Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chanel Wants Attentions NOW!

This morning Boyfriend was up and showered and dressed (sort of) before my alarm even went off. This is not necessarily an unusual occurrence. Boyfriend's first alarm goes off at four a.m. five days a week, and he gets up by five to go to work. Boyfriend is a nerd, and he works for some nerd company doing some sort of nerd stuff on computers. He's told me a million times what he does and the company that he works for, but I can't remember no matter how many times he tells me. Anyway, because he is used to waking up so early most of the week, he usually wakes up by seven on his days off.

When I woke up, he was sitting at the desk with his laptop open, playing Left 4 Dead 2 or some other zombie computer game that is stupid and a waste of time. I climbed out of bed and jumped on his lap. I tend to want lots of affection when I wake up in the morning, regardless of what he's doing.

Boyfriend: What the--Chanel, I can't see my game!

Me: Pet me!

Boyfriend: I can't, I'm playing a game!

Me: *hops up and down on his lap*

Boyfriend: Fine! *kiss* Now go get ready for work.

I hop merrily on my way into the bathroom and take a nice long shower. I towel off, hang my towel up to dry, and skip back to the desk and hop right back on his lap, Au natural.

Boyfriend: What? You're not dressed!

Me: Give me attention.

Boyfriend: I'm playing a game! *tries to play game around me*

Me: Attention! Attention!

Boyfriend: *kiss* Go get some clothes on!

Temporarily mollified, I put on underwear and a shirt (since I am still not wearing bras) and go into the bathroom where I brush my teeth, brush my hair, moisturize my face, put on my spot treatment, and apply my latest make-up regimen. (See, until recently I took fifteen minutes to apply make-up because I started with spot concealer, then liquid foundation, followed by a translucent finishing mineral veil to set the foundation, then eyeshadow and mascara. The new routine takes five minutes: spot concealer, mineral veil, eyeshadow, mascara.)

Bored again, I run and jump on Boyfriends lap.

Boyfriend: God damn it, Chanel, I'm doing something!

Me: Atteeeeeeeeeeeeeentions!

Boyfriend: *wrapping his arms around my waist* I swear, you want attention at the most inconvenient times. It's like you can sense when I need my concentration the most...like a damn cat! You just don't care!

Me: *pulling my legs up so that all of me is in his lap* Was there a point to that?

Boyfriend: *sighs and kisses me* No. I love your catlike tendencies. *leans in for another kiss*

Me: Okay, I'll finish getting ready for work now! *hops up*

Boyfriend: *sigh* And like a cat, once you get what you want, you leave.

He's not the first boyfriend to say I'm like a cat. They've all said it at one time or another. I wonder if I've always been this way, or if this is a habit I picked up over the years? I'll have to ask my mother.

Monday, June 28, 2010

I hate bras. That's why I don't wear them.

A couple of months ago, I gave up on the whole institution of the bra. After all, what is the point of wearing a bra when you're an A cup? They're small and don't sag. They don't bounce around painfully. They don't need support to prevent back problems. What does a bra do for my boobs? Well, it does keep my headlights from popping up when I'm cold. But in exchange for that one small service, the amount of irritation and discomfort this basic article of clothing creates is simply disproportionate.

Here are the problems of a Bra:

The straps never fit right. They always slip off of my narrow shoulders, unless I pull them so short that they pull the bra way up over my breasts so that it's unbearably uncomfortable. So the straps are constantly hanging off of my shoulders, and I have to constantly adjust them. Which is fucking irritating after eight straight hours.

They do not make pretty bras in my size that do not have padding. No silly lacy things, so simple, sexy see through creations. The message I read in this is simple: if you have a small chest, make it look like they are bigger because it's unattractive if they are small. Well, personally, I like my small chest, and my boyfriend likes them just fine.

Padding is in and of itself uncomfortable: it is molded into a specific shape, and it tries to force my breasts to conform to that shape. My breasts are as rounded as A-cups can be, but they just don't like being stuffed into those molds.

Underwire presses into my ribs or just under my breasts all day. Even worn at its loosest setting the wire still leaves its mark pressed into my skin after all day wearing.

You're probably thinking I'm wearing the wrong bra size. Let me just say here and now that I have had myself fitted for bras several times since I started wearing them. They just are not comfortable. And I realize that some of them are meant to be sexy, not comfortable, but regular, average, every day bras should be comfortable.

The benefits of a bra for my size:

They hide my pointy nipples when I'm cold.

That's it. After that list, it was clear that the pros of wearing the bra were far outstripped by the cons. So without any warning whatsoever, I stopped wearing them. When I'm wearing fitted shirts, I slide liners from my swimsuit between my shirt, and the hides the evidence when I am cold.

However, not all forms of clothing are capable of going braless. For example, today I wore a pale yellow, all cotton tank top. The fabric is thin and pale, so it is very easy to see the lining of the swimsuit underneath. So I had to wear a bra.

I've been wearing it for eight hours now, and I'm about to strangle someone. This is the first time I have worn a bra in a couple of months, and I hate the damn things with a passion now. I will look into sports bras for situations such as this, because the regular bra is unbearable. All of the problems that I had with the bra are still here, and now that I'm no longer used to them, it's just that much worse.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Truth about Corn: The Grain Fooling the World

Corn is not a vegetable. It's a grain. That's something they teach you in elementary school, when you're first learning about the food pyramid. A lot of parents tell their children it is a vegetable, and that to grow big and strong they need to eat their corn. But they're wrong. Maybe parents have forgotten the fact, but I reiterate that corn is NOT a vegetable, it is a grain.

Also, corn has no nutritional value whatsoever. Absolutely none. Let's break this down for all of the parents out there trying to make their kids eat corn.

One cup of yellow corn (no butter, no sugar, no milk: just straight up) has 606 calories. That's a ridiculous amount of calories for something that's supposedly healthy, right? I eat, on average, 1500 calories a day. 606 calories? That's more than one third of what I take in, and corn is generally served as a side. That means that the whole meal would probably have around 1000 calories in it. Calories aren't bad, of course, if you're healthy and exercise regularly. Obesity in America is a problem though. Do you make your children play and exercise? Or do you plop them in front of the TV with a video game to keep them quiet?

Now, you can argue that one cup of yellow corn has 16 grams of protein, a few vitamins that we need, and only eight grams of fat. However, breaking that down, you know that on a 2000 calorie diet those eight grams add up to twelve percent of the daily amount suggested. And this was back when the food pyramid told us we need six to eleven servings of grains and breads a day. That's an awful lot of carbohydrates don't you think?

If you're going to sick with that argument, however, you should know something: all of those nutritional benefits, the protein and the vitamin A and the calcium and the iron, don't do you a damned bit of good. Why? Because the human body cannot digest corn. Dogs can't even digest corn. It literally runs right through you, in one end and out the other. It does not get broken down, their nutrients do not get absorbed into your body. You've seen the proof of this. You know that corn comes out, often whole, in excrement. You noticed it when you were a kid. Ever wonder about that? Now you know why.

So basically, when you're eating your cup of corn, you're downing 606 calories of absolutely nothing. It makes you feel full, like you've eaten something, but you're not getting anything out of it. Add butter and milk and sugar to make it taste better? You're adding about another 200 calories to that, and while the milk is good for you, its nutritional value is completely voided by the addition of the butter and sugar.

Now you're up to 806 calories for one cup of better tasting sweet corn. Not so appealing now, is it?

So if you're a kid, use the facts the next time your parents try to make you eat corn. And if you're a parent? Rethink your decision the next time you consider putting corn on your table. I personally never ate it as a child. My teacher taught me all about how corn couldn't be digested and therefore had no nutritional value, so it was an argument I loved dishing out because I hated the taste of that awful stuff.

Want a healthy alternative for your kids? Try celery. One stick of celery has less than five calories, it has Vitamins A and C, calcium, fiber, and iron. It has protein, no fat, and it takes more calories to chew a stick of celery than it actually has in the stick itself. It tastes good cooked or raw, and it doesn't have a flavor that clashes with most dishes and other sides. And most children will eat it. Afraid that they won't? Add a little peanut butter, and because it's so low on the calories the peanut butter won't mess with the nutritional value of the meal. Don't like peanut butter? Low fat cream cheese is a great option, too.

If you really want the best for you kid, then don't force them to eat corn. You're lying when you say it's good for them, and there are better alternatives out there, both in taste and nutrition. I know corn is a cheap food, and it's filling, but don't sacrifice health for money.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Murphey's Law applies to my life: If it can go wrong, it will.

I'm sure it has become very obvious that I am always involved in freak accidents. Things that should only be minor accidents, such as tripping on a towel and tripping over sidewalk barriers, are always perfectly timed and lined up so that they have the worst possible outcomes. Namely, me bleeding and in need of stitches at the emergency room.

My second run in with stitches, before the car door and after the bathroom door, did not involve a door. At least, the door did not directly do any damage to me, although there was definitely a door involved in this bloody accident.

And I use the term "accident" loosely. Because all of the events leading up to the need of stitches resulted from my older sister's intention to do me harm. To be fair, she meant to scare the living shit out of me so that I would give her what she wanted, so mental harm, as opposed to the physical harm that ends this story.

First, you need to hear the beginning, which all starts with a toilet. We lived in Jacksonville, Florida by this point in me life. I was about six years old, Sherrell was seven, and the Twinkies (our fond name for the twins) were about three years old. One day, Sherrell and I decided we wanted to know what made the toilet work, and to discover this we combined our strength to lift the porcelain cover off of the back of the toilet. However, once in our grasp, we discovered it was too heavy to support, and in our childish ability to immediately solve problems, we simply let it go.

It broke neatly into two pieces on the bathroom floor, and we got into a lot of trouble that day. Not only for breaking the lid in the first place, but also for flooding the bathroom afterward. My parents were busy people, and didn't bother to move the broken top from the floor. They assumed that we were smart enough to not play with it, and we were. Probably because it was too heavy for us to lift and not out of any desire to actually leave the damn thing alone. In any case, it sat there for a few months, never bothered and never noticed, in the bathroom that belonged to Sherrell and I.

I'm not sure if it was two or three months later that the accident occurred. Our friends, Kenny and Annette, had come over to play. We all immediately decided we were going to play Batman. Kenny, as the only boy, was Batman by default. I immediately called, "I'm Catwoman!" The rule was whoever called it first got it.


Me: I called it first! Too late!

Sherrell: I'm the oldest!

Me: You know the rules! I called it first!

Sherrell was several inches taller than me, despite being only a year older. She easily overpowered me, dragging me into the hallway and shoving me as hard as she could into the bathroom. I ran forward again, trying to get out. She switched of the light, then pushed me backwards again as hard as she could, then slammed the bathroom door shut. The momentum of her shove sent me reeling back towards the bathtub, and my foot fount the broken edge of the topper.

It cut into my foot and I felt the worst pain I had ever felt in my life. To this day, there is no amount of injury that has caused the bright red pain and agony that cut to my foot produced. I didn't even know what had happened to me, only that my foot was desperately hurting and now there was something wet on the floor.

I started screaming bloody murder, ran in the direction of the door. I tried pulled it open, but I couldn't. Sherrell was laughing at the other end, holding the door shut. I screamed and screamed and screamed. She didn't let go.

Finally, my parents heard my shrieks and came to investigate. They opened the bathroom door, switched on the light, and my mother immediately started freaking out. I had trailed puddles of blood all over the bathroom floor, and I was sitting there, crying, holding my bleeding foot and screaming like the Devil himself was standing next to me.

Mom put tourniquet on my foot, then wrapped a towel around the cut to stop the bleeding while Dad went next door to get a neighbor to watch Sherrell, Kenny, Annette, and the Twinkies. They rushed me to the ER where I got sixteen stitches in my foot, and the doctor was a man with blue eyes and brown hair who told silly jokes like, "Why did the cow cross the road? To get to the MOOvies!" while he was sewing up my foot.

Sherrell got into lots of trouble when we got home. It was one of the few times in my memory that mother actually punished her for something she did to me. They took the broken lid out of the bathroom after that and bought a plastic one to replace it. Evidently they thought we might break another porcelain one, and they wanted to prevent another accident.

I slept in Mommy and Daddy's room that night because I didn't want to share the room with Sherrell. I was still mad at her for trying to kill me. (I'd somehow managed to convince myself that she had intended I die in the bathroom, although I'm not certain how that particular thought entered my head. Maybe because my dad had screamed "You could have killed her!")

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My body is talented, but self-destructive.

Once upon a time, believe it or not, I was an athletic girl. I joined the track team. My best event? High jump. Seems impossible, doesn't it? Given my short height of five foot five/six inches now, I was just under four feet back then when I was eleven. Weighing in at a total of sixty five pounds, I was skinny and short and I didn't look healthy, but I was stronger and faster than I looked. I was fast enough to be put on the track team despite my age, strong enough to put myself over the bar backwards and not knock it off when kids seven, eight inches, sometimes even a foot taller than me couldn't manage it. I also liked basketball, was decent at it. I had talent.

I had some problems, though. Problems that I explained to the track coaches, but they didn't think the problem was as serious as I insisted because I didn't have a doctor backing me up. You see, I always got tired easily. Walking around amusement parks for an hour exhausted me and I'd have to rest fifteen minutes at a time. I could run short distances just fine, but I told the track coaches that I couldn't do any extended, long distance running. I didn't know what would happen if they tried to put me in a long distance event. My assumption was I'd be too exhausted to compete in any other events.

My first track meet, they stuck me in the 800 meter race instead of the 100 meter dash. I asked them to reconsider, but they stuck to the belief that I would be fine. The high jump was the first event, and so I didn't argue it much. I figured it wouldn't matter if I did my other event first, and then I could rest the remainder of the day.

This was spring in Austin, Texas in 2000. It was ninety-eight degrees outside, hot and humid in the way only Texas weather can get. I took second in high jump. I was the shortest competitor. I stretched for my race, drank lots of water and Gatorade, prepped myself the way I had been taught.

The race started, I took off and took second place. Always second best, never first, but that was fine with me. I was good at track, but I didn't love it. Maybe if I had I would have pushed myself a little harder to train. I made it through the first lap, strong and steady. At the beginning of the second, my chest started to ache. Breathing became difficult and painful. I tried taking bigger breaths, but the air couldn't get through. Every intake of breath felt like something stabbing through my chest. I started to slow down against my will, but I still pushed. I fell to third. Then fourth. I was in fifth place when my world suddenly went black and the track came up to meet me.

The next thing I knew, I was looking up at the sky, blue and bright, and there were faces around me. Coaches screaming, friends and parents touching my face, testing my breathing, trying to see if I was okay. They asked me questions. Was I in pain? What happened?

I tried to tell them I my chest was hurting, that it hurt to breath, but I couldn't get the words out. I sat myself up. My hands and knees were stinging. I'd scraped myself up when I fainted. I saw my bloody knees and promptly fainted again. The sight of my own blood freaks me out, and the smell of blood makes me physically ill.

I came to in the Nurse's Office, and she had my grandparents on the phone. My mother had only recently come back, so she wasn't the main contact on my papers. Mom and Memaw came to get me though, and they called the doctor, who sent us to a specialist.

Two days later I found myself in the Breckenridge Cardiology Center, running on a treadmill while hooked up to wires. They ran lots of tests. Then they gave me a heart monitor to wear for a week, which they put in a purse for me to carry around so I wouldn't feel like I looked stupid.

Two weeks later we had my diagnosis: a heart murmur and an irregular heartbeat. They said the heartbeat was the bigger problem. The way they explained it was this: a normal heart beat says "love you, love you, love you" and my heart says "love you, love you, I love you, love you." The third beat throws off the way my blood is pumped, which makes it harder to get the oxygen in my blood circulated through my whole body, which makes strenuous activity, such as track meets, almost impossible, and potentially dangerous.

The orders? No more sports. So I took up choir, and then flute, and dedicated my life to the things that I loved: reading, writing, and playing music. Things that I excelled in, things I enjoyed that couldn't possibly hurt me. I've had to play it safe every day since that track meet, never pushing myself too far. I kind of miss running, but I'm so out of shape that even short distances start my warning signals in my body. So I resigned myself to my fate a couple of years ago, and I'm invested in my new future: couch potato extraordinaire.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

As a general rule, I avoid recreational controlled substances

Because most recreational controlled substances are controlled in the sense that they are illegal, and I'm a stickler for following the law. I tried weed once when I was nineteen, and the only thing I could say about it in the end was "For being high, I sure felt heavy." I also will add that it was boring, and I still do no understand why people laugh so much when high because nothing is funnier. Just heavy.

Anyway, I don't really drink, either. I'll have a couple of strawberry margaritas every now and then, but I try to stop at two. Usually, two is enough to make me start sliding out of bar stools, or I giggle like crazy at my own thoughts. Thoughts that I'm sure I'm actually speaking out loud, but I'm not. Or I watch movies in my head and laugh at the funny parts. My friends think I'm funny when I drink. Boyfriend is very amused by it.

Anyway, one recreational controlled substance that I had absolutely no compunctions about trying was Salvia. Mostly because it was described as a spiritual experience, and you could learn a lot about yourself from your vision.

The first time I tried it, I laughed for five minutes straight. It wasn't a particularly powerful strain, was in fact the weakest strain the store sold, so I didn't have a vision. I was aware of everyone around me, my vision didn't alter in anyway. I just...started laughing and I couldn't stop. The second time I tried it a little stronger, heart shaped lava bombs started falling from the ceiling and flowing in a river under me, but above the carpet. Boyfriend insisted that my cat destroyed the space time continuum by popping his time bubble with her nose. Also, he had a magic carpet on one of his trips.

We tried three more potency levels before we jumped to Balls Out Trip. The Purple.

I remember smoking it. And then...the world around me disappeared. I had two sitters, trusted sitters who wouldn't fuck with me while I was tripping. During my vision I was surrounded by rainbow colors swirling around me, and something kept pulling me back. A hundred arms pulling me, jerking me, refusing to let me speak or call out for help. I wasn't scared. I had the vague impression that the things holding me back were actually clones of ME, and that I was trying to keep myself silent. And finally, FINALLY, I won free, and the rainbows started to recede and I saw one spot of reality: the leg of the coffee table. So I fought and fought to grab it...and I blinked, and I was back in reality. I seemed to have a completely silent trip, but when I finally managed to speak (a good ten minutes after the vision ended) I said, "Hot sauce be damned! That shit packs a punch!"

The video my sitters took shows a completely different trip. Where I thought I was silent and couldn't speak, I was laughing. Hysterically, then maniacally, then hysterically again. I was so far gone I couldn't even feel how hard I was laughing. I clamped my own hand over my mouth (which is presumably why I felt I couldn't speak) and laughed into my hand so hard that I got slobber on my hand, which I wiped off. Completely unaware that I was doing it. And then...suddenly, for no reason we can fathom, I suddenly got really quite. I reached out for something, and grabbed my sitter's hand. I pulled his arm, so he came over. But I didn't know he was there. I just sat there with his hand under my face, bending over it. And I drooled on him. How did I managed to drool on him? I don't have any idea. I started laughing again. He laughed so hard he knocked the bowl of saliva over and burned a hole into the new carpet. They freaked out and tried fixing it, and all the while I was laughing in my own world.

And suddenly, I snapped back to reality, and said my famous statement. I was convinced for a few moments that I actually hadn't done the Salvia yet, I kept thinking, "What have I been doing? I'm supposed to be doing Salvia with Shane and Melly!" And then a few minutes later it hit me that I HAD done Salvia and I kept telling them it was awful, they couldn't understand...and then I decided I wanted to do it again because it was THAT FUCKING AWESOME!

My advice to any hopeful Salvia users is this: Never do it alone. My sister tried to stand up and walk off of her balcony during a Salvia trip, and was saved by her sitter. Never do it with someone you think might try to scare you. Your mind is not working rationally on Salvia, and if you react badly to a scare you could hurt someone unintentionally without being aware. You have to be eighteen to do it for a reason, so don't send big brother or sister to buy it. Wait until you're old enough. And do NOT start out with the most powerful strain first, or you will freak yourself out. We tried different levels gradually before we made the big leap to the final strain. You need to make sure you can handle the other levels before the final one. There's a reason they label them by potency.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Excedrin Migraine: Turning Epic Fail into Epic Win!

My whole life I've suffered from two things: epic migraines and even more epic cramps. Alright, well it hasn't actually been my WHOLE life. I didn't start getting them until I hit puberty when I was fourteen, but right from the first churning of blood and eggs in my body, before it even exited my body, their was distinct, crippling pain that kept me home from school. I didn't know what it was, what it would mean. Awful abdominal pain that actually prevented me from walking, fever, vomiting, numb face and legs, and my very first migraine occurred a mere eight hours before blood appeared in my underwear. The migraine brought its own forms of pain: aching head, nausea, sensitivity to light, and the sound of my own breathing felt like a million explosions ripping through my ear drums. My vision went black if I tried to sit up. Sometimes my vision went all wavy and zig zaggy. I screamed, but the sound only made it hurt more, but I couldn't stop because sometimes all you have is the scream.

When I found blood later that night...my mom said, "Welcome to being a woman. It won't always be this bad. It gets better with time." I was just as bad the next day and couldn't go to school.

That was March 3, 2003. 3-3-03. Memorable. And made more memorable by the fact that my mother had lied. Or maybe she thought she had told the truth. My periods seem to be much more painful than my three sisters' and my mom's. And I know I said I wasn't tolerant to pain, but I think every female is biologically designed to be able to withstand cramps in the lower abdomen.

Seven long years later, and I've been searching for a way to manage those migraines (which don't always occur with a period but do occur once a month without fail) and cramps with little success. I've tried so many methods, including birth control, to put a stop the monthly pain. My doctor finally decided there was nothing we could do about cramps with my period, but we could make my periods come every three months instead so it was only four times a year when I couldn't move or eat. The migraines I found a great cure for: Imitrex, a prescription drug for migraines that take away all symptoms within half and hour, and they don't come back six hours later.

Unfortunately, when I turned eighteen I got taken off of Daddy's insurance and I could no longer afford the Imitrex. After one vicious migraine attack caused by a high pitched whine in a vacuum cleaner that sent me home from work in agony and tears, Boyfriend ran out to the store desperate to find me something helpful.

Enter Excedrin Migraine: a high powered, high volume dose of caffeine, acetaminophen, and aspirin that you have to take on a full stomach with a full glass of water and no more than two (one dose) within a twenty four hour period. This is a serious painkiller.

Treating my migraines? Epic Fail. It didn't do more than take the edge off of the pain, but all of the migraine symptoms stayed: wavy vision, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea. None of them took a hike on this stuff. So the Excedrin Migraine took a hike to the back of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom where it stayed, unused and forgotten, for a month.

Then the most terrible thing in the world happened. My withdrawal bleed from birth control came (it's not considered a period on birth control because there is no ovulation), and with it the cramps that I endure every three months that make it impossible to do anything except lay in bed and cry and writhe in agony. Unfortunately, there were no painkillers in the apartment to be found. We had finished off the Extra-Strength Rapid Release Tylenol the month before, had finished off the ibuprofen days before, had no aspirin (which I take every morning to help prevent migraines, which is marginally effective), no Midol, no Pamprin, we had absolutely nothing...except some Vicadin that our roommate always seems to have on hand. But those are prescription, and I don't take prescription drugs that aren't prescribed to me because that's a big illegal no-no, and while I don't always agree with the law, I ALWAYS follow it. ALWAYS. I was that girl in school who never got in trouble, never did anything that I wasn't sure about, because I DID NOT want to break the rules. Because I didn't like getting in trouble.

Desperate, I raided every cabinet, every drawer, every single purse I had ever used...and finally, behind the tampons in the medicine cabinet, I found the Excedrin Migraine.

At this point, the cramps are coming on in quick waves so violently my legs have already gone numb, and my face and hands are tingling, on the verge of numbness. My ears are ringing, I'm physically exhausted. I read the directions (no matter how many times I've taken any medication, I always read the instructions. I fear overdose and stomach ulcers and getting some form of Ebola Gangrene of the Stomach or Blood that might result from not taking medication properly)fell to the floor, my legs no longer capable of supporting me, and downed two pretty pacific ocean blue green and white pills with a full glass of water.

I dragged myself the four feet from the bathroom to the bed, pulled myself up, and curled into the fetal position, praying that it would curb the pain at least a little. Do ANYTHING, any change would be welcome.

Thirty minutes later...

They were gone.

Not a twinge. Not a pang. Not a dull ache to be felt.

Completely gone.

EPIC WIN! For the first time in the seven years of puberty I had suffered, I had found something that didn't merely take the edge off, but had GOTTEN THE CRAMPS TO STOP! Albeit, the drug was for migraines, not cramps, but it was successful!

Of course, it wasn't perfect. The cramps started twinging again twelve hours later, and the directions said not to take more than a dose in twenty-four hours, so I had to content myself with a heating pad that kept the cramps from taking over. But I had a solid twelve hour release from the pain, and it was appreciated.

One dose of Excedrin Migraine is roughly three doses (or six pills) of Midol. And if it takes that high of a dose to take down my cramps, I can't imagine why my doctor doesn't just skip all the "trial and error" bullshit and just give me the prescription painkiller she mentioned that one time.

I'm not one to abuse drugs. I don't like taking pills or liquid medication. Taking more than two pills in a row makes me toss my cookies (which is why I stopped taking vitamin packets), and I'd generally rather suffer than risk taking something that makes me throw up. Throwing up is the worst feeling in the world. Before you do it, while you do it, after you do it...it's just a bad feeling. But in the mean time, I have the Excedrin Migraine, which works wonders. It is a God among other medications. Absolutely fabulous.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I am strong!

It seems to be the general consensus of my family, friends, and co-workers that I am...not physically strong. And I pretty much am a fairy princess. I make no pretenses as to the extent of my pain tolerance. I don't like shots, I cry when I get a paper cut. But these are things other people insist don't hurt at all. But to me it feels very very bad, like something is STABBING ME or CUTTING ME. And that's exactly what's happening. They can pretend it doesn't hurt them, but I know that they're just trying to show off or something because I know it's a horrible pain that I dread.

However, there is one form of tolerance that surpasses most peoples', and that's my temperature tolerance. To clarify, I live in Austin, Texas and we wear flip-flops year round. It doesn't get cold until mid-December, and the temperature rarely drops below fifty five for more than a few days the entire duration of winter. It starts warming up again in February, usually within a week of Valentine's Day.

Now, I am always cold. I wear jackets year round, always bring one with me because I know I will get cold eventually. I keep a personal heater under my desk at work in addition to bringing a jacket. Sometimes I even wear long sleeves with the jacket, and in the dead of summer. I am always packing heat, so to speak. I can survive in cold. I mean, once the temperature hits about sixty five it all feels the same to me, so there is no dramatic difference to me if the temperature drops to forty five or thirty or even twelve (which I haven't seen in Texas but it did get that cold when we visited Daddy in Virginia) because it all feels so much the same to me. I can survive in cold just fine, even happily because I love wearing scarves and hats.

Similarly, heat doesn't bother me. It takes a lot of heat to make me sweat. If it's not over one hundred and ten degrees, I'm not going to even complain about it. I'm completely comfortable in jeans an a t-shirt while my friend in tank tops and shorts are fanning themselves complaining bitterly that it gets hotter and hotter every year.

I use my heater under my desk even in the middle of summer. It's on right now, although it's ninety five degrees outside and the sun is out. While everybody else waits eagerly for winter to arrive, I'm eagerly basking in the warmth that I so very rarely feel, armed with SPF 70 sunblock and a linen jacket to protect my skin from harmful ultra-violet rays. On my days off, I shut off the air conditioner and open the doors and windows, enjoying the humidity and the warmth that will not last because Boyfriend and Roommate will immediately reverse it when they come home.

So they can make fun of me for crying when I stub my toe or stabbing my fingers with a sewing needle or when I get a paper cut. That's fine. I like to laugh at everyone when it's only ninety two degrees outside and they complain that it's so hot it's like walking into an oven.

Survival of the fittest. I can still run with a paper cut. They can hardly walk when it's "too hot". Wimps.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sometimes the nightmare is better than waking up.

I lie on a floor in the middle of a crowded room. The faces are all familiar: I know everybody there. They are friends, family, co-workers, even my pets, past and present. Everybody I have ever known my whole life, congregated in this strange, round room that is not familiar. It is large, and painted white: alien to me. The floor if hardwood, a dark color. Teak or something. I'm not sure.

Everybody sips drink from their wine glasses. They talk, mix and mingle. All while I lie on the floor. I am screaming for help. There is no blood, no outward sign that anything is wrong with me, just that I am screaming and screaming and screaming. I am screaming for help: anybody, somebody, please help me. Mom, Daddy, Boyfriend...help? I get the impression that I have done something to myself, poisoned myself in an effort to escape. But something changed or went wrong afterward, because I've suddenly decided I don't want to die.

I scream for help from these people with me, these people who have known me forever and claimed to love me at some point. Nobody looks at me. Nobody even hears me, or at least they don't seem to. Except for one person. Or rather, one being. My dog, my little chihuahua, my Choo Choo. She hears me, runs to me, licks my face and whines. She is helpless to help me, though. What can she do? She's a four pound dog. She whimpers and barks and I scream and plead, and still nobody looks.

And suddenly I jerk up, and I am not in a strange alien room with everyone I know. I am at home, in our bedroom, in bed lying next to Boyfriend, who is still sound asleep, completely unaware that I was just dying moments before and he didn't care.

I know it was just a dream, I know it. But I can't shake the feeling of despair, of helplessness. I feel alone, unloved, heartbroken. I start to cry, soft cries of heartbreak and misery, but it does not make me feel better. If anything it makes me feel worse, and after twenty minutes of bawling in the darkness, arms around my knees, I am so loud it wakes Boyfriend.

Boyfriend is alarmed.

Why are you crying?

I dreamed I was dying, and everybody was with me, and I screamed for help and nobody heard me, except Choo Choo. Nobody noticed me on the floor, dying and screaming.

I expect Boyfriend to hold me, tell me I'm silly, that I'm loved and everybody would help me if I was dying in front of them. But that is not what happens.

Oh my god, really? Chanel, it was just a dream. Grow up! He rolls over and faces the wall, prepared to go back to sleep.

First I feel shock. Why is he being so mean? Doesn't he understand that it doesn't matter that it was just a dream, that the feelings are still there, that it frightened me? Then I feel angry. He should be more understanding! My God, it felt real to me! Doesn't he see his lack of empathy has just proven to me that it might as well have been real because he obviously doesn't care!

And that thought brings it all home, and I feel even more alienated and alone and unloved, and I start crying all over again, hard sobs that hurt my chest and ribs and make me hiccup. These are not my normal tears. Boyfriend has long since learned the difference between my "you've hurt my feelings" tears, "I'm trying to make you feel bad so you give me what I want" tears, and "truly heartbroken, feel like my heart will explode from the pain" tears.

These are clearly the third kind, and Boyfriend feels bad. He rolls over, wraps me up in his arms. He's been under the covers, his skin is hot and warm and welcome. My skin is so icy cold I feel like I might never be warm again, and he feels safe and comforting. I forgive his cold reaction from minutes ago. It doesn't matter. He's comforting me now.

I sob and sob and try to explaining how bad it felt, and he murmurs sweet things in my ear that I don't listen to, but I like the way the feel on his lips. He lays me down and I curl into him, and eventually I cry myself to sleep feeling better.

The next morning I woke up while he was leaving for work. He kissed me goodbye, and I went back to sleep. I woke up and found a text message.

"I'm sorry I was so cold last night. I love you, and I'll never let you scream alone."

Sometimes, he knows how to fix it after he fucks up. Sometimes.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I had a plastic surgeon stitch me up when I was two years old.

I told you about the stitches to the head that I got when I was eight, but as I said that was my third accident that required stitches. My first stitches-requiring accident occurred several years previous at age two. I was a toddler, rambunctious in the way all children in their terrible twos are, and since I was only a toddler I didn't have a strong ability to reason out that something was a bad idea.

It started out like any other day, I guess. My memories are vague. I remember taking a bath. I remember the smell of baby shampoo and splashing water. I remember my mom pulling me out of the tub and wrapping me in the long, fluffy towel. I think it was red.

My mother turned her back to me for a moment to pull the plug so the water could drain. She only turned her back for seconds, and in that little speck of time where she wasn't watching me, I decided to run away from her, like it was a game. I giggled and took off.

But I didn't succeed in my plan. The towel was too long, wrapped around my legs and hampered me, but I persisted in running. The towel tripped me, I launched forward towards the bi-fold bathroom doors. It was really a freak accident, and unfortunate circumstance that should have ended with me falling onto the bathroom floor, but none the worse for wear.

But it never ends that way. The way I fell was a perfect line up with the bathroom door, and the bi-fold wood snapped closed as I fell on it. It snapped shut as my face made contact, cutting into my top lip on my right.

Deep. I remember the pain, sharp and angry and searing. I remember the blood, also red and dark and it smelled bad. I remember I screamed, loud and hurt wails that only a truly pained baby could possibly make, and my mother's screams joined mine, almost covering them in their adult volume.

I don't remember going to the hospital, I don't even remember if both of my parents were there. My mom said that while we were signed in at the ER on the base, a Doctor happened to be walking by. Not just any Doctor, a plastic surgeon, a perfectionist. She said he insisted that he stitch me up.

He insisted a regular surgeon wouldn't care about leaving a scar, and I was so young, such a pretty little baby girl, that he didn't want my face to be scarred, so he stitched me up and told my parents that any scarring that occurred would be unnoticeable, and would probably go away by the time I was eighteen.

There is a small scar on my top right lip, small and invisible to the naked human eye. Nobody notices it to this day, even when I tell them it's there and point it out to them. They have to get really close, stare at it before they actually see it. I don't even see it anymore when I look in the mirror. Sometimes I remember it, and I look for it, but it's just a small, invisible white line on my white face, a flaw that doesn't seem to be a flaw. It used to be the first thing I saw when I looked at my reflection. Now, I forget it exists.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I thought I was fine until Daddy started freaking out, and then I knew I was dying.

A long time ago, when I was eight years old and Mommy and Daddy were still married and we lived together in Florida, I had a rather unfortunate accident.

Let me preface this story by saying that I was not a clumsy child. I had two prior accidents to this one that ended in stitches, but one occurred when I was a baby, and the second was the result of my older sister shoving me into a dark bathroom as hard as she could which resulted in my sliced foot. But I did not have a history of accidents or clumsiness.

I suppose you could say it was an average Sunday evening, dark early because it was winter. But a Florida winter, which meant it was still warm enough not to need more than a light jacket. It was after dinner, because I was eating the whatchamacallit candy bar that I had gotten after getting off the bus from Sunday School.

Daddy was going to return the movies from weekend, and I asked to go with him. So, movies stacked in my arms in front of me (which, in retrospect, was a bad idea) and candy bar clutched in my right hand, we set off to return the movies. I couldn't see where I was going as we were going towards the car, yet I somehow managed to step off of the sidewalk without a problem.

This is when we get into the truth of the matter: my accident was all a good example of bad timing. Just as Daddy was opening the passenger door of his white mustang for me, I tripped over the stupid concrete thingy that keeps you from running over the sidewalk. Which should have just ended in me falling over and scraping my hands or something. However, my head collided with the open door and made a really good, loud thud. I hit the ground on my side. I heard the movies hit the pavement. I felt a little dazed as I sat up. I had dropped the movies, but my candy bar was still safe in my hand.

Daddy asked, "Chanel, are you okay?"

And as I stood up, dusted off my skirt, I said, "Yeah, yeah, I'm fine." My voice was a little breathy, and I sounded surprised and confused even to my own ears, but I wasn't in pain.

Then he looked at my head, just to make sure I was okay. And he reacted badly. "OH MY GOD! OH MY GOD!" He started freaking out, which was a really bad idea. Because the second I saw the horrified look on his face and he started screaming, I got scared.

"What? What's wrong?" And then I was screaming and crying, completely unaware of what was wrong with me, but knowing it must be really bad because my Daddy, who was never one to get excited, was frantically putting his shirt on my head and leading me back towards the house. In my terror, I dropped the candy bar which I had so lovingly protected during my fall.

Now, my screams are very...audible. And we later found out that everybody in our row of townhouses heard both of us freaking out. My older sister and her friend heard and, blithely unaware that I was quite sure I was dying, started laughing hysterically in the living room as Daddy dragged me in and Mommy came to see what was wrong.

Mommy's calmness calmed me a little bit. Until Daddy took his shirt away from my head, and then Mommy started screaming, "OH MY GOD! WHAT DID YOU DO TO OUR DAUGHTER!?!?!" And at that point I was quite certain I was dying or ugly, and I started screaming and crying all over again, which only freaked both of them out more, which in turn freaked me out more. It was a vicious cycle, but Mommy eventually got Sherrell and Felicia to stop laughing. I'm not sure how the Twins managed to sleep through all of the commotion, but they never woke up.

Eventually, Daddy got calm enough to drive me to the hospital. It felt like eternity, but I'm pretty sure it was only ten minutes. He sped the entire way there and then parked illegally because by the time we reached the ER I was shrieking, "I'M DYING! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!" We caused quite a scene as we entered the emergency room.

But for some reason, sitting in the waiting room calmed me down. I wasn't allowed to sleep or anything (head injuries are like that), so I just calmly sat down next to Daddy after a few minutes of crying in the waiting room. And then I realized that I no longer had my candy bar.

"Daddy, I dropped my candy bar," and this statement only made the fact that much worse. And I started crying again, not loudly, but sad little cries that clearly implied I was heartbroken at the loss of my chocolate.

"Don't worry, if you don't cry while the doctor fixes you, I'll buy you a hot fudge Sundae tomorrow." Now, there's no bribe quite like a hot fudge Sundae when you're eight years old, so I immediately decided that no matter how scary the doctor was, I wasn't going to cry when he put the band-aid on my head. I had, by this time, seen that there was blood on Daddy's t-shirt, and I made the connection it was mine. In my world, despite previous accidents, cuts were fixed by band-aids, and really big cuts were fixed with butterflies. (I had conveniently forgotten the stitches I'd gotten on my foot a few years earlier, probably because of my head injury.)

"Okay!" I chirped, happy that my mediocre chocolate bar would be replaced with something bigger and better!

I don't really remember my doctor clearly. I remember he was a really big, very dark man. I don't mean big like fat. I mean he was big like the actor that played John Coffey in the Green Mile. Actually, to the best of my memory, it was John Coffey in a white coat that stitched me up. I remember him giving me a shot. He called it "Numb Juice", but I didn't feel the needle. I was also way too freaked out about the idea of being sewn up like a teddy bear that I conveniently forgot that I'm terrified of needles. And then he was sewing me up, talking about how this would all be a funny story one day.

"I won't ever laugh at this," I sniffled, completely convinced that I must still be dying. (Clearly I was wrong because every time I remember this night I crack up.)

Soon enough I was ready to go home with a large bandage on my head covering the stitches (which I later discovered were purple!) and stern orders of, "Do NOT take off bandages yourself, and DO NOT touch your stitches, young lady," and a fruit roll-up as a parting gift.

I got my hot fudge sundae the very next day, and I also got to miss school because I was still a little dazed (probably the concussion) the next morning. My sister called me band-aid head until I got the stitches taken out, and to this day I have a scar on my forehead that nobody notices.

I suspect evil plots around every corner

Boyfriend decided to be all secretive yesterday about something, but he wouldn't tell me what. I strongly believe that is it a bad idea to be secretive around me in a very obvious sort of sneaky way. Because I'm paranoid.

So while Boyfriend was all "I'm not doing anything, I'm at home," even though he obviously wasn't (because I know the way each and every room in the apartment effects the sound of a voice, and I could tell he wasn't in any of the rooms in our apartment), I started thinking.

What could Boyfriend possibly be up to?

And it's totally not in my nature to expect good surprises from anyone. Even though those are pretty much the only kind of surprises I get (for example, tickets for Wicked for my birthday) I always expect something really awful.

So when Boyfriend repeatedly insisted "I'm not up to anything!" I totally knew he was lying because he was denying the fact way too energetically. And I started thinking of things he could possibly be plotting while so obviously not in the apartment.

My first thought was that he was out shopping for an engagement ring. I know, some of you think that's a good thing. Not so for me. I can't even think of the "M" word without convulsing. Then I remembered that Boyfriend isn't stupid. So I knew I was safe from that.

Then I knew what he was doing. He was totally with Eddie, kidnapping my Choo Choo and selling her over the border to people who wanted to eat her! They hate my dog, don't want her living in the apartment (which it appears she'll have to do), and would rather feed her to someone than let me keep her.

So I got home all ready to do battle about my Dog, suspecting that he had, in fact, given her away (and she's a purebred!) while I was working hard (at hardly working) at my desk.

And he had dinner ready for me, all nice and hot and good.

He had been out shopping.

Well. Ahem. I felt a little foolish.

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