Thank you to everybody who submitted a mustache pic in show of support for the Movember effort. Even if you didn’t donate anything, the fact that you sported a lip brow and snapped a few pic shows that you’re willing to play a role. I dig that. And because you people are cool like that, I’m now going to live up to my end up the deal: The Giveaway!
Even if you didn’t enter into the drawing, click the video below for a little bit of fun video entertainment this Saturday morning to find out who the winners are.
Movember Mug Giveaway Winners:
More Movember Contests and Giveaways:
I’m sad to announce that The Official Sleep Deprivation Challenge is now officially over. Put down your Pom-poms and exit the bleachers in a single file line. [Insert distraught emoticon face.]
At approximately the 120 hour mark of the competition, I face planted into a bowl of macaroni salad and woke up six days later to a beard, dozens of misc. stains on the upholstery, a roof full of mortar shell debris, a bathtub full of jelly beans (?), and a fucking cat that apparently lives here now (cat story coming soon).
My brain shut down after Day 2 of the challenge, making it difficult to write anything down other than “dur…” But, by the power of Zues, I somehow managed to keep a daily log.
Here are a few entries from the remainder of the challenge: Continue reading
**Part One and Two can be found here: Chowderhead’s Official Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge. and here: Sleep Deprivation Olympic Challenge: Day 1 Results
Day 2 Recap: Fear and Loathing at the Local Laundromat
I spent the first few early morning hours at some dirty laundromat around the corner, glazed over, watching a pack of wild goobers meticulously folding their yellowed whites.
At one point, the Chowderhead at the front counter started to get lippy with me after I expressed my concerns over the excessive lint piles that, in my opinion, should be periodically swept from the folding tables.
I made a very dry remark about her missing front tooth after she refused to acknowledge my request, and the next thing I recall was a sort of white flash – like a computer rebooting – and myself on all fours, on the floor, staring at the tooth that had been forcefully removed from my head.
Luckily, for the sake of this experiment, I didn’t completely blackout. Continue reading
**Disclaimer: Do not try this at home, dummy.
After submitting countless applications to participate in one of those paid studies in which the white-robed, clipboard-carrying people tie you up to a bunch of electrode-thingies and tape your eyes open for days on end, I was unfortunately denied, repeatedly, and labeled an unqualified candidate because of my excessive use of the word, fuck.
I’m slightly offended and deeply troubled that I will not be receiving any monetary rewards. However, I will not be denied the experience.
Because of this recent turn of events, and because I have nothing better to do, I’ve decided to conduct my very own, very informal, very unprofessional, and obviously, very stupid experiment, in which I will willingly subject myself to a semi-thorough, unsupervised sleep study.
My goal is to tie or break the current word record of 18 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes without sleep. I will report back with my findings.
Here’s some scientific crap about sleep:
-According to most academic journals, the human body requires anywhere from 6 to 10 hours of sleep per night. (6 hours my ass!)
- Seventeen hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol-level of 0.05%. (That means that in three weeks I will feel like I drank a cement truck full of beer in approximately ten minutes.)
- It’s impossible to tell if someone is really awake without close medical supervision. People can take cat naps with their eyes open without even being aware of it. (Becca does that)
I’m not a medical professional. The views and opinions expressed within this article should not be confused with medical advice, or a replacement for it. Consult only your doctor for medical advice. I’m here to share a story and an opinion. Don’t sue me.
I was recently invited to write a guest post on Black Box Warnings, and asked to share my opinion on medications used for treating Anxiety disorders. I encourage you to read the following article. I know it’s kind of long but it has a very positive message. (I know)
Consider it one of my gifts to you for the holidays. [Insert smart-ass grin emoticon]
The Fruitless Pursuit of a Permanent Fix
Those that deal with Anxiety and/or Depression are already aware of the feelings of desperation that accompany the two conditions. There’s no sense going into details. The bottom line is that both can have a serious impact on an otherwise happy and productive life if gone untreated.
I’ve dealt with both for the majority of my life, but there was a point when I didn’t really know anything about either condition. All I knew was that there was something wrong with me and that I needed to have it fixed.
About eight years ago I learned about Anxiety and Depression after meeting with my
drug dealer Doctor. I was relieved to find out that all of the symptoms that I was describing had a name; but more importantly, relieved to know that there were treatment options available.
All of the things that were happening to me were easily explained by a chemical imbalance in my brain. It sounded like a reasonable enough explanation to me at the time.
Obviously, brains have chemicals. Imbalanced Chemicals = Anxiety. Sounds logical?
I didn’t feel the need to start debating brain chemical theories and what constitutes a balanced set of them. I just wanted my life back. I trusted my Doctor. After all, his background was in Medicine. Mine was in Deceptive Advertising. He knows how brains work, and I know how to manipulate people into buying things…
…Looking back, maybe he had a background in Marketing, too?
I’d left the office that day with a vague understanding of my condition(s), as well as a couple prescriptions for medications to treat both individually.
I began taking the daily Anxiety medication immediately, but decided to handle the Depression on my own. It seemed to be the answer to my problems. Life returned to normal for awhile. I started dating again, socializing more, and stopped flaking out at work and school. Problem solved?
Over the course of the first year however, I noticed that the drug was starting to wear off and became less effective. I found myself back in the Doctor’s office with the same complaints. The solution: double the dosage. It was time for a brain chemical overhaul!
It was at that point that the side effects of the medication became really noticeable. I didn’t feel like me anymore. Sometimes it felt like I didn’t have the ability to produce certain types of emotions. I could remember the emotions, but I couldn’t actually produce them. I felt disconnected; sedate. The so-called “highs” didn’t really exist anymore. That’s when I started to ask myself questions like: Was this really the solution? Am I truly chemically imbalanced?
After about a year and a half I decided to stop taking the drug. I went back to my Doctor and he explained how easy it was to get off the drug: gradually reduce the dose each day for one week. At the end of the week, stop taking it.
I found myself in front of a Pharmacist a week later, jittering off questions about why I was experiencing a complete nervous meltdown after the “weaning period”. That’s when I learned that a week isn’t enough time to taper off a long-term pill regiment. I went back on the meds long enough to level my head, and then gradual tapered off the drug over the course of the next month.
After I got off the medication my original problems returned tenfold. It was unbearable. Every day it felt like I was on eight cups of dark roast coffee, and my mind wouldn’t turn off. Every single morbid, fucked up thought that I could possibly imagine was running through my head – all of them simultaneously.
I also remember getting these weird electrical sensations inside my head. It almost felt like my internal computer was re-booting. It was a quick flash of weirdness and an extremely unsettling feeling.
During that period was when I experienced my first Panic Attack. What fun!
At that point, no matter what I tried I just couldn’t seem to get a grip. It felt like I was completely out of control of my body and mind, and I didn’t know what was causing it, or how to stop it. Within a few short months I was at my wits end. I decided to get help from somewhere else.
And How Does That Make You Feel?
There are a lot of misconceptions about therapy. From my experience none of them are true. Going to a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy, and I’ve never witnessed or heard of anyone being strapped into a straight-jacket and wheeled to the nearest Psych Ward after a visit to one. To my knowledge they don’t do the foam baseball bat thing either. Bummer.
I will say however, that there’s nothing more uncomfortable than the first few visits with a therapist. Well, maybe a prostate exam. Spilling your guts to a complete stranger about all of your darkest personal matters takes some getting used to. But, it doesn’t take long to establish a personal relationship with one – and he doesn’t have to put a lubricated finger up your ass in order for that to happen, either.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy covers a lot of ground. For me, the experience was about becoming aware of my self-destructive thoughts, and finding ways to change those negative thoughts into positive actions.
Each visit was full of introspective dialogue. It’s definitely challenging at times, and some days were harder than others. I realized that it takes a lot of balls to look deep inside, and that addressing your issues is a lot harder than pretending they don’t exist.
During that span I learned a lot about myself on that familiar brown leather sofa. I discovered so much that was hidden deep — things that I’d repressed, things that I wanted to forget about, and things that I didn’t even know existed.
The most important thing that I discovered?
All of this stuff couldn’t be fixed by a pill.
Medicine wasn’t the cure-all that I thought it was supposed to be. It didn’t solve my problems or help me to understand what had caused them; it was only a band-aid. All it did was cover up the symptoms that my unaddressed issues were not only creating, but continued to create.
Without therapy I would have never noticed all of the life-sucking vampires I’d surrounded myself with, nor would I have realized that I was living my life for the benefit of everyone else but me. I would have never learned about the importance of loving myself unconditionally, and I would have never realized that “What we think, we become.”
I know what you might be thinking right now: “Sounds like a bunch of phony bullshit to me.”
If that’s in fact what you were thinking, then you might be a good candidate yourself, Negative Nancy…
My thoughts on Medication?
I don’t think a vague label like “chemically imbalanced” really says a whole lot. It doesn’t address the individual or the underlying cause. I’m even starting to wonder if a lot of the conditions that are being diagnosed are really medical problems at all?
Maybe we need to question the pace that we’re living our lives at, and learn to identify the kinds of people and things that are toxic to our well being Maybe we need to learn how to be more accepting of ourselves and others, and learn how to be more responsible for our thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
I believe these things are all part of the epidemic *chemical imbalance* problem in our society. A lot of the time they’re never even addressed.
I’m not denying the fact that mental illness exists. I’m also not denying that some medications may be required for brain-related conditions. I am stating however, that I think we’re being over-prescribed, and needlessly diagnosed with conditions that might just be a product of the high stress, fast-paced, unforgiving, and highly competitive world that we live in today.
The reality of it is that therapy didn’t make my life problems go away. But, it did help me to become aware of them, as well as learn how to better manage them.
Truthfully, some days still suck. Some days I’m still a nervous wreck. Some days I still doubt my abilities. And some days I still feel hopeless about the future.…
…but life isn’t perfect. And that’s just the way it is.
At least I’m comfortable admitting it now. And whenever things aren’t going the way that I’d like them to go, I try my best to force a smile and say to myself:
Some days are just better than others…
- [Happy] Blogging
- Anxious? 4 Examples of Anxiety Treaments that Calm Nerves (psychologytoday.com)
- A Note About Anxiety (notadietstory.wordpress.com)
- Is Medication For An Anxiety Disorder Necessary? (drronglassman.wordpress.com)
It dawned on me the other day that sustaining an audience through weekly, incessant ranting might not be a good long-term concept. Not that I don’t enjoy bashing trends, or whining about trivial stuff, but it gets old — even for me. Does this mean the end of My Right to Bitch? Yeah right. I think it’s just time to add a few more ingredients to the salad bowl and mix things up a bit. I have too much to talk about that doesn’t revolve around pissing and moaning all the time – at least that’s what my therapist says.
Speaking of expensive health services, I visited my chiropractor today for the first time in a few months. All of this blogging has become a real pain in the neck (pun intended). Sitting for extended periods of time does a real number on the body, so I decided to pop in for a much needed re-alignment.
If you’re not familiar with what Chiropractic is, let me break it down for you…
The Chiropractic Experience
In a nutshell, Chiropractic is basically the science of twisting bones and joints in ways that they weren’t intended to move. Each visit brings a sampling of medical wrestling techniques designed to measure your tolerance for pain, as well as how easily you cry.
When visiting a clinic for the first time, the same initial protocol takes place as with any other doctor. You’ll typically spend a half-hour filling out a phone book-sized stack of forms highlighting your aches and pains. After that, prepare to spend another half-hour waiting in a room full of other decrepit people, anxiously listening to cries of agony coming from the occupied rooms. Don’t run.
Right before you’re about to fall asleep, the doctor will call you in for spinal x-rays. After the pictures are developed, they are then placed on a lighted board, which makes it easier for them to point out the problem areas, as well as the faint outline of your crotchal region. From there a diagnosis is made, and the real fun begins shortly after.
There are several procedures throughout the visit. The first set of bone manipulations begin with the patient laying face down on a table that’s supported by impact springs. The springs are meant to absorb the large amounts of force being driven into your spine from a defenseless position. Climbing aboard and riding the table of death to the horizontal position is the only fun part. After the elevator ride, the patient then grasps the “oh shit” bars below, while the doctor proceeds with a series of pile driver-like moves, causing your spine to briefly meet with the inside of your sternum.
Sternum: “Well hello there, Spine!”
Spine: “Gotta run. I’ll drop by next week.”
High Velocity Maneuvers
Some practices use adjustment techniques called High Velocity (movements), which look and feel similar to what Steven Seagal does to the bad guys in a lot of his movies. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly the same technique. While the patient is seated in a chair, the doctor silently approaches from behind, and when least expecting, violently twists the head of his victim — far enough for the person to momentarily view their own back. If it sounds painful, that’s because it is.
I nicknamed my doctor “the hammer”, because he does to his patients what Gallagher does to watermelons. On top of being medically-aggressive he’s also 300lbs – I’m not exaggerating. The guy is built like a dump truck, and likes to use me as a guinea pig for all of the new karate moves he learns at conventions. One of his newest techniques involves grabbing a hold of the skull, and forcefully extracting the patient’s head from his body cavity like a reverse-battering ram. It’s kind of like tying one end of a rope to a door knob, and the other end to a pick-up truck. Just for grins, I decided to measure myself before a visit. Surprisingly enough, I grew two inches after the adjustment.
And I’m not supposed to crack my knuckles?
It’s important to note that if you’re considering visiting one, be mindful of what you eat beforehand. For example, a stuffed bean burrito would be a poor choice of meals. The reason is self explanatory. When someone is jumping from the top turnbuckle onto your intestinal region, it’s unlikely your sphincter will maintain its gassy parts. Each visit brings with it the potential for becoming a human whoopee cushion. Many have fallen victim – myself included.
Right now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Why the hell do you bother going?” The answer is simple; it’s a life-saver for me. Most people don’t realize that all of the organ systems are connected to the spine. Even a minor subluxation can cause a body system to function improperly. I was extremely leery about it before I started visiting one, but haven’t looked back sense. If you’re considering it, do your homework first and find a good one. You won’t regret it –
What are your thoughts on Chiropractic — believer or skeptic?
**Please share your funny stories **
-Happy Blogging, ya wimpy Bitchers!
- Dr. Ben Altadonna Announces New Information to Help Doctors of Chiropractic Eliminate The Skepticism of Chiropractors and Chiropractic (prweb.com)
- Warwick, Seagal among those who owe Calif. taxes (cnsnews.com)
- Steven Seagal, Dionne Warwick make list of biggest tax scofflaws in California (cbsnews.com)