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January 2016 (30 Day Blogging Challenge)
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April 27, 2012 at 5:36am
April 27, 2012 at 5:36am
The Fix

Able to drive? The neurologist gave no such approval but sent me for a tilt table test. You simply get strapped to the table and the table is tilted to a position that makes you look like you are standing but you have no weight. At this point I will do anything because I am feeling better and I NEED to drive again and put this behind me. My husband offers to take me but I wave him off saying this is stupid. I will ease up on the coffee and that should prevent my fainting. If not, I will take a pill or something. No big deal. My inlaws take me to the appointment.

I am strapped into the table and connected to the heart monitor. After about 6 minutes, I feel as if I am going to faint, I tell the nurse but not quick enough. I am out. My heartrate drops from 90 to 60 to flatline. When I came to there were a couple nurses and a doctor near the bed. I guess the patient’s heart usually does not stop so they were a bit freaked out. My heart stopped for less than 1 minute but WOW did I feel terrible. Nauseau, dizziness, exhaustion, stomach pain. You name it.

The doctor told me I needed a pacemaker and I needed to schedule surgery asap. I was dumbfounded and scared and sick and just wanted to get home. See the theme. Now it was the surgery that predicated my ability to drive again.

When I entered the waiting room, my mother in law immediately knew something was wrong. She told me I was white as a ghost and hugged me. Being that baby that I am, I cried. My inlaws picked up our son and then stayed with me until my husband came home. The poor guy entered the house and I ran at him telling him this is ridiculous and I will not get a pace maker and he needs to do something. (Does it amaze you that this man stays with me?) Eventually we agreed to schedule the surgery for the following week. I wanted to wait until after I went to this formal fund raiserI had been looking forward to. Nothing like having my priorities in line.

So I learned that getting a pace maker is pretty routine surgery and that I had nothing to worry about. I couldn’t help it but I was terrified that I would not make it. It didn’t matter what my husband or doctors said. The night before I went into surgery I wrote a long letter to my son with instructions to open it when he turned 18. Silly but I was so afraid that I was leaving him and he would not know how much I loved him. Maybe I should have been seeing a shrink instead of a cardiologist.

That morning we dropped our son off at school together and my parents met us at the hospital. They didn’t need to but they were also frightened. Again I am grateful for my husband’s cool demeanor and calmness. I had never been to Erie County Medical Center before but was impressed with the Cardio unit – new, clean, high tech. Silly the things you notice when you are scared.

They prepped me. My parents kissed me goodbye and my husband stayed until they wheeled me into surgery. I went under really easily and expected to be done in 1 hour. When I came to I was more surprised than anything else and so thankful. Hubby was right there with me although he looked pretty stressed. Apparently the surgery took more than twice as long as expected because the surgeon had difficulty threading the probes into the heart. I was in fairly good shape at the time so not much fat tissue. It made the insertion more difficult.

I spent the night for observation. My left arm was sore and I could barely lift it, which is common because of the muscle cut through in the chest. I had an incision about two inches long above my left breast and a bump (the device) about an inch long rising from my chest. That night I spoke to my baby, kissed my husband and thanked God it was over. Even with all the vital interruptions, I slept better than I had in weeks. After a few days of rest, I was back to my old self, with a little more metal and a lot less fainting.

To be continued...
April 26, 2012 at 9:46am
April 26, 2012 at 9:46am
"Describe a life experience so important to you it deserves to be told over multiple entries."
THURSDAY APRIL 26 --- No 1 -- Beginning.

Chapter 1: Yogi Down

I was running late for my 10 am Ashtanga class. I hadn’t practiced in 7 days and was afraid I would lose those recently acquired abilities to stand on my head and do a full wheel. For those 7 days, we were in Siesta Key Florida with my parents and our son, having one of the best times.

Upon entering the class I sign in, say hi to the regulars, discuss my goals for the class with Michelle (yoga instructor extraordinaire) and settled into my normal place in the front near the ceiling to floor windows. I easily entering into my rhythmic breathing routine and although I felt a bit tired, the standing pose and breathes were quickly remembered and made me feel more alive.

As the class progressed through the sun salutations, I was feeling light headed, sweating much more than normal and just not right. I focused my attention on my breathe. Why was this so difficult today? Am I dehydrated from the flight? I will not stop, I am not a newbie. Suck it up Bonnie. Focus and just do this. I was deep in Trikonasana when the room started spinning and I let myself go. Everything went cold.

“Bonnie honey its ok, come back to us”
“Find your happy place Bonnie. We are here for you”

Images starting shooting at me but I could not grasp the visual. I just heard these voices. I caught my breathe with a start and tried to open my eyes. It was too much, I sunk back into myself.

“She opened her eyes! Get some water! Dab her forehead.”
“Bonnie its ok, you’re fine.”

I start to feel. I open my eyes again. I am flat with my head in Michelle’s lap. She is rubbing my temples. Why is that other girl holding my hand? Everyone is watching me and gently reassuring me. What the hell happened?

“The paramedics are here. Some one run down and get them’

Then I realize I must have passed out. How embarrassing. I feel terrible. I may vomit. I need to get up and go home. I try to stand.

The paramedics take over. “I’m fine. Really. I just need to go home”. They are not listening and Michelle is insistent. I am too weak to argue. They lift me to the gurney, strap me in and start checking vitals.

“What’s your name? Do you know what day it is? Does anything hurt?” I notice that paramedic 1 is pretty cute and paramedic 2 could be my dad.
“Her pulse is too low. Bonnie we are going to take you to the hospital, which do you prefer?”

“Really I am fine. I just want to go…” . I am out cold again. Next thing I know I am outside and they are loading me into the ambulance. They have decided to take me to Sisters of Charity Hosptial. Fine. I tell the paramedic I am a board member at the foundation for Sisters. We are off. In the ambulance they put in an IV and give me oxygen. I lose consciousness again.

I wake while they are wheeling me into the ER. Running toward the gurney is Ann (Foundation Director for the hospital).

“Oh my god. You look terrible. I was here for a donor tour and heard that you were being brought in. Are you ok? What happened? Does Matthew know?”

“I passed out. I don’t feel good. Please call Matty”. Ann takes off as I am taken into a room. I vomit. I am starting to feel better, although I am exhausted and have a wicked headache. The staff begins the non-stop questioning. I just want my husband.

Just so happened that I had treated myself to a rocking new skimpy yoga outfit as celebration for aforementioned head stand. I was wearing it and apparently I looked pretty slim because the nurses started wondering about me…

“Have you eaten? Are you dieting? When did you eat last? Have you recently lost weight? How often are you exercising? How do you feel about your appearance?” Seriously they think I am some anorexic teenager or exercise junkie. Please. I am getting annoyed and just need to sleep. Finally Matty shows up in full scrubs. He has that confidence and control. Immediately I am better. He talks to me first to find out what happened. He is so sensitive and gentle, yet commanding and in control. He pulls the nurses out and disappears for several minutes. I feel rather proud to see him in full doctor mode. He returns with a cardiologist: Dr. BlasΓ©.

Dr. Blaze does not waste him time on the previous questions but jumps into “has this happened before?”. I let him know. Of course I pass out. How often? A few times a year since I was a teenager. It’s not a big deal. His eyes widen and he states that passing out, losing consciousness is always a big deal and it is not normal. More discussion and he tells me he thinks I may have neurocardiogenetic syncope. By now I am tired. I don’t care what he thinks. I just need to go home. That is apparently not going to happen. No way. I am to stay at the hospital overnight for observation and tomorrow we will choose a neurologist, schedule tests and determine next steps.

All I can think about it is leaving. I cannot stay, who is going to get my baby from school? I don’t want my son to be scared. Again, Matty comes in to save the day. I am crying and he is reassuring. He mobilizes the troops. It is at times like these you realize how lucky you are to have a close family. Matty goes back to the OR, while my family takes over. My sister Tammy will pick up Max and drop him off at my brother’s house to play with the kids. She will pack my overnight bag for my parent’s to bring to the hospital (they insist on coming). My in-laws will get the dog and make sure Matty and Max have dinner. My brother will call me in the hospital to keep my spirits up while my parents drive over. It is settled so I can try to rest.

The night is interrupted with nurse after nurse taking my pulse and my temperature and although I know they are just trying to do their job, I am annoyed and want to be home. At 5 am I am up and in need of coffee. The nurses say coffee is against doctor’s orders and no they will not get me a steaming cup of Tim Horton’s from the lobby. Now that I am feeling physically better, I have become a royal bitch. I am frantic. Did I mention I have a severe coffee addiction? I threaten to pull out the IV and get my own coffee. The lunacy is taking over. I am making an embarrassing scene. Finally some wonderful orderly runs downstairs and brings me a large cup of black coffee. I am settled and can now function. He is my new best friend.

After doctor’s instructions and final tests, I am free to leave. However I am strictly told that I am not to drive until the neurologist gives approval at my appointment 2 weeks from now. WHAT? And how am I going to get around? This time it/s my dad who comes to save the day. He and my father-in-law agree to act as chauffeurs during this purgatory. Little do they know what it will be like driving this Miss Daisy.

To be continued....
April 25, 2012 at 4:35am
April 25, 2012 at 4:35am
"Describe your favorite fairy tale, myth or legend from your childhood. Discuss why it’s your favorite."
Suggestion: Has it influenced your beliefs and morals throughout your life so far?

I am not really a fairy tale kind of person. Frankly I believe Disney is responsible for the high divorce rate in this country. I mean really a prince on a white horse? Are we setting young women up for immediate disappointment? Not to mention 7 little guys taking care of you? Animals of all sorts cleaning the house and hand making your clothes? Continuous galas with talented dancing men? Fairy godmothers? No wonder kids have no reasonable expectation for their future.

That said, I did enjoy a good Grimm fairy tale. So bizarre with pretty depressing endings. Hansel and Gretal terrified me. I can't even look at a holiday gingerbread houses without experiencing a few fear tremors.

But Aesop's tales may be where my favorites lie. The Princess and the Pea, the Emperor's New Suit and of course the Ugly Duckling easily top the list. such an eloquent way to teach a kid a valuable lesson. But if I have to chose one to focus on it will be the much less known and obscure tale called "The Butterfly" (http://www.aesopfables.com/cgi/aesop1.cgi?hca&a13).

The story is about a butterfly who is looking for a wife. He searches all the flower kingdom to choose the appropriate one as his mate. Finding none worthy for him, he winds up alone with a pin stuck to him surrounded by potted plants. As a kid I liked it because of all the flower references. As far as influencing me and my beliefs, it seemed to speak to what type of companion is most alluring and the traps of some potential companions. It spoke to lose of beauty, to getting old and to friendship. As an adult I additionally enjoyed the commentary on freedom, being trapped and marriage.

Not sure what type of flower/herb or plant would describe me. Maybe a thought for another blog or as a contestant on the ancient and defunct Dating Game.

When my son was young I insisted on reading him the Aesop's and some of the Grimm fairy tales. Seriously I thought just hearing these stories at a young age who make him thoughtful and morally right. As an adult, I learned some different lessons and understood deeper meanings reading these tales. That is probably why they are considered classics.

April 24, 2012 at 10:07am
April 24, 2012 at 10:07am
"What are two skills you would love to have and why."

Let me start by saying I have two awesome skills that very few know about and probably less care about. First I can pick up almost anything with my toes. Very helpful when you do not feel like bending. My hubby and son crack up yet find it disturbing. Second, I can write upside down. Early in my career a mentor said that it makes a statement and is especially useful in salesy conversations with staff across the desk. It's pretty cool and memorable believe it or not - at least as a conversation piece.

Now back to the prompt.

I wish I could garden. Believe me I have tried and I love planting but everything dies or lives a very sad, ugly existence. You would not believe the friends I have dragged to classes or the $ spent on plants only to have to repeat the process 2 weeks later. For some reason I cannot understand the soil needs, the need to have partner plants, zones and heartiness, sun and water requirements, and especially I cannot differentiate between new plants and weeds so I wind up weeding the actual plants. Plus bugs bug me.

I also wish I could sing. Actually I do sing I just wish I could sing well. Seriously I have the worst voice you have ever heard. My friends and family have been know to turn up the radio, put their hands over their ears and finally beg me to stop. Years ago my parents' German Shephard heard me sing and started howling. I swear it is true. At that point it became a stupid human trick to ask me to sing in front of Barron while the dog howled - snout upraised and at top of his lungs. Slightly humiliating.

There are so many skills I wish I had but that could get boring for you gentle reader, so I will stop here.

April 23, 2012 at 4:42am
April 23, 2012 at 4:42am
"Name three advantages that kids born these days have over older generations. Then, name three advantages that older generations have over kids born these days."

Interesting prompt requiring some thought and reflection.

Advantage new kids:
- Access. Technology today gives us access to just about anything possible. We have access to information, access to strangers, access to any part of the globe. Lucky lucky generation.

- Choice. Because we have so much more access, I believe we have more choices. For example, if I want a dress I would have to go to whatever store is near and find one there. Now I go online and can literally choose from 100's of options.

- Opportunity.The knowledge acquired via new technologies and the people met allow for so much mroe opportunities for career, friendships, hobbies and travel.

Advantage old folks:
- Privacy. It seems past generations had more privacy. If they choose it. Now you can be photo'd or video's or taped and not even know it. It is odd to see photos online of people who probably don't realize they a have been captured.

- Simplicity. Maybe all new generations say it, but it seems life was easier and simpler back then. The pressures to know more and do more and do better are never ending and I believe our youth feel the stress deeply.

- Safety. It seems to me that there was a stricter more code or adherence to values in past generations. That makes me believe that people were safer.

I wouldn't want to live in any other generation that this one. THe possibilities seem endless and the frontiers limitless!
April 22, 2012 at 8:48am
April 22, 2012 at 8:48am
It's that time of week to show you've been paying attention. Find something, everyone, throw something in. Find someone else's blog entry from the last week and discuss it in your own blog. Tell us why someone's entry resonated with you.

Yet again I want to say that this week's entries were really entertaining, enlightening, opinionated and heartwarming. I cannot believe the positive attitude of this group, the openness to share so much, and the talent in writing. This week I found the comments OUTSTANDING.

My fellow bloggers:

Prosperous - I have to agree with Thunder that your Neon Green Sneeze power was hysterical. You make blogging seem so easy and your commitment to the prompt is always right on.

Sunny 4/19 - I like that you mentioned you hate being so close to the ground. So simple and true to yourself.

VIpulya 4/16 on culture shock - Open and honest in your feelings. I appreciate the stoicism in your values/morals/ethics. Your ability to bring me into your thoughts is awe inspiring.

Big Bad's 4/19 entry on transportation - Sleep as a mode of getting around! The most creative entry. Your short entries make me think differently.

Earl's Merry Go Round brought me to your hometown. It was informative and I appreciated the photos. I really enjoy your blog titles and succinct writing style and of course vocabulary choice. BTW Saw your Extra Extra and agree we are all winners

Brother. You consistently surprise me with innovative writing and style of each entry. I have to highlight your formula for character which was brilliant. You have a great mind and a real talent expressing yourself.

Fivesixer. I have the hardest time choosing just one of your entries. I love them all. At each I laugh, I shake my head and I can't wait for the next installment. This week I chose your entry about change because it was a little more self reflective...just as funny and as usual I loved the music and vital stats update but this one seemed to present a bit of your vulnerability.

CIndy. Your blogs are always a highlight. You're organized, educational, and extremely personal writing style makes you in my opinion, one damn great blogger. I have to focus on your entry for today though re: Sarah and Axel.

Oh how it hit me. I am still teary eyed. As a mom (and probably you dads feel it as well), I relate so intimately with the dichotomy your daughter had presented. Is there a better definition of love? Putting her needs, desires and plans in front of your pain over the loss and wrapping them in a thick layer of support is in my mind the ultimate expression. Nice when it all comes around in the end though - great karma.

As a daughter I couldn't wait to be independent and far away. I thought it was the only way to prove my independence. I left an extremely supportive and loving family in NY to go to CA. It took that experience to help me realize how badly I needed them near me. Ok, I am starting to tear up again - thanks for the emotional waterfall Cindy *Wink*.

Thanks everyone for the good reads this week. I need to run and find my snow shovels as the weather forecast for Buffalo is Winter Storm Warning. UGH!
April 21, 2012 at 9:32am
April 21, 2012 at 9:32am
"In the tradition of bloggers everywhere, tell us all about your day, in great detail, even the mundane stuff, but especially the good stuff, the parts of your day that inspired you, that motivated you, that showed you the joy in your life. Tell us how your day was, whether you laughed or whether you cried. You know, blog."

Let's face it ever since I broke my foot, I have been a whiney, self-pitying bitch. You guys only experienced a daily blog entry, can you image my friends, family and co-workers who had to put up with my nonsense all week? Well today that all ends. I promised Cindy I would be better starting today. I want to present my week as a sample of inspirational, joyous, and optimistic events. Here is what the daily soundtrack in my head should have sounded like.

Sunday: What a lovely shade of eggplant you are right foot! Goes great with the pedicure color choice of "Trashy Waitress #121". Hey there handsome orderly I appreciate the vicoden. Doc did you say my husband was wrong and it is broken, again that he was wrong? WOW crutches - gifts from the ER! What a luxury to lay on the couch all day with a working remote and as much bad tv as I can handle! Humility

Monday: Thank you my son for waking up on time. Nice job driving to school and even better job averting that tree that jumped into your lane. An opportunity to explain my fall to at least 10 different people at the doctor's office creates solid practice for me to speak eloquently. Is that the 5th or 6th email from that fellow parent re: car pooling - my she is thorough and exact, not at all anal retentive or annoying. Resilience

Tuesday: The 1/2 mile hobble from the parking lot to the client site really gave me time to view my surroundings, kind of a stop to smell the roses but really more like a slow down to see industrial carpeting and paint. Maybe it's not optimum but it's great that my housekeeper called in sick, she works so hard and could use a day off. My silly forgetful friend once again left her wallet at home, allowing me to pick up the lunch bill and gain her gratitude. Compassion

Wednesday: Next time I will refrain from threatening to fire him and considered his lack of knowledge, communication skills and client service focus as an opportunity for me to demonstrate my mentoring, training and teaching skills. Arguing doctors can only make my treatment better right? Patience

Thursday: Thanks mom and dad for taking me to get the new, hard cast. So I can't drive, at least I have this neon green cast to keep me cheery. Oh and the 1 1/2 spent shopping for flat shoes was a time to bond with you two again. When my boss decided I could not do the conference in Las Vegas sure I admit I was disappointed, but now I don't have to pack and rearrange my schedule for a week and meet all those new contacts. Hope

Friday I really didn't like the dress I was supposed to wear tonight to that fund raiser so its a good thing we are not going. When I decided to host the reunion for 12 girls from my high school, I knew it would be a lot of work to get the caterer, coordinate the florist and ensure the house was tip top. I have an excuse now as to why it can't all be done up and I am sure my friends will help me as they witness my incapacity. Appreciation

Overall this was a week of kind words from my faceless friends on WDC and lots of food from my mobile friends here in WNY. All is good.
April 20, 2012 at 8:29pm
April 20, 2012 at 8:29pm
"If you could have one super power to help save the world what would it be? Now, the proviso is it has to be a silly super power and your mileage may vary on the facet of the world you are saving."

Current State: A world where people move too slowly and too seriously, where bipeds remain vertical and not enough people laugh
Future State: Tumbling humans, rolling through the streets entertaining the masses
Recommendation: Somersaults
Implementation: The Tumble Mistress

I am the Tumble Mistress, possessing the unique superpower to inculcate *Smile* unsuspecting individuals with the need to perform a somersault. Before you discount this invaluable ability, think about it. Have you ever been able to refrain from smiling upon seeing someone do a somersault? Can you image how much quicker tasks could be completed?

Let me first save the world from misery and replace it with laughter. I start my day by amusing myself. How about those 3 gentlemen dressed in tailored suits and adamantly discussing some point. One touch of my hand and each takes off in perfectly articulated somersaults, rolling down Elmwood Avenue. Jackets flying, facial expressions determined, shoes pointed skyward. Starts my day with a laugh. Oh look that teenage boy looks down, what if we take grandma across the way and have her do a double somersault then spring to attention. Boy is laughing now.

It's not just for laughs, I promote efficiency and quickness. I see a slew of young adults at the grocery store. They knocked over a can display. No! I touch each gently on the shoulder and now I have Cirque d' solei. Let's use these somersaults to roll over each other, re-stack those cans and clean up that mess in no time. Imagine how quickly I could roll up all those loose lawn hoses which are such a neighborhood eyesore? How about making tumblers put up Christmas lights r even better taking those lights down prior to February1? Talk about really making a difference in creating a better world!

I could single handedly resolve the obesity issue. Sure we all have excuses as to why we don't exercise. Don't drive to work you lazy slob, I touch you as you enter your car. You get out, tumble position and roll the 10 miles to work. Don't worry about wrinkles in your clothes. Everyone knows that you roll, not fold, your clothes when you pack so rolling will act as a special iron. Ever see anyone eating while they are doing a somersault? Nope. So it even stops snacking.

My superpowers will make you feel better. Are you feeling low? I brush against you and you flip...literally. Blood rushing to your head is known to make you more relaxed. Picture that holiday dinner with the family. Stressful? Not if they are all rolling around the dining room.

There is also the metaphorical somersault. I am currently honing this skill. Have you seen my recent work with Mitt Romney and some of the Fox News pundits? Yeah that was me who had Palin reverse her opinion of the new republican candidate in less than two months. Once I get better you will see some serious work on our Supreme Court justices and rulings.

So look for me. I don't have theme music but you may want to think Boy George "I'll Tumble for you" or Limp Bizkit "Rollin, Rollin, Rollin".
April 20, 2012 at 7:19pm
April 20, 2012 at 7:19pm
Transportation. What is your preferred mode of getting around and what are your thoughts about the nature of mobility today and tomorrow?

Sorry for the delay! I had so much to talk about regarding this topic but I have had a rough couple days and now will make it quick.

I love to fly. It's so very fast. If not far enough I adore the subway or train - again fast usually. I hate driving.

Today I feel we have so many options from folding bikes to segways.. tomorrow maybe we will be able to have individual flying capsules.

I am now immobile so this prompt adds salt to the wounds. Yesterday I had to have a hard cast replace the air one on my foot. Driving is impossible, walking difficult, sleeping challenging. Argh.
April 18, 2012 at 9:18pm
April 18, 2012 at 9:18pm
"What things have you experienced to help build your character to what it is today?"

I think about what experiences built the goodness in my character so that I can duplicate those experiences to ensure the best character forms in my son. But I don't think I can articulate those experiences that had the most impact on my character foundation. I few experiences come to mind:

- Dad's commitment to his job taught me to have a strong work ethic, his devotion to my mother taught me the importance of being a loving spouse, his sense of humor take me to take myself less seriously. When I accepted my first job and had to move to Texas, I spoke to my dad about my indecision. He knew I was scared and said "Go. If you aren't happy you always have a home here." He taught me how to fly.

- Mom always made the house a home: meticulously clean, cooking, laughter and togetherness. Mom helped me to respect my self and not let any man take advantage of me. She taught me how to be proud of who I am.

I can't go through everyone but a few quick ones:
- My first real love was attentive, blissful and fun loving. He helped me realize passion.
- When I was alone for Thanksgiving in CA a family took me in for the holiday and made me feel like part of their family
- My best friend remained my best friend even after I stole her boyfriend. What better way can you learn forgiveness?

I would like to believe I have a strong character and if I do I owe it to these people as well as my husband and son.

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