Monday, July 16, 2007


It is almost a month since my collapsed-chair incident and about 3 weeks after I first become associated with this partial disability label.

There are many things I learned throughout this month.

For the first time in my life, grant me the opportunity to understand how inconvenient life must be for people with more serious or permanent conditions.

At the same time, it amazes me how wonderful it was to have a relatively healthy body.

So I thought to myself... what else could I learn from this incident-- in addition to the heightened awareness about disability accessibility due to personal relevance and the bodily understanding of why my mom or other grandma/grandpa have problem picking up their speed when walking.

Then, mama left for Taiwan and I am left on my own, for the first time since the accident.

For three weeks, mama made me drink tasteless chicken soup, pork soup, herbal soup and all different kinds of soup... Mama made me eat vegi, vegi, vegi... and a whole lot of vegi.

After my stomach started having problems, mama choped choped choped the collard green to make sure it would not be too tough for my stomach.

When we went shopping, I didn't have to do any carrying... Mama made sure she carried it all despite of my protest.

Before she took off, she made sure there still be food for her daughter--- meat, corns, and vegi as well.

Other than the aches, pains, my neumocephalon, and the inconveniences here and there, one biggest complaint I made was--- "I AM FULL..."

Then all of a sudden, mama is back in Taiwan.

I am still finishing up what she had prepared and the vegi she had bought.

Yet, it was last Friday, when I was about to buy some cherries from the market, for the first time in my life, I, sort of, came to appreciate what it meant to be disabled.

When picking the cherries, the only concern in my head was... "I gotta make sure they are not too heavy for me to carry." The .5 pound of cherries was still too much weight for me to carry with my hands. Ended up, I hang the cherries on my purse, using my neck to carry the weight instead.

From then on till today, I can't help wondering when I will be able to lift the 70+ pounds of weight again and my thoughts of pushing it to 90...

For the time being, more realistically, the questions shall be...

When will the deal of 4 boxes of strawberries for 5 dollars come back again and will I be able to carry them? How am I to get my supply of milk? When will I be able to carry grocery bags the way the others do?

After my meeting with the doctor today, it occurs to me that I must have been so spoiled that my golden branches and jade leaves now requires re-training (rehab? :-O) in order to regain their strength.

So when I went for my routine walk this afternoon, instead of hanging my purse around my neck, I carried it with my hands, rotating between my left and right hand. Really light-weight weight lifting--- as you might call it... lol

By the end of the trip, my back again, starting aching.

I apologized to my back... "Sorry to strain you but I have to make sure I don't lose the ability to carry with me my first cup of coffee in the morning."

What about my cognitive constipation?

Let me find way to deal with my physical constipation first before worrying about that cognitive in nature… Physiological needs are the basis- so said Maslow…

It doesn’t mean my cognitive problem is no issue at all. Rather, there is nothing else I could do than trying to cut down on my muscle relaxant again tonight and see how my bodily aches and pains would react tomorrow.

I had thought that it was bad to be cognitively challenged once, twice, and so many more times.

Yet, did I just realize that the above was actually better off than being cognitively challenged and physically disabled…. :-x

May this be my life--- hitting the bottom, for, literally, I got hit from the bottom up.... lol

Friday, July 13, 2007

The last miles to the house

Since the collapsed-chair accident, all that I do every day is eating, sleeping, napping, physical therapies, grocery shopping, painting pictures with Ratprincess in it, and, pill popping.

In addition to the stretching exercises I was finally told to, the only forms of exercises I am entitled to were walking and, at times, stair climbing (especially when subway stations are not disability friendly).

Other than a few of the emails I might have attended to take care of some business, I read nothing new and nothing intellectual. In other words, there is exercise deprivation for both muscles in my body and in my head.

On top of my dear Zoloft and Seroquel, I am also taken 2 Alleve per day, 10 mg of muscle relaxant, and two patches of Lidocaine on a daily basis. All of them seem to have something to do with modulating the movement of neurotransmitters. Since my neurotransmitters already do not listen to me and now that more cocktails work on slowing things down, as my walking on flat land starts to get smoother and smoother, my cognitive capacity grows to be slower and slower.

While physical exercises used to be a means to deal with the pharmaceutical-chemical-related cognitive constipation, there is no way for me to go workout so as to get the extra shut of endorphins to help me cope with the constipations. (And, if I am capable of working out, I will not be writing the mumble jumble that I am writing.)

I had attempted to get done with the muscle relaxant after discovering myself to be back to the state of cognitive constipation. Yet, the pains and aches are still too much for yours princess to take despite of my slowly but steadily gained dumb-dumbness. Call me a druggie as you will.

Now that I am still stuck with the muscle relaxant, provided that I am due to get back to work sometime next week, it might be a good idea for me to find alternative ways to do something about the growing cognitive constipation.

Apparently, there is only one way of handling it… through the adjustment of my antipsychotic medication.

My psychiatrist told me that he could not make any change unless he sees me. After realizing that I am gonna be stuck with muscle relaxant for a bit longer, I made an appointment with him today. He decided that since he will not be in for the next two weeks, nothing should be changed until he comes back and until I am off muscle relaxant (what I don’t understand is that… “Why on earth did he tell me to coming knowing I cannot get off muscle relaxant and he, anyways, will be away???” And, of course, I was relative too spaced out, too focus on understanding what he was saying and too distracted by the movement of his hands to be asking this question.)

It was a trip I possibly will always remember--- the last miles to the house.

A walk that used to take me about 5-10 minutes must have taken me at least 30-40 minutes (if not longer) to complete in order for me to get from the subway station to his office (not to mention the distance I have to go in order to go from the cross-town shuttle to the A train going uptown at Time Square). The shorter distance to the bus station did not make the walk less arduous. Rather, the whole trip from my physical therapist to my psychiatrist had strained my muscles enough that each every little movement was strenuous and I was moving till I feel I was about to pass out (psychosomatic or not? God knows and I don’t care no more… lol :-x).

What I described in one paragraph and what took about 3 hours turned to be a trip that felt like eternity.

Why didn’t I simply call a taxi?

Other than I am a cheapskate from hell and I have the propensity of overestimating my capacity, I could not think straight given that the physical movement had captured all my cognitive capacity. In addition, I did not see any taxi when hitting the street and I didn’t feel like to grab one when the free shuttle could come any moment taking me 6 blocks away from my home, the final destination.

Like the nicotine to the hazard of smoking, the distance was not what killed during the entire trip.

It was those slopes, observable or unobservable by sight, that almost killed this rat (didn’t I tell you about my newly gained extraordinary ability in judging whether the land is flat or is tilted? lol)

Was this a useless trip that did nothing more than adding more parts of body to be in a worsening state of inflammation?

Actually, other than finding out there ARE elevators at the 168th subway station for A and 1 lines, I found out that that 99+% or the road between my doctor’s office and the subway station is tilted. lol

In addition, it was during my meeting with the psychiatrist did I find out that, while I could hear what he was saying, I could not help but look at his hands whenever they were moving… even the slightest motion unkown to himself.

It was when I finally got home did I have the eureka moment that answered his question, which I was unable to answer at that time--- “about how long I have been in a state of existential vacuum”.

When painting, I can only focus on painting. When watching TV, I could only do TV watching.

Earlier on, right after the accident, the TV was hardly turned on because everything physical led to my sensitivity to sound. Later on, when the treatment started to work, the TV was still hardly turned on because it results in unfilterable distractions that interfere with whatever I was doing… looking at a picture or finding a job for Ratprincess2 to camp and make some SL money.

In addition, it also occurs to me that, despite of my cognitive constipation, I have no problem learning to draw a rat or a pig. Shall the dual-channel kinda theory hold… It seems the disturbance was done to the verbal channel while the processing of the graphic channel endures lesser damage if not none. Or, would it be possible that the depressed functionalities of the verbal channels might have resulted in the intensified capacity of the graphic channel, aiming to compensate the signal deprivation?

So--- that’s what has been happening at home… which leads to my next few questions…

Laden with physical and mental de-capacity, if not disability, when will I finally be zu hause zein?

Where else to you find someone who has to go through the whole 9 yards for the sake of the American education?

Who else has both the above unique contribution and the extraordinary ability in judging whether the land is tilted? lol :-x

And, by the way, just because I seem to still have the verbal diarrhea at the end of the night doesn’t mean that I am not dumb dumb because it is almost time again to take my night time drug. In addition, the sheer ability to produce is hardly synonymous to productivity… I could produce as much garbage as I can… still what comes out possibly will not fall into the “scholarly, scientifically and peer-recognized” classification. lol


Because I could not stop to be slow
He kindly stopped for me
The carriage held but just ourselves
And stupidity.

We slowly drove,
he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

To be Ratprincess...

After days if not weeks of suffering the "afternoon-on fever," last Thursday, I realized that my stomach was not feeling well... Thinking back about my no-good appetite for those days, my mom and I concluded that... possibly, my dear stomach was starting to protest about the high dosage of pain killers I had been taken for 2 and half week... The fever finally seized after I started to take some of the stomach meds mom brought with her from Taiwan.

I had thought that it was me imagining up this fever thing or that was something psychosomatic... The observations that fevers eventually seized to occur after I started taking the stomach meds could either be nothing more than coincidence. At the some time, such observations could indicate some causal relation between stomach condition and the fever that was driving me crazy.

Of course, it could simply be the placebo effect...

Just when I thought... for once in my life, I could be focusing on complaining about my physical conditions instead of those of mental health.... I am proven to be wrong.
Nothing goes on up there in my head since the accident.

Other than mourning about the aches, pains and discomforts, I haven't been doing much for the past three weeks. Nothing much happens upstairs. Nothing much to be observed either.

After my conversation with one of my boss yesterday afternoon, I came to the realization that all the drugs, including the muscle relaxant and seroquel, I have been taken have made me a dumb dumb again...

Ya, I found it difficult for me to retain more than 3 things in my short term memory....

So I talked to doctors and doctors... Finally, it was suggested that, shall the pain be not so bad, I should try to take only half the dosage of the muscle relaxant cuz what muscle relaxants do is to slow down the traffic between synapses.

Just when I thought that was an easy way out... I found myself woke up this morning in pain--- the kind of unbearable pains that I used to experience 1-2 weeks ago....

Realizing it is the drugs that are masking the pains from me... I laid back down in bed after taking the remaining portion of the muscle relaxant in addition to the pain killer, --- wishing the pains would go away.

The pains did go away.... leaving the problem of my dumb dumb being unresolved.

Now that one side of the meds can't change... leaving me only two more options....

To see whether something could be done with the antipsychotic part...

Or, to remain dumb dumb....

Doesn't it seem like, to be Ratprincess, all lead to mental-health-related problems... lol :-x

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

How to kill a rat

Considering the number of rats crawling around our subway system and other places in Manhattan, no wonder I now have to go the extra distance to get to the end of my immigration battle. Perhaps, things would have been easier shall I have named myself dinosaur or other kinds of animals that are at the blink of seizing to exist?

In extreme discomfort today, I came to the insight that..

How do you kill a rat that is “die-hard”?

With the mere existence of physical pains, employment issue, mental health problem and immigration problems, the rat might limp but still stand.

Fever.... is all it takes to kill the rat.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Ratprincess and the Transformers

It has been two weeks since the accident.

Up to the first week or so, I could still laugh at it and say things like, “Thank God it was me who fell but none of those senior faculty members and the school principals at the meeting.”

Two weeks later, I have entered into the anger phase—perhaps, the natural process for grieving about the time past or wasted.

Two weeks of my life wasted inside trying to get better.

Nothing much went on in the brain.

No learn and no unlearning.

Ya, after all these time, finally it is summer.

I had wished to take my mom out to enjoy all the events offered by NYC and beyond-- the annual Shakespeare in the park, the River to River Concert, the Mid-summer night swing, the Governor’s Island, the day trips out of Manhattan, and the time share-related Atlantic City Trip that could have given me a free cruise plus trips to some other locations.

Yet, this summer, I am home jailed by my physical constraints. Unfortunately, my mother and many others have to endure the collateral damage.

I am filled with guilt about not being able to take my mom anywhere and making her feel worried.

Forget about getting down to Chinatown to do our low budget bi-weekly shopping, now my mom carries heavy items when conducting our higher budget grocery shopping in the neighborhood (even though it is my mom insisting on carrying even the lightest thing).

All that I do every day is eat and sleep and little nothing in between.

Worst of all, all that my mom could ask for is for me to get better before she finally goes home next week.

In addition, don’t you know that I have worked so hard on fitting myself into the summer clothing… :'-O

At the top of my lung I want to scream--- "I cannot and do not want to take it anymore… Who and How are you going to compensate for the temps perdu?

(Did anyone recall someone mentioned thing like to feel and not to feel, to see and not to see, etc? Or is this again the 八風吹不動,一屁撣過江 kind of phenomena? Yet, at the same time, wasn’t I told that I am no Buddha and I am only human? In other words, why should I be the one to suffer? lol)

At the same time, it would be interesting to see what’s going to be on my mind a week from now….

To die for

In my opinion, the act of overestimating one's own ability is the most sinful sin.

I ran out of cigarettes and needed to get some more from the store. Although my mom has now learned to get everything from the store, I did not think it was quite so appropriate to send her out to get my smokes for me.

Already feverish (although on drugs that should relieve fever), without the back support, I walked down the block with my wallet to get one of two things that I would die for... smoke being one and, meds, the other-- both are good at killing me slowly-- so they say.

The moment I hit the street, I realized that it was a major league mistake to get out of the house without the back support. Yet, since back paddling is nothing close to my nature, I dragged on to have the mission completed while being in awe about what an Idiot (with a capital I) I am the whole trip.

Back home, no longer do I know where to place the ice pack... Lower back? Mid back? Upper back? Shoulders? Neck? Or my fore head?

Thinking that it is an easy job to be Ratprincess the Invalid?

During my trip to my therapy today, I realized that I can now walk about the same speed as my mother and my gaits are much smoother than before.

However, like the princess having trouble sleeping on the matress with peas lying underneath, I can tell you easily whether there is a right angle between the road and the direction of gravity.

This makes me to have a second thought about maintaining my royal status...

For you, think again before you wish yourself to be me...

It might be great to be the prince of the Great Britain. Yet, it might not be all that to be the Ratprincess of Ratology. :-(