figmo: (Lynn-Lady)
Last night I went to services. I was looking forward to going this morning, but I had too much paperwork to fill out for my podiatrist appointment this afternoon.

What am I talking about? A week and a half ago, one of my toes suddenly hurt a lot and was purple and swollen. My internist put me on a regimen of Keflex and said "If it isn't better by Tuesday, you need to see a podiatrist," and gave me a referral.

The Keflex got rid of most of the infection, but the tip of the toe was still red and hurt like all getout, so I called the podiatrist. The first opening was today, right after services.

After filling out four pages of questions about my medical history, I journeyed out to the doctor. His assistant took a bunch of x-rays of my feet. I was also asked to bring whatever shoes I normally wear. The good news:
  1. The podiatrist said, "The problem is definitely not your shoes!"
  2. He also said, "You are definitely not going to lose your toe."
The culprit was an ingrown toenail. He said the typical treatment is an in-office surgical procedure. He said he could do it right away, but I could not go back to work. If I couldn't abide by that, he said I could schedule it for another day.

Given that I wasn't working today, this was a no-brainer. Of course I had the procedure done today! He didn't think I would be able to get back into my shoes, but I wore my one-size-too-big Reebok sneakers Just In Case, and I had no problem. I was sent home with instructions and a few Vicodins. Oh fun.

At least I already have a bed wedge in place for my sore, heavily bandaged foot, and I can work from my bed tomorrow, so I'm all set.
figmo: (Default)
My right leg has been getting stronger since I started physical therapy, but my knee has been getting bigger and has been hurting a lot during the week. Last Friday I saw my orthopedist, and at the recommendation of my physical therapists, I got cortisone injections into the bad knee.

When injecting, my doctor found that there was very little fluid. Instead, I've got really badly inflamed tissue, or as he put it, "Those must be pretty bad contusions." Unfortunately, it's supposed to take around a week before the injection fully helps. Meanwhile, I am in massive pain. It is sapping my energy. I am doing my physical therapy leg exercises despite this, and I am somehow managing to get work done despite this (being able to work while lying in bed with my knee propped up helps). Still, it's frustrating. I'm told that if I don't show major improvement soon, the next step might be surgery. This scares the heck out of me.

I am at the stage where I'm not only bugged by the pain, but also by my inability to do things that I enjoy doing, such as cooking and sewing. I tried making pancakes a couple of weekends ago, and my knee never recovered from all the standing. I'm trying to come up with creative ways to cook, and my success has been limited. Basically, if I have to do too much prep or too much nonstop cooking, I'm hosed. What I have made, just to give you an idea of my creativity level:
  • Collard greens
    Take pre-cut, pre-washed bag of collard greens. Slightly open the bag in which they came, and nuke for 5 minutes. Add around 1/4 cup of bacon bits, a few dashes of sea salt, and a drop or two of Dave's Insanity hot sauce. Mix well, and nuke again for two minutes. Mix again and enjoy.
  • Taro in coconut milk
    Take pre-peeled, vacuum-packed taro root. Nuke for around 10 minutes or until softened. Cut into chunks (1/2" to 1"), and mix in a microwave-safe dish with a can of reduced-fat coconut milk and 1/2 cup of Splenda (you could use sugar, but I don't dare). Cover and nuke again for 5-10 minutes. Makes a tasty, nourishing dessert or snack that can be eaten hot or cold. (This would be much better if I cut the taro when raw and boiled it in the coconut milk, but that's more prep than I'm up to doing...sigh.)
  • Corn on the cob
    Take fresh, unhusked cob of corn. Put into microwave oven and nuke for around 6 minutes. Peel off husk and silk (it comes off easily), add butter or margarine and salt, and enjoy.
  • Peanut butter cup toast
    Toast bread. Top with peanut butter, around 1-2 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1 packet of Splenda. Swirl while still warm.
  • English muffin pizzas
    Toast a split/sliced English muffin. Squirt on pizza sauce, and sprinkle on pre-grated mozzarella and parmesan, romano, or asiago. Sprinkle on oregano and some crushed pepper. Nuke till the cheese melts.
  • Cannoli/Blintz filling
    To ricotta or cottage cheese, add vanilla bean paste and Splenda. For cannoli filling, add a little milk to the ricotta to make it creamier; to the cottage cheese, add cinnamon.


Coming up when I am able to tolerate straight sitting for longer: Cheater's Cannoli.
figmo: (Default)
Thursday night I couldn't sleep because I was crying from missing Lady so much.

Last night I decided that I'd try picking her up from Warren's and see how it went over a weekend. I am now able to bend enough to pick up her food and water bowls and wee-wee pads, which was the minimum I needed to be able to do to take care of her.

This morning I had an uncontrollable smile on my face as I reached over and petted the soft, fluffy mound of cottony, white doggie fur that is Lady.

We're having a heat wave, so this evening I pulled out a frozen doggie treat I had stashed away for such an occasion and put it on a paper plate by her dog food. What does she do? Takes the frozen bone off the plate and carries it into my bed. I tried taking her frozen prize (a bone-shaped icy block of whatever) back to its spot on the plate by her food, and she immediately took it back onto the bed, this time cuddling up next to me, putting it on my pillow. I was laughing hysterically by this time. As soon as she stopped licking it, I tossed it off the bed and onto some papers on the floor. This time she took the hint.

She is now happily going at her frozen bone-thing, and I'm in bed with some iced decaf and an ice pack on my bad knee. All is good at home.
figmo: (Default)
Last night I set up tethering on my iPhone so I could get work done while I had to wait for the guy from Comcast to fix things. It was faster and more reliable than Google's free wifi. It's also expensive, so I will see about canceling it when I'm sure I won't need it.

The Comcast repair guy showed up a little after 2pm; apparently someone doing the dispatching decided I wasn't there and had told him not to come for my noon-2pm time slot, but this got resolved when I called at 1:55pm going "Where's my technician?"

As required, he had to check all my in-house connectors and then the feed coming into the house. As I had already figured out, there was no Internet signal coming in. I don't know how he figured it out, but three houses down someone had put a hardware filter on the line that blocked the Internet signal. He of course removed it, and my Internet service came back. What neither of us could figure out is why someone put a filter on the main feed rather than the feed going to the house that wasn't supposed to get Internet access.

Before that I had a follow-up appointment with my gynecologist. Results behind the cut-tag. )
figmo: (Default)
I used to have a life. It was a very busy one, but I enjoyed every minute of the business, whether it was hopping from one job to the next, practicing guitar, arranging music, or going to science fiction and filk conventions.

The other day I had a job interview. One of the questions I was asked was what I did when I wasn't working. All I could think of was cuddling my dog and way too much elder care. Way too much. I've hit what I call "trauma point" with it, and it scares me. When I'm not doing elder care, I'm busy coming up with ways to avoid doing elder care. Sometimes I'll carpool to his house with [livejournal.com profile] dimakoi so he can't arm twist me into staying there. Other times I'll leave Lady home so I have an excuse to go back home (gotta take care of the dog, right?). I love him and his parents, but I don't like staying in a nursing home, waking up to the smell of elder-poo in the morning or getting hit head-on by the smell of elder-pee when I open the guest room door to go to the bathroom.

Since the interview I've started finding time to arrange music and do other things for myself despite the needs of my fiancé and his parents. My own mother went in for knee replacement surgery last week, yet I was busy taking care of his parents instead of my own.

I am hoping I didn't blow the interview because I've been arm-twisted way too much into doing tasks that totally suck out my soul.
figmo: (Default)
The other day I went to the worker's comp dentist to have my teeth looked at.

The good news: I'm getting feeling back in my lower front teeth (the ones that lost it after I broke my jaw).

The bad news: It hurts, and it's going to continue to hurt as the nerves grow back.
figmo: (Default)
Given someone experiencing the following:
  • a couple of ulcers on their big toe
  • infected bone underneath the ulcers
  • when they go to the hospital they are suddenly diagnosed with Type II diabetes
  • they have never been treated with antibiotics for the toe
  • there's cellulitis (infected skin) on the top of the affected toe and foot
Can this person's big toe possibly be saved, or does it have to be amputated?

More to the point, is cutting off the big toe hyper-aggressive treatment if antibiotics weren't tried first?

I'm trying to find this out ASAP for a friend who looks like he's about to have his big toe lopped off this afternoon.
figmo: (Default)
I'm now in the "feeling congested" stage. The dressings don't need to be changed much, but my ears are blocked and my nose is all stuffy. The nature of the dressing on my nose is such that I now know what it's like to have a big moustache.

The "sinus headache" I had this morning appears to have been mostly a caffeine headache. The iced coffee I had seemed to nuke it rather quickly. Given that I had no coffee or cola yesterday, this doesn't surprise me.

I had recorded some movies for the purpose of keeping myself in bed, and now I'm slowly going through them. It's hard to see over the dressing, and when I have to ice my head, I am rendered into a state of "Helen Keller" because I can barely hear and cannot see through the ice pack.

Still, I can't begin to gloat about how I feel like a huge weight has been lifted from my body. I had been fighting what had amounted to a non-stop sinus infection for over half a year, and I feel a marked difference. My brain is still a tad foggy from the congestion, but various parts of me (even my foot reflexology points!) that had been affected are feeling great. My ability to focus my eyes has markedly improved, too.

Warren thinks I'm "brave." My mother does, too. IMHO there was no "bravery" involved. I didn't have to worry about the wrong organ being operated on, I didn't have to worry about being anything other than "intact" after surgery, and I knew there'd be no scars. At this point whether I work at home or in the office Tuesday will be more contingent on whether I need to change my dressing alot or whether I look gross than how I feel. I will likely do some work from home tomorrow just to take some pressure off myself.

My friend Phil, who is two weeks ahead of me in his own recovery from the same kind of surgery, suggested chocolate pudding as something easy and fun to eat. I expect to make some a little later, although right now I'm craving something not-sweet and am not sure how I want to deal with that. Yesterday's salad went down the easiest of the various parts of dinner, so I might try to make a wilted spinach salad with a raspberry or blackberry vinaigrette (yes, I have such stuff in my cupboards!).
figmo: (Default)
I'll be brief because I'd rather not get gross.

I was prepared. I put on good underwear. I wore a skirt and a red top, blazer, and sandals so I wouldn't have to worry about stains. This turned out to be a major win.

The sinus surgery went well. I came in with a killer sinus headache and awoke without one. Dr. Burt said that despite my diligent cleaning of my passages with a neti cup this morning it was "gross." It took me a long time to eat afterwards because I had to keep going to the bathroom to change dressings. I'm finding the easiest things to eat are those that are frozen liquids, such as ice cream and sorbet, preferably without chunks of stuff to choke on while I try to breathe and eat at the same time.
figmo: (Default)
As I continue to grapple with the sudden loss of two people who were each dear to me, along with the loss of Warren's brother, I look for signs of life.

Yesterday Warren and I went out to the stable where [livejournal.com profile] dimakoi's roommate keeps her horse. [livejournal.com profile] dimakoi was in charge of feeding that day, so we were getting our "horse fix."

There's something about inter-species interaction that I really enjoy. Connecting with another being who has their own, very different way of communicating really thrills me. I'm still learning "horse speak," which is different from "dog speak" or "cat speak." When a horse leans over to give me a "hug" or a "kiss," though, there's no mistaking that for anything else (yes, horses "kiss"). The horses seem to like me, which makes me feel good. Dogs and I already have a good rapport; somehow they can tell I'm a "dog person" (or an "animal person").

This morning and afternoon I've spent extra time on Lady. She's overdue for a haircut, and I was debating whether to try to do it myself. There's something calming about just brushing her for both of us. She rests patiently while I groom, and I get to handle lots of soft, white, cottony doggie fur. There's something soothing about the "doggie love noises" she makes. I've got a killer headache right now. I suspect the weather is playing a strong part. I don't know whether I want to try to eat something spicy to get endorphins going (which could also aggravate my jaw pain and won't help my weight) or try to sleep it out (I'm not at all tired).

With all the stuff going on around me it's easy to forget to take care of oneself. I don't dare do that. I've got a small white creature depending upon me.
figmo: (Default)
On Saturdays, since there's no local news on TV before 5am, I wake up to whatever my TiVo is recording, which in this morning's case was the Food Network. Since I often will incorporate whatever's going on around me into my dreams, I thought I was in the middle of a nightmare.

The scene: Giada DeLaurentiis is presenting a "feast" to her family and friends.

Female Guest: What's in the pasta?
Giada: Basically, it's a vegetable bolognese -- lots of vegetables in it, especially porcini mushrooms.

I can't remember the last time I woke up that fast!
figmo: (Default)
Today I went to the lead Worker's Comp doctor for a checkup. He said they got a letter from the Worker's Comp insurance company saying they didn't "approve of Dr. Lee." Neither the doc nor I had any idea who this "Dr. Lee" was that they didn't approve of. Tomorrow I have to call my agent and find out what they want from me now (rolls eyes).

I got home to find out that my upcoming sinus surgery is on hold because of my health plan. According to the gal at my ENT's office, "the insurance company will only approve one code at a time" and they won't schedule anything till they get the approval. The latter part makes sense, but the "only one code at a time" part is ridiculous. One of the things I need to find out is whether the blockage is related to the face injury (yes, it's possible). According to the forms, they can schedule the surgery when it is inconvenient for me, and if the operation date doesn't work and I balk, they'll charge me $75! Eeep.

According to the form faxed to me this morning, I have to stop all NSAIDs (read: no Ibuprofen) for two weeks before the surgery. One of the things I need to find out is how anal-retentive I need to be about this. Tylenol doesn't kill the pain in my jaw.

The one bright spot of the day: At the Worker's Comp doctor's office they tested my vision. It came out 20/15!
figmo: (Default)
I am soooo glad I went! I don't feel like doing a fine-grained detailed report, but here's the summary:
  • My fever broke over the weekend.
  • The side effects of the prednisone continued. This morning I felt like crying for no reason. Luckily, I had food next to me (a cup of yogurt) to help counteract this.
  • All weekend I kept forgetting lyrics I can normally remember in my sleep (thank you prednisone!). OTOH, with Frank Hayes as TM, I had lots of fun "blaming" him every time I screwed up.
  • [livejournal.com profile] hsifyppah delivered a nice-sized bag of the extra strength sugar-free Fisherman's Friend (yaay!!!).
  • I got to see lots of folks I haven't seen in a long time, and I got to know some other folks better. This is always A Good Thing.
  • The guests were all fantastic, too. (Did I mention I'd never heard Frank Hayes perform live before?)
  • Tess's service dog, Dandy, is incredibly adorable and a total charmer. If I can, I'd like to introduce him to a "single white female" next year. ;-)
  • The con suite was short on diet soda, but [livejournal.com profile] shaddyr's chili made up for it.
  • I wrote a new song this weekend! I even got to perform it with a really great "scramble" band (Mark Osier and [livejournal.com profile] lemmozine). I'll post the lyrics in another message when I'm feeling more energetic.
  • I didn't make it to Cash and Carry for my DaVinci Gourmet Sugar-Free Syrup pilgrimage -- which was a shame 'cuz they're on sale.
While my plane was on the ground and taxiing this afternoon, I checked my cell phone messages and got the results of Thursday's CT scan of my head. It turns out my maxillary sinuses (the ones on the cheeks) are blocked and the solution to this involves surgery.
figmo: (Default)
If any of you would bring me some Sugar-Free Extra Strength Fisherman's Friend lozenges, I'd be forever grateful. I will happily pay you at LEAST what it cost you to buy them (hint, hint).

For reasons I cannot fathom, Fisherman's Friend doesn't distribute the Extra Strength Sugar-Free lozenges in the U.S.
figmo: (Default)
A few minutes ago my temperature spiked to 99.8F.

I'm supposed to be getting better. Instead, I'm feeling woozy and as if my brain were fogged-in.
figmo: (Default)
This is Not A Good Thing.

One of my nicknames in high school was "Rudolph" because my nose was perpetually red. I used to get horrid sinus infections every month that were more regular than my menstrual periods. The way I'd rate the infection was by how many boxes of tissues I was going through per day. If I were on the east coast today would have been a "two box" day (I'm hypersensitive to cold).

They wanted to put a photo of me in the yearbook where I was holding my purse in one hand and a huge box of tissues in the other. That was the way I had to walk around school. Yesterday I awoke with a sore throat; by the end of the day I had so much trouble breathing I had to sleep sitting up and opted to not eat latkes because I didn't think I could get them down. I was walking around the house with a box of tissues that is now 3/4 gone.

This morning I couldn't do my neti-pot flush because my sinuses were so swollen. All day I was travelling around with a box of tissues -- first to the vet because Lady is ill (the vet thinks she's got seasonal allergies), then to my own appointment with my ENT, then to get various meds and supplies. Instead of hauling my purse, I had a plastic grocery bag I was using as a tissue receptacle.

Just like in high school, my nose has already started turning red. Now that I'm medicated to within an inch of my life I might actually get some sleep. Last night I slept sitting up because I couldn't breathe any other way.
figmo: (Default)
Other than being female and a U.S. citizen, I never though I'd have something in common with Ann Coulter.
figmo: (Default)
This past night I dreamed I was eating a hamburger. It wasn't even a good burger (never mind that I always like cheese on my burgers because I'm not terribly fond of burgers in the first place); it was from one of those fast-food joints, only someone had the good sense to remove the pickle.

What made the dream special was that I was able to eat it.

Update

Aug. 8th, 2008 11:57 am
figmo: (Default)
Tuesday night I had my first "solid" meal -- gnocchi in tomato sauce. It was ideal because I could use my tongue to flatten the little pasta pillows, then swallow them whole. I savored every one of them. Mmmmm....

Wednesday afternoon the stitches came out of my chin, although the doctor did put some kind of goo and tape on the suture because it still had scabbing. "Do not take this off," he warned, "and don't pick at it." If the tape falls off I'm to start applying Neosporin to the gash.

Yesterday morning I saw the dentist. He did some stuff to help correct my bite (which is still way off). He also took a full-mouth x-ray (my first since I was 19 and Dad's friend, the orthodontist, teased, "I think I can see some wisdom teeth buds in there!") He explained that the gash across my chin isn't just a gash -- it's where the fracture happened. He also advised me to take lots of Ibuprofen to cut down the swelling. The wires don't come off till Tuesday at the earliest.

My flight out of SJC was delayed several hours. I didn't get to the hotel till after midnight, and then there was confusion about finding the filking and my roommate (I eventually found both). Right now I'm in my hotel room working out subtle details for my concert. I need to go down to the hotel's Business Center and print stuff out. I also need to go through real registration and do my site voting while I still can (today's the last day).

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