Category Archives: health

Meet…Lumi

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We got a kitten. I wasn’t ready, but Siamese Lokii was pining badly for his buddy Spot. As we all were. But he was crying all the time, and eating the dog toys even more than usual. I won’t say he was clingy, because the pair always shared me together and he didn’t really know what to do with us humans, when he didn’t have his brother with him to show him what to do.


It didn’t take long before he became big brother to Lumi. My legs, by the way. 


Good boys.


Sleepy kitten. 


Sleepy kitten with big paws. Do you see the glitter? His toes are sparkling silver.


And his nose is sparkling gold. 


Kissable little boop-nose. And he lets me kiss it. 


Those eyes. 


When he first wakes up from a long nap, he loves to talk about it. He still has the tiny kitten voice, so I wake to him sleepily coming up to my face and ‘meeping’ to me. Then he licks my nose, or eyes. Usually my eyes! I think this picture gives an indication of what he might look like all grown up.

Lumi (Finnish for snow) is a lynx seal point snow Bengal. His markings will darken, but the white will stay white. I didn’t get him for his looks, but his personality. I couldn’t imagine life without a Bengal in it. He has been such a little love, I know I did right. I didn’t replace Spot, but made a new place in my heart to be filled. 

This n That

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I’m not depressed. I could be? But actually I’m positive at the moment. I had a good Friday this week. A text that made me so proud and happy; a thing I did at work that was very appreciated and I’m quite proud of. A notch tighter on my belt in the morning when I got dressed for work. My new-found love for playing bass guitar!

It’s not like me to focus on positive things, and it feels weird. I’m just not that kind of person. I look sideways at things: looking for the shadow that is, in my experience, hiding in wait to bite.

But maybe I can learn, still, to see the silver lining that mom said was in every cloud?


My good old man Spot has a new problem – this time his guts. A vet visit came away with this cat bed, that he chose himself, and a cocktail of drugs in liquid form that he HATED. Seriously, I’ve never seen a cat gag at the idea of something being put into his mouth before. It didn’t work, either. Wednesday he goes back in for a biopsy of his intestines. I suppose the vets wouldn’t even suggest it if he wasn’t robust enough to handle the procedure. The cocktail did make him feel better, anyway – he’s as playful and cuddly as you could want out of an old man kitty.


Lokii also loves the new bed. But Spot has set down clear rules that if he is in the bed, it is his territory and Lokes can just piss off! Poor daft Lokii thinks they can share…nope!

So the silver lining is that we bought a cat bed that the cats actually like. It might be a first!

Reblog: Gory Story Time!

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I don’t think I’ve ever reblogged one of my own posts before. But some unknow person was perusing my blog today, and found this. After a re-read, I’m pretty happy with it and want to share it again.

Hardly anyone reads the old crap, right? And yeah, I’m tagging this as humour for the wayI wrote it, and that fact I survived to laugh about it. 

Content warning – lots of blood, and possibly sexual misconduct by a doctor.

This story is about the first time (that I know of) that I almost died.

“When I was 16, I kept getting colds and bronchitis all the time. It got annoying. So my parents and I talked it over and decided that I should finally have my tonsils out. I was sort of old for the surgery, but I have been a lot less prone to that sort of illness since having them out.

I don’t remember much about the surgery itself. I know they made me take my shirt off, and I clearly recall my surgeon saying to the others in the room as he moved the sheet down (why!?!?) to expose my chest, that I was “very mature.” That bothered me for years. I was ashamed to even speak about it. It felt like visual group rape. I’ve often wondered: did he/they give me a suggestion to not talk about it when I was all the way under the anaesthetic? Because after I told someone the first time, it got easier until it didn’t bother me any more.

What will bother me until the day I die is that not that he was a bit scuzzy and inappropriate, but that he cut too far down on the right side. Really, really far down. I have a pocket between my tongue and what should be throat-meat, but isn’t. Quite often, food that is small and hard gets stuck in there (peanuts and popcorn shells are the worst) and the only way to get it out is to fish it out with my index finger or suck it out while making vile-sounding slurping snotty noises. Thanks, doc.

I haven’t even gotten into the disgusting part yet. Honestly, it gets worse!

We were given a slip of paper with post-operation instructions. It said: ‘about a week after your surgery, the incision may open up and bleed. This is nothing to worry about if the amount of blood is a teacup or less.’

What the leaflet failed to mention is what to do if it was more than a teacup.

I have a mental picture of when it started: a combination of my actual view and a sort of distanced movie of where I was and what I was doing. I was outside, at the end of our driveway, right by one of the odd, light grey, cinderblock-and-concrete-stucco pillars that lined the road in front of our house. There was a small popcorn tree behind me, and I was facing toward our red-clay driveway. I was talking to one of the two beautiful, white long-haired cats that ‘belonged’ to a neighbour (my grandmother adopted one later, the other was a tom and went feral). I leaned over to pet the kitty, who had trotted across the street to see me, and suddenly I had a strange tickle in my throat.

I opened my mouth to talk to the kitty and blood sprayed on to the driveway.

I can no longer recall if I ran right inside, or gave myself a moment or two to figure out what was going on. I’m not prone to panic, and blood has never bothered me, so I’m guessing I didn’t scream for mom and run inside immediately. When I did go in, we found the leaflet and read it. One of us grabbed a smallish coffee cup (no tiny teacups in our house) and when I had filled that up, mom brought out a massive, three-quart, square Tupperware container from the cupboard. The very same one my sister and I had puked into for years when we were small and very sick. It was so deep there was little chance of splash-back, you see. Mom was practical like that.

Even better, this thing had measurements on the inside of the bowl so we could see just how much blood I was losing. The measurements were in quarts. We dumped in the coffee cup-full of blood, in the interest of accuracy. It had jelled already – perhaps due to the properties of saliva, perhaps that’s what blood does anyway – and it slopped into the bowl, keeping the shape of the cup. That was when I first realised that what was going on wasn’t “normal.”

The spray was at the very back of my throat (probably coming from the right where Dr. Inappropriate had cut too deep; it directed to the left). My mouth was constantly full, and I swallowed quite a lot without meaning to. That didn’t bother me, either. What did bother me is when it finally stopped, and I discovered that I had clots of blood everywhere inside my mouth – the worst were stuck in the top surfaces of my teeth the way potato chips do sometimes. I had to pick them out with my tongue, and swallow or spit.

The bleeding had stopped, so I grabbed the relevant Encyclopaedia Brittanica off the shelf to see how much blood someone of my age and size should have inside them. I’d lost almost a quart, according to the awesome Tupperware bowl. Brittanica said I should have about 4 quarts (a quart being about 950ml). Current Googling gives me a lower number.

In any case I was fine, it had stopped, no panic, and we’d all learned something interesting.

Then a short while later it opened up again. We rang the doctor, and he said to go to the hospital. I kept spitting into the container – good data for the hospital, right? Before we left, it had stopped again. I had closer to two quarts in the bowl, and I now knew that wasn’t a safe amount.

It was a small Florida town, and we had a (new at the time) hospital in town so the drive was short. I was fine, cheerful and chipper as I could be, and the bleeding had stopped again for the longest time yet. They decided I should to to another hospital in the next town over, and have Dr Inappropriate cauterise the area to stop the bleeding. They put me into an ambulance.

They strapped me down, as they do in ambulances apparently (this was my first and only experience inside of one). I started bleeding again on the way. I was tied down on my back, spraying blood at the back of my throat, not even able to talk because I would choke, and unable to sit up and spit it out. I always thought from movies that when a kid was in an ambulance a parent was allowed inside, too? Stupid movies. I remember feeling a bit of panic at that point, waving my arms as much as I could under the straps and gurgling for help. I swallowed a lot more blood before they let me up and I could spit. Into my mother’s bowl, still keeping track. I know I had lost over 2 quarts by then – over half my blood supply in a jellied square mass on my lap. That’s not counting the amount that I had swallowed.

By the way: ‘human’ vampires are bullshit. I know, for a fact, from this experience, that the human body can not digest fresh human blood. I will never forget what it looked and smelled like coming out the other end.

I might have gone a bit light-headed by the time I’d arrived at the other hospital for the cauterisation. I don’t remember anything else.

I know that my mom was irritated that she never got her awesome Tupperware bowl back, though.”

The Best Thing…

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…about sharing bad news with friends is how they listen, commiserate, and then make jokes or be silly to make you smile.

Friends are precious beyond measure.

I’m not sure if I’ll share my bad news here or not – it’s life changing for my small family and a major shock. If you are a friend, email me and I’ll tell you.

In the meantime, here are my boys. Showing another way of being friends and one looking out for the other.

  

Fucit Anyway. 

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I supposedly have conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. Being as my eyes have been itchy as hell since November, and no one else around me has it, I’m kinda doubtful about the diagnosis. It’s meant to be crazy contagious, my eyes never turned pink or red, and I didn’t have eye-boogies. Just a lot of itching!

In any case, I finally got sick of it (pun intended) and went to my GP. 

With a list of other issues, of course. My bodily warranty ran out when I was 25. That’s when I started to need glasses, and discovered loads of other new and fun ways that a human body finds to break down. I’m a right wreck now that I’m about to be officially middle-aged. 

After the checkup: I had blood taken, skin issues checked out and okayed, a 24-HR blood pressure monitor (results normal, and I’m dead surprised at that). I’m on my second course of antibiotics for a wheezy cough, an allergy pill (I don’t HAVE allergies!), big doses of anti-inflammatories for my back (deffo helping), and now steroids (!) for everything, basically. 

I feel as though I’ve been to a vet instead of a human doctor, because a vet always seems to prescribe antibiotics and a steroid.

Did you know I really don’t care to take pills? Bwah-ha-haw! I’m good at it, but I prefer not to if I can. I’m now on…11 a day.

Back to the eye drops, which burn. They burn like I rubbed sand and cat-hair into my eyes and then dunked my face into lemon juice and bleach to rinse them out. It’s also thick and white and goopy and is so damn unnatural a thing to be deliberately putting into my eyes, I kind of didn’t do the twice a day every day for a week as I was supposed to do. It does help – but the cure is nearly as bad as the problem. 

With all of this going on, I never looked at the package for the eye drops properly. When I did, I laughed out loud – in my loudest, unladylike squawk.

  
Yes. Fucit. Fucit altogether! Fucit sideways with a barge-pole! 

Fuc it, I’m falling apart but at least I still have the sense of humour of a nine year old and can laugh at these things. And fuc it, I better put these drops in now and try not to cry all over the iPad 🙂

Still Got a Ganglion – Hear it Roar!

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I had an appointment at the local hospital today. I was all excited, and thought for sure I’d be coming home with a groovy new scar. Sadly, I was disappointed. Instead, I first had an assessment by a fun Indian doctor (we so had the craic) and he sent me off for X-rays.

    Sweet! I LOVE X-rays! 

      
    The pen tip on the right is pointing at the cyst, which doesn’t show up in an X-ray. I can kinda see it? Maybe.

    I was wondering about the round density next to the first joint of my thumb, and my dad asked about it too, so off to the ‘net I went. It is a sesamoid bone (named because they are usually the shape of a sesame seed – I’ll never forget that name, now) and perfectly normal, if slightly mysterious: ‘Sesamoid bones are small more or less rounded masses embedded in certain tendons and usually related to joint surfaces. Their functions probably are to modify pressure, to diminish friction, and occasionally to alter the direction of a muscle pull.’ [emphasis mine, source is courtesy of bartleby.com]

    This is why I love seeing my innards! So educational. 

      
    Side view! I am probably strange, but I think these are rather pretty. And fascinating as hell. It’s astounding that this – my right hand, responsible for the majority of the things I do every day – looks so fragile. Check out the thickness of my ulna and radius in each picture (long arm bones, just in case you aren’t a nerd like me). My thumb bone is thicker than both of them in the side view. That is crazy. From the top view, they are nearly parity with the thickness-win going to the radius. So surprising I’ve never broken any bones but my pinkie toes (not for lack of trying).

    I also like that the veins I can see through the skin on my thumb show up here, too. And all the tendons that must be doing one hell of a job because those bones are…bony.

    Anyhoo, after my irradiation the main doctor who runs the clinic came in. She had a trio of young women trailing behind her, and asked if they could observe. Well, sure! Doc asked a few questions, poked at my still-unnamed cyst (because not one of you gave me a name last time I talked about it, for shame), and said they would schedule me for surgery. Under general anesthetic. I whined (I’ll admit it) when she was leaving; “But…I want to see!”

    Hope you enjoyed these pics as much as I did! Thanks to Dr M for letting me take shots of the X-rays with my phone, changing the operation directive from general to local because I want to see, having a laugh with me, and being able to pronounce my whole damn name with no hesitation (that is huge, let me tell ya). He’s a good doctor, I hope he goes good places.

    Now let’s see how long it takes to get to the next level! October 20, 2015 and counting. 

    A Mini Update

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    The car is ok.

    The issue was that the new battery wasn’t connecting to the car properly! I never looked – I should have – panic over nothing. Fixed free of charge, and a hook up to the computer to see if anything else is error-messaging. All clear!

    Hubby went to work today, he is fine but a bit tired (and got lots of comments on the fact he lost visible weight while in hospital. Worst crash diet ever). He is right now getting the exhaust tied on tighter via a LocalLad Redneck Repair service – otherwise known as a friend with car-ramps and, oh yes, an engineering degree. This could be very good, or very bad!

    The car is vital – not just everyday, but this week especially so, for me. On Saturday, I finally get to meet one of my blogging buddies in person! It’s so exciting. There are so many of you that I’d love to laugh in person with. After four years of doing this blog (the anniversary was early last month, whoops), and my not being able to travel the whole time for financial reasons, someone is finally able to come here! She hasn’t posted in ages so I won’t link back, but we’ve had a few Skype and land-line phone conversations and I just think she’s the bee’s knees. I get the feeling we are going to embarrass our respective husbands – sure hope they get along as I think we are going to regress to silly mode right away.

    Things are looking up! Wait, what: was that me just being positive? I don’t have a photo for that…

      
    …maybe I do? Enjoy some happy Irish heather that I dug out of a bog and moved to my garden, enjoying October sunshine. 

    Ugh, Life

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    I’ve been MIA lately. Hubby has had a bad scare with his kidneys, out of the blue, and ended up hospitalised for a week. We still don’t know what happened to cause the injury to his kidneys, and he isn’t out of the woods yet – but is improving – albeit slowly.

    It’s been scary – he is only 42 – and being in the hospital here isn’t fun. Not that it is fun anywhere, ever. I’ll just say that the nurses are fantastic, the doctors not so much.

    We’ll know more next Wednesday.

    In other news, our 2003 Mini (with over 140,000 miles) has now developed a new problem, which I think is a dead alternator. Two short trips, turning off the engine each time, and the third ended with click-click-click when turning the key. A new battery died immediately after another short trip, and then a longish drive to charge it up had the headlights dying, the wipers stopping mid-wipe, and the radio turning itself off. Has to be the alternator.

    Poor iDJ was the one behind the wheel for all this, too. He’s barely been out of the house for a week, and this was his first time in the car by himself in two weeks, and this shit piles on his head. 

    I had this same thing happen to me in the early 90’s (maybe actually in 1990) when I was hundreds of miles away from home trying to make money for my family doing a shitty jewlery sales job and driving my 1979 Datsun 210B station wagon. A dead alternator kills your car. I bought a newish one and installed it myself. No google back then, either. 

    I have to go to work on Monday, and we need to go food shopping tomorrow – with no car. I really wish we had something like that old Datsun so I could make it all better with scrapyard parts, but a Mini engine compartment is so crammed with gear there isn’t any room to work. Not to mention all the computerised everything.

    I guess I’m officially old when I remember the days we could fix our cars ourselves. Even when being a female with very very limited tools.

    A post from me isn’t a post without a photo – so here is our first snow of winter 2015.

      
    Isn’t it pretty? Do you see the whirlwind circle like I do?  

    Ganglion Aft A-gley

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    I went to the doctor today for the lump in my wrist. Said lump has come and gone for years. Usually it hangs around for a week or two and goes back into hiding. Well, this time I have had about five months of looking like I have a second ulna-knob. Hehe, I said knob. It has been aching at work, and if I whack it on something I don’t cry (I do not cry) but I get angry at the pain, which isn’t fun for anyone. 

    On Sunday I tried to open a jar and not only did it bloody well hurt, it kinda popped inside my wrist in a very unsettling way. That was enough for me to give up and go for professional help. If I can’t open a damn jar, how can I do my job safely with all the lifting and pulling?
      
    Like my new socks? How about the doggie feet? Action shot!

    Doc says it is a ganglion cyst. Not the biggest she’s seen, but not the smallest either (I have another on the side of my right wrist and don’t care about that one as it is sooo weee). 

    Ganglion cysts are pockets of thick goo that grow on the sheath to your tendon. Sounds fun! I can’t find the website Doc showed me, but basically you can aspirate it (suck the goo out), or you can pop it (drop a heavy-ass book on it and hope! Doc did make a quip about Bible-bashing, I swear she did! Awesome). But in either of those options, the pocket is still there and likely to refill.

    So – surgery it is! It doesn’t worry me, and dudes dig scars, so I’m now on the waiting list. The question is – what should we name my passenger before I cut it out? 

    Ha! No the real question is – how long is the wait? Might as well ask how long is a piece of string. I’ll know when I know, and probably with only a few days to a week of notice. Of course I had to post about it today as proof of the time frame. It will be much more interesting to see how long it takes!

    I really hope I can take pictures. I totally want to see what this bad girl looks like. Any glimpse of the rest of my wrist-mechanics is also a draw for me! Stay tuned, kids!