Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Whirlwind Weekend to New York City

Start spreading the news, I'm leaving today!
I want to be a part of it NewYork, New York!

And so we did. Me, Heather and Hope. The timing would be God's timing as I would be in New York City with my daughter and granddaughter and not sitting home missing my mom on my 1st Mothers Day without her.

Rick dropped us off at ATL at 6:30 am. He was spending the weekend in Florida with his mom. After checking in and being scanned by the big new machines, we grabbed some Starbucks and awaited the flight. It was a fairly good flight to begin with but the landing had a bit of turbulence...when we arrived at Laguardia we were met by a man holding a sign with my name on it.

We followed him out to a Lincoln Town Car that took us straight to The Alex Hotel. Room 409. We didn't waste much time in walking to Grand Central station which ended up being aprox 4 blocks from our hotel. That's where you catch the subway. We figured out with some help how to get a card loaded with money to be able to ride to see Battery Park and The Statue of Liberty and The World Trade Center.

Both were highlights although we did not take the boat out to Ellis Island. It was very windy and a 4-5 hour trip. We did pick up some souvenirs from some street vendors and bought double decker bus tours for Hope and I to do tomorrow while Heather was doing her shoot with Prevention Magazine. After much walking to ground Zero I was feeling the pain.... Alot. But it was so worth it. We took a cab back to the subway and at this point walking was out of the question for me. At our return to Grand Central Station Heather hailed a cab and when we told him we were going to The Alex he said you can walk there!! It's just around the corner!!!( everything is "just around the corner" to these people!) I said I can't walk..He said I can't drive you there! After Heather mentioning again I could not walk that I am in pain. I said I have Lupus...I can't walk....He took us just around the corner with the meter off and charged $5.00....I knew at this point I had to be more proactive with my meds and do less walking and more cabs if I was gonna see this town!!

After getting back to the hotel I took an emergency dosage of Prednesone which my Dr had me keep on hand for times like these. Heather and Hope went to TIme Square and I went to bed. The next morning I felt much better and at 7:00 am we were in a cab headed for Rockerfeller Plaza with our signs in hands to be on The Today Show with Lester and Amy. And yes we were on and had fun doing it.

It was time then for Heather to meet her group and do her shoot and us to get on the double decker buses and do our first tour but before we did I had to run in a pharmacy to get some icy hot and some heat patches for my back as standing the 1 1/2 hours at The Today Show I was having back pains. We got all set with that and off we went on the tour bus. It was a 90 minute tour of Time Square, The Theatre District, Time Warner Center, Lincoln Center, Central Park, many Cathedrals, Apollo Theatre, Grant's Tomb, many museums, we saw where John Lennon was killed, where Brad and Angelina stay when they come to NYC, Carnegie Hall and lots more. We both had dead camera / cell phone batteries and were ready for lunch so we split a meal at Planet Hollywood and went back to the hotel to charge our batteries.

Once we caught our breath we started our 2nd tour this ended up being 2 hours long and not as interesting but we saw soooo much. Again Time square which is where we ate and shopped. Macy's , The Empire State building, Union Square, Madison Ave., Broadway, Greenwich Village,Soho, Chinatown, World Trade center (from a different view) its now taller than the Empire State Building this week! We saw the South Street Sea Port, lower east side, United Nations,Waldorf Astoria, and back to Rockefeller Plaza and taxied back to The Alex Hotel. Arriving 2 minutes after Heather. Great timing.

Heather was exhausted from her interview and shoot. I cant wait to see the pictures and article about her success on The Couch to 5 K Program. I know she said they took tons of pictures and her face hurt from smiling so much and they were jumping on a orange couch in a park in South Brooklyn near the ocean. Can't wait to see that!!!

We were all hungry so on the advice of some of the people she was with that day we went to a diner right across the street (yeah!) and had a great meal and then took a little walk to a bakery called crumbs and celebrated our trip with a delicious cupcake. Mine was specifically for mothers and it was yummy!

Back to the hotel and beddy bye. At 7:00 am we are up and packed and pulling our carry ons we catch a cab to Grand Central Station, got on a subway headed to Brooklyn, NY to my dream trip highlight to hear the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir SING in person!! We ended up having to shuttle between 2 subways due to construction around WTC and then caught another cab and arrived just as we had planned at 8:30 am we were dropped off at the front door. Some quick pics, check our bags at the door and we are on time to hear the choir practice.

It was a wonderful experience, the choir was awesome the spirit was there, Jim Cymbala honored his 97 yr old mother, the oldest in the church. Then we grabbed our luggage, grabbed a cab and off to Laguardia. I was pulled aside at baggage claim and had my hands swabbed to be sure I was not carrying explosives and then we had time to sit at the IPad tables (they were everywhere and FREE) and eat a quick lunch (we built our own burger on a computer and they brought it out), put some pics on Facebook and pass the time till our return flight to Atlanta. That flight was a little bumpy too and although I ripped the armrest off my seat we managed to get home safe and sound...

Matt, Bella and Ben picked us up at the curb and took us home. Now that is what you called a whirlwind trip to New York City!!!

Thank you Heather what a great Mothers Day. One I will never forget.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Lupus Walk 

Thanks to all who donated to Lupus to help find a cure for this debilitating disease. 

I am sure from other post that those who know me heard that my daughter Heather was supposed to walk with me to quote her from her blog  Ironically, Saturday at 3:30pm I was supposed to be on my way to downtown Atlanta to participate in the Walk For Lupus that I had been collecting donations for over the past few weeks. My mom has Lupus and we were going to walk together. John Powell, our Youth Minister was my biggest supporter of that walk. His wife also has Lupus. The last time I spoke to John Powell was to give him a big hug and thank him for supporting me and the cause knowing that his wife was dealing with the same thing as my mom. I had no idea that instead of participating in the walk that he had generously donated to on that Saturday that I would be singing at his funeral.”

So….I was on my own and determined to go because so many had donated to support me and of course we are walking for a cure to this horrible debilitating disease….

So the day of the walk is here…It was 85 degrees.  With my new Nikes on, sleeveless purple shirt (sunscreen over applied) and white caprice I leave the house at 1:45 pm.
I drive to Indian Creek Marta Station and the ride was pretty much how I figure only no other apparent “walkers” that I could tell….  It was crowded and I had a seat by the door.   The last man in was face forward to my side and as we were riding along, I felt wet droplets running down my arm! Not sure if it was drool or his sweat but either way…UGH!! Had to change Marta’s at Five points, go downstairs on an escalator (PRAISE!) and get on the Marta going North.  There we got on a Bus to take us with-in 2 blocks of Piedmont Park.
By now its 4:15 pm and I had to Register, get a  t-shirt, a butterfly on a stick for those with the disease to carry and a rubber bracelet.  By this time I was so hot, I stepped under the 1st EZ Up to get relief from the sun and ask where the water was.  By the look on the elderly ladies face I must have looked like I really needed it because she opened up her personal cooler and handed me a bottle of cold water.  I accepted it graciously.
OK it was 45 minutes till the walk started I had no chair to sit in and no way to rest other than a far off shade tree and the ground so off I went.  I was not sure if I would be able to get up after I sat down but at this point I didn't care.  I had to rest.

The walk started promptly at 5:00 p.m. and was led by a band.  It was hot and at this point I had unfortunately lost most of my energy.  I had the Nike GPS on my IPhone so I was tracking how far I walked.  The Brochure said there was a ¾ mile walk and a 2 ½ mile walk.  At this point I am thinking I am doing the ¾ mile walk …. After 1 mile appeared on my GPS and no sign of a ¾ mile walk anywhere,  I along with many others were ready to turn around due to the fact we knew it was a mile back from where we started.  Not counting getting out of the park and back to the bus stop.

When I finally made it up the hill toward the entrance of the park I saw a police woman and a Grady Ambulance…. A cool ambulance would feel really good right now… But I ask the officer if I was going the right way to the Marta Bus Stop and she said, Ma’am, I don’t know their schedule!  (Well that wasn’t what I ask but I had no energy to argue or I would probably be writing this from jail)… GREAT!  I kept following the ones that were straggling out hoping it was the right way and it was.  I even found a little bench to sit on in the shade.  The bus pulled up before long and as I approached the first empty seat with a good size woman I fell into the seat, the woman said, “You almost took my arm off!”  Near tears and not much caring if I did take her arm off and whack her across her face with it, I apologized and tried to ignore my pounding head and beating red face…… Back at the Marta station I ask her about which way I was going she mumbled something and left me in my misery….
Head pounding, shaking all over from I am sure at this point heat exhaustion I find the up escalator and ask around to be sure I am headed toward home…. 12 minutes later I am in a crowed but cool Marta train.   I am sure my face must be as red as a Fire Engine because of the looks I am getting. I just got out my Iphone and pretended to be busy until we get to the end of the line.  Indian Creek Station…..
 I find my car and am never so thankful for AIR CONDTIONING and my own surroundings.  The whole day is playing over in my head and unfortunately I am having quite a “pity party”…. My phone rings and it’s my hubby anxiously asking how my day went… And I erupt like a 2 yr old… Everything came pouring out tears and all…. Then I realized I couldn’t see to drive because the half of can of sunscreen is burning my eyes…I told him we would talk when I got home ( I know he couldn’t wait
When I finally pulled in the garage my hubby was waiting for me.  He carried in my shoes which I had taken off as soon as I got in the car and whatever else he could grab to help me. I head straight for the shower and take a nice cool one.  Grab a robe and head to bed. The tears started flowing and I think I cried for 30 minutes…I am not sure what I was crying about…Probably frustration, exhaustion, fear, shame, feebleness, pain….

He offered to go get my favorite foods but nothing sounded good… He insisted on my favorite lemon pepper wings and chocolate Malt which was at 2 different restaurants, but he didn’t care…Such a sweetie… I rested, he left and returned and as I thought I couldn’t eat. A few gulps of Chocolate malt and I was sick at my stomach….I went to bed, as I fell asleep wondering if Lupus patients aren’t supposed to overdue it in the sun why they would have a Lupus walk in Atlanta at 5:00 pm…..

Thanks to all who donated to Lupus to help find a cure for this debilitating disease.  Really!

Next Doctor Appointment is tomorrow May 2nd.  Anxious to talk to my Rheumatologist .