About Me

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I'm a mom, a wife, a best friend. Sick with CFIDS/ME/CFS and Fibromyalgia since 1975 as a result of a nasty flu while still in grad school, it wasn't until the late '80's that I received a diagnosis. Until that flu I'd never really been ill before. With each year I get progressively worse and add to the bucket load of symptoms I'm living with. I've been blessed with an incredible family and best friend who've stayed with me through my struggles as we continue to find a way out of this monstrous illness and its complications. We've tried seemingly every approach to find my way back to health. Often I think our best weapon in this undesirable and unasked-for adventure has been laughter.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh, I just couldn't leave things well enough alone.  The spacing of my first post, "Laughing From My Sickbed Starts...." was awful and I couldn't fix it.  It bugged and bugged and bugged me, sort of the way plaque behind your teeth can in the week before you have an appointment with the dental hygienist. I thought I'd give it a whirl a little while ago and now I'm going nuts because somehow the post got deleted instead of changed. I somehow recovered the old thing (long story I won't bore you with) but now my teeny tiny bit of OCD is popping out and I can't stand having the posts in the wrong order!

But I have learned a lesson.  You win some, you lose some.  OK, technically I learned that in kindergarten...but I suppose I needed a refresher course in that again tonight. I think I have a pretty new background (the win!) but we don't have the right order (the lose part).

Perhaps I'll feel better if I call and make an appointment with the dental hygienist.  It's about time.

No, no, no...I wish the print were darker....but I've learned my lesson....off! off! off! Call the hygienist already!

I do have a new post coming very soon if all goes well....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Laughing from my sickbed with Oscar...

It's the day of the year that, I dare say, is just about a religious holiday in our home: Oscar Night! This is the day that probably has the most interesting memories tied up with it, more so than any other day of the year. Christmases come and go, with each tree looking more or less the same.  But Oscar night....oh my, now that's a totally different animal. 

When my vacation-phobic hubby announced that he had to be in London for some sort of business one particular year, I was NOT about to allow him to go alone!   I don't even know where to begin on how very wrong it would be for him to be in London, my absolutely most favorite place in the world, and me home with three crazy kids? Was he nuts????  Huh.  In his dreams was he going without me.  

Well, I finally talked him into a family vacation, offering to fly out with the three young kids on my own once his conference was over.  My children, the youngest seven years old at the time, the next eight and thus the oldest nine, turned on ME!   You see, though this was months in advance, they knew exactly which night the Oscar's would be on.  I looked at them askance, wondering if these kids were in fact children and not some sorts of aliens as my youngest turned away from me to a quick huddle of "the three" and heaven only knows what they said.  

Oh what turncoats!  They wanted it understood that they were not about to leave the good old US of A if it meant missing Oscar.  As I tried to overhear what was being said - this WAS my chance to go to England about to disappear, after all! -  I heard little murmurs of "VCR, but that wouldn't be live," muttered by someone.  Finally the seven year old turned to me and said, "Mom, you can call and find out if they're going to show the Oscar's in London.  I think they have movies there too?" Ahhhh....out of the mouth of babes!   With that he went off to call the airlines to find out which movies would be shown during the flights.  I had absolutely no idea you could call and find out about these sorts of things but my munchkins knew, and how to do it, too.  Oh, if ONLY I were exaggerating. 

Well, we rented a flat and it was a wonderful time that we had, including watching the Oscar's.  The kids and hubby would go out and I stayed in, blissfully reading in bed most of our two weeks in London.  And hubby, at the suggestion of the kids, "hired" a wheelchair for me.  Well, there was no going back after that!   The Brits were so wonderful about a wheelchair and we were given such a spectacular behind-the-scenes tour at Kensington Palace and special treats at Nottingham because of my embarrassingly uncooperative body that my kids thought they should drag out old mom in a wheelchair for everything! 

But I digress.  Back to Oscar. We had a cat, whom hubby called "the million dollar cat" because as a kitten she became extremely sick and instead of following our vet's advice and putting her to sleep, we sent her to Columbus' vet school for hospitalization and testing where her bills were, understandably, phenomenal.  Misty was our miracle cat whom we had for over 12 years, who needed chemo every day, which was almost the least of her problems. She was a very sweet cat and always wanted to be where the action was, wherever that might be, but never IN the action, just a bit off to the side.   Not on Oscar night, however!  On that night, the kids would pile into my king-sized bed with me, hubby in his usual wing chair next to the bed, and Misty, for one day a year only, would want to be with us, center stage, literally and appropriately. 

When my daughter went off to college, the day the Oscar's rolled around was the day that I truly felt my "empty nest syndrome" at its worst.  Only years later did I discover that my daughter also missed seeing the Oscar's in my bed.  She tried to make it home for the "holiday" but it just didn't work out. Monday morning classes and all.... 

Just a few years ago, I had hubby bring a table up to the bedroom and my oldest came over to watch with us.  I had just started into my Jonny Bowden's "150 Healthiest Foods" book, my latest food program...if the food wasn't in there, I wasn't eatin' it!  That night I had organic clementines for the first time, as well as organic high cocoa content dark chocolate, creamy French Brie.... Oh, that was a particularly good Oscar year. 

Looking back, I think one of the reasons that Oscar night was a biggie in our home was that that was one night when mom was a real mom and all of us piling into my bed in front of the TV wasn't "weird." I wasn't in a state of guilt or torment that I was in my usual long nightgown attire.  Some of Hollywood's finest appeared to be attired similarly, though just a tad more glamorously. 

We've not had a whole night of "us five" together for Oscar Night in a long time, but as we watch part of the show tonight, wherever "we  five" may be, I just know that the best part now is the memories of this most quirky night.  Last year my daughter ordered "petit fours," which I'd not had since prom night of 1970, and not a fan of them then.  But my daughter's petit fours were special. These had movie-themed decorations on each, which she'd ordered from somewhere for an ungodly amount of money...but when I tried them, they were bliss, melting in my mouth with layers and layers of delicate flavors revealing themselves slowly and richly. 

This year, we may not be together for the entire Oscar ceremony but I'm sure I'll send a play-by-play for a couple of hours via Facebook to the kid now living in Malaysia and I may be on the phone for parts of it with my daughter.  But it'll still be special, even as my hubby falls asleep next to me, denying he'd been snoozing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Laughing from my sickbed starts...

In the past year and a half I’ve learned how to navigate the Internet, somewhat, finally!  It’s all due to my family’s latest effort to drag me, yes, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century, this time with an iPad.

I call it the “idiot pad,” because surely it had to have been invented for those like me who absolutely fear computers. Or are constantly breaking them.  But more on that later.
I started, after a few months of leering at the iPad with disdain and suspicion, to fool around with the darn thing.

Oh yeah.  I missed a biggie here.  I’m basically a bedridden person.  So the idiot pad was perfect for me in that too.  I didn’t have to get out of bed to rediscover the world of the Internet.  Yes, I could get out of bed some days and try to communicate through computers which I feared and broke on a regular basis, but my brain was then so fogged up that it was a truly painful and awful experience for all.  In bed with my iPad, I could actually think!  And I love to think.  It’s actually one of my hobbies, sometimes to my family’s dismay.

But this blog is not going to be just about being sick.  Frankly, I try to hide my illness from the world, often successfully.  People tend to think I’m simply a hermit.

I, in turn, discovered Facebook.  Actually, if truth be told, I was forced to discover it, but that too is another story, for another time (hopefully!).  As I found friends from my past and formed a few new friendships, I now heard a new message from them.  For years and years people would say to me, you need to write a book!  Ugh!  I’m not up to it.  Now I was hearing, “you need to write a blog.”  Me: what’s a blog?  (I told you I was dragged into the 21st century but you didn’t believe me, did you?)

Then after ordering books from Amazon on blogs – but never reading them – I thought, no blog!  I’m much too private a person for that.  I mean, I was upset when the number of people I’d friended on Facebook reached 13, then 20, then 25.  I kept having to up my “no more than” number.  I’m up to 40 now and that just about makes me break out in hives.

But I think the time has finally come to start a blog, or to at least try to start one and see where it goes.  I stumbled over one blog a couple of weeks ago, A Model Recommends, from a British model who’s just so sweet and funny, writing about beauty, skincare, all sorts of the fun things I do love.  In secret I’m a bit of a beauty products junkie, though not successfully since I….  Well, more on THAT later too!!  I thought to write to Ruth, our model, to see if she’d consider adding anything at all for those of us with, ahem, shall I say “slightly more mature skin?”  Well, I discovered, almost all on my own, that her mum had started a blog too!  What fun.

I then desperately wanted both of them as my buddies and that’s when I realized that if I didn’t want to become some sort of stalker crazy person, it may be best if I just go and try my own blog.  Even my hubby, who must win some sort of award for being a privacy nut, keeps saying I need to write a blog!  And I’d also just realized that you can learn everything and anything you want on YouTube, so inadequate computer skills were no longer a legitimate excuse.  (More on that later on too!)

And so I am going to try this new social experiment.

Most of all, I love to laugh and I love to make other people laugh.  No, not in a Billy Crystal or Joan Rivers way (can you tell I have the Oscar’s on my mind?) but in a funny next-door neighbor sort of way.  So, I do hope this blog will be funny or add a chuckle to your day.

And I love to read…in fact, I‘m a bookaholic but due to a few crises in the last couple of years I’ve, for the first time in my life, not been able to read.  But I am starting to regain that concentration, so there is hope.  I belonged to a small book club I co-started in our small town when my oldest was in 3rd grade (she’s 32 now and is a teacher with her own self-contained autism classroom – forgive a mom for bragging!) and this was before anyone had even heard of a book club, even Oprah.   But we fell apart after about 15 years once retirement started in, as well as politics creeping in….

So, books, yes.  Politics, no – not in this blog.  Fun, yes, seriousness, yes, at times, as in how to live more easily with chronic illness, tips and so forth.   Books, a bit of history…how, even, to get more sleep, a biggie for all, I’m discovering, much to my dismay.

Beauty, yes!  Fashion, yes!  Gardening, yes!  Cooking, yes!  Travel.  Being a mom, a wife, a best friend, yes, yes, yes!  Even a bit…ok, perhaps a LOT, of musings.  Certainly ramblings, which I’m so famous for, will unfortunately, find their way into this too.

But most of all, all with a bit of laughter.  It helps cover a multitude of sins and helps ever so much to get us through whatever problems any of us are going through!  Such a cliché, I know, but there you have it….

So, kick up your feet and join me in what I hope will be my new adventure!

All best,