Monday, March 20, 2006

Gee, Maybe It's All Stress


(with an "X" by the ones I've had the last 6-8 months)

X sleep disturbances
X back, shoulder or neck pain
X tension or migraine headaches
X upset or acid stomach, cramps, heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome
constipation, diarrhea
X weight gain or loss, eating disorders
hair loss
X muscle tension
X fatigue
high blood pressure
irregular heartbeat, palpitations
asthma or shortness of breath
chest pain
sweaty palms or hands
cold hands or feet
X skin problems (hives, eczema, psoriasis, tics, itching)
X periodontal disease, jaw pain
X reproductive problems
X immune system suppression: more colds, flu, infections
growth inhibition
X nervousness, anxiety
X depression, moodiness
X irritability, frustration
X memory problems
X lack of concentration
X trouble thinking clearly
X feeling out of control
substance abuse
X phobias
X overreactions

And this tidbit: Susceptibility to yeast infections can be caused by prolonged periods of stress. Recurrent yeast infections may be from a relapse due to an alteration in the immune response system due to stress. Stress has been greatly underestimated in the cause of some illnesses and infections. You may need to find ways to reduce your stress as much as possible.

The "reproductive" problems have finally begun to ease up. It's pretty painful to go to a doctor for the second time and hear that you don't have a yeast infection, you don't have an STD (well, OK, it's *good* to hear that part) - there is, in fact, nothing wrong with you at all. Too bad for you that you're itchy and in pain.

You're stressed out. And your body's telling you so.

I decided to look up symptoms of stress after reading this post over at boingboing. In addition to all the other health problems I've had the last 6-8 months, I noticed I was getting these itchy and/or dry patches of skin. The itchy patches are now almost completely gone, and the dry patches are as well. My heartburn has gone away since I broke up with B. I had a nightmare last night that I was sick with some horrible virus or stomach flu again. I feel like I've done nothing but be sick for the last year.

For some time, I've had trouble sleeping. I still get up 3-4 times a night. When I brush my teeth, my gums bleed a lot more than they should. And I had these days of excessive thirst where no matter how much I drank, I still felt dehydrated. My moments of claustrophobia were starting to pick up, particularly in airplanes, then on the train. My claustrophobia has been mostly dormant for some time.

I didn't think any of these things were related.

Our client here at the day job is beginning a 3-week "work freeze" on all of their cell sites beginning the 31st.

I'm thinking that'll be a good time to take some time off.

Octavia Butler Clarion Scholarship

The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship will enable writers of color to attend one of the Clarion writing workshops, where Octavia got her start. It is meant to cement Octavia's legacy by providing the same experience/opportunity that Octavia had to future generations of new writers of color. In addition to her stint as a student at the original Clarion Writers Workshop in Pennsylvania in 1970, Octavia taught several times for Clarion West in Seattle, Washington, and Clarion in East Lansing, Michigan, giving generously of her time to a cause she believed in.

The first Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2007. We'll announce details of the application process later this year.

Our goal for a fully endowed scholarship fund is $100,000. At this time, we welcome your tax deductible gift of any amount to this fund. Please use the button (on the linked page) to donate via PayPal or a major credit card. If you'd prefer to make your donation in the form of a check or money order, please make it payable to "The Carl Brandon Society" and note that it is for "The Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund." Then mail your donation to:

The Octavia E. Butler
Memorial Scholarship Fund
c/o The Carl Brandon Society
P.O. Box 23336
Seattle, WA 98102