Got the pukes again

Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome sucks. I took my dog for a long walk yesterday and came home thirsty. I drank. Half an hour later I suddenly felt a certain kind of way, and…

I’ve learned there’s nothing to be done but wait these episodes out. Drink fluids to keep dehydration at bay but expect that anything that goes down will probably come back up. It doesn’t matter whether I consume anything or not: it comes back up, and when there’s nothing I will throw up nothing.

I try to live anyway. It’s just that other people get concerned. I was in physical therapy for my arm (desk worker’s shoulder) during the last episode and I actually had to puke during a session. I apologized, sat down, whipped out my bag and emptied my stomach. Then after it was empty continued retching with tears coming down my cheeks, my whole body trembling, as the physical therapist stared bug-eyed. Then I recovered, put the bag down and resumed my physical therapy exercise.

Today I’ve not puked yet but I know I am going to. I drank a whole bottle of water while out with the dog today and can feel it in there. Waiting.

It’s so exhausting as well. After an episode of puking I often drag myself to the bed, soaked in sweat, shaking, and just lie there.

Here’s a picture I took today of Patrick on his walk. He loves the pond. The big geese swam in front of the goslings and honked at him: “Come at me, bro!” He wisely decided to keep his distance.

Patrick encounters a family of geese

I am trying to cultivate my fur-son’s budding interest in nature as Michael and I have noticed he’s been better behaved at home since he’s started visiting the pond and nearby park area to hunt for critters. Ever since he caught a mouse last week he’s been obsessively hunting for more furry friends. No carnage results; he let the mouse go unharmed.

It seems like we ought to at least try

I hope everyone is doing ok. I’ve been very depressed these last few months but I start psychotherapy again tomorrow. I’m really hoping that will help.

I’ve just been really struggling to get anything done. Tired all the time, too tired to do much, but at the same time not sleepy. Then I feel like a useless slug for my lack of productivity and get even more depressed.

Today is the first day in a bit that I’ve felt well enough to get anything properly done. Instead of just lying there playing on my phone and feeling horrible.

I found a report of an awful case in Nepal where a four-year-old girl was walking home from school through the woods when a 16-year-old boy, who also attended her school, grabbed her and attempted to sexually assault her. He didn’t get very far, just lifted her dress when she screamed and he slashed her throat and ran away. Fortunately the wound was relatively superficial, as far as attempted murders go, and the girl survived. The report, titled “Futile Sexual Homicide in Nepal“, describes her injuries and the treatment in medical detail with photos. Considering the resource-poor setting, I thought they gave the girl very good care.

I was quite appalled that someone as young as sixteen was going around already trying to rape and kill little girls. I mean, I’ve heard about this sort of thing before, but I get appalled every time.

I posted the report on Reddit, and remarked that the offender needed psychological treatment very badly and he needed it now. Then I had a few people saying I seemed disturbingly concerned about the offender’s well-being, as opposed to the victim’s.

I look at it from a utilitarian perspective: the girl got the help she needed, now we must help this boy. Because they can’t keep him locked in prison forever — even life terms in Nepal are fixed at 20 years — and it would be nice if, when he got out, he was less dangerous than when he came in. I know juvenile sexual offenders can sometimes be salvaged with appropriate treatment and become law-abiding and productive adults with normal sex lives. It would benefit the community as well as this boy if he were to get treatment.

I can understand the reaction, though, because of the brutality of the attack on the little girl. It does make you want to throw away the key.

And sadly, because of the aforementioned resource-poor setting, I doubt the boy is going to get the kind of treatment he needs to contain his urges to attack people. So his life will go down the drain, more or less, and he’ll try to take more people with him. Very sad situation.

Most people weren’t yelling at me about my concern for the boy, though. They were just mad that I said the attack on the four-year-old was carried out by “another child” and they were expecting like an eight-year-old, not a sixteen-year-old. I should probably have said “teenager.” I will make a note of this.

And now, in the missing persons news:

  1. Somebody in Texas is claiming to be Diamond Bradley, a three-year-old girl who disappeared with her ten-year-old sister Tionda from Chicago back in 2001. I doubt this is the real Diamond, but presumably this will be investigated.
  2. The police will start searching a reservoir tomorrow, trying to find the body of Madeleine McCann. Suspect Cristian Brueckner had visited the reservoir. I don’t know if they have an specific reason to think Madeleine’s there, besides the fact that he had visited.
  3. In New Zealand, there will be a hearing to decide whether John Breckenridge and his eleven-year-old stepson Mike Zhao-Breckenridge, are dead or not. John picked up his stepson from school in 2015 and a week later they found the car in the ocean surf; it had gone off a cliff. No bodies. Mike’s mother hopes he’s still alive.
  4. Christine Lester has been identified. The young Navajo woman, who was 24 when she disappeared in 1987, was found lying on the side of a rural road in California just sixteen days after she was last seen. Her murder is still an open investigation.
  5. Peggy Anne Sweeten‘s husband James, who as far as I know is the only person of interest in her disappearance, has killed himself. This may or may not be connected to the discovery of a burn barrel which may or may not have contained Peggy’s remains.
  6. Because there is no justice in this world, Ronnie Busick is somehow out of prison despite his involvement in the murder of four people and the kidnapping and rape of two of them. I’ve written before about my thoughts on the Freeman/Bible case. My opinions have not changed.
  7. It’s been five years since the abductions of Luis and Kahmila Ramirez, though this is the first I’ve heard of the case. It was a family abduction case. The kids were in foster care and their parents, Luis Herrera-Ramirez and Andrea “Vanessa” Ramirez, kidnapped them during a supervised visitation. They may be in Mexico.
  8. Patrick Michael Combs has been located. Cattle ranchers in Washakie County, Wyoming found his skeletal remains.

Not sure what’s going on with the Internet

There probably won’t be a missing person of the week or update today as the Internet has been on and off, mostly off, all day. The longest it’s been on was like twenty minutes. I’m writing this on my cell phone using data, cause that’s the only thing that’s reliably connected.

We aren’t sure what’s going on but if it keeps up tomorrow we’ll have to make a service call.

So that’s that.

One of the few online hobbies I can still indulge in with only a phone is Reddit posting. The last year or so I’ve been posting a lot of Medical Gore. I started out specializing in neglected cancers (and they’re still a big hit) but have branched out quite a bit since then.

Today I put up a bear mauling, an inflamed eye that had to be removed, a cancerous scrotum which also had to be removed, and a bunch of squamous cell carcinoma surgeries and reconstructions. Other highlights for the past week include a teratoma, gastroschisis (a congenital defect where a baby is born with its organs leaking out of a hole in its abdomen, surprisingly survivable), an exploding tire that took out a guy’s eye, a thing called a giant orf that I had never heard of before I found the case report, two nasty snakebites and an honest-to-god REAL vaccine injury where a patient got necrotizing fasciitis caused by the fact that the vaccine vial had been partially used and then left out for a week before being injected into the patient.

I’ve also recently added a bunch of historical photos from the Library of Congress website to some historical subreddits.

I really wanted to update Charley but I am at the mercy of the connection.

Patrick the office dog update

I thought I would put up an update on how the Charley Project’s latest employee, the official Office Dog, Patrick, whom I adopted in December.

Last week I happened to stumble across an article about the rescue of the specific group of South Korean meat dogs that Patrick was in. (I believe it was his group based on the fact that the location and dates of his behavioral evaluation papers the shelter gave me match the details in the article.) After I read it I started sobbing–not just out of sadness at what Patrick had endured, but out of happiness that he is so happy now.

Patrick is a beacon of joy and it’s difficult to imagine that he came from a traumatic background. He is ridiculously happy and enthusiastic about everything he does at home with us, and while out on walks with me. I think he must feel like the luckiest dog on earth, to have come from where he came from, and to now be an indoor dog with a family and toys and stuff. We are having private sessions with a trainer and the trainer thinks he’s making a lot of progress.

That said, there have been significant challenges. It is my fault basically: I was unprepared for the reality of having an adolescent dog. Patrick may be a year old but that’s young for a dog his size, and due to the fact that most of that year was spent crammed into a tiny cage, he never got a chance to stretch his legs (literally or figuratively) and start testing boundaries before.

When he gets super excited he’s a tornado and it’s a little bit dangerous because he’s a fifty-pound animal with impressive native athletic abilities in terms of jumping, etc. The other day my husband and I went out for two and a half hours and when we came home he was so happy to see us he ran the length of the house full tilt several times, ricocheting off of furniture and us, sliding across the laminate floor and crashing into walls. Patrick also still doesn’t get along with the cats because he violates their personal space and doesn’t understand that they don’t want to be his friends. Basically, the trainer says he’s immature and I need to guide him and give him the opportunity to make good behavioral choices.

I had not wanted to start crating him because of his background but have changed my mind. Now I am saving up money to buy a large and really sturdy crate, the kind for big dogs who are major chewers. Until then, Patrick wears his harness indoors to make it easier to control him, and he spends most of his time in either the office or the bedroom with me, the door shut, so the cats can have the main areas of the house to themselves without having to worry about being bothered.

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.