Saturday, 12 January 2013

A Sweet Southern Girl

"A Sweet Southern Girl", drawing by Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2010
[drawn from an old photograph I was given by a Southern friend]

I was listening to a song not so long ago about returning to "my sweet southern home, which I love".  This is a song that always fills me with nostalgia for a South that never really existed anywhere other than my dreams and fantasies.

Like so many girls who grew up in the South of the 1950s, my head was full of Southern myths, especially those shown so beautifully in the movie "Gone with the Wind" with Vivien Leigh playing the role of the typical Southern female, Scarlett O'Hara.  While she certainly did not behave in a way that my friends and I would have condoned; she did look the way all of us wanted to look!

Scarlett O'Hara as a young girl with Tara in the background

Actress Vivien Leigh as Scarlett

Although Vivien Leigh is actually British, she did a masterful job when playing the role of Scarlett O'Hara -- the accent was light and not overdone, she had plenty of bounce and spirit along with a backbone of steel so that she could often get what she wanted or needed without ever seeming harsh or hard -- always seeming to be just a sweet and gentle lady in need of help and protection from every gentleman who came along!

"Klein", the southern "plantation" house of my mother's ancestors

I actually had some grounds for pretending to be a real lady of the deep South.

There had been a plantation and plantation house in my mother's family and the old house was still around when I was growing up.  A cousin now has control of it and is trying his best to restore it a bit at a time.

Sallie at almost age 15!

And here I am a Southern girl with a head full of daydreams about being another Scarlett although I wanted to be a really well-mannered one as I did consider Scarlett to be much too self-centered to be a true Southern lady.

I had some serious problems with this fantasy, however.  I did manage to keep my waist at 23 1/2 inches, but there was one particular issue that had me totally defeated -- my height!  As I continued to grow taller than most of my friends, my poor mother would wring her hands and say something like:  "I just don't understand it, Sallie.  You look more and more like a Yankee girl every day." (Whenever your mother wanted to let you know that you looked too messy or too poorly put together to go out in public, she said you looked like a Yankee!  It was considered a terrible insult to be told that you looked like a Yankee girl!

All those things that seemed so important back then are just like so much "dust in the wind" now.  But every time I hear those lyrics about "the sweet, sunny South", I can't help but remember how it was growing up Southern.



He is just growing up too quickly to suit me.  There hasn't been nearly enough time for holding and cuddling him.  Much too soon he will reach the stage of not wanting all that huggy/kissy stuff from his "great aunt" Sallie!  Anyway, here are some recent photos showing his daily activities.
Braden says:

I sleep...

I sit...

I crawl...

I walk!!!

Now, when do I eat?"


Here are a few more items from Corpus Christi parish in Detroit:

The Church decorated for Christmas with the icons at the front.

All the Advent and Christmas photos can be seen at:

Christmas Icon Bookmarks -- the Advent sheet is similar with 4 bookmarks for the 4 weeks

Deacon Paul wrote: 
"We have consolidated one from each week into a single sheet of 4; one sheet for Advent and one for the Christmas Season.  When we initially printed them we had four of the same on each sheet, a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  It's almost been a joke/status symbol "Do you have all 8 of the icon bookmarks?"

If anyone would like to have a pdf version of the bookmarks, just let me know and I will send them to you.



Ready to attack!

This photo of Suki expresses the mood she has been in this morning.  Suddenly she was a kitten again -- running back and forth, jumping from one place to another.  Grabbing her toys and batting them around until each was lost under the sofa or under the dresser.  Every so often there would be a crash as she pulled toys out of the openings in her old scratching post with such force that they landed on the hardwood floor with a bang!  I was getting exhausted just watching her plus she was also disturbing my poor old concentration as I tried to focus on my blog.

Fortunately, she seems to have worn herself out for the moment so she is presently sound asleep!

As for me... well, I am all fired up and ready to rant about the medical profession.!!

 As some of you are aware, I finally had my appointment at the sleep disorders clinic this past week.  Well, the doctor did a good job of asking me lots of questions about everything.  What they would like for me to do is to go in for a sleep study where I would not only stay overnight but most of the next day as well so that my daytime sleepiness could be observed.  I have an appointment, but am not sure that I will it -- it depends on what happens after I get myself off of a drug I have been taking for the past 3 to 4 years (the same amount of time I have been having sleep problems!).

This is what I am referring to... As I was just about ready to leave, the doctor informed me that a large part of the problems I have could be related to a drug I am taking called Ropinirole hydrochloride also known as Requip.  I take this drug because it came on the market 4 years ago described as the perfect chemical solution to the problem of Restless Leg Syndrome -- something I have suffered from for most of the years I have been living.  For some people it is only a nuisance, but for me it can be so bad that it will keep me from being able to sleep at all until I reach the point of total exhaustion and sort of pass out!  Anyway, at first it did seem to help a great deal but then the effect lessened and so the doctor increased the dosage until it reached the level of being a fairly heavy dose daily.  By this point in time, I had also developed the "fainting" spells that led to all those really bad falls I have had over the past three years.

At any rate, the doctor handed me a sheet telling me how to cut my dosage carefully over time until I was taking a very low dosage again.  However, after reading the following information online last night, I want to get off this drug completely -- I would rather take my chances with Restless Leg Syndrome!  Let me quote what the medical literature shows regarding adverse reactions:

Adverse reactions

CNS: headache, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, fatigue, neuralgia, amnesia, hyperesthesia, yawning, dystonia, increased dyskinesia, hyperkinesia, akathisia, hallucinations, abnormal thinking, poor concentration, syncope, vertigo, myoclonus, asthenia, malaise, sleep attacks

CV: orthostatic hypotension, hypertension, palpitations, extrasystole, peripheral edema, peripheral ischemia, chest pain, tachycardia, atrial fibrillation

EENT: abnormal vision, rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis
There is almost nothing in that list that I haven't suffered from during these past three/four years.  When I read this last night, I was truly flabbergasted and angry.  After all this time and all the different specialists I have seen plus the different tests I have undergone, you would think that one of the doctors would have said something about this instead of waiting for a sleep specialist to mention this problem almost as an afterthought at the very end of an hour's examination.  When I think about the falls I have had over these past few years and how easily I could have been killed or seriously crippled.  Even now I have to live with the results of this "broken neck" for the rest of my life.

I can't really blame anyone, especially since I was determined to take the drug once the pharmaceutical company made such glowing promises in their advertisements.  My determination to take the drug no matter what makes me equally responsible in some ways.  What amazes me, however, is the fact that not a single doctor out of the dozen that have examined me over these past years ever even mentioned the possibility that this drug could be the cause of my problems.

Thanks for listening everyone.  Now I feel much better after getting all that said.  I plan to slowly stop taking this drug and then see how much better I do after that.  Meanwhile I will continue to be grateful that this may be the solution to a problem that seemed to be insurmountable. 

So, with a deep sense of thanksgiving, I pray that we may all be surrounded by that peace which God alone can give.  Amen.


Deb said...

I certainly hope you have found the source of these ailments, and that you'll be feeling better soon!

About the picture of Suki, I must tell you that I showed it to my husband and he immediately commented that her eyes look very much like those in the icon behind her!

Sallie (Sarah) said...

Dear Deb: We'll see what happens after I get myself off the medication. As for Suki's eyes, I played with them just a bit prior to posting the photo in an effort to increase that wild-eyed look she had in them while rushing aroudn the house! Good to hear from you.

Amra Porobic said...

Sallie, Can someone take a look at all your medications and check that no other drugs in combination cause more problems?
May this be the end of your uncessary suffering, with God's help.
I learned long time ago that one has to be his/her own doctor first, question all prescriptions, and bring all the questions to the real doctors.
Your icons look wonderful in the Detroit church. I hope other churches follow the trend.
Your spiritual journey story is so beautiful and inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
Hope to visit you soon.