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My Mayo Clinic Traditions


To deal with all the awkward, and make my annual(ish) Mayo Clinic trip something special I make a point to develop a new tradition, buy an item of clothing, or discover a new treat every time I come to Mayo.  This trip has been no different.

For starters, I am freezing.

“Freezing in Arizona?” you say?

Yes.  It is December, after all.

Although, to be fair, I got married on this exact day six years ago (Happy Anniversary, Danny!) and it was 70+ degrees.

walking on our wedding day

But, stick with me. Please.

So it’s December.  And since I arrived, AZ has been cooler than home almost every bit of every day.  Plus, it doesn’t help that I am almost always cold.  (I’d say I’m just weird like that, but since I like to imagine you are like me in that regard, I won’t.)

Are you like me?

Anyway, yesterday I broke down and bought two more long sleeve pieces I can layer with the wardrobe I packed.  These two new items will make a significant improvement in how warm I feel… especially when paired with one of the four scarves I brought.  (I NEVER leave home without a scarf.  Even in the summer.)

I also bought these.  They are delicious.

Nabisco Munchables Pretzel Rounds, buttery flavor

Too delicious.

But that’s not the point.

Since I make a point to begin new traditions, it only makes sense that I make a point to continue those new traditions during future visits.

So, for this round of Mayo Clinic trips, here’s the status of my must-do tradition list:

  • dine at Kona Grill Done, with my SIL and her littles.  I even left my debit card there.
  • make at least one trip to MoJo Yogurt
  • people watch and eavesdrop so I can remember this trip vividly and take it all in
  • FaceTime with my sweetie
  • make and eat lots of homemade sandwiches Although, this is a sort of ongoing goal.
  • sleep
  • visit Pro’s Ranch Market as often as possible for chicken taquitos and  aguas frescas (What’s your favorite flavor?)
  • spend some quality time at TJ Maxx
  • stretch every morning AND every evening
  • consume bagged lettuce to my heart’s content I’ve already restocked once.
  • Christmas shop… for 2012
  • take pictures Who am I joking?  I do this all the time.
  • read
  • appreciate a few weeks of Arizona weather (don’t worry, it usually improves in January)
  • watch sports
  • buy plane tickets for summer vacation
  • spend quality time with my in-laws, nieces, and nephews Again, with the ongoing bit.

And, these aren’t traditions, but I’d like that to change:

  • take Daniel to Oregano’s for a late anniversary date
  • actually respond to people who call and/or text

Here goes… I will keep you posted.

On Elephants and A-w-k-w-a-r-d Explanations


It is unavoidably awkward to explain to folks (or even to not explain to folks) that you take off work to travel half way across the country to go to the doctor when you aren’t fighting some sort of terminal illness.

So, usually, I don’t explain myself.

I get some sort of perverse pleasure out of leaving people guessing.  I am afraid I really do.  It’s like dressing the elephant in the room in a safety orange vest with reflectors and flashing lights.  And, it keeps me in control of the conversation.  Which, frankly, is exactly how it should be when it comes to my health.

Am I wrong?

Having said all that, I have learned it is important for the folks near me to know about my health.  You know… in case something goes wrong and I need help.  And, I suppose, as I discussed here, overcoming my pride is a process that requires I practice often, and with consistency.

Now, don’t misunderstand.  I by no means tell all.

I am guarded.

Extremely so.  In many areas of my life, not just in regards to my health.

There are plenty of those awkward moments when someone asks where I’ll be for however many weeks I’ve planned to be away from work, and all I say is, “Out west,” or “In Arizona.” and just keep spelling “a-w-k-w-a-r-d” until the awkward stops, the topic changes, and/or they walk away.

Again, like I said.  I just love dressing up that elephant.

But, really?  It’s a need-to-know.

 

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I Bring the Rain to PHX


I am here in Arizona, and it is raining, and it is perfect.  This winter rain during my Mayo trip is a tradition, and I’m glad PHX is holding up her end of the deal.

rainy day with citrus trees

My trip began very early this morning (we’re talking before 4:00 am), but I landed at PHX before 9:30am.  My second and final flight of the day was filled with a high school girl’s basketball team who happened to predominantly be made up of first-time flyers… who cried.  And cried.  And cried.  And cried.  They were sweet girls, but they were oh so frightened.  It broke my heart.

On a happier note…

Maple Syrup Shortbread Cookies by Nikki's Cookie Confections

Along the way, I picked up these beauties, to take my medicine with.  The three delicious maple syrup shortbread cookies (adorably shaped like maple leaves) were worth the $5.99 I spent.  (Do the math?  That’s essentially $2 a cookie.  And they weren’t more than 1″ wide!)

I digress.

My cardiology appointments are in the morning.  Look for an update tomorrow.

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It’s that time of year…


…when the world falls in love.

Oh, wait.  That’s not where I meant to go with that.

my sweet restrung Christmas evergreen

It’s that time of year when I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, decorate with evergreens and lights, consume delicious treats, (travel to) visit with family, and prepare for a trip to Mayo Clinic.

You know… ’cause it’s December.

And that’s how we do.

I pray this little blurb finds you healthy and happy and enjoying the holiday season.  Thank you for your love and support.

 

Details to come.

In the News: Chronic Fatigue Likely Not Linked to Virus


It’s a sick day here in my house, so I’ve been easing into my day rather slowly.  You know how it goes… a few minutes on Facebook, a couple turns on Hanging with Friends, a bit of news, and Twitter, of course.  Nothing unusual, I know, but check out what I found in a tweet by the Deseret News out of Salt Lake City.

Research casts doubt on link between chronic fatigue, virus | Deseret News

I’d say I’ve always been a skeptical about the seemingly-simply virus explanation, but truth-be-told, I’m skeptical about most  explanations I’ve been given.  While I’d love to be able to simply explain my chronic health issues to family members and friends, I have yet to use any one explanation… I usually list three or four theories I’ve heard over the years.  And, frankly, I am likely far too proud to subscribe to one theory only to be told years later I’d been so set on said theory I missed the truth.  Is it just me?

Now, this is likely naive of me, but I can’t get over the fact that 17 studies have knocked down the theory.  Is this as high as it seems to me?  Maybe we can move on to researching a new theory, instead of just debunking old ones?  Based on the incredible experiences I’ve had over the last two years, I imagine the medical world could accomplish a lot in 17 separate studies.

Here’s something you may not know about me… while I was in college I participated in a clinical study relating to fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and pain tolerance.  It felt like something small I could do to help further our cause toward understanding, and hopefully a fix.  (I’d say cure, but the connotation seems so heroic that I feel like maybe it should be reserved for cancer, AIDS, etc.)

Anyway, you should read through this article, as well as those to which it links.  Let me know what you think about the road to uncovering the why behind our health issues.  And, let’s hear your wild ideas about what causes chronic fatigue (or chronic pain).

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