Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My day - so far

I just got home from the plastic surgeon. It was quite an uneventful visit. The excitement was, as always, the traffic getting there! It was a little unusual. Where the traffic is usually bad, it wasn't. Where it was usually good, it was terrible.

The nurse removed a few stitches, he looked and affirmed that the right breast is bigger than the reduced left. He said he might try to remove some from the right when he does nipple reconstruction. I vetoed that!

I have wondered how the reconstruction would be done. I got an idea when he said I might want to have the reconstructed nipple tattooed. Wow. I could get really silly here, but I'll refrain.

So, I have a two week interval before my next appointment. I'm sure we will set the date for the final procedure.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Small steps

Our little incorporated city outside Swampland announced they would begin picking up fallen tree limbs on September 15. They would have a second pick up on the 20th. The first announcement was the tree limbs could be 6-8 feet long and stacked at the curb. The second announcement, coming well after people had labored to put their limbs out - with no power, said they had to be 4-6 feet long and bundled. Well . . .

So the trucks came and went - along with a police escort (? valuable items there ?) and a public works truck. They tentatively ventured onto our street only to apparently flee in horror. Our street wasn't really all that bad. They scoured the entire village, and finally, today, we were graced with the long awaited debris pick-up.

They made three separate trips to our street to pick up those limbs. I guess there was more than I thought, but then the truck that was picking them up really wasn't all that big.

Now the street looks like another hurricane came through. There are limbs, branches and leaves scattering the entire street. But at least the mounds are gone. I am very pleased on two counts. One is safety. They were hard to see around. The second is that gives one less hiding place for those little blood sucking mosquitos!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Where did that $5 come from?

Well, that title isn't exactly accurate. This is really about one - Lady Bug. She is my darling 7 1/2 year old granddaughter. She pulled a real stunt Sunday night into Monday.

She has decided she wants a skate board (why??) more than anything in the world. She doesn't want to wait for Santa to bring it - she wants it now.

She had about $3 that she said she was saving to buy the dream board from the local sports store. She helped her mom clean the den and was told she earned $2 more. That was like all the money in the world for her.

She was with me on Monday. At one point she proposed that I ask her a difficult question, and it she answered it correctly I would give her $1. I told her that I don't play that game. As a side, she is a very intelligent child. The problem is that she knows it! That often presents a problem when she is sure she knows everything. Anyway, back to the story.

She showed me the money she had accumulated. When she opened her purse, her dollars went flying everywhere. I had her bring the money and her wallet to me. We straightened the bills and put them into the wallet - properly. That's when I saw she had a five dollar bill. I thought it to be strange, but dismissed it.

When she was went home, she told her mother that I had asked her the capital of Arizona which she answered correctly, and I gave her $5. K called me because she thought it was cute and another example of my spoiling my grandchild. She was going to tease me about it. I told her the REAL story. The real story hit K like a brick. She then knew what happened to the $5 she had in her wallet.

K asked Lady Bug if she wanted to tell her anything. LB told her that she took the money from her wallet when K was in the shower. K was crushed. It isn't that she is burying her head in the sand, but she didn't know it would happen so soon.

As a consequence, they removed her TV from her room (good move), took all the Hannah Montana stuff away (yea), and all the High School Musical stuff (double yea). She is restricted from the Disney Channel's teen age based shows. I am so glad. She has been pushing the teenage years since her step-sister came to live with them when she was four. M has been gone for two years, but the horror of her living with them remains. (I tried to find posts to link to about the darling girl, but I can't find any).

Lady Bug's actions were those that we would have expected from M. It was so typical of her. We all know that LB is going to try a lot of stuff, I guess we just didn't expect it this soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I finally got to have my post-op appointment with the plastic surgeon. I was supposed to go to him the 12th of September. The move of his office stopped that! So I was supposed to go on the following Monday. Ike changed that. They were finally in the office on Tuesday, but we were gone.

I called on Wednesday to make an appointment for this week. When I talked to the nurse, I asked what I should be doing. She asked if I could find a doctor or nurse where we were to have the "boulsters" over the nipple removed. Funniest thing - we have a nurse on the next hill.

So I called J, she called the nurse at the surgeon's office, and I had the boulsters removed. It was such a relief. They looked like four cotton balls and were stitched to the nipple and surrounding breast tissue. It was a real relief when those stitches were cut.

My appointment was for today - at the new office. It should have not caused me any anxiety. It is next to his old office. But we are talking Medical Center here. One of the largest medical centers in the world. I am scared silly of the Medical Center. I also am scared of the parking situation. Many times, there is a loooong walk included with the parking space.

The old office was great. They had valet parking that was right at the door. It was $10 or less, and it was right at the door. I had that one nailed! But now I was faced with a new situation, and I don't handle change well at all.

I was early - very early because our Freeways are a mess - all day. I don't know why, but they are. So I left super early. I turned onto the street where I would normally turn thinking that the two buildings were connected. I noticed the new office had its own parking garage. I turned around to go to a street where I knew there were some places to park so I could call the office.

I had to park in the new building. I found the valet parking, but there were no signs about the cost. I worried the entire time I was in the office because I had $24 to my name at the time.

I was checked. I have some redness that we both (the doc and I) believe is dermatitis. I reacted to wearing that surgical sports bra for days on end. I have a very itchy rash. He decided I needed to have another round of antibiotics just to be sure. Then the very best. He had the nurse remove the drain. Heaven!! No more pulling of the stitches. I was absolutely in heaven.

I managed to find the place to pay parking. It was different from the valet ticket. I used my credit card. I went to rescue the truck. The person in front of me didn't pay anything. I handed over my ticket. No money was requested, and in fact the attendant looked shocked when I tipped him.

So I was homeward bound. The trip home reminded me Swampland isn't back to normal yet. I encountered 3 or 4 traffic signals that were still out. There were police directing traffic at those locations. That part of the trip wasn't as easy as usual. The lights are usually synchronized so that if you drive the speed limit - you don't stop. Well, it wasn't bad even so.

Ah, another day, another adventure!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What happened to us

I have heard that it is catahartic to talk about bad experiences. Well, I guess that's what I'm going to do.

I wasn't in the least afraid of Ike. I thought it would just be a pain in the a**. Was I wrong. It was quite scary. I kept thinking the thing would turn north - much sooner than it did. It was really amazing to watch that huge thing heading for the Texas coast.

Our lights managed to stay on with some blips until 1am on Saturday. That is a feat because they usually go in a heavy dew with a puff of wind. Of course, G waited until Thursday evening to check the generator. It wouldn't start or at least keep running - same thing. So I knew we were toast!

Saturday my daughter had her power restored. She is on the same grid with the police and fire stations. They said a tornado had taken out the high voltage lines and a couple of transformers. They looked to have our little suburb's power on by 2am Sunday.

We thought we could certainly stand it for that long. SO we stayed. Dark, dark, hot and humid. It was 81 outside at 10 pm with the humidity at 91% - NO wind. We thought we were going to die. We also figured out at 10 that the power company had quit at 8.

Sunday we stayed with our son. G wasn't comfortable in that bed. It was so much better than our couch where I slept. With the coming of a cool front on Monday we returned home. Still no power, but at least it was cool.

We promised each other that if the power wasn't restored by 1 pm on Tuesday we were gone. We spend Monday throwing away food that was in the refrigerators. At least it was cool that night. On Tuesday 1 pm came and we left. My daughter called and told me that the power came on at 4.

Oh well. We are now actively looking for a new freezer which we had promised each other before the storm so we can collect our meats from the kids' freezers. Much of the vegetables were saved. We are continuing with our lives and really appreciating lights, air conditioning and INTERNET!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


We survived Ike. No real damage. Escaped for a few days to the SSB when we had no power, only to have it return 4 hours after we left Swampland. More later! How nice to have internet again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

I don't like Ike! (and I know that;'s not original)

I sit here with the eternal droning of our local "news' people following Ike. This has been going on, without interruption, since at least 6 a.m. yesterday. The worst part is that during the day, cable is not great - at least not what G would tolerate since his business is shut down today.

I am amazed at the dolts in Galveston and associated areas that are still there with the storm about 12 hours away. Things are already dicey there, and the rain has JUST begun. There are going to people on tops of roofs (if they are left after the huge storm surge) with no one to save them. The island is flooded already. I don't know what they are going to to!

We are sitting here in the northwest area. I'm expecting quite a blow and I'm praying that the flooding will be minimal. We have lived here for 34 years and never flooded, but as subsidence has taken it's toll, houses behind us have flooded - with a couple of feet of water in them. The county and city have been working on this issue, but there hasn't been a test of all this. Say a prayer for us that this is not our year to flood.

My drain and I sit here, anticipating the power leaving us soon. It will go out on a bright, sunny day. I'm sure we will be out at least 16 hours. I just hope it's not several days. G decided to try to start the generator - yesterday. Guess what. No go. Our talk about getting a new one - well that will come after all this is cleaned up. It may be a Christmas present. I finally got a portable battery device that will at least run a fan. It is scheduled for delivery on Monday. I think not. I don't look for Fed Ex making their appointed rounds.

I think we will weather this storm, but remember us and the other fools that have stayed in this and the more dangerous areas!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He was right!

The surgeon said this would be easier. It, so far, is. The surgery lasted about half as long as predicted, and I was home the same day.

Yesterday I just lazed around. There is some soreness from the lipo. It's not too bad. I just wish I could get rid of this "sports bra" that is more like an ace bandage with straps. I know it's meant to hold things tightly in place, but I really am tired of it!

The surgeon wanted me to call his office yesterday to get an appointment for Friday with the idea that he would take the drain out. He is moving his office today and tomorrow. Ummm - I called yesterday, got the answering machine, and still no call back. I am beginning to believe I won't get an appointment for Friday. That means the first time I can get the drain out now will be next Tuesday. He is in surgery all the other times.

Oh well, I guess I will live through it all. You would think I would have more patience by now. Guess not!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

D day or is it O day?

Yep, tomorrow is the day for stage two of the reconstruction operation. To say that I'm apprehensive is an understatement. I just wonder how sore I will be - especially since both sides will be involved. It will include about a 6 inch long incision on the right side, a new incision to take the expander out and put the implant in. The left side will include reduction with replacement of the nipple and "a little lipo." I have a feeling that little lipo is not going to feel very good.

I will have to stay overnight. That part doesn't really bother me that much. I would rather be home, but I have learned my lesson.

We are having the kids over tonight for family dinner. That means I must get up and start cooking!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Good news

I called Dr. Poison's office to get the report on my bone scan. It "just" showed arthritis. Arthritis in the lumbar spine, cervical spine, knees (gee ya' think?), ankles and feet. What a surprise, but I am so thankful that is what is showed.

I guess I can continue to think of myself as a survivor again. This is really a relief.

The plastic surgeon's office called to be sure that surgery is still on. He has an assistant surgeon that they would have to notify as well. I had told them we are set to go.

G bought me the last book in the Twilight series. I decided that I wanted to read the entire series, so I went to my favorite on line book store and ordered those books. The first one came last week, and I have read it. Then volume 3 came. I was a little surprised when I opened it. It was in Spanish! Volume 2 is on its way. I sincerely hope it's not in Spanish too.

I just went through the process to return it, now I have to print the forms and mail it all off. I just wish I knew how in the world I managed to order a Spanish version. I was disappointed that it was the 3rd volume, but I was crushed that it was in a foreign language!

Monday, September 01, 2008


This is not real news since it has been announced all over the country, but Gustav was a bust. The locals here (with the exception of the network with the MD telethon) covered the "news" until noon. I guess they can only show so many downed . . . leaves from trees. True, I believe there was minor flooding in New Orleans, but it wasn't the "mother of storms." I couldn't determine if the reporting was really serious or if they were a little tongue in cheek trying to make damage out of no damage, like the downed paper political sign.

I doubt people will evacuate with the next storm that comes knocking at their doors. Some of those folks spent hours and hours in traffic (like with Rita), and paid high gasoline prices only to then add hotel/motel rooms to the mix. Several who made it to Swampland with reservations found that those reservations didn't mean anything. Sure, they could have paid ahead to have the room saved or called when they found themselves in traffic bottlenecks, but THIS time was supposed to be smooth. My heart goes out to them regardless.

I am really thankful that there seems to be so little damage. Some areas were hit pretty hard, but even so it was much less than expected.

Of course, the weather gurus have at least two more out there to satisfy their desire to whip us into a frenzy!

Such is the life on the coast of Texas and the Eastern United States. These come and go, along with the frenzied weather people (at least here in Swampland).