Monthly Archives: January 2012

Where’s the Plunger? I Know we Have One Somewhere!

I’m a pretty laid back lazy person. I admit it, I’ve accepted it and I’m pretty sure changing that fact this late in life would be nearly impossible, if I wanted to. I’m also a Mom to 4 kids, a dog, 15 fish and a husband. I’m not sure, but there may be another kid running around on the weekends. I’ve lost count.

There are certain phrases that I know lead to an interruption in my laid back life, usually involving a massive effort on my part to do damage control, clean up, and/or shell out more $$$ in insurance premium hikes, carpet cleaning and window/door/floor repairs.

At Home:

“Where’s the plunger? I know we have one somewhere!” usually follows an unheard call for toilet paper, thus forcing usage of swellable materials in lieu of toilet paper.

“I didn’t do it!” Heard countless times in my career as a stepmother to 3 lovable yet irresponsible children who mysteriously “find” broken windows, holes in the walls, mudtracks up the carpeted stairs, warm cans of soda with one sip out of them,  week old bowls of cereal {in their room}.

“Mom, the dog ate something fluorescent green!”

“Uh, oh.”

“Mommy, it was an accident.”

“But, I swear, the car was in reverse!”

“It says dish soap. How was I supposed to know you couldn’t put it in the dishwasher?”

“The dryer dries things, right?”

“I wasn’t aiming for the window/my sister/the TV/the dog.”

“I wanted my soda warmed up.” soda can in the microwave, true story. I caught it in time before the fire department was alerted.

“I swear I only put 2 minutes on the microwave.” Not much left of fried chicken after 20 minutes of nuking except the foul odor that lingers for days.

“I need a paper towel. Actually…I need a ROLL of paper towels, but I didn’t do it.”

“The lid wasn’t on.”

“Mommy, a fish got stuck in the filter.”

“Mommy, why is the dog dragging his butt on the carpet?

“It must have fallen in the toilet.” followed by… I didn’t do it.

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Cardiologists Rock!

So, it being a new year and all I’ve decided  to start taking my health seriously. Several factors have gone in to this carefully thought out decision, not the least of which happened a few days after Thanksgiving. My Mom went into cardiac arrest while visiting a friend in the hospital. Luckily, she was at the perfect place for this to happen and the EMT’s and ER staff were able to revive her. I’m happy to say she made it and after 10 days in the hospital came home with a shiny, rhinestoned defribrillator installed in her chest. The fine Docs decided she had several markers for a genetic heart condition so I’ve been instructed to get my ass to a cardiologist pronto!

I showed up last week for the appointment, nervous but wanting to get it out of the way. As I walked into the lobby of the cardiologists office, most of the occupants in the waiting room looked at me with raised eyebrows. I’m youngish, at least compared to the seniors around, not overweight and pale only because I’m a redhead. I felt like an oddity. I guess that’s why I tripped at the sign in desk. Or it could be my ailing heart.

Once in the room, a nurse took all my vitals and gave me an EKG. I had a kiddo 4 years ago and I must say, the new ponchos they give you after you strip down are loads better than the older model. They close with velcro and don’t allow boobage to fall out at inopportune times, nor do you have a million ties to deal with that never quite close the gown properly.

After the nurse took a history, a nurse practioner came in with more questions. I reviewed everything with him and waited for the doc to come in. I was quite impressed with the amount of time these people spent with their patients. Normally, when I go to the doctor for regular stuff, they bring a stopwatch in and clock out at about 10 minutes. It reminds me of those restaurants that claim you get your lunch for free if it takes longer than 15 minutes. Anyway, these people were thorough.

So, finally, the cardiologist comes in. I know the good doctor as he also takes care of a family member. I like him and I feel comfortable with him. The conversation..

Doc: Well, you don’t look Italian. (Gee, did the red hair give it away?)

Me: Nope, mostly Irish and English.

Doc: So, you keep chalking up family members with difibrillators. Your Mom went into cardiac arrest?

Me: Yeah, it was a good thing she was at a hospital already.

Doc: Hmm…so you are not taking any medications, you haven’t been sick for at least a year and your EKG came back normal.

Me:(feeling a bit idiotic): Yeah, my Mom made me come in.

Doc: Probably a good thing. Although, unless you are Italian(eyebrows raised), you only have about a 20% chance of dropping dead from this.

Me: Yeah, that’s 1 in 5. Can we rule it out?

Doc: I wouldn’t be happy unless we did, although…I’m not sure about a game plan if you do have the condition. There aren’t any medications for it.

Me: That’s a problem, isn’t it. What do you suggest?

Doc: Cardiac MRI. Do NOT exercise until we rule it out. That can bring on cardiac arrest in these cases.

Me: Shouldn’t be a problem, I haven’t exercised in 10 years. I could probably go another 10.

Doc: Have you gone through the change yet?

Me: Huh??(WTF, I’m only 40) Noooo!!!

Doc: Well, until then you probably want to maintain a healthy diet.  After the change you’ll want to get yearly cholesterol checks and your blood pressure taken. AND you need to quit smoking.

Now, I know this. It’s filthy habit that I’ve tried to break and plan on doing again BUT this guy is about 350 pounds and sweating while he’s lecturing me(remember, I like this dude).

Me: Ok Doc

Being a People Person is Highly Overrated…Part 1 Introductions

When it comes to meeting new people there are appropriate social structures in place to facilitate positive interaction. Eye contact, a handshake, a smile, a small verbal pronouncement of who the hell you are all convey the idea of how introductions to someone you’ve never met before are to be made. I’ve had to endure this torture for going on 40 years now and there are certain categories of introductions that I loathe worse than cleaning up dog puke at 3 in the morning. On our bed. After a long night of drinking and bad Chinese food.

The “Gripper”-you know the guy who wants to show you that he “works out” and squeezes the living shit out of your hand. Not only does he clamp down on your extremities with an iron fist, but he also doesn’t let go until your fingers turn a dark shade of puce.

The “Wet Noodle”-I’ve had several of these, 98.9% of them by women who while wishy washily shaking your hand are also sizing you up as competition. The wet noodle is usually accompanied with a high pitched giggle and a hair flip. Beware the 1.1% of men who fall into this category…they forgot to pack their balls that morning!

The “Swamp Thing”-You know, the shake that you can’t quite get a good grip on because their hand is slicker than a hooker at the end of a successful evening? I carry hand sanitizer to every event I am required to attend in preparation for this one!

The Vibrator-This one turns me on slightly in a dark kind of way. The Vibrator grabs your hand firmly and continuously pumps it up and down in short bursts while talking for the next 2 minutes. I usually need a drink after this one.

The Reach Around-One hand handshake while the other snakes around and clasps the back of your hand, or your buttocks depending on the amount of alcohol consumed. These may or may not be accompanied by the shoulder bump or half hug.

I’ve found that a firm grip for 4.5 seconds belies a sense of  confidence and openness at starting a conversation.  Actually I’ve got that down to a science.

Wipe sweaty paw on pants/skirt

Swing arm around and firmly grip opponents new person’s hand for the designated allotment of time.

Smile and make eye contact.

Give name.

Then the real fun starts!

Next post…the dangers of overindulging at social functions!