Daily Archives: February 19, 2013

Daily Prompt: Nightmares

Dearest Readers, I almost never lack for blogging fodder; but today I am feeling a bit ill, so I am going to latch onto the WP Daily Prompt as an opportunity to showcase a particularly nasty nightmare I had some years ago.  It was recently published in the “Noir” eZine Close 2 the Bone.  The Daily Prompt peeps would love it if I were to interpret this dream for them; unfortunately, the dream speaks for itself and needs no interpretation.

N.B. It is my usual policy NOT to post TRIGGER WARNINGS but since this nightmare is truly terrifying, I am making a one-time exception.  And now, without further ramblings from yours truly, I present my scariest nightmare.

Vascular Surgery

There’s a good reason women make the best surgeons, she thought.  Quick, deft hands, single-pointed concentration, focus.  She thought of the women jet engine mechanics she had met in the Air Force.  Not that she had been in the Air Force; but in the course of her duties as a civilian surgeon under contract, she had met them.

Now, reining in her reverie, she was intent on the task at hand.  Drat this light, she thought.  She really needed a more direct light source, but one has to work with what one has at hand.

Slowly, painstakingly, she drew the outlines with a surgical marker:  carotid triangle; carotid vein;  carotid artery.  This, the artery, was what she wanted.

She steadied the syringe she had readied with an oh-so-fine 27-gauge needle.  2% lidocaine with epinephrine should be enough analgesia for comfort, and enough epinephrine to ensure a relatively bloodless field.  She couldn’t help chuckling: bloodless indeed.

Squinting in the insufficient light, she injected the layers:  first the skin, then the loose fascia of the neck; lastly, the layer surrounding the vessels of the neck, careful to avoid direct injection into the wall of the vessel, which might cause a spasm.

Now it was time to cut.  She picked up the number 11 scalpel and steadied her hand.  Carefully, carefully she opened the delicate skin of the neck, noting with satisfaction that the epinephrine had done its job.  There was no need for the tiny hemostats she had ready in case of superficial bleeders.  The next layer, the loose fascia, pulsated bluish, overlying the great vessels of the neck.  These she would blunt dissect with the larger curved hemostats.  She injected a bit more of the anesthetic, just to be sure.  No need to cause discomfort, which might result in unwanted movement.

At last the artery was exposed.  She marveled at its pulsations, at the tiny arteries that nourished the big one itself, and the miniscule veins that issued from it, carrying its waste into the larger system of veins, to be cleansed by the liver and kidneys downstream.

Holding her breath, she slid the first hemostat, jaws open, under the artery.  Clamp.  The vessel, trapped in the jaws of the hemostat, stopped pulsing abruptly.  There was no going back now.  Now the second hemostat, exactly one and a half centimeters below the first: clamp.  She raised the surgical scissors, poised for the definitive cut between the clamps.

Tilting her head to see better in the mirror, she cursed the dim light in that bathroom again.  And then, the definitive cut!  In a single motion, she swiftly removed the two clamps and was instantly drenched in red liquid.

A scream of agony split the night as she sat bolt upright in the bed, heart pounding, drenched in sweat, clutching the sodden bedclothes as she struggled, locked in the arms of the Angel of Death like biblical Jacob.

Frantically clutching her throat, she rushed to the bathroom, the very same bathroom, and strained toward the mirror in the same dim light.

Nothing.  Her throat, graceful and bluish white as ever, shone back at her from the reflection.

Sucking in a deep gulp of air, letting it out in a sigh that brought the dog running, she splashed water on her face and neck, toweling off the sweat.

“It’s OK, buddy,” she whispered to her whining canine companion. “Just another nightmare.”  The dog smiled anxiously, wagged his tail tentatively, and licked her calf.  She reached down and patted his faithful head.

“Good thing I have you, she murmured.  Stripping off her sweat-soaked nightgown, she rinsed off in the shower before throwing on a fresh one.  She sank into the recliner with a book: sleep would not visit again, not tonight.

© Soul Survivor 2013 All Rights Reserved


I’ve been stumbling around trying to find writing inspiration this morning, but there’s not been anything extraordinary standing out. What has shown itself over and over again is just how demonized mental illnesses like bipolar and schizophrenia are in some quarters. A lot of pieces popping up were out of the United States especially, and they either suggested that the mentally ill were some sort of burdensome problem, while others grudgingly admitted that there needed to be better mental health provision on the whole. And then there were that handful that were panic attacking about how many mothers were on psychiatric drugs and zergrush whhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. *snorts* Probably because, like me, they looked at their ability to cope and decided that they needed a little help to be a better parent? Mommy can’t exactly drink to drown out the intrusive thoughts anymore, after all.

I think what I might do is do a bit of (re)reading on bipolar//bipolar 2. I’m not sure what else I can find that might be informative and new to me, but there’s this little scritchle in the back of mind that tells me that doing a refresher/some research might be ideal before the next wave of depression finds its way back to me. Then another part of my brain tells me to not dwell on it and to enjoy the now (whatever that might be). Iunno, the longer time goes by that I cannot class as hypomanic or obviously depressed, the less I trust it and the harder it is to identify what’s what. I guess it doesn’t surprise me — after all, I know I can’t exactly trust my brain. Maybe some day I’ll be able to trust it around the bipolar, but that day definitely hasn’t come yet.

For now though, back to the meditative grind that is work.


The post Mulling appeared first on A Blog By Any Other Name....

Fuck up number 1,000,076

So the guy showed up at 8:30 this morning to start fixing the plumbing. It turned into a 3 hour deal, he had to repair all the mistakes the prior handyman had made. Half way through my cell phone started ringing…

and omg, I missed my first appt with the new job lady.

I was just so stressed out having someone in my safe zone and it slipped my mind.

And like the responsible mature adult I am* (pretend to be) I…let the calls go to voice mail and did not call to explain. Because face it, no explanation would be acceptable short of death.


No doubt I will be receiving my letter soon informing me they are dropping me as a client due to my unreliability.

Which was kind of the point I tried to make to the counselor, job lady, shrink,. and psychologist. Everyone is putting all this pressure on me to “get back to work” simply because I am upright and functioning but no one wants to take a hard look at how this functionality ebbs and flows everyday, especially with med failures and adjustments and changes.

I want to work.

I do not believe I am ready to work because my stability is iffy and my head is not screwed on straight.

Plus, the more pressure put on me, the more I fuck up. I can’t remember a part number ten seconds after R reads it to me, so without a reminder call or a calendar taped to my arm, remembering appointments reliably is damn near impossible.

That’s not me shirking responsibility or blaming my illness.

This is my life.

R asked me to look something up three days ago and I forgot until he reminded me again tonight and said, “Oh, Nik, how could you forget?”

Um, the meds have turned my brain to tapioca, helloooo?

I have to have a morning checklist just to make it out the door, ffs. The only saving grace there is that the routine is so ingrained at this point-kid, cats, self, pack for kid, get keys, phone, lights out, heat turned down, door locked…It’s the only way my brain learns things is through repetition. Which is why deviation and change freak me out so much.

At this point, I don’t even care of the counseling place boots me. My counselor sucks and the job lady(ies) offer nothing I can’t damn well do for myself (mood and panic level allowing.) It sucks because I am supposed to have this support system of professionals helping me get back on my feet but I don’t. My shrink spends less time with me than the people at the Mc Donald’s drive thru. My counselor makes me want to kill myself. Now that the original job lady is gone and as nice as she was, she wasn’t much help because let’s face it, no one wants to hire an unstable fuck up…So what good is the new going to be able to do for me?

It all falls back on me. And I’m not “there” yet, that mental stability point required to function highly. How can I be when my meds are constantly being changed?

Went to the shop finally. Bored, bored, cold, bored. Watched the clock. Surfed Fark and Reddit.Really, there is no point in me being there except to do the shit he doesn’t want to do, most of which could be done from my home computer. He just can’t stand to be alone and he is willing to bribe me with lunch and smokes and free car repairs to get that. Some days, I just want to call him and tell him I died and will be resurrected in a week. Actually, what would be better is if he would just let me come in, do what he needs me to do, and leave. I like R, but twiddling my thumbs for 8 hours for a burger and fries while he bitches about broken stuff and his wife and this and that…Not all that entertaining for me.

Was so glad to leave.

Of course, I wasn’t home two hours and he was calling telling me to use the company card and order this part and that part. No escape, man. Imprisoned.

Now it is 8:13 pm, Spook is asleep, and the rest of the night is mine.

Except I hear the clock ticking, reminding me I have to go do it all again tomorrow and it fills me with so much dread that all I want to do is go to bed. I fight it, but most of the time, I fail. I would say that’s a panic/depression combo.

One thing is for sure, Klonopin is not doing shit for the panic. The anxiety induced paranoia is back in triple spades. Which I do not have with Xanax. I don’t know why I can’t seem to get this through the doctor’s head. I don’t know why my brain reacts to it that way. I just have this thing where if something works, don’t fix it.

At one point today, I was so paranoid, thinking the handyman was going to go tell the landlord I’m a bad housekeeper, then they’d take my kid, then they’d have me committed  and I might as well kill myself because no way is my psyche strong enough to handle it all…

It sounds asinine now but in the swing of paranoia attacks, it all seems so real and possible and scary.

And the proof that it is anxiety induced is the fact that antipsychotics have never worked for me. Other than make me hazy and sleep a lot, they do nothing.

God, I’m prattling again.

I’m gonna shut up now.

I will leave you with a couple of things.

This is my calm song, I don’t know why because I generally do not care for Moby’s music. I heard this on an episode of Torchwood though and now, I just find it my soothing song.


And my super happy pills…A big bucket of awwwwww