Monday, December 20, 2010

What's This?? A Social Life or Something?

I hung out with/talked to two non-family people this weekend. Human people! o.O Woah... This may seem to some like a low-key, boring weekend if you're used to partying, or are in college. The thing is, ever since I found out what was making me sick and started having to cope with treatment and my special needs (as opposed to simply shoving through pretending to be normal), I've become more and more of a recluse. In high school I was constantly sick to my stomach and automatic-behavioring my way through everything including hanging out with my friends. Then my first year of college I found out about Celiac's. Explaining my special diet to everyone around me sucked. When you tell people who haven't heard of it before and explain the key points to them, they inevitably say one of about five completely moronic things:

1. Oh my gosh, how terrible!! D: Your life is so hard!! (Like I need to hear that from some schmuck who doesn't know me or my life at all...)
2. Did you say you can't eat meat? (Having misheard "wheat" XD)
3. I can't believe you can actually cut all that out of your diet!! I could never do that!!! (Trust me, if gluten caused you physical pain, you wouldn't have a hard time letting it go.)
4. If you eat a cookie, that means you could die??? (XD It's not an allergy like those people in the news who are killed by traces of peanuts.)
5. Oh! I know what you mean!! I have a minor allergy to -insert random food item here- and can only eat five cups of it before my scalp itches minorly!! I usually just ignore it though. :D (Oh yeah- obviously you know what a life-changing diet is like. XD)

After a couple of years of this, I just plain got tired of explaining it. So I just stopped telling people and stuck to friends who already knew and had lived with me through the changes. It didn't help that by that time, I also knew I had Narcolepsy and was on Xyrem, which has its own life changes that go with it. For those years I had to go to bed at a consistent time every night (otherwise my stomach and alertness were completely messed up the next day and sometimes the day after as well). This meant no surprise staying up, which is really tough on someone college-aged when most serious talking and socializing happens at night. It also caused generalized anxiety in me at the higher dose I was on, which, believe me, doesn't help in social situations. Those combined with culture shock after returning to America from Japan kept me completely isolated for my last year of college.

Luckily, returning to my hometown after graduation meant I had old friends who required no explaining nearby. A lower dose of Xyrem also helped me gain somewhat of a social life back, plus getting on a much-needed antidepressant for the first time in my life. I still kept to myself at art classes and in public and avoided explaining either illness as much as I could. Slowly I developed a better strategy than launching into a detailed explanation at a moment's provocation or avoiding the subject completely- instead I compromised by explaining one symptom at a time on a need-to-know basis. For example, when invited to eat with someone I would make it clear I needed to be the one to choose the restaurant or food choice. When falling asleep in class I would explain to other students that I was tired and needed a nap. So in this way as people came to know me, they came to know my needs and quirks, and slowly understood I wasn't normal.

And so nowadays I find it much easier to meet new people and talk to them. It also helps to have my girlfriend's support- I feel more protected, less exposed, in social situations. This weekend we had one of her coworkers over for lunch (we cooked, so there wasn't a problem there) and chatted for about four hours. It was great. We all had pretty good funny stories to share, and I even got to nap for half an hour in the middle without having to kick her out first. :) We also had a long, in-depth conversation on the phone with a chaplain who might officiate our wedding this summer. That was exhausting for me, because he wanted to get to know us and make sure that we really are ready to be married, and so asked pretty in-depth questions. He was really nice, though, and didn't pry for details about my illnesses. I know two new people (with one over the phone rather than in person XD) aren't most people's idea of a social life, but it was a pretty big leap for us since we just moved here and haven't had much opportunity to make local friends. So that is exciting. Maybe by the summer we'll have three friends or something, lol. 8D

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

RV Living

Want a new way to save energy? Try downsizing your floor space. :D

Before we relocated for my girlfriend's job in August, we were living at her parents' place, a lovely two story house with a pretty large upstairs that we had completely to ourselves. When I moved in, I put myself in charge of keeping the two large bedrooms, connecting bathroom, two walk-in closets, stairs and loft area clean. Being a genetic neat-freak who actually enjoys things like sweeping and dusting made this part of my life fun rather than a chore, so most of the time I didn't actually mind. That doesn't mean it wasn't a challenge however- we had two dogs and two cats upstairs with us, constantly shedding hair, plus my girlfriend who is like a tornado on the weekends. She likes to collect her things in what we refer to as "chaos piles", and anything within ten feet of one is in danger of getting sucked into the vortex, to disappear for days or weeks until I have time to go in and put things away. So while cleaning that place was fun, it wasn't easy, and sometimes it would get nasty if I was sick or busy or just plain tired for a couple of days in a row.

Then, in the span of a week, the whole situation changed. She interviewed and got an offer a week before the school year was going to start and we found ourselves scrambling, trying to find someplace to live in a state neither of us had ever even directly visited, in a small town with nothing posted online. We ended up borrowing the family RV and living at a campground for the first month while we looked for a place to rent via word of mouth. We took the dogs with us but had to leave the cats in the care of the in-laws for lack of space.

I have to admit I was skeptical of the whole RV thing at first. After all, the last experience I had had with an RV was camping on the beach with grandparents when I was little in a very cramped, old and only partially functional one (if I remember correctly, the shower didn't work at all). But this thing was pretty fancy, with a separate bedroom, a pretty nice little kitchen and comfortable furniture. And I came to appreciate the lack of space- I got so much more art and relaxing done, simply because I had hardly anything I was supposed to keep clean. Because of the close quarters I got to know my girlfriend's dog a lot better and we really developed a bond. The dogs also liked the campground because there was always so much to smell, and walks were positive challenges for both of them because of other dogs and children. I gained so much confidence walking them there. It was so easy to just go outside with only three stairs instead of a whole flight in my way.

It was pretty interesting to watch our neighbors come and go, even after just a night sometimes. I thought having so many people parked so close would be harrowing, but instead it was just fun to watch their interactions. Everyone was really relaxed for the most part- after all, they were on vacation- and just having a good time. There were a couple of boisterous weekends around Labor Day that were a bit much, but expected. Once I even saw an RV hotel. o.O I didn't even know those existed. It was like a bus and had a bus full of people inside it.

I also really liked having a ridiculously tiny kitchen. I didn't have to walk to get to anything, lol- you just reach up and there it is. And I loved the fact that we could easily open the place up- it was mostly windows- and we were practically outside. In August the weather was right up my alley, even though in September it got a tad chilly sometimes, but the RV's air conitioning and heating worked really well and quickly. Another advantage to small living spaces.

Even so, we were all getting ready for a change when the time came to move out. The weather was turning chilly and the campground was going to close for the year by the time we had arranged to rent our house. The dogs played victory fetch in our new large living room and celebrated having a yard all their own to claim. We humans were excited by the prospect of having the ability to actually fit a whole meal's worth of pots on the stove at once. A couple of months after we moved in, my in-laws came to visit and brought the cats with them, so our family was reunited. And I do like our house. Sometimes, though, I miss the RV (like when the entire house needs vacuuming XD), and I would live in one again without hesitation.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Because You Asked...

Now I think it's time that I give y'all an update on my health, since (you know) that's the purpose of this blog, lol :P. And a lot has changed since my long hiatus began.

So, before we moved in August (or, indeed, even knew we would be moving so soon), I went to a new doctor on the outskirts of Chicago. I picked her, for the most part, because she is female and I have a long history of older, male doctors who I've had pretty serious communication issues with. That stipulation didn't give me a lot of neurologists within two hours to choose from, and she was the only one who seemed to have Narcolepsy on her resume. Indeed, she did seem to listen to me and understood my need to get off of Xyrem. She was a little skeptical that I would be alright without trying stimulants, but agreed I should get off of Xyrem first and see how it went. So she told me I could just stop taking it, and that it would wear off pretty fast, which seemed a little contradictory to what I've heard. We agreed I should stay on Remeron because of my family and personal history of depression and the fact that it should aid my sleep as well.

So I left the appointment pretty happy with what I'd learned, but not terribly attached to this particular neurologist. Which is probably good, now that I live a day's drive from there anyway.

I got off of Xyrem several days after the appointment, and I was really glad that I did. Even now that I'm not really sleeping I don't regret it. My stomach was instantly doing a happy victory dance. I could immediately eat breakfast again, not having to wait until the nausea wore off late in the morning before putting anything in there. I could eat anything (gluten-free/soy-free) that I wanted, whenever I wanted. I could feel hunger again before getting really fuzzy headed or dizzy. In short it is awesome. I can eat again!!!!!!

In two months I went from ten pounds underweight (with my hip bones prominent and ribs visible) to having a little bit of a tummy and the proper curves. I went from a size 2 to a size 6. It's not the numbers that I care about so much though- it's the fact that I feel healthy again. My body feels like it actually has some substance to it. I feel like I'm the right weight now, and it's been years since I felt this good physically. I have to be careful, now, though- I don't want to keep on climbing until it's unhealthy, and that takes some work on my part because increased appetite is a side effect of Remeron that I definitely feel. I'm careful to control how much I eat at once and I limit how much snacking I'm allowed to do between meals. I actually usually just eat one large meal a day because with our healthy, vegetable-rich diet, more than that is too much. I eat a small breakfast, a large lunch, and a snack for dinner. I'm finding that this works really well for me and my girlfriend, too.

So, that's the good news. The bad news is that I'm not sleeping- as you might expect. I used to write down my dreams, but now I have too many to bother. The other day I jerked awake, full of terror at 2 AM, because I heard an excruciatingly loud and frightened scream right next to my ear. I haven't had much in the way of sleep paralysis, which is good if mysterious. Mostly it's just been the dreams. I've had tornado dreams, dog training dreams, beautiful scenery dreams, Harry Potter meets Stargate Atlantis dreams, car crash dreams, even a dream in which I was bicycling along a partially submerged wall through a field of swimming pools. It goes on and on and I wake up to find that it's still 3 something. I go back under, and then it's maybe 4 something. Eventually at like 7 I give up, which has me ready for bed the next night at about 8. I've mostly been sleeping in long naps on the couch in the mid-afternoon with my cat asleep on my stomach, and I'm pretty sure that's the only reason I'm (more or less) conscious the rest of the time.

When we had just moved I was walking the dogs at least once during the day while my fiancee is teaching, and sometimes twice, but as I've been steadily going down in energy level I might be able to do it once if I'm lucky. I'm also pretty frustrated at the fact that I have so much art I want to do but it happens slowly and in short stretches if at all. This is even more maddening because we're so low on money and there isn't anything I can do to contribute directly. The real world is just too demanding for me to keep up. We're doing fine because we have two sets of parents helping us in various ways. It should be better next year when my girlfriend is working full time at the school rather than the current part time (we have reason to hope), but for now we run out of our own funds before the month is out and have no way of saving up for the future. It's hard for me to watch that knowing that I can't earn any extra; I can barely take care of the chores that I enjoy doing and keep the place reasonably clean. I know that my most important job is taking care of the family (two cats, two dogs and the girl) and that even on my worst days I'm a huge help in that regard. I try to remember that and to know that I'm contributing a lot just by existing (our especially needy cat thinks so, too).

But I have to say my symptoms aren't as bad as they used to be in high school before I was diagnosed. I think the Remeron is definitely part of it, but also it's the lack of stress in my life now- the lack of unreasonable expectations. I do what I physically can and for once, it's enough. In fact, it's appreciated greatly by everybody. And to be honest I'm not in any hurry to try adding other meds. My stomach has in some way rejected everything else I've tried, including other antidepressants, Nuvigil, Provigil, and Ritalin. And I like my new-found ability to eat food, thank you very much. :D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Welcome to the Middle of Nowhere, USA

I may have said when we were living in Wisconsin that we were living in the middle of nowhere. At the time, compared to my hometown of Houston, I was right. There were several sizable towns nearby, but my inlaws' house was in the middle of farm fields on a big slab of land. In Houston, going around the block was the shortest walk I would take with my dog, while in Wisconsin it meant my girlfriend taking the dogs out for hardcore exercise (a distance of over 3 miles, which would take nearly two hours for them to walk). It took quite a bit of driving to get to any form of civilization and there were days when you might see ten cars on the way. In Houston there's traffic getting out of the driveway, and I could walk to three separate shopping centers if I had the energy.

That was all before we moved to Iowa. No offense meant to the state or its people, but it seriously must be one of the least populated states. This place defines "the middle of nowhere". Some things about this are awesome. For example, there are way more small businesses here, run by families rather than huge faceless corporations (with Walmart as the main exception). The local pharmacy isn't a chain store, the grocery store is employee owned, and there are lots of cool little thrift, antique and gift shops around, including a little coop. There's also a cool little main street, like many small Midwestern towns have, with the old architecture and so forth. The downside is that there's a lot you can't get within two hours of here (the nearest city is about that far away). Our big dog is allergic to most grains, and there is literally no grain-free dog food being sold within a hundred miles; we have to order it online. Now that it's winter, there are fewer than ten vegetables at the grocery store, and most of them are usually sad-looking. We're lucky if we can find three that are fresh every time we go and we're starting to get tired of the same ones. Whole Foods? What's Whole Foods?? This also means no sushi for me; I doubt the people here have even tried sushi, and they're all blindingly white anyway, so not exactly about to start a sushi restaurant.

That's another thing; I thought Wisconsin had a lack of racial diversity. My girl had her kids (the high schoolers she's teaching English for) make video projects about themselves at the beginning of the year, and I watched them with her to help her grade them. Seriously, these kids all look the same. They all have exactly the same skin tone and their hair comes in two colors. o.O I was getting them all confused within five minutes. But having grown up in a city where whites are the minority number-wise, it doesn't surprise me that it's difficult to understand such a white town. There's exactly one Asian girl, and she's half. My girlfriend is also finding this a little bit trying at times. She's been teaching To Kill A Mockingbird, and the kids are mostly ignorant about racism and are sometimes actually racist. Most of them have never even met a black person. Luckily we're white ourselves so it isn't something that gets directly in our way.

Though I'm sure we're causing enough chatter among the townsfolk anyway, being lesbians. Like all small towns, everyone knows everyone else, and there seems to be a pretty conservative undercurrent. My girlfriend hears about it more working at the school. She hasn't come out to her kids (though her co-workers do know about us) so they don't hide their homophobic comments around her. Two of the other teachers are also a lesbian couple, though they're older than us, and the kids make all sorts of comments about them. Naturally, she tries to educate them about tolerance, but it's pretty clear that their parents are just as close-minded and are passing it all on to their kids. Fortunately, the principal and several of the other teachers are openly supportive of us and really nice about it, and our sexuality hasn't compromised her job in any way (her boss has said that he hopes she'll stay on next year, and be with them for a long time).

For the most part, we've met a lot of really nice people here. One thing I like about it is that there's a thriving art community. The landscape itself is beautiful no matter the time of year, so it's not surprising that so many painters and ceramicists live in the area. We've gone on several weekend outings to studios and seen some really terrific work, including teapots, stained glass and several varieties of landscape paintings. I've made a couple of friends, and even gotten a drawing lesson from a local painter. It's awesome talking to people who have the same passion as you do for something and can look at your work with fresh eyes.

Right now it's a classic winter landscape outside with the snow building itself up. I'm having a lot less trouble adjusting to the cold weather this year because my body was allowed to adjust gradually throughout the fall. This place is beautiful, and we enjoy having our own place, and getting some income that isn't from parents, though we are still relying on them, too. We have a neat little house that is (more or less) functioning now (that's another story), we have our cats with us and our dogs, we have each other.

Friday, December 3, 2010

How Many Narcoleptics Does It Take To Do Interior Decorating?

Hi again! It's been ages, I know. But before I launch into The Life Summary Of Stuff, I feel like I should explain the title.

You'd think I learned from the whole lightbulb experience, but what can we say. My girlfriend (now fiancee) and I have a rented house now, and me being my artistic self, I always want it to look interestingly decorated. Her being her, she gets tired of having the furniture the same all the time and has tons of fun finding new ways to rearrange everything as often as possible, which then gets me rearranging everything on the walls to match.

Most of the time I manage just fine with tacks: I have unframed paintings on canvases that can just sit on them, and lots of dreamcatchers that tacks are perfect for. But every so often I do have something more complicated than that.

And so, I find myself precariously perched on a stool and an armchair, swaying dangerously, trying to hold up a framed drawing to the wall to see where I should put in the nail. Of course it's the kind of frame that has a little notch in the middle of the back that you are expected to (somehow) fit over a nail in exactly the right way so that the thing doesn't fall off on you. I figure out where I need to put in the nail, which I have ready in an attempt to only have to get up on the stool once (a somewhat dangerous operation in which I have to arrange feet and weight properly), so I go ahead and put it in. Now somewhat tired from holding up a hammer over my head, I sit that down and get the frame. I hold it over my head, which is difficult because it's heavy, and attempt to peer into the space between it and the wall in order to carefully slide the slot over it, which is pretty hard without depth perception- I can't tell where anything is unless it's right in line with the angle I'm looking at it. I try this about ten separate times, only to have the frame slide off each time. By now my arm hurts. Then it occurs to me that I probably nailed the nail in too far so it doesn't catch on the frame like it's supposed to, so I pull it out more and keep trying. Several minutes later I realize the nail itself is too small- it isn't going to stick out far enough. So I get down (now exhausted and sore) and go get a bigger nail.

This time it works as soon as I get the nail in, fortunately, because it's all I can do to hold up the hammer and the painting each one more time. Sometimes I can be pretty silly about wanting to finish something in one sitting...

So the answer is, one Narcoleptic, but you'd think she'd learn to take a nap in the middle.

Well, a lot has happened since I was here last. My girlfriend got hired for a part-time high school teaching post in middle of nowhere, Iowa. She drove out on a Thursday (it was seven hours away), got interviewed on Friday, was given the offer at the interview, which she accepted, then drove back that afternoon, knowing she was starting a week later. And then insanity ensued, eventually ending up with us here the day before she was to start inservice days, in a borrowed RV with our two dogs, living at a campground until we could locate someplace to rent.

Several months later, it's all settled down, just like the snow, which is currently blanketing everything and looking spectacular. Part of my reason for leaving this blog was that I ran out of stories for the time, but now I have a whole bunch lined up again. So I'm not going to spoil them all in one post. :D I'm doing fine, though, better in some ways then others. Overall life is good.

Stay tuned... XD

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My (ex-)Neurologist Is a Jerkface

So, like I said, I got an appointment with a new neurologist for August. My girlfriend, being awesome and helpful, agreed to call my old neurologist's office and tell them, plus find out how we could get my records- we agreed we want our own copy in addition to giving them to the new doctor. So several weeks ago, she did this for me. The receptionist was helpful and wrote it all in my file, but told us that I would have to come in person to pick up the records, which I was halfway expecting. We asked if my mom could come in and get them (since she is, you know, in the right state and we aren't), and we were told that she couldn't since I'm over 18. Several weeks later we were going to fly down to get my car and more of my stuff and to visit anyway, so we figured we could come get the records then.

So the several weeks passed. Then, the night before we were leaving to fly down, I find a message on my phone saying that I need to schedule an appointment with him. I was like, no way in hell, thank you very much. I have good reasons to be moving on. When I told my mom about it she got really annoyed. Apparently family members can pick up medical records if they have a signed note, and she volunteered so I wouldn't have to go to his office again. We were also angry because it seemed that he wasn't going to renew my prescriptions, which I just needed for one more month before my appointment with the new doctor. But once it became clear that I wasn't going to come in to be bullied by him again, he approved my prescriptions after all. Which is a good thing because most of the point in going to the new neurologist is to get off of Xyrem safely. Doctors... can't live with 'em...

Meanwhile, we had a good but exhausting visit to my hometown, and then a very long drive back up here. We've mostly recovered and I'm feeling much more moved in. :) I'm hitting new lows in energy level, but what's new. I just hope the neurologist I'm seeing in August is an improvement over the last one. (Not hard to do.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Creepy Nights

I've officially started having nightmares again... I think it's three nights in a row now. At least there has only been one each night so far. I can remember a time when it was every night, all night, and I'm hoping it won't come to that.

I was in one of the upstairs bedrooms of where I'm living now, and the layout was more or less accurate (not a good sign). I couldn't sleep, so I got up and was walking around the room. I started to get scared because the other bedroom (on the other side of the bathroom) was pitch black and I kept hearing creepy noises. Eventually I went in the bathroom to peer in the other room, and saw minotaurs and a werewolf with glowing red eyes, beckoning me. I ran back into our room, totally freaked out. The creatures followed me and stood in the bathroom, staring. I wanted my girlfriend to wake up and reassure me, but she was so asleep that shaking her didn't work.

In another, I was in the same upstairs, only our bedroom was huge- three or four times the size it really is- so that my lamp didn't even begin to reach the corners. Again, I had gotten up to go to the bathroom. I was extremely creeped out because I kept seeing twisted monsters and rotting dead things in the corners, all staring at me. I figured I was hallucinating, so I went into the bathroom (now the one from our college apartment) and started splashing water on my face. It didn't really help- I was still seeing creepy things twitching and moving around every time I passed a patch of darkness. So I hurried back to bed, with my eyelids trying to close the whole way. I sat up in bed and just waited, and turned on the overhead light. After awhile my girlfriend woke up and I talked to her for a minute. Then she got up and started moving around and put on some really creepy music. I asked her to turn it off because it was making me more freaked out, but she didn't seem to hear me. Then our other college roommate was there, talking about how awesome the music was (which is funny, because she hates creepy music ten times more than I do). Eventually they took it downstairs and I tried to go back to sleep, but I could still hear the music a little because the room suddenly had a balcony over the living room.

And then last night it was tornados. For some reason I've always had lots of tornado dreams. This time I was at my grandparents' house, only of course it was suddenly three stories instead of one and had sliding glass doors, because that makes sense, and there were stairs everywhere. I basically spent the entire dream trying to corral our two dogs into a safe downstairs bedroom as multiple tornados came within inches of various parts of the house without actually doing anything. The dogs were constantly getting away from me and ending up in the backyard, or next to windows with a tornado on the other side of them, or dancing circles around me as I got more and more exhausted trying to capture them. Or the room I was taking them would suddenly sprout glass doors or giant windows, and I would get really scared that it wasn't safe, and suddenly there would be three tornados outside coming closer. Meanwhile my grandparents and girlfriend were going on like we weren't all about to be torn to pieces, standing around chatting or making lunch, lol.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Unfortunately Familiar

And the Xyrem Not Really Working Anymore Saga continues.

Four years ago I got diagnosed with Narcolepsy and put on Xyrem, and it fixed pretty much everything for me. It did what it's supposed to and knocked me out every night, and I got more and more awake as the dose was slowly raised. I felt like I got to experience life again for the first time in six years- colors were brighter, I could see in 3D again, my sense of taste was back. It seemed like a miracle, which it was really. And it continued to work for three years, with the occasional dose changes and eventually adding Remeron. But I guess my body is finally saying no. About a year ago I started a steady drop in energy level that resulted in serious life changes for me. And as that's been happening, once-familiar symptoms are putting in an appearance. My dreams are getting steadily more disturbing. I keep waking up in the night more and more and not being able to go back to sleep, despite feeling extremely drugged from the Xyrem. Random hallucinations have been punctuating my dreams; it was happening maybe a few times a year, and now it's multiple times a month. My mind's eye is getting much busier during the day, distracting me with full-fledged dreams when I'm trying to do something else, like form coherent sentences when talking to people. Meanwhile, my stomach is getting more annoyed with the Xyrem again- I've been nauseated and anxious in the mornings, and that used to just happen on higher doses of Xyrem.

Even so, I've been reluctant to get off of it. I know it's still working a little bit and honestly, I'm afraid. I remember what life was like the summer before I was diagnosed. In a lot of ways my living situation is vastly improved- I have really supportive people who I'm living with who want to help me and respect my desire to be distant from doctors. No one is expecting me to be the next amazing careerperson. I'm sleeping next to someone else now, which also helps- waking up in pure terror with no one there was horrible. But on the other hand, I know what my brain can throw at me, and I'm not sure I'm ready. But maybe I never will be, and at least my blog will get more interesting, lol.

So I've decided it's time to get off of Xyrem. My girlfriend's mom helped me out by finding a sleep neurologist in the area and I've got an appointment for August. She and my girlfriend are planning on coming with me as moral support and backup. So we'll see how it goes. At least, once I'm off of it, I'll be quite a bit less worried about paying for it. So in a way, the timing is nice. And my stomach will be doing a victory dance, I'm sure. We'll see how this plays out, and if I have to get on something else. I'm hoping to at least test life without drugs and see if I can do it. It's time to give my stomach a break.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Accidental Buddhist

It might have been coming to terms with Narcolepsy that did it, or maybe moving to the country. It might have been partly a result of living in Tokyo for ten months during a time when I was feeling very vulnerable and looking for a new direction. It might have been various books I read out of my girlfriend's library when I was trying to figure out how to deal with life away from my parents making me plan everything. But one thing is certain: it snuck up on me.

I started out stressed out about the future. Like, really stressed out-- how was I going to make it in the real world, being so tired I can't see straight? How was I going to afford health insurance and my medication? Was I ever going to move out of my parents' house? During that time, part of me was annoyed at how stressed out I was. I would yell at my dog and feel terrible, but if I didn't yell it got pent up. I was also an anxious mess in a lot of ways, because there were no easy answers to my questions. I was more or less trapped. I didn't know what to do with myself. Then I found that my parents leaving for two weeks allowed me to relax a bit, and it felt right. I tried to carry it over to when they returned, but it was impossible. The tv was always blaring; someone was always complaining about work. The city outside was so loud that being in our tiny yard wasn't restful. Everything was too fast-paced for me and so even running errands was something that was supposed to be rushed. Only then, I would be back home again, still with nowhere to escape the tension.

I did find one place I could go to relax: I would take my dog to the park. The main areas were usually crowded and I'd end up having to talk to people, but there was a Japanese garden that had quiet benches where my dog and I could sit and soak up the trees and grass and sunshine. It was heavenly, but I had to drive there, so by the time we got home again I was a tense mess. There was nowhere like that within walking distance of my house.

Then I had an incredibly huge stroke of luck and found out that my best friend was, in fact, in love with me, too. So I left that place and came here, to the middle of nowhere, to live with my girlfriend and her parents. This place is not perfect, of course. It gets very cold here and there are stairs between me and the dogs and the outside world. But it was this place that taught me how to be still and quiet and relaxed. Here, I can step outside and come across no one who I don't know well- no pressure. The background noise is the sound of birds, ground squirrels, and horses, plus very distant traffic. Here you can really listen. It's the perfect place for meditating- though it took me awhile to figure out that's what I was doing.

Living here, life is determined by what the animals need- our dogs, cats, horses and donkey have various chores attached to them that happen throughout the day. Animals live firmly in the present and it rubs off on you as you care for them. It certainly rubbed off on me. So I ended up not planning my day out. Instead, I wait and see how I feel and what needs to be done, and then I do what feels right. I went from the "tomorrow at 2 PM" mentality to the "maybe we'll do it on Thursday" mentality, if that makes sense. And as I became more firmly rooted in the present, the past and future began to bother me less. I started to recognize their importance without attaching so much fear to them. I started to think calmly about what needed to happen that specific day instead of freaking out about how I'm going to be feeling in ten years. I'm still slowly thinking over what I'm going to do about health insurance when I'm no longer covered by my parents, but it's far enough away that I'm not afraid when I think about it- I'm just calm and thoughtful and able to think clearly.

And this is how I ended up accidentally a Buddhist.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Japanese Deli Angel Wings Movie Date

Last night I had a pretty vivid but mixed-up dream. It started out that I was in some kind of deli that was part of a college and I was sitting at a table by myself, waiting for my mom to come back with her food (I wasn't eating there). As I was sitting there, I was observing the other people interacting at the other tables. It was like a scene from my hometown because of the diversity- I was one of the only white people there. One little girl saw me eavesdropping and grinned at me, and I grinned back. Then there was a lot of bustle right next to my table- several families were passing it to get to the counter- and I overheard them speaking in Japanese even though most of them weren't Japanese. When one of them bumped me on accident I said "excuse me" to them in polite Japanese without thinking. One of the women started asking me something and we had a brief conversation about how I could speak it. After that, they moved away, and I spotted someone I knew in elementary school who I hadn't spoken to in a long time, so I went over and sat down at her table.

She told me at length about what she was doing on her computer and complained about how her professors kept trying to get her to turn it into a career when she was pretty sure she didn't want to do whatever it was for a living, and we had a good heart-to-heart about life. After that, I think she took me to a lab to show me what she was working on, and she turned into a different friend I had in high school, and her project turned out to be this incredibly cool angel costume that had mechanical wings you could actually use. It was really really cool. It had chain mail and armor that you used to secure it to yourself. After that I think we went to see a movie (now with the elementary friend again), and the movie got a little jumbled up with the rest of the dream. Who I was kept switching around and sometimes I was in it and sometimes commenting on it. The movie was about a girl (A) falling in love with another girl (B). When A tells B, B freaks out and runs away and gets engaged to a guy who happens to ask her at that exact time, and it ends with A hoping B will change her mind. The me who was watching it was pretty disappointed in the ending because it seemed like it was going to work out and be happy and then it turned depressing. At the same time, though, I was happy about the way the movie portrayed A, as a completely normal girl who happened to not be straight.

That was about when I woke up, feeling confused and tired and wondering what on earth it all means.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Not Moving After All

After lots and lots of fanagling, endless planning and unplanning, and generally trying to make things work, we've realized the best thing for us to do is to put off moving for awhile. On the one hand, this made us both feel much better immediately. We really do need more time and more money before moving becomes practical. My girlfriend went from tense and worried to smiling and laughing within about ten minutes of making the decision, which is really, really good to see. We had been worrying over this problem for over a week since finding out that we were mistaken about how much my parents are willing to help us financially, and it was taking a toll on both of us. I also relaxed quite a bit. And I should mention that it was mostly my idea that maybe we should stay here before I go on. After all, I do like it here. I enjoy the lack of people in the middle of nowhere. I adore having all of our animals, especially the horses, closeby. I have a wonderful relationship with my future mother-in-law; I can actually talk to her about things that make sense to both of us, because mentally we're from the same planet (and I can't say the same about my own parents). She pays attention to us and helps out in a way that isn't at all intrusive. I love the property that we have out here, with a creek for my dachshund to get muddy in, trees to climb, fields to stroll in and explore with our big dog. And the countryside around here is beautiful.

But it has its problems, too, like any place. It's difficult to get good fruit, even after winter is over. It's still a bit chilly for me and I have to wear layers, which I hate. There might end up being one month of the year when I'm comfortable outside without confining my body in sweatshirts and feeling mummified by fabric. The house has stairs, which are getting harder for me to deal with, and the dogs downstairs don't get along with ours, making everything really complicated when trying to put them outside. And intellectually I do know there will be a few cons to any place we ever live, especially with my physical problems. But I did have my hopes up. I was so excited to be going home, to take my girlfriend (who means everything to me) back to where I grew up. I'm incredibly homesick, which is something that I didn't figure out until I realized that we weren't going there this summer. I went from stressed out to really depressed in that same ten minutes.

Part of it is that I miss my family and friends there. But mostly I miss the place. When I'm there, I feel so connected to the land. I'm not sure how to describe what I mean without sounding a little crazy. It's like there are roots growing down out of my shoes, through the asphalt, down into the earth. Every species of wildflower feels like a part of me; every azalea bush, magnolia tree, taloe, oak. The ocean is always there in the back of my mind, comforting me, whether or not I ever find time or means to go to the beach. Even the power lines and pigeons and smog are old friends. The people are my people; they have my accent and various amounts of Spanish and skin of many different colors. These are the things I miss the most— daily life things, existence things.

We are still planning to live there at some point. Maybe in December, if we can afford it, missing most of the winter here. And I'm hoping we can visit this summer for a week or two. In the meantime I'm going to try to wrench myself away from thinking about what might have been and try to go back to enjoying living here. But it does smart a little.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Parental Misunderstandings

A month ago exactly, we flew down to my hometown to visit my parents, go to a job fair in the hopes of improving my girlfriend's chances of getting a full-time teaching position, and to look at a promising apartment. The trip went really well. My parents were extremely supportive about our back-up plan for my girlfriend to work part time jobs, like substitute teaching or teaching karate, if she doesn't get hired to one of the positions she applied to. My mom went so far as to say they could help us with rent until the school year started and we had income. Feeling pretty good about things as a result of my parents being so supportive, we went ahead and agreed to go for the apartment. My mom wanted to pay our deposit and first month's rent because her dad did that for her when she first moved out, and we figured we were set and asked her to go ahead and sent them the deposit. We sent in our application shortly thereafter and proceeded to get really excited because we really, really like that apartment.

Last week I got an email from my mom saying that they were really worried about us being able to afford the apartment. I got pretty alarmed because I know my parents and when they say they're worried about something it generally means that they're really freaking out, and that usually doesn't bode well. So we talked to them on skype over the weekend. My dad kept talking about it like we were being irresponsible for moving in before we would be sure my girlfriend will have a job, and that part-time work wasn't good enough as back up. We explained everything again, exactly the same way we had before. Our plans were exactly the same as a month ago, when my parents seemed to like them, only now they seemed to disapprove. It was especially frightening because my dad seemed to have switched from offering to help us by allowing us to take on our own expenses slowly one thing at a time as we can afford them, to wanting us to be completely on our own as soon as we move. Our plan to take the apartment was dependent on that help- otherwise we wouldn't have said we would take it.

Now we're very confused and unsure what to do. We thought we had a plan that everyone had agreed on, and we thought we had financial support that we may not have after all. We don't want to give up our apartment if there's any chance we'll be able to afford it, but my parents are trying hard to convince us to move back into their house, which is insane. There's no way we would fit and it has twice the stairs as even this house, plus a list of about ten other reasons why there's no way it would work. Our conversation on Saturday ended in a kind of stalemate because we were caught completely off-guard. Now I'm thinking I'd better call them this week and clarify exactly what help they are willing to give us so we can figure out what on earth we're going to do. The problem is that I'm kind of chickening out. I want to know what happened, but I don't want to sound like I'm accusing them of flip-flopping or misleading us. I'm thinking I'll take the angle of we totally misunderstood and that's why we thought everything was fine. But it will be challenging not to sound like an especially cushy rug has been ripped out from under me, leaving me incredibly confused.

Part of me wonders if we did just misunderstand, or if my parents thought that my girlfriend has money saved up, or if they thought I meant moral support and not financial help. It's a very dicey situation and I'm worried about misstepping and making them angry. I love them and I don't want that, but at the same time I'm feeling a little betrayed. It would be different if I hadn't perceived, from things they said, that they were going to help us a lot. I mean, it's not like when I've thought about moving out in the past I expected them to pay all of my bills. But to offer help and then accuse us of being irresponsible... that kind of hurts.

On top of all of that, I'm not sure what we'll do if they are going to cut us loose as soon as we move. We don't have any money saved up; my girlfriend's student teaching takes up all of her time and doesn't pay her anything, and she's using a family fund to pay for her teaching license. My parents are paying for our food and my dachshund's needs and my medication. Most of my girlfriend's money from previous part-time jobs has been used up by now (a lot of it on necessities for her animals- it isn't like she's wasting it). I'm getting more exhausted every week and have completely given up driving because it's dangerous. I have the energy for art occasionally, but not in a way that could result in any kind of steady income, especially between now and July, when we were planning to move. Maybe I could help out if I get feeling better later this year, which is possible, but we can't count on that.

So I really need to call them and talk to them. I may put it off a little bit because I'm not sure how to approach this without making them angry or more worried (which is just as bad). We'll see what happens, but the whole thing is giving me one heck of a headache.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corpse Ghost New Apartment Foster Family

It's been awhile since the last time I didn't have some sort of vivid dream interrupting my sleep, but last night was crazy.

The first one was a nightmare. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before now that dead bodies, especially rotting ones, seriously freak me out- it's like some bizarre phobia I have. In this dream I was still living with my parents, indefinitely, with no hope of moving out, which was an awful feeling I had for the year and a half after college. That feeling made the dream that much worse. So my parents had just moved into a different new house and I had come with them. It was a bit of an improvement- there was more space for me and my room had better lighting. Everything was kind of weird though. The walls were all painted red and had East Asian style details- including a really cool dragon statue attached to the wall between two rooms. The layout was very confusing and didn't make sense, so I kept getting lost even though it was a small house. In the middle of it there was a tiny courtyard with a young tree and a small patch of grass where my dachshund could do his business. At first I really like it out there- a small enclosed bit of the outdoors where I could be outside without being in public. I started spending more and more time out there and thinking this house really wasn't so bad. That's when the visions started- it felt exactly how it does when I'm hallucinating while asleep (which I'm sure I was), only inside the dream it would happen when I was awake and I would have to stop and wait for it to finish before I could see anything again. The flashes of images would come as I entered the courtyard. I started to get really scared because I realized a ghost was sending me memories and I suspected there was a body buried in the courtyard. The patch of grassy area was exactly the right size, and my dog liked to sniff it a lot- it was hard to get him to leave. This totally freaked me out because of my phobia. I started to avoid the courtyard and take my dog to a park instead. This worked for awhile until he started to dig tunnels. I would turn my back for a second and he would disappear underground and it would take yelling to get him to come back out. It's kind of hilarious because the tunnels were perfectly round, as if made by a giant worm, even though it was a dog supposedly digging them. Meanwhile, as the visions started getting stronger, my fears were confirmed- the ghost wanted me to dig up the body so that its murderer could be found, and I kept telling it that I couldn't because I was terrified. It started to get angrier and angrier and my terror got overpowering. I was afraid to let the dog go anywhere near the courtyard now that he was digging so much. It was getting harder to come up with excuses to my parents and they started to wonder what was going on. The dream ended with me trying to get ready to leave to go somewhere with my parents while having a vision showing me the rotting bones while I kept having to run outside and grab my dog because he had somehow escaped out there and was digging. I started to panic and that woke me up.

In the next dream I had, my girlfriend and I had just reached our new apartment with all of our stuff- in the dream we didn't have dogs- and were figuring out where to put our furniture. Our apartment had one room and was a really strange layout- there was a fireplace and chimney in the middle, and so many cabinets on the walls it was hard to figure out where to put furniture. We were really happy to be there and enjoying figuring it out though. I looked out the window at the view- it was really high up over a city at night- and it was amazing so I walked over to the sliding glass doors to see how the porch was. It was a tiny porch with really flimsy-looking railing. I made the mistake of looking down over it to discover we were about 100 floors up. I got serious vertigo and a stab of fear. That's what woke me up.

The last dream was interesting- I was a teenage boy (lol) who was meeting his foster parents for the first time. They were a really nice couple with a very strange house and really cool furniture. The man was big and gangly and bald, and really sweet. His wife was short and incredibly smart and had flowing reddish-brown hair. They were very welcoming and my thoughts (as the kid) were that this really might not be so bad. The house was really weird- there were windows (without glass) in the inside walls, including my bedroom, so even if I locked the door I didn't really have privacy- but neither did anybody else. The bathrooms were both really bizarre; one of them had a giant marble tub raised up in it, with a toilet literally hidden underneath a lid next to it. The other bathroom had two toilets and two sinks randomly without stalls or anything- just in the middle of the room. The main room of the house had random stairs everywhere and was a crazy shape- the walls were at weird angles and were varying sizes. The place was filled with ornately carved furniture from all over the world. I spent awhile admiring everything. There was a glass case full of shiny little statues and a mobile made of origami cranes, several really old-looking round tables, and tons of chairs (no two were the same). I ate dinner with my new parents and several of their relatives and then went to bed watching the tv in my bedroom. That's when I woke up. What a night.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Totally Drained

What a crazy weekend. My girlfriend and I flew to my home state of Texas so she could go to a job fair for teachers there. I don't know if I've mentioned on here (since I've been neglecting my blog horribly) that we've decided to move there in July. We made that decision based on a number of things, including the fact that if we stayed up north for another winter I might freeze into a human popsicle, but also because she's ready for somewhere new and different to live. And my hometown has the advantage of lots of connections (I have a huge extended family), parental support, and lots of school districts for her to apply to. So far we've found one summer school and five full time job openings there and she's applied to all of them. We were a little worried about when we could start apartment hunting since we may not know if she's hired until the summer, until we looked things up and crunched some numbers and realized that actually she could support us by being a substitute teacher if she doesn't get any of the other jobs. We would still rather for sure be okay, however, so we went down for the job fair, figuring it might give her an edge on her first choice full time position.

We left on Friday and said goodbye to our cats, dogs and horses. My girlfriend's mom looked after them while we were gone. The trip there went fine and we got to catch up with my parents (who I hadn't seen since January). It was really, really good to see them. On Saturday my girlfriend went to the job fair, which was pretty intimidating but went well. Apparently it was packed with people. She left her resume with a bunch of schools, even though only one in that district was hiring for English, so if something opens up they might remember her.

Right after that we went to look at an apartment complex that we found online. It's affordable but really nice and has great outdoor spaces for the dogs- and us- to enjoy. We liked it a lot and found out they had the perfect apartment available. It's exactly the right size for us and the perfect layout- it even has a well-lit space for my art desk. Plus it's on the ground floor, which was important because stairs are exhausting for me. They only allow two pets, which at first made me unhappy. But my girlfriend made the point that our cats could stay with her mom until our third college roommate could take them. She's their favorite person on the planet, and loves cats more than anything. So I think it will work out. The more I think about it, the more I realize that being in charge of two cats and two dogs during the day has been pretty exhausting. As much as I love them, I think our friend could take better care of our cats, leaving me with more energy to enjoy being with the dogs. The apartment has been put on hold for us and we're filling out the application tonight. It's very exciting and takes a load of my mind that we have someplace to live lined up.

After that we went and visited one of my high school friends briefly, then went out to dinner with my parents. By the time we got back to their house we were both flattened. Even though I slept in during the job fair, I still way overdid it on Saturday. But it was worth it for how much we got to do and it was our only day there after all.

On Sunday I woke up with no energy whatsoever. My mom drove us to the airport in the morning. I spent the wait for our flight in a total daze, and my girlfriend wasn't any better off- she had eaten something at the restaurant that bothered her stomach and felt nasty the whole way home. Even after sitting on the plane and napping for most of the three hour flight, I was so tired I was having trouble putting one foot in front of the other when we got off the plane. Then, to make things even better, we got lost looking for the train. It took most of a Starbucks tea to wake me up enough just to walk. Eventually we found the train. I slept. We got on a bus to the parking lot where our car was. When we finally reached it we still had over another hour of driving to do to get to the middle of nowhere where we live. My girlfriend needed caffeine in order to drive because she was so tired. We made it back after a stop at the grocery store (since we had no food at home). The dogs were in the front yard and very happy to see us. We went to bed early.

Yesterday I didn't feel any better. I was so tired I couldn't do any cleaning- I just read a book all day, or slept. I didn't feel up to doing the stairs, but my girlfriend's mom helped me by putting the dogs outside. I fell asleep on the table several times. The cats didn't mind; they were very clingy because they were happy I was back. I stayed upstairs all day.

Today I'm definitely still recovering. I've been able to do some cleaning, though, and I haven't been falling asleep when I'm concentrating on staying awake. I can do the stairs again, just not quite as much as usual. I'm looking forward to living somewhere without stairs. Hopefully I'll be back to my normal amount of lack of energy tomorrow.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Poetry Phase? You've Got To Be Kidding Me

Apparently I'm going through a poetry writing phase. Of all things to happen to me, this is really, really weird. I'm pretty much used to my brain throwing weird stuff at me at this point, but a poetry phase tops it all. Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

I have a very staunch history of hating poetry, starting in the eighth grade when I was completely traumatized during an entire poetry unit. My English teacher made us analyze and write poetry until I was totally sick of it, and I was terrible at it which didn't help. It was horrible- I wrote so many obviously sucky poems, with no idea how to come up with anything better, and the worst (and now, most amusing) part was our final project. We had to write several poems and write five paragraph essays analyzing them. I have very amusing memories of going over to my best friend's house right before it was due and trying very hard to come up with something that you could concievably write five paragraphs about. What I ended up with was (something like) the following:

I hate homework,
It's not any fun,
I hate homework,
I can't get it done.

And then I proceeded to write five paragraphs (very short ones, mind you), throwing in as many devices from my list as I could possibly pretend were there in an attempt to not fail the unit. And I got a pretty crappy grade, but it was kind of impressive it wasn't any worse and believe me, it wasn't from lack of trying.

Ever since I've had a sort of automatic "UGH!" reaction any time anyone says the word "poetry". I didn't go near it again until my senior year of high school, when I finally had a good English teacher. I was still beyond me, however- I failed multiple essays because I completely missed the point of whatever we were supposed to analyze. So to me, poetry has always been something to avoid at all costs. Not something for me to be writing out of the blue- all the time.

It may have been about a month ago when it started trying to seep out of me. I was writing a note to my girlfriend and thought it would be funny to make up a poem from our notoriously emo black cat's point of view. So I wrote a ridiculous-on-purpose angsty cat poem. The next day I thought it would be funny for our other cat to write something, and ended up writing something from our big dog about our little dog, too. It seemed like a pretty funny joke. But I'd started creating a monster without realizing it yet.

My girlfriend, being the biggest English nerd on the planet, has a bunch of books about writing and how to get started with it. We started reading one and doing the activities as something amusing to do in the evenings to relax. So one night the activity was to write for ten minutes about anything and not be bound by any rules other than the time limit. You were just supposed to follow your stream of thought and see where it would go. My girlfriend ended up with a pretty long and complete short story that, once started in that ten minutes, consumed the rest of her spring break because it was so desperate to get on paper. I ended up with poetry. The first couple sucked a lot- even I could tell that. But then, once I got going, it got pretty cool. It shouldn't surprise anyone that it ended up mostly about narcolepsy and occasionally about horrible creepy things. Go figure.

And I haven't been able to stop since then. At least a couple come out every day, mostly about whatever is going on at the time- our animals, food, or things I have trouble with because I have narcolepsy. I'm still pretty weirded out by the whole poetry thing, but who knows... I might as well go with it.

Here are the ones I have so far that I actually like. Feel free to criticize- I have no idea what's actually good and what actually kind of sucks, though I'm finding I can usually tell when something really sucks. I'll spare y'all those. Oh, and they don't have titles, and they're all one stanza (apparently), so the spaces separate different ones- don't read it as one thing. And lastly, I officially apologize to anyone who hates poetry as much as I (usually) do, lol.

About narcolepsy:

I'm sleepy
Thoughts drifting
On an open-window-breeze
Flowing gently back and forth
A breath of a storm
Something dark lurks, waiting
As my consciousness drifts, helpless
Airy, feathered
The hidden monster
Deep teeth
Ready to spring and consume
To drown
In fear
In dreams
Tail lashing
Forked tongue lashing
Striking without warning
From floating comes sinking
Down into depths
Feeling like oceans
Cold clinging
No escape

Come flowing
Tripping, dripping
Dipping into my memory
For meaning
Under rocks
Behind bushes
Inside streams
Among fish
Fishing for words
Encased in ice
In little huts on a lonely lake
In winter
Not my season for words

In my head
Thoughts slip through
Unbidden, fall away
Become nothing
Are lost.
I cannot recall them.
They are gone.
But perhaps
There will be new thoughts
And that is enough.


Waiting, impatiently
Aroma wafting my way
I fidget, lick lips
Hungry for trying the latest
Sitting, bored, writing
To pass the time
Until it is cool
And tongue is not burned
Mysterious orange sauce

Sleeping cats
Rise and fall
Of fuzzy chest
Fluffy tail
Dark ear
Together a yin yang
A balance
Light and Dark
Male and Female
Entwined in peace
In their forms
You can see Love

Other stuff:

Shard of wood burning
Intense blue
So yellow it's white
Glowing within
Like those eyes

Thunder screaming
Shouting its words
Raining its tears
Choking the sky
The ground, the earth
Nourishing, hunting
Crashes against ears
Of all shapes and sizes

So there you have it. Weird poetry from me! And there will probably be more. Be afraid! Be very afraid...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Vampire Attack Technology Fair

I've been dreaming a lot lately, but it's been pretty fragmented. Most of the dreams I've had the past couple of weeks could be reduced to one or two lines. But last night was different- back to the usual intense, vivid experience.

I've been reading a fantasy novel about vampires sneaking up on people, so my first dream isn't really a surprise. It started out really fun, actually- I was one of the vampires and I had cool powers and I was running around feeding on people. I could see perfectly in the dark, suddenly appear or disappear and run really fast. I was also pretty high-ranking, so I had a couple other vampires under my command. I could manipulate them any way I wanted. That part was entertaining because I knew I was dreaming, so I knew I wasn't actually hurting anyone. Then I woke up from that dream. I was in the bedroom of my old house- the one I grew up in and where most of my nightmares take place. I sat up in my bed, thinking about the cool dream I just had. Suddenly I realized my leg hurt really, really bad and felt wet. It was literally throbbing with pain. I pulled off my pajama pants and looked. Right in the inside of my thigh was two round holes, bleeding profusely. The blood was intensely vivid red. It hurt so bad and I was terrified. I knew vampires didn't exist and I had only been dreaming, so I concluded that someone had seen me reading a novel about vampires and decided to sneak into my room and stab me while I was asleep (much more plausible, right?). So I started peering out my large windows, trying to make sure no one was out there, waiting for me to go to sleep again. I couldn't see anything, so I tried closing the blinds so they at least wouldn't be able to see me. Of course it wasn't working and I was having a hard time with my vision all of a sudden. I groped around trying to make sure I was still alone in the room, lashing out if I saw movement in case someone was about to grab me. Evidently I was the only one in the house, so I couldn't call for help. I got very scared until my neck froze up and struggling to move it woke me up into reality.

After being held for awhile and another dose of Xyrem, I did get back to sleep. This time I had a much more entertaining and fun dream. I was at some sort of technology fair where people were playing with trampolines that were video games. You would bounce and push different parts of the trampoline with your feet and hands and it would light up in different colors. Some trampolines had maps on them and you could bounce from place to place to score points. Many of my friends and relatives were there, from my dad to high school friends to people I barely knew in college. I spent most of the time playing with the games and being surprisingly not self conscious for being in so large a crowd. After that we went to a cafeteria for lunch and I realized I didn't have any food with me. Luckily I managed to locate quesadillas that happened to be gluten-free and a sandwich I could take the bread off of and just eat the inside. In real life contamination issues probably would have gotten me, but in the dream it turned out fine and I was proud of myself for being so social and adaptable. And I want one of those trampolines lol.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Grocery Store Fiasco

I had a very amusing dream last night. Not amusing in a ha-ha-funny kind of way; more like amusing in an oh-that-just-figures kind of way.

I had just arrived at one of the local grocery stores after being in a class apparently, and I was completely exhausted. I felt like I was going to fall over, so I was holding onto the cart for dear life. As I grabbed the few things I had come to get, my eyelids kept closing and then I would wake up suddenly, still clutching the cart, with no idea how much time had passed or what I had been doing. This was happening more and more and I was beginning to feel panicked, so I took my cart over to check out, figuring I'd better just get home. I put my purchases on the belt and was looking at them. I blinked and examined a box of tea more closely to find that it was clearly labeled "soy tea" (I'm sensitive to gluten and soy and can't eat them in any amount without feeling awful). I shrugged and figured my girlfriend would drink it, but then I noticed that it had "now with meat!!" written on the front (my girlfriend is a vegetarian). So I told the cashier that I didn't want the tea and she took it out for me. I looked back at the things I was buying and suddenly spotted some chicken kabobs that were clearly breaded. I took those out and examined everything else, but kept finding things neither of us could eat. Then after awhile it was time to pay, and the total was $10.45 (cheap haha). I pulled out my wallet but couldn't find my card- I was having a really hard time focusing and every time I dug in there things changed around and I found somewhere else to check, but it wasn't anywhere. So I got out my cash- I had two tens and two ones, and my mind was moving so slowly that I couldn't figure out what to give the cashier. By now I was explaining to her how tired I was and that I was sorry this was taking so long and generally feeling like a total moron. She was pretty nice about it, but I could see that she thought I was really strange. I gave her the two ones, but then realized that wasn't it, so I just handed her all of my cash and she gave me change. Then I ran out of there.

There was a time jump and I was at the vet's office instead of going home. I was still so exhausted I was having trouble walking straight and reading the signs telling me where to go. The place looked way more like a hospital than a vet's office- it was huge. Eventually I found where my girlfriend was with our dachshund. The vet was saying they needed to do an x-ray of his liver, but apparently this involved poking a scope around inside it to feel the lump that was next to it better. It literally made no sense and I was just really worried about my dog. I woke up before anything else happened and grossed out my girlfriend with the meat-and-soy tea thing, hahaha.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Soapy Arm Neon Barn Night Picnic

I've intentionally slept in for a couple of days in a row now. On Monday this worked really well and I felt great- way more refreshed than if I'd gotten up when I normally do. I think I needed the extra sleep after having a busy day on Sunday, plus recovering from being sick last week. So I figured I'd try it again today. Well, it didn't exactly go as I was hoping. I basically just ended up dreaming like crazy.

In one dream, I was in my grandparents' house using their bathtub (only it was the one that was there when I was little- they've since remodeled). I had hurt my arm- I couldn't move it and it hurt, so I'm assuming I had broken it- riding my bicycle the wrong direction down a busy street. As I recalled this, the dream took me there, and I dreamed about dodging cars and looking for someone I was supposed to be following, for some reason into oncoming traffic. Suddenly I jerked back into the bathtub, where I was sitting in extremely soapy water while fully clothed, trying to clean my broken arm for some reason. It was really slimy soap and I could feel it soaked through my jeans. I dipped my arm into it and slipped- I fell forward suddenly and got a face-full of soap. I shut my eyes but it went in my nose and mouth and I couldn't breathe for a minute. I sat up carefully and tried to rinse off my face, but I was using my really soapy hands so I just made it worse instead. Then I fell forward again. I don't remember anything else from that one. I could literally feel the sliminess and wetness of the soapy water, though.

Another dream had me visiting various cousins who I haven't seen in awhile. One of them was living in this gigantic house with a crazy barn in the yard. The barn was like a house by itself- completely finished on the inside and painted in totally crazy neon colors. The rooms/stalls were huge and my cousin was telling me that she was planning on raising massive numbers of cats in them. There wasn't any furniture and so everything we said echoed loudly. I don't remember much more about that dream except that I was telling another cousin about some memories that I had, only they were actually dreams I've had before- some of them years ago. In the dream I was convinced they had been real. In a way it was cool because there were several I hadn't thought about in years.

In my last dream I was driving around with my girlfriend through a dark wooded area on a little road at night. We were on a date and had brought a picnic and were looking for someplace to set it up. We kept passing other couples sitting in all of the good spots, some of them up in trees. Eventually we ended up at a house that was on the side of the road- it looked like it belonged in a suburb, not the middle of the woods, and it had a floodlight that lit it and the driveway with a stark yellowish light. She wanted to go up and knock to see if we could have our picnic on the owner's land, but I was worried and didn't want to. She knocked and no one was there, so instead we found a patch of moonlight down the road and ate our picnic in the car.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Itching to Clean

Well, the double cold ended up looking more like the flu- we were both feeling pretty awful for four days each. My girlfriend didn't go back to work until yesterday (she was still recovering even then) and I was still feeling really miserable. Today was my last day of feeling sick I think, or at least the first day I've really felt like I was starting to recover. Mostly today I was just wiped out. I thought I was exhausted before, but getting sick has given me a new perspective on things. I didn't venture down the stairs for several days, and when I did it this morning- to take Noodle outside to go to the bathroom- it completely flattened me. By the afternoon I felt better, and then the challenge was to avoid doing too much. With both of us out of commission since last weekend started, and with four pets up here in addition to us, things have gotten pretty filthy. My girlfriend recovered first, but she's had a lot to do with work, tutoring and pets; besides that she's really not the cleaning type. Now, my girlfriend and I are agreed on one thing- I'm a little bit crazy. I love cleaning. It's not that I'm obsessive about it being clean all the time or something, though if I'm honest with myself I may have inherited a little of that from my dad (who is a total neatfreak). It's more just something that gives me satisfaction, that I enjoy doing and that I think is fun. Yes, I think sweeping is really entertaining, lol. So today it was pretty difficult to keep myself in check. There's a nice layer of fur on the floor everywhere and the surfaces have food gunk or crumbs on them from having our food near us. Things- like books, DVDs, and empty kleenex boxes, have been migrating around the upstairs. I even found an uneaten clementine in a bag somewhere, forgotten because we didn't bring it when we went into the other room a couple days ago. So I let myself move a few things around and sweep a tiny bit in the worst room. I did a few dishes and cleaned a couple of counters and felt much better about life. I was careful, though, and tired quickly as expected. I think I'll end up doing a lot tomorrow- hopefully feeling even better than I did today- and I can start to get caught up. Did I mention the laundry? We've got about six loads at this point, since we were sick when we usually do it.

And here's a dream I've been meaning to record. I got up in the night to take more Xyrem and go use the bathroom. I was at the house I grew up in, which for some reason didn't tip me off- I was convinced it was real life. I get to the bathroom to find that, once again, the toilet is obviously not working. I sigh and decide I'd better use the other bathroom, so I head in that direction. I reach out and open the door. Bright light shines on me and suddenly I see that there's this teenage girl standing on the inside of the door, looking straight at me with this huge smile on her face. I jump about a foot in the air since I wasn't expecting anyone, especially somebody I'd never seen before, to be in there. She starts laughing and I try to laugh it off but I'm pretty creeped out by the whole thing. Her grin is so big that it's stretching her face unnaturally. I figured out it was a dream at that point, and instead of searching for a bathroom I started trying to figure out how to wake up. I just wandered around the house hoping to snap out of it, figuring I would feel different if I actually woke up. Which I did after awhile, very confused about which house I was in, but also quite relieved.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Double Cold

Last week my girlfriend had a series of epiphanies about herself and teaching and the difficulties she was having in the classroom, which resulted in her feeling much better about life by the time Friday came along. Friday was an inservice day, so she had to show up but didn't have to teach. Instead she spent the day in activities with other teachers, who kept offering her various kinds of sugary food. Neither of us eats much sugar these days- she cooks us super-healthy gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian dishes every night. So we're both completely unused to sugar and react to it pretty strongly. She only took enough to be polite, but by the time she got home she was feeling pretty awful. That night she started to get a sore throat. We aren't sure if it was connected to the sugar or the walk we took that evening, or if she just caught it from students and would have gotten sick anyway.

She was feeling pretty bad on Saturday while we were running errands, and by the time we got back I had started to feel a little bit under the weather myself. Usually one of us is sick at a time, but by Sunday morning we were a very sad and stuffy couple of people. We've been basically stumbling around ever since, taking care of whatever is needed either together or one at a time, but mostly lying around trying not to get too bored. She stayed home today and I'm glad. Besides wanting her to feel better, it's nice to have company, even when the company is almost as stuffy and gunky as you are. We both have fevers, though mine is worse at this point. We figure she's almost done while I started a little later so I still have awhile of feeling nasty ahead of me. The poor dogs haven't had a walk in days and the place is getting a little gross since the cleaning one- me- has been out of commission. We were surviving on leftovers but tonight she'll have to come up with something. I've decided one at a time is much easier to deal with, even though it's admittedly kind of nice to not suffer alone.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Old World Community Center

I had a pretty good night last night until about the middle of my third dose. Then it was crazy dream time.

I think it started off with me standing on the sidewalk next to a quiet city street. It was a pretty typical neighborhood with street lamps and small houses that looked like they were old but well-kept. I walked down the street and turned toward a small apartment building. Up a flight of stairs and down a hallway that was also a balcony I pulled out my key, unlocked a door and went in. My roommate was there- only she wasn't anything like any roommate I've had in real life. She was this artist woman in her 50s who was pretty sick but still smoking cigarettes anyway. She had the living room of our apartment as her art studio. There were paintings and paint and rags and brushes and sculpting stuff lying around everywhere. I was apparently quite a bit younger than I am in real life and she had taken me in. It was interesting because I wasn't really into art at all, it was just something this roommate did.

She had an exhibition of her work at this fancy building and we were there for the next part of the dream. I ran around exploring because the building was really cool. It looked like it had been decorated in England in the 1700s or something, and there was crazy detailed wallpaper, gilded details on the walls and ceiling, and all the wood was dark and old-looking. It had been a manor house at one point and was now converted into a community center of sorts. There were several auditoriums with things going on the same night as the exhibition, including a lecture on autism and a fancy opera. I tried to stand in the back of both to watch for awhile, but you needed a ticket and I didn't have any money, so I just ended up wandering hallways and admiring the decoration.

After awhile it was getting late and my roommate wasn't done with her art event, so I went to the bathrooms and found luxurious bathtubs and showers with lots of plush towels. I decided I might as well take a shower there, and I was mostly done and just drying off when I heard my dachshund barking outside the bathroom. Pretty sure he was getting into trouble, I grabbed a big towel, wrapped it around me and ran out of the bathroom. He was being all bossy at one of the visitors who had come in the door, so I went to grab him. He tried to run away and turned into a very old man, who fell over as I tried to catch his ankle. People were watching us now and I was explaining how it was actually my dog and this was his tactic for avoiding getting in trouble when I woke up. Talk about strange.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dog Wars

Life with four dogs in the house is definitely an adventure.

I know I've mentioned before that we have two dogs who live with us upstairs- a fluffy hotdog dog who moved in here with me (referred to in this post as Noodle) and a great big puppy who I've been referring to as Fang, who is generally big and goofy and was adopted by my girlfriend a couple of months ago. Noodle and Fang get along just fine, especially now that Noodle is over his fear issues and Fang is feeling more part of the family through our efforts of the past several weeks. If only there was only an upstairs to the house, but no, downstairs with my girlfriend's parents live no less than two more dogs: a massive but sweet-natured dog who weighs as much as I do (Hero) and a little, fuzzy teddy bear dog, his faithful Sidekick.

When Fang came to live in the house (before I did), my girlfriend and her mom tried (carefully) to introduce Fang to Hero. They met on leash a couple of times without too much drama, but then during the last attempt, ended up in a fight. No one was too physically damaged, fortunately. But ever since, Hero and Fang have not gotten along. No one wants another fight, so Hero and Sidekick have to be put in the back room anytime Fang needs to go outside (and therefore pass through the downstairs). It used to be just Hero who would be put away, until Sidekick tried to attack Fang seemingly unprovoked by anything other than the fact that he witnessed the earlier fight and wanted to support his Hero. So now both of them have to be lured into the back room with treats to be temporarily shut in. Any time Hero and Sidekick smell Fang being led through their downstairs territory, they let it be known what they think of the situation, as loudly as possible. As a matter of fact, Hero and Sidekick have been getting louder and louder in general since Fang came to live upstairs.

Another thing is that big dogs have a lot of energy, and gigantic puppies especially require a lot of walking. Fang came to my girlfriend (rescued from being tied out in a barn with only occasional food and water) completely untrained. She has a natural gift for getting animals to do what she wants, and has no trouble getting horses to listen to her, much less a naturally submissive dog. So he heels very well and is good on leash. The problem is that he's still a puppy, and he's big and strong and constantly wants to wrestle. Therefore, walking him is a physically demanding job. I haven't tried, but I'm pretty much positive it isn't something I should attempt. I learned my lesson during my very short-lived attempt to volunteer at my local shelter by walking the big dogs. I'm not very strong on a good day and run out of energy quickly. So this is why my girlfriend was the only one walking Fang since he got here a couple of months ago.

My girlfriend has carpal tunnel, which occasionally flares up at the least convenient times possible and renders her hands more or less useless. When she started her student teaching a few weeks ago, she was already having some problems which stress made ten times worse. It culminated in her staying home, completely drugged on pain medication, for two days last week. This was a bit difficult from the dog angle because poor Fang couldn't get any of his usual walks without my girlfriend's mom doing it for us. She doesn't have the same health problems I do, but hers also render her tired and weak a lot of the time, so it wasn't an arrangement that could last. We ended up pretty much convinced that we were going to have to find him a new home if walking him was too hard on my girlfriend's hands. We both got very sad about it because things were going so well with Noodle and Fang's relationship, plus Fang's relationship with me was getting stronger every day.

My girlfriend's mom got a good idea to try to come up with a way to walk the dogs without using hands. She got us a bungee cord, which didn't work, but we modified the idea. It took some fiddling, but we managed to rig a belt with two leashes so that my girlfriend can actually walk both Noodle and Fang at the same time without using her hands at all. She turns slightly to give corrections, and there is a dog on either side of her so that she can correct one without confusing the other. We were so relieved when we found a solution because both of us love Fang to death and didn't want to give him up.

So now the challenge we have is to try to smooth out the relationship between Fang and Hero, at least to the point of less barking and no more marking of territory (which Hero has done in the house since Fang moved in, more often at first but still occasionally now). Having watched a ton of Dog Whisperer episodes, I'm trying to get my girlfriend to walk Hero and Fang together because she's the natural leader of the household and I think that will help. She wants to work with Hero by himself first to remind him who's boss which is totally the first thing to do. I wish I could do it, being the one with time and functional hands, but I can't physically control a 60-pound dog on leash, much less one 60-pound dog and one that weighs just slightly less than I do, at the same time and when they may want to fight each other. So we're waiting until her hands recover a bit more. They are already a lot better this week- thanks to the belt contraption and me being her typist- so hopefully we can start working towards peace between the two packs of the house sometime soon.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Six-Armed Demon Movie

I had a freaky nightmare a couple nights ago, complete with hallucination. I had completely forgotten to turn the lamp next to my bed on. Well, I won't be forgetting that again any time soon, at least.

The dream was about me accidentally seeing an ad for a horror film and then freaking myself out over it. I was at my grandparents' house, and it was late at night. I was watching tv because someone else had turned it on and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I needed to be asleep and I was exhausted. I was also totally alone in the house and kept hearing the occasional creepy noise in another room, so I was already kind of freaked out before the ad came on. It was for this new movie that was about a demon. He looked like a little boy with pointy ears and teeth and he had six arms that ended in long sharp nails. He could scuttle across the walls and melt in and out of them. It seriously creeped me out to the point where I kept imagining him being right behind me, which happens in real life if I get too creeped out by something on tv or in a movie. Only in the dream it was more real- and half the time he was actually there for a second before suddenly disappearing. Then, in real life, my alarm went off and I opened my eyes, to see an image of the boy demon's face inches above mine. I jumped because it scared me and the image dissolved and blew away, exactly how it would if it had been made out of sand and the wind came. It was so bizarre it took me a minute to realize I had been hallucinating. I sat up and turned on lights and clung to my girlfriend for a minute and it was awhile before I dared to go back to sleep.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

General Imploding

Well, today was... one of those days.

It started out with an especially sticky dream. It was pointless drama with various friends from the past, and it was basically frustrating and lonely and very vivid. I remember I could tell it was a dream by the end, but it took me a long time to escape. I tried thinking about waking up. I tried to open my eyes. I tried waving my arms around. I tried changing the setting of the dream because that usually wakes me up right away, but instead the setting just changed. I started to panic a little and wonder if it wasn't really a dream because I was having so much trouble getting out of it. Finally I decided if I fell off of something, I would probably wake up the second I would have hit the ground in my dream. So I climbed a bookcase and deliberately fell off. The stab of fear as I was falling did in fact jar me enough. I sat up, suddenly in the real world again. I had a nasty headache and the inside of my head felt like it was still glued to the dream. My eyelids kept trying to close and I was still half asleep. I got up feeling like I was tired enough to go straight back to bed.

Thinking didn't work particularly well. I quickly realized I couldn't retain information. Now, I'm really lucky. This didn't get me in too much trouble. I don't have kids to try to keep up with or a job to completely mess up when I'm way out of it. I just have pets.

The timing was pretty unfortunate for a bad day though. My girlfriend started her student teaching yesterday, so it was only my second day holding down the fort and the animals haven't quite figured it all out yet. Especially the big dog, who I'm going to start referring to as Fang because his canines stick out over his lower lip when he's upside down and in play mode, making him look hilarious. He's one, and definitely still a puppy, even if he is a 60+ pound puppy. Now, you might imagine I wasn't the one to fall madly in love with his rather large, fanged face lol, given the fact that I can barely carry my 15 pound dachshund down the stairs. Dogs are very much into physical contact and I know from my own little dog that it works way better to enforce the rules by gentle pushing. Of course, with him it's a breeze. His legs are super short and he's so small that despite my lack of physical strength I can still put him in a sit or lay down position if he won't do it on command. With Fang it's different because it takes literally my whole body to pull him an inch and I seriously can't put him in a sit.

So knowing this, I was a little intimidated by him at first. After all, the only dog I've ever actually trained is maybe a foot off the ground. Because of my unsure state of mind we were mutually distrustful for awhile, though we've been working on it and our relationship has improved a lot.

Well, today my girlfriend forgot to feed him before she left in the morning, but it took me awhile to figure this out. This was a difficult situation because he's only recently started taking food from me (and we have to feed him by hand because he gets overprotective otherwise as a result of his hungry past). I eventually got a message from her and tried to feed him, but he wouldn't eat and was generally depressed. I got pretty upset, because I'm extra sensitive and weepy when I'm feeling especially crappy. When she called me to check up I must have sounded pretty bad because she came home for lunch, took care of the fang-face and even heated lunch up for me. And I spent the rest of the day in bed watching movies while she was at work.

Days like today are frustrating because I literally can't accomplish anything. I'm so completely brain-dead that daily life decisions become difficult. All I can do is hope I sleep better tonight and thank my lucky stars that my life situation is so incredible and allows for a day of just resting.

Monday, January 25, 2010

High Rise Dog Crash

Last night was full of vivid and crazy but mostly not disturbing dreams. The one I remember was pretty interesting. I was living in an apartment in a high rise on a narrow street in downtown somewhere. I was sitting at a desk in my mostly dark room, and it was night outside my street-facing windows- I was high up, so you could see a spectacular night skyline out there. I was working on things on my laptop. I was getting frustrated because I was trying to set up a business site for my artwork, but I kept running into strange problems, like buttons I was supposed to push randomly disappearing and forms I was supposed to fill out not making any sense whatsoever. I finally thought I had it working, and I was uploading art to it when I looked out the window and saw a small dog leap off of someone else's rooftop right across the street and right in through my windows, smashing a small part of them. The dog was surprised and very angry, and immediately lashed out at my leg. It was a little, springy, ferocious dog with a long nose. I immediately stood up and turned dog whisperer, haha. The dog sat down and stopped attacking me. Thinking fast I grabbed some treats out of the cabinet and we started practicing sit and stay and lie down, which the dog figured out really fast. I knew I just needed to stall until the owner came to pick him up, as I assumed they would do soon since they saw which window the dog jumped into. We had fun doing that, and then we worked on manners a little bit. Suddenly I spotted this huge, red worm on my table- it looked and felt like it was made of jello, but it was definitely alive. I grabbed it with one hand and threw it out into my backyard that I suddenly had, and my hand got all slimy in the process. I offered my slimy hand to the dog, figuring it would gain me points. The dog was a little too eager and bit my hand, but I didn't have time to survey the damage because the owner- and haughty young woman, who didn't even apologize- came in and picked him up. She looked surprised at how calmly he was lying on the floor when she came in. She took him away, and just then two of my friends came in. It was weird because they were both totally made up and didn't look or act quite like any of my actual friends. I told them what had happened and then looked down at my hand to find that my left thumb was chopped off, very cleanly, at the first joint. There was no blood and it looked like something out of a cartoon- a wobbly circle in the center that was white like it was the bone, inside a pink circle inside a thin circle where the skin was. At that point I totally realized it was a dream, and talked to my friends about it and how dreams can be really weird, and then I totally regrew it on the spot. Then we were suddenly at one of the friends' houses at a classy party and I was trying to explain narcolepsy to people because they kept asking me what I'm doing for my career and I didn't feel like making something up. And then I woke up.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

No More Nuvigil

I had planned to keep taking a half pill of Nuvigil every morning until I was running out of samples, and then report to my doctor. Well, that's been my plan three times now, and I keep running into stomach problems and stopping it after a few days. Last time it was nausea that got me. To be fair, it might have gone away after awhile. I know the headaches and the drugged wonkiness would have, so it wasn't those that I was worried about. It was just that after three days I had absolutey no appetite and literally couldn't stomach eating anything.

This time I wasn't nauseated, but the lack of appetite was still there. It came on faster than last time, and I've had stomach cramps, especially at night. Besides that, yesterday was pretty crazy- I was either so awake I was restless and antsy or so sleepy I couldn't keep my eyes open, and the two states would transition pretty suddenly. I'm guessing that would probably have settled out over time though. The past two nights have been similarly nuts- I'd find myself suddenly awake in some random part of the night, then get pulled straight into vivid dreams again, maybe sleep soundly for awhile and then be wide awake for a minute or two again. Which also may have settled out eventually. But it's the lack of appetite that convinced me that Nuvigil isn't a good idea for my stomach. I spent over a year with no appetite on a higher dose of Xyrem and I refuse to deal with that long term again. I have no urge to be back under a hundred pounds because I hate all food and have to force myself to eat. Not healthy.

I'm not sure what my doctor is going to say about this. He keeps suggesting meds to help keep me awake, which of course I need, but every time something gives me a side effect and I stop taking it he gets a little frustrated. He wants me to try things for long enough to make sure the side effect won't go away, or that it won't be worth dealing with to have the benefits of the medication. Which is perfectly reasonable. But I'm kind of through putting the experiment ahead of my present well-being, if that makes sense. In other words, I suppose I would rather feel okay now than go through a lot of feeling crappy in order to feel slightly better- or maybe just the same or worse- later. Who knows, maybe it's just a phase. Or maybe it's my own way of growing up.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dreams and Drugs

Yeah, I've been officially neglecting my blog again, which is fine because I'm actually pretty busy and very happy at the moment. Plus I have plenty of new things to talk about when I do find the time.

My Narcolepsy has pretty much been the same as when I left my parents' house to come live with my girlfriend. Having someone next to me while I'm sleeping has been extremely comforting for me, but besides that I'm still dreaming a lot- like, constantly and very vividly. I had an interesting and kind of fun one last week in which I was this velociraptor who was staying in a motel, lol. It was a perfectly ordinary motel room, and apparently I was this really nice and gentlemanly male velociraptor who had been hired as a kind of guard by the guy who ran the motel. I was wandering around, waiting because I knew of a couple of younger and much less polite velociraptors who were going to come try to eat people who were staying there. I was warning people and encouraging them to stay inside until I had chased off the intruders. I was a little nervous, but did my best to reassure people. They were pretty nice to me and I managed to win them over with my good manners, hahaha. So eventually the other velociraptors showed up, and I totally scared them off really easily and then wondered why I had been so nervous.

Then, yesterday maybe, I woke up from this really weird dream in which I had been watching a series of bad tv movies, lol. Of course I was halfway watching them and complaining about how bad the script was and halfway actually in them, wandering around or being the main character. The last movie is the one I really remember- it started with a teenager with a backpack, wandering towards a city following this ditch along a highway. And then it cut to this really bizarre place where I was wandering. It was a tunnel that was partially underwater, and the walls were made of totem poles that were carved and painted as faces with red, white and black paint. The faces were moving and contorting on their own, and I knew that they were all actually my own people just pretending to be totem poles and that I could turn into one and blend in if I wanted to. Then I saw the teenage boy with the backpack coming towards me, where there was a bench. He was flailing and waving his arms and muttering and it kind of scared me, so I leaned into a blank spot in the wall and turned into a totem pole so he wouldn't see me. He sat down on the bench, still muttering and looking crazy, until a couple of people who I knew were from an enemy tribe came and persuaded him to leave with them. I got worried because I figured that wouldn't be a good thing, so as soon as they left I jumped out of the wall and ran to find help. And then I woke up.

Besides dreaming a lot, I've been pretty sleepy. As usual. So I decided I'd better try Nuvigil again now that I'm basically settled in here for awhile. I took half a pill this morning, and I have been more awake. I've also been a little wonky and my stomach isn't thrilled, but it hasn't completely revolted yet. And I have a minor headache again, which is pretty much the same as a couple weeks ago when I tried it. I think I have enough to take the half pill for more than a week, and then I'll know more and can call my doctor and report. We'll see how it goes this time. In the mean time I'm going to continue to enjoy life.