Saturday, December 19, 2009


I have been home almost a week, and have written every day. I'm up to 40 pages now.

I've also added some cautious jogging to my usual Capitol steps workout, and haven't worsened my tendonitis. It's I sign I've broken through a big barrier in the eleven month struggle with that.

I had a moment yesterday when I was feeling so strong and healthy, that I thought "I feel right now like I don't have Lyme at all, it might not be long now until it's true." Then my eye caught the little table next to my bed, its surface crammed with the various supplements I take throughout the day, and I remembered I still need them all to feel as good as I do.

Oh well, it was a nice thought while it lasted!

Two days ago I added Biaxin as the 4th medicine in my Lyme protocol (in addition to Rocephin, Flagyl, Minocycline). Since the Minocycline makes me sleepy, I assumed the Biaxin would, too. It did the first night. Last night again I took them both right before bed, with a heparin injection, and bingo, I was up until 3:30 am, with my heart pounding loud and fast.

So I'm a little tired today, trying to plan the best strategy for writing at least 1200 words, my minimum daily goal.

No jogging today, we have a foot of snow and it's still coming down hard.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Well, the Poet boarded an airplane for Egypt an hour ago, and I am sitting in the airport (where there is free wi-fi) before my flight back to DC. We will be away from each other for a month.

The repeat question of the past two weeks has been, "why aren't you going to Cairo with him?" For now, a trip to Egypt would be too much, much too much. At last check planes across the country did me in, so traveling for 24 hours, to get somewhere full of automobile exhaust and people smoking in every indoor location would be too much for me. There may be a trip in the future, however, one that features a few short days in Cairo and more time in a less poluted part of Egypt. That is feeling more a more possible as time passes.

I have had a morning of good signs. First, I woke realizing that I had failed to take all my bedtime supplements last night, the ones that get me to sleep. I had slept through the night just fine without them!

After the injection and seeing the Poet off, I headed to the gym, where I jumped on the beloved stair climbing machine at the gym and stayed on it for half an hour, going at 80 steps per minute the whole time, with the exception of a couple minutes of "sprints" at 100 steps per minute. Less than a month ago, 60 steps per minute was my maximum speed.

I still long for the day when I will be able to dance again. It was January of 2009 that I had to stop dancing due to Lyme-related tendonitis. It has been a long, painstaking 11 months, with much of my time eaten up by myofascial release and physical therapy appointments. But the past two weeks I have been able to walk up the hill to my house without my calves spasming.

(True confessions: I have spent a good 10 months going up the hill backwards so as not to aggravate my tendonitis. Who is the neighborhood crazy lady? Moi.)

So I head back to DC feeling closer and closer to signing up for another dance class, and closer the end of Lyme Disease. Again, the hope is cautious, but it is real.


Over the past week the Poet and I have been talking about my writing. For the past 18 months I have been happy with piecemeal projects, as my energy and schedule (at the mercy of naps and doctors appointments) would allow. This has meant a book-length project from a few years ago is still on the shelf, blogging is sporadic, and short-stories get started, even completed, but rarely polished. Still, writing anything is progress at all!

This month I will have no appointments, so I will have large stretches of free time. What else should I do but write? The Poet knows I have been wanting to get back to my young adult's fanstasy novel, but he made a different suggestion: write something easier.

His idea was another novel, which I rejected flat out. Not another project, while I have so many others half-completed! Besides, he was really suggesting I write the type of novel that he wants to write. (Advice is always biased!) Mulling it over we agreed the fanstasy novel is still too big a project for me right now, but a memoir would be a realistic goal.

So I head to DC with the promise to myself that I will write 3-4 pages per day of a memoir.
Writing about myself is not my first choice, but it is much easier to write about material I don't have to make up. And I would like the satisfaction of taking on a larger project, perhaps one that I can take a little more lightly than fiction.

The plane is boarding. I'll post this now. (Thank you Google for free wi-fi at the airport!)

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I have turned over a new leaf this past week, getting up on the early side and going to the gym before my appointments. (This isn't that early, mind you. On my first day I was greeted by Molly, my cheery yoga instructor, with, "What are you doing here mid-morning?" So much for my idea of the crack of dawn!)

This usually puts me on the stair master about 30 minutes after the Poet has given me my Rocephin injection, and soon after my morning Minocycline so I imagine I am pumping the medicine through all the hard-to-reach tissues of my body. Sometimes my body feels a little heavy-herxy while I'm going up the moving stairs, but it doesn't slow me down.

It's really nice to get the jump start to my system, and also to have my exercise over for the day. The thing I like best, however, is that for the rest of the day I have none of the fuzzy-headed feeling I've been experiencing when I try to write.

Today, however, I slept an extra hour, skipped the gym, and went off to meet
my writing buddy Brian at the all-raw-vegan-vegetarian-not-even-eggs-in-site Chaco Canyon Cafe. (Since Brian has trouble getting himself to sit down just write his book, we meet once a week at a cafe with our laptops and write). And there was the brain fog again. I forced myself to work through it, but I realized I'd been feeling a little slow and sleepy every since the Minocyclene at breakfast.

So my plan from now on is to take Mino with breakfast if I am heading to the gym right away. Otherwise, I'll put it off until lunch, which is always followed by a nap, and see if my brain has an easier time functioning this way.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The past month has gone by without a moment to post anything here. One reason is that I am trying (although not necessarily succeeding) to focus on other writing.
I was enrolled in a class on plot structure at the Richard Hugo House, Seattle’s non-profit writing center. When I signed up, I thought it would jump-start my fiction writing, which has been slowly cooking on back burners over the past year. Unfortunately the class went by mostly while I was in the MALM-induced limbo. The apartment was a wreck, and I had nowhere to sit down and write. (I still enjoyed the reading assignments and getting feedback on a story I’d written months before.)

Only in my last week of class did I get the bedroom rearranged with my old excuse for a dresser and the fabulous new writing desk. I’ve had a few good days writing there, now that the class is over.

Meanwhile Ghusun decided she wanted to buy the MALM from me, at the bargain rate of $70. This thing was a tar baby to the very end. Ghusun loaded the drawers into her VW beetle, but we couldn’t get the frame to fit into my car or the Poet’s. (She and I discovered this only after we had carried it down two flights of stairs and had it sitting out on the sidewalk. It was a sunny day, but since we live in Seattle we were convinced that it would start to rain on the MALM at any minute.) The Poet jumped into the chaos on his lunch break to help get the thing back inside, then a few days later drove it over to Ghusun’s condo, by what he and Ghusun called “the Arab method”: seventy-five percent of it sticking out of his car trunk, the whole arrangement tied together by an extension cord in lieu of rope.

When my prescriptions came up for renewal, two of my main medications, preservative-free Heparin and Rocephin, were temporarily unavailable from the manufacturer. I spent most of a week’s free time scrambling around getting my Rocephin from a different pharmacy, and then ordering the blood-thinner Lovenox from Canada, as a substitute for Heparin. Even at Canadian bargain rates Lovenox is about $650 a month, whereas the equivalent amount of Heparin bought in the U.S. is $250. My insurance covers the Lovenox, but it won’t cover the Heparin. Go figure!

Once I was over the stress of wondering whether I would have any medicine, David arrived for Thanksgiving week. Since the Poet had to work, I ran Camp Naomi for the first three days. David is almost nine years old and arrived still not knowing how to ride a bike. (???!!!!) By the time he left I had him riding all over the place.

Throughout it all I’ve been going daily to the gym to work up a sweat on the stair climbing machine and the rowing machine. It boosts the immune system and makes me sleep soundly every night. Hooray for strength at long last! Hooray for exercise! This is the corner I’ve been waiting and waiting to turn… I didn’t know that by the time I’d got here, there would be yet other corners I’ve gotten myself on the wrong side of. It’s turning out to be more of a five tetrahedra compound I’m trying to get myself around.

My calf is starting to feel a little better, but now my low back is hurting. When will I dance again? It’s not clear.

Robyn, my physical therapist, says she thinks the two are related, and as we begin to clear up the tendonosis through myofascial release the back issues my calves/Achilles were compensating for are now coming to light. And so it goes on…