Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's been a while...

I know it has been quite a while since I posted anything of substance here, but I thought I'd *try* to remedy that today. I am being a bad girl and skipping church, except when you're a Unitarian Universalist, that whole concept really doesn't even exist. Thank goodness!

There's really been a lot going on lately, and I am not sure how to tie all of this post together, or even if I should. Life is filled with random crap, isn't it? Things that just don't all 'go together'? Or maybe that's just me! Ha!

First and foremost, it's been frikken HOT. I hate hot. I hate sweating. I hate having a red face when I try to survive away from air conditioning. I am a wimp, I know, but this is a life-long affliction for me. At least it's almost August, which means it's almost FALL, my favorite season. Woohooo!


Yesterday, hubby and I were interviewed on a local radio station about the upcoming Marriage Equality Summit being held at our church next Saturday. It was a very cool experience -- not at all nerve-wracking like I thought it might be. I even listened to the CD of the broadcast they recorded for us, and was surprised and very pleased not to have sounded like an idiot. I even didn't hate the sound of my voice. That's got to be a first!!

I will be so relieved when this thing is over. It's been in the planning since October of last year, when we first began discussing the then-possibility that an amendment to our state constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman was going to be on the November '06 ballot. As a social justice-oriented church, we knew we had to get involved. Being the then-Chair of the GLBT+Friends Committee, much of the responsibilities fell on me. Through this, I became acquainted with Jack Senterfitt, who is the Senior Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, Southeastern region. He spoke at Vanderbilt University here, his alma mater, regarding marriage equality, and right then I knew he had to speak for us. We planned a "summit", where we could gather folks together from all the UU churches in Tennessee, and learn as a group how to canvass, how to spread the word, and how to get out the vote. One thing lead to another, and now we have not only Jack speaking, but also a couple of folks from the Tennessee Equality Project, as well as our minister and the now-Chair of the GLBT+Friends committee, who is the Education Coordinator for one of Vanderbilt's largest health clinics. We have music, we have food, we have child care -- we have people needing a place to stay, people with questions about other things to do -- and we have media, which I hope will include news stations from around the city.

I am very proud to have been the major player in this. No matter what else I do, I can say that I was instrumental in coming up with and planning this event, not to mention doing the majority of the 'legwork' involved. I know in my heart that I am on the right side of this issue, and that history will show that this was the correct position to take.


I've been in PT now for several months, for both upper and lower back issues, and it has helped a good bit. Recently I found that I have several bulging discs in my neck, which my doctor actually wrote to me "equals a small herniation". Ummm.... Anyway, tomorrow I see a physiatrist about, I think, pain control. I'm really not sure exactly why I'm seeing him, other than my doc said this guy is a back specialist and should be able to help. I looked up information about physical medicine/rehab docs, aka physiatrists, and learned that, for one thing, they don't do surgery, for which I am amazingly grateful. My understanding is that these docs deal with the actual mechanics of the body, being able to do things like prescribe orthotic braces and such, as well as doing injections if necessary.

I don't want injections in my back, period. I am just scared to death of that. I'm afraid of that little slip that goes from therapeutic to paralysis. I don't know why I'm afraid of this -- it's not like I know anyone it ever happened to. I guess my reasoning derives from other needle experiences I've had. Here's one that I think illustrates this: I was having an EGD (upper GI) a few years ago, supposedly done by the "best" GI in town. The prep work was being done, and the injection of anesthestic substance, I'm guessing Versed, was done in the top of my hand (easiest place to get a vein, and no, it doesn't hurt or bother me there). When we got into the room for the procedure, the doc sprayed a numbing agent into my throat (another really scary aspect for those of us with anxiety/panic symptoms that include feeling as though one's throat is closing). He then began to try to put the tube down my throat. If you've ever had this procedure done, you may be wondering how I remember this. Well, I remember the whole thing, because THE ANESTHESIA *NEVER* WENT INTO MY BLOODSTREAM. There was a bigger than golf ball sized knot on my hand, where the anesthesia apparently was injected into the surrounding skin, rather than into the vein. I was petrified and crying on that table, trying to pull the tube out so I could tell the doc I was still awake, but he had nurses literally HOLD ME DOWN and continued to snake it down my throat. I saw and REMEMBER the whole procedure -- I guess the plus side is that now I know what my esophagus and stomach look like.

So, in conclusion, some doctors can be really MEAN and hateful and not at all compassionate, or even aware of what's going on with a person. I can't help but be afraid something like this could happen again, so I'm afraid of getting injections into my back.


My youngest sister is probably going to have to go to court on August 9 to deal with custody issues around her children. That means she will have to travel from Florida to Illinois which is a looooooooong trip. I have agreed to go with her to court, because she just simply can't go alone. Our mom will keep her children for her, so it will just be the two of us. I feel OK about it, though I will most certainly be talking with my therapist before going for a 'shoring up' session. I'm not afraid of the ex brother in law in court, so that's not something that's very concerning. One thing I will be a little anxious about is when we're not in court. Maybe we'll just come back to my house (5 hour drive) instead of staying around there, even if it's late.

Y'all, I have to tell this. My middle sister "A" reads this blog and I don't want to upset her, but still, I have to get this off my chest. So, here goes. Back 3 or so years ago when my youngest sister and her husband divorced, she left him in Illinois and moved to Florida, where our parents are. She did not work and had no money of her own. Her husband said they could both use the same attorney, which I advised my mom and sister against. Still, they decided not to get their own attorney. His version of the divorce papers stated that my sister could not take my niece out of state, nor could my niece live more than 25 miles away from his union hall. And my sister signed this. And my parents READ THIS AND SAID THEY DIDN'T THINK THE EX HUSBAND WOULD BE "UGLY" ABOUT IT, SO LET HER SIGN THIS DIVORCE AGREEMENT WITHOUT EVEN CONTESTING THAT. All this time I'd thought my sister alone was aware of that clause, which was bad enough, but when I found out just recently that my parents knew about it and didn't think it would be a problem, I nearly disintegrated in incredulousness.

Last October when my sister left this guy AGAIN, my husband and I came up with a list of things to do/not do, based on the DIRECT EXPERIENCE we had with a domestic abuse situation involving his daughter, and the information we'd gathered from professionals in fields that deal with this frequently, as well as my own experience working in a foster care/adoption agency. Well, sister went back to this idiot after Christmas. In January my mother confronts me with how it pissed them off that hubby and I 'tried to tell them what to do', implying that we were being smartasses and that they didn't need any help, thank you very much. Since then, however, I have received an apology from my mom, not that it makes any difference, and not that she will always be sorry.

Two months after my own husband died, I bought my mom a plane ticket to come visit me for a weekend. Mom wasn't big on visiting me before, and still doesn't often, but it's more than it used to be, for what it's worth. On that weekend visit 7 years ago, my mom told me that I'm intimidating. I've talked about this before here, and I wish it didn't still sting a little bit when I think about it. What I've learned in the meantime, and what was reinforced by that last story I told regarding the divorce decree, is that my mother meant that she feels 'less than' around me -- she thinks I'm smarter than she is or whatever, which maybe I am in some ways. Still, that doesn't make ME intimidating. It just makes me different from her.


My step-daughter continues to hate my guts. Her children's birthday (twins) was July 4, and, as always, I helped hubby pick out their gifts, signed the card, etc. This year, the thank you card was ONLY addressed to hubby, so that's pretty clear, don't you think? I do try not to let this bother me, but it truly hurts my feelings that this apparently spoiled-rotten selfish brat of a woman can be so childish. I want to respond in a hurtful or retaliative way, but I know that's not right. Still, I admit to daydreaming about what I would say, or what hubby would say, that would put her in her place and then also make this situation right. I do live in a fantasy world, don't I?


Next week there will be a memorial service for my friend Melissa Sigler's son Bruce, who, at age 27, passed away of a heart attack. Yes, a heart attack -- no drugs involved, no foul play -- just a heart attack at age 27. Y'all, life is short, and you do not know when your number will be up. Please, tell those around you that you love them -- don't wait. I don't care if they think you're weird for doing it -- just do it. You will feel better and have a better life because of it. No one can say "I love you" too often these days.


In October I get to go with hubby to Madison, WI for a week. He's attending some sort of conference or class at the university, and we're staying in the ritzy conference center there. We'll go up a few days early, though, flying into Minneapolis, so we can drive up to Lake Itasca, and, per his wishes, scatter my late husband's ashes. It will be good to get this done and know that I carried out my promise to him, even if it seems crazy to me.

We plan also to get tickets for Prairie Home Companion while we're there, and we already have tickets to Michael Feldman's "What Do You Know?" Yes, we're NPR freaks. I can't wait! I also can't wait to find Scandinavian stuff and cheese. I think hubby will concentrate on the beer.

In December we're going to celebrate our anniversary with friends who were actually married on New Year's Eve last year. Our anniversary is 12/20, so this works out well. We'll be heading up to Buffalo, NY, believe it or not, stopping in Cleveland, OH so hubby can finally see the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Don't forget to sign that petition for Leon Russell!!) I visited there a few years ago and could have stayed all day. I hope there will be SOME snow -- not the whiteout blizzard conditions that can come from the lake. I don't know where exactly we'll spend NYE -- maybe Niagara Falls? Wouldn't that be romantic and cool???


I think I've caught y'all up on the major stuff now. I need to try to write more often, and I will work on that. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to those of you who've written to either ask about me or encourage me to write more often. It means so much!!!

Peace out, yo.



neuroticillinifan said...

So you're coming to Illinois, eh? Email me with a more precise location. If it happens that you'll not be too far away, perhaps we could meet for dinner while you are up north.

Regarding your stepdaughter, try to let it go. Hubs also has children from his first marriage. They don't like me. I am lucky that they tolerate me, and are polite to me. I try to just stay out of the way and let Hubs have his relationship with them. The more I have backed off the more accepting they have become, to the point that they willingly invite me to their family functions now.

You are so right about saying "I love you." Hubs and I never part company without saying it. That way if it is our last time together the last words we say to each other will be "I love you" which is better than having the regret of having parted with "and don't forget to take the trash out!"

NPR Freaks! So are Hubs and I! I am so jealous that you are going to a Prairie Home Companion and What Do You Know? Can I stow away in your luggage and go too?


Cathy said...

I live in Ohio. I'm pretty far from Cleveland thought but I do have doctors at cleveland clinic. I love the rock n roll hall of fame...I would love to meet you even if just for a few minutes..I would drive to cleveland just to talk for a few minutes with you and hubby.

I'm sorry for all the things going on in your family. Maybe sweet time will help these things. It must be very hurtful what your step-daughter is doing. That is not fair to you at all.

Been wondering about you.