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star-sailor (profile) wrote,
on 8-19-2008 at 2:22am
Current mood: optimistic
Music: The Upper Peninsula - Sufjan Stevens
Subject: The Power Is Out, The Rain Is Down, The Hopes Are Up
I'll try to say as much as I can here:

Okay, where to start...
Several weeks ago, I was still in my Texas Government class. It was all kinds of hell, and not necessarily the difficulty of the class was the culprit. The fact is this: I have not taken any sort of class, have had any sort of job, nor have been in any sort of position to wake up at six o'clock in the morning, consistently, ever in my life. The earliest I've ever awoken for anything is around seven, back in elementary school. You may not think that one hour is significant, but I'll beg to differ. I digress. Secondly, I've always had issues with my sleep - I am a terrible sleeper and have always rode the fine line between "difficulty falling asleep" and insomnia. I ENJOY being awake, and getting stuff done, and feeling like I'm living each day. Often, I feel like sleep is less of a treat and more of a chore. But I digress. Thirdly, my diet is horrible. This is nothing knew. I'm skinnier than most girls I know, but the fact of the matter is, I eat like a pig. Garbage - honestly - big balls of refined food and fat drowned down my gullet with unreasonable amounts of high fructose corn syrup. It was foul, but because of my weight, and my resilient immune system, I had no reason to change.

Then this gregarious concoction of life finally came together like a church congregation, in one place, at one time. My sleeping habits, which were poor at best, conflicted directly with my class schedule. I would stay up late, and wake up early; since my body wasn't much of a fan for naps, I often got 4-5 hour nights of sleep and VERY busy 15+ hour days. Sometimes my nights lasted only two hours, and I can count three times where I went completely without sleep. I did alright in class, with my grades and whatnot, but I felt sluggish throughout the day. Then, finally, as I tightened my immune system's guitar string tighter and tighter, strumming steadier and with more vigilance than ever, the string snapped.

My gum began to swell. Right in front, above my top two teeth. Weird, right? I knew it certainly wasn't normal, but thought little of it, assuming I bit a chip weird or something. I figured it'd heal up back to normal in a few days. Well, a few days later, much more of my gum seemed to have swelled up, as well as turn an increasingly worrisome colour of dark pink-ish red. I began to fret over it, especially when I cut it on a tough piece of bread and it began bleeding for a few minutes. I didn't think it was too serious - I still assumed just an irritation from something I ate - but decided it would be best to get it checked out.

Acute necrotizing ulcerative gingivitis. Trench Mouth, for those who prefer slang. Basically, it's an infection of the gums that is somewhat rare in our modern age. The term Trench Mouth comes from the real discovery of this oral infection, back in World War I, during the trench fighting. We have tons of bacteria in our mouth all the time. But, when you mix stress, poor diet, and this bacteria, RARELY, the bacteria mutates into some nasty stuff that infects the gums. But let's use a checklist, shall we?

Conditions likely resulting in Trench Mouth:
[ ] Smoking
[ ] Poor hygiene
[X] Poor diet
[X] Stress
[X] Male
[X] 18-24 years old
[X] Weakened immune system

Essentially, I fit the bill. It wasn't severe, and my dentist said he's seen much worse since there are a lot of smokers in the city, but was glad I came in as early as I did. For the average non-smoker, this apparently occurs to 0.01% of the population. I was that lucky .01 percent. I got a nasty cleaning with a sharp blade in the gums, and was immediately prescribed amoxicillan to fight the infection.

But the major problem was the stress, and everyone knew it (except my mom, who blames me for getting the disease, and is making me pay for it out of my own pocket. Sorry for getting sick, Mom. Very sympathetic.). I needed out of the class, but had no choice, and had to tough it out.

Unfortunately, my sleeping problems had reached unheard of heights by now. It had always been tough to sleep, as I said, but not that tough. It got to the point where I was laying in bed, tossing and turning, because I simply could not shut my body down. My mind raced, and though I was exhausted, I couldn't pass off to sleep, sometimes after waiting for three hours staring at the ceiling. I was clinically an insomniac. I found ways to cope by napping much more often - more induced by complete and total lack of energy than anything - and scraped by.

Then I realized how lonely I felt, which certainly wasn't aiding in my de-stressing or recovery. I wasn't sure why I felt so lonely, so I did a little detective work on my own social life. It wasn't hard to find the problem. The weekend that I saw Kill Hannah, chilled at Leslie's house, and went to Peachcake with Ara and Cullen was the last time I had seen anyone except for Amie for three weeks. I conversed with a few people, sure, and talked to Sarah like crazy. But beyond that, not a soul in person.

I finished my medicine, and went for a second check-up at the dentist for some intensely painful cleaning, and for the most part, it's gone, and is fading faster as I continue to regulate my life. Finally, that worry was gone, but a new had arisen. A strange film was covering my tongue. I had no idea what it was, or why it was there. Minimal research online told me little, except that it could be a possible reaction to either: the amoxicillan, stress, or poor diet. Hearing two of the old and notorious culprits for my last oral disease were not uplifting.

Since my class ended, I've been on a campaign to straighten my life; to return things to proper focus. No longer having to wake up as early has opened my body up to all its sleeping potentials. I go to sleep around 1:30 at night now, and get a strong 12 hours. My body has thanked me graciously already: my gums swelling went down like crazy after a night and a nap, I felt much more energized, my skin cleared up, and my mood improved tenfold. My insomnia seems to be gone for now, but I don't want to jinx it. I feel tired at the right times though, which is a good sign.

I have been hanging out with EVERYONE, excessively, for the last week. Somewhere between Amie, Leslie, Chili's adventures, Dark Night, Hibachi, drug talk, Ultimate Frisbee, Jayne, Mary, and nerdy adventures, I've returned to a social life comfortably. I feel more fulfilled in general - no gaps in that mysterious part of the inside of your chest that's curiously near your heart - and though I still feel lonely too, the feeling is nowhere near as oppressive.

Sarah may have herself a boyfriend! That happened. I'm glad for her, and love her so.

And of course, my regular Leslie updates. How could I forget, right? But honestly, I feel like me and my little sister have been connecting so much more, on so many levels, and it is sincerely one of the most phenomenal feelings in the world. This is what I missed between us. Two years ago we talked nightly about nothing for hours, and slowly drifted apart as she fell in love with Matt, though we still cared for each other like no other. Now we seemed to have revitalized within each other. I've been to her house more times in the last couple weeks than I can remember, mostly just to talk and chill. We talk again, usually on the internet, and a couple times on the phone. She's opening up to me much much more, which I'm so thankful for, because I love every minute, insignificant detail about her.

I'm also a vegetarian. I've wanted to be vegetarian forever - longer than I can remember - but have never had that sort of initiative or commitment. But with this recent health scare, and the destruction of my immune system, I've had a reality check with exactly how unhealthy I truly am. I've done some research, and thought about this and that. But the real factor that has helped me with this beginning has been Sarah and Leslie. Sarah convinced me that it's a good idea when she told me she used to be vegetarian. I said I'd try the diet for her, but as expected, showed little commitment (though I did open my palette to vegetables I would have never before tried without her prompting).

Leslie changed it all. I really felt the need to switch my lifestyle, and consulted my sister about it. My proposition: we both attempt to go vegetarian together, supporting each other however we could along the way. She was all for it!, much to my relief and thankfulness. In fact, she had tried before, but like me, had little wherewithal, especially in her family of three meat-eaters. Now we're both pursuing it together, and we are both tallying what we eat so we'll know if the other cheats! You can see too, right here, if you're interested. We're also trying to be more fit physically, though more independently. I went to Ultimate Frisbee with obnoxious boys on Saturday, and on a few bike rides as well; Leslie has some exercise equipment she plays/works out with, and is hoping to begin a walking regime to gain more stamina (which I hope to join in on!). And so far, we're doing pretty well. I've made it two days without meat! I may cheat here and there, because I don't know where I'll be eating, but I can't complain so far. I'm happy to finally not be eating animals, which I've always hated doing, even though it was quite tasty. Also, I learned that it takes around 2,500 gallons of water to make one pound of meat. I've saved 15,000 gallons in two days! Yay! So to help the environment too, is also a plus.

My weekend was certainly intense. Friday, Mia dropped by to chat and recover her Sims games before leaving for Austin. We had a nice conversation, especially since I hadn't seen her in quite some time. Afterwards... well... er... I did something! I forget what, exactly, but I certainly did it! I think it was a bike ride. In any event, that night, Travis and Ethan joined me to nerd out with World of Warcraft at my house. Saturday, I was due to hang out with Jayne, but she sadly had to cancel plans, which was lucky for me, seeing as I woke up late and was worried I'd have to cancel on her. We have a rain check in a few weeks! Instead, ate an apple, and near nightfall, went to aforementioned Ultimate Frisbee match. It twas fun, and certainly the most exercise I've seen in awhile; I walked there too, so I felt extra cool!

After frisbee, sweaty and sluggishly, David, Travis, and I recovened at my house for a Halo adventure. For reasons beyond my knowledge, Travis ended up staying all the livelong night, and slept on my couch again. The day after, more nerdery for us until 6:00 rolled around and Leslie dropped by. From there, Leslie and I joined April, Josh, and others for Chili's, where Leslie and I had our first veggie meals together! Bean burgers are quiet good. Travis joined us eventually, as did Stephanie. How I love my friends.

Stephanie left us, but Leslie, April, Josh, Travis, and Maryanna all went to Putt Putt across town. Epic games were played - unbelievable hole in ones were scored - Leslie and I sucked up a storm and enjoyed our victory funnel cakes and ice cream - fun was had. Afterwards, Travis, Ethan, and I met up at Travis' house with the intention to nerd out once more. We got little done. Ethan and I went to Wendy's, and I danced to music like crazy while he vigorously texted and drove. By the time we returned, Travis had wussed out on us, and collapsed in bed. I tried to steal a bottle of wine before I left the house, but was unsuccessful.

Today I woke up when I weird dream I was having blended with reality and I was shocked at the realization. Ten seconds later, I heard a powerful explosions. A transformer blew up the block, and the power was out at 11:30 in the morning. Feeling productive, I ran down to Cingular and worked around my phone plan with the weirdos there. Then I snatched my cat from home, some Chinese food from Ming Wok, and went to Foster Park to eat and feed the ducks who were enjoying the rain. My cat enjoyed leering at the ducks and meowing. Anakin and I returned home, I took threw some books in my bag, and set off for the library, where I ambled on the internet, and did some intense reading in Adverbs, with random text messages in between. The power was on when I returned, at which time I did nothing but languored, enjoying electricity and the internet all the more after it's long absence. Another wonderful conversation with Leslie. Another interesting, wonderful day.

Then: Stressed, worried, lonely, sick, insomniac, frustrated, moody, depressed.
Now: Stressed, happy, social, improving health, normal sleep, happy, vegetarian, and loved.
It's a switch, but I'm getting used to it. Classes for fall start in a week. I'm using this week to finish recuperating, getting closer and closer to my sister, who is truly one of the greatest loves of my life, to continue my vegetarianism, and be as healthy and right-minded as possible. Here's to hoping, my dear reader. <3

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