Thursday, November 27, 2008


Yesterday and the day before I had nice, steady energy. Take care of a seven-year-old all day? No problem. Spend most of the day on the phone trying to work out a solution to the easement isssue on the house I'm about to buy? I managed. And I paced myself, so that by the end of the each day I could still cook dinner, or get to the gym for a quick 20 minutes on the treadmill and the all-important sauna.

I wasn't crawling into bed exhausted, as I'd worried I would, but I was sleeping well. I caught myself thinking, "it barely feels at all like I'm sick."

And then today, when I was hosting Thanksgiving for 9 people, I woke up from a rocky night's sleep, and was so exhausted when I pulled the celery and mushrooms out of the fridge that I decided to go back to bed. The stuffing could wait. I had to make several trips to the bathroom-- my body was dumping toxins. I took a bunch of B vitamins and got back into bed, drifting between sleep and that warm, tingly and heavy feeling that lets me know my body is healing, and workin' hard at it. Every time I tried to get up it seemed impossible.

But I had to do it. I had people counting on me to cook the bird.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love turkey, I love cranberry and green beans and gravy, and food with tons of butter, and berry cobbler made with maple syrup and lemon zest. Ever since I moved to Seattle I've hosted Thanksgiving. The first year with my parents visiting and doing all the cooking for me, the next I co-hosted at my friend Judy's....this year I had invited 6 friends over, plus me, The Poet and David. Besides the turkey I was planning to do the green beans with lemon zest and pumpkin pie. All of it gluten free, of course, and with whole grains and unrefined sugar.

As soon as I got the turkey in the oven, however, I was on the verge of collapsing. I managed to get lunch for myself and David, while The Poet, who had been asleep on the couch while I cooked, promised he and David would clean the living room before they went out to play basketball. Kudos to him, as he is usually the Thanksgiving scrooge.

As soon as they were outside I sat down in the big comfy chair with my feet up. Once I started to tune into my body, I remembered all my supplements. Back in the chair a few minutes later, fortified by a glass of chlorella and a dose of ginseng, I started to drift towards sleep. Twenty minutes turned into forty, and the boys were back inside and the kitchen timer was beeping.

Getting up to baste the Turkey seemed like climbing Mt Ranier. I looked over at The Poet.

"Do you know how to baste the Turkey?"

"Of course."

"Really?" I was surprised. The Poet gave me a look.

"Sweetie, I don't even know what it is you're asking me, let alone know how to do it. I don't know what that word was you just used."

"Baste-- with a turkey baster..." By now we were both laughing, and by the time I had tried to explain it to him, I decided it was easier just to get up. He'd already opened the oven by way of getting in touch with the concept of basting. When he saw me in action, he got excited.

"It will be really good if I inject the Turkey with white wine and this juice. Do you have a syringe?"

"No," I said, in absolute denial of what we both knew to be true.

"Where's your needles for your injection?" he insisted.

I didn't put up much of a fight. In a minute he had one of the syringes I use for my daily heparin injection, and was pulling off the sterile wrapper. He got busy. Eventually, I had to reign him in, so we could get the Turkey back in the oven.

I collapsed back onto the couch, realizing I was having one of the worst days, for energy, that I'd had in a couple months. I gave up on the green beans, and on putting an extra leaf in the table. We'd eat buffet style and sit in the living room, so I wouldn't have to worry about setting the table either.

And you know what, when my friends came it was all fine. Everyone brought a dish, and Judy made the gravy for me. Her husband, a surgeon, carved the turkey, which didn't taste too bad. I managed to get the pumpkin pie in the oven by the time we had sat down for the first course, and no one missed the green beans-- the salad was more than enough. The Poet by then had transformed from Thanksgiving scrooge to Turkey-basting champ, and washed all the dishes in a feat of extreme heroism.

What I love most about Thanksgiving is being with friends, and, as always, that was the best part.

Now I truly am going to collapse, and tomorrow I'll figure out what to do with this huge mound of uncooked green beans.

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