The good news is, I got my MRI results back and there are no masses or anything like that. I do appear to have some severe sinus issues though which I didn't even realize and some of my sinuses are completely blocked, so the doc is recommending an ENT. As for my neurologist though, I think I'm in the market for a new one. This week has been one of the worst in a long time for my migraines. I went to call in my medication and the doc said no....that he'll fill it, but not for another 10 days. I'm not going to go into my meds here on the blog, but I'm on the lowest dosage of my pain meds possible and he gives me a very limited amount of them as it is. In a bad week, I can easily go through my prescription in 7-10 days. And of course, the insurance company won't approve more than nine pills a month of the more effective triptans. I know I'm speaking alien talk to most people at this point :p But needless to say, I need to find a doctor that actually understands the pain of migraines. So I've pretty much had a week of constant migraines with no medication to give me any relief. I've considered going to the ER or an urgent care place, but with my emergency fund gone at this point, that's not really an option with what my copay is with my insurance. I have to say our healthcare system just blows.
BUT! I did want to get some reviews out of the way because I have read a couple of really excellent books over the last couple of weeks!! The first was Twenty Six by Jonathan Kemp, sent to me by the publisher since I loved his first novel, London Triptych which was short listed for the first Green Carnation Prize. The second was Ninth Ward by Jewel Parker Rhodes, which I read because I really like the author and because Vasilly was hosting a read along of it!
London Triptych, was on the short list for the first annual Green Carnation Prize, a new book award for LGBT novels. Twenty Six has an LGBT theme as well, but is quite a different book. It's a set of short stories, or rather short vignettes; one for each letter of the alphabet. This is a book of erotic stories, so let me forewarn you that if you're not one for graphic depictions of sex, specifically gay sex in this case, this may not be the book for you. This book is so much more than just erotic stories though. In a way, it's a dictionary of sex, an exploration of love between two men, two people, a case study of sexual encounters. It presented so beautifully too, with haunting passages that surpass what we so often assume will come with the term "erotica." There's deep meaning to this novel too. Like I said, it's really an exploration of the topic. Some stories are beautiful, some disgusting, some full of passion, some kinky, and some...well just sexy. Here's a little snippet of the types of gems he gives us throughout this short piece:
...you have these occasional intense orgasms that tear themselves out of you like a birth, leaving you fragile and bereft. It's like a near-death experience, you explain, and one day, you are convinced, it will kill you. This little death - this savagery that tears us momentarily from our bodies - will one day gather up it's strength and fell us. Just as no man can know another's death, so we each remain isolated in our pleasure, this delicate shell of nerve-endings acting like a barrier, a boundary, against which the world dissolves."
Ninth Ward is the story of young Lanesha, who was born with a caul over her face and was birthed by Mama Yaya, a nursemaid to Lanesha's mother who died during child birth. Mama Yaya took in Lanesha to live with her and raise her as her own. Mama Yaya is a special kind of woman though. She sees things, knows things. She has a voodoo altar in her home and is really all things of the essence of New Orleans. Lanesha is special herself. At her young age (I believe she's twelve in this novel), she's able to see ghosts. Always has been. And she frequently sees the ghost of her mother. Mama Yaya has helped her hone her gifts. But neither can be entirely prepared for the storm that's brewing and coming their way.
Ninth Ward tells the tale of two generations of beautiful African American women experiencing Hurricane Katrina in the worst hit area of all, the Ninth Ward. For those who don't know New Orleans well, the Ninth Ward is an interesting area. It's an area most known for it's projects, poverty and violence, but in my opinion, it has some of the most amazing people in it as well...and I wish more people knew that side of it. These are people that know their neighbors...people who still jump rope on the streets and have barbecues together and check in on one another. That wasn't shown on the national media coverage and it just broke my heart to see what happened to that part of town.
We all know what happened during Hurricane Katrina, so you can imagine that this IS a rough book. But Rhodes shines some light too and gives us a lot of hope and some beautiful characters to keep with us.