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Vicissitudes of life

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I always liked that word - vicissitudes. Ups and downs of life. Alternations, changes. Life as a roller coaster. And vicissitudes rarely come in the singular form - because they are the ups and downs, they come in sets.

Vicissitudes just sounds like such a nice, fancy, expensive, super-educated way of talking about life's ups and downs. Which of course makes it sound less down, LOL. I mean, if you went to HA-vahd or Oxford or something, how down could life be? Although when I told DH I liked the word "vicissitudes" he thought it only meant the downs - not the ups - I had to look it up to show him. He's like that - he's the down, slightly depressed one in the family. I'm the everlastingly-cheerful one. (The cat is our emotionless Vulcan, LOL)

I have no brilliant insights into the vicissitudes of life today - I'm tired, it's pouring rain out, there's been thunder and lightning, and the internet goes off when it gets too foggy. But we're snug and warm, we have food in the fridge, and I just bought a book I'd like to start reading and read all weekend.

I guess those are all part of the vicissitudes of life too.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/30/2010 1:43PM

    LOL at the lipstick and nailpolish as the up vicissitudes! It definitely dramatizes the mundane - dropping a grocery bag containing wine and eggs, for example. Or tripping over items left out. Vicissitudes.

I also like the word penultimate. I use that in class periodically, my students look at me as if I'm crazed.



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DEVORA4 5/29/2010 11:02PM

  I told you send some of the rain over here. We can use it in Israel. I like the word too.

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WATERMELLEN 5/29/2010 8:07PM

    "Vicissitudes" is a word I've always liked too -- it seems to me to have a built-in irony, slightly self-dramatizing, maybe a little bit trivializing . . . I don't think, for example, we'd be likely to use the word "vicissitudes" to describe serious crises or trauma (terminal illness) or even seriously good stuff (Obama winning the Nobel; these just don't seem to be "vicissitude" material. "Vicissitudes" are always plural and stuff like hitting all the red lights when you're late to the golf course for a tee time, and then shanking into the woods on the tee because there was no time to warm up. And I believe you when you say "vicissitudes" also means the good stuff but have to say in common parlance (another nice word) I've never actually heard it used that way. "I found my favourite shade of lipstick on sale at the drug store and then the matching nailpolish too: ah, sweet vicissitudes of life": not working for me.

Words are wonderful things!!

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What do you do when medicine fails us?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Unfortunately, life isn't like medical drama tv shows. We don't have Dr. House who eventually gets his diagnosis right. We don't have an ER or Seattle Grace hospital who will find out our problem and deal with it within an hour.

We have doctors who poke, probe, stick, prod, take samples, test, and eventually, 5 days later, call to say they can't find anything wrong.

So what do we do, especially when we have symptoms that are included in the dire warning signs? I'm one of those people who believes in being pro-active about my health. I know my medical history, I know my medications and dosage amounts, I know what has gone wrong when, what side effects I've had, what side effects have lingered.

And I normally wait 3 days until I see a doctor, except under dire circumstances. Such as those dire warning signs. Blood in the urine, spotting blood (even 10 years after a hysterectomy), visible blood in the urine - these are dire warning signs, these are dire circumstances. So when I see the doctor, I don't want "we can't find anything" or "there isn't any sign of infection" or "it probably is an anomaly" - because when it happens occasionally, time and again, it isn't an anomaly. It's something wrong.

And I want to find a doctor who will find out what's wrong, so we can fix it now, before it becomes a BIG and unfixable problem.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEROSES 5/29/2010 10:22AM

    I hope you'll be ok till next week when your regular dr comes back Phebe and she can diagnose and hopefully fix the problem. You sure could use Dr. House, couldn't you, lol.

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DJS-DEBBIE 5/29/2010 4:13AM

    I can relate. I hope your regular doc is more helpful!

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MILLISMA 5/28/2010 11:00PM

    Sorry to hear you're having problems but hopefully your regular doctor will find a resolution. That's not only frustrations, it's scary. Take care my friend. Will keep you in my prayers.

Mary Anne emoticon

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PHEBESS 5/28/2010 10:31PM

    Part of the problem is that my usual dr isn't in the office til next week - I've seen this particular dr and haven't been too impressed by her. (Last time, she sent me for a liver ultrasound PRIOR to doing a simple blood test for liver enzymes.) So I think I'll make an appt to see my regular dr, who seems to be a bit more logical in her testing.

Next up will be a urologist, but I really don't want to go there. I don't know if we have a urologist on island, it may mean a trip to Puerto Rico. Which is a pain to fly/taxi just to see a dr (who may or may not speak English).

Life in de islands, mon!

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DEVORA4 5/28/2010 9:55PM

  Good luck with you search for a dr. I have always known what is wrong by reading and searching the net.

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FITKAT2010 5/28/2010 6:41PM

    I self-diagnose and am always spoton. If need be then I find a doctor to fix the problem and tell them what it is and how to fix it.

I am not on medication besides the incredibly healthy diet I am on and my fitness level which is that of a 30 year old. There is much that can be done solo. There is many things also that need to be addressed with a physcian.

I'd start searching for one. Ask your friends who they use.

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ROCKYCPA 5/28/2010 3:21PM

    I hope you find out what is going on Phebe and I agree with Bestmepossible, you need to shop around. Don't just go with the first opinion. It is too important to let sit and wait.
Good luck.

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BESTMEPOSSIBLE 5/28/2010 2:20PM

    I was interested by your blog. I am a nursing student and I think it is important to always remember that we are here to provide help, service and an advocate for our patients.

That being said. Do you know anyone in your area that is an RN? They are usually the best source of a physician referral. They know the best and the ones they wouldn't ever allow to touch them. Not all Dr's are created equal so SHOP!

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Rained out

Thursday, May 27, 2010

I wish I could figure out how to save the image from the Doppler weather map - it's quite impressive today. There's a band of heavy rain (yellow-orange-red) stretching from Central America across the Caribbean and over the Virgin Islands. We started with a 60% chance of rain today, moving to 90% chance of rain tomorrow.

It wasn't bad when we started this morning - the class voted to mix cement and tile for a while. My first two classes finished row H, and we even did four squares on row G.

But the rain came by the second class, so most of the students worked in the storeroom, organizing row F and putting the squares in numerical order. A few diehard students worked outside with me. Then class was over, and I finished the last two squares by myself, in the light rain. I've always felt that rain is the same water you bathe in, it's just colder. But I did manage to get soaked to the skin. Fortunately, I had my nice clothes in my office, dry and warm. After I cleaned up, I took off the soaking wet shirt and overalls and changed into dry clothes.

The rain has grown steadily heavier - my afternoon class will NOT be on the wall today, we're rained out. Just like a ball game. Not even a rain delay - tomorrow is due to be rainier. We're rained out until next week.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PHEBESS 5/28/2010 7:20AM

    I'll definitely post pictures when we're finished!

And I'd be happy to send our rain to any drought area - we're overflowing!

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MILLISMA 5/28/2010 12:01AM

    You are a dedicated lady. I don't mind being in a warm rain but not cold. Are you going to post a picture when this is done?

Mary Anne

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DEVORA4 5/27/2010 11:39PM

  I have an idea for you. Send some of the rain to us in Israel, we canb use it.

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WATERMELLEN 5/27/2010 8:12PM

    That does sound . . . beyond tapdancing rainy!!

Thanks for your sympathy on my blog -- don't think any exercise is good for quite a while, but I'll get back to it!!

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Thank goodness for BFFs!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

emoticon

I've taught next door to the same teacher for about 23 years now - and we've been friends for that long. We've gone on summer education trips together, shared rooms, shared clothes, she was my matron of honor, I was at her second wedding, we're just there for each other.

She took one look at me today, after my first two classes, and told me to go home. That she'd come get my last class of the day, set them up in the back of her room with a movie, and continue teaching her class. That I didn't look like my normal healthy and perky self, that I looked like I was still sick, and that I need to get back to bed.

I wasn't planning to take her up on it. But I've just eaten half my breakfast (it's almost 11 AM), and it isn't sitting well. I still have whatever made me feel ill on Monday and yesterday. I'm not over it.

So I think I'll give her a call, and slip away. And go take a shower and go back to bed. Because I really am starting to feel crummy.

Bleah. And I wanted to work on the mural today!!!!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DJS-DEBBIE 5/27/2010 6:03AM

    I hope you are feeling better today!

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PHEBESS 5/26/2010 9:05PM

    Yeah, we're waiting for some test results (urine culture).

I don't think it's dengue - I've had dengue - it feels like malaria - this isn't it. (My clue with both of those is a headache that feels like it'll push my eyeballs out of my head.)

I think it's the UTI that seemingly went away - I think it travelled north.

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SECRETFUN 5/26/2010 8:27PM

  get some blood work done. never know when you will pick up something weird like Dengue.

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PHEBESS 5/26/2010 3:20PM

    Principal called just as I walked in the house - said my students were up with him, where was I? I said I was feeling sick and sent home, and that BFF said she'd cover the classes. I called her later, she said there was a sign on my door telling the kids to come over. Not sure why Principal called - to cover my tush, I called the lady who does our payroll sheets and said I went home sick, felt too ill to come upstairs to sign out - she said no prob, I could take care of it tomorrow.

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IMAOFSEVEN 5/26/2010 1:49PM

    Feel better- Refuah Shlaima.

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JLPNURSE 5/26/2010 1:45PM

    I hope you feel better soon and YAH for your friend.

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DEVORA4 5/26/2010 12:25PM

  It sounds like a spring flu. Sorry. Take chicken soup and get to bed asap. Feel well soon. emoticon

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Another power outage last night

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This is getting monotonous!

I was just ready to blog, when the power went down. Not island-wide, we could see that town had lights. But our neighborhood, and the top of the hill across the valley, were both dark. Same feeder line. It seems to go down a lot.

You'd think, in the 21st century, a small island of 50K people could keep its lights on. For the entire island at the same time. Especially for what they charge for electric usage.

So we brushed our teeth by flashlight, washed our faces, and went to bed early. With the neighbor's generator rumbling loudly. Fortunately, the power came back on, the generator turned off, but I was still asleep by 9 PM. Which probably was a good thing.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AIDELADE27 5/25/2010 10:21PM

    That's very annoying. At night it's a hassle because you're always bumping into stuff, even with flashlights. But I know I'd get a good night's sleep that way, lol. Thanks goodness it went back on.

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DEVORA4 5/25/2010 9:47PM

  What a pain. It happens a lot here in the land of milk and honey.

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PHEBESS 5/25/2010 7:25PM

    I don't mind so much during the day - but in the evening, when it's dark out, it's a pain!

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SAPNA. 5/25/2010 7:13PM

    After just having my own power cut I can sympathise. I so hate having to re programme all the clocks etc.

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