Retirement is a week filled with Saturdays and Sundays interrupted only occasionally by a holiday.

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Where’s the Beef?

Hubby loves new and different dining experiences. A few years ago, he came across an ad for a Brazilian barbecue restaurant in the area. If you’ve never had Brazilian barbecue and you’re a meat lover, this is the place for you. Along with a huge array of cold salads and warm side dishes (garlic mashed potatoes, various recipes of rice dishes, soup) all served buffet style, young men dressed in traditional Brazilian cowboy garb come around to the tables with large skewers of various types of beef, pork, chicken, lamb and a number of interesting sausages. If you indicate you’re interested in a particular meat, they will slice you off a piece or slide a sample onto your plate. This goes on throughout your entire dinner…it’s all-you-can-eat…so you can imagine how much food you can ingest over the course of the evening. What’s really nice is that they have a dowel placed on your table. The dowel is painted red on one end and green on the other. When you want to take a break from eating, you can place the red side of the dowel on top and the servers will pass by your table. When you want to continue eating, just turn the dowel upside down with the green side up and the servers will come to your table with even more meat.

Hubby has been bugging me about going for Brazilian barbecue for several weeks. It’s most fun to go with at least one other couple so he has been going through our list of friends trying to pick out the meat eaters. Most of our friends and family are either non-red meat eaters or vegetarians so we have a limited number to choose from. Quite frankly, neither of us are red meat eaters either but, on occasion, we will break our healthy eating pledge and cheat.

Anyway, last night we made plans to have dinner with another couple. They are on our list of red meat eaters and so Hubby decided to make reservations at the Brazilian barbecue restaurant. When he wants to eat somewhere specific, he can be really insistent and the three of us decided to humor him since he looked so pathetic with that battered face of his. So off we went to the restaurant to gorge ourselves…and did we ever! I’m feeling the effects of this meat extravaganza this morning and the only thing I can say about it is “BURP.”

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nurse…Change the Dressing

Hubby continues to heal although, quite frankly, he looked worse yesterday than on surgery day. The tissue around his eye was so discolored and swollen that it hampered his vision and made him look even more bruised than we expected. We called the Dermatology Department and they asked me to bring him in for a look-see. I could tell Dr. Dermatologist was not too happy to see the state of Hubby’s face but he assured us that it was just excessive trauma from the surgery and that the swelling and black and blueness would eventually disappear. OK…I guess I’ll believe him. Some of the swelling has shifted downward to Hubby’s cheek and chin (Doc told us this would probably happen as a result of gravity) so now his face is distorted as well as battered.

Today was my first stab at playing nurse since this was “Change the Dressing” Day. I removed the bandages, had Hubby soak the area in a combination of warm water and vinegar (doctor’s instructions), applied Polysporin to the wound, cut and placed new bandages on the area and then taped it up. I had to do this a few times until I got just the right amount of bandage and tape since his darn eye kept getting in the way. OK…this is one of the many reasons I chose not to go into medicine as a career. While blood and gore don’t faze me at all, I cannot seem to master the very basics of medical care…bandaging and taping. Part of this has to do with being “scissor impaired” and some of it has to do with my self-diagnosed lack of depth perception. We have two more weeks of these daily dressing changes so maybe, by the end, I will be able to do it in one take. Here’s hoping…

Thursday, April 26, 2007

My Husband Looks Like Quasimodo

I’ve now spent two days in a waiting room of a hospital. Yesterday was my friend’s cardiac surgery; today it was my husband’s surgery turn. Hubby has had bouts of skin cancer for several years (thanks to his years as a long distance runner) and today was a scheduled surgery to remove yet another lesion from his face…on the side of his nose this time.

We got there at 8:30AM , checked-in and sat in the Dermatology waiting room until he was called in…just about the time my sister Lynn arrived to keep me company. The MOHS surgery involves digging out the lesion, looking at the layers under a microscope to determine if the bottom layer is free of cancer cells and, if not, going back in and continuing to dig until all affected layers of skin are removed. The entire procedure took approximately two hours and Lynn and I could hear everything that went on since we were across the hall and they had the door to the surgical room wide open. I even took a couple of quick glances in just to see what was going on. Fascinating…

When the surgery was done, I got a lesson from the nurse on how to change the dressing which will need to remain covering the wound for two weeks…until Hubby’s post-op appointment. I was given a sheet of paper with the instructions for wound care and both Lynn and I were puzzled. Here is the title of the instructions:

POST SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS (for patients granulating)

OK…we were confused. What the heck does “granulating” mean? Isn’t that something you do to sugar? Huh? As a former librarian, I couldn’t leave this question unanswered so, when I got home, I actually looked up the definition online. Here is the medical definition:

Granulate: intransitive verb, medicine, form healing
tissue: to form granulation tissue over a wound

So now we’ve all learned a new word.

Anyway, Hubby looks like he’s done 10 rounds in a boxing ring. He has this huge dressing covering his nose and cheek; the skin below his left eye is all swollen and discolored and the vision in that eye is hampered by a swollen lower lid. Hopefully all this trauma will disappear quickly and he will return to looking like himself. Until then, his own description of his face is that he looks like Quasimodo…or at least Charles Laughton’s portrayal of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grandma's Good News

As some of you know, Joey's Grandma was scheduled for a cardiac procedure today to stop the racing heartbeat episodes she's been having. Hubby and I arrived at the hospital even before the patient and waited for the family to arrive. When they entered the Heart Institute, Grandma was checked in and then we were escorted into the hospital waiting area while they took her into the pre-op room. We were all permitted to see her for a few minutes before the procedure to wish her well. The actual surgery took approximately two hours and we were so relieved when the nurse finally came out and announced that it was over and that everything had gone exactly as planned. Yeah!!!

After a four hour post-op stay in the hospital, Joey's Grandma was released and she is now home recovering. We are all so thankful that we live in an era when medical advances have ended the need for invasive surgeries and long hospital stays.

I want to thank all of you for your thoughts and prayers...they obviously worked.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Votes Are In

Thanks to all of you who voted in the “Exercise or Read” poll from yesterday. Well, the votes have been tallied and it looks like it’s a landslide win for the treadmill. Now for the actual events at the Y on Sunday.

For those of you who voted for the treadmill, let me be honest and tell you that you are mostly correct. When I got to the Y and had those pangs of guilt, I went into the locker room and stuffed my book, purse and sweatshirt into the little locker I rent. So you don’t think that I was parading around the Y in my underwear, I was actually wearing a T-shirt and jeans. I had to ask one of the young men who works at the Y to re-activate my computer log-in number because it had been months since I last checked in. Once that was taken care of, I hopped on a treadmill and began to walk at a fairly quick pace. Since I was wearing my street clothes and wasn’t prepared to shower afterwards, I hit the Cool Down button on the treadmill after 15 minutes and did an additional 3 minutes at a continually slower pace.

So all in all, I walked 18 minutes on the treadmill and I’m darn proud that I actually did some form of exercise…even if it was only half my goal.

Monday, April 23, 2007

To Treadmill Or Not

A few days ago I made the momentous decision to get back to my cardio exercise regimen, which I’ve been neglecting for months, at our local YMCA. Since I only seem to be able to start these kinds of things at the beginning of a week, I chose yesterday (Sunday) as my first day to go to the Y for a 30 minute walk on one of the treadmills. It seemed like a good idea at the time and Hubby was so excited to hear me commit to an exercise program. Okay…so things don’t always work out the way you plan.

Saturday evening, my sister Lynn called and asked me if I could wait on line at one of the chain electronics stores early Sunday morning so that I could have the privilege of buying a much desired Wii for my niece and nephew. Mind you…I was merely the surrogate purchaser…the kids pooled their savings to buy this new addition to their game console collection but they had a Sunday morning commitment so I was chosen as their substitute. Knowing how much they wanted this item and knowing this would be the perfect excuse for missing that appointment with the treadmill, I agreed and did as they asked.

Once the Wii was in the trunk of my car, I was faced with a dilemma. The YMCA is located on the street just behind the shopping center lot I was parked in and I knew Hubby was still at the Y working out. So what should I do? After a few minutes of back and forth negotiating with myself, I drove on over to the Y and went inside. Here were all these members busily working out and I began to have guilt pangs especially when Hubby walked up all hot and sweaty from his workout which was still not complete. What was I to do...wait for him in the lobby reading my book or actually take off my sweatshirt and get on a treadmill? Hmmmm…this was hard.

So…what do you think I did?

Saturday, April 21, 2007

A Friend In Need

Last night we went out to dinner with our longtime friends…Hubby’s grandgodson Joey’s Grandpa and Grandma. Grandma is having cardiac surgery next week and I could tell by the look of worry on her face that this is weighing heavily on her mind. Apparently, as the cardiologist explained it recently, Grandma has an extra “electrical junction box” in her heart which causes an extremely rapid heartbeat intermittently. The rapid heartbeat episodes have been far between and short in duration until recently when she experienced one for several hours. This led Grandma to her regular doctor who, in turn, referred her to a cardiologist specializing in the electrical components of the heart.

On Wednesday, the “electrician cardiologist” will use a sophisticated instrument to go in through the shoulder or groin to find the nerves which are causing the rapid heartbeat and zap them. Hopefully this procedure will permanently fix the problem so that Grandma can go on with her life without any more rapid heartbeat episodes or restrictions. The procedure is done as Day Surgery so hopefully Grandma will be able to go home late in the afternoon with an expected recovery time of a week.

I hope everyone will keep Joey’s Grandma in their thoughts and prayers as she undergoes this surgery on Wednesday and then through her recovery. She’s a wonderful friend who deserves only the best.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Is This New Math?

This afternoon Hubby and I were driving home after a 120 mile round trip to a lumberyard (that’s a whole other story) when we started reminiscing about our Alaskan cruise and land tour last year. We were talking about all the really interesting things we did when we finally got to our last excursion. It was an evening raft trip down a river outside of Fairbanks. Here’s a photo…can you believe it was 10:00PM?

Anyway, we started talking about the creatures we saw on the float including some really cute but shy beavers. When I asked Hubby if he remembered how many of them we saw, his response was “a couple of three.” Huh… what the heck does that mean? I was under the impression the word “couple” refers to the number two but now I’m confused. Did he really mean two beavers; were there 3; did he mean 6 (2x3)? I didn’t ask him to clarify…I was too stupefied at the time. So…what do you think? How many beavers did we actually see?

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Happy National Library Week

Yes…this week we celebrate National Library Week when librarians celebrate themselves and the work they do. And no…I haven’t received one greeting card wishing me congratulations and I’m just sure it’s because everyone has so much to do that they’ve forgotten to visit their favorite Hallmark store to buy me a card. Oh wait…that’s right…no one sells Happy National Library Week cards.

Each year the Library I worked for and continue to work for as a returning retiree celebrates the week by offering a series of programs for adults and children in our various community libraries AND by organizing a Library Breakfast for staff. That’s where I’ve been today…eating breakfast with my fellow Library employees. Now before you think that library staff is spending public money to be treated to a breakfast meal in one of the reception rooms at a local country club, be aware that all library staff are expected to pay for their breakfast. This year’s cost…$20. Yep! That's an awful lot of money for the opportunity to pat yourself on the back.

I haven’t attended a Breakfast for years. I should mention that each year one or more well known authors come to the event to eat and speak about their experiences as an author. Authors I’ve heard speak at past Breakfasts include Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Olivia Goldsmith, and the late Alex Haley (who drew a huge crowd and was an exceptional speaker). This year’s guest was T. Jefferson Parker, well known author of crime and mystery books and, although he turned out to be an entertaining speaker, he was not the reason I chose to attend this year. To be honest, the only reason I went was to sit and visit with two friends from work…and to see former coworkers who come together on this one day to visit with friends, trade good and bad library stories and, of course, to gossip. Yep…that was surely worth $20.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So Now I’m Old Too

Earlier today I was feeling fat and out of shape; now I’m also feeling old. This morning I commented on Patti’s Late Bloomer Boomer blog about a posted photo of two young boys which appears to have been taken in the 1950’s. My very clever comment (OK…I thought it was clever) referred to the two boys as Spin and Marty. So…here’s the sad part…Patti admitted to me that she had no idea what that reference was all about and my sister, later in the day, also claimed to have no knowledge of Spin and Marty. How can this be? Here...take a look at Spin and Marty:

So…do you recognize them? “Spin and Marty” were actually characters in a Disney mini-series which was telecast on episodes of the Mickey Mouse Club. Please tell me you at least remember the Mickey Mouse Club. Anyway...Marty Markham (played by David Stollery) was a rich, spoiled orphan who came to the Triple R Ranch, a boy’s summer camp. There he met up with Spin Evans (played by dreamy Tim Considine), the most popular and athletic boy at the camp. Starting off as enemies, they eventually became friends and set off on a series of adventures. Does any of this sound even remotely familiar? Am I the only one ancient enough to remember this series? Am I really that much older than all of you?

Which Way to the Y

I’m sitting here in front of my computer this morning feeling blah…and guilty. I keep looking at my Ireland trip counter realizing it is now less than two months away and I have done absolutely nothing to get myself in shape and to lose the few extra pounds I’ve managed to find recently. Okay…it’s more than just a few and, to be honest, I’ve found them over the course of several years. These were the two goals (get fit and lose weight) I set for myself when we booked this trip a few months ago.

Today would be the perfect day to start an exercise regimen. Hubby is getting ready to go off and play golf so he won’t be there egging me on…I know he means well but his role as my designated exercise “coach” (his designation, not mine) makes me nuts. Tuesdays are usually less busy at our YMCA so I could go, probably find a treadmill to use without waiting forever, and there shouldn’t be lines of folks waiting for the weight machines either. Also, now that spring break is over, the locker room shouldn’t be overrun with kids milling around.

So…with all these reasons staring me in the face, why am I not putting on my exercise clothes, packing my gym bag and getting ready to drive on over to the Y? Oh…could it be I’m just an unmotivated, middle-aged woman with no willpower? Yeah…that might be it!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

You Earn How Much?!?!?!

So, in today’s newspaper (yes, I’m still reading our newspaper), the Parade magazine insert has their annual “What People Earn” report. I always find this little salary roundup fascinating although it is clearly stated that the report is not a scientific study. That’s OK with me…I’m not interested in some dry, detailed report with tables of statistics and colorful graphs. I’m just curious to see what people around the country are being paid for their hard work.

Immediately, my eyes find the famous faces spread throughout the article. Let’s see…Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, earns $212,100 while Ryan Seacrest (yes, Mr. American Idol) earns $12 million. Okay…I’m sure Mr. Seacrest earns every penny of that $12 million with his radio show in Los Angeles and all of his various TV hosting gigs while Mrs. Pelosi only has that one job in Washington D.C. Of course, along with Mr. Seacrest, there are several other celebrities and sports stars listed in the $1 million-and-then-some club so I shouldn’t really pick on poor Ryan.

And then there are all the “regular folk” who are listed from around the country, working in a variety of industries and occupations. As always, my eyes look through the photos of happy workers trying to locate the Librarian. Invariably, there is someone from my former career listed each year and I am always curious to see where my fellow Librarian lives and what his or her annual income is. This year it’s a Children’s Librarian from Buford, Georgia and her annual income is $30,700. Is that ALL??? I’m assuming this poor woman has a Master’s degree (yes, you need a Masters degree to be hired for most librarian positions) and is working in one of the most challenging positions in a public library. I should know…I spent my first four “professional” years as a Children’s Librarian and I know exactly how much time and effort it takes.

It’s when I turn the page that I become even more horrified. Listed is a gentleman from Crofton, Maryland who earns $47,000 as a Doughnut Fryer. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m sure this gentleman has specialized skills in his chosen occupation and I’m fairly certain the cost of living in Crofton, Maryland is much higher than in Buford, Georgia. But it pains me to know that a Doughnut Fryer earns significantly more than a Children’s Librarian. It just doesn’t seem fair.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dumbing Down the Newspaper

This morning I woke up with a brain-squeezing headache so this will be brief. I did manage to drag myself to the kitchen table thinking a good cup of coffee might help make the pain go away so I sat with my cup and the morning newspaper. Normally I only breeze through the paper since, like most people these days, I seem to rely on the Internet and cable TV to stay informed. Today, as always, I was skimming the first section of the paper when my eyes fell upon the Op-Ed page. And what do I see…an editorial on Sanjaya and “American Idol.” Excuse me…this is supposed to be a highly regarded major metropolitan newspaper. Why in the world is the editorial staff focused on the fortunes of some young, marginally talented pop star wannabe? Aren’t there more serious events and actions taking place in the world that deserve to be discussed? Is it time to cancel my newspaper subscription? I’m beginning to think so...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Bill Paying Frenzy

I was sitting in front my computer a little while ago mulling over what to write as my next post. I’ve been suffering writer’s block the past few days so I thought I might look at some sites with cool graphics to see if I could find some inspiration. I found some inspiration alright but it has nothing to do with any graphics or anything else on the Internet.

When I came home this afternoon after running chores, the mail was in the mailbox so I brought it in, took a quick look at it and then placed it on our bed while I came over to the computer to check my blog and blogroll. When Hubby came home, he made his way into the kitchen to grab a bowl of cereal. I casually mentioned that the mail had come including the credit card bill which had the rather large final payment for our June Ireland tour. I should have known better. Immediately he ran for his checkbook and, before I knew it, he was writing the check, filling in the payment coupon and placing it all in front of me at the computer so I could check it over before sealing it in the envelope. I was annoyed. Here I was busily searching the Web for blog ideas and he expected me to stop everything, look at the documents, and then place everything in the envelope so it could be mailed tomorrow morning. I told him I’d get to it when I was done on the computer (geez, it won’t be mailed until tomorrow) but that wasn’t satisfactory. In fact, Hubby quite bluntly told me that taking care of the bill was far more important than anything I was doing on the computer. So we had a little tiff and, the Drama Queen that I am, I stormed out of the den into the bedroom where I crawled into bed to pout for a while.

Hubby and I have been together for 24 years and I know a thing or two about his OCD so I really shouldn’t be surprised by all this. He has this thing about our bills (particularly very large ones) needing to be paid the minute they arrive. It drives him crazy when I take our bills and put them in a very special place I have until I’m ready to pay them. I check this bill holder every day so our bills are never late…never! But that doesn’t stop him from worrying about them until he sees them in the envelope ready to be mailed. Yes, I know this is just a little thing and, knowing how much it upsets him, I should just pay the darn things when they come but sometimes it just isn’t convenient at that moment.

Oh great, now he’s standing over me staring at the payment coupon, check and envelope making me nuts. Okay already, I’ll look at the darn things and put them in the envelope. Done! Happy?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Tower of Words

Blogging is killing my brain cells. Oh, don’t get me wrong…using my creative skills (or at least typing skills) to continually write posts is certainly keeping at least some portions of my brain working. But yesterday I suddenly realized that I have not picked up a book to read in weeks. That’s right…it’s been weeks since I’ve thought about my most favorite hobby. Mind you…that hasn’t stopped me from buying books (I have two new paperbacks still sitting in the small plastic bag from the bookstore) and it hasn’t stopped my friend from sharing two new hardback mysteries with me. So I have this stack of new and some older books to read near my bed and it continues to grow taller and taller. It looks like the game Jenga where you keep placing wooden blocks on top of each other to see how many can be added before the tower comes crashing down. And even though I’m now aware of my sudden lack of reading and the growing stack of books, notice what I’m doing at this moment. Do I have my nose in a book? Oh no…I’m blogging about reading…how sad is that?

Monday, April 9, 2007

A Slow Cooking Mind

I will be the first to tell you that I am not a Domestic Goddess. Somehow I must have missed that training when I was growing up because the kitchen is my least favorite room in the house. When Hubby and I met, I was relieved to discover that he loved to cook and, more importantly, he did it very well. He’s the type of chef who can take a recipe, tweak it to his own liking and then prepare it to perfection. Me? I can read and follow a recipe if I’m forced to but it never quite looks or tastes like the original so I basically let Hubby do the cooking. Me? I did learn how to wash dishes (thanks Mom) and, since we currently have a non-working dishwasher, I’m the designated clean-up person.

So…how amusing is it that on Saturday, while I was at our local Big Box Warehouse, I found a small kitchen appliance that I’ve been wanting forever. What is it…it’s a slow cooker…AKA a crockpot. My mom had one for years and, although neither my sister nor I wanted it when we cleaned out Mom’s apartment when she moved in with Sis, the two of us have been talking about it ever since. I immediately called Sis from the store and proceeded to purchase two…one for each of us. Here’s what it looks like and isn’t it beautiful?

Okay...that's not our dinner colorfully sitting in the pot all ready for us to savor...I admit's an ad. My new slow cooker is still sitting in its box on the dining room table calling my name. Hubby insists that I’m responsible for using it so now I have to go in search of recipes. We’re not really red meat eaters so I’m thinking chicken or vegetarian dishes are what I want and they need to be easy ones…you know the kind…a few ingredients just plopped into the cooker without much fuss or muss. That much I can do…maybe.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

I’m Afraid of My Hairdresser

OK…I admit it…I’m intimidated by my hairdresser and I know I’m not the only woman who is scared to say anything negative when they’re unhappy after an unfortunate hair experience. Why is it we won’t complain or even say anything when we get a bad cut or lousy color? Why do we simply accept what we get, walk out of the salon and then go home and grouse to our husbands, boyfriends, children, siblings, and girlfriends? Why are we such cowards?

Can you tell I had a terrible hair appointment today? My mom and I went to our longtime stylist to get haircuts and I was also scheduled to get a blond highlighting weave. I knew we were in trouble when my stylist, Hairdresser “L”, told me she would do my weave first but then she would have to cut another client’s hair before cutting Mom’s. Apparently Hairdresser “L” was having problems getting the woman’s hair to process so she was still under the dryer. So “L” begins putting in my highlights and foils. After finishing the top and left side, she pauses and tells me she needs to check on her other client’s progress and she’ll be “right back.” So I wait and wait and wait. When I look, I see “L” washing the client’s hair and this process takes 10 minutes. All this time, half my head has color on it which is obviously processing while the other half remains untouched. This can’t be good.

“L” finally returns, colors and foils the rest of my head and puts me under the dryer to process. Several minutes later, she returns and takes me over to the sink to wash and condition my hair. As she takes out the foils, I hear this audible little “oh” come from her mouth…this really can’t be good. Suddenly she offers to do some kind of “shine treatment” to make up for having me wait so long. Now…she’s made us wait lots of times before without offering us any little perks so I’m thinking this really, really can’t be good. I decline the offer and we proceed to her station. When she finishes the cut and starts blow drying it, I begin to get really concerned. Instead of the beautiful golden highlights I’m used to seeing, I see nearly white blond highlights on the top and left side. Duh…these are the sections which were highlighted 10 minutes earlier than the rest. I look like someone with salt and pepper hair…in other words, I look old!

When I point out the nearly white streaks to her, she tries to make excuses telling me she probably just highlighted too many sections and it will fade with time. When I put my head in my hands trying to contain my anger, she finally knows she’s gone too far and promises to make things right. So she puts some reddish brown goop in my hair, makes me sit there for another 5-10 minutes, washes it out and then blow dries my hair for a second time.

So what does it look like? It looks like I haven’t done anything to it. Instead of having the beautiful golden blond highlights I was expecting, it looks like I have flat light brown hair. She promises me it will lighten up after two washings but now I’m worried that it will lighten back up to the salt and pepper look. And what does she charge me for this mess? She has the nerve to charge me full price for the cut and highlighting…that’s right, not one penny less than I normally give her. And what I’m most upset about is that I was so intimidated that, not only did I write the check for the full amount, I actually gave her a tip! I’m so ashamed. Like I said, I’m a spineless coward and I’m not proud of it!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

The Little List Maker

Okay…Hubby and I just made the final and, might I say, scarily large payment for our June trip to Ireland. I guess this means we’re really going and the countdown ticker at the top of my blog stays put until the big day! Oh boy, oh boy…now the fun begins. The first order of business is to find my Alaska packing list file from last year so I can begin to modify it. I’m a big “list maker” which helps me remain calm as departure day gets closer...I guess, in my own way, I’m a little OCD when it comes to traveling. I keep checking things off my list as they get put into the great big “trip” pile on my dining room table. In theory, this means I won’t forget anything when it’s time to shovel it all into our suitcases just before the big day. Now…what does one wear in Ireland in June? Hmmm.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Good Day, A Happy Blog

In re-reading some of my posts from the past week or so, I realize how depressing my life has sounded recently. And I guess, with all the turmoil lately, I have been rather down and depressed. So I am happy to report that things seem to have taken a turn for the better and now I’m all smiles again.

Today I decided that Hubby and I should visit Joey (Hubby’s grandgodson) who is still staying with Grandma. We picked the perfect time to arrive. Joey had just finished napping and was alert, happy and ready to play. He seemed to really like the toy cell phone we brought him as a replacement for the real TV remote which he has taken a shine to. Apparently he loves pushing buttons so we decided that a toy cell phone was better than freezing the real TV which he managed to do at home a few weeks ago. The toy phone, like everything else, spent much of the afternoon in Joey’s mouth. A friend of ours came by to visit Joey and Grandma followed shortly by Joey’s aunt. It was a great few hours and I really think it helped distract Hubby from his vascular ultrasound test that was scheduled for later in the day.

After our visit with Joey, we went directly over to the HMO for Hubby’s test. We were nearly 45 minutes early but they managed to take Hubby within 15 minutes of arriving…how’s that for good service! The test took only a few minutes and the technician gave Hubby the good news right then and there…no blockage, no anomalies, everything flowing really well. Whew…one less thing to worry about!

So all in all it’s been a wonderful day and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the good times will continue for a very long time.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Spots Before His Eyes

Today was supposed to be a nice quiet Sunday. We started off at our local Starbucks to pick up our lattes before heading off to the golf course for our monthly golf lessons. As we left the store, Hubby mentioned that he was suddenly looking through a sea of black spots in his right eye. Black spots are not unknown to him since he suffered a vitreous detachment a few years ago but he seemed to be more than a little concerned at the number of floaters he was seeing.

We made it to the golf course but I could tell he was really worried so I took it upon myself to cancel the lessons and drive him to our HMO. We arrived at Urgent Care and then proceeded to wait and wait until he was finally called in more than an hour after arriving. And then I had the “pleasure” of waiting for more than an hour in the waiting room until I finally decided to ask to be let in to the “inner sanctum.” I found my husband in an exam room waiting for the ophthalmologist to arrive. Apparently the Urgent Care doctor called in a specialist to have a look although he was pretty sure the floaters were just that. During the initial exam, however, the doctor did discover a “murmur” while checking Hubby’s carotid artery and decided that Hubby should undergo a vascular ultrasound to determine whether there was a blockage in the artery…oh swell…something else for us to worry about.

When the eye doctor finally arrived, we all traipsed up to the Ophthalmology Department to do the actual exam with all the fancy specialized equipment. The Urgent Care doctor (who is actually one of the Geriatrics doctors that my mom has seen) came along because he decided it would be a good time to learn the specifics of an eye exam (he is such a character). The good news is that my hubby is just suffering more of the vitreous detachment and there is no sign of any retinal involvement…whew!

Urgent Care Doc, Hubby and I then went back downstairs so that the doctor could see if he could arrange to have the vascular ultrasound done while we were there. I had to laugh at his optimism…did he really think there was someone there on a Sunday to do such a specialized procedure? Anyway, as expected, we were told that we would be hearing from someone within the next 3 days to schedule the procedure.

So after our four hour "adventure" in Urgent Care, Hubby is home fretting about his carotid artery and I’m exhausted. Am I worried...only a little. If I remember my physiology correctly, a blockage of the carotid artery is often the result of hypertension, high cholesterol and the buildup of “sludge” inside the walls of the artery. Hubby’s blood pressure has always been in the normal range and his cholesterol level is naturally low. His regular physician has always marveled at how healthy he is. In fact, the doctor keeps telling him that he’ll live to be 120 years old. I’ll just be glad when he has his test and gets the results so he can stop driving himself crazy with worry.