Archive for June, 2012

June 26, 2012

Tuesday Titters: Week 26, On the road again

by Janie Jones

So, seeing as I’m doing a lot of summer driving recently, this oldie seemed appropriate for Tuesday Titters:

What’s the last thing to go through a bugs head before it hits the windshield?

Its a**hole.

Perhaps I need a new category for Worst Jokes Ever…

June 20, 2012

I’m my very own medical drama

by Janie Jones

As some of you may recall, last fall I was finally diagnosed with an optic nerve sheath meningioma.  Not multiple sclerosis, thank heavens, and not really cancer, also thank my lucky stars, but still a diagnosis that could slowly lead to blindness on my affected left optic nerve.  The only treatment for said diagnosis is radiation therapy.  With luck, the tumor will be destroyed preventing further vision impairment.  With a little more luck we hope to find no permanent damage done to the nerve and a return to my “normal” state of simple myopia.

Because last fall I had neither time to go to 28 consecutive days of radiation treatments nor the money to pay for the deductible on said treatments much less the money to travel to the nearest facility with the necessary equipment for 28 consecutive days, I have been waiting until this summer to begin.

Last week I had my third MRI and a consultation with the radiation oncologist, so they could say.  “Ah, yes, this thing we are 99% sure is a tumor has grown.  Of course, the only way we can be 100% sure it is a tumor is to do a biopsy, but naturally we can’t do a biopsy on your optic nerve sheath without causing brain damage and likely destroying your optic nerve which would render a positive diagnosis useless because by then you’d have brain damage and likely be blind so there’d be no point in treating you.”


Fast forward to consent forms signed.

The next step was a CAT scan to compare with my 3 MRI’s so they could map the inside of my noggin.  The plan is to send at least three separate beams of xray radiation into my head from different angles.  This will reduce the amount of radiation the “normal” tissues are exposed to while being able to concentrate a therapeutically high radiation dose within 1-2 millimeters of my tumor.  Naturally they are going to chart the direction of the radiation beams to avoid my good eye and the most delicate tissue structures.

Yesterday I had the CAT scan with contrast.  It went fine, excepting that I was there for three hours and nearly passed out getting my IV put in…  I hate IV’s.  It’s one of those totally stupid irrational phobias, but no matter how I scold myself in attempt to “get a grip” I fail.  Plus it didn’t help that I was cold, sitting in a flimsy hospital gown under a AC vent set to arctic on a day when it was barely 65 outside, and perched precariously on a narrow table with one bum cheek hanging free and trying to hold up my arm so the poor nurse could find a vein in one of the dimmest hospital rooms I’d ever been in.  Not a good situation.  Then the nurse went through my vein in my hand, I panicked and the whole thing went south from there.

Anyway, after a calm down period where I managed to pull myself back from the brink of passing out, heroically managed not to vomit my almond danish from breakfast 3 hours earlier, I was offered a warm blanket, and allowed to lay back on the table so I couldn’t see what was going on, which was much more conducive to having a cold needle jammed into your arm instead of your hand.

After that, the rest was cake.

The rest mainly included having a neck rest made to conform to the shape of my neck and head and a mask that would hold my head to the headrest and the table.  Obviously we wouldn’t want me to twitch during radiation therapy and nuke myself in the wrong place.  Leif says I should get the staff to take my picture all strapped into the mask.  I might ask, I was a little freaked out yesterday and never even thought to bring my camera.  Anyway it all ended with the CAT scan, which itself was a walk in the park after 3 MRIs.  It was much quieter and faster.  Overall, though, I would much rather have the longer, noisy MRI; me hates me some IV’s, man.

Sadly, I did find out that despite saving up my money for my procedure, they will want me to get at least one follow-up MRI.  The problem is not with the MRI itself, it’s with the fact that by the time they’ll be ready to schedule the follow up, I’ll be in a new benefit year and I’ll have to magic into being the money to cover a whole new year’s deductible.

Okay, Yard Sale time boys and girls!!!

June 19, 2012

Tuesday Titters: Week 25; Caveat Emptor

by Janie Jones

A corrupt politician (is there any other kind?) died.

At the Pearly Gates he is met by St. Peter.

“Welcome.  As you may have guessed, I am St. Peter.  It is my duty to inform you of our new Eternity Processing procedures.”

“Eternity Processing Procedures?”  Repeats the politician.

“Yes.”  Says St. Peter.  “We now have a more democratic approach to processing your placement into the afterlife.  Now new admittees must choose Heaven or Hell.”

“Well,” says the politician, “there’s really not much of a choice now is there?  Naturally, I choose Heaven.”

“I’m afraid it’s not that simple.”  Explains St. Peter.  “Before you make your choice there is a mandatory 48 hour waiting period.  You must spend 24 hours of the waiting period in Hell, then 24 hours in Heaven.”

“But, I know I’ll choose Heaven.”  Argues the politician.

“Sorry.”  Says St. Peter.  “Rules are rules.”  And with that the politician finds himself hustled into an elevator which plunges down into the depths of Hell.  Much to his surprise, when the doors open he steps out into a beautiful country club.  He sees all his friends.  They rush up to greet him then before he has a moment to speak they whisk him off for a day of golf, fine dining, dancing and general revelry.

“Surely there must be some mistake,” the politician thinks.  “There’s no way this could be Hell, this has been the best day ever.”

Just then, however, a man with red skin, horns and smelling faintly of brimstone walks up to him wearing the finest fitting Armani Tux the politician has ever seen.  “Greetings.  I’m the Devil.  Welcome to Hell.  Are you enjoying the champagne and caviar?”  The man says in a deep rumbling baritone.

“You’re the Devil?  This is Hell?”  The politician asks incredulously.

“Yes.  Naturally.”

“But this place is wonderful.”

The Devil smiles and asks, “Have you had one of Sigrid’s Swedish Massages yet?”

“Swedish Massages?  No.  I would love one.  Can I get one right now?”  The politician asks eagerly.

“Sorry, I’m afraid not.”  Says St. Peter.  “Your 24 hours in Hell are up.  Please step this way.”

“Thank you for visiting Hell.  I hope you’ll come again.”  Says the Devil.

“But,”  Stammers the politician, “I don’t want to leave yet.  I haven’t had my massage.”

“Sorry.”  Says St. Peter ushering the politician towards the elevator.  “Rules are rules.”

The politician mutters something under his breath about mindless bureaucrats.

“What’s that?  I didn’t quite hear you.”  St. Peter says politely.

“Nothing.”  Says the politician as the elevator doors close and the elevator begins it’s ascent into Heaven.  At last the doors open to a sky of fluffy pure white clouds.  The politician is collected by a host of seraphim of unspeakable loveliness who usher him about the clouds.  He spends a day of tranquility and contentment playing the harp, singing praises to God, and watching and protecting over mortals.  At length St. Peter returns and collects him.

“Well.”  Says St. Peter.  “Your waiting period is over.  You must now decide where you will spend eternity.”

“I never would have believed I would say this,”  the politician began, “and Heaven is lovely, but.  Well, it is a bit dull.  And after all, I had such a good time in Hell and all my friends were there, and the Devil.  Who’d have thought he’d be such a delightful host?”

“So, you’ve decided then?”  Asked St. Peter.

“Yeah.  I want to go back to Hell.”

“And so it shall be.”  Said St. Peter.  The politician jumped into the elevator and eagerly waited for the doors to re-open thinking of his Swedish Massage and wondering if he could get an Armani Tux as fine as the Devil’s.  At last the elevator stopped.  The doors opened, and to the politician’s horror he was dumped out into a barren wasteland filled with burning trash.  The acrid smell of fetid burning garbage burned his lungs and he fell to his feet.

“Get up you lazy turd!”  Bellowed a deep booming baritone.  The politician smelled brimstone over the burning trash.  The Devil stood looming over him.  He thrust a trash bag at the politician.  “Get to work!  Stop wasting time!”  The politician looked up and noticed all his friends, now naked and burned, walking amongst the flaming piles of trash painstakingly filling garbage bags.  As soon as one pile would be removed a new heap would fall from the sky so that they toiled for all eternity moving endless piles of filth.

“But.  But.  I don’t understand!  The day before I was here, it was beautiful!  I played golf with my friends, I danced with beautiful women, I ate fine cuisine.  I drank champagne.  And what happened to Sigrid and the Swedish Massages!”  The politician stammered.

The Devil shrugged.  “The other day we were campaigning.  Yesterday you voted.”

June 18, 2012

Tuesday Titters: Week 24; where are you?

by Janie Jones

Sorry folks, I missed week 24.

I came back from my camping trip and was buried in work and life.  But, now I’m done with my job I hope to get caught up.  I know it’s not Tuesday, but here’s a quick funny by way of back tracking:

A husband and wife were out hiking one day and got lost.  The wife maintained that they should stop and ask for directions.  The husband objected, insisting he wasn’t lost.

The wife said, “We’ve been walking in circles.  Everything looks the same. ”

“Nonsense,” said the husband, “I know exactly where we are.  We’re camped just a bit up this stream.”

“Are you sure?  This is the same stream?”


“Oh, really?  How can you be so sure?”  Demanded the wife.

“I recognize this patch of clover.”

“That’s absurd.”  The wife said.  “You know you can’t judge a brook by it’s clover.”

June 10, 2012

More time off for behavior

by Janie Jones

I’ve met some new blog friends recently who may not know that I’m recuperating from the 2011-2012 school year of doom where in I back to back took 18 credits and then 19 credits and commuted as many as 10 hours a week to get to classes.

Then because I’m broke, and being the crazy fool, glutton for punishment, responsible grown up that I am, I took a summer job that started the week of finals and wanted me to be present for my minimum wage duties every opportunity they could rope me into.  Then, in all my free time left over, when I’ve not been getting the spud finished with school, packing her off to her dads, working and having anxiety and panic attacks about money, I’ve been going to see doctors, dentists, having xrays, being twisted and cracked by a chiropractor, and trying to get my house clean.

So, this evening I’m having friends and we’re going to have a cheese and chocolate tasting party.  Then on Monday we’re packing up the trailer and going camping for two nights.

I need some fun and relaxation.  So I may not be around much the next few days.

But, before I go, I wanted to give a shout out to Terry 1954 who nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award.  Thank you.  I’ll fulfill the obligations of acceptance when I get back.

Also, I’ve promised Tilly Bud to share some insights on the grading system of American universities….  I haven’t forgotten.  My desktop looks like a Post-It Note factory exploded, but the note reminding me to do so is buried in the mess somewhere.  I ought to work my way through my to-do list and find it soon.

And, there will be travelogues coming…  eventually.  Because we know how much everyone enjoys looking at pictures of other people’s vacations.  Not to worry, I seldom remember to take more than a couple snaps.

So, now I’m off to work, and tonight I eat chocolate until I sweat Hershey’s Syrup.

Happy Sunday to you all.

June 8, 2012

Time off for behavior

by Janie Jones

I made the executive decision to take the morning off.

I enjoyed a nice lie-in.  I visited a few new blogs.  I sat around in my pajamas.

But now it’s noon.  I suppose my morning off must end.  After all, I’ve got things I want to do.  Like clean my house.  I think it may need it.  Either that or I’ve unknowingly adopted a dozen new dogs…

If I had any shame at all left, I wouldn’t post this photo.  It is pretty scary looking.  It is the corner of my bedroom, where one of Rupert’s progeny has taken roost.  I love dear Rupert, but he sheds like a beast and I just don’t have the time to vacuum as frequently as shedding season requires for the prevention of mini Rupert dust puppies.  I know I can’t put it off any longer because company is coming on Sunday, and with the windows open and fans on, the mini Ruperts have become mobile and tumble themselves down the room along the baseboards.  My good friend who is coming to visit is legally blind.  I wouldn’t want her to confuse them for real dogs.  Anybody have the local animal control number?

So, high ho-high-ho, it’s off to work I go.

Happy Friday.

June 7, 2012

Let’s NOT do the time warp again…

by Janie Jones

Yesterday I had timing issues.  I think I’ve been in a whole time warp conundrum this week.  Here it is Thursday, and I have no idea where all my time has gone.  I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying my summer, but alas, my week has been so full of doctor appointments, chores and work I hardly have had a moment to think of bloggy fun goodness.  Though I did manage to steal a little fun yesterday, we went reconnoitering for good camping sites.  Along the way we stopped at a little resale shop which was a used book haven.

Ahhh.  Cheap books.

I could spend all day climbing ladders right up to the rafters digging through dusty old tomes to find my secret treasures.  I got Tess of the D’Ubervilles by Thomas Hardy, Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence, and The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier.  I don’t know if they’ll be any good, but they fit my goal of reading a book a week this summer (Task #20 of 101 in 1001 days).  Now if I could only carve out time for them….

Well, no rest for the wicked.  I must be very wicked indeed….