spectating participant

December 27, 2004

disconnected heritage

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 7:18 pm

I’m reading [I Tell You Now: Autobiographical Essays by Native American Writers]. I’m amazed at the number of writers claiming their indian identity but having very little ‘indianess’ or any strong cultural ties to define them as such. A writer mentioned how easy it is to hide behind the light skin and the white label, to forget the heritage that is fading away with history. For once, I feel like maybe there is space for me to still say that yes, I am indian, and perhaps give meaning to its shallow label.

One writer discusses how her identity came to her through a strong connection to earth and nature and the balance in the world. And while her native blood was small in percentage and held little influence in her upbringing, it spoke loudly from the trees and grasses as she aged. Perhaps that is where my connection lies, while I can’t say that I have a tradition I can hold on to, turn to, pass on to Alex, I can turn bright the treasure of life that speaks loudly day and night.

The stories in this book are faint reminders of my grandfather on his back porch and the old men that would come to visit. They’d sit on the back porch and tell stories broken with laughter, coffee and cigarettes. My grandpa’s face, colored dark and deep with lines, smiling dark eyes, and his pale cowboy hat. The writers talked about time spent sitting, people spending their lives outside, times too hot to be indoors, humid Oklahoma summers swatting at flies, and I remember sitting out back with grandpa’s dark hands reaching for his tobacco.

My momma tells me stories of heading to the stomp dances, telling how grandma and my uncles had to stay out of the circles because they were white, or too white, while she and my aunt were indian enough to go with grandpa into the circles. She has told me other snippets of stories, but nothing that stuck, nothing I can hold to now.

The stories in this book give me some hope that I can claim a portion of identity and can feel comfortable being something more that a check mark on paperwork. And maybe, I can give some of that to the curly, blonde haired child too.

December 26, 2004

the incredible kathleen

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:36 pm

I’m sitting on my bed, watching the slow saunter of a horse and rider go by, listening to Kathleen Public Radio, KPR Holiday Edition 2004. Kathleen continues to surprise and amaze me.

Last night I was reminded, as I often am, of the astonishing beauty and energy that emanates from her. She has this incredible shine and sparkle that can’t be overlooked. I remember hearing all of these wonderful things about Kathleen, before I had met her, and then being floored by her unique grace and style. Later, there was the shy confession to a friend of being in love with Kathleen, to which he responded, “get in line, we all are.” So true, everyone seems to be in appreciative awe of her, I wonder if she is aware of it.

As people have moved in and out of our circles of friends, I’ve softly pointed to Kathleen as the most amazing of them all. She is the defining elegance of the burning spirit as I’ve come to know it.

December 25, 2004

suviving stereotypes

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:28 pm

Earlier, some friends were describing a recent encounter with a total redneck stereotype. Basically a situation where the house fit the part of the white trash household: tacky christmas trees, empty cigarette packs on the coffee table, tv blaring, ashtray overflowing, couple cases of beer near the chair, and toothless fellar seemingly content to be ignorant. And even though my friends were only in the house for five minutes, they left smelling of alcohol and cigarettes. I couldn’t help thinking that visual image is why I had to escape Oklahoma.

My mom did a good job keeping our individual family above that level of existence. However, everywhere I went, every friend I made (almost), lived that way. As I got older and made more friends, I discovered that more and more people had lifestyles like that. It was so disappointing to find that my home life, far from ideal, seemed to be the tip of the iceberg. While my dad’s house did a good job with the whole loving and caring department, it had its own stereotyping issues including the cigarette smoke lingering on everything (due to about 3-4 smokers in the house-windows closed-at a time). Also, I’d visit friends and family and find the six-pack next to the recliner or hear the constant “Hey, bring me a beer” yells to the kitchen between screams at the kids to shut up.

Oklahoma’s stifling presence made it impossible to for me to stay, to raise a family that would be barely be able to pull above the surface and would always be treading water among everyone else. My friends commented on how the stereotypes they met were a totally different world and so different/unimaginable to them, and here I can’t help realizing how close to home, how vivid and fresh that reality is to me. And how fast and hard I am still running from it.

December 22, 2004

fickle finess and finding center

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:53 am

since I moved into my room, I have had two different beds in five different places. I think I have settled on the final resting place… maybe. The last position gave me the best view out the widows, surrounded by trees and sky. Yet this one allows the dawn to tickle my toes and I am blanketed in light by the time I pull myself out of dreams. What a wonderful dilemma to be having.

This new space is doing wonders. I feel so much of my life and energy flowing back to me. The connection that I discovered in South Dakota and established in Wisconsin is returning. The pressing rush of the east coast has been pushing my limits and I have been feeling as though I am slowly washing away in its mad rush. The annual treks to Wisconsin were my attempts to cling to and restore my sacred reserve of energy, my compromise for subjecting myself to an environment that constantly disrupts my internal balance.

This move and this new retreat could not have come at a better time. My soul was desperately scrambling against the fact that Wisconsin was not going to happen this year and battling against the realization that I would have to face the holiday bustle without the rejuvenated support of the time spent in a place where I can still hear the trees whisper to me, where the wind speaks softly in my ears, and the sun glows brighter in the crisp air. Just as spiritual desperation was starting to set in, I found that I can purely exist in this space, I can simply be me here with trees tickling the day with leaves, still-green grasses twitching in the wind, everything reminding me that it is safe to breath again.

December 20, 2004

budget blowout

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 4:30 am

Thursday I noticed that my back left tire looked a little low. Friday, when I got home from running errands, I noticed that the front left tire was really low. I figured I’d get some air in the tires before I ran out to turn in alex’s enrollment papers.

Chris (fellar who lives in the basement apartment in M&M’s house) went to take care of this for me, and lets me know there is a hole in the front tire, damn. He figures that I can put air in it and make it to the tire shop up the street to get it fixed or replaced. Off I got.

The hole can’t be fixed. They want to charge me $30 to install a $30 tire, ummm, no thats what costco is for. So, I put more air in it, stop by the school (no staff in site–holiday party), put more air and put some air in the back tire which was looking sadder than thursday and make it home.

Next morning, front tire is flat as flat, put the temp tire on the front. Check the pressure in all tires, all need some. That back left tire had no pressure in it. Damn! So, this morning I’ll see if it still has some pressure in it, if so, I’ll think it was some freak insaneness and I’m crazy, or that that tire also has a hole that will need fixed or replaced. Hopefully, if it has leak, it is a slow one so that I can drive to costco since it’ll be easier to but 2-3 tires that way.

The front tires were looking a like they’d need replaced soon early last year, so it was time to get them done anyways. If the back one can’t be repaired, there is a third. Also, I’d like to get them all balanced and rotated which should take care of the slight shimmy the car gets about 80mph, or that helped the problem before.

Crappy part: this might mean 4 new tires in less than 2 years. Early 2003 I replaced the 2 back tires. Early this year, had to replace the back right due to a blow out. Yay for costco, will have road hazard insurance on them this time.

The other budget blow came earlier this week at Alex’s dentist appointment. Basically, alex needs braces to fix her overbite and needs that done now. Insurance won’t cover any of it, so I’ll be scraping together to cover the full cost and that sure won’t be cheap. Plus, I have to find someone. This is where knowing other parents would come in handy.

Add all of this to the recent budget problem of an entire month that seemed to have walked out of my account without telling me where/when/why, sigh. I thought I was doing so good too. Maybe I’m just not meant to do good at budgets. Maybe it is time to ask someone else to manage this stuff for me. Sigh, I really thought I was doing good but for some reason, my numbers are not adding up right anymore, and I can’t think of anywhere that I spent anything extra either, oh well.

trouble sleeping

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 3:35 am

Mid-saturday afternoon, I made the comment, “I’m dehydrated.” A reasonable observation to make, something, although fairly minor, should not be ignored. Saturday night, I went to Dusty’s party and had a wonderful time. I mingled with friends, had a few glasses of wine and mead, and ate tasty food. I lost track of time and it wasn’t until I got to the car that I noticed how late it was. Barely able to stay awake on the way home, I crashed as soon as I arrived.

The next morning, sure enough, the dehydration of the afternoon was kicking my ass with vengeance. I’ve already been fighting off daily nauseau and general ick, so adding this on top really did me in. I woke up long enough to stumble up for a little food to counteract the sloshing belly of water I was forcing on myself and back to bed. Waking in the afternoon, the headache has progressed to possibly more severe, so I finally took something for it, more water, as much food as I could stand, some comfort, and more sleep.

Finally, I was able to crawl out of bed about 5pm or so. Just in time to be social with Mark’s company. His Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin are in town for a couple of days and was feeling up to visiting. I even worked myself up to going with them to the Japanese steak house that we like going out to. Dese good su’thrn folk, Mississippians, they ain’t n’ver been to’a place like dat bu’fer. I was a mighty fine time. I’m glad that I was feeling up to it.

I was also feeling good enough to finally get around to the one task I wanted to accomplish this weekend: cleaning and organizing my room. It isn’t done, but it is closer. Today should be the real progress marker. After I deal with one of the recent income drainers. And then, Alex’s room! Soon, we’ll have officially feel like we really live here.

December 16, 2004


Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:19 pm

0400 - wake up, wide awake
0500 - continue to linger in the warmth of bed
0700 - my 6-year-old window scraper gives up on me
0758 - show up for my architecture final with 2 minutes to spare
0845 - leave the parking garage on campus
1130 - leave the house on time to accomplish today’s perfectly scheduled to-do list
1135 - stop at Burtonsville Elementary School to pick up physical form
1210 - lunch at [Mount Everest] (yummy Chicken Gorhkahil and Lamb Jalfrezi)
1325 - impromptus stop at Toys’R'Us, use 2-year-old gift card
1400 - arrive at Alex’s 2:15 pm doctor’s appointment
1445 - alex enter the exam room
1515 - alex is seen by doctor
1530 - alex leaves doctors office
1615 - alex surives getting bloodworks taken
1650 - pick up items from REI and MOMs
1700 - pick up alex.b
1730 - rush home so I can watch the alexi and M&M’s 1-year-old nephew.

What was a perfectly planned day, timed with a suitable break to dissipate the stress from the day before tackling a 3-on-1 child-watching experiment, was interrupted from the longest wait we have ever had at Alex’s doctors office. We have never waited there more than 5 minutes for an appointment, it was totally unexpected on both ends. Oh well, life happens, and I survived the stress. Time to go relax.

December 11, 2004

halfway back

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:16 pm

So I thought I would write
To see how you have been
To fill you in on my day
And how I spend the time now

I have been listening to a lot of [Grey Eye Glances] lately, mostly because it is one of the few cds that I have around to import into itunes. But this song has really caught my attention since deciding to really change my relationship focus. Things have really improved between Dave and I since I backed off. Our relationships had returned to the way it was last year, a safer connection. We are talking again, reconnecting, able to talk about our days and how each of us are doing again. I’m so happy to have him back and also to be this far away again.

I still get the twinges of a broken heart when I think about the loss of the connection and the possibilities that were there. Thursday night I told him that I hope he gets what he wants. I want him to be happy. And I couldn’t help thinking to myself that what I want is to find another love as strong and as wonderful as the one we share, but with someone who is able to give it back to just me. I want someone to think that I am that amazingly special someday.

Today, Mark told me that I was special and I laughed it off saying that it wasn’t special in the right way. I wanted to be really special to someone, special like Dave had been to me. Luckily, there is time for that, which is such a wonderfully comforting thought. It is okay to be special in other ways in the mean time. I’m so lucky to be surrounded by people who love me for me just cause they want to.

December 10, 2004

fancy shmancy

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:13 am

We performed ([fire spinning] for a formal ball in montgomery county) for an hour and a half. I didn’t think we could do it, I thought I would be worn out after half an hour, but we made it. We were performing right where people were showing up/driving up and had the advantage that the ‘audience’ was always changing. [Kathleen|Kathleen Ellis] made the comment that we can do the same thing over and over again because it was always a new batch of people.

The only major draw back was that the people, in their cars still, would keep staring forward and not look at us. What was up with that? Hello, fire! Well, I think it is pretty damn cool, or at least, worth looking at for a little while, especially if you’re in the passenger seat and you’re waiting on valet anyways. You’d think that spinning in the rain would be the biggest disappointment of the evening, but no. Perhaps these are jaded metro dc executives who figured we were just another set of panhandling street performers or something, I couldn’t tell. But still, a few glances our direction would have been nice. Disclaimer: there were a couple of people that did look, and two that did comment. But in comparison to the volume of attendants…

Oh, but what fun it was! And then, I got to get all dressed up in the new outfit, gather up a plateful of the last of the food (since we were the last to get to the banquet), and slip out to get a glass of wine that could have been two to three glasses worth. Luckily, my appetite is almost nonexistent, so I was able to give the plateful of food to Dave who only scored a few scallops in his line and probably needed the food a bit more than I did. In escaping the formal lecture/presentation, we were able to be first in line for dessert. Of course, I was cursing my lack of appetite when so many things looked tempting but my tummy wasn’t willing to eat all of them.

Overall, an wonderful evening out. I’m glad that I was able to participate and be part of everything. Thanks to Kathleen for organizing it and allowing me to join in. :)

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:10 am

Meals have taken quite a shift. The new [med|topamax] has certainly taken a change on my diet. I’ve never been one to diet or anything like that. I’ve always felt that I eat healthy and get a reasonable amount of exercise. I have been overweight to the point of annoyance for about a year now. Prior to that, I knew that losing a few pounds wouldn’t hurt but I wasn’t pressed about it.

About a year ago, it finally hit a point that I was no longer comfortable in my body. I could no longer be naked in front of the mirror and think that I was sexy. That was a hard moment since I’d always been proud of my ability to maintain such a positive self-image and self-confidence throughout my life, even when battling a mother who always implied that I was heavy or fat.

So, now, I’ve started losing weight and it feels very strange and a little intimidating. It is progressing a little too rapidly, in my opinion, to be considered healthy. The first 10 pounds were dropped when I was extremely [depressed|depression] around Thanksgiving. Since then I’ve lost another 4 pounds. Now, there is now a good reason for this, I’ve lost my appetite.

I don’t get hungry when I used to. When I am hungry, the serving sizes are extremely small. For example, yesterday: breakfast: about 1/4 cup of cereal. lunch: 4 pieces of general tso chicken with about 1/8 cup rice. dinner: 3 shrimp, 2 bites of rice dish, slice of baguette w/some kind of dip/sauce and 4 tiny dessert items (formal banquet food). So added up, that totaled 1.5-2 cups of food for the day. Oh, I drank tons of water and had a glass (part of a large glass) of wine last night.

So, thats isn’t sounding healthy at all. I’ve taken to adding a multivitamin to the too many pills I’m already taking each day. I’m gonna start tracking the nutritional and calorie content of everything I’m eating to make sure that I’m at least getting close to what I should be getting. Dropping the pounds feels a little exciting, especially when it feels like something I’ve been working towards for several months, but I have no interest in doing it in an unhealthy manner. I like my health, thank you very much.

December 9, 2004

missed connection - redhead bitch who had to shop

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:30 pm

Hah! Someone actually hit on me in the purse department in Target! This doesn’t happen to me, ever. Much less on a day that I look like I scrounged around in the laundry bin for clothes. I even forgot to be relatively polite about it, mostly cause I was so focused on getting everything done and was pressed for time (mostly for not knowing what time it was) that I just wasn’t paying enough attention.

Looking up from women’s billfold, he says “hi.”

I quickly and politely respond as I keep looking for more purses thinking that surely this one wall full of boring daily use purses can’t be all that they have and ignoring that his attention did not return to the billfolds. I moved around the corner, hoping to find some evening bags, aware that he was going to follow me.

It feels as though he is gonna ask something. Noticing his presence, I probably smile at him, expecting that he is trying to figure out a gift for a girlfriend or some other female in his life. Instead of acting for advice, he asks, “you live around here?”

“No,” I answer, caught a little off gaurd.

“Oh.. umm, where do you live?”

“uhh. Futher north, why?” We’re in the College Park Target. I figured that I might be able to provide help if he was needing directions or suggestions. “Do you need help finding some place around here?”

“Oh, no,” he starts mumbling, “I just– I like you hair and-” the mumbling increases, ” it’d be cool to have a friend with hair like that — whats your name?” Okay, so it’s kinda cute. I mean, it’s a nice way of saying that he likes my hair, but still sounded a bit funny to mention that it’d be nice to have a friend with hair like mine.

We exchange names at least, perhaps even shake hands, who knows considering it is such a common custom these days. But, I excuse myself, not so politely saying, “sorry, but I really need to shop” Ouch, okay, so maybe that was a bit rude. But I get all uncomfortable when people I don’t know approach me. He was a nice enough looking fellar, but there was shopping to do.

I’m feeling a little guilty for running away so rudely and even felt guilty then. I looked for him outside of the purse department, wanting to just apologize for sounding so rude, but he had already disappeared. Oh well. Just as long as I don’t end up as a redhead bitch on craigslist or something. :)

Okay, gotta get back to getting some music together for fire spinning tonight. Maybe the rain is still holding off and I’ll go out and play for a little while.

light my fire!

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 10:56 am

I’m so excited! I just can’t hide it! Damn it, lame song lyrics. But I’m feeling sassy saucy, even in drab slacks and a oversized sweatshirt. Because, tonight I shall be spinning flames around to the pulse of music, entertaining the attendants of [Montgomery County Executive’s Ball for the Benefit of the Arts and Humanities]. A swank ordeal that is pulling in $125 a plate, oh la la. And, after an hour and a half performance, I get to get out of the boring fire gear and slip into the new ‘creative black tie’ outfit I picked up at [Sari Palace].

Last night I lit my wicks for the first time since Halloween. It was so nice, dancing outside in the darkness, just me and my wicks, oh, and a little girl spinning staff (have I mentioned that I’ll have Alex spinning fire staff soon?). The music was perfect, the flames sounded wonderful, spinning and spinning and spinning. Awww, so nice. And then, did a trial run of getting all dressed up for the party.

Good thing I tried the outfit on with the shoes I was planning to wear. I have to buy new shoes, my ankle can’t handle my favorite shoes (the ones that kill my feet anyways). So, in the time I don’t have between working in the archaeology lab and getting to Rockville by 6pm, I will have to go buy another pair of shoes along with some other random stuff.

Oh, but I am still so excited.

December 8, 2004

chasing down time

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 8:36 am

For years I’ve been racing the clock. I have felt every passing minute, passing month and year. I’ve felt this mad rush to get somewhere and make it to some imaginary finish line. Everyone has always laughed at my “mad” idea of time and at my misguided ambition. But I always thought they were wrong, they didn’t understand, couldn’t realize that my timeline was different.

Being pregnant at 14, mother at 15, and wife at 16, I felt that I’d somehow altered the line of time. Somehow I had thrown in the 10 years that should have been there without actually living them. And now, just finally getting to those 10 years, I’m realizing it is time to take life off fast forward.

I’m 24-fucking-years-old! Time to start really paying attention to that small detail. There is nothing in life that I have to be getting done right now. There are no clocks ticking, no time running out, I’ve been challenging an invisible hourglass for nothing. I just have to get up each day, enjoy the sunlight breaking through the leafless trees. I get to spend the evenings with friends, hide away with a book or my laptop, take my daughter out to a movie, or run off to Wisconsin on a whim.

So much of life I’ve pushed to hard. So many things I was afraid I’d miss out on if I didn’t get it in right then, right now. But why? What else is there but life happening now? What must I have right this second? Just a chance to be happy, a moment to get to know how to keep that feeling, and the opportunity to share that with those that I love. Yeah, there is time, and I’m giving it back to myself.

December 7, 2004

calm certainty

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 11:46 am

I’ve reached a point of calm certainty; I’ve made a decision that it feels like suddenly so many things have been lifted off my off my shoulders. There is a path in front of me, one that has been there for a long time, and finally I’m removing the obstacles that have prevented me from following it.

This is the second time that I have felt such relief from a decision. The last time was when I made the decision to leave my husband, to leave a situation that wasn’t healthy for me, and to set out to establish my life, learn who I was.

Although my first attempt experienced kinks and complications, it taught me a lot. I have learned more and more the past several years about myself and how to interact with others. Each lesson has moved me closer to being prepared to tackling this path.

I’ve needed to explore being alone in my life. I have people around me for support, but am removing intimate relationships that have made things complicated. I have a place I can live without having to stress over making ends meet and a place where both Alex and I are welcomed. Everything has fallen into to place to make it easier to finally take this on.

It feels so nice having made this decision, a comfortable conclusion. A clear certainty lacking my typical wishy-washyness. Nothing telling me that I might change my mind. No possible distractions to get in the way. Time to just be single, to enjoy my life on my own and see where and how I can grow. It is about time and for once, I think that the conditions are right and ideal for me to be able to make it happen.

December 6, 2004

Ho, Ho, Ho and a Bottle of Anything and Everything

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 6:06 pm

Santa gathered in mass, Santa tore about the town. Santa went out in typical Santa style, spreading festive cheer everywhere he could. His antics were so delightful yet he wasn’t welcomed at Union Station. There he was told that Festive Activities Are Not Allowed. His jollies were just too jolly for them. Perhaps it was that his bellowous ‘ho,ho, ho’-ing or his downright joyous good nature, but Santa wasn’t wanted there. So Santa strolled on out and started singing his twisted carols on the doorsteps. After a few songs and a few jeers of “The Man Hates Santa” Santa moved on to Art-O-Matic.

Suddenly, the Santa mob burst into a sea of red. Santa going this way, Santa going that way. The little liquor store, and I mean little, up the street was suddenly full of parched Santa’s needing some libations to recharge the belly full of laughs. One could look and find Santa sitting on the curb drinking under his beard, Santa nipping at a Listerine bottle, Silver flasks moving through the crowd. Then Santa gathered by Art-o-matic’s Cabaret Stage for social hour, more Santa’s gathered, the large mass growing larger and larger.

Santa kissing Santa. Santa dancing with Santa. Santa with yet another drink and another and another. Santa’s volume got a little bit louder, the mood a little rowdier, and eventually it was time to leave to really start drinking (hah! with Santa already more than tipsy). Santa hoarded into the metro station, waited a long time for a train, filling the tunnels with echos of naughty carol after carol. Stealth drinking filled the time since a Santa was always there to lend a drink. Santa started to wonder if Santa would even make it to Dupont Circle.

Once on the metro, Santa mob had grown to a whole new level. The songs were vibrating through the passengers, most who seemed quite pleased with Santa’s drunken revelry. There was off-balanced swaying, terribly off-pitched singing, and completely off-timed songs. Santa laughed, Santa sang, Santa wondered if Santa had ever had so much fun.

Santa finally stumbled off the train and out of the station. Crossing signals, traffic lights, and cars had lost all meaning. Santa had arrived and was going on his merry old way. Dancing around the fountain in Dupont Circle, Santa had to fight hard not to fall in, though Santa’s hat didn’t fare so well. And finally, to the bar Santa loves to see each year, The Big Hunt. Santa is always welcomed, happy faces and warm smiles. A place to finally sit, take a break, and again, recharge on the beer. “We won’t go until we get some, so bring us some beer!” Santa’s antics calm greatly here, content to spread good cheer to one another.

After so many beers that Santa can’t remember and the promise of boobs, Santa runs off to the strip clubs, another Santa tradition. Santa encounters some problems, something about Santa not being about to wear his Santa hat or something. So, after much hoopla, Santa joins Santa in the next door bar for more beer and dancing. Santa takes over the bar, the dance floor becomes a jumbled mess of red and white. Jumping, bumping, hopping, twisting Santas moving everywhere.

Santa eventually must retire, exhausted from the moving and groving and drinking. But it doesn’t stop Santa from continuing on into the night, spreading more cheer that Santa will have to tell about, probably about this time next year, to Santa and Santa and Santa.

December 3, 2004

feeling icky

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 2:07 pm

Dealing with an upset stomach is the worse. Seems even more annoying when it is just mild enough to be present but not enough to really impair with my daily tasks. It just makes it to where I don’t want to eat and to where I can barely eat anything. It’s a bit silly that I’ve agreed to go have lunch with friends, at a buffet no less, and I know that I will barely eat 1/2 a cup worth of food.

The other interesting part is that I’ve managed to lose about 11 pounds in the past couple weeks. I haven’t been trying and I’ve actually lost the weight since I stopped biking (due to the ankle injury that is just finally getting good enough to bike on). So, starting off down 11 pounds without trying makes not wanting to eat a little nervousome. Of course, it is also a known side effect of the new medication I started, so I’ll have to keep watch that I keep my vitamin, nutrient, and calorie intake up high enough even if I’m not eating much.

Oooh, just went to lunch with some friends and managed to eat plenty. Perhaps I just needed some good indian food. However, my tummy is protesting loudly. Maybe a nap will help, oh so nice to be able to say an act on that thought.

December 1, 2004

today’s considerations

Filed under: unlisted — suzanne henderson @ 9:54 pm

I had a presentation to do today in my Archaeology class. I was well prepared for it and confident that I would do a good job, but it still manged to fill my morning with nervous energy. The presentation went very well, I was the first person in the class to present and am very happy that it is done. So, other than studying for the final, I’m finished with that class for the semester.

My architecture class had an unannouced presentation needed. We turned in one of the largest assignments of the semester and the TA decided we should do a 3-5 minute presentation about our designs. I was pretty pissed about that since I’d just started calming down from presenting only 15 inutes prior to that. Oh well, what can you do?

I’ve been having some [mental issues|bipolar disorder] lately and so my doc has decided to tinker with my meds a little more. It always makes me nervous when new drugs are added or changed, but at this point, I’m willing to deal with whatever side effects there might be.

So, I was already taking [Lamictal] and [Lithium|lithium carbonate]. He has added [Topamax], another drug like lamictal, and for a short time he has added the antipsychotic [Abilify] which was his alternative to [Zyprexa]. The Abilify had the same side effects as the zyprexa that I was trying to avoid. But right now, I still feel like I have to do something to stop my mind a bit. Maybe taking it without the two glasses of wine I had last night might help.

One of the major concerns I have is about all the comments I’ve read about [Topamax] causing cognitve slowing as a common side effect. With finals only 2 weeks away, now is not the time for my brain to take a vacation. However, with the current mental condition, not taking it isn’t any better. I have to be able to get to class and actually pay attention instead of just letting it be time that is passing. Hopefully it will help. I’m starting it really slowly and it just might mean that I have to take the Abillify or Zyprexa a little longer until it can kick in a little.

So, lots of nervous steps being taken today. But I made it through the presentations and even made it through a shopping trip with Megan. Of course, all of that wiped me out by the afternoon and I slept for about 4 hours. But, sleep isn’t a bad thing these days. It has been so hard to get that I’ll take it whenever I can.

Tomorrow is another day full of classes and therapy appointments. The group therapy will probably be difficult because one of the members killed himself last week and this is our first time to meet since most of us heard the news.