Monthly Archives: December 2012

Handwashing to the O Antiphons: Root of Jesse

Monday I started putting up the O Antiphons,– or, more precisely, their paraphrase in “O Come O Come Emmanuel” — for anybody who, like me, wants their immunocompromised need to wash their hands for 20 seconds to come with a side of church history. (Or, better yet, wants to promote church history to first place in the matter, and think of handwashing as a sideline.)

Today we have:

O come Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save
And give them vict’ry ov’r the grave. [Protestants rinse]
Rejoice! Rejoice! [plainsong users rinse]
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

The hymn verse today is an even looser than normal paraphrase of the original antiphon–

O Root of Jesse, standing as protector of the people; silencing rulers, inspiring the people to make supplication. Come do not delay, deliver us.

That’s according to the Benedictine site I found linked to in the Joan Chittister reflections my co-worker Rose posted on her blog.  I like the original antiphon much better, but as it’s not a song I can’t reliably wash my hands to it, alas…

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.

Handwashing to the O Antiphons: Adonai

Yesterday I started putting up the O Antiphons, which celebrate one title for Jesus per day for seven days at the end of Advent. If you’d like to read the the text of the antiphons and a lovely meditation about each day and what each title means, check out the Joan Chittister reflections my co-worker Rose posted on her blog.

I’m doing something more modest–letting you know, if you happen to be immunocompromised like me, where to start rinsing your hands if you are using today’s verse of O Come O Come Emmanuel (which is a paraphrase of the antiphons) to time washing your hands.

O come o come great Lord of might
Who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe. [Protestants rinse]
Rejoice! Rejoice! [plainsong users rinse]
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Rather than just being a gimmick, I think of it as a way to build spiritual uplift into your day. Think about it–you’re going to be repeating something to yourself multiple times a day, whether it’s this or “Happy Birthday to You” or the numbers from one to 20. What do you want it to be?

If you do not care to pursue Jesusy spiritual uplift, I encourage you to adapt your own mantra.

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.

Handwashing to the O Antiphons: Wisdom

Today is the first day of the “O Antiphons,” which, during the last seven days of Advent, are traditionally said or sung before the Magnificat in vespers (evening prayer). Growing up Protestant, I learned them in the form of the great Christmas hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” which is a paraphrase.

So, because Advent is for the immunocompromised too, I’ll be posting the verses relevant to each day, along with a note of where the 20-second mark is (for those of us who need to wash our hands for 20 seconds each and every time, and are sick of singing “Happy Birthday”).

However, the 20-second mark varies a bit based not only on how fast you sing it, but whether you are using, as I usually have, the tune’s Protestant version, which has a longer note at the end of each line (i.e. at “high,” “mightily,” “show,” and “go” in this verse). Catholics, I’ve noticed, tend to use what I presume is the original full-strength plainsong where you just plain sing every single note the exact same length, except maybe the very end of the chorus.

O come thou Wisdom from on high
Who orderest all things mightily
To us the path of knowledge show
And teach us in her ways to go. [Protestants rinse]
Rejoice! Rejoice! [Catholics rinse]
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Whichever side of the Tiber you’re on, happy last week of Advent!

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.

Moment to cherish: Tasty Kabob

Because Vidaza doesn’t affect my appetite much, I am able to enjoy Tasty Kabob when the truck shows up in my neck of the woods. I was hoping the truck would show up tonight, and it did!

Kebob bannerI’m not sure why it’s called “Kabob,” as there are no sticks involved, but it sure is tasty. And, at this point, the guy in the truck recognizes me and puts on two gloves so he won’t absent-mindedly backhand the foil with his ungloved hand before he puts my gyros into it.

Enough yumminess for dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow!

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.

Handwashing to the Oldies: Amazing Grace

Background: If you’re immunocompromised or hanging out with someone who is, you’ll be wanting to wash your hands for a full 20 seconds fairly often. You can time this by singing “Happy Birthday to You” twice, but that can get old fast…

Ok, you should probably test this one yourself, as this classic hymn can be sung to a wide variety of tempos. However, at the tempo I naturally fall into, I hit the 20-second mark after “now am found”:

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,

Needless to say, I encourage you to continue to sing even as you start to rinse:
Was blind, but now I see.

Everyone can use a little Amazing Grace!

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.

This just in: It’s harder to think when you’re tired

According to a recent study, “chemo brain” may be as much the result of fatigue and stress as of chemo. Doctors concluded this after finding out that it starts before the actual chemo, and that

Greater fatigue was correlated with poorer performance on the memory task, regardless of group.

In other words, it takes doctors repeated MRI scans to determine that tired, stressed people don’t think as well.

The obvious corollary: Maybe hospitals should look into, if you have to put people on a 24-hour IV drip, getting an IV machine that doesn’t whiffle, click, and beep next to your head all night long.

I’m just sayin’.

All blog content copyright © 2012 E. Palmberg. Guaranteed 100% brave and freaking noble.