Saturday, February 16, 2008

Music and drugs
You know, when you hear those words "music and drugs," you think of 70s hair bands doing way too much coke and/or acid and ending up on VH1 Where are they Now. You don't really think "reviewing KZSU's world music under the influence of percocet and valium."

Ever since my two trips to ER this month I've been hitting the painkillers on a regular basis. (Unfortunately, I'm running out so I have a feeling I'm gonna start hurting again real soon.)

Part of my role as World Music Director is to review the music we add to our library so that our DJs know what they're getting when they pick up an unknown CD. Fortunately for me I had built up a cushion by reviewing 6 CDs last week so that this week, when I was really out of it, I didn't have to worry about meeting this week's quota. I tried listening to music, I really did, but the drugs pretty much wiped out my critical ability. Everything sounded pretty. It was impossible for me to come up with anything insightful or even useful to say. That, combined with the fact that I couldn't seem to type, pretty much ruined my ability to do anything productive this week.

In other news, I had my first acupuncture appointment on Friday. It went well. Mostly a consultation, but I really liked the doctor and was encouraged by what he had to say about my condition. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

And back to ER I go
Yeah, the "no visits to the hospital in 2008!" resolution lasted about as long as a Pamela Anderson marriage. Yesterday, after 30+ hours of total back pain agony, I ended up back in ER. In addition, this time my old pal non-stop vomiting came with me. Between Saturday morning and last night, here's my food diary: a half piece of toast, a bowl of cereal, two oatmeal cookies, a home-made burrito. That's it for 4 days. Since then I've had 8 saltine crackers, a half cup of milk, and a small bowl of this rate I'm going to get huge.

But the point of all this is not to complain (sorry if it seems like I am) or to praise the wonders of Percocet and Valium (which I do), but rather to thank all the ER nurses at Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. Every since time I've been to ER (probably a dozen times in the past 18 months), the nurses have been exemplary. Kind, compassionate, gentle. Even when rushed off their feet, as they were yesterday, my nurse, Lynda, took the time to check in periodically to make sure I was OK, see if I needed anything, and generally make me feel like I wasn't being forgotten.

And she's just one example. Each nurse, from the quiet, middle of the night shift to the busier than hell on a Saturday morning shift has been fabulous. Sure it's the doctors who make the lovely pain-go-away drugs possible, but it's the nurses who give you the most one-on-one attention -- and they do it with admirable skill. They've never failed to make me feel like I was being taken well care of and for that I am beyond grateful to these unsung heroes and heroines.

The two times I was admitted for a week, the floor nurses were equally wonderful. I will always be thankful for those middle-of-the-night chats when I was wide awake and they had time to spend in between seeing to other patients. They make me laugh, gave me a much-needed dose of human contact while being stuck in a hospital, and in all ways were warm, extremely capable, and delightful.

On a side note, I must once again praise Husband for staying by my side during yet another ER trip. In spite of the fact that he's crazy-busy at work, he made me his number one priority; holding my hand, keeping me company, and making sure I was OK. Even after I got out he took care of me; picking up prescriptions, getting me water, and once again treating me like I'm the most important person in the world. Husband, you are amazing. Thank you.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Searching for Mr. Goodchair
Cipher, the world's most amazing cat screw you if you don't agree (TM), has one nasty habit. She has claws of death that she has used to great effect on the chair in our living room.

We tried to prevent it at first, and then gave up and let her have it. After all, the chair is about 15 years old and cost all of $20 at Salvation Army, so it's hardly an heirloom.

But she's done her work well and it's now in shreds. Literally. The cloth has been ripped up, the stuffing pulled out, and it's down to bare wood in parts. It's so hideous that we've been longing to replace it for months now. But it's surprising hard to find a chair.

For one thing, we're pretty sure she's have her way with the new one as well, in spite of whatever efforts we can make to prevent her, so we don't want to spend a fortune on something that won't last long. But even shopping within a budget we find that there are really only two kinds of chairs: ugly and uncomfortable.

Even if we didn't have a budget we find that the $800 chairs are also ugly and/or uncomfortable.

Today we went to a home consignment store where the prices were reasonable (the chair we liked the best was $299) but again everything was....well, you know.

What is it with furniture designers that they don't realize that comfort is a quality people might actually find desirable? There are chairs that force you to slump (great for those of us with bad backs). Then there are those that force you into a position so upright that they should come with a corset and a Jane Austen novel. Others with big huge arms so far from the seat that you have to rest them at shoulder height -- very comfortable. Or seats that so deep that my feet don't reach the ground. Oh good, I'm five.

And the lovely color options. Green plaid. Black with green and purple flowers. Stylized "modern art" fabric that manages to combine the worst of cubism with the worst of surrealism. (Think Dali meets Helen Keller in a field of dead wild flowers.)

Is it too much to ask for a chair that costs less that $300, is comfortable to sit it, and doesn't actually cause visual offense?

At this point, we'll be living with the chair of shreds until it's just a pile of fluff and threads.