Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hey Baby, Let the Good Times Roll...

... but it doesn't look like they're going to roll any time soon.

As I type, there sits in my garage a brand-new, purple/blue Harley with gleaming chrome, a deep throaty engine, and a seat big enough to fit my big ass. But can I take it out and play with it? Can I practice on it, learning how to balance? Can I polish it with a diaper? Nope. Why? Because I have more news for you, really bad news... and this time, it's me.

We'll wait on that little tidbit, though. This house is so fucking small that I can't even go into the garage and walk around Buffalo Goddess (that's her name, the purple/blue shiny death machine). I had to tilt her up just to get by her and out of the garage. You try tilting up a 700-lb. bike by one handgrip and see how simple it is.

I can tell this is going to be a disjointed post, so please forgive me. I have a lot to say, so I'll try to say it as succinctly as possible. Please bear with me.

First of all, the answer to the SP13 questions are... no, I'm not doing any holiday knitting. That sort of takes care of the second part of the question. There just isn't anybody in my family who would like something like that other than Grandma, and I just don't have the energy or time. I am making a few things for two friends, but they'll be mailed after Christmas. WAY after Christmas.

Let's move on to news about Mom. The surgeon came out to talk to me and Hubster and told us that everything looked good, that he didn't see any errant cells, that he sent out 25 specimens just to be sure, and that he thinks Mom is out of the woods. We should find out the lab results next week, so that will finalize everything. We're all so relieved. This is the best Christmas gift we could have received. She isn't in any real pain - just some soreness - so she's out and about driving and doing stuff (no lifting, though). I have to take her to UCSF on the 9th, so our moving date will be pushed back a few days. Not a problem - we still haven't begun to pack.

Speaking of packing, we hired a mover who gave us a really good price. If our estimated weight goes over what he guessed, we don't pay any additional money. If it's below what he estimated, we get money back. We both liked him, and his bid came in $300 cheaper than the other estimate. Now I just have to call and get the bike scheduled for pick-up.

Right now, we're trying to work out all the logistics. The dates are funky, since the day we want to be there is on a Sunday. I think we're going to have to rent a cabin for two nights, dash to the realtors on Monday to get the key (that's the day the movers are coming), and go home (I love the sound of that) to await the arrival of our possessions. We're leaving the day after Mom goes to San Francisco, so that means a tiring weekend. A lot of stuff is going with us in the truck, things like pottery and anything else which is breakable. I'm not taking all the stuff which could break - there's far too much of that - but the antique stuff isn't going with anybody but us. I don't know what to do about Emma. We'll have to figure that one out. Then we turn around the following week and come back up here for two doctor appointments. That's the last time, though. Why two? In a minute, my dears.

My class for learning how to ride the bike was a huge flop in more ways than one. The first two class sessions went really well. My range riding on Saturday went pretty well (I was scared and tense, so that affected things... then I relaxed and it all fell into place) until we reached the last exercise of the day. I was in the lead and was told to do a California stop at two cones placed in the middle of the range; then I had to ride diagonally to the opposite corner, turn slowly in a tight little turn, and stop when my bike was facing forward in preparation for a fast run and even faster stop at the end of the line. No problem, right?

Big problem.

Everything went fine until I turned the bike around at the corner. Then I don't know what happened. I panicked and was suddenly flapping like a sheet drying in the breeze, hanging on to the handlebars for dear life. At some point, I must have opened the throttle because I was going about 40 mph when I finally went down. The bike fell on top of me (covering me from hip to toe), dragging me along the ground for about 30 feet, and my leg got tangled up in the rear wheel. What was even more unfortunate is that my upper body went in the opposite direction of my lower body, so I wrenched my back. When it was all over, I just laid there on the asphalt until the instructors came running. They wanted to call an ambulance (apparently, I flipped over the handlebars and made quite a spectacular scene), but I told them I was fine. My clothing wasn't even ripped (now I know why they're so damned expensive - they save your skin). The instructors asked me if I was done for the day (duh), so I limped over to a chair to watch everyone else do their exercises. One other gal dumped her bike earlier in the day, but she went on riding. She took a chunk out of her chin and had considerable road rash (she didn't have on riding gear), but she didn't hurt her back. Then they told me I couldn't ride on Sunday, so not to even bother showing up. I did, however, go to the classroom after the day's fun and games to finish up the classroom portion of the class. That way, I wouldn't have to repeat all that. However, I kept falling asleep in class (I finally had to take my meds around noon because I felt so lousy), and they had kicked in. I was taken out of class by the instructors and told that they wanted Hubster to come to the final class on Monday night because they were worried that something bad would happen to me (yeah, listening to what Hubster had to say about all that all the way home was the worst thing that would happen). I kept trying to tell them I was fine, but no go. So I pretty much said okey dokey and didn't go to class on Monday. It was too bad, too - one of the students was the West Coast rep for H-D (he was in town from Wisconsin) and was taking everyone out to dinner. I just couldn't sit there watching everyone else graduating and getting their certificates. It all turned out okay, though - I could barely move for a few days. So now I've got the Iron Horse in the box called a garage just waiting for me to play with it. Today is one of the few sunny days this week, so I was really hoping to take it out and begin playing with it. Oh well - everything happens for a reason.

Now for the bad stuff.

You all know that I've been really, really tired of late. I figured I was out of remission (which I may well be), but I wasn't quite prepared for what just happened. When I went to the prison last Monday, I was given the paper for my annual TB test (when you get your badge renewed, that's one of the things you have to submit). I called my doctor when we got home Monday afternoon and made an appointment for Tuesday. Carol (one of his nurses) shot me up with the stuff they use and told me to come back Friday morning. Around Wednesday night, I began looking at the thing. It was raised and hard, as well as bright red. Hubster did some research and found that the color has nothing to do with it - it was the raised and hard part they were concerned with. It didn't get any smaller on Thursday, but when I went in on Friday, I fully expected it to be okay. Wrong.

The diameter of the thing was way over acceptable guidelines.

The doctor immediately sent me over to the hospital for a chest X-ray (that's how they find out if you have it or not). After the X-ray, the technician told me to wait in the waiting room while the radiologist read the film. About five minutes later, he came back out and told me that the film was normal. Whew.


"Normal" means that I don't have infectious TB. I can't make people sick by being around them. However (and make no mistake about this)...

I have TB.

Are you shitting me? Of all the stupid diseases I had to get next - that one?

The doctor figures I got it at the prison, and I think he's right. It's highly infectious, so all you have to do is walk through the air right after someone who's infected coughs. Normally, your immune system does it's thing and fights it off, but since we all know what kind of a dandy immune system I have... well... I didn't. Apparently, I have just enough of one left to keep me from becoming infectious - at the moment. The doctor told me that had I waited a couple of weeks, I would have been infectious. That would have meant I'd have been thrown into the hospital immediately, which would mean no move. Period. Hubster was joking and calling me Typhoid Pam. He found it funny. I didn't. This shit is in my lungs, and I'm beginning to cough. So get this: I have to take antibiotics for SIX months along with vitamin B-6 (the antibiotic wipes out all your B-6). Not only that, I have to have a blood test now and every three months after that. This is really serious. I'm really, really sick. Today, I can barely walk and everything is spinning around me. I'm supposed to rest as much as possible and not put myself in a stressful situation - things like that exacerbate the disease. I'm moving - that ranks right up there with death and divorce on the high stress meter. I also get sick from antibiotics, so I don't know how much of the shit I'm feeling today is from which corner. This could also be why I dumped the bike - it affects your balance. I asked the doc if I could still ride, and he told me yes - as long as I just practiced and made sure I rested well before I undertook any fun and games. (insert very heavy sigh here) I just looked at my arm, and the damn thing is still there, large and hard and telling me that I'm fucked. Merry Fucking Christmas. I don't even get to open anything from Hubster on Christmas Day because we're moving and I've got a new bike. Now I'm wondering if I should have waited on the bike. Probably. But it makes me happy just to see it, so maybe I'll be able to ride it soon. I hope so. Please realize that I'm NOT infectious - you can't get the disease from talking to me, or touching me, or even being around me if I cough. I don't need to be isolated from anybody. I can work on the shop. I can mail things to you. You are perfectly safe around me (unless you decide to ride on the bike with me). I'm NOT going to get you sick.

So there it is. That's all the fun stuff I can think of to tell you. After I proof and post this, it's back to the chair. I have a long list of things I can and can't eat, so we're having fish and chips tonight. I'm supposed to eat protein, but a portion no larger than a deck of cards. Are you shitting me? I can stick that much up my nose.

Sometimes, I hate being me.


Syd said...

Holy crap! First of of all I am so happy about your Mom, that is a wonderful Christmas present!

But Pam TB! WTF!!!!??? I know the 6 months are going be hell, but you have lots of prayers backing you. Thank heavens it was caught when it was!

Wish I was in CA to give you a hand with the move and Emma, and to see that bad ass bike!

Mrs.Q said...

Yikes. I don't even know what to say. Except that I'm sending good energy your way, lots and lots of it!

Angie said...

Damn, woman! You just can't catch a break!!

Thank goodness it looks like your mom is going to be ok. Now we just have to get you back on track! Six months of antibiotics sounds pretty crappy, but if it does the job, it will be well worth it. Stock up on the yogurt (or take the acidophilis pills) or you'll be on a 6-month yeast infection to top everything else off!

I wish so much that there was something we could do to help, other than sending good thoughts and prayers...know that you at least have plenty of those! :)

Take care of yourself.

CatBookMom said...

Well, hell! Take the antibiotics. Take the acidophilis to keep away the rotten yeast infections.

Do some of the moving stuff, but take lots of breaks. Pack sitting down. Do one box at a time. Cut yourself a lot of slack, will ya? The TB thing sucks big time, but you caught it before it could get even worse and make you sick very long-term. So take care of yourself.

The bike will still be there when you're better. Sounds amazing.

If good thoughts help, you've got them coming your way.

Laura Neal said...

Woman, you have the worst luck of anyone I know! That is saying a lot because my whole damn family is one walking bad luck mob.
For the TB, drink goat's milk. I had to listen to a discussion on it from several people when I worked in the pharmacy, it seems the stuff kicks TB's ass! Don't know about the taste though, doesn't sound too appealing but, if it makes it go away, then by all means swig the stuff like it is tequila.
Great news about Mom, I am so glad that she is okay.
You could send Emma my way, I would love to keep her while you move. :) Don't know if you would get that adorable creature back though.
Your day at Hawg world sounds like something that would happen to me...being graceless is part of my life and maximum embarrassment is part of my daily existence in hurting myself. Never fails, usually a big crowd around when I trip over my own damn feet and hurt something.
Have a wonderful Christmas and get some goat milk...

Bezzie said...

Good lord woman, when it rains it pours doesn't it?

But I gotta say I don't think you're down and out yet...that comment about being perfectly safe around you as long as we don't ride on the bike made me laugh. And it reaaallly hurts to laugh right now!

Hang in there, I know those are trite words, but you're a tough cookie.

Marin (AntiM) said...

Sweetie, no matter how much you hate being you some days, there are a bunch of us that love you being you. Keep it up.