Friday, June 26, 2009

The Douchebags

I'm renaming the incredibly lame show "The Doctors" to "The Douchebags." Who's producing this giant turd? It's some of the worst television I've ever seen.

It's not good bad TV like The Hills, it's just terrible, useless and maybe even harmful. (Some would argue the same about The Hills - totally fair.)

I tuned in today because they advertised "the four Fs women fear": Turning Fifty, Fatigue, Forgetfulness and Fat. I was interested in what they might have to say about fatigue.

First - lots of Fs today - the plastic surgeon douchebag (PSD) can't keep his smelly botoxed mouth shut for any length of time, even if they're talking about vaginal discharge. Even the ER douchebag and pediatrician douchebag know when to shut up for five minutes.

So, they're talking about turning 50 and the things we should do to age healthily, such as weight-bearing exercise for bone health. The PSD butts in to start explaining how as we age, our bones which were solid become like a honeycomb.

No one interrupted to correct him. Three other douchebag "doctors" sat there and said nothing. Then the gyno douchebag (GD) went on and on about how great it is to go through menopause and not have periods while we pop pharmaceuticals to rebuild bone.

Everything I've read about bone-building Rx's tells me they're not as great as they'd like you to believe - they might actually be harmful. They tell the body to build new bone, but the old bone that must be reabsorbed/removed is not. This makes the bone, which is naturally somewhat flexible, lose some of that flexibility and is more prone to breaking. Hello?! But the GD thinks it's fine to recommend we start popping prescriptions as soon as we turn 50. Excellent work.

There was absolutely no mention of working closely with a *qualified* doctor to manage hormone and/or bone health, no mention of nutrition or any supplements that could be beneficial. Just "go for a walk when you can and take bone-building Rx's." Fugging quacks - all of them.

When they got to Fatigue, they profiled a woman in her 40s who's been complaining of extreme fatigue for years. They followed her to an endocrinologist's office where the doctor explained all the tests she would run to try to figure out what was going on, but that all her symptoms may not have anything to do with thyroid.


That is so ridiculous I don't even know how to describe how ridiculous that is, especially when moments later the very same doctor said her test results came back as HYPOTHYROID and that SHE'S BEEN HYPOTHYROID FOR YEARS. What the brackafracka?

So, they show her in the doctor's office with the doc telling her all her symptoms may have nothing to do with thyroid, then later it's the PRIMARY CAUSE? Douchebags! What is the fricking point of that?

The *one* thing the endo douchebag (ED) mentioned that I found interesting was B12. The fatigued woman was very low on B vitamins, so it was recommended she eat red meat more often and/or take supplements. The woman said after she had a B12 shot she felt better right away.

In the past week I started supplementing with B12 and it might be helping. I've also had steak a couple of times in the last week and I'm feeling much better now than I have in weeks.

But I lost 40 minutes of my life to this stinking dung pile of a show. Not only is the show totally disorganized and a stupid free-for-all with PSD constantly chiming in about shit he knows nothing about, they give out ridiculously incomplete information and cannot spend a quality amount of time on any one topic because they have commercial breaks every 45 seconds.

They're making shitloads of money on advertising but they're not supplying any useful information. It's one giant popcorn fart after another. They should all be fired. As in, lit on fire fired.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Adrenals Adrainals

So... I've been reading about adrenal fatigue. Why? I have that sort of free time. And I'm wondering why I don't have enough energy to make a maple syrup & bread sandwich, but if I did, I'd make and eat fourteen of them in one sitting.

A few weeks ago all sorts of shit started hitting a big frickin fan. I'll bore you with those details another day, but it was a giant stress shot in the ass.

It was a rough few days, but then things mellowed out somewhat. Now I'm dealing with its aftermath. It's like having a mild case of mono, which if you've ever had mono, even "mild mono" makes you want to sleep for a year.

Even when I get to bed on time or early, I wake up tired. After feeling OK for about an hour, I'm ready to collapse back into bed. When I get in bed at night, I lie awake trying to shut off my brain and it takes forever to get to sleep.

I spend all day dragging my ass wherever I have to drag it, and if I don't have to drag it anywhere, I park it in a chair or on the couch. I feel OK again for about an hour in the evening, then I can't wait to crawl into bed.

Even though the PMS has long since come and gone, I'm craving sweets & carbs like an addict. Way worse than usual. No amount of coffee makes any difference - no jolt whatsoever. And out of nowhere, I'm having trouble with hay fever. I haven't had allergy trouble in years.

The writing project I was excited about a couple of weeks ago is a distant memory. I tried to work on it yesterday and put in maybe half an hour before I had to lie down. I've had headaches - no migraines - but I'd been headache-free for many months. I haven't run in three weeks. Not even to the fridge.

So I Googled "constant fatigue craving sweets" and found a few articles on adrenal fatigue. It makes a lot of sense. After years and years of stress, it seems plausible that at some point the adrenals say Enough! and go on strike.

Then I thought about past stresstivals and how I felt physically in the weeks or months afterward. I remembered at least a few occasions where after dealing with enormously stressful events, there was a time afterward of feeling physically drained and generally unwell. The recovery period seemed to be proportionate to the stressful period - the longer/more stressful the event, the longer it took to recover.

The worst thing I read about adrenal fatigue... you have to avoid sugar and caffeine. How cruel. I'll get back on the Greens Today and keep napping til this passes. I suppose I could see a doctor, but they're full of shit. I bet they'd try to tell me Paxil's been approved for treating doughnut cravings.

More about adrenal fatigue:

Friday, June 19, 2009

It's Not The Heat

It's the cacophony.

It's gotta be age. It's gotta be getting older that's made me less tolerant of certain things, like bullshit, onions, and noise.

I don't remember being so annoyed by noise when I was younger. But I drank a lot in college, so there's much I don't remember.

All week it's been one noisy assault after another and I'm ready to buy a high-powered rifle.

There's a house next door that's been under renovation since before I got here last year. It looks perfectly fine from the outside, but they've been slowly tearing its insides apart and putting it back together, one screw at a time, for an entire year. They must charge by the month.

Most of the work has been fairly quiet - pickup trucks coming & going, large trucks delivering appliances, nothing too disruptive. Then this week began Monster Renovation Week!!!

On Monday they brought out a power washer to strip the old paint off the front steps. A power washer so loud, it sounded like they were in my house power washing the shower.

In the backyard, another guy was running the weed eater. This went on for hours. Around noontime I walked over to ask how much longer I would be without the ability to hear myself think.

Power Washer Guy claimed to not know English. He walked me to the backyard to talk to Weed Eater Guy. WEG translated and mercifully, PWG said he'd only need about 20 more minutes on the front steps. Then WEG said after that, they'd have to do the back deck. Fucking hell.

It's the decibels and the endless onslaught and the constant RAWRR of the generator as he revs it up and down. It echoes off of every other house on the street - it's everywhere and it never ends.

I get it - the guy has a job to do. But would it be the *worst* thing to WORK QUICKLY with the goddamm head-rattling machine? He was moving at a glacial pace, happy to power wash the goddamm stairs all goddamm day.

They finally finished about an hour later and I was able to relax. It was quiet for a while until people started to get home from work.

I guess because it usually rains all the time, whenever it's not raining, people flock outside to do yardwork while they can. Every day it's not raining. Every goddamm dry afternoon you hear the goddamm lawn mowers, weed eaters, hedge clippers and leaf blowers start up all over the goddamm neighborhood. They keep going until it's dark, about five hours later. Every goddamm day.

If you're trying to watch the news or listen to the radio while enjoying a cool evening breeze from an open window, forget it. Might as well throw some marbles into your blender & fire it up.

Day after day, it's been one noisy project after another. Wednesday morning's wake up call was at 7:30 a.m. with what sounded like boulders being pitched into a giant dumpster.

So, so, SO annoyed, I screamed out the window, "IT'S NOT EVEN 8 O'CLOCK YET!" and it went quiet. It stayed quiet until 8 a.m. on the dot, and then the boulder pitching began again.

Later when I went out to run errands I saw they were tearing off the old roof to replace it. Awesome.

We endured More Boulder Pitching Thursday and then this morning began Electric Nail Gun Friday. The best part? They had to use our power for the nail gun.

New Roofer Guy came over early this morning just before 8 a.m. to sheepishly ask if he could "borrow" some power for a few hours because they blew the circuit yesterday.

Feeling generous, I told him he'd have to ask our landlord downstairs. She's usually not up until after 9 or 10 on her day off, so I thought she'd enjoy an early start to her day. She must have said yes, because the nail gun was rat tat tatting moments later.

If it's not one neighbor it's another making all sorts of goddamm noise and I don't understand why they have to do it so goddamm often. Is it because hockey season is over?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

They All Grunt a Little

Woke up to very dark, overcast skies this morning so I crawled back into bed after feeding the lions.

I tried to sleep in but was already too awake, so I watched a little "Breakfast Television" - a local TV news show on Vancouver's CityTV.

Never tuned in before this morning. I hope someone else was watching.

The hosts are chatty and bubbly and annoying and at one point they were talking about female tennis players that grunt and make a lot of noise when they play.

They cut to the guy who's supposed to be the serious news anchor, supposedly a tennis fan, to help name some noisy players, and he says in all seriousness, "They all grunt a little after smoking the ball."

They cut back to the bubbly hosts - one was holding her head in her hands and her co-host sat staring into the camera wearing a frozen grin, unable to react to what had just been said on live TV.

They cut to a split screen with the hosts and the serious news anchor who desperately tried to distract us all from what he'd just said by babbling on about tennis as the hosts sat silently waiting for him to stop.

Thankfully, it was time to show us the clogged roads. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's show.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Doctors Suck

Happened to catch this show on TV yesterday, Mystery Diagnosis, and it made me angry at doctors all over again.

Most seem totally unqualified to be doctors and not even fit to be plumbers. Plumbers are much more thorough about finding and fixing the problem.

Here's a fantastic example of how doctors FAIL, and at something so simple. So simple they should be slapped so hard in the mouth they forget they're doctors and go become janitors.

A woman in seemingly perfect health goes from a size 2 to a size 20 in a matter of a few months with most of the weight gain in her abdomen. She has numerous other symptoms I won't bother to list, but all are completely abnormal.

She sees doctor after doctor after doctor who cannot figure out what's wrong with her. For seven years this goes on as she tries everything she can think of to deal with her symptoms, hoping on every birthday and Christmas that by the next birthday or Christmas someone will help her.

Totally fed up she decides to take matters into her own hands and gets a hold of her medical records. She reads through all the tests and results to see her cortisol levels are WAY too high - ridiculously high. It was right there in her records, but NO ONE SAW IT. Or more accurately, no one bothered to read her goddamn records that were right there in her goddamn file.

She goes online and starts to research high levels of cortisol. In five minutes she diagnoses herself with Cushing's Syndrome.

Seven years. Seven years she tried to get one doctor, any doctor, to help her, and none of them could. Five minutes with her own file and she diagnosed the condition. She was a flight attendant. No medical background of any kind. Doctors - FAIL.

How hard would it have been for one doctor, in the dozens and dozens she saw, to take five minutes to read her lab tests? What colossal lame bags of shit.

So they're not all endocrine specialists - fine. But if the patients can use Google, can't the doctors? Too busy golfing and writing out useless prescriptions?

ARGH! Makes me so mad!

I have to wonder, if we're trusting these people with our lives, why don't we require all doctors to take annual refresher courses and certifying exams to remain practicing physicians? Fail the course and you're on probation until you learn it and pass the test. Can't pass it within a required timeline? You lose your license.

Even my mechanic has to take ongoing training to remain certified to work on my car, but my doctor can graduate med school, complete a residency, then not take another course or exam for 20 years and still remain qualified to do the job? Hardly.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Remember...

...I'm radioactive. - Steve Martin

We're in the thick of hairball season here in PoCo. Almost every day we find a large, slick, fuzzy casting in the middle of the floor/rug/carpet/hallway. The collection is impressive. They really soak up the varnish nicely.

What I really need is a house with all-tile floors and drains every few feet or so and a fire hose. I suppose that would mean having all plastic furniture. The static electricity in the winters would be brutal. Maybe rubber instead. Or silicone. Stain-free, odor-free, fire hoseable furniture. I like it.

Ooh, but the electronics... OK, all-tile floors with drains and a fire hose, all silicone furniture and electronics housed in waterproof, deep-sea-worthy cabinets. The walls we could paint with marine paint over Tyvek-coated wall board.

Here's a random solicitor for you... the other day I hear a gentle tap at the door, a friendly, sounds-like-your-neighbor-just-popping-by-for-a-quick-chat sort of quiet knock, so I go to the door & open it up only to see a somewhat frazzled-looking guy I've never seen around here before.

He's standing back from the door a few feet, which is good I think, because I don't know who the hell he is or what he wants, and he starts telling me, in a shaky, quiet voice, how he's run out of gas and his bank card isn't working, and might I have any bottles I could donate?

This is when I couldn't be happier about having lived in downtown Oakland and the TenderNob, where I wore a constant, stony expression of barely-restrained homicidal rage and almost-suicidal indifference. This is the face I wear every time I open that door.

Before he'd finished his ridiculous question I blurted out No and shut the door.

Any *bottles* I could donate? How are you going to get all these bottles you're asking for to the recycling center to get those shiny nickels to pay for a litre of gas when you've RUN OUT of gas?

Did he go to every house on the block with this idiotic story? Do most people in these parts say Oh sure and leave the door open while they go about collecting bottles and cans for the drifter at the door? Does he think I don't watch TV and know just about every trick in the book to gain entry into someone's house?

Wellllll mister, I do! I DO watch WAY too much TV and I don't care if you're bleeding out your eyes and have asked me for a tissue. Piss off! Don't make me get my bat! I'll give you something to cry about! Now get off my property! Well, actually, we're renting. Good luck with the recycling!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Catching Up With Your Past

There's really no escaping it, for better or worse.

Things I thought I'd dealt with and cremated are coming back to life almost in front of my eyes. This sludge bubbling up from the depths is making icky puddles in what I thought was a healthy patch of grass.

It's stuff I don't know what to do with. I've run out of mental cartons. Like the stuff that keeps piling up on my kitchen counter. I have no real place to put it.

I need to purge this crap from my head, but I'm not ready for a lobotomy. And there's no Goodwill drop-off for this kind of crap. What a sad thrift store that would be. Thousands of urine-stained mattresses.

The Universe has a way of forcing us to confront our issues. Change it or accept it and move on, but you won't be able to escape it. Not for long.

One thing, or person, I'm glad to have not escaped entirely just got in touch with me through ye olde past-facer, Facebook. He was a friend from my former life and when I left that life, I cut all ties to it. My own witness relocation program.

He happened to speak with the ex (after 12 years of cutting him out of his life) and afterward, felt compelled to track me down to tell me I'd done the right thing. That was great. It's been 13 years since we last spoke and after exchanging emails, it was like no time had passed. He's still a solid, good person and it's a pleasure to be reconnected.

As for the other crap, I expect The Universe will help me build the appropriate cartons to cram all that negative shit into and light it all on fire. But I need to do it quick because I'm running out of space.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Stayin Glued

I know my last couple of posts reveal that I'm coming unglued. I am. Or was. Today was better. Made good progress on one hurdle that I hope to clear in another week or two.

The intense leg workout I did the other day helped take my mind of things, giving me a whole new problem to focus on - walking properly.

The stress must have acted like PCP or something, making me immune to pain or fatigue. It wasn't the day after the workout that really hurt, it was the next. Sitting down and standing up have been difficult, as has not walking like a robot. I think you could bounce a bowling ball off my hamstrings.

And this morning I managed to sleep in until 9:30, which might as well be noon for me. Dawn here is at 4 a.m. I know this because my bladder is often done sleeping by then and forces me to get up and deal with it. I'm amazed at how light it is at FOUR IN THE MORNING.

(BTW, it does not stay light here until 10 or 11 p.m. Sun goes down around 9:15 and it's dark soon thereafter.)

After I had a pee, I went back to bed and slept 'til 7, when it's time to feed the lions. I woke up and noticed something on the floor near the closet. Two small brown items. Yup. Two tiny cat turds had been deposited on the floor on my side of the bed. How cute.

"Someone" obviously had trouble dropping off the last two kids at the pool so she left them with me.

Once the horror dissipated, I got up, found the rubber gloves and the Lysol spray cleaner with bleach and cleaned it up. Then I fed the lions, washed up and crawled back into bed.

With a little extra sleep, it felt like a better day. We had waffles, watched the French Open final and later I watched the Prefontaine Classic. Very cool. Got some laundry done and finally did a few days' worth of dishes.

While I was folding clothes, "someone" hacked up a ginormous hair ball. We almost named it. I put down the clothes, found the rubber gloves and the Lysol spray cleaner with bleach and cleaned it up.

There are days when it feels like I have kids, when I'm cleaning up poo one minute and barf the next. Thankfully I don't have to change their outfits every few hours when their diapers leek - I just change them for the fun of it.

I don't know how it's all going to work out, but I have faith that it will. It always does. Somehow. Say it along with me, 'It always works out. It always does.'

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Is It Me?

Because if it is, just tell me. I can take it. Do I look like a total shit-for-brains idiot? Is "stupid" tattooed somewhere on my forehead where only others can see it? Am I signing "I'm a dumbass" when I talk expressively with my hands? Is it the rack?

Really. I really want to know what it is that makes some people assume that I take the short bus and eat mud pies while sitting in the front yard in my underwear.

I had to take Henry to an avian vet here yesterday, and even though he is a near perfect specimen of the Amazona aestiva species, at the perfect weight, perfect plumage, and in perfect health, the fucktard vet felt compelled to tell me how to feed my own perfect fucking bird.

The 11-year-old bird I have taken care of for over 10 years. The bird who in all those years has had no health issues, not one problem whatsoever. The bird who every time I take him to his usual vet who's known him since he was hatched, RAVES about his great health and feisty attitude.

Really? You think there's something I'm not doing right? Tell me what you think that is, and I'll gladly reform my ways. No? Nothing to say on that topic?

So tell me then, why the fuck do you think you need to stand there and tell me how and what to feed my perfect goddamn bird when you just told me you usually don't see birds in such good shape? And after I just told you I feed him the best food on the market, which you can't even get in this backwater country so I have to ship it in from the States?

It's one thing to remind me about what to do for his good health - it's another to stand there and lecture me like I just picked him up at a swap meet.

How dare you. You don't know my life. You don't know anything about me. You just examined a beautiful bird in perfect health and now you think you need to tell me how to take care of him? You pompous asshole.

Here's a tip - when your head is that far up your own ass, don't talk. Please. Just don't. Nothing you say will make a damn bit of sense with all that shit in your mouth.

And you know, except for this one thing, this one thing that got so far under my skin I'm twitching, he seemed like an OK guy. I'm sure he's a good vet and he does good work. But why the fuck does this happen? I'm so tired of it.

Should I be cold and standoffish instead of easygoing and congenial? Would that make people assume I'm at least intelligent enough to take good care of my pets? I'm starting to think that might be part of it.

Maybe because I'm nice, people assume I'm like the slow kid on the city bus who talks to everyone who gets on or off. I can be an asshole, believe me, it's no trouble. Lots of other people do it and perhaps they've achieved great success as a result. Maybe that can be my "something new" for June.

Or, perhaps I should embrace this as an opportunity. If I get people believing that I'm a total retard, maybe I can start taking advantage of them in all sorts of ways. That could be a solution to a few problems. Maybe I could qualify for disability. Get a scooter paid for by Medicare.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Holy Stresscape Batman

So... there's a lot going on right now. More than I can get into at the moment. Suffice it to say, life is extremely stressful. Stress like I've not known in some time. I feel ill-equipped to deal with it.

What is this panicky, heavy blanket of anxiety I can't shake off? Even if I could, where would I put it? What can I do with it?

The other day I went running for an hour in 80-degree, humid weather. I'm not even in shape enough to run for an hour, especially in stifling heat. The next day I lifted weights for over an hour. Now my left knee is not happy, but I don't know what else to do.

I could start drinking. A lot. But I have to make phone calls, write intelligible emails, use the car... so, that option isn't an option. But I fully understand the desire to toss back a few to just take the edge off so you can keep going. You'd think Jack Bauer would travel with a very large flask.

So now I'm doing what I usually do when faced with extreme stress... cutting scope and supplementing with copious amounts of carbohydrates.

In my former life as a producer, when the budget (time, money, or sanity) ran short of the desired scope, the red pen came out and features were cut to fit the withering budget. If I had extra sanity, I'd gladly spend it. If only.

I'd planned to drive down to Alameda next week to see my niece graduate from high school and help celebrate the parents' 50th anniversary, but there's no way I can go now. Nor can I even think about all I'd have to do to prepare, pack, etc. So, that's out. Bummer, but it relieves some pressure.

Also providing some relief - carbohydrates. Simple, sinful carbohydrates fulfill a critical role - soothing serotonin. This must be why diets like Atkins & South Beach never work long-term. Life happens.

When life happens, an egg white omelet is not going to calm anyone down. Giant bowl of cereal? YES. Chips & salsa? YES. Häagen-Dazs Raspberry Sorbet? YES.

I ate so many chips the other day I swear I was sweating corn and salt.

Naps help, too, once the serotonin kicks in and I can breathe. Feels like it's about that time right now.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Sope Baux - Bad Parents

Here goes:

I just read The Mommy Files blog on SF Gate about a mother who's upset about her kids being scared by the dogs in Pixar's new movie, Up!

Are you effing kidding me?

Her kids are six and four years old and were apparently terrified by the dogs chasing after the bird. Her four-year-old son actually scolded her for taking him to "an inappropriate movie." That's so ridiculous I don't even know where to start with that one.

It's not the children I have a problem with, it's the coddling, sniveling, spineless, self-involved parents raising children who not only can't handle a movie MADE FOR KIDS, but they're growing up thinking it's in any way OK to scold a parent. Totally totally TOTALLY unacceptable.

It's true I do not have kids. I would have eaten them right out of the womb. I spent many years as a babysitter and nanny to cousins, nieces and nephews.

The way I cared for the kids was exactly as their parents did - lots of love and fun activities, but as far as rules/behavior goes, no negotiation and no tolerance for bullshit of any kind.

Those weren't my rules, those were the rules of their parents, parents who wanted responsible, polite, respectful kids to grow into productive adults, not whining, insolent, ungrateful remoras.

The truth of the post is revealed when the author says:
"I was so desperate for a mellow outing that I didn't even check the reviews ahead of time to see if the movie was deemed appropriate for little ones. I longed to sit for an hour and a half, munching on popcorn and sipping diet coke."
Longed for a mellow outing. Hey, I know, HIRE A BABYSITTER and go to the library. Or, find an activity appropriate for the age of your kids, dumbass. A movie isn't the answer, regardless of its rating.

At the end of the post she reveals:
"My kids were both knocked over by a dog a few weeks ago and my son was bitten on the back. My daughter, who has always been fearful of dogs, was especially traumatized by the incident and has had a few canine nightmares."
I peed myself laughing at this. Not at what happened to the kids, but that she took her kids who were just attacked by a dog to a movie that has hundreds of attack dogs in it. And she wants to blame the movie?

The sad thing is, there are capable parents all over the country trying desperately to adopt children who need homes, having to clear myriad hurdles and approvals that take forever, but all this idiot had to do was get knocked up - no special test, no certification. Unbelievable.

And why would anyone take a four-year-old to a movie? A toddler cannot sit still long enough to pee properly on a toilet, let alone sit through a 1.5 hour movie. Evidently, she was too excited about popcorn and diet coke to think this through.

We made the mistake of going to an early show filled with toddlers. Toddlers who could not sit still and could not stop whining at their parents for one thing or another. Their parents have likely never used a play pen, said "No" and meant it, or enforced real consequences for bad behavior.

It was bad enough working with "kids" right out of college a few years ago who expect all the rewards & fat paycheck just for showing up to work, because they always got a trophy just for showing up to the soccer game - forget about earning it by winning. I can't imagine how much worse that sense of entitlement will be with the next generation.

I know parenting is the hardest job on the planet - that's why I opted for cats. But for christ's sake, if you're going to have them, do the job properly. If not, keep your legs closed or cut the vas deferens already.

BTW, we loved the movie and were not at all prepared for how deeply we'd be touched by the scenes of Carl and Ellie building a beautiful life together, her passing and his mourning. We both cried like whiny toddlers. The one problem I had with it was feeding chocolate to a bird. We had to wonder how many idiots are going to try that, because you know they're out there and they're going to do it.