Thursday, December 1, 2011

disease and detriment

3 weeks ago I got a headache that got worse, and worse, and worse.  It went on for days and by the time I dragged my sloppy ass to the urgent care I couldn't sleep anymore because it hurt so much.  I thought it was a sinus infection (fantasies of stabbing forks through my skull usually lead me to this conclusion) but the doc looked in my throat and proclaimed that he could "smell the strep."  Right.  I've never had strep.  My throat didn't even hurt that bad.  I failed the strep test, too.  He sent me away with prescriptions for antibiotics, steroids, and vicodin, just to make sure to kill off everything in my body.  I was excited to start feeling better but underestimated how hard going to Wal-Mart to get the prescriptions filled would be.

It occurred to me while I was sweating with a fever in the dairy section listening to Christmas carols and endlessly looping commercials about Thanksgiving feasts that I hadn't eaten in several days and I really might pass out right there in front of the chocolate pudding I was staring at.  Hallucinating in Wal-Mart is terrifying.  I grabbed a cliff bar and sat on the bench near the pharmacy and ate a bite and prayed that I wouldn't pass out and fall on the linoleum floor.  (I have an irrational fear of linoleum floors).

I made it and came home and looked at my throat and saw was the doc saw.  ZOMBIE DEATH THROAT.

A week later, antibiotics almost all gone, my throat was looking just as bad as had when I first went in.  I hadn't really gotten out of bed for the entire week, either.  You know when you're sick and you hit that wall where you're like, "Screw this!  I'm bored.  I'm tired of being in bed.  Time for other things!" and you move to small activities and then to bigger ones and then you're all functioning again?  It had been 7 days and I still was content to sleep almost all day and night and watch episodes of Bored to Death and take vicodin.  I went back to the urgent care.  They did a mono-spot test and I HAVE MONO.


I spent Thanksgiving alone and in bed.  It was pathetic but I was not having any of "driving for 3 hours to eat lots of food and potentially getting mom sick" or my mom driving here just to eat food with me.  You see, mono has this way of making you forget about food.  Even on Thanksgiving.

Since then I have been laying in bed.  I'm on a new course of steroids that is pretty sweet except for the side effects, which I haven't noticed (other than the insomnia which is listed as a long-term side effect, HA) but are worth a read:

  • Elevated pressure in the eyes (glaucoma)
  • Fluid retention, causing swelling in your lower legs
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Mood swings
  • Weight gain, with fat deposits in your abdomen, face and the back of your neck
OH RIGHT, FAT DEPOSITS ON THE BACK OF MY NECK AND ALSO ON MY FACE.  As if the attractive golfball sized swollen lymph node on my left jaw isn't enough.  Anyway, I'll be done taking those tomorrow- they have helped a lot with that whole zombie death throat thing.  Hopefully zombie death throat will not return.

Here are things I've learned from having mono:
  • pets are amazing at making you NOT feel like you are a worthless sack of shit.  If you have to take care of one, you have a purpose and you don't question God constantly on why you exist in the first place if you are feeling like this.  Pippa is a hilarious companion and she is my best friend.
  • orange juice: seems like a great idea.  IT'S NOT.  The zombie throat of death prohibits the citrus. 
  • ice cream: FANTASTIC IDEA.
  • having mono over a major holiday was kind of cool for being so sucky.  The handouts were great: I sampled 3 different Thanksgivings and realized I love sweet potatoes, pumpkin related items, brussel sprouts, TURKEY, and other things a lot more than I thought.  I should eat these things more.
  • antiseptic throat spray rules
  • my sick uniform here at chez eliz: black leggings, deep v tee shirt (helps with fevers, you can cool down way faster), long sleeve over that, and uggs and a vest to take Pippa out.  It goes from day, to night, to day, to night, to day, to night, to day, to night..... here at the hipster hospital ward
  • emotional breakdowns, whether because of hormone induced craziness from steroids or from sufjan stevens or from the fact that you haven't talked to a human face to face in 4 days, can almost always be cured by a dumb movie, eating something, or having a conversation with your dog.
I've had the mild urge to spread mono to other people who live in my building using biowarfare tactics (licking door knobs, etc) to get even with their noisy obnoxious behavior.  I also like thinking of myself as a phoenix that is dying slowly only to reemerge out of my memory foam mattress as Elizabeth 2.0 who will conquer the planet in the following ways:
  1. wearing bright lip stick
  2. making new friends
  3. styling my hair
  4. trying harder to look like Zooey Deschanel
  5. cooking things other than stir fry
  6. drinking heavily and reveling in my 20's before I get washed up 
  7. moving somewhere temporarily with my mobile job and seeing what happens.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

being sad on the internet

The grief I hold for my friend Hana is a fixture now.  I no longer think about her intensely every day, though there is usually at least one big sigh for her about every 48 hours.  Mostly I glaze up now, numb to her pictures and to the experience of burying her in June.  Numb about her death.  I hear her pretty often, though, and have put her on some kind of pedestal like people who wear WWJD bracelets do with Jesus.  I think "What would Hana do?  Would Hana have liked this?  Yes. or No, definitely not."  I have ridden waves of happiness and afterward felt guilt- but solace in knowing she would want me to be happy (right?  Hana, yes or no?)  It's hard.

I wore her clothes for a couple days but her smell was overwhelming.  I stopped.  Sometimes I take them out and smell them and wonder how long it will take for them to have my smell.  I think about suicide and being sad a lot.  I am sensitive to people generalizing depression and suicide.  I am sensitive to any kind of talk about it at all.  In the same way I am sensitive, I think I am becoming callous.  I feel like I am privileged because I have discovered what this kind of sadness is but at the same time I hate myself for feeling that way.  I want to stop feeling wounded.  I wish I never knew what this feels like.

I bluntly explain to new friends that "oh yes, that is my friend Hana.  She killed herself in May."  I gauge their reactions and judge them harshly.  The more questions they ask, the more I like them.  The more they admit to not knowing, the more I appreciate them.  Only close friends and I still mention her and usually it's me.  Friends who knew her through me do not talk about her.  She is a ghost now.  She is whoever I want her to be to me.  I hate it.  I sincerely hope she is a ghost.  I want ghosts to exist so badly; I want to be watched by her.

There are certain turns I take when I'm driving and if a certain song is playing and if it's in the evening my eyes will well up and I will miss Hana uncontrollably.  My face feels confused that I can't just call her or go home and send her a message.  My brain feels cold and I feel like a child.  I have only recently started listening to music again.  I listen to songs with a different ear, just like I did when I was heartbroken over other things.

And I see losing love
Is like a window in your heart
Everybody sees you're blown apart
Everybody feels the wind blow

I feel justified in drifting and being lazy about my goals.  I wonder if it is possible for people to love me the way that I am right now.  I wonder if I should be in therapy even though I would not go.  Summer makes me feel so out of control, like all the molecules being so much further apart and creating so much heat is making me claustrophobic and uncontrollable.  I can't wait for cool weather so I can constrict everything under sleeves and blankets and shut windows.

There is a girl in New York City
Who calls herself the human trampoline
And sometimes when I'm falling, flying
Or tumbling in turmoil I say
Oh, so this is what she means

Thursday, April 14, 2011

hope for a destination

I'm anxious and scared to turn 25.  Does this mean the early 20's are over?  What exactly does this mean?  I've never NOT been amped for a birthday.  Why is there dread here?

My anxiety about my birthday party (which basically isn't going to happen) spilled into more of the "oh shit, what am I doing with my life" category.  My solution is to fuck this shit and get a dog.  Which is no solution.  But it would be really, really awesome.  That, or going on a crazy adventure as far away from here as possible.

I feel really stagnent... or like an eddy in a river, just swirling back on itself and holding onto things.

Things have got to get to the next level for me to feel ok about anything.

take note at :35

Thursday, February 17, 2011

news from the road: childhood fears claim the night

I am currently on a Megabus going to DC.  I got a bunch of free tickets because they had a special where they were just giving them away (??!) so I decided to take a poor woman's vacation.

Anyway, things were going so well.  I hung out with friends in Charlotte, caught the bus, discovered the internet worked, was getting some sleep (it's the red eye) when "splat splat" - some guy two seats back from me threw up in the isle.  The sound is unmistakable, even without retching.

This prompted an interesting response.  Two ladies sitting near me really flipped out, "Oh heeeell no, hell no!!!" and the unfortunate man who was sitting next to the sick man said "aaaaaaay!!!! stop the bus!  this man is throwin' up!"  Seconds later the alternate driver turned the lights on and assessed the situation.  They pulled the bus over and he told the sick guy to go outside and handed him a trash bag, the whole time the women were squawking about how gross, the smell, oh hell no, etc.  The sick man stood right outside the door and said "hey man, where does this bus go?" and the alternate driver said "we're going to DC" and then the sick guy said "oh yeah I'm on that bus!  where does it go?" "to DC!"  "Hey man don't kick me off the bus man."

So with the women still squawking the sick guy comes back on, holding a bright orange trash bag with rolled down edges.  He tries to calm everyone down and says "I'm ok, I'm ok, don't kick me off the bus" and as he's saying this he weaves into a pair of seats and obviously is losing his balance.  More "Oh HELL NO!! OH HELL NOOOO"'s.  He sits and the alternate bus driver turns the light off, puke still all over the isle and a faint acrid smell wafting around.  The ladies protest and say "Is someone going to clean that up?  I smell it!! I smell it!"  The sick guy says, "you can smell this?" and the lady behind me says "yes, it makes me nauseous."  Here here.  The Asian man across from me with long fingers says "can we put something over that?"  The bus driver walks around, finds some paper towels and a roll of toilet paper and I think he put a few sheets on the mess, handing off the rest of the paper products to our resident life-ruiner of the night.  Sick man says he will clean it up.  The woman across from me is chattering wildly in French to someone on the phone, obviously about what is going on on the bus.  Woman behind me demands the smell be covered up, someone sprays cologne directly on the floor.

The driver turns the lights off and we start to go again.  Everyone starts to calm down and shut their eyes.  Then we all hear the "splat splat" again.  "OH HELLLLLLL NO!!!! GET THE FUCK OFF THIS BUS!!"  The alternate bus driver, after a long pause of thinking about what to do, says loudly, "Man you throwing up again?" "I'm ok."  "Man use the BAG!"  The ladies are really mad now.  I look over and see that the Asian man with long fingers now has a face mask on (like the kind people wore during the swine flu scare).  They realized, like the rest of us, that it is up to us to contain this person because Megabus apparently has no protocol for sick people and what to do.  The lady behind me tells the sick man, "go to the back, go sit away from us" she even tells him to sit in the empty seats in front of me, which makes me immediately hate her.  She tells him to go to the back and sit near the bathroom, that way when he is sick he can throw up in there.  A beautiful idea.  The sad sick man takes his orange bag and goes to the back, he has not returned.  The woman who speaks French turned her light on and started talking to no one in particular, "I don't even care because this bus ride is FREE.  I'm getting a refund!  In my country, you can't do that!!!"  I'd like to know what she means.  She also demanded a "breathalyzer, or something in here, that SMELL!"

This whole thing brings to light one of my deepest fears I have harbored since childhood.  I don't know where this came from, I'm pretty sure it was one traumatic experience that I have blocked out- but I have a horrible fear of people throwing up on buses.  Riding the bus in elementary school taught me to keep my feet on the seat, almost at all times, because if someone pukes, it will roll all around the bus and it will TOUCH YOU.  I lived in fear for so long.  I also just generally have an irrational fear of vomit and throwing up in general.  I'm almost positive our sick passenger is drunk, or on drugs, so I'm not all that scared of being sick, thank god, which is the primary fear.

Anyway, you are scared of things for reasons.  My feet were already up when all this went down.  It's going to be a long night.

(PS, I understand wanting to be drunk or black out for a long bus ride, but really?  REALLY??? This happened maybe 20 minutes after he got on in Durham.  Asshole.)

edit: I'm now in DC, finally off of that godforsaken bus.  The guy ended up locking himself in the bathroom on the bus and passing out.  The driver had to pry the door open with a screw driver.  At a rest stop, a passenger took it upon herself to cover the isle with paper towels and trash bags.  More notable quotations from the ladies sitting near me:

"Oh my god, if he had gotten his filth on my Snuggie, Mama Africa!!!!!"
"Yeah, he's lucky that it didn't get on me, I would have really gone off."
"Why they going to get him out of the bathroom?  Let him stay in there until we get to DC!"

me: "He is probably passed out in there!"
lady: "he might be dead in there.  I don't even care if he's dead!"

"he just came on the bus LOOKING to sit next to someone, he knew he was sick!  he knew!  He WANTED to sit next to us!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

symptoms of insanity

my nose is full of cold sores.  I am glad I get them in this way because no one can tell I have them (unless they can hear my nose whistling when I try to breathe).  I hate it because it hurts, fills my nose up with scabs, makes it hard to breathe, makes me sneeze, and feels like there are 800 things in my nose.

I am not that busy right now so I have given the nose problem too much thought.  I'm starting to wonder if I keep blowing my nose and picking the scabs off if I will lose my sense of smell.  So far so good, ever since the new neighbors moved into apartment #3 the building has smelled like vacuum cleaners and burning dogs.

I want the world to know that my nose is bothering me a lot and it's not socially acceptable for me to really talk about it or complain that much.  I seriously want to do something horrible to make this problem go away.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

sweet and sour

I am having a hard time grasping the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," which also redefines what rape is. Obviously, it will be rewritten before it ever gets through, which hopefully it won't.

I just don't understand how in 2011 people still can't trust women with their own lives. People in the US like to think of the US as a leader in the world and yet we can't fund the most basic of medical procedures on the grounds that it is "immoral." I'm sorry, but I never thought my tax money was being used "morally" when it was spent on needless wars, on torture, on dictators, on capital punishment, etc etc.  When these kind of bills crop up, which they do anytime conservatives have an ounce of power, I feel like I am being threatened personally.  My thinking goes like this: because I am a woman, I can't make a good decision- if I ever were to need an abortion my health insurance wouldn't cover it simply because the government thinks it's THE WRONG CHOICE.  Well, it's not their choice to make, and forcing insurance companies to play along because of government subsidies will deny women of a right they have.  Thinking about these things makes me feel like my brain is on fire.

I hope this bill doesn't get anywhere, I haven't even gone into how it affects the definition of rape.  It will make you sick.

So to counter all this heavy duty political rage, I am so happy about the new Fleet Foxes album coming out in May.  The title track is out!  They are going on tour!