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Infantile Paralysis, or New Motherhood Gone Bad

Last Build Date: Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:15:07 +0000


Email problems

Tue, 08 Jul 2008 16:00:00 +0000

If you are someone I email, I have lost all the addresses from my email account. In fact, my email account itself is missing in action. So please send me a message through comments on blogger (which are moderated by me and won't appear unless I allow them to, so they are safe to leave your email address on) or on multiply as a personal message (which is not published except to me).

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The End of the Line

Mon, 07 Jul 2008 04:13:00 +0000

I'll maintain this blog for a while but I'm not going to cross-post to here anymore from Multiply. If you are someone I know, email me if you want to be added to the contacts list. If you're not, well, you'll be excluded from the blog. I find that it's mostly all just contacts who look at the blog anyway so this shouldn't impact most readers. Not that I have tons. All the previous posts on Multiply will still be there but future posts will be contacts-only.

Thanks for reading. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

Livestrong! or, A Dubious Honor

Fri, 04 Jul 2008 00:56:00 +0000

So last Sunday – among the hottest days of the year thus far, naturally – was the Livestrong Challenge. Last year they held it in September and it rained the whole day long, and was cold, and they were concerned with hypothermia and people slipping and falling on railroad tracks and the like. This year they were the hydration Gestapo, and anytime a body paused at the side of the road, say on a hill toward the end of the ride when they were perhaps a bit winded and weary, passing medics and ride marshals viewed such persons with great suspicion and demanded to know if they were all right and had they been drinking enough water and did they need help? That being said, it was a fantastic ride, hot but still fantastic. Lots of money was raised for cancer research and support and there were tons of enthusiastic volunteers and personnel to make sure every rider got what they needed. I was riding with an unnamed friend who unfortunately is a bit sensitive to heat and removed themselves from the ride around mile 32. I later found them (gender and identity concealed: you did an awesome job! Next year we will kick this ride’s ass!) in the medic tent being cooled with ice-watered towels and ice packs, and they perked up nicely after a half hour or so with no lasting ill effects save some fatigue. I feel very fortunate to have had this person’s company for much of the ride. For the record, they raised much more for the cause than I did. So anyway, last year I nicknamed a friend, in good fun, “Wussy McFairweatherpants” for bailing on the ride due to rain. It happens I love to ride in most weather so long as I do not get super cold or super hot, and I don’t appear to have sensitivities either way. I love to ride in the rain. But, I know a lot of people don’t. And I love to ride in the heat, although forty miles was a bit long for my tastes (and my, ahem, seatbones) considering I hadn’t ridden more than one 11-mile jaunt since last fall. But! Lest you all think that everything goes well for me at all times, and if you’ve read most of my blog you know damn well that it doesn’t, I should out myself as… well… mechanically disadvantaged. Or perhaps technically disinclined. Maybe, equipmentally challenged? I’m not the sort of person who knows how to, or wants, really, to service my own bicycle/car/motorcycle/what the hell ever. This is why the credit card and the cell phone were invented, and now I hope you’re all happy that my lesbian card is going to be revoked as soon as admin gets wind of this. Next I’ll be frequenting the Clinique counter and eschewing flannel. So, one whole tenth of a mile into the ride, Stupidhead McEquipmentfailurepants over here found that her front derailleur was malfunctioning. Recent events being as they have been, I haven’t exactly been Johnny-at-the-rathole maintaining my bicycle as I should have been, and dammit it worked just fine last time I rode! So, my anonymous friend and I were forced to flag a sag wagon (minvan manned by a radio geek and a first aid provider). Our bikes were loaded up on the top rack and we took the Drive of Shame to the first rest stop/first aid tent/repair station of the ride to have my stupid bike looked at. I believe we were the first to ride in a sag wagon on this ride. Other riders looked on in disbelief, and at least one was overheard remarking to another, “Must suck to be them.” Our intrepid sag-wagoneers were extremely nice, if not too sure where to take us or how to get there. At one point I leaned forward and told the driver (jokingly, of course) that it was a real confidence-builder for me when he repeatedly activated the windshield wipers. I think he was trying to turn on the headlights (obviously a high priority at 8am on a sunny summer morning). So, we were ferried to the stop and my bike was adjusted for me by a very nice mechanic. Thusly it must be confessed that we rode only 1/10th of a mile of the first 5-mile leg, and so[...]


Mon, 23 Jun 2008 10:08:00 +0000

All right, here's the deal. The Livestrong Challenge is this coming Sunday and I desperately need sponsors.

What with recent events and all, I have been rather lax in both training and fundraising. As a result of not training, I won't be able to ride the 70-mile course as I had hoped. (Sorry, Stacey, my butt won't hurt quite as much just for you -- but it will still be sore!)

I can easily change my registration to the 40-mile course, but -- there is a $250.00 minimum fundraising goal that must be met or I will not be permitted to ride at all They are quite serious about their fundraising, these Livestrong people.

I very much want to ride in this, for many reasons, primarily to raise the funds, but also because I love to ride and want to ride with my friend Annette very much. I don't have the funds to just fill in the missing amount as I did last year (well I could fill in SOME, but not the whole thing) ,so I'm counting on alla youse to pony up! Even five bucks will help me make this goal!

And holy crapples, people, it's for a totally good cause. Right now even my dog has cancer. It touches us all.

If you have a minute, and a few bucks, kindly visit this website and put your money in the virtual waistband of my sweaty Lycra shorts. You'll be glad you did!

The Brown Stuff, Oh How It Flies

Sat, 21 Jun 2008 22:51:00 +0000

And verily it doth disperse when it hitteth the fan.

First, the good news. I got my grades, and rather than the B and B+ that I was expecting, I found a B+ and an A! Yay me! ... Not that I really deserve either one, but I'll take 'em.

In other news. I'll be moving soon. To mother's. How humbling is that. But, I need to get through nursing school, and that's the way to do it. I anticipate a long year and a half of fossil-fuel consumption, as mother does live a tidy hour away from school, but free childcare and help with the rent is not something to be passed up (in favor of extreme poverty and the kindness of strangers, as that would be the only other avenue in view at this time).

That's about all I'm going to say about this for now.

That being said... Many thanks to my mother and to the many friends and family members who are so supportive of me. I will dedicate my RN to all of you.

Drunken blogging

Thu, 19 Jun 2008 10:19:00 +0000

Okay, so this isn't drunken because it's two days after the fact, but do let's describe the revelry that took place post-finals.

Oh first of all the final on Tuesday was painful. For reasons I do not care to go into, I did not study much, and so I was already feeling ill-prepared. As usual I was the first one done and lucky me, the results are displayed on-screen when the exam is completed -- I walked out feeling pretty dismal with a 75 percent. Yes, friends and neighbors, seventy-five percent. This gives me a B in the class, I'm pretty sure.

But within a few minutes I was joined at the snack bar counter, where I lingered waiting to see how others did, and found that I did no worse than the vast majority of my classmates. And better even than a few. While I certainly did not want others to do as poorly as I did, it was nice to know that I was no worse off than most.

Off to meet a friend for a quick cuppa, then onward to my class's chosen gathering place, Overpriced Forcedly-Stereotypedly-Ethnic Chain Restaurant. Let happy hour commence! The next two hours found roughly half my class congregating for margaritas, beer, and cheap nachos. Also much loud conversation and candid photo-taking, and enthusiastic toasting of the fact that we are all one-third nurse. Yay!

From there a select group of us moved on to the Freaky Frawg, where we were disappointed to learn that karaoke takes place only on weekends. Okay, truthfully, I was not disappointed, but after two margaritas and two beers (and a designated driver; my car remained at the OFSECR) I was cheefully willing to go where the party was, once we had consumed a couple more pitchers of beer. Seriously, thank God I was among friends.

Next stop, after yet more friends joined us, was to move on to White Trash Dive Bar where karaoke is featured every night of the week. More pitchers, serving wench, and keep it coming! My housemate is the karaoke expert and immediately signed up for various songs. There are many candid photos of her and my other classmates singing, dancing, and generally carrying-on. Not so much of me as I got up from the table only to use the restroom.

Friends, I started this party at 4:30pm.

I got home at 1:30am.

I was never falling down drunk but I would have been had I not switched to Co-Cola at about midnight.

To my vast and undeserved credit, I did not get up and embarrass myself with a microphone. Also, my clothes stayed on, I slept in my own bed, and I didn't have any new tattoos or piercings when I woke up.

I did get in a certain amount of trouble at home, but was cut considerable slack owing to the fact that it was the end of the term and also because my clothes stayed on, I slept in my own bed, and I didn't have any new tattoos or piercings when I woke up.

Yesterday was spent running around taking care of some Vegas-related errands (signing papers etc and driving same papers to a friend who was stuck at work and then back to the club officers -- nice of them to emphasize how if we couldn't attend the meeting, we should make other arrangements ahead of time), also taking headache remedies and feeling queasy at times.

And that, my friends, is how I began my summer vacation. :)

One down

Mon, 16 Jun 2008 13:37:00 +0000

Final no. 1 is over with and I got an 89-point-something.

I will either get a very low A (unlikely) or a B+ (probably) or maybe even a B (let's hope for the B+).

Either way I done reasonably good. :) Yay me!

A brief, alcohol-related survey (painless and fun!)

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 21:52:00 +0000

Okay my friends, do me a quick favor.

Tomorrow evening I'm attending a post-finals get-together (translation: gathering at bar for express purpose of consuming many, many alcoholic beverages) for the quarter ahead of mine in nursing school. I may be attending this one in lieu of my own because I want to go for a bike ride on Tuesday which is when mine is happening.

The question has been posed to me: should we get a cab, or can I drive?

Okay, so I do have one more final the next day at 2pm. I can't get too stupid because I should really be up at a decent hour to study the next day. Theoretically this means I could control myself a bit and be the designated driver. But.... if we got a cab, then I could get a lil' tipsy.

Decisions, decisions.

Help me out here, peeps. Give me your take on it in the comments.

Yeah, Happy Father's Day, or something

Sun, 15 Jun 2008 11:45:00 +0000

Actually, a VERY happy Father's Day to my friends and family who are good fathers.

To my own Dad, well, you'd be getting a card if a) I knew where to send it -- you haven't called since moving to the East Coast (remember when you called me up to tell me you were moving? Good times, Dad!), and b) they made cards that said things like:

Happy Father's Day to the guy who weaseled out of most of his court-mandated child support,
declined to help pay for my orthodontia ("She doesn't need braces." Wow! I had no idea you were an orthodontist on the side!),

has usually lived hundreds if not thousands of miles away,

has pictures of his wife's grandkids all over the house but not one photo of my child or my brother's sons,

breezes through town expecting me to drop everything, sometimes on literally a few minutes' notice, to accomodate him for meals or even a place to stay,

has missed my daughter's birthdays (all four of them so far; you are 4 and 0! Keep up the good work!),

shot my grandmother's emotionally traumatized rescued poodle dog to death rather than take it to a vet and get it some tranquilizers when it was distraught because she was gone for a few days,
tried to fob his own horrible evil little dog off on Grandma when he decided to move away and were worried he wouldn't tolerate the trip well (why didn't you just shoot him too?),

drove up from San Diego to visit other relatives but failed to mention it to me, despite the fact that I hadn't seen you in a couple of years (I retaliated in kind a few years later when I flew to Washington DC for a week and never told you, because I didn't feel like blowing one or more nights on having dinner with you and your awful wife),

gave my brother a gun for Christmas but gave me nothing,

and still occasionally has the nerve to complain that nobody calls him.

As soon as they start making that card, Dad, you'll get one from me.

Vegas, baby! Yeah!

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 13:12:00 +0000

So I finally found out today that I'm going to Vegas! For a nursing symposium! As is my housemate and my mentor/adopted step-twin and a bunch of other people.


And, Euphemism College is picking up the tab! Well, most of it. All but fifty bucks, plus I think we have to find our own dinners or something. But the college is paying for the airfare, the hotel rooms, the symposium, etc. For 24 of us! Plus two advisors! Now that's a lotta cashbucks.

Anyhoo, I'm stoked about going. I've never been to Vegas. :) I plan to spend a lot of time wandering around like an open-mouthed rube from the puckerbrush, except cleaner and not as vulnerable to pickpockets.

Which reminds me of this one time in Madrid (not at band camp, however) when my Mom and I were walked into La Plaza Mayor and these gypsy women (real authentic gypsies, and they looked the part) got between us and one of them got her hands right into my Mom's purse and onto her wallet. I saw it and hollered and she yanked her hands away, and then those women just melted into the crowd, but not before the one with the hands on Mom's purse locked eyes with me for just a split second and gave me this funny little smile, like, Well done for a tourist moron.

Anyway: Yay! Vegas!

At Long Last

Fri, 13 Jun 2008 00:31:00 +0000

I am free of clinicals. Yes, finally the Skool-B-Gon is working (thank God we got the dosage correct at last) and in just a few more days, I'll be done with finals and free to loaf all summer.

Ha! Ha! Ha! I mean work nearly full time. And clean my filthy home. And spend as much quality time with my child as possible. And not kill anybody out of sheer frustration.

Can't I just maim them a little? I mean, I know killing is illegal and wrong and bad, also punishable by death in some cases, but maiming, surely that's permissable in extenuating circumstances? Just sayin'.

It's not looking good

Sun, 08 Jun 2008 00:33:00 +0000

First off I had to drop a cool eleven hundred bucks on the car today, and it won't even be repaired until Thursday at the earliest.

But worse than that, Hopie is not doing well. Tonight J called me at work and asked if we had any aspirin, because Hope is walking funny, her back legs don't seem to be working in sync with her front ones, and she is curving her back up when she walks, and J wanted to give her something to make her feel better. She had put in a call to her sister the vet but hadn't yet gotten ahold of her. What eventually happened was that her sister called her back and told her aspirin would be okay but prednisone would be even better.

Okay, how weird is this. Prednisone is not something we typically have in the house but last month I got sick and went to urgent care because I felt just so spectacularly shitty, and among the things they sent home with me was prednisone. Which I almost didn't get the prescription filled, and then didn't even end up taking because the next morning I started to feel the tiniest bit better and just didn't feel like dealing with the hassle of it all. (Yes, I'm going to be a nurse and I'm a lousy patient.)

So J has given her some prednisone per her sister's advice, and the latest update I have is that Hopie has barely moved all evening.

J's sister also had her look in Hope's eyes, and the bad news is that one pupil is fixed and dilated. Her sister fears that this means the cancer has infiltrated Hope's brain, which is what I feared when J first called me tonight, and I am pretty sure that when J takes Hope to her sister's it won't be for surgery, it will be for euthanasia.

Oh, Hopie. We barely knew ye.

It's been a rough week and no mistake

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 22:30:00 +0000

So, got my second day of clinicals in a row over with. It was really quite nice, I worked with the same two patients as the day before, both of whom I really liked. It's a relief to get caught up, and now I have only one clinical day to go, along with review sessions during my classes and two skills to sign off on in the lab. Then finals! And summer! Yay!

That being said, plenty of fecal matter hit the fan this week, mostly in the past couple of days.

Our dog Hope, the smaller, sneakier and higher-strung of our two, ate the last pull-up of Delia's diaper-wearing career and gave herself a delightful intestinal blockage and subsequent inflammation. Vet appointment, x-ray, Zantac, etc etc. She's over that but still wasn't eating, so we took her back to the vet, who then found a lump in her neck. He took a biopsy and today we got the call: yes, it's cancerous. Adenocarcinoma of the thyroid. He informs us that surgery is in order and chemo is usually indicated, and it's best handled by a specialist.

Realistically? We can't afford a specialist. It cost us four hundred dollars that we already couldn't really spare just to get to this point. The dog is nine years old, and J doesn't want to put her through chemo. We'll take her to J's sister, who is a vet and also the source of every sad-sack special-needs animal in our house, for surgery, and whatever will be, will be.

Cut to me feeling like a jerk for not loving this dog for all the nine years I've lived with her. I do love her, she's not a bad dog, but I am not so much a dog person and I haven't been the loving, devoted owner to her. Now that she's feeling poorly and the future doesn't look so bright, I regret the way I've treated her. :( She deserves better than this.

Then, just to drive the whole point home, my engine light came on a few days ago and we dutifully took it to the dealership to get it diagnosed. Yeah. The other call we got today. Catalytic converter is dying a horrible death. There goes another seven hundred dollars or so.

Okay, okay, I get it already. The world is a cruel place and fate is a harsh mistress. Enough already.

Who's a Good Little Bicyclist?! I AM!

Wed, 04 Jun 2008 02:24:00 +0000

Okay, so I hauled my fat ass out of mothballs and went on a bike ride this evening. It had been since like last fall. Let it never be so long again. I had such fun and it felt so good.

Here's what makes this very funny:

My friend Wussy McFairweatherpants, who bailed on me last fall on the Livestrong ride because it was raining (but who in fairness did warn me that she might, and it really was raining all day), drove for 20 miles, through rush hour traffic, having left at 4pm to be there by 6pm to get to the start of the ride, and arrived only to find that she'd left her front wheel in the garage. She has one of those roof racks that you take the front wheel off your bike and when she loaded it up, she just neglected to put the wheel in the car.

Oops. Bet from now on she puts the front wheel in the car FIRST.

So we gave her bushel baskets of crap about this, which she took very stoically, and then we left on our ride. Two ride leaders, a few women I didn't know, and Wussy's friend who I'd just met that evening.

Lo and behold, it began to rain. At maybe the half mile mark, maybe even less, the leaders pulled the ride over and said, if you're gonna bail from the weather, do it now. No shame, no harm, no foul, it's raining. Go home if you're gonna. About half the riders did so, leaving me, Wussy's friend, and one other woman. (BTW it's a "ladies" ride) Off we went, riding nearly twelve miles in what was occasionally some fairly comprehensive rain, other times mere drizzle, even completely drying up altogether once in a while. I'd say it rained about 3/4 of the time. Wussy's friend and I both stuck with it, in part just so we could lord it over Wussy.

Annette, if you're reading this, I'm just kidding about calling you Wussy and I'm really looking forward to seeing you and your bike and BOTH of its wheels next week. :) You rock!

Finger of Doom

Sun, 01 Jun 2008 01:39:00 +0000

So the Finger of Doom lives on. I've been in occupational therapy for it, and I don't do the exercises enough, so finally the therapist (or terrorist) told me I was losing my window of opportunity and if I didn't get on the stick here, I wouldn't be getting the function back like I should. Then after making me cry (not really), he gave me some "Theraputty" to work with and set me loose.

A week later I returned and thoroughly impressed him with increased range of motion etc etc (entirely undeserved).

I still have a certain amount of swelling in that finger, and I have to wear a little homemade Coban (that stretchy wrap that looks like an Ace bandage but sticks to itself) support-hose stocking on it. I ran out of the brown kind and when I went to get more, they only had white or purple. So I got purple. Yay me!

Check it out!

Fri, 23 May 2008 03:27:00 +0000

My first ever video, over in the videos tab. Woot!

Birthday Girl

Wed, 21 May 2008 23:31:00 +0000

So, Delia's fourth birthday is next Monday. Last Sunday we had a family party for J's side, a joint party for Delia and two cousins who have birthdays on either side of hers. It was the usual mayhem -- six kids ages 8 and under, four of whom are girls ages 4 and under. Lots of fun.

Fortunately but unfortunately, one of the aunts gave Delia a Playmobil Noah's Ark. The minute she opened that thing, she became a giant pain in the ass. She wanted so bad to go play with it by herself. She refused to go outside, she protested loudly if anyone else wanted to touch it, she didn't want to do anything but play with that toy. Alone. Right now.

Nonetheless, we all survived, and here are a few pics:

(image) The birthday girl with an apron set given to her by our housemate.
(image) Delia puffy hearts the cake, featuring "sea creatures" that she picked out herself.

(image) Blowin' out the candles!

She knows her letters!

Wed, 21 May 2008 22:33:00 +0000

So this evening after dinner we had a tiny spot of ice cream. There wasn't much, so when Delia wanted more we told her she could write it on the list (a dry-erase board on the fridge) and then we would get more when we went shopping. So, she got up there and started. I told her which letters to write, and only had to help her on the "R".

Ladies and gents, I proudly present to you:



Tue, 20 May 2008 20:26:00 +0000

So it got ridiculously hot the past few days and we fired up Ye Olde Aire Conditioner it worked like a champeen.

And then I went out to get something out of the car on like the second day of the miniature heat wave, and saw two tiny dabs of water peeping out from beneath the garage door.


So I opened up the garage door and there, sheeting across the floor and inconveniently passing under the enormous pile of now-sodden future garage sale items, ran the water.

Um.... damn.

Luckily, J's brother The Amazingly Handy Guy happened to be coming to our house, and he crawled around a bit and diagnosed the problem. Remember the little rat problem? Yeah. As if taking up residence in our foundation and crapping everywhere wasn't enough, the little buggers had to go and chew up the hose that drains the water away from the a/c. I don't feel so bad now about the fact that we had to get an exterminator to, uh, exterminate them (at significant personal expense, and only after unsuccessful attempts to humanely relocate them ourselves).

TAHG patched up the hole with some hose he found at Goodwill and a couple of hoseclamps. Problem solved. Wonder if he'd like to stay on and sift through the pile of dampened junk to see what's salvageable?


Tue, 20 May 2008 20:26:00 +0000

So it got ridiculously hot the past few days and we fired up Ye Olde Aire Conditioner it worked like a champeen.

And then I went out to get something out of the car on like the second day of the miniature heat wave, and saw two tiny dabs of water peeping out from beneath the garage door.


So I opened up the garage door and there, sheeting across the floor and inconveniently passing under the enormous pile of now-sodden future garage sale items, ran the water.

Um.... damn.

Luckily, J's brother The Amazingly Handy Guy happened to be coming to our house, and he crawled around a bit and diagnosed the problem. Remember the little rat problem? Yeah. As if taking up residence in our foundation and crapping everywhere wasn't enough, the little buggers had to go and chew up the hose that drains the water away from the a/c. I don't feel so bad now about the fact that we had to get an exterminator to, uh, exterminate them (at significant personal expense, and only after unsuccessful attempts to humanely relocate them ourselves).

TAHG patched up the hole with some hose he found at Goodwill and a couple of hoseclamps. Problem solved. Wonder if he'd like to stay on and sift through the pile of dampened junk so see what's salvageable?


Sun, 18 May 2008 04:07:00 +0000


Imaginary Buttcheeks Redux

Fri, 09 May 2008 02:49:00 +0000

I have written before about my brother's legendary lack of hindquarter. See, for instance, this post. The part about his behind is down a ways in a description of our trip to the state fair.

So when my friend Liz sent me this link, I knew just whom to send it to, with a note that if he ordered now he might be able to get some in time for Mother's Day (as a sort of gift to his wife, you see).

I received the following reply:

"It's a MEDICAL CONDITION, for Pete's sake.
It even has a name, DGS.  Diminished Gluteal Syndrome.
And it's an ORTHOTIC."

I was then forced to email back:

"I hear there's a new medication you can take for it. It's called Noassitol."

Come on down

Wed, 30 Apr 2008 18:28:00 +0000

I'm really over at these days. I still post to this blog but edits and comments from multiply don't make it over here.

High maintenance

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 23:32:00 +0000

So this afternoon I coordinated a trip to the library with Delia. She's been out of preschool and soccer since getting so sick, and due to a little mishap today (Me: "Hey did you get Delia off to preschool this morning?" J: "No, today's Monday." Me: "No.... today's Tuesday." J: "Oh CRAP!") she didn't go again, so I thought, I should take the poor tyke to the library.


So after asking her like fifty times to put on her shoes and socks, I was starting to get frustrated, and evidently it was apparent to her because then we had the following exchange. Bear in mind that she is three years old.

Delia: Mama, are you having kind of a bad day?
Me (laughing a little): Am I?
Delia: Yeah. See, what you need to do is relax.

What really made it funny was J snickering loudly and then busting out into belly laughs from down the hall. Part of why I was frustrated was a miscommunication about whether she was going with us to the library, and I had been sort of on the warpath about how I'd been waiting around for her and now it was getting late. At this point I totally threatened to kick her ass.

Earlier in the day I'd spoken to J on the phone from school, and she told me another amusing Delia related anecdote. J had put on some music while they were eating lunch, and Delia found this to be so irritating that after she was done eating, while J was out of the room, she went over to the cd player, removed the cd and then hid it. I asked, Was she mad that you weren't letting her watch some show or something? And J said, Yeah, she wanted to watch a dvd. I said, Which cd did you have in? J says, Oh, one of the new ones I just got. I said, Bob Dylan? Oh, I would have hidden it too.