Writing about Depression

I’ve always admired people who can write about depression, because for me, depression means not writing. Writing is my life, I love writing, my old Livejournal (which is private, if you’re a friend ask me personally for access) I used to average about Pi posts per day. I’d write fiction, hell, my standup comedy routine had me reading my own structured poetry (sonnets a particular speciality), and even writing one during the show using words chosen by the audience. I love writing. And depression as it is for me, that I love it means I haven’t been doing it. Anhedonia, thy name is Cait’s depression. Painting has also gone by the wayside. Only gaming has survived, so far.

And yet here, a perfectly cromulent place to write, where access is as easy as picking up my tablet, if I want (I don’t, I won’t be posting from it until i can get a bluetooth keyboard to use with it, it’s just too tiring and slow to try and type with a touchscreen one-handed)…I can’t seem to get a regular thing going.

This is all despite the fact that my new meds have seen me much more effective in many ways. I’ve been getting some housecleaning done, allowing for my body by doing it in small stages over time. I’ve designed an entire new game, and I’m over the hump of the boring stuff needed to make a prototype, now I just need Craig to help me physically make it and we can get playtesting. That’s kind of amazing, and given the history of the other games we’ve roughed out in notes over the years, which have always foundered on my inability to get that boring stuff done – to wade past pain and ADD and depression so I can push the boat out and get some damn fishing in so I don’t starve – I got over that hump this time.

I’ve (and this is hard to admit) been working on my hair, even. See, I’ve got long hair, and it’s Medusic. That is, it writhes and tangles like a live thing – the single way to make it not get too tangled is to braid it. Then only within the braid’s strands will be tangles. And over the last several months as my depression got worse through the winter, I’ve gotten rather badly sloppy about brushing it. In short, it’s matted in a few places, and I’ve been slowly, slowly, working on brushing it out. It’s painful and difficult, because it necessarily involves my arms up over my head, so I can only do it for ten minutes or so before needing an hour to recover.

If I didn’t have to perform femininity in order to have people not misgender me, I’d just cut it all off and start again. But I do. So I’m brushing, and washing, and brushing, and washing, and lathering conditioner in like you wouldn’t believe, but it’s all about the brushing. I wish there were a way to get help, but I don’t know of any such opportunity. :/

Wow…the shame on this runs deep. Since you’re reading this, I got over that enough to hit Publish, so yay me. But just thinking about mentioning it publicly feels so shameful that I’m weeping like a child writing this para. Can’t actually see. Stupid. But there it is. Intellectually, i know it’s not my fault. It’s depression, the big double D, depressive disorder and disthymic disorder both, and it’s the end of winter (and it fucking snowed yesterday…no…no more snow now, please?), but it’s very hard to get that fact to penetrate my feelings, in whatever weird brain chemistry is going on.

Sorry for the rambler, folks, sometimes it’s just what I need to get out. Trying to love writing again.

The Excitement Tariff

I’m using “tariff” rather than “tax” here, because taxes tend to do things, in my world, and thus I’m loath to hate on them.

What I’m talking about is a subtle part of my disability experience: that doing exciting things, even when sitting still, can be intensely wearying.

The last two nights (Saturday and Sunday), I’ve been at a friend’s place, sitting on very pretty dining room chairs that are more or less stools from the point of view of “is this a supportive chair?” Each time for about three hours and well-medicated, but at the end of each, I’ve been really sore – like, spasms hitting 8 out of 10 on the unhappy-face scale sore – and it’s carried over into the next day.

Tonight, my friends want to play Heists on GTA Online, which is something I find exciting. Mind, I’ll be sitting in my comfortable chair, well-supported, with a heating pad on my back as needed, and I can get up and move around if I need to. Ideal conditions, so it shouldn’t be too strenuous, you’d think. But you’d think incorrectly. Because it’s exciting. And excitement makes us tense our bodies.

Three hours of alternately tensing various parts of me for several minutes, and trying desperately to relax in the few moments’ downtime between missions? That’s hard on my body.

Even in optimum conditions, the excitement tariff cuts down on the amount of time I have to spend doing things I like. Now cycle back round to the depression, where getting myself interested in doing the things I like has been one of the main challenges, and you can begin to see another aspect of the ways in which my mental and physical disabilities interact so that each is made worse by the other. Not only is it a blow against dualism, but also against treating mental disabilities as “less than” physical disabilities. When someone makes a joke about how being sad making them eligible for disability, help us out by reminding them of the difference between “being sad” and “being in depression”.

Disability: medications

I thought it might be interesting to see what my daily load of meds looks like. This doesn’t include the one med which is not yet fully recognised as legal, and a couple of others I forgot to gather before taking the pic.

daily meds for CaitieCat

Meds for one day

These are:

  • four large white round pills, marked TEC: 5mg oxycontin plus 375mg acetaminophen (paracetamol) – analgesic plus anti-inflammatory
  • four small white round pills, marked 10: 10mg oxyneo slow-release – analgesic
  • two small green ovate rectangular pills: 2mg Abilify – antipsychotic, offlabel use as intensifier for next med
  • two large orange capsules with black markings: 100mg sertraline (Zoloft), antidepressant
  • six oval white pills, small, marked BAC 10: 10mg baclofen, muscle relaxant.
  • one (should be three) brown round pill: ibuprofen extra-strength, anti-inflammatory

Not pictured are my Concerta (slow-release ritalin, one per day at 18mg), or the various anti-allergy pills I take ad-hoc to combat itchiness effects of opiates, or the laxative and anti-nausea meds I take for other side effects, or that other med which ought to be legalised and makes it possible for me to, y’know, eat and stuff.

That’s one day. And it’s why I’ve been trying hard to keep my dosage down as much as possible, in all things: I don’t want to end up on a liver transplant list. In ten+ years on that pain med regime, I’ve had only two dosage increases, for a total of 15mg/day. And like most chronic pain sufferers, I don’t get any euphoria at all from all those oxy. I know that some people do, and that it can be very addictive in that mode, but believe me, what I’m not getting from them is stoned. What I do get is the Golden Hour, that period a few times a day when the meds overlap in such a way as to give me an hour or so of much-appreciated actual relief of pain. Because of the overlapping nature of the med times – my muscle relaxant is on a 3/day, while my pain meds are 4/day – this Golden Hour moves about during the day, but it’s usually a nice break. I’m headed for that hour next, should be around noon.

The rest of the time it’s all about fidgeting and moving and trying to find a “comfortable” way to sit. Usually failing, but there it is.

State of the Cait, and a Tip About Self-Assessment of Disability

I’m definitely doing better with the depression. The pain’s been worse, but I’ve been fighting through to keep working when it comes in, and accomplishing more of the bureaucracy stuff I have to do in applying for disability.

The tip about assessment of disability is this: A really useful thing I did when going to my doctor for the forms was to bring along one of my partners, a woman who helps me out a great deal in terms of how I live; she does the laundry, for instance, and prefers to do most of the cooking (for her reasons, which I’ll respect her privacy on). So she has a great position from which to be able to assess the ways in which my life is deflected from its path by my disabilities.

I tend to minimize the impact of my disabilities on my life, for several reasons. I was raised to not complain, to not whinge about things that made me unhappy. I also have lived with them for so long, it’s very hard for me to imagine how my life would be different if I didn’t. How do I assess how much more I would go out and spend time with people, or how much more I might work, or how much farther I could walk without stopping, when those activities have all been circumscribed with pain for as long as I’ve been considered an adult? 

So when they ask me to explain how my disabilities are having an impact on my life, I’m at a loss, somewhat. Humans can normalize almost anything, we’ve seen this in all sorts of situations when people have done amazing or appalling things at the edges of human endurance. How far could I walk without a cane? If well-prepared with sufficient meds (more than my usual amount; I reserve 25% of my meds in a given month to allow me functionality on occasions which require the extra help to be accomplished), I could probably walk a kilometre; without the extra meds, I’d be lucky to make it 100m without my stick. I don’t take stairs unless there’s no option. I don’t have a car anymore, partly because I can’t afford it, and partly because I don’t feel safe driving with the huge load of meds I now have to take to be able to go out in the world*. 

I don’t see these as impairments, anymore, they’re just the limits of my life. 

Any road, that’s my tip of the day for how to get a more accurate picture of your own impairments: ask someone who knows you well, and doesn’t share your impairments, what they view as the ways in which your life is different from what might be expected.

* Before you ask, no, I never use my herbal remedy and drive (minimum two hours, prefer three, after last use before I’ll drive, and remember, I use it constantly, so my intoxication from it is pretty minimal – even so, three hours if I can get them). My physical crippledness comes from an encounter with an intoxicated driver. The last thing I ever want to do is put someone else in a casket, or in this same state, because I thought I was too important to pay attention to research showing how bad it is to drive intoxicated. 

I done made me a logo!

That is all.

Okay, it’s not all. An update on my squeezedness: I went to the local welfare office yesterday, and had a very productive meeting. They give very little money, but the other benefits are enormously useful: a drug plan with very low co-pay (meaning instead of $400 if I were to purchase all my meds – $200 for the pain meds alone – I pay a few dollars), optometry (I haven’t had my eyes checked in ten years, at least), and necessary dentistry (I’m running low on teeth). They also have free counselling, and help with applying for disability, and a bunch of other little things that are making my life easier.

So, a very positive experience, and knowing the stress of wondering how I’ll pay the rent this month (which happens every month) will be gone is going to make my depression a lot easier to work with. Knock-on effects are good; they can provide the traction to get out of the viscous cycle.

Crankeh!

And yes, I’m cranky, so I’m going to leave the post title encheeseburgered. 😛

Why cranky? Well, turns out today’s a good day for discussion of the interaction between insomnia and pain tolerance. If there were a hell, this would be it.

So, for me anyway, it works like this: iff* I get the six hours’ or so that I need in a night, then my pain tolerance will be at its maximum in the morning. I take my meds, wait the two hours for full effect, and then off I go with my day.

But, and it’s a big but (and yet I still enjoy the way I look in minis, so 😛 ), there’s what I like to call a “viscous circle” here, because the more turns one takes on the Viscosity-go-Round, the higher becomes the initial energy needed to make me into a moving object again. I avoid ‘vicious’ circle, because there’s no malice in this. It’s just a function of various physiological responses to pain.

It’s hard to sleep when I’m in bad pain. Like, for me an eight or more. Most people would probably rank it somewhat higher on a ten-point scale, but as Ania mentioned in the FTBCon panel, chronic pain people use a different scale, because we’re used to operating with higher levels of it**. And what might be a ten for you, for me is Tuesday, and it’s maybe a six or seven. So when we go to hospitals? We inflate those numbers a touch, because people judge by what they themselves consider the ten-point scale to mean, and if i say it’s a six, they’re reaching for the aspirin rather than the demerol.

So, an eight or better, and I’m struggling to sleep.

Problem 1: the opiates dull my sensitivity to most sleep aids. That is, I can usually take enough tranqs to get a stegosaurus feeling like a trippy rave kid without falling asleep, if I’m in bad pain. Recently I found one that does have some effect, which is deliriously delightfully de-lovely. Until this, though, we had neologism the first: painsomnia. Painsomnia is when the pain is so bad, you can’t sleep.

Problem 2: If I may mix my sporting metaphors*** here, the painsomnia is the crossed ball from the wing, and the insomnialgia is the slam dunk. The insomnialgia is “the amount of pain tolerance depleted by sleep deficit”.

It works like this. I have a hard day, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s the weather (between 2 to 13°C and rainy/damp), maybe I had a long commute back from Toronto on a bus or train, or a long drive back from anywhere, or I played soccer, or any of a hundred other ways I can end up with too high a proportion of vertical in my day. Too much vertical means increased pain.

If I can’t get the pain under control before lying down, it’s very hard to get to sleep. No position is comfortable for very long, pain sweat makes my pillow all warm and icky****, and when the pain is bad it’s hard to still my mind towards sleep, hard to focus.

Remember that every hour I don’t sleep, I’m also lowering my pain tolerance for the next day. If, as last night, I can’t get to sleep until 3:30, and wake repeatedly before my next set of meds kick in, I maybe get two hours, maybe three.

So when I get up the next day (for some value of “up”), I’m already in a deficit. I’m short of sleep because of the pain, and I’m unable to take the pain as well because I’m short of sleep.

If I can’t intervene and break this cycle, it can get so bad…well, I don’t really know how to describe it, I’m sorry. One of the ways I can intervene is to take a day of horizontal. Necessarily, this means that if I’m working outside the home, that day is a write-off. If I’m working for myself, and I can get the pain low enough while lying down, I can dictate notes for me to work on later about the thing I’m working on (translation, or thesis, or whatever). Often, even at home, it ends up being a writeoff anyway.

Where it becomes a bigger problem is when one day won’t do it. Or when people don’t understand (usually bosses and/or clients) that yes, I was able to work eleven hours yesterday on your project, but because I did that, I will now need at least two or three days to recover, most of which will be spent horizontal in some manner as seems appropriate.

Speaking of which, it’s time to get more horizontal in my presentation to the world. I believe I shall use my bed for this. See you after my (hoped-for) nap.

* Iff

** I won’t rehash that here, but if you want me to talk about it, drop a note on any post and I’ll put it on my list.

*** And I’m going to, so it’s not like complaining is going to help.

**** Pro tip for others who have this problem. Use two pillows. Between the pillows, at about the spot your head would rest if you flipped the top pillow toward you, put the most solid, long-lasting ice pack you have, wrapped in something fairly water-absorbent if possible. Continually flip the pillow toward you as you try and get the pain down to a level where you won’t be dripping and sweaty for no fun reason. I use an icepack used for shipping refrigerated medical supplies, because it easily stays at leas half-frozen for several hours when held between two nice insulating pillows.

Life with Chronic Pain

Since this is one of the areas I specifically wanted to write about, let’s start there. This post will discuss sex, in a non-graphic way, below the blockquote.

When I was 21, I had a car accident, the only one I’ve ever had. The light turned green, I moved into the intersection, and woke up sometime later when the firefighters pried me out of the wreckage with the jaws of life. Literally. We’d been T-boned by a young jackass who’d had a few drinks and gone out to drive around with his buddies. He was 18, not even legally able to drink.

For six months, while I recovered, I suffered from neurological effects: amnesia, and to a greater extent aphasia. Now, for me, a language geek from earliest days, aphasia was the cruelest blow. It was hard not getting to play any more hockey that season; I’d been on the school team, but obviously had to quit while I recovered. My aphasia, though, hit me in the place most dear to me: my language ability.

What happened was that somehow, some of my meaning/gloss pairs had become rearranged. I would drop the right word, but from the wrong language, into whatever I was speaking. Я вижу den Hund, for instance: instead of the Russian собаку (accusative case for dog), I would speak the German one, “Hund”, and not notice. This was, obviously, distressing. It slowly faded over the next few years.

My back, though, it began a long downward slide. Initially, I’d had three damaged vertebrae in the accident; the stress on them led to further problems, and now pretty much every part of my spine is damaged. This means that my life is ruled by medications and the times I take them. I covered this very briefly in the panel, but here’s my daily regimen for an ordinary day spent working outside my home. “Smoke” below refers to my use of a certain herbal remedy which is much more common and less illegal here in Canada than in our neighbour to the south. I use it for three purposes: one, as a muscle relaxant; two, as an anti-nauseant; and three, as an appetite stimulant. Without the last of these, I would probably starve to death. Big pain is big nauseating.

Alarm to wake up at 6am. Take a round of meds with a small nosh to sit on them.

Sleep again, if I can, to 8am.

Alarm to wake up at 8am. Consume secondary meds for half an hour, to build appetite.

Have breakfast, shower, get ready.

Grab cane, take bus, arrive at work, work.

Lunch: take a 5mg, smoke some, so as to be able to eat lunch.

Work afternoon.

Afternoon break, smoke to be able to put food on top of afternoon meds.

Take afternoon meds, go home.

Get home, hang up cane, collapse into a horizontal position for two to three hours.

Get vertical, smoke some for dinner.

Eat, do light evening activities.

Before bed: smoke some more so I can put food on top of night meds.

Night: try to get comfortable enough to find sleep, using smoke and/or meds if necessary. Ideally, fall asleep by 2am, to get in at least 4 hours before GOTO 10.

That’s my basic daily routine, if I’m working outside the home. Which is why, as much as possible, I try to work at home. I’m fortunate to have a skillset with which I can do this; this is a privilege many people with chronic pain do not have, as people don’t like to hire us.

You’ll note, I hope, that there’s no mention or really time for sex in that.

Now, as it happens, I don’t have a huge libido. Given the challenges it poses to my body, this is a good thing. Having a high libido would be very challenging.

Because sex is never spontaneous for me. Never. Ever. I have to prepare. I have to take my meds in time, staggering their different onsets so they all hit at the same moment. I have to get at least a little bit intoxicated (not alcohol; call it use number four for my herbal remedy). I have to be sure my partner will be up for it in a couple of hours, when my longest-onset and most necessary med kicks in.

And I have to be aware that an orgasm, an event which can cause my whole body to convulse if done just right, can be excruciating. This part does more than anything else to make sex difficult.

The different onset thing was made much worse about fifteen months ago, when in a very poorly-advised choice, the Ontario government withdrew oxycontin slow-release from the market, and replaced it with ‘oxyneo’, a new formulation which was supposed to be much more difficult to crush and snort. Theoretically, this was to reduce rates of abuse. In fact, of course, the Internet had a solution to how to make them snortable again within five days (you can google a video if you want).

The problem is, the new formulation has two serious downsides. One, it’s not cuttable. We tried, it broke the blade of the cutter. Yay, government made the legitimate users’ lives harder so as to very temporarily inconvenience the abusers. Huzzah.

The second problem is much bigger, and is why there’s a two-hour lead time in much of what you see in that daily regimen. The new formulation takes about two hours to reach full onset. So I take my meds at midnight, and around 2am, i can finally sleep. I take them at 6am, and try to sleep (difficult when functionally unmedicated) until they start to work.

I can tell when they’re working at full effect, btw, from the level of tinnitus in my ears. When they’re fully on, it hits its peak. Small upside from too many years with my Walkman too loud. Yes, I’m that old.

As to those people who say how much they’d love being able to have oxy all the time, let me break your bubble: it’s no party. I get zero euphoric effect from my meds (well, except for that one), and most of the other chronic pain people I know have the same response.

And the downside? Forgive the slightly graphic nature of the next bit, but I think it’s important to know.

The downside…have you ever seen or read Trainspotting? It’s one of my favourite movies and books. In both, at one point, Renton is desperate for a single fix before trying to clean himself up. The only hit he can find in time is a guy who has two opium suppositories. Now, opiates – of which oxy is most certainly one – have an effect on the human digestive system. They basically lower the water content significantly. That means that elimination becomes painful, and constipation more or less constant.

Which means that every couple or three weeks, especially if I’ve had to take extras for something like going to a party or con or wev, I get “Explosion Day”. I spend literally eight hours sweating and shaking, while my body explosively empties itself. It’s awful, and feels worse than it sounds.

That’s the price I pay for taking a minimum of 40 mg (on a good day). No euphoria. Hours of tinnitus and nausea. And Explosion Day. On bad days, I can reach 70mg. Having a painstorm, as I call it when I have a multi-day “bad back time”, is…sincerely unpleasant.

This is often the part where people say, “Oh, you’re so brave for dealing with this!”

But I don’t see it that way. I’m an atheist. This, to me, is the only life I’m going to get, ever. Then I’m rotting meat and hopefully some useful organs carrying on keeping someone else alive.

And what choice do I have? The pain will be here whether I’m brave about it or not. It will be here whether I stay home all the time or go out. It’s always here. I’m never not in pain. I only sleep six hours at a time because that’s the length of time my meds will last as effective help. Period. I have to be completely exhausted to sleep longer.

In a couple of days, I’ll write about the phenomena of insomnialgia and painsomnia, two neologisms I’ve come up with for the interactions of pain and sleeplessness.

Tsunaide te

So here I am. I’ve got a friend working on a nifty little banner logo for me, because my trusty old laptop is buggered (power pin in the case came unwelded), taking my pro software with it.

The post title is the name of a song I particularly love, used in the anime of Fullmetal Alchemist; as may be apparent from the blog name, I particularly love this show. I’m using it because the main character, Edward, is a person living with a disability (he’s lost an arm and a leg, literally; he uses some advanced prosthetics to get by), with almost no family left alive, and I like the mental image of me as being the Fullmetal Feminist. I did give brief consideration to being the Fullmeta Feminist, but thought that might be a level of meta too far.

If there is such a thing.

So who is the Fullmetal Feminist? Well, I’ve been around the webs for a long time, mostly posting as CaitieCat, a nickname (my first one ever outside my family of origin) given to me by a former paramour, and used both at Shakesville and at FreethoughtBlogs, where I’ve done guest posts.

I’m 47 in a couple of weeks, and a translator of German/French/Russian to English, as well as an academic editor/proofreader, by vocation. I deal with chronic pain from a car accident when I was 21; my particular problem is degenerative disc disease, which has so far cost me two inches in height (with probably another four inches to go before I’m done shrinking), my ability to play my beloved football (soccer), and the daily need for a cane to walk with.

I’m also a serious depressive, and that, along with the chronic pain, is to be my “special focus”, if you will, of this blog. That doesn’t mean it’ll be all doomgloom and painbrain all the time; I enjoy a fair bit of geek culture, and intend to write about that as well, such as Supernatural (call it a guilty pleasure) and a whole bunch of anime that’s a little off the beaten path (Ghost Hound, House of Five Leaves, Mushi-shi), along with geek staples like BSG, Doctor Who, and so on in that manner. Expect things like a Supernatural rewatch from the feminist point-of-view (and with a ’67 Impala, you know it’s gonna be a bumpy ride), or news, or whatever else comes to mind, alongside the primary foci. The comments will likely be strictly moderated, because I’m not the least bit interested in dealing with jerks; they can go freeze their damn peaches wherever they like, just not here. Expect an explicit comment policy before too long. Comments in not-English may happen, if I can arrange that; posts in not-English may also happen. I’m comfortable in French, German, and Russian, and can get by in Spanish and Japanese reasonably well.

Enough, Cait. Let the nice people get on with their AROTE*.

* AROTE: Arbitrary Rotation of the Earth; an acknowledgement that we don’t all live in the same places, so I may well greet you with AROTE, rather than presume you have a day ahead of you when I do.

I’m a trained linguist, and will often talk about things languagey; this is my avocation as well as my profession. I didn’t do my MA or PhD because in 1992, when I graduated from my BA, I enrolled in an MA programme that I soon after dropped out of, so that I could play “Catatonia” in my bedroom, a solitaire game that I do not recommend. I drew the “Go to Hospital, do not pass Go, do not collect any wages at all” card after a few weeks of playing, and when I came out of the hospital, realized that the reason I was so down was that I needed to transition.

So old boy-name me, whom people thought was a man, went away, and new girl-name me showed up. I’ve been around ever since. I left academe because in 1992, I knew I didn’t have the mental strength to deal with transition and the horrific transphobia then extant in most places.

For one tiny example, the last place I’d worked before transition wouldn’t give me any reference, not even admitting that I worked there, because, in their words, “no-one by your name has ever worked here.” This didn’t fill me with hope about how I’d end up doing in academe, with opaque hiring practices and no protection for gender identity (at that time) in the Charter of Rights here in Canada.

In fact, in those days, I couldn’t change the marker on my ID until I’d had certain specific surgery; I lived for 12 years between transition and surgery with the daily fear that any interaction with police could end up with me in the “boy jail”, without any recourse. You want highly-law-abiding women? Make that threat to them, that they’ll be put in jail with the men if they do anything wrong.

I’ve not had so much as a speeding ticket since I transitioned.

The song…the song helps me feel a little less overwhelmed. In brief (it’s Tsunaida Te, by Lil’B, a Japanese rapper), it’s about not letting go of someone’s hand when they really need you.

Why am I overwhelmed? Because despite my chronic pain issues, i’ve been trying for 26 years now to live within the means I can raise. But as they’ve gotten worse, the time I can work each week has shrunk. I’m now down to about 25 hours a week, that being the maximum I can sustain working. I can do short bursts for longer, but I pay for them later.

Which has led me to the now. Today’s the 1st. That’s rent day. Everything I have in the world is $400, and my rent is more than twice that. I’ve applied to the local welfare programme, which could help with some small amount after I get enrolled in two weeks, but that’s not going to keep a roof over my head. I’m not in urgent danger of being thrown out, but I was late paying last month, and I doubt they’re feeling any more charitable this month.

I can’t afford to move. There’s just no way. I have a rent-controlled apartment $100 less than others of the same type in the same building, and it’s perfectly located for someone without a car and with mobility issues: my pharmacy is a mile away, as are three different grocery stores, my bank, and so on. Also, no way on earth could I raise first & last months’ rent, let alone pay for moving, or get Internet service (without which, I can’t work).

Because I’m just setting this up today, I don’t have a PayPal donate button set up, but if you find you’re in a spot where you could help, well, I could sure use it.

Honestly, if I can end up with even $800 in, I can get my laptop fixed and pay off my overdue charges for Internet, as well as make rent; might even have a few shekels left to make some flyers to drum up more business.

So that’s me, for a start. I’m also, as I mentioned when I’ve posted over at Miri’s Brute Reason blog: CaitieCat is a 47-year-old trans bi dyke, outrageously feminist, and is a translator/editor for academics by vocation. She also writes poetry, does standup comedy, acts and directs in community theatre, paints, games, used to play and referee soccer, now uses a cane daily, writes other stuff, was raised proudly atheist, is both English by birth and Canadian by naturalization, a former foxhole atheist, a mother of four, and a grandmother of four more (so far). Sort of a Renaissance woman (and shaped like a Reubens!).

Thanks for reading. And hey, if you’re able to drop a few bob, you’d be helping me keep the door with as low a wolf-content as possible. My e-mail address eharte66 is scattered in this sentence in bold type at-gmail, as I’ve not yet set up the blog dot-com to have profile and stuff.