Showing posts with label Kink and illness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kink and illness. Show all posts

Friday, August 10, 2012

What happened to Natty?

As it's my blog's birthday ("does that mean there are spankings?" A. asked hopefully when I mentioned it to him the other day), I figured it's as good a day as any to post a brief update since my last post was over a year and a half ago. Plus, it might be interesting to see how many of you dear readers still subscribe to the RSS feed (I would have dropped me ages ago). Regular readers can probably guess rather easily as to what has caused the silence (and all the new visitors have had a big clue in the opening sentence of that last post from ever so long ago). Even in the giddy, Neurontin-fueled days of early 2005, I only had the energy to post once every week or two. With each passing year as I became sicker, the number of posts grew smaller (with the exception of 2008 when a hormonal treatment gave me a burst of energy that translated into a burst of posts that summer -- until I quickly used up all that extra energy). I managed to squeeze out a handful of posts in 2010 until finally I could no longer post after January 2011.

Not because I wasn't thinking about spanking anymore. When you spend a lot of time in bed not quite asleep but without enough energy to sit up, you spend a lot of time thinking. In addition to solving the Israel-Palestine conflict, considering ways to bridge the U.S political divide, and deciding how I want to decorate my apartment once I'm well enough, I've also spent my fair share of time thinking about our favorite subject. Mind you, there's been far less fantasizing about spanking than at probably any time in my life since I was, say, seven (instead I've fantasized about interior design and pajama fashion). On better days I have found myself thinking over just how I'm going to beat A. the next time he visits or trying to remember every detail of a typical over-the-knee spanking with A., beginning with his usual polite command of "bare bottom, please" to his sweet sigh of "Okay. All done." But most thoughts about spanking have been on the philosophical and theoretical side, some inspired by the thoughts of other spanko bloggers I read occasionally (and for whom I felt an insane amount of envy -- not just because you were healthy enough to be spanked but because you could also write about it). For several months I kept a list of the posts I wanted to write when I was well enough. But as the months kept passing and the list required multiple pages, I quit keeping it. I suppose some amount of despair played a part in that decision. And some post-topics were no longer timely. 

As I began to improve this spring, I started the list again. Indeed last November, knowing that improvement was coming, I even started a similarly-titled post to this one that I worked on paragraph by paragraph to explain what had happened (believe it or not, you're reading the shorter version). I had just transferred care to a new GP who makes house calls, which meant I would be able to pay off a bit of my energy credit card that had been maxed out on my apartment building's renovation, my sister's wedding, and lots of trips to the clinic to get my INR checked each week because of so many medication changes. But as the balance came down and I finally had a little energy again, the temptation to charge activities to that energy credit card was too much. Now I'm maxed out once again and in the midst of a nasty relapse that I'm slowly climbing my way out of. The problem with this disease isn't so much that it necessarily leaves you physically unable to do things; it's that it beats the shit out of you afterwards. 

There's more to what has happened to Natty (that's actually spanking related, I swear!), not to mention, I'd love to hear about what's been happening in the spanking blogosphere over the last two years -- what do you think has been the biggest change or event?. But writing, believe it or not, is the equivalent of running a sprint for me, not to mention my heart rate monitor alarm (aka The Bossy Nurse On My Wrist) keeps going off.* Don't even get me started on what Nanny/Nurse Bea would be doing...you know, if she existed...

Thank you to all of you who have visited over this long dry spell. There will be future posts to this blog (and at the Punishment Book). I just can't say when that will be. But then, given my penchant for attention-whoring, it's not such a bad thing for me sit back and read what other people are writing rather than needing people to read my probably-not-as-profound-as-I-think ruminations. Since I'm easing my way back into the spanking blogosphere, maybe you can share your favorite blog or tumblr that you've come across in the last year and a half or so in the comments section. You know, in lieu of birthday spanks (at least for the time being).

One last thing: Reading the depressing ramblings of a sick woman can, at least for some people, feel like an exercise in helplessness (not to mention, is so un-hot and just plain boring). But you're not as helpless as you might think. There are things you can do for me and other people with ME/CFS (or other chronic illnesses, for that matter) -- plenty of whom are also spankos: 
  1. Enjoy being healthy. There's a reason for the old cliche, I've still got my health. Once your health goes, everything else gets so much worse. And at some point, it probably will go since, according to a staff member at Independent Living Resources, 70% of people will be disabled at some point in their life (that is why we have programs for the disabled like Medicaid and Social Security, not because we're magnanimous people who care about the weakest among us). I know it's impossible to not take being healthy for granted. However at least, in this moment, be grateful if you can spank or be spanked. Leave your home. Take a shower every day. And not in the feeling-guilty-because-others-can't way. Simply really, truly treasure it. Every last sensual detail. 
  2. Learn more about ME/CFS. Appreciate that this is not just a benign condition of mere tiredness (and anyone who says that it is, is being disingenuous at best).  I think it's fair to say that every ME/CFS patient hates the assholes who came up with the name "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" in 1987 because it minimizes almost to the point of invalidating the horrible reality of this disease (it was a trans-governmental committee, which, I'm sure you'll agree, explains a lot). While I'm not sure if "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis" is the right name for this condition, I do know that this is a seriously painful, debilitating and, in some cases, potentially life-threatening (I've had blood clots in both lungs) multi-systemic disease that deserves not only better public awareness but also a moniker that better describes its severity. I mean, imagine calling Alzheimer's Disease "Chronic Forgetting Syndrome." And then hearing everybody say "oh, I think I have that" because they sometimes forget a name or misplace their keys.
  3. You can donate money -- and/or your talents -- to organizations like Simmaron Research, the CFIDS Association of America, or IACFSME in the US or Invest in ME, the ME Association, or Action for ME  in the UK** that are working to understand this condition and develop treatments but are woefully underfunded. While ME/CFS is, symptom-wise, quite similar to Multiple Sclerosis and Congestive Heart Failure -- on which the National Institutes for Health spent  $121 million and $1.2 billion respectively in 2011 -- ME/CFS is routinely among the diseases the NIH spends the least on, coming in at $6 million that same year (and the year before and even less the year before that).*** Good research with double-blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled studies cost insane amounts of money (which is one of the reasons research about ME/CFS is often of such poor quality) and every last dollar helps. A letter to your congress-person or MP about the lack of funding couldn't hurt either.
  4. I can guarantee there is a patient in your area who would think you are the incarnation of Mother Theresa herself should you offer any assistance to him or her (for instance, as someone who is completely housebound, I can also guarantee that housebound person in your area needs something from the store). Indeed you probably already have a friend with a chronic illness, and an ancient blog post, "50 ways to help a chronically ill friend" (originally posted at a blog called "Living with Fibromyalgia," which is now private, which is why I've linked to it on a blog about gastroparesis) is great in its specificity. Saying "let me know if you need anything" is almost certain to get you off the hook of ever helping him or her out. But if you actually do want to help, offer something specific like, say, oh...going to the store (am I being too passive aggressive? Should I just come out and say I need a list of shit from Ikea?). Seriously though, never being able to leave your home is incredibly isolating and just visiting will make their day. (Though I am serious about the Ikea list...you know, if you're in Portland and happen to be going...) Consider contacting a support group in your area, your local county government branch of Aging and Disability Services, or Meals on Wheels if you're looking for someone to help. 

Well, aren't I a wordy bitch? But then, sick people often are. Partly because we have trouble summarizing ourselves well. But also because being sick -- whether acutely or chronically -- makes you more self absorbed. Not because you mean to be. It's an evolutionary response to a threat. If you think you would be more considerate if you were sick, pay attention to what you're like the next time you're in the Emergency Room and that heart attack patient is seen before your tuberculosis-esque cough. Yep. I know. Those nurses are total bitches for seeing him before you!

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*A brief explanation (a 10-minute video) of why using a heart rate monitor can be helpful for ME/CFS can be found here, as well as in an article here at CFIDS & Fibromyalgia Self-Help. The CFIDS Association of America has a longer webinar about post-exertional malaise (or post-exertional neuro-immune exhaustion as it's called in the ICC diagnostic-criteria) and its relationship to significant metabolic impairment in ME/CFS. CAA also has a four-part series on post-exertional malaise that is loaded with helpful information for patients and non-patients alike.

**Some of these organizations are controversial in the ME/CFS patient community and, in many cases, the criticisms have some validity. However the politics are complicated and often pointless -- imho -- albeit fiercely contested by those who think otherwise.

***ME/CFS affects about 1 million patients in the U.S. compared to 250,000-300,000 with Multiple Sclerosis according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes. ME/CFS costs the US economy between $17-24 billion a year in health care, disability benefits, and lost wages and taxes according to a DePaul University study (though would be higher if many of those ME/CFS patients who applied for disability benefits didn't get turned down and, of course, if we actually had treatments for the disease). Congestive Heart Failure rates are similar at 1-2 million U.S. patients and, while I'm unsure of its cost to the national economy, I imagine it is significant. 



Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Dom Lord Something-o-ruther

I've decided that ME/CFS -- actually, ANY chronic illness -- is like a really jealous, demanding top. Not the sweet but strict sort like my beloved A., but rather like those doms who call themselves Lord Something-o-ruther and refuse to use safewords and say something is for your own good but really it's just to satisfy their own abusive sociopathology. The illness dom gives you an impossible list of rules (that he may or may not share with you) and if you fuck up in any way -- or even if you don't -- the Illness Dom will punish you. Savagely. And before you know it, you're never allowed to see your friends or spend time online because you belong to Lord Something-o-ruther and he jealously takes every moment of your time, every ounce of your energy, every breath of your being. The Illness Dom locks you in and takes the key with it, leaving you to watch as the life you could have drives off in a red pick up truck.

Okay that last metaphor I lifted from an old, haunting story Mija wrote about a girl who suffered this fate at the hand of her abusive top. I reread the story the other day after thinking how much I was starting to feel like a ghost-girl, albeit one who has had even less choice in choosing my circumstances. It's not just that the illness makes me feel like shit all the time, but illness also includes a never ending list of bureaucratic issues - appointments to make, transportation to schedule, prescriptions to order and manage, Medicaid, Food Stamp, and Housing re-certifications with receipts and letters and bank statements to sort through, Home Care Worker to hire, Home Care Worker benefits cut due to the state budget shortage, state officials to lobby, medical clinic's narcotic pain management policy changes to adjust to, decreases in opioid meds -- even though my pain has not decreased -- to adjust to as well, other meds with varying effectiveness to try, surgery to have, surgery to recuperate from (successful on both accounts), Home Care Worker benefits restored (yay!) meaning now a Home Care Worker to hire (but now without A.'s help), medical clinic refusing to relent on pain meds to despair over, more tinkering with meds (sleepy, nauseous), new Home Care Worker  (yay!) to train (oh please work out this time!), letters to be written to medical director and state pain commission, fewer pain meds to take, more and more pain to manage...

For the last month and a half, the bureaucracy has been like climbing a vertical face.*

Kink and any energy to write about it jumped right out the window after I posted that first of a two part post that I thought I would quickly follow with a second (I just knew that was going to happen if I posted the first part without having the second definitely done!). Lord Something-o-ruther didn't even let me post anything when the six year anniversary of this blog (August 10th) came and went (can you believe it's been six years already? can you believe it's only been six years given all that's happened?). A couple of weeks ago it did let me take my post-surgical pelvis/abdomen for a spin (like any dom, it only allows me to masturbate with its permission). I wanked and came with little pain - certainly none of that horrible, feels-like-I'm-ripping-something pain I had pre-laparoscopy. So, you know, very cool! But as the horrible, feels-like-someone-is-burning-me-from-the-inside-out pain that I live with every second of every moment of every hour of every day throughout my body (especially in my arms and legs) was increasing because my doctor was required to reduce my opioid medication, Lord Something-o-ruther had tied me up and locked me in the closet again.

Until this weekend. Natty came back. Mostly because my doctor was able to switch me back to my earlier narcotic dose -- but start tapering down again -- as well as try an increase in an anti-seizure medicine I also take for pain so that my pain has been back to being quite manageable for a couple of weeks. Sure, I also wanted to sleep more. But laying in bed in a drug-induced reverie was the first moment of freedom from Dom Lord Something-o-ruther I've had for awhile. I could actually think about something besides it. I could be little again. At first Michelle was having none of it. My grown up self was still climbing the vertical face -- which is clearly not an activity for kids.

Or is it?

I've been wanting to write about the dominance of my grown-up self (the real Lord Something-o-ruther?) versus my Natty self (along with the legion of other topics I've thought about while laying in bed -- alas, the dearth of posts is never because I don't have anything to say). And I don't know that I'll get into the full analysis I've been pondering over the last few months tonight. But as I've been vomiting out all my white-knuckled frustration of the last month and a half onto this Blogger compose interface, it wasn't until I wrote the above paragraph that I remembered how much I need Natty. Many years ago my therapist told me to treasure her. But lately I've wondered how to do that. Or even if I should do that. I mean, isn't she just this way I escape reality when I can't handle it? Isn't it healthier to just learn to live with life the way it is rather than hide away in some overactive part of my imagination? You know, embrace the present, yada yada yada (which is also what that therapist said)?

And then I remembered the last bit in that first post with which I began this here blog those six years ago about rediscovering Allie (proto-Natty) when I was first getting sick and disabled ten years ago.

I realized how much I needed her back. Her emotional energy. Her willfulness. Her playfulness. Her immature selfishness. I need her to feel the feelings my intellect has long ago explained away. To temper my endless caregiving with the demands of my own needs. To stamp her foot and say, “it’s time to play.”

I actually (with tongue somewhere in cheek) list as my occupation "personal care coordinator" as that really is what I do all day when I'm not sleeping or trying to eek out a social life online. And Personal Care Coordinator Michelle needs a break. She needs Natty to help her play. Especially as the coming weeks are going to be hard. Distraction is an important pain management tool and after next Saturday I'm going to need to use every non-narcotic tool even more than I already do (meditation, yoga, qigong, physical therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture, heat/cold, supplements, non-narcotic prescriptions, warm baths, guided imagery...). My doctor has me on a list to have my case reviewed by an Opiate Review Board, but I have no idea when that will be or if it will be successful. I feel hopeful that at some point we'll get me back to an adequate narcotic dose or find some other medication to help (not that we haven't already gone through just about every anti-seizure or anti-depressant that's also used for pain that my insurance will cover) for no other reason than I can't imagine being in that much pain for an extended period of time.

So Natty plays. A. gave me my first tele-spanking in months the day before last. It was just a handful of quick strokes and yeah, my shoulder was quite sore the next day (that's why a quarter of my freezer is devoted to ice packs!) but I'm hoping we'll be able to play some more over the phone this week. And, of course, A. and my illusory Nanny are already helping me manage my activity levels since overexertion exacerbates my pain and gives Lord Something-o-ruther an excuse to lock me away in a dungeon that's anything but a playground.

Hmm...Maybe that's another way Natty helps me with illness....Oh dear, speaking of managing my activity level, I've just got so carried away with my de-facto journaling here that I totally lost track of the time. Like, wandered away from the track and the field and have been following a butterfly so far into the woods that the roads no longer have those green street signs but wooden posts with numbers... 


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*And just to make life even more fun than it already is, I found out last Friday my apartment building is being remodeled in November requiring us all to move out for a week. They are hiring third party movers to pack and move our stuff (which is good cuz I can't do shit!), but I'll have to unpack everything once they're done. All 1200 books, etc. that took months to unpack... ::sigh::

Note: September is Pain Awareness Month. If there is anything I've realized from this experience with the change in narcotic pain management policy at my clinic is that nobody with chronic pain in this country is safe from interference with their narcotic pain medication. I always thought that because I did everything right and I had a caring, competent doctor, I was fine. But not only is the War on Drugs locking away people who don't need to be and crippling us economically, but it's also keeping sick people from getting the treatment they need. Yes, pain builds character but chronic pain also atrophies the brain and may increase your risk of death from any cause by as much 49% - up to 68% if just looking at cardiovascular-associated mortality. (I keep meaning to do a post(s) on the science of pain and spanking...) The next time you see a story about prescription narcotic addiction, remember all the people who are are not getting their pain adequately treated (or treated at all) because of the overhyped fear of narcotic addiction. Yes, addiction happens (though to less than 1-2% of those using it for pain). Yes, narcotics will kill you if you don't use them right - as does my Coumadin. But like my Coumadin, the benefit for those in pain outweighs the risk and certainly the disingenuous moralization.

::stepping off soapbox and into bed::

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Putting Natty to bed

A. was just putting me to bed.

Except after he had tucked me in, I realized I hadn't taken any Melatonin. As I got up to get a new Melatonin bottle in the hallway cupboard (I finished the last bottle yesterday), I found the new bottle of NyQuil and box of Sudafed I got for A. in my last drugstore.com order. Since I knew he needed them, I pointed them out and handed them to him before throwing away the wrapper around the lid to my Melatonin bottle along with some bits of trash on the table by my bed. While walking back into the bedroom, I noticed A. had left his beer on the other bed table. So I took it out to him in the living room.

"You could have asked me to come get it," A. said after thanking me.

I shrugged and made my way back to the bedroom. Except I noticed A. following close behind.

"Making sure I get to bed this time?" I joked.

"Yes, actually." A. stated.

"Oh." With a sheepish bite of my lower lip upon suddenly feeling like a five-year-old.

After taking the Melatonin, I grinned mischievously as I slipped under the covers. Again.

"Okay, I'm really in bed."

A. bent down and kissed me good night. Again.

"You need some serious discipline," he said, shaking his head before closing my bedroom door.

Except spanking has been unavailable as a method of serious discipline for almost two weeks now because of some serious sciatica that started in my left leg but has now settled so badly in my right leg I can barely walk -- another reason I shouldn't have been wandering about. It seems like it's a tad bit better today, so hopefully by the end of the week A. will be able to fulfill my apparent need for serious discipline.

D'oh! I just remembered: I forgot to take my probiotic before bed. Wonder what A. will do if I get up to take it?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crashing into Natty

Crashing has a way of putting me in a very Natty mood. And last Wednesday, after a long Mother's Day, a longer ME/CFS Awareness Day, and a trip to the acupuncturist, I crashed. Every noise became too loud. Every light too bright. Television was painful. My cells felt like they were shaking as their vitality drained into oblivion.

All my haughtiness and dominance of the day before melted into dependency and submission. I wanted to be taken care of. Petted. Told what to do, especially as I was too exhausted to figure it out for myself.

Obviously I needed to rest, which I did without protest that night. I woke up the next day promising to continue resting rather than pushing through the exhaustion as I usually do....just after I checked my email. But with the bed adjusted to near zero-gravity and the Mac agreeably on my lap, the temptation to check a few more things was too much. Before I knew it,  A. had gone out and returned again two hours later to find me still on the computer.

He didn't say anything until bedtime when he asked if I could manage a spanking -- something I had not yet been able to tolerate since his arrival because of pain in my sacro-iliac joint and lower right abdomen.

"As long as it's a surface-y implement," I replied. "Like the belt."

"What about the ruler?" Twenty-four inches of deceptively light but terribly stingy wood.

"Yes." I swallowed a scowl. "The ruler would be okay." Even though I much prefer the feel of the belt.

I pulled down my jammie bottoms and laid down on the bed.

"I'm sorry I didn't rest this afternoon," I said as penitently as possible, hoping my apology might reduce my impending punishment.

"I'm sorry too. You needed that rest," was A.'s quiet, grave reply.

That stung almost as much as the ruler. 

When I'm irritated with the limitations illness imposes, I've come to find refuge in my "Princess Natalie" mood, as A. and I have begun calling it. Relishing every wet, bawdy moment of dictating my will and dishing out pain. Feeling imperious and demanding obeisance.

But when I crash and I'm too weak to be irritated, it's all Natty. Meek. Dependent. Child-like. Craving absolution from the guilt I feel for being feeble and useless. Desperate for structure to guide me through my fatigue-induced disorientation and forgetfulness. Hungry for cuddles and sometimes even a spanking to reinforce for me that there is no shame -- and much to be gained -- in resting.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"The naughtiest person ever"

So now that the stomach flu that had me throwing up so much I broke a bunch of blood vessels in my neck is over, and whooping cough (or mycoplasma pneumonia - my doctor wasn't sure but it responded to the second antibiotic he put me on) is over, and moving into my new ginormous one bedroom, brilliant-view apartment (but not the unpacking) is over, it's time for me to do some blogging already. And I thought a nice Nurse K. anecdote might be a good way to get back into the swing of things.

As many of you know, I'm on the blood thinner Coumadin after I developed blood clots in both lungs three years ago. Because Coumadin is a rather dangerous drug, I have to get my blood tested frequently (by Nurse K) to make sure I'm not going to bleed to death or start clotting again. She (or rather a machine that she uses) measures a number called an INR, which for me should be between 2 and 3.5 (i.e. therapeutic range).

For the first two and a half years we had a hard time getting my INR to stay in the therapeutic range. But then they learned a handy trick: they had me take a daily Vitamin K supplement (if you really want to know the science behind that, email me). Once I started taking the Vitamin K, my INR stayed therapeutic for 16 months -- until last week when I broke my run of perfect INRs with an INR of 4.1 (which meant I could bleed too easily).

Why it suddenly jumped up is complicated, but most likely involved three different supplements of which I had recently changed doses (Coumadin interacts with over 180 different foods, medications, and supplements -- a real bitch), as well as the fact that I lost some weight over the last two months from being so sick. While I wasn't really bothered about the potential for bleeding (it was still unlikely), I was annoyed that I was going to have to start going in for more frequent INR checks again. As much as I love Nurse K., and as much as my entire social life at this point consists of Twitter and seeing her and my acupuncturist (yes, my life is that pathetic), it takes a lot out of me to go to the doctor's office once a week instead of once a month.

But return a week later I did. As I sat in the exam room with her yesterday, she asked me about those supplements that I was supposed to stop.

"I was a bit naughty..." I said with a wince. "I kept taking the higher dose of the CoQ10 because it's helping me so much."

"Yes, you are very naughty," Nurse K. said in a mock condemnatory tone. "You're very naughty, Michelle. You're the naughtiest person ever!"

I sat there blushing and giggling like I do when A. tells me I'm naughty. Indeed had he been there, A. would have teased me mercilessly about just how much I was blushing and giggling.

The fun ended there, however. She recorded my CoQ10 dosing. Took my INR. This time it was too low: 1.8. And that was probably a result of me being naughty for real: I took some extra Vitamin K to compensate for what I thought might be the decreased clotting time effect of the CoQ10 even after Nurse K told me not to do that last week.

I think because I was naughty for real, she stopped teasing me. "At least you're being honest -- that's the important thing." And she returned to typing in my chart.

I suppose having to return in a mere week (rather than in two) is a fair punishment for my arrogant defiance of her instructions.

And if I'm lucky, maybe Nurse K. will tell me I'm naughty again.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hang on

A few days ago I was reading the (non-kink) blog of a fellow Portlander with the title "Hanging Blog Syndrome." I immediately recognized the malady. Despite having my shiny new Macbook for almost a month now (thank you again, dear friends who donated it!), you can almost hear the creaking of this poor blog as it hangs forlornly in cyberspace.

My blogging is always rather meager when A. is here -- as is his productivity also. Two people sharing a 400sq foot studio for an uninterrupted two and a half months is not particularly conducive to introspective composition.

And, of course, that chronic illness I'm always whining about makes writing* difficult when my brain has turned to cream of wheat and I'm too weak to sit up in bed, drag my fingers across a keyboard and input all the thoughts I've had during the hour upon hour of laying in bed (as has been the case off and on these last few months).  You have no idea how jealous I am of those of you who can blog every day or even every week. And even more jealous of those of you who get to read all those brilliant blogs (like this new one from Queen of the commenters, Indy).

If I could write via mere thought, my hanging blog syndrome would be a thing of the past. Though the brevity and immediacy of Twitter has made reporting fresh spankings and random pervy thoughts less onerous than blogging. I suspect you will continue to find me Twittering my kinkiness more than I blog it.

But A. is leaving on Thursday. Bad for cuddles and spanking (among other things) yet more promising for blogging, as is the recent return of my writing head. Just in time to write about the birthday spanking that I'm sure to get later this evening.

My British A. is still adjusting to the whole concept of birthday spanking. He has suggested that because I didn't get my birthday spanking on my birthday last year, it didn't count and should be added to this year's spanking. But...but...hang on here. This could just get silly rather quickly. Do we add all the years I didn't get a birthday spanking? Er...maybe I shouldn't be giving him ideas.

So I appeal to you, oh sacred jury of the spankosphere, oh International Court of Correction.** Am I not right that a birthday spanking given -- regardless of whether it's on the actual birthday or not -- means I have fulfilled my birthday spanking debt to the universe?

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*Not to mention spanking and sex. We never have gotten to our Rules of the Lashes game. And I was chagrined to note last night after bathing that I think I've only been clean shaven down there twice the entire time A. has been here. So wrong.

**I have been warned that the Court of A. is a higher authority than the International Court of Correction. Though you all could help set precedent, no?

Friday, September 25, 2009

When play is work

Sometimes play is just...hard work. An ordeal in which the forces of the Erotic and Encumbrance battle throughout. You know, the sort hyped by some over-the-top announcer. "Tonight on the Michelle's Sorry Life channel, watch a special Kink versus Illness smackdown! One horny girl. One debilitating illness. Who will win?" Except at the end of the whole thing, both sides are usually able to claim some amount of victory.

Such was the result of a phone spanking a couple of weeks ago. I had awaken even later than my normal mid-afternoon reveille and was just finishing up breakfast at 4:30 pm (yes, that's really PM) when A. called.

"Heya dear," I answered blithely.

"Oh. Did you get my email with your instructions?" he replied with a mixture of restrained formality and genuine uncertainty.

Instructions, eh? There was a familiar -- and pleasurable -- tightening of my pelvic muscles at this most obvious declaration of impending tele-erotic activity, even as the rest of my body whined with weariness.

"Actually I was just turning on my computer," I explained as I hastened to open my inbox, still a little disoriented given that I had only waken up an hour earlier and was feeling the inevitable crash following a rare day of jittery, almost euphoric energy.

"Well, then, I think you better open your email."

My face flushed not only from excitement, but also embarrassment that I wasn't prepared. He had ended our conversation the day before noting that he might be sending me instructions -- not to mention I had emailed him a fragment from my journal before going to sleep detailing my kinky fantasies of late. I also felt a twinge of annoyance at how what was going to be my first phone spanking since May was starting out rather awkwardly.

"I said in the email that I was going to call you at 4:30, but how about I give you a call at 5pm?

"Okay --er, Yes, Sir."

This, dear reader, is what I found in my inbox:

I want you to put on a little girl's dress, flowery knickers and white socks as soon as you have finished reading this email. Nothing else will be worn until I grant permission. The following items will be laid out on the bed:

1. a wooden spoon
2. a table tennis paddle
3. the long brush

4. a razor
5. shaving gel / foam

6. a box containing sex toys,* butt plugs and a nipple clamp.


At 4.30pm (your time) you will stand in the corner of the room and await my phone call.


My pelvic muscles tightened further, along with those of my abdomen. My bottom tingled with anticipation. And I couldn't help but gulp. However I quickly swallowed that anxious lump in my throat along with my giddiness and set about attending to his instructions, as well as letting those following me on Twitter know I was about to get spanked.

Except as I got up to fetch the various items and dress myself accordingly, I quickly realized there was more to my elevated heart rate than mere excitement. One of the peculiar quirks of my illness is that the more weary I am, the higher my heart rate gets both during activity and at rest. Pulling on my dress and arranging my bra-less breasts, sorting through my sock drawer, grabbing my razor, digging out implements from under the bed -- all of it, of course, was shooting my heart rate higher and higher, making me feel dizzy and icky.

Should I tell A. I can't do this? It wasn't so much that I was worried about disappointing him, but rather Natty. My alter ego had obligingly endured months of setbacks and downright neglect as a result of my ill health and A.'s work. I sighed. I am going to get spanked, goddamnit.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I did some diaphragmatic breathing, bringing my heart rate down a bit. Once the dizziness wore off, I stood and made my way to the corner where I was to await A.'s impending phone call.

How bad would the spanking hurt? It had been such a long time since my last one. The high ceilings of my apartment, which drew my gaze after I became bored with a fragment of chipped paint, made me feel particularly small and childish.

But the little feeling did not last long. My heart rate was creeping up again. I tried some more diaphragmatic breathing as I stood facing the corner -- so very un-childish -- but it just would not drop down below 120.** I absolutely had to lay down. I made my way to the bed, where I lay with the full skirt of my bubble-gum pink dress draped over my belly and legs in a less-than flattering spread when A. finally called.

"Hello, Sir."

"Hello, there. Where you standing in the corner as you were told?"

"I did stand in the corner after I was ready, Sir. But I had to lay down after a few minutes."

There was a pause as we both sought to figure out how to proceed. Should I tell him I could manage a spanking but no shaving? Was I even in any condition to consider orgasming? Would I be okay so long as I was laying down?

"Are you still laying on the bed?"

"Yes, Sir."

Please don't break the spell. Don't ask me if I'm alright. Let's just keep going. Let Natty keep going...

"What sort of knickers are you wearing?" A. asked after another moment of silence.

"Pink flowery knickers," Natty declared with vigor.

"Well, let's get them off."

With pleasure. Even if I did feel a bit dizzy standing up to take them down as well as rearrange the cord to my headset so it wouldn't interfere with spanking.

He had me start out with the ping pong paddle. It's a good thing it makes a lot of noise even when I'm not whacking that hard because I don't know that I could have made myself hit any harder given how tired I was and how much it stung.

"What's that on the pain scale?"

It was a momentary lull in the magic. Given the circumstances, I figured A. probably needed some reassurance that I wasn't dying on the other end of the phone, even if I always find giving a number to my pain level a difficult thing to do in a Natty frame of mind.

"Um...about an 8 -- 8 1/2."

While the whacking was draining me a bit, my heart rate was staying down. I just had to stay flat.

"I think it's about time you got that butt plug in. Have you got your Naughty Box there?"

"Yes ::gulp:: Sir."

Just typing the word butt plug makes me blush. Saying it out loud makes me blush even more. Hearing A. order me to take it out of its box and put it in my hole with a deep, imperious, British-accented voice not only makes me blush but gives me that piquant constriction of shame in my belly. If he ever moves on to enema bags (another word I can barely utter), I tell you, dear reader, the embarrassment alone will be both painful and orgasmic.

"We're going to have to get your bottom warmed up before I get there."

"Yes, Sir." I bit my bottom lip. Grinned demurely into the phone even as my cheeks continued to flush.

"Pick up the wooden spoon. Give yourself twelve on each cheek."

Oddly enough, the spoon didn't hurt nearly as much as it usually does. Probably because the handle is narrow and thin, making it difficult for me to grasp with ease. So A. switched me to the clothesbrush (long brush), with a nice thick handle. It made a much more satisfying sound across the trans-Atlantic phone line when it smacked against my bare skin. After a dozen or so strokes, endorphines began to take the edge off the sting. But they did not keep my arm from wearing out.

"Tell me about your cunt. Is it shaved?"

"No, Sir." I swallowed hard.

"Pick up the razor and shaving gel. I want you to shave yourself, but I only want you to shave one strip down the middle..."

The razor was cold as it scraped against the stubble covering my labia. But it did not feel as laborious to shave as it felt like it would just fifteen minutes earlier.

"I expect your cunt to be completely bald when I arrive in three weeks."

"Yes, Sir." I finished shaving my swathe smooth and patted my cunt dry.

"You may finger yourself now."

"Can I use my vibrator?" I can be such a greedy girl.

"Not yet. Just swirl your finger around first."

I led my index finger back and forth between my increasingly saturated cunt and my increasingly swelling clitoris. Around and around the slicked, sensitive tissue. Awakening nerves from their hibernation with each revolution around my rosebud.

"Now you may use your vibrator."

With giddy delight I burrowed the Silver Bullet into my vulva and set the plastic black heart knob at medium speed. After several minutes of rocking my pelvis gently, I turned the vibrator up to full speed. After several minutes more produced no orgasm, I placed it directly onto my clitoris, then pulled it off again when the stimulation was too much. After a few more minutes, after all the weariness and worry, all the whacking and whirling, all the work, there were, finally, those familiar contractions pushing endorphines, blood, and happiness out into my ear lobes and fingernails and toes. Only then did my heart rate momentarily surge again. And after that...a uniquely benevolent fatigue.

True, within half an hour the fatigue returned to its customary tyranny. The following day my muscles -- particularly my pelvic muscles -- were more cantankerous than usual. And I can't help but look back with a little bitterness that a mere spank and wank over the phone was so damn arduous.

Yet I also can't help but just be grateful that I did it. That I made it through and Natty got her spanking. Illness and poverty do that to a person. Make you appreciate every little bit of life you can grab hold of. Especially the hard bits.

_______________________
*Aka, "The Naughty Box." A wooden, rattan-covered box A. bought for me initially for its ostensible decorative value. However its size rendered it the perfect container for butt plugs, particularly as it also fits so nicely under the bed.

**One of the primary means of treating ME/CFS is pacing, including using a heart rate monitor to help patients stay below their remarkably low anaerobic thresholds (generally between 110-90 bpm). For a longer explanation of how this works, see this video (requires Quicktime; about 30 minutes) from exercise physiologists at the Pacific Fatigue Lab.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Your potty mouth has a point

The word fuck never crossed my lips until I got sick. Until I got vertigo, to be exact. I had just started my first grown-up (i.e. non academic) job in June 2000. I even had my own cubicle and business cards. Then I woke up the day after Independence Day with everything spinning. When the doctor diagnosed me with labyrinthitis, telling me there was nothing that he could do and I just had to wait up to 6 weeks for it to leave on its own, I walked to the bus stop across the street from my clinic and let out a torrent of Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!

Turns out, it may have been a good coping mechanism. Indeed, this study shows that swearing actually can help reduce the intensity of pain -- something else that increased a great deal once I got sick. And needless to say, I swear like a sailor now. Though, according to the psychologist who did the study, the more you swear, the less effective it may be.

So now you have a very good excuse the next time you yell out a fuck! or a shit! during a particularly painful beating. I mean, it's scientific evidence!

A new, more substantive post about body size and kink is forthcoming. Illness and other events have conspired to limit my blogging of late, but not my thinking. Hopefully I'll be sharing some of those thoughts I've been itching to blog about in the next day or so.

And there are only a few more days left in the Natty's Spanking Blog Fifth Anniversary contest. I'd so love it if you'd stop by and help me celebrate my half a decade of blogging!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Stay tuned

Good lord, has it really been a month since I last posted? It feels like it was just last week! How the time flies when you're sick and in pain and your dad's in the hospital and you've got to find a new caregiver (again). Especially when you sleep 12-15 hours a day.

At least I'm still doing better than 94% of bloggers, who, according to this month's Harper's Index, haven't updated their blogs in four months. Not that I'm competitive or anything.

My sacroiliac joint is doing a lot better, and I'm definitely spankable again, even if most of my play has been of the wankin' spankin' sort.* I've been working on a new VibeReview fantasy (though at this point it may be long enough to stand alone) that should be posted in the coming week, along with (hopefully!) a post about some spanking fantasies I'd rather forget.

Mostly I just wanted to say thanks for hanging in there with me and continuing to stop by. And stay tuned. While I may not be the sexiest of sex bloggers, I do have some upcoming posts that I think will be erotic, entertaining, and perhaps even a little enlightening.
__________________

*Don't look at me like that. You know you've done it too. And besides, I gotta toughen my ass up before A. takes a crack at it again.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And it was good

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them...And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.


"Me and my body are not on speaking terms at the moment."

I backtracked as soon as I said it. Even before I saw the strange look Nurse K. gave me.

"Well, I mean, obviously I can't not listen to my body. It's just that between all the pain lately and this fresh freaky hell with the morphine not showing up, I've just been really pissed with it."

The pain I've already explained here. The morphine was in reference to the drug screen I'm required to have every six months to show I'm actually taking my morphine (as opposed to, say, selling it). For some reason, while the hydrocodone I take for break-through pain did show up in my system, the morphine did not even though I take the both, along with 16 other daily medications, every morning and evening in carefully allotted doses in two separate pillboxes (actually four pillboxes in total, which those of you who follow me on Twitter hear me whine about filling every Sunday night). And, of course, this had to happen right as I was undergoing one of the worst pain episodes of my life.

I really hate my body sometimes. It can't just be normal and do what it's supposed to do. It has to be complicated, enigmatic, anomalous.*

My godfather would scold me right about now. "You shouldn't hate your body, habibti," he would say. "Your body is made in the image of God."

So God is diseased, fragile, painful and utterly inexplicable?

Well, okay, I'll give you that last one.

Thankfully Nurse K. was able to report to me that day that the morphine -- along with the hydrocodone -- did show up in the more sensitive opiate screening my doctor did during my next visit. But it didn't do a whole lot to end my rage.

It's hard not to become almost gnostic when you live in chronic pain and illness. Hard not to think of your body as the enemy. The entity that keeps you bound in suffering and debility. A prison from which you hope you will someday be released.

Yes I know. It's the illness that's the enemy. But neurons and viral DNA and freaky biochemistry are so intangible and disparate. I can see -- and worse -- feel my body, that entirety of neurons and DNA and biochemistry, not to mention sacroiliac joints and shoulders and hips, making it a much easier target for my fury and frustration.

I can't even enjoy sex. My sexuality involves pain but for the last month the mere thought of spanking has made me nauseous. Why couldn't I be into feet or balloons or squirrel costumes? Why does it have to be about getting beaten? I got the bad pain genes; why did I have to get the whip-me genes too?

Though it's not only about spanking.

The last few weeks as my sacroiliac joint has slowly healed, my bottom has been abuzz with desire. I couldn't quite put my finger on what it wanted. God knows, it wasn't for spanking. Mostly just some sort of touch or caress, I think.

My hole in particular has been agitating for attention and soon my fantasies started turning to rectal thermometers and enemas. With a thick, strong nurse who was both strict and affectionate. Or with A., using the embarrassment that accompanies such an intimate and invasive procedure to punish me for whatever misdeed.

Enemas fascinate me, despite my lack of experience with them. They're invasive and dominating like anal sex, but with a softer, more infantalizing, and more embarrassing edge. Done for your own good rather than the good of the fucker.

I also found myself thinking about the P-Spot Vibe. How wonderful it feels in my hole and how it could be used as a sort of punishment (or pseudo-punishment as it would never work as a deterrent for me).

I imagined being a student in a school that utilizes creative -- if sexually abusive -- punishments.** A. would be the strict -- if dodgy as hell -- headmaster. I'd have been caught for some terribly stereotypical infraction like smoking in the lavatory. My punishment would be an hour with The Probe (aka the P-Spot Vibe). The school matron and secretary would drag me struggling and pleading to a Lupus-esque bench, the only thing said struggling and pleading accomplishing is threats of more time with The Probe. And maybe the substitution of a more uncomfortable lubricant.

There would be the helplessness as I'm strapped down to the bench. The humiliation as the secretary pulls up my skirt and pulls down my panties. The tightness in my gut and my hole as I hear the snap of the latex glove on the matron's hand. The chill of the secretary's hands pulling my cheeks apart. The matron's gooey finger invading my hole. The discomfort of the hard silicone penetrating what should never be penetrated. The degradation of having my most intimate orifice on display for these three relative strangers. And finally the shame that accompanies arousal...

By Sunday night as I headed for bed I was randy enough to think about wanking. But it was getting late and my medication was kicking in and, well, it's not like it wouldn't be there tomorrow. I slipped under the covers with sleep encroaching when the epiphany struck. Not a particularly profound one, mind you. Indeed it was more like reality smacking me in the face.

I need a body to feel that delicious tingle of arousal. I need a body to feel the wonder and explosive joy of an orgasm. There may be no dislocated sacroiliac joints in a bodiless soul, but there is also no ability to feel your lover caressing your ass. Or the taste of a fresh Oregon strawberry. Or the grainy sound of Bob Dylan. Or the smell of frankincense at Divine Liturgy.

Suddenly I could feel my whole body. The quilt against my calves. The mattress and underquilt beneath my bottom. The breeze from the fan against the skin of my arms. And yes, the sharpness in my right SI joint and the pinched nerve in my right thigh and the mysterious pain in my lower right abdomen and the achiness in my lungs.

My body and I were most certainly on speaking terms.

And it was very good.

____________
*And, of course, like all women, I have the traditional issues with my body because it's not pretty enough or thin enough or (insert unreasonable cultural expectation for the bodies of women of your choice).

**This fantasy would work just as well in a prison scenario, like this one.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Unspankable

My ass has been so sore the last several days that it hurts to sit much, even on my bed (aka The World's Softest Bed). And unfortunately, it has nothing to do with spanking.

On May 29th, I woke up feeling as if someone had driven a railroad spike through the base of my spine. I couldn't walk, sit, stand, or turn over in bed without excruciating pain. A week later at 6:30pm, it abruptly stopped, allowing me to sit again and walk a bit (aided by a cane...or two), though it still hurts quite a lot to stand or turn over in bed.

This has happened once before, also right before my period and also during a month when I'd gotten an extra dose of estrogen (that time I had gone off the progesterone-only pill but this time God only knows why I got the extra dose of hormones). However unlike last time, I had a good idea this time around what exactly was causing my pain because my physical therapist had recently identified weakness in my right sacroiliac joint (where the sacrum at the base of the spine attaches to the pelvis) and given me exercises to strengthen the muscles surrounding the area (which I have been doing religiously, especially as I can do them laying in bed and if that's not enough incentive, there's always A. with a clothesbrush). That extra batch of estrogen made my ligaments even more lax than they already are, leaving my sacroiliac joint even more unstable.

In normal human beings, this is a very, very stable joint with super thick, strong ligaments to keep it in place. In me, it slips and slides around like a kid on wet plastic in the hot summer sun. It's not my only joint that does this. I've had two surgeries to correct unstable joints (right ankle and knee). My fingers, elbows, hips -- all pop in and out of place. And since junior high I haven't been able throw a ball over hand using either arm without the shoulder coming completely out of joint and then popping back in.

And yes, it feels just as icky as it sounds.

After talking with my physical therapist, she's recommending I start using a walker until it heals up (though my insurance company at the moment won't approve said walker). I also have a brace to help it stay in place, but the brace presses down on an already pinched lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in my right thigh.

I'm a real piece of work.

At any rate, it means no spanking. Though my pain level has dropped enough that I can actually think about spanking again. As well as, maybe, a strict nurse with an enema bag...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Come to bed with ME

(I love tag line, but I wish the poster were a bit more kinky)

Today is International Neuroendocrineimmune Disorders Awareness Day -- including ME/CFS -- during a week dedicated to ME/CFS Awareness. A couple of years ago I used this day to talk a bit about what ME/CFS is. At my non-kink blog I've commemorated the day in years past by listing what I've lost due to this illness, as well as what I've gained from the experience of illness. This year I thought I'd describe what it's like to have ME/CFS, in addition to the example of an X-Files phenomena I used a few years back.

Here in bed with ME/CFS, you feel like you have the flu. Your throat hurts. Your joints burn. Your heart beats like mad and sometimes in very peculiar ways. You feel chilled, profoundly weak, slightly nauseous, light-headed, mushy-brained, and just...icky. I wish I knew a better word to replace icky (aside from the bland, non-specific, slightly psychological-sounding term "malaise"). It's almost like your blood has been replaced with poison. You feel dreadful. Vile. Horrible. Nasty.

And on top of that...

You feel as though you've got a hangover. Every smell is too strong. Every light is too bright. Every noise grates on your last nerve, as well as that throbbing in your head just behind your eyes and at the base of your skull. And you might still be a bit tipsy because your spatial perception is off (I struggle with the "touch your finger to your nose" test), not to mention you can't walk a straight line. And then there are the times the room just spins.

And on top of that...

It's as if you've got jet lag. You fall asleep at weird times and wake up at weird times and you wish you could just go to bed at a normal time and get up at a normal time, but your body runs on its own clock that, unfortunately, is not during normal business hours.

And on top of that...

Someone is giving you low-grade electric shock torture and doing voodoo on you with a knitting needle. Most of the time it's a constant burning sensation throughout your whole body punctuated by arbitrary 5-30 second jolts of sharp sharp pain in completely random places -- your ear, your belly, your right arm, your left heel. (The burning sensation and the arbitrary jolts get markedly worse whenever I have an acute infection, especially if I have a fever.) And you have this weird buzzing sensation in random places too. As if a bumblebee or hummingbird were just beneath your skin. It doesn't hurt, but it's...weird.

And on top of that...

If you also have fibromyalgia (which up to 70% of ME/CFS patients do), you feel like you just had your first day on a chain gang breaking rocks in a quarry. Or that you went to the gym yesterday and worked out harder than you ever have in your entire life by far. Every muscle in your body burns and aches and is so stiff you can hardly move. You want to curl up in bed and sleep, but the kicker is you can't. You just lay there, though eventually you get up just to move a bit because your muscles have petrified and the stiffness is agonizing.

All of that. All the time. That's what it feels like in this bed. That's what it's like to have ME/CFS.

One million Americans have it -- more than have MS or breast cancer -- but it's among the bottom in diseases funded by the National Institutes for Health. The main reason for that is because most people don't take a disease named "chronic fatigue syndrome" seriously. However, as you can see, it's not just being tired. It's as/or more debilitating than congestive heart disease, multiple sclerosis, lupus, or end-stage renal disease.

So what can you do?

1. Donate money to fund research into what's causing this disease and how to treat it. Organizations include:
2. Let your elected officials know you want them to fund more biomedical research into the causes and treatments of ME/CFS. The CFIDS Association has a great "Virtual Lobby Day" page to make this as easy as possible.

If you're still reading, thank you. If you can help out, thank you even more! You can bet that if I ever get my hands on a treatment for this disease, there will plenty of spanking (both getting and receiving) and kinky writing to keep us all happy for a very long time.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Will you please call me Cordelia?

"Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.

"Call you Cordelia! Is that your name?"

"No-o-o, it's not exactly my name, but I would love to be called Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name..."

"...Unromantic fiddlesticks!" said the unsympathetic Marilla.

oOo

"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are? asked Anne wide-eyed.

"No."

"Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss -- Marilla, how much you miss!"

"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are," retorted Marilla. "When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away."


Anne Shirley has been a kindred spirit ever since I first watched the Kevin Sullivan production of the classic book by L.M. Montgomery. The first time I heard her talk about "so much view for the imagination," I remember thinking, someone else thinks like that too? followed quickly by oh but you're not supposed to say that out loud! Like Anne I spend a lot of time in my imagination. And when you spend the overwhelming majority of your time alone (and in bed to boot) the imagination can become your permanent place of residency.

For the last four years now I have required an in-home caregiver. I don't know why, but I always imagined she'd be a thick Germanic sort of woman. Probably based on a character in a cartoon or TV show that I've long since forgotten. She'd be no nonsense, of course. A bit like Marilla, though more affectionate. She'd have hands as hard as bed slats, to borrow Harper Lee's phrasing. With the personality of, say, Thelma Ritter in Rear Window. Or my nurse when I was in the hospital with my first pulmonary embolism (Nurse K. might well fit too, though she has some subby inclinations). She'd be discerning, dependable, and devoted. And she would definitely be the one in charge, with the hairbrush to prove it.

The reality, of course, is completely different. It's having a total stranger come into your home when you've just waken up and every dish you own is scattered about the kitchen counters and the laundry is a smelly mound Sir Edmund Hillary would have found a thrilling climb. It's having a total stranger who doesn't understand that while you may look perfectly healthy because you're young, not paralyzed on one side, and still have most of your wits about you, you're not. It's having a total stranger handle your belongings both precious and intimate.

Indeed the very first day with my very first caregiver ended with laundry soap all over the bathroom, a hardwood floor stripped with dark grime after being mopped, and a LCD screen sporting a giant crack after she tripped over the cord and sent my laptop flying (to be fair, that last one was mostly my fault for leaving my laptop in a precarious position). I burst into tears upon her departure. The agency actually fired her a couple of months later after she repeatedly failed to show up for work. I felt badly for her because she had no telephone but did have a child with a father who wasn't particularly helpful with childcare. Yet she was obviously in the wrong line of work.

It got better after that. Her replacement, J., was as perfect a non-kinky caregiver as I could want. Her first day she simply went about tidying up the disarray of my home without needing a great deal of instruction. And when she came across kinky toys that I had forgotten to put away, she never said a word. Just set them aside and went about her work. I was heartbroken a year and a half later when the agency she worked for dumped all of us county-paid clients. The county then moved us all to the only other agency they were contracted with and J. wouldn't work for them. I didn't blame her. The pay was shit and they effectively didn't provide health insurance. Which meant that her replacement wasn't nearly as good.

This last January I was switched to a different program which doubled my monthly allotment of caregiving hours. But with this new program, I have to hire my caregiver. And I hate calling strangers on the phone. With the old program, the agency just sent me someone. If I didn't like the person, I could ask for a new one but the agency was really the boss. Now I am and it feels...weird.

The first woman I hired, G., had the potential to be another J. But she had to quit after three months when she got a job that provided health insurance. I quickly hired S. as she worked for a woman just across the hall. S. could sense the ambivalence in my direction and promptly decided to take charge herself, which, on her second day, included replacing my old laundry baskets and handing me the bill. I hate conflict and since it was only $4.50, decided that was cheaper than mustering the energy to say no. Later that day she decried the clutter in my apartment and, after asking me if it was because of my illness that I'd "let the place go," notified me that she wanted to completely reorganize everything. Yes, there is clutter in my apartment though, while not nice to look at, it is neatly piled on shelves and out of the way.

This was not exactly the sort of bossy I was looking for.

So I mustered the energy to sit her down the next day and explain that I appreciated her ambition but I needed to channel that ambition based on my priorities, not hers. In addition, if she made me feel self-conscious about everything, she was not going to work out. She apologized, acknowledged that I was the boss, and agreed to follow my agenda. I thought it was going to work out after that. But, alas, she switched to a more passive-aggressive approach, telling me how I needed to replace this or that, including my vacuum as it hurt her shoulder. When she emailed me a few days later to tell me she was quitting because her shoulder hurt and her doctor told her to cut back on work, I was relieved. Fake excuses do make the world a happier place, no?

But that left me needing to hire yet another new Home Care Worker. And calling more strangers from among a list of names. It took me almost a week before I even looked at the HCW list and a few more days before I started calling potential caregivers. While my phone phobia could explain some of my procrastination, there was clearly more to my dawdling.

As I sat and thought about my feelings, I realized that, along with my continuing resentment over not being able to do my own cooking and cleaning, was fear and vulnerability. Will the new HCW understand that I really am sick, despite my seemingly healthy exterior? Will I have to prove I'm truly deserving of in-home care? Being fat makes me particularly paranoid about being seen as lazy. And what if she happens upon my toys? Will she freak out? I'm tired of putting together task lists and care plans (I haven't ever even bothered with creating a job application or seeking/checking references as apparently I'm supposed to). Being my own HR person is exhausting. I just want someone to simply take care of me already.

In the end, here alone all the time, it's so easy to slip into my imaginary world with my imaginary caregiver who already understands how ME/CFS works and will make me rest. Who understands and shares my kinkiness. Who doesn't need me to list every last thing that needs to be done but just...knows.

While I don't know if it was God, karma, fate, or whatever that put me in the circumstances that I'm in, Marilla's point that I'm not meant to imagine them away has a great deal of merit. Once I awake from my reverie, the real world is still here requiring my action. I can whine all I want about how hard it is. And like Anne begging to be called Cordelia, I can beg for life to be like it is in my imagination, but at the end of the day she was still Anne -- with an "e" -- and I still need to hire somebody to come do my laundry.

Tonight will be my first day with my newest HCW. I'm sure she won't be the caregiver of my imagination. And I don't even know if she'll be as perfect as J. was. But so far we've talked on the phone so much this week I feel like we're already friends. She cheerfully agreed to work my dream schedule and even volunteered to call my caseworker to make certain her pay is arranged (at least I don't have to deal with paychecks and tax withholdings), so I feel hopeful.

However it will be the alarm on my cell phone telling me when to go to bed tonight, the heart monitor I will be getting in the mail soon to telling me when I need to rest, and the good folks at LibriVox telling me bedtime stories.

Though I can imagine it's a strict nurse slapping a hairbrush against her palm...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Only a muddled rant about A. leaving

I was attempting to write a post threading the change in Washington that A. and I watched on Tuesday with the change happening to us that day, namely A.'s return to England the next morning. But my brain is goo. Liquidy gelatinous goo, matching my gooey limbs and gooey breathing and all around gooey ickiness.

Tuesday night before A. left was not nearly as erotic as last time. There was a little spanking (a few whacks of the ruler and the cane, respectively) and a lot less sleep (hence the current ickiness) as he had a very early flight so we just stayed up until it was time for him to leave.

This separation is probably going to be a long one thanks to the asinine vagueness of the Visa Waiver Program in which there is no rule about how many times a person can visit the US using the VWP, only that one cannot "abuse" it. And nobody from the State Department on down can say exactly what does constitute "abuse." It is solely up to the discretion of each individual border officer. So you can imagine the vicissitudes that accompany concentrating so much power into one lone bitchy bureaucrat with a small penis like the one who grudgingly let A. into the country when he arrived this last time, but only after a long lecture and final warning (implying earlier warnings that A. has no recollection of) about how A. is abusing the system by coming to visit so much. We are still trying to ascertain the nature of this "final" warning. Does this mean he can't visit anymore? Or that he needs to space the visits out more? Or...?

I can only hope that the change our new president is bringing with him will include, among other things, clearly articulated border policy. I mean, the UK manages to do it successfully. They state definitively that, say, I cannot be there more than six months out of any twelve-month period. Seems reasonable, no?

If only I was healthy enough to get on a plane for 14 hours...

Alright, enough of my rant.

My health has been really up and down lately -- and more down the last two weeks than up. My in plenum quickly vanished amid a bad reaction to a new medication that I still haven't quite recovered from. But once I do recover, I should be posting more, especially as I tend to do more writing when A. is gone.

Since this post has been short on anything remotely sexy, I'll send you over to this post I was reading a few days ago extolling the virtues of a well-arched female bottom awaiting a good hiding. Sometimes simplicity really is best.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Horror vacui


I'm trying to remember when A. first used the term vacuum to describe the absence of kink in this studio apartment. Sometime last month I think. After my birthday when the spanking that should have been wasn't.

It is natural to abhor vacuums, or so Aristotle said. Never mind that later physicists from Ibn al Haytham and al Jazari to Torricelli and Pascal concluded that nature was rather comfortable with her vacuums. And that since then we have found all sorts of ways to put nature's vacuums to good use cleaning carpets and lighting homes and sealing food and providing television.

Aristotle was merely wrong about the subject. It is not nature that abhors a vacuum but us. We cannot tolerate vacuums of power or money. Empty is almost always bad. Our very bodies will bloat and die after mere minutes in a vacuum. We need oxygen. Stuff. Someone. Spanking.

For weeks the libidinal pressure in this space dropped while the outside atmosphere remained saturated in sex, sucking up my nocturnal spanking fantasies -- the sedatives that put me to sleep each night. I had to switch my guided imagery techniques from imagining I'm a naughty girl having my pajama bottoms taken down and my bottom soundly spanked to imagining I'm releasing spent qi out of my fingers and feet. Low pressure indeed.

There is, of course, no such thing as a perfect vacuum, spanking or otherwise. A few weeks back I bent A. over the futon and filled our ephemeral vacuum with a cane and a riding crop and a strap and purples welts and red skin.

Apparently I did not fill it enough.

"Maybe next time you'll give me a proper beating," A. sneered later adding a handful of other smart-ass comments that I can't remember now. I never knew how adept he is at bratting for it. Like the bird in Boyle's airpump losing oxygen in the vacuum, he was losing the good sense to shut the hell up. A week or so later when I beat him again, he had to safeword out.

There was also the belated birthday spanking that I thought I was ready for. A. used the strap lightly and told me to tell him when the pain level got to 8 ½ or above. Except that once the strapping started, the pain clogged my brain to the point that I couldn't even think to say "stop!" I spent 36 strokes trying to evaluate whether my pain, or the strokes, or this pain compared to past strokes was at 8 ½ and if the strap would become more tolerable or if I could just bear a few more strokes or...

"Why didn't you tell me to stop?" he asked with the sort of worry that is both caring and cross as I sobbed and shivered in his arms.

The week before last I made it through a brief spanking with the ruler. On the bed over lots of pillows. With just enough sting to make me feel a little bit naughty and punished.

And last night he used the ruler on my backside again. Softly at first. Slowly building the sting so that I was soon squeaking and yelping. With his free hand he dipped his finger in my cunt. Circled my clit with it. Shoved his thumb up my ass.

"I think your ass is over due being violated," he whispered with a leer. "In fact, I think what you need is a giant piece of ginger up your ass."

"Like the ginger I bought a Limbo's last week?"

I gave him that look. The Do Me Now look.

A. made off to the kitchen. Returned a few minutes later and pulled my cheeks apart. Shoved a large chunk of peeled ginger into my hole and twisted it around inside. Left it there while the juices seeped into my sensitive tissues. Grabbed the ruler and spanked me several more times. Turned on the Miracle Massager and thrust the vibrating head against my cunt.

In vacuo gave way to in plenum. Lovely, wonderful plenum.

Monday, December 08, 2008

The most spankable day of the year

That morning when Pa came in to breakfast he caught Laura and said he must give her a spanking.

First he explained that today was her birthday, and she would not grow properly next year unless she had a spanking. And then he spanked so gently and carefully that it did not hurt a bit.

"One-two-three-four-five-six," he counted and spanked, slowly. One spank for each year, and at the last one big spank to grow on.

-- Little House in the Big Woods

The first time I mentioned birthday spankings to A., I think he thought I was making them up even as he was willing to oblige me thirty-some spanks. Or rather, believed that in my spanking-dominated way of thinking, I was exaggerating the practice. Or confusing what happened in my pervy family with what happens in mainstream America. A quick Google search producing story after story of American co-workers suing after being spanked at work on their birthday or birthday spankings at American schools resulting in arrest persuaded him that perhaps they were real. Though I think he still views birthday spankings right up there with Santa Claus.

But, of course, birthday spankings are real. Here in America, birthdays are the most spankable day of the year. A day when even the most ardent vanilla will go for a scoop of chocolate. And for spankos, they are a high holy day to be approached with all the reverence and gaiety of a Pagan-cum Christian holiday.

While I'm sure I probably received a birthday spanking earlier -- especially given my maternal grandfather's generous distribution of them at any and every occasion -- the first one that I can really remember happened on my seventh birthday. I was in first grade at a private, fundamentalist Christian school where spanking was standard. It was customary for our teacher, before handing out the cupcakes the birthday girl or boy brought for the event, to beckon the little girl or boy to the front of the class, hold him or her by the arm and smack his or her bottom for each year of life. She would add a "pinch for an inch" in which she pinched the bottom and completed the ritual with a "hug to grow on."

As my birthday approached, I feigned apprehension about my impending spanking to my friends and family. I talked about what I should wear that would best protect my bottom. Apparently my birthday landed on a Friday because I remember settling on a pair of polyester red, white, and blue checked pants (it was the 70s) and girls at my school were only allowed to wear pants on Fridays. At one point, I even considered wearing some sort of padding.

It was all a ruse to hide the fact that the imminent spanking excited the hell out of me. I had recently discovered while reading The Story About Ping that spanking held an inexplicable appeal for me. Over the last few months I had been fantasizing about getting a spanking from my teacher, but I wasn't willing to risk my good girl status to get one. Birthday spankings were like a freebie. No getting into trouble. No looks of disappointment and guilt-ridden angst. Yet I still got the savory embarrassment of being summoned to the front of the room, bent over, and smacked like a naughty little girl.

December 8th finally arrived. My mom made yellow Betty Crocker cupcakes with chocolate frosting, placed them in a Tupperware container and dropped them off with me at the babysitter's before heading to work in the early morning darkness. As I sat on the couch before the bus came, watching Ramblin' Rod next to my plastic box filled with flour-and-egg festivity, the smell of the chocolate frosting had me craving sugar and spankings.

Class birthday parties were always in the afternoon. The long morning passed and it was time to break out the cupcakes, as well as the construction paper, crayons, and paste for birthday cards. But not before the spanking. Blushing, I made my way to the front of the class and stood next to Mrs. Leiser. She smiled, held onto my arm softly, and delivered seven gentle, careful smacks to my backside, along with the "pinch for an inch." Before I knew it, the birthday spanking was over and I was enveloped in her arms for a hug that was sure to keep me growing for years to come.

I only remember one other childhood birthday spanking after that. At my tenth birthday party, one of my friends (who were mostly boys by this point) mentioned that I hadn't had my birthday spanking yet and before I knew it, the lot of them started wrestling me down to give me my ten smacks. Laughing and blushing, I fought back without much success, especially as my stepfather decided to lend a hand. Those smacks were definitely not the "gentle, careful" smacks Pa Ingalls and Mrs. Leiser handed out. But they were not exactly disagreeable either.

A. is slowly becoming accustomed to our fine American tradition. After a painful lesson on his birthday earlier this year, he gained a better understanding of how it works and how central it is to the birthday of any spanko. Not that I have to wait until my birthday for a decent spanking anymore, but I still look forward to a drawn out, ritualized spanking each December 8th as it just wouldn't be a proper birthday without one.

Though this year the birthday spanking -- and even my birthday luvin' -- will have to wait a bit as my pelvic/abdominal pain is as bad as ever (and quite possibly exacerbated by an infection...um...down there). And A. may have to take a few pointers from Pa Ingalls and Mrs. Leiser on delivering a birthday spanking as my appointment with the urogynecologist isn't until January 9th. But in a few days, once I'm feeling a little better, I think we just might be able to work something out with a pile of pillows and a belt...

Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Can Michelle's ass come out to play?"

It's been very hit or miss these days on the spanking front.

The mojo has been there. It's just that about two and a half weeks ago the pain directly below and to the right of my navel became markedly worse. Which has made me a bit squeamish about getting spanked. The pain isn't very bad if there is no pressure on my belly -- which is most of the time. So it hasn't really stopped me from thinking and even talking about spanking.

As A. and I lay cuddling on the bed the other night, he asked if I was up to being spanked, mimicking a neighbor kid politely seeking the permission of his friend's mom for an afternoon of youthful frolics.

"Can Michelle's ass come out to play?"

Michelle's ass -- as most kids do -- wanted desperately to go out and play. But Michelle's body, being the cranky, over-protective old woman that she is, balked at the thought. She'd even of late been shooing away A.'s perfunctory smacks on the ass in the kitchen.

My ass, however, was undeterred. After thinking it over for a day or two, I decided that maybe the ruler would be okay. And the tip of the belt. Both are very surface-y implements without a lot of impact.

Thanksgiving night, after a day of massive carbohydrate-loaded sustenance at my mother's house (including my famous pumpkin pie and cranberry-orange relish -- though my cornbread-sausage stuffing didn't quite turn out right), A. treated me to a nice spanking and wanking with his belt and the Miracle Massager. I love the belt because it stings, but it's a sting I can get on top of. A., though, isn't as fond of this implement as he finds it a bit unwieldy -- something I've heard other tops say as well.

I seemed to handle that spanking okay. My body pissed and moaned a bit in the form of achiness the next day, though I suspect that had more to do with the wanking than the spanking. Because, you know, God forbid I have an orgasm anymore and not suffer for it...

But I digress.

Sunday is my traditional review and spanking day. When I came home from Mass, A. had my school uniform all laid out along with the ruler. And I must admit, dear reader, it did give me that delicious sense of foreboding mixed with excitement. The foreboding part took over, however, as the review ran into a problem. Namely, I hadn't even been keeping track of my bedtimes, much less actually gone to bed on time. That wasn't completely my fault. It had been a bit of a chaotic week with late night movies, as well as pie and stuffing making. Yet I had been very good about doing my daily yoga/physical therapy exercises and meditation. Indeed I had even done my meditation two days more than I had scheduled.

It had been awhile since I'd been spanked with the wooden ruler. I had forgotten just how much it stings! The spanking was only partly punitive, as well as partly a sampling of what would come should I fail to get back on track in getting to bed on time. One good side to the wooden ruler is that the sting is very temporary. At least, generally speaking, that is.

There is one way that the wooden ruler produces a sting that keeps on giving. Our wooden ruler has a little hole on one end with which to hang it up on a wall, should one so choose. On Monday night before bed, my ass was in a particularly provocative mood. Frankly, all I remember were a few pouty looks directed at A. I suspect he has another version of events. Needless to say, A. took the wooden ruler out again, with vigorous results.

It stung terribly, especially as my sadistic dear kept whacking me on the same spot. I couldn't help but squirm and jerk about. Okay, yes, there may have been the odd glare and complaint here and there. Perfectly reasonable, right? Well, A. didn't think so either. And since I seemed to be feeling well enough to brat, A. took out the evil clothesbrush and...gasp!...the rubber paddle.

To be fair, he didn't use either of them very hard. But my pain threshold was shit and they had me wailing and wriggling about in no time flat, which never bothers A. as he always says it saves his arm. He also accused me of playing up how much it hurt with all my writhing around on the bed. Which might have had some merit. Sorta. But...but...it really hurt, I tell ya.

What was odd was that it hurt a lot more on my left cheek than on the right cheek. As I rubbed my bottom afterward, I noticed a spot that was particularly stingy and sort of wet with some sort of fluid. Being on Coumadin, my first thought was that I was bleeding. A. examined it carefully and quickly concluded that there was no blood.

The next morning when I appraised my ass in the mirror, there was a particularly raw spot on my left cheek that hurt a lot more than all the bruising on my right cheek. Like, say, a popped blister. And that's when I connected it with the mysterious stingy fluid from the night before. Yes, that's right. A. actually blistered my ass. I always thought it was just a saying -- I'm going to blister your ass. I didn't think it actually happened.

It made me think of the "spank his ass raw" line from this old post.

Alas my grouchy gestapo of a body has cracked down on any further play. That pain at the base of my belly got a lot worse after that spanking, most likely from the pressure on my abdomen while laying on the bed. Two weeks earlier my doctor made me cry when he palpated the area during my pelvic exam and told me to call him back if it didn't get better. So yesterday I finally gave in and called. And he ordered another ultrasound (I had one a year ago when I fell down the stairs). Which sucked because any sort of palpation of the area hurts, so you can imagine what it felt like with a gooey joystick rolling around on it.

The lady who did mine this morning was very sweet and tried to be as gentle as possible. After she finished, I dressed while she reviewed the images.

"And I did get the spot that hurts?" she asked before I left.

"Oh yeah," I said with a rueful chuckle.

Radiology techs are generally cryptic when it comes to telling you what they see on your pictures. But I'm kinda thinking that's as close to "I didn't see nuthin'" as it gets. At least I won't have to wait too long to find out if I'm right as I see my doctor again tomorrow.

So, I guess you can say my ass is grounded for the moment. And I can't help but wonder, will Michelle's ass be able to come out to play on Monday for my birthday?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Keeping things hot when everything hurts

Earlier this month I was reading in my American Pain Foundation newsletter that September is Pain Awareness Month. On the front page there was a story on "intimacy" (i.e. sex) and chronic pain, and I smiled a little as I thought of our own efforts with this issue. And with a half an hour remaining of Pain Awareness Month, here are some of my thoughts.

I remember the day after the second time A. and I had sex (indeed the second time I'd ever had sex) many years back. It had been particularly raw, physical sex, and when I awoke the next day, I hurt from my split ends to my toenails. It was that horribly stiff fibromyalgia hurt where laying in bed just makes it worse, despite the fact that I was so exhausted I could barely move. As I dragged myself downstairs to the living room, crying quietly so A. wouldn't hear me while he worked in the kitchen, I sat in horror at the thought that I might not be able to have sex often if it was going to do this to me. How would A. feel about that? Would he be mad because I couldn't have sex as often as he might want to have it?

As it turned out, he was actually quite understanding about the whole thing. For the most part we're fairly compatible as a couple, but we do have times like all couples where he's in the mood and I'm not, or I'm in the mood and he's not. And we cut each other slack accordingly.

But there are also pain/illness-specific issues for me that require some adjustment of how we might define sex. Intercourse is a lot of work and any sort of exercise can make me very ill. Plus, because of chronic pelvic pain (as well as other problems), it is painful. The result is that we rarely have it. But I would argue that doesn't mean we don't have sex. As those of us with sexual fetishes know, intercourse is often an afterthought when we think of sex. Our exploration of bondage or spanking or feet or diapers is redefining sex, which is a liberating thing for those of us who can't fuck quite so readily.

But at the end of the day, fucking is still how many of us satisfy our sexual appetites, and I find mutual masturbation to be a nice substitute. While it may lack the full, penetrative quality of intercourse, there is still a lot about it that is very intimate. Indeed, I think in many ways it's a lot more vulnerable. Requires a lot more communication. And at the end of the day, is far more equitable as it takes each of our pleasure into account.

Though it doesn't always mean an automatic orgasm. One of the downsides of medication and fatigue is that I can't always come. But I'm finding toys that can help with that. The Miracle Massager has proven to be a really great one. I cannot think of a better toy for someone like me who fatigues quickly. It's curved perfectly for clitoral stimulation. It's not too heavy. And if I use the Attachment, I can stick it in, sit back and let it do all the work. Not too mention, it's also handy for massaging my neck and shoulders (what the Hitachi Magic Wand was originally intended for before women started using it on their rosebuds!). Another low-energy toy (which will be featured in an upcoming post) is the Silver Bullet. Shaped like a skinny silver egg, I can position it on my clitoris and then easily control the level of vibrations with the hand-held controller, again allowing for an easy orgasm with minimal effort.

Then there are days when A. is very randy and, while mentally I wouldn't mind a little hanky panky, I'm simply too weak. At those times I usually tell him to grope away, just don't expect much reaction from me. While it's not as fun for him, what I love about those times is how sexy he makes me feel at a time when I probably feel the most worthless as a lover. How he hungrily fondles the enormous tits that I felt so insecure about as a kid (I was in a C cup by the time I was nine). Caresses the belly I've spent so much of my life hating. Strokes the pussy that purrs under his hand. Gropes the ass that can never get enough attention.

Yes, speaking of my ass, the irony that I'm a chronic pain patient who likes getting spanked is not lost on me (being on the blood-thinner Coumadin complicates it further). True there are some days when a nice spanking is the perfect thing to get the endorphines going. And in many ways, taking a hard spanking is sort of my ultimate "fuck you" to pain. A way I control pain instead of it controlling me.

But then there are the times when the pain has been so intense, getting spanked is about as appealing as a giant meal after Thanksgiving dinner. Those times are fewer and farther between since starting long-acting morphine last January. Though that has brought with it its own issues, the most prominent as it relates to spanking is opioid-induced hyperalgesia, in which the narcotic actually makes me more sensitive to painful stimuli. My pain threshold in terms of getting spanked varies wildly. There are some days when I'm an unquenchable pain slut whose prolonged clotting time and propensity to bruise severely limit my explorations into subspace. And then there are days when the hairbrush is coming down just a tad harder than a tap and I'm practically jumping through the roof.

Let me just take this opportunity, however, to note that addiction is not one of the issues that usually accompanies the usage of narcotics, despite what the media suggests. There is a difference between dependence on a medication and addiction. If you give a bottle of Vicodin to an addict, he or she will probably go through it in a few days like a bag of M&Ms. The pain patient, on the other hand, will take it as directed by his or her doctor. Yes, addiction is a possible side-effect, yet the chances of that happening to someone taking narcotics for pain are around 1%. Unlike constipation which happens to almost everybody who takes opiates (but hey, I have always wanted to explore those enema fantasies...).

Lastly, I think one of the big keys to a healthy sex life is imagination, and A. and I spend a lot of time sharing our fantasies with each other. It's certainly helpful when our relationship is over the phone most of the time. And while we don't end up acting out half of what we talk about, I've come to find that it's the imagining and sharing that keeps everything so...hot.