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Monday, January 29, 2007

TGIM (or Thank Goodness It's Monday!)

One of the things about being on call all weekend and having to go out is the days just roll into one another. I had an admission yesterday that took forever since I have to cover both offices. The driving took longer than the actual visit did! The upside was I've never been there before so I was doing quite a bit of sightseeing, I just love new places. Around here you have to be careful as the roads can suddenly get very twisty or narrow so you really do have to keep your eyes on the road. I'm feeling better but just can't shake this cold, it's one of those nasty things that just hangs on and on. It doesn't help that Pearl is fascinated by any coughing or blowing your nose and EVERYTIME has to come do a spot inspection which is bowling you over and snorting all over your face. VERY ATTRACTIVE. She and Charger are both enjoying the snow and racing around the yard fetching sticks and so forth. We got about an inch last night and are expecting more this afternoon as per The Crack Weather Team who's new defense is predicting "a chance of snow" or "intermittent snow showers" which means they actually get to be right once in awhile. They actually have a commercial they like to run in which they infer that thier weather reporting saves lives which I find hilarious - I have no idea where they come up with this stuff.  They haven't delayed school yet, Jackson will be disappointed. Too bad he doesn't go to school in Preston County - they cancel school in November pretty much until spring.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

DAY 1049: I Am Still Sick.

I was relieved to see they'd plowed the road after our last snow, But our driveway IS the end of the road which would be where they deposited the large pile of snow. I called David from the car (whatever did we do before cell phones?)and asked him to bring the truck down. He said maybe I should try to drive over it - I told him he could either bring the truck down or the shovel for when I got stuck so he opted for the truck. I'm still on antibiotics and reeking of O-de - Vicks Vaporub at all times (which is not as Hot and Sexy as say, reeking of Axe as the teenage portion of our family does most days, but it works for me) but I'm finally beginning to feel better. I can't remember the last time I was this sick, usually for me it's a 14 hour affair at the most. The coughing and congestion have been the worst - that antibiotic must be working though as I haven't coughed up anything that would scare even the cat since yesterday. Speaking of cats, Mr. Lee is doing great - the swelling is way down and she gets the stitches out next week. I took Pearl out this morning and the temps are on the rise already, this would mean our yard will be a giant mudbath by 2 or so. On the other hand, it's already January 27th isn't it? I'm on call this weekend and have two admissions and two visits lined up which stinks but I'll be mailordering some boffo new yarn to make me feel better. I start my new position on Monday and we've convinced the other nurse to stay. When I was talking to her I offered her a toaster oven along with the changes the boss will make for her - I think offering small appliances helps sweeten the pot - so she's decided to give it another shot and Susan is buying her a coffee pot as she said she could use one of those more than a toaster oven. I'm so glad she's staying, we like her a lot and she is fun to work with.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

DAY 597: I am still sick.

I finally broke and went to the doctor's - I'm on antibiotics and have been officially diagnosed as Bronchitis You Poor Thing. This of course doesn't get me out of work, I just keep trudging along and am  keeping away from any of my respiratory compromised patients.  When I got up this morning there was an email from someone I hadn't heard from in a long time - and when I had it was not pleasant. My Uncle's wife wrote me an incredibly mean and hurtful missive a couple of years ago and excluded me from her daughter's wedding - to this day I don't know why. When I called her house she refused to come to the phone or return my calls, like most cowards it's easier to send  poison pen letters than a real confrontation. Needless to say I've had no contact with any of them and over time have come to the conclusion it is definately for the better. And there she was this morning, on my computer - I did start to hit "read" and then stopped. After all, the last time had been pretty bad and it took me a long time to get over it. That would be when I realized - I don't care anymore. I really don't care if she's sorry, if she needs to tell me anymore awful things, if she wants to continue this one sided fight or end it, I just don't care. I don't even want to know why she said all those hurtful things or what I supposedly did - it simply doesn't matter because SHE doesn't matter.So I hit "report spam", deleted it entirely off my computer without opening it and reblocked her address, hopefully slamming shut that cyber gate for good.  Sometimes there's more freedom in letting go than hanging on. Of course that would be the same advice I'd give her when I push her off that bridge............

Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter Has Arrived.

We got our first real snow yesterday, all of the sudden it was everywhere you looked! We had planned on going into town, which we did but it was not the smartest of decisions we've made this week. The roads were slippery, but by the time we found a place to turn around we were almost there so continued on, never getting above 30 mph. The worst was when  we got back to our road - which is pretty steep. David got about half way up when the truck started sliding backwards, I can't tell you how scary that was - he hit the gas and we barely made it - and I do mean barely. You could smell the tires they were so hot and he told us when we got back to the house he'd had the pedal to the floor the entire time. Needless to say we spent the rest of the day indoors. I'm still sick this morning but it's managable - I can't take anymore cold medication though since I hit my threshold last night of Side Effects. I have yet to find a medication that doesn't give me tachycardia or insomnia. Mr. Lee is feeling better, the swelling is down and she's starting to look more like herself. David threw that collar out, she managed to wiggle out of it halfway home despite still being under the effects of anesthesia and has flatly refused to put it back on. I told her that since we'd paid $12 for it according to the bill she should at least wear it for a little while but she let us know we were the idiots that paid for it, not her and we could wear it if we wanted to get our money's worth. It's rather annoying that someone who weighs 7 lbs can always win the arguement. I'm off to work this morning, Jackson has a two hour delay which usually turns into a cancellation so he's still in bed, the weasel.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Day Two: Still Sick

And to add to the fun, I'm now running a low grade temp AND ache all over. I had half a day yesterday, I was mulling over calling in again but figured I could tough it out for 3 visits - they try to give me easy ones since they know I have to drive to get there. All I can say is it was a very long half a day and as soon as I got home, I was back in my bed. I've decided to take that job I've been offered - I did think it over for a couple of days since this will end my half days FOREVER. No more home at noon for the day putzing around with my canine companions. That was a pretty big consideration believe it or not, it is tons of fun shopping when everyone is at work. Well, I'm back to bed. Achoo!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Eek! I'm Sick!

And not only am I sick, but I was so sick I CALLED IN SICK! This is the first sick day I've taken in I don't know how long and it's first since I've worked at Interim. Well, I did take 3 hours of sick time a couple of months ago, but that was to take Charger to the vet's(have you noticed my boss is a bit flexible with me??). I woke up last night with a throat so sore I couldn't swollow and a monster of a headache - Jackson has been spewing microbes all week despite my staying as far away as I could without looking like The Bad Mom Of The Year. I got up around 4 am and found some cold medicine that didn't expire in the past decade but all that did was make my heart race and make me all thirsty. So I called in. Then I called in again around 9 am to arrange what I needed done and sent David into the office with some papers. I stayed in bed until almost 1 pm - Pearl is NOT a good healthcare worker as her efforts to make me feel better were actually a thinly disguised plot to make me get up so she could go out and chase sticks. And really, someone standing on your neck and sniffing deeply into your ears is not a fun thing when you aren't feeling well. Poor Mr. Lee also was also not feeling well today, she's had a cyst growing over one eye that's been getting progressively bigger - we'd been hesitant to have it removed due to her age and she's not exactly neurologically intact but it had gotten too big. So she's got a big shaved spot and above her eye is all stitches but it looks better than that grape looking thing. I'm working a half day tomorrow in Bridgeport but the half days are about to come to an end. I've been offered a promotion!! I'm going to be the visit case manager - I'll be doing visits half of the time and the other half I'll be in the office managing the paperwork, etc. Right now we're still shuffling and hiring so I'm sure I'll still be doing more visits than managing for awhile but that suits me fine as it gives me time to figure out what  I'm doing. I thought I would be making twice my salary but then David reminded me the government would still want thier cut, etc.. but I will be making a couple of hundred dollars more a week so I'm not complaining - Yarn Money!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It's A Dreary Day In The Neighborhood

It's been raining pretty much since Adam left, nothing heavy - but constant. The yard squishes when I walk due to the Clay Stuff, I'm very careful to keep my balance as falling in that nasty stuff is WAY disgusting. It's all slick and slidy and impossible to get off. I had another job to do today, I hate admitting on the weekend as if there's a problem you're on your own - I had the wrong phone number, an address with no house number and the facility he'd been released from had the same info that I did. And of course no one was around for the weekend. I did track him down and got to see him today, but I hate having to waste half a day (when I could be knitting or something). Pearl has been driving us crazy, with it raining we haven't been walking this weekend and you can only stay out for so long so she's been amusing herself by following everyone, harassing the cats and just being a General Pest. The rain is supposed to continue until midweek and then the temp will drop dramatically which will interesting. We went to Sam's Club today to restock, we're trying to cut down on trips to the supermarket as it seems lately we're there everyday. As you can see, not much going on. Sigh

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Call Rotation

Yesterday was my first day back to work after vacation, this of course excludes the hour of phone calls on Thursday tracking down the medications and getting (and arguing) the amount of authorization I would need for my infusion. One of the things I've started doing for my job is getting auth which means when you do a visit, you need permission from the insurance company to do it. Their goal is to give you as little as possible - so it's sort of like flea market haggling but over the phone. If you're not careful you can lose a lot of money - for example they're always trying to give me 2 hours of auth for a 2 hour infusion, but I have to get 3 hours since there is an IV to start, etc so we haggle away. It's actually sort of fun in weird way if you have time for it. Anyhoo, I managed to get a walk in yesterday before making a Guest Star Appearance at work, yesterday was technically a "half day" but there were two infusions out in PA so I sucked it up. I came into work to see about 100 emails, sigh - but most were not directed at me - unsigh. I saw the nurse that quit, not so bad as she'll still be doing per diem for us. We hashed out the scheduling for next week, I finished up the paperwork I needed, and was out the door by 9:20 only to be back in the door by 9:25 as I had left the new patient's paperwork up on my desk. I've got two jobs to do this weekend so far but it's raining and after being on vacation for two weeks I sort of done with sitting around and stuff. It's supposed to rain all weekend, so there'll be time for that. David has been working on the house this past week, he took time off when Adam came home so he's busy finishing up some projects that he'd started in the fall. We've pretty much decided when Jackson graduates we'll put the house on the market, it's really way too big for the three of us and the 6 acres of yard have become nightmarish in the summer for David. David's on the fence about selling the two acres down front so the real estate agent is coming over on Thursday to reassess and advise him. After that we'll be looking for a much smaller house and a VERY SMALL YARD as per the person who has to do the mowing.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Reality Is Rearing It's Ugly Head Again

I had an awful time sleeping this morning, the 2 AM Girl decided to get an early start so I found myself around 1 AM repeating over and over none of this is real, I would deal with it in the morning, etc..and then of course I fell asleep just in time to get up. Sigh. Nothing tramatic really, little problems and issues blown way out  of proportion, stupid things becoming Epic Adventures In Neurosis. It's amazing how when morning rolls by I'm surprised that I even thought of these things, let alone stewed and fretted. The temps have dropped dramtically, it was only 20 this morning, I took my walk down by the river sans Pearl the Destroyer. She is improving, but with me being short of sleep I knew my temper would also be a bit short so she stayed home. I didn't want to lose any progress we've made because the OWNER couldn't behave! Adam emailed me this morning that he's back in Japan, the trip was uneventful and went smoothly so that relieved a bit of stress. While I was getting ready to walk I got a voice mail from work, my patient is fine with me coming at 10 am tomorrow morning, but did I know where his medication was..... so I got home and called the company that supplies him and got that straightened out. I've just been doing things today, got my oil changed, pictures made up, all in anticipation of going back to work tomorrow. This is the time I most desparately want to win the lottery, so I can perch on the end of the couch knitting and watching CSI Miami until my eyes fall out. Oh well, I guess I'd better get my car loaded back up........

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Adam's flight left at 6 am this morning which would have been convenient if a) we resided in Pittsburgh and b) we could've dropped him off at 5:55 - neither of these things were true. So we got up at 1:45 am Jackson included, I badgered everyone through showers and coffee and we were on the road at 3 am. Good thing as not only had the temp dropped but it was snowing alot in Morgantown, we started to worry but as we neared the airport it cleared completely. We made good time, I waited with Adam until he got checked in and hugged him goodbye. I watched him walk towards the boarding area - new regulations don't allow us to go with him, he got further and further away, smaller and smaller. It's so odd that he's been out of the house for 5 years and it still doesn't get any easier. The urge to run after him, just one more day before he goes so far away from us again. And of course I cried, but I'm getting better, I made it out to the truck - I hate to cry in front of him as it makes him feels bad and guilty - and he shouldn't. Your children leave home for two reasons -either they hate you and can't wait to get away, or you've given them enough confidence to be able to explore the world and know you'll always be there to catch them if they need it. Adam has assured us it's the latter. I know he would've liked it to be longer, it's so easy to fall back into your family rhythm, isn't it? But we knew he couldn't stay and I think after awhile, he wouldn't have wanted to - but how easy it is to deeply wish that things stay the same forever? In a couple of weeks things will be back to normal, I know part of this is because he just left and honestly, we're all over tired. Jackson lucked out because today became a snow day for him so he'll be off to Becky's for the afternoon - but he'll come back. I miss Adam so much all over again.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Back Home

On Sunday we managed to get ourselves together and out the door to Philly before noon. We went to the Mutter's Museum,it's all full of medical "curiosities" which is a lovely way of saying you can see every type of lesion, deformity or absolute disgust-o thing a body can grow in one place. There were wax replicas done in minute detail (did you know people can grow horn-like protusions and there was an 82 year old woman that had an 8" horn sticking out of her forehead?) or better yet - the real deal stuffed in a jar! Whoo hoo, giant skeletons, siamese twins or my favorite, the "megla - colon" which is probably more fun to look at than to own. I was finally retrieved by Jackson because apparently some people can only look at that stuff so much. We decided to split up which lasted for half an hour until we got a frantic call from Adam - remember he lost his ATM card the other day for awhile? Well, he went to take out money and found he was negative $204 and he'd had over $900 the day before. If I didn't know him better I would've panicked but I had him call the bank - the airline had delayed posting thier charge for the ticket and Mr. Moneybags never questioned the excess moola. Hmm. So I gave him some cash and he ran off again, since he was now a House Monkey with Money. We went to Johnny Rocket's for lunch and then walked around a bit. As we strolled along coming toward us was a young woman and a vizsla! Even more hilarious was the dog's name was also Jackson so of course I had to get a picture before we headed back to Janet and Di's. We left early this morning, Janet and Di had to go to work so we were on the road by 7:30, the traffic was light and we got home a little after 12. Adam said this has been a great vacation, better than he even thought it would be. Pearl was very excited to see us all back and gave us the standard Flying Greetings.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

What A Beautiful Day

This is totally weird without pictures, isn't it? I think when I get home I can add them in so you'll all have to patient. I went walking yesterday morning, I have to admit it's a bit harder to do any signifcant walking here, there are no sidewalks or shoulders on the road so you really have to step carefully. I walked a bit down route 30 to the next housing development and did some tramping about there - all the new developments have sidewalks. When I got back I went to move my car to the parking lot - and it wouldn't start! One of the kids I suspect had left the interior light on and killed my battery so it wasn't too tramatic, but you know when you're not home it's always a bit more stressful especially since we have a 300 mile trek to do tomorrow. I've got AAA and Janet suggested we call when we get home since we were eating in. Adam had fun the other night out in Westchester, he found a live punk rock band playing, he said they weren't that good but he hung out with them after thier set and discussed all the bands they knew. Janet and Di picked him up around 3am and we didn't really get moving until 11 - everyone was slugging along. We didn't do too much, Janet took us to Barnes and Nobles, we had lunch at this great place called Appetizers On The Main and then to Lacaster to Reading Glass and China - I was VERY disappointed. I loved that store, you could get all sorts of housewares and glasses, etc at a fairly reasonable price, but Diane said they have new owners. All the prices were the same as Chef's Catalog which is the most expensive one you can order from, so I only got a few little dodads here and there. I figured there was no sense in carting all that stuff home if I could get it for less in WV. I called AAA wjhen we got home and they came pretty fast and got my car started. We had dinner in last night and watched movies, everyone is just getting up now. I poked my head out the door, the weather is still wonderful and I did start my car to check - when I get home I'm getting a new battery otherwise I'll be paranoid all the time.

Friday, January 5, 2007

You'll Have To Use Your Imagination

Since I'm a GUEST (haha that's right, someone does like me enough to let me in thier house) there will be no pictures so you'll just have to imagine the luxury and grandour of Pennsylvania which is only slightly swankier than WV.We made very good time yesterday, we sprung Jackson from the institution around 1-ish faking an appointment (well, we actually used the old "don't ask don't tell policy"), horsed down some Burger King and hit the road. Jackson drove for the first 140 miles, he can only go between 75 and 80 as he's on a permit which makes him the occasional Pouty Driver. I took over after the Cumberland Gap and we blew the amish skirts  up as we rolled into town around 5:30 or so.  There was a fake amish horse and wagon at the gas station and Jackson refused to let me take his picture in it, since he's still loaded from Christmas and his birthday he's not bribe-able for awhile. We did the King of Prussia mall today, the boys went off by themselves and we did Eddie Bauers, Bath and Body,etc.. Right before we left there was a flurry of panic as Adam had lost his ATM card which sucked ALOT as his bank is in Virginia and his mailing address is in Japan. We backtracked - no luck and then stopped at customer serivce to see what he should do. One phone call and we were down the hall to the security office, someone had found it and turned it in right away. That ratfink Adam is the luckiest person I know. So right now we're hanging out and the boys are playing video games, it's been raining all day but we don't care, it's fun just being here.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

We're off to Pennsylvania today!

We'll be leaving for Pa today around 1 pm, I'm taking Jackson out of school just a little early so we can get there around dinner time. Both of them are very happy to be visiting Aunt Janet and Aunt Diane. The picture is my latest project, it's a Princess hat and all I have to do (aside from finish drying it) is add the pink scarf and it's done. It's for one of my pediatric patients who enjoys greeting me on occasion dressed as a princess to have her blood drawn - she has a permenent access so the only thing that concerns her is we don't get blood on the dress. So I thought knitting and felting a princess hat for her would be appropriate. We picked Adam up at the hotel yesterday, a bit worse for wear but he had a very good time. This is a college town after all and most of the population is his age so he found some people to hang around with. Yesterday he spent the remainder of the day just lolling about, eating all of my food and reading comic books. Pearl and I will probably go for another walk today if I have time before we go, she did wonderful yesterday. I've been writing to a trainer in Maine (she has a website) and she made a few suggestions which we've been following. Pearl now wears a head collar instead of a choker for now - it pulls her mouth shut if she starts lunging at people and doesn't hurt her and the other thing we've been doing is she gets a treat when someone walks by. I didn't get it at first, why would I reward her for misbehaving? But the trainer said I should look at it from her viewpoint, everytime someone walks by I tighten the leash, I speak harshly to her ("Don't you jump) and I get upset, so in her world there must be something dangerous. So now we're using positive reinforcement and guess what - it's working!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

He Has Escaped Us

Yesterday Adam had me walk him around town so he could see where all the hot spots were. Then he asked me to drop him off in town around 5:30 which I did - and THEN he called to let us know he'd rented a hotel room so we wouldn't have to pick him up. He saw nothing wrong with this, his father on the other hand was not happy. I pointed out to David that thousands of college students land here and go out all night and do not wake up dead in a ditch. David responded by not really sleeping last night and lettingme know if anything happened it was on my head since I'd led him astray by taking him into to town in the first place. The bar Adam had his eye on was a typical bohemian style bar with an art show at 6 pm (I'm guessing poetry) and a live band starting at 7. It didn't look particulary dangerous nor sleezy, actually if I was Adam's age I probably would've gone too. Adam has David's phone and will call later not to mention I know where he's staying so it's not a big deal. The really funny thing is we know he's been travelling the world these past few years - he's gone out drinking in Thailand, India, Africa, China and I'm sure those places are bit more dangerous than West Virginia, but I guess the difference is we can't see him and as they say, ignorance is bliss. Adam was wondering why we act this way, after all he's been out of the house since high school and he's 23, but I did explain to him that no matter how old he gets, he'll always be 15 for me.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

It Feels Like Monday

Yesterday we spent just doing stuff - that's the only hard part about Adam's trip home here, we don't have too many friends and no relatives in this area - and we certainly don't know anyone his age. So it is up to us to be the Entertainment Committee. So we took off for Cooper's Rock, I thought the main part might still be open to hikers as we'd read in the paper they had to rescue from one of the trails but it was closed. Only one path was open so we went down there a bit but it was no where near the overlook so we turned back. We headed off to Michael's (I had a coupon!) and then out to an early dinner at Ruby Tuesday which was very good and the service was better. One of the things we've noticed in the past few years is the wait persons new thing is to get the check on the table before you're barely finished with your meal, I've even had some get annoyed because we'll decide to have dessert and then they have to add it up again. But really, how am I supposed to decide if I'll be having dessert when I haven't even gotten halfway through with my meal? This waitress waited until we were really done before presenting us with the check and I have to admit it did make a difference. David made a fire when we got home and we had wine and cheese for the evening. Adam went to lay down for a little while and woke up after midnight - I think the jet lag finally caught up with him. Jackson is back to school today, I have to get him up in a minute which I'm sure he'll be thrilled about!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year Of Course!

Pearl and I will be hoofing it down on the river this morning, I have been eating way too much and last night was not very comfortable, an assortment of things were having a disagreement with me. My resolution is to cut that out. But we've been having so much fun! Adam arrived without much drama and ontime and they were here by midnight. Yesterday we did some shopping, I bought Adam a boatload of junk food that he hasn't seen for awhile. We had breakfast in, David made french toast, then out to shop. In the afternoon everyone was out for the count, no one is used to late nights around here anymore. We went out to Garfield's for dinner and then saw the movie "Night at the museum" which was pretty good. Adam has been trying to figure a way out to the bars I think, the big problem is he doesn't drive and I'm not sure about the taxi cab situation but I don't think it's a major concern. He's more mature of course, he seems to be enjoying the navy once again and thinks he should be up for shore duty  by summer. I wish he could live here of course but if he's doing well and happy I think that's enough. He's been regaling us with stories - he and Ray go back and forth as Ray was in the army. I guess today will be fairly quiet, Happy New Year everyone!