R.I.P., Buzzy T. Buzzard

As if February didn’t suck enough, 4 days after my second surgery, our beloved dog Buzzy passed away on February 20th, 2015. He was 6 days shy of being 15 years, 1 month old. He put on a brave front until my granddaughter went to bed that night, but we knew he only had a matter of hours. Nothing was harder than telling him I loved him, and it was OK to let go, if he needed to. He just wanted to lie next to my son, who he grew up with, until he drew his last breath. I cried, over and over. Hell, I’m crying now. He was a good dog, the very best dog.

My sugar-faced Buzzy, always wanting a cookie.

My sugar-faced Buzzy, always wanting a cookie.

L to R: Buzzy, my son, (in his AF auxillary days), and Uboo. I miss those days.

L to R: Buzzy, my son, (in his AF auxillary days), and Uboo. I miss those days.

Advertisements

A Four Letter Word

Cancer is a four letter word. More specifically, a five letter word, but now we are just splitting hairs, aren’t we?

I debated for a month about sharing this, and finally decided I needed an outlet to rant. I am so frustrated trying to work with the VA to get the care I need. I am so frustrated with the fact that it took a month after I had 2 surgeries within 7 days of each other for the doctors to figure out I had nerve damage from the surgery and the pain pills they were throwing at me weren’t doing any good. I’m so frustrated with medical records going from one place to another, and no one claiming to have them. I’m so frustrated with the slow-turning wheels of the VA, and my fear that their failure to start chemo will result in this shit killing me. I’m so frustrated with the family members who I thought would stand behind me, texting behind my back and telling everyone I was faking my pain. I am so frustrated with being able to work only an hour at a time without having to take a two hour nap. I’m so frustrated that I worked so hard last year to get healthy, and get off 5 meds, and lose a metric butt ton of weight, to only be slapped in the face with cancer, this year.

I thought I was a tough chick. I have been stabbed, and shot, all in the Marines. I thought I was a prickly and hard-to-eradicate old bird. I HAVE NOT GIVEN CANCER PERMISSION TO EVEN BE IN MY BODY, MUCH LESS KICK MY ASS!

Cancer is a bitch.

I’ve Lost My Stinking Phone…

2,000 pictures I have taken on my phone since July, and hadn’t got moved to my laptop yet. Pictures of the birth of my 2nd grandchild. Pictures of my 1st grandchild’s second birthday. Pictures for several travel posts I haven’t gotten up, yet.

And, I can’t find the damn phone.

It got me thinking about how much of our lives are contained in this little electronic device that we can carry in our pocket. I feel lost. I’ve never permanently lost a phone before. I look at my babbee’s pictures, 7-8-9-10 times a day?

I’m almost certain it will turn up, but I can’t be certain. I’m not sure if I have mobile tracking on it, or not.–The next task is to call the phone company, something I may surely regret. Sprint’s customer service was always helpful–this will be the first time calling this new company’s service desk–first time since I moved to this company, because Sprint did not have a signal in the area of Arkansas where we were living. I am dreading this call.

At this particular second, technology feels like the enemy. Weird, coming from me, who has always preached to keep alternative, non-electronic records, in case of AHBL. In the case of photographs, I failed. All the contacts and stuff can be recovered, but I am worried about those pictures.

On a positive note, the customer service at Home Depot, on a Black Friday in the United States, was exceptional. I thought I had left it there, when I went in with a friend to get a box to ship a TV in. The customer service agent I reached on the telephone actually went back to the isle I told her, and looked for my phone. She didn’t have to do that. That was priceless to me.

WordPress: Wtf Are Drafts Now?

Ok, used to be, I could find drafts in my dashboard, easy-peasy. I just spent an hour getting about 1/3 of the way through a very socially-relevant blog, to lose it because the significant other was twittering away, and I looked his direction and hit some weird button, and it all disappeared, and I was back on google.com. Someone, help? Please? This is actually upsetting.

AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH, Part Deux…

Bloody lawnmower won’t start. It started once, and I got the worst part of the yard mowed, by the garden, where the grass grows knee-high because I water the garden every night. Even Louisiana doesn’t get enough regular rain to not have to water regularly, if you want anything to grow. Then I made the mistake of turning off the mower to move the irrigation hose.

Plenty of gas.

Pulled the choke all the way back. Nothing.

Nothing is obstructing the rotation of the blade, it’s clean as a whistle under there.

Dry-cleaned the air filter before I started, and double-checked it again.

Raised the mower so it’s not fighting against grass to get going. Still nothing.

The only thing left is possibly I need to change the oil.

 

Don’t know how to do that. So I go inside with the ambition to google how to do it. The significant other is trudging around, half asleep.

“The lawn mower won’t start.” I say.

“I’ll check it when I wake up,” he says, and trudges back to bed. Did I mention it was 10 am? Did I mention by noon, it will be too hot outside to do anything?

Off to google, I am. Never hurts to learn something new. If you had asked me 10 years ago if I would know this much about lawn mowers, I would have blown raspberries at you. And life goes on.

Brutes

Brutes. Medical brutes, to be specific.

Tuesday afternoon, I had the second in a series of three oral surgeries, to get my mouth back together after my “accident”. My dentist at Shreveport-Bossier Family Dentistry. Dr. Beech, is a dental artiste, and a gentle soul, who understands my anxiety both about sitting in a dental chair, and having things going on behind my head, that I can’t see. Due to the extensive amount of work needing to be done, and my anxiety level, we decided IV sedation was the way to go. The dentist does not hire the anesthesiologist directly here–they come from a service, and therefore aren’t really part of the dental establishment at all.

I had the first surgery about six weeks ago, and it went great, other than a screw-up with my pain medication (I didn’t realize Narco had codeine in it, and I have had several adverse reactions to codeine. This is something the dental office should have caught, but I should have been better educated/asked more questions/etc. I spent the night after the first surgery dry-heaving for six hours.) The nurse anesthesiologist was terrific–I didn’t even feel the needle when he stuck me the second time–(I always take a second stick, because no one ever listens to me the first time when I tell them where to stick me.)

Fast forward to Tuesday. I had spoken to this nurse anesthesiologist on the phone, and he appeared quite personable. I went in, and he began digging around on my right arm, for a place to stick. I say, “I guarantee I can show you a spot where you will have no trouble getting the IV in.” His reply, “Oh, I’ll get it in. I’m using a baby needle.” First stick, in my right wrist, not on the upper side, but the lower side. OUCH!!!!!! He says, “I don’t understand why your so red, it’s just a baby needle,” as he jabs it in further, digging for a vein that has run and hid by now. Needless to say, he didn’t get anything.

He flips my hand over, and I say, “Please don’t put the IV in my right hand. I have nerve damage in that hand.” He replies, “Gotta put it there. If I put it in your left arm, the assistant will bend over it, and your IV will come out.”  I say, “That wasn’t a problem for the anesthesiologist or the assistant last time I had sedation here.” Needless to say, the man had cloth ears. He proceeded to jab the darn needle into my hand, and now I have not one, but two, three-inch dark purple and green, painful bruises in the vicinity of my right hand. Thank goodness for ice packs!

Brutes, I say.

Urrrrggggghhhhhhh…….

So, this has been my year of healing. I’ve had a few surgeries (still 3 oral surgeries to go), lost 20 pounds (still 50 to go) am exercising lots, and feeling better. At this moment, both the IBS and GERD are well under control–(I can actually leave my house without fear!) I’m totally off of the diabetes medication. My cholesterol is down 14 points. My blood pressure fluctuates, mostly only when I am stressed out, and I still seem to have a pretty weak immune system (I’ve had a kidney infection and an upper respiratory infection since my hysterectomy in May), but I am making progress. We’re still supplementing iron and B-12, because those levels are still low, but not as bad as they were at the first of the year. The chronic vertigo only seems to flare up in yoga class or when I have something involving my sinuses going on. I am to the point where I don’t carry my rescue inhaler on my daily walks. We’re even planning an active vacation for the late fall.

That being said, you can imagine my dismay when I opened a letter from the Radiology Department at Willis Knighton yesterday evening. I had a abnormal mammogram on July 11. They want me to return for an ultrasound. I have absolutely ZERO lumps. I know lumps–I’ve had them before with cysts–I self-check regularly because finding a lump is scary as hell. This isn’t much better. My solace is thinking, “well, if it were something life-threatening, they would have called instead of sending a letter.” Right? I hate not knowing.

That being said, I have to give a huge kudos to my doctor at the Veteran’s Administration. She knew before I did, so when I went in to e-mail her to schedule a sonogram, she was already aware of the situation and had started the paperwork for me to see an outside provider. The Veteran’s Administration isn’t set up for that type of procedure in this area of the country. There has been a lot of complaints about the VA in the news lately, but my doc is the best, ever! I’ve gotten better care here at this VA since January, than I have anywhere else in the WORLD.