Monday, October 6, 2008

I have it. Do you have it too?

In the last six weeks or so, I've suffered from a somewhat unexplained illness.

The first symptoms were confounding. I'd turn on the TV, and suddenly images of James Garner would flood into my head. Playing cards. Wearing a thin, strappy tie and a cowboy hat, ever-so-tipped-back on his head. And then, even odder... newer seeming pictures, mental pictures of Jodie Foster in parlor dress, and Mel Gibson in a vest and jacket. And HORSIES! There were all kinds of HORSIES!

I stepped away. The symptoms subsided. I thought I was cured. But the TV. I couldn't escape the TV.

The next week or two, when I'd watch, another strange set of symptoms began to plague me. It reminded me of being on a small boat in very choppy waters. My eyes were seeing one thing, but my auditory system was sending me different signals indeed. I was seeing a clear picture of the future, but getting signals of something much, much different than that.

First, I felt flush. Then, I felt as though my tummy were churning ever so slightly. I wanted it to go away. I thought, "Oh, I could just lie down, and maybe this will get better." And strangely, if I moved away from my TV, it got a bit better.

But I'd get back up. I'd see the TV. And the full need to ralph would overcome me.

Motion sickness, I thought! Something on TV is giving me Motion Sickness! But I looked it up. And while it described the whole "what you see" vs. "auditory system signals" pretty reliably, the rest of it didn't fit. Maybe, just maybe, I had a very specialized type of this sickness. But then, others I knew started complaining of the same thing! Oh! It just got cold here and the heat at work just kicked on! I must have Legionnellosis.

Nope. Didn't fit those symptoms, either.

Then, one definitive night... I had symptoms that made me know I had to figure it out. An itching, a ringing, a pain, a sensation of permanent damage to my auditory system. I'll never forget the night... Oct. 2. Maybe it was tinnitus from the ballgame I'd just attended. No. It wasn't loud enough there, sadly, to cause this feeling.

And then, I stopped in my tracks. After carefully looking through my diagnosis journal, I realized what I have.

I have Maverickitis.

It's a condition embodied by feelings of ear pain, nausea, vomiting, general malaise, bouts of anger and frustration, and an overwhelming need to shake others into some state of recognition that repeated uses of a word, phrase, set of phrases, or canned retorts to non-asked questions are irrelevant and insulting. It is caused from a disruptive, and often repititious auditory signal that bears no relationship to what the active mind can actually see in front of it. The pained repetition and clear disconnect from what I could CLEARLY see, left me, well, quite needing of a good couple of good face-plants to the porcelain goddess.. It's menacing. And I really don't want it to get worse.

It's a relatively new disease, and research is in its infancy. But early research has lead me to understand that the only currently known cure is political participation.

What? What could I do to stop this pain? This agony? This affliction brought about from causes that I DO NOT DESERVE?!?!??!

Luckily, the Internet was there to help me in my hour of need.

I found one site,, that provided me with that sense of relief of a warm blankie on a cold night. It made me feel better, and I embraced it. But I also knew there had to be more I could do to bring about more lasting relief.

And then I found the site that enabled me to fight this disease for now, and hopefully well into the future! While there, I realized there are others with this terrible affliction, but that there is something we can do! I can make phone calls! I can visit swing states! I can donate! I CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!

Please. I know many of you are suffering from Maverickitis, too. It doesn't have to be something you live with the rest of your lives. There is a cure. Be strong. You, too, can find peace. See what you can do to overcome your affliction at

A woman in recovery

P.S. If you have it, too... Please post. We can all help each other through this trying time...

1 comment:

tofutraveler said...

I'm just envious of all your TV channels. I envy that you can watch SNL or the Daily Show without waiting for it to spool 2 hours off a mirrored site from Singapore that doesn't block pages, all for a 10-min skit. I've been forced to revert to... reading.

I'm starting a new charity. Slingbox hosters for expats.