Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Normal is the New Normal

Today I’m reporting from Sun Valley, Idaho where my family is vacationing. 

I have three goals for this family vacation:

1. Relish each of the 12 days that I get to spend with my Jackson crew—all seven of us, baby.  It’s practically a miracle that we could all come together like this from different corners of the continent.

2. Get in shape.  I am tired of having triceps that wag.

3. Get tan.  Just in case I’m not able to get in shape, a tan is a great disguise for out-of-shapeness.

Normally our vacations are very conducive to reaching these three goals.  They are full of biking, hiking, Frisbee, swimming, tennis, and evening walks together.  We like our vacations packed with outdoor activity.    

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be active (thus my out-of-shapeness) with my family the last two years, with the exception of an occasional bike ride or walk.   But I’m already feeling a big difference in my body, just a month after my tonsillectomy, and so as I stepped off the plane into the dry valley heat on Sunday I was hopeful that this would be the summer that my triceps stop wagging. 

I am a woman of many hopes and dreams, though, and I’ve been dreaming of eating Kettle brand potato chips every day since my tonsillectomy on July 2nd.  And since Sunday was the day I could finally begin to eat crunchy foods again, we stopped at the grocery store on our way home from the airport and bought the biggest bag of Kettle chips we could find.

I ate them with dinner that night, and with every meal yesterday.  Oh dear. 

This is immediately after my first bike ride of the week

Needless to say, my triceps are still wagging.

But they are also sore. 

This is the part of the post where I whoop and twirl and sing celebratory songs, because yesterday—the first full day of Jackson-style vacation—I felt normal.  Like, not sick normal.  Like, I could sort of keep up with my family normal, and feel normal tired afterwards. 

It’s been two years since I’ve felt normal, and I’ve forgotten how good it feels. The truth is there just aren’t words to describe how good it feels.  So I’m not going to try. 

But in the spirit of recording the good things God has done in my life these last two years, I’ve got to tell you about my normal day yesterday. Because it was a gigantic landmark in my journey back to health, and I never want to forget it.

First things first: we ate breakfast and then headed out on a bike ride.  We were so caught up in the beauty of the shimmering aspen and the banner of blue sky that we forgot to take pictures. 

We forgot to take pictures last year, too. 

Here is a picture we took last year of us pretending to ride bikes on the last night of vacation so that we’d have something by which to remember our vacation.  Unfortunately it was late at night and the flash wasn't terribly consistent.

Anyway, we biked until our quads burned and we dripped sweat, and then we came back and ate first lunch.

Then Natasha, my sister in law who is training for the Olympics, took us through part of her core strength routine. 

My abs burned and my triceps jiggled (and then got encouragingly sore) and I felt like throwing up because I’m in that bad of shape.  But man it felt good, because man, I’ve missed burning muscles and nausea.   That, I guess, is the sign of a runner—when you love the pain of hard work because it makes you feel fully alive.

Once we’d recovered from our core workout we ate second lunch.  We like to eat like hobbits when we’re on vacation.

Then we went to the pool and played and swam laps, and then we threw the Frisbee around in the afternoon heat.

Little brother, on the way to the pool.

And then we went to the store and bought chips.

And then it was evening, and I was abnormally elated by how normally my body reacted to such a normal day. 

Normal is my new favorite word.  Normal, normal, normal, normal.  



© by scj

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Television Debut

Today's post was supposed to be about the t.v. show 'The X Factor,' and heaven, and cultivating a culture of celebration.  Writing it was a fun and playful process, and finishing it was cathartic and satisfying.

And then I pressed a button.

This is a very dangerous thing to do when your name is Sarah Jackson.

Within .0000007895 seconds my post had vanished.  I frantically pushed more buttons and tried every technological trick I knew.  But it was gone. Kaput. Finito.  Arrivederci Roma.

In the minutes following the sudden and irrevocable death of my post I was thrust into the stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger and sorrow—because something that once existed and brought me pleasure no longer existed and brought me pleasure.

This got me wondering.  At what point did my post begin to exist?  Did it exist as soon as I started typing it out in 'tangible' blog form?  Or did it exist before that, when the idea was still unfurling into an article inside of me?

Can a blog post cease to exist because I pushed a mean, stupid computer button? Or does it still exist somewhere out in cyberspace? Or somewhere inside of me?

I was soon drowning in my thoughts and needed to call one of my philosophy buddies, and fast.  But then I came up for air and had a moment of sanity in which I accepted the fate of my blog post. And then I marched out to my car, threw in a beach chair and umbrella, and drove to Laguna Beach.

Best. Decision. Ever.

In addition to my beach furniture, I brought exactly nine books that I was itching to read.  I didn't crack open a single one.  There were just too many interesting things to see.

At first there wasn't much action.  I mostly just watched this seagull waddle around.

And then a camera crew emerged from the crowd and stopped to film a ways away from me, and that's when things got cuh-rayzee.

First, two people walked up to the water's edge and stopped, hand in hand, to stare out at the waves.

Several cameramen circled them for a few minutes, and then each man found a position and settled in with his camera focused on the two people.

And the two people kept standing there, facing the waves, hand in hand.

Ten minutes passed, and still they stood there, unmoving.  One man tilted his camera east, after having shot toward the west for awhile.  Another man moved his camera from north to south.

At one point a sound guy ran up to the lifeguard and asked him something,

and all the while the two people stood still, hand in hand, watching the waves.

And that was all.  Cuh-rayzee, right? Thank goodness I was there to document the thrilling sequence so that I could tell you about it.

At one point a bystander began to pepper one of the off-duty cameramen with questions.  The wind was blowing, horns were honking, dogs were barking, waves were crashing, and kids were yelling, but my parents didn't call me 'radar ears' for nothing growing up, and I was able to overhear parts of the conversation.

Apparently they were filming for a new MTV show called 'Catfish' that chronicles the journey of people who meet online, develop relationships, and then meet face to face for the first time.

I could only pick up snippets of the rest of the conversation.

"One of the girls..."

"...But then they were okay with it..."

"...A really good idea..."

Who knows what was going on.  Maybe one of the girls was an undercover CIA agent and the man she met online feared for his life when he was with her because she was always getting calls from her boss telling her to interrupt whatever she was doing to catch people on the FBI's most wanted list.  But then the guy changed his mind and thought dating her was a really good idea because her work ended up thrusting them into really exciting adventures.

Or maybe I've just been watching too much 'Covert Affairs.'

Anyway, if you watch 'Catfish' and you come to the ocean scene, look for me in the background.  I'm wearing a grey sundress, sitting under a red umbrella, and looking at the pictures I've just taken on my phone.  I always hoped my television debut would capture me glued to my phone while surrounded by the majesty of nature.

Naturally, the adrenaline-inducing events of the afternoon got me all antsy, so I left my observational perch to walk down the beach, and then promptly stubbed my toe on a little kid.

I'm not sure how it happened, exactly, but I think it had something to do with the view that held me spellbound.

It's hard to see tiny kids darting down the beach with surprising speed and agility when there are views like this.  Thank goodness he emerged from our little collision with his toes un-stubbed.

Every time I go to the beach every kid that's not in the water is digging.  Some kids are sculpting castles and igloos, some kids are trying to get to China, some kids are making a pool for the pet crabs that keep crawling away.  But they all have shovels in hand and send sand flying.

If an adult, especially a dad, happens to join in the digging, kids from all around cease their sand projects, migrate toward the adult, and ask if they can help him.  There's something about creating, and there's something about dads.

I love seeing the image of God in people at the beach.

I finished the day by eating dinner in a church rose garden in downtown Laguna (lovely!), and then hit the road, Jack.  I love driving north on the Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset.

You should come visit sometime.  Then we could drive up the coast together.  

© by scj

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In Which I Explain the Chronic Illness I've Never Explained

Today I felt the lymph nodes in my neck and, for the first time in 23 months, they weren't swollen.

My eyes widened with surprise at the discovery, and I felt my neck again, gently — doubtfully — rubbing the skin below my jaw line.  A smile slowly spread across my face as the realization settled down deep, and then I cried thankful tears for this neck that feels so foreign.

For two years my body has felt like a stranger's.  Chronic illness has made my usually agile and energetic body weak and frail, unrecognizable.  In the first stages of illness, I'd fumble about with this alien body, regularly running into things, dropping dishes, and jumbling my words.  And you know how familiar smells can trigger memories? That stopped happening after I got sick.  This foreign body of mine didn't recognize smells from my past, so they couldn't trigger memories.  I missed that nostalgic phenomenon.

And now, my body feels like a stranger's for a different reason.  It's healthy.  At least my throat is. My body still has a lot of work to do on the cellular level in order to repair organs and glands so my systems function healthily again. But now, at least, my lymph nodes are finally free to rest, after fighting an infection for 23 months.  I could keep crying.

I know I'm not out of the woods yet.  As I recover from surgery it's still hard to swallow and talk, and I'm wiped out.  My doctor thinks it will take six months to fully recover from surgery and rid my body of the toxins from my infected tonsils. But today I am hopeful that I will recover from the last two years' illness, and live normally again.

I've talked about this journey a lot on here as I chronicle my life, and everything I write about walking with Jesus has been influenced by the suffering of chronic illness.  I realize, though, that a lot of you don't know what's been ailing me these last two years, so that some of my posts must seem a bit oblique.  I'd like to take this post to explain what's been going on the past two years, so you don't have to play the guessing game, and so you have a clearer picture of the context within which I write.

The difficulty with describing my illness is I haven't been battling something easily definable.  We haven't found a label that means something to most people.

What I do know is that getting chronically ill can be like baking.  You start out with ingredients: eggs, flour, sugar etc. and then you mix them together to make something.  You could make any number of things—cake, cookies, brownies—with the same few ingredients.

The same is true of health problems.  I started out with a series of isolated health problems that, like ingredients, could turn into a number of different, definable illnesses when combined.  My analogy breaks down quickly of course, because life-long health problems really shouldn't be compared to delicious baked goods, but I've been on a food kick this week, so bear with me.

For the first year of illness my doctor and I worked to discover as many 'ingredients' as possible. We were able to identify the 'eggs', 'sugar', and 'flour', but we didn't know how they were coming together and what they would make.  We were certain, however, that they would come together and create something life-long if we didn't try to isolate and eliminate each of the ingredients so that 'baking' wasn't even an option.

To clarify, let me explain the 'ingredients' we've discovered.

1. A weak immune system.  

For years I had adrenal fatigue.  This is fairly common among Americans, especially women.  Our adrenal glands create adrenaline so we have energy, bolster the immune system, influence hormonal balances, and play a role in regulating blood sugar.

Stress, busyness and physical exertion cause adrenal fatigue.  My life was typified by all three for too many years; thus, my body started to go haywire.  The most notable of the changes was my ever-weakening immune system.  I was often sick, and always exhausted.

2. Emotional trauma.

A lot of you know I was engaged to be married right about the time I first showed signs of chronic illness.  Just over a month before my wedding I had to break off my engagement. It was shocking and horrifying. Both my body and soul keenly felt the 'death' of the future I'd planned with my fiance.

3. The Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)

Normally the EBV throws people in bed for several weeks, but they get over it and move on with life.  In my case, it caused acute infection twice, in a five month period, and threw me into bed for years.  The second round of infection, which began just weeks after I recovered from the first round, was especially vicious, and catapulted me into another year of infection, debilitating fatigue, tonsillitis, body aches etc. before I slowly started to show very minuscule but measurable signs of recovery.

Although quite common, the EBV can be fatal. And once the virus is in your system, it's always in your system and can rear its ugly head at any time. In my case, it wreaked such havoc on my already weak body that, when I finally discovered a naturopathic doctor (traditional doctors were unable to help me), my spleen and adrenal glands were barely functioning.

"My girl," my doctor said after the first round of tests, "you are very, very sick."

It was a scary time, and it's impossible for me to put words to feeling so sick. I keep trying so I can invite people into this, but it's too hard. There's nothing I'd ever experienced as a healthy person that could come remotely close to helping my pre-sickness self understand this kind of sickness. The combination of my weak immune system, emotional trauma, and recurrent mononucleosis made it so that almost every week I woke up with a new ailment. Other organs weakened, other systems malfunctioned, other viruses settled into the tissues around my spine.  The virus tore through my system like a hurricane, affecting every system. 

Studies indicate that these three 'ingredients,' when combined, can cause multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia (a.k.a. chronic fatigue), and lymphoma, to name a few of the more common illnesses.  For two years we've fought to ward off these illnesses by trying to strengthen the affected systems through supplements, diet, rest, massage, and chiropractic treatment.

We noticed, about a year and half into this process, that, although I was slowly regaining strength, I continued to have chronically infected tonsils.  My research revealed that sometimes tonsils can continue to contain the active mono virus, even when it is dormant in the rest of the body.

I suspected this was the case with my tonsils, and wondered if they were impeding my full return to health.  The return of my lymph nodes to normal after my tonsillectomy seems to verify my theory that they contained the active mono virus, although only time will tell if their removal allows a complete recovery.

Which brings me to the present.  In the weeks preceding the sinus infection preceding my surgery, I felt like I was functioning at about 70%.  This was a marvelous improvement from the rock bottom, I-can-barely-get-out-bed state I was in for so long.  I've had to be off my supplements this last month which has set me back a bit, along with the surgery.  It's been a long month of being in bed, but I'm hopeful.

I hope that my life continues to return to normalcy, to the extent that we eliminate all of the 'ingredients' (I'm hopeful that nothing has already been 'made' from them), and I don't write about my health problems on here anymore.  Whatever the case, I know that the losses I've suffered the last two years have forever changed me and my writing, because when you know Jesus loss is always transfigured into gain.

I guess this is why I can look back on the last two years and, even as I shudder and gulp big, I feel thankful.  Thankful that God uses brokenness and frailty to glorify his good and holy self.  Thankful that his glory is our greatest good.  Thankful to be grafted—sickness and all—into his plan to redeem the nations the way he's redeemed my life, and my pain.

I hope for health, but I wouldn't change a thing these past two years.  I've known God's grace in ways I wouldn't have had I not been alone, confined to my bed for so long.  And his grace is enough.  Always enough.

Thank you for walking this journey with me,


© by scj

Monday, July 16, 2012

For Those of Us Who Scarf

I've still got food on the brain as I await the return of my sense of taste.  All this wishing I could enjoy my food made me want to post this article from the archives:


Several months ago, after scarfing down a plate of scrambled eggs, ground turkey, and avocado, I realized that the seconds hand on the clock had only finished one short lap during the time it took me to eat breakfast.

This is what happens when you teach third grade for three years and are used to eating lunch while copying homework packets, talking on the phone to disgruntled parents, making last minute changes to afternoon lesson plans (or writing them for, say, the first time), comforting the kid who just got hit in the head with the tether ball, yelling (in the kindest, most affectionate way possible) at the fifth graders who just sprinted past the door, and rounding up paint for the last minute art project you're going to do that afternoon—all at the same time. In about eleven minutes, give or take.

When you are a third grade teacher (and grad student) your work becomes your life, which means you don't leave your work at work, which means you don't leave your Road Runner-style eating habits at work either. 

Enter: meal-breathing, the act of inhaling your meal in just a few short breaths while solving the world's problems. You've gotta breath anyway; breathing in your food is just a clever way of multi-tasking.

After years of eating so fast I couldn't actually taste my food, I decided to make some changes in my dining experiences. So I did what any balanced, well-adjusted 26-year old would do: I got out a stop watch and timed myself eating breakfast. 

And let me tell you, slowing down took F-O-R-E-V-E-R. It was torturous. It was with great delight that finished my meal, pushed my trusty timer's stop button, and looked down at the final time for my slow-motion meal: 

five minutes.

Folks, this is not healthy. Not healthy at all. A healthy person doesn't find a five-minute meal a grueling marathon. 

Healthy people recognize that meals are not just a few steps in a daily routine; they are a snapshot of a lifestyle that spills out of the heart. They are the outer evidence of an inner state; a mirror reflecting the noise and upheaval swirling around in the heart. 

Healthy people carve time out of their day to rest, to open themselves up to the work of the Holy Spirit in their noisy heart, and they may even use meals to do it.

I really want the healthiness of my meals to go beyond the fact that I've got a plate full of whole foods with the proper proportion of carbs to protein to good fats. I want to be the kind of person who is okay with silence, with being alone, and with slowing down to absorb and be thankful for life's little details, even when I have a mile-long to-do list. I want to be the kind of person who lives in the moment rather than trying to blaze through it; who has a well-ordered inside that results in a well-ordered outside.

Slowing down at breakfast and dinner is one of the steps I'm taking toward giving God a still and silent opportunity to order my inner landscape, since he's the only one who can truly do that kind of thing—our job is to put ourselves in a position that invites him to, thus partnering with him in this inner-ordering. 

So for all you fellow speed eaters and just plain speed live-ers, here are a few changes I've made that are transforming my breakfast and dinner dining experiences:

1. Set the table for yourself. Use your nice dishes (no paper or plastic allowed), stemware, and a lovely placemat, if you have one.

2. Light a candle.

3. Make sure there is always a vase (even a small one) of flowers at the table. Putting a vase of flowers on the table is like putting lipstick on after getting all dolled up for a night out. It is the final touch, the cherry on the sundae, the sprinkles on the donut, the generous dollop of sour cream on the taco salad. 

Furthermore, I once heard that having flowers around the house makes you live longer. To compensate for the hundreds of hours I spend in traffic here in Los Angeles, hours that no doubt raise my blood pressure and are accelerating my death, I have flowers in virtually every corner of my studio. I have also taken up gardening, just to cover my bases.

4. Do not turn on the T.V. I repeat, do not turn on the T.V.

5. Put your fork down after each bite (this is my mom's dinner wisdom). Look around, lean back in your chair, and take a deep breath. 

If you're having trouble loosening up from an intense day, try this breathing technique: Let your stomach totally relax so it's sticking out (you may not need to think about this, depending on where you're at in the meal), inhale through your nose (your stomach should expand, rather than your chest—work on that), and breath out through your mouth. 

I got this breathing technique from the Pioneer Woman, and let me tell you, she never steers me wrong. Except the time I tried to make her best ever frosting recipe and almost gagged from the copious amounts of butter. Other than that, she's very reliable.

6. Eat outside if you can. Between bites feast your eyes on the different shades of color around you, and if you live in Los Angeles, notice the different textures instead (cement, chain link, aluminum...). Smell the breeze and listen for birds.

7. Ask Jesus to join you. He will. He's great company. And company always makes meals seem like celebrations, especially if your company turns water into wine and parties with angels anytime somebody transfers their trust to him. Life should be celebrated.

8. Think back over/discuss your day; pray. Ask God what he's doing in your life and heart. Listen. He often talks into the silence, with a still small voice.

© by scj

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Culinary Wonders that Everyone Can Taste

Glory of glories: this week the skies parted and flooded my soul with marvelous light, and the birds outside my window chirruped the hallelujah chorus with gusto.

I ate.

Real food.

Ground turkey with vegetables and rice, to be exact.

Best thing I've ever eaten, as far as I could tell.  You see, I can't really taste much.  I think this is because my tongue is still bruised, and I'm guessing my taste buds were burned off a bit during surgery.  It's not uncommon for tonsillectomy patients to lose their sense of taste for up to six months after the surgery, but oh! Lord, I pray this is not the case for me.

I'm still not terribly concerned (although I admittedly ask my mom if she thinks this is permanent at least 12 times a day) because it still hurts like the dickens to swallow and talk which reminds me that my little mouth just needs time to heal before it can do helpful things like taste.

In the meantime I'm trying to find foods that I can sort of taste.  Mango is out.  Popsicles are out.  Pecan butter is out.  Coconut ice cream is out.

But chocolate covered strawberries?


I can totally, sort of taste them.  And if there's one thing I'd like to sort of kind of maybe be able to taste, it's chocolate covered strawberries.

The dark richness of the chocolate and tart zing of the berries make for a delightful combination of flavors.

Amen and amen.

My aunt and uncle sent me the chocolate covered strawberries in the form of a lovely fruit bouquet today.  It was such a cheerful surprise on this cloudy, hot, and humid day.

Isn't it fun?

I love the ceramic flower pot, and intend to keep the skewers along with it so I can reproduce the bouquet one day.  Can you see the kale around the base of the bouquet?  Its lacy frills add a perfect splash of green.

I think kale is one of the world's most underrated vegetables.  I tend to think this of any vegetable that can be made into a salty, crunchy chip.  Chips make the world go round, and kale makes great chips.  Cheesy chips, spicy chips, burnt chips.  I have a problem burning kale chips.  Nonetheless, I still love this terribly underrated vegetable.

In other news, it may be awhile before I can resume my Monday/every-other-Thursday blogging routine.  This recovery is turning out to be every bit as long as people told me it would be.  And until my head has cleared enough to think coherent thoughts, I'll be munching on chocolate covered strawberries while searching cookbooks for recipes I can taste.  It is quite possible that when you return my blog will have been converted to a food blog.  "Sous-Chef Sarah: Culinary Wonders that Everyone Can Taste."

Hasta la vista,


© by scj

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Post-Surgery Update

There are four things I'd like to do today:

1. Eat a pizza piled with pepperoni and sausage

2. Eat fried chicken and twice baked potatoes

3. Eat a pesto chicken panini

4. Eat a waffle lathered in peanut butter, with a side of bacon and sausage

Instead I will slurp applesauce and sip water while I lie in bed and dream about eating.

Never, in all my 27 years of living, have I dreamt about food as much as I have this week.  In fact, sometime earlier this week when I was a little loopy-de-loo from my meds, I came up with an idea for Willie Wonka that I was certain would catapult his career into new levels of fame and wealth: water that tastes like pizza.  And fried chicken.  And bacon.

The narcotics-induced brilliance that's been flowing from my brain this week is inimitable, I tell ya.

With that said, I warn you that the following post-surgery update may or may not be coherent.

Everything has gone smoothly this week.  Early Monday morning we drove to the hospital, where I was checked in and put in a bed to wait for my anesthesiologist.

A side note: I could not say anesthesiologist before this journey, but now I can.  Just one of the many perks of having a tonsillectomy.

Here is Dr. H., my anesthesiologist.  He is getting ready to administer the good stuff:

Good stuff administered:

Right about here it was like Bye, bye, George. See you next Tursday.

(Name that movie).

Three hours, 46 ice chips, two doses of anti-nausea medication, and 1/16 of a grape popsicle later, I was awake, tonsil-less, and ready to go home.

Is it Tursday yet?

Since coming home Monday afternoon I have been lying in bed moaning and drinking lots of liquids.

It's been fairly eventless, except for the first morning when the power went off for 1 1/2 hours.  Of course the freezer was full of popsicles, ice, and ice cream--that's just the sort of thing the freezer is bound to be full of when the power happens to go out.  Fortunately nothing completely melted.

I tried to prepare myself for this recovery by doing research—not enough to freak me out, but enough that I wasn't totally clueless.  But I guess research is not the end-all, because I am daily surprised by this journey.

A few of the bigger surprises;

1. The pain in my jaw
2. The pain in my tongue
3. The pain in the roof of my mouth

Basically, more things hurt than I ever dreamed would hurt.  Talking, swallowing, and even breathing (because of the swelling) have proven to be difficult tasks.  I've been especially surprised by how much eating icy things hurts.  Like the dickens.  Give me tepid applesauce over a popsicle any day. Thank goodness I have a mother who can whip up healthy, tasty, slurp-able concoctions like nobody's business.  Having her here has been absolutely wonderful.

It really has been a smooth recovery all things considered.  Although I've battled nausea all week, I've been able to keep everything down.  Apparently 'tossing your cookies' (gosh what I would give for a cookie right now) can cause bad bleeding that necessitates emergency anesthesia and cauterizing.  So I'm thankful for my steel stomach thus far. My biggest fear for recovery is that I'd start bleeding and have to be rushed to the ER.  I'm still not in the safe zone (I won't be for 10-14 days), so I'm drinking lots of water and doing lots of praying.

If you'd continue to pray for quick healing and no bleeding, I would be grateful!

Thank you, also, for praying with me the last couple of weeks. I've had a sense all week that lots of people have been praying.

Hope you all had a happy fourth!


© by scj

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bet Your Bottom Dollar

My tonsils come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There'll be narcotic analgesics!

Just thinkin' about
Makes me antsy
And want to borrow
a massage chair!

When I'm stuck a day
That's full of 
swollen lymph nodes
I just gargle with salt water
And Grin,
And Say,

My tonsils come out
So ya gotta hang on
'Til tomorrow
Come what may
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow!
You're always
A day
A way! 

Bright and early tomorrow morning I'll be rid of my tormenters forever.  I'm about as ready as I'll ever be.

I have a freezer stocked full of cold treats, complete with ice cream maker:

Is your freezer as haphazard as mine?  I hope so.  I also hope your cupboards and closets look like mine.  That would make me feel better.

I have my meds:

The antibiotic is to prevent infection.  The codeine has been appropriately labeled an 'elixir.'  I hope it works its magical powers quickly and effectively.  

I have a vaporizer to keep the air nice and moist for my healing wounds.

I apologize if that sentence grossed you out as much as it did me.

This vaporizer has a light on it that looks like an oncoming train.  I'm not sure if it's supposed to double as a portable headlight (also known as a flashlight) or what.  I've managed to block its light with plenty of medical tape.  

I have books:

Plenty of 'em.

And I have this:

This is, quite possibly, my most riveting photographic work yet.  Can you tell what it is?

It's a bubble.  A Trident tropical twist bubble, that's what.  Apparently chewing gum helps to alleviate referred ear pain.  So I've stocked up.  Hopefully I don't chew it all by tomorrow.

And best best best of all, I have my mama:

She's flown down from Washington to care for me.  I don't know how I would have gotten through the last two years without her.  She's flown down to move me twice—the first time I had finals, job interviews and epic applications to complete, a third grade classroom to move out of, and an apartment to move out of, all in the same week; and the second time I was too sick to move myself.  And now she's here to nurse me back to health. She is a servant of all, and boy do I love her.

And that, my friends, concludes my impromptu blog series on tonsils.  You can bet your bottom dollar that, after tomorrow, I'll never write about them again.

At least I don't think so.

Okay, I'll probably give you an update, but after that I'm done.  And I mean it.  

Anybody want a peanut?

Sorry.  No penultimate post to a tonsil blog series is complete without a Princess Bride reference.

Signing off for real now,


© by scj