Aaaaand We’re Back!

Man, I gotta tell ya, of all the ways I figured I could ring in my 31st year on earth, I had never expected the absolute shit show that has encased the entirety of my September.

So, the last month got particularly ugly. (If my admittedly bitchy last entry is any indication.) On top of the loss of my father at the beginning of September and all of the inherent stress that came from that just got compounded by the sickness that hit me harder than a drunk driver in a Buick. As resistant as I am to going to a doctor after seven years lacking insurance, after about four days of spinning and being unable to leave home, I finally gave in and went to one of the walk-in clinics at Walgreens. After that, I came home with a couple hundred bucks lighter with a gaggle of pills. Took those for a couple days to no real effect and broke down and made an appointment to an ENT doctor. After getting my hearing tested and being told what I already knew (I’m dizzy and pretty deaf) they prescribed me with some steroids to go on top of the rest of the pills I had. I started taking those for a couple more days, still no effect, so I went for a follow up with the ENT, who told me that they didn’t know what was wrong with me, but they had three options left for what to do to me.

1) An fMRI to check and see if I might have a brain tumor. (Which they admitted wasn’t very likely and would have cost me at least a grand without insurance)

2) They could inject steroids directly into my ear drum, which only had a 1/3rd chance of doing anything productive with my hearing loss or the vertigo.

3) Go with my original plan to stay home and wait it out like I had already planned before I dropped a thousand dollars on tests and meds that did sweet fuck all to help the problem.

My lividness with the situation aside, I stopped the medications all together, almost as an act of defiance and, under the advice of a friend, went out and got my “New Age” on, getting my first experience with acupuncture. The way I figured it, it’s a new experience, it might help my ear, and really, what’s another $80 on top of the pile of cash I already flushed down the crapper, anyway? So, I made an appointment and got my prick on. The whole experience was interesting, getting needles stuck in different areas in my back, arms, legs, hands, feet, and some centralized attention around my dead ear. I walked out of their office feeling no better from the vertigo, but my mood was amazing. All the tensions that had built up in me just went away for no discernible reason other than the fact that the turning my body into a pin cushion had unlocked something really pleasant within my mind and body. I walked around that day, still dizzy and a quarter deaf, but walking on air for several hours.

This feeling went on until a couple of hours after I got home, when I found myself thrown into the most disgusting, ugly, bile and excrement filled rage I’d felt in the last two years… And I couldn’t tell you why or what was making me feel this way to save my life. I went from the soundtrack to Singin’ In The Rain to Black Flag’s Damaged like a snap of your fingers. I paced around the apartment wanting to put my fist through the wall for ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING REASON! It was bizarre and the fact that I couldn’t figure out why I was so pissed off just served to make me angrier. I went and jumped in the shower and started doing some deep breathing, racing through my own head, trying to figure out if I was going crazy or if maybe, just maybe I did have some kind of brain tumor pressing down somewhere on my brain’s limbic system. The hypocondria began to spiral out of control when the answer finally hit me out of nowhere.

In my trademarked bullheadedness, I decided to go cold turkey off the Prednazone prescription (of which I’d been taking six pills a day of for a solid week) and it dawned on me exactly what was going on in my frezied brain.

I was having ‘roid rage!

‘Roid rage is a real fucking thing and I was experiencing it.

I’d been on steroids before as a kid when I was recovering from my second surgery. I don’t recall the dosage, and I don’t recall any incidents of irrational anger for no reason, but then, I was 7 years old and on a myriad of drugs. There’s not much from that time period that I remember. The only reason I had no desire to use them now was because they caused the small, but still massively annoying gynecomastia (AKA: “man boobs”) that I’ve had ever since and won’t go away, no matter how many push-ups or butterfly curls I do. So it was with great hesitation that I went downstairs and took a smaller dosage of the pills. I managed to ween myself off of them within the span of another four days.

It’s been about a month since labrynthitis has knocked me flat on my ass and pretty much made me useless for a couple of weeks. Luckily, the extreme dizziness and puking into a bowl until I had nothing left in my body to throw up ended within the first 12 or so hours of it happening. The unfortunate part is, the vertigo has persisted for the entirety of the last four weeks and still hasn’t completely cleared up. Worst yet, the loss of half the hearing in my left ear still hasn’t improved and it’s pretty likely that the loss will be permanent. The thing that gets my hopes up about the possibility of regaining most if not all of my hearing is the faint, tinnitus-like bit of high-pitched white noise that I hear in the ear whenever I’m sitting somewhere quiet. It’s pretty much exactly like that running gag from Archer.

Fortunately, I’m not completely deaf in that ear, I’d say I’m at about 30 to 40% of what I’m used to on my left and I’m trying to strengthen the possibility of the hearing coming back by listening to music and especially lots of audiobooks with only the left headphone going. Then there’s the unintended plus sides of the hearing loss, like having an easier time ignoring bad music blaring out of some asshole’s car when I ride around with the windows open. Also, I can (and have) used it at times as a more reasonable excuse to ignore people or requests for things I’m in no hurry to do. Furthermore, now that I’m off the drugs and not sleeping away 80% of my days, my brain is firing back up and I’m back to writing. Wrapping up production on The Zipper Club in the next couple weeks after all these setbacks, writing more entries for The Long Odds here, and preparing an outline for my first year of participating in NaNoWriMo. I’ll be writing a little more about that in the next week or so and give everyone the all the information they’ll need to follow my progress across the month of November.

Every cloud has a silver lining!

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Sit And Spin

So, on a lark, since I’ve got literally nothing better to do than lay here on my back and never, ever move my head, lest I go into a vomitous heaving frenzy into the polished chrome bowl beside me, I will sit upright and tap out a rant on my smartphone. (Oh, the future…) Seriously though, I have no idea how bulimic people can do it so often.

It started this morning when I woke and sat up to a spinning room that sent a creeping feeling into my guts. Initially chalking it up to sitting up too fast, I got up with intentions of taking care of your standard morning bathroom duties  (Right?!) and instead ended up puking up the remains of the previous night’s meal. After voiding the contents of my stomach, I sat up, expecting the relief that usually comes with a good barf sesh, before the room started spinning off its axis again and sent me back into another fit of heaves. I ended up laying on the cool floor of the bathroom for a good 20 minutes, fully intended on staying there until I sweated this whole thing out, but eventually, laying on a hard tile floor start to take a toll on the neck, back, and ass and I made my way back to the bed with the bowl and a big bottle of water in tow to sleep it off.

I woke up again around 4 PM feeling refreshed and rather level-headed. I also hadn’t been to the bathroom since last night, so I decided to risk a venture across the 10 feet of room space from my bed to the toilet. The second I got up was the second things got all “fun house mirror” again. I luckily had the foresight to bring my phone and my trusty metal purging bowl, which I used 3 times along my journey. After puking a few more times, I finally managed to pass out, being mindful to lay myself on my side, lest I go out like the late Jimi Hendricks. I’ve woke up several times in between, and after getting far more sleep than I need, I’ve found a position where I can comfortably prop myself up to type out this rant.

I really hate politics. It’s just absolutely fucking disgusting to feel the need to sit and wait it out in bed next to this reeking bowl, wanting desperately to go down stairs and eat all three of the daily meals I’ve missed at once, since being an American citizen with a pre-existing medical condition can deem me “uninsurable”. I’ve spent seven years of my life praying that nothing too bad would go wrong with my health in the time before I could get a career up and running. Working as a freelance writer, fun as it is, does not come with health and dental.

Seven years. Now with the passage and now constant contention surrounding healthcare reform and the Affordable Care Act, I feel more on edge about this crap than usual. Laying here as I spin inside my own head makes it even worse. A man shouldn’t have to wait until the worst case scenario before he goes to a doctor. He shouldn’t have to feel overwhelmingly compelled not to seek treatment due to the possibility of financial strife, even when feeling his worst. The fact that this is common place is horrendous. The fact that so many people who don’t have to worry about these problems have the authority to try and contest giving it to those who need it is deplorable.Of course, I have a whole long argument that I’d like to throw in here, but instead, I think I’m going to go pass out again.

The moral of the story: Don’t get sick.

Like, EVER!