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Friday, April 12, 2019

mixed reviews

I had my annual check-up two weeks ago with my new doctor, who I've only seen once before. She is concerned how high in iron and platelettes my blood is. My blood has always been very “rich”. In retrospect, I remember doctors marveling how high in iron it was when I was a young child. My mother was quite proud of that because she and my grandmother always had bouts of anemia. I am the opposite of anemic. No one ever showed concern about it. My doctor in Atlanta attributed it to being part of the symptoms of Gilbert's Syndrome, which I aparently have. My new doctor in North Carolina does not want to consider this harmless and/or genetic without further tests. I still test high on cholesterol but mostly with a healthy balance.
Last week, I had blood drawn after my follow-up appointment to test for hemochromatosis, a very recessive genetic trait, but tests came back negative for the genes responsible for that condition. "Hfe H63D Genotype = Not Present - Normal Genotype"  Meanwhile, I should probably stick to a low-iron, low-fat diet. That sounds like a vegetarian diet to me, which I'm very comfortable with - and my doctor said I did not have to cut out red wine or any other spiritous beverages just because my liver is weird.

This week's book is The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck - a counterintuitive approach to living a good life. Here's hoping I can be better at getting my zen on.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

work. life.

I am sick and tired of frozen entrees for every meal and a partner who usually does not want to eat home-cooked meals in the evening.
I made MonsterMustDie go to dinner with me (I paid) at a new restaurant in town tonight, Blue Magnolia. It was exactly what I needed - food made from scratch with fresh ingredients that never saw the inside of a freezer and were not over-seasoned. We split an appetizer of "Grit Tots" and an entree of Pot Roast. MonsterMustDie had a couple of Wicked Weed Pernicious beer on tap.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Yay, coworkers! I love it when someone has my back when I need it.

The cold I had last weekend is mostly gone now except for a froggy throat. Very froggy. Can't raise my voice to speak clearly again yet.

Tonight, I work at the dress shop for 5 hours. Tomorrow, when I'm off work entirely, I will no doubt be trying to decide what to do with myself.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Post-Holiday Lull

We are still in the post-holiday lulls here. Work is slow but they are keeping me on and, for that, I am grateful but I spend most of my weekdays reading and asking if there is anything I can do.
My weekend job is at one day a week, usually just four hours for now but I don't mind not having to be standing for hours - everything from the waist down can not handle standing in place for long periods of time anymore.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Drunken Christmas

Monstermustdie is so drunk that I don't know if we can make it to meet friends for brunch tomorrow.

Christmas in Atlanta

We made the 6-hour drive down to our old neighborhood in Atlanta on Christmas eve to spend the holiday with friends and family.  We split up our stay there between Staying with friends Cindi and John on the first two days before house-sitting for Daniel and Sam later in the week.
We returned to North Carolina on December 29, leaving early in the morning. I wish we had stayed until the afternoon of the 30th but MonsterMustDie was in a hurry to be home. He had already had enough of the city. I could see his anxiety rising as we crossed I-285 going into Atlanta and he did not relax again until we were back in the house.
I tried to get together with my friend J, who lives out of town in Conyers while we were there but was not able to meet up with her or visit her new home in Conyers. Every attempt did not work out. That does not mean I'm not extremely grateful for the time I had to visit. This was my first trip home in a long time and, if I am lucky enough to stay employed here, the only time I will ever have to travel will be the week after Christmas from now on.
I got to see a lot of friends. I got to have dinner out with my family. I shopped at the Buford Highway Farmers Market on my way out of town to pick up some treats and I stopped in one liquor store and got one bottle of very nice brandy that I can't find in the entire state of North Carolina and its ABC stores.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


We are still edging back into a normal schedule after being shut down here in North Carolina from the snow this weekend. This was the most snow I have seen since we moved here.
Everything was closed down Sunday. The studio was closed Monday but the dress shop was calling everyone, including me, trying to find people to show up for work that day. I suppose the corporate office in NYC saw snow days as no excuse to close doors and stay home. They just don't get it. Plus, people who work in retail usually have old tiny cars that could not make it over snow banks and ice walls like pickup trucks and SUVs the size of tanks attempt to do. I must remember to just stay parked uphill in my driveway next time, rather than parking on the street as if I can drive out of the neighborhood, because there is no getting out of our street in my car anyway. The county snow plows did clear the main streets around us but left walls of snow and ice to either side blocking all of the driveways and side streets.
I made it into work a couple of hours late on Tuesday with MonsterMustDie driving me to work in his slightly better car after he finally negotiated parking lots, hills, and streets to circle back around and pick me up in front of the house. He'll do it again today and by tomorrow I should be able to make it to work as usual. He learned to drive in the midwest and lived a number of years in Ohio as a young adult so he still has good winter driving skills. I am not a snow driver. I hate driving even in good weather and clear streets.
Speaking of parking on the street, I now remember that last time it snowed and MonsterMustDie parked on the street, his car was broken into and windows were smashed. Luckily, no one tried to get into my car but I would have stayed parked uphill next to the back door if I'd remembered that.

Clearly, I need to get tall boots and better outdoor clothes if it snows like this again, although by the time it does, if it does, the shops will probably be filled with sundresses and beach gear.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What I learned today

A mudlark is someone who scavenges in river mud for items of value, a term used especially to describe those who scavenged this way in London during the late 18th and 19th centuries.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Things are better today.

The doctor took off my tape and gauze yesterday and I got to shower and wash my hair last night. Hooray! I still have white threads from the gauze patch stuck to my chest where they glued me shut.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cat Burglar

Today at work,  several people said I look like a cat burglar in my black knit cap and turtleneck.  I haven't been able to wash my hair in the shower since my surgery last Tuesday so I'm finding different ways to cover my greasy head.
They taped me shut with a small gauze pad at the top that I can't get wet.  Today is my postoperative consultation and I hope I get a more solid schedule on my postoperative care.
Update: The doctor removed my tape and gauze bandage, revealing just stitches and glue... with a few shreds of the gauze attached. He said I can stop babying the wound now and take a shower without fear of getting the surgical site wet.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Post Op Holiday

So today my GI issues are still going on despite two doses of imodium. Monstermustdie drove me to the hospital to be tested for a bacterial infection. After finding what desk to check in at, get processed, and wait, I was taken to a small filthy bathroom to leave a sample for the lab. They said my test results will probably be ready by Monday afternoon. 
Meanwhile, I'm glad that MonsterMustDie is not having the same problems I am having. I would hate for him to be sick as a result of my visit to the hospital.
Clostridium difficile
One of the most well-known HAIs, C. diffcauses inflammation of the colon, and symptoms can range from diarrhea to life-threatening colitis. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea is the most common symptom, following medication ingestion that eliminates good bacteria from the intestine along with the bad. The bacteria are transmitted via the fecal-oral route, most commonly being transferred from an infection site to another patient by a healthcare provider's hands. C. diff is resistant to many routine cleaning products, including alcohol-based hand cleaners, so it is able to survive in clinical locations for extended periods of time. C. diff can usually be treated with antibiotics, but in some cases a stool transplant may help restore bacterial imbalances.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving + Surgery

I went in for breast surgery on Tuesday. MonsterMustDie took the day off work to transport me to the Surgery Center and back home. I took a shower and washed my hair just before going, knowing I won't be able to was my hair for several days afterward just because I have to keep the surgical area dry and I can't lift my arms.
Everything went fine. I was kinda put off by the casual sanitary conditions there. The nurse, Janey, tore off tape for my IV and laid it on the footrest of the chair I was in until she was ready to use it. The arms of the chair in the prep room were sticky. I don't want to consider myself OCD about cleanliness - far from it, probably - but this was a medical facility.
Oh, well...
They sent me home with a Spanks-style tube top over my chest and a small ice pack over my left breast. I also had to purchase electronic leg compression devices that I wore home and will have to wear to sleep in for the next 9 - 10 days.

Wednesday morning before work, I managed to give myself a shallow sponge bath in the tub with my hair tied up and about three layers of plasic wrap around my chest to try to keep it dry. I'm planning to wear my hair tied back all week in a pony tail while I'm at work. I wore an old athletic bra-top, that was probably inadequate support, to work under my turtleneck sweater. It seemed like it would work okay but by the end of the work-day I was experiencing some discomfort. I ended up trading it in for a regular bra to sleep in last night. This morning, I woke up with immediate liquid bowel movements that I hope will cease as soon as everything is empty. I took an Immodium and am hoping for the best result because this is the worse day for GI troubles.

Today is Thanksgiving and I'm planning to make a mushroom tart with some beautiful wild mushrooms I got at the Farmers Market. We are invited to Karen and Bob's house in Greensboro for Thanksgiving. We're also bringing roasted vegetables and braised greens as a last minute thing. MonsterMustDie did not believe the tart and a small batch of sweet white turnips was enough.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

This instead of That

The appointment I had for a biopsy of a cyst became a consultation instead of undergoing the procedure.  Rather than doing a biopsy and afterwards taking out the cyst regardless of what the biopsy shows, they are going with just the removal the cyst. This will be done under general anesthesia and MonsterMustDie has already made arrangements to take the day off to transport me.  That gives them a much better sample than a needle biopsy would, so why do two things instead of one. My doctor told me that he feels confident that it is totally benign but it won't go away on its own and might be a problem later so he wants to remove it.

Friday, November 09, 2018

painful bits

This morning before work, I have an appointment for a needle biopsy on a cyst in my left breast.
Nearly 30 years ago, I had a biopsy followed by a cyst removal in the right breast. Not looking forward to this procedure at all.

Also, my feet and legs hurt more than usual this morning.