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So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, hopeful Good Wishes for this time of year-- whatever your inclination.
Me, I'm eating sourdough bread, watching Bunraku (god, I will always love Gackt. No one should be that pretty!) and listening to my dogs snore. My mom sent me a few bucks for Christmas, my line manager took us all to lunch and gave us Starbucks giftcards (yes, I have succumbed to the Starbucks beast-- but sparingly! They're too damned expensive.), and best of all, my supervisor (Amy, a very dear friend) gave me a $50 gift card! FIFTY DOLLARS! Now I must make decisions as to what to buy. I have a 12 page long wishlist...
But it's not just the "things". It's having three days off work, feeling pretty good physically (well, I think I've eaten too much sourdough, LOL), knowing I really do have friends who love me and want to spend time with me, and admiring all the Christmas lights. Love it when people decorate their houses for the various holidays...

Good News!

Aug. 26th, 2011 11:25 pm
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Okay, I went to see my neurologist today. He thought the nurse practitioner's reaction to my statement at my doctor's office was a bit extreme. He was quite miffed that the Nazi Doctor at Rolling Hills never consulted him. According to him, I am not a candidate for SSRIs at all, not just because I am allergic, but because they are serotonin drugs and can affect some MS patients with severe brain lesions (like mine) in a bad way (duh!) and because they are CONTRAINDICATED WITH TYSABRI! (My MS infusion drug.) He also rec'd the paperwork from that psychiatrist saying that I had been on Effexor and did well-- he was incredulous and didn't believe a word of it. He said to me, "You became ill from the Effexor, didn't you." I told him, yes indeed. According to him, what I experienced was serotonin sickness syndrome and I was lucky I didn't end up in the hospital. He was not happy that the Nazi Doctor declined to consult with him.
My new psychiatrist has already called him and they are working out what to give me. They are both leaning towards something geared more for anxiety. I think that would be good. I'm not so much depressed as I am anxious about all these things that are out of my control (yeah, control freak here) and then I get depressed because my anxiety can't be controlled.
Anyways, my doctor is getting me back on the Tysabri. He says I am a star patient for this drug and it has worked amazingly well for me and he wants me reinstated. He says it shouldn't be a problem. He just has to fill out a bunch of forms for the drug company and the infusion center and he will get my infusion rescheduled. Hopefully by this coming Friday. Yay!
When I was leaving, he gave me a big hug and told me not to worry, he will fix it. I love my neurologist. This is such a huge weight off me!
I went and got a pedicure yesterday-- ouch! I hadn't had one in so long that Kathy had to dig my ingrown nails out. But now my feet feel great and she painted them bright turquoise blue. They make me smile every time I look at them, LOL.
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Apparently I have lost the glue that holds my life together, at least temporarily. I just spent six days in a psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation. I was spiraling downward in a most unexpected fashion and went to my doctor to see about antidepressants (I had already booked a therapist for later in the week), and the result of that little visit was a ride to the hospital. At least she let my best friend drive me there instead of a police car. My appointment was with my internist's nurse practitioner, and she doesn't know me very well. And apparently telling a medical professional that if your MS gets to the vegetative state that you'll kill yourself is something that gets you locked up. So off I went to the psychiatric lockdown unit.
The staff at the hospital were very kind and professional, but firm. This was a locked down unit, so basically it was like being in jail. Strip search and everything. The only thing I was allowed to have was my clothes and shoes (sans laces) and a book. Nothing else. Not even a toothbrush. Shower times were scheduled, and you had to go to the nurse's station to get your "bucket" of toiletries and towels. Then return everything after showering. You couldn't shave without having a nurse present to monitor the use of the safety razor, which they confiscated immediately afterwards. I was fortunate in that I ended up with a compatible roommate, so that was okay. But six to eight hours a day of group therapy with junkies detoxing and suicidals was tough.
The whole thing would have been more bearable if I had gotten a decent psychiatrist, but I got a brand new bitch everyone called the "nazi doctor". She was something else. Among other things, she insisted on putting me on an antidpressant I told her I was allergic to, and made me sick enough that I nearly ended up in a regular hospital.
Anyhow, I got out on the 15th and am home regrouping. My best friend and my boss (who is also a close friend) have informed me that my behavior had become aberrant before the admission, and they didn't know what to do. I have to say, I went to my new therapist today (I like him very much), and he showed me some paperwork that I apparently filled out the day of my hospital admission, and I don't remember doing it. Sheesh.
My neurologist and the drug company have pulled me off my MS drug. They are afraid the drug may have caused the odd behavior. I have an appointment in ten days to see my neurologist for discussion on that point, and to get tested for various nasty things like hepatitis C and HIV for possible reinstatement on my MS drug. Psych lockdown units are considered high risk units similar to jails, and that makes me a high risk patient for the drug. Yay.
On the upside, I lost six pounds! LOL.
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Last week was very up and down healthwise. Two days off work due to leg weakness-- but to be fair to my MS, I caused the problem on the one day. I went on a tour of one of our plants when I knew I shouldn't have, because it was 95 degrees outside and the plant is NOT airconditioned. So it was literally 105 degrees inside the buildings. But I really wanted to go. I enjoyed the tour and the lunch, and the next day my MS said "fuck you!" and left me hobbling and wobbling around the house. My MS does not like the heat.
Rest of the week went okay, and I had a great weekend for the first time in months. I had enough energy to actually vacuum the house, run errands, and not crash for a full day afterwards.
My boss came over Saturday night and we stayed up until 2 am watching cheesy movies (Army of Darkness, Hardware, and Van Helsing) and laughing and eating pizza. She loves my dogs and they adore her, and Peewee especially was disappointed that I wouldn't let him sleep with her. He did, however, try to climb into her purse, LOL.
Tuesday I went to get my spine MRI and then hustle my ass over to the orthopedic surgeon. No MS lesions on my spine! Thank all the powers that be! The unusually acute pain that sent me to the ER three weeks ago is apparently due to a bulging disc just above my lumbar fusion. With physical therapy and drugs, it is behaving itself, so we're going to follow that course for now. After my dr appointment, I went to dinner with a friend.
Tonight I went to an informal company happy hour at a new restaurant/bar (I drank soda) and had a surprisingly good time.
Almost a full week of doing normal things and I'm tired, but not devastatingly so.
I think I may be developing a life again!

Dad Stuff

Jun. 24th, 2011 08:56 pm
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My dad came home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. All neurological, vascular, and cardiac tests were fine. Doctors decided that his collapse was caused by a virus that had severely dehydrated him, which caused a serious electrolyte imbalance (which caused the somnolence, confusion, memory loss, etc.) So no stroke, thank god! He is still a bit under the weather, but recovering fast.
On the way to the hospital on Wednesday morning, my sister in law and my mom got hit by a dump truck. The idiot was turning right from a left hand turn lane (which is illegal of course) and didn't bother to check his mirrors either (which is also illegal). It was a slow moving accident in heavy traffic, so thank goodness no one was hurt. But my sister in law is going to need an awful lot of bodywork! New door, fender, driver side mirror, etc. And a new tire since the wreck flattened one of hers. The police were kind enough to put her spare tire on for her and pull out the fender (that had punctured the tire) so she and mom could continue to the hospital. Meantime, she's getting in and out of the driver's seat by crawling over the passenger seat.
Lisa's (my sister in law) birthday was June 20. Mine was June 21. It's been a helluva birthday week!
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My dad may have had a stroke. My brother called me from NJ yesterday evening. My mom found my dad unresponsive in his recliner and had to call EMS. He was responsive by the time the ambulance got there (she managed to rouse him with the assistance of their insurance guy and a roofer who were at the house assessing hail damage), but he was very confused and couldn't stand. He is currently in the hospital and feeling much better. he's had a CT scan, MRI and angiogram and the usual assorted bloodwork and we are waiting on results. My sister in law drove from NJ (she and my brother live about 2 hours from my parents) to PA and is at the hospital with my mom. We were all up most of the night texting and calling-- I'm exhausted. My cell phone I just got a month or so ago has sure turned out to be very handy! We're all in a holding pattern right now. This is one of those times I really hate being so far from my parents. I'm going to go take a nap now while I wait for more updates.

Today is my birthday. Happy fucking birthday to me.

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The Windows 7 on my new computer is interesting. It will definitely take getting used to. The only thing I"ve found that I really dislike about it is it makes managing documents harder than it needs to be. Not everybody wants to open a second window and drag and drop to move files/folders around. Old XP you just pick the folder you want to move and where you want to move it to, and click "move". And if you are moving a bunch of stuff into the same folder it kept the destination folder highlighted for you so you didn't have to go looking for it every time. Wndows 7 makes you hunt for it every time. Of course, it's quite possible I'm making it too hard for myself, LOL. I'm not exactly computer literate and I've only had a few days to play with the new operating system.
I have to say, the UPS (battery backup system) that my computer savvy friend insisted I buy: this thing has already paid for itself. The second day I had the computer we had bad storms-- lightning hit a power pole in my neighborhood and knocked out everything. Some folks lost some electronic equipment because the power surge was so strong. Not me! My UPS took care of my computer. It makes an annoying whooping alarm sound though. And you can't turn it off. It turns off only once the power comes back on. I went over to the neighbors and sat in their kitchen with their oil lamps and some other neighbors for a couple of hours, LOL.
I had my second Tysabri infusion on June 10. It went much better than the first one. It didn't knock me flat this time. I slept a lot that weekend, but I was pretty functional. Have to wonder how much of my hit the wall fatigue the first time was due to the drug or the MS or a combination. I keep bruising like crazy from the catheters, and I'm not a person who bruises easily. So off to get blood work last week-- which came back normal. I also had an ophthalmologist appointment last week. My eye is almost back to normal. A bit dim and a few teensy dead spots, but MAJORLY improved! I'm so excited. Although I haven't tried night driving yet, and the interstate when it gets really crowded makes me very tense.
There was a gentleman in my infusion group who is on his fourth or fifth Tysabri infusion. He is maybe in his late thirties, early forties, and he walks with a four point cane. Very nice guy, and very positive. He was diagnosed in 2002 and has tried everything (the "CRABS"-- Copaxone, Rebif, Avonex, BetaSeron) and nothing was really working until they finally decided to try the Tysabri. He says he was basically bedridden until the Tysabri, and now he's thrilled he can get around with a cane. Awesome.
I have a manuscript to start reading from a coworker who has written a book. Oh dear. I'm happy to read it for her, but I'm worried it will really suck. She has asked for a critical read-- I warned her that means notes and a blunt assessment. Can you tell I'm procrastinating? Haha.
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My computer died a couple of weeks ago. Fried the second motherboard in less than four years. After the local computer repair shop spent two weeks messing with it (yeah, it took him that long to figure out what was wrong with it), I collected my dead as a doornail tower and went computer hunting. Fortunately, with help from a coworkers's husband who is a software engineer for Microsoft, and advice from my dad (a retired systems analyst who builds his own computers) I bought a Dell Inspiron. Just the tower. I actually found it on sale, which was nice. The coworker's husband too my new computer and my old computer home with him and transferred data from the old hard drive to the new one for free. He also made me buy a UPS (battery backup current regulator?). He thinks fluctuating household current may have been the culprit in the demise of my latest motherboard. The IT guys at work and my dad agree. I thought all I needed was a surge protector. Apparently not.
Anyways, brought my new computer home this evening and got it going (a major feat for me)-- and holy crap! This thing is lightning fast! It has the new Windows 7 on it, which will take some getting used to, but it's pretty darn nice. The only thing I truly hate about it is the keyboard. It wouldn't accept my old keyboard, so I've got the new one that came with the tower plugged in. I hate it. Flat, spongy keys and I can't get the back of theboard angled high enough. Everything I hate about laptop keyboards I now have for my desktop. Grrr..
But I have a computer again!
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Because I'm randomly bored and sleepless at the moment..
Does anybody else think that Supernatural should have been canceled after last season? Eric Kripke only planned on a 5 year run, and I thought the story arc was well written, well acted, and the "ending" was actually very good and made sense.
This apparently unexpected continuation of the series on the other hand, was a headscratcher. Apocalypse averted, the story seemed to be scrambling for a reason to exist. While there were some very good episodes, on the whole the show lost its steam. And the series finale? Huge disappointment. Castiel went off into left field somewhere, and the angst factor with Dean made me want to just shoot him and put him out of his misery. So what are we going to have next season? Instead of the brothers butting heads, we're going to have the brothers battling their friend? I'm sorry, despite the justification the writers tried to give the radical actions of Castiel's character, it just isn't believable.
Supernatural has always been one of the better acted and compelling and well scripted shows on TV. The characters are always a pleasure to watch. But I think it ran its course at the five year mark.
The guys from the show will be here in Tennessee in ten days or so for a convention. I have a few friends are quite excited about going and have promised to take pictures for me. Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I cannot attend myself. I sort of grew out of conventions years ago, but I would have liked to have attended this one. I understand Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki can be quite entertaining.
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Today I got a cell phone. A real one-- it has a camera and voice mail and everything. (Not that I'll ever use the camera.) I have moved beyond my pay-as-you-go emergencies only little TracPhone. (I could buy 60 mins on that phone and make them last for six months, haha.)
I bought the same model as my best friend-- partly so she would be able to instruct me in its use. It is a month by month, no contract phone through a plan from Wal Mart. The carrier is actually Verizon, so there should be good coverage. For $30 a month (taxes included) I get 1000 minutes of air time and 1000 texts. I plan on very little texting since I hate it. I'm not a big fan of cell phones in general, but oh well. Actually, I don't mind cell phones (I love to play with my boss's Droid phone. That damn "DROID" voice makes me laugh every time), I hate inconsiderate cell phone users.
I finally gave in and decided to enter the modern age of cell phones for two main reasons.
One: the only phone service available in my rural county is AT&T and I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate them. A plain old phone line with no extras is $30 after taxes. Long distance is another 12 cents a minute unless I pay an extra fee so that I can get long distance at 5 cents a minute. Every month is a battle over my phone bill because of errors they have made. I am going to work with my cell phone for a bit, then I am kicking AT&T's phone service to the curb. Unfortunately, they are also the only carrier of internet service of any kind here as well, so I am stuck with them for my DSL.
Two: with my health problems, it's been difficult for me to be properly available for my doctors and drug company. People can leave voice mails at my work or home, and there's no way to tell when I will actually get them. It depends on where I am. I also need reliable communications in case I run into a problem if I am out and about.
So now I have a cell phone. I am so nervous about learning to use it. My friend went with me to get it and set it up for me and taught me some basics. You all have to understand-- I am so technologically challenged that when I bought my little TracPhone? I had to call the company from my home phone because I couldn't figure out how to turn it on! The TracPhone lady thought I was kidding. Hey, the instruction booklet didn't say you had to hold the button down for at least 5 seconds to make it work! (It also wasn't real clear on WHICH button you had to press.)
I'm off to start poring over the instruction booklet...
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Okay, so I've had my first MS medication infusion. And I'm not dead yet! Dear god, between the drug company and the insurance company, and to a much lesser extent, my neurologist, I was half convinced I was going to die in the first week.
But the process went very well. Except for a little problem with the first IV catheter, which blew as soon as the nurse checked patency with the flush. So now I have a lovely, brightly colored bruise. The second catheter was fine and the infusion itself was uneventful. The staff at the infusion center were extremely nice and professional and the center itself is quite nice. I spent most of my time there chatting with the kidney transplant patient next to me. And I have a ride for my next visit in June. My hairdresser (who is also a friend) is going to take me. I will meet her at my job site and she will take me the rest of the way and bring me back to my car. Which saves me about two hours in drive time. Such a relief!
My eye is the same and I am extremely exhausted, but other than that, so far I am hanging in there. I seem to be a bit on the weak side, but I can't tell if that is an MS symptom or just because I'm so damned fatigued. This disease is just a big old guessing game.
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Tomorrow I go for my first MS treatment. It's an hour long IV infusion with an hour hold afterwards to watch for reactions. I'm more wigged out about the stupid IV than I am about the drug. I've been sticking people and animals since I was 18, but I can't stand to get an IV. I think part of the problem is that I KNOW how it's supposed to be done and I hate relinquishing the control over it. Plus, it damn well hurts! I have been known to smack a nurse who snaps my vein. Vein snapping is a no no and totally unnecessary if you know what the fuck you are doing. I will be taking a bit of Ativan to maintain my cool, but since I am driving myself, it will only be a low dose. I'm having the infusion done at a cancer center, so I'm hoping they'll be good stickers.
The drug I will be using is considered high risk and is incredibly expensive. $90,000 a year. Fortunately for me, the drug company has agreed to pick up my tab for the medication. That news made my day. Now I just have to hope it works without killing me.
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I have run into a serious health crisis. My MS (multiple sclerosis) has decided to rear its ugly head, after 12 years of no symptoms. Gotta love that disease.

I am currently partially blind-- I have limited sight in my left eye from optic neuritis. So far, my right eye remains fully functional. I had an MRI last Friday afternoon which confirmed new, severe lesions. I had a very productive talk with my neurologist yesterday and we think we've come up with a game plan to attack this mess. My MRI results are extremely concerning. My brain looks likes it's lit up like a Christmas tree, it has so many new, active lesions. My doctors are actually quite puzzled that the optic neuritis is the only outward manifestation I am experiencing at this point. Of course, that could change tomorrow. MS likes to keep you on your toes.

I am currently working on getting the good old FMLA paperwork done for work, and my neurologist is working on getting my treatment approved by my insurance company. The drug we have chosen is very scary and very expensive (about $50,000 a year!) but he feels it is what I need, mainly because it works very quickly to start suppressing the inflammation. The other drugs can take weeks to months to really start having any effect, and he flat out says I don't have that kind of time. All of my doctors (I have three of them involved in this) are afraid I'm going to exhibit more severe flare activity very soon. Apparently my lesions are very active little buggers. If the insurance company and the drug company (yeah, they have to approve you as a patient) approve everything, I should get my first treatment in 10-12 days.

The upside to this drug-- it's an IV infusion once a month that takes about an hour. It has very few side effects. The other MS drugs, besides being too slow acting, have multiple side effects that would render me incapable for working for as long as several months. This drug, if it works for me, I shouldn't miss any tme off work due to treatment related illness. Hopefully.

Downside to this drug? One in one thousand patients develop a fatal encephalitis. Yay. My doctor says at one point they actually pulled this drug off the market due to the number of deaths that were occuring. But apparently the FDA and the drug company discovered that the people who were dying on the drug were folks who were on more than one MS autoimmune drug at a time. So they re released it with new dosing criteria a few years ago. Folks only on this one MS drug do fine. My neurologist currently has 20 patients on it and they are all doing fine. So I have elected to try it. I've seen my current MRI, and I still have my old MRI from my original diagnosis in 1999-- this new one is quite scary.

So that's how my spring is going! I'm still working. I can drive during the day if I stay on the back roads. I can't cope with the interstate with my limited vision. I can't drive at night at all. My work has made some concessions to help me in the office because I work on a computer all day. My friends and boss have been driving me to appointments in downtown Nashville.

I LOVE my Kindle! I can't read a regular book very well right now because it makes my right eye (my good eye) too tired. With my Kindle, I can blow the type up so I don't get eye strain reading with one eye.
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The used dryer I bought last fall to replace my old dryer lasted about three days before the thermostat went out on it. I could dry a load of towels in 20 mins, LOL. But after all the hassle Barbaranne and I went through to pick it up and install it, I've just been very careful with it and making do. Then my coworker Tavis offered to sell me her old dryer because her mother in law bought her a new washer/dryer set for their anniversary. It's only five years old and fully functional. And she gave me an extremely good deal.
So, I went to get my new dryer from Tavis yesterday morning. My helpers bailed on me last minute so it was just me and Tavis. I borrowed Barbaranne's 3/4 ton four wheel drive diesel truck, and off I went. Geez, haven't driven anything that big for a while-- for the first few miles I was terrified I was going to take out somebody's mailbox on one of those narrow country roads!
Toodled up to Tavis's house in Bellevue (about 60 miles from me), managed to back the truck up to the condo without swiping her Jeep, and then spent about 15 minutes just trying to figure out how to work the damn ratcheting straps. Barbaranne's got these fancy ones with a weird locking mechanism. Give me old and simple, please! The appliance guys who delivered Tavis's new washer and dryer were kind enough to put the old dryer out in the front yard for us, which was a huge help. We got it on the appliance dolly, strapped it in, and then, hmmm, we went to load it on the truck. My god, it was like the Three Stooges. The dryer isn't terribly heavy (maybe 150-200 pounds?), but it was very awkward, and the truck is taller than normal because of the heavy duty four wheel drive. (Even I have to step up on the running boards to get in the cab.) And there was only us girls. We decided Tavis should get into the truck bed and pull up on the dolly and I would lift from below, so I could use my legs and not my back for the lifting power. Which actually went well until one of the dolly wheels got hung up on the tailgate. So there we were, the dryer suspended three quarters of the way up-- and Tavis says, hey she can free the wheel, just HOLD THE DRYER UP FOR A SECOND. Sure, no problem. I'll just whip out those hidden Wonder Woman muscles. I ended up holding the dryer up on my forearms, in a partial crouch. She got the wheel loose, and with a mighty effort, I heaved the dryer up into the truck. I thought my forearms were broken, but hey, at least the damn thing was on the truck! And Tavis did a great job yanking that thing up and over the tailgate too. We won't talk about my entertaining gyrations getting up into and down out of the truck bed...
I drove home-- it's so nice to be in a big truck, you can see everything and most folks get out of your way, LOL. Barbaranne had my car at her house, so she picked up her neighbor Jeff and they came over to lug the dryer into my house. First the old dryer had to come out. My neighbor Jessie saw us and offered to lend a hand. Yes! Two men! He and Jeff carried the old dryer outside, popped the new dryer in place, and Barbaranne and I supervised, hahaha. The dump was closed by this time, so I'll have to call someone to come collect the dryers. The old one from last fall is still sitting out back-- the winter weather started right after I replaced that one and we couldn't get the truck into the back yard.
So now I am a true Tennessee redneck-- I have old appliances sitting on my deck.
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One of my best friends died Friday, Jan 7. His funeral service was yesterday, Jan 11. Accidental death caused by mixing wine and prescription drugs. His partner found him dead on their sofa. Oops, sorry, his "special friend" according to our good old fashioned Southern newspaper obituary. Are you fucking kidding me?
Jon is the one who gave Chloe (the abandoned black pug) to me on Halloween weekend. He is the one who gave me a job when DCI fucked me over two years ago. He dressed me and took me to the hospital when my back left me in gasping agony on the floor. He was my friend.
He was 42 years old.
I don't know how to grieve for him, it's just too enormous.
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So, on New Year's Eve (why does this always happen on the holidays?) I noticed Emmy was walking weird and when I went to pick her up, she yelled. Huh? I flipped her over and her tumour (which she was supposed to have excised this coming Friday) had nearly doubled in size. In less than four days. Now golf ball sized. Couldn't call the vet to move up the surgery date because of the holidays.

I fasted Emmy last night in hopes of being able to get her surgery done today. I called the vet as soon as they opened, and Dr Story said to bring her on in. I dropped her off and headed in to work an hour or so late. I left early from work this afternoon to pick her up. I have a lot of confidence in Dr Story, but I was really kinda dreading seeing Emmy post-op. Her last surgery was a tremendous ordeal, thanks to the butcher who operated on her without my permission.

I was fucking AMAZED at the job Roger Story did on Emmy. Absolutely beautiful surgical technique! She's got a huge incision (navel to vulva), but it's clean edged, precise, and stitched like a plastic surgeon. I damn near cried. No bruising, swelling, fluid pockets, mangled flesh, etc., like last time. Anesthesia technique was outstanding as well. She was already walking when I got to the clinic, and looking for food. A little glazed from the pain meds, but in awesome shape. When I compare this to the wailing, comatose, butchered mess I picked up from animal control after the last surgery-- well, there is no comparison.

He couldn't get clean margins-- we figured he wouldn't be able to-- but he removed what he could, up to the scar tissue from the last surgery. I had him show me the tumour (yeah, I'm morbid like that, ha ha)-- the damn thing is huge! There was so much more of it under the cutaneous tissue I'm amazed her was able to remove as much of it as he did. It literally is nearly the size of a baseball. He had to use the largest specimen jar he had (it's going off for a histopath), which is about the equivalent of a large size jar of mayonnaise. (For you non medical people.)

I am so pleased, I just can't tell you. She'll be uncomfortable for a while, and probably will have a little drainage and bruising, but that is nothing compared to last time. I'm just thrilled to have found such a competent vet in this town (population of about 11,000 in a rural county with an unemployment rate of over 19%). He practiced for years in a big Florida group, got tired of the rat race, and moved here to have his own clinic. His building is old but clean and well maintained, and he has all the medical toys. He also understands what a licensed veterinary technician can do, and he utilizes them. Something I've got to tell you is not the norm here in the backwards South.

Anyhow, Emmy had a light dinner and is currently snoring on her favorite dog bed in her crate. I'm going to go in to work a few hours late tomorrow so that I can be sure she's doing okay, but *knock wood* I think she'll be fine. For now. Until she springs another tumour on me. Sigh.
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I got my Kindle today, and I love it already. I can see that I am going to have to be careful not to go crazy buying books! I must stick to my budget, ha ha.
I still prefer print books, but this gives me the ability to read authors that I can't get in print. And I've gotta admit, the type enlargement function is very nice for my poor eyes.
I don't have wireless available in my area, so I have to do the download and save to documents folder on my desktop and then send to Kindle via the USB cord-- but that's okay. Although you should have seen me poring over my User's Guide to figure out how to do that. I am so computer illiterate! But the Amazon guide is very user friendly even for someone like me.
That being said, I also had one of the worst customer service experiences in my life with the Borders Customer Care (*snort*) center today. A shipment to my address went awry because of Borders, and their call center dealt with it by putting me on hold several times and leaving me there. For a total of over 40 minutes! And they flat out lied to me on several points! I couldn't believe it. When I finally got a supervisor on the phone, I advised her that I have been a Borders employee for five and a half years, and what they were doing is bullshitting me and dumping me on hold hoping I would just hang up instead of fixing my issue (which they caused!).
I order/ship stuff for store customers all the time-- I know how the Borders shipping system works. They shipped by the wrong carrier for my address (I have a PO Box) and now my item is sitting in a FedEx center 30 miles from me. (FedEx doesn't deliver to PO Boxes).
So the upside of this is that I'm getting my item for free. The downside: I have to drive to a neighboring county tomorrow to get it (I need it for a Christmas present so it won't work to have it reshipped by the correct carrier). And I spent a total of an hour on the phone to get the problem handled-- only about 17 mins of that was actual talk time. The rest of it was hold time. And Borders can't figure out why they're going out of business! Good God.
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My brother is getting me a Kindle for Christmas! I'm so excited, I can't stand it. And shocked as hell. My brother and I talk on the phone maybe once a year, email on occasion, and see each other perhaps once every two years or so. He is six years younger than me, and my fondest memories of him involve a many years long nickname of "peewee polar pig". Don't ask me why. I don't remember how I came up with that. He hated it and that's what counted, ha ha.
Anyway, he's buying Kindles for his daughter and his wife, and my mom happened to tell him that I would be tickled to death for them because I have wanted one for a long time. Next thing I know, he's emailing me asking why I don't have a Kindle, and I told him I can't afford it. When I have extra money, it always ends up going for something else (tires, house stuff, etc.) So today I get an email from my brother telling me to pick out a cover color because he's ordering me a Kindle for Christmas! I couldn't believe it. You gotta understand, I love my brother dearly, but he's a macho ex-Air Force guy with an attitude and we are not close.
I chose a red cover.
nodramaqueen: (pic#309540)
So I went to get my hair cut after work tonight. My hairdresser, Kathy, is also my pedicurist (haven't had one of those in a while-- boy, do my feet miss it!) and she is also a friend. We haven't gotten together in a few months because of crazy schedules, but we do email frequently. She had emailed me back in October that her first grandchild had been born, so I was anxious to see baby pictures. I hadn't really heard anything from her since that announcement, but I figured she was busy playing grandma (in addition to working and going to school-- this is one busy woman!).

I got to the salon and she washed my hair etc. then I said to her something like, "so, you're a grandma now, where's the baby pictures?"

She says, "Aiden was born on October xx, went home with his mom and dad, and we lost him two days later."

I literally almost fell out of the chair, I was so shocked. I could only sit there and cling to her hand and go "Oh, oh, oh!" I just couldn't believe it. I still can't. They were all so excited for this child and he's just-- gone. It was a normal pregnancy, he was a normal, healthy baby and he just -- died. His mom got up to check on him in the middle of the night and he was dead. No one has a clue what happened. He had an autopsy, the results of which haven't come in yet, but no matter what they do or don't find, it won't bring him back. Kathy showed me the baby photos she took before Aiden died, and he was a beautiful child.

I felt absolutely horrible about being so tactless, but as she pointed out, I didn't know. She said she just couldn't bring herself to put in writing that Aiden had died and she wasn't up to phoning any more people.

Aiden's parents (Kathy's daughter and son-in-law) are very strong in their faith and have that and their church to help support them in addition to family. They couldn't bear to stay in their house with its nursery and memories, so they have moved out to another place.

And Kathy had to euthanize her 14 year old dog around the same time as Aiden's passing.

I can't even imagine what Christmas is like for them right now.

It kind of puts it all in perspective doesn't it?
nodramaqueen: (Default)
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