My Grandmother: Weird Sentimental

It’s weird what will suddenly remind you someone.

When I was a kid, my grandmother didn’t bake cookies. She didn’t knit. She didn’t kiss boo boos. She didn’t give me sweaters at Christmas that had to wear just because she bought them. My grandmother could not have been in a Hallmark movie. My grandmother wasn’t even that good of a cook.

I touched briefly on my grandmother back on her birthday; the highlight of that being that she was a robot from outer space sent here to take me away from my mother. She was a trip. Why she decided that I needed to be wary of her, I dunno, but in our weird little dysfunctional way, we were very happy.

I remember less about her than I like to admit.

  • She always drank that Folgers instant coffee, that was like coffee crystal granule things
    • She always took it with milk. Not cream. Not sugar.
  • She was fat
    • She loved pecan pie
    • She loved fried chicken
      • Coincidentally the only thing she could really cook
      • She’d eat pretty much fried anything
      • She was the kind of person to clean a bone
        • Then gnaw on it
        • Then crack it open and suck the marrow out
          • It was as gross as it sounds
  • She was from Mobile, AL
  • She loved lighthouses
  • She had an old sewing machine in her bedroom, but I never saw her use it
    • Mom said she was good at sewing, and even taught my mom to sew
    • Her bedroom was always cluttered up and jumbled
    • I think she was a little bit hoarder, probably caused by late-life depression
      • This strolls casually through my family, getting to know them all personally and intimately
        • Remind me to tell you about my uncle someday
  • She lived in a trailer
  • She chain smoked until my mom made her quit when she got emphysema
    • We were convinced that she was going to blow herself up, trying to smoke while on oxygen
  • She had these gnarled up fingers from arthritis
    • And these long ass nails she’d dig into your arm if you disagreed with her

Yes. My grandmother was a trip. Irregular. I thought she was narcoleptic for like my whole life, because she would fall asleep in the middle of conversations, and TV shows, and anything. Turns out, when I was a teenager, my mom figured out they had some of her meds up WAY TOO HIGH and once that got adjusted she was conscious. All the time. It was weird.

Anyways, what reminded me of Lois today, was this.

When I was a kid, Lois had a lamp. It was a scene of a geisha, and one day we made her a caged bird. I didn’t know, until that day, that my grandma was talented. She made this tiny bird, in a cage made of toothpicks. Very delicate work. Turns out that when my mom was a kid, Lois helped her make dollhouse things all the time. They couldn’t buy them, so Lois made them. It was cute.

I miss my grandma. We were talking about her yesterday, because someone was talking about cancer. Cancer is another thing that strolls casually through my family, infecting us all. Sad, really.

Anyways… I miss my grandmother. She was cold, little mean, cackled like a witch… and I feel like I emulate her quite nicely. I hope she would enjoy the person I’ve grown up to be.

Little More Rational Now

So, I do not have breast cancer.
Joyous, wonderful and downright fantastic news.
I couldn’t be happier about that, truly.

To recap what I completely skipped over, I went to Sally Jobe on Monday and got an ultrasound of my right breast. The doctor had found two little beads of doom and she wanted to have them checked. That’s well and good, but she kept my birth control, because, as I learned, estrogen, found in most birth controls, can accelerate the growth rate of breast cancer.

So, I lost my mind over the weekend, thinking I was probably going to die, and then went into Sally Jobe on Monday. My mom went with me, in case it was bad news, but it was not. They couldn’t even find what the doctor thought she had felt. It was totally just a bad scare.

That brings me to today.
I’ve been off birth control for three weeks now. Week one was expected, because it was Shark Week (shark brains are curiously shaped like female reproductive organs). Week two was after I found out that my script for the Nuvaring was out of refills, and that I needed to see the doctor. Week three has been this week, which has been me trying to get my god damn birth control called in.

All I’ve wanted to do for three mother fucking weeks is eat, fuck, and scream. That’s me without birth control. I was placed on birth control when I was fourteen, because I have a cystic ovary and an enlarged ovary. When I’m not on hormone regulating birth control, I am a god damn loon.

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This right here. Perfect illustration of me for three weeks.

I managed, thankfully, to get my pills today. That means, that in TWO WEEKS I will be back to normal. Why does it take a week for hormone weirdness to kick in, but two damn weeks for it to cut the fuck out? Ugh… I hate everything… but I have no cancer… and that’s good.

Now… if only I had a cigarette…
#toolazytogobuysome

Rant: Binge Eating & Addictions

If you have never had an addiction, I don’t want your god damned advice.

Seriously. Not to be rude, I’m sure your advice is great and magical, but with no frame of reference for what it’s like to have an addiction problem, you have no idea what I’m going through. Also, on the same vein, if you’ve never had a FOOD addiction, I still don’t want your god damned advice. Smoking and binge eating… totes not the same, bro.

People without these kinds of problems just don’t get it. It’s not their fault they don’t get it, either. It’s like trying to imagine a new color… you can’t do it, because your world has never given you the kind of stimuli to do so. You’ve never been a heroin addict, so you can’t imagine what it’s like to crave heroin, in spite of it “ruining your entire life.” You’ve never been addicted to cigarettes, so you can’t imagine why it’s so hard to “just not buy them.” You’ve never had a food addiction, so you can’t understand what it’s like to not be able to “just eat less.” You don’t know, and no one can fault you for that. At the same time, though, you are not the person that needs to be advising people with these problems on how to overcome them, and you should know that people, like me, take offense when you try… because… YOU DON’T FUCKING KNOW.

I happen to have a food problem… and, if we’re being totally honest a cigarette problem, a mild alcohol problem, and an addictive personality coupled with an impulse control problem. I already know this; I get it from my dad, along with all the crazy that festers inside me like an infected bullet wound.

Now, if you happen to have an impulsive friend in your life, you know we can get REALLY IRRITATING. I know we can. We end up in trouble a lot and we can very easily drag you into trouble with us. That gets old pretty quick when you’re not an impulsive person yourself. If you have a person with an addictive personality in your life, you know we can be REALLY IRRITATING, as well, because there’s nothing you can do to keep us from getting weird obsessive about things… God help you if you show a person with an addictive personality a party drug, because that is going to be their new thing for-fucking-ever, and they’re going to get baffled when you don’t think you need to do it all the time. That’s just facts. It’s life.

Being impulsive with an addictive personality means that I have to practice a certain level of control. It also means that I don’t always have that control, and that things are gonna spiral and get weird real fast. It’s just the nature of the beast. It’s my nature. Over the years I’ve managed to reign in the smoking. I smoke on weekends… maybe a couple at night if I am drinking or I ate too much. I’ve also learned to more or less curb the drinking habit. I drink Fridays and Saturdays… and sometimes I go dry just to keep an eye on it. The eating, however, I’ve never quite gotten a grasp of… because it’s different.

You can quit smoking and never touch another cigarette again. You can quit drinking and you can never touch another alcoholic drink, or step foot in a bar, again. You cannot quit eating. You can fast, sure. I’ve gone a good month without solid food (lots of juicing and smoothies), but sooner or later, you have to eat… or you die. Even the most dedicated anorexics have to eat a little something sometime… even if it’s just for the appearance of NOT being anorexic.

Okay, you have to eat, but you don’t have to eat until you’re sick. Just stop eating so much. It’s not that hard.

Yeah, I can hear that thought pulsating in your brain. What you’re not understand is that… I can’t.
What can I equate this to that is universally recognized?

It’s like breathing. You can hold your breath. Some people can hold their breath for a really, really long time, even… but sooner or later you have to breathe, and people that have a problem with breathing cannot hold their breath very well. In this example, people with a food problem are equivalent to people with emphysema.

I go to some extreme lengths to try and not binge eat. I don’t keep much food in the house, I avoid places with a drive thru, and I try to eat in public a lot, because I am self-conscious about people watching me eat. Still, there’s no precaution I can take for when I’m struck by impulse. All those things are great for bored-binging. If there’s nothing on hand to munch on, I can let it go. If I’m under a lot of stress, though… or I’m sad… or it just hits me, it triggers the impulse part of my brain, and I go buy too much food, and I eat all of it.

This happened last night. I went to Chipotle, bought two burrito bowls, ate them both. Made myself actually nauseous, because I haven’t been binging, so my stomach shrank a bit. I, as usual, immediately regretted it, but I gave up purging when my body started trying to do it after every single meal. So, instead, I smoked a lot and took two of my PM diet pills. I was still up 2 lbs this morning… it was discouraging, but not unexpected.

So what am I trying to say?

I dunno. My doctor wanted to talk about my binging on Friday when I saw her… oh btw, if you’ve been following all the posts, I DON’T HAVE CANCER!!! I didn’t want to hear it. There’s nothing my doctor can say that I haven’t heard from shrinks, teachers, parents, and friends 100 times over the years. I’m 25 and I’ve been fat since I was born… I got it.

Eat below 1500 cals, exercise for at least 20 minutes a day, and avoid trigger foods.

I know, but saying that and doing it are two totally different things. I can tell you how to do a lot of things… I can read an article on how birds fly and tell you exactly how to do it, but you will never be able to fly. I try every single day to eat less and try to be more active, but the thing in my life that I associate with happiness the most in this world is eating.

Given the choice, I’d rather binge eat than have sex. I don’t have to be pretty to eat. I don’t have to be funny, smart, interesting… I just have to get my hands on some food… Food doesn’t cheat. Food doesn’t leave. Food doesn’t ask when you’re going to lose weight. Food doesn’t ask you for money. Food doesn’t give you an STD. Food is great. All around. It does make you fat… but since food doesn’t care if you’re fat, it doesn’t matter.

Food does make me cry. It makes me cry because I can’t control myself with it. It makes me cry when I decide it’s okay to binge for a day, and it’s not as good as I wanted it to be. It makes me cry because I know that I’m never going to 100% overcome my problems with it. It makes me cry because my love of food might be the thing that kills me one day. It makes me cry for a lot of reasons.

I want to lose over 100 lbs. It’s been my only goal that was actually mine in my entire life. This weekend I thought I was closer to death than I ever have been in my life. And I didn’t binge eat. Yesterday I found out that I’m fine. And I binged like hell last night. Why?

I can’t tell you. I can’t even tell anyone that it happened, for fear of being bombarded with advice that is completely useless.

Oh my life.

How I Coped With my Potential Cancer.

If you missed my previous post, I might have breast cancer.

So how does one cope with a potentially fatal illness at 25?
Not well… Well, actually, I don’t know how other people cope with this sort of thing, but I decided to lose my mind.

Friday morning I found out I have beads of doom in my boob, so Friday night I drank. A lot. I started with a Long Island iced tea, which was pretty clear, tasted awful, and opened the door to drinking more vodka, doing a red headed slut shot, and a tuaca shot. Then, when I was already drunk, and my memory gets hazy, I did something I never do: I accepted things from Charles.

You may be wondering why that is so rare… It’s because Charles is pretty much a frat boy without a fraternity, and anything he hands you could ruin your night. Pills, pot, drinks… You accept nothing from Charles, but I did…

So after getting some Afghani strain in my system, I blacked out worse, and my bestie had to drive my twisted ass home.

The whole night is just flashes. I know I cried at the bestie and a KJ. I know the flower guy that does rounds to the bars every night said a prayer for me. I know that some girl reassured me that she went through the same thing and it was nothing. I don’t know much else.

Waking up this morning, I thought I would feel like shit. I was oddly perfect. I was even in high spirits. I discovered that I’d eaten a whole jar of pickles… Is that the secret to a hangoverless night? And yes, I know hangoverless is not a word.

Tonight, I went out again, for a friend’s birthday. He and his totally non-serious cover band played. For whatever reason, I’m blaming the lack of birth control, I’m extremely into this guy today. So, I slut myself up a little (as much as a fat girl can without looking desperate) and went, I got to say maybe three words to him.

I did get Voodoo Doughnuts, though, as the bestie went and stood in line for two god damn hours for them earlier in the day. This guy, who I vaguely know, was so excited to get one that he could have been an antidepressant commercial.

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It was fun to go out. Lots of my music scene acquaintances came out, so they had guest singers and players.

For instance… This is what NSync’s Bye Bye Bye looked like.

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Still, coming home alone is pretty crap.

I’m sad… Maybe because I’m just bipolar… But who can say.

I Am Going To Get Cancer

I have bad genetics. Aside from being half southern white trash and half LA Mexican, my family has health problems. Dad’s side is mostly addiction. By that, I mean that is literally all I know in the way of their medical history. Mom’s side, however, has cancer. Lots of it. My grandma had cancer, both her sisters got cancer, her parents both had cancer, my grandad had cancer, his sisters got cancer… I’m going to die of cancer, or a cancer related complication. I’ve more or less come to terms with this.

When I was a kid, I was suspected of having skin cancer. They removed the area, left a terrible scar, and my mom kept me out of the sun for thirteen years. The primary thing I take away from that is that my chances of shark attack increased, and my sensitivity to the sun skyrocketed.
Shark attack? I hear you say it… I grew up in a little Florida town called Pensacola. Pensacola has beautiful beaches, and is where Jaws was shot. Taking me to the beach in the late afternoon, close to twilight, seemed logical, but after watching so much Shark Week, I found out that shark attacks happen at twilight, in shallow water. Also, for the record, Jaws was based on bull shark attacks, but great whites are scarier looking… I love sharks.

When I was fourteen, I got my first ever pelvic exam. I bounced my pap, and had to have an abdominal exam, because, as it turns out, I have poly cystic ovaries and an enlarged ovary. That was scary. Then when I was seventeen, after three years of bouncing paps and getting retested, I bounced a pap and at the re-pap this woman doctor, who I will hold a grudge against for the rest of natural life, came into the room, looked at my chart, and without looking up said,

Oh, you don’t need a re-pap. We think you have cancer; that’s a different test.

Then, she turned and walked out the room, leaving a seventeen year old me having a panic attack over the word CANCER. Thankfully, my primary did the test a few days later, and I was totally fine. It was just some vinegar on my cervix. Easy. Also, she went on to explain that many young women bounce paps and for this reason or another, they do this test just to be sure. However, she doesn’t think that girls of that age should be doing paps, because they come back bad all the time.

That brings us to this week. I went to get my birth control on Sunday and I was out of refills… Which sucks. So, since they couldn’t refill, and the doctor I had seen was no longer at my doctor’s office to approve the refill, I had to wait a week to get into the doctor for a Well Woman physical.

Couple of things.
A, when I am not on my birth control, I am not right. They started me on it when I was fourteen, because I have hormone problems from the cystic ovary and the large one. So, I spent all week binge eating and being as emotionally stable as I really could be.
2, a Well Woman physical includes a breast exam, a pap, and blood work.
D, I was so god damn hungry that I felt nauseous, because I had to fast for the blood work.

Back to my physical. I saw a new doctor, who was very nice. She talked to me extensively about my family medical history, ways to cope with stress, as it contributed to my binge eating habits and my smoking habits, and explained different birth control options, as I needed to switch because my insurance changed and the new insurance doesn’t cover my beloved Nuvaring. She also got onto me for not doing self breast exams, not sleeping enough, and for smoking, in the nicest way possible.

During my exam, she noted my blood pressure was borderline high and asked that I check it a couple times a week, write it down, and come back. She also noted that I have a touch of Swimmer’s Ear, which is a small infection from using QTips (who freaking knew?!) and gave me a script for drops to fix that. Then, she did my breast exam, and found two abnormal…. Lumps.

Lumps, to me, implies something totally different than what she had me feel, but technically, that’s what they were. Two small nodules about the size of my finger tip (together) are in my right breast. She did some paperwork, and went on about how it’s probably nothing, since they move freely, as soft, and could easily just be swollen ducts from not being on birth control.

Meanwhile, I started crying. Not bawling, but I was crying. She apologized and told me it was okay, but that it’s better to be safe than sorry. She also explained that she couldn’t give me my birth control until after I had the beads of horror checked, because my birth control contains estrogen… And estrogen can make breast cancer grow exponentially faster than normal. Oh, and by the way, she’d already told me this when she talked about how glad she was that I wasn’t going to be on the Nuvaring anymore, because it has high levels of estrogen and I’m predisposed to cancer. Fantastic, RIGHT?

I kept it together through the pap, even though it hurt like a bitch, I was freaking out, and somehow she managed to trigger horrible spotting, so it became a horrible bloody mess out of a horror movie.

When I left, I called my mom to let her know I was on my way in… And I just fucking lost it. I lost it to the point that my mom told me to pull over and stay there. Then she, and our new hire, who happens to have known mom longer than I’ve been alive, came and got me. It was pretty horrible morning… But what sucks most is that I wouldn’t have lost it like that if I’d had my birth control.

I feel better now.
Gonna go to the bar tonight.
I go see Sally Jobe on Monday, and my mom will go with me, just in case.

Sooner or later I’m going to get cancer… Breast cancer, cervical cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer… I’m gonna get cancer, and one day that cancer will probably kill me.