Talking Out Loud: Feeling Sorry For Myself

My throat is scratchy, every time I swallow it’s like a science experiment. I feel cold even though I am under three blankets. Oh wait, I shouldn’t be surprised, we’re back from our short vacation in the sun.

We are anticipating a snowstorm with wind and ice and I’m sure the clouds can just feel me smoldering with anger and resentment, like a fire just beginning to spread quickly.

The Universe can feel that I don’t want to live here anymore, the Winters are too tough for my aches and pain, Fibromyalgia has never been my friend but it is becoming my worst enemy.

I hate having to confirm a lunch date with my best friend in the morning although she totally understands.  Will I be okay for getting up and out of bed? Can I dress myself and drive my car and meet her over salads sipping strong, strong coffee? I have NO energy and NO short-term memory. That is excruciatingly embarrassing to me, that is the worst part.

I will know that only tomorrow morning and even that is iffy. I can deal with this chronic pain disease much more easily in the Spring, Summer, even Fall but Winter? Oh, Winter is the devil of all evil, to me. He’s that bratty, bad boy, the one every grade school had who tried to make other kids’ lives unbearable, the bad boy brat that succeeded in torturing a grade.

Way back, when I was a child, we never had a “No Bullying Allowed” rule. We just had the town bully and everyone knew who he was. I can picture his face so easily in my mind as he grabbed my winter hat and threw it around the bus to taunt me.

Now, we are all grown-up, the bullies, the kids, those of us who care for our grown-up children and parents and dogs. We face problems every single day. The stress and tension are finally catching up with me.

I don’t smile much anymore. It’s tough enough to get out of my warm, comfortable bed with my dog lying beside me. Sometimes, I choose not to get out of bed. I’m okay with that.

Please, I don’t need platitudes or well wishes, I just need circumstances to change. I need a sign, I’ve been patient. Until now.

Yes, I will ask the Angels for help.

I will ask anyone for help. But, so far, nothing has worked. I’m so very tired. I want to curl up in my bed until I see that it is Spring. Things will change in the Spring, for the better. We will make it change, not now, not during the bleak, gray darkness of Winter.

The new us, starts in the Spring, 2015.

 

 

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Happy Yellow Friday

In the past there were groups on favorite colors with deadlines and stress. This Happy Yellow Friday is for anyone who loves the color yellow like I do. Once a week, on Fridays I will post something that has yellow in it.

Feel free to post photos you like with yellow in it here too. I do this at the very start of Winter which really makes me Blue.

Friday, October 31, 2014, # 1

Yum, candy corn.

A LOVE LETTER To Starbucks’ Iced Lemon Pound Cake

English: Starbucks, Cathedral Square, Peterbor...

English: Starbucks, Cathedral Square, Peterborough, UK. A typical sales area in a Starbucks coffeehouse. Showing the till, preparation areas and sales displays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Starbucks,

I love you. To pieces. Well, to pieces of iced lemon pound cake. On this I swear.

I read that Starbucks got rid of a few of its very popular items, but not for long; there were many customer complaints. One of the items they said good-bye to was one of my favorites, the iced lemon pound cake. Gone, Adios. Bye-bye. WHAT?

Yes, you heard me, it vanished from the clean see-through shelves of your local Starbucks’ establishment. Horrors. Excuse me?  MY FAVORITE ICED LEMON POUND CAKE FROM STARBUCKS WAS TAKEN OFF THE MARKET? DEAR GOD, WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

I assumed that since my husband and I have been on a strict budget and we don’t have the money to buy anything special like Starbucks coffee everything was still the same. In the very infrequent times that I did treat myself to a latte it was probably in the afternoon when I just assumed they were out of stock of my all-time favorite, deliciously iced lemon pound cake.Yes, I am salivating.

The winter was so LONG and hard that I didn’t go out much, having Fibromyalgia it’s hard enough to get out of bed not to mention get dressed and go out, imbalanced in the snow and ice.  Sometimes “ignorance is bliss.” I didn’t miss my tangy and sweet pound cake because I didn’t know it was gone.

But, there are times when mistakes have been made and corrected without a fuss (not often, I know.) I have to give it to Starbucks, not many companies listen to their customers and right a wrong. YOU ROCK!! I am proud of your establishment and I am saving up money. I don’t know exactly when the lemon pound cake will be coming back but I will be on-line to buy it with a latte just to make me feel good and to give myself a treat. A company that actually LISTENS to their customers and wants their customers to be happy? THANK YOU.

Having not thought about the yummy sweet/tart lemon cake, you know what happens to me. I NEED It NOW. I may have to visit my local Starbucks immediately and ask when exactly it is coming back, date/time/place. I will be there, I promise. Thank you, Starbucks for everything that you do, I would work for you anytime especially if I got a discount on dessert.

My confession: I’m a slut for sour and sweet desserts. Oh fine, I’m a slut for desserts.

For those of you who bake ( and bake well) I’ve LEARNED OF a very good substitute from the delicious Ina Garten. It’s a little too advanced for me. She has a wonderful recipe for a lemon pound cake:

For those like me, who are not advanced bakers come join me. You will find me on-line at the nearest Starbucks, waiting, patiently and with LOVE.

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it’s too cold out, i’m lazy as shit

Just another Tequila Sunset...

Just another Tequila Sunset… (Photo credit: law_keven)

ramblings from a woman in bed 2:

i could blame my four going on five days of staying in my bed on m chronic illnesses,  fibromyalgia: because my muscles and bones or as we call them bone-ces do hurt and I am unsteady on my feet and off balance. I could say my auto-immune disease, hashimotos-thyroiditis is making me feel weak and that my immune system is whacked, how I still don’t know. but basically in this random writing, i’d be lying and that’s one thing I try not to do. cause I sure hate it when others do it to me.

it’s cold as a bitch out there, the winds are past blowing, they are swaying the barren trees and the unfortunate people who are out there. i’ve been in bed for the last 4 days, the thought of going outside seems unreasonable and impossible, it would hurt too much. if i had to go out and it was an emergency i know i could do it but with my kids home and hanging out, there is no need. hubby took this week off and he does not mind cold weather like i do, it’s been this way for over 25 years. i’ve always hated the cold weather but especially since i got sick with these chronic illnesses. the cold tenses up my already stiffened muscles and makes me suffer with even more pain. why do that if there is no benefit? once it is reasonably cold out, i will go. i’m not boycotting it, i’m just rebelling. let’s be reasonable.i need warmth, sun, beach, water; i’m keeping my eye on the prize.

i’ve talked to friends who have the same illnesses and they too are nestled in their soft pajamas, staying in bed and drinking tea in a mug with milk and sugar or strong coffee, or sipping water from a big, clear bottle. the only thing i want to eat is soup and i remember i have a large container of home-made pea soup with ham and lots of carrots (for sweetness) waiting for me in the freezer. you can hear the wind howling, it thrashes by my windows with fury, the new windows, of course which do nothing but cost a lot of money that we do not have.

my life would be easier if i loved cold weather but my husband and i have been fighting ok discussing this for years now. so far he has won. but when both children graduate college, it’s my turn. i want to see the bright yellow of the morning sun, to see the red velvet sunset on the beach and clap at the beauty. i want nature and water in my life and not once every five years but daily, at least for a time. i would compromise, i’d be a snowbird but this i will not do much longer. this makes me unhappy, it’s going to be my turn next. I need more nature in my life, more sunshine. the ice pellets are now coming down quickly stick to every surface; black ice hides sneakily where you think you are safe. the cold, nasty, biting wind just slaps my soul.

Help Needed: For Fibro And Chronic Pain Sufferers 2012

icy storm

icy storm (Photo credit: Vilseskogen)

I’ve often thought about placing a classified ad to get responses from people about what are the best climates for someone who has Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain. I live in the Northeast so I know that the freezing cold weather just knocks me out, like a painful gust of wind on a fragile old lady. I feel like that old lady at times, more often than not, I need to hold on to something or someone because when the weather is terribly cold, I am in pain. I will not live in this cold country for the rest of my life, I don’t want to do that but I have said that for years.

It started to snow in October which seems crazy and the winters are longer. We need to stay here until my little one (18 years old) finishes college. Where would we go after that? I have no idea; suggestions are welcome, the only requirement is WARMTH. Moving is a daunting task, especially with an elderly mother, my sister and her family near-by and two children here. Moving FOR people is NOT a good idea, but it is a consideration. The only compromise I can think of is to be “snow birds” but you must need a lot of money for that.

WANTED: 2 BR APT. in Warm climate

Needed: Warmth (Desparately)

Needed: Near Sand and Water

Highly Preferred: Low Humidity

Close to teaching Hospital

Close to Public Transportation/Airport

Do you think that’s asking too much? That’s what I am going for, in my fantasy. My bones ache in the cold weather, I shudder with pain like an injured yellow bird flapping her broken wing. I want to be close to nature, to take walks all year round and to give myself a break. Just need money, my husband to agree, and the courage to move away from family. That’s the toughest one of all.

Haiku Heights – Storm

Winter Storm 2009

Winter Storm 2009 (Photo credit: merfam)

Inside turmoil spins

I want a piece from two worlds

Red: Life. Gray: Shelter

*****

Ocean waves explode

I am insignificant

Take me over, please

*****

Red rage, fury, fire

bolting out the hostile door

releasing the storm.

*****

Ice cascades through snow

the beauty of pureness, white

black ice underneath

*****

Snow fighting ice, wind

Let’s huddle together now

to seek warmth, safety.

My Banana Has Freckles

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee (Photo credit: lightmatter)

I feel like a monkey, somewhere, somehow I have evolved into a monkey from a human being, it’s the evolutionary theory backwards. All I have craved lately are bananas. Not just bananas but banana smoothies, made by moi. I LOVE THEM. They comfort me, soothe me, and make me feel happy. I’ve had one every day for about five days now. There are no more bananas in the house anymore, I must go shopping tomorrow but waiting for them to ripen is an exhausting ordeal.

When I want them to ripen faster I put the bananas in a brown paper bag with an apple tossed in because I once read this hastens the process. If it doesn’t at least I don’t have to see green edges, which in fact, is the only way my mother and son can eat bananas. Raw bananas? Ugh. There must be a science to banana eating and yes, I have also heard that you should peel a banana from the bottom like the monkeys do. I’m flexible, I do that once in a while but eating them while they are green? No, that will never do and don’t confuse green bananas with plantains because that is just entirely different. You need bananas with freckles, especially if you are baking with them, carmelizing them or using them in a yummy smoothie. I also make a mean banana bread but so far, that’s a family secret.

I am sharing my banana smoothie recipe with you, I only hope it gives you as much joy as it gives me:

In a blender put:

3 ripe bananas (RIPE is the operative word, not okay if they are green)

a  small container of yogurt (you choose) I have used strawberry/banana yogurt, cherry vanilla or plain yogurt (I use 0 percent)

a bit of crushed ice (many people like icy smoothies, like my daughter, so feel free to add ice cubes or more crushed ice-I like them more creamy)

a dash of vanilla and almond extract to taste

2-3 Tablespoons of vanilla ice cream or low-fat vanilla ice cream (optional)

one teaspoon of brown sugar (optional)

a peach, plum, raspberries, cantaloupe or any old fruit that needs to be used (again, optional)

Blend at High for about a minute.

Take a Tablespoon to taste, adjust as needed. Pour, serve and enjoy!

Winter Sports

Tropical Menagerie
Cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream
Skier carving a turn off piste

Don’t Call Me “Snowbaby”

I like winter sports when OTHER people are doing them; I hate to be cold and wet. My favorite destination is the ski lodge where I can sit beside a burning, magical fire and talk to the flames that warm my face. My favorite beverage is hot chocolate with whipped cream so I can wrap my hands around the cup like a hug and sip the sweetness very slowly. When I imagine a get-away it is never to someplace cold and snowy; it is a tropical island where the clear aquamarine water and tiny striped fish nibble at my pink, polished toes.

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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.

*S.N.O.W. The New DSM Disorder

February 26, 2010 snowstorm Dutchess County 24

Image via Wikipedia

S.N.O.W stands for Sadness, Nothing, Overwhelming, Winter disorder and people in the Northeast are suffering from it in masses this winter. Because of an extended period of snowstorms, approximately every two days, sometimes more often, more and more people have been diagnosed with the above disorder. It appears that this new syndrome called S.N.O.W. now appears in the new DSM (Diagnostic Symptoms Manuals used in mental health.) The disorder has the following symptoms: claustrophobia, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression. To illustrate the symptoms the following scenarios should make it more understandable:

1) Claustrophobia: many people who are unable to go outside and are not able to be independent, to drive on their own through wintry conditions, feeling closed in, unable to breathe, unable to go anywhere.  Every time there is snow, freezing rain or ice the feeling of claustrophobia intensifies.  People suffering from claustrophobia generally also suffer from the following:

2) Anxiety: The feeling of being anxious, disturbed, uneasy. Your heart beat may seem faster, stronger, you may have chest pains and the feeling of being nervous all the time. This is natural for this condition.

3). OCD:  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: patients generally run to the window or door, or they stand next to the aforementioned window or door flattening their faces against the glass for many minutes on end. They go back and forth to see if the snow has stopped, the ice pellets have turned to rain and how the snowflakes fall and in what particular pattern. Patients also try to gauge how much snow, rain, ice, etc.   Patients say that they sit riveted to the Weather Channel or local forecasts or both.

4) Depression: the feeling of sadness that does not go away, feeling “blue,”sad, lonely, isolated, unable to feel joy. The feeling that you will never be happy again, that you are unable to enjoy anything in life including but not limited to: loved ones, music, television and anything else you formerly enjoyed doing. You may not want to get out of bed (and really, why should you?) because you feel there is no way out. You may be correct in this assumption.

Once the diagnosis has been made, the following recommendations generally fall in the following perimeters: 1) prescriptions include: a week, 2 weeks 4 weeks or three months (depending on the severity of your patients’ symptoms and bank account) to a warm climate for as long as you can. Some destinations, for example, are: in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida or Los Angeles.  A sun “lamp” to give yourself the (fake) feeling of getting outdoor light can also be used though there are no firm statistics that support this.  Tanning beds are also thought to be an option, but one which comes with a medical advisory of a possible link to skin cancer, more specifically, melanoma.

Of course your mental health professional may write you a prescription for anti-depressants but really, by the time they actually start to work (6-8 weeks) Spring will be hopping on its feathery feet to come and stay for a little while. For the short-term, think of yellow daffodils sprouting and listen to the song “Breathe” sung by Anna Nalick, continously. Symptoms of S.N.O.W. should dissipate within two to three months. It is possible that in the winter of 2012 the symptoms may resurface.

*a parody