Category Archives: Allergy

You remind me of a cigarette…you make it harder for me to breathe

(Jekyll and Hyde—Plumb)

I have therapeutics tomorrow so this is going to be another brain dump of a post…

What is life like on campus? Well, sometimes I am doing pretty well and maybe not thriving but definitely doing more than surviving…and other times I am standing just outside the door holding a notebook and trying to force myself to take the next few steps to hand the notebook to the person who needs it and wishing I could just turn invisible and melt right into the brick wall…which then leads to a flurry of decision making trying to decide what to do next for best chances at both short and long term success…but each day is a new day and I get new chances to try again. That was then and this is now.

Similarly, although my goal in life despite people trying to dissuade me, is still to be just like everyone else…which usually is not a big deal, because I know I am not actually everyone else and can adjust accordingly…but yesterday we were doing yoga at school and I adjusted as much as I could without making it obvious that I was accommodating myself, but it was not very possible to blend in and support all my weight on my left side…which meant that by the end my right ankle was on fire and my right shoulder wasn’t doing a lot better. yeah, I may be right handed, but I am left-everything-elsed…and I used to be pretty close to ambidextrous, so I mean I probably could have been left-everythinged if I really had wanted to when I was little. And that would be a lesson learned that fitting in is not the most important thing in the world.

This morning is going to be the very best day of my whole entire life so far!! Inclusion is my favoritest thing in the whole world!! I haven’t proctored since the day I did it barefoot and then after proctoring worked the front desk. I miss working the front desk, and I don’t get to do that today, but I do get to proctor which reminds me of that day. And after that the real excitement starts…I am so so excited…I am way too much of a rules follower to run my hands along the walls even though I want to, but I love that I could because I didn’t technically say I would not pass go, not collect one million dollars…I probably shouldn’t use that analogy, because that is about not collecting extra rewards when going to jail in Monopoly and even though there are some pretty awesome rewards inherent in going to jail in real life, there really aren’t in Monopoly, and also I am not going to jail…and the fact that going to jail also means that you are probs going to never going to be able to easily find a new job or housing again, the rewards are probs not worth it unless you plan on living out a life sentence in which case I could totally understand the security of good food prepared every day and no rent to pay and getting to the top of medical care lists automatically and getting that for free…what’s not to want about that?! We incentivize going to jail quite a lot…LOL…but I am not going to jail, just to my happy place…and I am very happy…probably happier than I would be going to jail anyway, because IDK if you can wear shorts in jail because all the pictures have people wearing winter pajama pants.

I was never on the every single week list either for proctoring or for working the front desk, but that front desk thing worked out really well in my favor because everyone knew I was really quiet and recognized that I didn’t usually work the front desk which meant that instead of asking me to call IT, people would tell me they were going to call IT, which was awesome, because at the time, having to call IT might have been the end of my volunteering my time to the front desk…yeah, I was comfortable with everything else, but making calls was not my forte. Proctoring is kind of take it or leave it for me. I like being on the emergency list, but aside from helping out when it is critical, proctoring just isn’t that exciting or rewarding for me.

Why is it that it is when I am re-watching my favorite videos (like talking to Siri about suicide) that everyone wants to talk to me…hashtag awkward…I feel like I am constantly stopping my video so people don’t get the wrong ideas…but seriously Summer Beretsky Bukeavich has a really awesome video series on talking to Siri about suicide and it is hilarious and I have been re-watching it for years…she also has Zerby the parrotlet videos, but those get old really fast…

When I was at Panera yesterday at like 6am, there were a bunch of girls there who were super obnoxious…I waited in line for 30 minutes because “can we have salad” “can we have soup” “I don’t know what I want.” They apologized when they finally finished ordering, but oh my…those girls were driving me crazy…one of them was going on and on about how she was in trouble for being late too much and it wasn’t such a big deal because she was late like every day for a month but it was never her fault…(for example, she was at Panera, so she was only a block away an hour in advance so it was basically like she was there…)

Today I think I figured out why I have wanted to scratch my eyes out despite the fact that they really didn’t look like pink-eye…hmm…probably something to do with the fact that there is a yellow haze of pollen that I have to wash off of the windshield of my car in the morning which means it is probably in the air and I just can’t see it without a surface to collect it…

So my water bottle dropped and I was sad to see it was not Wiggle Worm-proof…but when I picked it up I discovered that actually it was Wiggle Worm-proof. Despite having a hole I could shove my key into, it still holds water…it’s not that I abuse my things…the problem is more that tutoring was supposed to end at 8:30, and it didn’t, and I was having trouble leaving. So I was out too late, and by the point I was walking to my apartment, my awareness, coordination, and memory were lacking…sometimes I drop things because I just forget I am holding them and let go (that happens a lot to my poor phone). In this case, I remembered I was holding the water bottle, but wasn’t holding it very well due to poor coordination at night, and didn’t have sufficient awareness to realize it was falling until I heard it hit the ground…I also picked up the trash the mailman leaves in my mailbox three times on the way up the stairs…sleep is a wonderful thing that I need every single night, preferably at or before 9pm…

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This carpet tastes like coffee grounds ground into my face now and every angle’s covered with just another bandaid

(Falling Out–Relient K)

Saturday sillies

google sign on

Doesn’t everyone’s gmail sign in page look like this?…why yes, I do have this many gmail accounts…which is why if you aren’t emailing one of my school email accounts I am slow to answer…especially since I also have two yahoo accounts that I still remember the password for and so many other places to check where people communicate with me…someday (specifically when I am no longer in school) a lot of these accounts won’t be on my page anymore though…which will be kinda nice…

Also, someone was signing at me last week…it can’t really count as much of a conversation when most of the time I was like yeah, I got the “e” and that’s about it…I suppose to actually communicate I might need more than just “eat” “ball” “play” “sleep” “more” “mommy” “water”…so I learned fruits and tried to learn colors via songs on youtube…can you tell from what I knew that the sign language I knew came from the alphabet in 6th grade world languages and someone I worked with in the nursery a few years ago who was studying sing language and practicing at church…

Tuesday night I prob waited a little too long to head home and as a result I was convinced I needed to get into the very first parking spot I found…which wouldn’t have been such a problem except that it wasn’t a lot bigger than my car (not that my visuospatial skills had the capacity at this point to recognize this until I was halfway into the spot though) but anyway, so I parked in ONLY 4 MINUTES (I know that might be a lot for most people, but for me that is pretty good) and started screaming and trying to high five myself YAY!! And then I told myself I was obnoxious…and then I told myself to shut up and just ’cause it’s true doesn’t mean you should say it…and this is why I need to sleep…

Sometimes people don’t respect my personal bubble…and I started considering creating a sign that said “Hi! I am a real girl. If you would like to talk please say hello to activate otherwise please turn around and stop staring.” Except then I realized that there are some people with whom I’d prefer not to have a conversation while studying…I also considered making the font really big and typing “like OMG there is like totally someone standing like INSIDE my personal bubble and it’s not just me.” But I realized that would be kinda rude and inappropriate so I didn’t…

I had a lot of things labeled at my apartment already, but I saw this thing on pinterest about how this person’s life felt so much more complete with a cereal bin and labels in the kitchen…so now most of my cereal is in a bin (which was dumb because it was a lot more useful when the bin was for frequently used items)…and the cheerios are now labeled “Original cheerios, AKA the bestest ever) and the oatmeal is labeled (almost) instant oatmeal. I’m not sure that my life feels any more complete than it did before…but hindsight is 20/20 so I can now see that a post it note would have been better than sharpie for the labels…

You know you’ve been working on a lot of computer and phone stuff when you try to use your finger on your paper to scroll down on the text…umm yeah, you’re going to have to pick up the paper and move it…

You know it is time to dump your pretend prescription from pharmaceutics when the formerly white like paper liquid has turned brown like steak…but it still smelled like grape which is better than I can say about the “prescription” second year that went bad.

Okay, and one last thing that is actually really serious rather than silly. Oh my…I am so over all the mommies and daddies who don’t want their special snoflach to be different than anyone else and/or don’t want to have to teach their child how to behave to stay safe. No, it is completely ridiculous to try to force an entire school or other group of people to be completely nut free because little Johnny can’t have peanuts so you don’t wanna teach him to keep his hand on his OWN lunch. So is your child’s health more important than the health of the rest of the group? There are some kids who are ultra picky eaters and they will go hungry without a peanut butter sandwich. I was one of those ultra picky kids, and for years at a time there would be only one thing I was willing to eat for lunch…maybe a few more foods I would eat at home for dinner, but take away that one food that was safe for me because it wasn’t safe for your kid and I would have gone hungry every day…also, in particular when the ban is on peanut butter, peanut butter is one of the cheapest sources of protein. Even if a kid isn’t picky, some families can’t always afford and/or don’t want to afford more expensive protein options. As a parent of an allergic kid you probably have noticed that allergen free food might be more expensive…well guess what, it isn’t just more expensive for you, it is more expensive even for the non-allergic people you are trying to force to buy it as well…Next argument: guess what, if we take away a certain food because little Johnny can’t have it then it isn’t very fair to have foods that little Susie and little Anna can’t have so I guess in addition to nuts we can’t have dairy, gluten, corn, soy, eggs, or fish either (you know, just a few of the other top allergens), oh and little Ellie’s parents subscribe to the whole food dyes and sugar cause behavior problems dealio so no food dye and no sugar either, and little Marcus has heart problems so no sodium…so umm, I guess sure, we can get rid of the foods some kids can’t have. I guess lunch has now been reduced to a bottle of water…have fun with that, kids! Oh wait, some people are allergic to water, I guess we can’t have sinks and toilets in schools either—those things have the dangerous water in them! Also, what happens to these kids grow up and are no longer in your little protective bubble and haven’t ever had to learn that there are some foods they can’t have?…okay…just had to get that out there, because I’ve seen so much lately about how dumb everyone is for not eliminating peanuts from the planet, because think about the kids! Well, I am thinking about the kids…I’m thinking about the vast majority of the kids and their families that you seem to think you child is more important than…guess what?! Your kid is special…just like everyone else!

Okay, one more semi-serious thing: You know you are an extravert when a good morning leads you to jumping up and down with excitement…so backstory: there is a certain person whom I decided I was going to try really hard to give a chance even though I kind of wanted to decide before I even met the person that I wasn’t going to like the person. So as soon as I encountered the person I tried to be friendly but not intrusive. On Friday, after a month of trying to be friendly I got a good morning! Day: made. Person finally made it out of limbo and onto my okay person list. (No, it’s not a physical list. That would be creepy).

Life Knocks Me Down I Won’t Stay Down

(Who you say you are–Britt Nicole)

Are allergies *really* that dangerous?

It is allergy season, and while itchy eyes and sneezing can be irritating, allergy can be much more.

Researchers have recently discovered that Major Depressive Disorder, MDD, was linked to excessive release of cytokines, substances that promote an immune reaction. In patients with MDD, stress elicits an immune reaction. 

This new understanding of the biologic basis of depression elucidates a novel approach to treatment. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize the cytokines the body erroneously releases was shown to effectively eliminate depressive symptoms.

It is significant to have the ability to effectively treat depression, because depression can create impulses similar to the urge to sneeze—patients are not thinking about alternatives, they just feel the need to sneeze—and that sneeze is suicide. They do not truly want to die.

We tend to put emphasis on the why. Why did the person die? But what we should be looking at is how. Similar to evidence from the British Coal-Gas Conversion, gun availability plays a crucial role. If the death had been an impulsive homicide, we would not question the importance of the how, yet when encountered with depression we seem to turn our focus from the how.

 How can we both recognize and treat allergies, and how can we prevent the death of those who slip through the cracks and feel the impulse to sneeze?

Want more information? See below for links to further information.

Open minds was created to spread awarenessOPM blog and stretch your perspective and understanding about a variety of topics. Open minds seeks to create an environment where everyone’s voice will be heard and respected. If you would like to contribute or have ideas or suggestions please comment below. Open minds would love to hear your commentary, and incorporate your suggestions or partner with you.

For more information on the research on the link between allergy and depression, click here!

For more information on how suicide is essentially a sneeze, click here!

For more information about suicide in general, and the British Coal-Gas Conversion, click here!

If you are in currently hurting or feel the impulse to sneeze, click here for anonymous online chat with a friendly, supportive operator between noon and midnight, or a number to call for help between midnight and noon.
These people do not judge, and you don’t need to tell them anything that doesn’t feel comfortable to you. They want to help you feel better regardless of what your concern is, big or small. They are trained to listen and help you through anything that is bothering you. If they are worried about your safety they may ask for more information about your location, but you do not need to answer if it doesn’t feel good to you.

Open Minds recently had a second meeting–if you were already on break check out the Open Minds blog to find out what we talked about!

(So this was supposed to be in an email to go out to my pharmacy school. Unfortunately, a certain someone was being this person’s usual self: power hungry and controlling and doing whatever possible to make my life miserable and shot it down, but no one can regulate what I post and share here, so here it is, moderately less well formatted, because formatting on wordpress is a LOT more difficult than on email, word, or blogger, and I am not great at it any of those places either–I tried out publisher for the first time last week because my email kept “helping me out” by re-formatting my email completely each time I opened it which was NOT helpful. Like usual it seems, the amount of time and effort I put in is inversely proportional to the positive results I obtain…but we can sometimes change that…and that’s where I need your help! No, I am not starting a petition.

Just watch me get more views on this post than I was ever going to get from an email…’cause we all know, many people would delete the email before even knowing what it was about and without even reading as far as the subject line regardless of how intriguing it may have been…so yeah…if you don’t mind, I’d love to see this post shared with everyone you know or even have never met before…’cause I am stubborn like that…you tell me it isn’t a message worth sharing and I’ll prove just how many people I can reach with it! You better believe if I am passionate telling me no will light a fire underneath my feet to press on harder towards what I want…life is not bad…I overheard some people having a conversation the other day and I was laughing so hard…Person 1: Do you have OCD? Person 2: just parts of it. Person 1: Just the O and the C? (and then later in the conversation Person 1 started talking about something I taught her last year and I was SO proud that the teeny tiny lesson I interjected that day apparently had some impact…spreading OCD awareness one little lesson at a time…)…so yeah…)

Would you still be mad at me when I give you part three of my confessions

(Confessions–Weird Al)

Confession: I used too much hand sanitizer on Monday. The social worker was bringing kids med bags back to the nurse, and there was a girl in there who couldn’t stop throwing up and it was so bad that she had peed herself because she was throwing up so much, and was really sick. The nurse said to just leave the bags at the desk and get out fast because she was trying to lysol the air while some people cleaned up, but didn’t want us to get sick. I was okay at first, but then the social worker just kept talking about it and talking about it almost nonstop for the next hour, and she also was still going in and out and interacting with the nurse and I started feeling a little stressed out, and I had sugar in my bag, but someone was on the phone with the door closed in the room my bag was in, so I really had no way to cope besides hand sanitizer, and over the course of about an hour I used it around 7 times. Per dipiro and my lecture notes, that is still a completely normal, non-disordered reaction, because there was a real or perceived stressor and my response lasted less than 2-3 weeks at around an hour before I was back to baseline (and just an aside, but I LOVE the hand sanitizer they had there…). Okay fine, five hours if you count possible residual symptoms like hesitating before putting my shoes in the bag with my towel, but it is hard to say whether that was anxiety-driven, or just my brain engaging enough to recognize that hey, this is a new white towel and your tennis shoes you’ve been wearing since high school…speaking of high school and shoes…I remember jumping over areas the carpet was wet a few times during the winter senior year, and I’ve been wondering if everyone does that, or if that was an excessive possible germ response back then due to believing the carpet was probs wet due to being cleaned after someone threw up. Anyway, because of my OCD history, it makes me nervous when things like that happen, which probably intensifies the reaction, because in addition to the initial stressor, I add on stress about the OCD coming back. So far, I definitely do not have a problem, but just like in September when I saw vomit in a bathroom and peaked at like a 1, more of that fear was probably coming from fear that the OCD was back rather than just because of the germs…Oh wow. Crazy to think about how a year ago I was usually closer to a 2 with minimal stressors at my apartment, and then I was able to see vomit and peak around a 1. Thank God. It definitely is only by his grace that I have overcome that fear.

I guess that tells me that it is time to work on not worrying about the OCD coming back, because if I only have two minor events over the course of 7 months and neither lasts even an entire day, then chances are I am pretty free, and can completely close the book on that chapter of my life; no more bookmark holding open the page in case it comes back. My intuition tells me that the social worker was also a bit freaked out about the situation considering that she started talking about it as soon as the door closed behind her and continued to bring it up beyond when it was relevant…constantly talking about it for an hour seems to me to be a sign that she, too, was a bit concerned, and she also used hand sanitizer multiple times. IDK I think it is good that I am aware of possible triggers and am vigilant to ensure OCD does not re-enter my life, but at the same time, I do not think it is the best response either to worry that OCD may be coming back every time that I have a normal fear response to a situation that reasonably should elicit such a response…all things in moderation…I am less than one year post-remission though, and from what I’ve read/heard, it sounds like relapse is most likely to occur within the first year, so maybe I give myself permission to continue to vigilantly watch for signs of relapse for the rest of the year, and at the one year mark stop and assume that I will know if things are getting bad before I am drowning in it.

Although, I suppose looking at that, another conclusion I should draw is that, when possible, sugar should be on my person so that I am not separated from it, because I am pretty sure I could have avoided the anxiety nearly completely if I’d had sugar as soon as I had a reasonable inkling that I might have a problem.

I am so used to spelling things wrong that I automatically correct myself….so I was taking notes a couple days ago and I corrected social anxiety to socail anixeyt…and this is why I will never be a good note-taker…

I love myself and am so thankful for my progress…I learned in the reading I should have done last week that I am more blessed than I ever knew to be completely free from social anxiety now…apparently, most pt can expect to always have more than minimal sx. As in, while they will get relief from nonpharm or pharm treatment, they will never experience remission in the truest sense of the term—they will always be symptomatic, but they will be more functional than they started…yet despite being nearly silent for a while, I am done done…I know pride comes before a fall, but I am really proud of my progress. I went from a girl who communicated through painstakingly written words to a girl who will talk your ear off if given the opportunity, and that is really incredible.

Further, I finally got to the last anx disorder I was supposed to read about, OCD, and discovered that it, too, is one that people are somewhat unlikely to truly experience remission (only 20% of patients experience remission though many of the rest are significantly relieved with partial resolution)…Wow…it makes me feel pretty excited that I could conquer two of the anxiety disorders that are least likely to go away…I serve a great God…I know on my own I can do nothing. While I was working really hard on my own to get there, it is completely in God’s hands both to give me the endurance to keep trying when I was so anxious and for me to ever see results from that effort.

Also, a few years ago someone suggested that I may have PTSD. At the time I was like NO WAY…I felt like that hugely exaggerated things (umm, and I was still living mainly in silence and the OCD hadn’t totally taken over my life yet, but it was lurking in the background)…for a while a bit over a year later I was willing to say yes, that might be a possibility…and now after reading about it I am back to not so much…dipiro does use DSM IV so it is a little outdated, but while looking solely at the symptoms the change of churches did cause a PTSD-like reaction, the very first requirement, trauma, is conspicuously absent…pretty sure no death or injury was going to occur to me or anyone else based on switching churches…just sayin’…

One thing that bother me though, is that while I really do not care one way or the other with diagnoses, it does bother me that the “official” diagnoses that I have came from someone who knew me about 10 minutes by the time he entered those diagnoses for me…besides the fact that at the time he was seeing me I doubt any of those diagnoses truly described me anymore, how the heck can you possibly accurately assess anyone in 10 minutes…I pretty much disregard the officiality of those dx seeing as how they seem less official to me considering the circumstances than the list of dx in my counseling files that may or may not have been discussed with me, and less official than the diagnoses that were talked about off-handedly in counseling…just sayin’…

Also, I decided for sure this morning that I have some kind of allergy…to what, I am not so sure, but considering that I left my apartment with just my eyes feeling itchy, walked to school, and arrived with my arms and legs red and itchy, but now, an hour after getting inside and wiping my skin with wet paper towel, I feel fine again…sounds like allergies to me…which also means that I was right last year I wasn’t getting a cold every Monday that magically went away by Sunday only to return again on Monday…(Hey, I am not stupid…it is just that Monday is also when I was usually doing exposure so it took a while to believe that wasn’t the cause of it…)