Mr. Feder…

rosanna-rosanna-dana

Rosanne Roseannadanna, played by the late Gilda Radner, was a reoccuring character on the original Weekend Update segment of Saturday Night Live.

And she rocked.

She read letters with questions from “viewers” and then give her advice/opinions which were always hil-arious. Lots of chuckles.

But it seems like the only person who ever sent letters to her was Mr. Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey.

Bit of trivia… There actually WAS a Richard Feder from Fort Lee, New Jersey. He was the brother-in-law of the guy who wrote that segment for SNL. But he never wrote any letters. Inside family joke I guess…

Gotta love the in-laws.

On one Weekend Update, Roseanne Roseannadanna reads (yet another) letter from Mr. Feder detailing the problems he’s having trying to quit smoking.

He writes, “Now I’m depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I’m nauseous, I’m constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleeding, my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I’m cranky and I have gas. What should I do?”

“Mr. Feder, you sound like a real attractive guy.”, Ms. Roseannadanna said.

AGMA can relate.

Two weeks ago, I was blissfully hanging out with my grandchildren in Chicago. Minding my own business. Enjoying being Nana. A cool, newly tattooed Nana…

And that’s when I noticed the small red area on my left hip. Hmmm – my jeans must be too tight. Entirely possible since AGMA has been eating like Steve Bannon at a KKK recruitment pig roast.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I got alarmed. The little red spot had morphed into a painful, bumpy rash that covered my left hip. Hmmm – this is weird.

Concerned about what kind of creeping crud I may have contracted and being around my grandchildren, I asked my DIL to take a look at it. She’s a brave woman since I had to pull my pants down.

She took one gander at it and said, “I think you have shingles.”

WTF??

Turns out my son had shingles in the same spot a number of years ago and she said it looked just like his shingles. Mother and son matching shingles – how precious.

My primary care doctor talked to me about getting the shingles vaccine last month. But since I’ve been back on the evil prednisone since early December, she said I needed to wait. Evidently the prednisone can interfere with the shingles vaccine’s effectiveness.

Joke’s on her. Or AGMA.

Back in Chicago, I hurried to a local doc in a box to get “officially” checked out. Sure ‘nuff – shingles.

Damn.

AGMA admits she panicked a little. And almost broke down into tears. My sweet granddaughter is only 3 months old and I was afraid that she was going to get chickenpox from her tattooed Nana.

That would not be cool.

The Physican’s Assistant said that little Vi would have to come into direct contact with the shingles blisters oozing “goo” (OMG that’s so gross…) to get chickenpox. And given the location of the rash – on my hip, waist and (blush) bottom – that probably wouldn’t happen.

I texted my DIL that it was indeed shingles and that she should call her pediatrician for advice. I ate lunch at a local restaurant waiting for her to get a call back. I was fully prepared to be kicked out of the house until I flew home that Saturday. AGMA was on her phone during lunch looking for cheap hotel rooms…

But her pediatrician said the same thing the PA said and I was welcomed back into the house with open arms. I just had to wash my hands a lot.

Because I was able to go on an anti-viral, I haven’t had the horrible nerve pain that Hubs had in 2006 when he got shingles. And most (but not all) of the rash faded without blistering up and crusting over.

Again, so gross… Isn’t “crusting” kind of a digusting word?

But it’s kinda put AGMA down for the count and I’m dragging. I’ve still been able to run, but it feels like I’m running through jello with weights on my shoes. Slog.

I blame Donald Trump for my shingles. And the prednisone. Between the two of them, my immune system was flashing STRESS LEVEL TOO HIGH – DANGER, DANGER.

Since I’ve been back on prednisone, I’ve had most of the side effects I had when I was on it last summer. Oral thrush and trouble sleeping. Like big trouble sleeping. More than 5 hours a night is a special treat.

Added to the mix this time is numbness and tingling in my hands and feet along with a foggy head (more than normal…) and blurry vision. And a bigly yuge set of chipmunk cheeks. AGMA’s got some serious jowls going on right now.

And now shingles with most of the delights that come with that little gem of a condition.

Ms. AGMA, you sound like a real attractive gal.

Wake me up when it’s all over.

And the word for the day is…charming

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Last week we left our heroine, AGMA, breathless after taking down a purse thief in Barcelona. Well, maybe I didn’t exactly take her down… But I sure showed her you can have good manners even if somebody is so rude to try to steal your purse.

Sophia, my Guardian Angel, was bracing herself for the next 10 days.

After two amazing days in Barcelona, we picked up a rental car in town and headed out on the open road. On the way out of town, we stopped to see the Sagrada Familia Basilica by Gaudi.

Crusty ol’ AGMA was floored. I had only seen pictures of the outside, never of the inside. I don’t think I’ve ever said “Wow!” so many times in my life. To say it was spectacular is an understatement.

We headed east to Provence. Neither one of us had ever been there and we wanted to see if it would live up to it’s hype.

Yup. Believe the hype.

We booked a room through Airb&b in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. It was all that you would want a charming French room in a charming French home in a charming French village to be…

What’s the word? Oh yes – charming.

And Jen, our hostess, greeted us with two glasses of French rose when we arrived. Even more charming. Jen and her husband were absolutely lovely and went ABCD (above and beyond the call of duty) as Airb&b hosts. They treated us like friends.

One evening, after we got home from a full day of sightseeing, they invited us to join them on their patio with a big group of their friends to watch the Euro Cup semi-finals. And drink French rose. Then the next night, they invited us over again to hang out with them and different friends who came over for a BBQ. And drink French rose. After we had had quite a bit of rose at dinner a couple of hours earlier in the charming village of L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Do you sense a theme here…?

So it all sounds lovely right? It kinda sounds like AGAM’s Guardian Angel, Sophia, could have taken a break.

Nah baby nah.

I went on this trip taking large daily doses of prednisone to treat my “sausage pancreas”. It did all kinds of weird things to me. I was loopy (more than normal), sleep-deprived (more than normal), angry at nothing (more than normal) and had a very, very fuzzy brain (more than normal.)

But the best side effects were yet to come…

When I was in Provence – and AGMA knows this is TMI – I developed a nasty case of inflamed, swollen, bleeding gums. Ouch and gross. And got a cold sore above my upper lip. So attractive. And finally, started developing oral thrush. Yuck.

As Roseanne Roseannadanna used to say on SNL, “Mr Fader, you sound like a real delightful guy.”

AGMA was miserable in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery, best wine and yumblyest food in the world.

Sophia to the rescue!

She sent me to a pharmacy in town. Pharmacies in Europe are quite different from pharmacies in the U.S. The pharmacists in Europe are a bit like our nurse practitioners (without the $$ they charge you.) They can assess your condition and dispense medications. No need to go to a doctor.

It was truly wonderful.

Ten minutes and 27 Euros later, we were on the road to Avignon and AGMA was on the road to recovery.

Thanks Sophia!

But between our delayed luggage, my Barcelona purse snatcher, the crazy drivers in Spain and France, and all that rose wine, I think she was already starting to get tired.

One more post to wrap the trip up.

Stay tuned…