Sunday, February 22, 2009

Facebook Tragedy

Got a great laugh out of this cartoon, as I recently joined Facebook to keep track of the grandkids, and found so many friends and friends of friends. I wonder if I am the only one who feels a little overwhelmed!?

Before I was able to discover all the features and how to use them, I found pillow and food throwing fights going on, got a pop-up that tried to fleece me by telling me someone had a crush on me and someone else thought I was an idiot, and got some bewildering requests....when all I really wanted to do was say "Hi" to a few people and keep in touch! I am still a blogger at heart, but one thing I do like about FB is that it's very current (new messages everyday) and you can keep in touch with more people, not just the ones who are patronizing the blog.
So I do apologize to anyone when I am unresponsive to FB requests, I am mostly a commenter as I don't know how to do much of anything else and have no great desire to learn.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

20 Things to do With Chopsticks When You're Bored

When Brooke and Paige come over, they always entertain themselves as if life were a game and they are the tokens. Here, they have their toys spread on my bed. What is the game? The strewing of the toys may look random, but trust me, each one has it's place and purpose, and they play the roles assigned to them by the girls. If you ask them, it might be a school for animals but the teacher is getting married to a Barbie, or the elf keeps trying to run away and the animals are going to cook for a picnic....whatever the game is, they laugh and play together all afternoon.
Recently, they spent the night. We met Bryan and Pam at a Chinese restaurant for dinner that evening. After watching a prickly sea urchin and a clownfish in the fish tank, and reading the astrological signs on the menus, they asked the waitress for chopsticks while we waited for our food. Thus began the game.
They practiced picking up things like the straw wrappers and the pepper shaker. The chopsticks were stuck under the nose, and in the hair like devil's horns. "And you act like a devil," Paige explained. They twiddled and fiddled with the chopsticks, and used them like drumsticks. They poked each other and tapped each other. They put them through buttonholes and later, used them like flagpoles for their fortune cookie slips and stuck them in the leftover boxes so they stuck out fortress-like. I can't even remember all the uses they found for the chopsticks, but I could hear them laughing and commenting on them all the way home in the car.
We adults, we just visited. Why does being grown-up mean you lose your fascination for everyday objects, and the creative uses to which they can be put? I always enjoy spending time with the twins, and listening to their chatter as they build their fantasy worlds around stuffed animals, dolls, or chopsticks. I love to see them having fun, and I hope when they grow up they will never lose their sense of fun.

Friday, February 06, 2009

No More Monitor Bag

What is a monitor bag, you say? Well, it's a white cotton bag you wear around your neck when you go to cardiac rehab. It has your name on it, and when you get to your cardiac rehab class, you put your numbered heart monitor in the bag, place 3 sticky electrodes under your shirt (2 on upper chest, one on ribs) and connect the heart monitor's 3 leads to your electrodes. If all goes well, a large screen tv will then display a readout of your heart rate as you exercise, and you can then slough off or increase your efforts as needed.

Today I graduated. I still go to cardiac rehab, but I'm off the monitor, baby! No more white bag around my neck! No more having to get there extra early to fumble with wires and sticky pads! No more turning to the wall and hunching to connect my leads so that the men in the class can't see my tubby tummy when I pull up my shirt! No more sticky shlepping when I take off the electrodes, which have the gummiest gum known to mankind on them!

When you are a recovering heart surgery patient, progress is measured in these small steps. What it means is that after so many weeks of exercising with a heart monitor, the exercise gurus have determined that the defibrillation paddles and oxygen tanks (which they keep on hand in clear view of you as your heart pounds during exercise, inevitably increasing the fear factor) are probably not in my future as of this time.

They still take my blood pressure, but now they put paddles on my chest twice a session to check my heart rate. One more small step for me in a journey of a thousand small steps.

For those of you who have yet to "enjoy" being the center of attention during a heart event, let me just say that it is like being born again. When you first come out of the operating theater, you are like a baby. You aren't even breathing on your own. A tube in your bladder is an adult substitute for a diaper. You can't even get out of bed without help, and someone has to give you your first post-op washing up. So as day follows day, many of them quite dismal, you measure your progress in tiny steps. Opening my own juice container was a small step. Being able to button something made me feel almost grown up again. Going off Lasix and potassium supplements was step that made me feel like I really was getting better. I even remember the first time I was able to creak my aching arm across my body, reach up under the opposite arm, and put on my own deodorant! And so on, and so on.

So as you can imagine, taking off that white bitch of a bag felt mighty darn good! I am just about back to normal. Other than finishing cardiac rehab, getting off Coumadin next week, and getting a stress test in March, I am officially over the surgery. And I do feel good! A lot better, anyway. Just thought I'd mention it.