Just when you think that you’re down and out

I’ve got some concerned emails from people asking what’s going on, on account of I haven’t updated and blogged for two and a half weeks. Well, I haven’t decided to give up Charley or anything like that. And I’m okay. Well, kind of.

At Nick’s visitation I was starting to feel the beginnings of a cold. It considerably worsened and I wound up missing his funeral as  a result. Didn’t want to spread my germs around to the other attendees. I spent the next several days in bed, quite miserable.

I went to a doctor at one point and asked for prescription cough syrup, because I couldn’t sleep for coughing and spoonfuls of honey (my usual remedy) had absolutely no effect. I requested a specific type of cough syrup, because as far as I know it’s the only kind that doesn’t taste terrible. (Mind you, it doesn’t taste great, either, but it’s possible for me to swallow without gagging and grabbing a handful of Saltines and stuffing as many in my mouth as  I could.) Well, no dice. For some reason the doctor refused to give me that cough syrup and prescribed some other type that tasted terrible. It did take care of my cough though and I suppose that’s what matters.

While I was dealing with the cold I basically didn’t eat for several days. I tend to stop eating when I’m sick — no appetite.

Then, once I got better from the cold, I couldn’t keep anything in my stomach. I thought perhaps my blood sugar had gone haywire from the previous four days’ fasting, which tends to happen to me and it causes nausea, but (A) it never had this duration and (B) when it happens, I just have to bring it up once and then feel much better. Not this time. Most of last week I could keep nothing down. Whatever I ate, be it spaghetti or an Egg McMuffin or the standard Stomach Flu Diet of Saltines and ginger ale or just pop, up it came again, though not necessarily immediately. On Sunday Michael and I went out to have dinner with his parents for his dad’s 70th birthday, and all I had was a glass of water. I’ve lost five pounds this month already. The thing is, the whole time I was terribly hungry and couldn’t think of anything but food, but when presented with something, even if it was one of my favorite foods, I’d only be able to eat like three bites, max, before I’d shove it away.

As regular readers know, I have several mental conditions and take a number of psychiatric drugs — four of them — to keep them in check. After a day or two of all that I decided to stop wasting my meds and just not take them till all this blew over. I know you’re not supposed to do that but I saw no alternative. I was basically throwing the pills away and I didn’t want to waste them or have them contaminate the water supply. (I’m open to suggestions on how to address this for the next time I encounter this issue.)

Well, I’m over the stomach flu or blood sugar thing or whatever was making me so sick but now, re: my medications (though I restarted them yesterday), I’m paying dearly for missing so many days.

I can’t get anything done. It took several days for me to even get the ability to sit down and write this. I’m the house-girlfriend, meaning one of my functions is to keep the house reasonably tidy, and I just…can’t do it right now. I’ve got the usual anxiety. Small things, or even problems that have been settled long ago, keep freaking me out. The other day while Michael and I were lying in the dark after we went to bed, I started begging him to forgive me for the fact that we are never going to have children and because of me his branch of the Lianez family is going to die out. (Something Michael has known and accepted for around eight years.) So the house becomes a bigger and bigger mess, and I feel overwhelmed even thinking of trying to make it right, so I wind up just sitting there staring at the couch for ages, and more stuff piles up.

Friday I went across the street to my friend S.’s house (she of the lambskin gloves), almost in tears, asking her to help me with the dishes. I though if she could just help me get started, or tell me exactly what to do, I could get the ball rolling again. She basically told me to stop running away from my problems, and the fact I couldn’t get off my rear end to get basic housework done was no concern of hers, and she had her own dishes to do. She sent me away. Although S. didn’t actually say it her whole message was basically “beep off.” I wasn’t sure whether she was mad at me or whether she was trying to point out (in her typical acerbic manner) that my present course of (in)action was unproductive. Well, last night I went to see her again and all was well. It turned out both of my theories were wrong: she’d been dealing with a severe headache when I showed up and was grumpy. Certainly I know how that goes.

I don’t know why I’m telling you guys as this. Even to me it sounds like an excuse to slack off my Charley duties. I feel pretty guilty about that. I think I it owe you all to keep working for as long as I’m able. Though I haven’t got much in terms of monetary rewards (new computer and Lions Club donation aside), you guys have no idea how much your support has meant to me over the past six-plus years. And it makes me feel good to tell the stories of MPs. Even if they never get located I want people to at least remember who they were.

I feel like I’m letting you down and have been for a long time.

I’m not sure how long it will take my medicine to become effective again. Hopefully just a few days. I tend to respond to med changes pretty rapidly — though the downside is when they inevitably stop working, my mood tends to fall as quickly as it rose. Once I feel better I’ll start resuming updates. Should be within a week anyway.

In the meantime you’ll have to content yourself with this Executed Today entry for 19th-century Arizona murderer Dennis Dilda, and these pics taken today. One is a selfie; the other two were taken by S.

If Kaine/Viola/whatever their name is comments again that I look like someone from the 1950s, I suppose in this instant he/she might be right. Calf-length plaid skirts are hardly the height of fashion. But I like them.

feb-16-2016FullSizeRender (2)





39 thoughts on “Just when you think that you’re down and out

  1. lyndserbelle February 16, 2016 / 2:10 pm

    Glad to have you back! I’m sorry you’ve been so sick; we have been too, but not to that extent. Please don’t feel like you’re letting any of your readers down. We just love this site so much. I hope you feel like your old self again soon.

  2. Mary Jordan February 16, 2016 / 2:20 pm

    I am glad you feel better. And by the way you look beautiful.

  3. HennyLee February 16, 2016 / 2:59 pm

    I am glad to “hear” from you 😊 I assumed with all that was going on with your family you needed sometime. Sorry to hear it turned it to even more issues for you. Be patient with yourself… You will get back on track! Till then Charley and the like can wait…. It will all be there when you get back! 😊 Hang in there!

  4. JaneDoe Allenstown February 16, 2016 / 3:38 pm

    Be kind to yourself and feel better soon! You do an amazing job keeping these stories in the public eye.

  5. wendy February 16, 2016 / 5:08 pm

    I am glad you are starting to feel better. I was worried when we did not hear from you for so long, but it is better to get yourself better. Thank you for every thing you do.

  6. Kim white February 16, 2016 / 5:16 pm

    Pretty awesome job you do just saying ..

  7. Al February 16, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    Hope you’re feeling better soon. Anxiety is a horrible self fulfilling prophecy.

  8. drycamp February 16, 2016 / 8:48 pm

    You look so beautiful that it’s hard to believe you’ve been sick. Anyway get well!

  9. T baker February 16, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    Take your time getting back on here, whatever is best for you. Good luck.

    Btw, I had pretty much the same issue at the doc today. I’ve been up five nights straight with a horrible cough. The medication you asked for by name likely has hydrocodone in it, thus is controlled and maybe that’s why he wouldn’t prescribe it. I asked for it too, because it’s the only thing that works, and no dice. Glad the other one worked for you though.

    • Meaghan February 17, 2016 / 4:46 am

      I don’t know if you have tried this already but a spoonful of honey makes an excellent cough medicine, better than any OTC ones and some prescription ones. Plus it is cheap, doesn’t taste bad, doesn’t expire and has no side effects. It’s the only “folk remedy” I’ve found that is actually effective. I keep one of those teddy bear squeeze bottles in my medicine cabinet for just that reason.

      • Janny F February 18, 2016 / 9:49 pm

        Meaghan, even better is Honey/Whiskey/and Pure Lemon Juice. My dad always said the honey will help your cough, the lemon juice will give you a straight shot of Vitamin C, and the whiskey will help you sleep. Works for me.

  10. Catherine February 16, 2016 / 9:11 pm

    Take things one small task at a time. Piles and housework get my anxiety flaring, too. I’m glad you posted. Please take care. I like your necklace.

    • Meaghan February 17, 2016 / 4:55 am

      Thanks! It’s made of abalone shell. I got it off Etsy. You can find amazing bargains there. I got a red cashmere sweater for like ten or fifteen dollars and you couldn’t even tell it was pre-owned. Cashmere at that price is already a sweet deal but when I looked up the brand (Pringle of Scotland) I discovered their sweaters retail in the $600-$700 range! Since then I’ve called it my “seven-hundred-dollar sweater.” The pink sweater I’m wearing in the photo is also cashmere though I can’t recall what I paid for it. The skirt is Pendleton, another expensive brand that is really high quality.

      I hardly ever buy anything new or, if I do, it will be on sale. As my mom once said, on her tombstone she’d like to have it say “Never paid full price.”

  11. Janny F February 16, 2016 / 10:39 pm

    Seems the cough is all over the country. I sure have had my fill of it and being sick. Here’s hoping you feel like your old self soon. Good thoughts and feelings I’m sending your way.
    Please do not get anxious about the Charley Project. Work on it when you can and feel like it and when you don’t feel like it and/or can’t work on it, do not do not do not get anxious about it. That just adds to bad feelings.
    We can all wait, and when you need a break – take it. You do not have to answer to anyone about it.
    Thank you for all you have done, all you are doing, and all you will do. But do it in your own good time. You do not owe anybody your time, it’s yours.

  12. Amy February 17, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    You can only do what you can do. You do great works with Charley, but you are allowed to take sick time, vacation time, “I am not in the mood” time or whatever you need. YOU are the master (mistress) of you own domain. Your health is more important than anything. Take care of YOU first. We’ll wait.

    Also, there is nothing wrong with wearing what you feel comfortable in. I spend a lot of time trying to make my students, most of whom are on “the spectrum” realize that life is too short to worry about what others think about your clothing, as long as you are clean and appropriate (not wearing pajamas to school, not taking shoes off in the restaurant, bringing a coat when it’s freezing, etc) I am one who hates wearing anything the least bit binding or shoes with heals. That’s just me. I love that you are YOU.

    Feel better. Sending good mojo from Georgia.

    • Bill Baraby February 17, 2016 / 3:03 pm

      Looking good Meaghan. Nice to see you smiling! Rest up and chillax.

  13. Christine February 17, 2016 / 8:02 pm

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, relax! You have a very pretty smile and should more often!

  14. T.T. February 17, 2016 / 11:00 pm

    Oh, Meaghan. I wish I could give you a big hug. Being sick is no fun, especially on a chronic basis. Everyone needs some R&R. You do so much for this site and ask for so little in return; you shouldn’t beat yourself up over your so-called shortcomings. Nobody’s perfect and we are our own worst enemy. Also, your style is your style. Never let anyone, be it society, Hollywood or some obsessive stranger on the internet, tell you how you should look. Haters are going to hate. You have a lot of love around you (and support as well, even from us here at Charley Project!) and you keep on being you.

  15. Kat February 18, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Everyone has something right now, must be that time of year. I have a household full of sick people, I was ill last week and now my husband and son are both sick. Doctor’s appts. out the wazoo, which is the last thing I need. Sigh. Wishing for spring, and I don’t normally even mind winter that much.

  16. KT February 18, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Hey Meaghan. I wish I couldn’t relate to this post as much as I can, but everything from the incessant vomiting to overwhelming chores is a situation my mental health has put me in before. If your meds are the kind that really throw you for a loop if you miss a dose, and you can’t seem to hold anything down, you’re not feeling any physically better as you get mentally worse. I assume you have a psychiatrist. Talk to them about pills that melt in your mouth, like Zofran for nausea. When I was having anxiety attacks so bad that it felt like my stomach was contracting out of my body, I would have to take anxiolytics that dissolve under my tongue, otherwise I would never be able to keep it down. Cheers, and don’t worry about Charley… Gotta think of all your past successes when you’re feeling down in the present!

  17. D'Lil February 19, 2016 / 11:08 pm

    Hi ya Meaghan – chiming in with my free online advice. (check with your health care provider first!)
    for nausea/vomiting – take an OTC antihistamine or Dramamine

    basically any pill that you can swallow can also be given rectally if vomiting is an issue (coat it first tho!)

    Janny is spot- on with the hot toddy (I also add a cinnamon stick) however, due to your Rx you may not be able to have any alcohol

    honey is nature’s miracle! It has antibacterial properties and can be used on wounds too!

    also good for coughs/colds – horehound candy/lozenges, as well as elderberry syrup

    keep Pedialyte, Gatorade/sports drinks in your house as you need the electrolytes when puny like that (isn’t your sister a nurse?)

    For help with your anxiety/procrastination of housework/daily chores (not internet related) here’s your reading homework –

    (just finished this latest one from Joyce from the library, along with Dangerous Personalities, that one is by a retired FBI Special Agent)

    The Mind Connection: How the Thoughts You Choose Affect Your Mood, Behavior, and Decisions Kindle Edition
    by Joyce Meyer

    quit replaying those old tapes in your head, and make a chore a ‘must do’ for a certain time limit, and then reward yourself later with a certain amount of time doing your online work, shopping, social media. Flip your priorities, switch it around. You can do it!

  18. Jaclyn February 19, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Oh Meghan, you are loved and cared for and I believe I speak for all of us in that we were concerned about YOU, the fear young lady that has devoted herself unselfishly to MP’s for so many years. Take care of your health.
    I like your outfit… And you lovely smile.

  19. Jaclyn February 19, 2016 / 11:21 pm

    *DEAR young lady…(not “fear”)

  20. Sara Crewe February 21, 2016 / 6:15 pm

    Hi Meghan, relieved to see your post and hear that you are on the mend. Try not to get down on yourself for what you aren’t doing – it is a terrible motivational strategy because it just makes you feel worse and less able to do anything!! Think about what you want to do each day, and try your best to do it. I know how annoying it is when complicated health matters turn something routine into a maze of problems. Sounds like you have got this one back under control. Take your time and post when you are ready. Everyone is happy to hear you are OK.

    PS I love green and pink – it’s the best.

  21. Keelan February 22, 2016 / 8:57 am

    if you can play dress up, take selfies, and write a book over your absence, then I’m sure you can take one minute of your time to update missing person of the week. And remove the email option on here while you’re at it, because not everyone wants updates via email (I certainly don’t, I’ll come here myself), and not everyone wants to give out their email!

    • Meaghan February 22, 2016 / 9:10 pm

      I have a few things to say about that:

      Executed Today entries are not books and they are posted on the date the person was executed, not the date they were written. I wrote the Dilda entry last year sometime, I think.

      If you don’t want to leave your email, put in a fake one. Or just don’t comment. I don’t care. If you don’t want email notification of new posts, uncheck the box.

      The day those photos were taken was pretty much the only day that week I was able to get out of bed and get dressed. I am sorry that the photos offended you.

      I am writing this on my tablet in a hospital ER waiting to get a psych evaluation because my meds still aren’t working, I’ve had, without exaggeration, the worst weekend of my entire life, and my life is generally going down the toilet.

      But once I am able to return home, and after I sort out the enormous conflict going on between Michael and his parents and I because they think I am ruining his life and he feels torn between us, I will update the MP of the week. Just for you.

      • Mion February 23, 2016 / 5:46 pm

        How dare you have a life outside The Charley Project! You’re fired!

        Kidding aside, I’m sorry you’re having such a rough time. I’ve struggled with depression myself and I know how much it sucks when you have one of those weeks where life seems to take sadistic enjoyment in kicking you in the face. I hope you get better and that you and your doctors find a medication (or combination of meds) that works for you. You’re a smart woman, you’re stronger than you realize, and you’ll pull through this rut that you’re in. Take care of yourself.

    • Lauren February 22, 2016 / 9:58 pm

      Dude, calm down. What are you going to do, cut her pay?!? She doesn’t get paid to do this or to take any unnecessary crap. She is going through a hard time. Have some compassion.

    • Mion February 23, 2016 / 5:47 pm

      How about you suck a fat one, Keelan?

    • Karen February 23, 2016 / 7:56 pm

      Are you serious? If what she does on her own free time upsets you so badly perhaps you need to quit visiting this site. Normally I don’t reply to posts like this but your rudeness is unbelievable & I’m sorry Meaghan felt the need to explain anything to you.

    • SC February 26, 2016 / 10:30 pm

      There always has to be one of you, huh Keelan. DNFTT.

  22. Sara Minske February 23, 2016 / 3:58 am

    Wow, Keelan. Cut her some slack. I’d say she does more than we can reasonably expect her to when she feels 100%. She is open about what she’s dealing with and if you’re not satisfied with that, go start your own MP database. I usually don’t feed the trolls but your comment was seriously uncalled for.

  23. heather February 23, 2016 / 7:26 pm

    You look very pretty, Meaghan! Good luck (from a longtime lurker).

  24. Ed Wood February 24, 2016 / 6:24 pm

    Hope you feel better soon! Boy, that “friend” doesn’t sound like a very good friend. Real anger issues!

  25. Christine February 24, 2016 / 7:38 pm

    Your selfies are beautiful, keep posting them, we love them…… and we appreciate all your work and will always wait for you to update when you feel like it, not because you feel obligated or guilty. Your true fans here are concerned about you!

  26. Pghbekka February 25, 2016 / 1:37 am

    I’ve followed the Charley Project since its first incarnation as MPCCN, and I’ll always be grateful for your hard work and dedication that have kept it going. So sorry that you’ve had such a rough time of it lately, wishing you the strength to “hang on till the scenery changes.” Thanks for all you do!

  27. Megan February 26, 2016 / 5:03 am

    Just discovered your blog, I’m obsessed with it already. I hope your feeling better.. Oh also my sink is full of dishes too.. Oh well❤

  28. Angela March 16, 2016 / 12:01 am

    Well, aren’t you such a cutie? Nice to put a face with the name. And I like your style. If people say you look like you came from the 50s, just say thanks. I am a vintage addict, myself. Especially my jewelry. I get a TON of compliments and 99% of those compliments are from myself, in the mirror. That’s all that matters!

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