Tuesday, August 22, 2006


WARNING - DEPRESSING - That is what I put in the subject line of any email I write that deals with my depression that I send to my friend so she will know if she is not having a good day, to save it and read it later.

I know people do not enjoy reading depressing posts on blogs either. I know it is a huge turn-off. Some days though I never see another soul other than my spouse and my boss (who doesn’t talk unless necessary – the boss – not the spouse) and I need to say these things to someone besides DH because he has enough on his mind:

Every time I have a “really down day”, it terrifies me that my meds are beginning to stop working. They do that...they quit about every 2-2.5 years and the depression comes back with a vengeance. It has only been a few months this time, please God don’t let them be pooping out on me already.

I am 45 and it terrifies me that I will have to live the rest of my life like this...wishing I just wouldn’t wake up one morning. Wondering when IT will hit me again. Wishing I could be normal.

DH (Dear Hubby) who just went back to work two weeks ago, found out today as of the 31st of this month he will be unemployed again. I am just in shock. Another company has taken over the contract and the new company will not be retaining him. The

I know people consider this ranting a pity party, and I know in my heart so many people have it so much worse. One of our blogging friends comes to mind when I whine about anything and that is DREAM MOM (whose link you can see to the right of my main page). How can I complain when I “watch” her live her life with such grace?

Please don’t tell me to “pick myself up by my boot strings” because I have done that more times than I can remember and STILL had the energy to hold my 380 in my hand and imagine what it would be like to pull the trigger.

Thank you my airway friends for listening.

I am still working on the book thing I was "tagged" on. I just don't have the ability to concentrate on anything other than work right now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thigh Highs, Goats and Promises to God

Some of you may not know this, and no one will believe it, but I have not always been the upwardly mobile cosmopolitan girl that you see before you today.

At one time, I was a country girl. My day consisted of preparing breakfast and getting kids off to school then coming home to feed the goats (who when alone referred to me as their “Sugar Mama” since I refused to sell them or eat them or otherwise do anything more than feed and pet them) and clean out the barn. I would also throw some feed out for the chickens and give the mule some sweet feed and hay. The pigs generally ate whatever everyone else dropped.

Well, no longer am I that overall-wearing, hay chewing, hog slopping girl. I am a city woman now. A full fledged, cell phone toting, card carrying upwardly mobile woman. The overalls have been traded in for skirts, blouses and blazers. Hose, heels and pearls. I have been transformed. A finely edged white collar professional.

A friend (who truth be told was also at one time as country and backward as I) introduced me to the finery of “thigh high” stockings to replace the binding, contorting and twisting that often occurs with the dreaded “pantyhose”.

Okay. I will admit it, I was skeptical of wearing these “thigh highs”. What if they fall? What if one slips down and I don’t feel it going? “Oh no!” my friend says, “they have this rubber stuff around the top and they’re tight enough that they wont fall down”. Satisfied that although I may wind up with purple legs from having the blood cut off I at least will NOT be humiliated by having them fall down around my ankles, I decide to try them.

Okay, granted most of you know where this is going by now right? I shall tell it anyway, just for clarity and as a warning to all you “good ole girls” who attempt to leave your roots and go high society.

This morning I dressed rather stylishly. I wore a rather smart looking black skirt with a split up the left side, a purple and black sweater and the perfect accessories. I also wore those wonderfully silky, black, feminine, liberating thigh highs this morning.

I walked out to my car with my head held high, secretly looking around to see if possibly a neighbor may be noticing the very polished lady next door walking to her car to go to her posh office for the day. No one was out. But that was okay. I still was feeling very posh, very....”smart”. That is...until....I got to work.

Everything was fine when I pulled into my parking spot. There were a couple of people already working at the office next to ours, maybe one of them would glance out and see this astonishing example of just how far a country girl can come. I got about half way between my car and our door when I felt it! A little tickling on my leg. Just a small feeling of something brushing along the thigh. Immediately... I knew!

I began taking smaller steps thinking maybe that will keep them up, all the while wondering whether that is the correct plan of action of if I should just break and run so as to get in the door before they fall all the way off.

I should have run. By time I got about 5 feet from our door, with my key in my hand, I was walking on the right one and the left was almost there as well. I crammed the keep into the first lock, making all kinds of promises to God if only He would see fit to let me get in and get behind my desk before my boss arrived.

Now, my female friends, let us all be honest with one another here. We are alone right? How many of you shave every day during the winter time? How many of you shave every other day in the winter time? Okay, now for those of us who can be honest....how many of you at the very best shave every couple of weeks during the winter, raise your hands. Yep. Count me in that last category. Did I mention the black skirt I am wearing has a split up one side? You know, a split that is made to show off the slender, toned side of the leg?

AS far as those promises I made to God...No one saw me before I could snatch those nasty thigh highs off! I do intend to uphold those promises, one of which was to never wear those thigh highs again. From this point forward, I will wear only pantyhose... the way God intended.

By the way, you can take the girl out of the country, but goats should stay where they belong.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Pocket Pets

I love animals! I always have said if I ever get rich, I will have a virtual Noa's Ark...a pair of everything!

I have been reading about pocket pets lately and trying to decide if I really need another addition to our zoo. I decided today I did.

I have had numerous hamsters over the years, but latley I had read that rats make better pets. They say the don't bite as much as a hamster does, and they are smarter. So today, with DH (dear husband) in tow, we made a trip to he super duper pet store, where I bought a RAT!! :)

My DH named her Maxine, you know like Maxine from the comic strip that is forever drinking coffee and smoking and growling at somebody about something.

Maxine is so very pretty. Her face is awesome. Guess I had never looked very long into the face of a rat before. Counting her tail, she is about 4.5 inches long. Beautiful perky pinkish ears. She is solid grey. They called her black at the store, but she is grey.

She is letting me hold her a good bit, but she is still not all the way tamed. I think I'm gonna find a way to hide a pet house on my desk at work and take her with me every day. I'm alone a lot of the time there and she would be great company.

Gosh I just love animals.

Comment on one of my posts......

Some time back, I wrote a post on my BLOG pertaining to the chronic pain my husband has dealt with for the past 10 years or so and our difficulty finding someone willing to treat it enough to even bother.

Recently, a doctor blogger commented on my site that he had posted his response to my post, “Drug Seeker…Maybe, Maybe Not” on his site because it turned into such a long comment. Below was the response he posted in reference to my post. His words are in BLUE. My response is in PEACH (and if that has not completely and utterly confused you, you’re one step ahead of me!).

Pain Management
I view it as a duty and privilege to adequately control pain in my patients. It is imperative that the patients take an active role in their health as well, however. Just writing a prescription is not sufficient therapy for many chronically painful conditions. If back or leg pain is present in the setting of obesity
, (Obesity remark number 1 – no where on my BLOG have I ever said my husband is obese, but this was automatically assumed.) then weight loss is just as important as pharmaceuticals. Physical therapy and exercise, in most cases, are essential. (Everyone cannot afford physical therapy. He does exercise as much as is possible and in different ways that a healthy person could given his health conditions.) Maintaining functionality, including continuing employment when at all possible, is important not only for psychosocial and financial reasons but to promote structure and a positive self-image. (Exactly! Hence the need for pain medication that will enable him to try again. He has worked a full time job since he was fifteen years old. He worked full time while in college getting his engineering degree because his dad was dying and HE had to work to pay off the mortgage on his folks’ home. He is definitely not afraid of work.) The natural release of endorphins one achieves with a satisfactory family/job/exercise situation is more effective long-term than just narcing someone up and letting them get fatter, (Second reference to obesity with insinuation that he is already that way and is continuing to grow.) lazier,(Whoever once said he is lazy!?! He is a very artistic and creative man and our yard could compete with the best of them and we won’t even talk about how well he can cook and make our meals healthy yet still have plenty of flavor. Lazier!?!) and more withdrawn from society. Depression is frequently present and must be treated as well. (Yep – certainly agree with this one.)

Opioids are important, but they need to be used wisely...with the goal of maximizing potential. Pain relief should be an intermediate goal, not the ultimate goal. (NOT THE ULTIMATE GOAL !?!? If this goal is reached, that IS what will help him to reach his potential. All I can say here is I would be willing to bet the person making this comment has never lived with unrelenting pain.) The ultimate goal is return to function. Anyone can be made comfortable with medication, but if they are just a comfortable blob (Obesity reference #3…I mean when the term BLOB is used in the context of everything else that has been said in this post, I think I am pretty safe to assume using the term blob as a term of endearment for the obese.) nodding off on the couch, why bother? (Why bother? Ummmm, maybe because for that few minutes he has some relief from the pain? Is that a good enough reason for ya?)

Pain management needs to be directed by one physician, but in certain cases a multispecialty approach can be helpful (Ortho/Neuro/Psych, for example). (Yep, we’re thinking alike on this point. He does see several specialists about his health issues including the pain.) A carefully worded pain management contract, where the patient agrees to be honest about his compliance with therapy and the medications he obtains, is mandatory. (We have paid so far this year, $900 just for drug testing that the pain management office requires for anyone they are treating with the drug he is on.) Visits to the ER for breakthrough pain should be rare, not routine. (The only two times he has used an emergency room in his life were when he was 12 and was hit by a car and 4 years ago when he broke his elbow. No ER for pain relief so I hope that calms everyone with the concern of him wasting valuable time and space for “no good reason”.) It must be made clear that lost or stolen prescriptions will not be replaced, and that changes in the amounts of medications taken must be approved by the managing physician. (Goes without saying. So far he has never lost his medication.) The patient therefore is involved with the plan, and shares some responsibility for getting better. (Not losing his medication and not being robbed means he has gotten involved with the plan? Great! He is doing well then.)

The goal should be to get better, not just to feel better. (Gee! Why didn’t we think of that???? "Hey Honey, quit worrying about feeling better - just get better!!!"

What if this is a disease process that will not get better? What if it is not a back strain or leg pain or some other type of pain that can be blown off as being caused by his lazy “slobby” obese self??? By the way, without a miracle he will NOT get better. His pain is not caused by obesity or laziness or being a slob!)

As you can tell, I am very upset by that response to my post about my dear husband. I normally do not get confrontational, it goes against my nature and my personality, and even now by blogging it is not really confronting anyone, but I had to point out some things this doctor said.

I read all the whining and ugliness that went on, on another blog this week where doctors and other health care professionals (not all but most) were taking “pot shots” at fat people. I don’t take things like that very seriously because blogging is an anonymous way to vent and give our opinions on things and see how other people think.

Being the eternal peacemaker that I am, I even wrote a comment on that situation and how we can’t take things like that very seriously. This response however makes me rethink how I was viewing the hostility I read in those comments. This response leads me to believe, the doctor who wrote it automatically assumed several things about my husband…that he is obese, that he is a slob, that he is lazy. How could one make that assumption? How can he assume that he does not take an active role in his own health situations?

Until you have lived this life where pain is a 24/7 companion, you just can’t truly know what it is like. They cannot teach this in a textbook and it come with the true understanding of what it does to your life and the people closest to you.

I just could not keep my mouth shut on this one.

While we are on the subject of my husband, I will let you know he did go back to work last week. It is not exactly what he wanted and was accustomed to financially, but it is less stress and it is something not terribly physically demanding. I appreciate the kind words from those of you who have written about him.

UPDATE!!!! I appreciate the posts I have had on this particular post, but as of this moment I am not allowing posts on this subject, and I am removing the ones already there since there has been such provaction. I had some very angry responses and some which were barely veiled threats against another poster and I just cannot let my BLOG be used for hostility against ANYONE.

I have no problem with discussing a subject and in the real world I know I cannot force anyone to "play nice", but here on my little BLOG I can stop the insanity.

Suffice to say, this is a "hot bed" topic to all who are close to the situation and tempers can run high when people feel they are not being listened to or that they feel that are being talked down to.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

Lunch Breaks and Hammer-Heads

Surgeon in My Dreams is going to have to start knitting during her lunch breaks. She can no longer leave the office and go on her adventures.

Today, she was late leaving for lunch since she was helping run cable for a computer in the office. She ran down to the Burger King and picked up a Cherry Icee (which by the way is white!! What is the fun of a Cherry Icee if it is white?) and a burger. She was almost back to work, when a van comes across 5 empty lanes of traffic just to drive in her lane…with her still in it.

Well, Surgeon in My Dreams has never been in a traffic accident before (knocking on wood) so this is quite a new experience for her. Surgeon in My Dreams has already pulled over onto the curb to her right trying to get out of the crazy persons way, so she is nearly stopped and is fully expecting the nut case to do the same.

But no!!! This hammer head is going to run! Surgeon in My Dreams begins flashing her lights and yelling to “stop, stop” (no matter that the windows were up and no one other than the dust bunnies who live in her car could hear her). But the crazy person continues to drive away, picking up speed no less.

Surgeon in My Dreams forgets it is NOT 1996 and she is NOT still a cop (not to mention she does NOT have a gun) and she takes off after her assailant. After about a three mile excursion, this freakoid pulls into a driveway in a neighborhood like Surgeon in My Dreams used to visit a lot back in 1996 when she WAS a cop.

As the van door opens, a lady steps out, looks at Surgeon in My Dreams, who by then is already getting out of her car to view the damage for the first time, (complete in her dress and heels) and says , “What?”. When Surgeon in My Dreams politely informs the lady that she had just hit her, the lady say “No I didn’t”.

Now granted, Surgeon in My Dreams has been working all week and it is Friday and she is nearly brain dead, but she believes she would remember if a big van had not hit her car.

The lady goes in her house and brings her husband outside who asks me the same thing, “What?” Now Surgeon in My Dreams is beginning to get the idea this family may be a couple biscuits short of a panful, so she explains very slowly while pointing to her crumpled car (which by the way is the very first car she had ever picked out and bought all by herself) that “the lady ran into me and then took off like nothing had happened.”

At this point, the husband of the crazy lady said “she probably didn’t know she hit you”. I could only hope at this point this couple had not procreated.

While waiting on the trooper, (what, were they all at Krispy Kreme), the husband asks me would I just take their insurance information and forget about the trooper. After deciding I could take the husband if I had to, I answered no. We were definitely waiting on the trooper.

So, 45 minutes after my adrenaline induced phone call to 911, the trooper finally got there. By now I have a true adrenaline surge going on in my body. I learned about this phenomenon, the Fight or Flight, at the police department.

My very first car chase at The Big Police Department, ended up outside my jurisdiction so I was pulled off the chase and the next jurisdiction took over. They got to catch the driver and fight with him, thereby releasing the adrenaline that their body had automatically produced. When there is no physical “release” of this adrenaline, the surge does different things to different people. Me personally, the night of my first car chase, I pulled over and threw up in a Holiday Inn parking lot. Then I got a serious migraine which lasted about 2 hours.

Well, the very nice, young (geez, had he even graduated from high school yet?) trooper wrote out a few tickets, (turns out her license was suspended in addition to everything else), complimented me on my audacity to follow her, and then warned me how dangerous it could have been. He ended by telling me to have a nice day.

I finally found my way out of the neighborhood and back to the office. Of course my boss was completely sympathetic and earnest and made no jokes about my little afternoon lunch break. NOT!!

The Icee was good though. You know if you wait till they’re melted, they taste almost like having an old fashioned snow cone does when you ask for extra syrup.


Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Frogs Don’t Bounce

It is strange what we remember. I could not tell you what I had for dinner two days ago, but I remember clearly an incident that happened 16 years ago.

My son was in junior high, (middle school for those under 40) and I was in the long “pick up” line waiting to pick him up after school.

I could see clearly from about midway through the line that he was upset. When I got up to the point where the kids were allowed to walk off the curb to their awaiting ride, he rushed into my mini-van and promptly burst into tears.

My son was 11 and he was a tender hearted child when it came to certain things, animals being one of them, but he did NOT cry in front of other kids! Today, he was wailing as if his heart was broken.

When he was finally able to stop long enough to speak, he explained to me that one of the older kids had found a frog on the sidewalk and was throwing it up in the air and watching it hit the ground. The frog was bleeding and barely alive.

My kids were brought up with animals of all types. They were taught to have the utmost respect and kindness for all living creatures. We lived in the country and my kids have watched their mother pull over "a many a time" to help a turtle get safely across the road. They have seen me stop at a house where there was a dog chained to a tree and had somehow gotten his neck stuck through a rubber, disc shaped object and remove the thing from his head. They were NOT accustomed to seeing an animal mistreated.

As he finished telling me this horrid story, his tears and the wailing started all over again. By now we were far enough away that I could safely pull over and hug and kiss him
(that was another thing you did not do in front of the other kids !!).

I cannot remember doctors' appointments without writing them down. I barely remember kids and grandkids birthdays, but I remember that incident as clearly as if it were yesterday – the pain of seeing my baby witness cruelty to an animal.

That memory is as fresh today as it was 16 years ago.