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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Good Way to Start the New Year!

We started at the end of February, days before the Oscars (be still my heart: "but it IS Colin Firth!").  One of the most popular posts was the one on the Oscars.

As I look back at last year, I'm so glad that the year is over.  We overcame so much.  Our daughter had had successful tricky surgery and was recovering.  I had surgeries and many things went wrong health-wise.  My boys had their health issues.  Suddenly we were a family with embarrassingly bad health luck.  You certainly don't want to walk (or get wheeled into) a hospital with the receptionist looking up at you and starting to enter data into her computer before you even get to the desk!

We had blessings as well.  Ok, I'm not happy that the house is a mess and the remodeling is not anywhere near complete, and you can't find anything you're looking for.  But my middle child got married and I was able to fly (for a price, a HUGE medical price) through twelve time zones for the wedding.  I was able to meet the bride and get to know her and her family.  I never thought I'd make it to Asia but somehow I did.  Secret: it was never even on my bucket list! 

I started a blog, yet months before, I didn't even know such an animal existed.  I've made my family happy because they get a bit of a break from me when I'm writing.  They don't need to answer so many questions or feel guilty that I'm in bed almost 24/7, usually alone and too sick for any company.  

I'm thankful for the friends I've made on twitter and the friends I've reconnected with on Facebook. I can't believe that I can actually SORT OF use a computer and the Internet, thanks to the iPad given to me just weeks before my daughter was first hospitalized.  By her fourth or fifth hospitalization I pulled the monstrosity (the dreaded iPad) out of my bag that I was dragging around with me from hospital to hospital.  When my daughter got stabilized one night - and I dared not move away from her bed - I pulled that sucker out and tried to understand what all the hype was about.

 That, in turn, led me to the family then trying to get me in sync (HaHaHa: a computer pun!) with the 21st century and gifting me with a computer of my own, again!  I kept breaking them, through no fault of my own!  It was a hard and frustrating road and still is.  But I'm doing it and I thank you, those who read my blog regularly, because suddenly I feel as if I DO belong to the human race and may actually have something I can contribute to it.  So, take a bow and curtsy for my thanks to you all.  And I've managed to learn how to sort of use twitter, though that's very much a work in progress.

And in that thankful spirit, to start the year off, I'm doing a picture-heavy post of some of the highlights of this year, a retrospective, if you will.  Enjoy!  You've been part of this, whether you realize it or not!

We talked about holistic medicine in addition to traditional, Western Medicine, but more still to come!

I lambasted the CDC, the NIH and the so-called specialists who were really our enemies in too many instances and proved to be more so on December 20 with the Ampligen hearings (fiasco).

My heart was broken when the posts I worked so hard on became unloved stepchildren and didn't get as much attention from viewers as those dealing with makeup and skincare.  I love both subjects.

We talked a lot about family and the benefits of laughter.  I love this because you can finally see how loony my family truly is: hubs and daughter after two sips of champagne, laughing their fool heads off as they tease me about my taste for contemporary Russian pop and my trying to get them to love it as well, though they can't understand the lyrics (blah blah, blah blah, blah blah!)

At last our first spring together came, and we had beautiful tulips, hyacinths, and other flowers from all the bulbs hubs and I planted when we talked about fibro-brain on this blog.

We celebrated what was for most our first Russian/Ukrainian Easter together, one that falls on the "wrong date" most years...

A two-fer: We talked about insomnia and my daughter was home from the hospital, finally. (Knock on wood for both!)

We enjoyed learning about the makeups that worked well with our funky skin and were easy to apply, like the  BB creams and the CC creams (One link and another link product, Trish McEvoyas well as pampering)

We spoke of Brain SPECT scans scans and lamented that they had gone by the wayside for fibro  and CFIDS/ME/CFS

And a new miracle cream, Heal Gel was found in Britain which did miraculous things for the  hardiest of scars, including my daughter's.  (A new review, updated and detailed soon to come!)

We talked about makeup techniques, brows 4brows 3brows 2brows part 1 and time savers.

We shared holiday tips on how to survive and we looked forward to the New Year.

 And so, Happy New Year (and a Happy New Year in Russian too!)

And we made it through the holidays and somehow survived!  Here's to starting the new year, 2013, on the right foot.  Here's to all having everyone's health improve.  Here's to all laughing as much as possible and having much love in your lives.  And here's to getting to know you.  

Ciao and paka!


  1. I just wanted to say that I'm so excited about stumbling across your blog! Purely by accident, I found you through AMR - imagine my surprise when I find that you, too, have ME and blog about it!

    Looking at the summary of your year, it looks like I shall be settling in to read everything tonight. :) Thank you so, so much for sharing your experiences, it really is appreciated!

    1. Hi Georgia! I just looked at your blog: good going! Sorry about the ME, though we do have more than that in common. As you can see, I love AMR. Ruth was my inspiration to start a blog - I'd never even heard of a blog somehow, before I found her's one day. How I got there, I have no idea. Maybe YouTube?

      I hope you enjoy what you read. Sorry I'm so long winded! It must be the Russian/Ukie blood - think of all their loooonnng novels!

      Hope you'll comment a lot! I love it when readers do so. Thanks so much for coming by and touching base. So exciting! xx

  2. Irene, I am one of your (hubs') patients. He has saved my life as I have severe fibro and mayo fascias pain syndrome. I don't know what I would do without him. He told me about your bog today and so I immediately looked it up when I came home. It is wonderful! Full of wit and wisdom. I have really enjoyed reading it! Pam

    1. He outed himself! That little so-and-so! I thought I'd keep this a secret for quite a bit longer, only because I didn't want anyone to think that he writes the blogs or is involved. I do check medical facts with him, as I've said that I have sources, and I certainly do have sources, don't I? As you probably know, he was on the committee that established the criteria for fibromyalgia back in the early '90's. He's been a pioneer in a lot of other things as well.

      I'm so glad that he could help you, Pam. I really and truly am. I always told him that if he wasn't the best, I probably wouldn't stick around. I've stuck around for 37 years, since medical school and his PhD degree as well. And I always hear wonderful things about him.

      So, I guess I'll have to be careful about what I say about him from now on! Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back as often as you can! I'm so pleased to read the kind comments about both of us. He is very dedicated, as was seen when our daughter was in the hospital so many times, making sure that his patients were seen, though he'd have to drive from the "major medical center," back and forth and with major highway problems to boot.

      But I do want people to realize that this is MY blog and his opinion doesn't really count for much here. (LOL!) He takes out the garbage just like most other hubs. xx

  3. Replies
    1. No one has to worry about spelling around here. xx

  4. Thanks Irene! Sometimes my iPad self corrects before I can go in and change them!

    1. I know what you mean! The iPad dictator is fierce. I'm at the computer-that-I-fear and never know which is worse, the iPad that dictates or the computer that scares me senseless. xx

  5. You are hysterical! I love it!!!

    1. Thanks, Pam. I am so glad you're enjoying! Music to my (sensitive) ears! xx

  6. What an absolutely wonderful and outstanding end of the year blog! I commend you...in a hundred different ways. I admire your strength and courage, and your sense of humor is tops! Always a pleasure, Irene.
    Thank you. Sharon

    1. Oh no, Sharon! I thought I answered this comment! I'm so sorry! In fact I know I did. What happened? Cyber-space, that impish monster.
      Anyway, thanks so much for your kind words and always your support. Sr(MS) would be so proud of us!;) You learned quite well from the IHM's, oh wise woman! (Another ;)) Thanks for all the characteristics you gave me: I only hope that what I have of them is a 10th of what the IHM's wished for us!xx