Tree Trom Defects.
2005-05-22 11:21 p.m.

I ran to the drug store this afternoon to purchase a Big Ass Humidifier (not the brand name). It's supposed to keep the air in my house humid and pleasant for my dry nose, mouth and eyes. I spent some time this evening teaching the cats the word "hot!" They caught on pretty quick and no whiskers were singed. I am a little concerned after reading the warranty card. Check out the first sentence. It's a little hard to read but worth the giggle.

Oh, the Cluster Lizard reference was from the Science Fiction show Lexx. Zev Bellringer was part cluster lizard and could roll up in a little ball and kick ass. That was about the extent of her lizard like powers.

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Part cluster lizard.
2005-05-21 11:42 p.m.

I've been staring at my face in the mirror and if I try really really hard I can move the right corner of my mouth 1/16 of an inch. I swear I'm not imagining this. I don't even have to do the Dr. Evil thing when I drink out of my water bottle anymore. I have not spilled beverage down the front of me all day. I think I'm getting some more functionality back. My eye is still fucked up but, whatever.

I'm learning some interesting things about my body, like I usually chew almost exclusively with my right molars. I've had to switch to the left which is very strange. Try this at home - the next time you eat see which side of your mouth you stuff your food into. Now try to chew on the opposite side. Weird, eh? Report back to me. Also, I noticed that my right eye is my winking eye, I can no longer wink. If I try to wink I just end up blinking with both eyes, the right eye lagging behind by half a second.

I had a home nursing visit from a coworker who also happens to be a nurse. She brought me her blood pressure monitor to borrow until my BP is under control. This is the real deal, with the built in stethoscope and the bulb you squeeze. Last check was 158/103 which is wa-aay too high. So while I'm home sick on the couch I do the following things obessively: drink water, take my temperature (average 96.8 - I'm part cluster lizard*), take my pulse (average 80) and now my blood pressure (average 155/100). If I had devices to check my glucose levels, kidney output, or PET scan my entire body I'm sure I'd be doing that every fifteen minutes at well.

On the upside, I've been doing some light housework including laundry and have been doing yoga every night for my low back which is feeling not too bad. Tomorrow I'm done with the steroids which means that I might be able to get to bed before 3:00am. All week I've been up all night and napping sporadically during the day. The stupid Prednisone seems to wire me.

I was going to insert a long diatribe about how lame it is that I'm home alone on a Friday night but I just realized that it's Saturday.

*Mad props to anyone who got my obscure sci-fi reference.

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Yeah, I'm into freaks.
2005-05-20 5:03 p.m.

I had an appointment for a facial before the whole facial paralysis thing set it. I almost cancelled, but decided it would be good for me to get out of the house and convinced myself the whole hot towel, smelly stuff, massage and steam would be good for my face. It felt really nice and I even sat in the whirlpool for awhile and felt the muscles in my lower back unknot.

I had a check I needed to deposit so I stopped by the closest Hell's Fargo I could find. I thought they had a drive through window but it was one of those drive through ATMs instead, so I had to park and go inside. My eyes were burning and I could barely see at this point.

I'm already completely self-conscious about how I look but I was also dressed in slacker yoga wear and my hair was greasy from all the oil they rubbed into my scalp. I was literally glistening with oil and ultra shiny.

Of course I get the window with The Cute Guy working it. I bolster myself by only giving him a tight lipped smile and slur just half of my words. Dude, he starts flirting with me - big time. I'm totally freaking out. Somehow I've managed to find the only man in Portland with a fetish for blind, slurring, paralyzed women who are freshly dipped in oil. Go me. When I get better I'm doing all my banking there.

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I will continue to make out with my cats, damn it.
2005-05-19 10:27 p.m.

My mother called me tonight and told me that she had been thinking about me getting "all these viruses" and told me that I should not kiss my cats on the mouth anymore. I laughed and we argued for awhile over whether or not you could catch a virus from kissing your cat on the lips. It's not like I'm open mouth Frenching my cats. I just grab their adorable little faces and give them a quick smooch on the nose.

I went for acupuncture this afternoon and sat with needles in me for an hour in a super heated dark room. It's the room that my friend Sandy calls "The Cave" because they painted it brown with some funky paleolithic paintings on the wall. After my acupuncturist took the needles out we noticed that my eyebrows were realigned. I still can't raise my right eyebrow as high as the left but when my face is neutral they match. I took a nap this afternoon and then slathered on some lip balm on my poor dry lips. Automatically I do that thing that all girls do - you rub your lips together to distribute the balm evenly - and I could do it! I couldn't do that this morning! I've been rubbing my lips together obsessively ever since.

And finally, from Jasonaut, this is actually how I look. It's not the Riddler I resemble but Two Face. And yes, Jasonaut, you are a geek, but that's why I like you.

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2005-05-18 8:47 p.m.

Thanks for all the nice comments, homies. You guys rule and have definitely lifted my spirits. My doctor has put me on medical leave until the end of the month and my new boss in the process of giving away all the work on my desk. I'm exhausted and spend most of my time sleeping or watching Tivo.

After some more research it appears that 1 out of 65 people will get Bell's Palsy in their lifetime. Even though it's common, it still sucks and is very scary.

In order to drink or eat I have to keep one finger on the right cheek, just like Dr. Evil. During random intervals after swallowing I'll shout things out about "frickin' idiots" and "sharks with lasers." The benefits of not being able to eat means easy weight loss. I'm down three pounds since Friday. Whoo-hoo. But don't worry folks, I'm famine proof.

One interesting thing is I get to see what I'd look like with Botox. The right side of my face is porcelain smooth, it's just the lack of symmetry whenever I smile or talk that's disconcerting. If I keep a perfectly neutral expression you can't really notice it. I'm completely afraid to go out in public. I freely admit that I'm vain and self-conscious. I don't like looking like The Riddler. The doctor said it should resolve in two weeks if I'm lucky. I hope I'm lucky.

ADDENDUM: Lots of people have recommended acupuncture to me - on and off the website. I just wanted to let everyone know I'm going tomorrow to my acupuncturist.

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"Wiggle your big toe."
2005-05-16 9:58 p.m.

I walked into the bathroom last night at 11:00pm and was examining my pores in the mirror when I noticed that the right side of my face didnít look quite right. I tried to smile. The right side of my mouth didnít work. I tried to shut my eyes and my right eye didnít close all the way.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

I took a bath and tried to decide how much of a hissy fit I should be having. The right side of my face was paralyzed. No big deal, right? I washed my face and got soap in my eye because I couldnít close it all the way. I washed and conditioned my hair, shaved my legs, exfoliated then called Rebecca. ďCan you drive me to the hospital?Ē ďIíll be right there.Ē

We got to the ER close to midnight and it was blissfully empty. They made me stick out my tongue, raise my eyebrows and squeeze their fingers. I was then given a pink bracelet and immediately given a bed. Rebecca had to sit in the waiting room while they hooked me up to electrodes, took my vitals and stole some blood. They CT scanned my brain and performed an EKG. They were overly concerned because I had a heart rate of 134 and a scary BP of 220/126.

After the doctor initially met with me I asked him if someone could go get Rebecca. I heard someone in the nurses station ask another nurse to go and get Kungfukittenís partner, Rebecca. We both giggled about that then argued over which one of us was the lipstick lesbian. I vaguely remember comparing Rebecca to Sporty Spice. (I meant it as a sexy compliment, I swear).

My CT was clear and EKG normal. Blood work was essentially normal. They diagnosed me with Bellís Palsy. I should recover in a couple of weeks. Until then I look weird when I talk and eating is difficult (and not very pretty). For instance, I poured myself a glass of wine and I have to push a finger in the right corner of my mouth when I sip or thereís possible spillage.

I swear to the Goddess, when it fucking rains, it pours. Between the low back pain, Sjogrenís and whatever was making me throw up on Monday, I donít know what to do. I want to be 100% healthy ASAFP. Iím sick of this crap. Iím too young to look like a freaking stroke victim. *Bangs head on keyboard*

A;ikdf ngh;/asgn anm dajkh

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Icky eyes, slimmer thighs and Buddhist sighs.
2005-05-15 10:47 p.m.

It appears that Iím single again. This was done quietly and with no drama, which was kind of nice. I donít think Iím a good person to date right now anyway. I feel like crap and am going to be emotionally high maintenance until my doctors figure out what the hell is wrong with me. They seem pretty sure about the whole Sjogrenís Syndrome thing, Iím just worrying about other things like my kidneys exploding, polymyositis, lupus or other autoimmune crap. I just have to wait for all the blood work to come back and it could be a day or another week. I hate waiting. I want to know everything right now. I thought my eyesight was starting to get better but this morning my eyeballs were a gross reddish pink color. Who the hell wants to stare longingly into those? On the upside I continue to lose weight.

Iíve been reading a lot of books on Buddhism lately. Itís that whole must-find-religion-before-I-die thing. Thich Nhat Hanh has been particularly helpful: ďIt is possible to develop joy in your mind, even when your body is not well. This will, in turn, help your body. Joy comes from touching things that are refreshing and beautiful, within and outside of ourselves. Usually we touch only whatís wrong. If we can expand our vision and also see what is right, this wider picture always brings joy.Ē He also has some beautiful observations on love, one I want to quote but canít find right now. Such beautiful quotes on love from a monk even. Iíll post it when I come across it again.

1 People have tried to sell me Viagra

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