Do You Want Some Lyme With That?
Monday, November 29, 2010

Hey! Happy Extra Pounds Brought On By Too Much Pumpkin Pie And Waayyy Too Much Whipped Cream Week! 

I hope everyone made it safely through the TSA pervs without getting that special touch. 

Me? I'll take the naked radiation scan over the heavyset TSA officer with badly blow dried bangs in her overly tight cheap polyester uniform and snappy latex gloves, any day. 

Cheap polyester freaks me out. 

But that's great conversation fodder for another time. 

On to other things.


I didn't make my goal of finishing my revision by the end of November. I didn't. And it kills me to admit that. When I say I'm going to do something, I stick to my guns. But I've had a busy month. This is a busy, whirling life I have. And throwing New Orleans into the mix didn't help. I didn't open my writer's notebook the entire week I was there. (I'll put up some pictures from our trip once I can get my Hubby to download them for me. His photo gallery where we keep all of our pics is full on his computer and I have no idea what to do about that and I'm afraid if I try to download any more pictures, the computer may just explode and I'm not going to be the one responsible for that. I'll let him do the exploding.) 

But even though I didn't make my goal, I'm still working my heart out. I am making this happen. My head is swarming with the words and characters that have lived in my heart and in my head all this time and with every spare second I am working to Get. This. Done. 

My new goal is January. 

Because the thought of December is keeping me awake at night. 

And I'm not even talking the usual jingle jangle frenzy of Christmas. 

I'm talking a few weeks worth of holiday visitors. Which is good, but busy. 

It also means I'll have to spend some time doing that thing I hate the most.  

Cleaning. And even worse, I have to *gulp* go upstairs and tackle the dung dump. 

Which could take the whole month. 

But that's not even what's keeping me awake. It's the bigger things. 

I'm having a little dental surgery Dec. 1st. The getting knocked out, kind of surgery. I've done this before. It's the second step of an implant surgery. And yes, it would be so much more worth it, if it were a little nip and tuck of the other kind. But it's just a boring tooth. And that boring tooth will keep me down for the count, for a couple of days.

And then there's the other big thing. 

I had, what I thought, would be a little routine checkup with my neurologist, Dr. A, right before I left for New Orleans. 

My eye is 80-90% back. At least, that's what I thought. 

It takes me a few seconds longer than normal to focus and it's still a bit blurry when I'm reading and writing and it's hard for me to determine which girl is mine on the soccer field, but that's small potatoes compared to the really scary, blurry, double vision where you can't walk a straight line without the fear of falling down kind of eyesight.  

Dr. A's office is in the big hospital in the big city. It's actually on an island surrounded by the bay waters. 

My Hubby came with me to Dr. A's because he is a freakazoid about this whole eye debacle. I can't be sure, but from his panic throughout my ordeal, I think that man of mine really likes me. 

So, since my hubby's office is right downtown, I swung by to pick him up. And since he is a misogynistic driver and thinks that I will, I don't know, lose control of the car every time I get behind the wheel and send it spinning across the interstate, smashing into other cars like a pinball until I hurtle us airborne and then crash the car headfirst into a tree where it will then burst into a fireball, he insists on driving. 

And usually I'm find with that kind of misogyny. 

Except for the fact that my hubby can only do ONE THING at a time, even though he thinks he's super great at multi-tasking. And we argue all the time like two bitter old people about his lack of multi-tasking abilities. 

He thinks he can multi-task when he drives. And he cannot. 

If he answers the phone, he slows that car down and drives like a grandpa on valium. Same goes for everything else. I'm pretty sure if he blinks, that car slows down to Model T speed.  

As we drove up onto the island, I reminded him that the hospital had a valet. 

Isn't that the just most perfect thing for a hospital?

And of course, as soon as he realized this, he had to take the valet key off his key ring and start locking up all the super important places in his car like the glove compartment. Because, I guess valets have a reputation for ripping off maps and dry cleaning coupons and stacks of wrinkled napkins and all of the other valuables most people leave in the glove compartment. 

And as he was puttering along locking up his Chapstick, he crawled right past the valet.

And I was all, "Wasn't that the entrance to the hospital?"

And that was when we found out that if you miss the valet, you have to exit the island, wind your way back through downtown, hop back on the bridge and try it all over again. 

I was miffed. To put things politely. 

Because even though I hate it when my hubby tries to multi-task when he clearly lacks the ability to do more than one thing at a time, I despise, I abhor, I hate with all my heart, being late. 

I am a punctual person. My Hubby is a, "When I get there, I get there." kind of person. Unless of course, it's a launch of the latest Apple product, then he's first in line with his lawn chair. Or if he has a shooting competition, then he's hours early. But anything else, forget it. 

You should see us on the way to church. It is a nightmare of profanities. Lord, Bless Me for I have cussed at my slow moving husband. 

We slid into Dr. A's office about five minutes late which had me all a-fluster. 

I had an echocardiogram and I'm happy to say, I passed it with flying colors. 

So, that's the good news: So far, my heart, my brain, my arteries are all in top notch shape. And a lot of big, scary diseases like multiple sclerosis and brain tumors have been ruled out. 

But then the blood pressure dude came in to take my readings. And after a month of blood pressure medicine, my blood pressure was higher than before meds. 

I told him to take it again, that his cuff must be short circuiting. He took it again and it rose even higher, with alarms going off and everything.

I told him to try again and he told me cuffs don't lie. 

So there was that crap news and then Dr. A came in. 

And he gave me the ultra high-tech pencil test. 

And he said, AGAIN, he didn't like what he saw, that my eye, even though it wasn't doing its little freak show where it wouldn't follow the pencil at all, it was still hesitating for a second, like it wanted to be an eye anarchist but at the last minute changed its mind and decided to follow. 

And then he looked at my blood pressure results and was all, "What's this?"

And since I failed his pencil and blood pressure tests and I've always been an honor roll kind of student, I felt I had to defend myself and so I said, "I swear, it's not usually this high. I still think I have white coat syndrome, even though you don't believe in that. I just get nervous at the thought of being here and getting my blood pressure checked. And my husband missed the turn for the hospital valet because he was too busy locking up his glove compartment and so we had to go back downtown and come back around and that made us late and I hate being late and I was nervous about the echocardiogram and all these things together caused my blood pressure to soar."

And Dr. A turned to my Hubby and, I kid you not, said, "Is she always like this?"

And my Hubby closed his eyes and nodded and said, "Except when she's sleeping."

Okay, so I might be a little high strung. And my mom might have used to constantly say to me as a small child, "Would you relax! I swear, at your rate, you're going to have an ulcer by the time you're 16."

But I'm kind to animals. And I floss. And I always eat what's put in front of me because I'm polite like that. 

So, Dr. A amped up my meds and told me about a dozen and 40 times that I needed to learn to RELAX. 

And then he went over my latest blood results. 

And that's when we got even BETTER news. 

Even though I failed the blood pressure test, it seems I tested positive for Lyme disease. 

I am a winner . . . at Lyme disease. 

But that doesn't necessarily mean I have it. It's one of those tests that gets a lot of false positives. So they ran it again and I have one titer or teeter or teeter totter or tater tot, I don't know, but one little part of the test still showed positive. 

And that's when Dr. A asked me if I knew of any time I might have been exposed to ticks. 

And my Hubby piped in with, "Well, she sleeps with a dog on her head and two others curled around her. Would that be considered possible exposure?"

So now Dr. A thinks I'm a crazy animal hoarder along with a high strung neurotic. Great. 

So, we have to run the test again, which means more blood work. 

Of course, I googled Lyme Disease the minute I got to the car. And of course, I have ALL the symptoms. 

Fatigue- all the time. 
Knee joint pain-yes! 
Headaches-Well, I didn't notice any, but now I'm really feeling like yes, yes I do have a headache.
Confusion-Duh. Confusion rules my life. 
Facial Palsy-Maybe they aren't wrinkles. Maybe they're from all the muscle spasms I haven't bothered to notice. I am busy you know. 
Strange and erratic behavior-I'd say my family and perhaps Dr. A would vouch for this one.

But now, along with more tests for Lyme disease which I probably don't have but there's still a chance, especially, Dr. A noted, since I sleep with a dog on my head, Dr. A wants to get to the bottom of why my eye is still a bit wonky. 

Now I get to have something called a nerve muscle electrode stress test. 

I know, right? Sounds worse than waterboarding. Or getting your private places felt up by an unattractive woman in bad polyester.

I said to Dr A, "I do not like the sound of that AT ALL! Not only does it sound horrifying, stressing out muscles usually involves sweating and I don't like to sweat unless I'm at the gym."

And Dr. A said in his lovely European accent, "You crack me up."

Which is another reason I like Dr. A, besides his gorgeous accent and his big handsome face. 
He informed me I would not have to sweat, that the electrodes would do all the work and that it was not painful. 

I'm not really believing him about the painful part. Doctors seem to have a completely different scale of pain. Of course, I googled it which I definitely, definitely should not have done. 

They are going to be sticking needles in my NECK, along with various other places, but NEEDLES in my NECK, man. 

I am so not down with this. 

And even worse, are the list of horrifying diseases this torture test is ruling out. I clicked off the site after reading ALS. I just don't want to think about it. 

My Hubby has taken to calling me the Medical Marvel. 

I think I just need more gummy bear vitamins and hot baths. 

So, December will be bringing me: cleaning, company, the stress of getting the Christmas cards out, decorating, Christmas shopping, holiday parties, cooking up feasts, Lyme disease testing and of course, nerve muscle electrode stress tests. 

January is a realistic goal to finish up my novel, I'm thinkin'.  

But there is good news. Fabio Viviani is coming back for Top Chef Masters! Oh, how I have missed this man's oozing Italian charm and beautiful brown eyes and perfect accent. 

Here's a blurry, but super hot picture of him my sister snapped. She was at an event where he was speaking and she sent this to me, the second she took the picture.  


And get this. Even though she was a few footsteps away from him and he was saying hello to everybody, she wouldn't go meet him, much less give him a big sloppy one from me. 

Because she'd left her lip gloss in the car. 

Now, here's where my sister and I differ. First of all, lip gloss is an appendage for me. It is with me at all times. I am NEVER without my lip gloss. 

And even if I had, for some mystical reason, left my lip gloss in the car, I would have sprinted to that car, shoving people out of my way to get there, dotted my lips, poofed my hair and strolled right up to that fine specimen of a man and showed him that I can do charming just as well as hot Italian chefs. And then I would have kissed him. 

Fabio, thanks for coming back to television and taking my mind off of needles in my neck. 

So, I'm back. Kind of. I'll be around once or twice a week and I'll be making the rounds because I've been a bad blog friend. It might take me awhile, because these days my Internet circle is pretty damn big, but you will be hearing from me. Maybe, I'll entertain you with some visits right after I wake up from anesthesia this week. That could be some major fun. 

Today's Definite Download: Ryan Bingham's, "The Weary Kind". I do so love this song from the magnificent movie, "Crazy Heart" with the even more magnificent Jeff Bridges.

And this ain't no place for the weary kind. 
And this ain't no place to lose your mind.
This ain't no place to fall behind.
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try. 

And that's exactly what I intend to do. Pick up my crazy heart and keep on, keepin' on. I can't promise I won't lose my mind though. Stay tuned. 


LisaPie said...

Good luck on your test! It sure seems like the kind of thing you won't be able to study for, though!

You have been missed. And I will be sending lots of prayers and well wishes for you.

A. B. Keuser said...

You do need to relax. You've just got too much going on. Find a writer's retreat and tell your kids and hubby to fend for themselves for a week and get some "me" time!

Unknown said...


I think you should pass on all things Christmas crazy, relax, and get better, girl.

I'm getting a facial tic just reading this!

randine said...

I'm glad you were able to get away for a little while. But I'm really happy you're back!!! I have been missing out on all that eye candy. And, of course, your writing, too.
Thanks for the super hot picture. Made my Monday morning a little more exciting.

Best of luck with the tests, I am totally with you on the not down with needles in the neck thing.

And even though I am DYING to read your book- take your time with revisions. Be gentle with yourself.
The process will unfold naturally as it should.

Alexandra said...

After reading every single word, I can only think to say, "I love your posts, Joann Mannix, I love your posts."

Take care,sweet lady...get that BP down, if you can.

Baby Sister said...

Welcome back. Sorry to hear about all the crazy tests you have to take...I hope they turn out well!!

The Furry Godmother said...

You'll test just fine. It doesn't hurt. Don't get yourself in a tizzy over.

Have you tried meditation? Or biofeedback?

I've been meditating all of Thanksgiving. I've been so stressed out that I've LOST six pounds. Terra lost his job last Monday. Pray for us.

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

You just got back from vacation. You should be relaxed! I am ordering you to go for a massage. GO! I'm sure the tests will go fine. I will be thinking about you.

Thank God I'm not married to your husband because I am always late too and we'd never get anywhere. My hubby is the one that gets to the airport 3 hours before his flight. Me, I'm running across the terminal praying my weak bladder doesn't leak from all the jostling.

MrsJenB said...

You've got a FULL plate! No wonder the BP is so high (I can identify with hating to be late - drives me crazy). I'm sure your test will be just fine - think of Fabio while it's happening! And thank you for introducing us, by the way. We'll be sure to name our first child after you.

Maybe meditating on Fabio can help get that BP down? Just a thought...

TesoriTrovati said...

Thinking soothing, needle-free thoughts for you Joann!
And that Fabio, he can bake my biscuits anytime. Yum.
As for stress... I never send out Christmas cards. Never. Ever. Okay, I used to but the one year that I decided enough was indeed was like a miracle. My whole focus changed. Now I do the totally European thing. I send out New Year's cards. And I give myself the time I need to do it right. And now I know that 2/3 of the people I was sending cards to really only sent them to me because they felt the Christmas Card Reciprocity Rule. I only send them to those that I want to stay in touch with, which means that I can afford to spend a little more on the cards I do send instead of saving up the freebies that come in the mail from every charity this side of the Rocky Moutains. So there's that little tip to reduce stress. Try it. You might like it!
Enjoy the day!

Nicki said...

Dear God, please guide Joann's doctors in finding the problem with her wonky eye. Please God, spare her from Lyme Disease. Please let those tests be false positives. I pray God that her nerve test does not show anything serious and that her eye problems are resolved. Please restore Joann's vision and make her body well so that she can continue to serve You, Dear Lord.
In Jesus' name,

Noelle said...

Here's my Christmas wish: that your tests and mine finally show some results and that the doctors can fix us!!!

Do you need me to come and clean your house? I LOVE cleaning. I'm weird. I know.

Shell said...

I'm totally distracted by Fabio's hotness. Must get this out of the way first. I would have ran over to him and thrown my arms around him and had someone send you a pic of THAT.

Now...I hope that everything is okay with your eye and that it is just a false positive for lyme.

you will get all your revisions done. This is an insane time of year.

Funny in My Mind said...

My husband almost died from a tick disease Ehrlichiosis in Sept. and everyone kept saying (after he got better) "at least it wasn't Lyme disease" so I hope you get better soon.
I guess Lyme disease sticks around a little longer and causes more pain?
Either way, I am praying for you because if it is Lyme, you could have a very mild version with few lasting effects.

Ami said...

Aren't you supposed to serve Lyme with Tequila?

I hope they rule out all the scary stuff. That they can say, "Take two of these and call me in the morning."

Sending good thoughts.

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

Oh goodness! The dreaded holiday full plate with a side of Lyme! I thought Lyme was only isolated to New England. I am getting tested for it too this week, so we'll celebrate NOT having it, OK? Cheerful thoughts and deep breath!

twelvedaysold said...

Good luck with part 2 of your surgery thing! And I hope you know, you wrote that comment on my blog about my wisdom teeth and everyone seemed to forget it was MY blog they were reading because they kept saying "Joann wins", and I even got a comment on facebook from a friend saying how funny your story was.

Cecelia Winesap said...

Ick. Dental surgery is the worst! Good luck!

Cap'n Salty said...

You'll be in my prayers! Remember, if your visitors get to be too much to bear, just feed the wonder twins something nasty and let em go to town in front of the guests, that house will be cleared out in no time!

Anonymous said...

oh dear many things to say. First off your husband missing that damn valet made MY bp jump...I really don't think any man can multi-task. They *think* they can but I think no. My husband is always late and me? I loathe being late.

I predict the fab Dr A will get to the bottom of it. maybe think of the needles in the neck as acupunture? just a thought...


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see your Nola pics, my hubs is from right outside of there.
I'm just glad the TSA is feeling up people other than me for a change. The WORST was when this ginormous "lady" made me completely unzip my pants in the middle of security so she could stick the wand down my pants and around my crotch. I've has sex that was less invasive I swear.

Cheryl said...

Good gravy, woman! So much going on! Also, I like to shout good gravy. Fabio is cute but he's short. I'm 5-8. I like my men clearing 6 feet. Don't tell hubs that, however, since he's not much taller than me.

I am so excited for Top Chef All-Stars. I love whacky Carla!

Anyway, LYME disease? The eff? I hope the tests come out negative and your eye and your blood pressure return to normal soon.

Your book will still be there when you're ready. As will your vast cheering section..

Unknown said...

You know what they say, "Lie down with dogs and you'll end up with ticks...or licks...or fleas...or something." Seriously, get those animals off your bed...except for you nice hubby who worries about you. He can stay.

Ashleigh Burroughs said...

My husband and I were together in the car for 4500 miles, of which he let me drive 60 before admitting that he could not sleep when i was behind the wheel. Of course your blood pressure was high - he missed the valet! Aieee!

The not-knowing part is the worst. Dr.A sounds wonderful. Your husband loves you. All this happening in December certainly sucks, but what can you do? My wisest friend's mantra goes like this: It is what it is. Smile and move on.

Most of all, be kind to yourself. If January's deadline is met at the end of February that will be okay, too. It's not like you're slacking. And those characters are anxious to get out of your head and onto the paper, aren't they?

Enjoy what you can and ignore the rest :)

Rebecca Grace said...

Don't you sometimes wonder whether the doctors and dentists are making all this crap up just to charge the insurance companies more money? Maybe your eye is only wonky from the power of suggestion, and maybe the blood pressure cuff is rigged. Even if you do end up with Lyme Disease, I know you will get through it with comic elegance and graceful aplomb. Hang in there!

Katie Gates said...

Joann, Your energy and humor continue to amaze me, even as you anticipate the tests ahead. Try to keep the stress levels low, and remember, you will be FINE, no matter what. No disease could possibly win when competing with your immense spirit!

Lula Lola said...

Bless your heart! Lyme disease? How is that even treated? And needles in your neck? I think giving yourself until January is totally the right call!
I'm trying to make things less stressful for myself this year, so I'm not doing Christmas cards, I've opted for Ground Hog's Day greetings. The holiday rush will be over, and no one's expecting anything by then. Seems like a good idea!
I've got to do some blog reading and see what all you've been through. Hope things are all patched up soon. Take care! I'm sending some prayers up for you this morning.

Diane LeBleu said...

I was just going to read a little blog stuff before getting the kids off to school and now I got comletely sucked in to your story. Big Bummer! I hope you will be over this latest thing soon - no time to be down for the count before the holidays. Best wishes!

Kimberly said...

The EMG sucks but not too sucky. The needle part hurts for a nanosecond. It's like accupuncture only you don't feel pampered and relaxed after. They use this thing that looks like a cow prod/tazer to stimulate the looks more intimidating than it really is. I think I was more worked up prior to the appointment than anything. It really isn't that bad at all.
Good luck!
PS. Even though all of this sucks, you made me laugh ;) I am laughing WITH're laughing right?

Hulk said...

I think I have a free place to stay in NO this upcoming Mardi Gras. Should I go?

Anonymous said...

Well this sure answers my questions. Holy shit.

When I saw the title roll through my email this morning I was so hoping you were going to talk about something else.

I don't know what to say because Sorry just doesn't cover it.

At least you have a good attitude and if anything, after all that has happened, I bet you will get an unbelievable Christmas present.

And, by the way, I have to be 10 min early everywhere I go otherwise my heart races. I hate to be late.

Pat said...

Your life certainly is interesting, I gotta give you that!

I hope all goes well with your tests. I think putting the editing portion of your book on the back burner is a good thing - one less stress at this point.

Cheeseboy said...

Sometimes I wish my wife was a TSA agent because that would be the only time I would ever get that special touch.

Lyme Disease? Of course. I would expect nothing less. Well, actually I expected you to say you had some disease from the Bible that makes your limbs fall off. Ah, probably next doc. visit.

FYI: Those gummy bear vits have lead in them. they might have been what gave you the Lyme Disease.

Liz said...

Oh no, Joann! This is NOT good news!!

And while the focus is about your lyme disease and sky-high BP, I need to ask about your dental work and this the jaw surgery thing you asked me about a while back?

Anonymous said...

Boy, I missed you! I know it is a lot to ask, but at your next appointment, could you take a photo of the hot doc with the cute accent? It seems like he has joined the Mannix cast, and I just like to have a picture in my mind. Re: Lyme disease, I have all those same symptoms. All this time, I thought it was a combination of wine and menopause. I don't have the high bp, though. Take care of yourself and relax. Really, what can you knock off your list? I say the dung heap and the Christmas cards. Draw a line right through them. That's my professional advice. Oh, and two glasses of red, with one side of hot Italian chef.

Judie said...

Joann, telling you to relax is like telling our new little puppy to not pee on the floor. It just does not compute, does it! I think the doctor should put you on a serious tranquillizer to keep you calm!! If he does, and you find you don't want to take them, will you send them to me, along with your rewrite?

Shabbygal said...

I loved the part about your husband telling the Dr. you sleep with a dog on your head and a bed full does that make her a canidate! Still giggling! Hope it all goes well for you! Milk the recovery from dental surgery all you can because sounds like you need the rest! Traci

Nancy C said...

So effortlessly funny. I feel like we're talking over cocktails.

Oh, Ms. Joann. I'm sorry about all this medical nonsense. It will be fine. It will be fine. It will be fine.

And, let me add. I consider myself feminist-y. And my husband, always, always, always drives. It's why we're still married.

Unknown said...

Oh gosh - this was so funny in spite of the worry.

I had high blood pressure and it turned out to be because I had sleep apnea so now I sleep with a mask which cured everything. It is not sexy though.

Do let us know how everything will go. I'll add you to my prayer list (seriously!)

Deborah said...

{hugs hugs hugs} So much woman!

I love it when people tell you to 'relax'. Yep, I'll just DO that.

Your BP is scaring me. So stop it! {see the irony?}

But I mean this - we love you and I'm sending white light and know that I'm thinking about you.

Grace said...

I hope your dental surgery went well today. And good luck on your test.

As for the Lyme disease/dog sleeping on your head thing, just tell them animals are soothing. You prolly just need a couple more to get your blood pressure down.

Shell said...

Any news?

And weren't you worried about Fabio last night? I wanted to yell at him to shut up before they kicked him off. Phew.

Judie said...

I thought lime disease was something you got from too many tequila shots--no, wait, I think that's a hangover.

Hope they gave you the "good drugs" after your dental experience. If they did, will you share??

Bossy Betty said...

Darling! I am sending all sorts of good vibes for you and your health! Yikes!

Not to be a big shot or anything, but Fabio lives about 15 miles from me. Yeah, that's right.

Yuliya said...

Dental surgery? Sky rocketing blood pressure? And (possible) Lyme disease? You sure know how to have a good time..please feel better.
And by January you mean March right?

Sandra said...

Love how you managed to make this super serious post about your HEALTH!!!!...funny and light, and the sleeping with a dog on your head had me smiling from the visual. Now I'm off to google Lyme disease, I think I might have it too...I wonder if Lyme disease would get me out of having to do my exams next week?

jayayceeblog said...

All of that medical stuff sounds sucky. Hey, did you ever get your fancy eye patches you ordered? And I, too, was so glad to see Fabio on Top Chef. Hubby and I still mimic him all the time ... "Theece eece not top scallop!" I told Hubby Fabio could make dog sh*t sound good so now we say Dog Sheeeeet with an accent all the time. =D

jayayceeblog said...

All of that medical stuff sounds sucky. Hey, did you ever get your fancy eye patches you ordered? And I, too, was so glad to see Fabio on Top Chef. Hubby and I still mimic him all the time ... "Theece eece not top scallop!" I told Hubby Fabio could make dog sh*t sound good so now we say Dog Sheeeeet with an accent all the time. =D

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