Mar 18, 2012

12 Angry Little People

Courtesy of Robot Chicken.

Mar 11, 2012

My First MRI

Today would have been my mother's 63rd birthday.  I celebrated her birthday today by having my first MRI this morning at St. Vincent's Hospital which is appropriate because my mother suffered from severe neck and back problems her entire life and I'd think something's gone wonky in my back. I guess the only good thing about that is it took me into my early forties to notice.

My back went out a week before Christmas and it's just never been the same.  My lower back is always sore , but for the past two months, I've suffered from poor sleeping because of this weird pins/needles feeling every night when I lie down to go to sleep.  It's a hard sensation to describe, but trying to get to sleep while feeling like there's a fireworks show going on throughout your body doesn't exactly make for a night of restful sleep. Wait. I just thought of a better way to describe it: it feels like the pain you get from holding a sparkler during Fourth of July and one of the sparks randomly hits your skin and you sort of jump.  Whatever - it's still all about the fireworks.

Last week my doctor switched me from muscle relaxers to a wonderful drug called Neurontin which brings me back full circle to why I just might be turning into my mom.  She took that very same drug for a long time to help with her fibromyalgia and neuropathy.  It's prescribed to people for lots of reasons, but my favorite description of neurontin is that it helps "...decrease abnormal excitement in the brain."  Yup. That's me.

I remember my mom having to go for an MRI a couple of times and she had a lot of problems lying flat because of her back. This morning I was more nervous about feeling claustrophobic in the MRI machine so I popped a Xanax when I woke up this morning to mellow me out before I went for my appointment. I figured it was more of a preemptive strike because I'm not so good in crowds and get especially freaked out in elevators transporting more than three people. It definitely took the edge off.

My favorite part of the MRI experience was being given a sheet of artists that I could listen to while having the MRI. Can you believe the first artist on the list was AC/DC?    But they had a whole range of music that I could choose from while I lied perfectly still in that medical coffin:  Celtic Woman, Jethro Tull, Billy Joel (my mom's favorite), Yanni, Madonna and Eminem.  I ended up choosing the generic Calming Seas which wasn't the best choice because it didn't really calm me down.  I blame the dolphins and their damned squeaking language of the sea.

The MRI took about 20 minutes and I did great because I closed my eyes through 99% of the whole MRI. It was recommended that I think about calming scenery like lounging on a warm beach, but instead I kept myself deathly still by imagining how good my bowl of spicy Tortilla soup was going to taste this afternoon while having lunch at Playa del Carmen in Holden.

I'm hoping there's nothing serious going on with my lower back, but I was particularly missing my mother today because today is her birthday and I'm having back problems just like her.  But then again, sometimes I just miss her special way of  worrying about me more than I worry about myself.


Mar 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning

Today is Saturday and although I'm technically not on vacation just yet, I've begun Spring Cleaning and I thought that I would blog a little bit about what I just accomplished this Saturday morning - mostly for posterity sake.

I tackled the bedroom closet and drawers while listening to the last audio CD's of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.  I was determined to finish up the last in the Stieg Larsoon trilogy while on this vacation because I've been so engrossed in the books that I really haven't read anything else.  So now that I'm done, I can focus my full attention on this 600 page book called I Want My MTV that's due back at the library in a couple of weeks.

I began with the bedroom closet.   I made three piles to help me sort through everything:

  • Save for storage in the basement which mainly is made up of my Fall/Winter clothes
  • Toss out
  • Donate to one of those conveniently placed bins outside of everywhere that has those neat drop-down drawers like a mailbox except instead of mailing a letter I'm sending off clothes I no longer want.
I got rid of at least 8 pairs of shoes.  Mostly the shoes I donated were nice shoes that feel just a little bit tight or uncomfortable sometimes. A couple were pairs of really good shoes that I've held onto for a couple of years because I paid a good amount of money for them because they didn't make my bunions hurt when I wore them.  But then I realized this morning that I don't have those bunions anymore thanks to surgery so why keep them?  They just don't fit right anymore.

This time I decided to really do a proper de-cluttering of my clothes.  In the past, I used to just pull out all my Autumn/Winter clothes and set them aside for storage for next year without really evaluating if I should keep everything.  I donated a ton of my Winter clothes - mostly sweaters that fit me OK, but didn't make me feel good wearing them.  Tossed. That left me with just a small pile of Winter clothes to store in the basement.  I know as I approach the colder weather, I'll pull everything out again and realize I don't have as big of a selection which will prompt me to do some shopping, but that's totally fine.  It's a problem to worry about eight months from now.

Here's my big tip for anyone struggling with clothes slipping off of hangers and all you have are those cheap, tube-like plastic hangers:  use binder clips.  Clamp those suckers down on each side of the hanger and I guarantee your clothes will not slip off and fall to the floor.  I've bought a couple boxes of black binder clips at Staples and use them all the time.

Next to tackle were the bedroom drawers.  I made a big decision this year - I finally tossed out all my socks.  I have this one drawer dedicated to rolled up socks and I swear I never wear any of them.  I must have 25 pairs of socks that I used to wear maybe ten years ago and each year I just keep holding onto them thinking someday I'll need them.  I'm just not a sock person anymore.  I go barefoot in my sneakers and use nylons for my dress shoes.  Why do I need these socks?  I tossed out every single pair of them.  The ONLY ones I kept were those super soft snuggly socks that I bought at Marshall's last year.  They're not even proper socks because I would never wear them with sneakers.  But they do serve the purpose of keeping my feet warm if I don't feel like walking around the house barefoot - so they made the cut.

I also donated a whole bunch of winter hats, scarves and gloves. I've got far too many hats and gloves for one person. The rest that I've chosen to keep got put into the Winter pile of clothes for next year.

Surprisingly my Toss Out pile was pretty big, too.  I had several shirts that had stains on them and really hadn't realized it because they were buried either in a drawer or in the back of my closet.  My bedtime clothes made up the biggest pile.  I had far too many pajama tops stained with the juice of pomegranates and a fair share of bottoms that were missing their matching top.  No idea where they went to, but it made it easier for me to decide to get rid of them.  In reviewing my pile, it reminds me that I should take better care of my clothes or more importantly, wear a bib while eating pomegranates.

Now that I've sorted through all my current stuff, it's time for me to start the whole process again with the Spring/Summer clothes that I'll be bringing up this afternoon from the basement.  I know it's only mid-March and perhaps a bit early in the season to be thinking about bringing out the warm weather clothes, but I'll be in San Antonio, Texas in a few days enjoying temps in the mid-70's so why the hell not?  I've got the rest of the afternoon to sort, organize and toss to my heart's content.  After all, I am on vacation...

Mar 3, 2012

Twilight: The Game

I know this is just another way for haters of Twilight to make fun of all the obsessive fans of Stephanie Meyers Twilight series, but this one really makes me laugh. In the end, Edward wins so that makes me happy.