Archives for the month of: September, 2011

What can I say anymore? It has been confirmed that I am indeed, the weird kid. This really didn’t come as a shock to me and I would assume didn’t come as a shock to anyone that knows me either. However, in a life full of uncertainty it was a genuine surprise to receive confirmation of…well….anything really. Feel left out? Prepare to have speed increased so you are caught up.

Part of my new life includes nearly weekly blood test. Levels in my metabolic panel change so frequently and my doctors all give a damn that they monitor the hell out of me. I pretend sometimes to be upset by this, but I occasionally enjoy being taken care of. I always turn into a little boy when I am sick that just wants his mom to make him soup and tell him everything will be ok. Well I have been sick for almost a year now, so the attention waxes and wanes from beautiful to annoying. I realise this is my own brain making these determinations, so I will return to the story.

Today I had a blood test to check my kidney function and potassium levels. For some funny reason, potassium and I do not get along. It’s pretty funny because my gangy always used to talk about bananas and potassium. So I assumed I was one of the only kids my age that was watching for that. Side note to that side note, I can only spell bananas by singing the Gwen Stefani song. I get lost in the “na”s so I sing it. jnan found that funny as do I.

Back to the blood…

For as long as I have been getting these tests, I have wanted to ask for a vial of my own blood. Why? Why not? I sit in a chair and am poked until I bleed. What’s my compensation (besides of course the reassurance that I am getting healthy…but that’s neither here nor there)? As I am pricked I stare at this clear plastic cubby full of different coloured tubes. Each tube coded for what test it is with a different additive. Medical science is very fascinating. Today, with my newly discovered courage, I asked the adorable phlebotomist my question. I thought it was reasonable, but I got the strangest look ever. Before she could answer, because I felt a huge “no” coming on, I countered with, “What, will you get in trouble?”
“I don’t think so” she replied, still trying to gauge if I was just screwing with her, “no one has asked before. I don’t see why not, it is your blood”.

With two tubes in her hand she says she will give me the first one. Confused I asked if she didn’t need it. I learned that when running a metabolic panel they need to remove all air from the line so as not to taint the sample. She was just going to throw away my blood. My blood. She reattached the first vial to fill it a little more and gave it to me. It has no additive since it is used only to clear the line. Now I sit here with a 3.0 ml vial of blood filled halfway. To everyone that has heard me recount this story, it has been met with the same facial response as the phlebotomists. I am ok with being weird. I am the kid with a vial of his own blood on his nightstand. What do you think Stephen King has on his nightstand? Think about it. Thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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Today has been a roller-coaster of feelings and emotions. I have felt lost, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, lied to, found, loved, and forgiven. The topic of God and religion comes up frequently in my life for numerous reasons. Having some friends that are devout Christians and some that are almost militant and relentless atheists. Having family that have pledged lifetime of service to God and others that explore other means of faith and spirituality.

Growing up in Utah, there is a good chance you will be born into religion, or be taught early on through friends that were born into it if you weren’t. You can’t escape religion in this state, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Unfortunately, as with all things, some people can take it too far and spoil the roots of good intentions. Where I find myself lost is in any particular belief. I was born into an LDS (Latter Day Saint [Mormon]) family and baptised at the age of eight. Never questioning anything about it, just going through the motions. My parents were not very strict about it and had liberal views on politics, art, and speech. This is a polite way of saying they cursed, let us watch rated R movies, and fully believed in freedom of choice. Not a common things associated with the LDS stereotype. It made growing up Mormon a very tolerable thing. But in my case it also made me mostly indifferent. Outside of the weekly block of meetings, I didn’t think of church. Didn’t think of God or service or sacrifice or history, but rather focused on toys, music, movies, and girls. Church was a 3 hour a week deal and that was it. It stayed that way my entire life. Not through any shortcomings of parents or leaders, but through my own indifference. My parents both served missions as did my older brother. My parents were married in the Temple as was my brother. These things were and are important to them and I respect it wholly.

Still, I find myself indifferent to the entire situation. I have seen it help families, hurt families, help people, hurt people, and everything in between. I also fully believe that at the core of every religion and belief, is the will to do good and make life better for everyone. The downside to this is the fallible nature of man. We have faults that cause the root and core of good things, turn selfish or evil. I don’t feel betrayed or hurt by my religion at all. I have seen it help many people in my life. I cannot deny that at all. My older brother is a perfect example. He has found love, peace, and a future spreading knowledge of something he believes fully in. He knows what he wants and is totally committed to it. But in my own life, I have never felt good or bad about religion or God or scripture. I have always felt ambivalent and indifferent to the entire thought. I have a few friends that identify as Agnostic and I always found this a little weird. That was, until recently.

My upbringing had me around 99% Mormons and 0.99% other faiths and 0.01% agnostic or atheist. I didn’t meet an atheist until my senior year of high school. Not that more didn’t exist, but it had never been something that was questioned. I believe most Mormons in Utah simply assume everyone else is a Mormon. Maybe this is more true of small towns like Lehi, nestled in the churchy bosom of Utah county. I was invited to dinner at a friends house that I assumed was just like the rest of us. Her dad had a beer at the dinner table and I thought…oh, maybe not. Then he was ballsy enough to bring up religion and started bashing on Joseph Smith (look it up if you don’t know who he is, this isn’t Church history, it’s adn history.). I was taken aback that once he knew I was LDS he would continue his anti-Mormon tirade. I understand the freedom we have to choose what to and not to believe in. Not only do I understand it, I fully respect it. But this was not the forum for religious debate. This was dinner with a friend. Awkward.

Anyway, the point of that story was just to illustrate how queer it was to find out you know someone that didn’t belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (a little children’s hymn humour). The older I got, the more agnostics and atheists I knew. Most of them former members that were members only out of tradition or family will. I would ask myself, how could someone that was a member just stop believing? It seemed so strange that someone brought up in the one true faith would later rebel against it. I chalked this up to simple rebellion where they just wanted to be different. The same reason they try alcohol or cigarettes. Just because they were told not to, well, you’ll show them. I stopped regularly attending church over five years ago. I kept telling myself and my family that I believe in the LDS teachings, I just don’t go because of the people. This was definitely a big reason I initially stopped going. I found myself alone in a place where you should feel welcome always. I have never felt welcome at church or church functions. I have always felt looked down upon. A lot of this has to do with my own emotional and social anxieties rather than any rational fear. But it is true that I have always felt more welcomed by people that are ex-members or were never members. The girls I get along with most, the boys that accept me for me, all of them are non-members. My family is excluded from thus generalisation because they have loved me always. It will never change because they are wonderful and accepting people. As for everyone else, I feel constantly judged and shamed for my decisions. As far as I thought, judgement is reserved for God.

So here I find myself, lost. I don’t know what to call myself anymore. I’ve never really been one for labels, but I don’t know if I am LDS anymore. I know I am not atheist as I do believe in some higher power. But what that power is and to what extent it reaches…I don’t know. And until right now, that scared me. I have heard that it’s only when we lose ourselves can we truly be found. If I had to label myself, I suppose I would identify as agnostic. I am not giving up a search for truth and happiness, but I am done looking for approval in places I will never find it. To friends past, present, and future, this may give you a proper insight to why I am how I am. And know that regardless of your spiritual preference, I will love and accept you as long as you can do the same for me. I am fully aware this will cause some loss of friendship. Unfortunately that is an ugly truth of this decision. If you are one that decides to rid me from your life because of this, I wish you nothing but love and happiness in your life. I have found myself in the uncertainty that is life and it’s mysteries. Admitting that to myself and to all of you has lifted a weight I have been carrying for far too long. Whatever your path, belief, or lack thereof, exists, I hope you are happy. If you are not, do yourself a favour and explore other options. Find your happiness. Thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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Here I am, awake and alone at 3:30 am. Popping hydrocodone due to a very sore back as a result of my recent seizures. As I sit here, I fully comprehend why people get high and watch cartoons. The pill takes it’s effect and I turn on the one and only, Pink Panther. Classic movies and even more classic cartoons. At this particular moment, the panther is chasing a basketball that appears to be possessed. This ball has a mind and the intent to run away. Already adorable and funny, right? Across from the park there is a volleyball tournament taking place where a volleyball decides it too wants to run away. The two balls meet in the park and fall in love and get married. They have children and live happily ever after. What joy! Here I sit alone, a little afraid, and a little sad, and now, hopeful. These two balls of different sports found love in each other despite their differences. How brilliant is that?! Well, I liked it. You don’t have to be so mean about it. Geez.

Other things of note, I have temporarily dropped out of school. With the uncertainty of my health and it’s new complications, I don’t want to risk failing classes due to a lack of attendance as a result of hospital stays. I am going to take this time to focus on health and start again in the spring semester. This decision did not come lightly, but had to be done.

Speaking of health, yesterday I had my MRI. What a queer experience that was. When I was done my dad asked how it went. The best way I could describe it was, I felt like I was being faxed. I was secured in this head restraint (the MRI was specific to my brain) and the conveyor takes me in. It sounds like an ancient 14.4 modem firing up and trying to send me to the matrix. Why oh why didn’t I take the blue pill? So 45 minutes later and I was successfully magnetically resonated. The results are being sent to my neurologist and we will know more next week. Also next week, a visit with the heart failure team. Ah the life of a geriatric trapped in the sexy body of a 25 year old Adonis.

The Lortab is continuing to take it’s wonderful effect and I am starting to spell lots of things wrong, so I will end this entry here. I love each and everyone that reads this and I am a lucky boy to have such beautiful people in my life. I will let you know more about my brain as I find out, but until then, thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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In 8 hours I will be hooked up to a machine that was designed to read my brain waves. After 3 seizures and 2 ER visits, things are being taken a bit serious. Not by me of course, but by physicians and family alike. My neurology appointment got bumped from October 5th to a week ago. This may be in part to do with the fact that I had a seizure at school and was once again ambulance’d (a word I am making up) to the ER for more tests. The scary thought that I never woke up from the first episode was renewed after this latest one. Things still feel off and out of place, but I now have an ambivalence towards it.

In regards to the EEG I have in 8 hours, they want me sleep deprived for it. They want me awake for 24 hours prior to the test in hopes I will sleep once I get there. I am sure I already nodded out for a few minutes, but I an back awake and alert. Then on Thursday I have a brain MRI scheduled. This is not my beautiful life. One benefit of feeling dead has been an increase in courage. I have been totally honest and forthright with people that I normally masquerade my feelings toward. It doesn’t benefit me one bit to not be honest. I know that for each person I told, nothing had changed. Their thoughts and feelings remain the same and I remain crushed. No matter. I am going to be who I am no matter how much I fight it.

New questions arise regarding school and life. I have missed so much school already due to these seizures I think the smartest thing to do would be to try and start fresh next semester. I have to figure out things with classes and financial aid first, but in order to get the most out of my education, that nay be the route I take. I turn 26 in November, which means my insurance comes to an end. I need to find a replacement with my heart and brain disorders. Any lapse in coverage could result in permanent uninsurability. God bless America. My heart has sunk in my chest and I simply want to run away. If any of my friends still read this, I would appreciate a call sometime. I am sick of being the sole instigator. It feels like you couldn’t care less if our relationship survived and that hurts. I understand you have lives. I am not asking to be the Center of attention, but the occasional acknowledgement of my existence in your lives would be nice. If not, please leave your letter of resignation in my email. I don’t have time, patience, or emotional stability for one-way friendships any longer. Thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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Well friends, here we are. It’s another Sunday in, what I have come to understand as, my life. This is where things get scary for me. To go along with the previous post and research, I found a phenomenon that can happen after one has a seizure. I had been feeling what this was but had no name for it. Then I read this:
An epileptic seizure, occasionally referred to as a fit, is defined as a transient symptom of “abnormal excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain”. The outward effect can be as dramatic as a wild thrashing movement (tonic-clonic seizure) or as mild as a brief loss of awareness. It can manifest as an alteration in mental state, tonic or clonic movements, convulsions, and various other psychic symptoms (such as déjà vu or jamais vu).

I knew what déjà vu was. I get that all the time. That feeling where you know what is going to happen because you have been in this situation before. Maybe you had a dream that is now manifest in your conscious life. But what the hell is jamais vu? Let’s read on.

psychology, jamais vu (from French, meaning “never seen”) is the phenomenon of experiencing a situation that one recognises but that nonetheless seems very unfamiliar.

Or, as I have been trying to explain to people, I know where I am and who you are, but I don’t. My house, my car, my family, and my friends (not listed in order of any importance) all seem like I am just meeting them or being there for the first time. I currently live with my aunt and mother in a house that I have known for many years. Yet, the day I came home from the ER, it felt like the first time I had been there and still feels like that to this day. Maybe this is what Madonna meant by “Like a Virgin”.

Along with this feeling is another brilliant idea that I partially subscribe to. Have you heard of solipsism?

– noun
1.
Philos. the theory that only the self exists, or can be proved to exist.
2.
extreme preoccupation with and indulgence of one’s feelings, desires, etc.; egoistic self-absorption.

I don’t fully believe in this philosophy, but every now and again, I get this sensation where I see myself in third person and I have this feeling that nothing is real. So here I am, in my own head, overanalysing everything going so far as to think I am actually in a hospital bed at this moment in a coma. Dreaming these days up as well as dreaming everyone that is in my life and what happened to me. Dreaming while doctors and nurses shuffle in and out of my room. I know what you’re thinking. You think I am full of it. You think that I am making this up as some sort of hypochondriacs reaction. I know that 99% of the people reading this think it’s all in my head. Well, I’ve got news for you, you’re all in MY head. How does that feel? Not so good huh? Mental illness is very real. I have seen it first hand and fully believe I am experiencing some of it that I have never felt before. So where does that leave us? I am still waking up everyday. Still living my life, even if it feels like a dream. I am still scheduled for my EEG on October 5th and praying a cancellation will come through much sooner. After all, you can’t cut any corners when you’re running in circles. Life (or coma dream) will continue to happen, so I will keep participating. Let’s have a safe and fun labour day. Thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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Let me tell you a little more about myself. I am quirky. Eccentric. Weird. Call it what you wish, I am a unique person. One of my traits was brought up today…or yesterday…as a negative. I am not one to argue against reasons to call me weird or different, but this is something I actually think is normal.

I am an inquisitive person by nature, and when something new enters my life, I need to find out whatever I can. For example, when I was diagnosed with heart failure, I began researching everything I could. Whether it was medication, surgery, diet, or a myriad of other associated terms, I wanted to know what I was in for. Another prime example was when I was getting high. I knew that I wanted to be numb, but I didn’t want to die. So I researched every drug and drink before I took them. Now, after abusing the first drug all that research became null and void. My inhibitions were eradicated and caution wasn’t just thrown to the wind, it was sent soaring off the highest cliff imaginable. Back to the point…

After I had a seizure I began reading everything I could on the subject. This was done to not only cope with what happened but also to prepare for what might come next. Until I see a neurologist I have to assume another one is possible. I was talking with one of my sisters about it and I was asked “…and how do you know this?”. Before I could respond, little asn piped up and said “because all he’s been doing since it happened is reading about seizures!”. I didn’t think it was weird, but it gets brought up a lot. My mother is convinced my calling in life is to be a pharmacist, considering I read everything available on the drugs I do take. I call them by compound name and not by some dumbed down term. I don’t call them heart pills, because I take different ones. I take carvedilol and lisinopril for my heart specifically. When I talk of my pills to anyone I get a look of “Oh…that’s nice”. I don’t take offence to it at all, it’s just one of my many growing geriatric features. Sitting around comparing ailments and medications with war vets that have hearing aids. That’s what life has become. The reason I bring this up right now is because of some reading done on the seizure. Look at the non blurred text in the picture below.

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A Finnish death metal band? Now that’s just plain funny. Reading always yields something to make me smile. The fact that in this world we need to differentiate between an epileptic episode and a Finnish death metal band is enough to lighten any mood. Next post is going to be a bit more serious and possibly scary. I hope you’re as excited as I am. Thanks for stopping by.

love,
adn

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