Tag Archives: brain

Ananke Rose. In the library. With the pitchfork.

So this is a conversation that happened today between someone who is in no way a medical professional, me, and my brain:

 So your doctor doesn’t know what’s causing your headaches?

Not really, but they’ve run all sorts of tests. I just started a new medication.

I think you need to take some time to focus on you.

Who is it that you think I focus on…?

You should really start exercising.

Excuse me?

That was bold.

I had some headaches once and it really helped me.


I see where this is going.

You know, just start walking or something. I think it would help take your mind off your head pain.

And on my hip pain…?

Have you considered it might be stress?

I’ve had a headache for 8 months. Straight. Yeah, I’ve thought of that.


How do you feel about prescription medications?

I’m on six of them.

Do you seriously think I’m not taking anything???

You should be taking Xanax.


That’s so weird… You don’t LOOK like my neurologist…

It would really help you relax.

I see.

*looks around the room* who are you talking to??

Seriously. Ask your doctor about Xanax.

You don’t look like my T.V. either… I’m pretty sure if my doctor wanted me to take Xanax, he’d prescribe it…

You are just way too stressed.

Thank you for trying to help.

Have you even met me…?


I don’t even know what to say about that.




You’re Awesome, but Also a Little Creepy: Part Three

NOTE: I stole some photos.  Click them to go to their sources.

So at the beginning of Part One I said, “If I’m being completely honest, I’m a bit torn as to how I feel about the amazing thing that is my brain. On the one hand…” and went from there. If you’ve read Part One and Part Two you might be wondering why I’m torn. It seems pretty simple, my brain is awesome. What’s the other hand?

Well, sometimes I see things. I don’t mean that I have hallucinations; I know these things are not actually there. And it’s not like I can’t see what other people see either. It’s like my brain looks at something and then says “Oh, sure. That’s what they want you to think” and then… changes it.

It’s just a flash; if I do a double-take it’s gone. It’s almost like I’m getting a glimpse of some alternate reality. Maybe it’s the dreams showing through…

So one time I was walking through Chicago O’Hare airport when I got on one of those moving sidewalk things. It looked like this:


But what my brain showed me was this:


Now that one is kind of fun, but they aren’t all.  For example, I then passed a shoe-shine station where the shiner (heh) had fallen asleep.  It looked vaguely like this:

But what I saw was this:



And it happens a lot.

My intent here was to list a few more examples, but since it isn’t a conscious choice to see these things, it’ll probably work better to just post them as they come up.

And so I introduce to you, a new page on this site: Mind Games

I’ll update it as I get new ones. I’ll attempt to put the most recent first. You’re welcome.

You’re Awesome, but Also a Little Creepy: Part Two

In addition to everything in Part One, I have this neat thing that happens when if I sleep, that’s really quite technical and very detailed.

The general gist of it is: my brain cannot differentiate between dreams and reality.

Essentially, due to some sleep issues identified during a medical sleep evaluation, I frequently (as in several times a minute) wake up just enough for my dreams to imprint on my conscious mind as ‘real’ before dropping back down into sleep. So I am awake enough for my brain to say ‘this is not a dream’ but it happens too fast to actually break me out of the dream and into full consciousness. I also have very long and distinct dream periods, so these ‘real dreams’ are often very long and very detailed.

I feel it’s important to point out that this is different from having ‘vivid and realistic dreams,’ because unless I make a conscious effort and constantly remind myself, it was not a dream.

Now try to imagine that every dream you’ve ever had, every surreal experience, every nightmare, was absolutely real.

Totally happened.

When I heard this from the doctor, it was like I’d found the final piece of some vast, complex puzzle and suddenly so many things, from as far back as I can remember, made perfect sense.

When I was younger, this often manifested itself so I would remember conversations and events that no one else did. But as I’ve gotten older, my dreams have become… darker. Sometimes it takes more than a week to cope with things that never really happened. Sometimes I find myself out of bed and across the room when whatever I’m looking at just… disappears. And I usually remember these dreams for years, to the point where I can actually cross reference them.

Many studies suggest this causes issues with memory failure and dissociative symptoms, and all things considered, how could it not?

But here’s the thing, right? I have a pretty excellent memory. And, as far as I can tell, I do not have any dissociative disorders.

And sometimes I think the recent (as in the last decade or so) darkness of my dreams is not a sign of a highly disturbed mind, or underlying mental illness, but is my brain’s way of protecting me.

Yep, that seems safe.

Maybe my subconscious figured out what was happening long before I heard it from a doctor, and compensated by making my dreams so dark and strange that it would be easier for me to tell them apart from reality. Sure, it means I’ve had to live through some pretty crazy stuff, but I can look around and see there clearly hasn’t been some catastrophic, plague-like event, and bookmark that memory as suspect.

And really, hardly any of them are actual nightmares, they just kind of sound that way. In fact, it’s the ones that don’t sound scary that usually are.



Are you lost? See Part Three

You’re Awesome, but Also a Little Creepy: Part One

So, if I’m being completely honest, I’m a bit torn as to how I feel about the amazing thing that is my brain.

In case you forgot what it looks like

In case you forgot what it looks like

On the one hand, there are an awful lot of reasons why it’s pretty damn awesome. For instance, I’m currently taking 6, count them 6, prescription medications every day. Side effects of this veritable pharmacy include:

  • Prescription 1 – dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, weight gain, blood clots, depression
  • Prescription 2 – nausea, stomach cramps, high blood pressure, mood changes, excessive sweating, involuntary quivering, irritability
  • Prescription 3 – dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, low energy, involuntary quivering, confusion, taste problems
  • Prescription 4 – dizziness, nausea, low energy, low blood pressure, swelling of the extremities, random lactation
  • Prescription 5 – drowsiness, nausea, stomach cramps, weight gain, random drops in blood pressure, mood changes, excessive sweating, involuntary quivering, restlessness, confusion, delusions, inability to focus
  • Prescription 6 – dizziness, drowsiness, nausea, weight gain, low energy, low blood pressure, mood changes, involuntary quivering, swelling of the extremities, blurred vision, inability to focus

And they come with warnings like:

  • Prescription 1 – Avoid grapefruits at all costs. (Why just grapefruit? Why not all citrus? Why is grapefruit special? I must look into this…)
  • Prescription 2 – Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting with your doctor. [This prescription type] is usually taken for life.
  • Prescription 3 – Limit alcoholic beverages. Avoid grapefruit at all costs.
  • Prescription 4 – This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.
  • Prescription 5 – This drug may make you drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when this drug is suddenly stopped. Also, you may experience symptoms such as mood swings, headache, tiredness, sleep changes, and brief feelings similar to electric shock.
  • Prescription 6 – This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or cause blurred vision. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness or clear vision until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is suddenly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased. If you are taking this medication 3 times a day, do not let more than 12 hours pass between doses because you may have a seizure. Also, the grapefruit thing again.

Perhaps you notice the pattern here.

Really, it’s any wonder I’m not wandering around constantly nauseated because I’m so damn dizzy all the time, all the while shaking uncontrollably and being moody, confused, and generally terrified of alcohol. And grapefruit.

Google image search for “creepy grapefruit.” Seriously.

It’s seems to me, despite the ridiculous ways in which life has seen fit to completely fuck me up, my brain (and body) have done a pretty good job of remaining sane and functional. Here’s to you, Me:



Are you lost? See Part Two and Part Three

I think your brain is sexy.

Wow, I don’t really know how to respond to that. Mostly because I take a lot of things at face value and my first thought was quite literal.



So what am I doing today?

I’ll tell you what I’m not doing today.

I’m not doing any house work or homework or prepping for the week.

I’m not cleaning or organizing or cooking or planning for a potential move.

I’m not doing laundry or dishes, or the million other things written on the various to do lists I’ve made and promptly misplaced.

I’m not implementing any of the efficient systems I’ve created in my mind to make my life easier.

I’m not working on any of the half-finished or barely begun projects sitting neglected around the house.

I’m not crafting, planning or being productive in any way.

I’m pretty sure there’s someone in my yard – I am not going to check.

I am not running errands.

What I am doing is trying to figure out how I, personally, can draw a meerkat and a weasel and have them be identifiably different.  I’m a long way from being an artist. And why does spell check tell me meerkat is spelled wrong (twice)? Maybe it’s never been to a zoo.

I am also wondering why my dog is licking my toe and why beeswax smells like sunshine.

I am considering drinking champagne.

I am questioning if there’s a way to calculate the speed of thought and how it compares to the speed of light. Probably it’s different for everyone. Maybe I’ll research this later.

I may light some candles and make more coffee. I love coffee.

I wonder if my head will every stop hurting and why my feet always itch.

It almost smells like snow.

I’m comforted by the sound of my dog snoring.

I hope it rains.

My brain is swirling in a million directions but me? I am sitting still.

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