The 'boys

Sunday, September 30, 2007

You know your football team is doing well when they cut out of your game in the middle of the 3rd quarter because the network "likes to show good competitions." Which is just code for the fact that the Dallas Cowboys were kicking the crap out of St. Louis Rams. And for the record, we didn't break his ribs, they were already broken.

Also, for those interested, look for news from the neurologist tomorrow night re: brain surgery/new MRI. Until then, assume that my nose is firmly planted in a book or is producing some serious snoring, because apparently I can't even watch my stupid football game.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

So nothing was going on on Thursday and then everything happened Friday, including a fire a block and a half away, which knocked out our cable and internet for a good 20 hours. That's the longest I hope to ever go without cable or internet again. Ever.

I took my computer into get the hard drive backed up at the "approved" Apple Store (which is code for a store that's shady as hell and that also happens to double as a Penske Rental Truck rent place...). They told me it would be finished Thursday at noon (that was after calling TWICE to tell them not to replace my hard drive because a) they're shady as hell and b) Apple needs to do like 20 other things to my computer besides just that). I went yesterday to get it and the man told me that they used their hardware restoration software and they couldn't get anything. Not. one. single. file.

So may my music, most of my pictures, all my credential and graduate work, internet bookmarks, wedding stuff and everything else that one might store on a computer that has NO FREAKING REASON TO BREAK rest in peace forever. And may the new external hard drive we're getting to back up our computers be worth every single dime.

And now that I'm so tired I could die I'm going to go to not one, but two parties. If I'm still alive tomorrow I only have like 85 more pages of reading to do. I'm starting to hate my weekend almost as much as Tuesdays.


Thursday, September 27, 2007

I have absolutely nothing new to share at all. I just wanted you to be updated on the situation. And I will keep you apprised of any changes, but don't hold your breath.

The conversation that wasn't

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

At the neurologist last week:

Dr. F- "So, now remind me, have you gotten pregnant since the last time I saw you?"

Me- "Definitely not."

Dr. F- "Really, are you sure?"

Me- "Yea, I'm pretty sure" (side note: last time I saw him was like May, so either it was a terribly tragic imaginary pregnancy or I'd still be knocked up with said imaginary pregnancy, which I'm not).

Dr. F- "Oh wait...this isn't your chart."

Please please let him be the one who operates on my brain.

Em Are Eye

Monday, September 24, 2007

Technition: "You were the easiest patient I've ever dealt with."

Me: "Really?" (thinks to self: can I get that in writing?)

Technition: "Absolutely, though we did have to tie down the last two patients, so maybe I'm a little partial. You did jerk your head once and I was going to tell you to keep your head still, but then I heard you snore and realized that it wouldn't do any good to tell you anything, so I just re-did that test."

Recipe for an MRI

Take one Meclizine (dizziness medication) and at least one Klonopin (anxiety/seizure medication) approximately 30 minutes before entering the tube. Ah, sweet sweet serenity

One should not that I'm not actually claustrophobic (nor do I usually get dizzy, anxious or seizure-y during MRIs), I just like to sleep through the whole thing because lying in a small tube completely still for the better part of an hour really is and should be, a snooze-fest.

Nothing like a good MRI nap.

If you don't laugh you might just keel over and cry

Saturday, September 22, 2007

This morning I sneezed while I was peeing*. I'm pretty sure I saw God right there in the bathroom. Right now, the pain of brain surgery actually doesn't seem so bad.

*I used the word peeing very loosely here. It was more of a sitting down, think I might be dying whilst my bladder spasmed uncontrollably.

Let's get physical...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Okay, so the brain surgery is not as out of the blue as it may seem to readers who haven't "known" me for very long. Let me explain...

In late 2005 I had a string of nasty headaches and started having an eye problem where my eyes would dart side to side or up and down in a truly obnoxious way (nystagmus). I went to an opthamologist who did an MRI with the concern that it might be an optical nerve problem or something as serious as Multiple Sclerosis. Thankfully the MRI did not show multiple sclerosis, but it did show a problem.

When my skull formed, the opening to the spinal canal (the foramen magnum) formed improperly, and consequently, there's not enough room for the bottom part of my brain (cerebellum). So over time, or possibly since birth, my brain has sort of started sagging into my spinal canal. The official name is Arnold Chairi (key-are-ee) Malformation, type 1. A set of MRIs in February also showed a possible, but unconfirmed syrinx (like a spongy growth of spinal fluid (I guess that's the best way to explain it, Sherri, butt in and correct me if I'm wrong)) which produced a diagnosis of Syringomyelia (sear-een-go-my-elia).

What does this mean? For one, I have a lot of headaches and virtually none of them respond to any treatment. Two, I have a lot of other little problems from the fact that my brain is literally squished in my head. These include, but are not limited to, dizziness, nausea, eye problems, coordination problems and a few others. The problems that lead me to go back to the neurologist this time were an increase in the headaches, an increase in pain (the addition of very sharp head pain to the already constant dull pain) and some coordination and sensation problems in my arms. When I went to the neurologist he did a standard exam and when he hit my left knee it flew in the air like a rocket being shot off the ground. Ditto with my left arm (I literally almost hit myself in the face and the doctor found it highly amusing to continue to hit the same spot and watch my arm fly close to my face each time). My right side was normal, and it's not necessarily the fact that this is unilateral that is the problem, it's the fact that my reflexes are hyperactive in the first place. Apparently this is bad, bad enough that my anti-surgery neurologist asked me if I was ready for surgery yet. Um, let's file that under the never-going-to-be-ready category. Never.

So, I'm having a new MRI on Monday and then another appointment with my neurologist the following Monday where he anticipates giving me a referral to the neurosurgeon with the recommendation of decompression surgery. The decompression involves removing a small piece of the bone in the skull (the doctor said it would be the size of his thumb) and depending upon the severity they can leave it at that, or they can cut through the lining of the brain (the dura) and put on a patch (I think it's made from cow or something like that) to give even more room.

Nothing is said or done yet and I'm trying to get a second opinion with a specialist lined up, but The University of Southern California is the most terribly horrible medical institution I've ever dealt with and more than a month after faxing my MRI request I still have nothing to show for it. I'm pretty sure it's time to threaten legal action for withholding medical charts. But when I do get it lined up, I have a doctor in Chicago and one in Alabama I'm looking into.

So yes, it is a relatively minor brain surgery as compared to other brain surgeries, but it will involve physical therapy later for the neck muscles being severed, a lot of pain and a lot of cajones that I do not possess. Speaking of cajones, or things in that area, I also have a monstrous UTI/Kidney Infection and I might die of that before I die of my brain exploding out of the back of my head. In the end, I'm not really sure which one I'd rather have be the end of me, but whichever one it is, I sure wish it would hurry the hell up.

So now you're in the know, or at least as much as I am, which often is not very much at all.

I'm so done with this week.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Brain surgery, peeing blood and a crap-load of work. Oh and another tropical storm headed literally right for us. Hello, next week? Yea, get your ass over here.

And by the way, let me just say bwahahahahahahahahahaha at the idea that I'm in any way calm about the brain surgery. No, you see, it looks like calm, but the real word you're looking for is denial. Sweet sweet denial.

All things relative...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I might be having brain surgery, but I shouldn't be concerned because, as my neurologist put it, it's not THAT serious of a surgery. I'm pretty sure he was relating the neurosurgery to the war in Iraq and international poverty because um, brain surgery is a huuuuuuuuuuuuge deal. That's huge with 12 us. Huge. That little tube they want to shove up my urethra? that's like a tick on the tail of the big ass horse that is this surgery (do horses get ticks?)

So really, with all things being relative, it's like a big paper cut on the back of my neck. No worries at all.

Wait, it gets better!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Check out this. Because those blue and green lines aren't going to be a bitch at all (in case it changes overnight, two of the projected lines go right THROUGH New Orleans).

I quit.

Today was sucktacular. Let me count the ways.

1. I'm exhausted.
2. I've had a headache since I woke up at 6 this morning.
3. I had an assload of work to do (yes, an assload)so much so that the only time from 7:20am to 7:30 pm that I wasn't going work was the 10 minutes I took to eat my lunch.
4. I'm pretty sure I have a bladder infection
5. I had to work until 3:15, then parent-teacher conferences from 3:30 to 5:25, then back-to-school night from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
6. I have a headache.
7. I had to miss half my anatomy lab to be at back-to-hell night.
8. When I got to my lab at 7:45, the lab that's not supposed to end until 8:45, the one that my professor knew I was coming late to, the door was locked and everyone had left. Wait, it gets better- my first lab practical is next week, so not only do I not know the format, I also don't know 1/4th of the information on it.
9. My head hurts.
10. I have to go back to work in less than 12 hours.

Have I yet mentioned that I hate Tuesdays?

An open letter to all computer companies and anyone otherwise affiliated with them.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

To whom it may concern,

I am done with your computers. All of them. I will wait until the next craze in technology, because if I have to deal with one more effing computer telling me that it cannot find its own piece of shit HARD DRIVE I will absolutely lose it. And moreover, all the employees of the Apple corporation, you might want to tune into this, if you charge me money to have MY files recovered from my barely year old computer (you know, those files, like my senior thesis from college, all my pictures, music and other things that CANNOT BE REPLACED) even though I bought your exorbitantly priced all-encompassing warantee, I will be forced to strangle you with one of the three non-functional computer chargers I have in my desk drawer.

You are officially dead to me.

Warmest Regards and a Big Middle Finger,


Saturday, September 15, 2007

I got an A on my first Anatomy exam. Eat that.

Would you think less of me if I told you that secretly I was a little disappointed because I wanted to get a high A on this exam and I only got a 92%? You would? I thought so.

Happy New Year

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It's Rosh Hashanah. So eat some apples with honey and have a sweet new year.

I would say Happy New Year in Hebrew, but I don't know the translation. But I'm sure it's got a lot of apostrophes in it.


Wednesday, September 12, 2007

As you read this, you may be asking yourself, does Katie really sit around all day and worry about hurricanes? And the answer to that would be a resounding yes. I have the The National Hurricane Website bookmarked and I look at it pretty much hourly. Which is why it's such a big deal that there's this tropical storm. You see, it came out of nowhere and depending upon where you look, it may or may not be coming near us. The National Hurricane Website seems to think that no, it won't.

On the other hand, the radar at Wunderground shows the dirty side of the hurricane bitchslapping us pretty good.

I especially like this page where the yellow line shows it going through and coming back into the bath water of the gulf, yea, that wouldn't be bad at all.

So Humberto, my foreign friend, go rain on someone else's parade. You're not wanted here. Tell your friends.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I did not forget that today was the anniversary of 9/11, I just wasn't sure how, if at all, I wanted to commemerate. This is a tough anniversary to me and maybe it's because to be honest, my life did not change a whole lot after 9/11. That's not to say that things aren't very different now than they were then, but there was no immediate life change for me. There wasn't a switch flipped. I didn't go out and buy a flag, I didn't put a ribbon on my car, I didn't join the military. I continued to go to class and lived my life. And maybe that sounds cold and selfish, but my experience was not yours and yours was certainly not mine and that's what makes commemerating today so tricky.

In 2001, I was a freshman in college and 9/11 was a regular Tuesday morning, which meant an 8:30 class. I had gotten up late and I got to my econ class about 2 minutes late, with my shoes and a hair brush in my hand. I looked at the chalk board and at the professor who was uncharacteristically unanimated. On the board was written the phrase, "don't let the bastards shut us down."

At that point, I had no idea what was going on. I went to a very politically active college and I assumed that it had something to do with on campus politics. Boy was I ever wrong. I sat, with all my classmates and watched the news. I went to peer meetings and I was around people who's lives were profoundly changed by those terrorist attacks. But my life stayed the same. We continued with our classes as regular, we continued to do what we had to do. There were tense moments because we were in Los Angeles, but life was the same. I thankfully didn't know anyone who was in those towers, or anyone in that state for that matter. I did have one cousin in the military and I am quite thankful to say that he is now home, safe and has been honorably discharged from the military. To be honest, 9/11 was a long way away from me and it took a while for the ripples of it to reach me.

For me, 9/11 ended up being a lesson in compassion and tolerance. I felt for all those in New York and Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania and all the families missing fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers and all those who they lost. I also have tried to grow as a person in my understanding of other cultures. I think in many ways, 9/11 brought out a negative undertone in American culture- that even though we are the "melting pot" of countries, we're all too capable of pointing out traitors simply by their appearance or by their religion.

Do not mistake my tolerance of others for acceptance of the things that people have done. I will never understand how anyone can hate another person or culture or society so much that they would orchestrate mass murder. I will never understand how someone would be willing to give up their life to hurt others. I hope I never understand it, because that hatred comes from a place I never want to see. But I also do not understand how those tragedies give us license to treat others badly. If there was ever a chance for us to show the great moral base that our government pretends to have, it would've been then. We didn't turn the other cheek, we punched back and we punched hard. And I may be in the minority on this, but I disagree with what we've done since 9/11.

I am disgusted by how our lust and thirst for oil has played a big role in our actions. I am upset how we've let 9/11 roll into Iraq, pretending as if they are one and the same. I hate that we've lost sight of what we were fighting for in the first place and I hate even more that there's no end in sight either.

Generally I do like to find optimism in the midst of bad situations. I'm sure that many of you would be quick to site the rise in patriotism, but that's not what I'd like to remember from 9/11. I'd like to remember how for those first few weeks, maybe even months, we belonged to each other again. We had a common pain, we had a common emotion and we had a common experience. I want to reflect back on 9/11 as a time when we suffered a serious blow and when we rose above it. I hope that at some point we can look back and realize how we could've responded other than with wars on multiple fronts, but I am also realistic enough to know that that is unlikely.

9/11 changed the course of history. It changed the hearts of many many Americans and non-Americans alike. It created a chaos that now 6 years later has not been settled. I hope that it also gave us wisdom and diplomacy so that in the future we can make changes and we can be a melting pot of people who look for kindness and compassion in others, rather than a desire for revenge and vigilante justice.

I implore you once more before I end that you do not mistake my emotions as being non-regretful or non-compassionate, because it couldn't be more of the opposite, but I think there is more to this anniversary than just those who perished in the World Trade Center, in the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania and I don't want us to forget the rest of it either.

Just Another Sucktacular Tuesday

So I'm home because I couldn't stay awake at work today, which apparently the school I work at frowns upon, which has everything to do with the fact that my nose is a snot factory and I haven't slept well in almost a week. To say that I am both beautful and happy right now would, wrong. Yes, very very wrong. I did stay at work until about 10, then I came home and slept until 12:30 and now I'm lying in bed contemplating the option of lunch.

Thanks to all the ideas and help about the crotch scope. The idea of going in there and fa-reaking out on them to get more sedation is very appealing- but, I think that they can't actually knock me out all the way because it's done in the doctor's office and that seems not legal-ish. So the real question is, can I use all my anxiety meds and sedate myself before I go and then enjoy me some surplus valium? Or am I just creating a recipe for a nice sized coma? Either way, not being awake for having a tube shoved into my urethra seems pretty awesome.

I promise I'll update about something other than my bladder and my runny nose later (hey, at least it's not a runny bladder!)

Hold me.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Urologist says it's necessary at some point in the very near future, to stick a tube in my urethra. Excuse me whilst I cry in the corner. I have a reasonably high tolerance for pain, I just have a doubly high anxiety level and frankly, I don't like having tubes put in me. And seriously, this is a urethra. It's an out hole FOR FLUIDS.

And he said they may want to stretch things inside there.

Um, excuse me?

We're talking about my bladder and my urethra, there aint gonna be no stretching of anything, you hear?

Now, what was that about sedation? Valium? Why yes, I'll take 1000.

The worst commercial

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Okay, I've seen perhaps the worst commercial ever, I don't think it's local, so maybe you've seen it too.

The whole commercial centers around this guy. Very average looking, seems normalish. First you see him showering in a sprinkler. And he starts blowing dry his hair in a leaf blower (side note: do a lot of men blow dry their hair?). Then he's shaving his face in someone else's car mirror, then gets a paper delivered by paper-boy on the street, which he takes into a port-o-let on the street for a read/defecation. Then after a few other odd daily events you see him and his wife lie down together on a mattress in a department store. Like they're testing out the mattress. The commercial is cute and clever...when you're operating under the assumption that it's about something funny.

And then the line "What would you do if your home burned down?" flashes across the screen

I'm glad to know that it's now PC to make jokes about people who are homeless from disasters like that. I've really been holding back jokes in that category. I mean, why make fun of my own life when I can totally make fun of someone else's? Sucka!

I'm waiting for them to come out with the next commercial where people are drinking out of used paper cups and eating off of slabs of rock they found on the ground because all their home collapsed in an earthquake. Or the one about how people have kickboard-briefcases after a tsunami to get to work more easily.

Fun AND tactful.

My saving grace...

I'm seriously about to lose it to this sore throat. Seriously. My salvation? This football game tonight. Because watching the Cowboys kill The Fiance's Giants, will be oooooh sooooo sweet.

As will be The Pioneer Woman's peach crisp which is cooling in the kitchen right now.

eds note (less than 2 minutes into the game)- so the Giants scored a touchdown. Maybe this game will just be adding to my misery. Whatever, I still get to eat peach crisp.

eds note (12 hours post game)- yeeeeeea! It's not who scores first that matters, it's who scores the MOST. And not only did we beat the Giants, we managed to injure like half of them. Ah the tradition of the Dallas Cowboys...

Cocktail anyone?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

So we bought a 60 pack of the individual Crystal light packets at Sam's Club last week (by the way, I heart Sam's Club), but I didn't realize that they were the 20oz bottle kinds and we drink 16oz bottles. So I've been splitting them between 2 bottles and I'm finding that I acutally really like a little lighter lemon flavor (stay with me, a story is coming up eventually).

So this morning I decided I wanted a lemonade, but I have to make them 2 bottles at a time. So I opened the 2 bottles and split the Crystal Light and I went to put the bottle I wasn't drinking back in the fridge, but I shook it first so that the powder wouldn't sit at the bottom. Only problem was that I hadn't closed that bottle so when I shook it (pretty good shake too) I threw lemonade all over everything. Including myself. And the window. And my work bag. And the printer a little bit (shhh don't tell The Fiance...)

So now I'm retiring to bed to nurse this miserable sore throat and study for anatomy. Fun weekend, huh? Don't pretend like you don't envy me.

Can I get a "who dat?"

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Who dat? Who dat? Who dat say they gonna beat them Saints?

(If you said the Colts, you'd be right. And most likely they will be too...gulp)

Go Saints!

The Wedding Diet Cometh

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Fiance and I are readying ourselves to go to the gym for the THIRD day this week. Yea, that's right, 3 days out of the last 4, we've been at the gym, hitting it like it's hot.

And yes, I do want a cookie.

One of them days

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ever have one of those days where you're just crabby for no good reason? Where everyone is suddenly doing things that make you want to jab forks into your ears and rolls your eyes so hard they'd fall out of your head? Or like the simplest task has suddenly morphed into a rubix cube of complexity and no one can line up the colors and WHY CAN'T WE LINE UP THE DAMNED COLORS?

Me neither.

Never said nothing to nobody

Sunday, September 2, 2007

I'm taking a Meme from Nabbalicious, feel free to grab it or tag yourself, but let me warn you, it kinda requires some soul searching.

15 things I never said to 15 different people

1. Everyone knows you had an affair and I would be so much closer to you if you could stop lying and own up to it.

2. I'm glad you're overweight. For all the hell you gave me in elementary school for being chubby, I take great delight in the fact that you are now much heavier (comparatively) than I ever was.

3. I wish you had some concept of how much you've hurt your family. I don't wish bad things on you, but I wish your ignorance to the impact you have on other people would crack because if you realized how much you screwed up your own family, maybe you'd change before it's too late.

4. You have been more a mother to me than either of the two women who technically have that role. I don't know what I'd do without you.

5. I wish you'd lose weight. I'm scared that you're going to leave your children fatherless.

6. You are the most hypocritical person I've ever met, and I love you anyway. I just wish you'd learn to listen, both to yourself and to me.

7. When we first started dating I wasn't timid because I was afraid of you. I was timid because I was afraid that if you saw who I really was, you wouldn't like me anymore. I'm still amazed each and every day that you don't run screaming the other way.

8. I wish I could cut you out of my life. You have cause more turmoil in the last few years than everything else combined. And I cannot ever forget the terrible things you said to me when we were kids no matter how hard I try. I just hope you raise your own kids to be nicer.

9. I loved you. You did a lot of things that annoyed me and you weren't always the easiest person to get along with, but I loved you. And I wish I'd told you that a thousand more times before you died.

10. I dispise every fiber of your being. And the fact that you emailed me last year apologizing for being "a dick" only makes me more mad for not reporting you. I always thought you were so drunk that you couldn't remember.

11. Thank you for loving her.

12. I wish you didn't have to learn from your mistakes this way. I wish you had listened to any of us or that you would start listening now.

13. You have a big nose. And so does your daughter.

14. Thank you for standing up for me.

15. I don't call you enough and it's not because I don't think about you or don't want to talk to you. I don't call because it's easier for me to pretend like you're not around then to realize that you are and that you won't be for very much longer. I hope you're still alive for the wedding.

And I thought I had bad luck

This is one of those things that I feel like would happen to me. Only after the snake bit me, the spider would turn around and say, "ah, what the hell?" and sink his fangs in too.

And by the way, thanks to those who commented yesterday. I have a reasonably high pain tolerance and I'm sure I'll be fine, but I also have an unusually high anxiety level, so I'm just going to have to get past it. Thanks for the encouragement and for slapping me back into reality, I needed it.

The one where we get really personal

Saturday, September 1, 2007

You may or may not know that I have recurrent Urinary Tract Infections. If you didn't, well, welcome to my super personal hell. If you did, well, we're going to talk some more about it.

So I met with a new! primary care physician yesterday who was appalled at the fact that I've had 5 infections in 4 months and said that I need to see a urologist. She also mentioned that said urologist will most likely want to do a cystoscopy. Since she said that word and I made the connection between urologist, oscopy and my urethra, I have been unable to think of peeing without intense pain (possibly because I'm pretty sure I have another UTI). I'm sorry, who the hell invented this procedure? A TUBE goes in the urethra? That is exclusively an "out" hole and even then it's only for liquids. Very small, non-tubular liquids.

What I find to be even more disturbing is that they do this to you while fully conscious *unless* you are a man. The Fiance argues it's because there's a much greater distance for the tube to travel to get to the bladder, I insist that it's because they, much like their urinary tract system, are big weenies.

Sorry, juvenile I realize, but seriously, I'm sitting in the middle of my house in the middle of an intense lightning storm thinking about cytoscopies. Cut a girl some slack. And some Xanax please.