Archive for February, 2010

Spock and I have just brought PA home.  We tried to do a fair bit of work with her, today.  That is, when we finally could.  It took a long time to get her to a point, when we could even attempt to start.  Also, the work was left strictly to the two of us.  PA did try to speak to her friend J., on her own, but he really had nothing to offer in return.

After a lot of tea, and a little something to eat, we gave her a Valium, hoping that it would sort out some of the chaos in her mind.  We wanted it to allow some of her thoughts to flow with greater ease.  Eventually, a few started to come to the surface.

Spock told her to get a pen and some paper to write things down.  He told her that this would be a logical, and intelligent thing to do.  Not only would it keep her thoughts in order, it would make them tangible.  By having them tangible on a piece of paper, she would be able to remember them.  She would also be able to read them over and over.  She needs to do that in order to manage this situation.

We are letting her rest for now.  We have given her another Valium, and also some Gravol as her stomach is upset.  The Gravol should also help her relax a bit more.

The Bipolar Cycling seems to have run its course, although neither Spock nor I, are sure about the dissociation.  We do not think it is as bad, but we do not believe it is gone, altogether.  When PA was communicating with her friend J., it was only in brief sentences and intervals.  So, it would seem that she is still not fully navigating her world, to the best of her abilities.  Nonetheless, the fact that she could organize some thoughts, with the assistance of Spock, would indicate some improvement.

Spock had another point he mentioned to her.  Although she is extremely frightened of setting foot back in that classroom tomorrow, he had this to say.  True, it may feel to her like she is going to be tossed into the ocean, not knowing how to swim, consider an alternative scenario.  It may merely feel like a band-aid being torn off.  It may hurt a lot initially, but once the pain dissipates, everything will be alright.

PA thought about this for a short while.  Then, she resigned herself that either way, tomorrow morning she would find out one way or another.

I’ve just checked in on her.  Although we want her to rest, the issue of her fear is imminent.  We may need to continue working on that throughout the night.  We want her as prepared as possible, even before setting one foot into the building.

I have some rather unfortunate news.  It would seem that my wee PA has taken a bit of a turn for the worse.  Well, perhaps, more than a bit? Her mood has plummeted quite severely.  She is in such a state, that she thinks it may be almost as bad as when she had to be hospitalized last spring.

She is not admitting herself.  I am not admitting her.  However, I am keeping a very close watch on her.  She is declining, without a doubt!

I am putting her to bed now.  Hopefully she will be able to fall asleep and get some decent rest.  Tomorrow, Spock and I are going to try and work on piecing her back together.  I don’t know how we will manage it, but we will do our best.

The negativity that has recently been displayed in my classroom actually threw me into a wonderful, Bipolar Cycling spree.  In fact, I’m still in it.  As a result, I may not be able to finish this until later.  I’ll also try and keep it brief because it’s not just a “story.”  There is some information here about how group’s “work,” and how negativity within them “works,” as well.  I’d like to use that to draw some correlations to my particular situation.

Briefly, from a human, historical perspective, we’ve always existed in “groups.”  I won’t go into that too much.  However, it does lay a bit of foundation, simply in some ways of interpersonal relationships.  Perhaps, I should just leave it at that.  KISS.  We’re social beings, correct? Nonetheless, that social aspect does pave the way for the negative interaction.

The psychological aspect of studying “Group Dynamics” was founded by Kurt Lewin in 1943.  For my circumstance, our small group consists of some things such as: seeking goals, and/or a reward at the end (i.e. employment), and possibly a purpose.  Of the latter, I am not so sure, but it maybe for some.  I know it is for me, in seeking more education.  I love to learn.

Now this is where things get ugly.  Both within my classroom and within this post.  I can’t explain it any better than within these citations, so that is what I am giving you.  However, I will break it down to give you some examples as to what is going on specifically.

Individuals can be influenced by: a majority, a certain situation, a leader, persuasion, their own behaviors and attitudes, etc. Asch’s (1956) study of conformity suggests that individuals conform to the majority even when there is no social pressure to conform, no rewards for conforming, or no punishments for being the minority.

We have one girl in our class who is quiet as a mouse! I have tried to make several attempts to provide opportunities to allow her to express herself as we all have the right to speak freely.  However, with everyone constantly interrupting each other, she continually clams up!

Other research conducted by Milgram (1965) suggests that individuals can be influenced under certain immediate situations that make the individual feel they are emotionally distant, following orders, and/or part of a larger group. Research on leadership suggests that individuals can be influenced by leaders depending on the situation (Bales, 1958). If an individual is in a situation where they do not know what to do, they will look for a leader. In situations where a group is formed to accomplish a task, an individual is more likely to be influence by a task-oriented leader, and situations where a group is formed to increase social relations, an individual is more likely to be influenced by a socially-oriented leader. An individual, no matter the situation, is more likely to be influenced by a leader that possess both task and social leadership (Fiedler, 1971). Research on persuasion suggests that individuals are influenced by the credibility and trustworthiness of an individual (Cook & Flay, 1978 cited in Myers).

We have another girl in the class who keeps bouncing back and forth, no matter what is going on! She changes what she has to say, whatever opinion she has to give, it doesn’t matter.  It all depends upon whomever she speaks to at the time!

Lastly, individuals can be influenced by their own attitudes and behaviors (Zimbardo, 1971; Pilner, 1974;Cialdini, 1978 all cited in Myers). Research suggests that individuals’ attitudes can influence their own behavior, (my edit: cont’d…)

We have another girl in the class.  Wow.  She is the most challenging to deal with! There is nothing but pure negativity spewing forth from her mouth!

and that behavior can also influence one’s attitudes (Waller, 2002; Zimbardo, 1971; Pilner, 1974;Cialdini, 1978 all cited in Myers).

Here we get to me! Sort of.  It is not so much my “attitude” that is being “influenced.”  It is more my feelings (and emotions.)  I am becoming upset and frustrated.  Under other circumstances, I wouldn’t be bothered about these other girls’ opinions and issues.  I would simply carry on and do my work. The problem is, things have reached such a point, it is now so disruptive that the learning environment is almost unmanageable.  Thus, it is affecting my “goal seeking,” my “reward seeking,” and my “sense of purpose,” according to Kurt Lewin!

Further, it is extending to my emotional state.  Lewin doesn’t mention anything about those with any mental illnesses, but it has destabilized me to throw me into the aforementioned Bipolar Cycling spree!

This research on what influences individuals plays an important role in group dynamics because it can influence the group cohesion and later inter-group dilemmas.

Finally, this is also true.  The oddest thing happened on Friday when our Instructor was ill, and I was trying to spend the entire morning in a boardroom, feeling like I an arbitrator trying to mediate with a bunch of four year olds.  We all sit in our same spots in the room.  That morning, another girl moved from hers and sat beside me! Now, could that say something about a negative impact upon group dynamics?

This one’s a little more difficult to break down.  Maybe you can choose to read it if you wish? I won’t break the block up to explain things more, as is too “multi-factorial,” itself!

Whether a group works well together is multi-factorial. It depends on the members, the environment and the group tasks. The group’s cohesion depends on the extent that the individuals in the group want to accomplish the group’s common goals and group identity. The cohesion of a group is an important factor that could help explain the group’s behavior and its inter-group relations. The elements of cohesion are the members attraction to the group, normative influence, informational influence, and outside sources in the world (McCauley, Class notes). A cohesive group consists of having a common identity, a sense of shared purpose and a structured pattern of communication (Carron, 1980). Cohesion can be seen through many different factors such as the similarities of the group members, the satisfaction and support of other group members, and the size and stability of the group. These factors that affect cohesion, are also affected by the way members of the group interact with one another and the environment. Usually the attraction towards the group can consist of the individual having the same group goals and/or wanting social relations and support from people who are similar. The more similar the members (age, sex, race, attitudes) of the group are, the higher the cohesion. Similarity within a group gives the group a common identity in which the members can all relate and the more categories the members of the group have in common, the stronger the common identity. This common identity empowers the group to create group norms that all members of the group are expected to fulfill through their attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. If members of the group are not fulfilling their duty to follow the group norms, then this can affect cohesion. (McCauley, Class notes & Handouts)

There are several differences within our group that may contribute to a lack of cohesion that are mentioned, or can be attributed to what is mentioned above.  These are a few of them.  And by no means is this in any way “negative” in criticism.  They are simply things that exist, or have arisen, that may play a role.

There are cultural differences among us.  I am not playing the “race card,” here.  However, with the prior Instructor, she was of similar background of some of these girls, so they could relate to their cultural backgrounds.  So much so, that we would take extended breaks (for which the Instructor was reprimanded), where those individuals would engage in too much personal discussion.  Others, like myself, would simply ignore it as we could not relate.  Unless it was something “generally” funny.

Another example of a cultural difference, is a change to our new Instructor.  She comes from a different background where English is not her first language.  A comment has been made about this, as a reflection upon her performance.

There are differences in sexual preference.  I am “gay.”  The first Instructor we had, made a somewhat derogatory statement about a celebrity being gay.  It was a typical one, along the lines of…”Oh, what a waste!” Then others went on to discuss who “looked” gay, who didn’t.  I couldn’t stand it anymore, and nearly shouted: “There’s nothing wrong with being gay! I’m gay!” There was quite a lengthy silence in the room.  Then, the Instructor said, “Oh! Well, yes! You’re right!”

I stared at nearly everyone with a significant frown.  I don’t know how long it remained on my face for the rest of the class.

We have differences in degrees of knowledge.  This may be intimidating to others.  In fact, comments have been made (somewhat veiled or somewhat overtly), that this is, shall we say, “unappealing?” Well, there is nothing that can be done about that.  Despite the fact that some may know more than others, we are all there to learn.  However, it is still causing a problem.

I think I have said enough.  This may give you an example of how things are operating, and how our group dynamic is possibly displaying some more negative qualities.

One last thing I would like to mention is something called Social Loafing.  It is a social phenomenon, originally identified or coined, by a French, agricultural engineer named Max Ringlemann in 1913.  I will not delve further into its “dynamics,” although I will note the two forms where it could apply here:

Lessened contingency between input and outcome: Team members may feel they can hide in the crowd and avoid the consequences of not contributing. Or, a team member may feel lost in the crowd and unable to gain recognition for their contributions (Latane, 1998). This description is characteristic of people driven by their uniqueness and individuality. In a group, they lose this individuality and the recognition that comes with their contributions. Therefore, these group members lose motivation to offer their full ability since it will not be acknowledged (Charbonnier et al., 1998). Additionally, large group sizes can cause individuals to feel lost in the crowd. With so many individuals contributing, some may feel that their efforts are not needed or will not be recognized (Kerr, 1989).

Simply put, this could again apply to the disparity of knowledge within our group.  It could also apply to the individual’s own perception of their status within the classroom.

Non-cohesive group: A group functions effectively when members have bonded and created high-quality relationships. If the group is not cohesive, members are more prone to social loafing since they are not concerned about letting down their teammates (Piezon & Donaldson, 2005).

Of course, here we have our “biggie?” In the plainest language ever: the person just doesn’t care at all!

There was nothing specific that I could find regarding those with psychiatric problems, negative group dynamics, and said effects.  Only that the outcomes could make people depressed.  Well, it made me depressed and a whole lot more.  It triggered me into a Bipolar Cycle that took me straight out of the stratosphere!

NOTE: All excerpts excluding those from Wiki can be found here.

Maybe both? *laughing* It really is terrible.  About the last part.  The “K,” part.  I’m wondering if the other girls in the class are about to start screaming,”Teacher’s Pet! Teacher’s Pet!” at any moment.  I can’t help it though! It’s because I keep screaming out all the answers! They don’t know them, and I do. *laughing more*

I need to be bound and gagged.  Shit, I even yelled that out in class!!! *smacks self silly* I’m just SO excited, as I couldn’t be SO geeky in the last course.  This instructor, too.  She’s great and…more “Teacher’s Pet?” We were talking after class and she even told her partner about me! How she had “one of those students” in her class.  That would be someone who is…rather…”keen?”


Well, I’m really a med geek now! Wave that Med Geek Flag, PA!

This is good, though.  She’s totally well connected (i.e. get me a job???), told me I’d fly through this, and when talking about how broke I am and paying through the nose for it all, she didn’t even blink when she said: “It’ll pay off.”  Hmmm…does that mean she’s going to get me a job when it’s done? Well, I don’t know! I’m an Aspie! I have problems with social cues, sometimes! A little? *smacks self silly again*

She saw me still sitting in the room after everyone had left (this was when we had our little chat), and said, “You’re always staying late!” (Keener! Teacher’s Pet!) *laughing* I told her I had to speak to School Dude.  This was true.  And I did.  Boy, I did!

After we took care of “business,” we took care of goss! Wow, I got an earful! We know each other as I took a course there before, and we are “partners in crime,” regarding my scheme in all of this (muah-hah-hah…)  That scheme, being tailoring this to suit my needs based upon my pre-existing knowledge!

After class? I’m still running around feeling like I have…wait, I now have a Dx.! It is called “The Blue Gungoo.” I learned of it from this blogger who has a medical practitioner in the family. They were familiar with my Sx. What a relief to finally know what is wrong with me!

Anyway, I had (have?) so much to do! Even with making lists, the Blue Gungoo is affecting me so much, I just can’t remember everything! I had to pick up some wee notebooks for Clinic.  They need to be small enough to fit into the pockets of SCRUBS! Sorry, I’m still really excited about getting to wear SCRUBS! “…Scrubs Slut…Scrubs Slut…”

As a matter of fact, ours haven’t been ordered yet by the school but we should be starting Clinic on Friday, anyway.  Since they’re going to mask, gown, glove me up or whatever, I said I could bring in a pair from home? *grins* Well, the only suitable pair I have are from the UK! *laughing so hard* Yes, sent to me from a blogger some time ago.

NOTE: This does not mean that anyone, and everyone else reading, is further exempt from sending me scrubs! I will take as many pairs as I can get!!!

I checked, and with the new cross trainers I had to buy today (my current ones are all trained out!), my scrubs don’t need to be hemmed! W00t! However, there is company writing on the piping.  I’m wondering if they’re going to be “too picky” about that.  No, we’re going to be under the microscope, there.  Sorry, that was terrible.  I know.  Really, though.  I’ll ask tomorrow about the “conspicuous piping!”

I’m also going to bring in my Steth. and see if it’s suitable for Clinic.  It should be? It has all the different fittings for measuring areas, wee babies etc…?

Yes.  PA owns a Stethoscope.  It was a gift, actually.

I think I gave up after all of that? I don’t remember.  The Blue Gungoo is still raging and taking a lot out of me.  Ah, I had to call in a script, too.  I forgot about that, as well.  I don’t think there are any meds out there for the “BG.”  Nope.  Just going to have to lick it on my own? Let’s hope it doesn’t progress to a chronic stage! *furrows brow in worry*

It’s a really good thing I’m such a med geek.  Otherwise, I don’t think a so-called “normal” person would be able to handle this anymore.  And that’s what I told her: “I’m a med geek.”  Her, being my new Instructor for, this, my next course.  The continuing “Med Mayhem” is now crossing over to school, and not just remaining within the confines of my own body.

However, before we move on to that, the ongoing, ever painful (literally, not just for you reading), saga of my body.  When I went to bed last night after taking my meds, I was suddenly teleported back several years ago.  Back to the time when I became so sick with my gastro problems in the first place (which has nothing to do with my URI that I have right now!)  What was it? Extreme gastroenteritis and then immediate diarrhea.  Where did this come from?! This hasn’t been a Sx. at all over the past three weeks! I have an Upper Respiratory Infection!!!

I was up for about two hours waiting for the pain to end, but also fearing going to sleep, lest I shit the bed in the night! I have done this before being so gravely ill.  And obviously, I am not ashamed to admit it.  People, we are talking about medicine here.  There is no need to be ashamed of our bodies–in any realm.  HA! Although, a lot of the times we are anyway.  I know.  It’s hard.  It sucks.

Waking up, I was still a disaster in the morning. I could only handle a few sips of water until I got home.  I have now had some noodles and broth.  We’ll see, but so far so good? YIKES!

EDIT: All okay.  Have now moved on to frozen yoghurt to see if lactose is the culprit.

School.  Oh, dear! Mayhem, indeed! But I love our new Instructor! If I can announce to her that I’m a med geek right on the first day? Well, that says it all! However, I was a little bit worried as I was running late due to a transit delay.  I had called but still, first impressions? Also, a large part of Clinic Rotation is punctuality!!! I’m not joking.  It’s being taken into account for our marks.

I arrived about five minutes or so behind.  I opened the door.  They were talking about the Female Reproductive System, and I only heard something about a fertilized egg, a fallopian tube and the word “not.” Then she asked: “What is likely to happen? What would that be called?” There was silence.  I dropped my rucksack and while taking off my coat, blurted out: “Ectopic pregnancy.”  She just looked at me and said, “Right!”

Yes, I am a dork.  In case you did not know that already.

As I sat down, one of the other girls who is positively nuts called out: “Ohhh, yeah! You go, PA!” I started to laugh as it was pretty funny, I guess.  I shot her a smile, yet because I’m so sick, I probably looked more like a narcoleptic, crackhead who had Bell’s Palsy (but who did just tell the funniest joke on the planet!)

Everything is completely up in the air, with this class.  We should have learned things we haven’t.  Clinic is not sorted or settled yet (and it’s going to start on Friday.)  I’m sick with some deadly who-knows-what, so I’ll be in whatever protective gear required (gloves, gowns, masks.)  That’s fine.  I used to work in an HIV/AIDS Hospice so I’m used to the procedures.  We still have to get out scrubs ordered.  Yep! You read that right!

W00t! A great, big one, too! PA gets to wear scrubs in Clinic!!! …Scrubs Slut…Scrubs Slut… *laughing*

God, what else? I’m sure there’s more as this was only the first day.  The poor woman was running back and forth, trying to get things confirmed and then changing things up, down, back and then forth…  She now has to overhaul our entire lessons.  Unreal.  She is great though and said that we’ll all make it through.  No matter what! Hey, as long as I make it through…in one piece? That’s all I want right about now.

I have just returned from the hospital.  I should toss myself into bed right now, but I can’t.  I have to wait a while after taking the antibiotics (that aren’t working!) until I can take my regular meds.  And yes, I am finishing the course of the stupid Biaxin/Clarithromycin, as I don’t want to run the risk resistance through, “Antibiotic Arseyness.”  Please.  Do I look that stupid? Wait.  Forget you heard me ask you that.

Also, I have a ba-jillion things to do before school resumes tomorrow.  ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! Frustrated much, wee PA?

So, some bloods, a chest X-ray and an EKG (yes, an EKG!) later…  The verdict? I have a virus.

Hang on a sec’.  I had bronchitis! I had yellow sputum!!!

Oh, for fuck’s sake! What the bloody hell? Fine.  Fair enough.  That would explain why the antibiotics aren’t doing anything for me but… *shakes sick head*

Yellow sputum.  Explain that.  Maybe we’ve got some “infectious see saw” running through my body.  First, norovirus.  Then, bacterial bronchitis.  Now, some viral pneumonitis? Pneumonitis is a general term for lung inflammation (i.e. that is why I have chosen to use it!)

I did push (no pun intended), the IV antibiotic route, I really did.  However, should it have even been done, seriously labour intensive and complicated.  First, we would have had to start with a new one, then if it didn’t work (and it would have taken several hours), more attempts with more drugs…possibly days in hospital.  Okay…so, it would seem I’m SOL for antibiotics!

Well, what’s a poor, sick, wee PA to do? I’ve got a script for a Ventolin/Salbutamol inhaler.  I’ve used them in the past for allergies and environmental asthma.  However, with this script, it’s for more regular usage.  Four times a day, every four hours, prn.  However, if I need to use it more, I’m to go back to the ER.  He also said to go see my GP, but she’s still on Mat. Leave, and although her locum is lovely, she’s…well, not my GP.


No one seems to know what’s wrong with me, anyway!!!

And let’s not forget about me doing my Clinic Rotation with this new course! I really don’t want to be sick when working in an environment populated with sick people? Or even “non-sick people?” Christ Almighty! How many times have I masked up over the last three weeks now? *slaps sick forehead*

I’m tired…  Whatever the hell this thing is? Go.A.Way.

This case of bronchitis bastardium is still kicking the everlovin’ (everhatin’?) stuffing out of me.  She’s not sure why, but Dr. PA has some ideas? Some thoughts? Would you expect any less of her? *grins*

First, my immune system isn’t compromised in any way, so there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to fight this off with antibiotics.  So, let’s look at the antibiotic.  I’m on Biaxin/Clarithromycin.  It’s a perfectly suitable antibiotic for bronchitis and URIs.  It should be working.  This is day five of a seven day course.  Hello? Antibiotics are supposed to work quickly.  That is why people get all arsey and don’t take them for their full duration.  Then, they run the risk of “Antibiotic Arseyness,” and developing resistance.

Resistance.  Is bronchitis bastardium so strong and evil (or have I found a new strain in bastardium), that it can not be treated by Biaxin? Go for another antibiotic? I was on Penicillin before, and even I knew that wouldn’t cut it.  However, does that present a problem for me? Shoving more and more oral antibiotics down my gullet, thus increasing any resistance within my own body?

Oral.  If oral antibiotics are not working–and this may be a two-pronged stroll into potential insanity land–use IV antibiotics? I’m actually being serious, here.  And yes, “two-pronged.”

As above, if this thing is too strong, IV pushes for anything are meant to be heavy duty, fast, and in some cases, long lasting.  I can’t keep going on like this! Monday will be the last day of the Biaxin script, I was on five days of the Penicillin before I switched over to the Biaxin, and I was for sick days even before all of this started! I can’t do the math exactly, but by the the time I have to go back to school on Monday, it will have been well over two and a half weeks! Yes, school.  I need to get back into form, at the very least, for that!

ASIDE: It won’t be happening right away, but I’ll be doing Clinic rotations, and I can’t be hacking and coughing all over the place there! I’ll presumably be seeing sick people? I don’t think I should be one of them! *rolls eyes*

As for the other “prong?” This one is a little more messy.  Nonetheless, it may fit? I went to see Gastro Man a couple of weeks ago since some of my Sx. from when I became so utterly ill have come back.  We noted something “interesting” that may or may not be a possible Dx.  However, it certainly needs to be explored after a finding at the end of our appt.! I told him we’d better take a closer look at it this time around! He certainly concurred.

You see, something was different from when I was so sick before, and we did all of our tests under the sun, the moon and stars! It has to do with Malabsorption.  I’m eating and I’m going to the bathroom regularly, but I had dropped a substantial amount of weight.  I thought a little bit but no, a lot! Not that I have much to spare, but I am almost back to where I was when the sickest ever.  It’s not good.  Back then, I was sicker and more screwed up.

Malabsorption.  If I’m not absorbing my food or nutrients properly, am I absorbing the antibiotics or enough of their properties? As a matter of fact, I went to the bathroom the other night and I saw a wee, yellow, oval shaped… *gasp* These pills don’t come with any sort of casing that would be excreted through feces.  They are completely absorbed through your GI tract and excreted through urine (partial processing via your glomeruli actually, which is kind of interesting, but I digress…)

So, with that? It may not even have to do with the antibiotics themselves.  Or even bronchitis bastardium! It has something to do with me! And if the above is true, then does it not make sense that an IV treatment would be required? Again, Dr. PA is not a real M.D. but how the hell else would the antibiotics be able to get into her system!

And clearly this is not a virus! It’s hung around too long and real M.D.s have given it a Dx. stating so.  Plus, the Biaxin has made a minute difference.  It has helped just a little bit, but not very much.

I’m not going to worry about it too much for now.  I really can’t because…well, I can’t do anything.  I’m just sort of “stuck.”  I can only keep taking the Biaxin until Monday, see if some kind of “miracle” happens, and I’m all better by then.  I highly doubt it.  If not, I will take a trip back to the Walk-In, get masked up all over again, and see what they have to say about all of this?

Damn that wee, yellow, oval shaped…  I wish I could call Gastro Man on the phone and talk to him right now.

Today was the “Official” Last Day of my Course! We picked up our “Report Cards” and afterward, the few of us and the Instructor went out to lunch.  I didn’t really want to go.  I’m still sick with bronchitis bastardium, however, the other girls in the class really wanted me to be there.  Okay…I don’t like to be “Party Pooper PA.”

We went to a buffet that was Asian in name and a lot of food that they served, but they had other things.  It’s a chain here.  I tend to dislike buffets, as I can never eat the cost of the “All-You-Can-Eat-Special.”  This place is exactly one of those buffets! I don’t know how, but I may have managed to consume about one quarter of my own weight in food.  I’m not sure exactly, but what I am sure of, is that I ate a hell of a lot! That’s very good.  I’m in Gastro Hell again, and also in the Weight Loss Danger Zone again.

So, it is the end of our meal, we pay the bill, and each receive Fortune Cookies! Our Instructor was sitting beside me, and all of the sudden, she started smashing the crap out of the little cookie on the table with her fist! I stared at her for a while.  Then I spoke:

PA: “What the hell are you doing???”

Instructor: “No! No! You guys! You guys! There’s a WAY to do this…!!!”

I sat back and awaited what pearls of wisdom were to come.  Pearls of absolute hilarity, more like it! Now, maybe some of you out there are already familiar with “The Fortune Cookie Ritual.”  Today, I was lucky enough to be Blessed with this Knowledge.  And so, I am here to share it with you.

The Steps of The Fortune Cookie Ritual

  1. Select your Fortune Cookie and “open it” by giving it several, strong blows with your fist against the table.
  2. Select one, single piece of the Fortune Cookie and eat it.
  3. If you are in a group, proceed around your table with the next steps.  If not, do by pair, or alone.
  4. After you have finished eating the one piece of your Fortune Cookie, read aloud your Mystical and Prophetic Fortune from The Cookie! However! DO NOT finish reading your Mystical and Prophetic Fortune from The Cookie, until you have fully understood Step Number 5.
  5. When reading your Mystical and Prophetic Fortune from The Cookie aloud, finish the statement by yelling at the top of your lungs: “…IN BED!!!

May you now go forth, in betterment with this Wisdom, for the Peace and Prosperity of all Humankind.


CODA: So, are you all dying to know what my “Mystical and Prophetic Fortune from The Cookie” was today? Well, I’m still trying to figure it out, actually.  Funny.  It may be rather…well, I don’t know if it’s necessarily “Mystical,” or “Prophetic,” but maybe a head scratcher? Alright, here you are:

“To want to forget something is to think of it…IN BED!!!

Erm…okay.  I’m not sure what to say about that one! I kind of have an inking that it won’t work though…?



“Multiphasic Invoculator” by Freaky Chakra

I haven’t been around for a few days.  I’ll probably be around now that I’m back, but I may require “frequent pauses.”  I’m not sure.  I need one now, though.  My eyes that are already like slits are about to close at any moment.  I am in a lot of pain and well…

I’m not eating moldy bread, though.  Close.  I’m chomping down loads of Penicillin.  Also, if anyone was under the misconception that the whole moldy bread thing was how Fleming discovered Penicillin, nope.  True, it was an “accident,” but it was just one Staph. sample that “somehow” got nailed with mold when nobody was looking.  After that, bob’s yer uncle.

Nonetheless, I am suffering from the worst case of bronchitis in my life.  That statement may not hold any particular gravity to you, or it may sound like an overstatement, but let me assure you, it is not!

I have had upper respiratory problems ever since I was a child.  That made for one sick wee, wee PA a lot of the time.  Ear tubes as a baby, croup, constant ear infections requiring drops, pneumonia, bronchitis, allergy shots, oh, hell! Let’s just blanket it all as “chronic upper respiratory infections.”  Yep.

Each winter, you could say I’m “semi-chronic” as far as bronchitis goes? I got it last year (not as bad as this!) The year before, I was fine.  Prior to that? I know I did a few years ago.

What does me in, is an initial viral exposure (this time it was that damn Norwalk/norovirus!) which normally, my immune system can handle.  It may take a while, maybe longer than healthier folks, but I should get there, eventually.  However, if there are other factors at play, the good ol’ bronchitis will flare up, afterward.  Stress, other health concerns in general, both physical and mental.

Last year I was still where I am now–no job and stressed as hell about that! Right now, I’ve still got that to deal with, the stress of school, and also my gastro problems have come back.  What do you think? Easy to see how my immune defenses could have failed me a bit, should a bacterial infection come on the heels of a viral one? My body just didn’t have the resources to cope.

Well, let’s hope it can get it together along with my “mold pills,” here.  I haven’t been on penicillin in years! In fact, not since I was a kid! The doctor I saw in the clinic–oh, and get this–PA was so ill, she had to mask up! I’ve never had to mask up, unless working with patients!!! Yes, I am that sick!!!

Still, things are moving unbelievably slowly, plus there is some “bad” news.  I’ve been on these damn “mold pills” since Friday, and I am still crawling around on my hands and knees unless I’m simply lying in bed.  Occasionally, I get a respite from that by coughing so hard I look like I’m doing the St. Vitus’ Dance–or maybe having one of my seizures.  I’ve just never coughed during any of my seizures.

Ah, yes.  I mentioned “bad” news? My “mold pills” are starting to upset my stomach.  I’m taking them with food, but with all of this coughing, I don’t need to add “Stress Incontinence” to my list of problems.  At least antibiotics don’t give me yeast infections. Egad.