The Art Of Keeping Pancakes Warm

Pancakes

Pancakes (Photo credit: Creativity+ Timothy K Hamilton)

Emotions often overlap, sometimes they are hard to distinguish, or they are hard to separate, sometimes they coexist, they hold each others hand, their fingers intertwined. Sometimes there’s a base and if not resolved things pile on top of it like a stack of freshly made pancakes, each one giving off heat. The first pancake starts the flow of the heat which rises into the air. Soon, we add another pancake and then another to make a stack; each pancake produces heat adding heat to the bottom, the first  pancake, not taking heat away from it.

Usually its easy for me to figure out what I’m feeling, I generally pride myself on knowing how or what I feel, not that I think it’s a fabulous trait to have because many times it is overwhelming. Recently, In the past few weeks I seem to have lost that trait, I have absolutely no idea how I feel, I don’t feel anything strongly, hate, compassion, appreciation; I don’t feel anything at all. If I feel anything its emptiness in a very cool, detached way, like reading a book of a different culture that I have no interest in whatsoever. I feel like a different person, cool, calm, detached.

This is not me.

If I stayed like this my life would be a million times easier but somewhere, deep in the bottom of my soul, I know, that there is a catalyst waiting to happen, a word or a memory, that will make all my emotions come flooding back. For now, I’m probably resisting it and I can’t lie, it feels like a vacation. A dull, boring vacation in a zombie time zone but for a roller coaster woman like me, I’ll take it. I will jump in with gratitude In one split second because now, I don’t want to analyze it, think about it and most of all, deal with it. If this is a break from dealing with heavy things, I’m in, thank you very much.

We have all gone through love, hate, grief but now I feel numb. I choose numb now because numbness gets me through the days. I am not sobbing on the bed, my cheeks and eyes are not swollen and red, I’m taking a breather.  I know, soon enough, that dam will break and I will probably learn new information that I need to be ready for because once again, if I choose to hear the new information, my life will change forever.

For as long as it lasts, numb will be satisfactory. I know it’s not a steady job, just temporary, a respite from unhappiness and doubt but if happiness and knowledge elude me than I would be honored to take up residency. There’s also: Sad, Mad, Love, Grief, Hate, Happy, Sensitive, Unaware, Raw, Grieving, Disbelief, Guilt, Sorrow, Pain, Game, Delusional, etc….No person is just one thing. We are all complicated beings, we all make mistakes. We are faulty human beings so pick whichever traits you want or have, learn from mistakes and then move on. Do the best you can in the present. Don’t look to the past, don’t worry about the future, your destiny is here with you now, staring you in the face, the sweet smell of pancakes wafting in the air, warm amber-colored maple syrup poured from a white pitcher to enjoy on your pancakes while you contemplate. Treat yourselves well.

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Talking To Myself Upside Down

Im upside down

Im upside down (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tonight there is no one to talk to, no one who cares enough, who knows me well enough and understands my past pain.  Sure, there are people I could call but it’s not the same. I want someone to sit next to me on the couch like my old best friend, because she understands and knows the real me. She knows all the family dynamics as I know hers. Why does she insist on disappearing like she does? Why can’t I just forget her altogether? I’ve teetered on the edge for years now.

Today, I think back to when we were younger. Back in the old days when we were both single and desperately wanted to get married but independent, happy, working together. Going to the Village after work, seeing movies, drinking strong coffee, eating good street food. Coming home and talking for hours more. I remember talking to you while the mice ran over my feet in that scary store front apartment.

I was mugged one night, after being out late with you and the next night I asked if you would walk me home; you walked me home, my friend, without hesitation.You said you would do it every night, forever, until I was comfortable and I know you would have. I had asked my sister before you, she automatically said “no.”You were always there for me and I was there for you. I know your secrets, Denise, some your husband don’t know and you know mine. We had a special friendship. Remember when we were pregnant with our first kids in the swimming pool at my mom and dad’s? That has to be one of the happiest memories of my life.

Many, many years ago when you had your impacted wisdom teeth out, you actually let ME go with you and come back and you let me tuck you into bed and make you a milk shake. This for you, was utter trust and love. I’m sure you didn’t like having anyone help you. You let me and I felt honored and proud.

We are both mothers now, we each have two children, both not far apart in age. I thought for sure your second child would be a girl, how could it not be? I know a part of you is  probably emotionally damaged but I know I am your best friend and down deep you are mine. You make no effort and since its been so long I don’t expect it and I don’t even want to start another time to make an effort. It is too painful. I’ve told you this before, when we are together we sync so well back into best friends that it makes me miss you more when we part and I cry.

So, instead, I am talking to myself, upside down. I’ve tried so many times to connect with you, I’d probably see you more if you lived in France. You live an hour and a half away and your relatives live about 25 minutes from me. You will always be my best friend in my heart but it doesn’t mean I don’t miss what we had, when we were young. In spite of it all, I miss you, I love you, that will never change but even after all these years, it truly hurts. I wish it didn’t.

For Denise F.

 

Free Write Friday- Kellie Elmore

#FWF Free Write Friday: Image Prompt
Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured ...

Rhythm, a sequence in time repeated, featured in dance: an early moving picture demonstrates the waltz. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They tell me it was a memory I never had, but of course, I am not convinced they are telling me the truth. I am so sure I remember reaching my long, skinny fingers and stroking the soft texture of the speckled leaves on the ground. Wasn’t it just yesterday that the leaves had been vibrant dancers in, yellow, red and orange, pirouetting for us from the upper limbs of the trees, beckoning us to admire them? Our group of friends sat on the dry ground in a circle and we clapped our hands heartily for their lovely show and whistled our love and appreciation. What a lovely dance they put on for us! We talked about it at dinner at the Inn, all of us feeling so lucky to have seen the beauty of art and nature coexisting. We felt blessed.

When we awoke the next morning, after inhaling strong cups of coffee and eating our sugar dusted, apple-cider doughnuts, we headed back eagerly for the early show of the dancing leaves yet something felt different to everyone. We all felt unsettled, out-of-place. It seemed that overnight, all the glorious leaves had slid to the floor, wet, subdued, stepped on, laying on the ground, curled up and crumpled, dead, on a pile of the old, worn, rusty bridge that should have been torn down forty years ago. The bridge had no use anymore except for photographic opportunities, no cars could travel on it, people felt unsteady walking on it. It was unsafe.

You and I, darling, had danced beneath those breathtaking leaves, we waltzed over and over again but you said you could NOT remember that. Well, I remembered it, with perfect clarity of young love, breathtaking beauty, birds sweetly chirping their melodious songs, and our picnic lunch. We waltzed underneath the bright sun, many years ago. I don’t know why you don’t remember it because it is so clear in my mind and SO IMPORTANT. I don’t understand, it meant so much to us then. Please try to remember, at least something, of that magical day, for me, sweetheart, for me. You look blankly at me or am I looking blankly at you? I don’t remember much of anything at all anymore. I was young once, that I know but weren’t you too?

Free Write Friday: Kellie Elmore

On the way to Spirit Caves

On the way to Spirit Caves (Photo credit: Dru!)

You wake to find yourself in a strange house and you cannot remember your own name. You roll over and see a letter by the bed.
Is it for you? Who is it from? What does it say? Does it explain where you are and why?

I am sleeping so peacefully in a bed that does not feel like my own, but I turn over, my head on a hard pillow, my long brown hair down my back. I start to stir and I feel a little uneasy but I don’t know why.  This isn’t my bed, as I pull myself up to a seated position I look around, I don’t think this is my room either but when I try to picture my room at home, I can’t. I am very confused, I start asking myself questions: “What did I do last night?” “Who was I with?” “Did I drink?” Nothing comes to mind, I don’t feel like I have a hangover, in fact I feel pretty good but I’m scared. I have no recollection of the past, I gasp when I realizze I don’t even remember my own name.

What? I don’t remember my name. Oh my goodness, I am a stranger in a strange land, wait, wasn’t that the title of a book? It figures that would sound familiar to me; I must have like to read in my past life? My other life? I honestly don’t know. I can’t say I am freaked out totally because deep inside me there’s a feeling of calmness that i have never felt before. I wonder if I am dead. If so, it’s not a bad thing.

I  roll over to my belly, exhausted from both the confusion and the calmness and I see a letter in qn envelope with no one’s name on it, since this place, this house, this farm? wherever I was, seemed so quiet, I opened the letter thinking things couldn’t get weirder than they were already. I had hoped that the letter might give me answers to where I was and most importantly WHO i was. Part of me cared a little bit, but most of me jst  was curious, interested as if one might feel when you are almost finished with a book and want to know how it ended. Not panicked in any way, just simply interesred.

The letter inside said the following:

Dear Guest:

Wecome to our home, we hope you ar e comfortabale here and please stay as long as you wish. No one will be here to bother you, there is food in the kitchen, help yourself. You can leave at ANY TIME. Use your time well, we think that you will understand why yoou are here the longer you stay. We wish for you many blessings and utter peace.

In peace and in love,

Your friends.

She had learned nothing about herself, not her name, where she was, why she ewas here but she wasn’t disappointed. She just had an inner peace ethat she was there for a reason. There was really nothing else she wanted to do, she didn’t want to fight it, to go outside and walk endlessly so she embraced it . She knew, in her soul, that she was sent for a purpose and she would learn the lessons she was supposed to learn on her own and in her own time.

*Free writing, no editing, no corrections (that’s hard) but I did it.

Pink, Plus

pink for the cure

pink for the cure (Photo credit: silviaON)

Some people measure time by New Year’s Eve, they stay up till midnight, drink champagne and say good-bye, hoping for a better year. I used to measure years by the start of school in September for my children. I was the queen of the mommy hot-line, until they grew up and went to college.

Now, I measure time by my annual mammogram; it feels like I was just IN this same pink room with the stained chairs a minute ago. After having mammograms since I was in my twenties, I know the drill but the nurse tells me again, what to do: place the clothes in the closet, gown open in the front and as soon as she draws the curtain around me, my mind goes blank. I forget everything: did she say the opening goes in the back or the front? I didn’t use deodorant, (their loss, I think to myself) and I can never find the tie for the robe. Every. Single. Year.

I sit in this crowded room, next to me there is a tray of free pink pens and individually wrapped pink mints. I forgot for a second, that it’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After reading many articles about how “Pink” has become an incredible marketing tool for companies as well as a great fund raiser. Awareness for Breast Cancer is WONDERFUL but I know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for women than all cancers combined. My own breast surgeon laughed at that (I know) and said “Hey, it’s good for me.” That definitely soured me a bit. Please read *Carolyn Thomas’ information on Heart Sisters. Carolyn is a pioneer among women.

The technician calls my name immediately and I am joyful, “This will be very quick” she says and I foolishly believe her. I kept this appointment and ultra- sound a secret from my mother who I know will worry all day; I keep this from her, I’ve already inherited the job. The test is quick, I go out to the waiting room again and sit and wait. All the people who have been with me have had their mammogram, are dressed and have left. Doors slam loudly. I can’t sit anymore, I stand, I pace. I don’t go to the women’s room for fear of missing my name being called. My head feels detached and numb and my stomach feels nauseous. I try to hide my nerves but now it’s been over two hours.  I asked a technician, very politely, if she wouldn’t mind checking for me and she was kind and I was grateful. She came back after ten minutes and tells me that the ultra-sound request was lost (yes, the one they had confirmed on Friday by phone) and they needed another one. Couldn’t they have just told me the result of the mammogram first?  No.

I was led to a different chair now, for the ultra-sound, where a well-meaning but over-talkative technician gives me a detailed explanation of what she sees. “This is a lymph node” “This is something, it could be fat or could be bad like a tumor” “I have to be honest with my patients but it’s not official, official only comes from the Dr.” She is talking to the wrong patient. She is scaring me to death. This ultra-sound takes at least 25 minutes. She takes me to the radiologist to sit and wait again. After what seems to be a very long time, she comes out and tells me “Doctor wants one more picture of lymph node” At this point, I’ve pretty much lost my mind but accepted my fate and I’m calmer. She does the picture again (another ten minutes) and we go back. I wait until the technician motions me in. The radiologist does not ask me to sit down but in an off-hand way that lasted under two seconds says “You’re fine.”  I stutter as she is about to wave me out of her door “Wait, what about the lymph node, and the tumor/fat that you were looking at?” They were fine. I truly felt like I had cut into her lunch time and she was being disturbed.

I had been in that facility for over three and a half hours, my best friend and my husband who DO NOT worry, were worried. There was no happy feeling or relief because of all the time, drama and their unpleasant way. Usually I would have said something but in this situation, after this time, I found myself completely tired, numb and mute.

I spent Tuesday in bed, still not over that stressful day. I wanted to avoid a flare-up of my Fibromyalgia but I have to say I still haven’t gotten my fight back. Yet.

*For more information on Heart Sisters:myheartsisters.org/

Carry on Tuesday: A little while, a little while……

Baby Girl

Baby Girl (Photo credit: Sparlingo)

Carly was only nineteen years old, but she felt older than that, just having had a baby. She had given birth yesterday and she hadn’t wanted to see the baby much less name it. She didn’t know what to do, people were talking at her from all sides; the nurses, social workers, people from an adoption agency, her mother, until she had to cover her ears it was so loud. Finally, she started crying because it was all too much pressure so the nurse made everyone leave. Carly crumpled and forced herself to relax.

The father of the child, her ex-fling Rick, a musician didn’t even know that she had been pregnant, much less had a baby. She didn’t even know where he was, probably hitch-hiking in the mid-west with his band.  She had slept with him a couple of times but she was just one girl in a series of his ardent admirers. She had been SO stupid.

“Just give it up” her friends had said to her like forfeiting a game, or tossing an unwanted ham sandwich. Sure, this kid hadn’t been planned but just to give it away, like an unwanted present? It wasn’t the baby’s fault that she had come into the world. The adoption agency assured her that the baby would be placed with a “lovely family” she could even choose the family if she wanted to. Did she want to keep in touch with the family and have an “open adoption?”  Or, she could have a “closed” or private adoption and then she could give up her rights to the baby and start over again.

She did like the idea of starting over or as her friends put it “with a fresh start.” She could move to a big city and no one would ever have to know about this if she didn’t want to tell them. She could be whoever she wanted to be, she didn’t think she loved this child, she hadn’t even SEEN her. She decided that she was comfortable with this decision. She flipped off the light switch and then promptly fell asleep.

Carly woke up, startled, at 3am; she put her bathrobe on and decided to go for a walk down the hall, slowly, gingerly, she was still in pain. She didn’t know where she was going but subconsciously she knew where she would be end up. It was late, most people were sleeping, she stepped quietly up to the nursery window and a new nurse had just started her shift. She smiled brightly: “Hi, do you want me to get your baby?” Carly froze but instead of saying “No” she said “Yes” they checked her bracelet, and in a minute, this precious little pink bundle that she recognized immediately in her arms.

“Oh, she’s so pretty, she’s so pretty” Carly cried, as she held the baby up to her and rocked her gently. The nurse said “we sure can see someone who looks just like her pretty Mama.” At that, Carly looked in the nurse’s eyes, smiled and straightened up, “Thank you,” she whispered as tears streamed down her face. Carly asked if the baby could go back to the room with her so the nurse signed some papers and they moved the cradle on wheels into her room. The same nurse helped her get settled, showed her how to breastfeed, sat with them and talked for over an hour. It was a slow night and Carly had been the only person in the maternity unit.

Later that morning, when people started to fill her room, Carly, feeling ten years older, took control. In a clear strong voice Carly announced, “I’ve decided to keep my baby, it’s a girl and her name is Isabella. A clamor started in the room, all negative,  telling her she was a fool. Carly stared at them all and in a clear, bright tone, like the ringing of a bell said:  I love her and I will take care of her. It may take me a little while, a little while to get used to things but NOBODY will separate us. My mom has agreed to help us until we can find our own way. Thanks, Mom!! I can’t pretend my baby never happened and have a “fresh start,” that is great for some women but not for me; I would be looking for her for my whole life.  We are family now, the three of us. Three generations of strong women. Now, I think it’s time for the three of us to go home!

Dedicated to Nurse Bella who has agreed to be Isabella’s Godmother

Calling Myself A Complete Idiot Would Be A Supreme Compliment

Stir Crazy 3

Stir Crazy 3 (Photo credit: The Michael)

A few weeks ago I posted a very disturbing blog post that scared me and some of my friends and readers. It was called “Worried Sick: One Crazy Ass Blog” and people I didn’t even know got worried about me. Days later and a tears shed, it prompted me to write a gushing thank you post and sincere apology.

That said, I now believe I am a stupid and utter asshole, although I can’t say for sure. However, I realized today that I think I did something totally silly and possibly quite dangerous. In my “fibro-haze/know it all “frame of mind, I realized that I had stopped taking one of my Fibromyalgia drugs, Topomax (used also for epilepsy and a variety of other illnesses) cold turkey. What makes it even more insane is that I had checked this out once before and knew to taper it. My excuse? I forgot. Reason? Fibro Fog Forgetfulness. We just can’t win, can we?

I researched it today and found out that yes, stopping the medicine without tapering it can produce some significant and intolerable symptoms including severe anxiety, discomfort AND tingling of the hands and feet etc. I’m just lucky I didn’t end up in the Emergency Room (although that was listed too.) However, I was curled up in the fetal position in bed feeling a bit suicidal.

I won’t ever be that cavalier again. I think what happens with those of us with chronic pain is that we take so many different medications (none that seem to help us at all) that we figure stopping one won’t make a bit of difference. Wrong.

I was totally out of my mind to have not thought it through in my search to lower the amount of pills I was taking. Again, when they say “consult your physician” as much as we may hate to, understandably so, at least we should call our local pharmacist. Besides, at least we know their number by heart.

On Being A Patient, Again

I never stopped being a patient, not since my thyroid went out of wack 3 years ago, not since I was told I had Fibromyalgia (and then told it was a “lazy diagnosis”)  Not since the prednisone, the hospitalization for eppiglottitis the 24/7 cough that would not go away, not since I was sent to the Pulmonologist, the ENT  the addition of 5-7 different medications. Not since my stint in the packed emergency room with an overnight stay in the hospital with the worst pain I have ever had in my life.

Here I am again, world! Stuck and pissed off with yet another chapter to my ever-so-boring and relentless saga of pain, chronic pain, auto-immune diseases, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, lack of energy and tonight,  a really bad, horrible, disgusted and angry, almost-in-tears mood.

The latest is that my Synthroid level ( TSH) is very, very low, too low said the doctors.  To those in the Club of Thyroid Disorders out there, (COTD- I made it up but it works) I know you will understand. The T4 is perfect. One doctor, the evil endocrinologist (lower case on purpose) sent a prescription (albeit the wrong prescription) in the mail telling me (no, writing me) he was surprised with my numbers but I should reduce the Synthroid medication (buzz word) to 50 mcg. First I was at 88, then 75, now 50???   That’s like telling someone who has the flu, to get up out of bed and do somersaults while standing on their heads, backwards.  I’m down enough people, now this? It makes no sense.

I wrote to my Guru Dr. in the City who handles the type of Autoimmune Disease (Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) as in***THYROID DISEASE  to tell him. He suggested that my” Endocrinologist” do a simple TRF blood test and he guessed I might have something called Secondary Hypothyroidism ( I know, I could so be on Gray’s Anatomy with the amount I’ve had to learn and remember.)

Here’s the problem. The nasty, dull, mean-spirited endocrinologist (lower case on purpose again) who I am going to DUMP as soon as I find a new one, refuses to talk to me on the phone. Just for a couple of questions. “No, come in”,  he said. “I just want to ask him a question” I pleaded to his nurses “No, come in.”  I’m seething. First of all I have never heard of a doctor that won’t take a phone call for a question (I wasn’t demanding to speak to him at that moment) and that absolutely refuses to return a phone call from a patient. Second, he knows about my Guru Doctor in the city since I have copied him on everything. (Do you think this could be a terrritorial thing?)  Third, he did not believe that I had, indeed, a note from my Guru Dr. to suggesting he test me for TRF (whatever it is). No. What? You heard me. No. No phone call, no question, no way, no how. “It is too difficult to explain on the phone” the nurse parroted. Are you kidding me? I had one question about the blood (yes, in the lab in the office) test and a simple thought: wouldn’t it make sense to test the TRF level FIRST (as my Guru Doctor said) then to start on a regimen of a new medicine that could take 4-6 weeks to kick in? Isn’t that throwing the donkey in front of the carrots? (or whatever that stupid expression is.) Not to mention, I do not want to go back to a doctor that treats me with such disrespect (and he always has). I know he doesn’t know that the fifty dollar co-payment would be hard for our unemployed selves. I understand that, but, a 30 second phone call?

Well, you know what the answer is I’m sure. “No”. So here I am, calling new Endocrinologists (one is on vacation until the 20th, the other does not return phone calls) waiting to make an appointment. Oh dear Lordy, Lordy, it’s July and the doctors (at least the ones I’m trying to reach) are on vacation, and of course you cannot leave a message.

I have that creepy, queasy, angst-ridden feeling in my stomach. What now, I ask? I can’t reach any doctor AND short of sending an “I BEG of you” message to my Guru Doctor (which I will do anyway in the early a.m.) I will be sitting home in a flurry of frustration and anxiety. I will be sitting on my bed, fed up, confused and furious and yes, a little scared too. A little courtesy, perhaps DOCTORS?? Yeah, right.

I feel totally helpless and demeaned. I feel anxious and confused and ignored. Does anyone understand this?  Is this the time for an out and out binge on sugar- laden treats?  Can I run and hide from my anxiety for a few minutes with cookies and chocolate,  and that sweet powerful surge in energy? This doctor says Yes. Absolutely. Starting Now.