I wasn’t feeling well today. (This after a very productive Monday and a fabulous Sunday, which I’ll tell you more about later.) As I was lying there in bed trying to get the energy to take a shower, I spotted an article on Facebook about a miner in China who was found alive after spending 17 years underground! Inspiring, right? I felt empowered by his story; I just knew I was going to get out of that bed and shower. But a minute later, I found out it was a hoax—there was no man who spent 17 years in a mine. Pure fiction. For another couple hours, I lay there watching All My Children videos on YouTube featuring Kelly Ripa and The Queen, Susan Lucci. Growing up, when something bad happened, watching Erica Kane made it better. Today, I especially got a kick out of Erica’s memorable Woman of the Year Speech where she tore into half of Pine Valley (speech starts at 0:27; watch parts 6 through 8)
And I did muster up enough energy to shower and do other things like writing this post.
Looking Forward to the Big Day
Last week, I recovered from a particularly painful polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) episode and the mosquito bites. My right foot became swollen because of bites I got at a friend’s party. But my body has not been responding well to heat lately, especially my skin, so I haven’t been leaving the house except to go to work. Why does my body hate the heat? It’s probably a combination of the Myasthenia Gravis (MG), PCOS, and psoriasis.
My Tita Baby and her husband were visiting from the Philippines; she is my maternal aunt who survived both colon and breast cancer in two years. She got diagnosed with colon cancer the same year I was diagnosed with MG. My mom has four siblings. Her brother from Arizona and his wife were also visiting. So my Uncle Jun, who has been the patriarch of the family since my grandfather’s death twenty years ago, wanted us all to be together as a family. He wanted us to worship together at church on Sunday and have lunch (an event that usually lasts five hours) at his house. We typically have twenty to forty relatives at our parties. Leading up to Sunday, I wasn’t sure if I would be well enough to go. Would it be too hot? What if I got bit by another mosquito or stung by a bee walking into church? What if there were coughing congregants? These are the questions that plague people with compromised immune systems. My prayer group was praying for my health.
A Sleepless Night
I have bipolar 2, and sleep is very important in regulating moods. Saturday night, I made sure I slept on time. Then, someone woke me up at 11 pm and I didn’t fall asleep again until 1:30 am. Needless to say, I was tired Sunday. But somehow I made it to church. It was so nice to see the family together. At one point, three congregants kept coughing in the pew behind me. But I discreetly moved to the back and didn’t get sick.
Just Between You and Me
At Uncle Jun’s house, there were thirty of us. There was lots of food, jokes, and catching up. Finally, it came time for the family photo, which we usually take in the yard. I knew this would be the only part of the day I would be in the yard. I couldn’t deal with another swollen foot. After the picture, the party continued with half the guests eating outside. I wanted to talk to everyone but I wasn’t going to ask people to come in on this beautiful summer day. (In the Midwest, winter lasts six months.) Thankfully, a bee came interrupting people’s plans. Everybody was forced to eat indoors. I got to spend time with everyone. Sunday was one of my best days ever. Don’t tell my family but I love that bumblebee.
It’s About Family
Over dinner, my six-year old nephew, Mikko, said Vocabulary is favorite subject. We asked him what his favorite word is. He said, “family.” People often say, “health is wealth.” I know I have five illnesses. But last weekend, I was reminded that I am rich.
–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno
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