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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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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?

10/24/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, October 24th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

Thank you, those of you who voted for Gracie in the Greenies contest over the past few weeks. As we went into Friday evening – voting was supposed to stop at midnight Friday – Gracie was in first place and whoever was in second place was about 300 votes behind. They didn’t shut down voting at midnight, which I’d expected they would, so Saturday afternoon Gracie ended up in second place to a dog I hadn’t even noticed before. I don’t know if Gracie made it back to first place again before they finally got around to shutting down the voting, and I don’t know if they’ll count the votes that were cast after midnight Friday or not, so Gracie ended up either in first place or second, depending on how they’re planning to do that. At this point, it’s up to the judges to decide who won anyway, so maybe she wins and maybe she doesn’t – I’ll certainly let y’all know if I find anything out!

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Renee has a question that some of you might be able to help with:

I guess you’d call me the neighborhood cat lady. A month or so ago I caught the local mama kitty and well she’s currently pregnant and living isolated in a room. Until recently I am not allowed to touch her. If your hand gets too close she’ll pop you. Recently she’s gotten very loving – on her terms. At night when I go in, she runs over to me and will rub all over me. I am still not allowed to touch her even though she rubs all over me. I know as they get closer to giving birth they can get very loving. Lately though I can barely get out of the room. When I go to stand up she runs around and tries to block me. Tonight she put herself between me and the door and would hiss or pop at me if I tried to move towards it. I’m not sure what’s up with the possessiveness and I”m not sure how or if I’d ever be able to get her to allow me to touch her, but I didn’t know if you or any of your readers might have some advice or experience.

Advice/ suggestions very much welcome!

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The Goathouse Refuge in Pittsboro, NC needs help raising funds! If they can raise $10,000 by November 30th, they will receive $10,000 in matching funds! Go read more about it here, and help out if you can, please?

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I came through surgery just fine, thankfully. The worst part of going into any surgery (this is just my opinion) is having the IV started. When I had the (non-cancerous) tumor on my knee removed when I was a teenager, they had a hell of a time getting my IV started, and had to poke me three or four times before they finally did. In all the surgeries I’ve had since then, though, they’ve never had a problem. But it’s the anticipation of having the IV started that just sucks, and nothing else about surgery fills me with dread the way that does. What’s that, I’m going to be laying there stark naked surrounded by 45 strangers, all casting judgemental looks at me? Whatever, I’ll be asleep, ask me if I CARE (I do not).

So I felt my usual dread Wednesday morning when the anesthesiologist came out to start my IV. And he injected first one vein with that god-awful local that numbs the area (which, if you ask me, is worse than the fucking IV itself) and couldn’t get the IV into that vein, so went after another vein and nope, that one didn’t work either, and so he tried poking around a little to see if he could make it work.

And he hit a fucking NERVE, a literal NERVE. I am stoic, and don’t let anyone tell you different, and you could probably be hacking at my arm to remove it, with no anesthetic, and I might mildly say “Oh, that stings just a teeny bit.” while inside I am screaming, but when he hit that vein, and that zap of PAIN went jolting up my hand, I pretty much levitated up off the bed and made him decide to give up on that hand.

He went on to my right hand and just did the IV without the local (thankyoujesus) and got it in, and then it all went very quickly (in a private clinic, shit gets done quickly as opposed to a hospital where you show up at 5:30 for an 11:00 surgery time and they ultimately get you back there around 3 in the afternoon; in a private clinic there are not those pesky emergencies taking up operating rooms, I guess), and Fred came back to kiss me and say goodbye, and off I went.

The surgery took a couple of hours, and I was home in my recliner a little after noon.

Since the day of surgery, I’ve been doing a lot of snoozing in the recliner. It’s comfortable enough, but I really wish we had one of those really big recliners that you can really get comfortable in. The dressing they put on my head after surgery was absolutely huge, so I was glad to see the surgeon on Friday and have the dressing and drain removed, and a smaller garment put in place.

I was able to shower on Saturday for the first time since Wednesday, and it was really nice.

Yesterday I moved from narcotic painkillers to Tylenol/ Advil, and it’s doing a good job at keeping the pain at bay. I go back to the surgeon on Friday, where I think they’ll remove my stitches and staples and look me over to determine that I’m healing okay.

Speaking of all that, when the nurse took the dressing off from around my face on Friday, Fred told me that (1) I looked like a chipmunk (because my cheeks were swollen) and (2) he was pretty sure they’d moved my ears (the nurse told me they did no such thing). He’s so helpful, isn’t he?

So anyway, so far so good on the healing. I can’t really chew anything, so I’ve been eating the hell out of Spaghetti-Os, grits, soup, and chocolate pudding.

I’m planning to take the rest of the week off from blogging, though knowing me I’ll pop in to post pictures once or twice – or maybe not. In any case, if I don’t post again between now and Monday, rest assured that I’m taking it easy in the recliner, and I’ll be back!

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The original head dressing, which I had on my head from Wednesday to Friday. I post this picture because it is super KLASSY, with that bra hanging off the hook by the door. What can I say? I wanted to take the damn thing off as soon as I got home!

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Yeah, my glasses are too big for my face and also crooked. Shaddup. This is what I’m wearing on my head now. It’s a lot less bulky and a lot more comfortable.

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Luckily, cake doesn’t require much chewing, and I had a Groupon for Peggy Ann Bakery that needed to be used before mid-November, so Fred went by and got us a cake (the pigs got the better part of it because I found that I wasn’t all that hungry for cake when I was doped up on the narcotics.)

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So, the pond is dug. The guys worked hard on it all week long, and round about, oh, Wednesday, they told Fred that hey – there’s a lot of dirt! They told him that there was more dirt than they’d expected (!) and, um, sucks to be us. So Fred put a sign by the side of the road advertising dirt for sale, and I don’t know what exactly is going to happen if no one comes along and wants some of that dirt. I guess we’re going to have a hill out there. Or something.

Anyway.

We have a pond!

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The dirt from the pond.

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The pond, which is about 60 x 120 feet, and about 8 feet deep at the deeper (farther) end.

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Nothing to do with the pond, I just thought this was neat.

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I have to say that I miss Buster an awful lot (reports are that he’s doing just fine at Petsmart, but hasn’t been adopted yet), but things are just so amazingly peaceful around here. I think I hadn’t realized just how UN-peaceful life had gotten and how tense it was making me until things went back to relatively peaceful.

The kittens are being pretty good while I recover from surgery – occasionally one will climb up in my lap for a nap, but for the most part they play around me and near me, and lay on the couch near my chair, but don’t run across my face or anything like that, which is good.

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Everett, looking regal.

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Charlie Peppers loves the big cats. He spends a lot of time snuggling up to Elwood and Tommy.

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I love how it looks like Charlie’s gone all Tasmanian Devil on Elwood’s tail, and Elwood doesn’t even notice.

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(Ignore the dirty rug by the door – Fred hadn’t vacuumed yet)

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Charlie and Everett.

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Charlie, Everett, and Tommy.

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Elwood sure does love that Tommy.

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Previously
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Questions answered.
2007: Then I’m sure they hung up and said “We just bought ourselves six weeks of NO CALLS from Mr. And3rson. Boo-yah!”
2006: Okay. I have a LOT of favorite things about the house, I cannot lie.
2005: “That makes me want to get pregnant and have a baby, just so I can name it Lavernicus,” I admitted. “That WOULD be an excellent name.”
2004: No entry.
2003: It took two days from the first time I called Stanley “Beanie-bean” in front of Fred before Fred started doing it too. He’s such a copycat.
2002: “She was giving me a handjob under the water, and I didn’t stop her, even though I’m not attracted to her, BECAUSE I AM ONLY HUMAN.”
2001: Fred is a freak.
2000: “Uhhhh….” I said, casting around for something smart-ass or impressive to say.
1999: My desk is a total shitheap, because I’m Robyn and I’m a slob

3/7/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, March 7th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

Gooooooooood morning!

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2011-03-07-02

That’s right. I’m bringin’ sexy back.

That’s what I’m wearing these days, most days, though I usually wear a button-up shirt over the top of the whole getup. My range of movement is pretty good, though I can’t raise my arms much higher than my shoulders with them out straight; but bent, I can get ’em pretty high.

I’ve had several good nights of sleep – I can even sleep on my side for short stretches of time – and I’m off the narcotics. I’ve barely even needed any Tylenol and Advil for the past few days.

A good thing is that there’s been a noticeable improvement under my chin, sagging skin-wise. The lump is still there, but while I can’t say for sure that it’s gotten smaller, I can say that it hasn’t gotten bigger, so that’s good, right?

I’m at about 75% of normal, I’d say, and getting better every day. That lovely bra/ arm compression garment up there? I bought that before surgery. Right after surgery, there’s no way I could have bent my arms back enough to put it on, but now not only can I put it on, but I can put it on without any help from Fred. It’s a pretty handy garment, and I like it better than wearing Ace bandages around my arms (I was always concerned that they were loosening and slipping down my arms – which they often did) and the sports bra from Walmart.

My weight has dipped down to 2 pounds less than I weighed the day before surgery, but I expect it to bounce back and forth for a while. I’m still swollen, but not as much as I was, and I think I’m doing pretty well for 3 weeks after surgery.

Later this week I’ll even leave the house and drive myself to the store, because my grand-nephew’s birthday is next week, and I am, of course, unprepared.

(I won’t be wearing that particular outfit from the pictures, though. I do NOT want to end up on People of Wal-mart, or whatever the hell it’s called.)

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The number one favorite cat toy in the house these days seems to be the catnip banana. It lives in or near the downstairs hallway most of the time, and you can often look down the hall to see one cat or another laying there, licking it and getting hiiiiiiiigh.

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Spanky and the nanner.

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Corbie’s turn. He closed his eyes, but if they were open, you’d see how glazed they are after a session with the nanner.

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2011-03-07-05

Remember how happy I was to replace the rug that was in the foster room with foam squares? It held up admirably for about a week. Then the Brady’s started sharpening their claws on it, but it still held up pretty well. And THEN they started pulling the borders off so that every time I went in there, I’d have to put one or two borders back on.

Then when the Bradys were given the run of the house, someone (not necessarily a Brady, it could have been anyone, but I suspect Corbie or Reacher) started bring the borders downstairs and leaving them by the back door.

All of which was annoying but something I could put up with.

HOWEVER.

Then came the day I found a small chunk missing out of one of the borders and then found a puddle of barf with the chunk in it. And before you could say “What, the 300 bowls of cat food laying around the house isn’t enough for you pigs?” I grabbed up all the foam squares and dragged them out to the garage. Then I went to Walmart and bought a cheap area rug ($20) and put it in the foster room.

And all of that to say that, look? Doesn’t that cheap Walmart rug look nice in the foster room, and could Corbie be any prettier?

I think not.

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2011-03-07-06
“Give someone else a turn at the catnip banana, wouldya?!”

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Previously
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Meet the new pigs.
2007: Going on hiatus!
2006: Hell of a way to start out your retirement, ain’t it?
2005: Book recommendations and a meme.
2004: No entry.
2003: Be afraid. Be very afraid.
2002: Food for her youngs.
2001: Not much going on here.
2000: Mean mommy, huh?

3/1/11 – Tuesday

by @ Tuesday, March 1st, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

New month, new banner!

MarchBanner

Christine – who’s done a LOT of banners for me lately – created this one, too. Just seeing those sweet little faces is making me itchy to have more wee fosters! Hey, I’m practically halfway through my six-week recovery period, aren’t I? Yay!

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I don’t have a whole lot to write about, as you can imagine. I can tell you that I’m feeling pretty good these days, although yesterday I tried to put on sports bra that was tighter than the cheap ones I’ve been wearing from Walmart, and I made it maybe five minutes before I was ripping that damn bra off and getting another cheap bra out of the drawer.

I’m sleeping okay lately, with the help of painkillers. Fred is being absolutely spoiled, because more often than not lately, we’re off to bed by 8:30. I lay in bed and surf the internet on my netbook (LOVE that thing), and he’s probably sound asleep well before 9:00. I sleep propped up on pillows with a pillow on either side of me where I rest my arms. I’ve never been much of a back sleeper, but the couple of times I’ve attempted laying on my side, it hasn’t gone so well, so I’m a back sleeper for now.

Arizona Robin (who is not the same person as Arizona Robbins, if you were wondering) asked yesterday how difficult it is to brush my hair what with the scalp scabs. It’s not a problem, really – I’m careful not to brush too hard after my shower, and I don’t bother to spend much time styling my hair, because this is how it looks 23 1/2 hours of the day:

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(Note the inside-out white t-shirt.)

The high point of my day is at 3:30, when I get to take that thing off my head, the Ace bandages off my arms, all my clothes off, and take a shower. Fred gets home just about the time I get out of the shower, and he wraps my arms for me and then puts the head garment back on me. (If pressed, I could probably do the Ace bandages on my arms, but I don’t think I could get that head thing back on.) That fifteen minutes or half hour of freedom is kind of glorious, and I look forward to the time when I won’t have to wear all that shit.

I’m watching a LOT of TV these days. I set up to tape episodes of House, and I’ve probably watched 15 – 20 episodes and have another 20-something on the DVR. Watching TV wasn’t an easy thing for me in the week and a half after surgery, because I kept falling asleep. It took me three tries to watch one particular episode of House because I slept through the entire thing the first try through, and then most of the way in the second attempt.

Yesterday, I watched an episode of Confessions of Animal Hoarders (or whatever the hell it’s called) and was so disturbed by the fact that these people with 80 cats were washing their dirty litter boxes IN THE KITCHEN SINK that I had to pause the show and go upstairs and take a nap. I mean, GAH. SHITTY LITTER BOXES DO NOT GET WASHED IN THE KITCHEN SINK, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, PEOPLE. Wash them outside with the hose, or in the utility sink (if you have one), or if you MUST, wash them in the shower and then sanitize the FUCK out of the shower.

I myself, actually, do not wash the litter boxes in any of those places. I prefer to spray down empty litter boxes with my favorite cleaning spray, then once they’re scrubbed cleaned I finish them with the spray bottle of 50/50 white vinegar and water. When they’re completely dry, I wipe down the lower third of the litter boxes with olive oil, let that soak in and dry, and then refill them with clean litter.

(I’m currently using 50% Precious Cat and 50% Fresh Step. The Precious Cat is good litter (and as dust-free as any I’ve seen), but doesn’t quite do the job of keeping down the smell that I’d hope for.)

The olive oil helps keep clumps from sticking to the litter box. If you were wondering.

Well. Wasn’t THAT a fascinating tangent?

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Have I ever mentioned that I can hardly stand how gorgeous Corbie is?

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SO gorgeous. He knows it, too.

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Corbie ear floof.

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Kara, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather we’ve had lately (NOT complaining!)

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Miz Poo, doing the same.

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Previously
2010: I guess it’s March’s plan to come in like a lion
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: Natalie Maines could use some wardrobe advice, though, and I hope I’m not trampling all over her Right to Freely Dress Like a Bag Lady when I say that.
2006: It was so friggin’ cute I made Fred listen to it, too.
2005: I have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, apparently.
2004: A day in the life.
2003: What makes me crazy.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Okay, enough of the wallowing.

2/28/11 – Monday

by @ Monday, February 28th, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

Behold, I continue to live!

I saw the plastic surgeon on Friday, and had all my stitches and staples out. The stitches weren’t too bad, and MOST of the staples weren’t too bad. The staples that were in my scalp, for instance, weren’t bad. A few of them hurt coming out, but only momentarily. The staples that came out of my armpit, on the other hand, hurt so much as they were coming out that I about levitated up off the table. Like I told a few people, I wasn’t looking forward to having them taken out, but I was looking forward to having them gone. Now that they’re gone, I can say that the staples in my arm pits were responsible for about 75% of the pain I was having. It is NICE having the damn things gone, so that in the event that I move my arm or even THINK about moving my arm, there isn’t a warning pain from my armpit.

Since I still have swelling under my chin, I have to continue wearing the face compression garment. Since my ears have been hurting like crazy from rubbing the inside of the garment, Fred cut ear holes in the sides so that my ears stick out. It’s quite the fashion statement, I’m sure you can imagine. It’s probably a good thing that I have to continue wearing it, since there are scabs on my scalp (around where the staples were) and I cannot help myself but pick at them if I have access. With the garment on, I can’t get to the scabs, which can only be a good thing.

My arms are still swollen, so I have to keep them wrapped in Ace bandages (or rather, Fred has to wrap them for me) for a few more weeks.

The good thing is that since all my incisions are healed and not draining, we were able to stop with the daily antibacterial ointment-dressing with gauze thing, and go to using gauze only when I need to protect my incision lines, such as when I’m wearing a bra.

So naturally I said to him “So, should I start wearing a sports bra?”

He stopped, considered, and said “Sure, you can if you want to.”

I wondered later why the hell I was instructed to buy a sports bra if they weren’t going to tell me to start wearing the damn thing. Because not only did I buy a sports bra, I bought about 10 of them because I was so concerned about having one that would work for me.

After the nurse removed my staples and stitches, she rewrapped my arms.

“Is that too tight?” she asked.

“No, that’s just perfect,” I said. And at that moment it was. As we headed out of the exam room and waited to make my next appointment, I came to realize that the wrap on my right arm (which is more swollen than the left) was actually a bit too tight. Okay, maybe WAY TOO FUCKING TIGHT. By the time my appointment was made and we were in the car, my right hand was tingling and going numb. I ended up taking the wrap completely off for the ride home.

“I guess it was a little too tight,” I said to Fred.

“Well, she was practically hanging off you as she came to the end of the wrapping,” he said.

So I don’t see the surgeon again for two months, which I thought was odd, but they were quick to tell me that I could call the office if I had any questions or problems or thought I needed to see him again.

With the staples out, I’m having a lot less pain and have switched to Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen during the day, saving the narcotics for nighttime.

In the past couple of days, I’ve noticed that my forearms are hurting – if I touch them, they feel bruised. Luckily, I’ve done enough reading online to know that that’s normal and will go away in time.

After my shower Saturday morning, I put on a sports bra (one of the cheap ones I got from Walmart). It got to be uncomfortable, though, so I took it off after a couple of hours. After my shower Sunday, I pulled out a white t-shirt, turned it inside-out so the seams were on the outside, pulled that on, and then put the bra on over it. That turned out to be pretty comfortable, and so that’s how I plan to wear it from here on out.

I’ve still got a lot of swelling going on – I measured myself on Sunday just for shits and giggles, and determined that if I were shopping for a bra right now, I’d need a 34G.

“They don’t look like they’re a size G,” Fred said helpfully. As if HE’d know. A lot of the swelling is under my arms, too, which of course effects the measurement.

So, to recap: I’m still pretty swollen, I have to wear the head compression garment for the next little while AND keep my arms wrapped. I have a scabby scalp. I’m mostly off the narcotics. And I’m feeling very little pain now.

If you’re going to have any kind of plastic surgery, I have two bits of advice for you:

1. Keep the hell away from that scale for at least a month. I weighed myself last week and found that I was up TEN POUNDS from the day before surgery. I am fully aware that I haven’t gained real weight – that it’s due to all the swelling. And yet, seeing ten extra pounds on the scale was a nasty surprise.

2. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror for at least a month, preferably two. Before that, you just look like a big swollen beast, you’ll obsess over how your boobs DO NOT LOOK LIKE BOOBS and your arms OH MY GOD ARE STILL SO BIG and I STILL HAVE A DAMN DOUBLE CHIN, and really. No good can come of looking at yourself in the mirror. Trust me.

Oh, and a bonus third thing I just thought of:

3. Fiber is your friend. Stool softeners are your friend. ESPECIALLY if you’re on narcotics, because if you’re not on top of things, you will be a hurting unit, trust me. Get as much damn fiber down your throat as you possibly can, or you’ll be sad. Fred made a huge pot of red beans and rice for dinner yesterday, and there’s so much left over that we’ll both be eating it for lunches all this week.

Speaking of narcotics, Fred went digging in the cupboard in the kitchen where we keep some of the spillover from our medicine cabinet, and found not only a half-full bottle of Percoset left over from my hysterectomy last year, but also some from my gallbladder surgery 4 1/2 years ago. AND some Lorcet from…. I don’t remember. Maybe my lower body lift? We always tend to save the leftover pills “just in case”, and then they sit there for years.

We’re not very good druggies, I guess.

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Aw, look what I found on my hard drive!


Rhyme and Corbie, out exploring the back yard!

Good ol’ Rhyme. (And good ol’ Corbie, too, of course!)


Bath time for Corbie.

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I like how, despite the fact that there are two perfectly comfy, totally empty cat beds on the table, Newt has decided instead to flop across the table itself.

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Alice, trying to decide whether Loony Jake needs company (she ultimately decided that he didn’t, and went off to find more inviting places to sleep).

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Miz Poo, in the foster room.

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Previously
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Damn those cats and their Snackin’ Time.
2007: Who knew that Hellcats enjoy ripping eyeballs from your face and then batting them around the room?
2006: Yeah, one of those days.
2005: So sue me.
2004: Always.
2003: What keeps me sane.
2002: No entry.
2001: Plants.
2000: Translation: I’m going to get a gown that will cover your fat ass.

2/22/11 – Still alive!

by @ Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

Poor sweet Muffin has a twisted paw that needs surgery ASAP. Please help out if you can, and if you can’t donate, help spread the word, would you?

Muffin’s ChipIn page.

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Hi, y’all. Just a quick one to let you know that I am, in fact, still alive. I’m just not spending much time in front of the computer. Right now, I’m spending 99% of my time in the recliner either watching TV or snoozing through a TV show. I’ve spent a lot of time snoozing through cooking shows, and I have to say that the only cooking show hostess I can remotely stand is Giada. Everyone else annoys me.

(Well really, Giada annoys me kind of too, but she annoys me the least of any of them.)

Why, you ask, am I spending so much time watching cooking shows if they annoy me? That is an excellent question, and I don’t know. Just ’cause, I guess. If I’m gonna be cranky anyway (and OH I am plenty cranky), why not have something to blame the crankiness on?

The pain is one million times better than it was last week. I’m keeping on top of my pain medication and yes, I’m icing my sore spots occasionally, but mostly I’m just in a state of stasis where I’m waiting to be past this ridiculous healing stage and back to life as normal.

I can unequivocally tell you that if I had just had the neck lift and the breast lift, I would likely be flitting around here like nothing had happened. The biggest part of the pain I’m feeling is coming from my arm pits. I don’t know that I mentioned it before, but my arm lift was an “extended” arm lift, and so the incision on each side goes from my elbow, up my arm, through my arm pit, and down to meet the incision under my breast. As I’m finding out, there are a LOT of damn nerves located in the arm pit, and between the zings of pain my arm pits are sending out and how swollen the tops of my arms are, that’s where I’m having the biggest issues.

There are several staples at the top of each arm that will be coming out Friday, and believe you me, I’ll be taking drugs before THAT appointment.

But on the good side, the pain medication is helping (though I had to call yesterday for one more refill, and didn’t I feel like the drug-seekingest drug seeker on the planet), I’ve been taking a shower every day (even though touching my incisions to clean them still ooks me out), and every day I move a little more easily.

I’ve been sleeping in my bed since, I think, Sunday night. Maybe Saturday. There seems to be a pattern where I have a decent night followed by a bad night, then another decent night, etc. Luckily I can make up for the bad nights by snoozing in the recliner.

(The people next door brought home a dog around Christmas. They tied him or her outside, and that dog lives outside, chained up, 24/7, just a dog and his/her dog house. S/he likes to start barking at 3:00 every morning. Before surgery, I was able to sleep through it. Since surgery, since it’s directly outside my bedroom window for the most part, it wakes me up. Some mornings I just doze back off, and some mornings I fume. I don’t for the life of me understand the point of getting a dog if you’re going to just tie it outside, never take it for a walk, never let it off leash to run around. For god’s sake, it’s not like the dog could defend against home intruders or anything – anyone wanting to break into the house next door isn’t going to be stopped by that dog, since the dog can’t get even close to the house.)

Cara asked if the entirety of my neck lift was the incision under my chin. No, the incision under my chin is where the surgeon did liposuction (and now, a week and a half later, the skin at the bottom of my neck is still bruised, though it’s mostly gone). There’s an incision in front of my ears, seen here (okay, you have to look kind of close, I guess):

and then the incision goes around behind my ears, and off into my hairline, held closed by staples.

I’m still wearing the headgear on my head all the time unless I’m in the shower, and I’ll continue wearing that ’til I see the surgeon again on Friday.

I’ve got ace bandages around both of my upper arms.

I’m not wearing a sports bra at this point, but I expect that the surgeon will direct me to start wearing one when I see him on Friday.

So, that’s me. I’m healing, I’m snoozing, I’m doing fine. I don’t know when regular posting will resume again, but I would guess maybe next week, at least in a limited fashion.

Thanks, you guys, for your well wishes. They definitely help!

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Reacher and Corbie, before Reacher went home with Kathy.

So Reacher went to his new home, what, two weeks ago? Yeah, I guess tomorrow makes two weeks. I really and honestly thought that he’d be scared for a couple of days, and then overcome his fear because he’s always been such a lovebug.

It hasn’t quite happened like that. Kathy’s kept me updated on how Reacher’s been doing, and he’s proving a hard nut to crack. He is FINALLY letting her pet him in the past few days.

You can read the details over at Kathy’s site.

I feel so bad both for Reacher and for Kathy and her husband and their cat Beau (who is drop-dead gorgeous, by the way). I never thought it would take so long for Reacher to come around, but what I’m learning is that I know NOTHIN’. I’ve told Kathy repeatedly that Reacher will always have a home with us if it doesn’t work out, and I was starting to think that he needed to come back here, but now he seems to slowly thawing. I hope that he really does thaw, that he starts to love them and allows them to love him. That he shows them his real lovebug nature and realizes that hey – they’re pretty awesome people and he ended up in a really good situation!

Fingers crossed!

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I found a picture of Clairee and a picture of Drum on my memory stick this morning!


Silly Clairee.


Sweet Drum.

I forgot to tell y’all, but Clairee and Drum were adopted two weeks ago (the Tuesday before I had surgery) – together!!!

Yay, Drum and Clairee!

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Loony Jake and Corbie, taking advantage of the weather.


Gorgeous Corbs.

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Miss Alice, bird watching.

Can I just tell you that I think the addition of Alice to our permanent residents was a really good decision. She’s such a little character, and I know I’ve mentioned it before, but she really seems to have brought Miz Poo out of her shell. Every day, several times a day, I catch Miz Poo PLAYING with Alice. PLAYING. Miz Poo does NOT play with other cats, so you can imagine how amazed I am by this! And as often as not, it’s Miz Poo instigating the play!

Alice’s tiny size does not hold her back at ALL. She might be half the size of the other cats, but she can jump from the floor to the kitchen counters with no problem at all. Last week she discovered the walkway and the platforms in the kitchen, and she’s been spending plenty of time curled up in the cat bed on the platform. I’ve seen Stinkerbelle looking at Alice many times, as if she can’t quite decide what Alice’s deal is.

Alice is friendly enough to me, but there’s no doubt on earth that she’s a daddy’s girl. Every day, 10 minutes before Fred gets home from work, Alice wakes up, stretches, eats, uses the litter box, and then waits for her daddy to come home.

She lubs her daddy.

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Previously
2010: Until then, may all your tunes be loony.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: I’d hate for him to be able to CLIMB things.
2006: HOT MONKEY SEX, that’s what.
2005: I can tell you this – I’m not terribly fond of my mailman right now.
2004: No entry.
2003: No entry.
2002: Not bad, since it’s been ten years or so since I read the play, eh?
2001: Resolutions for 2001.
2000: Well, apparently “coke” sounded like “coffee” to the Einstein taking my order.

2/18/11 – Hellooooooooo

by @ Friday, February 18th, 2011. Filed under Life, medical crap

Hi y’all!

Just a quick post to let you know that I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m grumpy, cranky, and swollen. 2008 Robyn (who recovered from the lower body lift) might disagree, but I think the recovery from this surgery is harder than that one was. I’m having a hard time getting comfortable because so many body parts are involved this time around, and because I’m an absolute idiot, I thought it prudent to take myself off the narcotic painkillers earlier this week. By the time I realized that Tylenol and Advil weren’t doing the job, I had a hell of a time getting back in front of the pain with the narcotics, and then Tuesday night I developed lower back pain so severe that I actually woke Fred up and asked him to take me to the emergency room. He suggested I call and talk to the surgeon, and in the ten minutes the surgeon talked to me, the pain pretty much went away. It came back briefly a few times, but never as bad as it was, and as of Wednesday morning it’s been completely gone. I’m going to say that chances are good that it was caused by spending so much time in the recliner, which isn’t as comfortable as it oughta be. Putting a pillow behind my back helped some, but I spend a lot of time shifting because after an hour or so, my tail bone starts hurting.

Basically, my days look like this: snooze in the recliner in front of the TV for a while, get up and move around, take a pill every four hours, drink lots of water, settle back in the recliner, rinse and repeat.

Yesterday I showered and that was nice although it was so exhausting I required a nap afterward. I tried to sleep in my bed last night, but couldn’t get comfortable, so ended up back in the recliner. After a bad night, I tried the bed again after Fred went to work, and was able to doze for about 3 hours. That helped, but I am cranky and swollen and ready to feel better RIGHT NOW PLEASE.

I’m still not far enough out from surgery to know exactly how happy I’ll be with the results, but I suspect I’ll end up pretty happy. We took the dressing off from around my head Sunday (at the surgeon’s instructions) and I was able to see my neck. Despite the swelling, it looks good to me (ignore the Ed Grimley hair).


Higggggggggggggggggggh.

I saw the surgeon on Wednesday. He said everything looks good, and I had some stitches removed. I got me some fancy headgear that I need to wear for at least the next week so that my underchin area doesn’t swell up and stretch the skin. I’ve also got ace bandages around my upper arms. Nothing but dressing on my boobs, though, which surprised me. I had expected I’d be wearing a sports bra, but not yet (which had me a little relieved, actually, because I can’t stand the idea of pressure on them at this point.)

Speaking of my boobs, they are lower and further apart than I expected, but I believe my surgeon knows what he’s doing, so there you go. I haven’t taken a good look at everything, because due to the swelling and the stitches, nothing’s going to look like it will eventually, so why stress myself out?

This was me Wednesday. Aren’t I stylin’?

(That shirt is a men’s 5x, left over from Fred’s fat days. Thank god it’s so damn big, because I’ve got limited motion with my arms and I can’t fathom trying to put on a smaller shirt at the moment.)

The cats are being very sweet – I had to shake the can of compressed air at them a few times after I got home Saturday, but for the most part they’ve given me a wide berth. I think seeing me walking through the house with my arms held in front of me all zombie-like freaks ’em out a little. I did wake up to find Corbie nibbling gently on my finger tips the other morning.

Now if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to post this, take a pill, and get back into the recliner. I’ve got 20+ episodes of House on the DVR that are calling my name!

I don’t expect posting to resume anything soon – I’m spending very little time in front of the computer these days, though I check email and Twitter and Facebook every so often from my iPod – but that could change. Just wanted to let y’all know that things are fine (and I’m cranky and swollen and slightly miserable, but I know I’ll get through it okay.)

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Elwood would like you to know that he’s the king of the trash can!


“I’m the KING! OF! THE TRASH CAN!”


“King! Of! The! Trash! ::slip:: ”


“I meant to do that.”

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Previously
2010: Gone for a week and a day and THAT GODDAMN UTERUS is still makin’ my life difficult!
2009: I held up four fingers. “I. Have. A. TOTAL. Of. Four. Buckets. Of. Litter.” I said slowly.
2008: This is my “What the fuck am I supposed to do here with this board that isn’t as tall as the others?” face.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Amazon is the Jonathan Baker of boyfriends.
2004: I could have crowned myself “The Queen of Fuck.”
2003: Because M&Ms rock, and so does my husband.
2002: No entry.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have I mentioned that three-day weekends rock? They surely do.

2/11/11 – Friday

by @ Friday, February 11th, 2011. Filed under Life, medical crap

The Goathouse Refuge has received a very generous offer for a matching grant if they can raise $10,000 by the end of March.

Please donate if you can, and spread the word. Facebook, email, tweet, or even phone — however you can get the word out!

Check it out here!

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Woohoo, the day is finally here!!!!

I’m leaving here in a bit to go have all the droopy parts of my body relocated to their correct locations! AND ABOUT TIME, I SAY!

(Skimmers: I am about to have plastic surgery: neck lift, breast lift, upper arm lift. Resume skimming.)

I don’t have any idea when I’m going to feel like posting again – the upper arm lift may very well make it uncomfortable for me to spend much time at the computer. Then again, I may do nothing BUT sit at the computer. Who the hell knows?

Your best bet is to keep an eye on my Twitter – I imagine I’ll be posting there more than anywhere else. If I recall correctly, I posted on Twitter many times while I was recovering from my hysterectomy last year, and only stopped because my battery ran down. Here’s you a widget if you don’t want to haul yourself over to Twitter; you can just keep coming back here and checking.


I very well may post entries from the surgery center, too – I posted some with awful, blurry pictures last year via Flickr. If this overnight goes like the last two overnights-after-surgery that I’ve had, I’ll doze, wake up, Tweet, change the channel on the TV, doze, wake up, Tweet, watch TV, peer at the clock to see if it’s almost time to go home, see I was only dozing for five minutes, and so forth.

So, in summary: off I go, I’ll see you when I see you, and I’ll be 347% perkier!

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Is it my imagination or is Fred’s hair longer and/or darker in that picture?

It’s longer, but the color hasn’t changed since then. It was from a picture taken a few years ago. This one, to be exact (which explains the smug look on Fred’s face) :

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Awesome video for you. Hope you haven’t already seen it!

I hadn’t – and I love it!

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Is Miz Poo still your favorite cat?

Of course she is! She’s my BABY. Speaking of Miz Poo, I don’t know what’s going on with her lately, but she appears to be feeling GOOD. She’s running around playing, she’s jumping up on counters and other high places (she’s never been much of a jumper), she’s dragging toys through the house keening at the top of her lungs. It’s like she’s hit her second kittenhood!

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You do realize that you now have 13 permanent residents. I’m not a particularly superstitious person but, I think this may give you the ammunition you need to make Corbie a permanent resident too :-). Fourteen just sounds sooo much better. Enjoy your new girl!

I’m not going to argue that we need to keep Corbie – but I will say that we don’t see Coltrane all that often. He’ll spend the night inside if it’s particularly cold out, but for the most part we only see him for a little while in the afternoon and evening. I don’t think he necessarily TRULY belongs in the “Permanent Residents” category, but if he showed up at the door with one eyeball hanging out, we’d take him to the vet. So if feeding him, letting him in the house, and taking him to the vet when necessary makes him permanent, I guess he is. (But he really isn’t.)

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One of my cats looks astonishingly like Stinkerbelle – and my cat is a frightfully hefty young lady. She has a little tiny delicate head, pretty petite princess paws, but when she walks down the hallway her gut swings from side to side, and when she sits in the position Stinkerbelle is in, her hind feet have to be sprawled to accommodate the belleh. She has never been fed any more or any different from the other cats, and I don’t see her spending all that much time at the trough.

I had another cat (years and years ago) who also started out nearly completely white and grew into her soft, smoky colors as she got older, and also with the lovely blue eyes, and that cat too was a massive beast. I mean, like, she had her own gravitational pull, she was so fat.

All of which leads me to wonder: Is Stinkerbelle on the plus-size-side too (she kind of looks like it in that picture but it could just be the angle) and if so, do you think it could be linked somehow to that particular type of coloration? Anyone have any more data points?

Stinkerbelle is actually not a fat cat – she’s rather small in stature, and I think her weight fits her size just about right. These pics were taken in the last week or two.

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I have something interesting I learned today and was hoping you would share with your readers. Long story short, due to my husband’s illness this year (throat cancer) he had a g-tube (stomach tube for feeding liquid food through. He weaned himself off the tube YAY! and is eating by mouth again. So what to do with the 300 + cans of Jevity 1.2 that were left? We called Hospice, the hospital and Doctor’s office (That stuff is EXPENSIVE!) and we couldn’t return it to the home medical supply store. Hospice took some, the hospital took some but they directed us to the local humane society! Apparently they feed the liquid nutrition food to puppies or kitties and nursing mothers! Who would have thunk it! (This is NOT the Ensure or similar type drinks you buy on a shelf at a pharmacy or Target, this is usually from a home medical care supply facility filled by script.)

Not that I wish ill on any of your readers or their loved ones or their neighbors or friends, but people get sick, have stomach tubes and then get better or pass on and loved ones are stuck trying to figure out what to do with all the leftover stuff (Hospice took all the other sealed medical supplies btw). So, that might help both the animal babies and people trying to do the right thing. Because it usually expires within 6 months or so, many medical facilities cannot use it quick enough and if someone is unlucky as we are to wind up with so many extra cans (he, thank goodness, recovered quicker than anticipated!) they might could do the same. So, we were able to share with people and animals today! Just a thought that I thought your readers might tuck away in case they ever were in a position to need to know something like that.

I’m glad to hear that your husband is doing well – and thanks for the tip, I’m glad to share!

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I figured it out (before the giveaways in the comments, heh), but I have to admit it’s a little bit of a let down. Not that I didn’t figure it would happen and not that I’m not happy for y’all and for Alice, but… well, with all those exclamation points, I honest to God was looking oh-so-carefully at the books listed in your Goodreads section, and checking out every link in the “me, elsewhere.” I was certain you’d gotten a book deal of some sort and had been keeping it hush-hush until it was in print, and it had debuted on Friday and made the NYT Bestseller List over the weekend. Or that now that she’s got her own network, Oprah decided to do a reality show about animal foster parents, and you had signed a contract for a minimum of 30 episodes (Oprah having paid you significantly more than the other cast members, because you could also bring in those viewers with an interest in cooking, WLS, the necessary surgical touchups after WLS, and chickens).

I’m still HAPPY and all, it’s just… the NYT Bestseller list! and Oprah! There is a bit of mindset-adjustment that needs to happen before I can be properly excited, is all.

From your mouth to god’s – uh, I mean OPRAH’s – ear! 🙂

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NO!!!!!!! I wanted Alice! Damn. Now I have to be all jealous every time you post a new picture. I know…she’s better off there, etc. etc., but I can still be sad. Congratulations. humph.

You gotta move faster than that if you want a Crooked Acres kitty! May I offer you Elwood as a consolation prize?

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Clearly you are a saint because I almost crucified the Bunny for pissing/shitting in the dog’s bed last night. If he starts spraying, I may actually get out my tiny hammer and my tiny cat-paw-nails out! *Gives evil eye to ancient pain-in-the-ass old cat!* There are few things in this forsaken world I hate more than the laundromat, and I had to spend the whole morning there, washing a goldang dog bed. You are a saint for not murdering Spanky on the spot when you saw him saunter up and lift his tail. If I see the slightest tail twitch, I’m hollering and stamping my feet like a lunatic.

Gah! I hate cat piss!!!

I am no fan of cat pee, but with the ungodly amounts we were dealing with, I figured I’d better learn to sigh, clean it up, and move on or I’d have a stroke.

(I really thought I was going to have a stroke when Spanky peed RIGHT IN FUCKING FRONT OF ME.)

Following a couple of suggestions last week, I put a litter box back in the guest bedroom, and I put calming collars on Joe Bob and Spanky. The amount of spraying has dropped considerably. I’m going to put calming collars on Sugarbutt and Elwood (I don’t know that Elwood’s one of the offenders, but he’s been picking on Kara and just generally acting like an asshole, so I figured a collar probably wouldn’t hurt) and hopefully between the collars, the litter box, and the Feli-Way, the spraying will stop. Fingers crossed!

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Stephen King had some comments about the news of the big screen version of The Stand:

10 Things I Know about the Remake of The Stand.

Have you guys started mentally casting it? I don’t get casting older men for Trashcan Man; I always pictured him to be fairly young, as in less than 25!

I thought Matt Frewer was a decent Trashcan Man, but you’re right, he needs to be younger.

We have not begun our casting sessions as of yet. But did you hear that Javier Bardem was offered the role of Roland of Gilead? I’m actually okay with that casting – and I also think Viggo Mortensen would have been a good choice as well!

Miz Poo is hoping she’s up to play Musty in The Dark Tower.

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My cat, Kiefer, loves my fleece blankets. I now have two throws that I use to sleep in my recliner. Don’t ask why I sleep in a chair!! Anyway, he makes biscuits and does unmentionable things to the blankets even while I’m under them! I saw a fleece snuggle sack at Petsmart and I bought it immediately.

Problem: All the cats totally ignore it. I tried spraying catnip on it. The fleece is exactly like my blankets. I’m going to sleep with the sack next to my body tonight thinking it just doesn’t smell right.

Anyone have any ideas how I can entice Kiefer to make his biscuits on the snuggle sack?

Do you have any catnip – not the spray, the dry crumbly herb? I’d try sprinkling that on it just to get them to give it a try, and I think your idea of sleeping with it next to you is a good one. It may just take time – sometimes when I bring something new home, the cats act like I’ve brought home some sort of torture device, and they won’t go near it. Then time goes by and all of a sudden they all LOVE it.

How about it, readers – anyone got suggestions for encouraging Kiefer to do his kneading on the snuggle sack?

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She only really counts as half a cat right? Since she is so tiny:) One of my 3 is a teeny cat too, about 5 pounds and 6 yrs old, and she rules the roost here.

and

Alice is a fractional cat, so if you round down….

Alice is a fractional cat, and Coltrane’s only here a fractional amount of time – between the two of them, they make one cat. Which means we really only have 12 permanent residents? No? 🙂

Seriously, with Reacher and Rhyme gone, it’s ridiculously quiet around here. It’s been almost a year since Fred brought home the Bookworms (mid-March is when that happened), and so for the better part of the year, we’ve had at least the four Bookworms plus whatever other fosters we had. At the moment, we’re at the lowest number of cats in residence in almost a year.

And it’s QUIET.

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Kara would like me to know that she’s got her eye on that smug little princess brat.

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Previously
2010: I always forget how much I enjoy Roseanne.
2009: I expect to see Jack Bauer sidling across the background wearing his man purse.
2008: We watched as fucko stopped, picked something up, and went back to his own property.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: Why she felt the need to ostentatiously walk up and down the property line so many times instead of just coming over and talking to Fred, I have no idea.
2004: Interesting how that works, no?
2002: Woulda made a good picture.
2001: No entry.
2000: Have you ever noticed that if you read or say the same word over and over, it ceases to make any kind of sense?

11/01/10 – Monday

by @ Monday, November 1st, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

New month, new banner! Another one by Christine, who saved my bacon once again.

Thanks, Christine! You rock, as usual. 🙂

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The 2011 calendars are now available!

I’ll link them at the top of this week’s entries, and there are links in the sidebar to the right ——->

The sidebar links will remain until the end of the year – or until I remember to take them down, which means they very well might be there ’til March.

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Attention, readers in SE Texas and SW Louisiana!

From Metz:

My friend Brinn who lives in Texas is trying to find a new home for her kitty Sheba. The whole story is on a blog post of mine, so you don’t have to take up too much of your space just maybe a quick shout out and link to her story. It is really breaking her heart to do this, Brinn is a super sweet girl and she loves all of her pets so much. But she’s just not able to keep Sheba any more and wants to find the best possible home for her.

Go read more about Sheba here!

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So, remember two months ago when I felt like I had food poisoning for a couple of days, and then I had digestive issues for another week, and I lost 15 pounds in something like 10 days? And then I went to the doctor, and they did a fecal (or whatever it’s called for humans) and found nothing, so referred me to my gastroenterologist, setting the appointment for a month later?

And then after I lost that 15 pounds, I gained it all back plus a couple of pounds, and then I lost 10 pounds and gained 8 back, and just imagine the needle on the scale bouncing back and forth before settling pretty much where it was in the very beginning before the “food poisoning” (or whatever it was).

So at the end of September, I went to see my gastroenterologist, and he came in and gave me a look and was all “Hasn’t it been a while since I last saw you?” and I was all “Yeah, I was supposed to see you last Fall but, uh, I forgot.” and he grabbed that rubber hammer that they use to check your reflexes and pretended like he was going beat me with it.

“Please tell me someone has been monitoring this stuff,” he begged. “This stuff” meaning my liver function levels.

“Uh… not so much,” I said.

He grabbed the rubber hammer again and pretended to beat me with it again.

So, bottom line (har HAR), since I was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, the digestive issues I had in August could potentially have been the onset of colitis (most times people who are diagnosed with PSC actually present with colitis before the PSC is discovered) and guess what? OH GO ON, GUESS WHAT. What’s the one thing you expect a gastroenterologist to order which is also the last thing you WANT him to order?

That’s right, it was COLONOSCOPY TIME! WOOHOO!

But do they do the colonoscopy right then to get it over with? Well, no. Because your digestive system has to be squeaky clean before they can go spelunking in your colon. And do they do the colonoscopy, oh, the next week? No, no, no. They do not. What they do is they schedule the test at the next available time, and of course that next available time is a month away. So they schedule you on September 30th for a colonoscopy to take place on October 29th so that YOUR ENTIRE MONTH has a I-am-going-to-have-a-colonoscopy cloud hanging over it. My entire month of October was covered in a slight film of oh-christ-why-me mixed 50/50 with a dusting of fucking-a-jesus-christ-i-don’t-wanna.

And the people you know who have had colonoscopies in the past are always reassuring and tell you that it’s no big deal, and I believed that completely, but I still didn’t want to have it done.

Let me take a step back for a moment to inform you that when I was 15, I had a tumor on my right knee. They didn’t know until the tumor was out and went to the lab whether it was cancerous or not (it was not). You know how in Final Destination, the kid beats Death, but in the end Death comes around and gets everyone who escaped him the first time around? That’s kind of how I feel about cancer – it swung and missed when I was 15, but sooner or later it’ll be back for real. Maybe when I’m 42, maybe when I’m 58, maybe when I’m 75, who knows? So I can tell you that I pretty much expected the colonoscopy to show a big, raging tumor. And the thought didn’t scare me, because it would just be another thing to mark off the checklist, and I could stop waiting for that shoe to drop.

The idea of the prep – though everyone said that the prep was the worst part – didn’t scare me.

What scared me? The idea that I’d be awake during the colonoscopy. That they’d dose me with something like Versed, and that I’d be lucid during the procedure and say something obnoxious. Because someone who would be, um, present during the procedure might bear a resemblance (to me) to that goddamn Muppet reporter, and I WAS TERRIFIED I WAS GOING TO BLURT IT OUT DURING THE PROCEDURE.

So anyway, the colonoscopy was scheduled for Friday at 2. Thursday dawned, and I woke up starving to death, but had to stick to a clear diet for the day – broth, Jello, popsicles – and since I don’t like any of that stuff, I opted to not eat anything at all. Thursday evening came, and I mixed up the prep and started drinking it. The prep – MoviPrep, it’s called – is this powder you mix with water that gives you a lemon-lime flavored liquid that smells very familiar (I still don’t know what it reminded me of – lemon Mr. Clean, perhaps). You have to drink 1 quart over the course of an hour (8 ounces every 15 minutes), then five hours later, you repeat it.

I got the first 8 ounces down, but after that the smell of the stuff was making me gag. I finally ended up plugging my nose to drink it, which worked well.

I thought for sure I’d be running for the bathroom every five minutes and huddling there in agony but – and is this due to my restructured digestive system? Perhaps. – it really wasn’t that bad. I’ve had a worse reaction from a day of eating too much fat.

I woke up Friday morning very thirsty and with a headache. The paperwork said that I could drink water up until 6 hours before the procedure, so I did.

All was fine until about 10:00. I canned a batch of chicken, I went out and picked tomatoes, I puttered around the house. But shortly after 10, my headache worsened and I got very nauseous. Laying down hurt my head, so I sat and watched the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and petted kittens and got up and walked around, then sat down and petted kittens some more. None of that helped. Fred got home from work and ate lunch, and at 12:30 we left for Madison.

(Have you ever noticed that when you’re very nauseous, no one ever wants to talk about anything but food? GAH.)

I checked in, and they had me in a bed in preop with an IV in place and four warm blankets on me by 1:20. Laying back hurt my head and made me more nauseated, so I sat up and asked Fred to rub my head, which helped the headache a little. I did ask the nurse if they could give me something for the headache – it hurt a fucking lot – and she said they’d call the doctor and ask him, but I never got anything.

They took me back right at 2:00, and my gastroenterologist popped in to ask if I had any questions. The nurse was prepping the room for the procedure, and I looked around at everything (you know they use an air compressor to blow up your colon because it’s all wrinkly? I swore to Fred that if I were lucid during the procedure I’d howl “I’m flying! I’M FLYYYYYYING!”), then they had me turn onto my left side, the nurse anesthesiologist told me I’d be out soon, and the next thing I knew they were wheeling me into recovery.

When they brought Fred back, I told him that I had started to come out from under anesthesia, and the nurse anesthesiologist had told me I’d be back to sleep in a minute. I have only the vaguest memory of that – and I don’t know if it’s a real memory or not, to be honest – but all in all I can tell you that:

1. I don’t remember a damn thing
2. It wasn’t bad at all.

I don’t particularly want to go through it again, but when the day comes that I have to have another one – hopefully in years and years – I’ll know what to expect.

The last time I looked at the clock before the procedure started, it was 2:20. At 3:20 we were in the car and on the way home. We stopped at the grocery store for a few things on the way home, and I was a tiny bit stumbly, but by the time we were home, I was okay. I made dinner, I canned the last batch of chicken, I did some laundry. I was absolutely fine – I didn’t even fall asleep during the movie we watched that night. I had a hard time falling asleep that night, but I woke up feeling fine, and I’ve been feeling great ever since.

The fact that I no longer have to dread the fucking colonoscopy had me almost giddy almost all weekend long, and I must have said “Thank god that’s over with!” about a hundred times.

Oh, and there was no raging tumor, no signs of colitis, no polyps. He took a few biopsies to test for something called microscopic colitis, just to be safe, and expects to have the results by the middle of the week. I expect it’ll show nothing, personally, but we’ll see.

And now you’re up to date on the state of my colon.

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Happy belated Halloween!

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When I was in TJ Maxx a few weeks ago, I saw something I could use to torture the cats with…


That’s Jake, by the way. He sure was good about being stuffed into a chicken costume!

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Previously
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: “Bessie!” he said, waving his arm expansively. “Are you having a good anniversary so far?”
2006: I hope one of the little brats who took a handful of candy ended up with a slug, too. That’d serve ‘em right!
2005: And I don’t WANNA.
2004: Fuckin’ yawnsville.
2003: No entry.
2002: Bob Riley’s campaign strategy is to say “Nuh uh!”
2001: Did you know that they make foam cups in espresso size?
2000: No entry.
1999: Such appetizing topics, eh?

3/25/10 – Thursday

by @ Thursday, March 25th, 2010. Filed under Fostering, Life, medical crap

First things first – stumbling around the internet, I came across an article about Denis Leary (well, really about his family and their home in Connecticut and their many animals) and from there I found Ann Leary’s blog, and she is funny as hell, and from THERE I discovered that she’s a writer and has published two books.

So I bought ’em.

I finished the first one, An Innocent, A Broad, yesterday, and let me tell you – she is HILARIOUS. Any book that can make me laugh out loud (and I did that a lot) and tear up just a few pages later is a book that gets two thumbs up from me.

 

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This whole section right here is just flat-out NASTY. If you’ve a weak stomach, are a wimp, or are eating, I HIGHLY recommend you skip down to the cat pictures. Don’t whine at me if you get grossed out – I warned you.

I had my six-week followup visit with the gynecologist yesterday. I expected to be cleared to resume all activities, but before that could happen, she had to peer up and see how things were healing. She informed me that while the healing was going well, my internal incision was like a cake.

I nodded, befuddled, wondering whether that was code for something. Saying “What does that mean?” would have been too obvious, so I just lay there in silence and waited.

Not done in the middle, is what she was saying. People heal at different rates, and I wasn’t healed completely. She directed the nurse to hand her a Q-tip with silver nitrate on the end.

I’m familiar with silver nitrate because back when I had the mole on my abdomen removed, it started to get a little infected, and the doctor cauterized it with silver nitrate, and while the cauterizing of the infected mole wasn’t painful, the idea of it was painful. Before I realized what was going on, she’d applied the silver nitrate to the slowly healing section of my incision (the incision at the end of my vagina, people, try to keep up), and while I was just starting to think “Isn’t silver nitrate what they put on my mole and it bubbled and looked gross?”, she’d applied a second Q-tip of the stuff, and was done.

It didn’t hurt while she was doing it or while I was getting dressed or making my appointment to go back in two weeks, but once I got to the car, I started having cramps that approached the worst period I’ve ever had. Apparently my innards do not care for silver nitrate and were beginning to protest.

A couple of Tylenol took care of that, though.

She told me that I’d probably have discharge that would have black flakes in it and maybe even a little blood. I never threw out my maxi pads, THANK GOD, because I’ve been discharging like nobody’s business. I turned over in the middle of the night last night, and I swear it felt like there was a three-liter bottle of water up there, emptying out, glugglugglug.

(You’re welcome.)

I asked her if I could start lifting heavy objects again, and apparently I took her by surprise because she sputtered for a moment and then said “Such as?”

“Forty pounds buckets of litter – cat litter,” I said.

She looked confused and then like she wasn’t looking forward to telling me that I couldn’t lift them, so I said “Well, I don’t have to, I can get my husband to lift them for me.”

She looked bemused and said, “You don’t buy them in smaller sizes at all?”

And I said, “We have a lot of cats.” Which, ha HA, THERE’s an understatement if there ever was one.

In the end, she said to take it slow and work up to it.

So I promptly left her office, went to Sam’s, and loaded 10 40-pound buckets of litter into a cart.

I AM KIDDING. Don’t email and yell at me, I did go to Sam’s, but I didn’t lift anything heavier than a bag of rawhide bones for the dogs.

I swung by Petsmart to check out the cats, then ran over to Target, then stopped by Publix.

Wednesdays have GOT to be Senior Day at Publix, because that place was PACKED, and there wasn’t anyone under the age of 73 in the place. I dropped off my prescription for estrogen, bought a few things, and went back to the pharmacy to pick up my prescription.

“Your doctor wrote this for a three month supply at a time,” the pharmacist said. “And I do have enough to fill the prescription, but if you get all three months right now, it will cost you $120.”

“I’ll just take one month then,” I said.

I came to the decision a couple of weeks ago to start cutting my estrogen patch in half and perhaps eventually wean myself off estrogen completely, but earlier this week it came to my attention that I am having RAGE issues over the stupidest shit, and thus I have gone back to the full patch. (Yes, I am also on a progesterone cream.)

I paid for my prescription, left, and finally got home a little after 11:00. I put groceries (and Sam’s purchases) away, called Fred, puttered around the house, and then went in to feed the Bookworms. They ate, and then Rhyme went into the litter box.

Now, before I go on, let me tell you that I realized Tuesday that Rhyme and Bolitar both had pretty bad diarrhea, so I added some Forti-Flora to their food, and I dabbed some hemorrhoid cream to poor Bolitar’s swollen backside, and Wednesday morning things seemed to be better. Then after I fed them, Rhyme went into the litter box and had explosive diarrhea. I looked around frantically for something to scoop it up with (so I could take it to the vet for testing), and when I had found a spoon to use (I hope it’s needless to say, that spoon will never see the inside of our utensil drawer again), I leaned down to scoop it out of the litter box. Before I could scoop anything, Bolitar climbed into the litter box and hunched down, and so I just held the damn spoon under his butt, and got the best sample in the history of poop samples.

(Pardon me while I go add a grossness disclaimer to the beginning of this section.)

I called the vet’s office, they said I could bring it in, and off to the vet’s office I went, sample in tow.

I dropped it off, let my number, stopped at Publix again to buy replacements for the plastic dish I’d used to store the sample in (OY the old people. I had no idea that store gets THAT busy. Seniors love their discount; who can blame ’em?), and got home a little before 2:00.

I was going to eat lunch and maybe even watch TV, but I was in the middle of doing something on my computer, and had to reboot, and that was all she fucking wrote. The latest version of Firefox had downloaded, so after I rebooted, Firefox did the updating thing, and then it shit the bed. For the next hour, I swore and raged at my computer, rebooted 300 times, had to resort to using Internet Explorer, and threw myself upon the mercy of the geek I’m married to.

He eventually fixed it, but in the course of rebooting this goddamn computer (DON’T LOOK AT ME, YOU FUCKING THING, YES I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU) I fried my Sansa Clip mp3 player and nothing I did would bring it back to life. Yes, I have an iPod, but I actually prefer using the Sansa Clip, because (1) It cost $10 at Woot, so I’m not worried about dropping it and breaking it, the way I’m worried about dropping and breaking the iPod, (2) It’s a lot smaller and lighter than the iPod, (3) It goes down my playlist in order of the shows I’m listening to, and I don’t have to mess with choosing a show and hitting “play”, it just does it automatically.

I’ll be keeping an eye on Woot and will buy the hell out of a new Sansa when it comes around, believe me.

Annnnd… that was my day. It was lovely and sunny and warm yesterday while I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off, and today it’s going to still be warm, but it’s raining like hell. I am going to be one vacuuming fool, believe you me. You have no idea how excited I am to be resuming my vacuuming schedule.

That’s right. You know you envy my super-exciting party ways!

 

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The boys are now on Panacur, have been since last night. They did not appreciate this “medication” business, but they got over it quickly enough. They’re far more interested in getting OUT of their room. I go into their room and feed them, and they’re happy enough to eat and to snuggle with me, but once I leave the room, they (Bolitar, especially) stand at the door and howl. And howl. And howwwwwwwwwwl. They have got the most piercing little voices, and I’m pretty sure that one day they’re going to drive me straight out of my mind with those piercing howls. They do eventually give up and go play and sleep and such, but the ten minutes or so that they howl at the door is ETERNAL.


Bolitar, slurping up water.


Reacher, snuggling.


Corbett and Rhyme, fighting.


::CHOMP::


“BRING DOWN THE HAND FOR THE BELLY RUB!”


Gorgeous Rhyme.

 

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::Slurrrrp::

Still no defined kitten heads or movement seen or felt in the Maura belly region. She’s no dummy – she’s like “I have plenty of food and water, toys, and a cat tree to climb. Why on earth would I want to have BABIES to mess it up?”

 

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Maxi keeps an eye on the goings-on from the safety of her box.

 

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Previously
2009: For they are fearsome creatures.
2008: “My flabby sections” would be an excellent band name.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: The spud is officially licensed.
2004: Ain’t it always the way that when you call someone names in your journal, secure in the knowledge that they’ll never see it, they always do?
2003: (And before you say it, yes. You shouldn’t give a shit what I think, either.)
2002: Is it just me?
2001: No entry.
2000: If you knew you’d get $341 million for being treated savagely and cruelly for 7 years, would you do it?

[Bitchypoo is peeing-her-pants excited to be powered by WordPress.]