This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Day is FINALLY HERE! Elsie's First book is Available!

Good morning!

We've been talking about this for more than a year, but today is finally the day!  Elsie W.'s first book:  Not While I'm Chewing. is available on Amazon for Kindle users.

Yes, it's under my pseudonym.  Ironic, the stuff with the swearing and the murder and the sex, that I publish under my name.  But hilarious work place stories...that I have to hide behind a different name.

Kindle users, you can click here to purchase right now!

Print readers, it's going to be another 24 hours.  Everyone else who has a Nook or a different reading device, it's going to be a bit more of a wait as I ready the upload for various more finicky distribution websites.

But you Kindle readers, today is the day!  CLICK HERE FOR ELSIE W.'S FIRST BOOK!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

After a four course day like this, I need an antacid!

Good evening.

Well, it's become apparent to me that my rage over the whole Aqua Girl/NBM phone thing is not going to subside.  Guess I'm just going to do what I do best:  blog about it.

So today was a veritable meal of the stupid.  Think I'm kidding?  Let me just warm you up with an appetizer.

I had physical therapy today.  As we all know, this is the high point of my week...it's the one place where I come out feeling way lousier than I did when I went in.  After last week's session, while I could lift my left arm, I had a throbbing, stabbing six day headache.
Everything you see here is a pain
level of 5 or more.  All the time.
Especially when Cruella pokes
at it.

 I told 98 pound Cruella that I was operating with headache pain of a about a 5.  (she always asks me to rate my pain on a scale of one to ten.  It's usually about a seven, but since I've had the same pain in my head for a week, I was really sort of getting used to it.  Like John Mayer music...it's not quite so awful when it's on all the time.  She had me lie on the table and said, "Not many people can function at a five."

Well, one, I'm not like most people.  I function because I have no choice.  What, I'm not going to go to work?  I'm not going to get paid?  I'm not going to be able to pay my bills?  Lady, I have to function at a pain level of a five because I don't have a choice in the matter. 

Then she began a new series of poking on my skull.  It seems she went to a seminar over the weekend and learned a bunch of new stuff.  She was excited to try it out on me.  Much of it involved putting pressure on my throat...pretty much choking me.

Oh good.

Well now after she tried, and this is what she told me she was doing, to push my skull plates back into place, my headache pain is now an 8.  So there's that.

Now, the salad.

Most of you know I sell party lite candles and gifts.  Most of the time I enjoy it, but I do have some stories I wish were not in my arsenal.  Closing the party today would be one of those stories.  I feel for the hostess, I really do.  But she didn't close the party the day of the party because no one showed up.  So I gave her a week and we were to meet on Monday.  But she couldn't on Monday because she hadn't gotten the money from everyone.  So she could meet me today...well I had to cancel my hair/waxing/nail appointment  (and now I really look hideous) but I met her.  She brought her two kids...which would be fine, except the one decided that rather than sit in a chair for twenty minutes and sniff my candles or draw on my catalogs or (since MOM didn't bring any books/toys/electronics/benedryl for the kid) eat food I offered to buy, he wanted to run back and forth across the drive through of the coffee shop and throw rocks in every direction.

One hit me.  I've never been hit by a rock in the line of duty as a candle lady before.  It's a new experience.

Mom did very little.  The kid still got a cupcake at the end of the thing, and now I had a pain rating of a six on my six.  (Anyone who gets that joke is my new BFF.)

Oh, and the money she had to wait for from her guests?  Yeah, she wrote big check and told me not to cash it until the weekend.

You think I'd be done...but now we're to the main meal.

If you follow me on Face Book, you know that Noelle C is gone and has been replaced by the first person who didn't run away from Lumbergh when he talked about the details of the job.  So we have Aqua Girl.  She's a young girl, almost half my age, but she seemed willing to work the hours of the job and that, apparently, is all Lumbergh needed.

A phone voice...nope, she doesn't have that.  She sort of barks into the phone.

Grammar.  Nope.  The word "like" and "uuuuuummmmmmmmm"  and "Nope" are the only three she uses.  And she uses those way, way, way too much.  I can't even listen to her. 

Skill at her job.  That remains to be seen.  She has zero initiative, which means I have to keep telling her what to do.  And, since she's making more money per hour than I am, that grates on me.

But I could overlook all that, and I did, until Thursday of last week.

See, on Thursday, Lumbergh sent out an email to the office "girls."  (Yes, I live in Mad Men times and I'm a girl and he's the guy who...whatever, I'm getting off point.)  Lumbergh is a guy who can't talk to a person and tell them what they are doing wrong.  He has to send an email to everyone who might fall under the same department.  In the past I've been reprimanded by email for leaving food out on the counter, being late, not making enough calls, and taking too long of breaks  (all Elsie's issues.)  I've been reprimanded for arguing with the sales guys, not booking sales appointments the proper way, not making enough phone calls, and being unable to make a decision for myself (all Noelle C's issues.)  And now, now I've been informed that I can no longer have my cell phone on or in site of my desk because the use of texting has been far too much.

Let's take a stab at who that really was directed to.

I'm not saying she's lazy.  I'm saying she spends a lot of time playing with her phone during work hours and her defense is there's nothing on the reminder list for that particular hour.  I'm saying she spends more time fiddling with her Pandora account than learning our database and I'm saying that I now have lost a work tool I was actually using to contact sales guys, install guys, and my other boss.  I brought this to Lumbergh's attention, and he doesn't care.  He also doesn't care that my phone is a lifeline to my children...and it's been a rough several weeks. Contact with my kids is vital at this point, and he knows it. 

But, since he can't tell the pretty new girl to stop shopping on Amazon and actually WORK, I don't get to have my phone available.

Now, this enraged me.  And then there's the fact that she is incapable of taking a phone message.

Most people, when they take a phone message, write down the name, the number, and the reason a person called.  Nope this girl, nope.  She'll slouch into work and look at me and bark out, "Did that guy call back?"

"What guy?"

"That guy.  He called last night.  I think he had a leak or something."

People, I talk to dozens of people a day, for almost as many reasons. 

But wait, there's more.  The only thing worse than the way she doesn't take phone messages is the way you think she's taking phone messages.

This is an actual conversation I actually had with her today"

Her:  Judy.

Me:  Judy what?

Her:  Judy called.

Me:  Judy who?

Her:  Judy the installer who works here.

Me:  We don't have a Judy the installer.

Her:  Maybe it was Jimmy.

Me:  Maybe it was Jim?

Her:  Ummmm, yeah. Maybe it was. He said you called him. 

Me:  Dialing Jim.  Talking to Jim.  Hanging up the phone.

Phone:  Sounds the ring for when someone is on hold too long.

Me:  Is someone on hold?

Her:  Yeah, the guy.

Me:  What guy?

Her:  The guy, the installer guy, what's his name?

Me:  JIM?

Her:  Ummm, yeah.  Jim.

Me:  I just talked to him.

Her:  Oh, cuz like, you called him?  Oh yeah, he was, like, on hold.

Me:  Shoot me now.

So, let's review.  She's not that bright.  She has no initiative.  She has to be fed every piece of work.  She lazy.  She makes more money than I do. I have to train her every day on everything all the time.  AND NOW  I can't have my phone in sight to help me do my job better and keep in contact with my kids.

I'm trying to think of a good name for this new disaster.  I was thinking Pandora, because it's where she spends 6 of the 8 hours of her work day, but I think I need to see what you all would like to call her.  Leave me messages here or on my face book page and I will decide a winner sometime very soon.

And now, dessert.

I realize my mom means well and that she wants my neck pain to go away.  But I swear, if she shows up to my work one more time like she did today I'm going to lose my mind. 

She walked in carrying a box.  I got off the phone and looked at her.

Mom:  I brought my vibrator for you.

Nope, not making it up.  Now, the thing you need to know is that it's not THAT kind of vibrator.  This is one of those deals that is supposed to help relax shoulder and back muscles.

Mom:  I have your father  use this on me every night.

Boss, new girl, both listening.  JUST SHOOT ME NOW.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

No Sympathy for Sarah...and a big old BOOO!

Good evening.

So two weeks ago I told you about my rather randy afternoon with my 98 pound physical therapist.

Today was round two.

Only today I was armed.  Last night I did a lot of soul searching while tennising with Hubby.  (On the court next to us, a father and his 8 year old daughter.  Number of times the 3rd grader hit the ball into our court: 0  Number of times I hit the ball into their court: 9) 

Since my car accident I've been spending lunch hours, and hours after work at doctor's offices.  I've been poked, prodded, stretched, x-rayed, MRIed, and medicated.  (more on that in a minute.)  I come home and pretty much go to sleep.  I'm in pretty constant pain from either the injury or from the treatment.

And let's talk about the pain killers.  The first one they put me on made my legs swell so bad I couldn't walk.  Not a little water weight...I COULD NOT WALK because I the bottoms of my feet were rounded and my feet and my shins met in a fleshy, watery, balloon way.  Think of one of those Right Angles from Geometry class....now fill that with over full water balloons.

The second one gave me heartburn in the middle of the night so awful I'd wake up gagging and vomiting.

The final one...well let's just say that Jamie Lee Curtis would probably just hook me up to an Activia IV if she could, but even that probably wouldn't


Won't be needing this as much!
help since this last one stopped waste disposal so completely for two weeks I am actually saving money on TP.  (Oh come on...that's not even the grossest thing you've read in this blog!  Do I need to remind you of the story where we bought a TV in the dead of winter?  HMMMMMMM?)

I will say this...I have finished two of the three Stieg Larsson books, so there's that...

Anyway, I'm relaying this to Cruella deSkinny and then I recount the effects her most recent treatment gave me:

I couldn't lift my left arm for two days.

I had a blinding headache for two days.

I had bruises on my chest, the back of my head, and my arm.

I finished my litany of woes, in tears, and she looks at me and says, 

"These sound like symptoms of depression.  Do you have depression?"

WHAT?????????????????????????

These are symptoms of someone who got hurt in a car accident 11 months ago and now no one seems to know what the #(*$%(*&%$^& to do with her!  There are the symptoms of someone who is angry, used, and fed up.

Oh, and this is someone who is currently being treated like a rented mule at work, but I'm still too angry about that to talk about it.

Then she said, "Well, I'm not sure I even want to touch you today."

Fine, thinks I, no pain for me today.

WRONG!

Cruella has me hop up on her table, set extra high just for me to hoist my fluffiness higher.  Then she begins with the "Does this hurt?  Let me JAB THIS IRON FINGERNAIL OF MINE INTO IT HARDER!"

I swear, the woman has fingertips of steel, weighted with lead.

At one point she actually lifted my rib cage and yanked it up to my chin while pushing on a tender spot in my arm pit.  Let's ignore the fact that I had some other woman's fist in my armpit and her claw wrapped around the bottom of my ribcage and let's forget that it felt like she was going to lift me off the table and twist me until I split.  Let's forget that and try to remember that she didn't want to touch me for fear of hurting me...five seconds earlier.

Afterward, she told me she wanted me to call her office tomorrow and tell her how I felt.

I couldn't help but think of dear Count Rugan after he sucked away a year of Wesley's life on the MACHINE:


How did it make me feel?

I'm pretty sure I'll never make a left hand lane change again...thanks for asking.

Nope, no sympathy from the 98 pound therapist.  I'm starting to think she's playing some weird online game like Words with Friends except for PT people only and it's more like, "Where did you poke this person and did they scream?"

***

Now, about that BOOOOO!  A big old Princess Bride sized BOO goes to the woman at the public library yesterday who was there with her small children at the same time Peaches, my daughter, was.

Those of you who know Peaches know that for her entire life she's had a certain flair for clothing and more recently for hair color.  Right now her hair is a bright candy apple red.  It's not cut in an odd way.  She wears it very neatly either in a pony tail or, when her eczema flares up, she wears it in a neat long bob around her face.  Yesterday she was wearing a short sleeved t-a pair of white shorts and, because she's Peaches, she was wearing some grey tights under the shorts.

The children must have looked Peaches' way, because Peaches says she waved at them.  She's a friendly girl, my girl Peaches.  She didn't speak to the children, she just waved in a friendly way and smiled and then went back to looking for books.

The mother, however, took one look at my daughter and gathered her precious perfect children around her and said in a voice loud enough for Peaches to hear THOUGH HER EARBUDS..."no, no children, we don't associate with them."

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sarah performs tennis in front of others...let the blogging commence!

Good evening!

If you live in SE Wisconsin, as I do, you're currently enjoying some pretty spectacular thunderstorms.  I'd enjoy the storm MORE if it hadn't knocked out my Direct TV...I mean, come on...it's the NHL Finals!

So while I have a rain delay for my TV viewing this evening, I thought I'd share my tennis experience from Monday.  Having started on my quest to learn the mysteries of tennis on Saturday, Monday was day 2.  (On Sunday I lay on my couch and listened to my back and butt whine.)

Monday evening we drove up to the courts where we'd started our Tennis Quest, but there were OTHERS on the court.  (It's a two court fenced in area.  We could have played there.)  I, however, did not feel comfortable practicing my newbie skills in front of OTHERS , so Hubby drove us to another court.  This one was closed, apparently, forever.  We tossed around the idea of finding a court further from home, but, as my mother would always say, "In the amount of time you've spent arguing, you could have had it done by now."

So we went back to the first court. 

The OTHERS, the ones who made me timid were, upon closer study, a pair of young lads, one who seemed to have some skills and the other who bore the air of a teen whose mother had kicked him out the door with the command, "THOU SHALT PLAY OUTSIDE WITH SOMETHING OTHER THAN YOUR XBOX." 
"Dude, five more minutes...some old Fluffy Girl
 wants us for a mixed doubles match at 6."

(Monday was the first day of summer break for school kids in our area.  Thusly, Monday was the first day parents yelled at their children for lying around, trashing the house while the parentals were at work.  Monday was also the day all parents begin the countdown to the new school year.)

So I opted to play on the side of the fenced area where XBOX boy was.  It was a good choice.  He was as terrible, if not more so, than I.  We spent a lovely half hour or so banging balls to each other's partners.  I felt a lot of like Anne Hathaway in "Princess Diaries", apologizing for clumsily firing something at a complete stranger.

One thing I had to battle, however, was my own inclinations to goof off.  See, I love an audience.  As much as I enjoy solitude, there is something about having an audience witness whatever I'm doing, especially if I'm doing something I'm NOT comfortable doing, that makes me want to turn my bad performance into hilarious performance art. 

In short, I ached like crazy to slap that fuzzy little ball over the fence just to make the young ones laugh.  so much better than being pitied, I always think.

But my summer project, I reminded myself, was to LEARN TO PLAY THE TENNIS.  So I am proud to admit I only hit the ball over the fence one time, and that was completely on accident.  I have the back hand of a drunken wildebeest.  Powerful, and completely unpredictable.

So I'm encouraged by the progress I'm making.  I've picked up a tennis racket twice in three days.  Today I would have played with Hubby again, but Mother Nature decided I needed to NOT watch hockey instead.

Let's just see what tomorrow brings.  I may actually break into a trot and try to return a serve that comes over the net out of my immediate reach.

Then again, let's not get too crazy.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Fluffy Girl vs. Tennis: Love/Love? NOT

Every summer I set a goal for myself.  Usually, like every time I set a goal for myself, it's a number:  I'll lose 15 pounds this summer.  I'll be a size twelve by September.  I'll get to Gold's 12 times a month.

This year, I thought I'd try something else.  I'd set a goal that had nothing to do with number and instead take up something that would help me reach those numbers.  This year, I was going to take up tennis and really, really learn it this time.

Those who have known me long enough, and there aren't many who have, can remember that my interest in tennis has equaled my talent.  Which means I had neither in any amount.  My first stab at the sport came in the form of a mandatory fresh year in high school gym class.  Thankfully I was paired with my dear friend Rochelle,  and we spent those torturous hours smacking the ball over the fence so we'd have to fetch it, thereby spending LESS time actually trying to play tennis.  (I haven't ever asked Rochelle if she's gotten more serious about the game.  I think I'm afraid to.) Our gym teacher, after about two classes, sighed, understanding she was going to get nowhere with me, and left me to my own devices while she spent time with the girls who could manage to get the ball over the net without pounding it into the parking lot.  (One would think with the kind of power I exhibited, I'd have been great at softball.  One would be terribly wrong.)

The next time I entertained the idea of tennis was a year later.  We moved, I transferred high schools, and I hated my life.  I was not, back then, the super cool amazing person I am today.  (I know that's hard to believe.)  I had, after a year at the new school, almost no one in the way of friends, certainly not many who were willing to seek me out during the long days of summer.  So I spent a lot of time at my manual typewriter, writing the book that would later become my beloved Lies in Chance.  My mother did not like the idea of having her daughter indoors all summer, so she signed me, and my younger brother, up for tennis lessons through the local Park and Rec department.

Three days a week for nine weeks we were to meet a group of other beginning tennis enthusiasts at a local park where a teen instructor would teach us the secrets to hitting the ball over the net, and in bounds instead of whacking it into the lake. My mother saw this as a great opportunity for her bookish daughter to make friends.

My mother clearly did not read the fine print and therefore missed the part where children ages 8-11 were invited to be in this class.  My brother, going into sixth grade, could blend with little effort.  I, however, was almost fifteen, and was, to the delight of my fellow beginning tennis players, the ONLY one wearing a bra.

You think bra snapping was a game mean middle grade boys played?

Let me tell you, eight year old girls enjoyed it, too.

The class involved a lot of lining up and then executing the skill one at a time.  That gave the undeveloped urchins in the group plenty of time and opportunity to mess with my support garment.  I, being the oldest, the tallest, and the most uncomfortable, did not fight back.  What, I was going to slap some little kid with my racket and get in trouble for beating up someone half my size and almost have my age?

"You're stupid, you're fat, and you're ugly!"  They would murmur as I tried to focus on my forehand.

Yes, children, they are the future.  And based on those darling imps, my future looked sucky.

My brother hated that class, but for another reason.  Entering his middle school years, my brother was at the dawn of a phase in his life where he hated pretty much anything my mother suggested he do.  That phase is ongoing even today.



Here's what my mother thought tennis lessons would be like.


And below is what it really was like.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
I tolerated the "bra-buse" for about two weeks.  After that, we'd get our tennis gear, my brother and I, and we'd ride off at the prescribed time.  He'd go to a friend's house.  I'd go to the library where I could read or write in peace.  We'd then meet up near the house and arrive home together.



I made zero friends that summer, but the welts in the middle of my back healed nicely.

The next time I picked up a tennis racket was in college when, again, I was forced by the gym teacher to learn how to play tennis.  The college gym teacher, however, was also my guidance counselor, a man who was very good at motivating non-athletic women to do things they thought were insane...like tennis...or hurdles.  (I took to the hurdles far better than to tennis.)  He knew me well enough to know my history with the sport, which probably didn't do my chances at actually learning how to play any better.

But what really stopped me from learning anything that time was a simple case of an underfunded program depending on over scheduled staff.  The tennis nets hadn't been put up by the time we were doing the tennis section of the semester.  "Just imagine the nets are there and hit the ball so it goes so high," my gym teacher said, holding his hand level just below his waist.

I did the best I've ever done, not saying much, in that class.  At least I kept the ball in the fenced area.  Did I keep it on my court?  No, of course not.  But I made some strides.

After we were married, Hubby and I got tennis rackets.  I think I've used mine twice in the 20+ years we've been married, the most recent was shortly after Skippy was born.  (He's nineteen.)

So clearly, deciding to take up tennis, for me, was a big, weird step.  But Hubby is very supportive of anything I suggest we do outside, away from the computer.  Which is why he dug my racket out from who knows where in the garage yesterday and we went to the local court and hit the balls around.
Here's a pic of what I look like playing tennis...if I weighed 100 pounds less, had any skill, and could hold on to the racket.



I'm quite proud to say that while my backhand is beyond horrible, I did manage to keep the ball in the fenced area, and I was able to return and volley a few times.  I only put one ball in the tree, and Hubby was able to knock it out quickly.  We worked on it for over half an hour, which doesn't seem like much, but between my arthritic hands and toe, and the fact that moving quickly for a girl my size is a challenge, I think it was good for a first outing.

Oh, I'm sore as the dickens today, but I made Hubby promise me he'd force me out again tomorrow, provided the weather is nice.

I'm not going to lie...I'm praying for rain. No, I'm praying for a deluge that wipes the courts away from our fair city.

But I am a woman of my word and if it's nice tomorrow after work, I'll get out there and hit a few more balls over the net.  Maybe one of them will stay in bounds.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Five for Friday: Potential Crazy Alert

Good morning!

Fridays used to be wonderful for me.  See, Fridays were my day off from the likes of Elsie W and Noelle C.  But now, every day is a Friday, so Fridays just aren't that special.  Top that with the fact that this is a non-payday Friday, and thusly I'm probably broke, and well, it's just a day, except the weekend is coming, so there's that.

This week Aqua Girl, the New Elsie W/Noelle C joined us here at Stuff, Installed.  Her training period lasted two and a half days.  Why such a short time?  Well, after realizing I was getting saddled with all of her training  (Lumbergh kept having "important errands" that kept him away from the office while I trained a girl half my age, someone who is going to make more than I do per hour, to do half the job I do.)  I ran out of patience and shoved her into her office and told her to start dialing.  Seriously, the job she hasn't isn't difficult.  Dial the phone, read the script, move on to the next call.  If you get a live person, get them to schedule an appointment to look at the stuff we install here at Stuff, Installed.

A monkey could do it.  How do I know?  Two insane monkey people have been doing it for the last two years.

Anyway, I'm encouraged by Aqua Girl.
Actually, not a bad likeness of her.
She has picked up the basics of her job quickly, and everyone seems to like her.  Who wouldn't?  She's not yet 25, she's blond, fit, and adorable.  And yes, I'm officially the oldest woman in the office, and I've moved into the #4 spot for oldest person in the building.

In spite of that, I've kept a close eye on this new inside sales person.  See, I was fooled by the first two, at least in the first couple days.  But, since Aqua Girl  (I call her that because she was a collegiate competitive swimmer) has made it through her first four days without showing me her girl glands or her underwear, and without screaming at the local authorities to break into her house and turn off various appliances, I think we've got a winner.

I have, however, picked up on a couple, five, potential things that could signal trouble, and these I'm sharing with you for this week's Five For Friday:

Five things Aqua Girl does that might make her blog (and book) worthy:

5)  She is loud.
I'll give this to Elsie W and Noelle C.  When they weren't ranting about one thing or another, they had very nice phone voices.  The same cannot be said for Aqua Girl.  Her voice is a not so melodic mix between Valley Girl and a very cranky donkey.  It's not something you pick up on in casual
conversation, but when you have to listen to her answer the phone over and over and over again...and she gets louder with each answer, you know that spells BLOG.

4)  She has a sense of humor all her own...and no one else is laughing.

Granted, it might just be nervous laughter.  But a customer called yesterday while I was at lunch and she took the message.  This was a customer with whom I've had an ongoing issue. He loves the stuff we installed, but he wants his referral reward  (We give customers a small cash reward for referring other customers to us.)  For one reason or another, this reward has been delayed.  (Many of those reasons are because the customer is a raving lunatic who is too busy yelling at me about how he's not yelling at me to actually listen to me when I tell him what he needs to do.  I will bet a big portion of my paycheck that he got the reward and tossed it in the trash because it came in an unmarked envelop.  You can see, this has been an issue.)  So he called yesterday to again yell at me, and she took the message.  Halfway into his rant about how he was going to call the Better Business Bureau, she started laughing.  I've heard this laugh.  It's a cross between a seal bark and that yelp of snarky disbelief only the young have.  You know that sound.  Your kids make it every time you try to tell them how the real world works. Anyway, she thought it was funny that this guy was yelling into the phone and raging about a small cash reward.  Basically, she thought he was kidding.

Nope.  And her laughter only made him more cranky so that by the time I called him back, he'd worked himself up into a good rabid lather and I then spent nearly half an hour apologizing because our company wasn't taking his claim seriously.

Now I cringe when I hear her laughing on the phone.

3)  She only has to screw up once, then she's perfect.

While training Aqua Girl I must have heard her say this two dozen times.  Again, maybe it's an age thing, but I think if I were trying to reassure my employers that I was going to get better in time I would say something like, "I'm a quick learner."  I would not say I'd be perfect...because, see, now I expect her to be perfect.  Which just means I'm going to have to keep track of her. Which makes her blog worthy.

2)  "GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!  I HAVE TO PEE!"

I might be old.  That might be my problem.  But I've just never felt the need to announce to a room that I must relieve myself.  (Except in this blog...where there are no holds barred.)  But young Aqua Girl, from minute one, feels she must either announce her need to pee, or, and this is weird and hilarious, she simply does this odd little run walk to the ladies' room while growling.  I'm not making this up...she growls as she shuffle runs to the loo.  (For the record, Noelle C would loudly announce her intentions by saying, "I HAVE TO POTTY NOW!"  And Elsie W wouldn't tell us anything...if she wasn't at her desk for 20 minutes or more, we'd hear her on her phone in the bathroom.)

1)  Like, like, like, like.

I use the word "like" a lot.  I'll say, "Hey, we're, like, going to Culver's for lunch."  I do not, however, use "like" as the space between every word.  Aqua Girl does and in three days I'm to the point where I want to, like, slap her.  Here is an actual sentence from her mouth, "So, like, I don't, like, know the answer to that question because, like, I'm, like, just the person who, like, schedules appointments.  But, like,  if you have a person, like, come out and like, give you a price, then you'll, like, know what, like, the project will cost and then like, you can, like, decide if you, like, want to get it installed or something, like that."

When you hear that word 10,000 times in three days, you know, you KNOW it's going to be the thing that gives you yet another work place book.

Now, on the face of it, none of these things are that bad.  But, hey, I rationalized the early actions of Elsie and Noelle C and look where that got me.  So I'm on guard with this one.  I'm going to be so, like, watchful for anything that, like, looks like crazy.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You can call it Physical Therapy...I call it getting to Second Base.

Good evening!

I'm your defense against the Dark
Arts teacher. Today, I'll teach
you the spell to ward off the gentle
muscle manipulation spell cast by
physical therapists.
Many of you recall I was in a very serious car accident last July.  Since then I've been through two completely different courses of physical therapy involving no less that 9 practitioners of that dark art, I've seen two medical doctors, (one of whom QUIT the practice after my case got to be too difficult for him, I'm not even making that up) one awful trip to the MRI, two sets of X-rays, and a trip to a spinal surgeon. I've also run through the complete talents of two very nice chiropractors, one of whom quit the practice shortly after he couldn't solve my case.  (Again, I'm not making that up.)  I've missed almost 2 weeks' worth of hourly wages due to doctor's
appointments.  Oh, and there were two trips to the ER.


Covering the smell of muscle ointment
since 1900...or whatever.
I've been on no less than four different kind of pain killers, wait, no, five.  One made my legs swell up so bad I couldn't walk.  One gave me such bad heartburn, I couldn't breath.  Two were controlled substances that I couldn't take for an extended period...and they didn't really work anyway.  I'm now on a muscle relaxer that sort of works and I have this nifty lidocaine cream I get to smear on my neck and shoulder 4 times a day.  (I cover any hint of smell by covering my desk in Wint-O-Green Life Savers.)


I'm telling you this because I want you to understand that in the last 10.5 months I have done everything that was asked of me.  I've been to every appointment, I've taken every pill, and I've done every weird exercise, even the one that makes me look like I'm trying to shake my brain back into place.  (I'm supposed to do that one five times a day for five minutes.  Sweet.)  And yet, after all that, I still don't sleep through the night  (10 months and counting...)  and I still can't make a lane change to the left or a left hand turn in my car without great pain.  Oh, and I get blinding headaches 3 out of 5 work days.  So there's that.

So on Monday when Medical doctor #2 and chiropractor #2 came to the same conclusion  ("We don't know what to do to help you, so now we're just going to try stuff and see what happens.")  I realized this was not going to go well, but that I would probably get a good blog out of it.

I was not disappointed today.

They sent me back to Physical therapist #1 from PT course #2.  I guess that makes her 2.1, which is what I'll call her.

2.1 is a very nice lady.  She told me today that every time she drives through the intersection where I had my accident, she thinks of me.  That's remarkable since I haven't seen her in three months, but she does drive through there a lot, so I guess I believe her.

I was sent back to 2.1 because, as I said, they are starting to run out of ideas...and pills...to help me.  (The pharmacy at Sam's Club LOVES to see me coming.  I always get the weird stuff...and they love reading the side effects of the meds to me.  Given my recent reactions to many of the meds, they even get to read the really weird side effects to me, like "Your legs are going to swell up and you won't be able to walk if you take this."

Anyway, today I went to see 2.1 because she, I was told, can do some very gentle muscle manipulation on my neck and shoulders.

Doesn't that sound lovely?  Gentle muscle manipulations.  Almost sounds like spa time, right?

Very little could be further from the truth.

She had me lie down on the table.  Oh yes, get me good an vulnerable with my soft, gushy belly facing the unflattering lights.  Then she began her gentle manipulations.

"Does this hurt?"  She asked softly touching a spot on my neck.

"It feels a little tender, but it doesn't hurt."

"Okay, HOW ABOUT THIS?"  She then jams her retractable claw into my neck muscle.

"YES!  That HURTS!"

See how his eyes are shining...
Those are tears.
"GOOD, then we're going to do THIS!"  And with that, she jabs the neck muscle harder, while at the same time finding a good tender spot on my collar bone to shove with the heel of her hand.

This sort of thing went on for nearly an hour.  She poked and shoved my skull, my cheekbones, my neck, shoulder, armpit, collarbone, some little bones near my throat she claimed were ribs, but they felt more like explosions of glass under her "gentle muscle manipulation."

It was when she moved down that tiny ladder of bone that I realized her definition of physical therapy and my high school definition of second base were a little...closer than I imagined.  I mean, hey, if I knew I was coming in for a mammogram, I would have prepared better.  I would have worn my good bra and the invisible deodorant.  (Because, see, they don't want you to wear deodorant at a mammogram.  The pictures apparently turn out better if the woman's humiliation is complete when she not only is half naked and in pain, but almost stinky.)

Apparently, there's a muscle that is attached to my neck, my skull, my armpit, the top of my girl gland and the bottom of my girl gland, and yes, also at the patch on my chin where my lovely hairs grow...and that muscle had to gently manipulated until I was left dizzy, weeping, and feeling a tiny bit violated.  She asked me how I felt...I wanted to quote "The Princess Bride" because, well I like quoting that movie and because I wanted to say, "I've just gently manipulated away one year of your life. Tell me, how does that make you feel?"

The good news, I guess, is that 2.1 feels we made some good progress today.  I get to see her once a week now for four weeks. 

Meanwhile, I just can't shake the feeling there's a camera in the ceiling of that room and somewhere in another room there's a group of medical people, people who have attempted to fix what ails me, and they are watching this and they are laughing...just a little bit.

The difference between a Meijer employee and a heart attack? Not much.

Good afternoon everyone and Happy Holidays! When I was little I lived in Michigan, home to a wonderful store called Meijer's Thrif...