Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Flippin' the Bird

As I have mentioned previously I love to cuss and my affection for cussing extends to cussing gestures, for which the Italians are known so well. Living in North Carolina, however, I am limited to the king of all cussing gestures: "Flippin' the Bird." Otherwise no one will know why I am biting my hand or running my fingers against the bottom of my chin and flicking them forward. Instead of getting an insult across with such obscure gestures, I will merely leave the impression that I am deranged.

I actually don't flip the bird very often. I almost never get angry in the car and, even if I did, I would never flip someone off. I am way to unlucky to take that chance. So the only person I ever flip off is poor Bill. Last night we were having a playful quarrel, one of those, "It bugs me when you do that" discussions that lacks any heat or passion. He made some wise-ass remark back and I flipped him off. The problem is that scleroderma has ruined my fingers: none of them straighten completely and I cannot hold the other four down so that the middle finger stands proud and tall. When I flip the bird it looks half-hearted. So I called out to Bill, "I still really mean it even though it doesn't look like it."

22 comments:

Sandy said...

There are people with scleroderma who are being helped by low-dose antibiotic treatment.

Please see http://www.rbfbb.org/view_forum.php?id=1&sort_by=&page=1

Christi said...

Hi, I am 43 with three small children and often wonder what I would do if I ever got breast cancer or something like that. But I do know that my faith in the Lord would get me through it and that He would comfort my children when I couldn't. Have you considered visiting a church or speaking with a pastor? I will pray for you and your family.

God Bless...
Christi in Atlanta

Julie said...

I just heard about your blog and am completely mesmerized by the idea of this and the emotion of it all is quite consuming for me. I am a mother of 4 and can't even begin to imagine what you are going through. I would love to take a day and read this from the beginning. I am completely humbled by your idea and it really puts into perspective how fragile life is...thank you for sharing your journey.

Ronda said...

Michelle,
I admire your courage and thoughts. You have an amazing love for your family. Most people never have the opportunity to express themselves as you are. Someday your children will read these beautiful thoughts and admire you for who you are. Whne they are parents, they will look again at them and admire you even more looking through a parents eyes. Keep it up!!! I will tell my own daughter most of what you have said. You inspired me to wrie my thoughts down.
Warmest Regards,
Ronda

Shirl said...

Hi,
I am the grandmother of twin girls, 13, who lost their Momma in a tragic car accident three years ago. No one was even able to tell her goodbye. She did have diabetes and had talked with the girls at various times about her sickness, but never did she expect to be taken so quickly. I can only relate, your children will not forget you, nor will they forget the good things you have taught them. Our girls were given such a good educational background, a good social background, and were taught to care for themselves and just so many other things that they have remained true to. They have had a very good support system in family.
Their Dad is an absolutely fantastic Dad and he has devoted his life to those two. He has kept them busy with activities, many, many sports and I think this has diverted their minds. But, I can still tell by their body language or the look in those big eyes whenever they watch a movie that hits home a little too personally. It has been three years now and they are entering their teen years and I try to help them with questions, etc., as much as possible. But, somethings are so personal at this age and embarrassing for them. They have had to grow up fast, but they have also had one another to lean on. But, have no fear, your children will always remember you, they will remember everything thing you taught them and somehow, someway they will find a path to lead them. Just remember to keep your faith in God and when the days are hard, turn to him in your need. He has always been there for me. You and your family are in my prayers. I think what you are doing for your children is such a wonderful tribute to the kind and loving mom that you are. God Bless you!

Toni said...

I was just wondering if you have ever tried acupuncture for the scleroderma? I used to work in an accu. ofice and we had many patients that had similar problems.

rodriguezshelley said...

Have you read the Bible? Please don't take this the wrong way But you seem so lost. If you turn to Christ and put yourself, your family and especially your faith in Him. No matter what comes your way, you will overcome. I will keep you in my prayers. There is nothing the Lord cannot do, He heals, protects, reedems let him in your life and most importantly let Him work through you. I guarantee your life will not be the same. He loves you and is waiting for you. God Bless You

icugail said...

My best friend Joanned died on August.26.2008 of scleroderma. She was 58 and was diagnosed about one year ago. We went to nursing school together, although she chose a different form of work the past few years. It was very sad because she also had ovarian cancer, for which she had chemo. The chemo caused her to develop pneumonia so she was unable to continue treatment. Chemo was the treatment of choice for her scleroderma also, so all we could do was hope for the best. She left behind three kids (17, 20, & 23) and her husband. I miss her terribly but am glad she isn't suffering anymore.

Persnickety Ticker said...

Hi there, I am a 32 year old mother of a 4 year old very special little girl. I am living on borrowed time. I am a heart patient. I was given a life expectancy of 25 years old. I beat that. I have had 4 heart attacks and have died 8 times, the last time was in January. I was told I would never have children. My daughter was my 27th miscarriage. She is a beautiful healthy child. I am not a candidate for a transplant.

I treasure every day I get to spend with my child. I know she is the reason I have survived this long.

I plan on reading your blog from start to current. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

BTW, I found your blog because it was advertised on the AOL Welcome page. You are about to get a lot of readers. Good luck and don't let any negativity get you down.

Looking forward to being a faithful reader!

Leigh aka Persnickety Ticker

Big Sister said...

i am fascinated by your story. i have 2 blogs and i will be adding you to my list of favorite reads. not many people have the strength to talk as candidly about the reality of death. thanks.

Kathy said...

I am a breast cancer patient and a mother of an eleven year old girl.
She is simply the reason I go on.
I find the advice people offer is so off base, don't comment unless you have been there. You can't imagine what it is like to wonder if this is the last Christmas morning, birthday or ice cream cone you will share with your child.

Wanda said...

This is truly one of the most incredible pieces of writing I have ever read. I came acrossed your blog while checking my email this evening, and have not and will not read my mail as it is early in the morning now. I cannot remember the last time I have cried so hard while reading a story. I can't stop reading. YOU are REMARKABLE! Your husband and children are truly blessed. I hope that one day, after that day comes for you, SOMEONE will take these blogs and make them into a book. It will be a BEST SELLER!! And you will leave your precious children and loving husband your words in book format, along with financial blessing. I will pray for You & Your loving family from this day forward. May God fill you with His Peace that only HE can give, and Overflowing Joy your last days on this earth. My father always says, we all start dying the day we are born. Somehow as I grow older it makes more sense. It is just some of us know that our time is sooner than others. We (You & I) are the same age, and yet you could outlive me, one never knows. I think what you are doing with this blog is incredible. Thank you so much from my heart for sharing this with me. After having read some of your entries (@ 3 1/2 hours worth) I will never forget you, nor will I forget the gift that you are leaving for your Loved Ones. I will continue reading with my box of tissues. You have NO IDEA how inspiring your story is. I am serious about the book thing. Hopefully you can have someone get it lined up for you to have this published. Thinking of you and Praying for you!

ChristineRNM said...

Thank you so much for sharing your blog. Today was my daughter's first day of kindergarten and throughout the day I have been reflecting on her first 5 years of life and wonder what her future will offer. I can't begin to imagine what you endure every day wondering if this will be your last. I commend you. I am scared of death, the unknown, and tend to avoid discussing it like so many people do. Your blog has encouraged me to prepare myself and my family when the day arrives.

I found your blog advertised on AOL news and I am hooked. I have a bunch of random thoughts at midnight after reading your story...

I got through the entire main page and some comments but plan on reading more a little at a time. You are an inspiration to cherish the precious time that we have on earth. So many, including my own mother, seem to take our time here for granted. Such a shame...

I love your comment about being a "vessel" to your children. I've never thought of it that way. How lucky they are to have a mom who cares for them so much. The birthday present idea was amazing and must have been extremely difficult. I hope your children embrace their yearly present with open arms. More importantly, I hope and pray that you are around AT LEAST until their 18th birthday to enjoy as much time with them as possible. It would be great to hear from your family on occasion. Do they ever write their thoughts here? Just curious. GOd Bless you in your journey. I will keep you in my prayers.

Christine
ChristineRNM@aol.com

Mawme Dearest said...

*Sigh* I just read about your blog through AOL and then I read this post and wasn't sure if I should laugh or cry. I will not take this time to comment about how to get to heaven, or about my friend's rheumatoid arthritis, or about treatments.
What I will say and you can take this however way you like it, I am rooting for you to flip off people who think you are writing this blog in order for you to be told these things. Although, it's thoughtful, I'm not sure you intended to create your blog for that reason.
In any case, you can always flip me the bird or just tell me that you are:) I'm adding you to my blogroll either way!

desert dirt diva said...

hi my name is vicki, and first i do not know one thing abut your diease....so i will not pretend too..o.k. phew now that i got that off my chest let me say that reading what i have has well made me appereciate..what i do have..and i hope you don't mind me putting you on my side bar so all that read my blog will reach yours...

jools said...

I just finished reading (4 hours) of your blog through tears that would not stop. You are a remarkable woman and you have a remarkable family. You have touched my life in such a way I could never thank you enough. I will keep you and you family in my prayers.

rhuleh said...

You are too cool. I am bipolar. I did not get my medication (lithum and paxil) this week because my children (I have five, 15, 13, 9, 6, and 3) needed school supplies. I was really feeling sorry for myself today, even suicidal. When I hear stories like yours, I feel that life is what I always tell my children it is...UNFAIR. You have so much to live for, so much you want to live for, but people who don't really want to live are healthy and those who want to live become ill. I will take the lesson of not feeling so sorry for myself away from your blog. You are brave and an inspiration. Thanks.

Ernie BG said...

I'm a very technical guy who just hates the shoddy science that accompanies so much new age..."new agey" stuff, so please take this kindly --

A psychic, yes, a real psychic (I knew his son) named Edgar Cayce was the last chance for many people, "uncurable" by medicine, and he had treatments for scleroderma. There's a clinic in Phoenix that does work to this day based on the information that came through him. Yeah, I know, and I'm a technical type. But it's true. Please have someone look him up, look up the Association for Research and Enlightenment in Virginia Beach, where all the information that came through him is written down.

geocachelinda66 said...

I saw your blog featured on AOL. Very proud of you and your chldren. You are a great Mom. More than a mere vessel. Your strength will show them the way thru their entire lives.

Rina said...

I put you and your family in my prayers last night. My husband, Dave, had a stem cell transplant last spring at Duke for systemic scleroderma. God has very apparently kept your humor in tact. I, myself, like the actual word rather than the gesture though. I always felt it conjugated nicely and can be a verb, adverb, noun...anything you need! Ha! Your family is blessed to have you. I pray you all feel God's prescence throughout your journey.

Bird Spot said...

Good, Lord, Michelle. All I have to say is that I'm jealous you've gotten 20 comments! Yay for AOL...maybe not for everyone's two cents...but for the fact that you're reaching out to so many others now...

Molly Lane said...

First of all, to rodriguezshelley: You need to read more of Michelle's blog. She is getting her strength from God and is open about her faith flagging from time to time as would most people's when faced with what she is faced with. But please don't worry; Michelle and her God are in this together and she knows he is waiting for her. Also want to add my thoughts and wishes for this blog to be published. It is such a fine piece of writing and it would benefit so many people as it has everyone who has found it on the internet. Sitting on a best-seller list in the bookstore will open it up to many more people. God bless you Michelle. You are now gone to be with Jesus and I have almost finished your entire blog. I know you are looking down on us all, but especially on your beautiful family and helping them get through. They are so blessed to have had you for the time they did on earth and now as the angel you have become as well.