Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Beast Wars

I just got a five-minute voicemail from The Beast, informing me that she intends to transfer all of her assets into my name, in an attempt to deter her Anti-Christ-soon-to-be-ex-husband from raping her in court. Another one of her master plans. Her last master plan included coercing my brother into faking suicidal tendencies so that the Court would take the Anti-Christ’s parental rights away. Any guesses on how that charade ended?

The woman has no common sense! I’m prepping myself for the call now with several large glasses of Frei Bros Chardonnay. Update to follow shortly...

Minor Crisis

I’m at work and I’m slipping into a fit of hypochondria.

All morning I was smelling weird odors. I can’t really describe them, almost like dirty nickels or I don’t know, just a faint nastiness in the air. I thought okay, possible brain tumor, no big deal.

Now, my left arm is feeling heavy and borderline numb. I’m seeing clear squiggly lines floating through the air. I'm starting to feel "loopy". I just chewed two aspirins in case I’m having a heart attack, and now the left side of my mouth feels numb.

Breathe in...breathe out...

Easier Said than Done

You can’t control the wind, but you can always adjust your sail.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Liver Pain and Tooth Pain

I don’t really have a diagnosis for either of today’s ailments; but they are alive and well. I’m trying to ride them out in an air of superiority, but I’m starting to cave.

Eating has turned into a complicated sport. My far right molar is so sensitive that even breathing in the wrong direction sends me to tears. Drinking liquids, regardless of the temperature, is agonizing. And all food must be strategically placed in the utmost left of the mouth. It’s almost like the diet I never asked for. Almost.

The surgical needle in my right side has found a permanent home. The pain, just under my ribcage is almost as agonizing as the toothache.

The voodoo doll lives on!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Nah, It Never Happens

People in their twenties never drop dead out of the blue. It certainly didn't happen to Denver Broncos running back Damien Nash yesterday!

"'Everything was normal...He was fine'...'He had a big smile on his face, there was no indication.'"

Famous last words. How do these stories keep finding me?

Funky Town

I spent all of yesterday in a funk. The morning consisted of storming around the house, while the afternoon found me bawling in bed. My overactive imagination doesn’t limit itself to diseases, I also have an obsession with whores. Yes, whores. The ones that are always just a click, or a channel, away.

In times of clarity, I feel sorry for women who objectify themselves. I know they’re not emotionally healthy. And I know that deep down they just want acceptance and attention; that they’re willing to do anything to get it. I don’t envy them, at all.

But at other times, like yesterday, I get it into my mind that Rey likes these girls. That he sneaks off to pornographic websites when I’m not looking. I see him so vividly in my mind, sitting intently at the computer, enjoying the prostitution of women; wishing that his girlfriend looked and acted like the girls on his screen. (These thoughts are usually followed by images of me kicking Rey in the balls while force-feeding him Jello Jigglers laced with anti-freeze).

I know my jealousy is deeper than not wanting Rey to “like another girl”. I think there are several layers to the insanity. The first being whores’ role in society, and society’s subsequent approval of their behavior. Whoreness is encouraged in today’s world; parents take their eighteen-year-olds to get boob jobs, seven-year-olds run around with “JUICY” plastered across their asses and TV programming is infused with sexuality. Now, I don’t think women should be forced into burkas, but I also don’t think that a woman’s value should be based on her body or outward appearance. I’m as guilty as the next girl, I’ve certainly worn a skirt that was much too short; but the way society promotes such behavior, leads one to feel they have to keep up with the Joneses. A lot of the time I feel inferior, because I don’t.

I think the second component of the jealousy issue, is my fear of abandonment rearing its head. I used to think a lot—and cry a lot—about not knowing my Dad. I’ve spent countless hours agonizing over why he didn’t care and why I wasn’t worthy of his love. But as I’ve gotten older, and even more so recently, I’ve been able to push those thoughts to the back of my mind and sort of accept it for what it is. But just because I don’t stew over the abandonment like I used to, doesn’t mean it’s not part of who I am. It definitely influences my mental health, or lack thereof. I know it fuels my distrust in men.

The third, and most obvious, element of the jealousy is my low self-esteem. There’s a part of me that just knows these whores are better than me, prettier than me, funner to be around than me. That Rey would be lucky to have such a girl. It always goes back to me not liking me.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Devil on Each Shoulder

Being a HP is something I’m accustomed to. An acronym that’s common around my house. It’s how I refer to myself when I don’t exercise. Or when I do exercise, but not enough. It’s what I am when I eat out. Or if I decide not to eat out. A HP - a Horrible Person.

I won’t let myself win. I feel bad for everything I do, and for everything I don’t do. The HP game is another manifestation of guilt in my life. It’s me using guilt to control my behavior. If I want to go out for dinner and a beer, I’m a HP because eating out is unhealthy and expensive and I should know better. If I don’t go out for dinner and a beer, I’m a HP because I’m a boring tightwad that can’t have any fun. Both arguments are potentially valid, but the point is that I should be able to make a decision that is not fueled by guilt.

Keeping the Hypos in Mind

Watch out WebMD, there’s a new symptom search on the block. Healthline just unveiled its hypo friendly “exploration tool,” that allows hypos to search a database of more than 3,500 symptoms and 900 diseases. That’s ten times the amount of info available on WebMD, and Healthline only provides doctor-reviewed articles.

Happy searching...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Save Me Professor Moody

Forget menopause, I think someone is doing voodoo on me. Yesterday it was the hot flashes that felt like being repeatedly dunked in tub of boiling water. Today I feel like I have an oversized surgical needle poking out of my side. I'm starting to freak out. I can't take three steps without keeling over in pain. I'm afraid of what tomorrow will bring.

So, please whoever you are that I wronged, I'm sorry. No, really, I'm sorry.
Now, put the voodoo doll down.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Death Clock

Good friends always know how to lift your spirits. That’s why Barbora is at the top of my list for directing me to The Death Clock. This lovely little gadget informed me that I will live no more than 6 days past my sixtieth birthday. Not bad. If you don’t count that I missed the “mode” drop down menu on my first try and got an incorrect death age of almost 100!

Damn the optimists of the world!

The Golden Years

I’ve known for quite some time that I’ve been rapidly aging. Just recently, I noticed I’m not loosing weight like I used to. By “like I used to,” I mean I can no longer wake up to two sausage McMuffins and a cigarette, eat a super burrito for lunch and put myself to bed with a bowl of cookie dough ice cream and a Guinness. Up until a couple months ago, I seriously thought I was the type of person who just didn’t gain weight. Now I wonder if that “type of person” even exists. (And if they do, please point me in their direction so I can rip their greedy little eyeballs from their sockets and squish them between my toes). It sucks getting old, and the weight gain I can handle, but menopause at 22? This is ridiculous.

It’s horrifying going through menopause. I remember when I first learned that women actually “stopped getting their periods,” as my grandma put it when she found me rummaging through her drawers for tampons. And as weird as I thought that was, uptil now, not having a period was the beginning and the end of Menopause. Boy, was I wrong…

WTF! This thing shouldn’t even be allowed on the net! I stumbled upon it after experiencing severe hot flashes all day, and realizing I was in the early stages of premature menopause. Now I’m in a depressed state of hot flash hell.

I can do the math, my menopausal state is right on time. Most women develop it in their forties or fifties and live to be sixty or seventy; I develop it in my twenties and live to be thirty. Maybe that won’t be long enough for my mucus membranes to dry out.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Don't Look Now

Just when I finally started to believe my “heart attacks” were actually panic attacks, I find this.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Do Your Duty

It has just been brought to my attention that I have been slacking on my duty to check the FDA website on a daily basis. Tons of products are being recalled everyday, right under our noses. Recalled for defects like, oh I don’t know…salmonella infestation!

These recalls aren’t even being covered on the news! CNN has much more important stories to report, like the newest claim to Anna Nicole’s baby and Britney’s shaved head.

So, as I was sitting down to take a bite out of my beloved PB&J, I just happened to stumble upon the news that Peter Pan peanut butter was recalled! Now granted, I’m all about Skippy’s Super Chunk, and don’t eat that brand, but come on people! I’ve had the news on all day and haven’t heard a peep.

Three words—FDA.

Meet The Beast: Episode 1—The Blatant Menace

In case I haven’t mentioned it, my mother is a complete psychopath. She’s The Queen of Manipulation. The Beast, as I lovingly refer to her. The world revolves around her and for her.

While I’m not trying to duck responsibility for my “issues,” the origin of my mental illness leads back to her. Here’s a little peak into our relationship and her manipulative ways.

Disclaimer: While reading these emails, you will begin to wonder if I was raised by a prostitute, in a cardboard box under the bridge. Let me address this now: that is NOT the case. I have no idea how this woman has survived this long…

Leila it's one thing to hold a grudge at me but your brother did nothing to you, he called you, you could have called him back not sure why you are doing this to him.

Sorry if this upsets you but your and Adult and your brother is just a kid he looks up to you, he was deeply hurt you couldn't make time to call him. I really don't know what to think.

Just let me know if you will be coming down for Christmas or not so I don't have to get Tonys hopes up.

Tony has a birthday December 5 he will be 15.

This is an email I received after missing a call from my brother. I talk to him regularly, and to put it plainly, he’s very disinterested in speaking with me, (just like any other fifteen year old would be). Every phone call is a conversation with her, through him. The conversations consist of him regurgitating questions and answers that she yells from the background.

Below is a lovely little note I found in my inbox, after sending my brother an email inviting him to stay at my house, without her:

Leila your just like Mike (evil stepfather). Poor you...... Don't fuck with your brother he got your e-mail and deleted it he knows your disrespting me. If thats how you feel I won't call you have a nice life.

I get the sneaking suspicion that the email address I use to contact my brother, is really an account of hers. Because every email I send him, brings a response from her.

And here she is when she didn’t receive a response to her previous email…


Your brother wiill be going into the hospital for treatment now he will be at Kaiser Oakland Monday his cancer is in three places now it woukd be nicce if you called him. Or made some time to e-mail him your absents in his life is not funny anymore, Leila he cries because you don't care about him.

Tell Rey Happy Birthday

I love the “happy birthday” she throws in at the end. So sincere!

She uses my brother’s illness to manipulate everyone, not just me. It’s gotten so bad that the court took away her parental rights on the grounds that she’s a manipulative bitch. She’s only allowed to see my brother under supervision once a week, because she’s brainwashing him to hate his Dad.

Oh, and how I love it when she reminds me that my brother is “ill,” cause I just keep forgetting!

Your brother is ill I only got to see him for 45 mins today he wanted to go to the hospital he felt so bad he is having bone pain that worries me, I hope it is nothing. Or maybe you don't want to know?

You would think you would have some more comon since about family values since your brother is health compermised

BRING THE JET SKI DOWN (YOUR BROTHER) THAT HAS CANCER WHATS TO USE IT – (This is one of my favorites. This took place last summer when after storing her jet ski for eighteen months, she decided that she wanted it back that weekend. And wanted me to drive it down to her. Now, keep in mind, the trailer had no plates or registration and I was originally supposed to store it for only two months).

I feel huge amounts of guilt for not seeing my brother more. Even though I know her emails are blatant manipulation, they still work.

I’ve tried, for the past two years, to get her to fly my brother out to my house for a week. The answer is always “he’s too sick.” Ironically, he’s not too sick to fly to Disney Land, go to Hawaii, attend multiple professional basketball games, or stay with a babysitter every weekend while she frolics around the town. Nor is he too sick for her to throw him in the middle of a nasty divorce, which is why I became upset with her in the first place.

Rereading these emails makes me realize how lucky I am to have escaped with only anxiety. I could've been much, much worse off...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I Found the Culprit

Turns out the monster nosebleed wasn't related to a life threatening disease. But could be related to all the smoking I've been doing lately. With the long hours I've been working, Camel Lights are at the top of my diet. I guess smoking dries out the blood vessels in the nose and causes it to bleed. Would've been nice if Joe Camel could've mentioned that!

You learn something new everyday...

Nosebleed = Brainbleed

I’m freaking out! I have a bloody nose!

There I was, minding my own business, bumping around online, when blood suddenly started gushing from my right nostril. I’ve only had this problem one other time in my life—back in the sixth grade—which leads me to believe something must be seriously wrong if it’s happening again.

And, this is not your average bloody nose. This is a monster nosebleed. I’ve already drenched half a box of Kleenex. I’m loosing vision in my right eye and my left eye twitch is back.

It's not stopping. I’m off to WebMD to find out what horrible illness is accompanied by nosebleeds…

Friday, February 16, 2007

Too Tired To Die or To Tired Too Die

I’ve been working thirteen hour shifts in a high stress law firm for the last three days. I’m ready to lock myself in the closet with a bottle of scotch and a pistol. But, I’m too tired to open the door. I’m so exhausted I haven’t even thought about my health. Okay, slight exaggeration; I’ve thought about it, but I’m too tired to care.

This all leads me to believe that I need a hobby to drown out the hypochondria. But, in the meantime, excuse me while I go drown in a bottle of scotch, before I have to report to work in the morning. Yes, that's Saturday morning...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day Eve

A long time ago, in a land three hours away, there was a wide-eyed little girl named Leila, who loved nothing more than Valentine’s Day. Heart shaped chocolates and Scooby Doo valentines filled her dreams…

Little did her classmates know, each valentine she signed was carefully selected, and addressed with utmost care. On the eve of the exchange, Leila could hardly breathe, ready to give, and to receive …

But then one day, little Leila grew up and pulled the pink barrettes from her hair. Took a look outside and realized, Valentine’s Day was clearly for schmucks!

Well, more truthfully, Leila grew up and became an agoraphobe who realized forty five percent of the population was out having a good time, and she’d be better off at home.

Oh, how I miss my childhood. Especially all the Valentine’s Day Eves, when I sat at the kitchen table ‘til the wee hours of the morning plowing through boxes of valentines, trying to get my signature just right.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Where There's Smoke There's...Water?

Well, I’m disappointed to report that the Advil Mantra® did not work for me today. Although, in my defense, I usually use it for headaches, not organ failure.

Midmorning, I realized my lower back was aching, intensely. I tried to shrug it off, but it got increasingly worse. Out of nowhere, the pain, (or should I say organ failure), began to radiate down my legs. A sure sign of serious damage. I was limping around the office, panting like I’d just run a marathon. I started to think that my blood wasn’t being filtered and the toxins were causing dementia.

I was hyperventilating and thought an early lunch might calm me down. As I limped to the kitchen—I never loose my appetite, even in death—my tongue started to feel swollen. I thought I was going to choke on it. Then I realized, swollen tongue and back pain are mutually exclusive, one can’t cause the other.

Even I couldn’t buy that…

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Advil Mantra

Severe and piercing head pains are often what send me into fits of hypochondria. To me, head pain equals stroke. I have a hard time believing that it’s normal to fall to your knees—wincing in unbearable pain—multiple times a week, due to “headaches.”

But then it hit me! If people didn’t experience these same pains, on a massive scale, Advil wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar company.

And, this is what led me to develop the Advil Mantra, (all rights reserved).

When I suddenly experience a shooting pain in my frontal lobe, I make a conscious effort to imagine never-ending aisles of “pain relieving” medicine in my local grocer. I try to visualize thousands of other people curing these same pains with that magical little pill of Advil, (without giving it a second thought). And, surprisingly it works.

So next time you feel that proverbial knife slicing through your brain, close your eyes, breathe deep, hum “Advil,” and think of all the normal people.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Get 'em While They Last

West Nile and SARS, out.
Bird Flu, in.

I’ve had an increasing obsession with worldwide pandemic, lately. Instead of imagining just myself dying a horrible and painful death, I’ve been including the rest of humanity in my fantasies. Visions of plague and worldwide chaos follow me everywhere.

So when I just happened to cross WHO’s Pandemic Alert System this morning, I knew it was a sign from above. I was shocked to learn that we’re ranked at a level 3, out of 6, for the possibility of worldwide outbreak!

The culprit, you ask? Bird Flu, aka Avian Flu, aka H5N1.

As I continued to read, I realized my made up scenarios weren’t that far from reality. In the last century there were three influenza pandemics:

  • 1918-1919: 675,000 U.S. deaths, 50 million deaths worldwide;
  • 1957-1958: 70,000 U.S. deaths, 1-2 million deaths worldwide; and
  • 1968-1969: 34,000 U.S. deaths, 700,000 deaths worldwide.

I can do the math! We’re past due! But there is hope: the Bird Flu suit and survival kit.

Rey doesn’t think they’re practical, but I’m no dummy. A couple hundred bucks is a small price to pay for oh, I don’t know...YOUR LIFE! Experts agree, "Pandemic influenza is not necessarily imminent, but … it is inevitable.”

Friday, February 09, 2007

I Am Normal

According to this article, anxiety is now the most common mental health problem. The weird thing is that while I have an entire blog dedicated to my "issues," it still stings to think I have a mental health problem. But, I do and I'm happy to know I'm not alone.

Here's the most interesting piece of the article:

Recent research indicates that as early as 4 months of age scientists can predict an anxiety disorder by age 7. In studies, those babies who had strong reactions to unfamiliar sounds and lights typically developed anxiety as children. Parents who helped their babies to either cope with or ignore the overstimulation had children less likely to develop anxiety. Parents who helped their children avoid the overstimulation had children more likely to develop anxiety.

Hmmm. I’m not sure if this counts, but as a child, The Beast would use fear tactics to control my behavior. For example, if we were out shopping and I was walking along minding my business, she would look at me and say (with all seriousness in her eyes), “don’t wander off, or you’ll get kidnapped, raped and murdered.”

Or, for example, if she only wanted me to play in a certain part of the neighborhood, she would inform me of the boundaries by saying, “you see that blue house? Don’t go past it, or you’ll get kidnapped, raped and murdered!” Probably not the best way to raise a child. But then again I’m not a mother, just a product, so what do I know?

And funny you ask, because I do know that I'm still afraid of being kidnapped, raped and murdered! It’s hard for me to be home alone for any length of time; I’m talking fifteen minutes.

But, of course, there is always the bright side, anxious people are geniuses:

Ironically, it is these same personality traits that make many anxious people overachievers, both as children and adults. Anxious people tend to be cooperative, good students or employees and diligent workers.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Hi, My Name's Leila, and I'm a Peeping Tom

It's true. Well, I don’t climb trees or creep around the neighborhood in search of a thrill, but I cannot resist the urge to peek into windows with open blinds. And, peek is an understatement, it’s more of a full-blown stare.

Every night, Rey and I take our nightly stroll along a two mile path that runs through the middle of our tiny piece of suburbia. Our development is cut in half by a marsh, and the path runs right along it’s side, flanked by houses. Houses and houses, as far as the eye can see; and the majority without window coverings!

As we walk, I put on my “Tom” hat and ogle into every window we pass. (And, to point the finger, Rey is worse than me). But this peeping is serious business. By the time I pass a house, I know wall colors, floor plans, what the family ate for dinner by the crumbs on the plates in the sink.

I’m not even sure why I’m divulging this, it’s definitely not something to be proud of. I suspect I’m fishing for someone to say, "Don’t worry, Leila, I do that too! You’re not crazy."

Or, maybe I’m just a freak. But if you leave your windows open, you’re asking for it!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Beat by my Risk

Anybody who knows me, knows I’m a sucker for good advertising. So yesterday during the game, when that bald, little man in the red, oversized heart suit appeared on my screen, I was delighted. I was in awe, as I watched the fragile little heart scamper around the city, while cholesterol and high blood pressure jumped off buildings and popped out of alleys at him. I was practically falling all over myself looking for a pen and paper.

(And, as a side note, let me say that I AM NOT A SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL JUNKY! But instead, was exposed to the commercial by sheer chance that Rey had inadvertently stepped away from the TiVo controls at an inopportune time, which does NOT happen very often). Now…

Needless to say, I was sold in the first two seconds, and before I knew it, I was at the computer, eagerly typing “beatyourrisk.com” into the browser. It was in the next couple minutes, and on this lovely site, that I was informed of my “overweight” status, troubling blood pressure readingwhich was categorized in the level of “caution”and my 3.5% chance of having a stroke and 1.5% chance of having a heart attack at any given moment. Sweet!

So yeah, if you need a good slap in the face after a long day’s work, I would direct you to ENTER HERE, (but, you have to know your blood pressure and install Adobe® Flash Player® 9).

You Say Potato...

I say, did I really log off my computer? If I've learned one thing from reading about anxiety, it's perspective. So I've got a new positive perspective, I might not be as screwed up as I thought. According to this article, either compulsions control anxiety, or the compulsions control you. I'm going with door number one!

People with OCD have persistent, upsetting thoughts (obsessions) and use rituals (compulsions) to control the anxiety these thoughts produce. Some of the time, the rituals end up controlling them…

Is it obsessive to make sure I take the same amount of steps in sidewalk squares, or check to make sure I’m logged of my computer thirteen times before I leave the office? Perhaps. Whatever it is, I would not say it’s controlling. It’s much more comforting to perform some token rituals, than it is to obsess on a brain tumor. However, in the interest of keeping an open mind, the article also states:

Performing such rituals is not pleasurable. At best, it produces temporary relief from the anxiety created by obsessive thoughts. People with OCD may also be preoccupied with order and symmetry, have difficulty throwing things out (so they accumulate), or hoard unneeded items.

Hmmm? So it isn’t normal to keep clothes five years after I stopped wearing them. Next, I suppose you're gonna tell me that my cupboard full or promotional plastic cups isn't normal. But what am I, some baller? Am I supposed to throw things out just because they’re a little old? Fashion is cyclical, and I’m just staying ahead of the curve.

Okay, sure, I obsess on locking my doors; but does not wanting to be raped and murdered by a serial killer make you a bad person? Is that an irrational fear? Am I the crazy one because the sound of the "house settling" triggers images of intruders creeping around the bedroom? Because the rattling of my central air sounds like a murderer trying to jimmy the garage door open? Maybe it isn’t pleasurable, but neither is being BTK’s plaything.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

...Cause You Can't Have One Without the Other

Go together like the net and in-somnia…
This, I tell ya brother…
You can’t have one, without the oth-er!

Okay, that was lame. Let this be a lesson to you all! Do not let your anti-social tendencies control you; you can only lock yourself in the house for so many weekends, without loosing your mind.

But really, cyberchondria and hypochondria do go hand in hand. How the hypos of centuries past got by without the net is beyond me.

I’d never even heard of cyberchondria until a couple weeks ago. But, after learning about it, I can’t imagine being a hypo, without being a cybo(?). So, that makes me wonder if resisting the “evil” call of the net, to search for potential diseases, is part of the cure.

Personally, I know every couple months when I go on my breast cancer kick, I find myself incessantly reading, and seeking out articles about young girls dying from the disease. Obsessively reading and re-reading the symptoms. Man, kinda creepy, when you think about it.

So, when it comes to surfing the net in a fit of hypochondria, how about some words of wisdom from Harvard Med School’s Dr. Barsky: “Don’t do it.”

Friday, February 02, 2007

Goals Not Resolutions

It’s February and that means most people have already given up on their New Years resolutions. Fortunately, I didn’t, of course I didn’t make any resolutions, but that’s another story. If you did and have had trouble keeping them, this article has a smart tactic. Here is the gist:

While most people make resolutions that they’re determined to keep, a better tactic would be to create goals… By setting goals, one instead aims to work toward a desired behavior. The key difference is that people working toward goals expect that they won’t be perfect at first, and are pleased with any progress they make.

Can't Win For Losing

Wouldn’t you know it. Now studies are claiming video games aid in weight loss, great, I love gaming. Oh, wait, I have the wrong system; okay, I also play the wrong games, but dancing isn’t a game.