Monthly Archives: February 2014

On Tattoos

I have several. I started this tradition to get a new one on my birthday each year. So far, I have the  following:

797095_original The orange text is Greek for “patience.” The little black star is for my five nieces and nephews, and the cross with the “veritas” and “aequitas” is a straight up Boondock Saints tattoo.

extraction_by_quicksilvermad_jenn-d3cm1oe

This one was inspired by the drawing Cobb did on the napkin in Inception to explain dream extraction, but I took it to mean something else. I have a problem with cyclical thinking that gets me nowhere except further into depression. The line through the cycle represents a line through those thoughts. I plan on getting this one touched up this year. I admit, I didn’t take very good care of it and it’s faded in spots.

serenity_by_jennholton-d19wukm

This is my first tattoo. And a nerdy one. The Chinese is “serenity,” the name of the ship in Firefly, and the wings are designed after the ones that appear on the very last screen of Final Fantasy VIII. I had to get this one touched up during my last appointment because the first artist didn’t copy my drawing completely. Thankfully, I have a great artist (Leo) over at Hybrid Tattoo and he fixed it for me. It looks exactly like I wanted it to now.

Usually, I get two tattoos done at a time on my birthday. And I have two designs this time, but I plan on only getting one this year. This one:

Shoulder Tattoo

As another extremely nerdy tattoo design, this is the design on Loki’s armor (his spaulder) from The Avengers. Meaning it’s going on my left shoulder. I stylized it a bit so that it would look fine without shadowing (and could still look fine with shadowing in case I changed my mind later).

You know what? I’m rather comfortable in my nerdiness. These tattoos represent things I like and things that are beautiful to me. That’s all that matters. Because it’s going to end up on me,not someone else.

The other design was this:

Leg Tattoo

Which will require shading. But I think I’ll save that for next year.

On Post-Concussion Syndrome

image

This is my brain on January 2nd. According to the doctor, it showed a normal scan. I, however, was showing symptoms of a concussion. Nausea, fatigue, dizziness, headache, difficulty concentrating, mood swings, etc. I’d been through the rigamarole twice beforehand, so I knew what to do. Have someone watch me that first night, get plenty of rest, stay off the computer for a while and avoid the TV. And I did that.

For eighteen days.

I was still feeling the same symptoms on the twentieth that I felt on the second. But what really set me off was a pot of coffee that tasted nothing like coffee to me and tasted just fine to everyone else. Long story short I had just made bad coffee and I got referred to a neurologist who diagnosed me with post-concussion syndrome or PCS. It’s a disorder that combines a bunch of concussion symptoms and makes them last for weeks, months, and sometimes a year or more.

Reading that last part makes me feel more nauseated than I already do.

I can’t work like this. I can’t focus. I can’t think. I can hardly drive. My head is constantly coming up with fun new ways of hurting at random spots and random times. I’m getting double vision sometimes and blurred vision at other times. I’m living in a cave-like room full of nothing but quiet and darkness and I haven’t been able to watch the TV without feeling seasick since New Years. I can’t bend over to pick things up unless I want to almost black out when I get back up. I get so tired during the middle of the day because my head hurts so bad that I just want to go hide in my cave and sleep it off. Then I’m left awake at 3AM like right now, headache back and unable to fall asleep again.

I don’t know if I can take much more of it. I honestly feel like a burden at this point, and I know that people have said otherwise. I just do.

Inspiration

I recently gave myself a concussion. The details aren’t really important, but the headache has lasted a little over three weeks now. In seeing the neurologist, I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome and given a prescription for some medication. It’s hard to concentrate and watching television is taxing, so I’ve been listening to audiobooks and poetry to keep occupied. I came across this poem (which has since become a favorite of mine) in an iPhone app called “The Love Book.” It’s called “Desiderata” by Max Ehrmann, and it’s read by the lovely Tom Hiddleston.

I found it to be inspiring and uplifting.