Saturday, June 27, 2009

Finger Lickin Fun

My daughter, Sarah and I recently experienced our first book signing at Border's on Michigan Avenue in the heart of Chicago. We raced through gnarled rush hour traffice to purchase the new book (fifteen in the series) written by Janet Evanovich. We raced...only to reach a line that, about 500 fans deep, wrapped around several floors of Borders. (Borders is my "happy place"..all the books, packaged so brightly, the titles jumping out at me - all the trinkets, the displays the signs marked 30% off!!!, I love it!)

We waited in that line, some 3 and 1/2 hours.
Where We saw some interesting sites...

We made lots of new friends...all of us bonding with our first book signing experience

"Hi, guys!!! Rememer to write us an email or check out our URL's!" {we exchanged urls} They were lots of laughs.

This lady kept herself busy. She balanced the book on her head. Perhaps she's one of those paranormal types, able to absorb the text through the bookbinding and her cranium straight into her memory banks. Nah, she was just bored.

This is Sarah, happily waiting in line. Doesn't she look happy? This is a good thing. Sarah's been going through some tough times. I was glad to partipate in some fun with Sarah that kept her occupied.
Love you baby!

Sarah and the prized book.

Finally I spied a clue.

Janet's can of Diet Coke.....we must be getting near!!!!

TA! DA!!

Waiting in line didn't compare obviously to the fatigue that Ms. Evanovich felt after signing 600+ books. The gracious lady had a new foot fracture, from a signing the night before and was obviously tired beyond words by the time it became our turn for the shot. She turned and smiled for the camera, and we were thrilled.

Thanks Sarah, for including me on your adventure!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Temperature is Toasty

This is not my swimming pool.

It's not even close.

{my pool is somewhat cleaner - even after being tucked away all winter}

But soon my pool water will be bubbly warm with our new pool heater! Thanks to my wonderful husband and handyman who installed our new gas heater under the deck to keep us toasty on those warm days with a mild breeze. The ones that have a small bead of sweat gathering on our faces and lull us all into thinking a dip in the pool would be refreshing, but alas, even though the temperature outside SAYS 80 degrees, the pool water is a leg numbing, ball shriveling 53 degrees. Lips turn blue, fingertips gnarl in the cold and all bones become achy.

The pool heater was a good choice considering it's Northwest Indiana and we could still be in for snow.

Yeah, I know it's June, but we still say "It could snow", just so that we don't "spit into the wind" and nah, nah, nah, some god of snowfall to ascend upon us with swirls of the white glorious frozen flakes that are better reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Back to the pool. Aren't you jealous? I KNOW!

It makes all the work worthwhile to have some pool time. Fun in the sun, swimming, sunbathing and cooking out with the family!

Good times.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Dr. Grampa

We are down a provider at our practice which means that we contact a service and Rent a Doc. This traveling physician’s are usually doctors looking for permanent placement, or are retired or they are in-between fellowships looking to score a little cash between gigs. We’ve had a few while we are interviewing most of the Midwest for available primary care Family Practice provider.
They’ve all been “fun”.
Some have been very short, cranky men, with bad personalities, and bad hair styles and really bad bed side manner.
Some come straight from the prison health care system, that guy was a real joy! Called all our patient’s “drug seekers”, was rude to parents and told stories instead of reviewing patient’s symptoms. He lasted about three weeks.
The new one the agency sent to us is a seasoned practitioner (he is older than your Grandpa!) he has a nice bedside manner, is a great diagnostician and is pleasant. His handwriting is legible and he’s got experience in geriatrics, pediatrics and surgery.
The downside? He’s got old people’s disease. He loves to hear himself talk.

He takes forever to complete an appointment, mostly because he’s telling a story – and not one from this century. Propped up on the edge of the exam table, he’s trying to engage an 18 year old into talking about high school, when the poor kid has been in the exam room about 45 minutes for his refill of allergy medicine and is planning his bolt out of the door.

I usually eat lunch around 1:00, slightly after most of the staff has already finished with their lunch. I take my lunch, peppered with a variety of Weight Watcher approved items, and the newspaper and relax over the next 30 to 40 minutes secluded in the confines of the break room.
Not today my friend! Cornered by our resident Grandpa Doctor, I spent the entire lunch period looking engrossed in whatever the hell he was talking about. Most of it didn’t really make sense to me. He slipped subconsciously from one subject to the next without taking a pause, without wrapping up one thought or the next opinion. He spoke of his wife in the first person, lovingly as if I knew her well; as if she and I were old friends, just having had lunch together yesterday. I’m not sure where his wife is, I’m not even sure that she is still alive.
I didn’t ask.

What causes me to post about this topic? It's that I see myself getting there. I see my mom as already a resident at the Chatter On about Nothing at All clubhouse. Talking to this older gentleman is much like following a conversation with my mother. You just nod and smile, pause and look interested. This too will be me someday. Heck, I’m doing it now with my blog!

(When you wake up, click on that X in the right hand corner, shut the lights off and go to bed)

I’ll try to post something slightly more interesting tomorrow, until then I apologize for droning on.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"If I only had no pain" Sung to the tune of "If I only had a brain" from the Wizard of Oz.

It began in 2005 with what I thought was a severe sinus infection.
I had a semi stuffy nose, intense pain in my sinus cavities (all of them!) and my teeth and the roof of my mouth were very painful and my EAR, oh, god, my inner ear was throbbing and on fire with pain, keeping me awake at night.

Working at a clinic has it's perks. One of them is "hallway medicine". It begins with "hey doc, I have a sore throat, (ear ache, head ache, sinus fill in the affliction) and ends with the doctors humbled opinion and a prescription. For free. As an administrator, I would have to discourage that practice, because you really do not receive the best health care advice, or a complete examination or the undivided attention of the doctor...but it happens all day long and everyone is guilty of it. So, in 2005 with all my symptoms and all my pain, I could barely lift my head, my eyes were starting to puff up, and before I took off 1/2 day, I thought I'd better get an antibiotic for the "sinus infection " gone awry. The doctor looked at my chart, and then up at me, "I'm not convinced that this is a sinus infection. You have come to me once a month for the past 6 or 7 months, I think it's time you go see an ENT" The appointment was a week away. The ENT took one look at my, grossly exaggerated features swollen and gray with pain and claimed that I did not have a sinus infection, he suspected something much more sinister. He suspected Trigeminal Neuralgia, something I had not heard of. EVER. He said the absence of certain diagnostic positive exams were the key to diagnosing this syndrome. (For example: I had no fluid in the ears or in the nasal cavity. No fever. No drainage down my throat, no cough, no sign of bacterial or viral infection) A CT of the brain confirmed it. Yeah, there was nothing in there - go ahead, I'll pause for the jokes.

There were a series of appointments with my neurologists and family doctors, who tried a variety of mind numbing painkillers and seizure medications (that's how they control the inflammation of the nerve ending - with seizure medications) and appointments with fancy doctors at University of Chicago. (unimpressive and expensive) I had serious complications from a mixture of drugs that actually paralyzed my right side one afternoon, and I've had drug failures. I've tried homeopathic massage, I've tried diet restrictions. I'd try voodoo and black magic if I thought I could trust the caregiver! Mostly I sat in a recliner with a bag of frozen corn on my neck and head waiting for the pain to subside or the Darvocet to kick in. Oh, I could take stronger meds, like Dilaudid, which I did for awhile, but then I'm all groggy and dopey. I can't really function like that, go to work, carry on a conversation, blog...
The residual "gift" that TN has left me is mind blowing migraines. Cluster headaches that last for weeks or months. Every day I open my eyes to head aches that get worse as the day grows long.

This past Friday, I'd been suffering with a migraine for 4 weeks, and the doctor I work with who manages my pain, convinced me to give the pain patch another try. I had a rather unsuccessful turn of events (called near overdose) during the first year I had this syndrome and I never wanted to visit that again. But she ordered a lower dosage and thought I'd have better pain control 24-7, with it.
Let me tell you!!!! After two days on it, I am a new person! I feel well again! I'm a little wobbly and wiggy at times (usually before I eat - seems that it metabolizes better with food in your belly than without) but other than that I'm pain free! Side affects are: snoring and talking in my sleep - I'm sleeping like I'm dead to the world!
I love you tiny little patch. This here's an ode to the patch! Here's to a weekend painfree! I'm actually able to do things instead of lay in that chair!

More on the affects of chronic pain on you and those around you at another time, another blog post...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Crap, crap and then some more crap

Sometimes did you ever notice how much effort you spend on this internet and do nothing?
I know you do!

I keep thinking it's Thursday today, getting all excited thinking tomorrow is Friday, why, I slap my little palms together getting all warm and fuzzy another week under my belt, the weekend upon me and
It's Wednesday.
Boring old Wednesday.

On another note:
I've got no real good reason not to exercise now. All the T.V. shows are in re-runs, I've got some real sexy (well, they are sexy on someone, possibly) black yoga pants and new running shoes, and about an hour to kill each night before the Man returns back to this castle. But do I? Well, that'd be a no. Or a sometimes.
I lack encouragement, when encouragement equals a shirtless, Hugh Jackman-type personal trainer.

And then on yet another note: Take a look over there at the right hand margin. See that Twitter deal? Does it make me look younger? Does it make my butt look bigger? Do you think I'll be able to keep up with it when I can't even keep up with my blog? Do you want to pay me to do so? I think not Jose!!!! hee hee. Yet another time sucker to keep me from exercising.
Carpal Tunnel here I come!

To those of you who dare to care about my WW success story as told on E! entertainment....I've lost and kept off 5 lbs.
and I leer at food like the vamps from Twilight. My eyes glow and all, seriously.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Awesome award, thank you very much

My daughter apparently thinks I’m awesome! Good, that’s what moms live for.
(or at least I do) So here's one award for me...and one for YOU!
So she challenged me to this meme, and although it appears to be easy, it was hard to do! Name seven things that are awesome about you.
Apparently I’m awesome at some things, but blogging isn’t one of them, as I have hard a hard time keeping up with my blog lately. (mostly due to personal things going on)

It’s hard to think of yourself as awesome.
Here are some things that are awesome aspects of me.

I make awesome soup and noodles.
I am an AWESOME bargain shopper. (love it, truly do)
I am awesome at arts and crafts.
I am awesome at sewing.
I am awesome at Canasta! There, that’s different!
I am an awesome Grandma!
I am an awesome letter writer. (correspondence is important)
Now, I'm nominating YOU....
and a few others, hope you all can participate!