Tag Archives: Middle-Aging

Tush Technology

You guys know that I’m all about news.

You guys also know that I’m all about bathrooms.

Today, I am about bathroom news.  Eat your heart out, Fox News!

Today, I am, well, not proud to tell you about this, exactly.  Not pleased to tell you about it, exactly, either.

Today I am ummm, well, I’m just gonna tell you that technology has gone straight to the crapper.

Because there is now a gizmo that will tell you when you have to go to the bathroom.  In case you didn’t know.

I’m so ashamed that I’ve been doing it the old fashioned way for all this time.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Advice from an Expert Patient, All The News You Need, Bat-shit crazy, Chronic Disease, Conspicuous consumption, Crohn's Disease, Disgustology, Farts, Flatulence, Health, Health and Medicine, Huh?, Humiliation, Humor, Oh shit, Out Damn Spot!, Poop, praying, Satisfaction, Seriously funny, Shit, Stupidity, Toilets, Why the hell do I tell you these stories?, Wild Beasts, WTF?

People My Age

It happens every year, try as I might to avoid it.  Annually.  At about the same time each year.  On the same damn day, even.

Every bloomin’ year! What’s with that?

For the last 15 years, I’ve tried to avoid it.  I just put my head down and muddled through the whole month.  Looked forward to February.

Yeah, it’s my birthday.   Ho hum.  Everybody has one.  Still, I figure I need to do something to mark it.

So to celebrate, I’m going to insert one of my very favorite birthday songs for those of us who are in their our post- years.  The perfect song for the post-teens; post-Yuppies; post-childbearing, child rearing, post-careerists; post-menopausal; for the pre- and post-retirement set.

The perfect song for the pre-dead among us.  And I do hope you, my dear bloggin’ buddy, are among us.

Ho hum.  Where’s the wine?

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Awards, Bat-shit crazy, Birthday, Bloggin' Buddies, Disgustology, Family, Farts, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health

Don’t Ask Me!

Of course you all know that I am a fake medical professional. So you should never ask me for medical advice.

But I am a real live professional patient. So I can speak from experience when I talk about medical stuff, too.

It’s all so confusing.

You know what else is confusing?  Taking your medicines so you get the most bang for your buck.  Or for your insurance company’s buck.  Or so you just feel better.

But taking medicines, especially if, like me, you take a zillion different ones, can really be mind numbing.

But there’s help!

October is “Talk About your Medicines Month!”*

I was recently contacted by Judy from NCPIE, The National Council on Patient Information and Education. She asked me to write a post letting you guys know that October is “Talk About Your Medicines Month.”  My sister Judy got me into the habit of doing whatever Judy said,  and even though this was a different Judy, I’m doing just that.  Because it’s important, and it’s a good way to make sure you’re using medicines, both prescriptions and over the counter (OTC)stuff the way you should.

But WHO should I talk to, Elyse?

Personally, I talk to my pharmacist.  He’s easier to get on the phone than my doctor is.

Besides, he always knows the answer to my questions.  Seriously!  Before I became a fake medical expert, I thought that all pharmacists have to do is count pills and put stickers on bottles.  I bet you thought so too.

Nope.  That’s not true at all –although they are damn good counters, I must say.   Pharmacists nearly always have PhDs!  They understand the chemistry, the interactions between drugs and between drugs and foods! They know what side effects to look for.  They know all kinds of things about how a body processes drugs, and what the drugs do to a body.  YOUR BODY!  Who wouldda thunk it.

Seriously, you can talk to them about all kinds of things:

  • Can I drink my daily 12 glasses of wine/5th of bourbon while I’m on this?
  • Do I have to take it before I gorge myself with ice cream?
  • Will it make me feel better after my wine and ice cream?
  • I’ve been taking this drug for 14 years and it was always white and oblong — why is it green and round today?
  • Will the drug that my GP gave me put hair on my chest (and if so, what the hell do I do about it?)
  • Whether stopping a drug cold turkey will turn me into a cold turkey

You can also ask them real questions.

And you know what?  They’ll know the answer.

Because pharmacists are even smarter than I am.

They're good at 'splainin' Google Image, natch.

They’re good at ‘splainin’
Google Image, natch.

*  Eat your heart out Frank (of AFrankAngle)

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Crohn's Disease, Health and Medicine, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

Hey Doc? Be Mine ♥!

Anybody who has read my blog knows that I’m really not keen on holidays.  Nope.  It stems from the fact that my family members have a nasty habit of dying on holidays.  It’s a competition.  Mostly, it’s an annoying game if you’re not playing.  AND I AM NOT PLAYING!

So I approached last Friday with a little bit of trepidation.  Valentine’s Day.  You’ll no doubt forgive me, but I hate to answer the phone on holidays, even manufactured ones.

But this Valentine’s Day changed my mind.

Yup.  It’s true.  From now on, I love Valentine’s Day.  And it has nothing to do with my husband, with chocolate or with flowers.  This Valentine’s Day, somebody saved my life.  And she did it by giving me the most terrifying news anybody ever has to hear.

CANCER

Yup.  It was my doctor.  And she told me I have cancer.  But just a little bit.  Because unlike with pregnancy, you can be ‘a little bit’ cancerous.

In all honesty, I knew it was coming.  I’ve know it for years.  Because I grew up a Cheeto.  My idyllic childhood was spent here, at my beach, hastening the inevitable.

Photo:  Offmetro.com

It was a lovely place to grow up.
Photo: Offmetro.com

For my entire childhood, I was baked to a crackly crunch.  Nobody ever used sunscreen or wore a hat.  Or sat under an umbrella.  If you put anything on your skin it was OIL to quick-fry you.

I was never one of the cool cats, though. Photo Credit:  gawkerassets.com

I was never one of the cool cats, though.
Photo Credit: gawkerassets.com

When the phone rang on Valentine’s Day, I sighed.  I don’t hear good news on a holiday.  You know that.

The call was to give me results of a biopsy done on a weird spot on my face.  A spot that had been there for quite a while, and that she had looked at several times before.  It had been ugly, but only damaging to my self-image.  Now?  It had become dangerous.

“Elyse, I’m so sorry — it’s malignant.”

That’s not something one ever wants to hear, no matter what day it is.  I’m proud to say, I took the news fairly stoically.  Well, kind of.  OK, a little bit stoically.  (I have a reputation to uphold, here.)  I fell apart later.  Minutes later.

She went on to explain that the cancer was brand new — caught really early. It hadn’t grown down, which is when it becomes serious.  It hadn’t even expanded out very far.  It wasn’t advanced, but I’d need to have it taken off and then I would be fine.  And that I should never go outside again without sunblock.

“I’m so sorry to have to tell you this, Elyse.  And on Valentine’s Day!”

Now, now, bloggin’ buddy, don’t worry.  Remember, I am a fake medical expert.  I know just what to do.  In fact, I asked for this diagnosis.   Well, sort of.

You do not need to make your plans to attend a virtual funeral.  I’m not going to die.  Well, actually, I will, but it’s a good bet this spot on my face will not be involved.  No need to plan the fiesta.

Because mine is a ZERO.

If you have to have cancer, you want to be a Stage ZERO.  I don’t know how that still means I have it, but still.  Zero is good.  Ish.

I have Stage ZERO lentigo maligna melanoma.  It’s basically a sunspot gone bad.  I have already seen two doctors, and in the next couple of weeks, I will have it removed by a plastic surgeon.  And bye-bye cancer!

So why does this make me LIKE Valentine’s Day?  Why don’t I just add it to my list of hated holidays?

Because the diagnosis saved my life.  Really.

The cancer has been caught at the earliest possible point – it just started being cancer.  It hasn’t dug it’s nasty roots deeply into my face, it hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes.  It hasn’t metastasized to any one of a dozen organs.

If I hadn’t gotten that call?

If I hadn’t had that biopsy?

If I hadn’t seen my dermatologist?

Then, and only then, my melanoma  would have become deadly.

Now, why am I telling you all this?

It’s not to get some bloggy love, although that is always welcome.

It’s because I want to save your skin.  Right now.  Listen to me, and follow my instructions precisely:

  1. Go into your bathroom
  2. Take off all of your clothes
  3. Examine your skin
  4. Check spots, moles and discolorations carefully
  5. If anything doesn’t look right, if you have a bad feeling, if something is bigger or darker or just different, go to a dermatologist and have it checked out.

I could give you the statistics that I’ve naturally been reading compulsively.  But I won’t.  You’re welcome.

Instead I’ll give you a song by Eva Cassidy, a brilliant, talented singer who died of melanoma at age 33.  I have long loved her music, and have included her in some of my most heart-felt stories.  She was also the subject of a moving story on Nightline.

But I’m not trying to make you sad.  I’m not trying to drum up sympathy for me (because really, I will be fine).  But for all of us, for all those who love us, it is really important to remember:  It is a Wonderful World.  Let’s all hang around.

Please join me in saying thanks to the nurse practitioner who just didn’t think that spot on my face looked right, and biopsied it.  Megan, I will think of you every Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life.  Thanks to you, I have a shot at it being a very long one indeed.

Now – you guys reading this – go check out your damn skin.  What are you waiting for? GO!

Me, I’m busily thinking up intriguing stories to tell folks when they see that I have a scar on my cheek …

Perhaps I’ll get a pirate hat and a parrot!

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Cancer, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Holidays, Melanoma, Out Damn Spot!, Taking Care of Each Other

Because I ♥ You Still

Nope, this isn’t a dozen roses.

Not a box of chocolates (milk — I wouldn’t dream of giving you dark).

Not skimpy underwear.

Just some important information from a fake medical professional and expert patient to ensure you can get those from someone else next year.  And the next.  And the next.

Know the signs and share this one with your friends.

*     *     *

It’s not Valentine’s Day, it’s Wear Red Day.  Red for heart disease. It’s the No. 1 killer of women and is more deadly than all forms of cancer.

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Filed under Adult Traumas, Bloggin' Buddies, Family, Health and Medicine, Hey Doc?, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

Which Witch?

As a kid, I looked forward to the annual playing of The Wizard of Oz on TV as much as Christmas and Halloween combined.  The music, the friendship, the scary witch.  Until high school, I’d never seen it in color, so I hadn’t even witnessed the magical transformation from Kansas to Oz, or what was so funny about the line “A horse of a different color” being a horse that actually changed colors.

In high school, I was invited to my friend Laurie’s house to watch it in color.  And it was magical.  To see something so very familiar that looked so very different, well, it was, as I already said, magical.

Interestingly, Laurie’s mother actually knew the actress, Margaret Hamilton, who terrified me for years as the Wicked Witch of the West.  I learned about the fact that Ms. Hamilton’s costume had actually caught on fire in one scene, putting a stop to several other would-be fiery scenes.  But mostly I learned that she was just a nice lady who played a memorable part.  It all took place while I was dreaming of becoming an actress myself.

I saw this clip on dailykos.com.  Showing the transformation of Margaret Hamilton into the Wicked Witch of the West, and her explaining that she was just playing dress-up.  Anybody who has kids might want to share this video with their very scared kids!

Happy Halloween!

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Daily Kos, Holidays, Humor

An End To Your Pain

As the blogosphere’s most acclaimed fake medical expert, today I am writing to tell you how you can easily and cheaply eliminate your chronic pain.

You’re welcome.

You see, a new study of 1,500 people found that pop music was the most effective pain reliever.  Not classical.  Not Rock.  Not Indie.  Pop music.  Not drugs.

According to this article in an online publication I’ve never heard of before, the best songs to ease your aching back are, in this order:

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel

Angels by Robbie Williams

Albatross by Fleetwood Mac

Candle in the Wind by Elton John

Easy by The Commodores

So there you go.   Have a nice, pain free weekend.

You’re welcome.

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Health and Medicine, Mental Health, Taking Care of Each Other