day three

So it’s the 3rd of November, which makes it day three (3) of this #NaBloPoMo or #NaNoPoblano thing I’ve signed on for. I’m still here. **YAY!!**

I’ve decided that in addition to committing to posting an entry every day, I am committing to removing one bag or box of stuff out of my house every day this month. I am, sadly, already one day behind on this, but today’s bag was large, had a grocery-bag add-on, and also a separate stack of boys’ jeans to go with it. So, in essence, that was two days’ worth. Truth.

There is a lot of excess stuff in my house. I’m not sure why I hang on to certain things. Some of it I can explain away — my Opa’s pipe, my dad’s jacket from when he was a butler/handyman, many of BlueEyes‘ things — but other things are really not necessary. How many fancy beer glasses can anyone really need? Might it be possible to consolidate all of the scribblings on countless scraps of paper into one notebook? Do we have to keep ALL of BoyGenius’ stuffed toys?

I guess what it all comes down to is remembering that I am a work in progress, I am perfectly imperfect, and my life is ever evolving. Or as a famous fish once said, “Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.”

Categories: family, loss, memories, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, parenting, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m going to stop

For a long time, I didn’t watch the news.

For a long time before that, I did. It was the 10 or 11 o’clock precursor to bedtime. It meant the end of the day; time to see what had happened in the world, in the country, in the neighbourhood. Then, a few years ago, I had a baby. I think that’s when I first stopped watching the news — new baby, no sleep, oddly timed feedings/pumpings, etc., etc. Then when I tried to go back to it I could no longer stomach it. It was bad news most of the time and it really stressed me out. So I stopped.

I did alright without watching the news. If there was something big happening I was sure to hear about it anyway, whether it was on the radio in the car, in the schoolyard, or on the tv at McDonald’s. HardWorker still watched the all-day headline broadcast channel before she left for work or before bed, ostensibly to check the weather or the traffic. Whatever I did happen to see annoyed me no end and it wasn’t just the content. Not a single commentator seemed able to read the sheets that were in front of them without stumbling over names, dates, locations, or the basic tenets of the english language. They make me crazy. I try to stay away from it if at all possible.

I found I was able to stay fairly stress free (news-wise) and life was good. Facebook was something I had discovered and joined years ago (after abandoning my mySpace page) and I enjoyed keeping up with family and friends from around the globe. New babies, vacation pictures, familial losses, even making new friends; it was all at my fingertips. I even joked with other school parents at SCC meetings that if the news wasn’t accompanied by kitten videos on Huffington Post it meant nothing to me. Then it all changed. People started regarding the Huffington Post as a real “newspaper”. The major networks all have Facebook pages, as do all of their regional stations. All the Posts and Times and Gazettes are there as are numerous weekly or monthly magazines. People quote Twitter on their FB pages and link to just about everything that gets published anywhere. It’s too much. Too much to read. Too much to follow. Too much to click through.

It’s too much. Sensory overload. And let me tell you, I barely link any of my accounts, I don’t check my mail every hour, and I’m only on Twitter about once a week. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. That’s right. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. I do not receive badges, banners, or updates; do not get pinged every time a new e-mail comes in; no swish or chirp when someone tweets something. It doesn’t seem to matter. When I do check Facebook there is invariably some new horrible thing that is being shared by everyone I know. When Hardworker comes home and asks, “Did you hear about …?” I have to say that I did. Whether I wanted to know about it or not. Apparently we no longer have the option of not watching the news.

Well, folks, I’m taking it back. I’m going to stop watching. Stop reading. Stop scrolling. Stop clicking through links. I’m going to stop. I know that some people will think this is no way to live in this day and age. They will call me names and tell me I’m part of the problem. I’m telling you this is the only way to live in this day and age. If I don’t stop I won’t survive.

So yeah, I’m going to stop.


Categories: family, friendship, media, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

poetry on a thursday

Although this wasn’t written today it is fairly new; with the cool air and the autumn breeze it seemed an appropriate day to share it.

My God! Do you really not see what I see when I look at you?
The way you sparkle when you laugh, like the diamonds of early dew;
the light that glows from deep in your soul when you’re telling me something new;
the strength that emanates from your hands when you’re working with a tool;
the depth of wisdom behind your eyes that shouts that you’re no fool;
the flow of your hair, the curve of your hip that your beauty do betray;
the love that breathes and beats in your heart — it all makes me want to stay.
I wish that you could see yourself through my eyes now and then;
you wouldn’t doubt your value or your worth ever again.

This poem percolated for a few days, and I lost some of it while wool-gathering. I think it still turned out okay. 

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24 Things Women Over 30 Should Wear

This is an absolutely perfect read for a Monday. đź’•

Warning:Curves Ahead

This morning, as I was perusing through my Facebook timeline, I happened upon an article that a lovely friend shared. It was entitled “24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30”, and it triggered Maximum Eye-Rolling from everyone who took the time out to read it.

Written by Kallie Provencher for RantChic.com, this “article” (I use the term loosely) highlighted things such as “leopard print”, “graphic tees”, and “short dresses” (because “By this age, women should know it’s always better to leave something to the imagination”). Kallie, it seems, has a number of opinions on what women over 30 should and shouldn’t be doing, having also penned “30 Things Women Over 30 Shouldn’t Own” and “20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting Online”. (What is this magical post-30 land where women are suddenly not allowed to do or own so many things?!)

Motivated by Kallie’s “article”, I decided…

View original post 302 more words

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mammograms, Christmas lights, and yoga

I have had 4 mammograms in my life, the last one being about 2 weeks ago. Today I am going for a fifth. That last one, I requested it this past summer due to an unexpected and unexplained bruise that showed up on my right breast one day. I watched it for a few days, then went to see my doctor once I decided it was weird. She didn’t think much of it, advised that since I was taking some anti-inflammatories for a yoga injury (wait for it, I’ll explain in a bit), it was probably just a broken blood vessel. Gave me a requisition to book a mammogram for October, since I had just had a normal one the previous October, and they’re allowed on a schedule. Fine, no problem. If she’s not concerned, then I’m not concerned. So October comes, I book my appointment and tell them why I’m there (my bruised right breast). We do the squishing and they say my Dr. will get the results by the end of the week. On the following Monday they call and say the want to take some additional pictures of my left breast. Left. Huh. They schedule me in for 2 weeks later. No problem. They’re obviously not too concerned if they can wait 2 weeks. Then I get a letter in the mail from the radiology office saying the radiologist wanted some more pictures and my doctor asked them to book me in: mammogram and ultrasound. No problem. I go this afternoon. I’m not worried, not really. HardWorker gets call-backs all the time, has cysts, has to have fluid drained and tested, etc., etc. As a matter of fact, she has a post-mammogram specialist’s appointment this afternoon. I’m not worried for either of us, I’m sure it’s/they’re nothing. I’ll let you know.

I’ve been seeing this link on Facebook lately to an “article” (or two) about why you shouldn’t put up your Christmas lights until after Thanksgiving. I don’t know what the reasons are, I haven’t clicked through to do any reading. I won’t. I think there are many such arguments out there, and they probably aren’t new. Here’s the thing: we are all busy, we all celebrate different things in different ways, and it doesn’t affect you (or anyone else, for that matter) if I put my Christmas lights up in June. Truth is, if I had told you last year what my “real reason” was for not putting up my Christmas lights before Thanksgiving, which we celebrate in October, by the way, it would be that I never took them down. Why can’t we just let people do whatever it is they want to do, particularly with the inconsequential things like Christmas lights or coffee cups? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Americans having to work right after their Thanksgiving so that someone can pay a supposed rock-bottom price for a new tv/sweater/sofa/whatever (let’s be honest, you guys created that mess), but how about we stop trying to dictate to others what the “correct” way to live is? If people want to decorate their homes for Christmas right after Hallowe’en then let them. If they don’t want to do it until the 1st of December, that’s okay, too. When I was a child, our tree didn’t go up until Christmas Eve. No one ever tried to tell me we were doing it wrong. Different cultures, different times, different customs, different people. We are all different, and yet we are all the same. Let’s be thankful for our differences and work towards living in peace and harmony as humans. No matter what time of year.

So, yoga. You know, I started walking daily (3-5km) after my knee surgery last year. Then I added twice-weekly visits to my personal trainer at her gym (and actually worked out, didn’t just visit). Towards the end of the last school year, I thought I’d add a bit of yoga to my fitness regimen. I had tried it many years ago at the community centre and the instructor just about drove me ’round the bend, so I didn’t pursue it, but I figured I’d be in good hands at a new local yoga studio. I signed up for Beginner 1 and went once a week. At the start of the program, they go around the class and have everyone introduce themselves and say why they are at yoga. Most people have the same goal: to reduce stress and find some balance in their lives; mine wasn’t any different, I wanted to find a way to calm my mind, thereby allowing me to reduce my stress level and even sleep better. I did alright with the yoga poses, never pushing myself past my body’s limits but still working through the flow. (Me while doing yoga, all to myself, of course: Seriously? You want me to bend into a triangle and pull my belly button into my spine while taking a deep inhalation? Exhale? I’m still inhaling from the second-to-last breath! Uh, no. My arms don’t reach that far. Never have, never will. Cramp!! Feeling a little dizzy here. No wonder that breathing technique helps you sleep, it makes you pass out! You know what? David Gray’s Babylon doesn’t really work as yoga music. *with laughter throughout*) At the end of every session, you go into shavasana or corpse pose, close your eyes, and wind down. Well, if I closed my eyes, my mind just went racing through what I still needed to do that night, or what was planned for tomorrow. I wasn’t making any headway on the calming my mind aspect. I was better able to relax if I just looked up at the studio ceiling, although then what was running through my mind sounded like this: “Is the ceiling supposed to look like that? I wonder where that vent goes? Do you think those windows actually open? Wow, it really looks different from this angle!” So, yeah, since it was obviously going so well, I signed up for Beginner 2. Again everyone introduced themselves and explained what their “intention” was. When it was my turn I very honestly said, “I have no idea why I’m here.” Everyone chuckled and we moved on. Just towards the end of the first set of classes, I had started seeing my massage guy every week as apparently yoga was kicking my ass; my back was a mess, my shoulders hurt, my legs were tight. By halfway through the second set of classes, I was having some real pain in my left hip and knee, to the point where I couldn’t walk more than a kilometre without starting to hobble, and then would pretty well be out of commission for the entire day after my walk. It felt like my hip was being pulled out of joint and I couldn’t tell if there was a problem with my knee causing the displacement or if the hip was referring pain down to the knee. I went to my Dr., she ordered x-Rays of both joints, and then we met to discuss the results (which showed everything was fine). I told her how pro-active I’d been with my fitness endeavours, described my pain and where it was (very high in my quad), and at one point she stopped me and asked, “Did you say yoga?” Apparently she has heard of this before, even her own daughter complains of this pain after yoga, and she said to lay off the exercise and prescribed a course of anti-inflammatories. I finished Beginner 2 and haven’t been back. I didn’t need as many pills as thought, and my walking is back up to 5-7km a day, generally pain-free. I’ve since stopped seeing my trainer, lost 5+ pounds throughout the summer just from walking, embarked on and finished Beachbody’s 21 Day Fix (lost another 5+ pounds doing that) and have only had to see my massage guy once in the last 4 months. My conclusion: yoga is evil.

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new year

As the new school year fast approaches (tomorrow!!) I see all sorts of “advice” or “rules” posts and articles that people have written for their children. Some are gender specific, some are grade specific, some are neither. Mine is BoyGenius specific. You might find some nuggets of wisdom in it, you might not.

My dear son, as you start this next chapter in your academic life as you head into grade 5 (seriously!??!) there are some things I want to tell you; some things you need to know. Guess what —- they are not much different than the things I told you at the start of last year, or even throughout grade 4, or 3. Take them to heart, or at least try to remember little snippets of them now and again:

  • don’t be afraid to be smart; don’t be afraid to let your smarts show
  • be respectful of others; friends, teachers, administrators, coaches
  • have fun — in the classroom, on the playground, at lunch
  • don’t let your smarts or the silliness and fun get in the way of learning
  • try not to be too frustrated when you realize that others don’t know the things you do or don’t think the way you do
  • don’t be rude
  • try to keep focused on the task at hand — if you can’t, then try to figure out why and if there is something you can do to make it better; if you need help with your focus, don’t be afraid to ask
  • stay true to yourself; you are a sweet sensitive boy with a fantastic understanding of “fairness” — please don’t give that up, as hard and as heartbreaking as it may seem to hold onto
  • come to me; remember that you can tell me anything and I won’t ever love you any less
  • if something is keeping you from learning and/or doing your best let your teacher know; if it’s the teacher, let the Mama know; marks and grades are far less important to me than you might think — you learning and loving it much more so
  • eat all of your lunch
  • write as neatly as you can
  • if you are bored please tell someone other than your friends, like me or Mommy or your teacher
  • you have every right to question anything you are being taught; please just remember to be polite and respectful when you do so, especially if pointing out mistakes or misinformation to your teacher
  • remember, Mama welcomes the dreaded “note home” from the teacher so never let that scare you
  • you and I together, kiddo, are a force worth reckoning with; I will advocate for you until the cows come home — maybe even after that — probably, yeah
  • practice your times table
  • if something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, walk away; don’t let people suck you into doing stupid things — we’ve talked about this, remember? (Mike Hunt is not a real person. My apologies to all of the real Mike Hunts out there.)
  • keep climbing trees
  • I love you, so does Mommy
keep climbing, baby!

keep climbing, baby!

Wow, that turned out to be a long list, a lot of advice. Like I said, at least try to remember snippets of it here and there. Sure, it’s all important, but if you have this list then you don’t need to memorize it. Neither do I.

(I reserve the right to modify, expand or shrink this list at any time now or in the future, in perpetuity and forever, to infinity and beyond.)

Categories: family, parenting, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

pain — part deux

Come on, you knew there had to be a follow up coming sometime.

Pain. As I’ve said, I suffer from migraines. I’m pretty good at dealing with the pain (or suffering through it) because I’ve had a lot of practice. I know that having migraines has messed with both my pain and drug-relief tolerances but I still manage. I had no idea, however, just how badly my internal system’s pain recognition/response/tolerance had been corrupted — until I had knee surgery.

On 11 April of this year, I had some arthroscopy done on my right knee to repair, or more correctly clean up, a torn medial meniscus. Not a huge deal, 45 minute day-surgery, please show up at 9:45am and oh yeah, don’t eat or drink anything for 12 hours beforehand. Not the best plan for a migraine sufferer but whatever. I show up, my BFF with me, register and wait. Or was it wait and register? And then wait. And wait. By the time they called me into the back to start an IV it was past 10:30 and my head was pounding. The nurse thought that hunger and dehydration were probably playing a big part in that headache; she had an order for Tylenol on file for me pre-op so she gave me two extra strength right away, with a sip of water. She thought my blood pressure was a little high but attributed it to nerves and the headache. No worries. Hooked up the fluid IV and sent me back out to wait with the rest. And wait. My friend was kind enough to massage my shoulders and neck and the Tylenol started taking effect. Great! Coming up on my scheduled surgery time of 11am and and the pain was lessening. Well, 11am came and went. Turns out my surgeon was two surgeries behind schedule — by the time the scrub nurse came to get me at about 1:30pm the headache was back. When this nurse asked “How are you doing?” I’m sure she wasn’t expecting my reply of “I’m starving, my head is killing me and I’m pretty damn cranky!” She laughed, took to me to the OR, introduced me to the anesthesiologist and they put me under.

When I awoke in recovery, another nurse asked “How are you feeling?” and I told her my knee hurt. She gave me some morphine in the IV, checked my vitals and went off to see someone else. I checked my vitals and noticed that my blood pressure was going up. And my knee hurt. The nurse came back, I asked her if my blood pressure was supposed to keep going up, she asked if I had high blood pressure, I said no but my knee was really throbbing. She said well it was high when you came in and I said I had a migraine and my knee hurts. She gave me an Oxy IR caplet and suggested I speak to my family doctor about my blood pressure. So now I had morphine in my drip and an instant release opioid in my stomach. My blood pressure kept going up (to about 168 over I don’t remember) and also, my knee was killing me! The nurse came back around, asked about my pain, which nothing had touched so far and gave me Fentanyl through the IV. 50-100 times more potent than morphine, they say. I asked her when it was supposed to take effect and she thought I was kidding. My blood pressure was still high but not climbing, my pulse ox alarm was going off (thanks to the opioids) and my knee hurt. I told her, “Well, I can feel it in my head, I’m feeling a little loopy, and I can tell that my breathing is reeeaallly slowing down, but it hasn’t touched the pain in my knee.” She told me to keep taking deep breaths, and also that she couldn’t give me anything else. I think she was happy when they were finally able to move me from recovery to post-op. The post-op nurse took my blood pressure, asked if they hadn’t given me anything for pain (!!??!!) then looked at the chart and said “Wow!” She figured something had to take effect soon. By the time I left post-op about 45 minutes later the pain wasn’t too bad and I was okay walking out to the truck using one cane. My BFF dropped off my prescription for Tylenol 3s, drove me home and got me settled.

Friday night, Saturday, Sunday, Monday morning …. all not too bad. I had a bit of swelling, a little bit of pain that was easily controlled by the Tylenol 3s and sometimes even only regular Tylenol. I was up and down off the couch, up and down stairs, and able to do all of the exercises that had been prescribed for post-op “do-it-yourself” physio. No problems. I was up, making dinners and snacks and stuff (when my BFF wasn’t over) while HardWorker was at work. BoyGenius understood that he would have to stay at school for lunch for at least the first week and another friend offered to come pick him up every morning. It was all good. Although ….

There was that pain that started to come up in my quadriceps muscle on Monday afternoon. By Tuesday I was having a hard time getting the exercises done, and had to use two canes instead of one. After being on my feet for about 20 minutes in the morning, getting lunch and snacks ready for school, I had to quickly sit before falling over, then remove myself to the bathroom to throw up. Same thing on Wednesday morning, by which time I was completely unable to even attempt any physio. Where I had been able to survive the pain over the weekend with mostly just regular Tylenol, I was now taking the maximum dosage of the Tylenol 3 at the minimum interval and not getting any relief. I called the surgeon’s office, was asked if I might have strained the muscle, where was the pain, and could I do certain movements and tests. I could manage (just barely) what was asked of me so they figured there was no blood clot or infection, suggested that if it didn’t get better or indeed worsened I should go to the ER. By this time I was able to offer a fantastic description of my pain: a searing hot poker stabbed right into my quad just above the knee, slightly to the left side, and an ever tightening band of fire around the leg, also above the knee. I was advised to keep resting, keep it elevated and keep icing it. That evening, HardWorker noticed a huge blue and purple bruise on the outside of my thigh, about 6 inches long and 3 inches wide. I hadn’t seen it before. Hmmmm.

By Thursday morning (6 days post-op) I guess I had gotten used to the pain enough to feel that it wasn’t that bad. Or maybe it was even getting better. I stayed on the couch, not really moving much, so it was bearable. HardWorker got home from work, we had dinner, started watching Coronation Street. I got up to go to the bathroom and never made it back to the living room. I stopped by the front door and told her to take me to the hospital. “Now?” YES. “We just started watching Coronation Street!” NOW. YES. NOW. I told her she didn’t have to wait for me, BoyGenius was okay with waiting at home while she dropped me off and away we went. During my 30-45 minute wait for triage I had almost convinced myself (again) that it wasn’t that bad. Maybe I should just go home. Then it was my turn. History, temperature, blood pressure. Blood pressure. 190/90. Do you have high blood pressure? No, my leg hurts. Are you on medication? No, other than the pain killers that aren’t working for my leg that hurts. For blood pressure? No. Okay, on a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your pain? Just sitting here, doing nothing, about 6. Getting here, 8-9. Attempting to actually do anything that involves leg muscles, 10. Okay, let’s check your BP again. 195/90. No medication? No. Do you even have a headache or anything? My leg hurts. So of course I then had to wait to get to see the surgeon on call and in that wait time I had just about, that’s right, convinced myself that it felt better and maybe I should just leave. Neat, huh? So I get in to see the doctor, paint him the picture of my pain, he sees the bruise remnant and new ones coming up on the inside, asks how many days post-op, agrees I shouldn’t be suffering that pain, explains that I must have had a lot of bleeding during the surgery, which pooled in my thigh (as they tourniquet the leg so you don’t bleed into the surgical field, which I knew) and that my body was now trying to dissipate that blood by pushing it outwards (hence the bruising) through the muscle and tissue, thereby severely irritating the quadriceps (hence the actual excruciating pain) and offered a new prescription to tide me over while the inflammation healed. As we walked to the nurses’ desk so he could write me a ‘script’ (well, I hobbled behind on my two canes), he asked would I like a pill now, before I left? So it can already get in my little system while I’m waiting for my prescription to be filled. YES. THANK YOU. YES. So I take this little pill, which I believe to be a different, higher dosage pain reliever that I’ve never heard of, and call my ride to come pick me up. We drop my Rx at the drug store, I hobble back to my couch and call BFF to to explain the cryptic text I sent her from the ER. Mid-sentence, about 1/2 an hour into the call, I go silent. I listen. I ask “did you hear that?” She says no, HardWorker looks at me like I’m crazy. “It’s like the clouds parted and the angels are singing,” I say. “My pain is GONE.” Seriously. I said that. And that’s what it was like. From one instant to the next. When HW picked up my prescription later that night and I read the little info sheet that comes with the drugs, I started laughing. It said “this drug takes effect in one hour.” It had been almost exactly one hour from the time I took that little pill in the ER to when my pain ceased. Toradol, that’s what it’s called. An anti-inflammatory that is not to be prescribed for more than 5 days. For moderate to severe acute pain. One every 6 hours. Five days only.

I slept that night for 7 hours straight, without moving, on just the one pill that I had taken in the hospital. I started the course of drugs the next morning, was immediately back to one cane and quickly not using any at all. I was able to resume the physio exercises that next morning. I slept 8 hours the next night. The whole thing felt surreal.

So here’s my take on pain. My pain. Not anybody else’s. If you have a certain type of “chronic” pain, your body, your nervous system, your brain, all get used to that pain, to a certain degree. You still feel it, it’s still bad, but you know how it works. You know the ins and outs of it and you know how to deal with it; whether you’re able to manage it or not. I have migraines and other headaches. I have the occasional other ache or pain, but they don’t compare, they’re just incidental. My migraine pain is specific; the whole event has a pattern and the pain itself has its own pattern within that framework. It’s a pounding, a hammering, an on and off of building pressure. You can’t forget it’s there because of the minuscule space in between the hammering. That millisecond of relief before the next slamming of pain into the side of your skull serves two purposes: it maintains the sensation of that pain, keeping it fresh, making it impossible to forget or ignore; it promises hope of cessation of that hammering, you learn to recognize immediately if that space of relief is growing longer, no matter how infinitesimally small the growth may be. I’m used to that pain, I can survive it, even though it may not feel that way when I’m in the middle of it. What happened with this post-operative pain, though, is that it was constant. The “band of fire” that I felt was always there so it didn’t register with me as being as painful as it was. The “searing hot poker” part of it was occasional and acute, so I noticed that. For sure. But in those times when that pain went away, I was not aware that the other pain was even still present. That messed me up. To the point of ridiculously high blood pressure. That would have just kept rising. And the fact that I have migraines made me think, over and over again, that what I did feel wasn’t as bad as I may have thought. I mean, I was upright, so how bad could it be? Chronic pain can make you stupid. In more ways than one.

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love, and circles

I wrote this in December 2013. For some reason I never published it. Maybe I thought it wasn’t finished. Maybe I just forgot. Maybe Christmas happened and who knows what else. I read it today, and I liked it. Just the way it is. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve got circles of friendship on my mind.



I am sick. It started with a feeling of just not being well, that achyness that comes with a fever. BoyGenius has had a cough for over a week already, but we had managed to avoid the stomach bug that had hit our and other area schools very heavily in the last three weeks, so I felt lucky to only be getting a cold. Ha! Within 12 hours I had such a cough that I was sure I had dislocated at least 6 ribs. Then the coughing sent my stomach into spasms and I was throwing up 2-3 times a day. BoyGenius’ cough became a bit more prevalent, then his whole thing morphed into more of a standard runny-nosed cold.

This journey began on Wednesday evening for me and I think today is Saturday. This afternoon I started having sneezing fits, dizziness, and excess tension in my jaw. But hey, my ribs are much better!

I don’t mind the whole cold/virus thing. Really. I drug myself up, use the neti pot and the peppermint oil, drink plenty of fluids, nap, watch movies with the boy and wait it out. Usually. But it’s, what, 4 days ’til Christmas? I was going to head up north to bring my mother down to our house on Thursday. Then Friday. Hasn’t happened yet. Cleaning the house in anticipation of her arrival hasn’t been finished yet, either. Oops.

There has been much couch-laying. There has been very little cooking. There has been even less cleaning. There has, however, been time to peruse e-mail and facebook. There have been lovely posts and messages from friends far and wide, new and old. There has been love, and there have been circles.

Circles? Yeah, circles. You know, people used the term “circle of friends” long before those Mexican folk-art candle holders became popular. Way back before they had “networks” they navigated. Circles are cool. I have many different circles of friends. Some of them are old (and even broken) like Stonehenge. Some are like satellites orbiting around a centre. Some are unexplained like crop circles. Some overlap in areas like venn diagrams. Some are loops, hoops or bangles, linked like chains or singular like in carnival ring-toss games.

Whatever they look like, you know what these circles do? They link us together. They carry us — our similarities, our differences, our likes and our dislikes, and most importantly, our feelings — so that we can share our lives, our loves and our hardships with one another. They let love spread out like ripples (hey, those are circles, too) and when my ripple circles meet your ripple circles they intermingle and can even send brand new ripples even further out.

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wisdom on a tuesday

I don’t often do this, but I am sharing a blog post I read over at Renegade Mothering. It’s important, it’s real and it’s something you should share with your friends. It’s brilliant, really. I get it. I think you’ll get it.

Oh, and, it made me cry. And laugh, too. Give it a look and tell me what you think.


The No-Bullshit, No-Drama, Friendship Manifesto


Thanks for reading.

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Having just had a little knee surgery on Friday, pain has been on my mind a bit. This piece is part 1.

I have had migraines since I was about 7 or 8 years old. There is pain. It is sometimes pounding, sometimes throbbing, sometimes a dull ache, sometimes a sharp continual pain. Sometimes the sinus cavities across my forehead are involved, sometimes my neck and shoulder. Sometimes I throw up, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes my eyes see funny things, sometimes light bothers me, sometimes noise is the worst thing in the world. My triggers range from hormones to barometric pressure to lack of sleep to too much sleep. I used to be allergic to any kind shellfish and red wine, which would bring on a migraine within a couple of hours. (I am happy to report that neither shellfish nor red wine are a problem any longer!) I now have issues with certain scents or perfumes, which never bothered me before, say, 10 years ago. Now, some can trigger a headache that will knock me flat within 5 minutes. It’s crazy. It’s even crazier when I wake up in the middle of the night with such an intense pain that has already progressed to the “I’m going to throw up right now” stage without me even being aware of it.

When I was younger, so much younger than today … well, I often wished for someone to just punch me in the head and knock me out when I was in the throes of a migraine. I thought about went about gently banging my head against the wall because it was somewhat soothing in between the beats of the pain pulses. I may once or twice have thought about going to sleep and not waking up. Ever. More often, I thought about taking just enough of something so I could sleep for 2 or 3 days and the pain would be gone when I awoke. There was a point in high school when I saw an internist and he put me on a couple of different courses of medications. One was a cafergot inhaler which didn’t really seem to help me (ergot fungus may have been to blame for the whole Salem witch trial fiasco — truth, look it up) and the other was propranolol, a beta-blocker, which in my case really didn’t work — my attacks became more frequent.

I got older. I became more skilled at treating my own migraines, at “managing” my pain. I resigned myself to the fact that they were going to happen, they did, and I dealt with them when they showed up. Sometimes more effectively than others. Sometimes salt & vinegar chips and Coke seem to short circuit an oncoming attack. Sometimes Gravol and ibuprofen work well. I have German drugs, British drugs, old school pain pills, anti-nauseants, antihistamines, ice packs, heating pads and all sorts of things in my current bag of tricks. I do what I have to do. Sometimes nothing works. Best pain relief I ever had was 9 months of pregnancy. Not a single migraine. Hormones actually rock. (Why isn’t there research into this??)

So anyway, I have a nodding acquaintance with pain. Sort of chronic. But intermittent. That’s the key. That’s what gets me through. I know that my pain will go away. Somedays, and there are those days, I do doubt it. But mostly I know that my tomorrow, or the next day, will be pain free. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have that out. I don’t know how people who suffer with real chronic pain, the kind that doesn’t have a pain free tomorrow, do it. I wish there was something I could do for them, to help take away their pain. The best I can do for them is let them know that I see them, I hear them, and I care. I respect their struggle, no matter what its cause.

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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