The Headache That Slammed My World

I sit in my bedroom, lights dimmed, having just swallowed two Bufferin. I have an aching head and while once the cicadas outside brought me a lively colorful concert, they now are taunting me with their continuous and annoying chirping. I have read many of the blogs on chronic pain, I have also written about chronic pain but I feel I am not worthy of that group, not really. Their pain is so much worse than mine, I think. I have an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) and some say Fibromyalgia too. I have inflamed joints that are stiff and betray me, my right hand seems to be curled all the time, even in sleep. It is painful to unfurl them, one at a time, like the hand of a grotesque witch, and me.

I am slower and stiffer than I used to be. Getting in and out of cars, (beds, chairs, everything) fills me with pain and stiffness; I feel old and weary. I can live with that, many of my friends on-line suffer so much more.  What I AM missing is energy. Everything in my body hurts, or my infamous line to describe to doctors and friends “it’s like having the flu without the fever.”

I see a rheumatologist and am now on my third medication for my auto-immune disease. The first one worked well but ended up giving me a non-stop cough and I was hospitalized for epiglottitis; (think raw throat pain times a million) steak knife through open wounds, the worst pain I have ever had.  The second medicine, worked great for my energy but the side effects were so bad, (intestinal in nature) that I could not leave my house for 8 weeks.

Now, I am on the third (and last) medicine, I don’t want to try another one. This is the last chance before I just let my body become chemical free and deal with what I have been dealt with. I don’t have the money for holistic remedies, massage, etc. I barely have enough money to cover doctor appointments at fifty dollars a pop. The rheumatologist doesn’t accept any insurance so I have no choice but to pay him the big, HUGE bucks; I don’t go often. I was all set to go to a holistic place that would try to treat my condition(s) naturally until I found out that the cost was seven thousand dollars. Again, seven thousand dollars and this did not include follow-up visits or medicine.

My eyes are lowered, the sound of the cicada’s have lessened.   The pounding in my head is less severe, but now there are dogs barking loudly across the stream. I thought the cicadas were bad, they were an opera compared to these angry, fighting, nasty dogs. Time passes, I play low soothing music, I drink water and I don’t know if the medicine helped or if the darkness provides a cover, a safety net for all. Hopefully soon, I will sleep.

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My Mean Neighbor

Good Humor

He was a very high-brow elderly gentleman

Involved in politics, poetry and the community-at-large.

Whenever we saw him approach us we felt we had done something wrong.

He should have been a Head Master at a school in England.

Unfortunately for us, he was not.

He yelled at my children for playing in the woods behind

his house, as they gleefully befriended a frog.

Most of all, he was known as the mean man who chased away

the ice cream truck because it made too much noise.

I will never forgive him for that.

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What The Heck is Blu-Ray Anyway?

There are certain concepts in life that I do not get nor will I ever. Daylight Savings Time is one of them, how can you really lose or gain an hour? We all know there are 24 hours in a day. It just doesn’t make sense. Yes, I know all about the farmers and the school buses but it’s the elimination or addition of the hour that I do not comprehend, and shouldn’t there be a two-day adjustment period? There is for me, I require it.

There are thousands of new products that come out every year (and I happen to be the person that loves to look at them and try them) but I don’t like to be forced into it!! Sometimes there are products that come and go which is understandable. Why do the new products each year have to replace the old products that we already have? It’s practically black mail. Sure, we went through vinyl, and 8 tracks, we went through cassettes and then, CD’s DVD’s and now Blue-Ray. I honestly don’t know what Blu-Ray is. Why can’t there be a universal adaptor so we wouldn’t have to shell out big bucks every time we wanted to see little Sally’s first steps or our wedding video, play a Beatle’s album, or wait, hear it (and see it) on a new phone/Android/Blackberry. I’m all for the simple stuff; I may sound like Andy Rooney but to me, things are getting too complicated and it just isn’t fair.

Sometimes, products just…disappear. What about slips? I thought slips were a staple like bras and underwear, apparently they are not. About three years ago I went to a department store and asked a woman where the slips were. “Slips” she asked “What’s a slip?”  I believe we have a generation that has no idea what a slip is/was or what it is/was used for.  I was embarrassed enough but when she asked another salesperson, in a loud voice, “what a slip was” they both looked at me as if I had dropped down from an orange alien ship that was decorated with purple pom-poms. “Sorry, Lady”we never heard of slips and we don’t have any. They looked at each other and rolled their eyes at the same exact moment.

Did they think I was a crazy person? Sure, they were young enough to be my daughters but hadn’t their mothers ever worn a slip? Sigh, probably not. I felt like I should have been wheeled out of the store breathing oxygen, that is, if they still use wheel chairs and oxygen. Here’s hoping……

My Prophetic Dream

baby kai

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby for over two years. I had taken fertility drugs, had daily shots administered by my husband on my then-firm butt. Early every morning, before the sun reached the sky, I drove to the fertility clinic like a robot to get my blood drawn. My veins looked like pieces of bruised, rotten fruit, like a once delicate peach or apricot. I was depressed and cried easily and often. One night I had a dream that G-d told me everything would be okay and that I would get pregnant and I would have a son. I clung to that message and told no one about it until now. That single dream and memory kept me going. Weeks later I found out I was pregnant. Nine months later, I gave birth to my newborn son.

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My Favorite Comfort Food

Cheese, jelly, eggs, toast, alone and all together. Anytime. Often.

Kraft Singles American Cheese

Comfort food. Memories of childhood. Soothing and reassuring. Kraft American Cheese (individually wrapped) grape and strawberry jam and scrambled eggs, toast. In any combination, jam on eggs, cheese and jam, toast with eggs and jelly. Things that make you feel safe.

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What Keeps Me Up Through The Night

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light.

The ghosts and bad people of my youth, that used to hide in my closet and under my bed, have disappeared, because my father would crawl with a flashlight and search for them. That was enough to reassure me because I believed him. The mice that scurried through the night and landed on my arm in my old beloved apartment in Brooklyn Heights are not here anymore either, though I still remember their ugly touch. Today, as a wife, mother, child and sibling it is not things that go "boo" in the night, that trouble me the most but rather issues of health and safety. It is not me that I am worried about but "them." I worry about those that I love. The bats that flew into my childhood window I remember and yes, I still would be standing on the kitchen table shouting if mice started their lightening bolt escape across the floor. I don't like sudden noises, I startle easily. These things I don't like; but sick family members, illness and insecurity keeps me up all night long and way past the morning sun.

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On Sickness, Stress and Candy

I’m discombobulated, anxious, confused. I feel funny, like there is something wrong, and there is. It’s not me though, which is worse, it’s that my son is sick and my daughter is disappointed. I hate it when my kids are sick/unhappy. I have a feeling this never ends, the worry moms have for their children. My husband is as involved with the kids as I am, but not in the same way. It’s a completely different style. He isn’t worried, he takes things in stride, he lives in the moment. I wish I could do that. Believe me, I’ve tried.

I wake up and feel that something is wrong. My stomach feels uneasy. Something just doesn’t feel “right.” I don’t think it’s because my daily routine has been jarred, I think it’s my heart. The inside part, the one that cracks a tiny bit, the one that is directly connected, like the umbilical cord was, to my offspring.

There is also this: the incredible stress of unemployment, for my husband and myself. I have been really good, patient, relaxed (as much as one can be) but now these other factors are making my anxiety index reach the sky. I know that things are out of control in my brain, when I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s bothering me and than realize everything is. I try to breathe slowly, it doesn’t help.

Months ago I had lung problems and a non-stop cough. It was horrible. I was then given a nasal spray to help me but I did not know that the taste in my mouth would be vile. VILE, in capital letters, on purpose. I thought that buying some candy would somehow dissipate the gosh-awful taste in the back of my throat but it didn’t. The Good n’ Plenty that I bought for a remedy did not work but at least it reminded me of easier times, when I was a child, eating those pretty pink and white candies, swinging on the swings in Forest park, surrounded by my friends and their moms. Everything was easy then, at least to us kids. Our parents, well, they probably were experiencing what I am experiencing right now. Being a grown-up.

I will get over myself I’m sure, when my children are healthy and happy.  I think then, I can handle my own stress, my own illness, manage my own pain. As long as it’s not the pain of my children, I can handle anything.

Who Is My Best Friend?

Love Coffee

My husband is my best friend. He is always here for me for whatever I need. He was the boy I refused to play with when I was 10, because our parents’ knew each other. “I’m not going over there with THOSE boys” I used to say in a horrified tone of voice. We were both brought up by European parents so our styles are very similar, our outlooks, on life, love, on children. He is the one person that I know I can count on for anything, and I would do anything for him too. Love and Friendship are closely intertwined, you can’t have one without the other. My husband makes me a cup of strong, delicious coffee every morning. When I was sick, he brought it to me so I could sip it in bed; I was too weak and ill to come downstairs, a chronic illness making me unable to move. A simple mug of coffee, made with love, from my love.

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My Dream Vacation

Sunset Wave or دلشوره

It is the end of June and I am packed, ready to drive, in my new yellow, convertible Volkswagon beetle, to the beach. I am staying in the house I bought years ago when that big, unexpected check arrived in the mail, just after I won Mega Millions. My house is painted light blue with black shutters and a red door. It is just steps away from the ocean; my favorite element. There is nothing as relaxing and as exhilirating to me as the ocean, ever since I was a little girl, stooping to pick up seashells and saving them in a clear jar. There is an outside deck where I sit for hours, sipping my half- lemonade and half- iced tea combination through an orange bendy straw. I am watching the waves lick the sand, sea gulls swooping down every so often. The water overpowers me and centers me. I am happy, I am calm and I feel free.

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My Question In Need of an Honest Answer

wizard-of-oz

Nothing. I wouldn't ask for honesty at this point. I would ask for flattery or optimism or good news; smiling faces not faces filled with anxiety and fear. I want a vacation from bad news, fear-stricken news casts, another illness we can't cure. Sometimes I just want to be like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, all sunshine and positive, sweet, smiling and innocent. Keep honesty for the moment unless it's good news. I want a vacation from reality, I want hope.

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