Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sailing Ship at Dusk

Dear Daniel and Dad,

It's almost two years since each of you passed, one by one. One of you expectedly, with time to say goodbye and confirm that I will see you again and that you rise to God, and one of you passed without any obvious warning. I would like to say that I am doing fine and that I have done well with the tasks you knowingly, and unknowingly left for me, but that would be a lie. Many times I know you are proud of me and that I do well caring for and guiding the people you love, and caring for the animals who remain here. Other times, particularly when I am ill, I am lost. Dad, I don't do as well as you in keeping up with all the secret charitable things you did while here. I also haven't kept up with your friends as well as I had hoped to. I try, but I fall short. Daniel, I try to move forward, care for James, and of course, support the other kids, your biological siblings, in their lives, challenges and adjustments, but I don't always know what to say, or what to do. I work hard on the animals especially, because I know how much you love them. I do my best but I have been overwhelmed with the Lyme disease, and I have delegated many things this week. Sometimes I feel that you are each on a ship together which slowly drifts farther and farther from me while I am stuck in a shanty seedy port city. I miss seeing you each in dreams and I don't know whether this is because I am sick and can't hold onto REM sleep when I am most likely to hear from you, or whether you have now drifted or are visiting a place where I can't hear you, at least not as well. I love you both so much. I love you both wider than the oceans and deeper than the seas.

I have included the song above, The Physician, a Cole Porter song sung by Gertrude Lawrence,because before my father died,in his private room in the ICU, I sang this softly to him. The song always had special meaning to him,being a fan of Gertride Lawrence, Noel Coward and Cole Porter. It will now always have a special meaning to me as well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lyme Disease and Other Insults and Annoyances

It's been a rough couple of weeks. I have had some trouble with my stamina of late. I have had trouble completing my normal tasks and I have not been sure why. A week ago, I woke up with a shoulder so sore and painful that I could not brush my own hair. Although I have had annual visits, I haven't had a sick visit at my internist's office in the four years in which we have been associated, and strangely, I had trouble getting in to see her. Apparently, healthcare professional or not, unless I am experiencing cardiac arrest, an appointment to actually SEE her is a challenge. I suspect other health care workers are moved to "the back of the bus". Later in the day, my left shoulder was sufficiently sore enough that I could barely drive with either arm. A day later, my left knee was too painful to walk on. To make what is now a repressed memory shorter, I paged my endocrinologist, who is now treating me for Lyme Disease. It's good to know that her expertise does not end with thyroid and other endocrine disorders. Lyme Disease is a funny thing. We are continually told when we ask annually for a Lyme titer that it's rare disease, but every realtor I know locally who walks out country property has had it. Most of my friends have had it, and one of them saw an infection control specialist because she had Stage III. My eldest son's fiancee has had it. Even Canadian National Health in Nova Scotia is having to treat children for it, as it apparently does occur there also. There are also frequent false negatives during testing and many people believe that Lyme Disease is undiagnosed in many people and generally underdiagnosed in the population at large. The concerning thing is that although it can be eradicated in many people, one keeps the organ damage one received if a case remains undiagnosed for an extended period. It can be a tough disorder to diagnose based on symptomatology, because the symptoms can be quite varied between individuals.
Consequently, I feel absolutely awful. I felt worse than I can remember feeling in the 24-48 hours after starting the Doxycycline. I can't think straight and the kids are joking about Mom's two day short term memory loss. It's times like these that I feel a tinge of relief that Daniel is spared from experiencing this particular joy of living. I am also glad my Dad does not have to experience this either. When my endocrinologist asked me about tick bites, I had to laugh. People who live on Virginia forested farms are more likely to get a tick bite in the Spring and Fall,than not to, even when one uses DEET. I never did see a bullseye marking, around a bite, but my pale British/Scottish skin always reacts strongly to any tickbite, so once again, I am atypical. I don't understand how I could have Lyme Disease. I eat so many lemons in tea and even in cola, you'd think they would block Lyme. Did I mention I think I have a short term memory loss, and quite possibly reading my ramblings, some additional neurodeficits as well ?

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Alluvial gold

Just when I think life is busy and normal and that we have defined and are living the new normal, something odd happens here, leaving me, or us to ponder something new.
My husband and I used my new car this week only to find minute specks on it, which scrape off with a fingernail but are too adherent and too numerous to remove. We looked over our other cars,all kept deep in our large farm, and found these fine specks over them as well. They are most noticeable on my new car. We took a magnifying glass to look at them, and at first thought they were gold leaf paint spray, uniformly and perfectly distributed all over the car. It almost looks as if this is the intended finish of the car, except that it is also over the plastic and the glass portions of it as well. When we examined the car's finish a magnifying glass to look at this more closely and found these to be little specks of gold reflecting back at us. We have no explanation for this. We live on a large farm and no one here owns a paint sprayer or anything like this. We have had some winds following Hurricane Earl, and even some dirt and wind "sandblasting" around the farm, but this is truly peculiar.
I took my new car to two detailers and two body shops. The car had a vigorous hand washing and polishing. The first one is unable to remove the gold using a power hand wash and hand rub. The body shop is reluctant to buff it because they fear removing the clear coat on the car. They all just shake their heads. The last one said that this is not gold paint, but alluvial gold, actual gold dust which has somehow settled and stuck from the atmosphere and either adhered to the car as the result of the polish we had last used or adhered to the clearcoat layer over the original paint.
Could gold dust from the farm have picked up in the wind and deposited onto the original paint, clearcoat or even the polish of my new car ? Could Daniel or Dad have done this ? Is this something they could do ?   This is indeed the site of an old goldmine from the 1880s.  Could the winds have stirred up the minute gold particles ?   So far, the detailers and car bodyshops said we should remove it from the windows and the rubber, but leave the body alone. They have all never heard of anything like this ever happening.

UPDATE: June, 2013

 The alluvial gold specks which apparently bound with the clearcoat of my car remain there. I have come to accept it, no matter how curious it is.