December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve and His Behind

We did church this morning; the Vic always has the kids help with her "sermon" at Christmas, where she really just tells the whole stable story (complete with toy animals, etc.) Laura got to place the little Baby Jesus in the manger, and Matt heaved a sigh of relief because she did NOT say, "BABY JESUS BUTT!" like we do at home (this is the fault of the creche manufacturer; our particular Baby Jesus is not attached to his cradle, and his "swaddling" doesn' enough. So we often pick Him up and wave His arse at visitors who might find it amusing, saying, "Baby Jesus Butt!" Does anyone else do this? Or is it pretty much just another weird Ogle thing?)

The girls are napping (yay!), and when they awake/are woken up, we're off to their Aunt Dianne's for food and presents and the White Elephant exchange for the grown-ups. (Matt wrote "White Elephant from Unknown Giver" in LATIN on his. Clearly, I have married my own kind...)

Wishing you all a peaceful and blessed Christmas time! (and hoping, as always, for peace to begin with me. :-) )

December 21, 2006

A Quick Pre-Holiday Update

I know, you've been diligently checking. And what do you find? Nada, zippo, zilch, after an action-packed November. So I thought I'd better let you know what we've been up to; it's vacation time, but hardly restful (so far)... Probably no time to go into the details, but I can give you a laundry list. We've:

~done the annual holiday speech party. Laura was taught to say: "Older kids are awesome!"
~found Christmas tree, lighted and decorated same.
~wrapped presents.
~Christmas shopped (not me, I was pretty well done, but Matt did some for the team).
~wrapped presents.
~repaired an easel (more on that another time, in an entry tentatively titled, "A Tale of Two Easels". Howzat for a teaser? ;-)
~manufactured a few toys to replace the lame ones that came with some purchased presents (more on that some day, too...or those with the means can just come and see 'em.)
~wrapped presents.
~let Mama have a blissful 20 hours away, off, with no responsibilities. I took two baths (one jacuzzi), one shower; watched television (must record my impressions of commercials, from one who not only used to work at the Ad Museum but hasn't watched that much TV in literally years); ate like a pig (no one to interrupt me!); slept without waking up in the middle of the night (I did wake up at the usual time in the morning...and then went back to sleep for an hour!).
~wrapped presents.
~took my mother a donated computer, set it up, tested printer and scanner, tried to get my dead modems to work (failed, likely because...they're dead!), walked her through several things she could do, then ran.
~Freecycled an interesting array of junk: a toddler ride-on toy with a crack in it somewhere, a broken glider rocker, a sewing machine that doesn't work [the replacement is definitely the subject of a review, if I ever get around to it--it's a lovely beast!], and a few other things. Amazing what people will take away for you!
~wrapped presents.
~spent a fair amount of time I probably would otherwise have spent here, typing in somewhat entertaining updates for my friend Jim's CarePage. (Jim is half of Jim & Laurie; Laurie was one of my bridesmaids. They are sweet, gentle, wonderful people.) Jim and Laurie are usually to be found in Oregon City, but they are currently--and will be, unexpectedly, through next week--in Philadelphia for medical treatment for Jim. One's Jewish and the other's Zen, but still, not the best way to spend this time of year! Yet another reason to be grateful for my life as it is being lived.

Sigh. And of course, did all the usual things that make our crazy household go. Hey, there's more than a week left! Hopefully things will calm down long enough on another day for me to fill in some details.

December 15, 2006

Riders of the Storm

We made out pretty well. The power flickered quite a bit, but stayed on (our usual fate seems to be losing power without warning, when there is no storm!); the wind made scary noises and banged the fauna around, but didn't hurt us. We lost a branch off the maple, about four inches in diameter, which is pretty normal for a storm like last night's (I haven't actually gone outside to see if there's another one or two resting on the house, though), but the maple itself is looking hale and hearty this morning. Of course there are twigs and smaller branches littering the back yard, but that's just Nature's pruning saw at work.

Hope all our FriendsAndRelations made it through o.k....

December 9, 2006

Diagnosis: Medication Issue

Pat was sent home today (yay!)

The professional opinion of the medics is that her primary care physician had her on a beta-blocker for high blood pressure, which, with her other issues, lowered her pulse rate to dangerous levels (I'm not sure how that resulted in the high blood pressure she had, but that's why I'm not an M.D. ;-) ) They kept her long enough to make sure that taking her off that medicine (and onto a different one, I think) would stabilize her pulse, keep the BP down, and that therefore they wouldn't have to go on to other measures (like a pacemaker).

While I understand the privacy concerns, this would be a prime example of why medical records should be all electronic (and easily accessible when they're needed), especially for someone who still suffers from aphasia quite a bit. She'd be lucky to be able to explain to the primary why she went to the hospital last time, let alone describe the procedure they did while she was there. Clearly, someone--whether at the hospital or at the primary care office--should have done a much better job with the drugs. But all's well that ends well, I guess.

December 7, 2006

Pat Update for Tonight

She's still doing better than when she was checked in.

It is her pulse (heart) rate that is fairly low, though the low number in her blood pressure reading is also pretty low (it's stabilized at around 140/50).

Matt's taken tomorrow off to go up and be nearby, so hopefully we'll find out more then.

All kind thoughts are appreciated, since, although we're able to talk to her and all, no one seems to know what, exactly, is going on.

Laura's First Three Minutes of Fame

Meanwhile, the people over at Librivox have been busy. They enjoyed hearing about Laura's rendition so much that they read part of that post on their weekly podcast. (It's about two thirds of the way through, if you're not into listening to all their doings--although much of it is in a delicious English accent.) Particularly amusing to me is hearing my words read by a male voice, and even more amusing was the guy who read Laura's part....

Blood Pressure Up, Pulse Down

Pat's in the hospital again.

Apparently she went in during the day yesterday, but communications systems failed us and we didn't find out until just before bedtime. Her blood pressure was high--200+--and her pulse was somewhat low. (Being one person removed from the information flow, I'm not sure if that means her heart rate was slow, or if they were talking about "pulse pressure," the difference between the high and low numbers in one's blood pressure. I think "low" in that case would indicate that the two numbers are not all that far apart, meaning that her heart is just plain pumping too hard, rather than that she's suddenly got narrowed arteries...)

She responded well to the medication they gave her, and did well through the night. As usual, no idea on how long they need to keep her, what the next step is, or a prognosis.

December 2, 2006

Why I Let Matt Do the Shopping...

Yesterday I had a quick eye appointment after school, so Matt hurried home to watch the (one still sleeping) girls, and I promised to go to a store on my way home; we have about three that we visit for various staples, and it's been kind of a crazy week so no one has gone yet.

All goes well until I leave the eye doctor's. Traffic is horrific as I get closer to the store. As I'm coming closer to the massive intersection that encompasses the highway cloverleaf--and the highway is six lanes plus a median there--I note that traffic is completely stopped across the intersection. My light is green, but following the law (and really, not wanting to be stuck in a no-man's-land that is crossed by traffic coming from lots of different directions), I stop. Guy behind me in a big pickup honks. I point forward--carefully using my index finger--in a very exaggerated "LOOK!" gesture. He shuts up. (You know, I would have hoped that, being in a pickup high above me--I in my simple sedan--he could have seen the blockage just as well as I did. But sometimes life isn't like that...) I finally see a small break in the traffic--it looks like cars have moved around enough to make space for me by the time I get there. Just as I take my foot off the brake, the light turns yellow (I swear!). I go anyway. Mr. Truck does not. Sorry, Mr. Truck. It wasn't on purpose...

So I get to the store, and I stop at the pharmacy first. They have a record of me phoning in my refill, but they can't find it anywhere. "Are you sure no one's picked it up?" Yes, I am sure, since, first, only me or Matt would have done so; second, Matt hasn't been there all week; and third, I don't think there's much of a "secondary market" for this particular drug. They finally decide that they can double check their big book of whatever to make sure that no one, in fact, has picked it up, and then "recreate" it if they realize I'm not lying. (Question: Where did the filled prescription go? Did they give it to someone else?? Did our insurance company get billed for a phantom? Is this why health care costs are skyrocketing??) Can I give them 20 minutes or so? Fortunately I have other things to pick up, so yes, I can.

Off I go to shop. One of the items I pick up are two new laundry baskets.

After I've been checked out, I realize that one of them has its handle popped off; I pop it back on, it seems sturdy, no problem. Uh-oh...the other laundry basket is actually missing a handle. Back to the check out I it lying there? No. A nice checker says, "Oh, I'll just have them bring up another one."

"There's only one left on the shelf, but maybe there are more on the shelves above..."

She makes the call, moments later an employee shows up, basket in hand. We three look at it.

It's missing a handle, too.

Now what?

The employee starts mumbling about well, we could 10% it...When I say, "You know, those handles pop right off...maybe we can swap them out."

So, the employee comes up with a handy utility knife--hands it to the checker--who pops off a handle, figures out how to reattach it, and I am free to carry away my prize.

I go to the pharmacy, and they still have no answer to the mystery, but have my prescription. I make it home with no further incidents.

Now, none of this is really that big a deal. But Matt never comes home with this many stories just from one trip. I even asked him last night, and he said no, that kind of thing doesn't happen to him.

So you can see why I prefer shopping with a mouse and keyboard and a smile for the people from UPS and FedEx.