Wednesday, June 27, 2007

uh . . .

So, if you took a graph of a curve, say, y=2-xsquared, and a graph of a line, say, y=x, and you took those two graphs and rotated them about an axis, like x=2 for example, such that the graphs then formed a three dimensional shape, then you took a slice from the middle of that 3-D shape, or say, a thin strip of the crust that would form around the outside, what would the volume of that strip or slice be?

Um, who fucking cares?

Please send smart math vibes my way tomorrow between 3:30 and 5:30pm. Or liquor. Lots and lots of liquor.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Ecoholic

I've been reading this book called the Ecoholic - a guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products and services in Canada, by Adria Vasil. It's amazing. It's freaking blowing my mind. You should all RUN, not walk, to your nearest bookstore and pick yourself up a copy - I have so far purchased 6 copies, and I think more are to come. EVERYONE should read this book. The book its self is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper, totally chlorine free, and produced in a mill which uses biogas for fuel, and vegetable based inks were used in printing.

I'll share some of my favourite tips in the weeks to come, but for now a story. Last night Paul and I rented a DVD, and went to Dairy Queen for a blizzard, as we sometimes (okay, often) do on Sunday evenings. I always take my own to-go mug with me if I'm going out for a coffee, and have started taking my own take-out containers with me if I go out to a restaurant, so I figured why not take my own container to DQ for my blizzard? I announced this to Paul, and he told me I was being a freak and he would not go in with me if I did this. This only fueled my fire, so I selected a large cup from our kitchen which had it's volume clearly printed on the bottom. As we arrived at DQ Paul sprinted off ahead of me so it wouldn't look like we were together. He had already ordered and paid by the time we got in there, and as he was leaving he slipped me some money (it was his turn to pay) all sleuth like, as though he was slipping me drugs at a night club (uh, at least I think that's what it would be like . . .). I made it up to the front and asked the girl if she could make my blizzard in my own cup. I showed her the volume measurement on the bottom so she would know what kind of blizzard size to charge me for. She gave me a strange look (as I'm sure did most of the other people waiting in line, but I didn't bother turning around to check), and then checked to make sure the shields they put around the cups for blending would fit. They did. They had to stack two shields in there to make my cup tall enough for the machine to work, but it worked. I marched out triumphantly with my blizzard in my reusable cup and found Paul, who was hiding half a block away. He was pretty jealous of my blizzard, and ate about half of it. I'll definitely take my own cup next time, and I figure if I do it enough times it won't be so weird any more, and if I do it enough times maybe other people will see me doing it and decide to do it for themselves.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

When I'm Old I Shall Wear Purple

When I'm old I shall wear purple.
I shall sit on the sidewalk and spit!
I shall pick flowers from other people's gardens.
When I'm old I shall wear purple.

That isn't the full or correct version of the poem, but it's the way my grandmother would recite it endlessly. Last June when I visited her in Halifax, her memory was getting so bad she would hardly have finished it when she would turn to me and ask, "do you know the poem . . ." and I would blow her away by reciting her version of it seamlessly. "How do you know that poem?" she would ask. She almost always wore purple, and though I never saw her spit, she could let out one heck of a belch for an elderly British lady. She could also trick people into bringing her more glasses of sherry than her medication would allow like nobodies business.

Today she passed away.

For Valerie Morrison, 1917-2007:

When I'm old I shall wear purple.
I shall sit on the sidewalk and spit!
I shall pick flowers from other people's gardens.
When I'm old I shall wear purple.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

okay, okay, I'm okay.

Thanks to those of you who emailed or called gently prodding for updates on my health situation. Long story short, I'm fine. There was a small clot, then it was gone. The venogram showed nice clear veins with good blood flow and no residual clotting. I visited with my vascular surgeon today, and he says I get to stop treating my belly like a pin-cushion with all those sub-cutaneous anti-coagulant injections, and just wait and see if anything happens. The doc is a laid back kinda fellow who does triathlons and understands the active lifestyle, so I feel reasonably confident in his diagnosis, and somewhat relieved that he neither wants to yank out my extra rib or put me on long term blood thinners at this point. Although I do recall a story where someone does something interesting with a rib . . . crafternoon anyone?

It's 3:50pm, which seems like a reasonable time for a cocktail. I'm off!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

completely unrelated to previous post . . .

When I was around 10 or 11 years old, I woke up one morning and I couldn't straighten one of my legs. It was stuck bent at the knee such that I couldn't walk without the help of crutches. This was completely unexplainable; there had been no trauma, no illness, nothing had happened that should make my leg seize up like this. The grown-ups started panicking. I thought it was cool to actually need crutches rather than just playing with them for once, and was a little bummed out that I didn't have a cast or anything people could sign. X-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests were done. Pediatric oncologists were consulted (there was worry I might have leukemia). Major string pulling was done by my mother. After days of this, and probably thousands of dollars spent by our health care system on diagnostics, I remembered the previous week after my swimming lessons I had slipped while dancing in the showers at the pool. The whole thing was a strained muscle. People were mad, I felt like an idiot.

The afore mentioned episode, I think, is why when my arm was gigantic and blue in September '05 the whole time I was having diagnostics done I was lying there thinking how ridiculous it all was and how I was probably wasting the systems money and time, and how someone was eventually going to figure out I had done something stupid and I was going to get in shit again. It wasn't until the vascular resident explained the size and seriousness of the blood clot in my arm that I started to feel as though I actually belonged in the hospital, and not until after I was discharged did the seriousness of what had just happened hit me.

The afore mentioned episode, I think, is also probably why even considering my history of a massive DVT and subsequent diagnosis as a thrombophaeliac, I still waited over a week to go in and see my doctor when my arm started bugging me again.

But wait! Don't judge! It wasn't blue this time! It has been slightly swollen, turning numb, feeling very cold (only a sensation on the inside, not actually cold to touch), and getting pins and needles. I showed it to my mom on Wednesday and she told me to go to my own doctor right away. I made an appointment for Friday. I got in to see her and she didn't want to be the one making any decisions about what this was, so sent me on my way but told me to keep my cell phone on cause she'd be calling my vascular surgeon and then calling me back with further instructions. She called me in the middle of grocery shopping and told me the v.s. wanted me to go in for an ultrasound, so I had to go into emergency where I would be fast tracked through via the vascular ward. So I finished my shopping and then went home and unpacked the perishables, quickly filled Paul in, and took off.

After about an hour of hanging around VGH emergency (which was FULL of crazy people, let me tell you), Dr. Baxter (henceforth referred to as D-Bax), the very nice and VERY cute vascular resident showed up and started a flurry of activity, most of which involved me following him through the hospital as he walked very quickly through all sorts of places that were supposed to be off limits to me and batted his eyes at people in various departments saying things like, "I know it's 5pm on a Friday and you're about to go home, but I've got this patient who I really need to get an ultrasound done on because of this history . . ." and whaddya know, lickety split, I was having an ultrasound done. The radiographer was a very lovely lady, and took a great deal of time taking images of the veins in my arm, chest and neck, and showing me cool pictures on the screen and letting me listen to the blood moving through my veins. After a while she left and brought the radiologist back in with her for a consult, and then D-Bax reappeared and they all got to chatting about what the heck was going on with my arm. There was one patch where there was a small vein, a brachael vein they think, which just won't compress where all of the other blood vessels around it will. This indicates the vein has something hard in it, or that the vein walls are hard for some reason. There was also some stuff they could see in the vein which indicates some clotting. The question is; is this an old clot that my body has adapted to (if you get a clot somewhere small and non essential, your body adapts by branching off new veins around it) or a the beginnings of a new acute clot. This question can only be answered with a venogram.

D-Bax is struggling to figure out what the heck to do with me. Option one: keep me in the hospital over the weekend and repeat the clot busting procedure I had last time (heck, it was fun the first time!). Option two: treat the clot with anticoagulant injections. Option three: I give myself injections over the weekend and come back on Monday for a venogram. I was voting for option three. D-Bax was asking if I was supposed to be doing anything this weekend, and informed him I was supposed to be accompanying my sweet sugar pie to Oliver on Saturday afternoon, because he has a race on Sunday morning. He sticks me back in the waiting room at emerg while he runs around and tries to figure out what the heck to do with me. Eventually he reappears with Dr. Fry in tow, who is my vascular surgeon's partner, and also an old geezer, who also knows my mom. They agree that I can leave if I get my first shot in the hospital, and if I come back first thing Monday morning for a venogram. Finally I'm on my way.

Heading to the pharmacy to fill my prescription for seven days worth of injections at the low low price of $207, and on the phone with my mom filling her in on the situation and convincing her to NOT get on the next ferry and come home from the cabin. I'll probably be fine for the weekend, but I have agreed that if anything gets worse or changes, I'll head straight back to emergency. I'll have the venogram done on Monday, and there I'm convinced they'll discover whatever stupid thing I have done, and I will get in trouble. Surely this is a waste of everyone's time and money. Surely.