Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Calculating With The MS DUMB Factor...

I wasn't born an idiot...but I seem to be developing INTO one quite nicely these days. No, as a matter of fact I *USED* to have an IQ in the triple digits...hovered somewhere slightly above average...I managed to lie, cheat, and steal my way into becoming valedictorian of both my graduating high school and nursing school classes. From a bird's eye view early on, it appeared I had been given enough brain matter to last me well into old age, give or take a decade or two from hard living and alcohol saturation!

Then, along came Multiple Sclerosis. And with the disease, I slowly began losing several million brain cells with each popping lesion that appeared in my head. But even WITH MS, we all know each of us possess several BILLION brain cells...what's a few million gone over a life time when the ratio is THAT high?

Well, I'm here to tell you...yes, I'm quite certain I STILL possess that gazillion ratio of firing brain cells up in my noggin (MRI proves it...I DO still have a brain), but it seems those several million cells that have vaporized into MS lesions may have accumulated in some important areas of my brain. Like speech, and word-finding, and calculating critical or complex problems.

For all practical purposes, my MS seems to have stopped boiling my brain of late and is instead running at a very low *simmer*. Whether it has been the effect of the Tysabri, a change in my routine, or simple planetary alignments, my personal brand of MS appears to have stabilized for the time being. **Insert big WOO HOO here** I am happy to report a stabilizing of physical symptoms currently in my life...this is a "good" thing, by anyone's standards and I am certainly NOT complaining. Far be it for me to annoy the MS gods with balloon-squeaking, fingernails-on-chalk-board whining. LOL

What has NOT stabilized and appears to be worsening over time, are my speech patterns...my ability to THINK in words and construct meaningful sentences. My friends poo-poo my notion that it is my MS causing me to bumble/mumble like the town idiot...they sight OLD AGE, hormones, and stress as primary factors, telling me they, too, have a similar experience. I personally think *they* have lost much of their long-term memory and can only recall I have recently celebrated a birthday...it's what's on *their* minds right now and *their* only point of reference. But I also know I have friends who are 10-15 years OLDER than me, and THEY do not appear to be experiencing the degree of aphagia I have developed.

For those of you not in the know or just too lazy to Google *aphasia*, the word loosely refers to having difficulty producing or comprehending language. It comes from the Greek word, "aphatos", which translated means "speechless". Aphasia can be a primary symptom in certain types of traumatic brain injuries (strokes, TIA's, physical trauma, etc.), where the ability to speak meaningful sentences is interrupted. More often than not, an aphasic person can KNOW what they want to say, but cannot WORD FIND or pull up the word(s) that represents the concept they are trying to form. This, of course, is NOT true for all types of aphasia and *aphasia* is just too large a topic to cover here...seriously, Google it (can I use that as a verb?!?) if you want to know more! G-O-O-G-L-E.

Our primary speech centers are located (usually) more in the left hemisphere in the frontal cortex (Broca's Area) or in the posterior temporal lobe (Wernicke's Area)...both of these speech-producing and comprehension areas are not that far from the corpus callosum (relatively speaking...pun intended). And anyone with half a brain and Multiple Sclerosis knows what the CORPUS CALLOSUM is famous for, right??? MS LESIONS!

OK...before everyone with MS who reads this starts panicking and signing up for American Sign Language courses (in the event you can't speak, right? Sorry folks...if you develop expressive aphasia, you STILL won't be able to formulate sentences even with your hands!), let me say this: The human brain may be small in size (about 3 pounds normally...you won't notice drastic weight loss from losing brain cells), but millimeters between areas in the brain are like MILES on a road map...THOUSANDS of miles. And our brains are always working to form new pathways around anything that sets up a road block in the communication process between parts of the brain (see NEUROPLASTICITY for an entire WORLD of information about this subject...that's right...GOOGLE it!). So just because you might develop a MS lesion in a particular area of the brain, does NOT mean you will necessarily lose functioning of that area...but you might...and like me, you "might" blame a particular problem/symptom you are having on MS. Whew...I think I've come full circle to the topic again...I think.

The ability to speak and comprehend speech is so very important to me...it is, after all, a necessity in my job. I have to be able to speak to patients and comprehend what they are saying back to me...no matter how off the wall or crazy they may sound! And even then, I have to RECOGNIZE that what they are saying isn't making much sense. Confused yet?!?

I have noticed my word-finding abilities tend to worsen when I am tired or more stressed than usual...this is typical of almost ALL MS symptoms. Because our nerves/axons slow down their firing processes as WE slow down or become distracted. And yes, (for all you naysayer-it's-just-old-age friends that might be reading this) this simple fact IS true for everyone, not just MSers. But piggy back onto NORMAL aging processes/tiredness the idea of MS FATIGUE or MS SYMPTOMOLOGY, and you've got a higher than average probability word-finding is going to be a *betch* (used that spelling for YOU, KoKo!). And I find I am *betching* more and more about my inability to formulate meaningful sentences these days.

Typing for me has been a godsend of late...I can use a thesaurus or GOOGLE (there's THAT notion again) concepts to find the appropriate words I am looking for...then, plug them into sentences that have blanks in them. This unfortunately does NOT work for public speaking! The thesaurus in my brain often appears to have white, unused pages blowing in the wind that whirls around in my noggin. I struggle to find a SIMILAR word to the word I CAN'T find in my head. And sometimes, I will find a word that SOUNDS LIKE the word I originally wanted to use, but it is soooo far off, I end up sounding/looking like a complete dunce. Like "feline" and "feminine" or "extrapolate" and "extricate"...or much worse, "masturbate" and "masticate". Those last two words are certainly NOT words ANYONE would feel comfortable misusing!

Fortunately, in many situations, these same naysayer-it's-just-old-age friends will finish my sentences or fill in the blank(s) FOR me...my life becomes a game of "sounds like" charades. Everyone readily participates in coming up with whatever word they THINK I mean or I'm wanting to use. This is helpful...to a point...but much of the time, the only *point* I readily feel is the one at the end of my cap...

Too Lazy To Change It...

Yeah, whatever...that entire vertical side bar over there is one big, fat lie and I'm just too lazy to change it! That's right...I'm now 44, not 43. And I'm going in for my 4th TYSABRI infusion tomorrow, which is a far cry away from my first. The brain pictures are still of my crappy MS noggin, but I'm sure even THAT has changed, too, since I first posted them up there.

What hasn't changed this week is my summer cold, which still seems stoopid to use both of those words in a single description: summer cold. I continue to blow what appears to be infected sinus crud from my aching head, but refuse to consult the medical profession for a remedy. I DID email Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named with a "hypothetical" question about Tysabri infusions and colds...just to be on the safe side...because I didn't want to get there tomorrow and once again be turned away because I wasn't the *perfect* infusion specimen. It seems no one really cares even if my head were on fire before my infusion...just as long as the flames don't cause any kind of neurological symptoms! Works for me.

I finally have cleared the gazillion GoogleReader feeds from all y'alls prolific posts this past week-ish or so. I DID try to leave what I deemed "witty" comments on your blogs, but I'm afraid I may have blown out some brain cells from my nostrils this week, leaving me with humorous comments that are only funny to me!

Even my cat has grown sick of me hacking up lung and leaving microbe-infested snot rags laying around...she's taken to jumping vertically up in the air every time I clear my bronchioles and batting my Kleenex box just out of my reach like a hockey puck. I'd blow my nose on HER, but I'm afraid her hair might stick to my snot and form a Hitler-esque mustache on my upper lip...so NOT a cool summer look...but I imagine it would one up the look I've already got going: Kleenex jammed into my nostril and flapping freely in the breeze to permanently "wick" my mucous away. Hmmm...too much information??? LOL

I'm so tired right now, I'm even too lazy to change my mind about posting this absurd blog post... :-)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Oxymoron: Summer Cold...

A summer cold has caught me...I certainly wasn't hunting it! The cold seems to have sneaked up on me when I wasn't looking. Either that or, those nasty toilet seats in my work place really ARE a butt-sized petri dish of microbes...since the only place I have been lurking all week has BEEN at work. Oh, and for the record: No, I have NOT been licking the toilet seats. :-)

I do however, frequent many building-sized petri dishes on a daily basis when at work...they are called H-O-S-P-I-T-A-L-S. And my theory is, if you weren't sick BEFORE you entered a hospital, you will be when by the time you are LEAVING. Makes sense though...these are places SICK PEOPLE go!

So, don't mind me...as soon as I can sqee-gie the snot from my face, I'm sure I'll be good as new. I'm just needing to take a little time out to rest in between my work hours. I can't afford to be sick and miss work...I need the insurance!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Best Friends Forever...Or Until The String Rots...

One of my favorite delights about my sister's visit a few weeks ago, was being able to spend time with my niece and nephew...kids grow up SO fast and it has unfortunately been a few years since I last saw them. I was so pleased to send their parents off (sis and brother-in-law) when I could and just get to know these two genetically-related individuals on my OWN terms...1 on 1...with both of them.

One of the many somewhat "unusual" things I keep around my house are various arts and crafts...not because I anticipate visits from a gaggle of teens, but because I have either previously been interested in the craft or currently trying to teach myself some new project. Last year, I attempted beading and macrame with hemp...but this was strategically NOT at a good time in my life during a relapse, when fingers, eyes, and short-fused patience from steroids caused me to want to weave a life sized noose out of the hemp cord instead of jewelry! (I'm kidding...I think) And, as is somewhat typical of ANY of my craft projects, the hemp weaving/macrame got shoved into a draw with an assortment of beads, never to be fondled again.

Until my niece arrived. I noticed her making multi-colored friendship bracelets out of embroidery thread one evening and I remembered I had the hemp cord and beads collecting dust in a drawer. I asked her if she might be interested in learning how to macrame with it (I of course purchased an assortment of "how to" books that were also filling the drawer) and her eyes lit up like the butt of a firefly. She spent the next several evenings of her vacation learning new knots and loops and macrame skills that were quite impressive...all the while staying up late after the rest of the family had gone to bed and talking with me. I was in spoil-my-niece heaven.

I asked her how she would wear all of the brightly beaded bracelets she was crafting and she told me they were not for her, but for her friends. She pointed out a thin, ankle bracelet she was wearing made out of tiny knots and told me her "best friend" had made it for her. She said they both made each other a bracelet to wear, signifying they were "friends forever"...until the thread eventually rots and the bracelet falls off.

I asked her (with a psychologically concerned look on my face that only an auntie who has 22 years of work experience in the mental health field could possibly wear) what seemed a logical question at this point: "How can you be friends forever until the thread wears out and the bracelet falls off? Wouldn't that happen long before "forever" arrived?"

She laughed at what was obviously seen as old-age silliness in my question and explained slowly...so her OLD auntie might possibly understand. "Well yeah," she said. "It probably will fall off before FOREVER, but not before we stop being friends."

Still puzzled, I inquired further. "But what if it rots and falls off BEFORE you stop being friends? What then?"

I could tell at this point she was becoming amused by my concrete thinking and probably concerned I was just "too old" to understand. She talked even slower at this juncture, obviously hoping her explanation might sink in.

"Weeeeell", she replied. "If it falls off BEFORE we stop being friends, then we just make each other a NEW bracelet to wear for the NEXT forever." She smiled that, "you really do have Alzheimer's" look and shook her head. Forever didn't mean FOREVER...just "for ever" during THAT particular time frame. Life seemed to be FULL of "forevers" to her...moments...pieces of time that could be dissected and remembered through tangible representations of friendship bracelets and school activities and birthdays and...there was more than ONE "forever" in her life.

This concept of time really fired up the ol' brain cells in my noggin' and I got to thinking about "forevers"...how I think or believe something will ALWAYS be the way it is in the moment, only to discover a new "forever" enters the picture and changes the very thing I thought unmovable or unchangeable. Take for instance, Multiple Sclerosis...or better yet, MY MS. Just when I seem to grow accustomed to or "accepting of" this or that symptom as "forever", it up and changes on me...and then I spend a great deal of energy and time adapting to the NEW forever!

The conversation with my niece brought home that NOTHING is forever. There's always another "forever" waiting right around the corner. And I can become anxious or even mourn the probability of fraying of the "thread" of my life and the eventual loss of my metaphoric friendship bracelet OR...I can anticipate with great joy what my NEW friendship bracelet in life will look like in my newest "forever" state.

Yes, I know...a philosophical concept that cannot REALLY be explained via the symbolism of a 15 year old's friendship bracelets! Sigh...but still, I try. LOL

While we were visiting the beach two weeks ago, my niece and I stumbled upon two, identical hemp macrame bracelets that we decided we needed to both wear...our symbolic "friendship" bracelet connection. We each tied our bracelets on as securely as possible, vowing NOT to remove them before they "wore out" (while I contemplated just how MANY germs I might be carrying around in a piece of jewelry that would be soaked in bath water, then dragged through God knows what on my wrist!). Now, almost two weeks later, my matching friendship bracelet on my wrist is beginning to show signs of wear and tear...the ends are beginning to fray and I am reminded of its fragile composition. I will be sad when it finally DOES fall from my wrist...just as I was saddened to say "good-bye" to my wise, but young niece when she left.

But, instead of crying over the loss of something I have now grown USED to on my wrist, I am anticipating with great joy the prospect of buying new materials to MAKE us both another symbolic bracelet! And I am very much looking forward to my next "forever" meeting time with my young niece...whenever THAT might be...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Time Flying By...

Here it is Sunday evening already and I am on the verge of starting yet another busy work week. Time seems to have FLOWN by this past week!

I am nearly recovered from the family tour of duty, but got a phone call from a dear, old friend from Houston, TX (the old BrainCheese stompin' grounds), this week informing me she was HERE...not Houston...but in Seattle at a Transit Conference. Talk about NO warning! But then again, just as old friends do, we were able to pick right back up where we left off the last time she visited...although the lack of notice DID require me to quickly PICK UP my house and complete the cleaning process required to scrub out the remains of the family visit.

I spent most of Friday remembering old times with her, laughing until my stomach hurt, and catching up on the details of my friend's life. We had a spot of tea a bit too late in the evening, which I believe was the culprit to my extreme insomnia until 4:00AM Saturday morning!

After finally falling asleep, I was awakened all too early by the vibration of my cell phone Saturday mid drooling sleep time...it was my neighbor calling to "consult". Apparently she was having a medical crisis (not sure why she would ever trust MY medical judgment, given my history, but...LOL), so I went to investigate. Low and behold, I discovered my neighbor looking like something from a bad cartoon! She was turning several shades of "hot red" and had developed a rash all over her body...and she was mumbling about a particular medication she takes causing a horrible side effect. After a quick and dirty assessment, learning she was now experiencing a "thick tongue", I decided she was having some sort of allergic/medication reaction, so I popped some Benadryl in her gullet, and drove her to the ER. Who knew that NIACIN found in a vitamin B-complex could cause such a dramatic reaction?!? (This was the final diagnosis by a trained emergency room physician...not me!)

Medical crisis resolved, I sprang into high gear to prepare for a party at another friend's house...this required a touch of shopping, a shower (yes, they let me in the ER with my bedhead and all to accompany the neighbor!), gathering a few friends for the convoy, and a short drive across the lake (via bridge, silly!). I spent a wonderful evening late into the early morning with another group of friends.

And then there was today...let's just say I am a bit "friended" out at the moment, having spent another entire day with ANOTHER set of friends! I finally arrived home this evening to a cranky cat, who believes I have abandoned her, which will require me to humbly submit to her every need at the moment. Holding her atop my shoulder while trying to type is a balancing feat I have almost mastered. I am oddly looking FORWARD to returning to work at the moment...

Now, I must travel to my bed and try to sleep, so that I can rise up early tomorrow morning and work a day shift doing some training with a new employee...the start of yet one more grueling work week of day shifts, meetings, and appointments. UGH! In the meantime, my gifted laptop has suddenly decided not to recharge itself, so I may have to run it to the APPLE store for a look under the hood. Without the laptop in my bed, I am no longer able to lie down comfortably and post blog entries OR read my favorite blogs...sigh. Life is hard at my house. LOL

On a final note (yes, thank goodness I am almost through here!), I received a lovely email from a fellow MS blogger alerting me to her blog here . Just click on the "here" (not there), and you will be redirected to a wonderful and fellow Washingtonian blogger. I have also added her to the link at the side bar for future reference under "J" for Jo Franz.

Move along now people...there's nothing more to see here...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Empire Strikes Back!...

Ah, yes...once again I sit with somewhat smug satisfaction, having *won* yet another neurological battle with the "Dark Forces". I am pleased to report I will NOT be dragging myself out on my birthday this month to visit the neurosurgeon! YEAH!!!! That appointment is officially cancelled following this email exchange with Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named:

BrainCheese (Yoda): In spite of myself and my innate skepticism (about Tysabri, etc.), I seem to have turned a wonderful MS corner and I am doing remarkably well. My hands/fingers have returned to a semi-normal state of feeling (but I began losing SKIN off my fingertips two weeks ago like some sort of plague had set in?!? Go figure...) and my neck is at a tolerable level of discomfort at the moment.

Of COURSE this leads me to question the relevance of seeing a neurosurgeon on XX. I have so little to complain about, after all...your thoughts? Do you think this appointment is reeeeeally necessary?

Dr. SWWNBN (Darth Vader): Glad to hear you’re doing better. I guess you can hold off on seeing neurosurgery.

BrainCheese (Yoda): YIPPEE!! I mean...er...OK. Thanks. Besides, I really didn't want to spend my 44th birthday a neurosurgeon's office. Yes, that's right...I am and always WILL be younger than you! (And I really AM doing quite well at the moment)

The truth of the matter is, I really AM doing quite well neurologically these days...and REALLY in spite of myself and my habit of extremely poor self-care. LOL I survived the whirlwind family tour relatively unscathed and feel physically well at the moment. Oh, sure...the *usual*, crappy and lingering MS symptoms remain...those I've grown used to. But there is nothing NEW to report on my MS radar screen, and this feels like REMARKABLE news to me, given my past month of self-imposed intense stress.

Is TYSABRI to blame for my return to wellness? Who knows and frankly, I don't care...but just to appease the MS gods and NOT anger them, I AM going in for my 4th Ty infusion on the 29th. I don't want to test fate at the moment..."something" appears to be working in my favor, so I'm gonna stick with the same game plan for the time being. I'm sure that is, until I get another hair up my hiny to play doctor with myself (Wait! That didn't come out quite right...) and make my own medical changes in my regimen. Hehe...

I am finally catching up on some of my blog reading and have noted several of you NOT doing so well at the moment...I am sorry to read this. I wish we ALL could feel as good as I do for the time being, but such is the nature of this unpredictable disease. Thinking of you all the same...

Monday, July 14, 2008


Late, but not forgotten...Leave it to brainiac Joan, of A Short In The Cord , to solve the July 3rd picture post here on BRAINCHEESE! Just in case you've been anxiously awaiting the "answer", it can be found in the comment section...compliments of JOAN.

And she says she has holes in her brain?!? LOL

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Things I Learned From My Family Visit...

1. A spotlessly clean house can be trashed in a matter of minutes.

2. A spotlessly clean house doesn't seem to matter that much to relatives.

3. 11-year old boys are fascinated by farting.

4. 11-year old boys fart ALOT!

5. There is nothing grander than seeing the eyes of a child when THEY see an ocean for the first time in their lives.

6. Sand dollars are fickle.
7. Cold pizza for breakfast is an acquired taste.

8. CoCo Puffs and Fruit Loops are found in the cereal isle (who knew?!?).

9. Even after carefully wiping off and inspecting an 11-year old boy at the beach, they can STILL carry large dunes of sand in their underwear.

10. Friends who selflessly loan out their station wagons so a family of five can ride comfortably around the state are truly a gift.

11. Sisters make up stories about you in their old age...and tell them to their kids!

12. Cats trapped indoors with 11-year old boys are like mixing oil and water.

13. Cats trapped indoors with 11-year old boys WILL defend themselves.

14. 15-year old girls are full of such excitement about the world.

15. Hotel pools are filled with germs.

16. Hotel pools are filled with germs because children under the age of 18 spit in them (eeewww!).

17. 6:00 o'clock should NOT happen more than once a day and preferably only in the "P.M.".

18. Airplanes really DO take off at 5:30 in the morning.

19. Steaks grilled by someone ELSE'S labor always taste better than your own.

20. The Seattle Space Needle sways considerably in the wind.

21. The Seattle Space Needle's sway can cause vertigo.

22. Picnic lunch in the snow on Mt. Rainier is truly a thing one MUST experience.
23. 15-year old girls love to make "stuff".

24. 15-year old girls think their aunt is the "bomb" if the aunt keeps lots of "stuff" on hand to make.

25. Did I mention 11-year old boys love to fart and can do so on command?!?
26. Having your picture taken in front of Starbucks Headquarters while DRINKING a Starbucks coffee is "way cool" to a 15-year old girl.

27. The Experience The Music Project building built by Paul Allen is STILL an eyesore in Seattle.

28. The best cultural/social experiences for a Midwesterner are found on the #3 bus.

29. My "people" on the #3 bus frighten relatively "normal" people from out of town.

30. $220.00 dollars worth of groceries will feed a family of 5 for about 1 1/2 days...especially with an 11-year old boy who has a bottomless pit for a stomach!

31. It's a sign of "friendship" to wear an identical macrame bracelet as your niece.

32. It is wonderful to spoil nieces and nephews...and then, send them home with their parents!

33. My home is a quiet and peaceful place...again.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Alive in FamilyLand...

Just a quick note to say I am alive and surviving the week with an 11 and 15 year old niece and nephew! Their trip to the Emerald City from the hills of the Midwest is drawing to a close and I will be sad to see them leave VERY EARLY Saturday morning...we have been to the beach, the rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula, the Space Needle, the Experience the Music Project, the Science Fiction Museum, rode a Metro bus, cruised on a Washington State Ferry, toured the Zoo, AND still have the Aquarium, the Monorail, the Pacific Science Center, and a few other choice Seattle sites to take in during the next 36 hours! Needless to say, I am falling into MS exhaustion, but it is for a good cause.

The kids seem to be having a grand time with their old, but "hip" auntie (me)...and I am having a blast getting to spoil them as only an auntie can. LOL We'll see how "spoiled" I look/feel/smell by Saturday afternoon after I've had a few hours to survey the bodily damage and mental exhaustion that can only come from early mornings, late nights, and sleeping on a too-short-and-uncomfortable couch! More later.

Good times...good times...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

This Is My Life Right Now...

Can you solve the riddle in the picture?...It truly IS my life in this moment!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Yeah, OK...whatever. So I've been Missing In Action (versus Major Idiot Attack!) for a few days. It's been a VERY busy week already and it's only Tuesday...I'm afraid by the time my mother's other off-spring and family arrive, I could very well be D.O.A. (and no, that is NOT Disabled Old Arse!).

It has once again been warmer than the surface of the sun here in Seattle...and NO...for all of you who have, year after year, pleaded with me to get a portable air conditioner...I STILL have not. Therefore, I am NOT complaining (only a little bit) for my heat plight. :-) The evenings have fortunately cooled down into the 70's and 60's, but 90 degrees during the day is enough to melt my internal ice cream, so to speak. And, in spite of the heat advisory on Saturday and Sunday, I did foolishly continue my Sisyphean task of preparation for the coming of...well, uh...the SISTER.

I spent most of the weekend in utter HELL working in my yard...mowing, weeding, digging, trimming, and removing buckets of soil from one area, only to cart them up and down some steps into another. "Why?" you ask. I wish I had a grand answer for you! But alas...it is my plight of futility...somehow, in my most anal-retentive-compulsive manner, I decided EVERYTHING that I had been putting off doing in my yard MUST be done in near heat stroke weather BEFORE the Elder BRAINCHEESE Sib arrives. Because "somehow" this will matter...to someone...somewhere...sigh. LOL

What WAS a great surprise to note (as I checked my resting pulse of 150, trying to peer out of a left blurry eye, in which vision was only worsened by the POOLS of sweat collecting on my glasses) was the fact I HAD the energy to do such manual labor. AND, my fingertips were only stinging at a tolerable level of discomfort. Yes, this IS an improvement, my friends. I have also noticed the systemic joint pain lessening over the past week to 10 days...Virginia, not only is there a Santa Claus, there is a GOD, too!

And, since I've digressed into the Land O' MS (as usual), I will report I have *caved* into the scare tactics and demands of Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named (and her minions), and have also scheduled a FOURTH Tysabri dose the end of July...I just really couldn't fit an infusion in my jet-setting life before then. LOL After noticing a steady improvement over the past several days in my symptomology, I decided not to taunt the MS gods and go ahead with my current treatment plan...for now...until I get another hair up my butt and decide I'm flying to Latin America for some good ol' Columbian Coffee Colonics because someone somewhere in some obscure news report has discovered colonic therapy not only cures MS, but also turns gray hair back to its original color. Yep, I'll be signing up for THAT.

I went back to the *whipping post*, aka, my "work" on Monday after the weekend off (my gawd, but that picture in the last post here on CHEESE sure stirred up the likes of y'all?!?)...only to realize I had contracted some kind of stomach virus, which sent me running to the bathroom on more than one occasion, and leaving work early to *rest*. Oh, sure...some might say I really DID put myself into a state of heat exhaustion over the weekend. But I actually felt pretty good (aside from the sweltering temperatures) until Monday around 10:00AM...and then the nausea/upset stomach set in. I generally am not one to succumb to a little gastric upset, so I went on into work anyway...and, unfortunately had to sit in a satellite office, where the temperature of the west-facing window *closet* (that's about how BIG the office is!) rose to about 85 degrees...with me, perspiring under my suit of armor (work clothes and shoes...the "warm" kind...or at least warmer than the UNDERWEAR I had been sitting in at home), and becoming dumber and more nauseated by the minute. I finally gave up after 5 hours, called the Boss Man, and went home. A tepid bath, bordering on chilling, never felt soooo good.

Just as a follow up to the last post here (because I'm also feeling SMUG and self-righteous...typical), which was laden with *cryptic-speak*, what I CAN tell you is this: Ultimately, my best intentions/gut instinct worked out perfectly, which I discovered on Monday at work, and my Leo head is once again raised high into the air. I believe a well-placed NEENER is appropriate...followed by a raspberry, an "I told you so", and maybe even an eye roll...although the *eye roll* might trigger my vertigo, and them I'm back feeling lower than hammered fecal matter again...so I'll refrain. LOL

I'm sure you've already had a seizure looking at the flashing, worm-y count down clock over there on the CHEESE side bar...don't worry. It will go away after the 4th of July...as may what shred of sanity I cling to so desperately. I'm going to try to take my laptop to the ocean with me and maybe be able to post once or twice while the famn damily and I are on the coast...perhaps a photo or two will make its way onto the ol' blog...of course, doctored in PhotoShop! Lord knows there will be no photos of ME in a swim suit, waking with "bed head", or eating crab with butter running off my chin...

And here are some of the *fruits* of my weekend labor...because these flowers will matter to someone...somewhere...sometime: