Thursday, September 30, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 30: 

The first of the Bush/Kerry debates is tonight (Thursday) night, so I decided a political tidbit would be apropos. Plus I just like the way Michael Moore writes. Thanks to Ducky for passing it along. Even if you don't agree with it, I hope you enjoy it....


Dear Friends,

Enough of the handwringing! Enough of the doomsaying! Do I have to come there and personally calm you down? Stop with all the defeatism, OK? Bush IS a goner -- IF we all just quit our whining and bellyaching and stop shaking like a bunch of nervous ninnies. Geez, this is embarrassing! The Republicans are laughing at us. Do you ever see them cry, "Oh, it's all over! We are finished! Bush can't win! Waaaaaa!"

Hell no. It's never over for them until the last ballot is shredded. They are never finished -- they just keeping moving forward like sharks that never sleep, always pushing, pulling, kicking, blocking, lying.

They are relentless and that is why we secretly admire them -- they just simply never, ever give up. Only 30% of the country calls itself "Republican," yet the Republicans own it all -- the White House, both houses of Congress, the Supreme Court and the majority of the governorships. How do you think they've been able to pull that off considering they are a minority? It's because they eat you and me and every other liberal for breakfast and then spend the rest of the day wreaking havoc on the planet.

Look at us -- what a bunch of crybabies. Bush gets a bounce after his convention and you would have thought the Germans had run through Poland again. The Bushies are coming, the Bushies are coming! Yes, they caught Kerry asleep on the Swift Boat thing. Yes, they found the frequency in Dan Rather and ran with it. Suddenly it's like, "THE END IS NEAR! THE SKY IS FALLING!"

No, it is not. If I hear one more person tell me how lousy a candidate Kerry is and how he can't win... Dammit, of COURSE he's a lousy candidate -- he's a Democrat, for heavens sake! That party is so pathetic, they even lose the elections they win! What were you expecting, Bruce Springsteen heading up the ticket? Bruce would make a helluva president, but guys like him don't run -- and neither do you or I. People like Kerry run.

Yes, OF COURSE any of us would have run a better, smarter, kick-ass campaign. Of course we would have smacked each and every one of those phony swifty boaty bastards down. But WE are not running for president -- Kerry is. So quit complaining and work with what we have. Oprah just gave 300 women a... Pontiac! Did you see any of them frowning and moaning and screaming, "Oh God, NOT a friggin' Pontiac!" Of course not, they were happy. The Pontiacs all had four wheels, an engine and a gas pedal. You want more than that, well, I can't help you. I had a Pontiac once and it lasted a good year. And it was a VERY good year.

My friends, it is time for a reality check.

1. The polls are wrong. They are all over the map like diarrhea. On Friday, one poll had Bush 13 points ahead -- and another poll had them both tied. There are three reasons why the polls are b.s.: One, they are polling "likely voters." "Likely" means those who have consistently voted in the past few elections. So that cuts out young people who are voting for the first time and a ton of non-voters who are definitely going to vote in THIS election. Second, they are not polling people who use their cell phone as their primary phone. Again, that means they are not talking to young people. Finally, most of the polls are weighted with too many Republicans, as pollster John Zogby revealed last week. You are being snookered if you believe any of these polls.

2. Kerry has brought in the Clinton A-team. Instead of shunning Clinton (as Gore did), Kerry has decided to not make that mistake.

3. Traveling around the country, as I've been doing, I gotta tell ya, there is a hell of a lot of unrest out there. Much of it is not being captured by the mainstream press. But it is simmering and it is real. Do not let those well-produced Bush rallies of angry white people scare you. Turn off the TV! (Except Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers -- everything else is just a sugar-coated lie).

4. Conventional wisdom says if the election is decided on "9/11" (the fear of terrorism), Bush wins. But if it is decided on the job we are doing in Iraq, then Bush loses. And folks, that "job," you might have noticed, has descended into the third level of a hell we used to call Vietnam. There is no way out. It is a full-blown mess of a quagmire and the body bags will sadly only mount higher. Regardless of what Kerry meant by his original war vote, he ain't the one who sent those kids to their deaths -- and Mr. and Mrs. Middle America knows it. Had Bush bothered to show up when he was in the "service" he might have somewhat of a clue as to how to recognize an immoral war that cannot be "won." All he has delivered to Iraq was that plasticized turkey last Thanksgiving. It is this failure of monumental proportions that is going to cook his goose come this November.

So, do not despair. All is not over. Far from it. The Bush people need you to believe that it is over. They need you to slump back into your easy chair and feel that sick pain in your gut as you contemplate another four years of George W. Bush. They need you to wish we had a candidate who didn't windsurf and who was just as smart as we were when WE knew Bush was lying about WMD and Saddam planning 9/11. It's like Karl Rove is hypnotizing you -- "Kerry voted for the war...Kerry voted for the war...Kerrrrrryyy vooootted fooooor theeee warrrrrrrrrr..."

Yes...Yes...Yesssss...He did! HE DID! No sense in fighting now...what I need is sleep...sleeep...sleeeeeeppppp...

WAKE UP! The majority are with us! More than half of all Americans are pro-choice, want stronger environmental laws, are appalled that assault weapons are back on the street -- and 54% now believe the war is wrong. YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANY OF THIS -- YOU JUST HAVE TO GIVE THEM A RAY OF HOPE AND A RIDE TO THE POLLS. CAN YOU DO THAT? WILL YOU DO THAT?

Just for me, please? Buck up. The country is almost back in our hands. Not another negative word until Nov. 3rd! Then you can bitch all you want about how you wish Kerry was still that long-haired kid who once had the courage to stand up for something. Personally, I think that kid is still inside him. Instead of the wailing and gnashing of your teeth, why not hold out a hand to him and help the inner soldier/protester come out and defeat the forces of evil we now so desperately face. Do we have any other choice?


Michael Moore

What you gonna do when they come for you? 

Dan and I work together, so we share one car. Tonight, Dan had a migraine and went home sick, so he had to come pick me up at the end of the shift. He usually pulls up in back of the building so I won't have to walk as far, even though that street is a no-parking zone.

Tonight, as I walked into the lobby, I was greeted with the glare of flashing lights coming from the back of the building. I joked to a co-worker, "Guess Dan got busted for coming to pick me up." Imagine my surprise when I got to the door and saw Dan sitting on the sidewalk and a cop sorting through stuff in our car!

Turns out someone had reported drug deals going on in the neighborhood, and the cops thought it was Dan doing the dealing! He got frisked, and the car got a thorough search as well. Luckily, I showed up to vouch for him, or he might have been taken into custody!

The cop was very nice when it became apparent they had made a mistake, and thanked Dan for his cooperation. I'm just glad I didn't have to bail him out of jail. I must admit my life is seldom boring.

So, no harm done, and we had a good laugh about it later, but things were definitely tense there for a bit. Makes me wonder how many people are dealing drugs from their Saturns.

Pain level: 8
Fatigue level: 9

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 26: 

This ought to be good for a laugh or two....


1. I can't reach my license unless you hold my beer. (OK in Texas)

2. Sorry, Officer, I didn't realize my radar detector wasn't plugged in.

3.Aren't you the guy from the Village People?

4. Hey, you must've been doin' about 125 mph to keep up with me. Good  job!

5. Are You Andy or Barney?

6. I thought you had to be in relatively good physical condition to be a police officer.

7. You're not gonna check the trunk, are you?

8. I pay your salary!

9. Gee, Officer! That's terrific. The last officer only gave me a warning, too!

10. Do you know why you pulled me over? Okay, just so one of us does.

11. I was trying to keep up with traffic. Yes, I know there are no other cars around. That's how far ahead of me they are.

12. When the Officer says "Gee Son....Your eyes look red, have you been  drinking?" You probably shouldn't respond with,"Gee Officer your eyeslook glazed, have you been eating doughnuts?"

Open letter to makers of jeans: 

Dear So and So,

I realize this may take you completely by surprise, but there are still a few women left on this planet who want their jeans to COMPLETELY cover their butt cracks!!

I just spent two entire days shopping for pants and came home with ONE pair...and even those didn't fit very well. I refuse to take full responsibility for this.

No, I hadn't accidently stumbled into the pre-pubescent "where's the rest of it" department....I was shopping in MISSES JEANS, you know, for the post-teenage crowd? I perused every pair of size 10 to be had in seven stores, trying to find something in stretch denim that fit in the waist. What a joke.

Now, don't get me wrong: some of those pants fit me like a glove....indeed, a few of them even made me look sexy. BUT (or should I say butt?) none of the ones that fit would completely cover my undies, leaving me with two choices: either find pants that came up higher, or forego the drawers. I am NOT a prude, and I am NOT ashamed of my ass. However, I decided to keep looking because I do NOT think the world is ready to view my belly button scars.

I found maybe 4 pair this weekend that did come up high enough, but all of those had waists between one and several inches larger than my own. Which meant, of course, that you'd STILL be able to see my undies if I wore them.

What's the deal? Can't a woman be curvy with a small waist AND want to cover her butt?? Or am I expected to abandon all hope at this point, hang my head dejectedly, and banish myself to the land of elastic waistlines?? Hey, if I have to go there, I will NOT go quietly!

So please do us a favor, both for me and anyone that has to look at me: make some jeans that will fit a curvaceous woman who'd rather only her hubby see her unclad bottom!


Friday, September 24, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 24: 

An oldie but a goodie, courtesy of SilverWing....

Pay special attention to the wording and spelling. If you know the Bible, even a little, you'll find this hilarious! It comes from a Catholic elementary school test. Kids were asked questions about the old and new testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched nor corrected.(i.e., incorrect spelling has been left in).

1. In the first book of the bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world so he took the sabbath off.

2. Adam and Eve were created from an Apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark and the animals came on in pears.

3. Lots wife was a pillar of salt during the day, but a ball of fire during the night.

4. The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with unsympathetic Genitals.

5. Sampson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah.

6. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the Apostles.

7. Moses led the Jews to the Red sea where they made unleavened bread which is bread without any ingredients.

8. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up to MountCyanide to get the ten ammendments.

9. The first commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple.

10. The seventh Commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

11. Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol.

12. The greatest miricle in the bible is when Joshua told his son to standstill and he obeyed him.

13. David was a Hebrew king who was skilled at playing the liar. He fought the Finkelsteins, a race of people who lived in bibical times.

14. Solomon, one of Davids sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

15. When Mary heard she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta.

16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.

17. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

19. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do unto others before they do one to you. He also explained, a man doth not live by sweat alone.

20. It was a miricle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

21. The people who followed the lord were called the 12 decibels.

22. The epistels were the wives of the apostals.

23. One of the oppossums was St. Matthew who was also a taximan.

24. St. Paul cavorted to Christianity, he preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marraige.

25. Christians have only one spouse. This is called monotony.

Bad gamble, good gamble... 

Yesterday afternoon, Dan got done with his doc appointment sooner than we expected, and we had a bit of extra time before work to get some lunch. We went to Applebee's. I combed the menu for something that looked safe while the waiter brought us our drinks.

When it came time to order, I did what I usually do: I mention that I need to avoid wheat for health reasons. The waiter interrupted me and said that the restaurant could not be held responsible for any wheat that might be in their food and to not ask him or the manager for assistance in ordering! He was quite rude and made me feel like a leper.

My instinct was to just walk out, which is what I should have done.

But we already had our drinks, and there wasn't time to go anyplace else before work, so I chose something I've safely eaten many times before: broiled chicken with roasted potato and steamed veggies.

Bad gamble.

When I got to work, I began to get nauseous, and my tummy was rumbling like a volcano. I felt weak and vaguely like I had the flu. I kept thinking it would pass, but it didn't....I was like that the rest of the shift.

I suspect the chicken may have been prepared with soy sauce, which contains wheat flour. I will never set foot in an Applebee's restaurant again.

So I had a predicament....I knew I had to be more careful, and I was planning to get together with Dan's family to eat out someplace tonight. I had even been granted a night off work for the occasion. What to do?

Internet to the rescue! I went to a celiac message board to see if I could find specific foods at specific restaurants that I could eat. I already knew of one, but Asian food doesn't appeal to everyone in Dan's family.

Enter the Outback Steakhouse. Went to their website, and they had a link to a gluten free version of their menu! I printed it out, hardly believing my luck.

When I called to make reservations, I double checked that it would be ok if I ate there. They said they do gluten free requests a lot. Still, I was a bit nervous when we went there tonight as I was STILL nauseous from the Applebee's debacle.

Ordered grilled chicken breast with barbecue sauce on the side and steamed veggies without seasoning. No problem....in fact, my nausea disappeared after a few bites. Encouraged, I split a dessert with Dan: ice cream with coconut, strawberries and chocolate sauce....my first dessert in a restaurant in well over a year.

Good gamble. I feel fine. Guess I learned my lesson.

By the way, my six month old niece is ADORABLE, fairly quiet and very squirmy. Met her for the first time tonight. Dan's mom took a pic of me and Elaina, which I'll share if it turned out ok.

Everyone is asleep right now (Dan's parents are staying with us). I was dozing off a few hours ago reading a guidebook of Hawaii, but I had to stay up because I last ate between 10 and 10:30, and I cannot lay down until at least three hours after a meal (doctor's orders). Weird life I lead.

Pain level: 7
Fatigue level: 9

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 21: 

I've had this sitting around for awhile, but today seemed like a good day to share it, since it so aptly describes what it's like to have fibromyalgia. Thanks to SilverWing for e-mailing it...

This was written for fibro people with severe chronic pain, fatigue, etc. but may be appropriate for others, as well..............

And, the dragon grins............

The doctor explains to me that I have a Dragon that has come to possess me.

This Dragon is mean. This Dragon is deceiving and destructive. "But" the doctor says, "We can work at keeping this Dragon down."

"What is this Dragon's name?" I ask.

The doctor in his professional calmness says "The Dragon is FMS." The doctor explains to me ways we are going to keep him down. "Feed the Dragon some meds like Trazodone or Elavil. Do some light exercise, maybe the Dragon will get tired and leave you alone for a while."

I turn to leave and for the first time I see this Dragon. He looks at me with those evil yellow eyes, and the Dragon grins. I say to myself that Dragons can be slain. I read that in stories at school. The armor clad knight slaying the Dragon and triumphantly returning to town. As I am in this daydream the Dragon jumps on me. I wrestle with him. His hot breath sears my head. His roar makes my ears ring. He leaves me in a pile of flesh on the ground. I ache all over. Some parts of my body are painful to touch.

I am exhausted as I pick myself back up again. The Dragon looks back to me -- and the Dragon grins.

"I hate you Dragon." I scream as he walks away. I feed the Dragon the medication prescribed. Slowly at first, then increasing a little as time goes by. I do begin a little exercise. I change some of my diet and increase the carbohydrates. I am starting to feel better. Wow! I can go back to work now. With joy I move about relatively pain free. And I say to myself, "Maybe I have beat this Dragon. Maybe the Dragon was only my imagination. I was just a little depressed and down, but now life is great."

I look to the sky and see dark clouds looming. A cold North wind starts to blow. I hear a thunderous pounding of footsteps. I have heard that sound watching Jurassic park, but I'm not watching the movie. Boom..... Boom... Boom... I don't see anything. Boom...Boom... I panic and start to run. I don't know where to run, but I just run. The pounding gets closer and louder. I feel breath on my neck. I dare not turn around as I try to run faster.. faster. A claw grabs my shoulder. Searing hot pain rips down my back. I stumble and get back up. This time something trips me and I roll to my back, staring upward. Terror runs through my body.

The Dragon has returned! "You can't escape" the Dragon yells, "YOU ARE MINE!!" I try to get up as the Dragon slams my body back to the ground. I can hardly stand the pain as he tortures me by stomping my hands. With his teeth he pulls at muscles in my back and legs. He burns my head with intense fiery breath. The battle is finally over. He stares at my crumpled body as I try to get focused on this beast. My eyes finally clear enough to see, and the Dragon grins.

Days pass. My fingers no longer work like they used to. My muscles feel like the second day of Olympic training, but the sensation does not leave. My head is not clear. I do not see well at night. Parts of me are cold and clammy. I am stiff. Why did the Dragon beat me so hard? When I try to sleep, the Dragon slaps me awake several times at night. Sometimes I am freezing.

In bed I awake drenched in sweat. It hurts to stand. It hurts to sit. My mind says one thing and my mouth says another. And the Dragon grins.

Sometimes I think I am in a nightmare and will just someday wake up, the real me. I don't look sick, so why do I feel so bad? Friends and family laugh when I mess up on my words talking to them. I feel stupid looking in the refrigerator and not knowing why or walking around in circles either not finding what I was after or forgetting what I was looking for. If I am driving at night and it starts to rain, the road disappears. And it is not uncommon to go somewhere and then make wrong turns coming back. My mind said turn right, but my body said left. I can go somewhere and not remember how I got there. I am not dumb, just not "connected" anymore.

Outwardly I laugh and play, but inside I have to cry sometimes. And the Dragon grins.

Um, ouch! 

Dan's battling a thyroid problem, so it has been all he can do to keep up the the important stuff like laundry and keeping the kitchen and bathrooms clean. And of course my get up and go got up and went quite some time ago.

So, Dan's family arrives tomorrow, and I decided I'd help Dan out with easy stuff. I already know to leave the vacuuming, mopping and bathtub scrubbing to Dan. Last night, all I did was dust the living room and clean the kitchen countertops.

I've been able to do those chores in the past without too much trouble, and they didn't sem particularly difficult last night. So imagine my surprise when I found myself hardly able to move afterward! Had to be helped up the stairs, and went to sleep with an Icy Hot patch on my back and a rice sock on my neck.

The alarm went off this morning for me to go to acquacise, but I could not get out of bed. Sooooo exhausted. Finally was able to get up almost three hours later.

Made it to work tonight, but I'm hurting quite a bit. I'm also angry with my body for not allowing me to do a low-effort household chore. I know I'm supposed to pace myself, but just how much activity can I cut out of my life before I'm doing nothing at all?

Pain level: 9
Fatigue level: 9

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 18: 

Arranging all these tests and appointments has meant that I've had to spend an ungodly amount of time recently dealing with unruly voicemail systems. So in honor of that, here's a funny about voicemail Hell, courtesy of Ducky....

The Auto-Attendant
Hello, and thanks for calling. Your call is very important to us and, we're sure, to all of humankind. If you would like to challenge my sincerity, press 1.
We are currently experiencing a high volume of calls and frankly, you are not helping the situation. All of our assistant associate representatives are presently *assisting* themselves to a *cigarette* and associating with a jelly doughnut, so for more efficient routing of your call, please select from the following menu:
For a list of our hours, press 2. For a list of our morbid fears, press 3. For a list of our government budget-balancing ideas, such as having the president make all trips by hot-air balloon, press 4.
If you wish to place an order, press the pound key. If you wish to complain about newspapers, pound the press key. If you wish to wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, press -- what else? -- the star key.
To report a mechanical problem, press 42 and imitate the sound your problem makes. Feel free to use a kazoo.
To obtain your account balance, spiritually speaking, press 8. If you are suspicious of poodles, press 71. If you believe Tennessee Williams' fatal shortcoming was his arrogant disdain for car and truck chase scenes, press 19.
To report a Korlo Panda sighting, press 85 and give the name of the laundromat. If you wish to access your files, punch in the 14-digit number that appears on the bottom of any can of creamed corn.
For shipping and receiving, press 44. For moving and grooving, press 45.
If you would like to see O.J. Simpson submit to a no-holds-barred interview conducted by Sesame Street's Big Bird and Cookie Monster, press 91.
For a list of upcoming events, press 68. For a list of events that will never come up but we wish would, such as a speeding locomotive crashing into a huge chocolate mousse shaped like a Greyhound bus, press 22.
If you would like to hear how you can earn big money in your spare time by kicking butt and taking names, press 18.
To find out why people don't name their babies "Felix'' anymore, press 73.
If you went through the supermarket express line with 14 items and you wish to confess your sin, press 30. If you also had coupons, prepare to burn in hell.
To report a discrepancy between the way you planned your life and the way it's turning out, press 86.
If you need immediate assistance, join the club, pal. If you wish to join the Pal Club, press 55.
For a list of hip phrases to shout when you're shooting dice so you don't have to keep using the one about infant requiring new footwear, press 93.
To hear an explanation of exactly what it is tugboats do, press 25. If you would like to hear my impression of James Cagney ordering a pizza, press 26.
If you wish to end this call or return to the main menu, do not press your luck. You are not going back to any main menu, my friend. You have come too far. There is no turning back. You can only press one.

More docs and tests.... 

Heard back from my rheumatologist's office...apparently the pulmonary function test results are no cause for concern, so that's cool.

Got the neuropsyche evaluation set up for two weeks from today, the day before my vacation. I guess it's supposed to last a minimum of four and a half hours? It's on lhe other end of town, and I'll have to leave the house at 8am to get there.

Still need to make a follow-up appointment with the neurologist to go over the test results. Obviously I'll have to wait until I'm back from Hawaii to know how they turned out. I'm hoping I'll get to see her before the appointment with the new rheumatologist on October 21st so I can tell him about the test.

Found out they were going to have pizza at work tonight. It always drives me nuts being able to smell it but not being alllowed to eat any. My solution was to bring a frozen dinner for myself....rice lasagna, the best substitute for pizza I could think up.

Have a fibromyalgia support group meeting tomorrow. There will be a speaker discussing new treatment methods. I'll probably take notes.

Have spent so much time in doctor's offices that I've barely gotten a chance to think about the upcoming vacation. Picked up the travel documents yesterday, and took a peek at a Hawaiian shop's website to get me back in the mood. I think I'll end up doing a lot of shopping....

Pain level: 7
Fatigue level: 9

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Rave for the Day September 16: 

Since I've been to so many docs recently, I thought some medical humor would be in order. Thanks to Joan for e-mailing me this gem....

----- When a panel of doctors were asked to vote on adding a new wing to their hospital, the Allergists voted to scratch it and the Dermatologists preferred no rash moves.

The Gastroenterologists had a Gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve, and the Obstetricians stated they were laboring under a misconception. 

The Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted; the Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!", while the Pediatricians said, "Grow up!"

The Psychiatrists thought it was madness; the Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing, and the Radiologists could see right through it! 

The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow -but the Plastic Surgeon said, "This puts a whole new face on the matter." 

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists felt the scheme wouldn't hold water.

The Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a Gas, and the Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no. 

And in the End, the Proctologists left the decision up to some a------  who didn't give a crap.

Lung tests are tiring! 

Did the pulmonary function test this afternoon. Basically, I sat in a booth that resembled a shower stall and breathed into a series of tubes. This measured both incoming and outgoing air depending on how it was set up.

Turns out that I'm NOT imagining things. I do have a bit of a problem. When I exhale, about 30 to 40 percent of the air in my lungs stays there....that would explain why my chest feels so heavy.

Luckily, I seem to have no problem with air getting into my lungs. They had me inhale a medicine that I guess asthma patients use to see if it would help me be able to breathe out completely, but it didn't have any effect. I know next to nothing about lung function, so I have no idea if I have a problem that warrants further attention or not.

I do know one thing, though....that test was EXHAUSTING! When I was done, my chest hurt and I wanted a nap soooo badly, but I had to go to work. I still feel like I got an extra workout today.

I'm sure I will hear from my rheumy if I need to see a specialist or do anything about this. In the meantime, if I can find the time, I will see what I can find about Sjgoren's and lung function.

Pain level: 8
Fatigue level: 9

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 15: 

Ok, so I got this awhile ago, but I still think it's funny! Rush Limbaugh is one of the biggest hypocrites of our time, and the irony of his recent rehab stint isn't lost on me. So let's have some fun with this, shall we?
Rush needs your pills!

P.S. Thanks to Ducky for spotting this and sending it to me.

Follow-up appointment results.... 

Saw the neurologist for the first time since the end of July. Told her how the prednisone helped the Sjogren's symptoms and how the symptoms came back as soon as I went off of it. My neurological problems aren't as constant as they were mid-summer, but they are definitely not gone.

The doc is a bit mystified by my atypical symptoms such as the hesitancy and occasional stutter in my speech and my slow, awkward gait. She noted that I do not seem to have any anxiety or depressive episodes associated with them as sometimes happens with chronic illness. She wants to look further into my cognitive functioning, so I agreed to do a neuropsyche test.

It will take a while to get insurance approval and get set up for this. This may seem odd, but I'm actually glad I'm having this done....I've been complaining of impaired thinking since 1998 and have never had it checked out before. Until recently, no one was taking it seriously.

Also mentioned that I would be going to a Sjogren's specialist in October, and the neuro was very interested in finding out what he thought of my case. I'm having her records sent to him as well as my primary care doc's, my ENT's, and my gastroenterologist's. I never dreamed my health could get so complicated.

Tomorrow, I'm having a pulmonary function test done as I am still experiencing mild shortness of breath and heaviness in my chest. Basically, they're making sure I don't have any lung damage from the Sjogren's. I have no idea what this entails, but I doubt it could be any worse than the gastro tests I had last year.

Pain level: 7
Fatigue level: 8

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 12: 

During my lengthy absence, I've been acquiring quite a few goodies to share. Here's part of an e-mail I received yesterday from honeycomb. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but think about this....


* The garden of Eden was in Iraq.

* Mesopotamia, which is now Iraq, was the cradle of civilization!

* Noah built the ark in Iraq.

* The Tower of Babel was in Iraq.

* Abraham was from Ur, which is in Southern Iraq!

* Isaac's wife Rebekah is from Nahor, which is in Iraq.

* Jacob met Rachel in Iraq.

* Jonah preached in Nineveh - which is in Iraq.

* Assyria, which is in Iraq, conquered the ten tribes of Israel.

* Amos cried out in Iraq!

* Babylon, which is in Iraq, destroyed Jerusalem.

* Daniel was in the lion's den in Iraq!

* The three Hebrew children were in the fire in Iraq (Jesus had been in Iraq also as the fourth person in the fiery furnace!)

* Belshazzar, the King of Babylon saw the "writing on the wall" in Iraq.

* Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, carried the Jews captive into Iraq.

* Ezekiel preached in Iraq.

* The wise men were from Iraq.

* Peter preached in Iraq.

* The "Empire of Man" described in Revelation is called Babylon,which was a city in Iraq!

And you have probably seen this one. Israel is the nation most often mentioned in the Bible. But do you know which nation is second? It is Iraq!

* However, that is not the name that is used in the Bible. The names used in the Bible are Babylon, Land of Shinar, and Mesopotamia. The word Mesopotamia means between the two rivers, more exactly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

* The name Iraq, means country with deep roots. Indeed Iraq is a country with deep roots and is a very significant country in the Bible.

* No other nation, except Israel, has more history and prophecy associated it than Iraq.

What have I been up to? 

About five foot six or so, heh heh. The "project" that has detained me for the past few weeks is finally over and done with for the time being. Now my command center looks as if one of the Florida hurricanes took a side trip.

Anyhoo (don't you hate when people say anyhoo?), with my memory being as poor as it is now, I probably can't recall very much of what has been going on lately (that's why I tend to blog frequently, before I forget!). But I'll see if I can dredge up a few highlights before I have to get started on clearing a path for Dan's family, who is coming to visit next week. I guess this moment is what you'd call a breather.

Let's see...went to the rheumatologist on August 31st. Asked him if I could do a short course of prednisone to give me enough energy to go on my trip, and he said no. But he didn't have ideas as to what else to try. We decided it was probably time for me to get a second opinion on this. I made an appointment with the most well-known expert on Sjogren's syndrome in the area. I won't get in until October 21st, and he rarely gets cancellations, so I've got quite a wait on my hands. I figure one of two things will happen: either he'll be able to think of a treatment strong enough to make me functional yet safe enough to not completely kill off my immune system, or he'll say I really am doing all I can already. If I'm SOL, then I'll need to get serious about preparing to file for disability because I simply cannot keep going like this.

On the 1st, I unintentionally made a dumb move....I had a bunch of boxes on the floor to sort through, and I decided I was too tired to move them to a chair, so I just sat on the floor. That sort of thing tends to be uncomfortable for me anyway, but it got much worse when I discovered I couldn't get back up again. My lower back had gone out alignment (first time in two years), which aggravated the piriformus muscles in my hips, which in turn aggravated the sciatic nerve and sent pain all the way down the right leg. Had to take muscle relaxants, which upset my stomach, apply moist heat, and use a tennis ball to get the knots out of the muscles while I was waiting for the chiropractor and massage therapy appointments on Tuesday. I'm still getting spasms a few times a day, but it's more bearable now.

On the 3rd, I participated in a BBQ contest at work. One of the more aggravating aspects of the gluten-free diet is missing out on barbecue as most conventional sauces contain wheat, so I went online in search of a homemade sauce that would be safe for me. Found a recipe for turkey cooked in the crockpot that I combined with a recipe for apple cinnamon barbecue sauce. I'm more of a fan of the traditional Kansas City style sauce, thick, dark and tangy, but this wasn't too bad. Still, I was quite surprised when I won the contest! Guess I am turning into a cook after all.

Last Thursday, I went to the ENT. I'm almost at the end of my three years of allergy shots, but we decided I would do one more year of maintenance because I generate a histamine response so easily. So I'll continue to get shots but will drop to once every three weeks (I've been going every other week this year). I am going to discontinue the allergy pill but will continue the allergy spray. The doc was pleased to hear of my upcoming trip to Hawaii but reminded me to bring my wearable air purifier so I won't catch anything on the plane.

Yesterday, Dan and I went to see the re-release of the 1970 George Lucas film "THX 1138". Pretty creepy in its subject matter of the necessity of sedating the masses. Also amusing in some aspects such as projecting an expense budget for catching a criminal...but it generates more nervous laughter than genuine.

Have been quite the little spendthrift over the past few weeks. Got the first seasons of "Quantum Leap" AND "Northern Exposure" on DVD, and have bought a TON of music. Found a very nice 2-disc set of doo wop tunes, an older Metallica album, and the greatest hits of 311. The last one was a nice surprise in that I found out I already knew 10 of the 17 songs....I just didn't know until then who the artist was.

Got volumes 1 and 2 of "Rock Against Bush", some 54 songs....good stuff even if you like the president, heh heh. This is part of a campaign to get the younger crowd to vote... I know they'd like you to vote for Kerry, but I'm in favor of everyone getting registered regardless of political leanings. I've also heard some stuff on the radio about hip hop artists generating a similar campaign. More power to 'em.

Got my hair cut today. Decided on impulse while I was in the chair to have a very short razor cut. Want to have something manageable on vacation that I can get windblown or wet without having to worry about how it looks. So it's only an inch long on the sides, longer in the back, and for the first time since my big hair days, I have bangs. I still have enough hair to style if I want....I'll make it spiky when Dan and I go someplace nice.

Just under three weeks until Hawaii! Hope I get a chance between now and then to re-familiarize myself with the digital camera since I seem to have forgotten again how to use it. I'm gonna bring the whole danged instruction book with me just in case.

Good gravy, I think I've been typing for an hour! Time to grab a snack and start think about doing some de-cluttering while I still have a smidge of energy. I'll play some of my new tunes for accompaniament, of course.

Good to be back.

Pain level: 6
Fatigue level: 7

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 11: 

Was at the Virgin Megastore today. Went over to the listen stations and spotted "To the 5 Boroughs" by the Beastie Boys. Noticed that the cover art of the New York skyline included the World Trade Center towers.

Previewed some tracks and decided to buy the CD, which I'm sure is no surprise to those who know me. I thought today would be a good day to share the lyrics to one of the songs. Here is "An Open Letter to NYC":

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers
Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders
We come together on the subway cars
Diversity unified, whoever you are
We're doing fine on the One and Nine line
On the L we're doin' swell
On the number Ten bus we fight and fuss
'Cause we're thorough in the boroughs and that's a must
I remember when the Duece was all porno flicks
Running home after school to play PIX
At lunch I'd go to Blimpies down on Montague Street
And hit the Fulton Street Mall for the sneakers on my feet
Dear New York I hope you're doing well
I know a lot's happen and you've been through hell
So, we give thanks for providing a home
Through your gates at Ellis Island we passed in droves

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

The L.I.E. the B.Q.E
Hippies at the band shell with the L.S.D.
Get my BVD's from VIM
You know I'm reppin' Manhattan the best I can
Stopped off at Bleeker Bob's got thrown out
Sneakin' in at 4:00 am after going out
You didn't rob me in the park at Dianna Ross
But everybody started looting when the light went off
From the South South Bronx on out to Queens Bridge
From Hollis Queens right down to Bay Ridge
From Castle Hill to the Lower East Side
From 1010 WINS to Live At Five
Dear New York this is a love letter
To you and how you brought us together
We can't say enough about all you do
'Cause in the city were ourselves and electric too

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Shout out the South Bronx where my mom hails from
Right next to High Bridge across from Harlem
To the Grand Concourse where my mom and dad met
Before they moved on down to the Upper West
I see you're still strong after all that's gone on
Life long we dedicate this song
Just a little something to show some respect
To the city that blends and mends and tests
Since 911 we're still livin'
And lovin' life we've been given
Ain't nothing gonna take that away from us
Were lookin' pretty and gritty 'cause in the city we trust
Dear New York I know a lot has changed
2 towers down but you're still in the game
Home to many rejecting no one
Accepting peoples of all places, wherever they're from

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen


Three years now. Long enough for the memory to become contaminated with politics, but it will never be long enough to forget. Still probably all too fresh for those who live closer to where it all happened or who lost family or friends.

Won't go on too long as I suspect that just about everything worth saying about the events of three years ago has already been said. Will end this with a link generously provided by Ducky....

True Story of Survival

Monday, September 06, 2004

Rave of the Day for September 5: 

I'm going through Olympics withdrawal, so I really appreciated it when Ducky included this in her Daily Grin...

If the Olympics Were Held at Disneyland

• Medals placed around winners' necks by chirping birds.

• Goofy buys the farm in bizarre archery "accident."

• Regulation requiring all rowing event competitors to keep their hands and arms inside the boat at all times results in considerably lower scores.

• Sprinters legs spin wildly in place before they take off.

• Hammer Throw replaced with Dwarf Toss.

• Animatronic John Tesh much livelier than the real one.

• Donald Duck defects to Busch Gardens.

• Tinkerbell's "fairy dust" added to list of banned substances.

• Animatronic Abe Lincoln wins the Decathalon!

• $4 Cokes cost only $3.75.

• New Slogan: "The Sweatiest Place On Earth!"

• Minnie Mouse and Kerri Strug never seen together... hmmmm.

• Barbells marked "10,000 Pounds" absurdly easy to lift.

• A petulant Pluto demands chance to race for record 10th dog biscuit.

• The Little Mermaid takes home a record 49 gold medals in swimming events.

• "Gymnastic gold or no gymnastic gold, you're too short for the rides!"

• Synchronized swimmers don't just look goofy -- they *ARE* Goofy!

Inadvertantly AWOL.... 

...due to circumstances beyond my control that I can't even bitch about for legal reasons....I'll just call it a "project" that I must do. Have really missed spilling my guts here. Hope to return to regale and whine by the end of next week.

Pain level: 8
Fatigue level: 8

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