Sunday, December 29, 2013

All Hail Zee, Queen of the Worst Case Scenario Incidental Medical Finding

Thought I’d explain the name of the blog: Maflunctioning Robot.

I am kind of on the fritz. 

In the past few years I’ve been diagnosed with more random and rare conditions than one would think possible for anyone who wasn’t Mr. Monty Burns, The Sickest Man in the United States. As my lovely sister and fellow gimp Zeba said the other day “If I didn’t know you, and just heard your medical updates, I’d think you were some kind of compulsive liar.” Word. I’m glad I drag my husband along to the doctor visits, otherwise I’d begin to doubt my own sanity or at least, my hearing. The list? Gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach ulcer, spondylitic arthritis, multistage degenerative disc disease in cervical and lumbar spine, fibromyalgia, bursitis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, thyroid cancer, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome and now, the crowning glory – an unruptured brain aneurysm. Seriously yo. That list is some dark comedy, even without a few of the diagnoses I’ve skipped.

So what’s it all like? Oddly, pretty normal. I guess that’s because other than the cancer and the brain aneurysm, the rest are mainly chronic disease, meaning you just have them and live with them. Is it fun? No. But it’s manageable and a lot of people have a lot worse. There are definitely days when it all gets me down, especially when I compare my energy and activity levels now to what they were 5 years ago, but then, I was never guaranteed that I’d get to keep that kind of lifestyle. I try instead to be grateful for the years I played insane amounts of sports, traveled like a gypsy, did rock climbing, mountain trekking, cycling, running, surfing (just the once, it’s damned hard), cartwheeling in random places, whitewater rafting, sky diving, and running around like an indestructible Energizer Bunny. At least I got to do that much at all.

The more dangerous maladies – cancer and a brain aneurysm – are a bit harder to just gird one's loins and soldier on with. I had surgery a few months ago to remove a nodule-ridden half of my thyroid and after unexpectedly finding cancer in it, I was supposed to schedule another surgery to have the other half taken out when another test accidentally turned up the brain aneurysm. Unruptured variety. Asymptomatic. Unexpected. I’ve become the Queen of the Worst Case Scenario Incidental Medical Finding. Or not. I’m being dramatic. But man, I swear, I will never again accuse my doctors of calling me in for appointments just to take advantage of my awesome medical insurance. Because both times I said it, turned out they had grave news to share. This is what I get for being an obnoxious optimist. Now I’ve got to get my brain fixed, give my ED- and POTS-ridden body long enough to recover from that, and then have the other half of my thyroid removed to reduce risk of cancer recurrence.

Can you see why I’m a Maflunctioning Robot? Complete with typo, as, well, I’m also dyslexic. I know, I am too awesome for words. Dont jalus.  

Bovine sloth = steak that can't get away

I never quite figured out what changed to make me go from a regular blogger, to someone who gets disgusted with whatever I write and end up deleting it midway. Is this part of growing up, where before I constantly wanted that interaction with others and had a compulsive need to communicate, and now, on account of um, old age, I am more self contained and don't need so much external validation? One hopes.

I suspect though, I'm equal parts lazy and disappointed with myself. To open the floodgates of what was dammed for so long, and to find it a murky trickle instead of a rich torrent, is quite the tan tan fish, as we say in Urdu (translation in English: anticlimactic fail). If you don't like what you see in the mirror, you stop looking. That is, if you're a lazy cow like I am. Which I hope you're not. There's enough bovine sloth here as it is.

Now I guess, I'm forcing myself to hold up the mirror in the hopes that I'll get over the disappointment and start working on improving what is reflected back. Yes, I haven't written the books that teenage me was certain would be published by 30. I haven't written anything really, other than my bread and butter of ghost-written articles. Oh, and I did ghostwrite a book. Don't think it got published though. The company did a number on me and disappeared without paying me the remaining half for my work. Ah well.

What does the mirror show so far? That if I don't start whipping my own saggy sack of a self into shape, I'll only have myself to blame in 9 years when I've hit 40 and have nothing to show for myself except wrinkles and stretchmarks. Lovely visual, that. Don't say I never gave you anything. ;)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Getting the lead out

So yeah, I guess the point of this blog is to partly, keep a record of things and partly, to get myself to do more.

But man, it's been so long since I wrote anything that wasn't work that everything I've been writing has been coming out like some kind of mission statement/op-ed/strategic mumbojumbo. It's pretty ironic, considering that a million years ago (or maybe more like 13 years), when I was just getting started off as an editor, I took up blogging to learn how to 'really write.' As in, write easily, understandably, and hopefully, entertainingly, so maybe one day, I could work as a writer professionally. Well, I've been a full-time writer now for about 12 years. Mission accomplished? But somewhere along the way, I got lazy and forgot how to write anything that wasn't work. 

It seems though, having assignments and deadlines is the only way I know how to get the words out, so I'm going to have to assign myself stuff. So please forgive me if some of these blogs read like work. I've got to get the lead out, and that's the only way I know how for now.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Hmm. So I'm trying this again. This blobbing thing. Figured firstly, that I do sometimes want to write stuff. Sometimes. Just a bit. To figure out stuff I'm going through.

Secondly, I'm getting senile. It's not 'precocious senility' any more. No, fo' reals. I'm over 30. And I've got some faulty plumbing in my brain that seems to be causing memories to fade out or not even form. So I need to write stuff down otherwise I'll have no record of anything.

Thirdly, I'm a bit scared by how tl; dr has become my response to everything. I need to get my attention span back and stop being like a squirrel on crack, clicking through funny cat photos and one-window memes, with anything longer or thought-ier being skipped over.

Fourthly, wow, I used fourthly. SHIZ JUST GOT SERIOUZ. Fourthly, I am becoming an idiot and how better to hold up the mirror to my idiocy than to write what's going on (or not, rather) in my cranium? I am hoping that seeing my pathetic brainthawts written large (or at least, size 10 text), will spark some shame-induced brain improvement. So this is like exercise. *flex*

Here's to hoping I, like Stella, get my writing groove back. And if not, at least go out in an amusing ball of fiery glory before my brain becomes total custard.