Today I learned a whole new thing. A thing I never knew before. I love when that happens. I saw a comment online about a Nudibranch and immediately it conjured up a sort of cartoonish image in my mind of a bashful tree in winter, void of foliage and exposed.
By the way, I have to warn you to google “naked tree” at your own peril. I feel like some corners of the internet need a warning sign before they load. I can’t unsee that shit. Apparently there’s a whole niche of people into forest porn and they’re quite prolific in their image sharing. Not my kind of thing, if I’m honest – all I can think is: that looks like a really effective way to get a particularly nasty splinter…but each to their own.
Anyway I digress. So it turns out the Nudibranch has nothing to do with trees…the English language can be such a tease sometimes. Actually a Nudibranch will never see a tree in its lifetime. Why? Because it lives Under Da Sea. See, more 90s nostalgia. Meet the Nudibranch:
…awwww doesn’t he look friendly! Basically it’s a glorified, fancy sea slug and they come in the most amazing array of colours and shapes. Here’s a bunch of other images courtesy of National Geographic. Tropical ocean creatures put even the most flamboyant of human fashionistas to shame.
Meh, the mollusk did it better IMO.
So that’s the thing I learned about today. Gold star sticker for me. In other news I’m starting a new lot of medications in the name of seeking wellbeing. One of them is a powder that gets dissolved in water as a drink. It has a really unpleasant vaguely salty, syrupy sort of mouthfeel. I tell myself it’s magical dragon tears and that they have awesome healing powers. There goes that imagination again. I’m not beyond deluding myself into medical compliance.
Similarly, yesterday when I went in for a brain scan at the local hospital they needed to place a temporary cannula in my hand to inject some contrast fluid that would then settle in the brain highlighting areas of normal blood flow or otherwise. I’m ok with the needle for the most part but was a bit freaked out about the contrast fluid. I’d been assured it wouldn’t make me feel ill but I’ve learned that my body often doesn’t respond the way normal bodies do so I’m always a bit wary.
So I imagined the contrast injection was this awesome, magic healing fluid flowing throughout my body like a glowy, liquid cure.
Clearly not a science-based approach but you know what, “whatever gets you through the day” – is the motto I’ve become used to subscribing to. A massive part of coping with chronic illness is managing psychological health.
Seriously guyyssss, so many of us Lyme patients get called nut jobs because mainstream medicine doesn’t understand this illness particularly well and the symptoms are absurdly varied and changeable so when we describe them we do, from an outsider’s perspective, sound like we’re unhinged hypochondriacs. But we’re not. You’ve gotta be a tough MTHFR (that’s a methylation joke…ahhh, methylation – such a rich source of comedic material) to keep going day in, day out with this condition.
We all cope with life’s challenges in our own ways: drinking, socialising, shopping, exercise, music, smoking, sex, planning and organising, meditation, religious beliefs…one thing being ill has taught me is that a bit of distraction every now and then can be a good thing. It can be the difference between being overwhelmed and rocking in the foetal position in the corner or laughing at some stupid cat video on youtube.
Here’s one such video for you, reader. May your day be glorious and if it happens to be erring more on the shit end of the experiential spectrum, may this distraction help you find a happy space, even if just for a few minutes.