Thursday, June 29, 2006

Medbloggers: Sadists? Or Sickos?

I've been visiting intueri for some time now. But this person's medblog sometimes leaves me squeamish. No, I'm not bothered by blood, or urine, or feces. After all, I birthed and raised two kids.

But intueri deals with the human mind and all its ailments. So, occasionally, I may have to pass on a visit when I'm feeling psychically fragile.

Guess I should have passed on this one. If you've the stomach for it, don't pass on the links.

Personally, I'm taking them little bit by little bit.

Little Pond

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Summer of Health Care

Mammo today. Been getting them for decades. We like to produce cysts, we do. On the ovaries and in the breasts. Lots of surgery, little consequence. Had an aspiration once, too.

If you've never had a mammo, here's a tip: treat yourself the day before as if you had wicked PMS. Take Midol with ibuprofen, or better yet, Aleve. That would be naproxen sodium, or Naprosin, if I remember correctly. And be sure to tell the technician you've been taking it.

That should relieve any pain caused by the compression. I used to have awful pain during the procedure and for days afterwards. Can't remember if the technician or my doctor suggested the remedy, but it certainly works for me.

And mammograms are too important to slough off, ladies. The procedure itself won't take more than an hour: waiting, paperwork, and all. And all the breast cancer survivors I know wholeheartedly endorse mammography.

Little Pond

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Thunderboomers and Kindred Spirits

When BabySister married her MachoMallow (a real Latino he-man, but such a sweetie!) there was a fierce storm that knocked out all the lights of the chapel. VeggieGirl was flowergirl, strewing petals in the half-light. She and BabySister brought tears to my eyes. Beauty, majesty, solemnity, and (somehow) humor, all wrapped up in one moment.

None of us were upset or afraid. We love storms, so it was a good sign that made for an interesting wedding. On reflection, it must have been rough on those attendees afraid of storms and/or the dark. The Baker girls will have none of that.

All this introduction to get you to visit this link. I love it.

One of my favorite sounds on my soundblending system has to be thunderstorm, compounded by the addition of a full spring rainstorm. I also like to blend thunderstorms with ocean waves. And gentle windchimes with spring rainstorm goes for a nice nap.

Soundblending requires two systems. I started with a little one from these people and built from there. Sharpies having a sale, but don't forget to get the adapter. Yes, they are designed for travel.

And naps are what my MS management is all about. Elmira is only a town-like, country-sort of city, but it can get noisy. Our household is tiny, with only three people, but it can be quite busy. To sleep in the middle of the day requires a concerted effort. Emphasis on effort.

If you are new to this, my nap starts with turning down the house fan/air conditioner/heat. I then turn on the air filter and soundblending system, as noted above. Then I cover the windows with 2 to 3 layers of reflective film, depending on the degree of brightness. These are inexpensive, curtain-like sheets that can be purchased online.

I set aside two whole hours to nap around noon, and am very glad when I can sleep half of that time. Remember, I have problems with incontinence, dysaesthesia and hypersensitivity. I have to count my blessings and expect the worst, so I won't be disappointed. It takes a few weeks, but I did learn to sleep some of the two hours, and at least count the rest as, well, rest.

Trust me: after a few weeks, this sort of mandatory napping has its effects. Only people who know me can tell I have MS. When I am in an exacerbation, I may still be mistaken for a chemo patient, but usually no one knows I am unwell. Who could ask for more?

I could. People look at me as if I were nuts when I mention that I would love to be able to select "howling blizzard" on the sound blender.

Crazy? Right now? In the heat of summer? Think about it.

Little Pond

Friday, June 23, 2006

Update to Shopping in the Closet

Hope you're reading this before you try my little trick:

Ask the cobbler to use stretchers when he redyes your shoes.

Both pair of pointy-toed shoes came back too tight. Now it's is taking me a lot of time to correct with my shoe stretcher. Too quickly and the leather can unsew. But only one stretcher (they can be expensive) and four shoes.

My blue ones are nearly back to normal. The dark purple ones are still killing me.

Ask the cobbler to use stretchers when he redyes your shoes.

They WILL shrink with the dye job. I should have known better, but it's been a few since I last redyed my own.

BTW, I would guess that the newer, much longer, pointy-toed shoes wouldn't create this sort of problems, but you may want to ask, just to be sure. Especially if you don't have a stretcher. Like I say, they can be expensive.

A decent pair of stretchers will cost more than $40.00. If you constantly wet your shoes walking in marshy woods, like I do with HuggaMutt, they may be worth it. Still, I couldn't afford more than one at a time.

Just a heads-up.

Little Pond

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Waiting for the repairman. Again.

Once again we are waiting for Fix-Rite. Only this time it's for the dryer. Must be the extra drying loads, or their size, overtaxed the poor thing. Their dispatcher took a new tack. The appointment was set for "morning only."

There he is now. P.C. note: The only she at Fix-Rite is the dispatcher, originally the wife of Bob (as in Fix-Rite Bob) himself. May still be her, since I occasionally see Bob on the job. Mostly it's young fellows, all male buddies of MammaDog.

Funny thing is, when Sears called to announce the imminent arrival of our new washer, we were offered discounted service on the dryer, also. But I am so disgusted by sales calls that I knee-jerked a "no." We didn't need it, since we'd just done our half-yearly lint cleaning ourselves. If I'd had seen such a suggestion elsewhere, I would have called Fix-Rite, just because it's probably a good idea.

So Fix-Rite is here now. We've both agreed that the dryer is just being ornery over the new washer. Shiny, new washer! It's a self-esteem issue, he grunts. Guess it must happen all the time.

I am confident that the problem will be solved. May cost a fortune, but it will be solved. BTW, the outlook for the new roof is not good. All estimates are just plain scary. This is not a quick fix, quick loan, quick payoff sort of thing. This is a save for a couple of years, then get the quick loan for the rest during a summer, so the work is done before the Upstate New York winter savages what's left of the shingles sort of thing.

But the bathroom still needs remodeling, so we may take a stab at that, and just pay bills with the rest.

Darned roof estimates.

Little Pond

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Contractor, 0; Homeowner, 0

Lost another morning to the contractors. This is so common I now handle it with great aplomb. When the plumber was more than an hour late, I called the dispatcher.

"Hi, did we get cancelled? Our contractor is over an hour late."

"No, you are not cancelled, they are just running late."

"Oh, dear. Are they still coming.?" Dispatcher offers to call the plumber, and I graciously thank her. Short wait, some Muzak, and she's back.

"He had an emergency. When it's done, he will call."

"No. As I said yesterday, not only do I work nights, but I am chronically ill and must sleep in the middle of the day. We can try again tomorrow."

"I'll schedule you tomorrow then."

"Between 8:30 and 9:00? Thank you."

"I'm sorry about this."

"Bye, now."

Because I work nights, I will be available again tomorrow. Or Thursday, or whatever it takes. I do not believe for one minute that there was an emergency, because this is a large company and has many plumbers. But now they have lost the cost of one appointment. And I can go to bed, right after I finish this post.

Okay, so nobody won. But I didn't lose. A few years ago, I would have waited, getting angry, sick, and losing my rest. Now I just reschedule, and it's their loss, not mine. Much better for my health.

Little Pond

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Post-Mortem to the Corning Classic

All my companions understand about the MS, so most worry was kept to a minimum. We began feeling unusually well, and with a free pass, there was no pressure to stick it out.

Corning LPGA events are relatively uncrowded and peaceful. Restrooms are plentiful and not at all overused; they are clean and always immediately available. Couldn't do this at almost any other sport or family event. It would have been disgusting, anxiety-ridden, and cut short.

I can record the Classic and watch it with a much better view. Because of my health and need to stay close to home, we have full cable: Golf Channel, ESPN, etc. However, I did get the lovely feel of the quiet (and sometimes raucous!) excitement of some of the shots.

I arrived and left early. The setup at the Corning Country Club allowed me to stay longer, but keep in mind that I didn't watch an awful lot of golf. The walk back to the car left me lame and a little sick, but we have A/C in the Tracker.

The only problem came when I left. There was little designated handicapped parking. I got lucky with a fairly close regular spot that was specially dug up for me.

By the way, this turned into a very difficult week at work, puctuated by lameness and a huge need to sleep. Friday night, especially, was fraught with MS and other illness. Still don't know exactly what, but I am up early typing this because I slept fitfully, with chills, fever and cramps of some sort and nausea. And headache, to literally top it off.

Bet they still can't figure out where I went. Right in the middle of shipping second edition, after about a half hour of overtime. But people where talking at me and I couldn't understand them. My mind was on my bladder and worse. Just sort of clocked out and ran home.

Poor Husband. He saw me agitated and confused, getting up and sitting down, heading up to bed and running back down for meds. RJ finally chose to sleep in the extra bedroom. Good idea, since I slept about three hours total, tossing and turning the pillow and kicking the blankets off and on. Still nauseous and gagging, even as I type.

RJ mentioned that RiverFest2006 is today. It will have to do without me. Back to bed, no breakfast, I think.

Little Pond