Thursday, November 26, 2009

In Observance of Avoiding the Eternal Dirt Nap

As I mentioned in my last post, diabetes nearly got the best of me.  Thank God, I'm still upright and breathing on a regular basis.  That's always a good sign.  The insulin is a pain in the ass, but it is doing the job, so woo-hoo for insulin.  As I thought about the possibility of dying, I wondered what heaven or hell might be like if I were to take the permanent dirt nap.  So without further adieu, Top 10 signs that I've reached Heaven or Hell, in no particular order.

Top 10 Signs I've Reached Heaven
1.  I would see family and friends that have passed before me and get to spend unlimited time with them.  Ask them questions about how Heaven works and what happened to them.

2.  The setup would be similar to "Defending Your Life," with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.  Everyone would stay in fabulous hotels and be able to eat whatever and whenever they wanted without worrying about gaining weight or eating too many carbs or sugar.

3.  A box of ding dongs would be placed on my pillow each night.  

4.  There would be a pub where old friends and family would gather to have a few and watch the TN Titans play football or to play along with Wheel of Fortune.

5.  I would look up Norman MacLean and Ernest Hemingway and ask them about writing.

6.  While defending my life, there would be authority in the court (like Defending your life) that could show me key moments during my life that affected my destiny and why.  I guess I want to know stuff like that.

7.  I would be able to astral travel to friends and family still living and observe them and hopefully, catch their attention. 

8.  One of the first people I would visit would be Alan Solomon.  Then I would walk upon Loi Kroh Road, albeit in a virtual state.

9.  I would be allowed to ask questions and write down the answers from Jesus.

10.  I would love to visit Michael, the Arch Angel and ask questions about Armeggedon.


Top 10 Reasons I know I'm in Hell
1.  When I'm dying, I am in the same hospital that I just got out of.

2.  The first people I see are the people that have hurt me most in my life.

3.  Once I pass from this life and enter the eternal; I am made to watch Paula Abdul judge on American Idol.

4.  Then I am forced to watch her videos of her "singing" and dancing.

5.  Ty Pennington is yelling at me with his megaphone.

6.  Everyone at the Pub I mentioned before are hateful and mean. 

7.  Instead of watching TN Titan Football and Wheel of Fortune, I am forced to watch Extreme Home Makeover and cry at all the obvious spots.

8.  Laughter isn't allowed here and no one appreciates sarcastic humor.  

9.  "How come?"  isn't allowed here.

10.  A bowl of beets and cottage cheese is left on my pillow each night.  And, every calorie counts.

Did I mention that Paula Abdul would be there???

More Musings Later-

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Top 10 Stupid Things I Heard While in the Hospital

By now, you all know how I feel about doctors and hospitals. Particularly the one I seem to continually visit on a regular basis. I must have done something very bad in my last life to repeat this bad karma. Oh well, at least I have my cheery disposition. (yes, that is sarcasm).

Without further adieu:

10. After waiting over an hour for my discharge paperwork to be done, I ask how much longer I have to wait.

Response: "Oh, Are you ready to go?"

9. After taking my temperature and noting that it's low, a nurse tech puts his hand on his hip and asks, "Girrrrrl, What you do last night?"

My Response: "I went to a Martini bar and went clubbing all night. What do you think??"
8. When checking my glucose level, the nurse tells me it's high and asks in frustration: "What did you eat last night?"

My Response: "I ate what the doctor ordered, it's not like I snuck out for a chocolate shake or something."
7. After noticing that a sign was placed on my door and cleaning crews were coming in with masks and gloves to clean, I ask what is going on. "Oh, it's in the computer that you had an infectious disease (vasculitis) in 2008 and we didn't clean and separate you properly from hospital staff the last time so we're doing it now."

I have no response and begin looking for Tom Bergeron to pop out of the bathroom for an episode of AFV.

6. I call the nurse and request a glass of ice water.

"Oh, are you thirsty?"

My response: "No, I'm just checking to see if the intercom works."


5. A nurse I call "Grumpy Greta" comes in and gives me an insulin shot. I ask if she isn't supposed to wait until my lunch arrives first before giving it to me.

Her gravely response: "Yeah, but my feet hurt and I'm trying to save myself some steps. I hope your food comes soon."


4. I'm in awful pain from my arthritis and I ask for a pain medication.

The nurse's reply: "Will Tylenol do?"

My response: "Only if it is the Tylenol that is spelled L-O-R-T-A-B"


3. A nurse comes in and begins handing medication to take for the day.

"Here's your Methotrexate, Haladol and..."

I interrupt: "That's not my medication."

Nurse: "Oh crap! This is for across the hall. Where is my head?"

I silently think, "Sadly, it's attached to your shoulders."


2. A Nurse walks in and pats my hand and says she's sorry to hear I have HIV.

My Response: "I don't have HIV. I have Vasculitis which is an infectious disease."

Her Response. "Isn't that the same thing?"

And the Stupidest thing I heard at the Hospital was:
1. After the Dr says that she noticed that my blood sugar was high 2 months ago;

My Response: "Well, then why didn't you start treating me for Diabetes then?"

Her Response: "Well, I guess I should have caught that."

My Internal Response: "Ya Think?"

More Musings Later-

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I Avoided the Eternal Dirt Nap

Yep, I had all the signs for the past 2 weeks and it dawned on me what it finally was; Diabetes.

You know the signs:

  • Extreme thirstiness (as in you would kill something for a bottled water)
  • Even more exhaustion, losing a significant amount of weight in a short period of time (as in 23 pounds in 2 weeks.)
  • Blurry Vision
So, this past Saturday night I look up my symptoms and deduce it must be diabetes. I took my glucose level reading. Der, not good. In fact, alarming. Sunday morning, take it again, even worse. Ok, a call to the dr first thing Monday morning. I start to get irritated because I've been to the doctor on a regular basis and I finally see on my labs that my glucose was notated as "high" and my doctors said or did nothing about it. Don't even get me started. In fact, 2 of them noted that I had an "enlarged liver." and that "the high glucose is most likely steroid induced."

So you don't do anything? Jeez my knees, I feel like I must be my own doctor. I guess from now on, I will need to pore over all my medical and lab reports. The health care system is truly broken and in a complete state of disarray. My only thought about it is pure disgust.

So, schedule a physical with my doctor cause that is the only way she can see me fast. So on Tuesday I go into the doctor and she goes through the motions. I tell her to test me for Diabetes. "Why?" she asks...UH cause I have high blood sugar readings on my labs, hello?? She asks my symptoms and I tell her. So I do the urine test and they take my glucose reading.

Can we say "595"???? My doctor's jaw is on the floor and she walks next door to another doctor and tells him what is going on. She comes back in and takes a breath and tells me I'm dangerously close to having convulsions, having a stroke or worse. I HAVE to go into the hospital. The blood is running out of my face and I sit there drinking cups of water as fast as the nurse is handing it to me to try to stay hydrated. They think I have (DKA) Diabetic ketoacidosis an acute metabolic complication of diabetes characterized by hyperglycemia, hyperketonemia, and metabolic acidosis. DKA occurs mostly in type 1 diabetes. It causes nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain and can progress to cerebral edema, coma, and death.

So, off to the hospital I go for 3 days. After getting insulin IV's, poking my fingers and veins full of holes for glucose readings and labwork, they pronounce me well enough to come home. So I am learning to be a Carb counting machine and to quote a line from one of my favorite movies with my own spin:

"I may be exhausted and weak; hell, I may even be gimpy, but Dear God, I'm still here."

The dirt nap will have to wait.

More Musings Later (thank God)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Finding Me

Facebook is a clever tool. I've been finding college friends, teachers, old co-workers and others. Each time I see their pictures, the memories flood back to me. It's like looking through a time capsule of each person I've known. Sometimes the person they are today is exactly as I expected, sometimes it's a total shock.

This one person that I found falls into the category of shock for me. In college, she was the life of the party, had a fantastic sense of humor and had that intangible something extra special that some call "it." Not that she still doesn't have these qualities...I'm sure she does. She has just taken a 180 degree turn in the direction of her life. Again, not bad, just very different.

Somehow, she saw something in me as a music student that she was able to mold. I was 12 years old when I first met her. I was in awe of her, wishing I could be exactly like her. She was talented, great with people, funny and admired by countless other music students. And, I was her student. I didn't have much confidence in myself then and she helped me to discover that I was good at something. I felt that we were the antithesis of each other.

When I competed for musical awards, everyone of stature knew I was her student. When they heard me play, I remember to this day the way they looked at me. The next thing I knew, I was a 12 year old sitting in a college level class for music. With each achievement, my confidence grew. It formed my identity. When I wasn't supposed to hear, I would overhear judges and other teachers whisper, There goes her student.

Those experiences are a huge part of who I am today, even though I'm not a practicing musician any longer. Those childhood experiences with music helped me have the courage to audition at Juilliard in New York, play for operas, musicals, symphonies, marching and pop bands. I had a wondrous and complete education in music, life and myself.

Juilliard's late, great Saul Goodman with his crank tympani invention that I actually auditioned on that fateful day of March 3, 1980. Incidentally, Gene Krupa was his student.
I have been wanting to thank this person for many years. I was unable to locate a mailing address or email address until I saw her on Facebook. I finally thanked her. It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but she is clearly owed a thank you from me and perhaps more. And, I gave it.

One teacher I had signed my yearbook with these sage words:
I hope you got something out of your musical education besides the music itself.

I did.
More Musings Later-