Friday, August 3, 2012

Baking Scones or Rotting Turnips: You Be The Judge


I *know* that it is poor form (Oops! Someone has been watching too much of the London Olympics on the telly.  I wonder what's for tea this afternoon.  Is that the aroma of baking scones wafting my way or is it the bag of turnips I let rot on top of a bag of potatoes and a sack of fresh garlic?  We better have some clotted cream and jam, either way.)...

As I was saying, I know that regaling you with emails is the lazy woman's blog tactic, but this is the best way to bring you up to date as to what is happening to moi at the moment.  I could lie and say that I just hate repeating myself, but, puh-leeze, my Readership wouldn't fall for that.

So... Youse Guys already know how much I rely on the judgment of my MDVIP Go-To-Guy, otherwise known as a pseudo-concierge set-up with a spot on (Heh-heh) internist.  Well, here's the latest, and please keep the info in mind should my blog posts get even weirder, if I'm not batting on a full wicket (ar ar!).

I think I may take a break from the shivers and do some imaginary badminton.  Or rowing.  But if I choose to swim around the moat, it'll have to done nekkid, as I've heard those swimsuit contraptions are nearly impossible to put on without Randy from Say "Yes" To The Dress.  Check out how hard it was for Summer Sanders... and then die laughing thinking of me trying to get even one thigh in the right spot of fabric.


i had my PICC line pulled tuesday.  still having fevers, sweats, chills, spasms, the whole spiel.  dr.b was out of town, saw his PA jacqueline.  when i asked what the plan was now, i was told "there is no plan." of course!  what was i thinking?

is this slow drop in hgb/hct anything to worry about?  i know it's not enough to explain fatigue, but i am so tired.  they drew labs again this week to see if it is still dropping and i am to show up for one more appt next week.

HGB 11.1
CRP 1.27 (EXPECTED < .8)

HGB 11.2
HCT 34.9
CRP  10.49 

HGB 10.8
HCT 34.3
CRP 1.73

HGB 9.9
HCT 31.2
CRP 2.28 

i see dr.d today and will see if i can get him to somehow pave the way with next week's appt with dr. s's PA.  i expect that appt will be a bust, but who knows.

i don't know what to do about my eyes... dr. k probably thinks i've disappeared.  ID informed me that p. acnes is one of the most "catastrophic" of all infections after cataract surgeries (well, *of course* it is!) and that she probably will want some assurance that there aren't any p. acnes colonies hanging around.  right-o!

yesterday, i briefly blacked out twice, both times while walking to the bathroom.  each time, i was able to forestall any severe damage or need for 911 by simply landing against the wall, leading with my head.  so my head hurts, but i'm fine.  i knew that my brain would count for something one day.  if it gets worse, i guess i'll Pick-A-Specialist, probably dr. m.

i hope you had a restful and refreshing vacation.

what are the odds that i could get dr. d to come HERE, versus wickedly tired fred and cheery me hauling ourselves out to the airport office?

laughing all the way to hell


The HGB dropping below 10 could cause some fatigue. The main concern with anemia is to be sure it’s not coming from GI blood loss.

Have you seen blood in your stools or black, tarry stools to suggest older blood from the upper GI tract? If not, the anemia may be from suppression of your bone marrow from your chronic infection. That will only improve as the infection improves.

The blackouts are another concern. Please rely on your walker or scooter more since you have the anemia. You are at increased risk for blacking out and falling.

Please keep me updated on the labs, etc. I would also hold off on Dr. K until we know there’s no infection.


dear dr. MDVIP Go-To-Guy,

i've put in a call to i.d., trying to get tuesday's lab results.  have both called and emailed.  i am feeling pretty awful, temp got to 101, dropped to 99, now back to 101, but more significantly, to me, i'm having chills, feel all woe-is-me-weepy, and exhausted.  there's been no feeling like passing out, just a feeling of distance/unreality.  and a headache.

if things get worse, i will contact them again, first, using the "emergency" line (my understanding is that dr. b is out of town), and do what they say.  if need be, i'll have fred drop me off at the Lone Alp ER.  unfortunately, he refuses to stay with me in the hospital any longer... he just hates that environment, and, it seems, me,  in that situation.  

i'm just letting you know in case there is a communication failure... for instance, when i had to go to the ER a few weeks ago, the EMTs reported that they picked me up in a "GP's office" [instead of the infectious disease infusion center] and that the problem was "a dislocated shoulder." i thought fred was following us over there but, no, he just got in the car and went home.  i was shivering so much i couldn't correct anyone, but wish i had a photo of the face of the x-ray tech who immediately filmed my shoulder.  she told me, "uh, we need to do this again because i seem to have cut off part of your... [long pause] ... clavicle."  sure, i could have told her there was no shoulder on that side, but why muck up a perfectly good learning opportunity?

it's often like that kid's game, "telephone," where you pass around a piece of information to see how changed it is at the end.

i hope to not be calling, but thought i'd give you a head's up.  thank you, thank you, for your good care and forbearance.  

much of that forbearance is put to use on these emails, i am sure.  sorry but when i feel this sick, i talk and talk.  i am afraid, and that's what i do!

so i at least hope that my verbose communication sometimes makes you smile, even if it kills an extra few minutes of your "free" time.

hey, j (j is his Super Nurse)!  come do private duty with me this weekend?????  movies, popcorn, wheelchair races?

oh, and the gut is fine, no obvious bleeding.

bowing out of another graceful communication,

So there you have it, Sweet Readership.

And as is always the case, I feel better already.

Cheerios and Fruitloops, Clotted Cream and Jam for all.


Higher Education: The Committee

After serving as the responsible full biological offspring representative at my father's recent death celebrations, Brother-Unit Grader Boob returned to the Land of Erudition last week where he continues the attempt to weave and knit together enough university employment to have a usable oven mitt to remove the pizza rolls from the microwave without blistering His Instrument:  the red pen-holding hand.

He just sent me an email that had this warning in the subject line:  "Get ready for a long one..."

"Ayuh," said the Maine girl in me.  I eyeballed the roughly 4 inches of text I was gonna have to labor through, a good part of which consisted of this:

Well, that’s it for now—but let me end with an anecdote.

On Wednesday evening, the entire ABC online faculty had an ******* meeting to discuss the fact that “some” professors were giving higher grades than had actually been earned. The Center for Online Edification had been “horrified” to discover that a basically illiterate student had worked his way through several classes, actually getting a B- for the second Comp course. (I started chuckling and began yelling at the computer: “I’m shocked, shocked to find there’s gambling going on in this establishment!”)

At first, the group blamed student quality, always a safe scapegoat, especially after it was revealed that 75% of those taking the “entrance exam” end up in remedial courses. (By this time, I was chanting, “Money! Money!” at the screen.)

They then decided that plagiarism was the culprit, even though they do like how has gotten so user friendly. Moments later, there was a call for an institutional grading rubric and a committee to look into that.

“Money! Money!”

Finally, someone noted that this seemed to be a faculty issue, for they’re the ones giving out the higher grades. Silence filled the chat room.

“Exactly! Exactly!”

The evening ended shortly thereafter, with the standard academic result—further discussion and a committee.

Sadly, no one got fired!

Well, that exhausts my narrative skills, and so I’ll just say ta-ta.

I do love my Brother-Units!  And their emails.  When I get them.  Hint, TW, hint.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Palestine's economic vitality à la Romney

As he wrapped up the Israel leg of his foreign trip, Mr. Romney reflected on Israel's economic success to a gathering of pro-Israel campaign donors at the King David Hotel, remarks that noted gaps between the Jewish state and its neighbor. Later, he suggested that Israel's culture played a role in its economic success.

Oh, me sainted mammy.  Holy mother of g_d, sweet moses, good googamooga *, and jumpin' jehoshaphat.  Another blurt of a mental wedgie, another blurt of a closely held truth, another reason to pray and beg and issue IOUs to karma, and the guy in the trenchcoat on this hot, humid day.  He's takin' names.

I have no snazzy retorts -- none that come naturally -- that include mohammed or other major islamic figures, though I'm excused, I s'pose by the fact that a good many of what does come naturally are the result of a healthy hodgepodge of judaic, islamic, and christian blurtety-blurts.

In these matters, I find wiccans major wusses (their footwear is usually contrary to the requirements of the blitzkrieg and they're either wasted in weakness or profoundly overweight;  also, 90% -- and that's conservative -- of wiccans don't bother to keep a current, ready-to-run, ready-to-act passeport).  I would like to see more training facilities for the bahá'í -- they're really an angry bunch, just prone to good logic, which can help avoid atrocities.

Siccing a sikh on Romney would be perfection, of course, with all that saint-soldier stuff and social reform.


Mitt Romney continued, he went on, he had a wicked bite on his analogy, a serious gnaw, nice and juicy, as most of the world searched his chest for signs of a beating heart, and by that I mean, a suspicion of compassion and historical insight,  [The world came up wanting, gasping.]

"As you come here and you see the GDP [gross domestic product] per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality." Mr. Romney told a group of donors gathered at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. He added: "And that is also between other countries that are near or next to each other: Chile and Ecuador, Mexico and the United States."

Please, voting citizens, no matter your traditional ilk, give this a good think.

* I received an e-mail one day in October 2002 from a 28-year old woman I did not know asking me the strangest question. She wanted to know the meaning and origin of the word, "googamooga." She was searching this out on the internet when she found it quoted on the Jocko page of our website. She said, "I'm trying to find out what in the heck the word GOOGAMOOGA means! My boss is driving me nuts by singing the Temptations "Ball of Confusion" song."

So here is an updated version of essentially what I told her:

Yes, you are right. Yours is probably the weirdest question I have received in relation to my class website.

I must tell you, I do not know the true origin of "googamooga" (alternatively, "googa mooga" or "googa-mooga"), and I can only surmise its meaning from the context in which I have heard it used. I am not familiar with the Temptations’ 1970 record, "Ball of Confusion." (I guess I am too old for that.) I will tell you what I do know and what I have learned as a result of your inquiry.

Most likely, "googamooga" is derived from black musician's jive talk or street slang. (You might get a more authoritative response from a black history or language professor at a university.)  Like other white youths of the time, I first heard the term around 1954 as used by the great, black, pioneer, rock 'n' roll DJ, Douglas "Jocko" Henderson, as you read on my class website. The only other use of the word I was familiar with before today was in the lyric of the Cadets' 1956 recording of "Stranded in the Jungle,"1 as follows:  

I had a strange feeling I was with cookin' gear
I smelled something cookin', and a-a-a-h looked to see
That's when I found out they was ah-cookin' me


give piccassohead a try.

i did. -- "ce que je vois..." by eljay