Sunday, July 31, 2005

Strange Facts, Episode I

1. I was born 6 weeks premature.

2. I have a genetic disease that the doctors said would do all kinds of horrible things to me. My poor parents were told all kinds of things that were likely, from going blind, to needing to break and reset my rib cage when I was a teenager so I could get enough air, to my being mentally retarded. What the doctors thought would happen and what God decided would happen were thankfully drastically different! The doctor's now think the genetic disease is an "incomplete penetrance", i.e., you test positive, but you really don't show the full symptoms. The only lasting effect it has had on me is watching my parents, mostly my Mom, be way too overprotective, and that I get upper respiratory stuff kindof easy. But that could have been from being born premature, so... or from not getting mother's milk due to it upsetting my stomach, and so not getting the benefit of Mom's immune system.

So I guess the only real effects have been psychological turmoil for my parents, way too many blood tests for me in order to see how I was doing (Needles! Aigh! No!!!), and the fact that I need to make sure my kids won't REALLY get this genetic disease.

3. I was a very sick little kid. But I think that was mostly from being born premature, and not getting Mom's milk to help me out.

4. I have very little saliva. My Mom couldn't figure out why I hated toast so much growing up. [If I eat toast, I bury it in butter, honey, or jelly.]

5. My Sister's black German Shepherd Myca growled at me when he first met me. I looked at him with disgust, and said something like "Lassie wouldn't have growled at me", and walked off. I was 5 years old. Myca and I became good friends after that first meeting. :)

6. I had hives from being around Myca. Or that's what my parent's thought was causing it. They couldn't keep me away from Myca. Dogs 1, hives 0: I eventually outgrew the hives due to constant doggy exposure!

7. I am asymptotically 5 feet tall. I never quite made it. My spine has a slight curvature. My driver's license says I am 5 feet tall. ;) And that's what it will ALWAYS say.

No, I don't have a height complex, why do you ask?

8. I have OCD. My Mom has OCD. Her Dad and possibly her Mom have OCD. Being a sick little kid, with warnings of a dire future (health-wise), with an OCD Mom... heh-heh. ;) Let's just say that growing up was an interesting experience.

9. I attended 7th grade twice and both times, never fully finished it. Long story, but highly ironic. :)

10. I went to a private school where, due to expansion, my class was moved into unused rooms in the back of a skating arena. [The Principal's Dad ran the skate arena, and it was empty during school hours anyway, so...] Our PE was playing a form of soccor where we bent over and hit the ball with our hands instead of kicking it, as the owner was worried we would kick the ball too high and it would break the lights over the skate arena!

[On Fridays, if we had been good, we got to go skating. :) ]

11. I went to college at the age of 16. [Mom was afraid of that aforementioned blindness thing. So she wanted me to get educated early.] I took the California High School Proficiency Exam to test out of high-school.

12. I transferred from my junior college into my university into the major of ECE (Electrical Computer Engineering), which I thought was a wise move as it was the hardest of the Engineering majors to get into. [So if I didn't like it, I could transfer into another Engineering major, right? Not w/o ALOT of units accumulated at my new university. And I found out I hated ECE. Oops.] I also moved 5 hours away from home, into the dorms. First time on my own. Age of 18. Junior in college. Used to having parents around 24/7. Totally unprepared socially and psychologically.

Gee, guess what? I flunked out. Got back in. Managed to get into major I *should* have chosen the first time (Computer Science), considering how much I loved computer programming and computer games. Graduated with B.S. after 6 years, at the age of 22, in spite of my head start. ;)

13. In college, I was such a germ-a-phobe (due to that lovely undiagnosed OCD problem) that, once I got back into my dormroom to go to sleep, I would spray lysol on my hands. I did this because I'd keep seeing girls use the women's bathroom on our floor w/o washing their hands, and then opening the bathroom door with their dirty hands. :P

I was also highly adept at opening doors with my elbows.

More later... need a breather. :)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Insomnia update

Melatonin tablets are awesome. :)

I am taking 0.25 mg (started at 0.5 mg, but wiped me out) at 3pm every day per Sleep Doc's orders. I get very groggy and have a hard time shaking off the grogginess until maybe 6 or 7pm. Then I'm ok. And when it's time for bed, I'm sleepy, nodding off, and I finally DO fall asleep!

Thank God!!!

I sleep deeper. I wake up feeling refreshed. I'm alert at work, instead of fighting off exhaustion.

The Sleep Doc is trying to fix my circadian rhythm by having me take the dose so early. Once that's fixed, I get to go in and get tested for sleep apnea. [My circadian rhythm has been about 8 hours off... my body wants to fall asleep when it's nearly dawn, and it fights sleep until then. It also doesn't want to wake up until noon. This has not made my life very easy. :P My Mom has the same problem. Ditto for her Dad. And no matter how tired I've been by NOT sleeping in in the morning, I still get my 2nd wind and am awake in the evening and late into the night. Ghrrrrr.]

I went in to see the allergist. He had me tested for allergies. [I sniffle, snark, snore, swallow post-nasal drip, and throat clear at night in bed. Also a factor in my insomnia.] After the torture, 'er, I mean testing, it was determined that I am not allergic to ANY of the 30 items they tested for. So I probably have a nose that is easily irritated by dust or particulate matter
or something, or I'm allergic to something not on the big list of 30 items.

It doesn't take much nose blowing for my nose's tissue to get inflamed and restrict my breathing. I have a very picky nose. :)

I was born premature, with a crappy immune system that has slowly as I've gotten older become a more robust immune system. I expected to be allergic to everything I was tested for. It's weird to realize that just 'cause I'm a little more susceptible to colds or sore throats doesn't mean I'm going to have allergy problems!

I am NOT allergic to dogs. VERY VERY HAPPY SIGH. [Where are my German Shepherds? Must go pet and hug and adore them now... :) ]

I tried flonase out. [Per Sleep doctor, can't take any anti-histamines, especially as I became addicted to them and was using them in lieu of sleeping pills!] Flonase has no anti-histamine. I think it might have helped a little, but it also gave me Flonase post-nasal drip! Which I could almost taste... and it tasted weird.

Anyway, thank the Lord, progress is being made.

For a while there my favorite word was "defeated". I think I can change that now to "Hope". :)

And now to try to alternative nasal sprays the allergist sent me home with today. :)

To all of you with insomnia, allergies, or noses that are faking allergies, my utmost sympathy and empathy goes out to you.

Favorite hair color so far

Red is GOOD. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Funny Quotes

From "Robot Chicken":

Darth Vader: Luke... I am your father!
Luke Skywalker: Noooo! That's impossible!
Darth Vader: It's true! And Princess Leia is your sister!
Luke Skywalker: That's... improbable.
Darth Vader: And the Empire will be defeated by Ewoks!
Luke Skywalker: That's... highly unlikely...
Darth Vader: And as a kid, I built C-3PO!
Luke Skywalker: ...wha?
[time passes]
Darth Vader: And you know that all-powerful Force? That's really just microscopic bacteria called Midichlorians!
Luke Skywalker: [smoking a cigarette] Look, if you're not gonna take this seriosuly, I'm outta here!

From "WKRP in Cincinnati"

Arthur 'Big Guy' Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
[after an elderly couple has broken into the DJ booth]
Dr. Johnny Fever: All right, you two, up against the wall! I don't what you want but you should know I've killed a lot of old people in my time. And I'm not above doing it again.
Bailey Quarters: Have you noticed all the men in Landersville are going bald? I wonder if there's a nuclear power plant in the area.
Andy Travis: It's a good thing I had an extra pair of jeans in my office.
Les Nessman: What is an executrix?
Herb Tarlek: Oh it has to do with whips, chains, and leather. That sort of thing.
Dr. Johnny Fever: Do you have enough money to feed yourself?
Les Nessman: Yes.
Dr. Johnny Fever: I don't, can you loan me some money?
Les Nessman: No.
Dr. Johnny Fever: Can you loan me some food?
Jennifer Marlowe: Mr. Craven I would like to ask you a question about the phone company.
Wayne Craven: Well that's what I'm here for, fire away.
Jennifer Marlowe: You know the phone company won't give you a specific time when they'll come to install your phone. You have to wait all day long. Like most people, I work and can't take the whole day off.
Wayne Craven: Uh-Hunh.
Jennifer Marlowe: So Saturday is the only day I'll be here. But because so many other people have the same problem, you can wait up to two, three weeks or more for service.
Wayne Craven: That's correct.
Jennifer Marlowe: Could you tell me why that is?
Wayne Craven: Of course, it's like that because we don't have any competition.
Les Nessman: Last night at that house, did anything happen?
Jennifer Marlowe: I met a lady whose car I have to replace and I discovered we have a sex pervert in the neighborhood.
Les Nessman: No, I mean did anything unusual happen?
[Venus is showing off his flashy wardrobe]
Venus Flytrap: I only came downtown to have one of my suits serviced.
Dr. Johnny Fever: I'll bet a suit like that stays in the shop most of the time.
Venus Flytrap: I got suits I can't get parts for.
[Newscast from opening credits]
Reporter: And the senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity.
[at a record store hosting a WKRP remote broadcast]
Herb Tarlek: Del, goshdarnit I've got to go, but if you need anything, anything at all, I'll be in my car somewhere.
[Johnny is lying to keep from being beaten up by a big thug named Dave]
Dr. Johnny Fever: I'm Andy Travis, glad to meet you, (pointing to the real Andy Travis) that's my brother Randy and that's old Venus of course.
Venus Flytrap: Of course.
Dr. Johnny Fever: (referring to Dave) We don't know who the mountainoid is.
Dave: Name's Dave.
Venus Flytrap: [Fever runs into the booth and hides behind the coat rack] What are you doin', man! I'm on the air!
Dr. Johnny Fever: Herb Tarlek is selling life insurance!
Venus Flytrap: Oh, no! Close the blinds before he sees us!
Andy Travis: [Walks into the booth] What have I told you guys about goofing off when one of you is supposed to be on the air?
Dr. Johnny Fever: Herb Tarlek is selling life insurance!
Andy Travis: Oh, no!
[slams the door and hides with Fever]
Les Nessman: [saying that Bailey shouldn't produce the show] This isn't the Ohio State School of Journalism, this is the big time.
[Arthur Carlson has just warned a religious figure to be careful picking who to boycott]
Dr. Bob Halyers: Well then, I'll have to do what is says in the good book, learn to love my enemy.
Arthur 'Big Guy' Carlson: You're gonna have to, because I don't think you can trust your friends.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Child-safe movies? -- edited parts bold and italics

I've been getting more and more exposure to the concept of movies that are kid safe. My husband and I have friends who have a sweet 4 year old girl. And my office-mate has two daughters, 11 and 9 I think.

My husband and I were over for dinner at our friend's place. "The Abyss" came on. I totally spaced on the scary parts of the movie, and our friends seemed to be ok with watching it as the Father spaced on the scary parts too, and the Mother had never seen it before. And we really got into it.

The 4 year old got totally into it when I explained that the aliens were friendly, and very pretty, all pink and blue and full of light. She'd keep asking where did they go, when would we see them again? So that aspect of the movie didn't scare her.

And thankfully we were at the part after they'd already recovered the missile, so she didn't get to see all the dead bodies in the sunken sub.

But I forgot about the guy who, when he lost it and went crazy, at one point was doing self-injury, i.e., cutting into his arm.

And for some reason I thought we were already past the point where the hero's wife has to allow herself to drown and go into hypothermia, so the husband can swim with her to the underwater complex, where it takes some time to revive her.

So we did alot of "don't look, sweetie, this part is scary!", and put our hands in front of her eyes. And I told her that the wife was just asleep. And that she was just really deeply asleep, so it was hard for them to wake her up. "Uhm, but don't worry, you won't fall that deeply asleep! It will be easy for you to be woken up. Uhm, you do understand that you'll be ok, that you'll be able to wake up, right? You know this is just a story, right?" [Shut-up, shut-up, shut-up! Making it worse...]

Well, the daughter was fine, thankfully! But the Mom told me later that she (the Mom) was a little weirded out... i.e., the Mom kept expecting the water monster (the tube of water that goes into the complex to take a look around) to grab her (the Mom) when she was in the pool!!! [The daughter however was not expecting the water monster while she was swimming in the pool. :) The daughter was ironically totally fine.]

So apparently I was re-assuring the wrong person when we were watching the Abyss. :)

I think I should show the daughter Alien and Aliens next. :)

And talking to my office-mate, I realized that there are just too many movies that would be perfect for kids if they just left out the sex scenes. For instance, Splash is really cute, but because of the nudity and boob-age, and all the rampant sex, it's just not kid-safe. I can't remember if there's alot of swearing in it or not.

Shoot, even the cartoons aren't safe. All the death, and violence.

I told my office-mate about "The Pacifier". I thought it was adorable. But when I mentioned that yeah, the father in it gets killed, but you don't see it... well, the movie was out.

So I gave it some thought and realized the only movie I could think of that isn't a cartoon, and that might be kid-safe, is Napolean Dynamite. I think. I mean, there's no swearing. No nudity. There is some violence, in the form of shoving people around or throwing steaks at people. Or when the cow gets shot, although you don't see it, you just see the reaction of all the cute little kids in the school bus.

And there's this online relationship. Oh, and come to think of it, there's references to boob enhancers. Hmmm... ok, maybe that one isn't really kid-material either. Come to think of it, I can't remember the rating on it.

*SIGH*. One day we will have kids. I have to totally clean up my language. And I don't think we'll be watching much more of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, or Robot Chicken, at least not with the kids in the same room! :) And Family Guy is definitely out. Wow.

Please, tell me there's some kid-safe stuff out there that isn't going to bore the socks off me???

Thursday, July 14, 2005


So, I'm trying to fix this whole insomnia thing. I've tallied what I think is screwing me up.

1. Sinuses, stuffy nose, dry throat, post-nasal drip, keeping me from falling asleep, and waking me up coughing.

2. My biological clock is suited better to the island of Palau, which is north of Australia, east of the Philippines, and south-west of Guam. [I went scuba diving there. I think I finally got some decent rest.]

3. I sleep lightly. My husband's snoring, my snoring, the dogs making noises, or the dogs just STARING at me will wake me up.

4. I take stuff to help me sleep: stuff to shut up my sinuses and to make me groggy, to try to combat my screwed up biological clock. Unfortunately, anti-histamine's have a side effect that is similar to caffeine, i.e., you have to pee alot. This also wakes me up. [Either that or I'm just getting old. :P ]

5. As I said, I snore. Since I've often woken up with a headache, I'm beginning to wonder if I have sleep apnea.

6. When the sun comes up, my body can no longer fight off fatigue, or the anti-histamine. And the stuff that is either blooming at night, or that is sinking to the ground at night as the earth cools... whatever the heck that is setting my sinuses off at night, eases up. And I can rest.

7. Oh, yeah. My brain chatters. It's hard to shut it up in order to sleep.

If I try to tough it out, I am totally wasted and sleepy and useless all day. I can't keep my eyes open. Then, when night-time comes, no matter how bloody tired I am, I get my damned second wind.

If I give in and get more sleep, after the sun has risen, I run terribly late for work, and feel more and more like my life is out of control. But at least I can think at work. However, in order to get all 8 hours in, I end up working through lunch, and working into the evening. :P

My Mom has the same sleeping problems. My Sister told me that my Mom's Dad was also the exact same way.

I'm doomed.

Anyway, I am going onto this special diet that was created and/or managed by a medical clinic in town. I'm doing this because I'm sure being fat isn't helping... shoot, it contributes to snoring and sleep apnea.

And I'm going to go see a sleep doctor, and get wired up, so they can see what makes me tick at night.

And I'm going to go get tested to see what the heck I'm allergic to, and what is the best way to treat it... i.e., to go see if I need a prescription, as opposed to doing the over-the-counter thing.

Finally, I've been seeing a psychiatrist and a psychologist... originally for my sleep problems, but it ended up becoming all about getting my OCD treated, and hashing out stuff I'm mad at my parent's for. But last time I saw the shrink I told him I was still having big problems. Next time I see him he's giving me sleeping pills... I stupidly told him last time that I wanted to talk to the psychologist first about ways to help myself sleep at night. That was a month ago, and I haven't been able to see her... the original appointment got cancelled, and the replacement appointment... well, I overslept and skipped it so I could get more hours in at work. :P

So the next time I see my shrink, I'm getting a ton of bloody sleeping pills.

I'm going to get healthy sleep if it kills me. Ghrrrr.

I'm going to lose weight and be a healthier person. It is GOING to happen.


I will not start making soap and forming an army! I will not become Ed Norton of fight club! Ghrrrrrrrrrr.

Anyway, I am tired of disappointing myself. I'm tired of not being the person I want to be. I don't want to be a night person. I don't want to be fat. I want to be on time at work, and wake up energetic and rested instead of wiped out and still so tired I can't see straight.

Ok, that's my rant for the night. :P