A Real Pain In the Neck: It’s Not A Too-Mah!

horse massage

Perhaps I need one of these?

Ever felt like someone was stabbing you in the neck with a large flathead screwdriver?  How I’ve been feeling lately is exactly how I think it would feel.  I say this because we have one in the garage and that’s the mental image I get as I’m in pain these days.

After five months of issues with my neck and upper back ranging from uncomfortable to excruciating, I had finally reached the breaking point.

Yes you saw that right.  FIVE MONTHS.  Why have I not gone to the doctor?  There are many reasons, the first and foremost being that I’m used to being in pain.  I’ve had back problems forever, this just seemed like yet another chapter in the ever popular saga of “Look what motherhood has done to my body!”  I also live with a man who feels that if you’re not bleeding profusely it’s probably not serious enough to go see the doctor.  Add to that the fact that I don’t make any money right now.  Making the decision to pay to go see a doctor about something that may be something but could be nothing is almost viewed as a luxury.  Believe me, I’ve shelled out my share of money for conditions that were unsolved mysteries.

Remember this?  The I-Don't-Remember-What-The-Award-Is Award?

Maybe I’m just questioning things too much…

So back to the breaking point.  About three weeks ago I felt a small lump on the back of my neck where the pain seemed to be worsening, right around where the pinched nerve I’ve had forever lurks.  I’ve had some lumps and bumps pop up on my bod lately, and they almost always turn out to be another zit.  But this was not turning into anything.  I don’t know how many times I played contortionist in the bathroom trying to get a good look at it in the mirror.  I tried to show Evil Genius, who of course thinks that I think that there is always something wrong with me.  Naturally I didn’t pursue that venue too long, since he has all kinds of coefficients to think about.

I didn’t look this up online, by the way.  If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that one thing I’ve learned is to never ever ever google your symptoms.  EVER.  You’ll think you’re dying.  When all of this started back in December, I made the mistake of looking stuff up and wrote about it. I had what turned out to be bronchitis on top of everything else that was going wrong, and my subsequent neck pain was poo-pooed as being a little from being sick and a lot from anxiety.  Another reason why I haven’t been back to the doctor.

Don't do it!

Don’t do it!

Anyhoo, I’m rambling again.  Back to this week.  After the third night of very little sleep due to being uncomfortable and anxiety ridden thoughts like “What if it’s cancer?  I will die and my kids will have no mom!”  I finally called the doctor’s office.  Often getting in to see the doctor around these parts is like playing a strategy game.  I got to talk to the nurse, which is always F-U-N.

“And why do you need to see the doctor today?” The nurse asked.

“I’m experiencing neck pain.”

“How long have you been experiencing this pain?”

Um…ummmm… be honest, “Please don’t laugh at me, but five months.”  I replied, and then quickly added  “There’s a bump there too!”

Then I had to spend another few minutes describing this bump in detail.  I must have done a good job, because I was in.  Shockingly I got in that morning, but it was two hours away.  I spent the next two hours in an anxious person’s hell, because I do this every time I have any kind of ailment.  I spent two hours worrying about the doctor’s appointment.  Should I live like I’m dying?  What if I go in and she takes one look at the bump and whisks me off to have it removed immediately because it’s that advanced?  Should I go ahead and name the bump something like Cher so I can talk to it?

Anxiety-cat-400x300By the time I made it to the doctor’s office, I was pretty much a basket case.  Luckily they didn’t make me wait very long.  I went in with my list of symptoms in hand (because I forget to mention really important things) and then promptly forgot about it the second the doctor walked in.

The doctor looked me over and asked some questions.  She had me do some interesting things with my arms, because I am soooo strong and in shape these days.  She felt my neck, including the bump.

“So what do you think it is?  Do you think it’s serious?”  I asked nervously.

“No.  That bump is part of your muscle,”  she replied with a smile.

Really?

More questions-had I been in any car accidents?  Had I fallen from a great height recently?  Did I fall down the stairs (this is a legitimate question-everyone knows my stairs are out to get me).  Unfortunately, there is nothing that I could pinpoint that could have caused me to injure myself and thus explain some of the pain I was experiencing.  Bummer.

After looking me over a little more, she declares “Looks like we’re definitely going to need some x-rays.  Would you like to go to the main clinic (in other town) this week, or wait and set something up here next week?”

“It’s not life threatening?  I’m not dying?”  I had to be sure, you know.

“Nooooo…”  she said, still smiling (STOP SMILING!  It’s not funny!)

“I’ll do it next week.”  I figured since I wasn’t going to die that I could wait and do it when it was convenient.

I was sent away with prescriptions for muscle relaxants and a pain reliever that wouldn’t upset my stomach like 800 mg of ibuprofen would.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about muscle relaxants, I think of this scene from Sixteen Candles:

Muscle relaxants.

When I think of muscle relaxants… Sixteen Candles Wedding.

I can’t say that they’re working like that for me, which is a little disappointing.  I feel a little weird, but that’s about it.  I can’t say that the pain reliever is doing much for me either, which is a lot disappointing.

As for what I believe is going to happen next, I foresee some more physical therapy in my future.  I’ve been there and done that in the past.  If it makes me feel better, I suppose it will be worth it.  And because I’ve been waiting for an excuse to use this meme again, here we go.

Oh yes...

Oh yes…

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From Preschool to Kindergarten Cop: What I Got Out of Subbing

funny teacher gift

I don’t get gifts because I’m the sub.  Yet there are days when I would have said this. (Though I DO think a monogram out of crayons would be cool.)

I’m winding down my sub job this week-two more days and I’m a free woman again.  It’s been good for me, but I must admit I’m ready for some time back home.  You know, being a horrible manager of my time, bored and broke again…

This whole job thing was much more challenging than I thought it would have been.  This didn’t necessarily have anything to do with the job itself.  This is because some other things happened.  First of all, about a month in, Evil Genius embarked upon a project at work that will probably last at least 4 more weeks and makes him work 500 hour weeks.  I know there aren’t 500 hours in a week, but to him (and me) it really feels like it.  He leaves long before most humans even think about getting up to go pee, and returns home at night with enough time to eat supper and go to bed. Naturally, my reaction to all of this is to tell him I’ll write a song about it, make him coffee when I remember, and kill him with kindness when he is in SUCH a good mood (I love you honey…)

Then the poor girl I was working with had a family tragedy and had to take some much needed time off.  With both of the regular classroom teachers having to be gone, I had to step up quickly and do stuff that I’m well capable of but just wasn’t expecting to have to do.  It made things very interesting, to say the least!  On the other hand, I think it worked out pretty well that I had been the one that was there instead of several people trying to fill in the hours.

Other things happened too, I’ll get to those in a minute…

Anyway, as I was working these last two months I definitely had some moments and I learned some things too:

Anyone who says that they are going to quit drinking diet pop upon returning to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.

Never hesitate to ask for help from your fellow bloggers.  They will RUN to your aid!

Don’t ask your husband to do anything non work related because you can’t.  He won’t remember.

Having your own child in your classroom means you are basically working two full-time jobs, teacher AND Mommy.

Oh she's cute, but it was a challenge having her in the same classroom sometimes!

Oh she’s cute, but it was a challenge having her in the same classroom sometimes!

Upon deciding to work a job in another town, you are guaranteeing there will be at least one winter storm per week, and one to two snow days per pay period.

Anyone who says they are going to quit eating sugar when they go back to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.  Especially when Valentines and Easter are in that time frame.

Guest bloggers are the way to go when you need to be busy doing something, or are tired, or just don’t want to blog.  I just wish I had done that sooner!

When things change, your ADD son will miss getting off the bus at the right place at least once.

No matter how good your dog seems, when he’s left to his own devices for days on end, he will poop on your floor.  AND tear stuff up.  AND be a general pain in your rear.  It’s a good thing he’s cute.

This didn't happen-but other messes were made.

This didn’t actually happen-but other messes were made.

Anyone who says they are going to quit taking Ambien to help them sleep when they go back to work are setting themselves up for epic failure.

Apple Jacks are never a good idea for breakfast when you have to last from 5:30 am until lunch.

If glasses are to be broken with no hope of repair, it will be the expensive ones, not the free ones.

No matter how nice the weather is, if you choose to leave your dog outside all day (because he poops on the floor and tears stuff up) the temperature will drop to negative numbers and there will be a blizzard.

Never in my life have I wanted to quote Kindergarten Cop so much.  You don’t know how many times I wanted to yell “There is no BATHROOM!”  I can even think of a couple of Arnold moments that I had.  But what happens in preschool stays in preschool.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Certain little girls who hold in their poop will find new ways to keep it in.  No matter how much fiber you give her.  Add to the fact that you don’t really know when the last time she actually went was, it’s kind of a “poop roulette”.

It’s nice to have an excuse to be on Pinterest-I have to find art ideas for work!

Never ever make plans when you are a substitute teacher.

Things usually work out-you just have to give them time.  This has nothing to do with the noncompliant pooper, it has everything to do with life in general.

Sleep.  I knew it well once.  And I’m an insomniac-that’s not saying much.

I’ll be back with actual posts hopefully later this week.  In the meantime… tomorrow:  toodle on over to Go Cheap or Go Home to visit me.  I’m posting an oldie but a goodie-the poor girl wanted some time off! 

I really won't be a pah-ty poop-ah.  I will be baaaack!

I really won’t be a pah-ty poop-ah. I will be baaaack!

REBLOG: The Scoop on the Poop: Why I Won’t Eat Chocolate Sprinkles and Other Revelations

Another oldie but goodie…

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

I’m afraid that people are going to think I am obsessed with poop and toilets.  I’m not, but it is quite a big subject at our house.

It’s getting cooler out.  Therefore I have to start dealing with something I haven’t had to deal with for awhile.  You see, I won’t eat chocolate sprinkles.  And there’s a big reason for that… chocolate sprinkles look remarkably like mouse poop.

Our house is 112 years old. We live in front of a cornfield.  Therefore, when the weather starts to turn cold we have many unwelcome guests.  They are really cute guests, but quite unwelcome.  They get into lots of places we don’t want them and either chew something of value up and eat our food.  They poop.  They poop a lot.

Believe me, we have tried many different things to try to keep the little buggers out of our house.  I’ve shoved…

View original post 788 more words

REBLOG: Does This Look Infected to You?

Another oldie but a goodie. This is from August, when my husband developed a really weird, um, rash.  I had some issues with posting this, so I apologize if it shows up weird.  I hope you get a laugh (or two) from it!

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Have you seen the commercial about shingles?  You know the one that says that if you had chicken pox as a child the shingles virus may already be inside you?  I know this commercial well because my son has that line memorized.  He makes it a point to go up to people he knows and ask if they had chicken pox just so he can educate them on the finer points of shingles.

A couple of days after the famous overnight business trip my husband called me over and raised his shirt.  “What does this look like to you?”  My husband is one that rarely takes painkillers, constantly tells my children that “It’s a long way from your heart” when they are injured, and must remind people that he once had a motorcycle peg stuck through his knee and that it was cool.  So when he asks for my opinion…

View original post 499 more words

The Scoop on the Poop: Why I Won’t Eat Chocolate Sprinkles and Other Revelations

This looks like a great blog, for me to poop on!

I’m afraid that people are going to think I am obsessed with poop and toilets.  I’m not, but it is quite a big subject at our house.

It’s getting cooler out.  Therefore I have to start dealing with something I haven’t had to deal with for awhile.  You see, I won’t eat chocolate sprinkles.  And there’s a big reason for that… chocolate sprinkles look remarkably like mouse poop.

Our house is 112 years old. We live in front of a cornfield.  Therefore, when the weather starts to turn cold we have many unwelcome guests.  They are really cute guests, but quite unwelcome.  They get into lots of places we don’t want them and either chew something of value up and eat our food.  They poop.  They poop a lot.

Believe me, we have tried many different things to try to keep the little buggers out of our house.  I’ve shoved steel wool in holes and sealed it up with spray insulation.  I’ve put anything that might be tempting into containers.  My husband swears it’s impossible to keep them out.  I’m of the opinion  that while we probably can’t eradicate them completely, I’d like to make it as hard as possible for them to get in.

Our mouser died this past Easter, so I am a little worried now that it’s starting to get cooler outside.  I haven’t seen any mouse evidence for awhile.  All of our food is pretty much in plastic containers, but even then they try to get into them.  At least the old Tupperware ones.  I couldn’t believe it when I found that a mouse had been trying to eat its way through the tupperware container that we were using to keep our bread in.  I replaced it with a different container, and set a trap back where I found all the “chocolate sprinkles”.  It didn’t take too long to catch the sucker.  Then I spent a day vacuuming all of those sprinkly looking poops out of our pantry shelves.  I’m not really looking forward to that.  As much as I love this weather, it’s making me a little nervous!

Incidentally, I still like rainbow sprinkles.  If our mice start pooping rainbows I’ll really start to worry…

Thank goodness the cat goes in the litter box.

I won’t complain too much, because I know that my parents have their own source of poop frustration at their house.  They have BATS!  I’ll take mice any day over bats, because mice can’t fly over your head and swoop around you.  They poop everywhere too.  But getting rid of bats isn’t quite as easy as getting rid of little field mice, because they don’t just have any bats, they have endangered bats!  They have to catch them and release them.  I’ll stick with my mousies, thank you very much.

This is what would happen if the mice at my house met the bats at my mom’s house.

It’s not just the mice that are the source of my poop predicaments at our house.

Princess Poopypants has had trouble “going” pretty much as long as I can remember.  She will hold it in until she is ready to explode, while pooping just a little bit at a time in her panties.  One of two things happens, she either goes so much she fills up the potty, or it’s so big that it really hurts her.  She has been on medication for quite a while to help her out.   It’s just a powdered stool softener that we put in her juice every morning.  As long as it dissolves, she can’t even taste it.

This is where we run into issues.  We have made sure she knows that this is the stuff that helps her poop easily.  She knows that if she waits too long, and I’m talking close to a week, that it’s not going to end well.  As long as she is taking this stuff regularly, there isn’t a problem.  However, lately she has been fighting us on taking it.  She either refuses and puts it back in the refrigerator, drinks a little of it and pours it out, or pours  the whole thing out.  I realize that since we’ve had to cut some corners we don’t have quite the selection of flavors of juice that we used to.  Target brand seems to have the best price, and since they almost always have a coupon that’s what we get.  She really loves apple juice, so I didn’t really seem to think it was a problem.  But lately she has been wanting some different juices.  And she hasn’t always liked what I’ve bought.  I’ve tried remedying by mixing the other juice with apple juice, but that girl is really smart-she just knows!

It’s actually a stool softener but I doubt Kirk would know the difference anyway.

So when she gets backed up and has to go, we have the shrieking.  Not just crying, SCREAMING!  I’m sure our neighbors think I’m absolutely killing her.   As well as people in public places.  I’m surprised we haven’t been banned from Family Video after one of her screaming incidents.  Earlier this week after one such traumatic potty episode I tried explaining to her that this is why she needs to just drink the darn juice and she wouldn’t have such issues.  I can relate-I have to eat fiber enriched cereal just so I can go.  I regret the days when I decide to have a pop-tart or something less filled with fiber.  I’m hoping that she’ll see the light this next week.  We have enough screaming from her already.

You could say after viewing this particular blog entry that some things in my life really stink sometimes…  I kind of feel like it’s all going in the toilet some days!  I’m sure though that this too shall pass.  Oh my, the puns just won’t stop!

“I’m the Pah-ty Poo-pah”.

Have Fun Storming the Castle!

It’s often like this show at our house. Except we have more hair.

We quote a lot of stuff at our house.  A LOT of stuff.  Mostly movies, and TV shows, among other things.  I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband and I have had a whole conversation in movie quotes.  Hey, that would be a really neat game.  “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” used to do games where you spoke only in song titles.  I’ve always wanted to try that.

But I digress…  which reminds me of digest.  But this is not a rhyming game.  But…”Rhyming is fun.”

We don’t quote stuff that other people quote, mostly more obscure stuff.  What brought this whole post on?  Today my husband took both kids and the dog to drive to his sister’s house to pick up some stuff she’d done for him, as well as stop in and see the folks.  I packed them each a drink and snacks, and as they went out the door I yelled “Have fun storming the castle!”  The neighbors probably think I’m really weird.  I can’t help it.  It’s verbal diarrhea, it just comes out and I can’t stop it.  Especially stuff like that, from “The Princess Bride”, only one of the best and most quotable movies ever.  It’s a good book, too.  One of the best and funniest ever written.

I get it honest, my Mom does it too.  Every time we go somewhere and park, of course she quotes Star Trek IV, the scene where they leave the cloaked Klingon Bird of Prey in the park.  “Everybody remember where we parked.”  That’s another very funny and very quotable movie.  What other movie do you get to hear Mr Spock cuss?  “Perhaps now is a good time for a colorful metaphor?”

Weird weird stuff makes us quote stuff.  Don’t ever talk about rueing the day.  Because that really opens up a can of worms at our house.  “Rue the day, who talks like that?” (Real Genius).  “I rued the day once.” (Friends)  Seeing a large amount of cups in one place often leads to these quotes, starting with “They will rue the day they put in me in charge of cups!” (Friends, again).  Someone uses the word “youth” “Da two yutes.”  “What is a yute?”  “The two YOUTHS.”  (My Cousin Vinny)  Anytime we come across anyone called Newt “She turned me into a newt… I got better”.  (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)

We actually quote Monty Python almost to the point of absurdity…  “We already got one.  It’s verrah nice.”  “I fart in your general direction!” “I’m FRENCH!  Where do you think I got this OUT-RAGEOUS ACK-SENT!”

Speaking of french, anything that has the word french in it results in this:  “Fronch fries, Fronch toast, Fronch dressing, and for dessert, Peru.” It costs two dollars?  It results in one of us yelling “TWO DOLLARS!  TWO DOLLARS!” (Better Off Dead).   And of course when anyone has strange symptoms of any kind in our house, “Maybe it’s a tumor.”  “It’s NOT A TOO-MAH!”  Gotta go to the bathroom?  “There is no BAWTHROOM!” (Kindergarten Cop).  And to round out the 80s movies, who DOESN’T say “AUTOMOBEEEEEL?” when they see the word automobile written down somewhere?  (Sixteen Candles)

Some things we can’t even say right anymore because it makes us think of something else.  Anything that’s navy blue isn’t “navy” blue, it’s “nah-vee blue” (You know, Fronk from Father of the Bride, oh you DON’T know?).  Or we make something similar to a quote in a movie.  Me with my coffee:  “I love coffee.  Coffee, coffee, coffee.”  (Substitute Scotch for coffee, Anchorman).  In addition to this we’ve also stolen many ideas that we work into our every day conversation.  Like needing an “epiphany toilet”.  Betcha can’t guess where that one came from…

And don’t forget the commercials.  You know when you get things that go together, I have to say “Unicorns and glitter!”  (I love Flo)  My daughter has caught on to that, she can’t hear the word smooth without reciting “He’s smooth, like Keith Stone”.  I’m not sure whether to be proud or horrified at that.  We really watch too much TV.

Oh, and before I forget, “Rhyming is fun” comes from Scrubs.  Yet another awesome TV show.  Anytime we have to guess how much something costs, “I’m going to guess…seven dollars.”  Also from Scrubs.  I could go on and on…

Perhaps it’s all related to the recessive gene we all have in my family that causes us to burst out into song at the mention of something that reminds of a line in a song.  It has to at least be in the same general area of the brain.  Thank goodness I met Evil Genius, because he understands all of this.  See, there’s someone out there for everybody!  He’s actually there to correct me, because I never get the quotes exactly right.  I understand that he and his boss talk in movie quotes all the time at work.  So there are more of us, maybe even some who won’t admit that things make them quote other things.  We must find them, and assimilate them.  “Resistance is Futile” (Star Trek:TNG)

When I was younger, much like with my interests, I tried to repress my quoting urges.  Guess what, I was…

You have to do it to the tune of a clock chiming. Think about it.

I WAS wrong.  It’s a good thing I decided to accept my geekdom.  And by the way this above picture’s quote would count as both a song AND a quote.  “See what I did there?”

Wish I knew what THAT was from, since I use it all the time…

Does this look infected to you?

Have you seen the commercial about shingles?  You know the one that says that if you had chicken pox as a child the shingles virus may already be inside you?  I know this commercial well because my son has that line memorized.  He makes it a point to go up to people he knows and ask if they had chicken pox just so he can educate them on the finer points of shingles.

A couple of days after the famous overnight business trip my husband called me over and raised his shirt.  “What does this look like to you?”  My husband is one that rarely takes painkillers, constantly tells my children that “It’s a long way from your heart” when they are injured, and must remind people that he once had a motorcycle peg stuck through his knee and that it was cool.  So when he asks for my opinion on something that is bodily related, something is wrong.

There’s something weird on his chest.  It looks like a zillion bugs bit him under his, um, breast.

“Do they itch?”  I ask.  He nods.  “Could be bug bites.”

“I don’t know” he replies, “I was thinking it was from a seatbelt that rubbed me the wrong way”.  Well he WAS in a car for 26 hours in a 48 hour period.

“Would that itch though?”  I think for a minute.  I remember that he said he was in a very seedy part of town for this business trip.  Apparently in this particular part of the country they went to, they REALLY like strip clubs.  One on every corner.  The hotel was surrounded by them.

“I don’t suppose it’s… bed bugs?”  I shudder at this very thought.  I think about how much money people spend eradicating the little dickens.  How they must get rid of every soft thing in their house and put them out on the curb.

He responded with an emphatic NO.

So then we do what any person in the 21st century would do: we get on Google.  I type in “itchy red raised bumps on chest”.  The results?  Lots of really gross pictures.

As we start trying to isolate the condition, we start coming up with every thing we can think of that would cause bumps and type it in to Google along with the word “image”.  Bed bug bites, allergic reaction, rash, scabies, flea bites, shingles, chicken pox.  When I got to spider bites I quit, because the pictures were just sick, and I don’t mean in a cool way.

In the coming days the rash didn’t really get any better, and the ideas about what it was just became more absurd.  Rare flesh eating viruses were mentioned.  At one point I even asked him if he had leprosy.  Surprisingly, not once did we quote “Kindergarten Cop” during these few days (“Maybe it’s a tumor”.  “It’s not a TOO-MAH!”)

Last night he remarked that it may be time to go see a doctor, since he felt that showering may have “angered it”.  So far it hadn’t started talking to him, so it wasn’t an emergency.  Nevertheless I promised to make an appointment for him the next day.

Late morning I got a text from him telling me he was seeing the doctor at 4.  Wow, it really must be serious.  So serious I forgot about it.  But then again it wasn’t my skin burning and bubbling.  At 4:10 I got another text “I have shingles”.

Wow, the shingles virus must really be in inside of him after all…

And the cream to treat it?  With insurance a Barbie sized tube costs $33.  And this guy rarely takes painkillers.  Hope it’s a miracle cure.

Shockingly my son has yet to bring it up at all.  Perhaps he has moved on to another commercial.  If he starts talking to people about Erectile Dysfunction then I’ll start worrying.

The dog didn’t get shingles, my husband did.