Monday, March 30, 2009

Do I stay home or do I go?

This is about my upcoming twentieth high school reunion. It will be held this summer for one night in a local restaurant/bar. The question is do I stay home or go to it?

I went to the tenth and to be honest, I still felt out of place. I wasn't a popular girl or a sports player. I was smart and kind of weird/funny/hyper. I hadn't spent all my school years with this group of students, only the last four so I was out of place in some ways. I was supposed to graduate in 1988 but didn't because of a bad bout of depression which landed me in a psychiatric hospital. And who doesn't want to be friends with the crazy girl?

My high school years (yes, there were five of them even though I graduated seventh in my class) were tumultuous at best. I had been heavy during my first freshman year and lost weight sometime in the summer. I lost it because I went on a crazy 500-calorie-a-day diet which my mom, a nurse, approved. That was part of our family's motto "if it looks good, then we're a great family".

I went back for a second freshman year trying to meet and greet a whole new crop of students and it was difficult at best. The sophomore class looked down at me with shame and disgust because I was a nut case. The freshman class looked at me as a stranger and then heard rumors about me. It was hard walking around being one of the freaks but it was a role I got better at.

I became a voracious bulimic to stay thin and at least look the part of the happy girl. I still dealt with deep depression and was suicidal. I was hospitalized again my sophomore year right before state testing (Regents) time. I brought my study book with me while I was there for a few days. I didn't exactly announce this after being discharged.

I had no counseling or medication when I wasn't in the hospital. I was the saddest, most miserable person that I knew. I suffered from delusions and hallucinations but as long as I looked the part of the happy thin girl, I made my parents feel something close to quiet acknowledgment of my existence.

Now I look back at those years and feel the sadness of being misunderstood. It was by the sheer grace of God that I somehow made it through those years. God, an after-school job, and a few close friends saved my life by getting me out of my house.

So here I am twenty years later wondering if I should go. Part of me feels safer if I don't go. I mean, my best friend from those years is reading this blog now. I talk to BJM almost daily so I know what's going on with her.

Another huge reason (a pun) not to go is that I am not even remotely thin and that bothers me. I take up so much space so people will look at me. What will they see? Will they remember the messed up me or the smiling me or the me that spent time in a psychiatric hospital? Will they make fun of me behind my back? It's hard being this big and feeling uncomfortable.

Then there are the MS reasons. It's summer and the heat makes me worse. There will be lots of standing around which I don't do well. There will be lots of people drinking and I have no one to drive me home even if I wanted to drink. And I do, I do. I want a strawberry daiquiri or two.

So sound off dear readers and let me know what you think. Would you go and be bold? Or would you take the safe road and stay home?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The wagon rolled over me

Okay, I last wrote about the car after the nutritionist's appointment. I had a flat tire and then needed a jump to get to the repair shop. I mentioned that I had purchased some "off the list" items for my own nutritional enjoyment on Monday, namely a chicken and feta cheese pita sandwich and a big Reese's peanut butter egg. These are items not sanctioned by Mr. S.P.N aka Mr. Skinny Pants Nutritionist.

Since that day I have fallen off and then rolled underneath the wagon. Perhaps not as bad as the woman in the picture as I have not purchased any ice cream, although there's still time (teeheehee) before I drag my gigantic azz back up on the wagon.

Tuesday I went to Dunkin Donuts again after having gone last Sunday, so that was twice in one week! I did have the awful craptastic flatbread egg and veggie sandwich. That just tastes so tasteless that it's not worth the trip anymore. I will only go for a brownie and no hot chocolate even though I love their delicious hot choc with whipped cream on top. So there Mr. S.P.N., I am moderating what I will eat.

I also went to Subway on Thursday and bought a foot long sub instead of a 6 inch. Let me tell you, that was delicious. I didn't eat much else that day but I must hang my head low and come clean and let you all know that I ate three cookies that day.

In further off the wagon news, I ordered out on Friday night from a local restaurant and received some fabulously yummy fried, yes I did say fried, fish and mozzarella sticks. It did come with a salad which I ate with full on ranch dressing. In addition, I ate my way through a piece of white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake.

Today I ate a brownie from the grocery store and a candy bar. I have indeed chosen not to fall off the wagon but instead to leap with joy from the freedom of Mr. S. P. N. as I do not need to see him for two months, or rather 1 month and three weeks. See what happens to me when I have a little leeway?

I will say I have been eating more frozen veggies at night and I actually cooked a frozen meal on the stove once this week. I have been eating my bananas. I have been drinking tomato juice. I have learned to enjoy my morning french vanilla decaf tea instead of hot chocolate. I made sure I walked at least 4 times this week, including a 2 mile walk today.

I just went a little crazy with the freedom of not seeing Mr. S.P.N. for so long. I still have a candy bar in the freezer and I imagine I will call Pizza Hut this week to get my personal pan pizza and bread sticks. I am supposed to stay away from DD this week if I am getting pizza. We'll see if I am able to do that. I do know I need to make a better food effort so here I go.

Anyone seen a wagon rolling on around here? I need to climb back on and belt myself in for a new ride.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Car woes

This is a depiction of my tire from yesterday after the nutritionist's appointment.

I went to the nutritionist and paid for my sins against the food pyramid. My scale at home shows me down 6 pounds. Yippee. This was the first time he weighed me so this is his starting point for me for weight.

Then I went grocery shopping at this huge store called Wegman's and picked up a few more things that counted as sins against Mr. Skinny Pants Nutritionist who was trying hard to get me to choose between either Pizza Hut's personal pan pizza or a Dunkin Donuts run once a week. Can you believe that?

No wonder this man is thin. He can choose one or the other and not risk clogging his arteries and such. Me, I'm b!thcing and trying to weasel him into allowing me one personal pan pizza and one DD run per week with me eating the egg with veggies flatbread sandwich and no more hot chocolate out. In case you're wondering, my arguments didn't sway Mr. S.P.N.

So I am on my way home with lots of healthy things (including those Debbie Meyer fruit/veggie bags which keep fruits and veggies fresh and yummy way past their ordinary freshness date) and a chicken pita sandwich with oil on it and a big Reese's peanut butter egg. I thought one of my tires looked a teensy bit flat but I think that all the time so I just packed the car up and went on my way home.

I was doing well, tooling along at 60 in a 55 zone, when I could tell that indeed the car tire was flat. I was in the vicinity of home but not close enough and on the side of a busy highway. There I was with my flashers on calling my friend BJM to get me the number of the tire repair place. I had free road hazard help if the paperwork had actually been in my car instead of on my bookshelf at home.

So BJM, being the delightful friend that she is and being very close by, was a wonderful help because she drove from work to my car and we pretended that she was with me and we needed Triple A assistance. She even stayed with me while 3 police cars and one border patrol sped on by and offered no help. There was a state police car that stopped and made our day but we told him AAA was on the way!

My donut (which makes me think of DD) is about the smallest tire I have ever seen. It's also bolted under the vehicle which is just another reason for me to not learn how to change a tire. That's why I have a cell phone, so someone else will come and help me out. I don't really want to crawl on the ground and try to get the tire off the bottom of my car. Plus, I just don't want to do it no matter how independent I am.

Regardless, the tire was changed and the flat thrust in to my trunk. Then I tried to turn the car on and the battery was dead. Thankfully, the men were still there so they gave me a jump and off I went.

(So readers, you see that BJM saved the day and saved me the money for calling for roadside assistance. Clap for her at your computer right now, if you will. She will really appreciate it.)

The car is now back in my possession with 2 more new tires after getting 2 other tires in a January/$1200 debacle. I also have all my road hazard tire stowed safely in my car. And I'm eating watermelon and hoping karma will go my way now. (So take that Mr. S.P.N.)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something different: depression

Picture, if you will,
an image of a gypsy woman
dancing wildly
cloths flying through air
jewels clanging against another.

"Will you join me?"
I ask.
You reply,
"This dance is no good for us."

I continue on
because another dance -
a new dance
brings forth
more intimacy,
more fear
less contentment of knowing
what I know
always doing what I do.

Was it Sisyphus who pushed the rock?

What am I going to choose now?

**** (Original poetry)

That's a poem I fashioned after my therapy appointment on Thursday. I have a great therapist who I have worked with since 2000 after yet another bad depression spell. Depression has been a major part of my life going back as far as fifth grade.

The metaphor of the dance has to do with me allowing new opportunities in my life and the ability to change things up. I'm not good with that. I only want to dance the one dance I know how. If I change this, then I have to get comfortable with a partner who must hold me, lead me, guide me. I'm not used to that.

I am incredibly lonely. It's worse now because I am out of work. I see no other people some days out of the week if I don't leave my apartment. Thank goodness I have a wonder feline to at least offer up some companionship.

To change this I need to change the dance. I say I want to but do I really? I'm frightened of people getting close to me, growing intimate not in a sexual way, because I am so used to being hurt, being left behind, feeling unloved.

This comes from my own background of growing up feeling abandoned by my bio-dad because he gave me up, feeling abandoned by my own mother, feeling less than because of my adoptive father. Feeling alone and tortured starting in childhood and continuing as I grew older.

My depression started in fifth grade with a vengeance. I used to cut at my wrists and find ways to hurt myself. I didn't know why I was doing it; I just knew I had to do it. I remember sitting in the back seat of the car as my family drove around sobbing silently and wiping tears away with my coat sleeves. I felt such a deep sadness all the time and it only grew worse over the years.

Depression is like a bad friend you can't get rid of, no matter what you try. There is nothing like being in the throes of deep depression. I get so deeply enmeshed in the sadness, the pain, the hurt and the personal demons that there seems to be no way out. I was there not so long ago.

Thankfully, I am not there today. I know enough now and some of my friends know enough to mention when I am floundering in the deep sea of depression. I go to my therapists and doctors and tell them how my mind is no longer thinking clearly. I beg them to help me because I know toughing it out is not an option for me. Regardless of what Tom Cruise thinks, depression sometimes must be treated with medication, or a variety of medications which is what I deal with, or hospitalization which I have dealt with in the past. It's not pretty and it is what it is.

Depression is partially the reason I wasn't able to leave my abusive marriage. It was also a part of why I couldn't say no to marriage even when I could see there were issues. Depression has affected my work, my play, my relationships, my friends, everything in my life.

So what about the dance? It's scary to commit to something new but I am open to trying. I'm not saying I'm fully embracing it but I am slowly forcing myself to consider something different, a new dance, a new life for me.

As much as I am lonely, I am not totally alone. I have friends who listen and encourage me. I have therapists who encourage me. I'm slowly breaking through the cocoon and emerging. I'm not ready to fly yet but I am fluttering my wings slowly and getting used to a life with winds on which I can soar.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Thanks for all the support on the last post. It's come in different forms but there have been comments on here, and on Facebook, and sent to me via email. I really do appreciate all of your comments on any post but yesterday's was very difficult to write because it meant putting myself out there, waaaaaay out there. So thanks readers and responders. It meant a lot to me.

One of the reasons I started this blog last year was that it gave me the chance to have a voice. In my marriage I didn't have much of a voice at all but here I am years later with an opportunity to write and write freely about my feelings and my life. I may do it under a pseudonym for a certain level of freedom and protection but many of you know who I really am anyway.

So thanks again for reading and writing back. I'll leave you with this quote by Buddha:

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

I'm letting go of some of the angry parts of my past because I don't want to get burned anymore. Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Domestic abuse

Isn't it odd that domestic can mean having to do with the family or household and it can also mean tame? Nothing about domestic abuse is tame but it sounds so much nicer to say domestic abuse than beating up one's husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. Let's just use the term "significant other" for any visual pictures in the rest of this post.

I'm betting most of you didn't see Oprah today but she had some men on there who were admitted abusers and she had Robin Givens on who was married to Mike Tyson and involved in an abusive relationship. If you've never been involved in the unhealthy dynamic of abuse, then consider yourself lucky.

This topic has been in the news lately with talk of Chris Brown and Rihanna and his alleged beating of her. I do know that someone did physically hurt her, based on that photo. I do know that there has been abuse in Chris Brown's own life. The chatter out there is she may be going back with him. I don't know as I'm not a party to all things celebrity. I'm just a weebley blogger out here in the cybersphere.

However, I do know the story of domestic abuse. I lived it when I was married to my wasband. That's the reason we got divorced according to our divorce papers. The state I live in does not have a no-fault option but I certainly was embarrassed to dictate some examples of abuse which one has to do when they claim that for their divorce proceedings.

Let me preface this by saying that I am an educated woman, college degree, Masters degree, with a professional job. I'm not a dummy. I was a victim of abuse from someone I tried desperately to love, even after he hurt me.

The first time he hit me was on our honeymoon.

My wasband was a victim of abuse from his father. He grew up in a horrendous childhood. When we dated he was loving and kind and sucked me into a world where he was at the center and everyone else was far away rotating in the outer layers. Slowly but surely he separated me from my family and got me so that I did almost nothing on my own. We did things together and I rarely ventured into life without him.

The first time he hit me was not the first time he was abusive. He was verbally abusive and sometimes he was verbally abusive in front of friends. He called me the f-word, said I was a b!tch, and told me how I was all wrong. I think I was never right the whole time we were married. One time he had an outburst when we were at Disney World with my friend LP and her boyfriend at the time. There was a ride I didn't want to go on and I was going to wait for the rest of them. This elicited a response from him that I was a stupid b!itch and an f-ing azz. He just went nuts and my friends didn't know what to do. They just stood there silently while I wanted to crawl into a hole. I was embarrassed and demoralized in front of my best friend.

My wasband had an anger problem. He would not allow me out of his sight once he started on a tirade. I could see them coming on but there was no escape. We lived in a small house and he would block the front door. If I went into the bathroom and locked the door, he would pound on it and then start to take the door off the hinges. If I did not come out before the door was off, it was even more trouble for me. Once out of the bathroom, I was dragged down the small hallway and thrown into the bedroom. If I was lucky he would just yell a lot and tell me to stay in there and maybe he would maybe calm down in the other room. Most likely it was me trying to come out and talk and ask if I could leave. I just wanted to get in the car and drive away until he could calm down.

No matter how nicely I asked the answer was always the same; it was throw me down on the couch and then start pummeling me. He was a very smart abuser (as they go) because he rarely would hit me dead on in the face. He would hit me in places that would be covered by my clothes, generally in the chest, arms, and back. He would grab me and pull me down never letting me get away, screaming at me at the top of his lungs what a worthless wife I was.

Near the end of my marriage he knew I was planning on leaving. I had no help from my family throughout any of this for a variety of reasons. They hated him, hated me with him, and generally had nothing to do with me while I was married. I will say they asked me a few times during my marriage if he hit me and I always said no. I don't think they would have known what to do if he had anyway. They haven't always been supportive.

The victims in these relationships do generally experience calm periods. There were times when I could almost be happy. The abuser generally tries to make up for the tirades. In my house my wasband would sit me down and tell me calmly what I had done wrong as a wife.

One of those times was in the middle of a cold central NY winter when he had, surprisingly, thrown me out of the house without a coat on. I was being punished for something and he just dragged me to and then threw me out the front door into the winter and told me to make myself better. I had no boots, no coat, no car keys. I just stood there and after a while he threw out a coat and yelled some more. I started walking to my parents' house which was miles away. After a while he came searching for me with a car and picked me up. He drove me home and yelled about what was wrong with me. When we got in the house he wrote up, yes wrote up, a list of things that I needed to do to make myself better.

Another thing he liked to do was to humiliate me and do something really gross to me. He would take off his underwear and then shove it in my mouth until I was gagging on it. I was so disgusted but he laughed maniacally. He did this more than once in the last two months before I left.

The last few weeks before I left him he would drag me into the bedroom, push me down on the bed and then hold a pillow down over my mouth. All the way. To the point where I couldn't breathe. I tried not to squirm because that made him laugh louder. He would tell me how he could kill me and no one would care. By this point I almost believed him.

So why didn't I leave right away? Why didn't I tell my parents yes he hit me, hurt me, called me horrible names, took away my self-esteem?

I wasn't ready. I wasn't strong enough. I didn't know how. I was afraid. I didn't know how to live on my own. There's a million reasons.

I finally dropped into such a horrible depression and found a friend online and a friend in real life (BJM) who gave me enough strength to leave him. I set up my own savings and checking account. I looked for apartments that I could afford on my paltry salary. He made more than twice what I did at parochial school.

I finally moved out on February 1st, 2000. My friend, BJM, and her sister-in-law came and we filled up their pickup truck and my car with whatever we could that was mine and we left. My wasband came home and went in the bedroom with my cat who he wouldn't let me take with me.

I moved into a cruddy little apartment with my clothes, a kitchen table and some chairs, a TV, and a computer. I had a few cups and plates and bowls, along with some silverware. My friends helped me out the best they could that first night. I slept on the floor and was frightened beyond belief to start a new life.

Little did I know that was the first step to where I am today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A new meme to know me better

Now, here's what you're supposed to do...create a new note, copy and paste this message, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then tag a few good friends and family INCLUDING the person who tagged you. The theory is that you will learn a lot of little unknown things about your friends and family. Have FUN!

No one will be tagged on here but I thought I'd put this on here as well as Facebook because I always find it interesting to learn more about people. This is just pure drivel meant to be entertainment.

Ms. B

newspaper carrier (in high school)
pharmacy counter at Wal-Mart

central NY
northern NY
Sweet Briar, VA

The Amazing Race


back to DC

coconut shrimp

Spring and sunshine
the weekly Dunkin Donut run
losing weight to fit into my other fat clothes

eventually hitting 10,000 hits on my blog
going back to work in May
my MS staying under control

Michael Buble'
Josh Groban (for Christmas)
Toby Keith

Fresh ice cold water
Pink lemonade with ice cubes
Strawberry daquiri

my MS getting worse in the future
losing my readers because I get boring

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I feel like Julie Andrews in a detergent commercial

Today was a lovely day, nay, make that a spectacular day my dear readers. The air was fresh and the sky was blue and sparkly. The temperature was such that I wore shorts and was not cold. I drove the car with the sunroof open.

Ah, can you smell it? The scent of early spring time and fresh detergent mixed together...

Breathe it in folks, because this won't last for long.

This is the type of day where I skipped my nap because the day was luscious and palpable and not craptastic in any way. I wanted to go outside my apartment building and start twirling around like Julie Andrews in that famous movie about a failed nun. I restrained myself because the day was so wonderful that I didn't want to end up on a 48-hour hold in the local mental hospital.

I cleaned the cat litter box with some orange smelling cleaner in the tub. I smiled while soaking cat urine off a stinky little box, people. That's what kind of day it was.

A St. Patrick's Day where the strongest thing I might have to drink is a Shamrock Shake.

A day where I missed the students I actually teach! Methinks the orange cleaner may have been inhaled too fervently at one point.

But today was that day. The day that makes you smile and your eyes shine and your teeth sparkle and none of it had anything to do with alcohol.

Today was a good day.

Blog writer does take many medications which could affect her giddiness. She also wants to post that it may snow later this week. Use that knowledge as you may.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Houston, Wii've got a problem

I know some of you out there have the Nintendo Wii systems and some of you even have the Wii fit. I've got a bone to pick with the Wii Fit.

First off, you have to make a character that looks somewhat like you with your height and weight statistics. As you log in to get tested it tells you what your BMI is (too high, imagine that) and what you current weight is according to the Wii Fit machine (too high, imagine that). Now I am five feet tall with big hair but I made myself 5'4'' because let's face it, we all lie about our height and weight. I assume the people who designed this incredible masterpiece took that into consideration.

Problem one, every time I get on the blasted thing it shows me fatter than the time before. I have been to the nutritionist and made some good changes in the right direction and have lost a few pounds. Not a lot but a few so why am I going up on the Wii Fit?

Problem two is that there is no way I am running as fast as the little monitor shows I am. I "ran" (which means fast walked) for ten minutes and went 2.711 miles. That is completely impossible. First off I'm extremely fat and slow and when I used to run run I never ran less than a 5 minute mile, not even close.

Are they making it seem like I'm a superb exerciser while I'm growing fatter? As you now know, Wii have a problem.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

After the author and losing my mind....

Today was author crush day and no one was hurt. My parents and I both went but drove separately so my parents could leave early and go to church. Outside the library were two teenage boys dressed in period costumes of the Revolutionary army, one on each side of the library entrance.

Entering the little library, I came face to face with my author crush. It just so happened that Laurie herself was right in the corner by the door chatting to someone. I told my mom that THAT woman was LHA and I'd know her anywhere. (No, I am not a stalker!)

A moment after that I was bumbling through my introduction and telling her who I was. And she said she knew who I was (we are friends on Facebook and I was standing next to my dad who she knows) and then I say the stupidest thing possible. I ask if I can touch her.

Touch her!

Who asks that?

Idiots like me do, apparently.

I didn't mean anything weird by it but I guess when you're in the presence of someone who is akin to your version of a rock star, you lose temporary sanity. I just wanted to touch her arm to prove she was real and I was real and we were being real together.

So what did she do?

She hugged me. OMG, people. She hugged me. My author crush hugged me in all my unstatuesque, overweight, and weirdly-styled flat hair persona.

That's when I told her she was my "rock star". She smiled. (I think she liked that.)

I didn't drink any tea or lemonade or eat any of the little cookies, cakes, breads, or sandwiches. I didn't have a chair as there weren't enough so I had to stand while she talked. That was a little hard as I was sweating and could feel it trickle down my back as I tried to shift my weight and listen to her talk about the history of the novel. Then she read us the first two pages of the next new book that NO ONE else has heard yet. Yippee.

She took questions but I didn't ask any. I was too mesmerized by the presence of a real Author with a capital A/rock star. She could have read me one of her picture baby easy books and I would have been rocking back and forth on my feet in rapt attention.

She then went on to sign books and other stuff but I already had autographed books at work and at a friend's house (BJM). Exit stage right for me.

Overall, it was great to see her and meet her and talk to her. It was even great to touch her but I would not recommend that you ask that of any other rock stars you might meet.

In MS news...

I seem to be getting confused more often in my listening, speaking, and writing. I caught myself making some errors on here that were silly. For example, I typed in slacker for stalker above but didn't catch it right away. I just noticed another mistake after typing that last sentence and it's not spelling errors. They are whole word errors that sometimes are close to the right word and other times aren't. That's frustrating!

I seem to be just slightly not right but not bad enough to call the neuro's office. I am watching this and I don't have any new physical issues so I can't blame it on Tysabri. It's not PML.

I just wonder what's going on. I seem okay but I notice I don't know hardly any answers on Jeopardy anymore and my words get lost sometimes. Maybe that's why I asked to hug LHA. Who knows?

A message to a Facebook friend who knows I like DD and who sent me a message today:
For JKG-

"In the end these things matter most: How well did you love? How fully did you love? How deeply did you learn to let go?" Buddha

Your son was a lucky boy to have parents like you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Saturday: Author Crush Day

No, I will not be crushing an author tomorrow. I will get to be in the same room as one of my two author "crushes". I typed about them in a meme not too long ago but I'll mention them again today. The two lucky ladies are Frances Mayes of "Under the Tuscan Sun" fame and my Saturday crush, Laurie Halse Anderson.

Now LHA may not be a household author name among adults but she is huge in the young adult world. I'm not just saying that either. She's a real author with a capital A at the beginning. She is coming out with another new novel on the 18th but she will be at a tea (yes, I am going to a tea!) on Saturday in my little hometown.

LHA happens to live in my little hometown. She's from the local area but she now lives down the road from my bio-dad. She names her town of residence in her books but I don't expect most people would go looking for her. There just isn't much there in my hometown, no hotel or motel, and just a few traffic lights but they are getting a Dunkin Donuts! BJM's brother has also opened a little restaurant out of the hopefully-soon also opening bowling lanes.

So LHA has been a hero of mine for about two years or so. I got to talk with her on the telephone once because she knows my dad and she said I could call. She was so gracious and let me ask all the questions she had already answered on her website. I was so enamored and excited to be talking to a real live AUTHOR that I almost wet myself.

We're also "friends" on Facebook and I read her blog regularly.

My family might be going with me and I need to break out a pair of PIPs. Thankfully, LHA is wearing jeans so mine won't be conspicuous.

It's a deal, too, at only eight dollars for a family ticket. It's a benefit for the local library. The local Historical Society is also dressing up in 1770s type clothing. That goes along with the theme of the tea which is about LHA's latest book of historical fiction. That book is called "Chains" and is about a female black slave owned by British Loyalists. She tries to help the Americans and is punished for that by her owner but she escapes by the end of the novel. That's where the first part of the trilogy ends.

I'm really looking forward to listening to her talk. I'll let you know how it goes.

(By the way, here is a shout out for my girl GP whose feet are almost mended.)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Anyone watch Survivor?

I am a big Survivor fan and tonight's the night. I have about four minutes until the show starts. Someone loses a tooth in tonight's challenge. Woohoo.

I love all the trickery, the idol searching, the back-stabbing, the tears, the fishing for the first time with the nets.

Any other fans out there?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tysabri answers and other randomness

Someone asked in my comments if I had any unusual responses to my Tysabri infusions. The answer, for the most part, is no. I have had no reaction to the drug while it was being administered as some patients do with itching or a feeling of coldness. I just really enjoy sitting in my chair and watching the good cable. (Remember I have only the most basic of cable, along with Netflix.)

I can't remember both things the poster asked but one of them was about worsening depression. Well, I already have depression and take medications (yes, plural- medications) and I don't notice anything worsening in that arena after an infusion. As a matter of fact, I've been feeling better lately, in part I believe to the arrival of some sunshine in my neck of the woods.

I wish I remembered your second part of the question. I'll blame this on the MS that I can't recall what else you asked. It might have been about running a fever but I do that on a regular basis. Taking my temperature at home can run anywhere from 98.6ish to 100.7 degrees. Sometimes I just feel hot and lousy and boom my temperature is up.

The main thing I get from the Tysabri is a backache and some tiredness and fatigue a day or two after my infusion. The backache can last a few days as it has this time. I just had infusion #6 and this is the longest my backache has ever lasted. I haven't taken any meds for it but just have noticed it has more "staying power" this time.

I hope that was helpful to my one dear reader who asked about the Tysabri. If it wasn't, comment again and I'll do what I can to help you out.

Other randomness...

My 20th high school reunion is coming up. It sounds like fun but I am just so fat that I don't see myself struggling into some Spanx and some sort of giant outfit to go and watch everyone else drink. I can't drink and there's no one for me to go with and talk to like my wasband. I'm actually quite shy in reality and I don't want to be out with everyone feeling alone and as if everyone has noticed that I am now one of the fat girls when I used to be one of the skinny girls in high school. Sigh...

It looks like the scale has moved down another half pound but then I ordered pizza tonight. It wasn't a small one either. There's plenty left but the saddest part is I ordered it when I was super hungry and it didn't really have much taste to it. I ate so quickly and was so enamored with the way it was portrayed on TV that I might as well have eaten really expensive cardboard. Sigh...

I have been in touch with a high school classmate, SMS, who may or may not be actually reading this at some time. If he does, hello to you SMS. There's your shout out and it was painless, wasn't it?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What's the topic?

I don't have a specific topic today. I am just going to write random things and you will probably read through everything in case I get around to placing something of great interest in this post. You can't help yourself from reading all the way through; it's like when there is a car accident on the road ahead, you're craning your neck to see what's happened.

So, in no particular order...

I have lost two pounds eating healthier overall since the nutritionist. I have added in actual vegetables to my nightly meal and I bought some clementines at an agonizing price of $8.99. That means I am sometimes eating fruits and vegetables in the same day. Can you imagine? That's what healthy people do I'm told. Bring it on.

I have cut my visits to Dunkin Donuts to once a week. Today was that day. Yippee, I love their velvety hot chocolate. It's sooooooo good and so bad for you. That is behind the once a week visit to DD. Everything in moderation, right?

I am also cutting down on my other food master: pizza. DD is my dark mistress and pizza is my cheesey master. I used to order pizza more than once a week at times, I am ashamed to say. That is part of what got me into this weeble-body/bloated Michelin (wo)man predicament. I am now ordering myself a small pizza and eating it for more than one day. OMG, look at me go. Too bad I have so much weight to lose now that I am on a real roll.

I also got a nifty surprise package the other day in the mail. I can get mail at my apartment building or at the post office where I have had a box since I left my wasband. I hadn't been to the post office in about two weeks so it truly was a nice surprise to get something besides the local ads I throw out.

What did I get? A package from my biological dad with a note and picture of me in a frame. The picture is of me at 5 months old. I have to say I was one of those baldy babies with only a little bit of hair on my little head. I'm wearing a cute little dress and I am leaning forward on some awful orange shag type rug. I'm not smiling but rather looking pensive as if I'm contemplating universal unknowns.

Big whoop, a baby picture you're thinking inside that organ that rests atop your spinal column. But, you see, it is a big deal for me. There are no baby pictures of me in my mom's house. None, zip, zero, nada. My mom had me when she was young, pregnant her senior year, and I was an embarrassment to her. I still am in many ways, especially because I am not thin. So the very act of seeing myself brought a lot of good feelings up.

I have the picture over by the computer so I can look at that pensive baby face and remember how cute I am. That's a positive message for my psyche to take in.

That's all I've got for now.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Here's the after the neurologist

A beautiful day for a drive yesterday and I made it to the neuro's office with time to use the loo before the appointment. Upon entering the office I noticed I was the only patient in the waiting room, yippee. The "man" came for me within two minutes of planting my buttocks in a comfy chair.

Into the waiting room I went and planted my behind in another, not so comfy, chair. The "man" asked me what had been going on so I talked about PT which he was pleased about. He suggested that I get a trainer and work out at a local gym. I said I would think about it which means I probably won't do it. It is a good idea but trainers can be pricey and the best gym for me is about 15 minutes away which is plenty of time for me to talk myself out of going.

We also talked about the nutritionist and he was equally delighted about this whole new angle. It's no secret that I am a walking whale/weeble/watermelon with arms and legs. I'm not just a little chubby; I am a big girl. I wish I wasn't this big but I am and I am working a pound at a time and doing my exercises one minute at a time. So go me!

We talked about the sleeping issues and he made two suggestions. First, he is writing a script for what I think is called oxygen telemetry. I could be wrong on that, as I often am, but I am too lazy to go look at the script. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine nightly but I will wear one of those oxygen clips on my finger overnight to see if I am getting enough oxygen. Not getting enough oxygen could be making me wake up often.

If it's not that then he suggested we try melatonin so as not to add any more meds into the mix as I take a boatload of them at night already. I used to be knocked out easily with these meds but now I seem to be waking up a lot at night after each dream cycle. This is something new as of the last three weeks or so.

There was no blood work ordered, no drunk walk, and no new MRIs scheduled. I won't see the "man" again until August unless there is some sort of flare up. I did get a new script for Baclofen. We had a nice chat and I laughed and felt better that I was out of work for now.

That's the after. I'm so lucky to have access to good doctors and medical care at reasonable rates. I'm lucky I have a good, solid job. I'm just really, really lucky.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Before and after the neurologist


I have just finished showering and coiffing my hair into what I think looks good. It's 2:06 and yes, again I have been lazy with the shower. But it's done and I am clean. Not dressed yet but I'll leave you now to go do that.

(Crickets chirping...)

2:14: Clothes are on. Jeans, not the old ones, the new ones that fit and let me breathe and a pink tank top with a pink shirt that goes over my chicken wing bare arms.

I'll talk about Tysabri and my funky sleep of the last three weeks. We'll talk about being out of work and how that's been a positive experience for me. I imagine there might be some blood work. He'll do the bang the vibrating thingie and put it on my leg and I won't feel it after a while even though it's still vibrating and he'll prove that to me by placing it on my arm. Oh, and I'll do the drunk walk but do it pretty well because I practice it at PT. Yes, add the taking physical therapy to the last of things to talk about.

I'll drive for about 45-50 minutes to sit in the waiting room for just a few minutes and then get whisked into a room to await the arrival of the "man". I don't see the neuro, I see his P.A. who is funny but a little ADD at the same time. The whole thing will go quickly. Maybe there will be an order for new MRIs.

The sunshine is out again. It feels like a gift from the gods to see blue skies and puffy clouds instead of dark skies from impending snow storms. Its as if you could drink it in through your skin. I realize now how important it is to get that vitamin D even though I take 5000 IU of D3 daily. The rays of the sun make it much more palatable compared to that little pill.

Time to go brush my teeth and prepare to leave. Time: 2:27.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I'm off to have Tysabri ....

Today is another trip to partake of the liquid gold we MSers call Tysabri. If I have counted correctly, and I have used my fingers, this should be infusion number six as I started in October. That means I am showered, just finished, and will be drying my hair into its own sense of a non-fashion style in just moments after I finish typing the next few words.

I have been feeling a little perkier lately and I am not certain if it may be Tysabri or just the fact the sun has been showing itself in my part of the world lately. Sunshine is another med for me and one I don't get enough of during the winter here. I am also so pleased that we have had almost no snow for a week or so and that is worth a shout out also so here's to no snow. Woohooo!!

Dryer time, talk amongst yourselves and I'll be right back.

Dried and lovely as ever, I will now continue my typing and sharing of myself with you. Other random tidbits include the fact that I have not had a real pizza for a whole week now and have instead succumbed to the evils of Dunkin Donuts and their ridiculously delicious hot chocolate and brownies. Yes, they have brownies now and they kick some brownie butt if I could say it. There is frosting on top and chocolate shavings. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmo!

My sister is also home for a little bit for her real "vacation" time after being in Iraq. Yes, she and my brother both came home when my dad were having his heart operations but now she is officially done with her tour in Iraq so she is back "home" at Ft Campbell, KY. Yesterday we went to see "Slumdog Millionaire" and we had a bit of a kerfluffle. (Yes, that is a real word; I heard it actually used on PBS the other day. I may have misspelled it but it is a word!).

The paper reported the first showing at 2:20. We agreed to meet at 2:10 so I could see the previews. I love movie previews at the theatre. I arrived first to see that they don't show movies M-Th until 4:15! Alas, when she got there, I had to break the news and she drove back home with a promise to meet at 4:30 to view the 4:40 showing.

We both really liked the movie but I have to say I noticed they didn't say millionaire like we do. The actor pronounced it as millonaire. I wonder if the "yun" sound just doesn't translate. I did learn some interesting stuff while we watched the movie and the way it was set up to reveal the plot was great, too. And we loved the dancing at the end of the movie on the train platform.

My favorite part was just seeing my sister home safe and sound. Now we just need to wait out the days until my brother returns to Germany from Iraq.

Time for me to go. Tysabri waits for no man or woman.