disclaimer or something

A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Friday, April 15, 2016

"I can't, I have a migraine"


This is me on a normal day.
"I can't, I have a migraine"

If you can answer the phone and say this, you probably don't have a migraine.

But you could have prodrome or postdrome, the before and after parts of migraines many of us get in addition to the migraine itself.

Lucky me, I often get all 3.

Not only do I get a migraine so painful that it rivals the moments before transition in childbirth (for those in the know), but I get the prodrome and postdrome.

Last night, I felt nauseous, hot and cold, very sleepy yet troubled. Suddenly my midl headache became DEATH. I stumbled upstairs for some advil. The dark was too dark, the light to light, the fan in the bathroom as loud as a jet engine, the water helping my pills down was too watery, my blankets were too in the way..

I woke up still nursing the migraine, more advil, a bunch of caffeine, and....

postdrome.

I am still noise and light sensitive; my pain is gone until something is too bright or loud, which is basically everything today, especially being that I'm a mom of two young boys. The noise is like a ratchet, click click, tightening a sharp drill into my skull.

And the dizziness. It feels like I am nearly blackout-drunk, when everything spins in circles.

The lethargy, oh, I am so tired, everything is laborious including this blog. I contemplate adult diapers, the bathroom is soooooo far away. I'd sleep but the postdrome won't let me.

Its as if I can feel my neurons spazzing.

I can't quite explain it in words but here goes.

You know how static on a tv looks and sounds? Imagine a faint bit of static in front of your eyes (plus the drunk spinning view). Then add the sound of static, or nails on a chalkboard, how it fills your ears, makes you shudder, recoil. Imagine that while you can't actually hear the static, your body reacts from it, recoiling, ears full.

Disordientation. You feel disoriented as if on drugs, but not good drugs... or so I imagine, having never been on drugs. But I'd say its like a "bad trip". You get body dysmorphia, your foot might feel like its here but really it is there, a body part might feel giant and bloated but look tinier than usual.

Flu. It feels like the flu, without the coughing, barfing, sniffling. That I got hit by a truck please ust kill me now feeling.

Duh. You can't think. Really, I'm lucky to have remembered to put on pants. The milk might be on the stove, dog food in the freezer, car keys in the dryer, I wouldn't be surprised. I barely even know who I am or where I am. Ignorance is not bliss.

The ADD. I don't feel well, so its like ok time to catch up on some TV or read a book, right? But I read a sentence and its as if it is in Greek, or like it is tangible, a little cloud of words in front of you that poof! disappear, so you read the sentence again and it vanishes again. You can't follow the plot of a tv show, because the blazing green color of your sock holds your attention, no, your eyes dart to the clock, barely moving, ouch why do my pants give me a headache, where did I put the milk?

All you want to do is sleep, but that neuron static keeps you wide awake. Lethargic, dumber than a brick, but deer in headlights level wide awake. gzzt. you feel the electricity pulse through your veins, your heart beat drums loudly.

You want to just close your eyes and rest, but you can't.

The static lessens about 10% if you focus on something, so staring into space isn't an option, the static gets deafening, but you cannot focus on anything anyways.

You feel detached most of all.

So to today, just end already. My to do list is increasing, my house looks like a tornado wreck because I cannot keep up with two kids! But I want to do stuff. I'm jonesing to write my book, I have some training to do for a new job, I have a house to clean, garden to water, shopping to do, I have to go to my prior workplace to get some things, I have a bunch of liens to memorize for a play, laundry to fold, friends and family to call.....

But I can't. I have migraine postdrome.

#Icanteven.....

This. This is an image depicting post-drome. Actually, a migraine looks just the same on my face. I think I age thirty years during one....And btw I'm wearing just as much makeup in both my "normal" and post-drone photo.


Monday, February 22, 2016

Selfish vs Selfless

I had a giant awakening, a lesson in selfishness verses selflessness.

I love my job. I work at a small private school, teaching a smorgasbord of subjects for grades 7-12, a jack of all trades. Highlights have included a few students calling me their other mom, dining on a good-as-a-professional-chef-but-made-by-teens meal for Chinese New Year, and being told "thanks for teaching this, how do people live without it", just to name a few highlights. Once my students walk in the door, the day zooms by and I am filled with total, complete, joy. I love my job. Love your job and never work a day in your life, right? I finally found a job with the teaching freedom I desire, along with spiritual growth, and an amazing group of staff and students. I feel....alive. Amazing,


Except.....

Here's where I go preachy.

God gives you lessons and sometimes they are not easy.

Selfishness verses selflessness seems easy. I am often far too selfless, but, maybe it is selfless through the guise of selfishness. I do XYZ to help people, because, it brings me joy. It is kind of a selfish thing of pride, where I have pride in helping people. I have pride in my super-awesome job.

I feel like God gave me my current job to kind of wake me up after an abysmal few years where I battled major depression, self doubt, and personal and family crises. I believe this job allowed me to think to myself, I'm worthy. I can find joy in things again. It is all good, man...

And then...

My son is mild special needs, and suddenly showed signs of needing more help, things I won't divulge all the details, but, he needs me. It is a sort of situation where only mom, time, and support can help him, and I can only give that if...

If I choose selflessness over selfishness.

So I told my boss, find a new teacher. Once you do, I quit. I told her this, of course, through choking tears.

Then, somehow, some students found out,so I told them my decision to quelch any rumors. I tried to stay strong, but began to tear up.  I will miss my students, staff, job so much. Also, quitting mid year is like career suicide, but, my son comes first. His needs come first.

It seems so easy, doesn't it? Put your children first. I have always believed this, but have never had to sacrifice so much, give up so much, make such a "what should I do" decision as this. But I know it is the right decision.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The cartographer's dragon

I seem to gravitate towards sci-fi or fantasy geeks, and always have. My friends growing up were the boys playing Magic cards and going to Renaissance Faires, the girls also at the Ren Faire; fantasy and sci-fi novels reigned supreme and still do among some of my friends.

But I have a secret.

I'm not that much into fantasy, Ren Faire, Sci-fi books.... 

But then again, maybe I am. Just in my own unique way.

As a child, I loved maps. National Geographic has always been a favorite, and the occasional fold-out map of some far away country was like an origami-folded Christmas gift of sorts. Just like with the Rand McNally Road map my parents carried in the back of the Jeep, or the Thomas Brothers LA County map my grandpa kept in the toolbox (for scoping out rental properties to fix), my fingers and eyes would excitedly trace every hill, river, toll road, and culdesac for hours at end. I would proudly try and twist my tongue to pronounce foreign outposts, memorize street maps of nearby towns, and study facts about the geography of wherever. 

I had a large cardboard child's atlas with cartoon icons n the maps (a four foot wide map of the USA with cacti in the west, oil fields near Texas, some very un-pc "Indian" person near Oklahoma.... I would imagine visiting the oil fields, the Indians, the cacti....I used the atlas as a slide, a building block, a place to nap, a table to draw on. I tried to match the bright icons to places on an outdated, rickety globe I found at a yard sale, and I'd dream of visiting places I knew little about: 12,000 tallest peak, 3 million people in the capital, icons for adobe huts..... I'd spin the globe for hours, closing my eyes, tracing my finger and seeing where I'd end up.

I even drew my own maps, twisty loops of residential streets complete with imaginary street names, home plots, driveways, and trees.

I created thousands upon thousands of little worlds in my minds, some based on reality, some completely fantasy, with made up residents, lives, life stories, adventures, scenic views.

This hobby even spilled over into my lifelong hobby of genealogy and postcard collecting, as well as my newer found hobby of: Google Map Street View. I will do as I did with the globe as a child, scrolling waaaay out, closing my eyes, clicking, zooming in. A rugged arctic outcrop in northern Russia, a busy street scene in Bangkok, rusty tractor parts in rural Romania, a caballero and his cows crossing a dusty Argentinian road. Every square inch tells a story I do not know but can only imagine.  Layers upon layers of history, of love and conquest, pain, beauty, silence. People come, people go, events of history imperceptibly change the environment. Millions of that-snapshot-that-moment scenes, experienced differently by each observer, never to be experienced again.

As an armchair traveler and pretend cartographer, I envelop myself in a fantasy world of wonderment based solely upon an image, a street name, a blank spot on the map.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The best gift you can give is a gift you want for yourself?

My husband bought me exercise equipment, something I wanted until I was like ouch it hurts. I bought him a smoker, something he wanted until I ended up with free time to play with it. So the best gift is the one you want for yourself, right?

Anyways, while I haven't any ancient Pacific Northwest Homesteader relatives, I still feel I'm channeling some hereditary thing because I am loving smoking things. Just like I love (but often fail) to garden.

I am not at all a hopeless romantic, but I find some poetic, simplistic, romantic notion in making your own food the old fashioned way- canning, smoking, gardening. I could never live "unplugged" as I enjoy, fear too much, ambient temperatures and would hate to live without heaters and air conditioners, refrigeration, and the like. But nevertheless, slowing down and putting your own effort and love into a food, for example, is rewarding.

Heck I'd love to smoke some elk, but, I'm too chicken to actually kill an elk and too squeamish to prepare it for smoking. I guess I should be vegetarian but I much prefer the alienated approach to meat, with styrofoam packages from the butcher counter. However, I do promote hunting over slaughterhouses. I mean, I've been past "cowchwitz" aka Harris Ranch in California where beef cattle sit unshaded in the hot sun atop their own feces, crowded together like sardines, stinking the air for miles and making a very obvious methane cloud. How awful for those poor cows. Bounce, bounce, bounce through the brush, bang you're dead for, say, a deer, is far more humane.

My mom disagrees and is refusing to tell us when hunting season is in Oregon cause how could we hunt an animal? Meanwhile she munches down on a shredded beef burrito. Hypocrite.

But anyway, just like my 6 hour fennel pork roast and roht kohl cabbage meal, smoking meats is an all day experience with lots of need for patience, lots of room for both oops and omg there's no turning back I screwed up, and some sort of food zen. When you can get a cheeseburger in ten seconds from a drive through, there is a certain joy in, say, brining a salmon for 24 hours, drying it for 4, then smoking it in cold smoke for 8 hours before you get to enjoy it.

Part of me wants to live on some ranch or country acreage where I have to hunt and garden for a living, except yeah I enjoy the convenience of the grocery store....sprinkled with my own small (like 100 square foot at most) organic garden of goodies.

The simple life.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Misses Clumsy's mad ninja skills

Shh....I'm a ninja.

Sure, I've sprained my ankle 6 times, and was so clumsy and non-sporty in elementary school that the teachers asked my mom if I should join adaptive P.E. (P.E. for the handicapped childen). But I have mad ninja skills when needed, apparently.

I was watching a movie called He Never Died (a graphic dark comic type movie) with an actor, Booboo Stewart in it whose Native American looking appearance reminded me of a dark memory of my past.  So.....sigh....here goes.

I certainly had my dark days of being a party girl, which most who know me will find quite surprising, but it is true. My group of guy friends and I went to a  popular Spring Break  destination along a river adjoining a Native American Reservation. Geez this blog post is so dull right now but trust me there's a whammy coming up.

So we partied. Too much beer legging makes you have to pee, but the only restrooms they had were the glorified porta-potties where they're holes in the ground with a toilet seat, and I have a not so irrational fear of them because, well, eww. So I did my best to avoid using them but really really had to go. A rather attractive Native American guy had joined our festivities and said he lived nearby, so I naively asked where to go pee in hopes maybe there was a 7-11 in the middle of nowhere, because, beer doesn't equal logic. He motioned to the mesquite bushes by a hill and I was like, screw it, if you gotta go you gotta go, but I still wanted some modesty so I walked rolled down the hill a bit before finding landing upon a perfectly pokey mesquite bush to pee on, and all that with only minimal lacerations!

I limped back to the campsite and probably drank some more. And then, yep, I had to pee some more, but I wasn't in the mood to go tumbling into bushes again so I mustered enough courage to go to the glorified porta-potties.

As I excited, a pickup truck of guys began to speed past and slammed on their brakes upon seeing me. I was too drunk to properly pee in the bushes or probably form a coherent sentence, but my spidey sense yelled "DANGER!", but I had nowhere to run between the potties and the truck. I don't recall every specific which is probably for the best, but suddenly there were arms all around me and I was in the back of the truck while some cretin began to undress me. OH HELL NO I thought. I knew where this was headed, but I was stuck, half-naked in the back of a speeding pickup truck.

And that's when my ninja skills kicked in. Just like when in high school, my cousin and best friend conspired against me to try and grab me and throw me in the lake at midnight, and little 90 pound weakling me began to kick and thrash mid-air (My best friend to this day will tell you, "she freaking levitated and did kung fu!"), my ninja skills came to power.

I somehow got pissed off or frantic enough for my ninja survival skills to kick in enough for me to wrestle myself away from a bunch of frat guys hell-bent on rape, and I did a tuck-and-roll jump out of a moving truck into a dirt road and ran like hell back to camp, screaming "help help".

My boyfriend's best friend saw me first, and while I was a dramatic drunk (and he often became my babysitter), he knew somehow this wasn't just me being dramatic and he ran over to me. I explained what had happened through tears, and he vowed to find the %^&* that tried to rape me. We went on a little walk and walked over a ridge to find the guys by a fire pit. I know it was them.

Whether for better or worse, my friend put a hot fire poker on the main assailant's arm and told him something to the effect of him keeping his "parts" in his pants and not messing with women, and that hopefully his new scar would forever remind him of his mistake.

Phew. After holding in that story for 15 years, it feels good to let it out.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Parasites, or how not to make friends

"Well you can't have chicken pox twice", said my doctor, suspiciously eying my welted freak of a body.

Let me back up.

I was never the "cool kid", instead being the girl with coke-bottle glasses, pink moon boots, and an oversized army surplus camp jacket, trying to somehow fit in with the other fifth graders.

But when we all went to summer camp a week before fifth grade began, I hadn't a clue I would sign and seal my fate as an "untouchable", nor did I know I would have the worst vacation ever (well, until 8th grade, then college, and, well, let's just say most vacations are epically awful).

It started when my best friend at the time demanded she get the coveted top bunk, and I was too painfully unassertive to speak up, and then, get this- she hid her Haribo gummy bears. I would eagerly await Christmas for her German Granny to send her a package and share two or three sweet jewels of Haribo with me, and she HID THEM FROM ME. This began the end of our friendship. 

Then, each camp cabin had to design its own flag with endangered animals and I was like (insert nerd snort) I'm all over this, I totally know all about endangered animals; heck I read the entire Audobon Encyclopedia last year. So I chose the three-spines unarmored stickleback, a cute little minnow fish native but endangered to our local streams. But all the girls thought fish were "eeew" and chose a panda bear. Much to my chagrin, not only did they veto my fish, but since I was artistic, they voted me in to be the artist of their dumb panda. In retrospect, I should have dressed up the panda in a stickleback outfit, but I thought of that 25 years too late.

Then, we had to do square dancing, God's cruel joke on any awkward child, child who cannot dance, shy child, etcetera. Being the last to be chosen for P.E. (always with a groan, do we have to pick her?) I was the last picked for the dance, and told to dance with some other social outcast, a chubby boy who "had a boner, eeew" giggled some popular girl next to me. I wasn't sure what a boner was, but I was cautious and figured it had to do with his clammy hands. It was the longest 3 minute dance ever and right after, I ran to the only telephone to beg through choking tears for my mom to come get me NOW. She declined.

And if that wasn't enough...

We had a communal shower, and I went in for my prescribed shower time and a gaggle of girls turned at me in horror, screaming "you cannot come in here, oh my gosh eeeeew just look at you!" I looked down near my lady bits to which they were pointing in horror and saw scratched-up bumps and redness which seemed to be spreading. I was banned from the shower for the entire week and told I could only use the toilet at specific times. 

So now I was the nerdy girl with some weird rash who smelled awful. Great.

I called my mom again, choking back tears, and this time she came and got me right away when I said "bumpy rash", since my mom and I both have severe allergies that can go from rash to anaphylaxis in minutes.

"You can't get chicken pox twice, so it can't be that"  mused my doctor, suspiciously eying my welted freak of a body. "Must be scabies. Tell her to stay away form road kill next time" he said, and ushered us out, after handing my mom some kind of stinky salve. Great, now I would smell like antibiotic cream, just what I needed.

"Mom, why did he tell me to stay away from road kill? I don't touch road kill", I asked as we walked to the car. "Well, because your dad had scabies once from touching road kill, remember all those scabs he was always scratching" she said; "maybe its from the hide on your sled, or the raven in the freezer" she exclaimed, as if mentioning the weather or some other small-talk idea and not rotting animals around the house.

See, my dad collects roadkill. There was indeed a frozen raven snuggling up to the Haagen Dahz, and a rotting buffalo hide stretched across my snow sled by the front door. Totally normal. And I had to beg my dad to shake off the rattle (from a rattlesnake) off the frozen peas so I could make dinner.

It's odd how twenty-some years later, you look back in reflection and think, did I really have scabies? So you "ask Dr. Google" (Never go down that path, you will diagnose yourself with too many rare, incurable diseases. Why yes I do feel a little sleepy, OMG I have typhoid fever!) and find out...

a)    It was totally chicken pox because now research says in rare cases you can get chicken pox twice, take that Doctor Cibelli.

b) It wasn't scabies. I am not denying that scabies is little creatures that burrow into your skin and freaking lay eggs. Bug. Eggs. In. Your. Skin. I mean I totally admit I've had dysentery and tapeworm s http://disorderlywanderlustblog.blogspot.com/2015/07/the-tale-of-tijuana-tapeworm.html but it wasn't scabies because the only symptom I had was creepy bumps, whereas I had all the chickenpox symptoms. 

c)   Don't google chicken pox or scabies if you have  trypophobia (fear of holes).

d)    Don't google how to spell trypophobia unless you want to have to drink away the creepy images that burned into your mind all night after having seen it on the computer

e) I know why I have trypophobia.

I have trypophobia because yes my dad did pick at his scabs but no it wasn't scabies. See, people who snort methamphetamine get side effects (really? Snorting bleach and sudafed has side effects, who knew? And who came up with meth, I mean I'm not going around mixing pills and cleaners and thinking whoa I could totally get high off this, OMG my are my nostrils bleeding). One side effects is you hallucinate that your skin is crawling and the itching is so real in a sense that you scratch holes ingot your body, which then scab over but you think the bugs are still in there and so you scratch the scabs, a never-ending cycle of trypophobia-induced horror.

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Social Anxiety and Awkwardness

So I decided to get a makeover today.

And then un-decided

And decided again

And un-decided

And had a few out loud arguments conversations with myself to convince myself to go.

Hell. It's my birthday I deserve it.


Nope. My husband didn't spoil himself on his birthday, I don't deserve it.

Yes you do.

Make-up is dumb.

Why not look pretty for your birthday?

I will look weird. People will stare, like, why is she all dolled up like a weirdo? And they'll give me a bad makeover like when I got married and had a black fuzzy caterpillar unibrow. A waste of $50. Yes. I can spend or save $50. Total waste.

------  I forced myself to drive the the salon-----

I walked in and it was like a megaplex of makeup. I am a makeup novice so it was like entering a foreign world. I just recently began to put on tinted moisturizer and mascara, folks. In my 30s.

I walked towards the salon part, eyeing all the weird things and....

Walked promptly into the cash register area for workers only. OMG people are looking at me, I already don't belong here and look like I don't belong here, all makeup off, doe-eyed, afraid, and now I'm where only the employees go. Crap.

So i turn around and end up...staring....crazily....at the employees doing people's hair.

I think, Hello, I have an appointment...but I don't say that because I don't want to. I'm too scared to. I don't want to disturb them. And besides I should know the whole process for a makeover appointment, so I act like I know what I'm doing. I check my phone, the introvert or socially awkward person's escape hatch, but its a dead zone. No!!! A dead zone! But I pretend like it isn't, you know, to not look weird. Then I decide standing here, staring, looks funny so I walk over to a counter of makeup and pretend like I know what I'm looking at. Some Romanian beauty product for like $50 a bottle. Wow. I don't drink wine this expensive. It says "tester" so I'm like hey I'm just casually browsing and know what I'm doing, here let's sample it. It is for acne cause who isn't socially awkward without acne?!?! Except its like neck acne so I dribble some onto my neck and it smells like vicks vapor-rub. So now I'm thinking OMG I totally don't belong here and I'm too scared to announce my appointment because I don't know how this all works and now I smell like I have the flu.

A hairstylist leaves her customer mid-hairstyling to come help me and i'm like sweet Jesus I'm that bad of a case? I haven't any makeup on, my hair is a mess, I smell like the flu, I'm staring at people, I'm going to get kicked out of here or arrested! She asks if I need help (where's the little chaise lounge to sit on and reflect about my problems with depression?) and I explain I have an appointment.  "Oh, Heather is busy but will attend to you soon" she says, waving her hand generally at the salon full of employees while I awkwardly state again....who is Heather? Does she look like a Heather? Does she? I mumble out "oh umm...ok I'll just....look at hair product till she is done" and quickly dart to 5 aisles of product. Five aisles! I browse around, catching a glimpse of my haggardly appearance in the mirror and realize my hair looks like I'm Kurt Cobain. I didn't wash it since it was 24 degrees with 50mph winds, and well, it looks as such. So I think, hey I've seen ads for dry shampoo they have to have that here. Except it takes me ten minutes of staring at every item, reading ingredients, going back and forth through the aisles multiple times, to find a dry shampoo and it is a spray version, so I flop my head down. shake out my hair like a wet dog and pssssshhhh spray my hair. Then again. Now I smell like the flu if the flu were flammable. I then realize I need to look inconspicuous so I go over to a different part of the salon and it is a skin care section. I hear two women casually say "yeah this is the best wrinkle cream. Who knew those nasty snails had a virtue? It's all the rage, snail excretions for skin care!"

Seriously.


Snail excretions....snail trails...on your face. And it probably costs $100 for a teaspoonful. Hell I'd just rather lay in the dirt and let the snails slime over my face for free. Or maybe not. I hurriedly text my husband "celebrities are paying top dollar for snail trails as a beauty treatment" and the stylist calls my name.

I've had makeovers before and the stylists often say, "so what do you want", not as a question per se but as a directive. I'm like isn't it obvious I totally have no freaking clue what I need and could probably only identify the item and purpose for 1/1000th of the products here? Just make me look pretty!! Except of course I don't say that.

It took 20 minutes to apply eyeliner to my eyes because I couldn't look up and left but down and stretchy, correctly.

I felt very out of place. As usual.

I did not like my makeup mid-way through but just like my wedding unibrow caterpillar event, I said nothing and faked a smile.

Until....

Oddly, a real smile came about once the makeover was done. I actually liked the work done. I felt pretty. And not too awkward or clown-like. I felt like maybe I looked, kinda, sorta ok. And I smiled.