Friday, January 30, 2009

Last week, I dared ask a friend for help. Her advice seemed sound. This morning, the merest whisper of her plan caused a curse-filled meltdown.

I ache for wisdom, for direction.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I am tired of fielding threatening emails. Turning the other cheek is exhausting. I see no possibility of hope of taking the right step with these. I file them away. Longing for something else, wondering if I am right to hang my sanity on the whole not-catching-fish theory...

Monday, January 26, 2009

I learned something interesting during my assessment by the physical therapist: my abdominal muscles are virtually "quiet." That is to say, they are not working, especially on the right side. So, all the ways that they should be helping me sit up are not happening. My back is bearing the brunt of keeping upright my less-than-slender torso.

While the discovery sheds light on the problem, I still cannot see a way to build them up...and I am most curious why they are no longer working.

Now I know why it hurts to lie on my stomach. Three sonograms all showed functioning organs. One firm poke on my side abdominal muscles found me slapping the PT's hand way rather emphatically. I did allow further poking, but I grunted rather loudly until she was done.

While I see little hope for change, should I at least be thankful for an answer?

Friday, January 23, 2009

I spent two hours in the Sprint store transitioning Mother's phone to a new GREEN Centro. After all that, I still have to migrate her data from her Palm and teach her how to use it. While I was happy to help her, I truly am miserable after about 30 minutes of standing.

She never noticed my rather obvious agony.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Mother is here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I was a huddled mass of human misery at the doctor's office this morning. I cannot imagine that it was helpful to see me that way since she stopped asking me to move or stand or bend or shift after mere moments of grunting and fetched me a glass of water so that I could take the Celebrex I had so hopefully brought with me.

The upside of the appointment was the agreement that it seemed to be a good drug for me. Thus, I have a prescription for the next 13 months.

She also wants me to start physical therapy for my back. I am puzzled by that decision for a great hinderance to my world is the muscle fatigue from MS. Physical therapy is not going to help that. Still, I am on that campaign of at least trying to find an answer.

Only three days to go before the Celebrex should be built back up enough in my blood to alleviate much of my agony. I just love those little yellow and white pills...

Monday, January 19, 2009

In case you were wondering, a barium swallow, upper GI series is a most wretched test. I downed cup after cup of barium.

"Swallow. Swallow. Swallow. Don't breathe. Breathe. Now Swallow...."

About fifteen minutes before the end, I started gagging, which I had to somehow fit in between the swallowing and the not breathing. It was shear stubbornness to prove to the pulmonologist that I could not possibly have GERD bad enough to trigger my asthma and not know it that kept me swallowing.

Food it the furthest thing from my mind right now. Perhaps some time next week...

NOTE: I had not counted on Celebrex staying in my system as long as it did. I am blessed to admit that while I have been rather uncomfortable since last Thursday, it was only today that the full effect of the loss of my medicine has hit me. I believe I can make it to Wednesday. The jury is still out on the whole attitude part....

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My writing student is heading back to college this week. While home during her break, she came over twice to write and eat and watch television (she is in agreement about its magnificence).

Such a gift she has been in my life. Certainly NOT a failure. She has transitioned from a student to a fellow writer and has blessed me with her gentle spirit. In fact, I would say that when she is home, she has this uncanny ability to text me with a query about a possible writing evening on days when I am rather frustrated or feeling rather wretched.

Her holiday break brought another tasty dish into my life. While she left before I copied down the recipe, I have twice made the dish with great success. It is an alfredo sauce made with chicken stock (rather than butter) and lemon and fresh rosemary (my substitution for parsley) and cayenne pepper, penne pasta, and chicken sauteed in a pan with herbs de Provence and olive oil.

The greatness of K's heart lies in the fact that she left me the bottle of herbs (being a poor college student she at least left with cash in hand for replacement) so that I could experience her culinary brilliance once more.

I cannot wait to cook this for B and G. His fiery tastebuds should love it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This morning was my last pain pill until next Wednesday...if all goes well, I shall be reunited with my beloved Celebrex. If not, well, then...I shall have to take desperate measures.

Next Wednesday, I have an assessment with a Rheumatoidologist. My doctor said she would not continue writing my prescription for a "less-than-optimal" drug unless I saw a specialist. In order to do so, I need to be pain-killer free for a week.

I could wish that I will rise to the occasion, but I fear I shall not be the epitome of equanimity during this time...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"I thinking your asthma is only 50% asthma. I think it might be GERD or Allergies or..." [award pause] "a learned response. We might just need to practice breathing without coughing."

I am so insensed and yet completely defeated that I can barely hold the pieces of myself together. A learned response! Right! I am around smoke and I cough. I am in cold weather and I cough. I laugh too hard and I cough. All are CLASSIC triggers of asthma and the brochures I've been given on cough variant asthma all talk about how the attacks are difficult to understand because they start with coughing.

"How is your relationship with your mother? If it is not good, that could also be a factor." While I would love to lay this misery at her feet, even I know that would not be fair.

Seriously, I would give up my new flat-panel television if only to find a pulmonologist who will ignore the fact that I had TB (that because the favorite excuse for the coughing: "You're TB is back") and concentrate on the fact that I cannot sing, I cannot run, I cannot laugh, I cannot carry more than ten pounds, I cannot be around smoke, I cannot stand the cold, I CANNOT do so much without ending up jamming an epipen in my thigh.


But. But. But I will go take that nasty test for GERD and get poked for still more bloodwork so that she can rule out those suspicions of "50% other."


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I am honestly conflicted about this new television. I have immensely enjoyed the DVR features and the HD signals and the rather large new numbers of channels (though I seldom stray far from the HD ones) in my life. So much so that I feel a bit guilty. About what, I am not sure, but guilty nonetheless.

Perhaps it is the sheer pleasure it has been. Apart from the mishaps in getting it all set up, owning it has brightened my world. Yet it is only a possession.

I do appreciate the timing of it all. My vision has been so poor that I cannot read as much as I would wish to do so. Pain and fatigue have been such constant companions that my world has been reduced to a paltry existance on tucked into the corner of my couch or huddled in the green chair. So I very much welcomed the distraction this great big beautiful television has been.

However, it is only a possession.

Some months ago, B told me that she wanted to start her days reading the bible. With my eyes being less cooperative in the mornings and needed to brace against the agony that is sure to follow leaving my bed, I have worked at starting my days in prayer.

I breathe deeply for a few minutes and work to shut out all that I am feeling and worrying about to focus on Christ. Then, I pray for her and her family, for my family, for my boss, for Pastor D and his flock. For Somolia and the Congo. For this country. For His will.

I don't pray for myself apart from greater faith for I feel to do so would be selfish. I have done such a wretched job being His witness of late. I believe there is some lesson in all of this, if only the clay were to fall from my eyes.

So, is having an electronic companion in my foggy, lonely world merely a tool to help me set aside the less than pleasant aspects of my life or is it a possession whose inflated value might be too high a price in my life?

NOTE: At least it brought me my new good friend Ed Begley, Jr. I would proffer that you should consider stepping up your recylings, changing all your lightbulbs to CFLs, investigate a grey water system if you have an irrigation system, check out centralized cut-off switches for your outlets, add a few solar panels or wind turbines should the opportunity fall your way, eshew both paper and plastic in favor of reusable grocery bags, and challenge yourself to take shorter showers. Reduce. Reuse/Repurpose. Recycle.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Read John 21. Now, tell me what you think of the Not-Catching-Fish Theory...

The crux of it? Well, the disciples out on the boat were not so much there to catch fish as to be there when Christ came the following morning. Perfect time and place. Sovereignty.

Am I where I am right now because I am not supposed to be fishing. i.e., serving as communications manager? Am I here because of the time and place, not the job? It seems easy to grasp that as an answer.

Were I to ascribe to this theory, I could take solace in merely being and shed the weight of constant failure.

I am weary of hauling up empty nets...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Kashi is moping in the basement, lying most forlornly on B's bed. I am doing the same on the couch. Seriously, I need to figure out a way to be more grateful for the visit and less sorrowful for the departure. Eating B's cookie dough cannot be that answer. I'll try another tomorrow.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I have two words for you: Malak's Pizza.

Life as I knew it is forever changed. Malak's Pizza. Tasty.

I dragged B and G and children out to dinner with Pastor D's family. We chatted up a storm in his living room before heading off to the savory haven of one of his congregants. Malak's Pizza.

Ten people crowded around a table eating four different pizzas (I personally chose NOT to consume the Spaghetti Pizza) was most wonderful for me. A great way to chase away loneliness. While the best part of the evening was having Pastor D meet B since he's heard hours and hours of adulation about her, I will note the second most highlight: Malak's Pizza.

NOTE: If I thought buttoning my jeans was difficult tonight after all these days with B and the cookies she brought, I am sure to find the task tomorrow simply impossible. Still...Malak's Pizza!

Friday, January 02, 2009

I shall perish soon from the wicked combination of unalloyed joy of having B and her family in my home and the candle I am buring at both ends.

I wake early for my medicine and watch E sleep before drifting back to sleep. Then she wakes at least an HOUR before I wish her to, although she will wait for the clock to read 9:00 before hopping out of bed. No, she is not still as she waits. Then she goes to get Josh and causes a ruckus. Then breakfast, while I try very hard not to stomp down to the basement to haul B out of bed. I never knew she was a slower riser, one prone to much languid stretching before departing her bed. It is not that I would have her rise any faster, but by the time I am shoving food before her children, I am near bleary eyed and the day has yet to even begin.

I end my day with my daily late night fix of television (mostly Sci-Fi) after B and G have departed for their beds, followed by more watching of E sleep, and at least an hour of less-than-prudent reading.


And yet five days of the K family is barely a moment. I am already dreading Sunday evening. I need to focus on the time left!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

B, G and I are AWESOME turkey chefs! Ours was so incredibly moist that it mattered not neither B nor I managed to make edible gravy.

B, bless her kind soul, took on the task of clearing out the innards. Now, she did dangling the neck before both G and I, arching it back and forth, before discarding it. But can you really blame her surrounded by such squeamish loved ones?

G made this mysterious and fragrant herb mixture that we tucked beneath the skin, along with fresh rosemary and sliced oranges. Inside, we stuffed the bird with copious amounts of celery and chunks of oranges. Whist I had never heard of doing so, B then added water to the pan. All that work and it was ready to go into the oven.

Well, after we took it twice more because the heavy duty aluminum pan leaked, it was ready for the oven.

That turkey came out oh so tasty.

As did the stuffing. Much to my abject horror, G started with a whole pan of onions and celery. I mean a whole pan piled higher than the brim. I was certain that he was ruining my stuffing! I will admit, with much chagrin, that I managed not to hid my dismay. G, however, was phased in the face of my discouragement. He persevered and ended up with another perfectly sumptious turkey companion dish.

Who needed the gravy!