30 July 2012

There was a human interest story on the news yesterday about a woman who, when she needed extra income, went to a flea market with a box of buttons and some jewelry making stuff, and sold rings she made on the spot for $3. She did so well that it launched a business, and now she sells to stores around the country.

Good for her. was a head scratcher for me. Who would want a ring made from a button? Obviously a lot of people do, but...

Maybe it's just one of my weird quirks.

I loath buttons.

Granted, I own clothing that has buttons, but I try to not think about them. I hate clothing with decorative buttons, crafts made with buttons grosses me out, and I have a visceral reaction to anything with unnecessary buttons.

I even hate the word.



Oh, and I know you people. Now you're thinking "Let's send Thumper crap with buttons!"

I will totally not be your friend anymore.



29 July 2012

Friday was the start of the 2012 Susan G. Komen 3 Day; the first walk--which ended today--took place in Boston. I've been waiting for this walk, mostly out of curiosity, wanting to see how the numbers stacked up.

Last year, Boston walkers raised 4.8 million dollars. The year before that, 4.3 million.

This year?

That's a hefty difference. And I can't help but wonder if that will be a trend for this year, fallout from Komen's fracktastic Planned Parenthood fumble.

Komen does a lot of good, regardless of the politics it (probably should not) dabbles in. It does a lot of good in spite of the bloat at the top of the Komen food chain. But the missteps...there are a whole lot of people out there, on both sides, who won't forgive Komen for the whole thing, and they're taking their money elsewhere.

I'm not walking a Komen event this year, mostly because I know the fundraising just won't happen. I am crewing in San Francisco, driving a sweep van along with DKM, but I'm doing it mostly for the walkers, in support of their efforts. My issues with Komen are mine, but I have no issues with the people who are going to be out there for 3 days, putting one sore foot in front of the other.

I won't have a problem donating to friends who are walking a Komen event this year; the royalties for Rock the Pink are starting to come in, and I fully intend to donate them to friends who are walking, whether they're walking in a Komen or an Avon walk. In this, my support is for my friends, and these walks matter to them.

But I also understand why people don't want to give Komen another dime...and I really wonder if Boston is the start of a huge drop in donations because of their political dustup. And I'm not sure how I feel about that. Part of me thinks it's their own damn fault for not handling the whole thing better and they're lucky to still have the support they do. Part of me hopes people will get past it and look to the people those funds help.

But, yeah. A whopping $1.6 million difference from last year to this year.


23 July 2012

A lesson in snap judgment...

A day or two ago while browsing reddit/r/motorcycles, I clicked a link and it went to this image. Hundreds of other people did the same, and I think it's safe to say a lot of them had the same first thought that I did.

Moron...that's a good way to get yourself killed.

There's so much wrong with this: let's forget about the lack of gear, the riding position alone does not afford a rider any reaction time if something goes wrong. One hand on the bar, feet no where near the tiny thing goes wrong, that's a rider who's going to have a bad day.

I shrugged it off and was going to scroll down to other links, but then I clicked on the comments.

Her name was Charity Rivera.

She was 32 years old.


I don't know when the picture was taken; someone commenting mentioned that it was an old repost, so it may have been taken a month ago or a year ago. But in June of this year, she died on a ride; somehow—I'm not suggesting at all that she was riding in that same position—she lost control of her bike, crashed into a wall, went over it, and fell 20 feet down.

Her helmet was on the bike, but she was not wearing it.

There's a YouTube memorial video for her.

I feel bad for her. I feel bad for her family. I feel bad for my initial thought of “Moron.”

Not that I condone the way she was riding in the picture someone took while passing her on the road; I don't. But it was her choice, and I'm betting she understood the risks she was taking.

I will never ride without a helmet; I'll never ride without a full faced helmet. That's my choice. I support someone else's right to ride with a half helmet, a shortie, or no helmet at all. You get on a bike, you know the risks. You make your choices and accept the risk that comes along with it. You know that the half helmet leaves a good part of your face exposed and it might very well get ripped off if you hit pavement; it's your risk to take.

I usually ride in full gear: boots, kevlar lined pants, armored jacket, m/c specific gloves, and helmet. But once in a while, if we're heading just down the road, I'll ride in regular jeans. I might not put the jacket on. I accept the risk. Hitting the ground at 30 mph is going to hurt, but I accept that. If I'm heading out of Dixon, I gear up. I don't want to hit the ground at 45 and up without gear.

My choice.

My knee jerk reaction to the picture, though, I don't think it was fair. Riding like that, it was her choice. She undoubtedly knew the risks and accepted them.

Sometimes we make the wrong choices. And when we do, we leave behind people who bear the worst of that. But still...those are our choices to make, and for someone else to grunt “Moron...”

I should learn.

Judge not.


18 July 2012

Signs of bouncing back:
  • The Spouse Thingy dragged me out of the house yesterday for a quick trip to Walmart; I only walked around for about 5 minutes, but it wiped me out. Later, he took me out for frozen yogurt, and I didn't die.
  • Today he dragged me out to walk around Walmart; I made it around all the way before punking out. That's progress.
  • Later he took me out to Denny's, a test of endurance and appetite. Two scrambled eggs and some grits, which is a big meal of late. 
  • Bonus: I wanted something else, so we went to BK for pie.
I am still so freaking tired, but I can feel it getting better in increments, and my appetite is fully engaged now. Everything still has a bad aftertaste because of the Thrush, but it is improving, just not as fast as I'd like.

If I could get all my energy and digestive qualities back, I'd be a very happy Thumper.


16 July 2012

On a scale of 1-100, I think I'm at about 60. Much better, but not better enough, not enough to make me happy.

In the last two weeks, I've only been out of the house twice, both for doctor appointments; the first time was horrible, the second time was tolerable, both times left me wiped out. Still, since that second appointment, I've gotten exponentially better, so I can't complain too much.

Right now, what I mostly feeling is fatigue. No surprise there; when I'm sick, I sleep, and the last couple of days I've intentionally made myself stay put of bed and awake, because that stuff just feeds on itself. If you don't stay out of bed, you just don't get out of bed, if that makes sense. It would be easy to lie there and watch TV, snooze, watch more TV. It just feels a little better to get up, sit in the recliner, and watch TV. Marginally more proactive.

I'm down 23 pounds in 14 days; I absolutely do not recommend this as a way to lose weight. Still, I'll take it as a consolation prize, especially since I'd gained back everything I lost a couple years ago. I just hope I can maintain it.

I have an appetite again, but most food tastes like utter crap thanks to the nice case of Thrush the antibiotics gave me. I'm done with those, though, and I think the mouth wash-spit swallow meds are starting to work on that, so I have high hopes that everything will taste normally in another day or two.

Then all I want is for my digestion to get back to normal. 'Cause...yeah, well...let's just say I may never look at pudding the same way.

As long as this doesn't flare up, I should be good to go for the Komen 3 Day in September, where the kind people in charge are actually going to let me drive a van along with DKM, and I swear I will refrain from running anyone over. And then two days after that...

A colonoscopy.

I could have had it done a couple of weeks before the 3 Day, but just in case it triggers this krap again, I wanted to push it back to after, because I really don't want to miss another walk event, and being in the sweep van is supposed to be one of The Most Awesome Crew Jobs EVER.

But...there I is. Better, but not 100%. Getting there. And possibly never, ever eating pudding again...


12 July 2012

File under TMI...Way, way TMI....

Things have not been peachy keen at Casa de Thumper. I mean, it was fine on June 2nd at about 6:30, and then not so fine at about 6:35, and super not fine at 10:30 when the Spouse Thingy determined that like it or not, I was going to the ER.

On the afternoon of the 2nd I was beginning to get ready for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer; I dyed my blue camo shorts fuschia and they came quite pretty freaking sweet, and I planned on dyeing my hair white-blonde on Tuesday and then hot pink on Wednesday. After the shorts were dyed and dried and folded, we had dinner, I played online for a while...

...and this is where the TMI flows, so you might want to hop on over to reddit'saww subreddit and look at pictures of cute things.

Go ahead. It's ok. You can be pretty sure that in the end, I survive.

Alrighty. I played online for a while, and then had to use the facilities, so to speak. Quite badly. Seemingly urgently. I grabbed my iPhone—to play Solitaire, because who the hell can go to the bathroom without a phone now?—and went into the restroom, where nothing happy happened. Right about the time I was about to grumble about the false alarm, though...the ringing in my ears jacked up, the world felt like it was closing in on me, and I got serious tunnel vision. Within seconds, I was starting to sweat, was pretty sure I was going to pass out, and had the fleeting thought that at least I wasn't sitting there with a pork chop to choke on.

Just in front of the toilet is a wicker hamper; I grabbed it and pulled it toward me, and set my head on it, hoping everything would pass and I would just be grumbling later about nothing.

Several minutes later, nothing had passed. I still had that gripping oh-hell-gotta-go-NOW feeling in my gut, I was soaked in sweat, and still felt like I was going to pass out. I have no idea how, but I dragged myself to the bedroom and onto the bed and kicked at the wall, hoping the Spouse Thingy would hear me in the other room where he was playing some computer game.

We waited for it to pass; after ten minutes it was no better but I had to bolt back to the bathroom, where eruptions of Oh Hell No occurred.

Max decided to take over.

I agonized with sitting there, hugging the hamper while drenching it with my sweat. Max hovered, walking a line outside the (open) bathroom door, growling at the Spouse Thingy if he even looked like he might intrude. In between growlings, he came in to see me, standing on his back legs, stretching up to look at me, then headed back to the hall to growl more.

Leave her alone.

His intentions were good.

I sweated through my clothing, leaving wet foot prints on the floor. But this was good, I would be done, I would feel better.

But I didn't. I spent the next three hours darting between the bed and the bathroom, with Mike hovering, trying to figure out when I had crossed a line. I kept my phone with me, just in case, and at 10:30 I sent him one text:


I'd crossed the line; he bolted into the bathroom, looked at the evidence—it was only blood—and announced we were heading for the ER.

I did not argue.

On the plus side, I was no longer covered in a cold sweat and didn't feel like I was about to faceplant onto the floor. I only felt like I belonged in an Aliens supporting role.

When you feel like complete crap, a fifteen minute car ride feels like it takes an hour. A five minute wait for vitals feels like ten, and a ten minute wait in a quite room while they discharge someone else so you can have their bed just feels like oh-gawd-let-me-lie-down-already...that's all I wanted at the point, to curl up in a bed and do as much nothing as possible.

Within half an hour of getting the open bed I had an IV in place and enough pain relief on board that I was almost comfortable. Lots of waiting, a digital exam, a CT scan of my abdomen, and a few hours, and I was discharged with a diagnosis of Colitis, and had scrips for 2 different antibiotics, a heavy duty pain killer, and anti-nausea med.

But hey, I was going to go home and sleep in my own bed, and in the morning the Spouse Thingy would get my meds and I'd feel spiffy by afternoon. Right?

On the ride home, the nausea ramped up.

I barfed just outside the front door, twice. He got me into bed, got most of my clothes off, and got me a bucket, which he set by the bed but not in my 6:30 in the morning, I was heaving into it.

At 8:30 Buddah decided to check it out and knocked it over.

At 8:31 I decided I needed to chew better, threw a towel over the mess, dashed for the bathroom again, and then crawled back into bed where I pleaded with Someone to make the cramping and pain stop. At some point there was Percoset and something for the nausea...and sleep.

Lots of sleep.

I know I got out of bed on Tuesday long enough to post something on Facebook, but for the most part the next week was spent in bed, curled up in a tight ball of please-let-the-pain-stop, unless I was aseleep...and I was asleep a lot. Between my natural inclination to sleep when I'm sick and the Percoset, I'm not sure I got out of bed other than to go to the bathroom, which was just an ongoing issue of Blah.

For the most part, Tuesday afternoon through Monday of this week are one mushed together lump of sleep and pain; there's photographic proof that I got up at one point and went into the living room, where I feel asleep on the couch, but other than that it was sleep, drink, meds, crawl to the bathroom, sleep more, refuse food, sleep...

And I missed the Avon Walk because of it all.

That's what chaps me the most; I'd been looking forward to the walk and hanging around in SF with DKM for weeks. Instead of camping, we were going to stay in a hotel, and we were going to the Cheesecake Factory, dammit!

But, while DKM walked, I slept. And whined about the crappy taste in my mouth and how uncomfortable I was, and kept refusing food that the Spouse Thingy (who had to take off work to care for me) was more than willing to make for me.

Every day he struggled to get me to eat something. Half a slice of toast was a victory. Half a cup of rice was amazing. I needed ice water, he got me ice water. I needed Gatorade, he got me Gatorade. I wasn't sure what I wanted, he went to Walmart and brought half the store home with him, creating a pyramid of junk food on the kitchen counter to tempt me.

Nothing sounded good, or even like eating it was remotely a good idea.

By the weekend, I had lost about 15 pounds. I highly do not recommend this method.

I think this Tuesday was when there was actual food I craved. Macaroni and Cheese. He made some, I ate about 6 ounces. Later, cream of potato soup with white rice in it. I ate about 7 ounces. Yesterday, blueberry muffins. Yogurt. Somewhere in there was a chicken wing I inhaled.

Today has been the first day of regular food—10 days after it all started. I saw my doctor last week—he renewed my pain meds and don't-barf meds—and had me come back today. Since I'm improving (in spite of the wonderful case of Thrush the antibiotics have given me) I can just continue on and don't have to go back unless I get worse, but the big thing is we still don't know what caused this or I'm getting a colonoscopy in September (right AFTER the Komen, 2 DAYS after) and I just have to keep my fingers crossed it's not chronic and I eventually (sooner rather than later, please) am not glued to the bathroom.

I definitely feel better; there's no crushing pain in my belly right now, and I can sit upright for a couple hours, but I'm still exhausted and sleeping more hours than not. I've had most excellent care here, and we all need to keep our fingers crossed that Mike never gets this sick so that he doesn't have to see which end of the stick he got in this relationship.

Though I suppose I wouldn't flinch too hard at him holding up toilet paper to me and showing the result...


Told you that you wanted to go see the aww pictures...