Friday, February 29, 2008
Today's pre-op was with my Doctor, who hooked me up to the EKG, told me I was having a heart attack, and then let me go.
Monday, I have a pre-op with the surgeon, a blood test, and a chest xray.
Wednesday, I have a pre-op with the pre-op nurse to... ok, I don't know. I can't imagine what else can pre-op the op.
I get that preparation is key to a successful procedure and all that but can't there be one pre-op appointment, in one place, that takes care of everything?
Yep, this is much more efficient than a single-payer, government run, healthcare system. NOT.
I started to get worried when the usually chatty nurse administering the test looked at the printed results with a tight-lipped frown. She folded the piece of paper in half (presumably in case I was actually able to understand anything by the little wavy lines) and left the room for the doctor.
When my doctor came in, she announced with glee: "Hello! How are you? I mean, aside from the heart attack you're having right now?"
It turns out that the stupid EKG machine often reads a deep breath as a heart attack.
Am I the only one who is just a bit concerned by this?
Anyway, I thought today was the day for my chest x-ray and grab-a-gallon blood test (The Gerli Life said she has 4 vials taken for her pre-op) but it turns out I'll have to do that on Monday. My doctor figures that, if she's going to "stick me" (as she so delicately puts it) then she's going to make it worth my while and get the full gamut of tests for a regular physical, as well as whatever the surgeon needs to clear me for the operation. I love her. She's sharp, witty, funny, hip, and her bedside manner is so me. She's actually the kind of person I could picture myself hanging out with socially.
In other news, I dropped my bluetooth headset in my coffee cup this morning. I bent over to pick up my coffee and it dropped right off my ear and went plop. I fished it out pretty rapidly, dried it off and shook it around a bunch - so far it seems to have survived it's java adventure.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I also give props to Heidi Klum (dramatic Hollywood goddess) and Hillary Swank (doing simple right.)
Diablo Cody, writer of Juno. It looks a little... edgy... here but when she walked up on stage to receive her Oscar for best original screenplay, the whole thing unwrapped from her legs, almost all the way up to her groin, forcing her to clamp it shut as she walked. It made her look very uncomfortable and awkward. Form and function, dearie.
Most Disappointing Award goes to George Clooney's girlfriend, Sarah Larson, who looked like she pulled down her mother's curtains at the last minute. Oh dear, Sarah. You are beautiful but if you're going to be on the arm of that delicious man, you're just going to have to do better!
Thanks to JustJared.com for the pics.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Now, I think it was one chocolate egg - who knows, it could have been ten. I had just got back from Starbucks and Hubbie was up in the shower, leaving the dogs unsupervised in the family room with an open packet of chocolate eggs teasing them, just a nose-sniff away.
As of right now, Maggie doesn't seem to be displaying any strange behavior that might indicate that she is about to go into a mouth-frothing seizure as a result of chocolate toxicity.... but then, it's Maggie, so how would you tell?
More to the point, however, episodes like this make me shake my head for poor Hubbie - and there have been a few of these episodes in our relationship. For instance, the time he left his bacon double cheeseburger and fries on the outside table, in the company of Frankie (my other dog) while he went outside to his car to get his soda. Of course, when he got back, said delish burger was inside Frankie's thankful tummy.
Poor Hubbie - if we ever have kids it's going to be a whole new world for him. Can you imagine him trying to use the same expression - I should be able to leave things on the side - after our child has permanent markered stick figures all over the living room wall?
Friday, February 22, 2008
I finally have a date for surgery - March 12th @ 1pm. So, 19 days of non-recovery life left, and counting...
I cannot even BEGIN to tell you what a relief this is. Ok, I probably don't need to tell you - you're probably only too glad to have the prospect of a post or two that's not related to my damn hip and/or surgeon. Don't think I haven't noticed the absence of comments on my posts. :(
Anyway, it's 4:17pm on a Friday and I'm drinking a damn martini. Time to celebrate... while I can.
The graphs he is showing on the screen are the product that I sell. Hey, I'm like almost famous on national TV.
Yesterday we got a book author contact us for quotes for her book on short sales and REOs (Real Estate Owned properties).
We're like hot property people!
For those of you who have some kind of inexplicable, unfounded, personal dislike for Hillary Clinton, or who use words like "bitch" when referring to her... Put this in your pipe and smoke it. This was CLASSY.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
2 phone-calls to his scheduler ago (Wednesday of last week) I was told he hadn't handed the scheduling paperwork in yet. She asked me when I would be available for the surgery so she could make some notes on my file. I said "Now! I'll get in the car right now if you want me to." The nice scheduling lady, Christie, said she was printing up my file, attaching a scheduling sheet on top of it, and putting it in his inbox as a 'subtle' reminder. Cool, my kind of chick.
Still, it got to Friday of last week and nothing. I called again, leaving poor Christie a message, bemoaning about how my life was literally 'up in the air', 'on hold', 'on-pause', without a surgery date. I'm sure she's heard it all before (and more) - I even acknowledged that on my message -but I guess it doesn't hurt to try for the sympathy vote, especially when you're on the verge of getting the 'impatient and annoying' vote.
When this morning rolled around and yet again I found myself reading jealously about the progressive recovery of 'e' of Gerli Life fame (who recently had exactly the same surgery done), my frustration was bordering on tear-inucing. So, as we know already, I called again.
Still no paperwork! WTF!? This was presented as practically a 'done deal' 2 weeks ago.
Christie tried to put me through to the surgeon's nurse to find out what the hold-up was but she didn't pick up. Then, bless her, she got out of her chair, marched back to the doctor's rooms and found Mr. Surgeon himself. She asked him if there was a reason why she didn't have my paperwork yet. His answer? He hadn't filled it out yet. OMG! Again, WTF? You've got to be kidding me. I've been waiting 2 weeks for him to put pen to paper?
And so she put the paperwork in his hand, he promised to fill it out, and she promised to call me soon with a date.
Not so quick! said I. How long will this process take? We've already established that I'm an impatient patient (an oxymoronic phrase if ever I heard one) and so I'd like to avoid calling you twenty times and driving you mad. Can you give me a timeline?
Friday, she said.
I'll call on Monday.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
This afternoon my dog, Maggie, ate it. Literally. All that was left was a sliver of plastic and the AA battery.
I'm leaving her out for the racoons and coyotes tonight.
Monday, February 18, 2008
The other morning we woke up to find that the pink storage tub on our deck, the one that contains Maggie's food, was opened and alarmingly large footprints were leading away from the outside water dish. This morning, at about 2am, I was jolted awake by the sound of something hitting the ground on our deck. After going down to investigate, Hubbie returned a little gobsmaked - he had captured (not literally) a 40lb racoon digging into the tub and, when challenged (by the rattling of the door handle), it had disappeared beneath our deck.
Now, just as a quick reality check, our largest dog is a 35lb Cocker Spaniel. Needless to say it's a little alarming to realize that your greatest line of defense (outside of your snoring husband) is outweighed by the predator and your 25lb puppy could very well present it's tasty supper.
Neither was my alarm helped much by the fact that, just before he slipped back into dreamland, Hubbie worried allowed that the racoon could get in through our doggie door. Of course, despite this thought passing through his head on the way up the stairs, he didn't think to close off said doggie door. So, until 3am this morning I lay there waiting to hear the "flap-flap" of the doggie door as the racoon came in to watch tv on the leather couch while lying in wait for a tasty puppy to present itself. I guess I could have gone downstairs myself to close it off but part of me was a little concerned about what might greet me. (Yes, your imagination can run into overdrive at 2am).
And yes, I know, it's unlikely that the racoon would actually eat either of my dogs but I've heard those things can get pretty ferocious when cornered. For instance, my mother in law woke up one morning to see her full-grown German Shepherd trying to shake one that had mounted him and was hanging on to his back with it's claws.
Now, this evening, we were talking over the fence to our neighbors who decided to warn us about the pair of coyotes that hang out just over the fence at the bototm of our yard. Don't let your dogs out at night alone, they told us.
Ok folks, I'll cop to having moved 8 miles east, 8 miles further out from the city and onto the very edges of suburbia, but you would have thought we had landed in the foothills! I guess there's a cloud to every silver lining and the flip-side to enjoying the beautiful greenbelt and creek at the bottom of our yard, is that it not only produces cute, scampering squirrels and quirky gangs of turkies, but also their predators.
So, the best I can hope for is that the coyotes chase down the racoons. Hopefully, the racoons aren't actually living underneath the deck (which is unlikely but possible because I'm pretty sure even my hopeless pups would smell that) in which case the coyotes will be baying for their blood at the bottom of our deck while we recoil beyond the patio doors, our dogs hiding behind our pajama pants.
Pray for us.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Recently he did an interview for ABC's Nightline (which has yet to air) but last night he was on our local TV station KCRA3, talking about the state of the local housing market.
Here is the link to that interview. Michael has been in real estate since the day he was born practically, and his father founded Lyon in 1946, so this is a guy who really knows what he is talking about.
In summary, things are pretty flippin' bleak. Thank goodness I don't have to sell a house right now.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
1) I think I have secured a MASSIVE client at work that will generate almost $100,000 in annual revenue and put a little bit of change in my pocket too. I still need to draw up the contract (and Lord knows I've been caught counting my chickens before they've hatched before) but it looks 99% positive. All I have to say is WOOHOO!
2) I got an emai from Howard Dean of the DNC today (yeah, he emails me all the time for my advice; I'm so the political guru). The email was targeted toward starting the attack campaign against the Republican's presumptive nominee, John McCain. Here is an excerpt that just really tickled my funny bone.
Don't be fooled, John McCain isn't a "maverick" at all. He's loved by the media, but he'll be a disaster for our country.He's been a vocal supporter of George Bush's strategy in Iraq, and he's said that he wants to be there for another hundred years. He's committed to appointing judges who will overturn Roe v. Wade and privatizing Social Security. And he's admitted that he doesn't understand the economy, which would leave millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet.
He's so bad that U.S. News and World Report recently revealed that the White House is thrilled to have John McCain picking up where they're leaving off...
He's so bad, he's almost BUSH people!!!!!
Never was a more unifying battle cry uttered to a group of liberals.
Okay, so this wasn't such a 'happy thing' if you're one of the four remaining Bush fans in the country, but it sure gave this little Dem a giggle.
As a footnote: I actually have a lot of respect for McCain. I agree with him on next-to nothing but he seems the kind of guy who doesn't create his positions based upon the diretion of the political wind. When he believes in something he seems to stand up for it and passionately defend it. Imminently better than Mr. Slimball himself, Romney, and unlike Huckabee it seems he actually has knowledge of something other than the Bible. (Did you hear the speech where Huckabee claimed that Pakistan had a border with the U.S.?)
Of course, the fact (as a Democrat) that I like McCain, is exactly his problem. Oh well, I guess all the conservatives will just have to stay home. Shame.
As someone who is pretty opinionated myself and who loves a good debate, I just love the whole premise of this blog - state an opinion or pose a question and then have a knock-em-sock-em, intelligent, war-of-words debate on the issue.
I'll be posting it on my links to the right but wanted to give you the opportunity to lake a looksie for yourself.
Let me know what you think!
I'm impatient (with myself, everyone and everything), easily bored, easily distracted, easily tired, easily angered, easily frustrated... basically conjure up every negative emotion you can think of, throw it in a big mixing bowl, turn on the Cuisinart, and you've just stepped into my skin. Oh, and I forgot the ants... they're in there too. (Ok, I'm mixing metaphors and not doing a very good job at it. See, I told you - easily distracted! I can't even stick with a metaphor.)
I think that some of it comes down to this hip thing. (Yes, feel free to click-over to another blog about now. I know you've heard just about as much of my right hip as you can take.) If I'm honest, I'm pissed that I put off addressing the surgery for so long. If I had done the original surgery that was recommended to me back in June of '06, this would all be well and truly over by now. Instead I put it off because it 'got in the way' of my life plans.
Well, you know what I've figured out? It's going to get in the way of my life plans no matter when I do it. There really is no good time and all that stuff about weddings, and vacations, and job changes, and bosses on maternity leave... it was a load of crap. They were all lame, scared-me excuses and all I managed to do by conjuring them up was to put off the inevitable. And when I say "scared" I don't mean the surgery itself. That's like 'whatever' - they're going to put me out and there might be pain for a couple of days after but, again, whatever. What really scares the living daylights out of me is the thought of being physically limited for 3+ months.
My ability to do what I want, when I want, how I want, is the most prized element of my life. (Ergo I don't have kids yet.) The thought of turning that control over to someone or something else for an extended period of time just sends me into a 'tizwaz', as we like to say in England. (You know, America, you really lack some good tongue-in-cheek words for describing distress.) Struggling with simple things like getting up the stairs to take a shower, having to use canes or crutches, no traveling, no working out... and this lasting for 3-4 months. It sounds like the ultimate nightmare to me.
And all I can do is think that it would all be over already if I'd taken care of this 2 years ago.
So, now my goal is to try and whip through this process as fast I absolutely possibly can and what have I been doing for the last 3 months? Waiting for doctors and surgeons to get their act together. I was decided 3 months ago that I wanted to get this surgery taken care of but instead of just getting on with it and calling the surgeon who originally diagnosed my problem and getting me on the schedule, x-rays had to be repeated, each doctor had to put his 2 cents-worth in on the possible diagnoses and treatments, and then I had to spend 2 weeks pushing my surgeon to consider a less-invasive procedure.
And you know where I've ended up after all this? BACK WITH THE SAME FRIGGIN' SURGEON I STARTED OFF WITH, GETTING THE SAME SURGERY HE ORIGINALLY RECOMMENDED!
Now, only it's 3 months later and instead of being 90% through my recovery I'm still waiting for a date for my surgery.
Ok, so I guess I do know why those little ants are crawling around under my skin. I'm pissed at myself and I'm impatient to move things along.
Friday, February 08, 2008
First of all, I don't want or need a tax rebate. I didn't ask for it and I'm not in dire financial straits. Secondly, while everybody and their mother is getting a government handout, the President has the audacity to propose a $3 trillion budget that freezes vitally needed domestic programs, while increasing defense spending to their highest levels since the cold war - and all to support a war that clearly is unwinnable in the long run. (Yes, the violence is down but what exactly has been solved other than suppressing attacks?)
Let's face it, $600 or even $1200 for a couple really doesn't add up to much in most parts of the country anymore. If you're lucky it's one month of rent or one mortgage payment, or a few months of health insurance - although that's nice and all, it's not like it's going to save anyone from financial ruin. At best it's a stop-gap that postpones the inevitable.
However, I'm not stupid. I understand exactly why the government is giving me and others like me $$$: they want me to head out to the store to buy a flat-screen TVs because the US economy is driven 70% by consumer spending.
You know what, though? Flat screens are lovely but education, healthcare, roads, public transportation, and public services for me and my unborn kid(s) is infinitely more important than whether I can see "House" in High-Def.
I feel like we're squandering the future of generations to come for short-term fiscal band-aids and instant gratification spending and it pisses me off.
There are people out there who desperately need government assistance for one reason or another and for them this is all a 1-2 punch: Give people who don't necessarily need it a fat check so they can buy discrentionary items, send the rest of our money across the other side of the world to secure the oil and support dictators (in the meantime building a larger army of America-haters), and freeze (essentially cutting when you take into account inflation) domestic programs that help people at home.
It's short-sighted, heartless and just plain stupid.
I don't suppose I'll get much of a tax rebate because of the income restrictions but whatever I do get I plan to donate to a charity or non-profit. I have to imagine that's more needed than that flat-screen TV that will keep Best Buy's profits up. If you don't need your tax rebate I encourage you to do the same.
Aparently I'm not the only one who thinks this "stimulous" package is a dumb idea. The Sacramento Business Journal posted an online poll this week and here are the results:
What do you think of the economic stimulus plan?
It's not enough 25%
It's too much 25%
It sends money to the wrong places; if the payments were concentrating on those with low income and in unemployment benefits, the cash would go back into the economy faster. 50%
What will do with your tax refund? Vote in my poll to the right.
Use the first letter of your first name to answer each of the following.They have to be real places, names, things - nothing made up. Try to use different answers if the person in front of you had the same first initial - which by the way is hard if you already have read their answers! You cannot use your own name for the boy/girl names.
1. What is your name? M******* (Sorry, don't use my name on my blog)
2. A 4 letter word: Must
3. A vehicle: Murano
4. A city: Montpellier
5. A boy's name: Matthew
6. A girl's name: Molly
7. Alcoholic drink: Martini (shock, huh?)
8. An occupation: Marketer
9. Something you wear: Mittens (not that I have, for a long time, actually worn mittens)
10. A celebrity: Matt Damon - who is just as yummy as...
11. A food: Mashed Potatoes
12. Something found in a bathroom: Mirror
13. Reason for being late: Maggie (my dog) ate my car (I wouldn't put it past her)
14. Something you shout: "My God!" (usually after my dog eats something of value like, for instance, my car)
15. An animal: mouse
16. A body part: Mouth
17. Word to describe yourself: Magnificent! (perhaps "Modest" would have been a better fit?)
Thursday, February 07, 2008
I finally got to speak with my surgeon this afternoon and the news is good-good-good! The beacon of light I hoped was coming indeed illuminated my world.
My surgeon has located another orthopedic surgeon locally who does the procedure I need (the full, 100% solution) arthroscopically about 5-6 times a month. That surgeon has agree to do the surgery with my surgeon (as co-surgeons, who knew?) which means that I would still be my current surgeon's patient (good new insurance-wise) but get the expertise of someone experienced in this procedure actually doing it. In addition, my surgeon would get to assist and, in the process, learn the procedure.
Talk about a win-win!
To top it all off, I've discovered that the 2nd surgeon is the same doctor that diagnosed my labral tear initially, almost 2 years ago! Talk about full-circle. Unwittingly, I seem to have made things harder for myself by changing my PCP mid-way through this process. Not that I regret moving to my new PCP one iota... the timing was just off.
I should get a call early next week to schedule the surgery and it will take place locally, about 8 miles away from where I live. I'm guessing it might take a little bit longer to get on the schedule, however, since we're now trying to coordinate two surgeon's busy schedules... BUT WHO CARES!?
I was so relieved when I heard the news that I actually burst into tears. So unlike me, huh? I guess I hadn't realized how much this had been on my mind (although looking back over my blog posts about this, I'm guessing this comes as no surprise to you!)
Through my own research and from referrals provided by 'e' of The Gerli Life's surgeon in L.A., I am beginning to suspect that there are no orthopedic surgeons in the Sacramento area that perform Arthroscopic Femoro-Acetabular Surgery.
There seems to be one in San Francisco who is the holy grail of hip arthroscopy, Dr. Samson, who was not only recommended by another local orthopedic surgeon who I contacted but was also recommended by e's surgeon. Then there are two more that are located in Redwood City and Stamford.
Now, I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing my health insurance is not going to cover a referral out to one of them.
Based upon information I've been able to glean from some reputable sources on the intranet (orthopedic surgeon societies, health-care providers etc...) it seems that, although this procedure has been common in Europe for 10-15 years, it has not been widely embraced by orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. where it has only really caught on in the last 5-7 years. No specific reason was given for this and I've been unable to find anything that tells me that open surgery (other than being obviously less tricky for the surgeon due to mechanics) is any more effective in the short or long-term than the same procedure done arthroscopically. In fact, all evidence points toward the arthroscopic procedure providing the same short- and long-term benefits but with the advantage of less trauma, a faster recovery time, and (in someone my age and with my active lifestyle) a better chance of returning to former levels of activity.
So, the fact still remains that I'm not going to do open surgery, no matter what the outcome of the referral/insurance conundrum.
Hopefully, if/when my surgeon calls me back today, he has some beacon of light to offer me - maybe someone locally who is less well known but who has been doing this for a while, or perhaps some information on one of the out-of-town surgeons who perform local procedures periodically or something. Yes, I'm grasping at straws. Even if I can get it done locally (which is really just a matter of overcoming geography: ie, no real obstacle) there's nothing to say my PCP can refer me to that person and my insurance will cover me. Of course, I am surmising and may be overcomplicating the situation based upon no solid information right now.
Typical: if I lived in England, I could probably get this done on the NHS. (Yes Mum, I have considered just coming home to get it done.)
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Today it was the turn of my friend, Mala, and her 11 month-old daughter, Evani. We hadn't seen each other since before Christmas and so we decided to do Christmas in February instead. Well, any time is good for giving prezzies, right?
Evani is learning to talk and is picking up words on-the-fly like crazy (Mala, be careful what you scream-out when Shomeek is pissing you off!) Today we went from her one word "aight" for "light" and progressed to "apple" (which she said about a nano-second after Mala concluded that word would be too hard - Ha! What do you know, Mom?!) and then "oook" and "booo" for "book". Occasionally we even managed to get something that sounded more like "boooooooooookkkkkk". Mostly, it was fascinating to watch how Evani learned the sounds... not by listening, it seemed, but by watching and aping the shape of your mouth as you formed the word. It was really cute because what, more often than not, came out of copying our mouths when we said "boooook", was a sucking, shushing, "ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo" sound.
Ya know, 60 minutes at my house and the kid is a linguistic genius!
"A is for Apple. B is for Book. C is for Calcutta..."
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
This unexpected outing has the added benefit of distracting me from the Primary Results. I have promised myself not to listen to any news or results until tomorrow morning. Much better to be hit with the complete set of good or bad news in one foul swoop rather than riding the media roller-coaster ride of moment-to-moment score-cards by state. I did it for New Hampshire and I have to say it was worse that watching a sporting event for your favorite team.
I have heard Obama won Georgia almost 2-1, though...
Gotta whip-snap to it. Have to be dressed and outta here in an hour.
Thank you (I think) to my friend, Joy, who supplied the cringe-inducing image of the day. Since she is now working for the CA Dept. of Public Health, I have a feeling this is going to be just one of many such delightful images.
I finally got a reply from one of them today and they referred me out to a surgeon in San Francisco, Dr. Thomas G. Sampson. I'm getting the feeling that little ole Sacramento doesn't have the wealth of experienced ortho surgeons to perform this procedure... disadvantages of living in a po-dunk city I guess.
Of course, I could be wrong (in which case I apologize in advance to Sac). Hopefully my surgeon will call me tomorrow with some more hopeful news. I can only imagine the health-care maze I'll have to go through to get a covered referral to a doctor in SF - if it's even possible!
And that's all I have to say about that.
Monday, February 04, 2008
In posting the previous video clip I came across this one. Although I'm supporting his opponent, even I have to admit that it's hard NOT TO be inspired by this. The very fact that a speech of a modern-day politician has been turned into a music video already speaks volumes about why Obama may come out of Super Tuesday on-top. I for one am excited that young people are being inspired to participate in the political process and relieved that it's a Democrat that's doing it. I believe in Hillary but would have to be deaf, dumb, and blind not to sense the undercurrent of hope and excitement surrounding Obama. Let's hope that, if chosen, he can deliver on his great expectations.
This is pretty crazy. I don't know what I would have thought if I had seen this! All I know is that I probably couldn't have stayed as still as these folks for that long!
Friday, February 01, 2008
This is the link: http://www.aetna.com/cpb/medical/data/700_799/0736.html Be warned, it's dry and long.
In summary, the report seems to conclude that both open and arthroscopic surgery for this condition are considered experimental and that evidence of any long-term benefits (including the impact on future chances of Osteoarthritis) from one or the other procedure, is thin on the ground. Futher, it recognizes the benefit of arthroscopy over open surgery to increase not only the speed of recovery time but also the ability for active individuals to return to previous levels of activity.
This only further confirms my decision to move forward with an arthroscopic procedure; without significant evidence to prove any radically different outcome either in the long or short term, I see no reason to put my hip through the trauma of open surgery at this point in my life.
The question now is whether I can find someone who will do the debridement arthroscopically. If I am going to be opened up at all for any reason, I want to get the most impact from that experience that I can.
So completely random, you can't help but laugh!