A Major Announcement…

Ok, well maybe not a major announcement, but I’m back. Back, to letting my brain flow through these cold fingertips of mine. Back, at least for today. I have missed you and appreciate the messages of encouragement, wonder and care I got from some of my readers. Each letter strengthens my daily resolve.


I have no reason for stepping away from the blog…just as I have no reason for returning again. However, here I am. I wish I could relay tales of wonderment while I was away, but alas, it has been just like any other span of time encompassed in the last few years. Taking each day…each moment…for what it is. Dealing with the immediate and trying to look forward to the next.


The next hour…

The next day…

The next pain free moment…

The next quiet dinner with my wife…

The next…always waiting.


I have found that days have very little identification at the moment. One seems to bleed into another, into another. I am still working a few hours a week with my student, and have found it to be equally rewarding and exhausting. Equally challenging and educational. We are currently reading the book Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. I bought a copy myself so that I could read along and we could have deep discussions about the story, and meaning of the book. If you have not read this one, I might suggest it. I’m sure a trip to your local library may uncover and old copy. Very interesting perspective on life and where it may or may not be heading, all taught by the unlikeliest of characters.


Well, Friday is another big day for me. It’s new doctor day! (Typed in my most sarcastic thought) This will be Primary Doctor numero 5 in a three year period. That of course does not count all the other specialists and incompetents that I met along my journey. The last two moved from Oregon to Georgia. To Georgia!! Absolutely no disrespect to any Georgia Peaches that might be reading; but who moves from Oregon to Georgia? Better yet…who finds two doctors that decide to move from Oregon to Georgia….This guy!


So I have filled out my new patient paperwork, copied and delivered a small novel of medical records and reports (they can request the rest of the bookcase on their own) and delivered it all with sticky tabs and notes. Hopefully when I walk in the doctor will have an idea of why I am there, and won’t have to read the folder to know my name. In all fairness I did meet the new doctor very briefly when I went in for the paperwork, and felt a calm energy about her.


Now finding a doctor is rather interesting in my case. I don’t have, and haven’t had for awhile, ‘traditional insurance’. Therefore calling around and finding a good doctor is not all that easy. About a year ago my wife found a local Physician’s coop where we pay a monthly fee and then have a certain amount of visits a year, with my doctor it will be 9 a year after the initial visit. Then, when it comes to testing deals have been worked out with various labs for reduced costs…but still all costs to me. Each doctor has their own plan of visits, and varying prices for the initial cost. So finding the right doctor is like rolling the dice in Vegas. You go in with the knowledge you have and hope for the best.


So we will see where we go now on this journey of mine. Each season seems to bring a new road…or more correctly a new direction of the road. Seldom does it appear as a fork, allowing me to choose my way. It’s more like a spoon…dipping down and then climbing out the other side.


So for today I write, with no promises or expectations on tomorrow. The sun is shining; the weather is in the 70s and it’s my favorite month. I think my cane and I have a date for a path. A path I WILL choose.


May all of you have a pain free moment until we read again.


5.5 Acres of Beauty

Today my wife and I took advantage of a free pass, from our local library, and visited the Japanese Gardens in Portland. It is touted as being the best Japanese garden, outside of Japan. I was blown away by the beauty.

I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Friday Outing VII

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying their day and look forward to a great holiday weekend.


Well, being that today is Friday…it was my weekly outing with my student. It was a bitter-sweet day. The week had been spent trying to get my student ready for his math exam on Thursday. Unfortunately, even after making modifications to studying, and had no testing accommodations put into place; he still did not do very well on the exam. It has really been a struggle this term, getting the math down. He shows flashes of understand, but then as quickly loses it. Each time we meet I try different techniques that might assist him, come test time.


So back to our outing. He has really wanted to see the newest Iron Man movie. As I have mentioned before, I have not really been a movie-goer for quite a few years. Today, I realized that movies may not be good for me…at least in the theater. When we saw 42 awhile ago, it was loud at parts, but being a racial baseball movie, the sound was minimal. At least in comparison to Iron Man 3.


Don’t get me wrong. I thought it was a really good movie. Well put together. A good wrap up to the trilogy. It is also, by default, my favorite of the three movies. I don’t remember 1 very well and never saw 2…so 3 jumps to the top. I would recommend it, but I may try to avoid theaters in the future.


I found that there were a few things that actually caused a flare up, while watching the movie. We can start with the length of the movie, and sitting in one position for that long. That alone would be enough to start locking me up. Then, once the pain sets in…so does my sensitivity levels. Therefore, the sound and light start to provoke the pain in my body. A few times I actually had to plug up my ears to soften the volume. Heck, when I am at home my TV is usually on 1, and sometimes I find that to loud…so you can imagine my head in a movie theater. So definitely bittersweet.


On a bright note, we are getting very close to the release of the new season of Arrested Development. It hits Netflix Sunday morning at 12:01 PST. If you are not familiar with this series, then you must do yourself a favor and watch it. It’s short in duration, only 3 seasons, but well worth the laughter it will bring. So this Sunday I will be hanging out with my wife, who has the day off, and a friend for an Arrested Development viewing brunch.

Friday Outing Part VI

I have not done a Friday Outing blog in a couple of weeks, so I need to get caught up. Nothing too exciting has been missed…as we have been spending some extra time and effort into his math.


First, I wanted to do a quick check in. Feeling like I need to just write a bit. I’m sure you know what I mean. It has been a grumpy couple of days really. Not sure what it is…perhaps the departure of the warm weather? It just seems like the fog has rolled back in, marring my thoughts. Luckily it’s not the thick fog of despair, but the nuisance fog that steals your words and thoughts.


I blame this guy!!

So anyways, writing has been hard. Blogs have come late, but they have come. I can still proudly declare that I have not missed a day yet. I’ve come close, but managed something. Problem is I can’t write when I feel like I have to write, so I try not to try and write, but just write, right?


The pain has been irritating as well. A lot more of the acute, “stab you here, here, and here”, pain. Could be my ex-wife kicked the pills and went to voodoo. Implausible, but it would explain some things.


Today for instance, I had a brief outing with my student after spending an hour and a half on math. Poor guy; I could tell he was tired and struggling with some of the problems. I was dealing with my own pain, and think I pulled off the calm, cool and collected mentor…I hope. So after slave driving him to do his work, we headed out to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). Unfortunately the main exhibits were being switched out. We landed right between myth Busters and Mummies. We did walk around the permanent exhibits, but we both left a bit disappointed in the outing. Oh well, next week will hopefully make up for it…whatever next week will be.


After finishing up I grabbed my wife and we went for a coffee run and a quick trip through the grocery store. Thinking we were only grabbing a few things, I grabbed a carrying basket instead of a cart. Big mistake. We were only picking up  a few items, but those alone were a bit much for me and soo my left leg and back began locking up as I walked. Since then the pain has been intense. My wife just left for a closing shift at work, and we meditated for a few minutes before she left….but no decrease in pain.




As I mentioned, I missed another outing as well…so I want to give you a quick update (with outcome). Last week was a stay at home outing. An inning, maybe?

Oh, sorry…back to the inning. We began the morning with a baking lesson. With Mother’s Day coming two days following, we decided it would be nice for him to make something for his mom and grandmother. We decided on banana bread. I had him read through the instructions and measure out all of the ingredients. I took care of the messier old bananas and eggs. After popping it into the oven it was on to some math.


You see, he did not do very well on the last exam, so we are switching up routines and study habits to get him ready for the next one. So we spent some time reviewing while the bread cooked. Soon it was time to pull the bread out and cool. Then we shot off to Starbucks so he could try their new Hazelnut Frappuccino, and into the store to get his Mother’s Day cards.


Word has it that the banana bread was a huge hit!


So I am signing off now to head to the couch and will this pain away…or go to sleep. Tomorrow will be a better day. So may all of you find your pain free moments and embrace them with all the energy you can muster.

A Spoonful of Sugar

Meh…I’ll just take the spoon please. If you are not familiar with the Spoon Thoery, you should definitely give this a read. It explains some things so very well. So today I could use an extra spoon. I seemed to have left all of mine in the car, and have no energy to look for them.


Today was that wonderful time of the (every other) year where I needed to get my car registered. It also happened to be when my car was up for an oil change. I knew this because my little reminder light lit up. Word of warning…never try and pass a smog test with a warning light on. It just means a return trip. So I needed to spend today taking care of the car.


The day already had started out less than stellar. My body screaming, like a newborn, as soon as my eyes opened. I took my wife to work for her 13+ hour day and started my adventure. Luckily it was late enough in the morning that I was able to get through the city streets easily. The first stop was the oil place. This establishment has you pull in and you get to sit in your car while they do all the work. You get a free paper, which you never get to read because they are usually gabbing at you. There is a monitor you can watch, and see the man that is running around like a mouse under my car. Today…of all days…I apparently pulled into a chat-a-thon.


Yay me! Perhaps I better hurry and buy that winning Powerball ticket for tonight.


So back to the a-thon. I think I talked to the majority of the people there and got to hear about how slow the computers are, the old retro gaming systems people have, and the fact that one guys favorite old Nintendo game is Mike Tyson Punch Out. All info that I really didn’t need to know, but cost me a spoon, or two, having a conversation with everyone.

I thought I was being super thrifty by having a coupon already pulled up on my phone…resolute that I wasn’t going to spend much. I told the guy upfront this is what I wanted, and showed him my phone. The longer they talked, the more he kept pushing their up sells. No thank you. Nah. I’m good. Ugh, I already told him I just wanted to get in and out, cheap, since I still had to go do the rest of the car stuff. At one point I sent my wife a text telling her how chatty they were and that they kept trying to sell me stuff. No sooner had I sent the text, they nailed me. Air filter. Sigh. Holding them side by side I could have always written wash me in the old one. Fine, but that’s it! And it was it. Unfortunately that one item doubled the price. Again, sigh.


Finally they ran out of words and let me go. Next stop was the gas station. Heck, I’m spending enough on this car of mine, I might as well fill ‘er up at the ‘cheap’ gas station on the way to my next stop. Hooray for $.10 off a gallon.


Ok, car’s gassed and oiled. Now it’s off to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Now as many of you might know, any sort of American licensing office is a nightmare. In Oregon, we have smogging stations where you go to have your car tested for smog issues. Luckily, at these locations, once you pass your smog test you get your license plate stickers there on the spot and you don’t have to return for two years. So as I pulled into the parking lot, I was quite relived that the lines, about 6 of them, were only about 3 cars deep. I’ve been there when the entry area lanes were all full of 10+ cars each and the line was backed into the street (That was the time I learned about the warning light). I got in and out of there in a short amount of time and made it home in the nick of time.


Now I am spent. There was so much I wanted to accomplish today, but once again my mind out thought my body. I really do need to get those two working better together. So today looks like a resting day, but I rest assured that the car is taken care of and that I now have one less stress to poison my body.


For quite some time I have been trying to figure out what I could do for Fibromyalgia Awareness Day, on May 12th. I had a few ideas flitter through my head, but not a single one of them felt right. They didn’t fit ‘me’. Yet, I knew I wanted to do something.


After a lot of thought, I decided I was going to be the impossible. I decided I was going to make the invisible, visible. I have made a huge decision, but am vowing to bring awareness everyday. So, I got a tattoo of the Fibromyalgia Ribbon.


Here is is:

Fibro Tattoo


With, hopefully, most tattoos there should be some significance behind why you are permanently putting something on your body. I have always felt that tattoos are beautiful, if done well and have a deeper meaning than just the ink. I actually broke up with a girlfriend one time because she decided to get a tattoo, just to get a tattoo. So she did one of the most generic acts…walked into a tattoo place, picked a rose off the wall and had it put on her foot. I’m sorry, but that’s just boring. I got my first tattoo in 1993, and have not had 1 since 2002.

However, the story of how this one has unfolded has been nothing short of Serendipity weaving her magic. Like I state before, I decided I wanted to get a tattoo, but really had no concrete idea and not sure where I wanted to go. Then, last Tuesday, I was having a particularly strong day and decided to go out and play a round of disc golf at a local Tuesday Doubles League. Not only did I have a partner that got a hole in one, netting me a portion of the Ace pot*, but there was another player in our group that also got a hole in one. It’s fairly unheard of for there to be 2 in one round, let alone the same group. Luck was shining down on us.

There was another guy in our group (3 groups of 2) that I could tell either was a tattoo artist, or really liked tattoos. I wasn’t sure, but he had a lot of beautiful art. So near the end of the round I struck up a conversation and I told him what I was looking for, and he thought he could help out. I checked out his art and not only was I impressed, but found a piece with a ribbon around a hat, which was the exact purple I was looking for. So I made an appointment for this past Saturday. You can check out Ken’s work on his websites shop Skin City Tattoo.

Now as some of you know, I had another FBRO Radio broadcast on Saturday featuring Weird Al. All the songs had been picked and scheduled the night before, as I wasn’t sure how I would be feeling on Saturday. Well, as I walked back to his space I hear White and Nerdy playing over the speakers. What?? What are the chances of that? It was not the last one I would hear during the session, either. I finished up at about 2:30, which, as I just checked, was just before my Blog FBRO Radio Weirdness IV hit the airwaves.

It was a great experience. Ken has been tattooing for 13 years, and definitely knows what he’s doing. He was able to take my jumbled idea and put it down on paper, and then down on my skin. The process was fairly painless, for me. It’s funny, since I got the tattoo, the most asked question has been if it hurt. To those that know me on the surface I tell them that it did not hurt very badly. To those that know me well, and my battles, I say “Compared to what I deal with on a daily basis, it was nothing”.

So overall, I am very pleased with the work he did, and amazed at how everything fell into just the perfect synchronicity to make it happen.


The significance behind the tattoo:

–          Purple Ribbon for Fibromyalgia Awareness

–          Tattered edges to show the battle I wage everyday

–          The peace sign is for the inner peace I am building in regards to life with Fibro.

–          4th tattoo. One from each state I have lived in. In order of tattoos AZ, CA, WA, and now OR.

–          Placed in on inner forearm of right arm so it is present when I shake hands.



*An Ace Pot is a common term in weekly disc golf leagues. Typically $1.00 of the weekly fee goes into an Ace Pot and if anyone gets a hole in one, they win the amount of money in the Pot. Customary at many leagues to split the winnings with the partner.