Checking In, Chit Chat

I was reluctant to post this since it’s not very interesting and kind of whiny, but I figure blogging has turned into a relationship, and I wanted to let you all know that I’m still around. I have notifications of all your publishing activity piling up in my inbox and I’m feeling guilty for not commenting on them. So I wanted to let you know it’s not because I don’t want to!

Update on my last health update (for some of you, this will be a repeat): I found out since that update that I misunderstood a lot of what the doctor told me. Still no diagnosis. Apparently MS has not been ruled out, but that’s because it’s hard to diagnose and rule out (I get the feeling it’s virtually impossible to rule out). Just about everything’s been ruled out, except for a few things that can’t be ruled out. The neurologist also mentioned these things as possibilities: “some kind of virus” such as Epstein Barre-CFS, fibromyalgia (which doesn’t fit the bill for me since I’m not in any pain, but that’s just my incredibly dubious opinion), Guillain-Barre syndrome (I can’t believe this one either). I don’t think this is an exhaustive list, just possibilities that he threw out. If it’s some kind of virus, there’s not much I can do anyways. The neurologist mentioned a spinal tap, but after seeing my reaction, he changed his mind and asked me to get yet another MRI in July to check for lesions. I’m actually not worried about it at this point. There’ve been so many ups and downs that I can’t take anything seriously anymore. I’m just relieved to be done with testing for the time being. I have one more appointment, and hopefully that will be the end.

I finished doing physical therapy for balance, and now it’s time to get on with my life. I have to try to get out of the house and pretend everything is normal. It’s like smiling when you’re feeling down; fake it until you make it. This is proving to be a bit of a challenge. I went to an opera yesterday (The Magic Flute, my favorite) and I had one of the worst dizzy-ick days ever, with stiff muscles to boot. Luckily the theater was filled with very old folks whose health problems put mine into perspective. And the Queen of the Night aria was fantastic.

The strange thing is that suddenly my interests are expanding as my ability to do them diminishes. I’m all over the place. My “Things to Do” list is becoming a scroll.

For instance, I bought a wood burning kit before I got my prescription to deal with brain fog. I thought it would be an easy way to get a feeling of accomplishment without requiring any thinking. It actually requires a lot more attention and fine motor skills than I had anticipated, since you’re dealing with a very hot object and no way to erase mistakes. It took several days to complete, working in small increments:



(It says: “Wherefore he resolved to have a moving image of eternity.” The quote comes from Plato, of course. It’s in the Timaeus.)

So naturally I want to get into woodwork as well, and then burn designs on my own creations. That will definitely not happen soon, but I’ll keep this project idea on the side just in case I ever hit that brain fog again. (That was another reason why I didn’t comment very frequently, or when I did, it always included an apology, just in case I wasn’t making any sense.)

In the meantime, I have more writing projects coming up that require research into a subject I know almost nothing about, a Heidegger post that I promised you, a book to critique by next month, and Geordie to walk every day. Not gonna mention my novel or all the books I mean to read. And an olive oil orange cake that I’ve been wanting to make for my husband as a little gesture of appreciation for all that I’ve been putting him through. (He called it “perfect” last time I made it, and he never uses that word unless he means it. For those who are interested in trying it, I added a few drops of orange blossom water but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. It’s a very simple cake that would be great in the morning with coffee.)

That’s it for me! I really appreciate y’all. You’ve been my only social life lately, but I haven’t felt in the least bit deprived. The conversations I’ve had with you throughout all of this have kept me afloat. Thank you!

24 thoughts on “Checking In, Chit Chat

  1. You know, you really mustn’t feel you’re being whiny or self-centred with occasional updates such as this Tina. I’m sure I can speak for many of us in saying that we care about you, and wonder how you’ve been doing of late. And you’re right, a very fine blog such as yours does evolve into a relationship, and that means we think about each other away from the blog’s pages. Hey, where’s the video of Geordie?


  2. Thirding what Hariod and Wyrd said. Even though I personally haven’t ever commented beyond a “like” thus far, here and there, you are in the thoughts of more people than you know, who are wishing you well! Peace to you, and I hope you are getting good news soon. Good to hear you are keeping your spirits up. I love your woodworking! 🙂


  3. You shouldn’t feel like you are being whiny; it just seems like you are trying to shed a little bit of light on your situation which is not only understandable, but also courageous. I hope that whatever is causing your ailment is something that can be dealt with fairly easily, and in the mean time, that you are able to make the most out of your situation. 🙂

    Your woodworking is gorgeous and the quote is very well chosen. It makes me realize that I actually need to read the Timaeus.

    I look forward to chatting with you again soon; it is always wonderful and engaging.


    • Thanks! I guess I feel whiny because I never intended to write these sorts of posts when I started blogging. I realize though that the whole thing has really evolved into something altogether different from what I intended, something much better—a virtual Cheers, where everybody knows your name.

      The Timaeus is one of my favorite dialogues. It’s really quite different from the others—it’s a creation myth that will give you a bizarre and somewhat magical experience. You should definitely check it out.

      I love chatting with you too! Hopefully I’ll catch up soon.


  4. I wish they could get this figured out for you quickly Tina. It still amazes me how little doctors know about the human body.

    That woodburning turned out really nicely, and the olive oil orange cake sounds yummy – never heard of that kind of cake before.


    • It is kind of amazing how little they know, in comparison to how much we think they know.

      Olive oil cakes are fairly new to me too. I had a lemon one at an Italian restaurant and I’ve never forgotten it. The one here is not nearly as good as that, but it has the virtue of being easy to make and a perfect thing now that our orange trees are giving us bounty here.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am hoping your symptoms will fade away but your blog won’t. The box turned out beautifully. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a set, with quotes from different dialogues? I’m intrigued by the cake too. It sounds like something my own Hubby would enjoy. I love orange-flavored anything!


  6. I’m fully in agreement with everyone’s sentiment here on keeping us updated, as I hope you know since we’ve been co-commiserating. And as we’ve discussed, being able to talk about our ailments has been therapeutic for me.

    I was a little taken aback by the name “olive oil orange cake”, but after reading about it and seeing the picture, it looks and sounds like it’s delicious!


    • Olive oil in a cake…It’s a strange idea, isn’t it? But if you think about it, a lot of cakes use vegetable oil instead of butter. Why not use an oil that actually has an interesting flavor? (The flavor is pretty subtle, but nice.) Don’t know if you’re a baker, but even if you’re not, it’s pretty easy to whip up.


        • Put the olive oil in your mouth, then spit it out very slowly. Oh wait, that’s “dribble.”

          Yeah, I wouldn’t worry too much about that. I never “sift” either…I usually just dump the dry ingredients together and stir them around with a whisk. The only thing I get nit-picky about is measuring the flour. I find it annoying that most recipes don’t offer the weight as well to allow us to scale it instead. The way you measure flour (as opposed to sugar or other things) can make a huge difference. I’ve heard that the “standard” is to spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then level off with a knife.

          But whatever. With your shoulder being the way it is, you should be able to get someone else to make you a cake. Perhaps a strategically placed printout of the recipe will serve as a hint?


  7. A Tanka for Tina

    Whatever life brings
    If it’s good or if it’s bad
    Still follow your path

    It may be rugged or smooth
    Take your courage and go it

    That Fibonacci spiral is cool, especially combined with that Plato citation. Real life is not always that ideal. This demiurge is a sloppy worker and what happens to us in our lifes is sometimes bad (including our health issues). What happens to us in life is one thing. Our attitude towards it is another. I hope you can manage it whatever it turns our to be and even grow from it. Do not be paralized by the fear of it.


    • Thanks for your wise words, Nannus. They come at a particularly good time for me. I thought I was done with tests, but now it’s been made clear to me that I should do a spinal tap. I initially rejected the idea, but after talking to my doctor, I think it’s going to have to happen. Apparently it’s not as bad as it sounds.

      I’ve always been drawn to the golden rectangle for some reason, especially in combination with words. I made a huge table with a huge golden rectangle a long time ago. This was a sort of workbench just a couple of feet tall so I could work from the floor. I loved that thing!

      The demiurge is indeed a sloppy worker, but he has all that not non-being to contend with. Whatcha gonna do? 🙂


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