Dec 27, 2009

One day after Lasik...

That was the day after surgery. Still healing up but a lot better now.
All that love and cuddly stuff is nice.

This is Rascal

(Yo quiero Taco Bell)


Dec 14, 2009

I had lasik!

A few days ago I had Lasik with IntraLase done on both eyes. This is the kind where they don't use a blade. A laser creates a little flap which the doctor moves aside and then another laser corrects the cornea. A lot of technical stuff I won't go into.

The surgeon was Dr. Schanzlin at TLC Laser Eye Center in La Jolla, California. I researched and read about his background, and decided he's the best.
Everyone at TLC was wonderful. They explained everything, and then put me at ease with humor and valium.

So here's how the actual procedure went from my point of view (no pun intended):

After I was medicated, I was taken back to a room where a nice young man put some drops in my eyes and gave me a pretty paper hair net and socks to go on the outside of my shoes. Then the surgeon came out and took me into a room to lie down on a table surrounded by machines from Star Wars. He talked to me through the whole thing, telling me what was happening step by step. I was given a teddy bear to hold onto.

My husband was in the next room watching on a monitor, my giant eyeball getting zapped. I watched from the other side of my cornea.

First, a cone-like thing was put on my eye and it kinda pushed hard, which was uncomfortable with my deep-set eyes since it was against the browbone. My upper and lower lids were covered with tape (I think).

Then they put me under a machine where the laser created the flap with bubbles, but to me it just looked like some foggy little spots showing up at one side then moving all the way across. I could smell something like burning hair. No pain except the thing pushing on my eye. It was a relief when they removed that. I was unaware of the metal things holding my eyelids open.

Then I could see a tool moving across my eye and then when he pulled back the flap, everything turned white and hazy, like looking through a fogged up window that you could just barely see through.

Then they put me under the other machine that makes the correction. One of my eyes was worse than the other, taking something over one hundred seconds. The better eye was only thirty-something seconds. At that point, I was told to stare at an orange flashing light. (If I look away, will my eyeball explode? don't wanna find out) The laser locks onto the pupil somehow, I believe, and then other colors of flashing lights show up. No pain, but again it smelled like burning hair. Yuk! The flashing orange light got huge and blurry, and I was afraid I couldn't keep staring at it.. but I did just fine.

Then the doctor put some goop over it and put the flap back in place. I could start to see better at that point. He put more wet goo over that, and it was kind of soothing even though my eyeball was numb.

After both eyes were done, they taped on these big grey shields that made me look like a fly ("help meeee"). I sat up, and I could SEE! I'm like "whoa! I can SEE you!" I started crying a little, it was a very emotional moment for me. They took a quick photo of me with Dr. Schanzlin, and then I went into another room and was given all sorts of instructions and eye drops.

Oh yeah, and I got to keep the teddy bear.

The next morning, I had 20/20 distance vision in both eyes.

My eyes are still sore and get tired quickly, so I'm resting them quite a bit. Typing this all with my eyes shut... not! Bright lights bother me somewhat, and I can see foggy circles (halos?) around the Christmas lights and street lights. This hopefully will improve with some time.

I will need reading glasses, but no prescription. So I can get some of those cool ones that click together in the middle with magnets, like that CSI guy has. I'm cool like that.

Note - January 4:
Happy New Year! Things are really clearing up in the last few days. Still having a little bit of ghost images and red lights at night are freaky, but in the daylight I can see very well into the distance. Drugstore 2.00 power reading glasses make close-up clear. My eyes are kind of sore and strained at times (especially after computer use) but that seems to be improving. I understand it can take a few months to heal up. Using stuff for dry eyes until that clears up. Was it worth it?

Dec 13, 2009


All through the house

not a creature was stirring...
(too much eggnog?)


Dec 5, 2009

Christmas Card to Mom

My mother's favorite time of year was Christmas...

Nov 21, 2009

Colonoscopy from Hell

Warning: this is graphic.

A couple of months ago I had an upper GI endoscopy done. I was sedated with a drug called Versed, which isn't a general anesthesia but rather it is an “amnesia drug” as some call it. I was nervous, but I woke up afterwards not remembering anything, and the procedure was complete. No big deal to me!

So the other day I went in for the other end – the colonoscopy. I was expecting a similar experience, to not be aware and wake up and it's done. But in addition to Versed they gave me another drug “for discomfort”. I didn't know I'd have discomfort, and everyone says it's so easy. The prep is the worst part for most people, although I got through that ok.

So here's what happened, from my perspective.

I was nervous, but expecting it to go just fine. In the past I had two sigmoidoscopies that were stopped due to pain, but they don't give any drugs for that. I was told that this would be much different. They put the drugs in the IV and I remember feeling them kick in and drifting off to a nice little high before I “slept”. The next thing I know, I'm awake and crying, looking at my husband and a nurse and trying to form words but was almost paralyzed. Like in a nightmare when you try to scream but there's no voice coming out. I had to tell them that while I was “out” I had the worst nightmare I've ever had. I “dreamed” that I had been tortured and in unbearable pain, and that I had been screaming and pleading to stop, and then I climbed outside of my own body to "escape" the pain.

I was frightened, but glad that it was just a dream.

Then the doctor came by and said they were unable to complete the procedure because I was in so much pain, and screaming! OMG! I had thought it was a nightmare that I woke up from, only to find out it was REAL. Apparently when I “dreamed” I left my body, my blood pressure and oxygen levels had dropped dangerously low and that's when they stopped the whole thing.

It's been two days now, and it keeps popping into my mind all the time. Like I MUST make some sense of it, involuntarily playing it over and over again in my mind. That horrible dream was REAL? How much of it was real? Did I actually experience what was in the dream??
I keep recalling more little bits of it, and when I remember the pain my whole body just wants to roll up and die. Yet it kills me that i CAN'T recall everything and make sense of it. If I can't reassure myself it was only a dream, maybe just that it's all over now and will never ever happen again?

I now understand that Versed doesn't kill pain, it just makes you (supposedly) forget you had it. And demerol is a painkiller, that it turns out I am allergic to as it made me itch and eyes swelled up afterwards. I believe that's the same drug that caused Michael Jackson to stop breathing. But it didn't kill the pain. Most people don't have more than a little discomfort with a colonoscopy, and some even have it without drugs at all.

I would not discourage anyone from getting this important sceening for colon cancer. I have IBS and fibromyalgia, both of which intensify pain. So anyone with either or both of those, be sure to discuss that ahead of time with the doctor.

In the future I will demand a general anesthesia before anybody sticks a camera up my butt.

It's been 4 days now, and thankful that I didn't go into a coma, or worse. I still cry when I think of what happened (and what could have happened).

More than 2 years later, and I feel terrified if I think about it at all.

Nov 6, 2009

Why we shouldn't keep cardboard boxes

Click on these for the giant picture.
It was big. And yes I did get that close.
Don't try this at home, kiddies.
Is it politically correct to say "Black Widow" these days?

Sleepy Dog

Oct 26, 2009

Welcome Oliver!

(Lily, Oliver and Sophie - who is not really a red-eyed demon)

Aug 14, 2009

NO Walmart Expansion for Poway

Let's keep the "Country" in "The City in the Country"

Aug 9, 2009

Ant eater

We need more spiders like this. It's so tiny you almost miss it. That's an ant it's got wrapped up in webby stuff. Not a big ant, but those tiny little sugar ants (my mom used to call them p*ss ants). Thanks to macro photography, one can enter the tiny tiny worlds of wonder that surround us.

The Thing

I don't know what it is.
It's scary.
Look at all the spikes!

Click on the picture to get the big detailed one...if you dare.
Tell me what it is.
(So the nightmares can end)

Poway Walmart Expansion?

The Gridlock in the Country.... always

For a lot of information on this issue, please read the blog located at:

Aug 5, 2009

Goodbye Maggie

Maggie was a sweet, special friend who was loved very much.
She will be missed.

Jul 28, 2009

Here's Sophie!

Look at those baby blue eyes!

Jul 25, 2009

Doggie and the Dot

Jem chasing a red dot on the kitchen floor.
I'm glad to have a dog that will protect us from those evil red dots that float around in the house.

Jul 22, 2009

Even with our water restrictions...

...we can still have flowers. This was on a cactus in our back yard, where it gets very little water. It's gorgeous!

Jul 12, 2009


"Strawberries? WHAT strawberries?"

Pez Boy

"I don't quite understand the point of this. You take the candy out of the wrapper, then you put it in the little toy thing, then you take it out to eat it? You grownups are kinda strange."

Poway Walmart Expansion

I am opposed to the expansion of Poway's existing Walmart into a Supercenter
for the following reasons:

--This is a residential neighborhood. Walmart is bordered on three sides by
residences which house families including children and seniors.
24-hour noise, lights and traffic would greatly impact the quality of life
for nearby residents. Children would be endangered playing in front of
their own homes by a constant stream of strangers from out of the area
passing through to go to Walmart.

Poway has taken pride in its addition of Solara homes directly across the
street from Walmart. Solar-powered, making a contribution towards making
the eartha better place. Right across the street from an energy-gobbling
24-hour Walmart Supercenter?

--This is a historical part of Poway. Old Poway is just down the road, and
the Community Church, "Oldest structure in continuous use as a church in San
Diego County, erected circa 1887" is directly across the street from Walmart.
Plowboys, which Walmart plans to dismantle, is also a historical building
that many feel should be preserved.

Would San Diego put a 24-hour walmart supercenter in the middle of Old Town?
Or in Balboa Park? How about Hillcrest? I doubt it.

--Money. There is no additional tax revenue for Poway gained by adding
groceries to Walmart. We already have plenty of groceries just walking
distance away.
Nearby businesses would be jeopardized. Right now Creekside Plaza has eight
empty shops, while Poway City Centre has ten empty shops. These are only about a block
from Walmart.

Poway could become a ghost town with a Walmart in the middle.

What about the Poway Town Center that is planned for the future on Poway Rd?
It's literally just around the corner from Walmart.
What sort of retailers would even bother to set up shop next to a 24-hour
Walmart Supercenter? Maybe an adult bookstore or two.
Tattoo and massage parlors, perhaps? Walmart isn't competition for those
types of businesses.

--Traffic is already a big problem in the Poway/Community/Midland Rd areas.
Even in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, itbacks up for blocks.
Bringing in even more traffic would be disasterous.

Moving Walmart to the business park would make more sense
than expanding it in its current location in the middle of people's homes
and churches.

In conclusion, I believe that most Powegians love "The City in the Country".
We take pride in our city, with it's friendly country atmosphere flavored
with a dash of "Old West".

Please don't let it become "The Walmart in the Country".

For more information, please read here:

Silence of the Cams

There's another bug on the bathroom mirror, quick run 'n git yer camera!

If a spider can do pushups on a mirror... can a moth

Jul 8, 2009

Poway - A sign of the times?

If you were just driving by, could you read the little white words on a yellow background?
These useless eyesores are spread throughout Poway.

In my opinion, a whole lot of money was wasted.

The color scheme looks like a nice attempt at a "nature" look,
but not at all functional for a directional sign to be viewed while driving.

Jul 6, 2009

Two Important Words

Two of the most non-constructive, hurtful, hostile yet innocent-appearing words that can be used in an argument:


"You always ....."
"You never ....."
"I always ....."
"I never ....."

Outside an argument, they can be accurately descriptive at times.
But within an argument... ouch.

And they accomplish nothing, and lock in absolutes that indicate that you want or expect it to stay that way. If so, why are you arguing about it if you aren't seeking change or resolution? Just to hurt? Now there's a marriage/friendship - breaker.

Never - do you REALLY mean that something absolutely has not occurred at any time at all, at any instance, and that there's no chance of it occurring in the future?

Always - do you REALLY mean absolutely every single time? Every single time? Past and future? That's basically demanding it to continue instead of requesting change!

Better words to use in an argument would be:

-most of the time
-not that I can recall
-not as often as I'd like


Those get the same point across more accurately and realistically - with less hostility fueling the argument. They also invite improvement and change, instead of locking in and failing to change something undesirable.

When I've heard "You always do/say ...." i feel defensive rather than think about improving or changing a behavior.
Just as "You never ....." makes me think "fine! and i never WILL!"

I did it

Today, I did my first complete start-to-finish chin up. (or pull up or whatever)
Without jumping up at all. All the way up to the top.

I tried every day and made it just a little higher each time.
I may be stupid and do just about everything else wrong, but by God I did a chin up.

Jun 24, 2009

No Walmart Supercenter for Poway!

Poway is becoming a retail disaster. A 24-hour Walmart supercenter in Poway is one of the most idiotic ideas I've ever heard. After all that time and money spent on planning a new Town Center for Poway (currently on hold), putting a supercenter literally just around the corner from the proposed town center site will ruin any chance of the town center actually thriving.

If Poway must yield to the almighty Walmart, at least move it away from the residential neighborhood and into the business park. We don't need a 24-hour nuisance bordered on three sides by apartments, that's just asking for disaster.

And we're putting in a brand new Walgreens just across the street and down from Walmart. The traffic on Poway Rd in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday backs up from Community all the way to Midland as it is now. Imagine a weekend, and with the addition of a big old Walmart Supercenter bringing people in from surrounding areas to buy groceries which don't generate revenue for Poway anyway.

I can see it now.. "The Walmart in the Country"

Jun 3, 2009

I made pizza!

3 cheeses, spinach, mushroom, etc.

May 24, 2009

My snake laid 17 Eggs!!!!


Poor Jem got a foxtail in her eye. We took her to Emergency and they got it out, but poor thing!

Another bug

Here's a cool bug I found in the bathroom:

Long time, no post!

I haven't posted here in a long time. Still confused by all the weird feelings surrounding my mom's death. And the lack of feelings, which are almost worse than the feelings at times. Maybe that's the antidepressants.

Also dealing with GERD. Probably yet another lovely gift from fibromyalgia. I went to the doctor for a persistent feeling of swelling in my throat, and tests (a scope through my nose down my throat, yikes!) showed gastro-esophageal reflux disease. ALL my favorites - chocolate, coffee, tea, mints, colas, tomatoes (including pizza and pasta sauces), most fruits except apples and bananas, all fruit or vegetable juices, carbonated drinks, alcohol (even wine), anything with fat or spices, garlic, onion... those are now no-no's in my diet. I read that most people diagnosed with GERD and avoiding these foods lose an average of 40 pounds. At 118 pounds (5'8") there would be nothing left but a skeleton. Cool for Halloween though.

But it's serious stuff. Not controlled, it can cause esophageal cancer which can also spread to the lungs. People can die from it.

They say to tilt the bed to sleep on a slant, but we have a waterbed so that's not really do-able. I try to use pillows.

So once I decaffeinated myself and got past the withdrawal headache for 2 weeks, that's ok. We found a low-acid decaf coffee so i can still enjoy it. I'm learning to enjoy goat milk cheese, almonds, raw spinach and apples. And more meat than before, even though i'm not a big meat-eater. I'm searching for low-acid tomato sauce. I found a low-fat white sauce for pasta that's not too bad. I miss garlic though.

A trainer at the gym gave me a lot of nutritional advice, including adding protein powder in my diet. We're trying to figure out how i can put on some muscles. I've invented a yummy drink where i throw into the blender:

milk powder
protein powder

It's actually pretty good once you get used to the grainy, powdery texture.

Going out to restaurants is tricky, but i'm in the process of learning how to manage that so i can still enjoy one of my favorite pastimes. I love going out to eat!

Between the fibromyalgia, spine and shoulder problems, I thought that was enough. Most of the time i'm high on medications. Might seem cool if I were a partying teenager, but I don't want to be high. I get too confused.

Carob. It looks like chocolate, feels like chocolate, but it sure doesn't taste like chocolate!

Apr 14, 2009

Help meeee!

One of my favorite limericks when i was a little kid:

A flea and a fly in a flue

Were caught, so what could they do?

Said the fly, "Let us flee."

"Let us fly," said the flea.

So they flew through a flaw in the flue.

Apr 10, 2009

Sea World

Billy and Me at Sea World, probably 1984 - aren't we adorable?