Monday, August 22, 2011




I'm the seventh child in a family of seven children, born to a woman with seven letters in her first name and last (maiden) name and whose birthday is on the seventh day of the seventh month. It should come as no surprise that my mother's favorite number is seven.

Clearly since I was the seventh child, I often spouted off that I was my mother's favorite. It is quite possibly for that reason, my siblings would retaliate by telling me that I was left in a clothes basket on the doorstep and I wasn't biologically connected to the family.

Their trickery worked.

Until I started to look like them.

As if I required more evidence that I am indeed part of this family, I now have it in the form of medical similarities. Auto-immune issues which have long afflicted the older people in my family, are now afflicting me. Funny enough, over the past few years, I've noticed that there have been some quirky things happening with my body, but I just attributed those things to ... well, I never really thought much about it.

Too! many! other! things! going! on!

My return to work on August 1 was delayed because I could hardly move on August 1.

My second attempt at a return to work is today.

In preparation for a re-entry to the "real world" I sat outside in order to get a little Vitamin D and "color" on my face since I very much resemble a zombie. After a mere 30 minutes in the sun (with SPF 50 coating every exposed inch except my scalp), I broke out from head to toe in hives. From what I can tell (i.e., furiously researching the symptoms on Google), this allergic reaction to the sun might be an effect of the Prednisone that is still lingering in my system, four weeks after stopping those cute little devil pills.

My research has yielded that head to toe hives aren't the only Prednisone side effect I've experienced. When I was on a high dosage, I had crazy energy that found me ripping the entire garage apart and cleaning every corner in the house. At 2 AM. As I tapered off the medication, my mood swings were ... erratic and colorful. Like a tornado whispering across a plain.

Then there was the mind-numbing fatigue and over the past few weeks, I've packed on at least 10 pounds and have developed an outrageous case of hirsutism. Luckily, I haven't yet sprouted a beard, but I do have nose hairs so long you could braid them. Of course my eye sight isn't what it used to be, so it wasn't actually me that recognized my cosmetological nightmare. It was my children, with their eagle eyes that excitedly announced that it looked like Rapunzel had taken up residence and was throwing her hair out one of my nostrils.

I recently read that the life span of a human in the wild is 35 years old. Thanks to nutrition and modern medicine, I've surpassed a wild human's life expectancy by five years. But because the chassis of the modern human and ancestral human are approximately the same, you can only outwit Nature for so long. To draw an analogy with a car, once upon a time, not so long ago, I felt like a hot Mustang. Alas, these days, the deteriorating eye sight, memory lapses, dental complications, emotional instability, and intestinal malaise make me feel instead like a nice round AMC Gremlin.

With outrageously long nasal hair.