So of course I’ve been ill

Had to drop out of sight for a bit because my stomach decided to make my life miserable again. These episodes happen without warning and there’s nothing to do but lie in bed groaning, run back and forth between bed and toilet, and desperately drink as much fluids as I can to try to stay ahead of dehydration.

The only thing that seems to reduce the nausea is lying perfectly still. Even the amount of movement necessary to read a book (holding it up in front of my face, turning pages etc) is enough to start my stomach complaining again. At least it meant I could catch up on some Netflix shows I guess?

After days of unrelenting misery and being unable to keep anything down, on Monday afternoon I finally gave up and went to the hospital. They gave me the standard treatment: IV fluids and anti-nausea meds. Which worked… sort of. I was no longer puking but still felt pretty nauseated and uncomfortable. I didn’t start to feel properly better until Wednesday.

It’s all extremely frustrating to me cause this is an ongoing thing, off and on for years now. It was four years ago I got diagnosed with Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome, a diagnosis which isn’t terribly helpful because no one really knows what CVS is or what causes it or what treatments are consistently effective. My online research indicates it may be tied to migraine headaches (which I also used to have but haven’t in like 20 years) and my medical history indicates my own case may be tied to the menstrual cycle (because I experienced relief when I went on the Pill — alas, I am no longer experiencing that relief). It might also be tied to my autism thing. A lot of people with autism have stomach problems and no one really knows why.

I’ve had my stomach scoped on multiple occasions, and had them look up the other end as well and they couldn’t find anything wrong. This sucks.

It’s not just the discomfort and inconvenience. It’s the fact that I obviously can’t stay on my psych meds when all this is going on. And terrible things happen when I’m off my meds.

Remember this one time when I had to go on a medication that made me have such bad tremors I couldn’t type properly or even climb stairs without clinging to the rail for dear life? (The tremors went away gradually as my body got used to the medicine, but it took some time.) The reason I had to go on that med is because I had a psychotic break out of nowhere and went stark raving mad. I was basically out of my mind, babbling nonsense, talking to people that weren’t there, etc. Thank goodness for those tremors interfering with my ability to type, or I would have posted some REALLY weird stuff online and caused some concern. The psychotic symptoms gradually receded and I experienced longer and longer periods of lucidity as the medication started to work for me, but it took weeks before I was really normal again.

The reason I had that psychotic break is because my psych meds (which I’d been taking per the prescription) suddenly stopped working. Sometimes they just randomly do that, but if you don’t stay on your meds consistently and keep going on meds and then going off meds nilly-willy like I’m basically doing right now, it’s much more likely to happen.

Right now I’m on a great med cocktail that works great for me, but only if I can actually swallow the pills without bringing them right back up again. And I’d rather not have another psychotic break. And I’d really rather that vomiting these episodes stop because they’re kind of ruining my life.

Yeah. Everything sucks.

But I am back on my med cocktail and I am going to update today. I am still very tired but I’ve got to get back in the saddle and stop being a useless slug.

MP of the week: Aron Silverman

This week’s featured missing person is Aron Holmes Silverman, a 17-year-old boy who disappeared from Norfolk, Virginia on June 5, 1993. He went to a party that night, left with a dancer he’d met, and was never seen again.

His case is still classified as a runaway, due to his age and due to the fact that he was having some problems in his life: drug usage, parents separated etc. But it would be very unusual for a teenager to run away and not contact his family for almost THIRTY YEARS now. Unless things were VERY bad at home.

I hope Aron is still alive. If he is he’d be 46 today. In 1993 he was 5’10 and 130 pounds, but he might have grown taller since then. He has blond hair, blue eyes and numerous brown moles.

I hope everyone is ok. I’m sorry for my lack of activity, I’ve been very sick. My stomach again.

MP of the week: Angela Kelton-McManes

This week’s featured missing person is Angela LaDawn Kelton-McManes, a 43-year-old woman who disappeared from Jai, New Mexico on May 14, 2019.

She needs medication for her diabetes and she left behind things it wouldn’t make sense to leave behind, including her glasses and her only bra. But because she had been known to travel before for weeks at a time, she wasn’t reported missing for a month.

Kelton-McManes has several distinctive tattoos, but I don’t have any photos of them. She’s small, just 4’11 and 90 pounds, with black hair and hazel eyes. She has ties to the cities of Henrietta and Wichita Falls in Texas. If still alive, she’d be about 46 now.

Oh, what I would do for a good night’s sleep

I haven’t really slept well since I was about twelve years old. That was when the bipolar thing got going and interfering with things.

For me, the issue isn’t so much falling asleep as staying asleep. I can go to sleep fine but many times I wake up after only three or four hours, no longer sleepy but just as tired as before. When it comes to sleep, 4+4 is not equal to 8.

I mean, it’s not always as bad as that. But right now it is. Unless under the influence of something, I can’t sleep a night (or a day) through. It would be nice if I could. Like, right if you offered me a choice between $100 in cash or going to sleep for like twelve hours straight and waking up feeling rested, I might very well pick the sleep option instead of the cash.

Of course it interferes with my work. My brain gets stupid. I find myself struggling to understand the articles I’m trying to summarize, making ridiculous mistakes, writing sentences that don’t make sense, writing in “Idaho” when I meant to write “Iowa” and so on.

Instead I find myself doing stuff that is a lot more passive, less intellectual labor. Like reading. Right now my thing is finding and posting insane and gross medical reports on Reddit. (Imagine squatting to pee and then 50 centimeters of your intestines suddenly falls out of you. Further imagine that you actually make a full recovery from this. That’s my kind of story.)

Then I feel ashamed and beat myself up for being lazy. But it’s just very hard to get anything productive done.

Yeah. I’m tired. Bipolar disorder sucks.

I’m sorry. I feel like I’m failing everyone.

MP of the week: Richard Reid

This week’s featured missing person is Richard Allen Reid, a 61-year-old man who disappeared from Missoula, Montana on July 21, 2020. That day he quit his job without warning, left a goodbye message for his family, and vanished.

I do not know the text of the goodbye message, its form (like, a note or a voicemail or what) or whether it was goodbye in the sense of running away or in the sense of suicide. Of course, sometimes it’s hard to tell one from the other. Suicide notes rarely explicitly say, “I am going to kill myself.” It’s worth noting that Reid has a history of depression and might have been suicidal when he disappeared.

If still alive, Richard Reid would be 63 years old today. He has two tattoos, including a distinctive one on right middle finger of a cross and five hatchmarks.

Sorry about missing last week. Really not feeling great. Stupid brain.

I hope all of you are doing ok

You guys are very kind, with the nice comments and the donations and everything. I don’t say that enough.

I was 23 when I started this blog. I am 36 now. That’s a very long time in Internet Years. I wouldn’t still be writing this blog if it weren’t for the readership/comments. I don’t have to do much comment moderation because most of the time you guys are respectful, even in disagreement.

So I hope you all had a good holiday weekend and that you are as happy as this crazy world allows you to be. I hope you are all staying safe and will never go missing.

Read a book about an old missing persons case

So the other night I read Pearl: Lost Girl of White Oak Mountain by Bill Yates, about the 1923 disappearance of three-year-old Pearl Turner from rural Arkansas. In spite of a widespread search and many false leads, she was never found. The book does a pretty good job telling the tale of her disappearance, and the author’s conclusions as to what happened are at the end.

Unfortunately I can’t add Pearl to Charley. I’m not sure I would anyway, given that the case is close to 100 years old and no one is investigating it anymore. (I mean, I did add the quite similar case of Hickle “Dick” Ware, but he disappeared fifteen years after Pearl did and I had a law enforcement agency for the case.) But I can’t because there are no photos of Pearl available. The little girl on the cover of the book isn’t her, only a child who strongly resembled her and was for awhile thought to be her.

I think Pearl just never had any pictures taken of her. She came from a sharecropper’s family and was one of several children. Portraits were probably an unaffordable luxury to them. (Sharecroppers were people who had no land of their own and farmed someone else’s land in exchange for a portion of the crop they produced. They were very poor.)

It’s not too bad a book anyway, especially if you’ve got Kindle Unlimited and can read it free with your subscription.

I haven’t been feeling very well. Right now my bipolar pendulum has got me in a depressive fit, and even knowing it’s just my brain not working right does not make it feel any better. I’m struggling to get much of anything done. Even standard activities of daily living.

MP of the week: Julie Englehart

This week’s featured missing person is Julie Danielle Englehart, a 47-year-old woman who disappeared with her husband, John Wade Roberts, also 47, and their daughter, 9-year-old Brooke Addison Roberts, from Hesperia, California in October 2019.

Julie called a relative on October 6 and said she’d found a job and the family was in the process of moving. She said she’d call back the next day, but never did, and no one saw or heard from her or her husband or child again. They weren’t reported missing until 2021.

That’s all the info there is to report, unfortunately. The family was just… gone.

If still alive, Julie and John would be fifty years old today and Brooke would be twelve. I hope they’re still alive.

Circumstances can be misleading

So, the now-resolved case of Desiree Thompson on the Charley Project used to start off like this:

Thompson was last seen in the 20900 block of 83rd Street in California City, California on January 7, 2012. In the early morning hours she had had a domestic violence incident with her estranged husband, Edward “Face” Gibson III, where he showed up at her door and pointed a shotgun at her.

At 10:00 a.m., Thompson’s mother tried to call her but was unable to reach her, and so came to her apartment. She found Thompson at home but very frightened, with furniture stacked against the apartment door. Thompson’s mother offered to take care of her children until Thompson could get the situation sorted.

Then later that day she disappeared, and so did her husband. It was sort of assumed, under the circumstances, that he must have kidnapped or murdered her. Certainly he sounds like a dangerous individual.

Well, the assumption was wrong. Edward Gibson may not be the nicest person, but he didn’t kill his wife. Desiree, it turns out, was the victim of a random predator who got mad at someone else and decided to take it out on her, a complete stranger whom he happened to see walking down the street minding her own business. Quite a disturbing story.