10:42 AM

bon voyage.

aw, Blog, did you miss me?
feeling better keeps me away so long.
i walk with a bit of a hitch is all, although nerve-related nonsense appears to be flaring up on my right side.

i went to UCSF 2 weeks ago & i am offfcially Relapsing-Remitting. it doesn't make me feel any better to be diagnosed, somehow i thought it would empower me or something.

it's New Years' Eve day & bought a dress (a what?!) a DRESS for the occasion.

bon voyagie.

9:57 PM

even when you didn't sleep, they cheer you.

"Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole." ~ Roger Caras

8:16 PM

flax seeds. delish.

today was supposed to be really relaxing, but it was not to be.

i went to get a massage, but getting across the bridge was a headache & i was half an hour late, although i left a half an hour early. i don't envy anyone with the SF commute. they nicely kept my appointment & the massage therapist was great, but she found so many sore spots it was hard to relax. when i finally did, she was done!
all i wanted was to sleep, face down in that face rest.

i wandered the tacky mall in Japantown for a minute, then went up the street to my dietitian appointment. how do people live in the city with a hip replacement or painful anything? i paid $10.50 for parking for 2 hours & spent way too much money in the apothecary-type-shop in the CPMC lobby.

i cried in front of the dietitian & she recommended a different fish oil supplement & flax seed. looks like i got a lot of roughage to eat, starting with oatmeal everyday as a vehicle for all the last tasty seeds & things. (ie: flax seed!!)
how do you explain to a complete stranger the reasons why your dogs eat better than you when you don't even know yourself?

i made it home in less time than it took to get there, somehow. Pixel had been in the crate the whole time, & thankfully didn't shred her bedding. Sake made it on his potty pads about 85% of the time. i was exhausted & hurting. i took a fitful nap with the dogs until Pixel couldn't stand being so bored anymore. i had to have Andy come get her, but it worked out cos Mabel was just as wound up.

now i'm waiting for Grey's Anatomy & dreading my Avonex shot & trying to get myself to think of something else to eat besides an apple so i can take my super sized Motrin & end the aching.

then, figure out how to eat flax seed....

11:20 PM

it's foggy.

fog & cold air used to remind me of Oregon when we would visit my Grandma.
i longed to go back as an adult & explore some more. funny when i went there with Andy it didn't hold the mystique it once did.
maybe cos it was summer.
maybe cos it was the company.

i have appointments in SF tomorrow, & i'm dreading being out of the house all day.
somehow it happened today & i got nothing done but a meeting with Jen. i'm a little tired of talking about my lack of appetite & poor eating habits. that's one of the appointments tomorrow: the dietician.

oh well.
thus is the road to wellness?

5:36 PM

can't keep up tpday.

maybe it's the amount of meds i take, or just the toll of being pain all the time, but i just can't get anything done today. all i want to do is go lay down, & i just might do it again in a minute.

i'm not getting thr house clean or any of the stupid little things around here done. about all i've done is walk the dogs (a maddening task with 2 leashes & hobbling with a cane.) & shampoo Sake's rear end a couple times. (fluffy dogs aren't so cute when they have the runs. elw.)

tomorrow, i suppose. i can't help but feel i'm running out of tomorrow's, though.

6:05 AM

getting some steam...

i'm 10 days post-op & still wincing in pain at my incision site. i had a mini-railroad track of about 20 staples running up my right glut that the farthest thing from comfortable. i got them out later today & the relief was amazing. nothing exciting happened during the surgery, & only after did i need a quickie blood transfusion & i was allowed to go home later the next day. i spent about 5 days at my mom's house, finding their spare bedroom & living room furniture to some of the most uncomfortable things in the world.

i slept each night in pieces in each room, with Sake dutifully following me & making a new place to sleep wherever i went. disappointingly, Kerstin came out for one day then decided she needed to see her husband & went back home. i curled up on the couch & napped for one of my many fitful sleep sessions on Percocet.

my Mommy took care of me the way only a true Mommy can, & i am so grateful for it. she came in the night when i cried, frustrated from pain & fighting with the sheets. she made me whatever food i asked for, & left a bottle of cold water anywhere i went. i went home a week after, & she hugged me tight after she packed up all my stuff that i had managed to strewn about her house. :)

i'm walking pretty well, mostly when i'm well medicated of course, but honestly it feels great to be pretty close to normal (ok with a thick, throbbing scar that looks like it was applied for a slasher flick). i walk nattily with a cane & even sleep comfortably. unfortunately the Joint Center conveniently forgot to schedule my physical therapy appointment, & now everywhere is booked til January!

now here at home, i eyeball the dark moulding & scarred hardwood flooring with much affection. hobbling in pain & gripping the sides of the bathtub to get in the shower makes me think of the conversation Dad & i had after my surgery consult.
i had mentioned Irene & Nicole moving in together, & my suddenly lit up. "i would feel so good about you moving in there. can you get in there somehow? i can't say how good it would make me feel to not have you live alone."
my Dad's usually quite stern when trying to get his point across, but i could see this plea came from his heart. this made me look at my apartment & life (again) anew, & i realized i won't have my high paying job anymore, & Dad would be helping me with rent & more. the least i could do is give up my place & live somewhere cheaper.

i've mulled it over for a few days, & got an email from my friend Joshe that made it all gel. he's looking for a roommate as well, same time frame as me, & really, he strikes me as a great fit. as much as i love the idea of a fun place like being with Irene & Nicole, i know that living with Joshe might be better & more low-key. i talked to him last night & got even more excited. although it means leaving Berkeley, i will still be here for school & can always come back later.

so here i am, looking at places in Walnut Creek & San Ramon like i was almost 2 years ago! surprisingly a few places already said "fine" about 2 dogs, one of them being kinda big! just gotta talk to Joshe again soon. is it wrong i'm dreaming of carpet already? oof, Sake better get his potty training back on track.....

10:36 PM

um, you did what?

(you know you want it.)

i drank 1/2 a cup of soy milk, so sue me.
it led to my own demise! shit!!

apparently, for an anesthetic procedure as lengthy as a total hip replacement, liquids are not permissable.

YES this was something i knew.
WHY did i drink soy milk anyhow?
no clue. i was hungry & couldn't eat? every starving artist knows drinking something like soy milk fills you up!
possibly in my anticipation & haste to get a move on i had a temporary lapse in judgement.

and so.
we're on for 8am tomorrow morning. then we can get this damn show on the road!
but ee gats was i angry. i got an insta-headache i clammed up for about 2 hours.
my parents just sorta waited me out. Mommy dropped me off & gave me a big hug & said, "let's do it again tomorrow, hm?!" i said ok, but no Starbucks this time!

growl. 3 big yawns....hopefully i'll sleep straight through.


(elizabeth you idiot!)

10:23 PM

i miss my dogs already.

tomorrow is surgery day, & in preparation, the dogs have gone to their respective keepers for the time being. i miss them & it hasn't even been an hour. Andy picked up Pixel tonight after dinner & Kerstin picked up Sake this morning. i gave him a bath & was blow drying him as she came in, & he was so happy. his watery little eyes followed me as she carried him out the door. my poor guy.

kerstin has a cold, & won't be staying with me after all. disappointing, but it's true. who needs a cold top of my pile of ailments?

back to crutches & muscle spasms that wake me with searing pain....i only hope that this surgery will be all that the surgeon predicts. ...running, riding, all night in heels... it'll be my mantra.

as well as the recurrent dream of horses, every shape, height, color, all for me to ride.

i can't wait.

11:18 PM

tick tock, tick tock.

my surgery date is close at hand...just 2 full days or so left.
i'm still doing my best to hold steady, be optimistic, look at the benefits...
i imagine myself running. i eyed sleek pants, fleecey zip ups & imagined Pixel running beside me.

i went to my new integrative doctor in SF on Wednesday. i found myself both impressed, excited, & reminded the seriousness of my situation. besides setting out my life story (which has become automatic lately) i flatly stated i was anorexic as a teenager & still struggling with control issues & food. the doctor again painted a rosey picture of the benefits of treatment, on top of being amicable & warm. maybe it's just me, but these people always have sales to fall back on-- selling the surgery, a new diet & exercise plan...sheesh.

in explaining things to her, the dr. asked about why i drank so much red bull, didn't take breaks, & stressed myself so much. to every question my answer started with "Work". 6 months away from work, i can finally see what i've done to myself. how much i gave to work at the expense of my health. ....really not worth any salary or feeling of accomplishment i might receive.

even though i've now realized it, i have a long way to heal; a long way to go.

at any rate, thanksgiving was about as usual, but not without snags. Sake was downright grumpy, growling, snapping at Grandma, Brother & Joshe. he had the runs still & vomited several times. when i got him home he vomited some more, so i let him sleep with water close by. a course of metronidizole & I/D bland diet are in his future.
however today, he bit Ryan on the leg (but Ryan thinks he might have stepped on him, so i'm throwing that incident out). he then went bugshit on Pixel over a chewie, which has never happened!
i'm wracking my brain for possibilities, & there are plenty why he'd act like this. stress, fear, establishing dominance....but which is the right one to treat? i'm giving him some more time before i give up, of course. i'd say we've all been under some stress lately, so we won't mar he's record just yet.

still waiting for the damn check to come from the state. about time to get a move on with school too. trying my best not to feel rushed, get anxious, remember my goals.
the upside to all this is getting things together for Xmas presents. i'm compiling pictures for collages, photobooks & such for friends. i'm sure they'll be happy, i am so excited to see it! especially the one for Andy. Mabel's grown up so much & he'll get to see.

4:21 PM

you guys make me laugh.

"hey Pix, what do you get if you cross a sheepdog with a rose?"

"a collie-flower!! get it?! ahahahah!"

comedians, i swear.

11:15 AM

you're collecting what?

my urine. for 24 hours, i have to save every drop of urine for a metabolic test.
oh, & i gotta refrigerate it.

tomorrow morning, i split my first whiz of the day into 2 more specimen jars, then take the whole pitcher & cocktails back to the lab. nice!

but for today, i'm going to bring Mom some mail, then the 3 of us (me, Pixel & Sake) are going to Lisa's to help her tidy the barn. i'm not sure how far we're gonna get today, but we'll see. i'm bringing extra clothes this time, i always end up filthy when i play up there.

last time i weeded the front yard:

i generally end up grooming Jack:

...which = me covered in whatever i brush off of him & then some.

i even shaved a barn cat:

he was matted as all get out & was grateful for the trim later on.
don't ask what he said during the fiasco.

let's see what's in store for me today on the ole Stine compound....& how dirty my dogs are going to get.

9:48 PM


i escaped to Kerstin's Wednesday night after my orthopedist consult. i took Sake for a bath & managed to lock my keys in my truck, being as distracted as i was. the day went pretty well, but i wasn't sure how well i really had it together. i needed to get away & not look at my life for a few hours.

Wednesday morning, my Dad picked me up & we went to SF, critiquing the Bay Bridge's replacement progress & SF living in general. he dropped me off & went to scour for parking.
i went down to the x-ray lab & changed into the utterly flattering gown that left me squirming in a chair in the women's waiting room for 20 minutes. when the techs called me in, i went easily through the awkward positions for the xrays, impressing the laughing techs. my dad was in the doctor's office when i got there & we went right in.

the surgeon is still an amicable, easy-going guy that talks about your surgery like it's a walk in the park. he looked at my xrays & put it frankly, i have osteopenia, meaning i am a hop, skip & 10 years from osteoperosis. this changes any surgery plans he'd had in mind for me, & now it was more imparitive we get the revision done & work on recovering some bone mass. instead of using screws to anchor a acetabulum plate, i'll have the whole socket resurfaced & have a cup fitted (read: pounded into shape with a mallet!) into place. the whole joint will be titanium & hopefully, pain free for the rest of my life.

we went over the pros: the smaller amount of recoup time, the prosthetic should last a lifetime, etc. we nodded over the doctor's assurance of being able to start school on time & ride horses comfortabley next year.
we left the office with a plan for surgery in 2 weeks, November 27th. Dad & i went to lunch & he talked optimistically about how good for me this is going to be. i agreed with him, ignoring the feeling in the back of mind that felt like something coming undone.

i called Mom & Jef, they both took it in stride & agreed with the reasoning. Dad dropped me off at home, & i was left alone with the dogs & my thoughts. i did my usual puttering when i think, went about tidying & chatting with the dogs, but i kept finding myself sitting in a chair, just staring. i called Kerstin & she said i should come out; i agreed & decided on the dog bath to kill some time until traffic settled down. Andy agreed to watch Pixel, so i dropped her off there & set out for Sacramento.

i drove in the dark with little Sake snoozing next to me & a pile of laundry on the floor. (my excuse not to come, Kerstin wouldn't have it & said to bring it.) i got to Kerstin's by 7, & we started piles of laundry, hers as well as mine. Sake did his share of helping with the laundry:

after watching the Da Vinci Code with Kerstin's husband, we both managed to fall asleep immediately, even though we both generally struggle to sleep. (really the Da Vinci Code was a good sedative. boring!) i spent the rest of Thursday with her, cleaning her apartment, & the many guinea pig cages, including bathing the critters. i used to hate these things, but she really handles them so much they're nice to pet & watch. heck, they were even good for a shampoo.

i hated having to leave, it's so nice to have K's company again & i know she benefits from having me there. she's waiting for a new job to start & has been home alone for weeks, bored & sad.

i left Kerstin's pretty late, this time driving back in the dark with a basket of clean, folded laundry & a sleeping Sake on the seat next to me. coming home, once settled, i plopped back in the same chair after i fed the dogs & emptied my overnight bags. it was still here, that feeling.

here's another thing i have to plow through, mentally & physically. i'm hoping that tacking a surgery onto the end of this year leaves next year clear for success, no foreseen set-backs to endure. i'd hoped my hip taking a back burner to all this MS drama would last a little long. i didn't want to think about it all at once.

but i can do this, i can. just gotta concrete the mantra in my own head....

10:38 PM

tuesday, sunshine & dogs.

we had a pretty fun day, despite having shirked all my plans of cleaning & laundry.
i got up early & walked them right away, but all that did was rile them up!
Sake finally loosened up & gave into Pixel's play bows & arfs to initiate some fun.it was hilarious-- the noises this dog makes!
"rabid ewok" my friend Eric tagged it.

the picture looks innocent, but Pixel was playing nicely to her credit, letting Sake 'win' & make all the noise.

i called Eric to go walk the dogs at campus, & we enjoyed the sunshine & had a nice walk getting to the glade. Pixel chewed her good harness the other day, so she is wearing her Halti head harness until the new one comes. she loathes it, & plows her face into the grass, bushes or whatever's handy as soon as it comes off. after a good face plowing, some crow chasing & general spurts of puppy energy, she sat around with us:

she then went about grazing & inspecting gopher holes while Sake & i looked on:

we ended up meeting one of Eric's friends for some fishing at the marina. he brought his dog too, & i was so relieved. nothing wears Pix out properly other than playing with another dog. Schroeder was a cutie Lab & Border Collie mix, but i claim there's something tall & thin in there too.

the boys cast a buncha times & caught a lot of seaweed. my hands shake too much to get a good pic of the sunset; this is all i got after much swearing & deleting.

Pixel & Schroeder rolled in a bush full of burrs; i spent half an hour at home brushing her out. it was totally worth it. she's fast asleep & so is Sake. i am so proud of him! he kept up with us on the marina trail & on campus. i carried him through the rough spots, & he sat in my lap the whole time the guys' fished. pretty good for a little dog who's been apartment bound for 6 years.

tomorrow is my orthopedist appointment to get a work-up done for my hip revision.Dad's coming with me; he catches the things i miss cos i get nervous & forget to ask.

so tomorrow--we shall see what we see.

11:28 PM


stay on your side!

6:23 PM

sake bomb!

Sake was delivered today with little fanfare. Judy, rescue woman from
OHS was very sweet & amicable; Sake is equally as sweet.

he fits the breed standard for sure:

"This breed is considered one of the most cat-like of the dog breeds in attitude: it is alert, intelligent, and often independent, and it uses its paws to wash its face. A companion dog, it is loving and loyal to its owner, but is distrustful of new people. Chins prefer familiar surroundings, and are very uncomfortable in unfamiliar areas and with new situations. They are a quiet breed, with a much deeper bark than the high-pitched yap commonly associated with many of the toy breeds and are naturally clean."

he's currently sitting pertly in front of the tv, considering it adorabley.
he adores being pet, but won't come to you to ask for it. he's a chow hound for sure! gobbling everything in his bowl & whatever else you have. he's been snoozing on & off, either on the couch or the rug.

did i mention the tongue? it accompanies a charming underbite, & is ever present.

asleep or awake.

Geisha had an initial case of bottlebrush tail (all poofed out), but she was soon not caring & hiding between the pillows-- which is normal.

Pixel of course was perfectly cordial, showing more interest in Judy & being sure her face was thoroughly tongue-bathed, than in bothering Sake. she went with Andy to play with Mabel soon after, to get her well-excercised & let Sake settle in a bit.

Mandy's wedding shower is tomorrow, hopefully all goes with mom.
she seems a little edgy already, having called 3 times so far tonight.
i'm sending her the vibe: "this is about Jef & Mandy."

let's hope she gets it.

4:14 AM

here we are again.

can my mind sense it's 4 am when i'm asleep?
because here we are again, & even the dog looks annoyed by the light being on, we're all up. how cute is it when she rolls over, groans & covers her eyes with a paw? cameras are not fast enough to catch such moments for me.

but i'm up & waiting for my requisite tea to cool, & i certainly hope green tea is as good for you as they say it is.....cos i drink a LOT. i woke up nauseated with my back muscles spasming, most likely the side effects of my Avonex injection last night. i did my best to ignore it but the clock was glowing 4 am so fiercely! i'm trying all the things i've heard of to change my behavior & go back to my generally sleeping-well routine:

Try modifying your nighttime sleeping habits and other behavior before resorting to drugs to cure insomnia. For example:

* Avoid using alcohol in the evening. Avoid caffeine for at least 8 hours before bedtime. Give up smoking, because nicotine is a stimulant.
* Establish a regular bedtime, but don't go to bed if you feel wide awake. Use the bedroom for bedroom activities only. Once in bed, use creative imagery and relaxation techniques to keep your mind off unrestful thoughts. Avoid staying in bed for long periods of time while awake, or going to bed because of boredom.
* Take your TV or computer out of your bedroom. Otherwise, your brain becomes used to the stimulation and starts to expect it when you are there. This makes it harder for you to fall asleep.
* Relax by reading, taking a bath, or listening to soothing music before getting to bed.
* A snack before bedtime helps many people. Foods such as warm milk or turkey have a natural sleep inducer called L-tryptophan.
* Exercise regularly, but not in the last two hours before going to bed. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, has been show to make people fall asleep faster and benefit from deeper and more restful sleep. Sex can be a natural sleep inducer and helps some people.
* Avoid emotional upset or stressful situations prior to bedtime.

eeeeyeah. i'll get right on all that.

reading this, immediately my mind goes to Kerstin, who's had troubling sleeping at night since forever. then my mind rolls to a session with my shrink, who accurately pointed out how i empathize with other people & ignore myself. i agreed, but it seemed there is no foreseeable path to correct this.

this morning when i woke up, my mind was writing a detailed mental letter to my friend Ann, whom i've had an upsetting falling out with when i first got home from the rehab center in July.
another one of those sad tales of a friendship being so much less to the other person & it's apparent when the going gets tough-- & they get going. i went from angry, confused & hurt to really just hurt. i'm not even concerned with the guy involved in all of this, i'm just aching about Ann.

i suppose i should have known, i did see this coming. it's still so shocking when someone you thought you knew, who wouldn't ever hurt you because you were there for them so many times before, would bury you in a precarious stack of lies.

~*at any rate*~

so for tonight.....i have to go back to the South Bay for Mandy's birthday party at Amy's house. the hard part is dressing up cute enough to fit in with the crowd, & staying awake & witty long enough for people to enjoy my company.
no really, lookit these people:

vibrant & gorgeous everyday of the week! Mandy falls right in line with them....
i can't keep my hair red enough to make the cut.

i think i can lay down again now....this chair is making my back scream, & how unfair is it that i have cramps too? was i Ghengis Khan in a past life to deserve these things?

le sigh.