Nerve Blocks and Other Fun Shit

marty feldman young frankenstein

Home from another visit to Dr Mengele. Note: not his real name.

His specialty is pain management which makes the mind wander to ‘why does every patient exiting the procedure suites appear worse than when they left the waiting room?’

Although I stayed at a Holiday Inn Suites six years ago I am not a doctor. Who am I to question such things?

Laying prone on the surgical table, panties pulled down, in a quite ignoble way,  to reveal my lower back and top of  a lily-white flat Irish-Hebraic ass he commenced sticking six shots of white hot Lidocaine into my lower back. To numb it.  What the fuck indeed.

Thankfully heeded mom’s advice and wore a pair of ‘wares with no holes or fading.

After said joy, the real fun commenced with the really long fucking scary needle. To probe the nerves. Playfully called a Paraspinal Facet Joint and Nerve Root Injection Block Test. When the real block is done the same procedure will be performed, but with IV sedation and the nerves will actually be burned off with a laser.

Damn, get to the point.
Okay, so I’m stretched out mumbling obscenities between gasps of pain and Mengele says ‘Hmmm seems as though you have a lot of pain up near where the scoliosis is prominent.’

‘Oh you must  have gotten the films back from the neurosurgeon’ I said.  He replied “No, look at the monitor’. So I did. Wow.

Doc says ‘Yeah, quite a spine curvature there.’
In a totally straight voice I stated…….‘What hump?’

He laughed so hard that the entire operation had to be halted for a minute.

Best fucking grin I’ve had in a week.

Be Well,

~Miss R

Back Good. Fire Bad.

Many of you;  okay three,  readers know that I’ve had a nasty back surgery that failed. Well not failed. Just didn’t help. And hurts worse now. But NOT failed. -eye roll-.

The back is degenerating so quickly that there’s nothing but surgery ahead (two in the next 5 years and two more in ten year. If I said yes. Shockingly said to doc…no thanks) and in 10 years the disc degeneration will be up to L1.

My happy go lucky neurosurgeon told me I’m fucked then; medical science hasn’t caught up to fixin’ that upper part of the spine. So off to pain management and voodoo spinal electo-stim for me. Ohhh and a drug test. Ooops. For the first time in months I actually had a few hits of smoke last week. Doomed I tell you.Damned hippie!

Point for them is that the DEA are fuckers. Actually not fuckers; too many docs over-prescribe.
Blah blah blah.

So I have the spine of an 80 year old….Hmmm wonder what that 80 year old is doing for a spine? -rim shot-. Once again see if you can name that paraphrase. Hint: Peter O Toole

Spent almost two hours practicing piano today. Longest, and first, time I have been able to sit upright to practice for a year and a half. I am SO FUCKING THRILLED!!!! Did it hurt? Hell yeah. Did I get release and love the music I played till I cried? HELL YES!

All is klar der kommisar.

Here’s a video from my FAVE piano player. Best in the business; and I grew up with Elton John, Randy Newman and Billy Joel. Ben Folds puts them all in the dust…

Be well my friends!

~Miss R

A bit of a PS: If you don’t know: Nick Hornby wrote Hugh Fidelity and About a Boy (and all the lyrics on Ben’s most recent album), Ben folds is a genius both on piano (doesn’t show in this video) who is also a drummer and writer of  full orchestrations (with symphonic credits directing and scoring his music for world reknown orchestras) with the same influences that I have, and Pomplamoose is a newer band.

I’ve Been Missing You

Apologies to the great bloggers that I follow. It’s been difficult to keep up with you all, due to the long, painful and mind-numbing recovery from the spinal surgery.  The mind-numbing part is physical; a result of the damned pain and pain medications keep me from concentrating too long.  Reading has been the worst. And it’s one of my greatest loves. Along with music and sex of course. Hey I’m in physical and psychological pain here, not fucking retarded.

Am pretty sure that this situation will never end. I’ll be the one at Burning Man in the faux-fur covered, LED lit, Diet Coke and Menthos powered pimped-out wheelchair handing out Tasty Beverages to the masses. Plan on finding a way to attach a buggy or large cooler on wheels to said wheelchair. Feel free to send blueprints.

In the meantime I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on reading. And at least I’ve written something, even if it isn’t amusing.

Welllll maybe a teeny tiny bit. Like my attention span. The cat and I have been spending more and more time together watching shiny objects.

~Miss R 

Broken Engine

Well it does has something to do with a motor, Okay, motor skills actually.

The whole  ‘engine’ thing was  more  than a Silly Putty stretch and more like a Stretch Armstrong  kind of stretch.

If you don’  recognize the two items that I’m referring to above  then you’ll just have  fuck  yourself and do some Googling.

And get off my lawn you kids.

There have been very few posts the last three weeks.  The surgery was long and arduous.

Am still using walker, taking opiates (which I a am weaning  myself off of )  feeling  intense pain

Right now the engine is broken and the Motor Skills are irregular and slow. My cognitive abilities appear to be  normal as well.

What’s worrying me is that it seems I’ve forgotten how to type.  Now what kind if weird side effect is this?!

Called doc yesterday to ask some questions.

Forgot to ask about this little tidbit.

Will let you know as soon as I can. This blog has taken over two hours to write.  It should have 15 or 20 minutes. The spelling is so bad, because I’ve forgotten where the keys are, that spellcheck doesn’t recognize th,yjindu.gyuiod!

~Way fucked up in Reno

Can someone please open a window in here?

Had the stitches removed from my belly button on Wednesday. Oh joy. The other stitches (at the bikini line and internally) will dissolve over time.
Now there’s something creepy enough for Halloween.
Just wish that the pain would dissipate. Dammit sometimes being an acolyte of immediate gratification is a bitch.
the doctor told me to quit being such a stoic and take the damned Percocet more often. It’s gonna hurt for a lot longer.

God I love
Fall. Well normally anyway. Fall in Reno is kinda odd. There are a few deciduous trees here in town. Luckily I live in an older neighborhood and the blocks surrounding me are planted with many of these. Their leaves turning bright gold and red. Falling in the afternoon breezes.
Although I cannot see them float to the pavement and lawns I notice them there when looking outside from time to time.
I imagine the scent of fecund earth and am revitalized. It’s torture being confined to the house right now. I can’t open a window by myself because they are too heavy. Every so often I’ll wander to the front door, open it, and stand in the doorway. The sunlight touches my face and the aroma helps to heal my body and mind.

This season brings enough frost and occasional sprinkle of rain that the land releases the smell of nature.
Changing the seasons. An end to the year.
I love wearing sweaters, used to enjoy drinking mulled wine, and of course Halloween is my very favorite holiday.

The traditional ancient Celtic New Year is October 31st. In fact, the Christmas carol Here We Come A’Wasailing is a direct tie to our modern Trick or Treating.
On New Year’s Day all of the village would visit each other, bringing food, drink and visiting with neighbors. A vestige of that is all that remains on our modern All Saints Day/Halloween.

The Irish word for New Years Day is Samhain (literally summer’s end in Gaelic), for those of you who are interested in Celtic history.
When Christianity swept through Western Europe New Year’s was changed to the Winter Solstice to coincide with another change made by the new religion; aligning the birth of the Christ with Celtic/Pagan celebration of the re-birth of the sun.
Now our culture celebrates both sun rise and son rise.

The logic of ancient peoples makes sense. The old year ended when the harvest was done. The God died and would not be re-born until December 21st. Then the days start to become longer, the earth re-awakens, and the cycle beings again.

My own life has always seemed to follow a pattern which coincides with the cycles of our small universe. New jobs, new loves, endings and beginnings. Even such mundane things as amoveoccur in the Summer. Life begins anew in November. Coincidentally the month of my birth.

This is probably a reason that Fall has always been good for me.
An Irish/Welsh complexion glows in the breezes and filtered sunlight of Fall. We potato-eating whisky-loving people don’t fare as well in the summer. Witness my cupboard stocked with various sunscreens.
Having a red nose from too much time in the sun or at the pub does not count as a healthy glow. There’s a saying in the Program “Without the Irish, AA Meetings would be held in phone booths”.
Another digression. Shocking isn’t it.

My body is healing and changing as the old year ends. I’ve no idea what the New Year will bring.
Here’s a bit of synchronicity though; out of the hundreds of songs in my iTunes folder “New Year” by Death Cab for Cutie just started playing.

So I dreamall day and night now. Of the coming winter, feeling better, monsters, want, joy, everything. Good and Bad.

My hope is that this New Year brings a farewell to tumultuous change and pain and a greeting of promise, hope health and love.

Athblian shona duit!
(Happy new year to you!)

~Miss R


Rene Descartes Was a Drunken Fart

The Boredom of Recovering from Surgery is sucking away my will to live.
Or write. Or change the channel

This was pointed out by a writer friend whose blog I regularly investigate. Reading and writing go hand in hand for me. Or rather pen in hand, or keyboard in hand. Just give me a hand. Ah crap. Evidently I’m afflicted with Cabin Fever.
There’s a reason this was the name of my former retail store. Lookee, here’s my Logo. It must be true!

Cabin Fever Games was the retail website. Lots of time spent designing graphics and building that baby

Watching hours of television may be the direct cause of my writer’s block the last few days.

Sure, I’ve been watching DVDs from Netflix (worth every penny whether you’re under house arrest or have had major abdominal surgery) but this still implies a passive existence.
Conversely, reading stimulates the brain.
A book may be so poorly written that I throw it with a satisfying whack against a wall. Conversely a tome may exalt me or give the impetus to write a piece dealing with the same subject. Taking a tertiary point from a great writer’s pages and running with it is a favorite past time. It’s the little and seemingly insignificant ideas that permeate my being and send it off on thoughts and ideas of it’s own.
Either way it’s exercise, whether of the brain or throwing arm. Unfortunately even when healthy I throw a book like a girl. Some day I’ll throw a book like a woman.

On Monday the pain from the hysterectomy became worse and I developed another frightening symptom as well. This scared me. In fact it scared me so much that I actually DID stay in bed and follow the doc’s instructions for 3 days.
Hence the seepage of cognizant thought from my frontal lobe and the apparent successful coup undertaken by the limbic portion of my brain.

Limbo in the Loo!

Y Mon, everybody Limbic!

So it’s Day Four since the above mentioned day and a half of Scary Effects That I Probably Brought On Myself.
Felt much better by last night, the pain is back to manageable and nothing else is amiss.
So today’s To-Do list includes arming myself with fresh reading material.

My favorite books are non-fiction, especially biographies of obscure historical figures and those dealing with science and physics. Granted the latter have to written on a level of my understanding, but there are more and more fabulous books every year. No longer shackled to unreadable dissertations on quantum theory or Scientific American articles my interest in these subjects has grown.

Here are a few recommendations for all of you shut-ins.

There’s a brilliant blog that I read regularly: Bad Science. The writer has a scientific background (Oxford educated M.D.) and a sense of skepticism and irony that makes me laugh out loud.

I’ve plowed through 4 great books on things physic since my surgery and for your own edification here they are:
1. Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain
–wonderful book by Antonio Damasio. The author kicks Descartes’ ass in regards to the theory that the logical mind is separate from the emotional. This is great for anyone silly enough to have obtained a degree in Philosophy (or Music) or cunning enough to have a degree in the sciences.

2. Einstein’s Universe: The Layperson’s Guide
–by Nigel Calder. Simple to understand and a pretty short read. This is great for reiterating the foundations of physics AND the amazing work of Albert “The Chick Magnet” Einstein. Found this one used for under a dollar. Check the local thrift stores for this. I’d have paid full price for it.

3. First You Build a Cloud: And Other Reflections on Physics as a Way of Life
— The author of this book, K.C. Cole, writes in a style that is as accessible as that of Brian Greene. Thank god. Great bios in here of famous physicists. Straightforward examples of every day occurrences and situations which she correlates with specific theories and disciplines. Tres Cool.

4. The Universe in a Nutshell
—by Stephen Hawking. What can I say? Stephen Hawking helped rekindle my enjoyment of science, which had lain dormant since microbiology in my junior year of college. The graphics are great. Not only are you able to ‘hang with Hawking’ but you’re learning and contemplating some of the newer theories in science. Did I mention how I loved the illustrations? You know, I only read Playboy for the articles too. Okay sure, the pictures are a bonus.

After devouring these books my brain was full and for some idiotic reason it whispered ‘You are cured. Ignore suggestions for abdominal surgery aftercare. Go forth.’ Cured. Amen Brothers and Sisters!
At this juncture I began doing everything which was contraindicated for a neurotic woman recovering from a serious operation. I BROKE THE LAW! If only it were the law of gravity I could stop playing hackysak with my boobs.
Shredding the doctor’s orders I emerged from the sepulcher. A trip to the market (no, I didn’t drive) and walking too far among the aisles. Followed by lifting more than 5 pounds. Bending over, albeit slowly and not all of the way, to pick up everything my daughter drops in her daily oblivion to housework. I’m thinking that her algebra book alone probably weighs 7 pounds.
Conclusion: I broke the law and the law won. Stupid song. D’oh.

Strangely enough my body rebelled and the last four days were a living semi-coma (akin to a semi-colon and initiated with the same frequency) of passive Television/DVD/Blank Wall observation and Oxycodone.
On day five of my crime against nature spree I summoned my best indentured farmer voice: I got bett-ah.

To paraphrase Descartes:
(okay can’t help myself singing at this point “Rene Descartes was a drunken fart who was rarely ever stable, Eidecker Eidecker was a boozy beggar who could drink you under the table….” Go find the Philosopher’s Song by Monty Python and then you can sing along with me next time.

I write. Therefore I am.
and I’m always write

~Miss R


Miss R at work

This is my desk at work. Those are my feet. Arbeit macht frei motherf**kers!