I created Barking Shaman to write about the odd experiences and perspectives that go hand in hand with the atypical life that I lead. It was supposed to be a place where I could express my insights and views in a way that people could find interesting and enjoyable. Essays have ranged from purely funny (the Nexium commercial you'll never see) to ones that maybe made a difference, such as the one about the Southern Poverty Law Center which actually led to a dialog with the SPLC.
But life is about unintended consequences. If you go back to the beginning of this blog a read the essays in order you'll find that my writing gets steadily better for a time, levels out, and then gets steadily worse. The essays get more and more stilted, and the humor bleeds away like blood from a wound.
Notes From a Barking Shaman has, quite by accident, chronicled my worsening pain, and steadily increased dependence on narcotic pain meds, all through the changes that those meds have made in my personality. There is little humor in my essays now, not because I find the world to be a bleak place due to my situation (although if I did, few would blame me at this point) but because I quite literally don't feel all that much in the way of emotions, a common side effect of regular narcotic usage. More importantly, the cognitive side effects make stringing my thoughts together and writing them down quite difficult right now, and this blog is not at the top of my priority list for writing. Typing itself has also become agonizingly painful, and I typically write via voice dictation, which (for a number of reasons at the moment) is a clumsy and time consuming method.
I am a contributing writer at the spirit worker blog Gods' Mouths, and the ordeal worker blog Blood for the Divine. I don't contribute there as often as I would like for the above reasons, but when I look at my limited resources, they take priority over Barking Shaman.
I am embroiled in a quixotic fight with my insurance company to get approval for a radically different pain management system, a computerized implant. I had a 30 day trial implant last year and it eliminated %80 of my pain, allowing me to go off of my narcotics entirely. However, while the insurance company was happy to pay for the trial procedure, they won't pay for the actually implantation surgery.
If the situation changes, and through this or another means I can go off of my pain drugs, I will resume writing here. Silly as it may sound, I loved writing here and I miss it.
In the meantime, please look through the old essays. With few exceptions they aren't time or date sensitive. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.
June, 7 2009