Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ridicule disguised as healthcare

I think I am pretty realistic about my body. I am not presenting my inner Kate Moss to the viewing public, but I am not exactly Carnie Wilson on dollar day at Burger Heaven either. In my latest quest to return to my high school physique I have taken up running - well, not running exactly...more like cursing while moving quickly down the street.

Anyway, I have a long history of knee problems and after two surgeries I am a little nervous about screwing my knees up for eternity. Even after $100+ running shoes and 3 months of strength training specifically designed to firm up calves, hamstrings and quads I am still having a hard time keeping my knees on board with the marathon training regimen. I finally decided to go and see an orthopedic surgeon just to make sure I am not running myself right into a wheelchair.

I got a referral from my family doctor and made my appointment. I got my records sent down from the last ortho to hack on me and I was set to go. I went into the clinic all filled with optimism that I was going to be praised for my newfound attention to my health and given a pat on the back and a clean bill of health. Little did I know my self-esteem had approximately 31 minutes left to live.

I go back to an exam room with the perky little assistant and she asks me perky little questions and writes my answers down with her perky little pen and then she perkily announces that the x-tech will be right with me. The not quite so perky x-ray tech lumbers in and off we go for a round of pictures where I am forced to contort into bizarre shapes and then hold "very still" for what seems an eternity. X-rays done and off I go to wait for the doctor.

In he comes - firm grip, big biceps, white teeth. I wasn't sure if he was the doctor or if I was being Punk'd. Have you ever noticed that orthopedic surgeons always seem to look like NFL quarterback rejects? Do you think they have a medical school specifically for the pretty boys that didn't quite make it in pro sports? Nevermind...I digress...

So, the poster boy for Surgeons Who Pump Iron Magazine starts asking me questions...what kind of pain? when? where? how bad? how often? etc. He tells me how my x-rays look great and the last surgeon did a really great job. I am feeling pretty darn good at this surgery! Yea me!

He asks about my activity level and I proudly begin to tell him how I have this trainer, blah, blah, blah and we are working on leg strengthening, blah, blah, blah and how I have lost 7% body fat and a whole pant size, blah, blah, blah and how I am training for a marathon, blah, blah, blah. See me? Proud little monkey...good monkey...monkey eat banana and swing from vine...

Oh yeah...this is where my self-esteem goes on to the next life...

Mister "I have big pecs" utters the following words...
"What are you doing coming in here at 6 foot and 230 pounds and telling me you are on a running program? That is the worst thing someone your size can do for their knees. Have you seen what runners look like? They don't look like you. When you can come in here at 6 foot and 155 then we'll talk about a running program. You should try swimming."

I'll pause here while you either pick up your jaw or stop laughing.

It's ok...I'll wait.

OK...picture me...too stunned to speak...stupid grin on my face and still on a high from my "I'm working out" speech and Dr. "You aren't a size 2 so you must be punished" walks out the door. His perky little assistant hands me a "prescription" that tells me to wear a knee support and to try swimming for aerobic exercise and then scoots her size 4 ass out the door.

I wanted to scream out into the hallway and say...Do you think I don't own a mirror? I buy my own clothes you Ass Goblin and I am perfectly aware they aren't a size 4. I get the fact that I need to shave some poundage off - THUS THE EXERCISE you pompous jackass. I spent the next few days formulating a strongly worded letter to him that basically said "thanks for the encouragement, Dr. 'Skipped Class on Good Bedside Manner Day.' Brace yourself 'cause all you did was piss me off and now I am even more determined to finish that marathon so the next time the pictures on your wall start to shake you sit back and rest easy in the knowledge that it is just my enormous girth pounding down the street and not an earthquake."

So...I'll stick to it and I promise to send everyone a pic from the finish line because I am going to do it. I will do it. That marathon is MINE!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Idiots of the world UNITE!!

I want to say for what has to be the ten billionth time that I have some really great friends. I am very, very lucky and if I had enough time and space I would list each and everyone of you by name. I am not going to do that because I have neither time nor space and to add insult to injury I have too short of an attention span.

My point for blogging about friends again is to ask a question...


By way of explanation: I have a "best friend" (or as it is beginning to look - I HAD a "best friend") that began dating a new guy a few months back. Long, stupid story short he is an idiot. Everyone thinks he is an idiot. Everyone talks about what an idiot he is when the two of them aren't around. Everyone quietly talks about what an idiot he is when they are around. No one wants him around. I guess I must be a bigger idiot than he is because I told my "best friend" the truth about what everyone is saying behind her back.

I guess the upside is that I don't have to hang out with the idiot or in anyway subject myself to his idiot ways. It's kind of a relief actually. The thing that really chaps my ass is that I really do miss my friend. My friend from BEFORE the idiot. One of the bigger downsides of this particular idiot is that my friend also became kind of an idiot. She is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSON since she met him. I am all about change and personal growth, but let's try and keep it positive, shall we?

Anyway, I wish I could have my friend back. I also wish pigmy elves would do my dishes every night after I go to bed, but that ain't happenin' either.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Air Travel and You: Are delays a curse or a PLAN?

I can NEVER fly without my flight being delayed. My name on any passenger manifest means delays, cancellations, merged flights, overbookings and just about every other type of airline irritation you can think of. I was supposed to be taking off NOW...right NOW...and I am sitting here typing rants to you people. Delayed again.

I wonder - is this the airline industry's way of just beating us down? Do they think that if they overprice the tickets, under offer on hospitality and create tons of fiery hoops for us to jump through that by the time we actually take off we will just smile gratefully and accept our tiny cup of Coke and tinier bag of honey roasted nuts? Is this how the airline industry keeps us complacent? through frustration? It's a pretty good plan actually - I find myself THANKING the surly gate agent for taking my boarding pass with disdain and pointing vaguely at the aircraft sitting in rows out on the puddle-jumper pad. I am almost climbing over the person next to me to shake the flight attendant's hand for shoving a bag in my face and barking, "TRASH" at me as we descend. Ahhh - if only I could find a way to implement this brilliant plan in my own life.

This topic could lead us right into a political discussion of how the entire government's plan is to keep Americans fat and happy while we eat our Super-sized Big Mac meals and watch shows like Friends that keep us laughing and not paying attention to the horrors going on around us. They keep telling us how righteous we all are as we drive our SUVs around listening to bubble gum pop on the radio and talk on our cell phones about the latest sale at Macy's. They over tax us and underpay us and keep us wallowing in the shit stew they have built for us and we freaking THANK THEM for flying the Stars and Bars and playing the national anthem before the Seahawks game. I never really thought of myself as a political person. I never really cared to be really honest, but TODAY I am not content sitting back and listening to all the bullshit they pump down to us. As my dear and brilliant friend Jenny so eloquently states: "I love my country. I just think we should see other people."

Friday, September 8, 2006

Is this relief or gas?

I survived another surgery. Queasily, grumpily, unhappily. But, survived.

I got really sick this time from the anesthesia and what should have been 2 hours in recovery became almost 5 hours in recovery because I was so nauseated. They gave me something to help, but all it did was knock me out. I have this vague memory of the nurse coming and telling me I had to wake up and then nothing. Later, when the nurse informed me how much longer than normal I had been taking up space, I began to feel guilty for being sick. I mean, come on...I just had an ORGAN REMOVED and I am feeling guilty for not wanting to get out of bed!! What is wrong with this picture?! I dozed off for what felt like hours and then buzzed the nurse to tell her I was ready to get dressed and leave. She stomped in, rolled her eyes, told me in a very exasperated tone that "it has only been 5 minutes since she hung a new fluid bag for me" and I needed to get at least half of it in before I left.

Sheesh - are you supposed to be a nurse if taking care of your patients is an inconvenience?
On top of that, the doctor never came in to tell Eric or me how the surgery went. I am assuming it went fine since I am still breathing, but there is that other thought train that makes me wonder if he is avoiding telling me that he accidentally took out my spleen.

We finally got home last night at 5 and I slept right up until 9 this morning. That was good and not so good. Here is a little tip for you...when you have surgery in your abdomen they pump your belly full of air. Side effect number 1 is really embarrassing burping and farting that you can't control. Side effect number 2 is that if you don't move around enough and work all that air out of your body it starts moving around inside you looking for a way out and it tends to pool up in your shoulders. When that happens you get really bad cramps and sharp pains in your neck and shoulders. Well...welcome to my latest hell. I woke up this morning literally screaming because I couldn't turn my head without excrutiating pain in my shoulder. It has gotten better as the day has gone on and heating pads really help.

Overall - not a good experience. My abdomen is so sore that my current greatest fear is sneezing. It makes my eyes water just thinking about it! I am going to be ok though. I better suck it up quick because pain or no pain I have a business trip next week and get on a plane at 9:15 Monday morning. Happy 9/11 traveling!

So - no more gallbladder blogging. I promise. I am as sick of my organs as I am sure the rest of you are. Next week I will blog about business travel, rental cars and returning to the city where your ex-husband and his new wife (your ex-roommate) live. Ahhh...memories.

Friday, September 1, 2006

Musings...or something kinda like that...

Ahhhh - Friday. Fridays are good days and I am really glad that this one decided to show up when it did cause I really needed one.

Eric and I tend to carpool together on Fridays so I get to work at about 6:45 am - WAY earlier than I normally do. I hate sitting in the office that early so I start my day downtown at the Dawsons - which for the record has the best coffee around - and then walk across the street and go up to the office.

This morning I came in and staked out a table, read my book for a while, drank my latte, ate my pastry and watched the world go by. At about 8 I started the little internal dialogue that always happens on Friday mornings - "Do I sit here til 9 when people actually expect me or do I go ahead and work? Do I just plug in here and work or do I try for respectability and go sit at my desk?" I finally decided to plug in at Dawson's and work from my cozy little table with an awesome view of the door. It is now about 2:15 and I am still here. It's been great - I have gotten a ton of work done since no one can walk in and ask me to do more stuff.

Here are some of the things I have experienced during my coffeehouse work day:

1. 6 old men at the table next to me talking about sports
2. A guy buying coffee that looks so much like Steve Buscemi that I almost asked for his autograph. He even had the funky teeth.
3. A couple making out in the corner
4. A line of patrons out the door that all looked very irritated and merely moments from lighting torches
5. A really cute guy wearing scrubs that winked at me while adding sugar to his coffee
6. A gaggle of really skinny blonde chicks that ordered 1 non-fat latte - no kidding - ONE LATTE for 5 anorexic blonde chicks
7. A short fat guy that went to the bathroom 4 times in half an hour
8. A really cute professional looking fellow hitting on the barista who was so completely oblivious that I wanted to scream FIRE just to put the poor guy out of his misery.

What a fun little viewpoint on the world. I tell you what - I LOVE having an office right downtown. It has been a constant education - I have expanded my worldview as I am now much more aware of the sheer volume of homeless people, punk skaters and bored, rich, skinny trophy wives with nothing to do but drink martinis at Red Feather.

Ahhhh - Life.