Archive for the ‘Drugs’ Category

Pocatello, Idaho

June 15, 2016

My car has been getting crappy gas mileage lately, at least five miles to the gallon less in town than it used to. Since I do all town driving, I thought maybe a trip on the freeway would blow some carbon out of the engine…

So one day recently, when we had a few free hours, David suggested we drive to Pocatello, a town 45 miles south of Idaho Falls on I-15. ‘Poky’ is about the same size as Idaho Falls, about 58,000 people. It’s a college town, home of Idaho State University. In fact, I attended ISU my freshman and sophomore years of college back in …. 1971-1973. Lived in an apartment in Pocatello just a few blocks from campus. I haven’t visited Poky in years. Yeah, Let’s go!

Poky here we come!

Poky here we come!

Our plan is to first visit Ross Park. David heard it has a climbing wall, and it’s large. Let’s get a good walk in at Ross Park before lunch. Yes! And then visit my old stompin’ grounds 40-plus years ago. See if we can find my old apartment …

I remembered walking to Ross Park back in college (since I didn’t own a car) but it doesn’t look the least bit familiar now. We step out of the car into a grassy area and immediately spot two marmots. Marmots. Rock chucks.

Now I know marmots are supposed to be common large rodents, but I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a marmot (if you discount road kill). So I’m pretty excited. Get a photo! Dang, these critters are fast …

Fleeing marmot

Fleeing marmot

No problem. We scare up two more marmots. “Get a photo David!” (He’s closer) One marmot ducks into a ledge of rocks and thinks he’s outwitted us, but, nope, not my hubby. David follows that marmot right to his hole:

Jeez, can't a marmot have some privacy?

Jeez, can’t a marmot have some privacy?

We must have seen six, maybe eight marmots at Ross Park. So, yeah, if anyone asks, you can tell them, Ross Park has marmots.

Now we’re walking toward the swimming pool/ water park with a huge snaking water slide. Wow. The pool’s stacked with families and people of all ages. “Check out this car.” David says. “Cop magnet.”

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Party on! No, wait. Panty on. I say.

Yeah. David says. It’s Panty on, party off or Panty off, party on!

Yes, I see. Thanks for enlightening us, honey. The car is confusing. So, for them I guess it’s ‘party off’…

(We have such intellectual conversations)

We’re alongside a parked train now, on the tracks that border one end of the park.

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Huh, this is interesting… “Do not hammer on car” Now, who would do that, exactly how … and, why?

Do not arouse car

Do not arouse car

‘Do not apply vibrators to any part of car body.’

Uh, let me guess. The car has a G-spot? If you had thought to bring your vibrator with you to Ross Park, just remember to get the car loaded first. If you do everything right, you might see the car explode.

Well then, now look at these adorable little ducklings. Oh how cute! The mom is up on top quacking furiously, while several new-born chicks are making a run for…

See mother duck top left

See mother duck top left

Oh no!! ROAR! GROWWWWWL” I SCREAM at them and scare them back up to mommy.

Find mommy!

Find mommy!

To keep them out of that disgusting pond:

What's green and looks like antifreeze?

What’s green and looks like anti-freeze?

Okay, time for lunch. Which brings me to my next topic: ‘Space burgers’. Now, I have to tell you, I may know of the only spot on planet Earth, and likely the whole Universe, that sells

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Space burgers. They are to die for. Or at least, that’s how I remembered them from my college days. I would set aside a special Saturday to walk the several miles (3?) from my apartment to ‘Tastee Treat’ near Ross Park after cramming for an exam or something,

Space zombie after so much studying

Space zombie after so much studying

Fortify myself with a couple of incredibly edible Space burgers.

David you must try a Space burger. Yes! There it is, Tastee Treat – Home of the Space Burger. It’s still there! Look! Aren’t you hungry? Pull IN!

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We’re inside now. Check out the walls:

Dig that space border

Dig that space border

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70's retro!

70’s retro!

Check out the menu:

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Uh, check out that girl in front of us

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She can’t make up her mind. (Simple. Space burgers!) Gives us plenty of time to intellectualize about her outfit. Like, where does her body end and dress begin? How do you plan for such an outfit? Do you buy the dress and tattoo the body to match the dress; do you tattoo and then shop endlessly for the perfect dress, do you do both at once? Is she even wearing a dress??? i.e.:

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At this point we’re just irritated after waiting so anxiously in line to order our Space burgers:

The counter at Tastee Treat

The counter at Tastee Treat

“Two Space burgers please.” Wow. Good price @ $2.39 each.

We head outdoors to a picnic table with our Space burgers.

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But of course, you have to fly them first.

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With ‘Star Wars’ sound effects.

Then, as a precaution, pray over them:

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Take a first big bite:

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Hmmmm. Not as spicy as I remember.

Gut bomb:

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Let’s take it home as leftovers. You know, if we’re desperately hungry later…

Oh how convenient. A massive graveyard right across the street…

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Drop dead of cardiac arrest eating your Space burger and they transport you directly across the street to the Mausoleum

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Warning to Meredith from the Universe:

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Do not eat at Tastee Treat!

Okay, well we drive past the University … and my old favorite breakfast place, Elmer’s

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Hey, is that a vulture?

We drive around the various side streets near the University where I thought I might spot my old apartment. Nope. None of it looks the least bit familiar…

Let’s keep driving, maybe we’ll run into old town…

Well, we don’t.

We talked to my brother, Eric, a few days later. “Hey, we made a trip to Pocatello.”

“Oh! Did you visit my Antique Store? It’s in old town, which is really quite charming.”

“No, we didn’t Eric. We drove around, but we didn’t find old town.”

“How could you not? It’s easy – just off of Clark Street exit!”

“Yeah but we took 5th Street exit. We tried to find it, Eric. Drove all the way across Pocatello back to the first exit ‘Pocatello Creek Road’ to get back on the freeway home.

“And you didn’t find old town?”

“Nope.”

Though we did pass another point of interest:

'Mad ink, Sojourn, Twisted'

‘PCP’ Mad ink, Sojourn, Twisted’

PCP. Yep. That sure resonates. Remember Angel Dust, a recreational drug of the 70’s? Psychedelic. Far Out! Helps explain why the 60’s and 70’s were so … Groovy. (This hallucinogenic drug laced in the 70’s with tobacco and marijuana has long since been banned and fizzled out.)

Well that about puts a wrap on our trip to Pocatello. Hmmm. Might need a do-over, you know, to visit Old Town, the University, Eric’s Antique Shop …

Check out those marmots again! Plus, my car still gets crappy gas mileage.

My friend ‘Soma’

March 27, 2009

Okay so my last post didn’t exactly explain how I ended up in physical therapy. It did bring the reader up to New Years Day, the day of my first blog entry. You will see from that entry that I was successful in completing a couple of stretches (recommended by the doc the day before as a way to ease my pain) in an effort to jump start my “New and Improved New Year’s Resolution’s Healthier and More Physically Fit Living Plan.”

Well, I have to say, the cortisone shot on Dec 31st worked like a charm to alleviate my back and buttock pain … um … for about five days, at which time it apparently dissolved completely out of my system and all the pain rushed back in like liquid lightening. Great… to which I then resorted to lifting nothing, no housework beyond dusting or wiping the kitchen table, I couldn’t bring in the milk, lift the trash or laundry basket, or change the cat litter, couldn’t bring in the groceries, couldn’t vacuum, pull the wet clothes out of the washer, or lift a skillet to make dinner … and was only able to function at all because of ingesting strategically timed doses of my new best (muscle relaxant) pill-friend, ‘Soma.’

But then after a few days into my relationship with ‘Soma’ I realized something was awry. My back and buttock pain had lessened but my brain kept thinking Soma thoughts, like, “it has been four hours since your last dose, you could go take another pill and see how you feel…”

Then I had a moment. I had exited our upstairs bedroom, and was nonchalantly descending the stairs toward the kitchen, and on about the fifth stair down a thought jumped into my head. I paused to consider this thought … or minor epiphany if you will, that I, Jody Caraher, had never been relaxed, not one single moment of my life, had never known a ‘relaxed’ state until I took this pill, which had now become my new best buddy, ‘Soma.’

Well wasn’t that spoken like a true addict! My goodness! That chemical had wormed it’s way into my brain and suddenly I was an incomplete person without it – deprived of the ability to achieve true relaxation in my natural state. Okay so I fidget constantly. My hands and my head are busy busy busy. I sit with my feet in a jiggle. I chew on my lower lip, especially when I’m not looking. But I don’t need this Soma to fix myself! I’m okay, albeit, a little high strung (okay, strung like a high-note piano wire). Nonetheless, thanks to my Soma moments, I do know what relaxed feels like. I can pause in the midst of my day, take in a couple of deep breaths, let myself go to my happy Soma place (this exercise might work best when standing next to the medicine cabinet) and relax. I can truly relax! Well, I’m not sure. But I can try.

I quit taking the Soma after some pondering over that little epiphany and hot footed it back to the doctor. He referred me for physical therapy two to three times per week. All told I had about 14 physical therapy sessions and my back is much better now. It keeps reminding me to exercise, like, right when I get up in the morning all achy and stiff. My butt pain creeps in too, like right now with me sitting at the computer.

My little friend Soma is on call (calling?) behind the mirrored door of our bathroom medicine cabinet. Just in case I … uh … play a rough game of ping pong or something.

And now that spring is here (yeah, spring in Idaho, where we awoke this morning to two fresh inches of snow with an expected ‘high’ of 34 degrees) I may have to forewarn my husband that, concerning summer and ‘yard work’, I may not able to rake, edge, lift the wheelbarrow, pull stubborn weeds, till, collect yard waste, transport soil, plants, or grass clippings, pull long hoses, or push the infamous lawn mower. Hey, as they say, hard work never hurt anyone but why take the chance?

Well, then again, I do have my little friend, Soma, stowed a mere arm’s reach away in the medicine cabinet …

Ping Pong vs. The Lawnmower

March 22, 2009

I guess I could go back to how I ended up in physical therapy for my back. Hmm … Well, it was on a Wednesday morning, Dec 31st, the morning of the last day of last year, and I was in the doctor’s office…

“So you were playing ping ball …” The nurse said flatly, scribbling notes across my chart. ‘NO!’ I protested. “I was playing Ping PONG!” (Although ping ball sounds like a game I could invent.) “So,” the nurse continued …”you were playing ping pong and …” I interjected, “And the next morning my right hip was killing me. Then the pain moved to my right buttock and leg, this all started 5 days ago and now the pain is so bad I can’t sleep.” Which was true.

The doctor arrived in the examination room and had me performing right leg lifts in all directions (thank goodness for jeans with built-in stretch-lycra) followed by x-rays of my lower back and right hip joint. The x-rays came back ‘fine.’ Oh great, I thought intuitively, this pain is all in my head…

“There must have been an injury to your lower back which is impeding on a nerve,” continued the doctor. “What you are experiencing is sciatic nerve pain. It can be hard to treat. What were you doing that could have caused this?”

Okay, so my younger sister (otherwise known as “Twitch”) and I had decided to play ping pong the previous Sat. night. We were at a party and they had a ping pong table in the basement. We remembered how we had played ping pong as kids. We were both terrible then, so we figured we’d be evenly matched now, which, sure enough, we were. Although, in retrospect, and I could be wrong about this because I am really bad at ping pong, but, I don’t think I sent her in as many divergent directions after my balls, and as often, as she sent me. Gees! I was proud of myself for the way I tailed her balls with such gusto … first, a ball with a hard bounce on her side, that soared high in the air through the hallway on my right, with me in hot pursuit. Then, the next ball ricocheting off the wall behind me and coming to rest after several haphazard bounces underneath the ping pong table, with me under the table in hot pursuit. I was frantically chasing, bending, crawling, and leaping after balls. Plus, my sister is nearly eight years younger than me.

Well anyway, I ended up in pretty good spirits to ring in the New Year after that doctor’s visit on Dec 31st. I arrived home with a cortisone shot in my right buttock, a 6-day prescription dose of prednisone, and 60-count prescription bottles of Soma (muscle relaxant) and Hydrocodone (pain reliever) with instructions on each bottle to take up to two pills every four hours as needed for relief. I had asked the doc if I could ingest full doses of both drugs together and he said yes. I then inquired, “Can I combine full doses of both drugs with alcohol?” (it being New Year’s Eve and all, and me having such a big pain) … to which he paused, threw me a surprised full-body glance, and said, “You don’t have to worry.” So, I didn’t (worry). I doused myself in muscle relaxants and pain killers and toasted the evening away into the New Year, awash in a level of joy and relaxation the likes of which I had never hitherto experienced. 2009 arrived very, very happily.

However, getting back to … uh … where was I? My back! Which, well, it’s entirely possible that I may have hurt it two weeks prior to my ping pong game, helping my husband pull the lawn mower up a flight of stairs to get it out of the basement. Yep. There he was in the basement at the bottom of the stairs, engine side, barking out orders,  pushing the engine upward, channeling Hercules, his head bursting with blood – while I was positioned on the stairs above the mower, my hands wrapped around the handle, pulling with all my feathery might- with my arms, my back, my legs, my knees, my ankles, my armpits, my eyeballs… The mower clunked, heaved, and dragged like a house up one excruciating step, and then, quite miraculously, another, until we managed to get the thing up all thirteen stairs. I didn’t hear a ‘pop’ or anything coming from my back at the time, but it sure did hurt like the dickens after I was done, and the rest of that day, and the next day too.

All I can say is, the next time my husband decides to repair outdoor machinery during an Idaho December deep-freeze, I’m going to suggest he install a mammoth furnace in the garage. Because I pretty much think pulling the lawnmower up those thirteen stairs  out of the basement might be what hurt my back.

And the next time my younger sister and I are at a party where they have a ping pong table, we’d better not play, or at least, I’d better have lots of muscle relaxants and pain killers on hand in my medicine cabinet for the morning after I chase down all those wayward balls.

My “Special Day” (Uterus, Part III)

February 11, 2009

Well, I’m baaack!  It’s Tuesday evening.  I had the uterine procedure thing done yesterday, which I’m calling my “special day,” as I pretty much spent the whole afternoon and evening sleeping and resting.  Of course,  I spent most of today catching up, albeit with no lifting, or exercise. After all, I am recovering, you know.

The nurse called me at the end of today to see how I was doing.  I allowed that I was cramping a little but otherwise “okay.” She said, “Just remember, no vacuuming or dishes for six weeks!”  Man, it’s worth a try.  I really haven’t talked to my husband about it – he’s been too busy on the home front (yesterday) and making up missed hours at work (today).  Now he is asleep in his recliner, although I need to wake him to remind him to do the dinner dishes.

Yesterday, about noon, the milk was delivered. I almost had to give my husband  written instructions as to how to get it from the front stoop into the fridge. Not really, but I was expecting a frozen bottled milk explosion by 10 PM when he finally remembered to bring it in:   Four half gallons, or twice the weight I was allowed to lift.

So all in all, the day surgery experience yesterday was, well, better than I expected.  First of all, I had crammed hours of reading into my bag, prepared for a long wait.  I was told to check in at 9:30 AM for the surgery, which was scheduled for 11:30 –  if Dr. Gross (my pet name for him.  He’s nice enough, and I could change it, but what the heck) was not delayed. I was told that the procedure (D&C and hysteroscopy) should take about half an hour,  and allowing for flexibility along with recovery time, I should be ready to go home by 2:30-3:00 PM.  That’s what I told my husband when we parted at the nurses’ station in day surgery just before 9:30 AM.

The next thing, I was sitting at the admittance desk, facing the clerk, calling out “yes … yes … yes,” as she read off my personal information from the  computer screen , the whole thing ringing in the air like some off-beat demented rap song.

Within 10 minutes I was sent down the hall clutching my paperwork and plastic ID wrist band.  A nurse stopped me. “Are you Josephine?” she asked, and as I nodded she hustled  me onto to a seat and slapped a blood pressure sleeve over my arm.  My blood pressure measured thirty points higher than it ever had in my life.  But she was wearing one of those lab coats, and registered it as “normal.”  I was up again and urged onto a free-standing scale. “The doctor is ready for you, NOW!”  She exclaimed.  “So we have to go as fast as we can.”  She weighed and measured me fully dressed, glanced at my shoes and declared, “5’4″ height.” (I’ve apparently grown a full inch.)

I was then escorted down the hall into a curtain-lined cubicle to suit up in my backless “prada” gown (that’s what the nurse called it, they were all quite fun).  And the big thing was to get the blood drawn ASAP,  and over to the lab to be tested and ‘okay-ed’ for the surgery.  But first! … to the bathroom for the urine sample, which, at this point, in my backless gown, stripped of everything except my socks, (including my glasses and all jewelry, which, I wasn’t sure where I had shoved my wedding rings) … pee-ing became difficult. I had saved my pee, had been holding my pee, but darn it, I just couldn’t pee. If only I could … relax … Ahhh … imagine a bubbling river streaming  through the bathroom faucet; it’s gushing over the sides of the  sink now,  splashing violently, flooding the bathroom floor … Ahhhh … there we  go!  Tinkle, tinkle … Okay, just a wee bit …

Then, “Quick!” exclaimed the nurse with the needle as I emerged from the bathroom.  She nudged me toward the bed: “Get settled now so we can draw blood and hook you up to the IV!.”  Then she nailed a vein beautifully on the top of my hand, but it just wouldn’t release blood into her vial. “Ohhhhh, come on!” she coaxed my vein.  “Hold still, Josephine!” she urged me.  I told her I went by “Jody.”

All the nurses were in a huge rush to get me prepped and on down the line, declaring,  “The doctor is ready NOW!”  Asking at each turn, “Are you Josephine?”  Confirming my birth date.

Well, I have to say, I met at least 5 nurses and two anesthesiologists before the surgery, but I never saw Dr. Gross, not before, during, or after the surgery.  I was suited up, IV dripping away into my arm, waiting in my  pre-surgery holding cubicle when my lab report arrived.  I believe this to be about 10:30 AM. The very next moment the anesthesiologist is there with his needle, explaining, “I am putting something in your IV to relax you while we wheel you to surgery.”  Sounded good to me!  So he did. We started out, he and the nurse wheeled me down the hall through some doors, turned right, then left, surgery area ahead, and I said cheerfully, “Sure looks busy!” as I spotted a swarm of blurry moving figures in blue lab coats …

That was it.  I was now awake talking with the post-op nurse, it was a little after noon, maybe.  I was wheeled to another area to prepare to go home.  Which, I was told, I was free to do after I pee-ed.  Great.   Well, I was a tad more relaxed this time.  No problem.  My stuff had followed me to my recovery room and I dressed and called my husband.  He met me at the front of the hospital at 1PM.

Oh, and I took a whole Percocet tablet before I left the hospital.  The nurse had offered something for pain and I said, “Yes.”  Which explains why I was pretty much worthless the rest of the day, which really made it special.