Monday, May 23, 2005

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on

I had my first ever pedicure last week. I get my fingernails done all the time, and so have seen them giving pedicures lots of times. I've debated having a pedicure, because I'm a little squeemish about putting my feet in a tub that dozens of other women have had their feet in -- here's an invention idea, a foot soaking/whirlpool tub with disposable liners! -- but in the end I thought, ehh, what the hell. I will never have another. First off, I couldn't seem to find a comfortable position to sit in with my feet elevated and propped on a little ledge, maybe because I have no stomach muscles to speak of. Secondly, I realized that my naked feet are not a thing of beauty, callused and BIG. But worst of all, I realized my feet are TICKLISH in the extreme. Picture the poor woman trying to put nail polish on my toes while they twitch and tremble and give a good imitation of feet with the DTs. It was awful, and I felt like an idiot, and the polish ended up everywhere, and I finally had to say ENOUGH! and leave a big tip. No sandals for me.

When I was taking lithium, I developed the most awesome hand/body trembles. I'd stretch my hand out parallel to the ground and lay a piece of paper on the back of my hand. It would sound like castanets as my fingers went rat-atat-tat on the paper. At the time I was working as an electron microscopist and if you think that wasn't a hoot, trying to manipulate copper grids 3 mm in diameter under a microscope. I finally took 2 months of leave to get over the lithium shakes and find a med that worked without putting me out of work. I never realized before, how fatiguing it is to shake all over all the time, I was just exhausted trying to do the simplest thing. I think I could have gotten a job at Sherwin Williams, they wouldn't need the paint shaker, just let me hold the gallon for a few minutes.

For a while I was on a medication that caused me to sleep-walk. Usually I went to the kitchen, and often my daughter, whose room is right next to the kitchen would intercept me. She and my son delighted in talking to me, knowing I would have no recollection at all of the conversation in the morning, even though I would reassure them that yes, of course I would remember. Once they even had me sign a paper to the effect that I would remember, and of course I didn't. Guess it's a good thing they didn't take advantage of me, sign away my car title or whatever. They enjoyed it immensely, and regaled their friends with our "conversations". Sigh. I don't get any respect.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Better than ever

I take medication for depression and last week the psychiatrist decided to change it. It seems that I will need about a month to wean off the old one, and am starting the new one right away, so for the next few weeks I'll be double medicated and I can already tell there are side effects. So far, it seems to involve focusing my eyes. Have you ever paid attention to the ads on TV for the various drugs? Lipitor is one of my favorites, at the end of the ad the announcer whips thru all the possible side effects -everything from nausea, headache, etc. to liver damage - they say it so fast you can hardly catch it. I think, Yeah, I want to take THAT medication. Don't you wonder how much those ads cost, and how much they add to the cost of the drug? And they're not OTC, you still need a dr.'s script. And all the stuff the drug reps. unload on the doctors, promoting this or that drug, pens, calendars, toys, clocks, kleenex, not to mention bringing the whole office lunch or dessert. It boggles the mind, when you see it all, and then the drug companies are still raking in billions in profits, which they say they need for the "Ongoing search" for cures for whatever. I'm in favor of research, but do they really need to do all the advertising to the patient, and all the free junk to the doctors? That's not even mentioning all the free travel to "meetings" and other big-ticket items. Somehow, when you compare their excess to the problem regular people have paying for their meds, when they have to decide between which meds they need the worst, or what else they can do without, it doesn't seem ethical. It seems greedy and wicked and uncaring. Our country is so very wealthy in material things, it is a sin that our citizens can't afford medicine that they need. But the politicians throw out red herrings to keep us arguing about the wrong things in life -- crap like whether homosexuals can marry, and wars against the wrong people, to keep from having to tackle the tough things. Maybe I'm not the only one having trouble keeping my eyes focused.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has come and gone, and with it all the guilt that we moms can pile on to our significant others and/or children. I favor guilting them into doing things that last - digging a flowerbed, defrosting the freezer, painting the kitchen (preferably all at the same time) over the easy-come-easy-go things like buying flowers, candy, and taking me out to dinner. Mother's day is a good time to remind the kids of how agonizing their births were, how you suffered when they caught chicken pox, all the barf and poop you bravely cleaned up. A few tales of how you amused yourself in childhoood with nothing but a cardboard box and some sticks, with narry a Nintendo to be seen. How you worked your fingers to the bone helping Mom with the canning, the butter churning, the garden weeding. How you never had a car of your own to drive until you bought it yourself, after you finally got a job at the Piggly-Wiggly bagging groceries. Even if the above aren't true, do you think they'll realize that? They think anything before 1970 is ancient history. They can't imagine having to get up to change channels on the TV, or collecting pop bottles off the road so you could get enough change to buy a soda. Hanging laundry out on the line (no dryer), ironing (no perm. press), scrubbing floors with a bucket and brush. Sweeping and using carpet beaters (no vacuum). Gosh, it makes me tired just thinking about it. Anyway, even if I didn't get all the free labor I could have wished for, the candy-flowers-dinner were nice, the cards were sweet, and I love each kid (and hubby) more than I can say. Hope yours was the same!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Splotch, aka Moby

We lost one of our cats a few days ago. He was fine the night before, eating, washing the face of his sister, playing with his catnip sock. In the morning we found him in the living room, dead, no sign of a struggle or illness. He was only 8, but a very large (over weight) cat. We miss him so. It doesn't seem fair that our companion animals live only a fraction of our lifespans. Taking one into your home and being bound with heartstrings to them is only setting yourself up for the day when they are gone. And yet we do it over and over again. In 35 years we've had 13 cats, 4 of which we still have, some of them living well into their teens. It still grieves me, and the ones you love the best seem to be the fastest to go. We had a Siamese that loved to play fetch with crumpled paper, bringing it back to you to be thrown again and again. If you ignored her when she brought it back, she would pick it up off the floor and lay it in your lap. If you still ignored her she would put it on your chest. If that didn't succeed, she would climb up on you and very gently take your chin in her teeth and hold on, sort of saying, I know I shouldn't bite, but could you PLEASE throw the paper? So funny....I miss them all.