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Tidbit: Les Mis + Yoga

22 Mar

Image Source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/7d/c8/997dc8cd37664e1fbbcc0fcba55f79b0.jpg

In my 10 years regularly practicing yoga, today was a first: I was kicked in the head by the guy on the mat in front of me as we lifted up into Warrior 3. 

All righty then. Here’s to new experiences!

Tattooed (in 100 point cursive font) on his left leg was a quote from Les Mis:

To love another person is to see the face of God.

Fair.

And now he knows what you see when you kick another person: My Face. Slightly less serene than that of God.

Can’t wait to see what he has tattooed on his right leg in our next class.

I might need crutches.

26 Nov

Image Source - www.fun2video.com

About seven years ago, I canceled my gym membership and started using the money on yoga studios instead. I love yoga and believe in its healing benefits, but – no matter how much I sweat or how many push-ups I do – it is NOT a gym workout.

My body has been reminding me of that lately, most frequently when I go to wave goodbye to someone and smack myself in the face with the loose skin wagging under my tricep – something my childhood friend, Ryan, always referred to as a, “Yoo-hoo.” You know what I’m talking about.

So a week ago, I bit the bullet and joined a gym. And I can’t believe how much I’ve missed it. It feels like freedom to go whenever I want. There are three locations within a mile walk of my home, and each has something different I love: a salt-water pool, a robust class schedule, a steam room.

That said, my return has not been painless. Yesterday, for instance, I made a collosol colossol HUGE mistake. I saw that there was a 45 minute “BodyPump” class and thought, “That sounds like a great alternative to just lifting on my own.” FOOL.

Tip: anything that rhymes with “Shoddy Dump” is probably a horrible idea.

If you’re not familiar with BodyPump (clearly I wasn’t!) it’s 45 minutes of lifting/squatting/pressing free weights and barbells to techno music. The music is key because it makes you do it quickly, which means that not only are you stressing your muscles, but you’re also getting all sweaty and out of breath.

It looked harmless when I walked in, though in hindsight, I should’ve realized that there was not a single YooHoo! in sight. I arrived close to the start time, so I looked around and tried to copy the props of the women around me. A step, a yoga mat, a bar with some weights clamped on, some free weight discs…

Notice how vague I was about how much weight was clamped on to the bars? Yeah, probably should’ve paid more attention. In my rushed attempt to mirror what was going on, I didn’t actually think about how much weight I’d be lifting – or the fact that the other people in the class probably weren’t brand spankin’ new.

Let’s just agree: Bad idea. About twenty minutes into class, my mouth started salivating like I was going to vomit. Since I’m competitive, I kept powering through. Finally, at the thirty minute mark, I started stripping plates off my bar, tossing them to the floor like frisbees, ego be damned. And I STILL almost fell down the stairs when class was over.

Today I’m hobbling, which doesn’t bode well for tomorrow, since everyone knows that full soreness sets in 48 hours after the activity. I’m just hoping the worst of it is behind me by Thursday so I can do arm curls with a turkey.

I thought people were supposed to LOOK like their pets.

8 Sep

Image Source: http://www.hilarioustime.com/images/04/Well-butter-my-butt-funny-cat-with-bread-on-its-head.jpg

Let’s start with a list:

  1. Gratitude.
  2. Condolences.
  3. Feelings.
  4. Shipments.

That’s pretty much the exhaustive list of things I believe should be expressed.

However, now that I’m the proud owner of a cat rescued from Methatopia, West Virginia, I’ve learned there’s something else that requires expressing: Anal Glands.

That’s right. I didn’t even know that was a THING.

Image Source: http://funnyfilez.funnypart.com/pictures/FunnyPart-com-r2d2_cat_home.jpgUntil one night when I was kicked back in my chair, reading, and Miss Moneypenny emerged from her litterbox. She strode confidently over to me, then sat down and proceeded to pull herself around on the floor using only her front legs, moving in an oddly fluid way, as if she were channeling the ghost of R2D2.

Obviously I had to burn and replace the carpet. But before doing so, I googled, “Cat Dragging Butt.” And because Google knows me, instead of pulling up helpful medical references, the first results displayed animated gifs. Which, admittedly, slayed me. But did nothing to help me diagnose Miss Moneypenny’s malady.

My next query was more fruitful, and was confirmed by my sister, who ALSO just adopted a vocal cat with butt issues. Apparently we’re scat magnets. “Sounds like her anal glands need expressing,” Alicia wrote. She then sent me a how-to video. I gagged and called the vet.

When I arrived at the vet, it was after working hours, so the waiting room was full. I approached the receptionist and tried to be discreet. “I’m hoping there’s a vet tech who can look at my cat,” I said.

Before I could get any further, she said, “What’s her name? Your cat?”

Me: Miss Moneypenny.

Receptionist, loudly: Oh yeah – she’s the one who needs her ANAL GLANDS EXPRESSED, right?

Me, softly: I’m not sure. She’s just started scooting around on the floor a bit.

Receptionist, loudly: It sounds like her ANAL GLANDS. Let me see if I can get a Vet Tech out here to EXPRESS HER ANAL GLANDS.

Me: Um, thanks.

I took a seat, sheltering Miss Moneypenny from the prying eyes of other patients who all seemed to be there for non-embarrassing routine procedures, like teeth cleanings and rabies vaccinations.

A vet tech appeared shortly, and asked a few more questions. The unwitting audience of other pet owners started making the sign of the cross on their chests, praying that they never had to bring their animals in for ANAL GLAND EXPRESSION.

Meanwhile, Miss Moneypenny cowered in her vented duffel bag carrier, growling. I could hardly blame her, especially when the vet tech grabbed the duffel and said to me, “You wait here. She’s going to be very mad at us. Better that you’re not in there…”

The rest of the appointment was uneventful – for me. I don’t even want to know what happened in the back. From the howls, I think it’s safe to surmise that Miss Moneypenny was not a model patient.

Later that night, I chatted my sister.

Me: Good job with the long-distance diagnosis of my cat’s butt.

Alicia: Was it her glands?

Me: Yes. They said it’s common in dogs, but pretty rare in cats. It’s weird that we BOTH just adopted cats with this issue.

Alicia: Hmmmm…

Me: Unless this is cats’ version of a gluten allergy? Maybe it’s suddenly trendy?

Alicia: I guess we’re just early adopters.

Me: We should get out ahead of this wave and write a cookbook. PAYDAY!

Image Source: http://payload.cargocollective.com/1/3/125736/2175893/THE%20CAT%20COOK%20BOOK-1.jpgCOMING SOON: You’ll be able to purchase our Cookbook for Kitties, called, “EXPRESS YOURSELF: Healthy Meals for Happy Cats.” 

<–Not to be confused with THIS book, which seems to advocate COOKING cats. I guess we’re not the only trend-setters.

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Barry? Barry, um, in, um, uh?

17 Jul
Confirmation that it's bad: this e-card already existed.

Confirmation that it’s bad: this e-card already existed.

If your day started out as expected and didn’t take a sideways turn when someone surprised you by putting a tube up your ass, I think you can consider it a banner day.

Just, WOW.

Let me back up… This morning I went to the hospital for a CT scan that was scheduled weeks ago, when symptoms led my doctor to believe my intestines might be nearing the point of explosion.

(In case you’re curious, those symptoms are: sustained high fever, stabbing appendicitis-like pains, overall body aches, nausea, and either projectile-vomiting or diabolic diarrhea. So basically, either a Crohn’s flare or the flu.)

To make sure my disease hasn’t progressed to the point of needing surgery, a CT scan was ordered. I was stoked that a colonoscopy wasn’t needed. What’s that saying about asses and assumptions?

This morning I showed up, woefully ill-prepared for what awaited me. I should’ve realized – after handing the receptionist my doctor’s order – that I was in for something special. She looked at it, then turned to a scrubbed up technician walking past the desk to ask, “Have you seen one of these before?”

Not a good sign. He looked at it, then looked up at me, then back at the paper. A doubly-bad sign.

After they whispered for a bit, I was shown back to his office and given two gowns to change into. TWO. Another bad sign.

When I emerged from the dressing room, he said, “OK. I’m going to have you sit right here in my office so I can keep an eye on you. Do you know anything about this procedure?”

Also known as "Radioactive Milk."

Also known as “Radioactive Milk.”

Apparently I did not. The nutshell: I had to drink a 1/2 liter of Volumen (basically a Barium suspension) every 15 minutes for 45 minutes, then hop on the scanner table and roll to my side so they could give me a Barium enema – then squeeze my cheeks while they slid me into the scanner for photos.

Wait. A. Minute. No one warmed me that I’d be getting an ENEMA.

While the idea of a tube jammed up your ass is disconcerting when suddenly sprung on you, the more immediate concerns are: Is there any chance I need to GO to the bathroom? How robust was my toilet paper this morning? Might I accidentally poop on this stranger?

It’s not a great place to be. I said, “Hold up. I can’t believe no one prepped me for this. Do you always get stuck breaking the news?” He shrugged and gave a “what can you do?” look.

“Boy,” I said. “Seems like you get stuck with all the fun stuff.” He cringed and nodded. I had to go out of my way to not use the word “shocker,” because I didn’t want him getting any ideas when he flipped me to insert the tube.

“Well,” I continued. “I’m sorry in advance. For both of us.”

He nodded before he caught himself. Then he tried to save it by saying, “It’s not so bad. I could be in the ER. At least you’re a walkie-talkie.”

“Walkie-talkie?” I asked.

“You’re walking and talking,” he explained. “In the ER, most people don’t have insurance, so they’re homeless or indigent. They aren’t always conscious and they don’t shower often.”

Perfect. That made me feel a bit better. I was pretty sure I could stack up favorably compared to a homeless person. But then again, no guarantees.

When he handed me the first bottle of Volumen to drink, he asked if I’d like a straw. I shook my head, screwed off the lid, and chugged it without pausing for air. I think he was mildly intimidated when I passed the empty back to him. Probably for many reasons. At this point, I began imagining myself played by Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids, in the screenplay of my life.

During this 15 minute interlude, he attached an IV to my arm so they could push the contrast dye into my veins easily once I was on the table. To make small talk while he did this, he asked me my age. Turns out we were only a month apart.

I’m here to tell you: the only thing worse than learning that a stranger is going to give you an enema, is learning that he is pretty much your age. Because you can imagine the happy hour he’s going to have, when he tells his friends about the unexpected procedure he had to conduct, and the otherwise professional woman who shat herself on his table.

I tried to block that image and instead chugged the next bit of Volumen.

Around this time, he started to get nervous about the timing. The last bottle of Volumen needed to be consumed in two drinks, with the barium enema occurring in between, and the dye injection happening after. He was using his smartphone to set timers for everything. “Just me,” I asked, “Or is this a bit of a circus?”

He nodded. “We don’t do this that often, so it’s a lot to coordinate.”

We moved to the CT Scan machine and he consulted his phone. “OK. Time to step out of your panties and lie on the table.”

How about you don’t use the word panties during a medical procedure? I thought.

Silently, I complied. I settled in on the table, knees propped over a pillow. And then he said, “OK – roll to your left.”

Before I did, I said, “In case you wonder what’s going through someone’s head at this moment, I think you should know. I am praying I don’t shit on your machine.”

He nodded solemnly and said, “I appreciate that.”

I rolled over. Tube inserted. My bowels filled with barium and the feeling was similar to when I flushed a toilet in Australia and saw everything swirl in the reverse direction.

It was go-time. I performed. And I did not ruin the machine.

Is it wrong to high-five a technician when you bolt out of the office? If it is, I don’t want to be right.

And that was my hump day. How was YOURS?

Seriously. They sell this shirt on Zazzle.

Seriously. They sell this shirt on Zazzle.

There’s a party in my pocket…

22 Feb

Image Source: http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2328/2237145054_609fe91027_z.jpg?zz=1

I know, it’s one of the cardinal rules of laundry: always check your pockets.

But you know what? So is the idea of not mixing whites and colors, but I do that all the time without consequences. I think a better rule is: separate loads for things that touch your face and things that touch your butt. Cloth napkins and underwear? Should not be in the same cycle – I don’t care how hot your water is.

Anyway… back to my pockets. I learned the lesson the hard way today.

“Was it a Kleenex?” I can hear you asking.

Worse.

“A pen?” you ask.

Worse.

“An angry squid?” you prompt.

Um, not that bad. And stop guessing before you ruin my story. 

What your laundry looks like after taking Crohn's medicine.

What your laundry looks like after taking Crohn’s medicine.

I take 11 pills a day for Crohn’s, nine of which are slow-release capsules that dissolve in my GI tract. That’s three doses of three pills, staggered 8 hours apart, which makes the mid-day dose a bit problematic to remember. To solve the problem, I set my phone to go off and remind me, and I carry the pills around in my pocket all day so I have them on me when it goes off.

Apparently I missed a dose last week. Because it showed up in my pocket in today’s wash.

“Wait,” I can hear you asking. “How is washing medicine a bad thing?”

I’ll tell you. Aside from the inconvenience of running out early (and having to fight with the insurance company to authorize an early refill as a result), the deal is this: slow release capsules are apparently made from plastic. And they’re filled with white plastic bee-bees the size of cake sprinkles.

As soon as I opened the dryer door, I understood what had happened. Every piece of dark fabric had hundreds of white dots all over it. It looked like someone had shot a small cannon of confetti into the dryer. I cautiously pulled item after item out, the small white balls dropping on the floor as the static that attached them to the clothing wore off.

I sat down to fold the clothes, wondering if it would be obvious where the origin of the leak had been. It was. I lifted a pair of my new (dressy!) fleece pants from the basket and they looked marbleized, they had so much white on them. I shook my head and plunged my hand into the pocket.

Yes, it was full of even more white dots. But the real surprise was the overall texture of the pocket: it had been turned to plastic. Apparently the capsule casing is some form of plastic that melts when exposed to stomach juices or high heat. My pocket was now stiff, like someone had slipped a Shrinky Dink in there.

When seeing the havoc these three simple pills wreaked on a load of laundry, I found myself wondering exactly how they help my gut. Do I have an ever-growing wad of Shrinky Dinks in my stomach? Do my intestines look like a perpetual parade route lined with confetti?

In any case, I think I’ll install a disco ball in my bathroom.

Image Source: http://www.lakberinfo.hu/cikkek/09/01/08/42-18159257.jpg

Apparently I wouldn’t be the first.