Saturday, May 31, 2008

Eastern Medical experts' opinion

In addition to seeking medical attention for Western Medical doctors such as orthopaedics and neurologist, I have also sought help from Eastern kinda Medical experts.

The major difference I found between Western and Eastern medicine is that--- Western medicine such as physical therapy or pain killer aims to make me feel better while Eastern kinda medical approaches all seem to involve invoking worsening pain upon and, sometimes, after the intervention.

The Eastern interventions I have tried out so far are... acupuncture, energy healing, and chi-kong. Interestingly and unfortunately, regardless their disciplines, when these experts try to apply intervention on me, they all induce... man, oh, man... pains and a whole lot of pains on me.

Energy healing and Chi-Kong, for instance, (while no one even has to touch me), interestingly and unfortunately, brings me back to the different type of pains I suffered since my accident during the treatment session. In addition, right after the treatment and on my way back home, both the shooting pains and my walk-a-bility would worsen and eventually grow better... recapitulating the whole process of recovery (and, of course, one could always argue that this is what you call... psychological effect).

When explaining to me my current condition, all of these experts agree (although none of them know each other) that the "bad chi" or "chi of my sickness" (病氣) is stuck all over and the first thing they have to do is to find ways to mobilize such chi and release it through my limbs, especially my legs, so as to allow the blood and chi to circulate (活通經路)-- maybe even 打通仁督二脈--- like what they do in Martial Art fictions.... lol

Do the interventions work and which one of them work?

I have no idea and I do not quite care.

One thing I do know is that... now I walk better and longer before a stop is needed... although there remains to be a delay between my intent to move my body forward and the actual action... (hypochondria? lol 8-X)

Medical experts' alternative hypothesis

Ever since I got back to Taiwan from New York over 2 weeks ago, I spend the majority of my time on three things... sleeping, TV watching and health care seeking--- including that for my spinal condition.

An alternative hypothesis the medical experts' have concerning my condition is "Upper motor neuron disorder." Essentially, the impact of the fall might have stirred the tofu in my head a bit too excessively.

Since there is no cure and no good prognosis for this condition, I think, at this stage, I would rather stick to the diagnosis of conversion disorder since, at least, the damage won't be organic... 8-O lol

I won't know for a while since tests still have to be conducted.... 8-X

Have you paid for the seat?

It was sometime is the winter's day... possibly sometime in January or December...

One day, I went into the Deli and got a cup of coffee to warm myself up.

On my way in, I saw a gentleman sitting on my regular bench with a bag next to him.

I thought to myself, then, still enough space for the skinnier version of me.

I also thought to myself that I seemed to have met him once before when he asked me for a light....

After I got out, I had the cane on the left and holding the coffee on the right... moving towards the end of the bench.

The gentleman saw me, picked up his stuffs, told me to sit down on the bench, and, asked me this question....

"Have you paid for the seat?"

I was not quite sure what to say and responded, "I paid for the coffee."

He smiled and walked away.... leaving me to this date in Taipei--- half-planet away from New York--- wondering... whether that was a good enough an answer to his question.

Unfortunately, I assumed, then, that the response was good enough and missed the opportunity to check my assumptions.... as in many other occasions--- even though I might have the propensity to doubt other's response and stand by, involuntarily, my assumptions lol.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

天賦異秉 (gifted) 2

If you ask me, at this point in time, whether I would believe the doctors I see at home would be able to find an alternative diagnosis other than a few disc herniations and impingements….

The answer is… Actually… Nope…

For, I have now finally come to understand what I was once told… “You go from one doctor to the other while everyone says that they have done their best.”

Yet, since it hurts nothing more than my wallet, I shall still try to see whether there are other organic conditions that might have contributed to my retarded speed of recovery in turns of pains, spasms and mobility.

There are two major reasons for my search for The Diagnosis… hopefully, it would yield an alternative treatment, which could do miracle or explain the unexplainable speed of my recovery (at least as per comments of many professionals I have encountered), and, second, to show, at least to myself, that something else other than my beautiful mental head is at fault—

Although alternative diagnoses might not do anything constructive to the process of recovery, at least and hopefully, they might be better than “unexplainable.” Like what they say—he who has the why could bear any how… although I have been trying with all my might to carry out the hows without a why consented by all experts.

Of course, it is highly likely that my wanting a diagnosis better explaining to me my physical condition is synonymous to Alexander the Great’s pursuit for the end of the world--- both senseless search towards meaningless ends in vain.

In any case, so, today is the EMG day… since my legs are not dropping and I still have control over my peeping and pooping, I had not expected the results to be much different than what came out last year… within normal range it is.

After the first part of the test, where I got electric shocked, I learned that the signal in my peripheral nervous system is fine.

Then, I went on for the second part of the test, where the doctor stick a needle into my leg and turned the needle inside around to collect more info.

I did not recall the guy before me making a sound.

However, the pain was so unbearable to me that I found it difficult to do the tasks he asked me to perform such as pressing my foot up and down against his hand.

So I mourned, cursed and, possibly, howled with this gigantic question mark over my forehead... why do the same amount of physical stimuli cause pains so severe in my but not in the others?

Why am I so very well endowed with something I could really do without?

Then, a senior doctor came in and called off the test…

He said, “The test so far is within normal range.”

I replied, “I know… that’s what I found last time I had an EMG but why am I still the same way I am.”

He replied, “Having EMG in normal range doesn’t mean that you are not sick… It means you have not collapsed yet. Maybe in 10 years your body would really collapse and that would be the time for a surgery.”

Then, this other senior doctor walked in and someone mentioned that he also had herniation.

I asked him, “When did the spasm stop?”

Dr. Hernia responded, “Never. I finally needed to have a surgery done. You are stuck with it your entire life.”

“But I am only 30 something!” I said…. Thinking… I am supposed to be stuck with them my entire life… Lord oh no!

Then, I got up from the examination table, picked up my stuffs, and slowly moved out the lab with my cane at hand….

In addition to the ordinary amount of intensified pain in my neck and back these past few days, plausibly having something to do with my trying to go off Naproxen, the physical exam or the MRI scan yesterday, the body seemed to still have memory about pains caused by the needling acts and added extra spasms and pains to my left leg… (ok… call it imagination or hallucination but that’s, anyway, how I felt and hallucinations are what I am entitled to as well… lol)

I, then, thought to myself… Why am I so very 天賦異秉 or gifted in this thing called pain perception, be the stimuli real or not, be the intensity appropriate or not, or, be it dorsal horn reorganized or not.

Could the pains be the major contributing factor that slows down the recovery speed—be the slow recovery rate the result of the pains’ sole contribution or the interactions between pains and other factors?

How could I make myself, if not the others, really understand that it is not my fault to be so sensitive to pain and having to bear its consequences such as spasms--- rather, it is that of my brain… 8-O lol (speaking of metacognition)

Why can’t I trade my pains with gains (other than weight and age)? lol

And, like what one once said, “It hurts me. Why so much pain?”

Such concludes this chapter about the process of redeeming my 天賦異秉 or my special talent in… pain. lol sign

她是瘋子-- She is psycho

After my meeting with the neurologist yesterday, I waited outside of the hospital for daddy to come pick me up.

After the examinations by the doctors, the pains and spasms seemed to have gotten worse and so did the psychotic symptoms…

It was around the time for people to get off work….

I sat quietly on a bench waiting and managing the pains while looking at them coming towards me and me passing by.

At some point, I caught what I was feeling…. by the way they look or avoiding looking at me, all those people know me and my life history…

Then, loud and clearly, I heard this voice, “她是瘋子.”

Such I have to agree… lol sigh

石頭記-- the tale of a rock 8-O

Just when I am back to read紅樓夢, aka石頭記 (the tale of a rock 8-O), my head, again, is starting to feel like a gigantic piece of rock nowadays…

I would like have found out about its reoccurrence if I had not come back to write for my blog (as per suggestion of my auditory hallucinations lol).

Yet, when sitting in front of my computer--- I found, again, thoughts in the season of drought in desert moon…

The funny thing is that… although I am stubborn like a rock about decreasing dosages when feeling overdrugged, without a psychiatrist to monitor my conditions, I am actually fairly conservative about changing dosages at my own will…

Monday, May 19, 2008

天賦異秉- special talent

I spent the whole day in the hospital today trying to seek some alternative diagnosis for my traded recovery.

To begin with, I got X rays again, had three orthopedic doctors examined me, got a blood test, saw a neurologist, and, got another MRI on my cervical spine done. Tomorrow afternoon, I will have EMG done again to assess the activities of the peripheral nervous system before eventually test of event potentials to see whether there is anything wrong about my CNS signal transmission.

At some point, dad and I had this conversation… starting from me wanting to find a copy of the book “紅樓夢”- A Dream of Red Mansions - a Chinese classic I first and last read, possibly, before I was in fourth grade.

This reminded dad of something I don’t even recall… He said, “It was really amazing that, when you were really young, you would tell grandma stories and they were stories coming out from 聊齋誌異”- Liaozhai Stories of Fox-Fairies, Ghosts & Other Marvels - with聊齋誌異 another classic.

He then commented, “That’s when I thought you are really天賦異秉 ”

I laughed and replied, “I am really 天賦異秉 and I guess this is why no one knows what to do with my conditions. Just like when the psychiatrist said to me that I am really well adjusted… My response was… I am just天賦異秉.” lol sigh

The matter of the fact is that… I could really do without my 天賦異秉 for I’d rather having the experts to know exactly what the problems are and what to do about my pains, spasms and mental health conditions.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

My seemingly normal head

The second day I arrived at home, I made a point of going to see a psychiatrist to find someone to monitor my head for me.

When I got to the hospital, the doctor was still seeing patients in the teens or the early 20s while I am number 50.

So I sat there continuing to read Frankl’s book…

At some point, I took off my back support and this other lady waiting asked me this question: “Is it for the back?”

“Yes.” So I replied.

I told her all about what the back support could do and eventually started talking about my sensitivity to the perception of pains as well as the theory of neurotransmitters that might have added much more of my painful suffering.

At some point, she made this comment, “You look really normal though. Must be too tense.”

It is really funny to be hearing other people waiting to see a psychiatrist telling me now normal I look.

I replied with a smile, “Can’t help it. Just well endowed in some capacities.” Lol

Finally it was my time to see the shrink…

Since this is the first time I saw him, I told him about the different kinds of labeling people have assigned to me… schizophrenia, schizoaffective… propensity to depression.

He said, “Well, just a name.”

I, then, informed him of the drugs I am taking and the dosage…. with the little by the way info at the end of the sentence…

“By the way, I was just institutionalized early in February.”

“Stabilized?” He asked.

“Yes and strangely speedy….” I replied.

“You seem to be adjusting very well.” He commented.

“Can’t help it… just gotta do it.” I said.

“Well, that’ how your body is made up of… Got family history?”

“Yes,” I replied, “Two uncles with schizophrenia and a few aunts with depression.”

These are but some of the brief conversation that I could recall….

One thing that I found most funny is the fact that….

While it is now fairly normal to be me… it seems to be a recurrent theme that I seem normal to people… then… perhaps, I am just normal…


There is a purpose for my returning home…. to repair myself from head to toe… lol

The day I arrived in Taiwan, I went to see my dentist, who informed me that the tooth that has been on my mind for the longest time has really reached the retirement age.

Sitting on the dentist chair, while my dentist kept on drilling away…

I thought of how Tom Hanks’ narration in the movie “Cast away” right before he was about to knock one of his own tooth out on the deserted island and what he said about how he used to fear seeing a dentist while now he wished that he could have one handy by his side.

Then, I thought of how this tooth could have been saved for a few more years should I have had the accident not, should I have come home to see my dentist last year or should I have had the strength to go see my dentist in Flushing, and, should the pain killers not masked the tooth ache and took my concern away from it.

I also thought of this quote by Bismarck in Frankl’s book, “Life is like being at the dentist. You always think that the worst is still to come, and yet it is over already.” (Page 81, Frankl)

Alright, the tooth’s life might have been long over while I thought the worst is yet to come… lol

Friday, May 16, 2008

Conversion disorder update

Conversion disorder has been a ghost hanging around by myself since I had my injury at work in June, 2006, which put me in pain no one could understand and mobile disability.

In theory, if it is all the ordinary stress I experience that is contributing to my psychological maladjustment, by removing myself from the US, we shall be able to see miracle, AKA me suddenly moving with no spasms no more.

Arriving in Taipei yesterday, I did not really have the time to check out my walkability. Yet, today, after I paid a visit to a psychiatrist, I walked home and observed myself having to stop for spasms as usual.... to be honest, I seemed to be walking fewer steps before hitting a stop... which might have something to do with that 24 hour long trip I took to get back to Taipei from New York City.

Or, perhaps, my conversion disorder might have intensified because the synergistic effect of having my mama and papa together causes more stress that those I had in NYC... lol (oops... how impious a daughter I am... 8-X)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Have a good trip...

Tonight I took off
Today I got things taken of

All said and done in the city of New York

Come what may...

Like what my friends say...

Have a good trip...

Like my joke..

As long as we don't see me next fall... lol

Bye bye New York

(though I shall be back... lol)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Seen enough

You live here all these years? Well, then you have seen quite enough already!

(P. 45, Frankl)

First time see ya down

First time seeing this message about the down side of Yahoo....

A pleasant surprise

This morning, when I was at work trying to finish up a report before my trip to Taiwan tomorrow, my colleague Ratzprincess told me about the Mad pride article in the New York Times.

Given the constraints of time, I was only able to scan through the article and find a sense of relief that there are many other ratprincesses in their version of Ratology.

Then, I went back to number crunching and finally finished up the report.

After I got home, I finally had the chance to take a better look at the article...

And, this paragraph in Frankl's writing echoed in my mind:

Those former prisoners often say, "We dislike talking about our experiences. No explanations are needed for those who have been inside, and the others will understand neither how we felt then nor how we feel now."

Yet, sometimes, ironically, it is really soothing to be hearing those stories others will not understand from the follow sojourners' end.

One thing I love the most is the following quotes of Elyn Saks who did not break the news until she received tenure (and same reason why I am still Ratprincess after all these years).

“I knew I was crazy but also sane enough to know that I couldn’t make myself sane.”

“For an unlucky person, I’m very lucky.”

So I feel.

After I reread the article, I thought to myself... what a pleasant surprise... Ratopia is closer than I had thought.... lol

Mad pride

Apparently, mad pride is something on the rise.... Didn't know I am one of the trendy kind... 8-O lol

Saturday, May 10, 2008


I thought of my grandma who had passed away years ago this morning when I was again pondering about the meaning of my futile pursuit of seeking meanings in the annoying things in life. So I thought... did grandma even ponder about the meaning of life?

I, then, thought of all the plausible lives I might have led shall I have chosen alternative options at different stages... and wondered whether I would still end up with this existential vacuum stage.

Then, this question popped up... what about all other people? Are there others out there who are also stuck in this kinda dilemma? Or, could others understand this plight I am in--- not understanding why the heart persists on meaning to seek.

Perhaps, those who meaning seek not shall I envy...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Not perfect

I guess, in life, somethings are just meant to happen.

At dinner, mama said to me or reminded me again that, once one's application for green card is denied, it would make it so much more difficult to get it.

I thought to myself... let's see whether I will be able to get the visa to come back to the states in the end of June first before speaking of green card.

I am not feeling apathetic... (or am I? 8-O)

No, I am not (although one is entitled to suggest me in a stage of denial).

Yet, there is this voice in my heart telling me that... somethings are just meant to happen in life... be it to our liking or not... for all will all eventually balance out at the end of our time...

(Lordy... are my hallucinations starting to migrate from my head to my heart? 8-O lol)

Shall there be nothing I could take with me, at least, one thing I know is that I feel this sense of peace inside with myself, including all the decisions I have made in my life so far.

There are so many could-haves--

I could have been an established physician if I had decided to go to the medical school.

I could have had a steady job or my own family, perhaps, shall I have gone straight to work with out bothering with the graduate school.

Yet, even if I could redo this and that gazillion thousand times more, would it ever be possible for me to create the perfect scenario for my life... especially when I yet have to figure out what a perfect life entails? How long would it take to find the solution and could The Solution really unfold?

There is nothing perfect about my life....

Physically, I got spasms, nerve pains and still can't move too far without a stop. Mentally, I got my hallucinations and delusions as well as the propensity for depression. Financially, I have now only one part time job that allows me to pay my rent. Career-wise, I am still waiting for a full time job to land. In addition, I got no money, no car, no house and no man.

To be honest, a life fairly fucked up seems to be a much better description for a life as such.

Yet, so they say, "well, another day is over" (page 40, Frankl) and "tomorrow is another day" towards a better end... :-)

(for how much worse off could it get and I told God I have suffered enough... lol)

Thursday, May 8, 2008

What I got from Troy

After I watched the movie Troy last night, waking up this morning, I realized that the one thing that really stands out from that film was...

Brad Pitt's got a really nice looking butts...

Then, when I was mentioning Brad Pitt's name with my coworkers today, I was told that Brad Pitt is dead... 8-O

So, I immediately did a google search and found one posting in a discussion forum stating Brad Pitt died in a car accident.... with a link to an external website.

That was around 2:00 PM this afternoon and those were the only two pieces of information I got about someone called "Brad Pitt" (although I don't know which one) is reported by some source to be dead.

Then, when I went back to the posting of that specific discussion forum, I found the following information...

Originally Posted by
Welcome To!(did someone get you with a fake story? - it's just a joke!)Mess with your friends and family by inserting their name into one of our story generator templates.We use a DNS trick that plugs the name of your choice into a fake story. The 'victim' name is not stored on our servers - it's totally dynamic, the story is 100% fake, and only exists while you have the browser window open viewing the structure example (swap out '' with any name):http://

Then, as I am drafting this post... I realized that... more info are appearing through the google search results concerning the death of Brad Pitt

I don't know why people want to fake news about anyone's death... Yet, I guess... an additional insight other than Brad Pitt's butts are really nice is the importance of "information literacy." lol

Death- Bears. Mountains.

I often ponder whether I have forgotten over 99.99% of things I have done and experienced in life. It also amazes me how memories of others could be as vivid as what just happened... before yesterday (since I don't have much recollection about what happened yesterday. lol 8-X)

It has been almost over 10 years ago since I was at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

One of my suitemate, Brian, was a graduate student in Forestry.

Brian used to drive all the way north into the mountains to collect data on studies examining the impacts of forest overcut on the ecology or environment.

One day, around 13 years ago, I asked whether I could go along with him into the mountains and he gladly granted my request.

After hours and hours of driving on the scenic highway 99, passing the mountains including the whistler region, we finally arrived at this valley where, there was no other people but the two of us-- for the trees were all gone and so were people....

We hiked up the hill to reach the experimental stations to download data of the temperature onto his laptop. There were 3 stations on each side of the valley on the hill.

While he was downloading his data, I leisurely looked around... and, down the hill, I saw these furry kinda moving objects.

I looked much more carefully again before interrupting him by saying something like...

"Are those bears?"

Brian looked towards the direction I was pointed at and he replied with something like...

"They are a mama bear and two cubs. Just keep your eyes on them to keep track of where they are."

He also added to my knowledge that bears have really good sense of smell. Since the two of us were definitely the only two human intruders in the whole region and we were up on the hill, they must have smelled us.

He, then, went back to his work while I stood there watching them bears climbing up the hill getting closer to where we were until, finally, I lost sight of them, and, such, I had Brian informed.

When Brian was done with that station, he packed up his laptop and we moved towards the opposite direction where the next station was.

There, I kept on looking but I did not see the mama with the cubs anymore. Rather, I saw a few... maybe 3 big bears down in the valley and, such have I, Brian, informed as well.

Brian looked and confirmed what I have seen. Then, he resumed with his work on downloading data as well as resetting and maintaining the equipments at the station.

After he was done with that station, he carefully packed up his gadgets and, with extreme sincerity and seriousness, he said to me...

"Ratprincess..." (actually he was calling my real name)

"Ya?" I replied.

"Run! Run! Run for your life!!!"

Then, he started running towards the opposite direction where the mama and baby bears were seen.

Where we were, there was no trail and we just keep on running as fast as we could through the weeds and rocky land... until, at a certain point, Brian stopped and said to me...

"There are two options we have here. We could turn uphill here and eventually we could hit the trial. Or, we could turn downhill from here although there is no road."

I looked at him and said, "I am not gonna climb up the hill at this point to meet them bears on the trail. Let's go down..."

The road downhill actually did not involve too much of moving using my legs. The slope was so steep that, although I was able to manage to "climb" down using my two feet for a bit of distance, the act of balancing seemed to have slowed down my speed. Ended up, at a certain point, I basically was sliding down the hill on my butts using gravity as the driving force propelled with my two hands to increase the speed....

Then, the slope came to an end when we encountered a small creek where both of us tumbled in...

We eventually got down the hill and found our way to the trail...

It was one of the longest mile I have walked because, every time, when the wind blows, the weeds alongside swung and made sound... which would give me a scare... thinking coming out of the bushes-- the bear attacks...

I still recall clearly what I could not stop thinking about since Brain said to me, "Run for your life!!!"

I thought about this man that I loved so dear and, between the times when I was trying to focus on keeping myself in one piece rolling down the hill, I said to his image in my mind...

"(Jackass), I will, at least, see you again... (Jackass), I will get down and, at least, see you for the last time..."

(and, how impious for me not be thinking about my daddy and mommy.... oops... in the age of the Young Werther kinda sorrow...)

So we finally got back to Brian's car and I thought that would be the end of data collection.

Yet, Mr. Scientifically Based Research drove a bit and, again, stopped...

Apparently, there were still a few stations down in the valley where them other bears were hanging out. While I anxiously looked around for them bears, fearing for the circumstances, Brian took his time, got his data, and tried to fortify the station so the bears would not come and screw the experiments up.... 8-O lol

By the time we got back to the car again, the night had fallen upon the valley.

As the car started moving, my tensed nerve finally had a sense of relief... and, I turned to Brian and asked..

"Are there still bears moving around now?"

Confidently, Brian replied, "No, the bears wake up when the sun goes up and rest when the sun goes down..."

It was almost before he could have the sentence completed did he hit the break....

Right in front of the car, we saw, a bear, us, stared at while, at him, both of us, in return, stared.

"Don't move." Brian said while I had no intention to move anyway.

Yet, I think, we did take the time to roll the windows up...

The bear stood there for a bit and started moving around in front of the car...

Then, the bear started walking towards my side and took a century-long look inside through the window next to me...

Neither Brian nor I made a move--- long after... through peripheral vision we sensed that the bear, into the dark, its peregrination, continued.

So, the car got started again.... we drove through a bridge, out of the valley, out of the mountains, and, another century later, we finally hit an intersection where, for the first time, we saw light--- traffic lights, an indication that we were out of the animal nation.

Brian stopped the car at the gas station in front of the 7-11.

For the first time after we resumed our trip out of the valley, someone spoke....

"I am going to get some coffee." Brian said.

"I also need a coffee." I replied.

Thereafter, the remaining of the trip home remained to be mostly silent...

Regardless how much I claim myself to love nature, after getting my face so closed next to a bear at large, although divided by the car window, despite them bears are only black bears, never did I volunteer to go into the mountains with Brian again (who, in another trip, in a winter’s night, on his way out with his girlfriend, stepped on a bear hibernating.... lol)

Death- car

Other than my having been killed in a thousand ways... deep fried, crashed, stabbed, poisoned, decapitated... etc in my direst state of psychosis, there were two times in my life when I must had felt so very closed to death that my head went totally blank or in shock for quite a time...

During the summer of my sophomore year, I got this stipend to study German in Goethe institute in Regensburg, a town in the Bavaria. There, I met this Japanese girl, this Russian scientist and this American guy who claimed to be a undercover cup from New York whose cover just got blown, got shot in the leg, and got shipped abroad to hide out for a while.

One weekend, the four of us decided to take a tour to the Ludwig II's country of Neuschwanstein and the infamous Dachau.

Of course, Mr. Undercover Cup was the designated driver.

It was about 16 years ago when we took that trip and, to be honest, like many other trips I have taken in life, I have forgotten much of the things I saw including the lake by the castle where Ludwig II drown and the places I have been to.... except for the following....

We were riding on the country road and there was only one lane on each side of the road. If I remember correctly, it was one of those ordinary cloudy, hazy and, perhaps, rainy day while, off the road, miles and miles of green field with distant hills. Occasionally, you would see some houses standing in the big lot of green with lights coming through the windows giving out family kinda warmth. (OK... I have to admit to the fact that I am not even quite sure whether this is the scenery I saw during that specific trip... It could be another other of those days when I was backpacking along, riding on the train, in Europe. Or, I simply made it up. lol)

In any case, it was one of those moments in a road trip when nothing seemed to be too exciting while all seemed sort of new and disconnected.

Since we were in Germany and given that Mr. Undercover cup was supposed to be a cup like those ones you see in the movie, he must have been driving fairly fast... sort of like at the speed of 100 km per hour. So he drove in haste and we casually sat while many a car we passed on that monotonic kind of country road.

Then, we came across this gigantic truck in front of us... and it is one of those truckers who would speed up when he sees your intent to pass ahead of him...

At some point, Mr. Undercover Cup hit the gas to speed the car to its full capacity while the trucker also tried the same thing to stop us from getting ahead of him (in my imagination at least).

It was as if these two cars were racing on a two-lane roads--- except for we were on the wrong lane.

Before we all realize, there came this other truck coming towards us at high speed while there was not enough time for us to either move pass or behind the first truck...

The next thing we realized was... our car was sandwiched by these two trucks on that narrow road... while all three autos at the speed of 100 km or so...

The time seemed to have frozen or distorted within the seconds when our fast going car was squeezed in the middle of the other two.

I still sort of recall seeing the second truck coming towards us while knowing there was no place for us to me. In split second, we were in between two moving walls and these walls seemed to be too close to us. I also saw Mr. Undercover cup seemed to be holding on to the wheel really tight and straight, perhaps. We all were silent. My head was clear, thinking of nothing... yet, I think I did sort of wonder, moment by moment, what was to happen the next mini-second and the body of the trucks were really long... Until, finally, the second truck past us and continued its journey towards the opposite direction.

For a long long time (at least that was how it felt), nobody in the car talked. We kept on driving and driving... Then, the Russian scientist, who was then the cup's girl friend, leaned towards him and caressed him on the back.

It might have been him who, eventually, broke the silence and said something like, "It was close."

I don't recall much what happened after....

The only thing I remember was... after settling down in the hotel, when knocking at their door, we realized that they were already in bed... and, perhaps, already had some wild sex.... (actually, this is what I just realize now... lol)

Ok, let's try again...

The only thing I remember was... perhaps, what I felt might be what Frankl coined as the sense of "cold curiosity" or I, like the rest in the car, was pure in shock. There was the detached kind of contemplation about what was to happen the next moment and its next... although I am not quite sure now whether there was time to process the thing called fear for danger or for life as the could've-been death car, us, passed.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

End of Horsey Era

Today marks the end of Horsey Era...

After many more people died, so ended the end of Aeneid...

Then, tonight, mama and I watched the remake of the movie "Troy" and finally understood what people meant when they said the movie was loosely based on The Iliad....

As Troy was falling in the movie, I had the same question Aeneas asked... (or loosely same)

When will Gods in wrath forgive the mortals?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Lessons learned

Following are some things I learned from The Iliad, The Odyssey and Aeneid (so far):
  1. God(s)--- thou shalt irate not!!!
  2. Conflict of interests is the core problem underlying all suffering experienced by mortals in these poems because too many of these mortals are the offsprings of Gods
  3. Men haven't changed much from then till now... they still run away.. 8-O lol

In addition, in case you want to read or listen to all three of them, my suggested sequence for these three epic poems would be in chronical order-- The Iliad by Homer, Aeneid by Virgil, and, The Odyssey by Homer.

Why reading this?

When waiting to see my orthopaedics doctor today, I pulled out Frankl's book to do some casual reading...

At the end of our appointment, after we spoke of the annoying pains and spasms, I asked this question again...

"Why do my back and legs still get tightened up? Why do I still have to stop?"

"You have disc herniation." He, again, replied.

"When do I have to stop stopping?"

"Hopefully the disk will eventually shrink."

Then, the doctor saw the book and asked what I was reading...

I showed him the cover.... "Man's search for meaning" by Viktor Frankl.

He must have asked something like... "why do you read this?"

"Because I can't see the meaning of me stopping." I replied.

Have you heard me recently?

This boss of mine asked me today...

"Have you heard my voice in your head recently?"

I felt really awful and appologized to him... "Sorry, I haven't heard your voice recently. "

I, then, reassure him that I will try my best to bring his voice back and let him known when it happens. lol

As a matter of fact, the majority of the times the voices I hear are manifested as the speech of those Gods ever since I starting listening to Odyssey and Iliad.

For instance, when I was on my way back from my orthopaedics doctor, on the bus, the thing that took over my head and made is sort of hard to move told me something like... "You are protected by Gods. Guided by Spirits." 8-O (Ummm... this makes it sort of weird to be going out to pick up some man for a one-night stand shall Gods be always watching over me... 8-O lol)

Also, yesterday, after I made the posting about humor and curiosity, I heard Mr. Frankl talking to me and clarifying some ideas to me.

There are still times, though, when real people's voices would be the content of my hallucinations and delusions.

Speaking of the contextual influence of positive symptoms.... 8-O lol

Free audio books

I have mentioned time and again my love for the New York Public Library and its collection of recording materials including audio books.

Recently, I have encountered technical difficulties using OverDrive Media Console, the player of NYPL digital recording contents, to play audio books or, more accurately, to perform windows media security update when it is Windows Media Player 11 installed on the computer.

Since I did not get too much useful information from the tech support of the OverDrive, I decided to look else where for free audio books.

This is how I came across LibriVox, which turns books in the public domain into audio format and distributes these audio books over the Internet for free. The media files are stored with

So far, I have finished listening to "The Iliad" and "Odyssey" by Homer recorded by LibriVox volunteers.

Pretty cool... I have to say....

Aeneid, where ist thy Horsey

Yesterday I mentioned two sources where the Trojan Horse has appeared...

Today, I made it my mission to have the horsey heard by listening to the audio book of Aeneid by Virgil and was able to push to around book 8 or 9.

One major thing I could tell you is... "Virgil did mention the Trojan Horse and the ensuing burning down of Troy in book 2 and 3 of Aeneid".

Monday, May 5, 2008

Humor and curiosity

Many people have found it really difficult to understand my sense of humor at times, if not much of the time... and some even have complained that, inappropriately, often, I laugh... (see laughing)

It is true that it is better to laugh or be able to laugh than to cry. Thus, laughter shall I choose if there is an option.

Sometime last fall, when I found myself to be out of work, out of job, out of green card, out of both physical and mental health, out of physical therapy, out of the disability check etc--- essentially, out of all things I could cling to to make my ends meet, and, to affirm my ephemeral existence.

At some point, I started finding all the additional stressors to be like spices in a dark comedy, which makes them actually pretty funny.

I was no longer afraid because I thought to myself, as long as everyone else doing fine and I am still kicking... what else do I have to lose when I am stripped of all things that I could use to fill up that existential vacuum of mine? It really would be interesting to see what else by God, Gods, the supreme power, fate, or life would take away from me and how such might make me feel...

Then, I was reading Frankl's words, in the paragraphs where he described the defense mechanism developed by the prisoners in the concentration camp...

".. the illusions some of us still held were destroyed one by one, and then, quite unexpectedly, most of us were overcome by a grim sense of humor. We knew that we had nothing to lose except our so ridiculously naked lives.....

Apart from that strange kind of humor, another sensation seized us: curiosity. I have experienced this kind of curiosity before, as a fundamental reaction toward certain strange circumstances. When my life was once endangered by a climbing accident, I felt only one sensation at the critical moment: curiosity, curiosity as to whether I should come out of it alive or with a fractured skull or some other injuries." (Page 29, Man's Search for meaning, Frankl)

Because my personal experiences are nothing comparable to what people in the concentration camp had and have to endure, I could only understand what Frankl means in my own capacity.

On the other hand, personally, the term defense mechanisms seem to insinuate potential maladjustment given that individuals might fend off things using these mechanisms so as not to process them.

For me, I prefer to call humor and curiosity "god's gift" or "survival instincts".

At this point, I expect people who know I eventually ended in the mad house in February to ask "The Question".

"If humor and curiosity are really the blessing from God or a manifestation of survival instinct, how would you end up in the cuckoo's nest?"

(and if you don't question this, I would figure you are not really reading my posting and might as well go and watch House. lol)

For instance, a good friend of mine bluntly put it, "Don't forget you just failed...."-- meaning I just came out from the nut house around 2 months ago.

My response is simple.

While some people might believe that my recent acute episode is the proof that I fail and there is no doubt that they are entitled to their opinion, for me, I know that I had failed not.

I had failed not because I know that the blessings I have been granted have carried me long enough.

I had failed not because I have always been aware of the "one country, two governments" policy that rules my head.... and I have no control over the traffic flow of the neurotransmitters (e.g., dopamine) that are responsible for not only driving me crazy but also carrying signals of pain perception. (Please refer to my previous posting...)

Think not how well you are adjusting to your ordinary life with or without the kind of humor and curiosity we are speaking of here.

Think of how well you might fare shall you be me or me(s) with or without the kind of humor and curiosity.

Or, the real reply I shall provide is even simpler...

I have failed in what? 8-O lol

Three rumors

Three rumors I found while listening to the Iliad...

  1. Homer might not be a real person who single-handedly composed The Iliad (which rumors say might be the first work of European Literature) and Odyssey
  2. Achilles might be either bisexual or homosexual
  3. Gods, even Jove, might not be able to alter fate, at least for the mortals

Iliad, where is thy horsey?

I finally finished listening to The Iliad by Homer today....

The end of Book 24 marked the funeral of Hector, the hero of Troy, whose father Priam finally got a hold of his body from Achilles.

Along the way, I kept on thinking that... it is so sad... all the mortals losing their life in warfare.

Yet, as the book ended, I found the biggest question I had in my head was....

"Where is the horsey?"

And I asked my boss... "Where was the horsey in the Iliad?" or "I did not hear the horsey?!"

Achilles Slays HectorI imagined it might have been in the book where Achilles defeated the Trojans back to their town driven by the grief and wrath over Patroclus' death? Or, maybe in the book where Hector got slain?

Could I have missed the whole horsey thing in day dream? 8-O

Finally, I decided to do a google search and realized that...

I am not the only person who finishes up The Iliad not finding a trace of the Horsey... or the Trojan horse... (see Grandpa's question, another question)

The matter of the fact is that... The Iliad ended before the end of the Trojan war--- and that's why the horsey was no where to be find in the book or epic poem "The Iliad."

Apparently, the Trojan horse was described in Virgil's Aeneid and, in Homer, it was described somewhere in Odyssey.... (check wikipedia for citation)

What a thing was this, too, which that mighty man [Odysseus] wrought and endured in the carven horse, where in all we chiefs of the Argives were sitting, bearing to the Trojans death and fate!

But come now,change thy theme, and sing of the building of the horse of wood, which Epeius made with Athena's help, the horse which once Odysseus led up into the citadel as a thing of guile, when he had filled it with the men who sacked Ilium .

Speaking of barking at the wrong tree...

Or... looking at the wrong place for that Horsey.... lol

Sunday, May 4, 2008


It was another day, when I was puffing my smoke listening to this voice of mine talk (in case you forget... hallucination it is)....

I have forgotten the majority of things this voice was talking about... like the majority of things I have learned in life...

One thing I remember was... I was told that the words are not mine and this is why I shall keep them not for myself...

Such speaks for the implications of the Internet to help my psychotic self realizing the thing called thought broadcasting... lol 8-X


It was one day last week, when my head was feeling more upbeat...

In the hallway, I bumped into this friend of mine, speaking of George Clooney.

My friend said Mr. George might be her distant cousin and I tried to persuade her to get in contact with him so as to marry me to him.

My friend reminded me that Mr. George is already going steady with someone and I made a comment like... "I am more beautiful." lol

Later that day, in the Iliad, I heard the paragraphs speaking of the beauty of Helen.

This reminded me of Manon and how miserable a death she had because of her own beauty--- according to herself...

Then, I thought to myself... 紅顏禍水

Thank God that I am not so beautiful... Cute still might be at my age... Beauty bin ich nicht... 8-X


I guess we all are prisoners in our own capacities.... although some might prefer to think themselves as being free of all confinements.

Speaking from my own experiences, prisons could manifest themselves in all different forms.

Being locked up in the cuckoo's nest, going in voluntarily while the cups could come chasing after you if coming out without permission... that shall fit the prototypical kinda definition for imprisonment.

More loosely speaking...

Some of us have been the prisoners of pains--- regardless of the etiology... we live day by day wishing the pains would eventually go away.

There are also those of us who are the prisoners of our mobility... we try our best to move forward, inch by inch-- with or without canes, with or without wheel chairs, with or without back supports-- be it psychosomatic or not...

In an era of Prozac Nation, many of us have been the prisoners of depression, all that we could do is to push one day at a time and think of one positive thought at a time till the clouds finally pass and the sun coming out shining again.

Of course, there are also those of us, who amount to, perhaps, 1% of the population (depending on the citation). We are the prisoners of conditions that allows us to see, hear, feel and experience things beyond reality, or, we are psychotic.

While, in some context, there is less we could do about our imprisonments, in others, choices, we have more…

We all have been the prisoner of our own pursuit... for instance, those working on their dissertation often see no light and eventually forgetting it is the tunnel they are in... (at least for me when I was working on my dissertation) Yet, nobody had put a knife against my head telling me to complete that process... It was my choice.

At the same time, we all have been prisoners of love--- mourning, groaning and struggling in the face of love. Yet, whatever you say, it is our choice to love.

Now that I have identified the kinds of prisoner I have been... I shall be working on figuring out what to do about my imprisonments.

What about you yourself?

Frankl's words

OK, I have to admit to you that my reading ability has finally come back... at least, now I am capable of reading the writing "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl after having finished listening to its audio book version.

One reason prompted me to go back to this book in such a short time is that despite the fact that I have no experiences with concentration camp, I often found his words to speak directly of my heart concerning my personal experiences- regardless whether such has been shared or not through my blogs.

When I started blogging, I had taken on Ratprincess as my pseudonym with only few dear friends knowing about my blog. This partially speaks to the fact that... shall the label of "mental" contains no more taboo-ish kinda sentiment to you, you are far more advanced than I am for I am not yet ready to walk down the street with "I am psychotic and depressive" written across the hair band over my forehead. lol

The blog was initially created as a means to help me searching for the meaning of my personal experiences as a functional psychotic and neurotic. You could even call it a desperate act in reaction to the deep-seated frustration about my inability to figure out... "Why me? Why do I have to go through it?" or "Why can't I beat my conditions with all my training in psychology and what good does my years of education and training have shall they grant me not ezpass out of mental health conditions?"

I had wanted to write a book... something like the book "I never promise you a rose garden" written by Joanne Greenberg-- based on a fictional depiction of her personal experiences with mental health conditions. Unfortunately, I find myself not too endowed in the creative writing department and the contents I could offer to limited, in addition to the English of mine so very ESL.

It, later, became clear to me that, chances are, the only way I could find sense out of having to live with mental health conditions is by sharing my personal experiences with the others. Any sense anyone else could find out of my blog will help me add some sense to my sometimes sort of miserable kinda being.... or... the sense for me rests on the hope that someone will get something helpful somehow... such as people who share similar experiences or those who studies about similar experiences.

Throughout the years, I have been documenting my life on and off in good times, in bad times, and in all times in between. I have also talked about my experiences in less mental times, in more mental times, and in all times in between.

I have tried my best to describe and analyze the given observations etc in as subjective a fashion as possible. I have also often made myself sharing things that others in similar situation would prefer to share not. (Ya, this reminds me of this intern in the psychiatric ward, many years ago, who came sitting next to me-- one in the cuckoo’s nest-- and hyper-enthusiastically asked me something like--- why do you come in here or do you hear voice? I, like any other patients, gave him something like a dirty look and told him to leave me alone.)

Unfortunately, many of the contents remain unspeakable.

Unfortunately, deep down in my heart I know.... the observations I made within myself could never be as objective as I would like them to be and so will be their utilities for clinical research-- let along the fact that it is but an absolutely biased case study with close to zero degree of generalizability.

Then, I came across the following words by Frankl...

Those former prisoners often say, "We dislike talking about our experiences. No explanations are needed for those who have been inside, and the others will understand neither how we felt then nor how we feel now."

To attempt a methodical presentation of the subject is very difficult, as psychology requires a certain scientific detachment. But does a man who makes his observations while he himself is a prisoner possess the necessary detachment? Such detachment is granted to the outsider, but he is too far removed to make any statements of real value. Only the man inside knows. His judgment may not be objective; his evaluations may be out of proportion. This is inevitable. An attempt must be made to avoid any personal bias and that is the real difficulty of a book of this kind. At times it will be necessary to have the courage to tell of very intimate experiences......

I shall leave it to others to distill the contents of this (...) into dry theories.

(Page 20, Man's Search for Meaning, V. Frankl)

After I read these words, I thought to myself... what he tries to convey... I think I understand...

I realize that there is not even need for my writing… because his words spoke of my thoughts even before I was born and possibly could be applicable for prisoners of all sorts--

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yo, I have suffered enough

In Ratology-- Down with Meds, I refused again and again to use the word suffering because I did not want to dwell in such notion.

I stubbornly resisted to say I suffer even though out the whole time when I was in the degree of pains that I could not yet look back.

Yet, in recent times, when those God or gods come preaching me about the things I need to know about life (or the shrinks might call it my superego), I found myself having a paradigm shift in my modus operandi....

Instead of simply listening to what I am being preached about, I try to convey the following...

"Yo, I have suffer enough and I think I have done both my share and my parents' share so far. Please makes sure you keep your promise of giving me a good life from now on and let my parents live long and healthy so that I could take care of them such as taking them to tour all around the world."

Then... I would get this feeling that...

The voices find me really funny because I am trying to bargain with them--- be them God, Gods or not....

Pazza pazza... I know I am pazza... lol


This boss of mine was fairly amazed by the fact that, nowadays, I could move the laptops much better and walk better as well.

He said to me something like, "Now you are getting better. It was all psychosomatic."

I responded, "Psychosomatic? A bunch of idiots." (oops... and of course I added a disclaimer that I did not mean he is an idiot. lol)

I, then, continued, "If my condition gets better, it is the proof for psychosomatization. If my condition does not get better, it is also psychosomatic. Regardless of my conditions, those who want to psychosomatize me could always find a way to make their argument."

In addition, the last time I checked, it seems to be worse off to be psychotic than to be purely neurotic (e.g., pathological kinda psychosomatic)... since the psychotic state could actually encompass the psychosomatic department... (have you ever thought it is some dead man's spirit using your body to teach you to dance some specific type of dance?)

With all the drug I am taking, I am still having pains and feeling spasms.

This makes me feel like to ask the proponents of the psychosomatization hypothesis that...

"Again, what good does the label of psychosomatization have on my conditions?"

Can't be perfect

On my way home from dinner, I heard my mother telling this boss of mine...

"Except for smoking, she is a good daughter."

Tailing them while having a drag of my smoke, I said, "Can't be perfect. I try my best."

Friday, May 2, 2008

A stinky smoker's lament

This afternoon, I went out for a smoke by the driveway.

A lot of children were running around on one side and the parents were on the other side.

Then, these two well-dressed beautiful girls came over, with their little hands grabbing their nose walking closer and closer to my direction and saying to their well-educated-looking parents...

"Someone smoking. It stinks."

I stood there with a head not working to well... looking at them continuing what they were doing while the adults standing aside.

The kids stood there.. perhaps moving closer towards me... not even quite sure…

I saw what they were doing with their nose and heard the words with their angelic voices.

At some point, I must have turned over to see the adults...

Finally, I guess it was the father who made this comment, "I don't know what they are teaching the children nowadays."

Yet, the scene seemed to freeze at that frame for quite a while... with their little hands on their nose and their repeating the comments about the smoke.

It was almost about a century later when I finally heard that male figure made another comment, "Why do you keep on walking towards the lady if you don't like the smell."

It was not until later did I realize that I was in shock throughout the whole time... and it was not until much much later did I come to understand why I was in shock.

As I finally moved further away from these children and adults and found myself absolutely baffled by what I had just experienced.

Granted, smoking is nothing to good and exposing other people to second hand smoking is nothing noble. Yet, throughout these years, I have grown to have the feeling that the smokers have turned into some kind of minority population.... It is the kind of minority population that is socially acceptable to be stoned to death in public. 8-O lol sigh ( ok, dramatization and exaggerations to spice the writing up.)

It is my atheoretical belief that these children had been taught to react the way they reacted.

Yet, what really shocked me was the reaction or the modeling of the adults.

Rethinking what was first said, "I don't know what they teach the children nowadays" and the parents' allowing their children to continue doing whatever they were doing...

Aren't parents supposed to be the primary care givers that teach their children to have manners, to pay respects to the others and to provide guidance when appropriate? Also, what kind of modeling are they giving to the children? Whoever go against my value and judgment should be stoned?

Or, have we come back to an era when it has become again all that OK for the minorities have no say and should be smart enough to move themselves out of the way in order to avoid... what you might called... what shall befall?

Such concludes a stinky smoker's lament. lol

(Well, at least this gives me something else to be talking about... lol)

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Whenever I use the word "amotivated," I do not mean that I am unmotivated.

In ratological definition, to be unmotivated, at least there is still this thing called motive for me to not do anything about it.

To be amotivated, the "a" part signifies that the motive doesn't even exist--- As a result, there is nothing for me to do nothing about.

Since I started feeling overdosed again by the drugs, I inevitably went back to the amotivation state.

I am very happy today to find myself finally start to make more comebacks in the motivation department-- marked by my serious attempt to start looking for a full-time job and starting from searching for positions through multiple venues.

The journey involves, yet, more than one benchmark, such as employment seeking.

Earlier this week, I finally regained the ability to push myself to list items for sale on ebay rather than sitting in front of the TV all night vegetating like a couch potato like what I had been doing for the previous two weeks or so.

During those potato times, every night, my mama-- who has no idea about what is going on in my potato head, although she might have guessed something to be off-- would ask me... "Do you need to use the computer to sell things on ebay?"

Yet, too many of those nights did I reply by, "No. Go ahead and use it," until I could finally make myself resume to a routine so very menial in everyone else’s' life.

How would I have known that the lost and regain of my ebay-ability to be some kind of benchmark in my life? 8-O lol

Of course, when I started to use audio books as a means to push info into my vacuous head while I can't work with texts yet too fine... that was another point of decapitate that “a” in front of the motivation of mine.

So shall you ask me, “so what?”

I can’t tell you what the above writing might have anything to do with you.

What I can tell you though is…

At least, through my reflections, I am acknowledging to myself the work I have put into restoring myself, and, the resulting outcomes I perceive regardless how meaningless they might be to the others.

Insight about happiness

Just when I was pondering why my head and affect seem to be less retarded earlier in the day, this insight came up to me in the following form...

"Idiot... Zoloft."