Oh My Aching Calculus!

Calculus.jgI’m BAAaaaack!!! I took a brief hiatus from blogging in order to study like a mad-woman for my finals. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still enjoying school and love the sense of purpose it provides as I fight the daily fight against my lovely body but I am ready for the summer break. This is typical though. I take summer semester off because my kids are, of course, out of school and I enjoy spending lazy summer days playing with them. However, by the end of the summer I am so bored and ready to get back into the swing of things. I start fall semester all smiles and full of mental energy. Spring semester then follows but by the time April rolls around I’m ready for a break. Sadly spring semester lasts until the first week of May so this leaves me with a month’s worth of spring fever to overcome. When finals are over in May I’m so excited for the break I let out a big WOOT in the parking lot as I run (ok, well hobble) to my car after my last exam. Then the cycle begins all over again….

To that end my post won’t be very long today. My brain has gone from “eager and willing” to “so full of calculus I can’t quite see straight.” In fact, I figured after my last series of posts, we were in need of some serious comic relief. Are you ready? I AM!

A few nights ago I had experienced a really rough day and by the time I went to bed I could feel the toxins and inflammation practically pulsing through my veins. Stress exacerbates all of my conditions and I think I had worked myself into such a frenzy over finals that my body was about to launch a full-scale counter-attack. I went to bed late after a long day of studying only to find myself wide awake and in a lot of pain at 2 am. Everything hurt, I think even my eyelashes were aching. I have a prescription for oxycodone which I try to not take because I don’t want to get addicted. Oh, it would be so easy to pop those pills every time I was hurting but I save these babies for when the pain is so intense I can hardly stand it.

Well, this was one of those nights. I fought with myself for a couple of hours and finally caved at 4:30 in the morning. I half walked, half crawled, down the hall to the top of the stairs at which point I just stood there and thought, “Hmmm, maybe I should just turn around and go back to bed because these stairs look like they might be the death of me.” Why oh why do I insist upon keeping my pills buried deep in the medicine cupboard downstairs? Oh yes, that’s right, so that I can’t just pop pills on a whim. You have to work for the good things in life… wait… somehow that doesn’t sound right in this situation. Oh well, I eventually decided it was worth the risk. Downstairs in the kitchen I tried to find what I was looking for without turning on the light because, you know, they tell you that if you can’t sleep try not to turn on any lights which will mess with your melatonin levels or whatever. After several minutes of rooting around the medicine cupboard, I declared it a natural disaster and flipped the switch.

Ahhhh! There they were; my pills, my precious… “gollum… gollum”. I swallowed them down without a second thought and scurried (well, crawled in full Gollum fashion) back up the stairs and to bed. Another hour passes and still, no sleep, but I’m wrapped in such a fabulous drug haze that I don’t really care. Except for the fact that there is this nagging pressure in my mid-section that faintly reminds me I have a bladder… and it might be getting full. I lay there pondering this for who knows how long all the while feeling the pressure increase. At some point I decide I might need to alleviate my problem before it alleviates itself. After all, it has been quite some time since I wet the bed; I’d really hate to break my track record after all these years. I’m also thinking that Greg would appreciate it if I just went to the toilet since he owns at least half of the real estate in our bed.

I slowly sit up still fighting the lovely foggy feeling I have from the oxycodone. I turn my head toward the loo and think, “Self? Let’s do some calculus!” Wait, huh? Yes, you read that right. This is a sign that I have certainly been studying far too much. I look down at the corner of my bed and decide this might be a good idea. “Self?” I say again. “Let’s see if we can take the integral between the curve of my bed and the curve of the bathroom doorway to find the area I will need to traverse in order to get there from here.” Ummmmm, ok, so here is how I decided to proceed. Instead of heading straight for the lavatory, I begin marking off distances with my feet only to realize that the functions I would need to create might be a little too complicated when I attempt to find their anti-derivatives. Are you following me so far? No? That’s ok, I’m fairly certain I’m not following me either. Sadly it doesn’t stop there. I give up trying to find the integral and instead focus on finding the derivative of my position which will give me a velocity function, then trying to find the derivative of velocity will give me the acceleration function I’ll need. This is becoming increasingly urgent as the acceleration I’m apparently going to need has now become crucial to my not wetting my pants.

I’m not sure how long I stood leaning against the wall just outside our master bathroom trying to think through all of this before my bladder cried foul and I gave up on the calculus. Luckily no one wet the bed, or their pants, although it was close people, CLOSE! The lesson of the day? Calculus, a full bladder, and drugs don’t mix!

Hope you enjoyed laughing at my expense. I sure did! The next morning I could clearly remember the entire incident and thought “Self? You are so silly!” I emailed my instructor and asked if this might result in some extra credit. Alas, the only response I got from her was a serious case of the cyber giggles. I’m taking that response as a “no.” Oh well. Good thing finals are over, now I can just enjoy a good pee without trying to figure out how to integrate myself there.

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