Sunday, October 12, 2008

April 2008 Archive

April 30, 2008
Choo choo chooey
The furnace problem wasn't the furnace at all. It was the thermostat. Some months ago, I had knocked it off the wall somehow, probably with wild flailing. The guy said he was amazed it worked at ALL after that--the wires were just hanging by a thread, and one had come out, thus killing the signal to the furnace. He re-wired it, and he was super nice. If you're in the Kettering/Centerville area, I highly recommend A-ABEL. They're pretty good around here. But avoid them in Fairborn...not so good at that office.

So that was about $140 to fix, and the chimney was only about $69. So it was as bad as it could have been, I suppose--just not money I wanted to shell out right now. But oh well. we'll get this all squared away eventually. I believe my deductible for my surgery is already paid because of the boot and brace and cortisone shots I've had so far this year. My deductible is only $300, and I know that's been met. So here's to hoping I don't owe too much on it. Kev still has a couple of $100 ER visits due yet. Blah.

My stitches are starting to hurt like a biatch, but I think it's normal; I had stitches in my neck a decade ago, and I think as the wound healed, it hurt MORE because the stitches were irritating the healthy skin.
posted by Karabou at 9:46 AM EST


April 29, 2008
Blah and double blah
Now the furnace isn't working. AGAIN. Someone is coming out around noon, non-emergency, to fix that. I've got the chimney guy coming to repair my chimney cap today at 3pm, and to hopefully NOT find raccoons living in it. My brakes went out and had to be repaired, and now I'm going to have a ton of medical bills. Grrrrrrr...
posted by Karabou at 8:34 PM EST


April 28, 2008
One down...
Had my first post-op today. I got a shiny new royal blue cast, which I adore (oddly), and he said my stitches couldn't look better. I'll have a cast change every week until the stitches come out, which could be closer to three weeks. The nurse said he tends to be very conservative on stitches, and I suppose I can see why on bendy parts like the ankle.
My stitches don't hurt terribly; it's more of an uncomfortable creepy feeling. The skin on both sides of the wound is tingling, like when your skin crawls. It's very odd. And it hurts like hell when I smack my foot on something. GAWD. And of course, that's something I do at least twice a day. At least.
I've only taken one pain pill since I got up, and that was to combat the possibility of intense pain at my appointment, but there wasn't much. Thank god. I'll keep taking them at bedtime, since I tend to move around a bit more in my sleep than when I'm propped up on my butt in the recliner.
I'm probably just going to stay home and take it easy this week. My family and friends have been yelling at me to just rest, and I suppose I should. I'm just not a "rest" kind of person. I sit in the chair with a cat draped over my legs and think about all the housecleaning I could be doing, the laundry, the bathroom, the vacuuming, the straightening... /sigh
posted by Karabou at 6:05 PM EST


April 27, 2008
Bedunka dunk, junk in da trunk...
I'm back in the land of the living, if not just a little groggier for wear. They gave me Percocet, which kills the pain but makes me drowsy. It's hard to watch a movie when you're constantly nodding off. I feel somewhat narcoleptic.

Another weird side effect is the vivid, lucid images that hit me when I shut my eyes. As soon as I start to doze off, I get at least one or two, and they are completely random. The last one was seeing my mom drop two buckets in front of me, and I could feel and hear them hit the floor, and it jarred me awake. Too bad my mom hasn't been here since yesterday...

It's almost as good as the terrifyingly lucid, vivid dreams I got on Voltaren. But the things I see are totally random, rather than nightmarish. Hopefully, I'll only need them a few more days. I'm sticking to 1 pill every 5 hours, and it seems to be cutting the pain to an acceptable level. The last thing I want to do is sleep for the next week and nothing else. And I'm not fond of being off my tits 24 hours a day all doped up. It makes me feel useless.

Kev set up my PC on the kitchen table, so I can do more than just watch Tivo and be bored. I can at least work on my editing, blog, and play some WoW to change it up.

I have my first post-op appt. tomorrow, and I'm interested to see what he'll do, other than look at me, tell me I'm still alive, and to check back in next week. I don't get my stitches out until two weeks after surgery. They'll be so itchy next week. ugh.

Friday wasn't terrible. I was really irritable when I got there. It was a ghost town, unlike Kettering Hospital was at 6am when Kev had his sinuses done. I was in that mode where I just wanted shit to get going and be done with it.

The male nurse blew my first vein, and I came as close to fainting as I ever have. It wasn't that it hurt so much, but I was so scared of IV sedation because I didn't know if it was going to be as good as general anesthesia (which it was, btw. I highly recommend it). And when he muttered, "Ugh, I blew it." I started shaking so hard I couldn't control it, nearly started sobbing hysterically, and then the world started to get really dark. The next thing I knew, I had 4 nurses on me (Kev said it's his dream to be able to say that. heh.), one patting my shoulder, one holding my hand, one wiping my face down with an ice cold cloth, and the fourth trying to stop the bleeding in my blown vein. They practically threw the bed down flat to keep me from passing out.

I think I scared the shit out of the guy who blew my vein...that and made him feel really bad about it because of my near-fainting. It was just the fear, anxiety, and stress of it exploding in that one moment of, "Oh christ. He's got to do it AGAIN."

The last thing I remember was helping them get me onto the OR table, and the SECOND my head hit the pillow, I don't remember anything else. They ninja'd that shit on me. lol But it was great. Just as good as general. If you have the choice, go IV sedation.

And then I freaked out the nursing staff when I came to as they were moving me from the OR table to the gurney to take me to recovery. I woke up, started talking, and was completely lucid and awake before they even got me back to my recovery space. heh I tried to warn them that I come out of it really fast. The nurse was just looking at me completely confused. I said, "I'm the fastest you have EVER seen someone come out of anesthesia, aren't I?" To which she replied, "Uh, YEAH."

Before I even got put into my recovery area, I was asking for food, drink, thanking my doctor, and asking to see my husband...all in about 5 seconds. Kev said when the nurse came out to get him, she asked if he could make me stop talking. LOL He said he's been trying for 10 years and hasn't been successful yet. I think she was overwhelmed with me asking her detailed questions about what was done, etc. when I'd been awake about 5 minutes.

But my ankle wasn't as bad as it could have been. There was no debris, so the tendon hadn't started shredding yet. The longus and brevus tendons lay on top of each other behind the ankle bone, and the top one hammered the bottom one flat as a ribbon (they're supposed to be cord shaped). So he had to fold the bottom one in half to make it durable and cord-shaped again. So that should do it. I'm on crutches for the next 5-6 weeks and absolutely CANNOT put any weight on my foot whatsoever during that time.

My family is pushing me to stay home the full week I requested off, and I'm probably going to relent. While I think I could probably go back on Thursday, part of me feels like I should just rest and not push myself (like I always do) and end up screwing this all up. Kev said his biggest fear is that in a fit of stubbornness (me? *shock*) I'll end up hurting myself all over again if I don't just let it sit. And he's right. *sigh*

The pain really isn't too bad, but if I so much as brush my toes against something, it twist my ankle a half a millimeter and makes me cry out. argh. That and the skin around my stitches keeps twitching, which sucks ASS, let me tell you.

So I'll be sitting around all week, somewhat bored, but definitely hopeful that all this is going to be worth it. The doctor seemed to think that my prognosis was excellent, especially since there was no shredding. That would have been the worst case scenario. So my tendons will be left to rest, reseat themselves where they should be, and heal.

posted by Karabou at 6:25 PM EST


April 24, 2008
Bring out the gimp...
I'm trying to savor every second of my soon-to-be temporarily limited freedom. I keep thinking about how hard even the smallest tasks are going to be, bathing, getting a drink, making myself breakfast, will I even be able to drive to work once the splint is off and the stitches are out? Getting up in the night to pee is going to become a chore.

I can put NO weight on my right foot for as long as I'm on crutches, which could be 6-8 weeks. It sucks. I hope to god it's worth it.

I'm an extremely independent person, and the prospect of having to rely on others to do so much for me makes me want to scream. Oh well, better to get it over with now and, hopefully, still retain some summer to enjoy.

I've got a Tivo jam-packed with enough movies to last me for a week, and I'm hoping I'm not so doped up on painkillers that I can't think. I don't find that fun…at all.

And then the hospital billing department called to tell me that their facility is out of network to my insurance, and before I could tell them to cancel the surgery, they assured me I would be charged the in-network rate as a courtesy to my doctor's patients. I would have cancelled it, otherwise. There's no way I'm paying out-of-network fees when my doctor is in-network.

She gave me her name and direct number in case there are any discrepancies, so hopefully they'll have their shit together enough to get it right the first time. But I'm not holding my breath.

I should be home by noon tomorrow, and I likely won't be posting any updates until I can manage to get up and down the stairs, which could be a few days. So wish me luck. :)posted by Karabou at 4:22 PM EST


April 23, 2008
When it rains, it pours...
I heard this god awful squealing coming from the front end of my car as I was driving this morning. I was afraid it was my brakes, rotors specifically, and it was. I have to have new rotors put on the front and new brakes all the way around. I heard the noise once before on my first Taurus, and it was $$$ to fix it, so I was pretty sure I was screwed.

I'm just p*ssed that it never made a squeak or a grind until it was too late. It had "new" brakes on it when I bought the car in, what, 2002? I suppose I should have had them looked at periodically.

So on top of all the medical bills I'm about to pay, I now also have to shell out $500 for my car. /sigh
posted by Karabou at 6:43 PM EST


April 21, 2008
When life gives you lemons, say, "F*ck the lemons!" and bail.
PI feel like my head is spinning, I have so much to do before Friday, both at work and at home. Argh.

I went to see Forgetting Sarah Marshall on Saturday. It was great. I really liked Superbad, and I think this was funnier than that. And it's got full frontal male nudity. Three times. Score one for the ladies. Woot!

I highly recommend it. Check it out. I'm just glad actually funny movies are finally being made again. Will Ferrell is a one-trick pony, and while his films might get a couple of guffaws out of me, they're not really funny. It doesn't take Hollywood star power to make a great comedy. I think they're FINALLY understanding that.

Judd Apatow's crew seems to be getting it right. I just hope they don't go the way of Ferrell and just make a bunch of crap to make money. So far, it's all been pretty good. The upcoming Pineapple Express looks like it could be fantastic. It's got one of those trailers that actually makes me feel something. And I'm looking forward to Get Smart.

In other news, I'm playing phone tag with a surly NP, trying to get my pre-op physical scheduled. I'm really sorry her workday doesn't start until 12:30, but I need this shit sorted NOW. I have too much going on this week to piss around and not know when I'm available.
posted by Karabou at 12:42 PM EST


April 19, 2008

Act One.

First I wept.
Then I shook with rage.
posted by Karabou at 9:51 PM EST


April 16, 2008
It's oooon.
I'm all set up. Surgery next Friday (25th) at the old St. E's medical building. I'm so ready.

And because I need to make sure I have the newsletter done, I don't have to go to the spring conference.
posted by Karabou at 10:01 PM ESTTop

April 15, 2008
Bring it on! Oh, it's already been broughten!
It's surgery time. It'll either be next week or the week after, according to the nurse this morning. I was kind of annoyed I couldn't schedule it myself, but oh well. I'll know an exact date by Friday.

Recovery isn't too terrible. I'll be on crutches for 2-8 weeks, depending on what he has to do. Then back to the boot for 3 weeks or so, then the brace, and PT. But he won't be able to project my recovery schedule till he gets in there.

Thankfully, we're skipping the MRI. He said it's a 50/50 crapshoot on accuracy on what the radiologist thinks is wrong because the two tendons involved are on top of each other, and they're really thin and hard to see. I'd rather not pay my deductible on the MRI, quite honestly. If it would actually be useful, I'd be all for it.

It'll be local anesthesia with IV sedation, which I'm guessing is twilight sleep, like they do for colonoscopies and the like. And they'll tie my leg down to the table. Sounds a little freaky, but I'll get through it. I was nervous about general anesthesia because of my bradycardia, but unless I'm twitching like crazy, he said he won't have to put me under.

I'm so ready. I want this to work. I can't get my foot wet if I have a cast on, and he said he won't do waterproof casts on feet because the water won't drain out of the bend, which makes your skin turn to mush. (ugh.) I might have to buy a shower chair, because I'm not sitting in our disgusting tub to bathe, and it doesn't look like I'll have a new tub put in before the surgery, unfortunately. Oh well, we'll make it work.

Even if I don't have a cast, he said I won't be able to put any weight on the foot for several weeks. So I could bathe, but I wouldn't be able to stand, unless I did it on one foot, which is not going to happen in a shower. Heh

I'll only be off work for about a week (maybe less), depending on my pain level. He said it might only be a few days. Maybe I'll get lucky and have the surgery on a Thu or Fri, and I'll have the weekend to recuperate. I don't want to use up my vacation days. Blah! Posted by Karabou at 10:36 PM EST


April 14, 2008Up next: more ambitious unicyclists!
Not much happening lately.

I go to my podiatrist tomorrow to, hopefully, schedule surgery and get my ankle fixed. It's been 3 months; let's get the show on the road. I'm tired of not being able to even go for a walk outside. I feel like a fat, lazy blob that's just getting blobbier as this drags on.

I was looking at recovery, and I've seen extremes of "I was off work for six weeks" to "I was off work for two weeks" while recovering. There's no way in hell I can take 6 weeks of work. And as Kev pointed out, it's really dependent on your work ethic. I could handle two weeks, but it would be a nightmare coming back. I'd likely end up working from home while still having to take vacation days because administration here refuses to let anyone work from home.

But anyway, I'm ready. I want to be recovered in time to be able to walk at Gencon. And I'm not really keen on losing all my summer fun because this just keeps dragging out. From what I've read, it's usually two weeks in a surgery splint, 3 weeks in a cast, 3 weeks in the boot, and then 3 weeks in the brace while doing PT. And PT usually lasts 6-8 weeks. I just want to get it going, and I'm hoping I can get a waterproof cast, so I don't have to sit in our disgusting old tub with my leg propped up. I think I'd rather do a sponge bath than do that. Heh.
Posted by Karabou at 10:17 PM EST

zomg roxors

I’m drowning in catch-up work. I’ve got 2 weeks of newsletter layout, 2 video tours to film, our company’s spring conference on the 24th, and I might be having surgery this month.

The trip was good. It was tiring, though. I was dragging all day yesterday. Then I woke up at 4:30am from one of my trademark bizarro nightmares, only to fall asleep and have another one. Both had zombie themes.

Dream 1:
It’s always night for some reason, and I’m in the city. There are ape men (a la Planet of the Apes) that will kidnap you and assault you in the streets. And they hang out in dark alleys (mostly around McDonalds’ dumpsters) making obnoxious, ominous chimp noises. And on top of that, there are zombies roaming around, mostly headless, that will grapple you and try to squirt blood out of their neckhole into your mouth to turn YOU into a zombie. At one point, one had me pinned against a fence and kept spraying me with blood, and I kept moving my head to dodge it. I don’t remember how I got away, but I was pissed my brother wasn’t saving me.

Then I’m in this house with 2 guys, and the one’s family lives there. Well, his zombie-fied, Dead Alive mother who has tentacles and lives in a blood-filled cave beneath the house with her 20 blood-covered clones. And her husband is armless and jammed in a wall up to his chest and so decomposed you can barely see his face. And her other son is in a zombie Frankenstein-like state, occasionally pulling his dad out of the wall and carrying him around.

We’re trying to get out of the house, and I’m yelling at the guy that lives there to stop holding us up because they’re trying to break down the door. Finally, I just jump out the window and run away.

Dream 2:
I’m at some party, and we’re all laying on this big bed. I get up to go do something, and the host gets electrocuted because a taser is hooked up to it. So he becomes a zombie, and he keeps trying to serve us blood-covered strawberry shortcake blondies.Posted by Karabou at 8:52 PM EST

April 3, 2008Chop it off, doc.
The conference has been somewhat disappointing. I had hoped that being the Photoshop WORLD conference meant they would have some classes that were more advanced…something that would be mind-shattering to a mostly self-taught user like me. But honestly, it hasn’t. I’ve been largely unimpressed, as most of my classes didn’t have more than a nugget or two I could take away. And I don’t feel that the stress of flying and the expense of coming here (even though it’s not my money) has been worth it.
It was also a slap in the face to find out today, after my class let out at 12:45, that there was no shuttle service back to the hotel until 5pm. My next class didn’t start until 4:45, and I couldn’t walk back to the hotel—it’s about a mile away. I can only assume this was the conference planners’ nefarious scheme to get people to go to the tech expo, which, by the way, was extremely pointless and boring to someone like me. So I staggered over to the Denny’s across the street for lunch (the only other choice was McD’s or Red Lobster) and was annoyed to hell and back by some waiter who thought he was being cute by constantly hitting on me because I was one of those sad f*cks dining alone in a restaurant while reading a book. All I wanted to do was read my book, eat my sandwich, and be left alone, but nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Every 30 seconds he sauntered by and demanded I "give him that beautiful smile."
Newsflash to men:
Telling a woman to smile repeatedly just pisses her off. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but I don’t walk around all day with a dumbass grin on my face, nor do I want to. Don’t harass me when I’m obviously already uncomfortable. Several times, my mouth was full of food, and he actually waited for me to swallow my bite, all the while saying, "Come on! Smile, beautiful!" I guess I’m supposed to feel flattered that some middle-aged, overly tan waiter at a Denny’s was hitting on me. But all I really felt was uncomfortable, awkward, and annoyed. Sometimes, women just want to be left the hell alone. And with me, that’s pretty much always the case.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sitting here thinking, "Woe is me! I’m apparently so beautiful that men can’t stop hitting on me!" I don’t think I’m particularly amazing or gorgeous, but definitely not unattractive. But it makes me feel weird when I’m approached by f*ckwits who think they’re being smooth. This isn’t getting my point across. Okay, I really don’t think I’m all that, so when I get hit on, I think, "What’s wrong with that guy?" I also don’t think I’m ugly, but I’m also not full of myself. I’m not one of those people who think everyone is hitting on them or wants them. I just seem to attract the really bizarre, overt mashers who give me a story to tell. It would be a far better trip if, in my free time, I could actually go somewhere other than my room. I went to the pool for 30 minutes yesterday and seriously felt like I was going to explode in a ball of flames. I’m not adjusted to the beautiful 85-degree, sunny weather, and it really just makes me kind of sluggish and exhausted. But I’m afraid to take off my brace to get in the pool because walking without it after the cortisone shot has been extremely painful. So here I sit, in my room with a view overlooking the pool, imagining I’m out there enjoying myself. Yeah, poor me. I’ll shut up about the beautiful weather. Heh
All the windows in every building I’ve been in have this weird tint to them that makes the sky constantly look overcast and gloomy. And when you step outside, you’re all, "Holy crap! It’s beautiful out here!" And it’s not the kind of shady tint we have in Ohio , where it just darkens everything. It’s like you can still see the brightness, it’s just…weird. I can’t explain it.
I was just thinking to myself how I’ve been pretty much pain free all day, and then I got a stab of pain that made me burst into tears momentarily. As soon as I get back, I’m getting surgery set up. I’m so tired of this.And Kev is the sickest I’ve ever seen him, and he’s home alone. Tuesday, he went to one of the docs in our office on the recommendation of the one I saw Monday. She gave him an inhaler based on what he said the other doc told ME. This is the same doc that misdiagnosed my ankle. Neither of us will ever, ever see her again. She’s just sleepwalking through her job as a physician. Wednesday, he was coughing up blood, and his mom took him to the emergency room. He said the docs treated him like he was wasting their time, but, still, no one has told him what to expect with pleurisy. And today he’s been vomiting all day. His mom tried to get him an appointment with her doctor, but they said that unless he was switching permanently, they wouldn’t see him. They didn’t want to undermine what his regular doctor told him. So how is he supposed to get a second opinion? He’s decided he’s just going to wait and see how he feels tomorrow. I talked to his mom like 3 times today, and she said she’ll make sure she checks in on him tomorrow, whether he likes it or not. I’m hoping he just caught a 24-hour bug on top of what he already had. I can’t even pretend I’m not seriously distraught that he’s so sick, and I’m not there. It’s maddening. I feel totally helpless and sad that he’s so miserable, and I’m not there to take care of him. I can’t wait to see my brother and the rest of the family. In some good news... Kev got a double promotion at work and a PHAT raise. Hurrah! Posted by Karabou at 7:32 PM EST

April 1, 2008One foot is better than none
The space bar sucks on this laptop, so forgive my spacing issues...

Got in safe and sound.

I broke down and went to the podiatrist this morning before I left on my trip. He gave me my last cortisone injection, which as I predicted, resulted in another wicked cortisone flare up. Only this time, I couldn’t put my foot up and ice it until I’d walked like 400 miles across 3 airports and did much un-desired standing around.

I’ve been icing and elevating my foot since I got to the hotel, and it seriously feels like someone tried to twist it off. Then I banged it on a chair. Yeah, good stuff. Hopefully in a day or so it’ll be better. I don’t THINK I have to do that much walking. I’ll just take it easy outside my classes. Weehoo. And if it gets really bad, I can just go back to the hotel and prop it up.

Anyway, if I have another pain flare up, it’s surgery time. I’m not holding my breath for a miracle cure at this point. I kind of wish he’d have just cut it open 2 months ago and fixed it.Posted by Karabou at 9:45 PM EST

March 31, 2008If I plan it, it will go wrong. Field of Dreams my ass.
So I leave for Florida tomorrow in what was supposed to have been a really great trip.

Except I have an ear infection, so flying could be downright painful. And I get to take antibiotics the entire time.

And my foot, after a week of pain-free bliss, has decided to go ape-shit since Saturday night. I’m talking the kind of pain that makes you cry out. Great. I was already planning to pack The Boot, just in case, but I’m guessing I’ll end up wearing it for most of the time. Great.

And I don’t really see a point in calling my podiatrist today. What’s he going to tell me to do? Put on the boot? I’m not canceling the trip, so I guess I’ll just have to call when I get back. It’s going on 12 weeks. I’m ready to cut the SOB open and fix it. This is getting ridiculous.

Kev is sick as hell. I took him to the ED at 1:30am Sunday morning. Apparently, he’s got pleurisy. And now his cough is getting worse, and he’s had a fever since we were in the ED. I’m trying to get him in tomorrow morning.

So everything is great. Really.Posted by Karabou at 8:26 PM EST

March 26, 2008Farewell, Godspeed.
So today’s the day. It was hitting me hard on Monday, being sick and tired and generally miserable, but it’s since passed. There are days now that I don’t think of him. But the days I do think of him are still more frequent.I’ve been careful not to build this day up, and I honestly put it out of my mind until 3am Monday morning.The one thing no one ever tells you about losing someone truly close is how much you will miss them when you do think about them, when something reminds you of them--a photo, a phrase, a memory, a smell, a sound.
I’ve lost friends, acquaintances, cousins, and grandparents, and nothing, NOTHING, prepared me for losing him. Nothing.There's a sad sort of clanging
From the clock in the hall
And the bells in the steeple too,
And up in the nurs'ry an absurd little bird
Is popping out to say "coocoo."

Regretfully they tell us,
But firmly they compel us
To say goodbye to you.

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, good night,
I hate to go and leave this pretty sight.
So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu,
Adieu, adieu, to yieu and yieu and yieu.

So long, farewell, Au'voir, auf wiedersehen,
I'd like to stay and taste my first champagne
So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye,
I leave and heave a sigh and say goodbye,
Good bye

I'm glad to go,
I cannot tell a lie.
I flit, I float,
I fleetly flee, I fly.

The sun has gone to bed and so must I
So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye,

And then I wrote this post, and found this picture, and sobbed inconsolably.

Posted by Karabou at 8:26 PM EST