n. infantile pattern of suckle-swallow movement in which the tongue is placed between incisor teeth or between alveolar ridges during initial stage of swallowing (if persistent can lead to various dental abnormalities) v. [content removed due to Bush campaign to clean up the internet] n. act of nyah-nyah v. pursuing with relentless abandon the need to masticate and thrust the world into every bodily incarnation in order to transform it, via the act of salivation, into nutritive agency

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nightmares = 100% Accuracy

Well, once again the nightmare radar illness detection system proves its complete accuracy. That is, I don't get nightmares unless I'm quite ill. Thus, if I have nightmares, something is wrong.

The good news =
I went to Planned Parenthood and had my annual. They were, by and large, nice albeit slightly condescending, which is perhaps a prerequisite to becoming a gynecological nurse or doctor. I suppose they should be allowed this stylistic quirk in exchange for spending so much time looking at women's cootches. Annual exams are, by nature, the second most uncomfortable and embarrassing of doctor's visits, the first perhaps involving anything anal. I have to treat these visits like thirty minutes of hell followed by some sumptuous treat -- in this instance, a three-salad plate at the local co-op. Anyhow, I made it through and will spare you the details, but everything is okay.

I.e. no cancer. Which was what my paranoia was telling me I had.

The bad news = However, the next day, my hip and abdominal pain was worse and I had developed a rash by the evening all along my hip and lower back. I suddenly thought I knew what I had, and so went to the cheaper walk-in clinic, and was told I was correct: shingles. The nurse told me to expect it to get worse before it gets better. Good times.

The nurse was, by the way, delightful. She was an older woman, and chatted at length about the fall she took last year onto her tailbone and the pain that went along with it, and she offered full sympathy for my dire condition, and then she waved away my co-pay with a "don't worry about it." Granted, it was a very easy diagnoses for her, since I had already figured out what I likely had... but how nice can you get?! Good karma points for the nurses...

The other good news = I have medication, including pain meds, and am feeling a thousand times better for knowing what is wrong. I'm still going to keep my back appointment at the end of the month, but hopefully the rest of the problems should be cleared up by then (2-3 weeks).

I'm feeling pretty amazed at my mind for always saving the nightmares for sicknesses. How strange is that? I kept "waking up" dreaming that I was stuck in an underground grotto, and that bugs and small animals (or, in one instance, a crocodile) were gnawing on me... It's hard to believe nothing is seriously wrong when night after night your mind tells you to get used to the idea of a grave, no?

Further Good News:

NM bought us tickets to Chicago for a week for my Christmas present. The idea is to go to the AWP conference as well as visit friends, and I think NM bought the ticket so I can be her bodyguard... she expects her Evil-Ex to be there... but I'll not look too closely at her motivations and say HOOOORAY to seeing my beloved Chicago and friends again at the tail end of February. I'll have to break my life-long personal ban on the AWP conference and try to see it with an open mind, maybe learn something, but it'll be worth it. Entirely.

Classes are seeming good this quarter. Two different preps, which is sweet... no more repeating myself over and over and over again... and very full classes, which is helpful for the sense of job security. I have a good feeling about this quarter, and am feeling quite positive. My yoga class is ridiculously easy, and the instructor is cute... so I think I can continue with it through the hip pain... and a walk with MH at the river yesterday nailed the positive feeling down... swans, eagles, hawks, sunshine, beaver trees, and even an owl. And today: fresh snow, this winter's first in Bville. Herald was wretchedly bad yesterday on the trail, and I'm going to have to find some kind of solution -- either a trainer or a shock collar (recommendations?) -- but he always knows when he's in the doghouse and acts extra extra adorable to make up for it... sticking his head in the snow and holding it there, and then rolling around and romping. I have plans to take some tasty pain pills, make some coffee, and hole up next to the window, alternately reading a book and watching the animals revel in the snow. Delicious!

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Year of Repair

My friend JS was suggesting that perhaps it ought to be the Year of J again, though reclaimed, but I've bucked and kicked, and decided on a new year title... Granted, it is not very romantic, but I thought if I invested in it, that perhaps next year could be something like the Year of Happiness or Year of Utter Bliss, because I will have started or finished dealing with all these quality of life issues... and repaired.

I'm thinking of The Year of Repair as occurring in three stages: the first four months focused on physical wellness, the second four months on mental wellness, and the last four months on social wellness. When I'm thinking about it, those are the three areas (that cover pretty much everything) that are clearly lagging in my life. And while I will focus more on each during their four allotted months, I will also allow room for them to mingle and combine.

I think it's pretty obvious how depressed I was last year. It became even more obvious to me over the break in Costa Rica, not because I was blissfully happy in Costa Rica -- overall my trip was harder than I imagined -- but because I had a little distance and a lot of time to myself to try to see what was going on, and to think about how to solve it. In general, I think I need to do more of what my trip involved, I.E. taking risks. I feel somewhat like everything is a risk, and I am a phobic.

I also thought about what worked last year, which was pretty much the summer, although it was too condensed for me to fully appreciate it. But all of my socializing happened over the summer - visits with my sister, grandparents, ER and family, Alaska, etc. But because I had all these plans for writing and work, I was tense for part of it, and so this excellent socializing was coupled with a sensation of failure. So, I think the goal might be to spread everything out a bit -- to make daily life a little more enjoyable, and the summer months a little more work-oriented.

So, first, is physical well-being. Sigh.

I was trying to figure it last night while talking to NM, but I believe I haven't actually been to a doctor in ten years. Well, I've sporadically had my annuals (part of the plan is to make them annual) and I went to a doctor to get shots for Ecuador (in 2005), but the last time I can actually remember going to a doctor for a health reason is when I had salmonella, which was during December 1997. And he was a total dick who mocked me, made me cry, misdiagnosed me, and sent me home with pills that I promptly threw up. His office didn't even have the good grace to call us when the blood work came through; rather we got a call from the WA State Health Bureau wanting to know where we purchased our tainted eggs.

Then the Ecuador shot doctor, whom I informed first thing that I wasn't getting shots that day, but only wanting to talk with him about his recommendations. However, he had his nurse pull shots from the freezer that couldn't go back into the freezer, and bullied me into taking them... even though they weren't the ones I was thinking of taking, that I had saved my money to take. (I had planned on the complex Hep shots, which were recommended by my brolaw's doctor father, whereas he gave me shots for some obscure tropical disease that I didn't even hear was common, not even after getting to Ecuador). Once again, I left the doctor's office crying.

In other words, I don't really like doctors too much. But it's about time I got over that.

Because... since I've gotten back, I've gone off the codeine mix that helped so much in C.R. (although I brought back plenty for emergencies) and the pain is slowly eking its way back towards agonizing.

I feel dramatic saying agonizing. Like I need a white handkerchief clutched to my brow or something. Maybe painful is more accurate. But it is strong enough that I can't focus well on anything else; it is perpetually with me. Since I've been back, my right hip (abdomen, thigh, back, groin, and leg) has become painful... a bruised feeling, with jolts periodically, slightly itchy, and stingy. This on top of the usual back pain, worse at night.

All I can think is: something is wrong, and I don't know what it is.

On top of this, I've started having nightmares, actual nightmares that wake me up, and historically I've never had nightmares without being sick. So, of course, I'm kinda freaked out.

Enough that I've pledged myself to the year of repair. I'm signed up for backcare yoga again. I'm signed up at the gym again. And I have two doctor's appointments. Well, one is my annual, which is tomorrow, and at least they will be able to let me know if the pain is connected to something internal, or if it's more likely related to the spine. The second doctor is at the end of this month, and is an orthopedics doctor. After that, I will book accordingly, but the plan is to have a primary care doctor by the end of the year, and to have the back stuff taken care of to the best of the doctor's and my abilities, and to take care of anything else as well.

Then I can move on to the mental care, which I think involves a new look at work as well is dealing with my depression/etc.

Anyhow, wish me well and Hallelujah, I've finally made the call(s).

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Costa Rica Animal Pics (Oso Peninsula)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

happy new year 2012