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Archive for January, 2011

Last January, I struggled with the pronunciation of 2010.  Twenty-Ten?  Two-Thousand-Ten?  Eventually, I was told that the correct pronunciation was Twenty Ten.  Okay. 

This year, I’m again confused.  Twenty Eleven?  Two Thousand and Eleven?  Most of the radio commercials here in Charleston have decided to go with Tweny-Leven, which I’m fairly certain is not the proper pronunciation, but it sure does roll off the tongue real nice.

It is no longer dark when I leave work, which makes me insanely happy.  Sometimes I worry at my emotional stability by how happy certain things make me.  Like the sun setting a minute later every day.  I got so excited about the sun staying up longer, that I figured I needed to know more about when this whole daily light saving thing was going to happen. 

I found this sweet little website, and I learned a few things I’d like to share.     First, and most importantly, mark your calendars for March 13, 2011, because that is when summer officially begins as far as I’m concerned.  Then, I want you all to know that it is Daylight Saving Time, and not Daylight SavingS Time.  Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle).  It modifies time and tells us more about it’s nature, namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight.  The site goes on to say that the term Daylight Shifting Time or Daylight Time Shifting would be more accurate, but neither is politically desirable.  (I find this interesting.  What makes it undesirable?  People don’t want the government shifting around their daylight?  Hmm.)  The US of A begins daylight saving time two weeks before Europe in the spring, and ends it a week later in the fall, giving us A-mare-ic-uns three more weeks of extra daylight shifting.  The website has a lot of other interesting facts, none of which I find interesting enough to discuss right now, other than to say that the idea behind DST is attributed to Ole Benjamin Franklin. 

I went to New York last weekend for an engagement party for Libby and Bryan.  The party was Mad Men themed, and I have to say I believe it was a complete success.  I succeeded in teasing my hair up about half a foot on my head.  I hadn’t been to New York in TWO YEARS.  It was a quick trip, and the weather was BRRR, but it was really fun.  There was tons of snow.  And wine.  Haha. 

The weather tomorrow is suppose to be sunny, high 63, and the weather on Sunday is suppose to be Sunny, high 67.  I’m so happy it is friday, and I’m so happy about the impending sunshine and the fact that it is only going to get warmer from here on out.  I anxiously await the day where my feet and shoulders are bare, the humidity causes my sunglasses to fog up when I go outside, and the inside of my car is consistently over 110 degrees.  I’m dreaming of beer with condensation, leather seats that burn the back of your thighs, and the smell of sunscreen.  Happy Sigh.

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So Icy

Everyone in the Southeast had a snow day today.  Everyone but a large portion of the city of Charleston.  Despite the fact that my stairs were coated with sleet, all of the bridges were closed by 10 am, and ice was heavy on the trees outside my office window, I did not get a snow day.  When Susan Elizabeth was in town on New Year’s Day and we drove across the Ravenel Bridge, she told me to make sure I appreciate every day I drive over bridges and across the marsh and the sky.  Last week, on my way to work early, the sky behind me was lit with the rising sun and the sky in front of me way navy blue with rolling rain clouds.  Above me was seven hued rainbow that arched from horizon to horizon.  As I drove, the rain clouds rolled and eventually it was raining on my car while the sun was shining.  I love it when the devil is beating his wife.

On rainbow days like that, it is very easy to appreciate the sky and the weather.  Today, less so.  I’ve decided the way I’m going to make it up to myself for missing a snow day is to make a promise that when it gets warm, I will leave work early whenever possible, and take days off when available, and spend all my time at the beach or on a boat.

Briscoe and I made soup yesterday.  I love the way celery and onions smell at the beginning of soup making.  And garlic.  And tomatoes.  Mmmm.  I let Briscoe sleep in the bed with me last night because it was so cold, and she’s a great little heater.  When I woke up this morning, my feet were cold, and my little fuzzy heater was nowhere to be found.  I found her in the middle of the king size guest bedroom, sound asleep.  She shattered any delusions I had that she slept in the bed with me because she liked being near me.  Obviously I understand she has a lot more room to stretch out in the guest room, but please.  I can’t help being a little hurt.  She can sleep in the kitchen tonight.  On the floor.  You know, on a pillow with a blanket.  Like a dog.

Natalie and Travers gave me a pair of Hunter boot for Christmas.  I wore them for the first time today, and they made a splashing debut.  I love them, they make me happy.  Travers sent me a text last night around midnight of the snow that was already accumulating in Augusta.  Briscoe wanted to be with Bobby playing in the snow.  I’m going to take her to the beach to play in the pluff mud sometime soon and make it up to her.  She loves mud.

I had my follow up appointment for my appendectomy today.  It lasted about three minutes, and I was told I don’t have any activity restrictions, so I don’t have an excuse for not working out.  Sigh.  No more being lazy.  Haha.

 

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(I should have written this a week ago in half as many words.  I apologize.)

The Saturday before Christmas, it poured down rain and really ruined my Christmas shopping plans.  That night, I went out with some friends, enjoyed some choice libations, and ate some good food.  I did not feel awesome on Sunday, which was unfortunate because I had put off all my Christmas shopping until that day.  I should have sucked it up and gotten off the couch and shopped anyway, but I didn’t feel good, more so than a typical Sunday hangover.  I canceled my brunch plans, and continued to wallow in my uncomfortableness while ordering Christmas presents on amazon.

At one point, Briscoe climbed into my lap and wanted to lie across my stomach on the couch.  It hurt.  A sharp pain, that caught me off guard with its severity.  I figured I could not be that sick, considering I still wanted to eat my Basil leftovers from the night before and the bojangles I had for breakfast had still tasted awesome.  That night, I had a hard time falling asleep because of a sharp pain in my stomach.  It was directly below my belly button, and felt like a hot knot was being tightened and loosened.  I decided that the food I’d eaten and the hangover had left me with some indigestion.

Monday morning, I woke up, went to work, drank coffee, ate breakfast, and went about my day.  I didn’t feel awesome, but I figured I was paying for my indulgent weekend.  At lunch, I wasn’t super hungry, so I ate a pack of toast chee and drank a diet coke (a meal that kept me alive in law school).  About 2 pm, a wave of nausea washed over me, and took me by surprise.  I didn’t know what was wrong with me, but I knew I had to go home.  I felt silly telling my supervisor the week of Christmas that I had to have the afternoon off because my stomach hurt.  It seemed too convenient.  But I must have been green by that point because she offered to drive me home and made me call her when I got there.

Once home, I wanted very much to barf.  This never happened.  I took some Dramamine and tried to nap, but the pain woke me up, which is not the way Dramamine is supposed to work.  I kept taking my temperature, but I didn’t have a fever.  I never got sick to my stomach or threw up.  I just felt like my stomach was on fire, and I had waves of uncomfortableness that would radiate through my entire system, sometimes feeling like they were coming up my throat.  I’ve never had heartburn or any problem like that, so I thought maybe this is what people complain about all the time and why prilosec is so successful.

At one point, I finally got out of bed to get some water and check on Briscoe.  The exponential increase in pain since I got into the bed was starting to freak me out.  There was something about this pain that was unfamiliar, a pain that did not have a memory of another time.  There was also a bizarre metallic taste in my mouth that I couldn’t seem to shake.  I got back in the bed, and had a conversation with Libby about my pain.  She was with Bryan, who had his appendix out in college, and after five minutes chatting with them, I knew I was in trouble and was going to have to have my appendix taken out.  At the realization that I was going to have to go to the hospital, I burst into tears.  Then I told myself I had to get it together, and got myself composed.

I am a hypochondriac.  I always have been.  I have been convinced no less than ten times in my life that I had appendicitis.  I have always been wrong.  Growing up it is drilled into your head that if you have a pain that starts in your stomach and moves to your right side, that you should seek medical attention.  I did NOT want to seek medical attention.  I wanted to go to sleep and wake up the next day and feel better.  I also knew that tons of people have had their appendix out and it isn’t that big of a deal.  I’d never had surgery before, and I didn’t want to go to the hospital.

But you know what?  No one asked me.  I called my mom, and she asked me if I could stand up straight.  Hmm, no, actually I could not stand up straight.  Or, I almost could, but it hurt like a bitch to try and I didn’t want to stand up straight.  I wanted to double it and not move at all.  My mom told me I needed to call Ashley, my sweet friend who is a pediatric hemotology/oncology fellow at MUSC.  I called Ashley, and told her I thought I had appendicitis.  Dr. Ashley told me I needed to go to the ER.  Ugh.

Jennifer and Peter came over immediately.  While waiting for them to get there, I took a shower, and put on my new lululemon yoga pants because they are the most comfortable things in the world.  I’d always been told you should make sure you take a shower every day because you never know when you might end up in the emergency room or what might happened to you after you get there.  Haha.

Peter took Briscoe home with him to have a spend the night party with Fin and Kate, and Jennifer took me to the ER around 9 pm.  The drive to the ER was TORTURE.  It was amazing how fast my pain was increasing and how painful even the smallest jolt became.  I felt a little stupid walking into the emergency room and saying, “I think I have appendicitis.”  What am I, WebMD?  As I sat in the almost desolate emergency room, I thought I would be in pain for the rest of my life.  Up until that point the pain had been troublesome, but bearable.  Bearable was becoming a distant memory.

Once in the exam room, a very young maybe doctor strolled past the door, and upon seeing two girls, did a little back track and stuck his head in.  He seemed happy to see us, and proceeded to try to figure out what was troubling me.  He asked me lots of personal questions, and mashed all over my tummy, and bent my knees around and popped my heels with his palm.  He must have been a resident because then he ordered me some pain medication and a CT.  As soon as I received the drugs through the IV, I instantly felt much warmer and more pleasant, and everything around me became more agreeable.  In fact, things became rather hilarious.  Jennifer and my young doctor friend were cracking jokes and although the pain medication made everything extremely funny, laughing was still excruciatingly painful, and I was almost in tears before I could get them to stop making me laugh.

When I remarked to the nurse that I could feel the medication, she said I must not take much pain medication because she’d only given me half a milligram.  I was dying of thirst by this point because my mom had told me not to drink anything in case I had to have surgery, which was good because I had to drink four cups of some sort of contrast stuff for the CT.  It had crushed ice in it and tasted sort of like the way water tastes right after you brush your teeth with baking soda toothpaste, and anyway, I didn’t mind because I was sort of floating in space at this point.  Jennifer fell asleep in the chair.  I kept wanting them to bring her a bed in too, but the room was really small.

Luckily, I was reading The Hunger Games, which, if you haven’t read them, you should probably not start reading them until you have a good three or four days to read all three of them, or else the rest of your life might fall apart from neglect.  I sat in the semi dark, hopped up on pain medication, and happily read about Katniss while I sipped on my toothpaste flavored ice water.  When I was wheeled back to have my CT, I was starting to think being in the hospital wasn’t that bad, even if my garbage wheel chair had a wheel that was jacked like a broken grocery cart.  The CT girl said she had a hard time finding it, because all the wheel chairs had mysteriously disappeared.

The CT took about three seconds, and was pretty cool.  I’ve had an MRI of my neck before, and let’s just go ahead and be clear about the fact that CT scans are infinitely more pleasant than MRIs, even if it did freak me out a little bit.  For some reason, the idea of having a CT of your entire abdomen is a little scary.  Like, yeah, I’m pretty sure I have appendicitis, but what if it isn’t appendicitis?  What if, in addition to appendicitis, they find some crazy growth or imperfection in my abdomen that could kill me at any moment and I just didn’t know about it?  What if it is something I have to live with and can’t be fixed?  Thankfully, all of these thoughts were rather fleeting, because it is my mom’s job to worry about such things, and I was more concerned with making sure I got my cell phone charger before the damn thing died.

Not long after the CT, my young doctor friend came back in, patted me on the foot, and told me that the radiologist said I do have appendicitis and that the surgeon would be down to talk to me soon.  He acted like the fact it was appendicitis was excellent news.  I asked if I definitely had to have surgery.  He said, yes, there was no question I would have to have surgery.  After my crazy thoughts of what else the CT could reveal and all the other possibilities, I did experience a great sense of relief at the news I would definitely have to have surgery.  I called my mom, and she said she was on the way, but wanted to make sure I told the doctor about some rare health problem a distant cousin had that could possibly interfere with my being put under anesthesia.  Great.  I discussed with Jennifer whether I wanted my mom to get my laptop from my apartment.  She remarked that worrying about a laptop would not have been top on her list of concerns if she had just found out she would have to have surgery.  We decided I did not need my laptop.

The surgeon came in, introduced himself, and his pager went off and he had to leave the room.  Jennifer and I left the door open to see what was going on, and we were able to learn that a gunshot wound to the stomach had just arrived, which we eventually learned bumped me back in the line for surgery.  When I was told that my surgery might have to wait until 7 am (this was around midnight), I asked if there was a chance my appendix would rupture between now and then.  The answer was pretty much, um, maybe?  Hopefully not.  Ha.

Before I was taken upstairs to a real hospital room, I was given more pain medication, “for the road”.  The orderly who took me from the basement to the top floor of the hospital told me all about how he’d just had his appendix out, and that it was no big deal and he didn’t even take any of the Percocet they gave him, and he was walking around a few hours later.  He said the worst part about the experience was that they blow your abdomen up with some sort of gas for the procedure, so they have lots of room to move around in there, and then the gas disperses throughout your body and has a tendency to settle in your shoulders, or under your rib cage, or somewhere else where it becomes uncomfortable.  He said it was a weird feeling and that I just needed to move around a lot after the surgery so the gas would work itself out of my system.  This was the first I had heard about my stomach being blown up with gas, and I was little disturbed by this new piece of information.

My mom finally got to the hospital, and after getting lost in the catacombs of the ginormous complex for about half an hour, made it to my room.  She brought me some shampoo, because they wanted me to take a shower with some sort of sterile soap, and I figured I might as well wash my hair while I was at it, since I wasn’t going to surgery for a while.  Jennifer was finally allowed to go home and go to sleep.

As soon as I got out of the shower and figured out how to put on the extremely complicated gown, someone stuck their head in my room and wanted to know if I was ready.  It was about 3 am, and my hair was soaking wet, and I was a little confused.  Apparently, gunshot victim didn’t take too long, and they were ready for me.  Mama dried my hair for a minute (I couldn’t because the IVs in my arm were rather restrictive), and followed me down to the OR.  My cute young ER doctor friend was waiting for me at the OR and announced happily that he KNEW I would be down here later and that he was glad to see me.  He and some other young doctor friends appeared to be playing on facebook, which made me laugh.  The gunshot victim was wheeled out of the OR as I was waiting for the surgeon.

I was given some drugs, and then the surgeon came out and talked to me, and asked me if I had any questions.  I was starting to feel a little woozy, and the only intelligent question I had was, “Um, are you any good?”  Real smooth, insult the man who is about to save your life.  He looked at me as though my remark had taken him off guard and said, “Well, I like to think so!”  This is the last thing I remember before surgery.

The next thing I remember is someone telling me that it is not time to wake up and for me to go back to sleep.  Then I remember waking up back in the recovery room with my throat on absolute fire and a mask on my face that itched like crazy.  The next half hour were the most miserable.  They kept asking me to rate the pain.  What pain?  My throat?  The itchiness of my face?  Once I was back in my room, they gave me some extremely strong pain medication that made the next two hours quite pleasant, even if my nose did continue to itch. They told me how they had stitched me up with dissolving sutures and glued my incisions shut, which I found interesting.

Around 9 am they brought me a breakfast of liquids – broth, jello, juice.  Then around noon I got to order room service from a pretty exciting menu.  They even let me order a chocolate chip cookie and a sugar cookie.  Someone came in my room every ten to fifteen minutes to check on something, and I have to say I have no idea how anyone in the hospital could ever get any rest.  Right before they discharged me, my sweet Doctor Ashley stopped by to check on me and brought me a big plush flower.  I was also instructed that I didn’t have any dietary restrictions and could eat and drink whatever I wanted over Christmas.  Which was good because Travers and Natalie were concerned about how long it would be before I could drink beer, and Libby was concerned about me missing out on Christmas Ham.  Then the nurse gave me two Percocet “for the road.”  I only took one because I was concerned that if I took both of them I wouldn’t make it very far off down the road.

When Mama and I left the hospital, I was all turned around, and took us down the wrong street.  Kate hadn’t slept in two days, and was a little delirious herself.  While turning down a street, a woman on the corner started screaming at us.  Then we realized we had turned down the wrong way on a one way street.  Opps.  Luckily, we were able to pull into a driveway before having a head on collision.  Kate tried to say she was going to go to Harris Teeter after she got me in bed, but I told her she was crazy and that after we both took a long nap we could order Mellow Mushroom.

Since then, I have recovered nicely.  I only had to take the pain meds for a couple of days, and I was at Christmas party by Thursday night.  I’ve had a hard time getting all the glue off my stomach, but at this point most of it is gone.  I can’t pick up more than ten pounds at a time until February, but other than that, I feel good.  The only real disappointment was that the silver bullet didn’t get to go home for Christmas, so she still hasn’t hit 200,000 miles.  Maybe this week?

My new year resolution is to write more, so I promise I will be updating the blog more often.  I’m excited.  I hope you are too!

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