Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Okay, the picture isn't great. I really want a digital camera - these pics are from my cell phone camera, or a camera belonging to someone else, or my good ol' film camera which I have carefully scanned into the computer.
Anyways, I got a great haul this Christmas, top gifts including the accessory pack for my Kitchen Aid Mixer, (which includes pasta extruders, so fresh pasta here we come!), and an ice cream maker (there is already a batch of Dulce de Leche ice cream chillin out in the freezer), but as usual, it is the things I make as gifts which bring me the most happiness.
Above is a shot of the cheeseboard I made, already in use. I had the marvelous assistance of my father, who is a retired shop teacher with all the toys you can imagine. The base of the board is ash, which we milled from someone's old curtain valences. The boarders are mahogany, and the darker pieces surrounding the glass centre are rosewood. Fabulous.
Perhaps I should have thought this through more thoroughly. I bought Paul a fluid trainer for Christmas, knowing that he really really wanted it, and I got a sweet sweet deal on the thing thanks to uber connected friend Don, and Paul is smashingly excited about it and all. Now he rides his bike in the living room. Horray.
Friday, December 23, 2005
I said, I doubt it.
So we go to their house to drop off Emily and loads of fruitcake which my Dad promptly started gnawing on, and a few minutes after I arrive both of my parents inform me that they have unsuccessfully googled me, and want the address. I said they'd have to google a little harder. If they're going to get here, they better work for it.
So shout out to Mom and Dad, if you've found me. Shout out to the cashiers at work, who apparently peruse this regularly, shout out strangers, hey, shout out Jesus. What up?
PS - the blogger spell checker still makes me laugh. It suggested I replace the word FRUITCAKE with the word BRITCHES and does not recognise the word BLOG.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
So it's all Emily's fault, and I'm considering posting her personal information (including SIN) in retaliation.
But it is really nice to see her.
And the accent usually goes away after a couple of days.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
It all started just 10 years ago, and so innocently, as a joke. My friend Sean and I were discussing the logistics of fruitcake - we had this theory where no one ever ate fruitcake, they just re-gifted it. We wanted to see how long it would take if we started making fruitcake, before we recieved one of our own fruitcakes back. And we decided that we would mostly only give the fruitcake to people we didn't like. The plan has backfired horribly for 2 reasons: 1) people assume since we make fruitcake, we must like fruitcake and 2) people eat the fruitcake. So not only does the fruitcake not get re-gifted, people give us other fruitcake. My Dad will eat one of the smaller ones in one sitting. God.
So this is 10 years running - we missed a year when I was living in New Zealand, Sean thought it just wouldn't be right to make it without me, and frankly, I'd have been upset if he did. We've been on double batches ever since, and my suggestion to go back to single batches this year was quickly vetoed. We're remarkably efficient fruitcake makers now, not like in the beginning when we just didn't know what we didn't know. We didn't know you could buy candied citrus peel, so when the recipe called for peel, we peeled oranges, grapefruits and lemons, and chucked the peel in the bowl. Sean didn't know that when the recipe called for a lemon, peel and juice, you were supposed to zest the lemon, and then squeeze the juice, he just chucked an entire lemon into the mixer. It blended rather nicely, I must admit. We didn't know you were supposed to make your fruitcakes like months in advance, and soak them in brandy. I think we made them around Dec 23rd one year.
Now it happens so fast if you blink, you'd think the fruitcake just appeared out of nowhere. You'd hardly see Sean and I waltzing into the bulk food store and picking up 4lbs of raisins, 4 lbs of currents, 3 lbs of dates, 1 lb of peel, 1/2 lb of red and green cherries, 1 lb of walnuts, 2 lbs of sugar, 2 lbs of butter, 6 cups of flour, and 16 eggs. For the rest of the ingredients, we just raid Seans Mom's pantry. Being a retired home ec teacher, she's pretty stocked, and the only person we know with a bowl big enough to mix this crap up. The recipe calls for 1 cup of pineapple juice, but we basically use whatever Pat has in the fridge - this year we even considered V8, but turns out that Sean cares about the quality of the fruitcake too much for that, so cranberry cocktail it was.
Last year, something shocking and upsetting happened. Sean broke our vow to never EVER try the fruitcake. He got a little drunk one night, and broke down and tried a bite. He called me right away and confessed, and he says it isn't good. How can it be, it's friggen fruicake? Apparantly there was a 4th wiseman who got turned away for bringing the stuff!
But still, people love it. My Dad starts pestering me for it in early December, and I even get calls from my ex boyfriend's family around October, wondering whether they'll still get a fruitcake this year, even though Doug and I have been broken up nearly 3 years. Rest assured, they'll get a big one.
The above picture is Sean with the giant bowl of crap (it was my year to mix it, so I was elbow deep in gunk. He got the date chopping job though, and that's not nice either).
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Anyhoo, on to my rant.
All term, I have loved my math class, and excelled in my math class, and even when I thought I bombed a test, I truly didn't. I liked my teacher, in fact, I found him adorable, not in a sexy prof kinda way, but in an *I'd like to take him home and keep him in a room with fresh soft cedar sawdust and feed him small pieces of fruit* kind of way. And try as I might to find a way to turn off the clicky noise on my camera phone so that I might secretly take a picture of him and post it on this blog, I can't. So I have resorted instead, to finding a picture of Kip Dynamite, who I may say, bears an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Besler, minus about 15 - 20 years. Use your imagination.
Last Friday we were supposed to have a big midterm, worth 18% of our grade. I studied my toosh off, and even saw my lovely granola tutor an extra time that week, to be extra prepared. Additionally, I left work a few minutes early such that I could be at class early, stress free, and ready to dazzle with my miraculous math capabilities. As I neared the classroom, I knew something was awry. Students milling outside the door with both panicked and blissful looks upon their faces. The professor wasn't there. Class was cancelled. No exam.
(*This is the part where the cursing begins*)
What the fuck? No midterm? No prof? No word about what the hell was going on? While many of the students clutched their pencils and ran for their lives, I stayed in the class room talking to a few other students, until I was confident this really was real. He really wasn't showing. But what now? When will the midterm be? Monday? Tuesday? Is he obligated to give us some notice? How will we know?
So I went home, did other assignments, worked away, studied more math, saw the granola tutor another time, and then went to school on Monday. There we were again, sitting there, wondering what the hell was going on. 5-7 minutes goes by, and suddenly, in rushes this guy who looks like Geoff Daniels in Dumb and Dumber, and sounds like he's trying to make a funny voice. He tells us our midterm is about to begin, and then slaps the paper down on the desk in front of us. I'm kinda stunned, but pull out my pencil as fast as can be, and start crunching numbers. The girl who sits next to me is a heavy breather on the best of days, and she has a cold. This invigilator guy spends the entire time pacing around the room, and writing how much time we have left on the chalk board about every 3 minutes. This is all very distracting. And of course, since he arrived late, we ran out of time, and the majority of the class didn't finish the exam. Personally, I didn't even get to the last 2 problems, each worth 5 marks (test was out of 50).
Tuesday rolls around, and Teach is finally back. He has had a death in the family, and has been responsible for making arrangements. I'm very very sorry to hear this. He has a stack of miterms in his hand, already been marked (it normally takes about a week to get them back). They have been marked by the Geoff Daniels guy from yesterday. He has marked them differently than Teach normally marks them, so accordingly he has scaled them by adding 3 marks to each test. And that didn't make much fucking difference, cause the entire class bombed the test. And then Teach, visibly upset, had the audacity to stand up there and berate us for not studying enough.
The following are my issues:
-rescheduled the test with no notice
-invigilator was late to class, thus reducing time to write it
-invigilator was distracting to people trying to write the test
-someone other than the person who has marked the 3 previous tests marked this test
3 marks are supposed to make up for this?
And the kicker is that now he wants to schedule a 1.5 hour make up class for the one where there was no teacher, and he's scheduled it right in the middle of my fucking work day.
What the fuck?
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
To the point. I reached my goal weight in September 2003, right around the time Paul (who has requested I start calling him T.A.), so right around the time T.A. and I started dating (no, there's no reason behind the name change, just something he decided over the weekend, in the car, on the way to the grocery store. "Hey, Babe, do you think you could start calling me T.A.?", "Uh, why?", "No reason, I just think it sounds cool".)I was finally invincibly thin. Ha! I had conquered my fat, my flab, my flubber, my blubber, my rump, my rhind, my pork, my spork, my spam. You get the point. I had done it. I was amazing. I could eat what ever I wanted. Within, oh, I don't know, 6 months, I had gone up at least 15lbs again. So I re started the plan, re committed, and just about a year ago, I reached my goal again. I even went below my goal, and decided I would try to hit 10lbs below goal, but that started to make me feel sick all the time, so I cut out that nonsense.
So, letting go. I have been at, or below goal for nearly a year. I have stopped using the resources I pay for. I think it's time to cancel my membership with the wonderful people at WeightWatchers. I have cancelled my membership. I am panicking. I don't know if I'm ready to let go. Can I do it? Can I maintain without the aid of a service I stopped using at least 6 months ago? I'm going to try. I'm going to keep up my weekly weigh in's at home, but without the neat little chart that shows me where I began, and what I accomplished. I'm going to keep telling myself mentally, that salad is 0pts, that oreo is 2pts. Make the right choice. And I'm going to pretend that the after school snack I just ate wasn't 11 pts. Without the pts calculator, I'll never know. It'll be my little secret. Only me, and my ass will know. And everyone looking at my ass. So please, be a good friend, take a look at my ass every once in a while, and let me know how she's a-lookin.
I'm letting go.
(Note to self, find before and after pictures to post. Then I can direct all the 'you lost THAT MUCH?' inquiries here.)
(Note to everyone else. When I just ran this through the blogger spell checker, it suggested that I replace the word 'Tatjana' with the word 'Datsun'.)
Friday, November 18, 2005
dancer who stands between the material and cosmic
worlds. His dance is part of a sacred ceremony
in which the dervish rotates in a precise rhythm.
He represents the earth revolving on its axis while
orbiting the sun. The purpose of the ritual whirling
is for the dervish to empty himself of all distracting
thoughts, placing him in trance; released from
his body he conquers dizziness.
Gregangelo's Whirling Circus Dervish.
n. 1. A circus version of the sacred dance combining
ancient, contemporary, and futuristic media. The dance
depicts the creation of the Universe through a spinning
series of fantastic formations, metamorphoses, elaborate
costumes, and rhythmic dance. 2. A figure of speech
used in reference to one who exhibits vigorous energy.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
2) The IUD is settling into it's new home quite nicely. Uterus was pretty pissed off about it for about 5 days, but I think she realized that the IUD is here to stay, so she settled down. Thar she goes, thar, thar.
3) Turns out I didn't bomb my math test after all. I got 84%! Not quite as well as I would have liked, but hello, I didn't even think I passed it. Glancing at it when it was returned today, I was on the right track for all of the questions, and yes, number 6 COULD be solved by factoring and then using the zero product property, but alas, it couldn't be solved the way I was going with it. Why? Because 3 x 5 is NOT 8. No, it's 15. Geeze. And the big bad word problem, I was doing it perfectly, only for some unknown reason, instead of writing the number 25 down (as in 2500/25) I wrote the number 125. Where that 1 came from, I'll never know. So then the answer, which SHOULD have been the square root of 100, which is 10, turned out as the square root of 20, which is 4.somethingsomething. Blah. Reasons not to write your math tests in a state of bleary wide eyed tireness and complete panic all at once. But I did have a nice chit chat with the prof after class, who said he sensed the panicked state of my quiz, but boosted my fradgile little math ego by saying that at least my math is strong enough that I can be that rushed and panicked and still salvage the test. He thought it was silly that I'd been depressed and embarassed all week. Still, I'm going to see my math tutor TWO times next week. A little math therapy.
4) I just had coffee with my ex boyfriend, ConstaPle Doug (who inspite of having checked his badge for the correct spelling, still used the P when signing his emails), and wow, does he ever look young. I wonder if he looked that young when we were dating? No, younger. Still cute as can be, but my cradle robbin' days are ovah. Especially now that he has a gun.
That last one isn't really an update at all, but I thought I'd throw 'er in anyhow.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
I am taking a small amount of comfort in the fact that all of this frustration is coming from a girl who only 10 years ago (only . . .) got a whopping 9% on the math 12 provincial, and flunked the entire year. Now I've faced my old nemesis head on, and am actually succeeding, and not only that, ENJOYING it. Wow. That boggles my mind. To further that, the frustration this time around comes from KNOWING where I went wrong, and desperately wanting to fix it, not from knowing absolutely fucking nothing, and feeling like I'm drowning in a sea of curly brackets.
There are not enough hours in the day. I do not get enough sleep. I wake up every morning and wish it were the weekend, and I didn't have to get out of bed. It was an insane idea to go back to school and work full time all the while (though I'll readily admit that while I am over worked, over tired, and stressed out, I am also happier than I have been in years. Perhaps since I lived in New Zealand and first experienced serenity. I am by no means serene right now, but quite satisfied).
Friends, brace yourselves for next term when I will attempt to tackle math and chemistry simultaneously. I will be a whirling dervish.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
So anyways, the contest finally aired, and I kicked myself hard for not entering. I thought I could have done as well as any of the 6 finalists they had on TV. The winner did have formal culinary training, which I do not, but I thought she was perhaps lacking some presence, and since I have not (yet) seen a show on the Food Network Starring her, I guess the executives agreed.
Now a second chance has been granted. They're doing the contest again. And this time, I'll enter, I swear I will. I have to have everything in and done by December 15th, so now it's brainstorming time. I have to create a 5 min tape of me cooking my 'signature dish' all the while hamming it up with the camera. I also have to send in a recent photo, a release form, and 100 word answers to 3 questions. I have decided on one friend who I feel alright about filming me, and since we've taught together before, I feel comfortable doing ass-making type things in front of her. Plus, she's got oodles of free time on her hands at the moment. So now I just have to figure out what I'll make, and how I'll squish it into 5 minutes, or how to edit a video. It's all very exciting.
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Well, it's done, it's in, it's there. I got a quicker-than-expected appointment with the specialist (thanks to some string pulling by Dr. Mom) and yesterday had an appointment for a simple consultation to discuss my post-clot birth control options. We discussed a special progesterone only birth control pill normally prescribed to breast feeding mothers, the depo-provera injection, which wasn't really an option at all, the Mirena IUD, which in addition to being an IUD, also has a slow release progesterone hormone in it that is released over a five year period, and the regular plain ol' copper T type IUD, the ParaGard. I went with the basic one for one main reason: 1) There are no hormones in it - while the Mirena is said to be slightly more effective, it also can have the side effect of making your period stop altogether. I'm not cool with that - as much of a pain my period can be, I like the assurance of it's presence. So, the consultation ended, and the nice doctor asked when I would like to get it, I said the sooner the better, and she said how about right now. Okay! So she injected some freezing into my cervix, which probably hurt more than the whole insertion, but maybe that would have been a different story had my cervix not been frozen. And then quick as could be, it was in. Wow. I feel a bit weird now knowing that I'm wandering around with a foreign body embedded in my uterus, and even weirder knowing that I have to check frequently to ensure my uterus doesn't reject and spit it out. And for you visual folks, here's a picture of the little bugger
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
It doesn't help that Vancouver is positively infested with young, hip pregnant women right now, maternity stores popping up at a similar rate to Starbucks and Lululemon. In fact, Lululemon has a maternity line now. It's like pregnancy is the latest accessory in Vancouver, and I, being legitimately ill with the baby fever, am enraged by that. Furthermore, I have a friend who is less than a month away from her due date, and I got to spend a weekend recently staring at her lovely round belly and mentally blocking out the talk of gestational diabetes and sore backs and so on.
Normally, to help shake the fever I'd go out dancing all night, drag my sorry ass home at around 9am and try to get a couple of hours of sleep. It's a temporary fix though, I'd spend a week feeling like shit and reveling in the coolness of my all night dance party and reminding myself how I couldn't possibly do stuff like that if I had a stupid baby. Of course in my current state of health, I'm not allowed to drink any alcohol or abuse any substances (they didn't specifically say that, but I'm pretty sure substances are out), so I can't even use my tried and true baby fever remedy. The stupid baby always wins.
Now the situation is interesting, because for the first time in nearly 11 years, I'm not on any form of birth control. Yep, they took it away in light of the whole life-threatening blood clot situation, and then gave me a stern talking to about how it would be very very very dangerous for me to become pregnant right now (pregnancy can increase the risk of blood clots) and the medication I am currently taking would be very very very damaging to any fetus I may decide to hang out with. So it's out of the question at the moment for those reasons (along with us both being in school still, money, blah blah blah, really bullshit reasons for not being ready), but is definitely in the not so distant future. So I have an appointment with a gynecologist to discuss alternate forms of birth control, but not until friggin DECEMBER 20th, and that's just the initial consultation. It'll probably be an IUD, which opens up a whole nother can of worms for me, but that'll be another post, another day. I have work to do, and babies to think about.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
My father was a highschool woodwork teacher (he's retired now) and so during times of job action by teachers (I can remember 2 strikes from my school days, 1 from primary and one from secondary school), while other children treated the strike like a misplaced sort of spring break, in our house, it was time to work. Book reports were the name of the game, and if we couldn't finish a book in time, we wrote them on videos (some of which we watched on the ill fated Beta), or TV shows (My 2 Dads, Just the 10 of us . . . man, I'm really dating myself here!). Our book reports were marked, grammar and punctuation corrected with a red pen, and handed back to us promptly. In the afternoon we were to bake cookies (foods class) and walk with them to the school (gym class) to deliver the fresh baked goods to the teachers on the picket lines.
How I would like to write one of those reports today. I would so kick my grade five ass. I would write about the many biblical references CS Lewis snuck in to 'The Magician's Nephew', how the Lion Aslan's song created 2 of every animal, who rose from the earth. How Digory has to go and get an apple from a very sacred garden, and the evil witch tries to tempt him into eating it. I would write about how, in 'My 2 Dads' it was totally implausible that Nicole could never figure out which one of her deceased mother's ex boyfriends was really her father. I mean, they have paternity tests, hello, even in 1987. And I would write about how having 4 of the coach's hot daughters accidentally enrolled in an all boy's catholic school was probably some writer's wet dream, or how giving the coach from 'Growing Pains' his own spin off sit com was doomed from the get go.
Ah, book reports. But as the Chronicles of Narnia are set to be re-made as movies starting this December with 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' (which is book #2 in the series, but probably the most famous), I'd highly recommend giving the series a read. It's like the Harry Potter of yore (Yes! I've managed to use the word 'yore' 2, whoops, now 3 times in this post! Sweet!), and by reading them in order, the magic of the worlds makes sense. Now I know how that famous wardrobe came to be.
My support goes to the teachers :)
Thursday, October 13, 2005
I'm back at work, and I have to say, it's nice. People have really noticed my absence, which makes me feel important, and the old people at the pool feel like they have a new buddy, someone who they can relate to since we're all on the same meds. And it's like, ' my angioplasty was like this . . .', 'oh, well mine was like this . . .' all morning long. Seriously, we're peeps now.
And, I'd like to report that all of those years at UVic plugging away at that creative writing degree have finally come in handy. I'm spending some time helping my lovely and super stressed out friend Tat by editing her papers for her. It's really educational for me too since I'm learning all about occupational therapy as I go.
The strangest thing has been happening. I swear, I never ever thought it would happen to me. I am enjoying math. There. I said it. I know, it's strange. And anyone who talked to me in 1996 when I ceremoniously celebrated bombing the math provincial by enthusiastically dismantling my scientific calculator in the back field of the school would tell you that I am lying. But it's true. And I'd like to report that I got 90% on my first math midterm, and furthermore that I had to help the guy sitting next to me the other day, who by the way is doing a PhD (not in math, but still, hello, PhD) with a simple math problem. So I guess pigs really can fly.
I haven't seen the pink Hummer yet this week, or it's supected big blond haired driver, but I'm totally on it.
And, uh, uh, uh . . . I got nothing else.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Ah, my regret at not stopping and photographing the hideous beast was abated today as once again the pink Hummer has graced the Langara College parking lot. This has also confirmed the fact that I did indeed see a pink Hummer, and no, the blood thinners don't seem to be making me hallucinate after all. Thank god for camera phones, eh? I got a nice shot of it's rear, but have decided not to post it, as it would reveal the licence plate to the world of blog, and well, that's just not nice. I would, however, looooove to get a look at the driver of this thing. I have theories. . .
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
I'm too outraged to even give an update on the clot situation.
(It's much better, thankyou. My meds aren't quite stable yet, can't seem to find the right balance of blood thinners - it's a little too thin at the moment, which should explain the constant light headedness, as well as the strange nosebleed I woke up with this morning. Though that could still be a side effect of the hummer sighting. The arm is a bit achey still, but on the mend. I've returned to classes, and hope to be back at work after the Thanksgiving weekend.)
Thursday, September 29, 2005
There's no kodak moment like this one! I believe that this was inbetween my first and second clot busting procedures. Poor Paul, exhausted from a night of worry is sleeping in the chair there beside me. The arm that's all wrapped up in plastic is the clot arm. The plastic is holding the remaining catheter tubing on the outside of my arm, and I am not allowed to move or bend it at all. You can also see my IV pump, and the vitals cart that lived by my bed. What fun!
Progress is good. I had a visit with the vascular surgeon yesterday. He said there is still some clot at the end in my chest, and there is still a portion of the vein which is squished a bit (stenosis). He wants to do another venogram in about 2 1/2 months to determine whether or not my rib needs to be removed. I'd like to keep my rib, thankyou.
In other news ~ I had mentioned to my friends recently that with station wagons having regained trendiness, I thought that the wood panelled station wagon should also see a comeback. Yesterday while on the way home from something (dr's appt? blood test? pharmacy visit?) I saw a brand spankin new wood panelled PT cruiser. Whaddya know.
Monday, September 26, 2005
After having this arm since Monday morning, I finally drag my butt to my family doctor sometime around 7pm on Wednesday evening. My doc is fairly laid back, and not one to jump to prescribing drugs or worrying about stuff, but she took one look at this arm and sent me to the emergency room. So off I go, clutching the note the doc wrote for me in one hand, and frantically making phone calls to work, to my mom (who is also a doctor), and to Paul with the other. I arrive at VGH emerg around 8pm, wave the doctors note at the fairly unconcerned triage nurse, and take my seat in the waiting room. About an hour later, still waiting, my parents arrive. Both of them, and my Dad had taken a bath, shaved, and put on clean clothes (even his underwear!) for the event.
Blah blah blah, many many hours, dozens of blood tests and ultrasounds go by, and sure enough, I have this clot in my subclavian vein. Now when they said clot, I'm thinking some little nugget the size of a dime or something like that. No. This clot was nearly 40cm in length. It extended from my elbow into my chest. So I get admitted into the vascular ward, and they start doing stuff to me. Firstly, they do a venogram. This involves injecting the vein full of a magnetic dye, and taking pictures of the clot with a fancy sort of x-ray machine. They then use these pictures to help guide a catheter, which they insert into an incision in my elbow, up the vein and into clot land. They push the catheter as far as it will go (this does not feel particularly nice, but it was neat cause you could see the whole thing on a tv screen nearby) until the clot gets too thick, and they also reach a stenosis (narrowing) of the vein. So they stop there for the day. The catheter is full of teeny tiny little pores, and they are pumping a) 'clot busting' TPa medicine and b) heprin - blood thinning medicine, directly into the epi-centre of the clot.
I get wheeled up to the vascular ward on strict bed rest (can't get out, not even to pee) with tubes coming out of both arms, and the arm in question wrapped up in plastic as to hold all of the catheter tubing in place. I'm not allowed to move or bend that arm. The morphine they gave me for pain made me puke, and those little barf trays that they give you in the hospital are NOT nearly big enough, or were not big enough to contain the tidal wave of orange juice that came spewing out of me. So they changed my pain killers. But apparantly the clot busters are also contributing to my nausea. They give me sedatives, which are nice. They also wake me up every hour on the hour 24 hours a day to check my vitals, which is not so nice.
Paul and my parents were at my bedside for the duration of the first evening, but I kicked them out because I was feeling so unwell. Poor Paul went back to our apartment and didn't sleep a wink because he was so worried. He came back about 6am, saw that I was feeling a bit better, and promptly fell asleep in the chair next to me.
Round about 1pm on Friday, they take me back down to Angio (where all the vein stuff is done) where they do more venograms (take pictures of the clot) and horrah, it's about 80% dissovled. It's made space for them to shove the catheter the rest of the way into clot-zone, which is up under my armpit, and into my chest. This makes me feel vaguely like I'm having a heart attack ( I think, since I've never actually had a heart attack, but I am recieving similar treatment as if I were having one). Back up to my ward, where I am again feeling nauseated, but no barf this time. I have lots of lovely visitors, who bring me a slew of books, magazines, flowers, fruit baskets and other goodies, none of which I am feeling well enough to read or eat yet, but I really appreciated all of it. 8:30pm on Friday I go back down to Angio for a final time, where they take more pictures of the clot, are satisfied that it is nearly gone (a little nugget remains) and they are then able to deal with the stenosis by giving me an angioplasty, which is where they stick a teeny tiny balloon into the vein and blow it up, thus creating more room for blood to flow. That did NOT feel good, but I am pretty used to this not feeling good by now. They take the catheter out, but leave the sheath (a straw like thing about 4 inches long) in my arm to keep pumping the blood thinners right into the vein for a while longer.
Back up to the ward where there is a party in my room (I thankfully got a private room), my brother and sister and their partners, and Paul and Tatjana are all waiting for me. I don't feel very good, my lips hurt real bad, my chest hurts, I'm nauseated and all that good stuff. I have a fight with the nurse about whether or not I am allowed to get out of bed yet, and she wins (I am still in bed) but she also kind of loses, cause it means she needs to bring me the bed pan yet again. Bed pan is now a 4 letter word in my books. Not the most graceful way of doing your business.
Saturday morning the Doc's come to give me some options. I can a) stay in the hospital with the straw in my arm until Tuesday, or b) learn to give myself shots in the hip, and go home on Sunday. I choose the b option, so a nurse comes along to take out my straw, and then gives me my shot lesson. I pass. I'm feeling a bit better, and am starting to get a bit of an appetite back.
Sunday they take the other IV out of my other arm (which is totally black and blue from the twice a day blood tests I've been getting for the last 4 days), and let me loose. I immediately regret my decision and want to go back to the hosptial. No one is taking my vitals. No one is bringing me water and crushed ice. No one will be there if something goes wrong, and this is very very scary. I cry for pretty much all of Sunday. But really I am not alone, Paul is there, and my Mom is there, and so are all of my great friends and family. But my apartment is not the hospital and there is a mouse in my house and my arm feels funny.
So now my life revolves around an injection schedule and daily blood tests. This will go on for 3-6 months. I meet with the vascular surgeon on Wednedsay of this week, and he will tell me when I can do things like go back to school and work. Most likely next week for school, but 3-6 weeks for work. Hopefully less. It depends on my blood, how thin it gets, how I react to it, and all kinds of stuff. I am not allowed to do anything physically demanding, beyond going for short walks, or use the arm much at all right now.
And that is the story of my big blue arm. Lesson learned, if you have a big blue limb, you should go to the doctor, and quick.
Some Facts for ya:
The subclavian vein is the main vein running through the arm. Goes up the inside of the elbow, under the armpit, and into the chest.
Subclavian vein thrombosis accounts for only 1-2% of all deep vein thrombosis (DVT's), the majority being in the legs, which are not quite as immediately dangerous. The subclavian ones are bad because of the proximity to the lungs and heart. If the clot gets into the lungs it can cause pulmonary embolism, and if it gets in the heart it can cause a heart attack.
In the cases of subclavian DVT's, about 80% are in the dominant arm. Most are in young active people and are triggered by some sort of activity (tennis, weight lifting, baseball, rowing, swimming, etc). They are often accompanied by a stenosis (narrowing) of the vein. In my case, this stenosis was caused by the space between the clavical and the top rib being too narrow. There is talk of removing that rib, once I have been taken off of the blood thinners. Surgery while being pumped full of stuff that makes your blood not clot is apparantly a bad idea.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
So, my arm. Well, my bad shoulder (the one I had reconstructive surgery on about 7 years ago) has been a bit grumpy ever since surfing at the end of August. I felt a little unhappy twitch in it as I was paddling my heart out atop a wave, next to my sweetheart, but didn't think much of it. It continued to bug me for a few weeks, and then I so stupidly spent the first week and a half of school being a fashion victim, and carrying my heavy text books on a bag slung over one shoulder. Yes, that shoulder. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Obviously, it got more grumpy, and I noticed that it really really didn't enjoy swimming much, so I was taking it easy, and trying to let it settle down on it's own. Then on Monday morning, I woke up with this fantastically huge, purple, swollen, throbbing arm. My nail beds were dark blue, my fingers purple and unable to make a fist, and the whole arm nearly double it's normal size. It didn't look that bad until you looked at the good arm, and then you realized. Fortuanatly, for once in my life, there was an available appt with my shoulder physio that morning.
So something is out of whack in there, and whatever it is is putting pressure on something which is impeding circulation. No duh. The arm is filling with blood, but not draining. The more work I do with it, the bigger, darker, and more painful it gets. It does have the neat effect of totally freaking people out - yesterday, in particular, it totally freaked out Kim Day, who has told me that she plans to start lurking on my blog, so shout out to Kim Day! Mainly I'm just afraid that this will mean another shoulder surgery. The last one was hugely unpleasant, and took ages to recover from, and I'd really like to avoid that gun slinger brace at all costs.
In other news, school is going well so far this term. I'm sitting in class feeling quite smug for having finished all of my homework days and days before it is actually due, and listening to the morons around me moaning about how stressed they are and how they haven't even started the work that is due tomorrow. 10 years ago, my first time at University, that was me. Now, not so much. Ah, to be older and wiser. Well, older.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Friday, September 09, 2005
One one quiet calm morning up at Gibsons, Paul was doing his routine swim from Soames Pt. to Keats Island and back, and I was doing my usual full speed row to try and keep up with him. The water was flat and glassy, and alive with drift wood from the previous night's high high tide. It was so serene, and then a harbour seal popped up to say hello! We checked each other out and nodded our heads at each other, and the curious little fellow swam next to us for a while. It was grand.
Friday, August 19, 2005
So the plan . . .
Escape from work right on time, throw necessary stuff in the car and head to Kelowna. 2 nights there with friends of Paul's, and Paul is doing the Kelowna Apple Triathlon on Sunday. He's racing in the elite/pro heat, but won't place in the money. Back to the roots, ya know, remembering why he started this madness in the first place. We're going to stay with some friends of his who live right on the water in Kelowna, so that should be fun too.
After Kelowna, either late Sunday night, or early Monday afternoon (we're on vacation, no more early mornings!) we'll grab a ferry and head up to Gibsons. There we will sit, and drink beer, and eat cookies play with Buddy, and eat, and sit on the beach, and sleep in till each morning (good bye 4:30am, I'll see you in September!) and read books, and knit (me, not Paul) and bask in the gloriousness of not having to do anything at all! There we will aestivate for a week or so. And then Jenn P. (aka P Diddy, aka Poppa Diddy-o, aka Evil Jenn . . .) is coming to town. if the weather is nice, we'll head back to Gibsons and do some chillin. If it's not nice we'll hang in town and stuff ourselves with all the ethnic foods she misses living in butt fuck nowhere. It really doesn't matter what we do, what matters is that it will be with Jenn P.
And then the big adventure! Tofino! Camping! Surfing! Okay, I'll probablly knit and watch the others surf, but who cares! Camping! I've been making a mental list of camping food for the last 3 days. Things I want to eat, or things I want to adventure cook while camping. What fun! Tofu dogs, PC White cheddar Mac N Cheese and Ichiban noodles never tasted so good! So yesterday Tatjana and I hit the big grand opening sale at the new monster Canadian Tire store on Cambie st (they had to bring in traffic control police for it) and bought some camping stuff. I got a new tent 55% off, and some other stuff. I think I'm going to go back today and buy a cooler. Horrah!
No more work till Sept 5. Yuck. And school starts Sept 6. Double yuck. Better have fun while I still can!
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
But what fun we had! Fun isn't bad! Had bad had!
-The ferocity with which red wine tinted vomit can come hurling out of someone and splatter 75% of the bathroom walls is quite astounding. Quite. Note to self, make sure Colin is well fed before he starts drinking. He was, however, a good house guest, and mostly cleaned it all up. It only sort stained one wall. I was going to paint that bathroom blue anyway.
- I really do like green gum. All these years I've been avoiding it because my Mom told me it would make me car sick, so I suppose I've been associating green gum with nausea. Not so (though I haven't tested it out on a long car trip just yet), I actually dig it.
- The 7-11 on the corner of Alberni and Thurlow has the worst gum selection of all time. This has nothing to do with the afore mentioned green gum statement. It's just a true fact.
- You CAN microwave some metal. Take a frozen juice container (those concentrated ones, with the metal thingy's at both ends) and put it on a plate, and microwave it. Nothing happens. True.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Firstly, our union contract is about 6 months expired. When I started my job 3 years ago, I (somewhat unwillingly) inherited the position of union rep, which means I have to be involved in contract negotiations etc. This is a real pain in the ass, as the general manager (who I am the right hand of) likes to do things his own way, breaking an infinite number of rules (and statutes, and other regulations) along the way. I remember the last round of negotiations, and it was not a nice time for me, as he liked to corner me and blab all about how we should de-certify, and how the union was not really looking out for our best interests, etc. So anyhoo, I had my first meeting with the union yesterday, to sort out what we would be asking, etc. Hot dang, these ladies are aggressive. I wouldn't want to be on the other side of a fight with them - I'd surely lose! So anyway, 'someone' may have anonoymously let the union know about some of these rule breaking activities, and I can say without a doubt, come bargaining time, the shit will hit the fan. I am up to no good, for the greater good.
Secondly, the lovely Tatjana has had a birthday, and we will be going out this weekend to celebrate it. That's got no good written all over it. Especially since she'll be going back to start a Masters degree at the end of August, and I continue my long slow journey of education in Sept, well we practically have to get up to no good. And we've recruited help, and more help. I'm anticipating a week long hangover. Oh well, I've got holidays coming up (not soon enough!) to sleep it off.
Ah, as you were.
Wednesday, August 03, 2005
In summary . . . me water skiing even though every one told me not to (except Linz who was in FULL support), how much of our time was spent; reading, lounging on the beach, Tatjana's first knitting lesson (it went well! She can knit and purl now!) and a cute-assed picture of Buddy!
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
I have such cool friends. Wandering along the beach at Gibsons with 2 very lovely girlfriends, we stumbled upon this pile of red jiggly stuff on the beach. We quickly determined (by staring at it) that it must be a jelly fish. Allison and Tatjana wanted to poke it with a stick, but I wouldn't let them until we determined whether or not it was dead. Fortunatly, there were no sticks close enough by that any harm was done to the jelly fish, and a wise neighbour came over for a consultation. Jerry agreed that it was indeed a jelly fish, but thought it was the stinging kind, and said we should move it off the beach lest a kid should step on it. Then he suggested that he would go and get a shovel and move it to a safer locale, where the girls could then poke it with sticks to their hearts content. They did not.
But we still had unanswered questions. What kind of jelly fish was this? Does it really sting? And, as we learned from that episode of friends, if I got stung and my friend pee'd on my leg, would it help? There was only one thing to do . . . whip out my camera phone, snap a pic of the jelly fish, and email it to Jenn P. Jenn P, in true marine biologist style, got back to me in a timely fashion with the following info:
Scientific name: Cyanea capillata. Common names: Lion's Mane Jellyfish, Sea Blubber. Its the largest jellyfish species in the world, the tentacles deliver a burning sensation and rash when touched. And yes, pee will help.
Go Jenn P, go.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
New bras: 3. After watching that bra show on Oprah, and Tatjana's constant nagging about my ill fitting bras, plus the onset of sore boobs from hell, I thought it was time. The experience was strange. The first bra lady who accosted us at the Bay was crazy, and it was a relief when she abandoned us in the changing rooms to go on her lunch break. The second bra lady was helpful, and wonderful, and fitted me up with the right size. All my life I've been buying 36A's and they never fit well, and I just thought that my boobs are too small to fill out an A cup. Wrong. Turns out I'm a 34B! Who knew? Not I. Wierd how the back size and the cup size have to line up exactly right. So now I am comfortably squished into a size 34 sports bra (no cup size) and I have to say, Tat, you were right, it does feel better. I also bought a strapless and waaaay padded bra, plus those silicone inserts which feel like real boobs to push those suckers even higher up, and hopefully I'll be able to fill out my strapless party dress such that it doesn't fall down. Again.
Days I've managed to go without wearing the back brace: 3. Horrah, I'm on the mend.
Fights I've had with my sweetheart: 2. Pretty standard iss. None serious, I hope. But leaving me with the question - is a happy medium achievable? We have such passion, both up and down. The wonderful up-can't get enough of each other, hate going to work cause it means we have to stay apart for 8 whole hours-feelings are wonderful. The downs-walking on eggshells incase we set each other off, misscommunication (you're a jerk, no YOU'RE a jerk) type days are not fun. Other couples seem like they have this happy go lucky medium land that I'm on weeks like this oh-so-envious of. Does that really exist, or is it my imagination?
Weddings: 1. #3 of 4 this summer. Phew. Soon it will be over. They've all been fun, so far, but in future if friends of ours could consult us and make sure that everything lines up nicely on our calendars, that'd be great.
# of times Lance has won the Tour de France: 7. Un-fricken-believable. What a stunning example of mind over matter. Everyone should read his first book 'It's Not About the Bike' everyone everyone everyone. Especially those who have had your lives touched by cancer or other forms of adversity.
That is all.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
For example, the statements 'they don't see things the way we do' and 'I think they hate the west and feel like they want to get back at us' have my knickers in a knot. If by us, the implication all white, anglo saxon, caucasian born folks, then I'd like to bow out of that category. A category which seems to include the likes of good ol' George W, who has caused such massive loss of innocent life, and countless dollars in damages. Infact, if I were to take a quick peruse of world history, I think I would find that 'us' has caused much more damage and harm to other peoples, than anyone else. That is, if my afore mentioned definition of 'us' stands correct.
And what about 'them' or 'they' if you will. 'They' statements have been driving me nuts for years. 'They' are terrible drivers. 'They' make me feel unsafe when I see 'them' on the tube. I wonder how 'they' are feeling these days walking around London, knowing that 'us' is watching ever step they take. I wonder how 'they' feel, knowing that after a terrorist attack by 4 individuals in the 'them' category, that 'us' is likely going to send troops over 'there' and bomb the shit out of their homelands, killing their friends, family, neighbours, destroying the neighbourhoods they grew up in. I mean, if 'us' was going to be fair about it, only 4 of 'us' should go. But 'us' is a big fat bully, so that won't happen. Noooooo.
Last year in preperation for the 2004 Olympics, there were 2 swimmers from Iraq who were training at UBC as a part of an Olympic outreach program. One of the head coaches informed me of their presence, and assured me 'they won't bomb the pool, they're just here to swim.' Thanks. I feel much better. I thought initially that the 2 swimmers were here because their pools had been destroyed. Nope. Turns out that the US soldiers (read: 'us') had decided that they wanted the pool for themselves, so the up and booted the olympic hopefuls out. Nice. I think that 'us' is a bunch of jerks.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Get up this morning, manage to drive myself to work, attempt to set things up for rental groups to no avail (the lovely SFU swim coach had to actually help to pick me up off of the ground, where I had thought that maybe if I knelt down and slid stuff around it would be better than lifting, which it was, only the stuff tipped over and I couldn't reach it, and then couldn't stand back up) so just hobbled back to my office. Now I am trying in vein to find anyone, ANYONE who can work on my back. My usual physio is on holidays for the summer, no one in her office can see me until tomorrow morning. Both of the physios on campus are fully booked, and the massage therapists aren't in for another few hours. Argh. No amount of the cocktail I've mixed of advil, robaxacet, and t3's seems to let this up at all. The tiny smidge of sliver lining in all this is that there is a second instructor there for most of the course I'm teaching . . . bless Joel, he's a star.
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Anyway, I've managed to edit the links, and popped on the websites of two of my fabulously talented friends. 1) Harmony Trowbridge who is dear dear dear but not so near to me, and is an amazingly talented singer/songwriter. Pop on over to her website and have a listen, order a cd, find a gig! The good news is she's coming out west in the fall. Horray! 2) The amazing afore mentioned computer savy Christa Giles, who I think is the craftiest lady of all time. That's right folks, she does it all. When she's not flinging a self-made hula hoop up and down her body, she makes incredible glass beads, and even more incredible things out of said glass beads. Check out her stuff too - great local one of a kind gifts! If you are one of my amazing and talented friends, and you have a website that I don't know about, tell me and I'll pop it on.
Friday, July 08, 2005
So whattheheckamiupto? Well, gearing up for a hellish week where I work two full time jobs back to back. It's only one week, and it'll pay the tuition come September, so it's worth while. I've been told that I may not get the 2 week holiday I was hoping for at the end of August due to come complications in my boss's life, so also trying to work out how I can make that possible. And this afternoon having lunch with my cousin Michael who I haven't seen in about 12 years. Very excited about that. Trying to think of somewhere amazing to take him since the weather sucks right now.