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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Close call

We’re connected at the hip to our smart phones. Or there over the heart. Or back pocket, though I cannot imagine how that one works. Or just in the hand, and able to remember to pick it up whenever we move.

I’m on my second Motorola android. The phone store folks call them Droids. I had the first one at least five years, and gave it up only because the battery died. Unlike my previous flip phone, there is no replacing the battery of a smart phone. 

The phone world was juggling at the time between several operating systems. Blackberry was popular. My daughter, Beth and my friend Ann would never part with their Blackberries. I think Beth even had hers repaired, just to have that pull out keyboard.

I knew people who had I-Phones at the time, but they were so expensive! I picked a Motorola because it’s an American name that used to be in Chicago, Illinois. That was my rationale. That phone outlasted the Blackberries. “You still using this!” said the salesman, when it went down fighting, its battery deader than dead.

That was three years ago, just about the time Verizon removed the option of owning a phone. No, it had to be purchased on time, over the life of a contract. I circled the store and eventually selected a Samsung, based on cost. It was the cheapest.

How I hated that stupid little phone. Nothing about electronics is intuitive, in my opinion, and Samsung did not follow the protocol I’d memorized for my Motorola. I gave the Samsung to Emily and got the Motorola. End of phone drama, until Laura’s birthday, last year.

Laura had a flip phone to then, and I told her we had a long list of errands for the day and bring her phone, in the event I lost her somewhere. The penny never dropped until I told the sales person  that Laura was there to  get a new phone. The only caveat, a Motorola. It is one of my best surprises. I probably can’t beat it this year.

While she wandered, looking for a smart phone, I was literally drawn by the center store display of Moto Mods. All these catch words were new to me, but I understood one item simply by looking. The pistol grip of a camera. This Moto Mod was a Hasselblad. I thought about an old boss of mine who was also a photography nut, lending me his Nikon camera. It was so expensive, I ended my SLR photography days with my tried and true Minolta.

The Hasselblad was on sale for a hundred dollars. Of course, it involved the phone upgrade to the Motorola that could be Modified for other purposes. It was so tempting; it was like walking through treacle to get out of the store with only a new phone for an excited young lady.

For two weeks now I’ve been looking at an email: “You’re close to an upgrade!” I merely have to pay off the phone I have (which will be accomplished in next month’s billing) and the new Moto Mods are mine for the picking.

Damn, that new Hasselblad is beautiful! The email is still there. I’ve thought about it and researched it. So tempting. Lucky for me, no eyepiece viewfinder conversion. And Hasselblad doesn't appear to make the camera in red. I’ve dodged the bullet. But, what a beautiful piece of equipment.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Small mystery resolved

Remember the glass beads I heard falling, falling and clicking on each other, after the craniotomy, before I was conscious? I found them.

Today I had an EEG, which records brain wave patterns, and looks for, among other things, indications of seizures. My EEG ten or twelve years ago gave no indication of seizure activity and neither will today’s in my opinion. I see today’s test in a continuing pattern of the waste of taxpayer money. And mine, too, considering the cost of my supplemental Medicare insurance. But, …

I was in a recliner in a darkened room, and the technician recorded brain wave patterns on a computer behind me. For whatever reason I was asked to become drowsy over the hour long test. About three quarters through, I became aware of the glass bead clicking noise, back there by the computer. 

Occasionally I heard the sound of the keyboard strokes, but the majority of the sounds were of glass beads. In my mind’s eye there were no beads dropping, but no matter.

When the test was over, I quizzed the technician about the noise, and we got to the bottom of it quickly. It was the rapid clicking of her mouse, recording brain wave patterns. I tried it with my mouse here and had a more muted click, but I understood what was happening. The tech certainly had a task specific mouse that clicked easily and freely, unlike my very old mouse.

How interesting my brain used my curtain of beads to display images I’d seen of the National Mall during that day in March. I wonder how that translated in EEG brain waves.

Now I’m curious about the March readings. “Normal EEG, except connected by little glass beads.”

Monday, September 18, 2017

How to get up in the morning

People began calling me at eight this morning. I don’t recall the first, and would have to sort through my brain to recall the second.  Laura owes the first. Awake enough from the call, I was stripping down to shower, and thought “I didn’t hear her leave!” Sure enough, she hadn’t, two hours before.

It’s Homecoming this week, and today was Pajama Day (oh the games they play). I was pulling on yesterday’s jeans when she was in the door, and I left in my nightshirt, too, to drive her to school.  I remember, the first call was the drug store; the new synthroid script is ready.

My thyroid numbers continue to drop like a stone. I did new blood work last Friday afternoon. The new numbers were on my “chart” on Saturday, and my first thought was “Oh, shit.” I seriously cannot afford to lose any more weight, and the operative word is “afford.”  I’m from a size 12 to 8 over the last six months. Jeans are out of sight expensive, and I need to go look into 6. They’re like fifty dollars a pair and two pair are the absolute minimum, and etcetcetc.

At cards this afternoon, I complimented one of the women on her new bag. She responded since she has to wear the same shoes every day of her life, she would compensate with bags. I know I miss four inch heels, but since the Maytag suits forced me into trousers back in the eighties, I have not owned a dress.

When I joined the staff of my township, I did survey my closet. Jeans, jeans, occasional chinos. I thought it over, and decided if my jeans had a well pressed crease, a nice jacket and a nice blouse, they should pass anyone’s inspection. Four inch heels would have been mighty fine, too, but out of balance. Haha.

The next-to-last call was the neuro nurse practitioner. I thought we’d agreed  last week, there would not be another MRI of my brain when all they are missing from the one taken by, gasp, a competitor hospital, is the written report. Pick up the phone, please. I’d also resolved to my satisfaction the EEG tomorrow would settle the seizure question once and for all, and she need not renew the Keppra.

However, she’d had a talk with Dr. You Know Who (I had no idea) and his opinion was that two catastrophic brain events warranted continuing the anti-seizure medicine. Case closed.  I suggested I could just skip the EEG tomorrow, since the case was closed. “Oh, no. You need to have that!”

The last phone call:  the body shop. My car is in the line and work is happening. I can call Ken any time to see how it’s coming. Hurrah. I went to play cards.