Wry Exchange

04-07-09, 10:53 pm
Filed under: Home | Tags: , ,

 I haven’t written about our dogs for a while.  GoodDobie and BadLab love that Spring is here, and regular walks have returned.   We went for a long walk last week, and I wore them out.  Too ambitious, too fast.  BadLab will be nine in November, and GoodDobie is between 10 and 12 years old.  GoodDobie is from a rescue group, so we don’t know his exact age.

GoodDobie went to the vet today, and goes back Tuesday.   The poor guy started falling apart last week.   A typical Doberman lifespan is 10 years old.   Our dogs always get sick on Friday afternoons.  I’m convinced they do it on purpose since it buys them a few days to see if they really need to see the doctor.   GoodDobie has a hard lump under his eye.   He let Husband look inside his mouth without flinching, and it’s not tender at all.  He’s also been drinking tons of water, and wants to go out all the time.   His body shape is changing, and he occasionally won’t life his leg or squat when he ‘goes.’  

Part of it is arthritis, and we’ve started him on glucosumine and chondroiten.  The vet said the drinking/peeing could be related to the arthritis.  (I didn’t quite understand that, but really wasn’t paying attention after we discussed the lump.)    The big thing is the sudden lump.  He has antibiotics for the next week, and Tuesday he goes for blood tests, X-rays, and hopefully a pulled tooth under anesthesia.  The vet is concerned the tooth isn’t abscessed since it doesn’t hurt, smell, seep, or anything.  

Whatever happens, we know he is happy with us, and we’re thrilled we adopted him.  He isn’t in pain, just a bit embarassed about peeing like a girl.    It will be tough to leave him at the vet’s, we don’t want him to think we’re dumping him off like his previous owners, and BadLab will go nuts without his buddy even for a few hours.  We can sit and wait in the parking lot.


Ob-Gyn Update
02-11-09, 1:46 am
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 I had the biopsy today…I think.  I took a Vicodin, Motrin 800, and a Valium.   I’ve never taken so many different pills at once.  I  was a bad girl today.   I felt I should’ve added a Quaalude into the mix.  Husband told me they don’t make Quaaludes any longer.

Anyway Husband held my hand through it.  The doctor was quick, and explained what she was doing.  I was mentally going ‘lalalalalalalala.’  It hurt like hell, but was over in 2 minutes start to finish.  I think.

We came home, and I slept hard for about 3 hours.  Totally wasted my buzz.

Edit: Biopsy was fine.  Good, because I don’t ever want to do that again.

The OB-Gyn Should Never Say
02-03-09, 12:51 am
Filed under: Depression, Home | Tags: ,

…Some women scream.

  I was speechless.  Sorry if it’s TMI, but I have to get it out.   I had a small girly problem.  I assumed it warranted a blood test to check hormone levels, or maybe an ultrasound.  Nope, I need an endometrial biopsy.   The doctor said she could do it today, but didn’t have any pain medication on hand.  She warned me since I never gave birth, she may not be able to ‘get in’ to do the test.  I wussed out, and made an appointment for next week.  She suggested 800mg of Motrin, and a Vicodin an hour beforehand.   I Googled as soon as I was home, and ohmygawd I’m screwed.  I feel better now that I’ve shared with the entire world.  🙂

“Country Specialist”
12-21-08, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program | Tags: , ,

Comment from a reader:  I’m a bit curious about your program. Is the country specialist local or national? What qualifies the person to be a specialist to a particular country rather than exchange students in general?

Good question, and it deserves a complete response.  “Country Specialist” is a descriptive term I made up.  I think each program calls them something specific to the program.  I try to stay anonymous.  I’ll explain what ‘country specialist’ does and why.

A country specialist is the person who sets up the exchange with a particular country.    When we have a student who wants to go to Germany an exchange must be set up.  One person here contacts someone in Germany  and they agree to swap students.  The person here should talk to the student to see where in Germany the student should go, which may not be where the student wants.   (Most students know nothing about a country other than “it’s cool”, or “my friend liked it.”)  Most countries are divided into several areas.  When the exchange is set up, we hope that it will be an ongoing exchange, and our exchange partner will take great care of our student.  We also expect hope their student is trained and screened.

A country specialist has to be willing to devote extra time needed to care for their students in other countries.  Some volunteers prefer to deal with paperwork, activities, or meetings.   People specialize in countries for a variety of reasons.   John likes Italy because his wife is Italian.   Sara likes India because she was an exchange student there.  Kevin does Costa Rico because he loves the country and returns as often as possible.  Susan likes Austria because her daughters went to Austria on exchange.   Seth was ‘stuck’ with France because the French specialist resigned, and no one else speaks French or wants the responsibility.

I like South America.   I’ll happily spend hours working on exchanges with Spanish-speaking Americans.   It’s not a duty, it’s fun.  Husband and I plan to retire to South America.  I have no interest in some countries and cultures, and would resent the time spent.  For example, I’ve been to Germany several times, and it’s not for me.  To me, it seems like everything is black or white, and I see everything in shades of grey.    I’m not interested in learning German or travelling there every few years to keep up my contacts.  I believe I’m knowledgeable about South America, and can help the students. I think it takes a good three years as a general volunteer to learn the program before someone can take on more responsibility as a country specialist.

Watch What You Ask For
10-18-08, 11:29 pm
Filed under: Exchange Program, Outbounds Outbounds | Tags: ,

 I complained earlier this week about my exchange program.   Many of our concerns were answered with “Oh,” “uh-huh,” and “I’ll look into it.”  Yikes.  Um, I thought you wrote the report.  I’m not certain now.

We do have a new outbound student coordinator.  Me.  Anyone surprised?   I think it killed a bit of our Chairman’s soul to appoint me to the position.  I wasn’t going to ask for it.  Again.  

I set up outgoing student interviews the next day.  I’m gathering interviewers, and trying to squish three months of preparation into four weeks.   It’s a bit of a challenge because the Chairman won’t help me by giving me contact information on our current students abroad, or our volunteer counselors.  He’ll quietly screw me as much as possible.   This program has always put the students first, so I don’t understand why someone with different goals is part of student exchange.   I like a challenge.  I know I can pull it off despite the faux obstacles.

Depression, Lower Doses, & the Economy
10-12-08, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Depression, Home | Tags:
I’m not doing as well as I had been in the Summer.  I always do better with my depression in Summertime.  My Psychiatrist and I gradually lowered my Effexor from 150mg to 75mg.  Zoloft has stayed the same, 100mg.  Effexor daily dosages go from 75-375mg.  Well, somewhere the plan went wrong. 
In the last 2 weeks, I’ve gradually noticed I have problems.  That probably means it’s been about a month. 
I haven’t been eating breakfast, and just grab a piece of fruit or cheese for lunch.  I take my meds with food in the morning.  So some days I forget to take them, or don’t take them until evening.  You can’t do that with Effexor, it gives me noticable physical differences, so imagine what it’s doing to my head.    I’ve also been skipping doses trying to make the prescriptions last longer, because they’re expensive.  (Stupid, because $30.00 isn’t that expensive, but it shows my rationalizations.)
I admitted to myself yesterday something has to change.  I’ve been trying to hide it from Husband.  Unsuccessfully, I imagine.   He chided me (gently) about something today.  It was the final shove I needed.
 I didn’t brush my teeth until Husband came home from work yesterday.  (It’s like I get a shower, but brushing my teeth is just too much.)  Earlier in the week, I shaved one underarm because it was too hard to shave both the same day.  I’ve washed the same load of clothes every day for the last week.  I start the washing machine, but it’s too much to go down and switch the clothes to the dryer.  I’ve been sleeping most of the day.  It’s really hard to stay awake.  I’ve been working on Halloween decorating for over a week.  I love kids telling us we have the best decorations in the neighborhood.  I never did go back to Curves after signing up almost 3 weeks ago.  The dishes have been piling up. 
Now I’ve admitted to myself I haven’t been taking care of myself.  I did all the dishes.  I washed BadLab.  I finally got the clothes in the dryer.  I’m calling the Psych in the morning about going back to my previous dosage.  I’ll quit skipping my meds.  It’s going to take a few weeks to get back up there, but I’m going to start trying now.
I mean really, shaving one armpit?
EDIT: It started after our week at brainwashing school.  My self esteem plummeted, and that’s when I started playing with my meds.

Snakes are Acting up
09-23-08, 7:35 pm
Filed under: Depression, Home | Tags:

 Remember last Winter when I won the Curves basket at a fundraiser?  The one that’s been gathering dust?  Chef took the socks, visor, and water bottle back to Chile for his mom.  They have Curves in Chile.   

I volunteered at a fundraiser last Saturday, and Curves had a booth.  Many of the women volunteering with me are Curves members, and were talking about it.  I told them how I won a month free, and they couldn’t believe I wasn’t using it.  One of them dragged walked me over to the booth.  The woman working the booth offered me a free week to sign up, then a t-shirt, visor, water bottle, and finally a free month.  I caved, and made an appointment for today. (She was such an enthusiastic cutie.)  I received a large emery board in Breast Cancer Pink which I gave to the woman who dragged my ass over.  (She really wanted one.)

I went today, was measured, weighed, and signed up.  I went through the circuit, and promised to return.   The snakes part?  Before I went, I ate a breakfast of chocolate chip cooks and Lime Tostitos.  A lot of them.  When I left the building, I was shaking in the car, and raced home.  I took the dogs, and went straight into bed to hide-still with my keys in my hand.  Obviously, I have issues.   Let’s see if it was a one time thing.  I really want to go back.