I learned a new word this week when elder boy went in for his sports physical.
Bradycardia is a condition wherein an individual has a slow heart rate, typically defined as a heart rate of under 60 beats per minute (BPM) in adults. Bradycardia typically does not cause symptoms until the rate drops below 50 BPM.
Turns out that there is nothing to be concerned about heart-wise. The pediatric cardiologist says so. Now we are back to thinking that the boy is just growing too fast to keep up with himself and so he occasionally passes out. That just doesn't seem like it should be a thing.
When I heard that the cardio doc said no worries, I expected to feel a giant wave of relief wash over me. Hooray. Nothing is wrong. Except that I feel like I still don't know what is wrong and passing out randomly while sitting in Biology class... or Math class... or Introduction to Agriculture class... just does not seem normal.
I am not experiencing bradycardia. My heart is pounding. Not all the time, but my anxiety is definitely up. I feel it most when I am at school... I feel like I am not quite ready for things. Except I am. And my co-teacher points out that we are fine. Except that there are a thousand things that need to be done and could be done and are not done. Because that is always the way of things everywhere. (Hyperbolic much? Overgeneralize much? Project much?)
I most realize that I am anxious while preparing materials for teaching, but I think underlying it is this nagging worry that there is Something Wrong. Here is what I hope: that the visits to the doctor and the pediatric cardiologist saying that everything is fine make elder boy feel better and like he doesn't have to be afraid that he will pass out.
Maybe he feels like he has a satisfactory answer.
Everyone tells him he needs to drink more water.
Maybe that is why they call people "a tall glass of water."
Because if they don't have one they faint.
Don't feel the need to diagnose the boy. It won't make me feel any better and really you have a lot less information than the ER doc and the pediatrician and the cardiologist.
I get that you want to make me feel better, but it's okay. You can't. Just tell me that you're sorry this is stressful. And I guess tell me that everything will be fine. And that I should keep you posted.
That is what the most helpful people have done, I realized.
Talked to someone new to me and revealed my mental illness status. Wore it like a badge on my sleeve. And it was interesting because she was relieved... she has a badge too. And never knows who she can share with. And who will look at her funny and never really trust her again. So that was my good deed for the week.
Writing this makes me feel calmer. I should blog more often. It is organizy and makes my brain happy.
Grateful Crap: I got a new chair at work that I can raise high enough to not get carpal tunnel. (Also, I am helping a student prepare for his anatomy exams because of my weird obsession with the Speed Anatomy app a few years back).
Also, Ethiopian food. This is what I am obsessed with lately. Making awesome and tasty vegetarian Ethiopian food. Although I have a problem trying to buy spices at the local Ethiopian market. None of them are marked and when I asked about one of them I was told "This one is not for you."
I feel like it is good for me to know what it feels like to be judged (in a negative way) by my race and be an obvious minority and have all eyes on me when I walk into a store. (Whispers in a language I don't understand: What is she doing here? I hope she leaves without talking to us. She must be here by mistake. I bet she is lost.) I mean, it sucks, but I think it's good to know what that feels like.
having a Very Calming Influence at work (okay, so that is not MY action, but I'm putting it here anyway)
meds (200 mg. lamotrigine)
eating well (doing Weight Watchers still and keeping track of all the awesome Ethiopian food I am eating)
blogging (I like how I always get to include that when I am blogging. It feels like cheating. But it's true.)
I am sitting here in the kitchen where I have just yelled my voice a little raw. Because I don't like how my children are behaving towards one another. And even though it is pointless and counterproductive all I want to do is keep yelling and yelling and yelling.
BE NICE TO EACH OTHER AND STOP ACTING LIKE NARCISSISTIC....
IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT. IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. HOW CAN IT BE ABOUT YOU WHEN IT'S SUPPOSED TO BE ALL ABOUT ME!
Nobody likes doing chores. That is why they are called chores. And getting people to do them is a chore. Which is probably also why they are called chores.
I'm starting to not be so cortisol-poisoned. Perhaps in a number of minutes I could even have a normal discussion like a reasonable human being. Because as I am sitting here I realize that the object of my rage had some decent points. And did a really good of not engaging with his yelly parent.
To my credit, I wound up my yelliness by saying, "I am too angry to think coherently about this right now and cannot possibly talk about it."
Current events note: we are in a particularly stressful run of crap that does not directly affect me, but still raises the overall stress level. Three hurricane disasters one after another. Here is where we get into the narcissistic "all about me-ism." Because I am nowhere near the hurricanes. And it had no effect on my day to day life.
I watched in morbid fascination as the storms progressed. Talk in the teacher's lounge was around the meaning of the word schaudenfreude.
Then there's the whole issue of what kinds of protest are acceptable and who is allowed to protest and when. And who decides what the protest means or doesn't mean.
I don't say the pledge of allegiance with my students. They stand every day and face the flag. Under god and everything.
I stand, because if I am the only person in the room not standing, it becomes all about me. And I don't feel that is my place as a teacher at a public school. I don't say the pledge because it is not in line with my Quaker faith to be swearing allegiance. Taking oaths. Making vows. Not my thing.
But really the issue now is guns and violence and the all kinds of crap that cascades down.
that nothing will ever change because money
and "2nd amendment"
and scary armed militias
but this desperation
on both sides
on many sides
i can't scroll down
because anti-gun bloggers
point guns at me
and although i have no particular reason
and it is on purpose
and it pisses me off
because of this desperation
I remember when I came back from Japan in college. A Japanese exchange student had been shot when he went to the wrong house because he didn't know the word "freeze" meant he shouldn't move.
People asked me in Japan how many guns my family had. I said none. I found out later we had one, I guess. A leftover from a previous generation.
When I came back from Japan I was convinced that I was always about to be shot. I felt safe in Japan. Not even all the police officers have guns. I felt unsafe here. Bare. Uncovered. Afraid. This lasted until I didn't feel foreign anymore. Until I became used to the taste of sugar. And how many white people there were everywhere. They all looked alike to me. And they talked so fast.
I want to live in a place where there aren't so many guns. But I don't see that happening here. And it makes me feel sad and hopeless and bereft and adrift. That it is this problem without end. And things will only get worse. And the self-righteous will shout to one another blue in the face from their mountaintops. And we will be the recipients of changelessness. Clinging to what is RIGHT because IT IS ALL ABOUT US.
And we are yelly.
Quaker, teacher, parent,