I don't remember the last time I felt so sick. It started right after my mini high-school reunion [which I will talk about later] when I woke up with a throat that was so dry, it was weird. That was Sunday, July 27. Then the mucus came from everywhere. And the coughing in unstoppable spasms. By the time the week came to a close, the mouth sores arrived. And the sore throat. I had no appetite, even though my stomach was rumbling. At the beginning of the next week -- which was also the beginning of August -- all I could eat was watermelon and ice cream. Being that I was probably dehydrated, the watermelon was a good idea. I tried sucking on ice cubes, but it was tough to chew them. If I had been able to get ahold of ice chips, it would have worked out so much better. I went to my primary care doctor, even though I can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel weak and exhausted from all the coughing and the disruption of sleep. There was a point where the coughing was causing a huge ache to go through my head and my throat. I began to doubt if it would ever get better. I managed to get myself to Cornell last week for the abdominal CT scan needed for my gastroenterologist to see if a "button" placement is doable for my PEG tube site [more on that later], but -- as of now -- I haven't left the house again in a week. I cancelled my psychotherapist appointment and an appointment for sonograms of my abdomen and carotid artery which were ordered by my primary care doctor [whom I am going to see today, by the way]. So my doctor visit was frustrating to say the least because I waited two hours to see her, including the lady I graciously let go before me because she cried to me that she had a fussy baby with her. So by the time the doctor got to see me, she looked exhausted and tried to rush me; however I asked all the questions I wanted. I walked out with a prescription for zithromax [antibiotic],and another script for a cough suppressant with a load of side effects, one of which was hallucinations. So the second day I took the medication, I fell asleep [another side effect was sleepiness] and awoke to a girl sitting on my floor who was me circa 1997 or so [about the time I started my teaching career]. She had shoulder-length auburn hair and I looked at her and she looked at me, raised her thumb in a "thumbs-up" gesture and yelled really loudly "HEY !!!" I screamed "Oh my God!!" and she was gone. It was truly freaky. Not the psychedelic colors of an LSD trip, but surreal and eerie just the same.
Just before I got sick, I had two nights out that I really forced myself to go through with. I could easily have blown both off. The first was on Thursday, July 24th. I am Facebook friends with the bass guitarist of my teen-idol group, British-invasion band Herman's Hermits. His name is Karl Green and through his Facebook page, I found out he was touring with an American band through small venues like bars and pubs throughout the United States. I expected his New York gigs would be all in Manhattan and when I read that their gigs were later at night -- like 10pm, I thought "no way will I be able to do that, much less find someone to go with me. But when one of the gigs just happened to be in Glendale, Queens [right next to Rego Park where I live], I was pleasantly shocked. And Louise was more than willing to go wit me; in fact she almost pushed me to go. There was a complication with Access-a-Ride, who insisted I was giving them the wrong neighborhood--after they had closed for the night, and it was too late to call back, I found out that they had the address of the pub in a ridiculously far-out section of Queens. Just as well, because we found a number of city buses that went to the pub. Anyway Karl couldn't have been nicer and posed with me for a couple of pictures and then also came to check on me later and to plant a kiss on my forehead.
Since I never look in a mirror, I am embarrassed by my worsening tetracycline staining on my teeth and that I still have weight to lose. Have to work on both of those and get a full-length mirror for my closet door so I can monitor myself.
That said, I went to a 60th birthday celebration, which was really an excuse for a 42nd high school reunion. I never made it to the 40th due to budget cuts at Nassau County Able-Ride. But this year they were able to take me to Long Beach in the evening, so I went. Let me explain: I am only 59 this year although my class of 1972 classmates all turn 60. I started school in Brooklyn and they had skipped me from 1st to 3rd grade already by the time I entered the Long Beach School System in 7th grade. So I was always a year younger than my classmates; they were born in 1954 and I was born in 1955. Anyway, I received the nicest compliment from Marjorie Feinman, one of my high school friends. She said "Fern, you look really cute. You look much better in person than in your pictures. Thank God for that because I hate the way I look in pictures. I got warm greetings from most people at the party. Arguably my best friend in high school [JF] gave me an icy reception and others didn't know how to react to me, but a good number were really receptive and warm. Here are two of the nicest: Mitch Platt and Lauri Cohen [who go together as a couple just last year, after never knowing each other in high school.
and of course, Marjorie Feinman Shuster gets a "thumbs-up" for her compliment.
Until 2004, I was an independent and active woman -- a former airline sales exec and then a high school educator. Then my body kept betraying me. I was finally diagnosed with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease -- confined to a wheelchair and unable to speak. With life at a slower pace, I learned to live a more conscious and mindful life -- buying, eating and other choices. I listen instead of talking, and I observe instead of running and rushing.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
SICK!! Meeting a 60s Teen Idol and 42nd Long Beach HS Mini-Reunion Birthday
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