Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Brother Odd

I wrote a letter to the editor of our big town newspaper the Green Bay Press Gazette, check it out! I know it's just a little thing, but it's always a thrill to see my name in print.

I've really been struggling with my rheumatoid arthritis the last couple of weeks. The pain hasn't been more severe than normal, but I'm finally coming to accept that this isn't going to disappear. I've fought this for 2-1/2 years and just got the diagnosis back in August. The doctors didn't know what to do with my pain, so they just kept prescribing more and more medication. I weaned myself off of all of it, partially because it was getting too expensive, partially because I was hoping that when I was free from meds the pain would be gone. I would be healed. But it didn't work out that way. I struggled for two weeks med-free, and I just kept slipping farther and farther downhill. So I'm on 5 mg of prednisone (a steriod) a day, and it seems to keep me going well. It's hard to imagine that there's something that's causing my immune system to attack my body. My knuckles are swollen all the time, and I know it's only the beginning. In ten years I could be in a wheelchair. I can't get my mind around it. Every morning I wake up with the hope that it will all be gone, and I'll be my old self again. Molly did a report on RA for a class and told me that the average life expectancy is 65-70 years old. If so, I've already lived half my life. My parents are relatively young; they could outlive me. This knowledge has been weighing on me. I guess it's finally time for me to wise up and accept it; maybe make the best of it. I'm ordering books on RA from the library today. I need to know what I'm up against.

Brother Odd by Dean Koontz is the third book in his Odd Thomas series. Poor Odd has been through so much in the last couple of years. He lost Stormy, the love of his life, he's given up his job and his home to move into seclusion at a California mountainside monastery in hopes that his "gift" for seeing the dead won't be an issue up there. Instead he finds a poltergeist monk and evil spirits gathering around the young disabled children the monks (and nuns) care for. Odd knows that trouble is coming, and as usual he's the only one to recognize it. Koontz has such a way with words. His turn of phrase is sparkling, wry and intuitive, as usual. It almost seems a shame that his amazing vocabulary and talent for description is wasted on the horror genre his books inhabit. But Koontz has been becoming more spiritual in recent years, and his writing reflects it. While monsters infect his books, the true monsters are always the humans who use and abuse each other regularly. Maybe it's my inability to truly grasp science, but the idea compelling the plot was difficult for me to grasp. I also had a hard time visualizing the bone creatures. As deft as Koontz is with his descriptions, I just couldn't imagine these monsters. Brother Odd is a rip-roaring ride, but I was a bit disappointed when the instigator was revealed. His motivations weren't completely clear, and his character wasn't developed enough to make it believable. Poor Odd, does trouble gravitate toward him or vice versa? This book doesn't stack up to the previous two in the series, but I'm hoping the sequel will make up for it.

I'm participating in Willzhead's Pantry Challenge. The challenge is to eat only food from the cupboards (or pantry) for as long as you can. The last hold-out gets a gift certificate from Amazon.

Check out Mary Russell on MySpace. She's Sherlock Holme's wife in the masterful series by Laurie R. King. This is one of the best historical mystery series around. King deals with contemporary issues, includes a travelogue, stays true to the character of Holmes, and writes a darn good story.


Cee Cee said...

You were the first Christian book blog I came across when I read primarily general fiction. I remember thinking.."Oh. She's a Christian." I bookmarked your blog and long story short was introduced to Christian fiction. I've been Christian for a long time but did not know the breadth of our own fiction. Since you were the first blog, I, from time to time, visit to see what you're reading.

I wrote all that to say this...(and I hope I'm not overstepping boundaries) I'm praying for you. Stay encouraged. But here's the part I hope I'm not overstepping...while you research what man has to say about RA, in addition, remember what the bible has to say about healing.

My denomination does not teach speaking the Word over your situation. I learned it from Joyce Meyer. She teaches to get a concordance to look up every verse in the bible that pertains to your situation. It helped me in the last five years. I pray it helps you to stay encouraged because tears came to my eyes as I read your post.

Christy Lockstein said...

I'm so glad that you've found new books to read. Sometimes I feel like I'm blogging just for me, it's great to know that someone out there is reading me! It tells me I'd better get back to posting toot sweet. Thank you so much for your prayers; I truly appreciate them. I haven't given up on praying about healing, but I think that God has things he wants me to learn from this illness. I've learned so much about humility and weakness; things I couldn't have learned any other way, so while I pray for Him to heal me, I put it in His loving hands. You have encouraged me greatly, thank you!