January 9th, 2014

blue pattern

Hyperventilation?

Mild vertigo on and off all day today. Not even just when waking up. After lying on the gynecologist's table for a bit, even after taking some time sitting up to talk to the doctor and then spending some time getting dressed, I found myself staggering down the hall on my way out. Any time I lift my head up quickly or lower my head quickly: vertigo. Sometimes when I'm just sitting still, it feels like the world is spinning.

Since I've been drinking like a fish for the last few days, it seems unlikely to be dehydration, and I don't have any new meds, so it seems unlikely to be a side effect. A recurrence of chronic hyperventilation syndrome seems more and more likely. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, since it tends to be brought on my stress/anxiety. Shannon wants me to go back to see my GP again about the vertigo, but I'm not sure she'll be any help. In my experience (albeit more than a decade ago), most doctors didn't understand or recognize the disorder. I'd seen several doctors and specialists (over the course of about 7 months) before a neurologist was able to diagnose me last time. And she diagnosed me within a few minutes. That was when I was first referred to a therapist to deal with anxiety.

Some other symptoms of chronic hyperventilation include nausea, tiredness, restless sleep, and insomnia, all of which have been plaguing me. Is it possible that the last couple years of mounting nausea (accompanied by mounting anxiety and tiredness) have actually just been caused by CHVS? Well, I'm seeing a GI specialist next month, so I'm making no assumptions. Also, we'll have some kidney lab results within the next couple days, as well. Information is good. Lack of information is scary.
cherry blossoms

So apparently I kind of rock

So ... back in October, I mentioned that I had submitted one of my collages to a "Health Through Art" contest at the Health and Human Resource Education Center. It was pretty exciting, because winning pieces would be displayed throughout the community on buses, billboards, and BART station posters. I really quite liked the work I submitted and thought it had a good chance of winning:

Cherry Blossom Tree: Growth Is Always Possible

In November, I received an email with the names of the winning artists, and my name wasn't among them. I was disappointed, but -- really -- who knows how many pieces of art were submitted? Tons, I'm sure. Ah well. They invited me (and all artists who submitted pieces) to an awards ceremony, but I binned the invitation without even reading it all the way through.

Then, today, I got this weird phone call. It turns out that the HHREC "coordinates and implements" the Alameda County 10x10 Wellness Campaign "as part of their Mental Health Services Act funding" ... and the head of the 10x10 organization gets to choose one piece of art to be a winner, and she (Cardum Harmon) chose mine. So, though my name was not on the original list of winners chosen by HHREC as a whole, my piece is the winner chosen by the 10x10 organization.

So what this means is that I'll be attending their awards ceremony this Saturday night, where I will be listed on the program and will be brought up to say a bit about my piece, and I'll get a considerable gift card to Target (which was my choice), and sometime in the next year or so, my cherry blossom collage will appear in some public venue: a billboard, the side of a bus, or a BART station poster. They'll be bringing out each individual piece sequentially as separate campaigns, so they'll let me know when my piece's campaign will be starting, so that I can track it down and see it (and point everyone else at it, too).

So ... exciting!