Thursday, April 28, 2011

Another Blond Moment

I like using hair color as an excuse, anyway.

I was heading to the chiropractor around noon today - missed my appointment Monday because I lost track of time while I was interviewing a candidate for a possible future job. Luckily she was able to reschedule me - I don't know what I would do without that interferential current, traction, and adjustment. I went a few months without it and got all crooked. I've been going about every two weeks for the last couple of months, and even though I don't feel like I need it anymore, it's kind of like exercise - addictive.

I notified the secretaries I would be out of my office for about an hour and stopped by my partner Dianne's office to let her know I was leaving - she agreed earlier to cover me for clinical calls. She is tall and lanky and like every other pathologist I work with, looks about 15 years younger than her chronological age. I'm telling you, this is the life. She has short brown hair and chunky black stylish glasses that complement her uber-intelligence. Her office has a window (jealous!) that oversees the entire clinical lab, so she has her finger on the pulse of the activity - she knows when a new marrow is coming from radiology by the sounds she can hear on the other side of the glass.

"Dianne, I'm headed out."

"Can you smell that?"


"That banana, in my trash can. It's overly ripe, and it stinks."

"Well, I can't smell it, but I know what you mean. I can't stand the smell of overly ripe bananas - they make me nauseated. If it was by my desk, I would have to take it to the bathroom trash - I couldn't work."

"That's what I think I am going to have to do."

Our conversation got me thinking about bananas. I keep bananas around the house constantly - I eat peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwiches at least once or twice a week. Jack also likes them. I asked Dianne, "What is up with bananas these days, anyway? They get overly ripe so fast! I buy them green as I can and a couple of days later they are attracting fruit flies. I can't stand it. I used to make banana bread all the time, but now I usually just throw out my bad bananas."

Dianne said, "I know what you mean. I have a banana tree, but they still go bad all the time."

Wow, I thought. Dianne, the self-proclaimed non-cook like myself, had a banana tree? I imagined her traipsing out to her back yard plucking them off in bunches to slice with her morning cereal and yogurt. And it sounded like her banana tree was so prolific, that no matter how many she picked they still went bad. I imagined a banana tree weighed down with too much fruit, an exasperated Dianne perspiring in a heap at its base with a basket full of bananas, no end to her work in sight. Just how many feathers, I wondered, could fit in her cap? Wasn't it enough that she could make a difficult lymph node or bone marrow report sound like poetry, such that I frequently sought her counsel and hung on her every word? Really, a banana tree? I said, "Well, that's really impressive! A banana tree! I just go to the store to get my bananas."

She looked at me querulously - in retrospect, I think she was trying to determine if I was serious. "Um, Giz, the banana tree is in my kitchen? It is something I hang my bananas on to keep them fresh longer?" She made each explanation a question, still doubting my belief in her banana tree. Finally a light bulb went off in my head, and I started laughing uncontrollably. Luckily she joined in. When we both gathered ourselves, she said, "Boy, Giz, I'll bet I could convince you of anything, couldn't I?"

"I was wondering how you managed to have a banana tree, what with this Arkansas climate and all. Yes, I have been known to be pretty gullible. I like to think of it as part of my charm, rather than stupidity, but I guess it could go either way."

She grinned. "You know, I've got this diamond mine in my back yard and I really need some investors. . . "

"Ha! I've got to get to the chiropractor."

"Thanks for the laugh, Giz - I really needed that."

I have a feeling this is not the last I will hear about the banana tree.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Foo Fighters - Another Round

Since my friend bought us tickets for next month, I decided I might need to listen to them.

I like this song.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Star Student

It's Jack this week! And Cecelia was "Student Helper" a couple of weeks ago. I have a new line on my CV - carting pets up to school for show and tell.

I asked Jack the other morning if he wanted to bring Katybell, our cat, or Spotty Dangerous, the snake. He said, "Mom, everyone already believes that I have a cat."

"What Jack? Some people in your class don't believe that you have a snake?"

"Uh uh. Aidan doesn't."

"Well, we'll fix that."

So in between breast conference, fat pad aspirate in fast track ED, surgical cases, and GI clinic, I'm bringing the snake and some cookies up to school tomorrow around noon. Spotty was a little rambunctious when we got him out to play tonight, so I'm going to feed him a big mouse. Hopefully that way he won't be hissing at the kids.

Oops, there's the oven timer now. No silly, not the mouse, the cookies. The mouse goes in the microwave.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Rosie the Rooter

Last Saturday I discovered that my kid's toilet was stopped up. They were with their dad, so I wasn't sure about the probable etiology, but assumed they had let it not flush long enough to get clogged with paper - the usual issue. I ran upstairs to get the plunger. I consider myself pretty savvy with a plunger - I've had lots of practice. If there was a Toilet Paper Anonymous, I would be the first to sign up. I certainly wouldn't preach abstinence, but a little moderation would help. I'm all for being green and recycling, but when it comes to hygiene maintenance, there is no reasonable limit for me. I like to create a mountainous barrier between my hand, and, well, you know. It's a problem, I'll admit it. My ex used to posture that I used a toilet paper roll like a fishing line. I beg to differ. You reel in a fishing line.

Anyway, I tell you all of that to set the scene. I am a master with the plunger, and I've got a good one. But I attacked the toilet for 20 minutes - flush, plunge, flush, plunge - and the blockage did not budge one bit. This has never happened to me, that I can remember. It is like getting an A on an academic test. When I set my mind to clear a stopped toilet, I can make it happen. I decided to let it sit for 24 hours, and tried again Sunday night. The kids were home by then, and enjoyed watching me take the toilet to task, with all of the accompanying water splashes and slurpy gross noises. Once again, I failed. Cecelia rushed off to make a note for the toilet "Do not use the toilet or toilet will splash on you." I read it questioningly and looked at her. She started laughing, "Oops, mom, I meant to say water!" I said, "Well, your message is much more of a deterrent. Good mistake." We put a towel over the closed toilet lid, placed her note on top, and started bedtime routine.

Monday night, after hauling down the trash and the recycling (I over-recycle to make up for my excess toilet paper usage - promise!) I decided to attack the toilet one last time. I was not optimistic - I have never had a three day blockage before. I dreaded calling the plumber the next day - not only would it cost an arm and a leg, I was going to have to find the time to meet the guy or pay someone to meet him for me - something I occasionally have to do these days. Cecelia saw me head into her bathroom and followed me excitedly. "Mom, I'm going to jump in the tub so I don't get splashed! I'll watch and cheer you on!" I smiled at her. "Thanks, C."

I attacked the toilet for the last time with gusto and to my surprise, after a couple of minutes, it cleared. I looked up at Cecelia in wonder. She asked, "Did you fix it mom?" I said, "Yes! Hooray for Super Plumber Mom!" I flexed my muscle like Rosie the Riveter and turned to face Cecelia in the mirror, posing as a superhero. She scooted over right underneath me on a stool, imitated me, and looked at me happily and challengingly back in the mirror, "If you're Super Plumber Mom, I'm Super Plumber Daughter." I looked down at her chocolate brown hair framing her olive face and dark, sparkling eyes, a lopsided grin showing off a gap in her front teeth that could only be rivaled by mine at her age. I told her, "You've got a lot to look forward to in life, you know that?"

Monday, April 4, 2011

Only If You Are a Pathologist

This afternoon, I was headed out of my office to grab my afternoon coffee. I ran into a histotech, who had a slide tray in her hands. She stretched her arms out and handed it to me, beaming, full of official importance.

"Doctor, here is your herpes! It is finally ready! I can give it to you now, if you want it."

She was referring to an immunostain I ordered on an active esophagitis.

I doubled over with laughter. "I do, I do! I have been waiting for someone to tell me that my whole life!"

I know. I'm not very funny. It's a Monday following a vacation week. I'm sure you can think of a lot better responses. Still, I love that my job creates moments like this.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cinderella Man

Run like hell, and enjoy it.