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.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Showing A Bit of Gratitude

(Note: This was originally posted in July but I'm reposting it for Christmas since I thought it was appropriate, would be helpful and frankly, I'm exhausted!  Hope all are surviving Christmas of 2012)

It's Saturday.  BTW: how amazing was the opening ceremony of the Olympics in London last night?  There was so much "excellent" stuff going on that it's difficult to select even a few favorite moments.  I'm so glad I DVR'd it so that I can go back and see, again, the marvelous display. And I'm  really looking forward to all events equestrian. But Great Britain: you rock!   Great job!

At any rate, yes, it IS Saturday and in order to try to get myself into a better frame of mind (even for a few seconds) after a particularly difficult week (or two or three), I thought that I'd list a few of the things that I should be grateful for and happy with.  Yes, desperate times call for desperate measures.  Understand, the part of me that is my "Russian side" is screaming to me that I'm a fool: "do you want to invite the jealous gods to screw you up even worse; do you really want to jinx yourself?" it asks me, in a bully fashion, yes - but in a very concerned way too.   And these ARE very legitimate concerns, but today, in as scary a motion as I can imagine, I'm throwing caution to the wind and will be positive out loud!

1.  I live in an era - as well as in a part of the world - in which we have so much social technology to enjoy, which seems to be growing by leaps and bounds every day.   Even those of us who can't make it outside to spend time with the world are not completely isolated.  We are living the science fiction of our youth: well, depending on how old we are - and hubby and I are definitely old enough to be doing so.  19-year olds can't quite appreciate how science fiction our lives have become.  Just saying.

2.  It's no longer the '80's.  OK, I know that everyone is most likely thinking, "bad hair," but believe it or not, that's not what I'm going for.  I happen to remember how badly those of us with the mysterious "Yuppie Flu" were treated (and you thought "Chronic Fatigue" was a derogatory term?).  It's still bad today and for the most part, I still don't tell people what is wrong with me, if ever, because the stigma is still so hurtful. The vast majority of people, including doctors, just don't "get it," but at least the medical profession is slowly coming around - finally!  Hallelujah! Things do have a long way to go, but in the words of an old commercial from the '70's, "we've come a long way, baby, to get where we got to today!"

3.  When I get a migraine, the meds actually work for the most part now.  This is such a relatively new achievement that it never ceases to amaze me.

4.  Shopping via the Internet makes it possible to buy just about anything I need.  I still can't believe I can buy deodorant on line now (for example) and so easily with such a huge choice. I can't believe I can get Sisley, a high end French brand.  Marvelous!  Incredible!

5.  I don't need to actually go to the movies (which hurt my ears) in order to see a movie.  When I was in high school, we had to wait almost a year for movies that had been nominated and/or won the Oscar's.  Now, nominated movies are often available for home viewing right before the Oscar's.  To me I this is more amazing than any moon flights, and the astronaut program has always fascinated, so you can imagine what a big deal this is for me.

6.  I have access to medications that would not have been available to me less than 15 years ago, ones that are keeping me alive.  Who could have imagined that a certain percentage of the adult population would need Human Growth Hormone to keep them alive?  Amazing.

and finally, # 7, just because I happen to like the number:

Our hospitals are very clean and efficient (for the most part) as well as comfortable.  We may not be able to stay in them as long as need  be, due to financial hardships on the part of third party-payers - not even if we want to pick up the bill ourselves - but our hospitals are truly amazing.  For the most part, they work like well-oiled machines, though I still strongly believe in having a health advocate for any patient at ALL times (if at all possible).  The beds are pretty comfortable, things are CLEAN (one of my favorite words which puts me in the greatest mood!), many hospitals are in the process of building single-person units due to HIPPA concerns, the nurses and doctors and the rest of the support staffs are, for the most part, kind - and for most part don't have Draconian manners and faces.  Not too shabby a place to be found in, if you have the misfortune of finding yourself actually in one.

Plus a completely self-indulgent #8:  I'm on my way to learning to master that which every kid under the age of 25 can do instinctively.  I'm trying to figure out how to take a photo of myself with my iPhone (do you see how bored I can get at times? Ha!) with no help, no thumb showing up in a corner or on the side (as seen above) and/or the pictures not scanning because they were all somehow photographed upside down.  But despite it all, I DID get a picture of myself: whoohoo!   However (and it's a big HOWEVER) note to self: take a picture BEFORE going to see the doctor, not after a long wait in a waiting room, a long visit, being three quarters dead as crawling back into bed with makeup sliding all over face, though never to the places it would look good!

OK.  That's about all the cheerfulness and gratitude that I can handle for one day! :)

I hope everyone is feeling the best they can, only better.  Happy weekend!

Note: I can't take proofing even one more time...I'm so fibro-brained today that I can't get through this post, one I wrote last night.  I hope you can forgive all the fibro-headedness!  Thanks!


  1. Irene -
    You still managed to look good even with makeup "sliding" down your face (which I didn't notice!)!
    ALL of us should be more grateful for the positives we do have in our lives. Whenever I feel envious of another person, I have to remind myself that we cannot see everything going on in their lives, which could be much more difficult than our own. I know I need to be more thankful for what I have.
    Have a good weekend!

    1. Yes, walking a mile in another's shoes, metaphorically speaking, of course, is truly one way to realize that your own life is all too often so much easier than others'. Life always has a way of throwing up curve balls...it's often what and how we do during those curve balls that show us what we're made of and (I so hate to say it, it's such a cliché) makes us stronger! And, of course, a health dose of optimism and hope are two more traits I'm still working on! Thanks for writing, Martha. You always say the right thing and so succinctly! xx

  2. Hello Ura. Thanks for the uplifting article. I needed it.

    1. Thank you Leo. It's great to know that something I've written can help another. And it's good to be there for my droog. xx