Missed me?  Well, I was in the hospital recently for 6 days and 5 nights.

After I heard the words (the scariest words that I have ever heard) “You have a blood clot in your lung” and after the trip in the ambulance to the hospital, the learning experience about our health care system began.  And here are some of the things that I learned:

  • In a panic, don’t overstate your weight by 100 lbs because it may affect your meds dosage
  • Leave modesty at the door  — they’ve seen it a million times
  • Until you’re “in the system”, do not expect to be fed.  Quarters and vending machines are life’s sustenance
  • Looking for your next stop?  Look no further than the paper that is delivered every morning.


  • Don’t suspect a porno movie when you hear someone yelling in another room “Swallow it!  Swallow it!”.  It’s just a nurse trying to get a patient to take their medicine.
  • Expect food when it’s delivered to you, not at the same time every day.  Expect some feelings of intense hunger.
  • Eat peas even when you hate peas.  See learning above.
  • No one cares how you smell but you

Now, I could comment on how the doctors and nurses treated me, how I never saw the same therapist or laboratory person twice, how out of the loop of their own care a patient feels, or how isolating a trip to the hospital can be.  But I purposefully chose to concentrate on the positive and the ridiculous during my stay.  (And besides, there are plenty of well researched, cited and professionally written articles and books on our health care system without me trying to act like an expert.  All I can write about is my stay.)

The positive and the ridiculous helped me keep my calm.  Helped me to combat the fear that came to me along with the understanding that I could have died.  I have had another moment in my life in which I will now begin to measure events:  things that happened before my embolism and things that happened after my embolism.  I have a feeling that I may be one of those schmucks that decides to live life a little differently as a result.

Here’s the best part:  I have a wonderful memento of my stay.  It’s the most expensive piece of jewelry I’ve ever owned:


Matt and I are estimating that it will cost $50K.  Luckily, we don’t have to pay “retail” since we have insurance.  I want to buy a bedazzling machine and bling it up.  I think I can dress it up or down.

Finally, in the spirit of not taking myself to seriously, here’s a conversation Matt and I had at breakfast this morning.  We were talking about his cold and how he was feeling better today than yesterday.

matt:  Freaking hospital.  That’s where I got this cold.

me:  Well, at least you can’t catch a clot.


me:  Even though I can throw one!!

(major laughing on my part)

matt:  Much funnier in your head than said out loud.

Country living is for me

I get to see these beautiful fields everyday, twice a day, on my way to and from work.

Fields of Canola

Fields of Canola

I love living in the country.  I grew up living on a (small) mountain/hilltop with no neighbors, so to speak.  My aunt and uncle and cousins shared the little mountain top with us, but they weren’t next door neighbors, just in sight neighbors.  I had never lived in a neighborhood until I bought a house at the age of 33.

I quickly discovered that “city living” wasn’t for me.  And I didn’t even really live in a city, just in a town, but I lived on a street, with sidewalks and houses right next door to me.  I felt hemmed in and confined and like too many people were minding my business.

Not long after moving into my house, I adopted two kittens.  They were from the same litter and came with the same case of ringworm.  I took them to the vet and we first tried to cure them via pills.  No such luck.  They still had spotty patches of hair.  I had an appointment to take them back to the vet when I came home one evening from work and found a note in my mailbox.  An anonymous note saying something to the effect that “I know what you are doing to your kittens.  You are abusing them.  Please treat them nice.”

I guess their case of ringworm and loss of hair on their tails gave someone the impression in my (friendly) neighborhood that, for sport, I liked to take my kittens by the tail and swing them around in the air.

Later, as they were older, I found one of my cats one sunny Saturday on my back deck with a big scratch on his neck.  “Uh oh, Simba, looks like you’ve been cat fighting.”  About an hour later, one of my (friendly) neighbors came by to tell me that they had seen Pooh (the neighbors had their own names for my cats) and it looked like he had been shot!  Please, please, please take him to the vet.  “Which one of my cats,” I asked, “do you call Pooh?”

Trying to be a good neighbor, I rushed Simba/Pooh to the vet and $200 later found out he had been in a cat fight.  Surprise.

Almost six months later, I came home early from work and was unloading some potting soil and such from my car when a trio of my (friendly) neighbors came over to tell me that the night before, Tigger (whom I called Sarabi) ran out in front of a car and was hit.  That morning, while I was at work, they found him under my back deck and retrieved his body and buried him and had a little funeral for him.  They just wanted to let me know.

“You buried my cat today while I was at work?”

“Yes.  It was no problem.  And by the way, my daughter is so upset about Tigger (Sarabi) dying, that I’ve brought Pooh into the house to keep her company.”

I never saw Pooh, I mean Simba, again except for one time when he climbed up on the outside ledge of my kitchen window and I saw that he had a new collar and tag that read “Pooh” with my neighbor’s address and phone number.  I thought about leaving a note in their mailbox that said “I know what you are doing.  You are stealing people’s cats.  Stop it.”

That’s one big reason why I love living in the country.  No neighbors.


On another note, this is the conversation that I had with my insurance agent today:

me:  Tell me about life insurance.  I need to think about it while I’m still fairly young.

Agent:  I recommend term.

me:  What is term?

Agent:  It’s good for a set period of time, like ten or twenty or thirty years.  Then it expires.  It’s the cheapest.  Really, why are you interested in life insurance?

me:  To make sure that if something happens to me in the next 10 to 20 years, Matt can pay off the house so that the slut he marries next doesn’t have to work.

Agent:  You’re a hell of a wife.

me:  You’re right.