I suppose that my body agreed that I've been too busy and too stressed lately with work and life in general. Last Saturday I noticed that I was losing my sense of taste, but chalked it up to a cold. On Sunday, about ten minutes before a number of friends were supposed to converge on the apartment for dinner, I noticed that my face wasn't working right. I was trying to rinse my mouth and noticed that water was shooting out of the left side. I started to call the Urgent Care Advice Nurse, since I could move everything else on that side of my body, but couldn't get through. AK came home about five minutes later, put me in the car, and drove to a clinic on the other side of town.
I've been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy. It's by no means life threatening. Basically I've lost my sense of taste, the ability to close my left eye easily, and the ability to control my facial muscles on the left side of my face. I was diagnosed and treated within hours of noticing the symptoms and have been stocked up with the requisite steroids and antivirals. I called out this entire week at work, since my eyes tire easily, I have to remember to take my pills five times a day, and it's difficult to eat or drink without looking like a total freakazoid.
The PA who saw me also suggested that this could be the result of stress (because I haven't been busting my ass at work, applying to graduate schools, worrying about AKs car, or a friend's visa, or my performance reviews...). A friend, echoed this, reminding me that sometimes our bodies break down as a way of forcing us to sit still for a minute. It's frustrating as hell, since it'll be at least a month before things are normal again. I am grateful that this is more of an inconvenience than anything else, but it's still hard for me. I'm not used to sitting still or calling out for work in Circ. My coworkers have been amazing covering everything, so I have no reason to worry. It's just hard to stop moving.
On a happier note, I helped a friend out in her lab on Monday. I rinsed out test tubes filled with the stuff that mothballs are made out of and bacterial gunk, and then rinsed them in bleach and put them in an industrial dishwasher (with door like Star Trek.. truly the most impressive piece of machinery they own). I then labeled 200 more test tubes, labeled 200 of those little plastic tubes with caps and watched my friend begin the inoculation of her subjects... or whatever that meant. I'd like to help her out again, since she hasn't any undergraduates or anyone else but herself on the project. It was actually rather relaxing, which of course my friend found astonishing. But you guys know me. I got to spend the day cleaning stuff and then putting labels on them and then putting them in order. And free coffee and tacos.
AK will be heading up to Seattle on weekends until Nationals to work with a group of saberists. It's pretty exciting since it means a new set of people to work out with (if I can head up with him on a Sunday). L, one of the fencers up there, is someone I'm looking forward to training with. We seem to be on the same track, fencing-wise, progressing in a similar fashion. I'd also like to become more familiar with the train up to Seattle (if things work out, I'll be heading up there often) and wandering around the city. However the odds of me ever getting a job up there is slim to none (over saturated with MLIS grads).
7 months ago