Sunday, October 31, 2010

Before and After

Last year, we gave out candy at Mom and Jane's. Our cul de sac was much less traveled than their block, so it made sense. Besides, they were prone to giving out the crappy candy that kids hate-we prefer to give out chocolate and the stuff kids want.

So, I sat over here with a cooler full of candy and succeeded in giving nearly all of it out. With that in mind, I bought candy. Then I bought more candy, because 1. the menfolk were taste testing it and 2. Ed's mindset is we need to give out at least 3 pieces per person.

Ultimately, the tub o' loot had this prior to anyone showing up today:


At the end of the night, this is what we had:


Ten trick or treaters. TEN. Chef sat out in the driveway, ready to hand out treats, for about a half hour and had not one taker. As soon as he came inside, three kids showed up.

After it got dark, two other groups showed up and I gave five pieces to each kid. Heck, I could have given each ten pieces and still would not have made a dent in this bucket.

Which proves the point that it is good to buy the candy in your favorite varieties...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Things You Don't Say to Those Stuck With Your Mess Again

"So, did you get my place all packed yet?'

Yeah. She said that.

Let me see, I had two exams, a CLEP exam, a sonogram of my leg, shopping to get her halloween costume, kid stuff and studying since she decided Wednesday that she would even be moving into this particular assisted living. And next week? Two projects and an exam.

Oh, and the pinched nerve/Chiari thing has been bad for the past month, but it's hitting a fever pitch. Lovely.

I ended up spending almost four hours there today and will probably spend a few hours tomorrow. Ed and I have to get her bed moved at minimum, since the rehabilitation is discharging her tomorrow.

The movers come Tuesday to take the furniture, but the rest of it is on me and Ed.

Little does she realize is that there's a 'come to Jesus' speech coming this Thursday. The one where I say "this is it, I am DONE. If you get kicked out of this place, you will handle all the moving YOURSELF."

Hell, in the past month, she's said that we never do anything for her and the other day, she said she can only rely on Ed.

Might as well fulfill all she says about me...

Friday, October 29, 2010

One Step Closer

At the beginning of this semester, I had four requirements for graduation. First, three classes of 4000 level Psychology classes, as I'd finished the psychology sub-requirements over the summer and one historical perspectives course.

Those of you who have been following along are wondering about that second one, aren't you? The Spanish 3 class I opted to take this semester is an elective. Honestly, the fourth class this semester was always planned to be an elective, something fun in my final semester.

How will graduate without enrolling in a class that is required?

Easy. All along, I had planned to take a CLEP exam. For just under $100.00 and three hours of reviewing material that was familiar to me, I took History of the United States II (1865 to present). My University, as suggested by the College Board and Educational Testing Services, grants 3 credits for American history to any student who scores 50 or better on this 90 minute, multiple choice exam.

I scored a 58. In College Board parlance, that is the equivalent to a B-without spending 15 weeks in a classroom, without the lectures, the term paper and tests. For less than the price of the textbook for the class, I now have fulfilled the last requirement for graduation.

If you've contemplated going back to school and are intimidated by how long it'd take to get all the classes done, the CLEP is a good option for those who have practical experience and/or like to do independent study.

Back in 1992, when I was recovering from wrist reconstruction surgery, I studied for two CLEP exams and earned full credit. (Marketing, with a 78/80 and Management, with a 70/80) Thanks to earning the credit for those courses, the stage was set all along for me to utilize this resource again.

While I could have taken a psychology class or two via CLEPs, I wanted the classroom experience. The American history exam was right up my alley, thanks to being a NPR junkie for many years. I figured 30 plus years of being on top of current events and politics might make a segment of the exam much easier. It did.

The official results will not be submitted to USF for another 4 to 6 weeks, which is okay. The graduation ceremony is held before graduates are certified in mid-January.

Honestly, now that this is done and out of the way, the next six weeks will a cake walk. The psychology classes? They're all interrelated and enjoyable. The spanish class? Challenging and fascinating.

Exactly what classes in the semester should be.

Thanks, CLEP, for providing a way for me to not stress this last semester.
Thanks NPR, for Morning Addiction and All Things Considered to keep me in the know.



Thursday, October 28, 2010

Perforated Vein?

The ultrasound was completed today. I spent about an hour with the technician and she was very thorough, but I still don't know much about what is going on. This is because Dr. J left the building and went across the street to the hospital.

He will call me tomorrow with information.

The only thing I know at this point is that I have a perforated vein. The tech said 'they'll probably want to do surgery to close that off, but it's relatively minor,' but beyond that, she was rather tight lipped.

Somehow, I suspect that Dr. J will call me while I am taking my CLEP exam, and I'll have to wait until Monday for answers.



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Squeeeeeeee

I was checking registration status today and found this:



Yep, I am really starting a masters program in just over two months.

Except, after an event we attended on Monday, I'm thinking maybe I need to pursue more education in a different arena.

One step at a time.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tick Tock

So, between now and Sunday, Jane needs to decide where the heck she will be living. This is so:
*we can move her crap out of the assisted living by Sunday
*call around and see if we can get a mover-with probably 24 hours notice
*pack all her crap
*go pay the new place so she can move in
*steam clean the carpet at the old place, because she is a messy eater and the cat would use the carpet like a litter box when he was mad at her

She looked at a place today and she likes it, but she wants to explore her options. It's another assisted living, but it concerns us that it's assisted living. We're of the mind that she needs skilled care. She happily told me they have an outside company come in three times a day to do medication management.

I asked "Do they take care of insulin?" and she kept telling me they come in three times a day. When I asked "Jane, did you ask if they take care of insulin for you?," I got a vague answer. Obviously, she didn't ask.

This afternoon, clock ticking, no phone to easily communicate with her, I stopped by the rehab center with her Halloween costume items and we talked briefly. She wants an identical iPhone to the old one, so plans are in the works to replace it.

When I walked in, she was talking with a social worker, who pretty much had the same questions I had, namely "Where are you going? Who will be helping you move? When is this happening?" and she got the vague answers I got, except for one thing.

"My brother will be moving me, because he's the only person who I can rely on."

One, she hasn't talked to him about this. Yet again, she assumes it will be done-but bitches that we're never there when she needs us.

And two? WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING, RUNNING MY ASS OFF DOING CRAP FOR HER ALL THE TIME?
I guess because I don't drop caring for the kids and my studies the second she needs things, I am not reliable.

Yes, I am pissed. Seriously pissed.

I let it slide because there is too much going on, but it is frustrating to do so much and be standing in the room as she states that only Ed is reliable.

Screw this.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Seven Weeks From Tonight...

I'll be wearing this:
Today, I paid for the cap and gown and joined the alumni association.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the incredible all day seminar Ed and I attended today. For now, the bed beckons.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Borked

One day down. I took it out of the rice and tried plugging it in.

Zip.

Nada.

Nothing.

I think someone owns a very expensive brick.

Word to the wise-Never, I mean NEVER plug in a phone after it has taken a bath.


It's probably not a good idea to let her get another iPhone to replace it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Contents: One Phone

The setting: The bathroom at a rehabilitation facility

The player: The sister in law, who partially listens to instructions. Insulin injections are not important, but one person saying 'keep your phone with you at ALL times' means she brings it into the bathroom with her because that's important. Even when there are pull cords that signal the nurse's stations every five feet.

The result: one waterlogged phone.

The insult to injury: She tried to charge it after soaking it. (Do you plug in a toaster after you drop it into the tub? A blow dryer? A coffee maker?)

The part where it's hard not to laugh in her face: "Do you think you can take it to the AT&T store and see if it's covered under a warranty? Maybe they'll replace it for me?"



Yes, I know it's probably a lost cause, but I'm giving it a try. I explained that dropping my phone (when I went to pick up crap for her) cost me two hundred bucks. You are all welcome to laugh as much as you want.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Window Shopping and Some Laughs with Chef

This evening, we decided to take advantage of all of us having the day off and went over to the Florida Mall in Orlando. It's a large mall that has many retailers that aren't found in other local malls.

All four of us gravitated towards the Apple store and I seriously thing that Game Teen is expecting us to buy a 27" iMac for him, because every time we go into that store, that's where you'll find him. This time, Chef was playing with an iPhone. Sorry, kiddo, no iPhone for you. Still, we had fun looking around.

The kids noticed their was an M&M's store and asked to go. They'd been in there before, but it was about three years ago. This is where we got a good laugh.

They have this 'find your M&M' selector. You stand on a circle, while the machine 'scans' you and tells you the appropriate color. Game Teen got Almond, Ed was told he needed the color burst and Chef got Silver "you have a secret desire to be a mime."

A MIME? Chef? The rambunctious, attention seeker?

I take my turn and I'm told that I should get some maroon, because "You have a trustworthy smile-and some chocolate at the corners of your mouth." Chef is still annoyed that he was supposed to be a mime. It is suggested he try the selector again.

Whereupon, he's told once again that he should get silver, because he has a secret desire to be a mime."

He was complaining all through the mall at the thought of a career where he would have to be quiet!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

About That Ultrasound

Remember how last week, I mentioned having to wait a week to see what's lurking under the surface with my Stupid Leg (trademark pending).

Today, I left campus in Lakeland and drove over to Tampa. I took a peek in Total Wine and More, had lunch at one of the places I liked to enjoy when I worked in south Tampa and it was then that I realized "hey, I didn't get a confirmation phone call!"

Yep, I goofed-my appointment is NEXT Thursday.

Since I was down that way, I visited my former coworkers and the store that got me started on my Vera addiction. And next week, I get to go back again.

Yay.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Do the Time Warp--and More

Tonight, a friend posted the Time Warp on Facebook. I needed to relive my teen years, so I played it. Chef decided to watch, because honestly, if I have the audio on my laptop, the boy runs to check it out.

Ed and I sang along some of the audience participation parts ('get the F off the desk!' cracked him up) and he was fascinated:


Then, we explained bringing the accoutrements (rice, toilet paper, water pistols, newspapers, lighters, playing cards, etc) and then I mentioned a scene in the movie where the main character turns around after he thinks he's sung to an entire audience, only to find the seats empty. The first time I saw it, someone yelled out "Hey, look, it's a Menudo concert!" The last time I saw it in a theatre, that line called out the Backstreet Boys.

So, as Chef did not know who Menudo was, I pulled up this little gem off You Tube. Yeah, even though I understand a lot of what they're singing, if anything, they've gotten worse than I remember!



Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Maybe It's Sinking In?

Two weeks ago today, Ed was given the ultimatum by Jane's Assisted Living Facility. When she was informed that she was not welcomed back while in the hospital, she didn't believe us. Granted, she was more confused than she usually is-her blood sugar was still well over 200.

Last week, I spoke to the Director and D confirmed that no, Jane was NOT welcomed back, because she has never been compliant with medications. Even after they took over administering everything but her insulin, she couldn't get it through her head that dosing her insulin and eating foods appropriate for a diabetic, she still didn't do it.

Jane didn't believe me, stating that D said "We'd love to have you come back, BUT you're not compliant with any of your treatments and we don't see that changing." She heard the first part, and ignored the rest. It's been that way all her life when it comes to her health-ignore the hardball and reality.

Today, she called the ALF, and while D wasn't there, B was-and said informed Jane she didn't know, that D did and would answer that question on Thursday. She called another family member (who left me a message) "Maybe I can't go back there."

We'll take whatever progress we can get at this point.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Suzanne's Notetaking Service

One constant about school is this: I don't skip classes. I think I've missed two days of classes in the past 18 months, both when I was pretty out of it. Heck, I planned surgery for the day after a final so that I'd have four weeks to recover.

One of the side effects of being there all the time is that when someone misses class, they ask you for notes. On my home campus, in my major, we all have come to know each other and look out for each other. Someone misses class, I'll get an email asking if I'd kindly pass on notes. They like my color-coded notes, typed rapid fire during the lectures.

On the Tampa campus, where the classes are huge in comparison, that doesn't happen as often. Or rather, it didn't. Last semester, by the end of that Motivation class, I had a couple of classmates who would ask and one who shared for the one class I missed. (She later told me she liked my coding technique of green for professor's comments and red for expressly stated as being on the exam that she adopted it for her own notes.)

I thought this semester would be pretty quiet on that front. I've made a few friends in the bigger class (one who is in both) and no one seemed to pay attention to my rapid fire typing except the guy behind me who dropped the class last week. Then, today, a classmate asked my professor if there was some way to get the information from last Monday's lecture and Dr. H said "Suzanne's the person for notes." The girl came up and asked nicely and by the time she got back to her seat, she had an email.

After class, another classmate came up and showed me her net book. "I'm having problems with this thing when I take notes, and I was told you're the person who knows what they're doing." She had some sort of technical glitch with downloading the basic lecture notes we all use during class, and I said I'd send her mine.

In talking to her, I realized that she'd talked to Dr. H because she didn't get a grade on an assignment. She'd sent it, but it didn't make it to the in box. So, I offered some pointers (look in your sent box, then forward that one to show you turned it in prior to the deadline) and helped her to get it sent out.

It's good to be known that if its notes you want, it's notes I've got.

On both campuses, even.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

79

If you were here today, you'd be cooking for your guests, because you always wanted to be surrounded by others for celebrations. And it was never enough to have others around, you had to feed them all.

Today, my house is filled with the smell of marinara and meatballs, one of your classic fall meals. Not only could it feed your whole family, but it could feed anyone who happened to come by at dinner time, too. A child of the depression, you never wanted anyone to go hungry.

Your smile could light up the room. Even when you'd spent a year in the hospital, recovering from polio, Nana and Papa would talk of how you had the ever-present smile, even when they weren't sure you'd walk again.
Spring, 1939-first time out of the hospital in a year.

You were determined. You would walk again.

I wish you were still here to celebrate today.

I miss you, Mom.



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Creative Auto Body Repairs

I was running errands with the kids this afternoon, grabbing stuff for Jane. We noticed something unusual on the car in front of us:


I looked and thought that it was a lid to a tote of some sort. No, can't be. Sure enough, at the next traffic light, I saw the tell tale 'Sterilite.' I guess you use whatever you've got on hand. Don't believe me? Click on the picture to see it bigger and look in the mid right of that plastic thing!


Now I'm wondering what interesting car thing I will see tomorrow in my travels!

Friday, October 15, 2010

But is It A Theft Deterrent?

Seen tonight outside a supermarket:


Can you imagine the APB? "All officers are asked to be on the lookout for a white SUV, Florida license tag 'stolen.' It was stolen from the Sweetbay parking lot."

Yeah, that would be interesting!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Holding Pattern

The answer I got today wasn't really a definitive answer. Dr. J told me and the resident with him "We're going to do an ultrasound to see what is going on under the surface."

He commented that the edema that used to be horrible is the best he's ever seen it. It's because I'm not working and aggravating it. Whenever the opportunity presents, the leg us elevated.

On my phone was a picture I posted on Facebook a month ago and the another picture I took last week. In the bright light of the examining room, the scar tissue has definitely changed.

So, is there something going on? Probably. We just won't know until next Thursday.



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Spotlight on My Stupid Leg (trademark pending)

Tomorrow, I visit the vascular surgeon.

There have been changes in my ankle that are NOT good. The scars have changed in appearance and now the ankle has flaky, dry patches-just like it did about a month before I had two huge ulcers on it.

I'd left the message over a week ago and got the call back Saturday that they wanted to look at it. Since I left the message, I've had intermittent stinging sensations-just like last time.

I hope I'm wrong, but I know my body. The signs are pointing towards something I've experienced before.

Tomorrow, we'll see if the doctor agrees.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Lost in Translation

If there's anything I've learned in having to be involved in Jane's affairs, it's 'trust, but verify.' Scratch that, it's more like 'don't trust, but verify.'

Last week, Ed got the call from the Assisted Living facility "Come get the cat and Jane is not welcome back." We understood them. She does not comply with ANY instructions her doctors give, nor does she follow any of the instructions that the home health aides give her.

Heck, the story about what lead to the hospitalization came to light the other night and we're both dumbfounded. Apparently, she ran out of insulin either Wednesday or Thursday. Publix does deliveries to this ALF, so all she had to do was call in the prescription. She also could have mentioned this information to any number of the CNA's or staffers that visit her throughout the day. She didn't.

Why, you ask? She said she was 'embarrassed' that she'd forgotten to get it. Then, she also said that she was busy with other stuff, like straightening up the apartment.

So, let me get this straight: cleaning the apartment or avoiding embarrassment is more important than providing your body with a necessary hormone? The comment was "you know what that's like, right? "

Frankly, no. (I have a blog and I put embarrassing stuff on here, so I'm willing to share my mistakes with whomever happens to read it, right?)

I had to leave the room at that information, because it was mind boggling.

Today, while I was in class, I got a garbled message that stated several things:
1. I was told 'that they would be happy to welcome me back'
2. They're okay with the cat's situation now.
3. I can have the scooter here, so you can bring it in the van today.

I wasn't sure that I heard them right, so I called back and left a message. I then called the ALF, because I was pretty sure, after three conversations with them, that she would not be returning to them ever.

Of course they were happy about the cat's situation, they didn't have to clean up all the poop he deposited all over the carpet that was brand new when she moved in. (The apartment reeks of poop and cat pee). The thing that irritates me is that once again, we were told 'you need to do this' and were never thanked for doing it. It's assumed that we'll do whatever.

If the objective of her admission to rehabilitation is to get her to walk again, why would they want her to have an electric scooter. She later told me that they said it was okay to use to get to and from physical therapy, but they've got wheelchairs to take her to and from PT.

So, I got a call back from the manager of the ALF. She told Jane "We'd love to have you back, but you would need to be compliant with your doctor's orders-and that hasn't happened yet." She told Jane in a way that didn't beat her over the head that NO, you cannot come back and of course, Jane heard the first part and ignored the second part.

I'm not surprised that she did this. On several occasions, while at the lawyer or doctor with her, she's done an unbelievable job of twisting whatever was said around to have it meet with her concept of what should be happening.

For instance, last year, a doctor discharged her from care 'because you won't do what I tell you anyway' and she soon twisted that around to 'I'm better, so he doesn't need to see me anymore."

Where does this leave us? Stuck with fixing the messes she makes and disgusted with the concept that when it comes to her health, anything else going on in her life at the moment is more important.

The plan now is to cut out the middleman who is garbling the message. We'll talk the those in the know before acting on anything she tells us.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Things That Change When a Cat Becomes a Member of the Home

You no longer have privacy in the bathroom. (the cat also will insist on you petting him)

Your wardrobe of mostly green shirts and black pants rapidly gains fawn colored fur.

The sound of rustling in the kitchen no longer means one of the children has disobeyed bedtime.

You become startled by a sound right behind your head when you're sitting on the couch, but it's just the cat jumping up to visit you.

You lament the fact that you don't have a lint brush and keep forgetting to pick one up when you go to WalMart.

You have to teach the animal that no, we do not allow the pets to climb into our food.

As much as you like your Vera bags, the cat likes them more and tries to make them his bed.

You insist that this stay will be temporary, but the cat has other plans.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

When You Are At a Loss For Words

Find a song to take your mind off the situation.






Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Rough Week

We've got Jane drama. She's in a rehabilitation center to learn to walk again, because she spends most of her waking hours in that stupid Jazzy chair. Yet another situation where her issues could be minor annoyances if she took care of herself.

I think the thing that frustrates me the most is that every issue she has is manageable. The diabetes? Diet and exercise could possibly bring her into the realm of 'diet controlled diabetic' (She has type 2-I know this is impossible with type 1). The hip problems? A long time ago, it was recommended that she get a Y membership and participate in an aquatic exercise program. The heart issues? Aerobic activity of slowly increasing duration.

The news of Alison's passing saddened me. A 14 year old's life gone in an instant.

Tonight, there was more bad news. I participated in an online group for several years that was very close knit. One of the women, Kim (or Kimmy, as she was known) had the gift for making people laugh. I cannot think of a single post of hers that didn't make me smile, or giggle.

Even when we went through two deaths in short succession here, Kimmy had kind words and a way of putting things in perspective. A woman of faith, she found a way to give comfort that really helped.

A few years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. A fighter to the core, she was going to beat this thing. She did, and last year, took a trip to WDW with her husband and son. They met up with other friends from the group and celebrated her defeat of cancer.

Unfortunately, it came back. She fought hard, but last night, Kimmy lost the battle with the beast. Two families are really hurting right now, but they know that what took their loved ones was something that these women couldn't beat.




Friday, October 08, 2010

Alison

A friend lost his 14 year old daughter this week. A beautiful girl whose dad thought if he was someday lucky enough to have two daughters, they'd be named for his two favorite songs.

He had his two girls, they were given the names he wanted so much, but one is no longer here with him.


Merv, our hearts go out to you and your family.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Personas Famosas Para Mi Clase de Español

I had too much fun creating this one to not share it. Forgive my incorrect Spanish and so-so Power Points. It's only the third one I've done-but it was fun.















I so wanted to use these pictures in the presentation, but I thought it went a little too far. My classmates were laughing, so I hope they had fun with it, too. You get the benefit of other visuals that clarify my opinion of Mr. Mapother.






Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Cat Isn't as Dumb as I Thought

While Ed was out this afternoon, Scamp opened our closed bedroom door and camped out under my bed. He's still there, just out of reach. While I love that we got a king bed 99.9999% of the time, I don't like the fact that I can't reach Scamp to remove him from the bedroom.

Meanwhile, I have cat allergies. When I did the skin patch testing, there was a quarter sized welt on my arm. I asked the nurse "what is THAT?" and she nonchalantly replied "Oh, that's cat." I had no idea, because I'd never lived in a house with one.

When Game Teen had the same skin patch testing when he was three, same deal. Huge welt, larger than all the rest. I think it upset Ed, an avid cat person, that his house had two people allergic to cats.

I'm partial to owning dogs, so we have been at an impasse for a while.

Until now.

I think tomorrow's plans include a trip to Home Despot to get a couple of doorknobs that are not of the lever variety, then to find some manner of getting the animal out of the room.

Thanks, Jane.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It Sucks to Be Right

Jane is in the hospital. Again.

This time she's done it up good, in that she has been told she is not welcome back to the Assisted Living facility she's been living in for the past seven months. Ed was called this morning and told he needed to retrieve that cat.

I had a very brief voice mail on my phone Saturday. "Miss Jane went to the hospital again." The CNA sounded resigned, the message didn't hint at what was going on. Apparently, she'd let her insulin pump run out THREE days earlier-her blood sugar was over 600 when they noticed she was having problems Saturday morning.

Yes, over 600. The glucose meter tops out at +600, so who knows how bad it really was.

We went over to the hospital, where we found an incoherent and shaky Jane. She's been shaking for months, a Parkinson's like constant shudder. I asked (yet again) if she'd seen a neurologist about it, and the nurse said 'we have one on consult to come in and see her.' Yet again, she's got an issue, she's complained about it for months, but she didn't bother to take the initiative to get answers for what is causing it or what might cure it.

Her blood sugar is still well into the 200's.

A couple of months ago, she decided that it was a lovely day and she wanted to 'walk' (ride her jazzy) around the local lake. Never mind that we were having record breaking temperatures for July. Didn't bother with sunscreen, a hat or hydration, either. She wound up with heat stroke and a hospital stay. The ALF put her on notice that she'd be out if there was another hospital stay.

At the time, I offered to take her around to look at skilled care facilities 'just in case' she might need their services. She refused, saying the social worker smoothed things over and she'd be fine.

She's not. She's out.

So, in the next few days, we need to find a skilled care facility and figure out what she's keeping of the stuff in the apartment, because most of it cannot go into a room in a nursing home.

The fun never ends.

At least the cat seems to be settling in to his new digs-with two allergic people.

Yay.

Monday, October 04, 2010

My Stupid Leg Strikes Again

Trouble is afoot. Or rather, aleg. Yes, I know that's not a word, but I'm trying to be the origination of a new one, just like texting and unfriend are in the dictionary. You saw 'aleg' here first.

The Stupid leg is being, well, stupid. When it went to hell sans the handbasket four years ago, there were changes on my ankle bone that I didn't pay attention to. At first, it was this dry, flaky skin patch that covered the area the size of a quarter. Then a lemon, then it became orange sized. In rapid succession after that, the flaky skin became constantly scabbed-and well, long time readers know the rest.

One year of dealing with two ulcers that just didn't want to go away.

There really aren't any ways to prevent the venous stasis ulcers from happening-except that wearing compression stockings might slow their formation. It's not a definite cure, and for me, wearing the stocking now is like holding a branding iron to half my lower leg and electrocuting most of the other half. It's not pleasant.

My surgeon and I had a discussion about this once I was released from care. He was of the opinion that if I had to resume taking painkillers to exist daily, then it probably would be better for me to skip wearing the compression stockings and keep an eye on the leg for changes.

There are changes.

It started a few weeks ago. There are two white patches of scar tissue. Pearly white skin that makes my normally pale skin look well-weathered. Except that a couple of weeks ago, I looked at my ankle when I was sitting down on the floor, waiting for class to begin and some of that scar tissue wasn't white-it was pink. A closer look revealed little spots of red.

If you've ever looked closely at a skinned knee that isn't bleeding, this looked the same, little spots of red that looked like cells. I mentioned it on FB and added to my daily routine a check of that ankle. When I showered Saturday, I noticed a patchy, dry skin and I thought it was just from the heat that we've been experiencing in this part of the country.

I was wrong.

The skin is flaking the same way it did four years ago, back when I didn't realize that flaking skin wasn't just eczema, it was the precursor to a very difficult year.

The picture isn't the best (I need to charge the camera with the good macro lens), but this is the sign that if I don't get into the vascular surgeon's office tout de suite, I'll be in one of Dante's seven circles of Hell.


Lucky me.




Sunday, October 03, 2010

Perhaps This Will Do the Trick

You know how as soon as you find the flashlights and light the candles, the power comes back on?

The cable and the Internet have been out for three hours. It's approaching midnight and they're still out, but I'm wondering if taking a picture of my screen will do the trick:



Of course, five minutes after I posted this (and the phone truncated my post), they came back.