We Give Thanks For Many Different Things

Cake made of chocolate mousse.

Cake made of chocolate mousse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am the meanest person on earth, or at least the most honest and outspoken but I give thanks that Thanksgiving is over. Yep, I said it. You can judge me all you want but holidays can be stressful. Family dynamics,  emotional baggage, demons from the past, they all get rattled and those emotions escape. They slip from your unconscious like slithering snakes darting out without your permission. Filters don’t work, the id, ego and superego are all in repair.

Families members regress, the dysfunctional aspects of relationships become unglued, it seems like anything negative that you can rein in for most of the year just gets ignited during holiday celebrations. Forgive me, don’t judge me. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way.

I used to be the person who loved holidays the most, it WAS my favorite time of year. I sang along with every song on the radio, happily. I loved to shop for hours getting just the perfect present for each member of my extended family. Now, I beg my kids to tell me what they want, preferably with a link online. I don’t feel like celebrating, when did I become Scrooge?

I’d rather appreciate my family as I do, every minute of every day instead of on one particular day.  All the work you have done to prep and prepare and cook and bake is finally here; by the time you sit down to eat, you are exhausted and then the meal is over in literally five minutes. Tops.

You take a breather and move to a different room, everyone moaning about how full their tummies are and the tension moves with you like invisible cloaks. The young “adult” children text, the older generation talks about  people who have died or are very sick  and all I want to do is change into my soft flannel polka dot pajama pants and tee-shirt and climb under my blankets and go to sleep.

However, the chocolate cake with the layers of lighter chocolate mousse winks at me and soon we go back to eat dessert. A lot of dessert. That incredibly delicious chocolate cake with edible sugar ornaments, my vegetarian daughter grins as she eats a sugar “turkey.” There is also apple cake, strawberry-rhubarb pie, chocolate rugelach, banana bread, apple pie and assorted cookies. I’m ashamed to say that the fabulous chocolate cake, with an ice-cold glass of milk cheers me up. I can see the women of Weight Watchers “past” shaking their heads at me, tsk- tsking all the way to the scales. Sorry leaders, I haven’t gained any weight, in fact I lost more weight.

My daughter drives her grandmother home, with a care package that will last her at least a week to finish, complete with forbidden dessert since she is a not-so-so-strict-diabetic, it’s a treat for her, one bite or two at a time. The fact that my sister and her family aren’t here was felt by all, it just seemed empty without them. I missed my sister and the “cousins” being together. My husband’s parents are coming tomorrow, does that make any sense to you? Fill me in if you can figure it out, I can’t.

I see myself going away for a few days this year or next. This time I will go someplace different to be alone, to have some space, to smile at the sun and do some thinking.  It’s my turn now. I’m tired,  physically and emotionally. I need to get a good night’s rest and maybe when I wake up tomorrow morning I will feel just more hopeful. I give thanks for my family, my friends, for the food on the table. I give thanks that the holiday is over and for my pretty polka dotted pajamas. I am grateful for the sleep that is sure to come quickly. Good night.

The Fibromyalgia Fall And Flicker

NYC - MoMA: Andrew Wyeth's Christina's World

Image by wallyg via Flickrfter

On one of those freezing days we suffered through recently I forced myself to do a couple of errands even though with Fibromyalgia, the 50 mph winds and cold temperatures are not my friends. I was proud after I did my first errand but then I fell on a step, hard. I found myself sprawled and hurt in front of a store.  I landed heavily on my left wrist and right knee. I had to wiggle my body closer so I could tap my nails on their door. A few times. I felt like Christina, in Andrew Wyeth’s  famous painting, Christina’s World. Finally, two women came out looking at me like I was a drug addict, alcoholic, or homeless person that  decided to crash there for a good time. The women opened the door a few inches. I said “I fell, I’m hurt,  I can’t move, can you help me up ?”” I can still see their suspicious faces as if I had hit them up for some heroin.  Finally, a man came running from the back of the store and moved the bitches, I mean women, aside. “What happened,” he cried “are you hurt? Let me help you.”  I was so thankful to hear kind words I could have cried. He came over, pulled me up, then made me come in to the store to sit down and asked if I wanted some cold water. This man became my prince for the day.

Driving home was excruciatingly painful but I had no choice. When I arrived, I sat down on our faded, green living room couch, put my head down and stayed there, not moving.  A few minutes later my husband came in, looked at my face and said “What’s wrong?”  I said ‘I fell’ and then told him the story. My wrist was incredibly painful. Knowing my history with loose bones and plenty of breaks and sprains, my daughter drove me to the doctor’s office. She’s 16 and a half, has her junior license and she sailed through the streets remaining  calm, kind and mature.

An x-ray was taken and I returned to his office for the results. I was thrilled that it was not broken or sprained but also incredulous because of the pain, I couldn’t move my hand.  He asked me for a list of medications that I took and I said Synthroid and Savella. His eyebrows furrowed, his voice became louder and firmer and he asked “what do you take Savella for?”  I answered “Fibromyalgia” and then I saw it. The flicker of suspicion in his eyes and the dismissive nod of his head. I then asked him what I should take for the excruciating pain and he snapped like the arrogant lizard he was and said “Motrin, that’s it.”  He shut my file loudly and ushered me quickly out the door. Fibromyalgia is still, for some people, a mystery and a question mark. I hadn’t seen that flicker of hostility and disbelief in a long time; I will never see it from THIS  ignorant doctor again.