Back. Sorry.

So I felt a bit burned out and it was Christmas and I thought I’d take a bit of time off, to correspond with my husband’s vacation time from his job. Then it turned out I was more burned out than I thought because it was hard to get going again.

Some people got concerned about me. Sorry. I am fine and didn’t mean for anyone to worry.

I had an okay Christmas although Snowmaggedon meant I missed both my and my husband’s Christmas Eve festivities.

Patrick the dog has been the biggest feature in the past month, as we are getting used to each other. A friend gave me an Embark doggy DNA test and Embark says Patrick is 100% Korean Village Dog, not a Jindo mix as the shelter had thought. Essentially he’s a mutt, but a particular type of mutt common in east Asia. I’m not surprised by the DNA result, since I knew he was a meat dog and KVDs are the most common kind of dog used in the meat trade in South Korea. If you Google info on the South Korean dog meat trade you’ll see lots of pics of dogs that look like Patrick.

He chews all kinds of things and I’m constantly having to remove forbidden items from his mouth. He even ate a windowsill! Things with him and the cats are… a work in progress I guess. They don’t like him and I don’t blame them, cause although he’s not aggressive he does get awfully obnoxious around them. He’s been swatted a bunch of times, but no claws yet.

Patrick will be seeing a trainer next week to get his behaviors under control. Wish us luck.

Soooo many missing people were located last year, so many bodies identified. I hope we have an equally good year in 2023.

Stay safe.

I think my office dog likes it here

So Patrick the Charley Project Dog has been here ten days and I think he likes it:

When not walking around grinning like a very happy doofus he’s being an exhibitionist:

He is QUITE the chewer and my husband and I have been forced to pick up most of our clutter lest he destroy it. I’ve gotten him a lot of dog toys and chews (rawhide, deer bones, pig ears etc), but his favorite toy seems to be a dollar-store Tupperware lid.

When not chewing he likes to annoy his cat sisters. He wants so much to be friends. And perhaps he could be, but he’s so darn pushy about it. He sees Aria or Viola and is like “FREN!!!” and goes gallumphing towards them wanting to sniff them all over and give them kisses, and they’re like “Hiss off, you big clumsy oaf.” They are not afraid of him but they ARE immensely irritated.

I plan to address both the chewing and the cat-bothering when I enroll him in obedience classes after Christmas.

Patrick is a very good boy and excellent company. He follows me from room to room. I’ve joined some online groups for Korean Jindo owners and apparently his temperament and friendly trusting nature are pretty unusual for a Jindo. He’s incredibly sweet and I’m absolutely smitten.

New office dog

After I adopted my previous dog, Kinsey, she became the official Charley Project office dog because she would hang out with me in my office when I worked. Kinsey passed away last year, shortly before her 17th birthday.

Well, now the Charley Project has a new office dog! His name is Patrick and he’s a Korean Jindo mix whom I adopted from Humane Fort Wayne on December 2. Korean Jindos are famous in South Korea but rare in the US. In preparation to select and adopt a new dog I read a book about dogs that had info on 100 different breeds, but the Jindo was not one of those. I’ve been getting most of my info on them from YouTube.

Patrick is about a year old. He was born on a meat farm in South Korea, and got picked up by a rescue organization and flown to the United States in May.

I think he must have had a stellar foster family prior to his adoption, because I highly doubt he was well socialized in his first months but he’s very well behaved, not aggressive, walks well on a leash, etc. When visitors come he barks at them but will stop after a little bit once he realizes they’re not here to kill us all.

Neither of the cats is all that happy about their new brother. Aria remembers Kinsey and doesn’t seem to be afraid of Patrick, just annoyed by him. Viola has never lived with a dog before and is hiding most of the time, and hisses at him during the face-to-face encounters they’ve had. But the cats will get used to him. Patrick for his part is mildly curious about them but nothing more.

So let’s all welcome Patrick to the Charley Project family. I think he will work out fine.

So about the guy who knows two people who are missing

I had posted earlier about how I accidentally stumbled across a possible connection between two cases that law enforcement might be unaware of, namely that both missing women were VERY well acquainted with the same man.

People were commenting asking if there would be an update. Well, I’ve notified the police in the respective jurisdiction but I don’t know if I’ll hear anything more about it. I just have to hope the police do their jobs and investigate this lead if they didn’t have the info already.

I am not sure if the man in question was actually the person responsible for these women’s disappearances. All I know is he knew both of them, and most people don’t even know ONE person who has disappeared without a trace, never mind two. I think it has to be one of three things:

  1. The man was involved in one or both disappearances.
  2. The man was not involved in the disappearances, but someone in his circle was.
  3. The disappearances are completely unrelated and the reason this guy was romantically involved with two people who were missing is because he has a “type”: vulnerable women who are much more likely than average to disappear. Both of the women were vulnerable, albeit in different ways.

So that’s kind of all I have to report for now. I hope the two police departments communicate and see if they can help each other out in these cases.

Unfortunately the nausea/vomiting thing has come back in the last few days. Michael and a friend and I went to visit the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and it was a very inconvenient time to get the sicks. But it’s not as bad as it was last time. Last time I was pretty much incapacitated. This time I was able to enjoy the aquarium, I just felt very uncomfortable, walked around clutching a plastic bag and once had to discreetly step into a corner and use it. I’m taking anti-nausea meds now and they’re working, I guess, since I haven’t brought anything up today, but I still feel very uncomfortable.

See you tomorrow.

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 these vomiting 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.

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.

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.

Sorry guys, my stomach has betrayed me again

Yeah, so between like Sunday night/Monday morning and yesterday I was, for the third time this year, laid up with some pretty bad nausea and vomiting. My prescription anti-nausea meds didn’t work. Things started to improve by Tuesday evening, but then at like 8:30 a power outage put paid to my plans to at least put up my missing person of the week, and I sat there in the dark and silent house until the power finally came back on at 4:30 a.m.

I think my stomach is better now — it’s been like 18 hours since I last puked — but I am getting seriously concerned about the increasing frequency of these episodes.

This happened before, you see. Readers might even remember me talking about it; for like a year or so, EXACTLY every three weeks I would be stricken with nausea and vomiting for days on end. Of course a specialist was consulted but he couldn’t find anything much. These episodes abruptly ended after I started taking hormonal birth control so I suspect it was a hormonal issue. But, well, I’m still on the Pill…

It is quite awful. I can sort of detach myself from pain, even quite severe pain, but nausea is not something I’ve ever been able to put out of my head. You just lie there thinking somebody up there really hates you.

And it’s all especially concerning in light of the medications I have to take for the bipolar thing. The situation snowballs. If I can’t keep anything down, I can’t keep those meds down, but if I go off them for very long at all the consequences are not good. For example, I’ve had like three hours of sleep in the last 24, despite being quite exhausted, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I was off my meds for several days in a row. I finally was able to restart last night.

Anyway.

I am going to try to put an update in, since sleep doesn’t seem to be on the menu. Might as well try to get something productive done.

I apologize for my absence before.

Not all forgetting is bad

I was raped on June 16, 2009. I was beaten, choked, held against my will for two hours, and during that time sexually assaulted. It was horrific.

I’ve written about this online before, starting right happened and then through the investigative process and recovery. It was pretty awful. The entire month of June would be ruined, every year, for quite a few years. And even after the horror of it started to fade, it would still hit me sometimes. A scene in a movie. A face in a crowd. And then the whole experience would slam into me.

After the man who did it was deported to Sudan and the story finally felt over, things improved. I stopped thinking about it so much.

And the other day, I was looking at the calendar, and suddenly thought, “The anniversary of the attack. I missed it. I forgot. Cool.”

Three cheers to forgetting.

The Uvalde police are really bothering me

I’ve got nothing to say about their horrific bungling of the massacre in Uvalde that hasn’t already been said by someone smarter than me, really. But the lack of courage and empathy shown by those cops (who aren’t cooperating with the Texas state investigation into their failures, who have repeatedly made statements to the media that were later proven to be untrue, whose chief has said he won’t answer families’ questions till the families “quit grieving”), and the rampant dishonesty and impunity they’ve showed is very troubling to me.

Because my job kind of requires me to depend on the honesty of cops. Most of the information I get on the missing persons cases, comes from police. I don’t have much of a choice there.

So many times I’ve heard from families of missing people saying the cops don’t care, they tell untruths to the media about missing persons cases, the cops didn’t investigate the case and the family has had to do most of the legwork themselves.

I’m doing the best I can but I find myself sitting here wondering if I’m part of the problem too. And I don’t know how to fix it if I am.