Three in a Row

Daily Post: Trio No. 3Today you can write about anything, in whatever genre or form, but your post must mention a dark night, your fridge, and tears (of joy or sadness; your call). Feel free to switch one ingredient if you have to (or revisit one from previous trio prompts).

Dark night, fridge, tears…

powerOutage

© Google Search

Tonight would be the third in a row without power since stormy winds and lightening damaged the power lines. How crazy that above-ground power lines still exist, why aren’t they all buried and why is it that my little neighborhood has buried power lines but we’re still out of power? I know, I know, because my neighborhood’s power is connected to other, bigger power lines which are above ground and connected to even bigger above-ground power lines and if any of those are damaged then, kapoof, we’re out of power along with everyone else who are connected to those big power lines.

The first night wasn’t so bad. I have enough flash lights, batteries and candles to be able to navigate through the house on a dark night and the first night reminded me of when we would lose power for only one night when the boys were young — it would be an opportunity for us to sit by candlelight and tell scary chain-stories. Those stormy nights were something to look forward to and are fondly remembered by all. But, tonight, the boys are gone, they are grown up with families of their own, living far away, in sunny places, in snowy places, maybe even in a stormy place, but, none of them live nearby in this stormy place.

Day four without power, I wonder how long the food in the fridge will remain edible? I go to take inventory, sniffing the most likely culprits to spoil first, turkey lunch meat, milk, leftover spaghetti. I think the turkey lunch meat has gone bad, something just doesn’t smell right, better toss it. Taking a spoonful of the spaghetti, my taste buds confirm it is still edible, no bad smell or after-taste. Good, that’s what we’ll have for dinner again, third night in a row since pulling it from the deep freezer, but tonight will probably be the last night it will be edible.

Rotten Milk

© scribbls.com

I open the container of milk and breathe in a hefty whiff, only to be staggered by the offensive, rotten smell, tears well-up in my eyes and I must cough to rid myself of the awful stench. Thank goodness we have bottled water to quench our thirsts even though I cannot use tap water to rinse the rancid milk down the drain since we are rural and require electricity to pump water from the well through our faucets. I’ll just keep the milk in the fridge until the power is back on and I can wash it down the drain.

lamp5

© Dan Witz

Suddenly, the sounds of motors and electricity fill the air and lights push away darkness! The power outage is over! Sweetness!
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Pain Management – Steroid Epidural

epidural-steroid-injection

© Mayfield Clinic

Yesterday, I underwent my Epidural Steroid Injections at Lumbar 3, 4 & 5. I was more frightened of this procedure than any previous medical procedures since being diagnosed with breast cancer. Honestly. Why? Because, this procedure was going to invade my spinal cord and if something went wrong, the consequences could be life altering.

I arrived at St. Anthony’s Pain Management Department. Approaching the clerk, she slid open the privacy window, asked my name and told me to “Come right in, I’ll get your vitals and show you to your room.” Wow! This was an experience I never knew before! Usually, I, as a patient would be seated in the reception waiting room for at least half an hour before anyone would call my name.

I sat in the receptionist’s office where she immediately took my BP, pulse and temperature then walked me to waiting room #4. “Remove your top, put on the gown with the opening at the back and have a seat. The nurse will come in to get more information and answer any of your questions.”

“Should I take off my bra? It’s just a pull-on sports bra.”

“You should be ok with it on, they’ll let you know if you need to take it off.”

She left the room, I removed my sweatshirt jacket, t-shirt and before I had my gown on, the receptionist came in and handed me the blood pressure cuff she had used, “Sorry, I forgot to leave this with you. They’ll be using this in the operating room for you.”

I thought that was another new and different procedure, she left the room and I sat in the overstuffed, most comfortable recliner I have ever sat in! I could have fallen asleep in that recliner.

Nurse2

© Google Search

After about fifteen to twenty minutes, the door opened and a nurse entered the room with a most pleasant smile and an aura that lighted up the room. No kidding. I am not a psychic, but this nurse’s spirit was bright, caring, positive, so much so that I just had to tell her, “You have the absolute nicest presence of any of the medical staff I have encountered, and believe me, this year, I have been through many, many procedures. You are a delight. Your spirit is wonderfully, contagiously, positive!”

She thanked me and then went about sticking my hand with the butterfly gadget which would be used to administer a relaxant during the procedure. Somehow, we talked about breast cancer. Oh, I remember how that came up. I told her that there were to be no sticks, pricks or pressure on my right arm for fear of lymphedema because I had breast cancer and mastectomies. That opened a door for further conversation. It seems as though breast cancer is so common anymore that anyone I talk with has a story to share of themselves or a close relative.

I told the nurse how unhappy I was with my ugly reconstruction. She told me she went through a similar situation. It began when her sister was twenty-four and diagnosed with breast cancer, she went through chemo, radiation, mastectomies and ended up dying four years later. She was only twenty-nine.

My nurse went through the genetic testing and had her breasts removed prophylactically before breast cancer could take hold. She told me that her reconstruction was horrendous, they were “ugly, lumpy, disproportionate mounds” which her plastic surgeon told her was the best that she could expect. She did not accept that diagnosis and went to another plastic surgeon who has a phenomenal reputation for his work on reconstruction for breast cancer patients. She said he was outstanding and she is happy with her “breasts.” The doctor’s name is Dr. Derek Shadid.

Another nurse entered the room and began inputting information into the computer, asking questions to verify the information was correct. She jumped into the breast conversation, saying that she had used Dr. Tim Love for her breast reconstruction needs. I told her that I have an appointment with him upcoming in November.

Nurse #1, bright aura nurse, was finished with me and left the room, wishing me good luck. Nurse #2 spoke about her experience with Dr. Love, “He is extremely arrogant. Some people are put off by him, but, I guess because I am in the medical profession, I see so much of attitudes that he didn’t bother me. He is good at what he does and can afford his arrogance. He’s earned it.”

“Thank you for that information, it really will help and actually I want someone who will be informative and serious. I don’t want to go to someone who will keep me entertained while they hack up my body.”

“No. He will assess your situation and give you his professional opinion and a variety of options, if there are any. If there aren’t, he will tell you. So just don’t be expecting a warm bedside manner, he doesn’t have one.”

“Thanks again, that really helps with knowing this before meeting him.”

The door swung open and a tall, dark and handsome man stood before me, “Are you ready?” It was my doctor, Dr. Patrick Prevo.

“I’m scared.”

“Oh, don’t be scared, this is just my first time doing this kind of procedure.”

“Your first time?”

DrPrevo

© Dr. Patrick Prevo
Pain Management
St. Anthony’s

He chuckled and his dimples grew even bigger. Oh my gosh, when I was a young woman I never was so attentive at young men’s looks and now that I’m an old grandma I am running into some of the best looking men I have ever seen in my entire life. And, they are all doctors, MY doctors!

“I’m joking” He bent and twitched at my knee, “Ok, we’ll be seeing you in just a few minutes. Do you have any questions?”

“Well, yeah. After today, I’ll be back in two weeks for another shot, then I see you for a visit after that and then what?”

“Well, we will see how these injections helped, if they helped, and go from there.”

“You mean there’s a possibility that after the second shot I might be ok for up to a year or more?”

“That could happen.” He smiled and left the room.

I don’t know how long it was until another nurse came to walk me to the procedure room. It seemed like a small room, busy people were in there. A guy stood at the head of the table where I would lay with my head toward him, he was doing something with two monitors, one with a picture of my lumbar from the MRI. To the left of the monitor guy sat another fellow, he would be hooking up my iv and monitor my pulse. Behind me were three nurses, one was changing the pillow cases on the table, another was instructing me to lie face- down on the table, as soon as the pillows were in place. And before I knew it, one of them pulled my pants down below my butt, washed my back with antibacterial stuff and iodine then began placing towels to the sides of me and above and below my butt cheeks.

Meanwhile, as I lay on my stomach, my head was not cushioned and I asked for a pillow for my head. One of the nurses said she would bring me the “pink” pillow. When she showed up with it, it was actually a foam contraption like I could have used to support my face during the post-op face-down healing after my macular hole surgery.

Things were moving fast, but I did not think the “relaxant” was working when the doctor entered the room, “We’re ready for you doctor,” one of the nurses said.

I know I was conscious. I could hear everything that was happening. I felt something going on in my lower back but could not identify what was going on. Then I was told, “One more.” And I felt that “one more,” I swear I could feel it going into my back DEEPLY. But, it wasn’t really painful, it was just an awareness. Next thing I knew, it was over.

“Ok, you can stand up now.” I rolled off the table and stood on my two legs. For the first time in … in I don’t know how long, I stood up STRAIGHT! My hips were balanced! I wasn’t leaning forward to compensate for the pain I had been in constantly.

The funny thing about chronic pain is how we learn to accommodate it. It becomes a part of our everyday life and we forget what life was like without it.

I was wheeled back to my waiting room #4 where I dressed and waited for someone to wheel me out to the pick-up area in front of the hospital where my husband was waiting for me in our Jeep. As I climbed into my seat, I looked at him and gave him a kiss, “Thank you! I can stand straight! I am not in any pain!”

We went to our favorite hamburger joint but I asked Harry if we could just eat in the car because I was “high” from the relaxant which I had thought was ineffective – I was wrong, it was very effective.

When we arrived home and I walked into the house from the garage, stepped up from the garage to the level of our home, there was no pain. Of course, I knew that the area was numb and I had wished that this level of non-pain would last forever. I became greedy. I want it to be like this for the rest of my life. I don’t want to know that pain anymore!

I walked from one end of the house to the other, changed my clothes to comfy pull-on lounging pants, pulled off my bra and threw on an over-sized t-shirt, grabbed a duvet and squishy pillow, the phone, the remotes and plopped in my recliner where I would spend the rest of the afternoon watching t.v. and dozing.

This morning, there is a little pain returning, it’s not at my back, the discs, it’s the damn muscles which chronically spasm to protect the spine. My face cheeks were turning red this morning. They are still red. I need to watch for any indications of infection, and watch my temperature.

I think it’s time to throw on my lounging pants again and go relax in my recliner. One of my dogs woke me up last night and I had another interrupted night, a night of sleeplessness. Bad doggy!

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The Thirteenth Sign

Daily Post: In RetrospectYesterday you invented a new astrological sign. Today, write your own horoscope — for the past month (in other words, as if you’d written it October 1st).

CanilupusZodiac

© Google Search
Cartoonized & Labelled

Canilupus – Thirteenth sign of the Zodiac. Beware the first seven days of this month as the waxing moon dominates numbers three through six. Loki dangles amorous temptations before you during this time, steer away lest you be consumed by bad fortune for many moons to follow.

By day seven, your lucky number during this month, the full moon will be 99% visible and at its most powerful for your health needs on the eighth, any surgical procedures ought be sought during this moon phase for long-term, successful outcome.

Health issues seem more prevalent during the waning crescent days of the seventeenth through the twenty-first, be aware and listen to your body.

Days twenty-three through twenty-nine are best allocated for changing current financial plans to alternative inspirations which should begin action on the twenty-ninth through thirty-first for best long-lasting results.
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Canilupus

Daily Post: Custom ZodiacYou’re tasked with creating a brand new astrological sign for the people born around your birthday — based solely on yourself. What would your new sign be, and how would you describe those who share it?

CanilupusSymbol

© Swoosieque

Canilupus – Thirteenth sign of the Zodiac. An earth sign, you practice renewal in all manners of thinking and living. Nothing irritates you more than waste – waste of time, waste of thought, waste of effort and of heart.

Your analytic mind protects a susceptible, sympathetic spirit which often suffers from reaching out to help others who in turn deceive you. You do forgive but rightfully close doors on those who have forsaken you.

CanilupusWolves1

© Google Search
Manipulated

You know your intuition is fine-tuned, yet you often wander away from its voice. It is then when your life will take its most drastic paths of hardship and ruin. Your strong passion allows you to forgive yourself and analyze deeply to discover your mistakes and rectify your life’s course. Once on path again, you will never make the same mistake twice.

Your projected color is blue, the aura of light and wisdom. Influential fragrances are lavender, chamomile, verbena, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, basil, black pepper and lemon. Your compatible star signs are Taurus, Cancer, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces while mismatched signs are Aries, Sagittarius, Aquarius and Libra.

Your sign is ruled by the planet Mercury. Saturn is your love, speculation, spiritual and karmic planet – it is also your destiny planet.

Gems of influence are green jade, emerald, green quartz, diamond and white coral, but you already knew you were drawn to green gems and minerals.

You have a tendency to become too serious and need to regulate periods of meditation to maintain creative balance.
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Familiar Hearts

Daily Post: Doppelgänger Alert
You step into an acquaintance’s house for the first time, and discover that everything — from the furniture, to the books, to the art on the wall — is identical to your home. What happens next?

It was to be my first employee gathering since starting my position as Human Resources Manager three months ago. It’s hard to believe three months have whizzed by so fast and Christmas parties have been happening every weekend since Thanksgiving. This one, though, would be my first attendance at an employee party the last weekend before Christmas, the last party. I knew I had better attend since I graciously declined the previous invitations due to the flu and a personal problem.

The party was to be held at Paul Bearman’s home, yes, the C.F.O. I had met Paul when being introduced to the staff at a weekly meeting. He seemed like a nice man. How much can a person surmise in only a few minutes greeting anyway? Yet, something stuck with me. Something seemed awfully familiar with him. It was a definite feeling of Déjà vu, even stronger than Déjà vu if there is such a thing.

My daily work rarely called for interaction with Paul other than a question or two during the monthly meetings of which we were both regulars. I tried to hide the lingering feeling of familiarity whenever I met with him yet, subconsciously trying to pinpoint where I may have met him.

Today was a particularly rough day for me. Many new changes were upcoming with health and benefit coverage, there was so much organizing to be done and then one of the girls in payroll went into premature labor leaving the department shorthanded. It was the last day before our one-week, paid Christmas vacation. I needed to finish the organizing, payroll and check in on Mandy at the hospital on my way home. I was so delighted to kick off my shoes and sink into the patio lounge chair at my little home.

The next evening, I left my home at six-thirty which would give me enough time to fight any traffic and arrive at Paul’s home on time for the festivities. I brought a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon with me, a neat little curly ribbon adorned the bottle neck and I rang the doorbell.

Paul answered the door himself and greeted me with an infectious smile and kiss on the cheek, “Thank you so much for coming!” Pointing to the bottle of wine he said, “You needn’t have brought that, we have plenty.”

GreatRoom

© Pulte Homes

“It’s just a custom I have.” I smiled and followed him in until I stopped in my tracks, took in the view around me, looked at him again and realized where I had met him before. In another life, in another time. This was just another incarnation for both of us and we found each other once more. What would our story be this time?

I fell hard upon the floor as the blood drained from my head and I passed out. Paul quickly dialed 9-1-1 and rode in the ambulance with me to the hospital where I was cleared for release after several hours of testing and observation.

“I think we’d better get you home. Let me drop you off.” Paul called his home and two of his friends met us at the hospital where Paul retrieved his vehicle and we headed off to my home.

Still dazed, I wasn’t sure how I was going to keep Paul from fainting when he saw my home. What if he hasn’t felt any kinship with me? What if he didn’t recognize Déjà vu? My head hurt too badly to think or try to plan anything out. The pieces would fall where they may. I may get fired, he may think I’m some kind of stalker. I don’t care. I need ice for my headache.

GreatRoomBlu

© Pulte Homes

On the landing, I handed Paul my keys and he unlocked my front door. Somehow, how did he know? How did he know where the light switch was located? He turned it on. He saw what I saw, turned me around and held me close as he gently kissed my forehead and my lips.

“I knew it. I knew it was you the first time I saw you during that first meeting but I wasn’t sure if you recognized me, Catherine.”

“Oh Heathcliff, I’d know you anywhere!”

Sometimes I can be such a cornball!!

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Black and White Blues

Daily Post: Local Color Imagine we lived in a world that’s all of a sudden devoid of color, but where you’re given the option to have just one object keep its original hue. Which object (and which color) would that be?

BlueNiagra

© Google Search

BLUE! My color would be the blue of the sky. Its hue would be reflected onto water, which is and always has been devoid of color other than what it reflects. Bodies of water reflect the color of the sky, so, with my choice, I actually get two “objects” for the choice of one. AND, there are many hues of the color Blue as evidenced in the photograph above.

psychedelic

© darkness
wall.alphacoders.com

Life in my world devoid of all colors except Blue would affect me negatively so I would need to move either lakeside or ocean-side in order to keep my sanity and even then, I am not sure how long I might maintain it. Of course, in a world devoid of colors, I might just have to try a mind-altering psychedelic drug for the first time in my life. I heard that people who took those kinds of “trips” experienced out-of-this-world colors and shapes.

Nah. If I can’t have it all, I would not want to be teased with just one color. All black and white or all color. No in-between for me.
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Brave Valeria

Daily Post: Masks Off We’re less than a week away from Halloween! If you had to design a costume that channeled your true, innermost self, what would that costume look like? Would you dare to wear it?

conanBirlsandahl-bergman-signed-photograph

© Universal Pictures
Conan The Barbarian
Sandahl Bergman as Valeria

You did say “innermost self,” so, this is what my innermost self still feels like, Valeria, the warrior companion to Conan the Barbarian.

My most favorite line of the whole movie came from Valeria as she and Conan were about to go into battle, I think they talked about the real possibility of dying and with defiant determination she asked him, “Do you want to live forever?”

That did it for me. That philosophy stuck, I identified with Valeria’s brave but fated character. Although I am typically quiet and kind and go to great extremes to avoid confrontation, within me beats the heart of a true warrior woman.

Oh, and to the question would I dare to wear the outfit now? Hell no! Well, maybe yes, it would add to the fear I would impose upon my enemies, they might just die laughing! Ha ha ha Valhalla!
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