Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grandma thinks it is Sunday

I talked to Grandma yesterday and today. She didn't sound very good yesterday, but she did sound much better today. She was telling me how if you're in pain and want painkillers, they ask you your name and birthdate to make sure you're you and then they give it to you. I'm thinking she's pretty looped today as she wasn't sure what tehy were giving her and she thought it was Sunday. Normally when I call her from work, she's anxious to get me off the phone so I don't get fired, but today I had to say, "I have to go, Grandma, the bossman called me and I need to see what he needs." three times, before she let me go.

I told her that she needs to make our trip to CA in April her recovery goal and she said, "Believe me, Kathleen, it is." She also told me that I don't need to come visit her, calling on the phone is enough. *eyes rolling* Then she told me how my Mom is coming too much and too often and is just exhausted. I simply said that my mom is too Catholic sometimes. Grandma told her she didn't have to come today, but Mom said, "You used to tell me what to do. Now I'm telling you." That mother of mine is BOSSY!!!

Of course, this whole hospital/rehab facility/Grandma falling business has me wondering what the heck we're all doing for Easter. The original plan was that we were going to her house after church for brunch. I was to go over on Saturday and set up the dining room table and whatever else needed doing, but I have a feeling that won't need to be done. I didn't ask her because I didn't want her to get upset with herself for falling and inconveniencing others (her viewpoint, not mine).

All in all, I thought she sounded pretty good today, so let's keep our fingers crossed that she stays that way! As always, thanks for all thoughts and prayers!


Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grandma's out of surgery

Update #5 (I think or is it #4?):

Grandma's surgery apparently went well. They had trouble finding enough bone to work with as they put in a plate and a bunch of screws. Mom called at 6:00 to say that Grandma had been out of surgery for two hours, but she was still in recovery.

Grandma didn't get out of recovery until after 10:00 because the hospital didn't have a bed for her. She was in major pain - had two doses of morphine in Recovery and another two overnight. Her blood pressure was 190 over something. She finally settled down after the fourth dose of morphine. Nurse said the blood pressure came down today, but not by how much.

That's all I know for now, except that the hospital is supposedly releasing her tomorrow (we need to find a rehab facility that will take her), but I'm hoping the doctor keeps her a bit longer. She is 89 years old, for heaven's sake. I can see discharging a relatively healthy 35-year-old, but I think it would be nice if decisions were made on individual bases and not a template.

Thanks again to all who are praying for my cute little Grandma. She appreciates it. I told her on Saturday that my friends were praying for her.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Grandma Update #3

Mom called me last night to say that the hospital messed up on Grandma's hemoglobin levels (see last post's Update #2 or was it #1?) and twice yesterday when they took her blood, it was at 12. This means that Grandma is fine, and they have scheduled the surgery for today at 4:30 p.m. (Just had a voicemail message from Mom - Grandma's surgery has been moved up to 1:30 - no explanation as to why.) Does anybody have a medical background? I have a question re: not eating before surgery. When I was scheduled to have my surgery at 9:00 a.m. back in 2000, I couldn't eat after midnight. It ended up that my surgery didn't happen until 9:30 p.m., so I was a tad hungry the next morning. That, however, is neither here nor there. Why is midnight the magic number? My Grandma, according to my mom, can't eat after midnight either. And that's a long time for that little lady to go without food, I think.

At any rate, please pray, think good thoughts, send good vibes that Grandma's surgery this afternoon goes swimmingly and that she's on the road to a quick recovery and can go on our trip to CA next month! Thank you so much for all your well wishes. They are greatly appreciated.

Labels: , ,

Friday, March 14, 2008

Grandma Fell, Update #1, Update #2

Tonight I was contemplating dinner in the kitchen when I heard my phone ring in the living room. I raced to the living room and saw it was my Mom. She was calling to tell me that my beloved Grandma (I can't find the post I wrote about her) fell today.

My heart dropped as you can imagine when you hear that your 89-year-old Grandma has fallen. She missed a step and according to the diagnosis she has a fractured tibial plateau which according to that link can take several months to heal. I'm assuming this website is NOT talking about 89-year-olds and that it could take even longer to heal. It can also lead to arthritis, which just made us laugh, as Grandma's had arthritis for years.

Of course, since health care in this country sucks canal water, the stupid hospital sent Grandma home. Let me fill in the blanks for you here: she's 89 years old, she lives alone, her bedroom/bathroom is on the second floor, she can't even move her leg without being in extreme pain (the painkillers are not working and it's been more than 3 hours since the hospital gave it to her). This means that tonight my aunt is staying with her, I will not be sleeping until noon tomorrow (as was my original plan), but instead have to relieve my aunt at 10:00 (she graciously moved the time from 9:00) so she can go to work, then she'll come back so I can come home.

I'm asking for thoughts, prayers, vibes, etc. for Grandma, because I'm pretty sure she's going to need them. She has to go back to the hospital on Monday to see the orthopedic surgeon. I talked to her earlier tonight and she sounded pretty darn good, I have to say. She's angry at herself for missing the step and falling, especially as we have plans to go flying across the country next month and that's obviously not going to happen. After her husband died last September, she was really looking forward to getting back to traveling, and now she has to wait a little longer.

Update: I spent yesterday with Grandma and she said the pain wasn't as bad as the day before, which is good, but it also could be an indication of us keeping her doped up on goofballs. Later in the afternoon, she told me I could go home and she'd be okay until the next person showed up (who I expected to be my aunt, but turned out to be my mom). I told her that there was no way in hell I was leaving her alone. Thankfully my uncle was over when Grandma needed to hit the ladies room, because there was no way in hell I could have done it alone. I like to think I'm a brute, but the actuality is that I'm a wimp. I wasn't pleased that Mom was spending the night with Grandma alone, because Mom's weaker than I am. I'm not even sure the two of us could have gotten Grandma to the bathroom without causing Grandma undue pain. Grandma is to see the ortho tomorrow still, so please keep her in your prayers. She appreciates it, as do I.

Update #2: My mom and her siblings had a confab yesterday and decided to take Grandma to the hospital and get her admitted. As Grandma was not in as much pain yesterday, and scheduled to see the orthopedic surgeon today, I wasn't a fan of this decision, as hospitals suck and patients catch pneumonia in them, and it's just better being at your own home, generally. Turns out that her hemoglobin is at 7.5 (normal for women is between 12 & 16) which will, of course, delay any surgery, if deemed necessary, so it was a good decision. I'm thinking that if the stupid hospital had done bloodwork on Friday, she'd be ahead by three days at this point. Of course, not only does she need to see the orthopedic surgeon, as well as a blood transfusion, the hospital needs to find out where she's suffering from the internal bleeding. *sigh* That's all I know at this point, however. *double sigh*

Thanks for all prayers, good thoughts, vibes, candle-lightings, etc.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Winter Weather, Knitting & Deodorants

I wrote this Friday, planned on working on it over the weekend and posting but that never happened as I never even opened my computer over the weekend.

This good news is how I get through winter, especially this winter with which the coming 3-5" (yesterday the prediction had been 5-10") of new snow predicted for tomorrow will bump us into the Top 10 (they say) of Detroit's snowiest winters. As I tromp through snow on a daily basis, I simply recite my mantra, "It's good for the Great Lakes. It's good for the Great Lakes. It's good for the Great Lakes." It's also how I manage to put up with rain in the summer when I want to sit outside. While the Great Lakes were at or near record lows last summer, even with the snow melt, they're a good foot below where they should be.

I'm just really thankful I bought these boots (in black) back in early November. I have definitely needed them.

And as much as I hate snow, I'm not overly fond of bitter cold. Is there a reason Roberta Jasina can't tell me EVERY DAY what the RealFeel temp is? Don't say it's 26F out there, which sadly, I would welcome, when the RealFeel (i.e., wind chill) is 12F!!! That's a big friggin' difference! I mistakenly took WWJ at its word one day last week when they told me it was 30F. Yeah, not so much, in actuality. I think it was actually 10F or something equally ridiculous.

In case you can't tell, I’m officially over winter. It can go the bloody hell away!!!! As much as I love my new boots, I'm tired of having to wear them every freaking day. I'm tired of having to bundle up like the Michelin man to walk to work. It literally takes me 5-10 minutes to get dressed to go outside. I'm tired of having to wear a hat (as much as I love my hat which keeps my ears toasty warm) and then deal with hat head once I get to work, as my hair goes every which way when I pull it off. At the height of the insanity this winter, I was wearing two scarves, two coats and two pairs of gloves. I don't do negative windchills very well.

It's now Tuesday and I ventured out without a hat and without my super warm gloves. My ears weren't happy, but I'm being defiant in the face of a continued winter. Actually, the weather types are saying that it's supposed to be 50F Thursday and Friday! I can't even stand how excited I am about that. I'd sit outside except that I have a feeling the ground will be wet and cold.

Saturday was an exercise in frustration for me. I've been working on this green scarf for the LB's girlfriend (it's her favorite color) in this quite lovely zig zag lace pattern that Beth sent me (we've been sharing free patterns). As of Saturday morning I had already ripped it out completely and started over at least 4 (probably 5) times. My problem was that the 2nd row (it's a 4-row pattern) starts with a yarn over while the 3rd row ends with a yarn over. I would be knitting along and find that I had an extra stitch. Turns out that I was ending the 2nd row with a yarnover as well. ARGH!!! Rip! Well, Saturday I was being ultra-careful about that particular issue and got through one whole skein. I was very excited. Then I tried to do something I see all the really good knitters in Knitty Gritty on the DIY Network do – add in the next skein without using a little knot. They just hold the yarn and start knitting. It looks so damn easy. I somehow messed it up so badly that I had to rip the entire bloody thing out (can you tell I gave up the "F-word" for Lent – otherwise, this entry would be chock-a-block full of it, trust me).

At that point, I put away the green yarn and got out this beautiful black alpaca yarn I bought in Maine. It was ostensibly for me, but a friend from work wants a hat to match her scarf and it matches the scarf a bit better than anything else I have or have seen. So, I start casting on my 98 stitches on the double-point needles and I join without twisting and knit a few rows where it became obvious that the joining hadn't gone so well – I had a good 2-3 inches of yarn at the join. *sigh* I take it all out and start again. The joining went a lot better this time and I did the 1 ¾" of ribbing and then started the pattern which is a lace-like pattern. I'm cruising along and after a good 3 inches or so I notice that it doesn't look like the pattern. Hmmm, I count my stitches and I have two less than I need and started out with. ARGH!!! I rip it out, wish I hadn't given up drinking for Lent, as a beer would have been really nice right about then, and start again. I get through the casting on, the joining and the ribbed band and am working on the body of it and being ultra careful. I'm counting every stitch as I knit muttering under my breath "knit 1, knit 2, knit 3, knit 4, knit 5, knit 6, slip, slip, knit through the back, knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over." Repeat...until I notice that it looks exactly like it did before. Once again I count my stitches and once again I have two less than with which I started. At that point, I said the two words I gave up for Lent as I was so frustrated and pissed off. I rip it back, roll the-not-as-pretty-as-it-used-to-be-yarn into a ball and go to bed.

So, after knitting for about 12 hours, I had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show for it.

I started it again on Sunday, but had to go to the BAB's house for my niece and nephew's birthdays, so I only got through a row or so of the ribbed band. As I was having so much trouble with it at home alone, I left it there and took something mindless to work on. Good thing as my SIL's brother was all intrigued by the knitting and was asking all sorts of questions. He's a mathematician, and he saw the mathematical nature of the lace pattern. He didn't understand how the project got from one needled to the next, so I showed him.

I didn't get home until 8:00, so I fixed my breakfast and lunch for work for Monday and then crawled into bed and read the Tao Te Ching. And for the first time in I don't know how long I actually slept Sunday night. Of course, I slept like crap last night. *sigh*

Tonight I'm supposed to go dancing at the old bar. It's Bauhaus, Peter Murphy and Love & Rockets video appreciation night, but my feet have really been bothering me the past four or five days. My stupid feet hurt just walking (in two different spots on the two different feet). Stupid feet. I hate my feet. The funny thing (funny peculiar, not funny ha-ha) is that they look fine. I've noticed that when most people complain about their feet, they have major bunions or their feet are malformed. Not mine, they look perfect, it's all internal messed-upedness.

I have a personal question to ask the females in the audience. I am completely unable to find an anti-perspirant that works for me. I have been using Tom's of Maine which is just a deodorant (as I figured all the anti-perspirants I've tried don't work for crap and why use something with aluminum and give myself Alzheimer's later in life for no reason), but it's reached the point where it's not really working very well and it's only winter time here. I figured I'm going to be doing my best impression of a hippie in the Haight come summer. What do you use that you find works well or at least works marginally well? Last week I was actually experimenting using one brand under one arm and a different one under the other. The problem was that I couldn't remember which was which at the end of the day. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Books and Movies of February

I did a lot better job on reading this month than I did in previous months. Of course, the movies suffered, but that's not really the books' fault, but more the fault of my DVR and all the shows I'm DVRing on a daily basis (Ellen, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Stargate SG-1).

Therefore, this month I'm listing Movies first. There were only two (how pathetic), so it'll be fast and I might even link!


2/3 – Thunder Rock (TCM) 1942 – I have a thing for Michael Redgrave, so I had to DVR this when I saw he was in it. He plays a lighthouse keeper on an island in the middle of Lake Michigan who is visited by the ghosts of a sunken ship. He's avoiding life (I can't remember why), which is why he took the job. Here is a lovely synopsis. The ghosts, in the end, help him realise that he can't avoid life forever. A young James Mason makes an appearance as a pilot – I think the two of them had been in the war together. Ooh, it's showing again this Sunday (3/9) at 8:00 a.m. I think it's worth the effort.

2/3 – The Barefoot Contessa (DVR) – 1954 – Another movie I saw was going to be on, so DVRd it, this time because it was Bogey and one I hadn't seen (which is interesting, because I thought I saw them all a couple of years back). This was actually more about Ava Gardner than Bogey, but I still liked it. Don't watch this one if you're depressed, however. Not exactly what I'd call a happy ending.

And that was it for movies in the month of February. On to the books.


Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: the Yarn Harlot’s Guide to the Land of Knitting
by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee – 218 pages – I read this one very quickly. I picked this up one night after having an issue with whatever project I was working on and had thrown it across the room (actually, I was aiming for "across the room" but only achieved a foot or two – yarn doesn't travel easily), followed by the needles (much more satisfying). This book was hilarious and it was comforting to know that I wasn't the first knitter in the world to swear at her yarn and tried to pitch it to the plate.

Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. – 192 pages – This, I believe, was my 2nd Vonnegut novel (don't remember the first at all, but I remember not liking it) and I appreciated this one far more than the one I read way back when. I borrowed another one from a friend, so I'll be giving that a try soon. Sadly, I know it's not Slaughterhouse-Five which is the one I was supposed to read way back in the tenth grade until the parents pitched a fit and we didn't get to read it.

The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde – 382 pages – This is the 2nd book in the Nursery Crime series. I would have to say that summarising a Jasper Fforde book is not an easy thing to do. They are alternately clever beyond words, quirky, brilliant and funny. This book is obviously a take on the old nursery rhyme, The Three Bears, with a Goldilocks and a whole host of other characters you've never even dreamed of. If you're interested, I would recommend starting with the first in the series (although it's not completely necessary – I'm just anal that way), The Big Over Easy, which dealt with Humpty Dumpty in a way you never imagined.

Detroit Noir, ed. by E.J. Olsen & John C. Hocking – 280 pages – I saw this at Borders and felt the need to buy it. I like film noir and I'd probably like to read the books about the other cities in this series (particularly San Francisco), but I didn't like most of the stories, mostly because they showed Detroit in such a bad light and it's a light we never ever escape. Yes, Detroit has its problems, just like every other major city in this country, but people never even try to see the good here. So, don't read this book because I don't want you thinking Detroit is only these bad things.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich – 166 pages – After the Noir book I needed something light and fluffy which definitely describes the Stephanie Plum books by Evanovich. It's a "Between the Numbers" book which means Diesel is back (Stephanie is so hot that she has THREE gorgeous men after her - *eyes rolling*). It was fun, it was worth the read, even if another freaking car got blown up.

Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly by Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer – 283 pages – I picked this book up while at Borders looking for the Keith Olbermann book for a friend's birthday. I started reading it to see if it was going to be as funny as the title and it was. This was the Saturday after finding out that I wasn't going to have a racing series this year and was quite honestly depressed. This book made me laugh out loud on multiple occasions, on a day I didn't expect to laugh. I literally guffawed and damn near cried from laughing. I finished reading it the next morning. Oh yeah, I actually bought it for the friend, but I did confess to him that I was reading it first.

Thursday Next: First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde – 365 pages – Anything I saw about The Fourth Bear works here, except that it's not part of the Nursery Crime series. First Among Sequels is the fifth book in the Thursday Next series. When I read the first book, I was initially very confused as I didn't realise it took place in 1985 (or thereabouts) and it was just odd, for lack of a better term. I soon caught on, however, and became a dedicated Fforde-ite. I can't imagine how much more I would have liked The Eyre Affair if I had ever actually read Jane Eyre. I highly recommend all of his books.

Movie of the Month: Thunder Rock

Book of the Month: Sweet Jesus, I Hate Bill O'Reilly

I was thinking about the Book of the Month the other day and didn't think I was going to pick the Bill-O book, as it had some stiff company. I think reading two Jasper Fforde's in one month split the end vote and Bill-O snuck through.

March will definitely be better movie-wise. I've already watched 7 movies this month – that's what happens when you're home sick for three straight days!

Labels: ,