Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Must Have Been High

The first person outside my family to call me a hippie was my high school History teacher. He was referring to my spirit.

Some hear hippie and think pothead. Co-workers who didn’t know me well may have gotten that impression, though they never said it to my face. I was a laid-back, peace-loving girl. All that was missing was a perma-smile. They decorated my pigeonhole when I started wearing sunglasses to work and forgetting my words.

Little did they know, the sunglasses were shielding my eyes from the burning white computer screen that I stared at for eight hours a day, five days a week. My eyes were super-sensitive to the light.

I’ve always been peace-loving, but the laid-back Jenn was born from necessity. It was a combination of drugs and systematic shut down. My body couldn’t handle too much stress, so I started ignoring it. Yup, just like that. With the help of my dad and my husband.

My dad told me to asses a situation by asking if it was going to matter in five years. Wow. That helped me big time.

My husband has always been an easy-going guy. Some days it takes mountains to move him. A bit of his mindset has rubbed off. He’s also the funniest guy I know, and laughing until pee almost comes out is a great way to forget stress.

The off-label pain meds messed with my chemistry just enough to keep me on an even keel until I was diagnosed by Dr. Heart. Unfortunately, I had to switch it up a bit at that point, and I got stuck taking another, not-so-good off-label pill that altered my brain function a little too much for my liking.

When I started taking beta-blockers to fix my heart, I would have stayed calm if a rhino charged me. Oddly enough to those who don’t believe cardiomyopathy causes shoulder pain, my muscles have never been more relaxed than when I was on those meds.

I was a hippie-at-heart even as my heart was only flesh and blood, pumping with the tenacity required to keep me alive; because my brain was lead by my heart into a calm existence.

Because my cardiomyopathy diagnosis didn’t automatically rule out Fibromyalgia, I was on pain meds and heart meds at the same time. And being over-medicated didn’t help me find my words.

Sometimes in the vein of doing no harm, harm is prolonged.


  1. Dude... I DID think you were a dirty hippie... Sorry.

  2. Hey Anon, thanks. No worries, though. It's cool.