Category Archives: Health Issues

Thumbs Up to Occupational Therapy!

swollen thumb

I’ve been doing occupational therapy for my hands lately in an attempt to see if therapy might strengthen them and also get my one swollen thumb to bend a little.    The therapists who initially examined me and then watched me knit a bit (since that is the most repetitive thing that I do on a daily basis) concluded that the thumb inflammation is probably due to a combination of a lifetime of pressing the thumb against my needle to hold stitches in place and the fact that I have osteoarthritis in my hands.

“My hands are already deforming,” I told the therapists, “just like my mother’s did and my grandmother’s hands changed as they aged.”

I glanced up to see them wince at the word “deforming.”  Hey, I could have used “mutating” but I call it like it is.  I’ve already got Quasimodo’s hump for a back.  What’s a few crooked fingers?

The swollen finger, though, is new.  My OT worker thinks that the tip is starting to rotate like some of my other finger tips have already done and this is causing the top joint to be so out of alignment that it can’t freely rotate over the IP joint.  Add to this the fact that I tend to push that thumb in a backward curve when I rest it against the needle in my right hand (or crochet hook) and you get added stress.

ergo grip

Today my therapist had me picking up smooth little stones and buttons.

“How does THAT feel?” she asked me as I picked up buttons out of a box and put them on the table.

“Feels just like home,” I answered her.  “I sew so I do this a lot.  I’m always searching through my box of buttons.”

We discussed other areas where I’m having difficulties.  I mentioned that it is uncomfortable to write and that my writing is getting worse from not being able to bend my thumb.

She popped up and came back into the room with the foam tube above that she proceeded to cut down and slit open so I could slip a pen or pencil into it.  She also recommended that soft pencil grippers would be good for my writing utensils.

Non ergo scissors

“I also get my thumb caught in scissors,” I told her.

ergo scissors

“You need ergonomic scissors,” she said.  Luckily I have a pair of small ones and I’ll have to get a bigger pair of scissors for sewing.

Then a hand specialist came in and started spouting off the things I should do (or not do) to get my thumb less inflamed.

I asked her about the knitting especially since I often knit 6-7 hours a day or more and she said she really couldn’t say without seeing me actually holding the needles.  We found two pens and improvised.

“You probably need to reduce that amount of knitting if you want the thumb to heal,” she ordered.

“Not going to happen,” I said.  “Knitting is the only thing that keeps me on an even keel.  However, I WILL take more breaks and continue to make a more conscious effort to put less pressure on that thumb when I’m holding it against the stitches.”

After she left, my therapist suggested a thumb brace to help reduce the stress on the thumb.  I introduced her to “knitting gloves” although she first got pages of “how to knit gloves” when she did a search.

“Let me help you,” I offered.  “I worked in libraries for many years and I’m an ace at searching the Net.  Let’s try ‘compression gloves.”  Voila!  That did the trick.

So now I’m waiting on my hand brace with the 3/4 thumb covering.  There are a lot of compression gloves out there but most stop below the top thumb joint.  I’m hopeful that this will be a breakthrough along with giving my hands more breaks.

On the plus side, the hospital’s elevators for the public were broken and I had to ride up to OT in the staff elevator so when I left OT, I decided to just walk down the steps.

A man in the waiting room called out, “Hey, they DID get one of the elevators working.”

Uh, no thanks.  I didn’t feel too confident riding in an elevator that had just been having problems especially since I was once stuck in an elevator…with my brother…twice in the same afternoon.

I walked down the three flights of steps and went to push open the door into the lobby.  Yikes, it was locked and apparently you needed a staff card to swipe in order to open it.  I looked around in a panic until I noticed an exit door to the outside behind me.

Out I went only to find myself way in the back of the hospital in some workers’ parking lot.  I ended up having to walk ALL AROUND the hospital complex (and it was a very big complex) in temps hovering in the “feels like 106 degrees” mark before I reached my car. At least I got my exercise for the day!


Dental Implant Surgery – Inserting the Post

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Ice, Ice, Baby!

Yesterday I had the second surgery for my dental implant.  This was the surgery to put the implant post into my jaw.  The post, of course, is what the fake tooth will be screwed onto when I am finally healed enough for that to happen.   First I have to wait another three months for the healing to be complete.

This isn’t my first rodeo, er, implant.  This is my second dental implant in two years.  The whole implant procedure takes six months.  You have the first surgery to remove the offending tooth.  Then you wait three months to heal.  Now it’s time to go in for the second surgery where they insert the post. Then you wait ANOTHER three months to heal and finally you are ready to have the new tooth screwed onto the post and before you can say, “Bob’s your uncle” (and try that with a mouthful of dental implements), you are once again looking normal (one can only hope).

So off I trudged with my designated driver (my long-suffering hubby) yesterday to the dental surgeon’s office.  I clocked in with the receptionist and was sent downstairs to the surgical waiting room (a tiny room with windows that don’t open and yes, I checked).  All too soon, a nurse called me into the inner sanctum.

I was ushered into the surgical room, climbed into the chair and proceeded to sign my life away.  At least, it seemed like that when I had to initial all of those disclaimers.  I no longer actually read about all of the things that could go wrong since I discovered that it’s a surefire way to hyperventilate.  I was already nervous enough.

The nurse covered me in a blanket, slapped a bright sticker on my left arm to remind the surgical team not to stick me there or take my blood pressure on that arm.  I’m minus 20+ lymph nodes in that arm, courtesy of breast cancer years ago so we never mess with that arm.  It’s like the state of Texas.  She stuck some things on my chest and hooked me up to a monitor that showed my pulse, heartbeat, and blood pressure and then she left to tell the doctor that I was ready.

I glanced at the monitor and thought about how someone was going to soon be jamming a metal rod into my jaw.  It was fascinating how quickly my pulse rate rocketed skyward.  Well, THAT was fun.  I tried a few cleansing breaths and found my Zen place and watched my pulse drop.  For the next five minutes, I amused myself with pushing it up and down with just my thoughts until the door opened and my surgeon walked in.

“How are you feeling today,” he asked me.

“Terrified, as usual,” I squeaked.

“Naw, there’s nothing to be afraid of.  You’ve been through this before and you survived,” he remarked.  “Have there been any changes since your last visit?”

Soft foods at the ready!

Soft foods at the ready!

I decided I’d better tell him about the bone splinter that was trying to pop its way out of my gum next to the extraction site.  They’d done a bone graft at my first surgery, after taking out the tooth and apparently, part of the new bone decided to go “visiting.”  I’d called their office when I’d first noticed it but had been assured that this was fairly common and nothing to worry about.

“Hmmm, let me take a look,” he said.  “Oh, yes, I see it.  Well, I can easily take care of that during the surgery.”

“Noooo, I’m good,” I rushed to assure him.  “It doesn’t hurt at all.  Really!”

“I think it would be better if I just made a simple slit in the gum and filed that off for you while I’m in there,” he insisted.  “If I don’t, it could cause problems later on if food you were eating got caught on it.”

“OK,” I gulped.

“Alright then, you know the drill,” he laughed.  “I’ll be back in after the anesthesiologist comes in.”

He left and then the door opened and a lady walked in whom I’d never seen before.

“Hi, I’m going to be your anesthesiologist today,” she said.

“Oh, no…no offense but you’re not my little guy that I always have.  I REALLY like him, not that there’s anything wrong with you, but I find him very calming and I’m so nervous right now that I’d really feel better with him,” I stammered.

Luckily she didn’t take offense.  It turned out that he was just finishing up with a patient next door so he’d soon be available.

Painkiller and Antibiotic on hand.

Painkiller and Antibiotic on hand.

Why I called him a “little guy”, I don’t know.  He’s a tall, lanky kid who looks like he came here straight from an Iowa farm.  He’s also goofy and funny and I really get along well with him, maybe partially because he seems to “get” why I always have him knock me out with general anesthesia before he puts my IV in.

He soon popped in.  “You waited for me.  That’s so sweet,” he said, with a big grin.

“I sure did,” I laughed.  “And look, I’m wearing sneakers so I can transfer over to the wheeled chair when they take me to recovery so you won’t have to carry me.”

He laughed.  “Good, because I’m not sure I could make like Kevin Costner in ‘The Bodyguard’ and carry you.  I don’t know any Whitney Houston songs.”

I snorted.  “Well, I could manage some Whitney songs but I can’t guarantee they’d sound like her.  After all, I was a drama major in college and had roles in musical comedies.  That’s exactly what this would be, too, if you tried to carry me.  A REAL comedy! But hey, thanks for giving me something fun to dream about when you put me under.”

“You’ll need to take some nice even breaths when I put this mask over your face,” he said.  “You remember the drill (what WAS it with these folks…was I going to get my own parking space if, God forbid, I had to ever have a third implant?).   Unfortunately it isn’t going to smell the greatest…sort of like a skunk, which isn’t exactly unpleasant at first, although I was trying to think the other day what exactly they DO smell like.”

“Chives,” I said.  “They smell like chives until you’ve been exposed to the smell for awhile.  No need to apologize for the smell, though.  I just got back from helping my daughter with my new grandson so I’ve recently been around plenty of dirty diapers.”

He chuckled and said, “So just breath nice and easy.  You’ll begin to feel a little light-headed.”

I breathed and my head started to spin and I remembered that this was my favorite part of the whole thing.  It was just like that delicious feeling that you get as you are drifting off to sleep and you are halfway between awake and Dreamland.

Unlike a good snooze, the next thing I knew, I was being gently helped onto a recovery bed and I had a mouthful of gauze wadded in my mouth.

The BAD mouthwash

The BAD mouthwash

I spent the rest of the day swaddled in blankets in our recliner, watching strange TV shows like “Alaska State Trooper” and “Hillbilly Handfishing” while I did the thirty minutes on, thirty minutes off routine with an ice pack and played Candy Crush while half asleep from the pain pills.

Hi, Grandma!

Hi, Grandma!

The best pain medicine, though, was the picture that my daughter texted of little Bucky saying, “Grandma, I miss you.  Hope you feel better soon.”

I made it through the night, I’m feeling no pain, and it’s a mashed potato day today.  Things are looking up.  Let the healing begin!




Either “Pressure Me” or Beam Me Up

A modern USB spirometer (http://www.advancedme...Image via WikipediaIt was just my luck that my semi-annual appointment with the allergist was today, right in the midst of my recovery from a sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis.  At least he had some fun things to look at.  Things were going well.  I’d suffered through the weigh-in (hate those) and breathed through the spirometer for the lung function test without passing out.  I DID sound like a car that needed a tune-up during that last test.  The nurse tried to reassure me by saying, “I think those noises were just your vocal chords.”  Uh-huh!

The doctor came in and looked me over and assured me that my lungs were sounding better but my ears were still suspect.  He wanted to have the pressure checked in them and then reassess my treatment.  OK.

Tympanometer!Image by DdR` via Flickr
Soon the nurse entered with a portable tympanometer.  It wasn’t like the one pictured at the right.  It was a portable device and it looked like a stun gun from a Star Trek episode.  She also brought two other nurses to observe her do the test.  I must have looked a little startled because she assured me that she wasn’t going to “shoot me.”

“Hey, I was more worried that you might be planning to transport me to the next galaxy with that thing,” I laughed.

After much fiddling around trying to get the correct test to show up on the little screen, she put it in my good ear and pushed a button.  I felt a little vibration but that was it.

“Oh, oh….that’s not right,” she said to the other nurses.
Now since the last time I heard those words I was laying on a slab in the middle of a bone scan after being diagnosed with breast cancer and the jokers who said it were clustered around a screen,  I’m a mite touchy about medical people saying things like that near me.  Turns out in the bone scan case, the technicians were talking about a faulty piece of equipment but they neglected to tell me that until after they’d scared the bejeebers out of me.

“Um, are we talking about the equipment or my hearing?” I asked.

“Oh, no, no, no….just the equipment.  It doesn’t seem to be registering correctly,” she assured me.

She tried it again….and again….and again.   By the time she had tried it 6 times in each ear, she gave up and went off to find the doctor.  I was starting to feel like heading off to the Outer Nebula might have been easier.

She came back in one more time.  “Could you get off the examining table and sit in a chair at my level,” she asked.  “I think it might make a difference.”

I did and it did and this time she got a successful reading.  Eureka!  I had fluid in BOTH ears.  Must have been all that coughing I’ve been doing that has moved the fluid from lungs to ears.

“Just keep on using all the medications your family doctor prescribed,” my allergist advised.  “And use your nasal spray.  That should help with the ears.”

Okey, dokey!  Beam me out, Scotty!  Mission accomplished.

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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

This is the Way We Wash Our Hands

Person washing his handsImage via Wikipedia

I came back from our Texas vacation with a cold which quickly became a sinus infection, an ear infection, and bronchitis.  If you’ve been following our vacation adventures, you know that the whole family in Texas succumbed to illness one-by-one and I was the last to bite the dust.  I REALLY thought I might escape it but didn’t.  One of the things I was doing to try to stay healthy was a LOT of hand-washing.

Children washing their hands before lunch. Tak...Image via Wikipedia

Now that I’m back home and recuperating with lots of time on my hands between coughs and nose-blowing, I thought it might be helpful to review just how we’re supposed to wash our hands to avoid illness.  It’s pretty basic stuff but you’d be amazed how tricky it can be in the course of the average day to be diligent in keeping those hands clean.

So when should we wash our hands?  Most of this is common sense but let’s have a quick review, ok?
You should wash your hands:

1.  Before you eat
2.  After you’ve handled raw meat or eggs
3.  After you’ve been around someone who is sick
4.  Before visiting with someone whose immune system might be compromised, including the elderly
5.  After going to the toilet
6.  Before preparing food
7.  After you blow your nose, if you can get to a faucet
8.  Anytime you have touched something “yucky” – use your own judgement here, like after changing a diaper, etc..hand washing with soapImage via Wikipedia

I also like to wash my hands if I’ve been out in public, shopping or going in and out of public places where I’ve had to open a lot of doors or touch escalators, elevator buttons, etc.  And that’s the rub, isn’t it?  We touch so many surfaces in the course of a day that your hands would be rubbed raw from washing them if we tried to keep them totally clean.  That’s why many people now carry antibacterial handwash or wipes with them for a quick wipe-down when they are out and about.  It’s also why the next little tip is very important.

TIP:  Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible.  These are three areas through which germs can easily gain access to our bodies.  It’s also something that we do almost unconsciously throughout the day.

None - This image is in the public domain and ...Image via WikipediaHow should you wash your hands?
1.  Use warm running water whenever possible.  Wet your hands under the water.

2.  Lather your hands with bar soap or liquid soap.

3.  Now work that lather over your hand surfaces for between 15-20 seconds – that’s about as long as it would take you to mentally hum the “Happy Birthday” song or the “Alphabet Song.”

4.  When you are lathering your hands, work the soap lather on both the front and back surfaces of each hand, between each finger (including between your thumb and palm), work it under your fingernails, and up to your wrists.

5.  Rinse your hands under the running water and then dry your hands with a clean towel – disposable paper towels are preferable.  But wait… did you turn off that faucet?  Did you use your hand?  Think of all the people who touched that faucet.  You’re back to Square One, my friend.  You should always try to turn off the water faucet with a paper towel.

6.  Now head on out and if you have to open a restroom door, try to use a paper towel, your elbow, or a forearm, rather than those clean hands.

It’s a hostile environment out there with germs lurking everywhere.  Follow these tips and try to stay well, my friends.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find another tissue.

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© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

Could the Plague Be Far Behind?

I HATE being sick!

Well, so far in the war of the germs vs. the family, the germs seem to have the upper hand.  Let’s tally the casualties so far:

1 Grandma – recovering from a bad case of vertigo which led to nausea and now has progressed to a cold
1 Aunt – cold
1 Son – recovering from a case of “stomach feeling off” and now feeling pretty good
1 Daughter-in-Law – cold
1 Granddaughter – cold, and now pink-eye
1 Grandson – cold
1 Grandpa (PawPaw) – back hurting and cold

In the meantime, I’ve been dutifully taking Cold-Eze, washing my hands every chance I get and hoping for the best.  It also doesn’t hurt that I have friends back home praying that I’ll stay healthy.

This morning, because the Commander was moving slowly, we got downstairs for breakfast near the closing time and most of the food was gone and there was such a crowd that there was no place to sit.  That was incentive enough for me to say, “Let’s go to Waffle House.”  I got a big kick out of our server there.  He was a very nice young man who couldn’t get over the fact that I ordered my coffee black (is there any other way?).  He kept saying, “I’ve never met a lady who drank her coffee black.  They always seem to want cream or sugar in their coffee.”

I finally told him, “I learned to drink coffee in the Navy and we like it strong and black there.”  (I really felt like I should follow up this statement with a hearty “Aargh, me hearties!”)

Speaking of food preferences, little Mika has found a food that she loves.  She likes corn on the cob.  In fact she’s a little chomping machine when you bring out the corn.

This is pretty good, Mommy.
Nana, you should try some of this!
“Chomp, chomp, chomp!”

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

Out, Out, Damn Spot!

Drugs to the Rescue

I had to go in to have a fairly big mole removed today.  It was my first time ever having a mole removed and I have been dreading it.  In fact, when I had my initial dermatology screening and the doctor said the mole had to go, I was telling her how big a baby I am about getting numbing shots and stitches.  The last time I had to have stitches, my whole body started to go numb, beginning at my toes and working its way up towards my heart.  I was convinced that if it reached my heart, I was going to have a heart attack.  Luckily the doctor had finished the stitching right before that happened.

Well, after telling my current doctor this, she quickly prescribed some Valium for me and also suggested a tube of topical numbing creme to put on the area about a half hour before I showed up today for the surgery.

I was REALLY hoping that I would be totally out of it by the time I reached the doctor’s office but I wasn’t.  The old adrenalin was pumping, let me tell you.  The Commander drove me over there but I walked in on my own steam (as opposed to him having to carry me in, which is what I had really hoped for).  I no sooner sat down in the waiting room when they called me into the back for the procedure.

“How are we doing? the nurse asked brightly.

“Horrible, if you want to know the truth,” I answered.  “I took the Valium she prescribed but it hasn’t even affected me.”

“Well, it will most likely kick in after you leave here,” she laughed.  “You’re too tense right now. But don’t worry.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.”

The doctor walked in.  “I understand you are still a little apprehensive,” she said.

“I think you should have prescribed elephant tranquilizer for me,” I informed her.

She laughed.  “Well, I brought my full bag of tricks.  I’m going to set up my iPod and play some classical music for you, if that is ok.  Do you like classical music?”

“Uh-huh,” I mumbled.  I also like polkas, I thought, but that’s probably not the right paced music for surgery.

“I’m also going to use a cold, numbing spray on the site, even though you already used the numbing creme.  That should really ensure that you don’t feel anything,” the doctor continued.

“Would you like a wet washcloth for your forehead?” asked the nurse.

“No, I’m good,” I replied.  “I usually prefer to clutch a pillow or my teddy bear, but I’ll just lay here.”

The spraying commenced, followed by periods of something.  I couldn’t feel it but I figured something was happening as there would be some spraying, then movement and the doctor doing something, then more spraying. After about 6-7 minutes of this, the doctor informed me that she was now going to drape the area so she could start the removal of the mole.

“You’re kidding,” I squeaked.  “I was kind of hoping you were all done.”

“Oh, the worst is behind you.  You aren’t going to feel anything now,” she chuckled.  “I promise that this will be over before you know it.”

I concentrated on the music and started choreographing ballet moves to the different tunes. Occasionally I’d feel a tug here and a tug there and I hoped that meant she was putting in stitches.  When I’d run out of ballet ideas, I’d zero in on that big frosty glass of Diet Pepsi that I was going to drink when I got out of there.

“We’re done,” the doctor announced.  “All I have to do now is put the bandaging on and you can go.  You’ve done great!”

“That’s because I had a great doctor, a great nurse, and excellent music,” I said.

The Commander came into the room to help me out and we hightailed it out of there.  By the time we made it home and I got out of the car, true to the nurse’s prediction, I was weaving like a drunken sailor.

Uh, what did I come in here for?
Don’t I normally wear glasses?
Do I really care?  Where’s the TV remote?

All’s well that ends well.  The mole is off and will be soon on its way to the lab to be checked.  Let’s pray that it is benign.

And if you haven’t had a baseline check yet with a dermatologist, let me encourage you to do so, especially if you are in your middle years of life.  If they find something that needs to be removed, I HIGHLY recommend Valium before your appointment.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

By the Itching of My Thumbs

Have you ever had one of those moments when you do something and almost immediately your mind catches up with your actions and you think, “Oh, oh…..that wasn’t wise!”  I’m thinking this morning was one of those moments.

It started out great.  The morning dawned cool…even cold by my standards.  This was perfect weather to get outside and do some weeding, especially since we were going to have company arriving tomorrow.  The front flowerbed was in bad need of attention and since the Commander didn’t seem to be stepping up to the plate, I figured I’d better do it so that our guests didn’t need to be issued pith helmets to make it to the front door.

I dressed in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, put on work gloves and headed outside.  I hate yard work but the cool breeze made it tolerable and soon the front bed looked pretty good.  But did I stop there? Oh no, I was on a roll.

I decided to go around to the side of the house and trim back the butterfly bushes to encourage them to bulk up their trunks.  I trimmed the sides of the bushes, too so that my coleus plants could be seen between each bush.  I was working my way down the side to the end where our lilac bush was and was almost finished when I trimmed some shoots and grabbed the fallen ones and pulled them out onto the yard.  I pulled, dropped, and pushed my glasses up onto my nose.  Then I took a closer look at what I had just dropped onto the yard.  Crikey!  “Leaves of three, let it be!”

Oh, no….this was almost exactly where the poison oak had gotten me two years ago.  That was a real disaster which had one of my arms swollen up like a balloon, festering sores over my arm and chest, and ended with a visit to the emergency room and a shot in the backside after 3 weeks of misery.  After that little joyride my doctor had forbidden me to do yard work since I was obviously now quite sensitized to poison plants.  I didn’t do any yard work last year.  But I’m more apt to cave in due to feeling shamed by the state of our yard than the Commander and the thought of company seeing a tangled mess was what had me outside today.

I dropped everything and fled inside.  The first thing I did was scrub my hands and face with warm soapy water.  The next thing I did was get out of my work clothes and take a long shower, sudsing everything down with soap.  The clothes went into the wash (and I did NOT touch them with my hands.  I used a towel to pick them up and put them in the wash.)

Now I’m praying that I was quick enough that this time I will have escaped the consequences.  Darn, I don’t want to have to go through all of the “seeping swamp monster” stuff again.  And as for all the debris on the side of the yard?  I showed it to the Commander and told him “Have at it!”  You can fool me once.  You can fool me twice.  But a third time?  Shame on me!

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

Speak Up, Sonny!

Eh, don’t mumble, Sonny!

I’ve developed a bit of a hearing loss these last few weeks.  I’m guessing that it isn’t anything permanent because it came on me during a bout with a sinus and ear infection.  You probably can guess the initial symptoms….the head that feels like a bowling ball is loose inside it, the pain in the eardrum, the pressure.

Within a day of those symptoms, everything started to sound like I was listening to folks underwater.  However, since it was just the one ear, it was like having a stereo system with only one speaker working properly and the other one going from bad to worse.  Ugh!

I’ve been finding myself in stores where I suddenly realize that a clerk was talking to me and I didn’t even realize it.  “Oh, I’m sorry,” I’ll mumble as I ask them to repeat themselves.  I’ve been asking folks to repeat themselves a lot!

When I called up my brother to wish him a Happy Birthday, I mentioned that I had an ear infection and that it was making me deaf in the one ear.

“You probably don’t even realize that anything is wrong, but I can’t hear very well right now, ” I said.

“Oh, trust me, I can tell,” he replied.  “You’re shouting.”

When I take a shower, the water sounds like rain falling on a tin roof — on the half of my head that has the faulty ear.  The other side is just normal.  Brushing my teeth also has a strange sound to it.  One side sounds like everyday garden variety brushing.  The other side sounds like someone is taking a Hoover to the teeth.  It’s like everything is amplified on the “bad” side.

When I was in a knitting class yesterday, I popped some gum in my mouth and started chewing.  I was immediately horrified because the sounds of my chewing sounded like a jackhammer.  I snuck a look around the room.  Nobody seemed to be paying any attention to my mastications so hopefully I was the only one hearing the “amplified” version.  I tried to be a quieter chewer but somehow sucking on a stick of gum isn’t quite as satisfying as chewing it.

Tonight, when the Commander and I were out on our “date” eating, I mentioned how my chewing sounded so loud to me with this ear infection.

“You probably don’t hear me chewing at all, do you,” I said.

“Oh, no, I do,” he answered.

“You’re kidding me, right?” I asked.

“No, for example, on Sundays, when I’m sitting in the recliner in the living room after I eat breakfast, I can hear you chewing when you’re in the dining room,” he observed.

“Well, for Heaven’s Sake, I don’t eat with my mouth open, do I?” I countered.

“No, you just chew loudly,” he replied.

“Well, then…if it bothers you so much, maybe you need to go sit somewhere else,” I snarled.  “Besides, I don’t think you even chew your food.  I think you just let it slide down your throat.” 

So much for Date Night.  And judging from the glances from the other diners, I probably was having this conversation a little louder than I realized.  Humph, go chew on that!

Let’s hope this condition doesn’t last much longer.  In the meantime, if you have something to say to me, you’d best get my attention first and then speak up and don’t mumble.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

Put Me On a Boat and Call Me Sonar

As my mom used to sing, in her warped sense of humor, “I feel like hell…..I feel like hell…..I feel like hell…ping some poor soul.”  Yup, I’ve got the galloping crud or whatever is being passed around these parts.  I really thought I might avoid it this time when I moved across the hall into the guestroom when the Commander came down with it.  Unfortunately, those blasted germs chased me down.

It’s the usual Springtime upper respiratory thing, with the sneezing, runny nose, and coughing.  It caught me unprepared with not a lot of cold remedies around the house so I’ve been relying on my usual allergy meds.

I’ve been trying to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.  When that gets old, I break into the Diet Pepsi.  In the mornings, I rely on hot coffee and tea.

Sometimes I go for the stronger stuff.  When you’re operating with only 1-2 hours of sleep a night because of the stuffy nose and horrible coughing, it’s any port in a storm, I say.

Speaking of coughing, I figure I could hire myself out to the Navy as sonar.  Honestly, with all the hacking and clearing of my throat, I sound like I’m doing constant “pings.”    I walk around the house and you can follow my progress by listening to the sound of “huh, huh, heh, heh.”  I just can’t seem to hack up those darn phlegm balls.

Whatever did folks do back in the old days before modern medicine when they had horrible coughs?  Since I can breathe better when I’m sitting upright, I’ve had time to actually do a little research on the computer into that very question.  Here are some of the home remedies I found suggested to tame a cough.  CAUTION:  You might not want to try any of these.  I simply found them on the ‘Net and we all know how reliable THAT can be.  But they are good for a laugh.  Also remember that honey shouldn’t be given to young children 1 year or younger.  Comments in italics are mine.

1.  Stay hydrated.
2.  Try some honey (1 Tablespoon) with juice from 1 lemon
3.  Chew on a piece of peeled fresh ginger
4.  Inhale steam
5.  Smear vapor rubs on your chest
(These remedies were found at )
6.  Try Licorice for a cough
7.  Mix garlic and honey together for a cough remedy (no one will CARE if you are coughing because no one will want to get near you)
8.  Chocolate has a component in it that is said to relieve coughing.  (Now THERE is a suggestion that I can get onboard with)
9.  Make a Ginger, Cayenne Pepper, and and Vinegar Tea (I think I’ll stick with NyQuil.)
(These remedies were found at )
10.  Drink grape juice with a tsp. of honey
11. Drink Onion juice mixed with honey (You’ve GOT to be kidding me.)
12.  Grind up raisins with water and then add sugar and heat it up.
13.  Take a daily warm-water enema (Um, I’m coughing out of the other end.)
(These remedies were found at )
14.  Eat a tablespoon of peanut butter
15.  Empty some whisky out of the bottle and add to the bottle, hard rock candy,  2 lemons and honey and let it sit 24 hours then use it to dose for coughs and colds. (I wonder how many old-timers convinced their wives that this was a remedy for coughs and NOT liquid refreshment?)
16.  Put Vicks on your feet,  slip socks on and then your cough will lessen within an hour. (another person said you could also use plain Crisco or lard.)  (I’m thinking that your cough will go away when you start screaming after you fall while trying to walk with Vicks or lard on your feet and break a hip.)
17Raise one arm up above your head.  (Just don’t try this if sleeping in bed with someone OR if at an auction.)
18.  Rub vodka or brandy on your chest or throat before bedtime. (Hmm, well, you definitely wouldn’t want to do this if you had to go anywhere else, like an important meeting or church.)
 (These remedies were found at )
There you have it.  Now aren’t you glad that you can just pop over to a drugstore and pick up cough drops or cough syrup nowadays?  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go smear some lard on my feet.  I’m thinking that it might not cure my cough, but it might just polish up my floors.

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk

I’m a Little Teapot

I had quickly drifted off to sleep last evening and was happily dreaming away when a high-pitched whistling sound slowly penetrated my consciousness.  Sheesh!  What could that be?  It sounded like one of those whistling tea kettles.

I roused myself enough to wake up and realize that it was my CPAP mask leaking air.  Groan!  I jiggled the mask, trying to stop the whistling.  Great!  All that accomplished was making the darn thing whistle in different pitches.

The Commander grunted in his sleep and rolled over.  I hate disturbing his slumber since he has to work during the day and I can always sneak a nap if I have to.  I grasped the hose which was attached to the CPAP machine and pushed it tighter onto the mask.  Didn’t make any difference.

I sat up in bed and tried tightening the head strap until I felt like my eyes were bugging out.  The noise stopped.  I snuggled back down under the covers and burrowed my head into the pillow.  Bliss!  My eyelids drooped as I slowly relaxed and felt myself heading off into slumber again.  EEEEEEEEEEEE!  Oh, bugger!  The whistling was back.

That did it.  I turned off the CPAP machine and threw off the mask.  It was quiet and dark for a change.  I didn’t even have the glow of the machine to ruin my sleep.  However, I DID have nasal congestion now and couldn’t get my darn nose to decongest.  At least with the CPAP mask on, it tends to keep my nasal passages somewhat open.

I tossed and turned for a few minutes, trying to breathe and finally gave up.  I sat up, turned on the light on my nightstand and rummaged through the masks in the drawer.  Ah, here was one that would probably work even if it meant I’d wake up in the morning with a line pressed into each cheek.  At least I’d get some sleep.  I switched the masks and hooked myself up again to the CPAP machine.  This time I just had to adjust the straps of the replacement mask and I was good to go.  Go to sleep, that is.  No more tea kettle sounds.  Thank goodness!

© copyright 2012 – All rights reserved

Hot Flashed Funk


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