tramples down my sandcastle, I’m not going after theirs, if that makes it more likely that I’ll be attacked, fine. I’m not going to play that game, it’s ugly, it’s petty, it’s sad, and it’s pointless. I’m going to revel in the fact that life is like a beautiful day at the beach, and the sun, and the wind, and ocean wide and blue is so big, and so beautiful, and so untouchable, that there’s nothing us mere people can do, to diminish that. What we create… it’s temporary, I can always build another sandcastle, or I can be content to just soak up the sun and the surf of life. There will always be bullies, my problem is, I get sucked into thinking I can make friends with them, and they’ll change, and they won’t be mean to me and others anymore, that they’re just misunderstood. Then my sandcastles get trampled, reality hits home, all too often. There are plenty of good kids to play with, and plenty of beauty in the world to be had, I don’t have to get involved with competitive stuff. I wish those kids weren’t so mean, and I know it’s likely cause someone’s treated them pretty crappy and they’ve had some castles of their own come crashing down, but.. okay, the metaphor is getting silly, and my hands are getting damn sore again. I think it’s time for a nap under my sun umbrella. I love you all, and hopefully no one stuffs a jellyfish down my bathing suit while I’m snoozing! *muah*

Live in love
Leila
(and no, I’m not high on painkillers, unfortunately I’m too square to abuse them… )

Into the grey zone…

Leila Raven Posted in General
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Well, after loads of various tests blood tests, xray, urine, cultures from this that and the other thing. Checking for everything under the sun, and everything coming up rosy in the paperwork. It’s come down to the fact that whatever I have is not one of those things that you can screen for and get a test result for that says you have _____.  I have one of those things that there isn’t a simple diagnostic test for. The Dr. thinks that the it may be my own immune system that was triggered from having a bladder infection that didn’t shut down after fighting the infection, so it’s an over active immune response. In which case it should calm down on it’s own soon. The other option is that I have a connective tissue disorder like fibromyalgia.  For anyone that has had a serious health problem, and suffered with their body throwing some pretty nasty things at them, and not knowing what is going on, or what is wrong, then, you know what I’m going through. It’s frightening, and tiring, and you have to remind yourself to trust yourself and your Dr. that you’re not going batty, and what you’re experiencing is real.  What am I experiencing. Muscle aches and pains and soreness that affects both my major muscle groups and my small ones, all over my body, I have a low grade ache all the time like you do with flu, and it increases over the day so I’m the most sore in the evenings. I also get areas that are more painful than others, and these vary, often it’s my quads, or my butt, or my back, or my upper arms, the larger muscles, but occasionally a smaller muscle group will get extra achey as well. That’s doing nothing. Using any muscle, causes it to tire fast, and ache more. For instance, from writing this much of this post so far, my fingers have become tired, stiff and achy, as well as my wrists, and the muscles in my forearms in use while I type.  It’s as if I’ve been typing for hours and hours instead of a few minutes. When I get up from a sitting position, low, like the toilet, my leg muscles strain and hurt, as if I’ve just done 200 squats. My body feels like I’ve had an intense workout, the muscles are all fatigued, sore, and unpredictable. Sometimes my control over them is affected, I’ll walk or move a bit funny, and I can feel the effort my body uses, my neck and back, to lift my head. I take breaks when I sit and lay, to rest my head because I get tired of holding it up. My fine motor skills are impaired. I also get joint pain. I feel tired, like I haven’t had a good nights sleep in days. Even when I wake up after a long sleep. I’m exhausted, resting or sleeping doesn’t seem to affect it. In fact I’m groggy for some time in the morning after waking up, and that semi-out of it feeling doesn’t really leave me. I’m tender to the touch. When a pug jumps on me, or when someone touches me, like my friend trying to rub my back the other day, what would normally be neutral or even pleasant sensation, hurts.  I avoid moving. I have no appetite.  I have that horrible urgency and pain you get with urinary tract infection that comes and goes even though I’ve been tests clear for infection now. I have a harder time concentrating, and focusing. So.. all in all, I’m not having much fun. I’ve had to take a break from typing this now, in order to be able to post something this long, I can’t do it in one sitting. I also have constipation, which doesn’t surprise me, it’s like my internal muscles are as weak as my other muscles. My skin is really dry and flaky, which may or may not be why I feel itchy a lot, or the itchiness could be a neurological symptom, as I get more tingling and numbness sensations in my body than are normal for me as well. I also have increased anxiety, and restlessness particularly at night. I get night sweats, and hot and cold flashes.  All in all I can honestly say, I’ve never felt physically this bad before consistently for a long period of time. I may have had more pain, like with IBS or appendicitis, but nothing that’s affected me so pervasively for ongoing with no respite periods. So thats my physical shit in a nutshell. We’ve decided to cancel our events and parties and things for the month, and just hope things resolve. Even if I get better fast, I have a feeling I’ll want some downtime from the stress etc, to just refocus and recoup. That and drama and negative politics in our kink community have me feeling like I want to pull back some.  I do what I do professionally in the kink community more for fun than for profit, and all the profit I make I put back into having more fun with it. If it’s not fun, then I don’t want to be doing it. I’ve never had the attitude it takes to make it be ‘business’ and don’t really want to. I’ll come back to it when I have a clearer head, and more strength, and I can deal with any potential negatives coming from people who see me as a business and/or competitor in some way.  I’m sure I will, there are too many great people in this community, and so much future fun to be had.

Thats it for now.. exhausting post. LOL.

Live in Love.

My awesome mate…

Leila Raven Posted in General
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This guy is incredible. He loves me through the good stuff and the rough stuff, and there has been a lot of rough stuff, he’s always supporting, caring, present, loving, attentive, and anything anyone could wish for. Right now he’s on the garage roof, shirtless, removing the old roof shingles with a shovel in preparation to lay a new roof. It amazes me, I know it’s not doing brain surgery, but I just know it’s something he’s never done before, and my neurotic self wouldn’t know where to start in the process of undertaking a task like that. It would actually be less impressive if say he was a construction worker. I’m proud of him, up there, sweating away, getting it done. It’s a hot night, we reached record temperatures today, yet he’s out there. Covered in sunscreen, and hopefully some bug spray, because we have mosquitoes.  I brought him a beer, which made me feel like a housewife, which made me laugh and smile inside. It also hurt a little, because walking across the lawn with it, tiring, my body movements slightly off, muscles aching, every step and inch a reminder that I’m a sick, don’t know what’s wrong, and it’s scary. Tomorrow it’s back to the Dr.’s for results of blood work, urine tests, throat swab, and a chest xray, maybe for answers, maybe for more tests. The nice thing, is he’ll be by my side.  I love you sweet prince.