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Showing posts from December, 2011

What Are You Doing New Year's?

As far as years go, this one's not been so bad. I managed to see no more than two emergency rooms and seven hospitals—and I didn't die. A good year indeed!

The first two hospitals came on the same day, as on Easter morning I suffered a gastric rupture. I was traveling with my mother for a story I was working on. The night prior my husband and I had a campfire in the backyard. As we'd gone to bed, I noticed my stomach hurt a bit, figured it was gas, took some Mylanta, and went to bed. Through Saturday I was just fine, but that night my mother and I had a large dinner out. Again that evening, I though the tweaks in my abdomen were nothing serious, took a chewable gas tablet, and went to bed. 
I woke up at 3 a.m. in pain and in a panic. I awoke my mom with the super flat, no nonsense tone our family reserves for only true emergencies, "Mom, I need you to wake up right now." As I paced in the hotel room, flapping my hands to shake off the increasing stabbing and bur…

Terrible Twos-day: YouTube Edition

In bringing back Terrible Twos-day, it seemed appropriate to inject a bit of humor into the post-holiday lull as we wait for the new year to come about. That said, TANS turned to YouTube for inspiration, which of course means a cute cat video and other randomness that comes in twos. Enjoy!

The Two Talking Cats The Napper's three cats are talkers, but usually don't talk to one another. 
Rob Base and DJ E Z Rock - It Takes Two
Oh, 1988... get down with your bad self. 
Between Two Ferns With Zach Galifianakis
Zach interviews Natalie Portman and her dog, Whiz.
Marcel the Shell With Shoes on, Two His name is Marcel, and he's partially a shell, but he also has shoes and a face, and lots of other great qualities as well.

Joke of the Day: Two Atoms
Two atoms are walking down a road...
Shagged By a Rare Parrot - BBC Two
Stephen Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine head to the ends of the earth in search of animals on the edge of extinction... and Carwardine gets more than he bargained for…

The Healing Hound

I'm sick. It seems to be nothing more than a run-of-the-mill Christmas cold; nonetheless, when I made it home yesterday afternoon, it was all I could do to strip down and crawl directly into bed. I slept until my husband got home from work and awoke only enough to request medication. Since I'm not allowed to take pseudoephedrine or ibuprofen—which puts most cold medicines off limits—there was nothing in the house to suit the situation. The hubs went out to procure both drugs and dinner, returned home to dope me up and dine, and really that's the last that I remember until about 5 a.m. As I rolled out of bed, my foot landed on something soft, warm, and hairy. Our hound dog, Bruce, who normally sleeps on his fluffy bed in the living room, had curled into a tiny ball on the floor by my side of the bed.

I didn’t mean to adopt a hound—at least not a barrel-chested, stick-legged, long-eared, musk-smelling hound. They told us he was a Norwegian Elkhound and Golden Lab mix. Golde…

AfternoonNapper's Fibromuscular Dysplasia

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to speak to the state's only brain aneurysm support group, which is sponsored by the Joe Niekro Foundation and Duke Raleigh Hospital. Natalie Niekro founded the Joe Niekro Foundation in 2007 in honor her father who lost his life from a sudden cerebral brain aneurysm on October 27, 2006. Many remember Joe as a major league knuckleballer who the Cubs (my team) drafted in 1966 and who achieve his greatest fame with the Houston Astros. The foundation is based in Scottsdale, AZ; however, there are foundation affiliates across the country.

Speaking to the aneurysm support group was important to me because I have four aneurysms of my own. It was just about this time in 2009 that three of the four aneurysms were treated via a process known as coiling. Not all aneurysms are eligible for coiling. I was lucky. I was out of the hospital about 36 hours after I had arrived. All I needed was a little Vicodin for my headache, and otherwise, I was to…

The Advocate As Caregiver

What beats you down? What breaks you? When that happens, where do you go? I've spent the past week living a bit more internally. I needed to step back. I needed a little perspective.

There are so many voices in this chorus of healthcare advocates that I worry if some singers even notice when others are too overwhelmed to continue carry the tune within their hearts and go silent. In the worst case scenario, a tired voice drops out and walks off stage, closes the curtains behind him or herself, and exits the building. No one stops to notice. No one says, "We need you." Some members of the chorus may even go so far as to think the tired singer was of no use, that the singer's voice was of a lesser quality, that the singer did not add value to the chorus, and therefore the singer will not be missed. Broken, the tired voice decides leaves singing behind altogether. The chorus is diminished both by the singer's absence and the absence of the singer's supporters. As…

Engage With Grace

I have great respect for what Engage with Grace is working to accomplish with The One Slide Project. The concept is simple. Download this one image, share it whenever possible, and begin a dialogue. Connect with Engage with Grace on the organization's website, on Faceook, and on Twitter.


Seeking a Second Chance in Paris

My family and friends would be the first to say that they are nervous when traveling with me. I have a habit of becoming ill—sometimes quite so—while on the road. I've been hauled to multiple cities' urgent care centers for everything from a staph infection to a urinary tract infection, carted out of a hotel on a stretcher after hours of violent, bile-producing vomiting due to food poisoning, and stuck in a hotel because I was too sick to leave. In England, exhaustion blanked out nearly two full days in Bath. In St. Gallen, Switzerland, I followed a doctor I met at a gas station to his practice so he could prescribe something for my raging flu.

My worst episode occurred in France. It was the summer after my freshman year at college, and my parents had planned a family trip. In retrospect, I should have done a better job of staying hydrated and well-dosed with vitamin C on the flight. By the time we got to Paris, I already was getting sick. The night my parents went out to see…