Saturday, June 28, 2014

Purple Potatoes

I've decided that our diet of baked chicken and steamed broccoli is boring.  In order to remedy that, without straying too far off budget, I've started looking for some more interesting dinner selections.  First up, purple potatoes.

We found them in the little organic market where we got the Chestal cough syrup.  They all looked pretty old and neglected, and some were well into the process of growing legs long enough to walk away.  We picked out three of the youngest looking ones.  Apparently purple potatoes taste just like regular white potatoes, but have more antioxidants and are therefore healthier.  I ask you, why aren't these more common?  Probably because they're purple.  Whatever.

We had purple mashed potatoes with pink salt.  It felt like a Dr. Seuss kind of evening.

Where Has This Cough Syrup Been All My Life?!

Okay.  I've been sidelined by a horrible hacking cough which started two weeks ago with one night of otherwise innocuous sinus drainage.  Dave has been sleeping on the couch almost that whole time just to get some sleep.  I certainly haven't been sleeping.  I've been subsisting on little more than Halls menthol drops and DayQuil syrup.  That horrible persistent dry tickle deep in the trachea was all that remained, but it was impossible to reach with medication and it just wouldn't go away.  I think I tore my vocal cords at one point just from coughing.  It had progressed to the point that each cough triggered a dramatic gag reflex, which generally makes one a social pariah, especially at church.  I thought the worst was finally behind us, but yesterday the drainage started yet again, and a fresh sore throat started creeping down over the worn out scar tissue left by the last one.

I wasn't okay with another two weeks of this.  Fortunately, we met some new friends through their skittish cockapoo Clementine who attends Andy's puppy playtime at PetCo, and they recommended a holistic honey-based cough syrup called Chestal.  I didn't have high hopes, but it was worth a try.

Oh.  My.  Gosh.  The stuff is magic.  I had full-blown postnasal drip with lots of mucus and sore throat on top of the old dry tickle from before.  A few doses (it can be taken every two hours) and I slept through the night.  The dog slept through the night without sighing at me.  Dave slept through the night, NOT on the couch.  I woke up and felt great.  NyQuil can't even compete with this stuff. And it tastes good, on top of everything else.  I'm going to have to canvas all the little organic shops in town, because we grabbed the last bottle.  Also, Riccola cough drops are beating the pants off Halls.

The list of ingredients on the box was especially fascinating to me. I'm not even sure what most of it is, but I like that they broke the list down into the various functions.  Looks like it will cure just about any cough out there.  I had several of the varieties listed, but once you feel it coat the back of your throat - and stay there - magically you don't feel like coughing anymore, and you are free to sleep or do whatever.  I might have to smuggle the bottle in my purse for Sunday.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Flouro Hysterosalpingograthingy

So, following up the surgery, the obgyn referred me back to the radiologists for "flouro hysterosalpingography."  The name alone was enough to be off-putting.

Suffice to say, the procedure was unpleasant.  I was in no mood for the doctor's questionable bedside manner, particularly while I was wearing little more than a giant paper napkin.  After pumping my unmentionables full of sticky brown dye (which induced some cramping), they pushed me under a giant x-ray machine and eventually were able to determine that my uterine cavity is now normal and that my tubes are not blocked.  I was never concerned about my tubes; in fact, I would have been perfectly happy to have at least one of them blocked.  One woman's blessing is another's problem, I suppose.  At this point, I'd be happy to donate my tubes to some deserving recipient somewhere.

I'm finally just fed up with people poking around up in my uterus.  I'm generally a healthy person otherwise, but ever since this problematic organ entered service four years ago it has helped me learn more than I ever wanted to know about emergency rooms, blood work, IVs, local and general anesthesia.  It has been scraped, probed, irradiated, photographed, ogled at, tested, dissected, resected, injected, and all kinds of other mean, nasty, ugly things.  Sometimes it seems like I spend more quality time with speculums and intravaginal ultrasound wands than I do with my husband.  I've just had enough of people messing with it.  I'm sick of this little temperamental blob of scarred flesh holding my life hostage.  I almost hoped one of my tubes was blocked so I could have the satisfaction of telling them not to fix it.

But it would be a waste to go through all these procedures without trying again at least once.  That won't happen until next year.  Whether we are successful or not, a pregnancy would sideline me immediately for an indefinite amount of time, and I have a cross-town move to plan, crap to pack, walls to paint, etc.  Best case scenario would mean another caesarian at least.

Trying to stay positive and hopeful, but I'm just done with it.  If I could send my uterus off to go to its appointments without me, I would.  There are other things I'd like to do with my life.

Not actually me.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Paw Project

I am aware that cat de-clawing is not the greatest tragedy in the world, but I watched the movie anyway just to be better informed.  I was shocked by how uninformed I actually was.

De-clawing does not mean simply trimming a cat's nails, or even surgically removing them at the root.  Cat claws grow directly out of the last bone in the toe, so that entire bone is removed.  This results in severed tendons, abnormally short toes, and often chronic infection as the nail attempts to grow back inside the toe.  De-clawed cats are often more insecure, resort to biting, and have difficulty using the litter box because of the pain in their feet.

Proponents of de-clawing are often veterinarians who make $1,000+ per hour for the procedure, and well-intentioned people who believe a de-clawed cat is more likely to find a home.  They are usually unaware of exactly what the procedure entails, and shelters report that de-clawed cats are often abandoned as a result of the behavioral problems caused by the de-clawing.  

My libertarian mind is on the fence about whether or not I'd want to see de-clawing outlawed, but I'm certainly in favor of spreading awareness.  Clearly cat owners are not going to get unbiased information from their vets, so they should get it from somewhere.  De-clawing is a barbaric practice that can cause a lifetime of pain and complications.  It is also completely unnecessary when there are alternatives like claw sheaths available. 

See the movie.  It's streaming on Netflix and YouTube.  Or, make a donation at and they might send you a copy.