Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blessed are the Friends

This is a post about Susan Wiggs. (Photo on the right)

But first, let's talk about me. *g* Despite the fact I'm the perpetual optimist, I've been feeling a little down lately. The medical things are getting to me: pending hysterectomy, extreme pain (cause unknown) in my right thigh, constant coughing from allergies . . . and an I-don't-care-you're-just-a-number medical system. Yesterday, I made yet another phone call to the clinic trying to find out if my referral to a specialist had gone through. They had initially said it would take 2 weeks. It's been over 2 weeks. I found out they hadn't even started on it. As I told them 2 weeks ago, this needs to be done ASAP, since I'll be losing my medical insurance in the near future, and I want to be sure my hysterectomy is covered.
So how does Susan Wiggs figure into the picture? Well, she may not be able to build a fire under the medical system, but she sure can do things to make you feel better. Susan is a person who always manages to lift my spirits. She did that today when I opened my mailbox and saw a long, skinny package. What the . . .? And then I saw it was from Susan. Now, Susan has this quirky mind that always seems to come up with the perfect gift at the perfect time. The Screaming Monkey Christmas gift had my family in stitches. My Doberman Nova's favorite chew toy is a big green rubber thing, courtesy of Susan. The Rubber Thing has since been commandeered by Asterisk, my Boxer pup. That's Asterisk above, with the Rubber Thing. (And yes, she is sitting on Nova) BTW, a suggestion from Susan was the trigger to my naming the pup Asterisk.

So when I saw the package was from Susan, I started to laugh, knowing it would be something quirky and fun. By time I got back to the house, I'd torn off the brown paper and discovered . . . a BugZooka! (Where does she find these things???)
What's a BugZooka? Well, it's basically a bug disposal unit--a long vacuum tube that sucks up insects. Better than a flyswatter, because it doesn't leave splats on your walls or ceilings. You can either set the bugs free outdoors, or dispose of them some other way. I get these humongous hairy spiders in my bathroom that hang out over my sink or shower, keeping me from my ablutions for fear of them landing on my head. I don't know what kind of uber-spider they are, but Raid has no effect, even when sprayed directly on them. I find that exceedingly scary. And using a flyswatter is out of the question. I tried that once and it left an extremely gross mess on the ceiling. Now I have an effective means of dealing with uninvited critters in my house. I can't wait for the yellowjackets that invade my house every fall and terrorize me and my pets. Zap! Gotcha!!!


Tim J said...

Friends like that are a Very Good Thing in my opinion. And I hope your healthcare system gets itself moving.

If Raid is a fly spray, I think some of them use poisons which are very specific to insects (hence harmless to humans)—it's possible that spiders, being arachnids rather than insects, are either immune or not so sensitive.

You don't go with the traditional saying then—If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider go alive—? (I'll leave it to you to decide whether that was the right way to punctuate it once I'd decided to put the saying in italics rather than quotes!)

I hope the insect-slurper is as much fun to use as it looks (maybe not fun for the insects, but one can't have everything)!

Anonymous said...

Aww, thank you for this sweet post. I wish I could do more. Although you scared me with the line "How does Susan figure into this?" I thought you were going to say "She's going to come over tonight and give my a hysterectomy! Whatta pal!"

Seriously - if you're feeling evil you can suck a spider AND a fly into the Bugzooka and let the games begin. I am so evil.

News From the Holmestead said...

Tim, I have this thing about spiders. They belong outside, not inside. I treat them with respect outside, and go out of my way to not disturb their webs.

But when they come inside and hang out in corners, tossing their empty beer bottles at me and having their scruffy bachelor friends over, that's another story. And when they hover over the bathroom sink waving their fists at me as I try to wash my face, I don't find that very endearing.

Every fall, I stand on my front porch and yell out loud, "Spiders, you stay outside now, hear? Stay outside, I leave you alone. Come inside, it's doomsday."

They never listen to me.

News From the Holmestead said...

"if you're feeling evil you can suck a spider AND a fly into the Bugzooka and let the games begin. I am so evil."

OMG, I am laughing my head off! Yes, you truly are evil! I've already sucked one spider with the BugZooka. Now I'm going to look for a fly. (insert diabolical laughter)

Anonymous said...

There's a new book you might want to read before you consider proceeding with the hysterectomy. It's called The H Word, and it discusses why hysterectomy is recommended, the diagnostic studies that should be performed, alternatives, and strategies to help women cope with the lifelong aftereffects. You can search inside the book at Amazon, but there's a website for the book at hersfoundation DOT org, click on "book." Good luck.

News From the Holmestead said...

Dear Anonymous: Thank you for the book recommendation. I looked it up on their Web site, and I'm a little concerned. Some of the claims seem a bit fantastical/radical. For one thing, they refer to it as "female castration." I certainly believe there are unnecessary hysterectomies performed, but what of those that are warranted?

In my case, (to get graphic) my uterus has prolapsed. I'm Stage 2. Stage 3 is when it falls out and flaps in the breeze. I've just begun research, but it appears my two options are hysterectomy or a pessary. Forget the pessary. I'm not going for that. Once the referral goes through and I see a specialist, I'll know more and can make an informed decision. And I always ask if there are less invasive alternatives.

I don't know if there are nonsurgical alternatives to a prolapse. I do know several friends and co-workers who've had the Big H and said it was the best thing they ever did. We shall see. Regardless, thank you for your concern and recommendation.

Tim J said...

But the spiders are just trying to help you with the housework, by getting rid of any insects . . . I can see about the beer bottles, empty fly skeletons and the like, though ;-)

Maybe the spiders would listen if they could, but don't hear very well in the pitch range of the human voice—do you have a better way to communicate with them?

Regarding hysterectomies, I think you ought to ask how much they want to remove, simply because I know there used to be a tendency in this country to remove ovaries too even when it wasn't strictly necessary. (I'm not sure how it is now. Or in your country.) Regardless of whether you want to use words like "female castration" for it, you'll probably have an easier time afterwards if they can leave them in.

Personally I never trust campaigning health books, preferring instead to trust demonstrably unbiased research, but there you go.

Anyway good luck, where luck probably doesn't mean luck at all, but people doing their jobs well with an understanding of what you want.

PS my mother had a hysterectomy some years ago with non-typical results, but she's hardly a balanced clinical sample, consisting as she does of just one person.