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Posts Tagged ‘Disorders’

Dear Dr. P:

It’s been a dozen years since I’ve been in a for-credit course. I really don’t know what I’m doing in your Explosives in Industry course. Or what I’m doing in the Explosives Technology graduate certificate program in general.

My background is journalism/mass communications and performing arts.

So why am I here?

I genuinely don’t know.

I guess it just seemed cool to learn about explosives.

And I guess I wanted to do something completely different.

Even though this certificate program is billed as being for non-engineers, there’s still a steep learning curve.

I mean. What is going on there? Those acronyms mean nothing to me!

However, I did enjoy your video tour of the experimental mine.

Also, EXPERIMENTAL MINE?! That’s DOPE!

Anyway, I’m Tracy Flick, so I will figure out what I don’t know. I plan to get an A in the class.

I’m on the right track.

Looking forward to learning more.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Always time for a Monty Python reference.

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Dear Lacey,

At least I think that’s your name. Hard to remember when lightheaded from blood loss.

I hope you remember me. I was strapped to your machine for a hour Friday.

When you originally asked if I wanted to donate two pints of blood, I said, “Sure.”

You said it would take no longer than 30 minutes.

But then the machine started “acting up.”

Not something anyone in my position wants to hear.

Finally, I was free to go.

Maybe a few more minutes with you would have been good, though. Maybe with my donation arm up over my head. Maybe with a little more pressure applied to my new wound.

I got to my car, and suddenly I looked like I had been in a knife fight.

You’ve heard of a shy colon? Apparently, I have an extroverted vein.

Back in the blood mobile, you and everyone else sprung into action.

I kept saying I was ok, though.

No one believed me. I got loads of attention, some apple juice and a snack.

I even got an offer of drycleaning.

You should see the other guy!

No need. Hydrogen peroxide worked wonders.

And today I’m barely bruised.

You know what else I am? Happy I successfully donated blood when the need is critical.

Maybe I’ll see you again in two months.

Your patient,
Bloody Mary Beth

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Dear Bio Family,

You’ve only known me a short while, but you KNOW me.

Do I want to go?

Does my Senator (Josh Hawley) run from chaos he helped create?

Yes. The answer is yes.

As some readers may remember, I went to this event in Atlanta. Alone. (I’m the “weird” one.)

But yesterday, it was a family affair.

Mom, sister, niece, nephew

Perhaps I’m jaded, but I felt like the offerings were not as varied as the prior event and were more expensive.

Here are some fresh things I saw but did not buy (because expensive).

A gumball machine filled with cow eyes
A creative use for vintage photos
Part of a giraffe
Fun (and horrifying) night lights
The worst item anyone could dream up for me: a clown doll. IT (the character and the doll) haunts me still.
Mothman (To be fair, he wasn’t for sale. Actually, he might have been. I don’t know.)
Whatever scene this is

But I did buy two things. Very cheap. Necessary, I felt.

A snakeskin pendant and a chicken foot. Everyone needs a preserved chicken foot. (Yes, everyone. 😄)

So thanks, Fam, for showing me once again that DNA is remarkable.

Love,
Beth

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Dear Gladys,

I need to report that I got a lemon of a cat.

I love Leo, I do. And that is the only reason I can justify the THOUSANDS of dollars needed to fix him.

First, it was an ingrown dewclaw. The person you hired did not do it correctly.

What the vet removed.

Then he suddenly had a lump on his back end.

Plus another swollen toe.

Seriously, lady: Who did this surgery? He/she should never be able to do it again.

The lump: A sarcoma that needed to be removed immediately.

A day/night in the hospital plus nearly $3K later, and he’s home looking like a football (according to my mom).

But he’s alive. And has all four limbs. (There was some concern from the vet that he’d have to lop off the leg to get all of the mass.)

I’m sure you didn’t realize he would go through any of this. (Except maybe the dewclaw surgery. You knew the antibiotics weren’t working.)

Anyway, he’ll be fine in 10-14 days. Not sure when my bank account will recover if the pet insurance claim is denied.

Send thoughts and prayers*,
Leo Richardson’s new mom

* ‘Cause those ALWAYS work.

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COVID, Day 7 (Maybe? Could be Day 4 depending on when I displayed symptoms from ‘Rona and not the booster.)

Captain’s Log

I’m feeling fine, but still testing positive.

I’ve managed not to drink away my sorrows every day, but isolation is difficult for an extrovert.

I’m not an indoor cat.

And even my indoor cat has gone loopy.

His tongue is stuck.
He went to sleep with his mouth open.

I’m SO BORED.

I’m sick of TV. I’m tired of social media. I’ve had enough of lonely walks around the neighborhood.

I’ve even cleaned out the freezer.

That’s how bad it is.

But I’ve eaten well. That’s positive. Haven’t lost taste or smell.

I’ve been FaceTiming people because I need human contact. (Petra knows. She got a surprise.)

Maybe tomorrow I’ll test negative, and I can rejoin society. Carefully, of course.

The good news is that I don’t appear to have infected anyone else.

Small victories.

Sigh.

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Dear Coronavirus:

Why are you still here? I hate you so much. I’ve managed to avoid you for more than two years (safety first!), but you finally got me.

How? I don’t know. You tell me!

Having an incubation period of 2-14 days makes tracking source difficult.

All I know is that I got my second booster Friday. By Sunday, I had a sore throat. I took two tests from two different companies. Both negative.

See? Negative.

On Monday, I felt like crap: headache, body pain. I was already scheduled to go to a new doctor to establish care.

Me: I got the second booster Friday and feel terrible today.
Her: That’s the booster. I wouldn’t have recommended you get the second one so soon.
Me: They recommended after six months.
Her: Yeah, but you don’t have comorbidities.
Me: Right.

The cough started Tuesday.

The runny nose started yesterday.

I decided to take another test.

Uh oh.

And then another from a different brand.

I was furious and mortified.

I spent my weekend living my best life as the infection vector I apparently am: garden tour and antiques fair with neighbors, dinner with a colleague, handyman direction on wall patches, “Stranger Things” with my sister, card games with neighbors.

So I had to issue various and sundry mea culpas.

It’s possible I was exposed to you on my flight home from Savannah: Two hours on the runway (weather delay), an hour at the gate (more fuel), an hour in the air. I was one of only three people wearing a mask (because, of course, you no longer exist 🙄).

I don’t know.

I do know that I had another busy week/weekend planned, including lunch for about 15 family members at my place. But now, thanks to you, I will spend the next 5-10 days on my own with just Leo Richardson to keep me company.

Leo, who also is not feeling well.

Leo, the cat who (likely) got COVID.

Gee, I wonder how he could have caught COVID. (Note: I am not kissing the cat. He was sleeping on my shoulder, and I turned my head for the pic.)

So thanks SO MUCH for your continued presence in all of our lives.

(Sarcasm is my love language.)

Your new BFF,
Typhoid Mary
‘Rona Beth

*Manic Street Preachers’ ninth studio album. Worth a listen.

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Dear Leo,

I’m so glad you came into my life. You bring me so much joy.

Your personality is distinct. You are nosy, noisy and aggressively cuddly.

Who are you? Gladys Kravitz?

And weird. You are SO weird.

To look at, for one.

Look at this alien foot!
Your back = brain surface
Where are your whiskers?!

But also, the way you sleep is unlike any other cat I’ve ever known.

Who sleeps like that?
Cats don’t sleep on their backs!

And you always have to have your paws on my face.

Or be ON me somehow.

You look annoyed even when you are sleeping peacefully.

Here you look annoyed, but you have a right to be: I’m harassing you with a gift from Charlotte and Nate.

I love it when your tongue gets stuck.

I know you hate this collar, but it’s better than the cone of shame. I can’t have you licking your surgically enhanced paw.*

Despite the fact that you are a bizarre creature (or probably BECAUSE of it), I’m so happy to share my life with you.

Love,
Your human

*Leo came to me declawed. The person who did it needs a refresher course as he/she left part of his dewclaw. It got infected. He’s had surgery and is fine now.

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Dear Crazy Legs,

When I go to a bar, I like to watch people. I especially pay attention if I’m having a club soda night.

(If I’m not, sometimes I become the watchee.)

Anyway, I had my eye on you. For good reason.

Look at those sweet moves!

My pseudo sister-in-law Becky said you’re a regular. And some drunk girl always ends up being your dance partner.

You + drunk girl = happiness

Everybody wins!

Tonight, though, you were really feeling yourself. Literally.

Becky and I were not the only ones shocked when you appointed yourself the Extremely Pointless Fly Girl.

Er. Fly Guy.

The whole crowd was incredulous but amused.

Thankfully, you didn’t overstay your welcome. One song, then you bowed and took off.

Becky said it well: “That was the highlight of my day!”

Becky and I remained off stage.

So I guess I’ll see you next time?

Keep on dancing,
Beth

* Thanks, Van Halen. BTW, it is not Halen with Hagar. That’s Van Hagar.

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Dear Dominic,

I was so happy to see you and your brother this weekend. Gideon is pubescing HARD, so I didn’t see him much. You, though? Plenty of contact. The whole “Peacemaker” series so far, as one gauge of time.

(Five stars. Would recommend. Would recommend for the awkward dance routine intro alone.)

I loved spending time with you.

I do want to say I’m having a really hard time keeping my mouth shut about your hair.

It’s a tension as old as time: Parents disapproving of hairstyles. Or lack thereof.

But look:

What animal died on your head, Dominic? And can I taxidermy it instead?

I know, I know: A girl (or maybe two) said it looked good.

And here we are.

I don’t know why you care what a girl says. You clearly aren’t interested in dating at the moment.

I mean, you quickly shut one girl down about prom. Full stop.

Poor thing. You don’t even have her saved as a contact in your phone!

(Also, what the heck, Dominic?!?)

Are you sure you’re MY son?

But you know, I love that you and your friends are into something so wholesome. Spider-Man fandom is infinitely preferable to any typical teenage interest.

I’m a fan. (Not of Spider-Man — please* — but of you and your friends.)

I love you, and I’ll see you soon.
Mama

*Look. Listen. He’s one of my least favorite characters in the Marvel universe. Give me Tony Stark, Black Widow or Thor any day! Spider-Man is … fine.

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Dear Santa,

Hey there! It’s been quite a year, amirite? Here I thought this year would be better. You brought us all vaccines, after all.

But no. Different year, same pandemic, different variants. Same stupid people prolonging the bullshit for everyone.

Sigh.

When I saw you recently, I asked for an end to the pandemic. I’d like one other thing, if you don’t mind:

Better customer service in the greater St. Louis area.

So far, I’ve had trouble with the following entities:

  • Spectrum (It took three visits from three technicians plus six phone calls to get my Internet/cable service installed. And my bill still isn’t right.)
  • All-Appliance Repair (Three visits — one from a COVID-positive tech no less — to get my ice maker working.)
  • The Chimney Sweepers (Brittany was great, but the fact remains that someone was supposed to come last week and didn’t. Brittany was a reschedule.)
  • St. Louis Towing (I waited 3.5 hours for a tow truck when my car stopped running on Olive Street. It was supposed to take 30 minutes.)
  • Suntrup Volkswagen (A return call telling me they received said car would be great.)

Everyone is very nice, but I’m bothered by the inefficiency. And that I have to stay on top of things.

So it would be great if you could give a little Kringle kick in the keister to service-oriented businesses.

Thank you, and I hope you have a merry COVID-free Christmas. Maybe you should just throw the presents down chimneys to minimize contact.

Love,
Beth

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