Category Archives: health

Bowling for Ebola

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I don’t mean to be flippant about something so serious as Ebola, but sometimes I simply think in NY Post headlines.

This little jewel of a title popped into my head during today’s most delightful early morning dog field banter that starts my week days. (I love these people!)

Today’s topic? Why would Dr. Spencer, who had just returned from Africa treating ebola patients with Doctors Without Borders, ever think it was a good idea to go BOWLING within a week of his return? AND, when he was already feeling ‘fatigued’?

Bowling? Really? Was this urgent. ‘Damn, I have been out of the country for weeks, I really need to bowl!’

Here’s a little tidbit from the NYT Well blog that might make us all feel a little better about all of this:

If someone left blood, vomit or feces on a bowling ball, and the next person to touch it did not even notice, and then put his fingers into his eyes, nose or mouth, it might be possible.

Ok, do I need to comment on this or does its total absurdity speak for itself? Of course I do, that is why I am here! Because, you know, sometimes I am so damn focused on my bowling score that I totally miss the blood, vomit or feces on that ball and go right on playing. And then of course lick my fingers or pick my nose.

The consensus? Those with the greatest amount of education are sometimes the least intelligent amongst us. Or perhaps he did not work for Doctors without Borders, but instead Zach Galifianakis’ favorite charity, Doctors Without Diplomas.

#bowlingforebola… what do you think. Could this trend?

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Filed under absurdities, health, sports

Happy Birthday Elaine

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Today would have been my mom’s 83rd birthday. Now that she is gone I guess it’s OK to let her real age out of the bag, right? I always wrote her a birthday blog post, some of which she had framed, I might add. So it only seems right to keep up the tradition.

In celebration of who she was, I decided to grab one of her many journals off the shelf and open to a random page. You know, so she could send me a message. And yes, I do believe in that crap now. Just go with it.

I suppose you will too, after you read this. No lie, this was the page I randomly opened to. (Click on this image and blow this baby up to read it, you won’t be sorry). This is a list of tactics for discovering pleasure and satisfaction in every day moments. Elaine practiced these her whole life. Genuinely. And with commitment.

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Of course this came from her favorite – Prevention Magazine. And I see from the date that it was February 2008, a time of her life that was filled with chronic struggles.

Elaine was the Queen of this way of living most of her life. She was the Grand Puba of the glass half full. The Crowned Royal of be here now. The absolute over-achiever of carpe diem. She appreciated every person, moment, experience, flower, friend, color… well you get the picture.

In light of all the depression and anxiety awareness this week I took this as a sign of Elaine piping in on the topic from the other side. She never hid her illness when she was well. She would speak freely about it hoping to help others.

The last 10 years of her life were a brave, selfless, many times torturous struggle with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. People think they have seen the depths of this disease, but only those who suffer – or love someone who does –understand what severe clinical depression looks like. Like many who know this first-hand, I was outraged by the words ‘coward’ and ‘selfless’ used this week. They are spoken out of ignorance, for there is nothing braver or more selfless than a person who struggles to get back to the other side of depression. 

Elaine did this each and every day. She did not always succeed, but she never stopped trying. And though it could have been what would finally take her life… it never won. Of all the things I am proud of, this is the biggest one.

She fought to be herself again when she felt she was not. That is my best way to describe depression in one sentence.

She was my hero. 

So today I do not grieve (ish). I celebrate the woman who brought me into this world and chose not to kill me through those difficult years. Who held my hand, always listened to my woes and made me laugh till I cried and cry till I laughed again. She taught me how to be a mom, a wife and a friend. 

But most of all she taught me how to enjoy the moments.

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Yes, she saved this too. What? You are surprised?

In honor of her day of birth, take a lesson from Elaine and vow to take on one or two of these every day. 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under aging, aging parents, childhood, depression, family, health, mental illness, moms, parenting, Uncategorized

Siri humor

manIt would appear Siri is slightly hard of hearing. Or at least MY Siri is. She never understands what I am asking for.

The other day I needed the phone number for my favorite doctor on the face of the earth, Dr. Samuel J. Mann. Since he pretty much saved – maybe not my life, but surely the quality of it – I considered him THE Man.

Apparently Siri does not. In fact this was all she could come up with:

“I don’t understand ‘Man’.”

Which stopped me for a moment. You know Siri, I can relate. I don’t really understand man either.

 

 

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Filed under absurdities, health, humor, siri, technology

Time to Cry Tuesday – As Long as You’ve Got Your Health

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My nana used to say this all the time. As would be fitting for a young person I used to smile sweetly in response and go about my business without giving it much thought. I mean, older people said stuff like this all the time, right?

In the last almost 3 months I have thought about this often and I am pretty sure Nana is waving that perfectly manicured finger at me from wherever she is. I can just about hear her signature, ‘Now, Amy Dear… I TOLD you!”, echoing in my head. (For a while I was convinced she thought Dear was my middle name).

For those who were regular readers, you have noticed – and complained I might add, in an endearing way – about my sparse postings. I am working on getting back here, but it seems I am a rolling series of calamities waiting to happen.

Not wanting to bore you with the blow by blow details, let’s just say I have run the gamut. I have decided that rather than bitch about it I will try to point out the humor in what I hope is the tail end of this run.

  1. After 2 rounds of sinus infections and countless antibiotics, I finally felt as if I could breathe clearly again and all was good with the world. That is when while making the bed, the dog decided to ‘help’ and popped me so hard in the nose I almost passed out. As I ran to the bathroom, bleeding profusely, it occurred to me I had never known what is was like to take a hit to the face. It sucks, btw. And breathing… not going to lie, it’s not so great.
  2. If you remember, I had a little ‘mishap’ with my blood pressure and they changed my meds. All was good with the world till…. I looked down to find my Aunt Bessie’s ankle on the end of my right foot. Yeh, that’s right, I was pretty much in the market for support hose and a hairnet. (BTW, I am unsure whether I had an Aunt Bessie or if she had swollen ankles but it makes the story better so go with it). I called the doc, he changed my meds, the ankle started to go down, I tossed the hairnet and all was good with the world. Until…
  3. I slipped on some towels and fell down the stairs carrying 2 laundry baskets and sprained the same friggin’ ankle! Yeh, that’s right, the one I was supposed to watch for swelling to make sure the new meds were working right! I was, however, wearing shorts and sneakers getting ready to go on the elliptical, so I am deeming this a sports injury. (Please give me this one)

The moral of this story? Jewish girls should not do laundry? Dogs should not make the bed? Nope.

The moral of this story is that Nana was right!

So if you happen to see me gimping down the street, be kind. Offer me a little bubble plastic. Or maybe a helmet. And remember:

As long as you’ve got your health…

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Filed under absurdities, health, humor

Mom Fail

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Packaging. It can be so deceiving. At first glance the red and white box simply seemed to be the inhaler I had just picked up from the pharmacy, so it went in the ‘to pack’ pile for my son’s semester abroad.

Ok, so it was the dog’s ear drops instead. Hey, she never let’s me get near her with them, anyway. Someone might as well use them.

I know, a wheezing American in Spain would probably not have seen the humor in that.

Mom fail or honest mistake?

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Filed under college, danny, health, humor, Iko, moms, pets, travel

Time to Cry Tuesday – ER, ER, Ow!

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Did this translate. You know, like EI EI OH. Ok, sort of weak. Cut me some slack, that was ME in the ER for 21 friggin’ hours last week.

Ok, a blanket I am so very sorry to everyone I did not call and tell this personally to. Again, a little slack for the woman who spent all that time in the theatre of the absurd. You know, the one with the black and blue arms from the 2 IVs and 3 blood draws.

The short story is that my usually managed high blood pressure decided to fall off that wagon and wreak havoc with my system. I was addressing it outpatient with docs but around 8PM on Thursday I was deemed unfit for my own bed and sent off to the ER with chest pains and a blazing headache.

Yes, I thought I was perhaps stroking out or having a heart attack.

No, I did not.

Yes, I was scared to death but kept my cool. (poor choice of words) I do not admit that often (refer back to high blood pressure and lack of losing it).

Keep in mind I live 5 minutes from a premiere heart hospital. My doc is the head of cardiology there. I had all the confidence in the world that I would get the best of care.

Perhaps in an alternate universe.

You see I suffered the misfortune of not only showing up the first week the new ER opened, but 5 days after they instituted their brand new computer system. The place was a sea of purple scrubs… designated tech help. Every task came with it a learning curve that made each thing take 10x longer to complete. This clusterfuck of a night left me waiting in the ER waiting room for 4 HOURS! With another hour and half after I got in to see a doc.

Did I mention the migraine headache and chest pains?

Yeh, ridiculous. Think of this as the healthcare version of the Magnet for the Absurd.

Favorite lines of the evening:

ER Doc: Mrs. Levinson we take chest pain very seriously.

Me: Really? Does 4 hours in the waiting room and 1.5 hours before you got to my bed constitute serious? (Just a tip, in ER time I will be there in 10 minutes means 1 hour.)

Nurse: Sorry, we are delayed on your cardiac CT because we need to run a pregnancy test.

Me: Really? Does that fancy computer not get the correlation between a hysterectomy and the inability to be pregnant?

X-Ray Tech: Is there any chance you could be pregnant?

Me: Does nobody read the patient charts?

CT Tech: Ok, let’s see, no diabetes, no cancer, no depression, lost your uterus in a card game…

Me: Finally someone who reads the chart AND has a sense of humor. (He was the highlight of the experience)

It goes on an on. the CT staff telling me I must drink 8 glasses of water to clear the dye while the nurse instructs me no food or drink till the results are back. I get that. How about the massive headache that grew all day because…

that’s right, no food or drink till the results came back.

The entire experience was a comedy of errors. Right down to the hour and half it took after I was released for them to figure out how to get the computer to release me.

Visualize Gary with one of the tech people telling him he could not leave my nurse’s station until he saw a paper print out with my name on it.

The exact reasons I did not want to go to the ER were realized…

Times 10.

Anyone else want to share a good ER tale?

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Filed under absurdities, health, magnet for the absurd

Expiration date humiliation

Ok, I will admit it. I suck at throwing stuff away. I may appear to be all neat and Virgo when you first walk in my house but the pockets of stuff are way out of hand.

Labor Day found me in a flurry of ‘I must get rid of shit insanity’, so I tackled a few kitchen cabinets.

My dear nephew who is now a big old engaged grown up, used to come to my house as little kid and check all the expiration dates on my stuff. You know, mayonnaise, dressing, ketchup. Alright, so my condiments might have been a little out of date.

Well, Sir Matthew, this blog post is for you. Here is what I found:

1. 2004. Cough medicine. Yeh, probably will be still hacking away if we took this one. (fyi, box was still sealed, could be worth something)

2. 2005. Pepto Bismol. Do you think it may still cause ‘darkening of tongue or stool’? And while we are discussing this, are you not more than a little disturbed to find a healthcare product that uses the words ‘tongue’ and ‘stool’ in the same sentence?

3. 2008. More Pepto Bismol… tablets this time. FYI, this is Gary’s favorite OTC remedy. He actually likes the taste!

Ok, there was one more thing that even though it had been in my cabinet for over 23 years(!) it will never have an expiration date and I don’t think I will ever be able to bring myself to throwing it out.

I know, awww!

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Filed under absurdities, health, homeowner, humor