Monday, May 26, 2014

Places I've Pooped, (Number Two)

Two quick items as follow up to my previous blog re: this topic.

Item 1) Shawn, the HR person at our office, told me this story and it's too funny not to share.  The port-o-potty in the firm parking lot?  Well, Shawn arrives at the office early each morning and she told me that one morning, she was looking out the window and the garbage man/truck backed up through the alley to empty the dumpster for the building next door.  She said that then he started to leave, but then stopped.  He opened his door and got out all furtive like... looking to his left and right to see if anyone was watching.  Then he climbed down and GOT IN THE PORT-O-POTTY!!!  If I recall the story correctly, he was in there long enough that we knew he was ... er.. (pause while I go find my list of pooping euphemisms...) giving the neighbors some food for thought - or in this case, giving Rose some blog-fodder!  I prefer to think that he'd read my previous blog, downloaded (hahahahahah!) the app and, upon driving past the port-o, he recognized it as the pop culture icon it now is, and decided that he needed to drop a bomb at this location.

Item B) Since posting about the app and my eagerness to add more dots on my map, despite having multiple opportunities, I have been unable to put anymore dots on my map!  I was even up in Indy for my niece's graduation from IU and thought I'd be able to "dot" at the hotel, but NO!  I think I've cursed myself; which means that the upcoming two week trip to Ireland and Scotland may be a very uncomfortable trip!  Arrrggghhh! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

It's Springtime, It Must Be Time for Another Surgery!

It is a beautiful Sunday afternoon.  I and the cats, or some of them at least, are decked out on the balcony enjoying the wonderful day that God has made for us.  Okay, I'm not sure that the cats are acknowledging God's hand in it... after all, despite Mom's reading her daily Bible studies aloud to them, we still think they're just little heathens!  After all, they never wait to eat until after grace is said...

The last couple of weeks have been tiring for me.  As I posted in my post, the MRI of my leg showed a bucket-handle tear of the lateral meniscus of my left knee.  I was referred to Dr. Beck at Orthopaedic Associates.  I ran his name past Greg (the lawyer at my office who is truly my twin brother from another mother.. and father.. well, except for that and he's 8 years younger than I am, he could truly be my twin Barger!)  He does insurance defense work and has an idea of doctors to avoid, if not exactly who to recommend, and he didn't know anything about him... he said to ask Michele, another attorney who does medical malpractice defense.  I asked Michele and she said that he was great - in fact, she's used him as an expert in some of her cases.. she said to tell him "Hi" for her.

My appointment with him was short and quick - he came in, introduced himself and his minions and said that I needed surgery.  He said that if he thought it could be fixed without surgery, he would always recommend that path first, but there's just no way in this case.  I told him I didn't care, I just want it fixed so I can be ready to hoof it around Ireland and Scotland in July!    He told me that that shouldn't be a problem, he could probably get me in his surgery schedule in the next two weeks, and I'd be hoofing it all over by July.  I then told him that Michele said "Hi" and his face lit up.  "You know Michele?" he asked.  I said, "well, I work at the same law firm with her, have known her for 24 (gulp!) years..."   He then gave me a hug and said turned to his minions to tell them that anyone who works for lawyers who defend doctors deserve (and get) Cadillac treatment from him and told me that if I needed anything from him, to call him day or night!

 Unfortunately, they weren't able to schedule my surgery until two weeks later, also known as this coming Wednesday.  I wasn't uber-pleased at the prospect of having to wait two weeks for a couple of reasons.  1) the pain in my appendage is getting worse each day and that fact alone makes it more difficult for me to maintain my usual good humor; B) Dr. Beck said to expect to be off work 1-2 weeks and the surgery is the Wednesday before Big Bossman Steve goes on a two-week vacation.  While you might think that this would be good timing because I wouldn't be missing too much at the office; anyone who has ever worked for anyone else will tell you that the boss's vacation from the office is like additional vacation time for the minion!  I've been looking forward to this.. I need this vacation!!!  (For those of you out there who know Steve, this is NOT a judgment of his bossmanship.  God himself could be my boss and I'd want Him to go on a vacation occasionally!)

However, I am choosing to look at this positively.  Plus, when I told Dr. Beck that I worked in an office, he said probably wouldn't need to be off but just a week, so I'm hoping not to miss too much of Steve's vacation!

Meanwhile my leg aches and I'm not sleeping all that well.  When 5am rolls around each morning and Sophie decides it's time to paw me awake, I've got to remind myself that I love her.  Oh well, it should be better soon. 

For my next posting, maybe I'll have pictures.  I thought I'd ask Dr. Beck if he'd take a pic of my knee mid-surgery for my blog.  We'll see. 

NOTE:  While searching for the minion pic (above), I found my next knitting/crochet project. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

And the Diagnosis is...

You know it isn't good news when your doctor's office calls, on his day off, the minute they open.  Sigh..  I have a "Bucket Handle Tear of the Lateral Meniscus"  and will be referred to an orthopedist.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Observations on Growing Old, Part 1

This is not going to come as a surprise to a lot of you, but growing old sucks.

I'm sitting at our dining room table with my leg propped up on pillows and an ice pack on my knee.  A couple of weeks ago, while doing nothing more strenuous or exciting than GETTING UP FROM MY CHAIR at work, I seem to have hurt my knee.  There was a "Pop!" and a piercing pain up through my leg.  After self treating with ice packs, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers, it occurred to me that come July, I intend to be trekking around the United Kingdom for two weeks so I had better get it fixed or else I could again end up enjoying the hospitality of a Scottish hospital!  (See previous blog entries, circa June 2012).

Anyway, I went to go see my doctor yesterday.  Dr. Marienau - who I love.  He's retiring at the end of August, so I told him I'm gonna put him to work before he leaves me to the uncaring devices of some new Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-esque doctor!  My friend Annette tells me I'm his favorite patient.. and while it is nice to be told, it wasn't really necessary.  :0

Anyway, after telling him my woes we agreed that growing old is a bitch and he scheduled me for an MRI of my knee... feeling that it was most likely a soft-tissue problem.

This is not the first MRI I've had this year, actually it's only off by a week or so of my being able to say it's not my first this month!  In late February I started having bad, constant headaches and, my uncle having just recently passed away from brain cancer, I did not delay (well, not too much) in going to the doctor.  Dr. M sent me for my first MRI - here I learned a couple of things.  1) it was originally set to be performed at the hospital, but my insurance company called me to tell me that a) it was going to be covered, although it would apply to my deductible first and 2) that it would be $X if I had it at the hospital, but that if I had it at one of two other possible locations in town it would only be 1/2 $X.  So the first thing I learned was don't just go to the first place you're sent - shop around.  Being a world-class shopper, this should not have been a surprise to me, but...  Next, when I told my boss, Care-Bear, that I was having an MRI and gave her the story about the phone call and the price difference, she told me that her hubs had to have an MRI pre-knee surgery and his surgeon said that if the MRI was performed at this one place (which happened to be the place I'd agreed to go), then he wouldn't be willing to perform surgery based on the results of an MRI at that place - I gather their equipment might not be as state of the art as the hospital's so it wouldn't show the details that the other place's MRI's would show.  Lesson number two: not all facilities are the same - makes sense.  So I ended up going to Indiana MRI on John Street.  After assuring everyone that I had no metal implants in my body, I laid there on the slab for close to an hour trying not to move when the machine was making noise (because that was when it was scanning.
The problem, for me at least, was that it wasn't scanning constantly, so I'd begin to doze off and then WHAM! it would make a noise and jolt me back to life and ... let's just say my heart was given a good work out.  Afterwards, they sent me on my merry way with a CD of my MRI.  You KNOW I put it in my disc drive the minute I got back to the office so I could see it.  I didn't know what I was seeing, although what I did see looked fine in my humble medical opinion (FYI, I diagnosed my own gallbladder issues back in 2000).  The fun part is that it's a moving image, as the slices through the layers of whatever it's scanning.  So lesson three is that it's uber cool, especially as it moved through the eyeballs.  (See pic).

I'm reminded of about 25 years ago I had an EEG - electro-encephlagraph - and I remember still having cement on my scalp for about a week afterwards, and I remember Dad professing to be relieved to know that why the results didn't explain the source of my (then) headaches, they did confirm that I had a brain.  He was such funny guy. 

Anyway, back to today's MRI - I can tell you now, from experience, that the MRI of the knee takes longer than that of a brain, and if your knee hurts to begin with, it is very painful to lie there with your leg extended in the same position for over an hour.  Don't have the results yet, but again, they sent me off with a CD - I looked at it again and although there are more views of the knee (8 vs. 4), they aren't as cool as the brain because of the lack of eyeball stems and all but you can see like leg muscles and all.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Places I've Pooped

I love my iPhone and my iPad and while I generally use only a handful of apps on a regular basis, I'm always up for trying out a new app.  So imagine my enjoyment when I see.. I think it was in the "Hot List" in an issue of Entertainment Weekly a couple of weeks ago, but I could be wrong about that, but it was something similar... an app entitled "Places I've Pooped"! 

Basically when you open the app, it's a map that shows your current location.  There is a "Bombs Away" option so if you have to "drop the kids off at the pool" so to speak, you can "Bombs Away" and it plops (hahahaha!) a pin on the map. 

So since I downloaded (hahahaha!) the app, I haven't been too many places.  I am looking forward to it in the future, though.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago.  I'm at lunch with my fiend Jennifer and I'm telling her about my new app.  She's had an iPhone for years, but only really uses it as a phone (imagine!)  We don't normally discuss "dispensing some soft serve" at lunch, but this day it was appropriate because I had needed to, umm..."catch up on some reading," when she called to say she was leaving to pick me up.  She asked if I wanted to make a deposit at the restaurant, and while I would have loved having another pin on my map, I felt it could wait until my return to the office.  I complained, though, that it would not result in another pin as you can only pin a certain place once.

As she's pulling into our parking lot to drop me off, we notice the port-o-potty sitting in the parking lot (there will be some workmen, eventually, putting a new roof on the building, but first they had to make sure that they could take care of business). 

The insane idea hit me that maybe I could get a second pin, this one for just outside of the building!  I did not, however.  Ever since that summer that I cleaned the bathrooms and "pit toilets" at the State Park, I try to avoid port-o's.  But the idea struck me as so funny that I had to take a photo of it.

Now, unbeknownst to me, one of the attorneys is looking out her window and seeing me take a picture of the big blue box and when I return to my desk, after "giving birth to a politician," I find that she has emailed me questioning me as to why I was taking the photo.  This was when I was inspired to resume my blogging.  I just knew that I had more to share with my fans.

Oh, and for your entertainment.. Euphemisms For Pooping

Oh, Bartender!?

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a lightweight when it comes to drinking.  I can (and have) gotten tipsy on iced tea.. it depends more on the company for me than what I'm drinking.

In fact, since my surgery back in April 2011, all totaled, the alcohol I've drank (drunk?) would equal less than one beer...  which I would never drink even if I could.  blah..

So I find it interesting that in the past couple of months, I've found not one, but three new favorite drinks.  I thought I'd share.

First, we have Fireball Whiskey - when I Googled it for a picture, I discovered that it's all the rage over social media (depending on how old that HuffPo article was).  Who knew!?  So last December, my good friend, I'll call her "Lola" so as to lessen any potential embarrassment on her behalf, although I truly intend none by writing this..) invited me out to dinner with her and a friend from out of town (I don't remember her name, but I'm thinking it was "Lola", too, but to lessen potential confusion, I'm going to call her Sue).  After dinner, we went back to her apartment for hot cocoa and cupcakes.  (I know how to live it up, don't I?!)  Anyway, Lola's mother also came over for cocoa and cupcakes.  Now picture the scene, me and Lola, both good Baptist girls, and her mother, a good Baptist mom, and Sue...imagine my surprise when Lola brings out a bottle of Fireball Whiskey saying that it's fabulous in hot cocoa.  (And Lola, if you're reading this, it wasn't a bad surprise, it was just... surprise.) And it WAS great in hot cocoa.  As I sat there sipping mine, I envisioned me, in front of my fireplace, drinking fireball cocoa... trying to keep Cleo out of it. 

Consequently, on Valentine's Day (and I remember it was V-day because it was my Uncle Doug's funeral and we were there to pick up a meat tray for the funeral home), I went to Schnuck's and discovered that not only did they have it - who knew they sold "hard" liquor - but it was on sale, so I bought me a bottle.  Honestly I tend to forget it's there; but, on a couple occasions during this past very cold winter, when the fireplace was toasting up the 'do, Rose made her some cocoa and it was good.  Two thumbs up!

Our next contender I do not have a picture of... although maybe I can Google one..  yeah, sorry.  I tried but nothing fit.  Anyway, it is a frozen Long Island Iced Tea - I was invited to a surprise 60th birthday party for my friend Annette and it was at a local "Mexican" (i.e., not really) restaurant.  When I got there, several people from her office were there and they had already ordered frozen LIIT's.  That sounded fabulous so I decided to try one.  It was the perfect consistency of a frozen Coke like we used to get back when I was a kid at the St. Joe K-Mart before it closed and it tasted like iced tea...perfect.  (I have been told by the Sibs that LIIT's are the best and when made right, you can't taste the alcohol.)  Didn't taste like there was any alcohol in it at all.  Unfortunately, with my modified tum, I'm not sure how much alcohol I can handle or how much what I do drink will affect me, so when, after drinking about 1/10 of the mug, I started feeling nice and warm inside, I gave the rest of it to someone else at the table.  I had to drive home after all.   Again, two thumbs up... and let me just say that if anyone wants to take me to the Hacienda, and be my designated driver (duh), I'd love to have another one.

Lastly comes )what chronologically, if we're talking when I bought it, should come before the LIIT, but if we're talking about when I finally drank it, it's after...) a Bud Light Cran-Brrr-Rita.  I do like me some cranberry-flavored things and they tend to come out during the holiday season.  The bad thing is that it sat in the fridge for months before I drank it.  That's bad because when I went to the store recently to see about buying some more of the cranberry ones, they didn't have any - all they have now are mango and ...  ??  peach, maybe?  Seems I they are only out for the holidays, so next holiday season, Rose will have to stock up on these!  Again, two thumbs up!

My very final new drink, which contains no alcohol, (but I could see adding a wee bit of Fireball, maybe?) is coffee cocoa.  I am not a coffee drinker.  In fact, I really don't even like coffee-flavored things; Werther's does have a nice coffee carmel candy that is good though.  My mother will tell you that during the nine months of her otherwise blissful pregnancy with me, she couldn't even stomach the smell of coffee!  I've tried to taste it, but if the cup got closer than, say, 6 inches to my nose, I'd feel the urge to wretch!  Blah!  Anyway, since the tum modification, I can't drink sodas.  I'm not sure what would happen, maybe my tum would 'splode!  But as it's the only rule I was given which I have not broke, I try to keep away from the Diet Dews.  This severely reduces my options for caffeine intake.  I've honestly been reduced to taking Excedrine in the mornings just for the caffeine.  (Does that make me a drug addict? Hmm...)   So, one day I'm in the business office at work talking to Barb and she mentions that she drinks coffee cocoa - she makes her hot cocoa packet, only with coffee instead of water.  My brain started percolating (get it? :) and I tried it this morning and it wasn't too nasty.  I added a little more cream and sugar to it, but once I did, it went down pretty smooth!  It may take a little perfecting, and I still have to work on drinking my water, but I can now say I'm a coffee drinker... or at least I have, at the grand age of 45, drunk my first cup of coffee and I haven't tossed it back up!  Yet.  Baby steps, my friends, baby steps!