Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Step in the right direction

Today was the day for my annual ob-gyn appointment, and I did what I've done for a couple of years -- I took the whole day off. I arranged the gynecologist visit for the morning, and a made an appointment for a mammogram a couple of hours later. I figure if I do both of those things in one day, I deserve to take the rest of the day off!

Neither of them were really bad at all. I really love my doctor, he's very cool. Serious, but with a dry sense of humor. I could heap praise on him, but bottom line, I just like him. He complimented me on my toenail polish, and when he started the exam, he said, "Okay, now go to your happy place."

I asked him, as I always do, if he thought I should go off HRT, and he said no, and explained about some recent studies that show that women who stay on estrogen treatment through their fifties are healthier. I told him I was perfectly fine with that, but that I always like to check, and get facts so I can tell my mother when she calls with something that she's read in the newspaper. He said, well, they only print bad news, and if there's good news about something like that, they bury it because it isn't sensational.

I mentioned in passing that I had hurt my back a week ago, and that I should probably see someone about it; he said, "You know what they're going to tell you, don't you?" and I said, "Lose weight?" and he waved his arm, like no, no, and said, no, we could all stand to lose weight, but what they would tell you is, take 800 milligrams of Advil three times a day for a week and see if it stops hurting.

And he said, "There. I just saved you another doctor visit." He said that 800 milligrams (4 tablets) is the prescription dose -- it would never have occurred to me to take that many. But I'm going to try it.

The mammogram wasn't bad at all, really. It didn't seem as painful as it usually does, but maybe that was because I'd taken a couple of Advil for the back pain. The technicians are always extra nice (Bob says it's because they're all women and they have breasts, too, so they know what it's like).

I got everything done by about 12:30, so I took myself to lunch at Chipotle. I took my Morning Pages journal -- I had totally spaced doing them this morning. I had thought of them while I was still in bed, but had forgotten by the time I got up. So I wrote after I ate, sitting in the restaurant. It's all stream-of-consciousness, but I was thinking about the "if you could live other lives, what would they be" assignment, and I kept coming back to jewelry designer.

And it hit me -- I'd been thinking about taking a class in precious metal clay, but just didn't really feel like I should spend the money, or that I could count on getting away from work in time to make a class or even taking another day off in order to do it.

But something the doctor had said had stuck with me. It's nothing new, but something I tend to push away, I guess. He said, "Are you having any fun?" And I said, well, no, not really. I'm working a lot. And he said, it's like that Billy Ray Cyrus song, nobody's going to put on your tombstone that you worked a lot. Yeah.

And Bob had suggested I go to the bead store this afternoon; he'd picked up a postcard on the dining room table that had come from the store, with a 20% discount. So that's what I did. I went to the bead store, looked around and bought a few dollars worth of stones from the grab bag table, and signed up for a Lilly Ollo class.

It's sort of the Avon or Pampered Chef of jewelry design, I guess, but I thought it would be a good introduction to precious metal clay. Precious metal clay (PMC) is clay that is impregnated with sterling silver or gold. You manipulate it like you would regular polymer clay, then when it's fired in a kiln, the clay burns away and the silver is left. It's really fascinating to me, and I've been longing to try it.

The other thing, besides the cost (which turned out to be $44), is that I don't have a kiln, and you can't fire it in the oven like you can regular polymer clay. But I can't continue to let things like that stop me from at least checking things out. If I love it beyond all reason, I'm sure I could figure out how to buy a kiln (this is a small kiln, not a huge one like for firing pottery, of course). I don't even know how much something like that would be. But one step at a time. I don't even know if I'll like it. (I think I'll love it.)

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