Why My Christmas Kind of Sucked

Sure, there were parts of Christmas that were a lot of fun, like watching Lucy open her presents, but the rest of it was pretty darn miserable.

The Tuesday before Christmas, I had a Reclast infusion. Reclast is a medicine for osteoporosis, and as a once-a-year medicine, I was happy to choose that over the weekly pills. I sat in the infusion room and played on my iPhone for about 45 minutes, and then it was off to the lab to have 15 — yes, FIFTEEN — vials of blood drawn.

Then, I headed home. I was feeling fairly light-headed, which I attributed to the fact that I had just had FIFTEEN vials of blood drawn on an empty stomach (I kind of didn’t have any time before my appointment to eat). I grabbed some french fries and a Coke to see if that would help, and relaxed on the couch when I got home.

The next day, I still felt bad. I would get very light-headed and dizzy, and I started to get nauseous. That night, I spiked a fever. We called my rheumatologist’s office and were told that if the symptoms lasted several days post-infusion to call my primary care doctor. We thought for sure I’d be feeling better by Thursday.

Unfortunately, I was much worse. By then, I couldn’t even sit up without feeling like I was going to pass out. My primary care doctor worked me in, and we headed off soon after I got up. I almost passed out sitting in the chair to have my vitals taken, and they sent me directly to the ER. They offered to call an ambulance, but Joe said he would drive me. I kind of wish we’d taken them up on the ambulance because then I would have gone right back!

We waited for a while (no surprise there) before finally being called back. I was feeling H-O-R-R-I-B-L-E. A friend of ours came to get Lucy (so grateful!), and we settled in for the day. Because we were there the WHOLE day. I had a chest x-ray done (during which I almost passed out because I had to stand), I had a CT scan done, I had a EKG done and I had blood drawn. The best part was the IV meds (although the nurse took out the IV from where she originally placed it and moved it, which kind of sucked). The zofran really helped with my nausea, and the morphine eased some of the EXCRUTIATING pain in my joints and muscles (what? I didn’t mention that before? Yeah, apparently that’s one of the side effects, too). However, nothing seemed to help the light-headedness and dizziness.

When we got home, I walked Joe through some of the things I needed to do as guest editor for one of the Patch sites (and, yes, I had been working from my phone while in the ER) and just rested. The ER doctor gave me a prescription to help with the dizziness, and it really did work. It was a lifesaver. We laid low at the house, and Joe helped me with work again on Friday. Because he’s awesome like that.

On Saturday, we headed up to my parents’ house. I was feeling OK, but I would start to feel bad again if I’d been on my feet too long. After our traditional Christmas eve dinner, I was feeling pretty dizzy, so I took a pill. However, it knocked me out. As in, I could barely keep my eyes open while we opened presents. I was so tired it was painful. It hadn’t done that the previous day, so I was pretty surprised.

I went to bed for the night around 8:30 p.m., and the pill knocked me out so much that I didn’t even hear Lucy and her
cousins running around the door to my parents’ living room for 30 minutes. Wow.

Sunday was a little better in the respect that I wasn’t super tired because I chose dizziness over being knocked out and missing Christmas dinner. I ended up taking a pill after dinner, and I slept the whole way home. Heaven.

Oh, and did I mention my dad was in pain from hurting his shoulder (for which he’ll be having surgery next week), and knocked out at times from pain meds? Yeah. He missed all of Christmas eve, which sucked because it is his favorite night of the year.

Now, I seem to be pretty much back to normal, and I couldn’t be happier. I won’t be taking Reclast again, though. My doctor and I will have to come up with another plan next year. My next post will be much more upbeat — Christmas pictures!

Snake in a Car

Think of the one thing you wouldn’t want to happen to you when you’re driving. That one thing that would send me over the edge is exactly what happened to me this morning.

I headed out early to Douglas County to cover the Board of Commissioners’ work session. We were done in an hour, and I headed back home, hoping to get a lot accomplished. I hit Paulding County and was singing along with the radio when I felt something on my ankle. I moved my ankle but could still feel something on it, so I glanced down to take a look.

And, wrapped around my ankle was a SNAKE. Seriously, people. A SNAKE in my CAR. Luckily, I was nearing a subdivision where there was a turning lane, so I swerved over, kicking my leg to dislodge the snake. When I got it off my ankle, I tried to figure out how to stop my car without touching the brake because OHMYGOSHTHERE’SASNAKEINMYCARWHATIFITTOUCHESMEAGAIN!

I managed to hit the brake, put the car in park and jump out. At that point, the snake was slithering up my seat. Of course, in my attempt to get out of my Mustang as fast as I could, I left the car running and the door open. The snake had wound its way under the driver’s seat and had stuck its head out from underneath, looking at me as if it was taunting me with, “Ha ha! I’ve taken over your car!” Because it had. It totally had. I was too freaked out to try to reach in and turn the ignition off.

I called Joe and was so hysterical that he couldn’t understand anything I was saying. Hysterical because there was a SNAKE in my CAR. He finally calmed me down, and I called 911. I’m sure the dispatcher who answered my car got a good laugh out of the woman who needed someone to come get the snake out of her car. I was assured that the next available sheriff’s deputy would be en route.

Before calling 911, I had tried to flag down passing motorists to see if anyone could help, especially those who drove by in trucks. No one stopped. But, as I was standing on the side of the road waiting, two men approached me. I had seen them pass, and they had stopped just a ways up and walked down to help me and wait with me until the deputy arrived.

When the deputy got there, he got out his trusty flashlight and began checking out my car. Two checks later, no snake was found. He acted like I had made the whole thing up (because, really, who DOESN’T make up a story about a snake wrapping themselves around her ankle while she was driving), especially when I said that it was around my ankle. When something like that happens, you don’t forget the feeling. EVER. I think I will always have the heebiejeebies.

I somehow got enough courage to get in my car and drive back to Cartersville, where Joe met me at the police department to clean out my car and examine it more thoroughly. And, we may have discovered where the snake came from. My car is missing the undercarriage on both sides, so the engine is exposed. Our theory is that the snake crawled up into the engine for warmth and then through the exposed area into the car and onto my ankle. My next plan is to get an estimate on the cost of replacing the undercarriages but, until then, I have moth balls taped to both sides of my car.

I don’t know how long it will be until I can get in my car without fear of a snake lurking by, but hopefully those moth balls will keep the snakes away.

Sour Milk

Yesterday, I swore I smelled sour milk in our living room. Joe didn’t smell anything, so I figured I was just imagining things.

But, when we got home from work, Joe said he could smell it, too. We moved the couch and pulled out all of Lucy’s toys. No sippy cup there. We couldn’t figure out where the smell was coming from.

Then, as I was sitting on the couch watching TV, Lucy went over to her kitchen, opened one of the doors, pulled out a sippy cup and brought it to me. And old sippy cup. And when I say old, I mean that when she spilled it on my arm, the milk was as clear as water.

Mystery solved, and now Lucy is down one sippy cup. Now, if we can just get rid of this smell!

Doing my Civic Duty

So, last week I had jury duty. My service finished up today. Exhausting.

I ended up getting picked for a jury on Thursday to hear a case involving a man charged with four counts — habitual violator, habitual violator DUI less safe, DUI less safe and giving a false name. The background of the case was fairly simple: a sheriff’s deputy patrolling around 2 a.m. near a strip mall saw a car parked in front of a gas station, which was closed for the night. He went to check out the car, thinking someone might be trying to break into the store, and found the defendant in the car and smelled alcohol on his breath. He said the defendant slurred his speech and was belligerent, so he arrested the defendant.

However, in order to convict someone of DUI less safe, there has to be proof that the person was driving in a manner that was unsafe. There was no proof of any driving. Sure, the defendant testified to driving to the parking lot from his sister’s house, but that’s it. The deputy didn’t see him driving. He could have driven perfectly fine, or he could have been swerving all over the road, hitting dogs and cats.

There also was no proof as to WHEN the drinking occurred. The defendant said he had a beer at his sister’s house around 6 p.m. Even if he had had a couple of beers, the effects would have worn off by 2 a.m. And, some people can drive perfectly fine after having a few drinks. But, he also could have consumed alcohol in the parking lot after stopping for the night (he was homeless and sleeping in his car). There’s no way to know. The deputy didn’t search the car.

We were divided from the start. There were three of us who voted not guilty on the two DUI charges from the start because of the lack of evidence. The others were pretty adamant that he was guilty. However, after reading the charge again, the sentence stating that just the smell of alcohol on a person’s breath isn’t sufficient enough to convict them of DUI changed the minds of everyone except one person. And, that is why we deliberated over two days.

I don’t know if that person went into this with a closed mind or what, but she would not think logically. We have to convict based on evidence. She wanted to convict based on her assumptions. That’s not how the justice system works. She said that since the defendant refused to take field sobriety tests or blow in an alchosensor that he is guilty. Not quite. It’s his right to refuse. That doesn’t prove that he drove drunk.

The only way to prove drunk driving is to have both the drinking and the driving. We didn’t have the driving. Even the woman holding out said she didn’t know what happened. EXACTLY! At that point, one person through up his arms and said, “See! You don’t know, so you can’t convict!” And, that is when the woman burst into tears, told us we were being mean and said she would go ahead and vote not guilty so she could go home.

Sigh. Mentally exhausting. In the end, she did change her vote. We convicted him of the habitual violator and giving a false name charges but found him not guilty on the habitual violator DUI less safe and DUI less safe charges.

Jury duty was a really interesting experience, but it was much, much harder than I thought it would be. I really feel now for juries on more serious cases. It’s tough.

The One in which I Almost Punched a Mom

Yesterday, Lucy and I met up with our playgroup at Champion Kids, an indoor play place in Marietta. This was the first time I had been to the new location, and I was a bit dismayed when I discovered the trampolines and inflatables are now in different rooms. When we arrived, the trampoline room was the only one open, but Lucy liked being bounced on them the last time we went, so we headed in.

Lucy made a beeline for the trampolines. I wasn’t surprised. Now, the trampolines at Champion Kids aren’t raised off the ground. They are built into the floor and are surrounded by gymnastics padding, so it’s perfectly safe. Lucy jumped with other toddlers, and she also went on the trampolines when the bigger kids jumped, and it cracked her up when she fell. She loves that kind of thing.

I was sitting with my friend chatting when a mom approached me, asked if Lucy was my daughter and then told me I needed to take her off the trampoline. Why? Because this mom said she was too small. I told her that I am Lucy’s mom, and I will make that decision. And, Lucy was fine. The mom told me that I didn’t care about my child’s safety, and I rolled my eyes. She responded with, “Don’t roll your eyes at me because I care more about your child than you do.” Whatever.

She walked off, and my friends and I continued talking. I looked up a few minutes later to check on Lucy, and she was happily jumping away. Then, I saw this mom walk over to my daughter, PICK HER UP AND REMOVE HER FROM THE TRAMPOLINE. At that point, Lucy started to scream because some strange woman picked her up. I was LIVID. I marched over, grabbed Lucy and told the employee standing by the trampoline that that woman was NOT to touch my child again. I would have said something to the mom, but I was so mad that I thought I was going to punch her, so I walked away to cool off.

One of my friends, however, went over and told that mom that she was NOT to touch other peoples’ kids. The mom said that I OBVIOUSLY didn’t care if my daughter broke her leg. Then, she cussed my friend out. Classy. My friend spoke to the same employee that I did and was told that this woman is a troublemaker and always causes problems.

Technically, what that woman did was simple battery, and my dad, who’s a lawyer, told me I should have called the cops. I probably should have. Next time, I will. But, I’m pretty sure we won’t be back. A business that condones parents who grab other peoples’ kids and doesn’t kick them out isn’t one that I want to patronize.

On Being 80

Hi. My name is Cady, and I have arthritis and cataracts.

Oh, yeah, and I’m only 31 years old. I’ve always said that I’m an 31-year-old trapped in an 80-year-old’s body, and now I’m feeling it more than ever. As you all probably know, I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed when I was 20, and I’m on a cocktail of meds to help keep it under control. And, because of my arthritis, I get to go take water aerobics classes at the senior aquatic center — as in senior CITIZEN aquatic center. Sigh.

Last Friday, I had my annual eye exam, and, since it was my first time seeing this optometrist, I told him that I had been told last year that I had cataracts. He told me that was highly unlikely given my age but, when he looked at my eyes, he confirmed that I do indeed have cataracts. Right now because of them, I’m barely seeing 20/20 with correction. He told me that if it gets to the point of seeing 20/30 or worse with correction, I’ll be looking at cataract surgery. Seriously. At 31 years old. Oh yeah…and guess what caused my cataracts — my arthritis meds!

See? I’m a freaking 80-year-old. I hate to think of what will happen next.