Wednesday, December 17, 2008

When I say I'm a little messed up in the head, I totally mean it.

So, I don't know why I haven't blogged about this, but I've been having some medical issues. A couple of months ago, I found out that I had a nerve-fiber layer infarct in my eye. The usual causes are diabetes, HIV and hypertension; three things I am 99% sure I don't have. Since mine was an unusual case (most people have multiple infarcts and are unhealthy), the doctor figured that it was idiopathic, but he left me the option of having any tests done that I felt I needed done.

I have a family history of mother had one in her brain stem that ruptured when I was 15, nearly killing her. My grandfather had some as well. In the week before the follow-up with the eye doctor, I had been having headaches; not big headaches...just sinus-y headaches. So, when the doc offered to refer me for any tests, I told him I wanted an MRA. He managed to get my insurance company to cover it! 100%! Here are the results:

That arrow? It's pointing at one of my aneurysms. I guess I have two; two tiny aneurysms.

I'm not really nervous, at least not consciously. They're small enough that they're not really in any danger of rupturing and hell, it's better to know they're there. But still, sometimes when I get a headache or bend over to pick something up, I worry just a little bit.

I had a CT angiogram yesterday. They injected me with an iodine-based dye which will act as a contrast. They had to put an IV in my arm and that was horrible. I'm TERRIFIED of needles. When I was six, I had ITP (basically all of my platelets disappeared) and I had to have blood drawn for months. The nurses and doctors threatened to tie me down often, because I would kick and scream and cry. I've gotten a bit better since then, but the whole time that the IV was in my arm, I was really tense. I could feel the dye entering my blood stream and as soon as it did, I could tasted metal in my mouth. Then, my eyes and head got really hot and as the dye traveled through the rest of me, I felt like I peed myself. Very very strange...

So, I'll learn more when the CT scan results come back (and I'll totally post those pictures, too, because I'm sure they'll be awesome!!!). I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon in the beginning of January. I don't think they'll recommend surgery of any kind, but it'll be interesting to see what they want to do about it all.

Me, I'm just going to wait to freak out until I know there's something to freak out about.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The "How did you meet ___?" meme

I post about Vermont geology to come. But first, something less time-consuming during this week after the end of the semester (in which my brain is mushy and NOT into writing about anything sciency):
(I guess I copied this incorrectly, because it doesn't include the title that explains the whole thing...but it's about J)

Where did you meet? At an Aikido weapons seminar. I was trying to find a place to sneak a cigarette and I snuck off behind a barn and J was there with his friend, Greg. This might not be the first time we met, but it's the first time I remember meeting.
What was the first thought that went through your head when you met? I was really intimidated by him, actually. He seemed kinda sarcastic and I was SO insecure at that point in my life. Sarcasm and insecurity don't mix well, y'know?
Do you remember what he/she was wearing? No, I don't. But J sorta has a I bet he was wearing some Carhartt pants and a red, grey, blue or brown tee shirt.
Where was the first time you kissed this person? This is a story that I cannot in good conscience put up on this blog. I'm pretty sure it's more embarrassing to him than it is to me :)

Where did you go for your first date? Alone, I think it was this little restaurant called the Shed in a town about 40 minutes away from ours. We had dinner and then walked around town and then drove home, listening to the Dresden Dolls. In fact, I have a picture:

How long did you know this person before you became a couple? I don't know. Maybe 8 months or something close to that?
How did he/she ask you out? That never really happened. I just introduced him as my boyfriend to someone one day and then we talked about that and decided we both were interested.
Has this person ever proposed to you? No. I think once he asked me if I wanted to get married, but that wasn't a proposal, really. He was just wondering.
Do you and this person have kids together? Nope.

Have you ever broken the law with this person? I think so. I mean, speeding...I'm sure we've trespassed, too.

When was the first time you realized that you liked this person? We were sitting on the couch one night with our roommates and one of them said something kinda mean to me and J stood up for me and I realized that I had gotten him all wrong and all the sudden I saw him for who he was and I was like, "sweet...this guy is so funny and caring and I totally wanna be with him."
Do you trust this person? Yes. He's got a heart of gold and he's as honest as they come.

Do you see him as your partner in your future? Yes. The thought of anyone else makes me actually feel sick.
What is the best gift he gave you? Well, when we first got together he made me a mixed CD and it had all of these songs that reminded me of him and I listened to it every day at work for hours and had that giddy happy glow for weeks.
What is one thing He does that gets on your nerves? He puts dirty dishes on the right side of the sink instead of the left. And there are some more things, too. But they never outweigh the good.

Where do you see each other 15 years from now? I'm hoping we're both finished with school and settled into our careers and still happy with each other. That's all.

What causes the most arguments? We're both ultra sensitive and neither one of us tolerate the other being upset very well.
How long have you been together? Two years this February.

Are you Married? Nope.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Vote often :)

Thanks to everyone who voted for me in the Brickfish "My Favorite Toy" contest. It's not over yet...another month or two, but you've managed to get me into 11th place and I'm the 2nd "most viral" meaning people are linking to my entry from all over.

I just learned that you can vote every 2 hours, so if you feel like popping over there a few more times over the next couple of months, that would be awesome.

Monday, December 8, 2008

I'm your teacher, not your friend...

One of the biggest challenges I've run into in my classes has been maintaining professional relationships with my TAs. As an undergraduate taking introductory courses, my TAs are usually first-year graduate students, closer to my age than the majority of my classmates. They are more mature than my classmates (usually) and they're pretty much guaranteed to be interested in the the same things I am. I like them. A lot. They're the kinds of people I want to be friends with; interested in science, passionate about something, intelligent and mature, but not too mature.

Except they're my teachers and certain boundaries have to be maintained. I'm not talking about romantic relationships here, which are certainly out of the question for a multitude of reasons; just friendships.

Now that the lab section for my biology course has ended, I find that the "we can't be friends" thing that my TA and I have maintained has slipped away. We have plans to go dancing some night soon. And it's exciting...she's a cool girl and I have been wanting to form more friendships with women. But there's still that weirdness and while I'm sure I will get over it, I'm not entirely sure that I should.

Who's to say that some semester in the future, she might not be my TA again?

What do you think? Have you had this experience?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Help me win some $ for school...

So, I'm planning on going to school full-time this fall, but I'm totally terrified of it. I'll be quitting a job at a time when people are losing theirs like crazy. I'll be selectively putting myself in debt during a recession. And I'm scared.

But I'm also scared to give up on school. And I think I could live with myself if I were poor, but not if I quit this school thing.

So, I'm going for as many little scholarships as I can and I need your help with this one. I've posted a box on the right - it's for the Brickfish "My Favorite Toy" scholarship. Click on the vote button and vote for me. I would appreciate it more than you know.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I've come to a conclusion. Not a life-shattering one or anything...but this:

I don't have a very interesting life.

I mean, I do. I find it interesting because I'm living it. But you might not be so interested in it.

I also don't have much time. I'm constantly doing something. Work has picked up because we have a new editor and he's like a tornado and is constantly coming up with new things for us to do here in the office. School is quite crazy this semester because I'm fitting in 2 lab courses besides work...and it will be that way next semester, too.

So, I don't really know how to fit in this whole blogging thing. I could write about paleo and geology and biology and zoology, but I dont' have time to do any research. I could write about my life, but that's mostly just interesting to me and also, my life is literally just eat, sleep, poop, study and work. And who cares about that?

I'm in a rut. And I apologize for a) not posting and b) posting about not posting.

I think I need a new direction. Perhaps I could explore the basics of science with illustrations or something. Hand-write my blog posts and post them as pictures - use the time I have on the bus-ride to and from work to write them.

Or I could stop writing. But I don't actually want to do that.

So, I'm working on it...this rut. I'm mostly just worried about losing connections. This blog has helped me meet so so so many awesome people and I don't want to ruin that.