Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Shunned! and then, maybe not

About 27 years ago, I was fairly good friends with the mother of Shanna's then best friend. We lead a Brownie troop together, along with another woman who I still see sometimes, I'd watch her newborn daughter (who I see just got married, they do grow up) and we'd go out for fun sometimes. After 3 years, she moved overseas (where coincidentally she met Josh's ex-mother-in-law). We wrote to each other occasionally. By the time she moved back briefly, I had Naomi and our daughters never renewed their friendship. I do remember running into her at a coffeeshop and she told me that she had Graves' Disease. I immediately blurted something about doesn't that make you lose weight? (she always has been heavy) Not in her case, she said.

Graves' Disease is an autoimmune disease in which antibodies attack the thyroid. Unlike Hashimoto's, which is also an autoimmune disease targeting the thyroid (which it seems almost all of my friends have), it stimulates the thyroid to overproduce. These same antibodies attack the eyes in 50% of cases causing swelling so severe, one can not close ones eyes. In another 20% of cases, it causes a skin condition that results in severe itching. She had the rare skin manifestation and very little attack of her thyroid. The ironic thing was while talking to her, I had rampant undiagnosed Grave's Disease. For 3 years, it came and went leaving me puzzled. Then I had 'thyroid storm' and it seems that my heart was going crazy. I ended up in the ER though the heart symptoms conveniently disappeared while there. Their diagnosis? Menopause. They were about ten years off on that one. I left disappointed in the medical establishment.

I did go to a follow-up visit in which the doctor took one look at me and said I had Graves'.  How do they train those ER doctors? His evidence: the air conditioning in the office had gone haywire freezing almost everyone. He had on a heavy sweater. Yet here I was in a thin cotton gown sweating. (telling the ER I was hot all the time led them falsely to the menopause dx). He also noticed the swollen thyroid.

When I ran into this friend sometime later when she back in Ann Arbor between various overseas assignments, I told her I had Graves' too. She called me a few years later to ask me to call a mutual acquaintance who also was diagnosed with it to provide moral support. I never did as this acquaintance used me to try to peddle various pyramid scheme products.

I did know she was back in town and that she had a friendship with Josh's then mother-in-law until the latter left for The East (leaving me to provide for her daughter). From 2 other friends that we have in common, I knew she was working where I take Maya for therapy. But when I ran into there, despite saying her name, she looked right through me as if she didn't know me. Or worse, she did know me but believed I should be shunned.

Why couldn't she be troubled to say Hello? Is she that mad at me? My feelings were hurt. Did this former mother-in-law say something awful about me? This was before the marriage broke up. I know I let these things bother me way too much. I ran into her a few more times but I made no attempt to contact her. Once burned, twice shy.

Until the other day. Through Facebook, she sent a friend request and I accepted. Yeah I  know, being Facebook friends is kinda weak. My new theory: she just couldn't recognize me in my new fat suit (I was always fairly thin when we had previously had contact). She has also walked right by Shanna without acknowledging her but I guess that could be excused as adults rarely look like they did as an 8 year old. Or maybe she just has a really bad memory for faces yet she remembered my name as we do have a Facebook friend in common.

Today Steve and Naomi have their stitches removed from their minor surgeries.

We have been having strange weather. Yesterday, I had a narrow time slot to run but it was filled with lightning and thunder. I waited until late in the day (when I have absolutely no desire to run). One moment it is sunny, then it pours. I waited even longer. By this time, it was hot and humid. I could sense instability. I never went more than a mile from home as anything could happen. The tornado sirens started just as I finished up. I immediately checked the radar to see what was going on. The sirens go on if any part of the county gets hit though it looked like the path was north of us. Josh's new house was right in its path though no sirens for him even though the town 4 miles due west of him (in a different county) had the sirens going. Did they think the tornado would just stop at the county line? The tornado dissipated.

He is nervous about tornados as he seemed to be in the path of one about a year ago. It was swirling on top of him. He chose to out drive it rather than huddle in the basement. The houses less than a half mile from him, including one he almost bought, were smashed to smithereens. Fortunately no one was even injured even though they were in the house (we have basements..why didn't that school in OK have a storm cellar for the kids?)

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