Radiohead and Fuzzy Coping Vests

This morning I dropped the kids off at school and then realized that I didn’t want to go back home. I drove around for nearly an hour just listening to my iPod and staring at the stripes on the road and eating a doughnut. (There are four grocery stores with fresh baked doughnuts on the street where I was driving, and although I was able to drive past #1 and #2 while feeling strongly about my doughnut-free stance, by the time I got to #3 I was feeling the long john monkey tingling on my back. I caved at #4.)

When I returned to my car, I decided to make a right instead of a left out of the parking lot, which put me on a road I don’t remember ever being on (it’s called Mason, locals), and my favorite cover of Creep came on. I tried to sing along, and pretty soon my eyes were watering. (Part of it may have been because I can’t hit the high notes. The other part may be something else entirely.)

It wasn’t long before I déjà vu’d myself back to a Target parking lot in Nashville, Tennessee. I had driven to the Target back in 2000 to purchase an electric griddle for pancakes, but Radiohead’s OK Computer was playing and “Exit Music (For a Film)” came on and it was snowing and perfect and instead of going in for my griddle, I sat in my little green Nissan and sobbed until I looked like Alice Cooper.

You know me better than most people know me. (And that’s weird, because most of you really have no idea what I smell like. Here. I’ll tell you. Toast! I smell like toast. More wheat than white.) I’ve always been upfront with the fact that I share only 17% of my stuff at Fluid Pudding. I’m now going to give you a 3% gift. That’s right. I’m going to open up a bit more so that you’re in on 20% of my business.

What did you just say? Oh. You’re welcome.

3%: In the past three years, three different doctors have tried to prescribe (at least) three different daily medications that call themselves things like anti-depressants and/or anti-anxiety agents and/or muscle relaxers. When I pick up the prescription, here is what I do: I take one of the pills, and if it makes me feel weird or off, I immediately throw the rest away. Because these things aren’t needed for me to LIVE, they’re just needed for me to apply a bit of coping fuzz. BUT, I don’t need permanent fuzz. I need REMOVABLE fuzz. Like a coping fuzz vest. (Two nights ago I found myself at a restaurant with a delicate and fragile (perhaps birdlike?) woman who was wearing a black feather vest. I don’t think the decision to wear that vest had anything to do with her inability to cope without the aid of feathers. I think it had everything to do with wanting to look a little more like Elton John. And for that, I suppose I salute her.)

When I was going to school in Columbia, Missouri, my coping fuzz vest came in the form of My Bloody Valentine.

(That song? I could listen to that song 24 hours each day forever.)

I have 80 reasons for needing a coping fuzz vest right now. (These 80 reasons are part of the 80% that I’ll keep in my pocket.) The good news? I’m seeing a new doctor on Monday. (When your regular doctor makes a habit of throwing Vicodin your way, you know it’s time to find a new doctor. Unless you like Vicodin! No hate to the Vicodin fans! I’m not here to hurt anyone’s feelings.) Anyway, the following line items appear on my list of conversation points:

1. Mittelschmerz

2. Hysterectomy

3. Migraine food triggers (warm bread, alcohol, red foods, chocolate)

4. Fuzzy coping vest

Always End On A Happy Note: I spoke to our new realtor this afternoon, and she is amazing and I’ve been packing boxes. (Oddly enough, I’m wearing a fleece vest right now. Not quite fuzzy enough, but it’ll do.)

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17 thoughts on “Radiohead and Fuzzy Coping Vests”

  1. I, for one, consider myself lucky to know you more than most people know you. :)

  2. Ditto re: DLG. Always wonderful to hear your take on things. On life. And, wow, I totally get you on the fuzzy coping vest. Although I think I prefer long sleeves.

  3. Creep is one of Brian’s favorite karaoke songs to sing.

    I don’t need a vest, I need long underwear, a heavy down coat and thick socks. Yep, I depend on all of them.

  4. Ever since reading this and the book mentioned, my migraines have nearly become extinct. The whole idea seemed hokey at first, but the mention of having headaches that arrive during sleep or pain that isn’t touched by pain meds caused me to check into it. So, I’m not so sure I have migraines as much as my stress manifests as headache pain. Weird, but it works for me.

    I consider myself lucky to know you as I do too. One day maybe I’ll cross the river and we can have an awkward conversation and you give me knitting tips (first I have to teach myself to knit with the YouTube link). Until then, do what keeps you cozy.

  5. I’ve had plans for a week for a day trip tomorrow to a wonderfully perfect place filled with love and great food, yet I get all discombobulated when I think about leaving the house to go sofaraway! (75 miles) for sosolong! (like 11 hours).

    I adore all 20% that you share *and* the other 70% that I extrapolate. 10% is about what I imagine everyone hides from everyone.

  6. I, too, feel lucky to know what you share about you. Here’s the deal, I just realized this morning that I don’t know what my best friend’s favorite color is. We’ve known each other for 30 years and she and I share our secrets that we don’t share with anyone else. But favorite color has never come up. So, it’s not necessary to know every single thing about a person. I’m thinking I’m not going to ask her. It’s kind of cool having a little mystery.

    Good for you for not hanging onto a doctor who thinks Vicodin is the solution. To anything.

    If you knit yourself a special coping you can make it as fuzzy as you want!

  7. Sent here by dooce. Thanks for sharing your beautiful writing and that awesome Creep cover.

    Your list of food triggers for migraine forces me to tell you about DAO: diamine oxidase. This is an enzyme you can take to help you digest foods high in histamine, and maybe it will be the secret for you to enjoy warm bread with your red wine and chocolate without the migraine.

  8. Warm bread and chocolate are migraine triggers for you? Insanely sadly upsetting that such a thing can happen.

  9. I’ve cried in Targets parking lot many times. Of course, I worked for them.

    So much I want to say, so little of it that would probably hold real value, so I’ll go with is this: give the meds a fair shot, toast is underrated, & 20 percent is generous.

    Big space-respecting not-strange-at-all supportive hug.

  10. Sorry about the migraines, I was lucky I found a doctor who who listened when I said no opiates or Vicodin. Good luck with the new doctor. Thought of you and your family when we booked a trip to sanibel next month :).

  11. Ahhh my internet friend, I give you a clementine hug (I think I smell like them, I’m eating a boatload of them right now). Wishing you peace and happiness.

  12. Just learned a new word – thanks!
    For your other readers – chocolate, wine and yeasty things are very common triggers for what we call “the M word” (because saying it out loud can make one happen. Thinking about a “M” can make one happen.)

  13. I just had an emergency hysterectomy after months of abdominal pain. I found out that I had endometriosis. After researching- its what I do – I found a website called hystersisters- and apparently I will feel tons better. Migraines will be gone and my mood will be better. My doc did the surgery with the da vinci which is a robot so my recovery time is faster and the only pain med I have had to take is ibuprofen. I still have my cervix so I guess everything “marital” will be great. I’ll keep you posted on how the migraine thing goes. I am hoping I will be taking less drugs as a result of this.

  14. I really like the idea of the fuzzy coping vest. Sometimes things stress me out. Usually its the same things – so its kind of predictable, but most of the time I feel pretty darn good about my life. I don’t feel like I walk around all day (or much of most days) needing pharmacological support – but a fuzzy vest of supportive feelings that smooth out the times when my body responds somewhat irrationally to situations that other people find low risk (see also: flying) – well that would be just the ticket!
    There are some other situations that could really use the vest, but those are part of my 80%.

    Also – you’re the author – you get to choose what you share! Power to the Pudding!!

  15. Sobbing in a Target parking lot to Radiohead. You paint a potent picture. Theater of the mind!

    The thing that makes me want to sob in a Target parking lot: Eating warm bread is a migraine trigger for you. That’s relentlessly sad to me. Warm bread is among the handful of things that make this whole ‘life’ thing worth the trouble.

    Also, any doctor that freely hands out prescriptions for Vicodin should be whipped with their stethoscope until comatose and no longer a danger to their patients.

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