Sunday, February 27, 2011


Well. It's been a rather horrendous week since I've last blogged. There are worse things to happen to people than nosebleeds, and I'm well aware of that. This whole post, I'm sure, will be one of those "first world problems" whining and moanings.

Last Saturday, I was at work (of course) when I got rather sniffly. I kept sniffing during a meeting but it didn't abate, so I took a swipe at my nose and- what? blood? I hadn't had a bloody nose since I was about seven or eight, so I barely knew how to deal with it. I ran off to the bathroom and ran cold water over my nose, letting it bleed out. I didn't think much of it- I'm at a very high altitude in Albuquerque, it's really dry here, and I'm surprised I hadn't had a bloody nose before Saturday.

I went home without a further thought to the nose, until it began to bleed uncontrollably on Saturday night. I kept my head over the sink and let my nose bleed until it stopped. Since my blood was clotting, I assumed that it was just a nosebleed and I'd be right as rain as soon as the bleed clotted over.

After 8 bleeds, which happened every 2 - 4 hours, I finally went to urgent care on Sunday afternoon. Something was wrong, I hadn't slept properly because the bleed kept waking me up, and I was worried about the amount of blood that I had lost.

At urgent care, they thought my nose was okay ... until it started to bleed again there. The most disgusting thing that they make you do when you have a bloody nose in a medical facility is pinch it while holding you head back. This forces all your blood down your throat, and you're essentially swallowing (drinking) your own blood.

The doctor at urgent care decided to cauterize my nosebleed, and he proceeded to do so. It felt like a branding iron inside my nose. At least my nose had stopped bleeding, right?

Well. It stopped bleeding for an hour and then started right back up again.

More bleeding, every 2 - 4 hours. When it felt like the bleed had stopped for a good while, I took myself off to the emergency room. It was around 6:00 a.m. and I was exhausted. No sleep, lack of blood, things just ... aren't good.

I sent my sister a picture of the ER:

That was just above my head. Again, in the ER, they thought my nose was fine. It wasn't bleeding, it seemed to be okay ... and no. It started bleeding after I had been in the ER for a couple hours. The doctor on call actually apologized to me, telling me that he was going to have to put a nasal packing into my nose and that it would hurt, it would feel like someone was trying to burst my head apart from the inside out.

Then- then!- though my right nasal cavity was packed, the blood kept trickling out of my left nasal cavity. They decided that the nasal packing wasn't long enough (it was plenty long), so proceeded to take OUT the packing and insert a new, longer, more horrible packing.

First, here's the packing:
It's horrible, my eyes are tearing up just looking at this picture. Basically, they put a long (really, really long), skinny, medicated, dense cotton tube up your nose. It HURTS. It feels like someone's trying to break your nose. Then, as if that isn't enough, there's a balloon inside the cotton thing, which they inflate so that the wound can't bleed. It's ... unbelievable. I immediately felt pressure in my skull, in my sinuses, and just generally.

I couldn't look down, I couldn't stop crying (physically), I could barely keep it together enough to sign my discharge papers a few pain-filled hours later.

I went home, crawled into bed, and felt like I was going to die. The pain was this unrelenting, throbbing thing that had taken up residence in my head and was trying to claw its way out.

Monday and Tuesday were spent in agony. There's nothing else to say, other than that I also developed a new symptom- vomiting blood. Massive quantities of blood. Did you know blood, when swallowed, will make you nauseous and upset your stomach? That's right, vampire fans, blood's not good for you.

Wednesday, I decided to try and take a shower. Big mistake. I literally fell in the shower, ended up showering while sitting, and then pretty much had to take a few hours to recover. Standing made me dizzy, sitting was only marginally better, and I could barely breathe what with the packed nose (I will never get a nose job as long as I live) and the congestion.

After very careful navigation through my house, to my car, and back to urgent care, the blasted packing finally got removed. I thought I was going to die when they deflated the balloon, then I thought I was vomiting through my nose when they removed the packing. It was terrible. The packing didn't want to come out, I was terrified that I was going to start bleeding again. I was exhausted from lack of sleep and from sheer pain, as well as not eating since Saturday (you try forcing food down your gullet with a nasal packing), which had led into a semi-hysterical state wherein I couldn't answer the doctor or paramedics or nurses with anything resembling normalcy.

The doctor, dear sweet man, warned me that I may start bleeding again. He apologized, told me that my nose is too small to see whether or not I had a posterior bleed, and then proceeded to prescribe me with a truckload of medicine.

Apparently, a nasal packing can cause sinus infections (not surprising), so I'm on anti-biotics. The constant pain (and slight tinge of pain-induced insanity I displayed) gets some Percocet. The packing also elevated my blood pressure a crazy amount, and high blood pressure causes more bleeding (fun), so I'm on blood pressure medication. And I'm on anti-nausea medication for the wooziness caused by the other drugs. Seems that the fix has caused more issues than I could have ever expected.

I woke up on Thursday having slept for more than four hours for the first time in five days. I hadn't vomited in 24 hours. I was still in pain, but I wasn't delirious anymore. I felt ... almost ... like a person again. Then I got up and fell down. I will never get used to my body not doing what I want it to do, but the lack of food and then the drugs took their toll. I couldn't stand or sit without effort.

I took it easy. Lots of orange juice. A folding chair inside my shower (no, I'm not kidding). A chair in my bathroom so I didn't have to stand while brushing my teeth. I took a look at my phone and almost died when I saw the 6,000+ e-mails that I had received since Monday morning.
It's been a slow recovery. I thought, honestly, that as soon as the packing was out, I would be up and running around and kicking butt. I'm an idiot.

This weekend's been about trying to eat (no hot foods allowed, and the weather's cold lately), weaning myself off of Percocet so I can be aware and alert for work, and trying not to gag while I use this disgusting nasal spray that I was given.

I can't blow my nose, I can't sniff too hard, and I'm not supposed to bend at the waist or look straight down. These are not that annoying until you actually have to think about them.

My co-workers sent me an Edible Arrangement yesterday, complete with fluffy teddy bear. I have to say, the chocolate-covered strawberries were really the first thing that actually made me want to eat something, so they worked!
I'm currently watching the Oscars pre-show and judging fabulous dresses and being grateful that I didn't have to get gussied up for an Oscar party (well ... I suppose I could have, but I really am not feeling up to it).

Everyone wish "Alice in Wonderland" good luck, though there's very slim chance we'll win!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gin Pooler: 10 Years Later

I've mentioned it a few times before, but when I was a kid, I was extremely shy. I had a hard time speaking up in class all my life, even through college. I was always in awe (and usually still am) of people that could stroll into a room and immediately command all attention.

One of the most memorable attention-grabbing people that I have ever met in my life was Virginia "Gin" Pooler.

Pooler, as we all called her, was a teacher at my high school, which went from seventh to twelfth grade. Pooler was THE teacher because everyone that was at Whitney took her class, as she was the only sex education teacher during my time there.

With big blond hair, a rather deep and booming voice, perfectly manicured red fingernails, and an imposingly tall stature, she was unabashedly attention-getting. Pooler stomped through the halls of Whitney, alternately teasing, laughing, scolding, and generally mothering all of us. She had no shyness, no shame, and the perfect amount of bravado to keep teenage boys enamored of her.

I went to school with her daughter (a year older than me) and her son (a year younger than me, in my sister's class), so Pooler was (I think) probably even more comfortable with us, all the kids that were just about the ages of her kids at home. (On a side note- sex education from your own mother must be a tough class to take!)

Though she struggled with ovarian cancer, she came back to school shortly after her first bout, in a wig that was almost like her old hair. I remember that she gloated about never having to shave her legs again, making us all laugh when it could have been so heartbreaking. I loved that about her.

Pooler's cancer came back, devastating the many, many people whose lives she touched. She passed away ten years ago today, just a few months before her son's (and my sister's) graduation from Whitney. The school she influenced, the school her kids attended, the place that was made that much better by her presence.

I miss her still. I can't believe it's been ten years, but it has.

You're forever loved, Pooler.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Blackout Korea

This website is hilarious.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sweetish Sid

I am not a huge fan of the Sex Pistols. In fact, I'm not a fan at all. (Yes, it's true.)

I have very eclectic taste in music, thanks to my parents (Mom grew up a classical pianist and Dad rebelled by rocking out on drums and guitar) and their opposing aesthetics. I grew up listening to music that my parents listened to (C'est Si Bon, notably- my sister I could sing duets to a few of the members' songs starting in young childhood), lots of classical music (Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, the like), random popular music from the 60's (Nana Mouskouri, anyone?), my dad's "devil music" (the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, the Beach Boys), and then the music that my sister and I grew up with (including Britney. Don't judge).

I mention all this because I stumbled across a note written by Sid Vicious about his then-girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. Here's the note before I taint it with my opinion:

What makes Nancy So Great By Sidney

1  Beautiful
2  Sexy
3  Beautiful figure
4  Great sense of humour
5  Makes extremely interesting conversation
6  Witty
7  Has beautiful eyes
8  Has fab taste in clothes
9  Has the most beautiful wet p---y in the world
10  Even has sexy feet
11  Is extremely smart
12 A great Hustler

It's rather sweet, in a very childish way. The simplest, most superficial things are written down. I think the reason I found it rather touching is because it served as a reminder that Sid Vicious, for all his infamy and legend, was just 21 when he died. He didn't know to look for companionship. He didn't want a woman who would be a good mother to his children. He wanted something beautiful, someone that kept him entertained.

That's perfectly acceptable and understandable for a 21-year-old in the throes of what was his one enormous love, the love that changed his life and eventually led to his very early death. Isn't that why he's untouchable? He never got old. He never had a chance to lament his wrinkles or his gray hair or his nagging wife.

I don't know if that's an enviable thing or not. I'm sure some people would've liked that existence, to live hard, play hard, and then die early, famous for a talent that would live on well beyond one's own life.

This little note really made me think, and it made me grateful for my life. I don't have fame and fortune, it's true. But I also don't have a drug problem, a violent relationship, or insane people pushing me into an overdose.

The note had me so thoughtful that I listened to a few Sex Pistols songs. Nope. Whatever Sid's sentiments, those songs still sound like a group of feral cats trapped in a pickle jar. Oh, well, maybe they'll unearth an epic poem he wrote that'll change my mind...


Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Heart Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!

I like Valentine's Day because I think it's funny how people get so sappy and sweet. I don't like Valentine's Day because there are only so many shiny pink and red things I can look at before I want to vomit.

Mostly, I think it's a funny holiday, and a good reason to send people things. I would've sent cards, but that requires too much foresight. And I haven't been getting out of work early enough to go buy any cards, or even to go buy supplies to make cards. Everything is closed, the city quiet, by the time I leave work. So I settled for sending some flowers, instead, which is a nice thing, too, I think.

I'm still in a funk, and still not entirely sure of why that is. I haven't really taken the time to think about it or delve into it, because I'm too tired to care, most of the time.

This past weekend was horrible, and I got angrier than I have in a long time on Saturday. I woke Sunday still simmering with wrath, barely managing to tamp it down and get it under control by yesterday evening. Since I'm back at work on this (surprisingly) lukewarm Monday, I'm sure the rage will return tenfold very shortly.

I'm counting down the weeks until I am done and can go home, because I'm very homesick and I'm tired of living here (already). For someone who never wanted to travel before, I really am becoming more and more nomadic, with no desire to stay in any one place for an extended period of time. I guess I'll wait and see what 2011 has in store for me...

The first time I realized that I was happily single was one Valentine's Day, when people were giggling and going about their business with rose-colored glasses perched jauntily on their brains, and it dawned on me that they didn't bother me. At all. I was happy for them, even, and relished their foolishness with a glee that only a single person could have.

Today doesn't feel much like a romantic holiday. Everyone is at work, tired and grumpy, with a terrible case of the Mondays. I'm sure we'll all be at work late, as usual, and not many folks have made plans for tonight. I kind of wish it felt more like Valentine's Day; at least there would be some red-wrapped chocolates around or something. Instead, there's a lot of shouting and sighing.

I suppose I should be marginally alarmed that I now like being alone more than I like being around people, but I don't think I can be called a spinster until I hit 40. That's my reasoning, anyway. This is the time in my life where I'm supposed to want to be alone, right? After all, once I meet that person that I'm going to marry, I will never be alone again for the rest of my life. What a scary thought.

For now, I'm going to try to survive this slump, get through the rest of this show, and then figure out where I'm going from there.

Happy Valentine's Day, internet! May your day be filled with more chocolate than mine.


Tuesday, February 08, 2011


Something's wrong and I don't know what.

I want a hug from my mommy.


Monday, February 07, 2011

Busy Bee

Updates, updates!

I've been busy, like the proverbial bee.

Not just work (for once), but also because a couple people that I work pretty closely with were here last week, to check out our Albuquerque office. It was nice having them, but they were here through the weekend, which meant that I went out on the obligatory "let's go out" events on Friday and Saturday nights.

After a full day of work on Saturday, I was frustrated and pooped. After I got home around 3:00 a.m., I was wired and wide awake (I got home late because I drove a few people home. And one of those people was so drunk that he got us lost on the way to his own house).

Superbowl Sunday was spent working for a couple hours, then deciding on a whim to make jambalaya. I'm crazy with I'm tired. I simmered the jambalaya while I fast-forwarded through the game, watching some of the commercials, mocking the half-time show, and lamenting Lea Michele's pants (I can't talk about Christian Aguilera's hair right now, it makes my head hurt to think about).

(For the record- I rooted for the Steelers because I am, and always will be, irrationally supportive of Korean people. Hines Ward is half-Korean, so....)

I didn't do anything productive yesterday (other than making a potful of jambalaya, which was spicy and delicious), yet I still tossed and turned and didn't sleep until after 3:00 in the morning. I've got issues to resolve.

Anyway. Have you heard of Thing A Day? It takes place during the month of February (the mercifully short month of February; please make time go faster) and it's basically a bunch of people doing at least one "thing" a day. I thought about doing it, but I'm too busy to even blog, so there was little to no chance that I would be a good Thing-A-Day'er. My sister's been thinging away, which is good- she had a bunch of stuff she wanted to do around her house, and this is a great kick in the rear, if you have the time.

I have been freakishly craving murgh makhani, so maybe that will be my "thing" one of the days this week, when I get out of work early enough to visit the store (everything closes early in Albuquerque).

Nothing interesting happening here. Still cold, but at least it's out of the sub-zero temperatures (never thought I'd be grateful for that). I have thankfully not caught the bug that others are hacking away from at the moment (knock on wood), although I think many of them just have the Superbowl flu.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Drama Queens

Most of the artists here in Albuquerque are animators.

I know that visual effects is a quite isolated industry- you burn your bridges in this business and there's not much going back. On the other hand, if you're in, you're IN.

One of the things that people outside of this industry don't seem to know is that artists are vastly different, and they tend to skew one way or another by department. For instance, I love working with compositors. They are usually quick, good under pressure, and hard to ruffle.

On the opposite side are animators. They're high maintenance, like that needy girlfriend one of your guy friends has, who whines a lot and clings like Saran wrap. Sorry. I digress.

So most of the younger crowd here at work are animators. The lighters and compositors are a bit older, and a higher percentage of them are married, most of those people also raising kids (hence their move to Albuquerque and out of kid-unfriendly LA).

Since the younger, singler people are the ones that tend to go out, while the older, married people go home to their families, I hang out with almost 100% animators. This would usually grate on my nerves. I didn't have many animators as friends in LA, for good reason.

Animators, generally, feel like they breathe life into characters. They are the ones that make the movie move. They are the ones that are obsessed with their work and never go home. The best animators are the passionate ones, and the passionate ones can be quite annoying in social settings.

Because I work with so many of these danged people, I have come to love them as friends. It can't be helped, after all. Spending enough time with someone will either lead to love or hate. Rarely indifference (I have a story about that, though) and rarely flippant acceptance (I don't accept well).

Being expatriates in a foreign land (read: from a metropolis, to a small town), we tend to stick together. All of these factors combine to me being friends with people that I perhaps wouldn't see quite as frequently were we all living in LA.

I don't dislike that fact at all; in fact, I really appreciate that I have a much more diverse group of local friends than I've ever had before in my life.


Animators are drama queens.

One of them walked up to me today and said, "I almost got into a fight because of you!" No, it wasn't to preserve my honor. It was really about HIM. Be a drama queen all you want, but don't use me as an excuse to add more drama.

Had to vent about that, I'm done now.

My turn to be a drama queen! It's FREEZING.

Literally, of course, but also because there's been a problem all day in our building at work. The heat recovery chiller (which doesn't sound very warm to me) broke and they aren't getting a new one until tonight.

First of all, today is the coldest day so far in 2011.

Second of all, I sit near a row of windows, and the cold is seeping in through the glass, around the glass, everything, There's a buffer of about 30 feet from the windows that is strangely drafty and chilly, and I sit in that area. I'm a Popsicle.

I'm really hoping that heat recovery chiller is fixed by tomorrow. I'm sitting at work right now, wearing all the clothes I wore out of my house this morning, including a puffy vest and a puffy jacket. I've been sporadically wearing gloves inside the office today, that's how disturbingly cold it is.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011



Snow Day

I really want to experience a snow day in my life. Maybe tomorrow's the day!