Makin’ Memories!

My Mrs. — my Bashert (destiny, as in soul mates), that is some view I had! ❤

As many of you know, we had a bit of tsuris (trouble) this past spring break, when everyone got sick, save for Gatsby and me. Everything was ferkokt (all fucked effed up) Plans were canceled, tears were spilled along with other bodily fluids … Well, we finally got a re-do on that break, and this time, we headed to Boulder, Colorado to see my shvester (sister) and shvager (brother-in-law). I hope you can see how much fun we had! I am so very lucky…

My kinder, my shvester, and my shvager, perched on steps of pride with the kinderlech
Great company, food, music, dancing, and fun! My ballerinas were mesmerized by the break dancers…
Chautauqua Trails — The Flatirons, what a beauty to experience!

The fresh smelling air, the sights, the sounds of nature, all were as glorious as this shot which doesn’t even begin to capture what our senses absorbed. We all need to be good to our planet to preserve such a treasure. A shtik naches (A great joy) for us all to revel and relish.

Climbing… climbing…

As an important note, I think we only stopped 7 or 403 times to utilize our new unicorn bandaids for various blisters and to add a bissel (little) bling!

I spy with my little eye, a wabbit! In this photo, he may be ‘actual size!’

Some of us were Terrified of back bear sightings — we stumbled into this tiny rabbit while hiking. A little later we saw a very big deer, resting in the shade. She was unscathed by our presence. Of course, we were then terrified of ticks and Lyme’s Disease and inspected our kinder like Jane Goodall and her gorillas in the mist. On our way down, we spoke to a couple that saw a few baby black bears (Oy vey!) playing, on their hike, higher up. Luckily my kinder won’t likely read this post for many moons, if at all Feelings of shpilkes (fear, pins, and needles) in our group?  ‘Spot on!’

Living and loving ‘in the moment’
Farmutshet (worn out, exhausted) A little bit tired after that hike…
How lucky am I to catch this shot of Little jumping and Big waiting?

Never too tired to swim, and the water is never too cold when you are kinderlech (young children). Besides, there are two hot tubs to choose from to warm up if you need to! The water was actually quite comfortable in temp. Nothing stimulates the soul, activates the appetite and allows for sweet slumbers, like daily swimming. And the scenery, it couldn’t be more beautiful. 

And my shvester follows suit!
“I told you, only the girls are allowed in here…”  TLM*

If he knew the words, he would have said, “Loz mich tsu ru! (Leave me alone!)” I had to look them up! He is one proud uncle, who gets a kick out of these maideleh’s (sweet little girls), and, he loves his ME time! Nothing wrong with that! ❤ While we swim, he aerobicizes and lifts, solo style. 

We learned how to throw a Frisbee, and catch it too!

With the patience of a saint, and an overwhelming need to play, she taught us again how to throw and catch a Frisbee. I really think we have it now! For me, just running freely, throwing, hiking, swimming and playing, without severe or any repercussions, shows the proof in the pudding from living so close to the dispensaries! Medical or recreational, cannabis works for chronic nerve pain (and so much more)! I see why people up and move to feel better. Mrs.? 

“I wish we could stay longer…”
“I wish we could stay longer…”
We had so much fun! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Aud-o and Steve-o! ❤ ❤ ❤ We love you so much!

We all had a blast. It was good to get away from our daily grind and take in new perspectives and sights. Needless to say, I was verklempt (all choked up, emotional) for the entire bus ride to the airport, and even during the frisking, she didn’t even know me! at the airport check-in … and, for a few more hours too. My shvester, she is a bit on the magical side. She is loads of fun for us all, and together, we laugh, and laugh and laugh until we pee ourselves. No joke! And for me, to have a body that can feel so good, priceless.

Abi gezunt! As long as you’re healthy!

A pain in the neck

 

the cold rain descends
salty tears glisten the cheeks
daunting pain; it returns

hard rains beat, thud, thud
brilliant pink hues flourish
sun — distant, absent

hourglass sands empty
pain — there is no good time for it
find joy; it is there

 

 

Yiddish phrase of the day:

Veytik in di haldz. A pain in the neck.

My neck that is… And for all of you, L’chai’im (To Life)!

 

Start spreading the news

Shtik naches: Relatives who give you great pleasure and joy! From the top: Shvoger, (left) Shvester, me, (left) Little and Big. My Mrs., she took the picture.

Today’s post is a direct result of the single most, positive, life changing visit to Boulder, CO. We went to see my shvester (sister) and schvoger (brother-in-law) and had an absolutely wonderful time.  I cannot begin to thank them for their love, kindness, support, generosity, and of course, laughter. Oh, and Alex, my ‘budmaster’ from #FreshBaked, thank you too! You see, on my shvester’s birthday, her birthday mind you, they gave me the greatest gift of all time. The gift of feeling absolutely pain-free — no side effects, no cognitive impairment… medical marijuana in the form of CBD. I felt human for the first time in over three decades. A mitzvah (good deed) like no other. To my mishpocheh (shvester and schvoger), words cannot convey my love and gratitude.

To the tune of New York, New York please, maestro (tap, tap, tap, begin):

Start spreading the news, I’m human again
It’s been a life of chronic pain, now I feel great
This Philly based girl, has found a new zen
Right in the heart of Colorado, a legal bud state
I wanna wake up in a place where I’m pain-free
And find I’m living out loud, happy, carefree
Nerve pain in my neck, has won out, too long
I see why people up and move, near a dispensary
If weed could, help me along, with a pill and, not a bong
CBD my friend, makes me pain-free
If I can, feel good there
I should be able to, feel good, everywhere
It’s up to you, P.A., P.A.
I want to wake up, in a city, where I can get
CBD pills. Pain melts away. No high or munchies. Pain melts away!
If I can, feel good there
I should be able to, feel good, everywhere
It’s up to you, P.A., P.A.

Slang words for marijuana: green goddess, bud, grass, herb, weed, pot, wacky-tobacky.

Some links to learn more about medical marijuana:

Go in good health. Gai gezunterheit. And know this yiddisheh momma is gonna fight like hell to keep feeling this good. And to allow others to get relief too.

     

      

      

  

My faith in humanity is restored!

I came home from work, and the pain in my neck was excruciating. On a scale of 1 – 10, it was a 46 (that should only be my age). Ugh! My shana maidelehs (sweet little girls) were so excited to see me; Gatsby, my furry boychik, was jumping and barking at my feet.  My Mrs., she could see the pain in my eyes and she gently kissed me on the check. Heroes welcome for certain.

Apparently, a note was left at the front door entrance to our apartment building to my attention. Big, she was very excited to tell me all about it. Someone found something of mine in the parking lot… call a phone number and they will give it to me. I had no idea what that could be and I had no intention of finding out immediately due to my ‘pain in the neck‘ neck pain. My family, they went out to a birthday party for Little’s friend — I wanted to go, but without full body cooperation, I listened to the siren song of the sofa calling my name. Gatsby and I snuggled in tightly, arranging my head just so, and I asked ‘Alexa’ to play Rachel Maddow as I closed my eyes.

A little bit later, I heard a ping on my phone, so I took a look-see. I noticed a few notes in my Facebook messenger. Delving a little deeper, there was yet another note for me from a person I did not know. It was brilliant! Take a look at this:

Someone found my wallet, and wanted to return it to me! All of the sudden, I remembered Big’s excitement and put 2+2 together… I lost my wallet.

Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? Nu? When did this happen? Where? How? Obviously in the parking lot…  

My penchant for the penny-wise is so strong, I only reach cash/card if I really have to make a purchase. I met a friend for coffee today, but that’s a luxury, so no wallet. I didn’t even know I lost it!  This could have easily been disastrous! 

I dialed up my very kind neighbor right away. She was so sweet and caring. She said she was eagerly waiting to hear from me and she hoped I wasn’t going crazy looking for this missing wallet… Wait, I lost my wallet? I never lose my wallet? She was at work, but her hubby was home and would be happy to deliver my missing property. I insisted that I go to him – It was the least I could do! Gatsby and I ventured across the parking lot. As we made our way, it dawned on me that the previous day, me and this boychik, we walked to the local coop for some dog food and treats. My wallet must have fallen out of my pocket on the way home… I lost my wallet?

I pressed D9 and the most delightful man answered, in a British accent too! He buzzed me in the doorway and came straight away, with my red wallet in hand. As he handed it to me, he reached out his hand and said, “My name is Jim.” I happily took his hand in mine and smiled, gushing gratitude! He bent down and played with Gatsby. These two people who found my wallet, Kristy, and Jim, they are mensches (good people filled with honesty and integrity). And, they like my Gatsby. Dog people are good people! ❤

I love a kind human!

Today, in a world filled with chaos, hate, divisiveness, terror… I experienced the ultimate in human kindness. I saw proof that people, all people, can choose kindness.

A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness. A kleyn bissel fun likht pushiz a vek a plats fun finsternish. 

Kristy and Jim, thank you for my light.

I lost my wallet… My Mrs., Liz, Biz, Nona — it’s official. I’m a true part of this family! Expect a lost/stolen iPhone next, and, wait, where did my keys go? Oy vey. (OMG.)

Shalom, Ahava, and Simcha. Peace, Love, and Joy. May you all find some kindness today and every day!

      

     

      

Dear onabotulinumtoxinA, I really miss you

It’s been some seven months or so since we last, well, hooked- up. You, me, Doc M., the hospital. It was, well, magical! I know you felt it too. You, so helpful, so giving. I miss your touch. That extraordinary effect you have over me.

For those of you not in the know, I’m talking about Botox. Not the ‘wrinkle-relaxer’ to iron-out the multitude of well-earned, effin’ lines that surround my mouth and eyes kind of Botox. Oh no, I’m speaking of the genius who figured out that if you inject actual botulism, a poison, strategically and methodically into the muscles of people like me who suffer chronic pain (cervical dystonia, and occipital neuralgia), it will deaden the pain. Deaden the pain. Three such beautiful words.

May you never experience such pain and troubles. Ir zolt mir nit visn fun ken tzar un tsuris.

Botox, you quiet my nerve signals, as they are effed up not so hotsy-totsy. When they are screaming to my brain, “OUCH, spasm, contract, OUCH,” your prickly approach allows my body to function, to feel like me. With you, I like me. Without you in my life, the pain gets so unbearable, that the contents of my body empty completely.  Yes, both north and south partner up on this exercise in exhaustive depletion. This, in turn, causes dehydration, additional spasms, contractions, and OUCHES! Not the big-O I am seeking.

onabotulinumtoxinA, Botox, your injectables, make me closer to fine. You complete me. The biggest problem in our relationship — what most people fight over, gelt (money). The dreaded pharma co-pay. You see, your precious vials, while worth every cent my love, cost $1200. Since insurance makes us ‘go dutch,’ our chance encounters run $600 USD.  Together, we need Dr. M. and his wise, slow hands. The best neurologist a tier 3 kind of practice according to insurance, even though he is in my effing network in the city of brotherly love unites us. The ambiance of our darkened medical suite, the cost of the tincture, the scent of the isopropyl alcohol — can you hear the clamorous Ka-ching that distances us?

Don’t worry about it! Zok nit kin vey!

This is how my Mrs. and me, we approached this dilemma for the first nine months. Feel better. Life will be good. Until those credit card bills come thudding through the post. You or groceries, school, rent, life. It’s too expensive to exist. That puts our union, our relationship, in the varbotn (forbidden) category. This is not the frugalista, Yiddisheh momma speaking. This is a true pharmaceutical reality that divides our picture-perfect match. We are no better than the Montagues and the Capulets. A star-crossed pair. A schadchen (marriage broker) couldn’t make me a better match, find me a better find.

So, my dear Allergan, this is an open plea for help. You, your Botox! It works, I am your advocate! Your ambassador. A walking, talking example of Botox in action when I am lucky enough to be under your spell. Help me help you to help me feel better. I can be a better mama, a better spouse, a better worker, a better activist, a better all around human being on the planet. Your unique power to deaden the pain in quarterly injectable, installments, is no less than miraculous. No heavy opioid side effects. Instant ability to operate heavy machinery and make important life decisions. With you by my side, the pain, she is very manageable. Sleep is greatly improved. Appetite is back. Together with my occipital stimulator,  I can almost consider myself to be, dare I even say it,  N – O- R – M – A – L. 

Allergan, Botox, Dr. M., hospital. Until we all meet again. There is no shame here. Only love.

“Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow, That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”   William Shakespear, Romeo and Juliet

Zie gezunt. Be healthy. Be well. 

 

     

      

      

Oh. Oh. Uh-oh.

img_5871

This is Lisa.

Lisa suffers from very bad pain in her neck.

You can’t always tell. She hides it very well.

Lisa has chronic occipital neuralgia.

Poor Lisa.

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Her kinder (children), they like to walk dance on Lisa’s (mommy’s) back to help her.

This feels so good for Mommy.

Such good kinder they are!

Lisa loves her kinder so much.

img_4942

This is the Mrs. with our kinder.

The Mrs., she is so good to Lisa.

The Mrs. rubs her neck and back for her when she is in horrible pain.

Lisa loves the Mrs. so much.

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This is Gatsby.

Gatsby is a good little boychik (boy).

While the Mrs. rubs Lisa’s neck, Gatsby chews.

What a good boy Gatsby is!

Lisa loves the Great Gatsby so much!

img_7305

Oh. Oh.

Uh-oh.

Gatsby chewed Lisa’s glasses while the Mrs. rubbed her neck and back.

Gatsby ate the sides and broke through the lenses with his puppy teeth.

Gatsby is a mischievous boychik (boy).

Lisa loves her very adorable, yet mischievous boy Gatsby, very much.

Even with this killer watch dog, those thugs came after us!

Poor Lisa.

Lisa’s glasses are dreck (crap) now.

Lisa’s glasses make everything look as if she is looking through a snow globe.

How nice of Gatsby to make everything Lisa looks at, look like she is looking through a snow globe.

 

Oif tsalochis. As luck would have it… Lisa is tardy for a trip to the ophthalmologist.

What a good boy Gatsby is!

Zie gezunt! Be healthy, be well!

 

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Swimming Upstream

always upstream, oy vey
Always upstream, oy vey iz mir

It’s been a fucking lifetime few weeks now of life as a salmon, swimming against the tide of bureaucratic bullshit on numerous life levels. Paperwork perdition. Righting wrongs, with only a small success to keep my spirit motivated. I fear losing some of my much called upon ‘glass half-full’ skills. I’ve been a salmon so long now, I cannot even appreciate a nice nosh (snack) of lox and bagels with a shmear…Oy vey iz mir.

  • IRS: the Mrs., and me, we filed our 2015 tax return in February of 2016. Twenty-one days is what the website said. I’ve always been an early filer. I pay what we owe and I look forward to our return. Never have we as a family been so in need of said gelt (money) from the return than this year. Please understand, as of this writing, it is now mid-September of 2016. That’s 21 days plus almost 7 months, and still going. Talk about red tape! I’ve spoken to my accountant more times than both he and I care for… Maybe he even blocked my number by now. I’ve gone many a day to irs.gov, clicked on ‘Find my refund’ (the fact that they have that as a button option, I’m just sayin’) and get the same message every time: Your tax return has not yet been processed. I called the IRS back in March of this year and found a live person, who was kind and apologetic. I let him know my story and he searched high and low, keeping me on the phone for almost 3 hours. He found out that my return was placed in some holding purgatory for those who have had experienced identity theft!

My heart pounded, “What, someone stole my identity and has my return?” “No, it was just a random pull”, he replied. “Let me see what I can do to get this processed for you”. I took his name and badge number and felt we were on our way. He said, “Call, and just ask for me by my badge number.”

That was March. Now, I dial the many IRS numbers I have amassed, and get 85+ different prompts, all of which I have tried, and none of which lead me to an actual live person. I fear for my badge-numbered friend. I go through the ‘find the status of my refund’ prompt, and nu, I get: Your tax return has not yet been processed. I called the phone number of the local IRS department, and I got a recording saying, ‘This phone number does not offer phone support.What the fuck! I even tried the phone number for the hearing impaired. After all, even the IRS would be nice to the hearing impaired, right? Not so much. When the machine picked up, it let out a blaring sound, like a ship at sea (warning poor schlemeils (fools) like me, mere salmon still going upstream) to move aside. My right ear, it still rings. And yes, dejectedly, I am still swimming.

photo by @willowandsage1 follow on instagram
photo by @willowandsage1 follow her on instagram (the Mrs.)
  • Botox: As many of you know, I get Botox injections (no, my face is like a google map!) to assist in chronic neck/head pain, cervical dystonia, etc. Due to the cost prohibitive nature of this treatment, Allergan, the company that makes the injections of botulism that relieve the pain to passable life levels, offers a subsidy for those who are green-gelt impaired. An incorrect diagnosis code has bolloxed my Botox, leaving my pain plan in a perpetual place of purgatory, like the above referenced tax return gelt (loot). I call, I write, I beg, and I remain without treatment. No one should know of such pain. If you want to click here or here, you can learn more about how wonderful Botox is for my chronic pain.
Getting un-towed, not so easy
Getting un-towed, not so easy
  • The Car Tow: So as not to be deemed a total whiner, let me tell you now, this one ends with a Mitzvah (in a win, a good deed)! My Mrs., she had a lovely day at the shore with friends right at the end of the summer. She left early to get there and got home late in the evening, making memories of fun and laughter with good friends, Little and Big. She arrived back at the Manor and there was not one parking space available. In fact people were parked sideways, on the grass, and in the fire lanes. Half asleep, I grumbled, “Leave the car in the stairway spot. There are no signs saying ‘no parking’ and you can move it in the morning.” She awoke to a car towed and the start of a fight with the 4th management company to take charge here at the Manor since our sojourn began. We talked to Katrina, the new manager. She could give two shits about us or our car. We begged for her to get the car released as she did for two other families before us.  I contacted Katrina’s boss. No response. Our car was gone, and we needed $200 to free it from this unfortunate and unnecessary incarceration. This timing, it was not so good for us in the gelt department. The next week, we searched under sofa cushions and on the floors of our cars to scrape by — no joke. The fight, it continued. Went on for weeks. The neighbors, they all complained. We did not relent, and we finally got word, today, that we will be credited $200 towards next month’s rent. Azoy! (Huzzah!)

There’s more, but this seems like just enough. End on a good note.

Tsum shtain zol men klogen nor nit bei zikh zol men trogen. Better pour out your troubles to a stone, but don’t carry them within yourself. So, I’m pouring. Thanks for reading! 

Wishing you all a tsuris (trouble) free time. A bei gezunt (Be in good health).

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How to be active while in pain

REBLOG: Ms. Mango, of Gainthroughthepain.wordepress.com has nailed this topic, so no need for me to reinvent the wheel. If you or someone you love lives with chronic pain, you’ll want to read this. TY Ms. Mango! M’wah!

Gain Through The Pain

I want to start by saying I am not a medical professional or sports therapist. I’m someone who has suffered from a variety of chronic conditions that cause pain and discomfort for years. I’ve found what works for me, I’ve learnt a lot of tricks along the way and happy to say I’ve been lucky enough to watch some of the people around me learn to be more active despite their own physical struggles (I must say, the AMAZING effect it has had on their mental state and their quality of life).

Any fitness, activity or lifestyle change should be brought to the attention of your doctor before you commit. Each individuals illnesses and conditions are vastly different and effect them in different ways so what works and is safe for someone may not be safe and healthy for another. Please do not take anything I say as a be…

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*Botox Brief: No more smiles for me, and it is Awesome!

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I cannot smile since this Sunday past

My only hope? This result will continue to last

When I look in the mirror it’s absurd, quite inane

That my lips can’t curl up, they will only abstain

 

I did not smile when I arose before sunrise

Not in the kitchen with coffee; these lips still were lengthwise

I simply do not look that amused at all

Not in the Manor, nor down the hall

 

I will not grin while commuting each and every day

Not a beam or a chortle when I look your way

I will not smile while I am doing my work

Signing the big deal, there’ll be no sign of a smirk

 

This flytrap of mine won’t turn its way ‘round

I’ll look much more serious, even a tad bit profound

When I leave in mid-day for a lunchtime siesta

My lips won’t crack upwards, yet it’s a real mitzvah (good thing)

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Shuttling back to the Manor before turn of night

My mouth doesn’t snicker, at all, in delight

When I swoop in to hug my Big and my Little,

You’d think my facemask was looking a wee bit too brittle

 

The Mrs., I’ll give her a peck on the cheek

Ask about her day, my grin passed its peak

As he dances and barks, Gatsby’s wagging his tail

I’ll bend down and squeeze him, my punim (face) in jail

 

But don’t you have shpilkas (worry) about my lost grin

The Botox, it’s working; chronic pain must not win

Losing my smile is not at all saddening

Life filled with pain; that is what’s maddening

 

So if you should see me and think it quite odd

Just know in your heart, I feel better in my bod

The pain in my neck that reaches a thunderous level

Has temporarily been frozen, this poison’s no devil

 

Botulinum toxins injected into my skull

Has diminished the pain, left me much more agile

My mishpocheh (family) is kvelling (happy) with my newfound freedom

Just know that inside, I’m grinning eardrum to eardrum

 

*Cervical dystonia, occipital neuralgia, neck and back spasms, chronic migraine, pain in the effin’ neck, and associated awful side effects

 

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Botox Day: A Story in Pictures at the Hospital / Shmospital

Back, at last...
Back, at last…my glass is half full
Oy vey. This I have to wear?
Oy vey. This I have to wear?
Hospital, shmospital
Hospital, shmospital
Over here Doc. I'm here. It's me! C'mon.
Over here Doc. I’m here. It’s me! C’mon.
Doc is asking for me!
I heard my name. YES!
Ready, set, go
Ready, set, go
In 3 - 5 days I'll be better...
In 3 – 5 days I’ll be better…
This morning, waiting for the Botox to kick in
This morning, waiting for the Botox to kick in

Coming soon: a better parent, wife, sister, friend…

 

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The Good, the bad and the ugly truth: My Smile is Back

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photo by @willowandsage1.  Follow on instagram

Shhhh. I’m kvetching (ranting). It’s Friday.

Good News: My effervescent (not in a gassy way), cheerful, and sunny disposition has been fully restored to my punim (face) as I recently regained the use of my right trigeminal nerve. Yes, I’m a regular Mary Poppins-berg! In short, I’m able to smile, beam, and grin again like the Cheshire cat.

Bad News: Since March, my punim (face) has been fahrkrimpteh (twisted, scowling). My ability to fully smile, while usually a wonderful and somewhat contagious activity, means that the Botox treatment used to treat the nerve pain I experience from occipital neuralgia and cervical dystonia has completely worn off, shy of the 90 day term. Stop what you’re thinking. It’s not ‘that kind of Botox treatment.’ While I have the shoulders, back of my neck and scalp of a 21-year-old female, this punim (face) wears the aged mask of an alta kocker (old fart) from years of living in chronic pain.

The Ugly Truth: Chronic, persistent, prolonged pain sucks ducks. The walking wounded, we amble among you. We are everywhere. We may look just fine, and we are faking feeling great. Botox, actual botulism in a bottle, when administered by the proper neurologist, beautifully battles the suffering. When combined with bionics and meds, I’m the closest to normal I’ve been in decades. A bei gezunt (We should all live and be well)!

Good News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. That’s nothing! My cranium will regain its youthful glow as the surrounding nerves freeze and ease, like Elsa in Arendelle. I don’t mind needles or shots. I’m gonna “Let it go.”

Bad News: I am 13 12 days until my next treatment. Depending on how things go with the turbulent barometric pressure, stress, physical activity, posture, and luck of the draw, we’ll see how I feel day to day. How much can I fake it, and how I can avoid impending flares?

The Ugly Truth: This last round was wonderful! I had one or two days at a time when I totally turned off the bionics (occipital stimulator). On the classic pain scale where I (new-normally) live a persistent 6-7, I saw days in this past couple of months where I was a 2. Nu? Me and the Mrs., we were afraid to talk about it…I am amazed that some gantseh macher (big shot, genius) had the gumption to inject this enchanted neurotoxin to freeze nerve endings and reduce wrinkles. Who am I to judge that this mastermind’s first intention was to use his goldeneh hendts (golden hands) to fulfill the vanity needs of aging starlets? En route, there was a common oddity found among those firmer in the face. These maturing movie stars also saw benefits of less head and neck pain? Ah-hah moment!

Good News: Armed with the trifecta of Botox, meds and my stim, I get more days on my calendar than, well ever before. I have more time with the Mrs., Little and Big, more days for work, more days for play. Priceless.

Bad News: In terms of costs, Priceless, not so much. In fact, “OUCH!” This family will feel the pain in an already vulnerable wallet. There is no frugality in Pharma. They expect a lot of gelt (money). What price pain? This round, we will see how my new friends at Allergan pitch in to help.

The Ugly Truth: Soon, when I lose my smile, know how happy I really am. Pain, gay avek (go away) Neuro-paralysis, here I come.

 

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Today’s Post, is brought to you by the Letter “U”

With the doctor
With the doctor

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Update

So the last time a letter sponsored this yiddisher momma, it was B, for Botox. I thought it well timed to share an update. It’s unanimous! There is no level of unhappiness as a result of this treatment. In fact, it is my understanding that in addition to the incredibly youthful, even child-like, back of my head and scalp that I now sport underneath my coif, Botox helps to undo my pain! In fact, Botox, united with my superhuman bionic occipital stimulator, has me under an umbrella of predominantly good feeling unlike I have known in quite some time. This unusual turn of events has me quite hopeful and, well upbeat. The upstairs region of my person, which is usually inundated with pain unlike – well, you should just never know from such ugly pain – now has me in the unique position of not crying, “Uncle! I give up.” 

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Unlikely turn of events

It turns out, you do not have to be ungeshtupped (stuffed with money!) to get this procedure! The upright people who make Botox (Allergan) have a program to assist desperate pain sufferers such as me, in paying for the unreasonable and unwarranted copays that triggered consideration of sitting myself near my local urban pharmacy with a Venti-sized spent Starbucks cup in hand. I am still anticipating the arrival of my undue out-of-pocket expenditures, and will no doubt update you all to the Botox loot when it arrives via post. The understanding of said payback program has me already scheduled to undergo another round of injections in one month’s time. Sticking to the 90-day plan is urgent and essential in keeping away the unpleasant pain.

Doing the 'HAPPY DANCE'
Doing the ‘HAPPY DANCE’ for Mommy

Big U, Little u, what begins with U?

U is for Us

As in the Mrs., me and the kinder (kids) and our newfound universe that does not contain the usual amount of ache and discomfort. This has us all on an upward spiral of delight. And, don’t you worry, I will undertake anything that I am normally unable to do – I want very much to maintain this unique new feeling of unfeeling as much agony as is possible.

Until next time…what’s new with U?

 

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Rant, Shmant: The Time Conundrum?

Tick-tock, tick-tock...
Tick-tock, tick-tock…

Quiet please, for this session is very important…Week 13

Where does it go when 24/7 is the new norm? 81 years is the average age for a woman in the U.S. to live, less so for a man. How do we spend our time? What makes us happy? What constitutes a life well lived? I suppose those answers change from person to person.

2 reasons right here...
2 reasons right here…

I’m soon to be 636 months old. Am I doing the things that matter to me? Am I grateful? What do I want more of? What do I do too much of? If I have roughly 336 months left, how should they be spent? How could they be spent?

I work really hard. I do not have wealth, and I am rich in many ways. I live with extreme physical pain, and I savor the many pleasurable feelings of joy. I have had struggles and tsuris (troubles) for what feels too long a time, and I revel in laughter and glee. I have been hurt and I seek no harm to others. I’m not where I want to be, physically or fiscally, and I am so lucky to be surrounded by those I love and who love me.

This life, it seems it is filled with hundreds of invisible tugs of war that one encounters at unpredictable checkpoints along the way. Everyone’s road is different. Sometimes one can pass through the obstacles with ease while others require extra adeptness and newfound compassion.

Where is the balance among the commotion? How does one teeter what feels good and what hurts? Ethics, morals, values, pain, conflict, money, love, empathy, gratitude, compassion…is there a pattern? I don’t have that answer. I don’t see a pattern.

If time is finite, I need handle it with care. If energy is fixed, I should expend wisely. If my body craves healing, I need to treasure restoration. I fear there is no bargaining at this table.

I do work that is meaningful. My heart lives for and with my family, great friends. Such naches (joy and happiness) I get, from the Mrs. and der kinder (the children). I hold my loved ones closely and dearly. I am grateful.

Thanks for letting me speak (well, okay, type). I can stop kvetching (complaining), at least about time, for I think I have resolved the answer to my enigma. Wish me much mazel (good luck)!

Are you living your life well? A bei gezunt (As long as your healthy)!

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Bloggers Pit Stop #19
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Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter B!

The Buss, photo credit willowandsage1 (the Mrs.)
The Buss, photo credit willowandsage1 (the Mrs.) 

Big B, Little b, what begins with B?

Botox begins with B

Also known as Botulism toxin or BTX. And for this Botox we are not talking about leveling out the creases, crinkles and wrinkles that now beautify my pain strained face. Nope. This Botox will be injected into the back of my neck and all over my scalp to plainly paralyze the pain. In return, I will also sport the back head and cranium of an 18 year-old. The goal of injecting botulism is to aid and abet my bionics in controlling the incredulous chronic discomfort caused by occipital neuralgia, cervical dystonia, bruxism and the other dreck (crap) that can basically be defined as a PAIN IN MY NECK.

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Bionics begins with B

Bionics as in the little machine installed just above my right tuchas (butt) cheek. Its wires wend their way up to the occipital borough of my neck where the magical leads are proficiently positioned. Bionics, from Boston Scientific, alters my brain waves to say, “Hey, that doesn’t hurt so much, ya know?” Bionics are a game changer.

Big Pharma begins with B

Big Pharma is akin to the prescription drug biz that makes medications like Botox. These meds cost big bucks, despite having Blue Cross Blue Shield. What’s an exorbitant bill? When your co-pay is similar to your take home pay.

Boychiks (two young lads) begins with B

Boychiks, as in my two neurological besties, who continue to offer benefits like both Botox and Bionics. These medical miracle makers, yes, they’re doctors, give me hope for better days ahead.image

 Bubelah’s (the affectionate way of referring to my girls) begins with B

My bubelah’s, der kinder (the kids), my shana madelahs (pretty little girls) and of course, the Mrs., they bring me such joy each day—well, basically each and every day! They are hope and my daily simcha (joyous occasion). 

Buds begin with B

Buds are the hope that comes with spring, and quite frankly things like Botox and Bionics. Buds make me beam and believe in warmer clime and sunnier times.

 

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Blogging begins with B

Blogging makes me happy.  Blogging makes me blissful. It gives me a healthy outlet to vent, share and kvell (boast), and allows me entrée to you, my therapists. Blogging is cathartic and liberating. Hopefully, it somehow touches you in a beneficial way, or at least makes you beam or chortle a bissel (little).


A bei gezunt (As long as you are healthy.).
 Well, it almost begins with B.  Nu?

 

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Rant, Shmant, at least I can vent…week 7

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Be very, very quiet. Patient in therapy session…sorry I’m late!

It’s week 7 therapists…how about we get a breakthrough?

It’s been a strange week. I’ve been late a lot, and I despise lateness. Let me premise that with the fact that I am never late. I arrive everywhere chronically early and answer emails, do puzzles, write, play with photos, etc. I was late for a doctor’s appointment. I was late for work. I am late for my Friday rant, as made obvious by the fact that today is Saturday and here I am, kvetching (ranting) in tardiness. Some of this is due to incredibly bad traffic and construction. Some of this is due to little bits of frozen precipitation that totally makes every Philly driver a texting, talking, driving fool. Some of this is because it’s been an incredibly physically hard week for me. Whether its barometric pressure, stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, posture, or crap for luck, I have a tremendous amount of neck pain. But, at the end of the day, I own it. I am late and I am sorry.

Worry, shmorry. I am hoping, to quote Little, ‘that for real life’ we are actually living inside a TV reality show. I fear that we are just looking like one to the rest of the world. “Cue the sun!” I feel truly embarrassed to be an American. The GOP is really making mockery of us so easy to all who watch, read, and see—with the exception of the swelling, puffed-up outpouring of people who believe in these cartoon nudniks (annoying, pain in the tuchas (arse) kind of folk) and buffoons, and late night comedians who are thankful. Alevai (may it all come to pass).

“It’s nine p.m.! Let’s tune in to the United States.”

“Oh how I love that show. It’s just hysterical. Ideocracy in action.”

“Who are the geniuses that dreamt up this ratings smash?”

“What great writing! Where did they find these characters?”

“Is this that the new show by the Coen brothers?”

During the GOP debate, did they really talk about the size of Drumpf’s schlong (penis)? Are we concerned with his peckel (package)? Are there no adults left in the room? And Mitt, why on earth did you pop up with your talking head now? Are the American people supposed to believe and trust in what you say? The guy who through his hat in the ring and LOST wants you to think about how valuable his opinion is so please, vote for anyone but the large-handed, badly quaffed guy that rhymes with RUMP? How did you get this cameo role? You had your 15 minutes…

Folks, think about it. Do you really want any one of these schlemeils (remaining fab four) to take on Lil’ Kim in North Korea? Putin? Possibly choose the next robed player to sit with the Supremes, the role with a lifetime sentence. There’s not a mensch (good guy) among them.

“That one guy wants to build a wall to keep out all the Mexicans”

“Don’t forget about banning all Muslims from entering the country.”

“He’s openly racist! Awesome”

“What brand of spray tan do you think he uses? He always looks so healthy.”

“Do you think in next weeks episode, he’ll free Chris Christie?”

This isn’t just a phase. This isn’t a reality show—it’s a real, live circus that we all have tickets to gain entry. My seats are quite close to the elephant dung.

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I’m supposed to make the world a better place for my kinder (children), Little and Big. I will vote, continue to opine, and do what I can for democracy and democrats. After all, I’m a lefty, liberal, jewish lesbian… What will you do? Oi gevalt (heaven forbid) what could happen…

Symptoms: Anxiety. Fear. Sleeplessness. Sever pain. Incredible desire to be an expat. Won’t you help me therapists?

 

 

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Yesterday was a bad day, so today will just have to be better!

What number do I call?
What number do I call?

Warning: Yesterday was a bad day, physically, emotionally, and all the other ‘–ally’s’ you can imagine. Little, Big and the Mrs., I apologize for any shortness or biting sarcasm that you were subject to. I try hard not to have this happen, and I know that I am merely mortal.

It started bad from the get-go. The sleep thief, gonif that she is, must have stolen whatever good was needed from my slumber. My body did not feel good and that made Tai Chi difficult. My balance was off and my neck throbbed. Other body parts didn’t line up to cooperate so much either. I pushed through it. Coffee, made expertly (by me) thick and strong, seemed useless. I needed a day like this like a loch in kop.

Little, she woke up in some state of mind! Unfortunately, it was the same one she brought with her to bed the previous night. Magically, she started right in, not skipping a beat or missing a refrain from the prior cockamamie behavior. Some days, my little pisher can really carry on.

I searched deeply, counting backwards from 10-Mississippi to zero and back again, breathing consciously. My sunny disposition was nowhere to be found. Is there a locator app for that? I was tired and my body wasn’t right. I had one bar left on my occipital stimulator, so I knew that by mid-day, I would run out of power (I did). Not so good for a day before a snowstorm. G’zai gezunt…

I made school lunches from bits and scraps. Our kitchen held a startling resemblance to Old Mother Hubbard’s place. This is no dig to the Mrs., as we are artfully trying a new pennywise purchasing plan by food shopping just twice a month and holding to a fixed dollar amount. We still have some work to do here. (Insert feelings of failure, as said family provider. Some breadwinner…I know, but like I said, I had a drecky day.) Big’s Friday lunch remains were still in her lunchbox. Let’s just say, yogurt that sits ‘outside the box’ for three days does not yield a good result for anyone when the container is uncapped. Not an aroma fit for my dicey stomach. Oy. 10-Mississippi…

Luckily, Nona loaded us up with bagels and some fixings yesterday. It would be PB&J for Big, and due to Little’s allergies, sunflower nut butter and honey. Since I wasn’t spit-spot on, I mistakenly made both sandwiches peanut butter. Luckily, I checked myself, thus preventing a possible predicament of anaphylaxis (phew). I quickly made a third bagel sandwich correctly for my shana Little. Vey iz mer! 10-Mississippi…

The commute to work had its usual share of crummy drivers and folks giving me the finger for going the speed limit. (Really, when was the last time you either ‘shot the bird,’ or were on the receiving end of one?) I shout, “Gai cocken afin yom (go shit in the ocean)” from the top of my lungs in the car, windows closed. 10-Mississippi…hey, no one shot me with a bullet, so that alone was a mitzvah! Sunny Dee, is that you? Nope, just my sardonic wit trying to raise a smile.

NPR and XPN were still in the midst of their radio fund drives. Ugh…Just look at the damned scenery and breathe it in. 10-Mississippi… My commute traces the same locales that make up many Thomas Eakins paintings. It’s beautiful no matter the weather, my mood, or the mean-spirited, speed racers that occupy the road with me daily. Smidgeons of Jonas were still around and I was able to find parking close to the office. All good. 10-Mississippi…

I get to work, fire up the computer and start the day. I completely fake feeling fine and dandy with everyone. No one even raises an eyebrow or questions this; I am that good. As I walk downstairs to talk with a co-worker, I spot a mouse, flat-out dead in a trap in the kitchen. Of mice and women. 10-Mississippi…

Enough already. No more kvetching

Today is Tuesday. It will be a better day. I think Sunny Dee, my inner Mary Poppins, is back. Body still crapy and I’m still faking it, but that’s okay. I’m an expert. Snow dusted the cars last evening, so the 4-8 inch hype (one place where size matters…) from the weather advisory folk was wrong. The kinder will be disappointed. No Olaf building today.

I’m about to try some Tai Chi. Hope you all have a good day.

 

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Moments in the dead of night

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It seems like I have 4 kinds of moments in the wee hours of the night. Sleep interrupted.

  1. Manor moments: aka, the walls, they have ears. Our mystery (I wouldn’t know them if I fell on top of them) neighbors that live directly above us in apartment T4, lead a very, well ‘er, active late-night existence. Such ‘fiery devotion’ for each other; Oy how I fear Valentine’s Day! Usually the, uhhh dance, begins with some very loud and disruptive rap music. Rap music? Mind you, this is unsettling to us…Little and Big awaken and are scared. The , kaynahorah, she has a temper…and can bang and yell at the ceiling. The love shack above? They are very pleased with their musical selection, and let’s say, the shtupping begins. Mittendrinnen, the Mrs. is frantically searching Spotify, seeking a LOUD lullaby for the kinder. This to both mask the verbose, verboten vocabulary shared amongst the passionate paramours overhead and quash the questions der kinder may ponder as to what may be occurring. This we don’t need at 1-something am on a school night. A bei gezunt…they should live and be well!
  1. Shpilkas specials: These are those dreaded times when the bladder, she calls, and calls, and calls. And during at least one of these nightly treks, my brain awakens with whatever I fear most, at that very moment. Bills, pain, family, disease, work, politics, life, death–in any random order. So the brain, she keeps revving…the baggage under the eyes grows and morning sets in well before sleep. And, as they say, you can’t outrun the moon. I just get up and do. A bissel more sleep each night, I could hope for. But, you get what you get, and you don’t get upset. 
  1. Points of Pain: The 2:12 am tap on the shoulder. Like I should be so lucky; it’s more a mad kick to the back of the head. My heart, it pounds like Poe’s Telltale Heart. I look over to the , to Little and Big, certain they will stir from the sound of this thumping. This flare up places my kishkas in over drive. At once, tiny beads of sweat form over my entire body. Neck mobility is gone. Every move hurts. The weight of my head on my shoulders is too much to bear; yet somehow, I must make it to the bathroom. Everything inside my body wants to escape the pain in any way it can. North. South. Usually both. No medicine stops it. I reach for my remote control (occipital stimulator) and increase the velocity of my bionics. I’m pleading with the pain to lessen. It’s my “Please, no…please, no” dance. (For laypeople without chronic pain, imagine the dance you do when you use someone’s toilet and it’s about to overflow. That’s the best I can do…) Will I make it through this episode? Will the meds work? Will I be horizontal and dehydrated for days? Will I miss work? Miss life? How much time will I not get back. I may speak a lot of Yiddish, but for me, I get no comfort from prayer. My iPhone-G has no connection. 
  1. Kinder Naches: Little and Big, they still sleep with us. Don’t get me started on sleep, or lack there of…it’s the mantra of parenthood. But sometimes, I wake up in the night and just observe the quiet beauty of the kinder and the I hear the faint sounds of their breath, see the expressions on their faces; realize the joy I take in from these three. My muses. It’s a mitzvah. I lay back down. I smile. I sleep again. Clearly, this is my very favorite of the foursome.

Someday, I’ll have a good night’s sleep. But for now, there’s plenty to do in the waking hours. Moments of good health, moments of not so much. Here’s to a great day!

 

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Dear Body, What’s with you?

from my window

To quote Judge Judy (really!), “Du kanst nicht oif meinem fus pishen und mir sagen klass es regen ist.” Translation, “Don’t pee on my foot and tell me it’s raining!” This is no ‘woe is me’ post. I bullshit you not. But c’mon…body? Vus iz dos? Despite it all, I unfailingly (well, 98% mostly) choose the glass half full side of life. Why. Three main reasons (and yes, there are more):

  • The Mrs.
  • Big
  • Little

Hair: I have a lot of hair and for that I am grateful. As a kid, I had light brown hair that would get lovely blonde, sun-kissed streaks. With ah, mmmm, maturity, and less time on the swings, came light brown hair. My crayons began to run out of colors in my mid to late thirties, and so began experimentation in color. I was brown, browner, a touch of red, henna-touched, blonde (very, very bad in hindsight), blonde splashes for ‘softening.’ The Mrs. has had her share of hair-happenings atop my kop. Lucky for us, hair grows out, and I’m pretty easy going. I’ve been my current, au natural, for about the past decade. It’s an overall gray, frosty sheen, with an undercoat (yes, like a dog) of mopsy brown. The result is not the beautiful, white gray coif like Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren or Kate Moss, but one that is more of a field mouse. You already know how the Mrs. feels about mice…

Hijinks

Eyes: Since first grade you have let me down. If you only knew how mad my mother was at me for needing glasses? Like I had a choice in this gene pool? She didn’t believe that I couldn’t see the chalkboard from my front row seat (geek way before it was trendy) and was mortified when the eye doctor confirmed the prognosis. That was one appointment that I recall very clearly (unlike my vision). Despite mom, I made peace early on with my inner Mr. Magoo. I used to have quite the portfolio of glasses to suit my many moods. Never a lover of clothes shopping, but glasses—hold me back. Those were the non-frugal days of yore. Now, my seamless trifocals come from VisionCrafters. I have but one pair that’s a bit bent out of shape from Little’s rough and tumble play. And, I am now like the Karate Kid working with his mentor, Mr. Miyagi: “Glasses on. Glasses off. Glasses on. Glasses off.” Which is best???

Neck: Oh how I despise you. Not for the usual reasons women hate their necks. You look just fine. Functionally, not so much. I was 18 years old, riding a borrowed bike home from work (“Dermatology Associates, how may I help you?”) when I was hit by (I think it was an old lady, but truth is, only knuckles showed on the steering wheel with a small tuft of blue hair. She drove off, perhaps thinking she ran over a squirrel or something) a car and careened into the center median of a very busy road in south Florida. This was the catalyst for my chronic pain. I got news for you, the borrowed bike didn’t fare so well either. Fast forward a few years into my twenties, and add a few instances of whiplash (Philadelphians perhaps don’t drive so well?). The thirties (maybe why the crayons began losing color) brought on a horrible roller blading accident (who let me on those things) that cracked my helmet in half like an eggshell. As I came to, I recall seeing and hearing cartoon birds chirping over the (three to four versions of the one) man that came running across the street to my rescue. I felt like Wile E. Coyote with an anvil atop my head. “Beep. Beep.” These snowballing concussive events have lead to thirty-two plus years of escalating, loathsome, and agonizing neck pain. I waken each day, 2-3 hours earlier than most, so I can ease out of the cacophony of pain points. I’ll leave out the assortment of accompanying despicable symptoms for now. We’ve got time…Glass half-full here! Lots of visits to countless ‘–ists,’ procedures, meds, surgeries, massages, acupuncture, injections, potions and bionics! Yes, I am a $6 Million Dollar Woman (remember Jamie?) with a remote control for a device placed smack dab in my right tuchas with wiring straight up to my keppie. It actually tricks my brain to think, “hey, that’s not so bad now, is it?” Zap the pain away.

cold

One more thing for now: Hot flashes. While few and far between, you’ve managed to come at every wrong time during the hot summer months. Now, you totally disappear when the temps have dropped to tundra degrees? Nu? As a person who has been cold my entire 633 months on this planet, one would think that just 1 or 2 properly planned convection oven style-flashes would have been nice?

Not a lot of kvetching here because I’m always choosing ‘happy.’ What, like I have another choice? And for those who ponder whether this side of life moves quicker than the first half…I think it’s the same. It feels quicker because of the people we include in our lives, the fun we create, the play we make and the wisdom of our choices. Ennui is no fun. Livin life, staying present is maybe what it is all about.

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Hello, It’s me…Lisa

Little and Big Xmas 2015

So you may wonder why I’m here blogging, sharing my spiel? Truth is, I started blogging because it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than therapy. And that makes you, dear readers, my therapists. By the powers vested in me, please follow, share and leave your comments, good and bad. Let’s kibitz?

I don’t want to kvetch (a lot), but dreck happens, often. And that’s okay. I am here on the planet to learn and grow daily. So what if we share a little growing pains?
Armed with my keypad, camera and some words, hopefully strung together fairly well, I can fill you in on what goes on, while also working on this ‘life in progress’ journey we all seem to be taking. Wouldn’t it be nice, if maybe we could all laugh, cry, see some commonalities, embrace some differences and inspire each other to keep going?
My muses? None other than my crazy, zany, beautiful (inside and out) and lovable family. That includes me, the Mrs.,Family 1-1-2016 BHI Little and Big. Yes, we are two mommas with two little girls. Trials, tribulations, parenting, working, aging and surviving, while food shopping, doing laundry, making meals, cleaning up and trying to save the planet.
Sometimes I’ll offer up little nuggets to nosh on, and sometimes a bit more of a tirade about whatever may have my kishkas in an uproar. I figure, this blog will see me, us, through the ups and downs of the hand(s) we’ve been dealt. Chronic pain, major life changes, moves, losses, gains, wins, ballet recitals, tooth fairies, friends, foes, fears, tsuris, yadda, yadda…
I blog because…
  • my girls may someday look back and want to see who ‘Mommy’ was as a person, through their adult eyes
  • I want to remember every (okay, most) beautiful moment of their childhood that is priceless and filled with such naches
  • every moment isn’t pretty–sometimes it’s messy and fehklempt, and I want those memories too
  • other parents out in the ether must know what to do when…? and share with me
  • for some crazy reason, I am channeling great Aunt Frieda with all of this Yiddish
  • I have funny thoughts, and I write them down, in the hopes that you (my therapists) may smile or chuckle over them tooblogger mommy
  • my family, my little mishpocheh and my extended and chosen peeps, need to know how very much I love them and feel loved by them
  • life with two kids, work, school and all the other mishegas, doesn’t always allow for adequate ‘tawk-time’ with the Mrs., or anyone else for that matter
  • ahhh, the Mrs., whenever I see her, my heart still skips a beat
  • every night, Little cries out during bedtime that she is hungry
  • Canada looks very good in the event of a Trump inauguration, and we will need to know where to send Little and Big to school
  • have I got stories to tell. Oy vey!

So, you’ll join me? What, you have something better to do? Nu?

BTW, I’m the one with the gray hair in the pic.

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What a night for a good dream

dream 2
What a night for a good dream
a good night to work out my shit
I’ve been rollin’ in tsuris
I think my subconsciousness can handle it
And even if daytime’s been hard to toll
It’s one of those nights to tuck in and roll
close the lids and let the movie begin
figure it out and try rememberin’
Dream 1
I was havin’ a good dream
dreamt for all four hours of eve
the mishegas was all solved for
Mazel Tov’s were handed out to me
And even if days have had my kishkas in knots
at least at night I don’t have to plotz
I’m less ferklempt and more a yiddisher kop
The dreck is gone, no pain and have a pug pup
(whistling interlude)
And I can be sure that if I dream a bit
this alte kocker can be an alrightnick
My bubela’s won’t be screamin’, “Oy vey!”
we’ll get by yet another day
dream 3
What a night for a good dream
the dreck is one and we’re all okay
our problems are bubkes
we can shmooze and sing and play all day
(whistling interlude)
special thanks to the Lovin’ Spoonfuls and for the ability to somehow
channel my inner Aunt Frieda

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linky 2-5-16
TY linky 2-5-16

The Post Do-Over Days

The days that follow a ‘do-over’ hold unnecessary stress for all of the family. The pain gonif strikes on its own schedule. Azoy. Time was carved out and stolen. It does not come back easily. We stay cautiously optimistic, not knowing when the thief returns…

Sunday 2

“Mommy, are you better?” Four little words. Oh how to answer these sweet little faces. Super Mommy powers to the rescue. Grab your land legs, “Of course sweeties!”Sunday 3

Little, Big, Ema and me need some fun.

A nice day. Crisp, autumn air.

A babbling brook. Discoveries abound.

Crunching leaves underfoot. Running over bridges.

Peeping in windows. Making believe. Making it real.

Bumping into fellow Miquon tots.

Sunday 1Jumping across the creek rocks. Slipping into the cold water.

Oops! Giggling, then freezing. No fear here.

A time like no other.

Beautifully, fantastically brought to you by mother earth.

Guilt free. Gelt free. Frugally fantastic.

What’s not to love?

Little, Big, Ema and I had fun.

Hey pain, “Gay kocken affin yom!

 

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Quote

This year on Thanksgiving, to quote my Little, we took a do-over. Because chronic pain knows no dates, no holidays, no plans, not even the hopes and joys and dreams of little ones. Grandpa still arrived and swept my Littles and my love off to the theater to see the Peanuts movie. A lovely treat,  complete with lazy-boy recliners and plenty of pretzel nuggets. A good time had by all.

I stayed home to a mixture of brecching, gripping the porcelain pot, mixtures of meds, and an uncomfortableDo-Over ‘sleep.’ It happens. It’s out of my control and it is what it is. It’s a shonda when it affects my children, my family, but we will survive. When it comes, I cannot muster any of my mommy SuperPowers. Chronic pain trumps Super Mommy every time.

I wake the next day, somewhat better and in need electrolytes. Stiff, dehydrated, sad, and rallying. After all, this glass stays half-full. I know that today we can do it all over again today. Little said so, and Big agreed. I should probably wait another day, but I don’t.

That’s family. The kinder, the mishpucha. Love. That’s what I have been and why I am forever thankful, despite my lot.

Love, gratefulness, and thanks, isn’t that what this Holiday is all about anyway?

Wishing you all a happy thanksgiving, whatever day you celebrated.

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Les Misérables

my lego friends dream

We walk among you. We sit next to you. We work with you. We laugh with you. We drive in the lane next to you and make dinner plans to sup with you. We are at the playground, the grocery store, the movie theatre and the school potluck. I’m not talking about zombies or aliens…just people, like me, who live and endure chronic pain, day in and day out.

Chronic pain is an invisible disability and it’s hard for anyone who is not experiencing exactly what you are going through, to fully comprehend the magnitude of pain. There is an incredibly high level of comfort in knowing that my closest circle doesn’t have to go through this mishegas (Yiddish for craziness) each day. And, there is a level of isolation that comes with the territory.

For me, my pain du jour lives as the legendary ‘pain in the neck.’ I’ve had a lot of diagnoses that run the gamut from some form of migraine, fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, and occipital neuralgia. As far as I’m concerned, you can call it Fred. Fred hurts a lot. Fred happened from a series of mishaps that caused injury to the exact same spot on my head a few times over.

I’ve had many forms of treatment for Fred. Meds, meds, meds, and more meds—bubkes (Yiddish again), nothing works to stop the pain. There is not a prescriptive drug out there that will kill the pain and allow me to be a productive person on the planet. I’ve had nerve blocks, epidurals, cutting of the nerves (they grew back—little buggers), more nerve blocks, traction, TENS unit, acupuncture, massage therapy (that helps a lot, but tough when you are living lean). In between, hospital infusions, meds, and more meds. Gornischt (it’s like bubkes, only more polite).

I finally landed with an incredibly wonderful bionic solution —an occipital stimulator that resides inside my person. This little technical gizmo (from Boston Scientific) comes with a remote control with four programs created especially for me. It also comes with people who I can call to re-program me. It has gotten me over the worst of it and episodes of horror have gone from 2-3 times a week to about once a month. It has greatly improved my quality of life. I’m grateful, and I still want more.

Chronic pain is exhausting. When I am at my best, I cope–remarkably well for someone who feels like crap a great portion of the time. An outsider would never know. When the pain is at it’s worst, I wear it on my face for all to see. My skin tone shifts to a ghastly greenish-grey. Nausea takes over and no medication can stop the inevitable follow up. That in turn causes greater neck pain and a lovely accompaniment of severe back spasms with a side order of dehydration. Broken further, I lay like a lump, passed out for days in a medicated stupor. Pain is wily and insidious—like water, it will seek new levels

Get a cold, the flu or a bout of sinusitis and you are understandably miserable. People around you can relate to those feelings and they can also visibly see you are in distress. I refuse to be miserable. That would suck for me. Remember, I’m a glass half full kind of person. Kvetching (complaining) all day is not my style.

Are there days I would like to hide under the comforter? Yes. Are there days where I would like my loving partner to remove my head from the neck up and place it on the bedside table? Ab-so-fu#*ing-lutely! She gets it. She sees it. She lives it with me and I love her all the more.

Important remedies:

  • Humor and laughter
  • Creativity and play
  • Sleep and rest
  • Exercise and movement

Important for laypeople to know:

  • This is not all in my head, made-up or exaggerated
  • It is at times, depressing to be in pain all the time–enter humor and laughter here immediately
  • Depression makes the pain worse, go figure
  • So does lack of sleep, and stress—completely unfair!
  • If you should find me in a grumpy state of mind, it’s not you. It’s Fred.

Most important to know, I can be happy, joyful, grateful and fun and still be in a severe amount of pain. It’s how I have to roll. And that’s okay, until I find the next thing that will make it better.

What’s the thing that hurts most of all? When either of my two daughters asks me if I’m going to be sick today, tomorrow, at their birthday party, on vacation or on Christmas. There’s must be a cure for that, somewhere.

Thanks for listening.

Your real-live Lego friend wannabe

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