Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Errands Visit Art Hotel

Last night I was visiting my grandparents, only it was weird because I wasn't enjoying myself. We were going to go get breakfast at a restaurant (I wasn't on the GF diet in this particular dream, which was unusual) but my grandmother kept running errands first. We went to the grocery store about four seperate times, to a fabric store, to see a play at a little theater, and even to this beautiful old church that had parts of it that looked like ancient ruins. Eventually when we had gotten in the car again I complained that I was getting hungry enough to be really dizzy. My grandma said there was just one more errand to run. We got to this hotel place that looked like it belonged in England, the back room of which was an art gallery with cool handmade art books in it. I went back there to look at them while I was waiting on my grandparents, who were talking to the front desk. There were a lot of mismatched chairs with other people waiting, and I looked at the books and then sat down in a really comfortable cushy one. When I got up to go see if it was time to leave yet someone stole my chair- they moved my stuff onto the floor and everything. But around then the dream changed, and it turned out I was the manager of the art gallery and I had to call all these people and try to arrange for a different exhibit to come in, only I really didn't know what to say or how to explain things over the phone. I was afraid I was going to get everyone confused by not knowing exactly what was going on. To top it off I started falling asleep just standing there, and instead of fighting it I sat down and leaned on the wall and started dreaming I was somewhere warm and fluffy. It was a really nice dream- I was wrapped in a cloud or something (but it was pink, lol), and it was very comfortable, like a fluffy blanket. I woke up from that into reality.

Monday, September 28, 2009

So Much For Resting

Of course, last week I was looking forward to my week off so I could get some much-needed rest. It was a long quarter and a lot more difficult than it really should have been. As soon as my time off started, however, I got about eight different project ideas and decided that the last thing I wanted to do was rest. I should have seen it coming; you'd think by now I would have figured out that being frustrated by how tired I am is going to happen, break or no break.

Even though the frustration is there, it is nice to know that I do have time to recover after overextending myself working on things. It's also been nice to not get in my car. The drawback is that when you're enjoying not driving a lot, and then you have to, it kind of sucks ten times more than usual.

My dad's car has been in the shop all week with major issues and there has therefore been a lot of car drama. Take Friday, for example, when all three of us needed a car for work or class. My dad ended up taking his beautiful restored '61 Impala to work (hoping it would make it all the way there, as it's been a long time since it did more than drive around the neighborhood) after no one could carpool. Then my parents were going to go pick it up over the weekend but it wasn't ready. My mom left on her weekly business travels, which left me as the only person to help dad pick up his car today.

I was dreading it all weekend. All the car dealerships are always out of town way west of our house, in parts of the city that I don't know. The highway is really the only way to get there and back if you don't want to spend forever and we all know by now how much I hate highways.

My dad came home and found out the car wouldn't be ready until this evening, basically during rush hour. And I started getting even more nervous as dark and thundery clouds started to gather- of course, off in the direction we would be going.

I think my dad could tell I was getting anxious, because he offered to avoid highways on the way home and didn't make me drive on the way there. I was really grateful for that. We got there through a bunch of rain and traffic and then I had to follow him home as it was getting dark. Because we were avoiding the highway it took almost 45 minutes. It was hard. We spent a lot of time on a road with lots of sharp curves that I mostly didn't appreciate (at least it was scenic). I stayed alert for most of the drive out of pure fear, but then the exhaustion started to creep up on me and I had to blast air conditioning uncomfortably and turn the music up too loud in order to keep myself from zoning out and drifting off. I was so happy to get home safely after that.

I've decided that avoiding driving too much might not be the best plan either, because then when I have to I'm more afraid. So tomorrow I think I'll go get an icee after lunch and maybe look for some earrings. Another week and I'll be allowed to start changing them out, yay.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Homework Friend Theater Superhero

I think my brain is still in homework mode even though I had my last class yesterday. I dreamed that I was falling behind and trying to get all my homework done, but having trouble because there was so much to do. My homework was really funny though- I had one class that I had to draw a character design on pieces of notebook paper, and another class where I had to write stories pretending I was a little kid. I liked how it all was coming out, even though I wasn't sure if I could finish it on time. I think the assignments came from looking through my box of little kid art, haha.

At one point I was trying to do homework but got distracted by a reunion of my high school friends. They were going for a walk in the park. I really wanted to come but I was completely out of breath in about five minutes and had to sit down at a picnic table. One of my friends stayed with me and we sat there doing homework for awhile. Eventually everyone else came back and found out what had happened, and one of them suggested that I get a skateboard next time so I wouldn't have to walk as much. This apparently made perfect sense to me, and I resolved to learn how to ride one.

Later I was running errands with my dad and we ended up at this German movie theater. The same thing happened last week sometime in a dream, and it was the same place. Last week we saw a play that turned out to be really creepy and disturbing and turned into a nightmare with me as the main character. So last night I was a little worried when we sat down. Luckily the play never started and I just ended up talking to the other people there, and my dad kept doing things to embarrass me. The theater crowd turned into a line waiting to get snowcones, haha, and my dad was wearing a superhero costume for some reason. I was pointing out to him that there was a little kid wearing one too and that maybe it wasn't appropriate for his age group. I think I've been watching too much What Not To Wear again, lol.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fried Brains

So far, the ENT's suggestions haven't particularly helped me. I'm using the sinus rinse once a day now, but I'm about twice as congested. Zyrtec D made me really awake and upped my heartrate uncomfortably, and then I ended up not sleeping well but still congested in the morning. I might try Zyrtec without the D and hope that that actually does something, even though it hasn't in the past. At least I'm pretty much over the virus for now.

Because of the minimal sleep last night my brain has been fried pretty much all day. My class was really short but I stayed at school for an extra four hours to help another student. I kept having to get up and walk around, or snack on crackers despite not being hungry. Eventually I had to go downstairs and buy some juice because I was really starting to nod off while sitting at her computer explaining stuff. She was really nice about it, but she seemed pretty worried about me by the end. I didn't try to explain because I figured that would probably just cause extra worry when I left to drive home. At least that's what happened the last time I told someone at school that I have Narcolepsy. It tends to freak people out.

Hopefully I'll sleep tonight and tomorrow will be easier.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dragon-Smuggler Wizard Trains

Last night I was in London, only it was Harry Potter London- I was a student at Hogwarts who was wandering around in London for some reason, and I couldn't use magic because it was between terms. I kept accidentally ending up in the Muggle world and having trouble getting back; I spent a lot of time wandering around King's Cross, looking from platform 9 3/4, and trying to find the Leaky Cauldron.

At one point I was in this interesting train system for wizards, and it looked like an ordinary subway except that the platforms had stalagtites and stalagmites everwhere, and the trains were so fast that getting from one station to the next just took a split second. I had found someone in my class at Hogwarts (who was actually someone I know at my real college) and was trying to catch up to him to ask him about one of our summer homework assignments, but he kept not hearing me. Then there was some other plot involving a baby dragon that my mom was carrying around in a baby carrier thing on her back. It was pudgy and pretty adorable, but it kept fussing and drawing attention to us when we were trying to be stealthy. I don't remember what we were doing with it, but we ended up in a Muggle high school, where I started looking around for a bathroom. I eventually found one but it was really gross and I couldn't get the door to lock. People kept opening the door and looking in, and then I was somehow at a relatives' house at a family reunion, and my mom was showing the baby dragon to everybody.

After that I woke up. I have a feeling there will be a lot more Harry Potter dreams in the next couple of months, as I'm rereading the entire series.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How Am I Doing?

My projects are now officially done! Woohoo! Just two more class days at the end of this week and an easy test now stand between me and the end of the quarter. It's a good thing, too, because I feel like I've been run over by a steamroller. I wish I had more than a week off. I've been toying with the idea of taking a quarter off in the near future, but I'm still working on that one.

I had kind of a weird day. This morning was full of disturbing dreams. I don't remember what they were about, just that I woke up kind of freaked out by them. I've had some random anxiety issues all day, which I really don't understand, and I've been pretty much stuck in la-la land. I was really careful about food today, but that didn't really seem to help. I had my last night class tonight, which was super short. I was only gone for about an hour. When I left school I was really having to concentrate on driving and only driving, and by the time I got home I was dead tired just from that. I think it's back to the couch for me tonight. At least I don't need to stress out anymore.

I go back to my neurologist next week, and hopefully by then I'll have figured out how I'm doing. Because right now I'm just kind of confused.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not a Smart Plan

I definitely spoke too soon after the closet cleaning adventure. The next day I was basically out of commission, and it was a bad day for it. I was exhausted and sore from the moment I woke up, and my muscles were refusing to do much of anything. Standing up was tiring (more tiring than usual) and I couldn't lift anything. I kept trying to carry my 15 pound dog to go upstairs, but he would complain and I would look down and realize I was about to drop him. Really light things seemed heavy. At one point I tried to open my window to air out my dusty room, but I literally didn't have the strength to pull up in the way I needed to.

To top it off, there was a family reunion to go to. I took a nap for the first hour of it. Luckily my mom was driving or I wouldn't have been able to go at all. After a nap it was pretty fun and I got to see a bunch of people and catch up with them, and my dog had fun getting extremely muddy.

When we got home I should have just hit the couch and not gotten up the rest of the evening, but I had promised my dad I would go to dinner with him. Of course we got the newest waiter who didn't know to put our sushi on seperate plates, and I was too tired to deal with sending it back. I realized when I was mostly through my dinner that I was having a really minor gluten reaction, probably because of contamination from my dad's wheat-containing California Rolls that would have been on a seperate plate if I had been thinking when I ordered. So I just stopped eating it. It wasn't worth making a fuss over and I was just too damned tired.

Unfortunately we were going to the grocery store after that, so I found myself trying to buy a week's worth of groceries while the most exhausted I've been in a long time, complete with stomach pain and an even hazier brain than usual. I had trouble pushing the little cart. When we got home I didn't even try to carry groceries up the stairs and let my dad do it instead.

Yesterday was a lot better. I still had sore muscles and a hard time lifting things, but this time I was smart enough not to leave the house. As incentive to rest after lunch I watched Jurassic Park, which is one of my favorite movies of all time, and after that I actually had the energy to do homework. I got really into working on my Flash final and got a huge amount done. And last night I slept like a rock so I think I'll be back to normal today.

I really had forgotten what it's like when I push myself too hard. All it takes is a little extra physical activity and I'm screwed for a couple of days. I think I needed to test myself though. Every so often I get this nagging thought in the back of my head that I really am just slacking and using my illness as an excuse, and I have to learn the importance of resting all over again.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tornado Cruise Jewelry Thief

Last night I had some pretty interesting dreams. In one I was in my current house and I heard this weird noise like a train. I looked out a window and saw a huge tornado. It was really close to the house, like tearing up the street outside, but I knew it wouldn't actually hurt the house unless it touched it directly. As I watched, a bunch of people who were walking around on the sidewalks got sucked up into it, including this guy and his big dog. I looked around and found my dog and grabbed him up. I couldn't remember what you're supposed to do if there's a tornado, so I just stood next to the window (haha that's a good plan) hoping it would go away. Which worked, presumably because it was my dream even though I didn't realize this at the time. But then I heard the sound again only higher pitched, and looked out to see a really small and skinny tornado had just formed. The people outside weren't running away, though, because all it could pick up were leaves. I decided that it was kind of cute and watched it for awhile. It was very twisty but mostly harmless.

Then I was on a cruise ship with my parents (who looked like the Weasleys from Harry Potter because I'm rereading that right now) and met this nice Japanese guy who asked me to marry him. I agreed because he seemed nice enough even though I really didn't think he was attractive. o.O Yeah, good idea, dream self. XD But anyway. We started wandering around the ship exploring places and it was kind of creepy so I was glad someone was with me. There were a lot of damp, dark rooms under the ship with various machinery in them. We got creeped out down there and went upstairs to the deck to look at the ocean, which was pretty even though it was dark. Then people kept showing up and staring at us and being weird, so we went to this library with couches that was well-lit and full of people and hung out in there for awhile. I'm pretty sure there was more after that, like we went on land and there was something about a restaurant, but I don't remember it now. The funny thing is that I think the guy was specifically Japanese because I found my old notes from Japanese class last night and was glancing over them, and my brain wanted an excuse to practice it again, lol.

In my last dream I was this travelling thief who had two accomplices- one was a high school friend and the other was one of my cousins. We were going around to jewelry stores and taking things to sell later. We kept almost getting caught and it was pretty stressful, and we would have to drive away really fast in my real life car. We had a mall we would hide in until the people stopped chasing us, and when we got there we would change our clothes and haircuts so we wouldn't be recognized later. And we would sleep behind shelves and under clothing racks after closing. At one point we ended up fleeing the scene and having to run across this impossibly tiny ledge about twenty feet off the ground. It scared me because I know my balance sucks and that if I fell it could kill me, but I made it across barely. Then we ended up staying at this weird hotel with like cubicles, and the bed was really high off the ground- like ten feet up, and I decided to just sleep on the floor because I had had enough of heights for one day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Me vs. the Closet Under the Stairs

I didn't write last night because I was totally dead. I was sound asleep by ten. And today I'm still sore and my muscles don't really want to do anything. But it was totally worth it.

The closet under the stairs is basically where I threw all of my stuff that wouldn't fit in my room. I never really unpacked after my parents moved because my room in this house is about half the size of my old room and it has way less storage. Then when I moved back home from college I brought all that stuff with me, and it all ended up in there too. I knew sorting through it would be a monumental task because there's so much and you couldn't really even get in there, so I put it off for more than a year.

It probably would have just stayed that way except that I keep needing stuff out of there. And when I go in to look for whatever it is, it's impossible to find anything. For one thing, the boxes are labeled with really useless labels, like "stuff", or with the location of where it was in my old room, which doesn't tell me anything because I don't remember where anything was in there either. I can't really blame my mom for the problem though, because she had to pack all of my stuff while I was gone and didn't know what goes with what else.

So a couple of days ago I went hunting around for a couple of art projects that I wanted to photograph for my Flash final project, which is a portfolio website. I spent about half an hour digging around in there not finding them and finally just got really fed up. So I resolved to wait until classes end, drag everything out of there, get rid of the stuff I don't want and reorganize and label the rest.

Well, yesterday I was feeling better than usual. I got out of class super early because we just had a test, and I got an icee on the way home. I was feeling pretty much caught up in my classes again, and felt like doing something besides homework. Plus I had a serious sugar high in my favor. So I pulled all of that stuff out of there and filled up my small room. My dog thought it was very interesting and had fun smelling everything.

Just dragging it all out, even with the help of my mom, was enough to wear me out. But I went through almost all of it anyway. By the time I stopped I had two huge trashbags of stuff to go to Good Will, two to put out in the trash, a bunch of recycling and everything else sorted into categories. I was also shaking and sweating and feeling like I was on the point of falling over, and my muscles were all aching and sore. Even all the little ones in my hands.

Most of it is still in my room because there was no way I was going to be able to drag things back into the closet last night. I'm still sore today but I'm going to try to finish it anyway, if I can.

Despite it's completely flattening me, I feel so much better about life having done all this. Now I have less stuff, I know where it is and it's the stuff I actually want. Plus I have some really neat things in there. I have a really nice shell collection that I didn't even know about, lol. Yet another useful thing about having a lousy memory.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Hermit Life

Today I had to run an errand. It was a really short errand- seriously, like five minutes away, just returning my rented movies. But it seemed so daunting to me at the time, I almost didn't go do it. The only thing that got me to actually leave the house was the idea of getting some caffeine while I was out, because otherwise I knew I wouldn't be doing anything this afternoon.

It's weird because I can tell that I'm way more tired now than I was even two months ago. At that point I was walking my dog twice a day while doing four classes, and though it was challenging I wasn't struggling. I wasn't having energy issues from going up two flights of stairs either. I had more work than I do right now but I wasn't worried about it because I wasn't needing nearly as much rest. I was getting sick in pretty much the same way, and dealing with medication adjustment issues that I'm not dealing with anymore. So it's not just the fact that I have a virus hanging out in my nose at the moment.

And it's not just the low energy that's bothering me. Today I realized that I was a little depressed again. It took me a couple of hours to figure it out, because it's been awhile since the last time I was depressed. The caffeine took care of it, so I'm fine now, but it weirded me out. I was being all down on myself, which I haven't done since starting Remeron. I've decided not to worry about it unless it happens again in the near future, and to be on the lookout for it. I know that depression is dangerous and that both Xyrem and Remeron have the potential to cause it, so I'm not going to let it sneak up on me again. But it could have just been something I ate, so I'm not going to freak out quite yet.

But the tiredness is definitely worrying. Luckily I have an appointment with my neurologist in a couple of weeks, after the quarter ends. I'm definitely going to talk to him about it. Who knows, maybe he'll have a great idea for something we can try. Or he'll just tell me that it's the Narcolepsy, in which case I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and not worry about it so much. I'm hoping he has some suggestion though. You know you're in trouble when you're staying home 90% of the time from sheer lack of energy. At least the dog likes it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Health Conversations

Last night I went out to dinner and had a really good, honest conversation with my parents about health things. It really needed to happen. My mom surprised me (in a good way) by ackwnowledging from the start that working a standard job may not be something that I can do. My dad asked me what I'm going to do when his insurance stops covering me in a little over a year, and I told him that I have no idea what my options even are. He agreed to help me figure it out once I'm not quite so stressed out and busy, which would really help me and possibly remove a big chunk of worry that I've had in the back of my mind for awhile. We were also talking about moving to Canada, which started out a joke but ended up as a pretty serious discussion. My mom has been fighting our insurance over her various treatments for things and my dad just got finished reading a book about how much better healthcare is in every other industrialized country, so I guess it wasn't really surprising. Just the thought that they would actually consider moving out of the country to help me is amazing. Wow. So now we're back to being on the same page again, which is really nice.

Today we all went to my ENT so that he could look over my CAT scan. He took one look at each page and told me that surgery won't help me, which is a huge relief. My sinuses are normal and my deviated septum isn't actually blocking anything in. The most suprising thing was that he could tell that what I've been catching aren't actually sinus infections. He questioned me on my symptoms again and said that it sounds like a virus, not a bacterial infection, so that's why the antibiotics were just making me worse. He gave me some tips on how to change my sinus rinse routine so that it might help (can you believe I never thought to really clean the thing?) and suggested I use Claritin or Zyrtec, both of which I've taken in the past without issues. I don't need to go back to him, and I can try to fix this with simple things that don't involve surgery. Thank god.

So that turned out much better than I thought it would. I really appreciate the fact that he wasn't going to do a surgery that I didn't need. And I even get to keep my pretty inside-my-head pictures for posterity. Muahahaha.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Museum Volunteer Roommate Drama

I had at least three interesting dreams last night. In one I was volunteering at the local museum with a couple of my high school friends. We kept herding groups of people into elevators to take them from exhibit to exhibit. I remember it was weird because my friends kept goofing off and I was trying to get them to be more professional. And I was really getting tired but nobody else wanted to leave yet. The last exhibit we took people to was a room full of arcade machines with which people were participating in a tournament. You picked your machine based on what category of warrior you had gotten on this written test. I think the exhibit was on gladiators or something. And whoever won the tournament would get a prize.

In another dream I was on a roadtrip again. This time I parked my car at one of my far-flung college friends' houses, and she drove me and our other roommate to Carleton for the start of another term. I didn't realize until we got all the way there that I'd accidentally left my dog at her house. I was really freaking out because I couldn't remember if I left him inside my car or just in the house, where there would be food and water, etc. I wanted to just go back and get him even though it was hours away, but my roommates really didn't want to drive back there that night as it was getting late. I figured I should just wait and go get him the next day, but I couldn't shake the worry and I was beating myself up over forgetting about my dog.

Then I was at a dorm in my current college, only it looked exactly like my freshman dorm room at Carleton. I was supposed to move in with a girl who I really do kind of know at my current college, but her former roommate (this big guy who I presumably made up) still had a bunch of his stuff in there, so I didn't have anywhere to put anything. I had to wait for him to come back and get his stuff which he had said he would do earlier. But he also had two little tiny dachshund puppies, which I was playing with, so I couldn't get too mad. They weren't housetrained at all and kept going to the bathroom everywhere, and I was trying to explain to the girl that it really isn't that hard to housetrain puppies. Which is funny, because it actually is really hard and took me over a year to do with my dog, haha. But anyway, she kept saying it wasn't that important and I kept trying to explain that dogs need direction. Mostly the dream was sitting around talking about stuff with my new roommate and finding out more about her, and just waiting around until the guy came to take his stuff.

I definitely feel better today. Woohoo!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Revenge of the Final Projects

I tell you, this quarter is killing me. It's by far the hardest quarter I've had at this particular school. And the funny thing is that at first glance, it seems like it ought to be the easiest. I'm taking three classes, which isn't even full time, and the classes themselves aren't particularly difficult. These classes only happen once a week and usually get out earlier than the alloted time. All three of them don't even necessarily have an assignment due every week- in fact, one class only has two assignments all quarter. We're encouraged to work on our homework in class when there is any, and these classes don't have large time-consuming drawings due like other classes I've had previously. A couple of quarters ago I had four classes, two of which had lots of very time consuming homework (all done at home) and the grading was even a lot stricter. I turned in every assignment on time, did a good job and even had extra time for socializing.

But the big difference is that this quarter I feel like crap. And that's all it takes to completely screw me. My sinus infections are getting closer together, to the point that it's really wrecking my attendence record. But aside from that, I'm just obscenely low on energy right now- the worse it's been in years. So I'd be struggling even without the sinus infection.

You would think I would be really glad that the quarter is ending in two weeks, because it means I at least get a week off before the next one drags me back down again. But the quarter ending soon means that a lot of large things are going to be due. Luckily only one project is due next week, and I've managed to install things so that I can finish it at home. For awhile there I thought I would have to go to the computer labs at school to do it, which would basically mean it wasn't going to happen, or at least would end up pretty crappy. But now that I can do it at home I'm feeling better about pulling that off. I am a little worried about putting off my other projects until that one is done, which may end up happening if don't start feeling a lot better in the next couple of days. I'm not sure I can completely finish both of them in the same week.

Mostly the situation just frustrates me. I'm used to being the good student, who shows up to every single class, pays attention and does really nice work on time. I'm used to not feeling good but managing to do everything anyway, through sheer determination to do things right. So it's hard for me to stay home, to fall behind, and to end up having to turn in something I don't like because I didn't have the energy to create something to my own high standards. And right now I'm finding myself compromising more and more because I just keep feeling worse and having to cut back just to survive. I guess the only thing I can do is keep at it and hope it turns out okay in the end.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Movie Drama

Last night I had a fun dream in which I was taking care of and training various animals. My real dog was there, behaving himself very well and surprising me by not being afraid of my other dogs, of which there was at least one adult and a whole group of young puppies. The puppies spent most of the time asleep in their pen, so they weren't a lot of work, and I was trying to housetrain the older dog. It was actually going pretty well. Then I also had one adult mother cat with a large litter of tiny newborn kittens, who I was keeping in a cage so they wouldn't stray too far from their mom, who was nursing them. Plus there were two older kittens who were smooth and cream-colored and kept getting into things. It was me, all the animals and several relatives hanging out at my grandparents' house, where I was apparently living. Even though it was really fun having so many animals around, it was exhausting trying to keep them all healthy. Eventually I got so tired that I really needed a nap, and I gave up on chasing them all around and fell asleep on the couch with multiple dogs draped over me. When I got up again I found the cats' area in need of cleaning and started to wonder if I really had the energy to take care of everybody.

Today I felt pretty bad. My sinus infection is in full bloom at this point, throwing a wrench into whatever little energy I would have had anyway. It is partially my fault for running errands when I really should have stayed home, but I couldn't pass up an opportunity to rent a lot of movies.

I've been meaning to go rent a few things for awhile now. There was a period of a couple of months awhile ago when a whole bunch of stuff came out that looked really good, and I didn't make it to a single one. And having a bunch of things to watch is really important to me when I'm sick, because it's a good way to bribe myself into resting for long enough to actually feel better. With just the tv I get bored.

Plus I just really like movies. I like sci-fi and fantasy and things blowing up, and really cool creatures (especially dinosaurs). Also anything animated that isn't stupid, like most of the Disney classics and anything vaguely Pixar-like. I'm not into sappy, super-depressing or creepy. I lived inside a continuous horror film every night for six years and I'm just not feeling the need for more. But most movies I do enjoy. So of course I couldn't pass up an easy opportunity to rent a few things to keep me occupied when I need to lay down.

So as soon as we got there I was like a kid in a candy store, running around grabbing things. It took me awhile and I ended up with a lot. All that standing up and walking and focusing stuff completely wore me out, so I was really ready to go when we went up to the counter to pay. I had so much that the cashier wanted to help us out by explaining this complicated deal we could get and so on and so forth, which we did decide to do. And we would also get to rent one more extra movie for free. So I went to go find one more thing.

I was on my last leg at that point. As I walked back to find something else, my head began to swim. I felt almost like I was going to faint. My legs felt like lead and I was having trouble keeping my balance- I kept almost falling over and steadying myself on the shelves. I started to look for a specific movie that I could just grab and go, but I suddenly couldn't remember the alphabet anymore. Then when I thought I had found where it should be, it wasn't there. And I wasn't sure if it was because I had miscalculated the alphabet or if they just didn't have it. That happened again with the next one I tried. Finally I saw something and just took that. On my way back to the counter, the cashier waylayed me and asked if I found what I was looking for. I told her I hadn't but I had something else, and then had to convince her that, no, it wasn't worth looking for my first idea and ended up having to explain to her that I was really sick and just needed to leave. At that she gave in and was really nice about it.

It was relief to get back in the car and sit down. And to not need to drive. But I also felt strange and unsettled about having to confide in a total stranger like that. I don't like to show weakness in front of people I don't know, and I really don't like having to explain my health to anyone. Nowadays it takes people a long time to get through my outer shell, because I've gotten tired of the usual reactions to my illnesses. I've found pretending to be fine to be much easier and a lot less irritating.

But on the plus side she was pretty cute. And now I have a good stack of movies to watch.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Japanese Restaurant Party

Last night I was once again on a trip to Japan. This time I wasn't in Tokyo for most of it; I was in some other city that I'd never heard of, with a group of college students from various Western countries. There was a group of British students and at least one German, and I didn't really know most of them. We kept going to this one restaurant that had really good Japanese food of all different kinds (rather than being specialized like most places in real Japan). It was frustrating for me because it was hard to figure out if I could eat anything there, and on the repeat visits I kept forgetting what had worked and what hadn't the last time. The other students were loud and some of them were drunk, and I couldn't communicate very well with the server to ask questions about ingrediants. I kept forgetting important words. I kept trying really weird food of various kinds, sometimes reacting and but mostly not, which surprised me. I had a strange slug-like thing that tasted kind of like squid, some eggroll-like things with jam in them, and also a fairly normal-looking potato and cheese soup, haha. And the whole time I was trying really hard not to let my frustration ruin the evening. I was determined to stop worrying so much and just enjoy myself. And I did end up having some nice conversations with some of the other students, who eventually turned into random locals who were really nice. And despite all the food drama I was just really glad to be in Japan again. I think there was more to the dream- a host family, and maybe some confusing train stations, but I don't remember details.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I Wish This Was Interesting

Today was a serious case of wanting to accomplish something but being too tired. So instead I watched tv until my eyes hurt from staring at a screen for too long, then read the bad fantasy novel I'm currently working on until I got fed up with the pointless drama and found myself skimming more than reading. And then I played silly games on my iphone for awhile.

Well, I guess I did do something with my day- I went to lunch with my dad and dinner with a friend, so I didn't even have to cook. That was pretty nice. But most of my day was spent lying around wishing I was doing something else. To be fair, I did try to draw a couple of times during the day, but just ended up staring into space and zoning out after a few minutes. Yeah, a sinus infection is definitely in the works.

Even right now I would like to be writing about something interesting, but instead I really need to just go lay down again. So never mind.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You don't UNDERSTAND ME!!11one!!1!

Lately I've had to cut back a lot. I'm taking three classes instead of my usual four, which was already less than most students' five, because I dropped my online class before it even began since I could tell I didn't have the energy to do well in it. I've been putting my dog on the treadmill instead of walking him twice a day because that got to the point where it was killing me. I've stopped leaving the house except for classes- I've been avoiding driving as much as possible because I'm just too tired. I've been letting my parents do errands for me a lot more than I was, and I'm having trouble mustering the energy to cook anything even vaguely complicated. I've also been very careful about socializing, limiting my already very unexciting social life to avoid wearing myself out too much to keep up in my classes. But I think the most frustrating thing about it is how the people in my life are reacting to the changes.

Mostly it's the people who keep wanting to see me that are doing it. And I appreciate it to a certain extent because it means that they really like me and care about me. But having to give that same excuse of "I'm too tired right now" is getting really old, and I'm sick of finding new ways to brush them off as they try to convince me to do it anyway.

It is definitely something I expected from one of my close friends from high school, as she's quite healthy and has never understood what it's like to be so exhausted that you can't just go do stuff anyway. We've had an understanding for a long time that she's just not ever going to get me. After all this time she has learned to be nice about it at least, and I managed to convince her that I feel way too crappy to do more than have dinner with her tomorrow. She wanted to go see a movie and then have dinner, not getting (until I explained) that even though I'm sitting down the whole time, movies are loud and I have to focus on them so they actually tire me out a lot.

It's also something I expected from my cousin, who keeps trying to get me to drive out to her house to visit. I would love to, but it's far away and involves highway driving, plus she has this habit of asking me at the last minute. Visiting with her is also tiring because we tend to talk a lot, she has two young kids and she always wants us to go somewhere and do something. All of that together is too much right now, to the point where I'm not sure I'd be able to safely drive home. And sleeping over would mean figuring out multiple meals and planning ahead a lot. Luckily for me she occasionally comes in my direction, so I get to see her, and she's very nice about it when I refuse her invitations.

This level of not really getting it was not something I expected from my mom, who knows all about the whole chronic illness thing as she has at least ten autoimmune diseases herself. But unlike me, my mom has a tendency to push her way through it all despite the consequences, doing as much as possible every day and just feeling completely awful all the time. I decided a couple of years ago, when I dropped a major in my last year of college and cut back on my courseload because my body simply couldn't handle it, that I'm not going to do that to myself. And since then we've had distinctly different strategies of survival- mine to take it slow, and hers to shove through and do it all anyway. So maybe I should have expected this after all.

Well, technically it started with my aunt. My mom and her two sisters are going to fly out to my cousin's baby shower, and two other cousins will be there also. So of course one of my aunts decided it would be really cool if I came on the trip too. Which, to be fair, is true- it would be awesome and I'd love to see these people. At first I was thinking it might be worth doing, and my mom started encouraging me by suggesting all these ways we could make it work- we'd get a hotel with a kitchen in the room, we could cook in there, she and I could stay back and rest part of the time, we could look up gluten-free restaurants, etc etc. But when I really thought about it I began to realize that this just didn't make sense. I would end up having to fly pots and pans and a toaster over there, it's in the middle of a quarter which means I would becoming back totally drained and have to get right back into classes, I would be entrusting my already fragile state to restaurants I've never tried before that could be dubious, I would have to drive my dog down to my grandparents' beforehand and then go pick him up as soon as I got back, then deal with behavior issues because the rules aren't as strict over there, plus the simple fact that I'm not even sure I would get much out of the trip because I'm so damn tired. It took me several tries to convince my mom that I really shouldn't go, which frustrated me because she of all people should realize that yes, I have serious limitations here. If I do anything outside of my careful regulated routine I end up feeling worse, and I prefer to be cautious. I used to push myself way farther than I could handle every day and it sucked.

To be fair, taking the occasional chance and just doing something anyway is rewarding sometimes. Like my trip to Minnesota to visit a college roommate. But that just about flattened me and I was feeling it for weeks, even though towards the end of that visit I was more careful. And that was during a break.

The other thing that frustrates me a bit is how when I try to talk to my mom about my concerns about my future career, she acts like I shouldn't be worrying about that because she thinks I'll be feeling better by then. The thing is, I'm really not sure where she's getting this idea. We've found the top dose of Xyrem that I can handle, and the right antidepressant to improve my mood and make the side effects go away. This is a vast improvement on how I've felt any time in the last ten years. And it really is a great achievement. It's taken over three years of adjustment to get here, and it was worth all the hassle. However, this is it. This is how I'm going to feel for the next good long while, you know? Barring some sudden breakthrough that cures Narcolepsy, where I'm at now is where I'll be. But my mom seems to have some kind of nebulous, imaginary future in her head in which I'm feeling way better and can actually hold down a job. Which I'm really not sure is totally in keeping with reality, to be honest. And the subject has a tendency to get suddenly changed when I'm trying to clarify the situation. But you know, if it was my daughter I'm not sure I would want to consider it either. So it's not like I blame her or anything. But it is hard when the only one who might get it, doesn't.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Happy Out Of It Day!

Somedays you can just tell from the second you wake up exactly how it's going to be.

I had garbled yet interesting dreams all morning, but I was completely out. I was totally convinced I was this character in a Jane Austen novel that I hadn't read yet (which is funny, because I've read all of them). There was all the typical 1800s England countryside balls and courting and dresses and bonnets and whatnot, plus some weird creepy stuff, like my teeth mostly falling out (again- see Creepy Teeth). I was on this date with this gentleman who I was trying to impress when I ate something sweet and my teeth started falling out. We were outside and it was dark, so I was trying to sneak them into my hand and then hide them behind a bush, without looking suspicious. Apparently I was staying at his house and had a frilly-looking suitcase in the guest room and everything.

But anyway, when I did wake up it was almost ten (like an hour late for me) and I was super spaced-out. I had class at 1 and so had to rearrange my morning routine so that I could eat breakfast and be hungry for lunch, which just further confused my already only half-present self. My dog gave me trouble because he can tell when I'm in permenant zone-out mode, which just made me kind of bitchy towards him. One of the achievements of the morning happened when I was sitting in a chair and my foot fell very, very asleep and I didn't even notice for awhile even though it was kind of painful and tingling like crazy. My brain was busy wandering down all sorts of great doomsday scenarios. That also made driving to class fun- my mind's eye was full of graphic car wrecks in which I was pretty sure I was going to die. And then I had a total braindead moment when I got my blinkers mixed up- I couldn't remember which direction was up or down on the lever. Which, in all my years of driving, has never once happened to me. Usually when my brain forgets my hand still knows, but not today.

Once I got to class it wasn't so bad a day for awhile. I got to show off my totally awesome project which everyone really liked. And I got to see everyone else's cool projects, too. By the end I was barely hanging on though. I lost all ability to keep thoughts from just leaking right out of my ears, to the point where I could hardly talk coherently. Then I had to drive home, and I didn't even have the energy to sing along to my cds. It took all I had left to get home safely, and then I almost fell out of my car when I opened the door. I promise I'm not exaggerating, lol. And then I knew my dog would need to do something, so I put him on the treadmill while I took a nap. Even after a nap I was barely making it. I made instant food for dinner and spent the rest of the day on the couch, not moving.

Even now I'm not feeling particularly coherent. And I have a feeling I'm not going to remember any of this tomorrow. But that's why I have a blog, right? Actually it's a really useful thing to do if your memory sucks. And it's hilarious because I end up rereading entries a week later and being really interested because I don't remember what happened next, haha.

Okay, enough typing for now. Before I fall over and crash this thing.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

High School Reunion Fairy Tale

Last night I had a lot of very strange dreams that were sort of connected together. At one point I had gone to meet up with a few high school friends at this museum. I feel like it started out a science museum or something and turned into sort of a grown-up version of a Discovery Zone, you know, one of those kid's party places with the great big play area and the games that give you tickets and stuff. Only the games were made to appeal to adults, you could win actual money, and instead of a playplace there were things like a zip line, an obstacle course and a rock climbing wall. It looked interesting but I was really tired. Fortunately we couldn't go in until everyone got there, and for awhile we were waiting. The friend I was waiting with was getting bored and annoyed, and I was trying to keep her from getting too frustrated. Meanwhile I was looking out these big glass windows into the parking lot, which started to look like a high school parking lot- all these high school kids, including cheerleaders in uniform, kept getting on or off buses, and it was really busy and parents in cars kept driving up to pick kids up. After awhile it quieted down until there were just a few kids left waiting. Suddenly they all started to droop, like they were falling asleep sitting there. It was actually kind of eerie, like they were almost melting. Then the rest of our high school friends showed up and we started exchanging news and interrogating each other on our love lives, which is pretty much what happens when we see each other in real life. I was really happy to see all of them, and seriously everyone I was close to in high school and middle school- plus an elementary school friend, even- was there. I remember one particular line when one of my friends was saying how she had no luck at all in the romance department and was pretty sure there wasn't much hope for the future, and I high-fived her and was like, me too! Woohoo! And we started laughing about it. When I eventually woke up that part really amused me. Anyway, after that it turned into this play we were apparently doing, in which I was this princess who wanted to run away and learn how to wield a sword, only before I could escape I got married off to this prince guy who was actually pretty nice even though I'd never met him before and wasn't particularly interested in him. We ended up at this dance thing, and then suddenly it morphed into this other thing in which I was pretending to be a dog (more specifically, my dog, lol) and I was crawling around on all fours chasing after balls and squeaking them. The room I was in was decorated with lots of Christmas trees for some reason, and holiday stuff. And there was another person there who was also pretending to be a dog, and it turned out we were actually fooling this king and queen and if they found out that we weren't actually dogs we would get in big trouble. And then I reached out with my hand to grab a toy instead of using my mouth, and they figured it out and I had to run and hide under furniture. It was approaching scary when I woke up.

I blame the mediocre fantasy novels I've been reading lately, lol. And my high school friends because they aren't here to defend themselves. And of course the furball currently snoozing on my floor.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Like Me

Well, it's been about three weeks since I lowered my dose down slightly. As expected it's been quite the rollercoaster, and I've had many lows the past few weeks that left me feeling really discouraged. I've had the occasional day where I was glued to the couch because I was too tired and spacey to do anything, and some days where I was anxious. Plus several strings of nights of really bad sleep- full of nightmares or just lots of tossing and turning. But the last few days I've actually been feeling pretty good, for me at least. The high dose side effects are gone- I'm not anxious and my appetite is back in full force- and I've actually had the energy required to accomplish things when I want to. But I think the best thing about how I'm feelng right now is that I feel much more like myself again. On the higher dose I was stiff, awkward, nervous. And I had more energy but had trouble relaxing or even enjoying things without being too stressed out. Then during my lows the past few weeks I've been too tired to do anything and unable to focus. The past few days have felt so good because I can relax when I want to and focus if I need to, and I feel much more in control of my life again.

It's funny because the higher dose had me more mentally grounded in reality- I spent more brain power on my senses and practical thinking and less on imagining things and making stuff up. But I really think my natural state is when I'm off on some crazy mental tangent, imagining up creatures and worlds or bending this one around for fun. I think I feel more like myself again because my mind is back at its occasional vivid wandering, and my imagination has been much more active. And I'm glad, because my imagination is by far my favorite trait- plus I think that's what is going to get me a job someday, if anything can.

But I'm not going to worry about that for now because I'm in the middle of a lot of really fun projects for classes. And I'm somehow managing to get it all done and to do a good job, and even enjoy it. So I'm definitely happy about where I am right now. Here's to hoping the feeling stays around.