Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I think that's a milestone

There are over 5,000 hits on the hit counter. Somebody's reading this. Well, I mean, maybe more somebodys than I'm aware of.


Monday, July 27, 2009

It's like this

I am bored beyond description. Furthermore, I have nothing to say. I feel worn out and overwhelmed physically, emotionally, and mentally. My brain won't articulate what it wants; instead, it seems to have just closed up shop, letting the rest of the systems and structures fall into disrepair.

I was listening to the Motherlode by Sara Hickman this morning, and I had never really listened to this song before, but today the lyrics meant something--to me, anyway. My former friend MJ used to swear that Sara had bipolar disorder. Anything's possible. She seems to write about my life a lot, for sure.

(Excerpted from Quiet Desperation)

I try my hardest to be too many people
Too many people want me to be
But the truth is a bubble, taking up room
If I could pop it maybe then I could breathe …

Now I’m living in quiet desperation
I’m living in somebody else’s dream
I’m living a life of wanting something
That I can’t even seem to believe

You’re looking in my eyes … do you see me waving back inside?
This isn’t how it all has to be
But the laughter hides tears
That can’t soothe a soul
That feels it is losing the best of its years …

I can't find words of my own today despite the lack of space in my head for more thoughts. In lieu of actual thought processing, then, I will just post some pictures of stuff growing in my yard.

Friday, July 24, 2009


It was right after a story about investing with an ethical stock broker. I had just glanced up to see the time, when I heard the perky blonde who was reading the news say the name of someone I know. The news wasn't good.

Following an extended investigation by the DEA, one of the many medical professionals I frequent was arrested on federal drug and fraud charges. I forgot to breathe for a few seconds. This couldn't be somebody I know and like--a lot. It was. It is. (no, not Dr. G).

My husband is a patient, as well. We spent the next hour alternating between shock laced with disappointment and then concern and sadness. This has been a long-term relationship, and neither Frank nor I are ready to accept that it's probably over. This isn't only someone we like tremendously--we know the names of the spouse and the kids, we compare notes on ski vacations, road trips, music, and more.

I'm stunned. Mostly, though, I'm sad to know that an excellent practitioner is going to jail.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


  • Tuesday is kind of a boring day.
  • I often wear mismatched socks. I used to, anyway. Now I just skip the socks entirely. It's too much work to find reasonable pair.
  • Still like the new haircut, and lavish compliments keep coming.
  • Hail just sucks.
  • Tornadoes in the suburbs suck, too.
  • I wonder how many of my Facebook "friends" have my updates turned off. I don't want to know.
  • My memory is getting frighteningly poor. Why can't I remember things for more than 15 minutes?
  • I am now only six pounds away from 200. I have always said (and told my husband) that if I hit 200 pounds, he should kill me, or at least, not stand in my way when I kill myself. Hell, he can't stop me--I've got 50 pounds on him. Sigh. Sob.
  • I miss writing. I really miss writing. I'm in too much physical pain to concentrate on intelligent thoughts.
  • I am tired of thinking. Thinking is wearing me out. Why do humans have to think as an autonomic function?
  • Frank had to use the handtowels to dry off after his shower (bad planning). We have two bathrooms (one and a half, actually), each very different colors. Why then does he think the aqua towels would go in the sage green/gold bathroom? Isn't this obvious?
  • I have four Facebook friends in my husband's family...and one in mine.
  • I'm sad. I'm always sad. Why can't I get unsad?
  • Frank spent the day painting the living and dining room ceilings while an electrician finished installing the new lighting in the basement. The house is quite...bright.
  • Is it necessary for the late news to dedicate 20 minutes to sports? If so, why?
  • I finished Molly's earrings last week, but the real challenge will be actually getting them in the mail.
  • This list is exactly how my brain talks to me all day long.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

They call it Cyberchondria

If you feel sick long enough, your mind starts to develop all sorts of theories about the etiology of your maladies. The Internet can be a comfort if you find strength in education. Or, it can just be the trigger for a massive anxiety attack. I have a sense of humor, so I can read about my symptoms all day long and chuckle at the outrageous things people pretend to know and then share online.

Having spent some time online today, here are my diagnostic conclusions after entering every symptom I have (including those attached to existing conditions):
It's tuberculosis
It's Multiple Sclerosis
It's hysteria
It's psychosomatic illness
It's cancer
It's candida
It's Karma
It's allergies
It's god's will
It's a test of faith (failed!)
It's a chemical imbalance
It's menopause
It's a drug side-effect

In 2000, I had knee surgery. As I signed all of the forms, I was surprised to see a clause that said "I understand that medicine is not an exact science..." Oh. That inspires pre-surgical confidence.

Hook me up with a good lab and a broadband Internet connection, and I'll have myself figured out in no time at all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No exhanges without receipt

Today was a physical therapy day--not the special PT with Toni, but the mainstream kind with Phil. Phil manipulated my upper spine and neck. He was pleased with the results, but he approached the task like a man determined to win a recurring battle. He's a big guy, yet it took a lot of heavy physical work to get my ribs and spine in a position to stop tormenting my nerves.

Phil warned me that my back was going to hurt a lot as the day went on. The man knows his cause-and-effect physical therapy.

The liquid fire that pours itself down my spine challenges even my super-human pain tolerance. It gets worse when I sit, and worse still when I use a computer. I want to write, I want to clear my head of all of the words that are accumulating in the cranial space, and I want to read what comes out of my head so I know whether or not my mental health is intact or just an illusion.

It's hard to write when you're in pain. It's hard to have a healthy attitude about life when each new day reminds you that healthy is one thing you are not. I am not.

But I look OK

Tired. My pain is wearing me out. My pain is wearing me out but it seems to be part of a bigger fatigue. How can anyone be this tired and have normal blood work? The least bit of effort leaves me with an energy debt I cannot pay.

Last week, friends were visiting (and you know who you are). We went to dinner on Thursday, and we were out late. I got home at ten, maybe a bit later. Friday morning, I struggled to get up by 8:30. I had things to do.

I went to therapy and then to the salon for the previously discussed cut-color-highlights. Frank got home at 5:00 and 45 minutes later, we headed out to meet our out-of-town friends for an evening of wholesome fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I forgot to have too much anxiety or be self-conscious. I enjoyed getting out of the house and spending time with people I truly like. I went to bed happier than usual, and not all that late.

Saturday. I could not wake up. Sometime after 9:00, I forced myself to get out of bed, and I stumbled down the hallway, stopping once to regain my balance. Frank made coffee for me, and after I drank it, I fell asleep on the couch. An hour later, I roused myself and stepped into the back yard. I tried to read, but couldn't. I watched TV, checked my email, and eventually curled up on the couch. I took a shower. That felt good.

Frank came in and seemed relieved that I had, at 12:30, finally changed out of my pajamas. He set about making lunch and chatted away throughout the process of preparing Kraft mac and cheese. I heard my name. I heard my name louder. And again. It startled me.

I had fallen asleep again. I had even been dreaming.

This continued until about 3:00 in the afternoon, when my body finally had rested itself enough to let me remain conscious. By then, the day was mostly gone and my long to-do list was an impossibility. My frustration was obvious.

I'd like to trade in this body for one that doesn't waste so much of my time.

Where does this come from?

The dread is back. Sometimes it washes over me like an unexpected wave that also pulls my feet forward, tugging at my equilibrium.

There's no reason, no event, no identifiable trigger that makes it come. I can't call it anxiety because anxiety is linked to worry and fear, but this is a generalized sense of imminent disaster. How do I rationalize my way out of a feeling that has an unknown origin?

Dread is worse than anxiety. Dread is an instigator, stirring up its cohorts, Fear, Anxiety, Worry, Paranoia, Insecurity, and Hyper-Vigilance.

I feel a little sick in the pit of my stomach, and yet, I don't know why.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cymbalta marketers back-pedal

The ads look the same and they sound almost the same--the music, anyway. However, it appears that the folks in the in-house ad department got a clue. well, half a clue.

There is no mention of hurting, physically or emotionally. Instead of the "who does depression hurt" line of questioning, it now goes something like this:
You know how depression makes you feel, but what do they see? What do they feel?

There's still a sad Weimaraner as well as a dejected kid, but the accusatory insinuations have lightened up a bit. I have a feeling the change had less to do with sensitivity toward the afflicted and more to do with market research.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

First listen, then cut

They said it couldn't be done. the rumors had spread far and wide that May Voirrey was a living version of Cathy (of comic strip fame), never pleased with her hair. But that was never true.

I know that I can get a haircut I like because it has happened in the past. The problem is that good haircuts have been an elusive tease--get one, and the stylist leaves town, changes professions, or can never again repeat the cut the way it was the first time.

Therapy session, Friday. Barb tells me to try to see what I can control instead of feeling overwhelmed by what I can't. I take her advice of empowerment and I do what I do in the face of relationship breakups, job loss, and life crises: I drive to a salon I can afford, an inexpensive walk-in chain, and say, "I'd like a haircut, plus color. Maybe highlights?"

Cassie is young enough to be my daughter--I'm sure of it. She listens carefully as I explain that I can't seem to find a stylist who will cut my hair as short as I want it. I pull a photo out of my purse--the one here that I got from the Internet on About.com, I think--and I say, "This is the overall idea of what I want--but shorter because my hair grows really fast and I sweat a lot. I'd like a much more defined wedge in the back, and more layering for texture on the sides. The sides need to be shorter than this. Oh, and please don't do this to my bangs. I actually want my bangs longer and wispy. Where the hair meets the jaw, that should be a sharper angle and not so wispy or curly."

Cassie took the picture from my hand and asked a few clarifying questions. Then, she propped it up in front of the mirror. She had some ideas about color, and we decided on a warm red-brown with gold highlights. As Cassie worked, she checked in frequently to ask about small style details along the way.

After nearly three hours of coloring, cutting, and highlighting, my hair looked exactly like what I have wanted all along--for two years. The cut is perfect, the color is really pretty, and the highlights are good enough.

I look at my hair and I am happy.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Let's rub some salt in that wound

Cue oboe music. Dim color intensity. Action! Or not. Whatever.

When the commercials for Cymbalta first started to air a few years ago, I wanted to believe that the compelling voice-over questions were an attempt at making lazy doctors think about their patients who had been getting superficial attention in lieu of effective treatment.

Now when the music starts, I can't help but think I've had it all wrong. There's the dog, the kid, the spouse, the garden...
  • Who does depression hurt?
  • Where does depression hurt?
The camera pans from the depressed to The Disappointed. The air of guilt is palpable.

We're miserable because you are depressed. Our life sucks because you are so lame. Snap out of it. Pop some Cymbalta and get over it, already.

Because, it's not enough to feel awful, low, sad, overwhelmed, and worthless. The folks at Lilly pharmaceutical want to remind you that you are making everyone around you suffer with your self-indulgent behavior. You are neglecting your responsibilities. What makes you so special? Stop dragging everyone else down with you. Take the damn drug--it's your duty.

I am media savvy, and I know what the real message of this commercial is intended to be. This is your fault, you know. Pay attention. They're smacking depressed people upside the head.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The webcam dilemma

Frank wanted to buy a Bluetooth headset for me. I need to use the phone in the car as part of my job, but I am a painfully careful driver. I won't even answer the phone if it rings while I'm driving, let alone have a conversation.

Since Frank didn't know what I had in mind, he gave me a gift card for Best Buy. I wanted the BlueAnt Z9i, preferably in red. It looks large in the picture, but it's actually tiny--only 2/3 the length of my thumb. Best Buy had it for $99, and only in black. Amazon had it for $47, with no tax, free shipping, in satin red.

This leaves me still holding a $50 Best Buy gift card.

Frank and I went to Best Buy yesterday and found that most of what I like is available for much less on Amazon. Nevertheless, we wandered over to computer peripherals and Frank said, "May! How about aWebcam? You've wanted one forever. Here's the Logitech you were looking at. Why don't you get that?"

I hung my head, feeling like the social loser I have created by my own actions.

"Frank, I don't have anyone to use a Webcam with. Jolie doesn't have or want one. It would be a one-way transmission, and only if I talk to myself."

Frank patted me on the back and headed off to play a round of Guitar Hero a few aisles over.


Sunday, July 5, 2009


Frank and I just baked jumbo, banana-blueberry muffins. They smell delicious. I can't bake without assistance anymore--my attention span is so short and scattered, I can't organize myself from one end of the recipe to the other.

Frank is not a baker, so some of my instructions got a little lost in the process, but we ended up with muffins, and that's more than I could have done on my own. I told him that in home ec class, these would have been graded no higher than a 'C'. I don't care. I made muffins with my husband. Sweet.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

From my page-a-day calendar...

After college, read only books you like. Should you find yourself reading one you don't enjoy, skip to the last page and be done with it.

As a matter of fact, this is exactly what I used to do when I was still able to read books. It's very validating for the reader with ADD yet with a need to not entirely abandon a book.

Someone gave me a copy of The Shack by William P. Young. I don't think I've ever been so bored. My atheism aside, it was just a badly written story. I skipped to the last page, but it didn't reveal anything. I guess I'll never know what great revelation God had for Mack. I guess I don't care, either.