My Craptacular Day Apr 24, ’08 7:15 PM
for Mel ‘s friends, Mel ‘s family and Mel ‘s online buddies

I didn’t sleep much at all last night… and woke up with a hangover.  The kids and I pulled out of the driveway at 7:20am.  By the way, the sun had been shining brightly for at least a half hour.  And there was a raccoon standing at the end of the driveway.  He just stood up and looked me in the eye, raised one paw and kinda teetered shakily.  In my professional opinion, he looked like he just drank a barrel of tequila, smoked some crack, had been awake 377 hours in a row and ate some rotten fish for breakfast.  I nervously called Shelly (our neighborhood animal expert) and told her to look at it when she took her son to school.

I was going to leave for my appt from dropping them off, but I forgot something at home, so I drove back to pick it up.  As I pulled up to my house, I saw Starr across the street.  I was talking on the phone to Michelle, and I think I hung up on her when I realized what was happening.  Starr was killing the raccoon.  (btw -Starr does not have a malicious bone in her body, at least before today.  She loves all animals, and has NEVER initiated aggression against an animal or person.  She loves her little doggie brothers, and our cats, and even loved the farm animals – chickens, ducks, goats – that we had in KS) 

I ran out of the car, screaming and motioning at her, and it didn’t phase her at all.  She was growling and shaking the raccoon viciously, the raccoon was making horrendous noises.  I ended up having to kick Starr about ten times to get her to let go of it.  After that I had to scream and repeatedly kick at her to keep her from going back.  The raccoon was trying to stand up and come towards me.  She was trying to make sure he didn’t.  I got her home, checked her over and she wasn’t hurt or bleeding, so I locked her in the kennel.  I was shaking and crying, I was upset to see my dog doing that to an animal, and I was upset that the raccoon was suffering like that, even though it confirmed to me what I had thought, that the raccoon was sick.  It was just awful.  I called Shelly back.  She told me to go to my appointment, she would handle it.  She called animal control, called me back to tell me they would be there in 15 minutes and said she would check on Starr when she got home.

It took me most of the drive to calm down.  I did make it to my appointment on time.  During check in, my heart-rate was abnormal.  They waited and checked it again, thinking it was because I just walked to their office from the parking lot.  Then my blood pressure reading was high and my heart-rate kept going up.  And then the heart-rate was abnormal too.  Then they thought they heard a heart murmur. 

They took me into my doctor, and we started with my RA stuff.  He started to scold me again, for not having my labs done.  I stopped him short, giving him the examples of the telephone appts he didn’t keep, and the times I have went for labs only to find out he never ordered them.  We decided to set a reoccurring appt, the second Thursday every other month I am scheduled for labs.  He said my numbers were off again today.  There were problems with my hemoglobin,white and red cells.  We talked again about my weight loss, exhaustion, dizziness, and when I get winded and feel like my heart is beating hard.  The whole time we were talking, I was shaky and having tremors…  He decided I needed an EKG.  And some repeat blood tests.  He also ordered the x-rays he had talked about.

He talked to me about the reality that this could mean RA heart related problems… and told me a bunch of stuff I already know.  People that get RA at a young age, suffer more severe long term consequences from the disease.  I am three times more likely to get suffer symptoms of heart disease as a person without RA.  There is an increased incidence of cardiovascular events.  There is also a possibility that the symptoms are related to chronic anemia.  Chronic anemia is a common complication of RA.  I mean, I already knew all this.  I read obsessively about my disease, and I already knew that RA don’t play.  I was informed that this might happen someday, but GAH.  I am 33.  It just frickin’ scares me.  I am a pretty negative person in normal situations… so right now it is a struggle to try to remember I don’t know anything yet.  I keep trying to remind myself that maybe it ISN’T happening yet, maybe it is just a scare.  I might need some help driving this point home for the next two weeks.  (thanks to some special people – you know who you are – for being rational and just talking to me on my drive home.)

Anyway… I had an EKG, and then was fitted with a heart monitor that I will wear for the next fourteen days.  It monitors my heart-rate, and when I feel dizzy, winded, or my heart racing…. I push a button and it takes a reading.  When the little contraption says it is full, I have to call a number, tell them my name and then send the information.  The thingey makes a screechy fax type sound and that results in an ekg-like printout on their end.

The only good news is that the cardiologist said it was ok for me to get my infusion, so it is being scheduled and should happen sometime in the next month.

Here I am with my sexy new accessory that I can only remove when showering.  Have I mentioned that I hate even having BAND-AIDS stuck on me?  It is a lesson in self control not pulling these two sticky pad monitors off of me.  Also, I have VERY sensitive skin and am already developing a rash around the sticky pads.  Good times.










Here it is during one of my heart palps thingeys, which were annoying before but now they scare the toilet outta me.












But the EKG guy?  Either they give him lessons in making people feel better or he was hot for me.  He told me I was beautiful, looked like a teenager and that I should be a model.  (to which I replied, where?  In an old lady magazine?  Watch me rock this LL Bean Sweater Set!!)  He told me I had sweet, sensitive skin… and when we did the phone practice scenario for sending my readings, he told me he was going in the other room and when the phone rang, I should pick it up and say, “Hey Baby!  How YOU doin’?”  haha.

Another incident supporting my I look hot in a heart monitor theory is that when walking down a hall, a big tall attractive black guy looked me up and down and said, “MMMm!  Mmmm!  MMMMM!”

Hey lookit!  I just tried to make the heart monitor positive!  Hold on, I am going to check myself for a fever. 

Ok.  I am back.  No fever.  I don’t know what is going on.

So, anyway….. I arrived home to an animal control card on my door with a note saying, “You are required to call me”  Shelly warned me that they might have to quarantine Starr for 7-10 days, even though she is current on her shots.  I called him back, but got voice mail and left a message.

The kids don’t have school tomorrow.  Austin is staying overnight to help Cody watch Carsten, so I can rest a little….  maybe we should consider another virtual happy hour?  I think I need it.



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