Category - Health & Fitness

2013 Gratitude
Post Post Knee Surgery
Post Knee Surgery
Surgery Tomorrow…
Take a science class!
Don’t let facts challenge your ignorance
Your Nose is Collapsing
More Ignorance

2013 Gratitude

My friend Annie Fraley asked her Facebook friends to post about things that made them happy in 2013. I appreciate this question because I always used to approach the end of each year with a “glad that’s over with” attitude, and now I’m just trying to be grateful for the good stuff. So even though 2013 presented me with many challenges, disappointments, frustrations, some health issues, and a near tragedy, I still think it was a great year. My 2013 highlights are as follows:

  • Got solar panels installed on our roof, which is good for the environment and has lowered our energy bill
  • Acquired a couple new professional clients
  • Attended the bat mitzvah of my youngest niece, Emma
  • Celebrated my dad’s 90th birthday
  • Celebrated the 16th anniversary of Peter‘s and my first date AND the 7th anniversary of our nuptials
  • Saw Fiona Apple perform live
  • Completely overhauled my personal website (which used to be, and is now this here blog)
  • Got our orange tabby middle child Lenny out of “jail” (i.e., 10-day quarantine after he accidentally bit me)
  • Got myself out of Facebook “jail” (don’t ask) and then started a new Facebook account
  • Had the best pedicure of my life, just a few weeks ago
  • Saw my dad recover from a serious fall/blow to the head (as much as a 90-year-old with Alzheimer’s can recover)
  • Kept myself reasonably physically fit throughout the year, considering my knee issue
  • Had knee surgery… and am recovering not as quickly as I’d like, but still fairly well at the 3-week mark
  • Had a “stray” cat in the neighborhood neutered because his owners are too irresponsible to have done it themselves
  • Took a day trip to Placer & Nevada Counties, with the highlight being a visit to Empire Mine State Historic Park
  • Started using a pretty decent new email client after nearly 20 years with Eudora (the last 5 years of which have been maddeningly frustrating)
  • Finally decided to switch cat litter brands because the one I’ve been using for years no longer holds the pee clumps together and it’s been impossible to keep the boxes clean (the cat people out there will understand the significance of this)
  • Gained a lot more confidence in myself
  • Decided to remove the word “hate” from my vocabulary
  • Just this week, made chicken soup for the first time in my life, and it turned out seriously yummy!

Post Post Knee Surgery

So my knee hardly hurts at all, but the rest of me… ugh. My jaw-throat-trachea are in spasms from the intubation. My abdomen is achy from coughing (also due to having been tubed). And my upper back muscles and triceps are hella sore from having to walk with crutches. But I don’t want to take any more Norco; that stuff makes me feel like a zombie.

Bitch, bitch, bitch…

I would totally buck up, though, if Boris would just come back.

Post Knee Surgery

I’m fine. The orthopedic surgeon was top notch. My knee hardly hurts at all, and I’m optimistic about a full recovery.

The Admitting and Nursing staff at Kaiser SF are pretty great, and everyone there was cordial to me.

That’s the good news.

The overall system/organization/scheduling at SF Kaiser Ambulatory Surgery Dept – AWFUL. 7-1/2 hours at the hospital for a 30-min procedure, with essentially no communication about the various delays. My poor husband! (Peter Jaramillo, you are so awesome for enduring it; I will make it up to you, I promise ).

My throat feels like they shoved a lead pipe down there rather than a narrow PVC tracheal tube; nice technique…not. I was coughing my lungs up all night.

The anesthesiology dept at Kaiser SF SUCKS; they do not listen to instruction (I was very clear about my needs – via email and verbal communication) and then try to trick you into believing they did what you say as if you’re an idiot. 2mg of versed doesn’t remotely cut it, and no fentanyl. Assholes. And then post-op, when the zofran wasn’t enough, they informed me that the entire (large urban, supposedly modern) hospital has run out of whatever intramuscular antiemetic they use. Seriously?? Trust me, I remember everything and will be lodging a complaint.

Yes, as you can see, I’m back to my feisty self already. 😉

Yup, I’m okay. LOL.

[P.S. The surgery dept at Kaiser Antioch is 20 bazillion times better than the one in SF. Heads up.]

Surgery Tomorrow…

While the stray cat is (hopefully) being neutered tomorrow, I’ll be undergoing a knee arthroscopy to remove the torn part of my left medial meniscus. I’m a power walker who hasn’t been able to engage in that life-affirming activity for the past 19 months… so it will be amazingly awesome if the surgery does the trick. *fingers crossed*

Take a science class!

When Fear Mongering Wins the Anti-Vaccine Story

It’s now been proven that vaccinations have NOTHING to do with autism. The alleged causal nexus was based on a fraud, originated by a deceptive physician (who has since been stripped of his license to practice medicine) and perpetuated by a self-serving former Playboy model. It then rose to the height of urban legend because the saps out there, who tend to be as ignorant of chemistry/science/medicine as they are mesmerized by vapid blondes with silicone-enhanced protuberances, blindly accepted the hoax and eagerly joined the hysteria.

The latest admonition is nothing but a resurrected red herring. Yet, people all over the net are now (again) clamoring that something must be done!… that they will never vaccinate their children!… that it’s all a conspiracy on the part of big pharma!… that this court case PROVES culpability!

Um, no, not really. Court cases — in particular, civil lawsuits — often have little to no significance. Organizations routinely settle matters such as these out of court, because it’s less costly than going to trial. Settlements don’t necessarily signify acknowledgment of guilt OR actual culpability.

There’s only one conclusion I can draw about those who, in spite of the truth that we now know, stubbornly cling to the vaccinations-are-evil paradigm… So I feel I must say this:

PEOPLE! Stop embarrassing yourselves with this crap! You are being STUPID! Yes, there has been a rise in the incidence of autism… and although the WHY of it has not yet been identified, we KNOW that vaccinations have played no part! To be so easily swayed by propaganda and pseudoscience… to believe that Oprah is some sort of authority… to fall for every online hoax and fly-by-night “alternative health” website with articles penned by not even all that clever charlatans… is MORONIC by definition. And the fact that you simpletons think YOU know better than scientists, epidemiologists, doctors, and other folks who are actually educated in these disciplines would be laughable if it weren’t so scary.  Turn off your daytime television and go take a science class! Or any class for that matter.

I’m the last person to defend big business — biotech or otherwise — but the fact is, vaccinations are not evil. Quite the opposite. Our society is now blessed with near eradication of polio, measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diptheria, pertussis (whooping cough), viral meningitis, HPV, various forms of hepatitis, and other life threatening, often fatal, diseases ➞ all because of mandatory vaccinations. It’s called PUBLIC HEALTH.

To not vaccinate one’s child is not only irresponsible with regard to that child, but in the context of the larger community and even to the world population. It’s irresponsible in the extreme. Since this whole “I refuse to vaccinate my child” foolishness began, there have been upticks in the incidences of these serious diseases in our population. Polio HAD all but been wiped out until the ignoramuses jumped on the vaccinations-are-the-antichrist bandwagon.

I’m horrified that anyone would not vaccinate their children in this day and age. My perplexity at the brainlessness aside, I’m horrified by the irresponsibility of it all. In 2012 alone, there were 41,000 cases of pertussis in the U.S. (when there shouldn’t have been even 1), and at least 18 of those cases resulted in death! This could have been easily prevented!

These imbeciles are as bad as if not worse than religious zealots. How DARE they put other people’s children at risk to justify their junk science dogma!

Your Nose is Collapsing

That’s what the ENT doctor told me on Tuesday.

One of the reasons for my visit (not the primary reason, but I won’t go into that right now) is that I can’t seem to get enough air through my nasal valves.  I’ve been using Flonase for quite awhile now, so I shouldn’t be congested; yet, I continually feel like I can’t breathe through my nose. So the doc observed me as I inhaled… and then stuck a thin metal rod up my right nostril, pulled it outward, and asked “is that better?”

Diagnosis:  External Nasal Vestibular Stenosis — i.e., my already skinny nostrils collapse inwardly when I inhale through my nose, creating an obstructed airway.  Apparently, this is something that can happen with age.  Great.  I’m only 52.  By the time I’m 82, will I need to be on a ventilator?

There actually is a surgical fix for this condition.  It involves taking cartilage from the ear and creating “spreader grafts,” which act as wedges between the septum and the upper lateral cartilages, thereby expanding the internal area of the valve.  Sounds great, right?  A piece of my ear shoved up and sewn into each nostril?  Except that the procedure is rhinoplasty and it permanently alters one’s appearance.  Yikes.
nose cones
The less invasive and certainly less permanent treatment involves the use of either Breathe Right strips or nose cones to open up the nasal valves.  Since I’m self-employed and mostly work at home, I suppose this is the best approach for now.  I’ll just have to remember to peel off the strip or pull out the cones before heading out to buy groceries.

I ordered a pair of nose cones a few days ago.  It will be interesting to see if they help, if I can tolerate them, and (assuming that I — because I will — forget to remove them before leaving the house) what kind of gawking they generate while I’m lifting weights at the gym or standing in line at the post office.



Despite its popularity and touted health benefits, I’ve always found yoga to be nothing more than a time waster.  Every class I’ve ever attended has either been annoying or more annoying.  And the instructors, more often than not, make me laugh with their earnest outward attempts at displaying inner peace.  *rolls eyes*  So I particularly enjoyed this video, and  I hope you do, too. 🙂

Namaste Motherfucker – YouTube.

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