Wednesday, September 29, 2004

lost boys...

Hubby and I watched this documentary on PBS last night. My heart broke over and over again while, at the same time, I was in awe of the courage these young men had in their hearts.

Unrelated brain smatterings:
"...he had dandruff the size of mice...Bill Brasky!!!!"
--from the Best of Will Farrell, vol. 2

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

unrelated to anything anywhere at any time...

Have you ever met someone with eczema in her ear? Well, now you have. I have had this really, really annoying eczema in my left ear for over a year now. Nothing will get rid of it--not steroids, not hydrocortisone, not Rx cream with a really long name...

So, I dig. How unladylike. And I drag out big flakes of skin. And it itches like poison ivy. And I unload the skin underneath my nail. And I feel like a heathen. But it must me scratched because I feel like ants are marching down the canal to eat what's left of my left brain no less, which means I might not remember to write bills or be able to add up the cans of cat food in the cabinet. That would be a disaster. I want to have some left brain left. So I dig.

There, I said it. That's why I'm driving down the road with my left hand hanging in my ear like a gas pump. That's why. I can't help it. It's not my fault. Oh, dear Gawd!

Right. Well, anyway, I got my bill for the electrophysiology study in the mail yesterday. The total hospital bill was nearly $15,000. Whoa. That made me really thankful for insurance. What do people do without insurance? Give up and hope they don't die?

Monday, September 27, 2004

where will you be?

I'll be HERE this weekend. They have me listed as "art dolls," but I will have more felt than dolls. I spent most of the weekend working on some more items for the fair--that and nursing a very sick hubby. He's better now. I know, I know, I promised pictures and I have not delivered. Be patient, young grasshoppa...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

yammer time...

There's not much going on today. I'm waiting on other people who are approving things that I have done so I can re-do them when they send those things back. The longer they keep them, the more I worry. Of course, I have to watch my negative thinking. DO NOT LEAVE ME TO MY OWN DEVICES. Respond before she blows!

ANYWAY, I now have two ponchos (Click HERE for a list of free poncho patterns collected by Faerie Crafty--excellent list!). I had a little leftover Kureyon from an old project and I knitted up Yarn Harlot's simple poncho, but instead of doing fringe, I crocheted a picot border with little amber glass beads. Crocheting with beads is easy, but putting those suckers on the yarn beforehand...well, SUCKS. I swear I will take pictures of them both tonight. I'm also still doing the raglan body hugger (I got sick of fiddling with little yarn, so I hopped on the poncho wagon for relief). I guess I'll take pictures of that, too. Gah, you bunch of slave drivers!

And here's a couple of sweet faces to send you off for the day, Pickles (top) and Sadie. They say life can be "ruff"!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

alpaca and llama show...

Here are some pics I took at the alpaca/llama show I went to a couple of weeks ago. These are Huacaya alpacas. There's another kind of alpaca called Suri--they have long silky locks instead of fluffy teddy bear hair. They are soooo cute, but very shy. These guys have already been shorn for the year. If they had all their fleece they would be mega-fluffy.

Click pics for larger images...

There was also an obstacle course for both alpacas and llamas. It's always funny/tragic to watch because leading alpacas and llamas around is about like running cats through an obstacle course. They usually humiliate their owners. They go through obstacles, get petted by a stranger, get their feet sprayed with water, have their feet picked up by the owner, get a hula hoop passed over their heads and show they can be trailered. Some were cooperative and some didn't want to do anything. The pics below are llamas (just remember to look for the "banana" ears...alpacas have teddy bear ears).

This llama was undecided about me taking his picture.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

welcome worshippers...

If you're warm and have a pulse, you can go to this church. I've started collecting funny church signs, and in the South, there is a plethora from which to choose. Most of them are scary, but this one made me chuckle a little. Note: I removed the name in Paint Shop Pro.

Monday, September 20, 2004

this is a hoot...

If you haven't seen this, you're in for a treat. Funny stuff.
Kelly Ripa Gets Ripped

It turns out the rain missed us, so we were not drowned over the weekend as expected. In fact it was a beautiful sunny, cool weekend. How about that?

Thursday, September 16, 2004


Well, the electrophysiology study did not work for me. I am one of the lucky people who have supraventricular tachycardia that can't really be treated. The only treatment for it is beta blockers and I can't take those. I was really discouraged when they couldn't do the ablation.

The test was kind of scary, but the worst part was the catheters being inserted into my larger veins on each side of the groin and upper chest. It was only a couple of seconds of pain and I was already on happy juice, so it wasn't terrible. They inserted long wires all the way up to my heart and sent electrical signals to different parts--but no "extra pathways" were found to ablate. I think my cardiologist was as sad as I was. At this point I wish I had never known about the abnormality, but I'll get over it. At least I know why just a little activity can make me breathe hard and get my heart racing...and that it's not the "woos" factor.

I'm sore, bruised, grumpy and tired. And disappointed.

But, I'll get over it.

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR ALL THE ANNIVERSARY WISHES!!! It was great to open up my email and read all those congratulatory messages.

We're headed for a torrent of rain here in East Tennessee thanks to Ivan. Even most of the schools have closed for tomorrow--a possibility of 15 inches of rain. Ugh.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

happy 8th anniversary...

Hubby and I have been married eight years today. And here we are, skinnier than we are now, on our honeymoon. All together now: "Awwwww-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w-w!!!!!!"

With all the impending medical CRAP going on, we've empowered ourselves to reschedule our anniversary celebration for Sunday. :-)

I shall report all the gorey details about the procedure when I regain my, a) senses and, b) access to a computer.


Monday, September 13, 2004


First, I would like thank all you cool people out there who left reassuring and wonderful messages for me. You guys are really something. I mean, hell, we don't even know each other--but I love you all still!

My cardiologist started me on an ace inhibitor (lisin0pril) Friday to control my blood pressure and oh my, it made me so sick! I usually tolerate medications very well, but this one gave me the worst back pain and abdominal cramps of my life. I'm still sore. So, we'll just cross that little cyanide pill off our list and try something else.

I'm not really nervous about having the heart cath, but it does creep me out a bit that I'll be lying there while they stimulate my heart with little wires threaded through my arteries; not to mention possibly burning off some of the tissue in my heart. Dr. Cardio said I'd have five tubes--two in each femoral artery and one in the artery just below my clavicle. I haven't had conscious sedation before, so I'm hoping it's "I don't give a crap about ANYTHING" sedation. I'm curious as to what they're going to do, but not THAT curious.

The funny thing is I'm more worried about having to lay completely still on my back for four hours afterward while the incisions in my arteries close up. I can't move around, go to the bathroom or anything. I thought about asking if I could knit, but I'm pretty sure that's on the "don't do" list. Well, that and the fact that I'm being worked on by co-workers who probably know my name from seeing it on the company intranet and newsletter (ack!).

I did manage to go to a llama/alpaca show on Saturday and courtesy of my company, hubby and I went to this show. I just wanted to see the horses. The show was kinda hokey, but pretty much everything is hokey in Pige0n F0rge. I did wear my new summer poncho to the show. I was proud as a peacock pigeon.

I know, I I have them--I just can't get motivated. Later, I promise. :-) Thanks again for all the support.

Friday, September 10, 2004


Well, I saw the cardiologist and he said my tachycardia was pretty bad. "Your heart rate shouldn't get this high if you were doing the worst possible exercise on a 110 degree day." So, maybe that explains why I sweat so much when I exercise? Uh, probably.

Anyway, he said I have one of two things. I could have some extra fibers that short-circuit my heart and send it into tachycardia or it could be inappropriate sinus tachycardia.

He wants to do a special kind of heart catheterization called an electophysiology study Wednesday. If he sees the fibers he'll burn them off and I will be "fixed!" If not, then I'll have to manage the tachycardia another way. My EKGs suggested both, so we wants to make sure of the diagnosis with the catheterization.

I'm a little nervous, but I know it's a common procedure. I will receive conscious sedation and if he does the ablation (burning of the naughty fibers), I'll have to stay in the hospital overnight. If not, I can go home that evening.

My cardiologist said that if I can indeed be "fixed" that this could greatly improve my quality of life. I've always had exercise intolerance and general fatigue. Gee, and I thought I was just a big pansy!

Oh and he put me on blood pressure medication, too. My bp was 150/100 in the office. Sheesh, I NEVER used to have high blood pressure until this year.

Anyway, I said I would report...and that's the report. Not pleasant exactly, but I am hopeful for some good results.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

the canine sweet tooth of revenge...

The headline should read: "Why didn't the pup shoot him sooner?"

But that's just my take on it.

He could have at least dumped them at the shelter. Too bad more paws didn't make it to the trigger. They are so beautiful.

Hmmmph. Humans.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

spiders in my hair...

For the second time this week I have left for work and, while locking the door, a giant "granddaddy long-legs" has kamikazied into my hair from the porch overhang.

Note to God: This is NOT funny.

I'm swamped at work and I have worried myself into ZERO-concentration-status. I feel like I should be swinging a club and wearing an animal skin. "Fire gud. Ow! Wait, fire BAD!" That's about how smart I'm feeling.

Death by whining is terrible way to go.

One more spider in the hair though--I'm taking it as a sign.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I think I hear an echo...

I had an echocardiogram this morning, which is an ultrasound of the heart. They look at all four chambers, the valves, etc. I have to wait until I see the cardiologist on Friday to see what's going on. It made me a little nervous that the sonographer spent so much time on one particular valve - it sounded a little different than the others - but, I shall not worry until I have something to worry about (repeat bolded area as needed).

So, I did finish my summer poncho (no shit!) and I will post some pics in a day or two. I have class today, which means I have to leave work early. I got in late because of the test...sheesh, I hope I don't get put out to pasture. Moo. Ugh.

I'm kind of a wreck right now. I know it will get better though. I'm not good at waiting on information. I really feel the need to hit an "eject" button. Perhaps I will tape the word "eject" to one of my computer keys.

Friday, September 03, 2004


Well, despite the fact my mind went wild yesterday, I was only victim to a minor amount of anxiety before my appointment.

The EKGs I sent in showed my heartrate was getting up to 195 while exercising. Now I can have some appreciation for why I could never build up any distance when I tried to run in previous years. My heart has always done this, I just didn't know it was abnormal.

Anyway, next week I'm having an echocardiogram to check for structural problems and see a cardiologist who is also an electrophysiologist - a rhythm dude. I'm probably headed for a combo of blood pressure medication and something like a beta blocker to control my wacky ticker.

We'll see. At least he didn't diagnose me as having a pig heart or something. Oh, and he said the ants in the pants were normal.

Thanks for all your concerns and thoughts. I'm still wearing the contraption so I can (hopefully) capture the palpitations, but so far the well has been dry.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

we'll just let you guess...

I sent in two EKG recordings from my workout last night. This morning I picked up a message from my doctor's office telling me to come back in tomorrow morning. My follow-up appointment related to all this bullshit was originally set for September 30th.

Hmmm. A mind could really go wild with this kind of information.

Hmmm. Reality is I know absolutely nothing.

Hmmm. The heart is a pretty important organ.

Hmmm. Why so quickly?

Hmmm. Why even ask questions? You can't answer them until tomorrow morning.

Hmmm. Don't think about it. You're healthy. You're strong. You've got plenty of ants in your pants. You're funny and happy in your own strange way. You worry too much. You're worrying about the unknown. You're creating anxiety. Consult your cognitive behavioral textbook. Do the three column intervention. Stop thinking about it. There's nothing to think about. Stop being a hypochondriac. Stop making terrible assumptions about yourself. Do the three-column intervention again. Stop these irrational thoughts. Somebody call the wah-bulance. Why all the whine when I love cheese?

Okay, so I'm worried.

I'm allowed.

I guess.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


A couple of years ago, one of our co-workers died in a freak accident involving a flooded road. She drowned--only in her 20's and a vibrant writer. I wish I had known her better from the eulogies given by her friends. I'll never forget they had to videotape her funeral because her father was very ill in the hospital. Awful.

She didn't work in my building so we didn't have the opportunity to "hook pinkies." Anyway, I ran across this poem I wrote after she died. Being in a PR office we had to "handle" the release of information, etc. And of course her death warranted a few seconds on the news. I wrote the poem after I saw the newscast.

That Was Good

On the news
You were just a blurb
At first nameless
Until they found your next-of-kin.

Now they have your name
Now they have your age
And where you lived.

I watched as the reporter
Stood in your last place
Cinched in a wrinkle-less trench
Worried about enunciation
She mapped out your demise beyond
Her pointing fingertip.

You had been here
Your car there

In that clip that lasted
A few seconds
It rained and rained and
Swallowed you whole

They furrowed their brows
In dramatic concern
And then it was simply
"back to you"

After which the reporter's
Face released from its nervous
Actor's pinch
And the camera man
Hoisted the machine from his
Shoulder and nodded,
"That was good."

written January 31, 2002

See you in a couple of days...

that awful screeching sound...

Thankfully, I didn't have to set off my "fax machine" last night during class, but I accidentally hit it on the way back to my car. I sounded like a malfunctioning android.

After class I went to the gym and got onto the elliptical trainer. Twelve minutes into the workout I pressed the button. Thankfully there was no one working out directly next to me and the machines muffled the sound a bit. After about a 1 1/2 minutes it finally stopped squealing. I know I shouldn't care, but I feel like a freakin' hypochondriac with this contraption on.


When I got home I sent in my recording. Now I think this is kind of neat. You call a toll-free number and tell the person who you are and that you have a recording. The person asks you what you were doing at the time of the recording--and oh, how I was so tempted to tell her something like, "I was participating in an interactive community sex seminar," but I didn't. Then they say they are ready. You place the oversized beeper-looking-thing at the phone receiver and press "send." Then that god-awful screeching replays. How they can get detailed information from that lousy whining I do not know. But they do.

After I played the recording the woman on the line asked me if my heart had slowed down and then she made me take a live reading and play it over the phone. I guess my heart had been beating really fast. They will interpret my recording and send it to my physician.

I don't plan to talk about this crap everyday for two weeks, but I just thought the technology was kind of cool.

In kitty news: I'm a little worried about Baxter. He seems fine but he won't leave the sunroom--a room I have rendered useless with felting supplies and work tables--and he sleeps more and more. It's time to re-check his blood again anyway. He's pushing 14 years now, so I guess it's time for him to slow down in a serious way. Poo.

All I have left to do on my summer poncho is a three-needle bind-off to join the front and back and fringe it. OH...MY...GOD...I MIGHT FINISH SOMETHING!!! I don't care if it is a giant piece of garter stitch---I MIGHT FINISH SOMETHING!!!!! This just might change my life.

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