Category Archives: General Mumblings

2013 Kicked my Ass

I've had a bad year - leave me alone

I’ve had a bad year – leave me alone

2013 was a very bad year for  me.  I started with a concussion, went through a wee bit of depression (sort of like being a wee bit pregnant) and spent nearly 2 weeks in the hospital where I could easily have died.  I slept most of the rest of the year, in a pathetically weakened state, due to side effects of medications.  I was passed over for a promotion I really wanted (and deserved) by an employer that was pretty content to have me effectively doing two jobs for one paycheck, while driving 80 miles a day to do so.  I had homesickness of epic proportions and spent more than a few days wondering “What is the point, exactly?”

Now that it only has a few hours left to kick my ass, I just want 2013 to know…

I learned to appreciate some things this year.  Like my devoted spouse who spent countless hours worrying over me, suffering when I suffered, nagging me when needed, giving space when needed as well.  I learned that I am much loved by many – kids, sisters, grandkids, friends, cousins, in-laws, outlaws and others –  I am truly blessed.

I learned that a few wonderful friends are all you really need.  Friends who just knew what I needed and when, who cared for me, cared for my dog, and supported by husband through all the crap.  Who texted, caught up with me on Facebook, or e-mailed – and understood my aversion to phone calls.

I learned that being appreciated by your employer for your contributions is better than having the “princess office”,  newer technology or deeper pockets.  I learned to go after what I wanted because no one was going to give it to me.  And I found a job that fits me (and is much closer to home with summers off).

I learned that all of the medical knowledge in the world won’t help you if you are nearly unconscious or too sick to advocate for yourself.   Appoint someone who can.  I learned that health care coverage is not to be taken for granted as my bills would have totalled nearly a$300,000 for all the care and services I received.  I also learned which hospital to avoid if I should ever need medical care again.

I learned that life can change in an instant and although my crises were really minor in comparison to those of many others – my life did not feel like mine at all.  I learned that by putting one foot in front of the other – no matter how tired or weak I felt – no matter how overwhelmed I became, I could just keep going just as I always have – just as I always will.  I learned that I am strong, capable, and unstoppable.

I learned that my body will not take neglect or abuse forever without rebellion.  I will listen.  I will appreciate the gift – a strong body – that I have been given.

So 2013 – I am not sad to see you go.  Sayonara, 2013.  Suck It.

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Filed under General Mumblings, humor, Uncategorized

BlogFestivus 2013: A Christmas Carol – Ebeneezer Scrooge

scrooge

“Time for the Christmas party, Mr. S” Scrooge heard his secretary’s smooth voice from the doorway.  He did not look up.

“You mean that salmonella-fest pot luck the employees have every year, Patty?  Well, they better be back in their cubicles at 1:00.  I’m not paying anyone to sit around singing sappy songs and exchanging gifts.  Nonsense.”

“Yes, sir.  I e-mailed that reminder you dictated yesterday to all employees.”

“I suppose you are going?” he asked, finally looking up at his longest-tenured employee.

“Yes”, Patty said icily.  “I’ll be back at 1:00.”  She headed toward the cafeteria, where delicious aromas and raucous laughter spilled out each time the door was opened.  Coworkers greeted her warmly and a plate appeared in her hand.  Her Secret Santa gift was placed under the bedraggled tree in the corner.

Scrooge looked up from his spreadsheet, muttering about the cost of holiday pay. Why couldn’t this be one of those years when the holidays fell on the weekend?  He sipped his coffee, which had grown cold.  Damn, Patty was at that blasted party, he’d have to get his own warm-up.

He stood, then clutched his chest.  Cold sweat beaded his forehead and ran down his neck.  He fell back into his chair with a thud.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

happy-blogfestivus-2013

I crazily agreed to participate in BlogFestivus again this year (I pooped out last year).  I hope you’ll visit all these talented writers who are tossing out 200 word offerings during this year’s festivities.

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Tom over at Shouts from the Abyss
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering  Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy (this is me)

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50,000 Words!!! Yay!!! Oh, wait….

grimreaperscrabble

In my bloggy absence over the past couple of months, between recuperating from my near-death experience and changing jobs, I have cranked out about 50,000 words. Oh, no – not a novel or anything like that. Not an anthology of beautiful short stories nor a load of lyric loveliness.

No, by my rough estimate this morning – I have put together 50,000 words. Playing Scrabble on-line. And not that shabby imitation “Words with Friends” crap. Real(?) by-God virtual Scrabble.

50,000 words – One stinkin’ word at a time. I’m in deep, kids. Really deep.

In real life (you remember real life, don’t you?) very few people want to play Scrabble with me. I am insufferable. I must win, I play defensively, and know a lot of obscure words. Imagine my pure joy when I discovered the Scrabble app for my Android tablet. An endless supply of unwitting victims. I could play anonymously, so that no one would know it was me and avoid my invitations to a letter-tile smackdown. I grinned and rubbed my hands together in evil anticipation of the word whuppin’s I was about to lay down. And lay down I did. And did. And did. And without any freakin’ Scrabble Cheat apps, thank you very much. (Yes, Player 2218 I am talking to YOU).

First thing in the morning, with the sickly glow of the tablet illuminating my puffy eyes, I checked to see whom I was currently flogging with my little virtual wooden-letter weapons. Before bed – nay, even in bed – my bloodshot eyes checked to make sure that I wasn’t missing a turn to play a carefully-crafted pure-genius move that would propel me to a 200 point lead against some poor sucker (12 points). BwaHaHaHaHaaaaaaaaaaa.

Of course, I often encountered mental midgets like Player 3233 whose best word was “turds” or Player 7825 who used both the blank tiles for the letter K to spell “dick” twice in the same game. Or Player 1999 who joined both “anus” AND “vagina” on a double word score (Brilliant!!). I have screenshots of these offerings, but WP isn’t letting me upload this morning. You’ll just have to trust me on this.

And then…and then. I saw HIM. There on the bottom of the playing board.
 
happy teacher

Teacher. He looked like Alex Trebek, if Alex Trebek’s face was a wooden letter tile. He knew words – rich, high score, valuable words. He smiled sweetly and offered encouragement whenever I made a brilliant play. Like a giddy schoolgirl with a crush on her male middle-school Algebra I teacher, I lived for his praise. I was on a roll! I could not get enough of my new square-jawed lover. In addition to trouncing my feeble-minded competitors (not you, Player 3345, you are da bomb!), I resumed showering and changed into clean pajamas before ever opening that app again. I might have even applied lip gloss. When I was properly groomed and primped (18 points), I had only to click on his face to see my new main squeeze (45 points).

And as was inevitable (31 points) I disappointed my new paramour (18 points) soon enough. I played the word rivet (12 points). He frowned. “Hmmmm, let me show you what you missed” he said.

unhappyteacher

He played “erective” on the board (92 points). Wait, wait a darned minute. Did he just raise his eyebrow? What the?…what?

I was crushed. Within days Teacher had disapproved of many of my word offerings – showing me missed opportunities to play the words siemens, augite, sarkier, fique, kraters, hazan, flinkite, nutant, feod, flanerie, groanful, uranitic, kuias, miaoued, poovy, scungy, braii, gju, and arctoid (88 points).

It was over between us. Fique gju in your scungy feod, Teacher. You can kuias my poovy augite. Even though he remained at the bottom of the playing board, I never again tapped his wooden face in a quest for his approval.

I estimate (you have to sign in with your real name to get real stats) that I won 98% of the games I played (Damn you, lorrencowen – I’ll beat you yet!). I also estimate that I had as many as 150 games active at one time (the app only shows the 25 most recent games played). As of this morning I am down to 8 games and as soon was the opponents either succomb (30 points) or forfeit (13 points) I am done (5 points). Seriously (13 points). I mean it (2 points).

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Freshly Pegged – Yes, ME!!!

Hey, you guys all know Peg-o-Leg, right?  Well, you should know her – she is immensely talented and happens to be the only WordPress blogger that I have actually met in person (so far).  Her family dropped her off for a visit with me at a deserted Wendy’s, even though they expressed concern that I might be an axe murderer.

Peg has a feature, called “Freshly Pegged” over at her blog, where she features posts from her posse of followers and bloggy friends.  These posts are some that mysteriously escaped the attention of the Freshly Pressed Overlords, but are worthy of a look-see.

Pop on over to Peg’s and read my post “Stuck in the Middle (Age) With You” here.

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Reports of My Death Are…Yada, Yada, Yada

a_patient_in_hospital_gown_walking_-300x30033886_Grim-Reaper-Deluxe-with-Vinyl-Hands-Child-Costume

K8EDID  1   – GRIM REAPER 0

I apologize, especially to all my new followers, who signed up expecting at least an occasional post from me, but I’ve been out of commission for quite some time.  While one might think that illness, hospitalization and recuperation might result in a plethora of blog fodder – I remember so little and was so drugged up that I don’t even really trust the memories that I do have.  Here, in a nutshell, is the synopsis:

I was walking from the bedroom to my home office when I was doubled over with an excruciating pain in my abdomen.  I could not straighten up.  I could not take a deep breath.  Over the next 8 hours, I vomited (violently) the last thing I had eaten – a PB&J sandwich.  The sandwich came up one single, solitary cell at a time.

At 4 in the morning, I grabbed my stethoscope and listened to my abdomen.  Silence.  Crickets.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Bowel sounds are usually a symphony of tinkling, rumbling, gurgling, burbling and squeaking sounds.  Silence is not good.  I could not swallow my own saliva without wretching violently.  So I did what sounded like a good idea at the time.  I left my husband and dog sleeping in the bedroom and drove myself to the local hospital.

I was admitted and a round of tests began.  I couldn’t even swallow my own saliva, but they brought me two large containers of barium to drink.  Fat freakin’ chance, Doc.  Scans, scopes, x-rays, poking, prodding, listening and guessing led to the conclusion that my intestines had twisted themselves into a knot. A tube was placed into one of my nostrils and passed down my throat into my stomach to suck out all the stuff that was making me vomit almost continuously.  It was every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds.

Sometime during the tests and procedures, my stomach began bleeding and I aspirated a large amount of blood into my lungs.  The resulting pneumonia landed me in the ICU.  The small-town docs decided they could not handle the surgery that I would need so I was transferred 100 miles to a major metropolitan hospital ICU.  All that I remember about that ambulance ride is that the attendant who rode in the back with me had BO and farted a lot.  I also thought I heard him snoring at one point, but I could have been hallucinating.

My lungs were so compromised that I could not have tests done to help the surgical team decide on a course of action.  At one point I had oxygen delivered by both face mask and nasal canula and I was receiving the maximum respiratory support that one could receive short of being placed on a ventilator.  The days and nights dragged on – I was hospitalized 13 days total – most of that in ICU.  I had nothing to eat or drink for 10 days, and after 7 days they finally started artificial nutrition through an IV line.  Everyone who listened to my abdomen did not look me in the eye – I would watch their faces intently.  To their credit – no one sugar-coated it.  When I would ask, they’d tell me there were no sounds at all.

My lungs cleared enough that I could have the final scope needed to determine the surgical procedures required.  Unfortunately, I would need anesthesia and my fragile lungs weren’t up to the standard drugs, so I was given an animal tranquilizer, Ketamine, as an anesthetic agent.  The hallucinations that accompanied that drug were vivid, horrifying, and when I came to I was screaming.  The scope revealed that in addition to the intestinal twisting, the surgical procedure I had last summer had “slipped” and would need to be redone.

That evening the surgeon sat on the edge of the bed, took my hand, and explained that he wasn’t entirely sure my stomach could be saved.  On all the scans, tests, x-rays and scopes, my stomach appeared only about the size of a walnut.  Doc was concerned that my intestinal tract had been compromised for 10 days by lack of blood supply and he just wasn’t sure what he would find.  I put my faith and trust in him and God, and waited for the surgery.

I made it through the surgery, during which my stomach was examined inside and out and was declared to be healthy tissue.  I spent one night on a ventilator because they could not wake me up in the recovery room, but once the breathing tube was removed, I made great progress.  Three days after surgery, I was discharged.

I am home, recuperating, and trying to regain some strength.  I am still so weak I cannot even open a bottled water by myself.  But I am home.  With my beloved Sweet Cheeks who rarely left my side during those 13 days and my sweet pup.

I won that round.

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