My Brain Hurts.


I am more of less recovered from the Shingles attack of the last two weeks. At least visually.

I had gone into the pharmacy (mine) to see if there was ANYTHING I could put on my skin to soothe the skin. The pharmacist there did the pharmaceutical version of run screaming for the door. He stood WAY back behind the counter and kept repeating “No, I can’t help you…. No, I can’t help you…”

Okay, I am “contagious” if I touched someone and they came in contact with the crusty stuff from the sores. I can’t give anyone Shingles. They COULD get Chicken Pox in the rare event that 1) I ran up and hugged them or rubbed my head on their face and 2) they had never HAD Chicken Pox or been vaccinated or 3) their immune system was down and or they were pregnant.

In this case, I was keeping well away from people, not touching them and not touching anything I wasn’t going to purchase. I didn’t even allow them to touch my bank card which I swiped myself and I was wearing a glove when I keyed in my account number.

But Cripes, the pharmacist acted like I was going to leap across the counter, kiss him and infect him.

So… I went to my mother’s pharmacy and asked them there. The pharmacist showed me an ointment, Cicaplast, ($$$) which is made for people who have had bad burns or are recovering from skin peels. He kept his distance and I kept mine.

Cicaplast works nicely, BTW. The skin on my eyelid almost immediately became less red and tender, the “wrinkled” appearance from the horrendous swelling diminished, and the forehead redness was almost gone in the morning.

I did get off rather easy in the “excruciating pain” department, with the exception of a single repeated spasm under my right cheekbone which was somewhat painful.

Now, however, I have a persistent pain the shoots between the corner of my right eye and my temple. Feeling not unlike what I imagine being stabbed in the temple with an ice pick, it is really debilitating. Luckily, it isn’t ALL the time but does give way sometimes to the painkiller I was given (Talwin). Unfortunately, the Talwin doesn’t always DO anything.

Sometimes it knocks me flat on my back (on a rare occasion) and other times I can’t go to sleep at all. I have had to resort to taking Gravol (an over-the-counter anti-nausea medication) and the Talwin if I want to get something resembling a reasonable night’s sleep.

What tis beginning to worry me a bit more is the fact that I seem to be having sudden problem with my ability to do puzzles, particularly one that I have been reasonably good with up until that last few days. I play Scramble on Facebook . Scramble is a grid of letters and you have to try and make as many words as you can in a short amount of time.

I play constantly and have managed to rack up a score of 249. More often than not, I was getting in the 130 to 140, with the odd game just over 100. Now, I can’t seem to “see” the words. I can get a number of three or four letter words but sometimes I can’t even get more than a few of those.


When the game finishes and I see the list of words I could have gotten, I am stunned because even when looking a the board with the list of words, I have a hard time “seeing” them. It takes me a bit of time to follow the letters and find the word. And when I do, I am misspelling them or at least mixing up the letters (trio comes out tiro).

Maybe I need to just stop and let my brain rest. I am just hoping what is going on it temporary.

PhotoHunter: Words

Back around 2004, I saw a documentary about tattoos and tattooing. One of the people they interviewed was an artist, Shelley Jackson, who was writing a book… on people….

Her idea was to write a book and then have the words in the book tattooed on people. The only public representation of the book would be the “words”– the people on which the words were written. The book was to be titled “SKIN“.

I was fascinated by this idea and wrote to Shelley. I received an answer and an invitation to submit an official “resume”, a letter outlining why I wanted to participate and a brief bio. I did and then received a confirmation that I was to be a word in the book.!

Almost two years elapsed from the day I sent in my request to the day I received by word. It was only 3 days later that I “became” “preserve”…




me as the word

me as the word

The word was very carefully chosen by Shelley. In ny “resume” I talked about my work in history research involving Indian Residential Schools; my interest in genaeology; the fact that in many ways, my past had been hidden from me by the actions of my birth father in preventing contact between me and my siblings; and other things which revolved around the idea of “preserving”. I had no idea, nor did Shelley, of what word she was going to give my until Shelley settled on the word “preserve” for me. I was lucky. Many more people would be assigned the words “and”, “to”, and “the”. Interestingly, many of those “words” felt a sense of appropriateness for the word chosen.

Once my word had been received from Shelly, I was to have it tattooed, in black, in a book font (no “fancy” script or lettering… no embellishment, no decoration), and uncapitalized unless the word was the fist word in the sentence. Evidence of the tattoo had to be submitted and the requirements were that there had to be a close-up image which showed that it was a tattoo not simply drawn on, a photo of the “word (the person who is the word, not the word itself, without the word being visible unless it was unavoidable), and the date on which the person became the “word”.

the evidence

the evidence

I would later (more than a year later, receive the only traditionally printed version of the story, a privately printed presentation copy for each participant. This book is only permitted to be read by the participants and the author and the only way anyone not involved in the project would be able to read the book would be if all the participants gathered and were grouped together and read in sequence. With almost 3000 words spread around the globe, no easy task….

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