Home Remedies

I was walking down a long corridor last week and an older gentleman came up next to me and said, “Excuse me Miss, mind if I ask why you’re limping, you seem like you’re in such pain.” The man had my immediate attention because he called me “Miss,” there could have been a time in my life where I wouldn’t have liked that term, but now I consider it a solid victory if someone doesn’t refer to me as “Mam.” He then quickly went on to add that he too has a limp and he wondered if my issues were related to my spine, he starts to tell me about his situation and then waits for me to answer. I briefly describe my problem, in part because I’m still a little thrown off by a complete stranger stopping me and asking me basically what feels like, “what’s wrong with you?,” but yet that has happened before, I’m really more interested in NOT standing in the hallway since standing is pretty much my least favorite thing on the planet. After I answer him he sympathizes and goes onto to describe his spinal surgery. As we end the conversation and I turn to head down the hall he wishes me well and says he’s sorry for my trouble. It sometimes feels weird to know what to say. I guess I do have “troubles” yet everyone does, mine just might be more obvious sometimes, but he was just trying to be kind or “help” in some way or at least that’s how I prefer to take our exchange.

Recently I’ve been encouraged to try a couple different home remedies. One is to prepare a cup of water like you would for tea but rather than adding your favorite flavor, add two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a spot of honey. Another one is to pour GIN over a cup of golden raisins and count out 11 every day to eat. The recipes come from folks that want to “help” and although I’m not sure I’ll be downing gin soaked raisins anytime soon I do feel some healing by the great compassion I’m shown.

I’d rather think of that while I’m sitting here in traction than all the crap going on in this world, don’t you just want a break from all of it, I’m so tired of hearing bad stuff. I’m overwhelmed by the news of horrific natural disasters, misery, suffering and economic world woes; everyday it seems there’s some awful thing worse than the day before.

So I’m asking, just please dear world, take a freaking time out and be nice!

ENOUGH already, come on, give the planet a break for a minute, let it rain where the ground is so cracked and parched it’s causing severe droughts and famine, sprinkle some tolerance and peace over massive parts of the world. Please help everyone to suck on a Pollyanna pill, calm down and be kind to one another for a day or two. “Help” each other, stop and talk to someone, just let us have a moment where we can still believe there is more right with this place than it being one giant mess, give us a splash of hope, please. Who knows, maybe a simple home remedy will make a difference.

In the meantime I am going to go sip some hot apple cider vinegar honey “tea” and try to think of something besides the negative, and then I’ll wait for the good to come, because I still have to believe it’s bigger than the bad. Cheers!

Yours truly, Pollyanna

Chateau Marmont here we come

As I was sitting in traction recently in a hotel room at the Waldorf Astoria I was thinking about how many other people in the history of the beautiful hotel may have ever checked off another day of their cervical traction routine “hanging” in one of the lovely rooms. The hotel boasts that Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Durante and many more legends have all walked the block long lobby with golden columns and crystal chandeliers. The legendary bar, Sazerac, serves the strongest drinks I’ve ever drank and quickly helps you forget any traction woes. From the beach at the Hard Rock Hotel to the Holiday Inn Express, traction came along and hung over the doorways of all. I’m back home now staring at my own door frame and thinking about what might be the next hotel I sit in traction. I realize it doesn’t matter where it is or what floor or how beautiful or famous or not, my traction will come along and make it feel just like home.

What I’ve overheard lately

My hearing isn’t what it used to be, but lately I’ve randomly overheard bits and pieces of some crazy stuff. Each time I catch the middle of something in line at a store or a snippet of something as the elevator door closes I think, you know, somebody needs to write a book about what they’ve overheard. It’s wild.

The other day I heard this man say that “if it’s murder, they will find out.” Okay, well I certainly hope so! You also often hear the mundane, “I don’t know, why are you asking me?” sorts of stuff. Yet the kind that catch your ears like, “don’t you think you should tell her who her father is” just make it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. Oh, yeah, what floor am I going to and what button do I push to get there.

Couple days ago just as the elevator doors were about to close a man got on and pushed the button for his floor and then went to the rear of the elevator and began to read aloud from a poster on the wall to his left. The poster was advertising a car wash fund-raiser on behalf of the Susan G Komen Foundation which had to be postponed because of rain. He read the entire poster aloud, even the part about why early detection is so important. As another person exited the elevator and I was left alone with the reader I was left to think, well at least when I sit and do traction I’m alone with my own thoughts and although they are often random, silly and boring, they are mine.

Bubbles, I’m not talking about Michael Jackson’s monkey

I saw a little girl crossing the street today along with another girl about her age and two woman. The women were also both pushing strollers so it seems that the girls maybe big sisters. They crossed the street at a busy intersection filled with lunch time traffic. As they crossed the street they stretched out and moved along the cross walk in a line rather than as a group. The slow poke girl was at the end, taking her time and enjoying the moment, blowing bubbles as she pushed her sunglasses up on her face. She looked like she was about five years old and seemed oblivious to the congestion surrounding her. There she was, stopping every so often to gently blow more bubbles. It was the sweetest thing to witness, she definitely seemed to be walking to the beat of her own drum. Traction seems here to stay but it’s now Summertime, filled with happy children, bubbles blowing and good things right before your eyes if you look.

I didn’t get the memo

Oh my, yesterday I encountered some of the worst drivers and their cars on the road. It felt at one point maybe it was a joke, maybe everyone but me was sent a memo to try your best to hit other cars, drive erratically and sit stopped, talking on your cell phone at green lights.
Jeepers, creepers, one driver came so close to the back of my car I honestly thought he assumed he was at an amusement park and we were playing bumper cars! Wonder what was going on, it was beyond noticeable, it was kind of nuts. So I’m okay that I didn’t get the memo but it does leave me wondering why do people pull out in front of speeding cars and why do speeding cars speed up to make a near miss seem silly, rather, why not just plow into someone, why avoid an accident, let’s just cause one. Goodness, what a day for driving, thinking about taking the bus from here out.

So simple, so easy

I was pushing my grocery cart yesterday toward the glass cases that hold the milk and a little girl, probably no more than seven or eight years old was in front of me and yells to her Mom, who was behind me, “Mom, how much milk should I get?” her Mom replies, “two” and the girl answers, “big ones or little ones” and Mom responds, “big.” The girl eagerly reaches in the case for the milk and I said, wow, I wish I had a great helper like you helping me out at the store. She looks up at me with the biggest smile on her face and as I reach for my milk she says, “thank you.”

Telling her you’re welcome I push my cart past her to the next aisle. I hear her run to her Mom and say, “Mom, this lady told me I was a great helper!” I could hear her Mom agree and send her on a mission for some cheese. I thought about how excited that child was to hear a compliment from some random lady at the grocery store, I hadn’t thought twice about saying it, she was an impressive helper, but her “thank you” was amazing. I haven’t heard many young children unprompted respond to a compliment with a thank you. Parenting a child is the hardest job on the planet, witnessing it first hand by making it look so simple, so easy, is delightful and impressive!

I have to finish up this traction gig today because my great twin nieces, who are three weeks old sent me an email asking me if I’d please come over and hang out with them while their Mom takes a shower. I tell ya, being a part of a child’s life at any age or stage is a privilege.

Rapture Traction

So I’ve done all kinds of traction, midnight traction, holiday traction, I hate this but I still have to do it traction, but today is a new one, doomsday traction. I waited to do traction all day thinking just maybe, maybe, if the world ended on this date I didn’t want to be sitting in traction…..but so far it looks like the world is still spinning and the traction is still pulling my neck for another day.

Just a side note, I’ve been keeping my traction schedule yet lately I’ve felt uninspired to type and it took the possibility of the world calling it quits today to motivate me. If this place does blow I hope where ever I end up all the spinal columns are just peachy.

Closing the evening out listening to a little Andrea Bocelli, “Time to say goodbye.”

A spot of tea please

So there’s a lot of hoopla over the upcoming “royal wedding.” Seems there are two camps, those that could care less or those that care a lot! Hands down best part of any of their weddings are the hats. Most either look like you could land a 747 on them or nest a lovely family of robins. Perhaps I could introduce this traction strap currently around my head as a trendy wedding guest fashion statement. Glue gun some feathers and a broken bird wing, (seems appropriate) and voila, a versatile, yet perfectly charming chapeau leaving the Brits to wonder what we’re up to over on our side of the pond.

When in London a big concern for me is avoiding being hit by a car. The cross walks get a little tricky, you know those little cars coming and going in the “wrong direction” can take you out if you have to use your makeshift cane for its intended purpose and keep the raindrops from melting your hair as you limp along a busy intersection. Other than the fear of being splat on the pavement in an unsightly, undignified, mortifying sort of way the UK is a fine place for a nice cup of tea with or without a homemade traction hat; but hold all the hoopla please.

(You know, some days even as I’m typing I really know there’s much cause to prove this thing is cutting off the circulation to the gray matter)

Hallelujah, Alleluia……really?

Listening to O filii et filiae sung by the choir of Notre Dame de Paris. Not a bad way to start this Holy Saturday, yeah, forget the traction part and just go with this music. Hope your weekend is everything you’d want it to be, the strife is over and even if it’s not, pretend.

As for my own Lenten challenge, I did ok, not great. I did read a heck of a lot and explored new topics that I previously knew nothing about, not sure how long I’ll remember any of it but I tried. I did dabble here and there in some of my other thoughts “to do more” but consistency is always an issue. Actually, the only thing I’m consistent at now is TRACTION! Anyhoo, even if the strife is far from over in your life celebrate what you can because if all you know is pain you’ll never know the opposite even if it hits you in the face.

Hang in there, that’s what I do and it works out ok. In the wise words of my friend Carl, “don’t ever, ever, ever give up.”

Traction or Dentist?

Yep, fun day I get to do both today. My back has been driving me nuts more so than usual and then sitting in the lovely dentist chair as they clean my teeth this afternoon has me so excited. When you have to take narcotics to go to the dentist not because you’re having a root canal or they are firing up the drill when they see you coming but to be able to sit in the chair you know it’s going to be a long day. I would never say traction was fun or easy but I’d take it today over my back at the dentist.

Wish me luck.

UPDATE
Dentist (who happens to be a guy I went to elementary school with so we immediately both act 12 when we see each other) suggested I go home and take half of a vicodin and drink two martinis…..see why he’s my dentist. About half way thru the appointment my drugs did kick in so I survived and best of all, no cavities!