Thursday, March 05, 2015

I've found my friend Kassie. She goes by Kathleen, now, but she will always be Kassie with the flowing red hair, to me. We met in 1969-----brought together in an apartment complex in Santa Monica by the extreme circumstances of each of us having a family member who was making history. She, the daughter of the director of the Apollo Space Program, me-- the sister of the first kidney transplant patient at UCLA-St. John's Medical Center. Granted, her historical legacy lives on in much larger way.
She was planting seeds in the planting bed outside of our apartment when I first saw her. This glorious creature with the wavy red hair! Did she tell me she was planting marigolds? I don't remember. But I needed to know this person.

Crazy busy!

What a week this has been so far, and it doesn't look like things will be letting up! I've barely left the house in 3 weeks---just quick trips to the store and one afternoon of "I've got to get out of here" shopping! I've still got a bad case of cabin fever, but I do see light at the end of the tunnel. Roger did a lot of unpacking while I watched on Sunday. I have just been unable to look at all of the boxes without feeling overwhelmed. Now it seems more manageable. However, I'm still just looking at the boxes!
Jan had her surgery on Friday and seems to be recovering nicely. I'm so glad she has Rob there to pamper her. Jan, if you don't know it already, I love ya!
Jan and I also happen to share the same birthday----March 28th. Of course, I am WAY older and not a bit wiser. She sent me a beautiful gift that I will treasure. It's a bowl shaped like a rose and it is GORGEOUS. I plan on displaying it on my dining room table (as soon as I buy a table--lol) Thank you, Jan. I don't know what I'd do without you and Gina and Amy! Honestly, you guys are the best!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

grams to ounces...this will come in handy.

g to oz
provided by www.metric-conversions.org

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What a long strange trip it's been.........

wow. It's been almost a year since I last posted here. And so much has happened!

So...lessee....what's been going on......Aside from going to Colorado for Amy's vow renewal, I haven't done much of anything---but getting to hang out with Amy and Jan was enough fun to last a long time!
There's a lot happening in the near future for me, though... I'm having surgery on my elbow 2 days after Christmas. I'm so looking forward to that. NOT! The incision will run from the middle of my forearm to the middle of my upper arm. I'm having a variaton of an ulnar nerve transpositon.. My incision will be longer than usual because of the amount of damage to the nerve and the necessity of protecting as much of it as possible from future damage. Recovery will take approximately a year and a half....which really sucks, because it's already been over a year and a half since the original damage was done. Three years of not being able to use my dominant hand sort of sucks. But I'm sure I will continue to be a source of amusement for my friends and family-----it's definitely entertaining to watch me try to eat with a fork.
And I've become quite adept at typing with just 2 fingers on my left hand. I can't control a pen or pencil, so that's a good thing.
Aside from surgery, December is going to be a really busy month. I have a shitload of doctor's appointments, including one for some Restylane injections. I was going to have Thermage done as well, but I decided to wait until February for that. Then, of course, the holidays. This year we'll spend Christmas morning with the grandkids and the afternoon with my mom. Ryan will be home from college and I'm looking forward to having the whole family together.
I'm totally looking forward to spring-and my annual trip to Mazatlan. OLĂ‹!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Hi Everyone!

I just want to welcome each and every one of you to the revival of my blog.
 I'm still very limited in the exercise department because of the problems I have with my hand, so no weight-lifting, but I just bought a new treadmill to replace the one I got rid of a couple of years ago (thanks, Jan!). I have bought and sold more gym equipment than I want to admit. I got Rog to give up some of his garage space so I wouldn't have to look at the treadmill in my house, then bought an LCD tv to mount on the wall in the garage. I'm really feeling motivated and totally committed. Bodybuilding was such a huge part of my life for so many years, that it really feels good to get back to ANY kind of workout. Hopefully, surgery on my elbow will restore some of the use to my hand and I'll be able to get back to weights one day. I really didn't want to go through the surgery because of the long recovery time---about a year and a half---and the poor record of success with this type of surgery, but it's the only option left. There's no hurry on the surgery----they usually wait at least a year after the initial injury anyhow to see if the nerve will heal on it's own. It will be a year this week. I don't think I'll be celebrating THAT anniversary!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Gone, but never forgotten

We let Savannah go on Tuesday. It was probably the most difficult thing I've done in my entire life. We took her to her favorite vet, Dr. Joy, who has taken care of her since she was a puppy. Joy had a blanket spread out for her and she died in our arms surrounded by Joy's staff who have been with us on this long ride that has been Savannah's life. I am so sad. Inconsolable, actually. And I really miss my sweet baby.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Savannah.



Savannah's dying. There, I've said it. It doesn't make it more or less real to say it. It is what it is.
The vets all agree. She probably has a brain tumor. That would explain her blindness better than the former diagnosis of Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. SARDS. A devastating thing on its own. But this brain tumor thing is really scary. Now I have to face all kind of questions. How long will she be lucid? Will she lose her ability to walk? Will she lose control of her bowels and bladder? How will it affect her personality? Would she die a painful death without intervention?
This poor dog has suffered her entire life. First with ITP--a horrible immune deficiency disease that kept her on heavy medication for almost a year. Then several bouts with pancreatitis....an offshoot of her ITP. This past summer we thought we finally had it licked. She was in remission from ITP and had just recovered from another bout of pancreatitis that had her in the hospital for a week. She was happy and healthy and enjoying life in general. She loved lying in the sun on our deck and going for long walks around the park. We live in a tiny community---about 8 small blocks of mixed-use construction with condos over quaint, chic, overpriced shops that cater to the wealthy vacationers who visit here in the heart of California wine country----and Savannah has become a favorite of the neighbors and shopkeepers. Some have a handful of "cookies" waiting for her when we visit and most let her in their stores to sniff around. She particularly likes Storybook Station because they keep a rocking chair with a stuffed animal in it out front that Savannah has been using as a landmark since she lost her sight in November. which brings me back to "we thought we finally had it licked". In November, we noticed that Savannah started bumping into a lot of things. She's always been klutzy, but this was different. She also started tripping over curbs and sliding down stairs. After about a week we noticed that her eyes were staying completely dilated all the time and had gone from a beautiful brown to a glowing green. A trip to the doggy opthamologist confirmed our fears. Savannah was totally blind and diagnosed with SARDS. If only that's all it turned out to be.
And now she is dying. She doesn't know it and she's as demanding as ever when it comes to her cookies. But last Friday, she had a grand mal seizure and ended up it in the hospital for the weekend. Roger took her to the doggy neurologist on Monday for a consultation. This morning she had another seizure. Milder this time, but still there. So now a tumor is the suspect. We will not have an MRI done to confirm it, because all of the vets have told us that any tumor large enough to sit on the optic nere and cause blindness, is too deep within her brain to remove.
So today I have spent most of the afternoon on the couch with Savannah's head in my lap. I have considered all of the options and come to a conclusion. I will NOT let this dog ----this wonderful sweet being, who has pulled me through so many tragedies just by sitting by my side---I will NOT let her suffer. It is a waiting game now. We know that we don't have much time left with her. But I will not let this tumor kill her in a long drawn-out painful death. She will die in my arms and will hear me say I love her and will feel my kisses on the top of her head. Daddy will be there, too, because she has always been there for both of us. It seems only fair that we're both there for her. And she'll know that she couldn't have been loved any better.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Mama always said---Keep your elbows off the table!

Okay, right now, while you're using your mouse with your right hand, are you leaning on your left arm? DON'T!!
I learned this the hard way, and I gotta tell you, it's not worth it. Turns out the damage to my hand and arm are caused by a compressd nerve in my elbow, not in my neck. The good news is, I won't be having surgery on my neck. The bad news is, no type of surgery can fix it. I have damaged my ulnar nerve so badly that I have no feeling in my hand and have lost almost all use of my thumb and forefinger. The muscles in my hand have completely atrophied, my pinky and ring fingers are curling under and I have limited use of my arm. Being left-handed, this totally sucks. The only good news is that the middle finger is controlled by the median nerve, not the ulnar nerve, so I am flipping people off all of the time. There's something satisfying about that.
The worst part is that I can do no exercise whatsoever that involves my hand and arm. This includes holding onto handlebars of any kind, so my new rowing machine is in it's folded position, standing in the corner. No longer can I lift weights, use an elliptical machine or bike or anything else I'd like to do in the gym.
The nerve heals at the approximate rate of one inch per month and I have between 16 1/2 and 18 inches to heal. The ulnar nerve runs down the outside of your forearm and hand and then across your hand where it ends in the muscle between your thumb and forefinger. Whatever function I have left in a year and a half, is pretty much all I can expect. Because the damage is so severe, the nerve is not expected to heal all the way to the end and doctors do not expect me to regain full function of my thumb and forefinger. I am not allowed to bend my elbow, so I sleep with my arm Ace-bandaged to a splint. I'm having a brace made for my hand to prevent further contracture of my fingers.
So, unless you want to be a constant source of entertainment for your friends and family (they seem to get a kick out of the way I hold a fork), PLEASE keep your elbows off the table!