Life in progress


#JusJoJan the 20th/23 – Ain’t phantom pain

The prompt word for January 20th was “phantom.” Thanks, Tuba, for the fun prompt!

I’m a day late with this one, in part because I’ve had a stunningly busy couple of days, and in part because of a crippling stiff neck.

It plagued me all day yesterday, but it was better this morning. Now it’s back, probably due to the fact that I’m stressed over not getting everything done.

It’s a circle.

The circle of life.

Is a pain in the neck. Apparently.

But really, I can pretty much count on some kind of ailment showing up when I’m busy.


See what I did up there, though?

Now I don’t have to write a separate SoCS post.

Sneaky me.


This sneaky yet agonizing post is brought to you by Just Jot it January and Tuba and SoCS! Please be sure to check out Tuba’s blog here!

For Just Jot it January, click the following link to see how you, too, can join in! It’s fun!


One-Liner Wednesday – The Brain

The human brain is amazing: I’ve gone from “coffee hurts because it gives me heartburn” to “heartburn is comforting because it means I have my coffee.”

Also, it’s fall! And I went for a walk down by the waterfront today.

Photo: The sun beginning to set on a calm turtle pond, with a red-roofed gazebo in the background and a willow tree’s branches turning yellow in the foreground.

If you would like to participate in this prompt, feel free to use the “One-Liner Wednesday” title in your post, and if you do, you can ping back here to help your blog get more exposure. To execute a pingback, just copy the URL in the address bar on this post, and paste it somewhere in the body of your post. Your link will show up in the comments below. Please ensure that the One-Liner Wednesday you’re pinging back to is this week’s! Otherwise, no one will likely see it but me.

NOTE: Pingbacks only work from WordPress sites. If you’re self-hosted or are participating from another host, like Blogger, please leave a link to your post in the comments below.

As with Stream of Consciousness Saturday (SoCS), if you see a pingback from someone else in my comment section, click and have a read. It’s bound to be short and sweet.

Unlike SoCS, this is not a prompt so there’s no need to stick to the same “theme.”

The rules that I’ve made for myself (but don’t always follow) for “One-Liner Wednesday” are:

1. Make it one sentence.

2. Try to make it either funny or inspirational.

3. Use our unique tag #1linerWeds.

4. Add our lovely badge to your post for extra exposure!

5. Have fun!

Badge by Laura @


U is for Unceasing

Unceasing. It’s the word I’m stuck with today… Thinking about things that are unceasing.

For me there is a negative connotation to this word – unrelenting, constant, persistent, incessant… then again, to have these qualities may drive us to get what we want in life. Or drive us mad trying.

Even being unceasingly positive can be a negative thing – there must be a balance to everything, even if it’s weighed heavily to one side. Because eventually, it all falls back in the other direction, doesn’t it? How would we have hope in our darkest times otherwise? The phrase – when you’re at rock bottom there’s only one way to go: up – comes to mind and it’s true. Unless you go splat of course.

Wow, that’s depressing.

How about some good news? The unceasing pain in my shoulder is gone. It turns out the tendonitis that caused the frozen shoulder was a blessing in disguise. Having my shoulder frozen meant that I couldn’t aggravate my tendons because I couldn’t move. SO, now that the tendonitis is gone and with it, the excruciating pain, I can move my shoulder more and the more I move it the more unfrozen it gets. Yay!! I’m still going to need physio – I’ve got a long way to go before my arm will move normally and my muscle tone has gone to pot, but it’s a start! I can honestly say I’ll be working relentlessly to get myself back to health. Unceasingly even.



Just call me Achilles

I’ve avoided whining about it for eight days but I’ve had enough. I don’t know exactly how a rant at this point is going to help, but here we go anyway.

I have a blister. OOOOhhhh, you say. Poor baby has a booboo. But this isn’t just a blister. It’s a boil sent from the universe to counteract every wonderful moment I had walking around Japan. It’s the bane of my existence. It’s the antithesis of joy come to smite me for being relatively healthy all my life. It’s the Blister From Hell!

Today will be my seventh day inside these four walls. Apart from going outside in the snow in -10 degree weather in bare feet and flip-flops last Friday to get Alex off the school bus, I’ve been completely housebound. Unable to wear shoes.

And for what? A spot on the side of my heel the size of a toonie (if you’re not Canadian, look it up) that’s gone from angry red to white and is now ringed in a lovely shade of mulberry with a gray poupon-coloured centre. (I’ll spare you a photo – you may never eat mustard again.) After eight days (EIGHT FRIGGIN’ DAYS) it still hurts to stand on my left foot.

What have I tried in order to relieve it? I’ve soaked it, I’ve popped it with mixed results, (the first time I tried I discovered it was a series of tiny blisters beneath the winter-thickened dry skin of my heels – I gave up after half a dozen attempts) I’ve tried grinning and bearing it, I’ve tried bandaging it, unbandaging it, putting cream on it, leaving it to dry… the result? I still can’t bear the idea of trying to get a shoe on. And I need groceries, damnit! I need fresh air! I need people–crowds–to inspire me to write something other than a whiny-rant/plea-for-escape!!

People, you are my last hope. Tell me what to do. To hell with sensitivity–I need results!


Wanted: Sleeping Companion

As many of you may remember, I fell while delivering papers last December during an ice storm (I’m stupidly dedicated to my job) and received a concussion when I hit my head on a concrete step. (That was a fun post: you should read it.) When I went down that fateful day, I also landed with a concrete step across my shoulders. Since then, I have suffered with shoulder pain.

You might be wondering by now what the title of this post is all about.

I have a hard time sleeping because of my right shoulder. If I lay on it, it hurts. Same thing when I lay on my back – and that’s not a comfortable position for me anyway. If I lay on my left side, I have to try to keep my right shoulder straight. If I leave my arm resting on my body, it falls off. If I prop my side up with my hand on the mattress, my wrist hurts, and if I put my arms together with my elbows touching, my shoulder still isn’t straight enough.

I finally figured out the solution this morning. A sleeping companion!

No, not a man. Get yer minds out of the gutter.

What I need is, a teddy bear. One big enough that if I keep it close to my chest it will keep my shoulders straight. Seems the perfect solution! So today I’m going to go through the boxes from my failed garage sale of a few weeks back and dig out an old stuffed animal. I have an appointment with the doctor on Monday. Hopefully a more permanent fix is somewhere in my future. I’ll let you know how it goes.


Re – SoCS (Return, Reach, Re-read)

Return. The word is going through my head over and over and mostly because I wish my eyesight would return to normal. At this particular moment anyway. It keeps going blurry and then for a few days it’s fine. I need to keep track of what I eat, perhaps. Or how I sleep. Or how many hours I spend looking at a computer screen.

Reach. Add an E at the end and you get Re-ache. What my shoulder keeps doing. First it’s fine and then it re-aches. Wow, I’m stretching with that word, aren’t I?

But I’m just complaining.

Still, it would be nice to be able to return to the full health I had even ten years ago. Living in the past can be a pain in the rear-end at the best of times. Especially since we can’t go back – we can only move forward. Forward to what? Hey, there’s another reason to stress.

I think about living in the moment often. I think about it more than I actually do it, because it takes practice. To actually BE in the moment, to fully concentrate on what I’m doing, whether it be breathing or typing or washing dishes, is easier depending on what I’m doing. It’s much easier for my mind to wander if I’m performing a mundane task. But when I write I must fully concentrate. In fact, trying to pull me out of this concentration is like trying to yank out a tooth with a pair of chopsticks. Not easy.

I read somewhere yesterday, a quote from an author who said that writing is not an escape from reality, but rather a plunging into it. I’m really up in the air on this one. Yes, a good piece of writing, whether fact or even fiction, can express reality in ways that we sometimes don’t want to face. But writing about one reality isn’t necessarily the reality that the writer is living in. Did that make any sense? I hope so.

Maybe I need to re-read that quote. 😉

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

A Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. You can join in too!


There’s Pain and then There’s Pain (and then there’s pain in the rain)

This morning while waiting outside for Alex’s school bus with Alex and my best friend John, I lifted my right hand to point at something and felt a shooting pain through my shoulder. I moaned. Not normally being one to complain about aches and pains, I thought about what made me so miserable where this shoulder thing is concerned.

Being that I was diagnosed with arthritis in it, I explained to John that pain has never really bothered me that much. I just live with it. But I realise it’s different this time, because I’m not sure it’ll ever go away: I may very well have to suffer with this one for the rest of my life.

I suppose just saying that made me deserve what was to come. At the house of the second customer on my paper route, I missed a step on the way down and landed on my knee on their brick pathway.

It could have been worse though – I could be out in the torrential downpour I’m watching through the window as I type this.


Psychosomatic or Real?

Since my fall on the ice just before Christmas when I received a concussion, I’ve been having pain in my right shoulder. It wakes me up at night, has caused weakness in my right arm, and is generally a pain in the ass upper body.

So about three weeks ago I finally decided to take it to the doctor. He ordered an x-ray and an ultrasound and two weeks later I called him back because I hadn’t heard anything. His secretary said the tests showed there was nothing wrong.

But it still hurt. I made an appointment to see him.

As it turns out, I have a slight case of arthritis between my collarbone and my shoulder blade. (There’s another one of those rocket scientists at work here – not sure if it’s the secretary or the doctor, but I suspect it’s the doctor. He’s always been a bit of a twit.)

The point is, since I found out what the problem really is with my shoulder, it’s been feeling better. Is it possible to be given information that there’s nothing wrong and believe it so much that the symptoms go away? I think it is. But in my case, I’m sticking with the belief that now I know it’s not the joint, I’m no longer afraid of doing more damage. Muscle pain I can live with. I can stretch through it and I can work through it. I know now that if I use my arm more and re-build the muscle, my condition will improve.

I also know I am susceptible to psychosomatic disorders. When I get stressed it affects my skin. I itch. And no matter how much I know this to be a fact, and that there is really nothing wrong with my skin, it happens.

I posed the question above, is it psychosomatic or real, but is a psychosomatic illness any different than a real illness? They say attitude can help with the symptoms of sickness – it works both ways. It’s not all in your head. But some of it is. The mind is a powerful thing.

Have you ever suffered with something you knew was psychosomatic, and yet it persisted?


Of All the Things to Whine About

I’m content. Basically, I am happy with my life, and yes, I’m whining about it. Let me tell you why.

The tortured soul can write poems of epic proportions. In times of loneliness, of pain, of near breakdown, a writer can bleed upon the page. But when this writer has nothing to cause her grief, there is nothing but fluff. Lint, even.

Is it strange to wish I longed for something? To pass my finger quickly through a flame doesn’t hurt. But the flame sparkles, enticingly.

Shall I burn for the sake of my art?