Wednesday, August 30, 2006

update on my back and other medical stuff

I went to see Dr. F yesterday for my back, since my trip to ER Lite didn't produce any answers. After X-rays, I have a muscle/tendon strain. The arthritis in my low back is a little worse on the films, but not too bad. Not bad enough to cause the spontaneous severe pain. Fortunately, no compression fracture of a vertebrae, which was a distinct possibility given my arthritis and long-term use of cortico-steroids.

So, rest, muscle relaxers, and pain medication. Yes, this is a familiar regimen, but hey, it works.

Nothing new on my kidneys, still have trace amount of blood being passed. I go back in 6 weeks for a re-test to see if there's still blood. If so, then I'll see a urologist. I had the option of seeing one immediately, but this isn't a critical problem. Probably just a little irritation from microscopic stones or inflammation but not an infection.

On another note, I'm not so sure about my allergy shots anymore. It seems like my damn sinus allergies are worse now that I've been geting them, not better. I've been getting them for 3 weeks now, and I had it confirmed yesterday that I don't have a respiratory infection. Despite the fact I can't really breathe. Yep, having some misgivings about modern medicine right now.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

fun times in atlanta

OK, so I'm a little behind. As mentioned in this post, I'll be spending the upcoming weekend in Atlanta. I will be going to DragonCon, which will be my first Sci-Fi/Fantasy Con. Uh, yeah, my inner Geek is finally being allowed to come out.

I'm really looking forward to the weekend, I'll get a chance to see Shiva again, hang out and generally have a good time (hopefully). Right now my biggest concern is what to wear. I have a chiton (sleeved Roman/Greek dress), a peplos (sleeveless Roman/Greek dress) and a simple Medieval dress that looks more Elvish than anything. You see a pattern here. I'm not wearing anything that's uncomfortable, which means pretty much all dresses.

Here's hoping for some interesting photos. There might even be one or two of me that make their way here.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

my weekend

I've had a very restful weekend. Not exactly because I wanted it, I didn't exactly have a choice. Let me tell you a story...

Thursday afternoon I woke up with a minor back ache. No big deal, right? I didn't think so, so I went about my business of getting my allergy shots and then spent some quality time in a bookstore. Well, the longer I stayed on my feet the worse my back felt so I went home and rested. I went to bed early for me, about 0200, and somehow managed to sleep for 12 hours.

Unfortunately the rest did nothing for my back, so after not managing to get an appointment with Dr. F, I went to the ER Lite - Huntsville Hospital's Acute Care Clinic near the house. I was concerned since the pain was in my spine, not kidneys or muscles, and at a 7 or 8 out of 10 on the pain scale. The upside to ER Lite is, like the regular ER, they will give medications for pain while waiting for tests. The downside is I picked the day that their X-ray machine was down. The only test that could be run was a urinalysis, and I was dehydrated. Not a good combination. After 6mg morphine, 1/2 gallon of water, a Coke, and 2 hours, I managed to produce the required specimen. The result - a trace amount of blood. Whee. Yes, this means I may have yet another kidney infection or stone. No X-rays so there was nothing else that could be done. I left with the profound advice of "if it gets worse go to the real ER." No kidding, Doc.

Monday I go see Dr. F for a follow-up to try to find out what is causing the back pain. Yay, whee. More tests. (I swear this time I won't be dehydrated, though.) I just want to find out what's wrong before I go to Atlanta on Thursday. Hopefully it is simply tendonitis that will clear up soon, and not something that will keep me from being able to walk in Atlanta.

What's in Atlanta? That's another post, which I'll be writing shortly, as soon as I finish this.

Friday, August 25, 2006

sleeping cats

This is one of those days when I wish I knew what was going on inside a cat's mind.

Noah is in the recliner, sound asleep. In the middle of a dream by the looks of things, complete with twitching paws. Now, the amusing/intriguing part is his eyes are cracked and he's yowling. That's right, yowling, in his sleep. I stepped over by the chair the second time he did it, making sure that he was indeed asleep. Even Maleficent perked her head up, wondering what was going on.

Sometimes it's easy to figure out what's going on in their heads. This, however, is one of the times I wish I had telepathy.

And no, Noah isn't the only one who talks in his sleep. McCullough and Maleficent both chatter at times. The standard "I really want that bird" chatter/chirping cats do. Plus Maleficent is the only cat I know that snores.

Friday, August 18, 2006

ahh, autumn

The first signs of Fall are here.

dogwood berries ripening

leaves turning colors on a dogwood tree

a nearly ripe pear

friday catblogging

The return of Tux.

Tux eating

Of course he didn't hang around long enough for us to give him some medicine. That would be too easy. Couldn't do it at the time, I was on my way to a doctor's appointment when I snapped that quick shot. I have a feeling I'll be wrestling a cat today, alone, trying to shove 2 pills in him. Yeah, I'm really looking forward to this. I just hope I don't get bit, because then I'll have to go through all the fun crap associated with a semi-feral cat bite. *whines about getting rabies shots* Maybe Kevlar gloves will help...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

apparently i don't learn...

So, yesterday afternoon I decided that I'd had enough of the yard looking like crap. It hadn't been mowed in the past month. Admittedly, the grass hasn't been growing much due to a general lack of rain, but once the rains started again it took off. Now, there will be those of you who will know what comes next.

Mira snapped. The grass had to die. It didn't matter that I'm sensitive to heat. I drug out the lawnmower, gassed it up, and attacked the front yard. On the up side, the front yard looks a lot better. On the down side, the heat stroke wasn't much fun. OK, so it wasn't full-blown heat stroke. Technically it was heat exhaustion, so a cool shower and fluids was sufficent treatment.

At least I waited for the ambient temperature to be about 10 degrees F below body temperature to pull that stunt.


I had to change to Blogger Beta to log in, but then I'm not qualified for the upgrade? Excuse me? WTF? OK, I'm not going to try to wrap my brain around that one anymore. It hurts too much.

Friday, August 04, 2006

friday catblogging

Callie has decided to make good on her challenge to Mars on who is more popular on the web.

I can appreciate that he's a shelter rescue, but please...he's a dog. Really.

That's right. I'm gorgeous, and I know it. Eat your heart out, Mars.

Sorry, H0rrid, but I only type what the cats tell me to. And yes, I'm fully aware I'm staff.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

because i'm bored

100 Things About Me, updated. Let's see what's changed in the past 2 years... Original post here. Italics denote changes.

  1. I live in the general vicinity of Huntsville, in Northern Alabama
  2. I was born in Seymour, Indiana, John Cougar Mellencamp's "Small Town"
  3. I'm 6 feet 1 inch tall, and weigh, well, a little more than I should, but not much
  4. I have greenish-hazel eyes
  5. My hair is shoulder length, wavy, and light brown/red/blonde, depending on the light and how much it's bleached out by the sun
  6. I have a wonderful husband, who is more understanding of me than anyone in this world, including myself
  7. We were separated for 18 months when we stopped being friends, and I didn't think he was so wonderful
  8. I didn't think I was so wonderful during that time, either
  9. I have a little sister, 2 1/2 years younger than I, who lives in Indiana, with her husband and their two boys
  10. My parents live on the family farm, in Indiana
  11. My closest relatives, aside from my husband, are 300 miles away, in Indiana
  12. I have only a few close friends, who mean more to me than they know
  13. I have 3 cats living in my house - Make that 4 cats that own me, Callie had joined the mix
  14. My parents have my other cat
  15. There is also a squirrel and a fish living here - Catbait, the squirrel is free. His ultimate fate is not known. The number of fish have increased, however.
  16. And my brother-in-law (husband's brother), and his 2 cats
  17. I have a degree in studio art - Forgot the minor in Art History
  18. Graphic design is the best way to have an art degree and still be able to eat
  19. I taught myself everything I know about HTML and JavaScript
  20. I tend to hand-code websites, rather than let a WYSIWYG editor screw up the code
  21. I'm not happy unless the code looks good, too
  22. I've had my degree for 4 years now - Make that 6 years
  23. I've been an EMT for 10 years - Coming up on 12 years. Damn, I feel old.
  24. I'm specially trained in vehicle extrication - using the "Jaws of Life"TM
  25. I've been doing that for 9 years - Make that 11 years
  26. I can't remember how many people I've seen die
  27. The one that haunts me to this day is the 14 year old boy who looked into my eyes and then died on the stretcher in front of me, and there was nothing I could do. That was 7 years ago
  28. There really wasn't anything anyone could have done for him. His injuries from the vehicle wreck were too severe
  29. Insomnia sucks - I've learned to deal with it, and ignore it for the most part. I sleep when I'm tired. Simple solution.
  30. I love the rain
  31. Storms are one of nature's most beautiful and powerful events, which I respect for their destructive, but not fear
  32. I am a National Weather Service trained storm spotter, which gives me an excuse to admire the beauty of a storm, while serving the greater good, should it turn severe
  33. I believe in helping people for the sake of helping
  34. I don't do it because The Church tells me I have to
  35. I believe that everyone perceives the Divine differently, and cultures give him/her/it different names - God, Jehovah, Allah, Shiva, Budda, The Great Spirit. All beliefs are valid, and everyone should be allowed to worship in his or her own way, with certain restrictions, without fear of repercussion
  36. Those restrictions include no cruelty to animals or humans; nothing that endangers a minor (handling of dangerous animals, consumption of drugs); displays of public lewdness; other things that are currently covered by U.S. law
  37. I believe civil unions between homosexuals should be allowed - In other words, a legal, secular marriage. If three people want to get married, then that should be allowed, too. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening in this country for a very long time.
  38. I think there are abilities that some people have that cannot be explained by science. Call it psychic powers, magick, or whatever you want, it does exist.
  39. My favorite colors are green and purple
  40. I love to bum around the house in my pajamas
  41. I've worn my pajamas to the store
  42. Memory foam matress toppers are wonderful
  43. I have Crohn's Disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis, both of which are autoimmune disorders
  44. I've learned to adapt to both, since I've had the CD for 19 years and the AS probably for about 14 years - AS is harder to diagnose, so it was misdiagnosed for several years as simple arthritis
  45. I take a metric assload of drugs to keep both under control. In EMS we refer to folks like me as taking the WFP
  46. I have a twisted sense of humor - Twisted doesn't even begin to describe it. Morbid is maybe a little more accurate
  47. It's taken me about 17 years to accept that I can't do everything I want, that I have limits, and to allow myself to be taken care of when I need to be
  48. I'm a better patient for the doctors and nurses at the office or hospital than I am to my family or friends who are healthcare workers
  49. My regular physician is also a part-time ER doc, so he tells me to stop being a patient, and to stop bringing him patients
  50. I am an INTP
  51. I am a genius, and could join MENSA, if I really wanted to
  52. I do know some rocket science - Hell, I know rocket scientists. Comes with living in Huntsville
  53. I often get so involved in what I'm doing that I forget about my own physical needs - eating, drinking, sleeping
  54. I'm glad breathing is automatic because of that
  55. I do loose track of time, not just hours but days at a time - The meds don't help with that in the slightest
  56. I grew up on a 80+ acre farm
  57. I can knit, crochet, cross-stitch, embroider, sew, spin, and weave
  58. I also can grow a sucessful vegetable garden, and I am able to can, dehydrate, and pickle foods I grow
  59. I can milk a cow, sheep, or goat, make butter, butcher meat, make sausages, bake bread, make pasta, and do about anything else in the kitchen, completely from scratch
  60. I choose not to usually, because it's so much faster to use partially prepared foods
  61. Unless I'm bored, then baking is a great way to pass a few hours, and exercise my arms
  62. I'm mostly of German descent, with some Swiss and Scotch-Irish thrown in for good measure - Did some research, and more Scottish than Scotch-Irish. Hell, I have two tartans to choose from, Buchanan and Clark/Clerk/Clerke
  63. One of my ultimate comfort foods is chicken and spatzle
  64. Latkes and sour cream is another, which I don't make often enough, from scratch
  65. My other ultimate comfort food is mac and cheese
  66. I'm addicted to sushi
  67. I will try almost anything once
  68. I thoroughly enjoy a cup of fresh brewed coffee made from just-ground beans, with just a touch of cream
  69. Coffee gives me migraines - I've figured out how to make coffee that doesn't usually give me migraines.
  70. I can't speak or write German, and can read only a little bit of it
  71. Ditto with Latin, Italian, and Greek - Actually, I can read, write, and speak some Latin now. Been active learning it since I joined Nova Roma
  72. I do read, write, and speak French
  73. If I try to speak Spanish, it comes out this weird concoction of French-Italian-Latin-Spanglish
  74. I learned to read Latin, Italian, and Greek from studying Art History - That's how I learned Latin before actually studying it
  75. I speak feline fluently, and cats know this
  76. Dogs aren't my favorite animal, but I won't turn away one in need of help either
  77. I really don't like heights
  78. I can grit my teeth and work at heights, if necessary, and have had to do so as an EMT
  79. Painting is something that helps me stay focused on what is important in life
  80. I don't paint nearly often enough
  81. You're still reading this? You must be more bored than I am
  82. My favorite place in the entire world is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - I now know that Shiva lives only a few miles away. Gotta love how the world works
  83. That is the one place where I can always feel at peace, regardless of what is going on in my life
  84. I came very close to saying "fuck it all" one weekend, quitting my job, and staying in Tennessee, just so I could be in the mountains every day. It didn't matter that it meant I would have been living out of my tent in the campground for a few weeks until I got another job, apartment, etc.
  85. I had actually looked for places that would hire me in the area that weekend, including the National Park Service
  86. I get destructive when I get depressed, which is why I love vehicle rescue - I can tear a car to pieces and still help a patient
  87. I really need to get back to the mountains, 6 months is too long to be away - Besides, I need to Shiva's new apartment :)
  88. I enjoy camping, being close to nature
  89. I will camp during any season, in a tent
  90. I have camped anytime from late February through late October, and ridden out severe and tornadic thunderstorms in my tent
  91. The one time I left the campground, my tent was blown over during the storm. Everything inside remained dry. I really like that tent.
  92. I love reading sci-fi and fantasy stories, including J. R. R. Tolkien, Frank Herbert's Dune series, Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson's Dune prequels (based on Frank Herbert's unfinished works), Anne McCaffery's Pern series and The Ship Who... series, Sharon Shinn, Stephen Lawhead, and Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker (it's set in magical frontier Indiana, describing places I grew up near) to name a few
  93. Some of my favorite movies include the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hannibal Lecter trilogy, Moulin Rouge, Harry Potter, The Princess Bride, Labrynth, The Dark Crystal - See Grace Fly, Nothing, Dune, Children of Dune, Thoughtcrimes, Elizabeth, Serenity, and Century Hotel. I've developed a thing for independent films. So help me, there are two Sci-Fi Channel Original Films on the new list, and they didn't suck ass. They may be the only two Sci-Fi Channel Original Films that haven't sucked.
  94. CSI, CSI Miami, CSI NY, MI-5, Rescue Me, Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, and Farscape are the only TV shows I watch. Well, and the Weather Channel. - Add the new Battlestar Galactica, the new Doctor Who, Da Vinci's Inquest, Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly. Strike MI-5 since it's not being shown right now in the US, I'll have to buy the DVDs.
  95. Have I mentioned insomnia sucks? - Yeah, I have. Back on the topic of films, I can't stand film gore. I can hold a human brain in my hands, but still watch horror films through my fingers. Cube is the most recent example. I saw the deaths coming, and could barely watch that film once.
  96. Some of my favorite singers/songwriters are Peter Gabriel, Billy Joel, Elton John, Evanescence, U2, Queen, and Sisters of Mercy
  97. I like to write poetry, and sometimes I even think it's pretty good, so it gets posted here, where I inflict it upon the world at large
  98. I am my worst critic
  99. I need to not over-analyize my artwork as much, and just create it, accept not everything will be a masterpiece
  100. My email signature, which has been one of my favorite quotes for quite a long time.

    All that is gold does not glitter
    Not all those who wander are lost;
    The old that is strong does not wither
    Deep roots are not reached by the frost

    - Gandalf the Grey
    Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien
  101. I really should be asleep right now, but of course, the insomnia has kicked in again.

a dog's breakfast

(See, H0rrid, I do make good on my threats, er, promises.)

Go check out this blog - A Dog's Breakfast. The site promotes an upcoming independent film of the same name. One of the stars of the film is Mars, a shelter-rescue Rottweiler mix. Yay for shelter rescues! Although I think Caliadne Gwenhyfar Bellatrix (Callie) is now challenging Mars to an online popularity contest. She isn't intimidated by who owns Mars, either. :)

A clip from the film has been released, and I recommend watching it. Hilarious. It's also time to play "Name that set". Hint, it's stolen, er, borrowed, from a pair current TV series. Hint #2, one of the series is the longest running sci-fi show in American TV history. (Nothing can beat Doctor Who, which I think makes it the second longest running sci-fi series in the world.)

For those of you who don't know what the phrase "a dog's breakfast" means, it's UK slang (thank you, Google) - noun, a mess - This accident scene is a real dog's breakfast. Ok, so when I made a similar comment, I said something more like "This accident scene is pretty f***ed up." Get the idea? I first heard the phrase on an episode of Da Vinci's Inquest, and figured out the general meaning. Had to look it up to be certain on the meaning, though.