Hello, E2 and Best Wishes for this Holiday Season to Noders around the World!
This is my first real write-up, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to introduce myself. I humbly request that you please be patient and bear with me for a moment before you make any judgements about what kind of person/noder I am or what I'm doing. I go by the name astrobabbler here, as well as most places online, and in case you haven't noticed, I am here every single day, or night, or both. Whenever I can be. Sometimes, for health reasons, I don't make it. Other times I actually get to leave my house! But not very often. (More about all that in a minute.) Since I have all of this free time to spend in front of a computer, I have been studying E2 for more than a year now. It will be a year since I actually joined on Jan 4th!
I am fully aware that "who I am is not important here" and that GTKY nodes are frowned upon. The reason that I am taking this time (and risk?) to introduce myself, and to do the equally frowned upon act of posting a daylog, without even having earned any bullshit (yet), is because I honestly believe that what I have written for this daylog entry is actually informative, and is even more informative because it is a very personal account. I believe that a personal story can be a lot easier to understand than some cold, technical explaination.
So why have I been a member so long and never written anything until now? Well, I hate whining and I hate making excuses, but I will say, in all honesty, that it is a health-related issue. If you read this daylog entry, and follow the links to learn more about Multiple Sclerosis, if you or someone you know has MS, and/or if you really put forth some effort and did some heavy online research, you might understand. It's a very complex illness that is unpredictable, at best, and very different for everyone. Most people with MS have good days and bad days, like most people do, except the difference between a good day and a bad day can mean the difference between a wheelchair and a dance floor. All you are seeing here is the finished product, but what you aren't seeing are the good days, the bad days, (I've worked on this for almost 2 weeks now), or the extra effort it takes to produce it.
I remember back when I was a lot healthier, I was a very active, productive writer. I expressed myself with what seemed to be a gifted ease that gave me the confidence I needed to boldly face the intimidating blank page and write on it. With all of the praise that I received, I might have even become a bit arrogant. I had what I thought was an impressive vocabulary, and I referred to myself as a "word-crafter" when I was about fifteen. Pretentious, I know, but even then, with what I thought of as talent and a way with the English language, I still had the ADHD to contend with, so I'm no stranger to challenges. If I was arrogant, it was because I was so proud of winning my battles with adversity. Back then, when I was writing, I could be focused and coherent. (I'm sure the Cylert helped!) It was the only time I could ever really focus on anything so intently. I could write for hours but didn't have the attention span to read it all. I decided to go to Art College and express myself some other way, but I never gave up writing.
Then in 1994, at age 25, I went blind in my left eye and learned that I might have MS. The vision in both of my eyes has come and gone several times since then. In 1996 when the entire left side of my body went numb, a sample of my spinal fluid and an MRI confirmed it. The diagnosis was, indeed, Multiple Sclerosis; Relapsing-Remitting MS, to be exact.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had probably had MS my entire life, and the ADHD seemed to be closely related, as did the depression, the "artistic temperament," and most of my other quirks, of which there were dozens. Although I had way too much time on my hands after the diagnosis, and more to write about than ever before, I was writing less and less.
Then in the fall of 1999, I had the worst MS attack of my life. My neurologist compared it to a major stroke. We estimated that I had lost the use of approximately seventy per cent of my vocabulary. (It actually seemed like more to me.) That was just one of the effects. I could think, but it was an entirely different kind of thinking, and it's still hard to get used to sometimes, as my mind sways to and fro between the "normal" thinking and the "affected" thinking. I felt like the kind of person Oliver Sacks would really like to meet. Maybe he could help me. Maybe he could explain some things.
During that nightmare of an attack, because of the "new way of thinking" I could barely express myself at all. It was as if I'd had a massive head wound. The aphasia was the worst. There are few things more frustrating than aphasia. Well, just try to imagine having entire sentences of words that are "on the tip of your tongue" but you just can't, for the life of you, find the words. I was like that for months.
The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis node offered me much insight into this "new way of thinking." The node has some strong arguments against the hypothesis. My personal experience tells me that the hypothesis is simply worthless. However, reading the arguments in this informative node helped me understand the way my mind now works a little better than I ever have, and I recommend it if you are interested in this sort of thing, as well as the excellent node Thinking without words.
With time, my brain slowly started repairing itself, for the most part, though never entirely. Some things just came back to me, even if just in fragments, but others I had to rebuild from scratch. It's taken me a long time to get this far, and I still struggle every day. I no longer call myself a writer. Now I'm just here. I aspire to write, and to write really well, but there is so much that this illness can take away from you, even though it can give you a new, sometimes very refreshing perspective. Still, not too far in the back of my mind is the reminder that everything I've tried to learn to do since I was diagnosed, and nearly every dream that I've had has been crushed by this illness. Still, I haven't given up. Now I just do the best I can and hope it'll do.
I really love this place. It is my dream to contribute nodes that are up to my (very high) standards and yours (that may be even higher!).
(This node is not an example of my very highest standard. Please read what I put at the end.)
Thanks for your time and attention!
The Relapse : Part One
Not another relapse! Ugh!
I'm not even talking about the Multiple Sclerosis this time. Well, I'll talk about it for a minute, or however long it takes, because it is a factor. I am in one of those most hellish MS limbos right now. I am in neither relapse nor remission, but I am in a constant state of pain caused by severe spasticity. The latest MRI shows no really significant new lesions, although it does show some very "active lesions" that are not new. Thus there is an intense worsening of the symptoms I've struggled with for a few years now. But because none of the pain is new, and I have no new symptoms, this is not considered by my doctors to be a terribly significant event. Still, it was in stark contrast to the last time I saw my Neurologist, when he commented on how very well I was doing and that he didn't think I needed to be on any of the injectable treatments (often referred to as the "A-B-C drugs: Avonex, Beta-Seron, Copaxone) because the quality of my life would most likely be better without them if I didn't seem to need them.
It is true that A-B-C drugs are difficult to justify taking if you are in remission or if your case is a very mild one. They are very expensive, and even though they are free for me, courtesy of the taxpayers of Tennessee and a wonderful lifesaving health care program called TennCare, I know there are many who need them that simply can't get them because they are so expensive. With the Avonex and the Beta-Seron, the horrible flu-like side effects make one ill on days that might have been just fine. In the case of the Copaxone, there were none of those types of side effects for me, however, the injection sites would swell into huge, painful welts about the same diameter as a CD, and were sometimes even disfiguring. I have some pretty deep dents on my hips and my thighs that were once injections gone wrong. Of course, needles always suck...
Then there is the whole issue of who will be giving the injections. Ideally, I suppose one would inject one's self, but there are two major problems with that: 1) Not all of the sites you have to chose from can be reached by the patient. Giving an injection is quite a bit more complicated than scratching that one square inch of your back you can't seem to reach without really straining hard. 2) A fairly common symptom of MS is tremors. I learned the hard way that my hand was not steady enough to give myself these injections, even if I used the handy-dandy "auto-injector"; a spring loaded device that will deliver the subcutaneous injection at the proper depth and at the proper speed and all you have to do is push a button, and hold it very still for 10 to 15 seconds. Finding someone who will give you your injection at the same time every day is very difficult for a single person. I'm guessing that if you're married or have a live-in mate, a real sweetheart of a roommate, or something equally convenient, it might not be a challenge at all, but I wouldn't know. My boyfriend has volunteered, but he lives in another town and I don't see him every day.
Besides all of that hassle, the A,B,C, drugs don't offer any relief of the symptoms. All they do is slow down the progression of the disease, by thirty percent, at best, whatever the hell that means. I will admit, however, that while taking them last fall, I did feel better a lot of the time. But, well, I was madly, way out of my mind in love, too, and I've noticed that a hot new love affair can have profound healing effects, just as much, if not more, than stress can make the MS so much worse. MS can be extremely psychosomatic, and because of that, I have learned a lot of startling things about my "true feelings."
At the time that I was taking the Copaxone last fall, I figured it was most likely a placebo effect, because I was told flat out that it would not make me feel better and that I wouldn't notice any difference. Understandably, it's really hard to say how affective the two of the A-B-C drugs that I've tried might have been. (I also took Avonex for a while, but was too healthy then to spend three days a week in bed with fevers and body aches) All I knew for sure was that the side effects weren't worth it because I had days that were 100% symptom-free back then. But now I can't remember the last time I've had a symptom-free day, and so I have plans to start taking the Copaxone again as soon as I figure out who's going to pull the trigger for me.
The plan is for my boyfriend (not the one I was seeing last fall) and I to get a place together by February, hopefully. I am desperate for a one-story home, or, at least, a room on the ground floor. As it is, I struggle against the stairs every day. Living on the second floor... makes... no... sense... but my parents are a little thick, and they can't seem to come up with any ideas to help me out. They just watch as I go, ever so slowly, one step at a time, as if they were slowing down to look at a car accident. It's tragic, but what can they do about it? Although there are other rooms on the ground floor, two of which are never used, they won't let me have them. So even though I said I'd never move in with another boyfriend ever again, at this point, it looks like my best option. He is willing to give me the injections... (heh heh), and he does take the very best care of me he can. He really wants to help me. I've never known anyone like him before. Maybe it won't be like the other times I've made the mistake of living with someone. *gulp*
Please, light a candle or pray for me or something! It's all so scary these days! And that's saying a lot for a ballsy bitch like me! *sigh*
As for treating the symptoms, there really isn't a whole hell of a lot my doctors can do... The most they will do about it is give me the usual 600mg Ibuprofen and ten 5mg Percocet a month. The high dose Ibuprofen, even mixed with aspirin, acetaminophen, the occasional Darvocet, an anti-seizure drug called Neurontin to calm the spasticity, a small dose (if taken as prescribed), or even higher, of the highly addictive drug, Klonopin, and the Percocet taken all at once still won't make a dent in the pain these days. It used to be that a Percocet would do just fine, and that ten times a month was only slightly less relief than I needed. Even a half of one helped some. I'm not at all sure why my doctor is so stingy with the narcotic painkillers. Why almost no Percocet, yet so much Klonopin? Maybe it's the tattoo?
Ten Percocet a month is hardly enough to build up a dependency upon. A Percocet can provide relief for maybe four hours. So, to sum it up, my doctor gives me ten 4 hour vacations from my agony per month. Lately it's not even that. What about the remaining 680-704 hours of the month? Lately the inescapable agony either has me crumpled up, weeping, helpless, and broken, or I am enraged, screaming about mercy, amputations, and euthanasia, howling, and wanting to break things. I used to be a lot stronger than this... I used to have remarkable strength and poise before the MS became so serious. In the last few years, however, I find it a real challenge to conduct myself with grace and dignity in helpless, painful situations, be they physical, emotional, spiritual... Yeah. Just ask my last lover and his girlfriend about how much grace and dignity I have. Oh... the horror...
It has finally become so bad, so unbearable, that I am very seriously considering an option of elective, temporary, paralysis using Botox injections to my legs, and maybe even my back and part of my left arm. My right arm does act up just as much, but I am doing my best to ignore that, being right handed and all...Yeah... umm, well... I use the term "elective" loosely, just as I do when I speak of my tubal ligation. I certainly didn't volunteer for this illness, and I certainly never wanted to be spayed like a fucking cat any more than I want to have my freakin' legs paralyzed to spare me the pain, and go 'round "Waist High In The World" with limited access, mobility, and... and... you name it, it's limited. I have no trouble admitting to anyone at this point that I'm scared to death. It's very difficult to imagine how difficult and stressful life is when you must rely on others for so much help. The loss of my independence is just as difficult to deal with as the pain.
It's such a challenge to see anything other than the loss. I've lost my independence, my career dreams, my ability to have a family, to have children of my own. OK, so I wasn't exactly spayed like a cat. The procedure is quite different, and wow! I have no scar whatsoever! Even though I wasn't spayed, but merely had my tubes tied, the results are the same. Not exactly the same, because I could still, theoretically, have a child... with a lot of help, but why would I change my mind now?
::trying very, very hard not to think up any answers to that question.:: Just because I weep damn near any time I see a baby? It really feels like involuntary sterilization, and as my duty to my family, and to society. Yeah. You're fucking welcome. On top of the MS thing, I'm ever so slightly bitter about the "no babies" thing... It's probably a good thing that I'm a virtual shut-in and only very rarely see any real-life, 3-D human beings and their young. An ex of mine whom I went out with for nearly four years, and whom I've been close friends with in the three years since we broke up, became a father yesterday. His son's mother is a girl who could/would be perfectly healthy, but has chosen a lifestyle of heavy, habitual, yet purely recreational drugs: mainly coke and pot and alcohol. She also has a very reliable, monthy bout of hysteria, psychosis, violence, and promiscuity. I swear, it's so reliable that you could set a clock by it. A lifestyle that she did not even alter much at all until late in the pregnancy. We were all in great suspense about who the father of this baby was. I am sad to say, it wasn't anyone she picked up at the local "meat market." And despite the pot, cocaine, nicotine, and alcohol use, the baby appears to be in perfectly healthy condition. Well, I'm sure that even though there doesn't seem to be any damage done prenatally, even graver dangers lie ahead for this poor innocent child. Ugh... Ouch. I feel as if I've been bitchslapped by the fates once more. Did I make a mistake when I decided that I really didn't have much choice other than to have my tubes tied? Did I make a mistake when I decided it wouldn't be fair to that child I could have had in '94 to be brought into a world where the father didn't want a child at that time,(or, at least, not mine) or to have a mother who might constantly be struggling with an illness as potentially horrific as MS? (At the time I made that decision, all I had been told by the doctors was that there was a chance I might have MS, but in my heart, I knew that I did.)
If I make this decision to have the Botox injections to relieve the pain of the muscle spasms, and I decide I made the wrong decision, at least I'll get a second chance. The Botox wears off after a few months. In the meantime, I'd get to be a real, full-blown, card carrying cripple! People won't look at me so harshly when I get out of a car parked in the handicap spot. I do have a permit, but, other than a slight limp, I don't appear to have anything wrong with me. But, wow! A wheelchair! I wouldn't be 100% paralyzed, so getting in and out of it would probably not be too hard. I wouldn't need anyone to come into the bathroom with me and wipe my ass for me. At least, I hope I wouldn't. It would be selective, temporary paralysis, but enough to make walking if not impossible, then so challenging that I would be a fool to not just get some wheels.
I want a pair of red pointe shoes. I've decided that when I end up in the chair, I want to always either be wearing spike heels, like the 5" kind they sell at those fun adult stores that sell everything from lingerie, to swing sets, to anal beads, to inflatable friends, to thigh-high boots or wear real dance shoes, like taps, or ballroom dancing shoes, or a beautiful pair of genuine ballet pointe shoes. My whole life I've always danced like a maenad, becoming the music and feeling as if the music is what is in control, and I am merely channeling. It's the most beautiful feeling I know... at least as good as most sex... And so I have this obsession with The Red Shoes; the Hans Christian Anderson version, though the 1948 film is poignant as well. In the Anderson version, the girl with the magical, yet evil, beautiful red dancing shoes can never stop dancing once they are on her feet. She finally has to ask some man with an axe to amputate her feet. I've never had any red shoes. Not yet, anyway. But soon... I hope that by the first week in January I will have my pointe shoes.
I can totally relate to not being able to stop dancing. While completely sober on NYE, Y-2-Trey at Big Cypress, I was on my feet and dancing for the entire eight and a half hour set. I just couldn't stop. It was typical of me to dance uncontrollably and wear myself out in a hurry. It was unusual because I have MS, and I am so easily fatigued, and I danced longer and harder than 95% of the people there. And I was sober. It's unlikely that many, if any of the others who danced as energetically as I did were sober! I mean, it was a phreakin' PHiSH concert! It was Y-2K! It was the largest concert on the planet that day because of all of the fear. Very few folks at that show were sober, and even fewer kept up with the band and stayed on their feet all night.
Please pardon the interruption, but I feel the need to humbly request, well, insist, really, that the reader refrain from making any assumptions about me, any assumptions at all, based upon the fact that I like PHiSH. Pretty much all I have in common with the majority of the "phan-base" is that I really love PHiSH. And I am something of a tree-hugging liberal very concerned about the environment. I am not a chronic dope-head. I am sober much more often than not, though not always, and not always voluntarily! I do not dress like them. I do both wash and comb my hair. And, contrary to how this must sound, I believe I am more tolerant and accepting than the average "phan" on the lot. It's all about appearances there, believe it or not. If you look clean, seem clear-headed, and aren't wearing the proper attire, most phans won't even speak to you. Pity, really. I'm sure there are some wonderful people that I'd really love to know that are typical PHiSH phans, but I've only been able to make friends with them over the internet because I refuse to dress like them just to fit in. I only dress like me! I don't know how many of them are into Tool, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt, Radiohead, David Bowie, David Byrne, Ella Fitzgerald, etc, and do not like to listen to the Dead or most of those other jam bands. Now and then, there is a surpising variety of music being played out in the lots, though. I think that's where much of the diversity begins and ends. And then there's me. ::sigh:: I felt the need to clarify that I am really difficult to label, and it only takes a moment to realize that although my love for the band and seeing them live is huge, very few people would consider me to be one of those typical PHiSh phans. Yeah. Even though I act like one when I'm typing about them, even though I know most of the words, even though I own many shows, even though I am an official Phunky Bitch, even though my name is in the acknowledgements at the beginning of the book "The Phish Companion" (for writing reviews), PLEASE don't think of me as "one of them". There's only one of me. When I meet another, then I can be labeled and be called "one of them" but until then, I am very much an individual, even though we are all one. I'm sort of like a Wiccan that's a solitary practitioner, except it's PHiSH.
Thank you, ever so, for putting up with quite a hefty dose of my "Gee!-I-hope-they-don't-get-the-wrong-idea-about-me!"-neurosis!
We now return to the prior stream of consciousness, already in progress.
I feel as if I've certainly earned a lovely pair of red pointe shoes. I also love the irony of it, the profound, multi-layered, symbolism and from the "glass half full" perspective, I can look at being in the chair as an opportunity to wear any kind of shoes I want! As is is now, I don't have the strength or the balance to wear heels or mules. When I'm in the chair, I will wear only the grooviest, sexiest, most dangerous shoes I can find! I wore my super-sexy high heels while I was in a wheelchair for Dragon-Con this year. (photos @ http://photos.yahoo.com/astrobabbler ) The shoes and the mini-skirt also kept me from being as "invisible" as one usually is in a wheelchair. And I mean, let's face it: there are times and places where one wants to be seen. Dragon-Con was one of those times and places for me, but I had to be in a wheelchair. I think it might have even made me more visible, being on wheels.
Oops. Oh my gosh... My Freakish Pollyanna is showing, isn't it? Well, if I didn't have my "glass half full" voice, I'd be long dead by now. Not to be morbid or anything, but MS isn't the only life-threatening challenge I've had to face, or that I still face. Every once in a while, my inner Pollyanna makes an appearance to save the day.
Ever since I first found out I was ill, people have told me, nearly every day, it seems, how "brave" I am. Am I? Compared to what? I always thought that was odd. I heard it a lot when I had cancer, too. It seemed so absurd. It was as if they were suggesting that I was so brave to have cancer like that. And to be able to deal with it so courageously. It was very minor cancer, but only because it was caught on time to be operative... Oh, yes! I was SO LUCKY! (ha!) otherwise, as the oncologist at Vanderbilt told me, it was a rare, but usually swift and deadly kind. So I had a couple of little surgeries, no chemo, but... brave? One thing's for sure: the cancer was not the least bit frightening in comparison to the idea of this MS, and this pain. I must say, there is no greater challenge I have ever had to face than to try and find the will to go on when it all hurts as much as it does right now. The pain is so distracting that I find myself holding my breath, as if I'm forgetting to breathe sometimes... I write this now, very slowly, as a last ditch effort to fight distraction with distraction. In my whacked-out mind, two distractions add up to be the closest thing to what I imagine it must be like to possess the ability to concentrate... This is not the type of thing you can sweep under the rug, "think about tomorrow", or escape! It must be faced! It is my personal philosophy that one should always face everything, to just DEAL, for freak's sake! preferably in "real time," but I know how extremely rare and unpopular that notion is, so I won't rant about all that here right now. I will say that I do believe that "what we would try to avoid comes to meet us". I sure can't run away from this. (No sick pun was intended there, I swear!) I most definitely wish I could sometimes, but only because of this pain. But this pain, like most pain, be it physical, emotional, spiritual, etc) seems so difficult to avoid.
...and coming up next time in...
The Relapse : (Part Two)
" There is no enemy more formidable and relentless than chronic pain... except, well...
"Heartbreak makes this kind of physical pain comparable to a papercut or a hangnail," she groaned as she folded her arms tightly over her middle and bent over as if she'd just been punched in the gut. Repeatedly."
I hope you've gained something from this daylog write-up (unless it's a headache, or worse) and I hope you'll come back for Part Two! Not sure when it will be available, but it's almost done.
Since this is my first ever read write up, I would really appreciate any comments, advice, criticism, etc. I am particularly concerned about my grammar and punctuation. I realize that one is usually expected to start out with factual nodes, earn one's bullshit, and that daylogs are usually pretty unpopular. I would not have submitted this one if I didn't think there was nothing to learn from it. Since it was a daylog, I didn't think it hurt that it was subjective. This is really just a test drive. I am curious to see how this does. I don't expect it to be embraced and cooled or any of that... Like I said, this is only a test to see if I've got the mechanics right, and to see if anyone has any reaction to it. (MAN! What a time I've had struggling with all this Java/HTML whatever the hell this stuff here is. And I don't get it either, because last week I thought I understood it completely. Or at least well enough to do this, but it looks as if I was quite mistaken. Maybe it's one of those MS malfunctions... *shrug*) And if anyone out there would like to adopt me as their young apprentice or anything like that, I would be most grateful! I had a mentor I was assigned to but they sort of vanished! I never see them online. I figure the "mentor" who finds me and choses me would be much better for me and for E2! Perhaps I ought to mention that I can write short, (yes! short!), witty pieces, as well as very informative pieces, or just about any type of piece, really, although I confess that the factual earning of bullshit appears to be my biggest challenge right now. That one and aquiring the accurate birthtime of P.J. Harvey so that I can write about her astrological chart!
Well, Happy Holidays and May At Least One Dream Come True For You This Magical Season! I'm wishing for snow, a pair of red pointe shoes, a coat, and most of all, for a friend's forgiveness, and/or for a reminder of what it feels like to have no pain, no pain at all, for about 20-30 minutes. Whew. One pain free moment would be a Holiday Miracle at this point...
Wishing you Comfort and Joy,
An update: Monday, December 30th, 2002
Even though I was horrified by all of the initial mistakes I made on this node and was extrememly eager to get back here to correct them, I haven't had time until now. My boyfriend has left town for a few days, and I have some welcomed, much needed solitude. Please don't get me wrong. I love him, it's just that... well... let's just say that I prefer a cat as a pet, whereas he likes dogs. I am enjoying this little vacation. I really needed this time and space to think, to work on this and to write more! I am so eager to write more!
As for my x-mas... (I'm a Winter Solstice type person, but my family are "Christmas" people...), of all of the wishes that I listed above, I got one! SNOW! I love snow, so that was really wonderful!
On the downside, my wish "for a friend's forgiveness, and/or for a reminder of what it feels like to have no pain, no pain at all, for about 20-30 minutes. Whew. One pain free moment would be a Holiday Miracle at this point..." was something I did not get. (The friend is a noder, by the way, and may or may not have read this.) I'm not sure which I wanted more, for they were equally valuable to me. To receive either one would have seemed like a real miracle, and I'm willing to bet just about anything I have that the friend's forgiveness would alleviate the physical pain for at least a little while... perhaps even for a few days... In fact, I'm damned sure it would! The "lack of forgiveness" (for lack of a more accurate term, it's a very long story) is more painful than this crushing physical pain. (More about how that works in "The Relapse:(Part Two).") Well, I've apologized all I could... I've done all I could possibly think of to make up for it, to fix things, and yet I am still cut off. I am powerless to do anything about it now and I have been for quite some time, yet it haunts me, always. Perhaps my New Year's Resolution should be to forget about the whole damned thing, except, I literally wish that I could every single day as it is, and I don't make resolutions. Since I quit smoking last November, I don't know what I would try to do if I did make resolutions. If I think of anything, I'll let you know. And if anyone has any brainwashing or banishing techniques or recipes to cure one's self of such a painful affliction as being haunted by an unforgiving person in one's past, (it's not what I would call guilt, really, like I said, it's very complicated, but if you want details, msg me) please! I beg you! msg me with your possible cure. I so rarely ask for help, especially when I need it, but I've come to realize recently that drastic measures may be needed to fix my head and mend my heart from this ordeal that is really sapping the precious life out of me. I can't understand why someone as powerful as I can be, as powerful as I usually am, is so helpless in this situation... I've run out of ideas... Anyone...? Beuller...?
Anyway, other than all that muck, my holiday was ok. I dressed up really silly. My doctor gave me a Christmas present of a larger prescription of Percocet for the Holidays, so, even though the pain was still there, I was doped up enough on pain meds to be able to deal with the whole mess. I survived it. *and it snowed!*
I hope your holiday (if you had one) was fantabulous, if not better, or at least tolerable, and I send out my very best wishes for the New Year! :}