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Friday, October 31, 2008

And then there's Osaka and candy..

Osaka doing the Obstacle Course race in the Second year Sports Fest (Azumanga Daioh Episode 15)

What prompted this? LOL Well I was looking at one of the latests posts by Chaki in Japan. This was great! I didn't know people actually did this! I've only bobbed for apples but I've never done this! And of course.. I had to think of Anime.. and yes.. I'm turning into Osaka.. and that's.. distressing.. And yes.. I'd do that.. even hubby tells me I would.. /sigh.. looks like fun..

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How much do you know me?

Inspired by Jeannie's post.. I decided to do one of my own :)

Take the quiz! How much do you know me?

Yes.. I was being eville with some of the questions.. LOL but hey it's all in good fun :) Only once did I throw a major curveball.. Let me know if you post one of these too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Doing better.. but why am I awake?

Found this online.. not sure where.. ©Unknown
Doing better healthwise.. but for some reason my body thinks I'm supposed to be in another time zone.. /sigh.. Still have my ringer off during the day since I keep getting telephone calls at all hours of the morning.. Hubby has been nice to do this for me while I try to get some sleep these days.. I'll be okay soon.. I hope.. at least I'm not up too much with headaches.. I seem to get them in the very early morning but by that time I'm sleeping.. I just know when I had them when I wake up.. oh well.. could be a whole lot worse...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm not dead.. yet..

Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail - "Bring out your dead" Sketch

This week has been a wash basically. Some of you know the reasons behind what started my path to doldrums.. but later on in the week I just got plain sick.. In fact I'm counting the sneezing between my typing this out at 9:30 on Sunday morning.. (okay one so far searching for the video).. Totally PMS'ing since Friday I've been basically MIA to everyone.. including my friends.. so this post is to them. I'm still not dead.. not exactly "happy" as the poor bloke in the video.. but still alive and not on the cart (another sneeze.. Sure glad I went and got tissues from BJ's.. I got boxes of this stuff in the closet I might blow through.. er.. no pun intended)..

Genma Sautome (and his alter ego when splashed with water...) from the anime Ranma 1/2

A couple people will know what this is about.. but I'm also grumpy that I missed saying "Safe Trip" to my friend MeriMask who's going to Japan on a business trip. So this picture is for her.. she knows what it's about.. and quite frankly.. it put a smile on my face this morning when I saw it.. brings a whole new meaning to this picture! Knock'em Dead Meri!!

Not bad.. just 2 snee... wait.. 3 sneezes.. ahahahahhahahahah...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Virtual Trip - Iriomote Island

My inspiration for this trip: Azumanga Daioh - Episode 21

Doing a complete 180° from my last post.. I wanted to share with you a dream trip of mine.. Everyone knows.. I .. love.. cats.. and if you didn't.. you know now :D Mixing Anime and my love for cats.. I refer to one my favorite Episodes in the Anime named Azumanga Daioh.. the episode the girls go to the Okinawa Prefecture and take a side trip to Iriomote Island... where??

Did I explain how much I love Google Maps?

If I was ever to go to Japan (yeah.. right after I rob a bank.. anyone know of a Brinks truck that's dropping their payload and leaving it behind? LOL j/k.. but you know what I mean..) I want to go here.. but.. of course.. It's sssssoooooooo far from the mainland.. I mean.. it's closer to Taiwan and Hong Kong than it is Japan! That big blob of land on the left? That's CHINA!! and that weeeeeeeeeeeee bit of island on the top right? That's Japan.. Look at it.. there's Kagoshima (where Nagano works out of) and Miyazaki City (near his hometown).. it' so far away! No wonder it was a treat for the girls to go there!

Iriomote Island is the Island in the middle of the Yaeyama Island Chain... the southern most islands of Japan (Okinawa Prefecture)

Anyway.. I'm totally getting into this.. Anyway the girls go on a school trip Okinawa and then take a side trip to Iriomote Island. Sakaki in particular is looking forward to maybe catching a glimpse of the rare Iriomote cat the locals call Yamamayaa ("mountain cat") or Yamapikaryaa ("mountain sparkling-eyed") or Pingiimayaa ("escaped cat") (or Osaka screws up and calls it Pikanyaa)...

This is Sakaki (I wish I was that cool.. the only thing I share with her is the love for cats and my long hair.. that's it folks.. /sigh.. Oh.. and maybe boob size.. digressing..)

Anyway the trip (checking YouTube video I made).. Take a walk from Ōhara (大原) Harbor.. go to the Iriomote Wildlife Center.. go all the way around.. Get on a tour boat.. go down the Urauchi River (浦内川 Urauchigawa) and see the Mariyudu Waterfalls (マリユドゥの滝 Mariyudu-no-taki) after that we buy suveniers in Uehara (上原) and go home :D

Have NO idea where I got this from.. but me wants it precious.. I want Sakaki and Yomi dolls :D Getting cute attack from that Neco Coneco doll/thing..

Did I explain how I get distracted so easily? Ehem.. moving along.. nothing to see here.. (cough.. I want one.. cough)..

Mariyudu waterfall on Urauchi River, Iriomote, Japan, April 15, 2005 ©jpatokal from WikiTravel

The Mariyudo waterfall, Iriomote, Okinawa.. digital photo on 5th April 2007 ©Geomr from Wiki

Anyway that's it :) I want to meet my own cat and go to this totally cool lookin' island :) So.. any takers? Looks like a great way to spend a day in Japan don'tcha think?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

In sickness and in health...

For the life of me I have no idea where I got this from.. might have been an email sent to me by my oldest sister. ©Unknown...

Speaking with friends through emails and phone calls the past couple days everyone knows I'm back in one of those cycles.. Not bad this time around since I tend to sleep this one off these days.. but I was chatting with Chaki the other day through email and she was brave to put a post about health last night.. so I figured I might as well post something. I'm starting to get to know her more these days so this is still new information. Some of you know this so feel free to pass through this if you have read this already... These are not the droids you are looking for.. move along .. move along..

Sometimes I feel like this all the time.... ©Unknown...

Hmm.. where to start. First and foremost.. this past week or so I'm back to having Cluster headaches. In general.. think of a migraine and multiply that by a factor of 10.. yeah.. they call these suicide headaches for a reason. Most of the time I'm hysterical and delusional when I get them. Only hubby (and a few friends who were unfortunate to witness them..) see them in their full glory. I luckily do not have a recollection of what they are like.. but feel the bruises and rebound headaches when they are over. I WISH these were migraines.. but they are not. At least you can actually medicate Migraines.. you can't with Cluster headaches. I can't take a pill... they don't work. Mine were developed over years of concussions... I won't get into what started that but most of you know how that first set of concussions started.. later in life I developed anemia from my fibroid tumors (6 in uterus, 2 outside) and I kept passing out because of the lack of blood.. usually slamming into something on the way down to the floor. A couple times I hit my spinal cord on the side of my bed (a strong oak bunk bed that I used the bottom portion as my bed until my 20's.. and resides still in my computer room :p ) but luckily nothing was broken.. just severe bruising in X-Rays. Go home, get some rest.. At one point they thought I had epilepsy but after a couple months in 2 hospitals (one time spending 3 days in a ward attached to every machine known to man..) they realized I was not having seizures. Heck .. I even had 2 major cluster headaches during that time and no alarms turned on (apparently if a seizure is detected an alarm as loud and obnoxious as a fire alarm turns on). I even was thought to have Lupus. Some of my friends think I have Fibromyalgia.. but I never got tested for that.. I had my plate filled with other things. Besides.. I didn't want to spend years just to get a diagnosis for this.

My normal state.. ©I think.. LiveJournal..

I already had headaches by the time I got married in 1997 (already had been hospitalized for a week at a time .. 6 times in the past 3 years..) so my husband was already exposed to "headache Elsie". Always being sick I ignored them for years.. Usually had my middle sister throw me in the hospital whenever she had to deal with my screaming and wanting to kill myself. I had migraines from the age of 11 so this was just "worse" that's all. I had at that point already survived an eating disorder (again saved by my middle sister) and anemia (just took iron pills) and visited a lot of hospitals that just sent me back out to the world with "we can't find anything wrong with you.. just go home and rest"... It wasn't until I passed out in 69th street terminal did I realize SOMETHING was terribly wrong. The good Lord was with me because in the half hour I lost consciousness.. no one mugged me.. and that's rare in Philadelphia.. I got to work (half hour late..) and they knew something was wrong by my eyes.. I can't tell what it is that they see.. they just say that they are off.. and one pupil is actually larger than the other (always the right one). That started 3 years of utter hell.. and I mean hell.. 6 hospitals, 4 states, about 15 or so (lost count honestly) neurologists, cardiologist, psychiatrist, psychologist.. and a few other ologists just to make it even. And most of them were the best of the field.. trust me.. I paid for every one of them.. I was finally diagnosed with Cluster headaches.. but the problem is.. no one can cure them. It's a category.. all kinds of things fall into a cluster headache. My friend (a male) has them and they are totally different than mine in nature. Someone may have one type and I have another. I tried just about every experimental procedure on the planet short of surgery. Well wishing friends all coy about "oh just try such herbal medicine yada yada.. you have your chi clogged up".. I tried it.. tried fasting, overeating, yoga, chiropractic, Chinese massage therapy (mmmm.. loved that..), lost track of the medications.. vegetarian diet, no carb diet, no meat diet, no dairy diet, no food diet.. trust me I've tried everything.. and anything I didn't know about my Doctor's took care of that...

Cherry Blossoms in the dark in Ube, Japan ©Lost in Ube

Finally after only remembering 52 days in 3 years.. (you ready right.. 52 days out of 1095 days..) (I was usually suffering from either allergy to the medication, rebound headaches from the controlled substances or delirium from the withdrawal).. Hubby and I had enough. I no longer wanted to be a guinea pig and I gave up. I'd rather be in pain and know WHO I am than be so drugged up or recovering from said medication to be useless to my groom (who was still waiting to have a bride..). Any man (like my Dad) would have walked out on me. But he was there for me the whole time. He's still here now! I walked into my last neurologist's office, Dr. Jannoff and asked him point blank "can we cure this today".. he looked at me and said "no.. maybe in a couple years someone will come up with a promising..." .. I put my hand up and said thank you for trying. I walked out and that was the end. He gave me a big hug, cried and wished he could help but there is nothing you can do for these things. And I wasn't going to sacrifice anymore of my life to try to find out.

Another picture I don't know where I got but the copyright is on the picture :p

It was the year 2000, I lost my job and couldn't keep a 9-5 schedule so I had to come to the realization that my life was changed forever. To this day I have a hard time dealing with it. I'm used to having my hair on fire I'm so busy. Had 2 part time jobs (one in a television station (and then a television corporation), the other at a law firm) and had full time college in Temple University (because I wanted to be George Lucas). Now I was just short of nerfing everything in my apartment because I kept crashing into them.. with no job and no way of getting one anytime soon. In my culture.. you are what you do and your self worth and viewpoints are completely determined by your occupation. I was nothing more than a leech in society.

Close up of Cherry Blossoms in Ube, Japan ©Lost in Ube

2003 in the middle of another project that I got myself into (because I get bored very easily).. that I won't post about yet.. but most of you know.. I thought I had appendicitis. I finally got to the hospital after much arguing with hubby who was adamant about me going.. and I found out 2 things.. My anemia was bad (Hemoglobin count for normal is at the lowest 12, they transfuse at 8 and I was at 6).. and I had fibroids which was causing the anemia. I mean.. I'd been bleeding for years (started my period at 9 years old) so this was new to me. They gave me 2 bags of blood (thank you to the 2 kind souls who gave their blood to save my life.. whoever you are) and I immediately started to get my energy back. I also went through another 3 years of trying to find the right birth control to stop the bleeding.. Mental note.. DON'T GET ON DEPO.. I bled for 2 straight years... (off soapbox now..) I finally got one that works .. strongest on the market.. but it works.. I don't have my period every 2 weeks and it only lasts a few days rather than 9...

Railroad scene in Spirited Away

So this takes us back to the present. In a new apartment (lived with in-laws for 7 years when recovering from the financial meltdown of losing my income), hubby is still here and I'm getting stronger every day. Clusters are here to stay unless I get miraculously healed. Even so.. I'm okay. People with worse problems manage to find their inspiration from others and work through life without ever complaining. I should learn from them. Overall I know now who my real friends are. They want nothing by my friendship and are there when I'm in the depths of despair. In reading Chaki's post I was reminded of everyone's struggles in life. In reading Jeannie's blog in general I read of inspiration through turmoil. I have learned a lot through this journey down this road.. even I have no idea where it's leading to. It's not important anymore.. So I'm on that railroad through storms, through beautiful landscapes and scary dark corners. All in the comfort that I am loved by new and old friends. That's my comfort.