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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Observations


Today’s big question: will I or won’t I go home today.   Doc Coumans wanted me to stay until they could get my pain more under control. Scream inducing spasms were pretty much nonexistent  BUT I still had an ep or two forcefully voiced, Get me some morphine NOW!

So...who knows? I expect the good doctor will be around shortly and imagine I’ll get the “yes you’re free to fly” or “let’s wait and see” then. I HATE waiting!

And now some observations from my visit here at Health Central.

  1. The nurses here are universally stellar. One exception is the post surgery ICU nurse. I had sudden EXTREME motherfucking, monster pain spasms and, as any sentient being would, I screamed. She did her job in aiding me but repeatedly instructed me NOT to scream. My reply, when I could catch a breath between kill-me-now spasms? The fuck I’m supposed to do? I’m on serious PAIN woman!
Is she a survivor of childhood abuse, told not to scream whilst atrocities were underway?
Is she an ultra demure republican type who feels, deep in her bones, that women must always be calm and smile through suffering?
Did my screams scare her? Did she think I was gonna morph into a fire breathing dragon (wouldn’t that be cool!).
Dunno but mayhaps she oughta rethink her career choice OR get some therapy.

  1. My room is gorgeous. There’s a lovely, big couch in case anyone wants to stay overnight. It’s a single room with three enormous windows. No view of the Charles BUT there’s an awesome bamboo garden below. I see the feathery tops swaying in the breeze and, of course, the sky is always calming.

  1. Let’s talk food—I was dreading the dearth of veggie offerings. Last time I was here for a big ass stay there was precious little I could eat. Now? They have a full veg menu, it’s even vegan friendly. AND, mein gott, the food is FAB. Restaurant worthy even. I’ve had a weensy to non existent appetite until yesterday and I may be booted home today. I’d have a sad about this but Master Chef Oni is at home, already planning meals.

Yes, I am one very lucky old broad.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

I have an idea!

Doc Coumans was just in to check on me. The good news is that recovery’s going gang busters. The bad news—I can’t go home until me pain’s “under control.” Yeah ok I can dig it.

While he was here I told him of this great recovery idea I just had. I think this shit would be much less painful if I could float in one of those tubes like in the movie Alien Resurrection. Sadly he had not seen the movie but I think he saw the beauty of the concept.

Makes mondo sense, don’t it!

AND.... I’m stuck here for another day. Whoopeee!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Good news!

Hi there all of you awesome Donna blog readers!

Donna's surgery went extremely well!  Her doctor was very pleased with the results and gave me some pretty detailed descriptions of his handy Work (which I wont repeat here cuz umm, my brain turned off after I heard the word SUCCESS.  At that point all I could hear was the roar of the crowd as the speakers blasted WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!).  On one hand i was flattered that the good doctor assumed I would  understand what he was talking about, on the other hand GROSS!  :-)

Surgery was supposed to begin at noon, but was delayed; Donna started texting me from her gurney at that point. She sent a link to the Ramones song "I want to be sedated" which is still playing in my head (and yeh! why wasn't she floating down the River Bliss at that point???   sheesh!)  Eventually the texts stopped coming so I assumed she was under the knife BUT no.... another text came in two hours after surgery was supposed to begin, and my first thought was WHAT?  They allowed her to take her phone into surgery and she WOKE UP AFTER IT STARTED??? THE HORROR!!  Nope, she was still gurney bound, stalled at the starting line, making the most of it by asking every tech and nurse who darkened her doorway to share tidbits from their life stories.  Hehehehe! Of course!  :-)

Afterwards I was allowed to pop in to see Donna for a moment. She was snoring lightly and looked comfortable... I told her nurse that after her last back surgery Bob and I peaked in on her in the recovery room, and the first words out of her mouth were "don't forget to record Buffy (the Vampire Slayer).  :-)  This time it didn't look like Donna was going to wake-up so I turned to leave, but she must have sensed my presence and cracked open an eye.  I rushed back to her bedside (what would she want me to record???) and gave her the two thumbs up,  everything went GREAT!  She smiled, poked two fingers out from under the blankets and we gave each other a mini two fingered high five. PHEW!  What a champion  :-)






Tuesday, November 13, 2018

It's SpineDay!

I feel pretty silly about being so nervous about today’s surgery. I mean, RILLY now, I’ll be in Hypnos’ chemical embrace for just four hours. Normally, for inpatient shit, I’m out for eight to 16 hours while the wizards work their resectional magic. Hells bells, four hours? That’s barely enough time to work up a solid rack of dreams! Ya know?

I don’t even have to show up until 10 AM. TEN! Shit, day’s half gone by then. Also, I gotta go a morning without coffee? I don’t mind missing brekkie but…no coffee?! That’s just flat out cruel. Hillel’s toting my carcass in. Given Boston traffic, we’ll leave at 8:30 – I do like to be on time for these slice ‘em ups. I believe I’ve got time to hit the gym before then. That could be a great scheme – unleash the yummy endorphins and distract my bean for an hour.

The worst, most jitters inspiring part of this whole procedure is the anticipation, the waiting. Couldn’t they just knock me out when I walk through the door? Nope – I gotta go through a bunch of annoying intake stuff. This involves LOADS of sitting around waiting for clerks, anesthesiologists, nurses and other assorted hospital types to do their thing. Hmmph!

CAN WE GET THIS DAMN SHOW ON THE ROAD ALREADY?! I know I’ve yelled this before while sitting in the damn johnny, twiddling my thumbs, impatient as fuck for the curtain to go up. I will TRY not to do that today.

Just so’s ya know, blogging will be, pretty much, non-existent for the next week. I was told that I couldn’t bring my laptop. 'the fuck!!!??? Jen, howevah, will be dropping by with a So, This Is How The Old Broad's Doing post at some point. Stop in!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Prepday

Awe, silly you, you thought it was Monday. Nope, it's Prepday.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
~ Abraham Lincoln

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
~ Benjamin Franklin
I spent the weekend readying the house for my delicate, post back surgery self. This involved loads of cleaning and scrubbing because, ya know, who the hell wants to come home, all weak and worn out from four days in the hospital, to smelly laundry, a dirty stove top and a filthy can? Not I! Also too, pouring myself into making mein Haus fit for convalescent habitation calmed my jittery nerves. Who can fret (overmuch) when there are baseboards to dust, fridges to scrub and laundry to launder?

Prepping casa mia also entailed getting my mattress and box spring up off the floor. Warum? Think about it next time you get out of bed or stand up from a low chair – be conscious of which parts of your body are putting out the BIG effort. The back’s a prime mover here.

Now then, I did just buy a much thicker mattress (with a pillow top! SUCH comfort) BUT it isn’t hotel bed high. Getting out of those is mega easy peazy. Just roll off – back muscles are NOT seriously employed.

On Saturday, Jen and Oni – my heroic, fellow Valhallans, bought me a heavy duty bed frame and put it together. My bunk is now a tall, luxe aerie – BLISS!

Our heroes didn’t stop there either – I’m now in possession of Jen’s Uncle Bob’s lift chair. You know, one of those mechanical beasts that tip up and forward to help a beleaguered body stand. It’s been living at Jen’s mother’s house but she’s not in dire need at the mo. Once I’m all recovered and shit, it’ll go back which is just as well. It’s covered in beige corduroy! *gasp* *HORROR*

What else am I doing to pave the way for upcoming, temporary fragility? I’ve unearthed my old walker (used whilst recovering from back-to-back brain slice-ups, 16 years ago). I may or may not need it but, ya know, better safe than stupid. Same for my old shower bench. I’m heavily into the concept of NOT falling.

I’ve also stocked the freezer with healthy, microwavable meals, there’s a stack of paperbacks by the bed, enough cat food in the cupboards to feed Coco and an army of strays for a month and the guest room’s all tidied and fit for the wonderful folk who will stay with me during my first week at home.

There’s still more to do BUT I’ve got a list and am checking shit off as I go. TAB would be so proud of me.
There is no such thing as inner peace. There is only nervousness or death. Any attempt to prove otherwise constitutes unacceptable behavior.
~ Fran Lebowitz
Part of me is all "FUCK YOU, Fran" but I see how busy, busy, busy I'm keeping myself. This  thoughtful prep is powered by the frazzled agitata.
All things are ready, if our mind be so.
~ William Shakespeare, Henry V
I'll get there, Willy – really I will!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I Remember

Today is Veterans Day. It began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919. This was the first anniversary of the end of World War I – the war to end all wars. In 1954 President Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day. The idea being that this day would be for remembering both the dead and living veterans who served during war and/or peacetime.

WWI began for a whole bunch of fucked up reasons. The igniting spark though was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary.
In June 1914, a Serbian-nationalist terrorist group called the Black Hand sent groups to assassinate the Archduke. … a Serbian nationalist named Gavrilo Princip assassinated him and his wife while they were in Sarajevo, Bosnia which was part of Austria-Hungary. This was in protest to Austria-Hungary having control of this region. Serbia wanted to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina. This assassination led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on Serbia. When Russia began to mobilize due to its alliance with Serbia, Germany declared war on Russia. Thus began the expansion of the war to include all those involved in the mutual defense alliances. (source)
There were 20 million total deaths and 21 million more wounded. Civilian deaths – from starvation, exposure, disease, encounters with the various war machines and massacres – are estimated to have been 10 MILLION. Soldier deaths are estimated at 9.7 MILLION.

Can you wrap your mind around that number of ended way too early, gone before their time humans? Imagine if everyone in NYC (population 8.623 million), London (population 8.136 million) and Los Angeles (population 4 million) all died. Imagine these towns as completely empty ghost cities. No one left.

The extinguished lives of WWI died because a bunch of tiny dicked, power mad, despotic shitheels – nationalists on ultra steroids, felt the need to expand their spheres of control, their wealth and power.

75,000,000 civilians and soldiers were killed during WWII and that’s not including the 17 million Jewish (and Roma and gays and political foes, prisoners of war and “incurably sick”) dead. Oh but this was a "good" war, you say? Ending Hitler’s reign was imperative to say the very, VERY, motherfucking least. Still, could we mebbe have avoided the devastation of Dresden? Could we have possibly found a better way to end war with Japan? Ya know, without ending SO many lives?

58,220 soldiers died while in Vietnam and as many as 2 million civilian lives were blown out of existence.

In Bush Jr.’s Iraq war for oil, there have been 204,572 civilian deaths. U.S. military deaths total 4,424 total with 31,952 wounded in action. Safer to be in uniform than civvies, eh?

Humans – CAN WE PLEASE STOP THIS SHIT?! Ya know, can we please discover the beauteous, low death-toll efficacy of diplomacy?

Today I’m thinking on, I’m remembering my friends and lovers who've survived bullshit wars and those who didn’t.

NO ONE comes back from war unscathed.
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why'all

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Hit 'Em In The Wallet!

Remember when journalists were supposed to be objective?

We’ve all known, for a long time now, that Fox “News” is a propaganda machine for the Republican Party.  It’s worse actually. The horror-show prez of our beleaguered country begins each day not with policy papers or intelligence briefings but by watching the morning distortion and lie fest, Fox & Friends. He live-tweets their fictions and warpage along with praise for the shellacked, alt-reality hosts. Their only actual connection to news? The show is on a station with the word “news” in the title. THIS is where our mentally ill, electoral college installed, hate machine of a preznint gets his “news.”

Chris Britt
With Hannity (another chat show imbecile) and other Fox talking heads now actively campaigning  for the Odious Orange Barbarian, the porn star lingerie thin veneer of journalistic integrity has evaporated. Fox News is worse than state-run TV – it is the Republican Party's puppet master.

It’s way past time to boycott the sponsors and advertisers of Fox News. There’s a lot of them. Listed below, courtesy of the site FoxNewsAdvertisers.com, are the top 20 sponsors and advertisers as well as, specifically, their top Medical/Pharma advertisers. Each company is followed by their Twitter handle(s). It may not be easy to stop using all products made/marketed by these companies but, c’mon, let’s give it a good effort for the sake of deceny, truth, justice and democracy and shit!

If I can’t disassociate myself entirely, I’m at least gonna tweet, email and otherwise be a total nuisance (AKA make my voice heard!) to the corporate Powers That Be who make advertising placement decisions.

MAKE SOME NOISE!

Dan Wasserman
These are Fox News’ Top 20 sponsors for the Third Quarter of 2018:
(Sponsors are companies whose ads are accompanied by an announcement such as “This program is brought to you by.”)
Keurig Green Mountain  @Keurig
Ford & Lincoln @Ford @LincolnMotorCo
Pfizer     @pfizer
Liberty Mutual @libertymutual
Bayer AG & Monsanto @Bayer @BayerUS
Procter & Gamble @ProcterGamble – @Bounty @MyCascade @Charmin @Crest @DawnDish @Febreze_Fresh @downy @Gillette @GilletteVenus @OlaySkin @OralB @Pantene @Swiffer @Tide @Luvs @Pampers
Allstate & Esurance @Allstate & @Esurance
Capital One @capitalone
Go RVing @GoRVing
Glaxo Smith Kline @GSK
Subaru @subaru_usa
Fiat Chrysler (Alfa Romeo, Dodge, Jeep) @FiatChrysler_NA – @alfa_romeo @AlfaRomeoUSA @Dodge @Jeep
Expedia & Trivago @Expedia @trivago
Lear Capital @LearCapital
Boehringer Ingelheim (Dulcolax, Jardiance, Zantac) @boehringerus @Boehringer
Tena @tena_us
Rakuten (Ebates) @RakutenToday @Ebates
Progressive @Progressiv
Ed Wexler
These are Fox News’ Top 20 advertisers for the Third Quarter of 2018:
(These companies represent half of all Fox News commercials. Companies are ranked by total commercial airings excluding health & wellness, dental, medical, pharma.)
IAC (Angie’s List, Home Advisor, Match) @AngiesList @HomeAdvisor @Match
Allstate & Esurance @Allstate & @Esurance
Beaches & Sandals Resorts @BeachesResorts @SandalsResorts
Nutrisystem & South Beach Diet @nutrisystem @southbeachdiet
Liberty Mutual @libertymutual
Office Depot & Office Max @officedepot
Bayer AG & Monsanto @Bayer @BayerUS
Procter & Gamble @ProcterGamble – @Bounty @MyCascade @Charmin @Crest @DawnDish @Febreze_Fresh @downy @Gillette @GilletteVenus @OlaySkin @OralB @Pantene @Swiffer @Tide @Luvs @Pampers
Walt Disney Co (21st Century Fox) @RobertIger @WaltDisneyCo @21CF @AENetworks @FoxTV @ABCNetwork @FXNetworks @NGC_PR @History
Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway (GEICO, Duracell, Kraft, Heinz) @WarrenBuffett – @GEICO @Duracell @kraftheinzco @OscarMayer @MrPeanut
Progressive @Progressive
Amazon (Audible, Pill Pack, Ring, Zappos) @jeffbezos @Amazon @Audible_com @PillPack @Ring @Zappos
NewDay USA @NewDayUSA
Jeff Danziger
Honda & Acura @Honda @Acura
Dine Brands (Applebee’s, IHOP) @Applebees @IHOP
Ford & Lincoln @Ford @LincolnMotorCo
eHarmony @eHarmony
Home to Go @hometogo
Sleep Number     @sleepnumber
North Castle Partners (Jenny Craig) @JennyCraig
My Pillow @MyPillowUSA
Purple Mattress @lifeonpurple
Expedia & Trivago @Expedia @trivago
Nestle (Boost, Carnation, Gerber, Purina) @Nestle @NestleUSA @GerberLife @Purina
Publishers Clearing House @pchdotcom
Choice Hotels (Comfort Inn, Econolodge, Quality Inn) @ChoiceHotels
Lear Capital @LearCapital
Prudential @Prudential @alincome
Toyota (Lexus) @Lexus
Trip Advisor @TripAdvisor
Arby’s @Arbys
Cimpress (Vistaprint)     @Vistaprint
Nerd Wallet @NerdWallet
NordVPN @NordVPN
Carvana @Carvana
Ark Encounter @ArkEncounter
Capital One @capitalone
ODFL @ODFL_Inc
General Motors (Buick, Chevrolet, GMC, OnStar) @GM @Buick @Chevrolet @GMC @OnStar
Cash Call @cashcall
Zip Recruiter @ZipRecruiter
LifeLock @LifeLock
Next Era Energy @nexteraenergy
Takl @takl_app
These are Fox News’ Top Medical/Pharma advertisers for the Third Quarter of 2018:
Pfizer @pfizer
Glaxo Smith Kline @GSK
Novo Nordisk    @novonordisk
Clear Choice @clearchoice
Nutrition & Fitness Inc (Blue Emu) @blueemu1
Abbott Laboratories (Ensure, Glucerna) @abbottglobal
A Place for Mom @APlaceForMom
Novartis @Novartis
Smile Direct Club @smiledirectclub
Celgene (Otezla) @Celgene

Friday, November 9, 2018

Interactive

Felicity and I hit the ICA yesterday morning where there's a fun, interesting show up: William Forsythe: Choreographic Objects Interactive works by a legendary choreographer, designed to stimulate movement from visitors.

The first piece is a giant mirrored wall. It reflects like a fun house mirror on magic ‘shroom laced steroids.  A group of elementary school kids came in – watching them pose, dance and play was a gas.

The next room held an installation called The Fact of Matter. It was filled with gymnastic style rings suspended at a variety of levels from fat. wide, strong cords. The idea is to climb your way through the room. HOW FUN! No, I didn’t try it. I’m just too damn physically unstable right now. Maybe I could go back post-surgery, post-recovery and try it then. I SO want to!

Next: a big-ass space with, suspended from the very high ceiling, plumb bobs falling at about ankle height. They were all swinging and not necessarily in tandem or harmony. The assignment was to thread through the corridors of swinging bobs without having one hit you. It put Galaxy Quest’s Chompers in mind...of fucking course! Astoundingly, I made it through unscathed! Maybe I'm not quite as physically unstable as I'd thought?

I think my favorite piece was a short film entitled Alignigung. Rauf ”RubberLegz” Yasit and Riley Watts are tangled together, threading themselves through and around eachother, creating “optical puzzles.”
In these puzzles, it is obvious to the viewer that there are only two persons in the composition, but the complex threading of their two bodies creates optical conundrums that frequently defy the apparent logic of the situation. (source)
Gorgeous.

There were a few pieces/activities which required hearing and one where I was instructed to pick up a feather duster and hold it absolutely still. Yeah, no. Hearing is kaput and my awesome nerve damage ensures that I will always shake and shudder. I suppose, being four days out from major slice-age. I'm a little sensitive and physically insecure. This WILL pass.

In any case, I loved the show and def want to see it again post-op.

The ICA is located in the evolving, burgeoning Seaport District. This ex fishing and shipping neighborhood became a wasteland of parking lots, abandoned factory buildings and then, dicey, grungy squats for artists and musicians. Now, it’s all gleaming, curved glass skyscrapers, fancy schmancy hotels, rejuvenated, atmospheric, old brick buildings with brill cafés and bars. It’s slick as shit and molto expensive with studio apartments (i.e. one room – no separate bedroom) starting at two and a half Gs. WHERE do all these über wealthy people work? DO they work or is this Trust Funder Central?

One neato keen thing – the urban planning folk are putting in some street art. This Paul Klee by way of André Derain and Robert Delaunayish deer was a lovely eye feast amongst all the concrete and glass.