Friday, December 28, 2007

Email v Phone Calls

People often complain about the impersonalness of email, but there certainly is something nice and convenient about being able to carefully script your thoughts on your own time and send them off into the netherworld of the internet and then get a response scripted on the timeline of the recipient. It is unobtrusive and efficient. Phone conversations are better for active dialogue and information exchange, but it requires two people to be available at the same time and that is so hard.

I know a little bit of a departure from my usual thoughts, but this one has been plaguing (sp) me of late as the numb foot thing keeps getting worse. Yesterday, poor Lefty was devoid of feeling after walking just under a mile. At this rate, I might wind up back on the couch and that would so not work for me. Anyway, my favorite ortho onc doc wanted to talk to me after I saw the radiation doc and the foot and ankle ortho to discuss this further. However, she doesn't believe in email with patients. I get it, but the result is that my cell phone is connected to my person at all hours because invariably she will call during the two minutes that I leave my cell phone. On the other hand the foot and ankle guy is happily emailing me (and her) to try to figure out which nerve is bothered and why this keeps happening. So much more efficient. Right now I just want an answer and a plan because I am sick of this. Help!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Promises kept

I swore I would never dress my dog. I even gave Kim permission to take Sadie away if she were ever found in clothes.  However, my mom has a ceramic duck that she dresses for the holidays, and Sadie was quite curious about the whole thing. She seemed to have costume envy. I persisted in my desire to keep her clothes free, but of course, my mom encouraged my poor dogs feeling of undressed inequality. See evidence below.

Merry Christmas to all

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I sat in my office last night forcing myself to get through writing copious notes about my little charges and playing games with myself to get through it- so many notes before getting another pecan praline thing etc, and I started musing about time. It felt like just last week when I had last been tortured by the mundane reality of the writing of these notes, but in fact it was the Sunday after Thanksgiving, before I went to DC, before the dumb numb foot thing escalated, before so many other things that now seem remote because they are now a part of my daily reality. Then I started thinking about how I will be back to work truly full time as of Jan 2 when I am on service for the first time in over a year. That was when it got truly curious because if I have issues sorting out the passage of time over the past month, forget the past year. I barely remember last Christmas, yet the one the year before is still clear in my mind. I went to New York just after Christmas last year and while I did my best to put away all of my decorations before going when I returned to my house in March there were still tell tale bows and Christmas candles throughout my house. Alas those things were still there when I packed everything up for the great remodel further pushing the issue of time and how we mark its passing. We think of time as one of the truly objective things in this world. We mark the time and date of important events so that we can remember them. We, or at least I, live by my watch so that I can keep to a schedule. However, once it becomes the past our mind plays tricks with the now elusive memory of time and that once truly ordered, objective time somehow gets marked subjectively and ranked based on importance. Funny how that happens. Curious how the fact that I got no sleep last night has lead to these observations. Oh well, time goes on.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Almost 8 months- follow up

Apparently breaking my fast food fast was worth it I found out today that I passed my test, and I have still managed to make forward progress with my diet.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me v2

I am another year older today and maybe another year wiser. That is a serious maybe, but I certainly learned a lot this past year. Today I also learned that a great way to chase away any birthday blues is as follows: Get your hair cut the night before so that your hair stylist has done your hair, wear a sweater the color of your eyes and pants the color of your hair. In that way you wind with at least 10 people telling you before 9 am that you look fabulous. Serious ego boost. Thanks all.

Also it is my blogiversary as I started this blog one year ago yesterday as a means of keeping everyone updated. Last year my birthday post was my second post ever and it had a little different feel, but today I am happy about it being my birthday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Almost 8 months

Really it has been 7 months and three weeks, since.....

The last time I ate fast food (the only exception were some fries the day I had my facial cyst biopsied). I know the date exactly because it was the day that my friend Kim gave birth to her baby, Brady. She had asked me to be there and I dutifully headed straight to the hospital where she was in labor after my daily foot fry; however, I was starving and by then I knew that getting really hungry wasn't good, so I stopped at Carls Jr for my all time favorite fast food hamburger- the Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I have loved it since I was a kid and it is the only fast food meal I have ever craved. Well that day, while the wonderful baby, Brady was born was the first time that I got really nauseous from my radiation. I know that the xray beams shot at my body were the cause but it became linked in my mind to fast food and thus for months after that fast food (even driving past a McDonalds or Carls Jr) made me sick to my stomach. Thus began my new found obsession with eating healthy. It started because protein smoothies were about the only thing I could stomach for the last week or so of radiation, but it has extended into a lifestyle change. I no longer remember the last time that I bought regular white rice in lieu of brown, or regular pasta instead of whole wheat. I eat organic when I can, and have at least one salad a day. I aim to eat lots of fresh veggies etc.

Alas, I digress, today I found myself with 20 minutes before I had to show up to take my pediatric recertification boards, 10 minutes of drivng to get there and at least 5 minutes to park etc and I needed to eat and lo and behold in front of me was a Carls Jr. I couldn't figure out how else to eat and I was hungry after swimming 2000 yards. I gave in and ordered the same Western bacon Cheeseburger, no fries. I ate the whole thing and it was good. I took my test, I hope I passed. I am disappointed at giving in on my resolve to avoid fast food for at least a year; however, while it was good it wasn't great and I am still quite sure that I will never again crave fast food.

So be it, I made it from April 22 to December 12 without any fast food and I think that was pretty darn good.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I wish I were an Ostrich

I wish I were an ostrich so I could bury my head in the sand.

I wish I were on a boat floating down the Nile so I could be in that state of bliss called “denial.” (sorry I couldn't find a good picture)

I might even settle to be Sadie and be so happy that I am back from my trip that sleep is the only way to contain the joy.

Alas, I still am me, and Lefty is seriously foiling my plans now. I always sort of knew that my foot going numb was a bad sign and when it started happening on my walks while I was in DC, I knew it really wasn’t good. Yet still the amazing power of the human mind to happily float down that river in Egypt is astounding and while I am a smart person and a doctor I can still happily stick my head in the sand until it is forced back out, as it was by my doctor when we finally talked on Monday. Apparently, the numb foot is bad and made even worse by the fact that my ankle is also getting weak now when it’s is numb- uck. She is worried that this represents something called postradiation exertional compartment syndrome, which apparently means that my ankle and foot want to swell from the radiation and are doing so, but it is so scarred down from all of the surgeries and radiation that it can’t swell. Therefore, when I do things that should make Lefty swell there is nowhere for the fluid to go so it builds up pressure causing compression of the nerves, veins etc. leading to a numb foot. I have to have some more tests to prove this theory, but it fits all of the symptoms and it makes sense. It is going to take awhile to get everything done, but in the meantime I have to take it easier. Rats- Plus if this is what is wrong and it is happening this soon after radiation (apparently 7 months is soon- as it is supposed to get worse for 2-3 years postradiation) then likely I’ll need surgery to release the pressure. Double ick (I have a lot else I’d like to say, but double ick will have to be the profanity of choice for now)