Wednesday, July 11, 2018

But I Did Everything Right!


I did everything right this morning.

Rose around 8:30 a.m., downed my first two morning medications, sat in the shade in my backyard sipping coffee, said my morning prayers, and then meditated with moist compresses on my eyes.  Why, I even stood guard and prevented the dog from pooping in the yard next door!

I returned back inside and - deciding against my usual carb-heavy breakfast - chose to eat fruit instead.  I then took my other six morning meds, started my essential oil diffuser, soaked in a tepid bath filled with epsom salts and essential oils with spa music playing, drank my low-salt-no-sugar-vitamin-and-electrolyte-water, and stood up.


Dizzy.  Nauseous.  Disgusted.

What happened to the benefits of being around trees?  The sheer goodness of summer nectarines and strawberries?  The detox of epsom salts?  The good karma connected with the dog poop?

All of it down the drain with the bath water.

Could it have been the second cup of coffee consumed while reveling in the fresh morning air?  The fact that my poor gastritis-ridden stomach cannot handle the ingestion of eight morning meds with just fruit?  Could it be that I truly need my morning bagel for medicinal purposes?

I well remember those days long ago; days when, after working long frantic hours, I would long for a day in bed.  Now I can't do enough to get out of it.

There's always tomorrow I suppose. . .

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Gettin' Cairn Away

Can't help myself; I'm loving these things!

Perhaps it's an attempt to make order out of a world I can't control.  arrange the capricious.  manage the all-too-fickle and volatile aspects of my life.

Identity theft has struck again and I'm longing for something.

beauty.  simplicity.  contentment.

How does one make a beautiful garden when she is practically confined to her bed?    how do you hear a temple bell in a gentle breeze?  enjoy the gentle light of a candle at night?

Do you know that a study in Japan found that 30 minutes of "forest bathing" had the same effect on subjects as did 30 minutes of meditation?  heart rate slowed.  blood pressure dropped.  contentment increased.  just because they sat in the woods for a half-hour.  What a symbiotic relationship we have with nature!

Place you arms around a tree or bush, but don't touch it.  Leave them about six inches from it's trunk or leaves.  Feel the energy it emits.  This is the meaning behind a true tree hugger.

Yes, I may be getting cairn away.  All because my neighbor recently hung a beautiful sounding wind chime which I hear from my bedroom window while I'm napping or falling asleep at night.

Just cairn away. . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Gluten Free Gluttony

We've all been there.

We've all done it before.

The scene is a grocery store.  A gigantic one.  Huge, in fact.

It is 3:20 in the afternoon and you have yet to have lunch.  That little bowl of Rice Chex consumed at 9:30 a.m. just isn't doing it for you any longer.  You need to eat.

And then you remember that the very reason you ate those Rice Chex is that you have made the decision to try a gluten-free diet.   After hearing so much testimony from others about how it will help your joint pain, you've decided to give it a try.  Plus, you're meeting a woman from a Sjogren's forum for lunch two days from now and she has chosen the restaurant for its fine selection of salads because she - like everyone else these days - is gluten free.

And you?   A best-selling author, recent world traveler, and aspiring advocate for autoimmunity? You need to join the growing trend.  But you hate salads.

That aside, you enter the humongous grocery store, contemplating seating yourself in one of those motorized-wheelchair-like-carts and know that you just cannot do it.  The world-traveling-author-and-guest-on-the-Dr.-Oz-show is too scared to operate it.  Plus, the reason you haven't had lunch is that you just had your hair done and you want to pretend - for just a few minutes, mind you - that you are one of those people who have their sh*t together. And no one with hair like yours has ever placed herself behind the handlebars of a motorized cart.  You swish you head around from side to side, thinking that you look like a million bucks.

First to the fish counter.  You discover that God did not create any new species of fish since you last checked.  Your entire body revolts at the thought of another evening of salmon which you will play with on your plate.  You choose scallops instead.  A member of the mollusk family.  They may just provide some entertainment by rolling around on your plate, unless you decide to be brave and eat one.

You move slyly over to the prepared foods.  Ah, already-grilled veggies.  Perfect.  They too, make for good playthings on a dinner plate.  And then you see it.  The beloved macaroni and cheese is calling to you.  But alas, you are now officially gluten free.  Perhaps dairy free too for all you know, but we'll work on that tomorrow after you finish the chunks of provolone in your home fridge.  So you appropriately choose a chicken, black bean, and brown rice cilantro bowl to bring home for your lunch.

Let's go.

But you have to pass the fresh bakery department on the way out of the store.  Bread.  The staff of life.  But perhaps this store makes gluten-free bread!  It's worth an inquiry!  "No," says the beleaguered bakery worker while bringing a fresh-baked loaf of bread out of the store's brick oven, "You'd have to go to aisle 5B where the gluten-free bread is in with the frozen food."   Aisle 5B?  This store is so friggin big the aisle numbers have to be further delineated by A, B, and Cs?  Remember, you chose not to hop into that motorized shopping cart. . .

Knowing that you have lost the battle, you swing you hair around a few more times and pick up a loaf of the healthiest-sprouted-softest-lovliest-best-smelling-heart-warming-wheat bread you can find, put it in your cart, and quickly make it through the 10-items-or-less checkout line and to your car.

You car.  Where you place that loaf on the passenger seat, quickly open the wrapper, and continue to eat it and all of its gluteny goodness all the way home from the grocery store.

The only problem that remains is to make the loaf look like it was not sold in its entirety.  In fact, some stores sell half-loafs and so you rearrange the remaining bread to look exactly like the other half had never even seen the inside of that wrapper.  What?  Is your husband going to weigh the bread in your kitchen?  Sure, he might think you were out of your mind to pay a whopping five dollars for a half-loaf of bread, but he knows that you're crazy like that sometimes.  Especially when your hair looks so damn good.

And so he enters the house after a long day of work and his laser eyes zero in on the very thing you don't want him to see, and he queries.  . ..

"Is this bread gluten free?"

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Unpredictable Puncturist

I don't remember if I've told you, but my right shoulder has been hurting for over a year now.  And so after numerous doctor's visits, cortisone shots, physical therapy appointments, reikki sessions, deep tissue massages, and chakra balancings, I returned to acupuncture.

Only I was fooled.

On my last round of acupuncture, my puncturist and I had gotten to a point where a session was almost predictable.  I would inform him I had neuropathy in my feet.  He would query me about my bowel movements.  And then he would insert needles into my head and my ears.  After a few sessions he decided that he needed to treat me more systemically and so he started to put those needles into my (cringe) belly button.

And so the morning of my first follow-up session I got myself ready - or so I thought.  I polished my ears; inside and out.  I made sure my belly button was squeaky clean. (No "smelly" button for me.) My fictitious answers to his all-too-private questions were well memorized. (Yes, exactly in the shape of a banana!  How'd you guess?)  By the time I reached his office, I believed I was all set.

Only my puncturist didn't ask me those questions.

I informed him that my shoulder was "killing me."  And so he went right to work.  As logic would have it, he began pushing on my lower back and stomach.  "Where does it hurt more?  Here?  Or here?"  And then he had me lie down and began to wiggle and roll my seriously-unshaven legs and proceeded to put needles at the juncture of two of my un-pedicured toes, one hand, and my stomach.

Of course!

Reminded me somewhat of this post from years ago!  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Woo Hoo! The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation Is Promoting My Book

Patience (or more likely, hesitancy) pays off!

I have always known that my book would would benefit my fellow Sjogren's sufferers, and the most likely way to reach them was through the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation.  I had attended their National Patient Conference last spring and know that they do good work and provide patients with only the best information.   And although I had sent a copy of the book to them very early on, I just didn't seem to be able to break through and find someone who had the time to read it and respond to it.

Well here we are, almost seven months later, and its happened.  The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation will promote and sell my book on their website!

Oh why did I ever doubt?  I knew I loved them!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Lucky Number 45

I am one of seven siblings, so through the years I have acquired a rather large extended family.   Wait just a minute while I count them.


44.  There are 44 of us.  We just gained another this past weekend. So that comes to a grand total of 45 siblings, spouses, nieces, nephews, and their own spouses and children.  It's a lot to fit into a house at Christmastime.  A lot to host a barbecue for in your backyard.   It's quite a few more than you would like to know your business.  And quite often I complain and shy away from large family gatherings; for they make me feel claustrophobic, anxious, and unsettled.  I confess right now that I don't often appreciate the fact that I come from a large horde. .  .clan. .  .tribe.

Until it really matters.

Until we are all sitting together in a church for a funeral or out on the dance floor at a wedding.  THEN it hits me and I realize the truth of the old adage that the whole really is bigger than the sum of its parts. I feel part of something very big, and vibrant, and special.

This past weekend was very special in that way.  My goddaughter got married, and so we traveled 16 hours each way (that's 32 hours in total) to get to the destination 696 miles away, spent 5 nights away from home in 3 different hotels, (not to mention close to $1,000) and drank numerous glasses of pinot grigio, just to join the other 44 family members in welcoming number 45 into the family.

Lucky number 45!

The next road trip is to Annapolis for another niece's baby shower because number 46 is due before long!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

My Boring Life Part 3

Just signed into my Amazon account.

My family has placed 132 orders in the past six months.

Does that sound a little undun to you?

If you need more proof, check out this post on Drying My Tears