Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Preparing for a Trip to the Emergency Room





Its two a.m. and your belly is killing you. The pain you’ve ignored all day is now so severe that you must make that dreaded trip to the emergency room. Before you rush out the door, cramped over in agony, you might want to take the time to collect the necessary items you’ll need for this excursion into the hallowed halls of medicine.

First, make sure you have clean undies on. Hospital gowns always have broken ties that leave your butt waving in the wind. A clean pair of unholy undies are a must if you want to retain a modicum of modesty. Guys, you might want to rethink your choice of going “Commando” and slip on a pair of whitie tighties.

Next, grab the list of medicines that you currently take on a daily basis. Make sure the list includes what each medication is for, the dosage and how many times a day you take them. Be sure to include any over the counter drugs you have been using to try to settle that stomach. This list is crucial to speeding up the triage process by at least 15 to 20 minutes. If you don’t have a list prepared, grab a bag and throw the medications in.

For goodness sake, leave out the recreational drugs. However, after you have the physician sign a “Confidentiality” form, you can inform him that you smoke weed for medicinal purposes only. This is recommended to Cover Your Butt and avoid having cops standing outside your emergency room cubicle.

Now grab a list of all the surgeries you have ever had in your life and when they were performed. Be sure to include those tonsils, cataract or any reconstructive surgery if you’ve been lucky enough to afford some. Lifestyle lifts might not have an impact on your stomach but for some reason, medical professionals want to know all!

Before you even think about heading out the door, make sure that you have a valid identification with your picture on it and those very expensive medical insurance cards. Without them, you are nothing and you will spend a great deal of time at the registration desk trying to validate who you are.

Finally, grab that book you’ve been reading or a Kindle. This will make the long hours waiting to see a doctor easier to pass. Hospital magazines are well-known for being outdated and their televisions are usually preset to boring infomercials. You are already in pain, don’t risk adding to it.

Now that you have collected all the necessary items for your trip to the emergency room, wake up your nearest and dearest and let him (or her) drive to the hospital. You might think you can do this on your own, but if the doctors pump some really good painkillers into your veins, you are going to be Jell-O on your way home.

Good luck and I hope it’s just gas!




Stuck on Scared


I haven’t been myself lately…my sense of humor has fled, my optimism has disappeared and my hopes are dim.  No one sees this…I’m quite good at hiding my fears but I realized this morning that I am stuck on being scared.

Danny’s recent close call was the second in eighteen months. The other day the fact that he might not be with me for the rest of my life slapped me in the face.  I can’t shake the fear of losing him…it has grabbed hold and won’t let go.

Most of you know that we aren’t married…but we’ve been together, through the good times and the bad, for twelve years.  He’s the first man that I’ve met that I wanted to grow old with.  But, this might not happen…and I don’t know what I would do without him.

He doesn’t seem to be coming back from this last bout of bad health…and he knows it.  He spends a lot of time staring off in the distance, or talking about the arrangements he has made to ensure I will be taken care of in the event he leaves me.

I don’t want to hear these things, I want to make plans for the future.

I’m scared that I’m not doing enough for him or that I’m not doing the right things that would bring his health back to what it was.  I feel useless and weak at times as I watch his strength diminish.

His sister asks me how he’s doing…I tell her fine, because that what he wants me to say.  I want to shout, “I don’t know and I’m scared.”  But, I don’t.  I assure her and tell her that Danny will get strong again and be with us for a very long time.

I know this fear is temporary…I’m a fighter…I won’t give up.  And, I’m not going to let Danny give up either.  Together we will conquer his health issues…but, today, in my heart of hearts, I’m stuck on scared.

Thanks for listening.



Cranky’s Believe It Or Not


As some of you may know, I finally got back to blogging a few weeks ago after having to stop to nurse Danny, my SO after his hospital stay for a bleeding ulcer.  Then, last week, increasing pain in my stomach and back forced me to the Emergency Room and I had to stay for three days for tests.  UGH!  After being released, bed rest has been mandatory and this is the first chance I’ve had to try and sit in a chair long enough to chat a bit with you.

I can’t believe that my pain was due to walking my rambunctious puppy two miles a day.  Evidently, his pulling and jumping on the leash resulted in pulling all the muscles in my back and my stomach!  So, I guess a new exercise regime will be required or I fear that my precious puppy may have to find another home.  I am signing him up for behavior classes in a last ditch effort to keep him here…it’s all up to him!

I did come to believe that I was not meant to diet!  After three weeks of dieting (and never cheating) Dan was put in the hospital.  I was back on track for one week and then I got thrown in the hospital.  So, the diet is on hold and all my concentration is going to be on getting our health back, catching up with my blogging buddies and my writing projects.

I hope you all will still visit even if my posts are erratic since I would hate to lose touch with all of you!  Well, back to the heating pad and my pain killers…we’ll talk soon!  Believe it or not!




Breaking News…Cranky’s Back!


Yes, my friends, after a long period of silence, I’m finally able to jump back into my “other” life here on WordPress.  And, oh, how I have missed being here.  But, the days of my turning a wistful eye towards my laptop are over for now and I hope that it will be a long time before I am dragged out of my WP world again!

An update on Danny…the surgery proved successful but Danny’s recovery has been slow…very slow.  His spirits have been a little on the down side since this was the second life-threatening illness in the past 16 months.  I can’t blame the guy for being scared.  But, I spend each day pointing out even the smallest improvement in his health and assuring him that he will improve even more as time goes by.

Of course, we now have a slew of doctor’s appointments for follow-up care and medication changes that have occurred.  Danny still has a lot of health issues (Hepatitis C, a damaged liver and now this damn ulcer) but I assure him that I’m in this for the long haul and he won’t be facing these challenges alone.  I love the guy and want to not only keep him around but want to make sure that whatever time we have left together is spent looking at the beauty and the humor in the world around us.  After all, that’s the best medicine you can give to someone like Danny!  When I can put a smile on his face or comfort him when he’s down…then I know I’m doing what’s right for him.

I can not begin to thank all of you for the thoughts, prayers and good energy you sent our way during this difficult time.  There are no words to express how much that meant to me but the tears in my eyes might give you some insight into how touched I was to read all your comments!

So, although a large part of my day is still spent on Danny’s care; I hope to be able to spend time daily keeping up with all your adventures and sharing some of mine.

I want to end this with a kernel of wisdom that I have gleaned from going through these health events with Danny.  There is no promise of tomorrow, so please, make sure that your time spent with your friends and loved ones is filled with laughs, love and hugs.

Again, thanks for all your love, support and well wishes.  But, be warned, Cranky is back!  And she’s got a lot to say!




Packing On The Pounds


A couple of weeks ago, I stepped on the scale and screamed.  I knew I had packed on a few pounds lately…I just wasn’t aware that I had gained so much weight!  I sat down and went through the five stages that mark any shocking revelation I meet.

Denial…the dryer is shrinking my clothes again.  Bad Dryer!

Anger…it’s Danny’s fault for asking me to bake all those goodies.  He knows I can’t resist a fresh-baked brownie!

Bargaining…I’ll give up the sweets if I can keep my pasta!

Depression…(this is also known as a Pity Party around this house)…I feel so lousy about gaining weight that I’ll just stuff this pastry in my mouth.

Acceptance…the pounds must go.

So, I considered my options.  Weight Watchers was of course the first thing to pop into my mind.  While it’s a very good program…I don’t have time to go to “weigh-ins” with the other woman in my weight bracket and try to yell “Yahoo!” when I shed 1/2 pound.  Nope, that’s not the way to go for me.

The second option was for me to just cut all the sweets, potatoes, and pasta…basically, I would stuff my face with “rabbit food”…lettuce…more lettuce…and even more lettuce with a small portion of meat with it.  I had tried this diet before and had absolutely no success.  Danny would find me in the cake plate in the middle of the night with German chocolate cake jammed in my mouth and cake crumbs tumbling off my chin.

“I was sleep walking!” I would tell him.

“You were sleep stuffing” he would answer.

The third choice was to go out and find a sensible weight loss plan and stick to it. So, I looked on the Internet and found a great site called Spark People and started a 1200-1500 calorie diet.  The FREE program comes with a great tracking system that breaks down your intake into carbs, fat and proteins and lets you eat regular food.  Not a hell of a lot of it, but it’s teaching me about portion control and sensible eating habits!

Of course, many foods I love would consume my daily calorie allowance in one bite, so I have had to make some sacrifices.  But, I’m committed to losing these unwanted pounds since my back and legs cannot tolerate the extra load.

And, of course, I had to get off my lazy butt and start an exercise regimen.  Ugh…I hate exercise!  WITH A PASSION!  But, since I don’t believe a word that Dr. Oz says about all those magical pills that turn you into a svelte size ten in ten days…I knew I had to start walking.  Walking is something I have only done in the past when absolutely necessary…like getting to my car fifty feet from my front door.

The first day I struck out into the open walkways, I felt a little embarrassed by the family of turtles that sped by me.  But, I soldiered on and now I walk a mile a day in 30 minutes and am hoping to increase that to two miles by next week.  I’m determined to wipe those smiles off those turtles!

After seven days of dieting, it was time to step on the scale.  This was the moment that would decide if I wanted to continue with the diet or just settle back with a Twinkie in my hand and say “The hell with it!”

To my delight, three pounds have been left by the roadside!  Happy Dance!

Now, on day ten, I find that the diet isn’t so hard, the walking is actually becoming something I look forward to and my dream of fitting into my “skinny” jeans by November just might happen after all.

Wish me luck!


Get This Elephant Off My Chest!


Well, there really isn’t one parked on my chest; it just feels like it!  Got the “Bronchitis Blues” and now must take a pause for the cause until I can stop hacking long enough to post a blog.

So, as the doc recommended, I’m dragging my sick self off to bed armed with inhalers, antibiotics and a really neat cough medicine that has a little “special” something in it.  I’ll be snug and drugged for awhile..but no fear.

I’ll soon return with my warped views and loud rants; first I have to get this pachyderm off my chest and get back to my own sweet self!


See ya all soon!




Googling Into An Early Grave


You wake up one morning and discover that something is wrong.  You don’t feel quite right or something looks off when you stare in your mirror.  You run to your laptop and call up your Google Search Engine.  You need to find out what might be causing that headache; that tingling in your hand or the  strange rash that has blossomed across your neck.  You enter your symptoms and skim down the list of diseases and discover that OMG..I’M DYING!

You panic, you call your best friend, a relative or your spouse and sadly relay the bad news.  You only have 6 months to a year; you’re on the way out, its adios amigos time! Now, these people who you run to for support during your last days on earth, do little to qualm you’re fears.

Your friend tells you that her 3rd cousin on her stepmother’s side of the family had the EXACT SAME THING and was laid to rest a short while later.  Your relative gives you the terrifying news that her neighbor had just passed away from the EXACT SAME THING! Your spouse (or SO) screams “Oh, crap..I’ve got the same symptoms..I must have the EXACT SAME THING!”

Finally, you do what you should have done in the first place.  You call your doctor! He is the person that dedicated twelve to twenty years learning how to diagnose your symptoms.  He will examine you, he will run tests and he will explain what is happening with you.  He has been trained to do just that and it’s remarkable that his skills resulted in finding out that your headache is just a headache; the tingling in your hand is caused by the shoulder strain you suffered a few days ago and that rash was from an allergy to those strawberries you packed on your shortcake.

You smile, maybe feeling a little foolish, and go home breathing a sigh of relief.  Your attempt to self-diagnose using the Internet only resulted in maybe a few hours or a few days of stress, worry and terror that the end was near.

But, there is a dark side to using the Internet to self-diagnose.  You might find that your symptoms match relatively harmless conditions and you use the recommended home remedies to treat yourself.  These remedies might mask your symptoms and give you a false feeling of wellness; while an insidious infection or disease is allowed to grow undiagnosed and untreated.

That headache that hurts worse than any headache you’ve ever had could be signs of an oncoming stroke; the tingling in your hands could be an early warning of a heart attack and that rash might be the result of an insect bite that is causing a life-threatening virus.  By delaying a diagnoses from a doctor, you could be risking your life.

Now, I have used the Internet to research a particular illness, condition or disease.  But, I do so only after a trained medical person has diagnosed it. I use the information to learn about its symptoms; its treatment.  I use it to gain an understanding of what things I might be able to do to speed up the recovery time or learn how to cope with a long-term condition.

I would no sooner self-diagnose myself or anyone else using the Internet.  I wouldn’t re-wire my house on my own, I’m not an electrician.  I wouldn’t attempt to install a new bathtub because I’m not a plumber.  So, why would I self-diagnose when I’m not a doctor?

So, when someone calls me and asks me to look on the Internet to see what their symptoms mean, I gently refuse and tell them to call the one person who has that knowledge..their doctor!  I tell them after they have received a diagnoses and treatment, I will gladly look up all the information about their medical malady.

By doing this, I might just be saving their life!


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