Staring Down the Barrel of a (Hot Glue) Gun

Sometimes your mind can be so open that your brain falls out.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Another Good Use for Fat

Not only is my tummy good for injections, it came in awfully hand in belly dancing Wednesday night too!

I was nearly as nervous about trying this new thing as I was getting the injection earlier that day (but not quite.) Plus I was the only new person in class - everyone else had done at least one other session with this teacher - so I felt like I stood out even more than just being at least a head taller than everyone else in the room. But I had fun! Turns out I've got some natural sense of rhythm after all, and was holding my own pretty well. Its more difficult than it looks; lots of finite muscle control of your midsection while your torso stays pretty still, and less about just swinging your hips around wildly (which I managed to slip in as well.) I had to concentrate pretty hard at times, 'cause otherwise I'd just completely lose it and sort of stutter off into the sidelines.

The other women in class are quite friendly and supportive as well, and lo! I'm not the only one with an imperfect body! I dunno that I'd say hips and bellies are exactly encouraged, but they sure had a presence. I'd also say it was quite a workout. We do crunches and stretching as well as just the dancing, and your legs get tired after all the suport they have to supply to the top half of your body in this pseudo-crouch most of the time. Let's jsut say that was one of the better nights sleep I've had in a while.

Only really bad moment was when I was dancing ina line with all the other women and suddenly I had to consider dashing for the bathroom (see previous post about side effects. Big fun.) Managed to not humiliate myself by crapping onthe floor, though, which to bme is a big plus. Whew!

Now time to get a fun hip scarf with lots of jingly coins on it. Every one in class has them, and they really do add somethig cool to the whole effect, both with the noise and the extra bits flicking about as you snap your hips. Hubba hubba.

My Life as a Pincushion

At 830 am Wednesday morning, Husband found himself sitting in the waiting room of the Stanford Endocrinology Department with one incredibly tightly wound and freaked out wife. Time to learn how to self-administer that new medication. Kill me now.

I've got a really great doctor at Stanford,and the Nurse Practitioner, Olivia, is pretty cool too. She was the one who showed us all the ropes a few days ago. I was a nervous wreck, as witnessed by my blood pressure and pulse rate prior to going in the office. Olivia talked us both through what the new medication (Sandostatin) does, what kind of side effects you might get, and what were dangerous things to look for. On the desk were some hypo needles, alcohol wipes, bandaids, and bottles of medication lined up in formation.

She also had an orange, with which to practice injecting on. Nervously I joked about how I'd been all worked up, and to find only that I was simply going to be administering medication to fruit! Silly me! Ha, ha, Look at me, I'm terribly witty! She was pretty understanding. Well, until I later cracked a joke about my disappointment that I wouldn't have to dig around for a vein - "But track marks are cool!" - at which point she just looked startled. Then she smiled and made some comment about getting rid of nervous energy. Maybe the the sound of the char rattling under my vibrating body was a clue; I'm not sure.

So, first find some fat. Thighs are good, and the belly was also suggested. Shudder. Thank you, no. That's right up there with askingme to jab myself in the eye as far as I'm concerned. Saddlebags it is. Pinch some fat. Jab in at 45', and deploy plunger. May encounter some stinging, but nothing too bad.

Injecting the orange? Dude, I'm a pro. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am. After doing it twice myself and Husband once, there is NO WAY That orange will EVER have issues with growth hormones. Ever. It didn't bleed or cry or anything either. I was quite impressed by its stalwardness. Then came my turn.

I dropped trou, wiped everything off, and drew the medication into the syringe. Unfortunately, there was a bit of bait-and-switch at this point: when I used the orange (and when I get home,) the bottle I use will be full strength, so I'll only have to draw .25 mL, or one quarterful of the syringe. In the office, the stuff Olivia had was diluted, so I had to draw a full syringe full of this stuff. Dear god.
I must've sat there trying to psyche myself up for nearly 3 minutes, which felt more like 30 minutes. Finally I managed to override my brain and stuck myself in the leg. Pretty much missed the 45' part, but it was in and I was in no danger of ever getting through all that fat to hit a vein or muscle, so no harm done. It took another 2-3 minutes to inject all the stuff because I kept stopping or going incredibly slow to keep the stinging to a minimum. I started feeling really nauseated, and squished the last 20% or so in real quick so I could lie down. Ugh, I did it, hooray! Can I throw up now?

Truly, I spend most of my day to day life avoiding things like needles and pins. In my line of work/school, that's truly not even an exaggeration. Luckily I've only had to give myself one injection since then (its a super crazy specialty drug and I'm encountering some difficulty finding out where to get it and how to get insurance to cover it.) I will do it regularly like I'm supposed to once I have vial in hand, though. Maybe I'm imagining it, just trying to find something that's not there, but I think I did feel better after it kicked in. And it did seem like I did go back to feeling crappy after 5-6 hours, which is about how long the stuff works. And even if it is some placebo effect, fine. I felt better; I'll take it any way I can.
Oh, but did I forget to talk about the side effects? Silly me. So far I've encountered two normal ones (and no sign of any of the dangerous ones - whew!) First, nausea. I'm sure some of this is jsut nerves as I inject myself, but it lasts for like an hour, and even when I try to consciously relax my tummy to feel better, there's not much there to relax. So I'm chalking that up to the med itsself. Then there's the other side effect. This medication is prescribed for several different ailments, one of which being to stop chronic diarhhea. Great for those who have it! Funny thing though; if you don't have it, you will after taking this medication. Oh yeah!! I get to have diarhhea for the next month until surgery! You're jealous, I know, but try to contain yourself. My intestines fairly sing these days, and there's enough bubbling and gurgling going on down there to make me wonder if I hadn't accidentally ingested the unsuspecting scuba diver from that urban legend: instead of being found dead in the midst of a forest fire, he'll be found floating face down in my bathroom!

So, that's the skinny. I'll probably get more and more used to it (really, you can hardly feel the needle prick, and going slow keeps the sting-y bits at bay) as this goes on. Failing that, Husbnd is well-versed in what needs to happen if I can't. And who knows, maybe this stuff does work after all and isn't just a literal pain in the butt. But I'm keeping the orange until surgery. I've decided its my security blanket. And we already have such a history together, it would be a shame to cannibalize such a good friend....

A Great Day

Like all Thursdays, Mags was home from day care yesterday. Unlike many Thursdays, yesterday we actually got out of the house and did something, instead of just hanging out here. I let Mags choose what she wanted to do for our adventure, and she promptly replied, "Beach." So, off to the beach we went.

We jumped in the car, grabbed paid a premium for a picnic lunch at Whole Foods, and drove off into the fog of the coastal hills to go to our regular beach. On the coast it was a bit windy, and the sun was struggling to weakly shine through the clouds in places, but it wasn't terribly chilly and I'd made sure we both had a change of warmer clothes, so we unloaded all our crap and schlepped down to the sand. *Pop!* went the insta-tent, *snap!* went the bech blanket, and *crackle!* went the bag of peanut butter crackers.

We chased birds, dug holes, and built our own cave out of driftwood. Mags demanded that we go back to the car to get Baby so she could play with us, too. Eventually we were joined by a handful of plastic animals who I did not realize were very uncoordinated and let terribly dramatic lives ("Oh no, mama duckie! My head is stuck in the sand!""Oh no, baby duckie! I'll help you!""Oh no, mama duckie, now I fell down into this hole!") Terribly cute.

After her dress got wet in the surf (while trying to wash the macaroni salad off the foot that ended up in the container,) a very naked Mags and I curled up in the tent to snuggle in the blanket and read some books -- an impressive feat considering the tent is only 4'x4'. We read for a while, and then I begged for a nap -- my own. Mags offered to read to herself for a bit and I closed my eyes. A while later I awoke to find a miracle wrapped in sandy fabric next to me: a sleeping Mags. Joy!

I snuck out of the tent and ran to the bathroom. Then, a second miracle occured; I read a book. For nearly two whole hours. It was bliss. A nearly empty beach, the white sound of surf soothing my mind, and a book that I'd been trying to get through for months. It really was amazing how relaxed I got. Time just melted into the foam on the ocean. True, I'd arranged with Husband for him to come home early from work yesterday so I could get some homework done in the city, but really at that point there was no way I was going to wake up a happily sleeping child and give up my slice of heaven to do homework, so I didn't. Mags woke up when she did, we played a bit more and then got ready to leave at our own speed. Husband was waiting for us in the front yard when we got home. We ate out at our favorite el cheapo taqueria.

It was as near to a perfect day as I've had in a really long time (happy sigh.)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Offspring Story of the Day

Me: Hey Mags, can I wear your shoes?
Mags: No, Mama, they are too small! (sighs) Mama, I love you, but you have your own shoes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Sage Words

Recently, my friend Minnie made a baby (whom I personally shall refer to from here on out as Sparrow.) Not suprisingly, her parents are in town to be 'helpful', which in turn is, and I quote, "creating more work than 10 babies."

I had some advice for her, and then I realized that it might be helpful to any new parents out there:

Remember - and I say this out of genuine love and concern - sleep as much as you can. Its not rude to tell people you need to rest, even if it includes words like 'fuck', ' minge', or 'cucumber'.

Words to live by.

Leather, Baby! That's What I'm Talkin' About!

I am making a hat, and I'm pretty excited about this whole idea. No, I can't label this post "Idea!" because it's an assignment for school. But its a pretty cool one.

In my costuming specialties class - the one with the fistfuls of illustrations? - we are also going to make a wig, a hat, and panniers (hoop skirts) a la our designs for The Magic Flute. I'm about halfway done with my wig, which is modeled after the Queen of the Night, and need to have my supplies ready to start the hat project on Monday. I decided to make the tricorn hat that the Speaker wears after my instructor suggested I make it out of.... leather. That had not even crossed my mind. Leather to me seems like this mysterious stuff that requires years of special and secret training, passed on from generation to generation in dark, wooden buildings where young men in baggy linen shirts learn from wizened old masters while getting sweaty...near a blazing fire....throwng a sheen off their...slick....bodies.....

(shakes head)

So, it turns out its not really that difficult, or at least according to the instructions I found online. So I'm going to try it. I ordered the leather today, and that is its own world right there. There's about a gazillion kinds of leather you can purchase (I need tooling leather), that comes in different weights (I need 4 oz.) and thicknesses (which for 4 oz. is about 1/8" thick.) There's clean leather vs. flawed, colors, round leather, half-side, single shoulder, double shoulder, ostrich, deer, textured, sueded -- the list goes on and on.

Another thing I learned is that hides basically come in one size, which is about 22-24 square feet, and is sold at x dollars per square foot. It makes sense to buy big pieces if you are making furniture, or clothing or whatnot, but is frustrating if you only need, say, 6 square feet. I eventually found a place that sold single shoulder pieces for about $18/piece, so I got two, just to be safe (if this hat works, I totally want to make another one!)

I have to admit after trolling the leather stores that I have visions of making chaps someday, but that vision always involves me being skinny, or at least in shape. Maybe later. Until then, I wait with baited breath until my pieces of dead cow arrive via UPS later this week.


(insert shit-eating grin here.)

Remember that dress I made for SVdP? Well, it sold! Someone bought it! Woot! (whatever in the hell that means.)

In fact, it sounds like the whole evening at the auction last Thursday (which I did not attend,) went incredibly well for SVdP. I had emailed a woman who was there asking how it went, and she told me everything that had been made for auction sold, which is HUGE. She also said that with auction proceeds, sponsorships, ticket sales, and raffle sales they are at about $40,000 gross for the event. How cool is that? Sure, they thump bibles and sign every email "Blessings", but they *do* actually do a ton for the homeless in San Francisco. I've been in their food/clothing/handout facility, I've seen the piles of toiletries they give out; they do make a difference to those in need. I'm not sure how much their costs are, but it still sounds like they're gonna way beat their take of $15k last year. I think that's totally cool.

And someone bought my dress! I'm still having trouble with that part! I know I never blogged about the event at the de Young museum; the evening didn't go like I had pictured it, and I actually struggled a lot with parts of it, and was afraid to admit it here on my blog (which I realize defeats a huge part of the reason for HAVING a blog; that'll be another entry some other time.) Fear was also part of the reason I didn't go to the auction last Thursday (bone-crunching fatigue being the other) -- what if no one bought my dress? What if I was standing there and when my dress came up, there was nothing but the sound of crickets in the room? Yeah, that woulda been the end of me.

But someone bought it! I am validated! At least one person a) likes what I do and b) was willing to pay money for it. Damn. In my own tiny, tiny way, I feel like I have Arrived.

Boy, between that news and the handful of Hershey's kisses I just consumed, I'm feeling pretty damn good right now. Which is newsworthy in and of itsself.

The Ambiguity of Zombies

I beg your pardon?


Secret Admirer? Or Stalker?

I recently received a mystery gift in the mail. A very cute tote bag; reversible, even! Trouble is, I'm not sure who to thank. I've got a guess, and if it was you, then thanks a bunch. It was super cool to come home and find a 'just because' gift waiting for me. :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Music to a Mother's Ears

Lying on the couch, reading a book, and hearing the sound of a toilet flushing upstairs as your child takes herself to the bathroom after her nap.


Offspring Story of the Day

Mags: (to the garden) Look at how big you age getting, strawberrries! I am so proud of you!

The Honeymoon is Over

No more post-news glow. No more pituitary bliss.

I'd floated for almost the entire past week on a cashmere-lined cloud of perfumed bliss with the news that the doctors had found a cause for a lot (hopefully all) of my problems. But in the past four days, I've been reminded that they are just that: problems. And they've not magically gone away with the news.

The headaches are still there, although not nearly as bad as they've been. I'm still exhausted all the time. I still wake up more times than hours I can actually call sleep at night. Dark, moody clouds hang about my head. I'm falling further and furthewr behind at school, which is just causing me to stress out.


My doc has convinced me to come in and start taking some medecine that should help prevent my symptoms from getting any worse until surgery in 5 weeks. I'd like to say/hope that they will actually start to make some of these problems go away, but I can't rememebr if that's true or not. The downside to this is that a) I'll lose yet another half a day down at Standford to do this because b) this'll require injecting myself 3x a day for the next 5 weeks, and both Husband and I need to learn how to do this. Yeah, I'm beyond not thrilled about this part. Truly. I've given insulin shots to a cat many, many times and lived, but that was a cat. And not me.

My guess is it'll eventually just become such a regular part of my routine that its a total non-issue, but the initial thought of it is making my tummy a bit tight. But if it'll make the headaches stop, and let me get a good nights rest, even just now and then, it'll be worth it.

The freaky dreams have got to stop. They're almost as tiring as just not getting any significant hours strung together! Part of my last dream included being back at CSM and having to build a full scale steam engine, but instead of sheet metal for the skin, we were using aluminum foil. Then of course the train crashed as we were trying to drive it down the street to wherever we were taking it, and we had to start over. Ack!

Saaaay, Burning Man project....?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Wide Awake

Went to bed at maybe 1030 tonight. Was up again at 1230 by the thunderous sound of paws walking through tissue paper. No, really. That's what woke me up. The slow, careful creeping of animal feet - not mad, Christmas morning wrapping paper frenzy sort of carousing - through a small pile of tissue paper lying on our bedroom floor. Goddammit, Mama Cat, get off my chest so I can shoo you off of the --

Uh oh. Cat on chest. Then who is walking through the tissue paper?


Now its 130 in the morning. There's some unknown animal in my house, I've got a headache, and I can't sleep. This will serve me well when I'm on all day Mags duty later today. If only I had some cheesy Jane Austin porn to read....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Nothing LIke a Tumor to Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Other people's juices, anyhow.

I've got one friend who has taken it upon herself to come up with The Perfect Nickname for my tumor - little biggy, George, Mr. Pain in the Brain, Mr. Brain Pain, Lump, Mr. T ("I pity the pituitary!"), another who wrote a song:

Happy tumor to you!
Happy tumor to you!
Happy tumor, dear *******
Happy tumor to you!
But no-oh mo-o-o-o-o-re!
A third has managed to draw up some comparisons between the tumor and her unborn child ("I stared to think that we both have fabulous parasites. Both are growing and causing some amount of distress :) Both have an endpoint and I think we both get a prize at the end. Yours is a prize of relief!"), and yet a fourth who has suggested a tumor removal party.

Actually, this last one might have been just a creative way of saying surgery, but I'm already picturing it: Come dressed as your favorite non-malignant growth! All drinks will be served intravenously! You have to fast for 12 hours before the party! No one will be admitted without a hospital gown! Hors d'oeuvres served in bed pans! Spin the wheel and see who goes home with a shaved head! Instead of a worm in the tequila, a tumor!

Can you just imagine the evite? I had no idea tumors were so fun.

I Am Going to Have This Made Into a T-Shirt

...and wear it to my surgery. :D

Well, Slap Cream Cheese on my Ass and Call Me a Bagel!

It was all in my head!! The cause of all my weird ailments, that is.

I have a tumor! And I couldn't be happier!!

Oh sure, I know it sounds, well, very wrong to be excited about having a tumor inside your skull. I'm sure my doc down at Stanford is a bit confused by the cheering and laughing his announcement caused. But god DAMN. The last doctor I spoke to told me that if I really *wanted* to, I could go drop the money to have an MRI taken, but he was fairly convinced there was nothing there. So, I've been dragging myself around for weeks, even more depressed because a) I thought everything was psychosomatic and b) I was wasting everyones time and money by taking all of these ridiculous tests that were going to do noting more than prove that there was nothing there. (Actually, the last time I took a test like that I turned up PREGNANT, so maybe I should've had more faith.)

I got to look at my head sliced up into bits via the MRI images, and boy, that was really strange. I look really WEIRD from the inside. The doctor gave me a tour of the inside of the skull and let me tell you its a good thing I don't have to travel there often. I got so lost! That's TOTALLY not what I thought it looked like in there. That's where the pituitary is? That's what my sinuses look like? Looking at the images was definitely one of those horrified fascination kind of things. Gross, but kinda cool. I'm gonna get copies of the images on a disk from my doctor; I'll try and post them soonish.

Hang on just a second; I need to do a quick celebratory happy dance again (swings booty from side to side.)

Ok, I'm back. So, onto the tumor. Its on my pituitary gland, which is basically located directly behind the bridge of your nose, in this enormous sinus cavity that's larger than my first apartment. It hangs from this little stem-like thing from the bottom of your brain right next two two major arteries and some retinal nerves. Normally the gland is fairly uniform in shape and size, and mine is all lumpy and bulge-y and half of it is covered with this shadowy-looking thing (that'd be the tumor.) Doc says it looks to be between 5-10 years old, and that most of these types of growths are very slow growing. From what he can tell, he's assuming its benign (but will definitely check that once it comes out,) and it appears to just be growing on the outside of the gland and not feeding off of it, so I shouldn't have to lose any of the gland. The tumor is also located on the front and bottom side of the gland, which should make it easy to access. A bit close to an artery, but not impossible.

The pituitary controls most of the hormones in your body (I didn't know a lot of this stuff, so forgive me if I'm stating the obvious,) which explains why I have too much growth hormone, DHEA, cortisol, and a handful of other important things, and why I am actually short on a few others. And with all of this stuff so screwed up, that does a hell of a job explaining why I can't sleep, have migraines, can't lose weight, probably some of the depression, and why my body reacts so strongly to certain medications and hormones, among other things.

You may be asking "So, now that you have the good news, what is next? The last supper? Can I have dibs on your cd collection?" Well, don't start clearing off your shelves yet. I get to have BRAIN SURGERY! How cool is THAT?!? It sounds like a fairly non-invasive procedure: they go in through my nose, drill a little to get into the cave-like sinus cavity and go to town chipping, scraping, blasting, and whtever else they need to do to get rid of said tumor. I have to admit I was disappointed when the doctor told me they wouldn't require any shaving of my hair, but not suprisingly I'm ok that they don't have to spelunk through my grey matter to get this thing out either. I'll be in the hospital for about 3 days, and will be pretty unhappy with life for about 2 weeks after that. Everything should be healed up from the surgery after about a month, and then I'll have to be on some sort of hormone treatments to restabilize all of my hormones for some undetermined length of time, but not indefinitely. Assuming everything goes well - and there's no reason to think it wouldn't - this is not going to require lifetime medication or anything. Can I get an Amen?!

Seeing the head Endocrenologist at Stanford has its perks. Like, the fact that he knows the new head of the Pituitary department, new guy is one of the top 5 pituitary surgeons in the WORLD, has literally performed at least 5,000 of this exact same surgery in the past (seriously, I'm not even exaggerating here) and because he's new, his schedule is wide open and I could do the surgery next week if I wanted to. Convenient, but I'm opting for after my quarter at school ends and am waiting for the confirmation of the date later today. So far its looking like this is all going to go down on June 18th. Oh yeah. And I am SO taking next quarter off from school. I might be prone to overloading myself and misjudging how much I can handle, but even I'M not going to try and juggle school around brain surgery.

Back to the happy dance: even Husband has a spring in his step these days. We're both walking around with big grins, are both totally more relaxed, joke with each other more, and in general are just so incredibly happy to hear the news. I didn't realize how much this was affecting him as well. I knew he was being extra supportive on several different levels these days, but seeing him relaxed really shows how tightly wound he'd gotten. I'd forgotten how it felt to be this happy. I can literally feel happy coursig throug my veins. Ok, it was kind of subdued when I was jammong on that huge project this weekend, but the rest of the time, yeah. Don't get me wrong, I still sleep like ass, have had a headache at least part of the day for the past two days and am nowhere near fitting into any of my clothes. But they actually know what is wrong and can fix it now. I'm not (completely) crazy, and the end is in sight.

And its ok if you are jealous that I get to have all these cool things happen to me. I still like you. :)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Those Costume Designs

Yep, even though they weren't colored in yet, my teacher was still very impressed with them, and said I had a natural knack for this stuff. If you knew my teacher, you'd realize what high praise that is.

Like I said, we were designing costumes for Mozart's "The Magic Flute", with the idea that the opera was actually set in the 18th century, so costumes had to be of that time period as well. Definitely reined in how creative you could get with it, but I still managed to put a spin on it. I tried for traditional Venetian Carnival/Italian Comedy masks and costumes, which seemed to work pretty well. I'm pretty proud of them, at least. :) You can click on them to make them big enough to see, btw.

Smart Choices

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. Its no secret that I am terrible at taking care of myself, and that the way I order my priorities is a bit askew. But this weekend I made the right choice and am feeling pretty smug.

I had two large projects for school that were assigned last week and that unfortunately were both due today. They both involved drawing, which I really enjoy doing, but am very s l o w at. I started one on Wednesday, had Mags Thursday, and lost all of Friday to yet another trip to the doctor AND babysitting the daughter of a friend of mine. I ended up having to stay at home whilst Husband took Mags and said other child to the ranch over this most glorious of weekends. Grumble, grumble, grumble. But, I try hard to be a responsible student, and so I put on my big girl panties, rolled up my sleeves, and got to work. I literally set my alarm for 6am each day. Saturday I put myself to bed by 1030 pm, and had a few breaks during the day, but other than that worked like mad designing and drawing costumes for "The Magic Flute". Sunday I ran from fabric store to fabric store getting swatches for the aforementioned costumes until late afternoon. I stopped long enough to eat oocasionally, but not much else. Then I had to run from art store to art store to get the supplies needed to color these illustrations. That's when the trouble really began. Stores didn't have what I needed. Kinkos didn't have the paper I needed. What to do? What to do? Suddenly I was faced with having to pull an all nighter to get these assignments done, and that just made me incredibly angry and frustrated.

I thought about it for a while -- well, first I tried to get Husband on his cell phone to tell me what to do. Sadly he didn't answer, and I was forced to make a decision all by myself (gasp!) Should I play sick and just not go in? I'd lose all points for my late assignments if I did...and I try to not play that game. I used to do that fairly regularly, but these days I try not to lie to teachers about that. Its definitely harder to uck it up and tell the truth, but I've earned a lot of good karma points with both the universe and my teachers for being frank. So I decided to stop what I was doing because there's no way I could realistically get it all done, give myself the rest of the night off, get a good nights sleep, go to class in the am. and just turn in what I had.

And that's exactly what I did. I called some friends, watched "Batman Begings" (veru good!) went to bed at 10pm, and was relaxed and happy when I woke up this morning. My teachers weren't thrilled, but at least I showed that I had been working on them, and I ended up having a really good day.

Two months ago -- hell, last month -- I would have stayed up until it was all done, swearing and being angry, wrecking my sleep even more than it already is these days, and set myself up for a bad week. Golly, I'm actually learning! Sweet! Go me!

Only the Strong Survive

My tomato seedlings got sauteed yesterday when it was so hot. And I haven't even planted them outside yet! They're still in an egg carton on my windowsill like a 2nd grade science project. I tried a little mouth-to-mouth on them last night (ok, I watered the ever-loving shit out of them) and all but two seem to have come back from the dead. Amazing! I really thought they were all goners.

I have to water the garden and lawn twice a day with all this ridiculous heat. Everything seems to be coming along nicely, which is pleasing. No dead bits yet. The plants that are hanging upside down are starting to get larger and curl around in confusion looking for 'up'. Even the strawberries are starting to bloom, which is amazing for a plant that wilts at the crack of dawn.

I confess I run outside about 5x a day to a) admire my handiwork and b) see if anything has grown. Yes, that was 'a day'. No pressure, though.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Oh, the Irony.

There are a handful of SSRI's that are actually prescribed to people to help counteract headaches and migraines, Zoloft and Lexapro being among them.

Ha, ha, ha. Kill me.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Doctors Everywhere!

Pshychiatrist went well. Nice guy; professional, yet personable. Got my prescription; gonna start on a super low dose of Lexapro until such time as its proven that I won't be laid low by migraines from it, and then probably *some* amount of ramping up.

Appointment for endocrenologist got moved up to this Friday morning at 830am, so I should have my results before the weekend. Mostly I'm trying not to think about it; I'm 95% sure they're not gonna find anything, and yet I desperately want them to. Do I set myself up to be disappointed because theye's nothing physically wrong with me, or do I fret about having them drill into my brain? Tough place to be.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One Grain of Sand at a Time

Slowly, ever so incredibly slowly, I am finishing projects and getting stuff off my plate. Example: my wee garden.

Last year I'd attempted a hanging garden on our back deck. Soil real estate is pretty rare at our place, so I gave it a try. All in all, it worked pretty well, and I felt all crafty and DIY about it. We tried tomatoes, beans, peppers, and something else; I forget. You never had to bend over, weeding wan non-existant, and it was cool to look at the garden shading the windows when we sat down to eat at the table.

Bummer was, there was just not *quite* enough sunlight where we'd hung them, although it was the sunniest spot in the back. So, we didn't have a huge bountiful harvest, but it was still fun and cool, and I learned a few things for trying it this year.

Over the winter, I realized that there's plenty of sun along the house outside our front door, as witnessed by the big beefy rose bushes that grew there. I looked into hanging the garden above the roses, but sadly, tomatoes and roses just should not be planted together. That, and getting the garden in place, much less picking anythng, would be a major pain in the ass, arms, face, chest and hands. I got approval to relocat ethem, and the project was on.

Long story short, that took a lot longer to do than I thought. The roses were a bitch and no one really wanted to tackle the problem. The soil needed a serious shot in the arm and mixed up real good. Ladders needed to be climbed to drill and hang the hooks. Potting soil needed to be bought. Ladders needed to be climbed again. Seedlings and a new hose also needed to be purchased. Toddlers needed to be chased.

But today, after about 3 months of poke, poke poking at it and getting frustrated walking past a not-really-even-halfway-done-yet project every day, its done! We've got tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers and zucchinis hanging, and in the actual ground, we're gonna try edamame, pole beans, red peppers, carrots, onions and beets! (Whizz also planted some melon-y, vine-y type things too.) Oh, and some flowers for color to grow on the bed frame (yes, its a 'flower bed') that I picked up for free and strawberries in the special strawberry pot that I also got for free.

I'm really excited to see everything grow! I think its gonna look amazing when everything is really in full bloom. That big blank white wall will be full of greens, yellows, reds and purples, and the hanging plants should throw a bunch of shade over the Whizz windows too (mid-summer just bakes those.)

It feels a bit strange to have finished this project -- any project. I feel a bit... unanchored. Adrift. Don't get me wrong, I have got a full fuckload of homework alone to prevent me from taking time to sleep this week. But it still feels weird.

I'll post more pix as things bloom. By the way, I've got an entire egg tray full of tomato plant seedlings that I grew myself. Need some?


I'm scheduled this afternoon to go see a psychiatrist and get on some sort of new anti-depressant. I've been without for a month? two? now, and it is readily apparent to myself and everyone around me that I need to be sucking down something to keep me on an even keel. I stopped taking everything - meds, supplements, vitamins - when I was at the worst of my migraines in hopes that something would change; that the cause of my problems was ironically hidden in one of the bottles that should have been helping me. That turned out to be true: Zoloft appeared to be holding the smoking bottle. And now, after another two-week relapse of Z-induced migraines, I appear to be free of their evil grasp (4 days in a row now!)

So, now I'm going to lose another 2-3 hours out of another day off to go sit with another doctor. Part of me is screaming and ripping out my hair with frustration, but I am also so desperate to not feel like there is a bowling ball in my chest, divorce is the only answer, and that sex is out of the question (even with myself!) that I will gladly schlep all the way down to Stanford and try this again.

I'm trying to not dwell on all the ways this could go wrong: I'll be plagued with more headaches, new meds will whack my libido again, I'll gain more weight. Maybe I should try to consider them a bit - I really do have every hope in the world pinned on this doctor and whatever prescription I walk out of his office with today, and maybe that's not such a good thing. But its the only way I've gotten through the week. Three more days and things witll start to improve. Two more days and I'll start a new prescription. Don't collapse in tears in the middle of class; you'll have something in hand tomorrrow. That sort of thing.

Its hard to imagine that this is not how everyone else in the world feels, and that there's something wrong with me because I can't shake it off, or work through it, or not let it stop/affect me like everyone else seems to be able to do. Its an amazing reminder being off meds that a) no, really, I do need them, and b) how bad life sucks without them. I almost want to put some of this feeling in a small glass vial, its eery dark light swirling inside, as a reminder for when I *do* feel better. So that I don't forget and can better appreciate the difference there is.


Offspring Story of the Day

Me: (picking things up) Ok, I need my shoes, and my keys, and my wallet....
Mags: (picking things up) I need my chicken, and my horse, and my fish....