Friday, March 31, 2006
On old rockers:
“I consider performing rock and roll to be a young person’s game. Old farts leaping around, trying to hang on to their flapping skin, is not an uplifting experience for me, either to watch or perform. There are certain kinds of performances that simply don’t lend themselves to wrinkles. Like hard rock… Picture spandex on Ted Koppel, or Newt Gingrich behind a drum set. Hideous, right? If you don’t mind geriatric rock, that’s fabulous. It’ll buy Grace Slick a home in Saint-Tropez if you continue to show up at concerts in throngs of thousands and give up your forty dollars a head to listen to a fifty-eight-year-old woman say, “Up against the wall, motherfucker.” That was okay in 1969. But would you buy that now? Maybe I could be the first rocker to have a bedpan roadie, an oxygen unit on stage between songs, a change of Depends, and a Count the Liver Spots contest.”
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
1) What were you doing 10 Years Ago?
I was living in Ventura with my ex, working at Procter & Gamble as a technical writer and hating my life.
2) 5 Years Ago?
I was relatively new to Stillwater, caretaking my mother who’d had a stroke.
3) 1 Year Ago?
Pretty much what I’m doing now, and getting ready to be in Mozartballs.
4) Five snacks you enjoy:
- Black licorice
- Banana/Vanilla Wafer pudding
- Rice Krispie bars
- Corn Pops cereal
5) Five songs you know by heart but wish you didn’t:
- The Safety Dance (Men Without Hats)
- Act Naturally (Buck Owens)
- Boys (The Beatles)
- Under My Thumb (Stones)
- Heart of Glass (Blondie)
6) Five things I would do with a LOT of money:
- Pay off my debts
- Buy a new computer
- Move to Vienna
- Help people
7) Five things you would never wear:
- A dress
- A Spiderman costume
- Polka dots
- Western wear (well, except the boots)
8) Five things you should never have worn:
- Those black Dockers that made my butt look huge
- Ball caps
- Those boots in Vienna
- Any wedding band that didn’t come from Nettl
- All those stupid outfits my mother bought me when I was a kid
9) Five things you enjoy doing:
- Playing piano
- Drinking with friends
- Fine dining
- Being a house cat with Nettl
10) Five bad habits:
- Nail biting
- Erratic hours
- Talking too fast
- Completing sentences for people because I know what they’re going to say
- General nerdish tendencies
I can’t wink my right eye. When I was born, my mother got to the hospital before her doctor did, so the nurses made her scissor her legs to hold me back…for 20 minutes! I doubt that happens these days. I guess my right eye was rammed up against her pelvic bone or something, because I can’t wink my right eye, and that’s the one with the worst vision problems. Nerve damage. No one can tell by looking at me, and I forget until I think about it for some reason.
What's your one weird thing?
Monday, March 27, 2006
I often get called Stephanie. ARG! Steph is a name I chose for myself, and I meant it to be androgynous, not a diminutive of a name that’s more feminine than my actual name, damn it. I chose Steph because it’s what my parents were going to name me if I’d been born male.
Please don’t call me Stephanie! Please don’t presume to know better than I what my name is. If I tell you my name is Steph, please call me Steph. I actually prefer Kaye, or Kate, which are diminutives of my middle name, but that was long ago, before I considered having a nom de plume.
But back to you. Your turn to answer the question.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
They’re gonna make a woman out of me;
I’ll play the part, but I won’t do no nursing,
Cuz all I’m gonna have are Fake Mammaries.
Might wear a D-cup, you can never tell;
The surgeon’s gonna make me wear the big bra,
And I will fill it out so well.
Well, I hope you’ll come and see me and my boobies,
They’re hanging down around my aching knees;
The biggest boobs that ever hit the big time,
And all I’m gonna have are Fake Mammaries!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Have you ever checked out Ask Yahoo? It’s pretty cool. I’m trying to think of a question. I came up with a good one last night, but now I can’t remember what it was
Did you know that an average of 62 billion emails are sent each day? Tonight, I and a well-known composer raised that by number by almost 100. Amazing. Now I’m all fired up and can’t go to sleep.
I went to the grocery store at 1:30 am, drove all the way home, and discovered I’d left a bag sitting in the Self-Checkout bagging area, so I drove back and got it. All the way there and back I listened to a Haydn symphony. It was worth the trip.
And now, a question for you to chew on with your morning brew:
What do you think is completely overrated?
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
I spent many late nights at my corner writing desk drinking red wine or coffee, writing about the opera I was composing, the progress of my garden, and my work with the Ventura County Symphony. Paul wrote during his morning commute on the Atlanta light rail, during lunch breaks, and on humid evenings on his balcony surrounded by night-blooming jasmine, moon flowers, and candles in tall cylindrical glass jars. I was to him, I think, an ageing bohemian in silk and gardeners clogs and he was to me a young Tennessee Williams in white linen.
In truth, we were simply a couple of people who were in love with the romance of the written word, recording absolutely everything as exercises in writing. It was intoxicating. We read the published letters of famous writers and compared notes. We pressed leaves and glued photographs into our pages and carried our current blank books with us wherever we went. He took one with him to Paris in 1991 and wrote so descriptively about Les Catacombs that I feel as if I’ve actually been there. The cover is a black and white photograph of Oscar Wilde, which was perfectly fitting. Another book he made and bound himself. Eventually, these letters ended, due to careers, family responsibilities, and a phase during which our relationship simply needed some respite. Ours has never been a casual friendship. It is intense, maniacally creative and often turbulent. To borrow a phrase from another friend, Paul and I often hurl thunderbolts at each other, but it has been one of the most important relationships of my existence. It has certainly been the most interesting.
This evening I find myself missing both reading and writing with Paul. Perhaps one day we will try it again.
I remember back in 1993, right after my father died of cancer, she came to me with tears in her eyes and told me that she wasn’t going to live out the year. She in fact lived another eleven years. My poor father couldn’t even get any attention by dying; my mother felt the need to upstage him even then. She was one of those people who, if you had a cold she had pneumonia. If you had a cough she had tuberculosis. If you were in the hospital, she was misdiagnosed and neglected by her doctor, and should be in bed with you—but in traction. People learned not to ask her how she was, which counteracted her entire neurosis and didn’t give her what she truly needed: to be loved and cared for. You know the type.
I did my best to give her what she needed, but she was a bottomless, gnawing pit and eventually consumed everyone around her. She was a creator of co-dependents and escaping her gravity was like fighting quick sand.
It occurs to me that over the twelve years that I spent changing colostomy bags and diapers, shaving, bathing, dosing, massaging, lotioning, washing shitty sheets, cooking, carting and cabbing and eventually burying my elderly parents, I too was ill. Go figure. I don’t regret those years, however. I would’ve gone to hell and back for my father, who got colon cancer and whose last year was ghastly beyond understanding. And even my mother needed help after she had a minor stroke in 2000. Hey, it’s family, and when it’s time for us to do so, we step up to the plate and swing as best we can.
But my point is, I don’t like constantly thinking about how I feel, yet every day I’m forced to consider exactly that. I don’t like that kind of consciousness and I refuse to wrap my daily life around it, never mind the remainder of my life, which I anticipate being good and long. But it’s a new discipline with which I grapple. When Nettl walks in, do I tell her that I feel pretty good today, or that it’s not a great day? When I wake up in the morning, do I analyze my physical condition, or do I push it as far from my mind as I can? I don’t know. It’s a learning thing.
I do know, however, that I will not become one of those people who define themselves by their disease. “Hi. I’m Steph and my immune system is consuming my body!” No. That won’t happen. There’s nothing more boring than asking someone how they are, only for them to go into a long description of their physical ailments. There are better things to focus on in this life.
So you’ll probably not hear much about this thing here on my blog, now that the initial shock of the diagnosis has passed. And that’s something for which we can all be grateful.
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
As I sit here drinking the one beer I’ve allowed myself, I’m feeling homesick for Ventura. At this very moment I wish I could have stayed in my penthouse apartment with its view of the Pacific. The old 1914 building would have felt quite at home in Portofino I think, with its inner courtyard, its red roofing tiles and its shutter-style windows and wrought iron window boxes blooming with Bougainvillea, Lavender and Rosemary.
But what’s there for me now? Frank is gone, Steve is gone. Paul’s in Atlanta and Debra is sleeping at this very moment not three miles away. La Bohème has scattered to the four winds, and in a some cases, beyond. It’s the lifestyle I miss, mostly. I miss the street life, the cafes, the focus on the Arts, the street musicians, the celebration of eccentricity… In short, everything that I love about life anyway. These are what drive me to relocate to Vienna in 2008. Ventura holds my past while Vienna holds my future, and in an ironic way, vice versa.
Still, if I could live in my penthouse of 1997-1999 with my family of 2004-2008, and be surrounded by my friends of 1985-2006, I’d be very happy tonight. Here are some paintings of Ventura by Katherine McGuire. She caught the town’s spirit beautifully.
I guess I’ve just spent too many years in the “commute an hour each way and waste my life and talents in a gray cubicle doing meaningless things that buy me a car so that I can commute an hour each way and waste my life and talents away in a gray cubicle doing meaningless things that buy me a car so that I can commute an hour each way and waste my life and talents away in a gray cubicle doing meaningless things that buy me a car so that I can…” etc. workforce. It seeps into your psyche like some insidious little robotic bug from The Wrath of Kahn. I can relate to Peter in Office Space, except that I was the one in the steno pool who picked up his slack (and of every other guy like him) and got paid half as much. I’m glad that he could afford his own apartment, where he could drink beer with his buddies and could take girls out to lunch or have them over to watch Kung-Fu reruns. Whiney baby. While he was sitting on his ass trying to figure out a way to screw the system, I was putting myself through school, working two jobs, and raising a kid by myself. Poor, poor Peter. While his dream was to do nothing, mine was to put food on the table for my special needs child. Well, this is all ridiculous; I love Office Space. But you get my point.
Now that I work from home and bring in as poor an income as I would if I still worked for the corporate monkey in a suit, I still feel guilty from time-to-time. And there are people out there who’d like to propagate that guilt with their snide remarks. They’re just jealous, really. There’s no one in the Commute Group who’s utterly enamored of their life after all. And with good reason. Human beings were not meant to sit in cubicles doing mind-numbing work that won’t mean a rat’s ass in a hundred years. We’re creators, we homo sapiens, and the Ant Farm in all its spirit-slaughtering glory mangles and kills all hope, all dreaming, all purpose. We live in a time of neo-feudalism and as in the old, the work force is made up of nothing more than groups of peons laboring away to keep the lord and master in high style.
So from now on, I’m confronting the anxiety attacks my decades of corporate brainwashing have left me with. I got out, and although Nettl and I don’t have all the “toys” that bespeak this new Dark Ages slavery, I can sit here and write this on my own time, go play my Hanon Scales when I want, and drink coffee at my desk.
Many years ago I watched a Joseph Campbell special on PBS, and I heard, for the very first time, his recommendation to, “Follow your bliss.” During the program he told a story about a certain day he was sitting in a diner next to a family of three. The father was blustery and red-faced and in a great hurry about something while the mother was full of anxiety because their small son wouldn’t eat his vegetables, despite the orders from his angry father. Finally, the mother said, “He doesn’t want to eat them. Don’t try to make him do something he doesn’t want to do!” to which the man replied, “Well, he’d better get used to it. I’ve been doing things I don’t want to do for thirty years!” Campbell said that the incident created a turning point in his life. “Why do people do what they don’t want to do for so long, then demand that others do the same?” he asked himself.
This changed my thinking, but I had no idea how I was supposed to put that into practice. I find myself grappling with it still, but now it’s in the form of subconscious self-attack for indeed following my bliss. This has to stop.
Monday, March 20, 2006
I lay there until a little after 7:30, drifting softly between sleep and wakefulness, a wholly pleasant sensation. I was aware of everything. The soft blanket against my foot, my face caressed by the pillowcase, my low, barely there breathing. Everything feels soft to me, and has all week. This is not merely a feeble attempt to describe my emotional responses to my environment, it is an altogether visceral thing. I feel as if my senses are wrapped in a down and silk blanket. I move more gently through my days and nothing seems to be able to get in to bother me. Perhaps it’s the meds. Perhaps it’s the weather. Or perhaps it’s both.
Saturday, March 18, 2006
Here’s what you’ve said about my book, Night Music, The Memoirs of Wolfgang Amadè Mozart:
“Several editors have looked at the material, and all enjoyed it. The general feeling was that it was a good, unusual read. Unfortunately, however, we have decided that it is not quite suited to our list.” (Bloomsbury Publishing)
“Thank you for giving me a chance to read your material. Although I enjoyed it, I’m sorry to say I’m going to have to pass on it.” (Linda Allen Literary Agency)
“As an ardent “fan” of Mozart’s music, I can not resist the opportunity to consider your novel. It sounds as though you have the necessary musical and scholarly background to deal with the material.” (Sobel Weber Assocs., Inc)
“I have loved Mozart since I was ten. I was very happy to look at your biography of this great man. It is professionally done. However, I simply don’t believe I could market it to either your satisfaction or mine.” (Pelham Literary Agency)
“While your novel does an outstanding job of giving Mozart’s personal “take” on his brief life, it’s not a work I can successfully place in today’s dismal marketplace.” (James R. Cyber Literary Agent)
The above comments are only a few I pulled out of a file folder of 39 rejection letters. Damn it, publish my book! Enough is enough. I have mouths to feed, medical bills to pay, and I might like to buy a new pair of sneakers before I’m 65. This is a really good book that has screenplay written all over it. What’s the ding-dang deal? I and my book have been featured in a film that’s playing all over the globe, for crapsake; what better marketing do you need? Hell, it’s free to you! I’m tired of this crap. Who do I have to blow to get this book published?
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Bob would rather be sitting in a Belgium cafe drinking Lambeck.
Dr. Pants would rather be lying on a beach in Mexico drinking Coronas.
Geor3ge would rather be in an Edinburgh pub drinking Glenfiddich.
Nettl would rather be drinking Heffeweisse in Vienna.
Ville would rather be in a beer garden with all of her closest friends.
(bunch of lushes...)
Karma would rather be lounging in a window seat with a great book and a cat.
Lauren would rather be shopping in Paris.
Lil Red would rather be at a great outdoor event, like a game or a concert.
Lynn would rather be at the Smithsonian.
Micah would rather be in a private studio in the mountains playing his cello.
Monty would rather be in a day spa, looking forward to dinner out, followed by dancing & drinks.
How’d I do?
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
~ Thomas called just as I sat down with my first cup of coffee. Nice!
~ I couldn’t stop smiling all morning.
~ I took a long, hot bath with the jets on full blast.
~ I loved Nettl more than I did yesterday.
~ I elected to listen to music rather than watch TV.
~ I decided to order a piano sonata book (I lost all of my music in the Big Dump of 2001) and start playing again.
~ I thought kind thoughts about someone who hates me.
~ I talked about an old hurt that still hurts.
~ I made dinner and enjoyed every minute.
~ I seeded the tomatoes for the salad.
~ I braved Wal-mart and bought some groceries.
~ I bought some things we don’t usually get for ourselves because the kids would eat them in 10 minutes.
~ I spent an hour on a conference call with Rhombus Media concerning a web design project.
~ I looked at Nettl’s smiling face when she told me about her musical evening while I was gone, and felt absolute bliss knowing that our love is indestructible.
~ I opened a bottle of German wine.
~ I still couldn’t wipe this silly smile off of my face.
~ I was filled with love for everything and everyone. Can this be healthy?
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Unlike some of my own blog
victims pals, I actually enjoy being tagged with the various questions and games that waft through Blogsville. While I was out of commission Lynn tagged me with…
The First Ever Comprehensive Music Questionaire
Favorites, or just the first that comes to mind.
(Warning! There will be a lot of Mozart on my list)
- Symphony: Mozart’s No. 39 in E-flat, K543
- Piano Concerto: Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C Minor, K491
- Violin Concerto: Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D Major
- Concerto for any wind instrument (flute, clarinet, oboe, horn, etc): Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K622
- Concerto for two or more soloists: Mozart’s Simphonia Concertante for Violin and Viola, K364
- Overture or other short classical work (less than 12 minutes long): Mozart’s Overture to Die Zauberflöte
- Piano Sonata: Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8, Op. 6 in C Minor (”Pathètique”)
- Other unaccompanied: Bach’s Suite for Unaccompanied Cello No. 2
- Sonata with accompaniment or other music for only two instruments: Poulenc’s Flute Sonata (flute & piano)
- Trio: Beethoven’s Piano Trio No. 4 in D Major, Op. 70 No. 1 (”Ghost”)
- String Quartet: Mozart’s String Quartet in C Major, No. 19, K465 (”Dissonance”)
- Other Quartet: Mozart’s Adagio & Fugue in C Minor for String Quartet, K546
- Quintet: Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K581
- Other chamber music: Mozart’s Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, K493
- Latin choral work (Mass, Requiem, Stabat Mater, etc.): Faure Requiem
- Choral work in a language other than Latin: Howard Goodall’s Psalm 23 (Theme from The Vicar of Dibley)
- Opera: Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro
- Classical work composed after 1950 (other than movie music): Arvo Pärt’s Te Deum
- Classical work composed before 1650: Monteverdi’s Madrigals for War and Love
- Classical vocal work: Mozart’s concert aria, Ch’io mi scordi di te? K505
- Movie Score: Amadeus
- TV Theme: Howard Goodall’s Psalm 23 (Theme from The Vicar of Dibley)
- Song (Rock, Blues, Country or other): “The Lady of Shallott” by Loreena McKinnett
- Guitar or Lute, classical: Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un Gentilhombre
- Guitar (Rock, Blues, Country or other): The lead guitar work in the Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing”
- Goofy novelty song: My own “Box of Wine for Four Friends & Piano”
- Bonus (anything you’d like to add that wasn’t on the list): Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite and Ravi Shankar’s Concerto for Sitar & Orchestra
Monday, March 13, 2006
“Look at you!” she exclaimed, grinning from ear-to-ear.
“I feel great!” I replied. “And look. My eyes aren’t swollen. I don’t have scrotum sacs under them anymore!”
“You’re so gross; you’re feeling better.” She then leaned over to look into my eyes. “They’re still red, but not anything like yesterday. Don’t over-do it today. I know how you are.”
I got up and made my coffee, fed all the fish, tidied up the sink, then came back to make the bed. After Nettl left, I took a shower, took my barrage of meds, and dressed. I then started one of three loads of laundry, poured another coffee, and here I am. Have I over-done it? Nah. My eyes are itchy, but that blister is gone, and my vision is back to normal. My only real complaint is a mild headache, but I can live with that. Not complaining at all.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m ill, say, with the flu or a cold, I can tell the exact moment that the invader has finally left my body. I just feel different. The past 24 hours have been the worst I’ve experienced health-wise since August 2000 when I got triple ear infections in both ears and seriously thought I’d lost my hearing for good. All I could do for one weekend that I was all alone while lying in bed with a raging fever was watch the ceiling fan above me, wrapped in a shroud of deafening silence. I was new in Stillwater and knew no one. Nettl had to go to Texas to help move her grandmother into a nursing home in Tulsa. If someone had broken into the house there was no way I would have known.
We had no cable either, so there was nothing to watch but that fan and to matrix faces in the textured plaster of the ceiling. I saw George Washington, Joseph Haydn and an 18-century opera singer with a feather in her hair. I swear, I wasn’t on drugs. Going down, then up, the stairs was out of the question, so I didn’t eat all weekend. I didn’t really want to, to tell the truth, and even if I could get to the kitchen, I couldn’t have cooked. Nettl had no way of known that I’d taken a serious turn for the worse the day that she left. I do remember Allen (whom I’d met only once at that point) called me, but the only part of the conversation I remember was me something about attempting suicide like Tchaikovsky did when he stood knee-deep in the Volga, hoping to get pneumonia. I remember Allen saying, “All we have here is Cow Creek. Not a fitting end for a composer.” The deafness (in various stages and degrees) lasted for well over a month. Now I’ve been faced with the fear of going blind, and seeing my world through a field of vision that looks like when you’re underwater. Foggy, turbulent water.
Antibiotics don’t work on me unless I’m given a dosage that would normally knock over a 200-pound man. This is due to the fact that between the years of 1978 and 1983 I had peritonitis three times. The first time sent me into a coma during which I floated high above my body, looking down at my mother and my best friend who were in the room with me, although I didn’t know they’d come to the hospital. Each time I was hospitalized with peritonitis I was fed IV antibiotics and over time, my body resisted them until they had me on the big guns. Since then, simple Rx antibiotics do little for me and small things get out of hand very easily and very quickly.
The conjunctivitis I’ve had the past two months comes from the extreme allergies I suddenly acquired around Thanksgiving (I’ve never been allergic to anything). The allergies got me because the hypothyroidism has weakened my immune system to a scary degree. The Rx my doctor gave me last week is already working on small things—a place on my arm that I scraped on a cabinet door several months ago is gone, for instance.
Last night at about this time began a singularly virulent siege and I awoke this morning looking like a pug dog. My right eye actually formed a blister over the entire cornea, and my eyes were swollen shut, with huge puffy bags under them. That wasn’t fun. Like my weekend with the ceiling fan, I couldn’t function, so all I did was sleep, lost in that world of sickly delirium. Bless Nettl’s heart for her tender care. She even went out and got me some Twizzlers, although I couldn’t eat them until later tonight.
Finally, at around five in the evening we decided I needed to go to the emergency room, where I was treated with cortisone drops. When we came home, I finally ate something, used my meds, and fell back into my fitful sleep. When I awoke around ten, I felt much better. I still looked about 85 years old, so I used a small blue ice pack. Now, most of the swelling is down. The upper eyelid of my right eye is cracked and sore and crusty (ugh), but it feels so much better. Mostly, my eyes are just plain tired and sore.
Hopefully, tomorrow (Monday) morning’s entry will be done with a cup of coffee in hand, and clear, happy eyes!
Thursday, March 9, 2006
Thanks to all for your well-wishes. I’m not a religious person (I prefer to think of myself as spiritual instead), but I believe strongly in the power of focused thought (what some call prayer). You’re all wonderful.
Special thanks to Debra, Beau, Larry, Thomas and Jessica! You know why.
I was sorry to hear about the passing of Dana Reeve, but I believe she and Christopher are together and happy again in their healthy and fit spiritual bodies. My thoughts and prayers go to their son, family and friends.
We got a little rain last night, but nothing worth bragging about. I wish we’d get a downpour, complete with thunder and lightening. The tornadoes can stay away, however.
Monday, March 6, 2006
Sunday, March 5, 2006
As soon as I can see without looking through watery, swollen eyes, I’ll make a better post.
From now on, my fish are getting only bottled water. The recent pipeline work around here killed Yo-Yo and my two Calicos even though I used a water treatment. Jet has absolutely no chemicals in his tank, and he never will. He’s in an octagonal 1.5 gallon tank that has only some polished black stones and one plant in it. I’d like to add some low-growing plants though.
I’ve really grown fond of Bettas, and I’ll probably always have one, now that I’ve come to understand them. They'll like tiny little dogs. Really!
Friday, March 3, 2006
Fatigue (since 1997)
Headaches/Migraines (since 2001)
Irritability (since 2000)
Fluid retention (2004)
Decreased sex drive (2001)
Low motivation, Apathy (2004)
Inappropriate weight gain (2000)
Arthritis and joint aches (1990)
Muscular aches (1992)
Abnormal throat sensations (1985)
Low self esteem (1995)
Low blood pressure (2005)
Frequent urinary infections
Ringing in the ears (1985)
Easy bruising (1997)
Poor coordination (2005)
Increased skin infections/Acne (1986)
Changes in skin pigmentation (1997)
Excessively tired after eating (2005)
“Gritty” eyes/Blurred vision (2005)
Anxiety/Panic attacks (1992)
Hair loss (2005)
Decreased memory (2004)
Decreased concentration (1995)
Dry skin/Dry hair (2005)
Falling asleep during the day (2005)
Itchiness of skin (2006)
Heat/Cold intolerance (2004)
Frequent colds and sore throats (1995)
Slow wound healing (1998)
Acid indigestion (1985)
Cold hands/feet (2004)
Increased nicotine, caffeine use (2005)
Abnormal swallowing sensations (1985)
Bad breath (2003)
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (1997)
As I mused over this list last night, I realized that some of these symptoms started as far back as 1985, and that most of them really set in during 1992, when I moved to Denver to take care of my dying father. Since then, my life has been one big wad of stress after another. I mean, major life-altering stress. I’ve read that stress is a prime cause of Hypothyroidism.
Man! Knowing that there’s a treatment for this—and that I can actually feel normal after 14 years of this crap—is like being blind and being told that you will see again. I can’t even jest about it; I find I’m very emotional right now with the possibility of no longer feeling 20 years older than I actually am.
So maybe my insomnia is curable… Gasp! I’m going to have to reinvent myself!
03-03-06 @ 6:55 pm: The test came back positive for Hashimoto's Disease and I’ve already taken my first Levoxyl. My pharmacist said I should feeling some improvement in 2-3 days. If you have been suffering from some of the symptoms listed above, please go see your doctor. Treating this soul-sucking, life-robbing disease is as simple as a blood test, and I promise you, the relief you’ll feel just knowing that the lethargy, lack of passion for anything, and fatigue is not laziness, and that it’s not your fault, will be immense. I can’t believe how the last twenty years of my life have been impacted by this monster.
Thursday, March 2, 2006
Yes Ma’am: My doctor is checking for hypothyroidism. After talking with me she said, “Well, go down to the lab and feed the vampires and I’ll get back to you as soon as we know something.” I secretly hope this is what’s been wrong with me because once on meds I can lose the 15 pounds I’ve gained since Christmas. I’d like to take off 25.
Nervous: I still haven’t heard why in February I didn’t receive two of the annuity checks I’m used to getting each month. $800 is a lot to miss in one month. My hope is that they’ll be included in March’s.
A Day Late and a Dollar Short: In my life I’ve gotten used to not having certain things that other people have at any given point in time. I eventually get these fun little things, but it’s always always after they’re no longer new and cool, and the prices have gone way down. For example, I didn’t get my first cell phone until 2000. I have one now, but it’s not one of the nifty flip-open models with cool ring tones, the cool display, or a camera. Just a functional phone. Still, I’m grateful to have it at all. I’d also like to have a new computer. I’m still using the HP I bought in 1999, which runs Windows 98, but I try not to complain for fear that it will hear me and break down altogether in rebellion.
I handle my car in the same manner, mentally. It’s a 1996 Ford Contour and the only car this family of six has. I seldom see it, and I’m terrified that it’s going to break down and we’ll all be up shit creek, and I’ll never again see what lies beyond our neighborhood. Not that I do anyway. Lynette and I have a telly in our room, but it’s borrowed from Debra and Beau, and it has no jacks for a DVD player, or even VHS.
I wish I had a digital camera so that I could use it for this blog, if my computer could handle it, that is. For instance, out by the (now closed) road, which is completely dug up, the water main that goes to the fire hydrant is standing about five feet above the ground, with the hydrant still perched on top of it. It would make a great picture, and I could make a stupid comment about a very big dog. I don’t care about an iPod, except that I’d like to make podcasts. I’d also like to have the equipment it takes to make this blog into a vlog (video blog), or to at least add some video to it once in a while.
None of these things are absolutely necessary, except the car, so I’m not really complaining. I have what I need and I have the compensation of a happy, healthy family, a beautiful marriage, and a circle of true friends, some who go back nearly 40 years. But sometimes, you know, I just wish I could know what it’s like to not exist on needs without a few wants thrown in. My life has always been about having things in order to live a modicum existence, seldom for fun. Still, I can’t really complain and I feel guilty when I do. I’m the kind of person who feels guilty when I have to buy a new halogen bulb.
Little things: Sometimes, something in the house will give me an unexpected jolt of pleasure, something that I usually pay no heed to because it's been around for so long. This morning my eye spotted the claw and ball feet of my wingback chair by the fireplace in the living room. I was instantly transported to the day that I bought it in 1997, and I remembered the quiet happiness I felt when, while living in Ventura, I sat in that chair watching the freighters pass by on the Pacific horizon. Look around your house. Is there something that does it for you?