Friday, 31 March 2017

Tales from the Draft Vault: Colourful Characters

I totally forgot about this until I stumbled upon this draft.

How exciting it was to have a campus in the down town core! 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Tales from the Draft Vault: I Don't Drink Like I Used To

As many of you may remember, either through previous posts from years gone by, or from experiencing me in real life, I really enjoyed a tornado of party monster behaviour.

Hilarity ensues!

Now I don't know if these were composed around the same time, but this could have been the morning after for a 6am replenishment shift...

I physically cannot drink like I used to.  I got older and hangovers got worse.  I started getting migraines more frequently, especially after not sleeping well.  I also realized that unless I get absolutely plastered, one or two drinks often makes me very depressed if I'm not in a 100% cheery mindset.  Sugar in alcohol also destroys my guts.  After getting C.diff last year and being on antibiotics for 9 months, I realized that I don't need alcohol to socialize.  I do have social anxiety, and it was a challenge to overcome the stomach-turning nervousness, but it was better than cramps and feeling like I'm going to shit my pants after 2.5 drinks.  No more alcoholic go go juice.  It was a really fun time in my life, but I've learned how to be confident enough to be entertaining without alcohol.

Goodbye, old girl.

Friday, 24 March 2017

A Headache is NOT a Migraine

Hello internet!

After an extended leave of life-living, I have returned!  Not so triumphantly, because it was under unpleasant circumstances of a crushing migraine that catalyzed the necessity of getting back into the swing of things.  However, I'm looking forward to making more time to share my experiences through ThingofStuff.

I've been making a lot of "real art" for school, so I haven't been doing much silly doodling, or even doing #ootd fashion illustrations on Instagram.  My life has been absolutely consumed with heavy-practicum-based Art Therapy certification.  It is really exciting, and I love what I do, but it is a lot to handle emotionally.  Not to mention that being disgustingly busy makes time go by insanely quickly, and it leaves next to no quiet moments for the arts and crafts that I want to do!

As you may have deduced, I'm a lady under a lot of stress.  I go to school, I work at a little cafe to augment my poverty, I have three practicums, I volunteer, and I still occasionally model.  I am also in a mild distance relationship and try to be semi-social.

My body has developed a delightful pattern of waiting until I have a day off to be unbearably uncooperative.  In December, as soon as I was out of school for winter break, I was sick on and off until the end of January.  I developed a sinus infection and had 3 migraines in 4 days.  I have had more sinus headaches and migraines in 2017 than the last year combined.  That being said, I was only working 2 jobs and volunteering (did contract C.diff, but that's another story!).  Spring Break was a welcome beacon of respite; however, I've had a sinus headache for the last few days and woke up to the sound of grinding power washing and a throbbing migraine this morn.

After all this preamble, let's jump into the story of my original intention!

If I had three wishes, I would certainly wish for migraines to be stricken from the human condition.  Everyone experiences pain differently, and not everyone gets migraines, but migraines are a scourge upon humanity.  A headache is not a migraine.  Headaches are unpleasant, but they are like a rat nibbling at the cardboard of your being.  You can kick it away for a bit and carry on with your day till it comes niggling back.  A migraine is like throwing your whole cardboard being into a compactor and setting fire to the sad crushed cube after.  You legit cannot function.

If you don't believe me, check out the Mayo Clinic's summary of the debilitating symptoms of migraines.  There are also some good resources.

Anyway, if you've ever been able to feel a tennis ball of pain behind one of your eyes, hissed at light like a vampire, and almost barfed or shit the bed because you're in too much pain to move, you've probably had a migraine!
The tennis ball of disabling pain is generally located behind the right eye, and can extend backwards into your neck.
As mentioned above, an extreme sensitivity to light or sound can be experienced.  Even with your eyes closed, it feels as if you can still see because the vibrations of sound and the intensity of light flood through your closed eyes.
For me, I also become disgustingly sensitive to smell.  It makes it very hard to navigate getting home in a pre-migraine state because public transit is full of all kinds of horrendous human and automobile-related odors.  You may feel Mommie Dearest levels of psychotic anger towards your environment, itching to scream at the world to shut up, but too crippled by the pain of noise to make a sound yourself.

A very poor caricature of Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford screaming, "NO WIRE HANGERS EVER!" in Mommie Dearest.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, please search it on YouTube, you'll understand a lot more pop culture references.)

This overwhelming sensory experience is often accompanied by a sweaty urge to throw up or have violent diarrhea.  If you're really lucky, sometimes both!  As unladylike as it sounds, it is far more relieving to start fresh and super hydrate after than to frantically panic about the possibility of barfing and have it never come to fruition. (I have a severe fear of vomit, Emetophobia, which can make the anticipation of barfing FAR WORSE than the actual act) So if you're like me, you can have a migraine AND a panic attack while naked on the toilet with the lights off!

Why am I naked, you ask?  I was going to have a nice relaxing shower, but now I'm doing deep breathing and holding on to my ankles and crying!  Joy!  Grace!  Opulence!

After chugging water and feeling like you are sufficiently empty of bile, it is well advised to pop some codeine, caffeine, and acetaminophen (NEVER ASPIRIN, codeine + aspirin = acid re-flux and  holes in your guts) and jump in a very long, hot shower.  I generally start standing and end up doing some weird crunchy yoga in the bottom of our dirty bath tub.  Let the droplets from the shower head soothe your splitting cranial pain.  
Post-panic-laying-on-the-dirty-bathing-well bod looking SNATCHED!

Once you have been in the shower for a solid 20 minutes and maybe cried a little bit, you might start to feel better.  The darkness of the bathroom, the way the shower curtain sticks to your arms, the warmth of the steam, it starts to feel good.  It's time to bundle up in huge socks and a house coat and to make (and eat) an entire pot of Kraft Dinner in bed with something cool on your forehead.  The ultimate goal is to have a codeine-induced nap and awaken like Venus on the Half-Shell.

In reality, I usually wake up with anime hair and still wearing my weird Orbeez-filled cooling head wrap that looks like Judo headgear, groggy AF.

One day I'll learn to balance everything with self care, eating healthy, and working out.  But for now I have to cope with how my body handles stress, tension, and fatigue.  I am still not ready to take the next step and ask my doctor about prescription migraine meds, but I'm getting close.  I had big plans to construct a mermaid headdress/diadem/crown thing and I've lost 5 hours of crafting time because of this terrible hereditary propensity.  

I'll bust out something more fun soon.  

Thanks for reading, I look forward to doodling and spewing about whatever I want a part of my routine again!

Love and stuff,

Thing of Stuff