1. Well, we are fast approaching Day 21! This is traditionally where I tend to slip and fall, for any number of reasons. But not this time, right? The chronic pain is just that.....chronic pain. No cannabis to ease that, and narcotics are a non-starter, so it is NSAID and occasionally a muscle relaxer. Hurts like hell though, and in the same places as it did prior to my C-spine fusion. Kind of concerns me there! Going to look into getting in to see my ortho doc before I go into the VA in 9 days, to see what he might think. Or, maybe I will just let the VA handle things. Go in and get a complete tune-up! Lots of work will be going into taking care of head, that's for sure! I feel like I have an advantage this time, though. Getting the PTSD treatment as well as the substance dependency disorder dealt with at the same time, instead of piece-meal.

    Also, I tend to think that the insomnia is more a result of the pain rather than from the cannabis withdrawal, although I am equally sure it (the cannabis and current lack thereof) is still playing a small part in that. But that being said, I dosed up on the NSAID and flexaril before I went to bed and slept pretty good. By "pretty good" I mean I only woke up once or twice in 6 hours, but a good 4 hours of that was solid, deep sleep. So I woke up feeling better. Still hurts, but over-all, better. Well, just got the call back from the neck and spine guy. Booked up. Figures! So I guess I will deal with it at the VA. Not super enthused about VA health care, but maybe this place will be different.

    Still working on keeping myself occupied to hold the demons at bay. I have to be careful and balance activity and frustration, though. Otherwise, it just defeats the purpose! Slow and steady. I have a ton of stuff I need to do too. But.....it gets done or it doesn't. No worries! Yesterday went well, I got up and made breakfast for everyone and then we went out to do some furniture shopping. The youngest daughter needed a new dresser (so she claims) so we got that, and then the wife thought I might need a new desk, because this one, quite frankly, sucks. Just a cheap pressed wood corner desk that has been moved several times and is pretty much held together with gorilla glue and hope. It works for what I need it for, but she doesn't like it at all. So, I ended up with a 1200.00 dollar "L" shaped desk with the hutch full of cubbies for all my stuff. Of course, she pulled the woman card and justified it by saying "it's on sale". Which it was. About 500.00 cheaper than original pricing. So, now I have a REAL desk for my office, rather than a Wal-Mart special. Nothing like retail therapy to make you feel better, I guess. Now al I need is a new computer for my games, and all will be right in the world!

    After that adventure, we took the kids home and dropped them off, then headed back out ourselves. Went back to the local indie theater (The Kress, that I talked about here last week), grabbed some food-I had their version of a Cubano sandwich while she had a Tuscan Flatbread-got some drinks and settled in. This time, instead of the margaritas, I decided on a "Dark and Stormy" which is rum infused with 5 different Chinese herbs and mixed with lemon juice and ginger beer. Pretty damn good! It was pretty empty, so seating was excellent, and we watched "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri". Once again, a really good movie, and I cannot recommend it enough. Definitely NOT for kids though, mostly because of language. Funny and sad, all at the same time. Woody Harrelson was great in this flick!

    Anyway, the countdown has started. 9 more days until I drive myself over to South Dakota and get checked in. 8 weeks there and then the drive back, hopefully with a better head after all of this work I am putting into it. I am hoping my memory will improve somewhat after several months of not using cannabis. Maybe get a few new tools in my toolbox for dealing with this PTSD in a more constructive manner. I have to find positive ways to deal with my stress and anger, because it seems like I get really angry over the stupidest things and the situation just blows up. The stress and frustration feeds the anger like gasoline on a fire. I am somewhat concerned about being gone for 8 weeks though. I will have to take some of my work with me, because I'm really the only one that can do it. And I have things that have to be done on a monthly basis, no matter what else may happen. Don't know what I will do without my dog. I'm sure I will take advantage of day passes and weekend passes to come back home, but it is not the same. I already told these people that I have to come back on April 22 because I have something going on that absolutely cannot be canceled, so we will see what happens with that. Even if I have to leave, drive straight here, do my thing and drive straight back.....this VA facility is only 5 hours away. But that is then and this is now. And right now, I just need to get through this day!

    About Author

    Mick Mouse
    "Survivors seem to function best when peril is close at hand!"
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  1. Reasonable
    Greetings, Sir Mick of Mouse!

    Congratulations on 21 Days!

    That chronic neck, shoulder and back pain sounds just about unbearable. Here's hoping they can manage to treat it at the VA
    for you so that you can get some long due relief. For battling insomnia, if you only woke up once or twice in 6 hours and got a solid 4 hours straight, that's good news man. I don't remember all the specifics top of mind, but I remember reading that in the sleep cycle something resets every so often that's released in the brain and can make the difference in waking up feeling exhausted or feeling rested, depending on where in the cycle it was when you woke up. I hear ya on the learning to balance activity and frustration because that's a challenge for me too. I can tie up a lot into whether something gets done how and when I plan so it's frustrating if it doesn't.
    I like your mantra of "it gets done or it doesn't. No worries!" and might have to adopt that one too if you don't mind.

    Nice! A real desk for the office. Now you're cooking with gas. One of those nice L-shaped desks with all the extra storage space too? And you saved $500? And got one for the kid, too. Good stuff, man. Sometimes getting something new that you needed like that can make a real difference. Retail therapy, indeed! I like that one. Ha. Well, if all you need now for all to be right with the world is the new computer for your games, I think it's high time a certain pencilneck at the local computer repair shop gets his invoice which just happens to be the exact amount after tax for the new gaming computer! I'm only kidding, not trying to stir up trouble but that one was just too hard to resist. But seriously, I wonder what the chances are he'd go for it if you proposed for all the trouble he caused he could take care of the gaming computer and all would be square? Or at least let you use his employee discount or half off or something. I don't know. Seems like that would only be right.

    "Dark and Stormy" looked like it could be considered as much of a meal as a drink with all those different herbs! It actually sounds pretty damn refreshing though. I'll have to try one.

    "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri" with Woody Harrelson. Thanks for the recommendation! I don't think I ever met a Woody Harrelson film that I didn't like. The last one I saw was "Gold" a few months back and I thought his performance was masterful. I really enjoyed it. You see that one? It would be a good one to watch with the lady.

    Speaking of which, I'm glad you and the lady mouse had a quality evening out on the town.

    So only 9 more days and then it's South Dakota for the 8 weeks. I bet your dog will wag its tail like never before when you get back from the trip. Only 5 hours away? That's not too bad. At least it's not Siberia during the Winter or somewhere crazy.

    Bravo on already deciding what your goals are to get out of this experience in advance, with "a few new tools in my toolbox for dealing with this PTSD in a more constructive manner." I must say I'm impressed because that's a very mature, smart and responsible attitude to have going into it. With that type of approach to it, you should definitely find at least a few.

    Well, it was a pleasure to read how things are going on your side and I hope you have a great one today!

    They say 21 days is enough to get a new habit started don't they? Well, hopefully it starts to get even easier from here on out!

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