Tag Archives: migraine

Eyes to See

16 Feb

*disclaimer:

I carry the burden of the loss of my son daily. It doesn’t matter if I’m joyful, silent, tired, hungry, irritable, sassy, asleep or awake–the weight of grief is upon my soul always. Yet today I will sidestep my own grief progression to take on that of another.


If you have been following me through the several years I have been writing here at Bentrivka.com then you will undoubtedly have picked up a few clues about my love of riding a bicycle. I am quite grateful for the ability to ride and the area in which I live with the many bike trails offered. My physicality is not something I take for granted, in that I recognize even the fine motor skills at play that make it possible for me to do the activities I love.

Well this past weekend I had the time, inclination and need for a long coastal bike trail excursion. You see I had a migraine, and for some reason riding my bike makes me think the migraine will subside naturally. It doesn’t but I still give it a try even though I usually end up needing aspirin and an ice-pack anyway. It was a bright sunny day and the sun felt great, with its warmth upon my skin, while the cool of the breeze maintained my body temp at a perfect level. I had my big dark sun glasses on and of course a spaghetti strap black dress (typical Rivka riding attire). I had a long sleeve Brian Bent custom t-shirt on over my dress and a jacket around my waist “just in case” it was needed (always carry a jacket, that’s my motto). I also had a pair of black capri leggings on under my dress because the breeze was a bit cool for my reptilian tendencies.

In cooler weather you would find me bedecked with a wool sweater on under the jacket (not tied around my waist but on me proper and zipped up to the collar). I would have a wool scarf tied around my neck or draped over my head and around my neck to both keep my ears and entire head warm. I might also have on gloves and a wool beret. All of this is quite normal…normal that is for me!

I was well prepared for my bike ride a few days ago except for one thing. I should have worn a visor to prevent the sun from shining down directly upon my eyes. With a migraine my eyes become quite sensitive to light and though I had my dark lens glasses on, the glare still penetrated without a covering. Realizing half way into the ride that the bright sun was exacerbating the headache pain, I took my long sleeve black shirt off of my body and placed it on my head, overhanging my sunglasses just slightly with the arms tied around the back of my neck. This helped tremendously, it blocked the direct light and I was able to continue the ride in more comfort.

I was pretty sure I looked ridiculous but that is never cause to stop me from arranging my dress in form or fashion of my choosing. So the looks and constant glances from other athletic passerby’s I took in stride. Until…

A man passing by me, going the opposite direction on his bike, looked at me and point blankly said, “Go Home!” And he kept riding. Go home? Did I really hear him correctly? Could he really have been so ignorant and stupid to yell that to me? “Go Home,” he said.

Even as I write this here my soul grieves and I sigh deeply. This man, this person whom knew me not, looked my way and saw a Muslim woman. The stupidity of his comment to a woman with a head-covering on while exposing her chest, shoulders and arms is just over the top ludicrous. And for some reason of which I cannot fathom, he thought it right and justified to tell her to “go home.” Now please understand, I am not grieving my own story here. Rivka (me) is not a Muslim woman wearing a head covering because of her faith and enduring the sneers and jeers from others as result. Make no mistake, I am not offended because of something that was said to me. I am deeply disgusted that anyone would cast such hatred to another…ever. My heart breaks for the unjustified (and ignorant) discrimination that continues still today. And right here in this supposed liberal la-la land in which I live called, California. My story, too, comes on the heels of my husband sharing with me that at our local shopping mall the daughter of a friend wore a head scarf and was told to “take that thing off” by other shoppers. A story I was disinclined to believe, until my own bike ride experience.

I wish I could step in and “take the hit” for another in every case of discriminatory attack. I would take it because it’s a third-party pain making the impact just slightly more bearable. I wake up white and able which, in this day, puts me at an advantage in dodging preconceived scrutiny. But then I remember that the European Jews during the time of Hitler were white, able and some of them even fought for their country during WWI. Ship me back in time and my “advantage” subsides. Oh world we have come so far in technological progress, have we really grown so little as a people?

Sorrow I have. Anger I have too; but hatred is not a part of me. I will stand firm against it. Using my voice and keeping the love of the Lord in Heaven the governor of my soul, I will stand against it. And with this proclamation comes the real challenge, to not hate the hater.

bentrivka

 

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Frankie Goes to Hollywood

23 Oct

My title should actually be, “Relax…”; However, with that title I begin singing the song by Frankie Goes to Hollywood…”Relax, don’t do it, when you wanna get to it. Relax…”  I’m not exactly sure if the lyrics have sexual connotations (though I’m leaning toward a definite ‘yes’ on that one), which is why I utilize the ellipsis instead of finishing out the lyrics.  But the theme of “Relax” is where I’m at, though ironically instead of heading north to Hollywood, we headed south to San Diego.  We being my most benign partner in crime, my beloved, Brian.  He bears the title of benign because he is my anchor to following the laws of the ‘establishment’.  For you see, I do not imbibe alcoholic beverages, nor do I utilize mind altering prescription/non-prescription pharmaceuticals (drugs–for you street smart folk).  Therefore my “high” in life comes from the perpetuation of “breaking the rules”–or bending them at the very least.

My Brian does not do those things willingly.  And if he does, perchance override the system, his conscience hounds him mercilessly into the wee hours of the night.  Not so for me.  I am happy to trespass, go through a ‘do not enter’ door, run a red light when no one is around, ride my bicycle on the sidewalk when the sign says, “no bikes allowed”, and drop the moniker of my cousin, for personal benefit, though she is not the songbird one would think she is, etc..  And much to the dismay of my loving husband, I do not lose one wink of sleep as a result of my shenanigans.

So here we are, the grateful recipients of a private shelter, gratis and courtesy my prima, Suzanne Vega.  I will refrain from sharing a photo of her home, as I am sensitive to protect her loving abode from the bombardment of more hooligans, such as myself, looking for a free-ride of a vacation. 😉

We packed our bicycles (my Raleigh 1973 and his 5 dollar who knows what it is) into our 1956 Ford Customline vehicle and headed south.  We had intended to also bring along our 1930’s kookbox surfboards (modeled after a Tom Blake), but Brian strained his back, thus we decided the ‘water-loggers’ would better serve his recovery if left behind.  Now it was our intent to have a full two weeks respite from regular life, and by ‘leaving our nest’ our two not-so-little ones would also enjoy a break from the watchful eyes of their parents.  However, given how our vacation began–we were skeptical to the reality of the ‘two week’ dream.

The short of the story is as follows (skip if human feces, and the discussion of it, causes you a problem)…

For some reason, our plumbing likes to fail only on a Sunday.  Sometimes it will choose a different day of the week, but only if out of town guests are due to arrive on another day.  So on Sunday October 14th, our main sewer line decided to back up.  Brian and I were alerted to the situation at 6a.m when our daughter came running into our room to proclaim, “my shower is not draining and the toilet is overflowing.”  Since this exact issue caught us off guard two months prior, I was keenly aware that her news carried with it the undeniable truth that all of our toilets and showers (two to be exact), sinks and the like, were now ‘out of commission’.  And being it was Sunday, I knew our faithful plumber (and good friend) was also not available.  I did put a call into him, just to give him the heads-up of the situation, and ironically he and his wife were in San Diego for a weekend getaway…not courtesy my cousin.  There it is…fate.  It was fate my plumbing, my plumber, and my vacation plans were intertwined with each other.  For when he came on Monday, to clean out our line, he told me the stories of where he and his wife found enjoyment in the southern city–exact locations my husband and I intended to visit in the upcoming weeks.

Back to my story…

What to do in the event my bowels decided to move, as is customary for me after my morning brew (of coffee)?  Well being the intelligent woman I am, I borrowed from my experience with the portable head on our sailboat, and I covered my loo with a plastic bag which was, yes GROSS, but a better alternative to the non-flushing option my husband utilized after ribbing me of my ingenious efforts.  In fact, I do believe his exact apology came in the form of a cry from the bathroom…and it sounded like this, “GET ME A BAG…please!” 🙂 🙂 🙂  Those little emoticons showcase the laughter emanating from my being as I handed him the bag and he “ate face” in his own stubborn toilet-y mess.  Not exactly the best overall tone in which to launch an intimate, and relaxing, vacation–but it is how we started.  I promise, I don’t make this stuff up…life hands it to me in the bag! hahahahahaahahaha (oh that was bad)

San Diego at last, albeit the relaxing part is a work in progress.

Our first week was a trial in error, with our bicycles and extended family helping to keep us accountable to our ‘vacating’ frame of mind.  We were blessed with agreeable weather and the legs to pedal us forward.  The plumbing has been superb which proves complimentary to my freshly ground, morning cup-o-joe.  Brian and I are very much in synch when it comes to our interests in architecture, history, design, and culture (well I’m more of a culture buff than he, though he lends me his listening ear as I explain the “Dia de los muertos” influence and tradition, seen more rampantly here in the border-near town of San Diego).  Although his knowledge of history gives my cultural education a run for its money.  In other words, we are complimentary one to the other and enjoy tooling around investigating ‘new to us’ finds and locales.  So far our children are faring well…minus a trip to the doctor for my daughter’s ailing kidneys for which her brother foot the bill, and an emotional hiccup for my son who was grateful to have the nurturing comfort of his loving sister.  Given the circumstances of the last two mentioned, it is a wonder I am still here…on vacation.  I say “I” because my husband has found himself in the middle of an employment opportunity, right here in Little Italy, San Diego.  He has been commissioned to design and build a new office space for a creative firm.  Being we were already down this way, he took the position.  We trekked back home yesterday so he could gather his tools and such, paint a few paintings, and then head back down.  The timing was perfect because I needed to re-group as I ended up being plagued with a horrible migraine headache, which required my being home for a few moments to get it under control.  I dropped him off at the location this morning and returned to my little bungalow away from home…alone.

Today relaxing means to me, the opportunity to be quiet.  Do a load of laundry.  Clean the borrowed bathroom.  Remove the full trash bags and replace them with empty ones.  Eat lunch utilizing the leftovers from my cousins ‘main house’, and sit in silence as I write this blog post.  Relaxing to Brian means, creating and spending his time engaging his artistically fabulous gifts.  What a good life! 🙂

More on the second week of our journey next time.  La vie c’est grand…

Bird Flew

2 Apr

I am currently in northern California.  San Jose to be exact.  I drove my son, Cole and his dog, Piper, up from southern Cal, yesterday.  It should have been a six hour drive, but due to an incinerated vehicle in Los Angeles and heavy traffic all the way through, we made it up here in seven and one half hours.

Let me tell you, I am tired today!

We are again up here so Cole can receive the neurological acupuncture treatments from Dr.’s Zhu and Moyee.  The plan is for treatments every day, except Sundays, for the next two weeks.  I will fly home for this upcoming weekend and fly back on Monday.  In my absence, my brother in law is taking charge.  For you new readers to this blog, my son’s face is paralyzed, his balance altered, and he lacks full ocular function.

Anyway, today I took him to his appointment at 11:30a.m.  I then took Piper to an, almost always, empty dog park.  When I reunited with Cole an hour later, he could move the upper portion of his nose…bilaterally!  It is just incredible and almost unbelievable…even when I’m first hand witness to it.  We then took a break for lunch back at our hotel room.  And while Cole finished his bento-box, Piper and I went down to the outdoor pool and jacuzzi area.  Both of which are enclosed by a gate so I was able to take her off leash while I dipped my feet in the warmth of the jacuzzi and made a few phone calls.

The reasons I am so wiped out today is one, I was up working past midnight the night before we left.  Two, I drove all the day in traffic yesterday.  Three, last night I had crashing-the-car-nightmares which kept waking me with a jolt.  Four, I had a dog on my bed the whole night.  Five, I’m wrangling our luggage, my purse, the car and hotel doors, my son, his dog, my beverage, and the hotel room/door key.  Shoot, that last one is enough to make me tired all by itself.  I’ve decided I need to hire a “Rivka Wrangler”.  Anyone looking for a job?  I pay with “please and thank you!” 🙂

Well we finished up at the clinic today at 4p.m.  Actually, Cole called it quits…his threshold had been met.  So with us both being so tired I knew I needed to let Piper have one more go round on the enclosed courtyard grass before heading up to our room (where I hoped to land for a while).  But as my life would have it, my full-proof, proactive planning, backfired.  Piper spied a cute bird couple “twitterpating”… and then all of a sudden, BAM!! …one was in her mouth.  She then paraded her kill while the other widowed avian spouse flew around quite disgruntled.

So here I was, just a few minutes ago, first day in our hotel and my son’s dog hunts, kills, parades, and then proceeds to eat one of the little birdies that lives here.  I don’t even know what to say…  After I once again wrangled Piper back onto her leash (after her first victory she was ready for round two, three, who knows probably four and five), we returned to Cole in our room and I told him what had happened.  He asked, “Did anybody see?”   “Heck if I know,” was my reply–because I nabbed Piper as fast as I could and pretty much ran back to our room.

I called Brian and told him.  I also mentioned, “I am not much for ‘animal kingdom’.  I don’t even know what or how to handle a bird eating dog!”  To which he replied, “Me neither.”

HELLO SAN JOSE; THE BENTS ARE HERE!!

p.s. Still no migraine, even with lack of sleep, a stressful drive, a son, and a bird dog!

Beauty AND the Beast!

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