Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dobby, Marmy Fluffy Butt, and Buddy the Freakishly Large Kitten

I think we have more fans of The Manor Cats than we do of any human inhabitants, which is as it should be.

Dobby remains the perennial favorite.  He was born here, after all, as the very confused runt of Marmy Fluffy Butt's first and only litter. He is imbued with a generous spirit and serves on the Marlinspike Hall Hostage Negotiation and Intervention Team.  He has few vices -- the main one being a propensity to demand over-brushing;  He lives to be groomed.  Dobby is our secret weapon in the training of the more difficult felines:  a model of decorum for his Mother, the original Wild Thing, and a living "how-to" guide for Buddy the Freakishly Large Kitten, who has been with us since March.

We were pretty much insane the day we got nine-week-old Buddy from the shelter.  Uncle Kitty Big Balls, Marmy's brother and Dobby's uncle, had suddenly taken ill and died the previous weekend.  Fred and I had invested a lot of time, money, and loving energy, first rescuing UKBB from the street, then having his hard-used body patched up.  We were glad, ultimately, to have been able to provide him with a year of comfort.  Still, it was hard to believe he had fought back from such a difficult life only to die just when he was discovering fun.  I was beginning the subanesthetic ketamine treatments for CRPS, and Fred was exhausted by all of it.

We're well versed in when not to go kitten/cat-hunting but we did it anyway -- things were just too freaking hard and diversion was needed.  Like taking care of Marlinspike Hall, the moat, the outbuildings, the errant Cistercians, the livestock (miniature, normal, and oversized), the orchards, the labyrinth -- Like all of that wasn't enough to distract us!  No, we needed a kitten.

Distract us, he did.  I managed four months of treatment, without success, and went broke in the process.  We'd each break down, tour à tour, but after, at most, a minute of weeping, giggles of "oh, you numbnut, you" would take over, as Buddy decided to attack a toe or a tassel, jump in a bag or a box, leap on Marmy Fluffy Butt's fluffy butt or sit on Dobby's head.

Buddy the Kitten has turned into a Maine Coon, that ultimate in Americana.  We grew suspicious when his growth came less in spurts and more in onslaughts, and when his tail assumed a separate identity that even his head could not understand.  He is, it seems, having a war between his front end and his rear, with that tail flitting about to truly confuse things.  One end has been known to attack the other, while Buddy the Kitten rolls his eyes wildly about.

He thinks himself tiny which is ridiculously cute but frequently irritating.  I am thinking of my bedside table, mostly.  Not entirely in control of his body, when Buddy decides to take a leisurely stroll along the invisible roundabout on my bedside table, most everything ends up on the floor or between his jaws.

He deconstructed the blinds that were custom-cut for our windows so that he can slip behind the headboard and ogle the birds, and when he outgrew the opening he'd made, he renovated.  I made lots of noise about making repairs but have not a clue how to prevent him from tunneling back in...

Anyway, the Maine Coon, for you non-cat people, doesn't follow the rules of kittenhood.  Instead of maturing in the first year of life, they continue to grow well into their third year and can keep going until age five.  He will end up being between 15 and 25 pounds.

His racoon tail has already encountered my wheelchair wheels on three occasions, and they were not happy moments.  It's not going to get better as he seems comfortable challenging the chair.  He doesn't yet make the connection that I am driving the thing, else he would be afraid, very afraid.

This week, he has been contemplating his poop production.  He does not play with it, eat it, sniff it, or do anything disgusting at all.  He just sits outside one of the three litter boxes, with his head poked through the front opening, and... contemplates.  This activity appears to be very soulful and satisfying.  He will maintain his meditative state for up to twenty minutes at a time.  I only hope his next project is as quiet and non-destructive.

Marmy remains all about Marmy.  She wants what she wants, when she wants it.  We hang together, me and Marmy.

In case you've forgotten what Buddy looked like a few months ago, here is a photo of that engaging and innocent young thing.  The tail, even then, should have been a clue.  We were clearly in denial.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I'm trying to salvage some stuff off the little Flip video camera and realized that one of the seemingly endless cat videos from recent days contained a lovely updated snap of my legs.

So if you've not seen CRPS/RSD (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), this is your big chance to ogle my gams.  It's fitting that "gams" refers as much to a school of whales, porpoises, or dolphins as it does to the shapeliness of my extremities.

I'll update with a visual of my hands soon.  Can't have too much excitement going on at one time.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lazy Daze

So I played my "tease" earlier this afternoon, by mentioning that Fred and I had taken Ruby the Honda CR-V on a jaunt to the orthopedic surgeon's office.

That's right, we zigged north, then zagged a bit back to the south on a different parallel, turned left (which I like to call "west") and followed the edge of the Airport Lagoon (very near the government offices for the theocratic divisions of the Lost Alp canton) until we reached ShoulderMan's hip-and-happening, totally digital office suites.  We have been there so often since the summer of 2008 that Fred is considering adding it to the underground tunnels issuing from the Haddock's ancestral home, Marlinspike Hall.  But since we are really just Lower Caste Caretakers of The Manor, he feels like he needs Captain Haddock's permission before digging.

You will note that I did take the time to copy-and-paste an entry earlier, as I felt like blogging but also wanted to pout and drink a fifth of whiskey.  It was a long appointment and we got lost on the way home.  My fault completely, because for some reason I said "straight ahead" when I meant "northeast."

I just spent a fair amount of time filtering the day through my sieve of a brain as I composed an email to a dear friend, Ms. Diana-With-An-H.  And since another dear friend or five will be dropping by the blog tonight, I figured I'd post my second cut-and-pasted email of the day.  You'll probably learn more details about ShoulderMan's digs and doings that way than if I just sat down and started some sort of fantastical preamble...

So "Howdy High" to my several Carols, the Brother-Units, Tully, and the incomparable Pig Man -- plus to all my favorite Spammer Blog Bots and especially to whomever it is back in Berkeley who still visits every 17.2 hours, as well as The Weirdo from Ames, my most faithful reader.

And how is this for a promise?  The next post, which may come tonight, actually, will be the long awaited Feline Video Update you've been CLAMORING for.  "Clamoring,"  I say, "CLAMORING!"  Yes, we are in need of some not-so-serious amusement around here.

Here is the missive just delivered to one of the Interwebs Best Buddies, Diana-With-An-H.  Oh, so that I may be even *more* lazy, here's what you need to know about her, beyond her general wonderfulness: she was cooking up something awesome for her husband (a very lucky man, in ways I cannot begin to explain) and she has been helping nurse a friend who just had a mastectomy.  "Lazy Son" is, specifically, Nanette's son... and the three of them went out to lunch yesterday.

Krapola!  I probably should peck out a bunch of footnotes to further erode your reading pleasure!

But I won't!


good for you -- now come cook us something!  nah -- yesterday i whipped up some soup for fred and the lesbians (+ miss kitty, grrrr) for the famous wednesday night "church" supper.  i was so out of it, it took me about 4 hours, which was ridiculous.  but it was good!  cream of potato with charred red pepper, black beans, and caramelized veggies.  he brought home the leftovers and it fed us today, which was nice.

we are doing a lot better today, for some reason.  or ... NEWS FLASH:  when i don't say a word about how i am feeling, he perks up and chatters away, the sweet boy.

i bet brenda did feel awful today... she sounded a little too energetic the other day.  and the radiation can be very debilitating but she knows that. she sounds like one tough cookie.  i hope she gets some rest... bless her heart. (and yours)

hey, is lazy son any sharper when annette is around?  and how are you and annette doing these days?

okay... so.  the visit was not good.  there were, however, two hysterical moments.  

1.  remember, i practically LIVED in the man's office from august 2008 thru the fall of 2010, and even popped in after losing my insurance.  he has an intellectually-challenged guy who works as his nursing aide, named Rex.  Rex is sweet as heck and knows me very well.  when he called my name to go back to the exam room, i was filling out paperwork and promptly dropped the clipboard, sending the forms flying, then knocked over a sign on the table when i reached to retrieve them.  well, while i was picking all that up... a woman got up, said "here i am," and went back to the back with him!  so that left me in front of the closed lock door yelling "rex!  rex!  i am locked out!"  finally a receptionist went and opened the door for me.  and there was rex, giving me the evil eye.  i didn't know rex had an evil eye in him!  i said "hi" and flashed him a toothy grin.  he said, suspiciously, "who are you? and who is the woman i just put in your room?"  turns out this long, lithe, lovely lady was pissed at having had to wait, and that, according to her, she should gone before me, having arrived earlier.  i mean, who gives a shit about stuff like "appointment time"?!  rex thought he had lost his mind, or that there were two profderiens (an *absurd* proposition) or that i had experienced a miracle, been cured, and was out of the wheelchair, looking like a fox.  they didn't even make her go back to the waiting room, but he did at least get my chart out of the box on her exam room!  rex is really wonderful, usually -- the time i kept landing in icu hitched up to a respirator?  when i went for the first postop appt, rex gave me a bear hug (can you say OUCH?) and burst into tears. "i was so worried about you!" 

2.  where was fred during all of that?  well, last night, at the "church" supper, he was washing a dish, put his hand in the dish drainer and got stabbed in the finger by a knife that someone had left point-up.  in the doctor's waiting rm, it opened up and started bleeding again.  so he got up to ask for a bandaid... and the woman handed him a "medical history" form, saying "you'll have to fill this out, first."  
the whole room cracked up...

okay, now for the serious stuff.  there is a 2 mm "black-ish" space surrounding the shaft portion of the implant, extending around its end for at least 3-4 inches.  that's the major change... and it usually means you-know-what.  it is very likely an infection as the only other option is air and he didn't 
agree with me that maybe i hiccuped and the air went down the shaft of my prosthesis into 
the humerus itself.  

he's a spoil sport.

the other changes were not "new,"  they were just "worse."  my rotator cuff is *still* missing!  it ran away and just left me with a bunch of painful calcium deposits, and they aren't even in the bone (since there isn't anything but titanium in that area now) but are sitting in the soft tissue.  ouch.  okay, so i thought it might reappear after it first ran away back in february 
-- i have always been fond of my rotator cuff tendons.

come home to moi, my tendons!
shoulder humor.  sad.  

anyway, there's been a widening of the space between the "ball" and the "shaft" parts of the shoulder prosthesis as a result.  it was also just very... i dunno... irregular looking.
he did not even push the range of motion of the arm -- first, he sees what you can do, unassisted (which was almost nothing), then he asks you to relax it while he moves it.  he almost never STOPS when you say/yell "stop," but today he barely even tried to move it.  second, he asks you to put your palms together and then he tries to hold them together while you attempt to move them apart. we did some weird imaginary form of that part of the exam. then everyone stood around and made noises-of-sadness-and-pity over the progression of the CRPS in my arms and legs.  {rolling eyes toward heaven}  shoulderman won many points by asking "why did you shake my hand?" now *that*, my friend, is CRPS/RSD*awareness*.

there *may* be more fractures up above as well as perhaps in the shaft.  i don't really care about that but he does, because of the fact that the next prosthesis -- IF there will be a new one -- has to be a REVERSE prosthesis.  to understand how different that is, here is a normal prosthesis: 

and this... is a "reverse" prosthesis. The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Spanish Inquisition is credited with its design:

anyway, for today, he gave me a shot of [what else?!] steroids and some local anesthetics.  he asked me to have go-to-guy try to get some sort of results from the CT scan they did while i was in the hospital last week.  in other words, like me, he doesn't believe that they "didn't scan the left shoulder."  i hate to be the queen of conspiracy theorists but hell, i was *there* and i *know* they scanned it.  the a-holes just didn't want to be suspected "liable" for even more damage to this rock star of a body than they already have been.  grumble, grumble, curse, curse.  they should know that if i haven't sued them by now, they are not gonna get sued... i've never sued anyone in my life. 
i should have taken every available penny from the bastards back in 2002. 
the plan is that i am going back in about 6 weeks -- if i can wait that long.  i get to go in early if i reach what we are calling "desperation."  i wanted to respond to that escape clause with something really snarky, but then realized i'd probably burst into wimp gimp tears.  he wants me to hang in there until after i finish the antibiotics i started last week, then get back on the other antibiotic that go-to-guy is experimenting with... after he chats with go-to-guy and orders maybe another aspiration of the joint (i am against that... we have done EIGHT aspirations and NOTHING grows in the damn lab... why do we keep doing them?), after more imaging studies... and then he will likely remove the current prosthesis and insert one of those spacers laced with antibiotics.  
why? because he can't put in any sort of prosthesis if there is infection.  the spacers can stay in for months, tho the last two he implanted on that side had to be taken out because they were causing fractures and blahblahblah. in other words, i may end up with a series of spacers.  i also have a pretty good chance of ending up without a shoulder at all.  but we won't go there now.

this is what a spacer looks like (modigliani design):

 he gave me one like that once, but he also made one on the spot in the operating room by shaping it himself out of surgical cement.  that, i would have liked to witness!
well... this is way too long, sorry.  my brain is on overdrive, my temp is 101, and i feel like my legs are aflame!  woo hoo!  it's party central in the manor tonight.
i hope you are in your jammies, warm, cozy, and chilling out.  tell brenda i send her good wishes and hope she kicks cancer's big fat ugly butt.
oh -- when we got home?  we found rampant destruction... since dobby and marmy fluffy butt both came for the butt whacks they love so much, it was easy enough to infer that the guilty party was one buddy the kitten, whom we found hiding in the dirty clothes hamper.  more on that in tomorrow's tome!
smooches galore and fruited loops,


NOT a marxist mammarian agenda

i just got home from the orthopedic surgeon's office and so, of course, i need to blog!  but instead of writing about my *awesome* early morning experience {sarcasm, intended}, i will share this email from Grader Boob, one of my brother-units.  he'd be the one who teaches, hence the sobriquet.  my other brother-unit, one Tumbleweed. is equally brilliant and could, i am guessing, offer up some kick-ass literary observations.  i think, however, he might become seriously depressed over the quality of his students' writing.  you gotta develop that specific grader-boob callus.

i don't want you thinkin' GB is afflicted with man-boobs or some other strange boobopathy.

no, he's just a grading fool!  seriously, he's the guy you want on the receiving end of your compositions -- if you're a serious writer and not entirely grade-obsessed.

really, Dear Reader -- if you are parent, sibling, or friend to a student in a college writing class, you might want to share Grader Boob's commentary with him or her.  being something of a former grade-boobing prof, i can appreciate what he's put together.  i wish i had had it, en français, back in those mammarian good times!

of course, you know that i espouse (or, according to some numbnuts, spew) a Marxist Mamamrian Agenda.

Howdy--I'm here, but I've been grading/marking online papers so I flee the computer whenever I can. It'll be this weekend before I can sit down and correspond.
[meaningful expressions of undying filial affection, deleted]
Love to thee and thine.GB
PS. I'm running a bit angry today, for I'm getting an inordinate amount of complaints about my grades from the online Lit class, so I gussied up the following, revising an announcement I posted years ago.(Hope it works!)

About the grades...It is a student’s right to complain about grades, but I’m going to institute some guidelines to see if we can give the complaints a purpose.First, let me clear up some misconceptions about the class, my grading in general, and the grading for this course:

•       This is an ENG 311 course. In signing up for this class, you are committing to attempting 16 weeks’ worth of reading and writing in half the time. Believe me, I have the utmost respect for anyone willing to try that. It is a hard task. But, at the end, should you pass, you’re given credit for the whole class, not 1.5 credit hours. Therefore, this class’s writing is held to the same standards as an on-campus class—as it should be and as I’m required to do. (If you’ve had a professor hold you to an easier mark, then that professor has devalued your degree pursuit.)

•       Some years ago, when the XXX English Department charted the grades of its faculty, my grades fell exactly smack dab in the middle. So I’m not holding all of you to some excessive standard, unreachable except by the finest of writers and thinkers. I grade this material just like I grade all ENG 311 essays.

•       I grade the work in front of me. In the past, I’ve had classes in which the lowest grade was a C+. I’ve also had classes in which there were no As. If everyone writes an A paper, then I’ll give that grade to all. I grade the work in front of me.

Now, should you want to talk with me about your grade, here are some recommendations:

•       Re-read the original assignment description/prompt found on your module. Make sure you’ve done what is required. If you’ve not met a requirement, I typically point it out in my comments on your work.

•       Read the comments. The points I note there—especially those dealing with focus, development, organization—are the key elements to any re-thinking or revising of the paper. A paper without a strong focus/thesis is doomed to wander. A paper underdeveloped is missing the logical backing drawn from a close reading of the text, and sometimes this paper fails to meet the length requirement. A paper’s organization should progress paragraph by paragraph, with clear viable links helping your argument—thesis—ring true.

•       Having read those comments, you should show me specifically where I’ve not given you credit for something in your paper. If your paper has a real thesis which I’ve missed, point it out to me. If the structure really builds when I say it doesn’t, show me the error of my interpretation. If your conclusion does more than just restate points you made moments earlier, point it out. Make sure you’ve got a real case, though.

•       But don’t mention your prior grades, your effort, or your life, for these play no part in an essay’s  grade. I'm grading the work in front of me.

Hopefully, this clears up some of the emotion and lets you focus on the remaining readings and writings.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

after too many words, a balm...

it seems suitable, after "too many words," to listen to a perfect pre-existing expression of... things:

too many words

in my previous post, i was unduly cavalier about my odd relatives.  my first electronic act upon getting home from the hospital friday evening was to jot down [or laboriously peck out on my lilliputian keyboard] an email to the best brother-unit a sister could wish to have. that's right, i found myself unleashing a week's worth of pent up emotion all over sweet Grader Boob -- the self-imposed and preferred nickname of my english professor sibling, forever wading his way through a swampy, gassy pool of purported essays and research papers.

he's been in the game a good 30 years, has Grader Boob, and still spends 45 careful minutes on 2-3 page bits of underclass erudition.  he provides the most helpful and attentive commentary these youthful writers are likely to ever receive. i'm not saying that 'cause he's my brother-unit;  i'm also saying that because his standards are not simply maintained over Lo, These Many Years, they are, if anything, more stringent.  it's a sign of hope for those of us who aren't as convinced of a cheery future based on what we witness in the classroom. 

you know, stuff like having your hip broken by a student because you were the only physical barrier to his escape from the police officer hot on his heels. and having your students steal your walker when you make it back to work after the hip replacement!  stuff like that.

yeah, i dunno why, but that large "instance" keeps coming back to haunt me and will always inform my assessment of today's yutes.

of course, that was my experience at the level of high school instruction.  there weren't, thank goodness, any corresponding moments of physical violence in my 19 years of university teaching.  

no, those years had other offerings designed to maintain a steady state of depression. 

you know, stuff like having college freshmen and sophomores assert that the crusades date from the early 1900s -- before the american civil war of the 1950s -- and after world war II, that awful conflict of the mid-nineteenth century.  this academic high point occurred during my oh-so-brief stint as a latin teacher.  decades of research in determining pedagogical best practices have shown that the intermingling of disciplines, in this case ancient history and classics*, leads to student confusion and decades of lower back pain.

* in case you were wondering just what sort of radical latin class i was conducting by my unreasonable expectation that tomorrow's leaders might see parallels between humanity's tedious insistence on holocausts in various guises across time... it was a freaking warm up exercise designed to seamlessly review a few expressions with bellum and to introduce a short essay assignment.  instead, my brain exploded.  for those of you interested, these chestnuts were to be the inspiration for those 2-3 sentence-long masterworks:

bella horrida bella  (Virgil)
bella detesta matribus (Horace)
bellum omnium in omnes
bellum domesticum 
Ibis redibis nunquam per bella peribis (Oracles of Dodona) [a teacher's favorite, this one]

honestly, i've no clue why my mind went on this bender but, as you know, the guiding philosophy here at elle est belle la seine la seine elle est belle is "whose blog is it, anyway?"

i blame everything on the nefarious influences of Grader Boob.  

has he made any suggestions to moi-même, as to how my writing might be improved?  yes.  one suggestion, repeatedly -- making me worry over the possibility of early onset dementia.

hmmm?  what?  oh... right!  "too many words."  

***  **  ***  **  ***  ***  **  ***  **  ***  ***  **  ***  **  ***  ***  **  ***  **  *** 

hi boob,

i spent the week in the hospital and am in a foul mood.  

you have been warned.

it was awful but could have been much worse.  i had the headache from hell, nausea and vomiting, topped off with more of a fever than "normal." called my MDVIP go-to-guy doc last saturday, taking care not to phone until he'd had time to get home after temple.  even though he encourages patients to call whenever there's a real need, i hate messing with anyone's sabbath.  god might get pissed.  so go-to-guy answered on the second ring and informed me he had just arrived in barcelona, to which i replied, "but you can still call in a prescription, right?"  

[i came close to demanding why he had not been available six hours earlier, that being the time differential between tête de hergé and spain, but managed to hold my tongue.]

so that's why his partner, dr. k, was on call when i decided i couldn't take this particular constellation of symptoms any longer.. then dr. k's aunt up and died and he flew off  to new york, making the time differences for my doctors simply untenable -- fred put one watch on each wrist but that only made things worse. 

i booked passage on the queen mary, anxious to keep up with the jet-setters in a manner befitting my socio-economic realities. but due to partner-man's in-flight telephonic insistence, we ended up at st. jo's emergency room instead.

why, yes!  that *is* the very same hospital what gifted me with crps to begin with, by a well orchestrated Sentinel Event back in 2002. had i lost my mind, returning to the scene of their crime?  well, yes, i suppose i had lost my mind... to a mother of a headache (imagine me, whimpering while rocking back and forth, to and fro...) and several days of high fever and nausea.  he tricked me, that wily partner, into expecting just a bag or two of fluids and some cortef.  

they wouldn't release me, of course, and as i was being wisked around the corridors and back alleys of that infernal place,  i decided to keep an open mind and a closed mouth... 

...until i couldn't any longer.  i managed four whole days without a single smart-assed comment, without any hint of the fear for my life that emerges whenever i'm within a nautical mile of that place.  did the fact that i was under a gag order by their risk management department legal eagles assist me in holding my tongue?  nope.  forgot completely about it.  fred's eyes bugged out.

how am i to remember that the murderous staff there cannot be held in any way accountable for their crimes against humanity? let's review, darling boob:  pounding head, empty and spasming stomach, high heat, extreme pain -- much of that pain from the pre-existing crap for which they are largely responsible -- adrenal (and renal!) insufficiency, lupus, avascular necrosis, osteomyelitis, and a partridge in a pear tree.  i think four days was admirable.

i strongly suggested discharge home to the hospitalist who rounded this morning. the bottom line?  despite kidney and sinus infections that were piddly and refusing to grow in cultures (that's my leitmotif), the ID docs decided it was my left shoulder at fault and ordered a CT scan of the whole area -- head, left shoulder, kidneys, hips, the squatters in my estomac, etc.  they even seemed to have clear ideas of why the pus in my shoulder wouldn't grow in the lab -- blaming the phenom on one of two sort of ordinary bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. since i am immunosuppressed, these average-joe sorts of bugs can be a problem. not the zebras doctors have been chasing for the past three years, but good old pedestrian plow horses.   

so we were all anxious to get the CT results.  i actually entertained thoughts of getting cured of these accursed bone infections! drum roll, please... because radiology, despite discussing the areas to be scanned with me, despite the written orders, despite doing preliminary imaging to make sure all was fine... radiology reported that they failed to scan the left shoulder.  

remember the port i had put in some time in march, before the ketamine infusions?  well, it has never been accessible for blood draws.  fine for infusions, but not available for anything else.  [grrr.]  the nurses, in attempting to explain to ID why some labs were not done, blamed the confusion on a member of the "iv team" who was supposed to draw the blood from my port...  i may have, kind of, sort of, sat there like a silent lump while the lying liars lied.  

yes, scientific method remains at its finest at's;  the brainiacs are still at the wheel.  

the thing that sent me over the edge, however, was the damned rsd/crps.  

fred and i have tried every trick we can think of, from making cute little signs for the bed, distributing informational fliers, having doctors write entries in the chart,  putting notes on the door, even suggesting it as a great topic for an in-service, etc. 

all we are asking is that folks not touch my legs and ask before touching my hands.  we have never had a positive response.  tell a nurse (or doctor or phlebotomist or tech) not to touch and you engender, apparently, that very urge in them.  the unfailing pattern:

me:  please don't touch my legs.  thanks!
health care professional:  of course not! [pokes at feet in order to feel pedal pulses, grabs calves for some unknown reason]
me [from the ceiling]:  DON'T TOUCH MY FREAKING LEGS!
health care professional:  you don't have to get nasty.  all you have to do is tell me nicely, profderien. [hates me for the remainder of my stay]

common variations involve "oh, i didn't think you meant me" and "i can't help it if the stethoscope around my neck swings down and hits your feet."

very, very, very disturbing?  since the declaration by the state that their screwup in 2002 was a Sentinel Event?  i kind of thought they would know by now what CRPS *was*.  it was disheartening in the extreme to find only two doctors (the ER doc and an ID doc) and ONE nurse who knew that it is a central nervous system disorder involving severe pain, allodynia, movement disorders, etc. -- just, in general, what it is about.
everyone else said yes when i asked if they knew what crps/rsd was (i unpacked the acronyms for them as well).  these folks all proceeded to then do you know what, leaving me on the ceiling again...  i cried, not from the pain, but from pure sadness and frustration.  the doctor who was in charge kept telling me it was a combination connective tissue disorder and cellulitis.  she apparently wrote that in the chart and the nurses all thought it a great quote.

my favorite moment?  two nurses leaning over, their elbows propped on the the footboard of the bed, staring at my feet.  one of them has a big smile on her face, and keeps advancing her index finger toward my swollen, dark-purple and decaying right foot, saying, "i can't touch this, hmm?  what would happen? i seen this before, ms. profderien.  this here is cellulitis.  you got to keep it clean. what would happen if i touched it, hmmm? we need to scrub this foot." she actually winked at the nurse next to her.  yep, she's gonna wash off discoloration from lack of blood supply and i shall be cured by soap and water.  i confess:  i didn't bother with please or thank you, or if you don't mind... and went directly to cursing at her.

okay, i feel better now.  
i guess i let things build up a bit too much.
okay, so maybe tears are still running down my moon face.

the ID docs want me to see dr. d (ShoulderMan!) asap.  it just so happens that i had already made an appt for next week, because the shoulder was getting pretty awful.  the best advice, though, was "go where they know you, know crps, and until you get there here are some antibiotics, stay in bed, but come back to the ER for a fever of 100.5 or higher." 

at that moment, the tech came in to check my temp, and it was 100.7!  we all had a good chuckle and then i went straight home where i promptly threw my thermometer away.  really.  i did.

i wouldn't mind one bit being something of an ambassador for crps, because it is very odd and despite not being all that rare, is something rarely encountered by your average medico. i am, for instance, my MDVIP go-to-guy doctor's only crps patient in 30 years of practice.  so i had to become an expert -- a dread occupation -- in order to get any kind of decent care. now, of course, go-to-guy is a crps pro.  

but to discover that the hospital that compounded error upon error such that crps was the end result has not even taught the staff to recognize it during the nine years since the sentinel event... leaves me tired, depressed, destitute -- and angry.

so much so that my dear brother has to field another rabid communication in a litany of rabid communications.

fred has had it,  is very tired -- of me, of everything.  i don't blame him at all.  just wish i could just wish it all away.

let me know more about classes and your writers... are you enjoying the reprieve from freshmen? i wish you knew how good a teacher you are. 

your sister-unit, the gimp

SENTINEL EVENT: “An unexpected occurrence involving death or serious physical or psychological injury, or the risk thereof.  Serious injury specifically includes loss of limb or function.  The phrase, 'or the risk thereof' includes any process variation for which a recurrence would carry a significant chance of a serious adverse outcome.  Such events are called 'sentinel' because they signal the need for immediate investigation and response.”