September 15, 2011 § 3 Comments

A few days ago I came to a profound discovery. I can no longer taste carbonated beverages. Perhaps I would have noticed this sooner, but I don’t drink soda on an every day basis and it happened to be a random situation that I was ordering one in the first place. You see, I also don’t drink alcoholic beverages. So, when we go out with friends, in lieu of a beer, I will indulge in a sugary, fizzy soda as a treat. Apparently, not any more.

I blamed the CO2 at the restaurant for being out and drank my flat, sugary drink without complaint and even had a refill, not noticing a difference in the [lack of] carbonation. Lame. I was hopeful for the tingly bubbles that excites and thrills accompanying soda enjoyment.

What brought about this sudden flatness in my life? I have just exceeded my first week of tritrating a new medication. What does that mean? It means I am starting at a very low dosage and working my way up to a much higher one. What medication? Topamax.

I am super excited about this medication, despite the fact that soda is no longer appealing to me. I am I am still going to attempt my favorite, Jamaicaian gingerale, as I am hopeful that the fierce bite of that might penetrate the effects of the drug.

Most epileptic medication causes horrific weight gain as I have experienced in the past and Topamax has seemed to immediately curbed any sense of craving to graze or snack out of boredom, which is fantastic. There are also many, many accounts of significant weight loss, which I am not counting on, but could be a pretty neat fringe benefit.

There are no miracle drugs and side effects are always present. So far, I have experienced a few of the more common ones noted, such as paresthesia, which is a tingling kind of numbness usually in the hands or feet. In my case, it has mostly been in my face. It went away after the first couple of days, but I just increased my dosage, so I assume it will return again.

I have had some pretty outrageous mood swings. Breaking out into full blown random crying fits. I am unsure if these have been simply side effects or actual break-through seizures induced by the new medication. One type of my seizures presents itself by uncontrolled shaking sobs.

Other than that, I am just tired all the time. I am still working graveyard shift, which I know doesn’t help matters any. All I want to do when I get off work is sleep and all I want to do when I am at work is go home and sleep. I am hoping that once my body regulates to the medication that will ease up a bit. You know, that or I get a day job.

So, I am just one week into this new stuff. Decided to make a note of it. Haven’t really been keeping up the blog, so thought this was a good enough entry to revitalize my presence.


Contraband Cup-o-Soup or How I Stop Worrying and Learn to Live Without Gluten

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

I really love ramen noodles. Like many kids, eating ramen was an everyday staple of growing up. So stringy and brothy, salty and delicious. For how shitty and cheap it is, we just can’t seem to get enough of it. Did you know you can buy it by the case?

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started paying attention to what I ate. At that time, however, all signs pointed to eating MORE wheat products. 100% whole wheat noodles are better than egg noodles, right? Should definitely get the all natural wheat grain tortillas instead of the corn ones. They have pretty convincing advertising, after all.

It never occurred to me that what they’ve been pimping in the media could actually be bad for me.

Living in Portland definitely increased my beer consumption quotient. I mean, in Utah, the household that I lived in was a Miller household, despite the fact that the gal drinking all of it (surprisingly, not me) was gluten-intolerant.

I’ve just always through that a swollen, itchy face was part of drinking alcohol.

So here I am. Sitting at work late at night clutching a Cup Noodles that I found in the food storage room. It’s fucking delicious. Also, my face is starting to itch. It’s one of those scenarios of how many times must I touch the stove and burn myself before I realize that stoves are for foreplay only. . . I mean. . . don’t touch stoves. Maybe it’s because my reaction isn’t severe enough that I dance the dance of puffy face, swollen stomach and general digestive issues.

Self-care sucks sometimes. Especially when it involves omitting things like doughnuts, greasy chow mien and convenience store burritos. Talking about healthy habits probably doesn’t include those in the food triangle, though.

I can’t promise to make an attempt to eat healthier. My defiant inner personality will take that as a challenge and I will head-dive into a diabetic coma after scarfing down my weight in cinnamon bears and jelly beans. Think about it. As you eat, your weight increases, which means that an infinite amount of vulnerable mammalian gummies will be mercilessly devoured all in the name of personal rebuff.

We can’t have that now.

So what is my solution? The same as always – that by announcing to the world that something is a problem I either have to suck it up and deal with it or risk being seen as a hypocrite. That’s about it.

Full-Time Job? All Its Cracked Up To Be

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Working night shift has been wearing on me for a while. This is not new information. Every evening when I wake up, I am heard to announce; “I don’t want to go to work!” Every morning when I return from work it’s the old broken record of: “I am going to quit my job!” This has been going on for about the last eight month. Approximately the length of time that I have been working this shift.

The weather has been turning lately. While during the wintertime I wasn’t missing out on adventures due to rain, I am now facing 70 degree days where I will be curled up nestled in my blankets during the most gorgeous of weather. Ugh. I should be out bicycling and having adventures when instead, I am cooped up inside both night and day.

This is miserable.

I should be working on harp music and paintings. Focusing on school work and that new business that I wanted to start makinag woman’s bicycle clothing and accessories. Yeah. Those things are never going to happen. I am going to continue to get mediocre grades and blisters because I can’t find the time to do the things that make me happy and content in life.

This is beginning to turn into a rant.

In 2009, I quit my job during the beginning of June to focus on more bicycle-based endeavors. I then played harp and did odd jobs until that winter when I began working at the winter shelter on the weekends. All that next year, I was only working on-call, picking up a shift or two every couple of weeks and supporting myself mainly by harp performance.

So, here I am in 2011. I just got on insurance a month ago. I have a steady job. I am a contributing member of society. I am in a field where I am doing something that I absolutely love. So, why am I not happy?

If I were a hippie, I would say that my spirit is like that of a bird’s, and this convention is pinning my wings and caging my heart. I’m not a hippie. I’m seriously considering letting my flying ribcage rodent free, though.

So the question remains; will I continue working this night shift or will I move into an on-call position so that I can pursue my passions?

Only time will tell.

The Late Night Binge

May 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

I don’t think I can say this enough.

Working graveyard shift kind of sucks.

Besides all the obvious reasons like the zombiefied, fried, glassy-eyed stare that you get when you have to be awake during any part of the day, there’s the eating.

I get the irresistible urge to eat at 4am.

I’m not even hungry. Seriously. As I am typing this, I am chowing down on some deliciously buttery microwave popcorn.  Furthermore, I am vehemently opposed to microwaves during the day. What a hypocrite!

Easily, I can admit that I have an unhealthy relationship with food. That’s the first step, right? Pretty soon I will have to make amends to everyone that I ever hurt or stood up because I had to stop at Burgerville to get yet another smoothie and large fries.

I even hide it. That’s a classic sign of an eating disorder, isn’t it? Sneaking snacks at the bike rack after a long shopping trip because you don’t want to be noticed grazing at home? Hiding in the storage room at work wolfing down a handful of potato chips rather than sit at the desk and let your co-worker note the crumbs all over the front of your shirt?

There seriously could be a problem.

I’m not even dieting. I don’t have any sort of fitness plan that I am adhering to. There’s absolutely no reason to hide my scrunching and munching from anyone.

There’s some serious guilt at play here.

I don’t drink enough water, either. I used to drink like a fish – water that is. Other liquids are a completely different guilt-ridden entry. Somewhere down the line, I just decided unconsciously that I would get my water from other sources – like jelly beans and coffee. This is something I definitely need to undo consciously. Even the act of typing that makes me want to lick the fake, processed butter from my fingers and start anew.

Tomorrow is another day, after all.

Scheduling = Chicken. Head. Off.

May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am taking my mid-term quiz this evening for an Acohol and Addiction class at my community college. I have already been to school. I have a Bachelors in Arts in a very specialized humanities-style genre that I was pretty proud about and focused on. . . for a very short period of time.

Give or take six years.

Going back to school has been humbling and stressful. Where I once excelled in my studies, I have since found my brain sluggish and resistant to retaining information. It doesn’t help that I went into the two classes that I am taking this quarter with the assumption that they were going to be more psychology based.

We have been focusing on neurochemistry.

I am way out of my league.

On top of that, I have been in the process of moving, as you are all so acutely aware. Finally that is over. Even the cleaning of the apartment has been completed with the assistance of an acquaintance who is quickly becoming a good friend and the beau.

I also head a start-up nonprofit focused on street musicians here in Portland. Recently I was contacted by an arts funding organization that wants to meet with me. I have no idea why. This stirs up all sorts of excitement and anxiety.

Job stress from working the night shift hasn’t been easy on the psyche. Especially with all the other stuff on my plate. Morning meetings. Social engagements. Doctor appointments. Upcoming gigs to practice for. It’s all becoming to pile up and come cascading down on me in little ripped up confetti from my day planner.

I have been a huge fan of this one website called Unclutterer. It provides daily tips to simplifying your life. Every once in a while, I try to take the tattered, unraveled mess I call my life and try to weave it into something concise and easy to deal with.

Yeah. Not really happening.

I know what you’re thinking. I would be a great candidate to participate in some grounding meditation.

But I ask you; where would you fit it into my schedule?

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