Well I had planned to finish writing about my medical emergency, since that’s what’s currently dominating my life. I don’t remember where I left off. My husband took me to the ER, where we found I had sepsis with organ failure, something going on with my kidneys, a host of other things, and of course, necrotizing fasciitis. You know, this is one of those things that is rare and horrible and you never think you or anyone you know will get it. So of course that”s what it was. They rushed me into surgery and cut out all the bad tissue, which was at my abdominal incision and was about to start chowing on my organs. I was in ICU for a while. My husband says it was like 5 days but I honestly don’t remember it. I have a giant hole in my stomach and it always hurts and itches but I was lucky.

The nurse comes three times a week and changes the sponges and all that. That is actually a nightmare because I’ve started healing into the sponges, and need to be separated from them first. The incision is 11″ long, where they did the hysterectomy and them cut it open even more for the flesh eating disease. (There, that’s so much easier to type than necrotizing fasciitis.) It was about 4″ deep, or all the way through, and about 2.5″ across. It is uneven, with a sort of channel that has to be kept open so fluid doesn’t build up. I go see a Doctor, either the gyn or the wound specialist once a week. And the rest of the time I’m home. My husband has been babying me, and waiting on me constantly. I hate to be a burden but he has really been wonderful. I think maybe it scared him that I almost died. Whatever the reason, hes been wonderful. My grandmother called several times and my uncle sent a card. Once my brother found out I wasn’t going to die, I guess he went on with things since I haven’t heard from him. I hope he’s doing the things he should be. My adopted kids haven’t called or anything. Maybe it’s their age, or their generation, but both of them are old enough to know better. It makes me wonder if they even give a damn about me any more.  It breaks my heart, because I would do anything to help them, and I tried so hard with R, but there’s nothing I can do. They’re either thoughtless or don’t care. I gave up the closest family I ever had when her mother did the things she did, and I’d do it again, because I had to do what I could to protect those kids. Now they’re grown. Maybe R living here was a mistake. I’m sure she doesn’t see me the same. I’m human, and I make mistakes and I have faults just like everyone else. I know she was angry at me at times, because she was rude and sometimes mean, and lied about things. That’s her way, but I had hoped she wouldn’t be like that with me. I hope she eventually learns that she has to talk to people, not just disappear or wonder why things aren’t the way she wants them.

Enough. I have the wound vac for 2-3 months, and I certainly don’t want to write about every agonizing episode to healing. I think I’m just moody from hurting tonight.

Death and medical

I’ve been close to death multiple times in my life. Sometimes due to violence, once that was self inflicted and now through illness. When I say close to death, I don’t mean “Wow, I could have died”. I mean “Wow, I should have died and I don’t know why I didn’t.”

A couple of weeks ago I had to have a hysterectomy. It was an abdominal hysterectomy because I had very large fibroid tumors. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard surgery. I was in the hospital for a few days and they sent me home with what I thought was a working case of strep throat. My throat was sore, and at first I thought it was from the anesthesia tube, but it continually got worse. Within a couple of days, I had developed white patches all over my mouth so we made a call to the Doctor and she called me in an antibiotic. That week I didn’t get better but it wasn’t getting worse either. I finished the antibiotics and my GP called in another type of antibiotic. However, before I could start it, my body started to crash and burn. This was Friday,  and I was incredibly weak, my voice was almost gone, and I had started bleeding. Just fyi, if you’re squeamish you may want to stop reading.

If you’re still here, I had been spotting throughout the week but I just had a hysterectomy and thought that was probably normal. However, my stomach incision had started bleeding as well and it was foul. I was so weak I was needing help walking and my husband really went all out for me. If you’ve ever run a high fever, you know that spacey feeling you get? Sometimes you’ll hallucinate things, even if it’s not full on bugs on the  wall. I was feeling like that, and I was so hot. I remember feeling my face and how hot it was but that you weren’t supposed to be able to tell about yourself. I took my temperature with one of those touch thermometers that you rub across the skin, and it said I had a fever of 105. I thought that couldn’t be right so I got my husband to take it and he got a reading of 104. I was running chills so he gave me Tylenol and put me to bed. A few minutes later I got up to go to the bathroom with his help, but when I got up from the toilet a pool of black blood came from me. I have never seen blood that color and didn’t know it could get that color. It also had the consistency of pudding. (Sorry, but I did warn you…) I called for my husband and he  got me into a pair of pants and we went to the ER. I was so weak I could barely walk and was shaking badly. He wheeled me in and I’m pretty sure I looked like death on a stick judging from the looks I was getting. And I smelled. That was the worst for me, because I’m usually a lotion fanatic and love pretty scents. I remember telling someone that anything that smelled like that should be dead. I was closer than I knew. Well, the Tylenol was helping to bring the fever down so by the time the ER was working on me it was at 103.5. I swear I think I sweated through the mattress, all while bleeding this foulness. I was given a vaginal exam but they couldn’t find the source of my illness. My white blood cell count came back as 28 and she told me it should be between 4-6 so obviously my body was trying to fight a massive infection. Without knowing what the infection was, they put four bags of antibiotics in me right off the start. Then they moved me to a room where a stone faced nurse was not at all helpful. Every time I had to pee, I’d make a bloody mess and need to wash up and change underwear. The blood was coming from my stomach but Nurse Ratchett wasn’t hearing it. My blessed husband is a bit OCD so he was cleaning up behind me. So Nurse Ratchett not so subtly suggested that I wash up. Well by this time I had already washed up three times in the hour or so I’d been there. I soon hado pee once again and this time my husband went and got a nurse to show her where I was bleeding. All of this is sort of a blur to me but apparently that finally got something going and my Doctor was there – heels and all, since it was her date night apparently and she made sure we knew it. She told us I had necrotizing fasciitis and they were preparing a team for surgery.

I will continue tomorrow… I think writing about this helps me come to terms with it.  I had a nurse here today doing my wound packing thing, which is a whole other nightmare.


I have always loved being out in the night. I grew up in a very rural area and it was never hard to find a place that was truly dark. Living along the Chesapeake Bay, I’ve spent more nights than I can remember listening to the sound of the waves lapping against the beach, scattering driftwood and debris across the rocky sand as the tide rose. The water is inky black at night, with sparks of light from the docks, or the moon, or simply the stars. There is a sound to the night that I’ve always found hard to describe. It’s like noises echo differently in the darkness, but there is also a sort of low pitched hum that sends waves of yearning through me. I never knew for what, but I think it was just adventure, romance, drama, all those things that make you feel alive like nothing else in your life. All those things that make you feel young and electric, and that so many people discard as they grow older. I can feel this hum quickening my blood, filling me with possibilities and making me drunk with need. It’s a little like delirium, bubbling up through me and making me fey.

My friend used to call me the dangerous type, but these nights were the only time I actually felt dangerous. I felt like I was overflowing with possibilities, with sensuality and a certain kind of violence, and I believed that anything could happen. My impulsivity bubbled up and I would let go of the reins just to see what might happen. I think the cover of darkness allowed me to be my real self, my wild core that most never get to touch. That’s where a feral child of the forest still lives. She knows that the world is full of magic and that magic is often dark and razor-edged. That child has rituals to keep the world in order.

It’s not just the sound of darkness, though. It’s all senses being engaged differently at night. The wind on a summer night carries a promise that the daylight lacks, and the feel of it on my skin is soothing even as all my nerve endings are on alert. It promises so much. I miss the moon.



He sifts through grains of sand
the color of Sky and Earth,
creating clockwork spirals
on the cracked canyon floor.

He is an artist,
painting with the ashes
of deities burning in rusted cans,
and stirring faded colors
with the bleached bones
of a desolate coyote.

He opens worlds,
singing obscure twilight myths
etched into his skin
with blood and soot,
and carries the aching sun
into the darkness of desert chill.

He calls the spirit eater
from collapsing constellations,
and dances intricate patterns
to the pulse of the howling moon,
as the sky mutters thunder
in complex indistinctness
and burning stars drip
from a black liquid sky.

~ Julie Shiel

IMG_4245 copy


I haven’t been posting since I was censored, but I need what little bit of relief I can get from writing. I did write some things and not post, but damn, I’m already so isolated.. I don’t need to make it worse.

There is so much noise in my head. I get overwhelmed with the things that are hurting me until I feel like the pressure will just make me explode. I don’t think I have ever been so alone as I am now. My brother is in jail, my grandma is 89. R is busy with her day to day and besides, I am supposed to be her rock. Even if they were near, I could not talk to them about these things on my mind. T was my family and I still, even now, have a hard time believing what she did. I guess it’s a bit late in life to learn that while blood doesn’t count for much, if they aren’t blood they can walk away. That’s not really right though, because blood can do that too. Anyone can. I ran across the last letter I sent her. I want to forgive her. But I think she is still in denial that she ever did anything wrong.

I don’t understand that. I don’t understand why she did what she did. I don’t care how much fucking booze she had in her system or how bad she’s addicted, she was the only constant in my life and I never thought she was even capable of doing these things.

I know this is disjointed and rambling. You should see the inside of my head right now. This is blood letting is all. Let a little bit out before it rips me apart as it overflows.

One of mine

Here’s an old one of mine, included in “Disturbed“.

Room 3A

I sit melting,
bound to the bed and
watching windows of white
re-forming into
ebony abyss
of startled nothingness,
screaming with the
pain of the cosmos.

I leak and drip

into the fragile dust
And swallow rivulets
of galaxies
into my exposed soul.

I breed
poisonous echoes of
memories past
and birth the
stars of madness
in my veins.

~ Julie Shiel

At this time of year, holiday parties often include festive lights. When galaxies get together, they also may be surrounded by a spectacular light show. That's the case with NGC 2207 and IC 2163, which are located about 130 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Canis Major.  This pair of spiral galaxies has been caught in a grazing encounter. NGC 2207 and IC 2163 have hosted three supernova explosions in the past 15 years and have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super-bright X-ray lights known. These special objects -- known as "ultraluminous X-ray sources" (ULXs) -- have been found using data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory. This composite image of NGC 2207 and IC 2163 contains Chandra data in pink, optical-light data from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope visible-light data in blue, white, orange and brown, and infrared data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in red.


The last few weeks I’ve been recovering from surgery. It was my knee, or right below it, I suppose, so the problem has been with getting around. I’m healing well and am ahead of schedule with that. However, I get to feeling better and tell myself I’m still healing, but then I go and do something excessive anyway and re-injure myself. I’ve always struggled with this. I feel guilty if I’m not up doing things and I get irritated at my body’s limitations. Even while I sit here, I’m having sharp pains run up into my hip that I’ve been studiously trying to ignore, but they seem to be getting worse.

I have too much time to think. I think I’m the most isolated person I know. No family and no friends.. I thought my husband would be both to me.  My mother died when I was young and my father was abusive. I took care of my brother, and apparently no one noticed the horror we were living. To be fair, I never told. I had no reason to trust anyone. All that’s in the past, but I see now that I’ve been trying to make a family all my life. There have only been a handful of people I’ve become close to, so when I let someone know me like that, they become my family. That would be ok with me except that people who are not blood related can leave any time. Meanwhile, the few blood relations I do have don’t know me. Tara knew me best, and she is my family, but we haven’t spoken in years, so that’s not much good. I can’t talk to her, or anyone, about the things I’m interested in or what’s on my mind. I see things all the time, even now, and think “Oh, Tara would like that…” but I can’t get it for her or tell her about it. I’ve always been a giving person.. too much so at times.

Enough.. I’m hurting and tired. I’m going to go watch a horror flick and cuddle my cats.