Saturday, September 22, 2012

Financial Woes & Anxiety Attacks

Despite a win from Stanford last week against USC and a well-deserved A+ in my environmental studies movies class, I knew I had to lose out somewhere.

and that somewhere was my credit report.

Now, I have received a few F's in my day, mainly during my 'party rock, YOLO, DGAF about school' period of my life, but those were always of the academic variety. This is the first time I've ever gotten in F in a nonacademic honestly makes me feel like a failure as an adult. First goal of adulthood, build good credit. My progress towards said goal, nonexistent.

However, I will say that in my defense, the collections that I owe which are ruining my credit on a demonic, daily basis are all medical. They run back to about two and a half years ago, which coincidentally, was when all of my stomach problems started. I had probably six to ten hospital visits within that time period, all from stomach-related problems, and the majority of them pre-GP-diagnosis.

Essentially, I threw up blood pretty often, and as the sight of some fluid you DID NOT IMBIBE shows up in your toilet, it's time to get a needle in the arm and and enough ativan to calm an entire city in time of war.

I was not getting along well with my parents at this point, and due to my own lack of common sense, (I honestly, really have no common sense. I am book smart, attempt to be street smart, but never will I have common sense) I was sending all the bills for these hospital visits to myself, moved, and forgot all about said bills.

Now as I approach the need for financial aid and student loans, these bills have come back to bite me in the ass in a particularly fucked up way. I owe about a grand to several collection agencies. It is so frustrating, honestly, because if I had just sent the bills to my parents, I wouldn't be in the credit shithole I am deeply involved in now.

It's also frustrating because every hospital visit within this time period was a failed one. Not in the sense of basic medical care, I got rehydrated and sent home each time, but in that each time I was admitted, I was released with a different diagnosis. From GERD to possible ulcer, I would certainly be dead right now if I had all of the possible conditions I was diagnosed with.

My personal favorite wrong (and moronic) diagnosis was on March 24 of last year. Doctor comes in, looks at me, and tells me that marijuana was causing all of my stomach problems. It's a condition called 'cannabis hypermyesis syndrome,' which about 8 people on the entire planet have.

That diagnosis was clearly wrong but did get me on the path to finding my GP. So, I guess I'm lucky in that sense. However, the $300 I racked up for that fake diagnosis was not so much appreciated.

So, here I am as an adult, at 24, and I'm stuck and anxiety-ridden. How, when I cannot even work a part time job, am I going to pay off these bills so I can have a decent credit score? Will I even be allowed to take out a student loan?

Cue Panic Attack.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Productivity & The Snowball Effect

Today, with my new-found energy due to the so-far-faultless abilify, I actually had the ability to go out and take care of an errand or two. What i didn't expect was the snowball effect on this particular day, snowball here meant as 'ever increasing tasks to complete with an ever decreasing level of energy'. I do apologize for the graphical interpretation of my variable energy levels, but I have been on campus far too long today.

What started out as a simple task at Academic Advising turned into a two hour free for all drive-sprint around campus (i feel bad for the one cop who sat at the round-about at the entrance of campus who saw me drive by about 7 times within two hours, who gave me strange looks and an all knowing "i know your left tail light is out, just try taking a left, bitch" glare), which involved multiple instances of stair climbing, running 100+ yard sprints in order to avoid parking tickets (I did! At every place I parked! I never get this lucky, I have 97 parking tickets listed in the UC System!), and a necessity to remain in a good mood no matter what occurred.

I could feel my mood start to plummet at around 12:30, about an hour and a half into my UCSB unwanted cardio-excursion, but fortunately the abilify, or my own damned motivation to finish out my day so I could collapse in bed kept me up and going.

I hit the grocery store and headed home, prepared for a blissful afternoon of rewatching episodes of 'Awkward.' on MTV and doing crossword puzzles. This sad, wishful thinking of course sent me home with a horrific batch of karma, which led to another two full hours of cardio! (Not that I'm against exercise normally, I was a pool rat for a long, long period of my life, but at this point I have to fight to save calories, and losing them means another week of "no shopping for you until you fit a size 0 again")

Today's karma hit me as soon as I got home, wherein I quickly found out the toilet was clogged (We throw the dog's crap in the toilet if he goes in the house, with paper towels. BAD IDEA. Seriously, don't ever do this unless you want to spend a half hour of your life on your knees covered in lysol and toilet water.)

Being the shining example of brilliant common sense, my first response was to flush said devil toilet, and attempted plunging it. Hello, waves of toilet water cascading onto the bathroom floor.

And of course, once I got started scrubbing down the bathroom, I figured I might as well clean everything else that needed immediate attention-the dishes (which I have to do in the shower by the way, I don't have a kitchen sink in my shoebox apartment), the bunny's cage, the overflowing freezer full of ice which refuses to defrost. (I have to beat the shit out of the ice box with a hammer to get the fridge to shut sometimes.)

Hence, the snowball effect. And I think it's fair to say that this snowball decided to roll over me, roll back, and lay on top of me. Because I am dead. Three letter crossword clues are defeating me. The idea of getting up to get a gatorade? too far.

I really need to invest in some type of drink delivery system for myself. Or, you know, clean more often than when a, something smells, or b, the toilet decides it has a mind of its own.

Either way, I'm dead on my feet. Here's to crossing fingers and a good karma debt-maybe i'll keep down my baby food tonight!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Today, I woke up today with somewhat of a new, well, more forgotten, feeling. Today, I woke up with a little bit of optimism. I don't know what it is, whether it's the pumpkin spice creamer in my coffee bringing fall along, the satisfaction of being able to pay another medical bill, [of which i have approximately a grand yet to still pay off, thank you ER fees] or the possibility of my grades from summer session B finally being released, i'm in a pretty good mood.

I'm hoping this means that the abilify that I've added to my current medical regime is working. Supposedly, once it starts working, a few days after beginning it (which is positively glorious, in terms of medical stabilizing time, my anti-depressant took like 8 weeks to settle in before I stopped acting like a hormonal psychopath), it's supposed to give you some energy in the morning, and boost whatever isn't working with your original anti-depressant. so, here i am, with a bit of hope.

Even though I barfed three times last night, (although in all fairness, after my second puke, it being 1am and nothing else open, my third puke due to dominos bread bites delivery was TOTALLY my fault. but they were so good, it was ok), I have a slight spring in my step today. I feel like possibilities have made themselves available in my eyes again, and i like it.

Even though my biggest plan today consists of cleaning out the bunny cage, it's something. don't knock on whatever sunshine i find, the idea makes me happy. Why? Because I actually have the desire to do SOMETHING.

I hope this is abilify's actions, and not just a random good day on my part. Crossing my fingers like you wouldn't believe--if this stabilizes my head out, I get to try a stomach med again! and maybe eat something besides turkey rice entrees that apparently my mother used to feed to the dog when he got sick!

Like I've been telling my parents, all I want for Christmas is to be able to eat a BLT again. Although this might not happen still, with all the medical aid available in the world, maybe I'll get to eat something besides my trusty gerber goodness for a chance this christmas.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Last Tuesday Night...

Last night was not a fun one in terms of GP. However, I have made a discovery that I think will help in terms of one of the three sessions of puking i did last night.

The discovery: If i take all my meds within the same thirty minute period and then try to eat, I will throw up, and I will throw up medicine at the end of said puke. For the record, that's the worst part of throwing up for me. Undigested food is nothing compared to the half-digested stomach acid/medication i get to puke.

Currently, my nightly routine is as follows.
1. Take anxiety and anti-nausea pill.
2. AT LEAST ONE HOUR LATER [thanks to new discovery] take anti-depressant, which also is helpful in that it increases appetite/stops nausea. I swear to god, I don't know how its even possible for me to throw up with THREE different medications in my system claiming to have 'anti-emetic' effects.
3. Wait a half hour for anti-depressant appetite to appear.
4. Attempt at eating.
5. Around 90% of the time, I puke every time.
6. Repeat attempted eating and puking until I finally can fall asleep.

As you can see, not the most pleasant cycle, and certainly not helpful in terms of my social ineptitude. This is where I am hoping having an actual stomach medication to un-paralyze my apparently retarded organ.

In all fairness though, I do some of this damage to myself, albeit unintentionally. Problem is, my stomach is essentially non-existent in terms of size, thanks partially to the anorexia of my past which continues to haunt me, as well as about two or so years of puking up everything i ate.

Of course I'm aware of this, but once I finally have an appetite, all I want to do is eat! So I stuff my face to the best of my ability, (keep in mind that used in this capacity, 'stuffing my face' equates to about 400 calories) and then suffer the consequences in the toilet bowl a half hour later. Almost a self-fulfilling prophecy of sorts, no?

This is where, unfortunately, I'm banking on the stomach medication to help. If I have the ability to eat during the day, so that I'm not starving by 9pm, I think it'll greatly reduce my current state of barfing.

Unfortunately, due to the medications listed in the steps above that are still wreaking havoc on my poor brain, I don't get to have my reglan/domperidone for another month. And people wonder why I'm depressed?

And let me just say that as a side note, I have followed the guidelines for my nightly eating to a tee. Trust me, before I got officially diagnosed, I would eat whatever the hell I wanted (soup, sandwiches, cookies from ralphs that are amazing and that i'm going to greatly miss for the rest of my life) and then puke and give up for the day. I give myself major props for adopting and kind of actually enjoying my baby food diet.

I attempted to branch out last night and go 'buck wild,' as described by the boyfriend, and try some 'cup o noodles.' needless to say, this is why I puked MULTIPLE times last night and for all you out there with GP....BAD DECISION.

There really isn't a point, or message behind this post. I'm just in a rather whiny, pity-myself-because-jesus-christ-all-i-really-want-is-animal-style-fries-from-in-n-out-and-i'm-stuck-here-with-grape-juice mood, and felt this rant was appropriate. Plus, the boyfriend leaves for the weekend to go see his family, so I'm stuck here alone for the next few days. So thus i shall lament. [well, mostly lament. i am excited to have full, no-guilt control over the tv for the next few days].

Here's to a night free of puking!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Something that I haven't quite touched on yet is what, if actually kept down, I eat on a daily basis.

My eating habits have always been strange, especially after a stint with anorexia about ten years ago. Couple that with swim team and lifeguarding throughout high school, and you'll find that I don't tend to eat like a normal person.

For one thing, I've never been a big breakfast person. I don't like to wake up and go to school, work, etc. with a heaviness in my stomach. Thus, as soon as I learned to operate a vehicle somewhat correctly, my morning routine began with a starbucks frappucinno, every day.

Although most people can't seem to survive without developing irritability/general out-of-it-syndrome between meals, I weigh about 110 pounds soaking wet and had already trained my body in years of "it's not six pm yet, so you aren't hungry."

Thus, I would drink my frappucinno and look forward to my next meal, dinner. Which is where I would obtain about 70% of the calories I needed for the day. Simple, no? This system worked for years, and I can tell you now, looking back, that the ability to stuff my face with no repercussions is one i sorely miss.

Since the introduction of my GP, I have tried multiple methods of keeping calories in my body. Luckily (Unluckily?) my stomach has shrunk to the size of a lap-band patient, so my metabolism has decided to say fuck it, and hold on to every calorie it can.

Method one was simple: eat soup, eat a bunch of snack-y type crap, and try not to throw up. success rate: about 3%. (I did throw up the 3% of kept down food the next morning, for the record. and after a awhile of this consistently occurring, I became more amused with the fact that I could recognize what I ate for dinner--8 hours previous--than horrified that I was once again barfing.)

Method two is even simpler: don't eat, and you won't throw up. However, the whole starving myself thing was a nod to my anorexic past and although I still have the ability to go a few days after eating, now i'm OLD so I actually suffer for it.

Method three is the current one in progress, and it seems to work out about 25% of the time. This is an improvement, believe me. I have christened method three the "Baby Food Diet."

Looks pretty tasty, right?

Although initially deterred by the idea of eating pureed beets out of a jar, I visited Vons and was met with an epiphany: Gerber makes baby food that isn't in a jar! And thus, I introduce to you the line of Gerber Graduates baby food, which in all actuality, is pretty tasty.

On an average night, I'll try to keep down one of the baby food entree portions (can't each the vegetable portion, I've puked carrots at 8am before and do not plan on repeating that instance ever again). And to snack on? One or two of these:


Let me precede this with the fact that i HATE yogurt. and melted cheese. and anything with that sort of creamy texture. It absolutely disgusts me. However, these freeze dried yogurt drops are pretty freaking fantastic and also have a whole bunch of vitamins. If it's a good night and I'm not looking towards the toilet yet, I can also manage to keep down the Gerber snacks 'baby cheetos,' which totally satisfy my munchie cravings.

Pair that along with a cup of coffee with peppermint creamer in the morning, (I can't drink my frappucinno anymore, alas, it is too filled with fat and dairy), and that's my daily eating experience. My current goal is 'no puking for one week.' still yet to happen.

I think the main problem I'm facing still is that when I get around to eating dinner, all I want to do is stuff my face. So, I binge on my baby food, my stomach tells me to fuck off, repeat cycle. I know that GP 101 states to have smaller, more frequent meals a day but considering I actually like to do things with my day as a generality, I don't usually enjoy eating an applesauce, barfing it up 20 minutes later, and then heading back into work.

So, I guess it is an ongoing cycle in terms of how I'm going to keep myself fed. Right now, my hopes are pinned down on finally getting a pro-kinetic stomach med that works. But until then, let me feast upon my baby food!

Two interesting side notes on the subject of baby food:
1. I have gotten countless judgemental looks at the grocery store while attempting to purchase my baby food. This is further exemplified by the fact that I look like a fifteen year old, and do get carded for tobacco/asked if I'm excited for prom on a daily basis. People, this is not fair. I am not with child, I am eating this crap myself, and I'm going to enjoy it. Luckily, "chronic illness" tends to make people shut up in terms of judging apparent teenagers purchasing multiple bags of baby yogurt drops.

2. Once I finally am through the worst of this GP mess, I'm totally going to create a new dieting system. You know the Atkins diet? Meet the Baby Food Diet. I don't know how filling my meals are relatively, considering that like half a juice box fills me up for four hours (oh, how I loathe early satiety), but seriously, baby food has like no calories in it. One entree=100 calories. One bin of baby cheetos=150 calories (for six servings!!!!) I always get people asking me how I stay so thin, and have decided to just tell people that I follow the Gerber Graduates plan of weight loss.

I'll get back to you when I'm a millionaire.

Monday, September 17, 2012


the concept of the word 'alone' is a funny thing. The definition of the word is so vague and can be used in so many connotations that at some point, the feeling behind the word is lost.

However, I can assure you that today I truly do feel the emotion behind the word 'alone.'

I could have also titled this post "i told you so" because in today's instance, my parents were spot on.

I've been lectured during every phone call to either parent throughout the last few weeks. One of the things that both parents repeatedly made a point of mentioning was the idea that I should make sure that I was physically and mentally stable before going out and pursuing extraneous activities such as a part-time job or internship.

Following along the same course of action I have developed over the last 24 years, I completely ignored my parents and decided that with the conclusion of my movie class, I should get a part-time job so I wouldn't just sit and dwell on everything wrong in my life.

Go figure, I actually manage to get a job. I do have the innate ability to interview well despite whatever turmoil is occuring in my life.

But today, for the first time, I really sat and thought about the weeks ahead, with at least four before I finally get to try a stomach medication again. And I thought about what my parents had repeatedly told me. And i recognized that the feeling of dread I had when arriving at work was not the attitude with which I wanted to start a job.

So, I quit. Well, less 'quit' and more so 'hired at a later date,' provided that I have stabilized in terms of my health. And I cried about it, but do realize it's probably the best decision for me in terms of attempting to get a career job in the future, I don't need anything negative in terms of job history.

However, with that feeling came the loneliness. I have let my medications get the best of me again, and pissed off the boyfriend to the point where I think he's done in terms of 'us'.

I have no friends here, all of my college friends actually graduated on time and are out and about living their adult lives. My parents are understandably tired of my crap and repeated whining as well.

Today I can truly evoke the feeling of being all alone.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


I feel like i face new obstacles everyday on this journey to a somewhat normal life. Today's obstacle: parental support.

Like i said in an earlier post, there is a point where people get tired of hearing you whine about feeling sick, about waiting to feel better, waiting for stability.

I guess I've hit that point today while on the phone with my mom, who listened to me whine for about 5 minutes before delving into a lecture about all the ways I've fucked up my life since I've left home, that I've "done this to myself" concerning my gastroparesis. Hearing her straight out call me a failure in an especially cruel way, "I talk with my friends about their children. they're all adults, graduated college in four years, and are successful. When they ask about you, I don't have anything to talk about because there is nothing positive to discuss. You are a failure to us and you just irritate us more and more because you can't support yourself"...

...just wow. talk about a way to kick someone when they're down. She took my anxieties about work in the same manner, (I told her I was worried about meeting the fitness requirements for a swim instructor, I just don't have the energy it takes for all of the certifications right now. I can teach, it doesn't require much energy, but all of the requirements outside the lesson itself is too much for me) --she told me that I probably wouldn't be able to do it and to work on getting healthy first.

I find it completely unfair that she has this opinion, when lately I've been getting alternating lectures of "don't do anything until you're healthy" and "wow, it sucks that we have to pay for you again, and we're pissed off we're having to support you." It just honestly makes me feel like shit about myself.

Trust me, if i had the ability, I'd be back bartending 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and supporting myself. I hate feeling this weak and at the age of 24, still having to rely on my parents financially. It just sucks to know that my parents think that low of me and are mad at me for developing this illness.

You want to know what depression feels like? It's the feeling that your parents have completely given up on you and don't care. Because they want progress and independence, and I can't give that to them right now.

So maybe I shouldn't talk to my parents anymore, because I can't handle that in addition to the depression I'm already feeling.

And I really don't know if I can do this job. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if I'm an even bigger failure than the one i am today.