Saturday, September 22, 2007

Only in my Family...

Friday morning was a bit of a scare here at the Bell house. Upon awakening, I found that my father had been sick during the evening and had thrown up. You must know that I can remember no time in recent history that my father had been ill enough to actually worship the procelain god... but he was doing so in the wee morning hours of the day.

This is not a typical cause for concern, except that my father has been on blood thinners for 12 years because of previous blood clots, and what he was throwing up bore a striking resemblence to old blood. We'd rather not think that my father is bleeding internally, and therefore after much cajoling, and a second round at the procelain altar, my father conceded to go to the ER here in Smyrna.

I paved the way. I left right before they did so that I could arrive at the hospital and have a wheelchair to assist my father in through the hospital waiting area. I also knew that if he were in a wheelchair, he would be seen quicker. I was right... and I wheeled him right in to the ER admitting area where the RN took his vitals, history and asked why we were here.

Once all the paperwork was underway our RN took over wheelchair operating duties and Mom and I stood to follow her down the hall. And we waited. And waited. And waited some more as our RN slllloooooowly made her way pushing my father. I wondered why she was moving so slow. At first, I thought she was just being very sensitive to my father's nausea and didn't want to jar him. I was a bit chagrined knowing that I acted like Dale Earnhart, Jr. whilst I was wheeling him about, not thinking of his upset tummy at all... but just wanting him to get medical care as quickly as possible.

But then I realized we were moving so slowing because our RN walked with a fairly noticeable limp. And, upon closer examination, it almost appeared as if the wheelchair were holding her up and doing her as much good as my father. I don't mean to belittle her at all, because she was wonderful... albeit, my father could have walked on his own to the room quicker than our nurse was pushing him.

But, we got in the room and got Dad settled and into a hospital gown and waited for the doctor to appear. Mom made a joke about not having her camera to commemorate this moment, and since I had the technology, Dad insisted that I take a picture of him with my camera phone. Yep... we live to make memories here in the Bell home. Once finished, I stepped outside to make various and assundry phone calls and when I returned, the rather young physician had already been in and talked with the parental units, performed a rectal exam (OUCH!) and declared there was no bleeding in that portion of the anatomy, for which we were very grateful. Dad's nausea had calmed by this time (mine would too if a doctor had put his finger you-know-where) and we were watching the Today show when two new RNs appeared. One male, one female.

They came to draw blood and start an IV solution of saline, which is standard operating procedure in a hospital (I know this because I have been in the hospital now and I lived to tell about the IV experience) What we didn't know was that apparently the girl was a newbie... as she asked a question to the guy about something as simple as "do I wipe the vein before the stick" (an answer I could have provided would be something like "YES!!! And get those gloves on!"), he answered her... and I realized that it all made sense to have a fresh-out-of-school nurse, since we had still-in-school doctors when Mom was at the Vandy ER a couple of years ago after her knee surgery.

The IV issue was pain free and Jack & Jill RN left the room and left the door open so we could be heard in the event that we broke into song and dance, or Dad got sick again... and thankfully neither happened. Now that Dad was hooked up to the IV, it was time to break out the camera phone again and snap another shot. He insisted. I complied.

Dad, by the way, is completely in his element in a hospital situation. That makes sense since he worked in one all his adult life. When the nurse asked questions, my father proudly rattled off protime numbers that could have been lottery winners, for all I knew... and the nursing and doctor staff were adequately impressed with him, which made everyone happy.

Since the door was open, we got a clear shot of people walking up and down the hallway. An immigrant was running a mopping sweeper machine, doctors and nurses were going to and fro... and then out of nowhere, there was a little guy in a motorized wheelchair who paused at the door and said Good Morning to us. We replied Good Morning back and he moved on... wearing his SECURITY ball cap and we began to hope and pray that no gang related shootings appeared in the ER forcing us on lock down with a crack security staffer such as that at our beck and call.

Dad's blood work looked pretty good, and so there was no reason to admit him, but the doctor felt like we needed to see a gastrointerologist to get further results, and so off I went again to pave the way to the new doctor's office. He asked Dad to put on the paper gown... which meant camera phone photo #3, performed the exam (minus the rectal... much to my father's happiness) and scheduled us for an endoscopy on Tuesday.

I can only imagine what memories will be made then. I will keep you posted!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Charred Retinas

How Britney Spears killed my vision

I admit it. I was suckered in by MTVs boast of Britney Spears’ comeback as she was slatted to open this year’s Video Music Awards Show. I figured the Execs at MTV had so much confidence of this comeback that it would be stellar. It would be off the charts! It would be so out-of-this-world it would demand its own moon man trophy for Best Opening Performance By An Almost Sober Single Mom of Two Kids Who Is In Desperate Need of Rehab And/Or Therapy.

Instead, it was lackluster.

And that is being kind.

Britney appeared with bed head and a not figure friendly stage costume and attempted to lip synch her way through her newest single “Gimme More”. The term “attempted” is key here, because she did indeed attempt. I think she was thrown off by her need to count the dance steps instead. Her dancers looked good though. Up until that time toward the end of the number where she fell back into their arms and it appeared as if they were going to lift her… but then thought better about it. That was a bad move and one that should get your favorite choreographer fired, as it looked as if Brit’s extra poundage was the deciding factor in the dancer’s decision not to lift her. Britney herself only moved her body enough to make its jiggly parts jiggle and make me peer at the television set through my fingers. I sat as a deer in the headlights and found I could not turn my head away. It was the classic train wreck scenario where you really don’t want to look, but cannot help but look.

I’m pretty sure that is how I will explain the Britney Spear’s image that is forever imbedded in my brain file entitled Moments I Wish I Had Never Seen Before to my optometrist. The next time they map my eye to check for diseases I fear they will find Britney in her two-piece studded ensemble fondling a male dancer in front of her.

I am hoping the first meeting of the MTV Execs this morning will include a written apology from their Executive Producer to the world… but I am not holding my breath.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friends with Lofty Aspirations

I had a really bad night last night. It was the second night in a row that I was awake at 4:00 a.m. I am not the type of person who enjoys waking up at 4:00 am, and I don’t usually think it is because the Lord had decided He needed to talk with me at that time of day. The Lord knows better than to talk to me at 4 am, because I’m grouchy in the mornings. He being both omnipotent and gracious, allows me to sleep in those early morning hours. For which I am ever grateful.

Night before last I woke up at 4 am because my digestive tract thought it would be a good idea. I did not agree… but woke up anyway for fear of the consequences of remaining abed with your stomach sends sharp messages to the brain that differ with your sleep patterns. I was not a happy girl.

I wasn’t any happier last night when I shot straight up out of the bed yelling, “Ow, Ow, Ow, Ow…” because apparently my sleep-induced brain believed that something had bitten me. I started looking through the bed sheets trying to find the culprit that accosted me, but there was nothing there. I looked at my upper thigh for a bite mark and found none. Somehow I believed that I was going to lose the use of my right leg and be paralyzed for the rest of my life. I am hoping I was in the midst of a dream. However, since I was awake I had to go to the bathroom. Sigh.

I searched for a bite mark again in the glaring bathroom light and found none. I hate my subconscious sometimes.

As I was apparently dreaming of sharp stinging bites on my body, my friend Req was dreaming about me too. Req and I used to work together and there are many people who think we are joined at the hip. Not so. But we let them think it anyway. Maybe they know something we don’t know because here we both are… subconsciously dreaming about things happening to me. Is it a sign? I’m not sure.

Req’s dream involved seeing a large freight plane from China crashing at the Nashville Airport. Where do I come into play? Apparently my old job as special event coordinator at TRBC qualifies me to head up the rescue team at the Nashville Airport in the event of an emergency. Since my younger brother works with TSA at the same airport, I think perhaps I will enjoy running about with a headset on and a clipboard and bossing him around. It has been a while since I’ve done that… but I like to make the most of all bossy situations that I can.

I’m waiting for Req to dream that I head up Fred Thompson’s presidential campaign next. I figure since I met him a few days after 9/11 and put a microphone on the man, I am highly qualified to run a national campaign.

Just give me a 3-ring five inch notebook and I’m good to go.