Thursday, April 01, 2010

When an Email Can Make a Difference...

First, I just wanted to say that this is officially my 1,000th blog post on Nik at Nite! I haven't posted since Tuesday because I wanted to make it special when I did finally hit 1,000 (it's like watching the odometer turn over on your car!)... and then I received an email this afternoon that was so extraordinary it's turned my day upside-down... in a good way. The email was from someone I'll call "Gracie," and I'm really really hoping that she begins to comment on here and becomes part of what I'd like to think is a very tight-knit community. I hope I don't come off as arrogant by re-posting her email here, but it was just so amazing, so beautiful... AND she asked me to do it. I wanted you to read these words (please be warned that if you're anything like me, you're going to require some kleenex... I actually buried my face in my hands and was sobbing) and see what a difference a TV show -- and, I guess, a writer -- can make to people.

It's been said to me before -- "You write about television? Um... what, uh... what exactly do you have to say?" "She's a, wait... LOST EXPERT? Wow. That's a life well spent." "You know, if you can WRITE, then why not write a NOVEL... you know, a real book that people will actually want to read?" -- and as the years go on, it becomes less hurtful. But this email has pretty much made all of those comments go away in one fell swoop.

And Gracie, if being part of our community can help give you back some of that life that you lost, know that we're going to be here to give it back to you. Without any further ado, I'll turn you over to Gracie (and I hope the comments don't have anything to do with my books as much as they do about the courage and tenacity of the woman who wrote this email!).

Dearest Nikki:

This is my first e-mail to you, but I feel like I've known you for a very long time. I already know this is going to be long, but please give me the benefit of a doubt and continue on. I think you'll be glad you did.

I have to say up front that I have been very ill for almost two years with an as yet undiagnosed disorder which has put me into a chair and kept me there. I'm only fifty, but this disorder, which some claim is similar to chronic fatigue syndrome, has completely wiped me out physically, and has damaged me to some extent mentally. If at times this e-mail doesn't make sense, please overlook my shortcomings in an effort to see what I'm trying to say.

About a year ago (give or take), I saw an interview done by somebody who I can't even remember. But the interviewer was talking to someone from Lost, and I distinctly remember him or her saying they tune into Lost all the time just to see what is being cooked on this deserted island. (This was probably on a cooking show.) Although right now I cannot tell you who was talking to whom, the idea of what I would eat on a deserted island intrigued me enough to check out an episode of Lost. I had never seen Lost, never heard of Lost, didn't know any actor currently on Lost. I was literally Lost about Lost.

Prior to becoming ill I never watched TV. I was always a reader. Once in a very blue moon, my family would call me from the living room to come see some great thing on the "boob tube", or I would catch the evening news. Rarely did I EVER seek out something on my own. Of course, back in the days of Dallas and Dynasty, I was a normal, average TV viewer. It's sort of like I grew out of it.

Then I got this disorder, and I am now unable to read things unfamiliar to me. By that I mean I cannot read a novel that is completely foreign, but I might be able to get through something I've already read once before if it's still familiar. The problem is that by the time I get to the end of a paragraph, I don't remember what the beginning of the paragraph said. I found myself finishing chapters and having absolutely NO CLUE what this story was about. So, for a long time I was reading things that I already know about on Wikipedia just because I could. Then I found Lost.

Can you say "YES!!!?!?!"

I don't remember which episode I saw first, but it was a repeat, and the next one was out of order and made no sense with the first one. My husband was watching with me, and for the life of us we couldn't figure this out. The repeats NEVER played in order. One minute Locke is moving guns out of some kind of building, and the next thing we know everyone is building the only shelters they can manage out of scraps of airplane. Interesting, but insane. And since I'm basically living in a LayZBoy chair, it's not like I don't have time to figure this out, right?

So, early last fall we started calling the rental places and checking the library trying to get each episode of each season in order so we could watch this show. It was VERY slow going for awhile. By the time we had gotten through Season Two, I had heard from somewhere that there was this crazy lady out there who writes about TV shows. Some Nikki Stafford person. (Poor lady must have a horribly boring life!! All she can find to write about is television?? PLEASE?!?!) BUT, because I had seen the first two seasons of Lost, and because I knew what she was writing about, I would actually be able to read these books and follow them. I sent my husband to, and before I knew it, I had a copy of "Finding Lost". And because I knew basically what it was about, had seen it myself, and knew what was coming, I COULD READ IT AND FOLLOW ALONG!!

Can you please try to get a visual on this? It's important that you understand where I'm coming from. Although I can, and do, go to bed, I live in a chair. I can get to the bathroom on my own, but anything beyond that and the dizziness makes me hit the floor. I leave my house to go to the doctors, and THAT'S IT. I haven't even had a haircut in over a year. I'm exhausted, but hanging in there waiting for some kind of diagnosis so I have some direction in which to go next. My husband works a full time job and takes care of me (obviously I no longer drive), and our only daughter started her freshman year of college last August. I'm on my own far too much, but it's a necessary evil as we cannot afford anything like a full time companion or nurse. And right before everything went completely black ... I FOUND LOST AND NIKKI STAFFORD!! And I don't feel so alone anymore.

You can't see me while I type this but tears of gratitude are running down my face. In at least one of your books (I have all of your Finding Lost books now), you say something about sending you feedback, i.e., "comments, complaints, praise? Please just a little??" I'm quoting you off the top of my head so pardon my bad if it's not exact. Praise, huh? Just a little?? How about this: I loved my life. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of things. I mean I'm not a doctor or a world leader, but it was MINE and I loved it. I love my family and our pets and our home. I loved music (Aerosmith), and the sound of rain on the awnings in the Spring. I loved flowers. I loved many things. And it was my life for better or for worse, and then that part just suddenly ended, and we don't know why. Roughly a year later, things had gotten pretty bad. The lack of a diagnosis is disheartening and puzzling. I had lost so much weight, I had to sleep on a bubble pad to keep from getting bed sores. I hate doctors, but realized I would be seeing more and more of them. I was slowly learning how to get comfortable in this chair. It got dark. It got bad. I will honestly tell you that at night I was thinking about things people are not supposed to be thinking about. And right about then Lost and Nikki Stafford lands in my lap!!!

By Christmas I had seen all five seasons, and I had read three of your books. I had some problems getting through the stories within the story, like your take on the book "A Tale Of Two Cities", for example. And if I wanted to read about a particular actor or actress, I might have to read those sections four or five times or more. But I got through it for the most part. I now have finished the fourth Finding Lost book, and I guess I'm waiting on the last one. Yes, I am waiting for it with held breath, but I am NOT looking forward to it because that's the end. And if I am still sitting here after that book is published, and I've finished it, well.....let's not go there, ok?

There was a time when I hit 82 pounds that I didn't think I'd make it to see the end of Lost or the end of your books, but now I'm gaining. As of today, I'm weighing in at a whopping 95 pounds!!! I might just be here for a while. In my heart, and I mean deep down where my soul lives, I wonder how much of that is due to Nikki Stafford. Somebody I've never met who gave me something to look forward to, kept me hanging by a string from week to week, and gave me a blog where I could go and read at my own pace without criticism. And, yes, I go there all the time. I've never had a Google Account and cannot figure out how to sign in so I can comment with the rest of them if I wanted to, so I just read along. (Yes, I've tried and tried to sign in, but I'm not doing something right, and it's just one more thing I'd have to have my husband help me with, so I'm not asking.) And it keeps me going until the next doctors appointment or the next Lost episode. "Just a little," huh? Just a little.

Honestly, I would probably (maybe) still be here if not for Lost, but it wouldn't be nearly as fun, and in ways I cannot explain Lost took away some of that darkness I lived with day to day. With Lost, I have the show, the magazine, Lostpedia, your books, and your blog. There's a lot of emotions in there, especially a lot of laughter, which I sorely need. I sincerely wish I had a direct e-mail address for Darlton so I could loudly bow and thank them.

Nikki, I can sit here and watch Lost and still be alone. And I did that too. Back in the day. After Season Five came out on DVD, we bought all of them and watched everything again before Six started. I can sit here and watch CSI, anything, and be alone. By myself.

Something happened after the first Finding Lost, which covered two seasons I believe. It was right after that book (probably IN that book) that I learned of the blog. So from then on out, I'm here watching this show, knowing you've already seen what I'm watching until I catch up, and YOU'VE got a book out there about it that I can read. There are a zillion Lost books out there. But when I sent my husband to Amazon, I think the name Finding Lost was what caught my attention. After that I was all yours. With each book I was right there with you every page. You never gave anything away, and you insisted that if anybody cared enough to read your books, they better be watching the damn show. The little lists that you added (Sawyer nicknames), the write-up of the books, and the actors. You went over and above. And my brain was going. Thinking for me is like trying to see something looking through soup. It's actually EASIER for me to sit here and type than it is to have a conversation.

So first there was the show itself. That was indeed great, and I could (and did) watch it while everyone was gone, and watch it again later with my husband when he came home from work. But THE FIRST BOOK?? My husband doesn't read...well, he can and does when he has to, but he's not a reader. I LIVED TO READ. I read to live. People NEVER saw me without a book no matter where I was. NEVER. It was like Ben telling the truth. NEVER HAPPENS. And when I got hands on your first book, that was MINE. I could read that one book all day and all night, over and over, and each time I read it, I found something that I'd missed before. Or something that I hadn't been able to GRASP before. The show itself offered me and my husband the same thing it offers you and everyone else. But the books?? Lady, those books saved my ass!!! Can you put yourself in my shoes to know that I've lost a little of my mind, but I could see daylight in those books?? The books gave me freedom. They gave me something I could do alone, without being alone. They gave me something to think about, when there were other things I truly DID NOT want to think about. And the blog just makes me think more and more, and it makes me laugh. I'm trying to get you on the same page with me, but frankly, I don't think I have the words or the ability to string them together to put you where I was: Lost gave me something to think about and anticipate. Finding Lost gave me a reason to get out of bed.

So I am here to loudly THANK YOU! There is no garbage in this e-mail, no trash talk, no lies. Just a clear desire to thank you myself for being there to be found at a time when I so desperately needed to find something! YOU have been a Godsend, Dear Woman, and I would be a shallow, shadow of my former self if I did not reach out to say THANK YOU!

UPDATE: Gracie emailed me back after I'd posted this and after the comments had come in, and she said she really really needed to drive home the point that the show hadn't done this, but I had. She told me not to be critical or try to pass the praise over to other people (that's a very, very difficult thing for me to do) and that she wanted me to post her new message. So Gracie, I just wanted to tell you that you ARE getting through, and yes, I do completely understand what you're saying. But self-deprecation is simply part of my personality, and it's what I do. But I certainly don't want you to think that you're not explaining yourself, because once again, you've done so beautifully. So, here is the continuation of Gracie's story, and once again, thank you for sharing this with me, Gracie!!

Oh, and before I post this, I just wanted to tell one quick anecdote: when my first Lost book was being written, we were all desperately trying to come up with a title for it, and it just wasn't working, until a friend of a friend suggested "Getting Lost." I thought it was the PERFECT title. "If you read Nikki's book and are looking to understand the show, you will finally "get" Lost." I loved it. And then another publisher -- who shares the distributor that we have -- also had a Lost book on their sched. Ours was coming out in September. Theirs in August. And then theirs had the title... Getting Lost. Because they were going to beat us by a month, we were now forced to switch titles, and I was SO upset about it. I loved that first title. So we went back to an earlier title that I'd actually suggested, "Finding Lost." I was never really married to it, and it didn't have the cool double-meaning of the other one...

But now after Gracie's posted her note, I'm really happy with the title. It's definitely grown on me over the past couple of years anyway, but she keeps referring to the title and how she's been "found" as a result of it, and now I'm so, so happy that other publisher took the title so I could change mine. :) Thank you for that, Gracie!

The rest of my story.........and another long one.

I know you have a life. Husband and kids, I think. As in more than one child. So this e-mail you will have to save until the house is dark and everyone is in bed so you can really, really think about it. Be alone for this one. Now that the story has been told, you may as well be completely current on the details.

First, let me say, NO, I am not stalking you, nor will I. But this e-mail is probably going to read weird. This one I'm gonna have to put some time into as well as my mind. This one has to be done RIGHT! Soup move aside, PLEASE!

I'm fifty years old. Started smoking when I was TWELVE. Too stupid to know any better. Two years ago in April I quit with a smoking cessation class. I quit a habit that had gotten to FOUR PACKS A DAY. That's not a typo. Yepper, that says FOUR. Four packs is eighty cigarettes. A DAY. That was April of 2008. By the end of July I was sound asleep. I was sleeping for days on end. My husband has told all the doctors that trying to wake me was like trying to wake someone from a coma. No response at all, although he knew I was alive obviously. This went on for months. Within this time frame, yes, I'm seeing my doctor, who insists that I MUST be depressed over LOSING my cigarettes. Of all the things I was, I knew I wasn't depressed. Especially about cigarettes. Actually, I should have been depressed but wasn't. That doctor wanted me to see a psychiatrist to prove TO ME that I was depressed. I called his bluff, and I saw this lady several times.

This psychiatrist tells me I have a physical problem that is causing me "mental difficulties". I do not have a mental problem which is affecting my body. She says I do not meet any of the criteria for depression except the part that relates to sleeping, but this is a physical problem causing this, and it's not a mental one. She even goes so far as to tell me "Do not let this doctor put you on antidepressants. That is the worst thing you need right now." I went back to my doctor and told him what she said, and since he referred me to her, we KNOW that he got a follow up letter telling him exactly what she told me. (My husband sat in for all of this so I could keep her advice straight, and he heard the same thing I did). The doctor has no clue now what to do with me, so he does nothing. NOTHING! Wouldn't even refer me to somebody else.

Meanwhile in between these two doctors, there was an insinuation going on that because I had started smoking so young and before puberty, and had smoked so heavily, that MAYBE there was a chemical in the cigarettes that my body was missing. Maybe I should try it again UNDER MODERATE CONDITIONS?? Who smokes four packs a day and understands the word MODERATE??? I am starting to lose it at this point. We start looking for a new doctor. Meanwhile, in my mind I've got one doctor telling me it's mental, and another doctor is saying most definitely NOT. I started smoking again, and before you know it, I'm back at four packs a day. My daughter was getting ready to head into her senior year in high school and seventeen at the time (without a mother for all intents and purposes). And my husband was just all over the place. I think his anger at this doctor was only surpassed by his sadness at my situation. HE started smoking again.

Now, keeping in mind right here that I have NO CLUE whether or not you smoke, imagine I'm here in my chair and I'm reading your books. And smoking to beat the band. If you can try to put this e-mail together with the past ones, maybe you'll see that now I'm getting out of bed more often. Finding Lost wasn't the only reason, and if you're curious, I'll explain. But now I'm getting up. Still sleeping twelve hours a day, but at least I'm awake for the other twelve. And I'm smoking. I had the dizziness before I restarted smoking, but it's no better or worse now. I can get to the bathroom if I'm careful, and when I'm feeling really bold, I can make a trip to the kitchen. (We live in a VERY small house. The kitchen cupboard is about 25 feet from my chair.) So here I am reading Finding Lost and gaining some strength from this relationship that you don't even know about. It's making me use my head. I'm thinking, but I'm not just thinking about dark things anymore. For the first time in ages, I'm thinking about what I saw on TV some time ago, and what I'm currently reading about it. And it feels good. I feel human. Actually, it's wonderful!!

I'm drawing from your thoughts, your enthusiasm, your humor. I'm seeing this story through your eyes, and then seeing it again through my own. It's giving me hope. Not the show, but the connection with you and the thinking about it. It's giving me a REASON. And I'm delighted!! My husband, God love him, could not do that. My daughter couldn't do it. They could not connect with me in any way that didn't have to do with my current mental and physical condition because they are devastated. They still cannot see past it. Yes, we talk about other things, but I usually do not connect with them on the same level that you had me connected to you in those books. You wanted your readers to think about it, feel it, wear those shoes, smell it. Ache for them. Bleed. And I did. YOU made the connection, not Darlton. This was the written word, not the show.

From all of this I started working through the soup that is my mind. This was and is a very slow process, and it has taken ages to get to the point where I am now. But what I wanted to say is this: I never wanted to start smoking again. That has KILLED me mentally almost since the day I picked the pack back up. I had it beat! I was NEVER going to smoke again. Hell or high water could not make me smoke. I even had trigger stops in place just in case the "worst things" happened. If an unmentionable happened, and someone died, smoking would not bring them back to me. I WAS DONE! FREEDOM!!! To have someone suggest to me that maybe it was the cigarettes was just ludicrous. For me to have actually done it was a grasp at ANYTHING that might help, in combination with my state of mind at that time. And then to go straight back up to four packs a day while sitting in this chair put me in a place so dark, I just wanted it to end. All of it. To have your now nineteen year old daughter look at you from across the room with such loss, with such pain, and with her own anger, and know you CANNOT help her because YOU ARE THE CAUSE OF IT is below the pale. Nobody should ever have to endure that. My thought was "please, just end it now." And to see my husband smoking see that this has aged him. He doesn't sleep well. At times he's very absentminded, and I can only hope he's not this way at work, because I know it's because of me. He's thinking of me. He has done EVERY DAMN THING a woman in my position could expect or hope her husband would do. He's done it. Almost all of it alone. And I've told him, "I cannot help you." "I cannot help you help me!"

I'm happy to say that, MUCH THANKS TO YOU NIKKI, on Thursday, March 25th, I smoked 47 cigarettes. Had one right before I went to bed that night, and I haven't had one since. Because I'm THINKING about it again. And I'm able to clearly see in my mind that I never wanted to start again, and I'm not sure why I did, beyond frustration. So I laid them down, and there they stay. My daughter's face upon hearing that news just about took me to the floor.

When the family leaves for the day, they know what my situation is going to be, so they set up what they think I'm going to need beside my chair. That would include my cigarettes. They know I can get up to go get things, but it's not very wise because if I fall down, and it's a bad fall, I'm gonna stay there until one of them gets home. So they try to have me all set up. Before I went to bed on the 25th, the pack of cigarettes on the table beside me had five cigarettes left in it. It's still there with FIVE cigarettes in it right next to an empty yet dirty ashtray that I'm no longer using, yet they are RIGHT BESIDE ME. The doctor gave me an odd look yesterday and I know he wanted to ask how I do this. So, how do I do this? Well, I figure that if I want to smoke them, I'm going to. But I don't want to smoke them AND I'M THINKING IT THROUGH. They sound nasty, they are nasty, they're killing me, and I like money. So there they sit. And the entire tobacco industry can kiss my skinny a**.

When most people try to quit, they go for walks, or take a shower when an urge hits them, brush their teeth, join a gym, whatever. Some eat, which is bad. But they can all get up and go do something. Just get up and go do something until the urge to smoke goes away. I'm in a chair and the worst of this quit is over. If I can do it here, why is ANYONE still smoking? If I can quit with a pack and an ashtray right beside me, why can't anyone else? I can't take a bath by myself, but mentally I can throw one over on the tobacco industry. Damn Nikki!!! Please see this for what it is!!!!! THIS IS YOUR DOING!!!! SEE THAT NIK! I have completely wasted my time and yours if you cannot see that this is a direct result of YOUR BOOKS. Of you getting me to see through the soup. You should read this to your husband, your family, sit on the roof and read it to your neighbors. You should print this. This is one person connecting with, and be able to help another person, when neither one of them have even met! Never had a single conversation. Not even an e-mail.

Now, you are completely, hopelessly up to date. When the people on your blog come back to you and say "See Nikki! Look at what you do?", you need to stop being so self critical, and just accept it at face value cause it's true. That doesn't mean it went to your head. It means you accept that your life has been about more than you knew, and in the process, you've really helped someone regain a sense of herself. You have changed lives over a TV show, and I hope you print off all of my e-mails and send them to your family and other critics.

Which takes me back to the stalking thing from the beginning. No, I'm not a stalker, but I really believe that if someone has changed your life and touched you in ways or at times when nothing else could touch you or reach you, that person needs to be told all about it. To NOT say something is very shallow, and I am many things although shallow is not among them. Listen to the people on the blog or please listen to me: NOBODY COULD TOUCH ME! THEY COULD NOT REACH ME TO MAKE THE CONNECTION! BUT YOU DID!

And if you don't post this one, I'm going to!

Love ya,

P.S. Took me a lot of time yesterday and quite a bit of time today to type this. My heart is in this thing. My tears are in here, My own personal pain is in this e-mail. My heartache, my distress, my anger, my love. GOD LET PEOPLE LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT! Take a good long look at the one person (or family) who ROCKS your world, and really look at them for ALL THAT THEY DO to you, for you, with you, about you, BECAUSE of you. Then put them where I am now. And live with it. Every day. Day after day. Endlessly. Live with it.

Enjoy what you have while you have it and this e-mail will have been well worth my time and efforts. It makes me think that "Lost" has been "Found".


Hunter said...

That is a wonderful e-mail. I thought "Lost" meant a lot to me, but I can't touch what she said. That's really incredible. You have received the ultimate praise, Mrs. Stafford!

I think you should try and forward that to Darlton. I know the letter is mainly directed at you, but I think they'd be just as touched as you were.

You really never know how much something you do affects others until you read a letter like that.

Ashleigh said...

Wow, that is an amazing email. I don't think we, as people, realise how much impact we have on each other, and I don't think we express our appreciation enough.

I'm sure we all have a 'Nikki' story, probably not nearly as moving as this one. I think the general concensus is that Nikki brightens our day :)

Thank you so much for sharing & congrats on your 1000 post. I hope that 'Gracie' finds her way onto the comments. I think we would all love to see her around here & applaud her for her strength.

Lisa-Maladylis said...

wow Nikki, you were so right, pass the Kleenex ! I'm going to need a box or two. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read the books. I buy my boy friend books every month since he's a bus driver and needs then for when he's stuck waiting but since I work at home here at the desk, I guess I always thought spending money on my self was well- a waste. I guess I should go buy some and fast. Gracie.... Get that hubby to sign you into google or maybe Nikki will do it for you. Were all here for you !!

Anonymous said...

That was beautiful... wow... no words! First time Im commenting here, I wish I had something deeper to say, but just congratulations to you nikki and to grace who wrote that amazing email. All the best :)

Natasha said...

That's just....Wow.
It's good to be reminded how one person can inadvertently influence another's life. No matter how big or small to others, actions always have power.
Gracie showed us that with her moving and thought provoking email.
Thanks for that.

Ali Bags said...

Thanks for posting that Nikki - and thanks to Gracie for sharing her feelings and gratitude. She doesn't need to figure out the google account thing - can't she just post anonymously and tell us who she is in her comment?I am sure she can see that we are a kind and supportive bunch of people.

Just yesterday, I was thinking about how important this blog is to me and how surprised I am that a blog could mean so much! I have never been a 'fan' of a TV program before and I really think that it is you and this blog that has led me to being so devoted. You do little things like go out of your way to post your book to me all the way to Hong Kong AND make sure you save me money. When you sent me a Christmas card was over the moon (as a non worshipper I never send cards so I never receive them, so was SO pleasantly surprised)You treat your readers like friends which means a lot.

humanebean said...

Wow, indeed. Gracie, I hope you will read and enjoy this post and what I'm sure will be many comments of support and gratitude for sharing your story. I'm sure that few if any of us can truly understand what you've been going through - but we do share some of your passion for LOST and your enjoyment of Nikki's writing. I wish you and your family all the best and hope that you will know how much those of us who frequent the blog appreciate sharing it with you.

Nikki - thank you for all you give to us on a regular basis. Your ability to let us see things through your eyes is a rare gift - and touches many.

Jenn said...



Thanks for sharing your story, not just with Nikki, but with all of us. I never expected to feel like I was a part of a "community" either—especially since I really only started using my "voice" during the Lost Rewatch. However, I felt like I was accepted with open arms. Sometimes I comment before my ideas are fully formed, and they come out jumbled. I have never been attacked by anyone one this blog for being "wrong" or for not understanding a concept or idea right away. I hope that you'll start to join us not just in reading Nikki's blog, but in the comments and conversations as well.

Pass the Kleenex indeed!

Derek said...

Wow...I am crying! Nikki, that is so cool what you did for that woman without even realizing it :) I'm happy for you!
Also, I just had a dream last night where you were in New York I believe you said you were gonna be where you were planning on meeting with a whole bunch of Lost fans at a restaurant and talk about the show. Well, in the dream, I was there. Too bad I live in Idaho...
And more thing. Congratulations on your 1000th post!

Gracie said...

I hope this works. I'm truly Lost if it doesn't.

I am Gracie and I wrote the e-mail posted by Nikki.

Although I have wanted to say something for a very long time, I'm glad that I waited until I was able to compose my thoughts in some coherent manner. I didn't want Nikki to think that I was, in any way, putting down Lost as a show, but offering her praise as the author of the Finding Lost books. I have been married for almost thirty years, and we have a nineteen year old daughter, but neither my husband nor our daughter has been able to do what Nikki did, and she and I have never met or e-mailed before today. This has completely devastated my family, yet lately they've notice small improvements. This comes from being able to think and reason. Using your head. Thinking about things. Noticing the details. LIVING. And I was losing all of this slowly over time. Although my improvements are relatively minor, I owe them to Nikki. The inability to read books almost killed me, literally. It took away more than I felt I could give. Getting that back, even in small doses, is a tribute to Nikki. Now, while I'm more able to think things through, I HAVE to consider what it will mean for me when the show is over and I've finished Nikki's last book. That's going to be a very hard time for me. Frankly, I'm not looking forward to it. That whole idea just looks, well, it looks dark.

Nikki gave me the address for Darlton because I said something about it although I didn't think it through. I agree that that e-mail should be sent to them, but I don't have the ability to get it there right now. If anyone wants to send it off to them, feel free. Thank God for Lost, because I'd be Lost without it.

Once again, Nikki, THANK YOU!!!

SenexMacdonald said...

Wow... what can I say? I am amazed by the power of the written word as a teacher, a librarian and as an avid reader. I know it can raise us up and carry us along; bring us to tears (and yes, I also had those while reading Gracie's email) and bring a smile to our faces wider than an ocean.

That is just some of the ways I feel about LOST. After reading Gracie's email, I see that, and more, reflected in her words three-fold.

Welcome, Gracie, to the world of LOST, our world here with Nikki and we wait to hear your voice again. :)

Gracie said...

Darn!! The very first thing I wanted to say was to congratulate Nikki on her 1,000 blog entries, and it completely left my mind as easily as it arrived. Congratulations NIKKI!!! May there be 1,000 more at least!! And may they NOT all be about me!! LOL

Benny said...

I am at a loss for words. That is a really amazing story and thank you, Gracie and Nikki both, for sharing with us.

And welcome Gracie. I hope you start commenting in these last few weeks. Once you join in, you won't be able to stop and you'll definitely be part of our fun family.

Joan Crawford said...

That was a wonderful letter Gracie - you're not only a reader but a writer as well. Yay, your comment went through :D Hope to see a lot more of you around here!

JS said...

Nikki - Thanks for posting this. It is about the power of community, and commune between a writer and a reader. I think it is a profound relationship and I cannot imagine what my life would be like without my books, blogs, magazines.....

This particular spot on the web is special to us, and Gracie, thanks for sharing your story.

I look forward to coming here and reading what you all have to say about the crazy story we all follow, about “palatableness”, about made up words, and everything else. It has definitely helped me through a couple of rough spots to know I could go somewhere where to be completely immersed. And I already told you about that particular period. Thanks Nikki, for fostering such a warm group.

Rainier said...

Thank yo so much for posting that, Nikki, and thank you Gracie, for writing it. You can post without a Google account, either anonymously or by choosing "name/URL" under "Choose your identity." You do not need a URL to do this; it's how I post. I did not post for a long time, until I very recently figured this out.

I will apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I have a lot that I need to say about this, and I think (and hope) that at least Nikki and (hopefully) Gracie will not mind overmuch. I cannot post the whole thing at once, so this is PART 1.

Gracie, I am in nowhere near the kind of shape that you are, but I can still relate. Really. I have fibromyalgia and its attendant sleep disorder; I am in pain a lot of the time, and there is not much I can do about it except to exercise (even though it hurts) and take pain medications that are not good for me and that dull me mentally and emotionally. I also live with severe monopolar depression, PTSD, and migraines that can level me for days at a time.

As a result of a couple of accidents and injuries (including a head injury) the medications that I take to get through the day, and my chronic trouble with sleep, my memory is somewhat compromised and my mental processes are sometimes very slow. I just started posting on this forum, and it can sometimes take me an hour or more to write a post.

Also, following shoulder surgery to my left shoulder (thanks to any gods there are that it wasn't my right!) I was laid up for months, in pain that amazed even me. PT was a nightmare. I spent most of my time in bed or in a chair with an ice machine (sort of a glorified cooler with a pump & a pad) my closest companion besides my dogs. During a lot of this time, I could not really read, because it was too difficult to hold a book and turn the pages. It was during this time that I found Nikki's books. This was hell for me (as I know you understand), because I have always been a voracious reader, which was always my primary form of entertainment.

I was already a Lost fan, and had the series on DVD. I watched the episodes repeatedly; I would often fall asleep after a short time. And Nikki's books - which I found after I acquired a Kindle (they are available from Amazon in Kindle format) - were easy for me to get into, because they do not require the kind of extended concentration that novels do. And they - and the discussions here - gave me another take on the show. It gave me something to do, something that occupies my mind, and consequently made the long recovery process easier.

Rainier said...

PART 2: (see above) -

Things have been a lot better lately. Until 2 weeks ago, that is, when my husband tripped over one of our dogs and started to fall onto a table next to me. I threw out an arm to stop him, and took his weight on that damned shoulder. It hyper-extended, and is once again causing me quite a lot of pain and frustration. My surgeon looked at it, shot it full of cortisone, gave me more pain pills, and sent me back to PT, saying he thinks it is just inflamed and will resolve. The only positive in this is that at least Lost is on again, and I can spend time on this forum. It is, for the moment at least, keeping me sane and occupied.

I love the books, and I love this forum. It has given me a place to explore ideas about the show, and now to actively discuss it. My husband is also a fan, but I have been unable to interest him in speculation about what is to come. Sometimes, though, I have been able to find things in the books or here that he has not noticed. Then I show them to him on the DVD or DVR, and it sparks some good conversations.

So as I said, Gracie, I know where you are coming from. I know the frustration of being unable to do the things that make your life meaningful, and of dealing with doctors who have no answers to offer. I hope to see you posting here on the forum!

And Nikki, thank you. For the books, the forum, and for posting that e-mail. I have also thought about writing you, but did not know what to say or how to say it. Now I pretty much have. Your books have made a difference, and for more than one of us.

Sagacious Penguin said...

Totally speechless.

Nikki -- Never doubt that if you're doing what you enjoy and making other people happy simultaneously, then yours is a life VERY well lived.

Gracie -- Be strong. Take comfort in those around you (both physically and through written word). And WELCOME to the forum. Post often!

LOST -- I love you.

Stheno said...

"I loved my life. It wasn't much in the grand scheme of things. I mean I'm not a doctor or a world leader, but it was MINE and I loved it. I love my family and our pets and our home. I loved music (Aerosmith), and the sound of rain on the awnings in the Spring. I loved flowers. I loved many things. And it was my life for better or for worse"

Thanks for this. You're right and we always tend to forget about this.
The guys here are right: You're a writer as well as a reader.

Nikki Stafford said...

Yay, Gracie, you're here!!! Welcome to the clan. I think you'll have a lot of fun here... and I LOVE that JS referred to our discussions on palatableness. Stick around in the comments section for a while and that comment will make perfect sense to you. Haha!!

Thanks to everyone for the nice things you've said about my books and blog; that's very sweet. And thank you for acknowledging how beautifully written Gracie's letter was. It was pretty special.

And Rainier, thank YOU for also having the courage to talk about what has happened... I had no idea from your many posts and comments and insight. I'm so happy to have you as part of this blog, and I hope the shoulder pain goes away soon.

And Stheno, you actually quoted the EXACT section that had me sobbing.

Gracie, welcome welcome welcome!!

Lisa(until further notice) said...

@Nikke, @Gracie, @et al, YOU ROCK.
I second the fact that this community is wonderful. I know I will have to find something else when LOST is over, but I will be forever grateful that I found this place during the rewatch. I had started rewatching on my own before I knew there were official rewatches going on. I found another blog that I love, and continue to enjoy reading, but I do not post there. I usually don't even read the comments...nothing compares to Nikki or her followers. @Nikki, I also love how you continue to jump back on board and re-comment or re-theororize with us. It makes the time in-between episodes almost as much fun as the episodes themselves. I think I said something a few episodes ago, but the way everyone is made to feel welcome, and the witty reparte' is enlightening, entertaining and fulfilling. THANKS to all.

Congrats on your 1000th post, Nikki, and @Gracie, I'm glad you've hopped on. Your story is thought provoking and sure gives me pause to think about all the important things in life. Your email to Nikki was beautiful and heartfelt. WELCOME!!!

annie_a said...

I am incredibly touched by this story. Thank you, Gracie, for writing it (it must have required a great effort by the sound of it) and thank you, Nikki, for posting it.

this story is truly the greatest argument against the apparent frivolity of your work, Nikki.

Gracie, I hope you find the strength to carry on. I am also a book fanatic, I work in a book-related profession, and to imagine not be able to read anymore would be absolutely devastating.

Once the Lost series is over, maybe you could move on to Buffy the vampire slayer? this series must be out on DVD by now, and it is another series that Nikki has written extensively about.... :-)

Marebabe said...

Here I am, late as usual (lately). It seems that everything I want to say has already been said, so even though it’s redundant, Nikki, congratulations on your 1,000th blog post. Gracie and Rainier, be strong and of good courage. May the Lord bless you, every day, forever!

Gracie said...

@Rainier: So very sorry to hear. I wish I could think of something medically to encourage you, but these past two years have convinced me that doctors are, indeed, PRACTICING medicine. So little is known so with each patient they practice. Meanwhile lives are in the balance and it's easy to see why families become destroyed. Hang in there. Tomorrow IS another day!

pete said...

Very cool. We rarely know how much we influence others, but sometimes it's great to have our work affirmed.

Jazzygirl said...

Speechless also...and I too was touched about her description of her's definitely got me thinking differently about things. And to not complain about the small stuff.
Congrats, Nikki, on the 1000th post. I'm honored to be a part of this wonderful family.
And I also dread the end of the LOST era. I don't like change and I will be holding on with white knuckles in May. But I know that it won't mean the end of US. It's such a part of my life that I can't imagine not having it. :)

Late to the Party said...

@Gracie, that was so eloquent. You're coping with a situation that most of us can't even imagine, and from the tone of your e-mail it sounds like you are coping with grace (no pun intended) and dignity. Keep the faith! I don't post here often, but I visit almost every day, and I can tell you this is a group of kind, intelligent, welcoming folks who support and encourage each other. Welcome!

@Nikki, thank you so much for sharing this beautiful letter with us. It really puts things in perspective, and as Jazzygirl said, it makes you think differently about things. And congratulations on your 1000th post!!

As for what we'll do after the final season of Lost ... well, there's always the possibility of another re-watch, right? :-)

Gracie said...

@annie_a: WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO NIKKI because I'm sure her books are absolutely fantastic, I just cannot wrap my head around a show called "Buffy The Vampire Slayer." Uh. No. Even from the standpoint (sitpoint?) of sitting in this chair, that just sounds like a really bad idea for a TV show. BUT I KNOW NOTHING ABOUT IT!!! Please enlighten me. What's it about? Does anybody know if the whole thing is available on DVD?

Jenea said...

I am very touched by this life-story!
Nikki, you help much people!!! Thanks for it!!! :) Maybe in one day I will write to you how Lost, change my life!

Stheno said...

I'm sure, when you like the humor of the people around here, you will like "Buffy"'s humor as well.

This show is maybe not as complicated as Lost is, but it has great characters and ideas.

Nikki Stafford said...

Gracie: Annie_a beat me to it, but I was going to suggest Buffy as a post-Lost TV show, too!!

Buffy is one of the sweetest, funniest, deepest, and most profound shows I've ever seen, and it is still my fave TV show of all time. The joke is in the title (and it was also the reason it never became a massive hit... too many people thought it was literal and didn't realize the irony that was intended) and it's a brilliant, brilliant, thought-provoking show.

The monsters/vampires in the series were metaphorical as well as literal, representing the demons that we have to fight against every day of our lives and giving viewers hope that they CAN be vanquished. It's a wonderful show, and I hope we can convince you to check it out!!

Hey, maybe after Lost ends we do a BUFFY REWATCH!!!! :)

OK, and then if you want a show that's going to just make your brain explode, The Wire Rewatch will be next. :)

annie_a said...

@ Gracie
I've never watched Buffy - all I know about this show is that it must have supernatural elements, with a name like that, and it stars Sarah Michelle Gellar. And that Nikki LOVES it, so how bad could it be? ;-)

hey, I'd be up for a Buffy first-watch once LOST is over!

anything to avoid the reality-TV epidemic on the airwaves these days - seriously, how come people are not sick of American Idol yet?!?

The Question Mark said...

isn't it beautiful how something as small as one little TV show can bring so many people together in such a positive way?
Your e-mail to Nikki was wonderful. It puts such a big smile on my face knowing that something one person does can make another person (someone they haven't even met) as happy as Nikki's books have made you. I think that THAT is hope, in its truest, rawest, purest form.

All the best to you, Gracie, and welcome to our blog family!

first of all, kudos on reaching 1,000 posts!
I agree 100% with Gracie: you are unlike any other writer I have ever heard of, taking the time to get to know your fans and even sending Ali Bags a special Hong Kong delivery of your books. I aspire myself to make acting & writing my career, and as far as writing goes I hope I can be half as great as you've been.
Even though we've never met either, your blog posts and Finding Lost books always make me smile & give me something to look forward to.
Plus, I live in Toronto/Brampton, so every time I head downtown I keep my fingers crossed that maybe today will be the day I see Nikki strolling down the street with a Desmond action figure lovingly clutched in one hand! ;)

Gracie & Nikki, thanks to both of you for brightening my day!

Gracie said...

@ All of you who put this back on Nikki and especially the beautiful way The Question Mark worded her/his post. I get that it's my story and my writing, but the point is the CREDIT IS NIKKI'S. SHE DID THIS! If you didn't get that, you missed the whole point of my writing to her.

I just sent her what is actually part two of this story in an e-mail. I told her if she doesn't post it, I will. But I asked her to hold it until she's alone or her family is in bed, so she can be, I hope, at one with it. So it may take some time. But I promise, if she doesn't post it, I will. Yes, there is more to this story, and in the end, I have to make Nikki know EXACTLY what she has done. I hope this last e-mail does just that.

Paticus said...

@Gracie- thanks for sharing your story, and for reminding everyone that they should "love their life" as well. I hope you are able to find, if not a cure, at least a diagnosis and some possible comfort soon.
@Nikki- Further evidence that you kick ass, and congrats on 1000 posts!!

Gracie said...

Three brief things:

Can somebody please go back to the main comments page to this point April 2, 2010 12:04 PM, and tell me if I correctly understand the blogs definition of palateableness?

Secondly, can anyone please remind me of the date Nikki's final Finding Lost book hits the newsstands? I misplaced that somewhere. Not looking forward to it, but looking forward to it, ya know?

Finally, down below here right beside the WORD VERIFICATION? There is a handicapped thing like an icon. What is that and what does it do? I cannot seem to find an answer to that online.


Benny said...


That handicap button (you can click it) is in case you have difficulty/cannot see the word verif. It plays a digit code you can enter instead.

Benny said... plays a sequence of digits over garbled sound and if you enter it correctly, your comment gets posted, just the same as using the word verif, it's kinda fun but takes longer

hwv: 629267

Lisa-Maladylis said...

Hi Gracie, the handicapped verification will make the words audible so you can hear it instead of read it. Trust me, I just tried it and it's horrible !! It sounds like 20 people talking in a can lol Hope that helps

Kim said...

Gracie, Thank you for sharing your e-mail. It was so touching.

Nikki- Thank you for all the sense of community you provide for all of us. I too love reading your books and your blog and feel like it's a friend writing a letter to me.

I am too somewhat "homebound" due to raising a profoundly autistic child who is also aggressive. It limits my ability to participate in life and overwhelms my brain with treatment plans and fear about the future.

But looking forward to Lost every week and reading Nikki's blog and all the posts really keep me engaged.

Blam said...

Nikki: I'm so glad that you shared Gracie's letter with us. And now she's joined in. Yay and congrats on your 1,000th post!

Gracie: I'd give almost anything not to be able to say this, but I can relate very strongly to your story. The mysterious health issues, doctors' visits, chronic fatigue, foggy-headedness, difficulty moving and even concentrating — not only have I been there, I'm still there too much of the time, but through a combination of physical therapy, medication, meditation, persistence, and plain old good fortune things have improved over the past couple of years to the point where I can read and write again often enough to have regained some of the life I'd left behind. I'm only an uncle, not yet a father, and I'm sure that your daughter is ten times reason enough to want to live, but we all need things that are our own; if this community is one of those things for you then I'm happier than ever to be part of it.

VW: AntLyt — The new creative-writing magazine for insects.

Virgina Katz said...

Yay on the 1000 posts Nikki! I cannot fathom how you do it, but I sure am glad you do =)

I read this blog all the time and don't comment that often, but this is one of those posts you kinda gotta respond to. Gracie your letter to Nikki was so touching; thank you for helping me see what I take advantage of every day! It has been really surprising to hear about the struggles of people who comment regularly here and I am now viewing this entire blog in a new light!

Teebore said...

Gracie: Thanks for sharing, and welcome! Though we've never met face to face, I can honestly say that I've met some great friends here.

Oh, and Buffy? Check it out. Absolutely worth it.

Nikki: Thanks, as always, for providing such an open, insightful and most of all fun forum for all of us to geek out about Lost, and thanks for your own incredible insight and wit, both here and in book form.

Also, I'm totally in on a Buffy rewatch. :)

Anonymous said...

Gracie, that is such a beautiful letter, and I hope you find a little piece of home here.

I would also very much encourage you to watch Buffy when Lost is done. I'm a 54 year old TV addict, (and was an English major) and I have never loved a show (including Lost) as much as I love Buffy. It also has a rich mythology and much thought-provoking meat.

I look at the other posts as well, from other people with health challenges, and I'm reminded of how fandom brings us all together. I'm so glad to be a part of that family.

Page48 said...

Fear not, Gracie, it took me until 2009 to give Buffy a chance. Now I can't for the life of me understand my 12 year hesitation to climb aboard the Buffy train.

Had I not taken the plunge, I wouldn't have been treated to such iconic TV moments as this. Nor would I have had my heart warmed by countless viewings of this extraordinary moment of acceptance and solidarity.

These are just 2 of many must-see moments in a 145 episode series. Treat yourself, Gracie. These are characters that you will learn to love. The writers successfully manage to place them in situations that allow us to feel things that most of us don't get a chance to feel in real life.

Love, hate, fear, loss, humiliation, acceptance, forgiveness, redemption, it's all there and the train leaves whenever you're ready.

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: Thanks for your kind words. I did not post to complain or to ask for anything, but to say a huge thanks to both you & Nikki, and also to let you know that you are not alone here in facing these kinds of issues. As I said, I don't have it nearly as bad as you do. Even with all of the problems I have, I am able to get out and do things, and mostly to function OK. I have, however, had periods when I could not, so I absolutely know the kind of hell that you are living in. And I agree with you about doctors; I have said as much to more than one (ie, "good thing you are still practicing...let me know when you get it right.") It does not endear me to them, to say the least.

I really, really hope you at least get a diagnosis. And don't lose heart. It sounds like things have gotten a tiny bit better already, and I can tell you that even tiny improvements add up over time.

I will also add my voice to those telling you to give Buffy a try. I was into Buffy long before Lost came around; my husband was a fan and made me watch it. It made me laugh. It is a lot of fun, and while I personally do not rate it up there with Lost, I also have not had the benefit of Nikki's books on it. I will have to remedy that; I always thought of Buffy as being funny and entertaining, but it sounds like I have missed some of the deeper levels, probably because I was not looking.

The little handicapped symbol is for audio playback of the word verf. I think you have to have something set up so you can use it.

@ Blam: Wow! You too? I guess there are a few of us here...CFS is a lot like fibromyalgia. In fact, the guy who diagnosed me said he could go either way; he asked me which interfered more with my life, the pain or the fatigue(the answer was "yes.") I think he flipped a coin. And HE was awful. He basically told me that my life would always suck, get over it.

@Kim: That is a very hard job. My younger sister has Asberger's & works with kids who have autism. Has anyone ever suggested a therapy dog to you? Sometimes they are used to increase focus and calm kids down. They are also used with ADHD

@ Nikki: I would never, ever have had the guts to post stuff that personal if Gracie had not doe so first. I usually look to the web for a refuge from my physical limitations; it is the one place where I can engage in a conversation where people don't have to wait for my brain to catch up. So I try to leave that stuff behind when I am online. Something about this community, though, is different.

Thank you so much for everything. And, I meant to say it before, congrats on your 1,000th post!

Gracie said...

@Rainier: You said: And I agree with you about doctors; I have said as much to more than one (ie, "good thing you are still practicing...let me know when you get it right.") It does not endear me to them, to say the least.
And I said: You got THAT right!
And then you said: I really, really hope you at least get a diagnosis.
And I said: There was a time when I really didn't care anymore if I ever got one or not, just fix it. THEN I realized that if it got fixed, but nobody knew what had happened, what if it happened again? That scared the ever-loving hell out of me in such a way that now I have to know. I HAVE TO KNOW! And that has gotten to a point where I've told my husband (this was some time ago but he knows and our daughter knows), that I want an autopsy. INSIST ON ONE! If I never find out, they will know. I hope.
Then you said: He basically told me that my life would always suck, get over it.
And I said: I would have hit him. And my husband was always there so if I couldn't hit him, my husband would have. And we are so not violent people!! Laid back. Easy going. But I'd have killed myself to knock him on his ass.(Pardon my English please. I don't speak French.) That is just so unnecessary that in that position, it's evil. You should have reported him. I would have.
Then you said: I usually look to the web for a refuge from my physical limitations; it is the one place where I can engage in a conversation where people don't have to wait for my brain to catch up.
And I said: OMG!!! OMG!!! I know that feeling so well. Somewhere I think I told Nikki that it's easier to type what I think and feel than it is to have a conversation. And I almost don't have to wait for my brain to catch up or clear of soup! The computer is just easier for some reason. Maybe I should do all my conversing this way! OMG!!
BTW: I do not have fibromyalgia. Nobody ever said for sure either way that I have CFS. At this point, there is just no diagnosis. I'm waiting to hear back from Nikki on my last e-mail, and when it's posted I think things will clarify somewhat. But for now, I'm waiting for her. It's her blog, and to me her opinion matters.

Jessica said...

@Nikki said...
Hey, maybe after Lost ends we do a BUFFY REWATCH!!!! :)

Okay so as I am blowing my nose on my sleeve after reading this beautifully truthful and heartfelt email, I scream out loud! I would love a Buffy rewatch! I was an unfortunate person who believed blogging was stupid and a boring waste of time, so I didn't start getting here and participating until after the Lost rewatch was almost done.
I have to say that I read your books first Nikki and loved them! I loved that I wasn't the only freak out there who overanalyzed every minute detail of Lost!
I too am a constant reader Gracie and I cannot imagine not being able to do that everyday like I do. Your strength to keep going, (whether you get it from some crazy lady that writes about a TV SHOW!?!? or somewhere else) is inspiring. Welcome to this community that I can honestly tell you is the best! Even as a jessie-come-lately I have been made to feel welcome and a part of the group. On all other Lost sites there is an air of...well... complete and total jerkiness and I can never imagine seeing any of that here.
Congrats Nikki on your magnificent blog, books, and amazing ability to start and run such an honest, fun, and caring community!

Anonymous said...

Nikki, congrats on your 1000th post! And Gracie, a warm welcome to you.

Say, who's your favorite LOST character? We'll be expecting some feedback now that you're here! :)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

goodness. Tears it is - Thank you, Gracie, for this inspiring story. Thank you for joining us here and thank you for thanking this woman that's provided us Lost crazies a place to call home :)

SonshineMusic i.e. Rebecca T. said...

@Nikki: Hey, maybe after Lost ends we do a BUFFY REWATCH!!!! :)

Yes, yes yes and YES!

Middle of S2 - love, love, loving it. I would really enjoy watching it with all of you!

And congrats on 1000 posts! Sweet muffins that's a lot of Lost!

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: Then you said: He basically told me that my life would always suck, get over it.
And I said: I would have hit him. And my husband was always there so if I couldn't hit him, my husband would have. And we are so not violent people!! Laid back. Easy going. But I'd have killed myself to knock him on his ass.(Pardon my English please. I don't speak French.) That is just so unnecessary that in that position, it's evil. You should have reported him. I would have.

I was too stunned to hit him. So was my husband. That is a good thing - he is a blabk belt in Shotokan Karate, and would have really hurt the guy. I did not know who to report him to.

What I did say was "Wow, dude. Now you've got me wanting to put a bullet in my head." I was so mad I was shaking, and so upset I was crying. To which he said: "You don't say things like that. My wife and son both committed suicide." And I thought, no effing wonder. But I did not say it.

I think that what I did say was kind of a slap in the face anyway, given the situation. I never went back, needless to say. But the damage was done. It was a good couple of years before I really started to believe that things really could get better.

The worst part about this is that he also told me that he has fibromyalgia, too. So why pass out despair instead of hope? In retrospect, this may even have constituted malpractice. If it hadn't been so long ago, I'd talk to a lawyer.

Rainier said...

@Nikki: Me too for the Buffy rewatch!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Nikki for posting this wonderful email and to Gracie, your story moved me. I too love reading and could not imagine not being able to do this anymore. I haven't read any of Nikki's books but intend to do so now. I found this community recently when, during the long wait between end of Season 5 and 6 of Lost, decided to start watching again from Series 1 to see if some of the puzzle pieces would fall into place. It was then I found that there were several sites, such as this one, undertaking a rewatch so I decided to follow along by reading the posts on this forum, and one or two others, after each episode. This is the site I kept coming back to though for Nikki's take on each episode and the comments that follow from other readers/followers. The sense of community on this forum is unique in my opinion and there is no bitchiness or disrespect for other peoples opinions which can be found all too frequently on some of the other sites

I, too, have never watched Buffy but may have to give this a try when Lost is finally finished, and i am sure I will have to watch Lost all over again too when the final episode has played out

Gracie, wishing you the best of luck and hope you continue to make some form of recovery. You sound like a brave and wonderful lady

Stheno said...

I would love a Buffy rewatch, too...


Nikki Stafford said...

Hey guys: just a quick note that the post has now been updated with Gracie's latest email to me. :)

Lisa-Maladylis said...

Gracie, beautiful email and you are so right. scream from the house tops and enjoy people while you can because they soon might not be. Nikki, your well appreciated by us all.

Ali Bags said...

I have had the complete box set of Buffy for some time and haven't yet watched any of it. Buffy was never that popular in the UK (and I have been exiled in Hong Kong for too many years) so I bought the box set and Nikki's book last year. Once Lost is over (so hard to type) I will have seven whole seasons of Buffy to look forward to - it would be so cool if we could do a rewatch. How long would that take? Years!

Gracie said...

@StudioRose who asked who my favorite Lost characters are:
Sadly, many of them are gone. I loved the rehabilitated Charlie. And I miss him. Mr. Kwon (Jin's father) who we will probably never see again. Boone. Mr. Eko. I was even getting to a place where I could stand Shannon thanks to Sayid. Loved Juliet and am hopeful to somehow see her back with Rachel (and Julian) at some point in time. I want a Hurley teddy bear of my own. I adore Desmond (and his hands, sorry), Sawyer, Richard, and Frank. Frank is SO underused. I admire the Kate who never gives up and never gives in. And although I don't think anybody was ever supposed to like Jack, I'm finding just lately that I DO like him. He's not such a fixer anymore. I have never liked John. And with all due respect to Boone and Charlie, I wouldn't believe anything that guy said. And the whole Miles, Charlotte, and Daniel thing just struck me as story filler or time filler. So the freighter folk were sent to get Ben and kill everyone else. What does that have to do with the three mentioned above? Story filler. And I forgot Ben. I have a love/hate relationship with him, but I love the actor whose name just excapes me. I know I've forgotten someone important, and the blog will let me know about it.
For the question of most hated which I already answered someone else, here come my father issues. I abhor Mr. Paik, and have said somebody needs to take him out just to make the world a kinder, gentler place. Same for Charles Widmore. I don't know where his character is going in the next few weeks, but in the past, he has just been God-ugly. Not sure he's redeemable in my eyes.

Gracie said...

Oh and Nikki will love this: MOST LOST AMOUNT OF TIME SPENT ON LOST? Expose with Nikki (sorry) and Fathead. Completely Lost episode and way below the writers norm.

Ambivalentman said...

Thank you, Nikki, for posting this.

Gracie, it's a pleasure to have you as part of this community. As an English teacher, I see kids struggle everyday, and many who take for granted the skills they have. Your story is a reminder to me that the ability to read and think are temporary gifts that we need to cherish.

I admire your efforts to reach out and communicate with Nikki, and now the rest of our blog community here. You're awesome and special. Thank you for inspiring me today.

Gracie said...

@Ambivalentman: Gracie, it's a pleasure to have you as part of this community. As an English teacher, I see kids struggle everyday, and many who take for granted the skills they have. Your story is a reminder to me that the ability to read and think are temporary gifts that we need to cherish.
May I ask where you teach and what grades? In a manner it's a personal question, but in another way it's just a blog question.

margalit said...

Wow. Gracie, you have such bravery. I'm also a member of the stuck at home crowd, having congestive heart failure and a congenital heart defect. I also have a mentally ill teenage son who takes up almost all of my time. I've been reading Nikki's site for a long time, but never had the nerve to actually post anything. But your emails to Nikki struck something deep in me, something that made me so angry at the medical community that is dismissing your pain, and at the way you have to live because the USA doesn't help it's handicapped citizens. You should have a home health aide that helps you with food and bathing and cleaning your space. That you don't is just plain wrong.

I understand what it means to be so lightheaded and spacey that reading is out of the question. I used to be a huge reader, but now it's almost too tough, but I can and do watch TV. I used to be kinda blah on TV, but now... I really have found great stuff to watch and it keeps me interested and alive. LOST being my favorite show, by far, but I've also become a fan of Flash Forward. While I've never watched Buffy, my son loves it and has all of the seasons on DVD so a 'rewatch' would be fun.

I'm so glad that you emailed Nikki and have figured out how to use the comments. Welcome to a community of very bright, very clever people who happen to all love LOST. How cool is that?

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: Wow. I just read the second e-mail, and it hit me like the proverbial ton o' bricks. Once again, I find myself crying. For me, one of the hardest things about my physical and emotional problems is seeing what they do to my husband. I actually think that most of the time it is harder on him than on me.

It also hit me really hard because I, too have been in a place so dark that I considered ending my life. And have spent far too much time not caring whether I lived or died. This isn't the case now, but I do know how it feels...nothing is worse than that!

Congratulations and good on ya for giving u the smokes. I, too started smoking very young and only quit last year. I never smoked more than about 1/2 pack per day, but sometimes I still miss it. And quitting is no easy feat, even when you know how bad it is for you! And 4PACKS A DAY??? Wow. That is an amazing amount of cigarettes! So you have my deep admiration for being able to put them down. And I cannot believe your doctor. That is one of the most medically irresponsible things I have ever heard! I could maybe understand if he suggested nicotine gum but going back to smoking???? Have you jettisoned this guy yet?

WV: charks - cheese sharks!

Ambivalentman said...

Gracie: I teach 11th and 12th grade students in Colton, CA who have yet to pass the dreaded California High School Exit Examination. On one side of the coin, it is an inspiring job because I get to be an active part in a kids' pursuit of their high school diploma. On the other side, though, it is remarkably depressing since the test they can't pass is at 8th grade reading and writing standards. I still have Seniors who cannot discern the difference between a noun and a verb, and can't identify a key word in a reading passage. Nonetheless, I love what I do because it gives me a chance to help these kids succeed.

I will be sharing parts of your story with them (if that is all right?) in hopes that they may be as inspired as I am.

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: Have you given any thought to a service dog? It could afford you the opportunity for a little more independence, and might assist you in taking back your life. They can be taught to do such things as brace you when you are standing or moving so you do not fall; fetch drinks and other things for you, answer the door...the potential list is endless. If you are interested in knowing more about this, shoot me an email & I will be happy to answer any questions.

WV: immat: used to explain where I am: immat home.

Rainier said...

@ margalit: Ditto everything you said about how the US treats disabled and sick people. How messed up is it that we can't even get true comprehensive insurance reform? People here scream about 'socialism' without understanding it, and in the next breath will tell you that we sped too much on foreign aid and should be 'taking care of our own'. But they resist that to the bitter end. People in this country don't really seem to be interested in helping each other out in meaningful ways.

Welcome to the community! It's good to have your voice here, too.

I have just really learned this week what a fabulous bunch of people are here.

Rainier said...

@ Ambivalentman: I still have Seniors who cannot discern the difference between a noun and a verb, and can't identify a key word in a reading passage.

I know what you mean. I used to adjunct at our local university in art, and sometimes would give assignments for written critiques. My husband is a full-time Professor (economics), and sometimes shares bits of his exams with me. Our students - and some of these are Seniors in college, fer gossakes, can't write to save their lives. Sad, and frustrating for those of us trying to get them through college.

Gracie said...

@Margalit who said: You should have a home health aide that helps you with food and bathing and cleaning your space. That you don't is just plain wrong.

Ok, so let me tell you about that. I got real lucky with the man I married thirty years ago on May 28th. If things had worked out differently in HIS life, he'd have been a chef. And he'd have been damn good at it too. But they didn't and life went on anyway. He seemed to have gone through one layoff after another during the early years of our marriage, but was always a good provider. Off and on I worked outside of the house, and we did okay. But today he cooks for me, or at least he makes sure I am well fed. Two months ago (give or take) my weight was about 82 pounds, and nobody could figure out where the weight was going. Well how much do you eat when you sleep half the day and spend the other half in a chair? There was nothing wrong with my apetite, I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it. And when he put dinner in front of me each night, I ate as much of that as I could put away. Now, again for unknown reasons, I weigh around 95 pounds. And I'm still gaining. Nothing really changed, it just happened. Maybe I was putting more thought into it, I don't know. But I don't recall anything changing.
Then you mentioned my hygiene. My husband gets me into the bathtub and washes my hair because I cannot hold my arms up long enough to do so myself. Shampoo, rinse, cream rinse, final rinse. Helps me get the tub all situated, and I bathe on my own unless my back needs washed or some dumb thing. While I do that, he heads back out to the living room of our tiny house, and sits back down. From there when I'm finished I complete my bathe from toweling off, to rinsing down the tub, to getting dressed, and usually brushing my hair. Meanwhile, I think he is literally holding his breath in the other room waiting to see if I am gonna fall THIS TIME. So far, so good, but it's been close.
Now, cleaning my space: This is my sore point. We have a nineteen year old daughter and she's a good girl. No drugs. No drink. No cigarettes. She is in her freshman year of college and she has a full time boyfriend. I love this child more than I thought I could ever love another living being other than her father who helped give her life. But she is a slob. She's one of those kids who come in the door and just dump everything. And sometimes it sits there for days. At this time (the eve of Easter Sunday) the dishes in our home have not been done in three weeks. Paperwork is everywhere. Cat hair (we have three) is everywhere. This is a very small house and I used to clean it in record time. Daughter just ignores it. As for the husband, he was never one to start or jump in a fight about her cleaning habits. So he says little or nothing to her now. And he hates it. He just simply won't stir the pot. And I've told him that if the tables were turned and he was in this chair, I'd have thrown her out. I couldnt' have handled her sloppiness and taking care of her father too. But he's not going to say much if anything at all. So those dishes will be there when he gets to them, and although she'll scream out "I'LL HELP!" When the time comes, she'll either be gone or in bed. She does do the laundry, goes to the grocery store with her father, and does her homework. NO she was not raised this way. She was a worker from the time she was born, but that just seemed to have died away when she found out what the Internet was. God how I hate MySpace. She lives and dies for virtual people. But as I said, she's mine and I love her to death. I wish she could see that we could use some help right now. So far it's just not there. Of course, it doesn't help that there a very few requirements at the home of her boyfriend either. He's a good guy but they don't ask much of him either. Sad but true.

Gracie said...

Margalit: I have also just gotten into FlashForward. PROBLEM: The show started in the fall sometime, and I missed all of that. When it came back on in March I wanted to see it but so much of the show is missing. I understand that the first 12 or so episodes are out on DVD but we haven't been able to find them anywhere. But I'm still watching and trying to follow along. Seems to be a good show and I mentioned privately to Nikki that I wondered if she watches so I'd know if it might be one of her books. So far no reply to that one.

kid entropia said...

That only proves the impact of Lost goes beyond just being a superbly written, directed, acted, edited and scored show; it´s a deep story, full of spirit, adorned by allegories and metaphors which help to illustrate what it means to be human.

Gracie said...

@Ambivalentman: OMG! You teach 11th and 12th grade HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, and you teach them ENGLISH!! Break my heart, would ya? I haven't even told Nikki this, but all of my life I've wanted to be a writer, and Honey, that starts with YOU. Up to that point, I always did all my writing assignments and everything, and everybody would say "Your senior teacher will decide upon your merits." My senior teacher was also my semantics teachers, and I don't know how to word this on here, but he was also an A-plus A**H*l*. Told my mother there was NO POINT in putting me into a college where I had no hope of writing for anyone including the obituaries. From there I pretty much gave up on that, but later in life I went to a secretarial school. They told me on several assignments that I should have been a writer, and once in a very blue moon, my dear husband, who can read but elects not to, says to me: "You should have been a writer, ya know?" OUCHIE!!!!! Now in my condition, and with one of us already college bound, the chances of my ever getting back there are ZIPPO. But I have to say I never understood the thing with Shakespeare. If you want to be a writer you have to take a course on Shakespeare, and I just don't think I could do that. Granted I have read from cover to cover "Romeo and Juliet". Hated every minute of it. Thought with my wild head that I couldve writen it better!! LOL Thees, thous, and demoverderes just are so pathetically boring. So maybe it worked out ok.
Regarding your final question of sharing this with your students. When I first approached Nikki, that was not my goal. I DID want her to share this with her blog because I wanted each and every one of you to know what you had in her. But then she said one small thing which I will not repeat, and that made me angry. She said it about somebody else, not me. But I was really angry for her. So now my opinion has changed, and when I told her to sit on the roof and read it to her neighbors, I meant it. So, yes, if you think it's going to do any good. Share it. Pass it around and ask others to share it. The more the merrier. It's honest and it's heartfelt. I had also told Nikki that I would give her my full name, address, and phone number to pass this on to Darlton if she would do so, because I know that the show had to come before she did. (No common sense needed there.) It's a chicken and an egg story. But if she wants to pass it on, I'll give up all the secrecy to prove my own words. And to pass it on further. Anymore, I don't care who reads it, I care who learns something from it, or takes something from it. And then maybe passes it on further. And you can tell you kids about my daughter who had a full time mother once upon a time, and then suddenly didn't. Explain why. Nobody asked for this. Make the kids looks at their parents differently, and I'll just be pleased as punch! Permission granted.

Gracie said...

Back to Margalit: Welcome to a community of very bright, very clever people who happen to all love LOST. How cool is that?

I'm gonna have to say something here. I knew I would love Nikki and her followers back in the day when I couldn't figure out how to sign on here. The Google Account just kept putting one over on me and I could never get signed it. Then the same day I wrote to Nik it just happened. And I love her, and I love the people, and the jokes and the laughter. The questions. It's fun here.
But honestly, I don't think I'm gonna be able to stay. I don't want to sound like I don't know my way around the Internet, cause I do, but this particular place plays with me head in a bad way.
That stupid, stupid word verification has angered me time and again and makes me not want to post. Right now it clearly says PARDU. But if I type that in and say Publish, it tells me it's wrong. I have already had my husband looks at this and he says "That's right." and the site says no it's not. And it happens almost every single time I want to post. I even tried the handicapped icon, and then thought "That's a joke right?"
The other thing that actually hurts my head and if anybody has any advice I'm listening: Say I'm on the original post which might have over 300 posts, and I find one down around the middle that I want to comment on. You have to go all the way back to the top of the page to comment, and when you're done, you get to hunt and peck to try to find out where you left off at. I know I've read several posts several times just trying to get back to where I was originally.
And I don't believe any of this is a slight towards Nikki. This is Google Accounts. From the other chats that I've been in and other blog sites, I would have to consider this right hand side a very poor set up. And it hurts my head trying to think about what I'm doing. So for now I'm here, but one day soon I may not be. PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. IT'S A BRAIN/THOUGHT PROCESS PROBLEM!!!`

Gracie said...

@Rainier said: For me, one of the hardest things about my physical and emotional problems is seeing what they do to my husband. I actually think that most of the time it is harder on him than on me.
It is harder on your husband and any children you may have because they remember what you were, and they see you now, and they know there is nothing they can do medically to help you. For us we are just trying to maintain and get from point A to point B. We ARE LIVING IT! They are watching it. I've written about what I see when I look at them. Their pain. Their loss and frustration. The anger that haunts them. We talk, we cry, we laugh together, and it's always there, right on their faces. I would be hard pressed to tell you whether I would rather be where I am or where they are. My daughter has needed advice and assistance on some of her creative writing assignments these past few months, and she's asked me to help. But she knows I can't help her. I cannot do her research for the facts that she needs. And even if I agreed to cheat and let her do the research and I'll write the paper, I have NO CLUE what I've read or what she has read to me! I don't think it matters what side of the room you're on, this is just hard.

Gracie said...

@EVERYONE: I'm very sorry it is taking me so long to post but the damn WV wont take what I type, and I'm not so stupid as to not recognize letters!!!


Gracie said...

@Rainier: Then you said:It also hit me really hard because I, too have been in a place so dark that I considered ending my life. And have spent far too much time not caring whether I lived or died.
And I will say that I DO NOT believe this is a DESIRE for suicide. This is not a death wish. I've been through the thought of all of that, pills, guns, knives, carbon monoxide, murder for hire, throwing myself down the basement stairs and hoping for the best. But the truth always was: I don't want to die. I love my life and just want it back. If I can't have it all back, I'll take what I can get, but I'm not ready to die. I never was. I never was depressed. And when you think about that, that should be a side effect. How can I live like this and not be depressed? I'm just not. Even the psychiatrist said I wasn't. To be depressed you have to be finished. Ready to wipe the floor with yourself. Forlorn, I think is the word. You have to be ready to look at your husband and daughter for the last time, and then take that next step, and I was never there. I wasn't despondent. I wasn't full of despair. It was more like frustration, aggravation, anger and even puzzlement. And then there is the need to know. And GOD I need to know!!! I've seen darkness where I didn't know it lived, and I've laid awake nights thinking things that no right minded person has any right to think, but that wasn't a shot at suicide. That was a hope for an ending. A MEDICAL ENDING!
Then you said: And 4PACKS A DAY??? Wow. That is an amazing amount of cigarettes! So you have my deep admiration for being able to put them down. And I cannot believe your doctor. That is one of the most medically irresponsible things I have ever heard! I could maybe understand if he suggested nicotine gum but going back to smoking????
And I said: Neither of the two doctors, the PCP or the psychiatrist EVER came right out and said that. If they had, the lawsuits would've flown all over town. But there was an insinuation, an underlying, unspoken, shove to go back in that direction. And nicotine gum wouldn't have helped because that's the healthy stuff. If you are truly a former smoker, certainly at one point or another you have heard that there are over 5,000 chemicals INSIDE cigarettes BESIDES tobacco. And one of those is commonly known as speed. Although cigarettes are known to be a downer, or cause you to slow down, they also contain speed. So the insinuation was there. And we had nothing. Should we do this. Spouse was against it because I'd had such a bad habit, but he also didn't want to just jump out there and say "IT WON'T WORK!" What if he'd said that, and it had? We just didn't know. And we were at that point still seeing the psychiatrist but looking for another PCP. So we were in between. I hate to say this here, but because this is so serious, I finally just said F IT. My body was gone and my mind was following closely. I couldn't think straight and was depending on everyone for everything. I wanted to get something going even if it was wrong. And for the record: IT WAS WRONG. Nothing improved after I started again. Nothing happened when I got back up to four packs a day. Nothing. Except now I've got a bad habit again and I'm living in a chair. I think that was the very worst it ever got for me. At no other time did I so much hate this part of my life.
More coming when I've collected myself......

Gracie said...

@EVERYONE: Please do not lose sight of why this was even written. Yes, there was a very good show on TV called Lost, and I watched it. Got all the DVD's and watched it in order. Didn't understand half of what I saw, but I was picking stuff up. Then I got a copy of NIKKI STAFFORD'S FINDING LOST (which I believe covers seasons one and two). Seasons Three, Four and Five and all out there now. And I started to think. And the connection was made. Let me tell you something Folks. If you have watched Lost, but have never read her books, you have NOT seen Lost. You do not know the FULL story of Lost. She covers everything!!! All the little side stories, the lists, the books mentioned, and how and why they connect here at Lost. Who is Michael Emerson, what has he done, and where might you know him. I never watched TV. How would I know who Michael Emerson was? She tells the story the RIGHT way. I've also said there's a zillion other Lost books out there. I haven't read any of them, and maybe, just maybe, you'll find one you like better. But I'll tell you, Nikki's books are so good, I'm not looking elsewhere. When she's done with Lost, so am I. Sad, but true. But Lost will be Found.

Gracie said...

@Rainier who said: @Gracie: Have you given any thought to a service dog?
Oh boy! This is an ouchie. Currently we have three cats that never go outside, but we used to be "dog people" so I very well know the love involved there.
BUT when we had to put the last one down, we said never again. I actually thought of this when I first got sick, but I was sleeping all the time. Who would let the poor fella outside? Who would feed him/her? You outta see what's happened to the cats! I am appalled!!! They get fed and their litter box get changed. They need a bath, they need brushed, my one cat needs shaved. Their nails don't get trimmed unless I can hold them down because nobody else will. They NEVER did this stuff before, and don't know how to do it now.

Don't get me wrong. This is NOT my family. My husband works full time plus hours, takes care of me, cooks, and pays the bills. He also cuts the grass, maintains three vehicles, makes and returns all calls regarding my care. Grocery shops, etc. etc. etc. And he's exhausted. There is more that our daughter could be doing. But I've already discussed that in another post where I forgot to say that although she is a slob, we always anticipated before I got sick, that this would be HER time. After high school, before and during college. I don't want to tie her down, at least not to me. She will have a life of her own even if the expense is MINE.
Back to the dog: I didn't plan to be here in the chair this long. I have, and will continue to maintain hope that this will not last until I die of old age. ONE DAY I'M GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET UP AGAIN. Hopefully soon. I see a new neurologist on Tuesday, and he's good. I'M HOPEFUL, BE HOPEFUL WITH ME! With that hope, I don't need a dog. Yet.

Gracie said...

P.S. to Rainier: How do I email you without an address?

Gracie said...

@kid entropia said...
That only proves the impact of Lost goes beyond just being a superbly written, directed, acted, edited and scored show; it´s a deep story, full of spirit, adorned by allegories and metaphors which help to illustrate what it means to be human.
And I said: WOW!!! Wish I'd said that!! Another writer!! Nicely put and very well written.

Gracie said...

NOW ANOTHER ONE TO EVERYONE I ANSWERED OVERNIGHT. Honest to God this is the very first night in MONTHS I have not been able to sleep. I did go to bed, and flopped all over the place. So I got back up and there were messages to me, about me, for me, all over this page. I don't know if you folks are all-nighters, but I was very grateful tonight to have someone to talk to. To be able to answer some questions, and to get caught up. I wonder if that's what Nikki feels like when she's busy and there's 200 messages on here? Anyway, thank you all for everything. Especially, MOST ESPECIALLY, your kind words for Nikki and her work.

AchingHope said...

Oh my wow.

I don't even think there's anything left to say. I only really hope Gracie is able to find a way to sign on and comment.

AchingHope said...

Whoops! I see that you already did :)

TiaSabita said...

Hi, I'm late to every party but was touched by Gracie's letter and everyone's words of comfort. You just never know where or in whom you're going to find inspiration! How wonderful for you, Nikki, that you've touched a life so deeply and for you, Gracie, that you found a place where you can feel confident and accepted. My prayers go up for you to finally get a diagnosis and some peace!

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: How do I email you without an address?

If you click on my ID, there is a link on the left-hand side that says "Contact." It is currently enabled, and will give you my e-mail address :).

You are so right about thses word verfs! They are always telling me I' wrong, too...

Rainier said...

@ Gracie: The other thing that actually hurts my head and if anybody has any advice I'm listening: Say I'm on the original post which might have over 300 posts, and I find one down around the middle that I want to comment on. You have to go all the way back to the top of the page to comment, and when you're done, you get to hunt and peck to try to find out where you left off at. I know I've read several posts several times just trying to get back to where I was originally.

Try this: open two tabs. Put the page you are commenting on up on both. Put the comment window up in one tab, and do all of your scrolling down and stuff in the other one. Then switch back and forth as you need to. It took me a while to figure this out, but boy, does it make a difference!!! Too bad I don't have an easy work-around for the Word Verfs.

WV: joinick - what I do after lost. Minus the 'c', of course!

Blam said...

I'm all for a BTVS rewatch when Lost is over. I broached the subject on my blog a while back (and I think again here or on the Rewatch site); it got a chorus of yeas from some fellow Nik at Nite regulars.

Rainier: @ Blam: Wow! You too? I guess there are a few of us here... CFS is a lot like fibromyalgia.

Actually, I used "chronic fatigue" in the generic. I've been told that I may have CFS or CMP by doctors who lump it together with fibromyalgia as a big unknown (and it's true; they are still pretty much mysteries) but back when I got real sick I was diagnosed via the trademark "tender points" with fibromyalgia by several doctors independently of one another along with some other stuff that has varying levels of treatability. I don't mean to belittle physical pain, but aside from migraines I've always had a fairly high threshold for it; the fatigue and lack of focus have been far more difficult to deal with.

Rainier: In fact, the guy who diagnosed me said he could go either way ... He basically told me that my life would always suck, get over it.

Y'know, I got an early diagnosis of FM from a doctor I really respected and he gave Devin Starlanyl's book, which utterly depressed me even though the intentions of both the doctor and the book itself were the exact opposite.

Rainier: charks - cheese sharks


VW: feconde — 1. A tie for first and second place. 2. An extremely quick pregnant pause.

Blam said...

Gracie: If you want to be a writer you have to take a course on Shakespeare, and I just don't think I could do that.

First: Well, I don't think you have to, but... Second: It might not be as bad as you think. When I took Shakespeare in college, after what we had to read in high school not making much of an impression on me beyond the funny language, I learned to really appreciate it. One important step was seeing videotape of the plays performed, which gets your head out of distractions like reading the stage directions and lets you not just hear the poetry of the language but understand from context what you might otherwise need explained to you. Another breakthrough was simply reading the text out loud, with and without paying attention to the iambic pentameter. Whether or not you ever give Shakespeare another go, I don't really care about except in the sense that I'd love for you to at least have the option, but if you approach it the right way it isn't just spinach (which I also happen to enjoy).

VW: Houth — 1. The British version of the ice planet in Return of the Jedi. 2. A place to live for those with lisps.

Blam said...

Nikki: And then another publisher -- who shares the distributor that we have -- also had a Lost book on their sched.

I picked up Getting 'Lost' book at the same time I did the first Finding 'Lost', Nikki. The essay collection edited by Orson Scott Card, right? Heck, I even remember noticing that they had the same distributor, because I'm a book geek and I check out ad pages, indicia, and ancillary matter.

margalit said...

Gracie, I used to be a professor of writing and communication at Northeastern for many years and although Shakespear was offered it was not required, which I personally thought was a shame because his plays are so wonderful and rich. You might have tried the wrong play. I think Hamlet is a lot like Lost with it's father issues, murders, and theological questions of good and evil.

Gracie said...

I notice I'm the only one posting. This is what it's like being in a chair. All the time in the world. You'd think (or I would have) that if you ever landed on your butt, you'd have all this time to get caught up on paperwork and gee, all the books you'd read. All the letters you should have written to whomever so long ago that you were just too lazy or stupid to get done. Balance your checkbook. Whatever. THEN you get here and you can't even do that. ALTHOUGH, and I'm not sure if I'm being facitious or what, but I sound better to me on here than I do in conversation, so I'm gonna stop talking to my family and just send e-mails. Maybe I'd be easier to understand. I hate how this room works, BUT I LOVE THE PEOPLE IN IT.

Gracie said...

@Rainier: Try this: open two tabs. Put the page you are commenting on up on both. Put the comment window up in one tab, and do all of your scrolling down and stuff in the other one. Then switch back and forth as you need to. It took me a while to figure this out, but boy, does it make a difference!!! Too bad I don't have an easy work-around for the Word Verfs.

I've been doing this all day! What a dream to have found this!

Gracie said...

@Anyone, but mainly Blam: I'm all for a BTVS rewatch when Lost is over. I broached the subject on my blog a while back (and I think again here or on the Rewatch site); it got a chorus of yeas from some fellow Nik at Nite regulars.

And confession time for me. This is gonna hurt cause I can already hear everyone yelling at me.
Ok, I was already on here reading but not commenting (didn't work) when you guys did the Season Five rewatch. And I couldn't figure out where you were doing that or HOW. I must've had Spouse and Child read fifty posts trying to figure out where you were actually GOING TO SEE the rewatch, and they didn't know. (I'm not sure they cared OVERLY. They're busy. They have lives.) I know they would have loved to help me, but it wasn't chronic, so I didn't beg. BUT if we're gonna do a BTVS rewatch, I gotta know how that's done and where to go to see it. It was like knowing the whole gang was going to the drive-thru Friday night, but I didn't know which one or how to get there!
Anyone? Nikki?

Rufus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

@Gracie RE: How to Rewatch??

@Gracie said...And I couldn't figure out where you were doing that or HOW.

Hey Gracie!
I didn't participate fully in the Lost rewatch myself (I was a scared little thing) but I believe I can help you out on how it's done. Everyone has their own copies of the show's episodes (whether on DVD or some other access like Netflix,, etc.) and watches a specified episode or number of episodes in a week and then Nikki graces everyone with her genious insights and then the comments ensues.

Hope I'm not wrong! LOL!

crazyinlost said...

Here I am, making a comment almost a month after the origional post (Marebabe, you thought YOU were late-not), and I hope it gets read.

Gracie, I had seen your name on some of the recent posts, and suspected there was something going on, but I am so behind on reading thru Nikki's posts, that I just got a chance to read yours tonight. Wow! I cant even imaging what you are going thru. And your husband is one in a million (I have one too!) The closest I can come to feeling your pain is I also have Fibromyalsia, and Sleep Apnia, and as far as the mental problems, I have ADD, which causes me to have to read thru things over and over again, just because I'm thinking of 50 other things at the same time. But Please, Please, do not dispair! There is hope out there, and I am so glad you found something to give you courage! I too bestow the Lord's blessing on you, and I will be praying for you!

@Gracie, I hear ya, sistah! I was diagnosed 11yrs ago, at age 32, with Fibro, back when they didn't know much about it, and it has always been tolerable, with episodes only coming on 2-3 times a year!. Started out in my joints. But since the beginning of this year, I have been having muscle pain, not aches, but PAIN. I try to exercise, with my Tae Kwon Do and walking, but had gotten to PAIN at least once a week. Finally decided to talk to my doctor just last week, and was told for the FIRST time that muscle pain is classic Fibro! I had no idea! My doc prescribed the common drug of choice for Fibro, (I had always tried to go drug free) and OMG, it's like night and day! I feel in just the last week like I have a life back!
Dont know what you take to manage this, but this was amazing!

crazyinlost said...

@Nikki-Congrats on the Major Milestone Marker!

And yes, you do make a difference. There are alot of great posters on your blog, but you are the facilitator, so kudos go to you. The fact that you are able to keep things clean (for the majority) and such a positive environment, says alot!
My vote is for Nikki Stafford, Philanthroper Of The Year!

word verif-diang-what Sawyer says when he's not saying "SON OF A...female dog!"

crazyinlost said...

@Rainier-sorry the "@Gracie, I hear ya sistah" was suppose to be directed at you! My ADD coming thru again!

Gracie said...

@Rufus: Gracie keep on enjoying your visits as they will take your mind off the worst any illness can give you.

Rufus, I enjoy my time here tremendously for exactly the reason you gave. I don't think anyone can truly appreciate the shoes we wear until/unless they are put in a position to wear those shoes themselves. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't wish that upon ANYONE! Thank you for your kind words.

WV: eteun. Have you eteun yet today? I eted dinner around six.