Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ups and Downs

12/27/16  1:45am

I can’t sleep.
at about 11 pm Howie went to bed
minutes later Jackie called Micah
Andrew had a flat tire and Micah needed to go get them
from the store, it had been the busiest day of the year
most deliveries ever in one day
they were finally heading home and Andrew had a flat

Micah left and I sat in my spot reading the ny times online
it had been a long productive good day
I did deposits, I paid bills
Cece was visiting from San Francisco
and spent the day helping me
she counted money for me
she helped get the bills out of the file
she made me breakfast
she made me lunch
she put dishes away
she did laundry
she cooked up a dinner for me
she left around 4:30 when I got up from my nap

I sat in my spot and worked on the store bills
Lauren came over after 6 and helped me finish
took my computer to the store
printed the checks and filed the paid bills

before Lauren left Denise came over
for a visit and served us the dinner Cece had prepared

she stayed so I could take a shower
with someone in the house
while I was in the shower Howie came home
he had been working delivering groceries

when I was done with my shower
I found Howie and Denise watching Monday Night Football
Lions Cowboys tied 21-21
What quarter is it? I asked
Howie said, halftime
I said, halftime? that’s a good time to make popcorn
Denise laughed and Howie got up and made a great batch of popcorn

The Cowboys took control of the game
and Denise left
after the game Howie and I downloaded the crossword puzzle
and started it at the kitchen table
Micah came home with Chinese Food and joined us
The 3 of us were able to complete the puzzle
that’s 2 days in a row!
we shall see how we do tomorrow night
with Wednesday’s puzzle

Howie went to bed
Jackie called Micah
and he left to get them
I read the paper
all so depressing
the entire world is an upside down mess
not just me

I got up to go to the bathroom
brush my teeth, get ready for bed

I was balancing myself
trekking pole in my right hand
left hand on the table
then the back of a chair
I lost my balance slightly, the chair fell over
I went down
smacked my head behind my ear
on the corner of the kitchen table
and crashed to the floor

I lay on the floor and cried
then slowly got on all fours
I was banged up, but somehow ok
I lifted the fallen chair
reached for the table
and with my arms lifted myself up

I walked slowly to the bathroom
brushed my teeth and peed
I noticed there was blood behind my ear
I heard the door to the house open
everyone was home

I slowly walked out to the kitchen
I told the boys, Jackie was still in the car
I sat down in my spot
they looked behind me ear
started to clean it up
and make sure it wasn’t serious
I didn’t need stitches
but I could feel a bump swelling up

Jackie was upset
I was so looking forward to seeing her
celebrating her super successful
busiest day ever
I knew how hard a day she had
combined with worrying about me
I missed her, I love her
I knew how exhausted she must be
and minutes before she got home I fell

Jackie and Micah worked at cleaning the wound
they gave me an icepack
they put on a band aid

I felt stupid
it’s all so stupid
I upset everybody
I felt so fragile
I wanted to get into bed
but I also dreaded getting into bed

the boys sat with me in the bed
but I couldn’t relax, couldn’t get comfortable
Jackie came in,
they brought me some water
they made me some tea
I tried to drink
I tried to calm down
to focus on my breathing

eventually the boys went to sleep
and Jackie came to bed
I tried sleeping on my back
couldn’t, had to sit up in the bed
I climbed back in
and tried sleeping on my side
I almost fell asleep,
but my leg would jerk
whenever I started to doze
and wake me up

I tried again on my back, but felt trapped
I sat up on the edge of the bed
Jackie tried to calm me back to a sleeping position
but I couldn’t calm down

I kept telling myself to calm down
tried to focus on my breathing
and I said to Jackie,
I’m scared
I battle this all the time
I do pretty good, but I don’t always win
I am strong, but sometimes this happens
I sat on the edge of the bed
when I’m that upset I lose my voice
I wanted to say,
there is so much love out there in the world
holding me up and I feel it
the tears started to drip down my face
my breathing calmed down
Jackie fell asleep
but I was wide awake
I got out of bed and walked
ever so slowly to my spot at the table

as I type this on my laptop
my left shoulder hurts
I feel some wetness behind my ear
I take a tissue, I’m slightly bleeding
no big deal, it stops

I’m afraid to go back to bed,
but eventually I will

I miss the physical and mental exhaustion
from a hard day at work and/or play
I loved to skate ski because it exercised my body and my mind
and it made me tired and I slept well

so before I worked and exercised my body
so my mind wouldn’t keep me awake
now I am all mind – my body functions, but it doesn’t work
and though every simple task takes me an enormous amount of effort
the exhaustion from that is very different from the exhaustion
from vigorous physical activity

I truly feel all the love out there
and all the healing prayers from so many people
of many different faiths and walks of life
thank you all for holding me up

in the meantime
my neck and shoulder are sore
I need to try to sleep
I think I’ll try to read for a bit

            *          *          *

so after getting maybe 3 ½ hours of sleep
it was time to start another day

my ear and neck were not that swollen
achy, but not so bad
when I got on my yoga mat
I was able to do a really good downward dog
my shoulder was fine

I was walking OK, go slow to go fast
I tell myself.
Andrew stayed with me, made me breakfast
walked Buddy and Kristin came over
with her 11 week old baby girl Freyja
we visited the entire afternoon
we sat and chatted
she made me lunch
when it was time for me to nap
she helped set me uo in bed

Andrew came home from the store around 6
I showered , then we had dinner together
it was a full on blizzard out there
Howie and Micah worked until 8
We all did the crossword together
almost getting it all done
I got into bed with my book
Jackie came home after 10

            *          *          *

Wednesday morning, the boys
all got up early and skied powder
Jackie and I had a slow morning together
sat a long time at the kitchen table
She didn’t head to work until after 1 pm

John came over to spend some time with me
we sat and chatted
he warmed up some bone broth
we hung out

Sara came over for an energy work session at 3:30
John walked Buddy
as soon as I got on the table I started to cry
she saw the scab on my ear
and I told her about my fall
Sara worked on my feet for a long time
she moved up my legs, my sacrum
my neck and head
at the end of the session
she told me she was feeling frustrated
my body was different, slow to open up
that fall had put my body in shock
my three little toes on my right foot were bruised
she worked my shoulder and it hurt
she smiled, finally you are opening
she felt I had a hard time receiving
she is always so in tune

she helped me off the table
walked me to the bathroom
then helped me get into bed
I was chilled, she put a yoga blanket over me
left me alone with my book
I was exhausted
it was about 5:30
I read in bed and relaxed
until Andrew & Micah got home around 6:30

I got out of bed and used the bathroom
and decided to shower
I told the boys to listen for me

when I was drying myself
I tried to get the towel around
to the back of my shoulders
I lost my balance, my left hand grabbed
for the grab bar, but missed
and I fell backwards scraping
against the pony wall and sliding down to the floor
I moaned and the boys came running

I was disgusted with myself
I thought to call for Andrew to help dry myself
but I didn’t and I fell
my back hurt but there was no visible bruise
it was strained
just what I needed, something else to heal

I struggled with the boys help to get up
I calmed down, sat on the bed
and they helped me get my jammies on
I sat at my spot at the table
as the boys prepped dinner
we watched the end of the Knicks game
they lost in overtime
Howie got home from work

at about 9pm Jackie came home
and we had dinner,
prepared and served by the 3 Robin boys

after dinner despite the lateness
we watched a movie
Jackie and Howie made popcorn
set up on the couch with a chair for my feet
pillows and blankets galore
plus popcorn and the cat settled on my feet
we started the movie

at about 12:30 with an hour to go
we decided to finish the movie tomorrow
I was exhausted
my feet were swollen
I gingerly walked to the bathroom
I got into bed on my side with the covers on
I said good night to Andrew with tears flowing
but I was overheated and sat up almost immediately

Micah came in to say goodnight
then Jackie and Howie came in
Howie wanted to light the Hanukkah candles
and so we did
it was a sweet family moment
Andrew holding the silver menorah in a cardboard box
all of us singing the prayers
and Howie lighting the candles

and then I was able to sleep

        *          *          *

pictures from Thursday night
after a restful day


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas

It’s 2pm on Christmas day. Jackie is about to head to the store. The boys just left to get in some skiing. It’s been a blizzard outside all day. Snow and wind. I’m feeling exhausted. Sitting at my computer, wearing my new battery powered socks that Howie bought me and put on for me. My feet often get so cold when I sit, they turn blue, it’s a circulation issue. When I stand up my feet warm up and turn pink. When I visit with Andy he helps set up my sitting posture so my feet heat up and my circulation is better. I picture a string from the top of my head to my sacrum. 

The other night in the middle of the night I sat on the edge of my bed, feet on the floor and focused on my breath, breathing in, breathing out. I think I sat there for almost half an hour, then lied down and fell asleep. My sleeping seems to be getting a little better. I wake up to use the bathroom, or because I feel confined. I can’t change positions in the bed without getting out of bed. This takes effort, throwing my legs off the bed, rising up on my elbows. I wake up 3-4 times per night.

The kids are all home. Andrew drove home from Salt Lake City on Friday, not arriving until 10:30 pm, got a late start then got stuck in city traffic in SLC and then drove in a snowstorm from Idaho Falls to home, a 6 hour drive took him 9 hours.
A bit of added stress worrying about him, but he’s here safe and sound.

Micah arrived on Thursday and was home when I got home from my day in Bozeman.

Friday, I thought about working at the store, but never made it in. Jackie left to work, and Micah made me breakfast. As he put the plate in front of me, my naturopath doctor phoned me and we spoke on speaker phone for 40 minutes. Comfort, Detox, Stabilization.  She wants me to go to a physical therapist in Bozeman who is the only physical therapist in the county who specializes in neurological disorders. She also wants me to see a speech therapist, for vocal cord, diaphragm, and swallowing strength. I agreed with what she was saying, but I also told her how to have yet another weekly appointment in Bozeman added stress.

We also spoke about clinical studies and the promise of stem cell research. I told her about my conversation with the head neurologist at Mass General and the list of 5 things I should pursue and how overwhelmed and paralyzed it made me feel. She told me to send her the list and she would try to navigate that.

She also mentioned the possibility of me getting an ultrasound of my carotid artery in my neck just to see if there was any chance that had narrowed…

By the time I got off the phone with her I was tired. Micah and Howie heard the entire conversation. I ate my cold breakfast, we talked, they left to go skiing.

Soon after, Barbara showed up with a necklace from the mountain, the 3 sapphire necklace I remember looking at a year ago, when I was looking for a 25th anniversary present, but decided it was too extravagant as we were going on our big trip to Europe and Israel for our anniversary so it didn’t make sense. I remembered it when she texted me the photo, but I didn’t remember how expensive it was. But it was a beautiful piece, 3 rich bright blue Montana sapphires, small, medium and large. When I saw it, I was like wow, but I had no memory of how expensive it was.  Mary Lou was coming over with her daughter and her granddaughter so we called them to stop by at another jeweler and pick up the other necklace I was still considering, When they all arrived we had Amelia who used to work for me model them and I made my decision with their help. Mary Lou has always been able to help me with big decisions – she helped Jackie and I choose the location of the town center Moose, and her advice has always been spot on.

Mary Lou was in town from Portland for Christmas with all her family and it was so warming to have her visit with Beth and Amelia, 3 generations of awesome women.

Friday was a very stressful day at the store, and Andrew didn’t arrive until so late, the Robin family reunion started off with a bit of stress.

Saturday we all got up and we came up with a better plan. Micah and Howie skied. Jackie and Andrew worked. Our dear friend Laura came over to hang out with me and make me lunch. Then Laura brought me down to the store and I sat in the corner of the dining area and tried to help out by just being there.  I met with staff and made sure all was going well. I said hi to locals who I haven’t seen. I spoke to customers who didn’t know.  I went through the delivery orders and helped alert staff to find certain items, and let Jackie know all was good. I helped her figure out where we could get some more retail ground beef.

When the boys were done skiing around 5 pm Andrew took me home. I napped for about an hour. Howie got home, we watched football and switched to “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Jackie and Micah came home around 8 pm and they all started on dinner. We face-timed with Grandma Peggy, Alex & Julie, Jackson and Bridgette and we sang the prayers and lit menorahs together.  It was really fun, it was like a modern scene in a movie, everybody making hysterical faces at what whoever was talking was saying. With the beauty of the lit candles. Then we had a really awesome Christmas Eve dinner.  Steak tenderloins, roasted Brussels sprouts, turnips, sautéed mushrooms. Yum, it was so nice to be together. After dinner we decorated the tree with old picture ornaments of the boys.

Christmas morning breakfast

Christmas morning got off to a rough start as the boys slept in and work tension permeated the holiday. 20 deliveries on Christmas Day and you can never have enough staff when it’s that busy. But we all calmed down, and the boys helped Jackie make a wonderful Christmas breakfast.  It was already past noon, but we called in to the store and they said things were going well, all under control. So we opened presents.  Micah bought me a Florida Shirt, Andrew a Shipwrecks of the Great Lakes Sweatshirt, Howie some old school Rossignol Skis all from the local thrift store in Colorado Springs and Jackie a package of Pringles. Jackie exclaimed “NO! I can’t have them, I haven’t had a Pringle in over 2 years! That’s like buying a reformed alcoholic a beer.”


Howie bought me some battery powered heated socks, Micah, a beer making kit, mom, a painting from Israel which he held onto for a year, and Andrew’s gift is still on the way from China.  We gave Micah and Andrew REI gift cards, and Howie is going to get a drone. And then I gave Jackie the necklace, which was impossible for me to do without crying.  It looks so beautiful on her.

Then the boys left to ski and Jackie left to work and I exhausted physically and emotionally took a nap. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice



Monday morning, Jackie set me up, with my smoothie
my banana and peanut butter, my water bottle, my pills
my computer and my work pile,
Mondays are spent paying bills and doing payroll

I sat down at the table
Ben showed up with the payroll
and I got to work
I got up to take a bathroom break
and to make myself a cup of coffee
and this is what happened:

I warmed up the milk already on the stove
I tentatively poured the warm milk into my mug
then the already brewed coffee

slowly I moved the full mug
the three feet from
one counter to the other
with only a slight spill
when I put it down
then slid it across to the opposite edge
closer to the kitchen table
and then the real challenge

to carry it the ten feet
from the kitchen counter
to the kitchen table
one small step at a time
walking with my trekking pole in my right hand
coffee mug in my left hand

I’m balanced, I’m doing it
one step at a time, 7 small steps
I get to the table
I’m there, I lean over, I put it down,
my hand shakes
the coffee mug rattles and tips over
I push aside all my papers
I push my computer away
the coffee spills everywhere
on to my foot warmer, my slippers, the rug, my chair
all over the table

I don’t just cry, I bawl
I yell for Howie, sound asleep downstairs

I call him on his phone
I text him
I call him
I text him

I sit at the kitchen counter
and bawl and bawl

I gather myself, try to calm down
gather strength to yell
as my voice has begun failing me

still crying
just so so upset
about my failure
and my inability to clean up my mess
puddles of coffee on the table
soaking into the rug
into the cushion of my chair

I walk ever so tentatively to the downstairs railing
lean over and yell, HOWIE!!!!

I hear movement
he yells back, Coming!
runs up the stairs in his underwear

I’m crying uncontrollably
I tell him, I’m O.K. I’m sorry I scared you,
I spilled my coffee
I show him my mess

I go sit on my bed
and cry and cry
the tears dripping off my face

he comes over and sits next to me
he’s crying too
he puts his arm around me

I calm down and apologize
for scaring him
he says, it’s o.k.

we walk back over to the mess together
and I tell him what to do,
he moves all the wet things away,
switches my chair,
makes me a new cup of coffee
and I get back to work
trying to get payroll done
before Sara comes by to do energy work with me

Howie makes me lunch while I work
walks Buddy
and goes to work at the store

After Sara leaves,
I get started on the bills
Lauren comes by and helps me finish
and takes my computer to the store
to print the checks and file the paid bills

I’m alone when I write this,
somehow I can still open a bag of chips
and carry them to the table
then go to the fridge and get some hummus

the wind still howls and howls
gust after gust
sounds like all the trees
are going to timber down
yet they stand tall
rooted in the ground
they sway in the cold wind

they are surely brittle from the frigid cold
but they do not break

            *          *          *


Tuesday I worked for a few hours at the store
which meant sitting in the dining area
drinking a latte and meeting with vendors and customers
it went well, almost felt normal

I had a 3:00 pm acupuncture appointment
so Barbara picked me up at 1:15
and we head to Bozeman
we talked, my voice raspy and bothersome
but we talked about talking, about voice banking
about stuff, and she drove
we stopped to pick up Bequet caramels for the store
and we got to my appointment in plenty of time

Lauren, my acupuncturist, focused on my neck
my spine, and my scalp,
after the treatment I definitely felt calmer
my voice a bit stronger
we drove back to Big Sky

we dropped the caramels off at the store
Jackie drove me home,
I lied down to rest
Howie drove her back to the store and picked up
Chinese food for dinner
when he got home I showered,
we ate dinner, we made popcorn
and we watched a movie

            *          *          *


it is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year
today is an unbelievable sunny bluebird day
the sun shining on my spot at the kitchen table

today was visiting day,
Gena came over to discuss health insurance
and hospital bills, ugh.
despite that we had a really nice visit
Nettie came over to spend time together,
make me lunch, help around the house
I sat at my spot at the kitchen table
Lori, in town for the holidays stopped by for a visit
and brought me a stone heart with gems and laughter
Michael, in town for the holidays stopped by for a visit
and brought me healing prayers, wine and smiles

The four of us sat around the table drinking tea,
and talked about me, the store, friends, wine, big sky, the kids,
meditation, breathing, healing, mindfulness
I told one of my favorite yoga stories

taking a master’s class with 25 others in a small studio
this young super fit, super strong homeboy from New York
teaching yoga in southern France
doing a special class in Big Sky, a class so difficult
that at the end of the class, my shirt was so wet from sweat
I could have rung it dry
at one point during the class
he noticed me huffing and puffing
came over to me and said,
get your breathing together, bro!

after Lori and Michael left, Nettie shared a story she wrote
over a year ago, with me, a main character
the memory was doing handstands near the river,
but the story was about so much more
it was such a day of mellow but intense sharing

the darkest day of the year
filled with so much light

Friday, December 16, 2016



I worked with yoga teacher Jill this morning. I showed her my morning exercise/stretching/yoga routine and she talked to me about focusing on my breathing and stretching my fingers and toes (fingers are difficult, I can still type(yeah!), but I can’t squeeze them together or spread them apart, (my star trek joke – is I can’t do live long and prosper), but I can still spread my toes, which I was happily surprised with.  We talked and I cried, thinking of the first time I saw Jill this summer after she returned from Hawaii, it was July or early August some time before the diagnosis and I gave her a welcome back hug and told her I was broken.

Jill set me up on the floor in different restorative positions with blocks, blankets and pillows, she wants me to join YogaGlo and look into Ram Dass’ book and video, and start doing some short meditations and even chanting. Deep breath, it is all so overwhelming. So many things to do. So many things I want to do. Too many props, too many things I can’t physically do, or not without a ridiculous amount of effort.

I saw Andy yesterday. It was my only appointment in town, except for chores. We talked about a lot of things, the main thing in my head right now being how I am overwhelmed by everything, all the change, the extreme change, how the stress of the store still hurts me, how I need to completely eliminate that in order to heal, how all this focus on myself is exhausting and how everything is upside down. I have a new diet, I can’t eat potatoes, sugar, grains, no bread, no pasta, no rice, no fish, no pretzels, no potato chips, no ice cream. No No No to too many foods. So a whole new diet.  We talked about all this focus on me, being a complete flip from my life of work work work.  I’m learning to be receptive to help, accepting help.

And we talked about my body, alignment, breathing and meditation. That is the truly upside down part of my life. I need to be so so so mindful and in the present especially when I am out and about and even at home. I can’t be 5 steps ahead of myself because I will fall. Most people are in their heads, thinking of something else, not what they’re doing at the moment. I used to be like that, I can’t be anymore or I will fall, nor do I want to be. I want to be mindful of the present. Mindful of every step, I’ve repeated this frequently in the blog because it is a hard switch to make.

Transition. Transition. That’s the song I need to sing and give myself room for change. It is such an extreme change.  Never have I focused on myself like this, but it is the path to healing. Andy had me focus on my breathing, and the bottom of my shoulder blades, dropping my shoulders, softening my tongue, my forehead, the skin below my scalp, and as I softened I felt my lungs open up, my voice became stronger. When I softened, my shoulders dropped, I could feel the shift, the calmness.

We didn’t talk about this, but the words, “calm down” are so loaded for me. My father often told me from my childhood until he died, “Calm Down Mawk, See your Chrysler Plymouth Dealer, Calm Down. That’s how he said my name, and that t.v. commercial was what he referred to whenever he thought I was getting too excited. Calm Down, See Your Chrysler Plymouth Dealer.

So for me to stay calm, I have to focus on myself, I have to let the tears flow and not choke me. I have to be me, honest with myself, honest with my friends, my family, my community. I can’t let the store cause me any stress, I have to give up the store. That is going to be hard. I have given so much of myself to the store, happily given of myself to the store. It’s been my lifeline, my success, my place in the world, behind the counter of the store. Stan’s Lunch, P&S Stationery, Womrath Books, Primarily Cards, Beyond Baroque Bookstore and Literary Arts Center, The Hungry Moose Market & Deli Town Center, The Hungry Moose Market & Deli on the Mountain.

That is where I have lived for the first 55 years of my life. And now my body has said no more.  Transition. Patience. Give myself a chance to change. Nothing needs to happen overnight. I have to make a shift. The shift is happening.

I have to pay attention to my body. I have no choice. I have to pay attention to my breathing. I have no choice. I wish that things could be different, but they’re not. I am happy to be paying attention to my mind and writing again.

Andy and I talked about some of this, but writing helps me process deeper. There is so much going on with me especially as every detail of my day is so packed with metaphor and meaning. I guess that’s what happens when you are mindful.

So here’s some more of the details of yesterday:

Ben, Cooper’s hubby, picked me up at the house at 11:30 am. He helped me get my shoes and coats on. Jackie got the car warmed up and we loaded up with Ben driving our car which is easier for me to navigate the in and out of.  We drove and talked our way to Bozeman. Talked getting to know each other talk, business talk, family talk, big sky talk, boy talk. We don’t know each other that well, but we are getting to know each other. I know his wife Kristen very well, she started working for us in 2005 when we opened up the town center store and stayed on for about 5 years. She was 19 years old at that time. Now she’s married and they just had their first baby two months ago, a gorgeous little girl. So Ben and I got to know each other. He’s into making beer, I’m into drinking wine. We drove to Belgrade and picked up Chalet Market. Then onto the snowy highway to 7th then Rouse, to La Chatelaine Chocolates, then Rockford Coffee. All I had to do was sit in the car. Ben was me, navigating through the snow, finding the people, asking for the order for the Hungry Moose, loading up the car. Then we went to the main co-op for lunch. We could park in the handicap space right in front. Ben held my arm and kept me steady as I slowly walked with my trekking poles on the snowy sidewalk. I was so full from the giant breakfast Jackie fed me that all I wanted was a bowl of cauliflower curry soup. Ben carried the tray with my soup and his sandwich to the register, following behind me as I trekked slowly ahead. Then onto the elevator, and I almost tripped, as mindful as I was, on one of the mud rugs, but I was able to catch myself. I get stiff from all the sitting and my feet get heavy and my toes don’t lift and I get tripped up on rugs, but I was O.K. I stumbled in and out of the elevator and walked across to an empty table. Ben was spotting me and carrying the food. Ben helped me off with my coat and escorted me to the bathroom door, where I took off by myself. On my way out a random customer who had just come in immediately offered to hold open the door for me and I gratefully accepted. I have developed a small fear of public doors, especially bathroom doors, being thrown open unexpectedly by quickly moving people with other things on their minds.

So lunch done we slowly walked back out of the Co-op and back to the car. Ben held me tightly and I mindfully got to the car. He opened the car door. I handed him my sticks. I held on to the handle with my left hand, threw my left leg in, switched hands on the handle and dragged my body and my other foot into the car.  I was in, Ben handed me the buckle and I was secured. It was only 2 pm and my appointment with Andy was at 3 so we had time for one more chore, a personal one.

We went to Sacred Image Tattoo and Piercing shop next to the Grateful Shed. Tanner was there with his full body of tattoos ready to help me get my nipple rings back in. I had to take them out way back in August when Dr. Daniels sent me for an MRI of my brain, neck and spine. I couldn’t get them back in easily because my hands didn’t work very well – those darn fine motor skills – (but I can still type!) So finally, I was getting them back in.

Tanner asked me some questions:

How long were they out? 3 months
How long were they in? 28 years
Where did you get them pierced? Left one in L.A. at The Gauntlet,
Right one in New York at The Gauntlet.
Wow, do you remember who did it? Eileen in L.A., don’t remember the guy’s name in New York

Tanner loved hearing about The Gauntlet, the first and only place to get body piercings in the country back in the day. As we talked he got to work. Ben left.
It took Tanner a bit of effort, a dull needle to find the hole and then create a pathway. He needed to use a smaller gage needle, then the bigger needle then the ring. A bunch of tugging and poking, but finally the right one was in. And then the left one he was able to do much quicker, but just as painfully – but so worth it. On my way to being back to normal. Sore nipples, but back to normal.

It didn’t really take Tanner that long. Ben walked in just as we finished up. I asked him if he liked all the sound effects, but he was next door the whole time. Then it was onto Andy’s, still a bit early, gave me time to trudge slowly through the snow, to get my coat off, use the bathroom, and relax for a minute. Then the session with Andy.
So Ben had a break from me and went Beer Brewing supply shopping. He picked me up around 4 pm where he found me standing in the waiting room. He helped me get my coat on, walked me slowly to the car and we were on our way home. A pit stop at the Moose to drop everything off and then home. Ben helped me in and then he was off to karate.

Howie was home, and I went straight to the bedroom for a nap. I was tired.