A few years ago, I was at a conference in Boston. The conference was at one of the swanky downtown high-rise hotels. It was really nice…until I got on the elevator one night. There was just one other girl on there with me, so it wasn’t crowded. We were going down from about the 30th floor, heading for the lobby. The elevator went into free-fall for about 15 floors, stopping between floors about halfway down. We were trapped for well over an hour before they could get us out. Since then, I’ve been a bit leery of elevators.

Fast forward to last week.

Last week, I picked up a few (ok, more than a few…almost double my usual weekly total) extra hours moonlighting at one of our other ERs. It’s been a few years since I’ve worked out at this hospital, but I still remembered the code to get in the ambulance bay door, so I figured I was good to go.

About 3am, one of the nurses and I decided to wander up to the floor. On the way up, we had to badge through a couple of doors. At one of them, I tapped my badge, and the reader blinked green, but the door didn’t open. J tapped hers, and the doors opened, but we didn’t think anything of it.

A bit later, I went to head back to the ER. I got onto the elevator and tapped my badge, then pressed the button for “1”. It didn’t light up.

The doors closed.

I tapped my badge again. The reader blinked red. I pressed the button for “1” despite that and nothing happened. I tapped my badge a few more times, getting a red light each time. I realized that the elevator was going nowhere.

I pressed the “door open” button.

Nothing happened. Because my badge wouldn’t turn the reader green.

I was trapped in the elevator. It wouldn’t go anywhere. The doors wouldn’t open.

I pressed the alarm button and got Security to come let me out, but it took about 10 minutes for them to get there from the other end of the hospital. I had about worn a hole in the floor by then, pacing around that little car.

First thing I did when I got out? Straight to Security and made them reset my badge to work so it wouldn’t happen again!

Categories: Health, Work | Tags: , | 1 Comment

It Makes Everything Better!

Even having to go to work…

One of our (mine and my guy’s) favorite restaurants does grilled cheese. And when I say it “does grilled cheese”, I mean that it puts two slices of thick bread around just about anything you can think of, adds some cheese in there, and puts it on a grill. Bacon and eggs? Sure. Want to add a burger patty? Done. Pierogies and sauerkraut? You got it. Meatballs, fried mozzarella wedges, and marinara? Absolutely. (You get the idea.)

We’d been there earlier in the month, and we wouldn’t usually have gone back again quite so soon. A half a sandwich and some fries is plenty enough for a meal; the second half sandwich is a meal for later. But February was an odd month. Instead of the usual “monthly special”, they had 4 different monthly specials, each one only for a few days. The last 5 days of the month were devoted to a bacon lover’s dream.

The sandwich was called “The 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Melt”. And yes, it had 6 types of bacon in it. Two types of cheese. Tomato and lettuce. All between two slices of thick bread. And then grilled. It was amazing.

Bacon Melt1

And perhaps the best part was that I had the second half to take to work with me.

Categories: Cooking, Health | Tags: , | 3 Comments

’tis Better to Be Boring

I’m about fed up with being “interesting”. I don’t really need to be “boring”, exactly, but “run of the mill” or “common” would be just fine with me at this point. (And I do apologize for the rant, but I need to let it out somewhere.)

My new nephrologist told me 2 months ago that she was absolutely delighted that I’d brought her such an “interesting” puzzle to figure out. That means I got poked 4 separate times (including one arterial stick) for blood, had to fork over a kidney stone (don’t ask…please), and had to collect other unseemly such things as might help a kidney doc to figure things out. So I now have at least a partial diagnosis, a handful of horse pills to take every day, and the possibility that this may still end in a kidney biopsy to figure out just exactly what is going on. And my nephrologist is still enjoying figuring all of this out.

My ENT is still trying to figure out exactly why the hearing in my left ear is not coming back. Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is most often temporary and generally is helped by steroids. When it is neither, it becomes “interesting”. Well, I’m almost 7 weeks out now from when I lost the hearing in that ear, and it’s not back. It’s not even coming back with the steroid shots (as thoroughly enjoyable as those are). That means more work-up to get it figured out and planning for a hearing aid. I’d really rather it just came back and I became one of the many who could hear just fine again.

My new dermatologist also just today proclaimed me “very interesting”. She isn’t at all sure what is going on, other than to say that she doesn’t think the ER doc in Copenhagen was right. She has some ideas, but none of them fit with the ongoing recurrences, so she’s going to take a tiny piece of my thumb in a day or two, after letting the newest spot get a bit worse…just to be sure it’s bad enough that she can get a proper diagnosis, you see. I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed that it turns out to be something very common, very simple, very easy…that just looked ugly when it popped up.

I’m thinking more and more that boring sounds just fine by me.

Categories: Health, Wonderings | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Welcome to the Future

I’m not big on hard and fast new year’s resolutions. I’ve found it far too easy to slide a day or two, then get discouraged and give up completely. This year, I’m going to try something a little different. I’m going to set some longer-term goals out there in front of me and see if I can make the changes needed in the short term to get there. Backsliding occasionally is allowed (and even somewhat expected, as I know I’m not perfect) and accounted for, and the goals are realistic.

— I want to commit to working out this year. It doesn’t have to be every day (and won’t be), but I’d like to work towards 3-4 days/week. It doesn’t have to be at the gym every time (and won’t be); it can be as simple as an energetic walk through the neighborhood when the weather allows for it or biking a good trail nearby. I want to be in better shape at the end of the year, though, than where I am today.

— I want to commit to eating better this year. I won’t give up all of my vices (good scotch, a steak fresh from the grill, or a piece of dark chocolate), but I will try to balance them with some of what is better for me a little more often than I tend to do now. I will cook more and better food at home in the kitchen that I love, that I had built for cooking in, and not rely so much on prepared meals or those eaten out.

— I want to commit to improving my shooting this year. I don’t want to just throw more lead down the range at targets (though that is fun); I really want to improve what I am doing and how I do it. I want to look into taking at least one class on shooting. I will start working on physical training that will improve the shooting that I do (including a full rehab of my shoulder now that it has been fixed). I plan to start attending and participating in more competitive shooting events, even if they are simple bowling pin matches or a more formal sort.

I think these are all reasonable goals and within my reach. Each of them will help me to better achieve the others, so that success in one will lead to improvement in the others…the ultimate positive feedback loop.

I wish y’all the best in your new year, and may your plans come to where you hope to see them.

Categories: Cooking, Firearms, Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Progress, Slowly

So I was at the orthopedist today, getting my shoulder looked at. The good news is that surgery is not on the books. At least not yet. I am to change up the anti-inflammatory I am taking (to indocin…let’s hear it for tearing my stomach to shreds for the next two weeks), add in tylenol, and take vicodin only if -really- needed (as if I’d take it just for giggles *eyeroll*). Physical therapy is a “sort of” for the time being. Range of motion, definitely; strengthening, not so much yet. The doc compared my rotator cuff to a frayed rope. He said that the last thing I want is for any more of the fragile strands to break, lest the entire tendon just let go. Recheck in 2 weeks, and probably 2 weeks after that. Decisions on surgery or not to be made as time goes on.

In the meantime, what am I allowed to do? Not much, really. Driving is to be avoided as much as possible, since it hurts and puts stress on the rotator cuff. And I am definitely not allowed to drive my little red car (with the manual transmission). So I’m stuck driving my truck. (Good thing I got the K&N air filter in a couple of weeks ago; I’ll take every extra mile/gallon I can tweak out of that beast right now…) Shooting? Ha. I probably should’ve known better than to even ask, but I did. I’m allowed to shoot lefty-only for now, nothing that puts weight or stress of any sort on that right shoulder. And most definitely no mountain biking, no horseback riding, and nothing else of anything even close to that sort of fun.

Of course, after the doc heard what options I had in cars to drive, and then heard my questions about my free-time activities, he made a few pointed comments about “girls and their toys”…which only made me laugh. So I suppose that I really do have a cool orthopedist taking care of my shoulder, which is a good thing. And he knows that I’ll do whatever is necessary to get back to what I love doing, which is never a bad thing.

I just want it to be ALL BETTER NOW!!!

Categories: Health | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Can’t Sleep

So on the way back from NEBS/GS, I managed to tear my rotator cuff.  No, there’s not a good story to go with it…I’m simply that unlucky.  Suffice it to say that I may never again eat at a Denny’s again without cringing.  At least it’s my right arm, and I’m left-handed.

But it’s nearly 0600, and I should’ve been asleep 2 hours ago. This doesn’t bode well for the weekend full of work, if I can’t get enough sleep the night before I start. I just can’t get comfortable enough when I try to lay down. Hopefully, physical therapy (to be started early next week) will help with this, and I can avoid surgery altogether.

What’s really got me torqued off, though, is all the things I can’t do right now. I’ve got a new rifle on order, and I won’t be able to shoot it when it comes in. For that matter, I can’t do much shooting at all!!! Other than single-handed, that is…and I guess I’ll get much better at that over the next few weeks…maybe even months. There is no exercise program at the moment; no riding of my bike, and I can’t even begin to think of going back to Georgia to ride horses at the moment. I’m having to stop and gauge every single move before I make it, lest I end up on the floor, crying like a little girl…and that is JUST NOT WHO I AM.

However, I do have a very sweet man taking very good care of me. He’s doing his very best to see that I don’t make things worse before I get better… And I do know just how lucky I am in that.

Categories: Health, Wonderings | Tags: | 1 Comment

A Little More…

Working out is working out! I’ve started working out again in my dungeon (aka down in the basement) to a set of DVDs. For the first time ever, I’ve found a workout video that I like.

I really enjoy it.

Yes, looking at that sentence makes me wonder a bit…but I haven’t skipped a day yet, and I’m 10 days in. I’m actually rearranging things in my day to be sure that I have the 40 or so minutes I need to spend on my workout. I’ve even gone downstairs at 11pm, and I -never- work out that late at night.

We’ll see how this goes.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment


There is no movement of the magic little slider button this week. At least not in the right direction. There may have even been a nudge in the improper direction, but I choose to ignore such movement for today and not ratchet it backwards.

Last week, I was not good to myself. I allowed too many meetings to be added to my schedule (not really by choice, but still), so that I was chronically under-slept. I didn’t exercise because I was too tired and too ragged from running around to the meetings and to work. Work itself was not good, and being tired only made me less able to roll with the punches when bad shift piled on bad shift. And I wasn’t the least bit careful in my food choices.

But that week is done and over. It’s past. And past bad behavior does not need to continue. I’ve already gone and worked out today, and I’m lining up better foods for the week. A minor blip is not failure, and I won’t let it become that.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Moving Along

2 weeks in, I’m seeing progress. I know these weekly updates are more for me, but because words have meaning, and the written word has even more power than simply saying something, if I can look back several months from now and see steady progress, that will help me towards my end goal even better.

— Twice more exercising.
— Continuing to make healthier food choices (though could do better).
— Weight continuing to come off.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment

One Week

It’s been one week since I made the commitment to myself to lose weight, and to do it for me this time.  So what have I done in a week?

— Eating a little bit healthier.
— Worked out twice.
— Heading to the gym to re-up my membership this afternoon.
— 2 1/2 pounds gone.

Not a bad start.

Categories: Health, Long-term Goals | Tags: , | 1 Comment

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