Super Friends

Thank you for the AWESOME pillow, Jae! I love it so much!

This pillow arrived in the mail yesterday, from my (Super) friend Jae, who crafted it up. It’s the same size as Gary the Pillow (who I still need to bling up, too.) Now I have a color scheme to work with for it.

At some point, I envision a pillow fight between Gary and Selena the Super-pillow. I’d say Marlena the Meta-pillow, but that’s Barbara Gordon Batgirl in that print. To my knowledge, Babs has never been classed as a true Meta.

I’m not sure who would win if they did throw down in a pillow fight, though. Gary’s not a villainous pillow and no pillow with the Super Women of DC could be villainous, either, so it would be the classic “Marvel Misunderstanding” if they did. Maybe they’re too smart to fight each other. We’ll see, once Gary’s in his costume.

Game Night Highlights for 10012017

Ellibelli Dragon-gnome: What’s the name of this adventure? Whores of the Dragon Queen?

DM: Hoard of the Dragon Queen. Hoard!

Elli: Yeah, I’ll believe there’s treasure in this adventure when I see it.

Elli: Oh, in the last room, we found a Wand of Secrets. The command word for the wand is Rad-nu. It pulses is a trap or secret door is within 30 feet. Who wants it?

DM: It’s more of a throb than a pulse.

Alexeron Farstrider: Not me.

Adrin Magepants: No, thanks.

Marmalade Ranger-danger: Uh, no. I’m good.

Samwise Bardfast: All you, Elli. You keep your throbbing wand.

DM: There are a pair of standing stones. They have a curve at the top. Sort of an arch.

Elli: Are they yellowish?

Alexeron: NO! We are NOT at McDonalds!

Elli: Just checking.

Marmalade: I have Dragons as one of my favored enemies. I use my Primal sense to sense if there are any of my favored enemies nearby.

DM: There are (counts quickly) 10 nearby.

Marmalade: There are 11 Dragons nearby, if we count Ellibelli.

Elli: See. I told you I’m a dragon.

DM: Ellibelli isn’t registering on your dragon-sense.

Marmalade: I know where my bread is buttered.

Sam: I say “Drazir” and run in.

DM: Roll your constitution check.

Sam: (Rolls) 4

Elli: (Sighs) I drag Sam out of the way and lean him by the arrow slit room door.

DM: I’ve got to give it to you, Sam. If at first you don’t succeed, yell Drazir and try again.

DM: These are gargoyles.

Elli: Does one of them look like Michael Dorn? The Michael Dorn Gargoyle was hot?

DM: No, but one looks a little like Gilbert Godfrey.

Marmalade and Elli: (together) I target the one who looks like Gilbert Godfrey first.

Adrin: (Opens the door. Throws a fireball. Closes the Door) TROLLS!

Alexeron: (Opens the door. Casts shatter. Closes the Door) STILL TROLLS!

Alexeron: So, Adrin’s flaming sphere is blocking the door into the entry hall and the trolls are blocking the door out?

DM: Yes. And the door is on fire.

Alexeron: I cast Invisibility and move 5 feet to the right. *pop*

DM: (dice rolling behind the screen) They don’t seem to be able to find you.

DM: Elli, you hear doors opening and closing in the next rooms.

Elli: We’ve got more incoming!

DM: The door into the entryway is on fire from Adrin’s flaming sphere. The flames are licking the ceiling. The Hunting lodge is on fire.

Elli: *singing* The lodge. The lodge. The lodge is on fi-re. (stops) Sam. Among your people, you are known as Samuel Burnleaf. Adrin, from now on, you shall be known by the gnomish name Adrin Burnlodge.

Sam: (Goes up to the second story of the burning lodge)

Harvey Littlefoot: Elli, where should we go?

Elli: Sam should never should be left alone.

Harvey: Upstairs it is.

Elli: I’m sad. I had visions of Harvey and Elli’s Hunting Lodge in the future.

Halloween Season

Halloween Season has officially begun, kicking off the holiday season with a disturbingly loud creek and unsettling thump in the middle of the night. I enjoy the season. For a small part of the year, I don’t have to explain my skull socks, spiderweb scarf, or the brain-shaped stress ball on my desk at work. As the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to turn in earnest, everyone indulges in their inner macabre and for a short time, it turns into Halloween Town.
My hooks and needles are itching to get into more yarn as I settle in under blankets for the evenings and enjoy my favorite spooky shows and films old and new. I’m hoping to get enough time to watch Riverdale season 1 before Halloween as well as finish up Van Helsing Season 1, which Dr. Roommate started binging. I also need to view the anime Another somewhere in there. I tried starting this when I was first recovering from surgery, but I couldn’t focus, and Another is a show that you need to focus on if you’re going to enjoy all the frightful treasures in it.
I did finish Castlevania (Netflix original series). At four episodes, it was just about the right length for what I could handle at the time, though it did leave me wanting more.

Trevor Belmont saying “I don’t care.” He really does, you know. He’s not fooling anyone.

Netflix, like Trevor Belmont, didn’t care. It made four episodes for the first season, and that was it. Thankfully, enough people did respond positively to it that Netflix renewed it renewed for a second season of eight episodes, which seems about the right number of episodes. That’s not until 2018, however, so I’ve got plenty of time to get lots of other things watched between now and then.

The last day of September

On the last day of September, I stood on my deck and looked into the little stand of trees in the flood plain behind my back yard. Though fall is officially here as of the 22nd, neither my garden nor the woods have given it much heed yet. Still, there’s some yellow among the green. The temperatures have finally dropped seasonably in the 70s for daytime highs and the harvest is well underway.

My jalapeno, bell pepper, and tomato plants are all heavy with fruit that’s not quite there yet. I’ve never had so good a harvest of either jalapenos or bell peppers. Doctor Roommate has been taking the jalapenos in to work to share with anyone who will take them and handed off a load of tomatoes to her mom yesterday.

We had plenty more today to put into a batch of Eggplant Parmesean. Parm’s a lot of work, but between the leftovers from dinner tonight and the potential leftovers from tomorrow’s planned game night dinner, we should be set for lunches to take for the week. If not, we got to Aldi today to restock the pantry and the fridge with staples, so I’m set for what we like to call “punt meals.”

Punt Meals: Quick meals off the plan for the week made with items already in the pantry, either because the planned meal no longer sounds good, we’re missing a vital ingredient for the meal, or because the shifting demands of the week require giving up the preparation time of the planned meal for something quicker.

Dr. R: Why are we having Red Beans and Rice for dinner tonight?

Me: We’re out of both tahini and peanut butter so I can’t make Dan Dan Noodles. I punted.

I like predictability. I plan meals not just so I can try to take advantage of sales items at the store, but so that I know what I can expect to eat during the week.

I like the changing rhythm of the seasons. The chaos of planting in the spring. The whirlwind of events in summer. The race to the end of harvest in autumn, even if every tomato in the garden decides to ripen at the same time. Actually, I’d prefer that; then I would know for certain that I’d have enough tomatoes ripe at one time to put them up for the winter. The long, deep breath of winter as the land rests before it all begins again in spring. Each year the particulars are different but the shape of the season is the same.

I know the secret of adulthood: It’s that we’re all faking it. We’re all making it up as we go. It’s the rhythm and cycles that keep our lives from flying off the rails.

It’s the last day of September. Tomorrow begins the final quarter of the year.

Two days. Ten things.

Thursday

Had some trouble with strangeness with the Belly Sucker 9000. Finally found the right spot to tape on my belly to fix it.Went for my return to work appointment. Almost got smeared by traffic on my way down to Iowa City.

Approved to return to work. No restrictions. There’s some little bit of internal healing to do (so the playground is still closed), but everything else seems to be doing well, including the part of the incision that isn’t closed.

Realized I forgot my wallet at home and that I need to replace my emergency $20, so Doctor Roommate had to drive 35 miles to rescue me.

Spotted a little because of the exam. Everything’s closed and together, but not everything is done healing over. It was annoying because I don’t have any feminine supplies anymore – something about not having a uterus. Nothing like sitting and bleeding while you wait for your white knight to show up. (Dame Dr. Roommate? Is that too much? Dr. Mrs. The Monarch?)

Tried Creamy Pulled Pork Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, and Arugula Subbed spinach for arugula. Tasty.

Friday

ChangedĀ the bandage on Belly Sucker 9000. I’ve healed a full centimeter out of the bottom of the wound, the tunnel in it is closed, and the overall wound is smaller. Wound care doctor says I’m healing well. No restrictions on return to work from this side, either.

Tape for the Belly Sucker 9000 is blistering my skin. We’ve been doing things to try to protect my skin, but now we’re doing some new things to try to help protect my skin even more. I have my mom’s skin where tape is concerned.

New haircut. Pictures to follow as soon as I can get some help. I selfie poorly.

Took time to seeĀ Dale Chihuly: Venetians from the George R. Stroemple Collection before it left the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library here in town. If the exhibit comes near you, I recommend seeing it. It’s positively breathtaking.

Tonight, Doctor Roommate is running the Glo Run. She’s been told to channel her inner child’s Rainbow Brite. Doctor Roommate’s inner child killed Rainbow Brite years ago, that’s probably not really going to be a thing. I’m planning to wear my Fire Water Earth Paisley Leggings to make up for it.

And the suction continues

Not much to update here at the moment. I’ve had the Belly Sucker 9000 dressing changed three times now. Friday the Wound Care Doctor evaluates my progress and lets me know if we can continue this for another week.

Tomorrow (Thursday) I go back to my surgeon for evaluation to return to work. That appointment isn’t until late in the day.

Beyond that, I’m still struggling with fatigue and low apetite. I’ve run about halfway through my prescribed course of iron suppliments, so it’s not unexpected. I’m just crashing late in the afternoon/early in the evening – sometimes without much warning at all. (Hence crashing.)

I’m excited to read Alice Hoffman’s prequel to Practical Magic, The Rules of Magic. I enjoyed both the movie and the book Practical Magic, so I have high hopes for The Rules of Magic, since it follows the aunts from Practical Magic. I have added it to my Amazon Wish List at this point.

Officially, the rule at Skhoot Studio states no buying self gifts from October 1 until the end of the year, but I tend to start putting items on the list in September so I don’t forget them if I intended to save up for them. Sometimes that translates into things showing up as gifts during the holiday season. Sometimes, I have rewards for goal reaching after the New Year.

Belly, now with more suction

I had my first appointment with the Healing Center here in town today. They re-evaluated my surgical wound and confirmed that we could start using the Wound Vac right away. I like the Healing Center Doctor that’s in charge of my case and the nurses at the healing center seem knowledgeable and kind, both good qualities in the nursing profession.
We had a student nurse in, too. She had never gotten to see a Wound Vac before, so once again I got to help someone learn something new. That’s always a bonus.
The Wound Vac makes a soft sucking sound. Occasionally it does several of them in rapid succession. It’s no worse than if Sully were grooming and trying to use his non-existent grooming teeth. He lost them to a gum infection he had when he first came to live with us, but he still seems to get the job done. It’s just a soft slurpy sound in the background sometimes.
Mostly, though, I’m dry. I like being dry. I haven’t been dry since August 15. First, it was normal postsurgical drainage. Then it was abnormal postsurgical drainage. Then the gauze bandages soaked in antiseptic didn’t help with the whole wet and still wet feeling.
I could get used to being dry. Hopefully everything will continue on the path indicated by this auspicious start.

Boxes too heavy to lift

I’m on a 10 pound weight restriction. The Belly Sucker 9000 came in a 28 lb package that contained the suck unit and all the supplies needed to bandage for the next 30 days. I made Doctor Roommate carry it up the stairs for me.

After unpacking all the things, I won’t need to figure out how to bring all of it with me to my wound care appointment tmorrow, so that helps.

Still, I have to wonder if the people who pack and ship such things understand that they’re shipping them to people who probably aren’t allowed to pick them up.

Belly Sucker 9000

I got word today that my insurance approved the new wound therapy that my doctor (and the consulting wound care nurse) think will be beneficial. It’s called a Wound Vac (or negative pressure wound therapy) and helps a variety of different wounds heal more quickly. It’s supposed to work especially well on abdominal incisions that reopen (like mine) so I’m very hopeful that this will get me the rest of the way healed up quickly.

We’re calling it the Belly Sucker 9000, because at this point we’ve gone just a little around the bend taking care of something that looks like a raw meat hole straight into darkness where it should just be my belly. Doctor Roommate has taken to singing songs about how professional and awesome her wound packing is. Lyrics include things like:

I’m a professional belly stuffer.

Nobody stuffs bellehs better than me.

Yesterday she declared that I need to get a stop watch and time her while she packs my wound. You know, so there’s a baseline for Sabie Stuffing that can be competed against and improved upon.

I drew a hard line. No wound packing time trials with actual Sabie Belly. While it doesn’t hurt, it feels weird as hell and timing triage is JUST WRONG unless you’re part of actual war games.

Technically, this isn’t triage anymore, but the alleteration appealed to me.

Tomorrow is our last day of wound packing at home. The Belly Sucker 9000 arrives tomorrow and then I go to the Healing Center at Mercy Hospital for a wound care nurse there to apply the first wound vac bandage on Thursday. After that, they’re changed three times a week by a professional trained in wound vac therapy, so neither Doctor Roommate or I have to stare into the wound abyss anymore looking for necrotic tissue or infection.

Yay! So. Much. Yay!

Belly update – the waiting

Today I went to the doctor for another follow-up on The Surgical Incision That Didn’t Close/Reopened. This time a Wound Care Nurse (that’s a real specialty) consulted in and she agreed that healing has progressed enough to move to the next stage of wound care.

The next stage of wound care involves paperwork. There’s a therapy we’d like to move to which is very successful in cases like mine, but it requires approval from the insurance company. We’re waiting for the answer from them.

Until the answer comes back, we’re continuing with the same course: packing and changing bandages twice a day. Once I’m out of the antiseptic, I can move to wetting the packing material with sterile saline solution. If I don’t get approved for the new wound care therapy, this will be my life for the forseeable future.

In the words of Inigo Montoya, “I hate waiting.” Hopefully I’ll have some answers back tomorrow or Wednesday.