Monday, October 7, 2013

One Way Ticket to Middle Age

This is no ordinary concert pic taken with a smartphone.


This, my friends, is a symbol of my lost youth.  The loss of hip.  Coolness has left the building.  I am no longer bringing sexy back. Metamucil is my new BFF.

So.  Yes, I am a 40 year old chubby Caucasian.  I also love me some R&B.  Rap, Hip Hop, these are MY JAMS.  Sky King just closes his eyes and does a slight head-shake that to me says, "Man, my wife is badass, and I'm lucky to married to such a hot thug-ette." Or something.

So, when Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z announced their Legends of Summer Stadium Tour, I was like, OMG!  Who's in?

Sky King did me a solid by getting in on the pre-sell, and even got some decent seats.  And, offered to go with.  THAT is the part that showed me how much he loved me.

We decided to make a weekend of it.

I had to find something appropriate for the occasion.  This brings Princess into the mix.  Princess who thinks her Momma is younger, thinner and richer than she really is.  She dragged me into Buckle, a store that seems to cater to young country and sparkle-loving people.  But, the sparkles is what drew her (and, let's face it, me) in.  I was looking for shiny and slightly slutty.  Princess was looking for rock-star-chic.

We found a sales person to assist, and we ended up with a pretty wrap top that had some sheer parts, and some sparkly parts.  It was significantly low cut, so I knew Sky King would approve.  Top it all with jeans, boots, and a new 'do, and I was ready to rock rap.

On the night of, SK made it clear that, the second I was too tired, we could head back to the hotel.  Such an accommodating one, he is.  Not to mention, he didn't know a single Jay-Z song, and a scarce few JT songs. Add in some bad hearing, and stadium acoustics that could drown out the collective grumblings of the worlds' hipsters when faced with nothing but instant coffee (or is instant coffee now a "thing"?) and we have a recipe for Middle Age Disaster.

Let's just start with, you know this is not your crowd when your hubs gives up his coveted Muni seat to a drunk chick that may or may not vomit into some dude's hoodie before we reach our stop.  Using a knee to keep her from sliding into a pool of floppy human, while chivalrous, is a true sign these Are Not Our People.  Her "friend" that was likely assigned to the Drunk Girl really didn't take her job seriously. ("hey, babysit me tonight, because you KNOW how I get after seven redbull-and-vodkas and nine bong-hits, mkay?", "OMG, we are TOTES gunna have the bestest time EVER", "LOL", "I know, right?") Likely, this is the convo they had the next morning:

Drunk Girl: Hey.  how did we get home?
Loser Friend: I totally got us on the bus, and this cute little old couple gave you their seat, and I kept making sure you stayed hydrated.  They were super-rad, but I have no idea why they were on the shuttle from Jay-Z. Maybe some old guy like Barry Manilow was in town...
Drunk Girl: You're the BEST.  Totes the BEST.  And, my wallet, phone and keys are still here!  You, like, ROCK.
Loser Friend: I know, right?!?!?!  Let's go to Denny's--don't forget the flask of vodka....

Ah, to be young again.


So there we are, Sky King pretending he can hear, understand and identify rap lyrics (Holy Grail, OMFG, amiright???).  Me, pulsing with the crowd, hoping that Candlestick isn't due for an earthquake because I really do NOT want to die like this.

When the FUCK did it become a THING to stand the entire concert?  Don't these bitches get tired?  I see them in their $20 stilettos and I KNOW that shit is rough on the feet.

So, I would stand up, do my best Hip Hop Sway and Pulse, while taking breaks to sit amongst the people that can manage to engage in complicated dance routines in a 2 foot square space.

A few songs before we thought it would be over, we made a break for it, hoping that we would not stand for fifteen hours waiting for a bus to get through the streets of SF. Yes, I am now that person.  "Hey kids, I know this is the best part of the drive-in movie, but if we leave RIGHT NOW, we can miss the traffic, which is EVEN MORE FUN than Iron Man 15!!!!"  If you have ever been to Candlestick, you know that there is truly only one way in or out of the area, and it causes a traffic jam that even the best cabbies avoid like a case of burning gonorrhea. 

So we find ourselves on a bus, IN SEATS (Woot!) headed for the hotel.

On that ride, I had time to ruminate on the situation.

1. The concert was fun, especially since I had vowed to not consume any liquids to avoid any bathroom lines (why can't venues recognize that women need approximately 45 times more bathrooms?)
2. The acoustics SUCKED (or maybe my old ears heard it wrong?)
3. Despite the VAST numbers of Middle-Aged White Folks that also love Jay-Z, this is not my tribe.

These people are hip.  They stay up past 9:15, even on work nights.  They enjoy crowds of sweaty drunks (because they are ALSO sweaty drunks) and they don't mind standing in line to use a bathroom, only to recognize they broke the seal, to then get in line for beer, to then stand in line to pee, lather-rinse-repeat. 

These people are not like me.

I get back to the hotel, sleep til 10:45, stagger on pained feet to the nearest place to shovel food in my face, tour the City with my beloved, then hit the sheets at 7:15 at night in the motherfucking afternoon because I am OLD.

Lyme Disease took my groove.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Today's Post Brought To You By The Letters F and U

I'm mad.  Like, stab-members-of-the-CDC-in-the-eyeballs-with-Chinese-throwing-stars-while-simultaneously-burning-down-the-homes-of-all-their-loved-ones kind of mad.

Typically, I'm more, yell-profanities-and-make-an-ass-out-of-myself-through-bad-behavior mad. 

But I'm done.  DONE.  Stick a fork in me.

Yesterday, after much fight, I lost a big battle.  The war is not over, but I am sitting around stewing in my misery, sad, crying, frustrated.

Here is a summary of what Lyme disease (contracted in the mid-80's) has given me:
  • constant joint pain
  • somewhat constant muscle pain
  • an almost regular limp
  • Skepticism---imagine someone with a debilitating illness, yet they look fine.  Healthy, maybe a little chubby (OK, A LOT), good coloring, keeping her hair, etc.  But she tells you she has this awful disease, and she can't work much, nor commit to much.  And, she will likely act like a total flake, committing then forgetting.  But she blames it all on a disease that has no mainstream support or treatment.  Yeah, THAT.  I can see it in people's eyes.  The ones that knew me before are less skeptical.  But new people, it's hard to open with, "Hi, I'm Aimee.  Don't bother telling me your name because I have a weird disease that makes me depressed, in pain and forgetful. Nice to meet you."
  • 4 (and counting) "Temporary" handicap placards, one right after the other, waited in line for at the DMV, every 6 months
  • touch sensitivity, so when people lean on me, hug me, jokingly tap me, or pretty much any other contact, it has me saying "ouch" or worse (not the greatest, when you're a mom of kids who like to snuggle, and a husband who likes to "snuggle" too)
  • a veritable potpourri of over 40 different pills to take throughout the day, set by a timer on my smartphone
  • Regular doctor appointments-I see my Lyme doc monthly, my therapist at least weekly, my acupuncturist at least monthly (more when we can afford it), the pharmacist every couple weeks, my primary a few times a year unless things get really bad, and various people for consults (surgical, etc).  When I'm not at an appointment, I am working on scheduling one, filing forms to insurance reimbursement from one, or appealing the denial of one claim or another
  • I avoid people---I have become withdrawn, anti-social, and irritable.  
  • I am tired.  Not, need-a-nap tired.  But fatigued-lay-on-the-couch-and-barely-schlep-to-the-bathroom tired.  It's different, and it's exhausting
  • Planning---whenever the rest of the family wants to do something, I have to think about whether I can, and what I need to do, to be able to do something.  Cross Country Meet? I need a chair, shade, and possibly full coverage for my skin, in the sun, for several hours.  A weekend away? I travel with 3 inch memory foam, a wide range of clothes, and extra medication so that if I have to be around people for longer than a couple hours, I can hang with the extra stimulation.  Lord help me if I'm light sensitive that week.  Disneyland? I have to borrow a mobility scooter, and after 4 hours, I'm a wreck.  Basically, my Lyme disease needs tons of accommodations.  
  • Pity-people I love, that used to rely on me, respect me, and expect great things from me now have lots of pity.  I have less invites than I used to, and it's hard to explain to people: "Please still invite me, even though I usually say no".  It sucks, having a friend that takes so much work, ya know? But it also sucks being left out.  I can't win.
  • Side-effects-at any given time, my meds (which change monthly, sometimes more often) cause me to be sun sensitive, alcohol sensitive, angry, grouch, bloaty, feeling slightly drunk, dizzy, spacey, imbalanced, and incapable of losing weight.
  • Also, I have to detox---Lyme disease causes some nasty side effects WHEN THE TREATMENT ACTUALLY WORKS from which I need to detox-dry brushing, using a personal sauna, lemon water all day, and Epsom salt baths are a few of the things I have to stop living my life to deal with.  And, I should be detoxing daily.  A good friend detoxes for over an hour, EVERY DAY.  It's a fucking part-time job.
  • I've lost much of my cognitive function.  I forget names of people, offending them at every turn.  I forget appointments, I forget obligations, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  And, the kicker is, that used to be my THING.  I was thoughtful, planned elaborate surprises, remembered to get everyone to sign the card, blah blah blah.  Now, I can't introduce people without looking like an ass.  And that's one of the least annoying things about my memory loss.  How hard do you think it is to explain to your staff why the phone got shut off?  Twice?  Not very confidence-building, I assure you.
The list goes on.  Ironically, I can't think of anything else right now.  HAHAHA.

If you love me, know me IRL, care about me in any way, do this ONE THING for me.  Watch this movie:

This is Under Our Skin, a documentary about why I can't get the treatment I need.  Last year, we went out-of-pocket over $12,000.  I am one of the lucky ones: I found a way to HAVE that much to spend.  Not everyone is this lucky.  To date, the biggest killer of people with Lyme disease, right before cardiac issues and stroke, is SUICIDE.  People give up.  They feel like they have no hope.  I get it.  I really do.  Luckily, I have an amazing team of people that hold me close, check on me, keep me in their hearts and prayers.  And, I have a job still.  I don't work at it much, but I have the distinct luxury of being a business owner, and having a ROCK STAR husband that has picked up my slack at work (along with some amazing people AT work-you ladies and the BOMB).

One last favor--- share this movie.  Share it with the people you love.  Share it on social media.  Share it with your favorite congressperson (is there such a thing these days?)  Lyme disease is in ALL 50 STATES, and the CDC recently admitted that annual new cases number at around 300,000.  I heard a person with HIV once admit he was glad he didn't have Lyme disease.  Can you imagine a disease that is degenerative, that slowly (sometimes quickly) takes everything away from you, all the while the agencies that should be supporting you are telling you it's all in your head, doesn't exist, or is not treatable?  And this isn't just happening here: Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries and continents are having the same problem with identification, treatment and acceptance. 
But, I am dejected, ignored, dismissed by the IDSA and the CDC, who won't acknowledge what I have, or work on an appropriate treatment.  So, I see a doc that can't take insurance for fear of scrutiny, and my treatment is WAAAAAAAY outside the scope of what is "acceptable" in those damn IDSA guidelines.  Having friends and family support you is HUGE, I know people that don't even have that (who would fake this? Who would pick this life???).  But without aggressive treatment, I don't see how I will ever get into remission.

Remission.  Yep, not CURE.  You see, when Lyme disease has been spending a couple decades burrowing into your tissues, heart, muscles, and brain, remission is the hope.  And there isn't a simple test---it's more, "can you live with this crap?"  "I guess so"  "Congrats!!!  You're in remission!!!" 


I promise, I will work hard to do a funny post, soon.

Kisses (and gentle hugs),

Monday, September 2, 2013

Monkey Boy, Crackin' Me Up Since 1999

I know, I know.  It's been a while.  I said that last time, too.  Life is weird, busy, erratic, and I'm moody.  Get over it.


Things have been moving along at warp speed.  Princess is growing more and more precocious, and is working her way into having a dog-----Being to Lord-ette of Dog Town is IMMINENT.  She's already knitted the damn dog a hat, for cryingoutloud. (Let's all have a collective moment of silence for the poor over-loved doggie that will soon be ours, shall we?).

My health still sucks, but there have been leaps forward, and setbacks.  Incidentally, this summer storm we are currently in the middle of apparently affects my joints.  Fuck you, Rain.

Monkey Boy has gone from an 8th grade class of 30-ish, to a Freshman class of 500+, with marked success.  He's growing, maturing, becoming a relate-able human. It's been a pleasure. He's also crossing into Real Life socially.

Monkey Boy has jumped with both feet into the realities of Dating Life.

He has a true, official, holding-hands-on-the-couch, not-eating-food-in-front-of-each-other GIRLFRIEND.

I'm proud of him, on so many levels:

  • He took a risk and "asked her out", before school got out, risking rejection (he typically has a very small group of friends, and is more quiet, less social, rarely has friends over, so this was HUGE). 
  • He has had to be assertive to spend time with her (he's 14, and she's a year younger, and lives about 20 minutes away, so they both need to step it up with their communication if they are EVER going to see each other, so transportation is by parents)
  • He's learning to negotiate the fine art of dealing with a girl (it's never too early for him to learn, "Happy wife, happy life", amiright?)
  • He's truly happier as a person, is nicer to his sister, is more patient in general.  This relationship thing has really allowed him to do some maturing.
Back to the story that was intended:

All of their time together is supervised: movies with an adult, errand running, meals out, hanging out at one of the homes, etc.  And, Girlfriend has two younger siblings----we all know siblings make the BEST chaperones!  Anyway, the sibs all go to school together (Princess included), and the little girls have grown close.  Last night MB was out with Girlfriend and family for a family party than ran into the night (when I am tucked deep into my Sleep Number, dreaming about pastries). 

I get this text:

MB: Andrea (little sis of Girlfriend) wants to have a playdate with Princess
Me: (I don't know why the vibration of my phone woke me, but it did) We cN woek soemthing ojt
MB: R u drunk?
Me: I ws slecpng jerkface (made SURE to spell jerkface right!)

Meanwhile, we are now in that phase of life where I get to start saying, "wake me when you get in, okay?".

Any tips, besides putting the younger sister in between them on the couch?