Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wishing you all a healthy New Year

For Christmas we took the six goofy kids to Rome for 12 days for a friend's ordination. It was wonderful. It was a beautiful thing to see 49 young men give their lives to serving God. It was also a treat to be at a priest's first Mass.

We had an intimate Christmas Eve Mass with the Pope and 60,000 other people .... the lights to make St. Peter's bright enough for TV made it all that much more intimate.

It was an opportunity of a lifetime and I enjoyed in immensely, even with the rock concert atmosphere with people pushing to try to touch the Holy Father as he walked down the aisle.

We also got to go to see St. Peter's tomb under the main altar in St. Peter's. Wow, if you ever have the chance to take the Scavi tour, do it. It was a highlight of the trip. You will need to get tickets for it months in advance.

It was kind of a tomb tour, come to think of it, LOL. We also saw St. Paul's tomb under St. Paul's. St. Agnes, Raphael, St. John XXIII's incorrupt body (means it did not rot), and all the tombs of the popes under St. Peter's at the Vatican. In fact, we had Mass by St. Peter's tomb surrounded by all the other popes including Pope John Paul II. We visited the Catacombs where the early Christians were buried and used to have Mass before Christianity was legal in Rome.

We went to St. Benedict's Cave and had the unique opportunity to have Mass in the cave. We went to Assisi, beautiful, but two sick kids on the bus, both of them mine, yikes. In Assisi, we saw two more tombs, that of St. Francis and that of St. Clare. St. Clare is incorrupt and you can see her body in a glass coffin.

Of course, in seeing all these tombs, we also saw beautiful Cathedrals, Basilicas and Churches. It's quite spectacular to be standing in a building where you are as tall as the baseboards (St. Peter's). The artwork in all these churches is breathtaking. They didn't put churches up in a couple years like they do now, it took decades to finish the works of beauty.

There's one thing you do a lot of in Rome (besides eating) - walking! I had two days of symptom flare coinciding with menstruation, so that was relatively normal. I still went on the tours those days, but had to take more rests than normal. I started drinking tonic water thinking it was most likely the babesia flaring, and that seemed to help.

The rest of the trip you would have thought I had never been sick ... no pain .... no trouble keeping up.

Our kids were not the only ones to get the stomach virus .... about half the group ended up with it, including me. I woke up the day we were leaving at 3AM. It made for a fun trip home and way more time in the airplane bathroom than I'd have liked. When we were waiting to board our plane, I lied down on the floor at the Rome airport .... a floor that apparently never gets cleaned .... but I was too weak to sit in the metal chairs. A lady offered my some Tylenol and mentioned that she and her family had come down with the flu the day before ... not the stomach virus, but the flu. I was not too excited to find out that we were seated directly behind them on the way home .... of course, she was probably not too excited to see she was directly in front of me. So, as I was getting over the stomach thing, I got the flu.

On the bright side, at least my body is recognizing when these invaders are present and is fighting them. But right now these two bugs back to back have sapped my energy. I'm fortunate that I didn't catch them while touring Rome or I would have missed an incredible trip. I look forward to getting back to treating coinfections with the Bionic once I get done fighting these viruses.

Overall, I'm still seeing improvement. I had a message from my doctor when I returned that my thyroid numbers indicated I needed less T3, so I got to cut back on one of my thyroid meds.

I hope all of you have a blessed, healthy New Year.

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