Really keeping the “Repetitive” in “Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation”

So last year I did rTMS to try to whack my brain out of chronic treatment resistant depression and it was pretty helpful.  Not perfect, but it pulled me out of a deep hole I was stuck in.  I also treated the other side of my brain for anxiety and that was really helpful.  I’ve taken one xanax in the last 6 months and anyone with severe anxiety disorder knows how big of a deal that is.

Unfortunately I’ve been in a bit of a hole lately and my doctor said another round of TMS treatments might really help to stop me before I’m too far gone so I started again this week.

I’m doing the same treatments as before but in slightly different spots (the science on TMS changes so quickly and doctors are always using the latest studies to try to perfect the treatment) and I’m also doing deep treatment on my right ocular something-or-another and I don’t entirely understand it but they think it may help break up the intrusive negative thoughts that get stuck in my head.

It is as painful as I remembered but less painful than living with mental illness so I’m down with it.  They play nature videos with relaxing melodies so you can distract yourself  but that’s not really my thing so instead they’re letting me watch Shrill on their TV and it’s lovely except that my headphones ran out of juice so the counselor who monitors me just turned up the volume in the room right as a particularly awkward sex scene came on, which was made even more awkward by the fact that I was forcing other people to watch it.

Embarrassing, but honestly, very on brand.

PS.  Last treatment they had to find my hand through my brain (making my thumb move by punching me in the head with magnets) but this time they had to go deeper, which meant that I had to take off my shoes and get magnet punched until I involuntarily kicked myself.  I was still wearing tattered remnants of months-old nail polish and I apologized for the state of my feet but no one seemed to care and honestly I suspect that if your feet look like shit it’s maybe just another sign that you need to be medicinally magnet thumped for a few months.

Reaching out.

Yesterday I went to the post office and this happened:

I really am lucky in so many ways.

Several people said they wished that they could feel this type of love.  Several people said they wished that they could give this kind of love.

So why not?

If you want to send a card or note to someone who is a part of this community then check the comments.  If you want to receive a card or note from someone else then leave a comment with your address.  I’ll be sending a few myself because I know how wonderful it is to have an unexpected note reminding you that you are needed.

PS. This is a wonderful, trustworthy community but just to be on the safe side if you want to use your work address or your parents address or a PO box rather than your personal address that’s not really a terrible idea.  Totally up to you.

 

Do you want to hear a ghost story?

In case you don’t follow me on twitter, you need to know what happened this weekend in case I suddenly turn up dead.  If the embed doesn’t work then click here for the story.


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There was a bear attack in my house. In that a bear was attacked in my house.

Almost every day on twitter I share the most baffling thing Amazon recommended that day and this one has come up several times:

It’s a desiccated 6 and a half foot teddy bear corpse that seems to have been in a hit and run and then dried out in the sun.  I assumed it was some sort of sleeping bag that also suffocates you but turns out it’s just the skin and you’re supposed to fill it yourself, which will probably not make me very popular at Build-a-Bear.  Personally though I thought it would make a great sleeping bag and you could use the face as a sleeping mask that might also suffocate you doing the night.

It’s goddam ridiculous so of course I immediately bought it to surprise my family.

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My family doesn’t understand whimsy. Part 1.

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Part 2. Why does it have it have camel toe?

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Sadly, after so many years of living with me they seem to be immune to this level of horror/whimsy:

I’m not sure what to do with it now but I think it would make an excellent laundry bag for heavy procrastinators or a very fluffy carry-on suitcase for long trips.

UPDATE:  HANG ON, Y’ALL.  I think I just got a bear skin rug for under $50.

Ferris Mewler is totally impressed. Or embarrassed for me. Hard to tell.

I suspect my body is trying to do a murder on me and I don’t appreciate it.

So.

Yesterday I felt a bit gross and headachey but I’ve had a cold for a week so I thought I was just normal sick and maybe I just needed to eat something, but then at dinner I ordered something but before it came I started feeling hot and cold and wrong and terrible and that level of nauseous where you feel like you should throw up but you don’t want to throw up because you know you won’t stop throwing up.  This was all accompanied by a terrible sense of dread but probably because that’s what you’re supposed to feel like when you realize you’re about to get violently sick in public.

I walked to the restaurant bathroom and made it almost halfway to the stall before I found myself falling to the ground and I sat up against the wall for a few seconds wondering what was happening to me and then next thing I knew I woke up and I had blood in my mouth and I’d somehow rolled myself into one of the stalls (which was thankfully empty because I can’t imagine how horrifying it would be to see an unconscious stranger wriggle under your stall door while you’re pooping).

I texted “help” to Victor and then crawled outside to the lobby and he and Hailey took me to the Emergency Room where I spent hours with a nausea that three rounds of anti nausea IVs didn’t touch, chest pains, dizziness, faintness and a very ouchy tongue that I apparently tried to bite through while unconscious.  After X-rays and blood work and an EKG and CT scans came back clear the doctor said she had no idea what was wrong with me and sent me home.

I still feel weak and off and wrong, but after sleeping most of the day I realized that I’ve felt this way before…after a panic attack.

Panic attacks and anxiety attacks aren’t the same thing although we tend to use the words interchangeably, but anyone who has had a massive panic attack knows the difference.  I have anxiety attacks a lot.  It’s a sense of dread coupled with racing thoughts and terror.  They suck and can be debilitating but you usually can recognize them once you’ve had a few.  You can calm yourself down with breathing tools or meds and eventually they pass.

Panic attacks are much more physical.  If an anxiety attack is like being punched in the face a panic attack is more like being  mauled by wild dogs who also have switchblades for some reason.  The symptoms are different for everyone, which makes it even more confusing.  Severe stomach distress, heart pain, fainting, the feeling that you are definitely going to die and very soon.  About 10 years ago I ended up in the ER thinking I was definitely having a heart attack but it was a panic attack.  I think yesterday was the same thing.

In a way it’s reassuring, having an answer for something that otherwise makes no sense.  In other ways it’s scarier than ever, knowing that my brain can mimic murdering me so strongly it baffles everyone.  I feel lucky knowing that I’m probably okay in spite of a really terrifying night.  I feel guilty for scaring my family and for costing us $2k in ER bills that basically showed how crazy everyone already knows I am.

If this happened to anyone else I’d tell them that they’re going to be okay and that they did what they should have and that it’s not their fault and that everyone deals with medical bullshit.  I don’t know why it’s always so much harder to tell yourself the things you so easily believe for others.  But if I write it maybe I’ll believe it.  Maybe you’ll believe it too.

This is where I was going to put a picture of my CT scan for the most introspective selfie ever but I’m looking through my paperwork and apparently they just sent digital copies to my doctor so basically this was the most overpriced photoshoot ever.  Instead just imagine a picture of a brain with “WHY ARE YOU EVEN LIKE THIS?” written on top of it.

Humbled. Maybe too humbled.

I don’t often get recognized in public (partially because I don’t leave the house much but also because authors aren’t rockstars) but when I do it’s often very sweet and somewhat awkward because I’m always so happy to give readers a hug but then I usually have to apologize for being so boring in real life.  So today when this young girl handed me my chicken nuggets at the drive thru and then was like, “Oh my God, are you?  YOU ARE!” I just sort of smiled at her and the guy working the window with her looked at me and she said “DO YOU KNOW WHO SHE IS?” and he was like, “No.  Should I?” and she was like, “Seriously, Daniel?  What is your deal?” and then she apologized to me for Daniel and I was like, “No worries!  It’s sweet that you even recognized-” and then she turned to him and was like “Ms. Frizz, dude!” and he stared at her and she said, “From The Magic School Bus?” and he shrugged and she rolled her eyes and yelled, “MS. FRIZZLE IN THE HOUSE!

Thank you world, for always keeping me humble.

Ms. Frizzle out.

I could care less. I think.

I’m having a fight with a friend because she insists that if she doesn’t care about something then she could care less, but I say that if you don’t care about something you “could not care less” because you if you could care less then that  implies that you must care a little if you have the ability to care less about something.  I asked Victor his opinion and he said he could not care less which I think means that he agrees with me but honestly now I don’t even know how words work anymore.

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And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!  (Except  technically  it’s the Monday wrap up because I was sick on Sunday and everything fell apart.

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):

Shit-you-may-or-may-not-want-to-see:

This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by The Uncurated Mama.   “This is for all of those mamas out there who look at perfectly curated social media pages with envy and look around at the Cheerios on the floor and pillow forts in the corner and decide not to capture it for the Instagram world because the dust bunnies in the corner make you look bad. The mamas who are getting by with more microwaved dinners, sticky fingers, and over-booked calendars than you’d like to admit…this is for us. I got you!”  If you’re a mom you should check it out.  I recommend starting here.

I sort of want to take this class just to see if I know myself as much as I think I do but I’m not sure I could take failing myself. Literally.

You know when you’re in college and you don’t know what you’re doing or what you’re going to be and you sort of hate yourself and you switch from an English major to Journalism because the guys in your creative writing classes keep telling you that your writing is “too feminine” and “esoteric” and you start to realize that no one will ever like or understand your weird little voice?

And then, decades later, you see this class listing at the very college where you once struggled.

And suddenly you realize that maybe everything happened just the way it was supposed to.

And that life is very, very strange.

 

In and out and back again.

Last week I got hit with a major bout of depression.  I did all the things I’m supposed to do.  Nothing helped.  Usually when this happens I wait it out.  I’m stronger than my mental illness even though it feels like an inescapable monster when it’s here.  Then Sunday I took a darker turn.  And Monday I was worse.  There are a few things that come when my depression gets really bad.  Exhaustion, almost flu-like.  My peripheral vision goes away.  My body goes numb and my face feels heavy and weighted down.  When it’s really bad I stare out at a fixed point and can’t move my eyes from that spot, like I’m paralyzed for several seconds at a time.  In some ways it’s a relief to have physical signs of what’s happening…to remind myself that it’s real and not just in my mind…but it’s also terrifying to have your brain take over your body when your brain is the most dangerous place to be.

I called my doctor.  I got an appointment for next week to see the doctor who did my Transcranial Magnetic Therapy so we can see if booster sessions might help shake me out of this.

And then…almost as suddenly as it appeared…it vanished.

This happens sometimes.  Usually it’s a slow process of several days recovery but this time it just went away.  I was left feeling exactly how you feel after you stop throwing up from food poisoning…shaky, vulnerable, empty, exhausted, terrified that it’s not over, but so incredibly grateful that my body belonged to me again.

I want to cancel my appointment with my doctor.  I want to pretend this week didn’t happen.  But it did and it may be a fluke or it may be a sign that I need more help.  I will continue to work the program.  I will continue to fight battles in my head.

I always feel bad writing about mental health stuff because I know I’m tired of feeling it so I’m sure you are tired of hearing about it but it’s a relief to be able to lay it all out here and to read back and see how far I’ve come…to see that I may struggle with these seemingly invisible enemies but that I have a perfect record (so far) of beating them.  And you do too if you are reading this.  I’m proud of you.  I hope you are proud of yourself.

Falcon sex hats

Red Scharlach tweeted this out yesterday:

…and then about a billion people forwarded it to me and were like, “THIS MADE ME THINK OF YOU” and that’s concerning because other people get “I saw the sunrise and thought of you” but I’ve managed to corner the market on raptor jizz hats. ( Also, spellcheck was like “Did you mean ‘raptor jazz hats’?” and no, spellcheck.  You’re not helping.)

So I felt weird about it for a second and then immediately decided to celebrate the fact that you guys know me so well because honestly, this shit is amazing.  First off, it’s a hat that comes with a bird.  Possibly two.  Or more.  I don’t know how falcon orgies happen.  And instead of it being taxidermied like old fashioned bird hats the bird is still alive and I can stop paying the exterminator because the hat raptors will eat all the mice in my house.  And possibly by dog.  Unless I get her a jizz hat too.  Then we can match and honestly, we both have a face for hats so this works well.  Plus, if I’m collecting falcon sperm I can use that to make more falcons.  This hat pays for itself.  In falcons.

UPDATED:  OH HANG ON.

I thought the falcons were having sex on hats because they were exhibitionists and maybe they weren’t good at aiming so the hat caught anything “extra” but I just watched the video and turns out the hat is a fake lady-garden that the bird masturbates into while the hat wearer makes sexy falcon noises and this is a sentence I never thought I’d write but there it is.