Thursday, March 31, 2011

I've Won a Major Award!

Good news, folks!  Last night I was presented with a major award!  No, it wasn't for knowing the name of the Lone Ranger's nephew's horse.  (Shut up, "A Christmas Story" quotes are never out of season.)

My (alleged) father came home from work last night with these lovely flowers for me.  Since he is one of the least naturally thoughtful men in the world (no offense meant, he's just one of those guys who think that Hallmark is a company set up by evil aliens from Mars intent on stealing money from people), I was surprised, to say the least.  He announced that he was giving me these beautiful blossoms because I have been such a "good sport."

Good sport!  Like I'm the worst player in the preschool kickball league!  Major coup for me, for sure.  My mother is very jealous, for once for something other than my youth.

In other great news, our little patient is feeling much less stoned out of his mind and seems to be on the road to recovery.  He's even accessorizing again.

Also I'm knee deep in the new "Sweet Valley High" book so I can discuss it with my buddy Molly and my cousin Missy, who is currently in India.  I hope she returns able to talk about things other than spiritual enlightenment and curry.  So far, it is really terrible in a delightfully awful kind of way, if you know what I mean

I'm also very interested in adding people in "Words with Friends."  My name there is Tarynfavre.

Lastly, please enjoy this.  I think Cooper has a distant relative somewhere down south. EDIT: There are a few bad words in it just in case you work in a monastery.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Groggy Doggie

Super Cooper woke up yesterday with a gigantic golf ball size lump under his eye.  We thought something had bit him in the night, most likely my sister Kerry, so my dad and I took him to the vet.  The poor thing ended up having surgery to have three teeth removed because he had gotten an infection in his sinus cavities.

The crazy thing is that since Coop was a puppy, my family and friends have mocked me for brushing his teeth often.  Apparently it didn't do a bit of good.  So much for dental hygiene.

One of my friends was texting me as this was going down, and after hearing about Cooper's ailment he said he didn't know that my Munchausen's Syndrome was contagious.  Beware, you might catch it just by reading this and find yourself faking bruised ribs and amnesia before you know it!

Anyway, he is home (at my parents' place, don't even get me started on that one) and drugged out of his mind.  The swelling is way down too, so it doesn't look like he's giving me the "you're wearing THOSE shoes?" side-eye.

Now for the 437th exciting update about my back/hip monstrosity, I saw a new specialist yesterday who thinks I have a deformed spine with too much of a curve at the bottom of it.  That might be what is causing this crap or it could be rheumatoid arthritis.  More steroids, more physical therapy and he wants me to walk with a cane.  I am going to be a gigantic hit at my fifteen year high school reunion next week!

Stay tuned for the next update of Human and Canine House MD.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Zookeepin' Busy

This weekend, we dog-sat for my parents' neighbors' little yippie dog.

She and Cooper got along pretty well and spent a lot of time running around on the plastic covered carpeting. Yes, construction is still going on here.  Oh, and my place at home, one hour away from here, has no construction, only one animal and a Tivo I don't have to share.  But I'm getting off track.

This dog ended up being the world's most incredible climber.  She also had a little problem with not going to the bathroom in the house.  I ended up spending most of the weekend with her strapped to my chest like an infant in a baby wrap.

She was cute but I'm going to stick with my big non-pedigreed mutt.

I also made a turban for the bird out of boredom on Saturday.

Yet another exciting post!  Tomorrow I am writing about this new iPhone app that lets you take a walking tour of various cities.  It's really cool, and they'll be a quiz and a giveaway and everything.  That should give you something to look forward to and motivate me to put down the various animals and do something productive.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top O' the Mornin'

First and most importantly, I finished Angry Birds yesterday.  TAKE THAT, ANNIE!  You'll never top someone with a fierce competitive drive and unlimited free time.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Cooper and I have been drinking Guinness and eating corned beef since just before dawn.

He got so drunk he hit on the labradoodle next store, who blew off his advances.  He ended falling down the stairs and bashing his head in, then collapsed on the front porch, crying about getting older and being all alone.

So it's been a pretty typical St. Patrick's Day so far.

Note to PETA people:  My dog doesn't really drink Guinness.  Neither do I.  His head injury is just an ace bandage wrapped around his head and was only done for my amusement.  Please don't throw red paint or goat fetuses on me.  Thanks!

In exciting hip-back developments (seriously, why are you people still reading here?  I feel like I'm updating from the nursing home as a 92 year old war veteran), I started PT with a new therapist last night.  He seemed to know what he was doing and he also recommended a new specialist to get this crap straightened out.  I have high hopes, which is a nice change of pace.

At one point, he was testing my strength and flexibility and he said, "You're very strong.  Were you an athlete in high school?"

I laughed so hard!  Good one, therapist Joe!  I remember having to kick a soccer ball around cones in gym class in high school, and I accidentally kicked it over the fence, then ran to retrieve it.  My friends kept yelling from the sidelines "Taryn!  Just take the penalty points!"  I think you could have taken my final time with a calendar instead of a stopwatch.  Ahh, memories.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Doctor Feel Bad

Yesterday, I woke up early and drove for an hour to get to the appointment with the orthopedic specialist at Northwestern.  My beloved mother and I waited for an hour and then had x-rays taken of my spine and pelvis.  Then we waited another hour in the exam room.  When the doctor finally came in, he said, "I'm confused as to why you're here.  I am a spinal surgeon and I don't even do sacroiliac joints, the lumbar region of the back or have anything to do with hip problems."

Yes, my primary care doctor (I should probably say former primary care doctor) had referred me to a doctor who had absolutely nothing to do with my issue.  I had waited almost three weeks for the appointment and had absolutely gotten my hopes up that this would be the guy that would figure out what the hell is going on with my back and hip.  When we left the office, I cried.

I start more physical therapy tonight with a new therapist, and I'm hoping that they will be able to recommend a specialist that actually will specialize in lower back and hip.  With my luck, we'll end up at a pediatric dentist or something.  HEAVY SIGH.

This is getting pretty depressing, so here's a picture of me checking out an elephant's butt.

That's a little better.

Anyway, this whole experience of having to be off my feet has convinced me that I need to get more active and achieve my weight loss goals.  I can't even tell you how boring it has been to lay around and do nothing for the last 59 days.  There's no way I want to hit 40 or 50 and find myself unable to climb a flight of stairs or go for a walk on the lake front.

At this point, it's not even about weight loss.  I just want to feel healthy and not let something like this limit me ever again.  I mean, it's been nice to get caught up on "Glee" and I've gotten a lot of very advanced literature reading done (think murder mysteries and true crime books), but enough is enough.

In that vein, I'm going to hook up with my dear friend and devoted trainer, Jackie Mosure.  I've written about her before, but I can't even begin to tell you how much she changed my life.  For a brief shining period, she had me feeling like a jock.  (I'll pause while my family and childhood friends laugh themselves into cardiac arrest).  Jackie is a gifted personal trainer, but she's also a nutritionist and a yoga instructor.  She's kind and funny, but she's never held back from kicking my behind when she knew I needed it.

Jackie is now engaged and has moved to Cincinnati, but we're going to consult over the phone and by email, and I'm actually looking forward to it.  Bring on the pain, Ms. Mosure.

Incidentally, Jackie is looking for new clients and will do a free health history with any new client to help anyone who needs it map out their goals.  You can contact her here, but please don't ask her about the time I almost fell off the treadmill in front of her.  Thanks in advance.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Me Out

Hello and welcome to another update from the bowels of suburbia and bed rest!  We're at eight weeks now and counting.  Boredom is becoming a fact of life.  Luckily, my parents' neighbor comes over almost every day to hang out.  We play video games and he chases the dog around.  He's seven years old, but he's swiftly becoming my best friend.  Please don't judge.

The kitchen remodeling project here is a real joy.  There are boxes of cabinets everywhere, we have no stove or kitchen sink, and my mom is so distracted that on some days she forgets to ask me what I want for lunch until at least 2 PM.  CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT, INTERNET PEOPLE??  We were out of waffles for two days before she noticed.  I just sat on my fainting couch with silent tears streaming down my face until she finally got her head out of her butt and tended to me.  She's lucky the dog likes her or else I'd fire her and replace her with a much more dynamic health care worker, like Nanny from "Muppet Babies."  You've been warned, Mumsie Pooh.

Last night we went out to dinner and it was the first time I've left the house (except for PT) in several weeks.  We brought my very fashionable donut pillow for my injured tail bone.
My mom made sure to helpfully tell the hostess that I have a dislocated back.  Disappointingly, we didn't get a free dessert or even a balloon.  Life is not always like the movies, and the earlier you learn this the better.

Please send good thoughts my way tomorrow.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon and I'm really hoping he gets to the bottom of this business.  I'm hanging in there, but Coop is getting a little bit bored.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


It's become apparent to me that my beloved mother hates my car.

I drive a 2005 Buick that was one of my dad's little cream puffs from his used car biz.  (Motto: Wright Cars, Wright Prices, Jack Wright).  I've had it about eight months now and I love my car.  It's big and the radio works and the doors open with a remote control and I can fit at least five bodies in the trunk.  What's not to love?

Apparently, my mom can think of a lot of reasons.  "That car is too old for you!  It's too old for me.  It's too big and you need something younger and cooler."  When I told her I wouldn't trade it for any other car even if I won the lotto, she looked pained.  It really bothers her.  The other day when we were talking about it, she called me a mutton head.  I think that's an insult.

My mother is nuts, because I know my car is cool.  How do I know this?  After I got my Buick (which was a repo, if I'm going to be honest), I found this picture of its previous owners underneath the seat.

Now these ladies know how to have fun and they don't worry about driving a senior citizen's car.  I wait anxiously for my mother's apology.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Taking the Physical Challenge

Yesterday, my sister Kerry had the day off from work and she very kindly offered to take me to physical therapy.

The physical therapist I see is a very nice woman and she's been working hard to figure out exactly why my back keeps dislocating between my pelvis and my spine.  Every appointment where I come in and, once again, my body is all out of whack, she gets more and more frustrated.  She works her butt off getting the joint back together and fixing all of the muscles around my back, butt and hip.  I mean seriously, this lady is 5'2'' and about a hundred pounds, and she beats the crap out of my body trying to get it repositioned.  She takes her job very seriously.

So yesterday, Kerry and I started goofing off in the waiting room before my appointment.  I ended up playfully knocking a dixie cup out of her mouth, spilling some water on her shirt.  She responded my pouring an entire cup of water on my pants.  I warned her that I was having electric shocks sent to my hip as part of my therapy and that now that she got me wet, I would most likely be electrocuted.  In my mind, I thought she would be concerned at possibly causing my death, but when the therapist came out to get me for my appointment, Kerry jumped up and asked if she could come in and watch.  "Um, you don't have to.  I really don't want you to," I said.  Kerry shrugged, ignored me and followed us back to the exam room.  She truly views me as an authority figure and quivers at the sound of my every command.

The therapist immediately got to work, exposing lucky Kerry to my bare white butt.  I could feel the therapist frowning when she examined my hip.  "This is really inflamed again.  Have you been icing it all the time like I told you to do?"

"Yes," I said, gathering as much dignity as someone lying on her stomach with her butt in the air in front of her sister could muster.  "I've been a champ with icing it.  Ask Kerry."

The therapist turned to Kerry, who immediately said, "No she hasn't, and she bends and twists all the time."

Now, this is not at all true.  I've been at my parents' house for seven weeks now specifically to avoid twisting, bending or even sitting for long periods.  I could feel my face turn red, and I laughed nervously.  "She's just kidding.  I haven't been doing anything, right Kerry?"

Kerry just shrugged her shoulders and refused to admit she was kidding around.  The poor therapist started fretting, saying "All of my hard work is for nothing if you do that!  No wonder your back dislocates and your hip pulls out of place!  You can't bend or twist!  You just can't do it!  You have to take it easy!"  No matter how many times I said Kerry was joking, the therapist didn't seem to believe me and Kerry didn't cop to it.

The next forty minutes were agonizing as the angry physical therapist kicked my butt with her medically-endorsed ass-kicking.  I'll never get Kerry wet ever again.  Lesson learned.