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1/24/13

by @ Thursday, January 24th, 2013. Filed under Life, medical crap

So, it’s that time of year when I try to cram all my yearly checkups into one month. I try to get them all in in January, since that’s my birthday month, and supposedly it’ll be easier for me to remember. My gynecological visit kind of bled (ha! ha!) into February, but once that’s over, I’ll be set for another year.

Oh actually, I won’t. I still have the mammogram to go through. They’ll make that appointment for me at my GYN appointment. Did I mention that last year after my mammogram they told me there were some differences from the previous year and I had to go back for another mammogram? I’m sure I didn’t mention it. I knew it would turn out to be nothing because I’d had a breast lift since my previous mammogram and was sure that was what was causing the differences. I got to go through another GODDAMN mammogram, and oh those things are just SUCH a joy.

On a side note, if you have the long, loose, floppy boobs, let me tell you here and now that mammograms with those long, loose, floppy boobs are 63,000 percent less painful than if you have firm ones. The floppy ones are easier to move around and position and such.

So I had the second mammogram and then they wanted me to stay for an ultrasound, and I was ever so pleased to do that. I’m pretty sure there’s not an inch of my body that hasn’t been ultrasounded at this point. Maybe my eyes. Do they do eyeball ultrasounds? So I’m used to it, and the only thing that stops me from dozing off is the fear that I’ll start snoring, and also I don’t want them to have to wake me up to turn over or move my arm or whatever, because how fun would that be for them, to have to poke me awake to change positions?

Medical procedures where there’s nothing being sliced off or needles being stuck in my body don’t phase me at all. I dozed off during an MRI several years ago and they had to wake me up to ask me to stop moving.

ANYway. So one of the yearly appointments is with Dr. Liver, ie my gastroenterologist who is 5 days older than me and who diagnosed me with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis. Fuck off, spell check. Sclerosing Cholangitis is correctly spelled. Anyway, he diagnosed me with PSC in 2006 and I still don’t believe I have it, but you know. WHATEVS. All I have to do is go see him for three minutes once a year, have some blood drawn, and have an abdominal ultrasound so they can make sure my liver isn’t misbehaving.

This time when I saw him, he asked if I was still taking the medication (I reminded him that I wasn’t, since we’d decided I’d go off it last year because studies showed that the meds are USELESS) and then he asked when I’d had my last colonoscopy, and I bellowed “WHY ARE YOU STILL ASKING ME THESE QUESTIONS WHEN YOU HAVE MY ENTIRE MEDICAL HISTORY AT YOUR FINGERTIPS ON THAT LAPTOP.”

Okay, no I didn’t. I told him I thought it had been two years since I had the colonoscopy and everything was fine then. He frowned and said “I don’t remember what the protocol is for patients with PSC regarding colonoscopies. Is it every year?”

And I said “Well, no. Didn’t you read the latest study? Dr… Rob..erta, um… McAnderson published a paper that one colonoscopy per lifetime is plenty!”

He did not seem impressed with my medical knowledge.

“YOU should write that paper!” I suggested.

Still not impressed. He jotted a note to himself, and we moved on.

So I lived in fear that he’d call me up and say I had to have a colonoscopy and y’all, DO NOT WANT. Last time I was terrified that I’d be under sedation and I’d blurt out that he looks like the reporter Muppet, and he’d be terribly offended (though to be honest, I don’t think he offends that easily). This year I was concerned that I’d end up singing “My colon brings all the probes to my ass” or some other horrific ditty.

I didn’t hear anything, so I went and had my abdominal ultrasound, and it seemed to take a long time. So I assumed that my blood work had come back with tumor markers showing, uh, tumors (PSC leads to cancer of the bile ducts in some percentage of cases, so they test for tumor markers every year) and he’d called the ultrasound tech and said “ACT NATURAL, but get all up in her bile duct and send me pics!” and I figured I was probably dying of bile duct cancer.

So then Monday he called and said all the tests came back just fine, and there were no changes on my ultrasound, that hemangioma hadn’t changed, come back next year, bye! I said thanks and loveyoubye, and then I hung up and was like “Wait, the what and the what now?” So I looked up hemangioma, and apparently I have a spot on my liver that’s nothing to worry about. And he seemed to KNOW about it already, since there’d been no change since last year, but I swear that I didn’t know about this. Except… did I? I DON’T KNOW.

But apparently there’s nothing to worry about, so I won’t worry. And hey! He said nothing about another colonoscopy, so there’s that.

I just need to get past the GYN visit and mammogram in February, and then I don’t have to go through any of this medical shit again for another year, thankyajesus.

 

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On Saturday, Fred and I went into town to get lunch, and as we were headed home, Fred said “Huh.”

“What?” I said.

“That sign back there said ‘A Cat Alone.’ Did you see it?”

“No,” I said. “I didn’t. I wonder if it’s a new cat rescue. That’s kind of an odd name.”

We drove in silence for a few minutes, and a thought came to me.

“You’re sure it said ‘A Cat Alone’?”

“Pretty sure,” he said.

“Could it have said… ‘A Cut Above’?”

He thought for a moment. “I don’t think… well, maybe.”

Whereupon I laughed ’til I cried.

 

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DSC08879

Got my hairs did. Don’t expect to ever see this particular ‘do again; Fred was not a fan of it, and I couldn’t make my hair that flat and straight if I had a zillion dollars and a million hair styling doohickeys.

 

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Previously
2012: Two things of note requiring the cleaning of the Dyson.
2011: It was a slipper. No wonder it wouldn’t purr.
2010: Update on Gus & Mike (now Topher & Dorian)
2009: No entry.
2008: The Annoying of the Poo, a step-by-step instructional guide.
2007: I’d sell all the kitties into kitty slavery for an iPhone.
2006: “Y’all shut UP. I don’t hear you complaining when you run around FARTING on everyone.”
2005: Letters.
2004: No entry.
2003: I swear, I have no control over my body sometimes.
2002: The shithole on Goddard Street.
2001: Lucky for her I’ve calmed down to a growling grumpiness, or it wouldn’t be a very good time to be the spud.
2000: We’re a pathetic lot, aren’t we?

1/14/13

by @ Monday, January 14th, 2013. Filed under Life

That’s right, ANOTHER POST! It’s my intention to post once a week (or more if I have something exciting to share, but don’t hold your breath). Hopefully I can keep up that breakneck pace, but we shall seeeeee.

As always, I post Monday through Friday at Love & Hisses, and once a week or so at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza.

 

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So, the pigs went off to Freezer Camp at the end of October. As part of his preparations for the transport to Freezer Camp, about a week before the bus leaves Fred drives the trailer out to the back forty and backs it into a space where he can remove the fence. Then he begins feeding the pigs on the trailer. The idea is that they’ll become accustomed to being fed on the trailer, and immediately go there the morning that they’re scheduled to leave, and Fred can close the end of the trailer and they’ll be confined.

Yes, that is correct. He uses their love (of food) against them. Very cruel, and I’m sure he’ll end up in Hell for making the pigs think “Hey, maybe he’s taking us to a donut factory where we can eat ALL the donuts we want to!”, and then they go to another factory entirely.

In the past, it’s taken only a mealtime or two before the pigs get the idea. This time, black pig would not set one single hoof on that trailer, no way, no how. We kept saying “Well, when he gets hungry enough, he’ll go where the food is!”, secure that that would surely happen, since that’s how it had always happened before.

When it had been two days since black pig had gotten a decent meal, Fred was at work and I happened to glance out the window and see the black pig, at the end of the coop, surrounded by chickens. It took a minute before my brain kicked in and I realized that that pig? Not supposed to be there. The pig yard is a yard in itself and does not include the coop.

I called Fred. “Hey, I’m looking at the end of the coop. The black pig is standing there, eating scratch. I’m NOT going out there to corral him back into the pig yard.”

Last year, when we had three pigs (which we won’t do again) I had to walk across the pig yard to feed them on the trailer because Fred had to work late. One of them knocked me down, another bit me lightly on the leg (“I wonder how humans taste? I hear they have a nasty aftertaste, but I gotta try for myself!”), I reacted as if I’d been hit with a jolt of electricity, ran back across the yard to the gate without touching the ground, and have declared myself a non-pig-yard-entering entity ever since.

Fortunately it was almost time for Fred to leave work, so I just went out and took pictures and didn’t worry about getting the pig back where he belonged.


“What?”


“We LIKE this guy!”


Dragged the dog feeder across the yard. Ate all the dog food.


Helping the chickens eat the scratch.


Still helping.


The garbage can, over by the trailer, laying on its side? That was full of pig feed. Black pig helped himself to some of that, as well.


Pink pig was like “HOW did he get out there?!”


Black pig was clearly a fan of chicken scratch.


Note George, staring off into the distance, all “Pig? What pig? I see no pig out of the back forty!”


I think it’s safe to say that black pig ate a ton of scratch while he was out. Brat.

When Fred got home, he lured black pig – who should NOT have been in the slightest bit hungry, yet somehow WAS – into the pig yard using a donut. Took him about 2 minutes to get the pig back where he belonged.

The pigs always dig a wallow near the fence, near where their water dish is kept. Apparently the ground there is easier to dig, since it stays damp most of the time. It ends up being big enough for two fully grown pigs to wallow in, and what we hadn’t realized is that the fuckers were digging ever closer to the fence line, and then dug UNDER the fence, and finally black pig was all “Fuck THIS, I’m going to find food!” and crawled out.

Fred filled in the part of the wallow that went under the fence, and then black pig decided the trailer wasn’t so bad, and so on Monday morning, Fred was able to lure the pigs into the trailer with no problem at all. And off the pigs went, to freezer camp.

We usually like to send the pigs off to freezer camp when they’re around 350 pounds. This year, by the time Fred called to make the camp reservation, they were scheduled out so far that we took them about a month later than we’d originally wanted to.

Our pig, the pink pig, weighed in at nearly 500 pounds.

That, my friends, is a LOT of pork. Our freezer is chock-full of pork, and I’m not complaining.

 

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: “Well, because I have abnormally small hands.”
2010: So, random pictures. For you. Try not to be too excited.
2009: George and Gracie are home from the spaying and the neutering.
2008: Negative. Good news or sad news, I wonder?
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Y’all rock.
2004: So many books, so little time.
2003: Ah, good times.
2002: So, you know what I hate?
2001: No entry.
2000: I was a tad peeved.

1/7/12

by @ Monday, January 7th, 2013. Filed under Life

New month, new (finally) banner!

Sorry it’s been over a month since the last post. I’ve thought about posting, I swear I have, but I really haven’t had much to share aside from the cat stuff, which of course you can always see over at Love & Hisses.

I’d promise to do better this month, but I think we all know better.

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Nance and I have been cooking up a storm (okay, occasionally cooking) over at Dinosaurs Can’t Eat Pizza. Most recently, there’s been a Coconut-Buttermilk Pound Cake (DAMN YOU, MARTHA), Mandarin Muffins (SO freakin’ good), and Lasagna Soup.

The Wednesday before New Year’s Eve, (also known, I guess, as the day after Christmas) I got an email from Nance asking if we were up for a visit. I told her of course we were, and asked when they were thinking of coming. I was in Tennessee the next morning, picking up a foster kitten, when I happened to glance down at my phone. Nance had texted me and emailed me saying, basically “We’re coming TOMORROW, but you’ve got to let me know it’s okay, because I won’t pack until I hear from you, and Rick is getting nervous!”

Turned out, Rick had time off that he had to use before the end of the year, and they wanted to make a road trip down to visit. Of course we were up for the visit, and they arrived in Alabama late Friday night, though we didn’t see them until Saturday morning (they stayed in a motel nearby). The visit was fun and fast, and they left again Monday morning.

We didn’t do any podcasts or videos because we both suck at last-minute planning (or really planning, period), and though one day perhaps we’ll do a cooking video when we’re together, I think y’all should probably not hold your breath on that score. Mostly, we went to Sam’s Club and to the flea market, and then sat around the house and shot the shit. Nance and Rick had kittens – Mr. Stripey and Sungold, the ‘Maters boys who will be going to their new home this weekend – climbing all over them, and it was just a lot of fun to have them here.

It had actually been over a year since I saw them last – my visit in October 2011 – and now I owe them another visit!

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I have not read a single book since the beginning of December. Why? Because I started watching The Good Wife, and when I have free time I spend it watching episodes of that instead of reading. I’m about a quarter way through season three, and have promised myself that when I’m caught up, I’ll stop taking the iPad upstairs with me at night. I have been staying up ’til midnight most nights, watching two and sometimes three episodes before I force myself to put the crack pipe down and go to sleep.

I was never really a Julianna Margulies fan before this show, but now I love her. And those kids who play her kids? I adore them. Love Kalinda (Archie Panjabi), love Diane (Christine Baranski), love Cary (Matt Czuchry), even though I want to yell “Stop SMILING, Cary, it’s NOT THAT AMUSING” sometimes.

For a while there, I was starting to wonder if there was some sort of game going on, because Will (Josh Charles) was buttoning and unbuttoning his jacket constantly. Every time he stood up, he buttoned it. Before sitting down, he unbuttoned it. He must have done it 15 times in the course of one courtroom scene. If I’d been the judge in that courtroom, I would have thrown his ass in jail for excessive button use.

Also, I love Alan Cumming (still incredulous in an amused sort of way that he’s got a fragrance out called “Cumming”) and I hope he stays on the show forever.

I highly recommend The Good Wife. I wish I’d been watching it all along, but I’m going to be bereft when I’m all caught up and don’t have any more episodes to watch. Though I guess I could always just start watching again from the very beginning!

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Previously
2012: No entry.
2011: My only gripe is that the “citrus scent” is kind of unpleasant. But it does keep the cats from chewing on cords, so it’s a worthwhile trade-off.
2010: Exciting, no?
2009: So yeah, almost two weeks after Christmas, I’m finally in the Christmas spirit.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
2004: What I hate most about flying is how incredibly fucking boring it is.
2003: Damn 8 Mile.
2002: I think we can agree that I’m all about the politeness
2001
2000: Fred: Well, what’s 8 times 1? Spud: 10?

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