Wednesday, December 05, 2007

More appointments, my human experiment and a ring of fire

I have finished with my, “lets stop eating and drinking and see what happens" experiment. Which I think means I am on the road to some stability. Although this morning I got a call from the optometrist who I paid $100 for an eye exam a couple months ago when I needed contact prescription. I asked, “Can I get contacts with this exam?” Answer: no problem. So I ask for a prescription (because THIS optometrist charges $270 for 6 months of contacts I can get them for $140 elsewhere). Suddenly, no, the $100 exam is no good anymore, I need to come in for ‘another’ exam; which happens to be tomorrow. Tomorrow is the ONLY day I have had in a couple weeks without an appointment. Oh yeah, and please remember to bring $35 for this “contact fitting” exam.

Anyway, when I get depressed, I don’t eat; I also don’t eat when I get frustrated, angry, anxious, disturbed, irritated, worried, perturbed, vexed, flummoxed, or just don't feel like it. Hey, I was anorexic for 13 years; so if in doubt ‘don’t eat!’ But see this time it was DIFFERENT. No, I wasn’t JUST self destructive, I wanted to see if I could destabilize my blood pressure and heartbeat if I stopped taken sodium and fluids; because that is primary symptom of MSA. Okay, in retrospect this ‘test’ seems as logical as dropping rocks on my head to see if they still hurt. But I think there was a bigger plan, something about killing off all my organs in a week or something useful like that.

Anyway, did it work? Fucking A. I felt and looked like something a seagull pukes up. I was on oxygen. Here are some readings; all taken in the two hours after I was woken from my nap from the extreme heartbeat actually shaking me awake. Anytime, without exertion I can record all three readings (systolic BP, diastolic BP and heartbeat) over 100 I call it “the jackpot.” – by the way at 180 systolic and over 110-120 diastolic you are risking permanent organ damage (as for the heart, who knows what is takes to kill mine off, God, I’ve tried hard enough): First we have: BP systolic/diastolic: 156/129 heartrate: 106 then 10 minutes later: 98/81 HR: 136 (gee, wonder why I was feeling crap?). Then in the next hour: 148/128 HR: 87; 185/165 HR: 147; 145/125 HR: 142 then an error because my systolic and diastolic were within 10 of each other and finishing with over 25% erratic heartbeats.

At this point my tests were stopped because my home care was there and suddenly there was the sound much like a person holding a blowtorch just outside the window. The home care worker checked and said, “Oh, it is one of those heaters people have but there are flames coming out of it and it is right below us!” WHAT! People in wheelchairs on third floor of apartment buildings with dodgy elevators don’t like hearing about “flames” and “right below us.” I wheeled to the window and there was a giant ball of flame roaring out of a stand at the corner. “Whew,” I said to the home care worker, “It’s the other side of the street, that’s fine, let them burn.” (see how loving I am?)

I noticed that there was a guy in orange vest supervising it and realize that for some reason, on my small residential corner, someone WANTED in the dark of 7:00 p.m. to create a giant fireball. Linda had just arrived home so I suggested we go take a picture (because for me; giant fireball beats out lighting up town Xmas tree ANY day). So home care worker, Linda and I in the chair went outside and Linda and the worker took pictures and I wheeled over to the two guys right by the flame

(you can see in the picture the flame compared to the size of the van - click on the pic to make it full screen). One was talking to someone further up the gas line and the other leaned over to talk to me (or yell as the sound was like talking behind a jet engine).

“Do you get paid to do this?” I asked.

He thought about that, and then smiled and said, “Yup.”

“You have a GREAT job!” I told him

He smiled and said, “Some days.” Which indicated that maybe he didn’t get to just go around creating giant vortex-like fireballs every day. It seems they had a gas leak further up and were pushing all the gas out of the line at the junction which JUST happened to be at our corner. Anyway, just as we were talking, they cut it off and it died to nothing.

“That was great!” I told them, “Can you come back at Luminaria?” That made them laugh.

Then we went inside and traded stories and it turned out my home care woman was just as much a pyro as I was and had her eyebrows and fringe singed “a hundred times already” because we both like to make the fires when people go camping and then stick our head INTO the fire to blow at the base of it –which works great if you make sure you don’t run out of air, because then….backblast! And the smell of burnt hair and your fringe is gone and maybe parts of your eyebrows.

So went inside and Linda convinced me to end the experiment and rejoin the goals of the human race, which according to her, is to try and live instead of starve or cause your heart to explode. So I did my experiment AND got to see a fireball AND had TLC time with Linda. Which was okay, because now I have to go to an appointment and another one tonight and then this optometrist one tomorrow. It is also odd because earlier that day I had asked the video store owner how much I would have to pay to have them burn the place down. I offered $25,000. They said, “A million.” I countered with $27,000. They said, “A million.” So I must not be a very good negotiator, but I got to see my fireball anyway so they don’t have to burn it down.

My feeling about the optometrist? Isn't the saying, “a fireball a day is good for the spirit?”


shiva said...

Something i almost certainly should have said before my comments to your last blog entry: a blogosphere (and, by extension, a world) with an Elizabeth McClung in it is definitely better than one without one.

Also, awesome fireball. I'm a bit of a pyromaniac too, although i'm very paranoid about making sure my hair doesn't burn (it's very long, very thick and has something of a life of its own at the best of times). Those outdoor heater things must be a colossal waste of energy, tho...

saraarts said...

You would have gotten a kick out of my jewelry making teacher, the Tuesday morning one. She was not very strong on safety. Where the Monday night teacher had us wearing goggles, the Tuesday morning teacher never mentioned them. She did mention, however, that we should pull our hair back while soldering.

It wasn't about safety, though. "Once this girl came and soldered and didn't pull her hair back first, and oh! The smell! We could not get the smell out of the room for the longest time!"

elizabeth said...

Yeah. I have had a few experiences with fire; once when I was 10 I sat down on my Grandmother's coffee table and my hair (which was long enough to sit on) went up in flames due to the candle sitting there. THAT was quite the afternoon.

alphabitch said...

You would have enjoyed a party I attended few years ago, at which the host burned a piano. A number of the guests (and the host) were piano technicians, so it sort of made sense at the time. He had decorated it, and set up cans of popcorn at strategic locations (wasn't as dramatic as hoped), piled lots of wood on it, and added kerosene. It burned for a long time, and made some interesting sounds. The cast iron plate inside was still glowing the next day.

I, of course, was the one who made sure that no cars were blocking the driveway in case we had to call the fire department, and figured out where there were hoses and buckets and a water source, just in case. But I enjoyed it as much as anybody. Even when they threw beer cups full of kerosene into the open flame.

Ordinarily I'm all in favor of experiments, but I gotta say I'm glad you ended yours. I think you gathered enough data this time around :)

Your CD is in the mail, by the way.

wiccachicky said...

Wow - that's a big fire! Since it just started getting cold here, we can now enjoy the fire place -- a staple of winter as far as I'm concerned. :)

Marla said...

I have never seen anything like that fireball before. That was weird. So glad you took a picture of it. I love exciting neighborhood happenings like that.

I am afraid of fires a bit. When I was a kid there was a fire beneath my bedroom. I had just been lucky enough to stay at Grandma's house that night or the fire fighters said I would have been killed very quickly. My sister who could not walk or talk at that time climbed all the way up a flight of stairs to wake up my parents or they probably all would have died. I still can't believe she was able to crawl up those stteps. She had a stroke at age six and was in a time of recovery then.

I am glad you stopped your starving experiment. I am sure you know I would be glad you stopped that. I think Linda deserves saint hood.

YummY! said...

Food = good.

Giant fireballs must be fun.

I've always enjoyed looking at fire and miss having a wood burning fireplace/heater sometimes.

Bummer on the follow up eye exam. Get revenge by having stinky breath when they examine you. That could be fun.

cheryl g. said...

Cool fire ball!

Here's hoping you get a break from being poked and prodded soon. Say a couple of days with good weather, visits to Psycho and a n air hockey tournament...

Elizabeth McClung said...

Shiva: Well, Linda agrees with you on pro Elizabeth in this world. I like making fire, but fire does like to burn anything it can. In the end it wasn't a heater it was the offical gas people blowing out six blocks of pipe...on my street - pretty cool!

Saraarts: Good to see your schools has teachers for all types of students including ME - yes, that smell is really nasty while a burn hardly hurts after a few hours.

Elizabeth: So you were one of those girls with hair to your waist....hippee or menonnite? Holy, how much was left after it caught on fire?

Alphabitch: yes, you think burning a piano would be very dramatic but actually I think burning birch bark is WAY more dramatic (I got a 32 foot high fire once). See, I don't advise cups of kerosine because, well do you want to risk spilling that on your leg.

I also learned from some idiot guys who built a fire on river rocks...don't build fires with river rocks around them because if there is a tiny crack, the water inside gets super-heated and the rock explodes - quite exciting in a "put your eye out kind of way" - also when I was 12 or 13 I burned the soles of my tennis shoes by walking across red hot coals (cause some boy double dared parents were NOT impressed).

wiccachicky: I wish I had a fireplace, but if I did, I bet I wouldn't have bangs or eyebrows for long. Linda: What are you doing?

Me: Just adjusting the fire? Again?

Marla: that's a pretty amazing fire story (though I've always had a really strong desire to run into a burning building like in Kelona - which was slightly dampened when I found out that houses set on fire from forest fires reach temperatures of 2000 degrees - ow). How does a six year old get a stroke? Oh and I think everyone agrees Linda should get saint hood (or leave me).

Yummy: no, food=bad, didn't you see the list of reasons not to eat. The stinky breath was a good idea - the exam is over but the next one I am eating pickles, herring and olives.

Cherly G: yeah, the whole "I am going to do fun and frivious" part of the plan needs some more attention I think - come to my place and we can see if they do the fireball again tonight!

alphabitch said...

Birch bark does make excellent fires. I miss living where birch trees grow. My best friend (her name was Beth) and I used to peel it off the logs in the woodpile, pound it flat, and write secret messages to each other with ink we made from the clay and algae we found down by the lake. We would then burn them to destroy the evidence.

I forget what the messages were about, but rocks from the lake do in fact explode from time to time when you put them in the fire.

The piano fire was especially satisfying from a revenge standpoint; it had resisted all efforts to tune it and repair it. The owner had taken off most of the still-usable parts, and had made quite an interesting sculpture on the keyboard.

Marla said...

I certainly don't think Linda should leave you. Does she have her own blog?

No one knows how my sister had a stroke. She came home from school feeling tired, went to sleep and went into a coma. My mom tried waking her hours later with no luck. She was in a coma for a few months. Now she is paralyzed on one side, blind in one eye and deaf in one ear. She has managed to get a degree and has two children she gave birth to. Always struck me as ironic since I am able bodied and never been able to do either. She is an amazing person. The little boy I talk about all the time, Christian is her son.