Thursday, September 08, 2005

I Got A Prize!

So, I got a prize just for coming to work today! Well, that's my version of the story.

October marks my 10 year anniversary with my company. In all honesty, I thought this would be the company I retire from when I started - happily typing away in my Administrative Assistant job. I still hope so - I truly, truly hope that this company stays cool and family focused and appreciative of employee loyalty. Unfortunately, companies in America are changing, and getting 'leaner' and 'meaner.' And that's all I will say about that.

Well, at any rate - a few months ago I got a catalog for "service awards" - so I could go to a webpage, enter my special code, and choose from an assortment of tasteful gifts - much like the OLD version of Wheel of Fortune, but think more watches & pendants and less ceramic dalmations. I chose a FOSSIL watch, engraved with my married initials.

It arrived either yesterday or Tuesday, because it was on my desk when I came in this morning - addressed to the greatest boss I've ever had, Doug C. Unfortunately, Doug C. was laid off last month. It made me very sad to read the instructions to Doug that he should prepare a thoughtful speech for me and present me my service award with dignity and appreciation and whatnot. There is even a website he could have logged into to get tips on presenting my award.

I presented the award to myself. I said, "Well, here's your fucking watch!" Which I'm sure would have made Doug laugh. Here's to you, greatest boss of all time!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Right Now, It's About Me.

I know the world is spiraling into Mad Max territory. I know our politicians are embroiled in scandal. I know that some people don't like Whole Foods. But right now, it's all about me.

I never thought I would actually pray to have surgery. "Please, please operate." That is how much pain I am in. The Vicodin just dulls everything and turns things slo-mo. As Scratch puts it, I'm some kind of stoner version of myself.

I'm also really, really disappointed in the medical system - my insurance is great, but everything takes a week. So, I just keep taking more pain killers until I can get to step 2, then step 3, then maybe it will go away? And the worst part is, I am TERRIFIED that this thing will go away on its own before I get to step 2, or 3, or whatever. Like, it was all a dream and it exploded and there's nothing anyone can do about it so smell ya later. Like I was faking it.

I'm terrified of being looked at as a faker. I faked sick a lot at school the year my dad died. I wasn't really much of a faker since, but it haunts me. My mom was always suspicious of whether or not I was sick - probably not because she didn't trust me as much as she didn't want to deal with taking me to a doctor or having to miss work. I understand more now, as an adult, how that might mess up your day. But even in the ER on Saturday, I was terrified the doctor would come in, sigh, and say "I couldn't find anything." or worse, "You baby! You're lucky with what you've got! Suck it up, sister!"

Which is what brings me to the next 4 hours, where I will be bravely joining a conference call from home - then another conference call, and then finally at 4:00 I go for an ultrasound. Pray for surgery! Then this will be over and I can stop hurting!

Monday, September 05, 2005

Hold Your Breath. Breathe.

Ever had a CT scan? You hear that a lot. But not from a person! From a computerized recording. "HOLD YOUR BREATH." Then, about 20 seconds later, "BREATHE." I suppose the technician can't do it? Or maybe the Radiographer Union (if there is one) negotiated it?

I've had two CT scans in the past 7 days. Here are my reviews:

Lincoln Ave. Open MRI, on Lincoln & Winnemac: This is your average strip mall radiography joint. A spiral CT on my kidneys took one hour total, including form-filling-outing. Nice staff, lockers for your stuff. Too bad they can't read the results for shite. The recorded breathe voice was female.

St. Francis Hospital, Evanston: Wow! My CT scan of entire abdomen took only 5 minutes. The 'breathe' voice is male, and is aided by two cartoon faces that light up, one looks like a happy, open mouthed pac man, and the second looks like the "wind" cartoon on an old map, sort of. The breathe voice is male and oddly soothing. Oh yeah, and there's a countdown clock so you know how long you will be holding your breath! So, so considerate.

Oh yeah, and the doctors at St. Francis not only LOOKED AT (unlike my doctor's office) but actually INTERPRETED my results! Holy mackeral! So I have a nasty thing that isn't a kidney stone, that I don't know if I want to talk about to the internet. I'll give you two guesses, it's about being a girl and it's not cancer. Oh, and it's SO PAINFUL I WANT TO KILL SOMEONE. That's why I haven't been contributing to this, I'm in a lot of pain, and when I'm not, I'm on Vicodin, or Darvocet, or some other delicious sleepytime pill. I don't know how I'm going to work this week, but I'll figure it out.

To sum up: My doctor=bad, St. Francis Hospital=good, Maggie=in pain! Happy Labor Day!

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