Friday, October 29, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I want to be a children's librarian when I grow up. I have every intention of pursuing graduate school in a year or so. I plan to graduate with my undergrad in general studies this December, then get married, then move and gain residency somewhere that has real seasons, and then start applying to grad schools.
I love kids. As I’ve mentioned before, I'm a camp counselor, and a frequent babysitter. I have to stop by the church nursery every sunday to say hi to all the kiddos. and they rarely let me pass without dragging me in for a tea party or something.
I also love books. I can't pass a bookstore without going in. and usually buying at least one.
So when I gave up acting, Mom put the librarian idea into my head. And naturally, I'd want to work with kids. And I love my public library. So I wanted to work for a public library; not a school library. My reasoning was that kids at a public library want to be there. And they have all the fun events. And I'd rather work year round. And many schools require that the librarians teach for a few years first. And I might be great with kids, but I could never teach. I don't have the knack.
But the dirty little secret? Kids throw up more at schools. Parents send kids to school when they're sick all the time. I can remember many times that there was a chair or a desk over a pile of sawdust in the library in elementary school. In fact, I actually threw up in the school library once.
How often do parents drag sick kids to the public library? Not so often. In the three years that I've worked as a shelver and an intern at my public library, no one's puked on the floor. There have been poop issues, but never any vomit. I'm sure it happens, but not as often.
However, I still worry. Last year, a coworker had a stomach virus. I heard her talking about it. Loudly. And she worked at the circ desk. And I was a shelver. Which meant that virtually everything that I touched, she had touched. And I was terrified of catching her bug. During the swine flu scare, the city installed medical grade hand sanitizer foam dispensers. Last December, I must have used those things every five minutes. My hands were super dry. I couldn't understand why she didn't go home after the first bout of projectile vomiting. (Thankfully, I only heard her talking about it. I didn't witness any actual sickness.) It's one thing to go into work when you have a sinus infection or something that's not highly contagious. But if you work somewhere where you have a lot of contact with people and you're highly contagious; stay home! Norovirus (the stomach bug and the bane of an emetophobe's existence.) can be contagious for up to two weeks after symptoms end! Even non-emetophobes will thank you for staying home and not exposing them to such a miserable virus.
But, I'm going to conquer this fear. I still wouldn't want to work at a school, but life will still be easier. I got an email from Rich, the guy who sells the recovery system, asking if I've started it. I haven't really. I'm doing the relaxation exercises, but I haven't done anything in the workbook. It's hard to take that step. What if I get more anxious?
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Reality TV, on the other hand, is a whole different ballgame. It's not staged, (ok, well the puking isn't fake at least...) Jon and Kate/Just Kate is one of the worst. They actually film those poor kids being so sick! (Yeah, I turned that episode off...) but still, those are small children, small children get sick a lot. (One reason I never want to teach elementary school.) But Project Runway? It's a show about fashion design! Why did they have to show poor Carol Hannah being so sick? Why is it that they can't show any kind of poop on TV, but they can show all the vomit they want? Honestly, I think that poop is way less gross.
Should there be any limits on the vomit showed on Tv? I think there should be. But then again I also hate any movie that had "comedic" upchucking. I don't think it's funny. or ever necessary. I mean, if "nobody likes vomit", why is it all over TV?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Emetophobia isn’t diagnosed often by professionals. I diagnosed myself about a year and a half ago when I had a not-so-great experience in a school van. We were on our way home from a conference and someone in my van got carsick. As soon as she mentioned not feeling well, I turned the volume up on my iPod, and hid my face under my coat. Thankfully, I was not sitting between her and the door. Not-so-thankfully, I peeked out when we stopped. Later, I was trying to describe the experience to a friend, and I looked up “Vomit Phobia”. I learned the word, emetophobia, and found that it was the fifth most common phobia. I found a list of typical behaviors. I exhibited many of them. I spoke a little to my doctor about it, but we were more focused on my roommate problems and my depression. So not much really happened with it for a while. I explained it to my family, and some close friends, and they were just like, “whatever”. Having a name for it didn’t change anything really. I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I can vividly remember every time anyone threw up in elementary school. I can remember always feeling like I needed to escape. I remember that I always used the bathroom stall furthest away from the door because I figured a sick person would run to the first one. I remember waking up often in the middle of the night not feeling well. I’d go to the kitchen and get the big bowl that Mom always gave me when I was ill and I’d sleep with it in my bed just in case.
I think I developed emetophobia when I was very young. My mom suffered with hyperemesis during her pregnancy with me and when she was pregnant again when I was three or four. (She lost that baby. My brother was born when I was almost 7.) My mom also suffered from a lot of anxiety when I was young. I also used to get really carsick because I needed tubes in my ears. I remember my dad threatening to spank me if I threw up again. (Yes, my parents spanked us. I don’t blame them. I could be a spoiled brat.) My dad is very much a control freak and I have inherited this from him. And it definitely contributes to my phobia.
Right now, I am taking medicine. About two and a half years ago, I was diagnosed with depression. I was put on 20 mg of Lexapro. About a year ago, I decided that I wasn’t depressed anymore and I slowly discontinued the medicine. A few months later, I had lost 10 pounds because I was so anxious that I couldn’t eat. (Making me 5’4” and 100lbs- not healthy.) I was started back on the Lexapro at 10mg. It really helped. I wasn’t depressed, but it had been helping the anxiety too. I also have a prescription for the very controversial Xanax. I went to France and Italy last summer and I told my doctor I needed something for the panic attacks because I hate flying. I don’t take it often, but it is my crutch. I always have it with me. I don’t panic so much at the thought of myself being sick, because that hasn’t happened in many, many years, but if someone around me is sick, I pop one if I don’t think I can handle it. I frequently try to tough it out. That usually doesn’t end well for me. I also usually carry around a bottle of Dramamine, Pepto-Bismol, and a bottle of Benadryl. I use the Benadryl as both a sleep aid, and it works as a slower acting anti-anxiety. (Plus it helps my allergies!) What I like about the Benadryl is that I can take it if I’ve been drinking. I do enjoy the occasional drink, but I never know when I might have a panic attack. So the Benadryl fixes that. This combination has been pretty effective. I would like to be cured instead of just maintained someday, but right now, that’s not happening without a little help.
Last night I did purchase the Emetophobia Recovery System. I only just started it, but I will let you know how it goes.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
And no one puked. (That I know of.)
However, my darling not-usually-prone-to-motion-sickness-fiancé felt dizzy, then a bit queasy.
So I gave him Dramamine, took my Xanax, and went to find my mommy.
She gave me some stuff to take to him to make him feel better. (ginger chews, water, a seasick patch thingy, and tiny bottle of Lysol for me.) And she offered to let me hang out in her room for a while. (Fiancé and I were sharing with my little bro as our chaperone.)
But while I was hiding, something occurred to me.
My poor sweetheart was all alone, in a strange place, feeling like crap.
And he would never, ever, leave me feeling like that.
So I went back to our room. I applied his patch, gave him ginger chews, got him a bit of ice water, put a cool cloth on his forehead, set up my laptop to watch The Princess Bride, tucked him in, and settled myself on my own bunk.
And I managed not to cry. Definitely an improvement over the last time he didn't feel good.
Now, he knows about my emetophobia. He understood how hard all of this was for me. He's been the one I run to for everything these last two years. He's seen me have a panic attack. He told me to leave him alone.
But I just couldn't abandon him like that.
I love him. And I couldn't help but think, he's never run away from me like that. Even when I am miserable and pathetic with a cold or fever. Even when I grump at him because it's too early or because I'm hungry. He kills spiders, and removes dead bugs from my apartment. He carries heavy things for me. He opens the car door for me.
I love him. As soon as the church repairs are finished, I'm going to marry him. and in those vows is the phrase, "in sickness and in health".
And the Xanax helped.
So with this cruise, I gained hope. Hope that eventually I can be cured. Hope that since I can take care of my fiancé when he's not feeling well, I will be able to take care of my future children.
I haven't yet to deal with him actually upchucking around me, but I'm sure that eventually that will happen. (But it would be really cool if it didn't...) However, I'm pretty hopeful that I will at the very least be able to care for him afterwards. Or you know, at least stay in the house with him. Right now every tiny step counts.
Oh and the most awesome thing ever that doesn't have much to do with this post:
In Cozumel, I rode a dolphin. Like seriously, held her fins as she swam across the pool/dolphin habitat thing. And I got to pet dolphins. and kiss a dolphin. and hug a dolphin. and swim with the dolphins. I've always wanted to swim with dolphins.
Oh and one of those God things- right now there's a tropical storm in the Gulf. Heading right where I was this past weekend. And I am thanking God for our smooth, uneventful journey. Because I had a good time on this cruise, barring that one night. And I know it could have been really awful.
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Apparently someone found my blog with that google search. I can understand how as I’ve mentioned roommate trouble multiple times, wrote a post about blood donation mentioning how I just about passed out, and in that same post, the nurse swabbed my arm with alcohol. I mentioned once that I was emetophobic, but I linked to a website about it instead of describing it. Emetophobia is a fear of vomit. Emetophobia is a very debilitating phobia and many people don’t tell others that they have it. Because many times you get fuckers who think it’s funny to mess with you and pretend to puke. Or else they say, “Well no one likes vomit.” Yes, but not everyone has panic attacks around the possibility of someone upchucking. Most people with this phobia keep it a secret. But I maintain that that only helps to validate my brain’s aversion. I’m trying so hard to beat this thing. I’m a little scared, because I’m putting myself out there to the internet and I realize there’s a possibility that there are some sick people out there who would get a kick out of sending me photos of people vomiting. Someone did it on the emetophobia forum I visit. (note to anyone who might visit that forum- the images are gone and there are new measures in place from it happening again.) And exposure therapy does not work at all on most emetophobes. It actually makes it worse in a lot of cases.
I really hope whoever did this search found what they were looking for. Because as an emetophobe, that is my worst nightmare. What if my roommate drinks too much and passes out and possibly starts throwing up? (I no longer have a roommate, but this was a regular worry at the beginning of every year when I had new roommates.) I know that I am making inferences about what this person was searching for, but I worry that it was someone who shares my phobia and was looking for help. And there’s not much help out there. There is a wonderful forum with many supportive people who are suffering from emetophobia and a few who have recovered, but I discovered that the forum gave me new ideas. I learned new fears. I also discovered that while my panic attacks are just as debilitating as anyone else’s, my triggers are not as numerous as many emtephobics out there. I can eat at restaurants. I can be around children. I can ride roller coasters. (And I love them!) I can eat meat. I can drink a glass of wine. I can leave my house. I can do so many things that others with this phobia cannot do. Oh, there are things that I can’t handle. But I’m trying really hard not to dwell on those. I’m focusing on things I can do right now. And really, I can do so many, many things.
I’m going on a cruise next month. I’m a little terrified. I’m told that most people don’t get seasick on cruise ships, but I’m still pretty worried. A big part is that once I get on that boat, I can’t get off for four days. Even the longest and most excruciating airplane rides weren’t more than eight hours. (Yeah, my little brother threw up the first time about two hours into the flight. I couldn’t eat or sleep the entire way home. That was the longest 6 hours of my life.) Yes, we all have seasickness patches, and yes, I do have my Xanax now. (That stuff is amazing. I actually slept and ate on an airplane. And if anyone is worried, it’s as needed so I only take it when I’m panicking. And I use it very sparingly because I do not want to get addicted. But the pros and cons of xanax are for another day.) But the long and short of this cruise ship tangent is – Pray for me, I’m scared!
I truly hope whoever searched that found something helpful. And that maybe I can help in some small way. I think I might write more about my emetophobia. I think it will be helpful for me, and if just one person can find help or gain an understanding, I will be happy. Because I’m sure everyone knows someone with emetophobia, even if that person hides it.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
I was on reading something on MckMama's community and people kept talking about MWOP. I had no clue what MWOP was so I googled it. And wow. Just wow. While I do find it lame that people go around looking up all of the inconsistencies and then care so much about it; I have to admit that I am a little disappointed in MckMama herself. Plagiarism? And not just on a post back in 2008 like she said, but on many, more recent posts. They do over-exaggerate a little, for example they showed a picture from another site of some little girls' feet and then a picture of small fry's feet and claimed that was plagiarism. It's not. As long as you push that shutter, even if you are taking a picture of the exact same thing as someone else, it's not considered plagiarism. Plagiarism would be taking that picture and removing the watermark and passing it off as her own. Ok, tangent over. But then I saw the thing about the house burning...not to the ground....
I feel like I've been manipulated. Mostly, I read the blog because of the beautiful photography. And of course, Photoshop tips are always awesome. But I'm in a class this year where I'm learning a lot about Photoshop and I've learned things that work way better than her tips.
I used to want to be an actress. And some days, I still want to be famous. So I can understand the attention whoreing behavior. In fact, I’ve done it myself more often than I’d care to admit.
So why am I reading anymore? I don't plan to become a regular at MWOP (or GWOP or DWOP) anytime soon because, well, I do pity these people. But I don't see the point in reading MckMama anymore. (Especially since I found out she was taking her poor children to Sarah Palin rallies. I'm sorry, but I think Sarah Palin is a twit.)
I’ve been disillusioned. And I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it. Am I angry? Am I outraged? Not really. Mostly I’m just disappointed that she’s not the person I thought she was. Which I then feel silly about, because I don’t really know her at all.
Oh and one tiny bit of attention whoring from me: I’ve set up a DeviantArt account for my photography. So if you’d like, you can go there and check it out. And then, if you really want to comment on my work but can’t since you don’t have a DA account, you can always comment here and tell me how fabulous you think I am. ;D