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Let's Panic: The Book!

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How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

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Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it. → 

« And when I say “practically,” I mean “forcefully.” | Main | Soon they will be gone, and I will dance upon their eensy graves. »

Mysteries of the mind and body—not explained!

Henry’s formerly rose-colored eyes (now back to their regularly scheduled whiteness) reminded me of this story my brother told many years back, about a friend of a friend who had this disorder wherein if she didn’t take her special medication every few hours, her eyes would pop out of her head. This story is remarkable not just in the fact that he told it, and that I believed it wholly and without the teensiest glimmer-ette of doubt, or that I told it to all kinds of people, none of whom believed me, but that last year I recounted the tale back to my brother, who looked at me like I was criminally insane. What are you talking about? He said. Who? Eyes popping out of what? Why?

I wanted it to be true so bad that I argued with him for a while, but he continued to glare the glare of the angrily sane at me, and I was forced to give it up. So now I’ll never know. Either he made it up or I did, or no one did and I don’t really exist. Or this is a little like when I was eight and told everyone—because I knew with all that was good and pure in my heart—that Olivia Newton-John had once been married to Elton John. Thus the hyphen. Actually this is nothing like the ONJ thing, which I’m still not over because shouldn’t that be true?

Back to the strange maladies: I experience a nightly…experience (fuck it, I’m not checking a thesaurus) that I’m pretty sure is mine and mine alone. Please dissuade me of this notion, or at least explain what’s going on, o you who do not do enough for me already. You know when you’re falling asleep, and suddenly you’re falling but not really falling and you wake up just before your dreaming self hits the dream-ground? I have that, except different! And here’s how different: instead of falling, I’m suddenly overcome by intense nausea. And just as I wake up, lurching out of bed in the hopes of not soiling my sheets, poof, it’s gone.

You’d think this would keep me up the rest of the night—especially because I haven’t thrown up since I was nine and I have a little bitty phobia when it comes to the act. But this pre-sleep faux-vomit been going on for twenty-three years, so by now I’m all casual about it. Puzzled, but casual. And I know it’s been that long because I brought it up in eighth grade health class, right after it first happened, and everyone went ewwww. This was my classmates’ reaction to almost anything I said or did or wore. Or ate.

In their defense, I was partial to deviled ham.

Reader Comments (99)

You're not still eating the deviled ham? That could account for the pre REM nausea. Or perhaps you just need to have a good throw up and get it out of your system, if you haven't puked in over twenty-five years that might explain it.You see, my theories are just as unhelpful as the next person's.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTB
You're not still eating the deviled ham? That could account for the pre REM nausea. Or perhaps you just need to have a good throw up and get it out of your system, if you haven't puked in over twenty-five years that might explain it.You see, my theories are just as unhelpful as the next person's.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTB
The vomit thing? Yeah, it happens to me, too. It's coupled sometimes with an inability to swallow. I'm starting to think it has to do with TMJ -- which I'm also starting to suspect I have, as I have to drop and wiggle my jaw 10+ times a day.

Good luck. And congrats!
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLisa Marie
I totally get that nausea thing at night too, but it doesn't happen all that often - probably about once a month or so. But I also have a terrible problem with grinding my teeth while I sleep, and have sometimes had to literally pry my mouth open in a half-asleep stupor in order to get my jaws to stop clenching.hmmm maybe it IS a tmj thing, like LisaMarie and a couple others think.Congrats on your new gig!
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjohanna
Sometimes I think I should turn off the comments. This is not one of those times. My god, you people are funnier than me. Unicorns didn't go extinct? See, I learned something just now.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenteralice
I'm pretty sure there's a warning on the deviled ham about a link between eating it and your subconscious trying nightly to purge your body of it for the rest of your life.

In other news, a few months after my husband and I married, my in-laws' cat had a litter of kittens. I had grown especially fond of the runt of the litter and was absolutely devastated when, during a phone conversation, my mother-in-law told me it had died. When we went to their house the next day, there was the kitten, happy and healthy. I started telling my mother-in-law what a mean joke that was, telling me the kitten had died, how sad it had made me, blah blah blah. (Hey, gimme a break, here. I was 19.) Mother-in-law is looking at me like I'm insane. She never told me the kitten was dead. Apparently, I dreamed it.

I forget now what my point was in sharing this with you. But I've typed it all out now, so I'll just hit Post and be on my way...
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLadyBug
My dad used to say "You know, if Olivia Newton-John married Elton John, she'd be Olivia Newton-John John."

Dad also had a habit of saying this anytime we were about to head out the door: "As they say in the produce business, lettuce go!" What a goofball. (Luckily, I inherited that trait).
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterHalo Askew
Hi, I'm not feeling very funny (either way), I just wanted to comment on self-criticism. I think it's great that you're doing the experiment of noticing and writing down self-criticisms. I did that a few years ago and had to admit that inside the privacy of my mind, I was very very rude to myself. Speaking an affirmation to yourself is the dorkiest thing in the world (it's a fact). But if you can do it you may feel differently. Good luck with all that.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNinebel
Re: unicorns. I said that in a college biology class when the professor asked for examples of extinct species. And then O THE SHAME. It sounded absurd when I said it outloud, but up until that point it had only been in my head and made complete sense.

Congratulations on the writing gig!
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
The ONJ thing reminded me that once my mom tried to convince me (because she was SURE it was true) that Dennis the Menace on the old black and white show had been played by none other than Paul Schaeffer (sp?) from The David Letterman show. Hello?! Earth to Mom... come in mom...
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterOh, The Joys
An old boyfriend of mine was in 8th grade before he realized that girls POOP.

Considering that, I think the eyeball medication story is pretty understandable. Except: what about when she was sleeping? I mean, did she have to set her alarm to wake herself up to put in the eyedrops?

These are the things I would obsess over.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjes
Yeah. Now I'm nauseous from reading about all the nausea. I tend to get bladder infections from listening to bladder infection chatter as well. I think maybe it could possibly be that it's all in my head - but THANKS just the same.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSus
If the nighttime thing has been happening for 23 years and you are in your late 30s, it sounds like hormones. Try taking B6, about 100mg 1/2 hour before you go to bed, but, as it is a coenzyme, be sure you are eating lots of veggies as well. If that's what it is, it may take a couple of weeks before you notice a difference. B6 will also help with listlessness and anxiety.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Am I the ONLY ONE who is amazed that you haven't vomited since you were NINE?

August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSusan
My mom (or my sister?) convinced me that if you found the right clover/rainbow combination you would find a gold coin underneath. And most probably a leprechaun. I'm definitely going to tell my daughter that one because it kept me occupied for HOURS during each search. I still keep an eye out when I see clover. Those wiley leprechauns are too fast!
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentererika
Olivia may not have been married to Elton, but at least she's heir to the Fig Newton dynasty.

August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershy me
Holy shit. I have the same throw up phobia, haven't thrown up since 8th grade and also WAKE UP WITH THE NAUSEOUS DREAM THING. I even occasionally catapult myself, half asleep, out of bed toward the bathroom, ready to hurl my guts out while having a panic attack about the fact that I think I'm about to hurl. You have no idea how giddy it makes me to know I'm not alone.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

No, you are not the only one wondering how in HELL finslippy managed not to vomit since age nine. (What, she was in a coma during her college drinking years?)

You just completely pulled the "rug-O-comments" out from under me.


- M
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermarcheline
I have a similar pre-sleep thingy where I'm just starting to drift off and I can feel a dream trickling into my consciousness when I make a little "unh!" sound and I wake up. My husband thinks it's hilarious. I find it annoying. I don't know why it happens, why I can't just slip into that o-so lovely sleep state.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChair
Ah yes....the "Ewwww" factor...I remember my life experiences w/that...never got over it frankly.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTeresaLynn
Ah yes....the "Ewwww" factor...I remember my life experiences w/that...never got over it frankly.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTeresaLynn
As for the dream thing - I think that's a form of an 'out of body experience' - seriously.....maybe you are/have been traveling out of your body for most of your life and not realizing it! :)Good luck w/the job thingy - I wish you the best.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterTeresaLynn

Our Finslippy has no funsleepy?Has spinflippy fitsleepy?That's unacceptable!Fans lippy for Finslippy's lack of finesleepy.

Does Finslippy findsloppy fan's verbal slapsticky?

Alice, if you read above without a)nodding off , b)hurling, or c)both then,Congratulations! you're cured. I, however, have made myself rather dizzy.

Carry on and cheers on the superdupertopsecretwritinggig!

August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterLukeLucklikeslakes
No barfing since nine? Wow.Um, while pregnant I pretty much barfed nine times an hour. But I retain my alcohol well. Swirly, but well.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKari
In the novel _White Noise_ the author mentions the "myoclonic jerk," which is the falling sensation, which led me to this:

Doesn't mention vomit, though.
August 25, 2006 | Unregistered Commentermtb

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