Wednesday, March 31, 2010

School (Vicki- white/black)

I started school yesterday! I'm thrilled. I am taking 10.6 units which is two courses. One is a lab class twice a week and the other is lecture. All of my classes are 4 hours long.

Yesterday I had the first of the two days of lab. It is held at the main campus in University Heights (not named after this school but rather one of the first schools--- not a college---in San Diego located in the area). Lab entails learning the basics of Swedish Massage by giving the massage and receiving it. I certainly am looking forward to that!

I nearly had two panic attack in class when I realized that I hadn't thought out the gender thing as thoroughly as I should have. a) lab requires disrobing. b) My ID badge and all the class rosters, etc have my legal name so I am introduced as female. c) Not discussing potential gender/name issues with the school BEFORE classes start means I am forced to "come out" to my teachers and classmates in order to correct name and/or gender assumptions. I did get a chance to talk to one of the office staff during a break in class and he seemed extremely willing to help me find accommodation if any are needed. We agreed to discuss matters on a case by case basis.

I came home last night feeling good about everything. We didn't have any homework yet.

Today was my lecture class: Anatomy and Physiology. I am SO excited for this class. I have always wanted to take an anatomy and physiology class. My teacher is an intense butch-lesbian looking woman and possibly Jewish. She is a chiropractor and the epitome of geeking out about science-y stuff. She loves detail and is very animated. As far as I can tell she is a good teacher, is great at explaining things through metaphor when necessary, is hard on herself and others, and has a low self-esteem. This 4-hour lecture consisted of opening the textbook and working our way through what seemed like the glossary and an intense review of nearly every upper level science course I have ever taken. Extensive notes were written down. Everything is expected to be memorized by next week for an exam. We cover one whole body system in depth each week. That is, a whole body system in minute detail each week. At about 2.5 hours my brain maxed out and I couldn't take notes anymore. I couldn't concentrate. About this point was when we started talking about genetics and quantum physics (both topics I'm OBSESSED about) and I got so excited I couldn't really concentrate for the rest of the class. We did get 10 min breaks every hour, so that helped a bit.

So I'm home now. I had intended on blogging earlier today and then again tomorrow. I spent the day going from appointment to appointment and then coming home and taking a nap. I've been so stressed out lately that I am not sleeping well (whats new, right?). I want to focus only on relaxing and getting food into me so that I can sleep when I get home from school. But, the over excitement and feeling overwhelmed by the homework for the week has me so keyed up i can't sleep.

I realized that this might have something to do with the bi-polar, so I looked it up. Apparently, it does. A couple of things I need to be careful about is always having a "safe place" to go if I feel overwhelmed, going to school part time, and breaking up homework into small chunks. I don't do well with verbal instructions and have a hard time taking notes (I'm MUCH better now, tho, thanks to the FUND). Tomorrow my plan is to create a game plan for myself to prevent going manic in class (like I pretty much did tonight) and managing my homework without freaking out. Unfortunately, the school is so small that there is no disability resource center or even a counseling center. I have heard there is a tutoring "center". I will need to find out what is available for me there.

On a side note, thankfully, my self-diagnosis to balance my lithium levels killed two birds with one stone. I found a supplement that is magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphate. Taking this along with my multi-vitamin (and being careful not to overdose, so my dosages of both are adjusted) has significantly improved my blood sugar problems!!!!! and helps mitigate the lithium symptoms. YAY! From the little research that I did, I would assume this indicates that if my body is not absorbing the amount of minerals that I need from my diet then my intestines are still very much damaged from the Celiac and while still malabsorbing, will probably take several more years to fully heal. Hypothetically, when my intestines are fully healed, I will be able to eat dairy again. I hope and pray.

Also, I look forward to the fact that becoming a massage therapist will help me manage my PTSD better and pain management from body memory trauma epicenters. Due to my lithium, I had to stop taking all pain killers last September. I am supposed to be on an aspirin regimen and continuing with my physical therapy exercises. Somehow, its like a catch-22. I feel so shitty I can't get the exercise that I need. When I'm feeling healthy enough to exercise (which I am supposed to do to manage the PTSD, stress- I am heavily dependent on two meds right now and have been for 1.5 years, and blood sugar levels- I am pre-diabetic) I am afraid to work out too much because my body is is not absorbing nutrients and I am at risk for malnutrition and severe weight loss. Good news is, I actually managed to GAIN weight these last few months! Bad news is, I can't afford to loose it because I looked gaunt.

My dilemma is accentuated by wanting to work out at the gym like the guys and look like a guy. But I'm too god damn lazy and scared to work out. I'm so pre-occupied by wanting to pass as a guy that even when I'm Vicki I find myself trying to pass as a guy. Its sad. I feel trapped. I need guy clothes. I need a guy haircut. I want to bind. I want to hang out and watch sports games with other dudes. I want people to be confused when they look at me and not know if I am a guy or girl. i want to move on with my life and not have to think about these things, rather just live them. I don't mind being my own advocate. I just mind having a look that undermines who I say I am. Starting school at this moment kinda complicates things a bit. I'm not saying that I don't want to be in school! Not at all! I wish I had sorted this all out at least a few weeks earlier so that I could get off on the right foot. I'm gunna be ok. It will all work out. .... thats why apparently I have ayurvedic energy called Kapha and when faced with the option of fight or flight, I choose the third option: FREEZE.

No comments: