What Flavor Would I Be?

Strawberry ice cream dessert

The First Summer Night

Strawberry.

I would be a base of vanilla ice cream with sweet chunks of strawberries swirled all around me. The effect would not be “neon pink” you see in some ice cream store chains. No. Nothing but sweet cream and vanilla and sun-ripened strawberries ready to be made into an evening’s sweet ending.

Imagine an old farm house, with a rectangular wooden table, sitting in a country kitchen; a jug of wildflowers, purple and orange, bend quietly from the soft breeze, like dancers, in a slow, dance. Outside, the moon is bright, glowing, children chase fireflies, mom and dad sit on old, comfy porch chairs with flowered cushions, waiting for the right moment to call the kids inside. It’s “TIME” to race in and knock into each other laughing to get through the kitchen door. The family surrounds the table eager to dip their assorted teaspoons into freshly made, first of the season, home-made strawberry ice-cream. The full moon shines down on them from way high in the sky, gives a little smile and winks.

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Simple. Sweet. Joy.

Happy Day

It’s been a long time since I’ve had good news so when I got some today, I wasn’t sure how to handle it. It took a moment to process, I think I was in shock. It took thirty seconds to register, settle in and then feeling came back to my body. Dusty old joy  spread through my body in seconds, like warm, milk chocolate melting in your mouth.   I had been subconsciously waiting for another bad thing to happen since I had known nothing else in a very long time. I had prepared myself for more bad news; after all when you have had month after month of bad news every single time without a break, that is what you expect.

Today, there was a new ripple in the water, the new crescent of wave turning over in my mind. The ocean, my image, of all that is good and strong, minus the sharks that are taking bites out of innocent swimmers. Yesterday, just yesterday I was at the veterinarian’s office with my dog, Callie. I found a lump and told the vet that I was not going to leave until he found it, because I couldn’t find it again. My dog was also itching and scratching everywhere like crazy. The veterinarian finally found it and I was with my dog as the doctor pulled out the incredibly long syringe and plunged it into the back of my dog. “If it were any other place, I wouldn’t even biopsy it but since it’s right on the lymph node I want to be safe…..” I nodded weakly. I admit, first I turned around so I wouldn’t have to look at the long needle but then I swung back sharply and held my dog’s paws and looked into her scared eyes. I wanted to be there for her so I kissed her on the neck and held her still.

The doctor told me to call Wednesday or Thursday, Thursday to play it safe but today, a mere one day after the procedure there was a message from the receptionist that said my dog did NOT have cancer. I played the message and then I called the office, just to be sure, really sure. I thanked them about thirty times and I was so grateful that they had called. I hung up and I was silent. Then, I whooped for joy, hugged my sleeping dog and cried. I cried with happiness, a feeling that has been lost to me for such a long time. I understand that I will know sadness again, of course I will, but today I felt happiness, sweet happiness, in the purest form. Thank you. I appreciate it more now, but you probably know that already.

The Verdict Has Been Rendered – “The Danny Defense”

This is the internationally recognized symbol ...

Pursuant to the blog “Pleading What?” See attached:

https://hibernationnow.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/pleading-what/

The pleading “stupid” defense, now affectionately known as “Danny’s Defense” has been revealed on this day the 13th of November. The judge dismissed the stupidity case and dropped all charges. ALL charges. Not half, which is what I guessed, not even a reduction for “failure to remember you were handicapped.” Nothing. Case Dismissed. Hey, sometimes the truth wins. My husband ruled, for once.  His stupidity defense on forgetting to LEAVE the handicapped sticker on the windshield wiper (even though he did have it in his glove compartment) was true. He took a picture of his crutches, the walking boot, his diagnosis (ruptured Achilles Tendon) and a photo copy of his red temporary handicapped sticker and pleaded stupid.

Who knew?

So, next time you do a stupid thing, and you get ticketed for it? Try pleading “stupid.” It worked for him. The judge, obviously was kind and had a marvelous sense of humor. Truth prevailed. The Danny Defense, is IN!

Congratulations to the Defendant and all future stupid defendants.

PAIN 11/11/11

pain
Pain
...Hurt...

I AM convinced that menopause was the catalyst for my getting a thyroid disorder, actually an auto-immune thyroid disorder called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and Fibromyalgia which crept in….no, more like, crashed into my body right after menopause and never left. It also changed me from a happy person to a somewhat content person. I am more anxious, I have more fear. If PMS was a wading pool, menopause for me, was like a tsunami.

I had been to doctor after doctor, half of them not having a clue what was wrong with me (including my beloved internist who walked out of the examining room in frustration and left me crying inside, alone.) There was a rheumatologist who said I had “scoliosis” and that my auto-immune disease of the thyroid would leave me “wide open for other auto-immune diseases.” Thanks, really helpful and informative not to mention it scared me half to death. I had another rheumatologist who put me on cymbalta and when it did not help said she could do no more and a maniac rheumatologist who put me on various, toxic medicines that are generally given ONLY to transplant patients so that they don’t reject a new organ. He also let me stay on one particularly noxious medicine that gave me gastrointestinal problems so badly I couldn’t leave my bathroom for a month. When I called him after a month and told him what was happening, he said just “give it another month.” A month later, weak and dehydrated I had an office appointment and he said “my bad, that was my mistake.” YOU THINK?

It’s hard to remember “Before” menopause since I am convinced that menopause and fibromyalgia both robbed me of my memory. What was I saying? Why did I come up here? What did I want to remember? Frankly, its terrifying. I can remember verbatim the words spoken in my husband’s and my first fight but what I did yesterday? Not easy at all. It also robbed me of all the energy I ever had, poured it out of my body with an invisible pump and threw it in a large body of water far away from here. It could be fueling the energy of a little known country for all that I know…..

I consider myself a sick woman now, not a healthy one. My Fibromyalgia flare-ups have been so long and pronounced it’s like they are my new constant. I don’t remember when I didn’t ache in agony. Movement of every kind makes me groan out loud. I’m not asking for sympathy or even help, I am hoping for understanding. Please, just remember, I HURT all the time, whether you believe in this chronic pain disease or not. It is my unhappy life, not yours; do not judge. I don’t complain to you, so please don’t offer suggestions. If I want your opinion, truly, I will ask for it. You have NO idea what I go through so don’t even think about saying “you know how I feel.” Trust me, you don’t.

Gratitude (Chronic Babe Blog Carnival) November

Heart bokeh 2

Most everyone in our caring Chronic Pain community knows that the last three months has found my family renting a small room in a small hotel having been harshly betrayed and ousted from our house by termites, carpenter ants, and completely rotted wood. Everywhere. What started as a simple kitchen renovation became the nightmare you would imagine in a horror movie. That horror show was mine. At the very same time, my husband ruptured his Achilles Tendon while running to catch a train. It’s like one of those scary novels some people read so when you are finished reading you can clap the book shut and be thankful that the book is over and you can return to your own life. Not this time.

Facing emotional, physical and possible financial ruin for the house (no, insurance did not pay a dime) I had to adjust to our new circumstances and yes, I did cry a lot. But, in order to maintain my sanity and hold it together I decided, with a lot of pushing and prodding, that I needed to focus on something, anything positive. I was grateful that we didn’t have life-threatening diseases to deal with in a hospital. Truly, I gave thanks for that every day, sometimes every hour because while the situation we were in was uncomfortable and sad and draining, no one would die because of it (although we all felt terribly violated). I felt bad for my daughter, a senior in high school, who had to room with her parents on an uncomfortable cot in the same room. I felt bad for my husband, on crutches, non weight-bearing, hobbling around the room. I even felt bad for myself who got the brunt of everyone’s dissatisfaction. I managed. I even found the strength to drive my son to his first day of college and back, all by myself; I even felt proud ( because if you knew my sense or lack of sense of direction I’m lucky to be back home now.) IF I HAD TO, I COULD DO ANYTHING; a great lesson to learn.

Of course I wept, and I was cranky and felt sorry for us but that wouldn’t do me any good for three months, nor would it help my family, especially my husband who was bed -ridden or on crutches for most of the time, unable to work. I needed to know that, despite my own intense pain and flare-ups from Fibromyalgia and an auto-immune disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) I could do what I HAD to do. I was grateful I could do it even if I paid for it later on. It didn’t matter. When my husband had to be pushed up a hill in a transport, I was the one who did it. I don’t know where I got the strength but my mind and my guts and my determination became my strength and my shaking knees and shoulders made me even more determined to get up that hill. I managed and it felt good, my husband smiled and was impressed and I was happy too. All that talk about doing things for others? It is so right on.

I was grateful that I could help my husband, he who has always, ALWAYS helped me. I wanted to show him  that I could help him too. I’m not saying it was easy, it wasn’t. But, it was well worth the effort for the internal strength I got from within. It was worth seeing the smile on his face, the kindness of strangers who helped me manage the steps. It is a person that has heart and knows kindness. I’m convinced now more than ever, you either have it or you don’t.  You don’t necessarily need to know people for a very long time to know who they are. They will show themselves to you, very quickly, just watch and listen.

That new study that showed people had their own friends and considered Facebook Friends, also friends for support and trust? I am totally grateful for all my different types of friends because they can not be grouped, in just one group. My Facebook Friends, they are a special bunch, very dear to my heart. I hope I have told them enough times that they truly believe it. Gratitude? It comes from within. I sprinkle bits of my heart in my e-mails to my Facebook friends. From mine to yours and back. I’m grateful.

Going Crazy Fast

Crazy Gia
I want to drop, like a rag doll, on the wet-soaked grass, kick my arms and legs, up and down and scream. Holler. Curse. I want to have a tantrum worthy of an overtired three-year old child that has had too much sugar and not enough sleep and way too many unanswered demands. No inhibitions and no one, not even “The Nanny” could try to calm me down because I can’t be talked down today, no, not today.

Things are closing in on me and I’m having a meltdown and I feel like I’m going crazy. It started as soon as I woke up way too early this morning. My seventeen year old daughter slept her day off from school while I walked the dog, purchased my cherished coffee from Starbucks and tried to absorb Vitamin D, my head pointed towards the sun on an old, run down wooden bench. The world seemed tilted left, all too much to one side, off-balance, like a triangle gone awry, unsteady.

There are those days, now far too common, when the whole day and night feel off. This evening I had a scare, in front of my dog, when she was scratching herself viciously and I felt a lump in her fur and then I couldn’t find it again. How could I not find it again? I kept looking but I didn’t feel it or see it and she looked at me with those melting, trusting brown eyes. I was ashamed I couldn’t find it again and worried so I cried a little, gave her a cookie, nuzzled her neck and she was happy. I felt only a bit better but still not quite right. I’m worried about her so I will calm down and take her to the vet next week so he can calmly examine her.

My feelings scared me tonight.  I brought home a piece of shiny, honey drenched baklava from the diner so I can drown my sorrows in sweet syrup. Believe me, yes, I will resort to that low or that high, depending on the way you look at things. I will spare no expense to body or mind to make myself feel better tonight and to promise myself a better tomorrow. I know it doesn’t always work. It didn’t help at all, there are too many issues going on at once.

I have been stuck in this one room with the whole family for three months now and the walls are closing in on me. Our house is not ready to move back in yet but closer than before; maybe all the tension is starting to release now, now that it looks like the house may actually get fixed in real time.  Maybe I am starting to breath now instead of holding it in and the anger is starting t0 come out.

I want to sleep all the time, because right after my dreadful birthday in October the clock moves straight to here, the horrible time period: my deceased father’s birthday on the 13th 0f November straight through to Thanksgiving and Christmas, Chanukah and New Year’s Eve, the night he died and then New Year’s Day, my parent’s wedding anniversary. I kick it up a notch and remember January 5th, my grandmother’s birthday (my father’s mother) and the day we buried my father. Come January 6th, deep in the winter months I can start to breathe, that is until next year. But, as an insightful person and psychiatrist once said: ” I guess every November stinks for you.”

Genius.

Pleading… What?

Handicapped Parking Sign

The other day my husband, who does have a temporary handicapped sticker, got a ticket that stuck to his windshield like glue. It was bright, neon orange and as soon as you see that color you know, you just know it is not a good thing. At first he was puzzled; he had the handicap sticker, why on earth did he get a ticket? That did not seem fair at all.

The reason he DID get a ticket? Was not that he didn’t have the sticker, he did; it’s because he forgot to place the sticker on the rear view mirror LIKE HE WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. He had possession of the sticker that usually dangles from his rear view mirror he just simply forgot to take it out of the glove department and affix it to his mirror. It says explicitly on the pass that you should NOT drive and leave this pass on the dashboard while driving and so he didn’t. Many people do, I might add and I’ve noticed that most people ignore the warning. You don’t see them being pulled over and given tickets, trust me. I have watched keenly like an Eagle Scout.

Like a trooper, he went to the local court-house and talked to a police officer in the area. He showed her his cane and his Achilles tendon all bandaged nicely in his booted right foot. He recently got off crutches. He even showed her his handicapped sign. He took a picture of all the above and was honest to the police officer. “How do you plead “stupid” he asked the police officer? She laughed and told him to fill out the form and attach all the information.  He pleaded “stupid.” After all, you can’t get more honest than that. You have to love him for it, don’t you? I couldn’t even be mad, after he told me he “pleaded stupid” I just had to laugh. I SINCERELY hope the judge finds it humorous too.