Underneath my yellow skin

Category Archives: Health

How to deal with my broken mind

I have a broken mind. This has been true since I was a kid. Or rather, I’ve always been different. I loved to read and always had my nose in a book. I devoured them rapidly, moving from one to the next the second I was done with the first. A part of the reason why was because I hated life with every fiber of my being. I can’t remember a time when I thought it was a good thing to be alive and is it nature? Is it nurture? I don’t know. Or, more to the point, it’s a complex mixture of both. By my mother’s account, I was a happy and cheerful toddler–though she is an unreliable narrator. She looks at things in the past through rose-colored glasses, mostly so she doesn’t have to deal with the negative ramifications that linger.

I am pretty sure this is one of her coping mechanisms in dealing with my father because he’s pretty unrelentingly negative. I also know that her childhood wasn’t the happiest and that she never felt like she was loved by her mother. Who, by the way, was a real piece of work. Probably shouldn’t have been a mother, but it was expected of women of her generation and culture (Taiwanese). She definitely favored her sons over her daughters and for whatever reason, my mother was her least-favorite.

All that is to say that my mother came into parenting with some faulty ideas as to what it takes to be a parent and what it meant to be a parent. More specifically, a mother. I also think one of the reasons she decided to have children was to have someone to love her unquestioningly, which was destined to fail. You don’t have kids for what they can do for you–ideally, that is. Many people do, much to their own detriment.

Ever since I can remember, I was not happy in my own skin. My mom made dresses for me, which is so not my jam. I like a long flowy skirt and I wore a dress now and again in my twenties, but it never felt right. It wasn’t a gender thing, but a sensory thing. I hate clothing and try to wear as little as possible. Dresses generally cover more than other clothing and is restrictive to boot. I liked to climb trees when I was a kid–which was also something that I was told I shouldn’t do as a girl–and that’s really hard to do in a dress. I was considered a tomboy and frowned upon for being, well, too much.


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When the student becomes the master

I’m still bothered by my doctor’s insistence on my weight, but here’s a weird thing. My clothes are fitting better. A pair of shorts that were tight on me months ago are now swimming. There’s the possibility that they stretched, but not that much. My weight is still high so my guess is muscles. My body is made for muscles, thankfully.

Side Note: I am insanely pleased with my biceps. And my ass. I’ll get to that in a second. Yes, I know I’ve blathered about it before, but I don’t care.

When I had to use my desktop briefly, I loved having my dual screens. It was so nice not to have two sets of browsers squished side by side. On the other hand, my desktop does not have an SSD so waiting for it to do anything was torture.

Side Note II: It’s really funny how tech rapidly goes from ‘never in a million years’ to ‘ how the fuck did I ever live without this?’ in a heartbeat. I still remember when I vowed I would never let emails replace handwritten letters and when I vowed that I would never use emojis. Then, when SSD became a thing, I scoffed at it because how much difference could it really make? A lot as it turned out. It’s funny because I am a weird mix when it comes to technology. On the one hand, I use it heavily and know more about it than most people. I said to my brother that I know a bit more than people in general and he said I knew a lot more. It’s hard to judge because I just use it the way I use it.

I rail against new inventions as being intrusive before unwillingly adapting them and then fully embracing them. Currently, I’m thinking about my next laptop because this one is on its last legs I think. I need my brother to take a look at it. I’m also thinking about getting a sit/stand desk with an ergonomic chair because I want to be more active without, well, being more active. I hated actively doing exercise whenever I tried it. I hated the gym. I hated brisk walking. I hated yoga. The only things I didn’t hate was lifting weights and dancing. Or more to the point, I liked the results of weightlifting and didn’t actively hate the activity while I loved dancing.

Taiji has been a godsend now that I’m obsessed with weapon. Not only is it something I really enjoy, but it’s excellent exercise. There’s a weightbearing set that I used to do, but I stopped when I got in my car accident. I would like to pick it up some day, but in the meantime, the weapons are an excellent weightbearing exercise.


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Tricking myself into being healthier

I’m fat and I know it. Don’t like it, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it bothers my doctor. Which is a lot. I’m going to have to change my doc again, sigh, because she is way too fixated on weight, pushy on me taking drugs I don’t want to take, and just not great in general. I had to pick a new doc during the pandemic and I basically closed my eyes and threw a dart. I chose someone I thought might be more holistic and compassionate, but, no. I’m not too mad at her because it’s so endemic in our society (thinking being fat is the worst thing in the world and morally wrong), but I’m certainly too old to put up with it.

At any rate, I want to lose weight because I hate the way I look. That’s it. I don’t care about the health implications and I never have. I know it’s all the vogue to say that I’m getting in shape for my health, but that’s just not true for me. Except one thing. I want to be sturdier and not so out of shape. I hate losing my breath just from walking more than I’m used to so I want to work on that. A few problems. One, My lung capacity isn’t great. Two, I have never been good with walking up and down stairs, probably because of aforementioned bad lung capacity.

I don’t do well with putting myself on a diet because I tend to become obsessed, much to my detriment. For me, the line between diet and eating disorder is exceedingly thin and easily crossed. Even when I know about the dangers, I feel myself getting pulled into it and am helpless to stop it (I know I’m not actually, but it feels like it at the time.) The way I trick myself is to focus on eating better, not specifically looking for weight-losing foods or diets. I can’t count calories or weigh myself because they become obsessions in and of themselves. I tried to do inches as a substitute for pounds, but I know the conversion and that didn’t work, either.

If I do anything that smacks of dieting, I start spiraling. How do I get around that? By focusing on the foods themselves.

Side note: It seems that the lactose-free foods I’ve been imbibing are no longer sitting well in my stomach so I’m going to have to go completely dairy-free, sadly.

I started the journey by cutting out dairy and gluten. Caffeine is up and down, and I’m still not sure if I should imbibe it or not. I don’t want to talk about it again because I’ve nattered on and on about it, but there are pros and cons to me drinking caffeine that have to do specifically with my migraines. Anyway, eating vegetarian/vegan doesn’t necessarily mean eating healthy because a lot of the subs have oils and such, which means calories. I’m trying to cut out on plant-based mayo, plant-based cheese, plant-based butter, etc. It’s not easy, however, because there’s a part of my brain saying, “You can eat so little, why not gorge on the things you CAN eat?”


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I am a delicate flower, damn it

The heat has finally broken–somewhat. It’s 75 right now, which is still outside my comfort zone, but it’s way better than 107. My parents were shocked when I told them because it’s actually hotter than where they are–which almost never happens. They asked how I’ve been dealing with it. With AC, a fan blowing on high directly on me, iced water, and ice packs. Also, taking off my shirt when the sun goes down. I’m a less is more kind of gal in general when it comes to clothing in part because of hating clothing on my skin and partly because I hate being hot. Oh, also constrained. In my idea world, I would  be naked all the time in a 50 degree world. That’s not gonna ever happen, though, because that’s not the world I live in.

My energy has been sapped even for the few minutes I’m outside when I’m taking a few puffs. It’s just so oppressive, especially when you’re not used to it. It’s similar to how the South deals with an inch of snow–it’s no big deal unless it only happens once every five years or so. We get over a hundred on occasion, but not for a solid week as we did this time. We’re supposed to get back up in the nineties this week, which is just not right. I mean, yes, it’s June and yes it’s summer. But this is Minnesota! We’re not built to deal with sustained 100 degrees.

Even though I’m inside most of the time, I’m still affected by the heat. My sleep has been worse than usual and my brain refuses to think. I’m grumpy, which, admittedly, is my normal state of mind, but it’s also extra with the heat. I feel like a dope for being so susceptible to heat, but it’s the way I am. I love the cold with all my heart and feel alive when the temperature is around zero. But anything over sixty is not fun for me and past seventy, I want to throat-punch somebody. Eighty? Grrrrr. Ninety is unfathomable and a hundo is personally hurtful.

I’m drinking iced water and iced coffee like they’re going out of style, which is helping a bit. But mostly, I’m just mad. I know it doesn’t help, but it’s how I feel.

In better news, my left thumb is roughly 92% right as rain. That steroid shot was a miracle worker, but I’m glad the doc clarified that it might take up to two weeks to work. I had been expecting it to be like magic and work instantly. Knowing that wasn’t the case meant I didn’t freak when it didn’t get better right away. It took a few days for it to improve at all and by the one week point, I was at roughly 60%. Now, I can bend it with very minimal pain and it’s only slightly sore when I touch it. To be honest, I’ll be happy if it stays like this and doesn’t get any better. I’m just so relieved I can use it again.


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It’s too hot, too hot, way too fucking hot, baby

The week of mean heat continues, much to my dismay. Last summer, my AC went off maybe one or two days. It’s been on almost nonstop since Friday (it’s now Tuesday). It’s been in the eighties at 11 at night. In other words, it’s fucking hot. I have the AC on, a fan blowing on the highest setting, and plenty of ice drinks. Also hot coffee, but that’s only because I ran out of coffee. Been drinking it cold in the past few days. I have an ice pack for my thumb, which means putting it on my (naked) chest as well. I’m eating popsicles like they were going out of style.

Speaking of my thumb, I can actually bend it again! By itself! Without pushing on it! With minor clicking and pain! It’s been a week since I got the steroid shot and it’s so much better than before. What a relief. Even if it doesn’t become 100% again, I’m elated with the results. Science works, bitchez!

In the first several days after the shot, I took it really easy on my thumb. I didn’t do any of my left side weaponry or two-handed weaponry, much to my chagrin. I did the right side sword and right side saber, both which involves holding the weapon briefly with the left hand in the beginning and end of the form, but it doesn’t really put pressure on the thumb itself. In general, I don’t use my left thumb on the regular, especially now that I’ve taught myself to use my right thumb to hit the spacebar, but it’s nice that I don’t have to baby it so much.

One of the boons to being dairy-free/gluten-free now is that there are many substitutes that are nearly as good as/as good as/better than the original product. However, that’s also the down side as the subs use much fats to get that creamy mouth feel. I should have realized that on my own, but I didn’t think about it–probably chose not to think about it. Now that I’ve decided to ‘eat healthier’ (put in quotes because it’s all about the numbers), that means cutting out most of the dairy subs. Cheese, sour cream, and soft spreads–I’m using up what I have and buying no more. I’m also cutting back on chocolate and am very close to animal/fish free. Does that mean I’m going to be a default vegan? Yup, pretty much.

Still hot. Still grumpy. Gonna end it with this video.

Fat, health, and what lies between

I want to lose weight. I got weighed at the doctor’s office and yeah not happy with the number. Even though the rest of the numbers are fine. It doesn’t help that the doctor, much like most doctors, is focused on that one number to the exclusion of the other numbers. I know I’ve been steadily gaining weight in the past several years, even when giving up gluten and dairy. Part of the problem is that many of the substitutes for dairy are full of fat themselves–which I didn’t really think about but was reminded of this week.

I will be painfully honest. I could say that I’m concerned about my weight for health reasons, but it’s not true. It’s all about looks and the fact that as much as I’ve become neutral about being fat, I still would prefer not to be. I know that it sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but it really is a different mindset.

Side Note: It’s similar to when I took the depression survey. I garnered a total of twelve and anything over six is considered worrisome. However, I was sure that I scored fifteen to twenty before (which my doctor ignored), which meant that I was in a much better place than before. That meant nothing to the doctor as she was focused on the 12. I understand from her point of view, but she didn’t even try to see it from mine.

It’s the same with my body. I used to hate it with the heat of a thousand suns. I worked on deescalating that hatred for many years and now I’m mostly neutral about it. I don’t love it, but I don’t hate it the way I once did. I don’t actively want to beat it into submission, for example. Because of taiji weapons, I now like my biceps and my ass. That’s an improvement.

Goddamn it. It’s too hot and I’m wilting like a delicate flower. It’s been 90 to 110 in the past few days, which is way out of my comfort zone.

Healthy? Wealthy? Wise!

It’s official. My left thumb is trigger thumb. Met my new doc yesterday and she confirmed it. Gonna get a steroid shot next week. I asked what happened when it wore off. She looked at me blankly and said that there was the possibility it would take care of it for good. Yeah, right. My mother has had to get steroid shots more than once, but it could be because she’s not proactive about not reinjuring herself. She’s really good with rehab, but no so good at preventative. I’m the same, actually. Once I know the problem, I’ll tackle it single-mindedly. Figuring out that problem? Also on it! Preventing said problem from happening? Hahaha, no. My new doc said that I should try to figure out what’s triggering it, no pun intended, I’m sure. I have a hunch that a certain taiji spear drill started it. When I mentioned it to my doc, she looked confused but gamely said maybe I shouldn’t do that drill. I reassured her that I’d stopped doing that particular drill.

It’s funny how little I use my left thumb in my daily life especially now that I’ve retrained myself to smash the spacebar with my right thumb instead of my left. I do mouse with my left so maybe I should change that back. I rarely mouse, though, as I do most things with keyboard shortcuts. I don’t even use my thumb to mouse, really. So the tendons running up and down my thumb are swollen. The steroid shot will reduce the swelling and the main mission is to make sure it doesn’t swell again. I am not giving up taiji weapons for the left side, though. There really isn’t any pressure on the thumb itself so it shouldn’t be bad for my thumb. I dunno. I may give it a rest after I get the shot next week. We’ll see. I’ll ask the doc what they think (ortho specialist). It really doesn’t bother me on the regs and only hurts when I touch it. But, bending it would be nice. Also, not flinching in pain when I accidentally touch it.

Let’s talk taiji weapons because I can and because I love them. The Double Saber is my current jam and I love them so much. I have escrima sticks when I want to go as quickly as possible and not worry about smacking anything with the blades. I also have my showy flimsy blades that have colored scarves on the handles that look fantastic as I wave them in the air. It’s definitely more for show than for praticality and one day I will get a truly magnificent set that is both gorgeous and useful. My sword is both beautiful and useful–or rather, it would be if I sharpened the blade. I paid a pretty penny for it, but I rationalized that I would have it for the rest of my life. This was five or six years ago…maybe more? I still have it and still use it every day.

Of course, I will get a non-wooden saber at some point, too, but that’s less of interest to me at the moment. I’ve grown to appreciate the saber in a way I never thought possible when I first started it, but it’s never going to be my favorite. Well, I can’t say never, but it’s highly unlikely as long as the sword and the double sabers exist. Also, my teacher mentioned the Bagua Sword Form and my eyes lit up like it’s Christmas. I have too much to learn and yet the mere mention of another sword form jazzed me.


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Fearing the new and the After Times

In a few days, I will be fully vaxxed. And I’m still feeling the effects from the second shot. This is not to discourage anyone from getting the shots. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. It’s just that I am the type who wants to have all the information available so I can make a good decision and prepare for it. Because I knew the second shot was worse than the first for many people and I had looked up the possible side effects, I was prepared. It helped that I knew I was someone who reacted badly to shots in general. I had a reaction to the first shot and I had a small achy bump on the jab site until I got my second shot three weeks and one day later.

I bought easy-to-eat foods before the second shot (ha! I first wrote boss), including gluten-free crackers and Kite Hill Cracked Black Pepper soft spreadable plant-based cheeze (no dairy). I was prepared to do nothing more than feed my cat and watch endless YouTube videos, which was pretty much what I did. It’s almost two weeks after the shot and I’m still tired as fuck. My arm is a little sore and I get body aches randomly, but I’d say I’m 75% better. So tired, though. So very tired.

Veering wildly, I’ve been watching Eurogamer’s Aoife Wilson play Resi VIII because I like her and I like Lady D, even though I am not a Resi fan. I don’t find horror games scary at all. I don’t know why that is. Actually, I don’t find horror movies that scary, either–especially the kind with jump scares. Psychological horror is different. But, the last Resi, eh. It was just body horror, which I don’t like at all. I will say that PT by Kojima was very tense, but that’s probably the closest I’ve gotten to scared while watching a game. I’m squeamish in that sense. But scary? No. I didn’t find Resi 7 scary at all. Then again, I didn’t play it. But I like the aesthetics of Resi VIII and the vampire ladies, of course. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? It’s all about Lady D. I just adore her in a large part because she’s a middle-aged woman who looks her age* and she’s not stereotypically hot.

I just went down the rabbit hole of reading the tweets from Maggie Robertson who voices and did the mo-cap for Lady D. She is definitely not what I expected (blond and cheerful) and I am here for it. She’s a delight and so appreciative of all the Lady D love. I want to be Lady D for Halloween or some other time when I can dress up. I have the boobs to do her justice and she just ticks off all my boxes. For cosplaying, I mean. I still find it funny that people are SO thirsty for her, but I’m glad. Anyway, I’m tired. This is all for now.


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My body is not a temple

clyde wallace, the wolf-bear, introduces himself.
I’m a wolf! I’m a bear! I’m Clyde Wallace and I’m both.

In the weekend post at AAM, someone asked what you would wish for if you had three wishes. The twist was that the first wish had to be for yourself, the second had to be for everyone, and the third could be whatever. I thought it was an interesting question, so I thought about it a bit. The second one I waver between everyone not having to worry about the basic needs being met (housing, healthcare, etc.) and eradicating all isms. The reason I don’t make those the second and third wishes is because I want to make a good welfare to all animals wish as well. Oh, of course, there can be no wishing for more wishes.

The first was the most interesting because there were a ton of things I could have said–be a best-selling author, know all the taiji weapons forms, etc. Or be the best at FromSoft games in all the world. But the first thought I had and the one that stuck to me was good health, both mental and physical. That seems especially relevant now and I’m going with that one. My father ends every conversation with a pompous monologue about how health is the most important thing and as annoying as it is, he’s right. So much of my life has been shit because of my varying health issues. I would get rid of them in a heartbeat if it were possible.

Back to Cozy Grove by Spry Fox. The biggest tip I could give to a newcomer would be to take the game as it is. When I first started playing, I would get impatient because there was so much I couldn’t do at the moment. I didn’t like that the game would introduce things such as the brokenhearted imps without me being able to do anything about it (no cocoa beans). It stressed me out until I realized that there was no negative consequence to not being able to do something at the moment. I mean, I didn’t like it, but I was able to let it go.

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Competing needs: which will win?

I’ve been experimenting with drinking caffeine again because it’s good for my migraines (but not too much) and it’s might be good for whatever is ailing my left thumb. Heh. I first wrote thump. Left thump. That’s funny. Anyway, It’s been a few months and the results have been mixed. I’ve been mostly migraine symptoms free, so yay! Thumb is slowly and painfully getting better. Not fast enough for my liking and I don’t know if caffeine has anything to do with it. I’ve been stretching and massaging it daily, which is probably the real reason it’s doing better.

It’s fucking my sleep really badly, though. at least, that’s what I think is the problem. I don’t think it’s caffeine in general, but either how much I’m drinking or when I’m drinking it. Or rather, not how much I’m drinking, but how strong I’m making the coffee. Either way, I’m falling asleep anywhere from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. and getting up…well, there’s no set time any longer. On the one hand, it doesn’t matter because I rarely have to be anywhere in the morning. On the other hand, it’s really fucking with me not to have any kind of schedule.

When I was going to bed at 7-8 a.m. and getting up around 1 p.m., that was a schedule. It wasn’t a great schedule, but it was a schedule, nonetheless.

Ok. Because of said schedule, I’m tired. Done for the day.