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What Katie Couric DIDN’T show us…

9 Jun

Time for Ye Annual Colonoscopy. Which always gives me flashbacks to Katie Couric being heralded for being so brave and broadcasting hers. She makes it look simple – which the actual procedure is. What she didn’t spend much time on (and why the procedure has a bad rap) is the prep.

The face of excitement.

The face of excitement.

Since I’ve ranted about the entire experience before, I won’t bore you with a redundant entry. Instead, I’ll just share a few quick updates and observations from this year’s scope. Note: this post may be a bit too much information for you if colons (and their functions) make you squeamish, so you may want to skip it. I consider it a Public Service Announcement for people who must also undergo this procedure.

First – surely they can do better than the 3 Liter jug of GoLytely they prescribe as part of the prep. In fact, I happen to KNOW they can, because about 10 minutes after I started drinking it on Monday night, I had multiple people ask why my doctor hadn’t prescribed the new 1 Liter option that apparently everyone but me is using. My short answer: because he is a sadist. My more considered answer: I probably earned it because I ate an entire bag of popcorn before my last colonoscopy.

Second – I finally figured out a method that makes the prep a wee bit less traumatic. I took the entire jug, a tumbler of ice and a lemon lime Vitamin Water to the loo with me. I normally would NEVER advocate eating/drinking in a bathroom (unless you are in the bathtub with a book), but this method both reduced the amount of wiping needed and the constant “I’m about to shit my pants” feeling that are hallmarks of the prep.

Ready for it? The trick is to sit ON the toilet while pounding the GoLytely so it can just shoot through you. Break it up with a few sips of Vitamin Water so you don’t throw up from the horrible taste, and VOILA – you will be done with the GoLytely in one hour and out of the bathroom in 90 minutes. Using this method, I was actually able to crawl into bed and get six hours of sleep before the second round of GoLytely hit.

Also: I draw a face on the jug so I can feel as if I have a companion there in the trenches with me. It happens to be my enemy, but a companion nonetheless. I think the word is “frenemy.”

GoLytely Face - (c) 2015 pithypants.com

Third – because I am too cheap to take a cab, or too hell-bent to get my 10,000 steps in, or too stubborn in general – I decided it was a good idea to WALK the 1.25 miles to my appointment. This, only three hours after completing the GoLytely. Let’s just agree: probably not the wisest decision. I arrived at the office making a beeline for the bathroom before even checking in. It was my way of playing, “Guess What I’m Here For” with the other patients in the waiting room.

Fourth – turns out, doctors don’t find it funny when you quip, “Guess I’ve flatlined” when they remove your heart monitor and the bleeps turn into one long BLEEEEEEEEP.

Fifth – if I were a nurse, I’d want to work in the recovery room. Because people coming out of anesthesia must say some pretty hilarious stuff. I can’t remember the FIRST things to come out of my mouth after they woke me, but I do remember some of my early sentences being, “Tell me, did I make a big mess in there?” and “Remind me, do I need to fart or something so you can spring me from this joint?” And I really wasn’t trying to be funny. I can only imagine what’s on “best of” reel.

Sixth – everyone should have a sister like Alicia. I went to bed relatively early on Monday night, having completed the first half of the prep and hoping to sleep as much as possible before Round Two commenced at 4am. When I woke at 4am, I found that she had filled my Facebook Feed with anything funny she could find on the topic of colonoscopies – just so I’d have some early morning entertainment to get me to the finish line. Example:

Someecards.com

Finally – everyone should have a partner as awesome as Alan. Not only was he there to collect me and whisk me home at the end of the procedure (helping me navigate since I couldn’t quite walk straight), he showed up with two juices and a box of chocolate bon bons for me to snack on immediately since he knew I’d be thirsty and starving.

Even better – as we walked up the sidewalk to my building and I said, “Um, I think I might be leaking – can you see anything on my skirt,” he just said, “Here – let me walk behind you,” instead of directly answering the question on the table. That’s a keeper, folks!

Poked, prodded and probed – all in all, I’d still say I’m a pretty lucky lady.

Your brain has more plaque than my teeth?

21 Feb

Image Source: http://cdn.themetapicture.com/media/funny-dentist-plastic-teeth.jpg

I went to the dentist last week. I’ve written about it before – many times, in fact.

My dentist has the top qualification in my book: small hands.

When you’ve had as many fillings (and are facing as many crowns) as I have, then small hands win any game of dentistry rochambeau.

Dream Dentist.

Dream Dentist.

So that’s what he has going FOR him. Glad he has that.

Because what he does NOT have is a MEMORY. That, or he just doesn’t give a shit about the details.

I say that because he never seems to remember who I am. Or rather, he THINKS I’m someone I’m not.

During a past visit he asked how “the girls” were doing, which made me want to grab my breasts, shake them vigorously, and say, “Hanging in there!”

“Bet you’re spending a lot of time shuttling everyone to sports,” he had continued.

Mmmm… NO. But because I wasn’t feeling confrontational (and because his little hands were in my mouth) I simply nodded. So maybe I’m partially to blame, for never setting him straight?

In any case, this last time he went for a more generic approach. “How’s the family?”

I think it still threw him for a loop, however, when I said, “Really good. I just saw them in December.”

His eyes looked a bit crazy for a minute and I could tell he was wondering if I’d left my husband or if my family had packed up and moved cross-country. I just smiled up at him from the chair, glad that he was wincing as much as I was for once as he jammed the pick to check for gum disease.

He decided to recover by changing his approach. “You’re dressed more casually than usual today,” he remarked.

I rolled my eyes down to check my outfit, which was pretty much what I’ve worn to work every day for as long as I’ve been visiting his practice. It made me wonder if my dentistry doppelgänger (who – assuming she exists – is clearly raising girls and shuttling them around to sports like a beast) also has a fancy job that requires suits.

Again, I just nodded. Let him believe that jeans and a sweater are step-down from my regular fashion.

As we wrapped up our appointment, I decided to play his game with him. The last time I saw him, he’d thrown his back out to such an extent he needed surgery. As I left the room, I said, “By the way – how are your hips?”

CHEW ON THAT. 

Is there a doctor in the house?

25 Jan
Image Source: https://www.recruiter.com/i/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/CURIOUS-INTERESTED-CAT-DOCTOR.jpg

“What seems to be the purroblem?”

 

I’m sick. I think there’s a chance it might be the flu, but I get irritated by people who self-diagnose incorrectly, so I’ll just tell you my symptoms and let you decide what I have:

  • Fever ranging from 102 – 103.5 for 24 hours, then in the 101 range for a day, now back to normalish.
  • Achy, like someone worked me over with a ball-pein hammer while I was sleeping, including in my ears, across my temples, in the back of my neck, in my hips, and in my ribs.
  • Sneezy, snotty nose and nagging, hacking cough
  • Splitting headache, exhaustion, fatigue, lack of appetite

Oh, and it seems that everything I read/watch/listen to makes me cry. (Don’t even try to tell me it’s PMS. It’s not.)

Now that we have that covered, here are a few snippets that capture the last few days of ceiling-staring:

Musings of the Ill…

ONE: Nurse or Saber-Toothed Death Watch Attendant? 

Miss Moneypenny makes a good nurse… I think. At least, she’s made a point of staying within arm’s reach (either on my lap if I’m upright or snuggled next to me if I’m lying down)  since I started feeling crappy. This could be seen as sweet, but because I’ve heard one too many stories about cats who live in nursing homes and have an uncanny habit of sitting watch for people who are close to death, I’m not entirely sure what to think when I wake up and find her gazing at me. Some part of me does wonder if she’s silently willing me to die.

TWO: Call and Answer

The acoustics in my apartment building are a bit challenging. Built in the early 20th century, I’m convinced the walls and floors are only one fiber more solid than paper. As a result, I can stand in my kitchen and hear my neighbors end-of-day debrief while they cook dinner. (Lately it has included a lot of f-bombs and the word “idiots” when the guy describes his co-workers, so I suspect he’s not long for that job.) And the two year-old below me? I know when nap-time is just not going to happen based on the tantrum that wafts through my floorboards.

This week I’ve been on the other side of it, broadcasting coughs and sneezes for the masses. I hadn’t realized how out of control it had gotten until – after a particularly gripping hacking jag – the silence that followed was met with a neighbor yelling, “Thank God!” No idea which neighbor, but since there wasn’t a key sporting event on TV, I’m pretty sure his words were for me. Upside? If I get into trouble, I know I can summon a neighbor if I shout loud enough.

THREE: Ethics Exam

We are forecast for a major storm this week. I have not left my house since Wednesday. I am down to one roll of toilet paper. Do I:

  1. Try to persuade Alan (who is also sick with the same symptoms) to come to my house and bring a package of toilet paper.
  2. Use InstaCart and pay $8 for what should be a $4 purchase – assuming stores even still have any in stock, given the forecast.
  3. Muster enough energy to go next door to Starbucks, purchase a tea, use their bathroom and take a roll of toilet paper to get me over the hump.
  4. Stop eating solids.

FOUR: Things I Have Actually Googled

  1. How do I know if I have the flu
  2. Dangerously high fever range
  3. Death watch cat
  4. Shows like Downton Abbey
  5. How much Tylenol in 24 hours
  6. Can pets get the flu from humans (answer: yes, apparently)

FIVE: It’s called “Zoonosis”  

On that last point… while Miss Moneypenny has been a great nurse, zoonosis (transmission of human diseases to animals) might explain why I’ve woken up to the not-so-calming sound of her barfing every morning since I got sick. I like to think of her as an overly committed professional, kind of like Marie Curie. “It’s not worth it,” I tell her when I hear her starting to rumble in the mornings, “You’ll never win a Nobel Prize.”

In other news, anyone who owns a vicious dog might want to consider naming it Zoonosis so you can trickily both accept and deflect blame if it ever kills another animal. Imagine how it would play out:

“Your dog killed my chinchilla”

“ZOONOSIS killed your chinchilla.” 

“No, your DOG killed my chinchilla.”

And repeat.

 

Back to bed for this girl. Here’s hoping you don’t get what I’ve got. If you do, blame your pet.

PS: I don’t have the energy to proofread or spellcheck this, so if there are errors: you’re welcome.

Image

Arm Chair Gratitude: Day 2

19 Mar

Image Source: 2014 pithypants.com

Progress and pool drains.

3 Dec

Image Source: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5d/Mountain_Dew_sign_Tonto_Arizona.jpg

I’ve been making good progress on my 40×40 list.

In case you’re keeping tabs, I haven’t consumed a single Mountain Dew of any variety since October 30. Oddly, I also find that I’m now less interested in Nascar and have started questioning the wisdom of allowing cousins to marry.

At this rate, Miss Moneypenny’s brown snaggletooth will practically straighten itself and people won’t think they’re entering West Virginia when they cross my threshold. Might be time to start a meth lab, just to maintain appearances around here.

[I joke, but my sister once lived across the street from a house that functioned as a meth lab and had no idea. The DEA has created a registry of homes that functioned as clandestine labs. Probably worth reviewing if you’re hunting for a home. Screwy as it sounds, realtors don’t have to disclose a home’s illicit history – even if it can make you sick. How was THAT for random?]

Screen Shot 2013-12-01 at 9.03.47 PM

Back to my 40×40 list… I’ve been making good progress on my commitment to swim 50 miles this year. I already have 7 miles under my belt, and – aside from the first one, which was UGLY – it’s just like riding a bike. Except without the wheels and handlebars.

I find that my mind wanders when I’m cranking out laps, and I think of the weirdest things. That bike analogy wasn’t even one of them, until I considered what it would be like to swim while wearing a bike helmet.

This weekend I had a lane that is lined with four drains along the bottom. It made me think of childhood, and the oft-repeated warnings to, “Never sit on the pool drain or you will have your intestines pulled out of your ass.” I’m not the only person who heard that line, right?

As I counted my laps and stared at the drains, it struck me as an urban legend. So when I got home, I googled “death by pool drain intestines.” Brace yourself: It is actually a real thing. Wow. Just – terrifying.

On a related note – related to swimming, not intestinal loss – I had a weird experience when I went to the pool on Saturday. All the lanes were occupied, so I sized them up, trying to determine where I’d have the best luck sharing. I felt like Goldilocks as I observed the swimmers: that one’s too fast… that one’s too slow… that one’s too sloppy…

I finally found one who seemed to be, “just right.” Unfortunately, he must not have thought so, because when I approached him and asked to share his lane, he got all huffy and moved to a new lane so he was sharing with someone and I had his old lane to myself. Confused about what happened, I said, “Hey – sorry – didn’t mean to run you out of your lane.”

To which he barked, “We wouldn’t be compatible.”

I was taken aback because I wasn’t sure what he was basing that on. At that point, he hadn’t seen me do anything. I shrugged and started my laps, keeping one eye trained on his workout to see what he had meant.

I was never able to figure it out, so I can only surmise that he thought I was seeking a dick-free lane. And I guess he was right.

Next time, I’ll make sure I’m sporting one of these awesome swim caps from Kiefer.com so I know why he’s judging me:

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