Dr. Buttons the Caregiver

Dr. Buttons the Caregiver

(cross posting this from Flickr)

As much as Buttons relies on me for food / water / litter cleaning, he loves to cling to Katie. And mysteriously, he seems to know just what Katie needs in the way of attention.

Yup, he’s gently hugging the foot that Katie injured. Cutest thing I’ve ever seen him do.


The 2005 Valentine’s Anecdote

First, a little backstory, not really important but funny regardless:

Back in December, Katie’s birthday fell on a Saturday for once. Traditionally, I’ve ordered flowers for the day of her birthday, which normally falls within the context of the work week. But this year, it didn’t, and I got a joking call from Katie at about 10 AM: “What, no flowers?”

This made me feel tremendously bad, despite planning to pick them up on her birthday proper. A few calls later, we had hashed out some sort of weird understanding, where if I WERE to get flowers, there was a particular place near my office she wanted them from. A freak building evacuation provided a good opportunity to get over there, at which point I put in an order for a dozen roses and some orchids. When the guy taking my order said “it’ll be this big” and waved his hand above his head, I didn’t really pay much attention to this fact. But lo and behold, the arrangement was ridiculously huge, to the point where Katie almost hurt her back bringing it back to her desk. Additionally, I’ve been told it was so aromatic that a number of her coworkers wanted to inflict pain on me once their allergies stopped.

So, as for Valentine’s Day:

Knowing this florist has their shit together, I expected full well to be able to go into the store and pick up something, if not be able to get delivery. Happily, when I came in the door at 9 AM and asked if they could take one more delivery, the response was very much in the affirmative. We went to work putting together a nice arrangement (pink roses, purple fill), and everything was going fine…until one of the staff looked at my card and went “Wall Street? Uhhh…I think you might’ve missed the delivery van for that one.”

Everything came to a standstill, in a weird sort of time-freeze moment. I took a second to ponder how, at 9 AM, I’ve missed the delivery window for the entire downtown area, but I let that thought pass. I raised my brow and said, “If there’s no way you guys can deliver it, could I come back at lunch and pick it up so I can run it down there myself?”
Time resumed, they said sure, I paid the charge, and went off to the office. I made a point of not calling Katie, knowing that she was expecting flowers but not with any idea as to when. I knew I could take all of my lunch hour to get down to Wall Street and back, since I wasn’t eating today – had to save room for what would be a ridiculously large dinner.

At lunch, I took a package that had arrived with Katie’s V-day gift (the Katie fanclub will be amused to hear it was another handbag she had picked out), and trekked out of the building into a very cold rain, without an umbrella. I made my way to the florist and picked up my order. Annoyingly, it was still in a vase from the original assumption it was going to be a delivery – this made it very unweildy to carry both the package and the vase, but I trekked on west trying desperately to find a cab. I lucked out after a block and a half and we shot down towards Wall Street.

When I made it into Katie’s building, the guard on duty was more than willing to call up and say she had “a delivery in the lobby”. So this is what transpires:

I see the elevator open, and Katie looks very happy and is walking towards where I’m standing. I recall she looked at me at least a few times.

I say, “Hi!”

She responds, “Hi.”

I think, “That’s really weird, was she expecting me?”

When she gets about three feet away, she dead stops, eyes still focused on the flowers and the package.

She blinks.

She turns and looks at me for half a second.

She puts her head down on the reception desk and starts laughing – she had completely missed the fact that her husband was standing there with the flowers.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone.

Endured Reflected

Five Minutes And Ten Dollars Fix Fourteen Years Of Hell

I’m going to warn you now – this story is personal and a little gross in parts. But it’s been a part of my life for long enough, I figured it was worth sharing.

While I’ve been alive, I’ve been pretty blessed – no broken bones. No major illnesses. No organs removed. No cavities, last time I checked. I have consistently had a clean bill of health; even my blood pressure is on the low side.

But I have had two very small, very strange problems. One is that a couple times a year, my hands would get very peel-y, and it’s kind of gross. We used to joke in high school that this was caused by typing too fast. I’m happy to say this has gone away in recent years – this story is not about that problem.

The other problem was that from the age of about 10, I was very susceptible to nosebleeds. I think I was getting them about once a month, if not more.

Not from like getting hit in the nose or anything, but just from random other stuff – sneezing. Blowing my nose. Standing. Walking. Anything.

As the legendary story goes, when I was 13, I had two nosebleeds that were particularly bad – so quick that they filled my sinus cavity and the blood then began to very slowly come out of my tear ducts, turning my vision red. That really freaked the crap out of the school nurse – but it was a freak occasion and hasn’t happened since.

In any case, when I was 19, and a sophomore in college, I had one start one day that didn’t stop. It was a real slow bleed, but all the tricks and tactics I had learned over the years for handling them just would not stop it, even when I hit what my body knew was a stopping point.

I went to my doctor, and he gave me two options: go to an ENT specialist the next day, or go to the ER now. I opted for the ER. You get tired of this shit after a while.

Got to the ER, the doctor explained they were going to cauterize my nose. Not nearly as thrilling as it sounds, it’s essentially a Q-tip being stuck up your nose and the substance on the end being rubbed on the affected area, toughening up the tissue. There’s a real quick burning sensation, but other than that it’s painless.

Now, that day I had the left nostril cauterized, which my memory recalls as being the majority problem nostril. From that point on, for about 3 years, I didn’t have another nosebleed. Not a one.

But then, I started to get them out of my right nostril, on rare occasion – on days with sharp weather changes. Then eventually they started on days with sharp humidity changes. Last week, I had *two* in the same week. One was while I was at lunch with Katie when it was really warm; the other was at work because I was going under my desk, then above, then below repeatedly and I guess the elevation change just screwed things up.

Realizing full well that I work in a hospital (or at least, a college connected to a hospital) and that I have medical insurance, I immediately found an ENT specialist and made an appointment for Wednesday this week. The hope was that they’d be able to cauterize the thing, although my impression was I had to be bleeding for it to happen.

On my way up to the doctor’s, I realized this was my first real doctor’s visit of any kind in about 5 years – more or less, since the last nosebleed. I get there, I fill out my paperwork, I wait patiently even though they told me the doctor I was seeing (Dr. Carew, who is primarily a head and neck surgeon, I found out) was in surgery and would be running late, and then got sat in an examination room and asked a few questions.

So eventually the doctor comes in, and the conversation goes like this

Minute 1: Explain what the problems are
Minute 2: He examines my nose and ears
Minute 3: He examines deep in my nose to make sure there’s no major problems
Minute 4: He cauterizes my right nostril
Minute 5: He gives me some general instructions about what’s going to happen and not to itch my nose too much for 24 hours

And that’s it – suddenly I am making my co-payment and out the door, heading back to my desk.

It’s really sad that a lifetime of irritation, strange looks, and ruined shirts can be fixed in 5 minutes for $10. Wish I had known that sooner, though.