Mr. Jeff

The Tides

e2aa7e52You know what sucks about PTSD?

You are never safe.

Or at least, you never feel or think you are safe.

The tide comes up and it always feels like the sand moves under your feet and you are going to be swept back out to sea, even if you aren’t in reality.

It takes up too much time. You work a lot to remind yourself to breathe through those moments and it pisses me off that it just can’t enough, this being free of The Horrible life sucking, lying cheating, fake religious icon of the community. I will be free internally, it’s just going to take some time because they represent so much more inside of me. Not The Horrible, specifically, they aren’t that important or beautiful, but what they symbolize. I refuse to allow them to rob any more time from me than they have … or rather, I refuse to GIVE them any more time. I’ve seen up close and personal how they lie, cheat and steal … how they have made people lose jobs, licenses to do their work, made false reports that I just don’t have the paper work, only my overhearing their words to prove … I’ve watched The Horrible … I know what they are capable of doing so it’s frightening and maddening at the same time.

They can’t take anything from me, I gave it. Remembering that is the key. The Key. My Key. I invited the vampire into my life and I can kick them out. I can drive the proverbial stake of truth into their black, black heart.

Because of dealing with an emergency with required my focus on The Horrible, which resulted in the miraculous removal of them from my life (Thank you Mother Mary, Jesus,  J.B., J.T. my sister, niece, kids and countless others) other important things and deadlines got pushed back and are being scrambled after now. 425px-Burne-Jones-le-VampireFighting to get back my payment plan for college loans that I was faithfully making is number one. A phone call came through a few months ago saying that I was on the wrong plan, though I had been on it for years. They gave a certain amout a time to do certain paperwork and choose certain situations. Talking it over with people, we realized the loan had been privatized and the guy obviously didn’t know what he was talking about and I need to speak with another person. I can NOT afford the new price he quoted me and it was not what I was originally told long ago. Now it’s a time crunch because of The Horrible pulling that stunt (By the way, they had originally told XXX, who I’m close to, about starting the paperwork and getting it filed, then last week that I shouldn’t have instigated it. That’s how nuts they are, they can’t remember their own lies.)

Getting Ellie’s medical testing scheduled, also she is now having school issues over absenteeism from my health diagnosis, Bares death, her own illnesses and her own personal revelation that I allowed her time off to recuperate and convalesce for a period. The school is now working with her to correct this but we are getting down to to the wire. Sammie walks for her college graduation in Chicago on May fourteenth. I see my psyche provider for my finished evaluation April twenty-third, the surgeon the twenty-fourth, and am still trying to find a dietitian to call me back. The dietitian is the only thing holding me back from scheduling my surgery at this time (and the actual signed psychiatric evaluation and I swear upon all that is holy and good in this world, if she signed off on my first surgery and put me through all these hoops and doesn’t sign off finally on the twenty-third, I will lay down and cry).

Oh, and the icing on the cake (yeah, I used that metaphor on purpose) ? birds,cage,flying,hands,tattoo,wrists-d66612c43e89c2cbd0e1ae6bdc708512_h_largeNot only am I off all steroids daily except when absolutely necessary, not taking any medications that make fighting hunger a struggle even if I win, but my Topamax (also known as Dopamax) dosage was upped and my hunger level has dropped dramatically. It’s not a wrestling match to say no to food. I was pretty good at fighting off binges, though I lost some times but now, easy peasy lemon squeazy. I’m on the lowest level of daily medications in years, the lowest about of PRN meds in years and have said goodbye to so many major life stressors that I was frozen in my tracks for the last ten days, unable to believe it, to trust it as true and real.

When I am able financially, I am buying three urns, one for Jeffs ashes, one for his mothers ashes and one teeny tiny one for his cats ashes (Bare has a beautiful box). Then I am getting something to thank two people who helped me in the eleventh hour to show my gratitude. How I will show my family, I will never know. I called them after learning of being free because I wanted to share good news with them after having to always give bad news.

We are getting there and surfing the tides. This is life and, as you all know and live it, just part of the swells and  times. It’s a good thing, a positive time, the tides come in, the tides go out. In time with the moon and the shift of it’s pull, evenly; and if we trust, respect and go with it, working with the energy, not fighting it, using it to buoy us back to the surface, we get back up.

The times of flux can be fast paced, sometimes almost harried but freedom is sweet and I am FREE. Ellie is FREE. It takes curettage sometimes to remove the decay from our lives and souls and it ain’t comfortable but oh the sweetness of health and healing, I will take it every time.

Now, it’s time to learn to be free and stay free.

Hey Jeff? I let go of the shit before it ate me up just like you told me.



Chrissy lime  




Steroids, Scales and The State of My Union

I don’t know how to start this post. Too many great things…everything from winning Vanitas bad ass contest and a year with Retrofit to looking better to talk about tonight.

Withings Wicked Cool Scale

My hair is relaxing some. Last summer, as many of you know, was very stressful. Taking care of Jeff, back and forth to Camden and here for hospitals, trying to make time for Lizz, hives non stop and Prednisone galore. We all know what steroids do to our endocrine system. My hair curled from its normal straight texture and became frizzy from the Cushings-like syndrome. It’s taken some time but I believe my body is trying to return to normal. My hair shows that very theory.

My welcome package came in from Retrofit and in it was the most bad ass scale ever. It’s by Withings….and it likes me more than my old, ratty, jerk off scale liked me. Also enclosed was Fitbit, the handiest, coolest way to count your steps, miles, stairs and sleep patterns. It was like Christmas but without the stress, shopping or relatives…or cookies.

The small and powerful Fitbit

My first Skype session with my Program Adviser from Retrofit was last Friday. It was great; I’m so stoked and ready for this…Thursday, the day before I had weighed in at the surgeons office before my fill and yep, still the same weight. The next day, when the Withings scale came, I weighed in two pounds lighter than the doctors scale read out. Total weight loss in a matter of seven days has been six pounds. Having that fill has made a world of difference with my satiation point being just where it should be…finally.Using baby spoons, the small luncheon plates, chewing properly and drinking all my water, about a half an hour before I eat, have all done wonders now that my band is working.

It’s going to be interesting to blog about this over the next year

People, with Retrofit helping me do lifestyle changes, I really sense me and my health will back within the next year. It’s been a long long six or seven years of not so great stuff…I’m ready for the good stuff.


The State of My Union:

  • Mood: Ecstatic
  • Whats my body doing?: It’s repairing itself.
  • Whats on my mind?: I’m so excited
  • Band Restriction: Excellent
  • Eating: Great
  • Water: 1 quart (so far)
  • Exercise: Gonna’ hit the treadmill again tonight


I can’t thank you all enough for hanging in with me all this time. My readers are the best people to have in anyone’s corner.


Coffee, Cortisol and Stress

“Morning Coffee” photo by psiconauta on Flickr; Creative Commons License: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Caffeine, meet my blood.

Now, get in it.

I drink a bit of coffee. More than I should, I’m sure.

Maybe I’m lying like a rug. But, I’m not willing to give it up now. Maybe tomorrow. I fuckin’ love coffee and will chew the arm off any stupid person willing to try to get their hand near my cup…they will draw back a bleeding nub.

The coffee in these amounts is affecting my already compromised kidneys and it possibly affects our weight loss through an insulin reaction! This will suck supremely because I have to find a way to ween down off caffeine.

What the Hell. Why do I always have to give shit up? Why me?

  • Wheat? Gone.
  • Peanuts? Gone.
  • Pears? Gone.
  • Venison? Gone (OK fine, I never ate venison anyway.)
  • Barley? Gone.
  • Sex? Pffft
  • Ice cream? Sorta gone.
  • Forms of sugar (except fructose)? Gone.
  • Perfumes in many forms? Gone.
  • Fancy pants living? As if.
  • Sitting to be on the computer? 75% Gone…(I sit for some of the time.)
  • Minimized use of Predisone

I could go on but I won’t…you can thank me later.

Caffeine is connected to a cortisol and insulin response. Cortisol is the hormone the body excrete when under stress and for other triggers. Insulin is used to store sugar n the blood as energy (fat). (Some searches for your perusal are listed below.)The effects of cortisol are well-known by many of us today, but I was surprised at first to hear caffeine connection to cortisol…and then later….not so much. It makes sense.

Let’s put all this together and go back over the last few years.

“Stress” by botled_void; Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)


  • Hives.
  • Weight Gain and then an inability to lose the weight.
  • Red Face
  • Hypertension
  • High Cholesterol
  • Easily bruised
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Suddenly curly, coarse hair
  • Ridged, peeling nails
  • Eyebrows thinned
  • Acne Issues
  • Newly dry skin that flakes over acne
  • Blurring eyesight some days
  • Thickening of heels
  • Sporadic small sores
  • Loss of strength (could be cause I’m old)
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Bouts of Confusion
  • Hairs sprouting on chin (about four–don’t worry, I pluck the shit out of them)
  • Weight Gain is in the abdomen mainly
  • Lots of hair in the hair brush and comb
  • Infections galore (usually sinus)
  • Weird headaches deep in my brain and neck (I know it sounds weird but it’s true)
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Walk
  • Sleep Talk
  • Sleep Paralysis
  • Joint Pain
  • Can not stand to be cold
  • Memory issues

 Known Disorders/Diseases:

  • Tuberous Sclerosis Complex with multiple Angiomyolipomas
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar 1
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Idiopathic Chronic Urticaria
  • Diastolic Dysfunction
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Calcification in Breasts

“Why?” by CGehlen; Creative Commons License Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Events of past years:

  • Extremely stressful living conditions for the past 15 years. (Money worries, physical violence, threats of violence, etc)
  • Loss of a relationship
  • Loss of ability to continue in my career
  • Emotional breakdown
  • Major depressive episodes
  • New and varied psychotropic medicines with a history of weight gain
  • Extremely stressful relationships
  • Loss of income
  • Terminal illness of a friend and their care
  • Death of a friend
  • Victim of an assault
  • Daughters mental illness and crisis
  • Loss of another relationship (friendship)
  • Diagnosis of a serious illness
  • Constant crisis

This is a recipe and sign of a crappy time and serious issues.

Stressed alabaster photo by Jean-François Chénier on Flickr; Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC 2.0)

I’m sure this list in incomplete as any of us would have trouble remembering or even knowing what to write. My point is, our lives are stressful. Stress pumps out cortisol which in turn affects insulin excretion. Insulin simply stores energy as fat, period. Caffeine exacerbates both of these issues. They all feed into each other and being someone with some endocrine symptoms, it may be wise to lose what I am willing to lose at this point in my life.

I have taken one-third of the caffeine away…that’s right. You read me correctly. I bought three bags of coffee beans, one is decaf and I mixed them all. So far, over the last five days, no withdrawal headache. I actually feel less sleepy. Maybe in a few weeks I will go down to two-thirds decaf?


Our world is toxic, we need to have an antidote for the problems. To de-stress, I am learning self-hypnosis. Re-dedicating myself to prayer and meditation will bring back the sense of safety it gave me pre-Jeffs death. I need to be able to let things go, to have them roll off my back at some point in the day. Continuing program and therapy will allow me to deeply delve into my mental health issues to try to get some grip on my internal life.

What are you doing to combat some of the negative silent killers in your world?

I worry about you.

You are the only you we have…there is no replacement so take care of you.

We need you.

We love you.






Lots of great noted papers:

Google Scholar search for Cortisol papers

Google Scholar search for insulin papers

Google Scholar search for both cortisol and insulin


Remember When…

I found this post tonight that was partly written in the hospital waiting room the day we found out Jeff had cancer, the day before THIS post.

Kiss Kiss Smoochie Smoochie

“I love my laptop…almost as much as I love my CPAP.

With Mr. Jeff being in the hospital for the last two weeks, it became obvious to me that I needed to replace my laptop that died a few months back. Much of my days are spent doing the “Hurry Up and Wait” dance. I don’t resent Mr. Jeff’s being sick, I resent the hospitals inefficiencies and lack of communication or consideration of those involved with him.

I rolled out of bed yesterday and started my coffee. So when the phone rang I hadn’t even gotten coffeed out of my morning psychopathic leanings from the difficult struggle falling back into sleep at two thirty am had presented me. My medication regiment has been all screwed up and , quite frankly I was in no mood to take responsibility for it, even though I’m the one screwing it up. Rose was on the other end telling me that Mr. Jeff had called, I needed to get in the truck and take the two plus hour drive to Camden and pick him up. They were discharging him.

No warning.

No discussion.

Nothing was in place for him.

No home health care

No new bed.

 Exasperated, I said “ I’m doing coffee and a shower first.” to which Rosie responded “Girl, you do what you need to do, no rushing. You’ll get there when you get there.” (I love that kid…I swear she’s one of mine and not my niece.) Bare Bear moved out of my way quickly when he saw the look on my face. I guess he was thinking “I didn’t pee on the rug last night …Did I pee on the rug last night?….She has the look she gets when I peed on the floor…I really gotta’ stop peeing on the floor….I’m so sorry I peed on the floor….Did I pee on the floor?”

Gathering what I thought was everything I needed for the day, I hoisted my back pack and soft side personal cooler full of water and diet drinks. Heading to his house to make it ready for his arrival the traffic was light. Stopping along the way to get some RTD Muscle Milk (Banana Cream, please.) would hasten the trip. Thank God for protein shakes. I’m learning my satiation signs but I didn’t want to risk even a small band stick on the road or in Cooper Hospital.

Driving down Route 49 was smooth running with only one section having construction. For the summer season, you and I both know that’s pretty damned good. Just past that patch of road work was a Wawa where I could fill the gas tank, get some Muscle Milk, and take my medicines.

Or could I?

Using up two Wawa gift cards seemed to annoy the woman in line behind me so I went even slower because I’m a jerk like that…Once in the truck the realization hit me; I was an hour from home with no medication including my epinephrine pens. Well, allergic reactions were off-limits for the day as are Bipolar episodes or high blood pressure.

The drive to Camden was smooth and without any problems but upon walking into Jeff’s room I was greeted with “I have news and you’re not going to like it.” He wasn’t coming home that day. I hid my anger because it was not his fault that they did not communicate the plan change to me. It had taken me nine days to get a return call so I wasn’t surprised at all at this lack of communication. I would simply use the time to visit with him and see if we couldn’t get more information about his situation.

I will only say he is a very sick man.

It had now been almost seven hours since my last protein shake, and while still feeling ok, I didn’t want to risk a hypoglycemic episode like I had the other day. But Oh…look! I left my protein shakes in the truck—nine floors down and in the maze of a parking garage. Looking for something to eat I found the vending area and choked down some dry roast beef of a sandwich with the bread removed. After about three bites it was lightly stuck. Enough was in me to keep my sugar up at a normal level til I got home so I tossed it in the can.”


This is as far as I got that day before going back upstairs to his room where his doctor came in for about ten seconds, just long enough to tell us it was bladder cancer. I drove home stunned with Mr. Jeff’s parting words to me being “If I’m going to go four paws up, I want to do it at home. Get me home.

This was a surprise to find hidden in my documents innocently named “Document 1”. It shot me back to that day. I’m not overwhelmed with grief, I am just sad that this man lost his battle before he had a chance to really fight at 57 years old. I can only hope that he runs into my wonderful friend Scott and they get to hang out and Scott can make him laugh until we all get up there and turn it into a party.

It reminded me to make the most of each day. Not in some sappy, Facebook inspirational photo way, but in a “Live Passionately” way, what ever that means to you.

Live Passionately. Make each act of yours a conscious decision,not an unconscious reaction.



The Versatile Blogger

I’ve been “blogging” (if you can call it such) about 15 years. It started out as an online journal at different websites I had at the time.  This blog was the first I actually wrote simply knowing others would definitely read it.

It’s been amazing.

You’ve been amazing.

I read a variety of other blogs, though I’m not able to get to them as often as I would like, unless they have e-mail subscriptions. I use my reader but it is so full. Anyway, one that I read is written by Sally Brown and she authors a really interesting blog , Live and Love with Passion at It is a positive affirmation that we can always be growing in a healthy direction. I’ve really enjoyed her stuff, especially when having difficulty emotionally.

Sally has very kindly nominated me and fourteen others for ‘The Versatile Blogger‘ award.  How awesome is that, folks?

Upon receiving this award (which is uber cool, I might add) share fifteen newly discovered blogs that one wishes to pass this award. Also, show you appreciation by linking to the person who awarded it to you. It’s just good manners. Then, share seven things about yourself . After, remember  to let the bloggers you are nominating know so they can choose to accept (or decline) this sweet baby.

The fifteen newly discovered blogs part is gonna’ be rough. Everyday I am subscribing or finding bad ass blogs that are new to me. Bear with me and know, I don’t follow a blog unless it kicks ass in some way, so if you aren’t named here it isn’t because I don’t find every one of you worth you’re weight in cupcakes.

So, without further ado, I present

My list of seven:

  1. Not mine but OMG I WISH

    I collect “things-to-put-stuff-in”. You know, like baskets, boxes, bowls….things like that…I don’t know why, I just like them. In fact, when I moved I got rid of about twenty baskets. I have brass boxes with handles and cut outs from Turkey, I have crystal and silver bowls that were my grandmothers, I have a handmade wooden box that Jeff gifted me before he passed  that he made when he was about fourteen. I own jars, boxes of every shape and material, baskets, containers… I’ve begun to cut back my acquired compulsion that started in my early twenties. I don’t know what it is or why it exists, but it can’t be healthy.

  2. I love color. Not just because I’m an artist but, I think, because it represents life. I can simply play with a new watercolor and not “make” anything simply because the color is so mesmerizing.
  3. I don’t watch t.v. Sometimes, Lizz and me will watch one of the shows she likes on Netflix, but we are not t.v. watchers so I saw no need for cable or dish. People think that’s odd. I get bored when it’s on, though.
  4. I have two middle names. Being Roman Catholic when I was a child, I was confirmed at twelve years old. When one is confirmed, one picks the name of a saint they wish to emulate. I chose Jeanne D’Arc but I wasn’t allowed to use the French version (trust me, it wasn’t the church, it was that particular teacher) so I was confirmed as Christal Anne Joan La Fountain. Most Catholics don’t use their confirmation name any more, so I stopped using it very soon after. That kinda’ sucks and I’m sorry for it.
  5. I was a clown in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus for about 20 minutes in sixth grade. See, I had made a pastel poster for the circus and won the contest at my school. The prize was two tickets to the show in Philadelphia. I just knew my parents wouldn’t spring for the night out and dragged my way home and sorta’ heavyheartedly told them about it. One of the best moments of my life was when my step father said, without hesitation, that not only would we go, BUT they would buy tickets for my sisters and themselves, also! I got to dress up in a sequined clown outfit when there and, even though my grown up pumps had shredded the backs of my heels, I walked around waving to everyone as if I had always been a clown and this is what I always did every single night of my life. I still have the program book. It was the best time of my childhood.
  6. Speaking of childhood, I once found my mothers feminine protection under the sink in the master bedroom bath when I was about four or five. Of course, my sisters and I had absolutely no idea what they were and spent some time trying to decide their use. I opened one and said they were throw away earrings that you colored, looped the string around your ears, wear and then throw out. My older sister Laura shook her head slowly and a little fearfully. She just had a sneaking suspicion that wasn’t their use. Nuts to her, if she wants to miss out on the chance to wear some kick as earrings, so let it be…I was doing mine up. So, two of my sisters and I (the fourth sister wasn’t born yet) used markers to color our “earrings” and went about the neighborhood with them hanging off our ears. I almost died soon after when Mother just about killed me for it. We still laugh about it.
  7. I have a tendency to get caught doing stupid shit, obviously. At the dental office I worked at for many years we had soap dispensers that were motion sensor controlled, so they used a bag soap with a reeeeeeeeeally long “nipple” on it to dispense the contents. If you squeezed the new bag just right when you were replacing the old one  it would make the nipple pop up like an erect penis. Finding this hysterically funny I was doing this from the pelvis area angle in the narrow hall at my co-worker in an operatory and got caught just as the electrician I didn’t know was coming walked around the corner. I tried to explain but I could see he didn’t want to make eye contact so I slithered away like the guilty thirteen year old I am deep inside.


So that’s that…you now know all my hidden skeletons from my messy closet. I will pass the septor on and thank Sally for thinking of me and trusting me not to say anything stupid……

oh wait……….


For you:

  1. Maggie at ‘You just watch me change’
  2. Andreea at ‘Curious Tendancies’
  3. Evan at ‘Food God, Laundry Bad
  4. Beth at ‘By The Time I’m Fifty’
  5. Mary at ‘Miss Mary’s Blog’
  6. Miraelle at ‘Parsleyarse Mundanity’
  7. Kimberly at ‘All Work and No Play Makes Mommy Go Something Something’
  8. Trish at ‘I Am Succeeding’
  9. Michelle at “VSG Mom”
  10. Cari at ‘Cari ETC.’
  11. Sagittarian at ‘Discovering It Just Now’
  12. Judy at ‘LDS Chic Weight Loss Trail’
  13. Mitzy at ‘Roux En Y Mitzy’
  14. Sam at ‘The Modern Promethius’ (her being my kid has NOTHING to do with it……..much)
  15. Jorielle at ‘LonelyToes’


And so, with my humblest thanks to Sally I shall bow out now and leave the stage to the other bloggers because they don’t do stupid shit like I.



Past Posts

  • Build It High
    When it’s time to build a brick wall, build it so high that history never existed. — Excitable Gurelle (@Christal_L) October 5, 2015 [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]
  • Owning My Own Air
    I say “We’re not done ’til we’re done.” a lot about repetitive patterns or cycles we do, though we are trying to stop the chain. What I mean is that we can continue to stop, and should keep trying to stop, but until we get to the place of wanting to be stopped more than we […]
  • Release
    Giving up can be a release. I surrender. I surrender to the other people in my life and their patterns. I surrender to my patterns. I surrender to my illnesses. I surrender to loss. I surrender to alone-ness. I surrender to freeze outs, the never ending freeze outs, the eternal freeze outs, the all-encompassing freeze […]