When stress explodes, scars you, and frightens young children.


I’ve written a bit about how I am … kind of holding on? I’m internalizing stress related to goingson in the world and my sweet Big Doodle is making sleep a rare commodity. These are times that try women’s souls.

I thought I was doing OK. I really did. And then My Guy and I went to a Super Bowl party.

We weren’t much invested in the game, seeing as how our teams had lost during the playoffs. But we were looking forward to hanging out with our friends and their kids and eating our weights in snack foods.

All was well. I had a plate of vegan pizza and was about to dig in when I coughed. And that cough made something in my neck erupt. Pain and tears ensued. Basically, I got a charlie horse in my neck. Like the winner that I am.

I stepped away from the group and rolled around on the floor, trying to yoga my way out of the pain. No dice. I discovered I could barely swallow. I started to cry in earnest while clutching my husband’s arm, begging him, “Don’t leave me!” while he looked like a trapped animal and responded, “I don’t know what to do!”

Marriage is super-fun and glamorous, yo.

God love our host, a doctor of pharmacy. “Pharmacist” just doesn’t seem to cut it here – I think his actual title is “Giver of Life and Taker-Awayer of Pain,” because he gave me a muscle relaxant and a heating pad. Within 10 minutes of communing with my new life partner the heat pack, I felt good enough to leave my cave of despair and rejoin the party.

I played a board game with the kids and discovered that my neck was all discolored and weird.

Seriously. This shit is amazing.

And then the muscle relaxant kicked in and I could hardly keep my eyes open. So, I spent the end of the Super Bowl passed out on the floor in front of the TV, acting as an example for the kids of why you shouldn’t abuse prescription meds.

Honestly, I don’t understand why we don’t get invited places. Between My Guy’s crazy faces and my obvious drug problem, we are a living warning to our friends’ kids. Stay in school, friends.

But the neck explosion was more than just an amazing party trick. It was yet another reminder that This Is Not A Sustainable Model. I can’t keep getting up with the dog at all hours of the night. I need to self-preserve while still being an engaged citizen. I have to find a way to balance this shit out so that I quit scaring the children.

Y’all? I am so tired. And my dog is not well.

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  • Reply BentNotBroken February 9, 2017 at 1:55 am

    It is a cool scar though. Sort of looks like a dragon. Maybe your new nickname should be "The Girl with the Dragon Shaped Hive On Her Neck"?

    I'm also internalizing a metric fuckton of stress related to the goingson in the world and dealing with the realities of an aging dog who needs to pee urgently between 2-3 every single morning (though not the same situation as your Big Doodle is currently dealing with) which is severely limiting the quantity and quality of my sleep, which was pretty crappy to begin with. In short, I'm a mess too, but I hope it at least makes you feel a little less alone to know that there's at least one other person who is teetering on the edge of completely losing her shit (as evidenced by me leaving this comment acting like I know you when the reality of it is that I frequently read your blog but rarely comment). Sending hugs to you and Big Doodle!

  • Reply Becky Brown February 9, 2017 at 3:53 am

    You know what, BentNotBroken? That DOES make me feel better. I'm sorry you're exhausted and carrying that metric fuckton of stress … but I feel your pain. And you're not just some random – I always figured we'd have A LOT to talk about over the beverage of your choice!

  • Reply Karen (formerly kcinnova) February 9, 2017 at 8:29 am

    You've got an epic level of stress going on, so I guess the good news is you were at the right house? Better living through chemicals!
    And so sorry about Big Doodle. 🙁

  • Reply Kari Wagner February 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    I can't stop laughing at your pain. I am a keeper. But mainly because I am right where you are. Literal pain in the neck and all. I woke up Sunday morning with a pain in my neck that was so awful, I STARTED Yoga in order to get rid of it.
    I may need to write a post about it.
    Long story short, it was because of the dog sleeping in between my legs and my nine year old sleeping RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

    Sending you a neck bump for solidarity.

  • Reply Becky February 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Oi. I'm going to stop complaining about the rash on my face that is hard to see, but itches like a mother when it flares up. And stress is one of those things that makes it flare. I just walk around twitching my face, pretending people think I'm like Sam on Bewitched.

    Take a nap. Or three. And if it makes you feel better, I'm known for finding a spot and falling asleep in the middle of a party. The bad part of it is that I'm an awful wake up when it's time to leave. That's when it gets awkward for me.

  • Reply Nance February 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    Holy crap. But remember the old saying–and I think it was Benjamin Franklin who first coined it in "Poor Richard's Almanack"–BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY.

    Either it was him or Timothy Leary. I forget. Not important.

    What's important here is A)you have a really cheap prison neck tattoo that makes you look tough; and B) your body is no longer screwing around, but has sent you a pretty big message that you need to settle the eff down.


  • Reply Green Girl in Wisconsin February 10, 2017 at 2:01 am

    Oh my goodness. Sweetie. Be kind to yourself. Love on your dog and take it easy. We need you here!

  • Reply cookingwithgas February 15, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    That's very scary. Right place, right time?

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