Ticked / La Garrapata

La versión español está después de la primera foto.

I told this story in August 2017 about my experience with Lyme Disease, but when I went to share the link yesterday, I discovered the post, although still on blogger, was not on WordPress. So here it is again.

WHILE LIVING IN WHAT WE called “the country” in Guilford, Connecticut in the late ’80s and early ’90s, we were always working outside in our gardens. More than half our property was wooded. We also regularly went hiking, spending a lot of time in nature. And we were in the heart of what was at the time Lyme Disease country — just a hop, skip, and a tick-jump from the town of Lyme, Connecticut, where the syndrome, Lyme Disease, got its name.

Lyme Disease is transmitted to humans by ticks that are carried on other mammals, such as deer and birds. The tick is commonly known as a deer tick. If you’re interested in learning about it in detail, check out the information on Wikipedia here. Most people who are bitten by a tick do not contract the disease. I was not so lucky. It’s a longish story with a happy ending.

Lyme Disease isn’t readily diagnosed because the symptoms vary and resemble so many other illnesses. Mine started with severe pain in my head. Not a headache. Severe pain. Thankfully, I can’t really remember it well enough to describe it, but I know it was awful. I didn’t sleep even a moment for three days. On the third day, a dull and constant ache appeared in my right shoulder.

Since my sister Dale had brain cancer when she was 26 before dying of bone cancer at 29, I of course thought my turn had come. I kept the thought to myself.

I went to my doctor after the second day. He did a bunch of tests. So, all I could do was wait. San Geraldo’s mother was visiting and we drove down to New York as planned to visit The Dowager Duchess, who gave up her bed for me. They went out to theatre (my aunt Lilly used my ticket) and I went to bed. After a while, incredibly, I slept. I woke up in the morning rested and pain-free. I was elated. I walked into the kitchen to announce the good news and San Geraldo looked at me and said, “What’s the matter with your face?”

‘The face I’ve always had and had never really been happy with?’ I thought.

“Nothing, it’s as perfect as always,” I joked.

“One side is drooping.”

I looked in the mirror and saw he was right. Bell’s Palsy, I thought. The Kid Brother had it. But then I thought again, ‘No, just another sign of a brain tumor.’

My mother insisted we pose for a photo together. I knew exactly what she was thinking.

Click here for the rest of the story.

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Conté esta historia en agosto de 2017 sobre mi experiencia con la enfermedad de Lyme, pero cuando fui a compartir el enlace ayer, descubrí que la publicación, aunque todavía estaba en blogger, no estaba en WordPress. Así que aquí está de nuevo.

MIENTRAS VIVIÁMOS EN LO QUE considerábamos “el campo” en Guilford, Connecticut, a finales de los 80 y principios de los 90, siempre trabajábamos afuera en nuestros jardines. Más de la mitad de nuestra propiedad estaba arbolada. También íbamos de excursión con regularidad, pasando mucho tiempo en la naturaleza. Y estábamos en el corazón de lo que era entonces el país de la “Enfermedad de Lyme” (en inglés, Lyme Disease) muy cerca de los pueblos de Lyme y Old Lyme, Connecticut, donde el síndrome recibió su nombre.

La Enfermedad de Lyme se transmite a los humanos por las garrapatas que se llevan a otros animales, como ciervos y aves. La garrapata se conoce comúnmente como garrapata de venado. Si tienes interés en aprender más, haz clic aquí. La mayoría de las personas que son mordidas por una garrapata no contraen la enfermedad. No tuve tanta suerte. Es una historia larga con un final feliz.

La enfermedad de Lyme no se diagnostica fácilmente porque los síntomas varían y se parecen a muchas otras enfermedades. El mío comenzó con un dolor severo en la cabeza. Afortunadamente, no puedo recordarlo lo suficientemente bien como para describirlo, pero sé que fue horrible. No dormí ni un momento durante tres días. Al tercer día, apareció un dolor sordo y constante en mi hombro derecho.

Fui a mi médico después del segundo día. Hizo un montón de pruebas. Entonces, todo lo que pude hacer fue esperar. La madre de San Geraldo estaba de visita y condujimos hasta Nueva York como estaba planeado para visitar a la duquesa viuda, quien me cedió su cama. Salieron al teatro (mi tía Lilly usó mi boleto) y me fui a la cama. Después de un tiempo, increíblemente, me dormí. Me desperté por la mañana descansado y sin dolor. Estaba eufórico. Entré a la cocina para anunciar la buena noticia y San Geraldo me miró y me dijo: “¿Qué te pasa en la cara?

¿La cara que siempre he tenido y nunca había sido realmente feliz?’ pensé.

“Nada, es tan perfecto como siempre”, bromeé.

“Un lado ha caído”, me dijo.

Me miré al espejo y vi que tenía razón. Parálisis de Bell, pensé. El Hermanito lo tenía. Pero entonces pensé otra vez: ‘No, sólo otro signo de un tumor cerebral’.

Mi madre insistió en posar para una foto juntos. Sabía exactamente lo que estaba pensando.

Haz clic aquí para ver el resto de la historia.

Our place in Guilford.

Nuestro hogar en Guilford.

1990. The imperfect face.

1990. La cara imperfecta.

1977. After Dale’s first cancer diagnosis and just before her surgery. Kermit the Frog says it all.

1977. Después del primer diagnóstico de Dale y antes de su cirugía. Kermit el Rana lo dice todo.

A deer tick, actually the size of a sesame seed.

Una garrapata de venado, en realidad del tamaño de una semilla de sésamo.

Middleton One Row

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

I RECEIVED THE below photo at left from my sister, Dale, in 1972. It was sent from Darlington, South Yorkshire, England, where she was living with her new husband. With the photo was a letter telling me she was pregnant. Three months later I was there for a visit and we went together to the same spot. What memories a photo can illicit.

The place is called Middleton One Row. I thought at the time that it was the name of the street across from the river and hillside. I just learned, after nearly 47 years, that Middleton One Row is the name of the village, which is near the city of Darlington. In Medieval times, villages normally had houses on facing sides of the village green. Because this village drops off immediately to the River Tees on the south, it only had one row of houses (as seen in the postcard at top). Hence, Middleton ONE ROW. Fascinating, huh?

RECIBÍ LA FOTO de abajo a la izaquierda de mi hermana, Dale, en 1972. Fue enviada desde Darlington, South Yorkshire, Inglaterra, donde vivía con su nuevo marido. Con la foto había una carta que me decía que estaba embarazada. Tres meses después, estuve de visita y fuimos juntos al mismo lugar. Qué recuerdos puede sacar una foto ilícita.

El lugar se llama Middleton One Row [que significa Middleton Una Fila]. En ese momento pensé que era el nombre de la calle frente al río y la ladera. Acabo de enterarme, después de casi 47 años, que Middleton One Row es el nombre del pueblo, que está cerca de la ciudad de Darlington. En la época medieval, los pueblos normalmente tenían casas en los lados de la plaza del pueblo. Debido a que esta aldea cae inmediatamente al Río Tees en el sur, solo tenía una fila de casas (como se muestra en la tarjeta postal en la parte superior). Por lo tanto, Middleton ONE ROW. Fascinante, ¿no?

Chocolate Therapy / Terapia De Chocolate

La versión español está después de la primera chocolate.

I’M BORED AND moody. I’m not supposed to do much (doctor’s and San Geraldo’s orders) and, because of my usual allergies, I’m taking antihistamines to keep myself from having a sneezing fit and popping my new eye out. Antihistamines knock me out. Inactivity is not my strong suit.

After Luke’s birthday (click here), we had a bowl of extra chocolate buttercream frosting in our refrigerator. So, San Geraldo picked up a chocolate, chocolate chip cake at the supermarket and after lunch, he piled chocolate frosting on top. I adorned the frosting with M&Ms. The cake and frosting only lasted two days, which was a relief to us both.

But then our next door neighbors gave us two boxes of Quality Street chocolates from England. And our friend Lulu arrived one morning with a box of Dumle chocolate caramels from Finland. One box of Quality Street remains. But then there’s the Lindt Chocolate advent calendar from Pedro and Kathleen.

Oh, and San Geraldo came home with another chocolate chocolate-chip cake yesterday.

They understand.

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ESTOY ABURRIDO y del mal humor. Se supone que no debo hacer mucho (las órdenes del médico y de San Geraldo) y, debido a mis alergias habitual, estoy tomando antihistamínicos para evitar un ataque de estornudo y sacar mi nuevo ojo. Los antihistamínicos me eliminan. La inactividad no es mi fuerte.

Después del cumpleaños de Luke (haz clic aquí), tuvimos un cuenco de glaseado de crema de chocolate en nuestro refrigerador. Entonces, San Geraldo recogió un pastel de chocolate con chispas de chocolate en el supermercado y, después del almuerzo, colocó encima un glaseado de chocolate. Adorné el glaseado con M&Ms. La tarta y el glaseado solo duraron dos días, lo que fue un alivio para ambos.

Pero luego nuestros vecinos de al lado nos dieron dos cajas de chocolates Quality Street de Inglaterra. Y nuestra amiga Lulu llegó una mañana con una caja de caramelos de chocolate Dumle de Finlandia. Queda una caja de Quality Street. Pero luego está el calendario de adviento de Lindt Chocolate de Pedro y Kathleen.

Oh, y San Geraldo llegó a casa ayer con otra tarta de chocolate con chispas.

Ellos entienden.

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My final slice. San Geraldo decided to forego the M&Ms the second day. Such self-control! / Mi última rebanada. San Geraldo decidió renunciar a los M&Ms el segundo día. ¡Qué autocontrol!

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And we didn’t win this last night at Mesón Salvador. / Y no ganamos esto ayer en Mesón Salvador.

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But I almost forgot that tarta de la abuela (“Grandma’s Cake”) at Mesón Salvador the other night. / Pero casi olvido esa tarta de la abuela en Mesón Salvador la otra noche.

Old Family

What better place to escape these summer-like days at home on the Costa del Sol than frigid London?!? We’re headed there Thursday morning for a week. (The boys will have “staff” staying with them to ensure their every need is met — and more; the “staff” spoils them even more than we do.)

We’ve booked up our days and evenings with sight-seeing, museums, and theatre, and we’ll celebrate San Geraldo’s birthday while we’re there. Just us. No family or friends. I hope we’ll be forgiven.

This is a photo of some members of my father’s family taken in London during WWII. My father had no contact with them after the war, so I never met them. I wonder if we’ll bump into one of my cousins (or if I even have any).

Spotted Dick In Spain

Our favourite English-style restaurant here in Fuengirola is, as you might already know, Sandpiper. Chef/Owner Jason recently added two new desserts. Jessica told me about them.

One of the new desserts is “Treacle Sponge,” a traditional British dessert of sponge cake drizzled with treacle (golden syrup) and often served with custard.

Jessica was very unhappy to learn that the other dessert was called “Spotted Dick.” I’ve heard of it before — the dessert, I mean. Well, come to think of it… Oh, never mind. Anyway, the dessert is commonly made with suet, flour and raisins, and served with custard.

Jessica (Spanish) was appalled and told Jason that, until the new menus were printed, she would write the desserts on a piece of paper. She was not going to say “Spotted Dick.”

A few days later, there was more to the story. Ana, Jessica’s mother and Jason’s life and business partner, was told about the new desserts.

“Spotted Dick,” she said.

No problem.

But then she tried “Treacle Sponge.”

With Ana’s Spanish accent, “Treacle Sponge” sounded like “Treacle Spunk.” And no matter how many times she tried, it always came out the same.

When Jason stopped laughing, he told her what “spunk” was. Jessica had already told her about “dick.” Ana said she would not be selling either until they were printed on the menu.

Friday night, I ordered Spotted Dick to share with San Geraldo.

When Jessica brought the dish to the table, San Geraldo asked (cluelessly), “Does the spotted dick have nuts?”

Jessica stood in stunned silence.

San Geraldo continued (still clueless), “Because I hate nuts.”

Jessica walked away before I could tell her that I usually eat San Geraldo’s nuts.

SPOTTED DICK, NO NUTS.
TREACLE SPUNK… I MEAN SPUNK… AHEM, SPONGE.
“Me mother says I must be quick to get me bit o’ spotted dick.”