Friday, September 23, 2011

Heads Up!

I have to do it, but I'm going to wear a disguise because God help me if anyone sees me.
I put on a blond wig, wear a ridiculous outfit, and hop in my car.
I get to the parking lot, and I meet the "dealers" inside. 
I turn my back on them, surreptitiously drop a $100 bill on the counter and mutter under my breath, "I'll take five kits and four sprays."
I am now a "buyer".  
I leave in a rush to deliver the junk - suddenly I am now a "distributor" and since I am receiving money for the product, I'm also a "seller"....

***I wish I could say that I got away from the dealer's without incident, but since my transaction actually took place in a "Snip-its", I was unexpectedly mobbed by the children in the shop because for some reason still unclear to me, they mistook me for  Lady Gaga.

So, no - I was not buying drugs, but for what I was buying, ("Fairy Tales" Lice-Removal Kits and their Rosemary Repel Leave-In Conditioning Spray) it sure felt like it. Yes, I am talking about lice, folks. I'm saying it out loud, and I am blogging it. It's out there, it happened to my tribe, and I hope that through my experience, I can make it kind of funny instead of shameful, embarrassing, and downright skeevey. (No- forget that- it is totally skeevish).

The call comes in from the school nurse. You're home doing nothing major, just cleaning off your desk. Next thing you know, you're dashing up to the school, totally hyper-ventilating and thinking, "There is NO WAY my kid has lice." But guess what: my kid has lice. I ask the nurse to call down my other daughter, and sure enough, she has it too. "Don't worry," says the nurse, "She is one of several I have found today." Not feeling much better knowing that, I take my crying daughters home and join them in their tear-shedding for many more hours. I am completely overwhelmed, and everything I look at in my entire house, I believe, is CONTAMINATED. The laundry pile is now considered the "Bio-Hazard Basket". The beds, pillows, blankets, the stuffed animals! Ya-Ya, Jo-Jo, Dee-Dee, Moonah, Bunny-Blank and Sarge? Yup, put 'em all in a military-grade plastic garbage bag and bury them in an air-tight sealed bunker for about six weeks. Then maybe, MAYBE, they'll be salvagable. Stand By, my Angels.... And let's not forget about the bike helmets, the head-rests in the car, the arms of the couch, etc. Once you see lice on the head, you see it everywhere else. Total psychological damage.

You're afraid to tell anyone. But you have to, because how are you going to explain the fact that you have completely dropped off the face of the planet? You and all of your children? After a couple of days, people will start calling. Your friends, once you tell them, ask you if you need anything? (Hoping, for sure, that they can deliver what you request in a drive-by delivery.)
You tell them, "Yes, in fact, I do. Can you grab me some hair clips, 57 shower caps, 145 long-handled combs, some funky-framed +1.50 reading/magnifying glasses (argyle or cheetah pattern, preferably), paper towels, a spray bottle, new towels, sheets, pillows, comforters and 2 more of those freakin' poodle combs? Thanks. Oh, and pick me up a carton of Marlboro 100's so I can treat my anxiety throughout the night because I am way too repulsed and grossed out to sleep. Here's $800- I hope it's enough! Thanks a-wicked-lot! You're the best, see you in a few!"

Thank God for HIPAA, right? It is with the utmost discretion that you are told about your child's lice. Which is great, until you think your child is "clear" to go back to school. It was so rampant in our school at one point, there was actually a line outside the nurse's office so she could check your child in order for them to "get in" to school. You don't speak to anyone, you don't make any eye-contact, and you wear that "I have no idea what YOU guys are waiting for, but I'm NOT waiting for the same thing as what I already think/know YOU guys are waiting for" fake look on your face.

You watch, as a mom and her son/daughter comes out of the office, and walks, head-down, out to their car, back home for some more excruciating comb-outs and nit-picking. After three or so days, your kid "gets in" and you, as the parent, now view everything in the school with a sort of, well...contempt. Because your kid got it here (possibly) and it is where your child happened to be when it was found. You are now, as of this moment, an "advocate". You want all of the "comfy chairs", stuffed animals, rugs, goofy hats, (dunce caps?) removed from the classroom. The headphones in the library- wrap 'em up for 3 weeks. Actually, no, my daughters will bring their own! Next day, there they are: doing FastMath with their brand new BOSE headphones on. You no longer think anyone should share lockers, be partners, and you question "lunch buddies". There should be no Lost & Found bin; it should be non-existent...Lost & Incinerated is more like it.

Speaking of Angels, I felt SO bad for my kids during, let's call it..."The Removal Process". Especially in the beginning. I was patient and kind; sympathetic and understanding. "Go ahead, Sweetheart, you go get yourself a drink because I know it's hard to sit here while I  try to remove one egg, and take 27 strands of hair with it." But eventually, when another request is made such as "Can I go to the bathroom now?" or, "Mom, are we going to have dinner tonight?" (You reply, screeching, "What time is it?" and the child in the chair says, "7:40 PM"), you know you are beginning to lose it. How about when you DO decide to take a break, and you go into your bedroom (seeking sanity?) and the "affected" child follows in and hops up on your bed and starts complaining? You empathize, and you want to hug them and reassure them that this too, shall pass...but instead, in the frightening Linda Blair voice you didn't even realize you possessed, you say, "GET OFF OF MY BED! YOU'RE GOING TO GET IT ON MY BED!" Then you feel like a total jackass because you made them start to cry, and it's really not their fault that they have "it" to begin with.

I've written enough to start. Go over this with a fine-toothed comb, and watch for Part 2 next week sometime. It only gets better... 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A SUPERSIZED Status, not quite a blog.

I could write an entire blog on "being at McDonald's for only 35 minutes"
(Why do I do it...WHY do I go there?) but here are just a few main points...

#1) Is it ME or, does the mirror in the bathroom make everybody's hair look like Ronald McDonald's?

#2) Hey, 7 year-old PSYCHO!  In your generation, everybody wins! Everyone gets a trophy! A medal! And whatever Happy Meal F'n SMURF you want; your mom will just change it for a new one! So therefore, your raging hissy fit was totally uncalled for and absolutely NOT necessary.

#3) It's McDonald's for chrissake! Why do you have CNN on? It puts me in an uncomfortable position, having to explain to my kids that no, the world is NOT going bankrupt, and that the most recent air strikes overseas does not mean we sleep in the basement-bunker tonight.

All this, over a cheeseburger with 1 penny-sized pickle, and 5 friggin' nuggets.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Crutchless Wonder

Just this past Friday morning I set out for yet another appointment with Epstein's Doctor. I said to my friend as we got closer to the Dr's office, 
"I wish I was going here to be told something new; something like...'Guess what, KB, you only have to pump half the amount of air into your boot/air-cast from now on'...Or, 'You can start bearing some weight and try walking a little with the boot/crutches'...
"But, I know", I continued, "that it's just going to be a - 'Your incision looks good. No signs of infection. See you in 2 weeks...' - kind of appointment."
She agreed, since she was with me the week before when I had an unscheduled appointment because I did have a slight infection: I was told on that* particular day that I had at least 5 to 6 more weeks - both in the boot, and on the crutches - so I figured I knew what I was going to hear on March 25th.

Note: *That appointment was located at the hospital. Zero paperwork for that one. I was told by Epstein's Doctor over the phone to meet him in "The Fracture Room" at high noon - tomorrow.
Don't even ask about that one...somehow, I managed to get a bracelet and be seen by him - even though nobody was expecting me- and I was told upon my arrival, that he was in surgery.
Nurse: "Who was it that told you to be here today?"  Here we go again...

So, I'm all checked in on Friday and we're waiting for my Doctor to come in. I have taken off my boot - that gamey-smelling, nasty, sweaty, pride-insulting thing - and in comes Doc to take a look at things. After barely a glance at my wound, I am hearing, but not fully comprehending his words:
"Everything looks great. The boot is now optional and you can start physical therapy. Wean yourself off the boot and I want to see you again in 6 weeks."
What? I thought I had....Wait. Did he say "wean"? And is that the same thing as "burn"? Because I don't wean; I'm more of a cold-turkey I take his words to mean, "You never have to wear the boot again." I ask him, "So, I don't have to wear the boot to bed anymore?" He says, "Nope." And I say, "Oh my God, I can't wait to go to sleep tonight!" Thoughts are racing through my mind as to what to do with my crutches, now that I don't need them anymore. He means them as well, right? Should I throw them out? Donate them? Mount them on my wall? People have mounted stranger things. Too bad my crutches aren't the old-school wooden kind, because they would look really my fireplace!!! 
This time, he does give me official paperwork for the PT folks, and we head over there immediately so I can make my first appointment ASAP.

The Physical Therapist is located in a building that I'm already familiar with. I have another Doctor in this building, which as a result of a few prior health scares from this other Doctor, I have dubbed this place "The Bad News Building", so I'm feeling some bad vibes as I enter the lobby.
"Where's their office?" I ask Bean, my ever-present partner in crime throughout this entire ordeal.
"It's down the end of the hall." She knows, because she's been. She's been going to this guy in fact, for years.
I look "down the hall", which is 14 miles long, and the irony doesn't escape me.
"What do you do, schlep all the way down there, check-in, then check-out, because you're done?" The journey to the front desk from the lobby looks like a single session in and of itself. Suddenly, I feel like I'm in one of Gary Larson's "The Far Side" cartoons. We set out to the office. No Sherpa this time.

I have never been to Physical Therapy. I have no idea what to expect when I exhaustedly, feebly and finally crutch through the entrance. I make my first appointment with the receptionist, and while Bean has some business of her own to take care of, I ask if I can take a look around. I make my way around the corner and I am visually introduced to what I can only describe as Utopian Gym. I feel like Dorothy- after her house has been displaced- when she opens her door to Oz. I see all golden goodness and light. I hear music. I see people working hard - hard at trying to overcome whatever physical setback they have endured. They aren't there to socialize; there is no pretense. The only competition is within themselves. I actually see blood, sweat, and tears. These people are living the "No Pain, No Gain" mantra. I love it; it's like a true "gym-rat" type of gym - the only kind I ever liked when I shopped around for a membership. Only this is now a necessity for me, not a luxury.

I meet my guy, Neil. He already knows my story- again, thanks to Bean- and he asks me when I'll be starting. I tell him, "2 weeks from now, which is also my birthday- so bring cake." He laughs, tells me to hang on a sec. He goes over to a computer and comes back.
"That's a bit far out...How about this coming Wednesday instead?"
I'm all over it. I'm gung-ho. This coming Wednesday, I'm there. Ready to begin this new phase of healing.
Ready to ease on down the road....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

JUST DO(ING) IT, part 2

The E-R is 4 weeks post-op and would like to apologize profusely for the big gap between blog posts! Initially- actually getting to my desktop (or the kitchen, or the bathroom...etc.) was nothing less than a small expedition, requiring a mule and a Sherpa. Once I landed at my desk I found that each time I began to write, there was this Vicodin-Voice speaking for me that made no sense whatsoever. Also, since this injury (aka The Heel Ordeal) was still new to me, I had so much anger, frustration and grief that my overall tone was completely  negative- and who the hell wants to listen to Debbie Downer?  So, it is with a much different take on things as I post today, rather than if I had posted 2 or 3 weeks ago.

On the day of my surgery I show up at the hospital with my admissions paperwork. (READ: a yellow post-it note basically saying, "K needs surgery today. Signed, Epstein's DOCTOR"). I was in a defensive stance, ready for the questions pertaining to the legitimacy- the legality- of such a pathetic and unofficial document but when I was asked, "Who is your doctor?" I answered, and got an "Oh, (eyeballs rolling up, accompanied by the half-smirk), okay".
I'm thinking, "Hmm... inside joke or red flag number one?" I let it go.
Eventually, I am in a bed and after a battery of questions, health history, medical allergy disclaimers, a family tree diagram, surveys, waivers, and signing over my firstborn as liability collateral, I meet Mr. IV Guy.
"Hi, I'm so-and-so, and I'm going to get your IV started."
He's nice enough, even cute...not quite what I was expecting but he had some scruff and these huge blue eyes. Suddenly, I'm feeling all modest in my overly provocative, ties-in-the-back, but, not tied johnny. (What?!? It chokes me!) He seems to be all thumbs, nervous; there's an obvious unfamiliarity between him and the other staff, and with the equipment as well. Clearly he's half my age so, is he new? The most-junior man? A rookie. As I'm giving my friend a look, he asks one of the nurses, "Umm...can you tell me where the pole is located on her bed so I can hang up the IV bag?"
Instant Red Flag. 
"Sure, it's on the right hand corner at the top." 
After several unsuccessful attempts to extend it higher, he asks the same Nurse, "How do I extend it?" Second Red Flag. 

 Aside: Normally, in everyday situations I have a 3 Red Flag tolerance. But, when it comes to health and medical stuff, there is a 2-flag limit. (Plus, I had already let a possible red flag go at the admissions desk...)

I begin to closely scrutinize the faces of everyone around me. Especially the ones who are wearing the SARS masks...Which one is he?  And that is when I ask. Out loud. The only logical question for this situation:

"Hey. Am I being punk'd?"

Mr. IV Guy starts cracking up, because again- he's half my age, so he totally gets it. He then explains that he's from Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, doing a rotation in suburban hospitals, and that it's not that he doesn't know what he's doing; he just doesn't know where everything is around here (and how it works, apparently). My IV goes in, and after the back of my hand blows up to the size of a golf ball, we discover a 'kink' in the line, or perhaps it was a blown vein...I don't know but whatever; he straightens it out and he's on his merry way. That's when my friend goes to sit back down - only to find the bandages, the leftover sticky stuff to keep the cannula in my hand straight, and the small syringe - empty of its numbing solution; there they are... on her chair. Whoops. She calls to him down the hall...."Hello....?"

I'm doing okay now, right? Good to go? No.
I mean, sure- my viciously  parched, dehydrated,  Shar Pei skinned self was starting to fluff back up with the IV fluid, but the immediate priority now became pain management. I was told to eat and drink nothing before surgery which I assumed included Motrin, so I was in agony...

But before I go on with that story, I want to get back to the title of this post. Why is this called JUST DO(ING) IT, when, based on what I've written so far sounds like it should be entitled "The Heel Ordeal"?
So, back to the original theme.

When people ask me what happened, I find myself needing to distinguish clearly, the fact that this injury happened while I was playing soccer, and not because I was playing soccer.

Another aside: It's way cooler to be able to say that, by the way, than having to say, "I was running to answer the phone" or, "I was food shopping and realized I sailed right past the Fruity Pebbles so I turned quickly to go back and grab a box..."

I think I answer this way, more for my benefit than theirs. Honestly, this has been more of a "head" injury for me than a leg injury. I need to convince myself that I will get back to DOING everything I did before I got hurt. I find myself in good company at least, of others who have had the same injury: David Beckham, Dan Marino, Gabe Kapler, "The Rock" aka Wayne Johnson, Dominique Wilkins, Vinny Testaverde, even George Clooney AND Brad Pitt. See, I need to know this because it keeps me going. It motivates me; they all healed and went back to doing.
And that's where I'm at. Everyday. Just doing it...a little, tiny bit more each day.

My next post will address Things that one should, and shouldn't do while on crutches...

Final Aside: Referring back to the pain I was having prior to my surgery -
Oh yeah. They gave me something. My last thought as I'm wheeled to the O.R. ?
"Oh Maaaan! I hope my ties-in-the-back, but, not tied johnny does not fall open when they flip me onto my stomach for this operation...."
Then, BANG. Lights out. I never even saw the entrance to the OR....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

JUST DO(ING) IT, part 1

I was feeling great last Wednesday. I was out on the field, my second shift, and I knew I was going to score in this soccer game. I had already determined, from the first shift, that I "owned" the defender on the other team - and besides, my kids were there watching and I wanted to show them that "Mama's got game". I was heading up the left wing, making eye contact with my teammate who had the ball behind me on the opposite field. I went to cut in towards the front of the net and then everything went into slow motion.
I thought I was hit from behind by an errant baseball traveling at 80 mph.(There are batting cages beside the field, and they were being used.) At the same time, my left leg buckled under me and I heard this tremendously loud "pop". While I looked around on the ground for the baseball so that I could fire it angrily back in the direction it came from, I asked the defender on the other team, "Did something hit me?"
She said, "No, that was all you...and I heard the "pop", too."
As I became more and more confused, the pass from my teammate arrived which I stopped with my right hand.  *Personal to TF: Boss pass, my friend!
The play had stopped by then, the Ref was asking me if I was ok, and when I tried to walk over to the bench, I knew something was really wrong. The weirdest, and most amazing thing though, was this protective, athletic, euphoric-type shock I went in to; no screaming in agony, no crying, no panic...just thirsty, and a little cold. I was carried to the bench, and while somebody went for ice, I asked for my jacket. As I was putting it on, I could feel my cell phone vibrating. Who the heck is texting me right now? I took it out, looked at it, and it was from my son.
Oh shit. My kids are here!!! I look across the field, and there's Adam, staring at me with one arm around each of his sisters. I give him a 'thumb's up' and I write back, "I'm ok. I think I just pulled a muscle."
"IS ANYTHING BROKEN?" he writes.
"No, nothing's broken, Buddy!"...except my heart- and maybe a little bit of my spirit, I neglect to add.

I'm taken to the ER, where my sainted and most patient BFF meets me; magazines, water, lifesavers, gum, and peanut butter crackers in tow. By now, I'm starting to question myself- Who do I think I am? How am I going to manage this? What am I thinking, playing soccer at forty-something? and, more immediate, I am supposed to board a plane Monday for a sweet and swanky stay in Georgetown for the week. I don't have time for a COLD, never mind something like this...
I'm told by the Doctor that "Unfortunately, you have ruptured your Achilles tendon and you need surgery ASAP." Excellent. So I guess all bets are off for me? "Yes. For the next 6-8 weeks, kiddo", says the Doc.

I'm wheeled, yes- "wheeled" into a room for a temporary cast that will hold me over until Friday's surgery. My questions about playing soccer "at my age" soften up as I take the middle of three beds- between two guys, both around 40-50 years old- dressed in full hockey regalia- having various parts of their faces stitched back together. My cast hardens up, I'm given crutches and sent home so I can talk to the Doctor about the upcoming surgery.

Friday, February 4, 2011


Random musings and reflections on February's First Friday about things I am happy about and/or looking forward to. Bright sunny skies make for happy thoughts and smiling eyes....

  • My son is going to the BC Men's Hockey game tonight with his grandfather. I am psyched for both of them. Thank you, my friend, for the tickets!
  • I am going to visit my sister during Feb. vacation. August, and Nantucket are simply too far away to wait.
  • The Boston Bruins and The Boston Celtics have been doing outstanding. And  Spring Training is coming!
  • I can't wait for FlashMob Rehearsal! KJ- I will be in touch today, Doll. xo
  • Spring catalogs are starting to fill my mailbox...bathing suits, espadrilles, plaid capris, cotton sweaters.
  • I have mastered The Crow pose.
  • It's Super Bowl Weekend.
  • Saturday- 11AM: Adam's hockey game; 1PM: Bruins hockey game
  • Sophia finished her report on Amelia Earhart. It's due Feb 9th.
  • Emily happily went off to school today wearing her favorite fragrance again, BRUT 33
  • I just got invited for coffee at Spiffy's house. I'll be there in 20 minutes.... 
It's the simple stuff. Enjoy 4 for Friday, February 4th:

The Gap Band
SOS Band


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maximum Capacity

"Oh, no thanks! Really, I've had enough. I'm full. Honestly, I've had so much of it lately that I'm starting to get sick of it...."

Unfortunately, this is not my reply to the waitress at The Scarlet Oak Tavern regarding wine. Nor is it my response to the waiter at La Famiglia in the North End, where the dinners are served on what I believe to be sewer covers rather than actual plates. I wish I was saying this to Gustavo, our personal attendant on the cruise that my BFF's and I took twenty years ago...but no such pleasure.

I am talking about the godforsakenobnoxiouslyinsultinglyridiculoushowmuchmoreisthereofthismofo SNOW.
I am generally not a snow-hater, and I have been trying to deny the temptation to post some banal comment about it on my facebook status. I think though, that the refusal to comment has backfired and suddenly, as I am snapping about it, I am blogging about it. Enough already with this snow! Even my kids are starting to groan rather than cheer when the 5:45AM call comes in canceling school. Instead of the stomach-plunging sound of the plow going by and taking both the sidewalk and our basketball hoop with it, I want to hear the ICE CREAM MAN; instead of a cup of hot chocolate, I want (I hate the name of it right now!) a  SNOW CONE. Snow-blower? No...Lawn-mower! Snow boots? No...Flip-Flops! Snow pants? No...Capris! Ice-scraper and brush in the car? No...Beach chair and boogie boards in the car! Ya'll catch my drift?!?

Now, I know we get...wait a sec:
*An advance apology to the 'Gentle Readers' (as in- Mom, and Nana) but I will be referring to it as mofosnow....
As I was saying, I know we get mofosnow around here. We expect it. But, we don't expect three storms a week with 10 - 14 inches each time. (Hey, Mother Nature, what you've been dumping on us this winter is "MOJO-SNOW"!) So here's what I'm going to do: rather than bitch and moan about the mojo/mofosnow, I am going to reach deep down into my 'Glass-Is-Half-Full' file and see if I can put a positive spin on nature's White Delight.   I'm trying for a list of 10 here:

  1. Your children could set a world record for making over 100 variations of a snowman. Start taking pictures...
  2. It opens up a whole new world of shopping: boots, silk long-underwear (best stuff!), hats, scarves, and did I mention boots? ALL purchases are justified.
  3. You can test your shift-on-the-fly 4WD in the mofosnow when you are trying to get out of your driveway. A totally new experience, compared to what you usually use the 4WD  for.
  4. You'll eventually be on a first-name basis with the driver who is contracted by the city to plow your street. If you can time it right, run outside and start pathetically "shoveling". Give them a big wave and a "Hello (insert first name)!" because they may, on the next pass, take down the concrete wall between your driveway and the street, and plow it away into oblivion.
  5. While you sit in the airport waiting for your flight to be rescheduled, you will have plenty of time to look over, pre-screen, and come to your own conclusions about your fellow flight-mates.
  6. You will become a black diamond skiier by default as you attempt to retrieve your mail/newspaper everyday.
  7. You have an absolutely legitimate excuse for sporting that dungeon tan. 
  8. Think of the workout you get every single day. You're starting to look buff, man!
  9. Your children will give you zero argument when you say this summer, "We're going to the beach today."
  10. Lastly, many people are complaining that their kids will be in school until July 4th. Try to think of it this way- for every extra day that your kids are in school, it's one extra day for you to go to the beach without them.
That's it. I'm done; with the mofosnow and this took me way longer than I thought it would to think up 10 positive things about all of this snow. I'm heading outside to go bat my eyelashes and wave to Cooper, our plow-guy......"HEY, COOOOP!"