Archive for June, 2009

Week 2

Posted in Uncategorized on June 29, 2009 by anuvuestudio

Now…week 2 proved much better. Although my husband Mike has taken fastidious care of me, I decided to take matters back into my own hands. I got up last Monday, emancipated my left eyebrow from my right (overdue plucking) and decided I would walk on my own. I made it all the way to the end of the street before I started swearing… Thank God no one else was out… except a very elderly lady in a wheel chair… that past me up… I think when I’m better I’ll ring her doorbell and run…

I started a regular routine that seems to work for me. I get up and shower, put on a loose skirt because pants over my stitches are out of the question, make my oatmeal and raisins and sit on the front porch to eat it…and then… I walk. I tried the whole loop around my inside tract today. Half way through I was looking for a short flat fence in the shade to collapse on so some neighbor wouldn’t find me face down on their lawn.. Luckily, most of my neighbors don’t recognize me by site (take’s a Halloween costume). All they know is some strange woman can be seen in a giant hat and skirt (like a misplaced southern belle) early in the morning… walking in baby steps. I think I look quite mysterious but lately I’ve seen a patrol car cruisen…

Upon completion of the tract tour, I sit on my front patio under a giant umbrella and read or listen to books on tape the rest of the day. I find I like reading better because I can make the characters in my head sound however I like. The ones on tape have actors reading and if they don’t have good accents (or have the honed skills of William Shatner)…well…it just spoils the whole story. That and the fact that I’m slightly hard of hearing (rock concert years) and I have to turn the thing way up to hear it. It’s not a good idea to have sex scenes played out really loud if you are trying to sit un-noticed on the porch…

While I sit there, I have begun to come to a couple of conclusions. First, I believe there must be a whole lot of independently wealthy people in this tract because it seems no one works for a living. Not that I can see. Oh…They leave in their cars but! they come back in a short time…as if they went to 7/11 for a slurpee and are rushing back for the day’s TV line-up. And second, we must be the city capital of dog walking. I have seen literally every shape and size of dog with their respective walkers. Being a cat owner, I had no idea how many creative ways there were to walk a dog. Some ride skateboards while their dogs run beside…others… bicycles…others are literally dragged behind…while still others just open their gates and leave them “free-to-be” to do their business and come back. Then there’s the neighbor who rides a mini bike, hell on wheels, hugging the curb while his dog chases it around the block at warp speed. Some people just hold the dog in their arms and walk. That “dog walk” I haven’t figured out unless they are really exercizing while the dog substitutes for mislocated bar bells. Today I noticed a guy carrying just a lime green pooper scooper…no dog even in sight. Who knows…maybe we have a pooper scooper assigned patrol. Yet another good reason to not let a neighbor see me…

On Friday Jamie came over to work on the Tsunami mural and relieve Mike of “H watch” so I invited Dedra (another friend) to join us in a bar-be-que. Granted I cannot drive and there wasn’t any food in the house…I still thought it a grand idea. The bar-be-que was dragged onto the front porch and Jamie drove me to the store, while I held onto my stomach muscles in the bouncing car, then I turtle walked to get the goods. We made some very fine turkey burgers and then Jamie went back to her mural. She decided she needed some other kind of paint and we were off to the Home Depot. While there, Dedra hooked me up with an electrical cart they keep and I was off. The thing had a giant pole in the back with a big flashing light on the very top and the most obnoxious horn I’ve ever heard. I had a field day zooming past folks, honking that squealing thing and sailing by with a evil smile. Sadly I had to give it back before I put anything cool in it’s giant basket. Neither Jamie nor Dedra would get in. Hey! You really should seek those out if you happen on a Home Depot. It adds whole new meaning to the shopping experience.

I read 3 more books incognito on my porch without someone noticing… and asking me to join some neighborhood bunco club… and I watched 6 more movies. My God, if I add daytime TV I should be ready to compete in game shows after week 6!

Week 1

Posted in Uncategorized on June 24, 2009 by anuvuestudio

Week 1 after surgery

Sheer Hell In Time

Week 1 was not the stuff dreams are made of. Hell, I barely remember the first 3 days except that apparently I asked (and text) allot of people to “please come kill me”. My sister Julie said I told her “If you smother me with my pillow I will give you my car”…I’m still here, but possibly when I had the beamer, the offer might have looked better to her.

When you’re “Out of it” you miss many conversations. One in particular would have been good to know. Every hour it seemed I was ask by some nurse “Have you passed gas?” This was starting to get quite annoying since I’m a pretty private person about such things. I’ve never been a “gassy gal” in the past so I had no idea what the hell was going on. At some point either my Sister Julie (or Jamie such as my memory is) said that they blew my stomach up with gas to get to the proper organs. Apparently they want it to come back out. I just thought they were getting rather personal.

Then there was the anesthesia…the stuff dreams are made of. I had a long conversation about asthma and my negative reaction to the dreaded anesthesia with my own anesthesiologist the night before surgery. He was a rather sympathetic chap who seemed to get the picture. When I arrived, the nurse said “I have the strangest cocktail waiting for you”. Of course I replied “I don’t drink”… while she handed me no less than 21 pills and told me to chuck them all down. I don’t do well with pills so it wasn’t a simple task. I managed to get them down as I was tossed to the gurney.

Then there was the pain medicine. At another episode of “big pink bucket fun” I heard the Nurse say “I’ve never seen anything like her”…”She can’t take anything we give her for pain”. Finally, and THANK GOD, my sister mentioned one pain medicine with some freakin Irish Leprechaun name like “Finnigan” (without narcotics) and the pink bucket was gone for damn good.

I am happy to report that as of today (starting week 2) I can walk about a block and a half without much of a grimace, hanging onto Mike’s arm like a vice clamp and as white as a sheet, I can dry my own hair standing up…and I can pick up virtually anything off the floor with my toes (although the water bottle cap was very cruel). I have read 6 books, watched 3 mini series along with something called “Iron Chef” until I truly believe I might try to cook something…Alas, I hard boiled some eggs today and they were soft boiled after I peeled them. I figure by week 3 I’ll be ready for egg salad!

Thank you all for your cards, texts, calls and good wishes.

Hyster Sister

Posted in Uncategorized on June 14, 2009 by anuvuestudio

Salvia_Celestial_BlueRarely do I bring up the subject of anything medical on this blog. oh…I did tell you about my interesting visit to the Dermatologist and received so much positive feedback (apparently some identified the whole waiting room scenario) that I thought I would share a bit of what’s ahead for me…with some H humor…

For the past year, I have been having strange…well, I’m already strange…so really strange issues with my body. I have a right ankle that swells anywhere from a annoying toddler-like puffiness to the extreme Dumbo the teenage pachyderm. (This is gonna get womanly, I warn you). I have odd numbness in my tailbone at exactly 3 days before the monthly visits. If I laugh hard or cough (both frequently) my lower abdomen kills me and I’ve been known to double over just walking. I’m in pretty good shape, eat right usually…oh there are those occasional coffee drinks that call my name… But I don’t drink alcohol (it’s not pretty) and other than an inhaler for my sudden onslaught of mystery diagnosis asthma…I don’t take a single prescribed medication. I’m more of the type that would rather bite down on a stick…

On a recent trip to the Doctor (actually many) it was decided that I would need a hysterectomy. “They decided” that I had way too many large fibroids growing in and around the ol’ uterus reeking havoc. . “I decided” to read and try everything but a witch doctor in hopes of a natural cure…until finally…I came to see “their” light. The alien love children (as I like to refer to them) would have to come out. I never planned on having any “real” children…and at 51, even though I haven’t approached “THE CHANGE”, I figure the world is a much safer place without another “me” walking and talking. It’s fragile and just not ready to take on two of us…

Funny thing about “THE CHANGE”…I’ve heard that women can grow beards and mustaches…and while that might be a negative to some women… I look at it as a big savings on my next Halloween costume. Hey, they wax most of me now…what’s another 9 square inches of chin? But I digress (see why there should only be one of me loose?).

Back to the story…Upon my recent visit…this one being the “PRE-OPP”. I arrived to the waiting room and signed in. Now I have a Doctor that is constantly running past me…off to bring another baby into the world…so it’s hard to actually SEE her. On this visit, there were 2 lovely young girls… I’m guessing the oldest was 5, the youngest 3. They had taken over the lobby and were bouncing from chair to chair, and while in full flight, they would smack the painting on the wall with tiny palms at whatever height they hit. Just when it looked rather dubious for the 4 forlorn chairs, their Mother came into the room and yelled “You both are getting shots if you don’t sit down”. Those were the magic words…I never saw 2 girls sit more quickly, quietly, facing straight ahead with hands folded in their respective laps. I never heard another peep.

The next group came in with one little girl about 4. She smiled at me…I smiled back…and in her new found interest in me…she promptly smacked her head into the wooden arm on the chair. The screaming subsided about 5 minutes later when her Mother produced a sparkly glitter lip gloss. She, after re-initiating eye contact, proceeded to try to put in on with rather precarious aim. Giving up on that method, she pulled her bottom lip out as far as it would go with her thumb and index finger, looked down cross eyed and matched up gloss to extended lip. I think the supermodels should try this method out. Imagine the photo opportunity and doesn’t every Photographer deserve a bone!

While this was going on, there was a woman (apparently of some great importance) who dialed and blabbed on her phone incessantly. It soon became apparent that reception would need a hall monitor…and… because I always sit in the chair closest to the door of escape, it was I that received “the pleading look”. Every time the receptionist needed her, she would look at me with emploring eyes and I knew that was my cue to open the door and yell “Hey” to the blabber. The woman would then promptly hang up and come back in, thank me and resume with reception for more questioning. Just when we were getting rather good at it, my name was called.

Now my Doctor (Dr Lee) is pretty dog gone sharp. She’s Mid 30’s, beautiful, with the long shiny black hair and a brilliant working mind that’s all business and no humor…and then… there’s me. The poor dear. She likes to explain (in great, exacting detail) what will be happening while I like to ask all kinds of crazy questions. I’m used to the “patient look”, the sigh…then the next explanation. I think she has probably heard every question terrified women (who’ve searched the internet) has asked…and has her own version of what will really happen memorized to the minute detail. Sadly, I ask her things like…”How long before I can sit in a car for 7 hours?”… “When can I resume my coffee addiction?”… and most important “When is it ok to start building my Alien spaceship for Halloween?”. In my defense, I did ask if my vagina will be shorter. She looked rather pained. She clarified that everything that worked before will work after…and hey, that was darn good enough for me.

Then came “The Packet”. Now “The Packet” contains all the paperwork that you really don’t read because the type’s too damn small and they explain it really fast anyway. It was when she got to the blood transfusion sheet… boy, did she finally get my attention. That’s when reality hit. I asked her in my most adult voice to tell me how many 51 year old women could she name that had never smoked, drank, or took a drug that wasn’t prescribed for a temporary illness (including nerds). She was stumped until I raised my hand. We came to an agreement that if I went that very moment, I could leave my own very special “girl in a bubble blood”. We shook, I signed and was off.

Now I haven’t been to Hoag Hospital, the Diamond of Newport Beach, (the very rich and famous city next to my poor old one) since the cat bite experience. Oh you laugh but I stayed in the 4 star hospital with a 4 million dollar view of the Newport Harbor for 4 days because my own cat bit me while breaking up a fight between her and her unloving sister. I got put in Oncology because that was the only place they could find a bed and most people thought I was so sick that I couldn’t get a shower for the life of me. I did get a sponge bath but until I left the wing, I couldn’t figure out why! But that is a whole other scar story …

When I arrived this time…I was yet again lost. They have whole wings named after very wealthy old dead people and they have the most God-Awful portraits of these dead people hanging in halls (like you’re walking through a bloody old castle in England)…just in case you want to know first hand who you are indebted to for all the finery. (I find I’m happier with a little mystery). I must have looked bedraggled when a stylish nurse found me wandering halls. She found the blood bank people and put me on the phone. I was told to go to the cafe, eat something (she scorned my coffee and piece of toast breakfast) and come back at 3pm. I was then told to go to registration. Hell, they have valet in the emergency…why not registration. I began wandering. I found registration and after the 29th form I asked if there was some mistake. The woman looked at me and inquired why. I said “I didn’t come here to buy property…I was here to eat, give blood and get out”. I got “The smile”. We finished shortly and I was sent to the cafe. At least they had designer coffee drinks!

Within 30 seconds of ordering food from the beret wearing cafeteria women, my airways were accosted by an older woman, wearing the entire collection of perfume sold in America. My asthma started..and yes…the inhaler was safely locked in my car. I passed the stylish nurse in my frantic exit through the hallways and back onto the parkway. The valet watched me zoom in and out, probably hoping he wasn’t going to miss his bloody tip. I made it back inside to find that the blood bank was outside, down yet another parkway…and into Oncology. OMG

After searching for a parking place because I was too cheap to valet, I found the next reception, which sent me to the blood bank. Now this place was done up with ribbons and balloons and everyone was laughing …so I asked if I was at a party. “No”, I was told…”It always looks like this”. I was brought to a chair, had my finger pricked and was told my iron was excellent. I never thought otherwise but the lady sighed and told me even on a good day, hers was 10 points below my own. I told her it was the genes…but not to be too envious. 😉

Then she led me to a chair and proceeded to coax a vein to obey. Now this has always been trouble and even though she was a total pro, she called in the ringer. Even the ringer fretted for a while. They made me squeeze on a rubber world ball for quite sometime. I saw the rubber brain in the box, told her I preferred it to the world I presently had… and with the exchange, I’m proud to say up came the vein 😉 They got what they needed and then sent me to the waiting area. This is the area where they observe you in case you’re going drop on the floor. She said eat whatever you want. Well, my God, they had their own Good Humor freezer. How is a person supposed to stop at one? Drumsticks, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes…hell I could have stayed all night what with the oreos and cool stuff. I had juice, ice cream, cookies and raisins until I was stuffed. I left as happy as any kid to go back up the hill to reception.

At reception, I had to have my last tests done. I guess they want to make sure your not germi or infectious. They swabbed my nose, took more blood and told me to go home (which I was more than happy to do as fast as I could)!

I report to duty Monday at 5am. My uterus and cervix will be removed in one of 2 ways. I’m to be surprised. I do hate surprises. My Doctor and I are even though. She takes 2 body parts and I keep 2 body parts. After much study (on my part) and the helpful article confirming my study from my NY friend Kathy, those ovaries are definitely staying put.

We won’t be talking for a while…maybe I’ll just post a word. Maybe “Pain” or “OMG” or “whoohoo good drugs”. Keep posted
My love to all of you…some of you more than others…I’ll let ya wonder 🙂

I just had to come back…to tell you…my anesthesiologist just called. Truthfully I’m more afraid of the anesthesia than the actual surgery because of past bad experience. I spoke to him for a pretty long time and he knows all the particulars and is going to do extra battle to save me from the worst reactions I have to “the dreaded sleep”. I had to laugh because, well it is Newport Beach (land of the rich and famous) and when I heard his name I had to ask… He confirmed he’s second cousin to the actor Mark Ruffalo. Maybe I’ll get lucky and he just as cute! Hey, does anyone know if Johnny Depp has a brother that’s a nurse?


Like Father, Like Daughter

Posted in Art, art class, artists, Bring it, class on June 4, 2009 by anuvuestudio

Emily finished her painting in the Young Rembrandts class and Jame and I thought it was so special that we wanted to share it with you. I thought it would be nice to have her portrait in front of the magnificent photograph her Daddy gave me. Jonathan shoots several different exposures with custom pinhole cameras that he makes himself. He then makes prints like this graphic that even old Ansel and his zone system would be proud of…

Emily is 10 years old and it took her 4 very patient weeks (one 2 hour class each week) to finish… I believe you can definitely see…creativity runs in the Family!