Friday, December 07, 2012
Yesterday's scare behind us. Life got back to normal today.
After my AM dentist appointment, I decided to drive about 25 miles to Mt Airy MD to look at bicycles. I was thinking two alternate directions.
1) Get a folding bike that would fit into a suitcase so i could take it with me traveling. Brompton (UK) has one but for about $1400. Some others run as low as $400, but don;t fold as small, are heavier, take time to fold. Brompton is the best, but you pay for it.
2) Get a recumbent trike. This is a pricey proposition. And it makes me feel old to have to admit that I may no longer have the stability to ride an upright two-wheeler.
Mt Airy Bikes has used bikes and will take trade-ins. I have a very nice Trek road bike that I like a lot. But I haven't been on a bike but maybe a half dozen times since my concussion in April. It may be time for me to admit that I am ready to move to a stabler platform and trade the Trek in. It's such a sweet bike though.
When I got there, Larry from Mt Airy put me on a Terra Trike Rambler ($1600) and sent me around the parking lot.
That is not, I repeat NOT me. That is a Terra Trike Rambler. But that is **NOT** me.
This thing was smooth, agile, and really sweet. Then he suggested that I come up some day when it was a drier ('twas cold and damp today) and take one out for a real test. Ride it into town, go eat, shop a little, bring it back and ride a country course he has plotted out (lots of hill he promised) ... use the bike for a couple of real-life hours.
Only then would he talk to me about which used trike he might put me on and about trading in my Trek.
It's like buying a new car. But with an honest dealer.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
I was just finishing my breakfast and beginning my weekly serious housecleaning when the phone rang. It was She(WMBO):
"Meet me at St Agnes."
She was headed for the emergency room. She has been getting lots of migraines on her new blood pressure medication. "I got a migraine this morning and my arm went cold and numb. So I'm going to the emergency room."
I rushed around to grab my iPad because that's where my reading material is and I have experience with St Agnes ER. I would need a book for the lonely hours in uncomfortable chairs around people with colds. But instead they sent me to her "room" right away.
On the drive over, I was hurrying, but trying not to hurry. The hospital is only about three or four miles from the house. If I got a ticket it would take way more time than I'd save by speeding.
I also tried to apply logic and sense to stay calm and not get into a panic:
1) She was aware enough that she knew what she was doing and why. No confusion.
2) Her speech was not slurred on the phone
3) I used to get migraines called cluster headaches -- short (4 hour) very high intensity episodes. On more than one occasion, I had had facial numbness. So I reasoned that this could be like that.
In retrospect, I was foolish to ignore the numbness during a migraine. She was prudent to get to the emergency room.
When I got to her room, she was still in pain, and still feeling numbness. The doctor did the stroke screening as I remembered it and she seemed to have no symptoms other than the numb arm. He did a touch test asking if he touched her left, right, or both sides. I smiled because she often confuses left and right. How would we know if it was a symptom or simple Her being Her? I could see her actually think before each response.
"I don't think this is a stroke. But I'd like to get an MRI anyway." My blood ran cold for half a second until I realized he meant her, not me. She is tough enough to take being closed up into a coffin for 30 minute and being required to lie perfectly still. I'm a claustrophobic wimp.
By the time she got back, she was feeling better. They slipped her some anti-migraine drug into her IV before they headed back up and within 10 minutes she was asking me to turn on the lights and put up her bed. "Do you have Word with Friends on that?" she asked pointing at my iPad. No I don't. "What good are you? Give me my phone."
Oh she's fine. We sat for another two and a half hours waiting for someone to come back.
"I know how to get a doctor in here. Go to the cafeteria and get me lunch."
Fortunately they had a Subway because when I got back to the room, she was dressed, coat on waiting for me. Much easier to take fast food home.
"See? Works every time. They were waiting for a neurologist but the doctor decided from the MRI to send me home. Let's get outta here. I hate hospitals and I am starved."
Home we went. I finished cleaning while she napped; a migraine takes a lot out of you. When I would get them, after they were over I was always starving, very sleepy, and almost euphoric.
It is our Daughter in law's birthday and we had a dinner date with the kids. We made the date and except that she had no wine, it was a normal dinner out. She drove.
So the feared stroke was "nothing more than" a complex migraine.
Bad enough, but that was it.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
... and other thoughts.
I thought I wanted a bike. I know, what am I? Twelve? Actually a folding bike I could take with me when I go running in far away lands. But the airlines have $100 bike handling fees, even though folding bikes are no bigger than luggage and so no special handling. And even if I could get one that fit as carry on, TSA gets their undies all messy when they see one on the X-Ray. So I hear from actual users.
How about a recumbent bike? I checked prices. Yikes! How about a car?
An article was posted about President Obama taking a meeting with MSNBC Opinionists Rachel Maddow and Al Sharpton about the fiscal cliff and tax increases. Ok, without wandering into the absurdity of that, the tweets of Huffington Post reporter Jennifer Bendery about Al Sharpton broke my heart for Al:
"Also, Al Sharpton is so unbelievably tiny now. I actually gasped when I saw him pass by just now. Hope he's ok.
— jennifer bendery (@jbendery) December 4, 2012"
It made me wonder how someone with such obviously limited observational skills and intelligence could become a reporter.
Leave the man alone! He went from a deadly 300 pounds to a healthy 167 and he looks good. He's better than OK. He's healthy now.
See this blog post for pictures:
I gotta admit, the yard looks nice. At least it did until the wind kicked up and blew the rest of the leaves off the trees.
I am really starting to enjoy my strength training. I am lifting more now and showing some real progress.
My knees were having some soreness from doing squats with a barbell. Wait! What? Me?
Any way, so today was supposed to be a running day but I walked instead. Same distance as I would have run, just twice as long. What a pleasure. Yes it was chilly. Yest the wind was stiff and made my eyes tear, but that would have happened on a run too and I would have been all bitchy about it. I forgot how good it is to slow it down once in a while
Instead, I observed that a neighbor somehow has fresh roses blooming. Wow! December roses.
I kept my hat on. Stupid birds.
Is it my imagination or are there more squirrels this year. And are they all watching me?
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
I got up this morning about the time She(WMBO) was heading out the door. It was barely light out. No glasses on but I am able to see well enough to make coffee. Just don't ask me to read a clock.
Coffee, bathroom, banana, back upstairs to get dressed and make the bed.
A little procrastinating and it gets to be almost 9:00. I go into the kitchen for my second cup and there is The Note.
1) Good Morning
2) Get the garland and light out and put them up
3) rake the leaves out front and bag them up
4) It's a beautiful day, why don't you go for a run?
1) Thank you
2) I have to FIND them first.
3) Does she remember the first time I raked leaves? No because she won't be there for it. I don't rake leaves. We've been married almost 40 years and I have NEVER raked leaves. Now all of a sudden she wants me to rake the leaves?
4) That's sweet, but Tuesday is a don't run day.
I found the lights. They apparently were the fist things we put away last year after Christmas because I had to move about 10 tubs of Christmas stuff to get to them. Then I plugged them in. Of course. nothing. I spent a couple of hours trying to find the burned out light.
I hate Christmas decorations anyway.
It's now noon. I'm hungry.
After lunch, I made an decision. I am allowed to make them. Occasionally. I would go to Home Depot and get a couple of strings of lights and run them along with the garland that has the dead lights.
I also bought a leaf blower. I hate leaf blowers and I despise the people who use them. They are noisy and irritating. I'd rather hear bagpipes. The Guy-Across-the-Street used to start his up at 10 AM and run it non stop until 3 PM. I kid you not. Every day from about the middle of November to the middle of December. I think he died. No comment.
Now I'm one of them. Just so I don't become him.
I always wear a hat. Today, for no reason at all, I was outside sans hat. A bird pooped on my head. Ok, this is officially a bad day.
By the time the leaves were raked, the debris was blown away, and the pile packed in the bags, it was getting dark. Too late to go running.
I didn't finish her list.
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
The culture of Christmas gift-giving in which the two of us, She(WMBO) and Yo!, were raised was very different.
The way I was raised, no receipt was necessary. You paid attention to the person you would be giving to and buy the perfect gift. She was raised in a household where the recipient had no problem asking for the receipt to make an exchange the next day.
About 10 years ago, I observed her borrow Dani's leather coat several times in November. So I thought "Ah ha! I'll get her a leather coat"
I found a coat almost exactly like Dani's except it didn't have the belt. (Or maybe it did. A belt was involved one way or the other.) I felt so clever. I had gotten THE Gift for her. Two days after Christmas she asked me for the receipt.
I was beyond pissed. I was hurt.
The next year I came up with a new plan.
We would not buy each other Christmas presents. We would buy our own Christmas present and wrap it up.
"Where's the surprise in that?" she asked.
"I will be surprised at what I got you and you will be very pleased at your excellent taste. We get exactly what we want. No need for returns. And no hurt feelings."
"My feelings aren't hurt if you return things."
"That's because I never make returns. It's my feeling that get hurt."
"Oh! Are you still mad about that coat?"
Ten years later and the answer is still, "Yes. And the word is hurt."
So Christmas morning I was surprised to discover that I wanted her to have more china knick-knacks from Ireland for me to dust. She on the other hand was absolutely stunned to discover that she thought I should finally, after 10 years of asking, have that set of cast iron cookware that she always said was nasty stuff.
And we have been doing it ever since.
December 3 and I still have no clue what I am getting for Christmas. I have been told, though that I have gotten her the perfect present this year.
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