Friday, October 23, 2009

We Interrupt Breast Cancer Awareness Month To Talk About Accidental Sex

I was chatting (well, not chatting, tweeting really) with Twammogram co-founder Laura tonight and the subject turned to "accidental sex". I told her I had a story about accidental sex, but it did not involve any actual sex. There was no way I could tell this story in 140 characters-so here I am on my blog, over-sharing, AGAIN.

Some of you already know, before Mr. Misha I was with a man named Mark. He was a wonderful guy but he
died. And then later I met Mr. Misha, so it's all okay- so don't start giving me the widow treatment in the comments or on twitter, I'm already feeling kinda stabby tonight. You don't want to mess with me.

Anywho, so I was living with Mark. One night, while I was preparing for a trip to Mexico with The Hoz, Mark started talking about safety precautions I needed to take on the ship and in Mexico. I listened, because he was a cop and he took safety very seriously. Then his speech took a weird turn I wasn't prepared for:

Him: So, I know you guys are going to have a good time. I don't want you to feel like you can't party like you normally do with The Hoz just because we are together.

Me: I know. I have been on trips with them while we have been together before. Remember when we were in Vegas, I drunk dialed you all night and told you about all the bald men we were accosting? I'll get drunk. I'll get loud. I'll dance, sing and yell. But you know at the end of the night, I'll be back in the cabin with Melissa, as usual.

Him: Well, I just want you to know, well, um if you had a little too much to drink and well you made-out with a dude or accidentally had sex with him or something. I'd forgive you.

Me: What? How in the hell do you accidentally have sex with someone? Do you think that I am going to get so drunk that I'll fall down while simultaneously having my pants fall off and then- AT THAT EXACT MOMENT, some random dude, whose pants have also fallen off, will trip and fall and his penis will end up inside my vagina? Is that what you mean by accidental sex?

Him: Well, no. That's not what I meant.

Me: Number One: I don't have accidental sex. I have purposeful sex. Number Two: I am going on a trip with 5 women who love you to pieces and if they saw me anywhere near another man's penis they would beat me about the head and neck until I was unconscious and then drag me to the cabin, where they would restrain me for the rest of the cruise, occasionally berating me for even thinking about another man's nether regions. Number Three: Just because you'd forgive me for accidental sex does not give you a free pass on anything. We are monogamous. If you are not happy with that arrangement, speak up and we can end it. You have sex with anyone else, accidental or not, you will have to deal with the wrath of an angry redhead.

Him: Alright. I'm glad we got that cleared up.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Boobs: Not So Free And Clear

I really wasn't worried when I went to get my mammogram. I didn't have a family history of breast cancer. In fact, my family has a history of living pretty unhealthy lifestyles full of things that are carcinogenic and the only cancer that has ever effected them has been skin cancer, even that hasn't killed any of them. What weakens and kills my family are heart and lung diseases.

So, I merrily tweeted my mammogram without even thinking about the results. Which is odd for me. I'm a girl who likes to plan everything. A chick who likes to make contingency plans. In work and in play, I hope for the best but plan for the worst- just in case. Apparently, I was experiencing some sort of psychic-denial-foreshadowing-protective mashup dealio in my sleep deprived, ginger brain. Because, of course, my mammogram results were ABNORMAL.
I was napping when I got the call from my doctor's assistant. I heard "densities", "looks benign" and "should get checked again in 6 months", I tweeted it and then went back to sleep. When I woke up to get ready for work, it started to sink in. My mammogram wasn't normal. While showering, I talked myself down, "It looks benign, you don't need to worry." Then I told Mr. Misha. He looked terrified. Even when I explained that they said it looked fine, he still looked scared. He didn't want to wait 6 months. That's when I started to get scared.

I figured I would just ask one of the docs at work that night to explain the results to me. I got put on call. So I called the charge nurse and asked her if a doc came in for a delivery to have them call me. Labor and delivery was a ghost town that night and no docs came in that night. So I waited until 9am the next morning to call my doctor's office. I thought I would just see if he could call me and explain the results. If that wasn't an option, I'd make an appointment to come in and discuss the results. The phone call left me angry and tearful.

"Dr. P 's office"

"Hi, this is Misha. I was asleep when you gave me my mammogram results yesterday over the phone and I have a few questions. I was wondering if Dr. P could call me and go over the results? I really just need about 5 minutes of his time."

"Uh, yeah. He doesn't do phone calls."

"Oh, well then, can I make an appointment to meet with him and discuss the results?"

"Sure. But we don't have any appointments open for two weeks."

"Could you call me if you get a cancellation?"

"No. You can call each morning to see if we have any cancellations and try and get a same day appointment."

"Could you at least mail me a copy of the radiology report?"

"No. I can make a copy and you can come by the office and pick it up."

"Alright. I'll be by this afternoon."

I understand the doctor is busy. I understand his time is valuable. I also know how I treat my patients. I would never treat my patients this way. When a patient has questions about their health, I find a way to get the answers for them in a timely manner. I'm not changing doctors. He probably doesn't even know that this happened. I will tell him what happened and how upset I was. I will let him know how rude his assistant was. I will stand up for myself.

Anywho, Tuesday night I went to work and lo and behold- there were babies to be birthed and doctors there to catch said babies! Fortunately, the doc that was there that night likes me, is Unabomber smart and willing to sit down with me for 5 minutes (Yes, Dr. P's assistant, it only took 5 minutes, so you can bite me.) and talk me through the report.

So this is what my report said:

There are multiple sub-5mm smooth low density nodular opacities present. These are probably benign, have smooth outer margins and are well demarcated. In view of the absence of previous films for comparison, suggest six-month follow up mammogram.

There is no dominant mass, skin thickening, nipple retraction or malignant appearing calcification.

CONCLUSION: Multiple probably benign small nodular densities for which six-moth follow up mammograms are recommended
FOLLOW UP: 6 month

So, what that means I have a bunch of little lumps with a diameter smaller than one number on a credit card. Because mine are smooth and they don't have common characteristics of cancerous tumor, I was given a BI-RAD score of 3. That means that probably nothing is wrong, but there is a 2% chance of cancer.

I asked the baby catchin' doc if this was his mom's, his wife's, his daughter's, his sister's mammogram report what would he do. He said he would tell them get checked again in 6 months. Unless it was going to make them freak out for the next 6 months, then he'd refer them to our local breast surgeon for a consult. I don't need a consult with the boob slicer. Not knowing what the report meant was keeping me up. Now that it has been explained to me- I'm sleeping just fine.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Your Boobs, A Year-long Commitment.

We are only one-third of the way through October. I bet you are already sick of pink. Too bad. We only have 31 days to talk to you about your boobs and I am going to make the best of it. I have compiled some information about mammography, breast exams and lowering your breast cancer risk. Enjoy!

Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
(From the American Cancer Society)

Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 40 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.

Clinical breast exam (CBE) should be part of a periodic health exam, about every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women 40 and over. Women should know how their breasts normally feel and report any breast change promptly to their health care providers.

Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s.

Women at high risk (greater than 20% lifetime risk) should get an MRI and a mammogram every year. Women at moderately increased risk (15% to 20% lifetime risk) should talk with their doctors about the benefits and limitations of adding MRI screening to their yearly mammogram. Yearly MRI screening is not recommended for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15%.

Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2009-2010 (PDF)

Four Ways to decrease your risk of Breast Cancer

Be as lean as possible without being underweight. A healthy body mass index is defined as being above 18.5 but no greater than 25. Women closer to the lower end of the healthy weight range have the most protection from breast cancer.

Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
If you can't do that, at least do some. Some activity is better than none, but the more, the better.

Limit alcohol consumption.
If you drink at all, limit your intake to one serving a day.
New mothers should breast-feed exclusively for up to six months -- the evidence is convincing that mothers who breast-feed reduce their risk for breast cancer.

For more Breast Health information try

Now, here is a non-pervy Self Breast Exam video- get yer learnin' on!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Yes, I Blogged My Mammogram.

The following is a mixture of tweets, photos and my some thoughts about the mammogram I had today. I will post my vlog attempt later, as I am a iMovie doofus.

11:20am Heading out. Feels weird to not wear deodorant. #twammogram
My hospital has a gym, physical therapy office and Women's Imaging Center in a separate building. It's called the Wellness Center.
Second floor- boob squshing! #twammogram
Sitting in the waiting room with my pal Stacy. She just had the squeeze! #twammogram
This is my co-worker, Stacy. She was walking out as I was walking in. She stayed in the waiting room with me to offer support.
Off with the bra!#twammogram
I was taken into a little room, asked to undress from the waist up and put on a hospital gown, opened to the front. Then I headed into the next room and saw the Boob Squisher:
Front shots done. Now for the sides.#twammogram Here is my boob in the machine:
Side view done! #twammogram
It hardly took anytime at all. In fact, it would have gone faster, but I was tweeting and snapping photos. My mammographer was awesome. She thought it was a little weird that I was taking photos and texting the whole time- but she went with it!

Colleen is the rockingest boob smusher! #twammogram
Then I went back into the little room and got dressed. When I put my bra back on, I felt something weird. I forgot to remove my nipple markers.

Almost forgot to remove my nipple markers! #twammogram

As I walked out of the changing room, I saw a big basket filled with breast cancer awareness loot and a bucket filled with pink flowers. The receptionist told me to take whatever I wanted.

They're giving out pink carnations, note pads, pink ribbon magnets, calendars, mints! You can totally rake it in! #twammogram

I grabbed a breast self exam dealio to hang in my shower, a nail file, a pink ribbon magnet for my fridge and some mints. Then I went out to my car to read some tweets and answer questions.

It was 3 views for each boob, wouldn't have taken as long if I hadn't stopped to tweet and snap pics. #twammogram

OMG! These boob smoosh mints are fricken yummy! #twammogram
On the ride home, I snapped a pic of my nipple marker!
I'm totes going to make Mr. Misha snap a pic of me with my nipple markers on! Out on my shirt, of course. #twammogram
When I got home, my mom, Mr. Misha, my neighbor, his mother, his daughter and his niece were all waiting for me. I had them snap a photo of me with my new pasties!
My post-mammogram homecoming was hysterical! Going to blog now! #twammogram
Then we put the nipple markers on Mr. Misha:
Then we stuck the markers on my mom:
We tried to stick them on one of the three dogs that were in the living room, but they were too excited and couldn't sit still.

Overall, it was pretty easy. It didn't hurt. There was a tiny bit of discomfort from stretching my boobs, but it wasn't bad at all.

Now I just have to wait for the results.....

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Amy Wood, TV Newcaster and Patron Saint of Breastesses!

Here are two #Twammogram TV spots that aired in South Carolina! Thank you Amy for helping spread the word!

Are Your Boobs Uninsured?

One obstacle women face to get a mammogram is access. Some are uninsured, some can't afford their deductible or co-pay. So I have created a state-by-state directory to help women find free or low-cost mammograms in their area. Please pass this on to those you think might find this helpful.

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia

In new boob news, #Twammogram now has a
Facebook Page!

Now, to make you smile. If you have ever been to the Netherlands or know a Dutch person, this will make you smile. A breast cancer awareness PSA from The Netherlands:

Yes, I'm Still Talking About Boobs.

Well, there it is. The Twammogram avatar, brought to you by Mr. Misha. It's sexy, it's fun, it's pink and it comes with an iPhone! I think it will be all the rage. Please feel free to steal it for your own use, or if you are the creative type- make one yourself. Perhaps one for Blackberry?

So I was sitting at work last night, waiting for the 9pm bus of pregnant women to roll in, and I remembered- My still camera lets me shoot video! So today I am going to charge up my lefty-liberal, tree-hugging, rechargeable batteries so I can get all multimedia with my boobs.

Of course, because of this- I will now have to put on make-up, fix my hair and wear something presentable. This is not how I roll lately- this is a big deal. Under any other circumstances, all I would do to prepare for a mammogram would be shower, brush my teeth, put my hair into a ponytail, throw on a bra, a t-shirt, some flipflops and some yoga pants. But I am gonna get all fancy- FOR YOU! And your boobs.

Tomorrow is the big day for me. The girls are going into the vice and having their picture taken. I'll post all the video, photos and tweets here as soon as I get back! Stay tuned!

Right in the middle of writing this blog post- I did a phone interview about #Twammogram! Crazy, right? As soon as it is published, I will post a link. I am pretty sure I was the dorkiest person ever interviewed by that reporter. I really should have had some caffeine before talking with her.

I am all over the place with this blog post. I really don't know how to put it back on track. So I will just end it with this video from my new Twitter friend, Amy Wood. Listen to why she is so passionate about #Twammogram:

Monday, October 05, 2009

Misha Uses Her Breasts For Good, Instead Of Evil.

It all started out so innocently with a Facebook status update by my Twitter gal pal Laura:

Then it moved on to Twitter.

We came up with a hashtag, a way to mark tweets so they can be searched, indexed, catogorized, etc.


Mr. Misha is working on an avatar involving a pink bra, boobies and an iPhone.

Then Laura made a video:

Monday, the Twammogram fever started to spread. Lisa G(A Twammogram Hero!) and Laura started contacting celebrities and media folks to help spread the word. TPM's Christina Bellantoni, Comedian Baratunde Thurston and Academy Award Winning Actress Marlee Matlin all helped spread the word! It was very exciting.

Then something I never expected happened. We started getting messages from women who said they were afraid or had forgotten to make their mammogram appointment. Those who were afraid said they felt like they could do it now that they had the support of the 'twitterverse'. Those who had been putting it off, or kept forgetting, got on the phone right then and made appointments. But the best thing of all, those who weren't getting a mammogram because they were uninsured were put in touch with programs that provide free or low cost mammograms.

Who knew that something two goofballs (or dorkasauruses, as Laura says) joking around about their fear of cancer & boob squishing and their Twitter addiction could start something so cool.

I am going to make an attempt at Vlogging- a Misha first because it requires that I do something with my hair and apply makeup. So stay tuned!


The Twammogramomentum is spreading!
Laura's Blog
Famous South Carolina Newscaster, Amy Wood's Blog
Follow Twammogram on Twitter!

Monday, August 03, 2009

In Memoriam: We Don't Look Anything Alike


One morning I stopped by my mom's house. We chatted for a little while and then she walked me out to the Mishamobile. Bonnie was at her usual post, right next to my mother's left leg. All of a sudden, Bonnie saw a cat and took off. She ran halfway down the block and disappeared in between two houses.

Of course, my mother became hysterical, shrieking and fretting. She was having a panic attack, in the middle of the street while still in her nightgown. I told her I would go fetch the dog. The last thing I needed was to bail Bonnie out of the pound only to have to go spring Joanie from the loony bin.

I found Bonnie sitting at the neighbors back gate staring down a stray cat. I called her name and she obediently came right to me. I told her she was naughty and that she better get back home immediately. She gave me an arrogant snort and galloped back to my mom's front porch. When I reached the foot of the driveway, I found my mom cooing and petting the wayward pooch.

I noticed when my mom's hand came away from Bonnie's head, it was bloody. Since my mom has a serious bleeding disorder, I became alarmed. I asked my mom where she was bleeding from and she looked down and hollered, "Oh my God! It's Bonnie's ear! She cut her ear! Oh no, her beautiful ear! Oh my God! What am I going to do! Oh no!"

I told my mom to call the vet and tell them I was on my way. I got Bonnie into my car and took off. Bonnie has huge ears. Ginormous, gray flapping ears. As I got on the freeway entrance, she shook her head, flapping those elephant ears of hers. Blood went flying everywhere, on the windshield, on the rear view mirror, on the windows, on the roof and all over me. I looked like I had just murdered someone.

When I pulled up to the vet's office, half of the office staff was out in front waiting for me. I figured my mom had made it seem like Bonnie was on death's door and they were out to give emergency aid in the parking lot. Until I noticed the look on their faces. They were all grinning.

I got Bonnie out of the jeep and said, "I guess you got the call we were coming in?" One of the vet techs replied, "Yes, Joan called and said Bonnie had cut her ear. We are all ready for her." I made some comment about my mom over exaggerating the extent of her injuries and the tech replied, "No, she said it was just a cut ear. But she said that Bonnie's SISTER was driving her to the office and we wanted to see a Weimaraner that drove a car!"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Twatted With A GOP "Leader"

Going to the doctor is never a fun day for me. I am usually sore afterward. Today was no different. As soon as I arrived home, I had lunch, put some ice on my neck/shoulder and popped a Flexeril and a Motrin.

While waiting for the ice and pills to kick in, I scanned all the tweets I missed while I was out of the house. One particular tweet caught my eye:

I remembered reading a few months ago about a wonderful Japanese dinner Newt had enjoyed with his wife:

So I replied:

I was quite surprised when he replied:

So there you go. Newt Gingrich twatted me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

You can pick your friends, you can’t pick your family...

So, yesterday I shared Mark's funeral story.  I bragged about how great my co-workers were and how wonderful my friends were.  Absent from that family.  Don't get me wrong, my family is hysterical and loving too.  But they are not so helpful in a crisis.  Here are the comments made to me after Mark died:

From my Step-father (a Marine):

"Well, now that the funeral is over, you should get back to work. Be tough and strong and get back to your life."

From my Father (a Marine):

"Be strong.  You need to get back to work and on with your life. "

They must have had some sort of "what to say to your daughter when her boyfriend dies" class in the USMC Officer's Training School.
From my Mother:

"I know you are upset, but think how upset I am!  You are my daughter and seeing you so sad is very hard on me.  I wish you would understand that my pain is even worse than yours!"

and her other gem...

"Well, given your age and the fact that Mark is dead.  You are probably never going to get married and have children. You should go to midwifery school and get your Master's degree."

Someone please tell me that I am not the only one with parents like this! What completely insensitive or thoughtless things have your family ever said to you?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Until That Day, I Had Been The Sane One.

Before I met Mr. Misha, I was in a relationship with a man named Mark. We were together for almost 3 years when he was killed in a car accident. I was devastated. Not only had I lost someone who I loved, I had lost the future we had planned together. I don't know if I could have made it through without the love and care from my friends and co-workers.

I had made it through the funeral mass. It was a full law enforcement type funeral with Sheriff's Deputies in their dress blues, a color guard and bagpipes. I didn't want to ride in the family car to the cemetery, so I went in my friend Val's car. The funeral procession was long, we had a police escort and Val was only a few cars behind the hearse.

I kept thinking about Mark being in the back of that hearse. I kept thinking that he probably didn't like what he was wearing. I hoped he'd forgive me for burying him in a long sleeved shirt. I just kept thinking about everything and couldn't really focus. My mind was reeling.

When we arrived at the cemetery and went to the grave site, it started to hit me. Mark was going to be put in that hole in the ground. I started to feel strange and panicked. Once he was in the ground, that was it. I didn't like the finality of burial. Val could sense I wasn't thinking straight and walked me to my seat. I was seated between Mark's mother and his Aunt, who is a Nun.

The burial ceremony went as it was supposed to, I guess. I really wasn't paying attention. I just kept staring at the casket and the hole in the ground. In fact, I started to obsess about the casket and the hole. I really didn't want the casket to go in the hole. I started to think to myself, "Holy Hell Michele, you are going to be one of those crazy women that throws themselves on the casket." Then I would think, "If the casket doesn't go in the hole, then it is not over. I don't have to try and live my life with out him." I knew that this was crazy thinking, but it didn't matter.

If Mark was in the hole, I had to start living my life again. I didn't want to. If Mark wasn't going to be in my life, then I'd rather just live in the limbo I had been living in for the past 6 days; Someone fed me breakfast, then I took a shower. I sat around and cried, and then someone would give me lunch. I would cry some more maybe even take a phone call or two. Then someone would feed me dinner and give me some pills. Then I would go in OUR bedroom, lie in OUR bed and toss and turn all night. Then it would start all over again. I was never alone, I didn't have to make any decisions, I didn't have to talk or I could talk all I want.... ramble on and on, and some one would have to listen. Once he was buried, I would have to move on, and I didn't think I could do it.

I was gonna get in the hole with him. (I decided in my mind that I was going to do it. When I made the decision, my tears stopped. I had been sitting there with tears streaming down my face and suddenly with that decision, the faucet was turn off. But as the casket was descending into the ground, the priest announced that the Deputy Sheriffs Association had brought roses for everyone to throw in the hole (he didn't say it that way, but you know what I mean). I watched as hundreds of people stopped by the hole and threw in a rose and paid their final respects. It seemed to go on forever. I knew if I tried to jump in the hole while they were around, one of them would stop me. I started crying again, this time harder. I could feel Aunt/Sister Mary put her arm around me and squeeze. I just cried harder.

After what seemed like an hour, everyone except my girlfriends*, had flung their flower. I watched as my best friends went up to the hole. Sally looked pale as she said goodbye and threw her flower, then came Trixie. Then came Brittney, whose mother had died a mere 4 hours after Mark had passed away. Then Izzy went and finally, Roxie. Roxie threw her flower in the hole and started to turn around, her foot slipped on the soft ground surrounding the hole and SHE STARTED TO FALL INTO THE HOLE! Roxie reached out and grabbed Izzy's arm. Then they both started to slip into the hole. Izzy's husband grabbed onto her and started to pull them both away from the grave. (This was no easy feat, since he did this with one arm in a sling.) Then it hit me, "YOU DON'T WANT TO GO INTO THE HOLE!" I saw the awkward ballet going on between Roxie, Izzy and her husband and I burst into laughter. Sister Mary thought I had gone into a hysterical crying fit and wrapped both of her arms around me and started to pray. In mind I thought, "Oh great now I am going to hell. I am laughing at a funeral with a Nun's arms around me. I am going straight to hell!" My inappropriate laughing stopped and I started to cry again.

Eventually, Izzy and Roxie got away from the grave and I got control of my laughing/crying fits. The funeral goers started to disperse and someone told me it was time to leave. I got out of my chair and went a few steps towards a tree to gather my thoughts. I needed to get my shit together, I couldn't act like a crazy woman at the wake.... there were too many health care workers there, one of 'em would notice and get me admitted to some nut house.

As I stood by the tree, I started to calm down, I started to feel like I could deal with the rest of the afternoon. I wiped my eyes, blew my nose and started to walk towards Val's car. Just then, Roxie came up to me and said; "Dude, I am so sorry that I did that." I replied to her; " Dude, you saved me! I was going to be one of those crazy chicks that jumps in the hole and throws herself on the coffin! When I saw the look of terror on your face, I realized that I didn't want to go there." She looked confused as she said "Really?". I reassured and told her "REALLY! I was gonna jump in the hole, you totally saved me." She just grinned and said, "Anyway I can help out...Dude, you know I am happy to do it!"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Don't Drink? Don't Smoke? What Do Ya Do?

My Nana loved to Jitterbug. She had a regular dancing partner named Johnny, and they would go out dancing on a regular basis. Although she never said it, I think Johnny was Nana's beau. The place they went dancing also served food. Nana would always order a BBQ beef sandwich and a glass of cold buttermilk.

One day, Nana was in town and saw the waitress from the dancing place. The started talking and the waitress mentioned that the previous night, she had seen Johnny dancing with another girl. Nana was very upset. She went home and called her friend a couple of towns away. She told her what had happened. Her friend said, " I know what we will do, we will find you another dance partner!". Nana agreed and the next Saturday night, she and her friend were going on a double date. When Nana asked her friend about her blind date, all her friend would say is that he was a buddy of her boyfriend and his name was Chuck.

Saturday came and Nana was nervous. She hadn't cancelled her date with Johnny, she wanted to stand him up. But Chuck and the other couple were late picking her up. Finally, they arrived and off they went for a night on the town. Chuck was very polite, but a little quiet. Nana and Chuck were sitting at their table and had just finished their BBQ sandwiches. Nana had ordered her usual buttermilk, Chuck had ordered a beer. The other couple got up to dance and left Nana and Chuck alone. Chuck asked Nana if she wanted a beer, she said she didn't drink alcohol. Nana asked Chuck if he danced, he said no. Chuck asked Ferne if she smoked, she said no. Nana asked Chuck what he liked to do for fun, he said drink and smoke. Their first date did not go well. Why they ever went on a second date, is beyond me........

Several months later, Nana was in the kitchen with her mother and father having breakfast. They heard a knock on the door. Nana, still in her robe and slippers, answered the door. It was Chuck, the young man she had been dating. He looked very serious. She took him into the living room and they sat down on the love seat. His hands were shaking and he was starting to perspire. He looked into Nana's eyes and said;

"Ferne, I love you. I want to marry you."

He then took out a ring and put it on her finger.

She looked at it for a minute and replied;

"Chuck, I will marry you. But that is the ugliest ring I have ever seen in my life and I wouldn't be caught dead wearing it."

Chuck smirked and said;

"Fine, then get dressed. We will go to Columbus and you can pick out the ring that you want, but I am only spending $200.00"

They were married a few weeks later. They stayed married for 44 years until Chuck passed away. Nana used to tell that story over and over again. I was the only one in the family that didn't roll their eyes when she told the story, so about a year before she died, Nana gave me the ring she picked out in Columbus. I wear it every day and think of her.

Saturday, May 02, 2009


I have been working a weird schedule lately. I usually am more kind to myself when scheduling my nights, but not this time around. I worked 2 on, 2 off, 2 on, 3 off, 2 on. It was brutal. Add to that the pollen and wind and I am broken.

I have no voice. I can whisper, but that is about it. I am trying not to talk at all. I tried fingerspelling with Mr. Misha, but he doesn't know any ASL. So I send him texts and emails. He seems to be enjoying the silence. Hopefully, I will have my voice back soon.

My feet are swollen. HUGE. So huge that on my last night at work, I could not fit them all the way into my work clogs. I have been taking diuretic medication and elevating my feet. The swelling has gone down tremendously, but I still have
pitting edema in one foot.

I am giving myself until Monday to be cured. If not, I will call the doctor. I don't expect him to be able to do anything, but it will get my mother off my ass.

Today is her 65th Birthday. I am going to try and get Mr. Misha to sing happy birthday to her for me while I whistle along. She is mad at me right now because I told her to "get off the cross" during our conversation the other day. Maybe we will luck out and she won't answer the phone.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Too Tired To Blog

I spent all day with my mother again. Unfortunately, Barry the plumber was there most of the day too. He was his usual unpleasant self. As he watched me make a bank deposit online, he said, "Don't yer bank charge you extra to do that?" My reply was, "No Barry, the bank would prefer that it's customers do all of their banking online. In fact, given your charming demeanor, I think they would probably pay you to exclusively bank via computer."

Much like my friend,
Bellesouth, I had to explain the ridiculousness of yesterday's events to my mother. She laughed at their moniker, but overall felt that their protest was a guise. "They're just pissed their guy lost."

Other than my shining moment of wit, bathing and dressing my mom and being her lady in waiting while she offered political commentary---all I did was take some pictures of her two dogs.

Lola, the Parson Russell Terrier and Bonnie, the Weimaraner.
Lola is very nosey. She likes to play with her toys.

She guards the front porch diligently.
Bonnie is a handsome old lady. She is also very stuck up.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

In Case Of Emergency

In is my opinion that every person should have a basic knowledge of basic first aid. I would also recommend that everyone take a class at their local Red Cross on how to perform CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver and use an automatic defibrillator. You may never use it, but if one day you find yourself in a situation where one of those skills are needed, you will be glad you spent an evening or an afternoon learning how to do it.

As part of my job, I am required to be certified in Basic Life Support (CPR), plus Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Neonatal Resuscitation (NRP). Each of those certifications need to be renewed every two years.

Today was my NRP recert. Here are Nurse Angela and Stacy taking their written exam:
Here is Nurse Susie taking her written exam:

Here is Nurse Laura, our instructor. She is a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse. She is very funny. After our written test, she will make us "run a code" with a fake baby. Even though we know it is pretend, it can be very nerve-racking.
-Here is our patient, Resusibaby Annie:
Nurse Laura tells us she was born as soon as her mom got to the hospital. She is limp, pale and is not breathing! WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO???? I decide to give the baby some oxygen.

I think I am so smart.

My baby doesn't respond to just the oxygen. So we had to give chest compressions to. Then I decide to intubate the baby so I can get more oxygen to her lungs (which was difficult, since this baby did not have a throat or a windpipe, so I had to pretend)

Then it was Stacy's turn. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, NURSE STACY?
She decided to give Annie oxygen too!
We decided that it would be easier to intubate the baby if we took her face off. It was.
She lived. We saved the day. The end.

Woo Hoo! I am re-certified until April 2011! Whew.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Day In Mostly Pictures

My mom called me early this morning and asked me to come pick her up. She told me they wanted her out of the hosptial by 11am. This picture was taken at 1pm. We were still waiting for her discharge papers.

This is what your arms look like when you: a) have a bleeding disorder
b) have been taking Prednisone for a long time and
c) have a dumb ass trying to start your IV.

My mom has great veins. She offers herself up to nursing students when she is in the infusion clinic because she knows they will be able to get her IV in on the first stick. She also lets phlebotomy students practice on her in the lab. They never miss. They stuck her SIX times to find an IV before surgery. That IV didn't even last through the surgery and she was stuck THREE more times. Both arms are covered with bruises, above are the lightest ones.

She lost 12 pounds in 5 days in the hospital. All she wanted was a milkshake when we finally left the hospital.

She got a coconut shake. She loved it. Drank every drop.

Storm coming in from the east.

It looks scary on the right side of the freeway.
But so gorgeous on the left side.

I'm tired. Going to bed.
Back to Mom's house tomorrow for nurse duty.
Woo Hoo!