Showing posts from October, 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 t…

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'…

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. I…

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.


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.

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.


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.


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




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.

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 muc…

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."


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.


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…

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…

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…


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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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 al…

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.

When You Are At a Loss For Words

Find a song to take your mind off the situation.

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…


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.

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.

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 m…

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 agai…

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 electrocutin…

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.