Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Help Support Scouting Activities

Did you know you can help me earn my own way in Scouting?
Just click here and place an order on my behalf. There are
new products offered online, like flavored almonds and a
limited edition BSA tote.

You can even donate a gift of popcorn (2 levels) to those serving our country.

70% of your purchase will be returned to me, my unit and
my council. Online purchases help us fund fun, educational
activities and help more kids experience all the things that
make Scouting great.

Thanks for your support,
Benjamin B

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Gas me up or Knock me out

Preventive and proactive care is normally a positive event in one's life, but there are times when you say, "I feel worse now than before I knew there was a problem." Last month I had my semi-annual dental visit which was also time for the annual bite-wing x-rays. Nothing unusual, during the visit, until near the end the hygienist mentioned I needed a filling. I glanced at the display screen noticing the highlighted tooth (a left molar). No big deal, I thought, it's been a long time since I needed one.

After some scheduling and rescheduling on their behalf, the procedure was scheduled for this past Thursday at 1:15. All went as planned until they called me a little after 12 asking if I could arrive earlier. Being that I was just finishing my lunch (a salad), they were located within 5 minute drive from my job, and all was slow, I left around 12:30, arriving there shortly after that. Spent a few minutes in the lobby playing BlackJack on BB and glancing at The Young & the Restless while I waited. Still, there was no indication that rest of my day would be dreadful.

I didn't remember until this woman stuck an anesthetic stick in my mouth that they were going to numb me with novocaine injections and it usually takes MANY before the work can begin. Having the previous experience of meds wearing off DURING a root canal, I recalled being told to try to relax as much as possible to let the meds work quickly. The first round injections came and went. I tried, REALLY tried, to "shut up", but doc's assistant continued to ask me several questions and instructing me to adjust my jaw in positions not normally done. During this inquisition, the second round of injections came and went because I still had sensations in lip and tongue. Maybe she thought that by talking, the meds would be "worked" into the proper areas. Not sure how much time had passed, but now The Bold & the Beautiful was on overhead monitor.

Finally when my saliva glands were in overdrive and my speech was so jumbled she could barely understand me, it was time to start. Doc was called in and he began with ANOTHER round of injections. It was a positive that I did not feel anything while doc went about doing his thing with his motorized gadgets, the negative happened later. I left their office just after 2pm.

Having a previously planned appointment canceled, I returned to work with no plans to speak to anyone, but of course Hubby wanted to have a phone conversation. Amid this conversation, I had to end it abruptly. Instead of the numbness decreasing, it began to increase to the other side of my face. This continued for the next hour or so.

Problem: lunch wore off and hunger cravings kicked in. There was no way I could eat my regular afternoon snack: Washington apple. Searching for alternatives in my desk I found some sugar-free thin mints. Breaking one apart, I was able to kill the snacking urge by letting pieces dissolve on my right cheek.

Rest of the day had a plethora of emotions: anger that I felt worse than before the procedure, annoyance to constantly push in my lower lip and check for drool, displeasure in taking Tylenol for the pain in the injection location, and aggravation that I couldn't eat anything until 8pm without fear of biting my tongue. Even then there was a possibility my cheek was still in danger.

Now here it is, three days after the procedure and there are still sensitive areas in my jaw. Next time, there has to be better way: either gas me up or knock me out.

Goal: Cleansers, who knew?

I haven't posted here is a long time because nothing has been technically completed. I was able to clear out a lot of stuff that was being stored in the office, but haven't gotten the room finished like I want.

A few weeks ago we were able to get the shelves up and empty SEVERAL boxes of books that had been packed for years. Some had been packed since the late 90's. Never really gotten around placing them in a "permanent" office. Most are our college textbooks, my computer science and his electrical engineering. It was interesting to find the several books on writing that we both had from our college days. We found a notebook of his writings from before we met that I will work to get published along with stories I've written in the last few years.

The newest books are Microsoft Certification study materials. Of course, those collections are still growing, for example my most recent purchases were on Javascript and AJAX. Of course, when hubby saw it he said, "why did you buy this book, I can teach you all about cleansers?"

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

To Catch a Thief

This is courtesy of a co-worker...

About a month ago, I set a trap because I was suspicious that someone was going in my desk draw. I have some Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars and (I had) some small packages of Nekot Cookies. First, my nutria-grain bars were missing. Now the bandit has taken my Nekot cookies. I bought some Newton’s Fruit Crisps Snacks that I leave on my desk. But noooooooooo, he/she/it…took my Lance Nekot Cookies with Peanut Butter.

I thought the thief was at least an honest thief. I left a note in the draw which read, “What in the Hell R, U, looking for. The next time, leave me a note that you stopped to steal my cookies. Well, guess what? My note is missing.

The moral of this true story is; I am not mad because if the bandit did not have a sense of humor, my note would still be here.

Thanks for letting me Vent.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I found the other woman, Vanesa

Some have asked me where I have been/what have I been doing since I have slacked on posting here. I have said that I have been busy working, but there is more to this story. For some time, this post has been on my mind, but I haven't had the strength to write it until now. My therapist said in order for me to heal, I have to let this go, for me to stop keeping this inside. Being that this blog has been the best outlet for me, I've finally decided to do this.

I do not remember when it was said, but in a discussion with Hubby one day, I told him that if the day came that I was not enough for him, I would find him someone else. My assumption was that it would never happen. As with my son's training in cub scout, when you make a promise, you must keep it if it is within your ability.

If you have been following me on Twitter, you may have seen my Tweets about Hubby's glucose levels being too high and being placed on short-term disability until his company says that he can drive for them again. He's been home for the past eight weeks. For the first four weeks, he was home with our son. But since school started he's basically been home alone all day. For someone accustomed to being away from home most of the time, I understand he could get lonely. In addition, after I get home from work, review homework, workout, having dinner and my side projects, there's wasn't much of "us" time before I have to do to sleep to start my daily routine all over again.

One day before going household shopping, I gave him a shopping list of items I knew we needed and told him to add what he needed. I didn't review the list until I was in the truck. The last item he wrote, "A woman, white or black". Saying I was shocked would be an understatement, but then I realized what I had promised him and had to honor it. We live about five miles from the nearest shopping centers so I had a little time to develop a strategy so the situation could benefit me also.

Quickly I selected certain qualities:
  • Dim: Can't have her challenging me intellectually
  • Quiet: Can't have her attempt to out talk me
  • Weak: If she steps out of place, I may have to beat her down. I don't have time for that
  • Meak: Can't have her challenging me to be the HSIC (head sista in charge)
  • Sturdy: with all the housework and yardwork to be done, since she's there, she might as well work, too

Arriving at Fred's, the parking lot looked sparse. There was not much hope for finding a large selection. That idea was confirmed as I perused the store selecting the other items on my list. Surprisingly in the toy section, or may be not surprising, I saw a possible candidate. She just had that "look" I was seeking. For the intelligence test, I asked her had she seen an item that was directly in her line of sight. She just stared as if I had asked her to name Saturn's moons. PERFECT! I explained the situation to her and she came along just as easily as the items in my shopping cart.

I had to also go across the street to get a few groceries from Ingles. She stayed in my truck to give her some more time to think about this and a chance to back out before meeting Hubby. When I returned, she was still there.

Arriving home, I brought in some bags and scoped Hubby's location. Returning with the last of the bags, I presented Vanesa to him as I will present her to you.

He didn't say she had to be LIVING!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 3, Final Chapter

Continued from Part 2...

I didn't mention earlier that I was spontaneously asked to be the Mistress of Service for our Sunday Service program. Spontaneous as in, Cousin Tina asked me from the front of the meeting hall as I sat at a table in the middle of the room, a room filled with our ENTIRE family. There was no way for me to decline. During the procession of the program I realized that my breathing wasn't as strong as normal. Thank goodness I declined from participating in the family choir.

I thought no more of this until later at home while unloading the truck; i felt the same weakness again. Once settled I read over the printed antibiotic prescription information that I mistakenly left home. I began to wonder if Hubby was correct in thinking the medicine had caused the additional symptoms, not the infection. I had one more day of pills to take and still had the recurring fever and chills. Not normal.

After several moments of contemplation, I decided to call my doctor's office. She suggested I go to the emergency room. Since Hubby and son were already in bed and I could tell Hubby was in his "you don't need to go the emergency room" mode, I decided not to press and drive myself. At least I did contact mom and sis to let them know of my plans. They decided that sis will drop off mom and if it turned out to be serious, they would workout getting my car back home.

Mom arrived not long after I completed the check-in process. In the examining room, I began to feel the effects of the last Goody powder wearing off. Being that the last few times I'd been on a hospital gurney I was well medicated, I don't recall noticing how UNCOMFORTABLE a gurney can be. I tossed and turned in the slim excuse of a bed. It took two people find a "good" vein to suck all the blood out of me.
It seemed like hours before I was given any Tylenol for the fever. I figured they wanted to perform all tests prior. By the time the pain reliever took effect well, the doc returned with the results.

Of course, since the doctor is PRACTICING medicine, he had no idea what was wrong. He had eliminated a reaction from the medicine and the initial infection was non-existent. He would have guessed it was something viral, but since I still had the fever, he suggested I had an infection that could not be detected in the tests they had performed. Either I could stay longer and let them take cultures or take a different antibiotic to see if it would knock it out. It was already in the wee hours of the morning, you know what option I chose.

Arriving back home before daylight, I took more Tylenol and went to bed. Thank goodness Hubby and I had taken the week off. Instead of working through our TO DO list, I spent Monday-Thursday either in bed or in my glider-rocker. The second antibiotic worked like a charm; after the first few doses, the fever and chills disappeared. It wasn't until Friday afternoon before I even left the house. At least on Sunday I was able to work on one project on the list.

Of course since returning to my regular madhouse schedule, nothing has been done since. Maybe I'll get more done on my NEXT vacation.

Side Note: Today is my dad's birthday, he would have been 78.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 2

Continued from Part 1... and pics from cookout

Let's see where was I. Oh yeah..back at the hotel I crawled into bed while Hubby and son visited the pool. With increasing aches and pains and the addition of chills, the plan was to get a little sleep prior to the Meet & Greet session that night. I'd already paid for the accompanying meal. Now I know that no one should fall asleep while watching HBO because you'll never know what you'll wake to and also it could affect your dreams. Since Hubby likes to watch channels like National Geographic and Animal Planet and left the TV on a channel like those, I thought it would be safe, NOT!!! I had disturbing dreams of some anteater-looking animals that normal lived in swamps but occasionally went to land in search of food. They had webbed feet. Needless to say, my sleep wasn't restful.

Later I dragged myself downstairs to the meeting room. Being that it was well after the start time of 8pm, I thought I would be able to say hi to everyone, eat and go back to bed. At this time I thought that was finally feeling the effects of the infection and figured it would clear soon. Exiting the elevator, I saw Hubby relaxing in the lobby with my uncle, not a good sign.

In the meeting room, only about 25% of the fam was there, they were still bringing in the food, and I was STUCK. There was no way I could bail. At least I was given the Family bag of goodies before the rush started. As soon as I received it, Mom (sitting across the room) motioned for me to see inside. There was a sample box of Goody's pain and fever powders. Being a Tylenol fan, I didn't put much thought on it (little did I know then).

After what seemed to be hours, we finally ate. Afterward, Hubby said he would go get some Tylenol for me, if I wanted. The hotel didn't have a convenience shop. Well, I wanted to watch the family slideshow, so I told him I would be up when it was over. He went on upstairs while son and I stayed for the show.

I should have known my family. The slide show of donated pictures was created WITHOUT labeling the images. Almost every slide had a discussion on who was pictured. Son fell asleep before it was over. It was a great idea and hilarious seeing pictures of some folks "young and skinny" who are not now so "young and skinny" .

Back in our room, I returned to find Hubby knocked out. There was no way I would wake him. Hmmm, the Goody powders. I took a dose and went to bed. I had chills when I first crawled in, but must have gotten hot later. By the middle of the night, I had sweat-soaked everything. Thank goodness we had gotten two queen beds and the sleeper. I was spent the second half of the night on the OTHER side of my bed. It was soaked too, by the morning. Hubby would have been miserable if we had gotten a king suite. We did leave good tips, though.

That's how I survived the rest of the reunion and the drive home. Goody powders every six hours allowed me to enjoy the Saturday cookout/fun and games, and the Sunday service and brunch during the days. But still sweating all night. Oh yeah, southern cuz and I did beat the other northern cuz and his wife in three rounds of Horseshoe.

Now throughout all of this, I continued to take the antibiotics. Hubby suggested that I stop since it appeared I was having adverse effects from it. Knowing you're not supposed to stop taking antibiotics, I continued.

Next, Part 3: All night in the emergency room.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2nd Time Around, Part 1

Having the last reunion for this family not turn out as expected, there was hope for a better vacation this year having the reunion planned for the first few days followed by a week off with Hubby to complete many projects around the house. Thursday morning, 1st day of vacation, all was moving along fine even though I was running late to meet at Mom's house. Two days earlier at a physical, I was informed that I had a Urinary Tract infection. Even though I haven't had one since I was in my twenties, I figured it was just a fluke. I started taking the antibiotics that Wednesday night.

I do not recall how far along we were on I-16 before it was noticeable that there may be a problem. Hubby began asking me how I felt. Knowing that I had been living full throttle for months and was on antibiotics, I thought my drowsiness was acceptable and no cause for worry. I must have had that "something is not right" aura, because he continued to ask me how I felt. I was just glad he was doing all the driving while I dozed all the way there.

Thursday evening was uneventful, we picked up supplies from a nearby Kroger and burgers on the way back. Friday morning was fine; breakfast was at a Shoney's Buffet.

For the Black History Tour of Savannah, I thought we were going to be on a "trolley" tour bus, but we were in a fully-loaded 15-passenger van.

It was a great learning experience, in particular visiting the First African Baptist Church. It was cool seeing the memorabilia from the 18th Century.

Outside the church, we stopped at the Haitian Monument. Rode around some more and stopped at what used to be an African school which now is an art gallery and museum. I began to feel a little tired and achy. We even saw the neighborhood that my mom used to live.

The tour was ending later than expected so the driver agreed to take us directly to River Street so we wouldn't miss the boat ride. On the way there, he took us by the holding areas where slaves were kept until they were sold. They looked like open garages in a hillside adjacent to stone streets. I wished we had time to stop and take pictures and contemplate.

After a quick snack, we moved along for the river boat ride along the Savannah River. We had to wait awhile before boarding. It was around that time I realized
that "a little tired and achy" felt more like "exhaustion and painful", but there was no where to go but forward. Once the river boat started, Hubby and I went out to the deck following the kids. The most comfortable seating was on the bow.
Great view, warmth from the Sun and a relaxing breeze. I forgot that I wasn't feeling well, amazing.

Back at the hotel, I realized the worst was yet to come.

Continued in next post.

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