Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sisters Are The Best Medicine

I'm sure my I.Q. is lower because my sister was just here and I laughed my brains out for five days straight. Seriously. I looked like this photo 90% of the time. Well, okay, maybe I didn't look quite this good. (David Belisle took this as a possible cover photo for the paperback coming out this Fall.)

Lynie accompanied me to a breast cancer conference in Denver. We had a blast eating dinner in the hotel, shopping, drinking tea in bed and talking at night, drinking coffee in bed and talking in the morning.
I really cannot explain why I feel so refreshed and renewed. I've come back from other conferences tired and sick of cancer. So I can only guess that it was because Lynie was there.

I was really losing my mojo for work: sick of all the technological changes that were adding hours to our days and fed up with administrative duties that made me want to scream. When I received an e-mail telling me that I needed to come in for my annual TB test, I thought perhaps I should burn down the employee health building. I felt as if I just couldn't fit one more thing into my day. When was I supposed to see patients?

I missed my happy self. And yes, I suppose it was also because a month before I went off all my hot flash meds which are really anti-depressants. Like many cancer survivors, I was just sick of taking pills. Besides, I was, as my oncologist said, on "homeopathic" doses: 37.5 mg. of Effexor XR in the day and 25 mg. of Trazodone at night. Since the doses were so tiny I simply stopped taking them. I couldn't believe the sadness and rage I felt a few days a later.

I now know that I should have taken them every other day for a while. But because I was taking them for hot flashes, it never occurred to me that they might be affecting my moods. Because when you take an antidepressant for hot flashes, how does your body know? While I was on them, I would have told you that I perfectly fine---well, maybe not quite as sharp as I used to be. But who is?

But once I stopped taking them, I realized that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and I can't do a thing about it. And did I mention all the reckless morons on the Burke-Gilman trail who are trying to run me down on my bike? And horrible lighting in my hole of an office?

Funny I never noticed any of this before.

So it took a good month to get those drugs out of my system. And then I got a good whopping dose of Lynie and every since then I've been right as rain. I knew I was back to my old self when we were on the plane home and the guy in front of me had his armrest up, with all the volume buttons staring me in the face, taunting me, tempting me.

I poked Lynie. I silently pointed to the buttons. Her eyes widened. Then I pushed the volume button all the way to twelve, which is the highest it can go. We were laughing that kind of wheezy, silent laughter that made us weep and jerk like widows keening at a grave.

The guy never put his headphones on, but every time we looked at the armrest we fell apart laughing. The flight attendant came down the aisle and I expected her to say, "You girls go to your rooms right now!"

But she just said, "Seat belts?"

I would have answered, but a hot flash came on. Yes, the hot flashes are back, but so is my mind. They are not as bad as they were a year ago, so I'm just going to deal. And if things get really bad, I'll go visit my sister.

1 comment:

Kathy B said...

I have one word for you, girl:
Acupuncture.

Saved & is saving my menopausal hot-flashing bacon.