How I Stopped Fretting, and Learned to Love the MRI

Yesterday was a fun day for me. And by “fun”, I mean at least I didn’t cry.

Full disclosure: I have back issues. Last January, I managed to do something that aggravated my lower back, specifically my lumbar region (I was born with fused vertebrae in the lumbar region). I was in pain for a few days, and after it lessened, I discovered that my lower back now liked to crack like it was Knuckles Malone. My back now hurts more periodically than it used to, specifically when I bend or sleep in an awkward position. So, I made an appointment with my provider to be seen. He suggested I take a steroid (NO!), ibuprofen (CANDY!), and Lidocaine patch (…..wut?). I will say that patch does relieve the pain rather nicely. He also scheduled me for a back X-ray and…an MRI.

Sigh…. I am not a fan of certain enclosed spaces. I can hide in a closet just fine, but can’t wear a scuba mask. I knew there was a chance I could get the open MRI is there was no wait list. I called, begged, pleaded, and finally they told me they could fit me in.

In August.

That wasn’t going to work, so I chucked it up and made the appointment for the old-fashioned tunnel of despair. And so it began.

I get there with plenty of time to check in, only to be told they are running 30 minutes behind. No worries, that just gives me time to breathe deeply and not freak out. In what seemed like a few seconds but was actually 35 minutes, I was escorted out to the dressing area and asked questions about my affinity for metal. I told them I get my metal from Sirius XM. Satisfied, I am instructed to get into scrubs ten sizes too big and wait in the lounge area. Sooner than later, they walk me back to the gallows MRI. It looks like a tunnel to nowhere. I am given earplugs and a button to press in case I have issues with the procedure. As I lay down, I ask if I can have a bolster for my back, as I can’t lay straight without a considerable amount of pain. They tell me sorry, but no can do since that’s the area they need to scan. Fine….FINE!! They slide me inside the coffin, and the scanning begins.

BANG BANG BANG!!!! Sounds like some kid is hitting the outside of the machine with a hammer. I concentrate on counting the holes in the speaker so as to distract me from the fact that I am now a sardine. All goes quiet, and then I begin to pray my thanks to the Almighty God for the earplugs, because it begins to sound like my head is inside a semi truck’s engine while the trucker is blasting his horn.

Meanwhile, my back is beginning to let me know she is about to stab every single nerve. I am trying my damnedest to stay still when suddenly, I remember my ablation procedure and begin to panic because I HAVE COILS IN MY FALLOPIAN TUBES!!! I feel my heart thudding while I picture the coils being ripped out of my abdomen and sticking to the sardine can in bloody splatters. This is when I calm down enough to remember the freaking button in my hand and press it. Scan is stopped and I explain my dilemma. I hear the tech laugh and tell me that it’s ok, the X-ray shows it isn’t metal. Well,  of course it isn’t. Momentary lapse of reason due to panic. The adrenaline rush isn’t the only pain I am experiencing by now. And before I can stop myself, I move juuuuust a teeny, tiny, weensie, itty bitty bit. I’m talking micro-milli-meter here. I realize what I have done and pray the techs don’t notice.

Yes, I laughed too. After I got home and had taken a pill and drunk a margarita.

Due to my slight movement, I had to repeat the procedure. This time I begged for a bolster under my knees to help with the pain. The obliged, and even though it was a small bolster, at least it was something. Second time was the charm, and finally I was able to go upstairs to wait fifteen minutes for a CD of the scan to take to my provider, who as we all know can’t read it, but whatever. I’m just glad it’s over for now. I can stop fretting over it and move on to fretting over more important things.

Like wondering when the rain will stop😉


Top Shelf

Anyone who is familiar with me in real life, and even just on the internet, knows I am rather an odd duck. I like to melt Peeps, I want to collect certain skulls*, and I own voodoo dolls. Those are a few of my Sithy likes. I’m sure I am not the only one with a like of melting Peeps around here, though the other stuff is questionable.

Look, I am not the only weirdo on the planet.

Anyway, one of my new wants is a shelf of my favorite peeps. The best booze is top shelf, and I figure the best people should be, too. Your mileage may vary, but these are my favorite shelf sitters.

  • Ed Sheeran– I can sit and just look at that beautiful red hair and listen to that beautiful voice forever.
  • Politibunny– I really don’t have to explain this one. She is just amazing.
  • Bruce Willis– those green eyes and shiny pate for the win.
  • Jun Tanaka— Of all the chefs that have appeared on Chopped, he is still my favorite.
  • Nicole Russell— Wonderful writer at The Federalist, covering the everyday and making it awesome.
  • Dan Joseph— The absolute BEST Man on the Street snark, evah.
  • Lara Spencer– Talk about design on a dime, she is the queen of the flea market flip.
  • Jay Caruso— Politics and the art of sarcasm, occasionally with a side order of groovy music.

These are just a few of the many I wish to put on my shelf. Now, some of y’all may think I have secret fantasies involving some of these personalities. Rest assured I do not. I just want them up on a shelf where I can just admire them. That’s it. I don’t ask for much. But just in case men show up with a white jacket for me, make sure someone arranges for Twitter access in my padded cell, m’kay?😉

*No, not really. I just like to map skulls anthropologically. Sheesh…


Random Stuff

I know I have been lax in writing fluff lately. March was a very long month for me. Lent during an election cycle is particularly strenuous. Trust me on this.

I need to get back in the cooking groove. I have been lax lately and doing mostly fast food or easy frozen stuff. There is a vast wealth of knowledge in my cookbook library, and I have been ignoring it in favor of laziness. But there is no way I will ever make Julia Child’s aspic. That crap is disgusting.

Looking through the closet, I can’t for the life of me remember whatever possessed me to get a long suede skirt. You can’t wear it out in bad weather without treating it with Scotch Guard™ every single time. Also, this is TEXAS. Not exactly the fairest weather for leather. And the color? Loden green?? I look horrid in it. The thrift store is going to love me.

Ever had chocolate with cardamon? That stuff is like meth, only you don’t get arrested for imbibing it. Or die from it. Y’all should try it in a dark rich hot cocoa. Unless you have some marshmallow Peeps. I love it when they slowly melt in hot chocolate. I always pretend to be the Wicked Witch and screech, “I’m melting…!!!!” into the cup. Don’t judge me.

I won’t pay anyone to give me a manicure or to give me a hair treatment. But BY GAWD I will pay any amount of money to get the sheltie groomed and smelling nice.

Pandas have reached the end of their evolutionary limb. There, I said it and I am not sorry.

I don’t get how some people are content to be on social media all day. It is the most unsocial thing to do. Odd that people choose to interact on social media but fail to do so personally sometimes. And yes, I see how I can seem a bit ironic of me to write this seeing as I AM BLOGGING. But I will be outside painting and chatting with my neighbors later, so I have that going for me.

Anyway, I hope y’all have a wonderful day today. Remember: there is nothing that a bowl of ice cream won’t cure. This is fact😉


A PSA From TSA

Last week, I traveled to Washington, D.C. Though I was there only a few days, we managed to see a lot of stuff, mostly drive-bys with the intent of scoping out the territory, so to speak.

But this is not about the trip.

This is about the pre-trip part of the journey.

One of the things I do is pack lightly. I am a master at packing. I can manage to pack for five days in a carry-on and still have room for any shopping I wish to do. I am also cognizant of all travel restrictions so I avoid packing any liquids or fragile items. Also, I dress accordingly: no bulky jackets, no boots, no extra bling, no hair clips. Still, due to the fact that I have a rather unconventional hobby, I am bound to be flagged for swabbing or for a thorough search consisting of a pat down by Guido the Supervisor.

But not this time. This time I was sent through TSA Pre and walked right through the X-ray machine with no incident. I was one happy gal. Until I noticed my bag wasn’t coming through the conveyor belt. The agent took it out and re-ran it through, twice. And the third time she called the supervisor over.

Ok, now I was sweating a bit. I reviewed where the bag had been before. No, not the range (wrong bag for that), and no one had borrowed it. Nope, never left my home unless it was with me. The supervisor signaled me over and asked a few questions, specifically if there was anything in the bag that could cut him or physically harm him in any way. Uh, no, unless you think the mascara wand can be hostile. He swabs the inside and proceeds to test it, honing in on the area that sets off the alarm. He begins to dig through my clothing. I am painfully aware of other people watching as he takes out my undies and places them aside. Why the hell didn’t he move the jacket and shirts?? Finally, the culprit was found.

thinmints_pkg1

That’s right. The package of Thin Mints was setting off the TSA alarm.

The supervisor took them out and scanned just in case, and turns to me and says, “You know, we like these cookies…”. And with a smile I replied, “And so do I.” He had the good grace to laugh and let me repack my bag. My mortification was further enhanced when the young girl next to a lady piped up and said, “Mom, she has the same panties you do”. I smiled and nodded to the outed Soma™ addict in commiseration, grabbed my bag and ran to my gate.

The moral of the story: never take cookies in your carry-on, and always pack your undies under everything else. It could have been worse, though. I could have been carrying haggis:)


Thursday Sithy

I’ve been trying to post everywhere I blog all morning, and come to realize that my main blog is the one I neglect the most. When my sources of amusement include going to the thrift store and finding substitutes for everything I gave up for Lent, you know I have a boring life. So here’s a Sithy to tide you over for a bit.

darth vader polish statue

I can’t tell you how much I❤ Poland!!

Have a great day😉


It’s Already Lent, and I Am Praying for Easter

It just started, literally just last week! And I am already a whiny, petulant child. Every year is the same thing: I give up sweets, fats, junk food, and booze. It’s not only a sacrifice but also a secular test of my will power.

I didn’t give up caffeine, though. You wouldn’t like me if I did.

This year my will power is being sorely tested. A friend brought me cookies. I have to make banana bread today. Last night was the “Chocolate Edition” of Cutthroat Kitchen, and to make matters worse, Chef Damiano, a contestant on the last season of Spring Baking Championship and who was total eye candy, won. I am surrounded by sweets of all kinds.

I have the feeling that soon enough it will be junk food tempting me. Possibly fatty foods cleverly disguised as junk food. I’m not so worried about the temptation of wine and vodka, because I can honestly take it or leave it as long as I have sweets. This is going to be….difficult.

But until then, my sense of humor is still intact. So enjoy the peep show until you can partake!

peepshow

Have a great Monday😉


Well, 2016 Is Off to a Rocky Start…

It has been rough getting the motivation to write. Lately I have had to catch up on my health, getting yearly check-ups, making sure bones aren’t dissolving, etc. With the start of a new year, many people are beginning the “New Year, New You” routines for better health.

I am not really among them.

But I do plan on improving myself in certain areas. I have been learning to redo and repair furniture (my sister Reno Queen would be proud), purging paperwork that is decades old (found boxes in the garage that I thought were full of books, go figure), learning to patch plaster and drywall, and of course, painting everything in sight. I found a little Florentine table that had lost most of its gilt and decided to paint it in ASCP Emperor’s Silk, a red that should have been called French Bordello, in my opinion. Wait until I post the “before and after” so you can see what I mean.

I also have plans to continue my vocational education, and learn welding. No, I never saw Flashdance. It’s just something I’ve always wanted to learn. I figure if I can do well in it I can use it for artistic purposes, because who wouldn’t want to make their own version of an Alexander Calder mobile, right?? I think learning vo-tech is a good way to stay active in the coming seasoned years, so to speak. Lord knows I am not about to start jogging or doing Zumba. If I didn’t start when I was younger, it ain’t happening when I’m older.

Hopefully my resolution to learn how to use all sorts of power tools will culminate in re-organizing the garage into a working work station. Here’s looking at maybe six weeks of work. Well, if I start now, that is. After all, there’s bound to be something that crops up to stall me. Last week, it was friends from out of town. I imagine this week will involve a package of Fig Newtons and a Firefly marathon.

A gal has to have priorities😉


The Year in Review, Sorta

Well, another year is coming to a close. I have been remiss in blogging due to the holiday and family commitments, none of which involved a mental institution. Well, none so far. After all, the holiday isn’t over yet.

Every year around this time I find myself sighing deeply. It’s not a contented “I ate all the chocolate and feel NO SHAME” sigh, nor is it the “I wish they could stay home longer” sigh. It’s the “What happened ?” sigh. For a while, it seemed this year just dragged on and on, and suddenly–BAM!!!–it’s December 31st and I have no idea how that happened. School band, having a split household, dealing with kids away for the first time, family happenings, all take their toll and can be serious time sucks. And let’s not forget social media. That alone can make the days seem like minutes, especially when a soap opera is unfolding on the social-site-with-faces.

By the way, I started writing this post two days ago.

As usual, with the end of the year come the reflections and the resolutions. Upon reflecting on my year, I found a few truths to be rather self-evident: I am quite lax at writing, technology still escapes me, I don’t laugh at myself as much as I should. I am loathe to write of resolutions because they are lofty goals usually mired in dreams and cotton candy. So this year I resolve not to make any resolutions save one: to be happy with my lot in life, and grateful for all my blessings.

I guess that’s TWO resolutions. But they will be easy to keep.

Hope y’all have a safe and wonderful New Year’s Day, and blessings to y’all in the coming year😀


Nerd Christmas

As y’all are aware by now, I am a nerd. Established 1974, when I first watched Star Trek episodes in Spanish. That intensified when Star Wars came out, and cemented for all time when Ricardo Montalban resurrected his role of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Don’t be fooled. I hate Ewoks.

Anyway, I wanted to get a black pre-lit Christmas tree for the longest time. No, not to match my soul but so I could display my space-themed ornaments, thinking the black would be outer space and the lights would be the stars. HOW AWESOME IS THAT?? But the topper….well, that was a quandary. I really wanted to get something like an exploding Alderran or the Pillars of Creation, but the ones I found were too pricey, so I made my own Death Star topper out of a styrofoam ball, felt, and pipe cleaners. It’s not to scale, but it will do until I take the time to make one with LEDs in it.

WIN_20151215_105352 Continue reading


Aggie’s Christmas Gift Guide, 2015 Edition

Don’t worry. As much as I❤ my Soma™ PJs, they are not on the list this year. Why? Because they should be on EVERYONE’S list every year. And not for special occasions, either. Soma PJs should be a staple in every gal’s wardrobe. Trust me on this.

This year, being cognizant of a distinct holiday fatigue, mostly due to the season being kickstarted in August, I complied a few items to help with the eventual stress that most of us who wait to shop for the perfect gift at the last minute will suffer.

lavender gift set

Who doesn’t love the calming quality of lavender? L’Occitane™ offers a wonderful gift set that will render anyone mute with appreciation. Or make them SQUEEEE!!! Either way, it’s sure to be a keeper.

If your beloved is more of a techie and/or sports type, consider gifting a set of headphones. Just not any headphones.

bose headphones

Behold the Bose™ NFL Edition headphones. Yes, they are pricey, but we are not just talking quality and sports fanaticism here. I love mine because they block out everything, including the smoke alarm. Which could be a bad thing, but that’s what I have kids for.

Last but not least, what is the holiday without some bit of indulgence? Or a lot of indulgence. I won’t judge.

moscow-mule-gift-set-o

Williams-Sonoma™ offers many food-themed gift sets, but my pick is obviously the one to which I can add vodka. The Moscow Mule gift set comes with everything you need except the booze, but I’m sure most of us already have that in our stocks, right?? And bonus: you can use the mugs for hot chocolate, too, which you can get at the site.

I hope you have enjoyed Aggie’s Christmas Picks for 2015. I also hope one or two find their way under my Christmas tree this year. I’m not picky, but just FYI, I already own the headphones😉


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