Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Girl Interrupted

So the boy awakened me at 2:00 this morning, to inform me that one of his bandages had come loose (ie. he was picking at it... Yes, at 2:00am because he's nocturnal, and I'm quite sure he couldn't find anything better to bide his time until sleep at last overtakes him, in that last hour or two before his 3 alarm clocks go off for school... And because he's had roughly a mere 1 or 2 hours of sleep, you can imagine how well 3 alarm clocks work... About as well as NO alarm clocks... Because even if he had 30 alarm clocks he still couldn't get out of bed, without me turning into the shrew with the giant veins pulsing at her temples.)

Where was I? Oh yes, Well, actually he awakened his dad because if there's anything my boy has learned over the years it's that Mom likes her beauty sleep... In fact, she NEEDS her beauty sleep... Desperately!!! Since the surgery however, I guess I've slept a little lighter anticipating a cry for help for something like another blown lung. So when the boy came in at 2:00am I jumped... Okay, I rolled out of bed and slogged my way down the hall behind my son who was claiming to be bleeding out of one of the few holes the doctor made in his chest cavity. You'd think I'd be sympathetic... Um, not so much. Need I remind you of the beauty sleep? To my credit, it wasn't like he was 'bleeding out' nor was he 'dripping' blood anywhere, so I went into Bitchy Mom mode.

Bitchy Mom: "What were you doing, picking at it?"

Boy: "NO, I wasn't PICKING at it!"

Bitchy Mom: "Then how did it start bleeding?"

Boy: "It was HURTING MOM!"

Bitchy Mom: "It was hurting BECAUSE you were PICKING at it!"

Boy: "JEEEeeeeZZZzzzzz MOM!"

Mind you this was the conversation to the best of my recollection, seeing as I was half comatose. Fortunately, earlier in the day I came across some bandages during my search for medical supplies as we were preparing for the proper care and maintenance of his major chest hole. So I quickly located a bandage for his newly uncovered hole, yet had to stumble my downstairs (muttering the whole way) to locate the Neosporin we'd used many, many hours before.

Even as I type this, I can't help but feel bad for the kid. It's not like he could've bandaged the hole himself because even for someone who didn't have surgery, it would be difficult to contort the body in such a manor as to try to place a bandage in the area he required one. So I guess I'll have to apologize when I see him this evening... But damn, I sure hope he doesn't spring a leak again tonight!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Thoughts on Hospitals

Hospitals are a dark and swirling vortex, of which time and space very nearly stand still. Seconds become hours, hours become days and days become years... Relatively speaking.

The time it takes to release the patient from the hospital will be directly proportionate to the amount of snow and sleet collecting on the local roads.

There is no volume on the television which is low enough to be conducive for sleep, yet loud enough to drown out the disturbing noises coming from the patient across the hall.

YES, you CAN watch too much Discovery Channel... And why does the show 'Dirty Jobs' ALWAYS air during the dinner hour?

Cash Cab is the stupid man, who lacks transportation, answer to Jeopardy.

NO, a Planet of the Apes retrospective on BRAVO, doesn't make for a pleasant way to pass hospital time.

Why do hospital televisions only receive 6 stations and why does one of them have to be CSPAN?

Always be sure to ask for pain medication at LEAST one hour before you'll be needing it.

It's a good thing the patient can't remember the pain they endured and their moans of distress... Too bad they can't give something to the patients parents to help them forget.

If you aren't given the chance to fill out menu choices for dinner, you'll find brussle sprouts as the vegetable accompanying your mystery meat.

Initially the lunch and dinner menu will include foods such as milk, coffee, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, fruit cocktail, pudding and water-ice... However, once the dietary department realizes they're serving a 17 yr. old boy, dinner consists of nothing more than a hot-dog, a bag of chips and a can of soda.

There is NO easy way to urinate when you have to drag around a 4 ft. tube trailing from your chest.

17 yr. olds, no matter how badly they'd like to bathe, will NEVER submit to a sponge bath.

If the doctor pulls a foot long length of tube from your chest and bodily fluids happen to splash upon your bedding and the floor around your bed, you'd better be damn happy you have a mom with the stomach to clean it up... Because there's no telling how long it would take in 'hospital time' for someone from housecleaning to make it to your room with a mop.

Thanks to all who kept Zak in their thoughts. He's doing really well. He still feels like he got punched really hard on the right side of his chest but hasn't needed anything stronger than an Advil since the day after he got home, even though the hospital supplied him with some really good 'stuff.'

Three days in the hospital has taken every ounce of energy out of us. The house needs a good cleaning but with my current perspective it doesn't really matter all that much.

We knew things were really back to normal yesterday when Zak and his sister got into one of their, oh so common, snipping contests, throwing angry words back and forth at one another... Yes, some things never change.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Not just another day

Today is the day I put my trust in another human being, to perform a surgical procedure on one of the most precious people in my life.

I'm currently trying to make sure my boy doesn't see I'm frightened, by telling him everything is going to be "Just Fine!"

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Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dyslexic Bread Maker

Sometimes, yes, SOMETIMES, I enjoy cooking. Well, I mostly enjoy it when I'm trying out a new recipe. However, I seem to have a major deficiency when it comes to reading a recipe. The deficiency would be, ACTUALLY READING THE RECIPE. I mean, gah! I READ the recipe, I just don't seem to absorb the contents. I guess you could call me the dyslexic chef (just a term of course because no one could ever confuse me with a true CHEF.) Allow me to explain...

Yesterday I had the desire to bake bread, not dessert bread, but real honest to goodness yeast rising bread... WITHOUT THE AID OF A MACHINE! I mean, I HAVE a machine but the last few times I used it (some 4 yrs. ago), the result was a compact oval tube of bread, so dense I wouldn't expect vermin to have to digest it. Not sure what happened to the Bread Machine? Anyway, I digress. Rather than search through cookbooks, I surfed the net and located a bread making site. I was really interested in a simple white bread recipe and it wasn't long before I found one that required everything I happened to have on hand... ie. All-Purpose Flour... because who am I to think far enough ahead to buy Bread Flour? After printing out the recipe I took the time to read through it not once, but twice. It was important to keep in mind all of the times I've taken on a new recipe without first reading it through and essentially committing 7 counts of homicide against each of the ingredients by not carefully paying attention as to how they should be added to the mix.

Once I was certain I understood the instructions and double checked my supply of ingredients, I carefully measured each ingredient into it's own little bowl. I used a tiny dish for the salt, a glass pudding cup for the sugar, a glass measuring cup for the oil. I even cracked the two eggs into a bowl and beat them while I waited for the yeast to get all active in the warm water.

Once the yeast had partied wildly in it's lukewarm bath, I began to assemble what I was sure would turn out to be the best damn loaf of bread ever consumed in the tri-state area. I was careful to keep track of how many cups of flour I was adding. So often, I tend to lose count as my mind wanders to things like measuring, and consistencies, and whether the dog needs to go out. As I stood there with my wooden spoon (I swapped out my industrial strength spatula after reading the directions called for 'stirring with a wooden spoon'... Why? I don't know, but if it says it in the recipe, I was damn well not going to question and just do what I was told.) Like I was saying, I was stirring with my wooden spoon and thinking to myself, "Something's just not right?" It seemed so dry and I'd only added 4 cups worth of flour. That's when I noticed the Pyrex measuring cup off to the side of the counter, containing the oil I had so carefully measured out earlier.... Immediately following this discovery I spent the next 10 minutes talking to myself... OUT LOUD... And NOT very kindly! My only consolation was the rest of the family was not in my immediate vicinity, therefore they weren't witness to their wife/mother beating herself repeatedly on the forehead with a well floured hand.

Now I'm not sure if the late arrival of the oil resulted in the bread being rather gummy and a bit heavy but regardless of the texture it tasted REALLY good! To look at the loaves you'd never know there was a flaw as they rose to a lovely height and baked to a golden brown. I think I want to give this bread making thing another try, but I'm bored with this recipe and think I'd like to try something different. Next time I plan to clear EVERY item from the counter that has no purpose other than as it applies to assembling the recipe. Until then can someone hand me a towel to wipe this flour off my forehead?

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Balloon?

So I received the following email from a friend:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the one's who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it. Friends are like balloons; once you let them go, you can't get them back. So I'm gonna tie you to my heart so I never lose you. Send this to all your friends including me and see how many you get back. Send this balloon to everybody you like. You may also return it to me. If four balloons are returned to you, something you have been waiting for a long time will happen!!!! Believe me...... It really happens! Send a lot of little balloons to your friends!!!

The following is my reply to her email:

"Oh Great! That means you'll have to witness as all my air slowly seeps out, leaving me all pruned up, looking repulsive and taking up much needed space. Eventually, you'll just grab a pair of scissors to cut me loose but instead I'll just fall to the floor in a disgusting flabby heap. That's when you'll take the scissors, cut me open to release what stale air I have left within. Then you'll toss me in the nearest trash bin.

Thanks, but I don't think I want to be a balloon, even though I'm quite sure my life resembles a great deal of the above.

By the way, I wonder what's gonna happen If I forward the email to "everybody I like"... My guess is they'll each send me a balloon bouquet... Ya think?


Friday, January 11, 2008

Behind the Wheel

My son has decided he's ready to learn to drive. Maryland has adopted a pretty strict schedule for a teen to ultimately get a license. Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good idea, it just requires a great deal of organization. There's a log book which needs to be kept up to date, detailing the time, the date, the length and what's been taught during each lesson. If we even remember where the book is, it's a minor miracle.

We were told that it's best he get 'some' instruction behind the wheel before signing up for a driving school course. Me, 'The Mom', somehow became the chosen source from which to drink, of the fathomless pool of driving knowledge, which I possess. So far it's going pretty well (the picture is just a joke folks), but there's one condition I've noticed during the process. That is, the more I concentrate on the things I do while I drive, the more difficult it is for me to actually DRIVE!? For instance, If I'm showing my son how to say, guide the car into a parking space or look over my shoulder and turn the wheel as I'm backing up, I tend to get confused. This is NEVER the case when I'm actually driving as my driving record will attest. And just so you know, I CAN walk and chew gum at the same time... Unless of course, I think about it too much.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Evolution of the 'Perfect' Christmas Gift

When I was 5, the perfect Christmas gift was a puzzle.

When I was 10, the perfect Christmas gift was a baby doll.

When I was 15, the perfect Christmas gift was clothes.

When I was 20, the perfect Christmas gift was jewelry.

When I was 30, the perfect Christmas gift was decor for the house.

Now I'm in my 40's and the perfect gift THIS Christmas, was a set of non-stick,insulated baking sheets.

Ages 5 through 40 are SO disappointed.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Is This Thing On?

Friends and Family have flattered me with compliments on my photography skills. When I tell them I'm not really all that good at it, that I really owe it all to a good camera, set on AUTO... I'm told I'm just being modest.

Well folks, here's proof that I don't really know what the hell I'm doing... And if every once in a while I end up with a nice shot, it really is all about the camera... Not the dolt behind it.

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