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.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Beauty falls: why I just HATE standing in line...

About the time of the fall...

This has now become, with the passage of time, such an un-PC moment, that my hubby and I still laugh about it.  Heck, we still laugh about it because it was also just so plain funny.

Back in the early '90's, hubby had the opportunity to speak at a conference in London.  Given that my most favorite city in the entire world is London, I wanted to do all I could to ensure that I'd be able to go with him. We'd basically never before traveled anywhere without our children, but for London, I was quite willing to parcel them out to various friends for about ten days. (And yes, they had to be GREAT friends to take on any one of my wild bunch!)

The tricky part, of course, was for me to stay well enough to travel, to actually look good enough to travel (many years later Qantas tried to refuse me entrance on the Sydney to Townsville part of my journey because I looked THAT bad), and to keep my body out of the hospital.  Easy task for some, but not for me. In addition to that, I had to keep myself well enough to fly on my own.  The "house rules" were that I wouldn't fly on the same plane as hubby since I've always had a completely irrational fear of planes.  My thinking was that in the unlikely event that a plane went down, the kids would have at least one parent left. Of course, the rules changed if the entire family flew: then we'd all travel together.  I felt that should the worst happen then, we could simply all go down as a family unit and, hopefully, have a jolly reunion on the other side.

Evidently, patient hubby and I had a wonderful ten days in London.  Because it really was a hardship (understatement?) on my mind and body, I don't actually remember anything at all of the trip but one thing...

We were starved and I'm extremely indecisive about what I want to eat if I get too hungry.  (More on that some other day.)  Loving hubby sighed, knowing what was coming and we finally agreed we'd eat in the hotel's little cafe.  We arrived at said cafe and stood at the entrance talking about this and that while waiting to be seated. Finally, very verbal hubby glanced in my direction - and realized that he'd been speaking to himself because I had disappeared without even a polite warning.

Surprised, he looked around, thinking I'd run off to the ladies' room and then happened to glance down, and there I was, crumpled at his feet.  I'd rudely passed out without a word of warning.  As hubby tried to get me to my feet, the maitre d' came running up to us, absolutely shaken up (I suppose they don't normally have patrons passing out on a regular basis!) apologizing profusely that he'd made us wait for him for so long - even though it hadn't been long at all - and directed us to the nearest table.  

In the meanwhile, I really, really wanted a cigarette - actually, I needed a cigarette.  I had suddenly started smoking just months ago, for three months actually, and then quit abruptly because it was all just so messy. However, when my doctor finally realized that the reason why my pain medication intake had gone down so significantly in the three months I'd stopped smoking (though we were all at a lose as to WHY I was suddenly able to take so much less medication) only to suddenly rise back to its normal amount again after I quit, he thought long and hard about which was the lesser of the two "rotten situations to be in" and decided that I should go back to smoking. In fact, he actually said that he never ever thought he'd encourage a patient to smoke, and very likely never again would need to give such advice, but I was a pretty desperate case. I really hated going back to that mess but was happy to have some pain alleviated, so back to smoking I went. I also worried about the example I was setting for my children.  But the kids were old enough that they understood mom's need for smoking so that became a non-issue.  They looked upon my smoking as a medication and not a vice and humored me when I would tell them to please leave the room if I were smoking, even as I kept air filters going on in my bedroom 24/7.  Of course, the funniest part is that I am allergic to the smell of smoke and there is only one brand of cigarettes that I can actually tolerate before IBS starts in - be it me smoking or anyone else.  Such a prima donna!

So, before the maitre d' could seat us, I said, "but is this the smoking section?"  The British are always so exquisitely polite that I really didn't want to put anyone out.  This was also at a time when Europe still looked at us Americans like crazy people because we were so uptight about the whole smoking issue.  A very distinguished professor even said to me, when I asked if he minded if I had a cigarette, that we Americans were so determined in setting the world's value system.  Couldn't argue with that - especially with such a wonderful Oxford accent!  

The maitre d', with the sweep of his hand, gracefully shifted his body to another table and swooped up the ashtray from that table, placed it on ours and answered my question as to whether or not we were in the smoking section by saying, "it is NOW!"  

That fall makes my list of my top five best/favorite falls of all time.

(Note: I'm no longer smoking!  But I still think this was a hysterical incident. It was a different time re smoking.)

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