Saturday, March 31, 2007

My new favorite hymn

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Oh, my glamorous life...

Saturday night my husband and I were invited to a private reception at the Australian Embassy in Washington, honoring and introducing a young entrepreneur who has brought her business to the United States. Her company does risk analysis and safety planning for helicopter medical services, something that is sorely needed.

Last time we went to one of these things, the chairman of a high-profile government agency walked up to me and said, "Young lady, your husband is a very smart and important person." It took all that is within me to say, "Oh yeah? So how come he hasn't cleaned out the basement yet??"

So, anyway, we spent most of Saturday getting ready to go to this soirée, and I had to go to TJ Maxx and see if there was anything there for me to wear. I had a skirt and a jacket but I needed a blouse that wasn't black velvet, since it's springtime and not wintery. He, on the other hand, had to put on his penguin suit. And that's all.

So we got all dolled up, and when we walked out our front door, our neighbors applauded.

We got into the Jaguar, which just looks all the cooler when the driver is wearing a tux, and headed across the river and up 14th Street to Massachusetts Avenue, and Embassy Row.

We got to the embassy on time, and he dropped me off and parked the car a couple of blocks away. We cleared security and walked in. And stood. For three hours. In uncomfortable shoes. And ate little tiny food. Crabcakes the size of your thumbnail. Tuna tartare on tiny little crackers. Little Australian lamb chops. Australian wine. American water.

Lots of people there telling me what an important brilliant visionary my husband is.

Presentations were made. There were no seats. My feet felt like they'd been hammered on the bottom. I found the only available bench, in front of a video art screen, a video of waves endlessly approaching the beach and changing color with each wave. I propped up my feet.

My brilliant and visionary husband didn't have that opportunity. He had to go make face time with all these people, who congratulated him (which probably makes your feet not hurt so bad). He went and got the car at the end of the three hours of standing around, and we went home.

We were hungry. We were tired. We had shredded wheat and went to bed.

Oh, I adore my glamorous life.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spring is Officially Here

My husband is coming home from Australia today. I do not envy him. He has made the round trip in less than a week. That's hard on bodies that are no longer young.

He reminded me of the worst part of flying trans-Pacific; after you have a meal, a movie, and a nap, you wake up and look at the moving map on the overhead, and it says "Arrival in 16h 30m."


Have I mentioned that I have the grandest commute in the universe?

I leave my house and immediately turn north on the George Washington National Parkway, a road that goes along the Potomac from near Chevy Chase all the way down to Mount Vernon, George and Martha's crib.

It is a National Park, so your speed is monitored by the US Park Police. It is also lovely. The Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson Memorial Groves and Parks and all (I guess it ain't quite memorial for Miss Bird, since she is still kicking..). It is lovely and very well kept.

On the lower portion, near my house, the riverbanks are naturalized with daffodils, and weeping willows casually line the shore. As you drive up, the sun is rising over the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, and this time of year, the cherry trees blossoming around the Tidal Basin (otherwise famous for Wilbur Mills driving into it with Fanne Foxe). The early morning light turns all the stones at Arlington Cemetery a pale coral.

On the upper portion, the road follows a bluff alongside the river, and the river changes.

Down my way, it's broad and sluggish, and deep enough for small ocean-going vessels to come up as far as the Orinoco Street Wharf. But north of the Memorial Bridge, the entrance to Arlington Cemetery, the river narrows, in a little gorge, with rocks causing rapids. The high school and college crews are often rowing in that portion of the river, going from the boathouse in Georgetown down to the boathouse in Alexandria, always going downstream for some reason. I never see them trying to row against the tide.

I leave the parkway at Spout Run, a rocky little tributary with a tiny waterfall that I can see as I take the turn west to go to Fairfax. When it is raining, the tiny waterfall turns into a small raging torrent, rather like a ferocious kitten.

This morning as I drove up, I noticed that the daffodils were beginning to bloom, the willows were soft spring green and the maples were budding red. All this in the week since my husband left. His flight was delayed a day because of a sleet storm last weekend.

He'll be pleased to return tonight.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Revolution, uh, Doctor Number 9

So, now I'm seeing nine doctors.

One endocrinologist, one primary care, one pulmonologist (or somebody in his office), two cardiologists, two rheumatologists, one retina-specialist opthalmologist, and now, one gastrointerologist.

I went to see the GI guy because one of the symptoms of the alleged connective tissue disorder that I may or may not have is "esophogeal dysmotility." Like indigestion.

I've been conquering it fairly well with OTC stuff, until recently. But I was thinking I needed his help recently, so I made an appointment.

I walked into his office, and he was friendly and what-can-I-do-fer-ya and I said "I'm going to give you the five minute version of the last three years," and proceded to do so. At the end of five minutes, he cocked his head and said "You've done this routine before, haven't you?" He then started pulling out samples and writing prescriptions for me to try short-term, to get an idea of what might work well for me by the trial-and-error method.

For, as he said, "Normally, I'd suggest we do an endoscopy and see what's going on in your esophagus, but if I walk up to an anesthesiologist and tell him, 'Oh, I have a patient I need your help with who has Pulmonary Hypertension and a Pericardial Effusion,' he'd just gimme one of these," holding up his crossed index fingers vampire-repelling-style.

Evidently, you see, all the stuff I'm taking daily is what the anesthesiologists give to people going the wrong way during surgery. Anesthesia is hard on the arteries, and when pressures start getting high, they administer nitric oxide (which is an outcome of every drug I'm taking for PH) by a number of routes, including a touch of Viagra. So if things started going badly for me, they'd have nothing left to try.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Something I had always suspected...

You Are a Drama Princess

You're not over the top dramatic, but you have your moments.

You know how to steal the spotlight...

And how to act out to get your way.

People around you know that you're good for a laugh.

But at times, your drama gets a bit too much for everyone.

Tone it down a tad, and you'll still be the center of attention.