Friday, June 27, 2008

I had a very bad reaction to a medication I was trying out for my arthritis from my rheumatologist Wednesday. It was a patch of pain medication called Flector Patch(tm), which is an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug); it's medical/drug name is diclofenac epolamine topical patch. It worked wonderfully for the knee pain I was having on Tuesday night when I got home from class, but Wednesday morning brought nausea, stomach pain, weakness, and a few more icky side effects. It was serious enough to keep me from going to my class Wednesday night. This means Monday, when I get to Sullivan, I will be doing my absolute best to try and find out what assignment is due on this coming Wednesday. Yesterday was a little better, and today I am feeling almost perfect (for me). There is still some lingering weakness, but the stomach pain and nausea are gone and I am close to being hungry again. For Mexican food. Yeah, I am such a weirdo when it comes to getting over icky days. When I get hungry from something like this it usually has a Mexican, Italian, pizza, or Chinese. Tonight is Game Night Part Deux. I think it is the perfect time to take along some knitting, don't you?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gray Start to a Saturday

Today started off, well, groggy. I took the new muscle relaxer last night and didn't get a full eight hours of sleep when I got up to go to tai chi I was pretty much sloppy walking. Hubby had to make sure to walk with me from one point to another, and driving my wheelchair was quite interesting.

However, we did not actually make it to tai chi. It was raining this morning so the tai chi class moved from its normal place and we just couldn't find it, so we went to Fava's and had a wonderful breakfast. About the time we were finished eating and ready to leave the tai chi class showed up.

Sadly, there wasn't any yarn fix this morning either: The yarn shop was closed with a note on the door that told us Beth was sick and had to go home.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I Simply Don't Get The Media Any More....!

Yesterday Hubby and I decided to watch the news, mostly to catch the weather for the week. There was political talk and Barak Obama came on TV talking at his church about fathers. He said "Fathers are missing in action. Fathers are AWOL...." Right after he said this the news reporters were talking about how he had talked "down" to and about black fathers. I went on YouTube and found the video and listened to as much of his talk as was available. No where did Obama say anything about "black" fathers, but fathers in general. Absent fathers. The media is immediately making it a "black" thing, a black issue. It was really sad how much of what the man actually said was ignored and completely changed to fit some other agenda.

Why is it that the media, the news broadcasting and news exchange agencies feel so free to play with another person's words? It just doesn't make sense. Isn't this America? What happened to truly reporting the news and not putting words in other people's mouths? This makes me feel very much like 1984 had it right.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday of Week 2

It is nearly impossible to actually believe the second week of my break has begun. Next Monday, by this time, I will already have been at school for several hours. I am praying there will be day classes I can take next quarter. However, if night classes are offered I will take them if that is the only way for me to go on and successfully complete this degree.

Having this break has been so very beneficial. Hubby hasn't completely understood its importance, no one has except those of us who are enjoying it. The world moves differently for each person, and tiredness (OK - exhaustion) hits people differently, and one of the worst types of exhaustion is mental; a tie is with emotional. This past quarter had me ready to blow bubbles from the drool that was threatening to roll down my chin! Why? There was a lot of upheaval and kindness and friendship shown, as well as a keen feeling of desperation when the new wheelchair returned from its first break-down (and hopefully its last).

In order to give myself the greatest benefit of the break I have done nothing hard. I have slept, ate, knitted, watched TV, and read wonderful non-law related material. Since I have done this I must admit the thought of returning to studying said material is really beginning to be exciting again.

All of this activity has begun to show in my body though, according to my rheumatologist. There is an operation I need to plan for on my right hand - a bone in my thumb has slid down and needs repaired. According to my rheumatologist it is a big surgery and will have me practically inactive for six to eight weeks. Right now I can't take off that much time from school and life in general. My blood pressure is up - it was 200/100 at the visit - and I have been commanded to get me to a General Praction doctor ASAP. (I will make those necessary calls tomorrow.) And my pain level has increased, but that isn't any surprise there for anyone involved, including me.

Does any of this mean I am going to slow down? Are you kidding?! I just have to make sure and take better care of myself, get more physical rest, rest my hands as much as is possible (without me going insane) and just being smart about all of the activities I am doing. Hubby has suggested really increasing my study of qi gong for my hands. If I can increase the energy in my hands then, perhaps, the surgery might not be so immediately necessary, and even if it is necessary, the recovery time could increase.

Life. Isn't it remarkable how it always increases the stakes as you experience it to its fullest?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Day in Which we Continue to Relax

The day is advancing. It is hot outside and the sky has a wonderful summer blue. The dogs are all lying about enjoying the air conditioning just like their mommy. It is hard for me to believe the first week of my two week vacation is nearly over. This makes me sad in a way, and also encourages me to merely use each day to regroup, regain energy, and not do anything at all unless it is absolutely necessary.

Yesterday was a packed day of sweeping and mopping all of the floors and visiting with a friend who came over. It was wonderful to have company again. It added to the feeling of "break" and "relaxation" like nothing else could. This weekend we are having more company as Cheyenne is coming in, but we probably won't see him overly much because he will spend most of his time with Sniffles, but I do believe there is a slotted time for Barns & Noble and a movie once Hubby gets his hair done. So, there is more relaxing planned for this weekend.

Sniffles will be back shortly! She went to France with her father and siblings. I have missed her. There isn't a close girlfriend I have to chat with and pass the time, when neither of us is working, of course.

Recently I told someone Sniffles was my best girlfriend and she said, "I didn't know you were bi!" This remark floored me! Can't a straight woman have another woman as a friend, you know, girlfriend, without her being automatically assumed to be bisexual? The comment didn't offend me, of course, it just floored me, startled me into explaining the archaic concept of having a female friend you were not sleeping with, and had no desire to sleep with, was indeed a close friend. The woman looked at me and stammered something about most of her friends being proclaimed bisexuals and that she had assumed it was almost the norm, which prompted me to ask her if she was bisexual. She wasn't and almost seemed offended I had asked the question; however, my point had been made. She didn't apologize and I didn't ask for one because there really wasn't a reason for one in my book.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Brain Fluffing

The quarter is finally over.

Friday was the mock trial. The Defense Team, my team, won!

Despite the mock trial being fun and all, I was extremely nervous about it all. I was afraid when it came my time to question my witness I would freeze, or when it came time for me to be the witness I would likewise freeze, or lose my cool. Neither happened.

When hubby and I went through the double oak doors of Courtroom “A” everything inside me just settled. It was wonderful to be there. It felt right and a place I could get used to and work in. If it is possible to have signs or feel things to be in their proper place, then me being in a courtroom feels right and is what I should be doing, I believe, genuinely.

The Prosecution Team was very good, but they did get a little over-zealous, especially the leader, FM. He thought he had the case won and became arrogant and over-relaxed. He made faces that, in a real court setting, would probably have gotten him a contempt of court charge. The prosecution team became very angry when it was actually down to it and they knew they had probably lost the case. Even though we invited them all to come and have drinks with us, they refused. Hubby said they were probably at another bar having their own drinks and pouting. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is what actually happened after trials and court room encounters? Did the winners go one place to celebrate and the losers go somewhere else?

My husband is a wonderful man, but on the way to Cheapside, the bar we had chosen to have our drinks at, he enjoyed telling me of all of the mistakes we, the defense team, had made concerning the case. At first I found myself being very quiet and almost hurt. I thought, “Is he ever going to be happy and accepting of anything I do?” Then another thought came to me, “He didn’t know the plan the defense team had worked on so hard. He was blind to the time-line defense we had because I didn’t tell him anything about the case.” So, this means he was a clueless juror who didn’t understand, at the beginning of the trial, what the defense team had set up. It was remarkable, but this thought actually calmed me down and let me enjoy the drinks and the time we had at Cheapside.

About the only thing I can say was not absolutely perfect Friday night was the drinks we had at Cheapside Bar & Grill. I ordered a piῆa colada and it was so watered down there didn’t even seem to be a drop of alcohol there! Hubby then suggested I order a zombie and it had the slightest of liquor taste, but nothing major. No wonder people spend a fortune to get a celebratory buzz; after that we just left and did a hurried walk about downtown, Hubby wasn’t in the mood to be romantic or walk around that much, so we did the “quick” walk and headed home where we went straight to bed.

Luckily for me I had proclaimed earlier that this was my weekend and I wasn’t going to do anything I didn’t want to do, so no tai chi for me on Saturday and I didn’t make it to Church today. Even though I have proclaimed I was going to get my house in order during these two weeks (and I am going to do exactly that), I am not going to force myself to do it. It is going to be leisurely and I am going to read and write and knit and be at peace with myself and inside me without over-much stress – this is the plan at least.

Looking forward to the up-coming quarter – there is going to be a lot to do and it is really going to push me even harder than this last quarter; still, it is going to be a little easier because now I am mobile on my own and can arrange getting to school early enough to get needed homework done and I can work on the days I am off on the house and keeping everything in better order than it was this past quarter. It might not seem important, but in order to keep the house going as well as my grades, the house needs to be as organized as possible. An organized house just makes it easier for all of us here at the house and helps to keep me from going a little further insane.

Very few people in my inner circle truly understood just how stressful this quarter has been for me. Hubby knew a little more, but even he didn’t understand how close I was coming to just saying “I quit” and not doing anything else as far as school was concerned. One of the only things that kept me going was the thought of going on to law school and getting my law degree. Even last night when we met with some friends one of them was dissuading me from going on to get said law degree. “It is too expensive,” she said, “and you should really think about spending that much money. The expense is why I haven’t gone back to school.” Even though I love my friend dearly, I was surprised at her words, and kept wondering why she was using that excuse? If you want to do something special with your life you have to actually put the time and money into it in order to succeed. Is there nothing she wants to do to risk so much on to gain something even greater? I am thinking there probably isn’t, and this is sad. At the same time, she is happy with her life and herself, which she also told me last night, so maybe she doesn’t need to go on to school to add any new dimensions to her life. I don’t think I will ever be that satisfied with who I am and what I have accomplished. There are just some things I would like to accomplish before I die. I want my life to count for something, even if it is only to me.

This is one reason why I am seriously considering writing an autobiography, or an autobiographical type piece. It is time, I think, to try and share with the world my life story, in part at least. Maybe then others can look at my life and see they can go on, too, and, if I have learned anything in living this life of mine, I can also share that wisdom with others. Hopefully I am not being arrogant.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Cute

see more dog pictures

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


Today has been one of those days which reminds me just where I came from, my hopes for the future, and how precious family truly is, or should be, to all of us.

See, my Aunt Rose is in the hospital in Tennessee. She had emergency surgery Sunday morning and, for a while, has been on a ventilator. All of this was news to me when my cousin called and informed me this morning. My heart hitched into my throat and tears spilled silently down my cheeks as I listened.

Not one to be inactive, immediately I called my oldest sister who lives near Knoxville and informed her. Aunt Rose is in her eighties now. She was the wife of our Uncle Ova. He passed away several years ago, but she remained, and will always remain to be our Aunt Rose, my Aunt Rose.

When I was small and in such a bad way, having a "normal" life was far different from everyone else I knew. Normal for me was being in hospitals and being in pain, and of thirsting after wanting to be as much like everyone else as possible. I wasn't exactly sure what being normal meant, but I knew it when it happened because it was so very different from how the doctors, nurses, student doctors and student nurses treated me.

I was a little girl, but more than anything else I was an unusual case with a number and symptoms they needed to memorize or study. They didn't really see an intelligent little girl with a quick wit and imagination; they saw fevers, swollen joints, pain thresholds, and debated and questioned among themselves the approximate age I would be when I died.

Through all of this, my Mom and Dad made my life as good and "normal" as they possibly could. It was hard on them, of course, especially my Mom. She gave up so much to help me, and my Dad seemed to never once doubt I was going to live and be a good person, and disappointing him was the most horrendous thing I could possibly think of doing (even now).

Outside of my Mom and Dad there were my sisters and bubby who always made me smile and treated me so much like a normal little girl despite the fact they helped spoil me rotten and convince me I could do anything I wanted to do in my life. If they ever doubted I was going to live I was never made aware of it, not even a hint of anything like it. They spoke of the future and encouraged me to read, write and be the person I was and wanted to be. Since they were all married by the time I grew old enough to know them, their husbands are very much like my very own brothers because I can't remember Sister1 being without Big R; or Sister2 being without Nokie. And my Sissy, well, I can remember her before she got married to her Jack, who passed away. I will never be able to forget how heart broken I was after she got married and my Mom and I went home, but Sissy didn't come with us. It was an impossibility to me that Sissy would live somewhere else and I wouldn't get to see her every day and hear her sing and smile and see her dance and be so very full of life. And my Bubby, well, he had a lot of girlfriends throughout his life, but he was always our Bubby. He is married now to a wonderful woman and he still has that infectious laugh and smile that let's me understand now just how he could get any woman he wanted. I am so proud of him now for being married and being a good Christian man.

The other sphere of my family consisted of aunts and uncles. On my Mom's side Uncle Bud was the go-to man for little Christmas trees just for me, and chocolate bars and an entire nickle for a tooth that came out. He was my Mom's oldest brother. He died when I was in Cardinal Hill Hospital here in Lexington for rehabilitation. I was sixteen when he died and wasn't able to go home and say my good-byes because of the horrible snowstorm that was going on in February. I begged anyone I could think of to come and get me so I could be there. I couldn't understand why the roads could possibly be so very bad. I miss him to this day.

Also on my Mom's side was Aunt Ed and Uncle Rob and Aunt Vern and Uncle Befel- they were twin sisters. And Aunt D who was the youngest sister. There is Little Uncle Riley - I never have gotten to know him in all of these long years.

Across the road was Aunt Fay and Uncle Riley and their family, of which you had heard so much about I probably don't need to say anything else about them.

On my Dad's side there was Uncle Ova and Aunt Rose, Uncle Red and Aunt Marie, Aunt Mty and Uncle M.D.; Aunt Ofie. Uncle P I love, but he wasn't around as much as the others. There was also Aunt Mary and Aunt Polly. Daddy's youngest sister, Cartie, is someone I never got to know, but always had the impression I was supposed to impress her. Why? Because Daddy loved her so dearly and he loved me so dearly; he wanted each of us to be impressed with the other. Sadly, I don't know her well enough to be impressed by her or not.

All of them are gone now except for Aunt Rose, Aunt Mty, and Uncle P and Little Uncle Riley.

Aunt Rose and Uncle Ova, Uncle Red and Aunt Marie, and Aunt Mty and Uncle M.D.; Aunt Mary and Uncle Sam, have always been the special ones even though I love all of my aunts and uncles. One reason was because I saw them more and talked with them one-on-one more than the others. There was a few years there where Uncle Red and I exchanged books we'd read on almost a bi-weekly basis, if not weekly. Uncle Ova and Aunt Rose lived just up the road from us and I saw them quite often, as well as their two girls, Carolyn and Fran who were two of my best friends growing up.

Uncles Ova and Red always knew what to say to make everything better. Aunts Rose, Mty, and Marie always made me feel "normal", just a little girl, or a young woman, or their niece in general. Aunt Rose didn't mind telling me "no" or to wash my hands. Aunt Mty always had a story and Aunt Marie, well, just was just always herself no matter where she was, and always ready to give me food or a drink or let me sit at the kitchen table with her and my Mom while they talked about everything under the sun.

Some of my fondest memories are of when all of the Asher clan would get together, or as many as could possibly be there, and the laughter that was always present. The men would usually be outside in the yard smoking their cigarettes or chewing their chaw while the women would start off in the kitchen smoking their cigarettes over coffee or Pepsi or iced tea and then would come a time when everyone collected together, usually on the front porch or in the living room of whatever house we were at. There was also kids running here and there screaming and laughing, sometimes crying over a spilled pop or a skinned knee (but this was rare). It was a mass of sounds, of food, of tastes, of cigarette smoke, of life being lived as well as time being taken out from all that living to slow and visit, catch up with whatever was going on with each other. It seems their generation truly knew how to live and be at peace, if not with what was going on with the rest of the world and community, at least with each other.

Aunt Rose is in her eighties now, but she is just as precious to me as she was when I was growing up. It is a sad fact that I can't get home, nor have the pull to go back to Stinnett like I once did when my Mom and Dad were living, but this doesn't mean, for once minute that the people there are not loved and honored and missed.

The news now is that Aunt Rose is off the ventilator and talking. This makes me smile. I have never known, in all my years, of Aunt Rose ever being quiet for very long. Even though she is expected to be in ICU for a while yet, and in the hospital in general, there is more of a positive feeling about her recovery because she is talking.

How precious are our memories. How precious are the people who help us make them.