Insane In My Membrane

It’s said that each child gift their mothers with something to remember them by after they’re born.  All three of my kids left me little afflictions mementos that I still have to this day. All three pregnancies brought me up half a shoe size; now I wear a size 9 from a 7 1/2. Beena left me bulgy jelly belly that no amount of sit ups will erase.  I’ve been doomed to wear “mom” jeans (no low cut for me) for almost 30 years.  Utah left me with a streak of gray hair going down the middle of my head when I was a mere 27 years old.  Over these last 26 years, it’s been creeping and growing, but I have had a lot of fun playing with different shades of Clairol.  And dear Zombiegirl left me with rosacea on my cheeks and a propensity for sinus infections.

Doctors have told me to avoid sun, alcohol, spicy foods and stress in order to tame my rosacea.  Pfft, ain’t going to happen.  I can live with the rosy cheeks in order to enjoy a cold beer and Mexican food on the patio of our beach house.  Stress is unavoidable- I’m a mother commuting to a stupid job in New York City.  Tell me how to avoid stress in this case, please?

The sinus infections are something different, though.  The day I delivered Zombiegirl, I’m pushing and straining, eyes clamped shut to help concentrate on getting baby girl out of me.  I feel something give in the center of my face and feel warmth flowing out of my nose.  I thought I popped a blood vessel and my nose had started to bleed, but then I heard the doctor exclaim “Oh my God” (WHAT?) and “I’ve never seen that color green before!” (WHAT THE F*CK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?).  MR leaned over and wiped the bright green goop of snot off my face- I gave birth to a baby and a sinus infection.

Said sinus infection garnered me a private room for a few days after Z-girl was delivered and I’ve been suffering from them ever since.

About 10 years ago, my chiropractor recommended using a Neti pot to help with the sinus treatments she was giving me.  I don’t use it regularly, but I should. Since it helps relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, it should also cut down on the amount of episodes I get.  I can count on one hand the number of colds I’ve contracted over the years, so duh, maybe I can lessen the amount of infections I get.

A little research on the web led me to the perfect recipe for a “Sinus Missile“.  MR and I have been using it for a few days and it really helps knock things loose and clear things up.

THE SINUS MISSILE

12 drops Rosemary Pure Essential Oil
4 drops Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil
4 drops Eucalyptus Pure Essential Oil
1/2 tsp finely ground pure sea salt(you can grind the salt fine in your food processor)
2 cups filtered, purified, distilled or previously boiled water

I doubled the recipe, put it into a sterilized jar and shook it until the salt dissolved.  We’re both rinsing 3-4 times a day.  MR has been against the Neti for some weird reason, but now he sees the light.  Whenever you feel pressure in your ears, face, behind your eyes or in your teeth, hit it with a sinus missile and get some relief.

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Cravings

First of all, a big “HI!” to you guys who stuck around waiting to see what’s going on here in my little crazy corner of the world.  I hate when I follow a blogger for years and they suddenly disappear and I keep checking back to see what’s what and they never, ever show up again in Blogland.  I’m so curious as to why they disappeared and so disappointed that I never find out.

That’s why I told you what’s what.  Thanks for the welcome back, and your kind expressions of concern.  You’re sweet- both of you.

So, I’ve been having weird cravings lately and it’s not all food-related.

I’m craving air.  I’ve had this upper respiratory infection for a few days and all I do is cough and whine then cough some more because talking (and whining) brings on an attack.  It’s all I can do to drag my butt to work and by the time I get there I’m wheezing and gasping for breath then I cough.  What I’m NOT craving are cough drops… those things are disgusting and I’ve probably gained three pounds sucking on a mountain of them.

Now I know how Zombiegirl felt during an asthma attack.  Yes, I do need to see a doctor, thanks for the recommendation.

Cravings are weird feelings.  They’re all possessing and all consuming and sometimes you can’t function because you keep thinking about the object of your desire and won’t be satisfied until you eat/see/do/f*ck the thing(s) you want.

Foremost in my craving?  Waffles.  I. Do. Not. Know. Why.  I’m not even a big waffle eater but I am craving  those big, Belgium waffles, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, dripping with warm blueberry syrup.  And whipped cream.  Do not forget the whipped cream.

Another craving that fills my thoughts is butterscotch pudding.  One of my co-workers got it yesterday afternoon in the cafeteria and now it’s all I can do to keep myself from going downstairs and buying the biggest freaking cup of butterscotch pudding.  I’m going to have to make it this weekend just like my mom did…with a smiley face of M & M’s on top.  The M & M’s would get cold from the refrigerator and the colors would start to leech into the surrounding pudding.  Oh, and leave the pudding skin on, please.  That’s the best part.

I’m craving a party.  I scheduled our 2nd Annual Superfantastic,Totally Blinged-Out Awesome Sparkletini party for this past Saturday night and the response was lukewarm at best.  Throw in me getting sick and Blizzard Nemo (when did they start naming storms?  And Nemo?  The  little orange clownfish doesn’t bring images of snowstorms to mind…) and I realized this party wasn’t happening. I was looking forward to making all-pink martinis and serving Valentine’s Day sweets and getting together with some friends to drool over Eileen’s jewelry.  I’ll reschedule for the spring.  I need a party with some awesome people and lots of alcohol.

I’m craving my mom.  With the onset of my (un)menopause and all the girlie trouble I’ve been going through, I miss talking to my mother.  Dad’s been great, but I really don’t want to discuss blood clots and birth control with him.  I’m sure he doesn’t want me to, either.  Planning Beena’s wedding, going dress shopping with her (SHE SAID “YES” TO A DRESS!)- these are all things I would have gotten on the phone with her to dish about.  This month especially since we just passed her 75th birthday and the anniversary of her passing, I really feel a hole in my heart because I can’t call her or talk to her or wish her a Happy Birthday.  Sigh.  As much as we fought or couldn’t stand each other sometimes, a girl needs her mom.

I’m craving a vacation.  I’m working on our passports because I want to be ready at the drop of a dime to go somewhere.  Turkey is the current destination of choice right now but I’d settle for the motel down the street at this point.

I’m craving pineapple.  Fresh, juicy pineapple.  Again, I have no idea why, I’ve just been obsessing over chunks of pineapple.  Maybe I have scurvy.

I’m craving angry, loud, obnoxious music to drown out some of the depression that this time of year usually brings.  Metallica, Slayer, Pantera…it’s all queued up on my Pandora station.  Probably not the best type of music to listen to when you’re depressed, but my precious Zydeco and show tunes stations make me want to throw the phone through the window right now.

I’m craving salt.  (Maybe I should see a doctor.  There is  probably have some kind of deficiency going on.)  I put salt on practically everything lately.  This morning I salted the butter on my bagel.  Hypertension, here I come!

I’m craving companionship.  A night out with a friend.  A date with my husband.  A little time spent with one of the kids.  I feel like I’ve been stuck in a rut (on the couch) and not doing anything (sitting on the couch) and not socializing (I LOVE my couch!) at all.  The wintery weather, me being sick and the world too busy to do anything has left me feeling lonely and craving human contact.  I’ve left Facebook and the craziness it spews forth so now I feel that I don’t know what’s going on in the world. (Just the fact that I wrote that is pathetic, that I have to rely on a social network to socialize.)  I’m going to try to get back to the old fashioned way of being friends- phone calls and a bottle of wine to gossip with.

Am I weird?  What are you craving?

I started this post a week ago, so I’m breathing much better today.  I firmly believe all the upper respiratory problems I’m having stems from the mold and crap I cleaned up at Dad’s house after Superstorm Sandy.  Lovely.

 

Crunchiness is Next To Itchiness

It’s been a few months since I’ve gone a little crunchy so I thought I’d update about how it’s going.

I’m about as crunchy as yogurt.  Not the homemade kind, more like the consistency.

In other words, my crunchy experiment has been a slight flop.

You’ll remember, from this post, that I made my own deodorant.  Yummy, delicious smelling deodorant.  All-natural, good-for-your-pits deodorant.  I lifted my arm to everyone, demanding that they smell me.  I desperately wanted this to work, to free myself (and my family) from the evils of alum and save money in the process.

Then the rash broke out.

After about three weeks, a pus-filled itchy rash spread first on one side then on the other side.  Cortizone, Neosporin, baby powder- nothing helped.  While I was putting Desitin on Spencer’s perpetual neck sore, I swiped a little on my own pit sores and in a few days the rash cleared up.  A little internet sleuthing found a few people had the same reaction to the baking soda in the recipe.

Baking soda?  Simple baking soda?  I’ve used it all my life!  I’ve consumed it in baked goods and used it to shine my stainless steel sink.  I’ve mixed it into a paste and slathered it on bug bites for as long as I can remember.  I was sure that it wasn’t the baking soda that was giving me the rash.

Until I mixed up a batch of Fizzy Bath Balls as a sample for a craft class I was holding.

Holy crap, it had to be the baking soda because my hands turned bright red and started to itch while forming the bath balls.  It was the only ingredient that was common in both recipes.   I asked Zombiegirl to finish forming the balls and she had almost the same reaction- her hands started to burn.  After a quick hand rinse, I asked her to try the deodorant.

(Yes, I have no problem subjecting my family to my weird experiments.)

She experienced the same burning sensation on her sensitive little pits.  Another trip to the sink to wash it off and she made a hasty retreat out of the kitchen claiming she was not a lab rat.

So much for that.  Looks like a baking soda allergy runs in the family.  Back to the drawing board/internet to find a baking soda-free recipe.

Beeswax, bentonite clay, shea butter…the next trip to the health food store was an interesting one.  I found another recipe online and modified it a bit (more beeswax) so I could pour the whole thing into an empty Secret container.  It set up nicely and smelled okay (not as good as my original deodorant) and I could turn the little dial and swipe it on just like the store-bought kind.  I was excited to be crunchy once again.

A few days after I made my deodorant, we went to Hilton Head to visit my in-laws.  It was over the Easter break and there just happened to be slightly higher temperatures than usual on the East Coast.  Picture MY face when I took my bag out of the back of the hot car after 16 hours on the road and found my clothes coated in a thin layer of home-made goo.

F*CK my life.  Where’s that Lady Speedstick coupon?

It’s a Crunchy Life

So what do you think I’m doing with all these things?

Any guesses?  No?  With all those ingredients I made these:

WTF is all that, you ask?

Well… I’m going “crunchy”!

One of the fantastic websites I’ve found in the past few weeks is Crunchy Betty.  Leslie is an advocate for “putting food on your face” and living the crunchy way.  WTF is the “crunchy way”, you ask?  According to Urban Dictionary, the term “crunchy” refers to anyone who has “adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons.”  I’ve been adjusting and altering my lifestyle for environmental reasons for years now- becoming a vegetarian, recycling, cutting down on consumerism, canning, blah-crunchy-blah.  I was embracing crunchiness for years now and never had a name for it!

Crunchy Mamasoo.  I like it.

Much to my daughters chagrin, I’ve recently taken the crunchy a step further.  Using all the all-natural stuff in the first picture, I made all the wonderful, all-natural stuff in the second picture.  Stuff like Rosacea Toner, Alvin Corn Window Cleaner, Orange Blossom Deodorant and Oil Face Cleanser.

You may be agreeing with my daughters about now that I’ve gone off the deep end.  That I’ve become a dirty hippie and I’m one step away from Birkenstocks and dreadlocks.  That my recent promise of not buying any new clothes and thrifting my way to a bigger wardrobe brings visions of long denim skirts and fringe vests to mind.  Yeah, it’s not a pretty picture.  Especially if you know me.  These hips just CAN’T pull off the long skirt thing.

The main reason I became a vegetarian was to avoid putting the hormones, antibiotics and other crappy stuff the meat industry was putting in our food into my body.  Yet I struggle every time I use shampoo or buy toothpaste.  I cringe when I put those Eggo Waffles in my shopping cart.  I know it’s not good for my family but 1) it’s easy, 2) it’s cheap and 3) my freaking family is picky.  Three years of me not eating meat hasn’t convinced anyone else in my family to do the same.  My working full-time leaves little time to prepare healthy meals and snacks.  Our one income (at the time) didn’t leave much money left over to buy organic (and those companies hardly EVER give coupons).  I was resigned to buying cheap deodorants and shampoos and snacks (with coupons!) and hoping the added chemicals didn’t give us cancer.

Then I stumbled on Leslie.  I love Leslie.  She showed me how easy it is to make the products I use every day cheaply and easily with stuff I already had around the house!  A little investment in a tub of Coconut Oil and some essential oils and I was on my way to a chemical free romance!

The next time you see me, ask to touch my face.  It’s smooth and soft and a lot less red than usual.  Crunchy Betty’s Oil-Cleansing Method is a miracle.

The next time you see me, stick your nose in my pits.  Take a whiff.  Or better yet, ask to smell my deodorant, since I love it so much I carry it with me.  I used Leslie’s recipe but adjusted to a different scent using tea tree oil and orange blossom oils.  Mixed with the coconut oil, it smells heavenly!

The next time you come to my house, take a look at my cabinets.  The glass fronts are gleaming so bright you need freaking sunglasses.  Thank you, Alvin Corn!  I had all the ingredients for this mixture and holy crow, it works amazing!  Better than my old standby passed down from my mom- vinegar and water.

Finally, when you see me, take a look at my damn roseacea.  My red capillaries are smaller and it doesn’t itch as much.  Using the knowledge Crunchy Betty gave me and a little internet sleuthing on my own, I came up with a natural calming toner using the new super food in my life- Apple Cider Vinegar.

Am I the last person to find out about this miracle food?  Google it.  See how good it is for you.  I’ll wait.

(Humming “Take The Last Train to Clarksville” in memory of Davey Jones, who passed away today. )

I KNOW, right?  A-mazing shit right there.  It’s good internally, externally and every ‘ternally in between.  I mixed 1/2 cup of ACV with a mug of steeped Green Tea (used two tea bags) and three drops of Tea Tree Oil.  It feels so good and refreshing after my Oil Cleanse!  I’ve been using it for a few days and already see results.

So.  Turn your nose up at me if you want- it’s not like I stink.  Sneer at me if you will.  One of my soccer moms made a comment at Zombiegirl’s soccer tournament last Saturday about my homemade deodorant and the comment was mixed with a little bit of disdain.  Whatever.  I’m putting even less chemicals in (and on) my body.  That can’t be a bad thing, even at my age, right?  And while I know the older two daughters think I’m off my rocker and would never switch to a crunchy life, I can hopefully cajole the little one to make the switch.

Crunchy Zombiegirl.  I like it.

Do YOU do anything crunchy?  Let me know- I’m very impressionable!

UPDATE:  Gak, my rosacea is flaring up like crazy today!  Might be the spicy Chipotle Burrito Bowl I had yesterday or maybe I’m using the Apple Cider Vinegar too often.  I’m going to cut it down to only at night and see what happens.  I’m not itchy at all, but I look like I heard the world’s dirtiest joke and I’m the world’s biggest prude…

When The Wind Blows

This is going to be a long rambling post.  Go make some popcorn and grab yourself a tall boy.  I’ll wait.

I’ll start this mess with a recap of the latest disaster to hit the east coast- Hurricane Irene.  Did you read my last post?  Hail, earthquake…now hurricane.  It’s freaking scary to see the news reports of the projected path of a hurricane heading right for your house.  It’s even freakier to see how people react in times of disaster.  People are stupid when the world is coming to an end.

MR and I stopped in at Home Depot before my cryo procedure last week (more on the cryo thing in a moment).  The hurricane watch was already in effect and stores were quickly emptying out of bread and milk.  We were in HD for a totally un-hurricane related thing- we needed our barbeque tank refilled- but the minute we walked in we knew we were in trouble.  Weaving around the hordes of people toting carts of plywood, we made our way to the tool rental area.  Passing by the almost-empty cart of batteries, we got run over by a near-frantic housewife looking for said batteries.  Seriously, she pushed me out of the way to get her chubby hands on whatever was leftover.  Oh, bitch.  No you didn’t.  If I wasn’t already freaked out about my procedure and if MR wasn’t there prodding me to go, I would have started something.  There was a current in the air, probably underlying panic, and I was ready to ride it.  Give me something to hit, really.  I was so ready.

We went from line to line.  The clerks were as frazzled as the customers, and no one was around to help us so we left.  I had to get to the doctor.  I told MR to drop me off and head over to the Home Depot closer to the office.

(When he got back, he said this Home Depot was a lot calmer.  And had batteries.  I think I may have to change my Home Depot.)

To prepare for imminent doom, we filled every available water bottle (thank goodness we’re a sports family- we have a LOT of these suckers) and brought in the camping stove and all the coolers.  MR gathered up all the flashlights (and batteries) and we brought up the cot and air mattress for the girls so they wouldn’t have to sleep upstairs and risk getting killed by a tree falling on our house.  We had plenty of food thanks to my recent mad shopping skillz and I baked three loaves of bread and a dozen bagels and rolls.  We put all my garden gnomes and anything else that might fly around safe in the garage.

Bring it on, Irene.  We’re ready for you.

We weren’t too worried about flooding.  We have the creek behind our house and when that gets flooded our backyard gets a little mushy but we rarely get water in the basement.  Wet spots, maybe, but they’re easily cleaned up.  What we were really worried about were the 60-foot trees on our property.  And their really long, dead limbs.  We’d already had a little damage a few months back when a limb fell in the backyard, killing two garden gnomes and destroying the fence and garage windows.  Plus, we’ve just about finished the renovation of the upstairs hallway, and it would be just our luck if a tree fell on THAT roof and we’d have to start all over.  Our insurance company sent us a letter awhile back and “suggested” we trim the dead limbs and branches over our house.  Wonderful- if they fell, would we be covered?

The hurricane was predicted to hit early Sunday morning, so between worrying about the trees and hearing all the crap hitting the roof, we didn’t get much sleep Saturday night.  I kept getting up throughout the night and looking out our front window at the trees across the street whipping back and forth.  It looked like a warzone on my front yard, the ammunition being nature.  Zombiegirl said it looked like London after the riots.

We lost power around 8:30 am.   The girls had their iPods, phones and Nintendos charged so they were somewhat occupied.  I took advantage of not being able to cook or do laundry or move around too much and did a little light housecleaning.  Later on I took seven boxes of pictures and started going through them, organizing and reminiscing.  We opened all the windows a crack and let the 50 mph winds whoosh through the house and clear out all the stale air.  All in all, it was a pretty pleasant day if you didn’t mind the sounds of the sky falling on the roof.

Late in the afternoon, the winds died down and it stopped raining.  We took advantage of the calm in the eye of the storm and bagged up five garbage bags of leaves and branches.  The block came alive- everyone ventured from their house and we were able to catch up with neighbors and friends.  We compared damage and experiences and treated it like it was a mini block party.  We knew we wouldn’t have much time before the other side of Hurricane Irene hit.

Cheesestick left for work since there wasn’t anything else to do at home (her boss picked her up).  Beena went over to John’s to commiserate the loss of electricity together.  Zombiegirl said she was bored (and dejected for being left behind) so we decided to take a drive to survey the neighborhood damage and see if any ice cream places were open.

I was amazed at the amount of Japanese red maples lost to the storm.  Seems everyone we passed was down.  Huge trees blocked a few streets and we saw crushed cars, damaged basketball hoops and downed power wires.  In the “tree” section of our neighborhood (Elm Street, Oak Drive, etc.) we saw trucks already loading four foot sections of cut trees (it’s the tony part of the neighborhood so they must have paid big bucks for those trucks to come out immediately to deal with their fallen trees).  We had to detour several times to finally get to Baskin Robbins for some slightly melted Jamoca ice cream.

Since we were already out, MR suggested we look for ice to stick in the freezer and refrigerator.  We also needed more beer.  The beer distributor was open and doing a booming business so we bought a couple of bags of ice and a couple of six-packs and headed back.  By the time we got home around 8:30 pm, the power was back on.  Of course it was.  We should have bought ice earlier…

The internet, phone and cable were still out so I went back to my photos.  Since the power was back on I started to scan my school pictures and baby pictures onto the computer.  Since these pictures are almost 50-years old, I wanted to preserve them before they get too faded.  Then, I found this gem:

Aw.  Aren’t I cute?  Damn, I wish I still had jammies like that.  They look so freaking comfortable.  What I wouldn’t give to be in jammies like those right now.

I’m going to go off on a tangent right now.  See that wall hanging behind me?  That’s Wynken, Blyken and Nod.  Remember them?  They sailed off in a wooden shoe…

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
Sailed off in a wooden shoe—
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
The old moon asked the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
Said Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song,
As they rocked in the wooden shoe,
And the wind that sped them all night long
Ruffled the waves of dew.
The little stars were the herring fish
That lived in that beautiful sea—
“Now cast your nets wherever you wish—
Never afeard are we”;
So cried the stars to the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

All night long their nets they threw
To the stars in the twinkling foam—
Then down from the skies came the wooden shoe,
Bringing the fishermen home;
‘T was all so pretty a sail it seemed
As if it could not be,
And some folks thought ‘t was a dream they ‘d dreamed
Of sailing that beautiful sea—
But I shall name you the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

Wynken and Blynken are two little eyes,
And Nod is a little head,
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies
Is a wee one’s trundle-bed.
So shut your eyes while mother sings
Of wonderful sights that be,
And you shall see the beautiful things
As you rock in the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three:
Wynken,
Blynken,
And Nod.

I remember my mother reading me that poem when I was little and then reading it myself when I was bigger.  I had a book of nursery rhymes with this poem in it, as well as Hickory Dickory Dock, Aiken Drum, Hey Diddle Diddle and Simple Simon.  If I try hard enough I could probably recite most of the lines.

When I tried in front of my children, they looked at me like my brains were running out my nose.  Nursery rhymes are foreign to them.

How could this be?  I read to them all the time when they were little, how could I not have read nursery rhymes?  I really feel like I’ve failed as a parent…they can’t even recite all of Humpty Dumpty!  Sad, sad…

I’ll have to make a point of reading them to my grandchildren when I have them.

Anywhoo, I found lots of gems like this that I’m now in the middle of preserving in scrapbooks, albums and my hard drive.  (If there is ever a fire in my house, one of the three things I’m grabbing is my portable hard drive.)  Every so often I’m going to post one of these pics on the blog for shits and giggles.  Some of my outfits are hysterical…

So back to the hurricane.  The rest of  Sunday saw more winds and a little more rain.  Still, those trees kept standing. I can’t go through MR’s constant worrying about these trees again so we’re planning on removing or pruning them in the near future.  Normal life resumed on Monday with a semi-easy commute (subway was a little delayed, forcing me to get off two stops before my regular stop and walk) and the return of Cablevision later that day.  The skies cleared and there was no sign that a hurricane OR the tornado they predicted were even in evidence the day before.

We were lucky.  People are still without power around Long Island as well as parts of the tri-state area.  It could have been lots worse- the storm was downgraded by the time it hit us.  If it had picked up speed, there would have been a lot more damage and MAYBE one of our trees would have fallen.  We’re counting our blessings and MR says he’s going back to church.

Speaking of blessings, seems Dr. S. got all the pre-cancer cells off my lady bits.  The cryosurgery was uncomfortable and is still a bit messy and I’ll have to continue going for checkups every six months, but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.  And I’ve been out of my mind for the last few weeks, I could use a little peace.

All’s well that ends well.  But we’re not putting those flashlights away just yet…

And…Breathe

It took me five days to put the previous post together.  I wrote, erased, wrote, deleted, decided not to post then finally said f*ck it all and hit the Publish button.  It’s my blog, after all, and I have to tell my story, good and bad.   And I knew I once I posted I would get a phone call from Dr. S.

Maybe he reads my blog.  Or maybe it’s Wednesday and he said he’d let me know before Friday.

Well.  I’m not going to die.  I’m sure some of you may be upset at the thought of me living another day, but this little cervical problem I’m having is not going to be my demise.  He’s just going to freeze a few spots inside, punch them out and hopefully with regular checkups we’ll catch anything else that pops up.  Easy-peasy.

The butterflies are out of my chest and I can breathe again.

No GNUS…is Good GNUS…

Last week, I received some good news and some bad news.  And this week, I got good news and bad news.

Which do you want to hear first?

Okay, the good news.  My acupuncturist, Dr. Wang (hee hee) called me, right in the middle of a migraine.  I’m convinced that he not only has mystical Eastern powers of the Chi but he’s also psychic.  He left a message on my cell ask how I was (how did he know?) and for me to call him back.  When I got in touch with him, he told me I was in a new cycle of insurance and he could treat me.  Make an appointment, he said.

I saw him this Wednesday.  Not a moment too soon..there was rain in the forecast for this week.

While he was looking under my tongue and in my eyes, he explained that he called my insurance again that day and they changed the policy- I know have unlimited acupuncture treatment!  Good news!   I can see him once a week and keep these damned migraines at bay.  And since I haven’t been to his office in a long while, he added extra needles- in that little space right in front of my ear.  Ew.

Now  I’ll (hopefully) be migraine free for the fall, when they hit hardest.  This summer hasn’t been too kind, either, with all the freakish storms (can you say HAIL?) we’ve had.  This is good news.

So, for the bad news.

Remember that UTI I had at the beginning of my mini vacation at the beach house?  I had gone to the gynecologist to get tested and get some antibiotics.  I didn’t realize that I hadn’t had a checkup in three years- I usually try to schedule a lady checkup and a mammogram in April, using my birthday as a reminder.  Time got away from me…been kind of busy in the last three years…

I did the whole gyno routine- PAP, breast exam, pelvic exam- while talking to the doctor about vacations and marriage.  I walked away from there confident I was in good health.  I felt good, my periods were normal and except for a few bouts of EXTREME PMS (should be a new reality show) I didn’t think about the exam for a few weeks.

Until I got a call from Dr. S. personally.

Seems my PAP came back with abnormalities.   Seems I have to go for a colopscopy.  Seems there are things that shouldn’t be where they are.

This is bad news.

He wanted me to come in the following week for the follow-up tests.  When he asks me if I have any questions, I go completely blank and mute.  When I finally get my heart out of my throat, I tell him no, and make an appointment.

I call MR right away and we furiously start Googling abnormal PAP tests.  Probably not a good idea.  Seems these things can pop out in times of stress.  It’s been three VERY stressful years since my last test.  The more reading I do, the more convinced I become that I’ve got something to worry about.  Was three years too long for them to catch anything?   This past week, I’ve been even more stressed.  And depressed.  I didn’t tell anyone for a week, then finally opened up to one of  my CAFM teammates, the one who calls me “mom” .  Since her mom is a billion miles away in South America she’s confided in me about all sorts of personal stuff, and I do the same with her because she’s not only smart, she’s compassionate.  She eased my mind temporarily about the whole situation and I was able to sleep that night.

Then I had my appointment.

The nurse explained the procedure, assuring me the test was updated and minimally invasive.   She asked me some routine questions, gave me a gown to put on and left me to change.

And wait.  And think.  And stew.

Dr. S. came in and again asked if I had any questions (I didn’t.  I had the internets at my fingertips).  He scooted me to the end of the table and told me to put my blue feet in the stirrups (my toenails are metallic blue…) .  I’ll spare you the details of the actual exam because 1) my dad reads this blog faithfully and 2) my kids hate all things genitalia.   So, while he was poking around, he had a lively conversation with the nurse about iPods, iPads and vacations.  I tried to follow the conversation, but I was  a little preoccupied.  He got my attention when he said he found something at 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock.

Whoa.  My vagina tells time?

He scraped and prodded and poked and gave the nurse the samples in clockwise order.  When they were packed up and ready to go, he sat me up and tried to explain the concept of the clock-face…blah, blah, blah.  I cut him off, asking him what he found.  He must have seen the sheer terror on my face because he patted me on the knee and said that we’ll know by Friday, and don’t worry, I don’t have Cancer.

Um, could I get a guarantee on that?  Please?

Just saying the C-word out loud caused me to burst into tears.  Thankfully, the Doctor and nurse had made a hasty exit.  I needed to dry my tears and get the hell out of here.  I met MR in the waiting room and couldn’t speak until we got out of the building.

Promising words.  He gave me promising words.  Then why do I feel like there are butterflies fluttering in my chest?  Why am I hiding in my house, too scared to go out, too scared to talk to anyone, to scared to bring to life the fears I have?  I was a recluse the whole weekend, not going out unless MR went with me, cleaning and scrubbing and putting together all the niggling mindless little craft projects I’ve been meaning to get to. Jumping from one project (sewing) to another (cleaning and rearranging Z-girl’s room) and hiding from the world, just needing to sleep, but not being able to with all those thoughts zooming around my head..  Knowing what agoraphobia feels like, because going to work on Monday was extremely hard.  Actually stepping out of the house took all my resolve.

I’m better today.  Talking with a friend actually helped (duh!) and I didn’t sound like a blithering crybaby when I did.  I went through three file cabinets of work going back to 2003 and I threw that shit out with gusto.  I cleaned my desk and organized a few shelves and felt that if God does decide to take me, no one at work will say “what the f*ck was she keeping this crap for?”

I jest, of course.  Kind of.

I’ll try to be strong until I get the phone call giving me my results.  And I’ll try to be strong after I hear the options on how to deal with those results.  And I’ll try to be strong if I need to deal with those options because I can’t suffer another lost weekend.  My family will never forgive me if I leave them my home office to clean out.

Send a little good karma my way, please?  Pray to your gods- I’m praying to mine.

And ten points to whomever can tell me where the title of this post comes from.

Cross your fingers…