Saturday, January 31, 2009

You Got What?

Yesterday was a really good day. I went to see my cardiologist and everything is looking great. The tests show that my heart has regained a significant amount of function on the left side. I won't have to see him for 6 weeks and I'm going to have another echo so he can eyeball what's going on electrically and decide whether or not I'll need a defibrillator implanted. So far, it looks like I won't need it. Woohoo!

The doc doubled my dose of one of my heart meds and cleared me for moderate exercise. With all that water loss and restored oxygen I've been itching to go out and walk on the nice days. I have more energy than I've had in years, and really need to burn some of it off.

To celebrate, Hubby brought home ice cream and brandy. With all that's been going on, it's been a really long time since we've been able to run around nekkid and scare the dogs. ;-)

Little Guy stayed with a friend.

Needless to say, a good time was had by all. Except the dogs. They spent the night incarcerated.

When we woke up this morning, Hubby snuggled up to me and growled in my ear. Feeling mighty frisky, my man was. I'm pretty sure that wasn't a gun in his pocket, because know...he wasn't wearing pockets.

Oh crap! I sat up. I forgot to use the oxygen last night!

I'm still at the point where I feel like if I don't follow the doc's directions explicitly, I'm going to suddenly wake up dead one morning. I'm supposed to be on oxygen all night while I sleep. Does that mean I should walk around with my nose hose for 5 or 6 hours today, or could I just skip it and wait until bedtime? I reached down to the floor and groped around for the hose.

"Leave it." Hubby tried to pull me back. "Another 30 minutes won't kill you."

I muttered something that he missed because my head was over the side of the bed. 50 feet of hose has to end somewhere, doesn't it?

"You want to play "Naughty Nurse"?" His ears perked up. "Are you going to take my temperature or am I going to take yours?"

I rolled back onto my pillow with the end of the nose hose in my hand.

No, I said why don't we play "Naughty Nursing Home"? I can be the invalid with the nose hose and you can be the dirty old gray-haired man from down the hall who sneaks in my room to ravish me.

He turned 10 shades of red.

"Oh God," he groaned as he flopped back on his side of the bed. "You really know how to kill a mood!"

Awww c'mon, I wheedled. You don't even have to pretend that you still have all your teeth!

Ok, we're demented. But that's what passes for entertainment in the Attila home.

And it's nice to see that I can still make my old man blush. ;-)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Melancholy Baby

We've spent this week prepping for and finally going to court yesterday on Big Kid's disability hearing. He was so nervous and scared that he burst into tears. My poor baby boy.

It was so very very hard to testify about why we had to make him move out and about his rage attacks when he's manic. Basically I had to say on the record what an unbelievable sh*thead he can be. It hurt him. It hurt me. We've tried to accentuate the positive all of Big Kid's life and to help him have good self-esteem. And to let him know---even at his worst---that we will always love him very much.

There's only so many times that someone can spit in your face and scream that you're a "f*cking c*nt" before it starts killing something inside you, I told the judge. I know it's his illness, but it has devastated our entire family.

Then I cried too.

He seemed sympathetic, and we have the medical affidavits from the doctors and therapist who have treated Big Kid for years. Plus an affirmative affidavit from their OWN expert. How a pencil pusher who has never met him could take a statement he made to his therapist over a year ago out of context to deny his original petition (his therapist asked Big Kid what he saw himself doing in 5 years, and the kid flippantly replied, "Laying on my mom's couch and playing video games" because he didn't want to discuss it) is baffling to me.

He's trying to live in his own place and is taking college courses. The point is that he is trying to make a life for himself. Unfortunately his health insurance will run out in a year, and if that happens, who knows what we'll do.

Keep your fingers crossed, would you?



Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh, Stress Your Lil' Stinking Heart

Well this round of tests are done, and I just gotta say it:

I'm starting to feel like a 3 dollar ho.

Every time someone in a white coat or scrubs walks by I have an uncontrollable urge to flip my shirt up and show them my chest. Pavlov's dog and all that...

One of the tests I took was a stress test.

I don't know if it's the lazy person's stress test, or the physically impaired person's stress test or what, but it doesn't actually involve any treadmill running or jumping jacks or whatever they used to make you do. Which is good, because my right foot is still very tender and wouldn't look kindly to being jumped up and down on.

What they do now is basically give you a 5 minute push of adrenalin and halfway through give you a shot of radioactive isotopes that light your blood up so they can see how the blood flows through your heart at a stress rate and at a resting rate. The adrenalin will exit your system about 45 seconds after the push is done and the isotopes will continue to light you up like a Christmas tree for a few more hours or so. Because the adrenalin has such a short shelf life, they have to specially order the dose one day before the procedure.

While the medical assistant was wiring me for sound (I.V. in my arm, electrodes all over my chest and ankles which she attached to cables) she explained what the side effects of the adrenalin could be. Headache, nausea, difficulty breathing, rapid heart beat, pain or pressure in my throat and/or chest. Most patients experience one or more of these effects. Risks included me falling down dead of a sudden heart attack.

"But not to worry", she added cheerfully. "You're in an excellent cardiac facility!" Then she handed me a clipboard and told me to sign.

I read it and stopped. Uh, we have an issue. I don't weigh xxxxx (not telling, none of yer business! LOL).

She took the clipboard back. "Well you said you weighed this when we set up the procedure on December 11th."

Nooooo---What I said was that at the rate I was losing weight, I could possibly weigh 10 to 15 pounds less by now.

"I have to go get the doctor." And she left.

I started to get scared. Visions of a mouse in a microwave (me being the mouse) were racing through my head. You know me and what I mean.!! From the inside out.

The MA came back with a doctor.

"It shouldn't be a problem if you're within the 10% range", he said. "What do you weigh now?"

I'm not sure (with all the weight I'd been losing I wasn't stepping on the scale every day. It was all freaking me out a bit).

So we had to go down the hall to a scale. Me with a shortie wrap gown covering my boobies, and the med assistant and doc carrying the wires that were attached to the electrodes trailing behind me like attendants at Dr. Octopus' wedding.

Whew. I was within the 10%. Barely. I calculated what all the wires might weigh and signed the form (with trepidation). Then I got back on the table.

The technician who was going to administer the adrenalin push and isotopes came in.

"Did the medical assistant explain all of the possible side effects?" he asked.

I assured him that she had.

"Let's go over it again. Headache, nausea, difficulty breathing, rapid heart beat, pain or pressure in your throat and/or chest. Most patients experience one or more of these effects. Risks include falling down dead of a sudden heart attack."

"But not to worry", he added cheerfully. "You're in an excellent cardiac facility!"


Then the cardiologist who was going to monitor the whole procedure came in and introduced herself. Asked me if I knew what the possible side effects of the procedure was going to be.

I assured her that I knew.

"We just want to be sure that it's clear. Headache, nausea, difficulty breathing, rapid heart beat, pain or pressure in your throat and/or chest. Most patients experience one or more of these effects. Risks include falling down dead of a sudden heart attack."

"But not to worry", she added cheerfully. "You're in an excellent cardiac facility!"

I was seconds away from bursting into tears. From all the warnings, at this point the image in my mind of my heart (ok you guys know the weirdness that passes through MY noggin) was of the baby monster thing bursting through the chest of its host in the Alien movies. I was scared to death.

There was sort of a countdown. The I.V. was on my right side, the medical assistant was on my left with a blood pressure cuff on that arm. I turned my head to the left and focused on the medical assistant.

She took my blood pressure.

How is it? I asked.

"Good", she said. "Are you feeling ok?"

I'm fine. When are we going to start?

"We're already one and half minutes into it. I need to take your pressure again."


There was nuthin'. Really not a thing.

Ok, during the very last minute, I felt a little tightening at the base of my throat. The MA, the tech and the doc kept exclaiming that I was one of the "lucky ones" ---with what I thought was a little disappointment---who didn't need a crash cart and an extraordinary save. Could be my imagination. You know how overactive it is.

Anyhoo, they unwired me, but left a few electrodes stuck to my chest for the next phase. I had to go sit in the waiting room for 30 minutes to give the isotopes a chance to circulate before taking a bunch of pictures.

I promptly fell asleep from the adrenalin crash and had to be physically woken up when it was time. I was dreaming about having wild hot monkey sex with my hubby (seriously!) and had a little drool on my chin. Gak!

Got the results back. There's good news and bad news (in my opinion).

The good news is that everything is clean and clear. No blockages whatsoever, so no bypass surgery or rotorooting needed.

The bad news?

They still don't know why my heart is failing.

So that means in two weeks, more tests. Argh.



Saturday, January 10, 2009


I know I've had a bug up my behind lately about the AOL Welcome Screen headline writers (who I've come to think of as TLPWSFB---The League of People with Sh*t for Brains, courtesy of my old blogfriend Ma Titwonky).

For some reason, my inner editor just howls when I see what they post in order to lure the reader into clicking on the link (which usually takes you to a slow-loading 30-page pop-up montage where you have to click "next" to read each paragraph). When I read something particularly inane, I refuse to click on it---well most of the time---but it's as bothersome as a rotten tooth and rattles around in my noggin all day.

Here are some that have been noteworthy lately:

Big Man Loses it During Game

Loses what? His mind? His lunch? His bus pass? His virginity? And what does being "Big" have to do with it?

Cheap Way to Hydrate Face

Hello? Tapwater?

Keep the Juices Flowing;
How Parents of 17 Keep the Spark Alive

First of all, ewwww! Secondly, in my opinion, the last thing they need to worry about is keeping the spark alive. Somebody needs to buy them a freaking fire extinguisher and tell them to call it a night.

Are Breastfeeding Pics "Obscene"?

Well that depends. If the picture of the person being breast-fed is an infant, then I'd have to say no. If it was a picture of Larry, his brother Darryl and his other brother Darryl, then I'd go with "probably".

What Turns Men Off

Since they don't actually have an on-and-off switch, I imagine a cattle prod might be rather effective.

5 Ways to Become Truly Sexy

Do we really have to go there? Obviously farting in his face isn't on the top of the list.

Everyone Wants Angelina's Lips

What would they do with her lips if they got them? Pin them to a corkboard with the rest of the butterfly collection?


Hope you all have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Time to Clean Up

Holidays are over, time to put it all away for the new year ahead...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Spanx For the Memories...

New Year's Eve was our wedding anniversary. Well, one of them anyway, because Hubby and I got married twice (funny story for another time).

Anyhoo, I wanted to go out to a fancy shmancy local restaurant to celebrate. I'll call it "European Cuisine", because we really DO like this place and the owner, and I don't want to inadvertently bring any embarrassment. Mostly my own, just in case somebody saw me at the end.

We agreed to get early reservations so we could get back home before the drunks started hitting the streets, and made arrangements for Little Guy to have an evening elsewhere.

And in preparation for the big night, I bought myself some Spanx.

For the uninitiated (which I was until recently) Spanx are a brand of shapewear---I guess a newer, trendier name for a girdle---that celebrities like Oprah and Gwenyth and Lindsay are singing praises for. They come in a variety of styles, and I picked the ones that go from waist to below the knee, kind of like long bike shorts.

I wanted to wear a slinky pants-set that I hadn't been able to wear for a skillion years and look sexy for mah man. You know what I mean. It's hard to get jiggy with it if you're jiggly with it.

And if strapping in the hips and tummy and loose stuff meant it would all squeeze down and give me enormous calves, who'd notice? I'd be wearing pants. At least my butt would look good!

As usual, nothing ever goes as planned. We didn't count on Little Guy.

"You know, I've never been to European Cuisine", he said with studied casualness early in the day. Rut row.

I'm aware of that. Hell, we've only been there three times in the last 10 years and had to take out an additional mortgage on the house each time.

"I've never tried French food before, " he said a little later.

You've had French Toast, I reminded him. And besides, I don't think European Cuisine is actually a French Restaurant. I think it's German or maybe Bavarian.


He came back a little while later.

"I don't think I've ever had German food before. Or Bavarian."

I was starting to get a little desperate. He wanted us to invite him to come with us without actually asking to come with us.

Honey, you've had German Chocolate cake. You didn't like it, remember? And you've had uh--Swiss Cheese---I think that's kind of Bavarian. And sauerkraut. You don't like sauerkraut.

"But I might like it now."

This is a grown-up place. I don't think you would enjoy it. It's our anniversary.

"Oh". He went away again.

Then he came back a little while later with the local phone book under his arm. "It doesn't say 'no kids allowed' and you promised last time that I could maybe come with you the next time," he announced. "It's my anniversary too."


I called Hubby at the office.

What time are the reservations?

"Uh, I thought YOU made reservations."

Rut row again.

Unfortunately, European Cuisine was solidly booked until 8:15, which is usually the time I'm sucking for air. Literally. But I figured I could take a late nap and everything would be A-OK. Since we had originally planned on being FINISHED with dinner around that time, the things we had scheduled for Little Guy weren't going to work out after all.

So he got his wish.

It's a fancy dress-up place, I warned him. You'll have to be on your best manners.

He was so excited that he was all polished and shined and ready to go at 5pm.

It took me a little while longer to squeeze into my Spanx and adjust everything (had to make sure my butt cheeks were anchored north instead of south). In the end, I was pretty pleased with them, and my silky pants glided up with nary a hitch. Woohoo!

European Cuisine is in a little historic house that was built back when they didn't enrich our milk with Vitamin D and we didn't have Wheaties and if you were 5'6 you were considered tall. The doors are very--um--short.

Anyway, space is at a premium, and there is very little maneuvering room between tables. By 8:15, the dinner crowd had all spread out and the waitstaff had to practically balance trays on their heads to get through.

The first thing I did was reconnoiter the location and path to the restroom. If you've ever been on heavy-duty diuretics, you know once in a while that "gotta go" feeling turns into "oops, I think I tinkled on myself" faster than you can say "Zippity Doo Dah".

The quickest and most direct route would take me past a table for two. He was dipping a bread cube into some kind of fondue pot, and she was poking at a salad. She also had that Nancy Reagan thing going (big enormous head looming over tiny shoulders). I tried to gauge the width of the path and realized that depending on which way I was turned, if I had to get to the restroom in a hurry, I'd probably end up brushing my crotch or my heinie against her humongous helmet of hair. Oy. Not a pretty thought.

I put my hand over my glass when the server came over with a pitcher of water. None for me, please.

15 minutes later, the server brought over the board which had the menu on it and rushed off. It's a limited menu, so it took us all of 3 minutes to decide on what to have.

"See they have Chicken Cordon Bleu! That's French!" Little Guy was triumphant.

15 minutes after that, the owner wandered over and asked if we knew what the specials were. We didn't. He told us and rushed off.

At 9pm, the server came over and asked if we were ready to order drinks. We let her know we were ready to order PERIOD. ;-)

15 minutes later our drinks came.

Little Guy was understandably getting antsy. He kept patting his stomach more and more frequently and mentioning, "I'm getting kind of hungry."

When a busperson came to refill Fondue Boy and Nancy's water, I flagged her down.

Could we please get some bread or something? We've been here for over 45 minutes.

Nancy turned her humongous helmet head around and gave me the hairy eyeball.

Fine, I muttered under my breath. Ass it is, Beyotch.

Turned and asked the server, Could I also get some iced tea?

About a 1/2 hour later, the guys were happily attacking rolls and their soup and I felt the call of nature. Luckily, Fondue Boy and Helmet Head had finished and there was plenty of room to get to the Ladies.

As I said earlier, the restaurant was built in a time when short people were the norm. The actual area the toilet was in was about the size of a linen closet. And there was a window that was waist-high, but fortunately it had a curtain hanging over it so nobody would see me doing my business from the parking lot.

I tried to wrestle with the Spanx in the tiny space between the toilet and the wall. I was getting a little frustrated and afraid that I wouldn't be able to peel them down fast enough, so I decided to give them a good yank. It was like wrestling with a ginormous rubber band so I put some stank on it.


Next thing I knew, I was sitting on the can and little birdies were circling around my head. The curtain wasn't just hiding the window, it was also hiding a hand-crank that stuck out about 4 inches.

I made my way back to the table clutching my brow and a fast-growing black and blue lump.

The rest of the meal was basically uneventful and delicious, but when I saw a woman teetering from the bathroom clutching HER brow (I could practically see the birdies circling her head), I almost snorted a spaetzle out my nose.

Out in the parking lot, Little Guy jumped in the SUV. Hubby and I put our arms around each other and gazed up into the mountains, knowing that in an hour there would be fireworks shooting from the top. Hopefully by that time, we'd be home enjoying fireworks of our own.

He walked me over to my side of the car and gallantly opened the door. He put his hand out to tenderly help me up into my seat.

I lifted my leg up

...and fell on my face into the vehicle.

What in the hell was wrapped around my legs?

It was my pants! The Spanx worked TOO well and my pants just slid down.

I was flailing around face down on the seat with my butt cheeks anchored north and my slinky pants tangled around my ankles.

Hubby almost had an accident of his own because he was laughing hysterically. Then he was clutching HIS head because I bounced a shoe off of it.

No, not really. I made up the shoe part. The other part was real though.

Guess who spent his anniversary sleeping on the couch?

No, I made that up too. I was nice to him since he left an arm and a leg back with our bill.

Wishing all of you a Happy New Year!