Friday, November 27, 2009

The Hangover

No, it is not what you are thinking.

Yesterday was a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. I watched the Philadelphia Parade (that town knows how to put on the best parades!), caught a few football games, took a nap. Close to dinner, though, I crashed.

I don’t like to post the information you are about to read because sometimes it leads to unsolicited and irrelevant (although caring and heartfelt) advice and questions about what the doctor said (I am seeing three doctors at the moment). I also fear that people will get upset when they read this; however, so many people have been asking about my recent increasing symptoms that I decided to try to explain what I'm going through. Warning: this is not for the faint-of-heart.

I was flipping through some magazines when I was hit. Gravity increased exponentially, quite suddenly (Stephen Hawking has not returned my calls about this). Someone plugged my body into an electrical outlet. A rod was jammed into my hip and the electricity trickled down my right leg and through my crotch (do you know how it feels when your leg has fallen asleep but then the circulation returns and your leg tingles? We call that feeling "pins and needles," officially known as "paresthesia.") Fatigue washed over me like heavy mud. I became quite agitated, anxious, and restless. I couldn't sit still, but my leg turned into a concrete block of tight muscles (called "spasticity") and walking was extremely difficult. (I've never been to the La Brea Tar Pits but suspect that getting stuck in one gives a similar feeling). My muscles started to ache from the constant contractions (time for Tylenol or wine - I chose Tylenol but was having trouble swallowing. Should have chosen the wine…). My foot wouldn't lift so I looked like Quasimodo pacing around the kitchen. Then the paresthesia started in other places. My left forearm began burning, my tremor became more pronounced.

I gave thanks that we had prepared a mini-Thanksgiving dinner the night before, and had chosen pre-made or canned fixin's. The Husband took on the task of heating up our Thanksgiving meal. Clean up was easy (put the lids back on). I took two xanax and went to sleep.

Today (so far) I'm okay, but the tingling is starting again and I feel stiff and achy, as if I have a hangover. So don't challenge me with difficult questions (like "what is your name?") or make a lot of noise (some one shut up those birds outside!).

This is what I go through on most days. It's what I deal with and why I often just don't want to talk about it. It's why just getting through the day is an accomplishment and why the little things bring me so much joy. And that's why it is so special when someone comes to visit me.

This is why the holiday season is so difficult for me. It's the time when I'm expected to travel. It's the time of big gatherings with family and friends. It's the time of rooms full of people talking and eating and laughing. But if I don't join in, I either feel guilty or left out, which is the challenge I'm working through with my Life Coach.

There, now you know.

PLEASE don't give me any advice or ask me any questions. Just understand that I DO appreciate your concern and good wishes, I'm just not able to articulate it when I'm in the tar pit.



  1. xOxO
    (or, as Josh would say, "Oxen" :-) )

  2. (((((((((((((JOAN)))))))))))))

    Lots of hugs and love, Joan.


  3. Oy vey.

    Hugs from the north....


  4. All the way in Washington State - I hear you - AND - feel what you are going through. Many hugs ((((((((((((JOAN))))))))))))))))))

    Nancy D.

  5. I don't know how you feel. But I know that I love you.