*A Blob In A Bed

As lightning strikes and cackles, silver pain against a mournful deep black sky, rockets flare rapidly from my brain to my chin.  Immediately, I recognize and rationalize the signs; I sigh wearily breathe slowly and finally admit that TMJ has come back to stay for the next few days or  a week. At least I love my two options for dinner, peanut butter and jelly or an American cheese sandwich and tomato soup:

 

 

I had a tiny, mild spasm when we had dinner but I was eating the mushiest of foods. A veggie burger that I had to scoop up with a spoon and I didn’t eat the top half of the bun. After that, a small portion of ice cream that I put in the microwave, I was sure I had paid the price for the pain already. Yeah, right. As if fairness counts in this world. I shake my head from side to side.

 

I didn’t “say AHHH” as if I was giving in to a strep test, my mouth was as wide as it could go comfortably (yes, dentists/doctors from all over say I have a child size mouth and face and hands and ring size.) I do remember the tip-toe beginning signs of TMJ and paid heed to them, with further occurrences, I forgot about it and went to sleep and slept well. When I woke up (or did it wake me up?) the first flash of agonizing pain ripped through my brain to my ear and down past my teeth into my wobbly neck.

There is no rhyme or reason for when this happens so I just resign myself to it happening every once in a while and search (I know, I know) for the mouth guard that I should have worn all along. My bad.

 

 

I can’t feel too sorry for myself because I’m the one to blame. I remember yesterday, even before the first pang, opening up the case and finding it empty. I did find it later on, of course, I’ll need to search for it again ( Fibromyalgia Fog) since I forgot where it I found it. I don’t lose things, I just misplace them ( repeatedly.) I look outside at the cold, crystallized window and I find a little comfort in the fact that I can nurse myself back to health today without (a lot of ) help from anyone. (PS I found it and have been wearing it.)

 

I slip back into bed with my five layers of blankets and heating pad, it is the second day and I am still in so much pain that I can’t even go down a flight of stairs to make my cherished mug of coffee. I hate asking for help but this morning I knock on my daughter’s door and ask her to help me. In a second, she goes downstairs to make me coffee and warms my heart. I am so grateful for her.

English: steaming hot mug of coffee

The coffee barely cheers me up which is unusual. I try to gulp it down quickly but the pain interrupts me. I’m doomed. I’m not allowed to use most pain medication because of my kidneys so I reach for one Tylenol, two.  I automatically click the heating pad that lives beside me on the beige carpet. Please help me soon….

 

I don’t know how other people can get motivated to get dressed and race out of the door when it is below freezing outside. I truly wonder. I don’t believe I was like this when I was young, but then again, I didn’t have Fibromyalgia or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Maybe I did have it all along but never knew?

 

My mother calls and she hears “the slight off pitch” of my voice.I can never fool her, my mother and my son are the only ones I can’t fool. She zeros in for the kill. “What’s the matter?” she inquires directly bypassing all courtesy. I answer truthfully yet less urgently “I just have a little TMJ thing going on, that’s all.” She sighs, she feels helpless, I totally understand. My 22-year-old son had the flu last week and I certainly felt the same way, “what can I do, do you want something to eat, tomato soup with mashed up crackers? no? NO?!)

Mothers love to mother and when we can’t or when our kids grow up, at first we don’t know what to do. Mothering is our job, one we always will love. Without it, we just feel a little lost. Many people, including myself, ask themselves the question “Who am I now” when our youngest child is in college.

I know the feeling. After my daughter’s two wisdom teeth were extracted during a summer holiday and the medication wore off, she got up and gently woke me up at 3 AM. She scowled and said through muddled cotton mouth “it hurts.” For me, as bad as I felt for her, I felt happy I could help her, I could mother her and make her feel better. I didn’t want her to have pain, I wanted to make any type of pain go away.

My daughter and son have left to go out, my husband will be home shortly. I will go down and make my own soft American cheese sandwich and drink some Yoo Hoo, I don’t want to bother my husband who has worked all day. I understand pain, I’ve lived with so many different forms (too numerous to list), I don’t need people near me, I have all of you.

Thanks, Facebook Friends for always being there for me.

*DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME, PLEASE.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Haiku Heights, Grimace

English: Scott Seitz. Ready Mix Concrete Truck...

English: Scott Seitz. Ready Mix Concrete Truck. Built by Advance corporation. 2004. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shocked, alarm, pain, twist

evil bastard, behind me

Mouth contorts, I retch.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Blood flows, knife in tongue

pain, turning, a cement truck

Over and over.

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Plinky Prompt: Know someone who could use a pep talk?

English: Icecream, at Wikipedia meeting in Hag...

English: Icecream, at Wikipedia meeting in Hagen, Germany Deutsch: Eisbecher, beim Wikipedia-Treffen Ruhrgebiet in Hagen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • We all know someone who could use a pep talk… so write them one! See all answers
  • Best Friends
  • Dear Jessie,
    There are no words I can say that will make you feel better, I know your feelings are intense, I would never lie to you. I know how devastated, you are with the loss of your husband, Gary. You are sad, in shock in denial and angry, who wouldn’t be? Those are all valid feelings but I want you to know you do NOT have to go through them alone.
    I am here for you, as your best friend, at anytime. You know that, Jess, just pick up the phone or text me if you want company, any time day or night and I will come straight away. I know what you are going to say “you don’t want to be a bother” but you’re my best friend, you are like my sister, NOTHING could make you a bother, ever.
    I know you would do the same thing for me. Let me and our friends help you through this difficult time, all of us are a family, all of us love you and the kids.
    Believe me, being strong for your kids, as much as you adore them, is probably another burden now, I think that’s fair to say. I know you need to be strong for them when all you want to do is scream, cry or kick some walls in. Sweetie, I understand.
    I know you don’t like to ask for help but I am telling you that there is a food/housework/babysitting schedule to help you out for the first few months. We’re not asking you, all your friends WANT to do this for you, you know I will listen to whatever you have to say but expect me to come over tonight at six with dinner, some treats for the kids, strawberry ice cream AND chocolate ice cream with whipped cream, your favorite combination since you were five.
    I will stay as long as you want, you can invite me in or kick me out, everything you decide is fine. I love you, Jess, the same as you love me, we are best friends and we have always been there for each other, nothing changes.
    I’m going to leave a pair of pajamas in an overnight bag for when you want company, any hour, day or night. No, it’s not too much trouble. Are you kidding? I love sleepovers, I always did. I’ll even bring the popcorn. To me, that’s what best friends do and I know, without a shadow of a doubt you would do the same for me.
    See you later.
    Tell the kids Aunt Nikki is coming over with some surprise sweets! See you at six. Love, Me

Haiku Heights – Meaning

Batman: The Dark Knight

Batman: The Dark Knight (Photo credit: lamazone)

DEDICATED TO THE FAMILIES AND THE VICTIMS OF THE COLORADO KILLINGS.

*****************************************************************************************

Tragedy anew,

I curl up like a seashell

Blocking out gun fire.

*****************************************************************

Live a fearful life

The absence of awe and joy

I refuse to choose.

*****************************************************************

Forge through cement walls

blood splashed upon the theater

red-purple pain, death.

********************************************************************

Senseless tragedy

What is the meaning of life

Destroyed so quickly?

******************************************************************

Am I Just Too Old?

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I miss the old days. Before computers and messages and Facebook. When people called each other on the telephone, you know the ones that hung from the wall in putrid yellow and green with curly, tangled cords. They conveyed news, good and bad. You were able to preface things with either hesitation if it was bad news or words that conveyed your discomfort. Good news was easy, people could tell by the lilt of your excited voice. It doesn’t happen that way anymore. I found out about a friend’s death on Facebook. FACEBOOK. It’s true, and it says a lot about society at least to old-fashioned me.

I’m not saying we were best friends and that we had lunch together every week but in the old days when I grew up there was a phone chain. At least you could get a phone call from someone who knew someone and there was that one moment of preparation when an unfamiliar voice would ask to speak to you somewhat hesitantly……You got the needling sensation in your stomach that something was just not right and even though you can never really be prepared, at least you had a gut feeling.

I got the message, as others did, in black and white print, in the form of a lovely, well-written memorial (Thank you, Roland in no way is this a criticism of YOU.)  Couldn’t someone have sent a mailing at least to soften the blow? I guess not, that’s not the way society works these day. I should catch up with the future, I’m just not sure if I can.

I’m still in shock. Truly, I can’t grasp that my friend is dead, maybe because I only had a hint that she was sick. I knew she was in pain once when I saw her but I didn’t know from what; everyone has a bad day now and then. Although I sensed something was wrong when she snapped at me once; that was so not like her at all.  It was pure intuition that made me feel something was  off, nothing else.

Reading her eulogy in print has not given me time to acclimate to the news. Her own Facebook page is still up, with her own heavenly smile lighting up her page.  I’m not sure how to deal with this, there is nothing I can do except get used to the idea she is gone. Having no information makes it worse.

I’ve said good-bye to Helen in my heart and I know that’s all I can do. But finding out about someone’s death on Facebook? That’s got to be a new low. At least for me.

Losing Dawn

Farmland near Queniborough. Unploughed stubble...

Image via Wikipedia

I will never look at the afternoon winter light in the same way again. My friend Dawn died today, February 11th, 2011 when the sky was blue, the sun shone through wind-swept trees next to ice and black snow, nudging a path. From inside, it looked too pretty for someone to have died.  The sun was low and beamed on the bare empty branches like gold necklaces or a child‘s long, blond, sun-streaked hair.

I knew for a long time that my friend Dawn was dying. All of us in the neighborhood, walking partners and friends knew how her breast cancer metastasized to brain cancer. Hearing the words from my friend Margaret that Dawn had passed away a couple of hours ago in her house, was still shocking. Shocking in a mute, surreal way. It’s not as if I thought she would make a miraculous recovery, but if we didn’t see or hear about her, she was still okay and that was soothing and comforting. Intellectually, I should have known better; I didn’t. Knowing someone is going to die is so very different from their actual death. I couldn’t feel a thing.

I remember writing: “Praying For Dawn” on my blog and I made a copy for her. She read it and loved it and told me her family read it too. She even left me a message on my answering machine to say “Thank you,” I never erased that message.

Her daughter had just started college in Vermont as a February Freshman a few days earlier yet there was a car from Vermont  parked outside their house. Dawn and her husband John have three children, her daughter, age 18,  the eldest, her middle son, 16 and their youngest a boy age 14. There is no doubt in my mind that Dawn refused to die until her daughter was at school, just like my father lived through Christmas and died five days later, ten years ago.

What do you say when it’s actually over? Sometimes, nothing. The call I got from my friend should have clued me in but it didn’t. When she said “are you sitting down?” you would think that I would known immediately but I didn’t. My first thought was about my friend’s mother who is in her eighties. I, very slowly,  sat down. Thirty seconds later it hit me, “Oh Dear God, not Dawn,” I whispered into the phone. “Yes, she said and paused, Dawn passed away today, two hours ago.”

She died in her house, around the corner from me. Her parents who live on the Cape had come down a lot these past few years.  Margaret and I used to see them walking arm in arm, crying as they tried to walk slowly around the corner, holding on to each other for support. It took every bit of self-control not to run to them and hug them but they didn’t want to see Dawn’s friends, friends who were living when their daughter was dying. Would you?

Before my father died he used to say that “nothing is as important as your health” all the time and I remember it. I too, know grief. Now, I am grieving for my friend and her husband, children and their extended family. I am glad my friend’s pain and suffering are gone but knowing someone is going to die and them actually dying are two very strong and separate emotions. It’s the feeling of in between; it’s too new to comprehend and yet it was about four years in the making. Four years when I first noticed her bald, shiny head and twinkling green eyes standing outside wearing a cap in the pure, naked sunshine.

I laid beneath a sheet, two fraying cotton blankets, one dingy white, one blue, a thick burgundy colored comforter and an old beige puffy down comforter. l huddle beneath these blankets and still my hands are freezing and so too, my toes. I dig deep down inside the blankets and try to cover myself but I still don’t feel warm, I think I will never feel warm again.

In Memory Of Dawn