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Losing my eyesight, and my mind

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Back in mid-June, I got pink eye — or if I want to sound older than a fourth grader, conjunctivitis. It was gross and ugly and uncomfortable and all of those things that you remember your childhood pink eye to be. I looked like I had been crying all the time, which, if you know me, isn’t all that hard to believe.

After a week with a goopy red eye and unusual blurry vision, I finally went to the MinuteClinic and got a prescription eye drop (EYE DROP #1). “The infection should be gone within 2-4 days,” the nurse practitioner told me. “If it isn’t, you need to see an ophthalmologist.”

Well, wouldn’t you know, I’m the lucky star who just couldn’t shake my conjunctivitis. So, after two weeks of pink eye, to the ophthalmologist I went. He did some tests, and discovered my cornea to be “incredibly infected.” He gave me a stronger eye drop (EYE DROP #2), and said that my affliction should be over within a week.

In the meantime, he checked my vision — something that historically had never been a problem for me, although things have been blurry lately — and, well, I NEED GLASSES. The doctor scheduled me to come back for another exam two weeks later, giving the drops a chance to work their magic, just in case my failing eyesight was at all tied to this sexy eye infection.

So ten days ago, I went back to the doctor for the follow-up exam. And because Annie Parsons is no quitter, the infection is STILL THERE. Surely I have broken some sort of record for “most consecutive days with a rotting eyeball.” He measured my eyesight again and still found it to be worthy of glasses, but gave me another prescription drop (EYE DROP #3), and asked me to come back in three weeks with a (hopefully) healed cornea. Late next week, I’ll return to pay a fourth co-pay for what I hope is my final exam, and walk out with a script for glasses.


As established, I have now been prescribed three different eye drops of various strength. The bottles all look pretty much the same, but I’ve been good at keeping them straight.

Until yesterday.

“Where did this fourth bottle come from?” I wondered. I mentally ticked back through my doctor’s visits, counting one, then two, then three prescriptions. There was not a fourth. Why did I have four bottles of eye drops?

Suddenly, all of the air sucked out of the room. The ground opened up beneath me and the earth swallowed me whole.

I remembered.

Two weeks ago, her eye had been goopy. I’d scrounged around through her stash of medicine from the past three years, and found her eye drops. The bottle looked the same as mine.

For the past two weeks, I’ve been using Foxy’s… expired… eye drops.

I don’t deserve to be an adult.


Dog days

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Yesterday, we had a bit of a canine emergency when Greebs the dog ate an entire plate of peanut butter & chocolate brownies, and we had to take him to the animal ER to have them induce vomiting and coat his stomach in charcoal.

Did you know that I haven’t thrown up since I was 14 years old?  Over half a lifetime ago.  I am terrified that it’s going to happen again someday.

For someone who has always been a stickler about having a clean car, the backseat of the Subaru has been coated in dog fur since June.  I would attempt to do something about this, but it would be like pushing a boulder up a mountain only to watch it roll back down.  The long-haired, muddy, vomit-induced dogs are in my car every single day.

The most unexciting thing to spend money on (besides bras and paper towels) (and also Sonicare toothbrush heads) would be a dog barrier for my Forester.  But if it would afford me a clean backseat?  It might be worth it.

Anyway, here’s yesterday’s protagonist on the way back from the vet, full of morphine.

If yesterday’s dog emergency is any indication, this weekend did not go as planned, for all sorts of reasons.  I am someone who tends to measure my value by how much I accomplish (and yes, I know that this will get me nowhere – nowhere except SUCCESSFUL).  But I had a list of things that I wanted to get done, all of which remained unaccomplished.

That’s not entirely true.  I ran 11 miles on Saturday morning.

But that is ALL THAT I DID.

I didn’t take the pile of stuff to Goodwill.
I didn’t list the items on Craigslist.
I didn’t vacuum.
I didn’t respond to the emails and phone calls.
I didn’t return the sweater to Target.
I didn’t buy thumbtacks.
I didn’t do laundry.
I didn’t walk in the sunshine.

But the dogs aren’t dead.

So… woman of the year.

Itty bitty tidbits

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Something I Googled this morning:
Is kennel cough contagious to humans?

Because – bad news – Kodi has kennel cough.  And also – bad news – it is.

– – – – – – – –

First, “The Pianist” came from Netflix.  Then, “The Piano” came from Netflix.

What in the world.  Why did I choose to watch these back-to-back?  I’m so depressed.  If you happen to know something happy, please share.

– – – – – – – –

I’m so bored of my running playlist (Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love” is only SO inspiring – although, let’s be real, it’s pretty damn inspiring).

What are the best songs to run to?  I’m thinking of utilizing this.

– – – – – – – –

Sometimes I miss Nashville so much, I can hardly breathe.  The next day, it’s Seattle.  Today, both are very much true.

But right now, in this moment, I choose to be present in this city, on this day, with these tasks, and these people.

I believe that the future holds good things.

But I also choose to acknowledge that the present holds good things.

It is a choice, you know.

Nesting: a (sort of) photo essay

Monday, January 10th, 2011

I made it back to Denver on Saturday night, and when I walked into my apartment, I swear, it took everything in me to not drop to my knees and kiss the hardwood floors.  For all of the trips that I take, I am a bona fide homebody.

Yesterday, it started snowing.  It was pretty and white and wintery outside, so I looked out the window for awhile.

Then, while still in my pajamas, I made my best breakfast, and drank 3 cups of coffee in quick succession.

This is too much coffee, so after that, my hands were jittery.  But I managed to plug in my new Sonicare toothbrush, which I got for Christmas.  It’s changing my life.  I’ll never go back.  NEVERRRRRR.

I looked at my new wall-hanging, a gift from my sister-in-law.  And then my heart exploded with sprinkles.

At one point, I ventured out to buy myself some yellow roses – because according to L’Oreal, I’m worth it?

I opened all of my mail (6 weeks’ worth – Merry Christmas to ME), and loved all of the holiday cards that my friends sent.  I put them on my fridge.

Then, I pulled out my food processor and made almond butter.  I added a little bit of vanilla and cinnamon to make it taste like heaven, that’s what.  I didn’t want to put it in a Tupperware, because please, ugly – so I decided that a glass butter dish would work just fine.

I acknowledge that this totally doesn’t look as appetizing as it is.

I also made chocolate chip cookies.  I didn’t get a picture.  I promise it’s not because I ate all of them – it’s just that they’re now in a plastic bag in my cabinet, and who wants to see that?

I talked on the phone for awhile.  I didn’t get a picture of that, either.  But it happened.

I examined my current physical ailments – eczema on my hands, 5 swollen toes on my left foot (do I have the Gout? I’M SERIOUS), and yellowing bruises on both of my forearms.  All are a mystery.  And again, no picture – but let’s be honest, you’re totally okay with that.

I watched a documentary called “The Art of the Steal.”

Finally, I ventured to the gym and ran 5 miles on a treadmill, which did not bode well for the 5 swollen toes on my left foot, or, incidentally, my mood.  Then, I went to Target and bought graph paper, because how much do I love graph paper?  It’s so regimented and orderly, and when I write on it I can tell myself to “read between the lines” and totally mean it.

That was yesterday, but this is today – and today, it’s 3° outside and I am feeling positively unwell.  So it’s a sick day for me – back to bed to hopefully sleep off the crud (and the Gout).


Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Salutations, readers.  Did you think I had abandoned you?

Oh please.

I should begin by saying that the sickness has left my system – literally, and glory hallelujah.  The only person that knows the specifics of my Monday is my mom, and I’m uncomfortable with even her knowing.  It was… I can’t even go there.  Let’s change the subject.

So here I am, back in Denver.

Time, catapult me out of August already.  August has spread me thinner than a hipster – and it isn’t even over yet.  I hate running on no reserves.

I’ve said before that I believe that our number one act of spiritual worship should be getting enough sleep.  Last weekend, Greta told me that she recently read that the most important factor in a woman’s happiness is whether or not she is well-rested.  How do parents of babies function?  This is an absolute mystery to me.  I don’t even own a house plant, and yet I am crashing – crashing like… why is the only metaphor I can think of “like Kanye at a Taylor Swift speech”?

See.  Crashing.

When I’m crashing, I lose creativity, and get all inconsolable about things like the cardboard box in the corner of my living room.  It’s just sitting there – but it’s just been sitting there since I moved in in January.  I don’t know where to put it.  I don’t know what to do with it.  It’s just THERE, taunting me with its displacement.

Twenty-eight years old is too old to get zits – but then again, Annie Parsons has never been a quitter.

I get irrationally annoyed at bad writing (in the interest of spying on people, I subscribe to some truly horrible blogs), and text messages in which every sentence ends in exclamation points!!!!  This is not the way you talk!!!!!  Calm the hell down!!!  You’re wasting your 160 characters!!!!!

Give my hackles a chance to settle down, and then I’ll tell you about my trip to Seattle last weekend.  Crashing or not, I can tell you right now that it was blissful.


Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Yesterday: up at 4am, back to Denver, so sick I can’t even talk about it
Today: out of bed, to work, caught up
Tonight: a little better (I hope), a full night’s sleep (I hope)
Tomorrow: happy (I hope), back to blogging (I hope)

Some nice, relaxing Friday morning quease

Friday, September 25th, 2009

The benefit of being home sick is that I can stay home.

The trade-off is the fact that I might throw up.

I have not thrown up since age 14 – half a lifetime ago.  I’m so nervous.

I had to warn my mother that I was entitling this “My Rash”

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Yesterday, I did a Google Image search for “shingles” – and trust me, Internet, that is not something that you want to do.

I am not a hypochondriac, I promise. But I think I might have shingles. Yes, shingles: a form of HERPES. Julie, the soon-to-be nurse, checked out the small patch of – I don’t know, what should I call them? blisters? scabs? rash bumps? – and consulted a physiology textbook for reference. No conclusive evidence was found…

But I am calling it shingles.

Maybe it’s eczema. Maybe it’s psoriasis. Maybe it’s just… random shaving nicks that landed far from anywhere I use a razor? But I think it’s shingles. It might be an allergic reaction to high heels and elevator Muzak. It could be stress related – or punishment for an unconfessed sin – or perhaps my body’s way of saying, “Stop eating brie for dinner every single night.” But I think it’s shingles.

(Oddly enough, this is not the first time that shingles have been mentioned on this blog.)

As one without health insurance, I am combating this ailment with an old cure-all: baking soda. Seriously, is there anything that baking soda doesn’t do? It takes the stench out of a fridge. It cleans teeth. It erupts 5th grade science project volcanoes. And yes, it mixes with water to form a healing paste.

I sound like such a hippy. Who needs Mary Kay when you have castor oil? Who needs shampoo when you have egg whites? Who needs antibiotics when you have Arm & Hammer?

But… (ready for the segue?)… I spend enough money on my jeans to make up for my thrifty health and beauty habits. And yesterday on my lunch break, having a gift card from Christmas and a big need for some new fancy pants, I went shopping.

So, there I was in the dressing room, pulling on what seemed to be the perfect pair: long enough, dark enough, fit in all the right places. From the front, they seemed to get the job done, if you know what I’m saying. But then I did that awkward twisty-turn in the mirror to see my backside, and y’all:

They were smooth butt jeans.

You know the type – no back pockets whatsoever.

I’m sorry, but I don’t do smooth butt jeans. I am not in a rodeo. I need back pockets. Where else would I put my Benjamins when I club-hop? Where else would I stash all of the phone numbers on cocktail napkins? Where else would a boyfriend put his hands as we slowly and awkwardly waddle through the mall?

That is, if I haven’t completely blown my dating life by mentioning the fact that I HAVE SHINGLES.*

– – – – – – – –

*It’s probably not shingles.


Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Sick in bed, sick in bed,
Massive snot balls in my head.
What to do to pass the time?
Write a poem, try to rhyme.
Scratchy throat and itchy eyes,
Achy body my demise.
Haven’t seen a soul at all,
Save the Handy Graham (who’s tall):
Bringing TheraFlu at 5,
He made sure I was alive.
Now I’m zonked and bored to tears,
Out of Kleenex, out of cheers.
Coughing, coughing, cough cough cough,
Feel my windpipe closing off.
If I die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take,
But if I make it through the night,
I pray that I’ll wake up alright.
For I get no vacation days,
If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.
So go, white blood cells! Andalé!
And chase this wretched bug away.

From my bed of lonely misery,
Annie the Sick

– – – – – – – –

Update! The amazing Andy Merrick is BRINGING ME SORBET!!!!!

Bug, bug, fox

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Last night, I was flipping through a hymnal (trust me: if you had no cable or internet, you’d be doing it, too) and paused at “There Is a Fountain.” Twenty-six years in the church, and I had never heard this song? Outrageous! So I started singing it, all quiet and peaceful and lovely (belying my actual persona), sitting there on the red couch.

When. From out of nowhere.

A hybrid spider-cricket (spicket?), unlike anything I have ever seen, crawled into plain sight, right in the middle of the living room floor. I screeeeeeeeeeamed, and threw the book at it. The hymnal book. It turns out that the words of life are also capable of bringing about death, and for this, I am grateful.

In other news, I am sick. My windpipe is a straw. My sinuses are packed like sausages, like thighs into pantyhose. I am doped up on cold medicine, which gave me a satisfying night’s sleep last night, but is resulting in a vacant stare and a gaping mouth sitting at the ol’ desk job today. I called a health clinic for the uninsured, but they are not accepting new patients until November. Looks like I’ll be riding this one out on a wave of Contac and tomato soup (Progresso makes a fantastic tomato soup – so much cheaper and healthier than Whole Foods cream-based option, but a million times more delicious than Campbell’s – it even has real tomato chunkage!).

And should this buggy blog leave you unfulfilled (which I suspect it might), be sure to read this fantastic example of poor redneck judgment. But who could blame him, really? I mean, his last name was Fox.