Category Archives: Health

Changing it up

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I saw my psychiatrist this morning. Told him all about the apathy and lethargy, and the concerns I have with my energy levels being so low and all of that. It was a good talk– a half hour, opposed to the usual 15 minute med check. He decided that we should try something different for about a month or so to see if I feel any better.

I’m going to wean off the Zoloft and start Nefazodone, while keeping the Wellbutrin the same. If it doesn’t help or if I feel any worse, we’ll figure something else out. But for now, he thought it might be time to try a new medication mixture.

Nefazodone is a tough call, though. On one hand, there are a couple of good things about it: it’s slightly sedative, so taking it before bed can help me sleep through the night. It also doesn’t have the weight-issue of Zoloft; with Zoloft, it doesn’t cause weight gain, usually, but it makes it a lot harder to lose weight. Interesting.

The downside to Nefazodone is it’s got a checkered history. It was recalled here when it was sold under the name Serzone, because it’s linked to severe liver damage and the death of several people. My doctor has a dark sense of humor, and said, “There’s a 3 or 4 in a million chance of you dying from this pill.” He didn’t seem too worried, though, the longer we talked about it. Since he’s been my doctor since 2005, I do trust him with this stuff. So I guess we’ll just see what happens. I go back to see him on July 2 to determine if it’s a prescription I should continue.

He also recommended I talk to my ob/gyn about going off the continuous birth control, after I mentioned it was something I’d be considering. I’ve been on it non-stop since April 2003 to treat the endometriosis/ keep it from coming back. I haven’t had any real problems with the endometriosis stuff for years and years, and in the meantime, I have been dosing myself with hormones that trick my body into thinking I’m pregnant. I’ve gained weight on a pretty steady basis every year since I went on it, despite exercising and eating OK in the earlier years of taking it.  (I worked out a lot more often back then, so I can say for sure that weight was coming on even though I was doing everything else right to lose weight; and I started the Zoloft in 2005, so if you think about it, my continual slide to obesity might have been helped along a bit by my medications. HOWEVER, I am not ready to blame the pills for all of it. I think it’s still largely my own doing, and my own genetics, that are to blame for me gaining weight as I age. I could do a lot better with the food and exercise things these days, and I know it.)

The kind of birth control pills I take can also lead to thromboembolism, which are blood clots in your veins. The risks for that get worse after age 35 (yay) and since my Mom had this very condition the year after we moved to Arizona, I’m worried I could inherit it. It can also raise your blood pressure, and I know for a fact that my BP has been getting higher these days. Also, some women on the pill are at greater risk for depression. So, who knows… I might end up being healthier, overall, if I stop taking that pill. It’s worth looking into, anyway.

Am I worried I could get another endometriosis flare-up? Yeah, a little bit. However, I’ll know exactly what it is if and when the symptoms start up, and I’ll know what to do about it. (Probably, go back on the pills and/or get those shots I had after surgery; worst case scenario, I have ablation surgery again.) Also, once I hit menopause I won’t have endometriosis problems anymore, anyway. Not that I am close to menopause, even though my physical health already makes me feel that I am going through it…

So, this will be an interesting 4-6 weeks. Especially if I stop the birth control pill, too. Who knows? I really might be on my way to feeling a LOT better. Mentally, yes, and physically.

Finally, he didn’t think I needed to bother with counseling right now. If medication doesn’t help, then yes, I can consider it, but he firmly believes, based on my history, that my depression is biological in nature. It’s responded well to medication, for the most part. We’ll just have to see how things go with these changes.

Bonus moment: He made me walk in to his other office to see his two beta fish. “C’mon, you have to see these little guys,” he said, almost pushing me forward. “You’ll see they’re not that bad.” And they weren’t. I’m better than I used to be about fish– but I’m also better at hiding my inner screaming. 🙂 Anyway, he’s just as amused by the icthyophobia as most people are, and he’s a professional. That cracks me up.

The honest truth

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I’ve reached a point where I need to get something off my chest.
I’ve been hiding the real me for a long time now. Months, at least. I have grown smarter and more experienced in life itself, and I know all the correct things to do, say and even think.

And yet, I’m having lots of trouble with my health and level of energy/motivation to do anything.

I’m in pain every day. My sciatica hurts all the time. Lucky for me, it’s manageable the majority of the time. (Pain level around 3 or 4.) I’ve gotten used to it, and I hate that I had to get used to that kind of pain. At any given moment, there’s pain in my left leg. Recently, the pain along the nerve spread further into my left foot and has given me cramping, throbbing pain in the bottom of my foot. I have been trying the thing with rolling a tennis ball under my bare foot and it has helped a little. I think some of my shoes actually exacerbate the problem so I am slowly weeding those pairs of shoes out of my closet. The thing that sucks is that the pain is now in a place where it once wasn’t. I feel so annoyed by that fact.

I’ve been short of breath a few times over the past few months, and that’s scared me. I have never been the most athletic person, even as a little kid. I used to get called to sit down and rest because I’d overheat easily (my face goes totally red and blotchy, making everyone ask me if I’m OK, which is annoying). I don’t know it it’s because of my heart murmur or what, but I’m not happy that breathing itself is sometimes a chore for me.

Right now, I’ve got ear pain that’s stabby and sharp in my left ear. It’s always my left ear. I get this pain several times throughout the year, at random. I think it’s related to my sinuses, which are constantly giving me trouble. I’m so tired of the pressure, the pain, the dryness. Neti pots and nasal moisturizers (saline) keep me functional, but functional is not the same as “feeling good.”

I am the heaviest I have ever been in my life. I eat awful stuff. I think I’m addicted to sugar, even though I feel like shit after I eat it. I have no energy to get off my ass and exercise. I’ll even change into my workout clothes, but never make it to the gym. It’s pathetic and I feel disgusting. I hate how I feel. I hate it so much. I don’t understand what’s going on, because I KNOW exactly what I have to do. I have read the tricks and mental tips to motivate me into working out, and when I try them in real life, I haven’t had much luck. I know how I will feel better if I eat better– I have done it in the past and my body does remember how it worked so much easier when it was getting a steady diet of veggies and fruits (and juices). So what’s the friggin’ deal, now? What the hell is the big roadblock keeping me from being the BEST ME I can possibly be?

I don’t know anymore. I have tried journaling about it but all I wind up doing is berating myself for not acting and doing what I KNOW I SHOULD BE DOING.

I think it’s time to bring my psychiatrist in on this. My past few visits have gone so well and I have only told him the good stuff. We haven’t changed my meds in years, now. But maybe we have to.

And maybe I have to begin counseling. Just try to work this stuff out, force myself into living a healthier life.

I may never get rid of all the pain, but maybe I can learn to cope with it better. If the pain is what’s creeping slowly in through the back of the theater to ruin the whole show, that’s stupid. I have to get better control of the psychological side effects, damn it.

This morning, a publisher asked me for the first three chapters of my book and normally that news would make me ecstatic. It’s a PUBLISHER, not an agent. I’d be skipping the agent step,  but that would be just fine. Today, though, I stayed home from work because I felt like shit, and I am still sitting here unable to pull those three chapters and send the damn email to the publisher. My writing looks terrible, the story all clunky and messy, and I’m doubting everything all over again.

So, yes. This is all bullshit.

And it has to stop.

My blogging situation

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I am beginning to move away from this blog, in favor of blogging on my website. If you know my name, it’s http://myname.com. No spaces — just my first and last name dot com.

I’ll still use this one as I’ve always intended it: more or less as a diary. Meaning, I will still write here occassionally about personal things or anything I wouldn’t want the professional writing community to read for whatever reason.

So, if you’re so inclined, go check out my website and if you want to give me any suggestions or ideas to improve it, please feel free. I like the site so far, but I still have more to add to it. I want it to be a good representation of my writing range.

My journey to landing an agent just began in earnest last week. I sent my samples out to the two interested agents… but one of them has a “full mailbox” and so my email bounced back three times. I’ll wait a couple more days, and try re-sending it. Hopefully by then she’ll have checked her email! I have to say I don’t see this as an encouraging sign, because I would want my agent to be professional in all regards, and that includes keeping her email account active. We’ll have to see.

And no news is good news with the other agent, I’m thinking. I don’t expect the first agent to be the one that “bites”… I’m all set to query the next batch of agents I’ve pinpointed through my research. I will be doing that next batch– it will be 4 or 5 at a time– this week. Not sure which day, but it’ll happen. I remain psyched. 🙂

In other news, I’ve got a really painful bout of sciatica going on these days. Holy crap. It’s doing something I’m calling “seizing up” whenever I first stand up after sitting for awhile. The pain just shoots down my nerve and the muscles around it almost freeze so I can’t put my foot flat on the ground. It only lasts a few seconds, but it’s ridiculously painful for those seconds. I’m trying not to be a wimp, and definitely trying not to complain about it, but there are times when I can’t hide it– like those “seizing up” moments. I tend to gasp a little, or make an involuntary little noise. Because of this, I chose not to go to a social event on Friday night where I could have possibly spoken to the guy I kind-of like. First, I was in no shape to do a lot of walking around or sitting on bar stools, etc… and second, if I ended up looking like a total gimp or something, that would be counterproductive. Mehh. It sucks a whole lot. It really does. I hate my spine.

I’m giving it another week or so to see if it eases up on its own. It usually does. This happened around this time last year, too. I do know what to do to take care of the problem: lie flat with my knees bent with an ice pack on the discs for 15-25 minutes at a time; do my stretches after a hot shower or using the heating pad; sit up straight and only wear shoes with a lot of support and no heels. I broke out the hydrocodone on friday. I had to. I rationed it all year so I would have it on-hand when I truly needed it. I’ve only taken it twice so far since Friday, but I will take it again if I absolutely have to.

When these sciatica episodes happen, I wind up feeling depressed at the same time. No coincidence there, really. I feel trapped in this body, with the constant pain, and I am self-conscious about how I move and walk around. I try to pass it off like I am just fine when I’m in public because I hate when someone asks me if I’m OK. If it gets to the point that someone has to ask, that means I failed at hiding it. I kind of pride myself on my high tolerance for pain… I know that’s kind of weird. But I do. I have some kind of sciatic nerve pain every single day of my life. But you know how it is with things that are chronic: You get used to it. You find ways to cope and keep things under control. It becomes no big deal. It really does. Because if I were to give in and take meds for each little twinge and pain, I’d be on all kinds of drugs all the time, probably. And I’d be whining a lot, too. Both in writing and in person. Nah. I do not want to be that way. And I don’t need to be that way, thankfully. Like I said, I have the “gift” of a high pain tolerance.

Anyway, I have already blabbed enough about this. As I was saying, I’ll give this another week or so and if it doesn’t get better by then, I’ll call the last spine specialist I saw last year and see if I can get started on a pain management treatment plan. My friend L at work got two cortisone injections when her sciatica was acting up, and it worked great for her. I will look into that. (The only thing holding me back is the fact that insurance only covers a portion of the expense b/c it’s not a “medical necessity.” The things that are excluded from insurance coverage are ridiculous sometimes. I’d say pain relief from not one but THREE ruptured discs should be a necessity, wouldn’t you? But last year when I looked into it, one injection would cost me around $450 AFTER insurance. Yeeesh! However, thanks to changes from the federal government, my insurance company is one of the ones that has had to answer for their sins against patient care– maybe if I look into it now, it would be different! I know I no longer pay for my birth control pills, or my annual well woman visit… seriously, NO co-pays. I love it. Maybe now the insurance will cover more of the expense of the injection.)

OK, my bitching about my sciatic nerve is done.

Now I really do need to get down to work. I’ve got a lot of assignments this week and very little time to get them finished. Also? I got my latest jury duty notice recently. I am supposed to report on Wednesday for jury duty. As most of you know, this is a common occurrence for me. But I’ve lost count. This is either the 13th or 14th time in 14 years I have been called to jury duty in AZ. I am NOT JOKING. They can serve you with any number of court notices: it could be superior court, or the local municipal court. I get called to both. I’ve had to show up in person only twice and I have yet to serve on an actual jury! Usually, I call the day before I find out my group doesn’t need to appear. I wonder if that’s why my name keeps getting thrown back into the system so much.

Either way, it totally doesn’t seem fair at all. I know people who have lived here as long as I have, and have NEVER been called once! I’ve looked into this and asked questions to try to find out why I am always called, and the answer is that names are chosen “by computer, at random” from a database made from the motor vehicles department and voter registration records. I’ve wondered if I had traffic tickets or any kind of misdemeanors on my record, if maybe they wouldn’t call me as often? Would doing something bad help push me to the bottom of the juror list? Probably not. Still, I do wonder…

I am so sick and tired of getting these notices in the mail every 6 months or so. I wonder if I move away, if another state will harass me this frequently, too. Probably not.

Illness is no excuse for not getting shit done

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I’ve been feeling like crap for the past four or five days. It’s a sinus infection of some kind. It rolled in around Thursday and knocked me out by 9:30 that night. On Friday, I went to work but only because I was trying not to be a wuss about it, and also because I don’t have much sick time left. The migraines take up most of my sick days. Anyway, I came in but left around lunch time to go home and sleep. I took some sinus medication, used the neti pot and slept for about 4 hours.

I ended up going to a Walgreen’s clinic around 6:30, because I felt that crappy. I had a fever of about 99.5, which is high for me, and I was just so wiped out it was hard to just walk around and do stuff like make dinner. It wasn’t normal. The doctor there diagnosed me with sinusitis, and prescribed 10 days of amoxicillan. This didn’t make me happy. I have a thing about antibiotics and really, really don’t want to take them unless there is no other option and we know, for sure, the infection is caused by a bacteria and not a virus.

I started taking them on Saturday, but I’m not so sure I want to keep doing it. I’m just not sure it’s a good idea. I think I am getting better thanks to rest, lots of water, the neti pot and breathe-right strips on my nose as I sleep. Not because of some antibiotic pills. I could be wrong. But yeah, I’m not excited about these pills and kind of want to stop taking them. I don’t know if that’s a good idea though, either.

I felt better yesterday, probably because I went out with my sister and Mom and got my mind off things and moved around quite a bit. I was incredibly wiped out after hanging out with them, though! It was pathetic! I came home and just slumped in the living room chair, eating dinner and watching a few episodes of Hell on Wheels. I tried to work on my book later on, but everything was coming out ‘muddy.’ Meaning, I wasn’t doing clean writing or editing. My mind wasn’t focused enough. Boo. 😦

I’ve got to get better. I don’t have much time to wrap up this book according to my own deadlines before the Conference! I still have quite a few scenes to revise. I’ve fallen into the old familiar trap of nitpicking a few times here and there, which wastes time. I keep forgetting that nitpicking can come later on. Now I just need to wrap it up and let people read it. That’s what’s important. Getting outside feedback. Not me worrying excessively about tenses and passive language.

Ugh.

So I just wanted to vent there for a minute or two. I wish I felt better already, but the thing is, it doesn’t matter. I have to do the work either way. It’s time to nut up or shut up, so to speak. (I love that phrase.)

Note to self: SUCK IT UP. Finish your shit, and whine later.

That’s all there is to it. Now, go. Do what you have to do.

Other things on my mind these days

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Hey, so there are other things going on in my life besides polishing up my book. Maybe I should think about that stuff for a few minutes and let my book-brain take a break. Yes. Yes, that’s precisely what I need to do.

* My sister is still in Australia on her all-expenses-paid trip through her job. (Well, I guess meals aren’t included. So it’s actually a majority-of-expenses-paid trip.) She is having a great time, according to her sporadic posts on Facebook! She has had trouble logging into her regular email, and T-Mobile gets no reception down under, apparently. But, she did manage to call us on Monday from the lobby of the hostel she was staying in. It was mid-afternoon here, but about 8 or 9am on Tuesday morning for her. I loved hearing from her, and wished we had more time to talk. I seriously can’t wait to hear everything, and see her photos. I miss her so much!

* She took surf lessons. And got to kayak in an area of Byron Bay where a pod of dolphins live, and whales are passing through since it’s their migration season. I would die to see that in real life! Holy crap.

* I finally dyed my hair. I went with dark brown, so when I do the color streaks, they’ll show up well. If I’d done dark red, the colors could clash in a weird way. I still need to make the appointment for the streaks… I might be chickening out on it. I don’t want to look stupid.

* I love, love, love my pets so much. Sorry, I have to brag! My boys are so good, it’s ridiculous. On any given day, Gremlin will cozy up to Moose, purring like crazy… Hurley will sit with Moose and they’ll weirdly be doing almost the same poses at the same time… Simon swishes past, all orange cloud-and-whispy-tail, talking to me while I work on my book, watch TV, or just walk through the house (he likes to follow me, saying “merr, merr” the whole time)… They don’t fight, or cause messes. Well, OK, Gremlin has done it a few times now, but for some reason, he gets a pass. I can’t explain it! I just forgive him so fast. I’m really in awe of the harmony and the sweet nature of each pet. I am so damn lucky, it’s not even funny.

* Grem’s new thing is to sleep up next to my head at night, with his chin resting on my forearm or hand (I sleep on my side). The cool thing is that he doesn’t wake me up to do this. I simply wake up and there he is. I say good morning to him, and he flops around and reaches toward me as he stretches. He’s stopped the weird humping thing for the most part, but he still loves to stand on me. He doesn’t care where I am, what position I am in, or what I’m doing. I was lying on my side, talking on the phone the other day, and he jumped up and balanced on my side, between my hips and ribs. It was pretty funny. I’m touched he loves being with me so much. It’s cute.

* My sister brought her dog Jack over to the house about a week and a half ago so he could meet his two canine cousins. Everything went very well. Jack is sweet and happy, and clearly still a puppy. He bounces, and has a crazy-short attention span, all of which is adorable. He loved Hurley and Moose. I realized Moose doesn’t actually know the proper way to play. He wants to play, and he is friendly about it, but he tends to show his teeth and sometimes make bark-growls that startled Jack. His other body language at the time is perfect, though… he’s wagging his tail, no hair is up on his spine, and he does play bows and everything. He’s just got to learn not to put such a scary face on when playing! I think it did, actually, serve a purpose: Jack learned not to be sooooo insane and in Moose’s face thanks to the teeth-baring and growl/barks. Either way, they were working together to figure out their particular play threshold, and that made me so happy. There was never a moment of aggression.

*Jack didn’t meet the cats yet, but I’m sure he will. Simon, in particular, is very curious and wants to check him out. They’re in for a surprise– they have never had to deal with puppy energy!!! They’re spoiled with mellow Hurley and laid-back Moose. Wait till they realize not all dogs are that calm. Hee hee hee.

* I’m back to juicing on a frequent basis again. My goal is to get back to one homemade juice each day, replacing one meal… the only thing holding me back is getting my ass to the grocery store to get fresh veggies and fruit on a more frequent basis. I hate food shopping, even if it is at Sprouts or the farmers market! I wish I liked preparing food more than I do. Anyway, I’m watching what I eat again and trying to go as organic as possible. I had my green juice for breakfast today, and washed and prepped some stuff for my next juice. I don’t know… I might do a carrot-apple-ginger one tonight, we’ll see.

* I still have a ghetto-ass roof situation. Those shingles are still blown off/twisted up in the air, and I haven’t found someone to come fix them for me. I don’t want to pay a whole lot, and I don’t want to call a roofing company b/c I already know the recommended upgrades and repairs I *should* make, and don’t want to get hassled about things I can’t yet afford… I was hoping a male friend or acquaintance could come over and just do it for me. I’d pay, of course. Still, can’t blame people for not wanting to get up on a hot roof in 108-degree weather with the sun blazing down the whole time. Oh, well. In the meantime, my house is trashy. I should embrace it, and put a rusted car body up on cinder blocks out front. Borrow someone’s old coonhound to sit and bay from his place, chained to an old tractor tire under the tree. And I definitely need to throw empty beer cans in the driveway. (This gives me an excuse to drink beers. Many beers.)

* The current season of So You Think You Can Dance is almost over already. I hate the new format, but I do love that there will be two winners now instead of just one. All of my favorite dancers–except for Amelia, who was cut a couple weeks ago on a night they sent FOUR home all at once, yikes!– are in the top 6. I just adore this show, but again, I wish so much it wasn’t a competition. Just a showcase of different choreographers and dancers– they could have a new ‘cast’ every season. I don’t understand the reality TV obsession with competitions. Who says there has to be a winner when it comes to artistic stuff like dance?

* I watched most of the Republican National Convention, and last night the Democrats got started on their own. (Side note: Has there ever been a better First Lady than Michelle Obama?! She is so classy, intelligent and inspirational.) This is the first time I have watched these conventions, and the first time I am quite opinionated and sure of my decision to vote for Obama. I can’t help it– I see the glass as half-full when it comes to the issues in this country. Progress is being made, and that’s a good thing. Why anyone would want to HALT progress that helps other people simply doesn’t make sense to me. Ugh. The pessimistic viewpoints of a lot of (not all!) the Republicans freak me out and make me sad. I don’t feel they’re looking at things in a good perspective. I think people forget about all the blessings we do have just by virtue of living in the US, and how on the other side of the world people are starving, dying, there is violence and terror… Uh-oh, I am starting to rant again.

* I am trying very, very hard not to rant. Or talk politics too often. I don’t want to be a jerk. Or try to talk someone into my way of thinking. I’m just passionate and excited about my own choice, and that’s what’s at the heart of it for me.

* I’m soooooo, soooo close to being completely done with my book. So I do need to get back to it. I really can’t help myself right now–it’s all I want to do. Seriously.

Warning: Gross post ahead

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As you know by now, I largely use this blog as a dumping ground for my thoughts– it’s pretty much my diary. (Hence, the title.) It’s also why I tend to keep this URL on the downlow, and only shared it with people I know and trust. I know I’ve picked up a couple other readers over the years, too, and that’s fine… but overall, these are the things that I think about but are a little too personal or weird to go up on The Face-Book(TM).

Stop reading now if you get seriously grossed out by bloody things.

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Yesterday while I was in the shower shaving my legs, I accidentally cut off a mole on my thigh.

(ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!)

I didn’t even realize I did it at first, which is the strange part. I didn’t feel it. But once I turned the water off, a spot on my leg was bleeding pretty badly. It was a spot where I’ve had this little red mole for years now.

I’ve always wondered about that mole. Like I said, it was bright red. It never grew or changed color as far as I could tell, so I figured it was just some strange little thing and left it alone. When it first appeared, I did squeeze it and poke at it because I thought it was a blood blister or something. But it’s right on the front of my thigh, not a spot that gets a lot of friction or anything, so it’s always been odd.

Now, it’s gone. It’s still red there, all right, though. I took the Band-Aid off this morning and it’s still bleeding pretty hard a full 24 hours later. I’m kind of stunned at how MUCH it’s bleeding, to be honest. I’ve had to change the bandage at work already today because I could just kind of tell it was seeping. That’s why I wore black pants today, just in case.

Isn’t this gross, though? The very idea of shaving off a mole is horrible. I’m so squicked out by this.

But now, because it’s bleeding so much (more than yesterday? That doesn’t make much sense, does it?) I should probably go see a doctor. Maybe I should have gone awhile ago to make sure it wasn’t a funky lil’ melanoma or something, but now’s a good a time as any, I guess, to get it checked out. I don’t know if they can put a stitch or two in there to close it up, or just, I don’t know, burn it closed or something, but it does seem to need help in the scabbing-over department.

I’ve never been to a dermatologist. If I go, I will probably bring up my hypertrophic scarring thing, too, and ask about my tattoo. A few people have told me my tattoo looks “weird” because it’s not flat. It’s just a tad raised up, and I think it’s directly because I tend to scar that way, and my skin did reject a lot of the ink the first time I got it done (I had to go back TWICE to get color put back in). I want to ask if I should just consider getting the whole thing removed or is it OK to get it covered up? I’ve wondered about this for awhile now, but it’s never been enough of an issue to warrant finding a dermatologist and going and all of that. So maybe I can tack that on to the sliced-off mole issue.

Oooh, oooh, I have one more gross thing to tell you about before I wrap up this particular post: The other night I was putting socks away in my dresser, and I have these little box/compartment separators in the drawer to organize socks by athletic, work, no-show or winter socks, and the one with athletic socks is stuffed to capacity. I was trying to stuff one more pair into the box when something very sharp slid up and under my fingernail, on the side between the nail and the cuticle.

I pull my hand up and there is a sewing needle stuck in my fingernail. I’m serious. It was under there, half under the nail bed and half in my cuticle. OMG WTF!! But before I pulled the needle out, I almost got my camera to document it because it was really, really gross and I was fascinated at the same time I was cursing from the pain. I ended up pulling the needle out fast and soaked my finger in a little cup filled with hydrogen peroxide. It hurt pretty bad for awhile but it did stop bleeding pretty quick. Today, there is a little dark scab-thing under the nail, and I guess I just have to wait for it to grow out.
So freaky, right?

Oh, and I realized the needle came from this small traveler’s sewing kit that I’d mindlessly shoved into the side of that box, thinking, I guess, that sewing kits belong with socks…? Either way, it had popped open and that’s how I got stabbed with the needle.

Good thing I had a tetanus shot a few years ago, when that shopping cart rolled into my hand at IKEA and tore the skin off my middle finger on my left hand. That was another bizarre injury.

But NONE of this is as bad as the time I actually sliced my fingernail OFF while shaving in the bathtub. My nails were all soft from being in the water, and I was shaving with my left hand and just nicked the crap out of one of my right fingernails. That was the absolute grossest injury I’ve ever had. Even grosser than the broken wrist, I think.

 

Yay! Injuries! What’s a really gross injury you’ve had? I wish I wasn’t interested in gross stuff, but I totally am. Yeah. I’m weird.

Slacktastic pile of nothing-much

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I am annoyed at myself. Plain and simple: it’s because I’ve been slacking off in my personal life.

First, I haven’t been eating well again for the past two weeks or so, and I’m paying the price. Not only do I feel sluggish and headachy on a frequent basis, but I gained back 6 pounds between May 1 and today. Holy smokes. This is not a good thing! I will not let this spiral downward any further. The shit stops now. Today. It already has stopped, in fact. I am back to having my fruit smoothie with flaxseeds for breakfast, a few nuts in the mid-morning (cashews, because OMG, I love those so much anymore) and eat a smarter lunch and dinner.

The sugar beast has been creeping into my head again… asking for and getting things like donuts, candy, sweet drinks (the stupidly-delicious frozen strawberry lemonade from McDonald’s is a particularly bad one, especially on super hot days when I’m driving around and want a cold drink) and a wee bit of soda again here and there. UGH. Well, like I said, this shit ends now. I am better than this, better than giving in to these lame-ass instincts to eat stuff that might taste good in the moment but ultimately leave me with a sugar crash and an overall MEHHH feeling; a feeling I wouldn’t have recognized if I hadn’t drastically changed my diet all those months ago and noticed the difference.

I think that now that I’m getting my food intake cleaned up again I should have the energy to do some good, kick-ass workouts again. I haven’t been exercising much at all this entire year, so far! It’s the worst it’s ever been.

I’m just not motivated to get on the treadmill and it’s for the DUMBEST reason imaginable: I don’t want to be in the office-room in my house, since it’s a cluttered mess and the cats have torn my floor mat to shreds (the foam mat under the treadmill) and it makes me angry to look at it! See, how stupid is THAT?! Anyway, my primary goal this weekend is to pretty much gut that room by pulling everything out and sorting/tossing/filing and cleaning the hell out of it. I’m also considering doing something that could end up looking shitty, but then again it could help the situation: I might cover the floor mat with packing tape and/or some of that designer duct tape.

I want to enjoy being in that room again. It’s weird how the psychological aspect of exercise can override the physical urges to move sometimes. I do get the urge to get up and move, but usually all I do lately is either do some strenuous yardwork or walk the dogs, and it’s clearly not enough. I have to do more. (Plus, walking the dogs isn’t all that fun these days. It’s already been hot out there, and they wind down pretty fast. Also? I have to stop the constant stop-and-pee-on-everything business because now with Moose, it’s gotten worse. We walk a few feet, one of the dogs stops to piss, and then the other will usually have to piss right next to that spot. It’s a whole process, and I have been doing that thing where I just keep walking and sort of pull them along like I don’t notice they’re trying to pee, and it’s starting to work, but only a little bit. It only works once they have both emptied their bladders for the most part. Otherwise, they are peeing as they walk and it’s a mess. I’m working on it, but it’s still not as fun as it used to be when it was just one piss-happy dog to contend with.)

And, finally… I haven’t been working on my writing as much as I could have been.

Everything was going so well, and then– I don’t know what happened. I never do. I just know the writing urge comes and goes without much warning. Well, I want to make it more predictable and reliable. I came up with three new short story ideas recently and have I written any of them yet? HELL NO. Only because I’m too distracted and ditzy to sit down and focus for the time it takes to get into the writing zone. It’s idiotic. I hope that by writing it out here, making it concrete somehow, I am forcing a little accountability into my slow-ass brain to get it moving in the right direction again. I’m so sick of being lame as a writer.

That’s it, I think. Well, one more thing. I guess you could say I’m slacking in the dating game, too, but what else is new? I wish I cared more. I did rejoin Match a little while ago, but I already cancelled my membership. It ends next week sometime. I met one guy who is OK, but we never see each other or even talk. He works 80 hours a week, and I am not as persistent as I could be when it comes to emailing him. We’ve hung out twice, but it’s more of a friend-vibe that I’m getting than a romantic one. It’s kind of a shame, because not only is he interesting as a person, he’s my kind of good-looking. (Long hair, tall, glasses.) 

A couple of younger dudes have just contacted me as of last night, though. I changed my profile to be all “I’m ending this membership because it’s just been a waste of time and money” and I guess that grabbed some of these guys’ attentions. Weird. Well, I’ll see what happens and if I care enough to make any efforts. :-/

If that thing about people’s auras and energies is true, then I would have to say that my current aura isn’t a pretty purple, pink or bright blue color these days– nope. My guess is my aura is kinda beige.

Note to self: Wake it up, damn it!

Been a long time since I rapped at ya

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I got a new car! It’s a black 2005 Toyota Prius, and I love it. I wasn’t sure I would, because it’s a very different car than, well, anything I’ve ever driven. I also thought they were way out of my price range. As it turns out, if you are lucky you can find a used one for under $15K. And the Prius is a lot of fun to drive!

I never even ridden in a Prius when I took a test drive in one last Friday. It was really cool inside, with everything being computerized and electric and sleek… wow! I had been in love with that Mini Cooper, and it really was a frickin’ adorable little car. I test drove one at Carmax on friday and it was so much fun to drive. It felt nice. It had a good amount of power, and I liked being behind the wheel. However, I didn’t like how hard it was for people to get in and out of the backseat. I don’t know– I’d never be comfortable having a car that I couldn’t pile people into, on occasion. I don’t mind being the “one to drive” to lunch, to dinner, to the movies, etc…

There’s no worries in the Prius. In fact, the backseat is way more lux than the HHR was. I’m very happy with the size, comfort and feel of the Prius’ interior. Not just for me, as the driver, but for any passengers. ALSO: If and when I ever become an aunt, it will be a hell of a lot easier to put a baby seat in the back of the Prius than it would have been in the Cooper. My sister has flat-out told me she expects me to babysit… a LOT. 😉

The only thing about the Prius that I test drove on Friday was it was boring. It was silver with a gray plush interior. I have a thing… I don’t like silver cars. So we went on the website and we found a black one with a leather interior, at the same price with only a couple thousand more miles on it. We could have it transferred from Ontario, CA to Gilbert AZ for $249. So that’s what I did. The car was finally there and ready to test drive on Wednesday. I went down with my Mom, drove it and loved it, and did the paperwork to buy it. It was awesome. I drove off the lot within an hour. (I love Carmax!)

I’ve still got some learning to do when it comes to the multitude of features in that dashboard computer. There’s GPS, a Bluetooth connection (that I do not plan to use, but still, it’s there), and all kinds things to play with. It’s neat!

The car needs two things: one, an auxilliary line-in for my iPod, and two– tinted windows. In AZ, it’s basically a requirement if you are going to drive around during the day in summer. I think I can get this done for about $185 or so, so that’s not too bad. I don’t know yet about the iPod thing, so I’ll probably just hunt around for my cassette-adapter that I used when I had the Rav4. (I might have tossed it, though, since so far I haven’t found it in my house.)

Other than the car, everything’s pretty good. I’m glad to have the car situation squared away now. It was really distracting me last week.

Tomorrow I leave to go to Baltimore for five days for our company’s annual conference. Yippee. I have to blog from there, but not on this blog– on the work blog. I know I’m going to be tired and maybe even a little cranky while I’m there, since it’s always a lot of work and a lot of running around from the time you wake up until you go to bed. But at least I will be home on Wednesday, and I get two days off so it’ll be a nice four-day weekend. Ahhh.

I got a deep-tissue massage yesterday to deal with my neck and shoulder issue, and it definitely helped! I’m happy I found a good place to go, with a reasonable rate and no “monthly membership” gimmicks. I did the 60 minute massage yesterday, but my next one’s going to be 90 minutes… my back is a downright mess. My upper back’s the worst right now, but she did some work on my lower back, hips and the sciatica “tender spots” in my glutes and hamstring and OMG. OUCH! It was so painful!! But in that good way. That good kind of pain. I felt so wonderful afterwards, and drank a massive amount of water the rest of the night and peed dark-yellow urine all night, too… a lot of toxins were leaving my body, for sure! Thank goodness.

OK, time to go home and get ready to leave early tomorrow morning. I still need to wash my bedsheets, mow the lawn, pack, maybe get a pedicure if I have time… and love on my sweet little pets. I am totally going to miss the crap out of those guys! Good thing my Mom will be housesitting, so they won’t be alone. But still. I wish I could at least slip Gremlin into my suitcase and bring him with me…

Go it alone

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I finally got a haircut on Saturday. It was at least 6 months since I had the last one. The ends were brittle and peeling, and everything seemed uneven and shaggy. So, I finally sucked it up and went.

It’s a good haircut. I got shorter bangs again, instead of the sideswept long ones I’ve had for awhile. I always liked how I looked with bangs, since I think it makes my eyes look nicer somehow. Not to mention it covers my forehead bump. (In all honesty, that bump has grown less noticeable as I age, but every once in awhile I either catch someone looking right at it, or they will ask me if I ‘hit my head on something.’ No. I just have an idiotically-shaped skull.)

After my haircut, I met up with my friend Heather for lunch. She lives in Tucson and was up in Phoenix for the afternoon to drive her fiance to the airport. I had never met her fiance, so it was cool to finally do that. My sister and BIL also came along to lunch, with their houseguests D & J, who were in town from California to go to the Radiohead concert this past week. It was a nice time. I love laughing with Heather. The girl’s been cracking me up since we were little kids in Sunday School.

After that, I went home and took a nap since a headache was starting up, and I didn’t want to deal with that during the VNV Nation concert that night…!

I have wanted to see VNVN for years and years, but they don’t come to Arizona very much. They mostly tour in Europe, since that’s where they’re based. The one time they did come to AZ I know it happened to be a time when I was out of the state for work. Man, that sucks. To be stuck doing work-related travel right when one of your favorite bands is FINALLY playing in your state. Well, either way, it finally came to pass that they played in AZ, and not just anywhere– in my very town. At the smaller venue in the awesome downtown district. It was perfect.

I waited until a few days before the show to buy my tickets, in case someone came along that would be good to take to this particular show. But I realized–probably a long time ago– that I didn’t want to invite anyone, really. This was a show I wanted to fully experience without distraction, if that makes sense. I did ask my sister and I would have asked BIL, but they already had plans. It all worked out for the best.

The night of the show it was windy and a storm was blowing in. It was also St. Patrick’s Day, so the downtown area was relatively quiet since there are no bars down there. I was able to park across the street from the venue and walk over in a minute. I was psyched to get in there. I was also pleased to see several pleasant-looking men there. How nice: I get to see one of my favorite bands ever, and there are several guys to gawk at, as well. Bonus!

The only time I felt self-conscious was between the opening band’s set and VNVN. It seemed to take a long time, and I just wandered around, trying not to stay in the same place too long so it would be obvious I was alone. I’m not sure, but I do think I spotted a few other people who appeared to be there by themselves, so that made me feel a lot better.

The show itself was fantastic. I decided to just go full-throttle and let loose if I felt the urge to do so. And I did. Once they played songs that are on my top 10 list, I couldn’t stand still. I danced, I jumped up and down and clapped over my head (they are industrial-tech, so the crowd was into these kind of moves– if fact, the band spurred everyone on, too) and sweated like a monster. My lovely new haircut was spoiled with sweat, but I didn’t let it stop me. I was aware of a handful of nice-looking guys nearby, and a couple that were even checking me out a little, but I remained focused on the show itself and in taking it all in as best as possible. It was FUN.

One of the highlights was when they played “Illusion,” probably my favorite VNVN song. This is the song that I associate with my book. I have been imagining this song on the ‘soundtrack’ of my book for years now. The cool thing was that so many other people at the show appeared to be into this song, too. They stopped jumping around, and sang along. At one point, the singer dropped out and let the crowd since a verse a capella… it almost gave me goosebumps. I felt super-charged and happy, and wanted to run home and finish my book.

I tired myself out as the show went on. My headache from the afternoon returned with a vengeance. I knew I was fading fast, but I did stay through the encore. Everyone was cheering for another encore when I decided I’d gotten my fill and was satisfied leaving at that point. I happily wandered outside into the cooler air and sighed, walking to my car contented and elated. It was pretty close to a perfect concert experience, overall.

And then, as I drove home, who should surface in my life but X.

He sent me a text. “I’m not trying to be weird, but did I just see you leaving the VNVN show?”

So apparently, he was there. I didn’t see him. I’m so relieved I didn’t see him! It would have put a real damper on the experience I had. I wonder if he saw me during the show, when I was going insane with the dancing, jumping, singing and sweating. I hope not. The reason it was so fun doing that stuff was because I didn’t see anyone I knew… I was surrounded by strangers I’d probably never see again. Thinking of him watching me be that free and happy somehow makes me uncomfortable. Well, any time I think of him watching me at all, I feel uncomfortable, so… no surprise, there.

I texted back that yes, it probably was me since I was there. He texted back that he was there too with “a couple of friends” and that he “forgot” I liked that band. NO WAY. Not when I had every one of their albums and played them in the car when we were driving around, back when we were together. Not when I put a song on a mix CD for him when we were first going out. I cannot imagine that he “forgot” that VNVN was one of my favorite bands in the world. I know this could sound egotistical, but I kind of think he went to this show because he thought he might see me there. It’s the kind of thing he would do, after all.

It reminds me of the time he showed up at my favorite restaurant on my birthday, when I was there with my family for my birthday dinner. Of all the restaurants in the area he could have taken a date to, he picked that one, on THAT day? You’ve got to be kidding me. Fortunately, I didn’t see him that time, either. It was only when me and my family were in the parking lot that they all exclaimed their surprise at seeing HIM in there.

Stupid X, creeping around, existing in my space.

I swear, if and when I leave AZ, one of the greatest benefits will be less of a chance of running into him on a regular basis. Seeing him, talking or texting with him, all of that makes me feel a little nauseous.

Well, overall though, he did NOT ruin the experience of seeing VNV Nation. No way. I would do it again! I’m really so glad I decided to go, and go alone. It was a unique experience. Kind of like going to a movie alone. Which reminds me: I hope to go see The Hunger Games by myself, too. I don’t want any distractions. This might seem weird, since wouldn’t it make sense to see it with someone so you can talk about it afterward and everything? Yeah, that’s fine for most movies. But when it comes to movies I am truly excited to see, I get a little selfish. I want to give it my full attention the first time I see it. I’m not sure I will get my way with this movie, since a lot of people have talked about seeing this movie with me and I don’t want to make anyone feel bad… but yes, if I had my choice, I’d be goin’ it alone.

Like so many other things in my life. Alone. BY CHOICE.

Oh, one final thing to mention before I hit publish: I have lost a total of 15 pounds since I began juicing and eating healthier! It could have been a lot more if I hadn’t had lots of moments of weakness, where I gave in to having chocolate or a second helping of pasta or pizza. But at least I didn’t gain anything back. Now I have to buckle back down and keep things moving along… mostly, I have to start exercising for real. Walking the dogs isn’t enough. Yard work once a week isn’t enough. No, I have to do real workouts with resistance and cardio. I wish my living room was a little larger– I could do a DVD or buy a Wii game. The fact is that I need to get my damn bike fixed already. I love riding my bike, and it’s the one thing I really WANT to do. The only thing preventing me from fixing it is walking the bike up to the bike shop. I can’t ride it, since one tire is completely trashed. And then, I will have to walk home alone. It’s NOT FAR, so I don’t know why the hell this is a roadblock for me, to be quite honest! I just feel lazy when I think about doing it. God, I can suck sometimes. Of all the loser, lame things to be lazy about.

Anyway, everything is pretty damn good right now and I’m kind of excited to see what I do next. Know what I mean? I really think I can achieve things I want. I didn’t always think this way. In fact, thinking this way is really very new for me. But keeping 15 pounds off for almost three months is a good start and it makes me feel good when my clothes are all too big on me. (I got such a thrill out of buying smaller pants a few weeks ago!) I know I lost some pages of my book, but the new stuff is better than ever. I can finish this, and I will. I can be healthy and be a fiction writer. I believe it now.

So, here goes nothing. 🙂

 

I can watch “Get a Life” whenever I want, because I live alone!

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In a classic episode of “Get a Life,” Chris begins to stalk a woman named Tricia after she helps him when he’s hit by a car while riding his bike. She not only sets his broken leg right then and there, but she also pulls out a welder’s mask and fixes his bike. She’s a genius, “at least according to those silly tests, anyway.” Chris is smitten, and follows her to her job at a fancy science lab.

It’s here where he enters a chamber that contains radioactive materials, by accident. When Tricia finally pulls him out of there, he announces with pure satisfaction: “Hey, my sour stomach is gone!”

And here’s where I finally make my point: I want my own sour stomach to go away!

This past year or so, I’ve noticed that my stomach is more sensitive than ever to certain foods and drinks. I’m also more easily nauseated while doing intense physical activity over a sustained period of time. I have had quite a few bouts of nausea and vomiting this year. I don’t remember throwing up in the past as much as I do now. It sucks so much, because throwing up sucks so much. I hate it and I probably will need to sort it out somehow, at some point.

What I mean by “sort it out” is, of course, see a doctor about the problem. I don’t want to be bothered right now with that, though. It’s not a daily issue or anything I can’t live with. It’s just an annoyance and something to keep an eye on at this point, I guess. I’m not too worries because I know our bodies change over time and our tolerances for certain substances can diminish, and this is a normal thing. I’m just still figuring out what I can’t tolerate anymore, one puke-scenario at a time.

(I threw up yesterday after doing yard work for about three straight hours, and I’d only eaten a bowl of oatmeal and my usual daily fruit smoothie. The combo of overexertion in the heat — it did get hot out there as the day went on — and not eating enough was what brought it on, I think. I felt lightheaded, too, so that’s kind of the giveaway.)

I stumbled upon an intriguing website and FB community today: Quirky Alone.  It’s for all the people who live by themselves, and the many joys and indulgences that we sometimes take for granted. And of course, it talks about how people who live alone develop quirky behaviors and habits. I like this site, because it celebrates the coolness and uniqueness that comes with living alone. I don’t like it when someone insinuates that I might be lonely, or that my choice to remain single is unhealthy in some way, or abnormal. I’m surrounded by women who are either in relationships or are married, and that’s fine. For them. Hey, if they found happiness with someone, that’s terrific and I’m not looking at them in a negative light in any way. Everyone would love to find that someone to be with, really. It’s hardwired into our nature to seek out a mate. HOWEVER…

…the women who are fixated on relationships, on being social all the damn time, the ones who passive-aggressively talk about the joys of living with someone… they really annoy the shit out of me. Fortunately I have weeded out most of them, because why deal with that crap if I don’t have to? But it still happens in social settings, or in neutral places like the office, or in stores if you chat up the cashier, etc. I don’t appreciate someone trying to make me feel “less than” because of my choice to be alone. Whether they mean to do it, or not. So, I practice avoidance! And it’s very effective.

Now with this Quirky Alone site, I see that I’m actually part of a weird little community of eccentric people, and I like it! I love how people share the strange habits they do, or the things they would never do around other people but do while living alone because they can.

I’ve wondered off and on how it might feel to live with someone again, in the future. And it worries me. I don’t know that I’d want to go back to co-habitation after all this time of independence. Here is my list of main benefits to having someone else live with me:

1) Split the bills! Yippee yahoo!

2) We could team up in case of attack or invasion (equals a better chance at surviving)

3) Someone would do half the housework. Instead of me doing all of it, all the damn time.

4) Someone could be home to let the dog out after a long day if I am running late.

But the downsides of co-habitation for me, right now, would be:

1) Having to share my bed with someone. I don’t want to sleep in the same room as someone else on a regular basis, no matter how much I might love him. In fact, true love in my book would understand the importance of separate bedrooms. I want to snore, spread out, sleep with the cat on the other pillow, and hog all the covers. I don’t need to deal with some other person in there at THAT time. Just let me sleep how I sleep, damn it.

2) TV watching/ music listening becomes a team activity. You have to find things to agree on to watch/listen to at any given time. Someone might tease you for sitting there watching Dorian Gray for the eleventy-hundred time, or you might have to wait for them to watch 5 hours of Top Gear before you get to catch up on your DVRed episode of Once Upon a Time. Nah… I have been so spoiled by having 100% control over the remote, and I don’t want to give it back!

3) Arguing or feeling unspoken remorse or resentment because of the other person not doing/ doing something they were supposed to/ not supposed to be doing. Like if one person stays out pretty late without calling, or forgets to unload the dishwasher, or doesn’t get around to fixing that leaky hose they said they’d fix, damn it… See? It could be miserable. For both people.

4) The very real fear that someone could be allergic to my pets, or worse– not get along with them. Sorry, if it becomes a “either they go or I go” situation, guess who has to pack his bags, chump? You. Not them.

5) SHARING THINGS. Like a bowl of popcorn. Or a headcold. Everything eventually becomes community property, and that would take some getting used to for me. Everything I have is all mine right now. Mine. I’m like a little kid that gets all the toys in the playbox for herself. 

So, at the moment, I am content with my life and how I live it. Sure, there are lonely times, and sometimes I am scared because I am alone and I hear a weird noise outside, but the OTHER times far outweigh any of that. I never used to understand what my Mom meant when she said she was happy living on her own and didn’t feel the need to date anyone.

Now I do. This realization is either good, or bad, depending on how I look at it on any given day. I don’t want to wind up like my Mom had been for years, just sitting in her house all day with nothing to do. But on the other hand, to reach that sense of peace that comes with relaxing and being yourself 24/7 without interruptions is definitely worth having.

I like the calm center in the middle of my life. I like not feeling an urgency to join up with someone else. It works for me. And I think finding the thing that works for you is so important, and it does take some time.

Yesterday, I was glad to deal with my nausea alone without someone else being in my house. I hate throwing up in the vicinity of other people so much! Because I never want to be around anyone else who is throwing up… why would I be OK with letting someone be nearby when I do it?!  It was just one of those times where I was grateful to be alone. I showered, got into comfy clothes with no bra on, and relaxed all night before going to bed early. (The only thing that bugged me was I missed having dinner with my family last night as a result of the nausea, and when I pictured them enjoying dinner without me, I felt lonely/jealous.)  

So, there are some overall pros and cons to living alone, yeah. Sometimes it sucks a little–like when emergencies happen and you have to call someone to come help you. Sometimes it’s crazy-fun– like when you blast your favorite music and rock out in your horrible clothes and sing really loud as you dance around the kitchen. Either way, it’s the life I have chosen and the life I will continue to choose for quite some time to come, I think. It would take a really, really exceptional individual to make me change my mind about living with someone. And I ain’t holding my breath for that.

Whatever comes my way, comes my way, and that’s all I want to do about it! I’ll see where life takes me. 🙂