Posts Tagged 'Health'

When Reality Hits….

A lamppost on Railroad Square.

For the last four years, at least, I have been corresponding with a beautiful, talented, hilarious young lady from England.  For me, this is a big deal, because I can’t even keep in contact with someone who lives the next street over, let alone someone who lives on a different continent.  But for some reason, I have managed to stay in contact with this girl, exchanging emails, Facebook messages, whatever, almost every day for over four years.  For privacy reasons, I’m going to give her the name “Belle”.

I meet Belle through my ex-boyfriend on AllPoetry.com.  No, my ex was a real person, but he was friends with her on this website, so I was too.  I loved Belle immediately, but then, I am always one to trust sooner than I ought.  Her poetry was always full of passion, which is how poetry should be.  She was a quirky, interesting individual with a bad home life (her mother is unstable, and her parents kept getting divorced and remarried, one moving back and forth from South Africa to England) who was afraid of geese and loved to run.

I can’t, for the life of me, figure out where the downhill run started.  Only about a year ago, everything was still wonderful and normal.  She had a friend die… maybe it was there that the problems began.  She met her fiance shortly after that incident, and everything seemed okay, still.  But then the next thing I know, she is complaining about how she can’t even finish a yogurt because it makes her feel fat, and the doctors are putting her on special diets, and her mum is force-feeding her.  Then she goes to University, and suddenly she pretends to be taking a lot of showers, just so the sound masks her purging.

A few weeks ago, she was eating better.  I thought maybe, after working for so many months, she had conquered bulimia.  She was running again, and was living in a new flat, and seemed to be generally enjoying life.

About a week ago, I get a simple three-sentence email.  It basically said that she hadn’t had time to write because she was in the hospital, but she would soon.  Cryptic much?  I waited and worried.

This morning, I got another email.  Belle thoroughly believed (and still believes) that her skin isn’t her own, and was trying to scratch it off.  But it hurt, so she took a painkiller.  And another.  And eventually eleven, and nearly killed herself.  And here I am, knowing that she’s in the hospital, or was, for delusion-driven attempted suicide… a thousand or so miles away with no way to get there… and I’m at a loss.

What do you say to something like that?  How do you make it better?  How can you save a life, and convince the owner it’s worth saving?

Writers live so often in their imaginations that they become absorbed in their fabricated worlds.  Then reality hits, like a brick to the head.  And I stand here, helpless.

It’s Too Darn Hot

This Room Is Too Hot!

It’s been a real struggle the last couple nights to get any sleep.  I’m that person who shuts the bedroom heat off in the winter because I fall asleep easier in the cold.  So having it feel like 90-degrees when I’m trying to go to sleep makes sleeping hard.  I know the heat and humidity make some people sleepy, but me?  I just get grumpy.  What do you do, on nights and days like these, especially if you don’t have air-conditioning and the fans just aren’t cutting it?

  • Get air-conditioning. This would be many people’s first solution.  “Why are you complaining, just go buy an air-conditioner!”  Well, since they cost $100 and not everyone has a good window to put them in, we’ll move on from this solution.  However, I believe that you shouldn’t complain if you aren’t willing to find a solution.
  • Swim. A lot of rural areas have ponds and lakes that are good for swimming, at a small fee to get in.  There are often a lot of free beaches, too.  Suburban areas often have neighborhood pools, and anywhere there’s a Best Western, you’re bound to find a pool.  Also, try your local YMCA.  If all else fails, I bet you know one person who has a pool you can dunk into for an hour.  If you don’t….
  • Take a cool shower. Just take about ten minutes and put the temperature to cold(ish).  You’ll feel refreshed when you get out… and it’ll wash the sweat away!
  • Keep the oven off! As amazing as those chocolate chip cookies seem (and believe me, I am a sucker for chocolate chip cookies), the oven is going to increase the heat in your entire house.  On those really hot days, grill some dinner instead of baking it.  And there aren’t a lot of people out there who loathe a good old picnic-style dinner.  Cold cuts and potato salad, anyone?
  • Eat fresh fruit and veggies! Not only are these incredibly good for you and should be eaten all the time anyway, but also all of them are fridge foods, and they’re juicy, and cold.  Personally, I had a slice of watermelon for breakfast.
  • Seek out air-conditioning. If you’re in a suburban area, this is a great time to go window shopping.  A lot of stores have air-conditioning, and as long as you aren’t obnoxious and are moving things around or refusing to leave when the store closes, staff don’t mind if you come in to cool down.
  • Eat out. This dilemma of the temperature around you and eating things.  You can eat whatever you want, and restaurants are usually have their air-conditioning turned way, way up.
  • Head into the cellar. Unless you have a nasty, infested sort of basement, it’s going to be much cooler underground, because heat rises  Bring a book downstairs and pull up a chair!
  • Avoid strenuous activity. If you’ve been thinking about skipping a jog, days like this are days to do it.  A lot of physical exercise on hot days puts unnecessary strain on your body.  Keep cool and relax.  You can do a little extra tomorrow.
  • Shut off the lights. Any electrical thing emanates heat.  If you can see without the lights, shut them off.  If you’re not using the computer or watching the television, shut it off.  It may not seem like much, but if you have a lot of electrical appliances and things running in your house, it will make a small difference.
  • Breathe deeply. It’s just like your soccer coach used to say, short breaths and panting will keep you alive, but that’s about it.  Breathing slowly and deeply (like meditating) will refresh your body and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.  The last thing you need in intense heat is tension.

Most importantly of all….

  • Keep hydrated! You know, we’re supposed to be drinking approximately 8 10-ounce glasses of water a day.  Human’s are under-hydrated in general, but in the hot weather, it is more important than ever to keep hydrated!  Sweating is our body’s internal air-conditioning and if we aren’t drinking enough water, then we’ll get sick.  Sweating is going to happen one way or the other, but keeping hydrated will save on the stomachaches and headaches and dizziness that comes with the body using our “reserve water supply” in order to condition itself.  Really, you should be drinking water, but drink gatorade or powerade or lemonade or iced tea if you must.  Stay away from soda!  Although you may feel like your thirst is more quenched with soda, the carbonation is actually a dehydrator and it’s anti-productive!

Hope this helps a little, folks, and keep cool!  Goodness knows I’m going to be doing my best!  Personally, I’m going to go eat some more watermelon.  Do you have any additional suggestions to add to this list?  Please, share them!

Achoo-ee-oo-eey!

Ghost curled up on my lap.

Allergies.  There are few things in the world that can make a person so miserable.  I firmly stand by the fact that if I had to choose between having an allergy attack or the stomach flu, I wouldn’t even think about it.  I’d take the stomach flu any day.  See, with a stomach flu, there is hope.  Maybe, in a couple days, this will all be over, and we won’t have to think about hugging the toilet seat again until next February.  But with allergies, you who they’re going to bide their time.  They’re like the Spanish Inquisition.  They firmly believe that torturing me is right.  So I can sneeze and sniffle and whine all day, but until there is no dust blowing around my bedroom, my allergies are here to stay.

Someday, when I have health insurance, I am going to go get an allergy test.  I know that I’m allergic to most animals.  Cats.  Dogs.  Horses.  Cows.  Sheep.  Goats.  Anything worth having as a pet.  This dust allergy is extremely new to me.  I didn’t have problems like this as recently as two years ago.  What if I’m allergic to some sort of food that I’ve never tried before?  What if I die because I don’t have an epipen?  Dying in the throes of an allergy attack must certainly be one of the worst deaths ever.  I’m miserable alive, knowing that I’m going to wake up in the morning.  But if I was miserable and knew that unless I had an epipen stabbed into my body in less than thirty seconds, I would die…?  That would be pretty freaking awful.  Gwarsh, I’m happy I haven’t discovered any food allergies yet.

I know a lot of people who, like me, are allergic to animals.  In fact, as of late, I know more people with cat allergies than peanut allergies.  When I was in elementary school, people looked at me as though I was the Creature From the Black Lagoon when I told them I had neither a cat nor a dog due to allergies.  To this day, I know my brother holds it against me.  It’s okay, I understand.  I think if our situations were reversed, I’d hold a grudge against him, too.  I love kitties.

Anybody out there have allergies that drive them wild?  Always wanted a cat, but afraid you’d have an allergy attack in the middle of the night and die?  Wanted to try Thai food, but the restaurant smells like peanuts?  I’d love to hear about it!  We can be comrade in arms.  And of course… if you had a choice between allergies and a stomach flu… what would you pick?


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something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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