Acclimating to the Change

The last week I have been trying to acclimate to the new change — living in San Diego. It’s been pretty tough.

As I have posted before, the biggest reason for the move is that I don’t have any money to support myself. MetLife stopped paying me and I’m still waiting to see if I will qualify for social security.

That breaks my heart. As I stare out on my balcony, it’s apparent how much I have lost. I no longer live in San Francisco, a city I built a really good life in. All my friends were there. All my doctors were there. All the places I loved going were all there.

I know it was really hard to get places, due to the hills and driving, but still. I was home.

I couldn’t afford it.

That’s the problem with San Francisco. When you get elderly, or something bad happens to you, it’s not that you just have to leave your apartment, you end up having to leave the entire city because there is absolutely no affordable housing. But I digress.

That’s all a distant memory now. I liked my apartment. Maybe I will like this one, too. But, right now, I don’t. It’s a crappy apartment because I can’t afford anything better. My neighbors are noisy and are involved in sketchy things. I live by myself and it’s kinda scary. I need to get a chain for the door. I sleep with a knife in my bed.

I’m lonely. I don’t know anyone here except for two people here. They help me out, but I feel like a burden. I am a burden. They have to take time out of their day to go grocery shopping for me or to do my laundry. They are doing a great job, always nice, wonderful people, but I wish they didn’t have to come over. I miss people coming over just to hang out. Just to talk about their day.

I miss my job. I miss interacting with people on a professional level. I miss helping people. I miss making other people’s lives better.

This is just all the more apparent because I am in a new place. It’s hard to imagine meeting people with my condition. People who would want to be friends with me. I know I would be successful at creating a new life here if I was well. However, the sad reality is that’s not the case. I am not well.

Being here in San Diego makes me feel like a failure.

I’m just having a hard time adjusting. I’m not here because I want to be. I’m here because it was the best option under undesirable circumstances.

I just need some time to reprogram.

Move Complete – Part 2

So once I got here, I thought everything was fine. I arrived on a Saturday evening and while people moved the RV to a safer location to park it, I kind of wandered around the new apartment, taking a look at where things had been placed and such. I actually felt pretty good?? I’m not sure what happened after that. I went to bed that night and woke up the next day sore, but not too bad. I had a big Green Bay game against the Patriots that day and don’t remember being in too much pain while I laid in bed watching it. I had to watch it on my phone because, of course, my internet did not work right off the bat. Thankfully, I have Verizon and they have a deal with the NFL that you can stream it over your phone. Needless to say, my phone bill will be big this month because I blew through my data plan. However, it was well worth it to see that game.

My point is, I don’t remember to much pain just laying there. Then, I went for a walk. That may have done it. We walked all the way around my complex. I’m not sure if it was the slight incline or if it was the length of the walk (about double what my biggest walk was in San Mateo). However, the more I have thought about it over the last few days, I’m leaning toward the walk. Either that, or the adrenaline wore off or the swelling in my body got worse after 24 hours. Pretty much that night was very painful and started a cascade of pain. I had planned only on going for a very small walk, just to poke my head outdoors, but the person I was with kind of distracted me and I kept going. Again, I never feel the pain while I am doing something, it always seems to settle in later? That’s why it is so hard for me to gauge things sometimes and why I have such a mind-fuck going on when I do something (why I’m so scared to try things). I just wanted to get an idea of where I was and such. Like and idiot though, I did it, and now I can’t tell what caused the pain.

Now it’s been just over a week since the move and I’m still doing terribly. I love to talk to my 4 year old niece over the iPad on FaceTime, and I can’t even do that. I spoke to her for about 45 minutes yesterday and spent the next two hours in bed crying. I love that little girl and it kills me that I can’t pick her up, go visit her, or kiss her. All I have is the ability to talk to her over FaceTime and now I can’t even do that. My brother offered to bring the kids out in the next few weeks, but I have to decline. If I can’t even talk to them on the iPad for 45 minutes, then I don’t think it’s such a good idea to see them.

I’m very sad over what is going on. I’m trying to keep in mind that I just undertook a big endeavor, and that recuperating will take time, but I’m just scared. Ever since I first got hurt, I just keep getting worse. Every time I have injured myself since in regards to my back, I get somewhat better, but I never return to my previous level of functioning. I hope I do this time.

Move Complete -Part 1

The move is complete as of Saturday evening. It was equally harder, and a little bit better than I had expected.

This entry will only be the drive as I am in so much pain I can’t even write for few minutes.

At first, I couldn’t even get into the bed. It was chest high and we had to build a platform for me to get in. I started to cry, because it showed just how difficult my situation is. I can’t even get into a bed! People don’t realize just how bad off I am.

Then we started to drive and I bounced around in the thing, lifting clear off the bed. There was literally separation between my back and the bed.  I started to have a full fledged panic attack at that point. I couldn’t believe that we put that much effort into moving me and it wasn’t going to work out.

My brother called and tried to calm me down. He was very supportive. He told me I could bail. That he would fly the next day to figure something out. He told me I wasn’t a failure, even though I totally felt like one.

We ultimately ended up rearranging the bed into a different part of the RV that was a little less bouncy. I did better with that, but it was still the stupidest thing I have ever done. It was not worth it. I am in so much more pain now. What sucks, is that I had to do it because I am out of money and San Francisco/San Mateo is just way, way too expensive to live on zero income. It’s nuts. If my disability insurance carrier would have paid me my money I would never of had to go through this. I wouldn’t be in worse pain now, and I wouldn’t be scared shitless that this is my new baseline. I just keep getting worse, and because my body is already in a weakened state, I don’t bounce back from stuff nearly as easily and if at all.

I’m too exhausted to write about all of my difficulties since getting to San Diego and I will save that for next week.

Almost Move Time

Almost time to move. The big day is on Friday.

It’s a bit nerve wracking, to say the least. I feel like I am dead man walking – waiting and knowing of my demise. I fear this trip will make me so much worse that I won’t be able to tolerate the pain at all. I fear being worse than I am now. I fear not being able to concentrate anymore because the pain is bad. I fear not having any reprieve.

This will all be done this week though. Sunday, hopefully, will be fine. It is the day after the drive. I have my Green Bay Packers game and I hope I am able to get lost in it and deal with whatever comes my way.

Please wish me luck, I really need it. I haven’t been this scared ever in my life. I’ve had a sense of dread before, but nothing like this.

First phase of move complete

Well, so far, so good. The first phase of the move is complete. I must say, I could not have done it without the help of my friends. Obviously.

Over the course of the last week I’ve been having friends come over and we’ve been tackling my move room by room. That really, really worked out. If any of you ever have to move, I highly recommend that technique.

My friends who helped me move the clothes were fabulous. I weeded through even more of my clothes to get them to a much more manageable situation. That was fun, and a bit sad. They kept saying things like “you can’t get rid of this!”

Yeah, well the problem is, I haven’t been able to wear stuff for two years because of my condition. Maybe, if I had had any kind of improvement, I would have saved the items, but I have not. I haven’t gotten better, and holding onto those clothes isn’t going to change that. While I had the help to pack them, I took the opportunity to ween so I wouldn’t have to move them again when I didn’t have as much help.

On following days other friends helped me with the kitchen, my paperwork, and my bathroom materials. It all went very, very smoothly. It also helped, by breaking down the move into rooms, help control me. I want to help. I want to do more. However, it was a way to limit myself from doing too much. Also, it made me feel a little less like a burden. When friends came over to do just one room, it didn’t seem like such a huge task. That really helped my mental state.

When the movers came on Tuesday most everything was already boxed up. I saved my desk for my husband to do, but the movers said that it was fine to leave intact, so that helped a lot too. The whole apartment was emptied in 2.5 hours with the truck fully loaded and ready to drive away. Pretty spectacular.

The only kind of glitch was attaching the car trailer thingy-do. It was a bed kind, not where the wheels are off the ground. It was extremely difficult to maneuver and the hubby got super frustrated, understandably so. Once that was done though, everything was smooth sailing.


**Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at

Busy week ahead of me

I have quite the busy week ahead of me.

I will be moving in two weeks to sunny San Diego. I have a bit of help down there, so that will be helpful with my back. I’m terrified of getting down there, which is a whole other story.

This week will be tough as I have to pack again. That’s always hard on my back and hard on my psyche. It won’t be as bad as it was a few months back, because a lot of it is still in boxes, and was weaned from how much stuff I had before.

I have tried to break the rooms down by the day.

Tomorrow I have friends coming over to help me pack my clothes. That will be the hardest. I feel like I need to wean through the clothes again because I haven’t seen the apartment I am moving to and I don’t know how much will fit. I can’t do any of the packing myself so it will have to be pretty much straight forward. It will be a quick go or stay. If I can at least wean throw 1/4 of it, that will be good. Plus, it will save me the space and I can put other things in its place.

Wednesday I have a friend coming over and she will help me pack my kitchen, plus all my documents for MetLife and Social Security. That has me a bit nervous, because if I need that stuff, it won’t be with me. As for dishes and stuff, again … weaning. I will wean it down to the bare minimums. I just don’t want to have to pack that stuff again some day.

Thursday will be lose ends. Pretty much anything we didn’t get done the last two days. I have some stretching blocks, my dvds, and remotes and such. Just kind of random stuff.

Then on Saturday will be my bathroom stuff. I will be going au naturel for the next week or so.

That’s pretty much it. Then it will be a week and half of not much stuff. That’s okay, I don’t require much anyways.

So to summarize, just trying to break it all down to easy, manageable days so as to not overtax myself (the irony is I don’t want to overtax myself pointing at what everyone else should do — man, my life is terrible). Tomorrow will be the worst. I’m not sure how much help that group of friends will be, or if they are really even up for doing it. Last time they all just sort of sat around drinking and chatting and I was left there not wanting to be an asshole and be like “I can’t move anything myself! Please! I need help! Stop talking!”

I’ll let you know how it goes next week.

Settling into new place almost complete

It’s now been three weeks since I’ve moved in order to facilitate healing, and to not be trapped in my own apartment.

So far it’s been going fairly well.

As of last week, the carpet was proving to be very difficult for me and my back. I spoke to the apartment complex, and they refused to do anything about it. Well, that is until my husband went ape-shit on them. Now they are all ready to do something about it.

Well, it’s too late. We were able to find a solution ourselves that is working out so far quite well. I’m able to stand at my computer without too much difficulty now, so that is good. No more hanging out in the kitchen!

I still find myself going outside a lot, as it is easier on my back to be on solid ground. I love the San Mateo weather here. Even though I daydreamed that simply moving would make me suddenly better, I’m still quite pleased with the ability to enjoy nice weather. I go outside and talk on my phone for a few minutes to friends, or instead of reading something indoors, I’m able to stand outside and enjoy the sun. It helps the mood a lot to see the sun. Maybe it doesn’t help my back get any better, but I do enjoy a better mood.

I do find it humorous that I like to stand near the pool. All of the people who are there are always giving me funny looks, as if to say, why are you standing and not sitting? Cause I can’t! But it’s nice to be near the water, and to hear the kids laughing. I can stand for a few minutes, and it makes me happy.

Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at

Settling in is an adjustment

Settling in has been quite trying. First of all, there were so many things that I had not considered.

First. The toilet was too short here. It’s like a baby toilet. I literally could not sit on it. It was so close to the ground that I couldn’t reach it. I had to research toilets online and find one that was ADA compliant. Then I had to schedule a plumber to install it after getting permission from the landlord. Thank God they allowed it. Now, it is so much easier. However, I never, ever would have thought that that would be the case.

Other thing. My apartment complex says that it allows Direct TV. That’s bullshit. As soon as my guy came to install it, he said he noticed no one else here had one, which aroused his suspicions. Sure enough, not actually allowed here. Total crap. What can I do now? I’m so disabled I can’t go to a bar to watch my games. Oh, wait, let me take a step back. I don’t care about anything else other than football season in a few months. How am I supposed to watch my Green Bay games? I’m not well enough to go to a bar. I can’t walk there, I can’t drive there. Plus, I live in San Mateo, where is there even a sports bar that will show Green Bay games here? Plus, I like to hear the sound. Too often when you go to the bar you can’t hear the sound, only the sound of the home team, and let me tell you, I DO NOT want to hear Niners’ games.

I have settled upon Hulu Plus for now. It serves all of my needs. I really only like watching Colbert Report and, don’t laugh, General Hospital. I have a Netflix account so I can watch movies, and I can start season two of House of Cards and then move onto OITNB. I hear that is very good. I’m also kinda interested in watching Fargo now that it is done and it got good reviews.

But I digress.

One of the other hardest things was the internet. First, they cancelled my internet in SF three days early, right in the middle and beginning of the move. Then, I make them promise me they will turn it on here, which, doesn’t happen. It was a big disaster that I don’t even want to go into, but I was without internet for a week. Yes. During a move, I had no internet. No good way to look stuff up. No way to check emails. No nothing. Remember the toilet thing? Try looking up what kind of toilet you want on your iPhone. It’s a pain. I also blew through my data plan on my phone, and you try telling your 4 year old niece you can’t FaceTime with her because I’m out of data on my phone. Not gonna happen.

The other hugest issue is that this place is carpeted and the floors are completely uneven and, in fact, rotted through. Yup. All this place did was throw new carpet onto rotten floors that are also completely uneven. It completely hurts my back. I was not anticipating not being able to stand on cushy carpet. There is a lot of padding down to try and cover the holes. There are huge holes in the floor, and there are divots, and slants, and slopes everywhere. Right now I have several calls into corporate to have them fix it. I pay $2100 a month. I don’t need my floors to be so shitty. It’s lazy. I literally had one guy tell me when I told him he needs to rip up the carpet to figure out why my floor is so slanted and has holes in it, he said “well what do you want me to do if we find them? Who’s gonna pay for it?”

Really? That’s his answer. Disgusting. This isn’t the 1880’s and I don’t live in a tenement building. I live in San Mateo, part of Silicon Valley and the suburbs of San Francisco. Get it together.

Now I spend all my time in the kitchen because the floor is fake wood in here. Although, this too is slanted because my weight scale goes nutty on the floor in here because it is so uneven.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at

Random Ramblings: Move is complete

So, at the last minute, I decided to move. I couldn’t stay in San Francisco anymore. There were a lot of reasons. The main one, was that I couldn’t leave the house. I have been trapped in that apartment for more than two years. I couldn’t go down the stairs and I couldn’t use the elevator because of the big heavy gate.

There was a lot of talk about moving to San Diego, but I just didn’t think I could manage the drive – in any fashion. What I ended up having to do was order an ambulance service to drive me to San Mateo.  It was humiliating. I don’t like to be so disabled that I would have to use an ambulance service. I cried a little bit on the drive. Although, I did keep thinking to myself it would be worth it in the end because I would have more freedom. More sun. More flat surfaces to walk on and try and improve my duration/endurance.

I have mixed feelings about the move. I’m not super pumped that my illness caused me to have to leave the area that I love. I have lived in San Francisco for ten years. I loved my job. With the move, it makes me feels like I had to admit to myself that I just wasn’t getting better and that I’m not going to be well enough in the foreseeable future in order to condone living in a place I can’t leave unless someone lets me out.

I really wish things were different. So, so very much. Hopefully this change of scenery will improve my health. Maybe there was something in the air in San Francisco. Maybe there was something to inhaling all of that exhaust soot all the time. Who knows. I really, really hope I get better.


Madeline Fresco is a novelist who lives in San Francisco. She is the author of CROSSED THE LINE, available for Kindle at, for Nook at Barnes & Noble, and as an ePub at other eBook retailers. You can also listen to her novel as a free, serialized audiobook at Her second book THE CHOICE, is available on Kindle at Amazon. Her third book ANGUISH, is available for Kindle at

Random Ramblings – moving out of my apartment

So I think it comes down to how do I think  I am best going to get better? I think the best way is if I move apartments. I need to be able to come and go as I please. I also need to be able to do more stuff, which is what the freedom of having a ground apartment will do. I won’t get better if I keep doing the same things all the time.


In my heart of hearts, I know it is for the best. I just hate the idea of having to spend all the money on moving. I hate the idea that it is going to be a rough go, trying to fit everything from my apartment, which is quite large, into a much, much smaller apartment. I also don’t like the fact that I’m not going to be able to do much of the work. Even supervising it could prove to be taxing. I think I will have to do a little bit at a time, spread out over the next few weeks.


It’s also sad that on top of losing my dog, my job … I now also lose my apartment.