Category Archives: Humor

I Could Outrun A Tiger: Panic And Anxiety

Sometimes, my brain is a real asshole and seems to hate me. I’ve had anxious episodes a few times in my life. I suffer from low-grade depression, not always, but often. I’ve had a few panic attacks throughout my life. Lately, it’s been bad.

About four months ago I went out for drinks with colleagues and ended up in the emergency room around two a.m. after I demanded Francesco to take me because I believed, completely, that I was dying. It felt like I was. My heart was beating out of my chest, my legs were shaking, I couldn’t take a full breath of air, and I felt a kind of fear that is hard to even imagine.

Panic attack, the doctor said. They handed me an orange pill, tucked me into some warm blankets, and monitored me until the Xanax kicked in and I fell asleep in the hospital bed. The next day, it was as if nothing happened. I was fine. I’ve been fine.

Speed forward to this week. For no rational reason, I’ve been having a lot of anxiety. It seems like I’ve been overthinking everything and it’s been leading to some shit feelings, terrifying thoughts, and bad nights. I lay in bed at night, my mind racing, thinking, “oh my God, Francesco is going to die. So am I. So is everyone.” And I’m terrified for eight hours in the dark. This last Tuesday night, F was in class and my anxiety crept up again. I watched Bad Moms, snacked a little, tried to stay preoccupied. But around ten p.m., I was struck by the same indescribable fear as four months ago. My entire body started to shake, and I felt, once again, like I was going to die. Somehow, though, I fell asleep eventually but the next morning I woke up with the same panic. Let me tell you, it’s a shit way to start your day. Good morning, terror.

I was able to get into the doctor at eleven a.m. and was given a prescription for Ativan. I hate pills. I am scared of them and I don’t trust them. Still, it I didn’t have a choice if I wanted the horrible, terrible, scary, awful, feeling to go away. I practically sprinted to the Pharmacy and popped it right then and there. Twenty minutes later,  I felt slightly better but not great. I still felt shaky, my muscles were still tense and trembly, and despite my burning stomach, I couldn’t eat. Even crackers made me gag, which made my anxiety ten times worse. Eating is the most basic human thing. And I couldn’t do it. I was convinced I’d die if I didn’t eat. Which made it so I couldn’t eat. Let’s just say it was a terrible fucking cycle.

Unlike last time, it took me two full days to stop feeling panicked and anxious. And six days later, I’m still not at 100%. I stopped taking the Ativan after the second day and I feel better but I’m still slightly weary and uneasy. I’m still not able to sleep through the night. I’m still worried that it will happen again. Luckily, I have an amazing husband who all but dropped everything to reassure me, cuddle me, and stay with me until this feeling passes.

Fun fact about anxiety: All of its horrible symptoms, are actually your bodies way of preparing for combat and or running away developed from some time where we needed to fight crocodiles or club your dinner to death. You guys, I could outrun a fucking Tiger right now. Seriously, bring it. outrunning-tigers-image

I’ve also done a lot of introspection and realized that ever since I moved home from Italy, I’ve been stressed out, irritable, distracted, just below the surface. I don’t know why exactly but it’s been there and I’ve ignored it. I’m not a highstrung person, in fact, my parents make fun of me for being “too relaxed,” all the time. Apparently, all of the stress has boiled to the surface and is like, “PAY ATTENTION TO ME YOU TWAT!”

I am. I’m paying attention. I made an appointment with a therapist and I’m going to go to Yoga. And, I’m going to stop thinking about things that don’t matter. You really don’t realize how great your life is until you’re cowering in fear for no fucking reason praying for the horrific scary feeling to pass.

It’s been a shitty reminder to take care of myself. I’ll be doing this for a minute instead of worrying about getting pregnant and starting a family. Apparently, I need some self-love for a minute. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and forget to take care of yourself. Your body and brain will only take so much abuse before it bitch-slaps you from here to China.

Also, have any of you had panic attacks, anxiety? Have you experienced it with children? How do you manage? What has helped you?

 

Trying To Conceive: An OBGYN I’d Probably Marry

In my last blog post, Just Stare Into My Vagina and Tell Me It Will Be Okay, I wrote about how scared I am to have a baby. Or, how scared I am to try to have a baby, since I’m not actually pregnant, yet. As of then I couldn’t find an OBGYN, with higher ratings than a dominos pizza, that was in-network.

Well, cue the trumpets, I found someone. Two people, actually, and I want both of them to be my best friends. Best friends who have both been elbows deep into my birth canal.

I’m one of those weirdos who Googles everything. Especially healthcare providers and anyone who could potentially kill me or maim me but also pretty much anything because I have entirely too much time on my hands and am addicted to unlimited information. Like six months ago I stumbled on this one OBGYN that has like the highest rating in the state and I was like, I NEED HER. But she was out of network. Well, I checked again recently and she was IN NETWORK! So I made the appointment and was more excited than I’ve ever been to have my cervix aggressively raked. Usually my lady exams are super weird so I’ve written about them way more than a normal person would. Do normal people write about their vagina exams? I don’t know. Anyway.

At the appointment, I was shown to a chair and told to wait for the doctor. After five minutes or so she came flying in, apologized for being late, and proceeded to ask me a zillion questions. But, not in a normal doctor way.

” Do you drink?”

“Yes, wine”

“GOOD! Good for you! And you can continue to do that until your pregnancy test says you’re pregnant. However, that doesn’t mean you can put the test off for eight months.”

Throughout my appointment she was informative and funny. She made jokes about dressing up as a vagina for Halloween. During my pap smear she impersonated Trump, “No, really, nobody respects women more than I do.”

When I told her I was pro-choice she high-fived me and told me I was incredibly badass and responsible. I live in Utah where like 98% of the doctors are Mormon and super republican. And while I have many friends and family who are both of those things, I am neither. And I was pretty excited about having a doctor who I didn’t feel like I had to pretend for. I also really liked her because when I told her about my experience with an Italian gynecologist she said, “That’s horrifying. Do you know how many women are sexually assaulted? That would be traumatic.” She also explained absolutely everything that she was doing, why she was doing it, and gave me a forty minute explanation of why they do a pap smear (cervical cancer screening, caused by the HPV virus). Seriously, it was the most thorough, thoughtful, kind, and hilarious appointment I’d ever had. She’s exactly who I’d want by my side while I pushed a giant baby out of my lady garden.

However. I’d just discovered, the day before, that while she is in my network, the clinic she works in, is not. Therefore, she couldn’t be my OBGYN without my having to shell out a lot of money for the out of network stuff. Sigh. I told her all of this and she listened and said, “Oh, don’t you worry! I’ve got you! One of my best friends is an OBGYN in your network! You’ll love her. She’s super progressive and funny!”

Sold.

I haven’t met her yet but I have talked with her nurse a few times on the phone and she is amazing. When I told her who referred me she laughed, “Oh, she’s awesome. Yeah, her and Dr. So and So are like best friends. You’re going to love her, she’s so great.” So, I’m actually excited about my doctor now. Sounds super trivial for most of you, I know, but for me it’s a huge relief. Which is good because I can’t be over here chugging entire bottles of wine.

I have no idea what I’m doing. Oh my God what am I doing?

 

Just Stare Into My Vagina And Tell Me It Will Be Okay

My husband and I are in our mid-thirties and approaching that romantic place where we feel like if we’re going to have babies we should probably do it.

I’ve held out for a long time. Partially to spite our family because his parents are like, “do you not understand how sex works?” and my dad horrifies us by saying shit like, “your children are going to be retarded if you keep waiting.” And i’m like, please leave me and my womb alone!

But we’ve also held out because it’s never been the right time. Since we met in Italy and lived in Italy there was the whole, “we’re not even both citizens of the same country,” thing. Then there was the, “we just want to enjoy being married,” thing. Then we moved to the U.S. and there has been the “he’s been laid off twice because that’s what happens in engineering so we never have insurance for longer than ten minutes,” thing.

I’ve also held out because I’m super scared.

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Top Fears In No Particular Order: 

  1. That something will be wrong with the baby. This is where parents go, “it wouldn’t matter I’d love my baby no matter what.” Yeah, duh. But ALSO, it’s hard to think of my child growing up with more challenges than a kid already has. I know the “right” response is to pretend like it’s not something that even occurs to me, and that I’m supposed to say that it shouldn’t matter because love is love but also, having a deformed, disabled, or otherwise challenged child would be really, really hard. Yes, I’d still love my kid no matter what. Yes, I’d do my best to be the best mom ever for their specific challenges, and hope that they could still enjoy the highest possible quality of life, but regardless, it would be hard, and thinking about the nine million things that can potentially go wrong is scary.
  2. My kid will grow up to be an asshole. This would be largely my fault, I imagine, but still, I don’t want to be responsible for unleashing a total jackass onto the world at large. Has anyone seen, “We Need To Talk About Kevin.” Yeah, super scary.
  3. People will treat me differently when I’m pregnant or a mom. This stems from the fact that my usual reaction to pregnant women isn’t “you’re glowing,” but rather, “OH MY GOD THAT LOOKS PAINFUL! CAN I GET YOU SOMETHING?”
  4. My husband (who is amazing, truly) will not help 50% and I’ll be forced to stab him in the head with a fork.
  5. Something will go wrong with the pregnancy and/or childbirth and my life will suddenly become a lifetime drama where I’m dying on a table somewhere screaming, “JUST SAVE MY BABY!” then I turn to my husband, who is crying and hysterical, and say, “Just do the best you can and find a woman who will love both of you,” before I bleed out.

DEALING WITH INSURANCE AND FINDING AN OBGYN THAT WON’T KILL YOU

Fear number five is probably my biggest fear right now. Mostly due to my current situation: Finding an OBGYN and dealing with insurance. I’m not pregnant but I want to have all of my ducks in a row before we even consider backing away from our tried and true pullout method (note: For anyone under thirty reading this, I’m an idiot so don’t do anything I do in my life).

FUN INSURANCE FACTS I’VE RECENTLY LEARNED:

  • Your doctor has to be in-network
  • Their affiliate hospital has to be in-network
  • Lots of my in-network doctors are NOT affiliated with my in-network hospital.
  • What the fuck?

I live in Utah and only two hospitals in my area are in network: Intermountain and LDS. Now, I’d rather have my baby at home with my dog acting as my midwife than give that much money to the LDS church. Nothing personal, but churches tend to fund anti-gay marriage bills and throw money at people fighting planned parenthood and I’d rather not contribute to their church agenda that is the opposite of my mostly liberal agenda. So, this leaves me with one hospital option. I searched our insurance database and sifted through a bunch of “2 star out of 5” doctors because, uhm, fuck no. I don’t want a 2 start doctor anywhere near my vagina or my slippery newborn. Of the 4-5 star doctors NONE OF THEM ARE TAKING PATIENTS WHO ARE NOT KNOCKED UP ALREADY. After being turned down from around 34,000 doctors, I felt a little bit hysterical, I mean, how hard can it be to get someone to stare into my vagina and tell me that everything will be okay? So my final phone conversation went something like this:

Receptionist: Hello, lalala office, how can I help you?

ME: I’d like to make an appointment with (insert Dr. Name Here)

Receptionist: Okay! Are you pregnant?

ME: (fuck) Uhm, no I’m not but we might try soon an-

Receptionist: Dr. lalala only sees patients who are already pregnant.

ME: I totally understand. But one question: How am I supposed to get genetic testing, make sure that my hoo-haw is in golden baby-making condition, and have all of my terrifying questions answered about whether or not I should get pregnant if I can’t see a doctor until it’s past the point of no return?

Receptionist: Uhm, I don’t kn-

ME: ALSO, let’s say that there are complications. I could DIE. Don’t you think I have the right to thoroughly vet my doctor before I’m whittled down to a terrifying 9 month deadline.

Receptionist: I’ve never actually thought of it that way.

ME: If you have a suggestion box will you add that?

Then I hung up the phone and spent one hour watching videos of handicap goats on Instagram (Goats Of Anarchy) until I felt better. Finally, I made an appointment with a great OBGYN that is in network but NOT affiliated with an in-network hospital just to get a checkup before I get pregnant. But then I’ll have to switch when I am.

What group of fucksticks created this system? I know a handful of you are like, OBAMA! BLAME OBAMA. But no, please don’t. Not at all because of my political beliefs but because our system was disaster way before he was elected president. Let’s make a new, better, system y’all.

Since I am a whacko and seem to have no control over the pregnancy situation I spent a week going, “maybe we don’t want kids.” But I totally do. So I’ve come up with fun ways to make this fun for someone as batshit as me.

LIST OF SUPER CRAZY SHIT I DID THIS WEEK TO MAKE ME FEEL LIKE I HAVE CONTROL OVER THINGS I HAVE NO CONTROL OVER

  1. I used an astrology site to map out my exact conception dates to have a virgo baby. No, I don’t really believe in astrology as a science, but I’m a virgo and so are most of my friends and they’re badass so whatever.
  2. I did a weird amount of research on the Shettle method. True or false? Who the hell knows but I’d like a girl first because I’m sexist but also because I’ve read a lot of interesting research on family dynamic and the sex of the eldest child. Yes, I’ll also be happy for a boy. I’m not a total monster.
  3. I started a baby registry with baby list. You’re thinking, that is totally batshit. And I agree. As someone who generally dislikes baby showers and baby related things in general, I am totally in agreement with you that it’s crazy. However, it helps me concentrate on a fun aspect of having a baby (shopping) so that I focus less on the not fun aspects (possible death scenario).
  4. I forced my husband to look at the registry. He was both baffled and concerned. “Honey, but you’re not even pregnant yet,” and then I was like, “I KNOW THAT, FRANCESCO. Just LOOK at that organic onesie. LOOK AT IT.”
  5. I Googled prenatal vitamins for 2-12 hours. Folate, apparently a really good thing that I need a lot of.

So, that’s where I’m at right now: TERRIFIED. Seriously, how do people just have babies? How did you decide to have a baby if you had one and were you somehow less terrified? Why?

My Dog Hates Me

I really like my dog, Oliver, a lot. In a sort of stalkerish, I watch him while he sleeps, sort of way. The love is not mutual, though. In fact, I’m preeeetty sure he hates me.

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I used to tell myself that he’s just bored with me. I’ve worked at home for most of his life so he thinks of me as a sort of lamp or chair that occasionally takes him for a walk. Francesco, my husband, on the other hand, is about the coolest thing in the entire world because he’s never home. However, I’ve recently started working at the office and it’s become pretty damn clear that Oliver just thinks I’m an idiot. For example, in this instagram video. Notice how I’m trying to be his bestie, and he’s just giving me some nasty side-eye like I’m his racist cousin at a family reunion that he didn’t even want to go to in the first place.

We don’t have kids yet, but I’m pretty sure that this is basically what it’s like to have a teenager. And now I need to call my mom and tell her I love her. Also, I probably need to adopt a baby goat or a capybara because they’d probably be all about me and we could climb on shit and swim and ALL WOULD BE GLORIOUS.

Francesco said, “no.” Probably because he’d be jealous.

What about you guys? Do you have pets? Do they like you? What’s that like?

My Husband Is A Psycho

My husband isn’t really a psycho but I thought it would be a pretty interesting title as far as search engines are concerned. Unfortunately, people are going to come here looking for answers on how to deal with said psycho husband and they’ll probably be disappointed. And now I feel bad. So, here’s some advice just in case you did come here to solve your psycho husband problems:

  1. How crazy is he on a scale from Scott Baio to Mel Gibson? If you’ve picked Gibson, my advice is to bake him a cake, pretend like you’re going to confession, AND GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE HOUSE IMMEDIATELY. He’s unpredictable, crazy racist, and hopped up on deranged man power. RUN!
  2. Is he talking to himself and/or convinced that he’s a garden gnome? Is he scaring you? If he’s not being scary but also thinks he’s a garden gnome, agree with him, and tell him that garden gnomes love yard work. Smile lovingly at him in his weird pointy hat while he sweats and toils in the sun.
  3. Is he being abusive and mean? Yes? YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THAT. In the words of Beyonce, Queen Bey, LET ME UPGRADE YOU. Nobody deserves to be treated like crap or to be afraid of their partner. Get out, go to a family members house or a friends. Ask for help. Call a therapist or the police. There’s no shame in telling people that your husband is an asshole. Seriously. NO SHAME.

Alright, now back to my husband. My husband is not a psycho but sometimes he sounds like one because he’s foreign. And he has a crazy accent and doesn’t  understand pop culture.

For example. This morning I was walking around the house getting ready for work and for some reason that one song is stuck in my head, that Britney Spears song, “You better work bitch.” But I was tired, and I hate mornings, so instead of singing it I was just kind of padding around talking the lyrics. Like, “Oh, hey you in the mirror. You want a Maserati? Better work, bitch.” Then, I decided that my only form of communication with my husband all morning should be the same.

ME: Hey babe

Him: What?

ME: You want a Maserati?

Him: Huh? What the fuck are you talking about?

ME: You better work, bitch.

And he just shrugged and ignored me like he pretty much does every day and went back to making his fancy espresso that coughs and sprays black coffee shit all over my stove every. fucking. morning. I went back to the bathroom to apply a shitload of concealer and to continue talking to myself in Britney lyrics.

Then, Francesco was dropping me off at work and before I got out of the car he was all,

“Babe?”

I turned, “Yes?”

“Uhm, if you want deh Maserati you gotta get a job and shit!” He laughed out loud and pounded on the steering wheel.

“Those aren’t the lyrics, dude.” I shook my head disapprovingly and got out of the car and pretended like I didn’t know him. Because it’s one thing to speak in Britney lyrics and it’s another thing to TRY and fail miserably.

Get your shit together, husband.

Empathy, Apathy, And Ants

Ever since I was a kid, a toddler, really, I’ve been way into saving bugs. Bugs, animals, any and all disadvantaged children in third-world countries. My empathy, according to my husband, runs out about there, especially when he has the man-flu. But bugs? I go to great lengths to save them from certain death. Even though their life spans are like ten minutes. Or ESPECIALLY because of their short lifespan. I mean, if you only have ten minutes to live your entire life. YOU’VE GOT TO LIVE, DAMMIT!

The other day I woke up to an ant invasion. An entire fucking ant colony had moved into my dog, Oliver’s food bowl. This is because he’s an asshole and won’t eat any of his kibble that isn’t coated in canned food. “Well, it’s because you spoil him,” you’ll say. Of course, it is, but also because he has a will like nobody I’ve ever met. My husband put his foot down once and was like, “either he eats his kibble or he doesn’t eat.” And I told him to pick on someone his own size and stop being such an asshole. Oliver went nearly 2 days without eating in a standoff of willpower (note: He had a full bowl of food, he just refused to eat it), Oliver won. By the third day my husband broke, went and bought the three dollar per canned food and mixed it up apologetically with his kibble while Oliver glared at him like, “yeah, mix it good, fuckface.” But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, my dog is a shithead and didn’t finish 7-10 pieces of kibble because they weren’t delicious enough. And seventy generations of ants had moved into the bowl. Because ants are much less picky than poodles, apparently.

New Note (2)

Thousands of ants were marching in a giant swirl around the bowl. The remaining 43,576 ants that wouldn’t fit in the bowl were marching in incredibly orchestrated lines in a 3×3 space around the bowl. “Oh, SHIT!” I yelled when I first saw them. Then, i wandered aimlessly from the kitchen to the living room waiting for an adult to come and fix it for me. Then I realized that I was the adult and I had to fix  it. There were a few dozen ants a few feet from the others so I got a little broom and tried to sweep them up, gently. I put them outside. They all shriveled up into tiny hard balls of black. Like coarse ground pepper. “Oh no! I’m sorry! Get up!” I prodded them with sticks for a minute and then realized that I killed them. Then I felt super bad and hoped that their family members hadn’t seen them brutally massacred. The broom wouldn’t work. Everything that I could think of would kill them. And, as noted above, I can’t kill insects. It’s not that I LOVE all insects, spiders, honestly, scare the shit out of me. I can’t kill them, though. I have to work up the courage to trap them in a glass while I sweat profusely and shake uncontrollably. Sometimes I talk to them, “I’m just putting you outside goddamnit. Stop jumping around in there!”

Part of the reason I have a hard time killing insects is because I’m clearly nuts, but also because I respect them. Which I know sounds crazy and you’re all rolling your eyes like, “get a grip, psycho.” But ever since I can remember I’ve been really attached to nature. And, since toddlerhood, I’ve felt that everything fits together and that no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, everything is important. I used to talk to trees, I had pet rocks (which would be sad if it wasn’t so creepy), I should possibly be locked in the crazy house. Also, I’m slightly paranoid about bug karma. What if during the apocalypse insects become insanely giant or really good at math and gang up to attack any human who has ever squished an ancestor? There’s also a part of me that just thinks that humans are super, unbelievably, stupid. If you’ve ever observed drunk teenagers, you know what I mean. We’re dumb. All of us. And so who know what the rest of the creatures on the earth are all about. I have no goddamn idea. And science is too political when it comes to this sort of thing, I mean, at one point, it was scientifically proven that non-white people and female people were not real people. So, I struggle with science’s time-encased notions of importance, relevance, or I don’t want to be squished-ness. Basically, I like to play it safe. And I like to make my life as difficult as possible. Clearly.

After thirty minutes of watching the ants dominate a small corner of my kitchen, I remembered Google. Google knows all things. I grabbed my phone and quickly Googled “How to get rid of ants without killing them.” I read the two-hundred suggestions but all of the suggestions were stupid. Use vinegar. Essential oils. Lalala. Great, thanks, that’s a great idea from preventing this from happening again. But what do I do once they’ve already broke in and seized a part of my home? Nothing. I started to wonder how in the hell they’d managed to get in my house in the first place. I went out my back door and looked outside approximately where they were inside. Sure enough, there was a line of ants charging in, and another line of slower ants wobbling out, struggling to balance small crumbs of Oliver’s food in their little pincher faces. They wanted the food. So if I moved the food outside, maybe they’d all give up and go outside.

I dumped the remaining crumbs of Oliver’s food outside near the ant line. And I went to write in my office.

Every hour I came back into the kitchen to check on the insect situation and every time there were fewer ants. By the end of the day, there were no more than a few dozen. That night, I proudly (and smugly) explained what happened to my husband who stared at me vacantly. “You’re fucking insane, dude. Why didn’t you just kill them?” For which I glared and told him that I hoped he got chlamydia. But then I thought about it for a second and remembered that we were married. “NEVERMIND! I hope you stub your wiener,” I yelled after him, which also didn’t make any sense.

That night, I proudly (and smugly) explained what happened to my husband who stared at me vacantly. “You’re fucking insane, dude. Why didn’t you just kill them?” For which I glared and told him that I hoped he got chlamydia. But then I thought about it for a second and remembered that we were married. “NEVERMIND! I hope you stub your wiener,” I yelled after him, which also didn’t make any sense. 

When I snuggled next to my husband and Oliver in bed that night, I made sure to pull the sheets off of the floor to keep spiders out of our bed.

“But I thought spiders were your friends,” my husband hyena laughed.

“You’re hilarious, asshat. I don’t spiders to bite Oliver. Seriously ,though, If they come up here, I hope they bite your ass.”

And I lay in bed, unable to sleep, terrified of spiders.