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Archive for March, 2007

Hell has frozen over

I finished the stocking caps. All of them. Tassles, pom pons attached, the whole gamut. Done. Holy freakin’ crap. I’ll take some pictures tomorrow. Christmas has come 3 months late for the nephews and niece, but at least it will come at all. Right? Please just agree.

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A lot

Last time we spoke, I’d just had an emergency root canal. Well, I’m still feeling some pain, but we’ve still only done part one of the root canal process. Is that normal? No idea. Should I call the endodontist? Most likely. But I haven’t, because since then…

The dog. The poor dog. She woke us the Thursday night after the root canal all itchy. I let her out, noticed that she had some blood on her muzzle and figured that she’d gotten a spider bite or something and itched until she bled. I gave her some benadryl and we all went back to sleep.

Monday morning her muzzle was swollen. And she definitely had some bloody spots. We thought, “Whoa… spider bite out of control.” BF took her to the vet. Turns out it wasn’t a spider bite, but nasal furunculosis, which is a deep bacterial infection in the skin that causes pustules that erupt and ooze. Then the skin and fur start to fall off. And it’s extremely itchy, so if you have a long dog, like ours, with long legs, like ours, the dog can still reach its back foot inside her cone collar and scratch the skin and fur off her face. Literally.

Marley Cone HeadI don’t even know how to describe this. It’s just nasty. She’s on antibiotics three times a day, ointment three times a day, and was taking one benadryl every two to three hours up until Saturday. At night we’d give her two at a time to knock her out for a spell, but we felt bad drugging her stupid during the day. There’s not a whole lot of sleeping. She came to work with me 3 days. She oozes. She scratches. She was sending sprays of fur and skin flying. She bonks into things with her poor cone head, misses jumping up on the bed because her perspective is all askew and gets caught on things when walking by them. The poor, nasty thing.

We were supposed to leave for San Francisco on Wednesday of last week, but as of Tuesday night, we still couldn’t leave her alone at all. A friend offered to come stay at our house, but the level of care that she needed was way too much to ask of anyone. Hi, come on over, avoid the ooze if you can (but wear dark clothes), give food three times a day with her medication three times a day, wrestle her to get the ointment on three times a day, be prepared to be up at least every three hours at night to give her benadryl and physically hold her legs down so she does doesn’t tear the rest of her skin off in a fit of mad itching, yes, that part is a 24-hour job… oh, and when she does, please clean up the spray of skin and hair chunks that she produces…. and be sure to go outside with her so she doesn’t sneak out of sight for some covert scratching!

So, the day that we were supposed to leave we were prepared not to go. I took her in to work with me (hello does not make for a productive day and people don’t enjoy an oozing dog), and then suddenly I got THE IM. BF says, “The vet offered to take her home with him so we can go to San Francisco.” What? No. Really? Yes. He said we can’t miss the wedding because weddings are just so much fun. Um, not what I was most upset about missing, but Holy Crap. OK!

And so we went. On vacation. To San Francisco. And had so much fun!

Marley’s Icky NoseI must admit that, the day we left, I kind of guiltily looked forward to handing her off and having her come back improved. Ok, I got a little choked up when he picked her up. She’d never been to his house and what if she didn’t get along with his dogs? What if she thinks we abandoned her? But, she came back wiggly, happy, and with a bigger cone head than ever.

She’s not good yet. She can’t get her feet inside the bigger cone that the vet got her, bless his fuzzy-loving heart. The big, black, crusty/oozy scab is now mostly gone and we’re down to bare, raw, bloody skin. She has another 2 weeks of the medication and who knows how long until it completely heals. We don’t know how bad it will scar or if the hair will grow back, but at least there’s hope for a full night’s rest for us and the poor girl soon.

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When dentist visits go bad.

I went to the dentist yesterday for a toothache. I ended up at the Endodontist having an emergency root canal. Oy.

I had an 8am appointment with my regular dentist that I had not seen in too long. I go in, he scolds me appropriately, I tell him what’s going on. He takes an x-ray and says it’s bad, but he’s going to see what he can do. He’s worked magic before, doing an onlay on a tooth instead of going for a root canal, and it’s held up. Well first he couldn’t get me numb. He says that’s a sign of infection—something about the infection making the mouth more acidic and that making it so the Novocaine doesn’t work as well or something. But he shoots in some more. And some more. And tries another nerve. That seemed to do the trick, so he started drilling.

He drills. He drills a little more. And then OH MY GOD STOP NOW. He pokes. I jerk away. He sprays something in there. I jerk away. He says there’s nothing more he can do, the nerve is exposed, and he has to check to see if his associate or the office downstairs can do the root canal now. Oh by the way, can I stay to have this done this morning? Uh, I guess so.

He drops me at the front desk , mouth a-throbbing, to settle up and get what I need to go to the Endodontist downstairs. I tell the nice lady at the front desk that my insurance has changed. She blinks. “Don’t you know our policy? He no longer accepts insurance. You pay up front and then submit your claim to your insurance company for reimbursement. That’s $113, please.” I blink. I write a check. She takes another good 10 minutes to process the paperwork (If there’s no insurance issues, doesn’t that mean print my receipt?) while I stand there wondering if there’s any chance they’ll just knock me out for the rest of this, ok… hoping that they will, and then we go downstairs.

Downstairs I immediately have to excuse myself to put money in the meter. Then I got to fill out a slew of paperwork. I got to the insurance part and realized I didn’t have my new insurance information with me. I brought it up to the so incredibly nice, sweet, friendly woman at the desk. She says, “That’s ok, honey, we don’t take insurance. It’s pay up front.” I feel that initial bolt of panic streak across my brain. “Um, so how much will it be?” Throb. Throb. Throb. “Well, I can’t tell you until the end, but usually around $1600.” I feel that all-consuming hot sheet of panic move from my brain, down my face, into my abdomen…. “But I don’t have it.” Tears. Don’tcrydon’tcrydon’tcrydamnI’mcrying. “I mean, I could write you a check, but it wouldn’t be good. They already drilled out the tooth. I can’t pay for this.” She told me we could work out a payment plan, and that my insurance company is good about reimbursement. I sniffled and went to sit down. I really hope so, because the payment plan is more than a car payment each month.

The endodontist was great, very nice, and after the third try to get me numb, she was actually successful and was able to do the root canal. Her office was really high tech. They had this x-ray machine where the x-rays posted to their computer screen. It was really cool. I was impressed. But apparently there’s not the usual bite plate with this machine—it’s a re-usable instrument that they put a plastic shield on every time (kind of like the thermometer at the doctor’s office). The result was really cool, and it was fine at the beginning of the appointment, but in the middle of the root canal, whoa. Not good.

I already had the “dam” across my mouth. That’s this piece of latex with tiny holes in it that they poke the affected tooth through, wedging it in place by sliding it between your teeth like dental floss, and then put braces on the outside edges that keep it all taut and in place. It kind of felt like Clockwork Orange meets the dentist. Now that’s kind of suffocating unto itself. I understand it, with the keeping the tongue out of the way and avoiding the spit spews and whatnot, but um, could I have some suction under here? Because saliva glands don’t stop working just because you’ve covered them up, and I can’t swallow with no tongue mobility. Yeah. So then, she removes the brace from one side and sticks this plastic sheathed bite plate into my mouth to take an x-ray mid procedure. I had to talk myself out of panic and into stillness, “If you move,they will have to take another one and this will continue. Don’t move. Don’t move.” Plastic tickling the back of my throat, covering my mouth, I could only breathe through my nose (and that’s never a guaranteed thing with me), and I was starting to desperately feel the need to swallow or cough. It was awful.

But, it got done. Well, the first part got done. I go back in April for the second part. You know, when they’ll screw the roots of the tooth to the bone so it doesn’t fall out of my head? Oh the things to look forward to!

(And isn’t it time for your six-month checkup?)

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I can smell spring in the air

We took our first bike ride of the season today. It felt so good! We only pedaled about 17 miles, but we averaged right about 15 mph, which felt good for the first time out. The sun was bright and hot, the air was cool, and the wind was crisp and chilly. At some points I could feel the heat coming up from the pavement beneath me, warming my legs, as the wind rushed by, bringing goosebumps to my arms. I love that! We also went by a few stretches of wetlands where the peepers must all be congregating this time of year. It sounded almost like a car alarm going off, penetratingly loud warbling too much in unison to be something not computer made. It was great. It made me grin.

That’s another great thing about the first couple of rides as the weather starts to warm—riding by all the other bikers who have these excited half smirks dancing on their faces as they push the pedals and whoosh on by. It’s the exact look I know is on my face. It just says yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.

I’ve also been having lots of fun taking sky pictures with my camera. The sun is setting at just the right time to entertain me for my drive home. Well, it was before the idiotic early daylight savings switch anyway. But I’ll leave you with a picture from last week.

Trees and Sky

If I have to sit in traffic, at least I get to see things like that.

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Tattoo Meme

Have you seen Scout’s Tattoo Meme?

Here I present to you a lousy pic of The Lorax.

Lorax

Acquired in 1995, I think, for my 22nd birthday, I’m pretty sure, and referred to as “…well, definitely an original” by the dude who did it, Tom Spaulding, I still like him. Half the time I actually forget, and then I’m pleasantly surprised when I notice him hanging out there. He’s on the side of my right hip.

There’s no great story behind him. I’m an environmentalist. I love Dr. Seuss. It seemed like the thing to do at the time; so I did.

The next one, if there’s a next one, will be the tree of life in the center of my back, just below my shoulder blades.

Great idea, Scout!

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Fuzzy

We had a party last night to celebrate the Pisces of the house. (Two birthdays in one week is a lot of cake. Especially during Girl Scout Cookie season. STOP CALLING MY NAME, SAMOAS!!) Our parties (or really anything when J comes over) usually end with J on the guitar, and the rest of us laughing and trying to sing and drinking. Come to think of it, at the end of the last party we googled the words to ‘Patience’ by Guns ‘N Roses and wailed that over and over while he played. I’m sure the neighbors were pleased. As were our friends trying to pass out in the next room. It was so much fun.

OuchAnyway… so it got late. Food was eaten and drinks were drunk. We were drunk. J busted out the guitar. At some point, I swear to God, HB asked me to come sit on her lap and sing with her. This did not seem unreasonable to me at the time, though I do remember thinking that HB and I aren’t super close friends and that it was strange that she had called me over to sit on her lap. But whatever… we belted out some tunes, she moved over a bit in the chair and said, “That’s better” and we sang a little more.

Today, the roommate mentioned HB laughing about us singing together with me on her lap. She and HB are pretty much BFF. And I had to ask. “So did she say she asked me to come over and sit on her lap and sing? I mean, maybe because she was in the chair next to J and the couch was too far away to really sing together? Because I don’t know HB quite well enough to be sitting on her lap, and I swear I wouldn’t have just gone and plopped down on her, no matter how drunk, if I didn’t think she had asked me. On Jenn’s lap, sure, but on HB, no. And I really, really think she asked me. But now I’m a little worried that maybe didn’t she really ask me to come sit on her lap and asked me something completely different, and I misunderstood her, and now she’s shaking her head about Drunk Me and wondering why the hell I sat on her lap to sing. And I can’t figure it out.”

Roommate just laughed and laughed. BF kind of shook his head as he smirked. I still have no idea.

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