Category Archives: Health

So what happened today?

No, really, I mean – what?  I have been sick a few days with what we Americans, or maybe just Southerners?, call the CRUD.  I have a doctor who said that all upper respiratory infections, tonsillitis, bronchitis, laryngitis, oompalitis, etc are basically the same.  So I have one of those.  I don’t know. But I have been miserable.   You know how miserable?  Think of those ASPCA puppies and kittens they show you all the time.  The ones that look like Hitler just electrocuted their mother right in front of them.  They’re shivering, they’re hungry, they’re wondering why people are just filming them and not doing anything.  Which I know I AM wondering.  Like sheesh, get the puppy a blanket, and some dog chow you fiends.  Sheesh.

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

Buy me before they kill meeeeeeee!

It occurs to me the puppies might be actors.  If so, well done, puppies.

Anyway, I have been just as miserable as those animals, only not nearly as cute.  I was chatting with my friend Merbear on my phone and since I now have a Smart Phone . . . yeah.  They got me.  But not with the latest, greatest literally exploding phones.  No, I have an old Samsung, but it still works.  Like it lets me take videos of myself lying down and coughing into the phone so I can show my friend just how bad off I am.  And she was like, “Have you tried steam?”

And I’m like . . . steam?   I mean I have been having respiratory ailments since my teens and I am like now not a teen and I don’t know how many times I’ve used steam both for myself and my Things (kids for any of you newcomers.  More on newcomers later) and I hadn’t thought of it yet.  So thanks, Mer, I used steam and it helped a little.  I still feel like crapsters, though, and I missed more work than I have time allotted for that, which hadn’t happened in a while and was quite annoying.  It’s like my illnesses all hang out and try to figure out who gets to like jump me first.  No, no, depression it was your turn LAST week, now let’s give stomach a try.  No he had it before.  What about me, the bladder – you know the one that – er – leaks.  Okay, we’ll let you in, because the cough and that leak thing go together.  Yay!

Where was I?  Oh, right, sick.  You know just when you think you have it all under control, one of those guys pops up.  Or better, a new one comes in.  Remember how in that emo post I wrote last time I mentioned Lice and other Holiday Tales?  Well, yeah, lice came to visit.  I hate bugs in general, but bugs that are like, ON YOU?  Yeah, that’s beyond awful.  So we treated Thing Two and then treated her again and then oh whew and then Thing One got it so we treated her and again and then later . . . they were back.  Cause Thing One has very thick, curly hair and my husband and I have very little patience for combing with those awful combs that couldn’t go through a doll’s hair.  But I had something up my sleeve. Research.  That’s what I do, unless, you know, it’s for a post.  So I found this comb, and wow it is like the Allah of Combs judging from what must be real reviews because these reviews were super intense.  These people have war stories.  So I ordered it.

Guess what Amazon Prime is late on getting to my house?  Yup.  I WANT MY COMB AMAZON.

So things have not been going that well for me. I was afraid I would never be funny again.  This was my greatest fear here, not like dying of CRUD which I kinda thought I might a couple times cause holy crap it’s awful.  But yeah, it’s humor, you got to have it.  And when I wasn’t able to write, well that was lousy – uh – wrong word.  But here I am, writing, and I don’t have a plan to it (did you pick up on that yet?) and it only has one pic in it which I had stored but hey I did it.  Cause people have been looking at older posts of mine. So then I check them out.  And I laugh because I like my own stuff. But also because it is memories of my life, like with my kids, my work, with me.  And the sicks aren’t going to get me.  Okay they will, but not like forever there will be days when I’m not sick of some sort!  Or have bugs!  Possibly!  But also if I don’t write then I will not get to expose the really stupid people who have lately been commenting on my old posts.  Do you remember booger guy?  The one who corrected my grammar on a post about boogers?  Well, there’s more of that kind of snot, get ready.

Eventually.  Because there are people extremely concerned about my virtual family, a heretical Christmas song post, my knowledge of Sophia the First.  Etc.  But at any rate, I am trying.  So the best thing you could do is not say you are sorry for me because life is life. We all have crap.  Heck, our whole country got one big piece of it today, but I didn’t see any of it, or care, cause I was sick. So there are some good things about sick, I guess.

Please like and follow and comment because just one like or follow or comment could save this sad puppy from the horrors of this post.

 

Alice

 

 

This is Your Brain on Politics

Hello, all, for a change I decided to write a post on stupid politics.  This one, though, is about the effect of politics, and this election specifically, on mental health.  I know – who would get mental problems from this election?  It is posted on a mental health blog called Canvas of the Minds.  It’s a great site where bloggers from all over blog about mental health.  Sometimes with snark – if they are me.  So please visit Canvas and check out the other authors as well, or let those in your life who deal with this fun stuff know about it too.  I will close comments so people will, hopefully, comment over there.

Couldn’t figure out how to reblog.  So here is the link.  LINK DROP!

This is Your Brain on Politics

Thanks

~Alice

Sad Pony and Squirrel Ride Again

I haven’t been posting as much lately.  I’m not sure if very many people have noticed, but I have, and there is a reason for it.  Put out an APB for one sad pony and one squirrel possibly high on meth tainted nuts.

What?

What?

I can't help it Alice has so many nuts in her attic and I just go wild man willllllllllllld!

I can’t help it Alice has so many nuts in her attic and I just go wild man willllllllllllld!

In case you don’t know much about these two (any first time people who somehow stumbled over here can find out more on my About page) these guys represent my depression and anxiety.  Guess which one is which?  I’ve been having issue with both of these little hairballs, and since I’m allergic to fur, I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to both of them as well.  Some say they are just pictures, but believe me, they are a little too real.

It's okay, I'm one of those non-shedding anxiety squirrels!

It’s okay, I’m one of those non-shedding anxiety squirrels!

These guys didn’t always represent my issues.  Originally Sad Pony was just a funny meme I found somewhere that I tossed onto my page.  I loved him so much I did this quite often.  There is something about a pony that just looks this sad.  I realize he probably isn’t really sad, he’s just tired, you know, typical pony burnout.  But he sure looks pathetic in that picture.  Added to the humor (my sense of humor is a little different, like me!) are the words “Sad Pony is Sad.”  I find this dopey redundant sentence totally hilarious.  But also fitting.  Because even depressed, I can see humor everywhere. Sometimes, with enough distance, I can see how humorous some of my depressive thoughts can seem.  Like Eeyore on steroids.

Noooobody worry about me. I'll just sit here. With pins in my eyes. No, no, I'm fine, just that my life is a hollow lie and my soul a darkened pit of despair and agony. Oh, and I'm sitting on a squirrel. This makes me uncomfortable.

Noooobody worry about me. I’ll just sit here. With pins in my eyes. No, no, I’m fine, just that my life is a hollow lie and my soul a darkened pit of despair and agony. Oh, and I’m sitting on a squirrel. This makes me uncomfortable.

At some point, Sad Pony just became another character on my blog, just as he is a character in my life.  I am not depression, and depression isn’t me.  In this case, it’s a fat pony that just flops down on top of me and says “Take a break.  Take 50.”  It’s rather hard to get things done with this thing sitting on you.  Forget the black dog.  I have a Sad Pony, and ponies are heavy, especially when lethargic.  Or so I’ve heard.  I’ve never met a real pony – er beside this one who is REAL.  Somewhere.  I mean I have no idea who shot this picture. But I thank them.

Thanks so bloody much, Internet.

Thanks so bloody much, Internet.

But I’m not always just sad.  I also have anxiety.  And the best way I’ve figured out to describe anxiety is with a squirrel.  Have you ever watched these guys before?  Holy crap, it’s like some wire in their brain is being repeatedly shocked so that they have to dart from here to there and back again for no particular reason that I can tell.  Maybe it’s because they are toward the bottom of the food chain, and don’t want to get eaten.  The only time I’ve seen them remotely calm is on the college campus where I currently work, and that’s because college students are always – purposely or not – feeding the little suckers.  They’d grown so unafraid that they will actually sit on your foot.  The squirrels, not the students.  These squirrels can never leave campus or they will be killed almost immediately.

I'm a college squirrel. My major is Abnormal Psychology.

I’m a college squirrel. My major is Abnormal Psychology.

Squirrel also started out as a picture I threw into posts partly because of the Disney movie “Up” where a dog is given the ability to speak and, not surprisingly, he has little to say and is often distracted.  He can be in the middle of a sentence, spot a squirrel, and yell randomly “SQUIRREL!”  That’s my anxiety in a nutshell (pun intended bwaha).  I can be totally fine and then suddenly feel extreme panic.  I am fearful of what most people are not, like say going to work.  Sure they might not want to go to work, but their adrenaline doesn’t shoot up because they are going there.  This anxiety would be considered normal if I worked in, say, an ER.  But I work in a library.  Rarely is my life in danger at a library, though we have had snakes, bats, spiders, wasps, and yes, once a squirrel invade.  Also when people shoot up campuses, they often go for the library.  I learned this is our Active Shooter Training at work.  It really helped with my anxiety.

OMG it's a gun! Ruuuuuun oh wait it's just someone's laptop my mistake!

OMG it’s a gun! Ruuuuuun oh wait it’s just someone’s laptop my mistake!

Laptops look nothing like guns, you moron.

Laptops look nothing like guns, you moron.

As you can see, these two fellows often interact.  Depression makes me see anxiety as even more ridiculous, causing me to feel sad, then spiraling me into anxiety because oh no I’m sad again and how long will this last and then back to depression because come on, you have nothing to be afraid of, Alice.  Well, except maybe the possibility of a Trump presidency.  Then again, if we do get him, we probably won’t last long as a country because we will be bombed off the earth.  Either by other countries or ourselves.

Trump? Trump Trump Trump Trump OMG it's a weapon of mass destruction!

Trump? Trump Trump Trump Trump OMG it’s a weapon of mass destruction!

That's his hair, you twit. Still . . . point made.

That’s his hair, you twit. Still . . . point made.

Comforting thoughts, there.  Not really, but what is comforting is that I have this blog.  And over the years, I’ve had others identify with these two, and even encourage the figments of my imagination.  It’s great when other people willingly share in your delusions.  And no matter how much that squirrel runs, no matter how much he distracts me, no matter how much he encourages me to scroll through the Internet all day long or do impulsive things, I have a support system.  Same with Sad Pony.  There is usually someone – like friends Lindy, Jody, my best blog friend Merbear and naturally my Things (among others) – to eventually help distract me from the distraction of that squirrel. There is usually someone who, while maybe unable to lift that pony, will lie down with me until he leaves.

Goldfish even made Sad Pony and Squirrel stickers in her Redbubble Shop! You can also get them on a photo (I have them hanging up), or a pillow, or a baby onesie. Provided she still has it up? I don't know. But it's awesome!

Goldfish even made Sad Pony and Squirrel stickers in her Redbubble Shop! You can also get them on a photo (I have them hanging up), or a pillow, or a baby onesie. Provided she still has it up? I don’t know. But it’s awesome!

So I’m having a lot of ups and downs.  Meds really help with this, especially this last one that injected several of Squirrel’s best friends directly into my bloodstream, leaving me wanting to literally climb the walls and run out of my own skin.  You are ready for anything to help you at that point, even a fat pony to sit on those squirrels.  But I stopped that med, and I continue to hope for the future.  For even the most sarcastic people have hope.  I thank this blog, and my blog readers, for helping keep up that hope.  I thank them for letting me be Alice.

When life throws you flamingos, play polo.

When life throws you flamingos, play polo.

P.S. As a little aside, I have started another blog about my dolls, titled appropriately Wonderland of Plastic.  I only have an introduction and one review up so far (Wonderrrr Womaaaaaaaaaan!), but promise more to come.  I discuss the dolls and history and since it’s me, Alice, of course I have snark.  I’m not sure I can totally write without it.  This is also where I’ll be moving my doll stories with the Things.  We have more torture planned for our Disney princess housewives.  Because there is life after the fairy tale.

Always.

~Alice

Maximum Squirrel Overload

It’s Monday, ya’ll, which means another full week OF DREAD.  I like to be prepared, so I started my dreading early – Sunday night – when my anxiety reached top notch and I had to decide how to calm it down.  Oh, sure, there are lots of ways, but you have to be able to GET to those ways in order for it to work.  For instance:

Round round get around I get around ooooh get around oooooh I get around I get arouuuuunnd all over town I’m a real cool squirrel blah blah blah blah blahhhhh!

Music!

Music can be calming.  But once you reach Maximum Squirrel Overload, you are kind of past that.  No kind of music, saying you were calm enough to find a music player, is going to make you feel better.  There are a few types of music.  Sad music: bad idea cause you are already anxious and probably depressed about being anxious and sad songs won’t help.  Happy music: bad idea too because what business do people have being happy when you are freaked out?  Then there’s rap music most of which I think is best classified as Angry music because there is much talk of popping caps in posteriors.  Popping a cap might help with anxiety, but the jail time afterward would not, so don’t try it.  Also, what are your chances of being able to find the gun?

No, the dog won't work as a substitute.

No, the dog won’t work as a substitute.

Exercise!

I love when people say to work out your anxiety or depression with exercise.  Look, people, I have no idea where any of my sweatpants are, and if I did, they would be dirty. Then I would have to wash them.  And dry them.  And put them on.  That’s way too much work when your mind is going 1,000 miles an hour.  You are already getting a mental workout, and trying to add physical to it can be too much.  I guess the best way to describe it would be to expect someone to solve 500 quadratic equations, cure Cancer, and write a symphony, then tell them they had to do this all on the treadmill or elliptical.  Now yes, if you manage to get to a gym before you reach Squirrel Overload, you have a chance of physically beating that anxiety back, but if it comes on suddenly, it’s just way too late.

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

I can turn this exercise bike into a real one with the power of anxiety! Vroom!

Hot, soothing beverage!

This is usually my best bet, except this time I could not make the cocoa because even though I had cocoa packets, I did not have milk.  Well, I had milk, two half gallons, but they had both expired. Saying I was able to force myself to pour the milk (which might come up in chunks which milk should never do) down the drain without barfing, I couldn’t because there were already dishes in the sink.  So first I would have to put the dishes in the dishwasher.  Except the dishwasher is full so then you have to put the dishes up except that they didn’t all come clean, so they have to go back in the sink.  No one wants milk curds on top of that.  So forget it.  Finally I drove to McDonald’s for some, but they “broke” the machine.  I would break it too if I worked there, but still.  I had to drive yet another place before I finally got my cocoa.  Then I remembered I hadn’t taken some of my pills, so I swallowed them with cocoa only to swallow them wrong and get heartburn.  Once I had finished taking care of the heartburn, I managed to go to bed.  That, my friends, is way too darn much work.

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Look I just want some calming cocoa in my gun mug!

Humor!

The last thing I feel when under Squirrel Overload is funny although I probably act rather amusing and or terrifying (it’s such a fine line) when under the influence.  This morning I was not as sparkified, just dreadish, and telling myself that I just had to go to work for a little while even though I wanted to stay home.  So I drove my Things to school and somehow the conversation diverted to dead dogs because – are you really surprised with us?  Anyway, we discussed Where the Red Fern Grows which is a classic children’s book because it involves two dead dogs AND a dead child (for more on the dead dog topic see my post on dead dogs in literature.  It’s a real romp.) And the Things, who were both forced to read this book, reminded me that the bully in the book was killed and I was like oh when he was mauled to death and they said no, an ax fell on him.  Which is such a great image there.  And I was like, dang, that author had some sort of personal vendetta against dogs and boys named Billy.  And Thing Two said, “Mom, it was just an AXident.”  Get it?  Well, we did, and we laughed, because we have problems.  But not as many as the author of Where the Red Fern Grows.

Okay, guys, time to die!

Okay, guys, time to die!

So the dread is still there, but at least I made it to work.  And when I think of that horrible pun about an ax falling on a kid, I smile.  I guess when you are on Squirrel Overload, it helps to have a couple of Things handy.  I’m willing to rent them out.

Alice

 

F.H.P.

The other day I had this burning issue that needed to be addressed.  By pharmaceuticals.  I think most women (and some men!) have experienced this.  Yup it was one of those.  Those things that have to do with, uh, bread rising.  And – boo boos.  Down “there”.  So I went to the dollar store to find some medicine.

They have it all at the dollar store.

They have it all at the dollar store.

What?  This is very common.  It’s as common as sanitary napkins.  That’s what they call the things women use for their punctuation marks if they get them out of a dispenser in the women’s restroom.  It sounds better than pad.  Or “diva cup” which I will not go into again.  For brevity’s sake, we can call them F.H.P. or Feminine Hygiene Products.  Anyone uncomfortable yet?  Good!

So, like, I searched the shelves and couldn’t find what I was looking for, though I did find plenty of other things.  Like douche.  No, actual douche, not the mean word you call people. They still sell it.  Why?  Doesn’t everyone know you aren’t supposed to smell like lavender down “there”?  It can mess up your flora and fauna and merriweather and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Antibiotics can do that too.  Which was why I had the problem with the bread dough and the owie.

Did I remember to strip my "down there" with chemicals today?

Did I remember to strip my “down there” with chemicals today?

They also had petroleum jelly which I still find hilarious because they try to call it Vaseline so that people won’t realize it comes from oil products.  All on account of someone one day rubbing oil on their wound.  Yeah, seriously, I saw it on a history show on the Travel Channel.  Also they had K-Y jelly.  Do not mix up these two.  Also do not use the K-Y that is “warming”.  If by warming they mean fire, then sure, but I don’t recommend it.

I should have eaten yogurt, which has live bacteria in it, which sounds bad, but is supposed to be good.  Because antibiotics are like crazed military leaders.  They kill everything good and bad.  So you have to send more good guys down “there”.  But I didn’t.  Thus the dollar store.  Where everything is not a dollar.

Mop the floor, fix supper, pick up the kids, take care of my flora and fauna . . . I'm exhausted.

Mop the floor, fix supper, pick up the kids, take care of my flora and fauna . . . I’m exhausted.

So I finally gave up and asked the girl who was mopping if they had any . . . Monistat.  Which is a brand name, and better than mentioning the actual thing.  Even though I usually use the equate brand, cause they make cheap versions of everything!  Even that!  So she said they had it, but they kept it behind the counter.  Because?  I can only assume people were stealing it.  I can imagine the conversation between the thieves.

“What’d you score, man?”

“Monistat, dude.”

“Cool beans!”

I went up to the counter, and there was a guy standing there.  No problem, I mean, we are all adults here.  So I asked for the stuff, and the guy is like uhhh okay uh sure.  And he turns around and stares at the maybe ten items they had back there.  And the girl walks by, grabs the stuff, hands it to me, and goes back to mopping.  Poor dude.  Speaking of dudes, are any of you still reading?  If so, bravo, for you are truly proving your manhood here.

Yes, dear, it's true. My "down there" is on fire - but not for you.

Yes, dear, it’s true. My “down there” is on fire – but not for you.

My husband is a real man, cause he has gone out and bought the stuff for me when I wasn’t there.  Yup.  He’s even gotten excited about a sale and bought several kits to have on hand. Okay that was kind of weird.  He’s also bought napkins for me.  None of this bothers him.  Which it shouldn’t, because it’s just a fact of life, you guys.

Tootie knows what I mean!

Tootie knows what I mean!

F.H.P.  It’s not so bad.  Do it for your girl.  And maybe she’ll buy you jock itch cream later.  Because everyone has a “down there”.

A friendly P.S.A. from A.L.I.C.E.

Alice and the Case of the Missing Gallbladder Part Two

Yay, I’m back!  Well, most of me!  I think!

You might be thinking this post will finally solve the case of the missing gallbladder.  You would be wrong.  But I’m going to tell you all about it anyway.  My sick posts tend to be some of my best, or at least my pneumonia ones got a lot of praise (story starts here – link drop!).  Maybe I write better with lots of pharmaceuticals and / or fever.  I don’t want to repeat the fever thing, nor do I know of a way to achieve one on purpose.  And pharmaceuticals – well druggies ruin everything.

Where was I?  Oh, right, my doctor scheduled me for surgery.  When the big day arrived, my husband took me to the waiting room.  Waiting for surgery is sort of like waiting for Christmas –  only no gifts and they cut you open and stuff.  So actually nothing like Christmas, except the expectation of something awful.  Like pain.  Or relatives.  Yet I did get a present – my friend L came to hang with me, despite not actually needing to go to a hospital at all.  This makes her insane, but a nice friend, especially for me.

They called me back and checked my vitals to make sure I was alive before they possibly killed me.  Yeah, I know all about it, doctors, it’s hard to glance over that part of “possible death we are not responsible for” mentioned in that paperwork.  Of course I signed it, because I felt bad enough to not care much anymore.  I was nervous, so I focused on interesting and /or stupid things happening to write about later.  I got some.  They took me off again to a little temporary hospital room of my own with a TV and a bathroom and a bed that had to be hand-cranked because day surgery nurses are given a lot of crap.

Sign Here. (I stole this from my pneumonia post - two for one!)

Sign Here. (I stole this from my pneumonia post – two for one!)

I washed myself with a hand-i-wipe and put on my hospital gown. I’d never seen one like this before.  Usually they are cloth and open to the back to better expose your behind.  But this one was made of paper and had covered rimmed holes all over it.  I wondered if they specially designed the gowns for doctors to peek through while doing surgery, but it turned out that they used them to, I’m not kidding, hook you up to a blow dryer.  They stuck a hose on my gown and vroom instant warm.  I have to get one of those things for home.  It’s great.

They also hooked me up to an IV. They put it in my hand where it’s harder to find veins, so she poked around my hand with a needle and it was so fun.  Luckily my husband turned on the TV to distract me with Dr. Phil.  A lady suspected her husband of cheating on her, and her square-headed husband was all “No I didn’t but I’m not taking a lie detector test.”  And Dr. Phil was rubbing his chin with that thoughtful look that said “I am taking this seriously” before telling the man that he was stupid liar.  And he said he wasn’t.  And his wife said she just had to know for sure if he was cheating on her because the marriage was totally worth saving because they’d had two kids in three years and how exactly was this guy managing to run around on her?  My husband didn’t get five seconds off – I knew exactly when he was due home from work and I was maniacal enough from a day with screaming infants and toddlers to chase him down if necessary.

What would be do without his wisdom?

What would we do without his wisdom?

Once all my prepping was done, and my doctor had finished patient number one for the day, and Dr. Phil had run off before they revealed the lie detector results, they rolled me into the operating room.  I have to wonder – do these operations get to be as routine as working at McDonald’s?  I can imagine them rolling patients in one by one with a little number and then sending them out the door for pick up.  Also with poking four holes in you, and pulling things in and out of it, I can’t help but think of the Operation game.  Wouldn’t it be funny if it really buzzed if a doctor didn’t get their tools out of the holes just right?  Like on that commercial, only with real patients.  I would film it.  Anyway, they rolled me to the operating room and then I was waking up in a totally different room and off I went back to my temporary hospital room.  And people came to visit me and I said “I feel GREAT.” cause I did, I really did feel great.  And they were happy I was all better now.  But what I didn’t realize was that the reason I was all better now was because I was HIGH.  It makes a difference.

I asked my husband what happened, since I had so many questions.  Like did they actually find the gallbladder, or did they just poke holes in me and say forget it?  Did they find it all shriveled up and hiding behind the liver like the freeloader it was?  Was it just in the wrong place?  When you carry babies inside you, your organs shift all over the place – fun fact they never tell you till you get pregnant.  So maybe it was way down with the kidneys?  I asked him.  He said the doctor just told him the surgery went well, and they’d see me in like three weeks.  Say what?  I love my husband but he’s not good with the big questions.  Like why was my gallbladder missing before and where was it now exactly?  Not like I wanted it in a specimen jar, but I do like to have answers.

They left me with four bloody incisions covered in what some kind if sticky saran wrap – the wrap made the blood spread out so it looked about 500 times bigger than it was.  The bellybutton one was especially pretty, with a jagged line looking a bit too much like the Joker’s smile.  And while this was supposed to be “minimally invasive” I think if you put my abdomen up against a gun shot victim’s, they’d look pretty similar.

Why so serious, Batman?

My abdomen post surgery! Why so serious, Batman?

When I got up to walk around I felt a bit nauseous.  Don’t ever tell your doctor this.  They assume it’s the pain meds and tell you not to take them, and then you aren’t high, and then you realize you have been seriously snookered.  I only had seven of them anyway – that’s right seven – and no refills.  Thanks drug addicts.  They let me go that afternoon.  That evening Thing One had her premiere in the high school musical “Crazy for You.”  I missed the first one, but I saw the second performance a couple days later.  More on that to come, as well as the mystery of where the heck my gallbladder went.  I think my story would make a fantastic musical, with dancing doctors, organs, and surgical instruments.  Or maybe I’m just high.

Alice

P.S.  It’s been over a week since surgery. I’m feeling much better now. 🙂

Alice and the Case of the Missing Gallbladder

Some of you were wondering what happened with that whole missing gallbladder thing.  Okay, one of you was, which is more than enough for me to spill my guts.  So to speak.  Anyway, after the test, I went back to work, probably getting radioactive cooties all over my desk, and an hour later I got a phone call.  If you get a phone call from a doctor that quickly,  it’s usually not a good sign.  My GP’s office informed me that I was to see a specialist and they’d set up the appointment and everything.  “Uh, for what?” I asked.  And they said “The hospital didn’t tell you?”

Eh, oh!

Eh, oh!

Well, of course not.  I asked why I was seeing a specialist and the nurse lady said it was because my gallbladder was dead.  Look, I realize we’re not talking about hearts or brains or you know, popular organs here, but I still don’t think you should just tell a person a part of their body is dead just willy nilly over the phone.  So I was rather shocked, since my doctor was sure they’d find nothing wrong (and he was partly right as they did find nothing), that there was actually something wrong.  I told them that the doctor hadn’t even seen my gallbladder and the nurse said “oh” and covered the mouth piece and I heard muffled talking in the background.  “She says they didn’t see it?”  This did nothing to reassure me.

“Oh a non-visual gallbladder still means it’s not working,” the nurse said.  “Your appointment’s on Friday!”

And she went off to get her latte.  This test and phone call took place on Monday.  Which meant I had until Friday to Google “Non-visual gallbladder”.  I don’t recommend doing this.  Pretty much everyone recommends NOT doing this, but I am both a masochist and an obsessive researcher, which makes for a good librarian but kind of a nutball otherwise.  I found out that gallbladders aren’t visual on scans sometimes because they’ve shrunk all up and stuff.  I bet my award-winning liver is just so embarrassed to have that pathetic gallbladder nearby.

These guys will have all the answers!

These guys will have all the answers!

I found plenty of tales of people who got their gallbladders out, and their entire lives were ruined forever and ever.  Many warned “Do not let them take your gallbladder!” and I pictured Mel Gibson shouting it in a fake Scottish accent.  But the thing is, if the organ’s not working, leaving it in your body isn’t exactly going to do you a lot of good either.  Because I read, you might want to put that sandwich down, that gallbladders can rot and get gangrene.  Delightful!

So I told people about my dead gallbladder and people were about as enthused as if I’d told them about my dead goldfish.  “Ah, happens all the time!” they said.  “I know like my sister, aunt, dog, etc had theirs out!  Why some people just go get it taken out for giggles!  Nothing to worry about.”  So I spent the week being annoyed at the people who said this was the end of the world, and annoyed at the people who completely dismissed it.  I finally went to the doctor on Friday, and mostly spoke to the nurse, who seems like a nice lady.  She told me her husband, the doctor, took out her gallbladder.  That must have been interesting.  I let my husband work on my car all the time, but I’m not sure I’d let him work on my body.  What if he put something back wrong?  Awk-ward.

He still hasn't put all the organs back in the car he's working on.

He still hasn’t put all the organs back in the car he’s working on.

I’ve learned so much about gallbladders.  I liken our knowledge of our bodily anatomy to our knowledge of foreign geography.  There are many organs in the body that we don’t know the name of, the location of, the purpose of, or that they even exist until there is an attack.  Sort of like how we never knew anything about the Middle East till we starting bombing them.  I had no idea where my gallbladder was, or my liver for that matter.  I’m pretty sure the only organs people know much about are the brain, heart, and lungs, since it’s kind of hard to live without any of them, and you don’t need a road map to find them.

The doctor gave me a pamphlet about my surgery that had a picture of this weirdly happy lady on the cover.  There were gross pictures inside it of the gallbladder and the liver, and other pictures detailing the surgery.  It’s called Laproscopic, meaning they poke four holes in you like a potato before you put it in the microwave, and then they stick a camera in one of the holes, and their operating instruments in the other holes.  I have no idea how they do this, or who first thought up the idea, or how they first tried it out.  Did some aspiring doctor just feel like poking holes in his cat one day as a kid?  No idea.

And they suck it all out through drinking straws!

And they suck it all out through drinking straws!

So they cut your gallbladder off and seal it and then just whoosh, pull it out through one of the holes in a baggie.  I’m not even kidding.  They stick it in a baggie, like you might bring your sandwich in (I told you to put your food down).   And after that, they re-rout your liver to take a right at the intestines and bang, you’re good to go.  Recovery from this takes no time at all!  Saying they don’t screw it up somehow!  Anyway, it has to be done cause that’s why I’m so sick.  So naturally the first time they could get me in to do the surgery was in two weeks, which I’m told is actually very fast for doctors.  If it blows up (I’ve heard it can) then I might get in faster.

So I’ve made it one week, and am looking forward to preop and more tests, and then the actual surgery next Thursday.  You can bet I’ll have a report, saying I survive and all.  I have missed a lot of work, so asked the doctors if I could have a note for work.  They said they couldn’t write a note for nothing, cause I hadn’t had the surgery yet, their logic being that I was having the surgery for absolutely no reason, and would only need time off to recover from the not-needed surgery.  Apparently.  At least my Thing Two was concerned about me.

“How long will you be in the hospital, Mommy?” she asked.

“Oh, I’ll probably get out the same day,” I reassured her.

“Then I don’t get to have fun spending the night at Grammy’s, like when you had Pneumonia?”

Thanks, Thing Two.

 

Alice

Radioactive Spider Alice

Stomach viruses suck.  So do rotten stomachs, which is something I’ve had since I was a little kid.  All my worry is processed in my stomach, so I often hear people groan “You and your stomach.”  My depression wasn’t diagnosed until after they first performed a bunch of stomach tests including the “drink liquid chalk and let them take funny pictures of your insides with radiation and pretend they see something while hiding behind protective walls” test.  They didn’t find anything with all the tests, so they said “Passin’ the ball to you, mental people!”

They do this a lot because it is well known, by doctors anyway, that the brain and other bodily organs have absolutely nothing to do with one another even though they are all part of the same body.  Each organ should have someone different taking care of it, these people should not communicate, and if it happens to be something none of these specialists understand, it’s off the the psychiatrist.  The psychiatrist being the one guy who does not issue funky tests unless you want to count the “Hey, try this drug.  It probably won’t kill you.” test.

I diagnose you with "The Nuts."

I diagnose you with “The Nuts.”

But, wait, Alice, you might say, isn’t there research saying there is a strong mind-body connection?  Haha, don’t be silly.  Where did you get that from?  John Hopkins?  Mayo Clinic?  Frauds, I tell you!   The majority of doctors are far too busy misdiagnosing people and making sure their malpractice insurance is up to date to look at stupid research.

Well it turns out I do have depression and anxiety which do affect bodily systems, like my gut.  My GP ran some tests and informed me that my liver test wasn’t normal – it was like, way better than other livers!  Like, go liver!  Except that hey I still feel like crap.  So he decided I would have a Cholescintigraphy (Also Called Gallbladder Radionuclide Scan or HIDA scan) performed.  It’s a test that checks gallbladder function.   And you read that right, boys and girls.  It involves radioactive crap – only instead of just a scan, they shoot this little tracer thingy up into your veins!

This is TOTALLY normal, mmkay?

Ready for some Radium?

I was super excited about this test, especially after the nurse said I got to be a super hero and just in time for Halloween!  I always wanted to be Spiderman.  Shooting webs from your hands and bouncing from building to building sounds like fun.  Superheroes get all the perks.  Like I bet Superheroes don’t have to work, not if they’re smart.  Why blend in with the population when you can be totally famous just being yourself?  Huh, Spidey?  Enough whining about personal responsibility and crap.  Have some fun.

Me.  Alice.

Me. Alice. Just wait.

So they injected me with the radiation, but I didn’t immediately get super powers.  Instead they had me lie under this table with my arms held up in a sling and this scanner looming over me while they took pictures of my organs.  I wonder if they saw my liver and thought to themselves – there is a LIVER.  Give it first prize.  I hope they saw my liver anyway.  Because what they didn’t see was my gallbladder.

Yup, supposedly I was to lay there thirty minutes while they took glamour shots of my gallbladder, then they were to give me some other stuff, possibly nitroglycerin so I could explode my radiation all over the place, that was going to show them how my gallbladder functioned.  This was all supposed to take an hour.  Only they never took any pictures of my gallbladder because, after a lengthy search, they couldn’t find it.  Yup, that’s right, they lost an organ.  I’m pretty sure I’d remember having an organ out.  Clearly these doctors could have used a good map.

Where are we going?  Gallbladder!

Where are we going? Gallbladder!

I figured they were going to send in another tracer to help with the search party, or consult with a specialist like that dog from Blue’s Clues, but no, she just told me to go.  So I asked like, “What was the doctor going to get from this if they didn’t find the organ?”  “Oh, he’ll know something just by not finding it”,  she said.  Know what?  She couldn’t say.  Right.  So after that, and a rather hefty bill, I’m left more confused than I was before the test, which I’m pretty sure is how they are designed.

The gallbladder is WHERE now?

The gallbladder is WHERE now?

But that’s okay, because according to the nurse, I am still radioactive for the next couple of days at least.  Don’t mess with me.  I’m the Nuclear Librarian, you guyz.

Alice

 

 

The Diva Cup!

Ah, divas, everybody knows one.  She thinks she’s like all that, you know, and shows off and wears rhinestone studded sunglasses and uses menstrual cups.  Oh, uh, sorry about that.  I should have put in a warning for any male or squeamish readers.

Warning: This post talks about periods and va-jay-jays!

Okay, then.  Everybody gone yet?  I was looking at Facebook for news again and this Buzzfeed article just popped up.  Pop!  It was about something called the Diva Cup, which I had never heard of before.  Yes, I have a hippie-ish friend who once mentioned using a cup thing for her period but I think I changed the subject because yuck.  Cups don’t go up there.  As Buzzfeed clearly points out in the linkbait title of their article:

There's just so much here - where do I start?

“The phantom vagina.”  Wasn’t that a Star Wars movie?

I’m not sure what was the most whack – the title, the tagline “phantom in my vagina” or the picture of a clearly uncomfortable woman.  What on earth did she stick up there?  Is it like those balls that Anna put up there in 50 Shades of Grey?  Wouldn’t it have been funny if those balls had gotten stuck up “there” in Ana?  I think so.

Before any passionate users of these cups – and there are apparently several different brands of this thing with names like “Fleurcup”, “MeLuna”, “Lunette”, and “Round Sucky Bell Thing” – complain, the article is actually not overtly negative about this form of period management.  Some of the women seemed to like it, though most of them, understandably, looked a little uneasy about the idea of using one for the first time.  I mean, who hasn’t pondered how wise it would be to stick foreign objects in an orifice?  And then done it anyway?  Lots of people on TLC for one!  Sometimes it results in embarrassing trips to the ER (where it is all filmed).  Other times you get a baby (without knowing it was in there either).  This is not to be dealt with lightly, folks.

Of course some women have stuck tampons up there for years (not at a time), something I never did back when my “Auntie Flo” used to visit me against my wishes.  I used sanitary pads which are not at all like diapers (which my Thing Two mentioned to my Thing One who was not amused) even though the commercials are almost exactly the same.  Except the women crawling around in the period commercials are not as cute.  Thing Two has not yet experienced the joy of becoming “a woman” although she told us years ago when she was about seven that she knew just what a period was – a punctuation mark at the end of a sentence.  We just nodded and told her she was exactly right.

See, it's cuter on these guys. Still gross, though.

See, it’s cuter on these guys. Still gross, though.

I actually quit having my “little friend” come by when I had my baby-factory removed years ago, a result of my last uterus renter liking to jump very hard on the floors.  I haven’t missed it one bit.  But some women still have to use this stuff, including my Thing One, who would die to know I was talking about her in this article but will never find out because she’ll never get this far into my post.  I think her initial reaction had to be the most perfect one ever.

“Just – what?  What is this?  Seriously?”

But back to the cup!  Isn’t it cool that now women and men get to have one?  Only a guy’s goes on the outside, whereas women have it inside, just like reproductive organs which were, as Dave Barry says, designed by Mother Nature apparently as a joke.  Yet it’s a normal monthly inconvenience for half the population, so why are we so squeamish talking about it?  Just cause it’s blood leaking out of our hoo-has and . . . I just grossed myself out there.  Maybe that is why.  I definitely remember being a teen and absolutely, positively not wanting anyone else to know I had a period, even going so far as to frantically cover up the pads in my grocery cart lest someone find out that I . . .  was like every other woman on the planet.

We totally saw your pad.

We totally saw your pad.

So we have these women trying on the cup on film – blacking out the bottom of the frame so we don’t see anything dirty.  I’m sure they were actually inserting these right in front of the camera person.  They had different reactions.  One complained of leaks, and another that she was concerned about getting it out again, and then some thought it was okay.  Kind of like when you’re asked to select your form of torture – the rack or the thumbscrews?  Lemmie think.

So the women put it on up there, and had cups of blood (that would have been convenient for Edward in Twilight – sorry) they later got to dump out.  This is better for the environment and all that, but I don’t think I’d personally want to pour one out.  Or put one in to begin with, because I know I’d be one of the morons who did it incorrectly and had to go to the doctor for removal.  So I’m glad that’s all behind me.  Uh, so to speak.

Many people in the comments were very irritated that Buzzfeed used such a misleading title on their article (which isn’t like them at ALL), and enthusiastically rejoiced in the benefits of their Diva Cups.  You go, girls!  I couldn’t help but notice there were no comments from guys.

I’m starting to wonder if I will have any comments.  No matter!  Someone had to tell you about this, and I was just the girl to do it.  You’re welcome.  Here’s the link and the video, in case you for some bizarre reason, want to know more.

Alice

 

 

There’s a Little Black Spot on the Sun Today

Same old thing as yesterday.

Thanks, Sting, I knew you’d understand.  It’s raining today.  I live in Texas, which being the size of about half the rest of the United States (we exaggerate sometimes here) has several of its own climates.  The one I have is semi-arid which means mostly desert except when the weather feels like throwing stupid stuff your way.  Like rain and snow.  I don’t really like either of these, unless the snow is so significant it cancels work and school.  Then snow is like, my pal.

Fun fact: There are more suicides in Seattle,Washington than in Alaska cause light bounces off of snow, but rain is just gray and dreary.  There’s a source for this, but I’m not looking it up.

Found on a Seattle travel brochure.

Found on a Seattle travel brochure.

It’s raining right now.  Everyone is supposed to be happy about this because sometimes we are so dry a loose spark can set off massive dry grass explosions.  But it messes with my asthma and my depression – a double combo so to speak.  I cough and I’m bummed.  And I can be bummed when it is bright and sunny (how dare it be bright and sunny?) so I don’t need actual dreary.  I don’t think I’m the only one who dislikes rain.  I’m pretty sure rain is at least partly why England was off conquering other nations once upon a time.  They didn’t want to be at home.

There’s even a song about rain everyone knows.  “Rain, rain, go away.”

“Rain, rain, go away

Come again some other day.”  (like never)

I learned it as a kid, and I remembered there were some whack lyrics about an old man in a coma, but I wasn’t sure what they were so I actually researched some for this one.  According to my authentic source, Wikipedia, the modern English song dates back to the 17th century when James Howell wrote “Raine raine goe to Spain: faire weather come againe.”  I like this version.  Hey, bad weather, go to Spain.  We hate those guys.  I wish my rain to go to political conventions.  Either party.  Please do so when the candidates are out there speaking.  I’d love to see the Donald’s hair piece wash away.

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain - suck it Spaniards!

The rain in Spain falls mainly in the plain – suck it Spaniards!

But the Wikipedia article didn’t touch on the old dude, so I had to do more searching.  I found an educational site that, predictably, screwed up the lyrics making it “Rain, rain go away, Mommy / Daddy / Sister / the dog / Donald Trump wants to play” but that was lame and not the real song at all.  Boo.  I had to add in “the old man is snoring” to get a positive result.  Turns out the song can be called “It’s Raining, It’s Pouring” as well as “Rain, Rain, Go Away.”  So here is the version they didn’t make PC for today’s children, but which was perfectly fine for me to learn.

It’s raining
It’s pouring
The old man is snoring.

He bumped his head
When he went to bed
And he couldn’t get up in the morning

Cue the chorus “Rain, rain go away.”  Just – wait, what?  I always wondered about that part.  I mean, what the heck does a snoring old man who gets a concussion and is now in a coma have to do with rain?  Why put this in a song for kids?  Were we not traumatized enough by the mutilation of the three blind mice?  Well, I say traumatized, but we were kids and took great delight in singing about chopping off rodent tails and unconscious old dudes in comas – who are lying in the rain?   But kids are evil.  As adults we should be wondering – who is this old guy and won’t someone shut off the camera and go get him medical attention?

Unless it’s foul play.  Now I can believe hitting your head on the headboard of your bed hard enough to cause a concussion because I routinely smack my head and other body parts into things on accident.  But while I’m no doctor, I think you really shouldn’t go back to sleep after this.  Unless someone MADE you.  Like say a disgruntled wife who was bugged by her snoring husband so hit him in the head when he went to bed so that he couldn’t get up in the morning.  Consciousness go away, come again another day . . .

Here's for your wife cutting off our tails with a carving knife!

(Or it might have been the mice?) “Here’s for your wife cutting off our tails with a carving knife!”

It should be noted that I found the real lyrics on another teaching site that advises teachers after singing the first part to ask the kids to put their names into the song.  “Blah blah old man dead, rain, rain go away, little (Madison, Madisyn, Maddisson) wants to play.”  Yes, let’s put our names into a song about an unfortunate old dude.  Sounds fun to me!  Go on, little (Brayden, Britin, Braxton) sing!  It’s fun!

And we wonder why our children grow up to be stuff like serial killers and politicians.  But I digress.  It’s raining here and the water is seeping under my house where wood will probably rot and suck us into a giant hole one day.  Maybe I could make a song about it?

As this post was inspired partly by Merbear’s inspirational Annie post, I feel I should give her credit here while stealing the cartoon she found.

annie

Have a nice day, rain or shine.  And pay no attention to Eddie Rabbit, who “loves a rainy night”.  He clearly never heard of that poor old guy.

Alice