About Me

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Los Angeles, California
I am 47 and thriving in Southern California. One day at a time.
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Friday, November 28, 2008


Celebrating Thanksgiving is so common, dude...predictable and unoriginal. But I suspect I own these qualities more than I would care to admit...

I have been feeling badly about gushing over S.'s spectacular offer, and my omission over everyone else's offers to be tested...I saw a film recently ("An Unmarried Woman") in which the lead's therapist held issue about her feeling guilty. She labeled it a man made emotion. I have been pondering this greatly. Although I believe in the power of honesty and emotion...could this theory hold water? True, guilt brings us much stress, but maybe it allows us perspective and thus, introspection...

Things have shifted recently. I am feeling so tired. Exhausted, really. Kevin and I had a dinner party for 4 (well, 5 including their newborn!) the other night. Around 10:30 pm, I had a moment where I felt the wind kicked out of me and all I wanted to do was lie down. They stayed until 12:30 am, but I'm so glad they did. I hate missing out on things. I hate living a fraction of my life, and this made me feel normal, despite my apathy...

My blood pressure has spiked to a terrible level. It's very, very high now. Not only is this bad when you are healthy, it's the biggest and worst sign of loss of kidney function. I've had a cold since Kevin, I, et al. got back from Vegas a month ago. Maybe this sounds benign to you, but it has interfered with everything. I just haven't been able to kick it, what with my drug-laden immune system. Daily headaches, sinus pain and congestion. Very frustrating. Not to mention the black stuff I vomited up a while back. Despite all my medical history, that scared even me. Was it triggered by the recent increase in my meds? Who knows.

Things, they are a changing...

But it's Thanksgiving, and there is always much to celebrate.

I want the friends whom have come forth to be tested to know how often I think of them. How much I admire them. How their gift keeps me sane, strong and grounded every day. I never take what they have offered for granted. I am amazed by them all...

And so on this American Thanksgiving, I MUST hold gratitude in my heart, despite everything. There is always something to celebrate. I may not currently hold a job, I may be estranged from family and I may have compromised health, but boy, am I blessed. My friends (and Kevin) have surprised and humbled me with their support. They do not judge me. They do nothing but send me letters of love that infuse me with strength. I wonder if they know how much their contact helps me? I believe our "messiness" (as my friend H. articulated so eloquently) equalizes us all. It connects us and deepens our existing bonds. We respond to insecurities. We all have them. And if we are ready to look them squarely in the eye, someone else's vulnerability can bring comfort.

I hope on some small level I have offered that.

True, not everyone likes the mirror I hold up for reflection, but those that have responded are the ones I hold in my heart...

So as I close, I want to quote the new Killers album, "Day and Age". Yes, I might be a geek about them, but music fuels my soul and gives me hope...And I am grateful for it...

And so, from "This is Your Life".

"Wait for something better, no-one behind you, watching your shadows, this feeling won't go"...("you've got to be stronger than the story, don't let it blind you, rivers or shadow, this feeling won't go"...)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Maybe I'm Amazed...

I need to gush about an amazing new friend S. She is someone I went to high school with, although I can barely picture her face. She really was my brother's friend... But her loving heart has touched me deeply. She is just simply kind.

S. read about my situation and soon came forth with an offer to be tested, and so did her Mom (although she is not a match). What an offer from a true stranger... Unbelievable.

She is an animal lover like myself, and her love for them, I suspect, has inspired her to be generous...

S. also recently introduced me to The "Paired" program. If we are not a match, she is willing to donate so that I can move up further on the national list, when it comes to that. Even my husband K. wants to do that... They are precious people... and maybe I'm amazed...

During our recent stressful time (robbery, high creatinine, poor economy, my recent admission of addictive tendencies), we have been tested greatly. But such is the roller coaster of life...We all have trials....But S's recent gift to me provided me with a ray of hope, a hug from the beyond, and it briefly diffused my cynicism with the human race...

Thank you, S. You are one very special broad...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The lighter side of things...

A girl and her hubby walk into a Staples store to do a bit of photocopying. She's been a little, uh, preoccupied , of late. Not attending to the "girly" side of life. She neglects to shave her legs, pluck her brows. Quite frankly, ever since she chopped her hair, she barely ever picks up a brush. But, this, this is just pushing it...

Or was she pulling it?

An uber-friendly employee proudly sporting the quintessentially "joe-job" polo-t, comes bouncing over to the ex-red head, now blondie girl. She disconcertingly calls the girl "Ma'am".

"Ma'am"..."Ma'am! When did this happen?" (But that's another blog...)

She leans in to the girl, a giggle on her lips, the gleam of scandal in her eye.

"You have a stream of toilet paper hanging from your pants"...

This is what happens when your husband falls in love with his IPHONE...

(When in doubt, blame the spouse...)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

An open letter to the loser who invaded our home...

So, I understand that you are shrouded in darkness... how can you not be? How could you pass by our family photos, my sleeping basset, Daisy, and the care with which we have designed our home; without a single twinge, a deep, gut pang, and lacking remorseful regret?

I want to forgive you, but you have caused us so much grief.

It was simply surreal when Kevin and I realized that we had be robbed. There are no words to articulate the violation, the devastation and the sadness.

You even robbed me of a magical night. All I could do was sob through Obama's speech... an historic night if there ever was one.

You stole all 3 of our laptops, all our jewelry, and my U2 IPOD. Dude, if you only knew how much I loved that gadget...It terrifies me to realize you stood right beside my bed, and helped yourself to it. Ah, but you have little idea how much it meant to me. I saw U2 9 times on their "Vertigo" tour... everywhere from Mexico City to Hawaii to San Diego. God, I hate you.

And then there' s my jewelry.

In my box that I received on the day of my transplant 20 years ago, I had a pendant from my father from his teenage years. He's dead, you know, and the pendant is GONE.

I had a crucifix from my Bedstemor and Bedstefar. GONE.

A silver/garnet ring that reminded me of my mother's hands. GONE.

A gold/garnet necklace from my entire Danish family. GONE.

A crystal necklace, a celtic bracelet, a celtic ring from my adored husband. GONE. GONE. GONE.

My school ring that my Mum really couldn't afford, but wanted me to have, anyway. GONE. And probably in a dumpster somewhere. Who wants a ring with "Northern Secondary School" on it?

Opal and gold earrings from my godmother. I have known her my whole life, you know. She's family to me, and once upon a time, they were hers. Passed down to her goddaughter. GONE.

A gold heart locket from my father-in-law, along with tiny diamond stud earrings that my in-laws so wanted me to have. GONE.

A silver/turquoise pendant from my Dad's sister that was gifted to me at age 8. It's from Israel, one of my dream destinations. GONE.

And the list goes on and on and on and on and on...

Did I mention I hate you?

I will never see these items again, and it breaks my heart. In the hospital they gave me comfort. I used to wear them daily with pride; knowing they were infused with love. And with one swift move, you took them all away. How do you look in the mirror?

You have made me fearful. Fearful of my home, and I believe cynical, too. I so want to believe in the goodness of people, but sadly you have temporarily (I hope!) moved that to the back burner for now.

In the words of one of my favorite comediennes, Kathy Griffin...


And the hits just keep on coming...

How I wish I was talking about the tracks on The Killers new album "Day and Age".

OK. I got my recent blood results.

My blood pressure was up (a sign of kidney function loss), my hemoglobin was below normal (a sign that my kidney can't produce enough of the necessary protein) and my BUN was 44 (high end of normal-25).

But greater than all of it, my creatinine was 2.9. (The high end of normal is 1.4). When I hit 3.5, I will go on a national donor list.

Am I scared? YES. Am I pissed? Hell, yeah.

I believe this to be a long road ahead, filled with uncertainty and fear.

But I have so much support, and I lean on all of you to get me through this. Your words inspire and comfort greatly.

I am adamant about sticking to my celebration of my 40's. I've made it this far, so who knows what's ahead down Henny's path?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Little Red Haired Girl

I've been experiencing periodic pangs of regret since my last entry. But really, not so much. I have squashed those with exhilaration having finally embraced an unflinching honesty. Now, more than ever in my life, I need to live by this code.

I say regret because I feel I may have overstated my situation. No, I'm not planning to back peddle up shits creek; I feel so freed by the release of some of my demons. And even I'm insightful enough to acknowledge the coincidence of releasing this information on the eve of my 40th birthday. I think, nay, I KNOW I wanted to scare myself with that defibrillatory blog revelation. Fear stops your heart, sends your adrenaline racing and plunges you headfirst into one decision. Fight or flight.

Well, one guess what I'm gonna do.

Milestones can be so cheesy. "Oooh. You're 40." "Over the Hill." "40 is the new 30." GAWD.

So subconsciously planned or not, I guess I wanted that figurative "clean slate moment" that we associate with cheesy events like New Year's Eve. My extremely outward revelations trigged not only an outpouring of responses that astounded, but an inner turmoil that I'm desperately attempting to love; simply because it is mine.

Indeed, I believe I exaggerated a bit when I labeled myself an addict. Am I recognizing addictive tendencies within myself? YES.

Am I sober 95% of the time? YES. At least.

Am I stealing prescription pads? NO.

Ordering on line? NO.

Do I need rehab? NO.

Do I exceed my dosage? YES.

What I am seeing within myself are the beginnings of habits that ultimately caused the downfall of my young father...and perhaps deeper than that, my estrangement from my Mum and brother...But, even I'm not ready to talk about that one.


When I was first prescribed migraine medication it was 1991, and I was to take 1-2 tablets every 4 hours when a migraine first hit. If you know anything about drugs, alcohol; you know that the same amount after 17 years is not going to have the same effect. Your body becomes immune. And if you know anything about migraines, you know that you start to panic if you can't control the initial onset.

Migraines can last for days and are completely debilitating. They do not even closely resemble headaches. If you don't know if you have ever had a migraine, trust me, you have never had a migraine. Not only are my migraines hereditary, but I get brutal headaches from the side effects of all my drugs. Now that I feel tired, weak, headache-y, it's been so hard to get to the gym-which has many times been my salvation in the past.

So, when I got a migraine, the prescribed dose was no longer enough to help. So I took more. I suppose part of me knew that was wrong, but it's really difficult to rationalize anything when your head feels like it's in a vice-being squeezed by a wolf- who is also sitting on top of your head-and howling at the moon incessantly. Oh, and you can't see and you vomit a lot, too.

Am I justifying my behavior? ABSOLUTELY NOT.

I'm just not sure what kind of help I can get now, because my existing medication no longer helps at the right dosage and it is the safest one for me to be on. When I was in Cedars in February, they had to give me morphine one time for a migraine incurred by one of the anti viral/chemotherapy IV drugs I received. And believe it or not, even that didn't completely take away the pain.

Migraines...not so much fun...

(I do have a funny story about how I fainted, post-morphine, on the phone with my doctor, peed my pj's, and woke up with 5 nurses helping me into bed...but maybe some other time...)

Kevin and I have talked very frankly about all this. And he's in this with me. And together, I believe we will find a way out of this...

And now, for my Velveeta moment. I have been thinking about each and every one of you who called, e-mailed, left Facebook notes. For me, there has been something about this level of communication that has thrilled me deeply. Honest words, no holds barred, support unconditional and beyond it all, has been a precious peek into all of your souls. If this is just the beginning of what the fruit of unflinching honesty can bear, then I'm sowing the seeds along a new and slowly emerging path in my life.

I am gently suspecting that I have already made more of an impact in my life as a writer (OK, a BLOG writer) than any one moment as an actress. This excites me. This pushes me. This allows me to dream again. And this is because of the power of communication, in whose power I have always believed in. Always fought for. And fought against my intolerance of others who can't seem to tell the truth. Who live in superficial bubbles. Ostriches with their heads in the sand.

And so I wonder about those I haven't heard from. Are they judging me? Do they no longer want to be my friends? And then of course, I realize whose problem that is. The sad truth is, that judgments come from those who are blinded by the light being reflected back at them from the mirror you hold up to their lives.

So, that's cool.

When I was 8 years old, I wanted to be an actress. But above that, I wanted to be a storyteller. Maybe, through this blog, and all of your incredible support, I am finding a twisty-turny way back to that little girl's dream after all.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, my 40's have already turned out to be the best fucking decade yet!