Monday, December 31, 2007

Come Join SeaSpray By the Fire :) Thank You Special Bloggers

Welcome! { Hugs for you} ...Come on in and lets visit in spirit to share some good thoughts and a toast to the New Year!

* First (Before you read anything else) activate the fire in the 1st clip and then scroll down and click on the 2nd one -the Happy New Year clip ( so they are operating simultaneously) for a little music to add to the ambiance. :)

Would you like some champagne or do you have another preference? How about some appetizers? I have it on good authority that all your favorite things are here. ;) Do you like to dance? I am guessing some other bloggers do and so do I. Please...feel free as the music inspires you. And above all...please make yourself comfortable. :)

I would like to share some thoughts about you. This is to the medical professionals and to the other bloggers. I want you to know that I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you through your blogs and e-mails. I appreciate the deeper friendships that have developed with some of you and I look forward to even more friendships in the coming New Year. You have caused me to laugh heartily the point of tears sometimes and you have been there to pick me up when I was shedding tears. Aside from in the comment sections of our blogs...some of you wrote "letters" of encouragement to me through e-mail as well as trusting me with your pictures and personal information. Thank you for that trust.

I have learned so much during these last 15 months of blogging, primarily in the medical blogosphere but also in the private blogs. I have learned from both professional and patient perspectives.

Last winter, when I was AFRAID to have the re-constructive uereteral surgery (because of risk factors), it was a comfort to be able to read your answers to my comments in your blog or an e-mail. And it was a comfort when you responded to any of my posts where I expressed concern. I am thinking of one special Doc (you REALLY helped me to feel better about surgical things when I was scared.) who took the time to answer my concerns through a couple of specific posts he wrote as well as e-mail. It also helped me to hang out at the urology blogs. You would think I would want to run the other way but I soaked up everything they a sponge. I of course was most interested in the things that pertained to my experiences but I was and still am interested in their other cases/experiences too. I really appreciated Dr Keagirl for mentioning how difficult stents are! I was also interested in what other urology patients had to say. With all my heart...I do believe the medical blogosphere helped to make my medical concerns more bearable. Your doctor, friends and family can only do so much...and they did but then it just helped to have another place to go to regarding medical concerns.

One sweet doctor reviewed my resume I sent to him when I was feeling down this past fall and gave me encouragement through an e-mail. And yet another took the time to leave a recommendation for something. I could go on because so many of you- med professionals and others have been a such a blessing and I just want you to know this girl is appreciative! Since laughter is supposed to be the best medicine and with the exquisite humor that is so pervasive throughout this is no wonder that I healed and was able to avoid the surgery! Of course thanks also goes to my wonderful and skilled urodoc. :) And most of all thank you to God who worked through him and from whom every good and perfect gift comes.

Some of the doctors have questioned as to whether or not their blogging makes any difference. YES!! That is a resounding YES to DO make a difference! We never know who is passing through or lurking in our blogs. Not unlike in the movie "It's A Wonderful Life", where we see how each person has value and can make a profound difference in the lives of others.... there is power in our words. Power to evoke laughter, joy and peace or to teach, guide and inspire. There is so much wonderful collective knowledge to be shared through this medium. I have often read through a person's blog and thought that they should be writing a book...and some of you have or are working on one. And then I thought, "Why am I writing when these people write so well?" Then I remind myself that it is a hobby and it is for me too. :)

And while I haven't been mentioning names (I will now), I am going to mention Fat Doctor (FD) because she is the first person to blogroll me. I had only written 5 posts at that point and she left a funny comment to my "McDreamy Eyes" post and said she was linking to me. Well you would have thought I got a notice in the mail stating they were going to publish my book! I startled my family when I loudly exclaimed, "Fat Doctor is LINKING to me! She's linking to me and she's a DOCTOR! She must of thought I wrote something good! She linked to me!" I could tell they didn't get it by their looks... once the fright cleared off their faces. :) I think you have to like to write to really understand the draw to blogging. (Yes I know she said it was because of Grey's anatomy but I also figured it was because she thought I was link worthy.) So while Urostream, Surgeon'sblog (scroll down and read Dr Schwab's "Taking Trust" post) and her blog were the catalyst to cause me to peruse the blogosphere and comment, FD was the fuel to the fire. :) I have mentioned my educational inferiority complex because I didn't go to college and so that is why it jumped out at me that it was a doctor linking to me. I appreciate all bloggers and all the blogrolls. Frankly, I am still amazed that people blogroll me or link(Scalpel (My stats skyrocketed and they are still coming in to read about the glitter) from the Scalpel or Sword blog) to one of my or not. Actually, one day I was surprised to see all these people in my stats for days coming in to read my lay person's post regarding socialized medicine and then was shocked to see Dr. Crippen from across the pond linked to it in his NHS Blog Doctor -BritMeds 2007. He introduced it as More insight from across the pond. At first I got scared because I thought he was lumping me in with what he calls WANKERS! But you can't be a female wanker can you? I decided he wasn't but then I got scared that so many people were actually reading it. I think if I went back to read it myself I might be embarrassed because I was really just thinking out loud with that one because I was totally irritated with Michael Moore's Sicko. I believe The Angry Medic referred Dr. Crippen to that post - thank you AM. :) I was also amazed when Dr Carone from the Medfriendly blog asked me to do the November guest post from a patient's perspective. ( I had fun with that) Dr A of the Dr Anonymous blog started a 2nd blog called Blogaholics Anonymous for anyone else who would like to post over there. In November, I finally did my 1st Blogaholics Anonymous post over there. (Dr A has also been doing live blogtalkradio shows. Dr Schwab, Dr Wes, Kevin MD and some other docs will be guests in 2008-check it out.) I am also amazed that you all have let me leave such long comments (some people consider that hijacking) to your posts. Ha! Maybe that should be one of my New Year's resolutions-shorter comments! :) I think Dr. Schoor from The Independent Urologist probably holds the record for having the most and the longest comments from me. (Hard to believe you say? You think you hold the record?) I shared in his enthusiasm for setting up his solo practice, which also stirred up my own professional experiences which helped to keep them alive in me and so I haven't felt as detached from the medical work environment as I otherwise would have been. Although...I AM feeling shy about going for a job but I have begun to open some doors-now I just have to walk through. Of course the ED blogs have kept my memories fresh as well, if not thoroughly entertained. This hilarious post was written by ED Dr WhiteCoat (Thank you for the increasing my stats too), although it is actually about a private doc's on call night. :)

As we bloggers already know..there is so much information in the land of blogdom. We communicate with each other across the country and around the world or from across the pond. I have loved the exquisite humor but also the intellectually stimulating posts and comments as well. Whatever our interests or mood, the diversity of the blogosphere assures us that there is something out there for everyone of us at any given time.

Thank you to everyone who has crossed my path, making a difference for the better. And a very special thank you to the very special people who have really been there for me. You know who you are. :) I hope I have done the same for you.

To all...the number 8 is the biblical number for new beginnings and so may this New Year of 2008 be a wonderful and exciting year of new beginnings for each of us. May each of us and our loved ones all prosper, be in good health and experience and benefit from wonderful opportunities and abundant blessings. And may we also see good things happen around the world- on the humanitarian fronts, politically, financially, and last but NOT least spiritually.

I never make resolutions. But I am going to make a few and share them here. Who knows? maybe I will start feeling some universal accountability by putting them out here. :)

1. Get a job or jobs that I find interesting/stimulating and in which I will be a blessing to the employer and co-workers and they will be to me too. In my perfect world NO SUNDAYS or HOLIDAYS! But...I will do what I have to do.
2. Get out of debt - pay off med bills and other bills and start saving again.
3. Hopefully, when back on track financially...get another vehicle for me. (Maybe by fall)
4. Actually start using my Y membership again(and any other healthy thing that comes to mind)
5. Make amends and restore friendships I let slide. I don't know why...but while going through the medical stuff...I let some "wonderful and important to me" relationships slide. I think I have hurt some friends with my absence in communications and that is so unlike me. I guess I needed to pull inward. I do value each of them very much.
6. Go back to church and try for more than 4 times a year! I DO enjoy it. :)
7. Organize... and get rid of unnecessary items.
8. Redecorate our bedroom.
9. Find SeaSpray some signature turquoise Bajingoland glitter! ;)

And now a couple of toasts to the New Year...

We've Holidays and happy days,
and memory days galore
And when we've toasted every one,
I offer just one more
So let us lift our glasses high,
and drink a silent toast
To the day, deep buried in each heart
that each one loves the most


As you slide down the banisters of life, may the splinters never point the wrong way.

O Tannenbaum-Part III The Tree

By the time we got to the lot it was dark which always makes it more difficult to see the Christmas trees... which also means it will probably take longer. The wind was really blowing, making it seem even colder out.

It usually turns out that the first tree we look at is the tree we bring home but of course we need to comparison shop. For some reason the big frasier trees seem to go earlier and we went later than usual because I had been sick. The first tree we saw was a good one although not quite as tall as I wanted but close.

I asked husband to pull it out and then dance it around. I don't mean dance through the tree lot with it but just twirl it around or walk while turning it so that I can see all sides. I hold it too so they can also look. I do like to ask for their opinions- husband, son and the lot guy's opinion. Of course my husband always likes the first tree or the second tree, etc. but I already explained what he'll bring home. I pretty much figure he'll say anything to just bring a tree home. He does tell me where gaps are though but it wouldn't deter him from buying it and he thinks every tree is tall enough. Five trees later the worker comes over to help and then another one came over too. This was great because they were all pulling trees out. I was frustrated because I wanted a taller one and they were limited. So on my quest for a taller tree, I said, "Take me to your Balsams!" I'm not sure why the lot guy hesitated but husband didn't follow and went over by son who was entertaining Granddaughter, which was just as well because I think he was getting testier.

The balsams weren't very tall at all and so we went back to the frasiers. By now my nose was numb and fingers and toes were cold even with gloves and boots. By now I narrowed it down to 2 trees ...the 1st one and another one from somewhere in the selections. I asked them if they could please bring them down to the end of the lot where it was a little brighter. Sure enough...I decided on the first tree. I asked how much and he said $125.00 and I exclaimed "One hundred and twenty five DOLLARS!!!" Husband said forget it and that he wasn't paying that for a Christmas tree. I knew he was right because we have more important expenses and it wasn't necessary. But then I asked the guy if he could possibly take anything off the price and he said he would take 25.oo off. So I looked at my husband and I guess he must have seen how much it meant to me and so he agreed. Thank you husband and thank you nice Christmas tree guy! :)

It must've been a new kid who was sawing the fresh cut on the tree because he cut it at an angle instead of straight across. In the end another guy had too correct his cut and took another 2 inches off the trunk. sigh!

We got the tree home uneventfully and I am always anxious to get it in the stand so it can start drinking before the fresh cut drys up. I have learned over time to just be happy the tree is in the stand and that the lights can wait until the next day. This makes husband happy.

The only thing is the issue of setting it up STRAIGHT in stand.

O Tannenbaum-Part IV "Crooked" Tree Trunk You Say?

As far as my husband is concerned...the word STRAIGHTEN is not in the same sentence as the words Christmas tree. Straightening the tree is a foreign concept to him even after all these years. I don't get it though. Just STRAIGHTEN the tree and it's done.

That night..." you think the tree is leaning a little?"
"No" he replied.
"Well...can you come stand back here? No...all the way back here so you have a better view."
"It looks fine!"
"You think so?"
"It looks good!"

I knew it was leaning.

Sunday night... I asked him the same thing and he said the same thing and I knew it was leaning. I was brooding about it but didn't have time to decorate it anyway.

Monday...same thing. To his d-i-l had stopped by and she didn't see anything wrong with it either. However the only thing that proved was that it wasn't a gender thing...I knew it was leaning. Sigh.

Tuesday...he said that the trunk was just crooked and at this point I just wanted to believe him. We got the lights on the tree. But I really was beginning to think it was leaning again. The reason I was now obsessing about this is because we have had trees almost fall over and so we used to hook them to the wall but we don't do that anymore because the stands are much better and we have the tree place do the fresh cuts instead of him using a hack saw. soon as he got home from work I asked him to stand straight directly in front of the tree trunk. I then asked him if he thought the tree lined up with his straight body? He decreed that the tree was straight!

I then asked him if he usually walks around with his torso at 1 o'clock?? I'm kidding! But we did go another round of straight vs leaning. And then I got an epiphany moment!

I went and got an outdoor floodlight. No...not to break him with an inquisition, but to set up at the back base of the tree. This illuminated it so that it caused a silhouette of the entire trunk.
It was now OBVIOUS that it was leaning at about 1 o'clock.

I then opened with what our retired insurance agent used to say to us when he was trying to get us to buy more life insurance. "God Forbid the tree falls over and the kickback takes out the glass in your antique cabinet and all its contents! I know you'd hate to have to clean up the mess of a fully decorated Christmas tree and to have to start all over again."

He fixed it immediately. He does resist having to fuss a second time with the tree when it is in the stand but he never went 4 days before. He was concerned that the base of the tree was too thin and that he thought it might not stay in place if he messed with it but it was fine.

So, if you aren't sure if your tree is leaning...get a light and shine it at the back base of the tree and if the person helping you is resistant ...point out what the collateral damage would be if the tree were to fall over.

Lesson learned. :)

I am going to make sure I have a roast cooking for him to appreciate when he comes home from work on the day we are getting the tree next year. I really want to see if he will become more docile with meat euphoria sedating him and therefore ok with going to get the tree and setting it up. ;)

P.S. I just want to say that I could not do this without my husband's help and am grateful for it. :)

Also, he has been right about some Christmas tree things over the years, especially Christmas trees 1978 and 1996.

Christmas tree 1977 we both learned what a cat in the house could do to a Christmas tree. Our new cat climbed in it and it toppled over, smashing the ornaments. fortunately, we didn't have much back then so it wasn't a big deal and actually was pretty funny. The cat got so scared and ran out real fast and never did it again. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Kentucky Jelly ...

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I was caring for a women and asked,"So how's your breakfast this morning?" "It's very good , except for the Kentucky jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste." the patient replied. I then asked to see the jelly and the woman produced a foil packet labeled "KY Jelly".
Submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf, Detroit, MI

One day I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a massive myocardial infarct. Not more than five minutes later, I heard her reporting to the family that he had died of a "massive internal fart."
Submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg, Manitoba, Canada

A Nurse was on duty in the emergency room, when a young woman with purple hair styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos, and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green, (What no turquoise glitter?) and above it there was a tattoo that read, "Keep off the grass." Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, "Sorry, had to mow the lawn."
Submitted by RN, no name

I found these while cleaning out and organizing my e-mail last night. :)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

O Tannenbaum - Part II ~A little Background

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Not my tree but I think it's pretty. :)

Three weeks ago, in O Tannenbaum Part I... I lamented over the fact that my husband is not Mr Christmas and he does not like to go get the tree, buy the tree, set it up or decorate it. Oh and God forbid I should ever so meekly utter the words "I think it "might" not be straight!" I am certain the word "straighten" is not in his vocabulary or at least it doesn't compute in his brain as being in the same sentence in which the words "Christmas Tree" are used or he would understand what he needs to do. He's a smart guy and he is far sighted and I know he can see the tree after it is set up. (I'll come back to this) I was also lamenting over his acting shocked that we were going to get the tree that night and then even worse grouchy about it. I told him the night before and I know he knew we were doing that. I left you with my having to pry his fingers off the door frame he was clinging to as younger son dragged him out with us.

Now I know I can be particular about the tree. I also know that my quest for the "perfect" tree may be somewhat unrealistic. They're all different and beautiful in their own way. It is possible that my indecisiveness on the tree lot is what makes him crazy...I admit it. But...the last time I let him go alone and with my blessing to pick out the Christmas tree was Christmas of 82. Yup-it was the last time because he came home with a tree so short that our then 2 year old was half as tall as the tree. Son was off the growth charts but he wasn't THAT tall. What was he thinking...really? I know he loathes shopping of any kind...even for himself. Well he does like to buy meat...he's very primal that way... but that's another post. Ha! I just had an epiphany moment-Next year I should have a pot roast braising on the stove and the moment he walks in the door... lift the lid and let the site of the meat pleasure his eyes while the aroma wafting up toward him sedates him like an opiate and THEN remind him we are going to get the tree now and we will come back to have this pot roast AFTER we get the tree home and in the stand. Sounds like a good plan to me. ;)

I never once complained about the munchkin tree but I have always gone along ever since then. And we were still just starting out and I didn't decorate as much back then. Now... getting a tree like that would be akin to a national crisis in my mind or like Bush becoming president to a liberal or Michael Moore implementing a new health care plan to physicians or Rush Limbaugh having to announce post election that Hillary Clinton is the new president of the United States. Now you understand how important getting the right Christmas tree is to me. The Christmas tree to me is like the train collectors train set with village, the artist's creation or the Donald's real estate deal. We all have our thing. :)

I don't ask for a lot...really..I don't. Decorating the tree is fun and I derive great pleasure in decorating the tree. I've learned a lot about Christmas trees over the years and so I know what works. It has to be big...9-10 feet tall with firm branches and needles that don't prick you. Frasier trees are my 1st choice. It has to be able to hold hundreds of lights (clear), hundreds of ornaments which are then topped with gold beads scalloping the tree followed by tinsel and there is an angel on top. When decorating with family around or when talking with others admiring the tree, I like to point out certain ornaments that have special meaning because they are a reminder of special people in our lives, most still with us while others have passed on. So many people have given me ornaments over the years. Seriously...if you didn't know what to give me for a could never go wrong with a pretty or sentimental ornament. (Just don't EVER give me an electric vegetable peeler...but I digress) I cherish the boys ornaments and pictures. Every year since they were in preschool I wrap the ornaments they made and pack away safely in tissue paper until the next Christmas. I think it is just another way of reaffirming our roots and remembering who and what is important. It's never just a tree to me. :) We also have ornaments I buy every year - shiny cheap ones ...because there is always some collateral damage from the dog and cat and sometimes we humans. I try to minimize it with a plush velvet Christmas tree skirt but a German Shepherd's tail or wild eyed cat can lob a glass ornament pretty far and hard onto the tile floor. I expect it. :)

Before we left the house I asked my husband if he wanted his gloves (it was frigid out and the needles prick you when dancing the tree around) but he said "No","Are you sure... it's cold out?"..." No!"..." Ok-a-y."

The 4 of us(husband, me, son and granddaughter) are now en route to the Christmas tree place...3 of us happy and one not or maybe he was just driving with a purpose with both hands firmly planted on the steering wheel, brooding and non communicative until he announced that I am never going to find the perfect tree and we are not spending a lot on a tree and I just agreed with him but I knew better and so did he. I turned the Christmas music up louder ...falalalalalala. And now we arrived at the lot. It was frigid cold, dark and windy. Devan and I were gleeful and younger son was happy. To be continued....

I will stop here for now as it is late. Family is nestled under the covers, Bob is sleeping near my feet (Bob is our dog) and I have been enjoying the Christmas music on the seasonal TV channel, a hot cup of tea and the cozy glow of the Christmas tree while typing this. (Son is letting me use his laptop) I do so love this time of year! And even though my husband gets all cranky about the tree... once it is up and decorated...he appreciates it. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Never Accept a Drink...
Never accept a drink from a urologist. ~Erma Bombeck~

Ha ha! Y'all know how I have obsessed over whizzie winkles because of the urological issues I have been through and so of course I was drawn to this Erma Bombeck quote. It also reminds me of the comment Dr Richcard Schoor from The Independent Urologist blog left in my post about urinals and aiming, etc. "
You know what we say about urine. It is the champagne of body fluids." which amused me greatly because as I alreadt stated...I now obsess over urine. :)

* I am thrilled to tell you that I got a good report from my Urodoc yesterday regarding the renal scan results. I am healed! Yes I still have the hydronephrosis but everything is functioning normally and ureter is not obstructed. I had multiple stentings to prevent the ureteral stricture from reoccurring (which it wanted to do) with the hopes of avoiding a high risk surgery. Kudos to my wonderful Urodoc for accomplishing those goals and taking such good care of me along the way. I am thinking I might do an open thank you letter to him on this blog because I have a lot of good things to say and if I could I would literally tell the world who he is, but I won't although believe me I tell people in my personal life and strangers when it is appropriate- I definitely give him and his group a good word of mouth recommendation! Also maybe you docs that come through here will see yourselves in some of my words and be reminded of how important you are to your patients. :)

Of course true to my behavior patterns, I didn't think to ask about prognosis, follow-up etc. or maybe he said it, but all I remember is the good report. I don't remember the numbers either and I know he told me. I will have to write these questions down and follow-up when I see him in a few weeks.

Thank you Urodoc! THANK YOU!!! :)

Christmas Meme (revised)

I seemed to have lost my motivation for finishing the O Tannebaum II story and so I am picking up the open tag from Dr Whitcoat to do this Christmas meme and hopefully this will inspire me to finish. I just want to add that I think it hilarious that his brother got up earlier and switched their presents and then from that point on it became a battle each Christmas to see who could get to the presents first. :)

1. Wrapping or gift bags? Both! For the first 5 years of our marriage (until we had our first child) I used to wrap beautifully and then set them up just right and take pictures of them under the tree. People would comment that they were too pretty to open because I would do things with ribbons and decorations, etc. and it was fun. The bags are great because they are so easy but i still find myself adding things. I like Whitecoats observation of kids tearing into the wrapped packages.
2. Real or artificial tree? R-E-A-L! When I was little and living with my grandparents we only had a little fresh tabletop tree. After they died my mother got one of those silver trees with the light that shined on it turning it colors. I thought it was neat ugh! Later I went to live with my aunt and uncle and they had an artificial tree. When I found out my husband's family had real Christmas trees...I just thought that was wonderful. We always only have real trees and my preferred tree is a frasier because they hold up well, the branches are firm and the needles don't prick you.
3. When do you put up the tree? In my perfect world around between December 5th and 10th and preferably around the 10th. The big trees seem to get purchased earlier which has forced us to go earlier too.
4. When do you take the tree down? Both of our families always take it down on New year's Day but then I heard of a Catholic tradition of leaving it up for Little Christmas which I think is another 6 days and I embraced that custom because it gives me an excuse to leave it up longer. Any longer than that and it is bittersweet because I have to face that Christmas is over and it is so much work and not fun to put the stuff away.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yum! We had this organic brand this year that was excellent! I like it with a little shot of whiskey and some nutmeg. I am the only one in our house that likes it though. It was a tradition in my family to have that with rum or whiskey.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Chatty Kathy and Thumbelina dolls. I also REALLY loved these cardboard bricks that I could build with. Oh and a Flyer wooden sled with red runners and bicycle. (Hard to choose)
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes but Mary is chipped and so is the manger so we just angle them so it can't be seen. Someday I would like to have a quality nativity scene for outside...low key but nice.
8.***Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hahaha! This is easy. I am sure my husband ran into the closest store last minute on Christmas eve to get this. An electric vegetable peeler! Oh he scored big with THAT one! NOT! Actually I was very gracious about it but I really was disappointed. I mean come on! I tried to use the dang thing but it took so frickin long to peel the carrot which was probably because it was hacking at it instead. It just chopped at the vegetables and I hated it and it very quickly was banished to the attic and I should have just thrown it out.
***And really...if you have to move your hand up and down the carrot much harder is it to add a tiny amount of pressure instead of HACKING away at it??? * (I am so easy to buy a gift for...the more sentimental the better. (jewelery, book with something inscribed in the front, music, longaberger, turquoise Bajingoland glitter...there is so much...but an electric vegetable peeler?")
9. Mail or email Christmas cards? Definitely mail the cards. I love getting them too and I hang then up in the doorways in the kitchen. I love to display the Christmas letters and pics too.
10. Favorite Christmas movie? Its A Wonderful Life! I have yet to see Miracle on 34th Street...someday though.
11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I try to buy things on sale or if I see something during the year that I think someone will like but I still end up doing the bulk of it in December.
12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Turnip and squash mashed together with butter salt and pepper, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. I agree with Erma Bombeck that gravy is a beverage.
13. Clear lights or colored? Clear lights inside and out. Clear lites on the front bushes, around the door lighting up the wreaths on the door and the little pine tree. Lights shine through the glass surrounding one door. Inside-clear lites on the Christmas tree, beam in family room, in garland on two kitchen doorways and three windows have Christmas trees with clear lights and clear light single candles in the windows. Also poinsettia in between 2 candles in one window.
14. Favorite Christmas song? The Christmas Canon. then a lot of traditional ones and another favorite-baby it's Cold outside because I like the banter between them.
15. Travel at Christmas or stay at home? Home but since I had to alternate working Christmases at the m-i-l does Christmas on those years.
16. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer? Only Rudolph, Donder and Vixen and maybe Dasher oh and Prancer??
17. Angel or star on the top of your tree? Angel
18. Open your presents Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? When the kids were younger they could pick one small present on Christmas eve and then we'd all open them Christmas morning. Then open more when the families got together later. I like the way my family did it best but I was a teenager then. We didn't open any presents until after the Christmas dinner and then only 1 at a time and so we got to savor the moment and see what everyone else got. But my husband and every one else just tear into their presents. I get's just exciting. I guess I am someone who loves the excitement and the anticipation. I love those feelings actually and it all seems so magical instead of hurrying through everything.

Once I was doing the Christmas dinner AND had to go to work at hospital. Someone must've called out because I would never put on the dinner and work the same day. It was C-R-A-Z-Y! I didn't have time to open any Christmas gifts and so after I came home from work about 11:30 or so, I opened all my gifts by myself. It wasn't fun and next time I would wait. :)
19. Most annoying thing about this time of year? When strings of lites don't work. Right now half the lites are out on one bush and I am wrestling with whether or not to try to replace them. My husband not being enthusiastic about Christmas and sometimes even grouchy.
20. What do you leave for Santa? Nothing...we didn't do the Santa tradition.
21. Least favorite holiday song? Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer or some techno or too modern very busy sounding song.
22. Do you decorate your tree with any specific theme or color? Our tree is eclectic. Kids ornaments, Hallmark collectible dated glass ornaments, ornaments given by friends and family. The ornaments are traditional and every year I talk about where they came from. hundreds of ornaments and clear lights.
23. Favorite ornament? I cherish the kids picture ornaments, the Hall mark ornaments, It's A Wonderful Life ornament. But I think what has been neat is that people have stopped by to give me an ornament. A friend up the road gave me 3 handmade ornaments from when 1st son was a baby and I still put them on the tree every year. One day the husband of a client I used to sell makeup to dropped by to give me a handmade ceramic ornament which had a hearth with stockings on it and he had 3 of our names on the stockings and left a smaller 4th one blank. Years later when I had Chris I added his name although not as well as he did it. Another time, on a cold blustery night a friend stopped by to give me a small brass horn with a red string on it. I love that because it reminds me of the book Tom and Jerry's Merry Christmas and I always give it a prominent spot on the tree. I love that she thought of me and the tree and took time out during such a busy time of year to come out on such a cold night to bring it over. It was so sweet of her.
24. Family tradition? Someone wearing the Santa Claus hat and handing out the presents. This year 6 year old Devan was adamant that she wanted to be the Santa Clause and she was until she got too hot in the Santa hat. She did a good job though reading all the names. Funny thing - we told her she gave my husband the wrong present which she did and she said "No I didn't his name was on it.??" We all started laughing because I had erroneously put the wrong tag on it when wrapping and so he opened up a May Birthstone Barbie and puzzled he quizzically exclaimed..."You're giving me a BARBIE???!" What can I say...on Christmas Eve I was wrapping presents while my eyes were burning from the smoke that went throughout the house after burning the pecan pie but still trying to cook it to get the center done. (post worthy)
25. Ever been to Midnight Mass or late-night Christmas Eve services? No but they must be beautiful. My girlfriend was an Episcopalian and her mother was German. So on Christmas eve they set their tree up, went to midnight mass and came home to their Christmas dinner and then opened their presents. I always thought that was neat.

***I am not tagging anyone since it is after Christmas but if anyone wants to do it then feel free to pick up the tag. Let me know because I would like to read it. :)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Birth of Jesus (Luke 2:1-20

Merry Christmas everyone!

It was a wonderful but hectic day today and although I am mellow and enjoying the cozy after glow of a wonderful Christmas day...I am also so tired I feel like Dorothy going down in the poppy fields in the Wizard of Oz and then I am going to sleep like Rip VanWinkle. It was so hectic and I was operating on very little sleep. Partly because there was so much to do and partly because Christmas is so exciting for many reasons. I had so many Christmas things I wanted to write and perhaps I still will during this holiday week.

I am going to call about that position tomorrow although as I have already said...I am ambivalent about getting up at 4:30 am to go to a day job so early. (3-11 is so ingrained in me but I have friends that made the switch to days and wouldn't do 3-11's again.) The days and hours are good though if I could do it. I have a friend who flat out said she could never do that. She starts at 9am. So I have decided that since I am someone who believes doors open when that are supposed to ...that I will proceed forward as if I don't have a doubt in my mind. If there is some reason that I shouldn't do it...then I am praying that it won't work out and that I will know. I am also going for my urology consult tomorrow and depending on what he says make make the difference too. I am officially going to get the good news about my renal scan results but I am also discussing an elective surgery and the timing on that may make a difference should that be something I decide to move on. Although the HR person didn't seem to care. There was a job that I had really wanted in the fall and to this day believe I would work out really well there but I prayed that if I was meant to be there at that time that the door would be open...and it wasn't. I really do think that when things are meant to be...they just happen...amazingly so sometimes and opportunities present themselves. While disappointing when they don't work out the way you want...also really neat and even exciting when everything flows together. I said...I will make the connection and go from there.

Even though I have written about the Christmas celebration in terms of the tree and decorating and all that stuff I never forget that the real meaning of Christmas is the birth of Christ who loved mankind so much that he came to us in human form, willing to live as one of us for the purpose of getting the message of love and salvation out to the world. It is the ultimate love story. And so last but not all-here is one of the Christmas passages.

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1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests."

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Canon (Trans-Siberian Orchestra)

There are so many good Christmas songs but the Christmas Canon is my favorite. Then "Carol of the Bells", Hark the "Herald Angels Sing", "Drummer Boy"...there are so many. I also love "Baby Its Cold Outside" (the banter) and lately have been enjoying the jazzy blues kind of Christmas music too.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Scrubs Christmas Song and Christmas Tree Clips

Turk was filled with faith in God and the true meaning of Christmas until his rough surgical on call night after which he lost his faith. (44 seconds)

The following clip opens with Turk enthusiastically trying to encourage jaded JD and Carla about the joys of Christmas and faith. Then he has the bad on call night and loses his faith. But in the end he has an epiphany moment where he is led by the Christmas star (the Christmas tree in the park) to find the pregnant girl. What they don't show is the Scrubs cast dressed up as being a part of the Nativity scene in the park. It was a good episode. (5 min 17 sec)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Back in the Saddle?

Of course SeaSpray wants turquoise on her match her signature turquoise Bajingoland glitter. ;)

I keep certain corporations bookmarked in my computer and review their job postings every week. I have been doing this since the summer of 06 even though I wasn't completely healed of the constricted ureter. I just want to see what is out there. I also follow the local paper and look at job searches on line. The last month there hasn't been ANYTHING and I assume that is because of the holidays.

This morning something came to my attention that really interests me and I called the HR department. The rep was quite enthusiastic when she heard my qualifications/experience and I mentioned some references as well. She also appreciated that I am at a marketable age in that my youngest just graduated high school and I am free. I can be very flexible although I was quick to state that I am not an 11-7 person although I have been known to stay over in a snowstorm (she laughed about that)and we discussed a little more. She is sending me an application and I need to revise my resume as one of the docs has moved out of state. I need to speak with the recruiter on Wednesday when everyone returns from the Christmas holiday.

I was also up front with the fact that I wasn't working now because of the urological medical issues I have had but had mentioned that I am doing better and will officially get the good news on Wednesday. It turns out that her husband also goes to my urologist and agreed with me that he is a very good doctor. I told her that the only thing that would preclude me from taking the job at this point would be the fact that I may be having an elective surgery but will find out more about that too. I told her I was also interested in another area perhaps along with the position that I am applying to. I inquired about floater/per diem availability too.

I think there was a good connection between us. We wished each other a Merry Christmas and said good bye. A minute later she called back and said she was so busy talking she forgot to ask for my address and was laughing about that too. Based on how she sounded on my answering machine and our overall conversations I would say that if it was up to her...I would be hired. Tis a good thing. :)

And now...I am getting cold feet. WHAT-IS WRONG-WITH-ME??? I can do the schmooze, sell myself and when I get in that mode no one would ever know that I am turning into jello on the inside.

Also, I have been a 3-11 girl for 20 years and if you count my time at ARC then 21 years. Although I also worked day hours the last 5 years with Lifeline but I usually didn't go in until 10 or 11 am. Funny thing-in my day job when most of the employees were anxious to pack up at 4:30 pm -I'd still want to keep working so I'd check to see if anyone was staying later and if they were then I was happy to keep working on things. I guess you could say that I am a lady of the evening by nature! ;) Am I being delusional to think I can do 7 am which with factoring in the commute time that I should be getting up at 4:30 and NO later than 5am? 8 am or 9 am entirely doable but 7am??? If I can do it then I will actually have a great schedule...assuming I get that position. I wanted to make the switch to only days for the last 3 years I worked at the hospital but never did.

As far as the fear factor...I know I just have to get back on the horse. I just hope I am picking the right horse and if I do then I am thinking the saddle will feel real good after I get broken into the new job(s). Yeeha!! :)

P.S. If anyone feels so inclined...I welcome any prayers for clarification on what choices I should make. Should I do the elective surgery now to get it out of the way before starting a new job knowing that down the road I will have to do it? Or should I put it off? I am interested in this job. Are my concerns ridiculous about starting at 7am after so many years of 3-11 or later? ( I would want to be there by 6:45am) Is it the right job for me when I had initially wanted to do something else?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Small Pink Mouse (revised)

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Per Dr. Whitecoat's suggestion...I am posting what was a comment in his post "What Life is All About" over here in my SeaSpray blog. But before I get to the comment I just want to add a few things.

Those of you that know us, know what was going on at the time and it was a l-o-o-o-o-n-g 20 months. This post is about something that actually happened toward the end of the ordeal but there were other acts of kindness done from the beginning..right on through to the end. (I will talk about those sometime too)

Every note, card, letter, word of encouragement, all food, gifts and anonymous gifts were greatly appreciated and are still remembered even today. For as many words as you see me put down in these blogs...sometimes there are people or things that they have done that move me so deeply... that I feel anything I do, say or write can never truly convey the heartfelt gratitude I have felt and feel even now. This is true of things in my past and it is true with things that have been going on in the present. My entire life has been filled with people that have been blessings in various ways.

During this particular time...a judge befriended me. He had nothing to do with anything nor did he have any future influence on the case. He was a complete stranger that overheard a conversation in a public place that I was having with someone. After introducing himself he gave me his number that I could reach him anytime anywhere in the country and this was before cell phones were readily available. Believe me I called him and we'd have long conversations and I'd sob and sometimes he'd even get me laughing and he was so kind and he gave me hope. One night he said to me, "You know...I don't know what it is about you but you make someone want to help you." I don't know why either. I am just me and no one special and oh so flawed too.

Some people said that encounter was a coincidence, a chance encounter... but I believe it it was a "divine coincidence" because his support was one of the things that gave me the strength to follow through and keep going. It helped to know he was in the background. There were other key people too. And above all... I know it was God working through these people to help sustain us in various ways through the difficult times.

The reason "It's a Wonderful Life" is my favorite movie and is also why I named my blog the same is because I love and thoroughly believe the main message of the movie which is that we all are important. Each and everyone of us can and do make a difference in this life, affecting the present AND the future. It is an awesome thought when you take the time to really ponder it. And is a responsibility... because we never know when even the simplest things to us may mean the world to someone else... or crush them like the proverbial final straw that breaks the camel's back. We don't know what is really going on in someone's heart...what burdens they carry. Are they lonely, grieving a loss or maybe they are stressed, hurt and angry or afraid but they live in their worlds of quiet desperation behind masques of smiles or stoicism. I am sure Whitecoat shoveling that driveway warmed someone's heart and who knows who else that random act of kindness will ripple outward toward?


Comment I left on the Whitecoat Rant blog:

Our family received an anonymous act of kindness and it made me crazy wondering who had done it. It was back in the early 90s when we were going through that legal case I already mentioned a while back and we were definitely strained financially.

It was New Years eve and we had some friends and family over for dinner. My husband took a call from a man who said UPS left a package in our driveway. UPS wouldn’t have been delivering then. Anyway, my husband brought in this huge box that was wrapped and addressed from Santa.

There were two other children there aside from our two boys. Well the kids tore into that box and it was the box that kept on giving. It was FILLED UP with stuffed animals, games and also a cool toy gun that older son loved.

It took a couple of years for me to figure out and then our neighbor down the road was discussing something else and I put two and two together and so I asked him directly if they were the ones who did that. He tried to maneuver his way out of it but he evidently couldn’t get past my gazing right into his eyes searching his spirit to see if it matched his words. It didn’t and he owned up to it. Maybe I shouldn’t have done that but I just wanted to know.

One of the stuffed animals in the box was a small pink mouse. I took that for a decoration on our Christmas tree as a reminder of that wonderful act of kindness which was symbolic on many levels. To this day I still put it on our Christmas tree to remember how God brought us through a difficult time and to remind us that he sometimes works through people and that we should remember to do the same for others in need. That night after the kids opened the box I said “This is God saying…"Hold on…I am working on this.” and he did…he fixed it. :) That was New Years Eve 1992. I still remember that act of kindness and others and have reminded our sons that just as we were helped in our time of need, to remember how good that felt and to do the same to help others when they see a need. Younger son was a baby (2 years old when it started and he was 4 on this New Year's night) but I have told him often to teach him about giving) :)


*I am going to finish decorating the Christmas tree. The tree is ALWAYS finished by the 15th and so I am not going to blog again until the tree is completely decorated and the storage tubs are in the attic. The lights are on and there are some ornaments on but at least a couple hundred more need to go on and then the glass icicles, beads and tinsel. (Younger son calls it a slutty tree because he doesn't like tinsel...but he's's pretty and I don't even use a whole box on a big tree.) If I am not back... then I turned the tree around one to many times (last nite when husband wasn't home) and I am under it because it toppled on me or I am lost in our Bermuda Triangle attic.
Merry Christmas...just in case! :)

I will finish the Christmas tree post at some point. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

(Revised) I Know... Still No Tree Post But...Glitterize Bajingoland? ;)
Navigating through blogdom is like going through the free flow of ones own thoughts. You never really know where you are going to end up. It works that way in my brain anyway. In blogdom you have collective blogger brain power to lead you astray and I have found it is easy to get off track from my original intent. And so that is the reason for this post.

I was reading Scalpel's most recent post "The Angry Migraneur" YIKES SCALPEL!-I'd say there are some anger issues there.-*(Also, I am adding this now (next day) as I was going back to check his comments when Scalpel got me with this...LOL! to which I am commenting now! Nice to know SeaSpray will be remembered for something.) ;).... when I followed his link to Kevin MD...where I followed a link to this (female trouble)....which led me to this comment by Small Critic - "I work at a reproductive health clinic- our clients will do all sorts of things to "look good" down there before a visit (including glitter!). But honestly, it doesn't impress us much. If you want to be nice to your gyno:

1. make sure your feet don't reek.
2. tidying up is enough. you don't need to get a sphinx to get a pap.
3. don't have sex 24hrs before your visit. there's nothing like seeing sperm on a pap slide!"

Which leads me to say SeaSpray's signature Bajingoland glitter would be turquoise and maybe mixed with a little silver when feeling really festive or hot pink in the summer. I love things that sparkle! Shoot...I could've decorated Bajingoland with red and green for the nurses at urodoc's a few days ago. Ha ha!

Actually, the commenter above was probably talking about a brush on powder that has a little shimmer to it...or maybe the heavier glitter like for eyes? This whole time I am picturing that little tiny sparkley confetti glitter that you buy in bags for crafts or on cards too. Hmmm...that would be a bit messy and perhaps annoying to the staff when they had to clean up colored glitter from the exam table, floor or wherever it falls. That stuff can turn up in the darndest places too...for a long time. So this inane post is because I am amused at the concept of sprucing up Bajingoland with sparkles. :)

Speaking of sprucing up...I found the comments interesting about shaving these body parts. Just this past year I had a conversation with the manicurist about the same things. Our thing was grooming the "chia pet"...yes or no and how much? I suppose if you don't it's the equivalent of trying to travel through the South American rain forest to get to Bajingoland. Of letting this one go..sorry.

As for this girl there is no way in God's creation that I would ever intentionally not shave or that I wouldn't care if I had trees growing on my legs. And even more than that there is no way in God's creation that I would ever not shower before a doctor appointment. Shoot-I shave for a root canal!

I had a friend during my twenties who decided to stop shaving. That site is not for the faint at heart...ugh. Long arm pit hair and even worse when the long leg hair was flattened under her stockings. (not my intent to offend anyone) Guys look great with that 5 o clock shadow stubble but unshaved/waxed hair on women? No! And it's not fair really. Men get to look sexy for being lazy! Of course we have multiple orgasms, but I digress. I'm just saying. :) Okay...the second I pushed the publish button I had instant blogger's remorse over the multiple orgasm comment. But I am not going to delete it. My point is that we women have to do so much for our appearance compared to the effort men have to expend on theirs, that we deserve the compensation of multiple orgasm capability...I'm just saying. :)

That being said, during the week of my 1st kidney stone on Monday through Thursday-every morning in the shower I had the idea to shave my legs but I kept putting it off until the next day because I was having a really busy work week doing my own hours but also filling in for someone else. Suffice it to know that on the Friday morning that stone hit with a vengeance. I apologized to the ED staff (for that and not showering or brushing my teeth) and even in the OR thought about it before I went under. I also thought about it when going into the OR for the 1st time with my current urodoc because I had been sick all week in the hospital and not up to shaving. (I know staff doesn't care-just embarrassing)

Then last winter a funny thing happened when I met another consulting urologist from a larger hospital who would have done the re-constructive surgery on my ureter. I was going to meet him for the 1st time for a surgical consult. I showered but didn't shave my legs. So...knowing how I really am about this I of course set Murphy's law into action.

I was also stented at the time and so took Percocet for it, usually just once a day during the day and another if I was more active. Sometimes though, just having the ureteral stent would cause God awful kidney (sometimes bladder) spasms that would level me and while it wasn't often...I never knew when one would hit and I would run for the Percocet and then dive onto my bed writhing in pain. NOT a good feeling! I had to go to this appointment alone and it was down in another county and I was concerned that I would have a spasm while driving or being alone but I didn't take it. At the last minute, I did have a friend go with me but I still drove.

The appointment went well, the doc was terrific and I was instantly comfortable with him. We even had each other laughing amidst the serious discussion. But then he told me to get undressed because he was going to do a vag exam. I panicked and in abject fear I blurted out, "But I didn't take a PERCOCET!!!" I can still picture him standing in the doorway...looking at me quizzically. ( I wonder what was actually going through his mind?) Then he said, "I'm not even going to use a speculum." Then I blurted out, "But I didn't shave my legs!" (I know he wouldn't have cared but it just flew out of me) then he said.."Okay...but then you have to come back down again." Then he stared at me while I was quickly trying to figure out what I would do and then I reluctantly agreed and said. "Ok-a-y-y-y FINE!" sigh! The exam was uneventful and based on the films I brought with me ...he also believed I needed surgery..but I digress.

I don't remember if I ever told him why I was afraid to have the vag exam without Percocet. I hope I did. I was afraid that his manipulating something with the stent in there might trigger a spasm and if you have ever had a kidney/bladder spasm then you know exactly why I reacted like that. I guarantee you I don't have to take percocet for paps!

Haha! I can just see it now...."Oh doctor...can I have a percocet for that pap? What? Your using a SPECULUM?? I'll have 2 percocets please." :) That would fly well with the ED docs! Plus I can see it now...the ED would turn into the Bajingo clinic. Haha...they'd probably have some guys trying to get a pap! ;)

Well...that's all I have to say about that. And on that note I will say... The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

P.S. Now I still need to go back to read Scalpel's comments to that post - tomorrow.

Also, when my girlfriend's daughters lost their teeth she would take the tooth from under their pillow and replace it with money and sparkley glitter telling them it was fairy dust left behind by the tooth fairy. :) Devan lost her 1st tooth today. Awww. :)

P.P.S. What the heck is a sphinx as it relates to grooming Bajingoland?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

12 Days of Christmas Correspondence-author unknown

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I still don't know and Stuff!

Sudden snow storms, high winds and ice make navigating the roads treacherous in winter but putting together a disaster supply kit for your vehicle can make you better prepared to cope with emergencies. (Photo Credit: Leigh-Anne Dennison/American Red Cross)
Sudden snow storms, high winds and ice make navigating the roads treacherous in winter but putting together a disaster supply kit for your vehicle can make you better prepared to cope with emergencies. (Photo Credit: L. Dennison/
American Red Cross)

I LOVE today even though I white knuckled it all the way over to urodoc's office today. I was scheduled for something in the office and was also looking forward to getting my renal scan results.

We are having snowy, icy weather today and I wrestled with canceling and they would have understood but I wanted my results and I wanted to get this done while my deductible is met as I didn't want to have to do this in the new year because it would be out of my pocket right after Christmas. Of course I don't know if I have to have another one but if I do at least it wouldn't be right after Christmas when funds are low. (This girl is thinking she should forget about part time and get a full time job instead next year-2008. Husband wants me working yesterday...although he is being patient with me. I can't believe it ...but I am feeling shy about looking for a new job and being the new kid on the block after working in this arena for 20 years -but that's for another post.)

One of the nurses called when I was about half way there and said if I wanted to cancel I could and I said as long as I wasn't going to cause them to stay longer that I would come in. Since they still had another pt coming in after me I decided to continue. But by the time I got there it had turned to ice. Some of the office women were leaving as were some of the other medical offices in the building. I was really nervous about ice building up but I wanted to get this done under the deductible and was vacillating between decisions. First staying -then going- then staying but I went back out to see if ice was building and it was. So I told them I would think about it while cleaning the van off. I asked a man outside what he thought of the roads and explained my concern. He said the roads are bad. OK then I decided to go... but then while cleaning the snow/ice off he came over to me and said that he didn't think the roads would be that much worse in a half hour and sometimes it's better to let them plow, salt and sand more. S-o-o-o ...I went back in and said I would stay so long as I honestly wasn't keeping them there. *It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind. ;)

I think urodoc must've gotten hung up in the OR or on the road because he didn't make it in before I left. Fortunately the nurses were able to follow through and I got it done under the deductible. Yay!
So...I will see him for my follow-up on the 26th and then I will get results of scan and of today.

I had the scan on October 17th but I had to cancel 2 appointments (not the norm for me) but this is getting to be funny now. I do know I have good results because I feel good and I feel healed and if something was wrong I know he would have called but I just want to hear the official clearance from him. I want to hear the news from him in person. And then I want to celebrate! :)

I get along so well with the women in this office. I actually have fun with them in spite of what I have to do and thank God because I really think it would be drudgery/torture in any other office. Whoever is responsible for the hiring there has selected well. After everything was done I was sitting up on the exam table chatting with 2 of the women that work on the clinic side. Then another woman that works in the clinic side came in and with a big smile said, "Are we having a Pat party?" which tells me she has enjoyed my presence there. Awww-warms my heart. :) I have such good chemistry with the ones I have gotten to know on both sides of the clinic doors. If the money was right...I would consider it to be a blessing to be able to work there with them, the docs and the patients. However, like the e-mail says..these are people that have come into my life for a purpose and a season. I just hope I have blessed them in some way too.

I had actually planned to bring them a large Christmas Longaberger basket filled with treats but by the time I came home from shopping last night I was too tired to make the cookies. I made the cookie dough this morning but I just didn't have enough time to bake, put it together, get ready AND go trekking through the snow. They only have a half day tomorrow so I told them I would drop the basket off Monday. And then I will go Christmas shopping! :)

Another urologist came into their office while I was standing at the reception area. He dropped a Christmas bag off for the urodocs. I said hi to him but I felt awkward because obviously I am not seeing him anymore but this group instead. However, he isn't on my plan and so I shouldn't feel guilty. He rescued me from my first kidney stone and I will always be grateful to him for that. :)

Then I white knuckled it and PRAYED on the way back home. I know I annoyed a lot of people because I was going so slow but I don't have a 4 wheel drive vehicle. It looked like there were about 10 or so vehicles behind me. I drove in 2nd gear and never went over 22mph and I dropped down to 3rd going down a couple of hills. Haha...I told an ER doc once that I drove in to work going 6 mph and he said..."Anyone driving 6mph shouldn't be driving on the road." and maybe that's true but I have always gotten there. I would have pulled over but didn't want to get stuck and I could feel myself sliding quite a few times. If I cracked up then they would really be delayed.

*** I can not stand seeing people with the larger 4 wheel drive vehicles driving as fast as they do. Sure they are better in snow but do they ever take in to consideration the fact that snow can be slick when packed and also the ice factor...that EVERYTHING slides on ice? Also, they will probably be alright if they are hurt but do they EVER think of what will happen to the people in the smaller vehicles after they collide into them?
This weather makes everything seem so Christmassy. Even the air seems pregnant with the anticipation of Christmas. :) When I finally got home, I was happy to see that younger son had all the Christmas lights turned on and all the candles in the windows turned on as well, even though it was still daytime. We have a split rail fence that runs along the front of our property and Christmas wreaths on every post, each with red ribbons. They look really pretty with snow on them. (need to take pic in the morning) We also have fresh wreaths on both front doors with red bows and also large red bows on each side of the main door on the brick and then in the alcove of the front door there are white lites strung around the door which also shine through the glass on each side of the door and so looks pretty from the inside. (I used to put colored lights there because even prettier on the inside but I think the only child personality in me has to have every thing matching but I do love colored lights too and enjoy seeing everyone else's.) Then these are kind of cheesey but I have 2 small plastic soldiers with the white pants from Babes in Toyland on each side of the door. Older son used to love that movie and always got excited when the soldiers got wound up and started marching. I still put them up because I have such fond memories of him jumping up and down when they started marching. For his Kindergarten Christmas program (they called it a "Christmas" program back then) he was a toy soldier and he was so proud of his costume. :) There are also white lights on most of the bushes in front of the house and white lights on a little pine tree at one of the far ends of the property. Some day I would love to have a goos quality nativity scene on the hill by our house.
Then white candles in all the windows and a fresh poinsettia between white candles in the living room window. On the side window in that room we have a small Christmas tree with white lights. In the bow window in the kitchen we have another small Christmas tree with white lights and single candles on each side as well as a collection of snowmen and smaller Christmas trees (wooden, glass, metal, ceramic and a pine cone painted and decorated as a tree made by younger son when he was little) surrounding the larger tree and candles. I leave this window set up all winter. Then in the family room window- 2 candles, 2 poinsettias (I admit to fake this year) and usually 2 fabric snowmen which are still MIA in our Bermuda triangle attic so I substituted with a small Christmas tree -no lites and then small stained glass Christmas sun catchers that we made when the boys were little.

We have garland with white lights extending over two doorways in the kitchen and hang cards under the garland and along the wall frames. There are also white lights across one of the beams in the family room and the big Christmas tree in the family room will have hundreds of white lights and hundreds of ornaments.

*Speaking of the Christmas husband just straightened the tree today! Yipee! Now we can decorate! Yes...I know...we did buy the tree last Saturday night. I have one other little thing to post and then really will continue with part two of O Tannebaum. :)

I am excited because I will be doing the Christmas dinner and don't have to work...hence no rushing. I want to make some special things and I am open to suggestions. The traditional holiday meal is my favorite!

I collect Longaberger baskets and pottery and I will be using my Christmas Longaberger dishes along with the paprika dishes. My main dish set is the woven traditions blue and cream admit I went a little crazy and do own 3 different sets of Longaberger pottery -I think I am addicted....and then there are the baskets and wrought iron pieces. ;) That will be one of the perks in going back to work...buying Longaberger again. :) I still have to do more Christmas shopping although we are cutting back a lot on presents this year but that is o.k. because most importantly we have our health and each other. Also...Aunt Dee who has been wrestling with cancer since her diagnosis of breast CA in September of o6 doesn't have to have anymore chemo until after Christmas and so she will be able to be here and that is the best Christmas blessing. :)

Devan will be staying over night Saturday night and I am very much looking forward to doing some fun things with her. It is so much fun to see things through her eyes and to share in her wonderment and enthusiasm she has during Christmas. Actually it is fun all year to share in her experiences. She is an amazing and beautiful little girl...all around, inside and out. Such a sweet yet impish little spirit and a wonderful blessing to our family. All children are. :)

Now I am going to bake those cookies but bring them to my PCP tomorrow and then I'll bake a fresh batch Sunday for urodocs and staff. Tis the season to be jolly...falalalala...lalalala! :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Carol of the Bells claymation special :)

I found my Christmas bells! I LOVE this! Hope you enjoy it to. :)

If anyone knows of any good Christmas music w/only bells playing-please let me know-thanks!

Next post will be O Tannebuam! - Part II ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Post In Between The Tannebaums (SHOCKED?)

I hope I didn't offend any of my male readers in my previous post when in frustration to my husband's "shock and dismay" that we were getting the Christmas tree last night...I vented by generalizing about men's reactions to things when they have KNOWN they will be doing a certain thing... but they don't want to do it when the time comes. I still stand by that observation based on the many males in my life.

And as further proof I just want to say that even on "Everybody Loves Raymond" Ray, his father and his brother would be SHOCKED and resistant to having to do something they had known all along they had to do! Shocked I tell you! And if it was on this must be true! ;)
Furthermore, I am still convinced that this predictable male reaction is something that has been encoded into the Y chromosomes since the beginning of human existence.
Now I do think that women should have the decoder for this behavior in their X chromosomes but I am pretty certain since the males also have an x chromosome they have somehow managed to corrupt the files so that we remain in the dark about this perplexing behavior. That's "my" theory anyway.

Part of Mel's explanation in his comment to my previous post was "They regard home as a place of relaxation and rest and they will fight every attempt to move them away from such a relaxing state." Well that explains why when we were leaving to get the tree last night and son was dragging him out the door I had to pry each of his fingers off of the door frame just so I didn't crush them when slamming the door closed behind us...although...nah I didn't. ;) But I digress.

I also think this is programmed into the Y chromosomes so that they ONLY do this to their wives or other close females in their lives. I have never witnessed this phenomenon in any male to male contacts. "General Patton! UGH! We're doing WHAT???" I rest my case.

Speaking as a female...I can honestly say that we will never act SCHOCKED at having to do something we knew about. I might whine "a little" about something I don't want to do. (OK the ONE exception - I whined with increasing frequency for 4 days at the thought of having a ureteral stent removed in urodocs clinic. It all came out alright in the end. (pun intended) But that is another story.) I usually won't say anything until the day before and I might even sigh and express that I don't want to do something even just before I have to.

BUT...I don't understand the SHOCK factor that men seem to have going on. I know he knows what he has to do. I know he knows I know he knows what he has to do! Is there some primal expectation that if men act shocked and dismayed enough then they won't have to do it??? Has that EVER worked? (Hmmm come to think of it I have backed down and just done things myself at times)

Please don't misunderstand. I love my husband and I appreciate men. I am a nurturer. I am happiest when I am helping someone else feel better. I get warm fuzzy feelings when I know my husband and others are content.

I am real glad I am a woman and I really appreciate men and our differences. I love being treated like a lady and I can't and don't want to imagine life without you guys and appreciate all the nice things you do.

I'm just sayin....what's up with the SHOCK factor? :)
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Saturday, December 8, 2007

O Tannenbaum!

I am so excited right now because we are going for our Christmas tree shortly! If I am Mrs. Christmas then my husband is the antithesis and is not...I repeat NOT Mr. Christmas. He never has been...never! I am not saying anything he would not say himself.

The Christmas tree is one of my favorite things. He has been all growly since after he got home from work this afternoon when I reminded him we were getting the tree when younger son got home from work. REMINDED being the operative word here. He knew the plans last night!

What is it about men anyway? They can KNOW the plans weeks in advance. You could talk about said plans everyday up to an hour before....erroneously thinking they KNOW the plan...BUT... when it is time to implement said plans AND they don't want to do it, they will predictably act SCHOCKED...SHOCKED I tell you that they are now having to do this thing! And my husband will be grouchy on top of it! I love's just the way it is. Where is the joy here?? Fa lala lalalala! (I am guessing this isn't the "F" word that went through his mind earlier.)

Okay, SeaSpray admit's she can be a little particular about the Christmas tree. (I will come back to this later...After we get the tree home and up! :)

Inside This Patient's Head andJust a P.S. to my Clinical Schminical Post

One of my dear blogosphere friends was concerned for me based on what I wrote in the clinical schminical post and so I will just try to clarify a bit. Also...she is right and I should listen to my doctors. I guess denial is an easy hole to crawl into. My rationale regarding the diabetes has been "well... the numbers aren't bad" so I never consistently made an effort to comply with the program...whatever "the program" is. One thing scared me once or if I let myself think about it and that is a friend who is also diabetic and takes meds for it said the thing about diabetes is that it can act up for no apparent reason and take a serious turn for the worse. Back in the hole I went.

I does an otherwise intelligent, rational human being ignore something so important? I don't know...other than to say I have a strong nesting instinct and I have made my hole of denial real comfy. I do have the head knowledge on the topic but just don't apply it.

Almost two years ago now, I spent the 1st week of the New year in the hospital because I had sepsis/hydronephrosis and pyelonephritis because I had a totally constricted ureter. (Thankfully, that was the first and last time I was ever so sick) For the 1st time ever had to take medication for diabetes. The hospital has a rule that if your blood sugar is 150 or over that the pt has to have insulin injections while there. (I think my blood sugar was right around there) So they gave me the injections for the entire week.

My PCP that was discharging me said "You need to lose weight. You don't want to go on medication for DON'T - WANT - to go down that road!" I didn't ask questions then and still haven't. I did lose some weight but have more to go. This particular doctor is also an autoimmune doctor and is why I go to him in the first place. He diagnosed me with autoimmune syndrome with Lupus and Sjogrens disease. He said I was lucky because everything is mild and I don't need meds. I also have HTN. Years ago it would've been considered borderline but now they consider it HTN. This doctor has told me that "if" I lost weight...I could reverse everything.

Can you imagine that? Just doing this one thing could reverse it all. Imagine if someone said to a quadriplegic...if you just do could walk again or if you just do this... to someone with MS or Parkinson, etc. could reverse this. I am pretty certain there are millions of people in this world that would JUMP at the opportunity to make even the slightest improvement in their diagnoses never mind "reverse" it. And then here I am... ignoring his wisdom and my window of opportunity.

And that is what I feel like right now. I feel like I am teetering on the edge and could go either way...and the choice really is... all mine. I don't mean that I am teetering on the emotional edge of things...I AM grounded emotionally/psychologically. HAHA! I know there are some of you who read Seaspray's more ..ahem..."unusual" posts that might take issue with that and o.k. I guess I am somewhat obsessed about urine now...but other than that, I assure you all my French fries are in the box. (It figures I will use a food analogy now) I am also perimenopausal, but still too young to allow these disease processes to take over. Not that there ever is a good time but this is my prime for sure!

So I know...I REALLY need to stop pussyfooting around and stop being passive about my health. If this were about anyone else I would be their champion, encouraging them to go forward into a healthier lifestyle in which they would reap wonderful benefits...if it were about anyone else. It's always easier to see the solutions for another. :) But I am the one who always says people need to be proactive with their own health care. I talk the "I" need to walk the walk. No one can do it for me. I get it. It's a no brainer really but I guess I can be a rebellious one sometimes...or stupid!

If your one of the fortunate ones, you go through life feeling pretty invincible until a sudden serious injury or illness hits. Things just have a way of sneaking up I guess. Some poor choices probably brought me down this path...but some good ones can redirect me onto a better one.

When I was pregnant with my second son I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The doctor (who was wonderful and had an excellent reputation) never actually explained the disease to me. I got the results of the glucose tolerance test before he did because I got them from lab while I was working at the hospital that day. That night my OB called me regarding something else and I told him I had the results. He wanted to know and after I told him he commented that the numbers weren't bad. So I didn't take it seriously in that I didn't know how careful you were supposed to be. I was careful about taking care of myself and gained 32lbs which he was pleased with. But this one day, I casually mentioned that I had a Dairy Queen sundae the day before. He looked at me incredulously and calmly said..."I don't understand...W-H-Y would you do that?" I smiled and said "I don't was just a sundae and I thought the numbers were low." Then he said "If you have have it." and went on to tell me that the baby could be born still born "just because" you have gestational diabetes and also other complications. I felt like the worst mother in the world and I cried. He was a really sweet man but he brought the point home that day. The gestational diabetes went away. I had a heads up that diabetes could be in my future, family hx too and ignored it. And now because my numbers are seems that I have been doing the same thing.

Perhaps I should print this out and keep it somewhere prominent so that I will actually allow myself to process this stuff. When I wrote that guest post for Dr Carone on being a conflicted patient...I told him it was cathartic for me to do that and I felt like I worked some things out in the process of writing. Who knows? Maybe this is my first step out of the hole of denial...even if it is a baby step. The number 8 is the Biblical number for new beginnings. Maybe this New Year - 2008 will be a year of wonderful new beginnings. Better choices, better health and a new job that I hopefully will love and who knows how many other wonderful possibilities. I wish that for everyone! :)

Thank you for the admonishment Angel. When people care...they take the risk and speak up. :)

*Oh...about the perimenopause...I have a short funny story that I will share in the future. It involves my urologist and evidently he hit a hot button with me that I didn't know I had. I am mortified but chuckle when ever I think about it. ;)
About the Herbal Aloe Force juice (I discussed the juice in the previous post)

I got his name from the manufacturer of the product up in the Adirondacks in NY state. His name is Lloyd Wright. He has written a book (or more not sure) on how he cured him self of Hep C and I believe he has a radio talk show. When trying to find the health food store to link to last night I saw that he has pod casts you can listen too.

I don't buy anything other than the juice from him because he is the cheapest I could find on line. I have ordered from them several times and receive the product within 3 days.(From west coast to east coast) Well...actually that was when they used the post office now I think it was 5 days because they switched to UPS for better tracking. The staff is extremely pleasant and knowledgeable. One woman told me he sells his products so reduced because he just wants to see others get well like he did. I called around...even health food stores in the area and he offers the cheapest price...even with shipping and handling so I don't think he makes a lot of money on it. I found out that it sells for 22.00 in the health food stores in the surrounding counties.

I don't buy the juice because of him -but because of the person that recommended it and uses it themselves. I know they know their stuff and as I said I trust that person implicitly. I do wish I knew about the juice sooner though but it never occurred to them that I would be interested in a product like that and it was something I just happen to mention. :)

I used to volunteer my time at a food co-op for a few years in exchange for discounted prices. I do believe in the use of pure products and whole food vitamins. (I could go on here but then that would be another post) I don't eat free range meat or all organic vegetables/fruit etc but do think it is the better choice. I use food and makeup with additives/chemicals. So…I am not a purist. Well food I try not to but make-up…I really don’t care. I do a lot of things right but when I am bad…I am really bad.

An ER doc I worked with used to go around with me on the use of synthetic vitamins vs whole food and was adamant that I was throwing my money away buying the whole food vitamins. Ha! He’d probably flip if he knew what I paid for the juice! He also thought my skin care products were snake oil and that I should save my money and just use Vaseline on my face...oh the horror and perish the thought! Yuck! And maybe heredity plays a role in it but I know those products have protected my skin too and get the compliments to prove it. (Sometime I’ll do a “girl talk” post and discuss skin care) But I digress.

I really do believe that Aloe does wonderful things for the body. I used to drink this stuff called George’s Aloe juice (you can still buy it) and I used to say it felt like velvet water going down. It is tasteless, therefore much easier to drink then the Herbal Aloe Force. I am sure it did good things but as I already said…I trust the person and their researching abilities and is the reason why I am using this product for now. If someone could enlighten me to a better product or one of equal value that provides the same benefits but it tastes better or is cheaper then I will go over to that.

I do still wonder about the effects of cinnamon regulating glucose levels and lipids? And I do wonder if the herbal aloe force had anything to do with it?