Just Pee in the Cup Already!

Sweet EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer has had some health issues of late.  The most annoying one (for all of us) is a stomach problem — she has issues with digesting her food and she burps louder and longer than a longshoreman.  Poor Em!

She willingly went to the vet’s because she likes it there.  I don’t like it at my doctor’s office, but I’m not a dog.  Anyway, the vet is aware of the issue; Em’s been on meds prior to this visit.  But, the problem returns.  He suggests obtaining a blood sample, giving her her annual shots (which were due), refilling her heartworm and flea prevention meds, and oh, here’s a plastic tray…please get a sample of her urine.

Excuse me?

This morning bright (well, actually it was dark) and early, the whole family goes out to the backyard to obtain a pee sample from EmmaLou.  I was on leash and flashlight duty; Devoted Spouse had the little (and I do mean little) plastic tray at the ready.  Em sniffs around, squats down, I yell at Devoted Spouse, “NOW!”, he slides the tray under her and EmmaLou jumps straight up in the air taking her precious pee with her.

Take Two:  “C’mon sweetie puppy girl…pee in the cup.”  Yes, dogs can get a hateful look on their faces.  Finally she squatted again and we repeated the above exercise.  It didn’t work the second time, either.

Devoted Spouse took EmmaLou out on her morning walk, where she peed like someone who’s had their bladder stopped up for a month.  Peed all up and down the street.  Did we get a sample?  No…forgot the tray.

While running errands, I stopped in the vet’s office.  They laughed and laughed but finally agreed I could bring her up late in the day and THEY would try the little plastic tray trick.

EmmaLou and I, meanwhile, have decided we should never speak of this barbaric intrusion into her personal life again.  Sigh…

Out of the Mouths of…Husbands

Reacting to my aching back and the fact I announced I was about to carry some loads of laundry to the basement, the conversation went like this:
Me:  I’m gonna take down some laundry in a little while.

Devoted Spouse:  No, you’re not.

Me:  Oh, yeah, I am.

Devoted Spouse:  No! You can’t carry down; you can’t carry up…but…you can karaoke.

Seriously, this is my life…sigh…

The Attack of the 80 Foot Gallbladder

pic from National Archives

I was enjoying a lovely breakfast of pancakes and bacon at my local Bob Evans when I realized I wasn’t really hungry.  Leaving half my food on the plate, I left and went about my day.  Errands, errands, ooh ice cream, errands, come home & read a book.  Pretty normal day for me (minus the ice cream).

We had a guest in the house; a guest who was like family, but a guest nonetheless.  I started feeling rather wonky around suppertime.  Wonky as in “If I inhale many more food fumes I will hurl.”  I made dinner for Devoted Spouse and our guest and retired to the bedroom to rest.

I thought a nice tv show might get my mind off my queasy tummy.  Turning on the tv, I landed on the Food Channel and promptly ran to the bathroom to hurl.  By that time I was pretty sure something was amiss.  The guest and Devoted Spouse were still enjoying their dinner, grrr.

A little voice told me, change your clothes…put on clean underwear…brush your teeth and do something with your hair.  I think it’s a girl thing.  A stupid girl thing because by that time I was all sweaty and there was no chance of doing anything with my hair.  sigh

At 10:00 that night, I walked into the kitchen all hunched over and looking a lovely shade of grey (no…not Fifty Shades…) to the horror of our guest and managed to scare the puddin’ outta Devoted Spouse.  I announced, “Hospital, now!”  The guest was concerned, Devoted Spouse was very concerned (and looking for car keys) and I was searching for a knife large enough to cut out Freddie Kruger (who I was sure was living in my belly).  It was not pretty.

Almost six days later I had been in two different hospitals, been sedated for a gnarly test involving tubes down one’s throat into the gallbladder (ack ack) and had a virtual munchkin stranger suck out one of my major organs leaving me with four rather painful holes and something disgusting hanging out of me called a drain.  (oh ack squared) (you may hurl now).

So that’s what I did on MY summer vacation kids. Even if you desperately wish to lose weight (I’m down 20 lbs now) I suggest you not try this.  It’s right up there with abscessed teeth…or maybe being run over by a truck.  Yes, the bills are arriving daily.  We’re over $22,000 at present.  Didja miss me?  sigh…

Pharmaceuticals Are Your Phriend

pic courtesy everydayhealth.com

“…What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.” (Friedrich Nietzsche, The Twilight of the Idols, or How to Philosophize With a Hammer)

I once saw that aphorism rendered in calligraphy on a yellowed piece of paper tacked up on the wall of a diner and thought to myself, “what a piece of crap.”  I’ve mellowed with age (sort of) and that little witticism certainly applies to me lately during my recent bout of sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, hacking, respiratory nonsense.

Do any of you actually read the flyer included in the drugs your doctors prescribe for you?  I did recently.  Wish I hadn’t.  The cure may be more dangerous than the disease.  To fight a nasty cough, my doc prescribed a wicked cough remedy…you know, the kind that comes hidden in that nasty pineapple-flavored syrup.  (Gag)  Being the dutiful patient, I took the prescribed dosage and, while waiting for the horrid taste to leave, I read the enclosed warning for this drug:

“Possible side effects include constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth (throat, or nose), excitability, headache, loss of appetite, nausea, nervousness or anxiety, trouble sleeping, upset stomach, vomiting, or weakness.  If they continue or are bothersome, check with your doctor. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience difficulty urinating or inability to urinate; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; seizures; severe dizziness, lightheadedness, or headache; stomach pain; tremor; trouble sleeping; or vision changes.”

I went to bed that evening, anxious over the side effects of what I had just swallowed.  Tossing and turning, I awoke in a sweat thinking I had to pee.  When I got to the bathroom nothing happened.  Oh no.  I nervously went back to bed.  My heart was hammering in my chest.  Strange dreams infiltrated my mind and I thought at one time I saw Jesus, but it was just a pile of clothing on my bedroom chair.  Dizzily, I climbed out of bed again and trembling, staggered to the bathroom sink for a glass of water as I was parched.  I took a few aspirin for my pounding headache, chewed a handful of Tums for my suddenly upset tummy, and crawled back to bed, tired and weak.

The following morning as I was ready to take another dose, I realized I was having difficulty reading the label.  Crap.  No, really…crap…sigh.

ZZZZZzzzzzsnorezzzzzzZZZZ

pic courtesy of aero-tek.com

Devoted Spouse had his sleep test the other night…it was multiple choice.  They got to choose which masks he wore.

The pre-visit instructions were mildly amusing.  No caffeine, no naps….those were a given.  Pretty hard considering Devoted Spouse enjoys his coffee and has been known to be found snoozing w/his laptop as a blankie.  Funniest instruction for him was NO NAIL POLISH allowed.  He was wondering about that one.  I thought it would be fun to leave his index finger alone (that’s where the monitor went) but paint the rest of his nails.  He was not in favor of that idea.  No fun at all.  They also instructed him to shave normally.  What does normally mean in this situation?  One would think it means his facial hair, right?  Would have been nice had they warned him there would be electrodes on his legs.  He told me it was a tad painful when those were ripped off.  Now he knows what waxing feels like.  Should be a little more respectful of what we ladies go through, right?

He called me the following morning to let me know he was done.  We laughed about how he was asleep and the technician would come in and put a mask on him.  I wondered if they tried a gorilla mask.  Devoted Spouse thought the masks closely resembled a fighter pilot.  I had visions of Han Solo….ahhhhh.

I’m glad he went.  Now I won’t have to poke him anymore to make sure he’s breathing.  Truly, to have a spouse who stops breathing and then gasps for air all the while sleeping is pretty frightening.  Then again, rolling over and seeing a masked wonder may give me nightmares too.

It’s moot since half the time I’m up wandering the house during the night.  But at least one of us will soon be getting a good night’s rest…sigh…

Insomnia…Hello Old Pal

pic courtesy of elmarrendon.wordpress.com

Again I find I lay (lie?) in bed and watch the numbers move on the digital clock.  If they just weren’t such a bright shade of red, maybe I wouldn’t get so annoyed.  There it goes again.  Another minute I’ll never get back.

Insomnia.  Really not a funny subject.  So I’m going to have to work very hard to make this humorous in any way.

Unfortunately, I know I’m not alone in this — many people suffer right along with me.  Perhaps they should start reading this blog….zzzzzzz.

I once was staying at the home of a lovely lady who suffered from insomnia.  At that time in my life I slept quite well, until one night when I heard the strangest noises coming from her kitchen.  I got out of bed and quietly crept into the dining room and peeked into her kitchen.  It was about 2 a.m.  I saw her sitting on the floor of her kitchen cleaning it one square at a time with a roll of paper towels and a bottle of Windex.  This is what I heard…. Spritz…riiiiiippppp.   Spritz…riiiippppp.  It went on and on and on.  I didn’t know what to do because I was a house guest but she was driving me crazy with the ripping of the paper towels one at a time.  I wanted to dash in, grab several handfulls of paper towels and help her get the job done but realized that would make me just as odd as she.

Then again…I’ve done some odd things at 2 a.m. myself when I couldn’t sleep.  I’ve cleaned out cupboards, rearranged furniture, moussed and gelled EmmaLou, Golden Destroyer’s hair on her head into a Mohawk (she loved it), read the worst literature (for want of a better word) in the world in a desperate attempt at sleep.  Ever hear of someone named Sun Tzu?  Trust me….terrible writer.  What a wiener.  Amazing war strategist, however.  Even his writing failed to make me fall asleep.

I’ve hit the pharmaceuticals and tried everything out there over the counter (under the counter) whatever.  Nothing works and the drugs that do work have those crazy side effects like shopping online in the middle of the night and not realizing the next morning you ordered Ginzu knives.  Ack.  Truly, while I was on Ambien, my UPS guy and I became the very best of friends and I’m convinced their stock went up because of my midnight forays online at QVC.

I’ve spoken of this before I’m sure — I’ve been blogging since about the time of Christopher Columbus and I’m bound to repeat once in awhile.  So just put up with me please.  Or send me solutions to this sleep thing – the bags under my eyes are being noticed by purse designers lately, since large bags are in vogue.  Maybe I could make some money off them.  Nah.  Nevermind.

I’m going to toddle off to bed again and see how many more times I can toss and turn in one night…there may be a Guinness Book of World Records for that…sigh..

To Blow or Not to Blow…That is the Question

It all began about a week ago when I realized that during the course of this horrendous bout of bronchitis, I have been self-medicating with “comfort foods” (translated:  I’ve been eating waaaay too much chocolate).  This resulted in a weight gain of 3 pounds.  GASP.

Being a panic-driven, weight-obsessed person since losing 50 pounds, I realized I had to stop and remember that my life was now about eating healthy.  I did a quick survey of the kitchen and decided it was time to purge some of those bad items and get my expanding butt to the grocery for some healthier choices pronto.

Off to the store I go….perusing the perimeter of the store (where the healthy stuff lives), I filled my cart with lots and lots of fresh fruits and veggies, some lean protein and plenty of whole grains (have you actually tasted quinoa yet?  Eat that, not tofu heh heh) Anyway….I took my healthy goodies home.

I don’t know about you, but when I look on the package of pre-picked, pre-washed salad I simply don’t believe anyone actually took the time to seriously hose down those pieces of greens and then dry them before packaging. So I always give them a good couple of rinses myself.

One of the items I bought was a plastic package of pre-cut broccoli.  This was just the tops of the broccoli; the flowerets or florets, depending on whose package you buy.  Into my colander went teeny little pieces of the tops of the ‘broccoli trees’.  After rinsing, I took the colander and dumped it onto several layers of paper towels so the broccoli would dry. An hour later they were still wet.  I got more paper towels and blotted.  And I blotted.  And I blotted.  What happens when one keeps blotting is pieces-parts of the little broccoli flowers start to come apart.

And that’s when it hit me.  The idea to beat all ideas.  I could clean my broccoli in record time with a tool I had in my possession in another part of the house.

Up the stairs I went….into the master bathroom…under the sink…and there it was — my Blow Dryer.  What a concept – a multi-tool – if it dries hair, why won’t it also dry broccoli?  I took the Blow Dryer to the kitchen, plugged it in, hit the switch and being the smart gal I am, I put my finger on the “Cool” button so as not to fry my broccoli. 

And then I realized I was in the midst of a distortion of Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem Charge of the Light Brigade.  Forward the Blow Dryer Brigade —  pieces of broccoli to the left of me; pieces of broccoli to the right of me, half a bag, half a bag, half a bag onward…onward to the kitchen floor.  Into the Valley of Linoleum Rode the Six Hundred… pieces of broccoli.

At the time it seemed a good idea…sigh…