14 April 2015

A Letter to My Favorite Daughter - Even though She Can't Read

Dear Kasey,

You know, you're ten years old now. . . which in doggie years I believe is 70.

You're an old lady, my love. 

So could you tell me why in god's name you have suddenly become disobedient in your old age?  Why - when your invisible fence has been broken for the last six years (which equates to 42 in your life) have you decided to make a run for it?

All for the sake of a little food . . .

Now I know as we females get older, we don't care so much for our outward appearance.   Sometimes we even allow ourselves to get a little curvey around the edges.   Is that what's happened?   Have you finally realized that Mr. Woofy Right is never going to come along?  Especially while you're stuck inside that fence?

Whatever the reason,  once you discovered that our neighbors feed the birds their leftover bread and rolls, you hang an immediate right after exiting the house and head in that direction.   You think you've suddenly died and gone to heaven, now don't you Missy?  FREE FOOD!!! It's too good to be true.   Nice crunchy, stale bread. . .  sometimes even soggy from the morning dew. . .crusts of peanut butter sandwiches. . . the occasional bagel (JACKPOT!). . .why I even saw an apple out there one day.  Much better than those little round droppings the herd of deer leave you on their way through. Right?


Not that I'm condoning consumption of deer turds, but at least they're in your own yard (yes, I realize that you've discovered quite an untouched stash in the neighbor's yard as well) and we need you to stay close to home.  Please don't make me don my rainboots and have to trudge over hill and dale to retrieve you.

You're the retriever, silly, not me!

And besides, this Sjogren's makes me feel like I'm at least 80 years old so you see that my Sjogren's years are older than your doggie years and it just isn't fair.

You want to remain my favorite daughter now don't you?

Because Ponzi and Trigger have both come home to take up residentce after college and show no signs of ever going away again. . .

10 April 2015

Pain - There I Said It

I was composing a poem the other day.

It wasn't a poem I intended to publish. Ever.  It was sort of a private poem.  Okay, if you simply must know, it was a prayer.  I was composing a poem that I could memorize and say upon waking each morning.  (Proof that you can take the lady out of the church, but you can't take the church out of the lady.) I intended it to be full of gratitude in hopes of helping me to start each morning on a positive note.

And all was going exceedingly well.

Until I attempted to use the word pain.

In fact the exact line was:  Help me to trust that your plan is mighty;
                                        embracing my pain, redemption's reward
                                       When weakness I feel, Lord, let me humbly join to
                                       your lonely passion in one accord.

I know. . .quite lovely isn't it?

All except the use of that one simple word!  I didn't want to use the word pain. I erased it.  I put it back.  I replaced it with suffering.  I put it back.  (Suffering, after all, has too many syllables for that line.) I hemmed.  I hawed.  I felt guilty.  I scratched it out. I put in the word life instead.

What in heaven's name had come over me?

I'll tell you what.    I don't want to be seen as a complainer. .  . a whiner. . .a self-centered-woe-is-me kind of person.  Even in my private prayers to God. Because so many people are suffering with life-threatening illnesses while my disease is just life-changing instead.

And a big part of the change is the "P" word.

Oh, I don't want to use the word, but I live it.

I live in pain and I don't talk about it.

Yes, I live in pain from the moment I wake up in the morning until the moment I wake up twenty-four yours later. (Because, although I sleep, I experience pain throughout the night.  When I roll over. . . when I hobble to the bathroom. . .and when the neuropathy in my feet decides to rear it's painful, ugly head in each and every knuckle of my toes at 4:00 a.m.) Yes, pain is a nocturnal animal.  In fact, it never sleeps.

So what's a another word?  A softer word? A more tolerable word?


Now discomfort is a whole different animal.  Discomfort is what I feel in my lungs upon waking each morning when I have the sensation they've had the life squeezed out of them.   Discomfort is what I feel in those god-forsaken toes during daylight hours because the inflammation in the nerves has caused the piggy who ate roast beef to pull apart from the piggy who stayed home - causing each of those last three toes to overlap and run away from home, not towards it. In fact, the discomfort is such that - despite the specially ordered shoes I wear - it causes all of my piggies to detest going to the market and opting to stay home instead.  (Do you get the picture? It's some sort of neuritis.)

And discomfort is what I feel from the hallmark symptoms of Sjogren's - dry eyes and dry mouth (Xerophthalmia and Xerostomia respectively.)

Pesky? Troublesome? Difficult?

Yes, all of the above.  But discomfort is almost nuisance-like . . .something I can deal with.   I know these symptoms will be with me for the rest of my life but they can be temporarily relieved through any number of things in my arsenal:  steam. . .water . . .eyedrops . . .lozenges . . .toe alignment socks or flip-flops.

But the "P" word?  My  "P" goes right to the bone and is present with virtually every move I make.  Heels. . .ankles. .  .knees. . . .fingers. . . lower back. .  . and even creeping into my wrists and hips now.

It's pain.  Pure and simple.

And despite the myriad of pills and numerous prescriptions I take around the clock, my pain has gotten worse since the onset of this disease a year ago, not better.

So pain, now, is a fact of my life.  I acknowledge it.  And, as so many others have said before me, I have forgotten what it's like to feel "normal" (a.k.a. pain-free.)

There.  I said it.  Now the word can go back in my prayer.

After all, I'm pretty sure God knew it was there all along. . .

06 April 2015

Cheeses Squeezes! Look what I found on Facebook!

Now I don't often open Facebook for reasons I've detailed in previous posts, like thisthis and this

But when I was told my sister-in-law posted a link to THIS I couldn't control myself.

Turns out my addiction to cheese has been scientifically documented.

That's right.  doc-u-ment-ed!

Check out this link:  http://totalsororitymove.com/youre-so-addicted-to-cheese-because-your-brain-thinks-its-a-drug/

Or better yet. .  . read on for I have quoted verbatim . .  .

Grilled cheese. Pizza. Cheese fries. QUESO. If you’re anything like me, you can — and do — say that you’re literally addicted to cheese. I commonly refer to my standard order of cheese enchiladas and queso at my go-to Tex-Mex place as “cheese wrapped in carbs, covered in cheese, with a bowl of melted cheese.” We crave it. We need it. We can’t. stop. eating. it.

Now, science has finally explained why. We crave cheese because our brain literally thinks it’s a drug. Cool.

Thanks to the people who actually study in school, the University of Michigan has discovered that cheese has a high concentration of a chemical called casein. When your body digests casein, it breaks it down into smaller opiods called casomorphins that lock into your opiate receptors and interact with dopamine. Let me make it simple for you: when you eat cheese, your body acts like it’s an opiate — think those crazy drugs you were on when you got your wisdom teeth pulled — and then rewards you by making you feel how you do when you’re falling in love. Your body likes this feeling, and it tells you to do it over and over again by eating more cheese.

Now you have an excuse to keep eating all the cheese you want – if your body demands it, who are you to say no? Bring on the cheese whiz and the cheddar popcorn – who needs a man when your body is literally telling you that it’s in love with cheese? Keep on ordering those quesaritos, ladies – your body will love you for it. It’s #science.

Let's face it,
there are no words sweeter to hear. . . 

[via Mic.com]

22 December 2014

Sellers Beware

Dear Ladies Behind the Counter at Macy's;

I'm here to apologize for my daughter, Trigger's, behavior.

No, not apologize.  That's not the word.  A better word would be explain.

On second thought. . . there is no explanation for her behavior.   It would be better if I simply told you that my daughter Trigger is not a crazy handbag stalker.

Although it turns out that she is, indeed, a crazy handbag stalker so I guess I'm really writing you to thank you for not calling the mall police. . . or F.B.I. . . .or the nearest insane asylum.

You see, Christmas is fast-approaching and I gave all of my daughters free-reign to purchase their own Christmas present.  I wanted it to be something significant.   Something they wouldn't have the funds to purchase on their own.  A real treat.

So Veggie very quickly picked out a warm coat.  Ponzi, a pair of tight, black over-the-knee boots.

But Trigger?  Well Trigger has become thoroughly perplexed.  Confused.   Completely undun.

All over the purchase of a handbag.

And I freely admit that she has been stalking your particular counter in the dreaded mall for three weeks straight.  Engaging you in conversation. . .  asking your opinion on which bag you like better. . . Michael Koors. . . Kate Spade. . .Dolce and Gabanna.  I know for a fact she has purchased at least three of your bags and then promptly returned them the next day.

Suspicious behavior, all of it.

Would it help you to know that my darling daughter was the first in the history of dollar stores to actually make a return when she was no more than five years old?

It's a fact.

But you see, my little Trigger has had problems with making big decisions all of her life.  And this handbag purchase is a BIG decision for her.  It ranks right up there with college choice, car acquisitions, and boyfriend selections . .  .trying her very best to avoid buyer's remorse.

So go easy on her ladies.  An end is in sight.  Christmas Day is right around the corner and your store has to close sometime before midnight on Christmas Eve.   And then it will be somewhat like musical chairs.  Trigger will end up with the last bag in her hand at the stroke of midnight.

And then perhaps return it
on December 26th. . . 

06 October 2014

Yoga School Dropout . . .Part 2

Remember this post?   The one where I swore I would never again attempt to tackle yoga because it made my head spin?

Last time I check my head housed my brain.  Right?

Well maybe not. . .

 You see, I discovered the Center for Well Being recently opened by our local hospital.   And it seemed custom-made for me.   They offer classes and treatments for medically-challenged people - like moi.    And it's beautifully zen-like inside. . . spa music. . .water sounds. . . tai ch'i classes. . .Himalayan singing bowls. . . acupuncture and jin-shin-jyutsu. . .you name a type of complementary or alternative medicine - they offer it.

And I don't quite know where my head was, but when I saw they offered a class called restorative yoga, I decided to give it a try.  It was the restorative word that got me, really.  Couldn't be that much movement.  Could it?

But once again it was my head that was the problem.

I told the instructor before starting the class that I was prone to motion sickness and couldn't do the upside-down-topsy-turvey-doggy-froggy kind of stuff.   And she assured me that we would be lying on the floor the entire time.  But what she didn't tell me was that I would be rolling that head from side to side while lying there.

Now I don't want to upset you with the beastly details of what ensued after all that rolling.  Let it suffice to say that I now equate the word restorative with a distinct memory of hanging my head over the toilet in the serene and zen-like ladies room.

Yes, my friends, A Mom on Spin was the first individual in the history of womankind whose proclivity for vertigo caused her to lose her lunch in a restorative yoga class.

Proof positive that my brain was not housed in my head that day, but most-likely in the area that zen-like toilet was designed to seat instead!

24 September 2014

Feeling Sabulous . . . a letter to The Sandman

Dear Mr. Sandman,

I have one simple question for you:  Are you a work-a-holic? 

 The reason I ask is that something seems to have gone haywire in our relationship.  In fact, you are quite overdoing my nightly sanding.

Now I know that some people think you're just a mythical figure . . . sneaking along at night to sprinkle sand in the eyes of little children to make them sleepy . . . but I believe in you.  In fact I'm quite sure you exist because I feel the results of your gritty mischief each and every night.  And I don't know how to break this to you . . . because the primary task on your job description is to make folks sleepy . . . but, with the constant fatigue I already feel, no enhancement is needed on that front.

Now, Sir,  it wouldn't be so bad if you just stopped at my eyes.    Why do you feel it your duty to move your desert-like presence on to my mouth, throat, lungs, nose and sinuses - causing me to wake up like I've been through the wringer?

And as to the dreams you're supposed to bring????  Who, in their right mind, could dream pleasant dreams when they're practically gasping for air all night?  I'm convinced your over-zealousness in the sanding department is causing me to wake each night - the victim of horrible nightmares and panic.

Please excuse any personal insult, Mr. Sandman, but from your picture up there you appear to have achieved a ripe old age.   And perchance you have grown a wee bit confused or hard of hearing in your golden years.  And I ask you:  Have you mistaken the word fabulous for sabulous?  Because I used to feel fabulous upon waking in the morning, but instead I now feel sabulous (that's right, old Sandy, it's a real word which means sandy or gritty.)

And I miss the days of feeling fabulous.

So, without further ado, I am ordering you to skip right over my bed tonight - and every night henceforth.  Consider this fair notice that I am barring my windows and doors against you and going to bed in full combat gear.  I have sprayed and swabbed the inside of my mouth, moisturized my eyes, jelled up my lids, and neti-potted my sinuses.  I have even employed my cool mist humidifier so that if you even dare to show yourself in my room you will be vaporized in no time flat.

Please don't take this personally, Mr. Sandman.  You know I hate to break our long-standing relationship, but it's really much better for both of us.  I get a reprieve from your over-sanding; and you get a chance to rest.

Yes, rest.  Take a vacation.  Relax and ride the waves on the beach where you gather your sand.   Or better yet, retire altogether and spend the rest of your days in the Sahara.

Leave all that nightly flitting to the tooth fairy.  She's much younger than you are.

And she brings money. . .

Let's face it. . .if she took your job, Mr. Sandman, I'd be a millionaire by now!