Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Even for "little things" - get a second opinion if the first opinion seems wrong to you...

So I already posted this as a "note" on Facebook, but I decided to include it on my blog also, especially since it's been such a long time since I blogged anything at all...

I have been having pain in my right foot for a long time. Hurts to walk, so I don't walk much anymore (although I'm on my feet for 8 hours a lot of days lately). I also quit walking on the treadmill, much to the detriment of my body. I also limp when I walk, sometimes worse than others, buy I fight it because I don't like it when people kept asking me what was wrong (because I was crazy, apparently....)

Anyway, I've complained to my family doctor every checkup and he manipulates my foot this way and that, but doesn't really know what the problem is, and so referred me to a podiatrist. (He had taken an x-ray many years ago, but it didn't show anything)

So about 6 months ago, I went to a local podiatrist, who pretty much treated me like I was a hypochondriac and browbeat me because I couldn't specifically pinpoint the time when my foot started hurting a lot...(it had built up over a number of years). He also manipulated my foot this way and that, and said "you're 'asymptomatic and don't even know when it started' so he threw his hands in the air and pretty much yelled at me. He said "we'll try taping your foot and see if that helps" and left, whereupon his office aide taped up the bottom of my foot and also taped across the top (where my main complaint was) and told me to let it on for 3 or 4 days and see if it helped the pain.

When I went out to my car, I just sobbed, I felt like I was beaten up and treated so badly, a feeling I never had at a doctor's office before. Anyway, I kept the tape on for 3 days, but it made my foot feel so much worse, especially the tape across the top of my foot, I had to take it off. I also cancelled my scheduled followup appointment, and didn't give a reason. I just didn't want to go back there anymore.

Fast forward to the future, when I had my regular 6 months appointment with my family doctor. I told him about the podiatrist visit, and also that my foot was REALLY hurting worse all the time now. By now I was almost making excuses for the podiatrist, saying "maybe he just had a bad day", etc., but my doctor said there was NO excuse for that behavior and referred me to a different podiatrist in the next county.

So yesterday I had the appt. with Podiatrist #2, and it was a whole new world for me. He actually listened to my explanation, manipulated my foot in the same way as the first doctor, and examined the TOP of my foot, which the first doctor did not do, even though I explained things exactly the same. He also took x-rays, which the first doctor didn't even bother to do.

It turns out I have a bone spur sticking out of the top of my foot which is pressing on a central nerve in my foot. It feels like I get electric shocks when I push down on my toes (which I explained to the first podiatrist, too.) Dr. #2 said that everything I told him confirms that diagnosis, and that the nerve damage that's been done due to the bone spur may take a long time to heal. But he started by re-stringing my work shoes, to take the pressure off of the bony protrusion, and also made a soft insert to cushion that area a bit. It already feels somewhat better, though still painful, just because the tied shoestrings were pressing the spur into the nerves.

Next I'll go back and see if a cortisone shot will relieve some of the pain I'm experiencing, and if that doesn't help, there will be surgery to remove the spur.

Once again, I almost sobbed when I left the podiatrist's office, but this time it was from relief at not being a crazy hypochondriac, and having someone explain something to me that seems like such a simple explanation.

I just can't understand why Dr. #1 was so inept at diagnosing this - I told him the same things, and he didn't listen to me, or even touch the bump on top of my foot - even though I pointed it out to him and said it was bothering me - he just brushed it off like I was an idiot.

The moral of the story is: Don't be bullied by someone just because he/she has "Dr." in front of their name. A bully is a bully, no matter how educated they profess to be.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year!

Ah, yes, a new year has begun folks. I like a few things about starting out the new year. and I don't mean this poor guy:

Why do they keep wheeling him out in front of the camera? I know someone thinks it's showing him respect, but let's face it, he couldn't even do the countdown tonight and it was hard to understand him the majority of the time. I think it just made him an object of ridicule, and I jumped right in there and joined the crowd for that. Zombie Dick Clark!! (...sorry....)

This should be an "interesting" year for me. My job is changed, effective January 1st (hey, that's NOW!) In the interest of saving $$, the "higher-ups" have made changes in the hours of smaller post offices to mostly eliminate my job position. Instead of working a few hours a day, 6 days a week, I am officially a "Saturday only" position. To do this, we had to open later, close earlier, and extend our lunch hour to an hour and a half. I'm also "on call" in case I'm needed for someone's sick days or vacation days. Did I mention I hate being "on call"?? Time for a career change, ya think?
So much for customer service. Now those people with jobs in Harrisburg, who already had a lot of trouble making it back in time to pick up their p.o. box mail, will find it virtually impossible to get to the post office during the week. And oh yeah, did I mention they want us to "PUSH" post office box rentals? That'll be a hard sell....

Another New Year's observation, not a resolution. I just want to lose some of the weight I gained ... I really hate myself for packing the pounds back on, especially since I had lost almost 60 pounds a few years back with weight watchers. I never really "felt" thinner...I guess weight loss is more than a physical transformation, it is also a MENTAL transformation, and I did not get those 2 aspects synchronized inside my body. I actually missed my "fat clothes" because they were so
familiar to me, and comfortable. Plus I got tired of people constantly talking about my weight loss, or asking me if I was sick, etc. etc. (Oh yes, some people also brought up the "cancer" comments, so I guess I didn't look all that healthy...) I also didn't like people saying I really looked so different and good. Just touchy, I guess, but I kept thinking "wow, I must've REALLY looked BAD before"..
I don't expect or want to lose 60 pounds again, I think pictures of me at that weight looked kind of sickly anyway. I just don't want to feel like a fatass slob anymore. So I guess I better go back to WW again....maybe.

Here's something I look forward to each new year: filling in my new datebook planner and wall calendar.Yes, it may sound weird, but I've always derived real pleasure out of getting the new year's planner all filled out and ready to go.
Tomorrow I will lay out the old and new calendars and datebooks on the table, and start filling in all the birthdays, anniversarys, etc. and also add my personal stuff that I print from my computer each year. Yes, that's right, I have pages I've made up with family info, work info, addresses, directions, etc., that I edit each year with all the many changes since the previous new year's "fill-in". I print them out and glue them on the blank pages (or useless pages- i.e."maps or gift sizes pages") of my new planner, so I have continuity in my info each year. I even have family pics already uploaded and embedded with my info on these pages. Yes I am anal-retentive about this procedure. I admit it, so it's okay:)

Isn't it pretty, just waiting for me to write stuff :)
(this isn't the actual one, but it'll do as an example)

So Happy New Year! Here is my favorite new year's song
~~by Regina Spektor: "My Dear Acquaintance"

My dear acquaintance, it's so good to know you
For strength of your hand That is loving and giving
And a happy new year With love overflowing
With joy in our hearts For the blessed new year
Raise your glass and we'll have a cheer
For us all who are gathered here
And a happy new year to all that is living
To all that is gentle, kind, and forgiving
Raise your glass and we'll have a cheer
My dear acquaintance, a happy new year
All of those who are hither and yonder
With love in our hearts We grow fonder and fonder
Hail to those who we hold so dear
And hail to those who are gathered here
And a happy new year to all that is living
To all that is gentle, young, and forgiving
Raise your glass and we'll have a cheer
My dear acquaintance, a happy new year
Happy new year!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shakers and Snorers and Wrestlers, Oh My!

Have you ever tried sleeping with a snorer with restless legs syndrome who dreams about wrestling cows and crocs?

If you think that sounds like fun, let me introduce you to my husband.

He twitches and jerks and jumps and flails his arms and legs around like Joe Cocker doing the twist.

When I think he's settling down, I stop bracing myself for the next elbow jab and allow myself to relax and prepare to drift off to sleep.... and then begins the next phase - Apocalypse Now. The helicopters rev up their motors and start rotating their blades, cue the music:

Run villager, run!! There's no escape! You try to hide in another room, but even 2 rooms away, the sound is deafening!

I surrender and retire to the living room for an hour or two, until I can't hear the loud roars for a period of time. I gently sneak back into my side of the bed, and try to stop bracing myself for the next onslaught...but then, the Crocodile Hunter decides to pay a nightime visit and suddenly I'm being kicked at and bounced around until I finally have to shake-him-to-wake-him, and let him know it's his wife, not a crocodile or cow or whatever he's been wrestling and subduing.
This is definitely the "for worse" part!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

It could only happen to me!

Yesterday I had a weird day.....
I got a phone call (while home on my break) from a clerk who was helping out at my post office, saying a 40+ pound turtle peed on the huge rug in the post office lobby and it smelled pretty bad. (yes, I said turtle...)
Anyway, I told him to drag the rug out back and hang it over the cellar rail, and I'd bring in vinegar and heavy duty Febreze to try to eliminate the smell.
When I got back to the office after lunch to re-open (we're closed for an hour), I spilled half a container of vinegar all over my clothing while getting out of my car. I tried to clean up with dampened paper towels, but I reeked of vinegar. I also sprayed MYSELF with the Febreze.... pretty disgusting!! (and I had just changed into a new outfit over lunch in anticipation of going into my hubby's school curriculum fair after work... waaahhh!!)
Eventually it wore away somewhat, or else I just got used to it. At one point I asked a customer if she smelled vinegar and she said "Yes, it's really strong!" Oh well, it seemed like it was going away.
I coated the rug with most of the bottle of Febreze and after hanging outside all day in the 95 degree sun, it didn't smell too bad.
Very unusual circumstances,don'tcha think?? You don't often hear of a hugeass turtle peeing on a post office rug.... thank god.

So whenever I tell anyone this story, they want me to fill in certain gaps, such as:
1. How did a 40+ pound turtle get into the post office lobby?
One of our customers collects turtles, he has dozens of them in all sizes and many exotic varieties. He brought 3 of them into the post office: One the size of a small plate, another the size of a fat frisbie and the monster pee-er.
2. Who weighed the turtle?
We weigh odd things for people...this is just one of the oddest. The customer brought in this large African breed of turtle to get it weighed (inside a box) as a way to check its health. He also brought 2 smaller ones along to be weighed, too. I guess someone wanted to get a better look at the big one so he took it out and set it on the floor, at which point it sprayed a stream of urine onto the aforementioned rug to mark its territory (or else it just had to go, I know the feeling).
3. Did I change clothes before going to the school event?
Yes of course I did, I didn't want to embarrass my hubby as the teacher's pickle-smelling-wife.

This same guy also has several chihuahuas which he says like to curl up next to the turtles on their warming mats...but according to the clerk who weighed the African turtle, its head and jaws are so large that he thinks the chihuahua will be a turtle-taco in the near future....

I'm just hoping that my runny nose is due to allergies and not Turtle Flu...

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love the Lolcats!

funny pictures of cats with captions
The pictures on icanhascheezburger.com are so cute, but once the captions are added (or should I say "kapshuns" - that's cheez-speak ) they just become irresistable.
I visit this site every day to see what the kitties are up to :)

funny pictures of cats with captions
awwww.... so adorable

more animals

Sometimes I hate Christmas.

Sometimes I hate Christmas.
It's a confession that I don't usually share with anyone.
I'm not religious or anything like that, but I appreciate a good story, and I can appreciate the story of Christmas or Hannukkah without having to believe the magical aspects.
Kind of like the way I enjoy Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Wizard of Oz, but I'm not going to dedicate my life to Obi Wan Kenobi or the Scarecrow, even though they are worthy of my admiration.
The stuff I "hate" about Christmas is the shopping madness, the rudeness, the short tempers, and all disguised as the spirit of Christmas. I hate the angry parents who yell at their kids in public when the kids aren't doing anything "bad". And if they hit those kids, well, watch out, I'm in attack mode.
I hate the smugness of "churchy" people who get angry when they talk about how public places don't display nativity scenes, or even "Merry Christmas", but instead have "Happy Holiday" signs displayed.
Big fucking deal.
I strongly believe in separation of church and state, and I grit my teeth and try not to comment when customers come into my office shooting their mouths off about that kind of thing. The ones who come in proclaiming loudly that they are Christians are pretty much the most obnoxious, rude and complaining customers I have to deal with throughout the year. And I am not exaggerating when I tell you that the PREACHERS are the worst of all!! ( I have many examples, but I will not get into the personal aspects of those offenders...)
Now don't get me wrong, I immensely enjoy the happiness and excitement of little children who are anticipating a big payoff from Santa for good behavior (at least in the weeks leading up to Xmas).
I love talking to kids and hanging out with them (as long as they've had their naps of course). I like to hand out stickers and candy to kids, with their parents permission. I love it when they say "thank you" without prodding, but I understand shyness if they don't like talking to strangers (sometimes I say "you're welcome" anyway, because I feel like I'm receiving psychic thank yous from the quiet ones...mystical, much?)
The poor guy who was trampled at Wal-Mart on Black Friday pretty much epitomizes everything that's wrong with the holiday season.
I've also noticed something else about the Xmas season, it seems like a lot of people I talk to say that a lot of loved ones have died during the holiday season. In my own case, my brother and father both died in December, and my sister-in-law died right before Thanksgiving one year. It kind of puts a damper on wanting to celebrate.
And this year, my boss's mom died in August, my own mom died in September, and one of my co-worker's dad died in August, too. So it seems like nobody is in much of a holiday mood this year.
But I'll go back to work tomorrow and deal with one of the busiest Saturdays at the post office. I know from the past 14 years of work that I'll be helping prepare a huge amount of packages in the short amount of time I'm open for business tomorrow. I actually really like my job, and I like the fact that I am good at my job and am able to help people solve their problems (at least their mailing problems.)
I'm exhausted just thinking about it tonight. At least the time goes fast, but I'll be running (literally) to keep up with it, and ready for a nap in the afternoon.
Here are a few tips I wish people would use:
Do not come into the office 5 minutes before closing with none of your stuff packed into your box and expecting me to do it for you. I am happy to help people, but it's your job to pack it up and have it ready. Do show up during business hours. Our hours haven't changed in dozens of years, yet every week someone shows up after we close and yells in the lobby that 'I can't believe they closed already" then knocks on the door and expects me to re-open everything. I am not shitting you. Do you really think any other stores, banks or businesses will re-open their doors because you couldn't get out of bed before 11:30? Yet every week, someone gets angry because I have to tell them that I already closed out my disk and the money has been sealed for the deposit. EVERY WEEK!
Oh yeah, and don't get so pissed off at your mailman when your mail is later than usual. You have no idea how difficult their job is, especially this time of year. We get thousands and thousands of pieces of mail with crazy names and addresses that don't make sense, and it takes time to sort all of them out and make our best guesses at where they go. Sometimes we make mistakes. Just put it back into your mailbox, you don't have to come in and swear at me, or call me up and swear at me, or write mean messages all over the front of someone's mail, we're sorry we messed up, and we'll try harder next time. Plus your mail is going to be later, because there are 10 times more packages to deliver and just figure out how much more time it takes for the carrier to get out and bring the package to your door, wait for you to answer, etc. Now multiply that times 100 and you'll know why your mail is later. Don't yell, swear, scream or write horrible nasty notes about the lateness. Walk a mile (or 80 miles, in the case of a rural carrier's route) in their shoes.
Okay, I'm done with my tirade now, I feel much better for getting it out of my system.
I am looking forward to having my kids home at Christmas, they're spread out in different directions, but we get to have them all here at least for a day.
And that's why I love Christmas :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sorting things out

So my mom died a few months ago, she wasn't herself for a long time and it was pretty hard to be around her the final years. She wasn't nice to anyone, at least not for very long, and I felt a little guilty when she died because it didn't seem like a huge loss. It was even kind of a relief.
We met at mom's old house last week, which is my sister's house also, and tried to divide up some of her belongings before giving most of it to goodwill or trash. I said that I would take her clothing, and see if there was anything that I might want to wear, then I'd take the rest to a local goodwill-type of store.
There was a lot of stuff, and after looking through pictures, dishes, junk jewelry, broken furniture, books, wall decorations, holiday stuff, stained clothing and tons of odds and ends, we finished and went our separate ways, leaving a huge amount behind to be trashed.
I finally started looking through the many boxes of clothing tonight to try to sort out what is usable and what is too worn out or stained for anyone to want.
I am kind of surprised.
I am surprised how emotional I feel whenever I recognize something my mom used to wear. Even though I did not enjoy being around her when she was at her worst, it brought out a lot of tears seeing her clothes and knowing I'd never see her wear them again. I put on one of her old sweaters to keep warm in our cold basement while doing this and I just couldn't stop crying.
I guess I'm finally mourning her. I know she loved me, and she loved ALL of us, but she was so messed up she wasn't able to show that to us for a long time. But now the old memories of how she used to be have surfaced and I feel really sad and I miss the way she USED to be, when we used to have fun and could go out to eat or go shopping without all the drama. When she acted happy to see the kids and wanted to hug them and kiss them and hear about their lives. That was a very long time ago.
We found a lot of old pictures while rummaging through her belongings, and my siblings are going to have some reprints made of the ones we thought were really good, the glimpses of the "good times". I want to remember the mom I used to have.