The New & Improved Book of CC

Thoughts and observations from Maine.

More About Me...

College student, writer, photographer in Auburn, Maine.

Was Obama talking to me when he said "Pull your pants up"?




I apparently lost some weight while I was sick.

This morning I was vaguely aware that I was yanking up my jeans more than usual. After class I went to the library to look up some database stuff for a while. After that, I headed for the ladies' room before leaving campus.

As I walked down the hall, I felt my jeans falling down. Not just falling down a little, but enough to create an odd breeze that's not appropriate in public.

As an aside, I don't really have those things called "hips" that other people use to keep their pants up. Now I can take off my jeans without even unbuttoning them.

Let's just say that if I hadn't been wearing a long-ish jacket, the world would have seen London and France. Thank goodness LA College is not a busy campus.

Rhymes with "fling."

Maine has four distinct seasons: fall, winter, mud and July.

-- typical Maine humor


The five-foot piles of snow are gone.

It hasn't rained for a good 7 days straight.

The mud has pretty much dried up. (I really should get out there and fill in the holes from when the car got stuck in like ten inches of muck.)

It's like 55 degrees out today.

It almost feels like...

Nope... I dare not utter the "s" word, because this is Maine and we could still conceivably have another snowstorm.

Still, it's pretty darn nice out today.

Recovery

I've been on heavy-duty antibiotics since Wednesday, and feeling a little better every day.

Misha introduced me to the amazing Neti pot. This is one of the wonders of Ayurvedic medicine, a technique for cleansing and irrigating the nasal passages and sinuses.

It's possibly the only yoga practice that involves nearly drowning yourself.



It took me a while to get the hang of it-- the sensation of warm, salty post nasal drip is gross-- but once I did... WOW! I felt fantastic.

Highly recommended to anyone with sinus/allergy/dust problems.

Another day, another ER visit

PLEASE DO NOT USE GLOVES AS BALLOONS.
CHILDREN CAN CHOKE ON THEM.

-- sign on wall of exam room

I had such a miserable night last night. Around 3am, I was awakened by my ibuprofen buzz wearing off.

BAM! The pain just started with no warning.

My cheekbones and forehead and nose hurt so bad, I was crying like a baby waiting for the next dose to kick in. Crying too hard to even do those white light healing visualization exercises.

In the morning, I tried to get into a clinic Matt's family swears by. Unfortunately, no new patient appointments available for at least 1-2 weeks.

So this afternoon I went to the ER again... but this time at the other hospital in town.

As you may recall from my last post, the PA at the first hospital told me I was just suffering from allergies, nothing that required antibiotics or anything.

A funny thing happened on my way to my death bed.

I was absolutely right in seeking a second opinion.

In about 30 seconds upon being looked at, it was determined I have cellulitis in my nose. This is a dangerous infection that can easily spread to the brain if not caught quickly.

Within minutes, a nurse was tapping at my veins and poking a needle in my hand. They gave me an IV dose of Rocephin... and a prescription for Cephalexin.

I have to go back tomorrow for a follow-up.

At least this time my prescription was only four bucks at Wal-Mart.

Getting down with the sickness

I spent several hours in the emergency room today-- one of my favorite pastimes, for sure.

I don't have a real doctor, nor do I have any insurance to speak of. Back in Connecticut, there was a walk-in medical clinic on every corner; that was my health plan, and it worked. Here in Maine, though? It's the emergency room.

A while ago, I tried to find myself a good old-fashioned primary care physician. You know, what they used to call a "General Practitioner" back in the olden times. Before medicine went all corporate and everybody turned specialist. I remember going through the phone book and making calls. There were two basic responses to my inquiry:

  • "We are not accepting new patients at this time."
  • Some variation on my lack of HMO/insurance being an insurmountable hurdle

That was just discouraging. I'm happy things are so booming that you can just turn down people who want to give you money in exchange for services. I gave up and just hoped my good-health mojo would continue.

Inevitably, demons infested my sinuses on Friday or so, and I needed a good exorcist.

Dayquil Sinus bought me a few fleeting moments of relief over the next few days, but I knew I'd have to do something drastic sooner or later.

Even my teeth hurt. WebMD said SINUSITIS. Frontal and Maxillary.

Fast forward to Central Maine Medical Center (where, to be fair, I was acknowledged, processed and treated quickly).

The doctor-- and not even a doctor, but merely a physician's assistant-- looked in my ears and down my throat, and listened to my lungs, front and back.

Diagnosis: just seasonal allergies.

Now, I have had seasonal allergies since I was 11 years old. I know the drill. Sinus stuff is not part of my seasonal allergy experience. They are entirely different animals.

I come from a long line of stubborn, doctor-fearing cowards. If I'm considering medical attention, I can assure you I AM FRIGGIN SICK.

So I ended up with a prescription for Flonase (generic version: $70.59) and two packets of bacitracin for the fiery inflammation on my ceptum. She recommended ibuprofin for the blinding pain in my forehead and cheekbones.

I stood outside the ER doors, waiting for my ride, and crying bitterly into a tissue.

I just want to feel better.

Join the club

So anyway. Matt's starting to prepare for the impending collapse of human civilization. Or the zombie uprising, whichever comes first.

'Cause when you've got zombies and blue berets out there on the lawn, you need plenty of bottled water and ammo.

These concerns brought us to Sam's Club yesterday afternoon. Matt bought a membership, and generously signed me up for the complimentary extra card. I had my ID picture taken in front of a Murrakin flag.

We went up and down every aisle, delighted and amazed by the sheer abundance. I made a mental note to get my holiday baking supplies here. A 72-ounce package of Nestle's chocolate chips for like four bucks? I am there.

Matt bought two pallets of bottled water, a bushel of frozen meatballs, and a cord of hoagie rolls. I didn't find anything I desperately needed, but was tempted by the 84-count box of Boca Burgers for six bucks.

On the way out, however, we were accosted by some Girl Scouts. I got three boxes of Caramel Delites, the luscious baked goods formerly known as Samoas. That name was changed in order to appease the long-oppressed indigenous peoples of Samoa.

But, oh! What a wonderful time of year-- just as the days are getting longer and warmer, Girl Scout cookies and Cadbury Mini-Eggs arrive. That reminds me. If the ghost of Sam Walton could hook me up with a 55-gallon drum of Mini-Eggs right around the $7.50 price point, I'd be a very happy girl.

Y'know, if I have to do a research paper for Sociology class, it will most certainly be about the social class inequality of Sam's Club and Wal-Mart. The Sam's Club crowd is on a completely different echelon than Wal-Mart. This is that great "middle class" everybody keeps talking about, but cannot really define. You just know them when you see them. Yet the poor Wal-Mart shoppers are the ones who more desperately need to save money on Utz Cheeseballs and Little Debbie cakes.

So, yeah. Now I can buy frozen broccoli by the metric ton. Unfortunately, at home I'm pretty limited for storage space-- one shelf each in the pantry and fridge, and a fraction of the freezer.

But one day in the future, when U.N. troops are clawing at the windows and drooling for my brains, I'll be all set, thanks.

Spring Break 2: Electric Boogaloo

House-sitter's log. Day 4... 3/26/09

Right now, a burly man wearing a stocking cap is outside the window. He's checking out the well. Yeah, this place is so far from civilization that we must extract our water from the earth, rather than purchase it from a public utility.

The dogs are certain he is here to kill me and steal their kibble.

Monday night, with no warning, water just stopped coming from the faucets. Matt got up to pee during a crucial World of Warcraft raid, and the toilet was empty and unflushable.

This is bad. You DO NOT make Matt deal with stuff in the middle of a raid. Nor do you get in the way of his bathroom habits. But... BOTH? Bad, bad juju.

None of the sinks had any water, either. This lasted for maybe an hour and a half. When the water started flowing again, it was filthy and rusty.



Tuesday morning, we awoke to more filthy water and a mine field of cat barf. Our relationship is a true partnership based on equality; we sprang into action to share the workload and tackle the crises.

Matt: OK, I'll call the plumber, and you can clean up the cat barf.


A plumber came and checked it out, and found nothing wrong with the pumps or anything inside the house/basement. The water level in the well outside, however, looked very low. That's a job for a different specialist. Thank you, that'll be $93 please.

Today, the water is clean and flowing. The well guy found nothing wrong with the well. I don't know what his hourly rate is. Or how long the water will last.