Saturday, August 18, 2012

The comfort of the chip

What is it that takes you to your safe place? The place were all is right in the world. Where troubles are calmed and you mood is instantly transformed. a bag of barbecue potato chips. Chips?? No, not just chips...BBQ chips.

It was the summer before fourth grade. In fact it was the last day of third grade. I did not feel good. Chalk it up to being a kid, last day of school, June weather and running around because summer is here! The teacher did not seem to notice the perfect blood red V on my chest. (a classic sign and symptom). Again, last day of school, everyone is hot and sweaty. I made it home and still not feeling too good. Excited that school is over, but didn't really have much energy to celebrate. That's the last thing I truly remember.

I remember bits and pieces of the month to follow. Seems the bright red "V" was scarlet fever. I know what your thinking, "who gets that anymore?" "Isn't that what caused Mary Ingols  on Little House on the Prairie to go blind?". (yes it was by the way).  The house was under quarantine by the department of health. No one could come in, no one could go out. I remember I was burning up and telling my Mom that before I was born I was an angel in heaven and God let me pick out who my mommy would be and I picked her. But I had to go now....I had to go back to heaven. My next memory is waking up in the hospital.

I guess during that time my Great Grandmother, who was an army nurse, was not going to let some little sign stop her from seeing me. Quarantine be damned, she was coming in so my Mom could get a little rest. She only stayed a few hours from what I was told later. She said she could not "bear to watch that child be put in the ground when she died". Oh....the comforting words of a nurse. Glad I didn't hear it, maybe I did, who can say.  I spent over a month on the communicable disease ward at USC Hospital. My skin blistered and peeled like no other sunburn you have ever seen. My hair fell out and I looked like a chemo patient, not a kid with a fever. Scarlet fever, dilantin poisoning (too high of a dose for someone that never needed the medication) viral hepatitis, kidney and liver failure. Now there is a diagnosis for a eight or nine year old huh?

Liver failure. Damn. There is a life changer. Good thing ignorance is bliss at that age. But, you thinking...WTF does this have to do with potato chips. Refer back to the liver. The one organ that with rest and food can start to rebuild. The one thing I do remember is that doctors visit. The one where he said, "Ma'am. If your child is to ever get better she needs plenty of rest and let her eat. If she can hold down food let her eat. What ever she wants, when ever she wants. " The handsome man in the starched white coat with ice blue eyes looked at me and said, "honey, if you want to eat BBQ potato chips and drink chocolate milk, you just go right a head".

Woo-Hoo!!! Now that is better than saying you can have all the ice cream you want after having your tonsills out. (which by the way, my doctor did not believe that and I got jello). I was discharged home on July 4, 1972 (or 1973..I would need to look). All of our neighbors pitched in and we had a fireworks show that was bigger, better and longer than the one at the Rose Bowl that night. And there I sat with my chips and chocolate milk.

Almost 40 years later. When life starts to suck and something happens, there I sit with my BBQ potato chips and if available, my chocolate milk. Yesterday was a pretty rough day. Lots going on at home and with the our family.  We had a potluck at my work for two of the nurses that were leaving. Without even thinking, I grabbed some potato chips, barbecue of course, and went back to my desk to continue working. There I was typing away, knocking out the cases while without even thinking about it, continued to munch on the chips there beside my keyboard. That's when it dawned on me....barbecue chips, the chicken soup of my soul. The comforter when I am sad or depressed. The bringer of joy and happiness. My entire life it had soothed and comforted me. It was my little salty Valium. The righter of wrongs, my everything.

It was, as they say, my Ah-Ha moment. The light went on. A moment of clarity. Weight issues partially explained right? Nahhh, it was my Homer Simpson moment. The pure and ignorant bliss like he feels with his doughnuts. Arrggghhhh chips.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My little blue pill....

So, I finally found my password to get on here. It has been forever since my last post. Seems odd that my screen name is scrappinganjel since I have not scrapped in forever. In fact have given most of it away and ready to give away even more.

I wouldn't say that I have no time to scrap. I could make the time and lord knows I have more than enough to work with. Seems the problem is...don't care. I haven't cared about much of anything in the past year. Maybe its just the daily grind getting to me. Seems all we do is work. When we aren't working we are sleeping. Never enough money even to rob Peter to pay Paul. I know we are not the only family struggling. Look around you...most are in the same situation we are, some have it worse. But either way life seems to be getting in the way of living.

Hello little blue pill.

Some men would tell you that their little blue pill makes everything all better. Mine...well, it comes with a stigma and some would say a bit of embarrassement. Prozac. Yep, I said it. This old bird had to be medicated. Life came at me pretty hard and fast. Too many deaths in a short period of time. Two major moves in two years. Working, not working, looking for work, supporting two family households. Supporting everyone. Stress. Life. Depression. The list keeps going. Its only a matter of time before something inside of you snaps.

My psychatirst ( therapist for me...went straight to the top) is more of a nut than I am. If Woody Allen and the creepy preacher from Poltergist were able to bear a would be her. Now my major issue with her is this. Isn't it our time Mr Hand? Really....I pay YOU to talk and discuss ME. Its pretty simple. I talk, you write. You question, I answer. You prescribe, I take the pill. Nope, I make her laugh and she talks about her. WTF??? Look just give me my refill and I will go read a self help book and try and figure out what is wrong with me. I do already know, but its emotionally easier to act as if I need to find out why I am the way I am and what horrible thing caused my breakdown. I know the answer to both, I just choose to look the other way and just smile as if life is beautiful.

Oh, and life is beautiful. I am not that far gone to know that. I am not really crazy, just clinically depressed. It was Gods little joke. See, I am not very sympathetic. Yes, I am a nurse and sympathy is a trait you should have being in that line of work. But I have seen the ugly in people and in life. So I am a little jaded. I am of the school of "pick yourself up, brush it off and walk it out". Someone I love had some issues with bouts of depression. My advise was, "stop it. get over it." Wow...what a bitch. You can't. And having never dealt with depression, I figured it was just that easy. Hence Gods little joke. The meds are helping. But, I feel its time to increase the dosage. Type A personality, never content with what I have, always wanting to do more and achieve better. Looking our and doing for everyone around me and not taking care of me. Now fighting depression. sucks.

So, welcome to my therapy. Writting. You the gentle reader...if you are out there, will get to walk through this journey with me. I promise you, it will be quite a ride.