Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Ticket to . . . . Fondle?

Most of the time when something unpleasant happens, I don't see the humor of it until hours, days or even weeks later. It takes time and distance for me to find that perspective.
Not this time.
I was cracking up seconds after it happened.
We were heading down the street in the bus. Joseph was driving and I was flirting with him . . . . and he reached over to give me a quick grope.
What happened at that moment?
A pedestrian light at a crosswalk came on and a cop car pulled out behind us. His lights went on. He pulled us over.
We had to provide driver's license, registration and car insurance information. He ran it through his computer and discovered that Joseph has an immaculate, never a problem, driver's record. He let us off with a warning.
Joseph got back in the bus, looked at me and we both cracked up.
Almost 30 years of marriage and I can still get the man in trouble with the right moves.
It was funny when it happened and it just keeps getting funnier . . . .

Monday, February 20, 2012

Becoming my Mother

When my Mom was about 50, she was diagnosed with severe osteoporosis, caused largely by her doctors who gave her artificial hormones to bring on an early menopause (at age 31). She was in a lot of pain for many years and went to multiple doctors, most of whom told her she was either imagining the pain, or that she just needed to "cheer up" and she would be peachey fine.

When she was given the diagnosis of osteoporosis, she cried--in relief. Finally, she knew what was wrong and she could deal with it from there. She took lots of medications, upped her calcium and spent many hours each day sitting with a heating pad or out walking to support bone strength. Her health problems didn't end there but I still remember her relief that she wasn't "crazy"--she was in pain. It had a name and a cause.

I would give almost anything to be able to call her and discuss this with her now, because I feel like I am experiencing almost exactly what she did. I know she wouldn't have any answers for me, but just being able to relate to her story and share the frustration (not to mention just hearing her voice again) would be amazing.

Today I sit in my chair with a heating pad, and I am in pain. And the doctors tell me nothing. They throw pain meds at me and tell me to lose a few pounds (hello . . . .this didn't start until after I lost 40 lbs.!). And all I can think of is, gosh, I would love to talk to my Mom. She knew.

Still have a Mom around? Give her a call. Don't tell her about what you are up to--ask her what is new in her life and then LISTEN when she tells you. I can absolutely guarantee you that one day you will wish you could. Trust me.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fatherly Advice

Today, we took Coryn to the community center. He was going on a weekend leadership retreat with a group of teens. When we got there, we found out that there were 13 kids going--three boys and ten girls. Coryn's eyebrows shot up and the corner of his mouth twitched. My husband . . . . . loving father that he is took this moment to give my son some profound advice . . . "Son," he said quietly . . . . "Pace yourself!" :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Story

Television does not lack a plethora of medical shows. If it isn’t vampires or police detectives racing across the screen, chances are it is a doctor and a patient. Often, the scene focuses on someone sitting in a chair in front of a massive desk (notice reports are never delivered in the exam rooms as in the real world?), fidgeting and often filling the tense silence with staccato conversation or insincere small talk as they wait for “the news”.

On many shows, the medical report is given and devastation ensues. Slowly, the person comes to terms with a dire diagnosis that involves trial medications, exploratory tests, immediate surgeries and multiple specialists. This person squares his shoulders, stands up taller and then forges on, despite an illness or condition that would bring us regular viewers to our knees.

But what happens to the person who sits in that chair and waits for a diagnosis and is told that all of the tests and exams are negative? Everything is fine?

Rejoicing? Relief? Fade to a happy ending?


But there are those of us who are sitting in that chair, waiting for a report, with fingers crossed, prayers whispered, and hopes held high that the news will be, “We found something.” These are the people that are in pain, who have something that hurts—maybe not every single minute of the day, but enough to interfere with the enjoyment of life. These are the people who rely too heavily on aspirin to make it through the afternoon, who pop over the counter pain meds like House does his vicodin. They go in for medical tests, they write down lists of questions for the doctors, they research for hours on the web, searching forums and sites for their precise set of symptoms. Some of them use up their insurance benefits in the journey; others strain family budgets to pay out of pocket. When the MRI starts thumping, when the needle pierces the surface, when the x-ray captures an image, when the ultrasound gel slides like an ice cube over the skin, these people are not chanting, “Please don’t see anything”. They are pleading, “Please find something.”


Because they need to know what is causing their pain—even if it isn’t treatable or it’s permanent--heck, even if it’s lethal. They need a doctor to validate that there is a reason they are hurting. The pain isn’t a cry for attention, a psychosomatic complaint, or an obviously weak ability to handle discomfort. They need someone to point to an image, a test result, a report and say, “Of course you’re in pain! Here is why.” Handing that person results that say, “You’re fine!” can be shattering. Because that means they are back to square one. They are back to doubting themselves. They are back to questioning their ability to cope with pain. They are back to losing confidence in their emotional and physical strength. They are back to wondering if they just have an overactive imagination. Sure they feel the pain, but perhaps they are hypochondriacs and just never realized it? The pain doesn’t have a cause--those test results say so.

Picture that scene. A doctor’s office, a desk, an anxious patient. He reaches across the desk and smiles patiently. The test results are back—and all is well. No abnormalities. Somehow, as caring and compassionate as those TV doctors are portraying, none of them follow that up with, So we need to keep searching for the cause of that pain. Let’s try this next . . . Instead, they pat you on the back, congratulate you on the great news and send you on your way.

Cut scene. Fade to black.

Leaving the patient to go back to your regularly scheduled life—with pain and no diagnosis. What a tragedy.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Goodwill Bargain

If you've read my blog much, you know that I am a huge Goodwill shopping fan. As if I needed reminding (I don't), today I found one of the best deals ever. It is a rolling leather computer case from Franklin Covey. Online price? $249. On sale? $194. Goodwill find? $13. Bargain high five, baby!

Post MRI, Pre Results

So, the MRI is done and it was fairly non-stressful, thanks to a little Valium, an open MRI and some good music to listen to. Now the wait is on for the results. Of course, I had to have this done on a Friday, which means wait all weekend . . . and of course, I am flying out of town on Monday. Hoping to get the results in that window between medical office opening and my boarding the plane. How weird is it to hope that they find SOMETHING that explains this growing pain but not something SCARY? You know? I would just be devastated by one of those, "Everything looks fine in there" reports . . . not that I want the opposite, but please, when I can't stand in an aisle for more than 10 seconds without tears, when I deep breathe through at least half the day because of pain, when I look at woman with a walker and think, WOW, lucky her! for gawd's sake . . . . . that means something needs to change.
Will update as I can when I get the report. Just hope for a "This is exactly why you are in so much pain and here is the fast and inexpensive way we can fix it" report.
Yea. Maybe the Valium is still talking?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Is this a Sign?

So, in yesterday's mail, I received a check that I wasn't expecting. (Note to newbies . . . I get all of my payment through the mail, so getting a check is not a surprise. Getting one that is not on my list of what I am expecting IS. I keep pretty tight, accurate lists.) It wasn't a small check either. I could NOT figure out what it was paying me for, so today I called the company and asked them to send me the invoice it paid. When I got it, I realized it was PRE-paying me for a job ( a first in 20 years). I called the editor and she told me that in 20 years of working at the company, she had NEVER had anyone call and say they had been overpaid. :) I told her it was the honest thing to do, which it is, but in all honesty, I didn't want to plop it in my account and have fun with it (yea, fun . . . like medical bills and the IRS) and then have a man in a black trenchcoat appear on my front door with a menacing smile later.
Anyway, the editor said to keep it and I would work it off later when the project resumed. (Another first.) And now, the laptop that I wanted to take to Texas with me but felt guilty about spending the money on is most likely going home with me after all.
A sign? Good karma? Whatever . . . . I will just take time to appreciate.