How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Apparently, This Summer Wasn’t My First Back Pain Rodeo…Or Why I’m a Velociraptor

Guys, you’re not going to believe this (well…yes you will…), but I hurt my back again. And this time, it was much less exciting than showing off doing fancy yoga.

Yesterday morning, I was reaching down to pull on my underwear. An activity I participate in daily. When BAM! I felt the tightness pull, and I knew my back was done for. I’m trying to champ through it, but fuck, it hurts.

image

This is my whiny face because it feels more comfortable to stand on the train than sit.


I was looking back at old blog posts on one of my other blogs, and I found a little gem that reminded me of a recent-ish back issue from a couple years back.

OK, so one morning a couple of years ago, I woke up with this excruciating back pain. It got progressively worse as the day went on. By that night, I was walking like a velociraptor.  I ended up lying on couches the whole day. I don’t think it helped the situation.

Apparently it feels more comfortable to sit in a V-like position with this horrible back pain…so when I get up I walked a bit like a velociraptor.

When we got home late one night, back when we lived in the apartment, I went straight to bed. But I could hear Brian crunching. And crunching. The TV was low, so I couldn’t hear that. but I heard crunching. And I knew that he was eating the queso. Obviously, I couldn’t let him eat all of the chips and queso…and my tummy kept growling at me, saying, “Hey dummy, he’s going to eat all of that queso…and you’re going to be lying here all in pain thinking I wish I had some queso…and it will be gone.” So I crawled out of bed, threw on a robe, and stalked out to the living room to join my boyfriend in a late night chips and queso snack. (Tostitos Lime and Medium Salsa con Queso make me happy. I wish I had some now. I would be way happier.)

The next morning, I had hoped the pain would be better…but alas, I was stuck in bed with no more queso.

While lying in bed that morning, I started thinking about all of my previous back injuries…

The time I thought that pillow sliding down the stairs head first on my back was a great idea.

The time I fell down the stairs at Second Thanksgiving and gave myself a hematoma on my ass…oh wait, that wasn’t a back injury…It was just really funny.

The time I toppled down the stairs and my head landed a half an inch from the wall, at midnight, and my mom thought I was drunk, but really, my socks just slipped on the carpet…and I could have broken my neck if I had fallen a half an inch farther. And then I got these giant kinks in my lower back that never really went away…

The time that I was cheering in high school and I was back spotting…and the girl in the air fell on me, and I fell back first on the gym floor…and my back hurt for months afterward.

Fuck. I fall down a lot. Maybe that’s why I hurt myself bending over to pull on underwear, now.

Have you ever hurt your back? What’s the craziest injury you’ve ever experienced? What would you give for a chips and queso snack right now?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Things You Shouldn’t Do When the Side Effects of Your Meds Include Anxiety

I pinched a nerve in my back. Which, if you’ve never done so, is one of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of dealing with. I believe that’s what I did about a month ago, when I thought it was just from yoga-ing without stretching…but now I think it was just something waiting to happen. And the yoga-ing was the straw that broke the camel’s my back. It wasn’t nearly as debilitating the first time, and it went away relatively quickly.

This time, it came back with a vengeance. A vengeance that was not willing to part with me quite so quickly. And it all happened days before I was supposed to board a plane to New York for one of the biggest parties of the year. Brian almost didn’t even let me go!

So I went to the doctor. Who prescribed muscle relaxers(corti-something something) and steroids (prednizone) after taking 37 seconds to press my back in 3 places (which will cost me something in the 3-digits)…thus diagnosing me with a pinched nerve in my lower back (sciatic nerve methinks, but non-radiating). She has since refilled the steroids (with a different, apparently more potent version) and told me to get my butt to physical therapy, a place I’m all too familiar with. And now that I’m  off the drugs, I’m stuck with a twice-daily PT routine that feels as tough as my most intense yoga class. Or personal training.

But when I was on the drugs, I got some serious fucking anxiety. Now I have a tendency toward anxiety and depression,  and whatever good Prednizone did to my back, it was wicked and evil to my brain. It was the worst anxiety attack I’ve had in years. And I’ve had a few.

So I did what any normal girl would do when hopped up on pain killers with a side of anxiety. I did everything wrong.

Things you shouldn’t do during an anxiety attack

When the meds for the pinched nerve in my back made me absolutely insane, I decided to do these really stupid things that only magnified my anxiety to the nth degree. Learn from my lessons people.

Have your palms read

In my infinite wisdom, while out with some girlfriends at a ladies day out event, I thought it would be brilliant to have my palms read. Sure I didn’t really believe in any of that mumbo jumbo but figured I’d give some quack 20 bucks, and she’d tell me some of the badass things in my future. Of course, I didn’t realize that her visions would be vague and could lean toward the negative or positive depending on where my head was. And fucking being the lunatic on drugs that I was,  I definitely leaned toward the nego. And my anxiety was through the roof the rest of the day. And just to drive the nail a little deeper, I fucking believed that bitch. The minute she told me I was on a lucky streak, I took everything she said and mentally filed it away.

Consume alcohol

With all that anxiety, you may find yourself in search of chocolate. When the only chocolate in the house requires baking (fuck that) or is the last piece of Easter candy (a hollow cookies and cream bunny) that you planned to snap photos of for a potential blog post next Easter (that you’re probably not going to write anyway), you know what you have to do. You open a bottle of Bailey’s and pour a largely portioned shot (twice) and take pictures. Since your tolerance is pretty much shite, you’re drunk…and you anxiety is now magnified even more. You’re probably going to start crying pretty soon, aren’t you? Oh, you’re too smart for that shit? Me too, guys. Me too.

Upgrade your website host

When your anxiety is already raging, there’s no time like the present to fix what ain’t broken. Well, my site was kind of broken. But not really It was running super slow, and the people at DreamHost told me if I  spent more money, my site would run faster. And everyone wants that, right? So I jumped on my computer after a few shots and went to town. I also panicked the fuck out and spent 30 minutes chatting with customer support who told me I should avoid making any changes for a couple days while it transferred over. They also said some other stuff which I promptly forwarded to Brian.

Contact your boyfriend who’s out with his friends

So now I’m freaking out about my stupid soothsaying palms, drunk, with a broken website…and alone. Brian was out with a friend,  catching a flick. After movies, they tend to stand outside and talk…sometimes for hours even when it’s balls cold outside. I couldn’t handle that much more of my anxiety alone. I needed to drag someone else into my crazy bullshit. Since Brian voluntarily lives with me knowing I come with my own brand of crazy… I played the part of psycho girlfriend.

First, I checked the runtime of said movie. Then, realizing he was still in the movie, sent a text…something along the lines of “hey. I’m crazy right now. My anxiety is killing me slowly. Please come home as soon as possible so I don’t accidentally die over-analyzation.” I made that last part up. I don’t think I actually thought I was going to die. But my brain was not pleased with where I was at.

When he didn’t respond shortly after the movie was out, I sent a Gchat message. Because crazy requires company…and gchat lets you see if someone has seen your message.  And I could be a little less anxious knowing he hadn’t actually seen my message. See? Batshit crazy. But I was just like…”hey no big deal, but just…let me know you saw my message. Kthxbye.”

When in doubt, visit Facebook

As if my anxiety wasn’t already rockin’, I took to Facebook where everyone’s joys were flying all over the place. Why is it that when you’re super anxious, Facebook is all look how happy everyone is? And when you’re flying high on life, it’s all, “OMG look at all this SAD.” Why? Because Facebook is a dick. Luckily, I have some pretty bad ass friends who I shared my anxiety with. They told me I probably shouldn’t have done anything I did, but hey while you’re here, let’s talk about squirrel-foxes, macaroons and nannies. Best. People. Ever.

Thankfully,  the drugs are out of my system and I’ve returned to normal levels of crazy. Well…normal for me, anyway.

When have you had to deal with crazy side effects?  Any experiences with psychics or palm readers?  Do you get anxiety? What have you done while anxious that just increased your anxiety tenfold?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

“She Can’t be an Adult,” “She’s Disgusting,” and Other Words I Can’t Forget

“I have never met this person, and I already hate her on a deeply personal level.”

“We dont want to see how much her ugly face doesnt care in yet another blog post. Youll give me nightmares”

” She is an awful person.”

“the financial and aesthetic disadvantages she faces that don’t impede others.”

“Uggg she’s disgusting.”

“she is just a run of the mill average jane nobody dumbfuck”

“She is the very definition of delusional.”

“Is she an adult? She can’t be.”

“I don’t know that woman, but reading one single page of her blog makes me hate her.”

“holy fuck she looks like a mess”

It’s almost been a year since my 5 minutes of “infamy” on Reddit. Someone decided that my blog wasn’t worthy of a copyright notice, and decided to plaster my blog on Reddit Delusional Artists. And a few other places (those just didn’t get the traction he was looking for). I responded the best way I knew how, with a big fat fuck you. And they came back in droves to find new ways to hurt me. Regardless of what those people thought was fun and games, what they were doing was bullying.

CYBER BULLYING ON REDDIT

And yes, I tried to make light of it. Because that’s what I do. I had fun responding. But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t cry for the better part of a week. That doesn’t mean their words aren’t still haunting me. That doesn’t mean Brian didn’t want to hunt them down and destroy them for making me cry. I was bullied when I was a little girl. It sucks. I escaped relatively unscathed, albeit completely socially awkward (probably one of the reasons I didn’t want to talk about my period, MOM). And as an adult, they say we’re supposed to be able to push through it, but that’s a dirty rotten lie people who’ve never been bullied tell you.

Because bullying hurts.

It stings. It burns to the core of your inner confidence, taking away everything you think and feel and replacing it with vitriol. Throwing gas into that inner flame of self-doubt.

And that sucks.

I’m lucky to have the real life and digital support that I do, as I was able to get through the bullying relatively unscathed. But that isn’t always the case.

Cyber bullies can destroy people. And they do it behind screen names and anonymous posts. Words hurt, people. Bruises heal. Words haunt you forever. I know those insults above are long forgotten by the people that wrote them, but they’re ingrained in my memory forever.

9 months after my Reddit bubble, I’m still getting the occasional hit ftom the Delusional Artists thread. A thread that exists to bully people (despite its context to only comment on people who are “delusional artists”). Each time I see a referral from Reddit, I’m reminded of the things they said. Just in case, for even a moment, I has forgotten.

One of the bright spots of the whole mess was reading responses from the few people who stood up for me. Maybe not the ones who laced it with an insult, but the ones who genuinely said, “hey, this is wrong.”

Nice people on reddit 2

Nice people on Reddit

So the next time you see someone talking shit online about someone else? Leave a comment or send them a message offering your support. You’d be surprised how much you can help.

Have you ever been cyber bullied? Bullied in real life? Have you ever been a bully? Or stopped one?

1000Voices

I’m writing today for #1000Speak with the mission to build from bullying. This is my story. What’s yours?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ow!

It’s really no big secret that I injure myself…A lot. Like that time I walked head first into a pole…or tripped over an invisible wire…or sprained my knee while skiing, walking, getting ice…And many other heartwarming tales of pain and unintentional self-abuse.

Accident prone and injuries - yelling ow!

What “Ow!” sounds like to Brian, according to me:

Mostly, “Ow!” sounds a lot like a trivia game, with a series of questions and multiple choice answers and really, none of them are probably correct, because all of them are correct in a sort of, but not really way…and regardless, the “ow!” ends in pain for someone (usually me) which doesn’t really make anyone feel good about life…or the clumsy existence that belongs solely to me.

OW!

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled life programming because your girlfriend has injured herself again. Do you

  1. Ignore it?
  2. Wait for uncontrollable sobbing?
  3. Pause, and wait for a slew of “Shit, damn motherfucking, hate whatever just injured me this time” cursing
  4. Race immediately to the aid of your damsel in distress for the umpteenth time because she did one or all of the following in a matter of 12 hours?
    1. Burned her hand because she touched the hot crock pot
    2. Knocked her head while trying to store stuff under the stairs in the basement
    3. Dropped a santoku knife on her toe while cutting cheese
    4. Discovers yet another mystery bruise or cut or both

You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming. Though someone may have lost a little blood. I recommend chocolate.

Obviously, Brian is a gentleman. And just like a parent can tell the difference between a baby’s cries, Brian can tell the difference between most of my shouts of terror and/or pain. Usually.

And yes, all of those little…accidents…happened between Friday night and Saturday afternoon. And yes, I did slice the ever living baby cheeses out of my toe with the brand new fancy pants Pampered Chef santoku knife. And yes, Brian did come bandage me up.

He also came running when I was trying to hide the 4 laundry baskets full of dirty laundry (we FINALLY have a washer and dryer, so laundry is now done) under the stairs so people couldn’t see them.

I’m not sure he knew I burned my hand on the crock pot, and quite frankly, that’s okay in my book. He already thinks I hurt myself too much and too often…

I also found a mystery bruise on my inner forearm – no IDEA how THAT happened. It was like a few weeks ago when I found a foot-long cut on my leg and couldn’t figure out for the life of me where it came from. And seriously. Who has a FOOT-LONG cut that they don’t remember getting? Me. That’s who. And actually, on Sunday, I also discovered a mystery slice on my thumb that may have also come from that very dangerous santoku knife.

Blog Friends, do you have a tendency to injure yourself on the regular? What’s the most recent random injury that you’ve encountered? Do you ever get mystery scars or bruises?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Painful Beauty/Grooming Activities You’ll Probably Regret for Weeks. Okay Fine. Painful Grooming Activities I Regret.

Okay. Maybe I’m alone in this. Maybe I’m like…the worst girl ever. I mean, I don’t typically wear makeup. I think yoga pants are pants. As long as my hair isn’t going to freeze solid, I avoid blow drying my hair and live with it in the messy updo (not because it’s cute, but because I’m lazy).

So when I do these things, I am trying to be a girl, and screw up royally. Regularly. Basically, if it’s on the following list, I’ve done it more than once. Probably more than 10 times. And recently.

Over-clipping my nails

I’m going to spare you the image of my Flinstoes (Fred Flinstone toes) and just explain that sometimes, I feel the need to clip the shit out of my toenails. And somehow they end up WAY more clipped than should be humanly possible. Mostly, to the point of pain. And possibly over-clipped cuticles. And requiring my Mickey Mouse Band-Aids. Thankfully, the last time I did this was a little over a week ago, so by next week, I’ll be okay to go get a pre-Florida pedicure.

Shaving just a bit too quickly

You know how it is in winter…when I haven’t shaved in a while…And I certainly haven’t paid attention to those unseen areas…the upper thighs…the random long hairs on my toes…and finally there’s that one day I decide, Dammit. I’ve had enough. And I just want to get it all done. And I’m rapidly moving the blade all over my legs, arms (yes, I shave my arms), hands and feet, because God-forbid we aren’t damn near hairless to impress society…And then I nick the ever-living shit out of my toe, or the back of my thigh, or wrist, or that area right by my Achilles. And it’s not super painful at first, but I’m bleeding like a stuck pig and require Band-Aids. Again.

Cut arm and finger

Cutting my own bangs

Thankfully, this one is a thing of the past for me, but with the popularity of bangs in general these days, I thought it was relevant. Plus, I KNOW you’re dying to go back in time and read my somewhat sad, yet slightly funny childhood bang-cutting experience. It’s okay to laugh. But kids are mean. Anyways, cutting my bangs was something I did from a young age…basically since my mom nicked my forehead with the super sharp bang scissors…And almost every time, I would cut them just a smidge too short. And have to deal with it until they grew out. Can I just say how glad I am to not have bangs?

A Bad Dye Job

You guys, the first time I went red, I seriously had to re-do it (And by re-do it, I mean have my sister come over to my best friend’s apartment, where I was apartment-sitting, and re-dye my hair for me.) It was that bad. Chunks of brown hair had clearly been missed, and the red was not looking too adorable. Eventually, we got it right, but it definitely wasn’t as easy as going blonde…These days I don’t trust myself enough to try…I have a tendency to destroy bathrooms when I dye my hair

Blog Friends, do you do any of these? Do you do something else that I didn’t mention? Tell me so I don’t feel all alone over here!

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

If I’m Not Running Into Poles, I Trip Over Invisible Wires

The thing about working in the city and doing the whole commuter thing, is that when we want to go out after work, we become slaves to the train schedule. On the 40s of every hour, a train leaves the station. Miss it, and you’re stuck twiddling your thumbs for 59 minutes.

One night, shortly after walking headfirst into a no-parking sign, Brian and I stayed late to have dinner with his brother. In our mad dash to the train, I decided I would take a shortcut.

There’s a small patio in front of Union Station, that is often cut-throughable. I was running about 5 feet in front of Brian, and saw a gap between tables that were trying to block the way. I turned and aimed for the gap, preparing to zig zag through the Corner Bakery tables. Except…

There was also a GIANT cable locked around these tables. Huge. And most important, INVISIBLE.
And so obviously…I jumped right over it…well, I did in my mind, anyways.

There’s a very unique feeling when it comes to falling down for me. It’s almost always unexpected. And shocking. But it never hurts as bad as it looks. Except when it does. This was one of those scathing falls that knocks you on your ass seven ways from Sunday. And we still needed to get to the train. So I got up and ran some more, jumping over the next cable on my way out of the “shortcut.” We made the train with seconds to spare, and I was able to assess the damage and feel the pain.

Aside from the burn on my ankle where the cable caught me, the invisible bruise on my palm from the landing, the scrape on the inside of my right knee from…well…something, the gash on my left knee, and the throbbing pain in the same knee, it wasn’t so bad. I just kept telling myself it could be worse. Right?

Someone please tell me an injury story so I don’t feel quite so ridiculous.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Wordless Wednesday: Not That You’ll Be Surprised…

injury prone accident prone wrist accident prone wrist

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!