On a Hot Sunday Afternoon

At 6 p.m., it’s 100F/37.7C outside, which is why I’m inside.  It’s cooled down from a high of 101F/38.3C.  Supposed to be that hot again tomorrow and windy into the bargain, but later in the week, long about Tuesday and Wednesday, thunderboomers are forcast with highs falling to the low 80’s.  July is generally our hottest month here, unless August is, or else it’s a dead heat between the two.

We had a special program on CAT-TV earlier this afternoon.  What a former employer used to refer to as “one of them hairy-legged boys*” was out with a gasoline powered string trimmer trimming the grass’s bangs along the walls of the buildings.   The black one jumped up on the chest in front of the office window, put there for the kitties’ viewing pleasure, and watched these grass “strimming” activities with a great deal of interest.  CAT-TV’s new series on lawn care, “Mowing, Edging and Blowing off the Sidewalks” is proving to be a favorite with the black one. However, “Children Returning From Swimming in the Pool” which can be seen on both the office and living room channels of CAT-TV has, by far, the largest viewing audience in this household.  It has come on every day since school let out for summer (long vac) and they filled the apartment complex’s swimming pool.

I stopped to pick up a few groceries on the way home from daddy sitting — produce, mostly — celery, cherry tomatoes, a bowl of mixed melons, a loaf of ciabatta bread which they slice for free, and some lunch meat. I’m beginning to think I hear some tuna salad calling my name — garnished with a few sliced cherry tomatoes, perhaps.  Hmmmm.

When you don’t care for strawberries and you’re allergic to oranges, that narrows down the mainstream fruit flavors to cherry and grape.  Fortunately, my favorite brand of frozen fruit bar also comes in lime, grape, peach, mango, pomegranate, and acai berry — when they have those flavors in stock. Today, I had to settle for lime and pomegranate as strawberry was the only other option.

Stitches come out of the incision in my wrist tomorrow morning bright and early at 8:30 a.m.  Then I get to go to the dentist at 3:00 p.m. to have my teeth cleaned.  Busy, busy! Ought to be good and hot by then.

*a teenaged boy at that awkward age when there is more hair on his legs than on his face.

Onions and Pickles and Beets, Oh, My!

I had some onions and also a can of pickled beets that needed eating.  I decided to make some beet salad, which is a dish from my childhood, although I don’t make mine the same way anymore.  When I was growing up, we used to make it with diced pickled beets (you can barely find pickled beets anymore, let alone diced ones), sweet pickle relish, chopped raw white onion and Miracle Whip Salad Dressing which, I will be the first to tell you, is not  mayonnaise.  Miracle Whip has vinegar in it and is sweeter and cheaper than mayonnaise.  I was never really wild about it, but that’s all my mom would buy.  (Then, pickled beet salad was a treat for my mom and me.  Neither my brother nor my dad would touch it.)

I make my beet salad with a can of (diced) pickled beets, chopped white onion, diced kosher dill pickles and mayonnaise.  I like my version much better.  There’s sufficient vinegar in the pickled beets without having it in the dressing as well. Since I had two smallish white onions that needed using, I used three fourths of an onion in the beet salad, and the other onion and a fourth in some tuna salad which I have been hungry for.  I make tuna salad with chopped white onions, chopped kosher dill pickles, chopped black olives, 2 cans of tuna packed in water, and mayonnaise.  Hellmann’s is my mayonnaise brand of choice.  I did all the chopping myself, including dicing the sliced pickled beets, and dicing the kosher dill spears.  The olives were already chopped.

The kitties each got their teaspoon sized morsel of tuna which is all I will give them.  Within half an hour, the grey one had refunded hers.  That was the third time she’d barfed today.  I think I misnamed her.  I should have called her Barfarella. Her timing is impeccable.  Just when I’ve gotten my meal prepared and am about to sit down and partake of it . . . .  and if she’s not in the mood, the white one will oblige.  Never fails.

After I daddy sat and then went to get my car license sticker, I stopped by the bank to get a money order for my rent, by Petsmart to get kitty food and litter, then went home by way of Burger King to try the logistics of negotiating Slide Road and its busy seven lanes of traffic to get food and then get it home.  Since I was coming north, I only had to turn across three lanes of oncoming traffic to get into the Burger King parking lot, but to get home from there, I had to cross all seven lanes, though not all at once.

Our streets that are larger than two lanes (one in each direction)  have a “turning lane” down the middle of the street.  The turning lane gives vehicles that want to turn across the oncoming lanes of traffic a place to wait without obstructing the traffic behind them until it is clear to turn.  However, traffic going in both directions uses this single lane, which is why it’s called the “suicide lane. ” You have to be careful when you go swooping into it that an oncoming vehicle doesn’t decide to swoop into it at the same time.  Typically, if you are trying to cross a busy street when you’re not at a traffic light — say you’re coming out of a parking lot on one side of the street, but want to turn into a side street on the other side (like I did today), you have to do it by halves.  Wait for one direction to be clear so you can turn into the suicide lane, where you can safely wait for the other direction to be clear.  Anyway, I made it home in one piece.

The Burger King hamburger made a nice change.  Their meat patties are “flame broiled,” supposedly over an open flame instead of being cooked on a grill. Gives them a different taste.  I had the BBQ Bacon Whopper.  Their French fries are nothing to write home about, though. They have something called “Satisfries” which are crinkle cut fries, but I’ve never had them.  They might be better.   A note for the Brits in the crowd — American French fries are julienne cut (cut lengthwise) and deep fried. As I understand it, British “chips” are potatoes cut width wise and fried.  They are generally thicker and one side is typically curved.  Now, to totally confuse the issue, what Americans call “potato chips,” the Brits call “crisps.” Like the man said* . . .

Anyway, after I polished off my Whopper and had a postprandial nap, I watched TV — Animal Planet.  They have a show about a guy who builds tree houses, and another show about a guy who builds swimming pools. I had not seen either show before, and both were rather watchable.  Typically, a show will air twice — to hit the “prime time” period of first the east coast, and then later the west coast.  When they started their repeat, I got up and started dicing things.   Every time I go into the kitchen, the white kitty will follow me.  If I’m there for any length of time, the grey one will join him.  The kitchen is where the treat jar is.  The black one does not care for the flavor of treats on offer at the moment, but when they smell onions or pickles, they all gather in hopes of tuna.  Tonight, they got lucky.

The big bowl of tuna salad and the smaller bowl of beet salad are chilling in the refrigerator at the moment, but they’ve been whispering in my ear since I put them in the fridge. I may have to get up and have some in a moment.

In news unrelated to food, but related to the fact that the predicted high for today, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday is 100F/37.7C, is prickly heat. I hada patch break out under my left breast last summer.  I took precautions and treated it as directed, and it finally cleared up.  Now I’ve got a patch of it in my left armpit. Apparently, the left side of my body is coming apart at the seams, with bone spurs, ganglion cysts, pinched nerves, a bum knee, a bum shoulder . . .

Oh, and BTW, I succumbed to the whispering in my ear.  A small bowl of tuna salad to be spooned onto crackers, and a small dish of beet salad.  One oughtn’t to play favorites . . .


*”England and America are two countries divided by a common language,” is the quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw.  In The Canterville Ghost (1887), Wilde wrote: “We have really everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language.” Take your pick.

Going to the Beauty Saloon

Which is what my mom does tomorrow morning bright and early.  Back when she was working, she went to the beauty salon on Saturday morning to have her hair professionally washed, set, combed out and glued down with hairspray, and she carefully wrapped her hairdo in toilet tissue, putting a hairnet on it each night at bedtime and then slept on a satin pillow every night so the hairdo would last her all week.  Now she goes on Friday morning bright and early. She’s been doing this for probably 60 years. She used to wash and set her own hair, but at some point — I think when she started working as our church secretary and there was a beauty salon just a block away where she could go get her hair done over her lunch break — she started having it professionally done.  She could easily justify the expense as part of presenting a professional appearance at work, especially when she started working for the law firm and was “her” attorney’s receptionist as well as secretary. My mom is very fastidious about her personal appearance to begin with, and having her hair professionally done is an important thing to her. My dad has always understood this and has never begrudged her the money.  (She holds the purse strings anyway and always has, which is why they retired quite comfortably and were able to pay off their mortgage before either of them retired. — Unfortunately, I take after my dad.  I don’t have any will power either.  If I’ve got it, I spend it!)  My dad was the one who started the “beauty saloon” business.  He would tease her by telling her when she went to the beauty saloon to tell her beauty operator to give her “a double shot.”  Of course, nowadays, they’re “hair stylists,” but back when she started going to them, they were “beauty operators.”

2014_06_26-02I’ll have to be there at 7:30 a.m. so she can make her 8 a.m. appointment.  While she’s out, she’ll run some errands and shop groceries.  On my way home, I’ll stop by and get my car license tag. We used to get a new license plate every year, then we kept the same plate but we got a sticker that we stuck on it for each year.  Now we keep the same plate but get a new sticker each year that we stick on the windshield/windscreen.  What we are actually paying is not a tax on the car, but the bridge and road use tax. It all goes into a fund that the city/county/state uses to build and maintain bridges and roads.  We don’t have all that many bridges around here, unless you count overpasses/flyovers.

I’ve gotten an idea now of what my bills are going to be like living here.  I might be able to get by without having to work all that much for that jive transcription outfit in SF.

I’ve had my bath and washed my hair, which is nearly dry now, and I’ve left the Band-Aid off my wrist to let it air.  I’ll put it back on when I go out later.  The wound is still clean and dry.  Stitches come out Monday.

Next week, I’d best be fixing the pegboard for around my computer area so I can set up my foot pedal and start working again.  (Baby needs a metal filing cabinet, among other things.) Also, it behooves me to put my books in order and sort out the goddess statues.  I need to be making that last little push to finish up the moving in and getting settled process.  Get the boxes out of my trunk, finish sorting out my yarn and putting it into the plastic bins, and get rid of the last of the boxes in my office.  I reckon that’s about a week’s work of work, give or take.


Et tu?* Uff Dah!**

The mail carrier put one of those invidious advertisement circulars in my (and no doubt everybody else’s) mailbox today, which was just jam crammed with fast food coupons and advertisements.  Because of it, I discovered there is a Little Caesar’s Pizza (Pizza) nearby — like actually within reasonable walking distance.  They have wings. I have money in my purse and no will power.  I also discovered there is a Burger King nearby also, but it is across Slide Road from me, and Slide Road is a very busy, seven lane, main drag kind of street. Getting to it is going to require some route planning.  But Little Caesar’s Pizza (Pizza) is like going out of the parking lot, turning right, up two blocks, turn left, up two streets, turn into a strip mall and go to the end of it easy to get to.  I came home not only with wings, but with Italian Cheeze Bread and a 3 Meat Treat Pizza.   Fortunately, the pizza and bread are delicious, because the only kind of pizza they sell are 14-inch ones, and the cheese bread is about 8 x 11 inches.  The wings are delicious as well.  Next time, I’ll buy two orders of wings and an Italian Cheeze Bread.  What I got today is way too much food.  I’ll be eating on it for the rest of the week.

IMG_1524Almost all the Burger King coupons were for meals for two — two hamburgers, two fries, two drinks.  That kind of thing.  Still, I did cut a couple of the coupons out.  I’m not too picky to refrigerate one hamburger and fries and microwave them later, and the coupons are good til August 10th.

But my meal for the day was three slices of pizza, two pieces of cheese bread and two wing pieces, and I’m stuffed.  That’s it.  All the food I’m having today.  I still have five slices of pizza, and 8 pieces of cheese bread, plus six pieces of chicken wings for later.  Like I say.  I’ll be eating on it the rest of the week.

IMG_1523I have identified the birds I’m hearing through my stove exhaust hood.  They are cliff swallows that have nested (there’s not much left of the nest now) in the stairwell.  George Dupree parkThey have at least one fledgeling (left) which they are still feeding. Swallows are insectivorous and eat, among other things, mosquitoes.  We are not that far, as the swallow flies, from George W. Dupree Lake, which is one of the Cities’ storm drain catchment lakes, and a likely source of all sorts of insects.   It’s only a couple of blocks away (On the map below, the little house symbol in a circle in the upper left portion of the map is me). (Also the dumpster is not twenty feet from their nest.)   I really need to take a photo expotition over there one of these days.

The City’s parks are named for city citizens of note.  Mr. Dupree was a long-time attorney in our fair city and lobbied long and hard to get the Law School for Texas Tech University, which are likely his claims to park-worthiness.   He was also a long-time member of our church, and I actually knew him growing up.  We called him “Uncle George” — he was noted for giving children silver dollars on their birthdays.

*Squeamish warning:  Pictures of a Sutured wound to follow*

My wrist is still looking good.  The wound is still clean and dry and there are no obvious signs of infection.  Some of the shininess of the skin is due to the petroleum jelly.  Hopefully when the stitches are taken out, the scar will flatten out some.

Saturday  night
Saturday night
Sunday Night
Monday Night






*Et tu?

** Uff Dah!

Suspicions and Frustrations

It rained again Sunday night, with much grumbling of thunder.  Don’t know how much rain we got, but we did get some (official total for the month is 0.63 inches according to my weather widget).  Of course it’s ridiculous (and not a little egotistical!) to think that it’s raining more often now because I’ve moved and I’m not worried about my roof leaking anymore.   But then again, it did rain almost 6 inches after I stopped living in the duplex, during the two week period when I was trying to finish getting my stuff over to the apartment.

I found a shampoo and conditioner set I like.  Does Walmart or Market Street have it?  Of course not.  The manufacturer doesn’t even stock it.  It never seems to fail. Just let me find a product I really like, and they quit making it.  However, Amazon has it.   As ridiculous as it sounds, I’ve ordered a bottle of the shampoo from Amazon.  When I get paid Wednesday, I’ll order another bottle of the shampoo and one of the conditioner (assuming Amazon still has it!).  I have fine, flyaway hair, and I wash it once a week, whether it needs it or not.  Two bottles of the shampoo and one of the conditioner should last me six or eight months at least.

Had one of those “duh!” moments last night.  I had plugged my Roku into the same plug strip as the DVD player, but had the DVD player and that plug strip in the lower portion of my poor racked armoire. (Yes, “racked,” no “w,” intransitive verb meaning “forced out of shape or out of plumb.” A day you don’t learn something is a day wasted.) The point of putting it on a plug strip is that the plug strip can easily be turned off when the Roku is not in use — that’s the only way to shut the Roku off besides unplugging the power cord at one end or the other, and there’s no point in having it on and using electricity (and generating heat inside the unit) if I’m not watching it.  However, that door binds, is difficult to open, and can’t be shut without my twisting the frame of the armoire straight and pushing it shut with a foot.  Big pain in the butt. So, why don’t I fetch up the plug strip and put it in the TV compartment where I can reach it easily?  That’s exactly what I did last night.  Bit of a production, but I got it done.  I can now turn the Roku on and off easily.  Takes two remotes to watch the Roku — the Roku remote (oddly enough) to operate the Roku and my TV remote to switch the TV channel to “V2.” (My cable  box plays on TV channel 3.)

I was in the kitchen just now, and I heard birds — but only under my stove’s exhaust hood.  Apparently, there are birds nesting next to where the exhaust from the range hood comes out.  Seeing as how I never use the thing, or the stove either, come to that, I think the birds will not be disturbed — by me at least.


The Longest Day, Yesterday

2014_05_28-21On Midsummer day, yesterday, sunrise was at 6:38 a.m. and sunset was at 9:01 p.m.  The high was 83F/28.3C, and the low was 67F/19.4C.  I’ll take their word on the sunrise.  I slept in again.

I have to be at my mom’s at 9:30 this morning to daddysit while she goes to church, so I’ll be going to bed shortly.  We’re supposed to have a high of 95F/35C today, of course, because I have to get out in it.

Sneaking Up On Sunday, Sneaking Past a Milestone

This past Thursday marked one month in the new digs.  I guess not having a regular schedule has loosened the calendar’s hold on me, although I do have to keep track of my daddysitting dates — like tomorrow. I’m not a really big one for keeping track of these “anniversary” kinds of things, though.

I’m relieved to say that Mom has begun investigating “the other kind” of assisted living facilities.  When residents require some assistance with their activities of daily living (washing, dressing, eating, mobility), but are otherwise alert and aware, this falls under  the “usual” kind of “assisted living.” where assistance is readily available, the residents require some supervision and monitoring, and medical personnel are on hand to administer medications and monitor residents’ health closely.  When residents are incapable of caring for themselves, as my dad is, this usually entails nursing home placement.  However, there are people who provide care in their homes, usually for anywhere from two to ten people.  This type of situation is usually better than a nursing home in that there is a higher caregiver to resident ratio than in a nursing home and consequently the residents receive a better level of care.  Typically, in a nursing home situation, a family member usually spends a great deal of time providing care for their loved one that the nursing home personnel simply don’t have time to provide because there are so many patients to care for.  Their only selling features are that  they have all the equipment and facilities like beds, lifts, wheelchair accessible bathing facilities, etc., and that there are nurses on hand who can summon doctors and ambulances if necessary.  In the smaller “assisted living” facilities that mom is looking at, the slack is taken up by the assisted living personnel because they don’t have so many residents to care for at a time. Some of these places even handle laundry other than sheets and towels.

I think as soon as she finds one that she likes who will take a resident with an ostomy (my dad has a colostomy), that’s where my dad is going.  Fortunately, I think she has realized that caring for my dad is becoming too much for her (actually, it already has).  If the current situation were to go on for much longer, her health would be in serious jeopardy, and I think this has been brought home to her recently with his keeping her awake most nights so that she is not getting much sleep and his gradually declining ability to walk the required distances without collapsing. When he goes to a care facility, she will be able to get some sleep during the night, which will be the greatest benefit to her.  She will not be restricting her social engagements any longer, and will be able to go out whenever she pleases without worring about who is looking after him.  This is also an important benefit to her, as she needs the society of her friends and acquaintances and the social interaction they provide. This will be another significant burden lifted from her.  She will, of course, be looking in on him daily and probably spending several hours a day with him, but her time will no longer be consumed by his care.  I see this as a significant step in the “letting go” process that will help prepare her for his passing.

*Squeamish Warning:  Pictures of a sutured wound to follow.*

Now that mom is taking this step, I’ve begun thinking about what this is going to mean for me.  One thing, for the last couple of years, I’ve been unwilling to take a part time job where I would be required to keep a schedule because I want to keep my schedule open so that I can go stay with my dad with little to no advanced warning, whenever she needs me to.  With him in care, I will no longer need to be doing this, which means I can look for a part time job where I will have to keep to a schedule, which I would have to be able to do in order to go back to medical transcription again, where I can make better money than I can at these “general” transcription jobs.  What’s not to like about making more money in less time, even if it means the time commitment of keeping to a schedule?

Saturday Evening

My wrist seems to be bruising a little now, which is not surprising.  The wound still looks clean and is not unduly red.  At the top and bottom of the wound, there are areas that seem a little puffy, but it’s hard to tell whether the “puffy” is due to swelling or fluid collection, or whether it is just due to the way she sutured it.  The wound is otherwise dry and there is no sign of drainage, so I’m not worried.  I’m sure things will “settle down” once the sutures are removed.   I do notice the sutures pulling when I move my wrist in certain directions.  It looks to me like there is a certain amount of “puckering” that is due to how she sutured the wound, and that once the sutures are removed, that will take some of the tension off the skin and allow it to flatten out.

It’s still tender, understandably, but I’m not as protective of it as I have been.  I have an appointment on 06-30-2014 to have the sutures out.  That is a week from this Monday.

So Far, So Good, Three Days Later

*Squeamish Warning:  Pictures of a sutured wound to follow.*

Wednesday, I slept in, having stayed up late and then not slept very well Tuesday night, and did not get around to removing the pressure dressing until after 4 p.m. that afternoon.  The wound was clean and dry, as they say, and there were no undue signs of redness.  The sutures looked good.  I washed it with antibacterial soap and water, again as instructed, and patted it dry with a clean towel.  I had a piece of Adaptic left over from my shoulder surgery, so I used that as a wound dressing, reinforcing its “not supposed to stick to a wound-ness” with a glob of petroleum jelly (generic Vaseline), as instructed, and put some gauze on top of that.  I tried to re-use the Kling wrap left over from the initial pressure dressing to hold the gauze in place, but ended up having to tape it shut.  I couldn’t get the tape to stick, and when I went to bed I just ended up taking the Kling off and taping the gauze on with cloth tape.

I stayed up way too late catching up on my blog reading last nigh and didn’t get to bed until nearly 5 a.m.  However,  the white one was such a pest, whining and “digging” on cabinet doors and otherwise making noise and being a little diva, that I had gotten hardly any sleep by the time the alarm went off at 9 o’clock.  When I went to get the mail yesterday, the maintenance guy said he’d try very hard to get by today to put the weather stripping on my front door, so instead of sleeping in like I really, really want to, I’m awake, and very, very crabby, not listening to music, or having the TV on so I can be sure to hear the maintenance guy knock. Since you can see daylight around the edges of my door, some weather stripping would be nice, especially before cold weather sets in.

When I changed the dressing this morning, the wound was still clean and dry, and without undue redness.  The suture line is intact.  I smeared a glob of petroleum jelly on a really big Band-Aid, and that’s what I’m using for a wound dressing this morning.  Naturally, I had the cat box to clean up.  The container needed emptying, and I needed to vacuum up the litter they’d tracked all over.  I have a box of those disposable gloves, and put on a pair of those to take care of that.  Now I’m blogging and find I’m typing rather more easily, it being less painful today to pronate my wrist.

Wednesday afternoon
Thursday morning (today)

To the left is what it looked like Wednesday afternoon before I washed it off with soap and water, two days post surgery, and to the right is what it looked like this morning, three full days post surgery.  I have to say, the doctor is not going to win any prizes for neatness of sutures.  I’d think a dermatology specialist, even a resident, would know some plastic surgery suturing techniques to leave a less cosmetically problematic scar.  Still, this is the VA, so my expectations are not as high.  Frankly, I don’t care if I have a big scar, (I’ve got a 4-inch long scar on the ball of my left shoulder from my shoulder surgery, about an 8-inch long scar across my left knee from when I broke my kneecap and had the pieces wired back together, and a scar from navel to “never mind” from my emergency appendectomy surgery.  So long as the scar tissue doesn’t cause any problems, like having a keloid form or being tender, I’m OK with it.  Even though the cyst was only about the area of a fingernail, the incision had to be longer so she could get down to the base of the cyst and close it off to minimize the risk of the cyst recurring.  I’ll get the stitches out the 30th.

So far, so good.  If the wound continues to heal without signs of redness or drainage, I will be a happy camper.  While there is no good place to have an infected wound, the wrist would be a very problematic area, especially this part of the wrist, since the carpal ligament is just below it, and underneath the carpal ligament is the infamous carpal tunnel where all the finger flexor tendons as well as the median nerve pass through to go into the hand proper.  What most people do not realize is that the muscles that close the fingers and provide the “grip strength” of the hand are actually in the forearm. They are connected to the fingers by long tendons, one per finger, all of which pass through the carpal tunnel together with the median nerve, which innervates the thumb, index and part of the middle finger. It is the inflammation caused by the constant friction of these tendons moving back and forth through the carpal tunnel that cause the repetitive stress injury known as carpal tunnel syndrome — any activity during which the fingers flex repeatedly, such as typing, playing piano or guitar, flute, clarinet, or other such keyed musical instrument, etc., if done often enough and for long, sustained periods of time (like 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week, in the case of medical transcriptionists) can cause carpal tunnel syndrome.

I don’t know how deep the incision goes, but I don’t think she got into any tendon sheaths or near the carpal ligament.  I’ve not been babying my wrist, and I’ve deliberately been typing and using my hand.  “Babying” my hand might have let scar tissue form that might “bind down” a tendon or ligament.  This scar tissue would have to be broken down (painfully) in order to regain total use of my hand and wrist.  I’ve been through that whole issue with my knee and shoulder.  Since nothing is broken and no ligaments or tendons were cut during the procedure (unlike with my shoulder and knee surgeries where the joint had to remain immobile for a period of time to allow healing of bones, tendons and ligaments), I’m not worried about using my hand this soon.

Just a couple minutes ago, there was a knock on the door.  It was the “bug guy” to spray for bugs.  They say that stuff they spray is safe for pets, but I’m always leery of it. Dogs don’t lick their paws and fur like cats do, and I worry about the kitties licking the spray off their paws and fur.  I’ve got them shut up in the “back” part of the apartment until the stuff dries.  I’m actually going to put some socks on here in a minute, as I’m leery about walking barefoot in it.  The maintenance guy that was escorting the bug guy said he was going to try to come back this afternoon and put the weather stripping on my door.  Hopefully that will happen.  We’ll see.


Over The First Hurdle

IMG_1508IMG_1506Got a bunch of music loaded onto my new MP3 player, a SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip 8GB MP3 Player,  and made sure it was fully charged. In a way, having the old MP3 player vanish mysteriously (I suspect it “walked away“) during the move was a blessing in disguise.  This new MP3 player is about a third the size of the old one.  Of course, I had to buy a new 32 GB memory chip as well to boost its 8 GB of memory up to 40 GB so I can put many, many music on it.  I got this particular model because it’s compatible with Rhapsody, so I can download my Rhapsody playlists onto it, which is a pretty laborious process, frankly, and it actually worksIMG_1509better with Windows Media Player (WMP) than it does with Rhapsody.  Rhapsody does let you download some music to your computer, which WMP can access, too, and it’s actually a fairly straightforward process to re-create my Rhapsody playlists on WMP and then “sync” them to the Sansa Clip Zip, which actually does have a clip on the back.  IMG_1505I’m including this series of pictures to show you just how small the player and the chip are.  The Fuse+ came with a little velveteen bag that I put it in when I slipped the player inside my bra and wore it “next to my heart.”  However, whenever I would get damp and sweaty, so did the bag.  This new Clip Zip is so small I can slip it inside one of those little tiny resealable plastic bags.  Problem solved.

Yesterday, I had the ganglion cyst on my wrist removed.  The person who did the deed is a dermatology resident from the Texas Tech University School of Medicine, a very nice black lady who, going by her name tag and lack of accent, is probably the child of recent immigrants from an Africa nation.  She’s the same doctor who saw me for the cyst in the first place. Since at the time of that initial exam, I was in the middle of being about to move, we agreed that it would be removed at a later date.  The “later date” was yesterday.

Sunday evening, I had my shower and washed my hair which, since it is almost down to my waist, is a two-handed procedure.  Yesterday morning, I got up at Oh, God!-thirty and was there at 7:30 a.m. as directed, waiting in the “wind break foyer” for them to open the doors of the VA clinic .  I was armed to the teeth with my MP3 player set on “Jonn Serrie” and my Amanda F. Palmer quote tee-shirt (“I am bigger on the inside.”) for moral support, ready to have that pesky ganglion cyst excised from my left wrist.  (I was told to come early so I could wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes before having my vital signs recorded, and then wait another 15 minutes to be shown to the examination room.)

IMG_1501I had my vital signs duly recorded (BP of 124/69, which was the best blood pressure reading I’ve had in a while — no doubt a reflection of no longer being under the stress of “The Move!”) and was “taken back” for the procedure to be done.  This was an “office” procedure and was done in one of the exam rooms, with me on an examination table adjusted to a sitting position, and my arm on a pillow on a table thingie. It was done under local anesthesia, which only had to be readministered once.  I’m of the “if I don’t look, it doesn’t hurt” persuasion and I made a point of not looking, preferring to keep my eyes closed and to concentrate on the soothing music (Jonn Serrie) I was listening to on my MP3 player. I did feel some pulling and tugging but no actual pain. It took longer for her to control the bleeding than it did for her to do the actual removal of the cyst. (I’m sure the fact that I typed for a living for over 27 years contributed to the abundance of blood vessels in the area.) She had to ask for more hemostats, and more suture packs, as they had not put out enough at the start of the procedure  She sutured “bleeders” for about half an hour and then finally closed the skin.  The nurse who cleared away after she was done removed a fairly sizable pile of bloody gauze pads.  I’ve got about an inch and a half long incision that starts about an inch below the “heel” of my thumb.  It runs roughly parallel to my arm and has about 8 or 9 sutures in it, which will be removed in 14 days.  She applied a “pressure dressing” which I have to leave on for 48 hours. (Only the skin closing sutures will need removing.  The “internal” sutures are the absorbable kind.)

I was done and on my way home by 10:15.  I had to stop by my mom’s to give her some forms and info about Veteran’s benefits for my dad.  Then I stopped at my oil change place to get air in my left front tire, and stopped at Taco Bell to get a Crunch Wrap and two crispy tacos.  After I ate lunch, I took a long nap.

I still had almost a full prescription of Tramadol left from my shoulder injury in January (it wasn’t strong enough to take care of the muscle and joint pain and did nothing for the nerve pain) and I was supposed to take that for the post procedural pain.  However, after the second dose last evening, I started itching, so I had to take an extra dose of diphenhydramine (Benadryl) which I’m already taking for my allergies.  Since twice daily doses of diphenhydramine make me a zombie, I stopped taking the Tramadol after the second dose, but I really haven’t had all that much pain since I quit taking the Tramadol.  I suspect that a portion of the pain is related to the necessary tightness of the pressure dressing, which I will take off and stop wearing tomorrow morning.  (There’s a bone pretty much right under the wound and pronating my wrist causes an increase in discomfort.)  After that, I’m supposed to clean the wound with soap and water, and apply a Band-Aid to it.  I think I still have some big Band Aids.

Late in the afternoon, my BFF came over and we watched Antiques Road Show.  I slept pretty well last night.  As you can tell, I can type without too much discomfort. I know better than to mollycoddle my arm.  I need to be moving it around, within reason.  Even though no muscles or tendons were involved in or affected by the surgery, I have a 10-pound lifting restriction simply because I could rip stitches out if I lifted something that was very heavy.  Other than that, I need to be using the hand — again, within reason — as it promotes healing.  In that regard, not being on any pain killers is a good thing, since pain will set appropriate limits on the use of my hand.

I’m about ready for some lunch now, and after that, I may have a nap or I may finish catching up on the webcomics and blogs I follow.  I’m still over 200 pages behind on some of the Tumblr  blogs I read.

Some Progress

IMG_1500Truth to tell, I haven’t been particularly motivated to make that last little push and get my office sorted out.  I pretty much goofed off Tuesday after I came home from helping my mom take my dad to the doctor.  After I daddysat Wednesday, I goofed off again, just taking it easy and watching TV.  Thursday, I slept pretty much the whole day, and didn’t get up til almost 5 p.m.  It was nice.  I’m making up for that month of not getting much sleep and working so hard moving.  Friday, I slept off and on until almost 4:30 p.m.  After I got up and got dressed, I got my mail, and found a key on a fob that had a big “4” on it.  Fortunately, K was still in the office and I discovered that when the mail IMG_1495carriers have a package that is too big for your box, but not too big for one of the four bigger boxes, they put it in one of the bigger boxes and lock the key to the bigger box in your mailbox. When you open the bigger box and get your package, the key won’t come out of the lock, so you leave it there.  If the package is too big for the bigger mailbox, then they leave it at the office.  If it comes UPS or FedEx, they deliver it to your door.  If you don’t answer your door, they leave it in the office for you.  Sometimes, they just leave it in the office without bothering to knock.  Anyway, the package in big box #4 was the sage green crinkle taffeta table cloth I ordered for a dresser scarf.  IMG_1496It’s lovely.  Exactly as advertised.  Single thickness, it’s a big thin, but folded in half, it’s just right. It’s creased and I could have ironed it, but not today.

Friday evening, I did do some box emptying.  I found the little thingies that hold the shelves up in that one bookcase and emptied out all my boxes of books.  I also emptied the boxes of office supplies and put them away.  I still need to arrange my books — they’re stuffed into the shelves any old how, and sort my knitting IMG_1494yarns and things.  I still need to fix the pegboard and hang my foot pedal, but I didn’t want to get carried away.  Monday morning bright and early, I get the ganglion cyst on my left wrist excised, and I’ll not be able to lift anything more than 10 lbs with that hand until the stitches come out.  The pictures on the right are the “before’s” and the ones on the left are the “after’s.”  I emptied two “keeper” boxes and a bunch of other boxes that were tossed into the dumpster.

About 80% of my office supplies fit in the cupboard, and what was left I put in the drawer with my knitting accoutrements.  When I sort out my yarn and crochet thread, they’ll go in the plastic bins, as well as my jewelry making stuff.  The jewelry making IMG_1498stuff will occupy a whole bin right there.  Having my yarn in the translucent bins will make it easier to find stuff.  I still IMG_1499have four boxes in the trunk of my car.  I probably should bring them in now that I have room for them.  Here are all the boxes I threw out, as well as the two keeper boxes and our grandma’s crocheting and cutwork I’ve saved out to sent to my cousin, as well as two more lamps for the garage sale.  They’ll go over to my mom’s Sunday when I go to daddysit while she’s at church.  They’re already loaded in the car, and the throw away boxes are in the dumpster.

IMG_1497Earlier this evening (it’s early Saturday morning, actually) it thundered and carried on like a son of a gun, and even rained some.  Supposed to rain tomorrow, too.  Yay!  It can rain tomorrow also if it wants to.  According to my weather widget, it’s supposed to rain again Wednesday.  As long as it doesn’t hail or otherwise destroy crops, homes, etc., raining is fine with me.

I’ll leave you with a shot of my charging area with the new lamp.  The charge cords are in the bottom of the two stacked books.  Who knows.  I may surprise myself and either bring boxes in out of the trunk, or sort some yarn, or sort out and arrange my goddess statues or who knows what.  Then again, I may not.