Saturday, September 29, 2007

Swedish Sperm Donors, Unite!!!


My better half informed me tonight that the US is in short supply of sperm donors from Scandinavian countries. I guess there is a high demand for blonde haired, blue eyed Nordic looking babies, everyone wants that lutefisk look I guess.

BUT, according to ( ), the FDA banned any sperm donations from countries that have had Mad Cow Disease infections.


Super G was sure to start into a long diatribe about how the government needs to not regulate everything in our lives, we don't needs rules and regulations placed on our most sacred of bodily fluids.....

But I was thinking of calling my dad (Hightower) and his brothers (Evinrude and Leon) with the great news! With this Swedish Sperm Embargo going on, they've got a veritable gold mine in their pants!

Do you hear me guys? The tools of capitalism no longer need to be oiled with your blood! Throw off the shackles of the 9-5 world, this is your retirement handed to you in a sterile specimen cup!

Hightower works best with "Honey-Do" this will get you started.

1) If the boys have been snipped, reconnect 'em.

2) Get rid of the Tighty-Whities. You must wear boxers, or go Commando, to protect your machinery.

3) Renew your Playboy subscription, and chuck the reading glasses, you won't need to read the articles.

4) The bathroom is now your office, get the cushy seat with the optional recliner function.

5) Get a wrist brace. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can ruin your retirement dreams.

If you feel uncomfortable with this, try to remember: Everybody does it; you can't grow hair on your you really think it will grow on your palms?; even if it is a sin, none of us are Catholic, so you're off the hook.

For once, government intrusion into the lives of private citizens has proven to be a Godsend.

Should I see you around the holidays, you can thank me for your retirement dreams then, but don't be offended if I don't shake your hand.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

To my Uncle Evinrude: What the Hell were you thinking?

I have an uncle, Evinrude. Former Marine, quiet guy, very dry wit, the kind of guy that you respect. The kind of guy that you listen to, and trust. He is the reason I re-started this blog. Every time I'd send him an e-mail detailing the antics of the children, or my life, he would tell me that I should write a book. I don't like deadlines, and I don't think I'm that good, so a blog is the next best thing.

Evinrude does not have Terminal Forward Syndrome, like some of my family members. When he forwards things to me, it is usually a genuinely funny joke, or some essay that fits into our familial evil Rethuglican political agenda. Yesterday I get an email from him regarding Vicks brand Vapo-Rub. The contents are as follows:

WOW! I was raised, and raised my kids with Vicks. How come I
never knew this? I can't wait for my next cough. Amazing! READ IT
ALL. It works 100 percent of the time, although the scientists at the
Canada Research council (who discovered it) aren't sure why. To stop
nighttime coughing in a child (or an adult, as we found out personally),
put Vicks Vapor Rub generously on the bottom of the feet at bedtime
and then cover with socks.
Even persistent, heavy, deep coughing will stop in about five minutes
and stay stopped for many, many hours of relief. This works 100
percent of the time and is more effective in children than even very
strong prescription cough medicines. In addition it is extremely
soothing and comforting and they will sleep soundly. I heard the head
of the Canada Research Council describe these findings on the part of
their scientists when they were investigating the effectiveness and usage
of prescription cough medicines in children as compared to alternative
therapies like acupressure. I just happened to tune in to a.m. Radio and
picked up this guy talking about why cough medicines in kids often do
more harm than good due to the chemical makeup of these strong drugs, so
I listened. It was a surprising finding and found to be more effective
than prescribed medicines for children at bedtime and in addition to have
a soothing and calming effect on sick children who then went on to sleep
soundly. My wife tried it on herself when she had a very deep constant
and persistent cough a few weeks ago and it worked 100 percent! She said
it felt like a warm blanket had enveloped her. The coughing stopped in a
few minutes, and believe me, this was a deep (incredibly annoying!),
every few seconds, uncontrollable cough, and she slept cough-free for
hours every night she used it. If you have grandchildren, pass it on.
If you end up sick, try it yourself and you will be absolutely amazed
by the effect.
Foolishly, I thought this might actually be a good idea. I mean, after all, Uncle Evinrude forwarded it to me and other family members, it might have some validity to it.......

So I went searching for Vapo-Rub after the bath last night. Alas, we had none in the house. I remember throwing some out quite a while ago, but could not remember why. We did have some "baby friendly" vapo-creme type stuff that was pretty mild. It has been in the closet since Bug was a baby. I figure it has either become inert or omnipotent, being so far gone from the expiration date.

Buddy was already asleep, the miracle of complete exhaustion coupled with the "wait here in your bed, under the warm covers and I will be right back" bedtime ruse. Two nights in a row I didn't have to deal with him following me to bed at 11pm.

So I read
Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus, the entire book, to her Miss Bugabooness. She started to cough and I pounced with my new bio-weapon!

"Let me rub some lotion on your feet, it will make your cough go away"

She stared at me with suspicion. "My feet aren't coughing"

"No, but if you put this lotion on your feet, it is supposed to make you feel better and keep you from coughing"

"But my feet aren't coughing Mommy."

Now I'm getting frustrated. " Feet can't cough. But I read somewhere that if you put this special lotion on your feet, it will help your coughing so you can sleep through the night. You put put socks on after you put on the lotion and then it works all night long"

She looked at me again. "You shouldn't believe everything that you read." And she pulled her feet up under her blanket, daring me to attempt my voodoo medicine.

Then I really thought about it. How many years of my life did my mother smear that glop all over my chest, neck and under my nose? How many times did it actually work? Yeah, I never liked having my chest smeared with flaming ice cubes then, why would I consider smearing my daughter's feet with it now?

And then I thought some more about it. Why would I believe everything I read, just because Uncle Evinrude sent it to me? What if he owns stock in Vicks, and is trying to make a killing on something? What if he finally started some wacked out menthol worshiping cult and decided to see how many of us would torture our kids, just because HE suggested it to us? Everyone is so worried about cults that make you drink the Kool-Aid, and here he is commanding us to Slather the Feet. Does he smear his feet with Vapo-Rub? Do I want to know about it if he did?

Then I re-read the e-mail. The "author" has not tried it himself.....can I trust his wife to be honest? And this was "discovered" by some Canadian doctors. CANADIANS?!??!?! They have socialized medicine. This is totally a ruse that they put out there when there are no more antibiotics and other medicines until the start of the new year.

So, I did not smear my children with any type of vapor acting lotion. And their coughs have improved nonetheless. The left wing pinko commie socialized Canadian medicine attempt to overtake American youth has been thwarted on my watch, you can thank me now. And if it wasn't a nefarious Canadian plot, then I need not worry much about falling under the Cult of Evinrude's foot fetish spell, my children's feet are safe and encrusted with dirt, dog hair and toe they should be.

Just goes to show, don't believe everything you read, even if your cool Uncle Evinrude sends it to you.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Homework, and why it should be banned

Once, a long, long time ago, in a land far, far away, I went to college. I wanted to be a teacher, I studied hard and got good grades. I went to my field experience and fell asleep just like the students. I was a total True Believer, I knew that I would be a wonderful teacher.

Then I moved to Ohio.

And had children.

And enrolled one in elementary school. I realized that I had neither the creativity, nor the patience, to teach children. And when the homework came, I KNEW that I would have been the suckiest teacher that ever sucked.

Bug and I don't always get along. I love her, and she loves me, but if I dare try to teach her anything, I might as well be grinding my head into a cheese grater.

Today was a bad kidney day. I tried to lay down and rest as best I could, but as soon as I started to drift off, in that strange twilight of sleep that has your body feeling heavy and your mind slightly disoriented, Buddy would come wake me up. I tried to get him to nap with me, but he kept waking me up as I started to drift into blissful sleep. Then he said he wanted to play with his trains, fine, whatever, just let mommy rest!!!!!

nd so it came to be that Buddy was walking into my room every 3.5 minutes to wake me up. I got no rest.

I tried to work off and on, but it was just impossible. When SuperG got home, he put Buddy to bed (in his own bed.... I bet he still feels all cool and smug about it...(.hey pal, we all perform miracles from time to time....) He gave Bug her bath. Then I went to take my work back and ran to the store to buy snacks, as they both had snack duty at their schools coming up. I was gone for maybe 40 minutes. He was finishing up reading "The Lorax" to her when I got home.

They were done with her homework. DONE!!!! HOW did they get done so quickly? SHE WORKED WITH HIM!!! The little turkey! ARGH.

Then when get got done reading, he had a discussion about the book with her in Spanish.


Tuesday, 5pm

So I started this post in the middle of the night, when the Evil Clown could be heard muttering under my bed.

I hate insomnia.

Bug just got off of the bus. She had to "go to the wall" twice today, this is new terminology to me, but I'm assuming it was so she could flip her card to yellow and then to blue, which is not good. However, I started to giggle, because all I could see after I heard "go to the wall" was David Letterman in a velcro suit, sticking to a fuzzy wall. The best stunt ever. Ever.....

The best stunt ever

oh yeah, I still haven't gotten the whole story on why she went to the wall, but it was something about saying mean things to her classmates.

I'm sure that when she was born, they didn't do a good job of getting all the "products of conception" out of my uterus. Her owner's manual has never been found, and I really need it.

off to schedule my annual exam....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pee Circles Crossed a line......

Last year, around this time, I announced that I wanted a Basset Hound puppy, known in basset lover circles as a "buppy"

We got involved with a rescue organization and came home with Henry, aka Pee Circles. He was about 2 1/2 years old, very wild and crazy, very affectionate and totally what I wanted, 100 % basset, but didn't have the droopy face, drool and a bit on the small side. Chalk it up to the crappy breeding and the crappy puppy mill he came from (according to his microchip....he was a stray)

He was a willful SOB, he ate through every damned electrical cord he could get. He ate the seatbelts out of the back of Super G's SUV. He decapitated so many Barbie dolls that we would salvage the ones that merely lost limbs and got them wheelchairs, prosthetic arms, legs, hands... you name it. Our Boots the Monkey doll from the Dora set became a "helper monkey" and thus my children have a totally new understanding and compassion for the disabled peoples of the world.

He was stubborn, difficult to housebreak and could be grumpy. He snapped at Buddy on more than one occasion. He ruined our carpets, completely.

But he was so loving to me, he loved to get his ears cleaned, and would lay there groaning and moaning with pleasure whenever I cleaned his big floppy ears. When I would have a bad kidney day, he would lay next to me as long as I could lay down, and groan. He had a chair in the office next to mine. He would sleep there while I worked. He would allow Super G to sit there, but everyone else knew, that chair belonged to Henry.

He started to slowly get aggressive with me and the kids.

Tuesday night, he came after my son, completely unprovoked. I threw myself over Buddy, and PeeCircles got me by the hair and pulled out a big chunk. He was snarling and snapping, and angry. It was scary. My Australian Shepherd interceded, I don't know how it would have ended otherwise.

The next day, on girl from the rescue came and took him away. He is in Boot Camp, being kenneled right now. Once she gets some other dogs into foster care, she'll bring him to her house, hopefully she can do some good for him. Maybe our house is too hectic for him. Maybe he needs to be the only dog in a house without kids.
I don't know.

All I know is that I feel horrible that I failed him. And I'm angry at him for behaving like such an asshole.

We are all getting sick here, Bug stayed home from school. Buddy just came in from the backyard, without pants. I was about to ask him why he didn't have pants on, but then Brutus, the foster basset, came prancing in from outside, carrying his Buddy-made prize in his slobbery mouth. He dropped it on the floor, and I began to wretch and ran for a paper towel. Then Buddy starts to yell "Hey! that is my poop! you leave my poop alone!"

As I round the corner to the office, Buddy yells "Mommy! Brutus ate my poop!"

Yup, he sure did, licked the floor too.

So now I'm comforting a boy who is upset that the dog ate the poop he laid out in the yard. I would point out that none of this would have happened if he just used the TOILET, but it's all water under the bridge now......

Welcome to HERE, check your sanity at the door.....before the dog eats it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

We got flooring!!!!!

I'm so very happy!!!

Lumber Liquidators called us, our bamboo floors and laminate arrived on Friday!!!! Woo hoo!!!

So we found sucker to take the kids for a while and headed over there to pick everything up.

When I got the Hulking Minivan of Death, Super G resisted it greatly. Something about Bill Engvall, who we all know is the arbiter of manly greatness, saying that the non-tinted driver side window was a "goober viewing hole". That was his best argument. My best argument was that is was inexpensive, already pre-trashed (so we wouldn't have to worry when the kids would crap it up) and, oh yeah, it was cheap.

So today the old girl has 192,000 miles on her, and when he goes on business trips, which car does he prefer to drive if he's not flying? Yeah, that's right, the one with the goober-viewing-hole.

So we loaded her down so much, we had to removed the load leveler fuse, it just couldn't keep up. All the way home I felt as though I were staring death in the rear end. If I were driving a filled-over-capacity-back-end draggin' minivan, I wouldn't go 75mph and tail gate. It felt as though we were floating, especially when we changed lanes, or hit a bump or something. We traveled the length of 670, and when it was done, I was sobbing, and hyperventilating and ready to jump jump out the window.

He laughed. At one point he commented that it felt like we were floating, and then agreed with me that the front wheels may not be making complete contact with the ground. Then he couldn't figure out why I was nervous.

But we lived. We got home and I changed my pants, then we got to work unloading.

So now we have boxes of wood floors in the house. I'm excited and nervous about how this will go down. All I know is that the carpet and all its smells is leaving. Can't wait to cut it out. and then put up a spy camera to see if anyone comes to take the carpet on trash day!

Friday, September 14, 2007

From Arachnophobia to Arachnodog

The long day gets even longer.......

falling asleep at well after 2am, then lying half-awake from 6am to 7am, I just wanted to go back to bed. But Bug had to get ready for school, do some classwork that she couldn't complete in class, eat breakfast and watch an episode of "Drake and Josh".

Oh yeah, and tell me how I'm the meanest mom in the world and recounting all of my failings thus far in the day. I am SO loved.

In the early afternoon, I was resting and Buddy was in the kitchen watching Spongebob. He starts whining about a big 'fiiiiiieeeeerrrrr" so I ran in looking for fire. Seeing only sunlight, I told him that the sun was shining on him, that is why he was hot.

Then he pointed to IT.

IT was the biggest, hairiest, wolf spider to EVER get into our house. It is cold in the mornings now, so they start coming in. The good for nothing cats won't kill them because they bite and must not taste good. The dogs won't kill them because the dogs are lazy and domesticated.

Buddy yells to me "kill it!"

Now I'm stuck in a conundrum. My baby is begging me to kill this scary thing, but I'm terrified of the scary thing too. My eyes well up with tears, as I pick up a shoe and approached it.

It had big pointy fang things. I backed away with a scream.

"Kill it mommy, you have to save me, kill it!"


I hit it spot on with my shoe and leave it hanging on the wall. slowly its guts pull away and it falls to the floor.

But I am now hiding behind my son, shaking and crying after screaming like a little girl.

"I'm not scared of spiders mommy."

Now, couldn't this announcement have been made BEFORE I had to go near the biggest damn spider in Central Ohio?

"Why didn't YOU kill it then!" I've been betrayed by my baby.

He looks up at me and says so innocently "I'm too little."

Argh! foiled by cute!

But the story does not end there, because, after all I live HERE.

Anyway, I left it on the way was I going near it again. Brutus walks in and sniffs it, but it sticks to the drool on his mouth. And, of course, being the long dust bunny that he is, he's always under my feet. So I start running away from him, crying, and he's bounding after me, dead spider hanging off of his face. I wound up on the kitchen counter, shooing him away.

If this does not seem amusing to you, think of this: Basset Hounds are short dogs, until they stand on their hind legs, then they are very tall. I was standing on my counter, Brutus dangling the dead spider every closer to my feet as I'm screaming and kicking at him. If you've never seen me, think of someone with Rosie O'Donnell's build standing on a counter crying and kicking a slobbery dog with a spider hanging off his snout.

Then Buddy saves my life by dropping a cracker on the floor. Arachnodog senses food for the taking and runs away, dropping the spider corpse back under the table, almost exactly where it fell to the ground after I killed it.

But the story of suburban terror and familial betrayal does not end there. I stagger to my office, and send a frantic e-mail to my husband. This is the reply he sends to me.

OK, I'm going to hell, but I need to 'fess up. I saw that thing this morning, but it scampered under the computer desk before I could kill it. I tried to rattle cables and the other crap down there, but the spider was so very not leaving his warm little hidey-hole.

I thought about telling you, but I decided it would be better not to. I figured if the spider showed his head again, I'd get a phone call ... 8^)
He knows that I listen to enough true crime shows while I work that I know how to kill him, make it look like a natural death, AND get away with it.

You DO NOT leave GigantoSpider both in the home AND alive, knowing that a serious arachnophobe is the only one there to protect the baby. It could have bitten me, I would have swelled up and died, then it would have eaten the boy, the dogs and all our food before moving on to the neighbors. (But he would have spared the cats, no one messes with our cats). Did he not learn ANYTHING from Bill Cosby and the Chicken Heart? Does he just not UNDERSTAND how close the Far East Suburbs came to extinction today?

I have to now go hermetically seal myself in a gas permeable body bag, smear Jello all over the floor and set fire to the couch. There is no way I can sleep tonight knowing that there may be more 8 legged freaks of nature out there, thirsty for blood.


If you do not know about Bill Cosby and the Chicken Heart, a) you've lived under a rock for all of your sad life, and b) go buy his comedy album "Wonderfulness". You will not be disappointed.

A Conspiracy of Pauls

So, I was thinking about this today, and have come to the conclusion that what is happening to my body is not so much a sad turn of events, or perhaps even some would say a tragedy in the making, but rather, a vast medical wing conspiracy.

It came to me this morning in the glorious cleansing ritual that the commoners refer to as a "shower". It is a Conspiracy of Pauls.

Exhibit A: My urologist is Dr. Paul K. He has been to Omaha, he owns a hunk of Warren Buffet's empire, please go to Dairy Queen today and support him.

Exhibit B: My General Practitioner is Dr. Paul G. He has never been to Omaha. He is Italian (I think) and there are lots of good Italian restaurants in Omaha. Watch the Sopranos tonight, think of Dr. G.

Exhibit 3: My favorite actor is Paul Sorvino. He is Italian, he sings Opera, probably likes ice cream, and I don't care if he has been to Omaha or not. Go watch "Goodfellas" tomorrow.

Can you see it?!?!?! It is all here in dark green and dots! Paul K. discovers the pain, Paul G. writes me prescriptions to treat the pain, and Paul S. plays the legitimate businessman who supplies the pharmacy with the drugs that "fell off a truck" to fill my prescription!


It is now that I will advise you of the fact that I inherited the Blanche DuBois gene from my mother's side of the family. Fortunately it is tempered with the Hakuna Matata* gene from my father's side of the family, so the majority of my hysterical rantings and dramatic license are literary.

Dr. K has already talked to a local laparoscopic surgeon at the Kidney Stone Center at Riverside hospital here in Columbus. He has agreed to take my case, and my information is being sent to him, I see him Tuesday.

We leave and take Buddy to school. We are late, and he managed to stop for one picture,

and then I got one more.

He pretty much left me in the dust.

We picked Buddy up at noon, came home. I made him his "first day of school" lunch, PB&J cut in triangles and arranged like NASCAR flags around the bottom of plate, red grapes in the middle and quartered strawberries across the top of the plate. I served this with a glass of "yellow juice" which is, ironically, Orange Juice.

He looks at the plate, and the side of yogurt served with it. "oh Nice!" He thanks me and proceeds to eat a package of Zesta Saltine crackers.

Buddy, don't you want to eat the lunch I made for you?

By now I'm bent over the counter, holding it for support, I literally cannot stand because of the pain.

"nope, it's too pretty"

Never again will I serve aesthetically pleasing food.

I convince him to come upstairs and play with his trains so I can lay down. After about 90 minutes, he is in the bed with me, and we are watching a very entertaining episode of Spongebob Squarepants, when I finally feel the meds winning out over the pain.

We go see Dr. G. I tell him of my Paul Conspiracy Theory. He looks suspiciously at me, and now I know I'm being watched.

He prescribes a Duragesic Patch for me. I put it on when we got home. I began to feel a gradual numbing of the pain a few hours later. It flared up again, but I was able to beat it back with Percocet and rest.

Narcotics do not make me sleepy. I don't get a "high" from them, so I don't understand why people abuse them. I guess if you aren't in pain, you get all euphoric with them, but not me. The Duragesic patch so far is great, except keeping it on. I'll have to find a better place on Sunday when I put the new one on.

Then I tried to go to bed. Normally, this is an exercise in futility. But I felt myself drifting off to a peaceful sleep....and I freaked out. Oh No! I feel floaty and light, I must be having a fentanyl overdose....ack! must consult internet immediately!

Anyway, I got about two hours of sleep in, when I was awakened by a smell. I got dressed and followed my nose to the source.

The bassets looked guilty in their crates. I was sure one of them had an accident.

I let them go potty and investigated the crates. It seems that Mr. Brutus had some really bad gas. So bad that when they came back inside, he immediately ran to bunk with Henry. It must suck to have one of the strongest senses of smell in the animal kingdom.

So I'll leave you with this. Hounds are the most burying type of dog I've ever seen. Give them a rawhide bone, they have to go bury let it ferment or age or something, and then go dig it up a few hours or day later and enjoy it. This must be a useless "throwback" instinct, as they tend "bury" their bones in blankets, clothes baskets, couch cushions, etc.

Monday, Super G cleaned the litter boxes for me.

He found very little cat poo, (all dogs love catbox crunchies) but he did find a rawhide bone.

It is so very weird to live HERE.


* Hakuna Matata is a phrase from the Disney Movie, "The Lion King" which translates to "no worries"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

When the time comes to part ways.....

And so, it would seem, the lower pole of my left kidney has felt the need to mutiny, by attempting to secede from the rest of the kidney, forming it's own little pool of stagnant urine, allowing little of it to drain out, thus forming a wicked stone with lightning speed and THEN, having the audacity to fight back when they attempted to insert a nephrostomy tube.

Adios, muchacho, you are gettin' your freedom.

Sunday, 9/9/07, I was hit with pain in the left kidney again, as usual. I tried sleeping it luck. I had taken my safe limit of percocet combined with the oxycontin, there was no relief for me. We went to the ER at Mt. Carmel East. I waited in the lobby for three hours, vomiting and writhing in agony. I get to a room, was given maybe half a dose of dilaudid, and was told by the ER Cowboy that ain't no way I was goin' home. I was admitted, against my will. Funny. The week prior we really needed me to be admitted, and no one would do it.

I spent the next day cursing the Cowboy, and dozing through a drug induced haze. Tuesday came, the lackey arrived earlier than expected so I couldn't wash my hair in the sink. He took me to Special Procedures and thus began the experience that keeps me from sleeping tonight.

First, they started prepping the wrong side. I finally pulled aside a nurse and very timidly said...."umm, the stone is in the left kidney"

Flip me around, start drugs through a ragged IV that blew the next morning, and the first puncture began.

They don't anesthetize you, you aren't in the Operating Room. There is a very nice RN whom I remember from the last time they did this two years ago. He is a heavy, heavy smoker. His fingers are stained with nicotine, and the stench of stale smoke is overwhelming. He is a nice man, but still.....

It was 2 1/2 hours later that they gave up. They had been pushing the Fentanyl and Versed into me whenever I would cry out or gasp in pain. A lot of the time I don't remember. But I vividly remember him moving to a place higher on my back, telling me that I would feel a sharp stick. And then he stabbed me. Once the instrument was in, I felt a burning on the surface of my skin, but nothing inside. Until with my next breath, he pushed the probe, or whatever the hell it was, into the kidney. I remember gasping and crying out. I remember the tears burning my eyes, and with blurry vision I saw fingers coming up to the IV in my hand, pressing more meds into me.

This is the moment that won't leave my head. This is why I can't sleep.

Later that afternoon, they attempted to work from both ends, my urologist with a scope in the ureter, up into the kidney, trying to carve out a path for the radiologist. Thankfully, I was under general anesthesia for this.

I woke up in recovery, the first thing I did was feel my side and my heart sank. No nephrostomy tube, no catheter. They were not successful.

My options, go to a highly specialized center, have another percutaneous procedure and hope that they might have better luck navigating the labyrinth of the lower pole of my left kidney, OR just lop off the lower 1/3 of the kidney and call it a day.

So I struggled with it that night. I came home, and worried about it some more. I cleaned my house like a lunatic. I went shopping. I worked myself into some unforgivable pain. And then I made dinner for my kids.

I was cutting chicken and the pain in my side grew stronger. The feel of the knife cutting, the pressure, felt sickening. I vomited in the kitchen sink, and served the uncut yardbird to an ungrateful crew.

And then I knew. I am so afraid of that pain, when I close my eyes, I see my swollen arm laying in front of me, and the yellowed fingers, ripe with smoke, pressing more meds into my system. And the absolute shock of him skewering my kidney. I had basically been precisely stabbed. I can't do it again. No way, no how. There is no way to describe how horrific that moment was. I can't remember much of my two hour stay in that chamber of pain, but I remember that, and it is enough to make up my mind for me.

So tomorrow I go see my doctor, and make arrangements to have him get me with a doctor who can cut off this offending bit of organ via laparoscopy.

Then I'm taking Buddy to his first day of preschool. He is so excited, I am glad that I won't miss his big day after all.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Training Breasts

I often wonder how other parents deal with explaining puberty, body changes and all that to their children. I remember my mom buying me books, one entitled "Period" and then the requisite Judy Blume library.

I do remember feeling embarrassed and weird reading these books, I was around 10 or 11 I think. I told her I wanted to take "Period" to school and she got this panicked look and said "NO!", then got flustered and irritated when I asked why. Thinking back, I probably was trying to exact the panicked and irritated reaction. I got the vibe that I wasn't supposed to talk about this kind of stuff, so I read the books, didn't really understand it all, but was too ashamed and embarrassed to ask for clarification.

Of course, maybe I did ask, and the ensuing conversation was so traumatic that I've blocked it from my memory. I am sure she'll read this and set me straight.

I remember being told by my aunt that my mom stole all the boobs, and that is why hers were so much smaller. I don't ever remember "the talk", or even really talking about puberty and body changed in general with my mom. The topic just seemed so uncomfortable.

So when Bug would ask questions about pregnancy and birth, body parts and how we grow and change, I just answered the questions. Didn't get all scientific, and did my best to act like it was no big deal.

So why I was not ready for what happened at Wal-Mart today is beyond comprehension. We walked into the girls clothing aisle, I was picking up her Brownie sash and stuff, and she yells "Hey mommy, I want to look at these bras!"

uhhhh okay......

Thankfully, Buddy fell asleep on the way to the store, and was sleeping in the cart, so we had time to discuss things and look at the offerings.

She picked up a spangly thing with molded, padded cups, underwires and stars all over it. Since when do training bras have underwires?

I tried to steer her towards the sports bra type sets. And as she looked around for a bra with stars on it (which seems to be a requirement) we chatted about breasts and how they will grow. I told her that right now she had breast buds, and that she doesn't really need more than a training bra.

Somehow she got "bra" and "breasts" mixed up and for the rest of the shopping adventure, she was very excited to have "training breasts". That term is so wrong, on so many levels, and yet so many 16 year old boys know exactly what "training breasts" are.

I convinced her to go with the sports type set and a more bra looking thing with molded "bends" (not really cups). She eagerly put on her new bra when we got home, and can't wait to wear the sporty one to bed tonight.

I can't believe that I'm letting her enter the enslavement so early in her life, but it was easier to agree, and encourage her understanding of the changes to come, than to actually try to pound some sense into her.

She did ask about when her breasts started to grow, if it would hurt. I thought back to my own experience, and lied through my teeth. "oh, it is a little uncomfortable, but not too bad"

So, my 6 year old has training breasts. I have one more gray hair.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Since I've been absent for a week or so....

I have decided to break my posts up by subject.

Today's subject: The Kidney, and how it kills you.

Most people assume that your organs are there to help your body function as a whole. Doctors wax poetic about the mystical symbiosis that exists within the complex structure that is the human body. If your doctor is speaking to you in quatrains, get the hell out of the room now, because he's trying to couch the news that you will soon be in agonizing pain. In fact, when you interview a urologist, you MUST, I repeat MUST, ask him which authors he enjoyed most in his college literature courses. If the names Dante, Melville, Hawthorne, Milton or Stephen King are mentioned at all, stand up, quickly back out of the room, never breaking eye contact, and run for your life. These are the calling cards of a sick and twisted mind. You do not want that mind controlling anything that is going to come into contact with an organ that filters your blood. Trust me.

As each day progressed as we last left me, our heroine, the left kidney continued its reign of terror and inexplicable pain. Kidney pain is unlike any pain I have ever felt before. And each time it hits me, I discover the old tyme religion like I never knew it . Goodbye quiet and introspective Lutheran prayers, this girl has felt the spirit rolling within her, and she does TESTIFY to "oh Lord, Oh God, Oh please, God, help me Jesus!"

Thursday, August 30th came. It was the day I was to be free of the 9 millimeter nemesis that dwells within my left kidney. Free from sudden pain that ruins plans for everyone. Free from pee that looks like raspberry tea. Free from trips to the ER begging for deliverance from snarky know-it-all bitches in scrubs.

When the fourth attempt at an IV insertion resulted in a blown vein and a bruise that swelled up like a golf ball and turned black immediately, I should have known it wasn't going to go well.

I remember the happy gas, the cold operating room, and then I was in recovery. Yes, my pain level is at a 10, oh some fentanyl....thanks babe! Oh more fentanyl. I'll take it. I have a stent in, I can feel it. I can feel my kidney...sure I'll take more fentanyl.....

Super G stayed at the hospital with Buddy while I had the surgery. Buddy tried to capture the goldfish in the tank in the surgery waiting area. He entertained a great many worried and tense people by telling them that mommy's pee pee was getting fixed here, at "mommy's hop-spital"

When they showed up to get me, I got the news. The good Doctor could not get the stone. He was able to not only thread the scope and laser into the kidney and make the 180 degree turn down into the lower pole, but there was a narrowing, or stricture that they had not been able to see on any of my previous scans. He could not grasp the stone, so he filled the kidney with dye, and watched as it slowly, barely, trickled through the stricture. So, not only could the stone not pass, but urine would back up and pool in the lower pole of the kidney, behind this stricture, as it slowly flowed out. This would cause a highly painful condition known as hydronephrosis. This highly painful condition is felt quite often when kidney stones pass, because they block the ureter, or impede the flow of urine, thus causing pain.

We have now figured out that the symptoms I have been feeling on and off for two years with varying degrees of intensity are due to this stricture, and the pressure of the giant stone behind it. So, EVEN THOUGH THE STONE IS "JUST" IN THE KIDNEY AND NOT PASSING, I AM EXPERIENCING PAIN. Hmmmmmm, I wonder where I've been told before that stones ONLY hurt when they pass????

But how do we fix the problem? Ah, I'm such a lucky girl. I was given a choice between attempted murder, and attempted manslaughter! What a deal. I chose to go with attempted murder, take my chances with the jury and hope for an acquittal, versus man 1, with a mandatory 25 to life sentence. (Sorry, just read that Fred Thompson is going to run for President.)

What I mean is I can have yet another Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (PNL, or attempted murder) or they could do a partial nephrectomy, removing the lower third of my kidney.

My PNL will be on Tuesday September 11.

And I'd just like to shout out to Dr. Dawn P. who was working the Mt. Carmel St. Ann's ER dept on Saturday August 25th.

You owe me an apology, you smug, conceited, narcissistic Quack.

I was your patient. I came to you with a clear and obvious history of kidney stones, dating back two years. I had information to give you about my current condition that you chose NOT to listen to, because you just knew that stones don't hurt unless they pass. You did not treat me or my situation with respect. The attitude that you, who has never seen or touched me prior to that night, must know more about my current situation than I, who has been living with this for years, caused me to feel guilty for seeking out pain relief. I was there, shaking, vomiting, crying and in distress, in front of my children, and you insinuate that I'm not in that much pain, that I'm just there to get high. For shame. I would appreciate an apology, and that you admit that perhaps you were wrong, but I know that will not be forthcoming.

I do, however, have a pen and paper, and the ability to write. Rest assured, I remember our meeting and your name.