Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This morning Bob told me, "You need to write something in your journal. You haven't written in a long time." I said I knew that I did, and that I would try to do it today. He said, "You can write about your anniversary present, and what you're reading, and how cuddly Dinah's been, and what's in your purse, and how your thumb is doing."

So. Our anniversary was Saturday. Bob's had a cold, and we've both been kind of worn out, and our normal anniversary place (Stephenson's Apple Farm Restaurant) went out of business, so we don't have a special place to go. So we didn't do anything. We went to the grocery store and bought a pie and a few little special things, and had dinner at home, although Bob was watching something on television that I didn't want to see ("V for Vendetta"), so he ate in front of the television and I ate in the dining room. Hopefully we'll get it together to go out sometime this week.

But we did have presents! He got me some beautiful rainbow topaz earrings, and I got him a headlight (not for the car, but one that you wear on your head when you're walking around outside in the dark). 32 years. Sometimes it's hard to get creative after that long.

Tonight I was getting ready to leave work at about 7:00, packing up my tote bag, turning out the lights, checking to be sure doors were locked. My phone rang, and it was Bob wondering where I was, if I had left yet. There was one other person still there, Kelsey, and I heard her on the phone, and when I turned back to tell her I was leaving, she was packing up her stuff, too.

She said, "I just got the 'where are you?' call from my husband. I said, "I just got one, too!" She said, "How long have you been married?" and I told her 32 years -- I think she's been married less than a year. She said, "So I've got 32 more years of those calls then," and I said, "Yep."

Dinah: Dinah has been a much better cat since Pyewacket died. She's sleeping in between us in bed now, where before she would never do that. She snuggles with Bob a lot, and of course she's always on my lap. I suppose maybe she was intimidated by Pye, and maybe was afraid she was going to get attacked or something; I don't know. But whatever it was, she seems to be doing a lot better. She still hisses at Bob occasionally, but less than she used to, I think.

My thumb: I went to a physical therapy appointment last week and got some instructions for exercises and "scar massage." I do the exercises when I think about it; everything seems fine. I have good range of motion, and it doesn't hurt to move, although the scar is still a little tender and can hurt if I'm not careful when I pick things up. But basically it's fine.

Last weekend I went to the knitting shop to pick up some needles and ended up buying several balls of sock yarn. I told the woman at the shop that it was hard not to buy it all -- I told her that I had recently had surgery on my hand and now I can knit again!

What I'm reading: Right now I'm reading Lost and Found, by Jacqueline Sheehan, and enjoying it a lot. It's a book that I had picked up awhile ago at the bookstore, and thought it looked good, but I was trying to be good about not spending too much money, so I didn't buy it. But it was on the clearance table at Borders a week or so ago, and I grabbed it.

It's about a woman who, after her veterinarian husband dies suddenly, gives up her job as a college psychologist and goes off to become an animal control warden in a small town. One of her first animal rescues is a big black lab who's been shot with an arrow. She takes him into her home while he heals, and in return, he helps her heal. She believes that he's grieving a loss also, and tries to find out what happened to him.

In the process she meet a lot of interesting characters, including the chief animal control warden who is also a minister, a body worker who has Synesthesia and sees emotions as colors, pain as shapes, etc., and a young girl with an eating disorder.

I haven't finished the book yet, so can't guarantee that there's a happy ending. The book is, at times, emotionally wrenching, but it's very good. As soon as I finish writing, I'm going to head up to bed and read.

And lastly, I leave you with this:

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

It worked!

I had the hand surgery on Monday, and everything went fine. I was a little apprehensive about it, although I don't really know why. I guess just going under general anesthesia is kind of scary. But it was fine.

We got to the hospital at about 8:00 Monday morning and checked in, and were almost immediately met and taken to a room. A nurse came in and took my history again, checked medications, and told me to take everything off and put on the hospital gown that was left for me. Bob liked that, and thought it was kind of funny that she didn't ask (or tell) him to leave. I guess she figured I could do that if I wanted to.

I put my clothes in a little locker/closet, and pretty soon another nurse came in, then the doctor, then the anesthesiologist. It was kind of a parade through the room, and everyone that came through checked to be sure that they had the correct hand. The doctor wrote her initials in Sharpie on my palm, with an arrow pointing at my right thumb. Then we waited a little bit more, and she came back and said they were going to take me early.

The surgery was originally scheduled for 10:10, but she said that the surgery she was going to do before mine had been postponed because the instruments that she needed hadn't arrived, and she was going to do me first. So they started an IV, Bob gave me a kiss, and they rolled me into the operating room.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room, with a HUGE bandage on my hand. Bob was coming back from the cafeteria where he had gone to get some breakfast, just as they were bringing me back into the room. Bob helped me get dressed (he liked that, too), then he went to get the car while a nurse came back with a wheelchair and took me outside.

We went to Target to fill my prescriptions, and I actually felt pretty good, and was hungry, so we went to Panda Express and Bob got me Chinese food. We went home, I ate, then went to bed, and slept the rest of the day. I never really had any bad pain, but I had to go into the office for a meeting on Thursday (didn't have to, but thought I should), so I stupidly took a pain pill that day, and it made me HUGELY sick. I think it was a combination of the pill, and not really eating very much--I have a hard time actually having meals when I'm on my own--and I felt awful the rest of that day and on into the next. It's only today that I'm feeling good again.

And then this morning Bob took off for California to help open up a new store in Manteca. Tonight he and his friends are hitting Chinatown in San Francisco for dinner, the only night they'll probably be able to get away for a nice evening. So it's just Dinah and me for the next ten days. I'm going to do my best to try to eat well. I went to Target tonight and got stuff to make macaroni and cheese, but by the time I got home, I didn't feel like it, so I microwaved a potato and some green beans.

I got a few other things -- melba toast and cream cheese, some Chex Mix, a couple of frozen gourmet pizzas (chicken caesar and roasted vegetable), chocolate croissants, cheese streusel muffins, some bananas, and a lot of cranberry juice, which is my favorite right now. I'll try to make macaroni and cheese tomorrow night, although I wouldn't count on it. I always have good intentions, but when it comes right down to it, cooking is way down on my priority list.

I could probably have taken off the bandages -- when I called to make a follow-up appointment for next week the nurse said I could take them off in "24 to 48 hours," then put on a smaller dressing, but I think I'll try to leave them on until my appointment on Tuesday. It just makes me feel a little better to have that protection on there a little while longer. I can bend my thumb now without that horrible click! The surgery worked!

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Saturday, October 04, 2008


I picked up Pyewacket's ashes today. I didn't think it would make me cry, but it did, a little. I think it was the "blankie" that did it.

I had laid her to rest in a cardboard box that I'd saved, and before I put her body in there, I put in a piece of fake sheepskin fabric that we'd had up in Bob's office for her. I didn't expect them to give it back, but when the receptionist came back this morning with the box of ashes, she had the fabric, too, washed and folded for me.

The little box was labeled "Pyewacket Cline," and there was a certificate in an envelope from the cemetery/crematorium. We have a pewter urn with Doña's ashes in it, but I couldn't remember how that came about. With the online journal, though, I could look it up! About eleven years ago, I wrote:

Today I went to the post office to pick up a certified letter, then to the animal hospital. I ordered a small pewter urn for Doña's ashes from the pet cemetary. They said if I dropped off the ashes the driver would transfer them into the urn tomorrow when he comes by the hospital, and seal it for me, and then I can pick it up tomorrow or Saturday.

So, I don't know if I'm going to do that this time or not, but I'll think about it. Bob said he doesn't want me to spend the money, but I may do it anyway.

When he got home from work tonight, the box was sitting on the table, and he said "What's that?" And I said, "Pyewacket." He said, "Oh, good! That makes me feel better. She's home."

My friend Liora just sent me a link to her article in Fitness Magazine: Liora's Story: A Year in the Life of a Breast Cancer Survivor. She's wearing earrings I made in two of the pictures!

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Friday, October 03, 2008

Checking in

I went to see the hand specialist a week or so ago, and she said there isn't any other treatment available for my "trigger thumb" since the cortisone injections didn't work, so she's going to do the surgery. I scheduled it for Monday. It was originally going to be in a "surgery center" across the street from the doctor's office, but when the surgical scheduler called me to ask me about my history, when I told her I had a heart murmur, they called me back and told me that they had decided to move it to a real hospital.

Which is fine, of course, and probably a good idea, but lends a bit more gravity to it, I suppose. I had a pre-op appointment on Wednesday morning where I had an EKG, which came out fine, and met with the anesthesiologist, who seemed very nice. He may or may not end up working with me, but he said he's working that day, so who knows.

At least it's later in the day. The surgery was originally going to be at 7:30 a.m., and I was supposed to be there at 6:30. Now it's at 10:10, and I have to be there at 8:10, which is at least a little better. The doctor said she wanted me to take off work a couple of days, and she'd prefer if I could take a whole week, so since I had vacation left, I'm taking the whole week off.

I have at least one conference call scheduled, though -- on Wednesday, I think -- and I'm sure I'm going to end up working at least part of the week from home, but that's okay. As Bob has pointed out, I do have two hands.

I'm not one to get on the cell phone as soon as I get in the car. I always call Bob when I get in the car after work to come home, so he knows I'm safe and on my way, but that's about it. But tonight as I got on the highway traffic came to a halt for some reason, and I used to downtime to get caught up on phone calls.

I called my dad to tell him that they moved my surgery, and to tell him when and where it was, and we talked for awhile. Then I called my sister Lynn to tell her I was having surgery, and got her voice mail, so left a message. Then I called my other sister, Ann, got her voice mail and left a message. Then as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot, Ann called me back, so I sat there awhile and talked to her.

It felt like I was on the phone for far more than I ever am, at least at home (Anna, the office manager/receptionist at work says that I get more phone calls than anyone at work), but it was nice to check in with everyone, even briefly.

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