lair

alone and sad
lurk in your lair
information
rotting there

you say you read
what I write
but not what or when
or day or night

collect words
webbing glue
word mummies
stick to you

you don’t connect
you don’t share
you say you never
never care

your web is touched
vibrates fast
fangs extend
webbing cast

you bite your victim
in spite of screams
anesthetize
steal their dreams

I ask questions
you scold me coldly
I break the web
fight poison boldly

read my words
as you will
I’ve escaped your web
as others will

your web is old
you’re growing slow
your poison fails
your victims know

you end alone
sag sagging web
your victims glad
when you are dead

___________________________

A second darker take on the Ragtag Daily Prompt: dream world.

A lovely irony

it’s a lovely irony
in losing you I’m finding me
in grief I am at last set free

you may call or not any day
ask me to the beach to play
it doesn’t matter anyway

you’ve lost me, you know it must be good
things happen as we know they should
lost the beaches lost the woods

I’ve found the lover I’ve sought so long
you don’t believe me and you are wrong
the Beloved’s love is deep and strong

I say a loving goodbye my friend
I am sad to lose you, sad hearts mend
but you have chosen to make an end

it’s a lovely irony
in losing you I’m finding me
in grief I am at last set free

hope molting and growing new feathers

A friend away a friend some day
a friend can’t stay all the day
a friend won’t pray a friend can’t play
not today is what they say
a friend they say a friend always
a friend who may return some day

in a way you might say
hope molts and regrows feathers today

I think my inner four year old wrote today’s poem. I am thinking about the song my mother taught me, very young, for when I was frustrated.

My sister and I loved this song and others, Samuel Hall and “I don’t want to play in your back yard, I don’t like you any more. You’ll be sorry when you see me, sliding down my cellar door.”

I gave a young friend a book of rhymes. He looked at me with some horror. “These are nursery rhymes.” I grin at him. “Look again. It’s a book of insulting playground rhymes, suitable for all occasions.” He looked at the book again and held on to it.

The photograph is from the National Museum of Women in the Arts again. Another fabulous painting that seems to fit my theme.

Autoimmune OCD and my daughter shops my closet

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01700-4

The article is a proposal for diagnostic criteria for autoimmune obsessive compulsive disorder, a relatively rare version of OCD. Important because the treatment has to include searching for infection that triggers the antibody response, which in turn attacks the brain. Antibiotics to treat a “psychiatric” disorder. Mind and body connection, right?

The ironic thing about this new proposed diagnosis is that I do not have obivious OCD in any way, shape or form. It is masked by packrat. Also, my OCD is focused. When I was working, it was focused on patients. My clinic charts were thorough, 100% of the time. I was brutally thorough and wouldn’t skip anything. The result was that I got a reputation for being an amazing diagnostician. Usually it was because I wanted ALL the puzzle pieces and the ones that don’t fit are the ones that interested me. They have to all fit. Either the patient is lying or the diagnosis is not as simple as it appears. Occam’s Razor be damned, people can have more than one illness.

In fact, an article 20 years ago looked at average patient panels and said that the average primary care patient has 4-5 chronic illnesses. Hypertension, diabetes, emphysema, tobacco overuse disorder, alcohol overuse disorder, well, yeah. And then the complex ones had 9 or more complex illnesses. You can’t see the person for one thing, because if the diabetic has a toe infection, you’d better look at their kidney function because the antibiotic dose can kill their kidneys if you don’t adjust it. So do not tell me to see the patient for one thing. Malpractice on the hoof. Completely crazy and evil that administrators tell doctors to do that.

No one looking at my house would ever think I have any OCD. I am not a hoarder (ok, books) but the packrat force is strong in me. My daughter did not inherit that gene. She is a minimalist. However, she has come to appreciate the packrat a little.

This summer she said that her purse is wearing out. As a minimalist she has one purse. I ask, “Would you like to see if I have one that you like?” It so happens that as I was trying to recover from pneumonia, a local garage sale had 20+ year old designer purses for $3 each, because the house was going on the market. Got to get rid of the stuff.

“Yes, please.” says my daughter.

I start with the weird ones that I know she will not want. I get eye rolls. But I am progressing towards the purses that are close to the one she has. At last I produce a small leather purse, the right size, in good shape, and she sits up. “Let me see that one.” Like Eeyore with his popped balloon, putting it in a jar and taking it out, she tries putting her phone and wallet in the purse and taking it out. “Yes, I like this!” She calls it “Shopping mom’s closet.” I think it is delightfully comic. The benefits of a packrat mother.

Back to the Nature article and OCD. The diagnostic criteria are gaining steam. Having watched a conference this summer about Pandas and Pans, mine is mild. Some young people have a version where killer T cells invade the brain and kill neurons. I had a moment of panic when the conference was discussing a case, but then I thought, if I had the neuron killing kind I would be dead or demented by now.

Instead, I’m just a little neurologically unusual.

Pandamnit “friend”

I had a friend during the pandemic. A very close friend. The friendship developed over a year.

It ran into trouble. I got my fourth pneumonia. He said, “I need to return to my real life.” I should have walked away, but he had promised. “We will always be friends.”

The adult part of me knows that always and never are lies. But the small child connection to the Self wants to believe, oh so badly. The adult notes “That is a lie. You are lying to yourself, because I don’t believe always or never.”

The child has eternal hope.

A year later, abandonment. The adult is cynically unsurprised. The small child part weeps.

And my church is melting down. Me too. I wrote a peace poem and promptly got into a fight. Devil’s fall up to angels and then they fall down again. A peace poem sets me up to fail. The ends don’t justify the means and I may resign from the church.

The fallout from the pandemic is only starting. Everyone is grieving, everyone is hair trigger.

Peace you and anything you have lost in this Pandamnit.

Centrum Blues Fest

I took this last Saturday at the 1:30 pm Blues Fest Concert. This is Jerron Paxton and he just loves the music so much. He started by saying everyone participating in the Blues Fest is tired by the end of the week, it’s so intense! Then he played. Completely delightful.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: concert.

Friends and illness

The good thing about getting deathly ill is that you find out who your friends are. They stay by you. Even if you are misdiagnosed, labelled, ignored.

It is harder to ignore me now that I am on oxygen. It is difficult to chalk oxygen up to a rumored behavioral health diagnosis. When you have pneumonia and are confused, that is called delirium, not mania.

The bad thing about being deathly ill is that you find out who is NOT a friend. They disappear like rats leaving a sinking ship. Actually I like rats better.

I have one person who says, “I like you well, not sick.” Um, I would rather stay well too. But having seen fully 20 specialists, including four pulmonologists since 2012, a cure seems unlikely, doesn’t it? Meanwhile I seem to be getting stronger in pulmonary rehabilitation. Treadmill, classes about the lungs, stretching and weights.

Another person states, “if you get sick again, I am gone for four months.” Not a friend, right? Not a true friend and never ever will be. They do not understand friendship.

A true friend shows up at my house in 2012. I am lying on my bed using my father’s oxygen. She glares at me. “YOU are coming to MY house.” My reply: “OK.” I survive, even when the hospital sends me home with strep A pneumonia and delirium. Helps to be a physician, though I had to just trust myself, even delirious. The true friends help save me. I can’t even say how grateful I am.

I have a new friend. She is ill. It is progressive. Her husband seems so surprised that I come to see her. But I know how terribly lonely it is to be abandoned when you are ill. I have been there four times.

Blessings on the true friends.

Here is my sister’s blog. I remembered this post as “caged”, but her word is “trapped”.

https://e2grundoon.blogspot.com/2010/12/

My sister died of breast cancer in 2012.

Over The Rhine – The Laugh of Recognition