Friday, October 15, 2010

Plaster Pete? No, Black Bart

Sometimes you just have to advocate for yourself. I am my own best advocate for sure.
Monday morning this week I was through with Clint, the Splint. (see below)
He had worn out his welcome.
From my sleep-depriveded perspective, the relationship had to end.
He was making life miserable.

I know better than to advocate for myself over the phone so I (carefully) drove myself to the orthopedic surgeon's office and very nicely said "Either someone here unwraps this thing or I will." 

I didn't think calling it Clint, the Splint would add to my case.

The nice lady behind the desk looked at her computer screen and said it didn't look like anyone was available. Maybe I could wait for my appointment on Thursday. We had a little discussion about 3 more nights with no sleep. She was really empathetic. 

She went to check with someone further back in the office. When she came back she said she was really sorry but I should probably wait until Thursday and under NO CIRCUMSTANCES was I to unwrap it myself. 

I looked at her with all the sincerity I could muster and asked, "What will happen to me if I do? Will I go to 'splint jail'?" (I am totally serious) Then I added very nicely, "I am here . . .and I will wait as long as I have to."

She looked at me for a couple of seconds and went back to talk it over again.

I can only imagine what she said. But she came back and said to take a seat and wait. . . 
I couldn't sit with Clint so I stood and swayed. (It's a thing we mothers do for comfort.)
Thirty minutes later this lovely smiling face called me back . . .

 (No way was I going to chance seeing the wires sticking out of my hand without my camera!)

I was prepared to plead my case but she said they would take the splint off, x-ray my hand and give me a cast. I confess wanting to hug her.

I didn't mention 'splint jail' and neither did she. . . 

You can skip the next series if you have weak knees for medical stuff. 
Barry would have been out in the hall for sure.

About right here I totally got why they didn't want me to unwrap Clint.

Notice the hardware. The dressing all stuck to it was apparently ruining my relationship with Clint.
So we proceeded to x-ray . . . You want my picture?  She was taking pictures of me . . . fair is fair.
Here's the one she took. . . .
I have learned you just have to ask for things . . . that is if you really want them.
Next stop the cast room . . .

This series is much nicer. . . 

So Clint was gone and I had a new friend for four weeks. Plaster Pete was really fiberglass not plaster . . . 

and he lasted four days.

Something about not splaying my skinny little fingers out when we were doing the cast . . . my thumb turning purple on the end when my hand got warm. . . etc.

I promise it had nothing to do with a neighbor girl assuming I chose Red for the Utes! 

What!? No!!
Any way today Plaster Pete was sawn asunder (literally) by Kendra the P.A and 'cast director' . . .

and replaced by Black Bart.

Here's hoping we get along better than his predecessors. Wish us luck.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Unwelcome Guest

I have a new friend staying with me. I call him Clint. He's been around for a week now.

This morning I decided to take him out for a walk in the neighborhood.

On a beautiful October Fall day in northern Utah you'd expect to see Asters like these that greeted us.

But Marigolds that look like it's July!!??

And Petunias!!??

But the best one was this Rose peeking over my friend Sonda's fence.

It made me forget for just a minute that Clint was with me.
Now don't get me wrong. 
Clint has been here for a reason and I have really needed him for the last week.
But I will not be sorry to see him go.

Let me introduce you to 

Clint . . . the Splint.

I met Clint last Thursday after I fractured my scaphoid bone. 
(I am not ready to disclose how this occurred . . . )

Exhibit A:
The Scaphoid

The scaphoid is one of the small bones in the wrist. 
It is the wrist bone that is most likely to break.
The scaphoid is located on the thumb side of the wrist, in the area where the wrist bends.

The orthopedic surgeon attempted to place a small screw into the bone through a a small puncture incision like so-
Exhibit B:
(Left) This x-ray shows a scaphoid fracture fixed in place with a screw.
 (Right) This x-ray was taken 4 months after surgery. The fracture of the scaphoid is healed.

But as my Luck would have it . . . the lower part of the scaphoid shattered and he had to open it up and pin it together like so-
Exhibit C: 
X-ray of Eva's Wrist!

So now you know who Clint is and why I have needed him this last week.
He keeps me from seeing the wires sticking out of my wrist.
He will be with me until this next Thursday when he will be replaced by Plaster Pete.
Pete and I will be together MUCH longer.
We'll be walking in the snow together for sure.

(This Blog was prepared single-handedly by me.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to School

I spent last Friday morning
with three of my favorite people . . . at their school.
May I introduce some of you to Dallin . . .
whose teacher, Mr. S., is a big JAZZ fan.

And this is Joseph . . .

And here is Alli . . .

We had a great time! Thanks for letting me be your Grandma Eva! Hugs & Kisses.

P.S. So happy that you,

and Hannah 

are getting a 
new baby next year! 
He or she will be our 
lucky 13th!!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Mountain Bike Swan Song or Down but not OUT

Wow. Apparently summer was not good for blogging. Never mind. We are looking forward not backward.

After putting 1100+ miles on my mountain bike I finally caved and let Barry buy new bikes for us.

It would be well to understand at the outset that I was the quintessential reluctant cyclist. Barry gently suggested for years (well at least a few years) that we should get bikes. No, I said. I like my skin and I did not want to leave any on the pavement. In my mind, that was the eventual and inevitable result of bike riding. At some point you were going to crash and that was not my idea of a good time.

Three years ago I realized that Barry's chronic hamstring problem was not going to get better and we were not going to be running together. He needed to bike. Not wanting to be left out we both got mountain bikes. Not those fast, skinny-tired, road bikes with seats that try to sever . . . well, you know. . . We got sturdy, stable, gel seated mountain bikes. (or at least mine had a nice wide gel seat.)

What can I say? I was hooked and much to Barry's delight as were riding around North Utah county in the early mornings together, I thanked him over and over for talking me into a bike. Why didn't we do this years ago, I'd ask. Well, I knew the answer to that and bless him, he NEVER rubbed it in.
Barry is very patient with me. It took him a year to talk me into riding up the mountain to the top of Suncrest but that was a turning point. I was empowered!! After a couple of times I didn't even brake coming down. Zoom! Straight down!
This year we started riding longer and longer distances.

Then it hit me. I wanted to do some loooong road rides and it wasn't going to happen on a mountain bike. Maybe it was that guy who went by us on the way up Suncrest that said, "Wow! You guys are great on those heavy bikes." Translation: What are you two oldies doing pushing those heavy bikes up this hill?!

Sometime in June, I mentioned that maybe we should give our bikes to Julie and Ryan to take to Pennsylvania so they could ride with their kids. Barry was just waiting for the chance to justify new bikes and this was his opening. Finally on July 4th I said let's do it. He grabbed his keys and headed for the door to go shopping before I could change my mind.

So the bikes went with Jules & Ry and we got new bikes. Much lighter - much skinnier tires.

No matter how heavy it was . . . I admit an emotional attachment to my mountain bike. We had been very intimately connected for a lot of miles. That bike took my resting heart rate down to 46. That bike made me love riding.

So when we drove out to Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago I was still excited to take her out for a final spin. . . .

Early Monday morning the mist was rising over the green hills of PA . . . We didn't even make it out of the parking lot. Let me paint a brief sketch. Coming a steep hill, up over the edge of the asphalt, a very steep gravel downhill run was staring me in the face. I decided I didn't want to go there. Pulled up on the back and FRONT (no, no) brakes and went down hard on my left elbow and hip.

Here's a little glimpse at the result. Nurse Ryan was kind enough to bandage up my arm for the trip home that day.

After the one hour ride to the Pittsburgh airport and the ensuing flight home to Salt Lake City I had a fully mature bruise and sizable hematoma on my upper thigh. Big bummer.

It just happens that I was scheduled for a Nissen-Fundoplication (look that one up) on Thursday morning last week. My surgeon is a cool guy and a cyclist. He understood the injury (from first hand experience) but said no surgery until it resolves. The risk of infection in that stagnant collection of blood is too great. (Happy thought.) If that happened it would have to be opened and drained. (Happier thought.)

So the surgery is on hold and I missed one day of biking last week. Down but not OUT!! We biked 30 miles on Saturday just for good measure. But the surgery has been postponed twice now and if I can't have it next Thursday, September 9, I have to wait until October because of the doctor's schedule.

I am totally open to any remedies to hasten the resolution of a hematoma. Any suggestions?

I am icing it (tried heat) and I slept with tobacco on it last night. I am totally serious.

Just think of this picture: The Bishop and his wife getting the clerk at the local Smith's Marketplace to unlock the case so we can buy some chewing tobacco. That should give you a grin today.

I am completely convinced I will never be a mountain trail rider. I have done the mountain bike Swan Song in the parking lot and it was doozie!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Bad News, Good News

The last week has been a Bad News, Good News kind of week for me. I wasn't going to post anything about it . . . Just try and ignore it but I started looking for some material for the post and started laughing and thought I 'd go for it

Here's some random humor that gave me some random laughs and put things into perspective:

That is more than optimism.

The next one is ridiculous (and tasteless) but so FUNNY!

Putting a good face on it :) . . .

Let's just get it right out there . . . most of the time not only are we not in control of things but we don't even know what is going on . . .

And here's my favorite . . . maybe it's the cancer word . . . where did they get this picture??!!

Sometimes you just have to have fun with it!!!!

So here goes my list for the week . . .
Good News:
I went 6 days after Radioactive Iodine treatment with NO SIDE EFFECTS. I felt like they gave me a multi vitamin pill instead of a radiation loaded poison. I was feeling like I had dodged the bullet!

Bad News:
On day six-- long after any expected effects -- my lymph glands in my neck started protesting big time. They got big and sore. And got bigger and sorer with each passing day.

Good News: My radiologist gave me his cell phone number and said to call him with any problem. I did. He was great.

Bad News: He was out of the Hospital for the week.

More Bad News: My surgeon was out of town for the week.

Good News: My surgeon's partner would see me to save me from the dreaded Emergency Room.

Bad News: (Not new news) Your lymph glands are very swollen and inflammed.


Bad News: You need to take Prednisone (steriod) in big doses for 3-7 days to reduce inflammation and swelling of glands in your neck.

Good News: This will work quickly and you will have lots of energy. (It has and I do.)

Bad News: You will not be able to SLEEP while on this medicine.

Good News ?!?: You will get lots of reading done in the middle of the night when it is quiet.

Bad or Good News: This will only last a few more days.

This seems appropriate somehow:


Glass half full:
The left over little thyroid cells are getting zapped, the prednisone is saving my lymph glands from further damage, the sun is shining, I am getting things done and I am over halfway through this with steroid and tapering off.

All good news in the end!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Free and Dangerous

The long awaited release from Food Jail arrived on Wednesday!

I pulled up at St. Mark's Hospital just after lunch. Ooopps. No one told me I shouldn't eat for 2 hours before coming. Oh well. By the time I swallowed the poison . . . Stop! That's getting ahead of the story.

Here is the pleasant lady that got me checked in. Now she doesn't look like someone who would poison you, does she?
She isn't.

She sent me to wait here. There was a lot of sending and waiting in this process.

This is Nancy. She is as nice as she looks. She isn't someone who would poison you, either.

She asked me lots of questions and sent me to wait here.

Because I had to have two pre-poison injections, one on Monday and one on Tuesday I am getting very familiar with this room and this young woman who is in charge here.

St. Marks is just finishing a remodel. I feel like I have a vested interest in this new carpet and furniture. My pre-poison injections came with a price-tag of $1000 EACH! Yikes.

I don't have any pictures of the Nuclear Medicine Tech who escorted me to the next waiting station. He was very uptight.

I asked if I could take his picture and he stopped dead in his tracks and said, "NO."
He proceeded with a strong little talk about HIPA and patient information going out on the internet.

I smiled as I put my camera away and thought. . . "You just blew your one chance to be part of Garlickontoast. Too bad for you."

When he got to the door with the electronic keypad lock I felt like a secret agent with Mission Impossible.

As soon as the door was closed, of course I took out my camera again. Any risk for the blog!

What were they protecting in here with the electronic keypad security!!??

My uptight Tech had labeled my wrist so if I did manage to get out with my HIPA-breach photos I could be identified . . . .

Here I was going to post the picture of my wrist band but thought better of it in case some one wanted to steal my medical identity and use it to have liposuction . . . or something.

No foolin'. That's what's happening in Cali.

After I had taken pictures of this exciting room and my own wrist band, I heard the little beeps of the electronic key pad and in walked the man I had been waiting for. Dr. Weiss - the head poisoner.

I told him that his Tech was pretty up tight about my camera. This was his reaction.

Actually he said, "Make sure to bring your camera with you next week and get a picture of the camera that does your whole body scan."

I really, really like this guy. He is my favorite radiologist. (I have seen three this year.)

He took care of the Tech who it turned out was the real poisoner. When he fetched me from this little lock-up, he apologized and said I could use my camera as long as I didn't take pictures of any patients or patient info.

No way did I tell him about my wrist band picture. He may have demanded my memory card.

So we went through here.

And by the time I got to here I was beginning to feel like a secret agent, again.

Then I saw it!!! The poison.

I said, " So, do you touch that?" The Tech said, "I open it and tip out the capsule. Then I want you to swallow it as quickly as you can." That translated to me, "Get it inside your body as fast as you can so it won't hurt me."

When this huge blue capsule appeared, I thought for just a split second, "What if I don't want to??!!"


"Wait one hour before you eat." "What!? I was planning on the fish taco drive-through on the way home. Darn."

I am now free from Food Jail but DANGEROUS

I cannot be within 8 feet of anyone for 3 days--Kids and pregnant women for 7 days.

Not exactly true. I can go to the store, by myself, if I keep moving.

I have advanced from secret agent to fugitive.

I made a quick stop at Walmart today and saw someone from my neighborhood. I felt like I had been caught! I didn't even stop to talk. I'll have to explain to her later.

Evidently I have a GAMMA aura. I am sleeping downstairs, away from Barry, for 5 nights and drinking gallons of water to flush it out of my system.

It's not all bad. Barry is cooking me delicious food which he serves up and sets out on the counter for me to collect while he steps away. And he cleans it all up except for my dishes which I take downstairs to wash separately. What a sweetie he is. He even made fresh tortillas for the fish tacos. YUMMMM!!! No more store bought tortillas for me!

All this separation would get old quickly but it's just until Saturday. Can't wait to get back in my kitchen.

No worries. We're all fine here. Nothing that fish tacos can't cure.