Friday, May 13, 2011

3247 Blogger was down

Friday, May 13, 2011

Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses: When there is great suffering, ... everyone suffers the same. But when there is peace, no one wants to be the same. The rich no longer share. The less rich envy and steal. ... [E]veryone is seeking luxuries, pleasures....


For those who do not themselves use Blogger, there were no posts by anyone from Wednesday sometime through late yesterday sometime. Blogger was down. Some posts were even lost. Temporarily, they claim, but one never knows.... You could get in to read blogs, but no editing or posting was happening.

3246 Friday the Thirteenth has vampires

Friday, May 13, 2011

We can't afford to shop at any store that has a philosophy.
-- Marge Simpson --


I wasn't too happy that the hospital scheduled my test for today. Friday the thirteenth? The doctor's office (I thought) said it was a CT scan with contrast. I had to go by that because I couldn't read the doctor's handwriting. Actually, it was an IVP (x-rays with contrast []). Odd, because IVP is becoming obsolete. CT scans are more detailed. Sigh.

So, at 4 pm yesterday I drank 10 oz of magnesium citrate, which is supposed to clean out the bowel. That wasn't too bad, because there wasn't much in there. But I did lose a lot of fluid, right up until about 8 am. And I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight. Not even water. By 9 am, even when my hands were hanging straight down, there were no veins visible. And I have thin skin.

Right. Let's take a lady who is hard to stick anyway, who has rolling thin-walled veins that blow out and shut down easily, with masses of nerves around them, thoroughly dehydrate her, then try to find a vein for an IV that will be handling a thick contrast solution, in a freezing cold room.
[-----------------phone just rang. They want me to come back for a CT scan while the contrast is still in there. Oh joy. Tell ya why later-------------------]

The x-ray stuff wasn't bad at all. One could even fall asleep, except for the frequent commands to hold your breath. Then it was time for the contrast. They brought in a guy who "does all the contrast IVs, he's done it all". I told him about the burning nerve pain, the rolling, the blowing out, the going flat, the spasms, and that the hand works better.

He blew out a vein in the right hand. Then he blew out a vein in the left arm. Then he simply TOUCHED a spot on my left arm with his FINGER, and the spot turned red and swelled up. He said he wasn't allowed to try more, and would have to call a nurse. The nurse blew out a vein in the left hand, then one in the left forearm, then one in the right hand. And every single one of them hurt like fire. The nurse called a doctor. I don't know what kind of doctor he was, but he examined my hands and arms with a tourniquet here and there and everywhere, and settled on a spot on the back of my right forearm, an inch north of bump of the wristbone. It hurt like hell, but it didn't blow out. (I actually said "Oh shit! Don't stop! Keep going! Oh shit!", and I don't say that word in public. When I was finally allowed to stand at the end, I discovered that my ears had filled with tears, that then ran down my neck.)

After the contrast is in, they usually remove the IV then. I asked them to leave it in until we were absolutely sure we were all done, just in case. Like maybe if I reacted to the dye or something. Everyone agreed that was a very good idea.

They said the contrast would feel warm as it spread, but it felt cold to me. I started trembling, and it got so bad I was shaking violently from head to toe. It didn't affect the x-rays, though, because when they said to hold my breath, for those few seconds the trembling stopped. I asked if the trembling was from the contrast, and they said probably not, but maybe. More likely it was that the room was so cold, so they covered me in two blankets. When it didn't stop, they decided it was most likely a nervous reaction to the IV trauma I'd just gone through.

Two and a half hours and we were done. The radiologist asked if I could get copies of the actual films from my last CT and x-rays (two weeks ago, without contrast) so he could compare. So I drove to the other place, and sat in their waiting room for 45 minutes while they something-or-othered, got the films and a copy of the CD, and took them back to the hospital. (Yeah, I want them back.)

I've been drinking a lot of water now to flush the contrast solution out of my system.

At 5:07 pm (I'd been told the radiologist went home at 5 pm), I got a call from the hospital. The radiologist would like me to come back in immediately for a CT scan, before the contrast washes out. Why? Because on the IVP he can't see the second ureter coming out of the left kidney, that the prior CT and x-rays say is there. The two ureters join somewhere before the bladder (they think) and they need to know where.

Duh. I could have told them that. The big stone is blocking that ureter, so the contrast never entered that ureter, and therefore it doesn't show.

You know what that means? The IVP was useless. The IV was unnecessary. And if that's what they were looking for, where the ureters joined, anyone with half a brain should have known that they wouldn't have found out this way.

I went back. The CT was quick and painless.

I am pissed.

(Um, literally pissed, actually. I've been drinking enormous quantities of water since about 1 pm to flush the contrast. Normally, if I drink 8 oz of water, within 20 minutes I piddle almost 8 oz of water. I was so dehydrated that I drank 40 oz of water before piddling, and then it was only about 6 oz. It's getting better now. I wish I had weighed me this morning. Then I'd know exactly how dry I was.)

I am also left with a nagging thought. I have to flush out all the contrast, becuse if it's left in the urinary tract, it can contribute to kidney failure. What about that blocked collection chamber? How would it get flushed out of there?

Oh, and since this last CT was not ordered by my doctor, will my insurance pay for it?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

3245 Stray Stone?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We ought to keep the rich as rich as possible, because
nobody poor was ever able to afford to give anybody else a job.
-- Lewis Grizzard --


You hear that green quote above all the time, mostly from rich people, and from poor people who have been duped. I'm not sure I agree with it. There is such a thing as being so rich that the only jobs you have to offer are menial minimal-income jobs. Petting and pampering. The rich folks that offer real living-wage jobs are those who still have to scramble to support their lifestyle.

If we make sure there ARE no poor, then everyone can buy stuff, and that's what keeps everyone employed.

Sheesh. I sound socialist, but that's not such a bad thing, actually.


After Sunday's post I went for a walk with Daughter, Hercules, and Nugget. We walked down to the bay, then along the bay until we ran out of pavement, then across some beach (that monster stroller is not fun on sand), to a park (where Hercules and I freaked Daughter out by pretending to give Nugget her first trip down a slide), and then back along some streets. Altogether about 2 miles.

Walking was a bit uncomfortable, because I can feel the stent in the bladder, swinging like a bell clapper. And Saturday evening I had noticed a sort of firm lump under the skin between the clitoris and urethra. I wondered if the stent had moved and was poking. There was no pain, just a slight pressure, like when a tampon is too low. I'm 14 years past menopause, but I still remember that feeling.

Then I took a shower, and went over to the kids' house for dinner, steaks grilled by Hercules.

Something very scary happened in my shower. I piddled before I got in the shower, but I didn't look at it, you know? Sometimes (well, usually, actually), even though I always go before getting into the shower, as soon as the water hits me I piddle a little more.

It was red. Blood. Like Psycho. Swirling down the drain.

It was Sunday. My urologist wasn't in, and not on Monday, either. My first fear was that the stent had poked through the bladder wall, or rubbed a spot raw, or something. If I call anyone, they're going to tell me to go to the ER. But hey, not only is there no pain, but the slight nagging ache I'd had in my right lower back for the past week was gone suddenly! And the firm lump and feeling of pressure were gone, too.

So from then on, when I had to go, I piddled a bit in a glass so I could see what was happening. Later Sunday night there was a bit of pink, but not as much as earlier. Monday morning, it was brown at first, but got lighter and lighter as the day went on. By early evening it was the usual pale yellow.

I think I passed a stone. From the right. Where according to two CT scans and two x-rays, there were NO stones. Which is why I didn't connect the back ache to the right kidney. Ho hum. Par for the course.

Today, Tuesday, I was to call the doctor's office to find out how my kidney function blood test from last Thursday had turned out. It needed to be good in order to have the CT with contrast. I had to leave a message, and the receptionist called back a few hours later to say that it was fine, and I should go ahead and schedule the CT scan. I didn't mention Sunday's blood. I seem to be fine now, and I figure the CT scan should notice if anything's gone flooey. (Yeah, you'd think I'd have learned a lesson by now. They miss a LOT!) I will mention it next time I see him.

Anyway, today I ran a bunch of errands in the morning, then about noonish went with Daughter and Nugget for the two-week OB appointment, then to a wonderful fruit/vegetable/bakery store where we had late lunch/early dinner outside from the deli counter. We got home about 6 pm.

It was funny - Daughter went off the pain meds almost immediately after leaving the hospital, and she's been walking a few miles every day, and taking Nugget everywhere with her, including in the car. Today, the doctor gave her permission to go off the meds, drive, and walk. Snork! If he only knew....


Ever notice that on CSI and Criminal Minds, whenever the crime involves torturing the victims, it's almost always women who get tortured?

Sunday, May 08, 2011

3244 Nice day for it

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Jay Kolb, on surveys taken on college campuses: College is not "real world". In fact,
you can't even see it from there.


I mowed the lawn this morning, front and sides. I was pleased that the mower started right up.

I do have a bit of a problem with it. It's self-propelled, and seems to have two speeds - zero and "charge!" I have to almost run to keep up with it. I thought if I let up on the propulsion bar a bit, it would slow down, but it doesn't. Charge!

...Which is dangerous because the builder tried to stretch the sod, and left big gaps between the pieces. "Oh, they'll fill in." Yeah, they will, if you fill in between the pieces with dirt! Leaving two inch deep gaps doesn't do it. Grass won't cross that. So I have to be careful not to slip sideways into a gap and sprain my ankle, and at high speed that's difficult. I could go buy some dirt (a whole lot of dirt), but I'm going to cut out sod in front of the porch to put in a flower bed, and I figure I'll fill the holes with pieces of that.

Now I need to go buy a trimmer of some kind. I dislike those string trimmers. I don't know what else is available.

The back yard can't be mowed until I pick up all the stupid gum tree balls. I hit a few with the mower earlier, and yeah, not good. So I am now picking them up with my trusty pooper scooper pan and rake thingy, like over there<---. The pan will hold about a dozen of them. It's pretty easy and works well, but there are so many of them it might take me a few days to get them all.


Spam emails: I am getting marketing emails from every company I've ever bought anything from online. Yeah, ok, I'm an online customer.

But what bugs me is that I always check the box that says "no marketing emails". Always. Always aways. And yet I always get them.

There oughtta be a law. In fact, I think there is....