Just Another Chapter (life update)

I have been residing in Westmont in my single bed apartment for about seven months now. I finally feel like I am settling in and getting the lay of the land. There is a beautiful “lake” behind my apartment building. I put it in quotes because it’s more like a glorified pond, but I guess there’s not a lot of market value in ponds. With the weather warming up, it has been easier to spend time out by the pond-lake. I’ll sit out there, snack, catch some rays, and watch the flocks of geese eat and shit in real time. Just looking at the ground, you would think geese spend all day shitting. But based on my Darwinian observations, they mostly just eat. It’s like a 20:1 eating to shitting ratio. I’m afraid geese are severely misunderstood.

I recently had the pleasure of receiving a massage at a local spa. Massages have some therapeutic benefits, but I haven’t been able to go in a number of months. While the kind lady was administering the massage, we got to talking about an assortment of things. At some point, she started telling me about how her cousin from the boonies of northern Wisconsin also contracted lyme disease.

Apparently, he was driving late at night when he suddenly slammed into a deer. She told me if you have a certain registration, you’re allowed to keep any deer you hit (people will still use the meat). So he tossed the deer in the back of his truck and drove it on home. At this point I’m thinking, “Oh okay, a tick crawls from the deer on to him, tick bites him, yada, yada, yada… lyme disease.”

Then she paused for a moment like she was searching for the right words to use, which peaked my interest. Eventually she came out and said, “He cut his hand wide open while trying to fillet the deer… and their blood mixed.” At this point I busted out laughing. Which in hindsight was a little insensitive… but she began laughing too. I couldn’t help myself—I have heard and read a lot of stories of people contracting lyme disease, but trading blood with fresh road kill is easily the most outrageous.

As for me, lately I’ve had more stamina which has allowed me to work with some new doctors/specialists (alongside my old ones). Maybe I’ll dive into the specifics of my treatment strategy and philosophy in another post. For now I will just tell you about this new medication I had begun taking a few months back. Soon after starting it, I noticed my face was slightly growing in size… My buddy Grant was the first to point it out to me. (Sidenote: A friend who tells you when your face is getting fat? That’s a true friend.)

Anyways, I was thinking that new medication might be the culprit, as one of the side effects is a bigger head. Figuratively speaking, I’ve always had a big head—I mean I think very highly of myself—but now I actually have a physical big head to match it. It’s only fair. I was surprised to learn that this particular side effect has its own name. It’s called Moon Face. No joke, that is the medical term. Which sounds a lot like “ass face” to me… but I have been called an “ass face” from time to time so—once again—I can’t object.

Sometimes I look in the mirror, and I don’t even recognize myself… Which is ordinarily a depressing thing to say, but if you spend as much time alone as I do it’s healthy to see a fresh face every once and awhile. Conveniently, that face happens to be my own! In the end, I realized my face had simply been getting fatter all by itself. You see over the past two and a half years, I climbed from a measly 126 pounds (unable to digest food) to a lofty 170+ (with an appetite). And I assure you that weight gain wasn’t muscle mass acquired from spending my days pumping iron at the gym. It was like 90% fat and 10% hair. And some of that fat went to my cheeks and most of that hair went to my head and chest.

That’s the other thing: my hair has been getting super long—like “getting in my mouth when I eat” long. True story: the other day while I was chewing gum (as I often do), I decided to spit it up into the air and try to catch it back in my mouth (again, as I often do). But this particular time it landed straight in my hair and instantly got tangled up. After trying to scrape it out for about five minutes I was like, “Ain’t nobody got energy for this”. Frustrated, I grabbed a pair of scissors and quickly snipped off the entire chunk. I had been planning on cutting my hair anyway, so the following day I buzzed the rest of my head to match it. The upside is now I have a nice short haircut to stay cool during the summer!

You can tell my life hasn’t been very exciting when all I have to talk about is my face, my hair, my apartment, and geese shit. What is exciting is the future (as long as I stay hopeful). In a previous post, I talked about going into nursing. While that would still be a very fulfilling profession, as time goes on it becomes much less plausible based on the demands of the job and the schooling required. And the other form of nursing doesn’t really pay, in fact it would cost me money… Besides, I’m not a big dairy person.

I feel extremely fortunate to have completed two years of hard science and engineering. It leaves me with a lot of flexibility going forward. For example, I am two years’ worth of credits away from a B.S. (bachelor of science, not bull shit) in Math, as well as two and half years out from a degree in Industrial Engineering (from UIC). Although a year’s worth of credits would likely take me substantially longer, depending on my health. The good news is a significant portion of those classes can be competed at my local community college—some even online. So I’ll be able to ease my way into it, when I am ready.

I wanted to take a moment to reiterate how grateful and appreciative I am of everyone who has supported me and my family (in their own ways—big or small, visible or indivisible) during this lengthy process. I might not be able to reciprocate that love as much as I’d like too, since I’m currently a few sandwiches short of a picnic, you know… the elevator isn’t going all the way to the top. I’m not playing with a full deck here, people! I think you get the point…

What I am trying to get at is: while I focus on fixing that elevator and restocking my deck I will never forget what y’all have done for me. And rest assured, I plan to redistribute the love I have been hoarding back into the world (with interest) once I am better. So thank you for entrusting me with that love! With that, I’ll close this thing out with another joke and quote:

Why was the teenage boy uncomfortable while changing the girls’ bathroom garbage?

It was con-tampon-ated.

Our fingerprints don’t fade from the lives we touch.”

— Remember Me (Movie, 2010)

4 thoughts on “Just Another Chapter (life update)”

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