Why can’t David Tennant be my doctor?

Image

This week hasn’t been what one would call the best week ever. I watched Rose’s last episode on Doctor Who which made me feel empty inside. Boyfriend tells me I will like the new companion but so far the only cool thing she has done was quote Harry Potter, and I mean yeah that’s a good laugh but you have to try harder than that, New Companion Who Shall Not Be Named. There’s just no way you can be as awesome as Rose. Nope. Never. Oh yeah, I also fell and beat the crap out of myself.

So there I am, head all banged up and wrist all destroyed, ready to go to work. But then Boyfriend does that thing where he guilts me into going to the hospital. Because my idea of a fun day is definitely sitting in that god forsaken emergency room again. If you didn’t read that last sentence with an air of sarcasm, please go back and read it appropriately this time. Suddenly the idea of watching David Tenant frolicking around with this new Rebound Companion doesn’t seem that bad. I’d take back all of those eye rolls and audible sighs while watching Rebound Companion run around in her burgundy leather jacket trying to get the Doctor to bang her. I’d take it all back if it meant not having to spend one more wretched day at that decrepit hospital.

But of course I am not a Time Lord so I can’t do that. I must suffer the fate that is the Newfoundland health care system.

So I call the cab and this time when the cab driver asks me why I’m going to the hospital I tell him I’m visiting someone, which I’m sure he doesn’t believe because I’m nursing my arm and then using my teeth to unzip my pocket to get my money out. But I act as if that’s a normal way to get money out of your pocket and then I go through the main entrance because that’s a normal thing to do when you’re visiting someone in the hospital and when the cab driver drives away I slip back outside and enter the emergency department doors. I’m so stealthy I could be on Alias!

Barely a soul waiting inside. Jackpot!

We all know the drill by now. I check in, make an awkward joke, awkwardly laugh alone at my own joke, sit down and wait.
This time I am sitting next to a man who must have smoked 3 packs of cigarettes outside before coming in, or maybe works on a tobacco farm even though I don’t think Newfoundland provides the proper climate for such a thing. I put my sweater up around my mouth and nose in that annoying “I can’t believe you smell like cigarette smoke I am so much better than you” way. On my other side is a woman, mid 40′s, low waisted, so-tight-they-must-be-painted-on skinny jeans, reading a Twilight book. She keeps sighing really loud and I can’t tell if it’s from pain, boredom or the fact that she’s reading a Twilight book. Then she starts turning towards me like she’s trying to get my attention. I think she wants to talk to me. I think she wants to tell me why she’s at the hospital. I play the scenario out in my head to figure out which non-English language I should pretend that I speak. But just incase she is trilingual and catches me in the lie, I instead choose to start hitting buttons on my phone to make it look like I am doing something very important, way more important than finding out about her life. I’m really just playing Bejeweled Blitz, but what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. She keeps sighing and turning to me and I keep burying my head further in my iphone. I only come up for air every five minutes or so to look at my reflection in the window. I’m having a good hair day.

Apparently when you tell a nurse that you fell and hurt your head but you know you don’t have a concussion and that you also hurt your wrist but you can almost 100% guarantee that it isn’t broken, you aren’t very high on the priority list at the emergency department. There are five patients waiting to be seen and each one is being called in before me. As each name is called the hatred within me grows tenfold. Why do they get to go to the Eden behind those automatic sliding doors before me? I curse their names. They have won this time! I think to myself.

And I’m so bored that I begin to formulate a theory in my head while playing Bejeweled Blitz. I call it “Like Lord of the Flies but for Hospitals and not Islands.”  I start thinking about that unspoken hierarchy that exists only in an emergency room, how backwards life is beyond these double doors marked ER. When you’re sitting there with internal bleeding waiting to be seen by a doctor and someone comes in with a cold or a sprained thumb or something equally wussy, you secretly feel superior to them, knowing you will be seen before them. It’s like you are winning some sort of competition. In regular society you would consider the fact that you are bleeding internally to be somewhat of a downfall, but the rules of society crumble away when you’re sitting in the emergency department (the rules of society crumbling part is the only thing that makes this anything like Lord of the Flies). The man-made construct of time slips from your mental grasp, the idea of helping your neighbour loses out to your desire to be seen by a damn doctor already. In that rare instance when the triage nurse assesses you and immediately takes you behind the magical automatic sliding doors without you having to wait for your name to be called you just feel like King of the Castle. You just want to rub it in the faces of every flu-riddled person sitting there who will be waiting another eight hours for their antibiotics. YOU HAVE WON THIS ROUND!

Then that leads me to think about how walk in clinics are great because sometimes you just can’t get in to see your family doctor for seven months and you don’t want to go to the emergency department because it’s not an emergency in relation to a heart attack but maybe it happens during a time when the walk in clinic isn’t open so that kind of sucks and puts you in a tough spot. So I decide that next to the Emergency Department in a hospital there should be a 24 hour walk in clinic for urinary tract infections and sprained wrists called the Not Quite An Emergency Department. That would probably catch on really quick. Oh God I can only imagine the wait time in that department though. You could probably watch all six seasons of Lost before you get your penicilin script.

Formulating these theories and groundbreaking ideas only takes about ten minutes of my time so I go back to playing Bejeweled Blitz to occupy myself. And just when I’m about to cash in all of my coins for a rare Ruby gem it happens. My name is called. I want to turn and look at the faces of all those who remain, just to boast a little that my hospital visit is almost over and soon I can breathe the fresh air again, but then I am reminded that there is no one else. I have lost this time. Apparently seniority means nothing anymore.

So I’m brought back behind the doors and shoved into a freezing cold room and told to sit in a plastic chair until the doctor comes. I still feel slightly euphoric from the victory that is having my name called by a nurse. My own bed and my own Netflix are only about twenty minutes away now, I reassure myself. So I sit and I wait. And I wait. And then a creepy looking old man in a wheelchair who occupies the room across from mine wheels up to the edge of my door and parks himself. He just sits there staring at me. I feel uncomfortable so I do what I do best: avoid him. I pull out my phone and play bejeweled blitz again. He starts talking to me in a low, mumbly voice and I’m so terrified at the thought of having a conversation with him that I immediately pretend I am sleeping. He stays there for another hour. That’s how long it takes the doctor to find me. I just assume she was lost.

She checks my head and x-rays my arm and then tells me I still have a sinus infection (3 months and counting!) and that I just gave myself a bad sprain and she bandages up my wrist. She tells me I am not allowed to lift weights for 3-4 weeks. I pretend that is upsetting news for me.

I go home and get back in bed with my heating pad and watch more Doctor Who. I immediately forget about my aforementioned plea regarding a truce with the new companion and once again I’m sitting there rolling my eyes at her antics and wishing Rose would come back. I’m only a few episodes away from her departure though. Ugh, I could be on to the next companion already if I didn’t waste my time in the ER.

The next time I end up back at the hospital with something stupid like a sprained wrist I swear I’m going to fake cry in the triage station and declare that it isn’t humanly possible to be in as much pain as I am. I need to get through those automatic sliding doors faster and re-assert myself as King. I can’t have such trivial things as hospital visits eating into my Netflix time.

 

 

Lisa Tries New Things!

Image

I’m going to try something new, besties. I was thinking about branching off and creating a separate blog called “Lisa Tries New Things” where I can publish all of my posts about the exciting and fun new things that I try, but Boyfriend told me I should keep it all here on Damsel because I’ve worked so hard to get the amazeballs following that I have. And like almost always, Boyfriend is right, so I will incorporate Lisa Tries New Things into my Damsel blog and see how that goes. So when it’s a post about a new adventure (like my previous hot yoga post) or a new and probably disgusting sushi dish that I’ve tried, I will use my Lisa Tries New Things header for it. Don’t worry though, I will still post about embarrassing hospital visits. I know those are your favourite.

Anywho, here is the premise for my Lisa Tries New Things posts:

As you can probably tell because you know an awful lot about me by now, up until recently my idea of being adventurous was to sign in to Netflix on a Friday night and watch some kind of rock climbing thriller in my North Face sweater, or maybe go to a cafe and suffer through a greek salad just to boast about how varied my diet is. There was a period of a few months where I traveled for work and did some awesome things I never thought I would do (tripping up in front of Philip Seymour Hoffman on the Empire State Building being the example that always comes to mind) and that got me thinking that this whole being adventurous thing is actually fun and I need to do more of it. I thought I would have to travel to have those adventures but then I realized there are a trillion (huge exaggeration) things here in St. John’s, Newfoundland that I still haven’t tried out yet. So these posts will be my adventure chronicles. You can look forward to such things as:

-Lisa trying sushi
-Lisa trying hot yoga (done and done)
-Lisa trying lukewarm yoga
-Lisa trying wall climbing
-Lisa trying pottery class
-Lisa trying not to die while zip lining
-Lisa trying to stay awake past 10 pm

and so much more!

I will try a bunch of things that take me out of my comfort zone (which is a fancy way of saying off my couch and heating pad).

I am also up for suggestions from local followers about things for me to try in St. John’s. Heck, tell me about things in other parts of Newfoundland and maybe I will get off my ass and go there!

As some scholars would say: yolo.

And I will now leave you with a clip from one of the greatest, most underrated movies of our time that has nothing to do with anything I just wrote about:

Is it possible to sweat to death? (The one where I do hot yoga)

cropped-lisatriesnewthings

 

So this blog is basically a fitness blog now. This is my third post about working out so I think it’s safe to just go ahead and classify this as a Sports & Fitness Blog and you might as well just start calling me Jillian Michaels now. That is, of course, if a fitness blog can also be a chocolate blog (oh my god a blog made of chocolate would be delicious) and if Jillian Michaels blacks out during hot yoga and thinks about cupcakes while doing the mountain pose.

Last week my friend Pam told me I just have to try hot yoga. She has been going for awhile now and knows that it would probably help with my stiff muscles and maybe keep my anxiety levels down to a consistent 8/10 instead of 15/10. One summer a few years ago I did the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown dvd so if anyone ever asks I tell them I’ve been doing yoga for years and that I’m pretty good at it. Realistically I’m as flexible as a cadaver and use my yoga mat as a prop to keep my bedroom door closed because the knob doesn’t latch. But as soon as Pam mentioned hot yoga to me I started daydreaming about myself in this yoga studio wearing the coolest yoga pants that accentuate all the right curves and maybe a yoga crop top to show off my rock hard abs that I got from doing so much yoga. And DayDream Lisa was all smiles and felt such inner peace and just looked so damn sexy in her yoga gear (which lets face it, is the most important reason to do yoga) and people looked at her while she walked down Duckworth Street and they said “damn, I want to be like that girl.” And then she would go to India to study the practice and come back and open her own studio and work her own hours and make enough money to buy that cute row house she saw on kijiji.

So naturally I went online and signed up for a month of unlimited hot yoga classes. Finally! a reason to own ten pairs of yoga pants! Before now I just wore them during big meals because of the elastic waist band.

The next day I showed up to the yoga studio. I walked in and immediately felt anxious. My Blundstone boots were identical to the other fifteen pairs of Blundstone boots. WHAT IF SOME YOGI LEFT WITH MY BOOTS?! I wondered if maybe it would be okay for me to do hot yoga in my boots so I could guarantee no one else would put their sweaty yoga feet into mine. A girl whispered to me that I shouldn’t worry, no one would steal my boots, so I pretended to laugh and act like that was some sort of joke to me so I could seem like a normal human and then I hid my boots in the corner. I got signed up and a nice woman told me if I become overwhelmed to just lay back on the mat and focus on my breathing and then Pam showed me to the change room. I almost knocked over a picture with my gym bag and then I hit a woman with it as I turned the corner to the change room. It was becoming apparent to me that the expertly trained graceful yogi Lisa from my daydreams probably wouldn’t present herself in today’s class.

Women were changing in front of me so naturally I bundled up my yoga clothes and went to a back corner to hide while changing. Then I followed Pam into the studio. It felt like I went from St. John’s to the hottest day in Africa when I stepped in the room. “I might die,” I thought to myself. I couldn’t say it out loud because silence is a blessing and speaking is frowned upon in hot yoga. Which I found very difficult, because there’s nothing I love more than making sarcastic remarks about something that other people are passionate about.

I set up my yoga mat and placed my giant beach towel in a bundle next to my mat. Everyone else had fancy hot yoga towels laid on top of their mats and I scoffed at this. Certainly you wouldn’t need a special towel for your mat. They also had small hand towels for their sweat. So naturally I bring a giant beach towel with me. Everyone was laying down and closing their eyes so I did the same.

“This isn’t so hard!” I thought. And then I started sweating profusely. It’s like a porous levee broke within my skin and every ounce of water in my body wanted to hang out on my yoga mat with me. And then the instructor came in to start class.

I did great at first, aside from sweating enough to open my own indoor swimming pool. I went through mountain pose and put my hands at my heart centre and other zen-like things that made me feel like maybe I would be perfect at being Buddhist.

Then we had to do a downward dog. My downward dog was the kind of dog that would never be adopted because he’s really old and has a severe form of hip dysplasia. I quickly gave up on the idea of looking like a graceful yoga expert and just focused on the idea of surviving the hour long class with use of all four limbs at the end. I began slipping on the puddles of sweat and losing my balance and then my face got so sweaty that my glasses fell into the puddle of sweat on my mat. “HOW DO HUMAN BEINGS DO THIS?!” I wondered.

Image

Downward Dog was basically the beginning of my downward spiral. After “walking my feet to my hands” and trying to return to mountain pose I blacked out and instead of focusing on my breathing had to focus on my ability to stay conscious. Counting our breaths to 4 turned into me repeating “Do not make a fool of yourself do not make a fool of yourself do not make a fool of yourself.”

Everyone around me was so flexible and so good at controlling their breathing that their exhalations kind of scared me because they were so loud. They all looked like Lululemon models and when they did cobra pose my god I could actually mistake them for a cobra. My cobra looked more like this:

Image

During almost every move my hands would slip from all the sweat. Pieces of dirt from my yoga mat were now a part of my skin. My hair was so sweaty and disheveled that with each pose I looked more and more like the creepy girl from The Ring. Everyone around me looked like they were filming some episode of Baywatch and had someone spray a gentle mist of water over them to give them the “just out of the water” look. I looked like I was hanging out in a monsoon.

Pam kept watching me to make sure I didn’t pass out. She suspected that would happen. Luckily I managed to go the whole class without losing consciousness.

And do you want to know what the most difficult pose was? At the end during the cool down she asked us to “just sit up straight, whichever way is comfortable for you.” It wasn’t even a real yoga pose. It was just SITTING UP and I almost fell over ten times. I wished I had brought my dog pillow to prop me up.

I survived. It was touch and go for awhile but I survived. Luckily someone was blocking my view of myself in the mirror. I’m not sure how long it would take me to get over seeing myself attempting to do hot yoga. I wish I could do something for everyone in the studio who had to watch me do it. Maybe give them a sympathy hug or a gift card to Lululemon.

And as terrible as all that sounds, I left the studio feeling awesome. Maybe I re-evaluated my dream of becoming a famous yoga practicer with my own studio, but I felt calm and proud of myself. No one stole my Blundstones and I walked outside feeling like a new person. I did pretend for a few minutes that I was a yoga expert. I walked around with my yoga mat and assumed everyone was jealous of me because I obviously have my life together if I’m taking time out of my busy schedule to focus on my health and mental wellness. I’d be jealous of me too.

And then I went to the mall to buy a towel for my yoga mat so I won’t have to swim in my own sweat anymore. And then I went home, got in bed, and ate a box of chocolates. I figure if I do hot yoga 3 times a week I will sweat about 40 pounds off in a month. That leaves so much more room for extra chocolate!

If you happen to be as adventerous as I am and want to try out hot yoga please read these easy to follow tips:

1. Drink LOTS of water throughout the day. By drinking lots of water before and after class it will help you with these things: staying alive, not fainting during class, not having insane muscle cramps that make you contemplate chopping off your leg. It isn’t enough to just drink lots during class. You are supposed to only take small sips of water during hot yoga.

2. Invest in a hot yoga towel. Do I really need to explain this tip? You heard my story about the indoor swimming pool. You can seriously slip and break something. Plus it’s just plain disgusting.

3. Wear clothes that you are comfortable sweating profusely in. I know you may not be used to looking through your closet and thinking “how would this look and feel on me soaking wet?” but it’s something you need to consider. Try to avoid wearing a white t-shirt without a bra.

4. Don’t be afraid to sprawl out on the floor like a corpse if you get overwhelmed. People don’t even judge you! It’s actually a very safe place to be yourself. No one even made fun of me for looking like the girl from The Ring or for resembling an arthritic dog.

5. Don’t eat a big meal before hot yoga class. You have to do lots of strange body twists (think The Exorcist) and that might just make you want to puke everywhere. I’m not sure how judgment free everyone would be if you threw up all over them.

I assume I have now inspired all of you reading this to go try hot yoga. If you do try it or are already a practicing yoga player comment here and let me know what you think! Maybe you even have a few tips to add to the list!

I’m really lucky I didn’t grow up to be a serial arsonist.

If you are ever feeling unsure about how successful you have become or perhaps you are a little disappointed in the things you have accomplished by the age of 25, I highly recommend finding a journal you wrote in grade one. You will go from feeling like a lazy screw up to the most successful 25 year old in the world after reading your grade one journal. Need proof?

Meet 6-year-old-Lisa:

555586_10151068336781543_1399779250_n

What sorts of things does 6-year-old-Lisa like?

404122_10151068475096543_2029107772_n

6-year-old-Lisa likes TV. Well maybe that’s a bad start…because not much has changed there. Let’s see what else 6-year-old-Lisa likes.

394538_10151068439291543_1226551447_n

6-year-old-Lisa likes to watch Power Rangers. I guess we can’t really blame her for that one.

373954_10151068440361543_1425617386_n

Okay more specifically she likes the Black Power Ranger. Obviously she would like the Black Power Ranger because he can do dances. So far 6-year-old-Lisa seems like a pretty normal 6 year old.

399430_10151068474266543_847010445_n

Oh wait. There it is. 6-year-old-Lisa likes forest fires…

418353_10151068435821543_2092264052_n

And this is what a forest fire looks like. 6-year-old-Lisa drew forest fires all the time.

418222_10151068443686543_2054273661_n

But soon she branched out into drawing all different sorts of fires, like rainbow fires. Is there anything else 6-year-old-Lisa likes that doesn’t involve fire?

387146_10151068473011543_155422532_n

Paper hats! Okay, interesting. I guess 6-year-old-Lisa probably likes paper hats because they are easy to set on fire.

Then 6-year-old-Lisa was asked to draw a picture of Jesus.

422324_10151068431801543_472760342_n

And in 6-year-old-Lisa’s mind Jesus looked like Hannibal Lecter. Not creepy at all.

So we know about 6-year-old-Lisa’s interests and how she feels about Jesus, but we don’t really know yet if she is some sort of child prodigy. Is 6-year-old-Lisa a genius? What better way to find out than to look at her grade one science experiment?

551172_10151068362656543_1960822341_n

6-year-old-Lisa’s scientific problem: Can raisins swim?
And 6-year-old-Lisa guesses that raisins can’t really swim.
The results? Well it looks like 6-year-old-Lisa was exhausted from guessing whether or not raisins could swim so her mom had to fill out the rest of her experiment for her. Good.

So I was feeling a little lazy and being a little hard on myself for not being some sort of accomplished, published author with a flat in NYC yet and then I read my grade one journal. Sure, life may not have gone the way I thought it would, but that’s probably for the best. Because if you asked 6-year-old-Lisa where she thought she would be at 25 she would probably tell you that she’s going to be some sort of masked vigilante arsonist who does weird science experiments in her mother’s basement. And then she would make you a matching paper hat. And then she would probably set the hat on fire.

This may come as a surprise to you, but I’ve been working on my fitness…

Back in January I made a promise to all of you that I would work on my fitness and do what I could to improve my health. Then I closed my laptop and went back to watching Modern Family and finishing my family sized bag of Ketchup chips.

Okay, to be fair there was that one attempt at working out at a gym that was documented on here, but the only real thing accomplished that day was an increase in my fear of seeing naked ladies in public.

So you may have lost hope in me. You may have said “Lisa will never work on her fitness and accomplish that resolution. She’s just like everyone else who makes a resolution.” (Although I’m sure you never once said that because really, who gives a shit about me and my resolutions?)

Well to all those who doubted me, I laugh in your faces! Because I went back to the gym, and I went back to personal training and I’ve worked out twice already this week! HA!

I tried a one hour long group exercise class on Monday. Which means I got to flail around like a spastic chicken who doesn’t understand what a barbell is for 30 minutes in front of approximately 30 ripped women, and then I got to spend another 30 minutes standing around and staring at all the fat on my arms and evaluating my split ends situation in a mirror while all of those ripped women continued working out around me. I’m sorry but how do you expect me to work out in a room filled with floor to ceiling mirrors? I’m surprised I didn’t do a duck face pose the entire sixty minutes.

Then I got another personal training assessment. The trainer checked my blood pressure and resting heart rate. A normal human being should have an ideal resting heart rate of 55-70. Mine was 108. My trainer actually gasped and then told me he could not promise that I was actually still alive. Then my lung age was tested by blowing into a machine. My lung age was 66. Instead of signing up for personal training I was kind of tempted to cut out early and meet with a lawyer to work on my will. But in all honesty it really opened my eyes to how absolutely horrible I am at being healthy and having the body a 25 year old is supposed to have. I went back to that mirror and looked hard at my reflection. Once I stopped doing duck face and resisting the urge to take a “post workout selfie” I gave myself a pep talk. “You have to change,” I told myself. “You can’t die yet, not when Netflix is so close to bringing Jericho back.”

So I went back to that personal trainer and had my first real session with him. He told me to do some squats. I did some squats. Then he told me to do some squats the real way someone is supposed to do squats. I fell over. “Baby steps” he said and then proceeded to have me do reps of sitting on a chair and getting back up. Baby steps indeed.

Then he noticed a stain on my shirt and casually said “what’s that?”
“Oh, just chocolate,”I said. And then realized how stupid I looked wearing an Adidas work out shirt covered in chocolate.

He made me do some other exercises. I did them. Then he made me do them the right way. I fell over some more.

After an hour of falling over and grunting like Serena Williams I was free to leave. I changed out of my chocolate covered work out clothes and went to catch the bus home. On the way to the bus I walked past Laura Secord and bought some chocolate covered marshmallow Brooms that were on sale. 3 for $1! How could I pass that up? What a deal! I figured the marshmallow brooms were some sort of Olympic promo to celebrate the sport of curling. I brought them home and to reward myself for doing reps of sitting in a chair and getting back up I ate 3 chocolate brooms for $1. And then I realized why they were so cheap. They are witches brooms from Halloween.

So am I changing my life around the way I said I would while deciding my New Years Resolutions? You be the judge. Today I worked out for a whole hour at the speed of a dying turtle and then had stale marshmallows on a stick for supper.

I personally think that’s an improvement!  I’m practically Jillian Michaels now.

Okay maybe that is an exaggeration, but it’s all about baby steps, right?

The one where I get a rash on my face and have to sell a kidney on the black market to pay for the cream to fix it.

For approximately two weeks I have been getting this weird rash thing on my face. It’s called a Butterfly Rash. That sort of name makes it sound like it would be kind of magestic and beautiful. Spoiler alert: it’s the opposite. And then to make matters worse today I started getting it on my hands too. So I went to the doctor and the doctor gave me a cream for it. The cream cost me $108.09.

So now I am measuring everything I do in life in terms of rash cream. A fancy meal for two at Get Stuffed? That will be one rash cream please! An all inclusive trip to Cuba for a week? 9 rash creams please!

Or we can look at it this way.

gifts110

vs.

metrogel110forher

As you can probably tell I am slightly bitter about the price of this rash cream. If Boyfriend hadn’t been standing next to me when I found out how much it cost I might have yelled at the pharmacist, for no particular reason other than to just get my feelings out because paying $108.09 for rash cream makes you feel all of the feels.

I brought the royal cream home and opened up the box to begin my application when I decided to take a peak at the side effects. I’ve taken a little snap for you to see what they are.

Image

Interesting. So the side effects for my red, burning/stinging, hypersensitive, dry, itching, skin irritation happens to be a red, burning/stinging, hypersensitive, dry, itching skin irritation eh? Makes perfect sense to me! Oh and here is a number to call to report these side effects should they occur? Great thanks, except how the hell am I supposed to know if it’s a side effect or the actual problem? You don’t know? Because that’s just stupid? Oh, okay. Good talk.

America’s Sweetheart Beat Poet and Sister of the Travelling Pant Amber Tamblyn once said “it’s hard to face your problem, when the problem is your face.” She gets me. She probably had to use the same $108.09 cream for a butterfly rash. I bet that’s exactly what that whole poem is about. 

If it didn’t hurt to cross my fingers I would certainly be crossing my fingers that this fancy schmancy $108.09 cream works for this rash. And not just because it is the price of a mixed breed puppy or a Keurig. Also because at random hours of the night I yell at Boyfriend that my face is dying and then he gets me a wet cloth for it and then I tell him there’s too much water on it and then he says “oh for god sakes” and rings it out and then gives it to me and I spend the night trying to sleep while balancing a sopping wet face cloth on my face. It’s not easy, guys. And to make matters worse now that it is on my hands my hands hurt too much to even make fists. But I love making fists! Don’t go there with that, guys. I expect better from you.

I texted Boyfriend to tell him the upsetting news about the skin on my hands.

Me: Hands are super sore. Can’t make fists [apparently I also cannot make full sentences thanks to this affliction]. So for instance I can no longer shout angry things to kids standing in my yard and shake my closed fist at them. One of my favourite hobbies.
Boyfriend: Your Clint Eastwood impression is really going to suffer now!
Me: How can I fulfill my lifelong dream of playing disgruntled Korea war veteran Walt Kowalski in the remake of Eastwood’s Gran Torino if I can’t do a good fist shake in the audition? My livelihood has been taken away. You should do a benefit concert for me.
Boyfriend: I’ll see what I can do.
Me: You could call it the Girlfrienifit. Get it?

Look at me, always seeing the humour in my situation even when faced with the cruel reality of skin redness and itchiness. I’m what they would call a trooper.

You’re welcome, Boyfriend. For what you may ask? For letting you put wet face cloths on my face and telling me I look pretty when I look like this:

Image(not a realistic rash reenactment)

I know it must be so rewarding for you.

Ps. I didn’t actually use the black market to sell off one of my kidneys to pay for the cream. I used a credit card. Basically the same thing.

An interview with Boyfriend about his EP release today!

1509125_10151948698219472_52821552_n

The team here at DinD (just me) are super excited to welcome St. John’s own Boyfriend (okay he is my boyfriend from St. John’s, not boyfriend to everyone in the city) to the studio (facebook chat) for an interview to introduce the world to his new musical baby, “The Right Words EP.” 

Heralded as Newfoundland’s answer to Seth Rogen and Noel Gallagher, Matthew Hare has taken the musical world by storm. With 8 Grammy nods and 4 albums reaching platinum status (editors note: none of this is true) he has decided to return once more to the studio to share his talent with the world. Please join our team (me) in welcoming Matthew to the studio! *cue applause track*

L: Welcome to Word Press! How are you today?

BF:  I’m excited. It’s always nice to have a new record to show people. Today is the day that people finally get to see what I’ve been working on for the last year or so.

That’s the only question right?

L: No. That’s great. Now let’s get to the real reason you are here.Your girlfriend started a blog and in a short 2 months has been heralded as”an inspiration to other people who have stuff going on.” How does that make you feel?

 BF: Inspired!

L: That’s short but sweet I guess. Do you ever get jealous that your girlfriend is more internet famous than you?

BF: Not really. She can have the fame thing. I just want to make music and get stuff off my chest. This “Fame” thing is for the birds.

L: Would you ever consider being on a reality television show with her?

BF: Nope! Not happening! This interview is over! *Storms out*

L: Will you continue the interview if she bakes you cookies?

BF: *Walks back in and sits down*

L: So you released a new EP today. Tell us a little bit about it.

BF: It’s a 4 song EP that I recorded with a good friend of mine, local musician Ian Foster. I wanted to try out a new sound with a full band and this seemed like a great way to do it. So I got together with some great musicians and we made, what I believe to be, a great sounding record. It’s feels good as well to have written some, as my mother would say, “nice” songs. My last record was a breakup record so this is a nice change of pace.

L: I assume that’s because you are currently in such an amazing relationship. Speaking of amazing girlfriends, I’m sure everyone is dying to know if any of the songs on this EP are about your current girlfriend or if you have any plans on writing dozens of songs about her in the future?Hello? Are you still there?

BF: None of these songs are about her. I don’t always have one person in mind when I write a song. Often I’ll write a song and afterwards I’ll realize what I had on my mind when I was writing it. So maybe in the future she will be in my subconscious when I’m writing a new song.

L: We just all assume she is always in your subconscious because she is all you can think about every moment of the day. 

So where can we find your music if we’re interested in hearing more?

BF:
The easiest place to get it would probably be through iTunes. That seems to be where everybody gets everything these days. There are other digital sources though so feel free to search for me on your favourite music source. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-right-words-ep/id810969841
L: Great. Thank you. Do you have any upcoming shows?
 
BF:have an upcoming EP Release celebration show this Saturday. I’m going to be playing with the full band so I’m pretty excited. The show will be at The Levee in St. John’s [February 15, 2014]. You coming?

L: Only if I can bring my heating pad.

Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat with us about your new EP. One last question before we part ways. Which Disney character do you most relate to?

BF: Dalmatian #67.

L: I would have said Hans from Disney’s Frozen. But I guess you can’t choose him because you refuse to watch the movie with me.

BF: Actually…I’d like to change that to Dalmatian #42.

L: I’ll talk to my editors and see what they can do about it. 

———————————————————————–

 So there we have it, folks! An exclusive, factually inaccurate look at Boyfriend’s new EP, “My Girlfriend is Better than Your Girlfriend EP” (“The Right Words EP”)

Now dust off those cheque books and purchase it on iTunes now while quantities last!

Or if you’re a really indecisive person you can always check out these amazing and definitely real reviews of “The Right Words EP” first:

“Sounds like music.” – The Rollingg Stone*

“I don’t know who this Matthew Hare guy is but his EP is the best thing since the invention of nutella. Seriously, it’s like nutella but for your ears. Delicious music. Now I want chocolate. What were we talking about?” – Definitely not his girlfriend

“It’s like a bunch of great songs about love and life and like being real about your insecurities. And like really when you think about it we all have those things in common. So yeah, I can dig it.” – Hipster dude at bar downtown

“Moved me to tears.” – Samuel L. Jackson*

———————————————————-
*Not to be confused with The Rolling Stone magazine
*No relation to actor Samuel L. Jackson

A (sort of) illustrated guide to massage therapy.

Today I visited Gladney for a massage. I can’t even begin to tell you how earth shatteringly exciting today was because it was Massage Day. Even Boyfriend text me periodically to remind me, just in case I was sad about things, because how can you be sad when you’re about to have a magical massage? If I could skip without puncturing a lung or somehow developing rheumatic fever I would have skipped all day. And whistled. I would have skipped and whistled while I thought about the massage that was only a few hours away.

I thought about it while watching terrible documentaries on Netflix. I thought about it while readjusting my dog bed and heating pad for better comfort. I thought about it while eating a cupcake. I thought about it while drinking fruitopia. I thought about it while cleaning the lint off my leggings. I thought about it while playing Double Down Casino on Facebook (I seriously need new hobbies)

“This massage will make everything better,” I told myself the whole day. “If you can just make it to your massage time then nothing bad will ever happen to you ever again. No more pain ever. Just all happy all the time!”

I showed up for my massage and Gladney asked me what I would like her to work on.

“Everything.”

“You are going to have to be a little more specific than that…” she said.

“Okay. My legs, my arms, my back, my chest, my neck. I would also say stomach but I assume you can’t massage a stomach.”

“Okay, so everything it is.”

The massage started off nice enough. She played relaxing music. I felt relaxed. The lighting was dim. It was really rather romantic. And exciting! Because it was massage time!! And we all know how exciting that is!!

And then it happened. She actually began massaging me. And it was hell. *

Then I realized that everything I had told myself was a lie. Every single time I am scheduled for a massage I have this completely delusional image in my head of what a massage experience will be like, and it is a transcendent, amazing out of body sort of experience. And I never seem to learn. Because by now I should know better. I should know that my massage experience is not so much like reaching nirvana as it is like being a character in the movie Hostel (slight exaggeration).  I just have to try extra hard to remember this for next time, so that maybe I can mentally prepare myself.

Lisa’s idea of what a massage will feel like hours before her scheduled massage:Image
It is a ride through the clouds and rainbows on a unicorn.
It is that moment at the end of a Full House episode where Danny gives you amazing life advice and the background music swells comfortingly.
It is skipping in a field of flowers in a summer dress.
It is a picnic by the lake followed by a gondola ride.
It is your boyfriend winning the big teddy bear at the state fair and then sharing cotton candy with you.

What a massage really feels like to Lisa during the massage:

It is a ride on an evil unicorn and the rainbows are actually just colourful fire.
It is the episode of Full House where Michelle falls off the horse and gets amnesia.
It is skipping in a field of flowers in a summer dress when you are allergic to flowers and then you step on a bee hive.
It is a picnic by the lake followed by a ride in a gondola that springs a leak and sinks.
It is sharing cotton candy with your boyfriend at the state fair and then throwing up on him during a ride and then he breaks up with you because you’re disgusting and drives off in his pick up truck and you have no way to get home so you actually consider becoming a carnie even though you’re only 2 semesters away from finishing your undergraduate degree. And then you get rabies from a racoon that eats from the same garbage as you behind the ferris wheel because that’s your home now.

racoonrabies2

————————————————————————————————-

DISCLAIMER: Gladney is a phenomenal massage therapist and helps my muscle spasticity immensely it is just not a fun process because, well, my muscles have proverbially shit the proverbial bed. But aside from saying that I feel like a character in the movie Hostel while being massaged by her I would recommend her to anyone.  Gladney – feel free to use this as a review on Yelp.

The one where I gush about St. John’s, Newfoundland and tell you about a talented singer.

A video essay about Canadian pride during the last winter Olympics held in Canada has resurfaced on Facebook so I watched it and got goosebumps again and was instantly filled with patriotism. That patriotism lingered in my system for awhile and narrowed itself down a bit more from Canadian patriotism to Newfoundland patriotism.

Not many people know where Newfoundland is. Even some Canadians I have met know very little of the most eastern province in Canada. We are closest to the UK. We have our own time zone. We get New Years before everyone else in Canada. Aside from the fact that we seem to have lots of shitty doctors, I love our quaint island that is rich with culture (mostly Irish) and art. Fun fact: there’s a town in Newfoundland called Dildo. Another fun fact: there’s a town in Newfoundland called Come by Chance. Seriously. So many jokes can be had if you live in Newfoundland.

The city I live in is called St. John’s. It is the oldest city in North America. Wikipedia tells me that the city’s nickname is “The City of Legends.” This is news to me, but I can see it being true. There are approximately 200,000 “townies” living in St. John’s. It is small as far as cities are concerned, but a sprawling metropolis if you take into consideration the rest of the island.

St. John’s has a lot to offer it’s residents. We have: a movie theatre, at least 3 bowling alleys, approximately 750 pubs, a strip club with a sign that tells me there is world class entertainment 7 days a week, about 10 McDonalds, a church crypt where you can have tea and desserts, 1.5 shopping malls, countless hiking trails, coffee, hotels, places to work on your fitness, museums, Menchies, a couple bookstores, an outdoor skating rink in a park. Someone told me there is a laser tag place. I haven’t found it yet but just the thought of it is pretty exciting. Also if you visit us there’s a 90% chance you will accidentally become an extra on the show Republic of Doyle. We basically have everything NYC has to offer with less smog. Seriously, our cup runneth over. 

I live in the downtown core of St. John’s. I moved downtown because I realized I am always happy when I’m there. The coffee shops, boutiques and pubs make me feel all warm and tingly on the inside and I thought I owed it to myself to feel that way as often as possible. Downtown St. John’s is full of what we call “jelly bean” houses. We are a very colourful city.

east-downtown (1)photograph by Brian Carey - http://www.briancareyphotography.com/
See! Super colourful and cheery. You would feel all warm and tingly on the inside too! Admit it, you’re jealous.

There are lots of cute little streets downtown that you could totally miss if you aren’t paying close attention and those streets are full of colourful old homes and little benches to sit with your friends and have a chat.

Image
Sitting with Kate having a chat on an side street downtown. She doesn’t look very impressed with me. Lovers spat I suppose.

Celebrities seem to enjoy visiting St. John’s because there is no such thing as paparazzi here. If we see Meg Ryan or Russell Crowe walking down the street the most we will do is say “Hi Meg Ryan” or “Hi Russell Crowe” and then text our friends so they can be a little bit jealous. I’m not sure if everyone else reacts to celebrities with such apathy for the same reason I do, but for me it just comes down to laziness. One night a friend text me that Russell Crowe was singing in a bar not far from my house and I text back that I was excited for him but I was already wearing my pajamas and there is no going back from that. I think the real reason celebrities like it here is because people are mostly nice around here and leave other people alone. Of course that’s not everyone. We have our fair share of douchebags too. But we won’t focus on the douchebags today. Instead we will look at more pretty pictures.

20091021162141_signal hill and the battery st johns
photo cred Ronin Photography http://roninphotography.photoposts.org
The tower at the top of this picture is Signal Hill. It was used for wars and things and the first transatlantic wireless transmission was received here in 1901 from Marconi. Now it’s a place to get a nice view of the city and to park and make out on a Friday night. Or as my mom would say – it’s a great place for necking.

st-johns-battery-with-snow-from-south-side
Photo cred Jim Costello found at http://gregpike.ca
This place is called The Battery. It is under Signal Hill downtown. People actually live there even in the winter. I recommend never driving down those roads because you will know what it is like to feel a near death experience. 

Somedays, especially when looking out over St. John’s from Signal Hill, I just want to scream from the rooftops how amazing the city I live in is (there would be a disclaimer that I am ignoring the healthcare and winter road clearing initiatives while shouting about the greatness of St. John’s). But people would probably just look at me funny and say “I know, I live here too.”

I was trying to find a way to describe the character that is St. John’s, NL to everyone, especially those people who are not from Canada, and I knew that my words would fall short.

One thing I will say about St. John’s, NL is that we are a city filled with extraordinary talent. From film directors to comedians to writers to musicians, St. John’s is the place to come if you enjoy the arts scene. We have the likes of Hey Rosetta! who are an amazing local band making a huge name for themselves internationally. We have Rick Mercer. We have Great Big Sea. We have Ron Hynes. We have Wayne Johnston and Lisa Moore. We also have another extremely talented folk singer-songwriter who is going to help me describe to you the character that is St. John’s, NL. His name is Ian Foster.  

Ian has toured across Canada and even parts of Europe and has brought with him that same pride I feel when I think about this island as my home. He sings many beautiful songs about many beautiful things but the song I will show you right now is an anthem for my province. There are many stereotypes surrounding our island and the people who live on it, and Ian decided to write a song about it after meeting people on tour who believed those misconceptions about Newfoundland. The song is called “An Open Letter from the Island.” I think this video is the perfect medium to explain to you guys how beautiful my home really is. The video also showcases a lot of my friends and Boyfriend. So that’s another reason I like it.

Ian also did a video for his song “Sparrow” with the Heavy Weather boys. Heavy Weather is a really cool place to check out amazing musicians from Newfoundland. This particular video was shot in that side street downtown St. John’s that I just spoke of and I think it really captures the small city charm that we have to offer.

 

While I write this I am listening to trucks beeping and clanking outside in an effort to remove the piles of snow that was dumped on us yesterday. St. John’s isn’t always a magical place. I too often curse it in the winter. And you would too if you looked outside and saw this:

image
photo cred http://www.cbc.ca

But on those days, which are plentiful this time of year, it is nice to look back on those warm downtown days and remember the real reasons why I love calling this place home. And if looking through my old facebook photos of the city doesn’t do it for me, a warm beverage at Rocket Bakery usually does. 

ls
h
ttp://yelp.ca

If you like Ian Foster’s music – and if you have two ears and a heartbeat you will – you can find out more about him at http://ianfoster.ca

If you want to check out more videos by Newfoundland musicians filmed by the talented Adam Penney & Justin Davis at Heavy Weather, head over to http://vimeo.com/heavyweatherca and have a gander.

The one where I meet another idiot doctor and then get tested for yet another disease because I’m trying to break a world record and I’m only 2 misdiagnoses away.

So this weird chest thing happens to me where it feels like a sumo wrestler is sitting on me and I get shortness of breath. It has happened twice before and each time it’s been pretty bad and I’ve been sent to bed for a week with a bottle of oral prednisone.

It decided to happen again this week so I got out of bed yesterday morning and cabbed to the hospital again. This time the cab driver didn’t ask me why I was going to the hospital. He just told me he hopes things go smoothly for me. That was nice. I said thank you and tipped him a whole dollar. I did that thing where I get dropped off at the main entrance pretending to be a nurse even though I think they have all caught on now that the girl getting a cab to the hospital wheezing and shaking in the back seat isn’t going there for shift work.

I walked around back and opened the doors to the emergency department. It was mid morning on a weekday. When I opened the doors I thought I had walked onto a hospital set from The Wire. There were strung out people pacing back and forth. There was a guy I will call Crack Head screaming curse words at his girlfriend. There was a woman with no teeth in a wheelchair talking to the wall. Then there was a man I will call The Hulk who was standing next to the glass partition where the triage nurse asks you what is wrong with you this time. The only problem is the triage nurse was busy triaging another patient and couldn’t stop triaging that patient to come see what The Hulk wanted. The Hulk was there with his wife who was having chest pains. She seemed fine. She kept telling him to calm down, it was nothing. But calm down is not something the Hulk can do. Instead he started pounding his fists on the glass partition between him and the triage section. He yelled out demanding to be seen. I cowered behind my infinity scarf in the line behind him hoping something about me didn’t piss him off even further. I was afraid my loud breathing or shaky hand would cause him to spiral even further out of control. So I tried to act like a turtle and hide my head under my scarf and jacket. The nurse came over, terrified of him, and told him they would have to wait a minute because they weren’t the only people with emergencies. “You tell him, nurse lady!” I wanted to shout. Instead I buried my head even further into my jacket. He couldn’t believe the nerve of her but he went and sat down to wait.

I was up next! Nurse Lady asked me what was wrong. I told her there was an invisible sumo wrestler sitting on me and that I couldn’t breathe. I told her I have asthma but this wasn’t asthma. Not my first time at the rodeo, I joked. She wrote my name on a chart and next to my name she wrote SOB. I felt offended and was about to ask her what sort of beef she had with me when I realized that stood for “shortness of breath.” She ushered me into the triage room right away to check my vitals.

I was about to sit my bum down on the hospital bed when Hulk pounded on the glass partition again. “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” he yelled.

I quickly stood up and told the nurse to look at his wife first. Even if I was having a heart attack the odds of me surviving that would have been greater than a beat down by the less than incredible Hulk.

It still only took me about 2 minutes to get brought into a room to be seen by a doctor.

In strolled this grey haired man with an Out of Print “Call of the Wild” t-shirt on and right away I thought we were going to get along.

WRONG.

The douchebag asked me a series of questions and I answered the series of questions and then he had this a-ha moment like he was a complete genius. He thought he Sherlock Holmed the whole situation.

“Does anyone in your family have a history of asthma?” He asked. “I suspect you may have asthma.”

“What makes you think that?” I asked. “The fact that the chart in your hand says I have had asthma since age 4?”

CAN DOCTORS EVEN READ?!

I told him it was not an asthma attack. I told him this has happened before. I told him the exact prescription I have been given for this before. He nodded and then hooked me up to a mask for my asthma attack. I said fuck it and took the mask anyway. He came back in when it was done and asked how I was feeling.

“No better, because it’s not asthma,” I replied.

“You look better,” he said.

Because you can see my chest muscles and lungs on the outside of my body.

I tried to tell him about this rash I have been getting on my face this past week, maybe it was a clue as to what is wrong with me. I explained that I have been getting a red skin reaction on my nose and cheeks lately. I asked him what that could be. I was waiting for him to say something about lupus because anyone who has ever watched House knows what lupus is and knows about the face rash. Instead he looked absolutely bewildered. For the life of him he couldn’t figure out what a rash on my face with muscle and joint pain could mean.

I wanted to ask him if he got his medical degree in a Cracker Jack box. Because that joke is not overused and it is hilarious every time. But instead I continued on. I tried to tell him a little more about my symptoms and that’s when he decided to cut me off mid sentence and told me to go home.

I was furious. And what do I do when I’m furious with a doctor? I say thank you, let the doctor leave and then I close the door and bawl my eyes out.

Why can’t I just be real with a doctor when they are pissing me off? Why am I so afraid to say what’s on my mind? Why can’t I look at this pretentious bastard and tell him frankly I just think he’s a bit of an asshole? And that his shirt is way too tight. And that I bet he didn’t even read that book. The dick cut me off mid sentence. That is just plain disrespectful. Heaven forbid I actually tell him that.

Boyfriend picked me up from the hospital because I was too upset to even figure out how to get my debit card into the ATM machine to take out cab money. He was furious and I was furious and we just wanted to punch some doctors. Instead he drove me home and I went to take a nap on Heating Pad. Before nap time I got on my computer and looked up the doctor that had just “tended” to me in the emergency room. The reviews were scathing. He was blamed for killing someone’s wife. He was blamed for almost killing lots of people. There were many reviews asking how he was still a doctor. He doesn’t listen. He thinks everyone is trying to get time off work or they just want drugs. People have ended up in the ICU after he sent them home saying they were fine.

I decided to text Gladney and tell her what happened. She was also furious. But instead of reacting the way I did, she actually did something about it. She found a doctor for me to see. She picked me up from my house to drive me to this doctor. She brought her puppy, Roo, so I could have a few minutes with a “therapy dog” before my appointment. He threw up in my lap.

Image
This is Roo. Roo is so cute that people don’t even care when he throws up in their laps.

When we arrived at the clinic I handed the puppy and the blanket full of vomit over to Gladney and went in to meet this new doctor. He looked about 18 years old but he was nice and he told me I wasn’t having an asthma attack and he gave me the prescription I needed and then he sent me for blood work to see if I have lupus.

So I guess the disease of the week is lupus.

We will see if House is right.

Excuse me while I go on Rate MD and suggest that yesterday’s emergency room doctor received his medical degree from a Cracker Jack box.