Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I warned the nurses that I might start telling dirty jokes.  They encouraged me, so I rattled off some of my best one while I was being prepped for surgery.  The doc carefully clippered just a small patch of hair so I could comb more hair forward and cover the wound.  Then they gave me the sleepy drugs and evidently I stopped in mid-joke because they had to remind me where I was as I came out.  Couldn't leave without the punch line.

The really neat thing is that they glued me back together.  I could wash my face and hair right away.  No going back to get stitches removed.  And once the iodine was washed off, I don't look all that bad at all.  Now we wait for results.  May this be the worst I have to deal with.

Kyle came to pick me up and brought a box of ripe figs to break my fast.  He is SO good to me!  The drugs tend to constipate me so this was a perfect solution.  I do love that man!  He thinks of everything. What a sweet, succulent, delicious multi-purpose treat!

I have put on three pounds in the past four days.  Prednisone is fattening.  But we are going to the State Fair today,  so I will get in lots of steps, and that will help.  I do love the fair.  I'll take pictures!

Friday, August 30, 2013

And next, we get this little biopsy

The ultrasound tests, though neat, were inconclusive (which is a good thing in a way because if the problem were obvious in ultrasound, it would be a big fricking well established, serious problem, and it's not) so they want me to go in to day for a temporal artery biopsy.  No solid food after  4 AM, only clear liquids after that until 11 and then nothing at all till they release me about five.  Part of me is in full-blown panic (I'll get HUNGRY!) but then my sane mind takes over and says, "You often go thirteen hours between meals.  Dinner to breakfast?"  Oh, yeah.

Anyhow, when Kyle got up at 3 to go to work, I got up with him and had three scrambled eggs with cheese, and a cup of hot milk with honey in it.  Then I went back to bed, feeling that I had put one over on them all.

Because it's surgery on the head, they are going to sedate me. Don't want me freaking out when things start squirting.  I'm told it will probably be up near the hairline - another scar on my noble brow.

I'm supposed to bring ID, credit card, medical card, and glasses.  I'm going to bring a hot-waterbottle as well.  Recovery is always cold as a meat-locker.  They are kind enough to give you a pre-heated blanket when they bring you in, but it cools down pretty fast.

Anyhow, this will tell them how serious the inflammation is, and give us a guess on how long I'll need to take anti-inflammatories.  Thank God for modern medicine.  30 years ago, I would have just gone blind.  And then probably had a stroke and died.  Now, I get to bore you with the details of all future medical processes as well.  Rejoice!

I was out for a walk in my neighborhood the other day.  There is a blackberry vine trailing over a fence and the berries have been picked about six feet up.  I can reach about 7 and a half feet if I stretch, and the berries up there were huge, juicy and so, so sweet!.  It's good to be the tallest kid in the neighborhood.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Temporal Arteritis - sounds like a time-travel thing.

Turns out that the vision problem is caused by temporal arteritis, and inflammation of the arteries that cross the temples on the way to the eyes.  No one knows for sure what causes it, but it might be linked to serious infection or high dosages of antibiotics.  I spent a lot of yesterday doing medical stuff.  I have been prescribed IV Prednisone for three days, so I went to the nurse treatment center to get a pic line installed.  I was freezing cold, and the poor nurses took turns hot packing my arms and trying to find a vein, but I wound up with the line in the back of my right hand.  I gotta give the nurses kudos, though.  They were all so kind and gentle.  And they didn't bruise me, which is more than I can say for the lab tech on Tuesday who bruised the hell out of my elbow vein!

And I had an ultrasound done on the temporal arteries which was kind of cool.  The nice young man kept his gel on top of the computer, so it was good and warm.  Then he steered the wand over the side of my head with his right hand while he used his left hand to control the computer, getting pictures in focus and labeling them as he went.  The right hand work involved tracing the artery, not pressing too hard but still hard enough to get it all in the picture.  Very exacting stuff - almost an art.  And he was such a kind, polite young fellow.  He even gave me a towel to wipe the gell off my face.

All the staff at Kaiser have been unfailingly kind and polite.  Bless their dear, dear hearts!!

So, more Prednisone today, and tomorrow, then oral doses for a month.  Tomorrow, they should have the results of the ultrasound all tabulated.  Hope I don't need to go in for a biopsy.  And after that . . . we'll see how it goes.

I posted on Facebook asking about Prednisone.  People are wonderful.  I got a well-balanced, thorough view of the drug.  Thank you so much all my friends!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The letter M

My nephew, facing fifty, bought a red Corvette.  I call it the Male Menopause Mobile.
 A Mouth that always says kind things.  My niece's husband Drew.
A Mob doing a sit-in protest in the Middle of the street.

I had also some melons and some mums, but they might have been Dahlias, and since it's the season, melons are too easy.

I should have taken pictures of all the Medics I have been seeing lately - I especially wish I had a picture of the gal who bruised me while drawing blood yesterday.  I want to avoid her.

N lends itself to so many puns.  The Nd of  life as we know it, N-formed consent, N-powering our children.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting older sucks, but I'm willing to stick with it a while longer

On Sunday, I woke up from a nap with this odd visual distortion in my right eye.  If my field of vision were a clock, the area from 1 thru 4 was all blurry.  When I closed my eye, I could see a white wedge there.  It didn't go away overnight, so the next day I called the advice nurse.  She got me in to see the eye doctor (who is a sweetie pie and a beautiful young woman) and after I had drops put in my eyes to numb them, and then to dilate them, she shined terribly bright lights into my eyes and looked at things with magnifying lenses.  It's perfectly painless, but it still took a lot of grown-up self control to sit there and cooperate when I wanted to roll into a ball like a pill bug and bury my eyes in the crook of my elbow.

It turns out that there has been a blockage of one of the veins into my eye.  So we want to know why.  The good doctor sent me down the hall to have the inside of my eyes photographed, then they injected fluorine dye into my arm and took pictures of it as it showed up in my eye.  Again, lots of bright lights. Really, I had enough of this during my hippie days.  The nurse told me that some of her older patients have remarked that they had to pay good money back in the 60s to get the same results.

And I do hate needles in my elbow.  I started hyperventilating, trying to keep myself calm.  But we got through it.  The nurse warned me that my face might turn orange, and my urine would definitely change color.  She said that two of the old gents who she dealt with were going to go out in the freshly fallen snow and write their names to compare colors.  Evidently the color can go from dark tea to bright yellow to fuchsia.  I got bright yellow.

Anyhow, I am practicing seeing around the fuzzy wedge, and today I am ready to read all the paperwork  sent home with me.  Last night I just went home and let Kyle be my rock.  Now, it's time to pull out another pair of those big-girl panties and get back to dealing with stuff.

Tomorrow I will produce the later M.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The letter L

 Kyle helped me with this alphablog.  This is a picture of a Lathe he uses at work
 Leave on my fig tree.
Lichen on tree bark
 A Lamp made out of a Limb
 Very useful on motorcycles I understand.  It sounds painful to me, but bikers laugh at pain.
Lips.  Ya know, there's a lot to be said for seeing oneself in soft focus and at a distance.  I may even paint a little glaze over the mirror to fog it up more.  In my mind's eye, there are no wrinkles or enlarged pores, and my lips are perfectly symmetrical.  What a lot of character my lips have!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Cancer fears the walker and exercise keeps the mind sharp.  So I have committed to getting at least four thousand steps a day this week.  I know ten thousand steps daily is the optimum, but I like to shoot for attainable goals.  To my dismay, it takes more than a moderately active day around the house to achieve four thousand.  It involves lifting my hams out of the hammock and actually Going For A  Walk.  And sweating.  Still, I suppose it's worth it, so I'd better pull on my big girl panties and step out.

Unfortunately, I'm running low on big girl panties.  See, you can get attractive panties, or you can get big panties, but rarely will the twain ever conjoin.  Victoria's Secret has scads of adorable little panties that would fit someone with a butt like two goose eggs in a napkin. Any color or combination of colors, with ribbons, lace, cute prints, even sparkles.  In bikini, high-rise, low-rise, thong, boy-shorts, and whatever the latest whim of fashion might be.

 As size goes up, though, the attractive factor goes down.  If your fundament is the size of  small pumpkin, you can choose microfiber or cotton knit in blue, pink, nude or black.  And the style selection is thong, or boy-shorts.  I like bikini.

If you have a backside that fits snugly into the average airplane seat, there's always the department stores and the nylon granny panties that resemble boxer shorts without the fly.  You can be covered up to the waist and half way to the knee in white nylon knit that will yellow in no time at all and will, on a dry day, create a static charge sufficient to ignite ether.

Or you can get lucky and find an occasional on-line resource for X-large white cotton knit panties that you can then dye with Rit if you feel so inclined, and roll the waist down to below the hipbones where they feel right.

Yesterday I took myself off for an adventure.  Walmart has opened in the area, and I decided I could explore and get in a few steps at the same time.  It wasn't near as exciting as I had expected.  No one trotting around in outrageous clothes like the Walmartians you see on U-tube.  There were normal people looking for normal things.  I walked up and down every aisle to get the steps in.  OK, I skipped the camping department.  But I walked up and down hardware and infants and bedding and . . . I was working myself up to the front when I found - Big Girl Panties.  Womanly sizes in a variety of cute styles and colors!  And bras!  Big Girl bras!  In colors and affordable prices.  No one TOLD me!  I saw very few teensy bitty bits of lingerie.  Most of the stock is made for Big Girls!  WaaHooo! Size X-L bikinis with bows and colors and floral prints!

So now I have lots of big girl panties, and I plan on going on many more walks.  It's easier to walk with a friend though.  Anyone want to join me?

Monday, August 12, 2013

The letter K

Kenekes Barbecue on Oahu.  DonnaLee had knitted me a pair of socks, and I couldn't take Donna Lee with me, but I took the socks and they had a wonderful time in Hawaii.

Kenekes is awesome food!
 Kink radio station Kiosk at the Portland Bridge Pedal
 Kyle, my darling husband, the man who hung the moon and can fix a rainy day.
Keen shoes -great comfy athletic shoes.  Not girly shoes, but good shoes.
 Kadota Figs.  Yum  Love figs!!
Kitty.  There were lots of Kitty photos.  I could have done an all kitty post.  Ben likes nesting in my yarn baskets.

Saturday, August 10, 2013


At the last piece-a-thon I arranged, I wound up taking home several flannel sheets that were worn thin in the middle, but had lots of good useable fabric around the edges.  So, here is a pink and blue flannel baby quilt for Med Team Intl.  I have had the fabric piled in my sewing room for months.  It's so nice to clear it out!

After Tuesday's stint at the doctor, I have gotten results on one blood test (they drew seven vials) the urine test, and I finally got the results for my chest x-ray.  "No significant abnormalities."  Oh, good.  I don't have Tuberculosis!  Wait a minute.  How about INsignificent abnormalities?  What about those?  Maybe insignificant to them isn't insignificant to me.  I wish I had asked to look at the x-rays while I was there.  I like checking out my skeleton.
 Today is the second Saturday of the month, so the ladies came over for tea.  My theme was, "Green leaves of Summer"  I should have waited till I had the nasturtiums in the napkin ring bud vases.  It was zoo pretty.  I do love those napkin rings!
Oh heck, I just love all kinds of napkin rings.  I get them at estate sales, garage sales, and clearance sales.  And I love fancy napkins, too.  These tea parties give me SUCH a great opportunity to use my treasures!
I need to work on the lighting for these full-table photos.  We had angel food cake with blackberries, lemon bars, raspberry bars, brownies, and for savory, we had chicken sausage meatballs alternated with fresh pineapple chunks on skewers.  Iced Earl Grey tea, Iced peppermint tea, iced cucumber water, hot coffee and hot English breakfast tea.    Good times!  Many people were willing to take brownies home with them.  I got stuck with angel food cake and blackberries. Heh, heh, heh!  And chicken sausage skewers for dinner tonight.  

Wednesday, August 07, 2013


Yesterday I went to the doctor, and when he heard that the fever has come back three times in four months, and it runs from 99 to 102, he evidently decided that I'm not a hypochondriac, and sent me out for a mess of tests.  They have this little setup like a tiny hat on a string, and one end of the string has a needle on it which they stick into your arm.  Then they put the little hat over a variety of vials and bottles and each one fills up with blood.  Then they did it on the other arm as well.  Is my blood different in my left arm?

I had a sweet phlebotomist who cheerfully chattered away the whole time so I wouldn't notice that they were drawing off about a cup of my vital fluids.  Used to be I went all woozy at the sight of a needle.  Guess you can get used to anything.  I went through the whole complicated process with not a single wooze.

Then I had to give a urine sample.  The guy that used the bathroom before me evidently didn't understand that you can lift the seat before you start to pee.  He liberally sprinkled the seat, the floor, and the back of the toilet.  Ewwwwwww! I nearly DID get woozy then. Did you know that a disgusted woman can successfully give a urine sample from a standing position?

And THEN, I went over to the next lab for a chest x-ray.  The young x-ray tech asked how I felt.  I said, "I kinda feel like goose poop."  That got his attention.  I explained that I felt crappy, but not enormous elephant crappy and not fierce lion poop crappy, just sort of small but abundantly  crappy - like goose poop.  He enjoyed that quite a bit.  By that time I was dehydrated and draggy, and running a low temperature, so he was kind to me.  All the staff at Kaiser are kind!  I peeled down, put on a gown, and went into the dim room with the joyful knowledge that I was not going to get my boobs mashed for this.  "Put your chest against this plate.  How long IS your neck?  You should NOT be able to rest your chin on top of the machine.  Let me raise the machine a bit.  Roll your shoulders forward.  I have never seen such a long neck.  Hold your breath.  Breathe.  Turn sideways.  Put your arms up by your head.  Did you do something to make your neck that long?  Stretch it out some way or something?  Hold your breath.  Breathe.  I'll just go check these to make sure they're ok.  You can sit down in the chair.  You're golden.  Go ahead and get dressed.  Hope you feel better.  Swan poop.  You have a swan-like neck.  You should tell people that you feel like swan poop."

That is rather more elegant.  I'll bear it in mind.  I didn't tell him that I suspect I might be an alien.  That would be sure to skew all the test results.

Some of the results are coming in already, and we have a medical system that e-mails us the results of our tests.  So far, my white blood cell count is elevated.  Everything else seems normal

Monday, August 05, 2013

The letter J

A Big Johnson t-shirt.  I've seen Big Johnson t-shirts featuring fishing rods, boats, cars, guns, really anything guys can equate with, well, their masculinity.

Jeans on senior, junior and juvenile

This just in - a Jeep!  WWII vintage with all original parts.  My neighbor restores vintage military equipment, and very kindly pulled this out of the garage for me.  Can  you believe?  This Jeep is older than I am!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

A wonderful weekend!

I finished a scarf using up two half-balls of yarn.  Worked nicely, don't you think?

Then we loaded the cats up, flea-bombed the house and set out for adventures.  The Mossyback Volksport Club of Eugene sponsored a hike around Clear Lake up in the Santiam Wilderness area.  the people hosting it were so well organized and so friendly.  The weather was perfect and the scenery was stunning.  The only problem was the fact that we had to park an extra kilometer up the hill.  At the end of the hike, my fitbit said we had climbed the equivalent of 40 flights of stairs.  But oh, oh my GOD it was lovely down there. The lake is between 34 and 46 degrees (or freaking damn glacial melt cold) so algae doesn't grow in it.  No motors are permitted, so there was no roar of jet skis, chatter of trolling engines or thrum of ski boats.  People used rowboats and kayaks and canoes.  And you can see clear down to the bottom of the whole lake!!

Look at the color.
And look at those magnificent reflections.

The path was well maintained, though rather crowded with all us hikers going one way, and flocks of mountain bikers going the other way.  At one wide spot where we stepped aside to let traffic pass, I spotted sever big clumps of ghost pipes growing in the duff.  Tell us again, Pat, what is it with these weird little white things?
And here is my darling husband providing scale and human interest in an otherwise ho-hum photo.  He improves every photo I put him in.

After the hike, we drove to Redmond and visited with my oldest brother Chuck for a while, then we all went to my middle brother Denny's house for dinner.  This is the first time since Mom's funeral that the three of us have gotten together.  It was so nice!

We spent the night in our RV parked in front of Chuck's place, then joined Chuck, his son and his grandson for the Buckaroo Breakfast at the Deschutes County Fair.  I remember going to the Buckaroo Breakfast 60 years ago!  And the biscuits were just as good as I remember them.  Oh yum a licious!  We even ran into a few old cowboys who remember us from the old days.

So, to make it a clean sweep, we went home through Madras and dropped in on my niece and her family  Come to find my other niece was there as well with her hubby and kids.  I am so proud and delighted to be related to these girls.  They made us feel so welcome and at ease with about fifteen minutes warning.

All in all, it was a happy, happy, family,family weekend.  My husband is a prince, and I'm glad I didn't take that AK47 up on top of the nearest tall building to relieve my angst.

(I wouldn't really.  My first husband came home from a gun show with an AK47 and said, "See what I got you for your birthday!" thinking I would laugh along with the joke.  I took it out of his hands and cooed, "For me?  My brothers will be SO jealous.  How much ammo did you get?"  His little face fell.  But I left the gun with him when we parted ways.)

Friday, August 02, 2013

Time to up the Prozac

Have I been sounding sort of down lately?  It sneaks up on me - this gray film over everything - the loss of interest in things.  Then the disturbing dreams and thoughts of hurting myself start, and I know it's time to up the dose.  I am normally a cheery person, but with menopause, I lost not only my collagen (everything droops) but also the brakes on the seratonin uptake.  Seratonin is my friend.  Seratonin flows from those ductless glands and keeps me tranquil and cheerful.  But the body doesn't just leave it there so you can float in a warm bath of bliss until you starve to death.  The body takes it up so we are always getting a new, fresh supply,  Only, my body now takes it up too fast.  So Prozac puts the brakes on the uptake system.  In a week or two, I will be back to my cheerful, energetic self.

I share this, because some folks feel there is shame in taking mood regulating drugs.  No one thinks less of a diabetic for taking insulin.  No one says that they should go in for counseling to correct their moodiness or just tough it out and stifle the irritability when suddenly the whole world is acting like assholes.  Heck, if you have diabetes, fail to treat it, and drive into a school bus, you get a free pass!  But if you drive into a school bus because you are deficient in seratonin (the impulse popped into my mind once.  I refrained.), your ass is grass and the whole wold is a lawnmower.

There is no shame in taking medicine to correct chemical imbalances in the body.  OK?  Geeze, see?  It makes me defensive, too.

I'm a little pulled down anyhow.  I woke up Tuesday feeling sort of ehh and by Tuesday night was running a fever of 101.  It finally began to abate Thursday night and by now I am fever free but very dehydrated.  Just fever with the accompanying aches, chills, and intermittent bouts of sweating.  No other symptoms.  It feels a lot like what hit me the last few days on board the cruise ship.  Traveling in exotic climes with strange diseases might be hazardous to your health.  Maybe I should start drinking quinine water.

Yeah, I know, this is pretty personal and boring to most of my readers.  Things will get funnier soon, I promise.  If nothing else, I have the letter J to photograph for next Monday.  And knitting has been going on.  Trying to reduce the stash.  Hats and scarves.  Nice things to share.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Still being bugged

The Advantage, although spendy, worked a treat and the cats are so much happier!  We will load them into the RV and do a second bombing to get the eggs this weekend.  In the meantime, though, I was sleeping quite contentedly when a flea hopped into my ear.  Truth!  Swear to God.  The little bastard twitched and kicked and tap-danced on my tympanic membrane, well beyond reach of the most vigorously applied q-tip.  Finally, driven mad with distraction, I vaguely remembered a topical cure for swimmer's ear that involved the application of alcohol, so I poured a few drops of rum into my ear.   Noise and movement ceased.  I held my head tipped to the side for several minutes to make sure the critter was well and truly drowned.  I did NOT want it waking up with a nasty hangover.  When I tilted the other way and let the rum run out, I didn't find any tiny corpse, but I wasn't wearing my glasses. Still, no more ruckus, and really, that was all I wanted.  What happens to stuff trapped in the ear canal?

Today has been one of those refreshing mid-summer rainy days.  It smells so clean and green and wholesome outside.  And it's still warm enough to sit out under shelter with a cup of hot tea.  It's good to be alive.

When my Aussie friends post photos in December and January of the summer they are enjoying, I just relish it.  So, now that I have summer and you don't shall I return the favor?