Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post Op

My poor little boy. :( I totally forgot that they would have to shave him in order to do the surgery and so he's got a little, pointy, shaved face and his adorable flat top is gone. He was still the bell of the ball, however. When I called to follow up today, the tech told me that he was the cutest little thing and that he was hardly ever in the cage because the girls kept taking turns holding him. I find him less than cute with the shave job.

Three times a day I have to hold a cold compress against the affected area for five minutes. At 6 a.m. I will give him three oral medications, followed by a fourth at 7 a.m. I will repeat this at 6 and 7 p.m. every day for the next four weeks. Antibiotic, probiotic, anti inflammatory, and opioid. Poor little guy. I feel terrible for him. He bumbles around his cage a bit, eating hay and getting water, but it is obvious that he is disoriented by the visual change. Still, the moving around is good, as is the eating.

Little fucker cost me a lot of money. But I'm so glad he's home with me.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Where I've been? With the pig, at the vet

I've been busy basically freaking out about stuff. Today I took Johan to the vet (yet again) because his eye has just gotten worse. Pressure readings said the eye was trying to rupture and that he was in pain. He had an enucleation this afternoon. They discovered a large abscess so, after removing the eye, they flushed out all the puss, put in some antibiotics, gave him an injection of antibiotics, and sutured him up. When I called they said he was awake and walking around. He was in a cage, which was good, because it meant he wasn't in an incubator or anything and his temperature was normal. I'll get a call tomorrow before 9, so I've been told, telling me when I can come get him. Of course, I was also told that I'd get a call when my little boy was awake from the anesthesia and that didn't happen. So I might have to call.

His vet didn't do the surgery but she was so sweet. She asked me when I'd noticed the change and I told her it was around Thursday or Friday and I'd been told today at 9:20 was the earliest appointment I could get with her. "He saw someone else once and I didn't like him." She was so nice. She told me she wasn't available for surgery until Friday and I almost broke down when I said "but I don't know where to take him?" She just said "no, my partners can also do it but who didn't you like?" because she wanted to spare me if she could. I let her know that I didn't care who did the surgery, as long as they were competent, I just didn't like my one previous run in with the guy because he gave me a faulty diagnosis. She also told me she was in until11 tomorrow and that she would check on him before she left for the day. I love my piggy's vet. I let a different gynecologist put in my IUD because mine was on vacation but fuck if I won't fight to let Johan have his own doctor.

I have also become one of those people who spends an obscene amount of money on their pet's health. I won't tell you the price but it was around about a fuck of a lot. But I didn't even blink because I have my tax refund and honestly, I couldn't put him down without giving him a chance. He's my surly little asshole. Besides, he already has the pirate name so what is one eye? I'm just really hoping that the recuperation period isn't too traumatic on either one of us.

When I got home and there was no pig yelling at me I lost it and started weeping. I think a big part of it was from relief but another from the anxiety of not knowing what is going to happen overnight. Nothing is ever done and settled until it is and I can't calm down. But at least I know I did my part and I gave my boy a chance and hopefully I'll get to bring him home tomorrow.

Lord knows I've cried enough today.And I'm so sorry, buddy, I'm so sorry I let this happen. I don't know what I could have done to prevent it. But I'm so sorry because I never knew you were in pain until the vet told me because you acted like your usual self. But I'm so, so sorry.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

In Honor of One of My Heroes

Dear Mr. Rogers,

"You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There is no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are".

Happy Anniversary Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood. I loved this program and my mother met THE Mr. Rogers and said he was just as nice in person.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Interesting Week Indeed

Monday: The interview happened. Please don't ask me about it because the minute I'm done I freeze up and can't answer and just think I've done terribly. But it happened and it is over with so I don't have that over me any longer.

Wednesday: I got my Viking's sewing box, what my mother, Ammy, and I have always called her Treasure Box. It is a plastic sewing box with a shelf for spools of thread and what not and an open bottom for trim et al. I admired it always, for as long as I can remember. It was kept in her bathroom, the one in her bedroom back in Delaware and I was always fascinated by it. On one of my last visits with Ammy, she said "I know what you want when I'm gone, you want my sewing box". And so I did. I'll post a picture of it once I get a good one. I don't know that you'll appreciate it the way I do but then, you didn't grow up with it. A friend at work said "yeah, you know, that looks exactly like something you'd find when deep sea diving or something." I was always enamored with it and now it is mine. It was filled with threads and trim, buttons, and an odd assortment of luggage tags. I think I liked those the most because they have my grandparents' names on them and 1109 Mayflower Drive, the house they lived in together, the house I lived in for a year when we first moved to Delaware. I took out the sewing stuff and moved it to a knitting bag and have since filled it with makeup and jewelry. But I will never get rid of the trim, buttons, thread, luggage tags. Never. 

That same day I stopped at the wine and beer store after work and the woman who runs it asked if I'd like to come in and help on Fridays, three hours a night, for $8 an hour. Absolutely, I said. I'll make a few extra dollars and learn a new skill. It's a paltry sum but I look forward to it anyway

Thursday: Ah, Valentine's Day. Took the guinea pig to the vet for his follow up, found out he was doing well but needs to continue with the meds for another week. "He's gained weight," the vet said. "Of course he has," I replied. "I have to man handle him three times a day so I give him extra veggies."  But yea! No surgery mentioned. A bonus of this was that my car started every damned time. Started when I left work. Started when I left the vet, and started when I left the grocery store, where I stopped on the way home.

And who says single women can't have sexy times on Valentine's Day? This single gal? She walked to the grocery store, picked up some drain-o type stuff, and spent the evening unclogging drains. Taking a shower the next morning without having ankle deep stagnant water? That's sexy.

Friday: Today was a weirdly good day. I was in a good mood, I got my state tax refund, received some fun stuff in the mail, and was treated to lunch (I showed a colleague how to do something in Microsoft Word the day before and it evidently saved her so much time that she wanted to buy me lunch). After work I went over to the wine and beer store and learned to use the register and had a brief introduction to filling growlers and working the lottery machine. I was tired and my back ached by the end but that was only because I'd been on my feet the entire time. I was expecting that. But I enjoyed it. The owners are really nice and the customers were as well. I also just feel super productive. I enjoyed myself, made $24 (nearly $20 of which I gave right back for some wine), and learned some stuff. All in all, a good day.

So I actually had a decent week. I keep waiting for the other foot to drop because lately, every time I feel good, something bad happens. But all in all, I'm happy. A tiny bit anxious but happy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In an attempt to... aw fuck it

So my life just keeps getting stupider but I want to try and focus on positive things. Therefore, I've decided I'd like to post a wish list of items I'd like to own. This activity makes me happy simply because my list is ridiculous. In no particular order:
  • Drawing pencils. I used to have some but I must have gotten rid of them. I'm a terrible drawer but I do enjoy doing it. 
  • A washer and dryer. Oh what I'd give for a washer and dryer of my own! 
  • Really nice pots and pans and cooking items (quiche dish, good knives, a zester, etc.)
  • A really, really, really good vacuum. This is something I've salivated over for years.
  • A really good laundry room. I know, I'm getting older as I list things but I dream of the perfect laundry room with a folding table and a bar where I can hang things up. BFF and I both get really excited about this when we talk about it. 
  • A car that is reliable. This is obvious, I suppose. 
  • A decent set of luggage. I'm not looking for anything fancy, just a set so I can get rid of my mix and match pieces that take up space.
  • A decent mattress. My mattress, I've found, sucks. I wake with the same pain in my ribs that I get from sleeping on the floor. I'd settle for a feather bed to put on top of my mattress.
  • A new guinea pig cage. Seems small but that shit is expensive. 
  • New pillows. 
  • Decent bath towels.
Seriously, I'm such an old lady and a domestic with my wish list. I don't want a fancy car or designer clothing. I basically want nice things to cook with and good things to do cleaning with. But the heart wants, as they say, what the heart wants. I have two nice knives that I delight in using and I imagine having a whole slew of them, along with really nice pots and pans. I'd love to be able to try my hand at a quiche using a quiche dish, or having a glass baking dish to make recipes that call for one rather than using what I have on hand. And a vacuum? Lord have I wanted a vacuum for years!

It will be years until I get these things because I'm a broke ass with zero point zero zero dollars but it is still fun to dream. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Keep it coming

I did my taxes this morning and was happy to see that I'm getting a refund. It isn't huge but it is about a paycheck with overtime. I was stoked because I thought "that will put a tiny chink into my MASSIVE credit card debt so that's something."

I celebrated by going to grocery store to buy a few things (grand total was less than $25). Then I got to my car, the one I just paid $500 to fix, to find it wouldn't start.


Called my mechanic and chatted with him a bit, trying not to cry. He thinks, at this point, that it is either the starter (which would rule) or a battery wiring problem (which would fucking suck). I said "fuck it. I'm going to go back into the grocery store to use the bathroom and walk home. If I can get it to work or get a tow, I'll send her your way tomorrow."

Then I walked home, hoping my eggs wouldn't break and trying to keep from crying. Then I got home and cried. A LOT. Then I looked into upgrading my AAA membership so that I could have a free service call and free tow (I now can be towed for 100 miles free). Walked back to the shopping center to call AAA but the little bitch started so I just drove her home.

I texted back and forth with my mother who just freaked me out until I said "I don't want to talk about this anymore".

Then I said "you know what? Fuck it. I'm going to be happy anyway. So what if every time I pick myself up I'm pounded back into the ground? What options do I really have?"

So tomorrow morning when I wake up to my alarm (because I want to keep Johan on schedule for his eye medicine), I will call AAA and send my car to my mechanic and wait to hear just how fucked I am. I will also arrange a ride to work so I can make my interview at 3PM. And I'll come home and continue to give Johan his meds.

Then I'll crawl into my closet and hide from the world until the world tells me what I did to piss it off so much so that we can be friends again.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Week Recap

Yep, pretty much sucked. But, in trying to look on the bright side, I've found that I am capable of overcoming grossness and using my finger to rub eye ointment onto the gross giant eyeball of a guinea pig out of love.

So, I guess, after all the shit, I come out on top because of a tiny little fur ball (OK, he isn't tiny) and my ability to take care of him.

Well done, Johan. What anyone's "God" or "faith" or "zen" or "drugs" could not do, you have. I have put my own woes behind me and have sucked it up and rubbed ointment on your gross big eyeball. Because I fucking had to.

Let's let that shit calm down now, OK? Thanks!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


So today was another winner, although I did have some good in it. I went to the neurologist's office for my check up only to be told my appointment had been for hours earlier. Awesome. But they were able to squeeze me in and I only had to wait for thirty minutes. It was annoying, aggravating, and embarrassing, but at least I got seen. Even better, I had a full exam and not an abbreviated one like they said I'd have (after treating me like a dick; seriously, I do NOT like office staff at this office). And the good news is that I saw my MRI from September and the nurse practitioner compared it to the last one from January (one I'd had as part of a study) and there was no progression and no disease activity. No black holes either, which I think are supposed to be dead nerves so that's great. And my exam was fine so basically, my MS is stable

The exam is nerve racking. You don't do anything terrible, just walk really fast down to the other red line while they time you, follow fingers, touch your finger to her finger and then to your nose and back, that sort of thing. Oh, and this time I did the 9 peg game which is what it sounds like. With your dominant hand (in my case, the right), pick up one peg at a time and place it in the holes. When you are done, remove them one at a time. Do it again. Now do it with your non-dominant hand. But what makes it horrible is that while you are doing it, at least, if you are me, you feel like you are showing all sorts of problems and suddenly you aren't sure about your control of your limbs and you are just certain that you are going to be told "I'm concerned at the way you did..." But that didn't happen. The only concern the nurse had was the stress and misery I noted on my questionnaire. I'm totally honest on those things and I just told her about work and car issues and Johan. She said she didn't want to change anything because I was doing great with all but the life obstacles and come back in six months for a meet and great with my replacement neurologist (my initial one having buggerd off to Yale).

So, not terrible, right? And I looked super professional because I had an interview scheduled for 3PM for a job I really hope I get. I was in a suit because the recruiter told me it was to be a video conference (it's a transfer within my company) so I dressed like a professional office worker rather than the "well, this is clean and fits" mentality that I usually go in with. I was nervous, of course, but anxious to get it over with. PW set things up for me and showed me what to do if I had to make adjustments. She came back in a few minutes to see that things were OK and then waited with me for 45 minutes as NOTHING HAPPENED. The idiot recruiter (who has been incompetent and unprofessional for ages now) didn't bother to make sure the equipment in her office worked and they had technical difficulties. Took her 45 minutes to decide to cancel and reschedule and I shit you not, she actually said to PW "we'll reschedule for Monday or Tuesday next week and I'll test out the equipment ahead of time." Really genius? That seems like a good idea. You should be in mensa.

Everything about that pissed me off and my fear is that the hiring manager will just go with someone that can walk in for an interview even though she's keen on me. But there is nothing I can do about it but hope that second attempt works because I only have two suits. Stupid bitch. Seriously, I talked to Biddy about it afterwards because he knows the position and the people involved and he actually put me forward for it and he was pretty pissed himself. Not only has he heard me bemoan this person's lack of competence over the last two weeks, he feels like he's being compromised because he put forth a friend and colleague and now that person (moi) is being jerked around. But what can you do?

My day did end on two high notes however. I decided to try my hand at the Inside Out Slugs done properly (otherwise known as this done properly) and although I forgot to look for the seasoning called "savory", I was successful and they were delicious (and also looked far less disgusting). I also found a way to get the eye goo into poor piggy's creepy eye. This is hard to do and I have to hope I'm getting it in there because it is hard to tell. The vet was all, squirt it out of the tube and press his lids together but that doesn't work for me so I have to put it on my finger and try to get it on the eyeball. I'm pretty sure I got it really well done the second two times today, as well as getting his anti inflammatory fully pumped into him. I call that a fucking win. I think his eye might be improving but it is hard to tell since I'm looking at it all the time and so maybe I'm just used to it? I keep giving him extra veggies because I'm afraid I'm stressing him out by man handling him so much and fucking with his eye. I want to make sure he continues to eat and so far, he seems fine. He even kind of pop corned during floor time and wandered around in his usual fashion so hopefully he is more stoic than I. 4.5 to 5 days left of this and I'm done and then just have to take him to the vet for his check up (hopefully). If I think it hasn't improved at all or if it looks worse, I'll have to make an earlier appointment and start talking about surgery. I'm trying to think positively but considering how shitty this year has been, it's a lack luster positivity. I didn't get excited or think much about my interview today because I'm kind of numb and just expecting things to suck. I did get a bit emotional but I don't think I sobbed at any point today so score.

So no sobbing, some set backs, some successes. I feel OK but I'm not about to try and kick the fucking football any time soon.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Oh COME on!

After all that automotive turmoil and ruining my finances, I once again pulled myself together. Only I was ill. I'm not super ill or anything, just run down and tired (probably from all that crying) but forging on and fighting the good fight.

Then yesterday happened. Not only did this ASSHAT that I am forced to work with piss me off tremendously, but I got to have the most awesome evening ever. Before I even begin, let me just say that my plan had been to go home, let Johan out for awhile, and then go directly to bed. Here is what happened instead.

I went home and was talking to my friend when I went to let the pig out. Then I started freaking out and making ungodly noises because OH MY FUCKING GOD his eye!!! One of Johan's eyes was enormous and creepy and freaking me out and what do I do? Once my friend realized I wasn't being attacked, he kindly suggested that I hang up and call the vet. I tried the animal hospital across the street but they don't take guinea pigs (then I think you should be called a VET and not a HOSPITAL but that's just because I have a DIFFICULT animal). Then I called his normal vet and they said I could come in and be treated like a walk in.

It just looks so creepy. I mean, it's like I'm living with a small, furry version of the Eyeballer.

I was told that he has an ulcer on his eye. It could be from trauma (he may have walked into something or poked himself in the eye with hay) or he might have an abscess behind the eye. I get to put ointment on the eyeball three times a day (so I not only get to stare at it, I get to try and manage to get ointment on it) and give him an oral anti inflammatory twice a day (much easier). If I don't see improvement in a few days, I have to call the vet. If he has an abscess (gulp), they'll have to remove the eye to get to it.

I have taken to sleeping in my closet because my apartment is so cold (I have a large walk in closet) and now I might have a one eyed guinea pig. Can we stop with the eccentricity (seriously though, my bedroom is cavernous and freezing and the closet is warm and cozy).

But poor Johan. He doesn't seem to notice anything amiss so hopefully this was caught in time (what the fuck dude?! Your eye was fine yesterday). And I really hope he doesn't have to lose the eye. Poor little fellow. When we got home I very guiltily just put him back in his cage with some parsley and went and hid in my closet for the rest of the night. My plan was to go to bed early and I'd just drifted off when my neighbor called me and started texting me. So now, when I get home, I get to go with her to the leasing office because I'm her witness that I told another neighbor that this one spot was handicapped (she didn't know because of the snow) and I guess words were exchanged and whatever. She's a very nice lady and has been kind to me but dude, really? From now on I am not talking to a damn person after 8:59 (I didn't actually answer my phone but I responded to her text this morning).

So I have zero point zero dollars in the bank, I despise my work situation, my guinea pig has health problems, and my free time is spent in a closet hiding from the world. I am just killing this whole business of being a grown up, aren't I? This pretty much sums up my life these days:

Monday, February 4, 2013


I have multiple sclerosis. Doesn't that sound awful and creepy? It's one of those diseases that just makes you think of weird relatives who need "help" doesn't it? Unless you are one of those people who get off on such things.

MS is nerve thing, specifically, a central nervous "disorder". Your body acts as its own enemy and makes it so you can't feel things and you can't do things. It's all types of awesome. It has always been ugly in my mind; i know I've said before that I have always been afraid of it and I've shaken my fists at the sky a number of times since my diagnosis because, well, it just isn't fair. Why me and woe is me and all of that. Two year old prostrate on the floor kicking and screaming. The whole thing.

But do you know what IS fun about it? The neurological tests.There are so many people who will never get to go to the doctor and have their well being measured by how quickly they clap with their right hand and then their left. There are so many who will never be told "you seem to not feel vibrations right in your left big toe".

Medicine has come a long way but it's still my big toe that we have to pay attention to. Mommy was with me for my first visit, when one of my big toes was deemed insubstantial. "She'll never be in the ballet" was her response. Dance was out. And I can't yell very well so my rap career was also side lined.

All I guess I have is the hilarity of going to the neurologist. MS is fucking awesome.

Saturday, February 2, 2013


I'm sure I'm late to the party on about everything I'm going to say so you know, I'm aware. First of all, I watched the three available episodes on my On Demand dealie whilst working from home yesterday afternoon. Evidently, reality television is the one thing I can sort of attend to whilst working from home (I also tried to watch the latest episode of "Elementary" and though I know who did it and have a vague understanding of the episode, I couldn't totally process it as I was busy with the nuisance that is work). And, as you may have noticed, I've taken a keen interest in cooking so voila, "The Taste".

OK, the guy from Malarkey? Irritates the shit out of me with his smugness. You own five restaurants, big fucking deal. That doesn't mean that every dish you make is wonderful, you dick. Can we all remember what it was like when we first got started and not act like we were born food gods? I say "we" but you know what I mean. The Ludo guy is on the fence with me. He comes off as a bit snobby but then, you know, he's French (and I guess as a member of the U.S. that's what we do, say things like "well, you know, he's French" like that excuses things). If he keeps it up I'll add him to Team Malarkey but right now, he has a chance with me.

Nigella? Oh, come on, what can you say about Nigella? I've had something of a crush on her for years, back when "Nigella Bites" was a new thing and oh-my-god-I-think-I-still-lived-in-Delaware-how-did-I-get-so-old? She's looking really good and trim, which is a bit of a disappointment considering that I loved her for her slight paunch and licking the spoon ways back on Bites. But she's right there with her same personality and she's just lovely and I want to stand next to her in the kitchen and learn how to make a roux (I don't even know what a roux is). Have you ever seen "Nigella Bites?" Every time I saw it I felt like the weather was always perfect where she was and perfectly suited to what she was making. Oh memories! Anyway, she's lovely and I love her and she hasn't let me down yet.

So we know what this show is right? I don't know what happens next but with the first three episodes, the four judges (yes, there is a fourth and I'll get to him in a minute) each get a spoon of food made by a chef and they decided whether or not they want the chef to be on their team of four. Really interesting idea. You make a dish and you serve it up in a single spoon full and that is the only taste (see? the taste? get it?) the judges get. Pretty cool because you have all sorts of different people making all sorts of neat things and the judges have to figure it out based on one taste. Oh! And they taste the spoon full before they see the chef. They taste it, think it over, and click yes or no buttons, then see the chef. More than once, a judge (or judges) have regretted their decision to say no.

The judges all have their teams now so we'll see what happens.

As to that fourth judge... Anthony Bourdain. I think I am the last person on this planet to find out that he is a chef and a restauranteur. You know how I know Bourdain? He was in a Hercule Poirot movie. Yeah, I thought he was an actor. Who knew! Well I guess everyone but me. Interesting guy. He comes off as a complete dick but I like him anyway; however, I think it is important to remind you that I know him from a Hercule Poirot movie and, thus, I'm looking at him differently than I am the other judges and he already has my sympathy.

I watch a LOT of British television, mostly British who dunnits/detective stuff, as you know if you know me. That shit fucks with you. That's why I see Bourdain and think "Mystery on the Blue Train" (cause he played the dad). Also, do you watch "Downton Abbey"? Lady Rosamine (sp?), Lady Grantham's sister? Yeah, she played Emma in "Pocket Full of Rye", a movie based on a Miss Marple story. Also featured in that movie? The guy who plays Robbie Lewis of the "Inspector Lewis" series. Oh, oh! And you know, what's her name, Francine? No. Damn it. OK, back to Downton, you know the chick that Matthew was with and then she died? Yeah, that actress played an American in one of the Inspector Lewis episodes.

I know right? I'm like six degrees of people whose names I don't know but I've seen them in British productions and now I'm seeing them in other (sometimes other British) productions. It's a skill, just not a profitable one or one that anyone probably cares about. But still, at least I know that Valencia or whatever her name was that died to free Matthew so that he could marry Lady Mary acted as the American love interest of the son of a bad guy in a British detective series. And no one can take that away from me. No one.

Lavinia!! That's the name of the character who played Matthew's fiance who died so he could marry Lady Mary. Hah!