Sunday, May 31, 2009

Team Gutsy takes on Philly!

Two stylish members of Team Gutsy in the trolley, on the way to the walk.

My mom, Ian, Silla, and Matt, thinking about the beauty of our bowels.

Here is Matt, still thinking about bowels.

Chris and Kristen, exuberant on this sunny Philadelphia evening.
(Probably thinking about what they're going to eat for dinner, and not bowels.)

(Back row: My mom, Kristen, Chris, my father.
Front row: Silla, Me, Penny the dog, Matt)

Food and frolicking in front of the art museum before the walk.

To my friends and family who contributed to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, through Team Gutsy:

Thank you so much for contributing to find a cure for Crohn's and Colitis. Team Gutsy swaggered down MLK Drive yesterday in Philadelphia and with your help, raised a total of $1,250! It was the perfect way to end a pretty crappy (pun intended) year.

It has been a month and a few days since my surgery, and I am feeling terrific (please knock on any wood you can find), although, much to Matt's chagrin, I often conk out immediately after returning home from work (so he's still doing most of the cooking around here, which invariably means something on the grill

The last eight months have not been easy, and I'm constantly reminded that Crohn's has as much emotional impact as physical, affecting not only me, but those around me. I want to thank my colleagues at SMART, who have been supportive and gracious these past months. Thank you for allowing me one less thing to worry about.

I want to thank Matt's colleagues, who have supported our efforts on this walk, and when I was laid-up in the hospital in November. It was nice having him there, if only to watch bad t.v. (But please tell him not to eat Burger King in front of me while I'm on clear liquids.)

And thank you to my family, who always indulged me and read my "Gutsy Girl" blog even when the writing was sub-par or the jokes bad, and who always made me feel as though I was not alone.

Lastly, thank you to Matt and our dog, Penny. Matt for putting up with me, and Penny for putting up with the lack of walks. You have both been compassionately by my side since the Fall and I couldn't ask for two better companions (human and canine).

And, moreover (almost done!), a HUGE thank you to members of Team Gutsy. Here they are, in no particular order: My parents, Alicia and David, my sister Kristen and her beau Chris, my sister-in-law Priscilla and her good friend Ian, and Matthew and Penny the dog (although she didn't raise a single dime). I can't think of a team who could strut with more panache.

I know this disease is chronic, and I don't know what the future holds, but it's empowering to know I'm certainly not alone, and medical advances are being made constantly. As of right now, the Philadelphia Take Steps walkers have raised almost $300,000 in this battle. My bowels - as well as countless others - thank you.

All photos can be found here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where's my night cream?!

Since it was a national holiday and everything yesterday (NO! Don’t be silly, not Memorial Day, but my birthday, doi) I have been thinking a lot about aging. I am now in my late twenties (27), which to me is almost 30, which in turn is really almost 40, and so on and so forth. I am going to be completely honest: I do not want to age. Out of laziness and self-preservation, I am going to blame our society on this one, and not ego. I don’t think I’m particularly vain (dissenters, no comment!): physically, I am a chub (kudos for Matt who refuses to say I look fat, when, in fact, I do and calls me “voluptuous”, probably out of fear) with stringy hair, and intellectually long division is still a feat for me, so I’m nothing to write home about. But I like that I don’t have crows feet and I can still remember the minutia of long past conversations. I like that I can still wear ridiculous costume jewelry and can touch my toes easily. But I can’t ignore the tell-tale signs.

I wake up achy and stiff at times. I thought, “Oh, that’s because I’ve been working out!” I thought this for a good long while until I realized the last time I worked out was (at the time) weeks ago. (Now it is eight months ago.) Another thing: I am always talking about my health like an old lady sitting on her stoop, lamenting the way “things used to be”. (For me, that’s just a few years ago before my diagnosis, or even last summer when I was feeling better. Aw, those were the days!)

Finally, if I have any caffeinated beverage, say, after 10 am, I cannot sleep well the following night. I toss and turn. Take yesterday for example: at 2 pm I gobbled down the rest of my birthday cake while Matt was at the movies watching Terminator (it’s easy to see why I did not go), and washed the said cake down with some Coke that was leftover from the party. I mean, this was bad in a lot of ways: first of all, you should not wash down a icing-laden sugary cake down with Coca Cola, which has, what?, 20 teaspoons of sugar a serving? Secondly, I was having caffeine at 2 pm which is sleep suicide. So, I got what was coming to me: a few more bathroom breaks and a night tossing and turning.

I also know I’m getting old because everyone is getting married and having babies. Obviously, I am contributing to the trend, but still! So that’s how it is: I live in the suburbs in a standard colonial with a husband and a black lab. He mows the grass and I go to the grocery store. It’s all very, very typical. Just throw me 2.4 kids and a minivan, and I’m set.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

And you thought I took a NAP yesterday after my half-day; HA!

This is a prime example why I should never work part-time - look at what I'm doing with my free moments!! I have become a sentimental NELLY!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just dance!

I am quite possibly in love with Ellen DeGeneres - my love particularly bloomed during these last few weeks while at home. I'd bypass Martha at 2 pm, savor Ellen at 3 pm, and only grudgingly watch Oprah at 4 pm.

Here is Ellen at Tulane's commencement ceremonies. I didn't go to my college graduation (it started with me not ordering my cap and gown in time and then me stubbornly refusing to pay the late surcharge...I also thought graduations where so self-celebratory and, moreover, boring). However, if Ellen was at my graduation I would of certainly shelled out the extra $25 for that gown.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Let THEM eat cake!

If I ever see "giant burger" on a menu and say, "Ooo! Let's go for it!", SLAP ME.

So when I'm not huddling under covers cowering from a lonesome bat, or getting pulled over by diminutive park rangers, I have been getting around and going out. In fact, today was my first day back at work! Now mind you, it was a half day and I went home to take a nap (and then bake a cake, but more on that later), but I showed my face at work and managed to inhale two bagels while at it (thank you Leigh Ann for bringing those in! - carbs are my best friend).

Health Update: Let's start off with my fat roll (FR) update, shall we? I mean, I don't think I mentioned my dearest friend for a couple weeks, and that is just uncalled for. So, my incision is healing nicely, even in the pesky FR. I did make the mistake of showing the incision to my sister on Mother's Day weekend and she promptly screamed and backed away quickly, so that was reassuring.

My stomach is incredibly sensitive - much more so than prior to the surgery. I'm making the mistake of trying to eat like a normal person - who do I think I am?! This afternoon I baked a cake, and not ten minutes after tasting my delicious concoction, I ran to the bathroom...and still am. (I swear, the cake isn't contaminated or anything.) I've noticed I cannot handle any fat - and fat is delicious! So, I can have a bagel, but have limited options for toppings. I can have a sandwich, but can't put a slice of cheese on it. I can have guacamole (not sure if "healthy" fat bothers me), but can't have a chip to dip it in. I can have a baked potato, but no sour cream or butter to take it from bland to dazzling! Dairy and sugar are also taking a toll.
Not that his has stopped me. Last week I had brownies with milk. DOUBLE NO! This afternoon? My sugary chocolate cake had a buttercream icing.

I think it's about time I realize I have Crohn's, and I have to buck-up and shut-up. So, I'm trying to be serious for once and will be starting a food diary. Maybe I'll draw flowers in the margins like I did in my journal from junior high - you know, just to make it more interesting. Ooo...and maybe some catty comments and mentionings of celebrity know, just for good measure. My stomach never tolerated fat/sugar/sugar substitutes/red meat/spicy and acidic foods well, but this is a whole other ball game, and I gotta buckle down.

With that said: my HR friends, you will be getting yourself some chocolate cake tomorrow.
ENJOY. (Even though I'm snarling, I mean, really!)

Friday, May 15, 2009


Pictured: The perp!

I am prone to bouts of insomnia, and last night was like no other: it was 3 am and I was enjoying a pleasant issue of Real Simple magazine (I now know how to properly store anything from batteries to quilts and have found a very enticing chimichurri sauce for burgers - email me if you're interested). So, there I am, reading ,when I hear what can only be described as a burglar in our house (well, whenever I hear absolutely anything I think it's a burglar, especially after a Nightline episode this week on serial killers....but I digress). So, thinking there is a burglar, I immediately wake Matt up and hiss, "Did you lock all the doors??!!!?!!" "Umf," he said. "Damnit, Matt, did you lock the (bleepidy bleep) doors?!!" "YES!" he retorts. We both shut-up and listen.

Just as he's sitting up, a black BAT swoops out of our closet and begins circling the bedroom like a crazy-eyed killer! "Ohmygod, THERE IS A BAT IN HERE," I yelled. I then did what any rational person in this situation would do and immediately hid under the covers, panting like a dog and shrieking, "Cover my toes, there is not enough blanket to cover my toes, he's going to get them!" This is when Matt - being a male and thus a doofus - said, "Cool, there is a bat in here!"

After my toes were sufficiently safe, Matt took it upon himself to de-bat the house. "Maybe we should open the windows and leave the room, " I offered. "That's stupid," he said, "We'll never know if it left. It could hide." FINE.

Now, I can only recount what was audible at this point, since I was shrouded in my comforter. I remember saying every two seconds, "Did you get him?!" and I remember a lot of grunting, jumping, and "swooshing". I also recall Penny running out of the room at one point, as I heard her descend the stairs to safety - she is probably the smartest member of our family.

After about ten minutes of grunting and swooshing, Matt exclaimed, "I got him!" Matt was employing the sheet technique, as he'd throw a sheet over the bat, gather it up, and then shake the sheet out the window so the bat could safely escape. Once Matt said the bat was gone, I crawled out of the covers and looked around.

The first thing I saw was that Matt was sitting beside me, and had a very manly glow about him - or, a very smug look that said, "I outwitted a bat, look at me." He was obviously very happy with himself.

The second thing I noticed was that our windows where STILL WIDE OPEN. "CLOSE THE WINDOWS!" I shouted. My god, that creature of the night could swoop right back on in and get tangled in my hair, and then, my friends, we'd REALLY have a problem. Our dog, Penny, was still cowering at the foot of the stairs.

Matt was wide awake and positively giggling about this bat. "He could of had rabies and bit you!" I said. "He was cute!" Matt responded, "He had Elvis hair!" Matt then went into detail about the "cute" tuff of hair on the bat's head. After he recounted more of his bat-slaying, we went to sleep.

The next morning I Googled "bat in the house" and learned that when there is one bat, there is almost always more. The bat came from our closet, which is directly below our attic stairs, and where there are numerous holes. A bat only needs less than one inch to gain access to a space. Once I determined there was, of course, a colony of hundreds of bats in our attic, I called Matt at work (today was my last day at home, recovering from surgery).

"There is a bat colony in our attic a la Bruce Wayne's BAT CAVE in Batman and we MUST call a terminator IMMEDIATELY." Matt immediately started berating me because I used "terminator" instead of "exterminator" and, like a snotty 12-year-old boy, started making Arnold Schwarzenegger jokes.

"This is not a JOKE!" I said. "I want you to come home early and examine the attic." "I already looked up there; there is nothing there," he said. Now, in truth, Matt did climb the attic stairs last night after the bat debacle, but he was up there FOR 30 SECONDS TOPS!!!!! I told him OF COURSE he didn't see any bats because they were out for their nightly dinner of mosquitoes and he needed to come home immediately in the daytime to catch them "at rest" like little vampires. He responded he would leave as soon as he could. "When is that?!" I countered. "I don't know. Around five," he said. He obviously was not taking me seriously because "around five" is when he always left on Fridays.

I hung up and called my mom who told me to put on pants, long sleeves, a hat, and go and check myself. "Are you CRAZY?!" I said. "That's Matt's job!!" She told me to quit being a baby and that the bats weren't aggressive and they were sleeping now anyhow. I told her she was no help and then called my co-workers. (Are you noticing a pattern, here?) I then ran into two neighbors and recounted my horrific tale, and they said to call an exterminator and then, so very helpfully, added, "At least it's not termites like we had!" Great.

So, now here I am, on bat watch. It is, like, hour 12. I'm sitting on my bed, facing the closet and...well, watching. I SWEAR I heard rustling up there. Matt finally did find the time to make it home and donned my wide-brimmed beach hat with one of those "miner's" head flashlight thingys and proceeded to explore the attic. He also took up a pipe, which I can only assume was in case things got truly "batty". Ha.

After five minutes, he descended the stairs and said there were no bats in the attic. "What about bat POOP?!" I said. He said he didn't see any droppings. Now, this is the thing with Matt: the boy can never find ANYTHING. He is aloof. He also is not taking this bat-finding mission seriously. So that is where we stand. I'm still on bat watch and he is downstairs playing his X Box.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Kids want to be the darndest things...

Last night I was watching PBS's NOVA, which was focusing on past NASA disasters. This morning I woke up to the news that the space shuttle Atlantis was damaged shortly after Monday's take-off, and today the astronauts are embarking on a very risky mission to repair four shuttle tiles that help regulate the shuttle's sky-rocketing temperature during re-entry. The original - and main - mission of Atlantis is to do the final repair on the Hubble Space Telescope, before the Hubble floats off into oblivion and eventually, sometime in the next decade, runs out of steam and falls into our oceans.

During yesterday's program I kept telling Matt that I had no idea who would want to be an astronaut considering the risks. In 2003 Challenger exploded shortly after launch when a piece of foam - FOAM - hit the spacecraft's wing during take-off. He began rattling off dozens of occupations that are more dangerous, all of which I am also frightened by.

"Something the size of a pea can damage the aircraft," Dr. Jeff Hoffman, a former NASA astronaut, told GMA's Diane Sawyer this morning. Eek!

So all of this got me thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up. (Obviously astronaut was not one of them.) Now that I've grown up, I work in corporate campus recruiting, which I essentially fell into and enjoy, for the most part. I'm not one of those people who has a "passion". Take Matt for example - he knew since being a young teenager he wanted to be a programmer. When I was that age I wanted to be a FBI agent (I think Scully from
The X Files is to blame for this). Earlier, I wanted to be a doctor (blame doctor John Carter from ER for that one). Anyway, as you can see, I was very much influenced by primetime TV.

I once had a passion - I wanted to be a journalist and wrote feverishly about it in my application essay to NYU. I enrolled in their journalism program, and during the first two years saw that half these budding muckrakers had more chutzpah and anything-to-get-ahead passion than I did, and being that journalism is competitive, I decided to let them have it. I would concentrate on something else - to this day, I'm not entirely sure what, however.

I can say this: since being sick - and realizing how delicate our health can be - I just want to be healthy and happy. I want to be a supportive and loving wife, someday a dedicated mother, and a responsible and informed citizen of our world. I suppose sometimes the simplest things are the most rewarding.

So, dear readers, what did you dream about being in your idyllic youth? An astronaut? A bureau chief abroad? Throw a blogger a bone, and please do share!

Monday, May 11, 2009

XOXO to my little park ranger

I was pulled over the first time ever on Friday (I like to pride myself not on driving at the speed limit, but for alluding law officials while not driving at the speed limit). I live a couple miles outside of a National Historical Park, which I drive though daily to work. It's beautiful and tranquil and deer-filled and all of that nonsense. On Friday I was driving through the park to pick-up my sister-in-law from the train station and was, admittedly, a bit late. So the Corolla and I were booking it to the station and I was clocked at 52 mph in a 35 mph zone. There is no denying this: they had one of those electronic monitors and I saw it flickering 52, so I immediately slowed down to a more suitable 40 mph. I thought I would get extra kudo points for heeding the warning, but NO!, a park ranger pulled out of nowhere (SNEAKY!) and put on his lights.

I pulled over at quite possibly the worst area: right in front of a monument that had gaggles of kids and families, and where passing cars slowed dramatically. This meant that my fellow drivers, and wholesome families, were privy to my embarrassment. I felt dirty and quite criminal.

I would like to say my first time being pulled over was awash in excitement and grisly cops and good acting on my part. None of that happened. First of all, I was pulled over by a PARK RANGER, which really doesn't have the allure of a seasoned Philly cop. Second of all, I think he might of been five foot or so. He was really quite endearing. He had a very unfortunate overbite and was only about six inches taller than me while I was sitting in my car (which is not an SUV, mind you). He said, "Do you know why you were pulled over?" I was pretty exuberant, actually. "Yup!", I replied. "I was speeding!" What was I going to do? Argue that his fancy smancy radar thingy was wrong? I thought briefly of going the "Sir, I just had surgery, please take pity of me" route but then thought he might question why I was driving if I "just" had surgery (as a side note, I have been cleared to drive and am not taking any strong pain meds - who do you think I am?!). So then I decided to just go the straight-forward, "my bad" route - a very respectable route, if I do say so myself.

He asked for my license, registration and insurance and then walked back to his ranger car and proceeded to sit in there for a good ten minutes. So I took this time to call Matt asking what he was doing in there for so long ("They like to make you sweat" he said), and then Silla, who I was picking up, telling her I was going to be late. She pretty much said she got off at the wrong station anyway, so no worries. Then I spent the next eight minutes cupping my hand over my face so that the oodles of families walking around the monument wouldn't see my disgraced face.

The ranger came back and was hard to read because he wouldn't take off his "Top Gun" sunglasses. "Do you travel this road often?" he asked. I said recently I have because the main road is closed due to construction. "We are monitoring this road closely due to the increased traffic," he replied. Then a pause. This is when I started to sweat profusely. Why was this little man staring at me?! He then asked if I was heading home, and I said, like a dummy, "Nope! I'm late picking someone up at the train!" and he said maybe I should of left earlier. I replied that was probably a good idea, and thought better than to mention I
couldn't leave earlier because I was entranced by a riveting segment of Dr. Phil about a 25-year-old boy who lives at home and whose mother irons his underwear.

Then the ranger (who, thinking about it, now reminds me of a cute little rodent given his overbite and stature) finally said he issued me a warning, and if I got caught next time it would be a $250 fine. I thanked him profusely and flashed a dazzling smile. When he turned to walk back to his ranger mobile, I thought perhaps he was enamored by my classical good looks (ha!), but then looked in the mirror to find lipstick on my teeth and perspiration pooling on my nose and forehead. Then I thought maybe he just felt sorry for such a sorry-looking girl, which is much more probable. Now my warning is up on the frig, and everytime I reach for some juice, I am reminded of my little park ranger and our brief tango that Friday afternoon.

Pictured: The scene of the crime!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Look at me! I can embed video after video on my blog!

So I'm going to a family practice doc down the street later this afternoon to rule out an infection, regarding the good ol' blad. I'm happy they fit me in so quickly (I just called) but not so happy I'll be missing Oprah today - I've been waiting for this televised event for close to a week! (When a girl just sits on a couch all day, this is pretty much the pinnacle of excitement.) The Big O is interviewing Elizabeth Edwards, the often admirable and stoic wife of disgraced presidential hopeful Johnny Boy Edwards, and by golly, I wanted to see it! TiVO would have really come in handy, now.

UPDATE: I do not have a UTI - there is no infection. The doc was mystified, and said it could be some kind of trauma related to the Foley catheter or the surgery itself. I will have to wait it out. In the meantime, I have a specialist appointment set-up for next week if the discomfort does not dissipate. Sigh. On another note, did anyone catch the Edwards interview?!

Oh, since I am on a music kick, I also wanted to include another song filling our airwaves these solemn rainy days. Matt and I watched Battle in Seattle this week, a drama about the WTO protests in Seattle in '99. We both enjoyed the film, particularly me, because I didn't even know the basics about the WTO, sadly enough. After thirty minutes on Wikipedia, I am now properly versed (well, sort of...the intricacies still confuse my not-very-nimble mind). The National's "Fake Empire" played during the credits, we loved it, and here it is:

Thank you for the lunch visit!

Thank you to Leigh Ann, Kate, Courtney, and Heather for visiting from work with lunch!!! I don't get a lot of human interaction these days, and Penny and I were jumping for joy! I know it was incredibly difficult pulling yourselves away from the HR Department, but I'm so happy you made the sacrifice. Thank you for all your support. And remember, if anyone asks, my health is in a dire state and I won't be able to come back for WEEKS. Bwhaha.

Matt the Music Sleuth

So whenever I find a song I love, I play it around the house about 100 times or until Matt starts complaining. (Our musical preferences are almost the same, although I love anything sung by a woman in the minor key whereas he prefers male singers - typical!) Anyway, I've been playing Adele's "Hometown Glory" non-stop when Matt said, "That is the same as the Six Feet Under Song!" By the "Six Feet Under Song" he means "Breathe Me" by Sia, which was played during the show's series finale. (Soapbox: The final five minutes of Six Feet Under are the best of any series closing - everyone I know [myself and Matt included] watched that finale episode and then sat still on our couch for a good ten minutes after it ended, in tears. It was breathtaking and I'm sure the song - in all its melodramatic glory - added to it.) So then I listened to both songs, and holy bologna! both songs have very similar piano arrangements. I bow down to Matty, the Music Sleuth. Here they are (both perfect for a rainy day):

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A note on soap operas

Why is their make-up always impeccable? And not just impeccable, but really borderline clownish? I am in awe of the eye makeup these ladies flaunt, and this is coming from a veteran mascara lover.

Also, the doctor on Days of our Lives wears scrubs with CAP SLEEVES to show off his bulging muscles! It harks back to Baywatch, where their swimsuits where down to there and up to here if you get my drift. It's ridiculous.

Final question: Why am I watching this garbage?

Actually, I know why, look here:

My Day:
9 - 10 AM: Regis and Kelly (If I am up - sometimes I get up later as I've gotten in the habit and waking up from about 3 - 6 pm.)
10 -11 AM: Rachel Ray
11 AM - Noon: The View (Don't get me started on Hassleback.)
Noon - 2 PM: TV WASTELAND. This is where I sometimes turn on Days of our Lives. You would think I could go a few hours without tv, but, apparently, no.
2 PM - 3 PM: Martha, only if I'm desperate
3 PM - 4 PM: Ellen (a must)
4 PM - 5 PM: Oprah (Only if I'm in the mood for her grandiose ego.)
5 PM - 6 PM: Reading (Dr. Phil is on during this time, but really, what kind of doctor IS doctor Phil? Give me a break.)
6:20 PM: Matt gets home, and since he is the only human I see, a highly-annoying night commences for him.

Rainy Day

I think the general sentiment today is frustration and fatigue. Not just me, but seemingly all my fellow Crohn's bloggers! It must be the weather - it hasn't stopped raining here for a week straight. I think even my dog, Penny, is depressed from the weather.

Crohn's-wise, I am feeling well, although my stomach is ultra-sensitive (eating ice cream two days ago was a DIRE mistake that is still haunting me). Yesterday I visited Dr. P and my GI doc (Dr. L). I got my staples out and am slightly less Frankenstein Monster-y. What I'm frustrated about is my bladder / urethra (and you thought my problems couldn't get any ickier, HA!). I got Cipro if case I have an infection, although they didn't take a culture. After a day and a half on Cipro, I've even more convinced it is something mechanical. It does not feel like a typical UTI at all. I am not running to the bathroom, and the pain is more "muscley" if anything. So now my mind is swirling, and I'm thinking of traumatized organs after surgery and prolapsed bladders and all things icky. I got an appointment with a urogynocologist a week from today. We shall see.

I just thought this was a new beginning, but I'm constantly being dogged with medical issues. I am still holding out hope that this pain will dissipate as I heal. I asked Dr. P if he scraped my bladder with his scalpel by mistake (hardy har har) and he said he was nowhere near the good ol' blad. He was also getting a bit sassy with me, but that was because Matt said I was belligerent talking (again) about my fat roll. I prefer to call it "emotive".

Monday, May 4, 2009

Intellectual stimulation - Kathryn style

So I told myself I was going to finish all my unread books during my recovery and become a well-read woman! Well, apparently, being a well-read lady is watching Rachel Ray's daytime talk show and Chelsea Handler videos on YouTube. What can I say; it's my generation. Here's one I enjoyed with my morning bagel earlier today:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Matt and I laughed for a good five minutes at this one...

Matt and I knew Sherpas were excellent in high altitudes,
but we were especially amazed at his ability to not even need a spacesuit!

Sherpa Who Led Neil Armstrong To Moon Dead At 71 (from The Onion)

Disturbing Developments

Development 1: I realized something yesterday that I was not prepared for: I can no longer suck in my gut. Now, let's be honest, my torso mostly consists of fat, but I relished those few pounds of muscle because they helped me suck in my big belly. Now my fleshy mid-section sticks out past my boobs and I really find this unsettling! (Especially since Spanx is so much!) I know going to the gym once I heal is an option so I wouldn't have to spend a quarter of my salary on girdles, but that doesn't really appeal to me either.

Development 2: It hurts to pee. Not the burning, frequency type of hurting to pee that is associated with a urinary tract infection. This is more mechanical. I woke up this morning and when I peed - especially when my bladder was almost voided - it HURT! The pain felt deep and ran up my groin. I know you can get infections from catheters but I had my out a whole week ago (and it was in for less than 24 hours). My mom said, "Maybe your bladder is bruised." So now I'm thinking Dr. P grazed my blad with his scalpel and conveniently didn't tell me.

Development 3: My incision is red and tender, particularly at the fat roll (sorry my fat roll has taken so much prominence lately, but it really is the center of my life at the moment). I still have a section of the incision where the skin is not connected, too. I called the doctor's office on Friday feeling very smug because I warned them about this fat roll, and Dr. P's nurse told me when I see him on Tuesday he may reinforce the incision with something or other and that, no, my incision was not infected because it had to be leaking goo and green stuff to have that lovely affliction. I told her it was not leaking green stuff but was just tender and gross, and she said I'm probably a-okay then.

Development 4: I cannot sleep (which is why I am writing this at 3 am). I guess this is the side effect of doing absolutely nothing all day; I have no way to use up energy! Fortunately, my friend Angela visited today with a Welsh Corgi she is dog-sitting, but to me that thing kind of looked like a fat groundhog. I say this in all kindness but seriously, its weight would wobble left and right as it walked with its stubby legs. The thing had a bigger gut than me. He also didn't like me and growled a few times, and Angela said this was because I kept calling him names. I guess that's fair.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Prom Schmom!

She is ready for the prom safari, now!

To get my mind off the recovery (and the 1" portion of my incision that is just not closing at the fat roll!), I've been doing some light reading. Most of my reading for the last two days have been Chelsea Handler's two memoirs, so I thought it was high time for some real news. And by "real news", I mean skipping anything really newsworthy and diving right into the lifestyle section of my online papers. That's how I do it.

I hit a little golden nugget when I found a piece in the NYT on parents and teenagers still spending ridiculous amounts of money on prom regardless of the recession. This is the stuff I live for: I just knew liberal elites who read the paper (I suppose myself included) were going to have a field day in the comments section. That's pretty much what I do: I spend three minutes reading the article proper, and then three times that salivating over the commentary.

I like reading stuff about America's obsession with over-the-top celebrations (bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, sweet sixteens, and of course, prom!). I did not go to prom. I always thought it silly (Okay, okay! Let's ignore the fact I was not asked by a member of the opposite sex, jeez!). Now, if you wear a cheap dress and take it for what it's worth (a dance to cap off your high school years) I have no problem with proms. The thing is, most people I knew in my graduating class took it as the second coming. They spent no less than four months preparing for this blessed event. They tanned for months (my co-workers who tan know how I feel about this, because I always heckle them as they skirt out the door). They get their hair, make-up, and nails done, too. I just never had any...craving to do this. What work it entails!

I'd have to listen endlessly about emotionally-wrought decisions like, "I just don't know if mauve works for me, and Jessica said she was wearing mauve too!" and, "I am thinking of wearing this sparkly lotion but I don't want to look slutty; Kathryn, do you think Brian will like this lotion?" Of course, I think "Brian" had things on his mind other than lotion, if you get my drift. So I did what any girl not going to prom did: I hid out in the school newspaper and band rooms for the four months leading up to the prom and on the night of I worked dishing ice and custard at Rita's Italian Ice as I watched their stretch limos whiz by.

Even as the recession forces families to redefine their financial priorities, most are still willing to pay for an event they consider a rite of passage.