Thursday, December 31, 2009

Warning...Graphic Medical Drama

So, as many of you already know, crazy lady has been through some serious medical angst. She went to the doctor with a follow-up for bad carpal tunnel in September-- and left with the collapse of her cervical spine, bone growths, spinal cord compression, edema and lesions (for those who don't speak medical, that means "big, bad sores on her spinal cord"). Every appointment gives her more bad news. Crazy lady is coming to terms with the "no matter what, you will go paralyzed from the neck down," and she is taking steps to prepare for her future. That includes my awesome certification as a service and medic alert dog:Unfortunately, her preparation also includes applying for permanent disability. Apparently, it took the powers-that-be over 6 years to find the correct diagnosis. Too late for treatment, at this stage. Possible surgery, but very bad (scary) odds. She does not blame anyone for the delay-- they were focused on her other life threatening issues, and this problem "slipped their minds." Shit happens. The need for disability, however? Very real. It's the first time she has even had to consider applying for permanent disability. She has always taken pride in her work, no matter the treatment or illness that sidetracks her life. This time is different, though. The problem is not going away, and the current solution (replacing her entire neck with a titanium cage) means at least 18 months of rehabilitative care, where they teach her to walk, eat, and dress herself. Here is what a normal section of her spine looks like:
(pretend you are standing on top of her head, looking down the center of her neck)
The center circle is the spinal cord, and the white stuff is fluid protecting the cord. The grey bones are her spinal column, "holding" the fluid and cord together. The above picture is normal and healthy. Here's a picture of the compression and injured spots:That black thing pushing against the round spinal cord? (the center of the image) One of many growths. Bad, bad, bad. The pieces of white crap on the side of the spinal column? Bits of bone trapped in fluid. Not good. The lack of fluid protecting the spinal column? Gone. Sitting on top of her brain. Overall, a professional looks at these results and goes "holy crap, you're still walking?"Then, they look at this and go completely silent:(In case you don't know, the spinal cord should not look like it's "hanging by a thread." The cord is running down the middle of the image. It is "pinched" by bone marrow growths, reducing the cord to 5 mm, less than half its normal size. This means her central nervous system is having problems communicating to her brain.)

Yep. You now understand why she has started seeing a psychologist, right? As any human being in a crisis situation, seeing a shrink is the responsible thing to do. He is teaching her to live "one day at a time" and develop skills to manage the many unknowns in her future. Crazy lady thinks her psychologist is the best thing since the discovery of tuna melts with extra cheese and butter-baked bread.So, why the current angst? Why has she broken her promise to avoid gory details? Well, she needed to vent. The super-duper intelligent folks at the social security disability office sent her for a medical appointment, to verify that the spinal cord injury and current paralysis really exists. Because, you know, people lie. It's hard to believe numerous spine doctors, neurologists, specialists, UCSF and Stanford second opinions, and the various MRIs, CT scans, xrays, myelograms, EEGs, etc... They have to send someone with SPINAL CORD INJURIES to a doctor, to STEP ON STOOLS, REACH UP, JUMP ON 1 LEG, and WALK WITHOUT SUPPORT. You refuse? They deny your claim for disability. You actually do these tests? You sever your spinal cord and die. Take your pick.Let's just say, the appointment was not a positive experience. Crazy lady refused to do half of the crazy-ass tests they wanted her to do. She had to listen to the doctor complain that her medical records had too much information for him to absorb. Huh? She watched the medical doctor throw her cane on the floor, and refused to let her use anything for balance or support. Her spine is hanging by a thread, remember? This medical professional really had no understanding of spinal cord injuries. He insisted "stretching your hands, reaching up to the sky, it's a good thing for your spine." Crazy lady honestly stared at him and asked, "You did read the neurologist report, right? Stretching my spine like that? It will cause my death." Afterwards, she took a pain pill and called the disability examiner's office to make it very clear: "You do not send someone with spinal cord injuries to this doctor. He will kill them."

The part that truly stinks is that they now have grounds for denying her claim. No disability means delaying her surgery. The longer she waits, the worse the prognosis. Crazy lady normally doesn't use my blog to rant about injustice-- but, just this once, she felt the need to share. She has received some fabulous, wonderfully supportive emails from old and new friends. She has kept pretty quiet about the crap because, well...what do you say? She wants people to know that their letters and calls are incredibly uplifting, especially during these moments when she gets frustrated because...

The "system" truly sucks.

Amen.

Soul Enrichment

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Genius...or not...


To quote the "geniuses" who came up with this idea:
"We had just a whole bucket of beers, Coronas. I remember a couple dogs and no openers and we said, 'I think that's a good idea. We should try that! You call your dog over...you open it up, you put it back on (the dog's collar) and that's it. Why wouldn't you want this? It's basically the four-legged bottle opener for the party animal, I mean it's perfect. what more could you ask for?"

Want more PWT "special" moments? Check out People of Walmart, including today's healthy choice:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A blessing and miracle

Angry, bitter, cynical crazy lady is never the type of person to dwell on seasonal cheer and holiday dreams. One a scale of 1-10, where 10 is "truly sucks," she has been rating life a 12+ the past couple of months. The "going paralyzed from the neck down" crapola has not been fun. Miracles? Hah! Not in her world. One of her friends insists that crazy lady is a "spiritual atheist" who can "persevere, no matter the circumstances." Really, though-- trust me-- crazy lady is not that perky. So, imagine my surprise when she put together this video and came to the strange realization that perhaps the cosmic universe has provided a miracle in her life:

ME

She gave me a BIG hug and called me her "blessing and miracle."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mirth

(thanks, Kenneth)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eastern Snow Days

This time, last year...spinach soup...Pink sweaters...And, my very first adventure in snow!Stay safe and warm, our furry (and not-so-furry) friends and family on the East Coast!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Yotaro

THIS is why Japan is the #1 buyer of Crazy Lady's books:

Seriously. They provide oodles of material for her horror books, and they support the creepiness inherent in her work. She constantly threatens me with, "one of these days, we are packing up and moving to Kyoto!"

More information about Yotaro can be found here. Roughly translated:
" YOTARO (Yotarou). Robot baby with a soft body temperature. Have a soft cheek, in body temperature, or sneezing, or runny nose, and I'll grin and cradles and legs Jitabata or reproduction program the robot hand movement and emotion and such a baby is that this is YOTARO."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oh. My.

Crazy lady is missing Boston and Cambridge, these days. Between this:-- and this:

She is itching to spend more time with her East Coast gays (don't ask). Me? Not so much. Now, don't get me wrong-- I adore those boys. They treat me like the Queen I truly am-- treats, walks, play dates with fluff balls, and "pretty talk." No amount of gorgeous and spandex can make up for the biting cold, though:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

En Garde

Intruders beware...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Beggin' for Lovvin

After a hard day's work, I don't ask for much...just the simple snuggle and scratch, please! Plus, plenty of time for rest:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nailed. It.


To quote TLO's review this morning:

“Y'know, it could be argued that giving "And I Am Telling You" to the sassy, chubby black girl is just a tiny bit on the cliche side, but a): they treated it like the expected thing it was, and b): she FUCKING NAILED IT with a version that would have made both Jennifers sit down for a minute.

And what do you do after the sassy, chubby black girl brings down the roof with the anthem for sassy, chubby black girls everwhere? Why, you hand the Jewish girl with the Broadway Baby styling "Don't Rain on My Parade,"(the anthem for Jewish girls with Broadway Baby styling everywhere) and turn her loose, resulting in yet another roof coming crashing down.”

Read the complete review here. And, for your hearing pleasure, here's the "anthem for Jewish Girls with Broadway Baby styling" bringing down the house, in last night's episode:

Lea Michele sings a version that would make the notoriously perfect Babs very, very proud.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

You want me to to what? When? Right now?It's cold outside. Here's what you can do with your suggestion:Stick it.
Now, leave me alone, and let me sleep.Btw, do you really think people will understand the obscure musical reference in the title? Silly human. Not everyone shares your obsession with musicals.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day of Rest

Even us working dogs need some time off...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Original Gal

Crazy lady is an original gal-- original music, original movies, original books. She's not one to say "I prefer the newer version of the song." Covers? Nope, she usually can not stand "mocking songs that deplete the value of the original." (Does that sentence even make sense? Geez.) There are exceptions, however. She adores Jill Scott's Hate On Me:

The song has always been her "go to" anthem for vengeance. Protagonist seeks revenge for rape and torture? Crazy Lady listens to Hate On Me for hours. Protagonist seeks revenge for her lover's lies? Hate On Me is looped on the iPod, over and over again. I know, I know, Crazy Lady and her ANGER ISSUES. Lately, though, she prefers Amber Riley's cover (cast member of Glee):

For once, I agree with Crazy Lady-- Amber Riley NAILS the song. She listens to both versions these days, especially when a character must pay for spying on a 9 year old genetic mutant, as she prepares to eat her brother. (Fiction, people, fiction...)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Working Girl

As you know, I am a registered service and medic alert dog. One of my duties is to travel with Crazy Lady to her doctor's appointments and treatments, to help carry stuff (mostly drugs, drugs and more drugs!). Here I am, patiently waiting for her to load my backpack with goodies:She had a full day of appointments, starting with acupuncture this morning. The needles and heat lamps actually improve her feet, which is a good thing. The treatments don't do much for her arms and hands, but I keep telling her "Walking is good! Be positive!" Yeah, you can imagine her response-- she scowls a lot, when I'm perky. I just ignore her and calmly stand in the lobby, waiting for our names to be called:Aren't I gorgeous? They actually say, "Karen and Sugar" when it's appointment time! How cool is that? During treatment, I sit next to her bed:Do you notice how she was trying to take a picture, but the needles and hospital gown kept getting in the way?I told her to concentrate on the treatment, but she wanted to take a picture of my beautiful self.
I can't blame her for trying. Geez, though-- I wish she caught my prettier side. Humans. At least she let me take a break and hang out at Judy's house, to play with the Pack. Pretty big smile, huh?Definitely bigger than Reese's crazy grin!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Endless Love

Dedicated to crazy lady's sister, who generously cooked a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner and opened her Texan home to the clan. I will forgive the endless love she has for her Evil Ones. For now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Tasty Thanksgiving of Evil Ones

Do you know what crazy lady and her folks did, while I pouted at the boarding house last week? They were lured into duplicity by Evil Ones:Including 4 pounds of wickedness from a baby Evil One:To add insult to injury, they ate TURKEY while I suffered on kibble:Traitors.They will pay. I don't know how, and I don't know when-- but, it will happen SOON.
Perhaps Wild Dingo will give me some ideas? She has, after all, already placed a flamethrower in my paw-- see here for more details.