The Other End of Sunset

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Status messages, and all that

Apparently two days before the elections is when all the political campaigns decide to advertise. I have seen the SAME political ads twice in a row – the entire series, not just one. Sigh. Anyway.

So, let’s try to do a mix of fun and health this post, shall we?

So, first, I got more ink. For those of you who aren’t playing the home game, that means I got another tattoo. This one is on my left calf. It’s a cross, with a fleur de lis. Or maybe it’s two crosses, with several fleur (or is that fleura)? It kind of depends on how you look at it. Me? I see two crosses, one behind the other, with several fleur de lis wrapped around them. I like it. It’s very different from my other – a three-rotor encryption device from the 17th century. That is a very complex design, with lots of shading, and many intricate figures. This one is not. It’s line art – no shading, very simple. The whole thing took like 30 minutes. However, it seems to me that there are more nerve endings in the calf than there are in the upper shoulder. This one hurt. A lot. And I'm not much of a whiner. Anyway, if you want to see, just get me to pull up my left pant leg.

I'm sitting in my red pseudo-suede chair. It’s a Lay-Z-Boy recliner, one of those with a fold out footstool, you know? Anyway, the footstool is solid. And it’s rubbing against the new tattoo. It’s not so comfortable. Ouch.

The best part about getting a leg tattoo is that you can’t tattoo through hair. I don’t normally shave my legs, so I tend to have hair. My hair is dark, and thick. It’s almost armor. Almost every woman I’ve been close to has had serious eyelash envy (my eyelashes are very long and dark) and hair envy (it’s long, curly, and virtually indestructible). Well, my leg hair is similar. And so I have to get rid of it so I can get the tattoo.

I could have shaved just the spot where the tattoo was going. But that would look remarkably stupid. So I decided to get all the hair off my legs.

Careful, this may be TMI.

I don’t do well with razors. I get razor burn, easily. So I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of shaving my legs. Besides, do I use one of my own old razors? I mean, isn’t that what you use to shave your legs? I have no idea which direction to use the razor. Are there different kinds of shave creams? Anyway, clearly shaving ain’t the right way to go.

So what do I do? Well, I decided to go with the whole Nair approach. It says it takes one application, for 3 minutes.

That may be true, but wasn’t true for me. Apparently I have super-hair. It took three applications, each of about 5 minutes. It finally worked. But I got burned. Sigh. So, I had no hair to get in the way of the motor needle. But I do have a strange rash, and my legs are NOT happy with me.

There must be a better way, although I can’t think of it. And I don’t know what happens when the hair on my calf grows back. Like, will my tattoo get covered over? Apparently I don’t have a lot of hair on the back of my legs, so perhaps it won’t matter. But I have to admit a deep fear.

Do you think I will have to use this Nair stuff forever, in honor of my ink? Yikes. I don’t really want to. I'll let you know, feel free to opine on the matter.

I was a bit uncomfortable about being a guy with no hair on his legs. Until I walked into the drugstore this afternoon. Right in front of me, a grey-haired guy walked in the door. He was wearing shorts. And no hair on his legs.

I'm not the only one. Whew!

So far, this isn’t too dull, right? It’s kind of a dull posting, after all.

Moving on.

I'm watching House. It’s an episode series about House’s ex-girlfriend, who is now married to another guy, who needs House’s expertise as a diagnostician. It’s creepy. But it makes me think of all the interactions I have had with ex-es of one sort or another, when they have needed my help for something. It’s odd. I don’t like this episode very much. I hope it ends soon. I always sympathize with the lovelorn geek. You all know that. I don’t have a cane, though.

The hospital on House is way nicer than any hospital I’ve been in, including Stanford. I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals over the past few months.

JR had a tough weekend. Her sodium level dropped last week. She went in Friday for some fluids, and they wanted to admit her. She didn’t want to stay there, so she agreed to come back Saturday and Sunday for more fluids. The fluids on Saturday took about 6 hours. And didn’t work very well. So she didn’t go in today. Cool, she hates hospitals. But the problem? Her sodium is still low.

When your sodium drops, your body does all kinds of weird things. In JR’s case, it makes her very tired, and very emotional. It’s amazing – you can totally tell how her sodium is doing. If it gets low enough, everything stops working.

So, we have to get her sodium level back up. But the problem? Nobody carries salt tablets. They used to be everywhere. Not anymore. We even have a prescription – yup, that’s right, a prescription for salt. They will be able to fill it tomorrow – they had to ORDER the tablets.

So, what will we do? She can’t drink enough Gatorade to get her levels up. So my friend and I did a run to the local drugstores looking for salt tablets over the counter. No such luck. Then we did a whirlwind tour of the Eat Bay, looking for places that might sell salt tablets. No dice. Or no pills, I should say. Anyway, it turns out that REI sells electrolyte replacement fluid which is mostly salt. Doesn’t taste so good, but worked.

Whew. But she can’t really absorb the fluids right, so we have to drain it off her, in a difficult and fairly dehumanizing way. She’s amazing, she just takes this and deals with it. I wish I had as much poise, on my best day, as she does on these awful days.

This is of course, too easy, right? To make things even more fun, just as we were finishing up, our dogs got in a fight. I heard the fight, but couldn’t go to them at first – JR is more important. As soon as I could, a few seconds later, I went running out there, and they stopped as soon as they heard my voice. Minnie, my Dalmatian, as usual, got the worst of it. She has a puncture wound on her leg, and scratches on her head and ear.

I grabbed her, and grabbed a stack of bandages from JR’s stash. And started giving my dog first aid, and talking to her to calm her down. All the stuff I’ve learned helping JR change countless bandages helped my dog. Do you know you can open a piece of sterile gauze with your toes? I do. And you can use the corner of a cabinet to hold the tape roll so you can get a lot of tape quickly? That one I figured out on the fly.

JR got herself dressed, and her mom helped her rebandage herself. Mom mopped up the doggie blood, while I carried the Dal upstairs to the bathroom to clean the wound – basically, do we have to go to the 24-hour puppy emergency room (which is in a not-so-great neighborhood), or can we go to our regular doctor tomorrow am. I washed her wound in the shower, and used some wrap gauze (this predates JR’s illness) and she’s sort of good now. No bleeding. We’ll get her checked in the morning.

And I have no idea what to do about these two fighting. Really.

I did make JR promise me that if they fought, and I'm not around, she has to just let them fight. I can’t risk her. I don’t want to risk the dogs, but if I have to choose, the choice is clear to me.

I just noticed that my Gmail status is set to “heartbroken”. I wonder when I did that. I wonder what I meant. Do you know?