Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Blame Game

The purpose of my blog is usually to chronicle my experiences as a Christian and as a Mom and a Housewife. I intentionally steer clear from controversial subjects most of the time, because they tend to be very divisive. Especially politics. But I can't be silent on this development because I find it so reprehensible and disgusting. It made me literally sick to my stomach when I read this article earlier this morning.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., is now blaming President Bush and the governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, for Hurricane Katrina. I became aware of this article through Drudge Report, and it can be found at How a person can politicize an act of Mother Nature is beyond me. When people are grappling with basic survival needs, it is immoral for a politician - ANY politician - to write this kind of crap. He should be ashamed. Ashamed. The time for political debate and mudslinging is NOT when the nation is in crisis, when millions of people are homeless. I am sick.

Please, please continue to pray for little Rebekah, too. She has developed pneumonia, and her family is awaiting the results of cultures which will determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Also, please pray for my husband, who is in the process of finding a new job. His company is being bought out, so here we go again. We've had a rough go of it in terms of job security since 9/11 - but at least this time, the job market is much better.

And, of course, pray for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. What I face on a daily basis comes nowhere near what they are going to be facing for months and years to come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I am watching Fox News right now, and I just can't even begin to comprehend the damage that Hurricane Katrina has left behind. Loss of life, loss of homes, loss of businesses, and loss of jobs - the rebuilding process is going to take a long, long time. I am urging everyone to donate some funds to your favorite charity in order to help the victims of this disaster. And, of course, prayers will go along way to bring people the courage and strength to start all over again.

It looks like we are in the path of the storm, too. The rain has already started here - it's just a gentle rain right now, but it promises to increase in its' intensity later on. The winds are just now beginning to move the leaves in the trees. I had painted my front door on Sunday, but yesterdays' rain helped to wash it off on the bottom portion of the door - so I have quite an interesting "look" going right now! Plus, the color I thought I selected was burgundy - but guess what? It looks more like a dark fuschia/purple color. Geez - what the neighbors must think!
I am debating about whether to put another couple of coats of that color on, or just go back to the paint store and find a "true" burgundy and start all over again.

Little Rebekah is still in need of prayers. She showed signs of improving, but last night she developed a high fever of 103*. This is not good for kids whose immune systems are so suppressed from radiation and chemo. Please continue to keep her and her parents and their little baby in prayer.

There just seems to be so much tragedy in the world right now. I don't know how people go on if they don't have faith in the Lord. That is what got us throught when TP was so ill - just knowing that He was there to provide us with strength and comfort to go on. He continues to provide for us in so many ways - His blessings continue to abound. May He shine His perpetual light on the victims of the Hurricane, on Rebekah, and on all those who need His healing touch.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

An Answer to Our Prayers

DQ absolutely loves her new school! That is a true answer to our prayers. It's a fairly large Catholic high school with 320 kids in her freshman class (compare that to 28 at her old school). The very first day, some senior girls took her under their wings and asked her to sit with them at lunch. There was a freshman "mixer" on Friday night, and student council representatives from all the classes were there to welcome the freshmen and to encourage the "mixing" process. And DQ was QUITE impressed that a junior boy asked her to dance with him twice! Yikes! When she told me this, she looked at me and said "I know, Mom - I can't date until I'm 16, but he was so cute and nice!" Uh-huh. Not. Gonna. Happen.

TP had a good first week of school, too - but she already has "senioritis". She is counting down the days till graduation.

Seasonal allergies have struck me - and I am totally miserable. It doesn't help much when I am outdoors trying to paint the front door and its' trim. I do enjoy painting, though - and that's a good thing because our interior of the house needs a total paint job.

I have kept Rebekah and her family in my prayers this weekend. I haven't found the right words to use when writing about her situation. It is so painful to watch her suffer. It reminds me of when TP was so ill and in the hospital several times. I can't separate what I feel when I think of Rebekah and her family from my own personal experiences, otherwise I am overcome with emotion. When in a hospital environment, time just seems to stand still. At some level, you know that "life" is happening out there - outside the safety of the hospital walls - but you are just so focused on your child and what she needs. Nights and days blur together. You want to leave the room for a "break", yet you are afraid to do so, lest your child should need you or a doctor should come in for a visit. You place yourself in God's hands, and the mothering instinct takes over and clicks into high gear. A lot of times, you don't even notice that you're feeling exhausted. And, you don't even care. All you want to do is hold your child and take the pain away. I pray for relief for Rebekah and her parents - relief from the pain and the exhaustion.

May this upcoming week bring answers to everyone's prayers.

Friday, August 26, 2005


There is a little 3 year old girl who is suffering from Ewing's Sarcoma, an inoperable cancer which is affecting her neck and throat. Her story can be found at , and pictures and further info can be found at Darlene at is also offering to donate funds from any blog design orders which she receives today. Paula at has written a beautiful poem. This little girl has touched so many lives in such a profound way.

You know, I started blogging on a whim a few months ago - more to just keep a journal than anything. As time went on, I came in contact with fellow bloggers, and new friendships have been formed. I have laughed with these people, cried with them, and felt their support and love when I needed it. Time and time again, I am reminded that this "blogging thing" is actually a ministry. We are all on this journey together, and it's wonderful that we can reach into cyberspace and touch somebody else's life with the strokes of fingers on the keyboard.

May Rebekah and her family feel our love and support today and always. May God provide them with strength and peace and courage as they battle this illness. May they know that they are not alone. God bless you!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005



An important message to pass on to our kids as they head off to school again this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Twas the night before school starts
And all through the house
Not a daughter was stirring
While Mom ironed a blouse

The uniforms were hung
in the closet so neat
While the shoes waited patiently
to be placed on the feet.

That's about as far as I can go tonight, folks. Perhaps I'll try a little bit more tomorrow. I still have two letters yet to write - one for each girl - as is my tradition on the night before they go off to their first day of school. I started this tradition when each girl began kindergarten. I am not sure if they've kept these letters, and I don't remember what was even said in them - but I do know my kids love to get them.

In each letter, I tell the girls what my hopes are for them during that school year. I point out their qualities and the gifts which God has given to them - unique gifts which each of them share with the world. I ask them to contine to place God as THE priority in their lives, and to always remember that He is there to help them and guide them and love them.

This year's letter will be especially difficult to write to TP as she begins her senior year. I am beginning to cry just thinking about it. It has hit me like a ton of bricks tonight that this is her last year as a child under this roof. I have no idea what I am going to say - but, being the sensitive young lady she is, I am sure that I will see a tear or two in her eyes.

The letter to DQ is always a challenge to me because in many ways, it is difficult to "reach" her. Nonetheless, she enjoys reading them - and sometimes I see the faintest of smiles on her lips.

I love them dearly. Now it's time to let them go a little bit more. . .

Monday, August 22, 2005

Getting Back on Schedule

Well, the "lazy days" of summer are officially over, for this family anyway. This evening, hubby and I went to a parents meeting at DQ's new high school. Great meeting - friendly but
no-nonsense principal, helpful teachers and guidance counselors who are there to help your child (not treat them like an imposition or a bother - but that's another story). Hubby was very, very impressed, as was I.

So, tomorrow is freshman orientation and a luncheon for DQ. Tuesday is TP's first day of school, and Wednesday is DQ's first day of school. Both kids are in the "dreading it but can't wait to get back, either" stage right now. I'm in melancholy but somewhat excited frame of mind. Melancholy because this year is such an important year for both girls and they are getting more independent, and excited because I am so hopeful that this year will be extraordinary for both of them. I am looking forward to making new friends myself at DQ's new school. I am looking forward to helping TP get ready for college. And I am looking forward to more of a schedule - lately, I have tended to put things off rather than tackle them right away, but I can't do that anymore.

So, I pray that the girls will remain safe and healthy this year, and to continue to be role models to others of what a Christian young woman can be, and to enjoy their academic and social pursuits.

I'll say a prayer for all of you with kids who are starting a new school year, too. God bless them all.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

But Then Again, Who Knows?

The doctor's appointment yesterday for TP was a follow up after all of her endoscopies this summer. It was to find out what had caused the biliary duct stricture, and to find out what the future will hold in regards to it occuring again. The doctor said it wasn't due to one of our major concerns, something called primary sclerosing cholangitis - at least, she didn't think it was (but then again, who knows?). She seemed to think it may have been caused by vasculitis, which is an inflammation of a blood vessel's wall - the theory is that the blood vessels in the biliary duct became so inflamed, that it caused a stricture in the duct, causing the bile to back up. It is "probably" related to the lupus, as a lot of lupus patients do develop vasculitis - but in this particular case, they can't prove that it is, indeed, the cause behind it. I mentioned that the other doctor thought it could be the beginning of an autoimmune cholangitis, but that it didn't fit all the classic symptoms - and this doctor just shook her head, and said "yes, it's a possibity - but, who knows - all we can do is monitor this and if her labs indicate that her liver function is going nuts again, then we know what to do - just put in another stent".

TP has never been a classic textbook case - I keep on hearing that from all of the specialists. I also keep on hearing that phrase "but then again, who knows", and I am getting a little tired of it. What am I supposed to do with that? Am I just supposed to shrug my shoulders, and pretend like it doesn't matter? I feel so damned helpless sometimes! I know lupus is an unpredictable and insidious disease, but this cavelier "who knows?" stuff is not making it any easier.

So, I guess I'm not supposed to worry about this. I was told it could happen again, and if it does, it may or may not get worse over time. Or, it may never happen again.

What do I pray for here? All I know is that I want TP to have a "normal" life - not wondering where or how the lupus is going to appear in her body. What do I ask God for - or do I not even ask for anything? I am at a loss as to what to say. I know I am thankful that she is very, very healthy right now. I am grateful that she's able to work not one job, but two, and she delights in being so productive. I am excited that she's going to be a senior this year (okay, not "excited" - perhaps happy, yet kind of sad at the same time). But what happens should the lupus come out of nowhere again?

I guess the old adage "one day at a time" really comes into play in this situation. But, right now, I am at a loss as to how to compartmentalize the "who knows?" into a section of my brain, and just keep it there until the next thing strikes.

Word Verification

I've been getting spammed lately. Thanks to Darlene over at - she included instructions from Nettie in her latest post on how to prevent spam. Mosey on over there and find out what to do if you've been experience it lately, too.

Oh - I went ahead and asked for "word verification for comments". That means when you leave a comment on my blog, you will be required to complete a word verification step. Sorry for the inconvenience - but the spam was getting to be a bit much.

Have a great weekend. I'll write more about TP's doctor visit tomorrow or Sunday. I was scheduled to write for God's Gals tomorrow, and I did write the post. I hit the "save as a draft" button, but it didn't take - I am not sure if the entry was erased or if it's lost in cyperspace. Darn! I'll write it up again for next week - just didn't have the time or energy to re-do it tonight, plus I had a million things to do this evening.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Check-up Time

TP goes in for her check-up with the pediatric gastroenterologist tomorrow at noon. Hopefully, this doctor will give me more info about the liver problem than the other doctor who performed the endoscopies. I felt like I was kind of left hanging a few weeks ago with what he said - and while I am very aware that lupus is not a disease which is predictable - I still want some more definitive answers. She looks beautiful. She looks the healthiest ever. Her attitude is great (well, she's 17 - but for a 17 year old who's been through hell and back the past 16 months, I'd say her attitude is pretty wonderful). I pray that this year, her senior year, is uneventful in terms of her health, and is just FUN.

I saw an article at today about the Tyson company. Please visit her for all the info. Apparently, a lawsuit was filed by two black employees because there was a "WHITES ONLY" sign posted on a bathroom door. Carol wondered how this could possibly exist in this day and age. Believe me, it does. I see it in the way people look at my beautiful biracial daughter. I hear it in their remarks, at times. DQ went through hell and back at her Catholic Junior High School - she was verbally harrassed with prejudicial and racist remarks. Fortunately, she has healed greatly over the past 5 months - but I would never wish what she went through on anybody.

I think that there are two forms of prejudice - one based on ignorance, and the other based on fear. The ignorant kind usually does not intend to intentionally hurt the other person. The fearful kind usually knows exactly what they're doing (i.e. - they know it's hurtful or vicious or cruel) - and they go and ahead and do it intentionally because they want to be "superior" over the other person. Or so they believe. What they fail to recognize is that in doing this, they are not only hurting another human being, but they are also hurting their own soul, their own humanity. If one of those kids went through what DQ went through for one day, they would crumble.

Anyway, I plan to boycott Tyson. Please feel free to do the same.

Bad Hair Day

Oh my gosh!!!

I took the girls to the hairdresser today. TP had her hair darkened, then had lighter streaks of blonde put in. Two colors, but not for the price of one. DQ had a relaxer put in. She has very kinky hair. She has very long hair. One procedure, but charged for two. I had a color and cut. Two procedures, charged for both, plus charged extra for the conditioner. I wanted to run out and buy a whole bottle of conditioner - it would have been cheaper than the $5.00 charged for what was put on my hair for 10 minutes.

I realize these people work for about $2.00 an hour, plus they get a commission for what they sell (the perms, colors, products, haircuts, etc), and then they get a tip from their customers. I tip well because the girls and I have been going to these ladies for over 12 years. These ladies work very, very hard.

But I just about DIED when they rang up the total.

I am still in shock.

Will. Write. More. Tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Musing Along

I wanted to let you know that I am still working on the post about DQ. It's taking me longer than I anticipated. I may just break it down to smaller posts, who knows?

I am a little concerned this evening. TP's hands and ankles have been swollen for the past few days, plus she's had a headache, and she's very fatigued. If there is no improvement by tomorrow, I'll need to call her specialist, and we'll have her blood work done a week early. These are all the symptoms of a flare, which would really devastate TP because we just got her IV infusions of Solu-Medrol down to once a month.

DQ had a two hour Study Skills class this morning at her new school. She didn't want to go at all, but I insisted due to her ADD. I also wanted her to know what is going to be required of her as a freshman, because she won't be getting any second chances this year in terms of handing in her homework, etc. Anyway, when I picked her up, she was thrilled she had gone. She met some new friends, plus there were a few kids she knew from her old elementary school.

We are limbo right now - I can't really go into many details at this point - but let me tell you this. I hate uncertainty. I don't deal well with not knowing. I'd rather know one way or the other, then I know what needs to be done. I know I need to practice what I preach "Don't worry, it doesn't do you any bit of good to worry about something because it may never come to pass, just let it go and put it in God's hands". Well, in all honesty, sometimes I'm better at doing that than other times. And right now, I am having difficulty with just letting go. I think my coping skills are quite frayed, thanks to what we've been through in the past 4 years.

Enough of that. What will be, will be.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I am currently on a "break"

I apologize for not posting a new entry lately - I am in the process of writing a fairly lengthy one about my younger daughter, DQ, and it's time consuming as well as emotionally exhausting. She just went through a very rough time the past year or two at her old school, so I am writing about how that affected her and the rest of the family.

Anyway, in the meantime, I did want to let you know that we visited two different campuses this week, one on Thursday and one on Friday. I think we've definitely ruled out the one we visited on Thursday, but the Fridav college is a strong contender. Thursday's visit was a very nostalgic one for me, as it was the place I went to for a year and a half, and from where I received my Bachelor's degree. The place has changed so much (obviously) in the past twenty years. It used to be surrounded by corn fields, and now there are restaurants, office buildings, and strip malls. Our old apartment was in a sad state, and the first house we ever bought (and completely rehabbed) could probably be condemned. But, it was good to show my kids a part of our lives from before they were born. They had lots of questions, and they kept on saying "Wow, we didn't know that about you". Of course, as time went on, more memories came to surface. Such a fun time. The visit to the other college on Friday was fun, too, but in a different way. It is such a gorgeous campus - it has a New England feel to it. It's private (euphemism for pricey), but it's small and "dry", and only 18 miles away, so TP could actually live at home, and thus save some money that way. Now, I have to get going on researching scholarships to see if there are any out there for which she might be eligible, given her chronic medical illness.

I hope everyone has a blessed and relaxing Sunday.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

God's Gals

My post on Saturday, August 13th, is about a special lady named Esther. My mom. So, please pay a visit to today, and leave a comment if you are so inclined.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Rain on the Radar

Today was cleaning day. The kitchen is spotless now, the bathrooms all shiny, the laundry has been folded and put away. I bought tickets to the water amusement park for my girls - and off they went on their great adventure by themselves - and I stayed behind.

At about 3 in the afternoon, I got a phone call from TP. "Mom - it's getting cloudy - it looks like it might rain - what should we do - they'll close the park if it rains - should we come home now". I explained to her they wouldn't close the park for just a little rain, but it would be advisable to get out of the water should lightning appear. I explained to her that it would be okay if they got wet - "you're in your swimsuits", I said - "oh yeah", she replied. *sigh*. I knew all these questions were her way of letting me know they wanted to come home. I wasn't quite ready for them to come home yet. I still needed some quiet time alone (I was being selfish, I know). So, I told her I'd check the weather radar on the computer, which I did. I told her that no rain was coming for at least a couple of hours. She sounded relieved, and said they'd stay for at least another hour. Sure enough, an hour later, she was calling to say they were coming home.

For all of her yearning to be independent, TP still has such a strong need to check in with me. She does this several times a day, not just when she's doing something as grown up as taking her younger sister to the water park. Sometimes, she's like velcro - she refuses to let go unless I pry her away from me. I think so much of her dependency has to do with being so sick for so long. She was so ill, so frightened, that she held on tight to me for comfort and hope. It now dawns on me that this is the way I am with the Lord. I know I can't do things without Him - but I still venture out alone every now and then, only to come back where it is safe, where I am comforted, and where I receive my daily dose of His strength and love. So, I guess I don't view TP's need to check in with me as something negative, even given her age. It's more like she still has a need to make sure I am there for her, even when the rain is far away on the radar.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


We are in the process of getting ready to go back to school. The girls had their dental check up today. Next week, it will be going to the hair stylists' to get hair cuts, a color job for TP, and a straightener for DQ (I will need to take out a short term loan for these procedures, using my car as collateral). I am also hemming a school jumper, and we've gone through our fall clothes from last year to see what still fits, etc. We have yet to get school supplies - DQ starts at a new school, so we are waiting until we go to orientation in order to get the list, and it's TP's senior year so there's really not much she'll need anyway.

The girls are starting to get "antsy" - they are getting to the stage where they actually want to get back to school. I vascillate between looking forward to having them gone during the day so I can get some stuff caught up around here, to wanting them to stay here, suspended in time, for eternity. I love this age! The teenage years haven't been horrible in the sense of their becoming defiant or oppositional or mouthy. We've had other issues to struggle with during these years, so perhaps those things have helped us to get around the typical teenage "brattiness" (for the lack of a better way of putting it).

DQ starts high school this year. Hard to believe. TP is a senior this year. Doubly hard to believe. Each of them are facing a unique milestone in their respective lives. It will be interesting to watch as their lives unfold this year.

Thursday and Friday we will be visiting colleges in our area. One of the colleges is where I received my Bachelor's degree in 1982 - and it's been over 20 years since I've been there. It will be so strange going back there - I am sure the landscape has changed dramatically. The other college is close to home, and in all honesty, I kind of hope it is the one where TP ends up at.

Kind of a boring post, I know - but for this little family, "boring" is good!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Sentimental Journey

I am in the process of "purging" - getting rid of old toys that were well loved and used, clothes which no longer fit, and other items which have far outgrown their usefulness. This project is long overdue. The storage area in the basement was practically bulging at the seams - and my husband hasn't been able to get to his work area in months (I was going to say years, but I didn't want you to know how bad it is down there!).

I absolutely hate this job. It requires physical and mental stamina. I have to decide what pile to put things in - do I throw it away, do I keep it for "sentimental" reasons (only to throw it away in a few more years); and then if I do decide to keep it, I have to decide where to store it.

Not surprisingly, this process triggers memories. I found a little angel which DQ made for me to put on top of a little Christmas tree. DQ was only four years old, and it was our first Christmas in our new house. She excitedly handed the angel to me, wrapped with love and pretty paper, and begged me to open her gift first. As soon as I had opened it, and before I could even say how much I loved it, she grabbed the angel from and ran across two rooms to place it on top of the tree and proclaimed "See how pretty she looks, Mommy - and I made her all by myself". I also rummaged through tons of Barbie dolls and all of their little outfits and accessories. I remember the hours of play and delight the girls had on the balcony on our second floor, creating scenes with their imaginations where Barbie and Ken fell in love, got married, and had kids (in that order, too!). I feel a bittersweet twinge of nostalgia as these memories come to mind. My "babies" are teenagers, getting closer to spreading their wings and leaving the nest.

I ran across some of my old journals from eons ago. I haven't had the heart to open them up yet, because I know what is contained therein. I was such an unhappy sould for so long, so there is a lot of pain and anger and bitterness penned within those notebooks. I am half-tempted to just burn them, for I am not so sure I want my daughters to stumble upon them when I am gone someday. How would they feel about that person from so long ago? What would happen if they knew some of those secrets - would their opinion of me change, would they love me any less, or would they realize that the pain I went through is what makes me the person I am today?

The "purging" I did in those journals is much like the purging I am doing in the basement. I got rid of old feelings and hurts and disappointments, kept some of the good things about myself, and stored all of my experiences in certain compartments in my soul so that I don't repeat the same mistake twice and I can hold on to lessons learned.

Friday, August 05, 2005

John Roberts

Hey. . . Did you see where the New York Times has taken it upon itself to investigate the adoption records of the children of John and Jane Roberts? These two children, Josie and Jack, were adopted at birth from Latin America. According to Drudge, a Times insider claims that this look into the adoption papers is just part of the paper's "standard background check".

Two questions: I thought the children of public officials are supposed to be "off-limits". It was true of Chelsea Clinton, so why shouldn't it be true of Josie and Jack Roberts? I thought adoption records are supposed to be private and confidential - especially when they are closed adoptions like the Roberts' are. Closed adoptions are mutual agreements between the birth parents and adoptive parents that there is to be no contact between the parties involved until the child becomes a legal adult - hence, the records are sealed off (closed) until that time to protect the parties' identities. Why does the Times feel the need to do stick its' nose into a place it doesn't belong? Who give them the right to attempt to find out information about this? If they find out something - anything - about the adoption that they would deem necessary for the public to know (and believe me, there shouldn't be ANYTHING that would fall under this category) - are they not then violating Jack's and Josie's right to confidentiality and privacy? Okay, okay - I know that's more than two questions, but you get my drift.


This is sooo ludicrous and reprehensible.

Also, did you see where the Washington Post actually criticized the outfits the Roberts' children wore to the announcement of Roberts' nomination? Oh, please, give me a break! How nitpicky can you get? I thought the kids looked adorable - and besides, it reminded me of two very famous DEMOCRATIC kids - Carolyn and John Kennedy, who wore very similar outfits at various times during their father's presidency. Of course, they only received warm and gushing comments about what they wore!

Hmmm - I see a trend here. If you're a Democrat, then your kids are "off limits" and you get rave reviews about your style of clothing. If you're Republican, then your kids need to be investigated as part of your background check, and you are made fun of if you're wearing the same exact clothes as your Democratic peers.

Can you say "double standard"????

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Incidentals. . .

I must thank all of you for your prayers and support during my "fibro fog" attack. I am so touched by your kindness and concern. I am feeling much better this evening. I have "returned to the land of the living", so to speak.

Secondly, I have decided to stay with "God's Gals", after all. Hey - it's a woman's perogative to change her mind, isn't it? (I know - it drives my husband nuts, too!). I have had a few days to mull it over and pray about it. My first "love" has always been writing, anyway, so I FINALLY get my chance to write a little bit for others. If what I have to say perhaps touches another, then I will know I am doing the right thing. My next entry is Saturday, so please visit me there, and please leave a comment. My topic is about vocations. And perhaps one of my vocations is to be a writer for "God's Gals".

And thirdly, I am getting really excited about my upcoming design for my blog. Laura, one of "the Gals", is in the process of completing the design. She's been great to work with so far - I am such a "newbie" with all of this stuff, so she's been VERY patient with me!!!

Blessings to all of you!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Fibro Fog

I have been in the midst of "fibro fog" since Sunday - and believe me, it's not fun. I have a condition called fibromyalgia, and I get episodes on a sporadic basis. They seem to coincide with either really cold weather, or humid weather. Well, it seems like all of us have been in the midst of a tropical heat wave - and thus, I've had a few episodes over the past two months. They usually last a day or two, and sometimes longer. This one hasn't really lasted all that long, but it's a pretty ferocious attack.

It begins with neck pain, then it becomes a tension headache, then my shoulder gets stabbing pains. I do take some medicine (makes me really tired) and ibuprofen or acetominophen - but there are times even that doesn't touch the pain. This is one of those times.

I do exercise and walk to help keep myself flexible, and I get massages to help my muscles from hardening. I went to one support group when I was first diagnosed, and saw some ladies in wheelchairs. I decided then and there that I would do all I could to not allow that to happen to me. I mentioned it to my doctor, and he bluntly told me that if I didn't exercise and walk, then I would become incapacitated. That scared me!

This episode shall pass. But for now, I am laying low until it subsides.