Thursday, April 30, 2009

observation

Kid Rock is going to perform at the state fair. That's two kinds of hell in one event. Three if you consider corn dogs as culinary hell.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

i'll try to crank out something witty

I went to a conference in Minneapolis today. My traveling partners were fun and the conference was interesting but my brain hurt by about noon. Just too much information. It was cold in there, too, and my water bottle spilled all over the bottom of my bag, soaking my calendar, my folders, my wallet, and pretty much everything in there. It was a mess.

Random notes on the day...
  • The sidewalk is still under construction due to the rain today. We're going to have a nicer sidewalk (not the right word for something as fine as this) than a kitchen floor.
  • The apple tree has actual leaves on it. Tiny ones, but leaves just the same.
  • Our friend, Jane, is saying good-bye to her sister Vivian today. Jane says Vivian is peaceful now and kept her sense of humor right to the end. That's a good way to go.
  • Jill probably has new grandbaby twins by now. I can't wait to hear.
  • I'm not reading or listening to anything about the SF. I don't think my distress will help.
  • Daffodils are still blooming in the garden. It's cool and wet which they like.
  • Tiffany says Elliot only woke up once between 10 and 7 this morning.
  • We're going to spend Friday evening with Ella and Alex while Bob and Emily go bowling.
That's all my brain can conjure up tonight.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

yard work




This should be ready for the first barbecue of the season by the end of the week!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

more on the draft

To clarify, I only care about the immediate human drama of the NFL draft...who cries, whose mom is there, who has a lot of new bling, who has a room full of relatives, who fusses with their hair after they put the cap on...I don't care about any of the rest of it and I forget their names the minute they leave the stage. This would never carry over into any sincere interest in football.

Regis and I ordered tickets to see Lyle Lovett this summer at the State Theater in Minneapolis. The show starts at 8:00 (that's P.M.) so I think we'll stay downtown for the night since we don't like to be up too late. We can have dinner, walk to the theater, and have a fine time. It will be like a vacation.

After checking on the prices of downtown hotels, we just might be driving home. The only one in our price range gets reviews like this:
They recently replaced the mattresses but the linens, furniture, and everything else is worn, dated, and in need of a massive renovation. The TV's are so old and the picture is so fuzzy that you can't read any text on screen. I stayed in many different rooms (at least 14 different rooms on different floors), and the TVs and furnishing were equally bad everywhere.

Oh good. windy again. What's up with that?

I better get ready for work tomorrow.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

saturday

Alex popped by to visit today while the men he travels with cut down a tree in our backyard. He smiled at me a couple times but we couldn't quite get it on film. He's a pretty happy guy and according to his Popop, has some admirable qualities for a baby: he likes to eat and sleep and as long as you keep his pants dry, he's content.

I'm watching the NFL draft. I don't care a fig about football but I like the human drama. Those kids look like they're about 14. They usually have an entourage with them and I suppose everyone is happy when the kid walks away with millions of bucks. Oh, man, this guy is crying. The talking heads are interesting too, but I think they're running out of adjectives.

The entertainment factor of the NFL draft would be enhanced if they had all these people in the same room (rather than sequestering them in their own quarters) and served liquor. Imagine what things would be like about four hours into it.

I've been more interested in cooking today so I made an egg bake for lunch and tomato soup for dinner. This is my last week of pureed food. Then I move to a soft mechanical diet, adding fish, poultry, and soft vegetables. I tell you, that sounds pretty darn good.

More later. We're making a run to the co-op for a few emergency supplies, then we're going to watch another Coen brothers movie.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

it's a mess

Jill, I told you my office is a mess. This doesn't give the whole picture but it's enough of a hint. I swear I'm going to clean it up tomorrow. Get a dumpster.

I had a good week...went swimming three times, going out for coffee before work tomorrow, Karl came to lay out the patio, and it's Betty's birthday today. Hurray. We should have a new patio by this time next week.

I almost ran over a pocket gopher today. Last year, two tiny ones ran in front of my car over by Jefferson Avenue. One turned back and I thought oh no they'll never find each other. Maybe they have short term memory problems and it didn't matter to them like it did to me.

The wind is disturbing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

whoa missed a couple days

Every time I talked to Regis today and asked him what he was up to, he said not much. When I came around the corner onto our street, I saw a waist-high and lot-long pile of brush and leaves from the garden. My garden looks great! The fern leaf peony looks very hearty, Mom, and I have several poppies seeking the sun. I'm determined to move some things around this year...an Edgar Allen Poe hosta that seems to love the back fence but is going to come out to the front yard. I wonder why someone would name a beautiful hosta after that strange dude.

Here's the fern leaf peony. It started out on Mom and Dad's farm and has lived here for close to ten years. The first five years of its life, I threatened to pull it out by the roots and throw it in the compost pile. Then it got one bud on it, the next year two, and now I think (ta da) we have five!

This is our crummy front sidewalk that will be repaired next week. I tried to show how it bows in the middle and I didn't get that very well, but you can see that it doesn't square up with the door very well. The guy that did this work was a goofball.

Here are the crummy front steps that will be repaired next week. Same dude built them. They looked like this almost from the first winter.

Here's a laughing frog with a poppy plant and a few weeds. At least he isn't covered in leaves and now he can bask in the sun.

Tiffany sent a phone picture of Elliot smiling today. It looked like a real, deliberate smile. Very cute. Ella, take some pictures of your brother for Nana and Popop. Have Daddy teach you how to email.

Betty and I went back to the pool on Tuesday. Nancy came, too. The water was warm and it felt great. I'm going tomorrow but I think I'll take Friday off and have coffee instead.

Betty's mama passed away this morning. Wishing her a peaceful passage and sweet memories for her family.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Elliot visits




Too tired to write much tonight. Elliot enjoyed the visit as much as we did. Regis picked up a Papa Murphy's Chicago style pizza but Elliot and I stuck to the liquid diet. I'm going back to work tomorrow and it's a little hard to get my head around that. The last week was like practice retirement and we really liked it. More tomorrow...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

delete

I deleted the earlier post. It was dumb. If you read it, you probably agree and if you didn't, you didn't miss much.

We've had a peaceful Saturday. I cleaned up the Easter decorations and we went for a bike ride, then went to Bob and Em's to see the babies. Alex was happy to sit on Popop's lap while Ella entertained me. She had a pair of gold Mary Janes on (And she was dancin'!) and I loved them. I wonder if they make them in grown-up sizes.

I wanted to sit in the yard again today but it was overcast and chilly so I took a nap instead. Very satisfying.

I'm tired tonight, even with the nap, but Regis wants to watch some car chase movie. Ack. But he suffered through something I picked out last night...Forgetting Sarah Marshall...which you must have to be much younger than we are to appreciate. Gratuitous full frontal nudity is really not my bag. One of the reviews (didn't read until it was too late...) said it was a romantic comedy with no story, no romance, and no comedy. Pretty much sums it up. I owe him a car chase movie.

Regis thinks it was me driving the bus on the road to perdition because he doesn't miss beer and I do. He might be right.

Friday, April 17, 2009

pee wee herman bike and people my age are starting to look gross

I took this picture myself. I started something I'm calling the face project. I'm going to take a picture of my own face every few days from now until January 1st. Then I'll put them all together in a slide show. This isn't one of those, but I still like the photo. I look sort of wrinkled and tragic.

This is Regis with his favorite spring beer, Harp. The weather has been so nice he may have to switch to the summer beer. That's what happens in Minnesota...two weeks between frost bite and sun burn.

My feet at the end of my legs doing what they do best. Nothing. I love these red polka-dot shoes.


Regis adds some accessories to my new bike. He happily installed the odometer and the mirror but groused a little (and made that circular motion by his ear) when I asked him to hang the towel from the basket.

This is my new bike with its basket (and little red and white towel), bell, mirror, and odometer. Young Reg says he has his bike fully loaded like Pee Wee Herman. I like to think of myself as more of an Elvira Gulch character. Did she have an odometer?

Hard to tell if she has an odometer but she has her basket in the back instead of the front. Nice hat, too.

These are my pansies looking sort of weird and artsy. Tom says (and it bears repeating) that they shouldn't be called pansies because they're tough.


These are two of the pansy pots I planted the other day and my spring flag with poppies. You can see evidence in this picture that I didn't travel far to take these photos. Hey....I'm recovering!

I wanted to add people my age are starting to look gross to the title (It's from a John Gorka song.) so I wouldn't forget about it. More on that weird thought later.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

a pall of idiocy has descended

I had surgery on April 6th and since then, Regis claims a pall of idiocy has descended on our house. Neither of us can remember anything. He bought two bags of Easter candy at Walgreen's today and now can't remember where he put them. There aren't that many places in our house where we hide candy, believe me. Some other incidents:
  • We constantly walk into a room with a confused look and confess that we don't know what we came in there for. (worse than before)
  • I got lost in the grocery store the other day. I was in organic foods and Regis said he was going to fruit. He found me standing dazedly in meat, wondering where he was.
  • Regis asked me the other day what I thought of the book he had downloaded to the Kindle. I thought and thought...but couldn't come up with what the hell he was talking about. I had completely forgotten. I asked when he told me about it but he didn't remember.
  • We've been to the grocery store about once a day this week even though my menu is very limited. What can we be buying?
  • I have to ask what day it is. This will likely get better when I go back to work.
  • There have been other incidents, but....I can't remember.
  • I was distracted by something shiny on the internet and when I was closing up my browser, there was my half-finished blog post. Told ya.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

brief update

I've done a lot of walking today...2.19 miles, so far. I also took my new bike for a short ride. I love it! I feel like Elvira Gulch cruising down the road after Toto. Only better.

I caught my dog with his nose in the window well today. I'm not sure if he had consumed bunnies, but there was fur hanging out of his mouth. Any rabbit dumb enough to make a nest in our yard probably deserves to have the gene pool drained and flushed. I can say that cruel and callous thing because I'm pretty sure the mama moved the babies yesterday. I think Kramer was just digging in the nest.

And here's the truth. Last time he ate bunnies, he got pancreatitis and had to spend the night in the doggie hospital on IV's. This time, he's reached his out-of-pocket maximum. That will be its own punishment for bunnie consumption if there was any. So sad. Life's a bitch.

Regis says I'm shopping like a squirrel getting ready for winter. Today a cute little plastic thing for my lunch was delivered, and a timer to let me know when to eat and drink. Ha! He just likes to give me a hard time. Just doing my part for the economy. Here's the Sassy Baby On-the-Go:

I planted pansies today, too. I'll take some pictures when they start blooming again. I hate to cut the flowers off but that's what they recommend.

Oh, and Karl came and looked at the area where we want to put the RHF Memorial Patio. His price was much lower than we expected so we might have him just do it. Neither of us are very good at organizing DIY projects. Karl says it would take a day and a half. He loved the stories about the last dude that worked on our bricks.

Oh, and one more thing. I bought new glasses today with the money left over in Regis' flexible spending account. He had to spend it by Friday or it was going away so these are my Economic Recession glasses. Here's what they look like...very hip and cool.

If this is a brief update, wouldn't you hate to see a lengthy update?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

spring day and a bunny nest

I was just about to let Kramer out the back door this morning when a mama bunny darted to the fence and made her escape. I looked into the window well and there were several bunnies, little ones, poking their heads out to see what was going on. Whoa, Kramer isn't going out there to slaughter bunnies. So, he's been getting lots of walks today.

I went for two half-mile walks today and took a nap. My goal is to make it to 8:00 without collapse. Ha! No, it's not like that. I have lots of stamina and I feel great. It still takes a lot of time to keep the food and water straight but that gets easier every day, too. I'm afraid I will be able to return to work on the 20th. Damn.

Regis and I sat in the front yard for a while this afternoon. The sun felt great!

This is a picture of Kris Kristofferson, not a picture of me in a musician costume. Hahaha!

Kris Kristofferson is playing in Minneapolis tonight. If I had money and gumption, I'd be there. He is one of my favorite singer/song writers. These are my favorite songs:
  • Sunday Morning Coming Down
  • Jaded Lover
  • Me & Bobby McGee
  • Lovin' Her Was Easier Than Anything I'll Ever Do Again
  • Jesus Was a Capricorn
  • Nobody Wins
  • Favorite Album: Breakaway
My other choice for evening entertainment would be the Bill Holm tribute. From the Pioneer Press: Holm, a popular Minnesota writer who died Feb. 25, will be honored by his friends April 14 at a public tribute beginning with ice-cold shots of Holm's favorite spirit, Reyka Icelandic vodka, and concluding with a New Orleans brass band leading the audience out of the Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul.

If you can't go, but want to TUNE IN: "Friends of Bill Holm" will be recorded for broadcast at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18 on all Classical Minnesota Public Radio stations (for National Poetry Month), including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities; and at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 19 on all Minnesota Public Radio stations, including KNOW 91.1 FM in the Twin Cities.
DISCLAIMER

The rabbit in the picture on the Easter Sunday post is not really me. Apparently I fooled a few people. It is a cool outfit and I'd be proud to wear it, but....it's not me.

Dad

I thought this was such a nice letter about my dad.

I am nominating Estle Saum as a candidate for the Canby High School Hall of Fame.

Estle Saum is a name that has been understood to be a part of Canby High School for many decades. I believe that Estle has been the biggest influence on this institution in the past 40 years or maybe history.

He gave of his time in a way that not many can really understand. He always put his school as a priority and always wanted the students to achieve at their potential. He was perceived as a mainstay in this school, but the sacrifices he made were overlooked by many.

There were many nights that he stood by the door of athletic events when his children were participating at other locations. I’m sure he would have rather been attending his son’s wrestling matches, instead of hosting girl’s basketball. He believed in his job, his school, and was dedicated to serve all of us to the best of his ability.

Estle was a man of few words and I learned from him that quality beats quantity any day of the week. He spoke very honestly and was never afraid of the repercussions. I believe that Estle wanted the best for his teachers, students, and his community.

- One day I remember that the Minnesota Gopher Basketball Team came to Canby to play a scrimmage in our High School Gym. This was a very big event and at the time the Gophers were doing very well nationally. Arnie Carlson was our Governor then and he also came to Canby. He had addressed Estle and told Estle that he would be introducing the team. Estle ever so politely told him that this is not a political arena and he would not be doing any such thing, but welcomed the Governor to sit it the stands, which he did.

Estle Saum was and is the definition of a leader, always leading by example and understanding how to get people to rise to the occasion. He was very humble, wanting the credit to go to others, and willing to accept the blame for others. He truly knew how to achieve a goal and was able to orchestrate talent in a way that was successful.

I have lived in Canby for 40 years, and I am so proud of so many teachers, athletes and coaches but I do not know of a person more deserving of this honor than Estle. I am very respectful yet very naïve as to why this letter is appropriate because in my mind this is a “no-brainer”.

Thank You,

Paul Huber

Class of 1983

Monday, April 13, 2009

monday

Health report. It's a full-time job eating and drinking. I went for a walk with Regis this morning...almost a mile. Then we went shopping. I was in the mood for some spring wear. Walked another mile shopping. I was one whipped dog when I came home but couldn't sleep. Maybe I'll sleep fine tonight.

Peter went to the WOW Zone to celebrate his birthday. I told him we might show up. Yeah, right. I'd make it there about five minutes. Too many bright lights and too much loud music.

Too tired to write much. More tomorrow when I'm fresh.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

easter

We had a nice gathering at Bob and Emily's. There are more pictures here. I took Ella for a little walk after dinner but she was more interested in looking into the ravine at the river than in strolling too far. We read Peter Rabbit several times. She missed the part about Mr. McGregor putting Peter's dad into a pie (frankly, I don't remember that either) but she was very concerned about Peter crying when he couldn't get out of the garden. Popop pulled some quarters out of her ears before we left and she thanked him. She said she wouldn't want to go to bed with those in her ears. She's a hoot.

If you like words, this is a very cool website that I stumbled upon while searching for a name for a goat that begins with Z. One of the pages is called The International House of Logorrhea:
logorrhea log-uh-RI-uh, n an excessive flow of words, prolixity [Gr logos word + roia flow, stream] Welcome to the International House of Logorrhea, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. The IHL is a component of The Phrontistery, which has many other free word lists and unusual word related resources. Check it out, not so much to build your vocabulary, but maybe to discover a good name for a goat.

easter

Happy Easter to My Peeps!

Here I am dressed to go to Bob's for Easter dinner. Regis thinks it's a little outlandish but I think it's a good look for me. Ella will love it.

Same old stuff here. Got outside a little bit yesterday. Bought some pansies. Tom says that's a bad name for them since they're pretty tough. Good one, Tom. I woke up in the middle of the night worried about them, though, so I waddled into the yard in my pajamas and brought them into the house. Waking up to frozen pansies on Easter morning would be a drag.

We went to Tom's with a pizza last night. Regis and Tom had the Classic Combo with a few bottles of Harp while I had two tablespoons of yogurt and one tablespoon of applesauce. It didn't even hurt.

Moving on into the day....more later.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

dream

I got up in the middle of the night to take some Roxicet. I just couldn't sleep and thought it would help. It did, of course, but it sent me this weird dream. Joanne convinced me to go to a sorority party only it was all middle-aged women dressed very smartly in business clothes. They walked in neat lines and talked in low voices. I had a tantrum saying she talked me into going and I didn't want to be there. But then I saw Elliot and Joanne had taught him to talk when he was four months old so the fancy ladies were amazed. But then somebody made a crack to me and I threw my drink all over the steps. Getting feisty in a dream. That could be a sign of something.

I'm getting all my food and vitamins and logs organized today. This is a full-time job, man. I have to take 30 minutes to eat a meal that is 4-6 tablespoons of food. Then I wait 30 minutes before I start sipping water. I have to drink 48-60 ounces of water a day. I stop drinking 30 minutes before a meal, take 30 minutes to eat, then wait 30 minutes to drink again. There are vitamins to take with food and vitamins to take between meals. It's quite a regimen.

Regis is going out to do some errands today. He's going to get a new wheelbarrow for me since we can't remember what happened to the old one. It probably rusted away. We need bird seed and I need a thing old people use to remember to take their pills. There are a couple other things on the list but I can't remember what they were.

I think I'll stick close to home and wander around the block from time to time. I thought I would take my bike out for a ride but Regis vetoed that real quickly. He said it was a bad idea for seveal reasons so I guess I won't do that.

I have half a mind (hahaha) to get some pansies today. I'm anxious to start gardening.

Friday, April 10, 2009

is this for real? OMG this is hilarious

Twittering the passion: NYC church plans performance of Christ story in 140-character tweets

Last update: April 10, 2009

NEW YORK - Experience the Passion of Christ — in 140-character bursts.

In a marriage of Christian tradition and digital technology, Wall Street's Trinity Church is using the micro-blogging service Twitter to perform the story of Jesus Christ.

The main characters will tweet the Passion play for three hours beginning at noon on Good Friday. The feed also can be delivered to mobile devices or e-mail addresses.

The lower Manhattan Episcopal parish also is offering a Web version of the Stations of the Cross.

The church was founded by a small group of Anglicans in 1697.

Commentary: Do these people think this is a religious experience? Isn't this funny? They're going to tweet the Passion play for three hours? What the....?????? Does God have a Facebook page? Can I be a friend?


perspective on things

Regis called me from work a few minutes ago. They were insistent that he come in, even though I just got home from the hospital yesterday. We were a little worried because they have been cutting people, and we were right to worry. He lost his job today. I know we aren't immune and there are surely people less prepared than we are to weather something like the loss of a job. But when the bad economy comes and sits right in your living room, it puts a different face on things.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

home at last and amazing bowel sounds

I wish I could record the bowel sounds I am making so I could post them here. If you've ever been to a NASCAR event, I think it would be similar to that. Screaming race cars coming around the bend.

I came home about 1:00 today, took some pain meds, and crawled into bed. I slept for two hours and it felt so good to be in my own pajamas, my own socks, my own bed. I'm up now sipping a soy milk and protein warm drink (this is not my entire eating future...just the menu for now) and making these wonderful noises.

I have some really cool spring green socks with big white polka dots on them. I took them to the hospital but they insisted on those traction hose and ugly gray slippers. Blogger is not uploading pictures at this time or I'd post a photo of the sox.

I've been watching Mike clean out his garage today and remembering when we did it. Nothing like exposing all your bad and disorganized habits to the world. I thought our garage sale days were over but Young Regis has some stuff he wants to get rid of so we might have one this summer. I believe in low maintenance garage sales. Just put the stuff on a table and let people make an offer.

As much as this disappoint Cousin Deb, I think I will give up my description of all things bowel and intestine related. Regis said it was like walking with a lioness tonight. There, that's my last comment. Deb, I'll still email comments to you.

new event in the patient olympics

I am the winner of a new event in the Patient Olympics. When I came into the hospital, my blood sugar was 140. I've never been diagnosed with diabetes but they called it "impaired" glucose. Today, my blood sugar was 61. (Song from Rocky...) I had to drink some apple juice to bring it up a little.

I slept really well last night due to my little friend, oxycodone. What a drug. I had some shoulder pain that was way worse than any of the abdominal pain so they gave me oxycodone about 11 since I was off the fentanyl pump. I slept like a rock star...better than any other night. The shoulder pain comes from the gas they use to poof up the abdomen during surgery. It settles in the shoulders which is weird. They recommend the walking as a way to ward off that pain, and well, I was the winner in that event, so by all rights, I should not have had that pain. Harrumph.

No pain this morning and I feel good. I'll write an update after the doctor comes by because I know everyone is as interested in the details of my care and recovery as I am.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

progress report

I'm off the O2, off the catheter, off the IV, and off the IV painkillers. I still have a drainage tube and a needle in my hand, just in case, but that's it. The liquids have been going down fine today. Steve and Sherry came for a visit and we walked down to the fountain and sat in the sunshine. I don't have much pain (more like discomfort) even when I move so that's a good sign. Regis is coming in the morning and will take me home after lunch if I am tolerating pureed food.

a true test of a guy's ingenuity

Writing several posts a day for my blog is tough duty when I spend most of my time lying on my back or stumbling down the hall with an IV pole. Everyone has the same zombie look here, the same blue nightie, the same tube-covered pole, the same dazed stare, the same bad hair. At least you don't worry about making a fashion statement.

The pain killing drugs have a weird effect on my mind. I just had a little nap and the experience was that the voices in the hall sounded like the voices of people I know, but they were talking about unfamiliar things like if the guy across the hall should continue to wear his support hose. I think I said this before too, but it makes me really blabby and sort of overly friendly. I was going down the hall on a cart the other day, waving and talking to everyone. Then I saw my surgeon and called out to him. It makes me repeat things, too, as you have no doubt noticed.

I've decided I don't like the taste of sugar free anything. Whatever they use for the sweetener is fairly repulsive and is probably like sorbitol and we all know the ill-effects of that. My Ukranian doctor calls it flatus. When he mentioned it to me, he added "gas" by way of explanation. Yes, I know the word. Maybe he was concerned about it coming across in translation. For some reason, it is funny to hear someone with that accent talking about gas. Cousin Deb, you would love it. Gas and poop are really popular subjects here.

I think my pillow is made from plastic and it makes the back of my head itch like I have lice. I'm painting a lovely picture here, right?

news in hospital land

Let's see. I went for a walk. I went to the bathroom twice. I sat in the chair twice. This is all documented on my white board report card. I make sure the nurses fill it in before they leave. Most of the time they give me smiley faces.

I had sugar free kool aid, sugar free jello, and chicken broth for lunch.

I hope Sherry smuggles in some cookies later. Just kidding.

Tiffany called and we visited for a while.

Did you know that when nurses get the air out of a hypodermic needle, they squirt the liquid on the floor? That seems odd.

My stomach is about the size of my thumb right now. Not much fits in there, even liquids. That's why the cookies would be a really bad idea.

Who'd a thought it could take 30 minutes to eat a half cup of jello.

Nobody seems to bus the dishes around here.

There is no such thing as too much information for nurses. They want to know about everything and usually they want to see everything. Really. This is why it would be a bad job for me.

shower

I took my first shower and I'm wearing a clean hospital gown. A few weeks ago, I went shopping for pajamas, not realizing how inconvenient they would be in the hospital. The blue things with the wide open backsides are doing just fine today.
Funny the things I find to brag about. I did spare you, gentle readers, a few details that went to Regis by email.

patient olympics


Jen just came in and pronounced me the gold medal winner of the patient olympics. She said I'm way past others who had surgery the same day (I'm not competetive...just about some things) and she confirmed the going home plan. She also gave me the plan for getting off the pole (IV, pain killer, O2). The one thing I don't like is the breathing machine. Ugh. I have to perform well in that event to get off the O2 cannula.


Betty, I'm sure our daily swimming helped my in-shapedness for this. I can hear the Rocky song...ta da da...da da da. Or is that the fentanyl drip?

loss of propiety

I was walking down the hall last night dragging a bag of urine behind me, pushing a pole with about a hundred lines and monitors, with a three-day old hairdo and an ugly hospital robe. The new pajamas in my bag haven't see the light of day and I haven't had a shower since Monday. So far I have not gone out with my ass flapping in the wind but that could be coming. I've seen other people do it. I had male nurses (Todd and James) last night which made me squeamish at first but they were't bothered by my old self so I decided to not be bothered by them and they were wonderful caretakers. Meghan took the catheter out this morning (Regis says I am giving too much information which isn't like me.) so I'm independent in the john. I also get to drink clear liquids and I can tell you that sugar-free cherry kool-aid tastes grand. If things continue to go well and move through the system (so to speak), I'll be able to go home Thursday afternoon. Is that tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

i'm back


But can't write much. Tubes hanging off my hands one of which is a fentanyl drip. More later...

Monday, April 06, 2009

Comfortably Numb

Teresa finally got to the room. About 20 people all crowded around hooking things up, poking, prodding, and generally pissing the old girl off. Then they hooked her up to the morphine drip. Suddenly she is seeing the world like in an entirely different way. I think that all those people are still annoying her, but she doesn't seem to care. The remainder of the day will no doubt be devoted to sleep and weird dreams.

Hello.
Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
Is there anyone home?

Come on, now.
I hear youre feeling down.
Well I can ease your pain,
Get you on your feet again.

Relax.
I need some information first.
Just the basic facts:
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain, you are receding.
A distant ships smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I cant hear what youre sayin.
When I was a child I had a fever.
My hands felt just like two balloons.
Now I got that feeling once again.
I cant explain, you would not understand.
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

A Guest Appearance from the Sultan Of Sarcasm


Good morning to all. Teresa made the call last night and discovered that the honor of her presence was requested at 5:45. That was both good and bad. The good was that she had little time to truly morph into the Nervous Patient. The bad was that we needed to be front and center at 5:45 after what I will charitably characterize as a night of rest. It was actually worse than that. Who sleeps well away from home? Who sleeps well when their nerves are on edge? Who sleeps well when their partner spends half the night traveling back and forth to the latrine, the result of the time honored ritual of bowel prep?
So Teresa is currently in surgery. They have the family's waiting experience as finely honed as that of the patient. First came the short tour, then multiple cups of coffee provided by the
wonderful volunteers, and finally the constant updates. "They just took Teresa in, Sir." "They will be inducing sleep and inserting the catheter soon, Sir." "We will be back to take you to her room to wait, Sir." They also have a large screen devoted to keeping on updated on the progress of each patient identified only by number. I found that those around me were into watching the board as though it was a horse race. There was a motley group looking as though they had made the trip up from the State Hospital who provided commentary. "Hey, look, 850159 (Teresa) is in surgery at 8:03. They are in the lead." "Look, 850177 is in recovery way ahead of everyone else." "Dude, look, they took mom's number off the board. I wonder what they means?" The sudden appearance of the chaplain, and her surgeons (pictured above) should have been a clue, but I digress. So here it is 11:00 and I am still waiting. For the 17th time they were by to tell me that all was going well and I thought I'd pass that along to you. More updates will follow as they become available.
11:40 Addendum: I am sitting in this rather sterile room awaiting Teresa's arrival. I haven't heard anything as yet but I am sure she'll be coming in fairly soon. So far the major highlight has been watching Mr. Urstadt(sp?) parade up and down the hall taking his morning exercise. Very impressive to see a man of his years walking at that speed with such ease. Very, very, impressive watching the nurse trying to persuade him to slip on another robe to cover his ass so to speak. He's having none of it, and in fact if it weren't for the occassional wink that he tosses in the nurse's direction you'd think he was oblivious to her.
They just called to report Teresa is in recovery. So that's good news. Before I was distracted by the errant hinder I was commenting on the sterile environs which will soon be Teresa'a home for a few days. Attached to the ceiling is a contraption like the one on the left. When they finally bring her in I hope she is asleep. She isn't going to be happy when they do this to her.

restless night

Restless night's sleep. Strange bed, strange noises, weird visions in my head. Heading to the hospital at 5:15 to check in at 5:45. Come back for an update later.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

here's the plan


Here's the group shot we took yesterday. I love these pictures Regis takes with the tripod because they look like everybody squeezed into a small space and the last person jumped in at the last second. That's how it is. Regis and I with our white hair should not have been in the front because we took a lot of the flash, but that's ok.

Amber's brother Mikey, on the right next to Reg, just got his commercial pilot's license. He said this means he can fly for hire. That sounds so exotic and cool. Lot of northern folks in the picture: Mike and Peggy are from Grand Rapids, Mikey from Grand Forks, Glen from Brainerd, and the rest of us are from around here...or from Pennsylvania. Who'd a thought.

My surgery, which seemed like it took forever to arrive, is finally tomorrow. Regis and I are leaving for Rochester about 2:00 so we can check into our motel, meet Pepsi, have dinner with Steve and Sherry and Catie, and get to bed early. I have to call the hospital between 8 and 10 tonight to see what time to report in the morning. The last time I checked, I was first on the list so if I haven't been bumped, that will be 7:00. I'm guessing I'll be done about noon, but since I haven't had surgery since I was about 4 (back in the days of ether), I don't know.

Regis will call if you want him to...or send a text...and tell you I'm fine and awake. I'll try to post something later with more details so if you're the curious type, let me know you want a call or check back here.

Regis bought himself a Kindle yesterday. Actually it was a present, but that doesn't matter. He saw Betty's on Friday night and his eyes lit up. I knew he'd love it, gadget man and reader that he is. Both Jill and Tom said they noticed that after some time using it, they went to turn the page. Meaning I guess that you make the adjustment from reading a book to reading on the screen very easily. Amazing. You can subscribe to newspapers and they down load automatically and wirelessly. How do it know?

Because I'm an over-packer, I'm going to make a pile of stuff to take, then I'm going to take half of it out. I know I'll have too much and Regis will get a backache toting my bag down the long hallways. I can't wear any make-up or jewelry tomorrow. Eeeeuw. That will be creepy. Here's a website where you can watch a video of a real surgery.

I may end up writing some more today because I can see I'm not much in a mood to be productive.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

saturday night in pictures

bird

This is the redwing blackbird who has been frequenting our feeder this week. He may have up to 15 females making nests in his territory. No wonder he has to come to a birdfeeder. He's too tired to perch on a cattail and look for bugs.

saturday

We went to Tom and Betty's last night for pizza rustica. Tom says it's a traditional Italian Easter pie made with four cheeses and hard salami. This is not Tom's in the picture but it looks kind of like the one Tom made. It was gorgeous and delicious with a bottle of Puck's Pride red wine from Morgan Creek. As happens when old friends get together, lots of stories were told and a few laughs were had.

While we were there, Betty's sister called to say her mom had taken a turn for the worse and Betty should come. It was a airline ticket snafu with Regis, customer service agent extraordinaire, coming to the rescue. He got on the internet and the phone and in about twenty minutes, had her a good ticket at at a reasonable price. I told him it was like the customer service olympics...performing for an audience of five.


A couple years ago, we had these weird holes in our yard that we thought were moles. Might have been moles that time, I guess. I noticed holes again a few weeks ago but this time we think they're from chipmunks. We've seen one running around the yard and in the bird feeder. I suppose the yard nazi next door will be setting traps once he sees them. Not me. They don't eat much and they don't bother me.

Wait a minute. When I went to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee, I glanced out the window and saw three rabbits in the garden. It's like a wildlife farm out there today. I used to curse the neighbor's cat but I think it helped to keep the rodentia population down although Regis tells me that rabbits are not rodents because their scrotums are in front of their penises instead of behind as in rodents. There's a fact for you.

This falls into the category of things that are funny one night and not so much the next day. Regis came home with a note in his pocket on which he had written these two phrases. When I said them, we laughed and laughed. Now, I can't figure out why. Here they are:
  • of which I were not any
  • of whom I was not one
Must have been the wine that made it funny.

I better get out of my chair and get something done around here.

Friday, April 03, 2009

what month is this?

Next Plains snowstorm getting ready

A band of moderate to heavy snowfall sets up across eastern Nebraska, southern Minnesota, Iowa and central Wisconsin. Significant accumulations of snow are expected.

They can't be serious.

I am not wearing boots again. I'm not putting on those ice cleats to walk around in April. I won't get the mittens out again and I refuse to wear a winter coat. I have sandals out. The sweaters are gone. Do I sound desperate?

Where are the daffodils???

Thursday, April 02, 2009

observations

Regis and I went to Patrick's for dinner. I was eavesdropping on a booth down the way that contained two gentlemen who, by looking, were not much older than we are. The one guy said to the waitress, "So, what's the deal with these wings? What are they?" She tries to explain chicken wings. Then he says, "What's honey mustard sauce?" And she tried to explain honey mustard: "Um, it's honey and mustard in a sauce." I could tell she wanted to say, "Jeeez, dude, don't you ever get out?"

I've had a head cold for two days. I've tried everything for a cure: dayquil, cetirizine, tylenol, hot brandy, buffalo wings. Not all at the same time, of course, but nothing works. Actually the buffalo wings worked as well as anything. I will never brag again about not having a cold for a long time. Hubris.

I've been thinking about children I knew who are now adults. When they're kids, you think they are always going to be reprobates but somehow they grow up to be productive citizens. Here are some examples:
Nick came to visit when he was about four. My husband (at the time) had never experienced children that age so when Nick had a tantrum about something and grabbed our ficus tree and shook it like a hurricane force wind, we looked askance and tried to imagine that he would not wind up in prison. He's a social studies teacher now, studying to be a school administrator.

Nathan was the child of some friends who often stayed later than might have been good for a child. When they woke Nathan to go home, he would do that stiffening up thing and slide through their arms into a pile on the floor. Sometimes it took a long time to persuade him to move toward the car. He teaches flight lessons to pilots at a major university now. (I just read that sentence over...flight lessons to pilots as opposed to flight lessons to passengers. Now that's funny.)

Sarah's parents built a house and lived in a camper one summer when she was a child. When we went to visit, she would come around the corner of the house, blonde curly hair full of leaves, mud up to her knees, like a feral child. She just completed a master's degree in math and is doing research to prepare for a Ph. D.

True stories. There are some lessons here for parents. And maybe teachers. And for humans. Kids don't come out fully formed so don't expect much until they grow up.

My ribs hurt from sneezing. Not coughing, sneezing. These are sneezes that will knock you on your ass. Not sneezing for sissies. I saw the president on tv last night. He sounded like he had a cold but he wasn't sneeziing or wiping his nose. I want his doctors and his drugs.

Hey, there's a new waitress at Patrick's who is from London. I asked her if she knew the Beatles. I didn't really, but I asked the next waitress (not from London) and she said she knew OF the Beatles. Ahhhh. It served me right.

Well, that's enough silliness for one night.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

narcissism

So, after I post my whine about cold, I remember these wonderful pictures Tom sent of the flooding on the Red River. Interesting that I'm reading The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse and the first part is about a big flood on the Red River.

Wednesday

Ugh. Blergh. I was bragging a few weeks ago that I hadn't had a cold for years. Well, I'm getting paid back for my pitiful lack of humility. It's mostly in the upper right quadrant of my head: I feel pretty good from the neck down but shitty from the neck up. My right nostril and right eye are like unfettered faucets. It's ugly.