Post-Post Op Post

So after surgery I couldn’t do anything with my right hand which sucks because it’s incredibly dominant.  As in Ol’ Lefty can’t do anything.  Toilet time is the worst.  THE WORST.  Aquarium maintenance is fucking awful but I must say, my back and left arm hurt a LOT so I guess I have that going for me.  The last time my left arm was stronger than my right arm was when I cashiered; right hand grabs the stuff, left hand bags and puts it in the cart.  It’s really weird to use my left hand and I have to stop myself from grabbing things with my right hand out of habit.  So, here’s what I did while I was being pathetic:

BOOKS

They were all so young and the pictures are so haunting.

I read Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident.  I’ve loved this story since I was a child and I was always in the paranormal conspiracy camp.  This book gives some real discussion as to what exactly happened and I think the answer makes a lot of sense.  The only part of the book I didn’t like was that it was half story, half introspective writing and the introspective part bored me.  I can say that it really built up to the ending and explored all the angles.  All in all, it’s a real tragedy no matter what you think happened.

Meow. MEOW.

Second book was The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut’s Windlass by the amazing Jim Butcher.  I’m totally a fangirl but when I started reading it, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea.  For about two pages and then I read it all in one day.  That’s the real fucking shit right there–I wait for months if not years for a new book to come out and the authors have the gall to write a book that I read non-stop in one day.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  So discourteous.  It’s a steam-punk world and the writing is very visual.  I felt like I could absolutely see everything.  If you’ve read The Codex Alera series and of course The Dresden Files some of the ideas and imagery will be familiar but I’m not giving anything away.  I am not saying that he writes some timeless literature, but I will say he writes damn good fucking stories that I can’t put down and I want to binge read them until my eyeballs fall out.

He’s going to be at Dragon Con this year and the Mr. and the Boy are going AND I AM NOT BECAUSE THE WORLD ISN’T FAIR but hopefully the Mr. will get Jim’s autograph on a piece of sheet music that I have.  Then again, I bet they won’t even get his autograph because the lines will be crazy pants.  Maybe I’ll just write him a fan letter and enclose the sheet music for him to sign.  Because that won’t make me sound crazy.

Fan Girls Gone Wild

Last but not least, I read Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).  A fun, quick read that was overly relatable in some places but not so much in others.  You have friends?  You have family?  Okay, Miss Perfect!  But seriously, I thought it was an honest little memoir, funny, and interesting without the gut wrenching confessions that you get in a lot of these types of books.  As in, normal girl does well!  Let’s congratulate her on not getting pregnant at 14 and becoming a heroin addict!   I want to be best friends with her but I’m 100% not cool enough.

NETFLIX AND TV AND CHILI DOGS

There was no Netflix and chill, but there was cravings for chili dogs but I couldn’t drive so I had to settle for nothing.  Story of my life.  Binge watched Expedition Unknown because I like Josh Gates and I miss Destination Truth.  This episode in particular scared the shit out of me.

I also binge watched The Dead Files.  I want so, so badly for it to be real.  I know it’s probably not, but I like it.  Steve DiSchiavi gives it credibility in my mind.  I want it to be real.

I do, I really, really do.

I also think that Amy Allen looks like Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.  Google “Amy Allen faces” to get a chuckle.

Twinsies.

I did watch some movies too, for as much as I could stay awake for.  Drugs are one helluva drug.  Lots of fun silliness–I couldn’t concentrate for the more serious films (sorry, Jiro Dreams of Sushi).

I have also been playing a lot of Civ IV because I don’t need two hands for that.

And that really sums up my exciting adventures.  Whee.

A Tale of Two Steves

Story Time!  Names have been changed because I’m not interested in talking about other people.  This story is about me–it’s my blog if you didn’t notice.

A very, very long time ago, I knew these two guys named Steve Urkel*.  They were friends, and privately I nicknamed them “Good Steve” and “Bad Steve”.  We’ll talk about Bad Steve first.

Bad Steve, obviously.

Bad Steve was a nice guy, but bad news.  He was a drug dealer.  Not a street corner drug dealer, more of a middle man.  Not a king pin, but doing well enough that I saw money, drugs, and guns.  I distinctly remember video security at his front door, a 9 mm under his pillow and an automatic rifle of some sort in the closet.  Aside from all that, Bad Steve was good looking, nice, personable and liked koalas.  He also liked me well enough that we never really used each other for anything.  This was past my days of drug use.  We enjoyed each other’s company–I was no threat and I didn’t do drugs so he could relax and I thought he was fun and to be perfectly honest, it was exciting to be around someone like that.  I was young, naive, and very, very stupid.

Good Steve with Laura Winslow

Now, Good Steve was friends with Bad Steve which is how I met him.  He was half Filipino and very frat-y and gregarious.  A good talker and good looking and he showed me the kind of attention that made me think he actually interested in me.  (As a side note, I don’t usually know when a guy is interested in me, so I’m going to assume in hindsight that Good Steve was very forward).  We talked a lot and tried to make plans (LIKE A DATE WHAT THE HELL) but either he or I always had something come up.

One night, very late, he gave me a call and wanted to see if he could come over and hang out since we never could meet up.  It was late-late, like 1 or 2 AM.  I scrambled around picking up and hiding my disgusting living conditions to make it look like I was a normal person and not the horrible slob I really am.

He came over with liquor and we stayed up drinking and talking and it was fun.  He told me about his family and how his Mom hated that he never dated Asian girls, how his dad wanted him to go into a specific field of work.  He walked around my apartment and complimented me about my choice of books and movies, but most specifically, he told me he was impressed with my art.  I couldn’t believe it!  I thought he was just being nice but of course inside I was screaming “OH MY GOD I THINK HE LIKES ME” because no matter what age I am, I still think of it as ‘a guy likes me’.

We went out into the stairwell so he could smoke a cigarette even though I said he could smoke in my apartment.  (HOW THOUGHTFUL!)  As we were talking out there, he leaned in and gave me kiss out of the blue.  I asked him what was that for and he replied Just because I wanted to.  (OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD I THINK HE REALLY DOES LIKE ME)

Now, at this point I would like to note that I was technically an adult, but I distinctly remember that I wanted to call my best friend right that second to tell her what happened.

We called each other for dumb things a lot.

Since it was so late, I didn’t call her.  As the night went on, I got progressively more and more drunk and ended up in a bad situation.  I think I mentioned previously that I was young, naive, and very stupid.  Very, very stupid.

That night Good Steve turned into Bad Steve and Bad Steve was suddenly Good Steve.  I never saw or heard from the newly appointed Bad Steve ever again.  Good Steve and I talked and saw each other here and there for a few months after but I never said anything about it because what was I going to say?  I know it wasn’t my fault, but there were a million things I could have/should have done to prevent it.  I don’t even know if Bad Steve knows what happened because he was also very drunk.  I don’t blame him as much as I blame my own poor choices but I don’t beat myself up about it.

This was a very long time ago and as weird as it sounds, it wasn’t so dramatic and I’m not overly traumatized.  I’ve had plenty of other things to ruin me, and in the big scheme of things, Bad Steve is barely a blip on my radar.  The thing that does stick with me and bothers me to this day is that I wonder if he actually thought my art was good or not.

(\/) (°,,,°) (\/)

I know that sounds dumb, but can’t recall actually finishing any original piece of art since that time.  Starts but no finishes.  I will make plans to start a sketchbook.  Draw every day.  And nothing.  It’s been such a long time so I don’t think I can blame Bad Steve Urkel anymore, but I do wonder if he planted that seed of doubt in my head.

I don’t expect to suddenly start churning out amazing pieces of original art just because I came to this conclusion.  It took me almost 20 years to compile this random thought, so maybe in another 20 years I’ll have something tangible to show for it.

Someday.

* The guys I’m talking about are actually not Steve Urkel or Stefan Urquelle.  Just thought I’d make that clear.

Post Op

My surgery went better than expected.  I’m not at all reflecting on my Dr’s abilities, but I thought it was going to be a total shit show.

Expectation.

Happily, everything turned out great.  The surgical center staff was UH-mazing.  I mean, seriously.  I’ve been in the hospital too many times and there are so many things they could have screwed up but didn’t.

  • they gave me a gown that covered my ass
  • they had to do an IV on the back of each hand after no water since midnight the night before.  Perfection!
  • everyone was nice and didn’t treat me like an idiot
  • each member of the surgical team introduced him/herself and let me know what their role was going to be

There were some things that I was pretty disappointed in though:

  • I did not wake up with webspinners or laser implants in my wrist.
  • I didn’t get to watch.
  • I bothered with wearing a bra even though I could barely use my hands and I didn’t even need to.

Before we get on with the pictures, I’ll give you a play by play of the surgery.

I had open carpal tunnel release surgery on my right hand.  Everyone and their dog made sure that we were all on the same page so that I didn’t wake up with my left ankle cut in half of wake up with an accidental boob job.

That would have been a damn shame.

The doctor wrote his initials on my wrist because they damn sure aren’t going to screw up.  Left hand got an IV for fluids and right hand got an IV for numbing.  There was also a tourniquet on that arm so that the anesthesia was isolated to my hand/wrist area.

At this point everything was fine except I could feel the knife cutting in my hand.  Not a scratch, but that good, deep cut and subsequent digging cuts through the fat pad.  I said “I can feel that” and they gave me some medicine in my IV and the next thing that happened was the surgical nurse gave me my glasses back and wheeled me into recovery.  NICE!

Let’s be clear, it was no one’s fault that I could feel that and I would like to make it known that I didn’t scream like a maniac or anything.  This is something really important to me for some reason that I can’t place.  I don’t scream when I’m in pain, at least in the hospital.  Not for babies, not for manual removal of blood clots from my uterus, not for knives in my hand.  To be fair, I know I didn’t feel the entirety of the scalpel blade.  And drugs are the best.  Going from “I can feel that” to be to all done and no pain.  I went out to eat at IHOP afterwards and then home to sleep (surgery was early in the morning) and do drugs and watch TV.

Now, pictures!  Click on the black pictures to see the actual disgusting carnage if you want to, I don’t want to upset your delicate sensibilities.

My sweet, sweet nurse.

He was trying to make me feel better and didn’t leave my side for the first 24 hours.  Isn’t Jake wonderful!

July 7, one week after surgery.

Let it be known that I’m a shitty patient–I was not to remove the bandage at all.  I also couldn’t remove that piece of gauze because it was stuck to my stitches and would so I left it alone.  For a minute.

July 13, 2 weeks after surgery

Before I had my stitches out.  Getting them out wasn’t bad at all, surprisingly.  At this point I could shake the Dr’s hand so he was happy about that.  My follow up is in August which at that point I should be able to schedule Ol’ Lefty.

July 13, right after stitches out

Those Steri-Strips are really stuck on there good.  I should not have taken them off immediately.  It fucking hurt.  A lot.  I’m dumb.  You can also see the yellowing bruises from my wrist brace.  That hurt worse than the cut itself.

July 17

Just wishing that the ink would go away.

“RIGHT NOW”- Sammy Hagar

No more black boxes!

I’m happy with the result 1 million percent.  I started to notice immediately that my hand was tingling a lot–the result of nerves coming back to life.  I don’t know yet if I have any permanent nerve damage; only time will tell on that one.  My thumb so far is still quite numb, and less and less towards my little finger.  I also notice now that when I wake  up in the morning, there is no pain.  NO PAIN.  I know, right!  I also notice that my left hand is quite painful in the morning and basically all day.  Since both hands hurt so much, I never gave it much thought–it had become the norm for me.  Now it’s like a whole new world!

You know you know all the words.

I still can’t lift for shit, driving hurts my hand, I can’t mouse, I can’t open things.  I could give you a whole laundry list of whiny, bitch-ass complaining, but overall, I can do things again (slowly) with my right hand (just a little bit).  10/10 will do it again.

Father’s Day Nerd Fun

Ahh, Father’s Day weekend, one of the better times of year.  Usually because Father’s day means I get to go out to dinner and eat steak and possibly watch a movie.  I mean, I have to go with the Mr. and the family but I’d probably do that anyway, so that’s fine.

We *finally* went to see World of Warcraft!  I loved it!  I know, surprise, right?  Truthfully, I had serious concerns.  Let’s face it—fantasy movies have a high possibility of horribleness.

Not all of them.  I mean, some are horrible in the best way.

So first, all of the things I liked:

I didn’t get it at first.

Anduin Lothar: I have nothing bad to say about a young Anduin Lothar. Great acting and completely believable as the loyal hero of legend.  “Who needs boots when your giant balls can keep your feet warm?” – actual quote from the movie*.

I do parties. In fact, I am the party. Click his face for more!

(Former?) Apprentice Khadgar: LOOK AT BABY KHADGAR! You can really see the snarky Archmage in this character and I felt like you could get the sense of the power of his real natural abilities.

All the other things:  While we did wait to see the movie specifically for Father’s Day weekend, I can honestly say I avoided everything possible regarding the movie so that I could be surprised when I saw it.  I didn’t know who was playing who other than Travis Fimmel in the part of Anduin Lothar.  The background shots were exquisite.  The costuming was so accurately detailed and felt so true to the lore, the stories, the games, the books.  Buildings, animals (HOLY SHIT THAT GRYPHON), the ambiance via the towns people, the murlocs, the panning views across Elwynn Forest!

Medivh:  The acting and power were there, actual lore, not so much.  I did appreciate how large scale spells are depicted which stays truer to lore compared to video game mechanics.  I will say I really, really hate how they tinkered with his story, but it’s a good excuse to post this clip.

And for bonus, another cinematic for the upcoming release of Legion.  I haven’t pre-ordered but I will.  Probably a week before launch because I’m lazy.  The cover of Dust in the Wind on top of the graphics is really moving.  I may or may not have cried in the movie theater when this showed.  Don’t judge me.

Now, onto the parts of the movie that I believe fell short.  I give this movie a 7 out of 10 which sounds incredibly harsh but the opportunity for improvement was so high.  I am going to write this as spoiler-free as possible, but it’s also possible I’m the last person on the planet to have seen the movie since it’s been out a whole week and a half.

Knowledge is power.

I do not take the honor of Loremaster lightly.  The story that was written for Garona was so watered down and stylized.  Unnecessary changes.  I understand the use of plot device and the movie is not the book, not the game, and not the lore.  But come on.  She is translating for a Draenei at the beginning of the movie FFS!  Maybe the sequels will make it all come together, but there was NO REASON FOR IT TO NOT BE TOGETHER NERD RAAAAAGE!

She’s making that face because her story doesn’t make sense.

 

That armor is for show. FOR SHOW I SAY!  Garona is still making that face.

King Llane.  Nice enough guy.  Behavior of a king?  Give me a fucking break.  His actions are not the actions of someone who trusts in The Guardian and there was no reason for him not to.  While the scene (and if you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about) was necessary to move the story along quickly, the decision was not his to make.  I’m not going to spoil it BUT COME ON AGAIN.  I am writing in ALL CAPS AND SAYING NOTHING BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN IT WAS SO DUMB HOLY FUCK WHAT A WIENER.

Blame Pip. It’s always PIppen’s fault.

The foreground plants.  This is the dumbest, nit-pickingist of them all but the fucking plants.  The ents in LOTR: The Two Towers ruined plants in movies forever.  Look at how fake that shit is.  I want real motherfucking ents.  PAY MORE FOR THE REAL THING, HIRE ENTS NOT PEOPLE IN ENT FACE. A desert/dry area scene and a spot overlooking the orc camp.  This kind of detail pisses me off.  There were plenty of other outside scenes where the setting is perfect.  One unnatural, plastic-y rustling and my suspension of disbelief is out the window.

Orcs.

Because this makes more sense.

Did we have to change the story behind every major orc character?  Really?  That’s not how this works!  That’s not how any of this works!

Your skin is green because you are full of lies.

7 out of 10 isn’t bad.  I’d own it, but not pay to see it again in the theater.  I loved it more than I didn’t and as far as movies made from video games, comic books, novels, etc, I’d say it did well.  The onus is on the second movie now to show why all these changes were made and to move the story along at an acceptable pace.

Overall a good Father’s Day.  It’s usually an easy time to get lost in nostalgia but this is the first time in a long time that it felt as if we were all living in the present.

A nice present indeed.

*actual quote is actual quote.  Watch the movie, it’s in there.

Surgery Update

So I can’t have surgery until June 30.

Fuck.

It’s going to take so long until I can flip the pickle again.

I know it’s shitty to bitch about it, but I’m so shitty.  I am forcing myself to do all the things that I won’t be able to do for who knows how long.  I was able to complete a cross stitch for the fancy Xingible and even a cross stitch note so I can make fun of myself.

*F*A*N*C*Y*

I sent that along with some other goodies, like some potato chips and miscellaneous treats.  I’m no hero, but I personally ate a few bags of those to make sure they were worthy of shipping across the globe.  Since I have a bit of time before surgery, I thought I would kill myself a bit more for one last big project.

Guess the design!

I can’t wait to get some more progress on this.  Hint:  it’s for the whole family, not just one person.  I’m already trying to plan the next one.  Then again, maybe when this is all done I’ll be itching to do something completely different.

Random Fear: Oceans and Whales

I have always been fascinated with and terrified of the ocean.

I think it’s a fairly common fear, the ocean is vast, unexplored, and what we do know of it is beautiful but terrifying.  One of my favorite Youtube channels has done a few ocean-themed videos:
5 Most Mysterious Underwater Sounds Ever Recorded, Mariana Trench, 5 Extraordinary Sea Creatures just to name a nightmare inducing few.

If you ever get a chance to go to the Georgia Aquarium, you should go.  It’s expensive but the souvenirs are comparatively reasonable, lunch not so much.  3 years ago it was $3 for a bottle of Coke so I doubt the price has gone down or anything.  Still, totally worth it.

Below a whale shark. See, totally worth it. Amazing.

As a person who loves fish, it seems strange that I’ve always had nightmares about fish and whales.  I can’t actually recall any specific dreams about the ocean, just things that live in it.  The dreams often sound ridiculous or even cartoonish:  start at the 10 minute mark.  But all of them have a really ominous tone about them.  A fish tank, a swimming pool, something with dark green-black murky water.  Something is moving in the water.

Something big.

Often it’s a whale.  A huge whale where there should be no whale.  I can’t see the whole thing because it’s so big.  It breeches the surface, and sinks back down into the darkness.  Just typing it out is really uncomfortable to me.  I am drawn to and at the same time repulsed by whales.  On a spiritual level which I rarely discuss here (or anywhere for that matter), I have bits and pieces and hints of what it all means but at the moment, I’m choosing to deny and ignore it all.  I’ve had these bad dreams since I was a child and I’ll probably have them until I’m an old(er) lady.

Oh, that’s not terrifying AT ALL.

Brain Dump: Surgery

I’m going to have surgery!

Not this surgery, though it’s urgently needed.

I’m getting my stupid ass carpal tunnel fixed!  I’ve complained about it from time to time.  Started during my first pregnancy with very, very light swelling.  Apparently, it just focused on that one spot.  If you are not familiar with carpal tunnel, maybe check out this video of open carpel tunnel release surgery -or- just look at this picture:

Just some information for you.

Outpatient, local anesthesia, cut open your hand, find the transverse carpal ligament and cut it.  Stitch it all up and get the fuck out.

FYI, I made the kids watch that video.  This could be the thing that pushes them into medicine.  Or therapy.  Whatever.

It has been getting worse and worse and worse.  Swelling, pain, numbness all the time.  Yes, my finger tips are numb as I type.  But I know how to type and I can still make my fingers move, so that’s how I’m still creating this magic.

I wish I could move my fingers.

It hurts to drive.  It hurts to go to the bathroom.  Sleeping is a pain.  Driving.  Buttons on clothing?  NAH let’s wear sweats for the rest of this blistering hot summer.  I have been trying to cook and freeze meals while I wait on a surgery date.  *sigh*

3 months of recovery?  On average, anyway.  Other people just ready to go a couple weeks after surgery.  Right hand first, then left.  I need to get both done before August because of my insurance.  I have a $500 deductible right now.  $500!  My last insurance was $4000.  PER PERSON.  $8000 per family, so basically, it was financially practical for all of us to get into a plane crash rather than just one or two people get hospitalized in a year.  It’s all about planning, people.

Co-pays don’t count against deductibles though, so all those $50 specialist co-pays are adding up.  It’s a fucking racket.

Every doctor, ever.  SMOKING.  HYPOCRITES. 

I have so much to talk about but my mind is very scatterbrained.  Hopefully I’ll get scheduled tomorrow so I can have a countdown.  In the mean time, I’m just driving my hands into the ground doing all of the things that I’m about not going to be able to do.