Just in case anyone is keeping track, Borg Health was kind enough to verify this morning that I am still a cancer survivor.
Why Yes, I Am Doing Better Than I Was Four Years Ago
The Republicans have finally gotten around to asking the question that Reagan used so effectively in 1980 – Are you doing better than you were four years ago? I don’t want to gloat for those in different situations, and it’s certainly been a rough four years, but I have to answer yes I am. Sorry Mitt.
As far as the law practice goes, 2008 and 2012 are looking to have very similar results financially. 2008 saw a late flurry in family law work as old clients were forced to adjust the child support and visitation to deal with the economic collapse; 2012 is seeing a resurgence of transactional work with small businesses and non-profits, and a steady flow of other work. 2010 and 2011 were mostly just devastating, but they’re water under the bridge now, and even at their lowest points self-employment brought it more than retail drone jobs ever would have. I’ll call work a wash on the better-than / worse-than question.
On the bright side, the crash recreated the concept of affordable real estate in Southern California, something I’d begun to think was just a myth my parents’ generation talked about to tease my generation. In 2011, my husband and I became homeowners. The corresponding tax benefits started kicking in this year, and by buying low we may actually have a tiny sliver of equity in Casa. Even without equity, we have about 50% more usable space for roughly the same monthly outlay as our former apartment in a much better neighborhood. Of course, we pay for maintenance that our former landlord should have done, but we also don’t have mold in the master bath and have an HOA that actually deals with termites (the July fumigation vacation), instead of someone telling us to ignore them. Maybe if they felt ignored they’d just leave? I’m certainly call the housing a positive change.
Nissantruck, my 1994 pickup and a former regular of this blog, went to greener highways in 2008. It was replaced by a well-used Mercury Tracer on an interim basis, and then Cash For Clunkers brought us into a dealership in 2009. We upgraded to a 2010 red Toyota Corolla. Cabernet serves us well to this day and certainly counts as an upgrade over the last four years.
The rest of my day-to-day life hasn’t changed that much. I’m still happily married, at least according to California if not the federal government; still cancer-free and with coverage and good treatment from Borg Health; and still have too little put away for retirement.
I’ll probably talk more here later about who I’m going to vote for and why, but I’m not ready to go there yet. As Mitt likes to point out, the economy’s important, but it’s certainly not the only issue in town.
Had a great Halloween, but woke up the morning after (very early the morning after) with a lot of pain in my foot. I took some Advil and wrote it off to needing new gym shoes and a lot of walking at Disneyland on Halloween morning. By mid-day the foot had swollen to the size of two feet and the pleasant drones of BorgHealth told me to come on down for my special Halloween prize package.
Mother Nature’s trick: a diagnosis of gout. There is a treat associated with this trick, namely a handful of Vicodin, but it hurts. And I get cranky when I hurt, and also when I can’t do things like drive or walk, so deal with it.
Calling it gout instead of really nasty inflammatory arthritis (which it is) makes me feel like I should be a 90-year-old character in a Jane Austen novel, and wondering if I’m going to come down with an attack of the vapors too.
Very little legal work to be attempted while I’m this high, but hopefully I’ll get through the photos I took on Halloween, and maybe try a bit of coding off the to-do list. Neither of those require much sobriety and can be accomplished while sitting around.
Alas, No New Pictures
Spent the morning at BorgHealth getting scoped. I’d hoped to have some photos to share – some frontal organs to match the images from the rear in 2003. Alas, it was not to be.
The procedure (a cystoscopy for you technical types) was not fun. Flat on my back in a stylish little gown, fiber optics were run up the urethra (yes, inserted through that little hole there) and my amazing doctor took a little virtual tour of my urinary tract all the way up to the bladder. While touring the bladder he grabbed a little souvenir – something to remember me by, and study and test and such. Then in a flash, both in sense of time and the blazing pain, the fiber optics were removed and I was free to clean myself up and skedaddle. Which I quickly did before they could change their minds and run that camera anywhere else.
I have no idea what, if anything, is wrong. Due to the history of prostate cancer and the diverticulitis my great doctors are opting for that ‘abundance of caution’ thing, and I let them do their thing. Failing lab tests is nothing new. It’s the reason I was a liberal arts major. BorgHealth takes it seriously though, and I like that they have a purpose. I was just hoping to get some photos out of the procedure to use for this year’s holiday cards. Now we’re going to have to go with ‘puppy on the beach’ and be like every other couple.
Not as cool as the scene in Re-Animator where the reanimated intestines reached out and tried to kill people, but my intestines seem to have made a power play over the weekend. I think their efforts at global domination were nipped in the bud, but expect some high-as-a-kite posts during Diverticulitis II: The Wrath of the Colon, playing this week at Casa.
Four Days Until Vay-cay
Meeting a physical therapist tomorrow morning at BorgHealth. Haven’t seen one since I wiped out my back moving furniture in the 80s, but my neurologist passed the buck on deciding what I can do after having my arm in a brace since March, so here we go. Yes, there’ve been no laps since March. No gym since March. Puppy walks are allowed, as long as I remember to hold the leash in the right hand (which my left-handedness usually overrules).
More and more I resemble a jelly donut, and a lack of physical activity and low body image aren’t really helping the depression coming from that whole ‘recession is hurting my business’ thing.
This is pretty much just an alcohol-fueled rant. With a bit of luck the tequila in my system will magically heal my ulnar nerve and get rid of the numbness and weakness in my hand while I pass out tonight. Then I can get back to my life and the meditative aspects of the swimming will help me deal with the realities of the economy. But somehow I doubt it. When the neurologist scheduled me for a four-month follow up I got the hint that life’s just going to suck for a long, long time. At least I’m getting on my way to being too big to fail. Bailout, here we come!
Some nasty little electrical charges up and down my arm this morning confirmed that somehow, somewhere, I’ve wiped out the Ulnar nerve up in my elbow. Lots of big words, but boiled down I’m going to have a very boring life for a while.
Not really proscrastinating, just trying to avoid overthinking a hearing this afternoon. Need to keep things focussed and on point. I’d sneak out for a swim, but the tendons in my wrist seem to have gotten mangled (again) over the last week, and I’m trying to be good until BorgHealth can do some probes and give me some magic pills on Monday. Good equals bored though. Not only does the swimming keep me from becoming Jabba the Chuck, but it keeps me sane. Need to be doing something away from the electronic leashes, and the swimming cuts off the links for a while. That’s a good thing.
The Drones Are Back
The downside to having a good doctor on the cancer is that word got out, and now it’s nearly impossible to see him. The nom de blog Borghealth kept popping back into my mind while on hold this morning. Yes, you’ve been on the wait list for a month and a half. No, we don’t know when he’ll be available again. The drones used to tell you when new dates on the calendar would be released for scheduling, but now all they’ll say is to call back ‘periodically.’ I think my six-month checkup is going to be closer to a year this time around. At least I have a lab slip to get my bloodwork done – good results there should relieve some of the semi-annual stress.
Close To Zero
BorgHealth might be stuck with that nom de blog here due to some unfortunate early impressions, but I’m liking my drones at the moment. Went in yesterday for routine follow-up bloodwork from the prostate cancer (five year survivor in July). As opposed to visits past, I didn’t have to unshovel the piles on my desk looking for a lab slip that my doctor gave me months ago. There were no embarrassing questions about the coffee cup stains or other marks on their precious little form. The lab request was in their computer and I walked in, showed my Drone ID, and was whisked back to a private cubicle to have some blood siphoned out.
Normally I would then stress for a week until I talked to my doctor and learned the new magic number. The amount of PSA in my blood that hopefuly indicates whether the cancer is still dead or is growing and trying to kill me. Now though, safely esconced in the 21st century, BorgHealth e-mailed that my lab results were ready and let me look at the raw number online. If I understand the system right, as this goes on for the next seventy years or so (f$%^ five- and ten-year survival odds) the system will even display a little graph of the magic number. Technically it graphed today’s number, but one point does not an interesting slope make.
And yes, I am very happy with today’s magic number (<.1).