Friday, July 30, 2010

Recovery is a Never Ending Process

This recovery stuff is getting old. It’s now over a year since I got hit by a car while biking. I’m still limping around.


I’ve gone to physical therapy. I’ve had surgery, twice. I do daily exercises specifically for my injury recovery, as well as for fun.  Each person I see about recovery, adds to my exercise list and nobody ever takes anything away.  I’ve made my own choices to remove some exercises, or reduced the repetitions, or cut them down to a few times a week instead of daily. But the list continues to grow.


I must be wearing a sign: Give this Woman More Exercises to Do. In the past two weeks, my massage therapist has had me enroll in a Feldenkrais class, and given me an exercise that involves lying on the floor and pushing the side of my foot up against a pulled-out desk drawer.  My chiropractor has given me exercises with a foam roller.  And my new Feldenkrais teacher gives me exercises too.  Plus, I’ve become fascinated with flower sticks and I’ve added them to my exercise regime, but I consider it playtime, like jumping on my trampoline.


Then there’s the fact that my mom recently fell and cracked her wrist.  So, I’ve been doing research on senior balance.  More exercises to add to the list.  Stand on one foot with your eyes closed. Once you master that, try doing it on a towel.  Arm-leg opposite lifts from a hands-and-knees position, yoga tree pose – the list, like all the exercise liss, is endless.  And since I don’t want to fall and crack my wrist, I’ve added some of them to my list.  My mom exercises a lot, too.  I think that’s why she didn’t crack her hip when she fell.  She’s 87. 
  
Now that my dog is dead, I imagined I’d have more time. I was planning to put my eye exercises back into my daily routine. In the year since the accident, my eyesight has gotten weaker and I need reading glasses sometimes.  I may sneak the eye exercises back in anyway – and leave out what?  If I go to the closer gym, I don’t have to bike there, and that will save me more than an hour a day. But then I won’t be biking, which I enjoy.  I can skip exercise classes a couple of days a week.  That might do it.


But there’s the fact that I’m trying to start a new business, and that takes time. Plus I’ve got the clients from my old business who didn’t leave while I was in no shape to work on their computers.  They demand my time – and they pay me.  Just because I’m in rehab doesn’t mean that I can spend all my time spending money, and doing exercises and no time earning money.


I’m getting grouchy about this never ending process – or more precisely, the never ending pain.  The 2nd surgery got the metal out of my shoulder. I was able to wear a backpack on my recent trip to Kentucky.  I am getting better.  But I am impatient to get my life back.  And my friends are grouching at me for being impatient.  And that means I need to work on my thoughts.


I can see where being impatient is useless, like being angry.  I need to find a new way of looking at the world.  And maybe that is what this is all about.

Recovery is a Never Ending Process

This recovery stuff is getting old. It’s now over a year since I got hit by a car while biking. I’m still limping around.


I’ve gone to physical therapy. I’ve had surgery, twice. I do daily exercises specifically for my injury recovery, as well as for fun.  Each person I see about recovery, adds to my exercise list and nobody ever takes anything away.  I’ve made my own choices to remove some exercises, or reduced the repetitions, or cut them down to a few times a week instead of daily. But the list continues to grow.


I must be wearing a sign: Give this Woman More Exercises to Do. In the past two weeks, my massage therapist has had me enroll in a Feldenkrais class, and given me an exercise that involves lying on the floor and pushing the side of my foot up against a pulled-out desk drawer.  My chiropractor has given me exercises with a foam roller.  And my new Feldenkrais teacher gives me exercises too.  Plus, I’ve become fascinated with flower sticks and I’ve added them to my exercise regime, but I consider it playtime, like jumping on my trampoline.


Then there’s the fact that my mom recently fell and cracked her wrist.  So, I’ve been doing research on senior balance.  More exercises to add to the list.  Stand on one foot with your eyes closed. Once you master that, try doing it on a towel.  Arm-leg opposite lifts from a hands-and-knees position, yoga tree pose – the list, like all the exercise liss, is endless.  And since I don’t want to fall and crack my wrist, I’ve added some of them to my list.  My mom exercises a lot, too.  I think that’s why she didn’t crack her hip when she fell.  She’s 87. 
  
Now that my dog is dead, I imagined I’d have more time. I was planning to put my eye exercises back into my daily routine. In the year since the accident, my eyesight has gotten weaker and I need reading glasses sometimes.  I may sneak the eye exercises back in anyway – and leave out what?  If I go to the closer gym, I don’t have to bike there, and that will save me more than an hour a day. But then I won’t be biking, which I enjoy.  I can skip exercise classes a couple of days a week.  That might do it.


But there’s the fact that I’m trying to start a new business, and that takes time. Plus I’ve got the clients from my old business who didn’t leave while I was in no shape to work on their computers.  They demand my time – and they pay me.  Just because I’m in rehab doesn’t mean that I can spend all my time spending money, and doing exercises and no time earning money.


I’m getting grouchy about this never ending process – or more precisely, the never ending pain.  The 2nd surgery got the metal out of my shoulder. I was able to wear a backpack on my recent trip to Kentucky.  I am getting better.  But I am impatient to get my life back.  And my friends are grouching at me for being impatient.  And that means I need to work on my thoughts.


I can see where being impatient is useless, like being angry.  I need to find a new way of looking at the world.  And maybe that is what this is all about.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cutting the End Off a Roast

I mentioned to my massage therapist that I need to start thinking differently about what pictures to take now that I have a digital camera.  I see things and remark on them but I don’t pull out my camera because if it was film, I wouldn’t waste it – but now it’s just electrons – the picture is stored in electrons. The battery is charged with electrons.  I never have to pay for developing or printing.  But I go home find myself wishing I’d taken more pictures because my brain is still thinking in terms of film.


My massage therapist said, “My mother told me about putting a roast in a pan...”


I interrupted her.  “That story did not happen to your mother.”


“She said it did.”


“That story has been going around the internet for at least 20 years.”


“My mother told me this story over 20 years ago and I don’t think you’ve heard it.”


“That story has been going around the motivational talk circuits for over 40 years” (Okay I was making up that number – I honestly don’t remember the first time I heard it.)  “And I don’t think it happened to anybody, anyway.”


By this point my massage therapist was looking at me as if I was either unbelievably rude or crazy. She dug her fingers into a particularly sore spot on my leg.


So, I said, “I know how big my pans are and I’d never buy a roast that was too big for my pans, or if I did, it would only happen once, and I’d be careful after that..”


“Oh, you do know this story.”  She looked shocked.


For those of you who don’t know this story, it starts with a young husband who comes into the kitchen to see his new bride.  She is in the process of cutting the end off a roast.  He asks her why.  She says she doesn’t know, but that’s what her mother always did.  The young husband suggests they call her mom.


Mom says she doesn’t know why, but that’s what her mother did.


They call grandma.  Grandma says she cuts the ends off her roasts so they’ll fit in her pan.


The point of this story is supposed to be that we do things that may have made sense once upon a time, but that are no longer useful.


I think it’s a story made up by someone who never cooked.


Roasts don’t come in one size and pans in another.  Roasts are squishy. If the roast is marginally too big for the pan, you just have to squish it and maybe turn it on a diagonal to make it fit. The story presupposes that a roast is like a block of wood that must fit precisely into the pan.


Meat is expensive.  If for some reason a cook did cut off the end of the roast, she’d put that piece up against the side of the roast to make sure it didn’t go to waste.


And if grandma ever did get a roast that was too big for her pan (unlikely given the price of meat) she, like me would be careful next time she bought a roast, or she’d buy a bigger pan. She would not make a lifetime habit of buying roasts too big for her pan and discarding the end piece.


“But my mom told this story as if it happened to her.”


“Call your mom and ask her if it really happened, or if she was just retelling a story she’d heard.”


My massage therapist looked at me with new respect.  “I don’t think anybody ever thought about that story before.  You’re right – it doesn’t make sense.” She found another sore spot on my leg.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

What is a Bedspread?

A guest blog by Jean Lorrah

Reminders of age  occur in the most unlikely situations!

Yesterday I was doing my weekly shopping at Wal-Mart. I had just remodeled my guest room, but realized that the naked bed didn't look complete. So I put "bedspread" on my shopping list, my only concern being whether I could find one that would not clash with the antique quilt I have hung on the wall. I headed to the bedding department.

There were sheets. There were blankets. There were "beds in bags" (sheets, pillowcases, and a comfort). There were quilts. There were comforts. But I could not find the bedspreads.

So, I asked a Wal-Mart Associate for help. She was not exceptionally young, maybe early 30's, so we should have been able to communicate. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Can you please tell me where the bedspreads are?
Associate: The what?
Me: The bedspreads.
Associate: You mean sheets?
Me: No, bedspreads. Something to go over the sheets.
Associate: Oh--over here.
(She shows me the quilts and comforters.)
Me: No, I just want a bedspread.
Associate: Oh--you mean a blanket.
(She shows me the blankets.)
Me: You really don't know what a bedspread is? It goes on top of the sheets and blankets to cover the bed.
Associate: (Stares at me as if I were speaking Greek.)

Well, a thorough search of the bedding department turned up no bedspreads. Apparently this bedroom staple has disappeared from American culture, replaced by comforts and comfort covers. That I can believe.

What I find hard to believe is that the word "bedspread" has disappeared as well! Here was a thirty-something woman who had clearly never heard the word before. She was young enough to be my daughter, but not my granddaughter. How could such a common household word  disappear in a single generation?

I'll put a comfort on the bed in the guest room and not worry about decor--but I do worry about communication between generations when not  only do manufacturers stop making something, but even its name is forgotten within a single generation. Language is not supposed to change that fast--words are always being added, but the old words have always lingered in the past. When I was a kid we had a refrigerator, but I knew what an icebox was. We had a record player, but I knew what a victrola was.

Will today's kids not remember what videotape is? At age 30 will they pause to wonder where the phrase "caught on tape" could possibly come from, when video is actually caught on memory chips (or something generations newer by that time)?

When I was thirty-something, we talked  about the "generation gap," complaining that parents and children did not understand one another socially or culturally. Have we actually reached the point at which they speak different languages?

Jean Lorrah's own blog is http://www.houseofkeon.blogspot.com/ , and she provides daily tips on writing at http://twitter.com/tipsonwriting .

Friday, July 23, 2010

Small Movements and Imagination

Feldenkrais isn’t what I’d really call exercise.  Yes I do it at the gym. But it’s more flexing and wiggling than exercise. Nobody sweats unless the room is warm.  If a movement hurts, the instructions are to make the movement smaller.


I’m used to lifting free weights, stretching large muscles, using all my strength to pedal a bike or propel myself through water (swim).  What’s with these tiny movements that require no strength at all?


When I first started lifting free weights (read soup cans) repetitively, I thought it was boring and difficult.  I couldn’t believe how quickly my triceps got tired just moving a 1 lb soup can away from my body.  Now I can heft 6 lb dumbbells with no trouble, and when I want a tougher workout, I pick up the 8 lb dumbbells.


Feldenkrais is complicated – not boring.  There is no reward. There’s no progress to see. No weight to watch, no asana to feel the alignment improve.  It’s just tiny movements. And you concentrate not only on the tiny movements, but also on not moving anything else. And not cheating by rotating a joint, or shifting weight to a different part of the body.  Just follow simple instructions (eyes closed) and do NOTHING else.


So, I sat there with my eyes closed, trying to lift my right hip slightly off the chair. I can imagine what that might be like. I can feel some muscles that ought to be able to move it in the intended direction. My left foot tilts to the side. I correct that. I try again. I feel like I’m meeting my body for the first time and I have to learn to program it, like a computer that has developed glitches.


Moshe Feldenkrais developed his method after refusing surgery for a soccer injury. He calls his technique Awareness Through Movement.  I can’t say after one class that I’m aware of anything more than knowing more precisely where I hurt and what I can’t do and how my body tries to compensate for what I can’t do.  The premise here is that if I persistently work with what I can do, even my imagination of what it would be like if I could do it, that my body will gain ability and mobility.


Having just had the 2nd surgery on my collar bone (to remove the metal) I think it would be great if I can heal my hip with small movements and imagination.


Here’s a link for a basic book on the Feldenkrais method:


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Odd Conversations with my Massage Therapist

My massage therapist has become bossy, as if she has the right to tell me how to live my life.


“Maybe you shouldn’t exercise so much.”


“I’m exercising an hour less per day now that my dog is dead and I can’t walk him.”


“Still, maybe you shouldn’t exercise so much at this stage in your recovery.”


She knows I bike all over town, to clients’ homes to work on their computers, to the gym for yoga and Pilates and swimming. And my living room is a mini-gym with my tramoline and free weights, and exercise video collection.


Then she happily told me about how she spent 4 hours the day before crawling around an the floor with her new ferret. 


“That’s exercise,” I told he triumphantly.


“It’s not organized,” she said, as if she had me on a technical point.


“Who said exercise has to be organized?”


She gave up.  Then she said, “I quit riding my bike because I can’t afford to be hurt.”


Okay, I thought. That’s one way to look at it.  But before I could say anything, she started talking about the whiplash injury she got when her car was in an accident.  She had a headache for 3 years. She had days when she couldn’t work. Even today, she has to be careful not to bounce or the headache will come back.


This time I decided there was no point in responding. If she can’t see that cars get in accidents too, I’m not going to tell her. 


Her final bit of wisdom was to check out a Feldenkrais class at a gym near me.  I called the gym and I'll be checking it out tomorrow. 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mystery House and Other Weird Stuff in Kentucky

For this year’s vacation, we decided to see Kentucky.  We got the book Weird Kentucky.


Weird Kentucky: Your Travel Guide to Kentucky's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets


The weird book people have books for most states. 


Mammoth Cave is beyond weird.  It’s amazing. It’s gorgeous. I couldn’t see the whole thing if I had nothing else to do in my lifetime.





Near Mammoth Cave is a Mystery House.  Dozens of these Optical Illusion Houses were built during the Great Depression. Most of them are on the west coast.  I was delighted to find one in the midwest.  


The first several rooms were art galleries, surreal posters by Escher, Dali and other geniuses of fooling the eye.  One room was filled with paintings that glowed in ultra violet light.  


In the room after that, nothing was straight or level. Water flowed up hill. Balls rolled up hill. And it took major concentration to walk what appeared to be a straight line.  Corners aren’t square, vertical is not straight up and level is sloped.  Here’s a picture of a man who appears to be leaning forward at an impossible angle, but he’s actually standing straight in a skewed room.





In another room, our guide directed a short person to go to the right side of the room and a tall person to go to the left.





Then she instructed them to trade places.





In the next room, one tiny section of floor appeared to be a steep slope, but our guide assured us that this floor was the only level section in the whole building.  I couldn’t resist, and placed the towel I was carrying on the floor and stood on my head.  It took several tries because I felt disoriented while attempting the inversion.  Perhaps you can see why.







After that we entered a mirror fun house, and finally we had to choose from 3 doors to exit. Only one of them worked, and it wasn’t the one with the light seeping through.


The Mystery House is near Mammoth Cave.


Big Mike's Rock House
566 Old Mammoth Cave Road
Cave City, KY 42127
270-773-5144
Fax: 270-773-2923
E-mail: BigMike@scrtc.com


http://www.mammothcave.com/big_mikes.htm


You can get in free with a coupon.





I highly recommend supporting the store. They have a good selection of postcards and fridge magnets, as well as a huge collection of unusual rocks.  There’s also a tip jar at the exit to the Mystery House.  The guide deserves a tip.


Between nature and imagination, KY definitely qualifies as a great weird vacation.  We didn’t even get to all the weird spots we wanted to see.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Yoga with Props

I’m just back from vacation in Kentucky.  More about that in future blogs.  My friend Jean (who sometimes blogs in this space) arranged for me to attend yoga classes at her wellness center.


The teacher asked if I’d done yoga before.  I told her I go 2 or 3 times a week.  She waved her arms at the assortment of props (blankets, soft bricks, straps) and said, “Then you won’t need these.”


“Yes I will,” I explained.  “I’m in rehab yoga.”


Blank stares.  


I took 4 blankets, 2 soft bricks and a strap, as well as a sticky mat.


The teacher’s eyes focused on the blankets.


“I need to sit on the blankets during sitting exercises. My hip got hurt when I was hit by a car.  We call it the Princess on the Pea position.”


None of the other students used props.  The teacher didn’t demonstrate how to use the props.


Suddenly I was a curiosity.  I sat on blankets.  I put a brick under one hip during pigeon. I use a strap when I can’t reach my feet.  


When it came time for shivasana (final relaxation), the other students wanted blankets.  I passed mine out to nearby students.  


“You’re willing to share?”


“I only needed them for the sitting exercises.”


After the 2nd class, the teacher said, “I wish they’d send the yoga teachers for rehab training.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Clone by Any Other Name

Lois is a fairly unusual name.  In my high school of 4000 students, there was only one other Lois and I didn't seek her out.  I hear about another Lois now and then, but I don't seem to run into them.  These days they are mostly in their 60's and 90's.  I guess it's a generational name. 

I've come across the Lois Club on the web. Women named Lois travel together, eat together, and if their husbands come along (women named Lois tend to have long-term marriages) they wear nametags that say Husband of Lois.  According to the website, women named Lois have a lot in common, and enjoy each other's company.

I'm on vacation in KY.  Here, I finally met one!  She's in her 70's.  Her hair is cut in the same style as mine. She gardens, growing the same vegetables I grow. She has a rock collection -- bigger and better than mine. She also had a broken shoulder bone in an accident. She also enjoys crafts, and physical fitness.

Did our parents see something in us that inspired them to name us Lois?  Or did being called Lois influence our lives?

There is no way to design an experiment to find out.  But I feel like I've just met a clone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Eggs - Genetic and Otherwise

My grandtwins, fruit of the fruit of my womb, don’t like my magic.  I had high hopes for the egg bag trick.  One of them refused to watch, and the other one grabbed the pretty wooden box that I keep it in, and tried to break it.  Okay, I admit it is a puzzle box. It is designed to prevent opening by the impatient.  And my grandtwins are nothing if not impatient.  


I’ve bought them simpler puzzle boxes. They know the art of gentle pushing and sliding will eventually open the box.  But my grand daughter was not gentle.  My daughter was not willing to stop her, so I had to stop the trick and take the box from her.  Then I felt the need to apologize and promise never to bring anything breakable again.  Then she tried to rip the egg bag.


I don’t just do the trick. I tell a story. I thought it was a good story about the woman who sewed the bag and her pet goose who wants any egg that goes into the bag.  The goose even has magic words.  “Oh-wah Ta-goo Siam” that make the egg disappear. The assistant must say her own magic words “honk honk” pretending she is a goose, to get the egg back.


It was a dud.  I wondered if maybe I should give up on magic.


But on the way home, at the airport, I saw a screaming five-year-old.  I offered to do magic with him.  He was curious and cooperative.  He needed a bit of cajoling to say “honk, honk,” but when he said it and the egg appeared, he was thrilled.  “I didn’t even need a secret pocket!  How did it work?”


“You did it,” I told him. “You did magic.”


He restored my faith in chidren.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

More Muscles I Didn’t Know I Had in Yoga

I got the screws out of my collar bone a month ago.  My shoulder is still sore, but with careful positioning of the straps, I was able to wear my backpack (school book bag) on a trip to California to visit my grandchildren.  I don’t check luggage. If it won’t fit into my back pack, it doesn’t come. That includes exercise equipment and magic tricks.


I can now rotate my arms to turn my palms upwards.  My left shoulder (which had the screws and plates) has greater range of motion.  The surgeon told me I can do anything that doesn’t hurt.  He also said it will be a year until I feel normal.  I’m supposed to avoid falling for a year because the bones are weak where the holes are.


Last year, when my yoga class when through the cycle of teaching the hand stand, my arm was in a sling.  I couldn’t even try a modification.  This year, I asked, “Where do I start?”


The teacher had me put my hands between her feet (which were about 18 inches apart), lift one leg and push off with the other. She guided my feet to the wall, and held me up.  “I can’t do this!” I shouted. My left shoulder screamed and felt like it would give out. I was afraid of falling – not just because I’d hit my head, but because I could break that collar bone again and have to start over! “I can’t do this!” I repeated. “Please help me down!”


It was probably just seconds, but it felt like an eternity. “Please help me down! I can’t do this!”  Everybody else in the class could do it.  Even the women who can’t stand on their heads. Finally, I felt my teacher lower my feet to the floor.  “I had surgery on my shoulder last month.”


“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know.”


It can’t be that hard.  All the other women in class could do it. Okay, so I’m older than they are – this pose must call for muscles I haven’t used in over a year.  I need to find the exercises that will strengthen those muscles before I try it again.


I can do anything that doesn’t hurt.  That’s the rule. That’s the guideline for the rest of my life.  Now to convince the cars on the road not to hurt me!


As an aside – I get bragging rights.  When I was sitting in the airport, a man across from me in the waiting lounge was regaling other passengers with the story of how he broke his collar bone when his bike slipped on some wet leaves.  I kept my mouth shut, but I felt like I deserved bragging rights.  It took a 2-ton car to break my collar bone! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Why Me? Why Not Me? Part 8




This is the latest in Alison's adventures in treatment for bladder cancer.

WHY ME? WHY NOT ME?

VIII. Reprieve

I know it has been many a long week since I have added to this account. I found out the cancer had not been vanquished by the BCG treatments on April 1 (and wrote about it in installment VII); then I had day surgery on April 9 to remove the tumor (again) and look at my kidney. It was as before, the lying there, the IV insertion, the waiting, the wheeling, the waiting. I had spinal anaesthesia again so I could see what was going on but I was also very sleepy from a sedative, Versed probably. I was much more out of it than the time before.


Then, after the surgery, the resident told me that they had washed my bladder out with some chemotherapy. Real chemotherapy, the kind that makes your hair fall out and makes you throw up and get weak and all that. Except, putting it inside an intact bladder – “intravesically” – means that none of those awful side effects happen. That bladder is a tough little softball, that’s for sure. They put it in, let it slosh around for awhile, an hour maybe, then I guess the next time I went to the bathroom it came out. Or maybe they took it out with a tube, I don’t know.

I also didn’t know they were going to do this.

Odd. I didn’t like that they didn’t tell me this was going to happen. Looking back and reading over my account here, I think maybe my doctor thought I might argue with him (“Just take the sucker out,”) and he knew best, so he didn’t bother to tell me. Maybe he just didn’t want the agita, as the Italians and Spanish say. (Agita = literally heartburn, figuratively hassle, fuss; pronounced AH-jituh. A great word to have handy.)

I wonder if I would have instructed him NOT to give me chemotherapy? I don’t think I would have. I think I likely would have said, oh well, okay, maybe it’s worth a shot. I had read about it earlier and remembered the statistics weren’t so good (fewer than 20% respond, something like that), but I was an exception before with the BCG so maybe I would be on the good side of the statistics this time. I guess I understand why he didn’t tell me, maybe, but I still think he should have.

Thing is, I am not always a good patient. In fact, quite often I am not a “good patient.” I question, I research, I have opinions. I don’t always do what I’m told, or do it as fast as they want me to. It’s hard because I really want a doctor I like and am not afraid to go see, who won’t scold me if I don’t agree or don’t agree right away. Sometimes I think I know more than the average person; certainly when it comes to psych issues [my field] I know MUCH more than the average M.D. and some would say I know more than a lot of psychiatrists. Well I used to, anyway, back when I was working in the field. So I have a tendency to go through doctors until I find one I can stand who seems to be able to stand me. I have had no problems I know of with my cancer doc, but maybe he had a problem with me. He is a very charming sort of fellow and easily the kind of person who would sidestep conflict and rather beg forgiveness than ask permission.

Anyway. I had this chemotherapy, called mitomycin, actually a form of intense, toxic antibiotic. No reaction to it that I noticed. I went home catheter-free and was instructed to call with problems. In a few days I did have some burning sensations and bleeding, so they gave me an antibiotic to take for a few days, and it cleared up.

And then, dear reader, I had to wait for 8 weeks. Eight weeks! From April 9 to June 10! And THAT is why I have not been writing. There has been nothing to say. This cancer business involves a lot of waiting.

Oh, I got invited to this cancer support group for women – women because it started out a few years ago as a breast cancer group. It is very very nice. One of the things we talked about was if there comes a day when you feel safe from cancer. The consensus was no: “The day you know you are not going to die of cancer is the day the bus runs you over.” So the wait is life-long, if you decide to focus on it, which I mostly have not. People ask me solicitously how I am, and then I remember I have cancer. (If that sounds like denial, so be it!)

So June 10 finally came and I went in again for another cystoscopy in the office. And this time, THIS time, I had a nice clean white bladder all over. With veins and arteries visible in the white walls, but no flowers, no seaweed, no velvety rocks. It was quite a sight to see. My doctor did point out a small red bump at the top, kind of pinkish really, and I said, “What does that look like to you?” He said, “It looks like a flat tumor.” I had read enough to know that would not be good, but – meh. I had a nice clean bladder compared to before. He scheduled me for one more surgery, to take biopsies all over my bladder’s inner surface (top, bottom, right, left, front, back) and special attention to the pink bump, for the following week.

To be continued…..
 

 Previous installments:







Thursday, July 1, 2010

Your Grouchiness

Recently my friend, the ferret owner, who has been married for ten years commented, “I’ve never heard a couple with as many pet names for each other as you and your husband use.”


“What do you and your husband call each other?” I asked?


“Honey pie, sugar, other foodstuffs.”


“Is that code for another kind of hunger?” I teased.


She laughed.  “He’s sweet.”


I remembered that my parents used to sign notes to each other, H.B.  As a child, I guessed the initials stood for Honey Bunny.  After all, that’s what Dagwood and Blondie called each other in the Sunday comics.


My parents insisted it was a secret code and refused to tell me if I’d guessed correctly.  In retrospect, considering how their marriage ended, the initials probably stood for something far less complimentary.  


My nicknames for my husband, the alien, are no secret.  Snoo and Snurg (both variations on snuggle.)  Then there are the nicknames based on his skills.  When I want him to find something, he’s Boy-tective.  If he puts generous amounts of cayenne on his dinner, he’s Dragon. When he finds room in the refrigerator for extra veggies that just had to come home from the farmer’s market, he’s Space Wizard.  (His mother was furious with me when we got married because I took her fridge organizer.)


These are all positive names and I was clearly boring Ferret Owner Friend.  So, I told her what I call him when he’s in a bad mood:  Your Grouchiness.


“I’m going to borrow that one,” FOF said.