Tag Archives: Acupuncture

just Making It

17 Apr

We are home and southern Cal weather is good medicine for the weary.  The reason for my title?  Because we are just making it by the hair of our chinny, chin, chin…

Sometimes, in life, I feel (to coin a phrase from the movie The Outsiders), “Golden”.  Then there are other times.  Today, and yesterday, and the day before that (which would be Saturday), I feel I am “just making it”.  And by just making it, I mean I am pushing myself to get things done that need my attention, but am struggling with even that.  I am moving my body forward, whether it is paying a bill, following up a telephone call on behalf of our family, or responding to the many emails I have that require a response.  But all the while my brain and body want to crawl back into my cozy bed and pretend I have no-one, nor no-thing requiring my attention.  And when I say that, I am pointing the finger in my own direction as well.  For even my own need for food, drink, and bathroom is an annoyance to my ‘just making it’ condition!

The above paragraph was written by me yesterday.  Today I have discovered the culprit to my debilitating exhaustion of which I previously wrote.  In an effort to medicinally treat a self diagnosed rhinitis condition, I used a nasal spray that was given to me by who knows who, and who can even remember when!  This morning I took a closer look at the sealed pamphlet which was lurking inside the box only to discover the prevalent side effect listed (of any consequence) is, “tends to cause somnolence”.  Now I had the general idea that that particular word had roots in the drowsiness category and to confirm my suspicions, I looked it up in my handy dandy dictionary (the one I stole from my high school library back in 1985; and which I attempted to return in 1994 only to learn it was no longer the type of dictionary the library wanted to house, thereby absolving me of my adolescent crime.  Thus it has finally become legitimate in my care–at least I legitimately use it!).  Yep, my weariness was brought forth through the use of an uneducated attempt to self medicate an undiagnosed condition.  Sounds smart…good thing I’m not writing a medical advice blog because I just might also try to sell you a remedy/diagnosis from Better Homes and Gardens which for some reason was gifted to me by an anonymous source and happened to be the catalyst to my perusal of medicine cabinet options.  Go figure, I sit down to use the john and find, through intensive study and research of course, via BHG, that I am the sufferer of “hormonally onset spontaneous rhinitis”.  Whatever that means.  That was my mal-interpretation!  For I’m sure their article was presented in a manner which pointed the reader to “review the options with your allergy specialist”.  But hey, that takes too much of my time.  So I grabbed my ailment and treated it with with all the enthusiasm of a toddler and the first bite of his or her birthday cake…full steam ahead!  I know, not too clever.  Next time I’ll be sure to consult US Weekly or People magazine before medicating my new found disease.  HA!

Anyway, Cole, Piper, and I actually left San Jose on Friday afternoon and made it home in 6 and one half hours–with snow and rain on the grapevine.  The traffic conditions were optimal and the general flow of traffic was at a rate of about 90miles/hr (though I did slow down in the blizzard). 🙂

And even though Cole did not receive his magic wand effect of the returned smile he was hoping (and we were praying) for, I can tell you his balance is greatly improved and his face does seem more taught.  Which in the realm of muscular dysfunction, taught is an improvement from atrophy.  We do agree, however, that two weeks in a row is too much.  His head is welted and the inside of his mouth swollen.  He is exhausted from hotel living and lack of sleep along with the therapy.  So while he won’t be rushing any time soon to again return to such a stringent therapeutic regimen, I’m sure he will return to the clinic for a maximum of 4 consecutive days in the near future.

And now his challenge is to continue the course of exercise and muscular manipulation prescribed by the doctors; while my challenge is to stay focused on the positives of life.  And that, my friends, can be quite challenging indeed.  Especially when seeing my son discouraged, disabled, and dependent is a heartbreak I carry daily.  YET, I feel it more of a burden to “see the cup half full” when I have fallen prey to the side effects of prescription strength, though non-prescribed, nasal spray.  Thus I avow to lay off the sniffer and to again attempt an attitude of thanksgiving.  Because ‘just making it’ doesn’t really feel so good, and is definitely NOT where I wish to reside.  No more rhinitis for me, but the hormonally challenged part of the equation will most definitely have to stay.

Psalm 94:19
In the multitude of my anxieties within me,Your comforts delight my soul.

Johnny and Me

15 Apr

I will not lie, Cole is a bit discouraged.  He so wants his ability to smile returned to him, even more so than his vision. And yet the facial paralysis remains.  The doctors at the neuro-acupuncture clinic have told us that this intensive, every day treatment plan, is at its max at about two weeks, because it is just too exhausting for the patient.  We are definitely here, Cole is wiped out and feeling a bit swollen in his face.  I, too, am ready to go home.  Hotel living is ok, but like my bicycle moniker ‘Dorothy’, I feel there is “no place like home”, even with our steamy latrine.  What?  I haven’t told you of our heated toilet?  And you thought the dog was the only one around here heating things up!  Not the case…

Our first night of arrival, April 1st, we unloaded (well I did) our things, and were extremely hungry.  We happened to have in our possession a gift card for the Mexican fast food chain, “Chipotle”.  And, right at our hotel lobby door happens to be a Chipotle restaurant.  I had never tried their food before but remembered my good friends, The Nances from Bakersfield, had positive things to say about it.  Cole, on the other hand,hadn’t liked his first time try, but decided to give it another go.  Anyway, Cole’s meal didn’t work out for him so well.  The meat was to spicily seasoned and he was already too tired to eat.  Mine was fine, and I ate it without a problem.  However, my stomach gurgled all night long.

Now that night we noticed our bathroom sink didn’t really have cold water, medium temp at best.  I made a mild comment about it and then forgot it quickly.  The next morning, however, Cole and I were taking turns ridding ourselves of the Chipotle from the night before (yes, even his little taster made its mark).  When it was my turn to, again, surrender to the porcelain queen, I couldn’t help notice the steam radiating from the bowl below my tushie.  I thought to myself and then proclaimed out-loud to Cole, “My gosh, that food last night is really causing some heat!”  But then it donned on me, our toilet is flushing HOT water!

Skip To My LOO

11 Apr

If fecal matter, aka crap, shit, poo, number 2, is offensive to you, or reading about it rather, then I strongly suggest you skip this post.  Because in this one, shit is definitely hitting the fan, making this an extremely dirty, nasty post!

My last week in San Jose was so exhausting.  First the drive up on Sunday, then the arrival where I served as luggage porter to our third floor room, Siberian Husky wrangler, cook, maid, and chauffeur.  And when it came to Thursday, the day I was to fly home for the weekend, the morning set the stage for what I call, “Rivka and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”  So much so, I couldn’t bring myself to write about the chaos and feel badly that I even shared it with a neighbor couple.  Let’s just say, it began with our hotel room toilet overflowing, middled with Piper, the dog, peeing on MY bed and my flight canceling, and ended with me stuck on an overfilled plane between two passengers who both needed one and a half seats.  It honestly took me two full days (Good Friday and even better Saturday) to recover from the exhaustion of it all–especially as I am sparing you several of the outrageous details.  In fact, at one point on that Thursday I had an “out of body experience”.  No, not the new-age type of ‘I-have-faced-myself-dead’ experiences; but the kind where I was literally in the mix of continuous, progressively building, chaotic events and wondering to myself how to abort the circumstance.  It was almost as if I was watching this fiasco, like it was a television sitcom, and desperately trying to figure out how to change the channel.

But wait, it continues to get better.  Since Piper sent me off with a yellow present, I guess she figured I needed a brown one upon my return…

At three thirty in the morning, Monday–the day of my scheduled return flight to San Jose–I heard our house phone ringing.  Mind you, I am still living on high alert, so a telephone ring at that hour, usually incites fear of impending news of death.  However, it was not the case.  It was my son, Cole, calling from the hotel room in San Jose.  Apparently Piper had a bout of diarrhea–all over the hotel room floor.  But since I was, all of 500 miles away and his Uncle was in the next room over, I suggested he wake his Uncle to help with the tragic situation.  …which he in fact did.  “Thank you a thousand times Uncle Timmy!”  But of course the paranoia of it all kept me awake just the same.

So I made it back to northern Cal and made sure to gift the laundry man and the maid something super special.  And even though our dear Tim assured us the Piper cub was probably finished with her “expelling”, Cole and I decided to have her sleep outside on our tiny, third story balcony with a half-hearted prayer she wouldn’t jump.  And if she did, Cole and I were resigned to mourning! 😉

Now last night, we figured she was for sure “finished, kaput, done” with her loose stools, thus the girl was again allowed to sleep inside.  But at 3a.m (what is it with that number?!), she was awake and pacing!  We quickly put her bed outside and I wrangled her back to the patio–a place she is not fond of!  And this morning what did I receive?  Yep, a patch-work quilt of poo.  Piles of loose, mucus filled stool.  Some areas bigger than others, with many small dots–the girl pretty much covered the area of the patio that did not house her bed!  Guess what I did this morning?  I had the high honor and privilege of collecting diarrhea via scooping with a plastic knife into a paper bowl.  And since I had taken an hour or so at breakfast to formulate my cleansing plan I was able to assess the patio and how, once the feces was collected, I would proceed with cleaning the area.  My deduction was as follows:

In the center of the patio is a drain hole, which I deduced would funnel the dirty water down a pipe and out to the ground floor.  So there I was, with a plastic bag over my hand, a brought-from-home rag (I didn’t want to again have to impose on the hotel staff!  I was afraid I’d have to also find us a new place to stay if they were brought into the our sitcom routine once more), an ice bucket filled with soapy warm water and all the scrubbing power I could muster.  Scrub, scrub, scrub and then WHOOSH…I poured the bucket of water over the area to rinse it down the drain.  Only as I was rinsing, I was hearing the sound of water dumping from below.  I looked over the balcony only to learn the drain hole empties directly onto the balcony of our second floor neighbors.  And as if that wasn’t the worst epiphany ever, the maintenance man (yes the one who had to unplug our toilet and who had to shampoo the carpet) was right outside in the parking lot to witness the occasion.  Needless to say I ducked down and hoped he would mistake the bubbles for rain!

I swear, sometimes I think our G-d in Heaven is a big television producer and he is making one heck of a killing off of my weekly episode.  Quick, somebody find the remote and change the channel!

And Cole?  He is progressing.  Though the progress is slow, there is a forward motion of improvement (otherwise we would pack up our things, end our humiliation, and head home).  We, of course, are praying for a miraculous return of his facial muscles (controlled by cranial nerve 7), but the tumor was strong on that area of the brain-stem, thus the damage it inflicted is difficult to ignore.  But we are not giving up…sorry San Jose, we will stay a while more!

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