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.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Month in Review...

St. Louis' Record Blizzard of 1982, snowed in for a week!

I hate to sound like the old fogie that I am, but really, where has January gone?  It's been an eventful month. In fact, so eventful that I've barely blogged. (Eye roll!)

I came down with bronchitis this past week.  Now I'm on antibiotics and strict bed rest. I'm a bit grumpy because I had so hoped to start in on trying to declutter the house.  Darn it!  

However, I'm thrilled I got that pneumonia vaccine last year.  (And no, I don't get the flu shot, in case anyone wonders.)  I've had three occasions when my bronchitis turned into near-fatal cases of pneumonia, hence the vaccine many years ago.  My last bout of kinda-weak pneumonia last year reminded me that it was time for another pneumonia vaccine. Thus far, fingers crossed that the bronchitis doesn't go any further. 

My rheumy had warned me that I probably wasn't ready to get that colonoscopy I talked about in a previous post about "Cookbook Medicine."  Yes, the prep was easy (for me! we're all different!) but the aftermath was awful.  I already had the shakes and shivers to an alarming degree and they've gotten worse.  Now I'm adding the word "vibrating."  My whole body feels as if it's vibrating and that the house is shaking.  I have huge sweats, run fever then shiver: often it feels like what I imagine malaria feels like.  My mouth gets full of bumps and ulcers.  When I mentioned this to my rheumy and said I hadn't heard of anything about the after-effects, he started laughing and said, "Irene, they don't see the after-effects. I do!"  Yes, he was right. I probably did go in for that colonoscopy when I was still too weak from all those hospitalizations and ER runs in the fall, but I'm glad we can cross a problem with my colon off my list of red herrings.

Continuing along: as always in January, our movie-obsessed family has been following the award shows and we look forward to the Oscars, which won't be telecast until March this year.  Hey!  One of the only ways I get through the holiday season is because I know that the Oscars will soon follow.  You know: it's the dangling carrot.

I've seen one movie which really and truly moved me.  I'd never heard of it before, but after watching it, I couldn't stop thinking about it.  It's Dallas Buyer's Club and I think that anyone who has a chronic illness, which no one understands, will find the movie especially fascinating and on many levels.  Had I not seen it, I'd have thought all the accolades and awards which Matthew McConaughey has received thus far were because he'd lost so much weight to play the role.  I'd have been wrong.  He was incredible in the part.  Jared Leto hands in a marvelous and multi-layered performance.  The script, story and writing is amazing.  Need I say more?  Don't make me: I want you to be pleasantly surprised.  

Notably for me: I became a grandmother, finally!  (Excuse me as I do the happy dance - in my head, silly!)  To say we're delighted is an understatement.  After a very rocky few months, Baby Aiden was born.  Once he arrived home yesterday, and after a good quick nap by babe, mum and dad, hubs and I got to talk to Baby Aiden via Skype.  He's a nice, quiet baby - as long as he's not hungry and is not cold. But a funny thing happened. Whenever he's uncovered he starts to cry.  But once I started talking to him, he would quiet down. I hadn't noticed it, but my son had.  And - jumping for joy - my son was right.  Each time I stopped talking to the baby he'd start crying again.  My, my!  Aren't I the won-over Babushka! 

I did read a book this month that I really enjoyed and wanted to pass along the title. It's Fanny Flagg's The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel.  I think it's her best book since Fried Green Tomatoes.  The best part may perhaps be that it's a very easy read for those of us who have a hard time concentrating - or remembering - because of brain-fog.  The story is involved but in a slow, sweet ice tea way on a hot summer day. You know how the outside of the glass gets iced and as your hand melts the frosty outside, the water streams down, zig-zaggy?  There's heartbreak but there are laughs, just like life. I'm not going to tell you what it's about.  Just check it out.  I don't think many will regret reading it.  

And I guess that's a wrap for January.

As always, I hope everyone is feeling their best - only better.  Ciao and paka! 

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  1. SO happy for you!! Congrats! I wish the baby a long life of great health, happiness, peace of mind, generosity of spirit and incredible memories.

  2. Once again congrats on Baby Aiden, hopefully someday I'll be a grandma myself! Going to see if my library has that book, you've peaked my interest, I loved Fried Green Tomatos!

    1. Thank you, Leslie. And I hope you enjoy the book. Let me know. Thanks! xxx

  3. Hi Irene, Going mad again! Thought I commented on your most recent post only to find out it was the one before this! Thanks for the book and film recommendations.

    Take care, Alpa xx

  4. Hi Irene, Have been thinking of you. Take care, Alpa xx

  5. Hi Irene! I'm Heather and I have a quick question about your blog I was hoping you could answer! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

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