Tuesday, July 31, 2007

male magnet

The cucumber. I love how Marvin the Martian on my mug looks so startled.

Today at work, I went down to my old department to chat with some co-workers. One person had a bag of cucumbers on her desk from her garden and asked if I'd like one. I said "yes", picked one out of the bag, and stood there clutching it. She said "hmmm. Do you want to put it in a bag for the walk back to your desk?" Because it looked a little phallic. I said, "Nah, I think it's funny. And it's a short walk and I never run into anyone."

I walk back through the shop and the testing area, through the door into our office, round the corner to my desk. And there are 4 male managers standing there waiting for me, plus my boss. What's a girl to do? I waved my cucumber in the air and said "how I can I help you?" Now, I knew these people, so it's not like I was too inappropriate. They all laughed and my boss said "don't even go there!" After they left, I said, "no one ever comes in here. And the day I'm clutching a cucumber, all these men show up!"

Then I'm doing another project with the cucumber sitting in the middle of my desk. I hear feet behind me, and here comes a TOUR of men, six of them, four of which were young hotties - visitors to our company who are working with us on some engine project and being shown around the building. I am polite and smiley, but I see them eyeing my cucumber.

So my new plan to attract men is to always, always have a cucumber with me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

off week

Flagyl face, taken last Thursday.

I didn't feel well at all last week.

I'm on 3 weeks of Biaxin/ 1 week of Flagyl (both antibiotics) for my Lyme. It's done wonders for me, and the combination of those drugs really pushed my body past being on the losing side of the bacteria, to feeling almost back to the original Lisa.

My health has been great this summer. I've accomplished so much, from getting the bathroom redone, to landscaping and gardening outside, to attending everything I've been invited to, without having to stay home because I was herxing too bad to go. Sometimes I even forgot I had Lyme; and believe me, I've barely forgotten for a second for over three years.

Anyway, I was trotting along my "new normal" Lymie life, and took the first dose of Flagyl on Sunday. By Monday I had crazy tinglies in my legs and feet, exhaustion, mild nausea and no appetite, depression, blotchy/rashy face, and a dull constant headache. I looked up the side effects of Flagyl, and all of those are listed. The trouble is, they're also Lyme symptoms. But they didn't quite feel like Lyme. Kind of, but not really.

I didn't know what was going on. I panicked. I was going to miss the bachelorette weekend in Vermont. An upcoming weekend on Harsen's Island. Sarah's wedding. I was going to miss the rest of summer, my house was going to fall apart again, and the Lyme would slowly take me over again. I was losing myself, slipping away into that dark heavy place. It was all so familiar, and I hated it.

I felt so awful, so scared, my brain running a million miles an hour. So around 8:00 p.m. I couldn't stand myself anymore, so I took an Ambien and went to bed, sleeping for almost 10 hours. I woke up feeling a bit more sane. I decided to keep taking the Flagyl, see how the week turned out, and monitor how I felt when I went back on Biaxin.

Friday I went to RCP to help pack (we're moving to a new location) and didn't tell anyone how rotten I was feeling. On Sunday, the first day off Flagyl and back on Biaxin, I felt so much better. My parents drove down to spend the weekend here, and we finished putting baseboards on my back two bedrooms, did a little work in the yard, went downtown to the Greektown Casino and then to dinner, and I was able to keep up. A herx doesn't turn around that fast.

I have many things to discuss with my Lyme doctor next time. The most important of which is - was that a herx, or the Flagyl? Has my time with that drug combination run its course? Can I try a different drug? I still can't go off antibiotics because I'm not completely symptom-free; I still have mild chest pressure and the infuriating tingling/pressure/twitching/vibrating neurological legs.


But I feel better this week, so we'll just go with that!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

tiger fever

At the entrance to Comerica Park.

Jim, with co-workers, about to go in the park.

Jim has his scorecard and peanuts. He's a happy boy.

Watching the game. We lost, but it was fun!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

words to hold onto

Sage & Honesty running across a mountain over Juneau, Alaska, May 2006.

Just when things are feeling a bit low (see below blog) and I begin to question how I've allowed my life to take shape, four little bits of heartwarming encouragement come my way - all in the same day. What are the chances? These are the words to tuck away for another time I'm struggling with confidence. I'm not one to report back other people's compliments - I find it egotistical - but the timing of these couldn't be better, so here they are.

1. A manager from another department said, as I sat down to a meeting, "we all think you should be in charge of your department because you get things done so quickly."

2. Moments later, another co-worker said on the phone from our Indiana office, "I really enjoy working with you because you have such a positive attitude and problem-solve when things get so crazy. I never worry when you're in charge of a project."

3. In a conversation on the phone with my mom, she said her and my dad were talking and my dad had commented, "I'm just so proud of Lisa and all she's accomplished, and how she conducts her life in general."

4. And a new bloggie friend left this comment on my previous post.

Life is good.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

ready for me

Sophie, Harsen's Island, last weekend.

I have abandonment issues.

I allow men into my life with commitment issues.

See my problem?

I woke up this morning to a gorgeous, sunny mid July day. Sophie was next to me, looking at me with her cute orange face and loving black eyes. My cats were curled up around my feet, purring and stretching when I stirred. A whole Sunday was in front of me, to do whatever I wanted in wonderful weather. And a knife of sadness went through me.

I'm at the point where I'm sick of one failed relationship after the next. I'm tired of going after the wrong men, being disappointed, being hurt, damaging my own self worth. I'm tired of being alone. I hate the choices I've made with men.

I wish I could share this day with my significant other. Tackle the yard work together, watch a movie, grill a feast for dinner and eat outside, haul the garbage to the curb in the evening, get things ready for work for the next day. Just the normal day-to-day things. Is that too much to ask?

I remember one episode of Oprah where she said "you show people how you want to be treated." Meaning you attract people into your life who treat you like you expect to be treated.

I expect to be left. I expect that all things will end. That I'm not good enough, that there is someone better than me out there, and to some extent that I am damaged, incomplete, and unlovable.

I'm sure it all began with my aunt, who ended our mother-daughter type relationship when she found out that her husband had been touching and stalking me for years, from the age of 11. She blamed me. She said it was my fault, that I was unstable, a liar, spoiled, an attention-seeker, lived in a fantasy world, and was a home wrecker. I needed her to believe and support me, and she kicked me in the heart and shut me out of her life. I have never fully gotten over that. She was my second mother, my best friend. So in addition to dealing with the things my uncle did to me, I also had to deal with the emotional scars left by her. Years of therapy in my 20's helped me sort out the truth and lies, but holes remain.

And then the relationships with men - never good enough, always being left for whatever character flaw I seemed to have at the moment. Never being loved for just me, but being loved with an asterisk and fine print at the bottom of the page. Being abandoned by my boyfriend when I got Lyme, not being supported through that at all, when I need him most. Being told I was wallowing and that my sickness was "very hard on him", as I laid on the couch with a 102 degree fever, hallucinations, neurological pain racking my body. No wonder "in sickness and in health" holds so much importance. It can be a real deal-breaker.

Then, the numerous times I've dated people, only to find out that they were also dating someone else, and would rather be with the other person. And finding this out when I had already developed feelings for them and could be hurt. This is a pattern. Why am I never the person people want to be with? Why am I so easily cast aside? Why, at the first sign of trouble, or sickness, am I so desertable? Why am I never chosen? Why do people tell me they can't commit and then immediately run off and marry someone else? Why do I allow this into my life?

I'm tired of it. Just plain tired.

My mom is dropping hints that "people find their soul mate well into their 40's" or "so and so had a baby and she's 39" or "this person had given up and then BOOM, got married for the first time at age 45." Am I so pathetic that I need encouragement and little stories with happy endings from my mother?

I know she's trying to be helpful and supportive, to give me hope. But she's not. She's holding up my flaws in front of me, feeding all my darkest fears that I will be alone forever. I feel like I've disappointed her by not giving her a grandchild from me. Not given my parents a wedding to plan, not given my dad the chance to walk me down the aisle. I haven't measured up to my end of the bargain of what a daughter should be. I shouldn't be this single person who travels all over the place and does everything on her own. I should show up on Christmas morning with my loving husband and three adorable red haired children who run to hug my parents and shower them with love. This is the dream I have taken away from my parents. I have let them down.

Even though I worked hard in college, got a degree, got a good job, bought my own house, pay for everything myself, and maintain my house and yard without the help of a man - it feels like it's not enough. I'm tired of the pitying looks when I meet new people. "Are you seeing someone? No? Why not?" "So when are you going to find your other half?" Like I am not a complete person the way I am.

I need to change the signals I'm sending out. I need to be smarter in the beginning, before I get too attached. I will not hang on, hoping everything works out. I will expect to be treated well. I need to attract men who respect me. I will set boundaries. Above all, I need to attract the person who wants what I want.

He has to be ready for me.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

self-portrait challenge: fire

Sparkly thoughts (click for full view).

O.K., here it is, my very first self portrait challenge. This month's theme is the elements - earth, air, fire and water, and how we relate to and identify with them. When I was lighting sparklers on July 4th this year, I started thinking about how fire and light is such a big part of holidays and seasons. Jack o' lantern candles, Christmas tree lights, campfires, fireworks, the changing hue of the sun and moon throughout the year.

July 4th always makes me nostalgic. It reminds me of picnics at my great-grandma's house, with tons of food, music, laughter, games, and sparklers to cap off the evening. Everyone was alive and all of us kids were so young. They're happy memories, but sad in the way that I miss the people who are no longer with us, or have fallen away after the huge traumatic event that shaped my family and changed us forever, too long of a story to go into here. So I think that's why I have such a wistful expression on my face - I'm thinking of all those sparklers lit on my great-grandma's hill, my cousins and brothers and me whirling them around in the dark and leaving swirling trails behind us.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

zen moments

A campfire in the backyard.

Deep Lymie thoughts by firelight.

Morning in the Lymie Garden.

Birdhouses and coleus under the black walnut tree.