Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sooooo, last week my darling James and I were doing a lil last minute Christmas shopping. Who am I kidding?  We were doing ALL of the Christmas shopping last week, but whatever. We happened to amble on into our local Big Lots looking for some goodies. Shortly after our arrival, we had a reenactment of the epic Luke and Vadar light saber battle in the rolled wrapping paper isle, complete with sound effects,  which earned us the deep reproachful stares of two old hags who definitely needed to loosen the pins in their updone buns. Pah! Like that's going to bother me.  Okay, well it did irritate me some. I mean it's not like we didn't pick up all the bows we scattered down the isle during the scene where James Skywalker loses his arm. And when Darth Mom said in her best Vadar voice "Shhhkkkkaaaa.... James...... Shhhhhhka...... I am your maaaaaathaaa, Shhhhhhka", James delivered a well placed smack upside my head, dropped his wrapping paper saber and split down the isle, skidding around into the toy isle where he was safe, all while emitting a scream that would make MaCauley Cullkin sit up and take note.  But hey! It's Christmas. And we're really immature.  So Neener Neerer Nee Nee.  

After the old bittys moved on we threw some of the paper sabers and bows in our cart and continued along. We did a bit more shopping and tried to behave ourselves with a good bit of success for the rest of our excursion through the store ( mostly because my ear was still smarting from James clobbering me with his wrapping paper sword). Well, that is until James spotted an end cap display of figurines that happened to have several "horses" in various gallant poses scattered among the shelves.  At this exact moment, the two beehive divas just happened to be strolling out of the isle nearest the end cap when James exclaimed ...  Well you might need to know that James has pretty moderate hearing loss in both ears and when he speaks he is pretty good at making himself heard. But when James is excited, people in Jamaica can hear him..... Now back to the "horses".....  Grouchy heifers were coming out of the isle when James, approximately 5 feet from the isle exclaims in his best, I'm wearing super serious headphones with my music cranked up into Motley Crüe decibel range, voice volume shouts "hey Mom, look there (pointing toward both horses and hags) ...Hores!!!!!  Let me make this perfectly clear, between James's hearing loss and his mild speech impediment, his exclamation of "horses" came out as a very clear  and resounding "whores".  Now, I usually have an inner debate with myself when this sort of thing happens on how to deal with it. I frequently try to finesse a reply that let's people who might hear our exchanges know what innocent thing James was trying to express, without tipping James off that he may have spoken incorrectly, ie: "Yes James, Those are some pretty horses". 

Without so much as batting an eye I replied "yup son, I see them" and we turned away and headed for the checkout line. I'm sure that those women called a special emergency prayer meeting for James that night.  I wonder if my photo is hanging somewhere in one of the local country clubs with a few darts stuck in it?  :o)  

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Shopping Cart of Death....

My darling James accompanied me to the commissary today to help get groceries. Since I hadn't been in quite some time, I anticipated a very long trip.  I really hate grocery shopping, but I also didn't think I could pull together dinner from ketchup, an onion and Chips Ahoy.  Well, actually I probably could have, but no one else would have been okay with it, but me.  So off we went.  After traversing 6 or 7 isles of the store, our severely undersized shopping cart was full.  There were two choices, 1. buy what fit in one cart and try to manage making dinner from laundry soap, paper towels, shampoo, zip lock baggies, and other mostly non-food items.  (I always get food last so it doesn't get squished under the other stuff or warm while I finish shopping) or 2. Get another cart. 

So, against my better judgment we went and fetched ourselves another shopping cart.   I carefully explained to James the finer points of cart driving and instructed him on the four main laws of buggy safety.  1. Don't run over mom's heels.  2.  Don't run over anyone else's heels  3. Don't knock down any displays that Keesler might make mom pay for.  4. See Rule #1.   So I give him the empty cart and tell him to stay behind me, but not too close.  NOT. TOO. CLOSE.  To my joyous surprise, James maneuvered the cart very well.  He said “excuse me” to nearly everyone who got in his way and he only said “move it” to two people.  And to one of those I had to mentally applaud since it was the rude skeeze who rushed into the companion bathroom just ahead of James and I shortly after we arrived at the commissary, by herself.  But that rant is for another day.  We managed to traverse several isles, with no ill events and my confidence in James’ cart maneuvering abilities was blooming into down right pride.  I thought to myself, “Wow, he’s growing up.  How nice is it that your youngest child is finally mature enough to genuinely help with the shopping.  Yes Alex, I will take ‘Great Mom Moments” for the win”!    

But, if you know me at all, you know that this would be the exact moment when karma likes to treat me to a valuable free life lesson.  Today’s lesson was as follows:  “Woman who turns her back on a zealous child pushing a shopping cart for the first time, will soon be limping and angry”. 

No sooner had I smiled in pride at my son’s mad buggy skills, did he get a little hitch in his giddyup and slammed into my heels, as I leaned over to get a package of chicken breasts out of the meat cooler, doing mach 76.  (I might be exaggerating a little there.  It may have only been mach 52, but it felt like mach 76).

And here is the point where I exhibited my superior parental skills because I was somehow able to hold in the string of extreme profanity which was flashing through my brain like a 150 foot neon electronic billboard.  Words that I’m not sure I even know the definition of were swirling around in my head.  They might not have even been real words.  I’m certain that my face first blanched sheet white, then heated to tomato red, as my body reacted to the immense restraint I was exhibiting by holding my tongue.  After all, there were many people standing well within ear shot and I wouldn’t want to embarrass James by drawing attention to his error.  No.  At that moment, I would have much preferred to drag him behind the broccoli stand and beat him with the asparagus bunches.  But I did neither of these things.  Instead, I limped a few feet off to the side, more out of the sight and hearing of the other patrons and turned to James, who incidentally was now 8 feet behind me, and calmly said “Come here son.  Sloooowly.”  And not surprisingly, he did approach slowly, however; I think it was his self preservation instinct that had kicked in, and not because he was being particularly obedient.  I leaned in close to his face and in the quietest voice I could muster, said “Son, you have been doing a great job pushing the cart, but when you just rammed my heels at 36 mph, I honestly saw stars, and I might have glimpsed Jesus too.”  He thought that was funny.  But my goal wasn’t to amuse him.  My goal was to unequivocally discourage him from EVER EVER EVER doing it again.  I harnessed my inner saint and resisted the asparagus beating and the crying fit I was tempted to have and just let it go with my calm reminder that running over mom’s heels was categorically and unequivocally prohibited.  And then we went over the four main rules again, just to be thorough. 

As we limped on, I, having learned my lesson well, thank you karma, you freaking heifer, made certain that James and his offending cart were ahead of me or next to me, when possible.  For the rest of the shopping trip, James’ buggy managed to stay clear of my heels and our last stop was the deli for some ham.  When we rolled up to the deli, James had managed to maneuver behind me again, and at the last minute, my “fight or flight” senses kicked in and I stepped to the side of my cart, just as James, who was ogling the deli selections, slammed into my cart hard enough to send it careening into the banana stand.  As a wave of pure adrenaline surged through my system, I felt a sensation that is probably shared by folks who have very nearly missed being mowed down by a steam roller.  I would say that karma may have had pity on me, but we all know that heifer doesn’t roll that way.  I think what may have happened is when I saw Jesus earlier, he took notice of my uncharacteristic lack of rage and profanity and he gave me a little loving nudge to preserve my back side from a second drone attack.   Thank you, Jesus.  I love you too.  And thank you James for assuring that my life will never lack for excitement.


Moral of this story is, I am revoking all of James’ shopping cart privileges until his father accompanies us on a grocery run.  I will give them each a cart then stand back and watch the fun. 

One of the many Lindsey stories.....

Just a rehash of a spring 2012 Facebook post.

I was just sitting here watching TV with James and a commercial came on about Dr. Suess.  It reminded me of my favorite books growing up.  Lindsey is always sharing the..... um.... odd things that darling Maizie Moo does so I thought I would share the memory that popped up during the Dr. Suess commercial in hopes it might shed a little light for Lindsey about where Maizie may have gotten her proclivity for eccentricity.

When I was a child (a million years ago apparently) I was a voracious reader.  (One of the few things about me that hasn't changed in the last million years)  My mother, being the wonderful woman that she is, ordered for me, a subscription to the Dr. Suess Book of the Month club.  Once a month I would get a box with TWO, yes that's right TWO large Dr. Suess books!  Nothing could have made me happier as a child.  These were books like Yertle the Turle, McGelliots Pool, The Sleep Book, Scramble Eggs Stupendous and If I Ran the Zoo, Etc.  I LOVED these books!!!  Loved them.  Did I mention that I LOVED these books?

So when I ignorantly got engaged at 17 and married at 18 and then pregnant with Linz who was born when I was 19… (yes, in that order and no I wasn’t known for my ability to make smart decisions) I left the books in Cincinnati with my parents for safe keeping.  We all know that ‘traveling with the military’ and ‘cherished possessions’ do NOT mix.   However, when my little angel turned 3 and had demonstrated a deep love of reading and books I asked my mother to unearth the books for me to bring back home to our house in Auburn, where we were to be stationed for THREE WHOLE YEARS!!! WooHoo!  I carefully packed them on one of our trips home to see Mom and Dad and carted my most prized childhood possessions back to Auburn and promptly unpacked them and neatly stacked them into the newly acquired bookshelf in Lindsey’s room.   I stood back and looked at them and sighed.  The books had come full circle.  First read by me and now by my daughter and someday, perhaps, by her own daughter.  Yes, I was tickled pink to have the books again.  That night I put Linz to bed and read several of the cherished books to her before she fell asleep.  The next day Lindsey spent most of the day in her room “reading” and playing.  Or so I thought.  Yes, I was about to learn a very valuable lesson.    Any possessions that I truly love and cherish should be treated one of two ways: 1. Leave them at Mom and Dads until the kids move out.  Or 2. Lock said possessions in a safe, dig a moat around the safe, install at least three hungry alligators into the moat.  Dig another moat around the first moat and fill it with oil and set the oil ablaze.  Then hire several ex secret service agents to stand guard around the flaming moat with orders to show no mercy and never turn their backs on my children, no matter how cute and innocent they appear. 

So what you ask, happened to the precious Dr. Suess books.  Well…… Lindsey ate them.  And I know you are saying “What do you mean, she ate them”?  You might have gotten the wrong impression of my lil darling.  When I say “she ate them”, what I really mean is, she ATE them.  She put the books in her mouth and spent the majority of the day chewing on them.  Then she came out of her room to ingest some human food, tell me she loved me, and went back to her room to eat the books some more.   To say I was upset would have been a gross understatement, but perhaps this little story might not only shed some light on Maizie’s unique personality, and Lindsey’s errant habits, but it should also explain a lot about what happened to me.  Over the next several years Lindsey would go on to eat many things that made my eye bulge, steam escape from my ears and my hair to fall out in large clumps.  Lindsey’s room was like a child themed house of horrors by the time she was 10.  Barbie dolls with their legs chewed off, half eaten books, pencils, pens, markers and crayons that look like they had been used to tease a pit bull.  Bits of clothing that had been chewed up until they looked like faded out scraps of old paper. Weeble wobbles that no longer weebled or wobbled.  Cute little baby dolls with missing arms, legs and/or heads and sometimes hair.  ( I was expecting Ryan by this time and to say I was worried was like saying Mt. Everest is a hill)  But don’t get the wrong impression.  Lindsey didn’t chew all of her toys.  No, some of them she would break apart using things she had quietly and covertly pilfered from the kitchen.  For instance, my meat tenderizer was very useful in dissecting an electronic alphabet talking toy.  And oddly enough, after Lindsey was done with her mad scientist experiments, most of her toys would still function, just not the way the manufacturer intended.  For instance, that talking alphabet toy still made noise, but instead of saying “A, A is for apple”, I’m fairly certain it was saying swear words (A, A is for @@@hole), but it was so muffled I couldn’t really decide if my daughter was really an evil genius or just a product of my various dysfunctional issues.  :o)  When she was younger I told myself she was just super curious and precocious, but now that I have three kids and a grand kid, I can no longer support that philosophy even in my own warped mind.  Definitely Evil Genius.  Sorry Linz.  Hate to sell you out like that, but if it makes you feel better, my next reminisce will be about your dear brother, Ryan.  :o)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Nov. 30, 2011 Journal Entry - My morning visit with Sgt. Carter....

An old post I'm resurrecting.


My morning with Sgt. Carter....

November 30, 2011 at 11:57pm
So funny story...  Scratch that, let’s call it a really long story.  Today I had to have a repeat Allergy test (RAST) because my 2009 test was expired, (who knew allergy tests expire) and I am get to start allergy shots after the Holiday's.  Yey me.  Anyone who has had this done knows what I'm talking about. They don't feel like angel's kisses, especially after about number 15. How it works is they draw circles on your back from shoulder blade to waist line in rows for each test (in my case it's 53 circles) then they take an evil looking little hooked needle, punch it down into your skin, then twist and jerk it off to the side to "tear" a little of the skin.  Each hook has been dipped into a liquid form of the allergen they are testing you for, ie: 7 tree saps, 6 grass pollens, several animal danders, molds, dust mites, milk products, nuts, etc.  In my mind I associate this with getting a tattoo from someone who really hates you. So Nurse "Ilik'ta Enflict-Payne" comes in and hands me a paper gown to put on, opening in the back.  Paper so you don't bleed on their nice fabric gowns (her words not mine).  So I get the gown on and assume the position face down on the table, gown open in the back.  She commences drawing the circles (she doesn't talk much except to give me orders like "don't fidget, stop moving, keep your head still", ya know, giving me a pep talk).  So she finishes with her art work and then she suddenly gets chatty.  "Oh I forgot to tell you, I ordered the four by four needles like we used last time, but Keesler prefers the 2 by 2 needles because they are cheaper.  Not my fault, but they are twice the size of the four by fours so I just wanted to tell you, this might not be as much fun as it was last time you were here".  I laughed thinking, finally Miss Personality makes a joke.  Naw, she wasn't joking.  By the time she had finished all 53 "pricks" (also her word, not mine, though perhaps appropriate) I had recited the entire "Naval Sailor's Thesaurus of Commonly Used Swears, Drunken Edition" in my head, twice. Okay, so my pride won't let me flinch or say anything out loud, because I'm tough.  Not to mention, how much of a baby would I be if I fussed about a little test when James just had a horrible surgery and bounced by like a champ.  So I just lay there, thinking bad things about Nurse Hachette and how she kind of reminds me of Sgt. Carter from Gomer Pyle, except she's a lot taller and bulkier.  But she really sounds like him too.  (I might be exaggerating because I feel she was enjoying her job way too much).  So finally she is done, now I just have to lay on the table, being still as the night, for 15 minutes while the test sites welt up.  Then Sgt. Carter will read the size of the welts and grade them on my results screen.  So worst part is over…………. Naw. After about three minutes I began to wonder if some of the allergen agents might have been ingredients in a Nuclear bomb.  Another minute or two go by and I'm certain that she was testing my tolerance to hydrochloric acid and several other biological agents the EPA has banned in 13 countries.  HOLY COW!  It didn't burn like this last time.  I turned my head a little to see if maybe she was holding an acetylene torch to my back for giggles. 1. She wasn't.  2. She sniped at me to lay my head back down and be still.  After my 15 mins. go by, I'm sweating like a politician in church, and twitching like a crack addict on day 3 of rehab!  (And crack addicts of the world, I apologize for lumping you into the same category as politicians.  I know, not nice).  So she records my results, while yelling at me to keep still.  Then she scrubs my back with a gauze pad soaked in alcohol.  Uh huh, alcohol.  BUT the alcohol burning was sweet relief comparatively.  At least it was temporarily.  She hands me my results sheet and sends me down the hallway to talk to the doc again.  So I’m trying desperately not to look like a Baloo from Jungle Book scratching his hind quarters on a tree while sitting in the chair talking to doc, but he is giving me a look like there is a Christmas tree growing out of my forehead, so I don’t think I was particularily successful.  Finally, he cut me loose with instruction to go home and take double my allergy meds and rub some benedryl cream on my back.  I made it home, and it’s a Christmas miracle because didn’t get pulled over.  It is REALLY hard to drive straight while rubbing your back all around on the back rest of the car seat.  No really try it sometime.  So I’m laying here in bed, not sleeping thank you, thinking I may just need to get up and get some 40 grit sand paper out of the shop and duct tape it to my pillow and sleep shirtless on that.  Yeah the burn stopped hours ago and was replaced by his good friend, Mr. Itch on steroids.  Thank God life is never boring around here!  "It's the Itchy and Scratchy Shooooow".

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why couldn't it have been Gonzo?

James has some interesting eccentricities.  One of them is a fear of things that most people would not be afraid of.  Weird things like fuzz, (aka: Walking fuzz: due to the ability of dusty bunnies to move when a little gust of air wafts past them) hair that is no longer attached to someone's head, (this includes his own hair - hair cuts are a blast) and toys.  Toys like stuffed animals and action figures.  Maybe it stems from too many cartoons and movies about toys that come to life.  Toy Story I, II and III come to mind.  (Darn you, Walt Disney) He cannot stand to sleep with anything like this in his room.  Don't misunderstand, though.  He will play with them during the day, but when the sun goes down, they are instantly and with extreme prejudice, banished from his room and the vicinity near his room.  Frequently I will walk into my own room and trip over anywhere from 7 to 16 stuffed pandas, lions, bears, and an assortment of other seemingly benign toys that have been ejected from his room and tossed, haphazardly, through the door of my unlit bedroom, until the sun rises the next morning.  Occasionally there will be that bonus toy on the floor that has more angles than Pythagorean theorem and sharper edges than Goliath Tigerfish's dental anatomy.  Yeah, that guy down there.   Incidentally, Goliath has been known to eat crocodiles and humans.  Pardon me while I cancel my upcoming river safari trip to the Congo.

peces gigantes fish 250x300 Giant fish that eats crocodiles and humans was discovered as seen on
Though I find this habit annoying, I've become somewhat accustomed to it, however; every once in awhile he pulls something out of left field that catches me off guard.  Sometimes the surprise is more than a little unsettling.  Take tonight for example: we spent most of the day out and about and came home after dark.  When we got home it was time for James to get a shower and brush his teeth and prepare for bed.  I turned on the water in the shower and adjusted it to a temperature he is comfortable with (frostbite falls).  I went to the linen closet and grabbed him a towel and a wash cloth.  I noticed that the bar of soap in his shower was getting a little small so I opened the bathroom supply closet to retrieve a new bar of Coast for him.  I nearly inhaled my tongue and had a simultaneous cardiac event, when I opened the door. 
It couldn't have been a simple stuffed teddy bear or perhaps his Spider Man action figure laying in there.  No it had to be Walter.  And of course Walter was in a sitting in that awkward position, looked all freaking freaked out, like he just saw one of those 8 inch Bird spiders or perhaps Satan himself was hanging out in there with him or something equally unpleasant.  Well played, James.  Very well played.  You indeed startled about 3 years of life out of your mom.  Good one, son.  Thanks for that. 

But then, he also needed a bottle of shampoo, which was hanging out on the shelf below our friend, Walter. 
Oh look, Twidget is in there keeping Walter company.  Maybe this is why poor Walter looked so skeeved out. That annoying purple idiot was probably in there making hours and hours of nasally, indecipherable, yammering small talk that earned him the second place title (directly behind the Teletubbies) for most homicidal tendency evoking fictional character of the 21st Century.  I would probably have the exact same expression on my face if I were locked up all night with that hideous twirly eared creeper. 
So for all my friends and family who wonder why I'm not quite right in the head and frequently look like I'm teetering on the precipice of needing to be committed to an institution or in desperate need of a nap, this is just one of the many daily occurrences in my life that contributes to the "Insanity Effect".
And this has been your glimpse into the zoo for today.  Have a lovely week.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wake Me When October Ends aka: Blog Post of a Very Aggitated Crabby Woman.

 Right this minute, I am sitting on my couch, directly across from my 13 year old son, who is asleep in a recliner. We had a tough morning.  It started out with me nearly dragging him, bodily, out of bed.  Putting him into the bath, to which he promptly started crying because he pooped in the bath.  So I got him out, let him finish pooping in the toilet and then put him in the shower.  After he was washed and rinsed, I helped him out of the shower and put his clothes out on my bed and went to the kitchen to make his lunch for school.  When I returned, he was once again sitting on the toilet, pooping again.  You might think that it’s obvious that he is sick.  But it’s not.  This is a pretty normal morning ritual for the two of us.  James has Down syndrome, however; Down syndrome is the least of his worries most days.  James also has severe “Non-Specific Colitis”.  Unless you know someone with NSC, I’m sure you are thinking “what the hell is that”.  Well, that means something is wrong with his intestines and colon, but they don’t know why.   For us that means, James has horrible cramping and diarrhea anywhere from twice a day to 25 times a day, and …. There is no successful treatment, because there is no known cause.  Oh, we’ve tried medicines, but nothing has helped.  In fact, most of them make it worse. 

 So there James sits, on the toilet again, looking and feeling absolutely miserable.  But I still didn’t know he was sick because, again, this is pretty normal for him.  He got dressed, grabbed his lunch and back pack off the table and off we went, in a mad rush, to my school.  Once we got to my school, I noticed he wasn’t his usual perky self.  Normally, after he has cleared his bowels in the morning, he feels much better.  But not today.  Today he looked pale.  But he didn’t complain.  He just rested his hand on his belly and walked into my school to wait for his bus to come get him and take him to his school.   I watched him for a minute and asked him if he felt bad.  As a single tear rolled down his cheek, he said his belly still hurt.  Well damn.  I took him into our school office and took his temp.  Normal.  Hmmmm.  This could still be normal.  He might just not have gotten his colon cleared and may need to go to the bathroom again once he gets to his school.   I put in a call to his teacher and let her know that his colitis was flaring up this morning and to send him to the potty when he got to school to see if it would clear up.   He got on his bus and blew me a kiss.  I waved to him, blew him a kiss and prayed it wasn’t a stomach virus.  Stomach viruses are miserable.  We all know that.  But to a kid who has colitis, they are torture because of the inflammation and irritation that is constantly present in the Gastrointestinal tract.  Please God, oh please don’t let James have a stomach virus. 

No such luck.  Within an hour of getting to school his teacher called me and said she believed he was sick this time.  I made arrangements with my school and left to go get him.  He was waiting for me in the office.  Tear stains were visible his cheeks.  Sigh.  My boy.  He is such a trooper.  I know he’s hurting, but he doesn’t often wail and scream and cry like most people do when they are this sick.   Just a few intermittent tears that roll down his face.  That’s not really a good thing in my book.  Sometimes he is severely ill and burning up with fever before I even know he’s getting sick.

 I put my arm around him and we walk out to the car.  He slides in and when I got in I asked him how he was feeling.  “My hair hurts”.   That usually means fever. 

When we got home, he climbed into the recliner and almost instantly fell asleep.  I woke him to give him some Motrin and take his temp.  102.  Not too bad, for him.  He can usually spike a fever of 103-104 before I even know he isn’t feeling well. 

 We had been pretty lucky with James this year.  He had only been really ill a few times up until last month.  We’ve had years with many illnesses and several surgeries, so I count this a good year for him, virus wise, so far.

 But, there are those times when lots of little things come our way and it gets to me.  Stuff piles up, and not just stuff with James.  Stuff with the world.  Stuff with my other kids, with my parents, my brothers, my best friend’s families.  Stuff that gets overwhelming and brings my humor to a screeching bloody halt.  Then the depressed, lifeless bitch comes out to play.  Yeah, she’s here today.   Unfortunately, she is writing this blog post.  You probably won’t like her.

 This round started in August.  I was diagnosised with a badly torn rotator cuff and have gone through some unpleasant stuff (you may have already read about that) in the last two months, but at least one of my kids wasn't hurting.  Then four weeks ago I noticed James couldn’t hear very well anymore.  A visit to the ENT confirmed that he’s got some issues with his ears…. again, and will most likely need another ear surgery.  Because obviously 7 ear surgeries aren’t enough to fix the problem.  Around that same time his eye doctor diagnosed him with an odd problem with one of his eyes that is causing it to droop.  Might need a surgery there too if it gets any worse.  Super.  Then two weeks ago my husband got hit with the government shut-down.  Yeah, that put a kink in my chain.  But we deal, we move on.  Then I got sick.  I caught the sinus plague.  Head completely stopped up, nasal passages swollen closed, snot coming from any place it could.  This of course developed into a sinus infection, but lucky me cannot take antibiotics.  No, I just get to wait it out.  For two weeks I have gargled more salt water than the Atlantic Ocean, and blown more green and yellow mucus out of my face than most people will produce in two lifetimes.  So, I’m getting a little agitated.  Last week, James got sent home from school on Tuesday because he had a sore throat, which went away mysteriously within an hour of getting home, but led me to believe that he might have caught my plague.  Then on Thursday he got “semi-suspended” from school for being a jellyfish and flopping around on the floor, refusing to get up to do his work.  Looooovely.   Yeah, I’m getting really crabby about this point.  Then someone at work drops the “R” word.  If you don’t know, the “R” word is that disgusting word that is used to tell someone who is being an ass that they are like a mentally disabled person.   Hearing that word makes my stomach feel fluttery, and I get a physical ache in the direct middle of my chest.  My eyes burn and my heart begins to beat faster than normal.  Why?  Because it is making fun of my child.  Yes it is.  Don’t try to defend it and say, “That’s not how it’s meant”.  Please tell me exactly what is means when you look at someone who is behaving stupidly and tell them they are Retarded?   (I feel sick just typing it.  Like I’m betraying James doing so.)  You mean they are dumb.  Ignorant.  Stupid.  Moronic.  Like a mentally “retarded” person.  Just like my kid?  Who actually IS mentally disabled.  So yeah, I get pretty hot about it.  But she apologized before I even said anything so I let it go and calmed myself.  Then yesterday rolls around and the same person drops it again.  And she kept chattering on like it was nothing.  Yeah, I got hot.  I, of course, defended my child and all persons who have a learning disability and told her not to use that word.  She apologized again.  Ok, I accept that it slips and people don’t always think of it if they don’t have a loved one who is targeted by that particular slur.  So again, I accept and drop it and forget about it.  After school we have a meeting with James’s teachers to discuss his behavior at school.  Yippee.  When I got home and sat down to unwind, I was greeted by a news story on Facebook about a high school girl, who has Down syndrome, who got raped in her school bathroom.  Oh dear God.  I felt physically ill for the rest of the night and slept like crap with images of this poor girl screaming for help and no one coming to her aid.  

 As I lay in bed tossing and turning, I started thinking about James and how he works so hard to try and do what others accomplish so easily in life.  All because of some damn extra genetic material on one freaking chromosome.  A memory came flooding back from last year, as it does so often.  A memory that I hate.  James was 12, and sitting at our kitchen table with a homework sheet from math.  Easy math, like 7 + 5 =  12.  He stared and stared at the problem for several long minutes, rubbed his eyes, then looked over at me with the saddest watery blue eyes and said “I’m so retarded”.  Without question, one of the worst moments of my life.   It’s been more than a year and I still cry every time the memory creeps back in.  Which is unfortunately very often.  Where did he hear that word?  Who told him he couldn’t do math because he was retarded?  We certainly don’t use that word in our family and don’t tolerate anyone else using it either.  I dreaded this day from the very moment he was born and there it was.  Twelve years in the making, my child finally had a hideous diagnosis for himself as to why he couldn’t do what the other kids could do, even though he tried so much harder than they did.  Someone had told him he was retarded.  I pray that my heart will never suffer another blow so devastating as that one.  I’m not sure I could survive it. 

 And now we are to this morning.  After James got on the bus, but before I got the call to come get him, a co-worker came in and told me that one (or more) of the other co-workers had insinuated that *I* had hurt the woman’s feelings who used that ugly word the day before.  SERIOUSLY???????  I hurt HER feelings???????  By telling her that word was ugly and not ok?  And asking her not to use it?  Really????? Reeeeeaaaallllyy?  Yup.  The bitch is in people.  She is in and she isn’t going away for awhile now.    After the bitch slipped quietly away and had a little cry in a private bathroom at the school, she came back to hear that her child’s school had called her to come get him.  Sigh.  Yeah, this is going to be a rough month.  Is November here yet??  I should probably hibernate until then, but unfortunately, I don’t think many employers would recognize  mental fatigue as a valid reason for missing two weeks of work.  Until this passes I’ll be like the little engine that could…. I think I can …. I think I can……  I think I  can…….

Monday, September 30, 2013

Mark, my darling husband,  posted this photo on Facebook, the last time we went kayaking.  He said it was a photo of  "Juvenile" alligator smacking my boat with its tail.  And that I took off like a bat out of hell, leaving James and he in the dust. I feel I must rebut this heinous character assassination.

 Juvenile, my fat white dimply ass! That evil sucker was a big enough gator to make my boat shake and shimmy and my heart set to thumping and quaking! And no I didn't leave my child behind. I actually paused with paddle poised to give that gator a good thwacking about its big ugly green pimply snouty kisser should it decide to stick its ghastly snoot up out of the water again! Although I will admit that while this photo was being snapped I was simultaneously emitting a noise that most likely made dogs all over the Gulf Coast of the US bark frantically and wallow on the ground, trying to scratch out their ear drums and, was quickly making deals with my maker that included something about refraining from ever trying to wax Mark's mustache while he's sleeping regardless of how much I want to, and never putting that photo of my son's girlfriend forcing him to let her curl his eyelashes, on Facebook and never releasing to the world, the knowledge of the three words that skeeve my daughter out so much that they turn her into a tiny homicidal maniac. (I should point out that at 22, she stands about 5' 2"... in heels)  Lucky for my family I take my deals with God very seriously so Mark's mustache is safe from wax (although I conveniently omitted any reference to Nair) and Ryan's man card is safe (although that ship probably sailed when I mentioned the eyelash incident in the first place) And I've actually seen Lindsey get all twitchy and purple minion like with the accidental dropping of one of her peeve words and I don't wanna ever see that again so she was safe anyway. That gator however, better never show his big stupid herpefied snaggletoothed honker around my kayak again or else I'll squeal like a school girl at a One Direction concert and bat at it ineffectually with my paddle ..... again. Nuff' said.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


James and I are probably going to have a serious "come to Jesus" meeting. It's 6:43am on Saturday, I tossed and turned until after 2 am in pain, and yet here I am awake. He MUST learn that it is not okay to pry open my eyelids and attempt to kiss my eyeballs as a means to get me to get me out of bed before 9 am on ANY Saturday morning...ever!!!!! And that saying "I love you, Mom" while doing, it will not diffuse my wrath. There are several creatures on the planet that should NOT be woken before they are ready: rabid hibernating grizzly bears are number two. Guess who number one is????

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Finally, A visit to the Orthopeadic Surgeon.

Well, today was interesting.  But let us first go back to Tuesday.  Ok, well wait, let us actually go back to August when I made an appointment with my local Orthopedist to review the results of my shoulder MRI, which I already knew showed two torn ligaments in my rotator cuff, one which one a “near complete tear” because I hacked into the disk that held my radiology report.  *Inhaaaaaaaaaaale*  The “first available” appointment was for 6 weeks later.  Yippee Skippy!  So that would make it September 24th.  However, on Tuesday at exactly just a few minutes before I was to leave my awesome, amazing, fabulous job (covering my posterior, just in case my boss stumbles onto this) the Ortho desk lady calls me and says “ummm, Miss Law-ree” (I live in Mississippi, but I’m a damn Yankee and have a damn Yankee name, so that is how its pronounced down here), “Dr. McBusy had to leave the office and rush to the hospital to perform a superahippoagealterectomy”, or some other such ridiculously unpronounceable surgery, but what he was probably doing was an emergency round of golf.  But ok, so I’m obviously a little put out by this stellar turn of events since I had just waited six weeks in pure agony, but they did just move my appointment to the next day.  I could handle that, except I’m a drama queen and I just needed something to be uber dramatic about so I of course whined and wailed about it for the rest of the day.  My family really appreciates and admires my dramatic side, so I indulge them whenever possible.  (You’re welcome family). 

Wednesday takes it sweet time getting here but somehow I manage to survive long enough to make it to my new appointment, one entire, whole day later.   Phew!  I only have to sit in the waiting room for about an hour and fifteen minutes before I’m called back, but I have my handy dandy Nook Book Reader with me (shameless plug) because I’ve been to this rodeo before.  As I’m immersed in a really good smuttyfied horrorish murdery novel, (Those words will be in the soon to be bestselling dictionary that I plan to write and have published by a famous publishing house later this year.  Be on the lookout for it, titled, Words I Totally Made Up and How to Spell Them Wrongishly, by Lorie) the nurse comes out into the waiting room and calls out for Miss Law-ree.  I really should be used to people pronouncing it this way by now but I do briefly look around the waiting room just to see if Key and Peele are hiding somewhere getting ready to drop a  "Substitute Teacher" skit right in the middle of this doctor’s office.  Alas, no such luck.  So I gather up my 40 lbs. of crap that I routinely carry around with me (ask me how I messed up my rotator cuff) and schlepped off to the patient room to wait for Dr. McGonnabewaitingawhile, to join me.  As soon as I entered the patient room I was immediately assaulted by the lovely aroma of rectal methane leakage.  Holy Anus Symphony, Batman!  Who the hell was in this room before me????  I looked at the nurse fully expecting her to apologize for the rancid smell in this room, but much to my surprise she totally pulled off the most impressive poker face I’ve ever seen because she actually appeared, to the naked eye, to be completely oblivious of anything odoriferously offensive.  Well played,  Nurse Ratched . Well played indeed.  Okay, well if Nurse Ratched can pull off the “I don’t smell a thing” card, I am certainly not going to fold!  So I pretended to not smell anything putridly rancid either, although my eyes were watering and my nose was running a bit and I was fighting the insanely vigorous urge to cough. 

Up to this point I may not have mentioned the Kinesio Tape.  What is Kinesio Tape ?  I’m glad you asked.  Kineso Tape is a rumbustious (That’s a real word. I swear!  It means really strong. Google it.  ) elasticy (don’t Google that word until my dictionary comes out) tape that you put all over your wounded body part, in this case; my shoulder, and it provides some stability to weak and torn ligaments and muscles.  Okay, so you don’t put it “all over” your wounded body part, there is actually a way to properly tape it, but for the purpose of this story we’ll just say it was all over my shoulder.  And I already mentioned it was super, whamidine, maama jaama strong tape.  Like sticky strong.  Like rip off 17 layers of skin and expose the grody stuff under your skin strong, if you don’t soak it off in a nice warm bubbly tub first.  And I may not have mentioned yet that I had dear husband, Mark put a fresh coating of this fly paper armor tape on my shoulder just that very morning. Yup, six whole pieces.  Six. 

Now back the noxious room with Nurse Rached.  She opens her mouth to speak and I know she has to be loath to actually allow the fumes in that room to enter her mouth while she speaks, but she’s got some brass, because she does so without making any expression changes at all.  I’m wondering if my mettle might be out gunned here.  She says that we are going to go take some x-rays and I’m wondering if by “we” she means I get to run the x-ray equipment.  Nah, you probably need a permit or a license or something to do that.  Then she informs me that my precious tape needs to be removed first.  Aw hell.  Then she informs me that she will be removing it for me.  Well….. um….. okay, I suppose.  I mean, she’s a nurse right?  They are trained to be compassionate to the patient.  Right?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure she took the cliff notes version of the “Nursing with Compassion” class at Nursing School.  She grabbed the first piece and ripped it off like she was trying to give me a Brazilian wax job on my shoulder.  I responded to that with a “wooo”.  She said “Oh did that hurt”?  As she dug her nails under the second piece and flayed the flabby part of my upper arm like a trout.  At this point I had opened my mouth wider to “Wooo” again but that booty perfume snuck into my mouth and I promptly closed it again, hence I “Wooooo” and then “uuurrpshhhhh” all over Nurse Ratched’s Crocs.  So I just sat there with my hands politely crossed in my lap and didn’t open my pie hole again while she extracted all the hair from my arm and I suspect several layers of my epidermis as well.  Then she said “here” and handed me the ball of crumpled tape with all of my shoulder hair and some lumps of pink skin rolled in for good measure and wordlessly left the room.  Hmm.  I wonder if I was supposed to follow her so “we” could take an x-ray.   A moment later she reappeared at the door and stared at me like I had a penis growing out of my forehead.  I guess I was supposed to follow her when she left the first time.  I looked at her and said “Hi”.  She didn’t look amused, so I got up and followed her this time.  One of the little voices in my head echoed “it’s not good to piss off the medical professionals who are in charge of your health and well-being”.  I wonder if Nurse Ratched reads my blog.

The x-rays went fairly uneventfully.  They indeed did not need my help running the x-ray equipment.  I asked.  Before I knew it I was back in the skunk room awaiting Dr. McKeepwaiting.  So I read some more of my e-book, carefully keeping my mouth closed to the odor when a thought occurred to me.  I wonder if Dr. McLigament will walk into this room and think that *I* am responsible for this nuclear landfill grade aroma?  I did not like that thought, so I took it upon myself to open the door and allow a little fresh air to seep in.  No sooner had I sat back down, did Nurse Ratched storm to the open door and promptly snap it closed again.  Well hell.   Maybe I would just blame Dr. McBone-Dude for the perfume in the room.  Yeah, I wonder if I have the stones to clamp my hand over my mouth and nose, when he walked in and say “ohmagawd, did you have red beans and rice for lunch”?  And then that pesky little voice in my head reminded me again “Best not to piss off the dude who may, someday soon, have a scalpel aimed at your unconscious body”.  Eh, better not I spose’.   

Dr. McScapel-Weilder finally made an appearance in the poopy room not long after I mentally vetoed playing the blame game with him.  He asked me a few relevant questions and made me do “the wave” a few times and then twisted, prodded, poked, contorted and tied my arm in a pretty bow. (This is why he makes the big bucks)  He then pronounced that I still had good range of motion.  Goody, but my arm is still numb from the shoulder down to the tips of my fingers, so he declares that the real problem may in fact, be a disk in my neck.  That is an outstanding bit of news right there.   But wait, it gets better.  Do you think Dr. McPain wants to do an x-ray of my neck?  Naw.  How about a CT Scan?  Nope.  An MRI perhaps?  Negative.  No Dr. McSharps is a fan of process of elimination.  This is always good news.  He would like to do a Cortisone and Steroid injection into the bursa between the Humeral bone head and the Coracoid process, right under the Acromioclavicular joint.  Oh well sure.  I’d love it if you stuck a needle into the tenderest bit of torn ligament in my shoulder.  Why don’t we do two while we’re at it?  A matching pair would be nice don’t you think? 

I did ask the doctor if I was going to cry because of this and if I did, do I get a lollipop afterward.  He snickered a bit and said that is sounded more painful than it really was.  I really hoped that he was snickering at me for being a goober and not because he just told a big ol’ whopper to the gullible patient.  Doc left because apparently he doesn’t do his own dirty work and he sent in Dr. Doogie,  his Physician’s assistant.  I was feeling a little insecure about Dr. McSnicker’s assurances so I asked Dr. Howser if *he* thought I would need a lollipop after this injection and he answered my question with a question.  (Dontcha love that?)  He asked if I’d ever had one before.  I said No.  He then assured me that THIS one would be the best one then.  Okay, so in other words, this one might hurt like a mofo, but the next time I get one, it’ll rate higher than 40 bullet ant stings on Schmit’s Sting Pain index?   That really didn’t have the sedative effect on me that I think Dr. Doogie was going for.  Perhaps he should read my blog.

Dr. Howser gave me some last minute tips on post injection shoulder care.  “Don’t use your right arm for a few days. The first two or three days, your pain should get worse, but then you should get some relief.  If not, then it means the injection didn’t work. If anything turns black and falls off, call and make an appointment to come back and see us”.  He didn’t actually say that last part, I just added it to be dramatic.   Doogie cleaned my shoulder with some alcohol (he didn’t have the kind you drink, I asked) and then some betadine. Then took a fine point sharpie out of his pocket and proceeded to draw a scapular map on my shoulder that would make the fussiest cartographer proud.  I asked if he was going to make an “X marks the spot” addition to the map.  He wasn’t, but he would if I really wanted him to.  Well, no.  I don’t want to be high maintenance but shouldn’t any good map have a red “X marks the spot” spot on it??  Ok, well maybe I was stalling.

And then he removed the syringe from his lab coat pocket.  When he popped off the protective cover, one of the more annoying voices in my head said “Dum Dum Dum Duuuuuummm”.  That voice really grates on my nerves.  But the voice was right.  The needle looked like a Sonic Route 44 drinking straw.  I wondered if he was going to inject me with a blow dart through that straw, but no.  That was the actual needle.    I felt beads of sweat start rolling down my neck and I prayed they wouldn’t cause Dr. Jeremy’s map to run down my back and that straw sized needle would somehow end up jabbed into my chubby ass.  Oh Lord, the places where my mind wanders when I’m moderately panicked.  Dr. Howser explained that, more than pain, I would actually feel a lot of pressure.  Okay, well that doesn’t sound horrible, I spose’.   Yeah right.  Doogie proceeded to push that needle in through my right shoulder, but I swear it came out in my spleen.  Holy Paralytic Extremities, Batman!  My arm felt like it weighed 73 pounds and had Black Mamba venom coursing through it causing it to rot off at warp speed. (pretty image eh?) I’m fairly certain that Doogie’s needle hit quite a few odd nerves during it journey to my spleen because my left eye snapped shut of its own accord, both of my pinky toes curled under, my one open eye was watching a fireworks show that was being projected on the paper towel dispenser, I thought I could feel a band of spiders marching up and down my back while my ears twitched out a rhythm that made me think of playing “Chopsticks” on the piano as a kid, and I kept hearing an odd noise that sounded a bit like a wounded cat.  But after a few minutes I realized that the cat noise was coming from me, so strike that one. 

Four hours later, Dr. Doogie said, “All done, now that wasn’t too bad was it”?  Well no, not if you are comparing it to a six hour root canal with no Novocain.  Or maybe having an ingrown toe nail removed with a pair of rusty pliers.  Then no, no it wasn’t that bad.  But if you are comparing it to an Ice Cream cone from Ben and Jerry’s, then it sucked out loud.  But then again, I am a grown up (mostly) so aside from the mewling cat noise that involuntarily escaped from my throat, I think I handled it very well.  However, I was making plans to walk calmly to my car and roll up the windows, turn the radio up full blast and belt out a fourteen minutes string of swear words I learned from my husband’s twenty years of service in the Navy and all the swabby sailors whom we socialized with.  I’ll leave the details of that out in case my Mom and Dad read this. 

The next few days should be fun.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Saturday is a day for the 3 G's.... Growl, Grumble and Grouch.

Today is Saturday, two days after my appointment with Audrey and Dr. Skrivello at the Little Shop of Horrors.  This morning I have had less than two hours of sleep and my sense of humor may have deteriorated a bit.   I know you are wondering how it could get any more dysfunctional than it was on Thursday, but let’s find out.  The pain started in earnest around 11 am on Friday.  I reached across the table at school to clean up a spill and a searing hot pain ripped down my arm making me feel like I had just dipped my arm in honey and rolled it in a bed of those freak of nature giant screaming ants from Africa or Uruguay or some other country that isn’t the US. 

Footnote: Bullet Ant

So maybe swarms of tiny ants don’t scare you. How about this giant screaming mofo? That’s right, screaming. Bullet Ants hail from the low land rainforests of Nicaragua and Paraguay. Each ant is about an inch long and lives in a tree colony. When a predator approaches the colony some of these bad boys drop down onto it, letting out a shriek before they do.
While not the deadliest insect, the Bullet Ant’s sting is said to be the most painful in the world, according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index. The insect’s sting causes waves of burning, throbbing, mind-blowing, pain that doesn’t stop for 24 hours. It hurts so much it feels like you’ve been shot with a bullet (Get it? Bullet Ant?)

Some South American societies use the Bullet Ant to test the manhood of young boys, making them endure 20 stings without crying out before they can be considered men. Some Non-South American people think that sounds cool and decide to do it just for kicks.


Yeah, those ants.  I wonder if my rotator cuff tear rates on Scmidt’s Sting Pain index?


Today I am almost convinced that I am indeed a pansy, contrary to my earlier proclamation that I am not, I believe their may have been a transformation.  I debated at about 3 am, a hasty visit to our local Emergency Room where I would crawl in on my hands and knees, begging for just one hit of Demerol or Oxycodone or any other controlled substance that would alleviate my pain for just a few hours and allow me to sleep in a drugged, drooling stupor, like my dear husband was doing at the moment.  But when I played that pleasant scenario out in my mind, I imagined it wouldn’t really go the happy way I hoped.  I would crawl into our local ER where their super crabby, don’t give a rats #@!# if you come in here with a severed limb and are bleeding all over the floor, sign in and sit and wait to be called, front desk people would look at my foaming at the mouth, wild hair and pajama clad self and immediately peg me as a druggie needing a fix (which is halfway true, not the druggie part, but I was certainly going to beg for some hard core, body and mind numbing drugs).  I could see this going one of two ways.  Way 1: they call security and have me tossed out on my rump.  Or Way 2: they make me wait in the waiting room for seven hours, at which time they call me to triage and take my blood pressure and temperature, ask me why I’m there, determine I’m low priority and I go back to the waiting room for another three hours at which point I am allowed to go to a room in the back, where I can hear several other patients wailing in agony for drugs.  I sit in this back room for another nice long time (I’ve lost the ability to judge time by this point) and at some point a sarcastic doctor comes in and tells me to go home and take some Motrin and follow up with my regular doctor. 

I decided Way 1 is the better of those two options, but staying home and wallowing in pain in the partial comfort of my own bed, making my husband miserable in the process, *bonus*, is probably an even better plan.  What???  Mark made me really mad yesterday and all night he slept like a really annoying baby, which made me even madder.  As a matter of a fact I wanted to tenderly wake Mark up with a well-placed right hook to the groin, but my #@#$#@!! right arm was currently in so much pain I didn’t feel like I could do the hook proper justice.   It probably wouldn’t even wake him and he would just roll around a bit and then start snoring.  When you are in such extreme pain and cannot sleep and someone is sleeping so soundly and peacefully it’s only human nature to want to make them suffer.  Well, it’s in Lorie’s human nature anyway.

So at six am, the vile taste in my mouth and the extreme need to visit the girl’s room, drove me from the bed.  And I used my throbbing right arm to brush the taste of three week old dirty gym socks out of my mouth because I haven’t mastered brushing my teeth with my left hand yet.  My arm went numb while brushing my molars at which point I’m pretty sure I brushed the lower half of my esophagus on accident.  After recovering my ability to swallow again, I staggered back to bed to try and find a semi comfortable position to sleep, only to discover that my darling James had rolled out of his bed and pranced his happy tail into my room and crawled up into my bed and fallen asleep next to Mr. Sleep-through-an-apocalypse.  Sigh.  Now there are two really aggravating, sleeping peacefully, lumps of annoying mass in my bed.  I guess it’s time to get up anyway, cause I’m sure as hell not getting back into bed with that.  Six am on a Saturday is a travesty.  And I’m feeling very uncharitable toward anything that breathes, today.  Hell, I’m feeling violent toward things that don’t breathe too.  The toaster is currently pissing me off pretty good for taking too long to toast my bread.  I may unplug it and chuck it out the window momentarily and see if that relieves some of my sleep deprivation aggression.  I would chuck Mark out of the window, but again, that right arm isn’t cooperating.  (Like I could chuck Mark anywhere with two perfectly healthy rotator cuffs.  Maybe if both cuffs were on loan to me from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson).   


To add insult to injury, Mark rolled out of bed, cheerfully and well rested, took one look at me with my bloodshot eyes, Mad Hatter Hair and brows furrowed so far down on my face they tickled my nose and proclaimed that he had some stuff that he had to do at work.  He threw on clothes and flew out the door fast enough that it would have made a Nascar pit crew proud.  He was in such a rush that he left poor James here to suffer my wrath alone.  I guess he believes that Lorie’s human nature is actually rendered null by James’s usually very sweet demeanor.  Good thing I love that rotten boy so much.  I guess I’ll just have to cultivate and refine my grouchiness until Mark’s return.  That makes me smile a bit. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Visiting the Physical Therapist.... for Dummies.

This day…. Let me sum up.  You might not know that I have injured myself.  Again.  I know, I know, you are shocked!  (if you don't know me, I should explain that this might happen with me a lot) Some might say it’s just old freaking age, but I think we all know that’s not true.  (We all know I’m mostly crazy too, so I wouldn’t disagree with that last statement)  I have a badly torn rotator cuff, in three spots, and several compressed disks in my neck and spine.  It’s a little inconvenient, I must say, but I’m no pansy, so I’m dealing.  I have been going to a Physical Therapy clinic for two weeks now.  For the first week the doctors there just gave me some exercises to do.  No big whoopee.  Shrug your shoulders fifteen times, every twenty minutes and do the chicken neck thing, pull your head back so that your double chin turns into thirty chins and say “bwack”, fifteen times as well.  (Saying “bwack” might be optional) Easy peasy, lemon squeezie.  Of course I didn’t do these exercises in front of anyone.  Especially the chicken neck thing.  My friends already think I’m several bricks shy of an outhouse, no need to provide concrete proof. 

After a week and a half of looking really confused and unstable every twenty minutes, I returned to the PT clinic for further evaluation.  What this means is two PT dudes pull, tug, twist, maim, disfigure and manhandle your body, while asking “does this cause you pain”.  Most of my responses were: “Since my bones are not made of wet spaghetti, then I’m going to say yes, yes that does hurt”, “That’s not especially painful, but I’ve never seen that part of my body in front of me before”, “Is that still attached to my body”?,  “I’m pretty sure that is illegal in 17 states”,  “Does your mother know you do this for a living” and my last response to them, while one PT twisted my head around toward my back and then tilted it as far as it would go to the left, and the other PT pulled both my arms around my back and up toward my, now looking to the back, face, and they both pushed in at the same time and said “Does this cause any discomfort”?   I said, “You fellas used to torture puppies when you were young didn’t you”? 

 The good news is that after all that “testing”, and I use that terminology generously, they both agreed that neither one of them knew exactly which problem was responsible for the pain and numbness in my right arm.  So they slipped off to a private torture chamber (because I was actually out in the middle of a huge room full of other patients who were watching with pained looks on their faces, thanking the dear sweet Lord that they weren’t the next victim of “Jigsaw and Billy”) to chit chat about it while I untangled myself and maneuvered all my miscellaneous body parts back into the configuration that God put them in 42 years ago.  They returned a short while later giggling under their breath like Bevis and Butthead when they met a man named Dick.  The sound of their muffled giggles woke the pterydactyls in my belly that like to flutter around when I get nervous.

“We think your main problem is in your neck, blah blah blah, pinched nerves, blah blah blah, impingement, blah blah blah, traction, blah blah blah, see you Thursday”.   Yippee.

So now to today.  I must admit, though I established earlier that I’m not really a pansy, I was a tiny bit hesitant about the whole traction thing, especially seeing as how I didn’t know what the hell it was except when your tractor gets stuck in the mud and won’t giddy up.  But I really didn’t see how they were going to put me in mud and make me get stuck, so I dismissed that thought fairly quickly. 

I arrived at the clinic a teeny bit late, oops; maybe they are going to have to reschedule me. Nope.  Igor and Lurch were waiting for me in the lobby and they seemed a little excited.  Not really in the kid who got a puppy for Christmas kind of way but more like the kid with a magnifying glass and ant kind of way.  Nerves are kicking up a little bit now.  Pterodactyls are getting restless.  So they take me into the back into one of the private PT rooms…. Yeah, I really didn’t feel that wasn’t a good omen.  If they were willing to twist me into an origami pinwheel out in the middle of the clinic, what goes on in a private room?  The only thing in the room was a table with a medieval machine at one end, a bunch of straps and buckles along the table and a strappy helmet attached to the medieval machine.  Not the accessory of the year in my opinion.  But apparently my opinion wasn’t really important at this time since they made me hop up on the table and put my very tense head into the party helmet.  Then, oh glory be, I didn’t notice that on the end nearest the medieval machine was two little Stonehenge like structures that one PT dude then placed my neck in between, while the other one strapped my legs down.  I felt very Salem Witch trial/Eighteenth century Asylumish .  Uh-huh, not a warm fuzzy moment for me.  The pterodactyls are fully awake and having a wild mosh pit type concert in my gut.

Bonnie then says that Stonehenge will now tighten up on my neck, but please let him know when it was pretty snug.  “Snug….. It’s snug….. Dude! *gasp* It’s too tight!”   Clyde then examines the structures that are now imbedded in my neck glands and says “Can you breathe ok”?   Apparently my ears were being affected by the pressure on my neck because I could have sworn I said “Um, it’s actually pretty difficult to breathe like this”.  But since Dr. Frankenstein replied with “Perfect”!  I must have actually said, “Sure, who needs to exchange air anyway?  I’m good like this.  My neck feel like a sippy straw was just placed down my larynx and then filled in all that extra space around it with concrete, but it’s all good in the hood, Frankie”. 

Then Jekyll explains how the doomsday device works.  “It’s going to pull up on your head a bit, not too much, it really shouldn’t be painful, and it’ll pull, release, pull, release, pull, release for the next 20 minutes. (Sounds swell)  Here’s a bell, we’ll put it over here by your leg.  Just tap the bell if you become too uncomfortable.”   When I inquired where that bell was when they were wrapping the jaws of life around my neck, my mouth must have not been working properly either (all that extra oxygen coursing through my new sippy straw windpipe) because Hyde looked and me and smiled and said “Uh-huh, okay we’ll be back in 20.  It’s okay for you to fall asleep if you want”.  What?????  Are you %&$#@&* joking, psycho????   At this point, “The Rack” came to life.  A gentle hum began and the table started to shake a bit.  I’m pretty sure I started hyperventilating, but my dad-gum straw wouldn’t let me get enough oxygen to pass out.  Lovely.  Then, The Jaws of Life sprang into action.  Pulling on my head a bit, my fat ^#@$!!!  I was certain this is how all those dandelions felt when I used to sing “Mama had a baby and its head popped off” as I used my thumb to dislodge the head of the dandelion and send it flying off into the air.  I’m so sorry dandelions!!!!   Really I am. 

I lasted the entire 20 minutes, only because in the first 30 seconds I jerked my leg and sent my only saving grace, the bell, flying off the table onto the floor where it rolled off to that place where all the mates to your socks are.   During those 20 minutes I imagined that I was being choked by a rabid gorilla at the Bronx zoo.  I don’t know why the Bronx, or even if they have a zoo in the Bronx, and if they do have a zoo, if they have gorillas, but let’s remember I was seriously low on O2 here.  I also saw Jimmy Hendricks walk into my room wearing a lab coat and a clown nose while carrying an albino penguin, Jeff Foxworthy floated over my head with tiny bat wings and sang “Jeremiah was a Bullfrog” while playing a ukulele and wearing Ruby slippers and finally I’m fairly certain I saw an iceberg drift by outside the window with more of those darn little albino penguins. 

When Jack the Ripper and Norman Bates returned, they turned off the machine of death and unstrapped my head from the helmet, but neglected to loosen Stonehenge from around my neck.  Jack instructed me to sit up when I felt able….  “I would love to sit up, you Crackhead, but my neck is still being held down by the freaking Jaws of Life, you @#$$#^ Whackadoo”!    That is what my brain told my mouth to say, but since my brain was so oxygen deprived what my mouth actually said was “I can’t sit up until you loosen the things holding my neck in place”.  Duh you big fat dog turd! (Still no oxygen) 

Nurse Ratchet released the pressure on the paddles holding me down. After they dislodged from my esophagus with a loud slurpy suction type noise, my ears popped about 13 times andI was finally  free.  I was able to breathe and move and try and make my jaw work again!  I was sure I heard angels singing just outside the window.  They may have been keeping the albino penguins company on the iceberg.  (Too much oxygen, too quickly, after being low for 20 minutes apparently has some adverse psychological effects too…. Go figure)  After giving Penn and Teller the stare down (it might not have been as intimidating as I intended since I think my eyes may have been wobbling around in their sockets a bit doing the whole Mr. Deeds, Crazy Eyes thing), they made me an appointment next week to attend this wild hootenanny again.  Hallelujah.  I wonder if getting run over in the parking lot would be sufficient excuse to not come back next week.  Could someone check on that for me?