Archive for January, 2007


Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

My pain is so much more manageable. It’s crazy. Only generic Aleve or ibuprofin and aspirin and not all the time (because you can take naproxen sodium less and it lasts longer). 
Chewing, although it sounded great SUCKS right now. So I do the spoon/bottom teeth squish and that gets me by, but I think I am still a gerber girl. Oh, and still hanging at 8-10 lbs lost so evidently this WASN’T the best weight loss program ever. Can I eat now that I have had this revelation? 
Regarding my two Heathers…I feel very bad. I mean, this happens every time, and now I feel I should let you know that they were actually just freaking out because there was an earthquake coming. The other day I mentioned Mommy had woken me up with unusual behavior…15 minutes into my blog there was an earthquake that I felt and did not connect to the cat until I got my email from USGS telling me where it was, what time it was, and the intensity…seems it was shortly after Mommy had her Heather moment. 
This morning I was so grumpy because both cats went Heather and then I get in my email: 
Geographic coordinates: 42.383N, 125.437W 
Magnitude: 4.1 Mb 
Depth: 10 km 
Universal Time (UTC): 31 Jan 2007 15:38:46 
Time near the Epicenter: 31 Jan 2007 07:38:46 
Local time in your area: 31 Jan 2007 15:38:46 
Location with respect to nearby cities: 
84 km (52 miles) W (269 degrees) of Gold Beach, OR 
87 km (54 miles) WSW (242 degrees) of Port Orford, OR 
101 km (63 miles) WNW (291 degrees) of Brookings, OR 
124 km (77 miles) NW (305 degrees) of Crescent City, CA 
415 km (258 miles) SW (214 degrees) of Portland, OR 
Yup. I have seismic cats. Now if only I could figure out when they are being ultra sensitive predictors of the future or are just hungry, thirsty or pissed at me for not scooping their potty. 
Oh, also, when Court can’t figure out why Rira is trippin’, he brings me ibuprofin and about 15-20 minutes later she is completely silent. 
I think the whine I just got from Rira is food related, so I must go take care of the Princess. 

Did you have a brain tumor for breakfast?

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

Greetings and salutations. I am awake. It’s 7:45 am. Not bad except I went to bed at 1 and the reason I woke up is because Mommy cat decided to wake me up. What the– 
I am renaming both my cats (because Rira has decided since I am up she may as well hover) Heather. What’s your damage, Heather?!?!? 
Want sleep. Eating banana 3rd foods instead. What have I become? Banana 3rd foods is my comfort food? 
Okay here’s a question: Do you sweat in your sleep? I mean, not drench yourself, but do you wake up all grimy feeling and a little bit sticky? I know that sounds gross, but Court and I have had this conversation many many times. he won’t even THINK about leaving the room when he wakes up until post shower because he feels “like a greazy potato.” I caled him weirdo but now I fall into the greazy potato crowd. Is it delta sleep? Is it that I never got it and therefore couldn’t detox? Overshare galore, but it needed to be asked. 
At least I didn’t ask if you ever felt “not so fresh.” 

Pachooey Chomp!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

Oh yeah…that’s right. I can chomp. Well, maybe not CHOMP so much as exert force from both my upper and lower jaws on the left. Last night I dutifully banded in the lovely bite guard so that my teeth could have something to rest on whilst I slept, and I thought “hmmm…I wonder if it would hurt to bear down on this thing”…so I did. Just a little. On the left. I was able to really put some pressure to that bite guard! On the right, not so much…but ooh! On the left! If my teeth could touch back there I’m sure I would be at a steak house with baby back ribs jammed back there. No. I don’t really MISS ribs (don’t quote me on that!) 
But really. What should my first food to chew? What do I miss so much that I would go anywhere to get it as soon as I got the go ahead? 
I know I want Zachary’s pizza…but Dave is bringing me one this week…RIGHT?!?!? (teehee). And I am sure it will taste just fine without the crust. 
There are a couple things I want (caramel apples and the occasional stick of gum) that I won’t be able to have until after the braces come off in 18 months at least (looking at how wacked my teeth are I’m sure I’m looking at 2 years or more). Not looking forward to that prognosis on Feb. 15 with Dr. Quo…but it’s nothing compared to what the past month has bestowed upon me, so really I’m just venting and now I’m over it. 
Taco. Chips. I want chips. 
Court got pears sent to him for post holiday wishes from his co…and I can’t eat them unless I moosh and I don’t wanna moosh…I wanna bite into the pear go SQUISH! and CHEEEEW. 
Okay so I want a very ripe pear and a taco or at least some chips and salsa (not blended salsa…chunky salsa!) 
Oh now I’m hungry. Time for the famous chipless nachos. Mmm…guacamole in a bag. Hasta! 

Tonight fish are food, not friends. Sorry Charlie!

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

As Bruce from Finding Nemo cries after getting a whiff of Dory’s bloody nose…I’m havin’ FISH for dinner! 
Drove to Sushi Monster down the street on Ralston…driven by many times, never been in. Oh man. I was missing out! Well, no more. I am now graduated onto cooked fish…and Unagi counts. Mmmmm. It was so very very good. I ordered it over rice so I got about 8 nigiri pieces worth of Unagi over rice and I didn’t have to blend a single thing! 
I did realise that even though Dr. Li said I could start using my teeth a little…neither one of us was taking into account that none of my teeth actually touch. And since I cannot (ow ow ow ow) move my jaw anyway but directly up or down, there’s absolutely no wiggle room on that. So I have 2.25 teeth I can use to munchy and crunchy. They are the tooth to the left (my left) of my front teeth and the corresponding tooth on the bottom. The .25 is the eye tooth on the top that gets a tiny bit of action. So I learned a little trick. 
I put my baby spoon (have I mentioned how I do love the baby spoon?) in my mouth (it has a soft rubber-like covering) under my top teeth, and squish my food between it and my bottom teeth. Baby spoon/teeth. Very nice! And all for only $6.99 for 4 different colors! I know you’re jealous. 
I am a superstar rockstar booYa mama rockin the temperature sensitive hypercolor baby spoonage. Yeah boy!!!! 

Here fishy fishy fishy

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I have received word from on HIGH!!!! The Mighty Dr. Kasey Li hath spake and says I can try eating FISH this week! So now before I scamper (as scampy people such as myself will do) off to my friendly neighborhood sushi restaurant for some UNAGI (YEEHAW!!!), I thought I’d blog it…and let you know how it goes afterwards. 
Fish fish fish…mmmmm fish! Righteous! 

powdered donuts

Monday, January 29th, 2007

I don’t mean donuts covered in powdered sugar…I mean taking an old fashioned donut and reducing it to a powder… In theory, it tasted good…but in actuality, it was pretty horrible. I had to add milk because powder doesn’t go anywhere without lube…but it just wasn’t the same. I guess what I like most about donuts is the texture and the feeling I get when I chew it. 
I sure miss chewing. 
Last night I picked Court up from the Oakland airport and we went to Chinese food in Belmont. The owner went above and beyond to accommodate my inability to chew. I had brought my little head sensitive baby spoon, and honestly, was prepared to eat or drink what I could, then take the rest home to Mr. Bullet the Blender. So when she came over to the table to work with me on my meal, I was overwhelmed. What a wonderful gesture. She recommended a tofu dish and I wanted spicy so she found something that worked and mmmm mmmm was that good! I used the big spoon that came with the dish to smoosh the tofu into paste, then added extra sauce and enjoyed the yum. I also got a glass of plum wine. I was almost normal! Plus, my spoon could tell me when my food was cool enough to eat and my tea was cool enough to drink. 
I love my baby spoons. Although when my soup was ready to drink…I eventually switched to the super cool Chinese soup food because 2 drops per bite was NOT doing it for me. 
I wonder how long I am going to be in pain. I’ll bet my mom has wondered the same thing about me…except it was phrased a little closer to “I wonder how long she is going to be a pain.” 
Some things never change. 

Boot to the head!

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

You know how Court was so worried about me going out because he was afraid something would happen where I would sustain an injury to my head/jaw and mess up all the good my surgery has done? Well, I have a story to illustrate just how not paranoid he is. 
Nathalie came over today. Yeay! Love her to death. So we talked…yes, I talked gabbed blah blah blah…and then I took some ibuprofin and aspirin and we went off into the big world of San Mateo to go see Catch and Release. A lovely total chick flick staring Jennifer Garner, VERY SEXY Timothy Olyphant, and Kevin Smith… 
First disappointment: I had to walk past the popcorn stand and not get anything. 
Second disappointment: They still show too much in trailers. Didn’t they get my memo? Geesh. 
Third disappointment: The people behind us, though they had a rail to put their feet on, still kicked the back of my chair…a lot. 
The movie got going and aside from the occasional jolt I’d get from behind (to which I would turn around and shoot mean looks at dark places where shoes might live – they were sitting higher), I was enjoying myself. I have previously confessed my PMS state of mind (aka weepy mcgillicutty), so I was goin’ with the flow…poor Jennifer’s fiancee died right before the wedding (I have given nothing away since this is what they tell you when you read anything about the movie, and it’s the first line of the film)…what’s a girl to do? Then suddenly…and I do mean suddenly…A FRIKKIN BOOT comes out of the sky and CLOMPS ME ON THE FREAKING HEAD!!!! Are you for real?!? I was leaning on my left elbow, supporting my temple with my hand (because it hurts to put pressure on my chin) and this foot swings down from above and hits not just my hand, but my HEAD! The side of my HEAD. A boot…out of the darkened movie theater sky…onto my HEAD. 
Needless to say it 1. freaked me out 2. hurt 3. made me afterwards feel all dirty for having some freak’s BOOT GUNK on my head and my hand. I almost left the movie. When the foot hit me I screamed…I mean, what the–? And I turned around and the foot was pulled up through the bars. I may have heard a “oops sorry” but I’m not sure. It took a lot of restraint to not freak out and stand up and yell at the people behind me. Seriously. We’re talking Cow Town. I was on my way. When the credits rolled I made myself not look behind me because if I had seen their faces I would have hurt them with my glare…and no one deserves that kind of pain.  
Yeah. I went to the movies and got kicked in the head. 
Good job. 

They're coming to take me away Hee Hee Ha Ha

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

New breakfast invention. Mound o’waffle. How can you get your own Mound o’waffle? You need 2 frozen waffles. Toast them. Cut them into quarters. Put them in the blender. Woosh woosh. Pour waffle dust onto plate. Add butter and lots of syrup. Mix together. Use chosen utensil to create mound o’waffle on plate. Voila! bon appetite! 

Lips Like Sugar

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

Okay not really lips like sugar. More: lips like dry desert with side of burning pain. I am just gunna say here that I think if my lips are going to be numb, I would like them to be numb…none of this I can feel the skin stuff. What’s up with that? I mean, if things are numb, why can’t they just be numb? I’m sure if it was the other way around I would wish differently…Oh well. My lips drink vaseline. That’s gross. But I slather it on, and 5 minutes later I need to reapply. Ok moving on. 
Court put pizza in a blender for me! Pizza pizza pizza! It was actually the top of the pizza (so no crust) and it was a frozen pizza…so it was practice for the Zachary’s pizza that is going to show up at my house any day now. Right? Right? Oh what am I thinking? I know, I have to go get it myself. It’s weird. I somehow thought I would have more visitors… 
I feel like such a brat. I mean, it’s a PLANNED surgery, right? So it’s not like I was SUDDENLY taken ill. I had plenty of time to prepare for this…kind of like pregnancy I guess. But afterwards, I got a cute bundle of pain that eats baby food and not a baby people would want to come and hold. 
I really thought my dad would come over and bring me soup. I miss him. I also miss his soup. Whaaa. I think I am going to meet Anne over there next week and order soup. So there. I think I am way PMSing. So read with caution. Having something that takes a long time to recover from is very difficult. And since I look almost fine from the outside, it’s hard to believe (even to myself) that I am in so much pain…or discomfort. Ache. Deep ache. Distracting ache. But not really pain. Just sucky state. Like a back injury. People are sympathetic until they start wondering “aren’t you better yet?” and the sad thing is, the person with the injury is wondering the same thing. So they do things that maybe they shouldn’t because “Aren’t I better yet?” and that sets them back in recovery. Pain is so much more than physical. Good thing your brain does such a good job of forgetting. 
I know I am a sucky friend. Ever since my sleep problem started to get overwhelming, I checked out. I haven’t seen friends’ babies. I never send Christmas cards (despite my best intentions). I stopped transferring birthdays from one calendar to the next. I kept thinking “as soon as I am better I’ll be back!” I didn’t want to burden people with my problems. People don’t really want to hear about problems all the time. I honestly thought I would just step away for a moment and come back new and improved. 
That moment has stretched out over 4 years now. And I have had periods of “I’m back!” which was a big tease and a big disappointment. Like when I was misdiagnosed with Narcolepsy. I was back when I started my treatment! Who cares I had a sprained ankle that WOULDN’T heal, I was dropping weight like a mother, I looked like I’d been hit in the nose because of my black eyes…I was back! Until I wasn’t. 
So after moving far away from my home (far enough that my life patterns have completely shifted, er, stopped) I find out I really CAN get better and I jump on the CURE bus and begin my journey which supposedly ended with surgery, but really should be ending after recovery from surgery. But it’s a slow bus. And when you put your life on hold to ride the bus, I guess you start to think about what’s important and what’s not and then when you figure that out you wonder how you can get the important stuff back and you realise it may be gone for good. But FRUSTRATINGLY you cannot start trying to work on that important stuff now because you’re STILL ON THE BUS and even though there is a stop with your name on it, it may not be the place you thought you were going and then what? Put everything on hold again? Lose more of the important stuff? 
I’ve lost many many friends…or at least lost touch with many people…and I am afraid to reach out now because I’m not sure who I am and I can’t make any promises. I guess if they were that important they’d still be around…so say some people. I know I stepped off the face of the Earth and it’s my responsibility to put myself back on…but 
DUDE. Pity Pot anyone? 
Yeah. okay. Pain sucks. Chronic pain sucks more. Because it doesn’t have to hurt as much but it ends up hurting more. 

Mommy Cat

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Mommy cat is 22 years old as far as our family can estimate. 21 or so years ago my sister read an ad in the paper placed by St. Francis (I think…it was a St. operation, I know that much). The ad was asking for foster parents for a mother cat and her 3 kittens in exchange for one of the kittens when they were old enough to be weaned from their mother. 
Erin decided then and there that we WOULD be the foster family, and that she WOULD get her kitten. I’ll never know how that happened, but it did, and not long after that, a beautiful young tortoise shell mother cat and her three eyes still closed tabby boy kittens entered our lives…and of course our hearts. 
The story was this mother cat had run out of the rain into someone’s closet and had her babies right there. Weird. But I think that mommy cat must have known that her babies had a better chance of survival in a human house (as opposed to UNDER a human house as our last cat Tammy had decided to give birth – whole different fiasco). In any case, this mother cat was so beautiful and so friendly, while Erin and Timmy had babies themselves playing with three fluffy kittens, my mom and I fell in love. The shelter had named her Callie (because she was a calico) which I immediately thought was LAME because she was a tortie and such an awesome cat she deserved more than a name that didn’t take her personality into account. So I un-named her. She became the mommy cat temporarily…and when the kittens were old enough to go back to the shelter, Erin selected the roliest poliest of the three (the one we called Pudge), I asked my Mom if we could also keep the mommy cat and amazingly (to me) she said yes. In case you haven’t figured this one out, we never re-named her. 
Mommy Cat. The Big MC. Mama. Mommy. Never had Renata Court seen such a wonderful creature (and that’s saying a lot since our next door neighbors had taken in ALL the strays of the neighborhood and had them fixed. Additionally they had dogs, and a local turkey vulture who came to the name “KittyKitty”). Having a pet named Mommy was also pretty amusing when you were on the phone with someone who didn’t know the owner of the name Mommy but could hear you reprimand Mommy for sitting on the furniture or going somewhere she shouldn’t. 
friend on phone: Do you want to go to a movie? 
me: Totally! What’s playing? 
friend: Cry Baby with Johnny Depp 
me: Totally! Hold on a sec…Mommy! Get off that! No! I mean it! Sorry. Yeah what are the movie times? 
We assume Mommy Cat was about a year when she came to us. We think she may have been younger, which is why we’re a little sketchy on her age. But 21, 22, 23…they’re all pretty awesome numbers representing exactly how long this wonderful cat has been in our lives. 
As we recall, I must have been in about 8th grade when we got Mommy and Pudge. The rule in the house was “Pets outside” because Mom got flea bites on her ankles. My theory was that they were psychological flea bites because I only heard of them after Mom had actually seen a cat inside every few weeks when one of them (usually Pudge) made a mad dash past the front door. In actuality, both Mommy Cat and Pudge lived in my bedroom (via my window) every night when I went to sleep. I’m telling you: Psychological Flea Bites. 
When I went to college, despite the no pets rule in the dorms, I begged mom to let me bring Mommy to school with me. No go. Mom was rather attached to the pair and was not going to break them up (let alone allow me to force a cat to live in a dorm room), which was smart. When I moved into a house off campus in Live Oak I called home once more to request Mommy Cat, but Mom was not willing to part with her, and besides, it would be mean to split Mommy and Pudge up. That was 1995. 
While I was away at school, and after that when I was not living at home at all, Mommy became the belle of the town, and the gracious Queen. She had routines that she kept religiously, such as meeting Louis or next door neighbor every day when he got off the bus and walking home with him. Legend has it, one day Mommy and Pudge delivered a little more than the usual rodent or bird to the neighbors, in the form of a huge fresh off the grill steak…cooked only on one side.  
Mommy and Pudge were World Class Mousers, and even though they were not allowed indoors (those flea bites you know), they were always there when mom stepped outside for a smoke. As a matter of fact, since Mom was perched on the steps from the house to the garage so frequently throughout the day (back in the day when Mom smoked outside), that became the place of gifts…none of which Mom was EVER excited to receive or encounter. 
My friend Paige and I were eating Thai in Mill Valley when I got the phone call that Pudge had died. Mom thinks he drank radiator fluid or something. It was sudden. He was such a love bug. Mom was devastated. Pudge got a nice burial next to Mary (the goat) and Louis and Caroline (the next door neighbors) planted a lovely rose bush on top of his grave, just as they had when Mary passed. I’m thinking it was about 2000 because Joey and Paige were recently engaged, but I could be off and I don’t feel like looking it up, so I’m just going to pretend. It was somewhere around there in any case. 
Mommy Cat moved indoors. Mom either got over the ankle biting fleas in her mind or developed a tolerance (in her defense, she is horribly allergic to flea bites and she WOULD get horrible scars…I just thought the initial bump was in her mind), and when I came over to visit, Mommy Cat was always there, always affectionate, and always very obviously interested in getting a good rub, which I was more than happy to give. 
Mommy was getting old. She was rickety and slow and shaky. She had little cataracts on both her eyes, but man she wouldn’t miss a petting for the world! Timmy moved back home and got a pit bull named Lucky. Sweetest dog on Earth, and when Timmy moved to Florida, Lucky became Mom’s, and the two are inseparable. Unfortunately, Lucky liked Mommy Cat to stay in one place, so Mommy decided that one place would be the back of the chair my mom sat on when she smoked…thus ensuring multiple petting sessions throughout the day. 
The day I got the phone call from Mom asking if I wanted Mommy Cat was a wonderful day and a very scary day. Courtland and I had just signed a lease on a new house in San Anselmo (on which we stated we had only one cat – Rira). That wasn’t the problem though. I was afraid Courtland would say no. He always surprises me. He did not hesitate. He asked if Rira would be okay and I said we would introduce them the right way (different rooms over a very long period of time according to my research). 
When Mommy arrived, however, it quickly became apparent that she would not be with us long. We had stairs. Those were difficult for her. She couldn’t jump up on furniture. Mom had left me with some kitty prescription steroids that I was to administer every time she started wheezing and throwing up. Court and I concluded we had gotten her simply to make the last days of her life more comfortable. I took both cats in to my vet for their shots, and 2 days later I brought Mommy home minus 11 teeth (only 2 remaining) and an equal number of hundreds of dollars less in my bank account. A day after that, Mommy started running around and jumping up on furniture. She’d been nursing a hideous infection in her jaws with rotten teeth that I guess my mom’s vet had decided (and he was right) she couldn’t afford to have extracted. 
Flash forward three years. We live in Belmont. Mommy still hunts every night. in the morning we get to see what she has “caught” and lined up by our bedroom door. Keys, ipods, cel phones, scissors (she loves scissors), pens… Over the years her kidneys have started to go. I know this because when she goes to the bathroom she GOES and the clumping litter does not lie. She drinks like a fish and pees like a racehorse. I have not brought her to the vet because I do not want to put her on kitty dialysis and make her last days or months needly and uncomfortable for both her and us. But Mommy has been losing weight, and just recently, has not been hunting as much (granted I have been sleeping all over the house post-surgery so it gets a little confusing where to bring things). I am concerned, but I still didn’t want to take her to the vet because she is eating lots, drinking lots, purring lots, demanding lots of petting…and we know she’s old and we just try to enjoy every moment we have with her. 
About an hour ago I woke up because Mommy was meowing. She doesn’t do that. She makes funny noises when she has things in her mouth, but she doesn’t meow, per se. It scared me. I got up, went into the bathroom (she always follows) and turned on the light. I sat down and pet her…and the non-pigmented mole she has had above her eye for a very long time that has always concerned me, but that didn’t seem to be changing at all caught my eye because it looked angry. It’s bigger and red, and when I brought her face up to mine, well, it’s not a mole…I would guess it’s a tumor. 
I know I didn’t want to be one of those pet owners who did anything they could to extend the life of their pet and spent the last part of their pet’s life in treatment and emotional pain…and I still hold firm that if/when Mommy’s health starts to deteriorate and she does not seem happy, I will not do everything in my power to keep her around for my own needs. But I have to take Mommy to the vet tomorrow. I just have to. And I do not want to know what they have to say. And I have guilt that I have not taken her sooner. And I have remorse that I have done wrong by her. And I know I feel badly because I also feel defensive, like I knew what I was doing and that’s what I did and she’s happy so I’m not ashamed…but I know I could have done better. There’s always something you could have done better. And it doesn’t matter how much you treasure the time you have, it’s never the right time to say goodbye.