Thursday, May 29, 2008

Substitute My Coke for Gin

I met with a 20-year-old nutritionist the other day who went over all of the things I will never be able to enjoy again if I ever want to fit into my thin pants and not die.

Basically, it's keeping starches, fats and sugars to a minimum and having a lot of chopped vegetables. I'm also working on an exercise plan, although chopping all of these vegetables has certainly been exercise enough.

The eating plan is based on these things called exchanges. This is how you keep track of how much you're eating and whether or not you've gone over your limit for the day. One slice of bread is one starch exchange. I have to have topless sandwiches.

Of course, these are just guidelines for healthy eating. If I view them as being iron-clad restrictions, I will run amok and start shoveling M&M's into my mouth.

The cats seem to be taking a vivid interest in all of my meals. I sit at the table and raise one of my topless sandwiches to my face, only to meet the mackerel-striped nape of Chico or Ashley. This is unprecedented and causes me to wonder just what it was that I was eating before, and if other species know something that I don't.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Made By The Blackfeet Pussycats

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I Must Be Crazy, Too

Because the first thing I thought of when I heard this was, "Yeah, the primaries did go on longer when I was a kid."

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Don't Know Whether I'll Vote for Mac or Bam...

But this really blows me away, the people who believe these rumors. And I know people like that, and even understand where some of their fears are coming from. Just like the Roth-reading Obama understood where the Reverend Crazy's insane assertions were coming from.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fat Fat the Water Liver

There were news vans outside of Mount Sinai yesterday when I went for my liver sonogram. The governor had checked in early that morning with a severe migraine. I had a severe migraine, too, but mine was from fasting for the sonogram, which is why I got there an hour early.

I breathed in that Sinai Smell, a potpourri of medicine and disinfectants that immediately took me back to four years ago this week, when my husband was brought there after collapsing on the living room floor from a seizure. Then, I'd been terrified at every sight and sound, certain that everything signified a death knell. I was a bit premature on that one, but I've never gotten immune to the smell.

A Russian lady did my sonogram. "You had gall bladder removed?"

"Yeah. Why, do you see one in there?"



When she was finished, she told me my doctor would notify me in two days.

"But if something were really wrong, you'd call right away, right?"

She paused. "Usually."

See, this is what happens in middle age: You go from reading nuances in whatever some guy you're interested in said, and start obsessing about them from medical professionals.

I got home to no messages on my machine, went out, came back two hours later, no messages, two hours later, no messages again. Then on the way to work this morning, it occurred to me that the doctor didn't know I'd taken the day off from work and could have called my office. Sure enough, as I crept up on my cubicle this morning, the light was on the phone and it was her, and the call had been made two hours after the test.

"Something they saw on your test from before grew, you should follow up with your PCP about that, and, oh yeah, you do have fatty liver."

A series of phone messages to both doctors and then I got her on the phone.

"Something they saw?"

"Yeah, you had a biopsy on something and it was benign?"


"It's probably that. I called your PCP and she'll let you know if there's anything else that needs to be done."

"So it's not pancreatic cancer?"

Hahaha, that's right, Melinda's a comedian. "No, it's not pancreatic cancer."

"Cause you know, my husband, James Konrad, he was your patient, died from metastatic cancer last year and every since know, cancer that metastasizes to the spouse and all that."

"Nah, nothing like that."

Okay, so now I'm waiting for the PCP, and telling myself that if something from three years ago took this long to grow, it's probably not going to kill me by lunchtime.

The governor's migraine was caused by glaucoma, and was cured by laser surgery. Mine was cured by a large but healthy meal in the Sinai cafeteria, complete with coffee. With skim milk and Splenda, of course. And The Smell.

Update, Thursday morning:

The PCP thinks the thing that got larger is a blood vessel, but wants me to have--guess what, folks? Go ahead, guess---yes, that's right, another test to confirm. She's going to get back to me to let me know whether it's going to be a CT scan or an MRI, which will pick up five other things that need to be rescanned.

Monday, May 19, 2008

I'm Getting a Couch, Like a Normal Person

Doesn't it look like it should be in one of those old-fashioned gentlemen's clubs?

Those of you in the New York area are probably familiar with this place's commercials. That's not where I got it, though.

I got it on 14th Street at one of those "Hey, I just got out of NYU and I'm furnishing my first apartment!" type places. It's real leather, at a price that won't make me have a heart attack when the cats claw it to pieces, as they will.

The furniture place is supposed to deliver it in about three weeks.

This is What My Apartment Would Look Like As a Bus

This couple, their dog and two cats travel across the country in a tour bus converted to an RV. It's 300 square feet, which is the size of my apartment, except my apartment doesn't get around much.

Unclutterer did a feature on them today, and how they could live in such a small space.

I could use a luggage bay.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I'm Floored



Spending the weekend cleaning up, and discovering new dimensions in 150-year-old grime.

The floor will be polyurethane-d and all of the floors scraped, sanded and re-varnished. But first, there are new kitchen cabinets to be installed, and I want to swap the ceiling tiles a previous tenant put in. There are acoustic tiles you can get that look like tin. And the whole place needs to be repainted, because in spite of having put up tarps, the grime got sucked right into the walls.

The New Normal: One floor, one ceiling, one headache at a time.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

They DID Find Trail Mix in My Bloodstream

The endocrinologist called me this morning.

"Did you ever have a sonogram for fatty liver?"

I beg your pardon...don't call my liver names.

"Uh, I had a sonogram three years ago, but all they told me from that is that I didn't have cancer of the pancreas."

"Well, I want you to get another one. You have high liver numbers."

Turns out that everything--high blood sugar, fatty liver, high triglycerides, gall bladder disease--is all a part of this thing called Metabolic Syndrome, and it's supposed to put you at greater risk for heart attacks and complications from diabetes. And a big part of what causes it is being middle-aged and overweight.

The thing is, I'm not really fat. I was just a little skinny person for many years and I continued to eat like one, so now I look stocky. And I'd consider it part of "growing old gracefully" if it weren't for the fact that it's affecting my health.

Okay, that's bullshit. I want to look better, too.

What's Under Your Floors?

I think they found the Lindbergh Baby under mine.

Here's the culprit that was making my living room sag in the middle. There was a fireplace along this wall, and whoever removed it removed the beam that ran under it. Genius.

Ashley was missing for a scary hour last night. I'd thought she disappeared into the walls like Molly/Millie/whatever.

Roughin' it in the bedroom, the only livable part of the apartment last night.

From what the workmen told me, yesterday was the worst: The demolition part. Today they start putting in new beams and rebuilding. So maybe tonight I won't have to clamber from beam to beam like a mountain goat whenever I need something from outside the bedroom.

Monday, May 12, 2008

And So It Begins

I left my two beloved cats alone in my apartment with two strangers and a circular saw.

Of course, the first thing Chico did is went up to smell the saw.

You would think the hardest part about moving all the stuff out of my living room was the six-foot credenza. You would be wrong. The toughest thing was disentangling the octopus of wires in the back of the TV/stereo equipment and the computer. Everything's piled up in the bedroom and I may not connect either of them until the end of the week when I move them back into the living room.

When I left, the workmen were putting thick plastic sheeting all over the openings to the room, kind of like the way the endodontist puts a dental dam around the tooth he's working on. So I'm getting root canal on my living room.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

In That Same Vein

You know you're getting older when you use vacation days to get your doctors' appointments done. I scheduled two of them up near Mount Sinai Hospital yesterday in the driving rain with wind that blew my umbrella inside-out.

The first one was with the endocrinologist, to whom I was supposed to have returned in February.

"I wanted to see if I could lose the weight first."

"What have you been eating?"

"Trail mix."

"That's very fattening."



She's referring me to a nutritionist.

The other appointment was with a vascular surgeon who treats varicose veins. There's a new technique now where you can get them done in the doctor's office by laser surgery.

I met with the doctor, a woman about my age, and told her about this chronic pain I was getting on the side of my lower leg, like somebody had tried to kick me repeatedly in the shins and missed. I'd thought it could have something to do with a prominent, noodly-looking (and by-the-way unsightly but of course not it's just for cosmetic reasons) vein above my knee.

The doctor looked concerned and passed me off to the assistant at the sonogram room.

The assistant read from the order form. "Check for DVT's."

"You mean blood clots? What do you do when you find a blood clot?"

"Put you in the hospital and give you blood thinners."

Oh no! The hospital! My floors are finally being fixed! I have to get somebody to sit for my cats! There are layoffs all over the place right now!

"You mean, you'd just hustle me right off the table and into Sinai?"

"If it's bad enough, yeah."

"I cannot go into the hospital. This cannot happen. I will not go."

The technician opened the door and let me in.

"This cannot happen," I told him.

Wowowowow said the sonogram machine.

Fortunately, it wasn't anything life-threatening. Just a traffic jam of blocked superficial veins exactly where I'd thought they would be. The doctor said it would take a month to get approval from my insurance.

I watched a video on the site. Ew! They'd better knock me out good and dopey.

I had tried to schedule the appointments one right after the other but the closest I could get was three hours apart. In between, I went to the Mount Sinai cafeteria for lunch and then killed some time visiting my old haunts. Mount Sinai is the size of a small city with all of the buildings connected so that you can circumnavigate the entire place without once having to deal with the elements. So I was able to have a meal, go to the overpriced gift store, have coffee at the Starbucks, and catch a Nurses Appreciation Week party complete with cotton candy and a belly dancer.

I also stopped into the chapel to thank God for bringing me this far in one piece except for needless vestigial organs, and I hope they don't find anything more frightening in my blood test than trail mix.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Ceramics Goes All "Island of Dr. Moreau"

I've been enjoying looking at the works of Megan Bogdonovich lately, and may even buy some when I'm finished getting everything I already own out of my house.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Rude Spring Awakening

I was shopping for Summer clothes in H&M this afternoon. I was pawing through a rack of skirts and out of the corner of my eye I saw a nice middle-aged lady a couple of yards away from me. Probably buying something for her daughter, I thought.

I turned and smiled at her. She smiled at me and, with a jolt, I realized I was looking into a mirror.

Friday, May 02, 2008

This Made Me Go "Yeah" in a Sad Little Voice

David Horsey is my favorite political cartoonist.

By the way, back later or tomorrow with more stuff. Nothing major this week; just putting out a lot of little fires.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

nyc bloggers map