Friday, February 26, 2010

When life hands you Lyme, make Lymeaide?

This is a quick post seeing as it's late and I should be trying to sleep (speaking of sleep, supposedly you're not supposed to take Ambien on a nightly basis?  Why do I have to hear these things on Chelsea Lately and not from my dumb doctor?).  Anyway, I saw a Lyme specialist a couple of weeks ago who sent a bunch of bloodwork to the Igenex lab in California.  I have no idea why they had to send it out to California, but they did and the tests got sent to my email yesterday...


So, I have Lyme disease.  Maybe on top of CFS, maybe in place of CFS, not totally sure.  Because I've been sick for 2 1/2 years and Lyme only just showed up in my bloodwork, but it's a tricksy little disease so I'm not really sure.  I only have the Bburgdorferi strand and none of the co-infections (according to this bloodwork), so that's a good thing, I think.  Really, I could barely understand the letter she sent me; it was all in doctor talk.  But I'm glad to actually get some informative blood work back, instead of the usual, "Hmm, are you sure you're sick?" (Yeah, yeah I think I am.  Thanks though.)

Also, some people have asked me how I contracted Lyme disease.  This is a simple equation:

My backyard*:

PLUS my big fat indoor-outdoor cat:

"Please, Robyn, let me outside so I can catch MORE disease-ridden ticks with my luxurious fur!"

EQUALS me with Lyme disease.

Glad we straightened that out.


*This picture may have been doctored to make the deer appear they were digging paths to my house.  In reality, the deer are way lazier than this, and generally chose to only take paths that my dad had already snowblown.  Good-for-nothin' deer.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mille Grazie!

That means "a thousand thanks" in Italian, and I mean it-- thank you guys for your huge response to my request for article help!  I'm in the process of sending out questions, conducting interviews, etc., and I'm really excited about how it's turning out.  I promise to let you guys know how everything goes!

 This is how I got my kicks today-- you can really get sucked into this website for hours if you're not careful.  Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Help me with my article!

Hey guys-- I have a huge favor to ask, and I hope you'll finish reading this post before you decide yay or nay!

I just posted this discussion on, and I'm reposting it here in the hopes that it will get to my closest blogging buddies even more quickly:

I have a huge favor to ask you all.  I'd like to hear your stories.  I'm writing an article for a journalism class I'm taking this semester, but I'd like to publish it later because I think it's important that your voices are heard.  I'm writing a piece on the "trend" of chronic illness-- its history,its impact, and how awareness is on the up-and-up with medical discoveries like XMRV and FDA-approved drugs for fibromyalgia.

The focus of my article is on the stigma of chronic illness and how many women have experience normalization through blogging and online communities (such as this one).  I'd love to hear your story of stigma, diagnosis, and what you've gained from the Internet pertaining to chronic illness.

If you're willing to talk with me about this, please respond to this forum, or just email me at  I'd like to conduct interviews by Skype if possible, but if that is too inconvenient for you, I'm more than happy to conduct them via telephone, email, whatever!

So, that's it guys!  I'd really like to interview you for my article and, honestly, get to know you a little better one-on-one.  I can adjust it to your timing constraints, and we can do the interview on any forum you choose.  I'll probably only need 20 minutes of your time-- but if you want to talk longer, I'm all ears. :)

I can't wait to hear from you.  Thank you all in advance!


Friday, February 19, 2010

I'd like to thank the academy...

"You like me! You really like me!" (Sally Fields)

"Gee, this isn't like I imagined it would be in my bathtub." (Dianne Wiest)

"This is one night I wished I smoked and drank." (Grace Kelly)

"I just want to thank everybody I've ever met in my entire life." (Kim Basinger)

"Can I have my champagne now?" (Cate Blanchett)

By now, you should have guessed, but I'll tell you anyway... I won an award!

Thank you to Annie over at It's Time to Get Over How Fragile You Are for passing this award on to me... Annie is one of my favorite people I've  met through blogging.  Her writing is always so relatable, whether she's making me empathize, think, or laugh (she makes me laugh a lot).  If you guys haven't met her yet, you should really head over to her blog... I guarantee you won't regret it!

I'm supposed to list 10 things about myself, so I'll give it a shot.  Bear with me; this is always the part I dread most about "get to know you"s... I love reading them, but it's hard to think of 10 list-worthy things about oneself! Ack!
  1. I'm seriously obsessed with Europe.  This is nothing that unique, I realize, but I love their lifestyle and the way they incorporate beauty into their everyday lives.  I spent a semester living in Venice, Italy, and I still think back on that semester as the time in my life when I felt most alive.  I wasn't always happy, but when I was happy, I was on cloud nine; when I was sad, I was devastated; when I was angry, I was livid.  I was so in love with that city that every emotion was magnified, and I can't imagine a better way to live than fully.
  2. I have a really irreverent sense of humor.  I try to tone it down-- I come from a long line of proper, conservative women, who then come out and say something ridiculous that makes me think, "Maybe I'm not adopted after all..."  My best friend, M, and I have this in common, and we have often commiserated over such inappropriate reactions such as giggling at times we shouldn't (funerals, for instance), cracking jokes when it's "too soon," and just taking everything that one extra step... It's just the way we deal with life, I think, but I definitely don't mean to offend anyone by it.  I'd like to quickly defend this by quoting Mark Twain:
    • "Everything human is pathetic. The secret source of Humor itself is not joy but sorrow. There is no humor in heaven."
    • "The funniest things are the forbidden."
    • "Humor is the good natured side of a truth."
  3.  I watch Chelsea Lately every night.
  4. I've had to come home early from college three times, and somehow it never gets any easier.  Every single time, it was embarrassing, shameful, and devastating.
  5. For some reason, I can never spell "embarrassing" right the first time I write it.  I'm a pretty good speller, but I never add the second "r"... how embarassing.
  6. I am a veritable cat lady at the ripe old age of 23.  We have 3 cats in my house, and I am constantly cuddling them or following stalking them around the house with my camera to catch them doing silly things.  I use Youtube for the sole purpose of looking up funny cat videos (this is a good one). I think it's unfair that cat people get such a bad rap!
  7. I went to a conservative private university in North Carolina called Wake Forest.  It was there that I found out I am not southern.  Not even a little bit.  I don't have anything against the south-- most of my best friends now are southern!-- but Northern Virginia is not the south.
  8. I also found out I am not conservative. Or private.
  9. I am the oldest of three girls.  Three girls and no boys.  We have a plaque in our powder room that says "There is a special bathroom in heaven for the father of three girls."  Ain't that the truth.  Both of my baby sisters are always showing off too-- Jessie, 21, is  adorable, sweet, and doing fantastic at college in meteorology. She also spent the summer in Zambia helping orphans.  Orphans?? C'mon!  Bethany, 14, has already written more novels than I have, plays the guitar and piano beautifully, writes really impressive songs, and is cute and hilarious to boot.  The nerve of them!
  10. I've definitely become more irritable in the past 2 1/2 years that I've been sick.  I try to monitor my moods and not punish others unfairly, but my personal pet peeves include:
    • When my dad asks me a question, then absent-mindedly walks out of the room
    • People who ask me "how are you?" as a greeting instead of a personal question.  Such a tease!
    • When people are obsessed with status.  I once went on a dinner with a friend where we met up with a bunch of Libertarian friends of his and this older guy who owned a flat in Georgetown (a high-end area of DC).  Once they all figured out I was living at home, sick, and hadn't finished college, they pretty much ignored me for the rest of the night.  The best example of their snobbery?  Their favorite joke was telling people they went to Princeton Law School.  Get it??? Because it doesn't exist??? Har-har-har.
    • Drivers or pedestrians that cut in front of me.  In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, "Oh, you're SOOOO busy!"

Ok, I guess that last one was a time I used youtube for something other than cat-stalking.  Damn, already contradicted myself.

Time to pass on the love!

 If I have picked your blog, please post the award on your blog and pay it forward, and then leave a comment on the person’s blog to let them know.  I want to read details about my favorite people!!!

I choose to award:
Thanks for reading, everyone! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy belated Valentine's Day!

Me and the boy... pre-crash :)

Also, some Valentine's cards I should have sent:


And then, of course, there's me right now (if I were a giant cartoon heart, that is):

Love (since it is the theme),

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Post-Valentine's Day Crash

Anyone else experiencing this?

I went into the weekend already feeling a little off.  I stayed up too late on Friday night preparing for my boyfriend's visit, and that didn't help things.  I had a great weekend.  My dad and I picked the boy up from the airport around 11 am, and after my dad went home, the boy and I went to see Valentine's Day. Cliche? Yes. Cheesy? Maybe.  Entertaining and completely cute? Yup!

We went to a nice restaurant for dinner.  It's in a huge, renovated barn near my house, which sounds weird, but is actually gorgeous.  We had an amazing crab dip appetizer, and I had a glass of Malbec with my steak.  Mmmm...

Stayed up late on Saturday night, slept in Sunday, then went to see Wolfman in theaters with the fam.  I can't remember the last time I saw two theater-movies in one weekend, but the boy loves movies and we had a lot of fun.

Mainly, it was just nice to see my boyfriend.  We're long distance, and due to a bunch of different circumstances on both sides, it had been four and half months since we'd seen each other, which is way too long.

Unfortunately (wrapping back around to my original point), Valentine's Day weekend has an unwanted effect on us chronic fatiguers.  I'm missing class for the first time this semester (excluding snow days when class was canceled) because I just can't do it today.  I'm exhausted, my head hurts, my tummy hurts... did I mention the exhaustion?  Urgh.  It's just so frustrating sometimes.  I feel like instead of an equal reaction, every action has a ridiculously disproportionate reaction.  Chronic fatigue syndrome goes against the laws of physics.  The Newtonian police should arrest this disease immediately and dispense justice!

Okay, I'm just getting ridiculous now.  I hope you all had love-filled weekends and that your relapses are nonexistent or short-lived!

Love, love, love,

Thursday, February 11, 2010



PS- Thanks to Annie for linking this site on your blog.  It's hilarious. :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Bit of Whining

Oh, I feel so very lazy today.  It's already 4:30, and I've really done nothing.  I have a terrible cold, and I just feel awful.  I'm supposed to help shovel the deck off before the new snow hits:
(The weather forecast, as sent to me by my meteorologist sister)

...and I have to finish my paper edits before the deadline at 7:30 tonight... and I also really need to shower and join the real world of fully clothed people.

Urgh.  Some days, I'm just really frustrated with myself.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Hello all!  I've started a style blog (for funsies and all that), so if that interests you, check it out here:

The original name was "Sparrows and Robyns" because I'm kind of obsessed with both my name and my tattoo, but the word "chi-chi" makes me laugh.  It's slang for style, according to, though where that's true I'm not really true.  It's still fun.

And, since I mentioned my tattoo, might as well wrap up loose ends by showing that off:

Hope you're all having a good, health-filled day!  I'm off to shower and finally get something productive done... I'm significantly less fuzzy than yesterday, but this new style blog is mostly what I have to show for it.  Sometimes procrastination happens just for procrastination's sake (note the passive tense, attempting to shift the blame from me to the universe at large...).  I don't have school for the rest of the week because of the SNOW:

(We got about 34 inches!)

...but I don't want to procrastinate and end up being super stressed this weekend.  I no longer work well under superstress!


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blogger templates... :o/

I'm trying to find a new blogger template I like; so, while I'm trying out different things, the blog may look a little wonky. Sorry about any inconvenience, guys!

UPDATE:  Well, it's not perfect, but I'm happy with it for now.  I'm open to any suggestions (hint, hint). :o)


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