Sunday, September 27, 2009

Panic At the Disco

Ok, I did a shitty job tracking my Bikram experience. Oh well, yoga journals are boring anyway, aren't they?

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. The Bikram yoga heat + the effort I had to put out to hold the poses caused my MS to flare-up, two times in a row, the 2nd time even sooner than the first time.. So I tried a generic "hot yoga" class, at Corepower yoga. They set the heat about 4 or 5 degrees lower, and have a 60 minute class (vs the 90 minute Bikram class). That worked very well for me. Maybe, because I'm stubborn, I'll work up to being able to go back into Bikram via Corepower. But I'm not willing to trigger my MS even a little bit for Bikram. I can't get back to yoga until October, for budget reasons. Meanwhile, I have been regularly "working out" at Curves. (Talk about panic at the disco....a little Curves humor, there. Let's just say the music keeps a steady 140 beats per minute whether the original artist wanted it to or not. The shock of hearing the disco version of Marvin Gaye, Journey, or Stevies' Wonder or Nicks is what causes the panic.)

This weekend some things became clear that have been murky for a few months (thank you, Mercury).

We're been struggling with the soccer team my son has been on. Our local town didn't have enough space for A and a couple of his other soccer buddies this season - there weren't enough kids for a second team. So we ended up going to the next town over. We joined the season 'already in progress'. From the beginning, it was hard, and it didn't feel right. Every time something happened, I just kept sucking it up and trying to keep my mouth shut. I figured if A could do it, I could do it. He got off to a rocky start with the coach, but he decided to keep at it and try and make it work. I love him for that.

There's been maybe 5 games since then. Yesterday we had a game, and A had kind of a falling out with J, the coach, at the game. J seemed pretty uptight and changed his mind once or twice about what position A was going to play. I guess A was asking him too many questions about it and it rubbed Jon the wrong way. He 'benched' A for the game. I only know what A told me - Jon may have a very rational reason for doing it. Rational in a way that was not visible to the human eye... A was pretty upset with the way he was treated. He's sensitive that way.

Their styles really clash, so A is going to find something else rather than stay on this team. An expensive clash :-) He feels like he did his best. We're certainly not going to push him to stay on the team. I think we'll be better off finding something in Boulder or Lafayette this winter and spring, if we can.

O. had a vibe about J from the beginning that he had a temper and was really working on his management of it. It seems like Saturday he was struggling. It is something that A is very sensitive to, and he won't tolerate feeling abused in any way. And I respect that in A. I regret that he won't be playing for the rest of the season. One thing I can say about A is that he knows what does and does not work for him. When I look at his beloved soccer backpack on the stairs, with his number 25 on it, I feel pretty sad. There was a huge ramp-up getting on board with this team. I feel pretty let down - not by A, just by the experience. I talked to him tonight. He said he feels good. He said he will miss playing soccer, but won't miss the team or the coach. He wants to make sure he finds a place to play this winter or spring. Last week, I signed him up for a computer graphics art class after school, twice a week. Now, I am *really* glad I did that. He'll have something else going on to give him things to look forward to, and something to excel at. Losing soccer leaves a big hole.

Meanwhile, I've been ruminating for months over whether I would pick up and play again with my band, the Mighty Planktones. I made lists of pros and cons. This morning while rehearsing with our church band, which was many of the same people, I attained some much wanted clarity. I had kept thinking I wasn't going to play and it just didn't feel quite right. Then I realized I just need to focus on what is actually fun about it, for me, and make sure I'm doing those things, and doing less of the other.

The "other" includes a lot of stuff around gigs - to be honest, this is my least favorite part. The problem is not the performing. I've been performing on stages since I was a teenager and I'm fine with that part. For me, the stuff I don't like is the set list struggle, the power struggles, 'whose' song we are or aren't doing, how we can't seem to plan out intros, our kind of odd stage setup, and basically anything that starts creating drama. Being 'the band that always plays at all the church parties' is getting weird for me. There isn't much to be done about the various struggles, except for me to opt out of them as much as I can. There is a lot I can, and do, enjoy about practicing every week. I think I can get a lot of the fun out of that, and not sweat the gig hassles so much. it's not like we are gigging that regularly. We took the summer off and I'm thinking we won't have a public gig until the winter or spring. Just. Like. Soccer. Weird.

Another thing is the big fucking 5-0. I've let it mess with my head. I'm calming down again. I had a few weeks of food bingeing because I was dieting too strictly. Never fails. I dropped 10 pounds in two weeks. The pendulum is swinging a bit less wildly and I hope to be back on a more moderate track within the week. My mind is just not accepting the whole thing, though. I'm very very comfortable being in my 40's. I just can't grok what it means to be 50. I am sure that I don't want it to mean automatic weight gain every year for the rest of my life. I see that a lot. But my approach was getting too panicky. If I've learned anything from yoga, it would be that the only way to go through this is to breathe deeply, and then breathe deeply again.

It's only a few days away. For the life of me, I wasn't really coming up with anything that I wanted to "do" for the birthday. I settled on yoga, and eating right. Not bad, but not quite special. But a couple of weeks ago, my daughter told me that she really thought that she and I should drive out to Las Vegas to see The Black Eyed Peas and the U2 360 tour. They aren't coming to Denver. The Peas are her current favorite group. Towards the end of last week, I had the epiphany that that was exactly what I wanted to do. 'When the Who's away, the mice will play'....I am not a fan of Vegas, but I like spending time with my daughter and this will be a blast. The show is October 23rd. I bought the tickets off ebay - pretty interesting seats, actually, row 7 in the "Field Bleachers", and booked a pretty inexpensive hotel maybe a mile off the strip. Made a few inquiries on some condo's but they will probably be out of my price range. My next task is to buy the dreaded Criss Angel tickets. She loves him, I hate him. I'd much rather go to see The Beatles Love. I don't see how we can do both, so I'm going to go with Criss. I feel like this will be a great trip that we both will always remember, I hope fondly. I might not remember Criss that fondly...:-)

I am also suspecting that our societal belief that youth is what life is all about might be completely false. I have a little germ of an idea that maybe there will be something interesting about going through my 50's. One of my beliefs is that I will have to let go of wanting to be an attractive woman. I'm not sure if that is true. Christie Brinkley, Chrissie Hynde - they are still really attractive to me, and both in their 50's. How old is Valerie Bertinelli?? I saw her on Oprah the other day and she is still so adorable!! I am still heartbroken that she and Edward VH couldn't stay together. Cutest couple EVER, according to me.

Not helping anything has been the last few months of messing around with my drugs. Prozac, Wellbutrin, Buspar.....whatever it takes. Trying to find the right dosage and combination is a rough road. If I go too far one way, I have rage attacks, bulimia kicks in, and eventually depression. Yet, too much prozac (or possibly, any Prozac) and I have ZERO sex drive. That's been going on for 10 years. I've tried to switch off of it in the past with not much success. For some reason, I had the nerve to try it again now. I'm hoping to find a happy medium, somehow, but I'm losing my hope a little. I just don't know how I can be off of Prozac and also live in this world, raising my kids. And I don't know how to be on it and feel sexual.

Sometimes when I'm wrestling with decisions that aren't going to happen overnight, I look for a little escape. So I adopt a TV show. I tend to get them on DVD's, via Netflix, and watch the seasons that way. Some of the things I've watched that way in the past few years, and loved - "John From Cinncinnati", "Curb Your Enthusiasm", "Flight of The Conchords", "Boston Legal", "Slings and Arrows". I happened to hear Terry Gross interviewing the actor Gabriel Byrne on a podcast of "Fresh Air" recently. He fascinated me, and so did the idea of this show he is doing called "In Treatment". Watching people do therapy with Gabriel Byrne? I am so there. I watched season 1, disc 1 this weekend and I was, as Pete Townshend would say, right in tune. Loved it. Can't wait for disc 2.

I'm also watching Mad Men more or less in real time, as I have for the past two seasons. Real time in the sense that I watch the TiVo'd version of it about an hour after it airs. I enjoy that show now even more than the first two seasons. I even thought I might break down and get HBO!! After Ozzie did some investigation, it turned out it would be a HUGE production - and expense. Right now we have what I like to call 'sub-basic' analog cable. Seriously - it costs something like $16 a month. To get HBO, you have to get Digital Cable. Then, you have to upgrade your TiVos. Blah, blah - too much hassle. I've lived with waiting for the DVD's this long, I can keep doing it. I'd rather give the money to the guy who bought the U2 fan club tickets from a broker and sold them to me for what seemed like broker cost via ebay.... than give it to Comcast (I was going to say..."I'd rather give my money to U2" but in fact, I think I am three degrees removed from actually giving U2 money).

In about a week, I'm having my cognitive processing evaluated, again. It is one of the ways they have decided to monitor the longer-term Tysabri patients. "They" being my neurologist/MS clinic. They just officially did the research to show that the longer you are on it, the more likely you'll get PML. There was an excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about it. Until the article, I hadn't seen any  adjusted odds, re the PML. Of course, the drug company's won't adjust them, because calculating the odds across the years work in the company's favor. And it's all about the stock price.

When I first made my decision to try Tysabri, I was told the odds of PML were 1 in 1000. Over time, as more people went on Tysabri, the odds got better. What the article said was that if you take into account being on the drug over 2 or 3 years, the odds come back to 1 in a 1000-1200. So, from my point of view, nothing much has changed.

There is a new drug that has been getting great results, but I don't think it will be out on the market for a few years. It's called Tovaxin. Whenever that becomes available, I think I will switch. The problem with going off of Tysabri is that it causes your MS to have a serious flare-up that seems to stick with people. So they don't recommend going off of it. You're damned if you do, damned if you don't. I am figuring the best thing to do is go off of it with another drug ready to go. And, stay on the damn diet.


Jay Livingston said...

I saw Criss Angel a few years back at theater in Times Square. I thought he was the worst magician I had ever seen, including Harvey Reuben age 14 performing at his 8-year-old brother's birthday party.

ozzie said...

Jay's comment is the best comment of the year!!!

"Burn down the disco
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music that they constantly play
Hang the blessed DJ
Because the music they constantly play..." Panic by The Smiths