Thursday, July 31, 2008

Why Is It That . . .

Strangers insist on talking to you when you have earbuds in your ears on the bus/train/shuttle and you are obviously listening to something? This happens to me daily on the commute to and from work and for the life of me, I cannot understand. Do they think I have earbuds in my ears because "it looks cool"? Or do they think the earbuds in my ears are "a new fashion accessory"? Or perhaps they think I'm with the FBI and I'm "tapping" in on someone. I don't know but what I do know is it's quite disturbing to get disturbed in the middle of a wonderful song by the Beatles or Keith Urban or Frank Sinatra or Jimmy Buffet or the Goo Goo Dolls or Kenny Chesney or anyone for that matter (the list is endless, as you can see).

Yes, I am usually listening to some music or a downloaded podcast or something on my most delightful Zune. It's quite relaxing, I must say, and definitely beats listening to everything else around me! I'm obviously just not that social when it comes to sitting in a contained moving object with a bunch of folks I don't know! Oh well, I try but honestly, my only goal on the bus/train/shuttle is to get from one point to another - safely and without error. I am usually successful! Pin It

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Frakenfinger Unveiled

The last 10 days were pretty long ones and I had been counting the days down to Tuesday, the day the stitches would be removed. As I sat there waiting in the doctor's office, I wondered how the ole finger would look and feel afterwards. It was as I thought - a most wonderful feeling. The stitches were pretty tight and had been pulling the skin so removing them was almost liberating, if you will, and was such a great feeling. I'm glad my finger can now get back to normal. I have it wrapped with some thin vet wrap, just to help keep the swelling down a bit and to protect it, at least for a few more days. Dr. Joseph suggested that I "baby" it for the next few days. Now, how in the heck do you "baby" a finger that you need to use?

Anyway, as Dr. Joseph bid me farewell after the office visit, I told him that I had termed my finger "Frankenfinger", thanks to my friend Heather who called it that herself. It's got so many scars on it so that it truly is a Frankenfinger. Unfortunately, Dr. Joseph didn't see the humor in my comment. Those darn specialists are so dry, aren't they? But they do excel at their specialty, thank goodness!

Anyway, here is an excerpt from the Operative Report that the good Doctor gave me before I left his office.

"Patient taken to the operating room and given 1 gm Ancef IV. General anesthesia was induced without complications. Standard prep and drape. Extremity was exsanguinated. Tourniquet was inflated to 250 mmHg.

Using 3.5-loupe magnification, previously marked mass about the lateral aspect of the left ring finger was identified and approached through a 3-cm longitudinal incision incorporating the previous incision. A very ill-defined vascular lesion was identified. This was excised. A large part of the lesion was underneath the middle phalanx. This was unroofed. The mass was excised. The area was agressively curetted down to bleeding bone. All involved tissue was removed. Dense scar tissue was removed. Some excess skin and scar tissue was removed converting the incision to more of an elliptical incision. The defect underneath the middle phalanx was again curetted, irrigated, electrocauterized and packed with a small amount of Gelfoam soaked in 0.5% plain Marcaine. The area all around the dissection was electrocauterized with the hopes of further preventing recurrence of the vascular tumor.

The skin incision was then meticulously closed with interrupted 5-0 nylon. Proximal block with 0.5% plain Marcaine was performed. A sterile compressive dressing and dorsal split were applied. Tourniquet was released.

The patient tolerated the procedure well and was transferred to the recovery room in stable condition."

I don't know or understand alot of the medical jargon, but I do believe it sounds like my finger received an overhaul. And who's finger doesn't need one of those?

Interesting thing about the Marcaine, (I looked it up) which is a local anesthetic. It is often used in dental procedures and obstetrics. One of the doseages I received (0.5%) is commonly used for epidurals. And my finger received two of those! This might explain why it was numb for three days solid. The doctor told Kim (who was in the waiting room waiting to take me home) that he "shot it full of Novocaine" (same thing) and he wasn't kidding.

All in all, I'm so glad it is over. I hope the "thing" that grows inside doesn't reappear anytime soon as I don't want to go through that again, at least not for quite some time! Pin It

'Fraidy Cat . . . Er, I Mean Dog!

Poor thing, Lucy is so storm phobic and there isn't anything that makes it better. Alot of Melatonin helps but not completely! A t-shirt helps but not completely. Any suggestions? I feel so bad for her!

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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight

Last Saturday night, Kim and Guy and myself went to see The Dark Knight. What an incredible movie! Heath Ledger absolutely stole the show as The Joker. It is quite a shame he isn't alive today to reap in the limelight of his performance and, no doubt, pick up his Oscar come Academy Award time. Here is an excerpt from a review by Rito Asilo of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. I couldn't have said it better myself.

But, it’s the magnificent Ledger who almost steals the show from Bale: The gifted actor’s dramatic achievement here is instructive, because his character isn’t even given an in-depth back story—The Joker just pops up from out of nowhere and, along the way, spills revelatory clues of abuse and grave misfortune from his bleak past.

To say the least, Ledger’s Joker is a scary creation far removed from the campy aesthetic of Jack Nicholson’s previous rendering of the character—a powerful performance worthy of an Oscar (something that, we still maintain, he should have won for his moving portrayal in 2005’s “Brokeback Mountain”). Unfortunately, an Oscar win may be a long shot—after all, Peter Finch is still the only actor to have won a posthumous Oscar (for 1976’s “Network”).

This morning on the train coming into work, I could have sworn I saw The Joker myself, in the flesh, minus the makeup. A black man boarded the train at the Peachtree Center station. He was wearing loose bright purple pants, a bright red shirt, pull-on dress alligator skin dress shoes, and a bright green jacket (ie The Masters Tournament) draped across his shoulders. His hair was in braids, held in the air going every which-a-way by a brightly colored scarf wrapped around his head like a headband. And to top off his attire, in the front pocket of the jacket was a rubber toy of some sort, stuffed in upside down so that only his tail was visible (it looked like a rat's tail). And as if that wasn't enough, he was carrying a very used (dirty, actually) stuffed pink pig that is actually a dog toy.

Now, what do you make of that? Much like The Joker, this guy was quite a character!
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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Frankstein's Bride?

Well, for those who didn't know, I had minor outpatient surgery on my finger last Friday, under general anesthesia nonetheless. It was to remove a cyst from my left ring finger. It is a recurring problem as this is the third time I've had this surgery to remove cysts (one doctor even termed it a "forming thrombus") and then there was one additional procedure in the office to remove a piece of gauze the second surgeon accidentally left in my finger during that surgery. Errgh!! So, four times the poor finger has been cut on. The last is probably the most prominent incision, thus far. I can only imagine how the scar will look but at least the cyst is gone for now and won't cause me anymore pain when I use that hand to grab or lift anything.

The photo above is with the bandages put on post-op. The last thing the nurse said to me was "this will make you sleepy" and the next thing was "how are you feeling?". It was quite strange - I don't recall the last procedure (10 years ago) going quite so smoothly. For one, I could hear the surgeon explaining to a colleague that the tendon in my finger looked like the tendon in a chicken wing. I kid you not. I think the anesthesia then was the "twilight state". Obviously, not the most desirable if the doctor and staff are going to be comparing your tendons to those of a chicken! I much prefer general anesthesia to spare me from the operating room banter!

The picture above is after I removed the bandages. It's Day 5 and they said I could take them off today. I couldn't wait to get home from work to do it! My finger was feeling quite claustrophobic, to say the least. It has now been set free - free at last! The incision is about an inch and a half long and has seven stitches that I can see. Those come out on Tuesday. Yeppie!! And the finger is a bit swollen still and is VERY sore, especially underneath it. It's still a bit numb underneath up toward the tip. I anticipate that will go away with time!

Obviously I can type which is good. I think I would go bonkers if I couldn't do email or any computer work during this healing period. I don't think there will be any rehab or anything like that. I can move the finger just fine and I imagine once it is healed completely, I'll be able to start working on bending it!

In the interim, I hope Frankenstein doesn't want to take me as his bride! (I guess it could be alot worse and I should be thankful I still have my finger, huh?)
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Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Mine is finally coming along nicely, if I say so myself. I've had great success in the gardening area since I can remember, initially trying my hand at growing radishes when I was just a kid. I think my Mom knew they were practically foolproof and anyone, including a child, could grow them.

It certainly was enough to boost my confidence and instill the desire in me to try growing a multitude of things including yellow squash, corn, head lettuce, Romaine lettuce, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, serrano peppers, rosemary, dill, cilantro, tomatoes, new potatoes, sweet potatoes, Viladia onions, green onions, okra, watermelon, lima beans, green beans, green peas, cucumbers, bean sprouts, cat nip, and even cotton - yes, I've even grown cotton.

This year my crop consists of sweet peas, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, green beans, lima beans, yellow squash, zucchini, corn, sweet potatoes, and watermelon. Here is a picture of one of the watermelon as just a baby. It's about the size of a silver dollar. Isn't it adorable? I think with the fencing I've put around the garden this year, I may see the watermelon grow to maturity. In year's past, I think the rabbits have helped themselves to anything they could get their grubby paws on.

Everyone always says fresh grown produce is the best and I have to agree. There is nothing better than going out to the garden and picking something fresh to add to dinner. That's exactly what I plan to do tonight. Some fresh steamed green beans and a sweet potato will go quite nicely with my grilled filet!
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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And Just When You Think You've Seen It All . . .

Okay, every day riding the transit system is definitely a new experience. It never ceases to amaze me the number of different people one sees on the daily commute. There are construction workers, businessmen in suits, fast food workers, office workers, college students, homeless people - you name it, they're on the train!

Today though, I saw something that almost had me on the floor laughing so hard. A rather tall gentleman had come down the escalator and was waiting at the platform for the next Northbound train. I was standing right beside him, also waiting for the train, when I noticed he was carrying something under his arm. It was, yes indeed, a hemorroid pillow just like the one pictured above. His was orange though and I swear he looked as if he were about to head down to the shore with his tiny life preserver and "save" someone. Poor man - I felt so bad for him! If that had been me (and thank goodness it isn't) I think I would deflate it, stuff it in my laptop bag and then inflate it when I arrived at work. No one would be the wiser. :) If I see him tomorrow, perhaps I'll suggest that to him (not!).

You definitely see all kinds and all things on the public transit system. I told a friend of mine today - if it weren't so darn entertaining, I just don't know if I could do this day in and day out! But it is incredibly entertaining. And so I continue participating, saving scads of money and lots of gas, and usually walking around with a smile on my face! Pin It