Saturday, September 29, 2007

Thank Goodness for good Health Insurance

...any why our health care system is so screwy....

I just got the "Explanation of Benefits" from our health care provider today for the coverage of my Appendicitis episode. The first sentence of reads: It's not a bill.

In other words, it breaks down the billed charges, and the amount that our health care plan covered, as well as any balance that we owe.

I've said it before: one of the great benefits of marrying Dick (and there are so many!) is, well, great benefits. Before we married, I had my insurance through Kaiser. I can't complain, as I had my fair share of emergency room visits, test, etc., with them, and I always received top notch care. It wasn't cheap, by any means, but well worth the monthly premiums to know that I was covered.

Dick's health care benefits through work are outstanding. We're very grateful for that. It is one of the things that crossed my mind when I was staying in the hospital earlier this month.

So, how much does an Emergency Room visit, an Appendectomy and one night in the hospital cost?

$33,500.00.
Holy crap.

Now, here's the thing. Everything is broken down in this "Explanation of Benefits".
The cost that I just listed is the "Charges billed by provider".

The next column in the form is called "Provider's fee adjustment" which is: Difference between "charges bill by provider" and the amount providers have agreed to accept as full payment.

The difference? Anywhere between 10% and 50%. (the big ticket items were generally around 10%)

Then, there's the "Total amount eligible for benefits", "Total benefit paid by your plan" and "Amount you're responsible for".

Happily, the amount listed for us in the last column was "$0".
But, that didn't stop me from gawking at the rest of the statement.

This is why our health care system is so messed up: someone without health insurance would've been billed $33,500.00. If someone has (certain types of) insurance, the insurance company is only billed 10-50% of that amount.

There's something seriously wrong with this system.
As someone who has had many friends without medical insurance, it makes me sick to think that the people who can't afford medical insurance would be the ones who are gouged beyond reason. I've taken friends to the emergency room a couple of times who held off until the bitter end because they knew they wouldn't be able to afford it. In the end, the bill would come, and they'd be in debt for months or years trying to pay it off.

I know I'm really lucky to have married someone with great medical benefits, but that's just it, isnt' it?

I'm just lucky.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Shout Out to my new friend, Kelly!

Over the years that I've been blogging, I often wondered, "Who's reading this?" I mean, I know certain friends and family read it regularly, but other than that.... who knows? The internet is one big, wide open door.

Yesterday, I received one of my most favorite blog-related emails ever. It made me laugh, and smile the entire day!

It was from a woman named Kelly, who apparently went to school with Dick (she was one grade younger than him).

Anyhow, her email opened with: I have never written an email like this, so bear with me. I went to school with Dick and Kathy Craddock.

This, of course, had my curiosity peaked.

But, it was the next couple of sentences that really got me:

Recently, our high school had a class of the 80's reunion. One of my classmates wrote me an email and said, " check out Dick Craddock's wife's blog; they sound like a fun couple!"

I LOVE that: "Dick Craddock's Wife's Blog". This completely cracked me up!

She told me that she started to read my blog after that endorsement, and found herself continuing to come back because she loved my "tips".

As a blog writer, it makes me very happy to think that someone who doesn't even know me finds my blog interesting and entertaining enough to return to. You just never know! I mean, sure, I find certain things worth mentioning, but I have no idea whether or not anyone else would.

Here's another thing that she wrote that just made me smile and laugh out loud:

So, what does all of this mean? Other than feeling like a weird stalker by returning to your blog........it has had the funniest effect on me. For example my husband and I were walking through an antique show a couple of weekends ago and I saw the oldest raggedy I had ever seen. I kept thinking "oh, I have got to tell Trina!" then I am like," OMG, you don't even know her!" It was funny and weird. I decided you just had to know about me! So finally I decided to write and tell you that I read your blog and I have thoroughly enjoyed it.

I love this. I love that she feels like she knows me, even though she's never met me. (and not in that stalker-kind-of-way!) I believe that I'm actually very careful about what I "put out there" into the world of the internet. I try to be careful not to put in anything too personal. But, I do like to share various musings and tidbits that interest or amuse me, and I know that my personality probably comes across pretty easily in my writing style.

I'm so glad that Kelly decided to email me to let me know that she's one of my blog readers. I love the connection to Dick's past, and the fact that I met a new friend in cyberspace.

The web is an amazing place.

"Hi Kelly!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The nice man fixed my cat!

Several years ago, I bought this iron (I think) bronze cat statue for Dick for Christmas. It's an odd gift, but he loved it.

The cat stands on a small landing in the middle of our stairway. It gets bumped every-once-in-awhile by accident. Several weeks ago, I bumped it with the vacuum cleaner, and noticed that the binding between the cat's front paws, and the dish that it was holding was becoming loose. The next week, our contractor came over to start the bathroom remodel upstairs. He barely bumped the cat, and the dish toppled over. He was terribly embarrassed, probably thinking that that's not the sort of thing you want to have happen on your first day. I assured him that it was weakening already, and that he hadn't really done anything at all.

But, now I had a broken cat, and I wasn't quite sure how to fix it. Where does one bring a broken bronze cat statue? I didn't even know where to start.

Our plumber was here today, making some adjustments to the plumbing before the inspector comes. I noticed that he was working with a blow-torch for the copper pipes. Now, he's been here a few times to work on our bathroom, and we're on a friendly, first-name basis, so I thought I'd just put it out there....

I asked, "Do you think you could fix my cat with your blow-torch?" (What a funny question) He looked at it, saw how it broke, and said he wasn't sure if the copper would fuse together with the other materials, but he would give it a try.

Needless to say, he was able to fix my cat!

Thank you Mr. Plumber! My cat and I are much happier now.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Don't mess with webTrina.

Today I was on a quest.

We have pretty much everything bought for our Bathroom Remodel. Just a couple of little odds and ends left.

One thing we've been looking for is a nice, small soap basket which can also double as a towel bar for my little scrubby towel.

We've been looking for a while, but everything we've found so far have been too large.

This afternoon, I decided to go to a designer bath store here in the city. Our architects had sent us there a few months ago to look for sinks. They have a huge selection - probably one of the best in town...... and I think they know it. I was immediately turned off by the horty-torty attitudes that I experienced with their sales people last time. Basically, the drill is that you can look around the show room, take note of pieces you're interested in, write down the number by the display, make an appointment with one of the sales people, and then they will tell you the price. You aren't allowed to take photos anywhere in the store. I found the whole process rather annoying, and their arrogant sales people even more so.

As it turns out we didn't end up buying our sink from them. We're very limited for space in our bathroom, and were very specific in what we were looking for. It turns out that in their vast inventory, they simply didn't have what we were looking for. Ironically, we ended up finding exactly what we were looking for at Restoration Hardware. Admittedly, that wasn't cheap either, but it was less expensive than the sinks we saw at the store. Plus, we were able to place our order online, and didn't have to deal with any snobby sales associates.

Anyhow, I figured this crazy place would probably have a little soap basket that I was looking for. My previous neighbor who used to live in the downstairs condo had renovated the downstairs bathroom 15 years ago. He left me a file with all of his documentation, and I saw that he had bought most of his accessories from this store-which-shall-not-be-named. He had a long wire basket put in the shower/tub downstairs that we really like. We figured the same company must have made one in a smaller size as well.

So, I went this afternoon. I decided to wipe away all of my preconceived notions of this place, and try it out again. Good news: I did indeed find exactly what I was looking for! I took note of it, went to the receptionist, put in my name, then waited a few minutes for the next available sales person. She was nice enough - nicer than the last woman who helped us there, but there was still some of that "we're better than you" attitude. I actually apologized to her, because I knew this would be such a small purchase. Her response: "Well, yes, we do usually deal with much larger orders than this. After I showed her the product I was interested in, she walked me back to her desk, and she rummaged through some catalogs, found what she needed, (without showing me) took a photocopy of the page, and presented it to me. The photocopy was quite good, because it showed all of the dimensions, then she wrote down the price: $99.00. Yep, $99.00 for a small, 7" long chrome basket.

Okay, whatever. We're putting enough dough into this bathroom remodel. What's another $100? There were actually two styles that I was interested in. I wanted to get Dick's opinion first. I asked the sales associate what their return policy was (I thought perhaps I could buy one today, take it home, see what he thought, and if he didn't like it, I'd just return it.). Their return policy: 50% stocking fee. Ummmm... exsqueeze me?

Needless to say, I didn't buy it. I was planning to come home with my little photocopied paper of measurements, show them to Dick, the two of us could decide tonight, then I could call the dreadful company tomorrow to place my order.

I thanked her again for her time, and acknowledged again that I knew this was a very small order for her. Her reply, "Well, yes, but that's not your fault."

I called Dick when I got home, and he asked if we could just buy it online. This place doesn't have a web site, so I said "no"and that I'd have to call it in tomorrow. What he meant was could we find it online through another company. What a novel thought! I looked at my photocopied sheet of paper, and realized that the oh-so-clever sales associate had copied the catalog just so so that the brand of the product wasn't actually shown.

After calling my Mom, and telling her about my shopping experience, she also suggested that I just look online to find the same one. That's when I realized that the not-so-clever sales associate had included the product reference numbers on my photocopy.

goto: Google.

enter: Wire Basket Small (with the reference number)
Up comes: lots and lots of sites offering the same product for discount prices! (imagine that)

Bonus: no annoyingly snobby sales associates!

So, what did I find?
How about this place, which has it at 40% off, no sales tax, and free shipping?

They have the corner style, too!

I'll show both styles to Dick tonight. We'll decide which one to get, then place the order online.

I imagine that will be very satisfying.

Don't mess with webTrina.
She'll blog about you, and tell the world how mean and snobby you are.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3 at Costco

Dick picked up our copies at work today.

Guess what we'll be doing tonight?!

My Fifteen Minutes Continue...

I just got word that a magazine article about Raggedy Ann & Raggedy Andy, for which I was interviewed a couple of months ago, is now online. The hard copy should be in stores soon. (Antique Trader Magazine)

Candy Hearts: Raggedy Ann and Andy, still popular after a century

Not a bad article, although some of the "facts and figures" are questionable. :)
It's just nice to know that good 'ol Raggedy Ann is still getting some press, and it's always fun for me to be a part of it.

This is the third magazine article I've been featured in over the years (for my Raggedy Ann collection). The first was for The Target the Family Magazine" way back in 1998. The second was for the Japanese Raggedy Ann and Andy Fan Magazine. That one was particularly cool. I keep meaning to scan in those pages and put them up on my Raggedy web page.

My friend, Andrew, is also featured in the article. He really is one of the foremost collectors and historians on the dolls. He also happens to be a very close friend of mine. He is also the previous owner of my upstairs condo at "His 'n Her Condos"! It's a small, and funny world we live in.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Halo 3!

Halo there, Master Chief!


Halo 3 is being released tonight at Midnight.
I've known of its release date for a while, but it still kind of crept up on me.

Pretty exciting stuff! The reviews are all pretty huge. Dick is staying for some sort of launch party tonight after work, and he's pre-ordered copies for us already. We'll probably be playing tomorrow night. :)

Admittedly, I didn't get into Halo 2 as much as I did the original. It was no fault of the game of course. It's spectacular. I really like to play it, but I sometimes suffer from motion sickness when I play. (not all the time, but usually in the indoor worlds.) I've bought those little motion-sickness preventing wrist bands, which seem to help.

I read a review this morning that mentioned that one of the new features is that you can play up to four player co-op in Campaign mode on Xbox Live or System Link! That's great news for me! On the other two versions, Dick and Pete played the co-op game together, and I just joined in for the multiplayer games later. This time, I can play with Dick and Pete and go through the whole storyline together with them!

Should be a ton of fun!
See you all online!
(I'll be the one with the shotgun.)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Productive Day

Ah, I just love productive days.

Dick and I spent the afternoon/early evening working on a work project of mine that's been looming over me for several weeks now.

I've had a work project that I needed Dick's javascript expertise on.

I have a client, who is a toy manufacturer. They make two toys: ZOOB, and QUIZMO. I adopted this site from them earlier this year, and have been making regular updates, but we've always known that we had a larger project in mind.

For the QUIZMO section, they wanted a demo page that demonstrated how the toy works. Dick and I completed this section a couple of months ago, then I needed to wait for some more information from my client before I could implement it throughout the rest of the site. It's really cool, and I was happy that we were able to do it, and was anxious to get it up and running.

The client sent the rest of the information during the week before Labor Day weekend. It was my intent that Dick and I could complete the rest of the work during the weekend, for an early September launch. Unfortunately, that's when I came down with appendicitis!

My client was more than understanding that I needed some time to rest, and has been quite wonderful. After I got back to work, I had a lot of other work that had also piled up, and I still needed Dick's help on this particular project.

Needless to say, we worked on it today, and it was with great elation that we finished that particular phase of the site. It's something that I've been wanting to get done for several weeks now.

I'm really, really happy with how this all turned out. I'm also eternally grateful that I married a Javascript-God.

Here's the demo page that we created.

You can also see an example of how we integrated the same script throughout the site.

In other productive news, I also finished all the laundry today. Since the laundry room is in the part of the house blocked off by the contractors, it's something that I need to get done on weekends, when they're not here. Gotta love multi-tasking!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Video Test Post 2 - Wrestling Kitties

Okay, I just figured out how to edit and compress my videos in iMovie. (I heart my Mac!) It's down to a mere 1.2 MB now. Go figure. If only I'd tried that first.

Here we go: Wrestling Kitties, Take 2!

This one is particularly hysterical: Marcel wrestling with Noe.

Every once in a while, the big cat feels the need to prove that he's the Alpha Male Cat in the house.

Poor little Noe. She doesn't stand a chance. He just plops right down on top of her, and weighs her down with his enormous girth.

Here's the thing: Noe has claws. She doesn't know that she can use them.
Marcel doesn't have claws. He's the only cat she's ever known, so she doesn't know she's supposed to use them.

If only she'd figure this out. Everything would change.

video

Video Test Post - Noe Wrestling

video

I don't have many videos. Just a few random ones that I take with my little PowerShot camera - mostly of the cats.

This is actually my second attempt now. The first one I tried to upload was of our big cat, Marcel, wrestling with with our little cat, Noe. It's hysterical. Unfortunately, It's 120 MB, and I just figured out that google's upload limit is 100MB.update: I figured it out. I compressed it in iMovie, and was able to upload it to this post.

So, here's my second selection.

This is a video of Dick wrestling with Noe. They do this almost daily. She acts all ferocious - hissing, and growling, but we know she loves it! The two of them have been playing like this since she was a little kitten.

Skylight

The skylight was installed today. The electricians will hook it up on
Monday.

Sea of MINIs

At the mini dealership (had to bring my mini in for a replacement rear
view mirror.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Bathroom Remodel Update



The plumbing and electrical work are just about done! Just a couple of small adjustments left. The bathroom has been framed out, and now we wait for the inspection. Dick and I both love seeing the bathroom in it's current state. It's so cool to see all the innards of the room and how it all fits together. We have new copper pipes (replacing the old galvanized ones) and lots and lots of new electrical wiring.

The skylight is supposed to be installed either today or tomorrow. That'll be good.

Our contractor thinks we'll be able to start putting up the drywall by Wednesday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bedtime

Marcel is such a good kitty.
He likes to cuddle with me in bed :).

I *need* this hair dryer

My sister-in-law, Meg, sent me an instant message today saying: "The worst thing about being home from Vegas?"

...there were so many answers, that I didn't know where to start...

her answer: "My hair dryer stinks!"

It's true. Dick's sisters and I all noticed how fantastic the hair dryers at our hotel were while we were there. All I could remember is that they were ionic dryers, had a folding handle, and a retractable cord. But the best thing: we all had really good hair in Vegas!

Vegas Hair, Baby.

My hair dried quickly, it wasn't frizzy, and it was soft and smooth.

My hair dryer at home simply doesn't live up to this one. (the one I have is ionic.)

So, in a middle of a geeky-quest, I called the hotel and asked for the make and model number of the hair dryers in their rooms. (I know, that's really geeky!)

It all paid off, though: I got the info I needed!

It's the "Andis 80020 Ionic 1875W Ceramic Hair Dryer with Folding Handle and Retractable Cord"

I looked it up online, and found it on Amazon for only $19.99!

I think I *need* this new hair dryer for my new bathroom! :)

Site launch

I'm quite pleased with how this one turned out:

http://dancecontinuumsf.org.

Some of you may recognize one or more of the dancers. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Sitting in traffic

This was my day.

I was stuck in traffic for a total of 5 hours today.

Thank goodness I don't have to do this every day.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

flight delay

ugh. 2 hour delay on a 1.5 hour flight.

They had us line up to board three times, each time telling us that the flight has been delayed further due to earlier weather-related delays at SFO.

They just had us board, and we taxied out to wait on the tarmac for another 30 minutes or so.
At least we can still use our cell phones or electronics while we wait.

Good thing I bought that muffin an hour ago. I'm going to get hungry soon.

Star Wars: Episode II


Trina winning!
(The force is strong with this one)

Star Wars penny slots

At the airport.
Dick playing

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Friday, September 14, 2007

Birthday photo, take 2

Second show

...and an even better photo!
(and I can't stop blogging from my phone!)

Craddock Siblings

Birthday Dinner

Dinner at "Prime" at the Bellagio.
After dinner, the waited took us to a reserved table on the patio -
just in time for the water show.

All time. Epic.

Breakfast, baby, Breakfast!

Blogging from my phone

Taking a cue from Meg, I've set up my blog account to send posts, and
even photos directly from my iPhone!

Sent from my iPhone

Happy Birthday, Dick!!


The Birthday Boy enjoys a cup of joe before starting his Big Vegas Birthday Day!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vegas, Baby, VEGAS! (Take 3)

We're going to Vegas! (again!)

Yep - three times in one year. This is certainly a record for us. :)
I repeat: We're not addicted!

Dick's Birthday is tomorrow (Happy Birthday to my Hubby!).

We're meeting his sisters (neither of whom have ever been) in Vegas tonight. It should be a blast! We'll be seeing the town, going to the Hoover Dam, having some huge meals, and seeing a show. Oh yeah, there may be some gambling, too. :)

Uncle Graham will be staying here to watch the house and take care of the kitties while we're away. Thanks, Graham!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Let there by Light

...or, you know.... a skylight

Yesterday, the contractors spent the day building the frame for the new skylight.

We're going to be boarding up the only window in the room, so this will be the new source of natural light.

It's really cool to see this being built. They've been doing a ton of work up in the attic to get it ready.


young, strapping, Irish construction guy not included

Monday, September 10, 2007

Loose Translation

Today I went down to Milpitas to bring my Grandparents to a doctor's appointment. After the appointment, we had lunch at a new dim sum/Chinese restaurant.

As we were eating the owner came around and chatted a bit with my Grandma and Grandpa.

It's funny - I don't understand a lick of Chinese, but I can usually tell what's going on based on the context.

Today's conversation went along the lines of:

"This is my Granddaughter. She came all the way down from San Francisco to help us today. She's very helpful. She doesn't speak Chinese at all. Neither does her Mother (our daughter). Things were different back then. When you moved to the United States, everyone was supposed to speak English."

I'm not kidding. I actually asked my Grandma afterwards if I got the gist of the conversation right, and she said I did!

It's funny what you can figure out by paying attention to the context of a situation. I've been doing this my whole life, so I think I must be pretty good at it by now.

"Chinese in context".
It's almost as good as speaking Chinese!
(although I'm sure my Grandparents would disagree!)

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Speedy Recovery

Today, for the first time since surgery, I'm able to take normal sized steps, go up and down the stairs at a normal pace, and (this is big) cough, laugh, or clear my throat without any soreness in my abdomen! Yay!

Dick and I are going to try to go out for a longer neighborhood walk this afternoon.
I'll still be mindful not to push things too far, too fast, but I'm feeling really good about it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Day on the Bay!

Dick's birthday is approaching (September 14th)!

To celebrate, we chartered a catamaran, and took a bunch of friends out on Bay for 3 hours. After spending the last week recovering from my surgery, it was really wonderful to spend a day out and about with good friends. It was a bit overcast and foggy in San Francisco, but was nice and sunny near Tiburon and Sausalito.

We had everyone over for an early dinner afterwards. To make it easy, we catered in from Pasta Pomodoro, which turned out to be a great call.

Thanks to everyone who was able to make it today.
I think there are few things that make Dick happier than spending the day sailing out on the Bay with a great group of friends.


Happy (early) Birthday, Dick!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Uneventful - in a good way!

It's safe to say that this Friday night will be much less eventful than last Friday.

I realized it's been a week since I've:

- put on a watch
- worn make-up
- put on jeans (or anything other than my pj's or sweats)
- left the Castro

I'm sure there's more. Just not thinking of it at the moment..

It'll be nice to get out and about again.
Going to try to do just that tomorrow!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Dear Apple: "Good on ya!"

..as Christopher would say...

So, yeah, Apple made the big announcement yesterday about the new line of iPods. No surprise there, and they look very, very cool. (said the girl with a nearly 4-year old iPod.)

They also announced that they're dropping the price of the 8GB iPhone from the whopping $599 original price to $399.00. Two hundred bucks off - that's a big difference!

Surprisingly, I was okay with this. I mean, I wasn't shocked. I knew it was coming, I just figured it had a few more months until the price dropped. But honestly, I've been so overwhelmingly happy with my iPhone, which I've had now for 8 weeks. I feel like I've already gotten my money out of it. I know it's only been 8 weeks, but the amount of time that I've used this phone already (vacation in NC, overnight hospital stay) is actually worth the 200 bucks to me. (and that's a big statement, since I'm generally such a budget-minded shopper!)

I just saw this Letter from Steve Jobs to all iPhone owners on Apple's site. Basically, there's been some anger among the early adopters that we, the faithful, paid $200 more than the new price. This letter states that all iPhone owners who are not receiving a rebate (who's getting a rebate?!) will get a $100 store credit towards the purchase of any product online, or at any Apple Retail Store. Details are still being worked out, and they will post it on their site next week.

Kudos to you, Apple. You're doing the right thing, and keeping your loyal fans happy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Awwwwww... Thank You!


How wonderful and unexpected!

I just had a gorgeous bouquet of flowers (and other goodies) delivered.
They are from Dick's group at work.

That's so nice!
Thank you to everyone on the team!
You brightened up my day!

Slowing Down...

I think I either overextended myself over the past couple of days, or this whole surgery business is finally catching up with me.

I have a hunch that it's a little bit of both.

Yesterday went quite well. I was able to get around a bit, and Dick and I took a short and careful walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. (we had done the same on Monday.)

Sometime after dinner, it hit me: I was really tired.

I went to bed at 9:00, asleep by 9:30, and slept 'til 7:30 this morning.
Felt better this morning, but after breakfast, could tell that my body was getting tired again.

I have a follow up appointment with my surgeon this afternoon. Other than that, I pledge to take it slower today, and perhaps squeeze in a nap or two.

I'm really glad that Dick is working from home again today.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Demolition Day!

that was fast!

In the midst of my recovery from my appendectomy, let's not forget that there's a bathroom remodel in progress!

Today was "Tuesday Demolition Day" here at "His 'n Her Condos".

We had a big truck park in front of our house today, ready to collect the discarded remnants of our bathroom.

Here's a picture that I took of it, about half way through demolition.

there goes the bathtub!

It only took the crew about 4 hours (or less) to demo down our little bathroom. Dick and I just went in to check it out:



Our house turns 100 years old next year. Check out that old lathe and plaster!
I love this stuff. There's nothing like seeing an old room down to the studs. It's so cool.

Monday, September 03, 2007

There's always room for Jello!



While I was in the hospital, one thing that I was allowed to eat on the same day as my surgery was Jello. I was reminded of my childhood love for Jello. As a kid, I was often sick, and my Mom often made me Jello to help me feel better.

When we returned home from the hospital yesterday, Jim and Cynde came over and offered to go to the grocery store for us. I asked them to get some Jello for me. It just sounded good and comforting.

They picked me up a few of those ready-made cups of Jello, which were really good, but today I realized that I had a whole other level of Jello craving: what I really wanted was fruit cocktail mixed in Strawberry Jello! How's that for old-school?

Dick and I went out for a slow, careful walk this afternoon. It really helped me to be out in the sun and fresh air, and to stretch my muscles a bit. On our way home, we stopped off at the grocery store, where I bought a box of Strawberry Jello, and a can of Del Monte fruit cocktail. I can't remember the last time I bought either one of these items!

I made my Jello/fruit cocktail mixture when I came home, and put it in the fridge. I just had a bowl for dessert.

Let me tell you: still just as satisfying now as it was when I was a kid!

J-E-L-L-O!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Reflections of an Appendectomy

I was released from the hospital at 11:00am this morning. I'm very happy to be home.

As hospital experiences go, this one was fantastic. Everything about it was good: from the doctors and nurses in the ER, to my overnight stay at the hospital. Even my level of pain from the surgery has been better than expected.

When my surgeon came in to check on me before releasing me this morning, he said that after talking with the nurses, that I was his "poster child for appendectomies". He was very pleased with how well and quickly I was recovering.

My surgery was at 10:30am yesterday. I woke up from my anesthesia-induced sleep at 3:15pm. Dick and my parents came back at 4:00. After that, I was able to get up, and walk around the hallways of the hospital. I "ate" a liquid dinner consisting of broth, jello and a gingerale. I have surprisingly little pain - I'm sore where the incision is, but it's not bad at all. I mostly only notice it when I get up, or walk around. I didn't need to take the morphine that was offered to me. Instead, I took a lower level pain mediation twice yesterday, and today I'm on Extra Strength Tylenol.


Mmmmmmm....liquid dinner.

I've been told to take it easy for the next few days. I'll see my doctor again on Wednesday. I don't have any specific dietary restrictions - just eat "whatever feels right". I don't have much of an appetite yet - Jello is my friend. :)

It turns out that I was very lucky. During the surgery, my doctor found my appendix was tucked underneath the lower part of another organ. Because of this, my my pain from my inflamed appendix was actually cushioned, and the severity of the pain was lessoned. This is why the pain was not as terribly acute as one might normally expect. Likewise, even though the pain was not terrible, if I had not gone in to the ER when I did, the pain of the appendicitis would have been masked, and I may not have realized the severity of the situation until it was much worse.

Things that rock during an overnight hospital stay:

1.iPhone
I loved this little device from day one, but it seems that I keep finding new ways for it to amaze me. I used this non-stop (after I woke up) in my hospital room. Think about this: if I had my computer with me, I would not have had internet access. Since the iPhone can either work on WiFi or over AT&T's EDGE network, I had total internet/phone access! I wrote emails, surfed the web, used the phone, took pictures, and even blogged - right from my hospital room! It was the best thing ever! (and i should now be an iPhone commercial.)

2. Karen Neuberger Chenille Lounge Slippers.
After my telephone gig on the Home Shopping Network, I bought a couple pairs of Karen Neuberger's Chenille lounge slippers with grippers. I hadn't actually used them yet, but remembered them when Dick and I wrote a list of things for him to bring to the hospital for me. Okay, these things rock. They are SO soft and comfy, plus they have the grippers on the bottom to keep you from slipping on hardwood floors.

3. Jammies
There's nothing like having your own jammies, especially when you are away from home. SO much better than wearing a hospital gown. Extra bonus points if the jammies are by Karen Neuberger! (they should be paying me the mega bucks for this!)

4. A loving hubby (interchangeable with spouse/wife/SO/BFF/etc.,)
Dick outdid himself this weekend. He's been amazing. He was with me every step of the way, and was so calming and supportive. I'm so lucky to have him. I love my husband.


KN socks and KN hubby :)

So, that's my appendicitis story. It's still pretty surreal. It all went incredibly well, all things considered. I feel very, very grateful and lucky that it all turned out as well as it did. Thanks again to everyone for their emails, phone calls, and messages of well-wishes. I really appreciate it.

So, that was my weekend.
How was yours? :)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The one where Trina has her appendix removed....

greetings from The California Pacific Medical Center!

Thanks to my handy dandy iPhone,I'm writing this post from my lovely hospital room.

I was admitted last night at about 10:30 with severe abdominal Pains. After a series of blood tests and a CAT scan, the doctors dertermined that I had appendicitis.

I went in at 10:30 this morning for a appendectomy. After getting past my anethesia-induced state, I'm recovering well, and should be able to go home late tomorrow morning.

Dick has been amazing throughout this whole process. He's a superstar! He stayed up almost all night and all day to stay with me. He also made phone call, sent emails, and went home to bring me some of my things. He's become "WebDick"! I love my hubby!

My parents and my sister came this morning as I was in surgery.
I love my family.

Many thanks to all of you who sent well-wishes already. news travels fast!

More later (and yes, photos, too!)