The perfect gift for cervical spondylosis

Three years later with this little blog and four years later with sticking to traction altogether and my neck is still attached to my head and my hands and arms still move! Truly time to celebrate……what do you get for a fourth anniversary for traction…..it seems like there’s a good joke there that is currently escaping me!

It’s just a brief stopping point to remember where I’ve been and where I’m going with this thing around my neck and my ten pounds of water. Who knew such a simple, silly contraption could save me from not being able to use my hands….I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. I’d wake up every morning with my arms completely numb, so heavy and hurting like crazy, gratefully I rarely wake up now with some tingling in the hands and immediately know it’s a sign to put in some more time in traction. I was told my neck was that of an 80-year-old person, only thing was, I wasn’t 80! I’ve listened to music, read, prayed and complained here but the time has passed and I’m still hanging. Happy Anniversary, here’s a toast to traction……100 year old neck here I come!

Chew on that

When you’re a kid gum is a big deal, you think about when you’ll be allowed to have it, how much will you get, what flavor will it be. At some point an adult tells you to close your mouth as you chew your long-awaited treat and it’s your first hint that maybe gum is not as exciting for everyone as you thought. When it gets stuck to your school uniform and your Mom is taking an ice-cube to your hideous plaid skirt you start to get a new look at gum. When a giant bubble bursts all over your face and tangles in your hair you can’t believe that gum can hurt. On a dare when you reach under the cafeteria table at lunch you have your first realization of the sheer horror of dead gum left behind. Somewhere over time you too begin to develop rules about gum.

I don’t care deeply about a lot of things. I save my energy and passion for what I believe are the big issues, anything else just doesn’t garner much of a fight from me or for that matter, even a strong opinion. I am the kind of person that picks their battles carefully, I don’t go out on a limb or strongly commit unless it’s huge for me. So where does the earth shattering topic of gum fall in all of this…..I think there should be a couple basic rules, when finished with your chewing sensation properly dispose of said gum, if you don’t know what that means, you probably shouldn’t be chewing it. No chewing in church, and that includes all funerals and weddings, no matter their location. Recently after watching the news the other day I’m now willing to add another location to the list. I have to admit it’s one that I never thought about before I saw it. I don’t think you should chew gum if you are on trial for murder. Or I guess maybe on trial for anything, but definitely not murder. For me, it’s hard to take a person seriously when they are chewing gum. I mean why bother to have a nice hair cut or a new outfit to impress the jury if you are chomping on gum. I’m not saying you’re a killer but it just isn’t right. Same as my feelings for just as you are about to say ‘I do,” I’d prefer you not be chewing gum or blowing a bubble. So on further close consideration I now think it’s best to keep gum out of the court room. In fact I’m willing to say, chew away in the class room, you’re a kid, but when or if you are ever on trial, NO CHEWING. I know I’m going out on a limb here, but I just thought this was worthy of amending my rules.

Ok, just some more thoughts while in traction that I know you can’t live without, carry on.

Animal Planet

You’ve heard of pet therapy, well as I sit here in traction I think it might be nice to have something fluffy to hold onto, perhaps a furry little kitten or a cuddly puppy. For me though I actually think that’s a dream or maybe a nightmare. When we moved out of my childhood home I found a dog collar in the garage, let’s just say, I don’t ever remember having a dog. The days of having a Rover around the house were part of an unspeakable pet past.

A friend once asked me to keep an eye on her cat while she was out-of-town, to stop in each day and put out some food. I asked her if I’d have to bathe the kitty and she responded with a sigh and then said, “you weren’t kidding when you said you knew NOTHING about pets!” Why would I lie about such a thing?

My pet stories are all tragic and true. I had a canary named Simon, after the 10th time my Mom had asked me to clean out his cage she placed him on the back porch and told me that’s where I’d find him until his home was clean. So hours later I stroll my 12-year-old self out there and pick up his cage to say hello and out he flies from the bottom of his living quarters that I suddenly realized was now missing its’ tray. As he flew to the woods behind our house I screamed and my Mom came running. She consoled me with the reassuring words that we lived close to an interstate and before I knew it he’d be far south and living in sunny Florida. (You gotta love the stuff that Mothers come up with on the fly) Although it was trickier for her to smooth over the next year when the wolf dog next door tried to make Simon II into the blue plate special, Simon the sequel headed to birdie heaven within 24 hours.

I had so many fish swim to aquatic heaven I lost count, even a stray cat we named Tigger gave up on us. But the story that lives forever in my SPCA hit list life is my little turtle. He was about ten days old, didn’t even have a name yet, we returned home and couldn’t find him in his terrarium. Wasn’t hard to immediately notice turtle was not in his glass home and nowhere to be found. When one of my brothers offered to help find him I desperately accepted. Within minutes the sound of the crunch shook the room…….yep, big bro accidentally squished turtle under his Chuck Taylors into a little pile of oozing turtle guts and simultaneously burned the desire for further pets forever from my heart.

My Mom quickly announced her term as pet grandmother was over. She was retiring the role and I believe still recovering from the dog incident from ten years earlier. Apparently an elderly neighbor had said our dog “snapped” at him and my brothers were told their doggie was going to a “beautiful farm to run free”…when my eldest brother figured it out sometime later he never let them forget Buck’s euthanasia.

It’s kind of like God sent our family a memo that said, “Look, but please don’t touch.” So as I sit here today I’m thinking about my first Simon who flew south, picturing his little yellow self flying in and out of his time share in Boca Rotan. Soaring high over an ocean filled with all my guppies and goldfish. Not being a “pet person” is one thing but to be a danger to them is an unsettling other matter. I think once you realize you aren’t good at pet care there’s no coming back. Don’t get me wrong I’m the first girl to appreciate nature, but it has to be from a safe distance for all involved. So instead of trying pet therapy I’ll just squeeze this fluffy pillow as my neck hangs in traction and know by doing so I’m actually saving a Spot or Sprinkles life.

Is that a sink hole?

I think I might have a sink hole in my back yard. If I put on my glasses I’d be able to give you details about that, let’s just say I need to put my glasses on more often. I’ve been blessed my entire life with excellent vision, but lately my eyes have been a little blurry and it’s amazing if you put those glasses on you can see so nicely. But I’m not going to wear my glasses in traction, that’s like wearing your glasses on a ride at an amusement park, it’s just asking for trouble. So I don’t put them on when I get up because I’m not accustomed to wearing them and then I do traction and the next thing I know I’m looking out the back window and I think I have a growing sink hole and I can’t find my glasses! This could be the most exciting thing to happen in my backyard EVER.

As for keeping up with my glasses I’m tempted to get one of those strings but I knew a person once who wore one around their neck and they were a combination of kind of mean and a little too pretentious for my taste and I’m concerned about cross contamination. Plus the thought of putting anything around my neck EXCEPT a scarf with a built-in heating pad really isn’t appealing. Visualize the Pillsbury Dough Boy wearing a scarf, something that would match his gentle doughy neck, that would work perfectly for me. When it comes to what I want to touch my neck I’m “light and fluffy” all the way. The oxygen it seems is officially being restricted since I’ve now compared part of my body to a crescent roll and it feels like a fairly accurate description.

Ok, this is where my head is today, as for my glasses, on second thought maybe they’re in the sink hole.
I’ll keep you posted.

How do you spell snooki?

So I was thinking, who the H E double L is snooki? Why do we care who she is or is it just people of a certain millenium that do. I’m officially drawing the line at snooki, (by the way, am I spelling that correctly, I hope not.) Ok, Paris, Lindsey, Brittany, we’ve put up with a lot and now, Snooki! Please, please, someone make it STOP!!

I mean I’m not solving world peace here with this get up strapped to my head but at least I think about it once in a while. Jeez……Snooki, really, is she the best we can do?
Please, please, please, someone make it stop. Make us know how to spell, be able to pick out countries on a map and name our state representatives BEFORE we know who the H E double hockey sticks Snooki is! Heck, I’d even settle for knowing how to properly open a bag of chips to prevent them from flying thru the room, anything, anything is better.

Ok, taking off this harness from around my head and jumping off the soap box, well, not really, I don’t jump anymore, maybe Snooki does though.

Fall Fashion

Now granted, in the name of full disclosure I’m currently wearing a fuchsia colored polo with “Barbados” embroidered in the left corner, khaki pants and blue Vans, hardly a fashion plate. Perfect combination of laziness, comfort and bad taste. So in the last couple of days I’ve noticed others too are struggling with what to wear on transitional weather days. I saw a middle-aged man wearing a backpack over his shirtless tattooed torso, saw a young woman in a sequined black tank top pushing a stroller, saw a 40 something woman in hot pink shorts with “BEACH BUM” across her behind. But my favorite look was what appeared to be five-year old twins, one still hanging onto the last glimpse of summer in a floral sun dress with matching flip-flops as her sister chose jeans and a XXL gray hooded sweatshirt falling fashionably over her eyes.

So the most I know about what might be fashionable this upcoming season comes from the Today Show, borrow dark lipstick from a vampire and dress like you’re in an episode of Mad Men and you should be all set. I was thinking about a child I saw in Port-au-Prince, he had a shirt on that said, “my grandparents went to Ontario and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” or some catchy phrase like that. I remember thinking that shirt was a long way from Ontario or anyplace folks read English. What one person thinks is cute another finds essential. What one finds chic another finds a waste of time and money. I wish I had a better fashion sense, I know folks that do, you know who you are, but it’s not me. I’ll never wear something that was last seen on the runway in Milan, more like the back corner of Target.

Well, enough rambles for today, this sling around my head seems to match everything!

Was that a UFO in aisle 6?

Nope, just a little boy strapped into a cart hurling a bag of frozen peas at his brother, but when it comes to my grocery store you may wonder. It’s built on an old land fill and the surrounding property is swampy in a part of the world without many swamps. Yet, neither of those tidbits leads me to believe it’s inhibited by aliens, it’s just a unscientifically weird store. Yes, there’s a guy that no matter the season he’s singing a unique rendition of “Take me out to the ball game” as he bags the groceries. Yes, there’s an ever-changing flow of clerks leading you to believe they may be alien abductees. Yes, the fellow customers may make you wonder if they landed there departing a flying saucer AND yes, some of the folks smell like they’ve not been introduced to some earthly comforts. BUT, all in all it’s not any of those things in particular.

It’s just a goofy, quirky and at times, sad place. It’s a newer store but you’d never know it. It’s the kind of place that seems like the bread always falls off the truck. I’m not sure why I shop there except it is convenient but I easily have other options. I think I just have a fondness for it because it’s very real. There is no pretense in this place. You easily see various forms of authentic behavior exhibited in every aisle. It’s the furthest thing from alien, it’s a very human place.

Sometimes stores try to make the shopping experience something filled with escapism, like a fairy tale, that’s not happening here. Walking these aisles you’re not overcome by make-believe or lost in outer space in the freezer section. You see it all clearly here but you don’t need 3D glasses. I’m sure there are other grocery experiences like this in the world where people don’t have a lot of patience or luxuries. It’s just the kind of place that when you make that quick stop for milk and whatever you determine that day to be “essential” you often leave with much more, just not necessarily in your cart.

glacier, blizzard, antartica, snow cones, frozen tundra

…….I’m trying to cool off. Sitting here with this thing around my head. This “thing” is an in-home cervical traction device, my head is currently wrapped in it and feels like it is hanging. The harness like thing around my head is attached to a metal piece that looks like someone perfectly bent it, therefore enabling it be tied to a rope that runs thru two pulleys all hung from the door above my head! (by the way I’m the absolute worst at describing things as you’ve just experienced) This thing that I’ve described earlier as a cheap looking bra is around my head and under my chin, it’s tight, snug rather (as it has a plastic bag with ten pounds of water pulling it) today it feels like an uncomfortable wool scarf. Jeez it’s hot outside….so I’m trying not to complain so much lately, hard to tell I know…… anyway instead of rambling on about that I’m trying to think of words to freeze my brain but hopefully not to freezer burn status.

So word association or rather mindless rambling has me passing the time today. I tried the new wild berry smoothie at McDonald’s, it gave me an intense brain freeze because I wanted to drink it way too fast as it was so delicious.

So back to thinking about words associated with cooling weather conditions that hopefully will ultimately help to stop this sweat from dripping down my face. When I think about blizzards all I can think of is I want one with cookies ‘n cream or m&m’s…..even though I have a great fascination and devotion to the weather channel, pretty sure I’ve never heard them describe a nor’easter with chocolate sprinkles.

Ok, so I’m trying to concentrate here, that’s what I’m calling it now, a bit more sophisticated than mindless rant. This thing around my head is the least glamorous thing I’ve seen the medical community come up with in a while, truly the middle ages kind of equipment. Any minute now a caveman will be coming around the corner yelling “DINNER!” carrying a wildebeest.

Maybe that’s what I need………. yeah, a celebrity to also need cervical traction and therefore bring attention to this ancient looking device and ultimately transform it into something chic! Next thing I know this little get up is on the cover of “Us Weekly”….ok…..see my mind is worthy of duplication it’s so full of fab ideas.

Wow, I can’t even get a decent mind association thing going to try to cool off. Pretty sad when you get startled out of your own stupidity trance trying to remember you were actually trying to concentrate on words like…..frozen layer of ice, Jim Cantore, salt, hail, rock salt, table salt, margarita’s, strawberries, winds whipped with cream, shaved lime ice, sleet, salt, chips and salsa, yeah, how many more minutes til I can take off this wool scarf??…..Oh holy caveman, I forgot to set the timer!!

Side of selfish, better yet, supersize it!

I’m thinking about what happened when I was in line at the drive thru. This person went to incredible lengths to cut me off, nearly hit my car, seriously nearly hit my car. I am always initially dumbfounded that someone isn’t teasing when they do something so strikingly rude. I think any second they are about to turn around and say, “oh, that was a joke on you, got you!” But nope, there was no joke. Then I found myself getting angry, feeling like the guy had just done the worst thing. Then revenge kicked in, I wanted to get back at him. So I sat there and I thought what could I do and then the clerk was asking him if there was anything to add to his order, before I knew it these words were coming out of my mouth, I’m suddenly yelling, BE SURE AND GET YOUR SIDE OF SELFISH, BETTER YET, SUPERSIZE IT!! I was so proud of myself, totally smug, thought it was the most clever thing ever said in the history of drive thru.

Then the man gave me the opportunity to wonder who was acting like the bigger fool. He didn’t flinch at my words, not a look, not a frown, nothing, complete normalcy. I mean he’s good, he must have experience at this, ticking people off and then when they react, even yell at him he just lets them, no shrugging, no apology, nothing, water rolling off a duck’s back. So basically at this point all that happened is I looked like a nut yelling out of her car window, pointing at the man in front of her.

I started to think about my Dad. He was a polite man. Back in the day when you had an attendant pump your gas, unimaginable to him to display rudeness or demand attention, rather he’d pose it as a question, “please, fill it up with regular?” and always ended with, “thank you very much.” So if the dude in front of me never had the privilege of that kind of example then what’s the big deal? Maybe that can explain bad manners if it needs an explanation, which apparently in my brain today it does. Although, I think it might be more than that, I think he could care less, and where does that come from and I don’t have a clue how you would begin to hold a mirror up to him. Even if someone ever does I’m not sure he’d even care…..just steer clear of him girls, he’s a real catch…………wow, I’m being so cynical, this guy really did hit a nerve……one I can actually feel!

When it was my turn at the window the person that waited on me looked about as thrilled as anyone standing there all day waiting on polite folks like the guy ahead of me could be. So when he handed me my bag I said, I bet it’s hard to wait on people all day that order a supersize of selfish AND stupidity. He looked at me like he was so puzzled by what I just said and then busted out laughing, responding, “yes, it is.”

I have no happy ending to my supersize story here, just distracting myself sitting here with my head strapped in, wondering why it made me so mad to feel like the guy was being such a “checker” in line. The “how dare you” feeling really kicked in….it brought out the third grader in me and I wanted to yell at him, wanted to kick him. When was the last time I kicked something or some one, yeah, that will get ’em….. kick ’em with my leg I can feel, probably fall over doing it……. ok, on second thought. Well Mister in the big red van, I know you are out there and so far you’re winning. STUPID HEAD.

OK, now I feel better.