Tuesday, April 30, 2013

AGAIN! and Refrigerator fairy

Having one car to share between us is really a hindrance.  *sigh!*  Hopefully that will change soon. Anyway ..I am off to Karl's ...AGAIN...because I screwed up ;last night.  Store closes at 7 and I had 8 in my head but that was the carpet place. Good thing I called tho because sales rep that had helped me last week wasn't on until today and if I purchase there ..he should get the sale. So I went up to Stockholm to check out carpets.  THAT is going to be  a drawn out thing too ...but I digress.

So ...I had pretty much decided that I was going to just get this one fridge ..just not sure if I should get the faux stainless steel or the real.  Pros and cons both ways ..although leaning toward the real but will be disappointed if doesn't hold magnets.

ANYWAY ...I read more reviews on line and so many complained about the meat drawer falling out when filled, etc.  I can just see Mr SeaSpray flinging it out the window ...Ha ha!  Seriously tho ..why are things made like this.

And why does it have to be so hard to just buy a refrigerator???

Same model may also have issue with freezer seal and also no freezer light?  I missed that.  Holds a lot though.

So ...there HAS to be a refrigerator somewhere that will meet the measurements I need.  Plenty if I want smaller and plenty if I want larger. 

I will even pay more for a better quality.  the thing is ..it SHOULD be a good quality.  I also wonder if Whirpool makes different refrigerators for Sears ...even tho the same model number?  Because it was only on the Sears site in which people complained about the drawer falling out. ???

Then back to the carpet store.  Mr SeaSpray doesn't know I'm looking at carpets.

Oh and I did dream in Spanish last night.

Also ...I know these posts have been boring.  I have a LOT to post about when time.  :)

One is a bit off color and has to do with when I was a newbie patient rep for emergency re4gistration.

I've always hesitated to write the story, but it's actually funny and  ..well you'll see.  I thought of it when I woke up thinking about electricity this morning.

Doesn't everyone think of electricity when they first open their baby blues, browns or whatever?  :)

Oh how I wish there was a refrigerator fairy.  You know ...so I could just wake up and see a brand new ..just perfect stainless steel refrigerator sitting in the cabinet in our kitchen with all fairy dust ..sparkling fairy dust scattered all around it ...proof the fairy was there and all.  ;)

And now ...here I go ....AGAIN...

Then back to the carpet store.  Mr SeaSpray doesn't know I'm looking at carpets.  But ... ya can't blame a SeaSpray for just looking.  :)

Monday, April 29, 2013


I finally made a decision!

I'm off to Karl's!  The sales rep doesn't know yet that I am purchasing everything from him.  I've shopped around, prices were competitive except I can get dryer for 10.00 cheaper at Home Depot - but ..he'll drop down.  I finally made a decision.  I had to compromise.  The problem is I am limited with dimensions because of cabinet.  Refrigerators weren't so tall and wide when the kitchen was remodeled.  I love the cabinet and so removing it is not an option.  Plus there is a cabinet above it.

The compromise is that I'm going to have to settle for a fridge with one temperature control unit and every sales rep has admitted people have had problems with them.  Except for one rep who stated he had not seen problems.  No ..I am not getting the service contract either.  never do and even CR recommends not to.

So ..they close soon and need to go.  I am definitely going to try to wheel and deal him down ..just a bit.  I may get the range hood at sears if he can't bring the price down to be more competitive with theirs.

I also prefer to deal with a local dealer and also prefer to support local stores. 

I will say that the Sears rep Friday night was amazing and I feel a bit guilty for not going back to him, but I don't like their points system vs free delivery and pick up.  And I can see why he earned an employee of the month pin.  :)

I feel like I BIRTHED something.  Although I shouldn't get too excited until I seal the deal because there is always the chance something else will get my attention or deter me for some reason.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

God Heals - Physicians Assist

 Photo Credit

If you follow the link, you can read this post on healing, written by an eye surgeon. He has such an interesting blog and I encourage you to check it out. :)

I've linked to Dr Dave before, but it's a blog worthy of repeat promotion.   :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

What Do Spiders, Spilled Cotttage Cheese and Refrigerators have in Common?

SeaSpray ...of course!  ;)

I am so gonna be dreaming in Spanish tonight!

 I'll explain later. I have to leave shortly to go down to best Buy and then Sears.

Okay ...I'll give you a hint about why I will be dreaming in Spanish:  Hips Don't Lie.  :)

So the other night, I had my arms loaded with groceries when I opened our outside door ...at which point one of those HUGE, HAIRY, MUSCULAR SPIDERS that scare the heck out of me dropped right down on a spiderweb strand right in front of me ...so up close and personal that it was practically touching the left side of my face and/or hair.  I screamed so loud that our dog began howling and barking inside and everything in me wanted to just swipe it away but I didn't want to drop the groceries, and the outside door was leaning against me and so I just screamed (once) and shook my head and hair.  I couldn't get in the house fast enough and had creepy freak out chills coursing through me.  Got my upper clothes off and immediately checked my hair in the bathroom mirror.  I never did see it again.  Ugh ...that unnerves me just typing about it.

Then ...while putting said groceries away, a container of cottage cheese fell out of the refrigerator, down onto the tile ...at which point said cottage cheese shot out all over the floor but most of it landed right on top of my shoes which had this open weave on top ...which means it also went in between the weave.  Fortunately they are old shoes that I don't care about, but are so comfortable for my knees when I go shopping.

So ...if you happen to be appliance shopping tonight and smell cottage cheese ...it might just be me standing near you.  ;)

Anyway ..back to the fridge.  Why oh why does this have to be so hard?  Oh wait ...I know ...because I am limiting myself to the freezer on top only and the stores push the French doors with freezer on the bottom or only French doors.  Now I happen to LOVE the French doors but if I did get them the inside would be too small because it has to fit inside a built in cabinet ..thus be no more than 33" wide and no more than 66 1/4 high and even the appliance store man said that the freezer would be too narrow to fit a big turkey.

And in his entire store the only fridge he could sell me in stainless steal had to be ordered.  But then I can't do my magnet test.  Not all stainless fridges hold magnets (has to do with the depth of the stainless steal and he couldn't tell in the manual) and anyone with children in their lives just KNOWS that the refrigerator was REALLY designed to hold all the artwork that children make and report cards.  :) We have a lot of cabinets in our kitchen which is great ..but no room for a bulletin board.  Besides ..the fridge is the covered place to see an artwork display because everyone sees it there.

The other sacrifice I will have to make if I buy one from the appliance store is that it only has one temperature control and I've read there are problems with those.  Also ...and this bothers me ...they have a sign up on the counter telling people that one in four appliances will need repair in a short amount of years - I forget how many ..or was it 3 out of four?  That really irks me and I know it is to sell the appliance insurance ...which I never get.  But ...I have also been reading a lot of comments about all brands in which new appliances have needed repair.  This could be a whole other post.

There was an electric dryer I liked in  the store.  It doesn't have all the fancy buttons the more expensive ones have, but you don't miss what you never had. Besides, I know it will better than what ours is and definitely more energy efficient for sure.  Our dryer is a Kenmore that is still working ...since 1991. It definitely doesn't owe us anything.

So ...if I was willing to get a freezer on the bottom model, have a smaller interior so that a French door model could fit in cabinet, or get a model with one thermostat for both the freezer and fridge - I would have an easier time shopping.  Also the stainless steel is limiting me in the Freezer on top.  Oh and that I don't want a small interior - yet it has to fit into the cabinet.  And the other thing - I am trying to get the better brands.  Like everyone - I want the most quality for the least amount of money.

I WILL pick out something tonight.

And now ...I OFF

AdiĆ³s!  :)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Today's been a feel good day.  Today was a pretty spring day ...the kind where you feel hopeful of things to come and you also get all these great outdoor ideas for fun and work projects.  It could be just a bit warmer and would be perfect.  Then I'll whine when the humidity and high temps arrive, although we will be able to swim.  At least there is that trade off.

Anyway ...I am headed out to a local appliance store a few towns over to pick out (I hope) a refrigerator and then head down to Costco.  This is a good time of day for me to go to Costco because I kill 2 birds with one stone - I avoid all the free food samples and I don't have to drive home in rush hour traffic.  :)

The refrigerator shopping hasn't been as easy as I had hoped.  This is because I signed up for Consumer Reports on line and so I know what I don't want ...which narrows it down since I only want the freezer on top model like we all grew up with and the French  door (F-R-E-N-C-H - I LOVE ANYTHING FRENCH :)and or bottom drawer models.

I loathe the bottom door models - never liked them even before I read about the negatives.  I DO love the French door all the way down, but they are more money than I am prepared to spend.  Also it has to fit into a built in cabinet.  I can get a large size, but not as large as I would want if I had that model.  And according to CR ..freezer on top models have the most room.  Stainless steal and I DON'T want a fridge with one temp control for top and bottom as people are having problems with them.

Also ..it is discouraging reading customer reviews on all brands, because it seems NEW refrigerators have problems.  It used to be you bought something and it was good for 16 years.  A guy in Home Depot recently told me the cheaper models are designed to break down in 7 yrs.  I hope that isn't true, but if they can't get it right ...right out of the factory ..maybe it is true.

Anyway ..store closes at 7. - Gotta go.  All I want to do tonight is for sales rep to take me to exactly what I want.  Then I will still compare between sears and Best Buy.  I've ruled out Home Depot.  Notebook in hand ..I'm off!  :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Figure 19.  Stent fracture in a patient with exstrophy of the bladder. A stent was placed at the time of urinary reconstruction. Conventional radiograph obtained after attempted removal 10 weeks later demonstrates fracture of the midshaft of the stent. The proximal portion of the stent was removed percutaneously.

Fortunately the patient was under anesthesia and didn't feel that.   But, it doesn't look good.  I wonder if it hurt the reconstruction?  Oh ..and I have no idea how this site with stent pictures popped up in a window at the top, because I haven't looked at anything pertaining to urology. 

Okay - it was in with a group of pictures ...one a joke in my blog.  Still ...I don't know why it popped up.  Poltergeist? ;)

By the way... April 25th will be TWENTY FIVE months post ureteral stent removal.  :)

Photo Credit

Monday, April 22, 2013

Angel, 6th Sense or?


Last Thursday, I had wanted to drive down to Costco after an appointment, but had to go home first.   I also wanted to look at refrigerators in Sears.  That was the plan.  And I was totally on board with  said plan.

But when driving home ...I had the thought ..."Don't go down there today.  You're tired  ...go tomorrow."  However, I liked my original plan better.  Yet, when I got home ...I was dragging my heels  ...doing everything but go back out the door to shop.

So then finally after dinner, I decided to drive down there.  Then ...right as I rounded the corner to walk toward my car, I again had the thought, "Don't go down there tonight."  This time I had a kind of uneasy feeling, which I quickly overrode.

But then when  I got into the next town over, my thought was more insistent and foreboding feeling, "Don't go down there tonight."  Still ..I continued on the highway even though the foreboding felt even stronger and so I just turned into one of the local supermarkets.  Immediately ...there was this lighter feeling in me.  I was a bit frustrated because I aborted my plans for the night, but it just felt right.

I guess you could say I was getting a red light in my spirit versus the green light in my spirit I got when I decided not to go.  First off ...I'm not crazy and I don't hear voices.  But it really was like this other thought process that rose above my basic thought patterns.

Honestly ...that has happened to me only a few times in my life ..in such a strong way.  Once ..on a rainy night, before I got to a well known turn at at the bottom of a decline in the roadway ..before I could see that area ...I heard the same thought pattern say, "Slow down.", and I did so immediately.  And that was a good thing because a car had pulled out from the a side road on my left, right into my path.  They  should not have because I was already too close too stop in time had I been driving at the original speed before the warning, especially because the roadway was wet.  I heard a similar voice the night I became pregnant with our first son. ..stating, "You are now pregnant." (There was a bit more, but I'll leave that off in this post.:)  I had been having difficulty conceiving.  I countered it with the thought, "WISHFUL thinking!", I guess because I was a little afraid to believe it.  I was indeed pregnant.

 And there have been other times.  A sad one (although not a voice - just strong thought), was the week my mom was declining, but the nursing home did not tell me.  I remember that Monday night, while walking past a framed picture of flowers she had given us ..having this strong feeling ...thinking it was guilt because I didn't call that day (there were reasons for my not calling) and also when I picked up a paper that pertained to her ...what I thought was guilt ..I realized was a foreboding. There were other things that week.  She died that Friday.  NOW ...I know don't ever ignore that feeling.  I was picking something up ...or maybe God was preparing me ..I don't know.  I think he was warning me and I missed it.  I always went to see her, including that Easter Sunday, but not the rest of that week until I got the call. 

But I digress.

The thing is ...I have no idea what would've happened if I did drive down there last Thursday.  Was I more tired than I realized I was?  Would something else negative have happened?  An accident?  What? I'm not sure.  But I do know the difference between that voice and my own.  Oh sure ..it is my thoughts in my voice.  But imagine your normal thought patterns are like radio chatter, but then a news bulletin breaks in ..except this is more gentle ...although sometimes more urgent,  still above my own voice  process thought patterns.

Is it a 6th sense?  Is is an Angel ...guardian angel?  Or is it some psychological fallout from all the violence that occurred earlier in the week?  I'm not afraid to go at all and I'm not normally afraid to do things.  Unless it is driving into Newark or New York.  I don't do city driving.  :)

So this time ...I don't know why it happened, but I do believe I was not meant to drive down there Thursday.  It could've been my subconscious saying ..you're tired ..don't drive.  But ..it really just seemed to be beyond me.

Besides ...we all know angels can whisper thoughts to us ...right?  :)

Anyway, I ended up spending over $100.00 for the groceries I bought in the local store.  And then I couldn't get all of them because I FORGOT my checkbook!  Fortunately, I had enough cash on me to cover most of the order.  And boy oh boy ...would I have been m-a-a-a-d at myself if I had gone to Costco, gotten the usual large order and then couldn't get most of it because I forgot my checkbook and they don't take my credit card. (Master Card - don't know why)  So that actually worked for the better right there.

But ...having said that ...I still think it was more of a safety warning for some reason.  Ha!  Otherwise the Angel, 6th sense or subconscious could've whispered, "Don't forget your CHECKBOOK."  :)

Other people must have these things happen.  I wonder how you can tell the difference between your own inner voice versus a spirit voice.  Actually ...I wonder how you can tell the difference between your inner voice, your spirit voice or an Angel/God voice ... in thought processes. And there is also this sensation in the center of my chest that goes along with it if it is a strong sense about what course to take.  It just depends on what the situation is.

And I am not at all saying that I think some voice is directing me 24/7.  It stands out because it is so rare.  Which I guess is a good thing, because it is in the important moments that you want to hear/experience it.

And most of us have our conscience and inner voice guiding us to make decisions.  That is the norm for me as well.  My point in this post is that I do think there are times that we get some extra guidance if we are receptive to it.  (I swear ...I'm not a nut. :)  I just don't limit God ...and I do believe that he communicates with us in various ways. And for whatever reason, I was not meant to follow through with my original plans on Thursday.  And I have not had that feeling ..or experience since then.

Some people are very superstitious ...or they rely on astrology, psychics, etc.  I never have anything to do with any of that and don't care to.  But ...I am open to God whispers and God winks ...believing he does communicate to us in various ways and yes ...sends his angels to work on our behalf.

  And I also think we should all pay attention to that 6th sense/gut feeling he gives to all of us.

Anyway ...that was my experience last Thursday.
I held back on posting this because of what happened up in Boston last week.  I was/am mindful that not everyone is protected from bad things.  Bad things do happen to good people that do not deserve what happened to them or to their loved ones.  And how often do we here people say, "Thank God we we're alright!", and yet someone else in the same experience was harmed?  Did God not care about them?  The answer is yes ...God does care about everyone.   I don't know why things happen as they do.  Some things we just can't understand on this side of heaven. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

About Tonight

We had a good dinner tonight.  Chicken and pesto sauce over linguine with a large salad.  I think every vegetable in the world was in that salad it was so big.  :)

Our 2 AngelGirls will be here shortly and are staying overnight.  It will be nice to have some joy in the house instead of the awful news that we've had on for so long today.  And of course we will be turning the news off because I think it is important to protect children from these things.  have a talk about it if necessary, but I don't think it is good at all for them to have exposure to this violence and the fear it can cause.  And it is important to discuss it ..but on the parents/family's terms ...so we can reassure while informing and also screen what they hear.  It is still hard to protect them from everything.

And now they are here. :)

A Terrorist


All the stuff going on up in Boston tight now? 

I am so sorry about all of this.

I do hope they bring the younger terrorist in alive, so that they can question him. 

Admittedly, there is a part of me that feels he's so young ...people that knew him said he was so nice, mild mannered, etc., and so how could he be a terrorist ...but sadly that is exactly what he is and his brother was.  The mother in me ...the human being in me feels sorry for their family ...but then I think of all the other families that have been devastated by their terrorist activity earlier in the week ...and then the cop killed last night at MIT and that they had the materials to set off another bomb ...yes ...he is a terrorist.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another Wrenna Comment :)

Wrenna (3 yrs old - soon to be 4), and I were discussing medicine this morning.

Wren:  "What is medicine?"

Me:  "It's medication, something people take if they are sick ...or not feeling well.  It helps them get better and sometimes helps to keep them healthy. There are different reasons people take medicine, but many people don't have to take any medicine at all.

Wren (with a serious face):  "I take M&MS."

 What a sweet way to start the day.  (Pun intended :)

She always comes out with the sweetest things.  (Pun intended again.  Help - I can't stop. ;)

Photo Credit

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

So Sweet :)

From my d-i-l's fb:
"wrenna saw a little girl jumping around on her deck in her bathing suit and she yelled "HI GIRL! YOU'RE JUST LIKE ME! BYE!"

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bed Hair, Tax Time and Jewelery (2013 Tax Story - There's ALWAYS a Story)

So ...what does bed hair, tax time and jewelery have in common?

SeaSpray AVOIDANCE, of course!

And n-o-o-o ...I wasn't tearing at my hair and mushing it all over my head in abject frustration over how much I loathe doing taxes.  Wait ...I do like doing them once I have it all together and if it all goes smoothly.  But ...I haven't even sat down yet.  And I do have a lot together because I actually did start in January and then put it aside.  But there is always that feeling hanging over me that something could go wrong, be missing or whatever and here I am down to the wire ...again.  Every year at this time I both fantasize and vow to never wait so long again ...but history proves ...this is predictable.

I don't know why-y-y?

Anyway, I had actual bed hair.  You know when your hair is just messy and smushed all over your head on the back and sides ..and top ..not sure why on top ..but it was.  And n-o-o-o ...I didn't go back to bed under the covers to avoid doing said taxes ...although ...I'm not ruling that out either.

I had bed hair because I was spending a lot of time in various beds that day ...a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g to AVOID the inevitable ...right?

I can hardly believe I am procrastinating on the taxes as I am this year - the WORST ever!  I planned on starting Wednesday when I got home from the burial mass, but instead opted to go to lunch ...which then led to mattress shopping.  Hence ...the bed hair.  A girlfriend and I had lunch and then spent 3 hours in one mattress store.  The 3 hours would be because I was like the princess and the pea ...looking for the j-u-s-t r-i-g-h-t feeling mattress.  And also because of the laughter and then major political discussion with the sales person at the end.

The clerk just would not leave us alone ..which I prefer (to be alone) because I feel kind of shy lying down on beds in a store in front of some strange man staring down at me.  So I would only lie on my back for the longest time ...in every bed I tried.  I asked my friend to lie down with me and help me test the mattresses. I asked her to be annoying in bed with moving - shaking her leg because I am pretty sure Mr SeaSpray has restless leg syndrome, because intermittently during the night he shakes his leg every 19 to 21 seconds.  Yes I got that irritated one night when he kept shaking me awake, that I counted how long it took him before the next one.  Sometimes I am so tired and will just doze off but then wake right up with shaking me.  Then I am just there and he does it again.  I KNOW I am not getting quality sleep.  He is sleeps blissfully, by the way.  So I needed her to be annoying with movements in bed so I could test how the mattresses absorbed said movement.

My friend decided she would just jump up and fall onto her side of the bed, which Mr SeaSpray does not do ...but it did help to demonstrate which mattresses suppress motion the best.  And so after a while, we warmed up to it all and were laughing and joking and even tested side positions. All while having this male store clerk stare down at us.  Okay he wasn't staring ...it just felt like he had floodlights and was staring at us.   But he was continually at the bedside watching and interacting with us.  For THREE hours!  At one point ..after having been on and off a lot of beds ...I had the thought, "I think I have bed hair.", because I could see it sticking out and certainly could tell by how it was falling and sure enough it felt messy to the touch.  Obviously I was totally into really testing each bed.  :)  And then I looked at my friend and busted out laughing ... telling her, "YOU have BED hair!"  Her hair was all messy and flat, but mine was worse because it's longer and mine was even a bit tangled in back.  :)  It bothered her, but I actually didn't care at that point because I was a Seaspray on a mission at that point.  I had finally narrowed it down to TWO beds ...but I tell you ...I still could not make up my mind before we left.. 

And I think I was making the guy a bit crazy at that point because he wanted to make the sale.  Although, I do feel vindicated because when I got home, I watched a video on consumer reports in which the person in the video said that "Choosing a mattress is one of the most difficult items to shop for."  It is.

Then, somehow the conversation segued into this major political discussion.  Okay ..that was my doing, based on some comment he made.  (You don't ever want to make a political comment around me or it will lead to a discussion.)  But he was all on board and that lasted for quite awhile too.  The sky was getting so black I thought I heard a girl calling, "Auntie Em! Auntie Em!"   However, this political discussion trumped my concern about the storm and the black sky, thunder, lightening, heavy rain and winds were hardly noticed. (My friend was concerned tho, but I thought we were safer in the store anyway ..unless the glass blew in or roof came off - which I didn't think would happen.) The sales clerk and I had different perspectives.  But, we both learned a few things too.  Like ...I was right.  I'm always right.  There's only one right way - my way.  ;)  Okay - that is so not true ...but in SeaSpray's fantasy world it is.  :)  Seriously - it was an interesting discussion.  Maybe I will write about it sometime. I have a few hot button issues that cannot be brought up around me ..or I can't stay quiet.

He didn't get to seal the deal because I still wanted to comparison shop. 

He did do one thing I didn't appreciate.  Before we left, he indicated he could give me an additional reduction in price.  I asked how much and he said I had to come back to find that out.

 Um ...no I don't

Telling me that has the reverse effect he intended.  I don't appreciate manipulation and playing games.  Either you have a good sale price ..or you don't.  I kept my thoughts to myself though.  His doing that did run the risk for my giving the sale to the person at another store.  Anyway ...I know it will be a Serta Mattress.  Ha!  I keep wanting to spell it Certa ...like the breath mints.  :)

The Jewelery was my other tax time avoidance behavior.  I was all set to start the taxes Friday afternoon when I accidentally spilled jewelery cleaner all over the bathroom counter.  So it wouldn't go to waste, I used it to clean a lot of jewelery yesterday, then soaking it all in soapy ammonia water and then rinsing and buffing.  It took the entire afternoon and then I lost my mojo to do the taxes at all Friday and yesterday.  But my jewelery sure does sparkle.  :)
I ended up going back to the local store and purchased one of the mattress sets I picked out.  I'll write about my decision and mattress shopping in another post. Tax time and all ...even this post is more procrastination.

I'm so excited to be getting a new bed ...yipeeeee!  Delivery is set up for this Wednesday.  Double yippeeee!   YIPEEEE!  YIPEEEE!  And SLEEP ..back to quality sleep again.  From this keyboard to God's eyes ...I'm going to once again have quality sleep.  :) 

And clean, sparkling jewelery too?  What more can a SeaSpray aske for?

Oh ..right ...get the taxes done by the 15th.


I will.

Ummmm ...it also occurs to me ...I am avoiding with writing this post.

And isn't it kind of funny the different things we find ourselves doing when we procrastinate.  Like all of a sudden ...the simplest ...most unimportant things become so important to focus on.  Oh those stove nobs need cleaning.  Or ...I think I'll organized the pens in the house ....or wash my curlers ...or .....or ....or .... and so on.

Suffice it to know that it is now Sunday night at 7:35 pm and I've yet to even put my paperwork on the table ..never mind sort and tally, etc. .. prep for entering into the online tax program, but I sure have done a whole lot of other inconsequential things things while in this major avoidance mode. 

I've said this before, but it would be funny if I could put up a map showing all my steps to everything I've been doing ...except said taxes ..like in the Family Circus cartoons where you see the child's more circuitous route he used to go back home.

  C'est moi!  :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Unusual Encounter at the Counter and Update and a PS

The following was son's experience earlier tonight.

*ringing up this one lady*

Lady: "ya know the last man I hit is dead now."

Me: "alright."
 This was funny on the surface.  Okay ...it is funny, but as I ponder this, I'm also thinking what kind of woman says that to a stranger - so randomly? 

I'm picturing an elderly woman with dementia, an alcoholic of varying ages, a female with anger management issues, a shouldn't be walking the streets psychiatric patient, a gang member, or maybe a recently released prison inmate.

I can't help but wonder what was going on with her and what she looked like.

 Why would she say such a thing to a pleasant young man who is helping her?

 Not exactly normal.

I did wonder if she had sadness and pain in her eyes, a blank stare or a crazed look about her.  

Sadly, in our increasingly violent society ...we should be more mindful of the people around us when we are out and about, especially if their behavior seems questionable.

And even though our son is more than capable of taking care of himself ...I feel the TIGRESS Mom  rising up within me.  I guess that never goes away ...no matter how old our kids are.

I'm definitely getting the story on this encounter.

Update: It was just an elderly woman buying a bottle of Vodka.  

PS - In the past ...I only would've laughed at that.  And wondered about her.  That's all.  I think it is so sad that because of all the recent violence we hear about, that it really did cause me to think about how we need to be aware of people's behaviors and our surroundings.  I rarely ever thought about life this way. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Fishbowl Cocktail

I wouldn't mind having one of these right about now.   To myself.  Doubt I'd get through it though ...not before I was on my ...AHEM.  ;)

Great for summer parties...Fishbowl cocktail!


Fish Bowl (or improvise) 1/2 cup Nerds Candy 5 oz Vodka 5 oz Malibu Rum 3 oz Blue Curacao 6 oz Sweet & Sour Mix 16 oz Pineapple juice 16 oz Sprite 3 slices each Lime, Lemon, Orange 4 Swedish fish Directions: Pour nerds candy in bowl and fill with Ice. Add the mix and your Swedish Fish!

Although it might be a bit sweet for my taste - but it sure is pretty.

Monday, April 8, 2013

About the Morgan Twins: "This is a Dream Come True For Most Men" ~ Blake Shelton :)

And I can't wait to see them again either!  :)

 I LOVE The VOICE!  I find myself smiling and laughing throughout the program (2 hrs on Monday nights and 1 hour on Tuesday nights on NBC), and thoroughly enjoy the singing and choreography by the contestants.  And the judges - already successful music entertainers, the bantering back and forth between each other as they too compete for the winner ...as well as listening to their critiques and encouragements for the contestants. This show has it all and is so upbeat.  I always keep a few saved on the recorder.  It is the perfect show to counter the stresses and bad news of the day.  It seems our world is in such turmoil ...more than the norm these days and this show is an excellent escape from all of that.

So ...I thought it would be fun to put the first performance of the opening night to the new season up because it was so entertaining.  I'm including 3 videos.  I highly recommend the first two videos (The male judges watching the twins in first two videos were so taken with them.:), and the third video is also interesting because the women describe their perspectives and why they chose Blake as their coach.

The first video (above), is the actual performance.

These women (The Morgan Twins) are so good!  I totally enjoyed their performance singing Alicia Keys' song, Fallin'.  GREAT song!  Wow ...even their voices are identical.  And here are some of the comments from the judges.  Adam Levine said when he was listening to their "unison voice together, that's like DNA"  Usher said they were "pitch perfect" on their high note.  Shakira said they have "amazing voices" and they "are gonna make it big."

 The second video is of the judges and their reactions and comments.  Interesting and so funny! I have to say ..when the three male judges saw the Morgan twins performing on stage, it was both cute and amusing, seeing how mesmerized they were as they looked upon them with sheer delight.  Blake may very well have to answer to his wife with the way he was looking at them. :)  Adam was pleasantly shocked when he saw them and Usher was so totally taken with them too.  And I'm sure Blake was right regarding his comment that I used for this post title.  I also think women will enjoy their performances as well.  I've always been intrigued by the idea of identical twins, triplets, etc., and I am astounded at how the Morgan twins do sound exactly alike when they sing.  It will be interesting to see the various types of performances Blake sets up for them to do. I do think they will go far in the competition.

Also in the second video just below ...I love the bantering that goes on between the judges.  You can tell they all like each other and are having fun with it.  It is a competition, with the goal being one judge wins with the one winning performer of the entire contest.

 Here is the third video:

This show just has so much to appreciate.  The performers story that they show before they go on stage, the family and/or friends watching and rooting for them back stage, the excitement of the audience, particularly when they do standing ovations, the excitement for when judges turn around - meaning they are picking that performer, unless all 4 turn around - even more exciting because it means they have to compete with each other as they vie for that particular performer who then has to choose which one.  Then once the actual competition begins, watching each contestant train with the coaches every week and as they hone their skills - you see them evolving ...growing to be even better performers. And it is also interesting to see the already famous singers each coach brings in to also train with their contestants.  In the first part of the competition, the performers have to compete against each other.  They compete in pairs every week and each judge has to choose which one stays and which one leaves.  And then finally once the final team is established the remaining 6 performers then compete against other teams, until ultimately there is a final 4 and then the sole winner of the The VOICE.  The viewers also get to vote for their favorite.  Although I never do.

And the judges, this year ...Adam Levine, Shakira, Usher and Blake Shelton also will do their own performances on stage as solos and with their team.  I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be in the audience.  Lucky people!  Oh and Blake Shelton even has me liking some country music.  :)

I'm a total fan of Adam Levine and have a lot of his songs set up on my Spotify account.  Some of Blake's songs too.  I'll be adding some from the other judges as well.  By the way, Shakira and Usher are temporary replacements for Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green, who had been judges during the first three seasons.  I think they're doing a great job too.

I definitely consider this show to be quality entertainment, something we can use more of on the regular television networks.

I hope you enjoy the videos.  :)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

If Only ...

I have so much respect for nurses.  I'm grateful for the good ones ...which I do believe are the majority in their profession.  I know they have so MUCH responsibility on all fronts.  I know how much they do care about their patients.  Nurses are only human and can only do so much at any given time and I believe most go above the call of duty on any given shift.  They put a lot of miles on their nursing shoes. I was blessed to have had the good fortune to work with nurses for 20 years.  And to have been taken care of  by some stellar ones when I was in patient frequent flier status during the urology challenges ...in bygone days.  :)  If only ...all nurses had the same level of commitment.

I haven't forgotten about posting.

 I'm still processing the death of my friend ...and what seems to have been a lack of attentiveness and compassion by the nursing staff.  I only had one night in which I experienced annoyance toward my friend and myself and a lack of compassion toward her.  But 3 other people ...one of them being an ICU nurse in another hospital, witnessed/experienced less than stellar care of our friend/wife.  Four people (The friend/ICU Nurse, another friend, Patient's husband and myself) ,all there at different times, on different days can't all be wrong about this.

I wish we were. 

And I'm still reeling that a patient ...a dying patient could be treated coldly by any medical staff ...but especially a nurse.  And I guess that is because in my mind ...I always expect the nurses will have the extra TLC to give out.  That perhaps one of the stronger reasons for being called to the profession is to nurture, help heal and empower their patients.  Or to help them die with dignity and compassion. 

Silly me.

And I know that the patient's family and friends are hurting and stressed in these situations and may even have a need to cast blame ..unfairly so ...upon the medical staff.  Or ..they do not understand the medical perspective and only see their loved one suffering and so they assume it must be the fault of the staff.

 If only ...that nurse ...that doctor ..that, that, that  ....if only they were better ...my loved one would not be dying.

That of course isn't fair and is a human reaction to frustration, fear, desperation and denial ...which when combined with a lack of medical understanding can exacerbate to anger and blame.

But when you have 4 different people who were there visiting/helping her at different times and days, coming to the same conclusion because of various experiences with their loved one ...something IS wrong.  In my friend's case - was wrong. She's gone now.

And I am not at all saying that is medical staff's fault.  She was gravely ill and had a medical history that caught up with her for whatever reason.  I am still NOT clear on what happened. Was it the major surgery that had nothing to do with her previous medical history that proved too much for her body to handle?  That is what her husband relayed to me that the surgery was too much for her kidneys and liver.  But the surgery was in February and she had been home.  Did that major surgery set her up for  ...sadly ...what was to come ...even though it was not why she died?  Were the more recent events a complication of that surgery?  or maybe complication isn't the right word because that would've been closer to the surgery - I think.  But maybe the surgery ..the major assault on her body was the catalyst for everything else that transpired. ?  or maybe the initial condition causing her to need the emergency surgery ..somehow is linked to the sepsis she had at the end.  Although ..that is doubtful because they would've tested and she was infection free and had stopped antibiotics.  Although even that is confusing to me ...because they gave her antibiotics when she first became an inpatient on the floor, but then stopped them stating there was no infection.  She became weaker and weaker and doctors were perplexed and did not know what was wrong with her.  Then this week, part of the reason they couldn't do a procedure was because of infection ..which I now know was sepsis. 

Unfortunately, the main person that relayed the info to me is apparently a poor historian when relaying the facts of the case.  Probably anxiety ridden themselves.  Oh how I wish I could've gone into the hospital to see her when she was an inpatient on the floor ...before she ended up in ICU.  I didn't know she was there until 4 days after admit and then I still couldn't get there because of things going on with me.  I do regret that I didn't just go at that tine.  She would've given me her patient number.  She did give it to me  this past Tuesday night. She was unable to communicate when I was there Friday night.  There is just so much to write.  Maybe I will ...maybe I won't.  Writing is cathartic.  It won't bring her back.  I certainly am not going to make any waves.  I don't feel it is my place.  But oh ...if it involved my family - God forbid ...I sure as heck would not assume all is well and leave them alone.

 I've always said this ...you need to be your own patient advocate and if you can't, you NEED someone to advocate for you.  After all of this ...I believe it more than ever.  This experience was a classic example for WHY no patient should be left to fend for themselves in a hospital.  But ...most people don't know this.  They assume they're friend or family member is going to have everything done for them when it needs to be done, the way it should be done, will not be forgotten and will be treated with compassion, dignity and respect.  It's the staff's job after all.  This is what they do - take care of their patients.  It is both assumed and expected.  I always thought the same thing. 

But the reality is that mistakes happen, staff is human and not all medical staff operates with the same level of dedicated professionalism.  And then there is also the reality of short staffing and not enough time to follow through with the paperwork or I should say computer work ...never mind timely, quality patient care.  So ...patients NEED advocates.

I am just trying to understand.  If I had to be a patient - I always preferred being in this particular hospital. Now ...at this point in time ...I would be very concerned if God forbid - I had a loved one in this ICU.  Or even myself.  Maybe that is not a fair statement for me to make since I am basing it on only one patient experience.  But 4 of us saw the lack of compassion. (I did see some friendly nurse faces tough, although the one she had that night - definitely NOT.)  Her husband stated he thought some of those nurses should be in a different profession.  The ICU nurse/friend told me that They would never get away with half the **** they pulled and would never get away with it in her hospital.  She spent the most time with our friend.  The other friend was livid over something and after two days blasted the staff and within 10 minutes a social worker came up and got the procedure going.  ( I will say that perhaps the staff knew it was hopeless and why put her through it ...but even then it was obviously poor communication.  Our friend was suffering in pain and for TWO days waiting for them to come and do this for her.)  After doing it, it did turn out she was not able to have the procedure.  Tuesday night, my friend - the patient kept telling me she wanted to know everything that was going on and no one was talking to her.  She wanted to know if she was going home again.  She had pain meds, but was lucid, articulate and knew exactly what time her last dose was, etc., and was able to give me direction for some things she wanted.

Anyone who is familiar with my medical posts, knows that I fully support and am grateful for the terrific medical care (with only a few exceptions in my life), that I have gotten from so many doctors, nurses and technicians.  I also worked in the business - in patient access for 20 years as well as serving multiple clients for 5 years working for LifeLine, while at the VNA.  I LOVED it!  I had ample opportunity to witness first hand what stellar medical care looks like in the 20 years worth of medical staff - patient interactions at the hospital. I know how to help patients, to treat them like they matter ..and their families. I was blessed to have been a part of that and loved to assist the patients in many ways ..always providing extra TLC whenever I could ...even as the paper pusher (who also got to help with other things involving patients too) and would also go out of my way to be helpful, kind and compassionate with the LifeLine clients as well.  I could not imagine treating people any other way.  And then as fate would have it - I became the frequent flier patient thanks to that first large kidney stone.  I was a frequent flier to the ER, SDS, OR, Out Patient testing, medical office - both front and clinic side and in different facilities, depending on the test du jour.

So ...I also had ample experiences being the one on the opposite side of the counter ...being vulnerable on a stretcher ...at the mercy of medical staff.  And I have to say that at least 90% of my experiences with medical staff in all areas were positive and those skilled, kind and compassionate professionals helped get me through some scary and challenging times.  They were terrific.  There were a a few negative experiences and that is a shame when it happens.  But ...I was not dying!  Okay once I thought I could be ..in post op ..but that is another story.  I wasn't and they knew that.  Although better communication and a warm reassurance could've eased that for me.  Again ... another post.

My point is ...I ...as a patient already had knowledge of the business ..how it works with medical staff - why they do some of the things they do and so I understood things, which did help me to know at times.  Also ...even when at my worst ...I still didn't have the same worry that my friend must've had - knowing how grave her condition was and enduring the intense physical pain, weakness and not able to do anything for herself ..including feed her self. (I learned something disturbing about that today too!) I wasn't wondering if I would go home again.  I did not see death as potentially imminent.  I did not experience that same fear she expressed and I saw on her face when she was trying to get her breath.  I did not ever feel her terror at being transferred out of one area into another.  And I did not feel afraid of the staff that my life was dependent upon ..like she had become. I wasn't afraid to be alone with only the staff to take care of my needs. 

 Instead, I had many positive medical staff interactions amidst my challenges at the time.  To experience anything less would've been upsetting and I did not have to deal with the same physical and emotional challenges that she did.  Not even close!  And I had people to stay with me if I wanted, but instead I told them to go home because I really was alright alone and couldn't see them having to sit there for so long.  But if I (God forbid) was as ill and was treated like she was at times ...I would NOT want to be alone either ...NOT in her state.  Sadly ...no one could stay around the clock.  And the one person who could have ...did not.

So ...for the life of me ...I just do not understand why they expected her to do things she was not capable of, reprimanded her in one instance that I know of and it certainly was NOT her fault and she NEEDED HELP.  If a patient is lying there in that weakened state ...shouldn't you be MORE attentive?  And not display coldness or irritation.  Shouldn't you show warmth and at least say hi when you change an IV, do a blood pressure, or whatever?  Shouldn't the patient be treated with dignity ...like they have value and are not just a job to get done? 

I wrote more and there is so much.  Putting our stories together ..it is upsetting to think how she must've suffered because she did not have an advocate there for her most of the time. 

I am also concerned that she was so hungry at one point and thirsty for most of it.

I will never forget how her tongue and lips were cracked and flaking when I saw her Friday night.  I can only imagine what her throat felt like.  I will come back to this and being fed.   I was never with a patient who expressed fear.  And she did that as late as 1 am Wednesday morning.  I swear ..if I knew she would die a little over 24 hours later the next day ...I would've stayed longer and I would've gone back the next day.  My plan was to stay with her Thursday and into the evening.  But it wasn't meant to be.

I just can't help wondering ...if some things were a bit different ...would she have gotten more time at home?  Because I also know her spirit must've been crushed that last day and that was not from medical staff. I wonder ...even though she was seriously ill ...if she had had a positive experience with nursing and other medical care - on both floors, if the very negative person in her personal life had not been so negative, if she was able to hold on to the hope imparted to her by other friends and myself (because she got stronger in our presence as we talked with her) and with all the many people praying and churches ...would she have thrived against all odds and been able to fight better if she had continual support?

If only ...

I also want to discuss the importance of speaking with hope and being positive around a patient ...especially if they are dying ..IF they have not accepted they are dying.  And certainly you can still be positive around a dying patient.  It will help make the transition easier instead of going out with angst in your spirit like I am concerned she did.  :(

This was a lesson in how ...God willing I do NOT want to die.  Nor do I want my family or friends to experience dying this way.  God forbid.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Patients Are More Than Monitors - DARN IT!

I got some upsetting news about my friend in ICU from another friend this morning.  Too long to go into now and I am going to find out for myself shortly - I hope ..if friend in ICU is still talking.  She was as of this morning.

Turns out no one is with her most of the time.  Including a very important person who SHOULD BE as much as possible.  Obviously I can't discuss a lot.

BUT ..what has me really upset ..well besides some of the personal going on or NOT with her ...is I am wondering how attentive ICU is.  I always assumed that in ICU well that is where you actually have more attention and I assumed tlc.

I 100% believe that it is so important to have someone advocating for the patient when they are not able to for themselves.  My friend in ICU is a totally capable person that has helped many people in her life ...but now can't even lift a cup of water for her self.

I noticed when I was there the other night - Friday night that her lips and tongue were cracked and peeling.  She looked so DRY!

Some of you that have followed my blogging may recall how stressed I get because I cannot stand being NPO and it's not fro the food it is for the water.  I have had times I was on NPO so long that my throat began to stick when I swallowed and I was borderline panicking at that point.  It felt like it would maybe stay closed.  And my lips and tongue never looked like hers.  It only happened to me twice thank God.  Must just be my system.

So that night I asked the nurse if I could swab her mouth.  She said no and they've been doing it.  I looked back at friends mouth and lips and back at nurse.  But ...she looks so dry.  Nurse stated they have a white cream they put in her mouth to keep it moist.  I looked back at lips again.  Then I told her one story of how I had been NPO for a later surgery and then had to stay NPO in case I had to go back in to OR and back in my room my throat began to stick.  that is when they gave me swabs to use and ice chips and it helped so much.  I said it to maybe give her a clue that dryness could be farther down than mouth!

And believe me ...it does NOT matter if you have IV fluids going into your body because they are NOT going down your throat!  My heart breaks for any human being that cannot care for themselves and is at the mercy of pothers for their care and is suffering because the caretakers are oblivious to the needs of the patients.  Anyway ...I dropped it.  The nurse was very nice otherwise.

But I heard via a friend that some day nurses are cold, say nothing just do what they have to do and show no compassion.

My God!  Would it kill them to ..in a sweet compassionate voice say Hi M ..I'm here to do such and such.  Can I raise you up a bit ..Can I do this, etc.  Smile ..and if eyes not open then smile with their voice.  How about a compassionate hold the hand for a minute or rest their hand on her shoulder ..whatever.

I know short staffing, computers and all.  It's just that plants, grass, babies and people DIE without attention.  ids it that she's written off already because of the prognosis?  Is it because they have so many?  What?  I trust the friend who has witnessed it. 

And this is what really got me riled up.  It turns out she was allowed to have fluids and ice chips.  BUT ..she can't do it for her self.  NO ONE helped her.  So friend goes in and she asked friend for water.  Friend raised her head up a bit and M drank entire cup and a bit more.  She was so GRATEFUL for the drink of water!  WHY didn't any nursing staff KNOW she could not help herself and just MIGHT be THIRSTY?!

There's more.

Anyway ...I called ICU today ..knowing without the number they can't talk to me (I will get it tonight if friend is still communicating) and I said I knew that ..but I wanted to tell her my friend had been seriously thirsty and it was a friend that helped her and she doesn't have many visitors to help her.  'm not going to say what we discussed, but it was polite.

I will just say though... A PATIENT ...is MORE ...than MONITORS!

So ...it is a combination of what someone who should be at her side helping is not and things I know and what I feel is not an environment conducive to helping a patient thrive while she is fighting for her life.

Am I being an annoying non medical person who doesn't understand the business of medicine in ICU?  Maybe.  But isn't there also common sense, compassion and human dignity to be factored in?

Well ....I hope to do some of same when I go over or I will gladly do whatever she wants me to if she's awake or communicating.  maybe even brush her hair gently.  Human TOUCH is so very important.

Also, I saw with an aunt who was so weak dying of cancer that nursing staff was not checking on her.  We went out to get help.  maybe they knew we were there, but even then ...not all visitors are aware of the patient's needs.  Some can be pretty insensitive ...even with conversation.

And ...I know  ..some of you may think I am being unrealistic to think she could have a healing miracle.

But ...WHAT IF?  

What if  it could happen?

I'm not ready to write her off at all and will be positive as long as needed.  And if it comes to the point she discusses hospice - I will do that to.  I know those things are important and the patient needs to be able to say what they want/need to say when tying up lose ends or expressing feelings.  Years ago, one of my dear friends and mentor worked with death and dying patients and I am familiar with those things too.  But ...as far as I know ..M has not brought that up.

I will be praying  before I go in and if anyone else sees this ...please keep praying for her and also that medical staff and other people WILL BE attentive to her needs and comfort. 

 Thank you.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Perfect for April Fool's Day! :)

 This would be fun to bring to the doctor.

Except, I would place the "stool" sample in a Ziploc bag, dated and with my name on it.  Ha ha ha ha!

Actually - it would be fun to bring this sample to my urologist.  O-r-r-r ...how about giving it to a  neurologist, a podiatrist, or even a pulmonologist.  And ...well ...you get the picture.  Bring this stool sample to any doctor who does not require patients to bring in stool samples  Even better ...bring it to the DENTIST.  LOL!  Yes ...especially the dentist. Heck!  You could even bring it to friends.  LOL!

Have this little "stool" sample with you in your purse or pocket.  Then when face to face, with good eye contact and a straight face ...state in an assertive, yet helpful tone that you brought your stool sample for them.   You know ...say it like you're efficient ...and proud to be of help to them because you are giving them what they require from you.  Appreciate their puzzled ...taken aback ...possibly disturbed expression, for a second  ..then pretend to be rummaging for it.  Okay ...maybe you can't rummage too much in a pocket ...but in a purse you can have a little fun with it.  Or you can pretend you have it in a food snack bag and just have to pull it out for them.  Pretend you don't hear any of their protestations or questions, because you are obviously preoccupied with finding the "stool" sample for them, so cheerfully let them know you will have it for them any second now.

Then exclaim, "Oh HERE it is!", at which point you pull the sample out and with a big smile ...attempt to give it to them. :)