Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ruminants for today . . .

I got awakened up early for breakfast club this morning. No one called me the night before, so I didn't know about it. I went to Cora's like I just rolled out of bed (of which I did). It was fun though, as always.

I've been feeling quite tired and down. I had another "fruitful" day, without doing one thing around the house. I hope this funk leaves soon. I hate being non-productive.

Heath Ledger died this afternoon. I'm not sure if I have seen a movie of his, but then again, I'm not much of a movie watcher these past few years. I don't even have a DVD player or a VCR. I keep thinking about getting one, but I don't really watch a lot of TV to begin with. It is sad when so one with so much promise and is so successful in life can die like that. It makes we wonder why I'm still kicking around. I've had to fight hard for everything I have in this life and still I continue to circle around in the toilet bowl. I guess it is all about character.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Too injured to keep up right now . . .

Ahhhh . . . sorry for the backlog. I cut my finger about three days ago and I haven't been able to type very well lately. I accidentally cut the fingerprint off my left index finger. I was cutting up tofu in the kitchen so my supper that night wasn't exactly 100% vegan. (Big LOL). I've been really having a lot of problems getting it healed because I cut off so much, so I keep having to put dressings on it. Makes it hard to type and it is taking a long time just to type these few words. I haven't forgotten at all.

I have been going through a bit of a funk lately. I'm just feeling like crap, not doing anything, feeling sorry for myself, not having any ambition to do anything. I just am not improving as fast as I would like and keep getting down about it. The surgical area around the new stimulator is collecting fluid over the past week and I now feel as if I have a third boob growing just underneath my collarbone. The line going up my neck is now swelling up so much you now can see it without too much trouble, whereas it was just showing up if I turned my neck to the right. It throbs and aches all the time, whereas over a week ago, I wasn't feeling any pain there at all. My seizure rate has improved – but only mathematically. I still feel like I am getting kicked in the pants all the time.

I wanted to go back to work earlier, and my neuro said I could go back on paperwork, but the hospital doc told me no. That's really frustrating because he doesn't know anything to be making that kind of judgment. I know I am pushing it and I do need the extra time to get better, but financially, I am using up my savings "getting better." You can only afford to get better so long.

I haven't seen that Diet Pepsi commercial lately at all. I can only definitively say I saw it twice, and the other ones of that series I have seen more often. I haven't seen it on other channels other than the Comedy Network. I'll keep checking that site to see if they had posted it there yet, but as of tonite, they haven't posted it yet.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Blah -

I went grocery shopping today with J. It's nice to eat nutritional food again. I've been back and forth to the hospital a couple times and have been disappointed that I can't start back to work yet. It's getting frustrating how long I have to wait before I am deemed "better."

I had to get up early this morning for my appointment at the hospital and I had gone to bed late last night. Now, I'm really tired and probably going to go to bed early tonite.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Low energy day

I had a quiet day today. I love sleeping in until the late hours of the morning, but I am staying up late into the early morning.

I took the dogs for our first walk around the neighbourhood since I have been taken off my medical "house arrest." I took Peanut and Latte individually out though because I didn't want to but any stress on my incision and the wires in my neck. They were really upset at first that they were being separated, especially Latte, and Latte remained a little tense through the first half of the walk. I took her for a longer walk and let her go off-leash in the park because she needs to burn off more energy. Peanut just goes slow and has to sniff everything along the way, so we just went around the block. They seemed really happy about it.

I've been almost totally non-productive today which is disgusting. I had a seizure earlier and am just feeling like a sack of poo, like my energy has been sucked out of the bottoms of my feet and I have to wait hours before my energy comes back – like when your cell phone battery runs down to nothing and you have to plug it in for a couple of hours before you can use it again. I wanted to go grocery shopping today because there is almost absolutely nothing in the house, but ran out of energy, time, and will. At least the dogs got a walk.

Epilepsy sucks.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Little diddies . . .

I don't have much to say today. It's cold and damp and the cold gets in your bones. I haven't been able to warm up, even though the temperature outside is on the plus side.

I saw the neuro yesterday. I was a little disappointed with my progress since the stimulator was turned on, but in the back of my mind, I knew that it would take time to bounce back. I was just hoping, with all the waiting and punishment my body has gone through with all the seizures, that I was 'owed' some positive news. Well, things just take time and I don't feel I really have a lot of time to be screwing around trying to get better. I really forced the issue that I wanted to get off 'house arrest' and wanted to go back to work. I don't feel comfortable off house arrest at this present moment because technically there isn't much difference in the amount of seizures I've been having pre and post surgery yet, and the neuro warned me that the power of the stimulator is still pretty low compared to my original programme. The magnet isn't working on its prn setting yet. I have tried it twice before the two seizures I had last week and it didn't work, but he warned me that the settings are still pretty low. About going back to work, he said that would be a good idea but he wanted me on very low stress work right now and knew that it would take awhile for the hospital to let me back anyway.

I visited my friend's store in North Bay over X-mas and she has some amazing stuff. Christine Charette is an artist, musician, and she designs clothes. She works with her friend Liz, who designs jewelry and is a photographer and they together feature fashion and goods created by them and a number of like-minded, creative people with a bend towards sustainable world and environment. Most of Christine's clothes are created by recycling fabrics from discarded clothing and wool. It is a fantastic store! I bought some Damned Dolly mitts, a pendant made by Liz made from porcelain which features a nest with a robin's egg in it, and I bought a beautiful knit purse. They don't have a website, but you can visit them on Facebook under the group "peeps of hibou boutique" where they have a lot of pictures of the store and their merchandise and on MySpace.

Here are some thoughts I had last night:

  • Do you remember a time you didn't have to wear a seatbelt if you sat in the back seat?

  • Do you remember fighting over who was going to ride in the truck bed as a kid?

They certainly don't do that anymore, but we never thought of stuff like that when I was a kid.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Thoughts about the American Primaries . . .

I always thought that my family has had a love-hate relationship with politics. I've always felt politics is a necessary evil, but every once in a while someone comes along that inspires and uplifts you by their words and actions. A lot of relatives thought that the Kennedys were idols. I remember pictures of these American men hanging in the cottage, collecting Life magazine featuring the assassinations of both RFK and JFK. I personally read a lot about Robert Kennedy's career and his run for the presidency before he got assassination. I found him to be inspiring, hero-like, someone who believed about raising the lowest common denominator to the sky to become the best someone could be.

My mother and both set of grandparents were very Liberal and were quite vocal about it. I was kicked out of the house for a bit after I announced I voted NDP once when I was younger by my mother. My father is not really into politics. He thinks it's all BS and politicians are all liars and publicity whores. I have found this more and more true this past two decades because there hasn't been anyone inspiring for so long. My father said he was always going to vote the opposite of my mother to negate her vote, which would really piss her off each election.

The latest discussion my parents and I had over X-mas was over the Presidential Primaries in the States. Mum got mad because she thought I should be for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman. Dad got her mad because he was telling her "who cares? It's in the States." I don't think it matters as much as she was making it out to me – we're not American and have no say in what goes on down there. Canadians don't appreciate American interference in domestic affairs, so why should we care what goes on down there? Where it matters is whoever is voted in down there, and you can choose to discount this, but it is true, influences what goes on here. Someone liberal (small L) gets voted in down there and then it becomes the thing to vote for someone liberal up here. It's like liberal ideas are "in vogue" again. When someone conservative gets voted in down there (Bush), it becomes "in" to vote for conservatives up here (Harper).

What makes me interested in this election down there is Barack Obama. He is quite inspirational. His speeches sound so Kennedy-esque or MLK-esque. It's almost poetry. He really buts hope into people. He doesn't sound like he is throwing a lot of bull shit around either. His speech last night after the New Hampshire primary was amazing – the "Yes we can" speech.

A little tidbit on the Daily Show today – I watch last night's Daily Show/Colbert Report on the Comedy Network during the day when I'm not working. David Frum, a Republican advisor for the Giuliani campaign (who is also Barbara Frum's son, a famous Canadian journalist) was on discussing Republican strategy with Jon Stewart. When discussing Mike Huckabee, a very religious guy running for President, they were talking about how the Republican Party recruits ultra-religious evangelicals, but doesn't want them running for President, here is the discussion (paraphrased):

Jon Stewart: It's like the Simpsons (the cartoon). When it comes to it, everyone wants Ned Flanders as a neighbor because he does all the legwork, but they would rather vote for President Homer.

Frum: No one wants a President Homer.

Jon Stewart: We HAVE a President Homer now.

I almost peed my pants laughing so hard.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Thoughts for today . . .

I saw the funniest commercial on TV that I have seen recently. I saw it on the Comedy Network; while I was watching the Colbert Report (they are starting new shows finally!) It was a Diet Pepsi commercial where the scene was a wedding reception and the DJ started playing "Mony, Mony" by Billy Idol. A nerdy guy gets on the dance floor and starts singing the "inferred" chorus – you know the inferred words I'm talking about – "hey motherfucker, get laid, get fucked!" Of course, the commercial bleeps out his words and his mouth so you can't see what he is saying – but everyone in the target audience knows the words. This commercial caught me so off guard, I just laughed so hard! I actually tried to look up this commercial on You Tube to post on here but it hasn't been posted yet. I'll keep looking.

The latest weather here in Ottawa is the January thaw they warned us about. There hasn't been any flooding that I can see. It has just been really, really foggy. Yesterday afternoon, it was hard to see across at the houses across the street. I usually use that visual cue to judge the amount of snowfall we get. It has been quite dark because of this. Luckily, I'm taking Vitamin D this winter. There has been quite a bit of recent research on the use of supplemental Vitamin D on people who live in this part of the world and more north during the winter on mood, cardiovascular health, etc., so I've decided to try it this winter to see if it works. I'm not sure if it has been any benefit, with January and February being the worst months for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but with all the turmoil going on in my life this past couple of months, anything is a benefit as far as I'm concerned.

I lost another chance for a puppy over the X-mas break. The first litter of puppies I was supposed to have a chance at was a false pregnancy. The second litter was 9 puppies, with yellow and black labs but all the black labs were black and the yellow puppies were a mixture of female and males. I am wanting a black female lab because I already have the yellow and chocolate lab. I am willing to wait forever for the perfect puppy. The litter born over the X-mas break was all yellow labs. The next litter will be born next month. I would love the puppy to come home over spring or summer. It is easier to house train them because I get a little impatient outside waiting for "potty" when it is -32 outside. If I was a little puppy, I would prefer to pee on the floor inside where it is warm than go outside when it is that cold on my little paws and little body.

I called EI here in Ottawa to make sure the hospital sent them the papers they needed. He was rude on the phone when I kept asking him to repeat himself. He was talking so fast and it was taking me a long time to digest what he was saying. He started sounding "short" and frustrated at me when I kept asking him what he meant or what he said. I apologized to him, saying "sorry, I need you to repeat yourself because I just had brain surgery (a little exaggeration, but I'm not going to keep explaining to people about the epilepsy stimulator every time it comes up). After that, he started being nice and patient with me, so it was worth it. I think everything is now straightened up. I now just have to wait until the big bureaucracy kicks in.

I saw this little snippet on CNN so I had to post this here. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/offbeat/2008/01/08/glassberg.nj.man.living.in.ikea.wabc

This, to me, is quite funny because I own a lot of IKEA furniture. I would love to have all IKEA furniture (I'm pretty close now), but I can't stand how busy the store is, especially on the weekends. People go to IKEA and let their kids run around free and buy light bulbs. It is sometimes impossible to shop for furniture. I think Ottawa just needs another, bigger IKEA.

I bought a beautiful rosemary tree from Loblaws before X-mas and I think I killed it already. It smelled so beautiful and it was shaped so nice, I just had to have it. Fresh rosemary in food just tastes so good. Being away for two weeks just dried it out and when I came back, there was still some green on it, I thought it was salvageable. Today, I went to water it, and it looks like it is all dead. What a waste. I am just so grateful that the coffee tree survived. I'm surprised the rosemary tree died. I thought they were hardier than that.

I was glad that the Daily Show and the Colbert Report were back on TV, despite the writers' strike. After watching both shows, I thought that Jon Stewart had a bit of a problem without his writers, but, of course, I will give him a chance to come back from being without writers. Stephen Colbert, I thought, was almost the same without his writers. The Last Word wasn't played, so it is obvious the writers write that, but the rest of the show sounds just like him. Being confined to my house these past couple months; I have relied on books, music and TV, the computer, along with friends. With the writers' strike, the TV has been slowly taken away. I don't watch a lot of TV shows, but the ones I do watch are all repeats and I don't like watching repeats that much. I'm glad that these two shows are back.



Monday, January 7, 2008

Cabin Fever Hits Again . . .

Hopefully, this is the last week of "house arrest." As you know, the neuro has said I shouldn't venture outside unaccompanied, which makes for a difficult time since I live in a house by myself with my two dogs. I can't run errands, grocery shop, go to Starbucks, go for walks with the dogs, and get rid of boredom without the charity of a few good friends, of which I am forever grateful. After visiting the neuro last Thursday and getting the stimulator turned on, I wasn't taken off "house arrest" because it will take awhile to come on.

The neuro underplayed the effect that the stimulator will have on my seizures in the short term and was underplaying the effect it might have on the long term, he said, to not get my hopes up. I thought that was a big downer because I have been waiting for this new stimulator for months and have been suffering from so many seizures. With it being on for a few days, I have felt my mood pick up noticeably, but I have had two seizures this week, which is disappointing. I hope that things will improve gradually. It frustrates me because I want to get back to work right away, but I'm still where I was before, except for a sore neck and left shoulder where the incision is.

What added to the injustice I've been feeling is that I didn't get paid last Friday from the hospital. I phoned and wanted to find out how they wanted me to live. I guess the paperwork that they were supposed to fill in for my sick leave wasn't done in time (even though they had since November to do it) so now I am sitting here waiting for a massive bureaucracy to pay me what they owe me (I won't hold my breath). You pay into a system a large amount of money each paycheque, and you then find out that they don't want to give it to you when you need it. It is the absence of a social safety net that gets me. If I was unemployed and not paying into anything, I would get my money faster, but I've been paying into short-term and long-term disability and EI for so long and it becomes unavailable because of stupid screw ups from retards who shouldn't be working in human resources. Oh well, it's supposed to be fixed soon – but like I said before – I'm not holding my breath.

As soon as I am taken off "house arrest," I hope to spend my time visiting some museums and art galleries, waiting for approval to go back to work. I am just itching to get out and do something – I don't really care what.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

December 23rd. Recovering slower than I would like . . .

I'm at my parents' home in North Bay. It is Sunday, and the surgery was last Tuesday. I should bring everyone to this point.

I got to the hospital with my dad and I can honestly say I wasn't nervous. Life cannot continue as it had without this crossing of the road and I think that was inherently understood within my mind, having suffered so much with all these seizures. You present your card, fill in the forms, and go wait in the room for your name to be called. I thought it was amusing that the form that I had to fill out, the pre-op health form, had a lot more writing on it than the other guy in the room, who looked like all he did was check all the "no" boxes and didn't write a thing. Mine had a lot of "yes", and in places, I had to write small to fill in the pertinent information in. He looked really nervous, I looked happy. It just was a visual contrast about how surgery can change your life. I got changed into the little blue paper slippers and over-sized blue hospital gowns and said "bye" to dad. He was going to stay until after the surgery since the lady at the desk said that I would be out in about 3 hours. I walked down the hall to the day unit, got on a stretcher while they made sure I was consenting to the surgery I signed for, took my blood pressure, and I waited on the stretcher for a porter to come and take me to the OR. I heard a voice call my name. It was a patient that I had at work! I asked him what he was "in" for and he was getting a skin graft on his leg. He asked me what I was here for and I told him. We chatted briefly while they took me first. The porter and I were telling funny stories while he was bringing me to the OR. I parked in front of the OR while a nurse met me and went over my health information. It was really cold and I was starting to shiver. The anesthetist came out and talked to me also. Both of them didn't understand the surgery that was about to be done on me and were asking me what it was all about. I explained to them what it does and how it was supposed to work. The surgeon came out last and talked to me how I felt. I told him I felt fine and he left. I saw him all for about a minute. They rolled me into the OR and it was cold as a refrigerator. I started to shiver. I don't think I was nervous at this time. I think the cold was making me shake. I got to move to the OR table and the anesthetist started an IV in the right arm. He didn't have any trouble doing so. They gave me oxygen and started giving me something through the IV and that's all I remember. The next thing I remember, was I was having a dream that I can't recall right now and I woke up in post op. I started sitting up right away aware I was in post op, wondering if they actually did the surgery, since I couldn't feel any pain except for a sore throat. I felt below my right shoulder and there was a dressing on it, so I knew it was done. A nurse told me to lie back down and called for a porter to take me back to the day unit. I rolled back to the day unit thinking that this was the best surgery ever. I waved to my dad as we went back to the day unit. The porter told me it was my dad. I couldn't see very well since my glasses were off. I got back to the day unit and that guy that was originally in the waiting room was there. He had something done with his knee. I heard the nurses talking about me. They didn't understand what my surgery was all about, but they were saying that they couldn't believe that I was a nurse. They had misunderstood that when I said I was a "nephrology" nurse, I was a dialysis nurse, because she said, "can you believe that someone like that needles people all day?" They were saying that that my last seizure was Monday (true) and it was too dangerous to let me work. I wanted to yell and explain myself, telling them I was a good nurse and I hadn't been working since October, but my throat hurt and the drugs I was on made me not care as much, but what they were talking about made me angry. Someone came over and gave me two Tylenol#3 and the magnet pack that comes with the stimulator. I lied there with my sore throat, drinking some coffee and toast that the nurse gave me, wondering when I could go home. I was going home no matter what. Finally someone came over and wanted to see if I could walk and I showed them I was fine. I got dressed and had to wait in a chair at the door for my dad to pick me up. A nurse came over and asked me about the stimulator and how it helps and I made sure I told her that I couldn't be a nurse without it and that I was a good nurse. Finally, dad came to pick me up and we went to pick up my Tylenol#3 downstairs.

I was drowsy all day and started to finally feel pain that night. I rarely took the Tylenol#3 because after taking them, I couldn't eat and would sleep for 4 hours. The dressing was bleeding, but I left it on because it was stuck right on and it hurt to try and change it and I didn't feel like going through all that. The next day the pain was bad and the nausea was bad, and I was really drowsy. Dad was shoveling the driveway with the snow blower. I think he liked the machine. Peanut and Latte came to have naps with me in bed.

We drove back to North Bay on the 20th, if that was a Thursday. I was drowsy all day and the sun was in my face. CBC radio was on. When we stopped to eat, all I had was fries and ginger ale and that stayed down fine. My surgical area didn't hurt if I didn't move it. The dressing was finally off because it got full of dried blood and was scraping against the incision, which hurt. I could feel the oozing from the incision all day which didn't hurt, but felt gross. I took Tylenol#3 at home because it was so uncomfortable to sleep on my bed at my parent's house.

Today, December 23rd, I'm still feeling incisional pain and today, I can feel a "pulling" sensation, which is mildly uncomfortable. If I bend over, it feels like the stimulator will explode and fall out, I think because of the pressure. I could feel last night before I went to sleep that this stimulator is smaller than the last one. I think it feels half as thick and smaller in circumference. That would be great. It won't feel so bulky under my skin as the last one did.

I am keeping away from the boredom I feel here in North Bay (specifically at the parents' house) by bringing a lot of activities with me. I brought my quilting, which I'll start doing when my arm is more mobile, lots of books, my laptop with three new loaded games and I'll keep up-to-date with this blog, and my iPod, which I can block out the 20 hockey games a night that dad has to watch, regardless of what everyone else wants to watch in this house. So far, it has been going on 4 days and I am keeping up my sanity so far. I am lucky my post op neuro appointment is January 3rd, so I don't have to spend weeks and weeks here on end. X-mas takes up a day too, plus New Year's, and we'll go out to dinner x-mas and New Year's eve. There is no vegan food here in the house, which means I am eating cereal with soy milk, noodles with margarine, and ground soy, and bread. Last night, mum made a bagged (she opened the bag) iceberg lettuce salad and a baked potato. I get crabby when I eat such food vaporous of nutrients for days on end. Dad said she bought a Tofurky, so I might break that out early so I can get some nutrition and leftovers for a couple more days. I am missing my fresh fruits and vegetables though. The dogs are having a good time. They have a new relative. With Tasha dying after our last visit this summer, mum and dad got another toss away dog named Ozzy. They haven't had a male dog since I was born and he is very aggressive. Or so they say. I haven't seen any aggression in him since I got here. He is even playing with Latte.