Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday Mantra: *Insert Upside Down Smiley Face*

mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that is considered capable of "creating transformation".

Every Monday I will post a new thought, idea, or focus for the week. When you need a breather from life, when you need a little inspiration, or when you're about to jump over the conference table and strangle your co-worker, remember the mantra.


Monday Mantra: When life is upside down, create your own right-side up
Society6
Luke Gram
There's a party in my brain that my body wasn't invited to. It's really quite rude, you guys.

I have a vestibular something or the other, which basically means my inner ear is being weird and the messages it sends back to my brain are somehow all out of whack. When I look around me, the world is shifting and moving and weirdly delayed in some ways. It's like watching Blair Witch, with all the terrible camera action.

To be fair, I've experienced symptoms like this before when I've been on a boat, and in recent years, occasionally after I've had elevation changes. One doctor told me I had vertigo. Another doctor told me I had a sensory conflict disorder (the treatments are different). Regardless, I'm not new to this dizziness business, it's just never, not ever been this bad.

Two days before the wedding I got in a car accident. Nothing terrible, but enough to give me pretty good whiplash and cause some neck and back pain. Then, I got on a plane for a million hours and went through a bunch of elevation changes. To top all of that off, the last day of the honeymoon I got violently ill from what I think was food poisoning, so I got super dehydrated. I tell you all of this because these things are what (so far) the doctors think screwed up my brain. But hey, I just started getting piercing pain in my left ear, so maybe something new and exciting is right around the corner for me. Yippee!

Here's what having a party in your brain is like.
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Day 1: I'm supposed to sleep a lot during the day because it helps with the imbalance, but that's impossible because I'm not a vampire.

I'm also supposed to limit things like computer, phone, and TV time because those can boggle the brain and work against the re-balancing. Clearly, I should also not drive.

So, basically, I can sleep and eat and contemplate life, all while being alone and stuck in my house because my husband is out of town for work.

Excellent. Time is going to just fly by.

Day 2: I take the dogs for a walk because I'm at least still allowed to walk. Pretty sure the neighbors think I'm drunk even though I did my best to walk in a straight line.

The dogs may or may not also think I'm drunk.

What feels like Day 742 but is really only Day 3: Bored.

Sooooo bored.

The dizziness is so bad that even normal, every day things like putting the dishes away is challenging. It's like my brain has a delay. I want to put a glass on one shelf but for some reason I put it on a different shelf. I want a fork, I grab a spoon. I forget things really, really fast. It's weird, but mostly a pain because that just means I'm bored bored boredboredbored because I can't freaking do anything.

Same day, 10:00am: I'm lying on the sofa staring at the ceiling thinking of things to think about because I've already thought about everything I could possibly think of!

I come up with something new (whew) and, after a bit, am certain I've killed a considerable amount of time. I look at the clock. It's 10:09am. *facepalm*

Day 5ish: Literally have no idea what actual day it is. My days and nights are all the same and somehow I'm sleep deprived now because my body is all out of whack from all of the over sleeping, to the point where now I can't sleep. At all. This is the funnest.

I start talking to the dogs in a Russian accent. Pretty sure they enjoy it, but regardless, I must keep practicing with them because my new plan in life is to master the accent and become a spy.

This is what happens when you have this much time on your hands.

Day ???: I finally get to see another human being. It's the most exciting thing ever.

I'm at lunch with my friend and having one of the worst episodes yet. One fun fact about this kind of dizziness is that it's incredibly hard to focus. Impossible, at times. So just to try and, you know, be a good friend and pay attention to what she's saying, I have to kind of squint my eyes and furrow my brows and stalker kind of stare at her, which results in this face:
For lunch I ordered sweet potato fries to go with my sandwich. I dunk one in some ketchup and then completely miss my mouth, thus ketchup-ing my cheek.

Still the best, most entertaining day I've had in a while.

Day maybe...7...or so: I finally get to see the specialist. Apparently, he has no idea what exactly I have because I could have something like 1,000 different things. Yay me!

We do some brain exercises, which actually hurt and somehow simultaneously help. It's weird. He tells me a mix of very confusing things. Apparently, I'm allowed to watch TV and play on the computer for a couple hours a day (that's why we get to have this post, ladies and gents. I would've had one sooner for you if it hadn't been for this mess) because he wants me to practice focusing and force my way through the craziness. This is the exact opposite of what every other doctor has ever told me, but I am so bored out of my mind that I don't care and I go home and watch four episodes of Nikita. Spy research, obviously.

Day Something or the Other: My new and so sweet husband is chauffeuring me around and trying to cheer me up because over the past week I've turned into a complete weirdo. I got very emotional for no reason on multiple occasions. I mean seriously, you guys. I saw a butterfly land on a flower and I started crying because I have no clue. I cried at a commercial the other day, not even a particularly touching one. It might have even been an ad for viagra, now that I think about it.
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I guess all of these things are normal with this kind of an imbalance, and they will go away as soon as my head re-balances itself, but still. I wasn't really planning on turning into a complete fruit loop until I was at least in a retirement home. Even then, that level of craziness is all part of a plan me and a couple friends have for living it up in our 80's, so me going at this on my own so early on is just downright rude.

So, on Day Whatever It Is Now, I'm just having fun with it. I laugh at myself when I do the opposite of what I was planning on doing. When I realize I've repeated something two minutes after I've just said it, I just shrug it off. And I've decided to embrace the furrowed brow look. It could be the new duck face in 2017, you never know.

I find that hard, challenging moments in life often become much easier once you learn to laugh at them. Once you learn to go with them rather than fight against them. In this case, I'm learning how to make my upside down world feel right-side up. I'm learning that it's not so hard once you start finding the fun in all of it, even if you walk into a wall sometimes.

P.S. If none of this makes sense, which is very possible, I blame it on the party in my head. I think it's turned into a rave.

P.S.S. That's another bonus of this mess. You get to blame everything on the imbalance. I bought cherry ice cream instead of cherries? Whoopsie. *wink wink*

*No offense with all the spy talk, Russia. You know I'm kidding. You're just the only accent I can do and even then I sound like The Count from Sesame Street.

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