Sunday, September 30, 2007

I Hate My Skin

I have weird skin and I've always hated it. Of course, I also went to the county fair and saw the alligator skinned person and felt better, and to be fair I never really had acne. Oh, sure, I had the one bump somewhere between my cheeks and chin that would signal that I was about to have my period, but I never really had acne. And my skin is so dry that the one period bump would dry up and go away in less than a week. But my skin is ridiculously sensitive.
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The first time I got Poison Ivy was maybe 1986, so I was 25. I got it really bad on my face. I had seen The Elephant Man and that's what I felt like I looked like. I called the doctor and told them I would not be able to come into the waiting room and sit. I told them they had to let me walk right in and go in the back. I wore a scarf over my face (and this was BEFORE all that Michael Jackson stuff) and pretty much ran throught he waiting room and into the hallway.
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What I get is called contact dermatitis. I can pretty much get it from anything because my stupid skin is VERY sensitive. And believe me, I get it from totally random things. I will NEVER wear new clothes without washing them first, because there is nothing as cute as having a shirt-shaped rash. I double rinse my bedsheets and always either wash my hands or use Purell after touching the cats. And yes, I have 4 cats and I'm allergic to cats. I usually pet them with my feet. They like that and I can't get that in my eye. There's nothing worse than having cat in my eye. And the bottom of my feet? Not as sensitive as the rest of me, thank goodness.
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So Friday night I noticed my chin felt funky, like there was a foreign layer of something on it. I figured I had gotten some sort of oil or bacon grease on it while I was making dinner (Yeah, I use bacon grease in my green beans. I'M FROM NORTH CAROLINA.) So I reached over and grabbed my Purell and rubbed it on my chin. Then this morning I woke myself up scratching away at the left side of my neck. I could not stop. Finally I asked My Sweetie to bring my 2% cortisone cream (he was already up, I'm not a diva) and then I put some on my neck. That gave me some relief and I went back to sleep. After I got up I decided to sit in the sun. I've always felt the sun (as well as the ocean) has natural curative powers.
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I took a shower and was getting ready to go out to do some stuff whan I decided to look in the mirror. Oh my! I had a SERIOUS rash all OVER my face and neck. It wasn't The Elephant Man bad, but it was BAD. The funny thing was I wasn't freaked out about running errands and eating out, I was freaked out about meeting Jazz this week!! All I could think was, "Oh no! Why did this happen when I am about to meet someone?" I have no idea what caused it but I did change my pillow case. I'm hoping that maybe it was the shrimp I had for lunch on Wednesday. In any event, I hope I do not look like a strange circus freak when I meet Jazz this week. Meanwhile I will be applying my 2% cortisone and trying not to let anything touch my face.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hip to be Square? No? Yes?

I've always been one of those annoyingly opinonated people that has an opinion about everything. Some things have been unchanged forever, like: I HATE country music*, 70's fashion and redneck men. OR that I LOVE the seashore, the color green, and clever humor. There have been a few things where I have done a complete 180, such as I used to detest Corbin Bernsen (and I have no idea why) and now I love him in "Psych." And when I was young I absolutely LOVED the song "You light up my Life" by Debby Boone (warning: this goes to a youtube video where the actual song will actually play). Now it seems hideous and treacly and sort of like fingernails on a chalkboard. So it always freaks me out when I can't make a decision about something. It's like I have a split personality and they (they?) just can't seem to reach a consensus. One example of this is the season finale of "The Sopranos." It aired June 10th and we (we?) can't seem to decide if we (we??!?) loved it or hated it. It has been "tabled" in my brain for further thought. The latest thing that has me (us?) totally on the fence is this:

square watermelons

*Okay, I will admit that really old country music such as that by Patsy Cline and Hank Williams is pretty good.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Boring Appliance Story

In the summer of 1995 I left my second husband and moved into an apartment. I happened to work for a company that was part of a large corporation that also had appliance superstores. We got a 20% discount at the appliance store. I went there one night and bought the very cheapest washer and dryer they had. We are talking BASIC. The washer was basically off and on and the dryer has a few settings. So these twelve-year-old appliances that the store clerk tried to tell me wouldn't last five years were still chugging away. The washer was giving us a lot of trouble with the part that tells the machine the lid was closed and the dryer knob has been replaced with a small needle-nosed vise grip. Then on Monday, with the washer full of water, detergent, clorox and bed sheets, it gave up the ghost. I tried every way on earth to get that switch to tell the machine the lid was closed and it just would not.
And then I did something so unusual it still amazes me. I called my neighbor two houses down and said, "Can I ask for a really crazy favor?" She says, "Uhm, okay." I said, "Can I bring my wet sheets to your house to run them throught the rinse cycle in your washer?" I don't know my neighbor. We've met a few times at those awkward neighborhood watch/national night out things and we wave at each other sometimes. And that's it. The only reason I knew her name is because we get a list of names and addresses of our neighbors every year. But she always seemed like someone I would probably like.
So I wrung out the sheets a little and put them in a bucket and walked down there. She showed me her house and we discussed home improvement projects. We discovered that we had both been in New York in June and did several of the same things. We discussed our kids. A whole hour flew by and it was time to leave but we both promised to get together again. She also expressed interest in accompanying me some Wednesday for MOW. I'm really glad I took that step out of my comfort zone. It was funny because I told my Mom I was going down there and she was aghast. She was all, "That's ridiculous, you should go to a laundromat!" I'm glad I didn't take her advice.
When I got back home, I had to figure out how to get the water out of the washer. I got the garden hose and put one end in the washer and the other end in the street. Fortunately our laundry room is right next to the garage. Well I had never siphoned anything before so I was kind of nervous. I put my mouth on that hose and started sucking as hard as I could and trying to listen at the same time. I was terrified of getting a mouthful of clorox water. Then I thought maybe I could use the turkey baster and I laid the hose down, and not a minute later, water started running out! I was so proud of myself. Then I ran in the house to look in the mirror to see if I had a weird brown ring on my mouth.
My Sweetie and I were almost arguing about the new washer. He insisted I pay the extra for delivery and installation and I was all, "Aw, hell no. I'll do all of that and you pay me what they would charge." So I bought the washer today, brought it home, took the old one out, set up the new one and earned my $65. Why would you pay someone $65 to do something you can do yourself? My reasoning is if My Sweetie is so gung ho about getting rid of that $65, he can give it to me. I expect I will get that $65 on Friday.
It was fun to look at the funky new front loading washers, but I knew they weren't for me. I'm one of those space cadets that walks around for 10 minutes after I've started a load of clothes remembering things I want to add. That is something you can NOT do with a front loader. My washer was $399 and does all the stuff I wanted. It even has a second rinse option which will be great. I always double rinse my bedsheets but I always had to do it by setting the timer on my oven and then turning the knob back around. Now the washer will take care of that on its own. And the drum or barrel or whatever it's called is a lot bigger than my old one. Now I just need a new butter dish and I will be perfectly content. Until the next thing.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Can't. Stay. On. Topic.

I broke the butter dish tonight and I was going to do a whole depressing post about my childhood and how we weren't raised with the "don't cry over spilt milk" mindframe. We were raised on the "You spilled MILK? What the hell is wrong with you, you uncoordinated pathetic loser?!?" thing. And then I was looking at these pictures of Barney and Rufus playing and I just couldn't get into spilling my guts about how cold my parents could be. ("You spilled your guts? What the fuck is wrong with you?!?") So anyway, I thought I would just ramble tonight.


We watched the first part of Ken Burns' "The War" and it was very good and very intense. I cried of course, how could you not? There's so much TV going on right now I had to make notes today. We already missed the new Kelsey Grammer sitcom last Wednesday. A lot of the stuff we want to watch overlaps so I have to figure out what we'll watch and what we'll record. And I'm sure anything new that we love will be canceled after 6 episodes, because that is geewits' law.


We took my in-laws out to dinner last night for my MIL's birthday which was Wednesday. She is 61 which is cute because she is only 15 years older than me. She has a brother that is two years younger than me. Than I? Uhm, than I be? Yeah, one of those. We had a nice time and good food, but the pictures were all terrible. Even My Sweetie didn't look good. The lighting there must be godawful. Maybe my camera was just having a bad lens day.


I think I'm fixing to enter the phase where you get fat after you stop smoking. Intellectually, I know.... Okay, that seemed like a good start for a sentence, but seriously I need to stop craving things like Ruffles and onion dip because then I'll just think, well it would be better to smoke than eat THAT. And either one gives you bad breath. Well except the chips and dip don't coat your lungs in nasty. Just your arteries. And yeah, I said "fixing to" because I am from North Carolina and live in Texas. That's how we talk. Especially when we are cranky from eating Ruffles and onion dip and feeling guilty about it.


I know it is officially Autumn now, but it is continuing to be around 90 degrees every day, which is actually kinda cool for here, but is not, you know really COOL by any stretch of the imagination. The only thing that feels Fallish is the lighting. And by lighting I mean, something about how the light outside looks a little different. How's that for descriptive? I keep wanting to wear my white jeans just to be ornery because, you know, we SHOULD NOT EVEN CONSIDER FOR ONE MINUTE wearing white jeans after Labor Day. But it is 90 degrees outside. If it looks like summer and feels like summer, it's summer? Okay. I won't wear the white jeans.


My Mom just got back from N.C. They are only going to stay about two weeks. I told her I was going to pack a cooler full of beer and crawl into her trunk and ride back with her to N.C. I guess I won't do that, but My Sweetie and I have discussed getting a beach house down there next year. For a week I meant. Anyone want to go in with us? I like Merritt House and Jewel of the Isle. Check out that link and tell me which beach house you like. And pack your white jeans.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Season's End


(And please read that with a drunken Scottish accent!)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The 7 P's. (I forgot about peas!)

Jazz tagged me with the "Seven P's" meme which goes like this: The idea is to come up with your thoughts on seven words beginning with P. So with no Particular thought or Preparation, here goes:


People. I've always considered myself a people person. I love watching and studying people. I like to make up stories about strangers that I see. The odd thing about this is it took me a long time to realize that although I love people, I prefer them from afar. My best friend lives in North Carolina and I have another very good friend there. I don't really have any friends here, just relatives that I spend some time with. I mostly do stuff with My Sweetie. And he is the same way.


Pizza. I've always thought it was overrated. I like a lot of variety in my food. I love meals that are sampler platters or a table full of hors d'oeuvres. I imagine I would love a tapas place. Pizza is the same thing bite after bite after bite. Sure, sometimes a slice of good pizza can really hit the spot, but then I want something else.


Pronunciation. We like to slightly mispronounce words on purpose to amuse ourselves. That's where "geewits" came from. It was our goofy mispronunciation of "gee wiz!" This is something we do so naturally, I can't think of any examples except that one. I should start writing them down. Or not. It's probably one of those private things that would just annoy people.


Physics. I LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about physics. Except the math. I understood basic physics as a small child - I was using a heat sink at 6 to cool my hot chocolate. I would get all the spoons from the drawer and put them in one at at time for a few minutes. I knew this was cooling my drink. I got all of the basic stuff like cold causes contraction and heat causes expansion and that heat causes activity such as the motion of molecules, leading to stronger smells when heat is applied. I used to love making the other kids squeal when I'd put water in a bucket and swing it around. I couldn't understand how they could think the water would come out of the bucket. I just seemed to KNOW all of this stuff. and speaking of that,


Psychology. This is another of the sciences that amazed me. Because like physics, everything I read, I already knew. Like I was born with the knowledge. When I first started reading about psychology in the early 70's (and I was a CHILD), I was all "Duh! Doesn't everybody already know this stuff?" Except we didn't say "duh!" back then. It just all seemed so OBVIOUS. I took a Sociology class in high school and we had a guest speaker explain body language to the class. The whole thing was shocking to me because I thought it was just common sense and everybody already knew it.


Pterodactyls. We grew up fascinated by all things dinosaur and I particularly loved the pterodactyls. Unfortunately, this word has gone the way of Brontosaurus, another word I grew up with. They've been replaced by Pterosaur and Apatosaurus. To me they will always be Pterodactyls and Brontasauruses. I just like saying, "Pterodactyl."


Personality. When I was in third grade, at the beginning of the year, I looked around and decided I wasn't as cute as the cutest girls so I decided the best way be in charge and get the boyfriends was to develop a "Great Personality." This was my big goal and had my parents perplexed. They felt like they had to keep telling me how pretty I was, but to me it wasn't about that. Once I took off on the Great Personality quest, there was no stopping me. I'm not sure exactly what my 8-year-old brain thought a Great Personality consisted of, but I was bound and determined to accomplish this goal. I guess my main focus was humor and I ended up getting in A LOT of trouble that year. But I was quite popular. As a matter of fact, I was so popular that year that I was never that popular again. I peaked in third grade. I think it was my personality.

Friday, September 21, 2007


This is a picture of Jazz and her big brother. Jazz and her husband will be in Texas this week and she will be my very first "blogger meet" person. We are the same age and are very similar and very different, which is my favorite sort of person. We do not have a date and time set yet, but when it happens, I will have My Sweetie take LOTS of pictures. I think we will get together on Wednesday or Thursday. There will be more here when I know more. See you soon Jazz!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Face in The Lemon

When I got to the pool joint where I always have two beers after Meals on Wheels, I saw a man with a big video camera. I thought, "What are they filming here?" Apparently one of the bartenders saw a face in a lemon and it was in our paper this morning. The picture above is from another bartender's phone. The link picture is better. How weird was that? They're a bunch of chewing tobacco spitting type guys and the the guy who "discovered" the thing was saying, "I just don't want to do any more interviews." It was all pretty funny really.


All this time, I thought I would miss smoking the most at bars, but I've been to three bars now, four counting the poolside bar area at that resort, and I've been fine. The one time I sort of naturally wanted to smoke was today when I was stopped dead on the highway. I didn't realize that being stuck in traffic was a trigger to light up, but it is. And then I felt all funkified like, well, I'm not going to smoke so what do I do while I just sit here on the highway? So I just kept pressing the radio buttons and becoming more agitated. I'll have to come up with something to do next time I am stuck in traffic. Maybe I'll text somebody, --Hey! I'm stuck in traffic! :( -- That would probably take me a good five minutes to do.


Meals on Wheels was weird because my list had been getting longer and longer and then today I had only six people and one had a cancellation. So I had just five stops. It went very quickly. The MOW guy that's always at the church the same time I am (that reminds me of Ian for some reason) was kinda perturbed that I had only five people. I think he had 14. I have a feeling he will have less and I will have more next week. So except for the excitement of the face in the lemon, it was a pretty dull day. But the catfish was AWESOME!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Oops! My Bad.

I had one of those stupid things happen today. I was on the phone with Lolo and after we hung up, my message light started blinking (I don't have caller I.D.). So I checked it and the nice lady from my dentist's office had left a message basically saying, "It's 3:18 and your appointment was for 3:00 and we hope you are on the way." Well, what happened was, I was sick and had the pneumonia and all that and she called me ONE MORNING to reschedule. I'm not a morning person. I barely remember talking to her and I never wrote it on my calendar, so basically it's like it never existed. The appointment I mean. I felt bad, but these are really nice people and have put up with me for years, like when I would call and tearfully explain, "Today is not a day I can leave my house." So it was terrible that after these years of being ABLE to actually leave my house, I just FORGOT. Just forgot to go. Since I am giving the Prednisone credit for why I feel so good, I will just blame this on the Prednisone. I haven't checked, but I'm sure "dental appointment memory loss" is probably on the side effects list.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Just Trying to Relax and Have Fun

Today was the first day where I could really feel the changing of the seasons. It was SO nice out. I actually just sat on the deck for 20 minutes doing nothing at all, well, except getting mosquito bites. I also did a major cleaning of my truck. It seemed appropriate since I stopped smoking. Wednesday will be my first driving without smoking. And my first Meals on Wheels without smoking. Now my truck is all clean inside with all traces of smoking removed. I'll probably still sit in the smoking section of the catfish place on Wednesday (yes, I am SO addicted to that catfish!) because it is a much sunnier room. And it's usually pretty much empty once I get there, so there won't be any smoke.
I've noticed I've had a lot of energy since I got back from the hospital. (I also didn't realize how time comsuming smoking was.) Now I'm constantly coming up with ideas for things to do. I told My Sweetie I wanted to hit some golf balls this weekend. It really freaked him out. I used to play par 3 golf when I was young, and I have done the driving range thing. I think it will be fun. Plus, I'm testing my new theory that I WILL NOT have a panic attack anywhere. I'm going to try to do more new stuff. I like feeling this good and just hope it's not the Prednisone. That will be finished in a few days so I guess I'll know then. In the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy the milder weather and try to have fun.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Nice Out Day

I guess I had cabin fever after the hospital stuff, so I told My Sweetie I wanted to go check out Grapevine Lake. Also I wanted to check out the Gaylord Texas Resort. I used to go to Grapevine Lake, but that was 25 years ago. We live really close. We're only 10 miles from the resort. Hmmmm. So on our first venture, we ran into a lot of "Yeah, don't go there." like this:

Apparently the lake is kinda flooded or whatever it's called. So we ended up at the resort. My Sweetie took my picture with this fake cow. Because, you know, that's a Texas thing.
I could tell he was getting bored, so after our beers by the pool, I found the BIG sports bar. That is one big screen!

It says that it is 15 feet by 52 feet. It didn't seem that big, but I would love to watch a Duke Basketball game on that screen. It was nice to get out. I'm pretty sure we will go there again. I kept saying we were on a fake vacation. I just wonder who all the people there were.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Whole Long Hospital Story

As everyone knows, I thought the reason I was having trouble breathing was because I was smoking too much. I really enjoyed smoking, so it just goes to show how bad my breathing was that I quit smoking last week. It was so bad at that point that I knew I wouldn't even MISS smoking because I really, really, really was missing BREATHING. It seemed obvious to me, with my imaginary Harvard Medical Degree, that after I quit smoking, the breathing would begin to happen. The breathing? It didn't begin to happen. When I woke up Sunday, I felt worse than ever. I tried to not think about how bad I felt by doing fun stuff like rearranging the crap under the TV. You know, cable box, old VCR, XBox, Playstation, dust. I actually thought at one point, "It is PROBABLY not a good idea to be around this dust." So I tried not to breathe too much of it, which was easy, since I couldn't really breathe very well to begin with.


My daughter and I planned to eat at Macaroni Grill for dinner and as much as I was looking forward to the Chicken Scaloppine, I couldn't seem to muster up much energy for my shower. I FINALLY dragged myself in there. Then it seemed the simple acts of getting ready, putting on makeup, and fixing my hair were just really really tiresome. I somehow managed everything and we took off. I remember sitting at the table and thinking about how boring I was being, but I just did not have any energy. We got home, Kate stayed for a little bit, I did my usual internet stuff, then went to bed around 3:00.


I spent the first part of trying to sleep deciding that I was going to call my doctor first thing in the morning because I was really missing the breathing. I rolled around and around and kept trying to breathe and trying to cough. Slowly the idea of just going to that hospital across the highway started to seem like a good idea. Then I tried to talk myself into driving over there. No go. What should I wear? Where should I hide my jewelry in case my house gets robbed while I'm gone? I was kinda delirious I guess from lack of Oxygen. And it was POURING rain. Finally I got up and checked the internet for a cab. As saturated as the population is here, this is NOT a cab kinda place. Texans like their cars. I finally found a place, called and of course got a foreigner. He said he would be here in 15 or 20 minutes, so I ran around and got dressed, hid my jewelry, stuffed my pocket with cash, found some weird jacket that I knew I could hold over me and went to wait in the garage. I called My Sweetie in Vegas to tell him what I was doing and then tried to call my daughter. I knew that was pointless, because the girl does not wake up easily. The cab guy called and said it would still be another 15 or 20 minutes. So sometime after 4:30 a.m., I'm sitting in my fully lit garage with the garage door open, and I finally see headlights coming up the hill. They stop. Damn! Then the phone rings. Foreign voice, "I am outside your house." Me, "Uhm, no. I'm sitting IN A FULLY LIT GARAGE WITH THE GARAGE DOOR OPEN looking at your headlights 3 houses down." He pulls up. I run out. I say, "I'm going to that hospital straight across airport freeway at 121." He doesn't know where it is. It's RIGHT THERE. So I had to give him every little direction.


I had a picture in my mind of what the emergency room would be like. I thought there would be 50 people in various forms of agony sitting around in a horrible brightly lit waiting room. At just after 5:00 a.m., I walked into a dimly lit quiet place and was handed a clipboard with a little piece of paper that basically asked my name and my reason for being there. I wrote down my name and "CAN'T BREATHE." Then I asked them where I could wait as I handed it back. She said, "Come with me." They weighed me and we all had a good laugh because they weighed me in kilos and I did not realize that. Then they took me right to a room, stuck an oximeter on my finger and promptly began freaking out. From what I could gather, if the number is 92 or lower they will give you oxygen. Mine was 84. I was very low on oxygen in my blood. Probably from the not breathing. I was so tired, I barely noticed when they put the IV needle in my arm. Then they kept coming at me with these breathing machine tube things. They did not like the reading after the first one and gave me another one right away. Altogether I had 5 of those before they took me upstairs to a room.


It was now 9:00 and the quiet of the private room after the hustle and bustle of the ER was SO nice. Yeah although there was nothing going on when I first got to the ER, the Pace, it picked up. So I was glad to get out of there. Oh, I forgot some stuff. I had a chest x-ray while I was down there. And two different people took blood. One guy took five bottles. I think. I don't remember much about the first couple of hours in the private room, but whenever I was somewhat lucid, I would try to call my daughter again. Oh and My Sweetie called to tell me he was catching a plane home and would be there about 4:30. I finally got my daughter a little after noon, which wasn't good because I knew she had to be at work at 2:00. I needed her to get my garage remote to feed the cats and bring me some stuff. Well she took a half day from work and didn't have to be there until 7:00 p.m. so that was nice.


Basically my day so far had been doze for a few minutes, have someone wake me up to do something, doze, repeat, repeat, repeat. I was so happy to see Kate at around 1:30. She hung around for a little bit and then made a list of stuff I wanted/needed. I was REALLY happy when she got back. And she brought my Snoopy! She tried to read to me from my Norse Mythology book and couldn't pronounce any of the weird words so we laughed about that. She was a real trooper and stayed until My Sweetie got there. She was quite the uhm, well interrogator with every single person that entered the room, "Why are you doing that? What does THAT do?" and so on. Once when someone was drawing blood, she was making all sorts of comments and then said to me, "I'm glad you're not looking AT THAT." I said, "Oh, I NEVER look." I think they were all happy when she left. She's my little bulldog.


My Sweetie showed up and was all out of sorts. He came straight from the airport from Vegas. And was very worried about me. I tried to fill him in on everything and we realized I had not heard back about the chest x-rays. Every person I asked told me to ask my nurse. When the nurse was all "I wouldn't know..." I said. "Then why did everyone else that works here tell me to ask you?" I was getting a little bit irked. She came back about an hour later and told me my chest x-ray was clear. I was SO relieved. I was terrified I might have lung cancer. Hell, I FELT like I had lung cancer. I sent him home to check the cats and to get MORE stuff that I wanted, like MY pillow. Then I sent him home again to relax for a bit and eat. Then he came back to watch Leno with me. Except he slept the whole time. I sent him home.


I knew the next breathing thing would be at 1:00 am, so I decided to stay awake for it. I watched bits and peices of all the late night shows and even stood next to the bed and did some leg stretches and plies. I figured that after the breathing medicine I would be exhausted and have a nice LONG sleep. At 1:06, a lady walks in and says, "Mrs. Geewits! You are still here? Do you remember me? I gave you 5 of these last night in the ER?" I said, "Last night? It's still all the same day to me. But it's nice to see you again." At 1:30, it was all over. I looked at the clock and thought, "Aaaahhhh. NOW I will sleep."


At 2:35, my IV alarm went off. It was loud. It woke me up. I wasn't happy. My very efficient, but not so friendly nurse had that bad boy changed out in like 3 minutes. Yay! back to sleep. 3:05, a guy walks in and says he needs to draw blood. I said, "What's it for?" He said, "It's routine." I said, "Routine as in part of the hospital experience is to be awakened at 3:00 a.m. to have blood taken? Then you just throw it away?" He didn't like that. So I just grabbed my Snoopy and said, "Okay." NOW, I was thinking, I will get that sleep. I dozed off. The door opens, the PCT says, "Your heart monitor stopped transmitting and they need me to change the battery and check the leads." I said, "Maybe I don't breathe when I'm sleeping." So she poked me all over checking the leads and changed the battery. I closed my eyes. The door opened. She says, "They're still not reading it." Poked, left came back, changed the battery again. I closed my eyes. The door opened, a guy and the PCT came in. She said something like "He's from mission control." or something because I really, really needed some sleep and was having a hard time paying attention. Anyway he did something to the box, called his home planet and everything was fine and they FINALLY left. I don't know what time that was, but when I woke up again at 6:30 ALL BY MYSELF, although I felt like I had swallowed several razor blades, I actually felt almost good, like I had had some actual sleep.


The nurse came in about 10 minutes later and then I thought, "Hell, 'The Today Show' comes on in 10 minutes, I'll just stay awake for that." I dozed off for a bit, then at 8:00, the respiratory therapist came in. She was saying all sorts of stuff that I didn't understand but I did catch that THIS particular round would take 24 minutes. I said, "It's 8:00. Don't they serve breakfast between 8:00 and 8:30?" She casually glanced at the clock and said, "I think so." So all I could come up with was, "Well I guess I'll be eating cold eggs." I started the breathing thing, she left, and five minutes later, in came my breakfast. I got to look at it for a good 15 minutes. I ate my breakfast and became a crazy clock watcher. I knew the doctor would be by between 9:30 and 10:30 and all I wanted to do was GO HOME. Then the nurse came in and gave me a shot IN MY STOMACH. I was all, "What the hay? I'm going home!" She knew that but it was something, oh yeah, a diuretic to get the rest of the fluid from my lungs. Man that shot hurt WAY more than the other ones (I'd had one in my shoulder and one in my "love handles"). My Sweetie got there around 9:20 and we took turns watching the clock and dozing. The doctor finally came in, YAY! She said, "I notice you are kind of shaky. I take it you haven't had any alcohol since you've been here?" I said, "No." She said, "Well we can keep you here to monitor you and give you some Librium." I said, "I did NOT come here to stop drinking beer. I came here because I couldn't breathe. I want to go home."


I got my VERY BEST sleep then, because I was waiting for something and everyone knows I have Waiting Narcolepsy. I was so happy when I signed my last paper and packed my last thing and had my clothes on. I was REALLY HAPPY when I got in the car and was HAPPIER STILL, when I got back into my house. I slept so well last night without the IV and the oxygen tubes and being able to roll over on my sides. But I love all of those guys because I'm starting to breathe again.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Too Tired

I have more holes in me than the plot for The Butterfly Effect. I am too tired to post the story of how I took a cab at 4 something in the morning (driven by Ahmed something, natch) to the local hospital in the pouring rain. So I will try again tomorrow. Tonight I will try to catch up on your posts.

Monday, September 10, 2007

One Sick Squirrel

A quick note: Geewits was admitted to the hospital early Monday morning (during a massive downpour, no less) with pneumonia. She's doing fine, and has undergone a regimen of antibiotics and breathing treatments. She should be home sometime Tuesday and will doubtless have much to say on the subject!

Your thoughts and prayers are much appreciated,
- "MS" (or technically "HS", for Her Sweetie)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Home Alone

My Sweetie left this morning to go to Vegas for his company's big managers' show. The MTV Video Music Awards are also going to be there this weekend. So all week he has been walking around telling people, "I don't want to get shot by a rapper!" I've been keeping up with it all and so have told him which hotels to avoid. I even know where P.Diddly Puff's after party will be. I think as long as he sticks to the company stuff and goes to bed early each night, he will probably not get shot by a rapper.
While he is walking around in Vegas worrying about being shot by a rapper, I will be puttering around the house trying to breathe and worrying about keeling over dead and being eaten by cats. As Craig Ferguson would say, in his sexy Scottish accent, "They WILL eat ya, ya know." Maybe I should soak myself in carrot juice.

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Can't Believe I'm Still Alive

Man have I been miserable. I haven't slept more than two hours in a row since Monday night. I think. My brain, it is fuzzy. What happened was, I started with a bad cough that became a REALLY bad cough that became a "Help, I can't breathe and will probably not be around much longer" cough. So the Good News is I have stopped smoking For Realz Ya'll. Also I've been sleeping on the couch because of the Can't Stop Coughing part. Although "sleeping on the couch" should be amended to spending my nights on the couch watching TV and dozing off, waking up coughing, watching TV, dozing off, rinse and repeat. I called the dentist's office this morning to cancel my appointment (for 2:00) because I was a zombie. We chatted and chatted and she said, "But when you start feeling better, you will smoke again." I said, "No, I'm NEVER going to forget how terrible this feels." I've found that the only way to sleep at all is by watching TV. Apparently when I watch TV I take very shallow breaths so I can go longer without coughing.
Wednesday was horrible. I think I had 3 total hours of sleep. The whole time I was driving my MOW route I felt like I was hallucinating things like people standing behind my car. I had lunch, went to the grocery store and then took Barney to the vet. I knew Barney was a mellow cat, but the vet made a big deal about how good he was. And the vet? She looked like she was an 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. It was weird to see this pretty little blonde animal doctor. It made me feel ANCIENT. I almost fell asleep in there about 8 times. Maybe I did. I finally got home, did a few things and crashed on the couch. But not "crashed" in the usual since. Crashed until the next time I had a coughing fit - probably 45 minutes.
So my last cigarette was the one after dinner Wednesday night at 8:30. I have a feeling this time will be easy. I keep thinking of my Dad. He also quit cold turkey. He said (to himself), "Do I want to smoke or do I want to breathe?" I've decided to use that as my motto if I need it. I'm going to "sleep" on the couch again tonight. I do not want my coughing to keep My Sweetie awake.
I've also been thinking about all the benefits of quitting smoking. That's helped a lot. Not the normal ones like better health, but sitting in the sections of the restaurants that I've never even SEEN. And meeting Jazz in a few weeks and not having to be so picky about where we meet. Or grossing her out. And not dreading a future flight to Europe so much. The only thing I haven't figured out yet is what to do when I want to get away from people. I've always used smoking as an excuse to escape social situations. I'm still working on what to do in the future. I'm working on some possible solutions, but nothing as solid yet as "I'm going to go out for a smoke." I'll take suggestions.
In the meantime I will cough, watch TV, and take two hour naps. Seriously, I'm surprised I'm still alive.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Barney's Big Day & How Oprah Saved My Life

Barney likes to sleep with his head hanging off of stuff.
(Does anyone recognize the blog on my screen?)

Tomorrow after Meals on Wheels, I'll take Barney on his first trip to the veterinarian. I can't wait to find out what his age is (or is near). He will get his shots (ick!) and we will make an appointment to get him neutered. I was worried about getting him into the cat carrier because of the way he acted in the trap when we caught him, but it has been sitting out for about 8 hours now and he has gone into it many times. At one point Barney and Rufus were fighting over who could go in the carrier.

Bill Clinton was on Oprah today talking about his new book Giving. It's the message that Oprah has been espousing for years - that EVERYONE can do SOMETHING. Oprah brought out "the little girl" that inspired her to start the Angel Network. I put that in quotation marks because the girl is now a senior at Princeton. It all seemed so surreal, because there we all were, living proof that giving and inspiring is somehow infectious. I say WE, because it was Oprah that inspired me to do Meals on Wheels 7 years ago.

After my Dad died in October of 1998, I began to go downhill. In January of 1999, I called my service (I was freelancing and got my assignments through a company that specialized in Graphic Arts) and told them to take me off their list and that I would call them when I was ready to come back to work. My anxiety disorder was now worse than ever and I just did not want to leave the house. My daughter always spent the summers with her dad and we had a grocery delivery service, so after school let out that year, I didn't have to go out at all. And so I didn't. At some point that summer, I was watching Oprah and she very emphatically stated that EVERYONE can do SOMETHING and I started crying and thinking, "But what can I do?" I thought about it constantly for the next few days and came up with the idea of Meals on Wheels because it is very solitary and then one-on-one with the sweet (most of them) old people. The problem was going to be getting started.

I called MOW and explained to them as well as I could that I wanted to help, but that I couldn't possibly sit in with a group for orientation. The lady was very kind and agreed to give me a private orientation. I still had to go to their office, but she arranged for me to come late in the afternoon as things were winding down. I was a little paranoid and imagined she would look at me funny, but it was all very nice and I thanked her profusely for the extra effort. (I've made jokes that I can never quit MOW because I would have to go back to the office to turn in my ice chests.) Now I've been doing this for 7 years and it's because of Oprah. Sometimes when people have asked "Why do you do Meals on Wheels?" I say, "Oprah told me to." Of course, my favorite question was from a little old man. I had been delivering food to him and his wife for almost a year and then one day he asked, "Do you do this as a volunteer or is this some kind of community service?" It was SO hard not to laugh. I hope they don't let people doing community service do Meals on Wheels!

MOW is also how I finally got on the right medication. A few years ago, I finished my route and was all panicky and decided to just go straight home instead of going out for lunch. It started to happen more often and I started having thoughts of quitting MOW altogether. In the mornings driving to the church I would think, "I can't do this anymore." I really didn't want to quit and become housebound again, so I called my doctor and said, "We have to fix this." And finally we did. Thanks, Oprah!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day Weekend

I had a nice lazy holiday weekend. Besides making dinner every night and lunch one day, all I did was some plant work. And that was on Sunday. I had some sort of bug bites on my feet and didn't sleep well Friday night so I mostly napped on Saturday. Saturday night we watched Eragon, which was a fun silly movie. It was a little irritating because from scene to scene it would be night and day and then night again. Was it just cheaply edited or was a lot of time supposed to be passing? It was confusing.
On Sunday My Sweetie was out doing all sorts of yard work. Mostly trimming bushes, so I figured it was time to do something I had been thinking about for a while. I wanted to move a coleus from a small pot into the ground and then use the pot to plant some coleus cuttings that were rooting in water. That poor thing in the water was left in there too long and had a GIANT ball of roots but was looking rather sickly. I got all my stuff ready and then went out front to get My Sweetie to dig my big hole in the ground. He was standing in the garage with a really weird look on his face. I said, "Are you about ready to dig the hole?" He said, "Well, I guess so, I can't trim anymore. I cut the cord in half." Can you imagine. He ran the electric trimmer right through the power cord! I said, "Now you know why I'm so umcomfortable when you go on the roof." The planting work was hot and I decided to get in the spa. So I did:

I played with my wind-up lobster.

And my wind-up fish.

And drank beer.

I didn't even realize that it was the first time I was in the spa all year. But it makes sense now because it rained every day for almost two months and that made it turn green. And, well, I don't know why I didn't get in after that. It's kind of funny that Labor Day marks the end of summer and it was my first time to get in. I'm sort of backwards that way.
I didn't really do anything today except look at classic paintings on The Web Gallery of Art and chat on the phone. Tonight we watched The Philadelphia Story because I decided last year it would be a new tradition. I love that movie. And now the long weekend is over. Back to work you guys!