More Friday Randomness

Someone “Stumbledupon” my post yesterday, and holy sheeeyit, my site statistics tripled.  Now I feel this horrible pressure to post something “serious” far more often.

*Snort*  Yeah, right.  You dip your toe into the pond of “serious blogging” and the next thing you know you’re embroiled in an extremely ugly political debate on a weight loss board with a guy who is accusing you of being Satan’s handmaiden because you dared to question “his” candidate’s stance on an issue or two.  And I’ll have you know that I am going to single-handedly bring on the ruination of the entire free world for saying “Why yes, there is” when someone asked if there was a third choice in the presidential election.

‘Cause I’m just evil that way.

(Senator Obama, you’ll be glad to know that if anyone – anyone at ALL – gives you any grief, JohnnieCC847** has your back.)

Anyhoo, I’ve decided that I triple pink puffy glitter heart my new iPod.  It’s the best thing to come along since my parents bought me that huge, heavy, bulky, bright yellow radio headset when I was about 14 or so, and is ever so much easier to hide from my coworkers carry around.  I’m also putting together an ever-evolving playlist just for working out that absolutely rocks – so much so that the last two mornings I’ve just leapt out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and run down to the basement so I could jump on the treadmill.

Okay, so that may be, ahem, a slight exaggeration, but the fact still stands that yes, I got up at that miserable hour two days in a row and got on the treadmill for 45 minutes.  And hoofed it, to boot.

I am Woman; watch me sweat.

This Weight Watchers thing isn’t so bad either; my weigh in is tomorrow and while I’m not about to publish my weight for the entire world to laugh at see, I will tell you how much weight I lost for the week.  I can also say that between eating more sensibly, exercise and the hormones my angel of a doctor prescribed, I am feeling MUCH better these days.

Speaking of doctors, over the last several days I’ve broken out in an ugly red rash all over my neck that seems to be moving up to my face.  Since going to the doctor is just my favorite thing in the world (yes, there is quite a bit of some sarcasm in that statement), I called her office and demanded begged for an appointment today.  The diagnosis?  I’m allergic to Ohio.  You think I jest, but I do not.  There’s apparently four-thousanty-bajillion particles per cubic centimeter of pollens, molds, spores and fungi out there this time of year, and my poor old bod has apparently just had enough.

So now I’m looking at two prescriptions: one for an antihistamine and another for Prednisone.  A steroid.  Ugh.  I’ve taken steroids before and let me tell you – it ain’t pretty.  My present mood swings will look like a trip to Sunnybrook Farm in comparison to what’s coming.  I guess The Young One and Beloved better batten down the hatches for the next week.

And the rest of you should be grateful I’m in favor of gun control.

**Totally ficticious internet handle for a real person using the internet.  Who is voting for Obama and you’d better bigod not forget it.

Have You Kissed Your Pharmacist Today?

You should.  And if you don’t, I will.  Or at least, I’ll kiss my pharmacist.  Bear with me, because we have more bitching about aging.

I’ve suffered from arthritis at the base of my thumbs for several years.  Mildly annoying, but nothing horrible.  Until the other night.

So, I’m laying in bed reading, with my chin propped in my right hand, when I apparently moved the wrong way and my hand became one flaming sheet of agony, centered at the base of my thumb.  And it didn’t get any better.  Even the most minute movement of my thumb was excruciatingly painful.  I took some aspirin and wrapped my hand in a heating pad, and the pain subsided to a dull roar, enough for me to get some kind of sleep.

The next morning wasn’t any better, and since I’m between doctors (I have an appointment with a new one in September that will hopefully be smart enough not to patronize me) and had a ton of work to do, I went to the office and spent the morning typing with my left hand and sobbing softly while I tried to sign checks.  Once that task was done, I started home because I was expecting guests and still had the beds upstairs to make (the bathroom wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be) and some other cleaning to do.  As I was driving home, I thought, “You know, this is ridiculous – there has got to be something I can do without spending the afternoon at stat care.”  So I stopped at the neighborhood Walgreens and made a beeline for the pharmacy, where I cried all over the pharmacist who looked all of 25 years old.

She told me her mother suffered from the exact same problem and that the doctor had given her a plastic splint that immobilized her thumb, which made her feel much better.  She said, “We don’t have any hand splints here that will do that, but let’s get you an Ace bandage and see if that will help.”  So she picked one out that didn’t need those little metal clips, instructed me on the best way to wrap it around my hand, plucked a bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol and a bottle of ibuprofen off the shelf and sent me on my merry way.

Once home, the first thing I did was tear open the package with the Ace bandage and carefully (and ineptly – I am right-handed) wrapped it around my hand the way the sweet little pharmacist instructed.

The relief was immediate and amazing.  A little research on the internet explained what most likely happened – due to the lack of cartilage, I’d dislocated my thumb.  Wrapping it in the Ace bandage must have popped it back in place, and several hours later I removed the bandage all together and the arthritis is just a mild annoyance once again.

I may not only kiss my pharmacist, but bake her some brownies to boot.

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I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know that my good friend Twenty Four at Heart is having a contest to celebrate her 100th post.  Leave a comment with a random fact about yourself and you could win a $50 American Express gift card.  Even if you don’t win, just reading her excellent and hilarious blog is reward enough.  Go.  Visit.  Now.

I’d also like to welcome Midlife Slices to my midlife blogroll.  She lives in Texas so I’m incredibly envious of her; she’s somewhere around my age and also has a 13-year-old son entering 8th grade so I’m incredibly sympathetic towards her.  She seems like good folks and I’m enjoying her blog immensely, so mosey on over and take a look-see yourself.

Alert the Media

I exercised this morning.

Yes, I got up, put on my sweatpants, a sports bra, socks and walking shoes, went down to the basement and walked on the treadmill for damn near half an hour. I didn’t walk really fast or do any inclines – I know how long it’s been since I’ve been down there and am not real keen on the thought of dropping dead in my basement while I’m alone in the house – but I did work up a light sweat. I glanced furtively at the BowFlex and AbLounge while taking my little stroll, wondering if they were sneering at the fat lady who has been neglecting them for so long. Well, they’ll get their turn.

As you might have guessed, I don’t care much for exercising. In fact, it falls at about #493 on my list of “Favorite Things to Do”, right below “Brushing my teeth with battery acid” and right above “An intimate encounter with my ex-husband.” Why then, you may reasonably ask, did I choose to exercise today? Well, there are several reasons, really.

I don’t like how fat my face looks in the picture I have over at MidLifeBloggers.

I’m also painfully aware of my overindulgence with a bottle of Shiraz and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s while I drooled over Derek Jacobi for a good 4 hours last night (yes, I know he’s gay and I don’t give a tin shit – the man’s voice makes me swoon). While I’m sure Hell will freeze over before I entirely cease with the aforementioned indulgences, they could certainly use a good curtailing and some exercise to counteract the effects when they do happen.

I have no intention of ruining the fact that I’ve successfully quit smoking by continuing to jeopardize my health, risking heart disease and diabetes, because of my weight. Nope – ain’t gonna do it.

I want to be able to keep up with Beloved while we’re hiking when (not if, WHEN) we finally get to New Zealand for a vacation.

And most importantly, I fully intend to attend next year’s BlogHer. ‘Nuff said.

I will also bypass the wine and ice cream today, and eat reasonable amounts of foods with actual nutritional value – a hardboiled, cage-free egg, some fat-free yogurt, fresh strawberries and blueberries, leftover stir fry (no rice). I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with the pork chop that awaits me for dinner, but it won’t be fried or served with potatoes and gravy. Perhaps another stir fry is in order.

Oooo – I have some fresh peaches – I wonder how one of those would work into a stir fry with some gold bell pepper, onion and zucchini.

I’ll let you know.

Emergency Room Follies

So, I’m sitting at my desk Thursday afternoon trying to come up with writing an article for MidLifeBloggers.com (it’s coming, Jane! I promise!!) when I started feeling lightheaded. This has happened before – several times, in fact, over the last several months – so I stretched, got up and went to the bathroom, then got some water before sitting back down and returning to the task at hand. This is a strategy that has worked in the past…but not this time. It just kept getting worse, to the point where I was afraid I was going to pass out. The water wasn’t working either – I was horribly thirsty and just kept drinking the water; about 20 ounces in 10 minutes. And I became really short of breath and got the shakes something fierce.

At this point, I made a beeline for Beloved’s office where he was talking with one of our salesmen and said “We need to leave NOW.” He took one look at me and asked “Are you all right?” to which I emphatically replied “NO.” I love this man – no other questions, no comments, he merely dismissed the salesman, packed up his laptop and escorted me to the car. At this point, he just asked, “Where are we going?” and I told him, “To the hospital.”

I was THAT scared.

Hospital emergency rooms are strange and horrible interesting places. You’re greeted by a sign that states, “If you are experiencing chest pain or suspect that you may be having a stroke, see the triage nurse immediately. As for the rest of you bums, wait your turn.”

Fine. While I’m waiting my turn, I’ll just puke on one of your horribly uncomfortable plastic contour chairs and pass out on your hideous green linoleum. (Okay, so I didn’t do either of those things, but don’t think I wasn’t tempted.)

I was told by the triage nurse, “They’re really busy back there, so it may be awhile before someone can see you.”

That was an understatement. I should have claimed my chest pains were having a stroke; I might have gotten to see a doctor in the same time zone.

Like I said, hospital emergency rooms are interesting places – or at least the waiting area is. We hadn’t been waiting long when the entire cast from Deliverance came in, settled down and began playing the banjo. It was apparently a familiar routine, because they had the foresight to pack a picnic lunch, complete with an oil-stained drop cloth tablecloth and a cooler full of Miller High Life, which the 3-year-old particularly seemed to enjoy. In the next three hours, we were treated to touching, connubial displays of affection among the adults (kicking and flipping each other the bird), firm, yet loving, parental discipline (allowing the children to eat Cheetos off the floor and kick and flip each other the bird), as well as periodic updates on Uncle Bubba’s condition (they gave him morphine and were probably going to admit him this time).

Note: Posted in various places in the emergency room are little posters outlining “Patient Rights” and “Patient Responsibilities.” I am grieved to report that nowhere in the “Responsibilities” list does it state “And leave your hillbilly relatives at home.”

Eventually, I got my turn in the torture chamber with a doctor, who was actually pretty decent. Not that the fun stopped there, you see, for I was ensconced in an examination room directly next to either Uncle Bubba or another extremely close relative of the banjo players out in the waiting room. A relative who unceasingly – and loudly – emitted a string of curse words that, well…remember in A Christmas Story where Ralphie is reminiscing about the Old Man and notes, “my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that, as far as we know, is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan?” I think this guy shot it down. He wasn’t just dropping F-Bombs – he was launching a full ICBM offensive (in every sense) attack.

Anyhoo, after being forced to part with various bodily fluids, a chest x-ray, and an EKG administered by a darling little hottie from the Virgin Islands with the most delicious Caribbean accent, the tentative diagnosis was…

Stress and anxiety. The lightheadedness was most likely caused by stress and the rest of the symptoms were in all probability the result of an anxiety attack which was brought on by the lightheadedness.

I’m stressed. Who’d have thunk?