Friday, July 23, 2010


I went to see a neurologist about the headaches I've been having for the past few years.  His hope was that my headaches at this point are actually just a "rebound" response to having been on ibuprofen for so long—being on ibuprofen is my normal state, so when I'm not taking it, I'm worse off than normal.  So, for a little longer than a week I've been off it, for the most part, only having a couple when my head's been hurting really badly.  He gave me some prescription seizure medicine that's supposed to make my headaches less "spiky," but not actually eliminate the pain, and I've been taking that.

So far, no luck.  I feel terrible all the time, and I've been absolutely miserable since then.  The medication he's given me does nothing or next to nothing, and without the ibuprofen my pounding, burning head makes it nearly impossible to be productive.  I've doubled the dosage (yes, Mom, with doctor permission) and haven't noticed any difference.  I'm going to continue taking the pills until my samples run out a day or two before I leave for vacation, and at that point, assuming no real improvement, I'm back to ibuprofen, unless he prescribes something new.

As a treatment option, "just be in constant distracting pain for the next couple weeks and see if that fixes things," sucks.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jailbait car wash

A weekend ago Jason and I went on a camping trip with some of the guys from his fraternity, and I enjoyed the scenic drive from Seattle to Wenatchee National Forest.  One of the scenic portions actually started before we were on the open highway, just as we left the greater Seattle/Tacoma metro area, in Monroe.  We were paused at a stop light and I noticed a fundraising car wash on the other side of the road, with a couple of attractive guys advertising it. Jason and I were amused until our other passenger helpfully pointed out that their signs contained the words "youth camp."  I decided that "jailbait car wash" was a funny phrase anyway.

It's a nice area, but as a campground it sucks, at least compared to my myriad camping experiences of years past.  Almost all campgrounds I've been to on the budget-conscious family vacations of my life have been in places where each campsite is relatively secluded by trees.  This place was like an open dirt field with a couple trees here and there, which seemed a bit strange given that it was in a forest.  You could hear and see every campsite in the area: every crying baby, every barking dog, and every obnoxious neighbor who loudly bangs pots with what could generously be referred to as "rhythm" over a background of generic Latin music for hours and hours at a time.

I think of camping categorizes it as what you do when a motel or hotel or cabin is too expensive, which is entirely consistent with my childhood experience.  Almost all family vacations involved camping, and for the most part, we were just there because it was cheaper, and that money saved could be used toward other things on the vacation.  I can see the potential for entertainment value in "roughing it" from time to time, but sleeping in a tent with a cooler of drinks and food, within easy walking distance of sinks or even a convenience store, is not "roughing it" for me to derive any entertainment value, instead squarely situated in what I would just call "inconvenience."  For me, the aspects of camping that are fun—mostly, hanging out with a group of people for an extended period of time—are more fun when actual camping is not involved.  (I will concede, however, that camping does definitely have the upper hand over cabins and hotels for the fabrication of s'mores.)

But, our campsite was just like half a mile away from the rather pretty Lake Wenatchee, which was nice, if ice cold.  The mosquitoes thought it was nice too, and we had a lively discussion that involved me being bitten about fifty times.  Our last night there, the sky was perfectly clear around midnight, and the view of the night sky from the lake was gorgeous and memorable.  That, and hanging around the campfire for hours at a time talking, are the sort of experiences worth reliving to me, not the sleeping-on-rocks-and-dirt part.