Sunday, September 26, 2010

Facebook has caused me to seriously neglect my blog. I can one liner update over there and 90% of my 5 person reader base is over there anyway.

However I should probably update to say I did.

So the last big (evasive for me) test is finally CORRECTLY on the books for the end of Oct. At the same time I will meet with the surgeons who may or may not perform the surgery on me. I think I will go ahead and list at the beginning of Dec. My lung function is no better... though not worse either... than when they gave me a year to live in '08. I was considering that this week. That almost two exact years ago, my doctors were sure I wouldn't make it home ever again, let alone live through the year without a transplant. Chuckles on them. I did tell him, he didn't know me very well yet and he may want to reconsider his statement. Teach him not to listen.

However, things are what they are, and I will have to make this choice at some point. Might as well do it now. *insert eye rolling here* I'm not thrilled. Trust me.

So another thing had me chuckling this week as I was correcting G's homework. His teacher (not seriously) said to me when we turned in his sample work, "Didn't you know correcting in Red will bruise his fragile ego." I remember hearing this when he was still in public school too, so it's not a "homeschool/hippy dippy notion". If his ego is that fragile, red ink is the least of his worries. I swear if she'd been serious I might have gone a bought a BIGGER red pen. ;-)

I correct everything in red. It's easy for both of us to spot. I correct pages and pages in workbooks. Ohh suck on this one.. I only give 1/2 credit for his corrected math problems too. *Gasp* ...And I calculate letter/percent grades. (On the computer, in a spreadsheet, because, YES, I am that anal.)

Now your wondering how his grades are huh? Straight B's. I'm a really tough teacher. I might not ride him very hard about sitting down and doing X amount of work a day, but I do expect what he does to be done correctly, the first time. Which is why I have the spreadsheets. I can see if "failing" is the leading trend and we can make whatever adjustments we need.

I will be extremely glad when algebra is over. Just saying.

Off to start writing all the How to, What to do, Who to call, How to take care of, and What to do if... lists that my family will need for the surgery time.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I just finished refinishing my tack box my dad made me when I was showing cows, some 20+ years ago.

True to my dads nature, this isn't just a "tack box", this is A TACK BOX. 4 foot long, 3 foot deep, 2.5 feet tall, made out of 1" oak plywood with a 3/4" thick oak top. Literally almost too heavy to pick up empty, let alone filled with tack. It's served many uses during it's 20+ years with me. It used to get hauled to the fair filled with cow stuff. It's housed my horse tack at rented stables. It's stored blankets for beds. But for the last 10 years it has been a toy box. A totally packed to the top, toy box.

With the recent de-cluttering of G's room, or rather the mass shoveling out and throwing away, the TACK BOX lost it's usefulness in G's room. He didn't keep any toys, thus none to store. We needed to make room for a dresser that he may or may not use. So what to do with the TACK BOX?

My mom offered to keep it at her house, but the TACK BOX has never seen a day outside in it's life. Like my moms chopping block and my twin bed (that takes 3 men and a boy to move), these are rare treasures made by my dad that he just doesn't do anymore, or I don't think ever.

So in case the TACK BOX must see outside time somewhere I decided it needed to be sealed and preserved. So I have been rubbing Tung Oil into the oak top, and Thompson's water seal on the sides and, when I can turn it over, the bottom. At least this way, G will have it to fill with toys again someday, because this damn TOY BOX will last forever!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Cancelled

On account of the snow.

We made it out to my moms in the rain and wind. I don't mind the rain and the wind, we could have sat at home in it, or at her house... didn't matter.

15 minutes after getting there the rain turned white and started to stick. We watched it for about 15 min before we decided it wasn't going to let up and Bunker Hill was going to become an unpassable bitch quick.

We left her house and made it to Bunker and there was already over 3" of snow sitting in Russ' driveway. It was an easy drive, just slow going, thankful for 4x4 because it was slick-slick.

Passed uncountable idiots headed out to "play" in the snow. Ranchers love that. /sarcasm.

Bridgette wanted the window down. She pulled her head in and she was covered in snow. It was pretty funny!

Friday, March 12, 2010

First, my IV went fine thank you, but between it and it's time schedule, milking, feeding, and working, there was no time for blogging.

So lets re-cap since it's been since Feb since I was here last.

The kid count was bucks-11 and does-6 out of 13 does. Not great, but totally managable.

I was down to my last week of IV and my first week back to work after some IV time off. I'm really glad I scheduled work around this thing because it made me feel like CRAP. But the infection seems better, which was the goal. It's all about the end result yanno?

In the middle of January the breeder we got out first toggs from contacted us because she was selling out and wanted to know if we wanted any does. We said yes and took in two plus a buck. The does were thin when they got here, and probably bred, but the looked a little thin and not up close to kidding. Since when we bought them and the buck, and we were the ones to remove the buck, they could have been due anywhere from NOW to June. So by looking at them, they looked healthy but at least a few months out if bred at all.

Fast forward to the 4th of March when one of these does started to favor a front leg. It was late, pouring rain, and getting dark so I vowed to pull her in the next morning and check it out. The next morning she's down by the fence and really weak. We haul her inside, dig into her feet, which looked fine, and pen her up inside thinking she's being bullied out of the feed, though she looks OK. We start her on all sort of appetite inducing drugs, probiotics, and some antibiotics to be safe. On the 5th at night milking, about dusk, we get out to the goats and hear this noise. Something like a rat caught in a trap. It's hideous and nothing a goat should make. Greg finds his alpine kid stuck in a fence and we think all is right in the world. I walk into the barn and hear this NOISE again. It's trapped, it's dying and I can't FIND IT. I start walking toward the noise and see the penned goat (Mehaw) standing over a baby (WHAT!), it's dry, it is NOT making THAT NOISE. Over in the far far corner is a flat brown blob. I think dead kid. No, no, IT'S MAKING THAT NOISE! I holler for Greg, he comes, picks up o' flat one, shakes it a few times, and puts it with mom. She's interested, but you can tell she's concentrating on not falling over. We walk her up to, and lift her onto the milk stand and try to coax her to just eat a little grain. Nada. So on the way back to her pen, we've boxed up the babies to take home, we see what looks like a foot..... I say to Greg and he says to me "Is that a foot?" We think it was testing the temperature... nope to cold, I'll come later.....

So Greg just decides to pull this baby, mom is tired and obviously beyond done. She was thin before twins, we're scared shitless to see what she'd look like after triplets. Now we have a bag of bone with a hide thrown over, who had triplets. She's stressed. She we grab her little friend she came with for some company and hopefully a little encouragement.

The next morning she looks like she might have eaten, we keep up with the probiotics and keep bringing her in for grain. She has just about no milk, but really I wasn't expecting any, so a little was encouraging. Her little friend looks suspiciously like she might be making an udder. A few weeks I hope before she'd kid. I should have known my luck doesn't run like that.

We finally brave sexing the kids Mehaw had..... triplet does. The flat one, we call her the little Weetard, is a trooper and the first one on her feet. All three and very weak in the back ends and take a full day and half to stand alone.

On the evening of the 8th (Sunday) we go out to milk and find the little friend with twin bucks. Mehaw has stolen them and is feeding one, with her head in the feeder eating. Whatever makes her happy! We opt to just leave them there with the moms, for one, Mehaw is the strongest we've seen her in a week, and she's now plowing through the grain we offer her, for two, I work the next two days back to back long days, and two less bottle babies won't hurt my feelings, and three, bucks... BOO!

Monday morning the 9th we go out to milk and for the first milking in a while, find no kids! Only my best doe is looking CLOSE. She's not eating and she's hanging off by herself. Not things she does normally. She NEVER misses a meal. I warn Bill, who is going to milk for me while I'm at work, that he will likely find babies from Star when he gets there, and to look for them, she will probably hide them. At 4pm I get a picture text. It's taken from our gate. Way at the top of the hill you can see a couple specks.. the text says "fucking star had her babies all the way at the top of the hill." I get text after text for the next hour, with phone calls mixed in.... what to do, how to do it.... "Star had twins" "Oh no, there are two more that she's not taking care of" "Wait, she's running back and forth between them" "How do I get them off the hill?" "She doesn't want me to take them what do I do" "Two bucks two does" "I'll leave the bucks with her" "No, wait, no bucks I'm just bringing them all home" So Star- quad does. I don't see them until after work, and one is the tiniest thing I have ever seen. She's not even as big as my mini dachshund. She's perfectly formed, but her little hooves are the size of dimes. The biggest is a BIG kid, normal twin size, about 8-9lbs. The middle two look like normal quad kid size, probably 5-6lbs. One black, 3 brown.

The next night, Tuesday, after a hellish day; which included, but not limited to, waking up to my son lying on the bathroom floor curled in a ball crying, calling my husband home from work to help me with my job, and testing 700 cows, we finally make it out to milk, at like 9PM. It's dark, it's POURING rain, it's cold as hell, and we pull up to a mass of goats at the upper sheds. I know somethings up, I can tell by the look on their guilty little faces. Either they are kidding, eating something they shouldn't be, or breaking something.

Turns out the last two toggs were kidding. Nothing eventful here, unless you count Bill trying to catch the 2 year old and falling on his ass, which was rather friggin' funny......

Jade- twins buck/doe
Hope- twins buck/doe

So lets recap again shall we.

In four days we had:

Mehaw- trip does
Eregon- twin bucks
Star- quad does
Jade- twins buck/doe
Hope- twins buck/doe

Yes that is 13 kids in 4 days. 9 of which are does. All of which are toggs. We went from only 3 togg does up to this point, to 12. Thanks girls for evening the odds... all at once. Holy HELL.

We have one doe we KNOW is left to kid. She was due yesterday, she will kid this weekend, which means she too will kid while I'm at work next week, she's just a bitch like that. Yes Sarah, that one!

I sent one milker home with Lori today. I have a call in to the dairy to make a run up there tomorrow, but they are horrible at returning calls. Actually if they wait a little bit maybe Mehaws little friend will feel better because she can totally go, there is nothing impressive about her except her size, and I'll keep Mehaw for that. I have a group of yearling milkers to take, none impressive but all milking, and I think my reserve champ milking yearling (kind of unheard of win for a yearling milker) from last year shall go, I'm just not impressed with her either this year.

Well that's all for now, if you don't hear from me again for a while, you'll know I drown in goat milk. Or the babies ate me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We tease my husband about the time he said "so when are you selling some of these goats, you're not keeping them all right?" and 5 does died within a week.... Or the time he said "Hey didn't you say we were selling a couple of these bucks" and two died the next day from feed related bloat.

Today I said to the boy, "I need to send some of these kids out to the garage, they're ready." He says shush shush shush, the last time you said that Whammo we had three does kid.

So today we get to the goats to find his "new" Peaches with a baby hanging out. Not what I want to wake up to, I'm sure it wasn't high on her list of ways to wake up either.

For about 10 seconds I could see him start to panic. Then he asked about the legs, and I noticed she had a head and only one leg and what was out was dry, she'd been at it for a while it seemed we figured the baby was dead, so I told him to go ahead and pull... he felt to see if maybe he could feel the other foot and the baby licked him. He had no problem getting the baby out, the hard part really was done she just needed a boost.

I start milking and see another doe who's looking like she's ready, so I have him haul her in so we don't have to wander around to find her later.

We go to have lunch and decide to head back to check on the impending birth, and find a different doe kidding. She was looking close, but not that close, but she's kidded before, so we weren't concerned. Greg didn't even call for me, she was in trouble by the sounds of it, but she was too far up the hill for me to go after her. Greg brings her in with baby in tow, or maybe he brought the baby in with her in tow. She wasn't done. The first baby was just big and she needed a little boost, she probably would have been ok on her own, but we were there. So we're waiting for her to get with it already to have baby number 2, and she literally lays down, sneezed and plop, there was baby two.

Just about this time, the doe who we thought was getting ready in the morning, decides to get the show on the road. Only it was a really long road. Very very long road with lots of stop signs. I am pretty sure this was the second slowest kidding I have ever watched. And she was a bitcher. Whine, bitch, complain, stop pushing. So dramatic. So here's the boy, coaching her. Common Keep Pushing. Like this.. Urrgghhh (at that moment I'm thinking, OMG the poor woman he marries) and about that time the doe has half leaned against the wall and is letting her butt end sink to the ground and she gives him this look like "OH for gods sake shut the hell up with the pushing." She rolled her eyes in only the way a true togg can, and gave him what we call togg lip, where they wrinkle the skin on their chins and stick out their lower lip, and just look truly pissed. He said, "I don't think she like my Lamaze coaching. Well fine then, but KEEP PUSHING! "

So the count today (didn't I say I thought I was getting break)

Peaches- single buck (who is an escape artist already, waltzing back and forth through the fences)
Firestorm- twins doe/buck
Firecracker- single buck

6 flippin' gallons of milk a day that I'm bringing home and we're not even bringing it all home, I'm out of containers to haul it in. Aurgh!

Friday, February 19, 2010

It was bound to happen. Today was the day of the bad kidding. We get one every year. The tear inducing kind. (not mine oddly) That's one thing I love about my son. I'm not sure whether he's sympathizing with the goat or himself, but when the going gets bad, homeboy gets in there and gets it done, usually shedding more than one tear while doing it. We have two small two year olds. We knew they were small, this is no shock and we were frankly surprised when the first kidded with no problem. This one wasn't so lucky, and of course, is the boys favorite.

It's never easy to pull a baby. It's really not easy when she's screaming in pain. You know it's hard, you know it's ugly, and you know it HAS.TO.BE.DONE. The boy is my trooper. I couldn't do it alone, just holding the doe for him to pull today was just about too much, my air left the building. We got it done. I should say, he got it done. All I do is direct. It's like kidding Cal-Trans. I'm the one holding the shovel.

That was one big friggin' buck. Yeah, of course, after all that work, a buck. A really friggin' big one. We thought he was born with a broken neck, but he was just limp limp. We rubbed and rubbed and he popped up and stood before we were done milking, how on those poor legs I don't know. This is one reason why small twins are always better.

So lets see what's the update now: (hell what's the date?)

2-18 Tundra twins doe/buck (gah, she's a psycho.)
2-19 Dawn single buck (moose)

One of our babies is the dude at a frat party who chugs his beer and then crushes the can on his head yelling AURRGGGHHH DONE!
Yeah, she's that kind of eater. And she's about 3lbs. Teenie tiny. Ok, maybe not that small, but she's little. She only stands 10" tall. But she's all about a bottle then she gets all wiggly, totally reminding me of the frat party dude. ;-)

Personally feeling OK. Off my predisone right now, unless I'm working. I can't stand the swelling and puffiness anymore. Now my back hurts like hell. I go get my IV port put in on Wednesday for 10-14 days of antibiotics at home. That will be fun to work around. I had the time off, but a client called and wanted to get back on test, and I didn't want to put them off too far. March sucks for me. Plus my auntie is having back surgery and when I find out when I would like to be there. It's the least I can do for my uncle after them sitting with me through all my dads surgeries.

So the goats are milking me out of house and home and I'm feeling OK as long as I don't overdo. All is well and right.

Off to feed these glutton guts, need to use the 3 gallons of milk in the fridge somehow.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

And the obers are making up for the last two year dry spell of no doe kids.
2-17 Autumn twin does

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

For those keeping score: To date:

2-11 Stormy twin bucks (one rode the short bus to town)
2-13 Capers twins- doe/buck
2-14 Shikari Twins- doe/buck
2-14 Leah- Abort (Greg's alpines are off to a roaring success! /sarcasm)
2-15 Charlotte- twin bucks (thank god she wasn't up to any records this year)
2-16 Escapade- single doe (first freshening yearling)
2-16 Endora- twin bucks (first freshening two year old)

Not quite half way. So far we have 3 keepers and one buck we're going to grow out a little to "see". Greg's not having any luck so far with his alpine project but he's had a great offer from Sarah that I think he's going to take her up on. He has one alpine left to kid but she's a real bitch, and I wouldn't put it past her to eat them just to spite us. ;-)

So far I'm drowning in milk. Remind me of this is a month when I'm scrounging for more. Though with this doe rate I'm liable to have to buy a calf. I'm really only milking 3 of those does so far (charlotte had her kids til this am, and the other two JUST kidded) and I'm getting 2 gallons a day. Charlotte will add another at least gallon a day to the milk alone, but those two firsties I don't except much from. With only 4 mouths to feed after Thursday...... I'm freezing it as fast as they produce it.

I expect by the end of today at least one more will kid if not 2 or 3.

Edit to add:

2-16 Maddy twins doe/black both black (She makes the birth of the year. Our first black doe in years, and the first doe she's ever had.)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

V-Day self love day brought to you by the ever so slightly hung over Snackipoo. (They had a rockin' valentines day party last night.)

So the game is to list one thing you like about yourself this V-Day.

I've had this picture downloaded for 4 days, you'd have thought I might have put a little thought into this. So I guess my power of procrastination shouldn't be it.

I think I'll go with my dedication. To pretty much everything except this blog. Work, animals, friends... I'm pretty much there until you either shit on me too many times (which changes daily) or shut the door in my face.

The end.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My chickens are high. It is winter. We all know that. You know, fairly cold, windy, rain.. I mean LOOK outside, it's not pretty, well most of the time. These moron freaks are LAYING every darn day. While most chickens are smartly molting and I dunno, just eating, this time of year, mine are making short work of my refrigerator space. Bill is actually fixing eggs before work. We only own 4 of these hens, 4 are supposed to be my moms, but her coops isn't ready yet. Thankfully only 5 are laying.

Greg's foot is on the mend. Still icing daily and wednesday we'll start hot/cold soaks to start trying to break down the bruising. Yeah! Fun! Not.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Kidding season is baring down on me. We clipped about half the milkers today. Tomorrow we'll catch the skitzy ones and get them done. We did manage to get all the kids caught and clipped and it looks like one might go down the road with the "not bred" does. She's young, but pfft I just don't need her. She might be due late, but whatever hasn't kidded by the end of March, and doesn't look close by then... is hitting the auction trailer.

I am tentatively willing to say I think my one and only AI stuck. Though I thought she came back in heat, it seems she's going to kid on her AI date. She'll make a liar of me and fill her udder a month early just to screw with my mind.

Other than that it's a crap shoot from now till the end of march. I pen bred and have dates for all but 4 of the does, those are all the kids I bred to one buck, all penned in the same pen I can't see in from the barn. Out of 21 breeding that's not so bad.

My mom went back to the DR today. SHOCK! I haven't heard what they said so will call her later.

I have plans to do 10 days of IV antibiotics at home the end of this month to the beginning of next month. Other than that I am still in the testing phase. I'm holding off on all further tests until I get these anti-s done. My arm had to heal from the last tests before we could have a port put in for the antibiotics, which is why I'm not doing these over this week off. My arm finally has healed, now it just looks stained where the hematoma was. Heat and ice helped immensely.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Friday was to be a fairly easy day appointment wise because I ran all over yesterday to make it that way. The only test I had for this day was the Right Heart Catherization. This is were they thread a wire through my vein to my heart to measure the pressures there and test its strength. I was only having to have the right side tested, so this should be easy. The only part of this test that had me nervous was the sedative as I have never been sedated for anything. I have no idea how I’ll react, and since I’m allergic to just about everything short of water, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Plus I had been warned it would require anywhere from 4 to 8 hours of recovery time. In case you havn’t noticed from reading here, I don’t do lie around and wait well.

Since my 24 hour test had been such a fail yesterday I was told I could check in at the hospital at 7 am, which to me screamed GO HOME 2 HOURS EARLIER, so we were hot on that and arrived at the admitting room at 7am! It was colder than a refrigerator in there. They were reconstructing the area and I don’t think there were any walls at all behind that plastic. From admitting (Do you have your 250 deductible? Oh lady trust me, that’s covered, I had a 3000 prescription arrive at my door two days ago!), we headed up to the cardiac unit for the test. From the fridge to the frying pan. It was like a 40 degree temp jump on the elevator ride up. Mind you this whole time I’m carrying this green bag, the type you can get at most stores this day to bring home your groceries and be all eco-friendly, in it I’m packing my wallet, nebulizer and meds, and a gallon jug of urine. I’ll give a second to let that sink in.


So at some point I need to drop this at a lab. I have the grand idea I’ll try to talk the nurse I get into it. Nothing says How are you today like asking someone to walk around carrying a jug of your urine. At least I sealed it up in a plastic bag, sheesh!

We check into the waiting area and wait to get called back into the “holding area”. My nurse comes to get me, and he’s very formal. Frankly he’s a little bitch and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to try really hard not the eat him alive. He turns me into the bathroom and gives me the gown speech and the “how to properly lock the door” speech, and today I don’t bother to hurry him along. I learned my lesson yesterday; I just tune him out instead.

I’m into a bed before 8am. Doctors start to pour by and I’m just not paying much attention. All the while my nurse, Brad, is hooking me up to heart monitors, blood pressure cuffs, and his sidekick gets the job of handing off the “bag”. Once she comes back she gets to hook up my regular IV, for fluids and the sedative. At this point one doctor decides they are going to try to get this done through an arm vein and not my neck. This makes me happy, he also tells me it’s exactly the same procedure as when they set my port lines for the IV’s I normally have. So I question the sedative and he says I shouldn’t need it! YEAH! This means I get to go home as soon as they are done!

Brad and I are yakking about their unit goals and teasing around, he’s really a nice guy. He prepped my neck for an IV with lidocane just in case, this is important later. Totally gay, but really sweet and not the complete bitch I thought he was going to be.

Now, Brad, gets to set the IV into a larger vein for them to switch out for a catheter in the procedure room. He nails it no problem in the big vein in my elbow of my right arm. (Keep notes on this folks, you’ll loose track soon.) He’s flushing it with fluid and can’t get the syringe unscrewed, and I can’t help him because he’s holding down my good arm. While we wait for the unit head to come over to help him, he explains that he doesn’t have any grip in that hand from surgery that he had to have after saving a patients life holding off an aterial bleed for 45 minutes, resulting in nerve damage in his wrist. Suddenly I’m pretty happy to have him as my nurse. This also explains his tick. He does this hand wave, finger flex, wrist twirl that I really thought was just his tick, turns out it’s because his hand is numb.

Now we wait. I had to wait for someone else to be done before they can start me, so they go get Bill, and I send him off for breakfast and to chill for a while, but let him know we won’t have to be there as long, YEAH!

Another nurse comes to get me at about 9 and we walk back to the procedure room. They lay me out on the slab and ask me if I’d like any happy juice and I decline, the IV is in dude, the worst is over………

In come the two wanna be doctors who are going to do the procdure. They look like they are about 12 and 13. I’m good with that, the hard stuff is done, all the have to do is follow the lines. So they switch out the IV for a catheter, which is not a job done without pain, but it’s manageable. In goes a wire guide. I can feel it go through my shoulder and I tell them that, and they say, “You shouldn’t be able to feel that!?”, umm sorry… I can? I tell them where the end currently is, and they both get rather quite and say, um, wow, she shouldn’t be able to tell that. Again, sorry, but I can. And Oh, SHE isn’t sedated, and SHE can HEAR YOU. They root around in there for a few minutes and conclude that the vein is occluded and they need to set another IV.

In comes supervising doctor, because tweedle dee and dum aren’t sure how to proceed. Another vein, into the neck…. One of the two is holding pressure on my arm where they took out the catheter, and saying to the others, Um, she’s still bleeding, A-Lot.


And, you don’t have to whisper I can feel the blood.

So he tries small talk instead. I tell them not to worry they are doing fine, I’m fine, go ahead and try for another. Super doctor thinks they should try a vein in that same arm and use ultrasound to be sure it’s not occluded.

One of them drew the short straw and trys to set another IV, while the other one holds pressure on my arm that’s still gushing blood. There is a lot of, right there, no little more, no back out, forward, to the left, right there, no too far. Then the debate is on as to how to hold the IV in place, as it’s barely in the vein, and sterilize the area, while one holds the IV. Turns out they can’t do it, and they lose that spot too. So the other one trys. About 2” below where the first one had, thinking the problem was that the IV needle was too short for the area of my arm that they were trying to access. I suggest a longer needle while they are cleaning up and getting ready to start again. You know, mostly to remind them NOT SEDATED!

That one? Fail. He rooted around and came up with what appeared to be a good stick, but by the time they sterilized everything, it was occluded. More consult, what to do, where to go now....

Now super Doctor says switch to the other arm, and we’ll have a nurse set the IV by ultrasound. Best damn idea all day. Plus he swung by my head to offer happy juice again. I decline again. I’m no martyr, I am just really freaked about the sedative and would rather deal with the pain. Which really isn’t all that bad at the time. I mean I didn’t cry at all. After having someone try, and fail, to shove a catheter up your nose, this is a freakin’ cakewalk. Super nurse comes in, nails the IV and we FINALLY get a good stick that isn’t in a vein that’s shot.

It takes appox. 15 minutes to get the data they needed. I’m making them a little nervous by telling them where the wire/balloon is the whole time. They blocked the screen thinking I was looking, until the nurse told them my eye were closed anyway. Haha. Poor guys. I bet they hope all their future patients are nicely sedated. I did joke with them at one point that they probably wished I had been sedated.

My nurse helps me sit up and the room takes a spin around me. Lying flat on my back on a hard table for 2 hours had done in my vertigo, not to mention I had no feeling in my legs or feet. We head back to the “holding” area and plunk me in a bed. Looks like I get to rest for a while after all. My neck is itching like bitch, my stomach is lurchy,, and my head is loopy. One of the nurses grabs me a jello like product in a color that isn’t anything close to orange and I eat that. That settles the tummy and will eventually help the head. They let me get dressed, pull out the fluid IV, cut my tags, and let me free! Well, actually Willy Wong (no shit I can’t make that crap up) gets the honor of wheeling me out. Good thing I was sitting on the elevator!

On the drive home I find I have 6 bruises from IV attempts or blood draws, my neck is swollen and itchy from the lidocane (I’m allergic, goody!), my torso is broke out in a rash (I’m allergic to the contrast dye too!!), and the two spots where Dee and Dum tried to put in my IV are already black. Like BLACK BLACK, and the size of a golf ball.

I didn’t take a picture of those two but they look like eyeballs. Black ones. The really weird part is this bruise is it will “take” a pattern. While I was sleeping the bruise took on the pattern of the wrinkles of my pillowcase.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Inquiring minds want to know

We left on Wednesday for my 2 day trip to San Fran for testing, which means 3 days away from home. We left the critters here in the care of my mother and son and I (god help me) took Bill with me, because they said I'd need a driver home after the last test.

We stayed in Mill Valley which is this little quaint old historic mill town just this side of SF. The motel was about half of what I would have spent in the city and I probably drove less time getting from there to the hospital than I would have if I had actually stayed IN the city. Our motel room was HUGE, but upstairs, which sucked with the unlit walkways at 6 AM each morning.

The first day of testing was lab work first thing in the AM, with the lab tech who wasn't thrilled that I could have cared less about her "talk" about the proper way to take a urine sample. Lady, this isn't my first rodeo, save the sweet talk. When I tried to rush her through her little speech she says "I'm trying to make sure you're not confused!" (she was oriental with a think accent, I'm not sure which of us she was trying to direct) I'm pretty sure at that point I rolled my eyes... but I TRIED really hard NOT to. Isn't it all about the effort?
Once the vampire drew her 13 (yes really 13) vials of blood we were off to have hoses crammed where they just don't belong. Luckily all of my tests this day, with the exception of one add on were in one building, this saved on my lung function and made for a MUCH easier day.

Up to the 6th floor to the GI clinic to have a 24 hour acid test and a Esophageal blah blah blah test. Hey, I take the tests, I don't memorize the names. Nor do I remember the names of doctors or techs or nurses. This may seem rude to them but I see so many, and most only once ever, I just don't bother. My mind has enough clutter, really. The VERY nice woman calls me back to the torture test from hell, and actually explains WHY I have to have the torture test from hell, which THANK YOU. Her name was Joy. I know this because I spent the next 15 minutes staring at her chest while she tried to shove a pencil up my nose. Epic FAIL. We could not get a catheter to pass through either nostril. Since that couldn't happen, that meant I didn't have to wear the tube overnight either, nor did I have to totally screw up the cardiac unit the next day while they had to wait for me to get the tube removed before they could have me.
Down to the Plaza Level for an abdominal ultrasound. Ever had a baby? Pretty much the same damn thing. So either they didn't believe me, the urine test, and the blood test that I wasn't pregnant, or they really did want to look at my liver and kidneys.

Down again to C level for a CT scan. Giant donut x-ray basically. IT takes clearer pictures in slices. So they can get a much closer look at what's going on in there. You lay on a table and they pass you back and forth through the donut while the camera whizzes around inside the donut. It really sounds a little like a jet taking off, and the tech told me it can go even father than what I heard it going. Some ten revolutions every .4seconds. I will be interested to hear what the differences between last year and this year were. I'm hoping that my Pum. Dr can get copies of all these results.

Now, back up the the Lobby of Parnassus building, only we found that at some point in our comings and goings in and out doors, we were in a different building. I'm not sure how we did that exactly without ever going outside, but we had to go outside to get back. Ehh, whatever, it was fine and we were only next door. I finally receive a call back from one nurse coordinator about trying to combine one other blood draw with the heart test I was having the next day. Turns out the heart test would be ventricle (through a vein) not arterial (through an artery), so them drawing blood wouldn't work. Dammit. This meant I was going to have to have someone shove a needle in my wrist and dig around for the artery there. A note should be made I HATE this test. Almost as much as I hate a failed nasal catheter.
Now I'm technically done with all the tests for today, but to save myself running all over in the morning before the heart test, I run up the block and have my EKG done. While I'm there my nurse coordinator FINALLY friggin' calls me back from the day before. She has scheduled my ABG (blood gas, needle to wrist test) on the 5th floor. OK, I make sure I ask twice which floor. 5th. She's sure, I'm sure, we're good to go!

We head back to the 5th floor of the first building we were in. We read the signs. Nothing screams GET BLOOD SUCKED HERE. One way says: Lung and Allergy. The other said something that sounded blood like. Hemoglobin Clinic or something like that. We headed there. They looked me up on the computer and said Oh no that's on the 6th floor, GI clinic. (Read first part again about not remembering names....) So off we head to the GI clinic. Or should I say,back to the GI clinic. We round the corner off the elevator and I'm all Dude, we've been here before. Bill says, "how can you tell, they all look the friggin' same?" Then I'm all, DUDE, IKNOW we've been here before. Oh yep, there is the receptionist lady from 8am. I said to her, ha, bet you thought you were done with me HUH? So she is totally sweet, makes 5 phone calls (5, because my nurse coordinator doesn't return calls, or apparently answer her phone) and finds out that YES I am supposed to be on the 5th floor. At the allergy clinic. I thank her profusely and off we head the allergy clinic.

I might mention that at this point it's about 11:30. I haven't eaten since the day before at 6pm, and that was only 1/2 a grilled cheese. The elevator is really beginning to be a head spinning experience and these elevators go at mach nine. We're sitting waiting to get this one last test, so we can just leave and eat real food. And waiting. And waiting. Then this man start talking to me. Do I look nice? Do I look friendly?Man, you have a southern accent, I look at you and see fried chicken. Turns out, he was a totally nice thigh, I mean GUY, who had a double lung transplant in '04. The, hot & sour soup, opps, man, he had been talking to before us, was a single lung transplant in '03.

Finally they call me back for my blood stick and we find out how unprepared some clinics are. You see, I'm horribly allergic to rubbing alcohol. It's a real pita at a hospital. They are not prepared for this at all. Now, they can use betadine, they can use a baby wipe, just don't use anything with alcohol. Turns out there was NO betadine on the floor. All of their wipes were expired, in Jan of '09 (check the stock much?). The poor tech finally found a bottle of betadine somewhere and we got the draw done. But not before I scare him by telling him I hope he's good and hurries up, I'm starved I haven't eaten in 17 hours. He stops, says, have you drank anything. I bat my eyes, lie like a rock, and say yes, plenty (4oz of My Dew totally counts). He breaths a sigh or relief and says phewwww he was worried about dehydration.
Then we ate. Went to the motel. The end.
Just kidding.

Well, not really. We left SF, saw an Outback Steak house, planned dinner, went back to Mill Valley, ate at DipSea, got a stomach ache, toured around Mill Valley a little (as long as you consider driving around and stopping a the pet shop, touring), drove out the Stinson Beach (their ocean is as ugly as ours, IMAGINE THAT), went back to the motel, and vegged until we went back to Outback for dinner.
When we finally did go for dinner we realized Outback was actually in a big box mall. OMG. I could have walked around Best Buy and Ross or Babies'R'Us ( after the urine, blood and ultrasound it's been confirmed we will not be needing such a store) rather than drive to the ocean. * forehead smack*

So I'll save the Heart test for tomorrow. This was enough to write today. The heart test day is a whole post worth on it's own. And I have the scars, bruises, and rash to prove it.