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The Terrible Toe Tragedy of Two Thousand Thirteen

July 24, 2013 Had this been a written fictional occurrence, there would be at least two cases of foreshadowing readers would have encountered.

That July morning, I stretched out my legs in front of me, noting that my toenails were due for clipping and/or filing. I didn't think too much about it, just the fleeting annoyance that comes with regularly wearing sandals in the summer. (Foreshadowing!)

My morning continued with me watching the weekday "threepeat" of Supernatural reruns on TNT. One of the episodes was A Very Supernatural Christmas. Pagan gods end up torturing Sam and Dean during that one. I'm freaked out by even writing this, but, Sam gets his fingernail ripped completely off in the process, which looks rather painful. (Foreshadowing!)

Well it is excruciatingly painful!

You see, later that afternoon, I was on the horn with my sister. I don't recall what we were talking about; I suppose that doesn't matter to the story, really. I can't explain the way I was sitting on the couch. What I can explain is what happened next. It all happened so fast.

Distracted by the conversation, I let the ash on my cigarette get too long, which led to the cherry falling onto my lap.

I leapt off the couch into the air, frantically trying to smother the ash/possible fire by brushing my body with my hands while simultaneously screaming about fire. The flaming ash had fallen to the ground and I managed to snuff it out with my right foot.

Keep in mind, my sister is listening to this. "What's happening?!" she demanded. "Why does my left toe feel like it's on fire?" I thought. I looked at my left toe expecting to see more flaming ash, expecting I was being burned.

Wrong. My left toenail had been ripped up into a perpendicular position AND THAT MOTHERFUCKING HURT! EVEN LOOKING AT IT HURT! I started yelling, Jerky-Boys-style. I mean I was already hollering about the flaming ash but now I had a real problem. "WHAT'S GOING ON?!" Jenn yelled from the speaker of my dropped phone.

I did my best to explain but I was still in shock. Mere seconds had gone by.
Evidently, during my leap from the couch, my toenail got snagged on the material, getting tangled in such a way that tore the entire thing away from the nail bed. This ended up causing me pain I cannot describe to you. And I'm pretty damn familiar with physical pain.

Goddamn it, that was so fucking painful.

I continued the over-the-top wailing. My sister, thinking quickly, turned her phone's video camera on to capture the sounds of my agony. It went on and on and on. Unable to stifle it, Jenn laughed heartily. Don't feel bad, I'd totally laugh at her if it was the other way around.

At some point my mother emerged from somewhere to see what the ruckus was about. She cut as much of the nail off as she could using a scissors as I continued crying and yelling.

Seriously, having a nail ripped off is FUCKING PAINFUL.

I had to go to a walk-in clinic to get it properly looked at. (I hate hospitals and I'm sure the wait would've been longer.) They gave me pills and cream along with a regimen for getting it to heal properly.
My mother is the one who ended up caring for it, really. Even having something go near it when it wasn't all wrapped up was frightening and hurtful and would leave me crying like a baby. So I had to have my "Mommy" do it.
God bless that poor woman.

It took nearly a year for my nail to grow back. It took a lot to get my poor big toe back in shape.

It was a notable incident and I've been meaning to write about it since it first happened. For whatever reason I was able to give it a go today.

So there you have it.


Monday September 22 2014: it echoes to this day...


Happy 14th Birthday,!

You were my 1st domain. You've always been my "main" domain. I promise to keep you going as long as I live. Oh, the nostalgia!

Yes, it was on this day in the year 2000 after agonizing over what name I should pick (I still have the notebook with all of the other potential domain names) that I chose to make my mark on the World Wide Web.

Fourteen years ago, registering a personal domain was a big deal. You were making a statement and a commitment. You now had the responsibility of managing this space on the Internet. There was "work" to be done with new tools to learn.

But there was also freedom. You were in control. You were free of adverts. If you wanted, you could host others! Give out email addresses! Or just cherish having your very own, truly unique email address.

It was indeed a grand day for me as a "webmistress" (or "webmaster", if you prefer). I am clearly remembering it fondly.
With it came the desire for a more serious name for myself than my previous online moniker, MOONBALL.

Thus, the echo you now know was born. Same silly gal, just a shinier, more apt pseudonym.

Please don't discount because it's had the same layout for 7 years. (That's half of its life!) The Dolphin Shark version shall remain until I'm able to gain back a certain frame of mind. I'm really busy being a crazy hermit and TIME FLIES!

In the meantime: Hooray to me for keeping it going for 14 years!
I hope you will always find echo


P.S. Want to know more about this domain's history? Visit

Thursday September 18 2014: it echoes to this day...


The Drugs Do Work!

This post is dedicated to Clomipramine, without which I would be hoarding one hundred times more than I do currently.

It helps with all sorts of stuff I previously couldn't let go of at all.

Hoarding remains a daily fight but today, I won an internal battle.
Having neglected the various messes I've made on the Internet (most people call them websites), I decided to update some PHP/MySQL scripts I have installed on various sites.

I backed up the folder from the web. I backed up a MySQL database from the web. I deleted the folder and uploaded the current version of the script in question. With my database backed up, there should have been no loss of information.

Except there was. I backed up the WRONG MySQL DATABASE!!! NO!!!
I ran the script installer before I realized my mistake.

All of those posts: gone. Gone, gone, gone.

Writing about it makes me a little nervous, yet I still declare this a victory because this did not affect me the way it would have pre-Clomipramine. Those posts were from 2005. I'm a HOARDER. I probably have that shit backed up on my external hard drive.

And if I don't, so what?

So I thank you, Clomipramine. It's nice to know you work.

Monday September 15 2014: it echoes to this day...



While I was in the midst of that inexplicable excruciating pain, my sister (aka The Queen) took on the "case." She does that. It usually involves a lot of research of a legal or medical nature.

She's just trying to solve problems in this instance, mine. I poke fun at her for these actions but I have to admit 99% of the time she's correct in her diagnosis. Or with her legal advice. Or other information. Whatever. When it's health-related, I call her Dr. Loftus. (She has several AKAs.)

Her findings are often of the worst-case-scenario variety, though. Not the sort of stuff you want to hear while you're in mystery pain. She diagnosed my Fibromyalgia before any doctor did.
By the way, I didn't mention her "findings" to a doctor before I was actually diagnosed with FMS.

99% success rate, people!

Anyway, like me, she found the nothing is wrong in your mouth non-diagnosis suspect. So she went further into research mode.

Based on the nature and location of the pain, TRIGEMINAL NEURALGIA is what she came up with. This shit used to be called Suicide Disease!

That didn't freak me the fuck out at all...

So, I take this news in stride, because, like I said, worst case scenario. And 1%.

On the 9th, I went to my internist (let's call him Dr. Wolf) as scheduled. I was the first patient who put on rubber gloves during a visit with him! (Why? I had to pull my mouth open to show him where I had a sore and the various other points in my mouth that hurt and I had been reading magazines while waiting. Germs!)

After we both removed our gloves & threw them away, he said it could be one of three things: A sinus infection, TRIGEMINAL FUCKING NEURALGIA, or from the Saphris.
He was facing away from me when he said TN so he missed my jaw dropping. For some reason I pretended I didn't know what it was and asked for further information. He left out the suicide part. He knows I'm anxiety-ridden as it is and I'm sure he didn't want to unnecessarily upset me.

At this point, the exam was done and I was about to leave, but my mother had barged past clerical & medical staff to join me in the room. There were reasons. She questioned Dr. Wolf about my pain & the mystery surrounding it. She then unwittingly blew my cover about not knowing what TN is by saying something to the effect of "That's what Dr. Loftus said!"

I blurted out that I didn't know why I'd just pretended to not know what TN was. That's the truth.

Dr. Wolf repeated what my treatment plan was: antibiotics for the possible sinus infection and some cream to put on the sore in my mouth. He said if this pain continues despite the medicine, I'd have to discuss the Saphris with my psychiatrist, but no matter what he wanted to see me in 2 weeks. Y'know, just in case I have TRIGEMINAL FUCKING NEURALGIA!

Please let this be one of the 1% cases. I have enough problems mental and physical. I was suicidal in the past and overcame it (though it'll always be a struggle) and I've already got FMS. I can't handle SUICIDE FACE PAIN!

Which brings me to the good news. I've been taking the antibiotics for six days and the pain has gone away. THE PAIN IS GONE!
I'm still not out of the woods, though. TN can go into remission for months or even years.

Always look on the bright side of life, right?

Sunday September 14 2014: it echoes to this day...