Sunday, July 29, 2007

in which we move, perhaps?

tuesday.


they come on tuesday to cart our crap out of our ridiculously large house and into a ridiculously inexpensive storage space until we find another ridiculously large apartment in the lovely city of chicago (not ridiculous at all, can't wait to get there!)

are we ready? FUCK YEAH!

whooooot!!!!! i can't believe we're gonna pull this thing off!

objects found while packing:
  • remote control - yay!
  • bag of gym clothes from 2003, unwashed - ewwww
  • approximately $184.30 in foreign money, mostly rendered un-exchangable now that the EU has converted to the euro - duh!
  • checks, financial papers, real estate documents from our last apt (sold in 2000!) dating back to 1994 (as long as we've been together, geesh!) - shredding, whew!
  • water gun and one toe sock, embossed with "lil devil" - no idea, don't ask
  • two limericks written to me on a receipt in red pen, one horrible, one not so bad (remember the birthday of 2004?)
  • birdfarm's Star Trek fan fiction, circa 1983 - god that was FUNNY!
and now i must go shred....so much paper, ugh.

advice for the day, de-clutter your house NOW :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

oh ffs!

yes, i'm back.... i have to admit that lace knitting has returned me to my blog, to my *real* life, to my place in the world.

  • my back = recoverying nicely
  • my knitting = back on track, socks and shawls as usual, a sweater in the works as well (one that i will have to exercise all the rest of the summer to fit into for winter, but, that's another journey)
  • my love = perfect as always, even in stressful times we are stronger than ever
  • my work = well... after the big move, i'll get back to it, patience for now

what else can i say? i've been reading my blogs again, going back six months and delicately picking up bits and pieces of my life, packing them up with all of my other belongings to be put in temporary storage until the big move. wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Saturday (scratch that, it's Friday night!), liberation or imprisionment?

Upcoming Event: discharge from hospital (been here since Oct.27, you do the math) Loopy has had to consult with the social worker here to sort out the bills already!

Irrational Fear associated with Upcoming Event: will move from cushy hospital rehab unit where my every whim is acted on by cheery, sometimes gorgeous young women to our new apartment which, while lovely, does not come with nursing staff or housekeeper. Who will bring me my breakfast, refill my water pitcher, and make my bed?

Rational (?) Fear associated with Upcoming Event: could possibly fall using walker in the apartment and lie on the floor until Loopy comes home from work. Hopefully this will occur in the late afternoon and I'll only be on the floor for an hour or two. This of course, is highly unlikely since I have never fallen using the walker here in rehab (been here a week and a half) and yesterday I spent some time with the physical therapist (torturer) getting on the ground and getting up again. It wasn't either painful or difficult. So, I guess this should be labeled irrational. See, now is when I wish I had another blog program that lets you cross out words and replace them with other words. I wish that a lot. If anyone knows how to do that in Blogger, please, please, let me know!

Rational Fear (2) associated with Upcoming Event: I'll spend all day napping, watching TV talk shows and eating those little 100 calorie bags of Doritos, thus atrophying my brain and increasing my waistline. This one is very rational, believe me. Must get back to work. Must engage brain with academic writing soon, maybe gradually :) Must find a way to exercise safely to keep up the great weight loss of 2005 (reached a new low yesterday, yay!, even hospital food is good for something)

Rational Fear (3): that Loopy and I will spend so much time together that we'll be right smack back in counseling which I detest. I don't' detest the LIF (little italian friend), nor do I detest the resulting progress toward having a real, adult, loving relationship. It's the process that kills me! Must get Loopy out of the house. Must find things to do that preserve sense of self and maintain sanity.

So folks, that's the workings of my twisted brain this morning. Progress continues, body responds to treatment, to increased painkillers and to the torturer who daily dreams up new and insidious ways to make me move muscles with nerves that aren't really at their best these days. Yesterday I had to put pegs in boards, washers on a tower of rings, and play with this super stiff silly putty stuff called "Air-Putty." That's just for the upper body rehab. The lower body rehab is so ridiculous that sometimes I think they're teaching me to tap dance.

And, I promise, this blog will regain its focus on griping, complaining and raging about the general state of the world, academia and knitting. Hang in there, faithful readers, all three of you!

xoxo,
sep

Sunday, November 12, 2006

can you see my posts?

some people have emailed saying they can't see my posts. now i know that i'm the one taking Oxycontin but is this really true? hmmmm, i'll try republishing it all. that should make it really fun for all two of you who read me through bloglines :)

in other news: apparently i have lost all ability to judge people. i mean the nasty gossip gene must have been extracted with the tumor. or else its the Oxycontin. i love everyone. i love the nurses, the doctors, the guy who cleans my room, the semi-crazy woman who lost the ability to walk and move her arms and hands after a bout of pneumonia, even the very cranky respiratory people who come into my room at 6 a.m. to see if my cpap machine is still on and working. now, that's love people

speaking of love, just found out that a friend is pregnant again! congrats C!!!! wishing u the best :)

and I have a day pass today and am leaving the hospital for the first time since Oct. 27th! we're going shoe shopping! wahoo!

that's all...

Thursday, November 9, 2006

inane musing: hospitals, walking, blue sky...and a super-special freebie for the not-so-squeamish out there

god, it seems like forever since i've posted.... a whirlwind of events have occured even though i've not left the hospital for two weeks. today i saw the blue sky and felt the fresh air for the first time since i arrived here. loopy and i rushed out (me in my wheelchair) through the maze of hospital hallways to the Outdoors. we felt like we were making a getaway after robbing a bank!

a prof in my department is in the same hospital as me, recovering from a car accident. that's weird enough but it gets even weirder.... she had the accident the same day (maybe the same time, for all i know!) as loopy had a mild fender bender. god, what's next?

i continue to improve, making more headway in the walking efforts. i just realized as i was thinking about what to write here that i'm learning to walk all over again. i mean people say that about people in hospitals and i never really knew what that meant except that it was truly awful. but as i do my walking, with my physical therapist and my walker and as i do my exercises, i realize that i am doing just that.... learining how to put one foot in front of the other at the appropriate space, with the appropriate weight, at the appropriate time so as to not fall over. that's pretty much what i did when i was three (long story... learned to walk late, congenital problems with hips, blah blah blah). wow...

knitting also progresses, i'm no longer ripping back more rows in the morning than i knitted the evening before so it's actually growing! i'm on a top-down, raglan sleeved cardigan and i'm only a few more inches until the armpit and beginning of sleeves.

loopy has found a fantastic apartment near the hospital and seems fantastically happy there. i'm so glad she's not living out of her car any more. ugh.

i know to some of you this post might seem depressing but for us it's really all good news and we're still counting ourselves as very, very lucky. even if i don't regain enough sensation in my feet to walk without a walker or cane, there is still some chance that i will be able to drive and that encourages me. and even if driving is out of the question a year from now (which means forever), then well... that's not as bad as waiting to become paralyzed as some with MS do. i'm an optimist, what can i say :)

i'm putting in a link to an awesome pic of my incision. the stitches are big blue nylon, it looks just like a turkey, all trussed up and ready to go into the oven to me! and i think the scar will be fantastic looking, can't wait to put a really awesome tattoo around it (you have to wait a year before you can tattoo anywhere near it).

here's a spoiler in case you don't want to see the pics of the incision and stitches...............
go away now
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don't look unless you want to
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it's kinda gross
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but i think it's cool
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ok here it is... click on the little picture for a big picture!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

inane musing: hospital, illness, and can i get an article out of this experience?

ok, so those who know me or my beloved know that i'm laid up in the hospital* awaiting surgery on what appears to be a "large-ish" tumor** inside my spinal canal. this new development has proven to be both sociologically interesting (what a strange process it is to actually have to fight to get admitted to the hospital and then to be told rather sternly that perhaps you should have been there days and weeks before) and personally exhausting (who knew that just sitting in a hospital bed, being "observed" is so time consuming!).

random thoughts in no particular order:
  • one does not always know when one is being irrational, dopey, confused, or disoriented - thankfully loopy has been around to point these moments out to me
  • one can indeed knit while under the influence of massive doses of morphine, stockinette stitch only however
  • nurses are indeed angels of mercy and possess all sorts of secret potions, skills and tricks to ease your discomfort
  • a neurological surgeon is a wishy-washy sort of person. one day he fills your head with the most awful things that might result from your impending and crucially necessary surgery; the next day he attempts to reverse all this by filling your head with reassuring details, ending with the note that 8 or 9 people with tumors in their spinal canal emerge from surgery with fewer physical deficits than they entered it with.
  • hospital food is greatly improved and sometimes even quite tasty
  • if you refuse to wear a hospital gown and actually get up in the morning, put on clothes, brush your teeth or shocker of all shockers-take a shower!, none of the nurses, techs or staff know which one of you is the patient. even if you are wearing an IV and are clearly tethered to a large machine.
  • using a walker is a lot more fun than you'd imagine and doesn't make you feel old at all.
  • when picking out a hospital for an extended stay, pick one with room service. yes, they bring you food (no apparent limit on number of meals) whenever you call. and as far as i an tell, you don't pay for it. it's way cool!
  • visitors are awesome,* especially the ones who don't mind that you are having some sort of intestinal issue at the time.
why is any of this blog-worthy? well, mostly so that friends and family don't fear that i am on death's doorstep, flopped out on the stoop, tongue dangling out of my mouth and on the verge of a fatal spasm.

secondly, i like to prove to myself that i can string together a sentence once in a while, it makes me feel less despondent about what's going on, so humor me here folks!

i started this blog (over two years now) as a way to vent... feeling the need for an audience when i was surrounded by people who disagreed with my minority opinion on social, political and logistical matters. it's evolved into a kind of outlet for the mishmash of stuff (kerf, one might say) that doesn't find itself into my daily interactions with friends and family. so, i'm guessing that this blog will continue in that direction, i mean how often do you get the chance to tell someone how amazingly good oatmeal is first thing in the morning, knowing that you don't have to wash the pan! that alone outweighs the annoying fact that you have to wear a safety belt strapped across your chest whenever you leave your room with your walker (and an appropriate companion). :)

so, i flourish. i'm definitley not getting any worse here and am hoping that i'm getting better. Thursday is the big day, 5 hours of surgery will reveal the nature of my tumor, whether or not it will cooperate in the surgeon who is determined to un-attach it from me, and what lasting effects (if any) we might be left with. I guess I could be in shock still, it's only been four days since we even knew we had a tumor, but I prefer to think that i'm just coping with it by staying calm, musing over the details in a sort of unattached way and shooting them out into the blogosphere to see what happens to them.

It's so tempting to think about this experience in terms of publish-ability... I mean, when your dissertation topic is already focused on heathcare, surely there should be a way to consider this as an extended participant-observation experience! (I'm only half kidding here folks). Could be a new section in the ASA, illness as case-study.

wish me luck, don't fret over the negative possibilities (I could just as likely get hit by a bus and end up with the same outcome), and if you're in town, drop by!

xoxo,
sep
* i'm at the university hospital, just ask at the desk for my name and you'll find me.
** the official definition of my tumor is (no, we won't know which of these it is until the skilled neurosurgeon attempts to remove it): Intradural-Extramedullary Tumors: Meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors (schwannomas and neurofibromas) comprise the overwhelming majority this subset of spinal tumors. Meningiomas arise from the arachnoid mater (a thin covering layer of the spinal cord which is located inside the dura), and are most common in middle aged and elderly women. Schwannomas and neurofibromas arise from the nerve roots which come off the spinal cord. Meningiomas and nerve sheath tumors are usually benign. Filum terminale ependymomas arise at the base of the spinal cord and may be large and adherent to many nerves, making total removal sometimes difficult.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

inane musing: my family


no, i don't talk about my family much. it's not because i've alienated myself from most of them (i actually have!) or that i don't think about and care deeply for those members who made the cut (love ya sis!)... more that we're so far from them at the moment, and with my self-imposed isolation, i'm feeling far away from everyone right now.

but, i've been trying to find this picture for years. it turned up recently in a letter from my sis... just had to share it with you all for so many reasons. me, desolate, pensive, wearing horrible clothes. ricky, smiling, always flirty even in the same horrible clothes (it wasn't just the 70s, it was my mother), just really wanting to wear baretts in his hair too.

i love u ricky! my "little" nephew... only three years apart and this picture just says it all for me. so get off your can and write me a goddamed encouraging email already! yes, i do need it today.

love,
your auntie :)

for those of you who know the story of the hurling turkey and the ensuing cleanup of fake xmas tree, yes, that's the exact tree. yes, we cleaned all the tinsel too.

well, what kind of post would you write on the eve of the day that might make the rest of your life a lot better? send happy thoughts to Dr. Leonard as he points a really, really sharp needle at my spine tomorrow at 10:30 a.m. thanks in advance.