[[ No, it won't always go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good -- JM ]]

Some amazing things have been happening. No, I didn’t get into grad school (one can hope….), but I did get a huge opportunity to create a public health reporting system for TLH. I get figure out what holes are missing in the statistical correlations between HIV/AIDS and STD's and create supplemental questionnaires about behaviors which might effect the results. I’m so excited.

[[ Thank you for making me struggle, Tell me the world ain't mine -- I'm a miracle baby -- I refuse to lose -- Tell me what do you see when you look at me -- On a mission to be what I'm destined to be – M/TI ]]

Secondly, I became a site administrator for sfhomeless.net, a totally awesome wiki targeted at players in the homeless community

[[ Give me your eyes for just one second -- Give me your eyes so I can see -- Everything that I keep missing -- Give me your love for humanity -- Give me your arms for the broken hearted -- Ones that are far beyond my reach -- Give me your heart for the ones forgotten -- Give me your eyes so I can see -- BH ]]

Ok and finally… I Ran. On the verge of becoming trite, "I can’t believe it." I ran an 11.5 minute mile today. I haven’t run a mile since, well, yesterday (15 mins), but before that I haven’t run in probably a year. I couldn’t believe I didn’t pass out! I finally feel like I’m getting control of my life. This week I grew up. No, really. For the first time in my life, I knew, on my own, when I couldn’t handle that whole fainting thing and I actually asked for help from a qualified medical professionals (ie the emergency room). Not only that, when they brushed me off, I went back and got hyphy with them. And it got results. It was completely unprecedented by my previous actions and for that I am amazed with myself. I wasn’t independent and at the same time I was my own advocate. Seriously people, be amazed.

[[ No more stress, now I'm straight -- Now I get it now I take -- Time to think, Before I make mistakes -- That part of me left yesterday -- The heart of me is strong today -- No regrets I'm blessed to say -- The old me dead and gone away -- TI/JT ]]


I feel the need to address some simple matters of safety. So it's not so much that you're doing it wrong, as, well, you're doing it wrong.

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate all you guys do for me, it's above and beyond what most friends ever have to do and I'm really blessed to have you all.

But while I love you, I'd also love it if we could streamline this passing out business. (more…)


As always, I never cease to freak doctors out. When I was at Stanfurd this past week, I had the misfortune of passing out as I left cardiology. After passing out I, of course, tried to escape and consequently hit my head on a tree. Then THIRTY doctors RAN at me. With a crash cart. In the rain. It was ridiculous—I think all the interns wanted me to die. You should have seen how crestfallen they were when I didn’t have to be shocked. (more…)


I’ve finally killed Pop-Teal, Concrete Diver.

The sign reads "Call, Don't Fall"


I’ve finally lost the “concrete diver” part of the moniker.

Having to take a defibrulator everywhere with you is kinda stressful...
As most of you know, last Friday’s visit to the Emergency led to a full week in the Cardiac ICU. It was grand fun. While I was there I got chased down by nurses, went through four roommates, heard eight code blues, got kissed by a Berkeley emeriti, and picked up an orderly. Good times.
Note the boxes. They hellof abused me!
Frank was a pretty cool friend 🙂
I was tested to the EXTREME—we had constant monitors, echos, ekgs, CTs, blood, a few hot doctors and a few ugly ones, and finally the tilt-test. The tilt test is what kept me there for EVER, and all I know is it was a success- my HR jumped so high they decided that shocking my ass back to life was a bad idea, skipped the end, and went straight to diagnosis.
That's my heart-- how awesome is that?!?!
Apparently I have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome-- I’m a POT. Basically, my heart rate jumps from a nice, normal 60 BPM, to something like, oh, 190+ when I stand up. This is where all that insane energy comes from, if I’m not using energy, I’m dead. My life suddenly makes sense.
I tell you, abused!
So no, I am not Amy Winehouse, though the quote concerning her from WWTDD is still appropriate: “When you’re 2{1}-years-old, and you’re in the hospital this often, and you’re not a cage fighter or black market mercenary, something is up. You should get arrested just for that.” We're gonna hope that the drugs will make this a little less accurate...
My room with a view-- you could see the sunset over the bay from it!
A special thanks to my loves for coming to visit me and bring me food and basically making a week in the hospital possible. Really, I couldn’t have done it without you.


Update -- April 29th 2012 -- I wrote this list of my "adventures" just before I got POTS diagnosed for the first time. At this point I didn't know what I had or why I was falling over. I wanted to laugh it off, ignore it and just be alive. It ended up not working out like that - about a week later I finally faced what was wrong with me. But I think this list explains why I earned the moniker suffix "Concrete Diver." As to Pop Teal, well, all you need to know is Vegas was involved.

So last night I passed out in some BART stations. While most people thought I was methed up, I was just experiencing some good old fashioned syncope. Matty was comparing this adventure to the Harry Potter adventure and wondering what was worse. In that spirit I’ve made a list of the top most embarrassing (and/or exciting) adventures in my world...

1. The Harry Potter Screening. July 2007. People hated me so much for passing out in 110 degree heat that I ended up with internet hate mail. The hate forum (which seemed more malicious in my imagination) can be found here: http://forum.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=messageboard.viewThread&groupID=0&page=8&EntryID=436876&CategoryID=0&get=1&adTopicId=0&type=friendForum&friendID=107888674&lastpagesent=9&Mytoken=37BED4CB-629C-4674-ACD1EC2C2C9B9ABA2930717

2. The time a professor ended up in my bedroom. May 2008. As it was the second time I had passed out in his presence (though this time I wasn’t even in his class, I was just walking around outside. I think he was stalking me) we skipped the Ambulance and Fire Trucks (after all last time I yelled at them and ended up in a police car) and went straight for feeding me a whole bag of Peanut Butter cups and Gooey Powerbar gel, and, oh yeah, taking me home.

3. The time I punched an EMT. January 2006. As they were trying to force me to go to the hospital, I didn’t want to go. I think I also tried to get out of the ambulance and was restrained. I know, ridiculous- but dude, that ambulance ride is expensive!

4. The MCB midterm. November 2006. Some GSI got medical equipment from a lab before the EMS people got there to take my BP and the prof wanted to have people look at me as an example of real medical emergency. I wanted to die of embarrassment; I opted for the ambulance ride just to get out of there quicker!

5. The Cop who wanted to drunk tank me. May 2008. So alcohol can make Jessica sick. Even a little bit. So being being way under the legal limit doesn’t mean much when your body freaks out, or when some guy has spilled a whole beer on you and you reek of homlessness...

6. The time a professor wanted to be my medical advocate. April 2008. It obviously required three GSI’s, a professor, a guy I knew, and two I didn’t to make sure I was ok after being "special". Then the professor wanted to give me legal advice because he’s a lawyer and call my parents to make my life “easier.” Also, he convinced me that I had totally and completely forgotten about office hours that I hadn’t signed up for. I thought I was having blackouts. That undue stress alone should have got me better grade in that class!

Honorable Mention (date is beyond legal limit): My introduction to high school. August 2000. Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm going to start school here. I'm an insecure adolescent who wants to make friends with the cool kids and be a cheerleader. ****, I just passed out. What an impression! No wonder I became a nerd and went to Cal.

I’m sure there’s other gems. Like that one time I ended up in a kids dorm room while he told me to act less drunk so he didn’t get in trouble for rufieing some girl, but really, those stand out as the top five (err six) adventures of “pop teal, the concrete diver.”

Also, thanks to all my friends, you know how it is to get a call and me go "can you bring me some french fries? I need a salt lick. Like a deer...