Saturday, July 30, 2011


37 years ago.
It seems like yesterday.

Thirty-seven years ago my dad finally succumbed to the cancer that had ravaged his body for the last few months. It was strange. We only found out that he was terminal in May. We had gone to Santa Barbara for a check-up and found out there that he may not even make it home. He had lung and brain cancer. He remained coherent almost to the end. A couple of days before he died he stopped recognizing family members but he still remembered me. I remember sitting holding his hand knowing that it wouldn't be long and I'd never see his face again.

I was a daddy's girl through and through. 

I'd walk into a room and he'd sing, "there she is, Miss America." I grew up with a strong sense of self and belonging but when he died, I felt like an orphan. I got my first taste of mortality and I didn't respond well to it. I realized life and relationships aren't permanent and from then on I kept everyone at a distance to steel myself against further loss. It didn't help that my mother died three years later. It truly shaped the way I looked at life, family and friends. 

From him I learned how to be tough and face any challenge. I learned never to knuckle under when you knew you were right. He was private, cerebral and I learned that you didn't talk about your business. I got his dry, snarky sense of humor and his quick decision making skills. I learned to take people at face value because sooner or later they will always show you their true self. He pushed me to be all that I could be which was funny because the only thing he wanted for me was to find a nice Jewish boy, settle down,  get married and have babies.

But I was a wild child.

When I was turning sixteen, my dad got driving lessons for me and bought a beautiful yellow mustang and parked it in the driveway. Smart of him NOT to teach me how to drive. It would be a case of the immovable object meets the irresistible force. Anyway, once I got the car I learned how to drive VERY fast and I still think I was the first once that felt the need for speed. I'd scream up to the Four Queens and jump out and tell the valet to hold the car. Then I'd go in and in my sweetest, syrupy voice say, "Daddy, I need money." He'd look at me and then say, "how much do you need honey?" I'd run out the door and be on my way.

What I didn't realize at the time is that he personalized my license plates with "ROSE" so that he could keep tabs on me. Even when I went to school and he didn't have the local police department keeping an eye on me, I'd get busted. When I went to school I took a run up to San Francisco to a Stephen Stills concert. I started to go back stage and who do you think the security guard was? My cousin. 

My dad knew before I hit the door.

So thirty-seven years later I still miss his counsel, advice and lecturing. 

I guess you could say I still miss my dad.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I called it.
I could feel it coming.
Every muscle, every bone in my body.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, "I'm better than a barometer." I've felt the humidity rise tick by tick. Let me check and see what the official number's......wait for's 26%. Once it reaches 20% I can feel the moisture in the air rise.

And I can feel it in every part of my body.

It seems that our joints have sensory nerves called baro-receptors. It seems that these nerves can respond to changes in atmospheric pressure. I found out that they are especially receptive when the pressure is low, in other words, when the air has more moisture in it. Research has also shown that it can affect the levels of fluid that line the joints. This can cause inflammation and pain.

See? We're not so crazy after all.

I have a question. If the fluid in the joints respond to atmospheric pressure and it affects the levels of fluid around the joints and this causes inflammation, where does inflammation fit in to Fibromyalgia? Why are we troubled by changes in the weather if there is no inflammation? 

I'll have to think about that one..........

My hands hurt. It always seems to be where the aching, throbbing pain starts. It feels like a spring tightening, winding itself up until it's so tight you can see the tension in the spring. I've tried the coping mechanisms and I've tried to find my zen place. The problem is that my zen place is in a quart of Haagen Daz ice cream. And that is NOT a good thing. My other zen place is a quiet beach but then I envision myself in a bathing suit and then that zen place falls apart. Even my dog H seems to be affected by the weather. He isn't walking very well but he seems to still be a happy guy and wag his tail happily at the sign of treats! (My kind of dog!)

Anyway, in my quest to greater self-awareness and re-invention, I've come up with an idea.

Maybe I should be a meteorologist............

Just sayin.................

Saturday, July 23, 2011


Who am I?
Oh my, who am I?
Who shall I be today?

There are days that I still don't know who I am. It seems to vary from day to day. I mean, I know the basics haven't changed but some traits seem to ebb and flow and I never know what trait is going to appear.

For the longest time I've been in hiding. I don't know if it's the pain messing with my head or depression or the autoimmune thyroid situation. All of those things can wreak havoc.

And they've done just that.

I tend to get the past and present confused. I still think that I'm able to run around in 4 inch heels and, at the drop of a hat, get up run around all day long. Maybe it's the Nordstrom shoe sale. I always get depressed when I see the beautiful shoes and realize that I can't wear them anymore without pain. Maybe it would be worth the pain to wear them............

Oh, who am I kidding?

I was always semi-snarky. It's one of my personality traits that I happen to love. I have no patience with my own stupidity let alone others. I'm never rude but in my head I've said all sorts of things that I wouldn't want coming out of my mouth. I'm one of those people that truly enjoy sarcasm; in all honesty, I'm fluent in it. I get frustrated with myself when I can't remember people, places and appointments and I still get impatient with others. Especially when I'm in pain. Pain doesn't turn off an on at designated times. I wish it could. The only thing I'm certain of anymore is when it's going to rain. 

So it's back to finding me. The me who loves to laugh. The me who loves the ocean and could think of nothing better than waking up to the sound of the waves. The me who loves the Roadrunner and Yosemite Sam. The me who loves to read and play on computers. The me who loves to go on road trips. The me that finds beauty in nature. The me that loves photography. The me that loves to cook and play in the kitchen. The me that loves movies and television, especially crime dramas. The me that loves to hold hands while walking and talking about absolutely nothing. The me that would love waking up next to my best friend. The me that also has a reclusive side. The me that is confident and self assured. The me that struggles with depression and pain. The me that has Fibromyalgia and doesn't want it to define my life. The me that still struggles with that concept. 

I know that many of us struggle with finding ourselves in the midst of the pain. Pain has blurred the knowledge of ourselves that we used to take for granted. I'm so glad that we can open up to each other with our joys and our fears. We have the cloak of this invisible illness that we wear around our shoulders that gives us a personality all its own. We need to move past what the illness wants for us and find something better.

This illness wants to suck the life out of us.

We need something better.

Isn't all of this soul searching great?

Geez, everybody wants to be me.

Except me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I must live in the state of denial.
I still think I am Superwoman.
All I can say is, "it's been one hell of a month."

After 47 years in Las Vegas you would think that I'd be used to the heat. Nope. Not happening. Thank goodness for air-conditioning. I would go from my house to my car to my office and then back to my car and house. I hardly ever was out in the hottest part of the day. Now, the heat is playing havoc with the Fibromyalgia and combined with the humidity, well, it's been an ugly time.

Every bone in my body aches and aches and aches.

The funny thing is that my mind still seems to think that I can do whatever I want. I guess I still have illusions of grandeur that stop once I put my feet on the floor. It takes a while to shake the cobwebs out but it takes even longer to feel semi-human. Normally, I feel kind of like the tin man before he gets a shot from the oilcan.

It's interesting. Some people can't take the cold weather but I do so much better in it, unless there is humidity or a lot of wind. The other weird thing is that degrees between 32 and 50 absolutely chill me to the bone. Once it hits freezing.......I seem to be fine. That one I can't figure out. Is that the Fibromyalgia or the Hashimoto's or hypothyroidism? I have NO clue.

Does anyone else have weird body rhythms like that?

This is such a strange illness. For instance, I was supposed to meet my daughter at church. They wanted to go and, of course, I told them I'd meet them at the 9:15 service. What was I thinking? 9:15? Was I on drugs??? Well, of course I was! I knew what I was in for. I'd have to wake up at an ungodly hour just make myself look decent so my daughter wouldn't guess my pain index. I wasn't looking forward to that alarm.

Well, the kids never made it. Must be great to be young and in love. What a great reason not to be able to get out of bed. I remember those days and I miss them. Anyway, we decided to make dinner and have a nice evening together. We hit Whole Foods and made a yummy mango habanero sauce for the chicken and roasted some asparagus. We had a wonderful evening together and I realized how much I've missed her. The kids have their own lives but they really are wonderful and I truly enjoy their company.

Anyway, the minute she left I jumped into the bathtub. Jumped is probably not the right word. I don't think I could have "jumped" if my life depended on it.  I slithered like a boneless mass of jelly into the tub and stayed an hour. Then I got in bed and took the muscle relaxers and pain medication and curled up into a little ball. 

And I stayed there.
And I wanted to cry.

The point of this long story is that my mind hasn't caught up with my bodies limitations. I mean how dare my body attack me? I can do all things, can't I? I just don't want to emotionally face my physical limitations. Then I think, this is only Fibromyalgia. Why am I giving it the power to kick my fanny?

Because it can.

This isn't a joke of an illness.

It's real and it's debilitating.

Maybe it's good to live in denial.

After all, it's where I'm most comfortable.

I just don't want to knuckle under to this illness.

Excuse me...........syndrome.

I will overcome this innate inertia.

OK........I'm calm now............

And back in bed................

Sunday, July 10, 2011


It's humid.
I hurt.
I've tried everything.

I hope I don't sound like I'm being flip about the Lord. That wasn't my intention when I decided to write this post. It's just that I've tried just about everything, including prayer, but the pain is spiraling out of control. Las Vegas, in the summer, is like living three inches away from the sun. Even if you like the heat, which I don't, when the thermometer reads 117 you start to melt. Just point your hair dryer at your face and you've got a pretty good idea what it feels like.


The extreme heat starts to abate a little bit and the monsoon season hits. The temperature is somewhat livable but the humidity starts to creep up to 30% and above and I feel every degree of that movement. My body doesn't do well in this type of weather. Why does the weather affect my body so much? I used to laugh at people that said their arthritis would act up and they knew it was going to rain. Let me tell you, I don't laugh anymore. Is it because our bodies have a high water content? Is that why we're affected by atmospheric conditions? All I know is that my body feels like it's going into rigor mortis and it's not a pleasant feeling.  I've thought about massage but the thought of anyone touching me right now is enough to make me scream. It's a triad of heat, humidity and PAIN.

So let me give you the current weather forecast:
Cloudy and humid with rapidly developing whining, crying and complaining.

So this means that I take the pain medication before the "ow" that I now feel becomes a resonating howl that can be heard throughout the valley. I have tried to keep positive thoughts and talk myself out of the pain but you can't talk yourself out of chronic pain no matter what some people say. I only wish it were that simple. The only thing you can do is find the way to best manage your life so that you can deal with the life sentence you were handed.

Let's throw in some stress.

Stress doesn't help things at all and tomorrow will be a stress filled day. I have a lot to do and coupled with the humidity it's going to be a barometric free-for-all kind of day. Not pretty at all and I'm not looking forward to it. I won't feel guilty that I can't manage to find a zen place and talk myself out of this pain. I have read all the books that tell me I can cure Fibromyalgia by supplements and by positive thoughts. I will take it one day at a time and do what I can do for me; not for what others tell me I can do. I realize that I am a Type A personality and nothing I can do will turn me into a Type B and my management of this illness needs to be tailored to my personality. 

I just can't be accepting and meek about this illness. 
I really do admire people that wouldn't recognize stress if it jumped up and bit them. 
They just go with the flow and life's a song. 

My songs?

Let's try Running on Empty........

Or maybe Crash and Burn.........

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Monday, July 4, 2011


The power of positive thinking.
Think and grow rich.
The list is endless.

I was reading a blog and something jumped out at me and it really kind of ticked me off. Now, I know it doesn't take much to do that.  I was really ready to stop for the night. But................

Did you know that by having a positive attitude you can create a positive event? I guess I really must be a cynic because that just kind of makes me gag. I really do understand the relation between negative thoughts and how it makes the levels of cortisol rise in your body. I know it is much healthier to be optimistic. I know it. I don't have a problem with calming down the brain waves by meditating or by reciting affirmations so that you feel better about yourself and your circumstances during the day. It's just that I think that I am optimistic. I have a rock solid view of human nature and it has never failed me. 

I guess I do have some optimism after all. I don't think I'm a pessimist. In fact, I know I'm not. I do believe everything works out for the best but I'm also a realist. Not everything in this world happens because of a positive or negative affirmation.

I know I'm a bit opinionated..........well, maybe more than a bit but when I read that we basically choose to be sick because of the way we write or by the words that we speak I became highly irritated. She actually stated that words can speak death into your health and/or finances. Tell that to people that have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Tell that to people that have been unemployed due to downsizing in this economy. Tell that to any person that has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. Tell them they spoke their own demise by their very words. What is all this Pollyanna crap? I mean being happy is a good thing. It's wonderful to smile, to hope and pray for good things and to reach for goals, but isn't this just crossing the line? 

Is it just me?

The people that I know would give anything to live their lives over again the day before that diagnosis was given. If it was as simple as stating a positive affirmation there isn't a person alive that would speak them over and over and over again. I feel that it's an insult to tell people that they've done this to themselves.

Is she on drugs?

I can go into the garage all I want but I won't be a car. I can positively affirm that I want a million dollars but that doesn't mean I'm going to get it. I can say that I don't want a chronic illness but that doesn't mean it will go away. I can positively say that I don't want to die but that doesn't mean that it won't happen someday.

I will not feel pain.

I will not be chronically ill.

I've said it over and over again.

Didn't work.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


July 4th.
A day of independence.
Except for some.

For those with chronic pain or illness, independence day is a day of dreams. We all know what it means historically for our great nation but in the back of our minds we wish it meant we were free of the shackles of pain.

The heat has been unbearable and now thunderstorms are rolling through the valley. It's great to have a break from extreme heat but the humidity is hovering around 48% and I'm feeling it. I figured I'd better write while I can because my hands are in agony and the rest of my body will soon follow.

I used to love watching the fireworks but for some reason the noise is bothering me. 

Is there anything that doesn't bother me anymore?

I'm at the mercy of my body and tonight it's turning on me big time. I'm rubbing my hands because they hurt so bad right now. When the humidity rises my attitude falls into the toilet. Not only does my attitude fall but I'm watching a Lyrica commercial. I don't care how many times I see that stupid commercial my reaction is still the same. I want to throw something at the TV. I want them to show someone curled up in the fetal position crying because of the pain. Having a woman lightly grimace when she rubs her shoulder makes it seem that the pain is a pesky little fly that can be flicked off her shoulder.

Yeah, right.

Tell that to me in a few hours when I'm wide awake because the pain medication isn't working. I'd get in the bathtub but it's been over 110 degrees so hot bath sounds icky. Finding my zen place isn't working either. I'm going to find some sort of acceptance that I can do nothing about it right now. I've taken my pain medication but during the writing of this post I've gone from a dull ache to downright voodoo-oh-my-god pain. 

So it's back to the three little words that can describe me.




Did anyone get the license plate of the truck that hit me?