Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The morning after

The morning after the snake proposal, Critter and I were alone in the livingroom. No one else was up, yet. She looked at me, I looked away, and started cleaning the kitchen.

“You know we’re going to say ‘no,’ right?” I said softly.

“Yeah,” she replied equally softly. “Why?”

I thought a moment. A million rational reasons went through my head, as they had the night before when Critter made her dissertation on Why We Should Host the Science Snake for the Summer. Like who was going to clean the mice cage? Who would clean the snake cage? What would we do with the animals while we were on vacations? How could we keep the cats away from the mice and snake? What about the smell?

And even as I formulated my oh-so-logical and completely-calm-and-rational arguments against the proposal, I knew I wouldn’t say any of them. What I DID say was:

“I could sit here and give you a whole list of rational reasons why we can’t have the snake over the summer, but there’s really only one reason that matters: JewelGeek and I don’t like snakes, and we won’t have one in our house.”

“But,” Critter began weakly.

“It’s not a situation you’re going to be able to change, Sweetie,” I said seriously. “We simply don’t like snakes. It’s not rational, but it’s real.”

Critter closed her mouth and nodded. “Okay.” She didn’t even argue. And when JewelGeek got up, Critter didn’t say a word or bring up the snake again. It's not like her to stop fighting, especially if she knows we don't want any part of it. This time, she let us win.

What a great Mother's Day present.

Mother's Day Jasmine

CrafterKat and I had a lovely Mother’s Day Weekend, complete with good food, shoe shopping, and the arrival of a new compound miter saw thingy.

Saturday afternoon Critter had us sit in the living room and close our eyes. When we were told to open them, she stood with paper in hand, partially blocking two vases of spring flowers. I smiled at her thoughtfulness. And she read:

As you may already know, Mizz K. has a snake named Jasmine. Her roommate doesn’t particularly care for snakes and she doesn’t know what to do with jasmine over the summer. Now I know what you’re thinking, “she’s going to ask if she can bring it home for the summer,” and you’re correct!

Having this privilege will give me more responsibility and respect for other people’s property. As well as help me keep my room cleaner!

Some downers about this thought is the fact that JewelGeek may not really like this idea and I can totally see that. Also we will have to have live mice in the house which is another thing for the cats to try to get at. And when I’m gone camping and on vacation with you guys I’ll worry and fret about her and carry on and we possibly may not have a good time.

But please remember I have a friend who lives just up the street and loves reptiles!!!! Cheri knows her way around the house and how to get into the house too!

Now about the food for Jasmine, Mizz K. said she would provide the money for live mice. I can keep them in a well secured cage so they will never be able to get out and we will never smell them because I can clean mouse and rat cages ever so quickly.

So now I hope I have persuaded you to let me take care of Mizz K.’s snake over the summer. Thank you for your time and ears. Any questions I can answer???

Yes. Just one.

Aaaaaaaakkkkkk! Snaaaaaaakkeeeee???!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Stone Soup

Several days after I had sent that e-mail to the Evil PXE, I found myself in the doctor’s office telling first the nurse and then my physician my symptoms. “It feels like there is a steel stake right through my rib cage,” I finally said, pointing to the middle of my chest. “And I’m not sleeping well.”

After pushing on my stomach (presumably the spot where the gall bladder is located), my doctor agreed to send me for an ultrasound. They’d use this one to compare against the one I had taken previously. Five years ago.

That evening, the scheduling nurse from my doctor’s office called. “I’ll go ahead and call the surgeon on Monday morning.”

“So, I need to have my gall bladder removed?”


Monday I was told to see the surgeon the following Monday. I spent the week trying to be really good with my diet but ended up having two more attacks during the week. This time, they were occurring in the morning and my lack of sleep was beginning to catch up with me. I called my Mom, the Social Butterfly, to see if she could come up when my surgery actually gets scheduled. She assured me she’d be there but I should try not to set it for June 1st or June 5th as she had appointments on those days. “Well, I figure it will be either be at the end of the month or after our vacation in the middle of June. Shouldn’t be a problem."

Monday came and CrafterKat and I left for the early morning meeting with the surgeon. I explained my symptoms to the nurse. Then the Surgeon-In-Training. Then finally the doctor. He came in with an old 50’s textbook with illustrations of the gall bladder and how they would remove the broken organ. “It’s moderately distended and should come out soon. Have you eaten anything today?”

I shook my head. “No.”

“Great. I have an opening at 3pm today.”

Um… Wait… TODAY?

I called my Mom when I got home. “What are you doing today, Mom?”

She paused, piecing the clues together and finally yelled, “Today?! TODAY?!”

I called work and informed my co-worker that I’d be out the rest of the week. My mother arrived a few hours later and drove me to the hospital. When we found Admitting, the nice lady there had me on her list. “What are you here for?”

“Gall bladder.”

“Oh. A mumble-mumble-oscopy?”

“I don’t know… They’re removing my gall bladder.”

“Oh, we get those and colonoscopies all the time. You sure you don’t want one of those, too? A 2-for-1 deal?”

I assured her I didn’t.

Needless to say, the surgery went well but I don’t really remember anything after being wheeled into the operating room and sliding over onto the thin bed. I awoke, curled up on my side, to my Mom’s voice.

I found out later that the surgery had taken longer than expected as I had lots of adhesions and a hazelnut sized stone in one of the ducts. The rest of the week was spent in a Vicadin haze, eating soup and jello, and snuggling cats who couldn’t understand why they couldn’t flob across my tummy as usual.

Thanks to all my friends and family for their kind thoughts, help, and numerous flowers. I’m very happy to be back at work and in good health!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Papa was a rolling stone

Been a bit quiet on the blog front... But there's been a reason. Here's an e-mail I sent to the Evil PXE a few weeks back.

To: Evil PXE
From: JewelGeek
Sent: Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Subject: Just a heads up...

Hey Evil PXE,

I believe I'm losing the war with my gall bladder...

I don't know if you remember, but my doctor diagnosed me with having gall stones a few years back. He said surgery wasn't really an option at the time because I didn't have very many and I should be able to control the gall bladder attacks (vicious gas bubbles that made me want to puke or caused me such pain in my chest that I thought an alien was going to pop out) with a better diet. I did that and it helped.

I got to the point where I could sort of tell when I'd reached my 'bad food' threshold--I'd cut back or not eat the troubling foods and I'd be fine, staving off another attack. I can't eat Nonna's pizza, for example, unless I've been very, very good. Now it's sort of all pizza in general. Sigh.

I've had at least three gall bladder attacks in a week. Last night I was lucky to get about four hours sleep. And I woke up twice from that when I discovered that one of the new cats had peed on my comforter.

I'm weary. I'm tired. And I'm in a lot of pain.

I'm going to call the doctor's office when I get in and get an appointment to talk to him about my gall bladder. Once you have gall stones, he told me, the organ is pretty much broken. I'm thinking that we're beyond the diet phase of fixing it. That leaves surgery. Which I'm scared to death he might recommend.

If he doesn't recommend that, then it's back to diet and I'll still be miserable. Diets and me don't tend to last very long.

I'll see you in a bit.