Of things that make me smile

In an effort to combat some annoying, frustrating, negative crap that’s happened today; I present a list of things that make me smile.

*My car insurance was renewed and it actually got LOWER. I’ll be able to have the 6 month premium paid off in about 2 months.

*I’m getting a 5 day staycation wherein I get to see Silas Weir Mitchell (of Grimm & Burn Notice fame) and George Takei (hopefully).

*The perfume I’m wearing smells like Hawaii. I can pretend I’m there.

*My new skirt arrived and I intend on wearing it Tuesday after the Con is over.

*I’m averaging walking between 3 and 4 miles a day. That’s more than I thought I did on an average day.

*ZooBorns and baby pygmy goats, snow leopards, and tigers. It’s difficult to be pissed when you have a cute fuzzy face looking at you.

*My boss threatened to drunk text me during the Con this weekend. And the fact I have that kind of relationship with my boss. I kind of can’t wait to see what he comes up with. (yes, it’s still funny)

*The harmonic convergence of DragonCon, black gay pride, & the Chick Fil A college football kickoff game in town this weekend. Bring on the nerds, queens, and rednecks. Part of me wants to camp out on a corner outside one of the hotels and literally watch the world go by.

*Sitting out in the sun sipping my latte to start my day. It’s a very pleasant way to get things rolling.

*I slept really, really well last night.

*Cherry print pants and suede ballet flats.

*Rewatching the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie last night. I’d forgotten how funny it was.

*The hospital letting me pay my bill in installments. I’ll have all that paid off by the end of the year without stressing too much over it.

*Refusing to compromise my self care in the name of being practical by someone else’s standards. Taking care of myself is being practical.



*Knowing that I’m more than capable of handling new situations, people, & tasks. I’ve totally got this.


P.S. If you’re friends with me on FB, I’ll try to post pictures throughout the weekend.


Of restarting the clock and learning to believe

And had a seizure yesterday. At work. In front of people. I’d made it a week without one. I was embarrassed as always. I can’t be too hard on myself, though. I made it a week without one on a quarter of the therapeutic dose. That bodes well for the increases that are coming. I should be up to the minimum effective dose come mid-September. I’m still learning how to not be so hard on myself. I didn’t do anything wrong. I’m not being punished. My brain periodically misfires and that’s not my fault.

I can’t say I’m surprised given the stress I was unduly putting myself under. I’ve decided to put the online management classes on hold. My health and sanity come first. There’s a pretty significant lag time between being offered a job and actually starting it around here. When the time comes, I’ll take that time to work on the courses and show that I’m making the effort to learn. In the meantime, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing. Clearly my boss and his boss are confident in my skills. They want to do it the right way and I trust their judgment. And as someone who was recently promoted to management told me, if I weren’t a little afraid, she’d worry. I definitely feel some relief by putting that on hold. I’ve already completed a few from last fall when I applied for my old boss’ job. I’m sure they can look that up and see that I’ve shown interest in the past. It’s not a matter of if but when I get promoted and then I can tackle learning how to do it properly. Speaking of being fit for management…

I got my schedule for DragonCon last night. They scheduled me for 10 hours over what I put as my availability. As with any volunteer scenario, I’m sure it’s a combination of attrition and the scheduling manager’s confidence that I can herd cats. I’m in the same ballroom all weekend. It’ll be nice to not have to hunt down different ballrooms every day. Boy and I won’t really see much of each other, though. I start my shifts between 9 & 10a and get off shift between 6p & 11p depending on the day and he starts at 7p and goes until 4a every night. I’ll probably head over to his ballroom and see what’s going on in there when I’m free. I get the impression that if you show up on time, do what you’re told, and don’t royally screw up, you’ll become a room lead fairly quickly. After seeing my schedule, I’m really, really glad I’m taking Tuesday off. It looks like I’ll be needing it. I’m very interested to see how much walking I’ll do. My pedometer is preset to a goal of 10,000 steps a day and I know I’ll go well over that. On an average day at work (so far) I walk between 7000-9000 a day and between 3-4 miles. I’m sure that contributed in no small part to my weight loss since we moved here.

Today’s list of things that make me smile:

*Wearing my current favorite outfit

*Brightly colored lipstick


*Bubble baths

*My boss threatening to drunk text me over the weekend. I got a really good laugh out of that one.


Of phone tag and impostor syndrome

I’m annoyed. I’ve been playing phone tag with my neurologist’s office for 2 days now. When I called back a 4th time, the phone rep said she would mark it high priority. I’m virtually certain I know what they’re going to tell me, but apparently they can’t leave a message even when I said on a recorded line after they verified my identity that it was fine. No, they have to speak to me. I’m sure HIPPA has its benefits, but right now I’m about ready to strangle whoever thought of it. So I’m chained to my desk until they call me back for a 5th time. Frankly, I expect better service. If you hold yourself out as being one of the best hospitals in the country, I think you could either have enough nurses on staff to answer the phone.

In other news, in spite of yesterday being a bit of an overwhelming day, I didn’t have a seizure. I started taking some of the online management courses the head of the department recommended & I got myself all wrapped up in “what if I can’t do this?”. I have a major case of impostor syndrome and I haven’t even gotten the job yet. I haven’t even applied for the job yet. Oy. I’m also a little offended by the fact that every example of a bad manager is female and every good manager is male. You’d think they at least make an effort to make some examples of good management female. The irony is this particular “class” is about effective communication. I picked a few others I thought might be helpful as well. The nice thing is I don’t have to pressure myself. These aren’t required for my job. It was just a suggestion to help me advance. I also got some cuddles and ended the day with a bubble bath. At least I began and ended it nicely. I have to keep reminding myself it’s okay to be overwhelmed or stressed. That’s normal. And I didn’t have a seizure even though I was pretty sure I was going to after how wrapped up I got.

Today’s list of things that make me smile:

*The skirt I ordered is scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

*Glittery animal ears.

*Getting a walk in before it got too hot.

*Lush’s The Comforter bubble bar. It might be my favorite product of theirs.

*Having a good laugh with my boss.


Of cleaning – physical and emotional

Who knew that cleaning could make you sore? Though carrying 60 pound boxes up 3 flights of stairs can also do the trick. Boy & I deep cleaned his old apartment this weekend in preparation for his official move out. We also moved out the last of his stuff. I’m not a huge fan of cleaning, but there’s something satisfying about taking a messy place and making it as clean as it possibly can be. And the calorie burn doesn’t hurt either. Boy got us both pedometers / calorie counters for our anniversary and it’s been interesting to see how much I burn in a normal day. I’ve been really interested to see how long my usual walking route at work is. That will be investigated during my lunch break. It’s a remarkably nice day for August in Georgia so I might spend the whole hour walking and not melt.

On the emotional cleaning end, today was the first day I rode to work with my coworker. He’s basically an overgrown frat boy. If I get even a whiff of frat boy, my hackles go up. For those who don’t recall, my abuser was a frat boy. When Boy & I were out shopping yesterday, I saw plenty of t-shirts with Greek letters walking around (though none were his letters, I noticed). On the one hand, it’s easier to approach him with the understanding that despite his age, his behaviour is about half that number. On the other hand, there’s still a lot of old pain there that’s fairly easily stirred up. I’ve managed to avoid situations like this for a very long time. The (frequently) all male DUI classes somewhat prepared me for this scenario. They were a bunch of stoners which was also one of my abuser’s habits. I navigated that situation pretty well. This is the next step in the healing process. I’m going to be riding with this guy for at least 3 months almost every day, twice a day. I want that time to be tolerable. Throwing yourself out of a moving vehicle is painful from what I’ve heard. I’m looking at this as an opportunity to heal some old wounds a bit more and take from this situation what I can.

On a very positive note, I’ve gone a week without a seizure. I think I’ve even stopped having them in my sleep. I see my regular doctor again in about 10 days and called her with a few questions this morning. If things keep going in this direction, I’ll be back on the road in February. I’ll still feel a little twichy, especially if it’s around the time I need to take my medication, but otherwise I feel worlds better. Boy said he’s noticed I seem more positive and optimistic. It’s funny how little things can make you feel grown up and less like you suck at being an adult. I scheduled some bills to be paid and called my doctor as soon as I could. I’ve had a lot of different emotions rolling around over the past few days and it was nice to feel like I had a few things under control. I know I’m not nearly as out of control or as much of a screw up as I feel like, but we’re our own worst critics. If paying bills and making phone calls makes me feel like I have my shit together, I’ll take it.

Today’s things that make me smile list:

*Playing hide and seek with a kitten this morning.

*Getting compliments on my outfit.

*The insanely amazing and awesome support network near and far I’ve had during the past few months.

*Finding a pair of boots (all leather made in Italy and can’t get in the states) almost exactly what I wanted for $20.

*Sitting out in the sun this morning, sipping my latte, waiting to be picked up and just enjoying the moment.


Of electrodes and being told what I already knew

I spent 2.5 days in the hospital to confirm the diagnosis of right temporal lobe epilepsy with complex partial / focal seizures. Of course I had a seizure before they hooked me up to the electrodes and I was only able to force myself to have one the first day I was there. They had to keep me on the Lamictal because of the allergic reaction concern. They could lower the Keppra, but since that didn’t do anything in the first place, it didn’t much matter. I’m now at half the dose I was before I went into the hospital and I’ve doubled my dose of Lamictal. The nurse practitioner was surprised that I was seeing results at that low of a dose, but that’s a positive sign. The therapeutic level is between 200-700 mg per day so maybe they can keep me on the lower end of the dosage and it’ll control the seizures. The doctor also said they saw a lot of abnormal activity even when I wasn’t having a seizure that lasted in bursts of 4-5 seconds. Apparently it has to last 10 seconds or more to trigger a seizure. Now that I’m aware of those bursts, I think I can feel them. I won’t feel like I’m going to have a full on seizure, but I feel a little funny, especially behind my right eye. In the end, they told me to keep doing what I’m doing, make a follow up appointment with my regular doctor, and no driving. I was also invited to take part in a research study, but I haven’t read the paperwork yet. Considering a research study literally saved my dad’s life, I’m inclined to participate. At least all of that is behind me. I told the doctor that I want to exhaust the medicinal options before they consider cutting my head open. That would require an even more intense study that involves putting electrodes on my brain. Nothankyou.

I did find a ride to work. One of my coworkers said he could ferry me around while his wife is on maternity leave. That takes care of the next 3 months. If the medication keeps working, I’ll only be grounded for 6 months. So far, so good. That would mean being mobile once more in late February (fingers crossed the meds keep doing their job). In the meantime, I can stay in shape at home. We have a whole gym in the basement for all intents and purposes. I sit on my exercise ball when I’m on my computer at home. I try to walk at least 30 minutes when I’m at work. Boy is buying me a FitBit as our anniversary gift so I can track my calories and such. Much appreciated. Speaking of Boy…

He sat with me in the hospital Monday until my mom could come in the afternoon. Then Tuesday night he not only brought us dinner, he brought me my favorite deviled eggs from one of my favorite restaurants. It was one of the sweetest gestures anyone has made for me.  I seriously almost cried over deviled eggs and I’m okay with that. I have the best boyfriend ever. Be jealous. 😛

And now I start over and adjust to my new normal. Let’s see how that goes.


Of interviews that aren’t really interviews and things that make me smile

The interview with the big boss wasn’t really an interview. As I suspected, these positions were already filled. So she took this as an opportunity to sit down and talk about where I’m going within the company. She said she was thrilled that I applied because not a lot of the younger employees apply for management positions. She said that she definitely thinks I’m capable of handling the demands of management, but since I’ve never done it before, she wanted to ease me into it. With all the shuffling going on, a lot of positions are going to open up. It’s not a matter of if but when I’ll get promoted to management. She made a point of telling me how happy she was with my performance and how I take criticism in stride. She suggested I start taking management classes through our “university” as that will serve me well. When I gave my boss the postmortem, he agreed with her and offered a few tips of his own. He suggested I get another license that would allow me to move to another department. He’s going to look into getting me study materials since I have the time to study now. It felt really good to hear both of them say really good things about me and that they see me going far. I heard similar things from the volunteer coordinator for a position I haven’t even done yet! She said she saw someone with my talents and personality doing very well and going far within the organization. Go me! They like me, they really like me!

Since ZooBorns was a bit disappointing this week, Furry Cuteness Friday will return next week. Since I love lists, here’s a list of things that make me smile. Because smiling is good for you.

*Boy being super awesome and understanding. He didn’t even bat an eye when I told him I can’t drive and I’d need him to haul me around.

*Being told I was brave and strong for telling my story and sharing my experiences with the epilepsy diagnosis, PTSD, and even just for getting out of bed in the morning, putting on clothes, and facing the day when I’d really rather just hide.

*Losing 22 pounds and counting. Hello new wardrobe and excuse to  go shopping! I also set aside a bunch of things to donate to the thrift store. It’s an impressive amount of stuff. This will be a great opportunity to reassess my style and make any tweaks for fall.

*The fall-like weather we’ve been having the past few days. Loving it. I’m not sure when we had highs in the 70s in August around here, but I’m not complaining. I’ll take it.

*All my friends, near and far, who have done what they can for me these past few months. Even just a brief note or text has meant the world to me. I’m continually impressed with the group I’ve managed to surround myself with.

*My boss being incredibly understanding and patient with me. He’s always willing to help wherever he can and that makes a really crappy situation a million times easier.

*Pink lipstick, perfume, and embracing the crazy curl in my hair. It’s good to feel pretty even when I don’t feel pretty on the inside (if that makes sense…).

*Kitten cuddles because they solve everything.

*Getting to see my family this past weekend and how we’ve all grown and changed. We’re a loud, crazy, wild bunch but I wouldn’t trade us for anything.

*Bubble baths, massages, and other nice, girly things I can do for myself.

*Awesome finds at the thrift store. That will definitely make rebuilding my wardrobe a little less expensive.

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Next time I update will probably be from the hospital.

XOXO, readers!

Of being careful what you wish for and getting it

My uncle the neurosurgeon came back with his assessment of my chart. He said that I was getting excellent care, they were doing everything right, and he was happy with what he saw. He said I should definitely go through with the video study and I’m not a good candidate for surgery given what he saw (and he’s seen many, many brains). He felt that my problems could be controlled by medication, it’s just finding the right one. He also said I shouldn’t be driving. That definitely hampers me a bit. Under GA law, if you have a seizure where you lose consciousness (which I disagree with that assessment, but my opinion doesn’t matter), you can’t drive for 6 months. I’ve never had a seizure while driving, but I know I’d never forgive myself if I hurt or killed someone else not to mention the damage I would do to myself. They could also throw me in jail for it. In a roundabout way, I got what I asked for. I can’t count the number of times I complained about traffic, how long I spend in the car, etc. The universe was like “Oh, okay, we can fix that!”. Lesson learned, universe, lesson learned. My boss was very helpful when I told him about it. He said he would circulate the word that I need a ride for the next few months. I really appreciated that. He’s definitely made the whole ordeal a bit easier. One of my coworkers said he could help me out for the next few months until his wife is off maternity leave. I figure I’ll give it a few days, see if anyone else pops up, and go from there.

The hospital can also take me for the video study on Monday. I was originally scheduled for October 10. I figure the faster I can get this all over with, the better. We’ll turn on the TV, wait an hour, and I’ll start to twitch. They’ll probably also want to capture anything I have in my sleep. Since I’ll be off my meds, I estimate I won’t be in there much longer than 48 hours. The quicker, the better. I’m ready to have this over and done with. My uncle said the video study would be very informative in that it will tell them what kind of seizures I’m having, where they originate, and give them a better idea of what medication I should be on since I’m not a good candidate for surgery. I’m okay with not being a good candidate for surgery.

In better news, I have an interview with the head of the division tomorrow. They posted a few jobs as part of the managerial musical chairs going on. I was under the impression these positions had already been filled, but apparently not. HR called me this morning and scheduled an interview for tomorrow. I’m really excited. At least I get a shot to sit down with her and get some interview practice. I’m not terribly emotionally invested in getting the position, though the increased responsibility (and raise) wouldn’t go unappreciated. I figure if the universe can dish out crap, it can also give me some good stuff. Considering the rest of this year, it would be nice to get a raise, a promotion, and a few good things out of the deal.

Tonight Boy is taking me out to dinner for our 3 year anniversary. On the one hand, it’s hard to believe it’s already been 3 years. On the other hand, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. He’s taking me to one of my favorite restaurants and I’m really looking forward to that. It’ll be a nice end to the day.


Of drinking games and til death do us part

The wedding was exactly what I needed. It was the first time this side of the family has been together in its entirety in 9 years. Hilarity typically ensues. When you throw in the groom’s side of the family, especially his pretentious ass of a father, things get even better. Even if I got done out of Busch Gardens on Sunday, it was still worth the price of admission. Some of the high points were:

*The power went out during the wedding itself. The priest tried to redeem it saying God must approve of the union. Not exactly, padre.

*The best man (the groom’s older brother) and the father of the bride (my uncle) both getting in jabs at the father of the groom during their toasts.

*Three of my cousins getting into a car after the rehearsal dinner and none of them getting in the driver’s seat. A bit of a metaphor for the weekend really. We were all in the car, but no one was in the driver’s seat.

*The father of the groom continually bringing up that they lived abroad, the groom’s grandmother was a senator (state senator from WV. *big* life accomplishment), and acting like the rehearsal dinner was a wake instead of a party. My sister and I made a drinking game out of it. That’s the extreme they took it to.

*Getting to see my 16 year old cousin and my sister drunk at the after party. They’re both very loving drunks. My cousin kept telling me how much he loved me and hugging me. Hilarity.

*Seeing my mom and my uncle get out and dance uncoerced. And we have it on video. I have literally never seen my mom dance in public in my entire life.

*Watching the 4 brothers of the groom put some serious damage in the open bar. Those kids can *drink*. Guess it runs in the family.

*The slide show during the rehearsal dinner wouldn’t work properly. Instead of giving up after the third try, the groom’s parents kept poking at it until it started working on the 8th try. And it was 80% pictures of the groom and they screwed up several places where my cousin lived in the few shots they had of her.

*Speaking of shots, quote of the after party- “I went to the bar to get a beer and I ended up doing a shot of tequila”.

We’ll be talking about this wedding for years to come and very little about the actual ceremony. The kids on the groom’s side made a point to differentiate themselves from their parents’ generation. Apparently we weren’t the only ones who noticed they’re self important asses. Though they would know better than we would, wouldn’t they? I feel a bit bad for my cousin because she’s stuck with them, but hopefully they’ll move far enough away that it won’t be an issue. Her husband apparently hates being the center of attention and if he’d had his way, the rehearsal dinner would’ve been at a pub in Colonial Williamsburg, not this big to do that his dad insisted on.

And the memoir continues to write itself…


Of silly brains and getting out of Dodge

Started the Lamictal this morning and I’ve already got myself paranoid about the rash. According to the patient information, it’s fairly uncommon in adults and if it appears, it appears in the first 2-8 weeks. Of course now I’m hyper aware and every time something itches, it gets me worried. It sucks to feel like your brain is making you crazy. Firstly, it sounds like the odds of me having this reaction are fairly low. Secondly, I don’t think 6.5 hours is enough time for anything adverse to happen anyway. I know the hyper awareness is normal, but that doesn’t make it suck any less. Stupid brain. I got the video study scheduled. I’ll be going in on October 10. If I have to stay 3 or 4 days, at least some of those days would be days I had off anyway.

I suppose this is another case of where my stubbornness can serve me. Even if I do feel like hiding under the covers all day, I don’t let myself go there. I may take a lot of breaks or take longer to do things, but I still get out of bed, put on clothes and make up, and make myself show up. Just putting in the effort goes a long way. In 48 hours, I’ll be on a plane to the wedding. The grown ups are leaving today, so the kittens and I have the house to ourselves for a few nights. I know getting out of town for a few days will help.

On a more positive note, I had a very productive conversation with my boss yesterday. I know he’s a straight shooter and we talked about everything from how the company operates to what he sees for me. He knows I’ve got talent and potential, it’s a matter of teaching me things that I’ll need to know in order to move up. It may not be the most interesting stuff in the world, but it’s stuff I need to know if I want to go anywhere. That’s fair. If I know these things up front, then I can take it a lot better. Don’t most people? I came away feeling like I understand everything a bit better and I know that it’s not just people getting tapped for certain positions. Amazing what you learn when you actually ask things.

XOXO, readers!