Tag Archives: Health

Pineapple “1” – k8edid “0”

 

Pineapple Wins!!!  Pineapple Wins!!!

Pineapple Wins!!! Pineapple Wins!!! (photo credit k8edid)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a post about how 2013 had kicked my ass.  It was one of maybe 6 0r 7 posts I have written in the past 18 months.  You see, 2013 was a bitch – but 2014 has conspired to make its predecessor feel like an old, fondly-remembered friend.  I will tell a tale about an altercation I had with a tropical fruit this week that illustrates what I mean.

In this year of our Lord – 2014- I have been diagnosed with not one, but two painful, chronic and potentially debilitating maladies.  One affects my joints; the other affects my muscles.  Both involve fatigue and weakness. Depression is an “interesting” common denominator.  Neither is curable but, I am told, are manageable by utilizing an amazing array of poisonous chemicals, copious amounts of rest balanced with exercise, and a good attitude.  Some days only my joints are affected – other days my muscles ache.  On “perfect storm” days everything, including my eyelashes and fingernails hurt. Some days I cannot even turn over in bed.  Many mornings I cannot walk when I get out of bed which makes that first trip to the bathroom rather entertaining.  Usually after 10 – 15 minutes of stretching and range of motion exercises, I can maneuver around with only moderate pain.  Good insurance being what it is, I have amassed an incredible schedule of specialists’ appointments.

I have been referred to the pain clinic where I am treated like a wild-eyed drug-seeking addict…I must bring my prescription bottle with me to have my remaining pills counted; I must submit a urine sample at every visit to be tested for illegal substances; and I must make an appearance every 30 days.  Heaven forbid that I have a prescription for more than 30 days worth of relief.  I am fairly certain I could get heroin more easily (and more cheaply).

Give me the good stuff and I’ll leave you alone for 30 days. Wait, wait…I gotta pee.

On the worst days, my left arm is virtually useless.  I am right handed, so that is a small blessing.  If you have ever had a bum wing, though, you know how difficult it is to maneuver through your day using only one hand.  Your less-dominant hand is important for such tasks as pulling up your underwear, holding the cookie jar so you can pull the top off, or flipping off passing vehicles.  I cannot hold anything for any length of time in that hand, including a wine glass.  A cup of coffee is too heavy for my weakened arm and attempts to lift one are likely to result in a spill, a burn, or both.

I am recovering from yet another abdominal surgery this week (Merry Christmas to ME), so I am even weaker than usual.  My beloved Sweet Cheeks, who has had to assume most of the tasks of running this crazy train we call home, purchased a beautiful, perfectly ripe pineapple at my request.  So on Christmas Eve morning, I zig-zag staggered to the bathroom, managed a quick shower concentrating on the parts I could reach with my right hand.  I shaved my right leg and the right side of my left leg plus my left underarm.  I dressed slowly, pulling up my underwear on the right side and managed one-handedly to get both my 38L boobs (that’s L for long) tucked into a brassiere.  I styled the right side of my hair with the blow-dryer and ran a comb through the left.  I staggered to the kitchen and prepared to wage war on the splendid tropical bromeliad.

pineapple slicer

I chose my weapons carefully: my best knife and a new-fangled pineapple corer/slicer/peeler purported to make  quick work of the task at hand.  I selected a cutting board and prepared the pineapple as if offering up a tropical sacrifice.  I laid the fragrant golden fruit on its side to make the first cut to remove the spiky top.  With my stronger right hand I grasped the knife and…nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  I pressed harder and the stubborn fruit squirted off the cutting board and onto the counter.  I laid my useless left hand on top of the fruit and leveraging my weight onto the knife blade, managed to just cut into the firm flesh.  Juice ran onto the cutting board, somehow making the surface both slick and sticky.  The fruit slipped again with the blade stuck about an inch into the side.

By practically laying on the pineapple, utilizing an exaggerated sawing motion, and employing a multitude of standard and newly minted curse words, I was able to separate the top of the fruit from the body.  Feeling victorious, I stood the pineapple up and attempted to use the new-fangled device.  So simple – just press and twist the device into the pineapple and when you are finished, the fruit is sliced, cored and peeled.  I managed to twist the apparatus about an inch into the dripping yellow flesh.  I could not make further progress.  I gathered the fruit into my useless left arm and held the dripping fruit next to my body. Grunting and sweating, I somehow managed to twist another half-inch.  I was covered with juice, sweaty with effort and frustrated as hell.  My blood sugar was falling and my blood pressure was, undoubtedly, on the rise!

Finally, in an uncharacteristic fit of common sense, I decided juice and toast sounded like a much better breakfast choice.  I waited for my beloved to wake up and complete the job I couldn’t do.  Which he did, rather easily.

I threw the pineapple out yesterday.  It was perfectly ripe, beautifully sliced and cored, and very juicy. I just couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

I guess I’m just a sore loser.  In more ways than one…

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Filed under General Mumblings, humor, Uncategorized

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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Filed under General Mumblings, Uncategorized

I. Am. So. Screwed.

The American Academy of Neurology has released reports from two studies that women who suffer migraine with visual aura have an increased risk for experiencing a “cardiac event” such as heart attack or stroke.

Migraine Barbie has Snapped!

Migraine Barbie has Snapped! (Photo credit: Deborah Leigh (Migraine Chick))

“The first study showed that migraine with aura is a strong contributor to the development of major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. The Women’s Health Study involved 27,860 women, 1,435 of whom had migraine with aura. During the 15-year study, there were 1,030 cases of heart attack, stroke or death from a cardiovascular cause. The study examined the relative contribution of various vascular risk factors to these major cardiovascular events.”

“After high blood pressure, migraine with aura was the second strongest single contributor to risk of heart attacks and strokes,” said study author Tobias Kurth, MD, ScD, of INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Bordeaux and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Kurth is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. “It came ahead of diabetes, current smoking, obesity, and family history of early heart disease.”

Hmmm.  I have hypertension.  I have migraine with aura.  I could stand to lose a little (okay, okay – maybe more than a little) weight.  I. Am. So. Screwed.

Grim Reaper (advertisement)

Grim Reaper (advertisement) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

What is a girl (okay, okay, a woman pushing fifty sixty) supposed to do?  What does one wear for a cardiac event?  These are questions I am sure you want answered.

First, a girl can lower her risk by not smoking (check), lowering her blood pressure (check-ish), keeping her weight down (um, well, duly noted) and exercising (Ha! Fat freakin’… oh… I mean, duly noted).

As for what to wear for a cardiac event…this gal plans on wearing a red dress for a while, and when that Reaper asshat comes to get me, I hope to be wearing a little(r) black dress, out on the dance floor.

Stay tuned…

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Filed under humor

I’ll Take Post-Concussion Activities for 200, Alex

Since being diagnosed with post-concussive syndrome last week, I’ve entertained myself in various ways.  Here’s a sampling:

English: iPad 2 with Smart Cover running iMovie.

English: iPad 2 with Smart Cover running iMovie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  •  Played 635 games of solitaire on the work I-pad.  Sure, I know I should have been doing actual work on the darned thing, but I had to keep checking my vision and cognitive abilities, didn’t I?
The moon Rosalind of Uranus.

The moon Rosalind of Uranus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  •  Investigated steps involved to legally change my name to include a middle name (Delilah, Rosalind and Sophia are the top contenders – except that naming myself for a moon of Uranus only sets me up for endless jokes from my boys)

 Kindle App Updated to Version 2.1, New Fonts a...

  • Spent hours admiring the unread selections on my Kindle for PC app, Kindle for Android app, and Kindle for I pad app (Vision too blurry still to actually READ for any length of time but the pretty bookcovers kept me quite entertained. ).  If I live to be 100 I probably couldn’t read all the books I’ve downloaded.    That isn’t my Kindle account, but I’ve noticed a few I wouldn’t mind downloading…

  • Slept about twice as much as usual, which means I’ve probably slept about the amount that normal people sleep, and about one-eighth as much as my dog, Shelby sleeps.

Thinker

  • Pondered whether the career choices I made, and the ones I didn’t make, last week  were the right ones…
Pie chart showing causes of concussion in scho...

Pie chart showing causes of concussion in schoolchildren from Ontario (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Learned to make pie charts because it was easier than learning to make decent pie crust – one thing at which I truly suck.   (I also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to determine how “struck by person” and “assault” would be different.  Maybe it’s just me?)
Best Final Jeopardy Category Ever

Best Final Jeopardy Category Ever (Photo credit: AsGood)

  • Took the on-line audition test for prospective Jeopardy contestants.  Yes, I did.  I was curious to see how my addled brain would do…I was stumped on a couple of the questions (5o total, 15 seconds allotted for each) but I thought I did surprisingly well.  For someone who didn’t even recognize they had a concussion last week.  Even though I couldn’t remember if I had fed the dog or put on clean underwear (or any for that matter), I suddenly remembered the name of the host of Jeopardy from many years ago when my mother was the reigning Jeopardy queen – Art Fleming.  I doubt anything will come of the on-line audition/test, but imagine the blog fodder if I were selected!

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Filed under General Mumblings, humor