Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to Reflect.

Shit, it's been a while, hasn't it?

As usual, my life undulates between too boring to blog about or too busy to blog about the craziness. Anyway, I'm kinda glum today and I need to remind myself of all the good things that happened in 2009.

Pie won a trophy in the Pinewood Derby.

Spent Valentine's Day at Urgent Care.

Got my tonsils out, and haven't had Strep since!

Saw the Jonas Brothers 3D movie.

Saw them even CLOSER - 3rd row, baby - AND saw the tour bus!

Went on a Dream Date with Cam Janssen.

Helped out Project Linus.

Killed a colony of Termites.

Had my knitting appear in a national magazine.

Created KICKASS Halloween costumes, yet again.

Attended my 20-year reunion in a smashing green dress.

Perhaps most notably, got a job at Squish.

Well, that didn't help my mood as much as I hoped it would. It seems as though some of the good things that happened this year had a flip side, ya know?

I am feeling BigmotherfuckingTime holiday stress. BIG. For reasons I can't talk about.

Ah, the holidays. What lovely memories. Like the time I bounced a $7 check to a charity just so my kids wouldn't be left out of the class project to send Christmas gifts to an orphanage in Africa. And the two consecutive years that WE were the Adopt A Family family at church. Good times. I hate how Christmas has become synonymous with Financial Stress at my house.

We couldn't afford to do Boy Scouts again this year, which made me feel like a crappy parent, but in the end I got over it. It stressed the shit out of me, and Pie didn't really care if he did it or not.

Killing the colony of termites cost an insane amount of money. Maintaining a termite-free house costs an insane amount of money, but the alternative is that we have more money and more termites.

I have a job, and I like it, but it causes me a great deal of stress at home - getting housework done and juggling appointments and finding rides for my kids to get places has made me wonder if I can emotionally afford to have a job, even though I'm positive I can not financially afford not to have one.

I got my tonsils out, had to remove my badass nipple rings and haven't put them back in so I feel like part of my badassness is missing. And I've gained weight since my surgery. GAINED. You're supposed to LOSE weight after a tonsilectomy.

I was the only person (other than The Grapevine) to have gained weight at our Reunion. I did, however, manage to conveniently forget to pay for our tickets. Suck it, Alumni committee.

Knitting accomplishments were few. The entire year, I purchased a total of 4 skeins of yarn. The rest of my knitting time was spent cranking out crappy garter stitch scarves. I made some money selling them, and the rest became teacher gifts. I've thinned my crappy yarn stash, which felt pretty good.

Oh yeah, and Kevin Jonas got married yesterday.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

It's a cyst, we think.

Even before my Urgent Care visit, I'd spent the last several days calling various medical professionals, trying to max out our Flex Spending by making appointments for myself and my kids before the end of the year, when our health care plan changes. I'm trying to cram as many appointments set up for the same day as I can, so as to minimize the number of days I have to ask off at work.

I am driving myself nuts.

Weeks ago, I scheduled Pie's urologist appointment for this Friday morning, and had emailed my Squish boss last Sunday informing her of my availability for this week, but when I went to get my schedule, I saw that I was still scheduled to work Friday morning.

I figured it would be easier to reschedule the urologist than it would be to find someone else to work for me, and I didn't want to be a bitch and point out the fact that I DID inform the scheduler that I wasn't available to work Friday morning. I'm too new to make a big stink, even if I am in the right.

You should see my calendar. It's covered with scribbles and arrows. I can barely even read it myself. I hope this doesn't present a problem.

It's a darn good thing my ovary conveniently decided to burst on Monday, since that's the only day this week that isn't completely booked. Yesterday I was supposed to have an appointment with my eye doctor regarding my cornea. Remember a couple of summers ago when I had that corneal ulcer? Yeah, I've got more corneal drama. I don't think I'll be able to wear contacts anymore.

Anyway, I was supposed to see my eye doctor at 1:45 Tuesday afternoon, but Tuesday morning Beeb reminded me that she had signed up to go bowling after school, and she said I'd need to drive her from school to West County Lanes. I was afraid I wouldn't be home in time to take her, so I called to see if I could get in any earlier that day, but, alas, the best I could do was Thursday morning at 11:15. I have to work 3-8:30 on Thursday.

As it turned out, she was supposed to ride a bus from school to the bowling alley, so I COULD have kept my appointment, but somehow that wasn't made clear to Beeb or to me. Tuesday evening Beeb had a band concert, which MIL and FIL were planning to attend. The same evening, Pie had an event at his school, so we would have to split the squad. I volunteered to take Pie and Tito to Pie's thing while R and Beeb met MIL and FIL at the concert. Pie's thing was kinda lame, but I was NOT in the mood to hang with the Inlaws.

I knew the evening would be crazy, but I had no idea that the afternoon would be even crazier. No, I did not anticipate that I would be receiving a call from my mortgage company saying that I was thirty days past due. Like hell I'm past due; I made our December payment on November 20th. We're always early, and we always overpay by a little bit. I round up because I can never remember how much we're supposed to pay.

Further investigation uncovered the fact that my mortgage payment had increased two months ago (thanks for letting me know!) and because I had been paying approximately $85 dollars less than the amount due for October and November, they were considered partial payments, and so according to them we haven't paid November or December at all, whereas in reality we were a mere $85 short on each of the last three payments. I'm so pissed.

I mean, it's not like we're deadbeats or anything, I just made an honest mistake, but our credit will be negatively affected. Our October payment was $85 short, then $85 from the November payment went to cover October, so we were $170 short on the next payment, and now we're $255 short, technically, but they're saying I owe for December. So stupid.

I spent the entire afternoon getting to the bottom of this quagmire (giggity giggity!), and it has since been resolved, but mother FUCKER, hearing that I hadn't made the December payment when I know goddammed well I had, and knowing that we can barely afford our monthly payment as it is, just about broke me. Here I am trying to juggle a little part-time job in addition to the other demands on my time and energy, making my best effort to keep my shit together, and clearly, I'm failing. I'm so disappointed in myself. How did I ever think I could handle all of this?

I'm so unbelievably stressed out, I was starting to wonder if my abdominal pain wasn't a stress ulcer. But today I went to my gyno. Here's my annual gyno pic that you all love -

I told her that I'd been to Urgent Care on Monday and that I was reasonably sure I had a cyst or something. She did some poking and decided that I need to get myself in for an Ultrasound next week. I've got it scheduled for next Tuesday, since I was planning to ask off for that day anyway. The kids have a half-day at school on Tuesday, and Pie and Tito and I have been invited to see a movie that afternoon with Pie's buddy John and his mom. I'm not about to go to work after all that.

So I'm going to work in about two hours, working until close, and it's supposed to snow tonight. While I'm out, R and Rip and The Rev are going to be moving the refrigerator that the Aldis are giving us (they bought themselves a new one) to my basement next to the bar, which we also got for free! Soon we'll be able to entertain down there! That'll be good.

But I digress. As I mentioned, I'm working tonight, tomorrow (after the eye doctor), and Friday morning. I'm off Saturday, and then I have to go in for a meeting on Sunday morning at 8. Next week I have the Crazy Tuesday, and on Thursday I'm going back to the ENT who took out my tonsils because I still feel like there's something stuck in my throat.

The following week I'm taking Beeb to get a mole on her neck removed.

The week after that I'm taking the kids to the dentist.

The week after THAT, I'm taking Pie to the urologist.

And I haven't even started stressing about the Holidays.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A blog in three parts, accidentally.

I know I should blog. I know. I feel like I'm neglecting the global fan base who has made me the international superstar I am today. But really, you haven't missed anything.

I dig working at Squish (although so far I've spent more than I've earned), but I'm still feeling kinda like an outsider. I haven't dropped the full-on Pennytude on them, though, so maybe they don't know I'm cool yet. It's a kinda lonely gig, too. It's a small space inside a Macy's store, and when it's not busy we're supposed to stand outside the Squish counter's walls and stop passing foot traffic. That'd be fine with me, except I'm not allowed to whip out my boobs. What fun is that?

Last week was MIL's birthday, R's birthday, and Thanksgiving. Even though we were already planning to go out to Chez Inlaw on Thursday, R said we'd also go out Sunday for MIL's birthday. I would have been pissed about having to go there twice in one week, let alone in one month, but it was all worth it when my BIL, Reverend Aldi, let it slip that they'd have to bring their dog to Thanksgiving. Since the Aldis have to celebrate every holiday with my Inlaws, PLUS Mrs. Aldi's own totally creepy family, Chantal would otherwise be stuck at home all day.

Please tell me you remember what happened the last time the Aldis took their dog out to the Inlaws. It may have been the best day of my life.

Anyway, I was totally giddy all week, imagining a repeat of this past Fourth of July, when Chantal dropped a huge steaming pile of poo right on the immaculate white carpet in FIL's living room. I even thought about sneaking over to the Aldis' house and feeding Chantal some chili when everybody else was asleep.

Y'all know I'm not above it.

Imagine my disappointment when I arrived on Thursday afternoon and both Chantal and The Reverend were absent. The Reverend was sick, supposedly. MIL said he sounded terrible on the phone.

Shit, if WE were supposed to be there and we had a car wreck on our way there, we'd have the ambulance take us to FIL's house even before we went to the ER because otherwise FIL would give us endless grief. It's happened before. He was a real dick to R when I was home sick with the Strep on Mother's Day one year. He didn't believe for a second that I was really sick. I WAS. And it was still more pleasant than going out there for the afternoon.

Wanna hear my theory? I think The Rev faked being sick so they wouldn't have to take a chance on having the dog poop on FIL's floor again. R agrees with me. There's a good chance the dog will come out for Christmas, I think. Fingers crossed!

So, since The Rev and Chantal weren't there, it was an extreeeeemely boring afternoon. Mrs. Aldi and the Aldikids were there, but they only stayed for a little bit before they had to leave for Mrs. Aldi's sister's house, so then it was the five of us Karmas and MIL and FIL.

I've figured out that if we take a kid-friendly movie with us, we can all watch it together. We get credit for staying a couple of hours, we don't have to engage in any conversation with anyone, and it has a definite end, which allows us a graceful exit. Total WIN.


Ok, now we move on to Part Two of this post. Literally as soon as I finished typing "total WIN", I stood up and felt a horrible pain in the lower left part of my abdomen. I sat back down, got on WebMD, and tried to figure out what the problem might be. I didn't have a fever or vomiting or any other weird symptoms, just a hideous stabbing pain that got worse when I went from sitting to standing. I couldn't stand all the way up straight.

WebMD's suggestion was to seek medical attention immediately, so, in gut-wrenching agony, I drove myself to Urgent Care. Actually, I had to wait for Beeb to get home so I could explain to her that Pie's obnoxious friend John was coming over after school because his mom needed to take her other son to a late doctor's appointment and she wouldn't be able to be there when John got home.

Beeb was relatively cool with that, and I called R on the way there to tell him what was going on. He would probably be home before Pie and John got home anyway, so it was going to work out fine. I went to Urgent Care, waited for about 30 minutes, got into a room, had to do the old pee-in-a-cup trick, and yay, I'm not pregnant. If I was, they'd have had to peel me off the fuckin ceiling. Seriously.

Next step, a blood draw. I haaaaaate blood draws. I get all freaked out. I've cried before; recently, even. It's totally embarrassing.

Bloodwork came back fine. Next they wanted a pelvic exam. Ugh.

So, just to recap, I'd already peed in a cup, bled into a tube, and now I was supposed to expose my crotch to someone other those who have been granted prior authorization. It made me think of that classic line from Clerks, "I'm not even supposed to BE here today!!"

Look, I've already got my annual Cooter Rootin' scheduled for Wednesday morning. I'm not aesthetically prepared to spread 'em for a stranger right now. I haven't shaved in a couple of days. I'm wearing panties that say "You Wish" on the butt. Now it's kinda unintentionally comical, obviously, but I wouldn't have worn those on purpose to see my gyno.

Especially if I had known that it would be performed by the same little guy who's done my throat cultures the last five or six times I've been in there with the Strep. Now he gets to swab a much more sensitive part of me.

I decided many years ago that I prefer to see a woman gynocologist. I know different people have different opinions on this very personal choice, but here I was about to flash my crotch for this dude who, up to now, had only seen my diseased tonsils. He only had above-the-neck familiarity, and now I'm granting him access to the Holy of Holies (pun intended). I just felt a little strange about it.

For those of you familiar with the show Seinfeld, Dr. Dennis looks a lot like NBC president Russell Dalrymple, whom George and Jerry stalk in the episode entitled "The Shoes," until they find him in a restaurant. Whereupon Elaine, in a very low-cut dress, walks over to his table to ask if he could help her open her bottle of ketchup. She flirtatiously leans forward and asks,

"Do you have a... Ketchup Secret? Because, if you do have a Ketchup Secret, I'd really, really like to know what it is."

He totally looks like the Ketchup Secret guy.

I hope this helps at least some of you visualize what I was dealing with at this point. He left the room so I could get undressed from the waist down, and a minute or so later I heard him knock on the door to ask if I was ready. I told him sure, I'm all set, come on in.

He re-entered, clad in what looked like a green plastic hazmat lab coat. I didn't know whether to be totally insulted or to burst out laughing. I mean, dude, what is this, a fucking alien autopsy? Am I going to spew florescent toxic oozing zombie fluids all over you? Pretty sure I'm not, but it's best to be prepared, I guess.

I scootched my cootch down to the edge of the table and stuck my heels in the stirrups. And if that information is too graphic for your taste, then you're reading the wrong blog, my friend.

While inserting the speculum, he said, "Ok, now, the key is to just relax." Like I've never had a pelvic before.

No, the key is to keep myself from laughing so I don't accidentally fart at Dr. Ketchup Secret.

Staring into the abyss (while I tried to relax), he stated that he was seeing, and I quote, "a little more discharge than he'd like to see". Well, hell, if I'd known somebody'd be scraping me out today, I probably wouldn't have gotten me some luvin' this morning either. Oops. I don't know what kept me from asking, Well, gee, how much discharge would you LIKE to see?

Thank God my filter was still engaged. This guy would NOT have found it funny in the slightest. Therefore, I'd like to put a simple request out there to any current or potential medical student:

If you're considering a career in the field of Gynecology, please, please, PLEASE get a muthahfuggin sense of humor. I can't possibly stress this enough.

He started poking me from the inside and the outside, and DAMN, it hurt. His diagnosis? Ovarian cyst. He suggested I call my gyno and get in for an ultrasound.


Which brings us to part three of this post. I'll have to post that part tomorrow. It's still too raw to write.

(The experience, NOT my vagina.)