Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lyme blog

I WAS working on a switch to Wordpress, but I've decided not to because I don't want to lose my followers or blog stats.  Is that sad?!  I also get a good number of blog hits from Blogger's "Next Blog" feature, so I'm just going to keep this blog right here.

One of the features of Wordpress I liked was the ability to have one blog with several categories, but since I'm not switching, I decided to reactivate my Lyme blog that was private when I was first diagnosed.  I've copied my Lyme blogs from here and from Mommy in Chief to that blog. 

There are links at the top of the page, which makes it easy to click to the other sites.  I know I've been lax about posting on my mom blog, but it's mostly because there's not much parenting going on from my couch! 

I'm going to try to be better about posting to all three.  The new Lyme blog is Lemon and Lyme, and I'm hoping it gives me some space to explore some of the more complex issues involved with Lyme, treatment, and long-term health repercussions. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A box of memories

My mom found a box of my things in a back closet of their house. They moved out of my childhood house the week I got married (actually, both of my childhood houses: mom's and dad's, were sold the week of my wedding). Mom had shipped some of my things a couple of weeks before the fire. A few more things she sent shortly afterward, knowing that I would be glad to have some of my old things. Had she known about this box, I'm sure she would have shipped it then as well. I'm kind of glad she waited.

I love my things, if that isn't obvious from this blog and from the enormous grief I felt when I lost everything. I miss being able to go into my garage and rummage through an old box and laugh about high school letters. I miss having the tangible items that remind me of moments I wouldn't otherwise remember. This small box reminded me how important it is to have these things.

Inside was a velvet rabbit that sat in my room most of my childhood. It's a perfect addition to my Christmas decor. I don't even know who gave it to me. It reminds me of The Velveteen Rabbit and my fear of loving my stuffed animals too much for fear something would happen to them. Stories have always been so real to me.

The box also contained a number of old cards, several of which were from my 16th birthday. Were it not for those cards, I wouldn't be able to tell you that I attended the Warped Tour in Boise that year. Have I mentioned how much I love cards?

I also got a number of things from my academic life. I was always a good student, and I've always been a writer. I have a sick fascination with my standardized test scores, and I loved looking over my eighth grade tests. My favorite item from the box was my illustrated Three Little Pigs booklet. I was never very good at art, and the disconnect between my creative writing talents and my drawing is somewhat embarrassing.

I spent yesterday reading through my high school creative writing journals and even being a little taken aback by my observations. I loved writing poetry then, and I am thankful to have these books to look back on.

I also have several composition notebooks for books I *read* in high school (Cliff Notes count, right?!).

And my mom found copies of my high school newspaper, where I was the editor for two years.

I am saddened about losing so many of my yearbooks, so I'm glad that she found these as well. There is nothing like compiling a list of ancient phone numbers from your friends in first grade!

And my high school graduation cap and honor cord.

I have a life of memories in just one box. And that was the box of the things I didn't think were that important, that I left with my mom because I couldn't justify sending them all over. Perspective is a funny thing. Because of the fire, everything in that box has more significance, more relevance than it would have otherwise had.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful for recovery

So apparently daily blogging is too much for me. But I'm trying.

Today I am thankful for recovery.

I am not 100%, but I have continued to feel better each day. I have help so that the tasks that were overwhelming are now off my shoulders. The med adjustment in September was critical I think. One of the infections had obviously come back, and the addition of another antibiotic quickly kicked that bug down. I am still dizzy, but I'm managing that and at least have an idea that it's coming from an imbalance in my inner ear. I also have some lingering cognitive deficits, but I'm coping with those as well. I honestly feel like I see a light at the end of this tunnel. I feel like I am climbing out of the Lyme hell and getting my life back. FINALLY.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


My dad is perhaps the least flexible person I know. When he had cancer, he would demand we go to the grocery store on a specific day even if he had just finished chemotherapy an hour before. It was crazy. I have never been that rigid, but I certainly have learned over the course of the last two years to be more flexible than I was before. Today, I am grateful for that flexibility, to have the understanding that decisions are not permanent, to be able to change my mind. If only we could give some of that flexibility to our world leaders :-)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankful for remembering

I forgot yesterday... again!

But I wanted to say yesterday that I was thankful for cookbooks so that I could recreate the Bellagio eggs benedict that had consumed my thoughts for the better part of 24 hours.

Today, I am thankful for our ability to remember, and share in that remembering. I am thankful for this blog, that my words have been able to reach out into a vast space and touch the lives of others, many of whom have felt lost and alone as they struggle with losses, real losses, that many cannot understand. Today we remember Roni and acknowledge her loss one year ago. It's a journey that no one should have to walk, but I am glad that we can walk it together.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A weekend of thanks!

I didn't get a chance to post this weekend because I was on a girls' trip to Vegas. Here is a weekend worth of gratitude.

Friday- I am thankful for an airline system that is safe. As much as I hate flying, I appreciate everything that happens behind the scenes to make sure that I can fly safely around the country.

Saturday- I am thankful for great girlfriends, whether they be the ones locally, those I know through a message board who take trips to Vegas with me, or those I have met through Twitter and blogging. I love you all.

Sunday- I am thankful for Kellen kisses ("misses"). As good as it was to get away, I was so glad to come home and hold my baby and get a few kisses. I even missed reading reading "My Truck is Stuck," which I have read at least 150 times.

What are you grateful for this weekend?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thankful for a writing community

As many of you may know, I am working on a book about the fire. It's been a long journey, two years in the making. Today I am thankful for a wonderful online writing community, from an incredible memoir writing instructor at Gotham to nearly everyone at MediaBistro. You have all pushed me to be a better writer. I realized today that I have nearly 60 completed pages. I never would have done that without your help. And I am thankful for you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thankful for quiet moments

I am so thankful that Kellen started Montessori school and is going three mornings a week. I'm thankful for the time it gives me to reengage in my adult life, to try to put together a string of words into coherent sentences that I can then work on selling off, one essay at a time.

When the lady at the front desk asked how Kellen was doing, I responded: "I don't know. All I know is that I get three hours where I don't have to talk about trains and tractors."

Today I'm thankful for those quiet moments. They make me a better mom.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


The Thanksgiving after the fire was perhaps the hardest day (other than the fire) I've had in my life.

My house was gone. My face was paralyzed. My baby wasn't sleeping. I was in the middle of my first dizzy episode. And I was SUPPOSED TO BE THANKFUL?! My mother in law's tradition is to go around the table and say what we were thankful for. I asked her not to. Honestly, I wasn't thankful. I was bitter. Angry. I wanted to scream at the universe and tell it to fuck off. I was done with the challenges, the lessons, the heartache. And I didn't even know that I was REALLY sick and in for an even more challenging battle ahead. When my turn came, I told them I was thankful for my son because that's what you're supposed to say, right? I had wanted him so badly, and here was this beautiful innocent baby who I did love.

But I still wasn't thankful. I knew that having a baby at that moment made the house and the illness that harder to deal with. We had to haul a baby seat with us to meet with contractors. I had to bundle him extra warmly because the seasons were changing and had to be extra careful about how much time we spent at the build site because it was too cold, and our home had no heat. I was exhausted from sleepless nights, and I knew that stress wasn't going to help regain function in my face.

Last year at Thanksgiving we had just lost my grandmother. It was hard, and this month is a bit bittersweet that way.

This year though, I can say that I am once again thankful, that the bitterness has subsided. I'm still angry some days, but I think that's ok. I'm thankful that I allow myself the space to be angry.

A friend of mine on Facebook is posting something she's thankful for each day leading up to Thanksgiving. I'm going to join her, sharing with you the little things that make me thankful.

Today I am thankful for the people who are willing to put themselves in the public eye, to avail themselves for criticism, as candidates for elected office so that our democracy can continue to flourish. While I may have my own opinions about them and disagree (many times vehemently) with their politics, I still am thankful that they are willing to do a job many of us only ever talk about. And I'm thankful to live in a country that respects the citizens' right to pick their politicians.

What are you thankful for today?