it’s the end of the world as we know it

.. and I’m really quite upset about it, thank you very much.

What started as a purely vanity-driven inquiry has turned into the actualization of my biggest fear. It sucks, for so many complicated, irrational, deep-seeded reasons. Let’s explore them!

I saw Dr. Online about some weird symptoms I’ve been having: thirst, a craving for salt, thinning hair, a second head growing out of my left knee. Nothing I found online told me exactly what kind of cancers I had, so it was time to ask an expert .. who didn’t have any answers, so she requested I have some blood work done.

The results came in the next day, and showed that I had too many blood – but nothing drastically alarming, or anything that would account for my symptoms. I was asked to follow up with Dr. Online (who was a man this time), who didn’t see anything unusual in my results .. so he requested a second blood test to see if my levels changed. He also requested a urine test, because peeing in a plastic cup is the most dignified thing you can do in a public washroom. Off I went.

I received a phone call from Dr. Online’s office the day after my tests. No big deal, they said, but you need to go to the hospital RIGHT NOW OR YOU WILL DEFINITELY DIE. Okay then. Turns out one of my bloods was so off the chart I was in immediate danger of falling over all dead. That would seriously put a crimp in my day-to-day schedule, so I packed up a bunch of phone chargers and had Ed drive me to the Emergency Room, one of my least favourite places on earth.

There was a lot of waiting. Someone came around and took more blood (which I am running low on at this point). I peed in another cup – I am not getting any better at it, so I mostly just peed all over myself – and waited some more. Wait, wait, wait. Lots of waiting. Good times.

Eventually, a flesh doctor came in and delivered the news: I have diabetes. Not pre-diabetes or diabetes of the butt or kawaii diabetes, but full-on here’s-your-moustache Wilford Brimley diabeetus.

the internet is an interesting place. i didn’t have to search hard for this image.

So. That was the emergency, then: my blood sugar was in the Danger Zone. They kept asking me if I noticed myself peeing more than usual, which is entirely unhelpful – not only am I on medication that’s SUPPOSED to make me pee all the goddamn time, I have a tiny, tiny bladder. Pee frequency (peequency) is not something that would ever cause me any alarm. The other symptoms I’ve been having are so vague – headaches, grumpiness, lack of sleep, exhaustion – that they can be explained away by anything. I have headaches because I always forget to wear my glasses in front of the computer. I’m grumpy because I’m hormonal and people are jerks. I can’t sleep because I stay up way too late every night playing games on my phone, and I’m exhausted because I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m fiiiiine.

Except I’m not fine, and now I have to go on even more medication and change my lifestyle and not eat delicious things. Also, I kind of hate myself and can’t get past the blame stage: this is all my fault because I am fat and gross and stupid.

Logically, I know better. There are other factors at risk: my age. My mother, who is the Canadian Diabetic. I’m an Aboriginal Hispanic South Asian Asian of African descent. I got them big ol’ depression, and that tiiiny little heart issue. I’m a fatty who really likes garlic bread. The only box left unchecked in the entire “you’re gonna die” list is giving birth to a big ass baby, and frankly I don’t remember what I do every single year – there could have been a big ass baby in there somewhere.

So, yeah. I was always at risk of diabetes, but it was still one of my biggest fears. I’m not so much worried about my health as I am deeply ashamed of myself and wanting to hide in the closet until everything goes away. That’ll work, right?

I’ve never been a big fan of myself, but this is .. something else. But why?

A Tragic Backstory

It’s been drilled into me since the age of 7 that the very worst thing I could ever be was fat. Then, as if to spite my mother, I was a fat child who was fat on purpose, just to make my mother look bad. You can’t love a fat child! No one would blame her if she gave me away. It didn’t matter what else I was – serial killer, bed wetter, space cowboy – as long as I was thin. But because I wasn’t thin, my other qualities didn’t matter. I haven’t been 7 for a very long time, but my mother’s words echo in the darkest corner of my mind and get louder every time I have a bad day. I’m fat, so nothing else about me amounts to a hill of beans. On my good days, I can acknowledge the positive – I can be cute, sometimes I am smart, I have a funny – but even then, underneath all of that, I am a disappointment because I am fat.

I have diabetes because I am a big fat lump who brought this on herself by sucking so hard as a person. The shame is clinging to me like plastic wrap. It’s suffocating. I can’t free myself, can’t see past the behemoth I’ve become. I’ve thrown my life away to be a statistic in US-Fucking-A Today. I deserve this.

I know better, I really do. If someone else shared this news, it would be met with sympathy and encouragement. Those don’t apply to me, though, because this is my fault.

What Comes Next?

I have a prescription to fill, and an appointment with my heart doctor tomorrow. I’ve been doing a lot of reading, and need to stock the house with food I can actually eat. I had planned to clean out the pantry this weekend anyway, so I’ll toss out the snacks and carbs while I’m in there and replace them with .. I don’t know yet. Kale, I guess. Can’t wait.

I need to figure out my head and try to shake off the shame and guilt I feel. I won’t be telling my mom the news – I’m not really in the mood for an “I told you so” lecture. Keeping things from my mother is my standard MO; she doesn’t know about the heart failure (also my fault, obviously). I’m mostly really good at hiding my demons, but this particular one is not something I’ve faced before. This post is basically step one: admitting to myself (and, uh, the internet at large) that I have diabetes. The thought of sharing that – confessing it – to the world sort of makes me want to throw up and die, so I guess I’m on the right path.

Ugh. I really fucking hate kale.

a medical degree in fashion from france 

Over the weekend, I passed my two year anniversary of that time I almost died all over the place.  

I actually didn’t give it a single thought until it popped up on my Facebook feed as a memory I might want to revisit (thanks .. ?), which is actually kind of excellent. I mean, I’m not totally fixed yet – I’m still taking 85 pills a day (aka 7, three of which are not even related to my heart) and experiencing an occasional side effect or two – but my forgetting the Incident means that my health continues to be so much better that I have the luxury of not dwelling on it. Does that make sense? It does to me, but I have a headache and words don’t make sense anymore, so ymmv. 

I continue to be grateful and hashtag blessed that my life not only continues, but is filled with so much fun and ridiculousness that a lesser Kimli could literally not even. 

the amount of pleased i am is the precise amount this carved ivory baby is not.

some things are bigger than your fear

I woke up this morning in pretty rough shape*, but I forced myself outside for one (historic, epic, vast) reason. I don’t think the marches outside of Washington DC had been planned when I booked my trip, but that’s the glorious thing about so many people coming together in solidarity – it’s global. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of women and men marched around the world today to demand women’s rights and protest against Trump and all he stands for, and it was a powerful thing to see. I’ve been on the verge of awed tears all day long (which is kind of exhausting, to be honest), and I wish that I could have been more evolved in the event .. but there are limits to what you can expect from yourself when you’re a) still sick but powering through as best you can, b) terrified of crowds, and c) traveling from afar with no room in your bag for poster board. I’m happy that I made it out, though.

*: I forget to eat when I’m on my own. Forgetting to eat when you’re sick (or, you know, ever) is a bad idea. I promise to be better to myself from here on out. Myself is pretty neat. Myself deserves at least a whole meal per day.

Pictures from today coming soon! In the meantime, enjoy this brilliant drawing by Shing Yin Kor:

llra

role model. (art by shing yin kor)

we are not amused

I leave for London in two days. Naturally, I woke up this morning with a painful chest cough. I’ve managed to avoid Ed’s mega-cold and all other seasonal ailments so far, but it seems fate was saving something special for me to launch at the worst possible time. Uncool, germs. Imma fight you.

Lately, I’ve been thirsty a lot and also craving salt. As part of my resolution to Adult Better, I’ve been drinking a lot of water. My heart medication (now there’s a phrase that makes you sound 80 years old) makes me pee 95 times a day, so I drink a lot of water to make sure I don’t get dehydrated. I still drink Diet Coke like it’s going out of style, but when I’m at home (which is 98% of the time because outside is cold and there are wolves) I’ll switch to water around noon and basically don’t stop drinking. That’s good, right? Water is life! Hydration is bliss! I’m a glowing, salad-laughing, yoga-pant-clad everywoman! Except .. well, like most other things in my life, I overdo it. I researched my symptoms, and according to the internet I’m all outta electrolytes (and also have 14 cancers). It all fits – the non-stop water craving, the salt lick I installed in my office, the severe and terrible muscle spasms I’ve experienced, the occasional nausea, etc. I am bad at water. I can’t even do healthy right.

I’m not about to start chugging Gatorade like I’m some sort of sponsored sport-man, so I guess this is one more thing I have to be aware of. I recently spoke to my heart doc to ask if I still had to take a mountain of meds each day (including my most-loathed medication, the Minty Shit Pill), and he wants me to keep on keeping on until at least June. When I get back from my travels, I’ll probably use Medeo to see if I can get some prescription-strength Tang or something, or at least have my kidneys checked to find out why they’re not pulling their weight around here.

In the meantime, I’m going to try to flush this stupid cough/sinus thing out of my system (by drinking tons of water). I am pretty choked about this new development, because I LEAVE IN TWO DAYS. Did I mention that in large enough letters yet? TWO DAYS. I don’t have TIME for this bullshit.

what time is it? NOT SICK TIME

what time is it? NOT SICK TIME

groundhog day

He didn’t see his own shadow so much as a shadowy splotch on my x-ray, indicating that my foot is still fractured. I have at least another 4 weeks in this stupid boot, then another x-ray and checkup to see if I will be free. It’s already been 9 (!) weeks since I broke my foot; what’s another 4? My only consolation is that the weather has been very dank this summer, so I’m not missing out on any prime beach time (she says, like she’d ever go to a beach in the first place because there is sand and bugs and sunshine and OTHER PEOPLE and those things are awful).

Dank.

I did attend the “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” Lunch n’ Learn at my workplace last week. It was interesting-ish: we were sorted into groups based on the categories of the self-assessment, going where our lowest score was. My lowest score naturally came in “Look”, but went into the “Act” group. When asked why, I said that I thought the Look category was bullshit and that I had no plans to count my personal style as a workplace negative. That was fun.

I don’t know that the group exercise held much value for me, as we only had 10 minutes to discuss the common “mistakes” and suggestions for improvement among 11 people. Those who were the loudest had their topics of choice discussed, and while I’m sure I too suffer from varying degrees of wanting too much to be liked/not caring if I’m liked or not, it wasn’t my number one issue. I will likely pick up the book and read through the advice myself. To be honest, I’m not at all certain I WANT the corner office: I want to create and drive and learn and DO, not try to control it all.

A neat idea did come out of the talk, though. My co-worker Karen and I were talking after the session about the points that were discussed (we were in different groups), and our intern Kerri was drawn into the conversation. She had questions about the why of some things – why the coffee, why she shouldn’t always be the one to take notes – and something dawned on me: I learned these things after years of working in government and corporate jobs. No one ever sat me down and said “okay, here’s how to be adult woman: go”. So .. why *don’t* we? It’s so much easier to instil good habits than to try and break bad ones. I emailed a bunch of people, basically volunteering (it’s a bad habit I have) to lead a session with the new co-ops (or anyone else) each term that goes over stuff: how to be heard in meetings, how to communicate, how to make friends without becoming the team baker, what happens if you abuse Reply All, etc. Things that you aren’t specifically taught, but pick up after throwing a fit the first time you’re asked to serve coffee to all the men in the room or the 10th time you’re told to take meeting notes because you’re a girl and obviously all girls are secretaries. That sort of thing.

I don’t know if it’ll take off, but I’d love to do something like this (along with every other excellent idea I have that usually involves shaping terrifying young minds into my own image: boobs and purple hair for everyone).

JPEG image-3767ED3EE557-1

art via filter.

i made this and i'm stupidly proud of it so i'm posting it everywhere.

i made this and i’m stupidly proud of it so i’m posting it everywhere.

what’s up with that thang?

Here I go, here I go, here I go again –

Girls, what’s my weakness?

UV Rays.

Yesterday was the first fully glorious day in Actual Summer. The sun was shining, birds were singing, bees were trying to have sex with them (as is my understanding) .. so we went on a boat. We’ve rented wee speed boats in Horseshoe Bay multiple times before, and it’s always an amazing way to spend a few hours. We packed up snacks and drinks and Shan and took off on our usual route, stopping to say hello to seals and dream about living on a tiny island.

It was wonderful.

Less wonderful is how I managed to completely forget that a) the sun is hot and b) there was sunscreen in the snack bag that I really ought to have used. I burned my exposed parts to a deep, crispy red, and they all hurt like hell. According to the internet, I now have seven kinds of skin cancer caused by Sun Poisoning, all of which can be exacerbated by every single medication I’m on. I didn’t know that! Was I supposed to know that? Goddamnit, I don’t have time for this! I’m already broken!

This is why I can’t have nice things, like skin.

sure was pretty, though

sure was pretty out, though

 

 

in which my life suuuuuucks

It’s our last day in Barcelona. Instead of roaming the city, eating tapas, and being romanced by swarthy Spaniards (all of whom want to sell me a selfie stick), I am sitting in my hotel room all by myself having an epic pity party: I’ve been sick for the last 2 days with what is most assuredly the most disgusting and horrible stomach flu I’ve ever had in Spain. The only thing I can keep down is fruit and fruit-based beverages, which makes Barcelona a pretty damn convenient place to be. There’s amazing and bountiful fruit all up in this bitch (“bitch” referring to both myself and the city).

Oh good, a delightful sea breeze just blew the shutters of my hotel Juliette balcony wide open so now I can see the sunshine and gorgeous city I’m missing out on. That’s nice.

I’ll upload my photo gallery when I have a better internet connection, and share some stories when we’re home. Illness aside, I’ve had a wonderful time in Spain – we’re already talking about coming back at a time when Ed’s brain chemistry isn’t made of what my stomach is producing at this moment. That will be lovely. If you’re ever in the mood for some winter jamón, I can’t recommend Barcelona in February enough – the weather is fantastic, it’s less crowded (which is kind of scary, I can’t imagine this place in the summer), and see above re: bountiful fruit, should you come down with late-vacation rectal failure.

You’ve been lovely, Barcelona. I will return, and we will make like the Erotic Museum until we’re both dehydrated and in need of pubic grooming. Until then, I am sad and sick and lonely and sad and really kind of pathetic but damnit, I’m missing out on a third of my vacation and that fucking blows.

just me, my germs, and this marzipan bumblebee.