Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Study in Contrast

Yesterday was my annual office visit with my neurologist, yay. It normally takes me forty-five minutes to get to the Mellen Center, so I left an hour early. It was a beautiful day, if cold. The sun was out, the sky was blue, and gas was $2/gallon, so I tanked up and hit the road. Unfortunately, right after I got onto 271N, traffic stopped. Two lanes of brakelights, and no exits for miles. After twenty minutes and three miles of severely slowed traffic, I passed one car, off in the right ditch. All of that backup pretty much had to have been caused by rubberneckers.

Just as traffic resumed normal speed (65 mph), I ran out of windshield washer fluid. Whatever the city of Cleveland uses on their roads, it does not wipe off with water and blades--I suddenly found myself driving blind. I snapped on the flashers, slowed to a crawl, and drove the last mile and a half to my exit peering through a tiny clear spot in the bottom of my windshield. At the first gas station on Mayfield Road, I pulled in, only to find that the windshield wiper buckets were empty and the squeegees frozen. Not only that, but there was an ambulance and a crowd of gapers at the doorway of the store. I looked long enough to realize that a customer must have fallen right inside the door, and decided I wasn't going to stay there and gawk as the EMTs finished strapping her to a backboard. I got back in my car and headed for the next gas station.

That one didn't have any windshield washer fluid, so I left it and drove to the next one. In the parking lot, I made a quick call to the neurologist's office, since it was now my appointment time, and obviously, I wasn't there. One of the (many) things that drove me Librarian-poo about my neuro's former nurse practitioner was her constant tardiness, so I definitely wanted to check and see if my own tardiness would inconvenience the new NP. The receptionist checked, and said Charlene was running late, so to go ahead and come on in. I went into the gas station, bought a horribly overpriced jug of windshield washer fluid, went back out to my car and discovered I couldn't find the hood latch. Aaargh. I went back inside, bought an even more overpriced bottle of Windex, spritzed my windshield and went to my appointment.

Everything is as normal as it gets for someone with mild MS. Charlene and I discussed my upcoming surgery, the surgery I had last fall, how I felt, and my insurance not covering the copaxone any longer. Then I did all the fun little dexterity and strength tests. Once the appointment was over, I went back to my car, managed this time to open the hood and fill up the washer fluid reservoir, and drove to work with a screaming tension headache and a sore neck and shoulders.

This morning, it was snowing to beat the band, and the plows were a bit behind. I didn't turn on the radio, just ghosted slowly along the roads, feeling my way and watching the snow fall. Despite having to watch what I was doing because of the road conditions, today's drive was peaceful, almost meditative. Definitely a healing contrast to yesterday morning's Cupcake of Doom ride.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I took the stupid Provera for two weeks, and my period started less than two days after I stopped. So yesterday, I had horrible cramps, and I called my doctor's office. They told me they called in a 'scrip for Darvocet, so this morning, I dragged myself out of the house to the pharmacy, only to find out they hadn't called it in!

I've had three hot baths since last night, used up all my Marathon bars, Wiccy'd myself until I can't stand it, and I'm still in pain. Come Monday, I am going to throttle someone from my doctor's staff, damnit.

And in the middle of all this pain and frustration, Blogger made me upgrade, the bastards.

*curls back up into a bundle of misery*

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I picked a bad day to quit sniffing glue.

Since Sunday, I've felt leaden and blue. It was so bad that I snapped at Bosstopus for no reason whatsoever yesterday, and today apologized. Last night, I made the decision to ask my neurologist to increase my Lexapro dosage. I'm not a leaden, blue person--I'm a happy person with effed-up brain chemistry.

Then today my period started. Bleah. First of all, it wasn't supposed to start until five to ten days after my last dose of Provera, which was Monday. Second, Lexapro does nothing to help with PMS, which I know after two+ years of taking the stuff.

So now I have cramps, my mood's lower than a snake's testicles, and I don't know whether I should ask for an increased dosage on the antidepressant or not. If there weren't a frozen, harsh wind blowing, I'd go rent the movie I stole my post title from (and if you don't recognize it, you're a child, go away, I don't want to feel old). Since I can't face freezing myself again just for a movie, I shall have a hot Lush bath, and probably follow it up with the yumminess that is my mom's homemade pulled pork, and bless her for sharing with me (she heard the chili story and thought I might like something different *grin* ).


I just have to keep reminding myself that there are only 22 days until my surgery!

Monday, January 22, 2007


It's cold, cold, cold, snowy and cold out, so of course I packed a cold lunch for myself. Nonetheless, it's something I've been craving since December--cucumber sandwiches. Because my starches are so restricted since the surgery, I had resigned myself to no more sandwiches of any type. Then I discovered that at least one grocery store near me carried loaves of that itty-bitty "cocktail bread" I thought had gone out of culinary fashion in the 1970s. So I snagged a loaf, and found that on one of those little slices of bread I can fit three or four cucumber slices and half an ounce of cream cheese. Voilá, cream cheese sandwiches for lunch!

On Friday, I caved to the craving for chili cheese fries from the diner downstairs. As I picked through the disgustingly generous portion (seriously--about four meals' worth of food for someone on a 2K calorie diet), I realized that what I was really craving was the chili, not the fries. So tonight on my way home, I stopped and bought the smallest amount of ground sirloin I could (a pound & half), plus tomato sauce, and there's a huge pot of chili simmering on the stove right now. I'm going to be freezing a lot of it, and eating the rest for dinner every night this week, but it's so worth it when it's snowing outside. The house smells warm and delicious, and I'm rather pleased with myself for craving the spices and not the carbs. Oh, and despite growing up with stern admonitions from my mother not to waste food, the remainder of the fries from Friday's lunch wound up on the compost heap. Better fat raccoons than a nauseous me.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Girls' Night Out

Thursday was Goldilock's birthday. We had our office lunch on Wednesday and included Snoopy, who was totally puzzled by the card I gave Goldilocks. It said (roughly), "As you get older, you start getting bedroom syndrome--that's where your chest falls into your drawers." Laughter from everyone else, and a puzzled, "What's that mean?" from Snoopy. Ah well.

Thursday night, Bosstopus, Vegan Lawyer, Goldilocks and I went out to dinner and to see "Dreamgirls." Dinner was decent, if a bit overpriced, at a new chain place near the movie theater. I thought the movie was incredible. Bosstopus had seen it before, and enjoyed it so much that she had suggested the four of us see it. Goldilocks enjoyed it also, or so she told me Friday morning.

VL, however, spent about twenty minutes picking it apart on Friday, within earshot of Bosstopus. As far as I can tell, her biggest complaint with the movie was that it didn't stick with one person's storyline throughout the whole thing, so she didn't know who she was supposed to like. When I tentatively mentioned that it was supposed to be an ensemble piece, she said, "No, because then they wouldn't have listed the Jennifer person as a supporting actress." Yeesh.

I think VL just takes entertainment too seriously. For me, movies are about suspending disbelief, being transported to another world, and enjoying myself. VL analyzes everything to death. Side note--back when it came out, I was wowed by "The Life of David Gale" and suggested VL see it. She said no, on the grounds that if you see disturbing things in a movie, those images are in your brain forever. A few months later, she was telling me that "Farenheit 9/11" was the best movie she'd ever seen. Erm, that's got a lot more disturbing things than "The Life of David Gale" in it, VL. She sort of upset Bosstopus by trashing the movie, too--after all, it was her personal idea and she was all excited about us seeing it. I tried to tell her it wasn't her fault, but sometimes she takes things personally.

I'm really glad I got to see "Dreamgirls" in the theater. The songs were good, the acting was good, and all of the Dreamgirls had a happy ending. I don't usually go out for movies, so it was a treat to see this one on the big screen. If I see only one movie in the theater this year, I'm glad this was the one.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Attack of the Neglected Memes

One from Mallie:

1. Go to Wikipedia.
2. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year).
3. List three events that happened on your birthday.
4. List two important birthdays and one interesting death.
5. List any holidays
6. Post it.


1789 - French Revolution: Citizens of Paris storm the Bastille and free seven prisoners.

1825 - The Jefferson Literary and Debating Society was founded at the University of Virginia.

1965 - Mariner 4 flyby of Mars takes the first close-up photos of another planet.


1602 - Jules Mazarin, French statesman and cardinal (d. 1661)

1910 - William Hanna, American animator (d. 2001)

1913 - Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr., 38th President of the United States (d. 2006)


1881 - Billy the Kid, American outlaw (b. 1859?)


Bastille Day

*deep breath*

Now the one from K:

Grab the book nearest your computer. List the Title and Author. Turn to page 123. Read past the first 5 sentences, then read the next three. Type out those three sentences in your blog, then tag three bloggers.

"Smoke and Ashes" by Tanya Huff.

"As long as demons are attracted to your soundstage, for whatever reason..."

Translating the emphasis, Tony could see another "talk" with the constable in his future. Probably accompanied by shouting.

Mallie, Scott and Brendan may all consider themselves tagged.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I guess the word is out

and Jammies' Halfway House for Wayward Otters is now open.

The first two otters arrived from Atlanta in September (thanks, Fuzzy!). That would be Opal & Ophelia.

Orville came from Erie, PA in time for Christmas, which was when Oscar made the trip from San Diego (via Orlando, FL).

Last night, when I got home, Orville's cousin was waiting on the doorstep. He doesn't have a name yet, but he is just as cute and soft as the rest of my wayward otters, so of course, he is staying. Captain Spaulding is checking to see if he inadvertently signed me up for the "Otter of the Month Club." If he did, I have to say that the January otter is identical to the December otter.

Not only do I have the joy of a new fuzzy friend, I have almost all of my November Amazon order, including two books I've been dying to read; four Lush Holiday bubble bars courtesy of a sweet shop manager in San Francisco; AND the ultrasound showed no bad things in my uterus and hot doctor is going to remove my girl bits on February 19th.

This calls for a happy chair dance!

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Pledging your virginity to your father.

This is just WRONG on so many levels, I'm sputtering.

1. Since when is a 25-year-old unable to make her own decisions?
2. Why pledge just to your father and not both parents?
3. Who says abstinence prevents divorce?
4. Why the violent overtones (swords and war)?
5. Why is a hymen so intensely important in the twenty-first century?

My mom speaks hopefully of morality, religion and politics as moving back and forth like a pendulum, and that this kind of repressive crap merely represents the farthest arc.


I wish I could believe her.

Productive? What's that?

This weekend has been extraordinarily non-productive, even for me. Yesterday, I watered the houseplants, took pictures, created another Lush fairy tale and tried on all of my wearable Christmas presents. Today I went shopping, bought birthday presents for all three of my February ladies and then came home, unloaded the car, and re-loaded with stuff for Mom. Tonight, I am meeting her for dinner at a Thai restaurant, and then I shall come home and vegetate in front of a tv.

If I weren't so sluggish, I would start giving slugs lessons in being lazy.

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Quick edit for those family members that read my blog:

Dad has not been told that the doc used the "c" word. He's out of state, he can't do anything but worry, and the odds are very good the ultrasound will show nothing of the sort long before he comes home. So no letting cats out of bags, hmmm? Thanks.

This morning, I went to see my new doctor. First of all, yay for the eye candy--he's quite attractive. Second, double yay for the fact that he believes I am old enough to make my own decisions about offspring and the not having of them.

He did tell me that my insurance won't pay for a hysterectomy if he doesn't do some tests first to prove that I need it, so I'm scheduled for an ultrasound next Thursday afternoon. He's also a bit concerned about the possibility of endometrial cancer, and a bit bothered that my previous OB/Gyn hadn't done an ultrasound since 2004. I didn't expect him to remember doing my emergency surgery in 2002, but I did let him know about it so he can check his own files, and he said, "I'm good at taking things out."

I like this guy--he's straightforward, clear, concerned, has a sense of humor and is on my side. In a week, I should have an idea about the scheduling of the hysterectomy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Girl gross stuff

Guys, skip this post, okay?

I'll wait while you leave.

Just us girls now? If not, you've been warned, both by the post title and by the opening lines. On your own little grossed-out head be it.

It's time to find a new girl bits doctor. I have had horrible cramps and heavy flow with every period since my early teens, with the exception of the 8 years I was on the pill. Right now, though, I've had my period and excrutiating cramps since December 14th, and today a combination of cramps and bleeding so heavily I soaked through an overnight pad in ninety minutes woke me up at five a.m.

The OB/Gyn with whom I have had a wonderful 10 year relationship is essentially refusing to perform a hysterectomy on the grounds that I could "meet Mr. Right and want to have children." Never mind that I made the decision not to have children in my 20s and that the decision was reinforced when I was diagnosed with MS, never mind that between nephews, nieces, and young cousins, there are twenty-nine kids in the next generation of my family, my doctor believes that I should remain fertile even if I'm miserable. Her solution to the bad cramps was a prescription for Tylenol with codeine--enough for one period and non-refillable. She also said we could discuss the matter again at my annual appointment in July.

Two years ago, she told me if I lost fifty pounds, she would do the hysterectomy. Now that I have, she's revealed her true motivation. I'm not going to confront her, I'm not going to see one of her partners for a second opinion, I'm going to another doctor. I checked the phone book on Saturday, and the doctor who did the emergency removal of my right ovary when I had the endometrial tumor back in 2002 is not only in practice, but he's all of five blocks from my house. As soon as the office opens, I am calling to see if he's accepting new patients, and taking their first available appointment. I cannot live like this any more--I'm home from work on a day when I'm needed, stuffed full of narcotics and still miserable.

Sometimes, I hate the entire medical profession. And sometimes, I just hate being a girl.