Monday, January 11, 2010

498. Annals of "Anatomy of The Bad Day Syndrome".... Pardon the Navel Gazing, but Everyone Has a Right to Vent! (Let's Start with Medical Drama!)

Even though I am at the celebration of the 500-mark for blogs (geez-louise! a symbol of being a writer addict, I suppose), I still have yet a blog devoted to the Anatomy of the Bad Day Syndrome... though I do have plenty of those during the quarter system, and honestly, I think everyone has them many of the times. So finally, I have a blog here, here... devoted to documentation of very bad days.... The goal is to collect masses and masses of data on bad days and devise some underlying theories as to why "bad days are defined as bad days."

These are my preliminary theories as to why "bad days are bad days." In short, "Something unexpected happened, it directly affected you, and things didn't go your way."

(1). Something unexpected happens in a day full of pre-determined plans, and you have not enough time, space, energy, and resources to adapt to this unexpectation even though you are on some form of time deadline. The result of unexpectedness lead to a perceived negative impact in your life.

(2). You are experiencing pain (physical and/or metaphysical, expected and/or unexpected), and you have to drop everything that you are doing in order to address that pain.

(3). You are forced to expose to your advisor/peers "all the things you are going to do for the quarter," and then you wonder whether you are actually going to DO them, and you feel like a hypocrite (The story of my life the last four years, eh? I'VE HAD ENOUGH OF THAT). I'm only happy showing people my TO-DONE LIST (or my finished project), rather than a TO-DO LIST (grant).

(4). Cars and traffic.
(4a). You get a parking ticket. By default... very very VERY... bad day.
(4b). You struggle with trying to find a parking spot for more than one hour of your life in any particular day (like in Los Angeles).
(4c). You struggle trying to get from Point A to Point B in southern California, and your mind is so numb from sitting in traffic for 2+ hours that you don't even know anymore that you are having a bad day.
(4c). Your car has a break-down at an unexpected place and time.

(5). Your computer (or other human-made gadget that you do not have enough knowledge to fix and control, like a copy machine) establishes a mind of its own, and acts at its own will, with great stubbornness.

(6). You throw off your routine metabolisms with (a) food (b) exercise (c) sleep (ignitions, sparks, to larger conflagrations, most of the time).

(7). You are feeling so overwhelmed with information, that you become paralyzed in mental and physical function, you can't move, and the only solutions are either (1) psychiatric (Ridlin, Prozac, etcetera) or (2) behavioral-environmental (change environment, "Screw you guys, I'm going home", go on leave of absence from school). Which is my state of mind right now.

(8). Some one close and dear to you is having a bad day (family, friends), and therefore they do the great service of dragging you down along with him or her (though you do drop all your stuff and obligations, and try to help them!).

**I'm sure I will keep accruing more liners for this list... at least TEN! There has to be at least TEN!

July 31, 2010 ~ The last 2-3 days have been psychologically brutal because ever since my exposure to Comic-con (at least ... and my personal epiphanies since this exposure), I have come to realize that my masterpiece of personal failure can be an ultimate masterpiece of complete success, when transferred to a different storytelling medium. Question Reality is a partially illustrated long-long-long story... Question Reality to an Ecopistemology graphic novel will become a conceptual, metaphysical exploration of the University Universe and human-environment relationships, from a conceptual level. Failure in one world leads to perceived complete success in another... and since this epiphany, I have come to feel like shxt because all these ideas (cartoon ideas, especially) that I left dormant inside me have just been pouring and barfing and pouring out, almost uncontrollably... and throughout the course of the last week, the most important thing I need right now is to get far away from the university, and cut strings attached for at least two quarters and a summer. Because I'm tired of being victim of Bad Day situation #3, how I always want to do things, but I'm strangled with distraction and never get anything done to my own personal satisfaction. Huh, Michel? Michel Gondry's first premise (or one of his firsts) are to START your project and FINISH what you have started. I'm tired, tired, tired of sitting on top of rubble!

So, what I did last night was sit down with Jules and compile all my thoughts and feelings about my aggregated pains and feelings about the subject and the need for leave of absence.... I wrote it down on a piece of paper, so that I don't think about it anymore, or if I have another idea, I place it there, and I talked with my father about it again... the joke, the cartoon becomes true... either the university, or the mental institute, or going home.... I had to explain to Jules a little bit of extra so he can understand why it has to be "medical" leave of absence, and not the other items on the graduate division form. One way or another, discussing this with my father and Jules has been painful process; my brain doesn't feel good... the feeling of heavy chains, I do say.... But one of the final things that I wrote on this special paper was... "Don't think about things that you don't have control over." Everyone is doing their own thing over the summer, so it's impossible to talk about the logistics of this move. After speaking with Oran, I think he will be understanding of this situation, but the main strategy for me is, "I will be on leave of absence, but everything I will be doing will be toward the Ph.D, except that I do not want to talk to anyone or think of anything of the university at this point."

July 31, 2010 (SchoolYear 2009-2010) ~ I'm not understanding why my brain is so hyperactive at this point. All these ghost memories of the past years are sprouting up in the landscapes when I drove by. I spent a week in Santa Barbara that I did not want to spend--I did not want to be there, period. I have been avoiding the place, despite its inherent beauty... the sorrow and the chains come from graduate school. And just a simple little thing... very simple... Wednesday morning I go to the skin doctor at UCSB Student Health, with Dr. Bagalio, and she gives me the low-down about my skin. I have accrued a series of discolorations (light-skinned blotches), but they are not going away. We discussed where they may have come from.... And then I theorized how they couldn't have been pimples, and most likely they are spider bites, because I live in three houses that are infested with spiders that replicate prolifically and don't pay rent (to our impoverished chagrin). But these scars have been there for so long! Dr. Bagalio discussed the presence of scars, light and dark blotches, sunspots, moles, freckles, is just a product of living a long time, and that's a normal process. The only times when I should be concerned are (1) when a blotch or mole grows and changes very fast over a short period of time and (2) if the blotch or pimple remains an open-wound. I looked at the gory Google Image pictures of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer, and then I realized... I seriously have nothing to worry about. I feel a lot more relieved about my skin spots, and apparently one of the "dark spots" I had on my skin peeled off today, how strange!
Before this appointment, I had an interesting conversation with a nurse who was gathering my "vital signs" aka "temperature, blood pressure, pulse, weight, and date of last period (for those female)." I told her how marine scientists are trying to figure out the "vital signs" or state of health of the ocean, in a hierarchical way, like five major measurements can lead to other forms of more detailed analyses *Sigh*

After reading this (if anyone does read this, ha ha), you'd think, awww... what is Victoria complaining about, a BENIGN experience at the UCSB Student Health Clinic! What is this girl in a panic about? Well, it's more so, how I have been mowed over the LAST YEAR! I have visited Student Health about 5-6 times the last year, completely unaccounted for... bad days, eh? Ya... For example, most recently I had an epic root canal done by Dr. Montgomery (I was in a dental chair for six hours total! and I crafted a piece of music in my head in the process). And before that, was a string of sporadic visits for various reasons... like a visit to deal with a foot fungal infection (bottom left foot only) with Dr. Sumner (I had to get a couple of creams, it was quick, dirty, boring meeting), the annual physical and pap smear (with Dr. Greenwald) as presently I have a regularly irregular period (e.g. I have 3/4 period for three days, and then a week later, I have the last 1/4 of the period), a quick visit with a nurse because I had skin blisters due to an infection from a band-aid (getting infected through the treatment, as usual, eh?),
and then I had an epic "surgery" and my first set of stitches on my head, working with Dr. Myra Howard. I could call that an unusual, day, potentially a "bad" day because I didn't know what to expect.


So the story goes, over the past year, I had discovered two moles on my head that I had never known about. The worst part is that the moles were rather huge and deep rooted. It's bizarre that these moles existed because they were buried in a very heavy set of hair. You'd think that moles would develop in regions of high sun exposure. I remember being fully conscious of them when I was traveling across Oregon flatlands on the 5 freeway and I had a long lecture from my sister Jenny on the phone and she was describing to me the warning signs of a malignant mole: Is it larger or smaller than 6mm? Is it asymmetrical or symmetrical? Does it have clear or vague borders? And does it consist of one color or two colors? Dr. Myra Howard (a rather pudgy, but a very hilarious, spunky doctor) was not too concerned, but since these moles were on my HEAD, and that they were rather voluminuous, I wanted them removed. "You're giving yourself a Christmas present! You are taking care of yourself!" Dr. Howard exclaimed, and yes I was. It was rather early in the morning I ventured to the doctor's office, and Dr. Howard and her assistant were in very chipper, entertaining moods. Dr. Howard explained how she had this device that was going to create little holes in my head as if we were creating little holes for golf balls to fall in at golf courses (like what Bill Murray was going in Caddyshack).

And instead of being some kind of woosy academic who couldn't stand blood and guts (like a previous history major she had), I ended up asking Dr. Howard tons of questions about what she was doing and how she was proceeding, and why (I'm always curious... I always look at my life as some form of scientific experiment, including the uncontrollable operations of my own body)... and honestly she and her assistant appreciated me as I appreciated them, and we were so into the whole surgery (I mean, we were having fun!) that Dr. Howard's assistant took pictures and video of my surgery on my cell phone (see above!), just so we could document and I had a visual keepsake of my Christmas present to myself, and I could see what the hxck they were doing. Even though the skin punctures were fairly small, my hair was a bloody mess (also full of antiseptic and anti-bacterial fluids) I didn't touch my hair (for considering in washing it) until a week later... so of course, I loyally wore my beanie for quite a while so that folks at school did not see the surgical mess.

I wish I recorded the experience on the spot, because the three of us in this surgery were a comedy routine, and we had great fun.... A week later, I visited Dr. Howard so she could remove the stitches, and contrastingly she was quite sullen, and stated that she (of all people) was suffering from depression, and based on our experiences last week, that seemed to make no sense. I think that was the third time I visited Dr. Howard (I saw her one time during the 2008-2009 school year). It is the most wonderful, most pleasant experience to be caught in the middle of an in situ, impromptu comedy routine. I do indeed, cherish this moment, rare moments like these, indeed. So, in short, the ANTICIPATION of the surgery marked the notion of "bad day," but after the surgery was over, I think I handled the day much better, such that all "unknowns" were erased from my head.

1 comment:

Victoria "Stokastika" said...

Two more reasons why and how to have a bad day: (1) getting stopped by a police officer and having the transaction not swing toward your direction... getting tickets, going to jail, etcetera (2) Being involved in an unexpected disaster, "natural" or "human-induced..." It's not a Bad Day... it's more like a Shock Day... See the Shock Doctrine!