So Saturday we opened Nowhere Bookshop for the day and it was amazing because there were real live people in the store and my talented friend Heather Gauthier delivered a special giant celebratory painting with lots of amazing little hat-tips…
…including this one hidden in the background which took me three minutes to figure out myself:
And it was a wonderful day until I completely threw out my back and ended up in incredible pain, which would have been bad enough but then my body was like, “we can make this worse” because I have this thing that I call Vincent Vega Syndrome because I can never remember the real name for it (vasovagal syncope) but basically it causes your body to SUPER overreact and faint when you see blood or are in major pain or emotional distress and that means that while walking through my kitchen I tweaked my back and I suddenly realized I was passing out and I didn’t want to fall on the counter I was facing so I pushed off of the counter but apparently so hard that I fell into the other counter and smashed my head into a cabinet and then ricocheted into the fridge and then fell on the floor and it scared the shit out of Hailey and also myself because it sounded like someone was demolishing the kitchen and pretty much felt like I was being assaulted by ghosts. In Victorian times you always hear about women swooning gracefully but I ended up loudly pin-balling into every hard surface in my kitchen.
My doctor was like, “Wow. That sucks,” and she’s not wrong but I sort of expected more but then she was like, “Take these pills and listen to your body” and I didn’t know exactly what that last part means but I assume she was saying you’re supposed to listen to your body and rest when it hurts but mine just keeps whispering for vodka and cheese.
But today I woke up and all the bruised body parts that I smacked into kitchen counters currently hurt worse than my back so I’m counting that as a win.
PS. When will Nowhere Bookshop actually be open for good? Probably within a month or so, but follow us on instagram because that’s the best way to know. We want to make sure that the covid numbers stay low but I’m feeling really optimistic because most of the people I talked to on Saturday (before my back tried to murder me) were fully vaccinated and vaccinations are the gateway drug to open bookshops.
PPS. Did you guess the slightly obscure easter egg in Heather’s painting? Because 10 points to you, if so.
70 thoughts on “It’s been a weird week and it’s only Tuesday.”
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Look forward to places being open here (Nova Scotia). Stay safe.
Yikes, I only faint in hospitals and stuff. Hope you heal well.
I blame Nathan fillion in a brown coat with a ball of string
(Yes! Although “twine” is slightly more accurate. Also, I just realized that the great twine debacle happened almost 10 YEARS AGO: https://thebloggess.com/2012/02/26/youre-ruining-nathan-fillion-for-me-nathan-fillion-alternate-title-but-i-forgive-you/ ~ Jenny)
I think so? Peter Pan?
Well, I’ve discovered a talent for slipping and falling on wet pavement that I seem to do about once every 3 years. The ground comes up so quickly… I banged my right knee and I’m hobbling around so slowly. So I have complete sympathy and empathy for your pain and suffering. A pain-free day is a luxury that we often take for granted.
Vasovagal syncope has caused me many an awkward fall. I’m glad you weren’t hurt any worse!
I am thoroughly confused by the man in the beanie with the snake cup! What am I missing??
Is it a semi-colon or am I really overthinking things?
I’m glad you’re okay! Now you need a swooning couch, flanked by lovely taxidermy.
Once I mashed the ends of three of my fingers when a double hung window fell on them. I went to the doctor, who cleaned them, wrapped them up, and said, “That’s going to hurt like hell for a couple of weeks.” And then he sent me on my way
So sorry you got hurt. Yikes! Totally something I would do. My back is also out this week, so I can empathize. But, HOORAY! The store opened for a day and that is AWESOME!
Doh I just realized you meant the one you already pointed out. I assumed that was a shot of you with a hair dryer!
When I was 18 I tried to drive a motorcycle for the first time and had an unfortunate encounter with a Chevy Suburban. I felt ok that day but the next day I couldn’t turn my head or lift my arm so I went to the doctor and told him what happened, and he just burst out laughing. Then said “I’m sorry, I’m not laughing at you.” But then he explained that his wife had once done something similar and really I was lucky I just had a separated shoulder and hadn’t broken my collarbone because that was what happened to her and that’s a long road to recovery. So then I thought if he wasn’t laughing at me, was he laughing at his wife’s broken collarbone? Because that doesn’t really seem better.
BALL OF TWINE!!!!
Pin balling your sekf around the kitchen ???? Oh ma Cher……..poor you. But the store was OPEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That was so exciting to read. HIP HIP
BALL OF TWINE!!!
Don’t leave me hanging. I don’t get the image, and it’s been over 3 minutes.
Arnica, both the pills and the cream = the miracle for bruises. Sending hugs!
Oh, Jenny dear. I’m so happy you are okay, please be careful. I’m so happy y’all are opening, I can’t wait to make a road trip to see your magnificent bookstore and hopefully meet you. I’m stumped and been dissecting the hell out of the pics, lol. Stay safe please!
Every time you describe one of your painful domino-like spills, I picture you as a cartoon character made of rubber but unfortunately your not and that shit really hurts. I feel for you. This too shall pass. Know you’re not alone. ♥️
Oops typo. You’re not your!! Hate that.
Ohmygod I’m so sorry! That sucks but is also hilarious. My guess was going to be you with the curlers and hair dryer (dryer cord) but then the head was square and there were boots. 🤷♀️
So sorry your Big Day had to be disrupted in such a spectacular fashion! I have that reaction to things sometimes, too, but I’ve always called it the Vaguely Vegas syndrome. Love Vincent Vega! Hope you’re feeling better now and HUZZAH to the bookstore being open! ! ! XO
Your back pain and your vasovagal syncope is your body telling you how stressful it is to be back in public and surrounded by people post-pandemic.
I have vasovagal syndrome, left side numbness migraine variant without headache, panic attacks and sciatica, and they always flare up when I’m anxious and faced with stressful situations.
Nothing beats being in extreme pain and feeling like you’re about to pass out and anxious and like you’re having a heart attack all at once.
It’s the Grand Slam of neurological and psychological chaos!
I just keep focusing on yoga breathing and lie down and put my feet above my heart and silently chant “this too shall pass” in my head until it does…
Congratulations on finally getting your Nathan Fillion holding twine picture, even if he didn’t provide it himself. I hope somebody sends him the link to this blog so he can see it for himself how awesome it is. Or even better, maybe he can hold a piece of twine on his current show as an Easter Egg for you and your followers? Surely twine can be worked into the plot of a cop show? Maybe the writers on the show are fans of yours and can work the twine into the next season? Fingers crossed…
My wife and I visited the store Saturday and had a lovely time, though I am sad that I did not know that amazing artwork had Easter eggs (something to do next time). Though encouraging the little girl to keep playing with the card catalogs was fun.
I see some other easter eggs, buit I don’t understand the one highlighted…… ???
If you haven’t already, you must read The Lady’s Handbook for her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey. You are totally a WOMI (read the book). The first half of the book is amazing and you will feel like you wrote the book yourself, you kind of have to suffer through the second half of the book, but it’s mostly worth it.
I once slammed my own head in a car door. Yes, really. It hurt for at least a week!
Also, my Grandma had to have a colostomy bag the last few months of her life (PLEASE get your colonoscopies, folks!), and she could never remember the name; she called it a catastrophe bag, instead! 💜
For folks who suffer with vasovagal syncope, there are some great maneuvers you can do to counteract the cause. It actually caused my husband to burst into tears the first time he was able to watch them draw my blood without him having to step away. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/-/scassets/files/org/heart/disease-conditions/syncope/counter-pressure-techniques-1014.ashx?la=en
Oh no!! The painting is wonderful! Your friend is super talented!
The fainting thing reminds me of the synopsis of a movie. I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It’s called ‘Ode To Joy’. It has Martin Freeman (Watson from Sherlock, Bilbo from The Hobbit); Morena Baccarin ( Inara from Firefly); the lady from Big Bang Theory who played Bernadette, and Jane Curtin!
Also, 2 days…clumsy me was trying to open a plastic tub of frozen gelato…it slipped from my hands and fell onto 2 of my toes. Which are some really pretty colors right now!!
Feel better soon!
I just like that someone is watching you through the Llama’s eye.
My goodness, poor thing, that sounds awful – the fainting! I’m glad you were able to spend some time in the bookshop, though. As for listening to your body – sounds like great advice, but like you, most of us are lousy at it. I hope you feel a little better soon. <3
“Broken” book is in the stack of books
It is the first book on the goat’s head
I have Vincent Vega syndrome too! Since I was little. Didn’t know it was a thing until a few years ago. I scared the bejesus out my ophthalmologist when I passed out in his office. He had no idea why I passed out until I had to explain it. It’s always been an interesting quirk! I hope your back gets better quick! I also put my back out two weeks ago. I’m still hobbling around like an 80 crone.
I am concerned for your well being and feel bad that your story made me laugh out loud.
Geez Louise Jenny! 🙁 You’ve had yourself a week!!! Poor thing. Get well soon!
I wouldn’t be surprised if your back spasmed (or as I call it turtle-d or turtle-ing) from the excitement of your open day, or perhaps from lifting heavy loads of books or twisting? Twisting for me is the devil.
Do you have a back brace you can wear?
I’m not a doctor and every medical case is different, but I wanted to offer some things that I do that help me. It’s of course always a good idea to consult with a doctor first before implementing any changes whatsoever in one’s diet, adjustments or additions in medications, changes in fitness routines, etc.
I have bulging discs (moderately and minimally) in my lumbar spine, back of my head, cervical spine, and I have sciatica (car accident related injuries..the elderly can be lethal behind the wheel!). Those injuries have improved slowly over time, but I have my bad days and fragilities.
I know in my case as much as I desperately hate taking any medications of any kind, when I’m spasming in my cervical spine, lumbar spine, or back of my head I was told by my doctors, and physical therapist that in order to get out of the spasms I have to take it easy and take muscle relaxants (major frustrated eye roll) 😒as needed (methocarbamol). I can’t drive on those meds btw and I’m not sure if those interact with psych related meds.
That’s my rescue medication anyway. I absolutely loathe those and only take those when I’m in spasms, but it helps.
Gentle Stretching PT exercises also helps me during an episode, I don’t walk upstairs of any kind during an episode, I don’t lift things in an episode, and gentle flat level walking helps during those times. Also no twisting ever for me. I use my knees when I bend. Heat also helps unlock my spasms (heating pad).
Also my poor dear husband has Vasovagal too. You are not alone. What a freaking curse!
His episodes tend to surface when he’s doing some medical apts or procedures. He’s so good about telling/reminding his doctors, nurses, etc that he has that so they can prepared for that. It can’t be helped! Don’t feel bad. I think it maybe a genetic predisposition.
All 3 books are Jenny’s. And I can relate to the “pinball fall” phenomenon. (pinfall syndrome?- lol)
Holy crapola. My mom was recently diagnosed with vasovaginal whatever the hell you call it. I seriously thought she was having vag issues. Nope. She just passes out at the most awkward moments. Walmarks. Cooking supper. Funerals. Sorry to hear about your shittastic week thus far. I just recd! Broken. Can’t wait to tear thru it!
You maybe know this, but compression stockings (I’m turning stupid. Initially, I wrote compression stalkings. WTF? Stalking, via compression or the more conventional obsessive disregard for social norms, reality testing and right to privacy would NOT help vasovagal syndrome) So compression stockings can help. I once knew a surgeon with vasovagal syndrome- not precipitated by blood or innards, obviously, and she SWORE by them. At age 27. So they are Stamped-By-Youth Cool, too, as well as helpful.
I just did a literature search, and yes, when circulation is affected in one way, they are very helpful- as is going up on tip toes and down up and down. I won’t say why because I don’t want anyone to faint.
So, PT and great socks, as long as they are tight enough and you don’t sleep in them (no one faints while recumbent anyway.) could be super helpful.
But, while I am a doc, this is not my specialty area- ask you PCP to be sure.
Anyway, Jenny, I’m so sorry you had that happen.
My sister in law fainted when she was shadowing me while I worked at a hospital on a general medicine floor. I was writing my note, she was standing next to me. Then I heard this sound like a croquet ball being dropped and thought SOMEONE HUCKED A CROQUET BALL RIGHT INTO THE FLOOR! WHAT IS GOING ON?!
I turned to ask my sister in law and Jesus Christ I kid you not her goddam head was the mother fucking ball, she fainted straight back like a piece of lumber and I have never forgotten that CRACK sound. But besides a headache, she ended up being fine. I made her lay down in an unassigned bed and drink orange juice and water and eat gummy bears until my husband came to get his sister.
Oh, and don’t lock your knees while standing in a hot church.
I have vasovagal (basil bagel) as well…and a bunch of other fun word problems I try to ignore. I think the weirder the word, the more “fun” the problem is. For example, MCAS is NOT a test to get into medical school and interstitial cystitis is not sewing term. Some days I enjoy long walks from my bed to my refrigerator. This should be on my Tinder profile.
Please stop ricocheting off hard surfaces in your kitchen. I would like to catch a glimpse of your unbruised self at Nowhere when we are in San Antonio in January!
My family from Kansas and Missouri is traveling to San Antonio in Oct for my dad’s memorial. He will have been gone a year and a half by that time, but it’s important to my step-mother to have this, so we will. Is it pathetic that I’m more excited about possibly getting to visit your bookshop than attending a memorial service with 98% people I don’t know for a dad from whom I was mostly estranged my entire adult life? I’m thinking Dad was a teacher and author, he’d understand my love of the written word. That’s good…I think that’s good.
So there I was, in downtown Charlevoix, MI, walking past a small book store. I see Jenny’s book, “Broken” in the window. Naturally I run inside, tell the proprietor ALL ABOUT JENNY: her books, fan club, indie book store. I stop to breathe, he smiles and says that’s nice, and goes back to reading his book. I think anyone of us would have down that too❤️
My body keeps asking me for cheese too!
its been an accidental kind of week! i was walking down the steps from my porch to the patio and i forgot about the last step even though i’ve lived here nearly two decades and there has always been the same number of steps. i stepped down into air expecting ground and fell and sprained my ankle. its not broken, just bruised and swollen. and crutches? they look so darn simple when other people use them but they’re NOT! they’re really HARD. that and i’m an uncoordinated hopeless klutz. i had to watch youtube videos to figure out how to make them work! my dog came running when i fell. i guess i fall a bit too often that she’s not even scared of the spectacle i make going down. but she came running and let me hold her and pet her while i tried to breathe thru the initial pain. pets are the best in the world. hope your head and back and all the other bruised parts feel better soon.
I don’t get the one you pointed out in the post, but I love how she slipped in buttons!!!
First, I wanted to thank you for your book. I’ve just been diagnosed with Psoriatic Dragons (aka Psoriatic Arthritis) – upside, all of my weird medical anomalies explained, downside, I have PsA. Your words were really relatable and made me feel not so weird/alone.
Second, I fall all the time, but because I’m a clutz. It always hurts. I’m so sorry about your fall.
And third, well I’ve totally forgotten what third was, which, ironically, was the ultimate reason for the post. Alas, I blame dragons.
Rest, relax, recuperate. I love my Nowhere tee, and can’t wait to visit the shop if I’m ever in Austin.
Oh! Buttons! She gave you buttons! I knew I’d remember eventually.
I fainted literally once when I was in 6th grade. Nothing I’d care to repeat. Hope you heal quickly
I don’t have Vincent Syndrome but I have always had a weird physical reaction when I see, or more often hear or read, about someone else’s pain. Especially my kids but it really is anyone else, like if someone is describing an injury or something. I get a strange sensation across the backs of my hips and thighs. It’s not painful, it’s almost like electricity flows through the skin for just a second. Kind of like the little patches they put on my neck and back at the chiropractor to stimulate the nerves or whatever that was for. Have always had it, never bothered to research it or ask about it because it is super consistent and it doesn’t cause me to pinball around my kitchen, or feel like I am being assaulted by ghosts. It’s just weird.
Noup, no easter egg in “my” Heathers painting, but I give myself 10 points from tying 🤗
Yeah, my body is constantly whispering for cheese and beer, but vodka works too! Hope your back feels better soon <3
I am so very sorry you were so hurt Jenny. It sounds like it was horrific. Please take it easy.
Life is not a race, and if it takes more time to open your bookshop, that’s ok. When it’s finally a good time to open it, it will work out great!
All I can see now since opening the image is the “male parts” around the llama’s eye. I’m too far behind to get the twine reference yet. :/
Try the impact massagers on your back. Combine that with a tens unit and it’s a huge help for back pain.
My friend in high school’s dad had vasovagal syncope, and they constantly were finding him passed out around the yard because he’d cut himself doing yardwork and just pass out. It makes me laugh when I think about it, I mean what did the neighbor’s think constantly seeing this man passed out in the lawn? Her whole family was so accident prone though maybe they weren’t surprised.
When you read, does your brain pick apart the words and form images based on what you imagine are Latin roots in the words? I had to look up the correct pronunciation of “vasovagal syncope” because the first time I read it, my brain showed me its pictures and said, “I’m not sure how a vasectomy and a vaginal nincompoop go together, nor what a vaginal nincompoop would even be, but this IS Jenny writing. Maybe you should read that again and do some googling.” So I did (not sure where the extra letters to form “nincompoop” came from). And now that I know how to properly pronounce “syncope,” I have more questions than answers. I really should’ve taken Latin in high school instead of Spanish.
Thank you Christy for suggesting “The Lady’s Handbook for her Mysterious Illness” by Sarah Ramey. Started reading it right away and enjoying it immensely. She seems to be doing in WOMI World the sort of advocacy/outreach/support work Jenny does so well in our realm.
I want to plan a trip to San Antonio expressly to go to your bookstore.
I do order my books from you now. I’m reading the Reynard book now, on your advice.
I did not get Nathan Fillion with twine until I read the comments. It HAS been a long time!
A house several blocks from mine has the same big cat in the yard that you have in the shop (Sir Terry Scratchett) — I’d show you a picture but I can’t post one here. I’ll put it on Twitter.
Loving the twine! If only there was a stapler in the mix
Also @Heather Gauthier – genius! What a lovely present for Jenny and the store! A lovely homage to Jenny’s work to bring joy, understanding, and some llamas into our days! Love it! Adding more whimsy to Nowhere.
Wish we all had friends like you!
Hi, I’m new to blogs and Jenny’s books. My son accidentally picked up Furiously Happy at a used book store with my sister thinking it was going to be about Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy 😆
I read it instead and I can’t express enough how helpful it was at putting names to the voices in my head. Thank you for writing it! I just got the other two books and ordered the latest. Can’t wait for more.
Who here remembers George Bush & the pretzel? That’s how my family used to vasovagal syncope to concerned co-workers. It’s now so many presidencies ago that people don’t remember.
Although I bet the Secret Service team assigned to W’s security detail are all taught about it.
I love some of the new names given here.
My mom has Swallow Syncope, which is crazy rare. It took the the dr’s over 10 years to diagnose and included me yelling at them and her actually passing out while attached to a heart monitor. Basically, with Swallow Syncope, when she would swallow she was having a vasovagal reaction and it was stopping her heart and making her pass out. She now has a pacemaker, which is basically the only cure for the condition. Most docs are unfamiliar with the condition and I’ve had to explain it to various ER docs who looked totally flummoxed.
Stay safe, when you feel like the syncope is coming for you, SIT DOWN!!
All the hugs <3
I just found out and YOUNEED TO KNOW THIS —Fun fact I never knew: Lobsters pee out of their faces. They have urine-release nozzles right under their eyes. They urinate in each other’s faces as a way of communicating, either when fighting or mating.—- I live in Maine and I have been eating these things that PEE out of their faces???
Arnicare cream (made with arnica Montana) is the best topical remedy to help with healing (as well as some mild pain relief) bruises, burns, bug bites, breaks, strains, sprains, and after surgery healing. Sending you healing energy and a hug.
I love your books and am reading Broken. Just thought I’d let you know that we had a male dog (with a penis) who was neutered early. He peed squatting down. Just thought you’d like to know.
I don’t have anything to say, I just wanted to be number 69. It’s like typing First!!! only sexier. 😉
My daughter’s friend has your Vincent Vega syndrome, but my daughter calls it bagel bagel centipede.