Wednesday, March 26, 2008

moving forward

Happy birthday, Sweet Girl!

Easter came and went in a blur. One second I was wolfing down ham and green bean casserole and hanging out with my parents, and the next I was slouched in my chair at work, blinking and drinking coffee to wake up. I had so much fun with my nieces. We painted a tea set, watched Hannah Montana, listened to Hannah Montana's CD (I have to tell you: I'm not getting the whole Hannah Montana thing!), and played outside in the melting snow.

I'm feeling mentally stronger this week. Last week I got the latest test results from my Lyme doctor, and once again, I'm making no progress. I've been plateauing since last July, just not getting better. I mean, I've made huge strides since beginning treatment, and my doctor has helped me so much. Right now he thinks I've come to the end of antibiotics, so no more Biaxin - I've been off it for a week. Beyond that, he's not exactly sure how much he can help me - he's going to think about it and "try some things out". I was so depressed and wiped out at the news, and now feel at a crossroads. Do I find a different doctor for another opinion? Explore alternative methods of healing? Follow my doctor's plan and hope for the best? Design my own healing plan?

One thing I learned since having Lyme is that you HIRE your doctor. They work for you. If you don't trust them/like them, if they can no longer help you, or if you don't agree with their treatment, it's time to find someone you're comfortable with. In the end, your healthcare is up to you. I have no qualms about thanking a doctor for all they've done and telling them it's time for me to move on. I mean, I fired seven doctors before finally getting diagnosed with Lyme.

I'm mulling everything over and not making any quick decisions. One thing I do know is that I need to get in charge of what I'm putting in my body. I was doing so well earlier this year, and then I completely fell off the bandwagon, what with beer and cast parties and beer and birthday parties and beer and social gatherings, game nights, work events, and beer beer beer. Why can't beer be the key to healing Lyme? The secret to all that is vibrant and healthy? Tell me.

Anyway, I'm exploring many different things that I want to include in my personal treatment plan. One thing is raw foods. My goal is to include as many raw vegetables in my diet as possible. I'm already juicing, but I plan to do this daily instead of a few times a week. I also intend to eat a big green leafy salad every day with plenty of sprouts. I will limit the carbs and eliminate as much sugar as possible. I keep reading about cancer survivors and people battling all sorts of diseases, and a common thread running through many of their healing plans (check out Kris Carr's inspirational blog) is eating in this way.

So here I go.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

lymie goes domestic

Cupcakes for Easter
Aren't these cute?! Can you believe I made them?

So there was a sale at Michael's on those fun icing tips and bags for frosting. I got caught up in the spirit and bought bright pink cupcake holders and glittery sugar sprinkles for the top. And here they are, made from scratch: vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting.

There are 24 of them, all waiting to travel 2 hours north tomorrow to spend Easter with my family. It's the first time I've been able to see my nieces since they've moved back with their dad, so I can't wait. Expect many photos to follow!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Friday, March 21, 2008

because i loved it so much . . .

. . . here are more photos from last Sunday's performance in Detroit. (All photos from the Joffrey ballet blog.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

luck o' the lymie

Me, in front of the Guinness Brewery, Dublin, Ireland, May 2004.

No one should cry on St. Patrick's Day. I mean, really. It's like the perfect holiday: beer drinking is encouraged, as well as hearty, heavy food. Gravy is involved. Gravy! What can go wrong on a day where gravy is crucial? And yet, I found myself in the Kroger parking lot, tears welling up like a dork.


Let's go shopping.

I bought potatoes, gravy, onions, cream, butter, beef sausage, Guinness, and this cute little shamrock plant. Seriously. How fresh and springy is this? Who could be sad?


I came home, savored a Guinness. Or two. Or four. In glasses I bought in Dublin, right after my tour of the brewery, and brought carefully home in my carry-on luggage.


I boiled some potatoes and whipped them with cream and butter. Fried some sausage and onion in more butter (this was not a point-friendly meal!). Layered the potatoes and gravy with onions and sausage, and baked it all until the top was golden and the gravy was bubbling through.


Mmmmm. Feeds the soul. Unlike German food, which for me, feeds the blood - Irish food feeds my soul. There is something so earthy and simple and pure about it. I am 1/8 Irish - my great grandmother's name was Carnahan. And my mom's birthday is today, and though she is German and English, she is honorary Irish because of that.

I ate it while watching a feature on Ireland on the Travel Channel. There it was: Belfast, Dublin, Cork, the Guinness brewery - all the places I lived and breathed in those first fiery days with Lyme disease. The countryside. The "coconut bush" - Rosanne, did we ever find out what those are called? I think it's Broom Bush. And, yes, it was hard to watch. Who besides me feels panic rising when watching a show about Ireland? Yeah, no one, that's who. I can't help it. Ireland is the last link to life as I always knew it, the second before it all fell away.

How about some ice cream to feel better?


Maybe some Mint Chocolate Cookie Ben & Jerry's. Combined with Dancing with the Stars. And that, my friends, wraps up St. Patrick's Day 2008.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

give me the wilis

All photos in this post are from the Joffrey Ballet blog.
Yes, I'm still here.

I've been kind of morose/moody/introspective/raging/empty/full/exhausted/planning/dejected/
renewed/thoughtful/frustrated all at the same time. And I haven't been blogging at all. I haven't even been talking much.

But that's a post for another day.

Today I want to talk about ballet. On Thursday, I was browsing through Ticketmaster online, and Giselle came up in my search. The only performances were this weekend, just three days. I thought about it, came back to the website, thought about it some more. Something kept pulling me back, something that told me I needed to see this. I didn't even tell anyone I was going - I wanted top secret, private, head-clearing Lisa time. So I sprung for the really good seats, just 4 rows back, and hauled myself downtown through the annoying twisted maze of construction to the Detroit Opera House.


It was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen. It was just beautiful. The costumes, the set, the music, and of course, the dancing. It had all my favorite things: autumn, a rustic village, a harvest dance, a graveyard, fog, and vengeful screwed-over ghosts. It was only missing beer.

The first act was all harvesty oranges and yellows and reds, and the second act was all whites and blues. It was mesmerizing and otherworldly. I never wanted it to end. When it was over, I wanted to run onstage and ask them to do it again. And really, if they were going to perform it another night, I would have gone back - I loved it that much. I was meant to see it. And I am totally ready to become a "Wili" and roam the graveyards at night, dancing through the fog and flitting through the forest. I wonder if I can change careers at this point. Do the Wilis have an insurance plan?

I'm gonna guess there's not an opening for a klutzy 38 year-old with bad feet and Lyme disease. But one can dream.

Here's a synopsis of the ballet:

Act I - A rustic village

Giselle, a weak-hearted young girl who is adored by her native villagers, lives with her watchful mother, Berthe. Hilarion, the village gamekeeper, is desperately in love with Giselle. Prince Albrecht, a nobleman who is already engaged to a noblewoman named Bathilde, is bored and lonely with his everyday existence. Captivated by Giselle's frail beauty and innocence, Albrecht disguises himself as a peasant named Loys. After purchasing the cottage adjacent to Berthe's, he proceeds to shower Giselle with his affections. Hilarion, filled with suspicion and jealousy, becomes enraged when Giselle falls madly in love with Albrecht and believes that they are engaged.

Berthe has a vision that her daughter will one day become a Wili, a jilted maiden who dies before her wedding night. The Wilis emerge between midnight and dawn to vengefully trap any man who enters their domain by forcing him to dance to his death.

Hilarion exposes Albrecht's disguise and proclaims that he is already betrothed to Bathilde. Overwhelmingly distraught and horrified, Giselle dies of a broken heart.

Act II - A forest clearing

Hilarion is discovered just before midnight keeping vigil by Giselle's tomb. As midnight approaches, the Wilis appear with their leader, Queen Myrta. This is the night Giselle is to be initiated as a Wili.

Albrecht, laden with feelings of guilt and remorse, visits Giselle's grave. He sees a vision of Giselle and follows it into the forest. At this point, Myrta discovers Hilarion in the forest and orders the Wilis to dance around him until he dies from exhaustion. She then discovers Albrecht and demands that he share the same fate as Hilarion but is unable to permeate the invisible bond of love that Giselle has for him.

At dawn, when the Wilis lose their power and must retreat to their dwelling place, Albrecht is saved and Giselle forgives him. Giselle returns with the Wilis and recognizes that now she will be one of them for the rest of time.