Monthly Archives: January 2008

The cure for what ails me

So, I found out today that my boss is being moved to a different job. And I’d be lying my ass off if I said that I wasn’t crushed by this news. I love my boss, I really do – as a person, as a mentor, as the person who tells me that Sweet Jesus, I’ve been here long enough and now it is time to go home. Bosses like this are rare, and while the candidates that may take her place are all fine, I’m still sad. I’ve learned a lot from her over the last two years, and we work well together, and I guess the overriding factor here is that I Don’t Like Change.

You can try to tell me that change is good, and try as I might to recognize that (and I really am trying, since this is an incredible opportunity for her and it would be very selfish of me to not be happy for her) this is simply The Way That I Am.

So I am sad.

Do you know what makes this girl happy when things are looking a little bit blue?

Well, there’s this. And this. But both of these pale in comparison to this.

Truth be told, although I “officially” found out about the work changes today, I pretty much knew about them yesterday. So last night, after we got home from dance class, when I was feeling mopey and Matt was watching TV, I ordered myself some shoes. Some marvelous, sure to make me feel better, shoes.

Is retail therapy always the reasonable answer to problems? OK, probably not. But damn, did it feel good. Come on. Don’t these make you feel happy?

shoes.jpeg

Hello, lovelies. I was actually looking for a pair of close-toed heels, but since the Internet assures me that it is actually in style to wear tights with peep-toes, these are great. And the best part is that even though they were $83 at Zappos, they were only $39 at Endless. Add in Zappos’ price match policy and shazam! $30 shoes. Add in the $50 Zappos gift certificate and voila! Free shoes! (Which happen to be the only kind of shoes that factor into this new budget-thang that I’ve got goin’ on.)

(Find them here or here if you have similar shoe-love.)

So yes, still moping. But at least I will have cute shoes on while I do it.

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Filed under Kwit yer bitchun, Retail Therapy

Stress, causes of

Dentist, visit to

Oh, GAWD, do I hate the dentist. The good news is that I can still say that I have never had a cavity! The bad news is that I have to go back for some type of something or other on my gums. Ack. Hate.

Money, lack of

I have determined that 2008 is the Year of the Budget. It is also the Year of Savings and the Year of Not Buying So Many Shoes. Do you see the theme? It is a very painful theme, especially that last part about the shoes.

Math, the making of me to do

Look, me and numbers? We don’t mix. I mean, we can. If we have to. But we don’t really like each other. Especially when the math involves projecting what a budget might (or might not, that’s the trick!) look like, because that IS JUST GUESSING. I mean, it’s educated guessing, but who didn’t hear that term in grade school and think, “SCORE, I GET TO GUESS. NO THINKING REQUIRED.” Except now my job kind of requires me to actually guess intelligently. And people expect me to stand up in front of rooms of people to defend my guessing. Guessing should not be this stressful.

Job, all aspects of

This was probably implied by the above, but boy howdy are things busy around this joint. In good news, did you know that if you are stuck at work really really late, you CAN actually make a meal out of 100-calorie packs from your snack drawer and the candy bowl on someones desk? (Please note that I said absolutely nothing about the nutritional value of said meal.)

Television, lack of

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy ending a stressful day by vegging out in front of the telly. So when my options are limited to Dance Wars  or Deal or No Deal, I get a little cranky. I’m sorry if those are your favorite shows, but honestly Deal or No Deal makes me want to claw my eyes out. I don’t know why. Usually I love a high cheese factor but something about it is just… over the top, even for me.

And as for Dance Wars, would you believe that I actually WATCHED that horrendous piece of crap last night? I… I don’t even know what to say. There are simply no words. By the time they had their tenth ‘technical problem’ and Drew Lachey had done probably the worst job in history of reading off the teleprompter, oh and let’s not forget the liberal use of words like ‘spirit’… well, I was ready to personally beg the writers to come back. I mean, I know they’re striking for a good reason and all, but PLEASE, WON’T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN? Or, uh, of the… me. Think of me, and my show-less existence.

But on that note, I did just remember that American Idol is on tonight! And, oh, I know it’s bad, so very bad… but it’s like a disease. I can’t help myself. It is a sad day when Ryan Seacrest and a bunch of no-talent losers are the only thing you have to look forward to.

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Filed under Kwit yer bitchun

I don’t think he will use the word ‘essentially’ ever again.

This morning I called the doctor’s office promptly at nine. I wasn’t worried, I mean, not REALLY worried, but maybe just a teensy tiny bit worried. Just worried enough to play the message about 987 times last night to listen to the exact tone and inflection of the word ‘essentially’.

Of course my doctor was with a patient, so the office took my info and said they’d have him call me back. (I made sure they knew to call my work phone. I actually lied and told them that we were getting rid of our house phone, so they shouldn’t call that number anymore.) Dr. B called me back a little while ago, and it turns out that ‘essentially normal’ is actually a pretty good way of describing things, unless you are describing them on someone’s answering machine 10 minutes before your office closes.

It turns out that the MRI shows no cause for the migraines (which is what we expected) but it did show that I have what is called a ‘pineal cyst’. I can’t find a link that has complete enough information to do a concise job of explaining this, but basically the pineal gland lives on the brain stem and controls melatonin. It’s not completely uncommon to have a cyst there  – most people would never know they had one because most people don’t get MRI’s of their brain – and in almost all cases it doesn’t cause any symptoms.

In my case, it is not causing any problems. Mine’s not as tiny as most are (most are under 2 milimeters and mine is around 5) so they will want me to have another MRI in a year to make sure it didn’t grow. But really, it’s not a big deal at all.

Of course when the doctor told me this, I promptly began Google-ing before he could even explain what it was. As he was explaining, he said, “You’re on Google right now, aren’t you.” (Apparently I am predictable.) I tried to pretend that I wasn’t until he said, “I can hear you typing, you know.” Caught red handed.

I was able to get him back though, when I casually mentioned that perhaps his message on the machine was not the best example of bedside manner. At first he didn’t know what I meant, until I explained about that pesky little word ‘essentially’. Then he was horrified. “I said that? I didn’t mean to say that! I’m so sorry!” Haha. I felt a little bad for teasing since I really do like my doctor – he’s a nice guy and he actually treats me like a real person (hence the comments about Google-ing as he knows that I ALWAYS do that).

So, I guess that’s probably all you need to know about my brain (except, of course, that it is large and super-smart). Have a good weekend!

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Filed under Migraines Suck

Subject to Interpretation

What, exactly, do you think it means when your doctor leaves you a message on your machine that goes as follows:

Hi, this is Doctor X calling from X Medical Office. Please call back regarding the results of your MRI exam. Uh, everything was essentially normal. But, uh, we just need to have a quick conversation.

WHAT  THE HELL???

What really gets me is the word essentially. Essentially normal? Is that the same as normal? Or does that mean almost normal, kind of sort of normal, except for that giant hole where your frontal lobe should be???

I repeat: WHAT THE HELL???

And, gee, wouldn’t you know that despite the fact that Doctor X has both my work AND cell numbers (both of which I would have answered at the time of his call) he chose to call the house phone, which I have repeatedly told the office not the use, because we check our messages approximately once a week, and it is only by coincidence that I got his message today and not a week from now. So now I have until tomorrow at 9 to wonder what ‘essentially normal’ is. And that’s really awesome, because it’s not like I’m a total worrywart or anything. (Heavy sarcasm, OBVIOUSLY.)

So, anyway, let’s focus on something that is totally, 100% good news. (Not essentially good news. Just plain old good, nay, GREAT news.) My BFF Liz, who is a chemist, got some kind of super duper results with her lab work. There is no chance of me explaining more than that, but it has something to do with polymers, and it is awesome, and she has worked really (REALLY) hard to make such awesomeness. Go Liz! And if you are feeling particularly sweet and wonderful, might you consider leaving a comment here letting her know how awesome she is? Because everyone deserves to know how awesome they are are sometimes, especially when it is true!

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Filed under Friends, Migraines Suck

A Sweet Treat

If you are in the mood for something sweet, or if maybe you are bored on your snow day because your boyfriend has insisted on playing video games for approximately 18905427 hours straight and you are seriously considering poking yourself in the eye with the Wii remote, I would highly recommend this recipe for Peanut Butter bars.

As someone told me today, these bars are “what would happen if a peanut butter cookie and a brownie fell in love and had babies.” I tend to agree. They have all the peanut-buttery goodness of a PB cookie, with the texture of a brownie. Also, I had all of the ingredients in the house – a rare thing since we have limited kitchen space and need what little space we have to hold the complicated culinary utensils one requires for making frozen pizza.

I also made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and I was pretty impressed with myself for basically making my own recipe to accommodate the ingredients in my semi-bare cupboards. I know, I know, it’s not really a huge accomplishment, but they are yummy and that’s all that matters.

On another note, if you like games of the card variety, or if maybe you are trying to distract your boyfriend from the shiny lure of the video game console with something that does NOT make you want to stab yourself in the eye with the Wii remote, might I suggest this game? Fun and addicting, says me.

Of course, this game is not recommended for those who have chosen to couple themselves with people of the SORE LOSER variety. Because perhaps the SORE LOSER’s whining after having lost for the 1853258 time in a row will make you want to stab the SORE LOSER in the eye with the Wii remote. (Warning: the SORE LOSER may also attempt to resort to cheating in an effort to overcome the losing streak. These attempts may be laughable, but please note that visible signs of laughter on the WINNER’s part will only make the SORE LOSER more sore.) 

Anything you’ve found to be particularly tasty/cool/interesting lately?

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Filed under My Sweet Babboo, Retail Therapy

Snow Day!

We woke up this morning to a Winter Wonderland; 6 inches of wet, heavy snow already on the ground and another 6 (or more!) to come. It’s pretty snow (the wet kind always sticks to the trees and to everything else, which is pretty) but it’s also realllly heavy and a pain to shovel. Luckily since Round One of shoveling is already done, I can sit and relax until it’s time for Round Two.

I had my MRI on Friday afternoon, and it wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had in my life, but it was OK. I’m not terribly claustrophobic; I actually would rather be in a teeny tiny place all by myself than in a larger space with a lot of people (which is why crowded elevators and really busy malls make me a bit twitchy). But still, I think my heart was hammering as loud as the machine at one point! Of course you don’t get any results right on the spot, so I’ll be waiting for a call from the doctor sometime this week. I’m not concerned, though, since this was just a precautionary measure.

In my last bit of boring medical news, I started on the preventative medication on Friday night. I was kind of expecting it to just knock me right out, like Nyquil does, but it didn’t. However, on Saturday morning I was a groggy, foggy, dizzy mess. Fun!  I’m going to try to find the “right” time to take this stuff at night – I’m hoping that by taking it earlier in the evening I’ll be able to eliminate some of the morning fog. And since it doesn’t seem to make me all that sleepy at night (not so much that I can’t function) I see no problem with taking it a bit earlier.

I’ve had a few other minor side effects (dry mouth, slower heart rate, both of which I was told would likely happen) but nothing too awful. And I know it’s only been a few days, but so far no migraines! I’m not ready to declare victory yet, but I’m feeling good. Wahoo!

Now the only thing to decide is what to do with my snow day. I’m thinking a Pirates of the Caribbean  marathon is in order, since I got the 3rd movie for Christmas and haven’t watched it yet. A little hot chocolate, a cozy throw blanket, and some Jack Sparrow – what could be better than that?

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Filed under Life in New England, Migraines Suck

Please excuse me while I attend my own personal pity party.

Usually this blog is a good outlet for me. I can whine, complain, or blather endlessly and no one seems to mind. I love getting comments, and love that I have some new bloggy friends to follow and read about. (I can call you friends, right?)

Sometimes, though, I kind of… freeze up. There are so many things going on and so many thoughts swirling around that the effort to put hands to keyboard is just too much. I guess this is just the way I tend to be. When something is overwhelming, I need some time to mull things over before I can decide on a plan of action or talk about them. It’s like all of this thinking overloads the part of my brain that gives me the ability to speak (or write). I’m not sure what this says about the capacity of my brain, but we’ll just ignore that, OK?

Anyway, on Wednesday I went to see the doctor to ask about additional treatments for migraines. I’ve had migraines for a while, and they’ve always been an annoying, but manageable condition. For the last 6 months though, they’ve been steadily getting worse. I’ve been getting them MUCH more frequently, and they last longer and have more severe symptoms. I’ve been sick and unhappy, and I really needed to do something about it.

So, I’ll be starting a new daily preventative medication tonight. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this – according to the doctor and the pharmacist, this medication takes some time to get used to. For the first few weeks I’m likely to be groggy, and as the pharmacist put it, “this medication has the potential to affect your mood negatively.” I think this is code for, “You’re going to be cranky.” When I mentioned this to Matt, he gave me a deer in headlights look and said, “Umm… did she say exactly HOW cranky? AND FOR HOW LONG?” Poor guy.

One of the other side effects (although a rare one) is listed as ‘excessive weight gain’. You have got to be kidding me. If this happens, I will personally guarantee that you have never SEEN cranky like you will see if I experience excessive weight gain. Because first of all, I just worked my ass off to lose twenty pounds, and that is just not fair. And second of all, if I AM going to have excessive weight gain, I would much rather that it be due to excessive doughnut consumption instead of some stupid medication. (Of course, this is a rare side effect, and I’m sure if it happened the doctor would switch the medication to something different, but STILL.)

I also got a stronger anti-nausea drug, and I swear when the doctor looked at me sympathetically when I told him about the never-ending nausea I almost hopped off the exam table and hugged him. I think he might have been freaked out by that, so I didn’t do it, but I was pretty happy that he understood the feeling of ‘please please make it stop’ that comes with nausea.

I’m going for an MRI today (ack they are going to put me in a little enclosed space ack ack ack) “just to make sure nothing is seriously wrong”. (Code for: we want to make sure you don’t have giant brain tumors.) I’ve had them before, and I’ve never had any giant brain tumors, but I do understand the need to double-check since I’ve been getting worse. I also have to see a neurologist in a few weeks, to see if the preventative is working and to see if there is anything else that they can do.

Sorry for the detailed medical information, but I guess that all of this is to say that I feel pretty good about this treatment plan. I’m glad to be actually DOING something to control this condition, and I’m happy that the doctor listened to me and really worked with me, and I’m hopeful that this will all work and I will stop being this miserable person who lays in dark, silent rooms all the time. I’ll be able to go out, and have fun, and I don’t think it’s too strong a statement to say that I really, really want my life back. And I think that I am going to get it.

Why, then, do I feel like throwing a giant pity party? I don’t WANT to be on a medication every day from now until the foreseeable future. I don’t WANT to have an MRI (where they are going to put me a little tiny space ack ack ack). I don’t WANT to deal with any of this. Honestly, I feel like a petulant teenager who is refusing to clean her room. I don’t quite understand it, but I can’t help it. In theory, I should feel great! In reality, I’m kind of… meh.

Last night I kept dreaming that I went to have the MRI and every time they would try start they would ask me if I had any metal on my body, and I would double-check and find something I had forgotten about. I would tell them to wait while I took off the earrings/watch etc and they would sigh very impatiently. In the dream, I finally burst into tears and yelled, “I don’t want to do this! I want to know what is going to happen!”

I usually think that reading into your dreams is a bunch of crock, because usually I dream about having superpowers or fighting crime, and yet I have NEVER been able to fly or read minds in real life, no matter how hard I’ve tried. But I think in this case my subconscious was right. I’m nervous because I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know if this is going to work or if I’m going to keep having to switch medications and dealing with the side effects in the meantime. I’m nervous that I’m going to keep getting migraines and they’re just going to get worse and worse until I won’t have a life and everyone will hate me because I’m not the same person that I used to be. I’m nervous that even though the chances are incredibly slim, the MRI WILL show that I have giant brain tumors.

I’m trying to give myself a little pep talk, telling myself that at least I am DOING SOMETHING. Everything might go perfectly, and that would be great, but even if it doesn’t, even if it takes me some time to figure out the right treatment plan, that’s OK. At least I will be actively working to find a solution. That’s all I can do right now.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Migraines Suck