Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Return of the If Bunny

Yes, just when I thought there was no more uncertainty in my life, an if bunny hops into it. I might have my Copaxone tomorrow to take on the cruise. Then again, I might not.

Ah well, I'm off to pack. See you after the 10th!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

El dia de sucko

Today has absolutely sucked rabid swamp rats.

I overslept and that led to much headless-chickenness to start my day.

Traffic was lousy.

When I got to work, I realized I had my wallet with me, but my purse was MIA, and it had my good BPAL LE Snow Storm perfume in it, in a holder Lioness crocheted especially for me.

While I was worrying about that, our xtml system was incredibly slow and clunky. It turns out that an electrician working at our Rochester, NY office cut power to all the servers there despite initially being told not to.

I came home, and while I did find my purse, I didn't find my pharmacy delivery. I ordered it on January 21st, paid the extra $15 for expedited delivery and was told I would have it in one week. So I called, and was told that my insurance company denied coverage and said it would have to be filled through their specialty pharmacy. Of course, nobody bothered to tell ME that until I called. The woman with whom I spoke promised me she would transfer the prescription and that I should be able to call the specialty pharmacy at 4:45 and possibly have it shipped tomorrow so it arrives on Thursday. It had freaking better get here on Thursday, because I am not cancelling my trip.


ETA: Great. The specialty pharmacy says transfers take 24-48 hours, not 30 minutes, and they'll try to get it out by Friday. Screaming is looking like a very attractive option right now.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd I just got a phone call from a collection agency. Medical co-pay, of course.

*hides under bed*

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Getting closer...

It's now six days until we fly to Orlando. Mom & I got a ton of work done today, balanced an accounting and got all the first of the month stuff done. She & Dad will be picking me up at four a.m. next Friday, and then we are off for our cruise. It looks as if Mallie is going to meet me at the airport, and hopefully I will get to meet her menagerie.

Rogue from the Lush forum sent the 'Foots a box full of toys and treats from Drs. Foster & Smith. She sent two faceless fleecy toys, chicken pig ears and dried chicken treats. The boys wrote their thank-you notes to her, and then were allowed a pig ear apiece to gnaw on. They are happy puppehs right now!

I am still stressed and pretty tired, as I haven't slept well all week. It shows in my eyes, especially the inside of my lower lids, which are very pink, and around the eyes as deeper crow's feet. Fortunately, the big stress was the law office stuff, and now I just have to clean, do laundry and pack. I can do all of that with a happy heart, knowing that there's very little possibility of screwing it up and it's all in aid of my vacation. :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Free at last!

Bigfoot is no longer Captain Conehead. He has been released from the Collar of Shame and is now free to carpet-surf all he likes. For the next six days, I will be cleaning his left ear daily, and then Amy will take over for a day or two. Ideally, by the time I return from the cruise, the ear will be completely healed and no longer at risk for infection. It's very nice to have him lean on me without banging a giant hard plastic monstrosity into me, and I'm sure my houseplants are all terribly relieved at not being knocked over any more.

One week from now, I will be in Orlando, ideally at Mallie's house, meeting her kittehs and bird and seeing her new view. Then on Saturday, the whole famdamily embarks upon our Disney cruise. I know pretty well what I'm taking, and I plan to clean like mad on Sunday and get everything laid out on the guest room bed. I also need to call and see if my stylist can get me in Wednesday night for a haircut so I'm not fighting my bangs the whole time I'm on vacation.

Mom & I are working all day tomorrow to try to get the law office in shape for her absence (and to a lesser degree, mine). When that is done, I will be able to take a deep breath or two and get excited about the vacation. :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Architecture. I has some.

For all the friends who have been gently pushing me in the direction of buying new bras--I have four. They all fit, although the blue one gives me pointy '80s Madonna boobs (which will hopefully get smooshed down a bit under my royal blue dress). I also got a chocolate brown tankini swimsuit, my first in 20 years, a dark brown pareo and two pairs of pants for the cruise.

Both jobs have been too nuts for me to get actually excited about the cruise. I've spent more time worrying about being ready to go than excited that I am going. But I do have a good idea of what I'm taking, and I'll probably get excited the day before.

Oh, and as for today's small bowel follow-through, anyone who mentions barium to me ever again may just deal with me throwing up on them. Bleargh. Results on Valentine's Day, lucky me.

Friday, January 18, 2008

My odd little world

In answer to a question from Mike:

A notasheep is any white fleecy dog toy that does not have a face. Similarly, any green fleecy toy is a notafrog, pink is a notapiggie and so on. This stems from my heartbreak and guilt over the undead stuffed piggie.

In answer to the question my few readers are now asking:

The undead stuffed piggie incident occurred about two years ago, when, in a moment of weakness, I bought a set of four cutely-shaped fleece dog toys. For some unknown reason, the 'Foots ate the face off the piggie first. For a week, every time I saw the pig, it reproached me with its facelessness and increasingly torn condition. I felt as if it were haunting me, even after it had been reduced to piggie atoms too small for even the 'Foots to consider playing with. That was when I vowed not to ever again give my dogs a toy with a face. Mallie understands my guilt and my vow, and she carefully sends formless, guilt-free toys to the dogs, bless her.

My odd little train of thought this morning:

I slowed to let an Audi A4 in front of me on the freeway this morning, and noticed the personalized plate was "LOL." This led me to think of lolcats. Then I thought of the four lolcats I created yesterday and Becs' clever comment about how two of them (now three) are AWOLOLcats. When I think of Becs, I think of ISB numbers, upon which her household depends. That in turn reminded me that I hadn't put the new ISB number in the front matter of the book I'm doing.

So LOLcats helped me do something at work I might otherwise have missed.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I suck at titles

Really. Every time I do a post here, the hardest part is naming it. Probably a good thing I never had kids.

Today was pretty good. One of the things the surgeon told me in addition to cutting down on the number of salads I eat was to slow the heck down and not gulp my lunch. So today I used my lunchtime to eat slowly and make lolcats:

They won't mean much if you haven't seen the original Ceiling Cat.

Of course, when it was not lunchtime, I did actual work-type work and surfed a bit while various processes ran.

When I came home, my reward for taking two weeks' worth of trash out to the curb was two packages, Lush stuff from swaps/CPs and a get-well card signed by my five year-old nephew. Awwwwww.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Small time period, big changes

Today was an easy day to go back to work. I had about an hour of administrative stuff to do first thing, then an hour of training, then an hour-long team meeting, then a ninety-minute team lunch, then spent the afternoon coding inserts for my next book. Lots of folks stopped by to welcome me back and ask how I was doing, and Maresche got me a lovely set of jammies and some adorable Valentine's Day socks. The only sad note was that the young man who had been running the mailroom for us got fired on Friday.

Everyone who wants to work at Hyphenated Corp. has to take a drug test. Mailguy didn't get around to taking his until after the scheduled deadline (and all new hires are informed of the deadline before they start). I'm sure he passed, but because he waited too long, he was fired. I'm told he cried, and said how much he would miss everyone, and I know we will all miss him. When I got home today, there was a get-well card from everyone at work, and he had signed it. *sigh*

Bigfoot is bonking around the house knocking things over and bruising me at every opportunity. I've had to make special arrangements for the food and water dishes since the Collar of Shame makes it impossible for him to eat from the doggie "table" on the breezeway. He was very upset with me last night, as the doctor had said no dinner until 7 p.m. and of course he hadn't had breakfast because of the anesthesia. He was drama-queening all over the house, sighing, flopping, leaning against me so I could feel his ribs. He's still unhappy with the CoS, but he's in a better mood because he gets to eat, and he manages to jump up onto my bed for his many naps, so his life isn't that bad. Nine more days until the sutures come out.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Hound of Heck is Home

and engaging in psychological and guerilla warfare against me. He's whining in a most guilt-inducing fashion and banging the Collar of Shame (big giant cone style) against anything that might be breakable (objects) or bruisable (me).

Nonetheless, I am happy to report that his ear has been successfully lanced, his bloodwork is "great for a dog of any age, let alone one who's fourteen" and at least he's home.

I'm not quite so happy about the fact that I am three hundred dollars poorer.

Hello, Clarice

Yesterday, Mom and I went to the Mellen Center for my annual MRI and neurologist's visit. I got some lovely Xanax before the test, and while it was taking effect, had a long talk with the nurse about the bariatric surgery, why I decided on it, what changes it has made, what changes I have had to make and how much weight I've lost.

When I was on the table and the tech put the cage down over my face, I giggled and said in what I'm sure was a hideous attempt at Hannibal Lecter's voice, "Hello, Clarice." Fortunately, I don't remember a whole lot more about the MRI, other than that the tech and the nurse had a hard time finding a spot to hook up the contrast IV because most of my arm and hand veins were blown from my hospital stay.

Mom and I then had a nice lunch in downtown Cleveland, took a look through Ten Thousand Villages (which is where I found the perfect Christmas gift for Bookworm Mathgeek last November) and then went back for my appointment.

Despite having been off the Copaxone for nine months in 2007, I have no new lesions, and I passed all the push this/pull that/hop on one foot tests at about the same level as last year. The doc and NP agreed that I probably had a mild exacerbation in December when the tingling got so bad, but since the choices would have been to suck it up or do a course of IV solumedrol, I wasn't out of line for not calling. Doc gave me a letter to take on the airline with my syringes (for the cruise next month), and that was it.

Today, I'm home doing gross sinus infectiony things and waiting to hear about Bigfoot, whom I dropped off at the vet's this morning for bloodwork and surgery on the ear hematoma. Hopefully, he'll come through as well this time as he did from the last surgery.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ewww, ick.

Lucky me, I got to spend Thursday night through this morning in the hospital. I had a small bowel obstruction. Icky stuff follows, so the weak of tummy should just close the browser knowing I am home and fine.

I came home from work on Thursday with what I thought was just bad gas pain. When my usual remedies (heating pad, hot bath, Gas-X) didn't work and the pain got worse, I wound up calling for ambulance transport to the ER. After assorted pokings, proddings and questions, I was given contrast matter to drink, some Dilaudid for the pain, X-rays and CT scans. When the doctors determined that I did in fact have a small bowel obstruction, I was admitted and given a naso-gastric tube (as Zayrina says, up the nose and down the throat) and then sent off to a room.

One note on the ER visit--mostly, the staff was competent and thoughtful. There was one nurse, however, who was a complete shit to me. I had a hard time keeping the contrast down, and had vomited up a fair amount of bile. My mother, who stayed with me practically the whole time, had been back and forth with basins for me, but at one point one of them overflowed onto the floor. When the nurses came in to insert the n-g tube, the jerk stepped in some of the bile, and finding out what it was, he had a mini-meltdown about getting it off his new shoes. He was then very patronizing to me, and verbally rough when it came time to get the tube down me. Fortunately, I didn't have to see him at all again after that.

The nurses and techs on the floor were great, the surgeon I saw was very good at actually listening to me, and once I'd had a bowel movement and promised to make the earliest possible appointment for a series of X-rays with barium, agreed to let me come home. Zayrina called frequently and posted about my situation on the Lush message board. My Lushie forum friends were sweet as can be. MaryMargrt sent her mom over with a flower, KellyGirl stopped in for a visit and brought more flowers, several people called, and there was a 12 page thread full of warm thoughts and good wishes for me to read and tear up over when I got home. Mallie called and helped cheer me up, and so did both of my brothers. Amy was an absolute godsend in taking care of the puppymonsters and my house and even sent her hubby to pick me up from the hospital.

This week is going to be interesting--tomorrow, I have my 30,000 mile lube/tune-up/MRI at the Cleveland Clinic, Tuesday is Bigfoot's surgery, Wednesday is training in a new process at work, and at some point I have to have the all-day X-rays to find out exactly where the adhesions are and if they are going to require future surgery or possibly just a change of diet and awareness of onset symptoms.

My warmest thanks for everyone who has been so supportive through all of this.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ear update

Bigfoot is scheduled for bloodwork, anesthesia and surgery next Tuesday, the fifteenth (the vet's office will call me if there is a cancellation this week).

He's sleeping on top of his notasheep right now. He looks adorable.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Hematomatoes and cauliflower ears

My very first post in this blog was about Bigfoot's right ear. I went through about two weeks of worry, relief, worry, laughter, relief and finally he was okay.

He's apparently decided that he needs two cauliflower ears, because he's got a hematomato* on his right ear. There is some cosmic force that causes animals to get sick/have problems on Sunday nights when the choice is between the very spendy emergency vet hospital and an overcrowded veterinarian's office on Monday morning. I made an attempt to lance the hematoma myself, and couldn't manage it. I'm too soft-hearted to hold him still enough to get a syringe in deeply enough. I managed to make one hell of a mess and stick myself on the thumb before I gave up. I'll call the vet first thing in the morning and see when they can get him in and what I'll have to give up in the way of new clothes to pay for it.

*A very irritating veterinarian I saw once when Bigfoot was a puppy used "hematomato" in all seriousness instead of "hematoma." I thought it was funny and I tend to use it instead of the correct word.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Everything I didn't need to know, I learned at Lush

The forum, specifically. I was not aware until I read a post there that as a teenager Anne Perry had been convicted of helping a friend kill the friend's mother.

I've enjoyed her books for years without knowing this. When I mentioned it to Mom, she was appalled and immediately said I should stop reading/buying Perry's books.

On the one hand, I do see her point. This person helped commit a truly horrible crime--why should she have a nice life with big fat profits? On the other hand, I'm sure that one person not buying her books is going to change her lifestyle one iota, and she has served her time and possibly is truly remorseful.

Right now, I'm re-reading my way through all of the Perry novels I have, and wondering if that will help me make up my mind.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Thanks, girls

Someone over on the Cyber SoapBox posted a link to a story about a 6 year old girl who wrote an essay about her father dying in Iraq. The little girl's essay won her tickets to a sold-out Hannah Montana show. Only problem is, the story wasn't true and her mother helped her write it.

Now 6 year olds are often creative storytellers. I certainly was at that age. But for her mother to connive at this and possibly instigate it just to win concert tickets? That's pretty devastating to my general faith in humanity. I wish there were a way to punish the mom without penalizing the daughter, but sadly, there isn't. The prize was withdrawn.

I was depressed by that story, but then I found an antidote in a local story. Three Akron-area girls gave up their tickets to the local Hannah Montana show and another girl gave $100 for souvenirs. My thanks to all four girls for restoring my faith in people.