Saturday, August 29, 2009

I am queen of the world! Fear my mighty power!

So, I got some Restoril from my doc yesterday. We were going to go with Halcion, but it's got a pretty short half life and we were afraid I'd take it, fall asleep and wake up an hour later. So, Restoril it was.

I left the clinic with 12 15mg capsules and instructions to take one, and if I was still awake an hour later, take another.

Last night I followed my usual bedtime routine (well, there was one very pleasant exception courtesy of The Hubs, but this is a PG rated blog. 'Nuff said.) and at 9:30-ish I took a capsule, and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

An hour later, I was still awake. A little mellow, perhaps, but very much awake. 'Fuck' I thought. 'This isn't going to work'. I took the second capsule as instructed, and figured I'd wait another half an hour and if I was still awake I'd get up and clean the kitchen.

The next thing I know, I'm in a car with The Hubs and we're driving through the English countryside to go see the horse races at Stonehenge. "Don't forget the tea set" he said. "They won't let us in without one".

I turned to him to tell him that I'd remembered the teapot and cups but didn't have any saucers, and found myself looking at the bedside clock. It's glowing red letters said 4:37am.

'Woah' I thought. 'I slept! Sweet!'

I opened my eyes again (I don't recall closing them, to be honest) and the numbers had changed. They now said 6:18.

I got a good 8 hours of sleep (probably more, but I don't recall falling asleep) and even better than that, it was quality sleep. I feel almost superhuman this morning, like I can take on the world. I've made a list of cleaning that needs to be done - it involves some pretty ambitious stuff, like sorting my yarn stash (a monumental task, really) and I feel like I can achieve all of it and then some.

I didn't realize how crappy I felt all week until today. Sleep deprivation sucks.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

I'm still alive. I don't really feel alive today, but I'm still breathing and I have a pulse.

My whole adult life I've experienced insomnia. I used to have occasional days when I'd be up all night because I simply couldn't sleep. When it came to EMS, being used to staying up all night and half the next day was actually a blessing at times, so I didn't really do much about it. I knew it would pass; I knew at some point over the next day or so I'd get so tired that I'd fall asleep on my own and would sleep well.

So, when I couldn't sleep Saturday night, I didn't think much of it.

Since Sunday morning, I have gotten an accumulative total of 11 hours of sleep. I have pulled every 'get to sleep' trick I have in my repetoire, but none of them have worked.

First, I make sure I don't consume coffee or caffiene after 11am. I also am not taking any narcotics, because those fuck up my REM sleep. I don't work at my laptop after 5pm when I'm experiencing insomnia because the light from the screen messes with my circadian rhythm. I don't like milk so I've stayed away from the milky drinks, but even on the occasion I've tried them, they don't work.

None of the usual rememdies worked, so I broke out the pharmeceuticals.

Benadryl made me doze for an hour and a half, but then I was awake again. Alcohol doesn't make me sleep well, it makes me restless, so I haven't gone there. Melatonin made me feel weird and sleep for 2 hours, but it wasn't a quality sleep - I felt like I was waking up every 5 minutes and never really got under the surface and down into a deep sleep. I tried Valerian root, which smells fucking horrible (it's named Valerian because of it's odor; 'valor' is Latin for 'strength'). It made my burps smell like (according to Urbaner, aka The Hubs) 'rancid hobo feet' and whilst it made me tired, it didn't make me sleep. Last night I tried combining a little of this and a little of that. The result was a very light sleep with a wake up every twenty minutes, which wasn't restful at all.

This morning, I stood with the coffee pot in one hand and my cup in the other, not knowing what I was supposed to do next.

Today, during art class, I started crying. For no reason. The tears just came, and I started crying. Luckily it was during a power point lecture and it was dark in the auditorium so nobody saw me. In algebra, I couldn't remember how many threes were in twenty-one. On the way to political science, I started giggling, again for no reason. I went to the bathroom to try and pull myself together and sat on a toilet in the stall with tears rolling down my face, laughing almost hysterically for no apparent reason. I was afraid to go to the lecture; it felt like I was losing my fucking mind. The only thing I can compare it to is an acid trip. I dropped LSD twice in my life; the first time I had a really interesting conversation with a tree, but it ended abruptly when I realized I was standing on grass and that my weight was impeding the growth of said grass. The second time I felt a general sense of disconnection with reality that was really very unnerving and enough to make me not want to do acid again. Today is getting to be like that and it's starting to scare me. For instance, I'm not sure right now whether I'm really blogging or not. Is it just that I think I'm blogging? Will I come back later and see that I didn't blog at all? Or is this a paper for English? We were talking about hallucinogenic drugs in philosophy yesterday, am I writing this for that? Why am I writing? Who sees this?

I have a migraine. I got it yesterday, and whilst I've been keeping it at bay with a triptan, it's not really going away.

I called my doc (my wonderful, awesome primary care doc who knows the career path I'm taking and is more of a mentor to me than a physician). She made room for me this afternoon. I think that the time has come for some bigger guns than my little bathroom-cabinet pharmacy has to offer.

Sleep, why don't you like me anymore? What did I ever do to you?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Feck, feck and double feck.

First day of the semester today; first day of full time college for me in many years.

I am the eldest in all three of the classes I had today. Tomorrow remains to be seen, but I don't hold out much hope of being the youngest.

The classwork isn't going to be too bad, I think. I love my political science professor and I extra-soopah-doopah love my art professor 'cause he played Pink Floyd whilst we were warming up for class this morning. Math...meh. Ho-hum.

I'm formulating plans for mid-term and extra credit papers already.

I've been branded 'that hot hipster cougar chick' by boys who looked to be fresh out of training pants. Whatev, schweethearts. I'd take you seriously if you had a need to shave your faces...but as you don't, I'll just smile and pretend I didn't hear you.

Now I have to go shampoo doggie diarrhea out of the carpet upstairs. Thank you, Ruby.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

He took the words right out of my mouth.

I usually don't like politicians much, but watching the news this morning changed my mind.

I saw Barney Frank speaking to a constituent at a town hall meeting about healthcare. Mr Frank is a man after my own heart; he said what I have wanted to say to some people (patients, neighbors, acquaintances...even some family members. Yeah, Lynn, I'm talking 'bout YOU).

A woman who had defaced a poster of President Obama with a Hitler-esque mustache stood up and asked Mr Frank why he was supporting what she described as a 'Nazi' policy.

Barney's response was simply brilliant.

"On what planet do you spend most of your time?" he asked. "Madam, trying to have a conversation with you would be like trying to argue with a dining room table. I have no interest in doing it."

As if that wasn't enough (and it was enough for me, I was already smitten with him at that point) he went on to say that her being able to deface the President's image the way she had "is a tribute to the First Amendment that this kind of vile, contemptible nonsense is so freely propagated."

*sigh* Oh Barney, you smooth talking silver tongued took the words right out of my mouth!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Oh poop.

I saw the surgeon again today, to get my stitches removed and talk about what he found on the inside of my shoulder.

The tendon tears weren't as bad as he anticipated, which is good. I had some scar tissue that needed removed, and the anchors that were placed during the capsule reconstruction had broken off, so he had to remove them, too.

"I did find the reason for your pain" he said "and it wasn't really what I was expecting". He showed me a set of photos taken during the procedure.

"This is what cartilage is supposed to look like" he said, pointing to a photo of a smooth, glossy white surface. "This is what the cartilage on your humeral head looks like..." and he pointed to a picture of a pitted yellow surface "...there's not a whole lot of cartilage left there. You have a significant arthritis, probably from when you kept dislocating and subluxating your shoulder".

'Significant arthritis', and I'm only 40. :-/

The good news is that I'm probably a candidate for a hemiarthroplasty in the next few years - instead of replacing the entire joint, the surgeon just replaces the humeral head and resurfaces the glenoid. From what I understand, it's a very successful surgery, providing significant pain relief with improved motion and function. I'm all about that.

Every time I have a surgery, I go into it thinking that this one will be the last one....and every time, there's always something else that needs fixed or tweaked. Just when I think that the accident is finally behind me, something else rears it's head and I realize that no, it's not behind me yet.

*sigh* Maybe one day....

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Scraping the bottom of the barrell

I discovered a new depth of stupidity today.

Woman has 2 little boys aged 3 and 2. Both boys have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Woman swears she did not consume alcohol or do illegal drugs at any time during each of her pregnancies. When asked how, then, did she explain the marked FAS in BOTH her children, her explanation was this (hold on to your hats, folks, 'cause this'll blow you away):

Their father drank and did drugs when they were dating, and was drunk and high when he got her pregnant. His sperm was infected with the alcohol and dope, and that's how her boys ended up with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Yes, you read that correctly: it was the father's infected sperm that gave the boys FAS.

Some people are so dumb it frightens me - but even worse, they're breeding!!

**The only thing I have heard that equals this in sheer ignorance and stupidity is a quote from Bill Maher's 'Religulous'. Bill is talking to some truckers at a truck stop chapel in North Carolina when the subject of the Shroud of Turin comes up. One of the truckers states that it's perfectly sensible for the blood on the shroud to be typed as from a female, even though Jesus was a male - because Mary, JC's mama, was a female and therefore "(female blood) was all that woulda been runnin' through her, and through him. Tha's how come that blood was shown to be female". **


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I just realized

Tomorrow morning will be the first morning I've gone without coffee in many, many months. Almost a year, in fact. Even when I was hospitalized with the ulcer, I had The Hubs sneak in some java (yeah, yeah, I and ulcers don't play well together and all that. I know. Trust me, I've heard it before, and I understood fully the risk I took - and take - when I drink coffee).

The last time I had to go without coffee, things ended badly for a few people. See, when I don't have my coffee, everything else seems off kilter. Out of whack. Not right. I'm not a creature of many routines, but my one routine I NEED is the early morning coffee/dog ritual:

I wake up. I get up, come downstairs, let the dogs out, start the coffee, go pee. Wash my hands, let the dogs in, make a fuss of them and feed them their breakfast and grab my cup and a clean spoon. By that time, the coffee is done brewing....and I pour myself a cup, add the required sugar and ice cube and retreat to the living room to enjoy the solitude.

If I don't have that ritual - or at least the coffee part of it - I'm not a happy camper. I'm fussy and cranky and not nice to be around. Push me or irk me when I'm like that, and...well, it's unpleasant. People have cried, other people have not spoken to me for a day, and even more people say that seeing me without my coffee has given them a whole new understanding of what a bitch I can be at times. So, I'm going to try really hard to have a handle on myself in the morning and *not* be like that.

The worst thing about tomorrow? The Hubs will be having HIS cup of coffee and will even be taking some to go, but I won't get to have any. I'll have to make do with the aroma of it and be satisfied with that.

I'm trying to take comfort in the fact that I'll be experiencing a veritable smorgasboard of interesting pharmacology tomorrow morning. I'm really, really trying.....but nothing can take the place of my coffee. I'd rather have that than any Versed or Demerol.

I'm looking for an excuse to use the term 'Jackson Juice' tomorrow. In the past I've always used 'milk of amnesia' - in fact, the anesthesiologist said it was what I was mumbling about the last time I went off to sleep courtesy of Diprivan - but I like 'Jackson Juice' better. If I'm not too stoned, I'll try to remember to use it.

This will probably be my last blog post for a few days. I remember last time how bad it was to try and blog one handed, so I'm going to try and avoid that if I can. I will, however, have The Hubs Tweet for me when I'm slung and stoned. We'll see.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more.....
(I *heart* Henry V)

Friday, August 7, 2009

This is why procreation should require a license

This is Giselle Gomez. Isn't she adorable? All that hair, those big brown eyes...she's a cutie.

She's also dead. Her mother left her in a parked car for over an hour on Wednesday whilst she went into a business to visit with a family member. Giselle was strapped into her car seat, all the windows were rolled up, and there was no air conditioning in the vehicle. Medics said that when they got to her, she was covered in heat blisters. The autopsy performed yesterday declared hyperthermia as the cause of death.

Giselle has a sister, who's two and a half. Both she and her sister were left alone in the car, but the sister managed to unstrap herself, get out of the vehicle and go looking for the mom.

It was in the 90's here on Wednesday. Yesterday investigators placed the car back in the same parking spot at the same time of day, and after an hour they measured the temperature inside. It was 170 degrees.

What kind of fucking retarded halfwit idiot leaves a one year old in a car with no ventilation and air conditioning in the middle of the afternoon on a 90 degree day??!!?? This kind of idiot:

In case you were wondering exactly what that particular depth of stupidity looks like, it's above, on the left.

That poor little girl literally cooked to death. Her body was covered in heat blisters. The police officers who responded said they's 'never seen anything like it before'. I just can't imagine what that was like....nor do I *want* to imagine. I feel for the medics that took the call....I'm sure that it will stay with them for a while.
Her sister has been removed from the custody of the mom and the dad and is currently in DCFS foster care. When investigators went to the family home yesterday they found what they described as 'unsanitary conditions' and 'spiders and slugs in the bathtub'. Now I'm not the world's best housekeeper, but my the fuck do you get slugs in your tub?!?

Mom has been charged with a 3rd degree felony and is in the country jail on $78,000 bond. I really am having difficulty getting my head around just how fucking dumb she is. It's not as if she was running into the post office or making a quick stop at the convienience store, she was at an insurance agency, visiting with someone (and that someone should, IMO, have asked just what the fuck stupid halfwitted bitch up there was playing at, leaving those kids in the car).

This is why I think there should be a licensing process for procreation; there should be some kind of class that potential parents have to take before they're allowed to have kids. Topics such as 'why it's a bad idea to leave your child unattended for over an hour in the back seat of a car when it's 90 degrees outside' and 'Slugs and bathtubs: never the twain shall meet'.

I've been saying that the idiots are breeding for years. Here's the tragic proof of it.

You're gay. I get it.

I went to my local Starbucks the other day to buy a bag of Sidamo coffee (it's my favorite). The young man behind the counter was chubby, had highlighted blonde hair, was wearing a sparkly headband and spoke in such an affected manner that I couldn't understand what he was saying.

Me: Can you grind this Sidamo for me?

Him: knnafillterr you gotsshhhh?

Me: Pardon?

Him: *tsking at me* kinnafiltuurrr you gotshhhhh?

Me: I think you're asking me about my coffee pot...if so, it's a flat bottomed filter.

He tsked again, then walked over to the grinder. His movements caused me to snigger into my hand; he held his left arm out with his wrist loose and hand dangling, and he clenched his buttocks so tight in an attempt to sashay that I could have sworn he was touching cloth and was trying to keep the turd in situ.

As he was grinding the beans he was boasting to another barista about what he and his boyfriend got up to the night before - at least that's what I think he said. Again, his speech was so affected that it was difficult to understand him. I did make out phrases like 'such a stud' and 'he was all over me' and 'kissed for like, HOURS'.

Why do some gay guys feel the need to talk and walk like that? I can understand that they're proud of their sexual orientation and want people to know about it, but that manner of speech is not natural and is clearly something that they have to work at. So are the walk and gesticulations. I'm not a homophobe (I believe that love comes in many shapes and forms, some of which are illegal) but it really aggrivates me when gay boys and men feel that they HAVE to talk, walk and behave that way.

I wanted to say 'you're gay. I get it. Can you please lose the lisp and try to speak clearly, because I can't understand you?' but I didn't. Instead I paid for my coffee and slunk out the door, shaking my head and wondering just what the hell possesses people to behave that way.

I wonder if he gets pissed off at being stereotyped when he literally behaves in the stereotypical gay boy way?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Tune-age

Spent the day cleaning and trying to get stuff squared away so that I'll be able to sit on my arse next week. Today's playlist includes:

CCR: Down On The Corner (incidentally, this was the first riff I taught myself the day after I got my first acoustic guitar at the grand old age of 30).

New Order: True Faith

Kate Bush: Wuthering Heights (I remember when that song first came out in the UK...I was 10 or 11, I think, and inspired enough to try and read Wuthering Heights. It took me 3 weeks, and I have had a crush on Heathcliffe ever since).

Bob Marley: No Woman, No Cry.

Johnny Cash: I've Been Everywhere (my favorite JC clip is the one of him playing Folsom Prison - he's swinging that guitar of his around and he's chewing gum and is so incredibly hot. June was a lucky chick).

Talking Heads: Once In A Lifetime (a very Buddhist song, I think. I see threads of impermanence in the lyrics).

Biz Markie: Just A Friend

Pink Floyd: Another Brick In The Wall (if any of you ever have the misfortune to be near me when I'm lit, see if you can get me to say "if ye don't eat yer meat, ye can't have any pudding! How can ye have any pudding if ye doan eat yer meat!??!!". Apparently I'm pretty good at it)

Dexy's Midnight Runners: Geno (Love the horns and bass on this. Have persuaded Littlest Ling to play the sax part for me).

The Real McKenzies: Bugger Off (seeing them play a live show is on my Bucket List. I want to be right at the front, on the edge of the pit, so's I can get a nice view of their arses when they flip their kilts and moon the crowd).

Jane's Addiction: Been Caught Stealing (Perry Farrell is incredibly cool - a little odd, but aren't we all?).

MCR: Teenagers (I still feel like it's me vs society in general some days. Especially around here. Military families can be really very conservative, and I....well, I'm not).

Radio Head: Creep (I love the start of the guitar riff in this).

Madness: One Step Beyond (British ska from the early 80's. Ska is what what I call 'fat' and Urbaner calls 'wet'; it's got a souped-up reggae backbeat to it and is horn-heavy. I *heart* ska).

Common: Universal Mind Control

Chuck Berry: Johnny B. Goode

ZZ Top: Legs

Fatboy Slim: Weapon Of Choice (If you've never seen the video for this, I highly recommend that you check it out. Christopher Walken does this dance routine that is just fab-u-lous.)

And with that, I must go cook some food-age. Untill the morrow, dear hearts....

Monday, August 3, 2009


1. Do you like blue cheese? I'm English, so yes.

2. Have you ever been drunk? Are you kidding me with this? Fuck yes!

3. Do you own a gun? Me personally? Not anymore. I used to carry a Sig Sauer P228 9mm for a duty and personal protection piece, and before that I had a Glock model 23 .40cal. I didn't care for the Glock as much as the Sig...I loved that gun. Nowadays, we have firearms in the house, but they're not *mine*, strictly speaking.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid is your favorite? Cherry. With or without vodka.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Sometimes. Recently, yeah.

6. What do you think of hot dogs?I think that they're made of lips and snouts and buttholes, but that they're very yummy lips and snouts and buttholes.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? A Christmas Story. I *heart* that movie.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Sidamo or Verona blend coffee. Black.

9. Can you do push ups? Uh huh.

10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My titanium second wedding ring.

11. Favorite hobby? Knitting.

12. Do you have A.D.D. ? I'm not su......ooh! Bright shiny thing!

13. What's your favorite shoes? I have too many favorites to name just one pair. Besides, the other pairs would get jealous and might riot. Nobody wants rioting shoes.

14. Middle name? Same as my mother's, same as her mother's, and the same as my grandmother's mother's. My family wasn't exactly imaginative when it came to middle names, apparently.

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? I wish to fuck that dog would stop farting, my nose is running, and it's fucking cold in here.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Coke. Coffee. Rolling Rock.

17. Current worry? Pain and fear of more pain.

18. Current hate right now? Pain.

20. How did you bring in the New Year? Wondering where the fuck # 19 went.

21. Where would you like to go? To Oxford to see my kinfolk.

22. Name three people who will complete this? Damned if I know. I'm just doing this cuz I'm bored.

23. an unusual food you tried? Escargot that we had caught ourselves.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Grey.

25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets? No. Did it for a week, once. Slid out of bed twice and woke up repeatedly every night as my pillow slid out from under my head and onto the floor. Everybody makes satin sheets sound all sexy n'shit, but there's nothing sexy about slipping around like a greased pig all fucking night. NOTHING.

26. Can you whistle? Poorly and tunelessly, yes.

27. Favorite color? Green.

28. Would you be a pirate? Arrgh!!!!

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? Everybody's Talking - again, poorly.

30. Favorite Girl's Name? Nirvana.

31. Favorite boy's name? Jack.

32. What's in your pocket right now? I don't have pockets in my PJ's, but if I did there would be the customary lint and ... well, more lint in them.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? A Prairie Home Companion yesterday.

34. Best memories as a child? Going to London with my bro.

35. Worst injury you've ever had as a child? Got dragged along concrete on my knees and avulsed a silver dollar sized chunk of flesh off of one. It was hanging by a thread, but instead of taking me to the hospital my mum ran it under the tap to get most of the gravel out (still some in there) then flipped the flap of flesh back over and stuck a bandaid on it. It scarred.

36. Do you love where you live? No. I don't like the neighborhood, I don't like the area. The only thing that I like is that my in laws live relatively close by.

38. Who is your loudest friend? Okay, we have another disappearing question here. This is getting creepy.

39. How many dogs do you have? 2.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Not that I'm aware of, but if someone does please do feel free to tell me about it.

41. What is your favorite book? The Grapes Of Wrath.

42. What is your favorite candy? Swedish Fish.

43. Favorite Sports Team? The All Blacks.

44. What is your favorite food at your favorite restaurant? There's a Chinese place near here that does some great sesame chicken.

45. What song do you want played at your funeral? Con Te Partiro - Andre Bocelli's version. It gives me goosebumps.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Great Cherry Massacre, 2009

I've become very interested in canning and preserving foods this year. Friday I made salsa with produce from my garden, and when I went to the grocery store yesterday I found some Bing cherries on sale for 99 cents a pound - that's really incredibly very very very cheap.

So, I bought some, and this morning I decided I was going to make some cherry jam with them.

It starts with destalking then washing the cherries. Then, you have to pit them:

I felt like a Civil War surgeon, and my kitchen looked just like a battlefield OR. There was dark red cherry juice everywhere; it was dripping off my elbows and all over my shirt.

This is the aftermath of the massacre:

I had to bleach the chopping board and the counter to get the stains out. However, this is what I was left to cook with:


I added some lemon juice and a little secret ingredient, then added the sugar and started it on a boil. It has to cook for quite a long time; about a 90 minute simmer should suffice. You can tell it's ready when you drop some of it onto a cold plate and it forms a skin and wrinkles when you push it with your finger.

When it's ready, you ladle it into hot jars and put the lids on it. You can give it 10 minutes in the canner, or you can just put it up in a cool dark place....I'm opting NOT to give mine the waterbath canning treatment this time.

And voila! Cherry jam, the NinjaMedic way!