Monday, August 30, 2010

So it's Monday and I should be having Jazz nerves or something, but I'm not because I am not going to class tonight. I'm not going to class tonight because I am really really freaking tired. I'm really really freaking tired because my body has decided to go haywire on me again.

Twelve or so years ago at the age of 23 I was first diagnosed as Type 2 diabetic with familial hyperlipdimia. The diagnosis came after a horrible case of eruptive xanthoma (literally fat deposits pushing up through the skin). I was really sick at the time. My lipid panel showed a cholesteral or 600 my triglycerides were 5600 and my glucose level was bad ,though I don't remember how high it wasn't all THAT bad. This all came only about a year after I was finally diagnosed with bi-polar II after all the years of agoraphobia, anxiety panic disorder and blah blah blah. So I've been fighting pretty much non stop all these years to keep the delicate balance of all these things going. There are lots of pills and lots of injections and lots of doctors appointments and more blah blah blah. I work hard at it because someone once told me it was possible I wouldn't make it to 30 and if I did I was surely going to have had my first coranary event by then. I'm 35 now and none of those things have come to pass. I am in no way perfect but I try. Sometimes things get a little off and I don't try that hard.

This year has been kind of sucky for my health. Last year around this time I had a nice bout of asthmatic bronchitis that required breathing treatments and a shot of prednisone.(I have asthma history That was a new one for me, I'd always been given oral steroids in the past. At the beginning of this year I caught Cyd's stupid cold and although I was rundown and stuffed up I didn't think too much of it until the night I suddenly started feeling as if someone was shoving an icepick in my ear. (I have ear history too). When I finally got to the doctor the next morning I founf out that both my ears were horribly infected and that the left eardrum had perforated. We were in the middle of Rakkasah rehersals at the time. It was lovely. Spaced in between have been stomach incidents and random vomitting and woooo hoo.

A few months ago I was afraid I was having ear problems again and went in to see a doctor who was not my normal primary care. He said my ears were fine but it seemed that I probably had tmj. I happened to mention the all over body pain that I was having that had been particularly intense around then and he questioned me a bit about it poking me in various places and seeming really suprised that it ALL hurt. "You walk around like this all the time?" he asked. I told him yup I was just kind of used to it by now. He ordered the typical arthrits and lupus tests that always come back negative on me but also wanted to check my vitamin D on a hunch. When the results of the Vitamin D came back it turned out my level was 7 (30 is low). So I took a three month course of 50,000 units of D a week. The pain started dissapating a bit.

So now here we are in the last month or so. Recently the normal ache I have in my hands has turned to something completely different. For weeks many times when I grab something with the tips of my fingers (drawer pulls, keys, door knobs just to name a few) I often get this piercing pain that feels quite like someone has just cut the tip of my finger off! I never know when it's going to happen so often I am standing there shocked and shuddering as the pain runs through my hold body going wtf? About two weeks ago I started getting numbness in my fingers. So I made an appointment to see my doctor. I went and had my fasting lipids, A1C etc done before I saw her.

When the results started coming into my e-mail box I was even more WTF! My cholesteral is 353 my triglycerides are back up to 1878 and my A1C is 8.2 (that one is my fault I know). There is not apparant reason for these things to have all of a sudden gone crazy again other than the fact that maybe a medication has stopped working. I eat rather well and I excercise a TON. The most bizarre result was my vitamin D, it is now 5. Yeah it went down!

And my hands? Beginnings of diabetic neuropathy of course!

So it's all back to fiddling with meds, trying this and that and attempting to get myself back on track. So apparently there will be days like this and it's OK. I have to remember that, because my body may be a broke down bitch sometimes but my mind is a drill sergent who finds it unacceptable to rest. They need to learn to work together because feeling guilty for not dancing some days will get me nowhere.

I know this was an extremely boring entry. Sorry apparently I'm tired all over.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jazz Mondays

Last Monday I took my first jazz class in 24 or so years. For some reason jazz has me spazzing out on the anxiety end of things. I was on the verge of tears most of last Monday as I played the argue with the voice of irrational fear game. I was surprised though, I never doubted that I would go. I was just struggling. It's the same kind of struggle I had the first time I took a belly dance class, it's the same struggle I had the first time I went to Suhaila's on my own (and by on my own I just mean without my friend taking class with me. Cyd still rode with me). It's the same kind of struggle I go through again and again, though it gets a little less severe with each new thing. I'm having it a bit today too.

I actually had quite a bit of anxiety during the jazz class last week . I always try to break down what is causing things. For some reason jazz is putting me in that "omg people are looking at me!" head space that is part of the orgin of my anxiety disorder. Perhaps it's because jazz is what I had been taking when the agoraphobia first started to get it's claws into me. I know one thing that makes me feel incredibly vulnerable is the arms. In belly dance or even ballet there is a roundness to arms most of the time that gives me the illusion that I am still protecting my core/belly. I'd almost forgotten how much I do that. I have a tendency to keep my arms very close to my body or in a position that still feels protective. Jazz requires this straight openness that makes me feel incredibly vulnerable, like on the verge of tears vulnerable. Thankfully I posses enough crazy to feel that when something really scares me I have to push through it.

So today I'm nervous and scared for my second jazz class. I know there will be moments that terrify me, but I will try to do them anyway. I will allow myself to look like an ass because there is just no other way to learn. There will be moments that I am having so much fun that the fear falls away. I will feel the joy of movement and forget the past that I'm always using those arms to protect myself against. I will have proved again that I use dance to live.

Friday, August 20, 2010


So here I am again. After a wonderful year of working on my dancing with Kitiera and being a part of the Modrom Dance Collective it's time for Kitiera to follow her heart home to Seattle. Am I sad? I am ,though I am far more happy for her than anything. I must admit at first I sat in my room and panicked. I thought "oh great here we go again. I will be aimless and lost and have no teacher and waaaaa waaa waa. maybe I should just give up". So I sat down and started to make a list of things I wanted to do.

This list made me remember that I am responsible for myself, and that I am perfectly capable of accepting that responsibility. I often forget that though each of my teachers have been an amazing asset to my learning, they did not do the learning for me. They don't suck all the knowledge they have imparted back into themselves when I am no longer in close contact with them. These of course seem like logical things, but often when I am faced with change I regress quite a bit. For moments in time I have not moved passed that terrified little girl/adolecent who could barely handle walking out the front door of the house. The key to surviving this is to push through the crazy (not to say one might not linger there for a while), take a deep breath and move the next foot forward.

When I had "meanwhile, I keep dancing" tattooed on my foot on my last birthday it was in anticipation of those moments. It doesn't really have much to do with dancing (though I firmly believe dancing saved my life) and everything to do with the fact that I know that "I get up, I walk, I fall down" is the only constant in life. Everything continues to cycle and it is only by sheer will that we all "keep dancing".

So right now I'm in the growing cycle. It's painful at times of course, there are some moments I still think "why do I do this? I could just live" because each step seems so huge. Fortunatly it seems the urge to dance and be creative and live what I think is beautiful always seems to win out over those thoughts. So so far I've done quite a few things on my list. I choreographed a song I'd wanted to for quite some time. I've registered to dance at Desert Dance Festival which will be my first solo festival performance (why yes I have been doing this for seven years). In fact I applied to dance at the Redwood Coast Bellydance Festival also. I registered my domain and even started working on it a tiny bit. I've started taking adult jazz and a mixed adult ballet/modern class. That latter being so amazingly synchronistic I can't even believe it. So yep, it seems I'm going to keep dancing.