lessons in breathing, boob tubes, & vulnerability

After my surgery, I got a flu shot and a big dose of antibiotics.  I hadn’t had a flu shot in years, though my asthma puts me in the high risk category–and I’m supposed to.  I figured I would this year because my body had zero gut flora and was fighting just to be normal.

I contemplated getting another shot this autumn, but the weekend I was supposed to do it, Boulder flooded.  And then life just got busy.  By the time things calmed down, I figured it was too late.  Plus, I’d felt kinda low-grade crappy for a few weeks…not sure if it was just exhaustion, my body being a general punk, or allergies.  I read somewhere that, since I had a shot prior to this current season, I was probably okay against most things and would have at least some immunity.

Maybe that was true.  I dunno.  But I’ve felt low-grade sick for a while–and then things kicked up a bit last week.  Nausea (more than my normal gus-related BS), fever, sinus infection level congestion, aches/pains, and pretty much the worst head and jaw pain of my entire life.  Which was not amusing because I can’t see my new doctor until December.  And then, it’s just a meet and greet rather than an actual appointment.

I had a really terrible sinus infection back in January.  I went to see a doctor who just wasn’t for me and got some antibiotics.  It got better for about a week and then came back way worse.  Just after that was when my gall bladder blew up.  But I’ve had the sinus infection symptoms pretty much ever since.  The only time it got better was this summer when my body had an allergic reaction to life and my then new doc put me on Prednisone.  For three whole days, that horrible feeling went away and I could breathe.  And then, it came back.  I would have gone back to see my doc, but she stopped practicing all of a sudden.  Chinese herbs worked a little, but no longer.  Cutting dairy and gluten helped, but there’s still that crappy thing.  Whose volume turned way up this week.  Five days of the worst migraine of my entire life.  I got a sleep guard because I was worried I was grinding my teeth–causing the jaw pain…which came with a nose…opener?…and that helped a bit, but–ultimately–was too uncomfortable.  I full-on assaulted this thing this past weekend with everything I possibly could do.  Felt better on Sunday.  Felt bad on Monday.  Okay this morning, and now–back to crap.

No bueno.


Given all of this, I’ve been spending too much time in bed.  Usually watching tv, reading, or doing small art projects for my vulnerability class.  Yes–a vulnerability class.  Led by Brene Brown–who is kind of my hero.  It’s been fun and worthwhile.  I’m planning on sharing my stuff eventually.  Maybe just on Pinterest.  Not sure about here.  We’ll see.

Anyway…it’s funny because the other day, I was thinking I missed keeping a gratitude journal.  I used to do it pretty regularly and then started doing it on Pinterest.  But I realized that it had less meaning because most of the pictures I pinned were random shots found on the site.  The ones that were mine were powerful for me.  But I tended to do it only during big things and not every day.  Mostly because I forget to take time for myself.  I forget to stop.  I don’t write every day and find it difficult to even write a paragraph most days.

I decided to reignite the gratitude journal, but to use my camera to do it.  It’s much easier for me to snap shots–and I always have my iPhone.  Given various things, I need to keep focusing on the positive when negativity feels overwhelming.  So, I decided I’ll take photos every single day and then share them once a week.  While I was out sick on Monday, I finally caught up with my Brene class and discovered this project is one of her creative exercises.  Ha.  Great minds.  So, I feel even better about it.  It truly has helped me weather the storms–though today was quite hard.  I was able to rein in my anger, though–so we’re good.  I can only think it’ll do wonders for my attitude every day.


So, like I said, I’ve been watching lots of television lately.  I’ve sort of been on a mission to revisit all my favorite shows and some of the old school ones I don’t quite remember.  Along the way, I’m finding new ones.

This past week, I finished watching the rest of season 3 of Treme–just in time for the last few episodes that air next month.  I’m not sure how I managed to miss this show when it first aired, but I’m glad I found it eventually.  I absolutely fell in love with season 1.  Despite the post-Katrina apocalyptica thing, I totally wanted to move to New Orleans after watching this show.  I’ve actually never been to N’Orleans.  I’ve driven through the state of Louisiana.  An ex fell in love with the city a long time ago, before Katrina, and I have a couple friends who live there now.  I was supposed to go when I was in Houston, but there was an interesting detour.  I’ve always meant to go.  But I really didn’t know I needed to go until watching this series.

It’s the music.  It’s the celebration of life and death.  It’s the people.  I know I’ll hate the humidity, and eating the wrong food could kill me, but MAN–I have to visit N’Orleans someday.  I really just have to.

I found myself binging on this show.  Staying up till the wee hours–singing the music–falling in love with most of the characters.  The ending of season 1 haunted me and reminded me of what great tv does.  Such good stuff.

Season 2 was all about crime coming back to the city and was entirely too violent for my taste.  Mostly because the violence wasn’t completely necessary to tell the story.  Favorite characters did really disappointing things.  Season 3 was about money coming back to the city along with its associated corruption.  I had a hard time with this last season.  I thought it’d never happen, but I started fast-forwarding through the music.  I felt anxious every time I watched–certain that one of my favorite characters would be murdered by a corrupt cop.  But it didn’t happen.  To my simultaneous relief and disappointment.  The show felt safer in an odd way.  The characters were less endearing and too predictable.  The payoffs weren’t gratifying.

Maybe this was all on purpose.  I dunno.  It was still better than most shows on tv.

I still love the show, though.  I still love The Guardians and their striving to be the prettiest.  I still love Antoine and Davis.  I still adore Del and Big Chief–their relationship reminds me of the one I had with my Mama.  I still root for Toni, fighting her good fight, and maybe getting the guy.  I hope LP comes back.  My former favorite, Annie, now makes me want to puke.

Just like old friends.  I’ll miss them.


It’s difficult to tell stories that are layered and nuanced–with strong characters and interesting arcs that feel real.  If you do it right, many people will hate your characters and your story at some point.  Because that’s the nature of humanity.  You can’t always be likeable.  Life sometimes sucks.  People make bad choices.

But, if you keep it authentic–just like in real life–the audience can forgive them and can see the circumstances a bit differently.  Too many writers don’t take that risk–to trust the sharp edges and let them bleed.


I watched the latest episode of Awkward tonight.  It was a double episode, and I was looking forward to it.  When I first started watching it, I was actually surprised by it…by how much they got right.  Yes, it was melodramatic and worthy of its guilty pleasure fluff label.  But I actually found myself relating to the characters and kinda falling in love with them.  There were stereotypes, sure, but sometimes–the writers broke that.  Most of the characters were actually pretty well done and endearing.

Well, until this season.  They basically made decent characters formulaic.  Like some horrible Miley Cyrus trainwreck.  It flat out made me sad.  I hope it finds its way back.  Until then, I’ll just hate-watch.

Have a good week, y’all.


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