Then the doctors began. Suddenly I was having to walk in a straight line, touch my finger to the tip of my nose repeatedly, and perform other hand-eye coordination exercises under the watchful eye of a neurologist. I was dragged from specialist to specialist for about a year before my diagnosis. I had epilepsy, just like my maternal uncle, paternal aunt, and paternal grandmother. It was genetic, and I hadn't escaped it. I had absence seizures, where my eyeballs would tremble or roll back into my head. It was like checking out for a few minutes at a time, and I had no recollection of it.
Since I was so young to be on a brain-wave-altering medication, this meant a lot of follow-up appointments and restrictions. I was no longer allowed to go on field trips, play at recess, or do anything that might put me in harm's way if I had a seizure mid-activity. I had to have blood drawn every 2 weeks, to monitor the levels of medication.
I accepted my fate easily. I was a bookworm anyway, so spending recess time reading instead of playing was not a big deal to me. I didn't mind getting blood drawn, and I didn't mind going to the neurologist all the time. My mom was the more concerned party. She kept me very informed, as they switched my medications and increased my dosage.
When I was 9 years old, I overdosed. My scans had shown no decrease in seizure activity, despite the medications I was on, so they had kept increasing and increasing the dosage until it was just too much. I was taken to the hospital, and the last thing I remember was throwing up all over the nurse.
They were much more cautious the second time around. My dosage was tapered down, and it stayed that way until I was around 13. That's when my parents told my neurologist that they hadn't witnessed a seizure in a very long time, even though my EEG results kept showing that I was having abnormal brain activity. The doctor thought my parents were being too hopeful, but reluctantly agreed to do a 24 hour EEG.
They hooked me up to the same electrodes as they had a million times before, but this time, I was mobile. I was in a hospital room attached to a bunch of machines, being watched as I went about my business. The results shocked everybody... I was having a seizure ONCE PER MINUTE! Except, I was no longer showing them. My brain was having seizures all on it's own, without my body doing anything.
The neurologist took a "fuckit" approach after that. It was strange, but if I wasn't having any physical manifestations while my brain was freaking out, then he agreed to take me off my medication. By the time I was around 15, I was completely off of it, and never looked back...
Until 6 months ago.
I was sitting in my computer room at age 30, working as I'd done a million times before. I felt normal, maybe a little bit tired.
Then, I was opening my eyes. My husband was shaking me, yelling in my face, and four EMTs were surrounding me. They were taking my vitals, and asking me hard questions like "What's 3 + 4?" I had no idea. I was confused, scared, and didn't know how to speak. Anthony kept saying "you had a seizure", and I managed to say "I have epilepsy". The rest of the day was a blur. The EMTs didn't leave until I got a question right (I finally named the current president correctly after saying we were in the year 2007 and various other wrong answers). I slept for hours after, and never went to a doctor. I convinced myself that I had just been dehydrated, and that it was anything other than epilepsy. After all, I had never had a complex seizure like that before.
That proved to be a foolish decision, because the next one happened when I was by myself. Same thing, sitting at the computer working, except this time when I woke up... I was in my bed. The covers were all over the place, and I was in excruciating pain. My ribcage hurt, I was nauseous, my hips were bruised, my tongue was bloody, and my head was throbbing. Above all else, I was CONFUSED. Why was I in the bedroom? I had been working... why was I so hurt? I burst into tears as I fought hard not to puke. I called my husband and asked him to come home right away. It still hadn't hit me that I had a seizure. All I felt was confusion. When I went to the bathroom, I noticed that it was wrecked, with everything on the floor. Anthony got home, and saw that the computer room was the same. Everything was completely upside down. It seems I had found my way to bed in a process called "automation" that some people have during seizures. They can perform simple functions, like walking, but not very well. I'm so glad I went for the bed, and not my stairs. And I'm even more glad that this didn't happen while I was driving.
I got checked out by a family friend, my ribs have a small fracture but nothing else is wrong. Now I have to see a neurologist, then another neurologist, then have a series of tests and get back on medication... probably for life. I've been having such a hard time processing this. My epilepsy has been a fact of life for me for so long, but I always considered it "in remission" and not something that might happen to me at any moment. Now it's happened twice in 6 months, and I'm terrified of everything as a result. I'm scared to use my computer, scared to drive, scared to be alone, scared to do anything at all. I've read that people who have seizures feel "auras" before a big one... I didn't feel anything different. It's described as being in a fog. I'm always in a damn fog. I just feel very vulnerable right now, and I'm not sure what the future is going to bring.
Blogging on www.mybunnygoboom.com
For those of you who have many blogs you love to follow on many sites, a free www.bloglovin.com account is a nice way to follow them. You can even set up a mailing option to send you the week's posts to your email. I am digging it, subscribing to, oh, the ENTIRE internet.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
- Current Location:US, Florida, The Hammocks, Miami-Dade, SW 92nd St, 14252
I have always been "burdened". I would not have ever classified myself as depressed. To me, depression was ... I don't know, the image of an "emo kid"... hating everybody, cutting themselves, dressed in black. Maybe not that extreme, but certainly not me.
I was just burdened. Since I was a baby, I have been socially awkward, overly sensitive, overweight (and acutely aware of it), and a general recluse. When I was anxious, I sweat profusely... and lots of things made me anxious. Many, many times, I have had full-on panic attacks in fitting rooms at departments stores.
In high school, I once slit my wrists. I knew I did it the wrong way, and not deep enough. It wasn't to kill myself. It was to let my mom and dad know how much they were hurting me, with their arguing and eminent talks of divorce. I was ashamed at school, and in Miami's atrocious heat, wore long sleeved shirts. Neither of my parents batted an eyelash over it.
Now, you guys know about a year ago, I quit my job. I found other jobs very easily, bounced from one to another to another, finally ending up in event planning... which paid me extraordinarily well, and I loved it. I was happy.
Then the situation with the owner's divorce happened, legal battles ensued, and I found myself without a job again.
A little bit before I left, I started feeling a strange sensation in my throat. It was like a knot, like I was choking, but my airways were clear. I attributed it to allergies, and tried to take Allegra to resolve it. This did not work.
When I left the job, it kept getting worse. Soon, I felt this sensation at all times, even while sleeping. I worried that something awful was happening, maybe my trachea was collapsing? Maybe I had a tumor?
Finally I went to see a doctor. He asked me a lot of personal questions, and I admitted to my extreme anxiety levels, sadness and guilt over being in this position again, and more.
He diagnosed the ball-in-throat feelings as "globus hystericus"... my mind was so sad, that it was always trying to cry. The sensation was the same as being "choked up," except it was constant. This fit. I had spent a few days in bed, unable to express why I was so upset when I had so many interesting prospects knocking at my door employment-wise. I wasn't going to be unemployed forever, I knew this, but... something just hurt so much.
He gave me Lexapro, an anti-depressant. For extreme anxiety, he gave me Xanax. For focus as needed, he gave me Adderall.
I balked at the fact that my doctor clearly thought I was totally nuts. Still, I filled all my prescriptions eventually. Lexapro was first, I needed to be able to breathe again.
The first day, I acted really insane. Actually, I acted like I was high. Oddly giggly, disconnected thoughts, and then just fell asleep for about 16 hours. When I woke up, I threw up, then fell back asleep. The nausea was intense, and lasted about 3 days. The sleepiness lasted about a week. I'd get up, do something very minor, and then fall asleep as if I'd run a marathon.
But when this subsided, something funny had happened. I felt like a weight had been lifted. I didn't feel confrontational, upset, stressed... I felt... like going to the gym! I felt like going to the beach, even with my big ol' ass! I felt like cleaning the house, running with the dogs, and being there for friends.
Anthony and I, who used to bicker frequently just as a general rule in our relationship, have not had a fight since. This is incredible, since I basically thought that this was just the nature of he and I. He noticed a night-and-day difference immediately.
I noticed it one day when I was sleeping, and he was getting ready for work in the same room. He had turned all the lights on, and now was blow drying his hair. Loud + bright? Don't you know I'm THE FUCKING DEVIL when you awaken me?
I glared at him, and was preparing a very sarcastic and bitchy remark, when I felt myself relaxing. Instead, I playfully threw a pillow at him, and told him I wasn't ready to wake up yet. I asked him to please go to the other bathroom, and offered to help him take his things over.
That is not a very Michelle-like thing to do, not when being pulled from my slumber. I am actually the least logical person in the world when half-asleep, and often say things that don't make any sense at all. But the medicine soothed me, as it has many times since. It seems that, when faced with two potential paths, it really just helps me to go with the less "reactive" one.
The ball in my throat was gone within 2 weeks of using the Lexapro. Since then, my remaining side effects are: general sleepiness (I take half an Adderall in the mornings when this is very bad), increased acidity, some hyperhidrosis, and decreased libido.
At this point, these don't feel like huge prices to pay for how much calmer my life has become. Still I am sure the day will come when they are, and on this day, I'll have to be weened off of the medication. I hope to be on it for 6 months, and no more. I do plan on getting pregnant in about a year, so this is something that I can't be reliant on at that point.
I currently have an amazing job, on Miami Beach, where I can bring my dog to work and come in wearing sweatpants if I so desire. It matches my newfound mentality... alert, intelligent, but very chill. And I don't regret at thing.
- Current Mood: calm
Changing my name is proving to be the most frustrating obstacle, probably harder than anything related to the actual getting married part.
Here is what I have gone through so far:
1) Joined Msnowmrs.com or something like that, a site that uses an auto-fill feature to let you input your information once, then gives you all the completed forms to fill out and send to all agencies that need to be notified of your name change. Very convenient, right? I paid for the service (got a major discount for filling out reviews on weddingwire) and began. Turns out Social Security goes first, then drivers license, passport, and then all the lesser agencies such as my monthly billers, schools, etc etc.
2) Happily sent out my document to the Social Security agency, with copies of my marriage license, license, and SS card.
3) Received a piece of paper back stating that they need my original SS card to be relinquished to give me a new one. Fine. Went to the post office, sent my original card via certified mail.
4) Received another piece of paper back saying that my license needs to be a certified copy from the DMV, or the original one provided in person. Annoyed that they didn't tell me this in the first document they sent me. Seems a waste of their time and mine, but whatever.
5) Went to the DMV this morning with my social, license, passport, birth certificate, and a copy of my marriage license. I wasn't going to fail again!
6) Failed again. The marriage license can't be a copy. This wasn't stated anywhere.
7) Am home, with the same last name as this morning.
I'm quite flustered because it seems like they aren't capable, for whatever reason, of telling me everything that I need at once... within one document. I play by the rules, and pay attention to detail, had I known what was needed, I would have provided it the first time.
I am also highly uncomfortable with the fact that, when I sent them my social security card, they sent it back in a regular ol' envelope with a stamp where it could have been tampered with.
And this is only the first step! Without my new social security card, I can't get any of the other documents. Anthony is also traditional in this way, and it bothers him that his wife doesn't have his last name.
Have any of you tried eating locally grown honey to build up immunities towards your local pollens? I have read about this method, but not tried it myself. Well, I should say, I keep honey as an important part of my diet (usually warming milk and mixing some in, then sipping before bed) because of it's health benefits... but have never gone out of my way to head down to a fruit stand and get some of the local stuff.
But my sister was telling me about how her professor in culinary school seemed convinced, so I am curious if anybody I know has actually tried and felt results?
Summer is upon us and the humidity assures that every breathe I take is heavy with things that make me sneeze, so I'd love to find a method that helps without having to go in for even more shots.
- Current Mood: hopeful
So, I have been interviewing for several positions recently. For the most part, I think they're going well and the process is moving along at a natural pace. I hope to have settled in somewhere by June. Here are my current prospects.
Marketing & Public Relations for a tattoo shop, and it's upcoming television show(!!!!)
The owner of a series of shops on the beach is interested in launching a show with the producers of LA Ink and Miami Ink, based on this really talented Italian artist. The pilot would be shot by following him around a series of tattoo conventions as he "tattoos his way across America". My job would be to create a press kit, set up their social media, establish sponsorships to pay the way, and handle all press releases as they pertain to each city.
Do I want to do it? YES. Does the guy love me? It would seem so. It's also a "name your price" kind of thing, where I'd be setting the timelines, making the rules, and telling them my cost. Also the bulk of the work could be done from my house.
The drawback? Anthony thinks this would be majorly unhealthy for the relationship. Me and a team of heavily tattooed artists... is a no-go for him. I would be the same, for sure. The first season of LA Ink was Kat and a team of chicks, and had somebody told me that Anthony was going to be working hand in hand with them to establish their tv show... I would have quickly told them that no, he was most certainly not.
So I completely understand his perspective and do not fault him for it, but this does not make the decision any easier. This would be something that would give me extra cash in my pocket (I am thinking about $1,000-$2,000 a month, for about 10 hours a week of work... is that too little?). Plus it would look excellent on my resume, particularly if the pilot ended up being picked up by a network. We both know we need to get over our childish jealousy issues one day, but this seems like a big leap.
I'm also concerned that, should I take the job and find myself with a full time gig soon, that I will not be able to allot the appropriate amount of time to it. So there's that, but I have been known to not sleep when I have a deadline and I'm not sure this is a major deterrent.
The Psychiatrist's Assistant
This gig is part time, and pays much less. It is also located RIGHT NEXT TO the office of the event planning company that I was working at for the last year. I feel it would be pretty awkward for me to be seeing these people so often, but I assume I'd get over it eventually.
This lady is delightful. Very low bullshit, a gray-haired 60-something in Converse sneakers, followed around by a poodle. I could learn a lot from her.
If I decided to go back to school for my masters in Psychology or Social Work, the part time nature of the job would be ideal... and the hands-on experience would be critical. This is not something I have decided I want to do yet. I know I want to pursue my masters eventually, but in what? When? Not sure.
Marketing Manager for a Fashion Design Software company:
This interview went really well, I think. I can honestly say if I don't get the job, it was simply that somebody else did better, not that I didn't impress them fully. Clientele serviced by this company are exclusively big name brands - Armani, Billabong, Gap, to name a few. The software system allows them to design, order quantities overseas, track the warehouse progress, monitor shipments, etc. I'd be in charge of keeping the social media updated, and blogging about relevant fashion news while sneaking in links about how our software can alleviate emerging problems.
Though my title here would be "manager", the pay bracket ranges significantly. This worries me, because I'm not sure where I'd place. The lower end is not really up to my standards, and with no excuses since it's a full time job that requires a minimum of a bachelors degree. Still, the idea of writing all day, and hosting events for major fashion industry players... traveling to NY and back for fashion week to do PR... this is sexy to me. Hawt and sexy. I want it.
Two ladies interviewed me for it, which I always love. Two people or panel-style interviews really gives me an idea of the dynamic between the personnel at the company. When both have plenty of questions prepared for me, it also makes me feel that they both have their own idea of what they are looking for. It's a more realistic way of interviewing, both can have their own opinion of me and I feel this is how real corporate life is like anyway. You don't just have to impress one person.
Marketing Executive for a French Cosmetics company:
Oooh la la. I love that they asked me, based on my last name, if I spoke any French. I responded in French (thank God for middle to high school classes) that no, I don't speak so much, but I'd love to take classes. I'd totally Rosetta Stone it up!
Anyway, this position would be to Americanize the French promotional materials that come through, set up promotions, and help establish new partnerships for the company. This one is daunting because I'd be working on the entire United States marketing campaign (not alone). Exciting!
The feeling there also reminded me of my past tenure at a pharmaceutical company, except, like it had a baby with a hotel.
When I walked in, to my right there was the traditional huge glass panel where you could see into the lab. This is typical, management likes to be able to supervise without having to put on the full lab suit. A few ladies were working on cosmetic products, except their lab coats looked ... pretty. Everything was very sterile, but also very serene. Running water decorated many areas, very feng shui.
The interview itself was so different. I gave intelligent answers, but the woman was very brief. The entire interview was done in 15 minutes!
She, one could tell, was not so great at interviewing. She provided minimal information, went through her questions, and seemed pleased with what I was saying... but she was abrupt nonetheless. She told me that my next phase would be to interview with the marketing director, and it would all be done by the end of the month... so this is a good sign, I suppose.
I have the feeling this is just her personality, from the way she carried herself to the way she spoke on the phone, but how daunting! This one is the closest in distance to my house, and the highest in pay, so I'd like this one the most.
I feel fortunate to have my husband, plenty of savings, and unemployment checks ... so as not to have to rush this. I'm taking sewing classes again to really learn how to make a pattern from scratch, which makes me so happy.
Still I'm sick of being home. I feel like I lose myself when I spend too much time alone. I have all this energy and when I can't find a place for it, my body does this psychotic thing where I just suddenly crash. I just want to sleep nonstop, because I find myself useless. There are only so many times a girl can hit the gym in one day. Not that it's doing anything because the rest of the time I'm literally just plopped in front of my computer like a lump on a log! I am working out now, simply to avoid muscle atrophy, I think.
- Current Location:Home, like I always am
- Current Mood: bouncy
- Current Music:"Yes Boss" - Hess is More
I hate my condo. It was perfect for me and Misty, and only my stuff. I added kitschy decor of my choosing, and it suited me fine.
Well, for the last few years, it's held Anthony too. And all of Anthony's stuff. From his mom's house, from his dad's house, stuff of his own choosing... and it's a fucking mess. Furniture-wise, absolutely nothing fits together except the bedroom. Even our side-by-side computer chairs are different. My original kitschy mix-and-match is lost, and it's all just mix. When I step into my living room, I feel completely overwhelmed by the idea that I have no idea what to even tackle first. Replace the couches? Paint? No but the kitchen needs to be remodeled, if I bring this wall out... no that's too much money.
Do I hire an interior designer? At least for some guidance? Eh... they aren't going to understand that I'm on a one-piece-here-and-there type budget.
Also, when I purchased the place six years ago, I didn't hire my own home inspector. Now I'm paying $350/month in homeowners fees, and my roof leaks in random spots when it rains. Fucking ridiculous. Then the following happens:
- I call and complain.
- The association sends a roofer.
- Roofer gives them an estimate.
- They approve only the most minimal of repairs.
- I complain that they are only working on that one spot, when clearly I have a larger problem.
- Roofer tells me to call association.
- I bitch to the association about the ongoing damage to my tile/electronics/sofa/paint.
- Association tells me they are not responsible for interior damages.
- I say interior damage is happening due to their exterior negligence.
- They ignore me.
- I hang up and look for a property lawyer.
- I realize a property lawyer is expensive and time consuming, and continue to get shafted instead.
Had two interviews last week, and I feel that both went well. In the meantime, enjoying my free time while working on some freelance items to pay the bills. Loving that.
My husband has lost like 30 pounds in the last two months. His wedding ring is enormous on him and I'm worried he's going to lose it any day now. We're talking at least 2 sizes too big. I'm also annoyed because he did it by skipping lunch every day, and nothing else. I, in the meantime, re-joined the gym a while ago and have been going very regularly... and have only lost 2 pounds (which I'm pretty sure is in brain matter from all this unemployment).
It's scorching out there, and so humid, but I want to go to this weekly DIY craft market in midtown. Lately I have had to practically bathe in sunscreen when I go outside, or I come back burnt. I'm not on any new medication or anything, so I don't know what that's about. It's like... adult-onset albinism.
Also, yesterday I learned how to make songs that I didn't pay for into ringtones.
Luckily for me, CVS has Reach Floss on sale for $1 this week. And www.coupons.com has a printable coupon for $1/off Reach Floss. So, I went and picked up some free life-extending dental floss. Already I know I'll live to be at least 300.
Also, Ulta had a $5 off any $10 purchase coupon, so I hopped on over to pick up some crap to occupy myself. My lovely friend Yasi always has her nails done with OPI's shattered nail polish. She uses a coral color, then paints over it with black Shattered, and it crackles and looks very nice with her tan skin.
So I had to try this, I had a really happy looking punch-y red at home that was a few shades away from her coral color.
This did not look good on me. My red-toned white skin made it look like a mess.
So I played around a bit, first with two coats of Turquoise and Caicos by Essie, and then a shade of a metallic light blue by Revlon. Then Shattered, then a top coat. These are all the colors that were involved in this process:
My final result came out pretty. The light metallic hue adds a nice contrast to the black, making it more obvious that this was not some accident involving dipping my nails in tar.
I had read reviews about this when it first came out, and most of them were unfavorable. The key is to let your initial polish dry COMPLETELY, then only put one not-too-thick coat of Shattered on. In less than 30 seconds, it will start separating and giving the desired effect. Then, two layers of top coat, and you are done. Don't you look lovely?
- Current Mood: cheerful
Yesterday my former boss had me deposed to speak against my current boss. Today I work in Awkward City, FL.
Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.
- Current Location:US, Florida, Glenvar Heights, Miami-Dade, SW 71st Ct, 6862