Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tagged

THE RULES: You have to post the 4th picture in the 4th folder in your pictures folder. Then give a brief description before you tag a few others. So here it goes!


This was from September of 2006. Amy wanted to take some pictures with the pumpkins at Safeway so I happily joined her. Her brother Mike was taking the pictures for us, and a black bug started crawling on him and he screamed like a girl. Good times.

I tag Amy and Lyndee (cause Jenni tagged her but she didn't do it)

My Life is Ridiculous

I had a very interesting day on Wednesday and when I was at work (with nothing to do but yucky homework) I decided to start writing everything down. I wrote down much more than I had planned on initially, but I'm into details so I shouldn't have been surprised.
I'm not sure if anyone actually wants to read it, but it was fun to write so I might as well post it. Consider yourself lucky, because the story does in fact contain some embarrassing details. Ah well, life is teaching me to laugh at myself, you all might as well be able to laugh at me also. :)

My Life is Ridiculous
By Emily Martin

My scalp had been itching for few days. Every now and then, I would give it a good scratch and boy, did it feel good. I talked to my boyfriend, Jason, about it on the phone on my fourth night of itchy symptoms and we were joking that it was lice. Then it slowly dawned on me, what if it is lice? I mean, I ride a public bus that transports homeless people. I don’t think you can be that much more at risk than that.

The next morning I rolled out of bed and scratched my itching head. As I sat on the bench waiting for the bus to come, I felt the itches tingling on my skin. Teasing me, taunting me to scratch. I folded my arms and refused to give in. If I stopped scratching, it would go away, right? On the bus ride to school, I began texting chacha (you just text them a question and they’ll text you back the answer): “How do I know if I…” I paused, erased that and began again: “How would someone know if they have lice?”

When my phone lit up with a response, I opened my phone, holding it protectively against my chest and shielding the screen with my hand from any wandering eyes of my fellow bus riders. The response: “Head lice is characterized by an itchy scalp, particularly in the areas above the neck and behind the ears.” All senses went to those areas on my head, daring them to itch.

By the time I made it to my seat in math class, I had already decided the face I would make when at the doctor’s office asking to get checked for lice (sad, slightly embarrassed, but with a dash of confidence to show I deserve respect even though I might have nasty little bugs crawling around in my hair) and who I would inform that I had lice (well, there’s Jenni cause I slept in her room this weekend…and should I tell the people at work? We do share office chairs. But how can I ever tell them and retain my dignity?).

I texted Jason and told him I was scared I really had it. I knew he was sleeping so I had to send him another text asking how he could possibly be sleeping at a time like this. His response half an hour later was disappointingly unsympathetic: “So what if you do. Just have someone check for it.” I gritted my teeth and made my decision. I’m going to get checked after class.

After an hour long lesson on statistics, which I spent trying as innocuously as possible to scratch my head while praying no one was counting my scratches, I wandered over to a campus map and found the Health Services building. I walked into the building and took a number, and when my number was called, I seated myself before a lady named Gloria. She asked me the reason for my visit and I learned forward in chair towards her and asked as quietly as possible, “Do you check for lice here?” She said she could probably send me to Urgent Care so she began taking down my information.

I found myself in another waiting room, and then a friendly nurse came and did my diagnostics (weight, temperature, and a soothing smile). She put me in a three-walled room, and pulled a curtain across the opening. As she did, it became apparent to me that while no one can see you behind the curtain, they sure can hear you with only a sheet of fabric hiding your shame. How’s that for privacy?

A pear-shaped lady with brown paisley pants and a bad haircut entered through the curtain. She introduced herself as Dorothy Trimmer, a nurse practitioner, and began asking me questions about my itchy scalp. She vaguely reminded me of Professor Umbridge from Harry Potter. Then she proceeded to ask me if I had a runny nose, sore throat, or cough. My nose has been a little stuffy but that’s all. “You know, it could be mono. The virus can make your skin itchy like that. And you know, wouldn’t you rather have mono than lice?” she said with a chortle and looked to me, waiting for a laugh or smile in return. All I could provide her with was a puzzled face because why would you even joke about something like that? The only girl I knew with mono was in bed for a month! She asked me if I ever shared drinks with anyone, and I gave the weak reply of, “er, sometimes?” She informed me that mono could be passed by sharing drinks like that. Now, wait a minute, isn’t mono the kissing disease? Do I not look kissable, so Dorothy had to think of some other source that had infected me? I mean, should I be offended by this?

She spent a few minutes prodding and poking my head in search of lice. She told me to look forward but then pushed my head down because apparently to her, looking forward is actually looking down. She couldn’t find any little buggers, so she proposed scraping some of my flakes off and looking at them under a microscope.

When she came back from her adventure under the lens, she told me she didn’t find any head lice at all. Relief. She asked me if I wanted to get tested for mono. Okay, she’s the professional here, shouldn’t she be advising me on what to do? I asked with a hint of bewilderment, “Well, what do you think I should do?” She still didn’t give me much direction, so I said let’s just go for it.

I was led to the lab where they proceeded to take my blood. The lady was very pleased with my nice vein and complimented me on a job well done after she had filled a vile with my blood. Cause I was definitely the one doing all the work there. They told me my test wouldn’t be done for another hour or so, but Dorothy told me she would call with the results.

I exited the building and called my mom. As I was explaining everything, she was shocked that I had to be tested for mono. I then told her all the reasons why I didn’t think I had it, including the fact that I didn’t feel sick, no fever, no apparent cold symptoms other than slightly swollen glands, and really, who would have given it to me? My mom was in agreement with me. As we did our usual chatting, Ms. Trimmer beeped in. When I answered, she informed me that I did indeed have mononucleosis and that I could come after class and talk to her about it. I hung up and felt the tears pooling in my eyes. What? Mono? Me? I went in for a lice test, for goodness sake! Now I have mono?!

I called my mom and tearfully told her my test came back positive. She replied with a “wow.” “Yeah,” I said. She let me cry and then calmly told me that I will be fine and it’s good that I found out early so I start being treated and we can, as she put it, “whoop this thing.” It was slightly embarrassing to hear my mom use such a phrase, but her efforts at calming me were successful.

After ending my call with her, I texted Jason and told him I had mono. His response: “How did you get mono?” I replied that his guess was as good as mine. After class, he texted me and told me he was going to get tested too. This all felt too familiar, like I was in an HIV/AIDS awareness video that they show in high school. All that was missing was some bad acting and clothes straight out of the 80s. My life was getting way too dramatic here.

When I returned to see my friend Dorothy, she gave me a printout of my blood test results and a brochure that said, “So, You Have Mono” and then below it, “Taking the Next Step” with sepia pictures of a guy at the beach and some college students standing and smiling at each other. How’s that for cheesy? Dorothy was preoccupied by another patient so she left me for a minute by myself. I began scanning the flyer and saw, “Once the virus progresses, the patient may get a sore throat. Possibly the worst they’ve ever had.” I immediately was reminded of my sore throat from hell three months back when I still lived in Thatcher.

The nurse came back so I told her about my sore throat and asked her if that was mono. She couldn’t give me a positive answer but said it may have well been. She then began informing me of what I can and can’t do which included: No alcohol for a month, no physical activities (so no karate, she told me), no contact sports (so no flag football), drink lots of water, eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, and, Dorothy concluded with a smile, always wear your seatbelt. Now, isn't that a bit of a stretch of her influence there? Sure, telling someone to wear a seatbelt is a noble deed, but how does that relate to my health condition?

I was relieved that I didn’t seem to have a bad case of mono, and if my sore throat was in fact mono, then I am far past the worst of it. I left the building shaking my head. I mean, I started my day fearing I had a case of head lice, to be told instead that I had mono. What an interesting turn of events that makes for! I must say, although I wish I never had to be sick or subject myself to doctor’s visits, this was quite an amusing occurrence for me. In the future, I know I will look back fondly on my time spent with an itchy scalp and a lady named Dorothy. Maybe when I’m all better, the two of us can do some karate together.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Everything

This video makes me cry every time I watch it. It's such an awesome reminder of how beautiful God's love is for us. Life is full of hardships and I find that when I am having trouble or struggling, I try to fix things myself and end up with a big mess. And yet, God is so willingly to fight our battles for us, if only we submit to him! He doesn't want me to do it all myself, he longs to help me and guide me.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)

The Joys of Evesdropping

Being on campus with so many people creates many opporunties to observe the craziness of the human race. I love it.

Yesterday, I passed a girl on the phone. Her conversation goes as follows:

"Yeah, you looked high in that picture."

"Yeah, you looked really cracked out in that picture."

"Oh wait, did I just offend you?"

Heh.

An awesome black lady started talking to me when waiting for the bus one day. She asked about my curly hair and then said, "You know, because of your curly hair and dark eyes, that means that somewhere along the lines your ancesters mixed with someone dark. So, you black!"

I wanted to shake her hand and thank her. She could not have made my day ANY better.