Weird Thoughts from the Sick Bed

I arrived home from a trip to California on Tuesday night and sneezed.

I don’t want to get sick.

My mind raced back to the time when I pressed the button on an elevator with my knuckle (I’m so smart) and then rubbed my itchy eye with the same body part. (I’m so stupid!) Or it could have been the lady sneezing next to me on the plane. Or I could have been exposed by cold-suffering cooks the many times I ate in restaurants.

Oh, no. What if it’s the flu? At least I got my flu shot.

My nose turns a handle somewhere inside my nasal passages and becomes a faucet. I’m sick. Dang it!

Weird thoughts while sick in bed:

Self-portrait in Bed

Maybe the reason we get sick is our bodies want a day off and hijack our brains. I wish I could enjoy it. *sneeze*

My head feels like a giant zit.

Whoever (whomever? I’m too tired to remember) invented chicken noodle soup should be honored with a national holiday.

I’m afraid I’m getting a fever. I’m wearing my favorite fleece pajamas under the covers and haven’t broken out in a sweat. Plus I threw on an extra comforter. *shiver*

When I’m booked with a ton of activities, all I can think about is crawling into bed for a quick afternoon nap. When I’m sick, all I can think about are all the activities I’m missing.

I know this has been asked a million times, but where does all the snot come from?

I force myself to eat breakfast to keep up my strength. I have no appetite. Maybe I’ll lose some weight! I wonder how many calories I burn while laying in bed. 800 calories per day? I’ll probably gain weight…

Oh, my God! It’s 4:50 PM! When did I fall asleep? I don’t remember dreaming. I must have fallen asleep. This must be what a narcoleptic feels like. 

How can they (the Internet) say it’s not a fever unless a temperature is over 100.4 degrees? I’m chilled, achy, and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I don’t think a few tenths of a degree is going to change my symptoms.

There really is a huge difference between tissues. Thank you, Kleenex!

Two Tylenol would take care of my fever, chills, aches, and pains. I would feel so much better. I could get something done. AND THEY’RE SITTING ON MY BEDSIDE TABLE!

But someone told me a long time ago that the fever is caused by an army of white blood cells fighting germs. I hate whoever (whomever?) told me. What if it was a lie and all I have to do is take those pills to end all my suffering???? Dammit!

One day later.

Watching TV makes my eyes hurt.

How can I sleep so much?

I wonder how long it takes before my muscles atrophy.

My Bichon, Roxy, has been cuddling with me for two days. I never noticed how much dogs sleep.

Is it Wednesday or Thursday?

Taking my temperature has become a rhythmic, every thirty minutes, thing.

99.9. 99.5 99.7. 99.8 99.5 99.9 99.8 99.9 99.5 99.6 99.7 99.9. 99.6 99.8 99.9…

98.3!!!! My normal temperature!

Woohoo! I want to run around and dance, but I stand up and my bedroom spins.

*sneeze*

*sniff*

I can handle being sick when it’s only a cold.

Have you been hit with the flu? Do you push yourself unless you have a fever?

Click for more Wild Adventures! 

Related posts:

An Ode to a Midwinter Cold

A bad cold is just like this…

Bad Luck Comes in Threes, Right?

When I landed on the floor of a restaurant with a BANG a couple of weeks ago, I breathed a sigh of relief. That had to be the last accident, right? It was the third time in three weeks I’d had very bad luck. I remembered that age-old superstition.

Bad luck comes in threes.

#1.  It all started after I cleaned the basement. A flash of light glinted off a strand of hair. When the flash became a lightning strike and all of my hair was swept back in a ponytail, I freaked out. I could see the bright white crackle of a line in the waning afternoon light. While driving to Urgent Care, the darkness around me made the strike even brighter. What could be happening?

lightning-over-water

I knew a little about torn retinas. They were emergency room-worthy. I have a blind mother. I didn’t want to lose my eyesight.

The nice man in reception and the nurse informed me the ER would have the equipment to make a diagnosis. They suspected some kind of tear. I freaked out. The last thing I wanted was more surgery.

Back in the car again. It was a slow night at the ER, thank God, and I was seen almost immediately. After the doctor looked into the back of my eye, he said, “You have a vitreous separation. It will heal on its own.” He recommended a specialist who said the same thing a few days later. People with astigmatism have football-shaped eyes. We’re more susceptible to tearing. Good to know.

Whew! Disaster averted. I still have a small lightning strike noticeable when driving at night, but it’s on the mend.

#2.  A week later, I was cutting the heel of a crusty loaf of bread. You know where this is going. Yep. I sliced my finger with a serrated blade. It didn’t hurt but bled like crazy. After a quick internet search, I let out a sigh knowing I’d have to go back to Urgent Care.

bread cutting

When I walked inside, the same man worked reception. “Hey, I remember you from last week.”

“Yep.” I hoped my trouble would end, but you know, threes.

After four quick stitches, I drove home and prepared for Thanksgiving. It was awkward to cook and clean with a bandage on my index finger. It had to be changed everytime it got wet. I survived.

#3.  That Friday, My family headed up to the mountains to ski. Conditions being pre-season and icy, we decided to eat brunch before taking the gondola. It was sixty degrees and sunny while walking from the car to a busy restaurant.

I followed the host to the table and my ski boot hit something super slippery. I swore the floor was wet. Just like when I broke my wrist, I fell in slow motion. First, I worried about my knee. Then I was afraid I’d smash my cell phone held tight in my left hand. I smacked the ground with that hand, then my hip. The rest of me followed with a thwump.

falling down

For a moment a hush fell inside the noisy restaurant. I was afraid to move. My ring finger stung and so did my hip. The manager rushed to my side.

“Your floor must be wet,” I said, and then looked. It was totally dry. As I pulled my feet underneath me, I slipped again and hit my head on the table in front of me. My cheeks heated up. I looked at the floors. Tile. Slippery tile. The manager rushed toward me, helped me up, and made sure I made it to my table. I grew up ice skating, but not in ski boots.

“I must have missed your sign about not wearing ski boots inside,” I said to him. It’s not uncommon to see warnings in ski towns.

“No, we don’t have one,” he said. “I’ve been meaning to post one on the door.”

Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.

Once safely at the table, I looked at my ring finger. It had turned black!

“Oh, no! There’s no way, I’m going to Urgent Care again. If it’s broken I’ll make a splint and tough it out.”

My son, Kelly thought it had dislocated on impact. I figured with my back luck of threes, I had probably broken a bone.

After excellent service (ahem) and a great meal, we drove to the gondola parking lot. My daughter, Courtney, found a purple crayon to use as a splint. It had probably been in the seat pocket since they were in middle school. I taped it up and skied without a problem.

A few hours later, I completely tightened up. I iced my finger and stretched out what seemed to be a pulled groin muscle. Sliding like Bambi in ski boots on a tile floor will do that.

The next morning I steeled myself as I stepped out of bed. Everything was fine! My finger looked bad but didn’t hurt. Kelly was right. I had only dislocated it.

The third accident was the charm. The bad luck of threes had ended. Yay! And just in time for Christmas preparations and card-making.

Avoiding another trip to Urgent Care, I clipped my stitches and pulled them out two days later. I vowed to be more careful with rustic bread and never to wear ski boots in restaurants. My eyes? Safety goggles, of course.

#4. How could there be a #4??? I should wear a helmet, like, all the time.

A few days later, I watched a squirrel slip through a broken tile on our roof and disappear. After a call to critter control and a brief inspection of our attic by an expert, I was told that something had scattered fiberglass across the narrow floor. Oh, no! He suggested sweeping it off to make sure.

squirrel

Later that day, I swept the puffs of yellow insulation back where they belonged. As I crept toward an eave, I struggled with the broom.

I stepped forward and speared my head with a roofing nail! It really stung. I barely bled, so I forgot about it… for a while.

Then I tried to remember the last tetanus shot I’d had. Was it in the last decade? I called around for my medical records and soon realized I was waaaay overdue.

I looked at the time. 5:00 on yet another Friday night! Would I make yet another trip to the Urgent Care? Oh, God! Why four? Why not threes????

Afraid another visit with the same staff would result in a trip to the psych ward for evaluation, I Googled Urgent Cares. I found another one close by.

In and out in a half an hour. Yes! 

It’s been several weeks and I’m holding steady at trouble coming in fours.

Why the number three?

Since pairs come up in nature, like two hands, two eyes, two feet, threes are considered abnormal or troublesome – Yahoo answers.

ABC’s summary of the number threes makes a lot of sense: People naturally seek patterns.

Until that third Friday, I hadn’t thought about threes. I mean, come on! The irony of the timing was hard to dismiss.

Running into the nail tossed the whole law of threes into oblivion. I have smacked my head so often, I have an indent on my forehead! I never saw that nail coming.

 

Do you believe that bad things come in threes? Are you superstitious? When was the last time you allyooped in a restaurant?

Click here for more adventure on the Wild Ride!

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Back in the Water for #SharkWeek

When Best Laid Plans Go Wrong – When I broke my wrist.

Becoming New and Improved Bionically in 2015

Scarred for Life

A Gym Where Nobody Knows My Name

Chances are, you’ve been a member of a gym or fitness club sometime in your life. You probably made some friends and they helped motivate you to work out. What do you do when you burn out even though everyone knows your name?

My gym experience started in an auspicious way. I snuck into Vic Tanny – the first fitness chain in the US – a few times with a friend to use the hot tub for my notorious knee injury in the 80’s. One day, I got busted. I threw up my hands and signed up. Best thing I ever did. I’ve continued to belong to fitness clubs ever since. I joined the last one to meet others from my neighborhood. I played competitive tennis as a member until diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer and subsequent double boobectomies in 2013, but it was a partial knee replacement a year later that really slowed me down. I tried physical therapy, fitness classes, and yoga, but nothing made the impact I needed to get back into fighting shape.

Typical day in 2016:

“Come on, let’s go to class,” I said to myself.

“But I’m in the middle of writing,” myself countered.

“You’re always writing,” I said.

“In a minute.” I adjusted my focus back on the computer and another day passed.

In January, I set reasonable goals for myself. All are within my own control. Priority #1 is to become fit and strong once again. How would I accomplish my goals if I couldn’t motivate? After being a member for sixteen years, I needed a change.

My kids are members of 24 Hour Fitness, so I checked it out. I looked forward to a gym where nobody knows my name. It would be fun to start fresh and meet new people. Maybe I’d learn something new.

During a three day trial, I checked out a few classes including yoga. The gym filled with Boulderites. I rolled out my mat between a middle-aged woman who had a lot of plastic surgery and a cross-dresser complete with blond wig. I had found my people!

My membership came with a free hour of personal training. After a wicked session with TRX, (straps used by Navy Seals when stationed on ships), free weights, and dead lifts, my muscles groaned. But it felt good to wake up with sore muscles. I hadn’t considered weight training, but remembered hearing how it strengthens bone. My anti-cancer medication, Anastrozole, obliterates estrogen which is what my cancer ate, but also dissolves bone. I don’t want to become shrinky dinky because of skeletal fractures. That would not be good, at all. I’m short enough at 5’4″.

With the help of Brian, the fitness manager, and Sam, a personal trainer, I am officially locked and loaded with sessions bought through a package. Soon, they’ll set me loose to train on my own. Oh, wow… That’s coming up soon. Scheduling me for gym time started a new habit. Endorphin addiction will keep me going.

In the meantime, I’m learning all kinds of torture chamber methods to wake up my minuscule muscles. I trained today and can feel them crying out for mercy. They are total wimps and woosies.

“Pipe down,” I said to my whiny muscles, “You need to be exercised. It’s good for you! We can try new adventures again knowing that I won’t hurt myself because of your puniness.”

“All right. You don’t have to yell.”

I’ll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, two people know my name at my new gym and that’s A-okay.

Clowning around at 24 Hour Fitness

Do you belong to a gym? Do people know your name? Are you a gym rat or a occasional user? I’m striving for the rat category.

I Celebrated a Birthday, But Failed to Save a Life.

Have you ever taken a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation class? I took one for a babysitting badge when I was in Girl Scouts. I remember the plastic dummy and going through the routine while hoping to God I’d never have to use it. Flash forward a few decades.

On March 9th, I flew back to Wisconsin for my mom’s eighty-seventh birthday. My brother, Joe McCartan, ordered a cake and I picked up flowers. Mom was so surprised! Over dinner that night, she told us she planned to live a long time. For her one-hundredth birthday, she wants a stylist to dye a blue streak in her hair. I love her attitude.

My brother is the king of joking around. I couldn’t get a picture of him when he wasn’t mugging for the camera.  When I left Colorado it was seventy degrees. Check out the temperature on my brother’s iPad.

Two days later, Joe drove to the butcher to buy steaks to grill and went to a chiropractic appointment. In February, he slid on black ice and crashed his car into a telephone pole. It exacerbated an already sore back.

Later, the three of us watched the UW Badgers cream Northwestern by thirty points. Being a yawnfest, Joe texted on his phone. He’s a highly sought after, free-lance, on-location sound technician for major networks, television, movies and corporations. Very excited, he read the thread out loud. It regarded a commercial he had been hired to record. The company wanted to shoot tight shots of musicians playing the oboe, violin and cello. He had texted the high school music teacher, who had all kinds of ideas.

“The kids will love being in a commercial.” Joe was stoked.

“Sounds like you contacted the right person,” I said and yawned. “I think I’ll take a quick nap.” I walked upstairs to my room.

When I returned downstairs, Mom played Words with Friends in the kitchen while the steaks thawed in a pan. I had planned to walk the dog, but Joe had already left with Charlie. I opened my laptop and wrote my last post about daylight savings time. After dinner I thought it would be fun to play a game and take some group selfies.

Always pretty high energy, Joe burst through the door led by their Collie.

“I just missed you,” I said, looking up from my computer.

“Yep,” was all he said. Then he ran up the back stairs to his apartment behind my mom’s Victorian. I heard his footsteps overhead and then settled in to proof my stupid post.

He moved in a year before my dad passed away and has been taking care of Mom. He’s been a godsend, taking her to appointments, shopping and the little things, like setting the table for meals. He brings her tea and puts her eyedrops in before bed. My mom is super sharp, but has glaucoma and hasn’t been able to drive for years.

When Joe didn’t come downstairs, Mom said, “What’s taking him so long? We need to get the steaks on the grill.”

I shrugged and more time passed. Continue reading

An Ode to a Midwinter Cold

midwinter-cold

Hark!

Is that a death rattle I hear, trembling the dark wood around me?

Nope.

‘Tis the phlegm from thy chest cold shaking the bed frame as I hack up another loogie.

A midwinter cold has claimed yet another Kleenex which shroud thy bedclothes like moguls on ski slopes in thy feverish dreams.

Okay, so I don’t have a fever, but as I gaze out the window, red nose pressed against the glass, the lengthening daylight draws me outdoors, like a siren, or Beckham, or some other hot guy. Thy waning energy, thy only defense against overdoing it on yonder slackline. (A gift from Santa.)

yonder-slackline

Each day, upon wakening, hope soars that its hold has loosened. Alas all that has loosened are the reeds in thy larynx as I croak in a strong baritone, “Coffee, I need coffee.” Perhaps I should audition for a boy band.

And so linger do I like fingerprints upon thy neti pot. Only a shadow of thyself, stretching out with the day, on the couch, zapper clutched tight in one pale hand while guzzling mugs of green tea like shots of tequila with the other.

The next few days would certainly ring brighter. But, alas, I awake slack-jawed with energy zapped. Now rapid-fire sneezing and nasal congestion appear. I try to sleep it off.

Then darkness swallows all hope as a shiver slices thy core. I tunnel deep within the tangled sheets, tossing then turning to Web MD – How to sleep with a fever. Reduced to a mouth-breather, I check off thy list until the corners’ of thy cracked lips curl in a smile.

Nasal strips. Duh!

I dash to the bathroom to see if drawers contain the desired breathing implement. Aha! I apply it to nose’s bridge and can instantly breathe. Oh, the relief and sanguine bliss and scent of flowers and sunshine and… then I notice thy reflection which resembles a prizefighter after losing the prize. What if my nose sticks like that?

I quiet down for a long midwinter’s nap, snoozing for two hours at a time. By morning, the fever has fizzled. Yes! My expectations fly away with my imagination. I would rest, then go running tomorrow and then write, then replenish thy refrigerator, and then… I dragged through another day.

I curse thy pharmacist. How dare she send me away since thy flu shot was almost in hand (or arm) and with such a lame excuse. Something about anti-cancer drugs suppressing thy immune system and not giving anyone a shot who had double boobectomies. Never before have I beset such an outrage. Instead of smiling and leaving, I should have explained, “I only had one bad boob!” Shoulda, woulda, coulda.

And here am I, a mere shell of thyself, crawling with legs splayed sideways, skittering from bed to couch to chair, always hiding, the light too bright still.

Oh, when, doth midwinter’s cold end? Hack, cough, spit.

It better be soon, dammit. Snow’s in the forecast and there are wild rides to be had.

Did you get your flu shot? It’s not too late. When I’m well, I’m demanding one.

I drew Midwinter’s Cold as I imagined it when I wrote this poem. Yes, thy mind is a very scary place.

The Boob Report – The Sun Rises After Cancer Drugs

hSunrise over Breckenridge

Shy of three weeks into 2017, I thought I’d check in and let you know how The Year of the Big Chill is going. It’s all about working hard, but playing harder. Little did I know these lifestyle changes would affect me in a different way. It banished a horrible side effect of my anti-cancer drug.

Two simple changes have made a HUGE impact. So huge, I have to tell you about it.

I meditate for ten minutes a day.

After attending the Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Whistler, I felt super chill and grounded for about a week. Then that fantastic feeling disappeared. I figured I had to go to another festival to regain it.

Meditation clears my mind for new ideas. Practicing ten minutes before I write unlocks my creative flow. It helps me focus. I’m less distracted by sparkly things. I love sparkly things.

I write for three hours (or more, depending on my groove) and then shut my laptop to go on an adventure. That may be anything from skiing to taking a hike to going to the grocery store. It doesn’t matter, as long as I get out of the house to do something.

The isolation of writing books and screenplays was a downer for me last year. I’m an adventure junkie. It’s my rocket fuel. Now I get out every day. Ideas pop into my tiny cranium out of nowhere.

The combination of both of these changes resulted in the coolest thing ever.

After my double boobectomities, my radiologist prescribed Tamoxifen. I felt a low grade sluggish, PMS, blues. It would clench my gut with anxiety upon waking and follow me like a shadow during the day. I attributed it to normal worry any cancer patient goes through. Nope. It’s a side-effect of anti-estrogen drugs. I had to keep taking it. My cancer ate estrogen like a starved pig at a Las Vegas buffet.

the-sun-rises-after-cancer-drugsWhen my doctor took me off Tamoxifen over a year ago, I went pill-free for two weeks. I was so excited!! I felt super charged upon waking!! My Susie Sunshine self was BACK!! Yes, this warrants lots of exclamation points. (My baseline normal is like other people’s most optimistic and best days.) But after two weeks on Anastrozole, that same guilty, worried, clench my gut feeling returned. GAH. 

By the way, my diet hasn’t changed, except for one thing. I stopped eating pizza. Once a month or so, I’d indulge in a pan style veggie lovers, then I would crash the next day. I mentioned it to my daughter, Courtney, who is a personal trainer. She said that pizza is the worst. With so much cheese and carbs, it becomes greasy glop in our stomachs and sends our bodies into detox overload.

I haven’t drank alcohol for two and a half years after finding out the correlation between it and seven different cancers. (Check out this post about that dirty little secret. Alcohol means any kind of alcohol, including wine.) It also causes osteoporosis. Bummer.

Here’s the good news:

After meditating and going outside every day for about ten days, I noticed that same grounded, peaceful feeling in my gut had reappeared. The anxiety from Anastrozole had VANISHED! Ten minutes to zen. How cool is that?

Okay, so the super-hopped up, excited me may have to wait another eighteen months when I’ll be off the drugs forever. But, that low grade, I must have done something wrong feeling, is history! Who knows? Maybe my over-endorphined self will return with a couple more weeks of this new lifestyle. People who know me will read this and say, “You will be even more manic?”

I wonder if Danny will hide my yoga mat?

This could help you too!

Ever feel a little down? I would think this combination of getting outside to do something away from the computer and ten minute meditation would work for others, especially mid-winter when lack of Vitamin D slows us down and causes the blues. You should try it. It truly works! If nothing else, life is a lot more fun.

What do you think? What lifestyle changes have you made over the years? How are the sunrises in your neighborhood?

Appointment? Wonder Why We Wait So Long?

Wonder why we wait so long for appointmentsThree months ago, I made a doctor’s appointment. Later, I decided to fill my day with them. Why not blow one day instead of three? I scheduled another at 10:30 and my last at 4:45.

I arrived at the doctor’s office on time. This was the first appointment of the day, so I thought I’d get in and out quickly. I’d have plenty of time to run errands before my next.

The minutes clicked away as patients seeing other doctors came and went. Maybe I didn’t allow enough time for my next appointment. My palms began to sweat while I caught up with blog comments on my phone. I waited and waited and waited as my gut tightened.

Thirty minutes later, I considered downloading a book to read. The nurse called my name.

After hustling into the examination room, I stripped naked and donned one of those lovely tie-in-the-back gowns. Then I sat up on the table and waited and waited and waited again. I stared at my purse and longed for a book to read.

Another THIRTY MINUTES passed.

Finally, my OB-Gyn arrived. Whew! He had checked out my old fibroids with walkers and seeing eye dogs the last time we met and also performed an endometrial biopsy. The first time it had been so painful, I almost bolted from the room. I had been nervous about this appointment and didn’t want any more problems. After a thorough examination, he told me that my uterus had shrunk. The seeing-eye dogs have left the building. YAY!

It’s all good now. Only routine exams from now on.

While I raced to my next appointment, I had an AHA moment.

THE MOON. Of course! It was a full moon the night before. My doctor probably delivered babies all night. I would think that many doctors’ offices are filled after that particular phase.

I made it to my second appointment since they were running late too. No surprise there. At 4:45, I prepared for a long wait at the hair salon and it didn’t disappoint. No matter. I wrote a new chapter for my book.

Early the next morning, I had an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon with a follow up about my knee and broken wrist in January. The moon continued its crazy spell on people and the x-ray order was screwed up. I should have brought War and Peace.

From now on, when I book ANY kind of appointment, I’m going to make sure the moon is in its fingernail stage.

What do you think? Have you noticed a correlation? I bet you will now!

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