Jill Bolte Taylor & me: we're like THIS

Sup Internet! Sarah’s brain here. Feeling shitty after a loooong bout with anti-parasite medication and steroids. What up y’all?

Just kidding, it’s not really my brain talking, it’s just me (my brain doesn’t get talking rights anymore, stupid thing doesn’t even work). I don’t want to make this sound too dramatic, but Prednisone? Horrible steroid, makes people go completely insane. I know this because I’m one of those people. For example: I had a tantrum, directed at my own mother, in the street. A street with a lot of people walking around and noticing. A tantrum. You think to yourself, “oh haha, she’s just calling it a tantrum but that only happens with babies and toddlers”…. I. HAD. A. TANTRUM. I actually had several if we’re keeping track. I was only on the Prednisone to combat the Albendazole I was taking in an attempt to kill my parasitic tumors, so… you know. It just felt unfair overall.

Today was my last day on Prednisone (I had to spend five days tapering off because apparently just stopping cold turkey would make me devour a birdhouse and then cry about it and then maybe punch an elderly person), and I couldn’t be happier. I hope I never have to take that drug again. It gave me equal parts mania, despair, confusion, hunger, nausea, and a lot of tears. The kind of situation where you can tell yourself that it’s the drugs, it’s not you, but the thoughts in your head are still there and cannot quite be ignored. Scary. A lot of friends and strangers have come forward with their own Prednisone stories… people take it for asthma, lupus, all sorts of things. Sounds like some people tolerate it pretty well, and others don’t.

Real quick for anyone wondering, I have yet another MRI on Monday morning to see how things look upstairs after this whole radiation/steroid treatment, and if my tumors are 1) smaller, 2) unchanged, or 3) worse. I’ll let you know either way. I think I said a few weeks ago that I didn’t want my blog to become a wasteland of medical details, but hey. At least I’ve got something meaningful to write about. And it makes me feel better to share all of this with all of you, so I’ll keep at it, and you can stay along for the ride as long as you like, until you start vomiting (and you will eventually, I assure you).

I did something sort of weird today, and against my better judgement I’m going to share it with you. If it seems narcissistic or crazy or otherwise just really bizarre and unnecessary, could you do me a favor and just chalk it up to me being a narcissistic, crazy, bizarre, and unnecessary person who is on way too much medication and may not be thinking completely lucidly? Thanks in advance.

So. I watched a particular TED talk at the insistence of a dear friend who knew I would get a lot out of it. He kept insisting that I watch, hammering it home, annoying me about it even, because he knows me and knows that people are always sending me links to “world’s most amazing video” and often times I just don’t get to it. You know how that goes. You say you’ll watch “world’s most amazing video”, but you end up not ever getting around to it, and it doesn’t matter because there’s this other video you did watch involving a cat who eats with chopsticks and SOMETIMES WE JUST HAVE TO CHOOSE WHAT TO DO WITH OUR TIME, AMIRITE?

This is the video I watched: a speech by a crazy smart brain scientist named Jill Bolte Taylor who had a very unique experience that is not at all the same experience that I had, but that still spoke to me in ways that would never have been possible before I had a seizure and realized how fragile our brains (and our lives) actually are.

So, this friend I told you about? The one who knows me well enough to know that maybe I wouldn’t watch this amazing video because I might get caught up in, I don’t know, registering for Gowalla or some stupid shit like that (no offense to Gowalla, really, but I did actually register for that today)? I wanted to prove to him that I did indeed watch the dumb video he sent, and because we’re Internet nerds who do things like save chat logs to prove each other wrong and take screen shots of websites that have errors and laugh and feel superior and such, I decided to record myself watching the video to send to him later so he’d have proof that I really did watch.

Here is that video. The first couple minutes are cut off, but maybe you’re really creative or stoned and want to try to match up the video above with my reaction video? If neither, don’t worry, I captured the audio which I think captures the essence of what I’m trying to convey.


I was very moved by this woman, this stranger, this person who I could have never heard of or seen or known existed and been totally fine. Totally fine meaning possibly dying of a brain tumor, but you get my drift. But I think it’s worth it, and as I’ve had a lot of downtime lately and been experimenting more with video and life and the organicness (is that a word?) of it all, I just feel like I’m ok sharing my actual experience with you, here, now.

Not ok? Narcissistic/crazy/bizarre/unnecessary? Well then forgive me Father, for I am drugged. It has been 33 years since my last confession.