Dear Stupid Pesky Migraine,

BACK OFF. No, Really, Back the flippin bleep off. Got it? Good. I’m pretending that you are just a regular, tiny headache and I’m still in full control of my life. Sure, I’ve dimmed the lights, for a cozy, romantic look but that proves nothing.  I just have a minor headache and even though I am squinting, it’s because I took off my glasses so I could see better. You understand, I’m sure.

I’m new to this world of migraines so I don’t have a whole lot of experience, do I take that preventive medicine now or am I wasting it? I don’t know. I really don’t, I guess I’ll wait, in an hour it will be better or much worse.

I know I am tired, I have been tired all day because I didn’t get enough sleep and I wish I could tell you that I had a great time last night drinking and dancing at some fab party but frankly I haven’t been to a party since my sister’s surprise party which really wasn’t that much of a surprise.There was no drinking or dancing there (at least for me) just Jane’s quinoa salad which I hate to admit, I really liked, because she had raisins and craisins and dried apricots in it. Fruity quinoa, who knew?

Why have I recently developed migraines at the advanced age of 57 years of age? I have no flippin’ idea. I got through the first one at the ER after hours of agonizing pain

and finally they gave me a shot of something wonderful so I could get some sleep and the pain eased away so very slowly. I discharged myself after the first round of medication because I wanted to be home in my own bed. My counterpart in the next bed, with the same exact diagnosis, chose to stay in the hospital and get another dose of pain relief.

Can’t say that I blame her, looking back, If I had known then what I knew now, I’d still be in that bed smiling in my safe slumber. I wish they had given me a strong medication to take with me but they don’t trust us normal pain people with “abusive substances” as if one Percocet would put us over the edge. Anyway, all I wanted was to get out of the hospital, infestation hotel of germs and creepy-crawley things.

So, do you really think I needed ANOTHER INVISIBLE ILLNESS to add to my plethora of symptoms because frankly, I thought I had enough. I KNOW I had enough. Is this some cruel joke or do you think this is wildly hysterically funny?

I’m not laughing, I’m disgusted, fed up and sick of all these unrelated illnesses that I keep dreaming about a miracle cure or at least ONE interested doctor that will take it upon him/herself to try to figure it out. Got no volunteers except the mother of a son (who used to be friends with my son) in elementary school. That’s the closest I have and I truly appreciate her interest. Nobody cares, anymore. That’s what it feels like, that’s what it is.

All those one in a million doctors that take the extra time to try to solve the puzzle, I haven’t found one yet and yes, I’ve been looking. Any volunteers?  I will beg if you want me to but nobody is sending me emails or sending me SOS messages that spell out ” I WOULD LOVE TO HELP YOU ANSWER THIS MYSTERY, LEAN ON ME.”

In the end we each have our own shit we have to go through. I sure have mine. Apparently, It will stay mine forever. All mine. Because, in the end, nobody cares, let me introduce you to Medicine 101.”IT’S JUST NOT THEIR JOB, DEAL WITH IT, IT’S ALL UP TO YOU. LOOK WHO IS LAUGHING NOW, IT SURE ISN’T ME!”

Same Old Pain, Now With Migraines

I’m used to the pain I have from Fibromyalgia, it’s not bad most days, no pain killers needed. Sure, there are a few days, mostly weather-related, that it gets worse but I can  stand that too, most of the time. It was under control until one day when I started having a headache that would not go away.

 

 

 

 

I’ve had plenty of headaches before mostly in the middle of my head and that’s how this one started so I thought nothing of it. I took Tylenol, the only medicine I am allowed  (Chronic Kidney Disease) to take, but it did not help. It was a mild headache for two days, I thought nothing of it.

Suddenly, the pain started crawling up on the left side of my face. It settled there like a jumbo jet that had just landed at the airport and was pulling straight into the proper gate. Passengers came off the plane then airline crew, the plane was cleaned and this baby was not going anywhere tonight. The headache had landed.

 

It’s hard to imagine I have another pain symptom but I accept it as my curse, this ugly life of mine. At almost 58 years old I now get migraines. “Welcome to the club” I mutter angrily under my breath, asking: “Why me?”

 

The first migraine, which ended me in the Emergency Room of the hospital moaning in pain and begging for a shot of something, anything, to relieve the intense, hammering pain happened a couple of months ago. “Nice to meet you, meet your new doctor, your Nurologist”.

I thought it was a one time thing, A visit to the Emergency Room, a shot and hydration and two days later I was fine. I went home where the lights were dim, I was safe in bed and all I wanted was darkness and no company, no radio, no television, just black solitude. I laid on my back and pulled the covers over my forehead, yes, this was my safe place, I promised myself the pain was over, gone for good.

Unfortunately, it came back with a vengeance twice more. Once a month ago and one two weeks ago.  I tried all the tricks, the medicine to supposedly make it go away before it really hits, a dark room, breathing slowly, ice, pressure points, Reiki, meditation….you name it, I tried it but it is clinging on to my head with traction and beating harder and harder.

It is now moving to the center of my forehead and the hammer is following after the movement, banging away, beat after beat rhythmically while all I can do is shut down and shudder.

Deutsch: "Kopfschmerzen". Die wohl b...

Deutsch: “Kopfschmerzen”. Die wohl berühmteste – stark von James Gillray beeinflußte – Arbeit in einer Reihe von sechs Blättern “medizinischer” Karikaturen, in denen Cruikshank Krankheiten als Teufelswerk brandmarkt. Erstmalig publiziert: 12. Februar 1819. Originalgröße: 210 x 255 mm (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know this isn’t fair, I know that life isn’t fair. I have accepted this new symptom because i don’t have a choice. It has joined the family of maladies that already exist, trapped in every limb of my body, from head to toe.

 

Since I was five I’ve always had a very low tolerance for pain, my parents used to tell me that. If one orange baby aspirin worked on other children to get their temperatures down, I needed two. I am still that way, believe me, it isn’t fun.

Recently, a friend told me to push my Internist to check more complicated Lyme Disease tests and I will do that. What are the chances? I don’t know but I will try. I don’t want to get even remotely excited.

Been there, done that, way too many times. I have no hope. I feel battered.

Enough already. This is getting old. Fast.

 

 

We Are Warriors, Not By Choice INVISIBLE ILLNESS WEEK

I’m not going to lie. If I had a choice of having Fibromyalgia, the umbrella tree illness and all its branches and not having it, I would drop it in a hot fire-searing second. But, like any illness, we don’t have a choice. We have it and the more we fight it the less happy we are.

I do think it takes a long time to finally accept this chronic illness, beyond anger and months of crying, not to mention countless clueless doctors and the raised eyebrows of many who think we are all nuts. I don’t know about you but I want to slap that question mark look right off their smug foreheads.

One of my doctor’s, a well-known person, left me sobbing in her exam room, after diagnosing me with a thyroid condition. I was already on synthroid and still in agony when she clicked her expensive heels, saying “there’s nothing I can do for you” and marched out. She hadn’t diagnosed Fibromyalgia, she didn’t have a clue.  This was eight years ago and the image still is clear in my head.

We are warriors, all of us, invisible illness warriors. You probably have heard of us but you may not know who we are and how we suffer. We don’t offer up the information, and if you know we have a chronic illness you ask in a perfunctory manner only. Our answer to all of you when you casually ask ” how are you?” is “fine.” We always say “fine” at least I do. Not many people really want to know the details and if you think about it you will agree. That’s okay, it takes too long to answer, doesn’t it? “Fine” works for both of us.

If you REALLY want to know there are always  follow-up questions or even a cup of coffee or lunch. We tend to be independent, close to other people who have the same ailment, the ones who know what chronic pain feels like. Some of my closest friends are women  who I have never met yet I love and trust implicitly, met on a Chronic Pain/Fibro group on-line. THESE women and I are here for each other even if only by e-mails, messages or by phone. I thank G-d for these women who are more loyal, supportive and loving than some of my so-called “friends.”

Radical illness

Radical illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We know that there are more cloudy days than sunny days. We don’t expect sunshine all the time but even when the sun is weaving through the clouds, in and out, we appreciate the moments. We whisper our thanks in a hushed silence, trying not to let those dark clouds come further down and overwhelm us. It takes effort, I know.

 

 

It’s the in-between season now, we haven’t had that first bite of crispness in the air yet, like the bite of a fall Macoun apple, but, as evening comes rolling in, and darkness shrouds the trees, you feel the rain that is soon to come. You feel it in your bones, they ache due to broken wrists or ankles, the weather forecasting of having Fibromyalgia.

We can’t change our world, we can barely change our body. What can we change? A few things, our diet (no, I won’t give up coffee and ice cream) and our attitudes, different doctors. I could write a book on the doctors and methods I’ve tried. Let’s face it we are stuck, but we are alive to see our children grow up, a dog to love and for the dog to love us back. Having my dog rest her head on my knees or stomach makes me incredibly happy when I have to lie down. She is a rescue dog but really she also rescued me.

 


Dedicated to my dear friend, Judith.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Want To Be Melissa Rivers’ Sister

One day or another

I turn myself inwards, hiding from the world.

I don’t want to go out and make small talk, my friends don’t feel like real friends tonight and

blood, it turns out, happens to be thicker than water, even when blood types are opposite.

The news on television is too scary to watch and I take on too much of it.

That’s when I have to force myself to extricate my sensitive soul and feel alright

snuggling under the blankets for a day, maybe two, listening to music or trying to name my new pink pig stuffed animal, stroking her soft cotton skin.

Imagine a soul without a name. What shall I call her? Suggestions?

The sun is setting earlier and earlier, things are the same but they are not.

I see a very long Winter ahead of us, I don’t even have the energy to groan.

I can’t blame it on Fibromyalgia either. I won’t.

My birthday month is on, even early, I don ‘t care about getting older, I still love birthdays and I am not vain.

Wrinkles are graciously earned, gray hair are few but I don’t hide them anyway. I am the warrior that they present, I earned them.

My children are now adults perfectly able to take care of themselves without us, both a blessing and a curse. I still miss them as I see mothers posting their first and second graders first day back to school pictures, excited grins and new outfits.

I think we have done well in parenting them, we are both so proud of them, we shine.

Suicide, brain tumor,  starving herself, no will to live, and now Joan Rivers? I don’t know but now I wish I could be Melissa’s sister

so she has somebody with her, to support her.

Nothing is fair, deep down, I still expect them to be at the end.

That’s the very immature part of me that won’t grow up. I can’t seem to learn this lesson even as it presents itself over and over again. Why? Why CAN’T I learn this?

I too, would wait for my mom to wake up, cracking a joke. But, my mom would NOT want to be brain-dead, that I know.

We all deal with pain, grief, discomfort, sadness and people really DON’T reach out to give a hand, I think that is what shocks me the most.

No one makes the time, they have themselves to consider first, last and in-between.

I am not sure who I am anymore, who I’ve become.

Maybe, just maybe, I’m disappointing myself, maybe I have become one of them too.

Nothing would surprise me anymore.

Nothing does.

Fibro Life, Friday


Please, just let me sleep, don't find me...

I am too tired to keep my head up, I tried to make good on advice to get out more. As Fibro patients know, I’m paying the price. Minus two spoons. I owe two spoons from tomorrow, not that it really works that way, right fellow spoonies? We really can’t win either way.

I generally never complain about Fibromyalgia, Savella and Tramadol usually do the trick but then again, I haven’t pushed myself this hard in a long time. I really have to ask myself if it is worth it? When I am racing around town, doing errands, getting my hair cut, drinking a strong cup of coffee, going non-stop I am NOT able to handle it because apparently now, I am a wreck, a demolished car on the side of the road, Not one part left, it’s sitting up an embankment totally crushed.

I have given the same advice to my friends “don’t do too much” but I didn’t listen to myself today because I was on a new mission to “live, to explore, to get out of the house.” Yep, I overdid it.

I might be so tired that I can’t even eat dinner. Nah. Who is kidding whom? I’m sure I will perk up after food, I smell chicken breasts on the grill, the salad is on the table already, I’m chopping tomatoes for bruschetta. But, really, all I want to do is to curl up in a ball and somehow loosen the muscles in the back of my neck and fall asleep. I don’t see that happening nor do I see myself cleaning my room and organizing it.

Let me stay here, in the midst of my bed, covered with clothes and freshly washed laundry, next to my calendar and my phone and a pink and blue pen. I will push things aside in a corner, I won’t complain, not a sound will come out of my exhausted mouth except the sweet snoring sounds of an overtired, head-throbbing, weak patient.
Don’t tell anyone I am here, I am so broken I don’t want to be found. I just want to sleep. Shhh, please just let me.
* Two images should have appeared, if no images appeared, I will let zemanta support know again, feel free to join me. Thanks in advance. If they both appear, I will be delighted!

Thursday, In The Emergency Room…

I’m fine now. Okay, maybe not one hundred percent fine but so much better than I was on Thursday. I just FEEL like I’m alright in comparison with…you get the idea.

The left side of my head was wracked with searing pain, I could only describe it (and again this makes NO sense)  as oozing green jello on crack cocaine wearing a choker collar, fastened way too tight. The black collar was sharp, with metal triangular studs bursting through it about to swallow my skin. I have never had a headache, a one-sided headache, that bad, deep and unrelenting before in my life. And yes, in my imagination, there was blood, messy, crimson, creepy blood dripping from all my veins into my wide open mouth.

It was the headache that went on and off for weeks but got progressively worse.  Anyone living with Fibromyalgia is no wimp, let me start by telling you that. I’ve known all kinds of chronic pain but this was new. “Join the club” did not seem like an appropriate greeting. This stabbing, shooting misery aimed directly at the left temple and whole left side of my face were like launched missiles hitting their target every single time.

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I was also nauseous and my left arm tingled. I was my in my war zone. Finally, after a few hours of this non-stop torture, I agreed, I even urged, to go to the Emergency Room where luckily there were no lines of people waiting ahead of me. I was so grateful that there was only one family before me that I could have started sobbing at the registration desk.

I was already dizzy, so that when the security guard on duty started asking me questions,  I just had to pry my aching head, from my folded arms on the counter, and squint to answer what my name was, my address etc. that was all I could handle.

“Have a seat” never sounded so good to me before. My husband rushed in after parking the car and with his arm around me, my head nestled into his neck, I tried desperately to hold on to my sanity with all the pain.

When they finally called my name they led me to a room which happened to house another patient with the same symptoms, it was so odd. The nurse, the lovely and sweet nurse, was amazed at both patients’ similarities and if we could have laughed, we would have but at that time we still hadn’t received  pain relief and we had no sense of humor.

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After what seemed like hours, the ER doctor breezed in and while questioning a few things on my chart (not confidence inspiring At ALL)” What’s a stapedectomy mean? What does the drug Savella do?” 1) ear operation 2) a drug for Fibromyalgia.

Finally, FINALLY they gave me shot of some heavenly drug with a dose of benadryl and a huge bag of saline solution. They took me for a CAT scan and insulted my brain and my age which were not the same (never mind)  as they should be and left me to doze.

The medicine wore off quickly and while all I wanted was to get out of the hospital, away from potential staph infections (I watch way too much Grey’s Anatomy) my neighbor chose another shot (not that I blamed her) and slept it off. At one point I actually wore small blue hospital gloves that embarrassed my husband, shocked the ER doctor and amused me immensely.  I left to just get out of the hospital germ zone and they gave me a Percocet to swallow on the way out. All of this is true.

We left at 1:30 am and I stumbled to bed. The next day I had three, yes, three doctor appointments: First with the Rheumatologist that my husband was hell-bent on me keeping (I regretted that. 2) My Internist (follow up from the ER and 3) New (bad-ass) Neurologist because I had no choice and I lucked out with a great doctor!!

She was an impressive, straight forward, to the point and very, very nice and I begged to be her patient to which she smiled and said she didn’t care who I made my post office appointment with and half winked….We love her. (A big thank you to my friend Phyllis.)

So, now I wait, until eleven pm, a more decent time to go to bed than 8pm. I’ve been waiting for this time, this pain pill, and my pillows all day and night. I think of it this way, nothing could be worse than the headache of yore. It won’t happen again, I hope.

*All typos and grammatical errors are due to prescription drugs that I am NOT abusing.

This New Waking Up At 5: 30AM Is Seriously Getting On My Nerves

If (when) I get cranky during this post you can blame it on the lack of deep, constant, uninterrupted sleep. I’m cranky just thinking about it. This has been the fourth or fifth night in a row and correlates beautifully to the new medicine to raise my blood pressure.

True, I am not passing out and smacking my head getting bumps the size of baseballs but still, as any chronic pain or Fibromyalgia patient knows, sleep is our vacation. I wish I would be kidding but I’m not.

Insomnia

Insomnia (Photo credit: Alejandro (Lì Delfos))

Literally, going on vacation stresses our bodies more than staying in bed, not that it isn’t worth the risk at all. So, this old body now awakens way too early in the morning and today it’s not even a sunny morning but a gloomy gray one. Of course, I try to go back to sleep but it never works. Also, I can’t nap anymore.

Fibro: The Way It Is, make something better, make something worse. A trade-off. Ugh, I’m disgusted but with Fibro or any Chronic Pain Disease when aren’t we totally fed up? Usually I can handle it very well and I am NOT a complainer but now I am definitely cranky. If I can’t run around and have some semblance of a normal life at least let me enjoy my sleep and sweet dreams.

I guess that’s too much to ask, isn’t it? I’m giving this drug a few more days and then I will begrudgingly call the doctor as promised. I know he is just going to give me one pill after another to try but I wanted fewer pills not more. Granted, passing out at any time definitely had its disadvantages and the fact that no one call feel my pulse was a little scary but there must be something in-between?

Before you tell me about any type of herbs or supplements I am NOT allowed to take any, because of the chronic kidney problem. It’s time to do some deep breathing, now that I’ve written my frustration out here, hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

If not, there is always leftover pizza with grape jelly.

IF I had some.

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies (Photo credit: fritish)

Since I LOVE FOOD and SWEETS maybe it’s time to make Nestle’s Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Just one, maybe two before bed with a very large glass of milk. Milk is medicinal, it helps you fall asleep.

That is, of course, why I will bake cookies today, all in the name of science.

Cookies? Check. Ice Cream? Check. Impulse Items? Check.

WELCOME HOME

 

I haven’t had the energy to go grocery shopping (something I hold near and dear to my heart) since early Spring. I’ve had all my illnesses flare up at the same time: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Syncopy, Fainting and Crashing, No Energy etc. For me? A tragic loss. For the supermarket? A major deficit. I’m not joking (as most of my readers will tell you) I LOVE FOOD, good food, strange food, NEW food and products. I will always look at every item on the shelves to see if I can spot any new items. I always can and I always buy them. I have no idea what the photo below is showing but that is a product I would definitely buy and eat, wouldn’t you?

Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavnsboller (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My husband came along for this trip just to see if I could physically make it but once we were in the store I shot out with my carriage grinning wickedly. I don’t need a list nor do I want one. This is my home. I look at every item in every aisle and I know what I need, want or have to have for that week.

I knew it was a mistake NOT to go into marketing after I graduated college. I am the one to pick out the next new product, the new sensation, the new flavor, I’m a marketer’s taste test dream. Is it too late? I am at my prime, have your people twitter my people.

My mom says I have been like this since I’ve been five years old. I haven’t outgrown it and am proud to say my children, have inherited this hobby too. Even now, in their twenties, they love to go shopping with their mom.

For a while when I was younger (no, I’m not kidding) my then boyfriend, now husband, watched a show called Supermarket Sweep. We watched the original show every single night when it first came on. We toyed with the idea of getting married in a supermarket but somehow never went through with it; I regret that.

Stew Leonard’s is a great place to shop and fun too. I bet they would help if we could talk my (un) romantic husband into the idea. Right near the mooing cow! Don’t get me too excited, please.

Stew Leonard's

Stew Leonard’s (Photo credit: JeepersMedia)

Anyway, I bought: (New Product) lemon ice cream with mashed lemon cookies inside,huge, soft oatmeal raisin cookies (new brand) some new kind of skinny-ish popcorn for when you need something slightly salty but not fatty while you are watching a movie at home.

 

Also, I am now taking a new medication for my fainting spells, the fancy name is Syncopy also: Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Narrow Angled Glaucoma, Eppiglottitis, IBS,  and others. I now have to have breakfast. I bought apple, blueberry and strawberry breakfast bars. This is the first time in all my life that I have eaten breakfast, my mom will be so pleased.

Usually, it’s just that steaming cup of coffee in my white Starbucks mug with half and half and one sweetener. I look forward to the smell and the first sip every single morning.

After that, I just go on with the boring details of my day. If I don’t feel the need to nap, I feel it is a personal triumph. Then our dinner conversation begins around 4pm. What shall we cook?  It doesn’t really matter, last night we had hot dogs, baked beans, and broccoli, the night before pizza but they are all precursors to the most important part of any meal: dessert. The lemon ice cream dessert:

Lemon

I dipped my spoon, my little spoon, into that new lemon ice cream, slowly, tasted a small bite, let it linger on my tongue and swallowed slowly, making sure I had a cookie bite with the ice cream. I was hoping for a dance sensation in my mouth or as my husband and I used to say “I hope it dances.” Did it? Oh yes. After half a cup of delicious lemon ice cream with bits of lemon cookies, I have found a new love. It’s so nice to be in love again, I feel tingly all over.

 

Is Begging From Strangers On The Internet Now “In?”

The first time I saw an ad over the internet for a couple asking for money from complete strangers, all over the world, I thought it was a joke. I literally thought it was a spoof but it wasn’t April Fool’s Day so I didn’t understand it. Until I saw another ad asking people for money to pay their expenses to cover their credit card minimum. I’ve seen actual ads for couples asking people to donate for their fertility treatments, for their sick dogs and cats and yes, one for an ailing bird.

Money

My husband was laid off from his job10 months ago. He started looking Day 1 and hasn’t stopped. I am not able to work full-time due to physical limitations (numerous health conditions including Fibromyalgia, Kidney Disease, auto-immune disease, Hashimoto Thyroiditis, Syncope and Hypotension ) but even I am looking for part-time. We are not eligible for unemployment money. It never crossed my mind to put an ad on Facebook or anywhere on the internet to beg for money. Call me old-fashioned. When did this become a socially accepted use of media? Or, a personal standard?

I’m not judging (okay, I’m TRYING not to judge) but this is all so new for old-fashioned me. Is this the younger generation’s idea of problem solving? I sincerely hope not. So, believe me this blog post is NOT about asking for money. I would not do that. But, I am asking for a favor and while I don’t have high hopes I consider this networking because my husband gave me permission to put his résumé on my blog.

He does not want a hand out. We would not accept money to pay our bills. We would rather move (which we are talking about) anywhere he can find a job. Do I want to move? Not really. I have an elderly mother here and my sister, both twenty miles away from me, I’m in the middle. Our children go to SUNY schools.

Half Empty Or Half Full?

Half Empty Or Half Full? (Photo credit: MarkyBon)

I am not asking for pity but a connection would be lovely. The following link is my husband’s resume, please read it and pass it along if you know anybody. Anybody who is somebody is even better!

http://www.proj-mgt.com/dfriedmann.pdf

If you can find it in your heart to take a minute to read his résumé, we would greatly appreciate it. I’m not too proud to network for my family, that’s what families do, we stick together. We are trying to stay positive, truly. Today was rough, maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thank you for reading my blog and for any help you can give us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Not Just Peanut Butter And Jelly Anymore (Food Cop)

I’m hungry, borderline starving. I know that’s a fairly regular experience for me but tonight I am ravenous AND I have to be careful ABOUT the texture of what I eat.

     

    a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, top slice ...I’m having a flare-up of everything that could possibly hurt, especially now with my jaw, teeth, head and neck.

    Having a vicious battle with TMJ  AND a cavity that needs to be filled, I thought I would be cautious and eat soft food. Since I was not feeling well, all day, light-headed, dizzy (reason still to be determined with the dreaded TILT test) my husband was kind enough to bring me a peanut butter and jelly (extra orange marmalade on the side to be mixed in) sandwich. For a side dish there was a tiny amount of mashed potatoes, leftovers from last night yummy restaurant. Oh yes, there was sour cream and butter in those “mashlers” as my dad used to say and as part of my family still says.

    The amount of peanut butter and jelly is crucial to any perfect sandwich, bearing in mind everybody’s personal preference. For me, more jelly and less peanut butter is the way to go. My husband and our friend John in the neighborhood, put staggering amounts of peanut butter on their sandwiches (“There IS NO such thing as too much peanut butter in our house”) John said. My husband, agrees. He slathers on peanut butter and measures it in inches. I disagree. I’m a more jelly than peanut butter kind of girl.

    I was having a bite of mashed potatoes, on the side, following a bite of my sandwich (the color of the jelly and the taste is carefully matched too) when I noticed a wonderful, soothing, comfort spreading taste in my mouth and stomach. After two or three bites of the sandwich and then the mashed potatoes I was sure that a combination sandwich would definitely ease my pain.

    Wait for it, my friend, Maureen, because you KNOW it’s coming….

    Hence, the peanut butter and jelly and mashed potato sandwich was born. Don’t prejudge, it is the ultimate in comfort food. The peanut butter and jelly or jam is cold or at room temperature and the hot mashed potatoes, sans gravy, are warm, buttery and rich.

    It was love at first bite. I finished every creamy morsel and would have eaten more if I had more to eat. I have had in the past peanut butter and jelly with cheddar cheese and once I had a peanut butter and jelly combined with tuna fish sandwich but those are a little too much and way less comforting than my new, favorite combination.

    Mashed Potatoes!!!

    Mashed Potatoes!!! (Photo credit: Manuel Alarcón)

    It’s a win-win situation. How could it not be fabulous? The greatest in comfort food.

    Sure, I make a mean chicken soup, or lentil soup, those are all   eaten mostly in the Winter. But this new combination?  Adding mashed potatoes as an ingredient? A genius idea of comfort in a bite. In every single bite.