Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tales of Nauseria (Monday Musings 53)

Exhibit A: Fat Princess
Are you sick of Waifus and Husbandos invading every single video game to date, JRPG genre being the most egregious?

Even Fat Princess (Exhibit A), despite being morbidly obese (this goes against the grain of the typical physically fit hero) is cute, demonstrating the importance of making sure your main playable character is attractive.

In other words, I can't think of any main video game character who's ugly except Kratos from God of War, but he's still within the realm of normalcy due to his hyper-masculine features. 

So it's time that a video game has a team full of really heinous and hideous party members!

The Tales series is in my top 10 favorite franchises, which is a JRPG heavyweight, so I'm hoping Namco Bandai will come up with something along the lines of my fictional Tales of Nauseria. First, all Tales games' titles must end in -ria.

Bucking the main trend of handsome male heroes, your hero is Rosie O'Donnell, and she meets up with soon to be legendary party members, Donald Trump, Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin. and Hillary Clinton. I felt Phyllis Schlafly worse than Hillary, but the GamerGaters might actually like Phyllis.

Each member of your team will have absolutely hideous outfits. I remember actually taking copious notes during this awful waiting tables mini-games to get Estelle better clothes, since her default uniform was atrocious (Exhibit B).
Exhibit B: Estelle's Ugly Dress

The tradition up through Vesperia (I'm not sure if this is the case with Xillia since I haven't played it) is that the woman of the team beats up on the men. I was so relieved that they did away with the tradition in Berseria, which is yet another reason why it's the best Tales game.

At any rate, I avoided having Rita from Vesperia in my party because I couldn't take the fact that she keeps hitting Karol (male party member) for no reason.

However, gamers will be relieved to see that in Tales of Nauseria, both Rosie and H. Clinton frequently smack the Donald (channeling Stormy Daniels), Kim and Putin throughout the game.

Against the usual JRPG tropes of women being the most powerful party member, Kim will be the OP member with his full-screen AOE attacks (much like Rita in Vesperia) and ridiculously strong heals (Estelle in Vesperia).

We need to make sure Nauseria is even less-balanced than Vesperia, where I was eventually forced to have Rita in my party, because otherwise you really feel under-powered without her. So the meta will always include Kim Jong-Un in this ill-conceived game.

The Romantic Triangle (also another JRPG trope) involves the Orange one and Kim Jong-Un vying for Rosie's attentions, in which Trump, ironically, wins out in the end. This is canon, as if anyone's going to be upset if Rosie choses Kim instead.

Games critics tend to condemn games that have one ending and one canon love interest. Rather, they have a fetish for games that have branching stories and ability to chose their Waifu(s), but if this game came out, no critic would care.

There's also the cliched "made for each other" couple (such as Vesperia's Yuria and Estelle, despite having no chemistry), so Putin and H. Clinton represent the other power couple.

It appears that in the Tales games I have played, Symphonia, Vesperia and Berseria, there's always the incompetent B-team or rival group. Foils for Rosie O'Donnell are team Order of Elidor (why does the Fantasy genre always have weird names?), comprising of: Margot Robbie as the General, with her commanders, Antonio Banderas, Sofia Boutella, Denzel Washington, and Russell Wong.

The story revolves around the sickening trend of game developers creating impossibly beautiful JRPG characters that must be stopped at all costs.

Team Rosie discover a secret legend that you can destroy the all-powerful and ubiquitous Male and Female Gaze (which perpetuates people's need for eye candy) by using a powerful weapon, the Staff of Ordrum, the only weapon that can defeat the Gaze. 

However, Legend also tells that the ancient Order of Elidor broke this Staff into three pieces, and dispersed them about 1000 years ago (note: in Fantasy Genre it's always 1000 years ago or any multiple of 1000) before the start of Nauseria. This was in order to protect the evil Gaze, so horny gamers can enjoy their Waifus and Husbandos, which we simply can't have.

Thus, the goal is for Team Rosie to find all three pieces, and restore the Staff through an ominous ritual called the Blinding. Once the Gaze is destroyed by the restored Staff, there'll no longer be a market for eye candy, leading to deaths of Waifus and Husbandos once and for all in the Video Games industry. You Defeated!

The over-used concept of the Trinity is definitely being used here. The three Big Bads are Shadow Organizations whose sole duty is to protect each piece of the Ordrum Staff. Admittedly, we are copying from the Megadimension Neptunia series, so they are represented by Dicktendo, PussyStation, and XXXBox.

The leaders of each organization have entrusted Margot Robbie, current General of the Order of Elidor, to protect these three organizations (and thus the three Staff pieces) as mentioned above.

Each of the evil Robbie-led rival team will end up being major Bosses like in all the Tales series I've played, where these antagonists are fully fleshed out and developed through the entirety of the game. Indeed, the battles against these Bosses were really awe-inspiring in all the Tales games I've played so far, especially Berseria where I was dying to kill Melchior. The rivalry of Velvet's team and the major bosses were simply epic.

CEOs of DickTendo, PussyStation and XXXBox will be Eva Mendes, Lena Headey and Alicia Vikander, and the final Big Boss (the two headed monster called the Female and Male Gazes) will need to be defeated after you performed the Blinding Ritual.

Like all the Tales games, character development, relationships and story are emphasized heavily, so too, Tales of Nauseria will have tons of romantic cutscenes of Trump and Kim wooing O'Donnell in a passionate, over the top manner.

If these romantic scenes don't seem enticing to you, this demonstrates the importance of making sure your playable characters are likable and good-looking, that was lost on the remastering of Dark Souls (I'm still triggered).

What do you think, will you play this game even though it'll make you barf, especially during the courting cutscenes?

The How of Happiness Review

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trapped in My Bedroom! Nights of Azure 2 Ominous Beginnings (Monday Musings 52)

Trapped in My Bedroom!
My friend, Todd, thoughtfully dug out two air purifiers and cleaned out the permanent filters, installing them in my bedroom. Since then, I had no shortness of breath overnight while in said room. Due to my home being old, it tends to get dusty so I noticed flare-ups when I'm in other areas of the house.

Since Albuterol using spacer (which nearly guarantees medication is being delivered) didn't do anything except make my heart race, I might not have asthma. I'm hoping that my shortness of breath is due to allergies, even though Claritin doesn't seem to be helping (only with itchy skin).

In the meantime, I'm hiding out in my bedroom.

Nights of Azure 2--Ominous Beginnings
Aluche--Fan service?
I started to play Nights of Azure 2 (NoA 2), which most mentioned it having better combat than the original, NoA. I found 2 more spammy than what I recall from 1.

Even though the original involves the ubiquitous combination attacks as in the Bayonetta and Devil May Cry series, I distinctly remember that I had to deliberately dodge to defeat enemies--I couldn't just tank through.

However, in NoA 2, it seemed difficult to dodge due to camera adjustments, and extremely fast paced enemies, so I ended up spamming attacks and tanking hits. Also, the combat seemed rather difficult due to lack of affordable healing items. The healing item you can buy costs a whopping 1,800, but I only had enough money to buy a couple of accessories that are also of the same price!

I believe you can heal by hitting boxes and trash mob enemies, but during the first boss fight, there was no way to heal without the purchase, except when you perform a special combination attack with one of your Lilies, who becomes your partner. I actually died a couple of times to the boss, and failed a couple of other times due to not reaching the boss in time due to bad sense of direction.

The missions are timed, so if you're too slow, you're unceremoniously dumped back at the hotel. You only get so many chances before the moon changes, signifying the end of the world!

I feel that I'm not the best to judge the combat at this time as I've been playing so much Monster Hunter: World, where the combat is the exact opposite of NoA 2. Every single hit is deliberate, at least for the weapons I mained regularly, such as the Hammer, Charge Blade, Lance, Hunting Horn and Great Sword. 

I have a sense that maybe the faster weapons such as Dual Blades and Sword and Shield might be more spammy, but Dual Blades back in Monster Hunter 3U felt quite exacting even in Demon Mode.

Indeed, I think the jump from Monster Hunter: World to the more flashy combat style of NOA 2, might explain my difficulty. When I watched Youtube videos of the gameplay, Aluche (your playable character) was dodging effortlessly, landing all combos on enemies in perfect placement and positional awareness. Therefore, it's time for me to start over and git gud!

The How of Happiness Review

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Preventing Burn-Out From Blogging and Streaming

I thought about this topic because I've been burned out from blogging. Indeed, I've thought about quitting, finding it difficult to do my Monday Musings, even though it's only weekly. Indeed, I have posted late on a few occasions.

One of the main reasons to quit is that it gets demoralizing when my posts don't get a lot of hits. I also feel that I'll have minimal guilt if I quit, since I don't have the fandom of other blogs, including my friend's Sweet Freedom, which tends to get thousands of hits per post. The thinking is that if I quit, I wouldn't really let anyone down.

The same concept goes with Twitch streaming. Since it's fun and easy to set up through consoles (both Playstation 4 and Xbox One have automatic Twitch streaming), the competition is overwhelming as there are millions of streamers out there. When you first stream, you will get zero viewers, and maybe 1 or 2 after a month.

This is rather disheartening especially as it's difficult to get a subscription button unless you have 100 regular viewers, so it'll take a long time before you can monetize your stream. Even as you get a subscription button, your viewers may not subscribe, leading to further demoralization.

I believe what revitalized my blogging endeavors is talking to one of my BFFs as he was interested in starting a blog, and we talked about our favorite video games. He was very appreciative that I recommended to him, Horizon: Zero Dawn, as it has become his favorite game. He mentioned that he was very impressed with my blog and video game advice.

My best friend's admiration and encouragement spurred me on to edit some of my past posts, and while doing so, I've renewed my love and interest in blogging. Although the mission statement of this blog is to celebrate video games and to advocate for consumers in a non-biased way (to combat the predatory, biased gaming media), I noticed that while editing, it was also cathartic.

Expressing my feelings, thoughts and ideas for this blog was refreshing and invigorating, and sometimes self-indulgent. I reviewed my Monster Hunter:World builds posts, which are rather specialized and over the top, and I think I wrote them mostly for me to remember my builds for the future, lol. That is, except for the fail-proof build as I wanted to help newcomers negotiate MH:W, preventing frustration, that can lead to quitting this masterpiece of a game.

I also appreciate the comments readers have shared on this blog, as they were very incisive, passionate, and knowledgeable of the video game genre. The cliche that authors use (as it's hard to become a commercially successful writer) is that if you have just one person who enjoys your work, you're a success. I find this not only true, but wise.

Nights of Azure: Critically Unsuccessful But Brilliant
Indeed, how many times have I played a video game that I loved so much, despite negative reviews such as  the absolutely brilliant Eternal Sonata and Nights of Azure (albeit I think both games have a cult following).

So even the least popular games are worthy as long as someone derives happiness from it!

I think the first step in preventing burn-out is truly analyze if you love doing what you do, and that you're not just in it for the money.

Next, it's crucial to have no expectations in terms of monetization. If you'll never make a cent from your endeavours, would you still continue your blog or stream channel? If your answer is no, then you may burn out given the fierce competitive nature of blogging and streaming.

Given the number of people in the world, if you're persistent and consistent with your blogging or streaming endeavors, you'll surely gain at least one loyal follower. It's very important to be consistent though, as your followers may lose interest if you're not regular, given this fast-paced world. That's why I self-enforced my Monday Musings, ensuring I'll have at least one post out per week.

Wonderfalls: Victim of Schedule Changes
Indeed, the first rule of having a successful stream is to set specific times on your Stream so that your followers will always know when to watch. People are creatures of habits, and I can imagine quite a few looking forward to your Stream, say Mondays after work, as a special treat.

I tbink that's why one of my favorite television shows, Wonderfalls, which had an initial small cult following, didn't do well because the networks kept changing its time slot, not giving it a chance to gain more viewership.

I'm very grateful to be able to post and express my burn-out. This specific post will serve as a reminder to not quit, no matter how burned out I feel!

Have you ever been burned out in your endeavors, and if you were able to overcome it, what helped?

The How of Happiness Review

I Might Have Asthma!

I just got back from my Pulmonologist, Dr. Hogue, who felt that I may have asthma. She also diagnosed post-nasal drip which I never noticed before. I'm sure if I noticed this when I was hospitalized, and mentioned it to the Hospitalist, he would've said that this is from anxiety, even though there're no signs or symptoms in any anxiety disorders that include post-nasal drip. 

Further I'm sure he would've glossed over the fact that there's been unusually high pollen count these past weeks, and the fact that I'm prone to environmental allergies such as dust mite. Especially since my pulse ox was at an "abnormally" high 99% (which almost everyone has).

Dr. Hogue noticed possible wheezing in my lungs upon forced expiration, though it's hard to tease out since wheezing can also come from the trachea (neck region). Sadly, the Pulmonary Function Tests with Methacholine Challenge can't be scheduled until a month from now to make the definitive diagnosis.

Even so, she did note that adult asthma sufferers can have primary symptoms with chest tightness, and not so much with cough and wheezing. So if you don't really need wheezing and cough symptoms with asthma, it does feel like I might have it.

Dr. Hogue gave me a spacer which is supposed to help deliver Albuterol more effectively, but I'm still not sure if it's quite working, since I still have chest tightness and shortness of breath, which might necessitate steroid inhalers.

The How of Hapiness Review

Monday, July 2, 2018

Dark Souls Remastered: NOT Worth Purchasing Right Now

I agree with the general consensus that Dark Souls Remastered is not worth buying as of now, and it all comes down to eye candy! Looking through my posts, my most viewed one by far is the Attractive Dark Souls 3 Characters, so eye candy as escapism is crucial to many Gamers. 

The first step in remastering any game is to make your character slider easy to use, where you can get an instantly good looking character, like in Dark Souls 2 and Monster Hunter:World. The developers could've changed the model creation to be that of Bloodborne or Dark Souls 2 and 3, where people can post real numbers for easy duplication and adoption by others.

Further, there's nothing in the rule books to say that they can't have one of the covenants allow for changes in appearance like in Dark Souls 3. Lastly, why not also have overlay armor, so you can layer over the good looking armor over your Havel's?

Since I thought this will be exactly like last generation's Dark Souls, I used the default Jubilant Catarina, and pushed the slider towards the more serious expression side. That was the only change I made in the old game, and although she's not going to win any beauty pageants, she was actually decent-looking.

Exhibit A: Crossbreed Priscilla
For some reason, the Remastered version looked awful, no matter how many tweaks. I got great at speed running to Firelink shrine, using the humanities that you pick up at the dried up well to turn human, then being upset with how she came out.  I think I spent 10 hours or so just doing this, due to the lengthy loading time for restarting a new game.

Sadly, it doesn't seem that From software will give us character sliders of their bosses and NPCs. Who wouldn't want their character to look like Crossbreed Priscilla (Exhibit A) or Laurentius (Exhibit B)?

The next sad thing I saw is the iconic "You Defeated" was changed to "Victory Achieved" as this unfortunate change came from last generation PC Prepare to Die Edition. Fortunately "You Defeated" was kept intact for the Console versions back then. Sadly, the developers of the Remastered edition didn't see the importance of "You Defeated". I'm not sure how that was lost on them given the iconic nature of the statement.

I think this is why we Console Gamers are considered "peasants", because PC Gamers can easily change this back to the correct "You Defeated". Also, you all have DS Fix, so you didn't need to buy the Remastered in the first place!

As of now, instead of "You Defeated", I can say that "I'm Defeated", failing at the character creation sliders.

Exhibit B: Laurentius of the Great Swamp
Dark Souls is my favorite game, so I'm hoping that after a month or so, people would come out with attractive sliders for this Remastered version. If that's the case, then I would agree that the game is worth a purchase if you fall within these criteria

In the meantime, I'll continue to play Monster Hunter: World, working on Crown farming, and looking forward to the Summer event that includes new monster Behemoth from Final Fantasy.

What are you thoughts? Is it too superficial to not play the Remastered version due to these unfortunate features?

The How of Happiness Review

Monster Hunter World: Great Sword, Fake It 'Til You Make It

Out of all the weapons in Monster Hunter, the Great Sword is the most iconic. The game was niche in Western markets until World. Whenever the game was mentioned pre-World, it drew mostly blank stares in gaming circles. When there was slight realization of the game it's always: "Oh, is that the game with Cloud's [from Final Fantasy VII] sword?", referencing the Buster Great Sword, which is the starter weapon you're given.

Because of the iconic nature of the Great Sword, I've always wanted to main it when I first started out my Monster Hunter career, but it was always so difficult. You have to know the exact positioning and timing to land a charged draw attack--you need to press the attack button for what seems like days to charge the GS up, and hopefully landing on the monster before you're interrupted, or it moves away.

However, since I wanted to main these difficult weapons that I've never used before, I gave the GS a try. World's GS has more offensive and defensive capabilities than prior Monster Hunters, as there's now the Tackle, True Charged Slash, and Jumping Wide Slash. 

The Tackle is essentially a shield bash, where you can bash through monster attacks, and while incurring damage and having stun values, it also serves as an almost invincible guard.  One of my friends was able to tackle a monster's head for 150 damage unscathed!

As for the True Charged Slash (TCS), the ideal way to use the GS is to aim for it as much as possible, as it's the highest attack of all weapons in the game. You want to Draw Attack very quickly (R1/RB), and use Tackle to position yourself near the monster so you can land a TCS. This is easier said than done, of course.

When I started out with the GS, I started a new game file  so I can practice using the starter weapons and not be overpowered. During this initiation period, I rarely was successful in landing TCS. Here's a link regarding the TCS.

But, successful TCS's are easier said than done, which comes to the genius of the Jumping Wide Slash. The role of this wide slash cannot be overstated, as there are relatively few opportunities when you can land the ideal TCS given how long it takes to pull it off. The combo into the Jumping Wide Slash is relatively fast to land, so there are TONS of opportunities when you can easily execute this combo.

Here's a great video that explains charging your draw attack, into tackle, that goes into the Jumping Wide Slash. He calculated out the damage numbers, and it's almost equal in damage to TCS. Therefore, if the window of opportunity is too short to land your ideal TCS, you can perform the Jumping Wide Slash Combo instead:

When starting out with the GS, I obviously had no idea what I was doing since still getting used to the button controls. Even so, after only attacking the monster 5 or 6 times, he limps away! My thoughts when seeing the monster near death was always, "but I only hit him a couple of times!".  Further, with the guard and tackle as defensive maneuvers, I didn't faint as much as when I started with the other weapons.

The GS really fits my play style. It's low risk, given you can use the R2 (RT in Xbox) to guard. You also have the Tackle maneuver to reposition/defend yourself as described above. If you miss the almighty TCS, it's not upsetting even if you lose on its huge damage. Because all of the other GS attacks are so powerful, you're allowed a lot of mistakes. This is opposed to the Charge Blade, where you really must land it's ultimate attack (the Super Amped Elemental Discharge, SAED) to really put up large damage numbers to kill monsters fast.

As a result of the GS's great power, I fell in love with the weapon! The ability to kill a monster so quickly, despite being a complete hack, encouraged me to practice more. I almost gave up, though, because I was frustrated with not being able to land TCS's. But fortunately, I persisted and found my own play style.

I rely mostly on running up to the monster and landing a quick hit which is clearly not ideal. If the monster's far away, I then attempt the TCS, since you can tackle and position yourself closer to the monster. But if you use this quick draw build in the video below, it still kills monsters faster than any other weapon that I use. (Except Hunting Horn, which is fabulous against Nergigante, and the Lance against Kulve and Vaal Hazak).

Indeed, the GS draw attack build is perfect for those monsters that have large AOE, where you can only get in one hit at best, such as Kirin and Lunastra:

Thankfully I persisted and completed over 150 missions with the GS, and I'm sort of okay at landing TCS. In fact, I'm more successful with the GS's TCS than the CB's SAED, and I had way more practice with the CB--I played a complete game with the CB, which I didn't do with the GS.

I think the reason for the TCS being easier to land than the SAED, is precisely because you can tackle to block the monster as much as your stamina bar allows, so you're not going to be interrupted if you time your tackles correctly, and then land the whammy. I often just let the TCS go, instead of charging the TCS for more damage, since the monster tends to dodge the TCS if you don't let go fast enough. Of course if the monster is KO'd, I charge the TCS to full capacity.

The only two really spectacular moves I've had over my time with the GS is when I tackled Azure Rathalos's fire attack and Nergigante's shoulder bash, which was really awesome to experience!

Aside from those two brilliant tackles, despite my not using the GS in an ideal manner, I've solely relied on it for Crown farming. It just kills so quickly no matter how many whiffs. There were quite a few times during the Crown events that I would get the highest damage numbers in the "Hunter Highlights"when in coop (that is if I'm the only GS user).

So, try out the GS, and even though you feel that you are "bad" at it and frustrated with not landing TCS in an ideal manner, I'd stick with it. Eventually, like with all the weapons, you'll find your rhythm from enough experience. Further, due to the power of the GS, you can use it anyway you want, and you'll still kill even the hardest monsters very quickly and safely.

Conclusion: With the Great Sword's incredible power, you can use it sub-optimally and still put up huge damage numbers. Do not give up on this iconic weapon if you have difficulties landing TCS's--just fake it until you make it!

The How of Happiness Review

Monday, June 25, 2018

Continuing Mental Health Stigma in Medical Care--I Am Triggered! (Monday Musings 51)

I was recently in the ER at Cooper Hospital and admitted and discharged after 24 hour observation on Saturday, June 23, due to prolonged shortness of breath (SOB) lasting at least 12 hours. I've had shortness of breath at rest but very intermittently over the years, lasting on average 5 minutes, and at most maybe 20 minutes (I never timed it), so I didn't think anything of it because it wasn't bothersome or troubling, being so short-lasting and not severe.

In the past, sometimes these brief SOB episodes will appear while I have brief periods of subjective vs. objective tachycardia (fast heart rate)--these were really prominent when I was hyperthyroid due to Grave's disease. Before Grave's, my SOB came out of nowhere, and infrequently, from anxiety and stress, but they were manageable.

However, the past month, these episodes were more frequent, lasting longer than usual, and worsened the past week until all Thursday night while asleep, I had shortness of breath lying flat (orthopnea) and struggling to catch a deep breath the whole night through. At work on Friday, it continued, so I went to urgent care after work, as of course I wanted to avoid the ER. The physician's assistant there noted exertion on inspiration, as well as decreased inspiration and expiration, and recommended I go to the ER for full work-up.

At the hospital, the positive news is that all the dangerous life-threatening causes of worsening SOB was ruled out. My chest x-ray, serial CKs and last serial EKG (to rule out heart attack), D-Dimer (to rule out pulmonary embolism) were all normal. My lung examination was probably normal since I was no longer out of breath. Although these were preliminary tests (i.e. not ALL medical causes of SOB were ruled out), the Hospitalist insisted that this was due to a panic attack.

But, even though he felt that this might be anxiety-related, he frequently assured me that the medical work-up will remain the same, i.e. getting an outpatient stress echo, so I MUST admit to him that this was due to anxiety.

He really persisted that I tell him this is a panic attack, especially as my pulse ox (determination of oxygenation) was at the "ideal" 99% even upon walking, which he says was the "unreachable Mt. Rushmore" for him, as his pulse ox is usually only at an abysmally low 93% (smoke much?).

I then informed him that I've experienced a panic attack before, fortunately only once in my lifetime, which occurred when I was in bed. When the panic came on, I bolted out of bed, gasping for breath, my heart pounding and sweating profusely. This only lasted a few minutes, certainly not 12 hours straight.

I discussed with the pushy Hospitalist that if these were in fact panic attacks, I wouldn't be lying in bed all night quite calmly, occasionally shifting around to get a deeper breath. Rather, I would be out of my bed gasping for breath. And at work, I would've gone to the bathroom as I wouldn't want anyone seeing me go into a panic. Instead, I continued my duties, albeit out of breath when talking.

I then admitted to the overbearing Hospitalist that I suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), that is characterized by chronic, excessive worries that cause dysfunction and stress, since I was in the womb, possibly fretting if my organs are forming correctly during the first trimester.

So, throughout all these decades, worries and stress have never led to 12 hours of SOB. I explained to him that with me, the dysfunction is more relational rather than causing functional problems--I annoy my friends by overanalyzing and thinking through the worries repetitively where they can't take it anymore. They visibly cringe when I say, "Let's revisit the issues at hand".

He then said I had GAD (as if he were the one to diagnose me with the condition), as his rationale was that there's no way I could be walking around if I were short of breath for 12 hours straight. Indeed, there is something called dypsnea (SOB) due to hysteria or neurasthenia, which is due to anxiety and other mental illnesses in the somatoform category. If no medical causes are shown, and there are no findings on physical exam such as SOB while talking, decreases in inspiration and expiration, and so forth, then this can be chalked up to psychiatric issues.

As the team kept harping on the idea that this is due to GAD, and I keep arguing that it was not (indeed, they were probably thinking that I was protesting too much), I was nearly brainwashed into thinking that they may be right, that this is all due to anxiety. Therefore, I decided to "test" myself at home today. 

I've avoided opening notice from the IRS because I had to "gear" myself up to it. However, this was a great opportunity to see how I'll react, and if it will impact my breathing.  Upon opening the "present" from the IRS, they claim I was delinquent at around $9000.

I think anyone can understand how a delinquent IRS bill at this high amount would cause immense anxiety and stress, as thoughts of the IRS having to garnish wages are sure to freak out most people, with catastrophic thinking of losing their homes and livelihood.

However, I calmly wrote to my tax accountant, took a picture of the bill as attachment, and surprise, I had absolutely no SOB or heart racing.  Due to resting over the weekend, my breathing if anything has improved.

Indeed, even now, I'm not out of breath despite being concerned as to what can be causing these worsening symptoms. Tomorrow, I have a post-hospitalization follow-up with my primary care doctor. We might not find anything, but my thoughts are that this may be due to any of these issues:

Hyperthyroidism (i.e. TSH was normal, but I wasn't tested for T3 and T4), PFTs are indicated (pulmonary function tests), and we need to rule out if I have any weird auto-immune diseases such as Sarcoidosis, since I'm the textbook definition of inflammation with the Grave's disease, eczema, environmental allergies, and ALL forms of urticaria (skin welts upon touch, heat, cold, and so forth). Indeed, I'm allergic to the outdoors. Hopefully, the stress echo will be negative and not show any issues with pulmonary hypertension, which I'll be getting in 2 weeks as an outpatient.

In addition to being triggered about not having my medical issues taken seriously by the Hospitalist, this is a wake-up call for me to take care of myself better, as we video gamers are notorious for having awful health habits.

If you suffer from a psychiatric illness, have you received any discrimination at work or in medical care?

The How of Happiness Review

Tales of Nauseria (Monday Musings 53)

Exhibit A: Fat Princess Are you sick of Waifus and Husbandos invading every single video game to date, JRPG genre being the most egregi...