Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I Am Pleased To Report

I took Judy to the surgeon yesterday and he changed the dressing. He says she can shower, with some help (I am available) and she can start rotating her arm if she bends over and hangs it straight down. The idea is to prevent a frozen shoulder. She starts physical therapy next week.

Earlier today< she complained that her arm itched, so I gave her a Benedryl. She was worried about the adverse drug reactions as she is very susceptible to the 1%. Then she told me that she thought that with the pain, she thought she'd never laugh again. Then both the vicadin and the benedryl kicked in and she was amazed that she didn't itch anymore. She looked at me with amazement, and I told her that she shouldn't get too upset, but she was having a 1% reaction to the benedryl. She started turning grey, and I told her that her face had fallen off. She almost doubled over laughing. It appears I'm good for something besides cooking around here. I used to think I was just another trophy husband.

I took a picture of her sitting on the couch, but she won't let me publish it. She had her hair cut very short because she couldn't take care of it one handed. I have been threatened if I attempt to publish the smiling picture I took after her laughing fit.

I have been going to sleep sometime between 5 and 6 am and getting up between 2 and 3 pm, so if I haven't made it to your blog, or commented here on my own, my apologies. I have put my life on hold for a while, but I anticipate things returning to normal some time soon.

Please take a look at Wandering Girl's Site (Tiffany the Wonder Physical Therapist). She needs a hand with a worthy non-profit institution she volunteers on the Board of Directors at, and could use some help. I'd appreciate whatever you can do for her. She needs some items for a silent auction, or money.

See you soon, and have a great day!

Friday, February 20, 2009

VICTORY on W. Gude Drive

Judy is sound asleep in the recliner as I sit here writing this. We're home, and I have been asleep for three hours, enough to function for a while.

We got to the surgical center at 6:30 am. The center opens at 6:30 am. She was taken back to the Prep Room at 7:00 am while I was doing her paper work, since she can't use her right hand. I asked when I could go back, and at 7:30 am they let me go back to see her. She had refused a nerve block from her neck to her right shoulder. It was like one of those TV commercials for post nasal drip, where the side effects could kill you. She made an "informed decision" to not take the nerve block.

I met the assistant surgeon, which surprised me. I didn't know that the operation would require a second surgeon. No comment was made. Then the anaesthesiologist came in, and talked to Judy as she put on her mask. She could care less that I was there. And finally, Dan Lahr came in, and drew a large box on her right shoulder and put his initials in it. He gave me a prescription for percocette and told me to go fill it because she was going to be in a lot of pain without the nerve block. Great. He told me that the surgery portion would be about 1 1/2 hours and recovery about 1/2 hour.

I took Judy's first team leader and now our friend, who had come to sit with me through the ordeal, to breakfast (I got us fancy French Toast and bacon at her request because I am also a wonderful date!) but couldn't finish. I got the prescription filled and we went back. And we waited, And waited. Then, the deputy surgeon came out and assured me she was fine. Surgery had taken 2 1/2 hours. A tidal wave of emotion sort of washed all over me, and I called her brother. Then Dan the Man came out in his scrubs. Now came the detail. The tear was huge, but he got it back together easily. It was much bigger than the MRI showed, enormously bigger. And she is going to hurt a lot because she didn't get the nerve block, but it turned out to be a very successful operation. And we're getting sushi soon. Recovery would take an hour and a half.

My G-d is an awesome G-d. We both made it.

After we got her home, and I made her something to eat, and the pain started to subside, after four shots of morphine and two percocettes and two vicodins at the surgical center finally all kicked in and worked on the pain, I gave her chicken salad and Coke Zero and some rice crackers. I made Annissa lunch, played with Jake, who was frenzied, and then called her sister to come over so I could get a little sleep. I got three hours.

She has to sleep in the recliner, and I have to sleep on the couch because she can't lower the feet by herself, the lever being on the right side. She can't sleep with her feet down. The first 72 hours are critical. So, here's one of those situations where you just have to man up. No problem. Things will straighten back up next week or so sometime. Small price to pay. No big deal.

And I made an error. Tiffany isn't engaged, which means I still have a chance, which is a good thing. Judy and I need a wife, and what would be better than a wife who was also a terrific Physical Therapist? And Tiffany is so lovable too. Sorry Tiffany. Have a great weekend, y'all!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surgery Day - Time To Man Up

This is Dr. Dan Lahr, the Orthopedic Surgeon who is going to operate on Judy in the morning. He did his residency at Duke, and lives about 20 minutes from here. He and I also have gone out for sushi because neither of our wives likes sushi. When he was in college, he went on an athletic scholarship as an offensive tackle to Colgate University. In his spare time, he loves to push me around the office, me the ex-quarterback. Trust me, I push back, he's just that much bigger than me. He also fixed my broken humerus (the big bone between the elbow and the shoulder which I snapped in two in a fall) on my left arm.

I'm not worried about Dan, it's the anastheiologist I'm worried about.

Statistically, more people die in an operating room because of the anesthesiologist than the surgeon. I take little comfort in knowing this fact. Time to check with Super Physical Therapist Tiffany, purveor of all things medical. She says to trust the surgeon because he wouldn't work with a bum anasthesiologist. Excellent logic. I let Tiffany go as she is needed as Catwoman in a Batman and Robin escapade with PB and the Force, her fiance and his son, both wonderful people.

Then, I took her to our favorite steak house for dinner with our favorite waiter. He even cut her prime rib with roasted galic for her. That's a waiter! After dinner, it was home to watch some TV before bed. The later it got, the more nervous she got. She was too nervous to sleep, which made me nervous.

So I tried to bargain with G-d. I simply aid this. I really want her back. But if your plan really needs someone, let it be me. Take me right there in the waiting room. But you should be really fast because I'll be surrounded by all these medical people that think they can save anyone, so you won't have a lot of time, so please, be quick.

Given that, when all is said and done, I'll let you know what happened.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jake Meets The Blogosphere

I am Jakenstein and I rule the known Universe. Just ask me. I am doing this because Monty says there are a few friends of his who want to see me, like a lady name Brook and Eris and maybe Elaine and Mel. Monty says that they all are redheads, and so am I, which makes them all good people in my book, and that's the book that counts. I'm also hoping for the Puss, because I have my own pole I dance on too!

I live with Monty and Judy. Monty ays I am having a problem with an Oedipal Complex and that I'll outgrow it. I say that one day he'll just finally give up and accept the inevitable. Monty has the scars to prove my point. Besides, Judy thinks I'm gorgeous. When Monty and I are battling, he calls me Numb Nuts. I have no idea why. Judy says I was fixed before I was six weeks old. One day someone will explain that to me, in the meantime, I have a little more strategy to go before I take over the house completely.

I was such a blue eyed sweet heart when I first arrived. Little did anyone know what was coming.

I am really a Marine. Three pounds of coiled fury waiting to be called up.

I ceaselessly practice one of my favorite tactics with Monty called 'attack the hand'. t also helps keep my teeth sharp. I am just as good on Monty's feet.

And like any good Marine, I can salute properly even when I'm sleeping. But when I am not being Tom Terriffic, I am best at playing Dr. Destructo, as you will see.

This is Monty's computer I am lying under. He thought it was cute and took a picture. While he was putting the camera away, I stood up, and dumped the compter on the floor. And knocked all the papers all over the floor along with the Diet Coke all over the papers. And when I jumped on the keyboard, I managed to change the fonts and the sizes. Monty didn't hear the computer fall since it hit the rug. Was he surprised. It took him a week to make the computer work right again. Good thing he has more than one.

I love chewing on that tree. I used to climb in it. Judy got scared when it would bend that it would break and skewer me. Both trees are now gone. Sometimes these humans are no fun at all.

I was waiting for Monty to get home hoping I could sneak out he door and get outside. I actually did it twice. He retaliated by taking me to the vet and having an electronic chip put in my neck. There are times Monty just does NOT fool around.

This is where I pole dance. I am actually about five plus feet off the ground. Monty built this little platform and put up this light for me so I could sort of sunbathe. Sometimes he can be so considerate. I can also sprint to the top and touch the eight foot ceiling. Damn I'm fast. And Monty says my nails are like ice axes. He ought to know.

This is Liz, Monty's sister-in-law. She retired from being a high muckity-muck at the Department of Energy. The guy in the background is Judy's brother, you can guess the rest. He retired from the Army and the State Department. Liz has long, dangling blond hair. Anything that dangles is a toy to me. Liz was more than willing so I preened her a little. She loves me. I bit him a couple of times. They have a parrot, they understood.

These are Monty's slippers. I have to admit, there not much that smells better than the smell of the inside of his slippers. I wish I could bottle that smell, I'd make a fortune. Channel has no idea what they are missing.

Monty took two portraits of me, the one above, #1, and the one below, #2 and I want to know which one you like best. Please let me know. By the way, I'm 7 1/2 pounds now and growing, though I'll never grow to the size of my feet. Something about being 'fixed' so young.

Well, it may be a while before you hear from Monty again. He is taking Judy into surgery on Thursday morning and he's a little nervous. As he explains it, he wouldn't be as worried if he was going into surgery, but its Judy, and that worries him. That and he is probably going to fold his business, and he hasn't figured out hat he's going to do next. He claims that the day of the cat cowboy has gone and that they aren't hiring bank tellers at the moment. I think I'll go see what Mel has written today. See you all soonest.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'd Like To Thank You For Your Help

I got this letter from Glamourpuss and felt you should read it too.

Subject: Sincere Thanks
Just to let you all know, thanks to your votes, I made it through and will be performing at the Newcomer's contest at this year's London Burlesque Festival. Quite literally, I could not have done it without you; thank you, sincerely.
Glory xx

As the person who solicited your vote, I also thank you for having taken the time to help someone else out along their chosen path. It can only be a better World when we take a moment to do an act of kindness for someone we don't know. I am appreciative, and the results are most gratifying! Thank you again!


Friday, February 06, 2009

On Life and Death

On Feb. 5, 2007, my 37 year old nephew Jake died of a heart attack in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. A few years earlier, my 12 year old great niece Rebecca died of an adverse drug reaction to a medication. Last year, James Burnett of the Miami Herald and his wife lost a baby during pregnancy. Mel lost a dear, close friend and associate this week and is dealing with the loss, and showing me the way, slowly and painfully. This list could go on.

James wrote a column to friends who had just lost a child and described to them some of the things that would happen, the grief, the thousand well meaning questions that would all be the same. The inability to provide comfort to each other, and the need for time to pass, and the healing that would come. But the memories remain, as they should.

Mel, in an amazingly precise style that takes complex subjects and reduces them to simplicity states in a single sentence a truth so obvious about a topic that you wonder why you never realized precisely what she said before. She will flesh things out for you and leave you with a clear realization. These little paragraphs she calls the 'reading fairies'. The other posts range from hilarious to practical to Mel being human. If I have never mentioned it before, I stand in awe of this woman. She teaches one to live by example.

Glamourpuss is a woman I have known for three or more years now. I met her when I first started blogging. Her father could have been mine. When I look at Puss and how much she has changed since she left teaching at the school she was at, and went to work and started pole dancing, I see someone who has shown me how to live. I am not saying it hasn't been easy for her, or a bed of roses, it has not been either. She has worked harder than most people I know and the result of her efforts are staring to pay off for her. She is another of my heroes.

Which brings me to Skinny Little Blond (she is now going by the name Skinny Little Sister as she has at least one Sister, Singleton). When I was in graduate school, I read so much existentialism I went through a dark period until I finally figured out that the existentialists didn't finish writing a book or a play (particularly Sartre) and then go out and cut their own throat. That was a revelation. Read Skinny and you'll read someone who seems to have mastered existentialism and writes it in everything she does, and then shows you how to live and find excitement in doing so. It doesn't matter if it's going for a ride in the fastest dragster in the county (and taking off your seatbelt as the car goes flying over a hill) or going to visit your brother for two weeks and staying for a few months and raising some hell. Skinny knows how to live.

And what provoked this post? My friend Spellbound who writes WordsOnWaking. She wrote a post about having a night to herself and ended up talking about she wasn't worried about dying, it was making sure that she lived. A provacative issue isn't it?

Here's a reading fairy of Mel's to give you an idea:

"Resentments are the blocks that hold us back from loving others and ourselves.
Resentments do not punish the other person; they punish us.
They become barriers to feeling good and enjoying life.
They prevent us from being in harmony with the world.
Resentments are hardened chunks of anger.
They loosen up and dissolve with forgiveness and letting go.
Letting go of resentments does not mean we allow the other person to do anything to us that he or she wants.
It means we accept what happened in the past, and we set boundaries for the future.
We can let go of resentments and still have boundaries.
We try to see the good in the person or the good that ultimately evolved from whatever incident we feel resentful about.
We try to see our part.
Then we put the incident to rest

And last, but not least is Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". The actual German translation is 'Life is Wonderful'. When you realize that Beethoven wrote the entire 9th Symphony stone deaf, you can only begin to comprehend the amazing achievement he performed. It is so technically complex, and difficult that the Japanese honored him when designing the DVD by making the DVD large enough to hold a recoding of the entire 9th Symphony in his honor. Ode to Joy is about 3 and a half minutes long. Please enjoy, and end on a happier note.

I rest my case. Have a great weekend.