Thursday, November 30, 2017

Tell Me God, Do You Crochet?

While driving home from a dentist appointment yesterday - the umpteenth dentist appointment this year, mind you - I began to sneeze.  And as I sneezed, I thought, "Oh Lord, not again!" This is the fourth time this year I've had to get a crown removed in order to rid my mouth of the decay which has crept uninvited underneath the crown.  It is also the second in these aforementioned four times in which I have left the dentists' office sneezing and blowing my nose.

But enough about my sinuses.  Which just happen to be low and desperately in need of a sinus lift; for if I had a sinus lift or two the roots of my teeth would not nestle around them and I perhaps could be a candidate for implants. At the very least I wouldn't walk around with cold symptoms for days after having dental work done.  But enough about my lifts and my implants.

Keep in mind that all of these dental problems are due to the lack of saliva production from Sjogren's Syndrome.  But enough about my spit.

In order to round out my story, I suppose I need to tell you that I was also driving in pain; for my right shoulder has been shouting out in some sort of protest for almost a year, but now it has reach its climax - uniting with my carpal tunnel syndrome to cause me to be in utter agony.   This shoulder, MRI'd last spring and read by two radiologists, seems to have a myriad of things wrong with it:  tendonitis, bursititis, encapsulititis, synovitis, impingement syndrome, and bone spurs. Take your pick.  And this same shoulder has been sent on its way by an orthopedists, neurologist, and rheumatologist (although the rheumatologist gave me an ineffective cortisone shot just one week ago.)  But enough about the the nuts and bolts that loosely keep my together.

Point is. . .  I was thinking about one of my favorite lines in the Psalms which - in my quest to be ever-grateful and oh-so-positive - I try to recite as one of my mantras at least once a day:

I praise you
for I am wonderfully made.

Now that very same Psalm also contains the words which you see up in that graphic at the beginning of this post:  "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."  I absolutely love the imagery there.  Think about it:  No nuts and bolts there, but a vision of God patiently knitting away and tenderly placing me in my mother's womb before I was born. Incredible.

But on my way home, between low-sinus sneezes, I started to think about this.   Are we sure God didn't drop a stitch or two during the creation process?  Of me.  I'm thinking solely of me here.

Perhaps he got distracted for a moment or two.

Perhaps the angels were throwing a party and he had to tell them to shush down.

Perhaps two of his disciples were having a tiff.

Perhaps St. Peter needed help deciphering God's writing in the Naughty and Nice book.

But I think that the most likely reason of all is that God perhaps gets bored and crochets some of us.  That's it!  He crocheted me and then placed me in my mother's womb (for we all know I'm somewhat undun!)

But still . . . 

I praise you
for I am wonderfully made!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What Can a Klondike Bar Do for You?

Can one eat a Klondike bar for breakfast?  Especially if it's a chocolate chip mint one?

In all my years of raising children in this house I could count on one hand the number of times I have had Klondike bars residing in my freezer.  But for some strange reason I purchased them yesterday.

Perhaps I had a premonition.

A premonition that my sweet, loving, exceedingly brilliant, grain-free cat would disappear and not come home again.  The cat who naps with me every afternoon and sleeps with me every night.  The one who brought chip, or dale, into my bedroom while I was sleeping.

The very one who has not sent me into a horrible panic attack at his loss.

I need a Klondike bar for comfort, for reassurance, for satisfaction.

So, from now on, the question will not be "What would you do for a Klondike bar?" but "What can a Klondike bar do for you?"

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cheese Steaks and Pork Roll


That's what we Jersey Girls say.

Drip Dry and I went to a wedding yesterday in Asbury Park.  I guess you might call it a destination wedding because whenever we travel to "The Shore" we get off the parkway at exit 25, of course.  So imagine our excitement in exiting the parkway at exit 102.
I believe I had only been to Asbury Park once before in my life.  I don't remember why, but it had nothing to do with Bruce Springsteen, and certainly had nothing to do with a wedding but, of course, this trip did.  And boy did they Jersey it up.

A flute of champagne up arrival. A lovely (and brief) wedding ceremony in a beautiful room.  A quick sprint into the cocktail hour to nab one of the few cocktail tables with a chair for me to sit it.  

And then it began.  The food. 

Cheese steak, waffle fries, perogies, kielbasa, short rib sliders, grilled cheese, penne, filet, shrimp, crab, canoli, fried dough, cupcake, and ice cream; all topped off with the best of all Jersey inventions - pork roll and cheese sandwiches to go!




You gotta love New Jersey!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Fall of Olympic Proportions

Some say it was an evolution of sorts.

Others tell me it was cascade-like.

Many describe it as a pirouette.

All 100 guests gasped when they saw it.  The fall that went on forever.  And ever.  The fall of Olympic proportions.

And then someone from the concerned crowd cried out, "Liz Wilkey just fell!"

Another quipped, "Liz Wilkey????  Did you say Liz Wilkey?"

As if there were any doubt as to exactly who it was that stepped off that step into nothing but thin air, the woman who had somehow turned and landed on her feet and then stepped backwards over and over again trying desperately to catch herself and regain her balance - a gymnast who didn't quite stick the landing.

And then?  Then she turned into that unfortunate ice skater who practices day and night for the big competition; attempting to do the quadruple Salchow, and somehow is short on her rotation and ends up falling flat on her butt in front of thousands of people.

Olympic proportions.

If course there weren't thousands who saw me fall as we were waiting for the valet service to bring our car after the event with 1250 attendees.  No, I'd estimate that gasp came from about 100 collective mouths.  But ice skaters don't have the additional humiliation of the competitor's husband running over and screaming, "Nobody move her!" at the exact moment that the parking attendant drives up and yells, "Black Nissan Rogue!"

Nobody move her?

I don't know who you think you're married to buddy, but I moving alright.  My car.  Just get me into my car!  Away from these faces, these eyes, these people!  I want my black Nissan Rogue!  But first I want a bag to put over my head as you raise me up and walk me over there.

Oh, the humiliation!

(For all who care. . .  you can read the story behind the story here.)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Shaken, Not Stirred. Infusion Confusion.

True to my threat, I headed off to Starbucks the other day, arrayed in my new role of authorhood, only to be greeted with the strangest of news.  You see, I just wasn't up for a whole mocha-choka-broka-latte thing, and so I thought I could go for a simple iced tea. 

Not so; for I discovered that there is nothing simple about iced tea anymore.

Not only do we now have to infuse said tea (I thought tea used to be steeped) but it appears that this tea which has been gently sweetened with only the most natural of ingredients, now needs to be shaken vigorously before I can consume it.

As much as I love my multiple glasses of Pinot Grigio, I've never really been a martini kind of gal and I suppose I just may be jealous of those who order what appears to be the most exotic of beverages.   I admit right now that I have always loved the sound that the jiggling ice makes inside one of those metal shakers.  Yes, that drink is shaken vigorously.  That is, until it is poured.  For, once poured, it becomes the most delicate beverage around.  Did you ever notice that the wait staff practically has to tip-toe to your table to deliver it? And a glass that is shaped like a funnel?  There is no more perfect way to serve liquor (except that somewhere along the way they plugged up the intended delivery system with a glass stem and the drinker is now forced to drink from the wrong end of the funnel.)  And what about the toasting?  Those martini drinkers all belong to their own private client group, for you cannot really clink their glass whilst proclaiming, "Cheers!"  in case any of that precious liquid slosh over the edge.  No, they get their own special air-clink instead.

But I digress.

We were speaking of tea here.  Tea, which has never been shaken, nor clinked, nor infused in the 57 years I have resided on this planet.  Ice-cold tea, which is then served to you in the most boring of plastic cups which bears your name and some fancy tea-identifying-initials and whose very essence of coldness then proceeds to sweat down the outside of the very same cup so that it requires at least five paper napkins to sop up the mess accumulated from one small Grande receptacle.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Lattes and Authorhood

I'm thinking that I ought to gather my devices and begin to hang out in coffee shops instead of the corner of my living room couch, because that's what authors do.  Right?

And I'm preparing answers in my mind for all of the questions that will be posed during the myriad of author interviews which will follow in the wake of publishing Drying My Tears.  Here are just a few I've come up with:

  • What do your fans mean to you?  If I actually have fans, it means that they are currently one of the 14 people who have read my book and so I love them!
  • When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?  The answer to this one is easy: SLEEPING!
  • How do you approach cover design?  I approach a cover by designing anything that is free.
  • Can you describe what your desk looks like?  It's soft and plushy.  It has pillows that match.  It's a chair and a desk all in one.  Why it's my living room couch!
  • Do you encounter obstacles while trying to write?  Well, we could start by talking about "Drain Clog" (a.k.a. brain fog) and then move on to feeling "Sabulous" (all dried out) which has resulted in corneal erosions and vision disturbances.  No discussion of obstacles would be complete without mention of my ever-present fatigue, including the almost-daily "Walking Dead Wipeout".
How am I doing?  Looking forward to the lattes!  Please make mine a Hot Grande Skim, and my name is . . .
 What is my name, anyway???

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hopkins: Can You Feel Me Now?

I had a return visit to the Sjogren's Center at Johns Hopkins Medical Center earlier this week.  I'm not sure I have ever posted here exactly how much I love this institution, its physicians, and the staff there.

I suppose that there were two enlightening things about my visit and both concerned my peripheral neuropathy.  The first is that a physician stayed overtime for an hour-long nerve conduction study which I was not scheduled for.  (I ask you. . . who in the regular world of medicine would do that?)  The test revealed that there are no signs of large fiber neuropathy as seen by my local physiologist on the same study, and the more interesting thing is that my physician knew enough to know that the NCS done by my local doctor just three months ago had inconsistencies which needed to be explored; for the findings either meant that I could add another diagnosis like vasculitis, or the test results were incorrect.

The previous test results were incorrect.

Yet my small fiber neuropathy remains and seems to have traveled to other parts of my body at great speed.  At my last visit four months ago, I never even mentioned my hands or arms as troublesome spots, yet now they are.  Small fiber neuropathy is often described as having a "stocking and glove" distribution, yet my lack of sensation has - very quickly it appears -  moved to  "gaiters and opera glove" coverage.

Oh, insurance Gods, please approve those IvIG treatments promptly!