Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

(New Years eve fireworks at Niagra Falls)

My resolution is to start using my sleep machine and stick with it. Does anyone else have a resolution?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Smoking: still not doin' it

I have saved $925 to date not smoking. (Look up for an up-to-date total!) Some of that cash will come in handy at the casino tomorrow! ;)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Nuclear Toast: King of the Internet... plus toes, jobs and Cabo

Nuclear Toast said I have to put up a post ‘cause he rules in the Internet and all who use it must obey him. Well, maybe he just said it had been almost a month and I made up the rest. Seriously, where did that month go?!?! Sad that the first thing that popped into my mind was alien abduction.

Feet: I went for my two week post frankenfeet checkup. Everything is healing fine. The numbness and twitch that I am feeling in my big and second toes on my right foot is temporary nerve damage. It will heal in a month or so. It’s just an irritation more than anything. I only cried a little at the appointment today. I knew the doc was going to “clean” my frankenfeet, but I didn’t really know what that meant. I figured he would daub a little frankenfoot cleaner on and I would be out the door. Wrong. (Bri – skip to the next paragraph now.) It involved a lot of scraping and draining using sharp instruments. Um, don’t they know that I need Valium for things like that? Duh!

Job: In the last two and a half weeks I was laid off and hired. I start my new job on Monday December 15th. If you want to know more, email me. I am paranoid about blog stalkers. (Note to Gayle: a blog stalker is someone who lurks around a blog without commenting. So leave some comments lady!)

Cabo: Ahhhhhh – I leave for Cabo in the morning. I will miss DK, but it will be great to see my mom. Tecate Light and nachos by the pool are a major bonus!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Worst word ever!

I am watching last night's episode of Desperate Housewives. Susan (Teri Hatcher) just said that her least favorite word is PANTIES! Ha ha haaaaaaaaaa. Would anyone like to second that? You know who you are!

ROFL Fail!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Tsunami Blue by Gayle Williams

I am so excited for Gayle!
Her book was purchased by a big NYC publisher!
So much to celebrate this week!

Read about it here!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Polar bear, moose, wolves and the 18-35 demographic REJOICE!

349! 349! 349! 349! 349!

I never, ever thought I would say this, but thank you George W. Bush!

I appreciated McCain’s speech. It was very gracious and positive. Something that cannot be said for his supporters who boo’d during it.

I hope to completely forget about Sarah Palin in the very near future. I don’t ever want to think of her again. Unfortunately, I think she will pop back into the national spotlight in a few years. We must be vigilant!

Until last night, I never said “my country”. Until last night I thought that hidden bigotry and racism might squash our chance for a better future. I have never been so happy to be wrong.

Yesterday was my third time voting in a presidential election and the first time that my candidate won.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Friday, October 24, 2008

Say it with... poop?

Gmail has added a new emoticon feature.

I was replying to a friend of ours who had just told me that she and her husband are having another baby. YAY! Babies everywhere!!! :) I clicked on this new emoticon tab to see if I could find one that properly conveyed my excitement and I found this little pile of poop!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Joe the Plumber: Math ur doin' it rong

I found this info interesting:

Wurzelbacher also acknowledged that he had no specific plans for buying Newell’s business, saying he and Newell had simply talked about the idea from time to time. He might have difficulty making the purchase: Court records from his divorce show that Wurzelbacher made $40,000 in 2006.

Even if he did buy Newell Plumbing and Heating, Obama’s tax plan wouldn’t affect him. While Wurzelbacher told Obama that he would be taxed at a higher rate because the company grossed more than $250,000 a year, Ohio business records show the company’s estimated total annual revenue as only $100,000. Actual taxable income would be even less than that.

In any event, Obama’s tax plan specifies that the higher rate would apply only to income above the $250,000 threshold. Assuming Wurzelbacher’s income as owner somehow hit $280,000 — the top end of his supposition of the company’s revenue — only the extra $30,000 would be taxed at a higher rate.

Analysts calculated that the extra tax would amount to $900, which would likely be more than offset by separate provisions of Obama’s plan: a 50 percent tax credit for health care and elimination of the capital gains tax for small businesses.

Source: MSNBC

P.S. I have taken the liberty of highlighting and enlarging the parts that I think are really important. I learned this technique from The Gallivanting Monkey. :)

P.S.S. I promise that at some point this blog will turn back into rants, raves, grumblings and stories about my boring life. Right now my life is just totally consumed by all of this stuff. 12 more days.

Hiding the beer: Ur doin' it rong

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

GOP spends $150,000 for Palin's wardrobe

Ok - I know I am going crazy with all of these blog posts, but I just can't help myself. Especially when it comes to Sarah Palin. I do promise you this: I will not make anymore blog post about Sarah Palin*.


This is blew me away:

The 2002 campaign finance law that bears McCain's name specifically barred any funds that "are donated for the purpose of supporting the activities of a federal or state office holder" from being used for personal expenses including clothing. A quirk in the law does not specifically mention party committees, however.

Source: MSNBC


What a difference $150k can make!

For sale: Secret network of tunnels 100ft under London

Hell yeah! If I were a rich Londoner, I would totally buy these tunnels and live in them. BEST. HOUSE. EVER! Read all about it here.

Sales Woman

What do you suppose this woman is selling? Halter tops? Floppy hats? Mystic tanning packages?

Scroll down to find out...











Did you guess insurance? No? Don't feel bad, I didn't either.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Moose burgers

Sarah Palin and I disagree on many things.

Shooting animals from an airplane is one of them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

She did what?

I was shocked to read this:

Sarah Palin
Nothing is known publicly about Ms. Palin’s medical history, aside from the much-discussed circumstances surrounding the birth of her fifth child last April. Ms. Palin has said that her water broke while she was at a conference in Dallas and that she flew to Anchorage, where she gave birth to her son Trig hours after landing.
Source: NY Times/MSNBC

I have never been pregnant, so I don't know much about recommendations for pregnant women, but I have heard that doctors recommend pregnant women do not fly during their third trimester. It was explained to me that the real risk is giving birth in-flight, without medical attention available. I seriously question the judgment of Sarah Palin if she did in fact get on an airplane when there was a strong possibility of her going into labor.

4,144 miles separate Dallas and Anchorage.

Mothers, pregnant women, doctors, nurses, Joe six-pack, please weigh in and let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Not smoking: Any way you look at it...

As of right now, I have not smoked for:
  • 8 weeks - or -
  • 56 days - or -
  • 1,344 hours - or -
  • 80,640 minutes - or -
  • 4,838,400 seconds


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the plumber

Living the American dream:

Chillin' in front of the tube - Check!
Overstuffed couch - Check!
Pack of Marlboros - Check!
Big Gulp - Check!

P.S. I heard a rumor (on Talk Radio 710 KIRO) this morning that this dude isn't even registered to vote in Ohio. I am interested to find out if that is true or not.

Friday, October 10, 2008

301,139,945 free cans of Dr. Pepper

This spring, soft drink manufacturer Dr Pepper offered to send a free can of the beverage to “everyone in America” (excluding ex-GNR members Slash and Buckethead) if “Chinese Democracy” were to arrive anytime during the calendar year 2008. A Dr Pepper spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Source: MSNBC - read the article

Yes, you read that right. I know, it surprised me too.

Assuming that a can of Dr. Pepper costs $0.39* the American public (excluding Slash and Buckethead) will receive a total of $117,444,578.55** worth of Dr. Pepper. That takes a little of the sting out of the financial bail out right? Hey - call George W - I think Dr. Pepper is going to need a financial bail out plan!

*Amazon Fresh price: $4.73/case

**I arrived at that number by taking the 2007 US census population count and subtracting two (poor Slash and Buckethead) and multiplying it by the price of a Dr. Pepper.
[301,139,947 - 2] x .39 = 117,444,578.55 (dollars)

***Do you know the name of the building featured in the photo above? I will give a free can of Dr. Pepper to the first person who answers that question correctly in the comments.

Fine print: Please specify regular or diet. If you comment anonymously I won't be able to get the Dr. Pepper to you. If you are a stranger and you comment with an answer, please provide me with a way to get in touch with you so I can mail the Dr. Pepper to you. Hopefully someone I know in real life wins so I don't have to go to the post office. I don't like it there. Too many old people and they don't know how to park.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Rednecks for Obama

No, seriously! They even made a sign. Please note the:
  • Overalls
  • Foam and mesh hat
  • Bud umbrella.
The land of the free.


Polygraphs proposed for Ind. congressional debate - Read article

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Mail Goggles

Wired headline: Google’s Mail Goggles Prevents Drunk Emailing.
Read the article

Monday, October 06, 2008

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Great FAIL and LOL Cat

This made me LOL because I totally know what they were trying to do with that sponge. If you run your wipers with a blade missing, it scratches your windshield!

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

I love this one:

more animals

Friday, September 26, 2008

PETA has finally lost it

Bladio occasionally blogs about new Ben & Jerry's flavors. I wonder what she thinks about this idea. I support many of PETA's causes. This is not one of them.

PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to switch to breast milk.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Man charged with battery for farting near cop

OMG, I was ROFL when I read this article!
Chris: take note of this cautionary tale!
Jose A. Cruz is my new hero.
Dwight Schrute just got knocked down a notch.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I submitted this to the Fail blog today. I have my fingers crossed that they will select it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

OMG - I found an orphaned sock!

Random sock mania has hit my office! Check out what I found this morning! When I saw it, I was so excited I ran to my desk to grab my phone and snap a picture. I spilled hot tea on my hand in the process. Well worth the sting!

Scratch Padding, Nuclear Toast and Chronicles of a Nini have also found mysterious socks in or near their offices.

I think this is the result of static cling. Someone puts on a freshly washed and dried garment, oblivious to the fact that a sock is clinging on for dear life, wondering if it will ever be reunited with its mate. At some point the static cling loses its strength and POW, the sock falls to the ground. Why doesn’t this happen with other small items like underwear or washcloths? Why socks? Does anyone have any other theories as to why this happens?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Still no cigarettes!

I have gone 2.5 weeks without smoking. It's getting much easier. I rarely think about them now. When I do think about them, it's not really in a fond way anymore.

At what point do I say I quit smoking? I feel weird saying that. Right now I just say "I haven't smoked in 18 days!" And whoever I say that to asks "Oh, are you quitting?" Technically, I quit smoking 2.5 weeks ago, but it feels like I am still quitting, so when do I say that I have quit? I guess when I have been off the Chantix for a month. That seems like a good mark. What do you think?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Guess who?

Can you guess who the man in this computer generated image is?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A nation obsessed & checkout counter impulse buying

I will be the first to admit that I find celebrity gossip and news interesting. I subscribe to Us Weekly. Occasionally, I will buy other magazines if they catch my eye at the checkout counter.* But I was shocked to find this statistic on MSN Entertainment. The top four People Magazine issues by sales:
  1. 9/11 (4.1 million issues)
  2. The death of Princess Diana (3 million)
  3. The death of John F. Kennedy Jr. (2.8 million)
  4. The Joile-Pitt twins (2.6 million)
I guess Americans like death and babies. Interesting. I can't even fathom how the Joile-Pitt twins can even make it onto the top 10 list with these other events. Wow. For the record, I did not buy the People issue with them on the cover. I'm kind of boycotting them. Not because I have negative feelings about them, just because I'm totally sick of hearing about them and seeing them. I also feel this way about Paris Hilton and the Cruise's.

*Checkout counter tangent:
I am the person - the consumer - that checkout counter impulse merchandising was designed for. I cannot remember the last time that I went to the store and didn't add at least one thing to my cart at the checkout counter.

The other day I was in the 8 items or less express line and I had 8 items. By the time it was my turn, I had 11. In the few short minutes I stood in line, I added a Hershey bar with almonds and two packs of gum to my basket. (By the way, my husband ate the Hershey bar while I was sleeping!) I looked at the checker and said, "I'm not cheating! I had 8 items when I got in line. These don't count." I was defensive about it because once he told me to get out of the 15 items or less line because I had 16 items. Yes, he actually counted and kicked me out of line. I was so embarrassed and offended. Plus, on the trip where I got booted from the fast lane, I had two avocados in my cart and I think that counts as one item because the Checkout-Nazi only needs to type in the code for avocados once. I know some of you disagree. Bring on the debate!

The other thing that I frequently and impulsively buy at the checkout counter is recipe booklets. You know, lots of the major food companies like Betty Crocker and Pillsbury publish them. They are little paperback cookbooks featuring recipes using their products and they have themes like Crockpot cooking, casseroles or appetizers. I am not really sure why I buy these, but I do.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Smokin: ur doin it rong

I haven't smoked since Saturday. That's two and a half days or 58 hours and 35 minutes to be exact. (You can look at the counter above the blog post section for an up to date count.) Prior to Saturday I was only smoking about half a cigarette a day, but I blew it on Saturday. I was sitting outside all evening and that is difficult. But I only had about three cigarettes on Saturday, so that's still a huge improvement over a month ago.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The ten year reunion

Yep, it's that time of the decade. My 10 year reunion is scheduled for October.

So this is the deal. I was a total outcast in high school. I had a small group of friends (the stoners). With the exception of the stoners and the ESL kids, no one was nice to me. I didn’t even graduate with this class, I graduated a year early and from another school.

So why am I even considering going? Good question! I am asking myself the same thing and this is what I have come up with. Two reasons: curiosity and The Mustard Seed. Let’s start with the obvious, it’s being held at The Mustard Seed. It would be hard to pass that up. I love the Seed! And of course I’m curious about how all of those popular people turned out. It helps that my husband is smart, hot and charming. It would be fun to show him off.

Buzz kill! I just read the info on the reunion web site and I have to say, my bubble has been burst.

Here is the schedule:

Friday night: Snacks, beverages and a slideshow at The Mustard Seed then trek up to the high school to cheer on the football team for the homecoming game. BARF!!!!! Are you kidding me? I didn’t go to games in high school. Why would I go now? No spouses allowed. Lame. $85

Saturday night: Food at the art museum, spouses allowed. $165! WTF?!?!? Why are they charging so much money?

In the process of writing this post I went from wanting to go to being pretty sure that I am not going to go. Also, I am not even sure why I got the email announcing it since I didn’t graduate with them and therefore am not on the alumni list.

What would you do?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Well, I have been taking Chantix for about two and a half weeks now. It really is working. I don't crave nicotine anymore. I am no longer addicted to it. Even when I do smoke, I don't absorb any nicotine. Right now I am just focusing on breaking the habit of smoking. Sometimes I think I want to smoke, but if I light one, I don't really want it. It's a really strange feeling. It's like I am craving something, but I don't know what it is.

The down side to Chantix is that there are a few side effects. Most importantly, I am incredibly nauseas. I have been reading about this online and this is what other Chantix users are saying: (My comments are in parentheses.)
  1. Take it with a full meal, not just some food.
    (Ok - this is hard, because I am supposed to take it first thing in the morning and again before bed time. Who wants to eat a full meal at either of those times?)
  2. Cut each pill in half and take a half every four hours with a little food.
    (This seems like a good idea, but it is working so well, I am hesitant to mess with the dosage. I guess I should call my doctor and ask her.)
  3. It only lasts for the first few weeks.
    (This was a huge relief to read. I hope the nausea goes away soon for me too.)
  4. Many people lose weight while quitting with Chantix.
    (Duh! Because you don't want to eat!)

Also, the dreams have been an issue for me. I have horrible dreams that seem to last all night and they feel very real. A lot of times when I wake up I don't know what was real or what was a dream. Combine this with my existing sleep apnea and this girl is hardly sleeping at all. That sucks, but you know what? I have to say that it's worth it. I never thought anything would help me quit and I really think this is. And keep this in mind, recently, I have been thinking and saying that I can't live with the fatigue from sleep apnea; something has to change because I just can't handle feeling this way anymore. So now I am sleeping worse, but it is worth it. I can't explain it, it just is.

Yesterday, I didn't smoke at all until I got off work at 5:00 pm. I am shooting for 6:00 pm today. I hope to never smoke again starting on September first, but until then, if I am out with friends and want one, I will have one and not beat myself up about it. This is the way the doctors recommend quitting with Chantix.

Also, alcohol overrides the effects of Chantix.

I will post about this again when I go a whole day without smoking.

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Strange disorders from Wikipedia:

Pica (Eating weird stuff)
Rapunzel syndrome (Eating hair)
Bezoar (The real name for a hairball - I had no idea that humans could get hairballs! I guess you can if you have Rapunzel syndrome. I wonder if humans make the same noise as cats do when they have a hairball. If we ever get another cat I want to name it Bezoar.)

What a morning!

How has your morning been? Mine has been, well... interesting.

I called Cigna, my health insurance provider today to see what is taking them so long to approve a CPAP machine for my sleep apnea. I dialed the 800 number and hear heavy breathing and groaning. It sounded something like this... (My comments are in parentheses.)

(Low pitched) Ahhh, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, (getting higher pitched) aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, (very high pitched) aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, ahhh, aaaaaaa, aaaaaa, (all out screaming) OH BABY! YES! YES! YES! OH BABY! HARDER!

EEK! At this moment I realize that Cigna probably hasn't changed their automated menu options to "press one for a fake orgasm". Holy crap! I dialed a phone sex hotline! It turns out the Cigna member services phone number is one digit away from a phone sex 800 number!

So I have a few questions for all of you out there.
  1. Who calls phone sex hotlines anyways? I didn't even know they still existed! Isn't that what the Internet is for?
  2. Do 900 numbers still exist?
  3. How do 800 phone sex lines bill you? I am guessing you have to enter a credit card.

I CAREFULLY redialed the Cigna phone number and when an agent answered I said "You know what? I just have to tell you this. If you misdial your 800 number by one digit..." She bursts out laughing, I didn't even have to finish my sentence and she said "I KNOW! I had an elderly gentleman call recently and tell me that he had misdialed and heard heavy breathing."

Update: It seems that all of you perverts out there want the phone number, so here it is. (I also added the Cigna number so that you can see how close they are.)

1-800-244-6224 (Cigna member services)
1-800-224-6224 (Phone sex hotline)


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Pampered Pet

I thought this slide show, "Pet Pampering Gone Wild" was really funny. All 18 slides are worth looking at, but I especially like slides 2, 7, 13, and 15.

Seriously, who buys a sex toy for their dog?!?!?! Eewwwwwwwwww.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

I'm back

Vacation was fun, but it's good to be home. This is the one and only photo I took on my trip:

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I'll be back in 10 days...

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Generally I don't blog about work, but I just can't let this one slide.

There are a few people in my building who totally fucking stink. I just walked by a guy in the hallway and no joke, I almost threw up. He smelled like an old nasty (probably brown in color) towel that got wet and sat in a pile on the floor for a couple of weeks. Not really a body odor smell, but a horrible musty smell. How does this guy not smell himself? Seriously. I passed him a few feet away and I was over powered by it. What does his house smell like? I don't even want to know.

Sometimes I get in an empty elevator and I can smell the nastiness of the person who was in there before me.* How bad do you have to smell to have your stink linger in an elevator long after you leave?

*Yes, I realize this could be cosmic payback for my elevator prank.

Luckily none of these stinkers are on my team. I cannot imagine sitting in a conference room with them. I honestly don't think I could do it.


Sleep study #2 tomorrow night. Aggg.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chloe - Things are looking up

Some of you know that our cat Chloe had some type of "episode" early last week. I will give a summary for those of you who don't know.

A week ago Tuesday, DK and I were getting ready for work and Chloe was acting like her usual self, shadowing me around the house. She likes to go into the bathroom with me, sit on my dressing table or in my lap while I put on makeup, and just generally follow me all over the place. We were about to leave and DK heard a thud from the den. He looked in and saw Chloe stumbling around like a little, furry, four-legged drunk. He called me over to look. When I looked in, she was sitting upright under the coffee table. Then all of a sudden she tipped over onto her side. It was really scary. I picked her up and called the vet. Because of her age and heart condition (she has a leaky heart valve), they said I should bring her in just to be on the safe side.

We got to the vet and they wanted to keep her all day. They wanted to do a full blood work-up and take x-rays. The vet said that without any test results, her first thought was that maybe because of Chloe’s leaky heart valve, she had missed a few beats and the lack of oxygen to her brain made her faint. She had no signs of a concussion. We thought maybe the thud was her falling (no, she does not land on her feet) and maybe she bumped her head.

Most of the test results came back late last week as normal. The vet suggested that we take her to a kitty cardiologist. That appointment was today, more on that later.

Early this week another blood test result came back indicating that she has very mild hyperthyroidism. The short version is that the thyroid gland overproduces a hormone. That hormone can damage a lot in the body, including the heart. This is bad news for a cat that already has a heart condition. The good news is that her case is very mild and we caught it very early. She can be treated either with oral medication, topical gel or radioactive iodine. These are the treatment options:

Obviously, we want to pick the treatment that is easiest on Chloe and us.

I think the pilling would be traumatic for her and a pain in the ass for us. I think she will learn the pilling schedule and hide when she knows it’s time. The pills can also cause vomiting.

The medicated treat option sounds a little better. We wouldn’t have to shove something down her throat twice a day and she does love treats, but we would have to isolate her from our other cat so that the other cat doesn’t eat her medicine. As with pilling this option makes our lives a little harder and requires a set schedule as well as someone to come by twice daily when we travel.

The medicated ear gel presents the same schedule and travel problems and it can irritate the skin.

I think the radioactive iodine treatment is our best bet. We would only have to do it once a year. The difficult part is that she has to be at a special facility where they administer the injection for around four days, some cats take a week or more, and some shorter. When she came home we would need to isolate her from Fuzzy for a few days and collect her waste in special medical waste containers. It is also advised that she not be around children or pregnant women for two weeks after the injection. This all sounds very extreme, but I think overall, it may be better for her. She would have four days of trauma per year versus being traumatized twice a day with pilling. The vet said the facility is really nice; the people there are great and they spend a lot of time snuggling, holding and playing with each cat. She said it’s really very comfortable for them. This also would be easier for us. Although it would be heartbreaking to both of us send her off for a few days, the rest of the year would be normal. This treatment does not cause her any pain according to the vet.

I dropped Chloe off this morning at the cardiologist’s office. They did an EKG (electrocardiogram) and a ECG (echocardiogram or cardiac ultrasound). DK and I went to pick her up around noon and met with the cardiologist. Her heart is slightly enlarged, but it’s a very mild enlargement. That could be a result of the hyperthyroidism or it could be that she had mild heart disease before the onset of the mild hyperthyroidism. The plan going forward is to start treating her hyperthyroidism and bring her back for another cardiac ultrasound three months after her thyroid hormone levels stabilize. If at that time her heart is still enlarged, they will assume that the enlargement is not due to her hyperthyroidism. If her heart is back down to a normal size, they will know that the hyperthyroidism caused her heart to enlarge.

Curiously enough, the cardiologist said that after reviewing the results, she does not believe that the episode last week was related to her heart. That is good news, but it also makes me worry a little about what might have caused it. We may never know. We are supposed to feel her heart rate a couple times of week (just by holding a hand to her chest) and keep a general count of that. If she ever faints again, we are supposed to feel her heart rate again right then and report back to the cardiologist. If we notice that during a fainting spell her heart rate changes that could give us some clues to why it happened. Hopefully it will never happen again.

A note on her leaky heart valve: Over the years, the level of that has gone up (from undetectable to a 2-3), but according to the cardiologist, just because they hear a level 2 or 3, that doesn't mean she has a level 2 or 3 all of the time. The level can read higher (worse) based on her activity and stress levels. Of course every time she is at the vet, she is super stressed, so her heart rate is elevated, therefore making the leaky valve more noticeable and raising the rating level. It could be that at home, relaxed and calm, she is only a level one, we don't know.

So I guess the bottom line is that she is not a ticking time bomb. That was my big concern, that we could lose her any day. It will be nice to not worry every time I go home that I may find she passed away during the day. We can live with and treat the hyperthyroidism. It’s great news that she does not need heart medication.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Laffing mai freekin ass off!!

more cat pictures

Poker champion and defender of eardrums everywhere!

I won the poker tournament last night. How did I do it? Um, I'm not going to tell you because I play poker with some of you. I am going to try my strategy again soon.

What was the sweetest part of my win last night? The person I won against. Overall, I think he is a nice person, BUT he is loud*, obnoxious and totally full of himself. (This combo of character traits actually leads me to believe that he is very insecure.) I hope he has good medical insurance because I am sure he must have a repetitive stress injury from patting himself on the back so often and vigorously.

*I am a loud person too, but in a different way. So if I say someone is loud, that means they are insanely loud.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Sleep Study Results

I got my sleep study results back last Friday and they were exactly what I expected.

I do not have narcolepsy, but I do have a mild case of Apnea.

My airway does not close completely, but it does close to the point where I am hardly breathing. The doctor compared it to breathing through one of those little stir-straws. That goes on for a minute or two and I wake up, which opens my airway again. I fall back asleep and the process starts again. I wake up on average 18 times per hour. Yes, that is mild. Most of those times I don’t know that I am awake. So this explains the daytime sleepiness.

I have to go back in for another overnight sleep study on Friday 7/18. This one will be shorter because I won’t have to do the afternoon narcolepsy test again. I check in at 7:30 pm and check out the next morning. This study is to test the positive airway pressure machine (CPAP). Basically, I have to wear a mask to sleep. It will push air (not oxygen) into my airway to keep it from collapsing during sleep. Am I looking forward to another sleep study? No. Am I looking forward to not waking up 144 times a night? Yes!

I am also supposed to lose a little weight (15 pounds or so), which I already knew I should do, but this is just extra incentive I guess.

The sleep doctor said I will probably lose some weight initially just because my sleep improves.

He believes this happens for a few reasons:

  • I will have more energy, and therefore be a little more active during the day.
  • Sleeping better will change my insulin level.
  • Sleeping better will change the level or two hormones in my body that control hunger.

He said at this point, Apnea is not taking years off my life, but if I let it get worse by gaining weight for example, it will start to damage my heart and shorten my life.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big day for Shadrac

Happy one-hundred-and-forty-thousandth-mile Shadrac*!
*Shadrac is my Pathfinder.


DK and I started composting at home recently. Really, we aren’t composting ourselves, we are putting it into our yard waste bin and the yard waste people compost it for us. We have one of these little stainless steel buckets by our kitchen sink and we put food scraps and paper towels in there instead of down the disposal or in the garbage. We fill the bucket up so often that we haven’t had a problem with smell, which is a good thing because like Burton Guster from Psych*, I am a super smeller.
*Great show by the way.

My office implemented a composting program. All of our tableware, cups, and silverware are compostable along with food scraps. The cups and tableware are made of paper and the silverware is made of either sugarcane or corn starch, I have heard conflicting stories, but the consensus is that they are made of one of the two. And no, they don’t have any flavor, I checked. Now we have three types of bins in the kitchens, cafeterias and conference rooms; garbage, mixed recyclables, and compost.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The sleep study

I found this image online, these aren't my results.

It’s over. That is a good way to start. I hate the hospital.

I checked into the hospital on Friday night. The room was bland, poorly decorated and had a water stain on the ceiling. Pretty much like a $5,500* a night Motel 6 room. There was also a microphone on the headboard and an infrared video camera. Did I mention that I hate hospitals?

*I looked online and it appears that the nighttime sleep study (polysomnography - PSG) costs around $3,500 and the daytime Narcolepsy test (multiple sleep latency test - MSLT) costs about $2,000. Good thing I have insurance.

When I checked in, they asked me a bunch of questions about how I sleep. In my initial appointment, I had to fill out a questionnaire.** Then a technician came in and glued/taped tons of electrodes to me. I think there were about 23 or so of them. They were glued into my hair and taped to my face, chest, legs, and left hand. Fun stuff. I got to order my breakfast for the morning. I ordered a cheddar cheese omelet, an English muffin, OJ and bubbly water.

**With a little research, I found out that the questionnaire determines where I fall on the “Epworth Sleepiness Scale”. I scored a 14 or “seek the advice of a sleep specialist without delay”. You can take the test here.

DK and I watched TV and read books. DK was allowed to stay with me until 10:00 pm. That’s when they turned the lights out.

The technician plugged me into a machine on the night stand and then left the room. A few seconds later she came on the intercom. She asked me to lie on my back, as still as I could and follow her instructions so she could get sample readings. For example:

  • Stare strait up at the ceiling.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Breathe through your nose.
  • Breathe through your mouth.
  • Open your eyes and without moving your head look up towards your forehead, down to your toes, to your forehead, to your toes, to your forehead, to your toes. To your right ear, to your left ear, right ear, left ear, right ear, left ear.
  • Wiggle your toes on your left foot.
  • Point your toes on your left foot towards your forehead.
  • Wiggle your toes on your right foot.
  • Point your toes on your right foot towards your forehead.
  • Take a deep breath and hold it for 10 seconds.
  • Smile as wide as you can.
  • Grind your teeth.
  • Clear your throat.
  • Blink 5 times.

After that she said I could get into any comfortable position and go to sleep. With all that shit glued to me, comfortable was really not possible.

I woke up a lot in the night as always. I had to get up to go to the bathroom once. So I had to press the call button and the tech came in and unplugged the main connection to the machines so I could get out of bed. Most of the time when I woke up, all I could think was “there is a morgue here, this place must be totally fucking haunted”.

At 7:00 am, the tech came on the intercom to wake me up. She came into the room and took the wires off my legs, hand, some off my chest, and the oxygen sensor that was on my face/nose. That was a relief. I still had about 12 wires on my head and face and 2 on my chest, but man it was great to get some of them removed.

My breakfast arrived and it was actually very good. The omelet was fresh, hot and cooked perfectly. I expected some dry, funny colored, egg-like catastrophe, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I was allowed to take a smoke break. I put my hood over my glue crusted, wire covered head and walked to the elevator. The tech said “Oh hey – just a warning, don’t say anything about bombs or explosives.” She was really funny and very nice.

Even with my hood, you could see lots of the wires and the electrodes taped to my face. It’s really funny how people treat you when you look different. I have to say, I had never really experienced this before. Adults look at you, their eyes widen a little and then they immediately look away. They wait for you to get on the elevator first and then stare directly at their shoes. It’s almost like they will do anything to avoid looking at you or talking to you. Kids on the other hand are much more honest and have no problem expressing (non-verbally in my experience) that you look strange. Parents are mortified by this. On both elevator rides there were adults with a kid. The kid will just keep staring at you, eyebrows crinkled. One little boy was checking out my wires and with his eyes still locked on me said “Hey mom…” she cut him off with a squeeze to the shoulder and he knew not to say any more. This made me realize that next time I see someone who is different, like missing a leg for example, I will still hold the elevator door, but after that I am not going to act any differently. It’s a very isolating feeling and I only had to live with it for a few minutes.

Back in my room, I watched more TV and finished the book I was reading (Stolen Innocence: My Story of Growing Up in a Polygamous Sect, Becoming a Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs by Elissa Wall and Lisa Pulitzer. Elissa Wall is the woman whose testimony put Jeffs away for 10 to life. It’s an amazing story and I recommend reading it.)

At 8:30, a new tech came in and plugged me into the machines again. He asked me to take a nap. He turned the lights out, left the room and came over the intercom to do the same calibration tests as the night before. After 30 minutes, he came back on the intercom to run the calibration tests again, and then he came in and unplugged me. I had 3 more nap tests with another tech, each with same calibration tests. Overall, this is what I think happened:

  • Nap 1 - 8:30 am: 99% sure I didn’t sleep.
  • Nap 2 - 10:30 am: I definitely slept.
  • Nap 3 - 12:30 pm: I am pretty sure I fell asleep.
    (I think I had a dream about Bladio and Sally!)
  • Nap 4 – 2:30 pm: I am 99% sure I slept.

I had lunch at 1:00 pm. I ordered a veggie and dip plate, veggie chili, and a grilled cheese, cheddar on sourdough and bubbly water. My lunch was delivered to the tech room during my 12:30 – 1:00 nap, so it wasn’t really hot, but I have to say, it was still fairly good. I figured I should order as much food as I wanted because my insurance was paying for it. The great thing about the menu at the hospital is that they have EVERYTHING. I think that may be because sometimes when you are sick, only one thing sounds good to you and if you can’t get that, you don’t want to eat at all. I also got to take another smoke break after lunch.

They said I might have to take another nap at 4:30, so I was relieved when the tech came in after waking me up at 3:00 pm and said that they had enough data and I was free to go. Yay!

It’s really odd how I am not sure if I slept or not. They asked me after each nap if I had slept and if so, did I dream? They know the answers to these questions, but I guess part of the test is seeing if I know. I didn’t look up online how they test for Narcolepsy. I felt like if I knew what they were looking for before the test, I might subconsciously skew the results to my desired outcome.

I just looked up how they test for Narcolepsy. I found this on Wikipedia: “The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) is a sleep disorder diagnostic tool. It is used to measure the time it takes from the start of a daytime nap period to the first signs of sleep, called sleep latency. The test is based on the idea that the sleepier people are, the faster they will fall asleep.”

This is the grading scale (in minutes):

  • 0-5: Severe
  • 5-10: Troublesome
  • 10-15: Manageable
  • 15-20: Excellent

I think that I fall into one of the last two categories, although it’s really hard to tell because I don’t have a very good concept of time and of course, there was no clock in the room. I also don’t know what “the first signs of sleep” are, so I could be totally off on where I fall on that scale.

I get my results this Friday at my follow up appointment with the sleep specialist. I will let you know what they say.