Bacteria, Again

It's been a while since I wrote anything and I wanted to get something down about my daughter's birthday so I did that this morning on my kiddo blog.  (For reference, the kiddo blog is just something I do so I don't forget all the things I want to remember but probably will because my memory is poor).  In reviewing, I see the last stuff I wrote here and am amused by the previous post on this blog, Bacteria.  If I'm really writing things down so that I can remember them, then it's important to write down that I went to the doctor and had even more antibiotics this year after that post.  And, if you come here because it's post-election and I titled this "Bacteria, Again"....well it has nothing to do with politics or the election which I am purposely ignoring for reasons I'm just not getting into today.  Let's just not hate each other, okay?  Now, onto real bacteria...

Sometime in August the kiddo came home with a cold and she recovered quickly (as they do).  I caught the same bug and thought I recovered quickly.  Chris caught the bug and did not recover quickly.  He ended up at the doctor receiving antibiotics and other meds to treat acute bronchitis.  This was all taking place around the 10th of September around my cousin Sarah's wedding.  I had a cough at this time, but nothing that seemed serious.  A few weeks later though, the cough was worse and the sinuses were terrible.  Eventually it ended up in my left ear and I tell ya, one day of ear ache and no hearing was all it took for me to call the doctor and get in for meds.  I did at least recall that going to Walgreens was inefficient for me so I went to the actual doctor.  As it turns out, I did have an ear and sinus infection and after some antibiotics, lots of pseudoephedrine and about a 2 week recovery, I was feeling much better.  So there's that.

Back up to August and I had a totally different medical issue.  I sprained my ankle.  Okay, I'll be honest, I think I broke some bones in my ankle, foot, and leg.  I never went to the doctor.  I know, I know, save your shaming for later when I can defend myself in person (but will probably just ignore you until you drop it).  I was standing in the doorway that leads from our dining room to the garage.  There is a step down into the garage space.  I was talking to the kid about meeting me in the front yard to play wiffle ball.  She was whining about something.  I turned to take a step and my ankle rolled which cause me to also fall down the step into the garage...so it was both an ankle roll and a fall, which compounded the damage I had done.  As I fell the I pulled the door handle I was holding causing the door to slam.  The poor kid thought I was mad and slammed the door in response to her whining; it took her some time to realize anything had happened.  Finally realizing I was calling for her and knocking on the door for help she came to my aid.  She was a pro at helping me.  I was able to crawl to the couch where she gathered pillows, ice packs, and medication for me.  She offered to call an ambulance too (which I declined).  She was AMAZING!  My ankle, not so much.  I was unable to put weight on it for about 12 hours but following that, I was able to stand.  The swelling and bruising was so incredible that I was unable to wear shoes for a week, and even after that, nothing more than a loose sneaker for about 2 more weeks.  It's still in bad shape although I am now able to walk, run, and jump...but it hurts and swells...and the areas where it hurts most are the locations where I suspect I probably actually broke some bones.  It's healing though, and that's all I'll say about it. Here are some photos...you know, just in case you were curious.
August 20 About 2-3 hours after fall and icing/meds

About August 20 About 6 Hours later

About a week later

About a week later, general swelling and bruising

About 2 weeks later, slight swelling of ankle and top of foot, bruising nearly gone...



I caved a few weeks ago and went to see a doctor to get an antibiotic.  It goes against much of what I believe, which is, if you can avoid an antibiotic, do it.  One should reserve that stuff for when it might really be needed.

Long story short, I ended up with a sinus infection sometime in March; woke up Easter morning to an awful smell that I would later find out was only something *I* could smell.  (If you have ever had a dog with hot spots, imagine that smell (and taste), in your head, all the time).  I chose to fight the infection on my own with some good old, self-produced, antibodies.  I did okay for a couple of weeks and then had an allergy flare up; managed that a bit but it all ended up in my lungs too.  A few more weeks of that and I realized I needed to do something because I was desperate to not have this infection while traveling (no body wants to share this crap).  So...to a medical person I went...

If you ever hear me say, "I'll just pop into a Walgreen's clinic instead of hitting up my doctor", stop me.  I am in no way saying or indicating that the Walgreen's clinics are bad.  I an just not a particularly patient individual, that is all.  So anyway, after seeing a medical professional, and getting my prescription, and then taking it for the designated 10 days, I haven't had any signs that I have an infection anymore.  Thankfully.

Hopefully I can be spared the need to have anymore of those for a long time.  And to be honest, the whole point of my writing ANY of this down is that I might be able to one day be able to recall the last time I would have had an antibiotic.  I was asked during my appointment and thankfully couldn't actually recall!

Also, there was a terrifying report over at Reuters...  http://reut.rs/25ozTXH


Talking Pets

For years, I had voices for my pets.  They each had their "own voice" and they spoke quite differently...Bella cursed way more than my ever patient and disciplined Riley would ever think to do.

When at home, I just spoke out in "dog voice" whenever I felt like it, or rather, whenever my dogs felt like it.  Sometimes, around close friends and family, I would use "dog voice" as well.  But to anyone else, not so much.  In fact, one time I mentioned I used "dog voice" to a friend and he asked me what they sounded like and I couldn't do it.  I was embarrassed and my whole face was red and felt like it was on fire.  I just couldn't voice my animals.  But in the privacy of my home, there were conversations to be had!

I miss this, and sometimes still use "dog voice" to speak for Bella and Riley from beyond the grave.  Mostly Bella, mostly cursing.

However, this voice of my animals has always been around.  As a kid, my stuffed animals talked, and walked, and each had its own voice.  One might have guessed I would become a puppeteer one day.

My stuffed animals are mostly long gone save for the few special ones sitting on a shelf near my bed.  My animals are sadly gone as well.  But, there is a kid at home and that kid has a beloved stuffed dog named Boo and a beloved blanket named Mr. Snuggles.  And those two characters speak plentiful.  Especially Boo who loves donuts, sleeping, his own version of kung-fu that he calls kung-boo, and most important, his beloved kid.  Boo, a bulldog, talks a lot and sometimes when he isn't talking the kid will say, "mom, make Boo talk and move".  And so this dog comes alive with his own voice and his own character.  I puppeteer him around on a lot of adventures and daily tasks and to be honest, I can't imagine doing things without the silly thing.  I have even caught myself speaking in Boo's voice IN PUBLIC.  Alas, it's fun, and I enjoy it, and it'll probably stick around well past my kiddo's toys too.

......what was that?  What made me think of writing this down?  Oh, well, yes....a colleague said the word donut, and in Boo's voice, I said aloud (as if Boo where here), "Donut, did someone say donut??"

Ah well.



RIP Beastie Bella

I feel a little more dead inside now that I've had to say good bye to me dear sweet bulldog Bella. She was my "discount" dog with a crooked tail that ended up at the vet more times than can I care to admit over silly things and serious things alike. She was my heater at night, and my beggar at meal time. I will miss her tooth gauge and her snoring. I have a million wonderful and funny things I could say about her but like Riley who died less than a year ago...I just want to keep them all to myself. I will forever miss you Beasta!


Automatic Transmission

A year ago this time I bought a new automatic transmission car.  

A bit of a background, I learned to drive on a manual transmission car. For a short period of time my mom had an automatic car that I would borrow and so, while I say I ONLY drove manual transmission, it's mostly true. I would borrow my mom's car when I went to places where I needed a more reliable vehicle than my old Ford Ranger...I had also rented some automatic transmission cars too...so, I mean,it's not as though I had NEVER driven automatic transmission vehicles, they just weren't my everyday usage. So anyway...

After having only driven a manual transmission car for a long time (skipping the real number there), up to last year, here is my one year assessment of the A.T.:
  • I STILL try to shift. Either my hand is floating and swinging at air over the space where my shifter used to be, or my foot is jamming into the floor board where my pedal used to be.
  • I forget to put the car in park often; lucky for me, the car is smart and won't turn off until it tells me over and over (...and over) that I'm not in park.
  • It is way less entertaining to drive but way better in stop-n-go traffic (my knees thank me).


Serial Season 2 Episode 7

If you are listening to the Serial season 2 podcast and you've listened to episode 7 where Bowe Bergdahl's friend Kim Harrison reacts to his joining the US Army, then you'll understand the passion of a mom, so to speak, towards her child who just enlisted in the Army.

This episode brings back a memory of when I was 17 and pondering my future.  One of my forerunners for a period of time was the US Army.  I went as far as taking the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) at a military processing center.  It, at the time, was this huge leap in managing my own life.  I made this choice.  I went to the recruiter.  I went to take the test.  I went and talked about where I wanted my future to go...

As you might imagine where I'm going with this story, my mom did not want me to enlist.  She didn't really want me to go anywhere, but generally speaking would have supported my choices.  But the US Army?...that was just not something she was into for me.  She told me this, tried to get me to see both sides of the token.  I vaguely listened.

Then one day (a day we look back on and laugh about), the Disabled American Veteran's (DAV) called our home asking if we had any stuff to be picked up as we were regulars, so to speak.  If you're unfamiliar with the DAV, they will come to your home and collect small household items and clothing donations.  We tried to give something every time they called on us.  On the day noted that they called, my younger brother answered the phone.  He was young then and confused the message...he understood something about the military and what he thought he heard as "Steph" (instead of stuff), and this all happening in the morning.  So he goes to my mom with a legitimate concern that the military would be coming to pick up Steph in the morning.  My mom flipped out, worried I had signed some papers and not told her, or not understood what I was really doing and signed papers anyway...she even went so far as to call the recruiters to yell at them for coercing me.  It's all fuzzy now, the memory of how everything went down and what all was said but I knew then that my mom had real concerns about me joining the military.  She knew me better than I knew myself I guess...and well, I never enlisted.


Criminal Podcast, Episode 4

"...if a child is intelligent enough to formulate a question they deserve a truthful answer [...] life is often not very pretty but by the same token it is often extraordinarily beautiful..." Linda Vernon, Criminal Podcast, Ep4 speaking about explaining death, and things to her daughter Kathleen Vernon