I love the December HSA Doctor Tour. I’m clearly lying.


I spent my December seeing as many people with advanced degrees in the medical field as possible. How about you? I think you’re lying. Shame on you.

I spent some quality time in the microwave/claustrophobic tube. This was to check the status of my REDACTED. People, send me your contact info and I’ll add you to my HIPAA forms. Until then, I’ve got to keep some mystery here. I seem to adhere to that same philosophy when it comes to my docs. Read on for more on that madness. *eyeroll* Why those poor advanced-degreed people allow me to continue to step foot in their offices is beyond me. But, as I was saying, I did some time in the MRI/torture device due to my “issues” because I’m flawed genetically. If you’ve ever been here, you know that. You’ve read my stuff. I’m all kinds of flawed. You shouldn’t be surprised that it’s flowing through my DNA like a MOFO.

But despite the fact that it might look like I’m going to tell you about all the doctors I’ve visited on my December (maybe November, too?) tour, I’m actually here to tell you (AGAIN!) about how pathologically pathetic I am when it comes to recounting my medical history to these doctors when all they’re trying to do is help me out with the care and feeding of my physical being and tell you that it’s all because of GENETICS!!

My mother is just as bad about the specifics of medical crap. Which means the fault lies entirely with her. Or my Nana. I adored my Nana. And I adore my mother. So, either way the shade I’m throwing here is causing a little heartburn. But hey, it’s not my fault. It’s theirs. And I can live with that heartburn. As I was sitting with my mother who was kind enough to be my +1 for the MRI procedure. As we waited (AND WAITED) for me to get in the microwave and toast myself to a nice degree of “Eh, this sandwich is edible enough, but I’d prefer it a little warmer,” the two of us giggled ourselves silly over our inability to give any doctor a non-fictional accounting of our medical history.

I told my mother that I usually start with a really good energy. I’m upbeat and positive that this time will be different. I’m caffeine-equipped so I know that I can give the physician the appropriate amount of detail. But then the doctor asks something like, “Have you ever had an operation?” I usually start thinking to myself: “Obviously! I have two kids. They were both C’s. Because the first one was bad. Really bad. He was just not progressing. And then it was an emergency C and the epidural didn’t work and the pain when they cut into m….uh, the doc is starING AT ME!!! YES! TWO!” And then the doubt sinks in as I realize that I’ve been under anesthesia so many times that I’ll almost certainly need to ask for some clarification as to what constitutes an operation. I think to myself, “I had a hair baby.” [Ed. Note: People, please, trust. Don’t ask. Google this shit if you must. Dermoid cyst. Ovary. You’re welcome. Wait. No. I’m sorry. That’s the appropriate response.] The point is that I just shouldn’t be consulted on my own health history. I understand. You’re asking yourself either: A. Who in the hell should be consulted if not YOU!?! or B. WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU THAT YOU CAN’T BE IN CHARGE OF YOUR OWN MEDICAL HISTORY?? To you I say, you’re entirely correct. But I’m a different breed of cat. My problem can be summarized in the definition of the word “history” because I feel that my medical history is best left in the past. YMMV.

The moral of the story (so to speak) is that my mother is built similarly and she’s been running around town giving false or incomplete data to her doctors just as I have. And not in a malicious way. In the “I’m trying to help you but I have nothing for you but a vague recollection of something that happened to either me or an acquaintance” way. I’m so entertained by the knowledge that she and I are going to the medical professionals around this town driving them completely mad with our particular brand of ineptitude. It’s pathetic, but if you look at it in the right way, it can be endearing. You might need a really special brand of lenses.


The School Nurse: Part the Second

I mentioned some weirdness around my kid’s school nurse. And people, the story continues.

My kid noticed the nurse strolling around at recess. She may have been sniffing the air around the kids. I can’t say for certain. I’m guessing she didn’t notice if any of the kids were holding their privates in agony with an obvious need to use the facilities. (That part will make sense in a bit.) The purpose for the nurse’s recess visit became apparent later as the teacher relayed the following message, paraphrased only slightly, if at all:

Just so you know, the nurse would like you to bring deodorant to school, if possible. And if you don’t wear deodorant every day, I suggest you do.

I would like to point out something very interesting. When the kid gets home every day, she has a bladder so full that talk is impossible until the restroom has been visited. Because the kids are only allowed to pee once during the day. Unless it is a DIRE EMERGENCY. Which is when you can beg and plead for the bathroom pass. And you may not be awarded that pass unless it is quite clear that you are about to pull a Kristen Bell and pee in a jar. (I could have used Howard Hughes, but he seemed to be a little more into the urine storage biz.) But, anyway, smelliness will not be tolerated!! Pee on your neighbor if you must, but don’t stink up the air. Pollution of the B.O. variety is expressly prohibited.Your kidneys mean nothing to us. Your bladders may become filled to the brim with urine, and we couldn’t care less. If they (your bladders) resemble giant parade balloons, may the force be with you. Enjoy that bus ride home. But we will not abide the unholy stench of your underarms. You have been warned.

Now, I hear what you’re thinking. No, really. I do. Yes, I’m in your head. You think I’m overreacting. But seriously, these kids can only go to the restroom once a day? What’s up with that? Are they afraid that they are in there throwing some sort of wild party to which only one person is allowed to attend at a time? And if so, do they not realize how very sad such a party would be? I would not want to attend that party. I’m standing there talking to myself? I do that every day. What’s the difference, huh? That’s not a party. That’s everyday life. So, as I was saying very longwindedly, they aren’t allowed to pee (a clear hygiene situation), but oh man, let’s make sure we address any stench that may emanate from their pits after playing on the playground. I think this nurse has a button, and I think we know what it is. I have a hypothesis. I believe that when she was a child, she was Mommie Dearested in a very strange way, and instead of “No wire hangers!” it was “No deodorant!” And so she was tormented by the other kids in school for being the stinkiest kid in all the land. There’s no other possible explanation. [Ed. Note: Yes. There are plenty of other possible explanations. Many of which are even plausible explanations. Let’s go with this one. It’s a touch more imaginative.]

Coccyx. It sounds vaguely vulgar, right?

People let me tell you ’bout my best friend.
It’s a red, rubber donut that’s soothing my bruised tail end.

People let me tell you ’bout it, it’s so crucial.
I’ve used it drivin’ in the car. Livin’ without it seems futile.
‘Cause it’s my best friend.

It’s almost like I’m a savant with the lyrics, huh? You’re singing it to yourself right now, yes? I kid, of course. Most of you haven’t a clue which song that even is aping, and you are the better for it. Those of you that do, you have my sympathies. I can only hope that either this version or the original don’t begin to loop in your head. However, for you loopers, I have a substitute. I’ve been singing this bad boy enthusiastically around the house for 3 weeks. I’d like to say I’ve been receiving standing ovations on the reg. I haven’t received a single one. It’s a jaunty tune. Just substitute red, rubber donut for red, hooded sweatshirt. Feel free to substitute other lyrics as well to make the song more sensical. Reach for the stars, my friends. Also, bonus points if you can get someone to fulfill the Nealon duties. I had to do it myself. With exuberance.

An irritated aside. I just searched up my red, rubber donut and DUDE! They are often called red, rubber invalid rings!! Come ON!

So, I bruised my coccyx. That’s the tailbone. And maybe you’re wondering how I did it. To you I say, that story isn’t getting told here. It’s embarrassing, and it’s only shared on a need-to-know basis. I fervently wish I didn’t need to know. I do know that I bruised my coccyx without being told by a medical professional because it’s impossible not to be issued that information constantly by your coccyx. People, I’ve gotta tell you that the tailbone is one complaining body part. And I guess if someone sat on you whenever they pleased without giving you a heads up first, you’d take great pleasure in whining your ass off when you weren’t feeling up to the task.

As the healing has progressed, I’ll often forget that my tailbone is only on the mend and not fully operational yet, and I’ll go to take a seat. Each time, as my tailbone makes contact, I’ll hear this cry, or utterance, or pained noise issue forth from somewhere, and I’m so busy with the confusion of the searing pain that is beginning to hit my radar that I’m not entirely certain what is happening. So, I’m trying to begin pain assessment and management procedures while also trying to understand where that awful noise is coming from. And then it dawns on me that I’m making that sound. I’m slightly appalled that I’m making this noise that sounds like something an animal might make, but I have to return my attention to pain management because the coccyx has awakened with a roar, and the coccyx is PISSED, you guys.

And you know how this goes, right? I’m, only now, getting to the point of my post. When I was pregnant with my first kid, labor wasn’t going so very well. The doctor came in with a ruler, a compass, a protractor, a calculator, some graph paper, and a very uneasy-looking engineer, and there was a discussion about what things would and would not fit in which places. Look, I’m trying to be as gentle as possible with you guys here. Here’s where it gets interesting. The doctor told us that he could break my coccyx in order to deliver the little dude, and the recovery time would be 3 weeks. PEOPLE!!!!! I am retroactively calling that doctor out on his shit right now. Because that would have been a broken tailbone, instead of the bruised tailbone that I have now. That would have taken a great deal longer than three weeks to heal, since it has taken about three weeks for the bruised one to heal. I’m not great at math, but I’m reasonably certain that broken > bruised. And how fun would that have been with a newborn? I probably don’t need to tell you that we did not go that route.

ICYMI: The cough is back. The first draft of Elton’s song had completely different lyrics, you guys.

I’ve been dispatched to the sick room which is slang in our house for a guest room in any other house that has an extra bedroom available. We don’t seem to have many guests eager to visit, probably because they know us and assume we are a strange and unsettling type of household that’s best avoided for overnight stays. I’ll not address that now. I’m too weak. So this room sits vacant waiting for the next sickie (sicky?) to be sent to its soothing embrace. And it’s been waiting for a long time. But I’m here now. yay….. So, I’ve decided to throw out yet another ICYMI post. I know. I just posted one. And that one had Betty White in it, which is always a good thing and makes up for lots of shortcomings on my part. Betty White is nowhere to be found in this one. I’m sorry. But guess what, this is relevant to my current malady, and I also promise you that my next post will most assuredly be new content. If there are readers out there, that is. If not, Stephanie, I promise I will post new content for you to re-post again next blogversary. yay…..

The sound of silence….cough cough COUGH COUGH

Published on August 7, 2013

I have a cough that arrived without its usual partner, mucus. It was strange, as I’m used to seeing them together, though they arrive in a staggered fashion. A few days ago, I woke up to a throat that cried out for attention. I told it to shut it and ignored it while speaking at my usual decibels and with my usual frequency. Which is a lot. And often unnecessarily. Which explains the eyerolls I see at various times during my impromptu speaking engagements. So, I talked often and loudly instead of gargling with warm salt water. You know they tell you to do that, right? The gargling, that is. And you probably do this because you are smart. I, however, am not so much a brainiac with the cause and effect, so I’ve used the salt water gargle once. The one time I did it, my throat felt much better and healed more quickly. Of course, I’ve never repeated the treatment. This makes sense, n’est-ce pas? The cough arrived soon after my sore throat harbinger of upcoming good times. And it is one of those coughs that is silent for an hour or two, and then makes its presence known in the most annoying way possible. But since I don’t appear to be sick, there’s no obvious misery that I’m suffering to garner me some good will. There is no chance of any – “Well, she is dealing with mucus of massive proportions, so we should probably cut her a small break.” – sympathy to help people deal with the interruptive cough fests I’m hosting. So, I’m just a massive irritant to everyone I’m around since I am just randomly coughing loudly and obnoxiously for no good reason. I look like I’m either trying to get attention, or I’m incapable of swallowing my own spit. Picture this: The scene could be anywhere but the cast of characters includes me and some very unlucky others. People are chatting. Birds are singing. Life is good. All is well. People are smiling. Current conditions: pleasant. Forecast: cough cough cough COUGH COUGH COUGH COUGH cough cough COUGH COUGH cough cough COUGH COUGH cough COUGH COUGH cough COUGH. OH MY GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH THAT FOOLISH WOMAN WHO IS COUGHING HER HEAD OFF BECAUSE SHE CAN’T SWALLOW HER OWN THROAT CONTENTS WHICH CONSIST OF ABOUT ONE GRAZILLIONTH OF A QUARTER TEASPOONFUL OF SPIT.

Ahem, sorry for shouting. I felt I needed to convey the sheer joy that is spending time with me right now. You are welcome.

Public bathroom stalls are in need of a design upgrade. Let’s make them bigger. Who’s with me?

Look, I get that you can’t have stall doors open outward in public bathrooms. At least most of them need to open inward so people don’t get cold-cocked left and right when all they’re trying to do is attend to an errand. You have a bunch of stall doors opening out instead of in, and there’s a bunch of bodies laying there on the tile (EW!!!!) watching little blue birdies twirling ’round their noggin while they try to return their head contents to an unscrambled state. You get your next rush of incoming all stumbling over the inert forms lying here and there. It’s complete madness. I get it. But don’t you think the designers could maybe add an extra foot (or even two), so I don’t have to seriously consider stepping up onto the toilet seat in order to swing the door inward and exit the stall? I’m a germophobe, so I’m already dealing with this  specialty center of germ and bacteria origination and cultivation. In addition to that hurdle, I’m battling a small case of claustrophobia just trying to figure out how to navigate out of the stall. It’s not good is what I’m saying.

I tried to wean off the Topamax. Yeah, that didn’t work so much.

So, I had a brainstorm that involved me breaking up with Topamax. It wasn’t the Topamax. It was me. I just didn’t like the way I felt when I was around the Topamax, etc. and so forth. So, I took Topamax out for a cup of coffee and told it that we were through, and I thought I caught a smirk on Topamax’s cap, but I just assumed that Topamax was feeling confident that it could change my mind during the extensive weaning period. Hey, guess what? Topamax was right. The migraines started to get monstrous when I got down to 1/4 of a pill. Did you read that correctly? Yes, you did. 1/4 OF A PILL!!!! So, I made the climb back up to 1 pill of 25 mg. at which point I very firmly stated, “I’m holding here, Topamax. You got that?” to an empty room because I’m a bit of a nut and decided that the foggy brain was going to be ok if only to avoid the migraines so intense that I was forced to lie in bed and attend multiple very sad pity parties hastily planned by me and which basically amounted to a Gilmore Girls marathon of epic duration and a very, very sullen adult woman scowling at the dark room and grumbling unintelligible words at various intervals.

And now I’m back throwing strange words into conversations that don’t belong in there. Words that my brain has decided to substitute for the correct word. And I’m not sure if it’s the Topamax that I should blame, or my brain. After all, my brain is a bit sassy and enjoys keeping me on my toes. But the Topamax does have a bad rep. Anyway, I’ve landed on placing the blame on my brain with an accusatory finger pointed at the Topamax for the obvious assist. I’ve decided to place a large part of the blame on my brain because it seems that she does this most often when I’ve been a little lax about using her to her fullest potential. So, I’ve decided that she’s either punishing me for not letting her out to play, or she’s just so unbelievably bored that she can’t help herself. She’s so starved for entertainment of some sort that she’s decided to throw bizarrely incorrect words into conversations so she can check out the reaction shots from the people forced to deal with my particular brand of weird.

I’m very happy to report that the most egregious of the recent word substitutions she’s saddled me with have all been showcase items for family members only.

  • The kids asked me what we were having for dinner. Brain: Algebra! And yes, with the emphasis. I WAS just thinking about JT’s algebra class a couple of minutes prior, so that one is slightly more understandable than the next.
  • I was telling my parents about some sort of program offered at a local community college which is NOT called General Sargeant Reynolds as my brain shouted out when the time came but IS called J. Sargeant Reynolds. Nothing explains that one.