Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Trip to North Carolina . . .

. . . didn't happen.

Instead, I elected to spend the better part of the weekend at LDS Hospital having emergency gall bladder surgery.

It's always good to get these things out of the way.

Thursday afternoon (3/19), after eating part of a burger from Red Robin (DON'T go there), it seemed like my stomach started to swell. And swell. And swell. I couldn't burp, couldn't vomit. Only intense pain just under my ribcage in the center of my body. Going home and lying down didn't help. I called my nursing student daughter, and she started for home immediately. The paramedics, when they came, said I wasn't having a heart attack (yeah, right) but recommended going and getting it checked out. By then Cat was there, so she took me to LDS. Lying on my left side helped a teensy little. The ER gave me pain meds whenever I asked for it, and I asked for it pretty frequently, but it did no good at all. HH and Small Son came and gave me a blessing and I was able to bear the pain.

Two ultrasounds later, I was told I had one (or more) stones in my gall bladder, and since it was causing me so much pain, I had better have it out. I signed the papers.

Upstairs in the real part of the hospital, they gave me morphine. Finally the pain thundered down to hole-in-you-stomach level. Since I had been up since 3 am, I dozed a lot. Cat called my friend Cat in North Carolina and advised her of the situation. NC Cat said, "If you didn't want to come, all you had to do was say so. You didn't have to fake a gall bladder attack." Heh heh.

No food or liquids until part of you is gone, dearie, those nice hospital people said. Not eating was OK, because I was afraid the pain would start again, but not having water was really hard, particularly since every four hours when they gave me more morphine, my mouth got cotton dry. However, I knuckled down, and finally they came to take me away. I called Small Son one time more to tell him I loved him (he was just home from school), and I had them tape the good luck charm he had given me to my palm so I wouldn't drop it during surgery. They laughed, but they did it.

I saw about 5 seconds of the operating room. It looked like the inside of Dr. Who's Tardis. I blinked my eyes and was suddenly in the recovery room and people were trying to get me to wake up. I had four holes in my abdomen, nowhere near close to where the gall bladder originally was. It was inflamed and in much worse condition than they had originally thought.

I've spent the rest of the time until now healing and resting. The Relief Society has been bringing us dinners. The pain is gradually going away.

That is how I spent my weekend in North Carolina.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Concert Report

Saturday 15 March 2009
Highland High School
7:30 pm

Grade: A

We showed up at the high school at 4:30, and we pretty much practiced 75% of the three hours between then and the start of the concert.

I didn't play with the Grade 3's this time. I wasn't there for volunteering, and haven't had a lot of time to learn the tunes they played. All the all-band and Grade 4 tunes I knew perfectly.

I was not afraid. A little queasy at the outset, but that quickly passed.

Jason gave us the 3 F's over and over, the same ones he always gives us:

have Fun
watch my Foot

I guess we did that, because at the end of a 2 hour performance, he said there were no mistakes, good job everybody.

I think he was being generic, because I kept feeling myself squeak (I can't really hear the squeaks due to the other 'leventy-six pipers playing in my ears, but I can feel in my fingers when the air doesn't go through the holes right, and I kept feeling it). I tried it again alone when I got home the other day, and sure 'nuff, I squoke like crazy. I tried repositioning my fingers and thumb, and I think I've figured out a way to put my thumb that I won't squeak. Have to try again today. Very frustrating to have all the notes and timing right but have that terrible sqeaking everytime I hit low A.

Well anyway, that's done. Onward to Memorial Day. I gotta get that squeak fixed by then, cuz I'll be playing solo mostly.


In other news, I'm hoping to be heading out tonight to North Carolina to visit Tartaniac for the weekend. The flight to NYC, however, looks very crowded, so it may get cut short. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Our lesson in Sunday School (everybody knows what Sunday School is, don't they?) yesterday was about pride. How it goeth before a fall. How it's a bad thing in any degree. How you're only supposed to boast of your weaknesses . . . that sort of thing.

Well, I have had a revelation about that and piping. Not a Lightening Strike revelation. Instead, it's one of those revelations that come along, bit by bit. This could be because I just don't get it the first time, and have to keep getting the next chapter, which includes a summary of what happened the chapter before . . . That's just my speed.

So here's the revelation:

a) If . . . well actually, when . . . I practice, I improve.

b) When I improve, I start to think who in band I'm better than (pride) . I even go so far as to think of mistakes other people have made that I didn't make (at the time). (Of course I made them in the next tune . . .but we won't go into that.)

c) As soon as I start with the pride thing, I start to mess up. I make stupid mistakes that I may even have just practiced myself out of. Or it could be mistakes that I haven't made since the very beginning.

d) This humbles me back into not thinking I'm such a great piper, so I practice more.

It's a vicious circle, not one prone to much advancement.

What I really need is to not even go to b) (pride) in the first place. Maybe only compare myself to myself, and not to other pipers. How, though? I have to listen to everybody else so as to be playing the same thing at the same time as the rest of the band. Where I have to put the block is right there, at listening. Don't go any further. Don't make any judgements, just take in information. I don't know how to build that dam. I'm only partially good at mashed potato dams!

Anyway, I did partially good at practicing this week, only missing Friday and Sunday. But I also missed my lesson on Thursday due to a schedule conflict with Relief Society.

This week I have:

Wednesday: band practice

Thursday: Group lesson

Friday: band practice

Saturday: band practice AND Concert.

Sunday: day off.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Practice Report

Wednesday: check (band practice)

Thursday: check (lesson)

Friday: check

Saturday: check

Sunday: check

Monday: check

Tuesday: . . . . . . . . .

I ruined my nearly perfect record by not practicing yesterday, but in my defense I must state that on Tuesdays I get up at 0200 and don't get back to bed until 2200 and every hour is filled with Stuff I Gotta Do. Twenty hours with a sleep disorder. Playing with matches, that is.

It is also Tag Time for my little car, Salazar Verde. I was proactive and replaced the windshield and had the parking brake fixed before I even approached the testing center. Then, last week I took it in for it's emission and safety testing, and. . . . it FAILED! It required new rear brakes and new front tires. Over the weekend, Handsome Husband took each back wheel off and replaced the drum brakes, which was no mean feat, there being many springs involved-- each pulling a different direction-- that had to be held in place simultaneously while the brake shoes were reinstalled. It required several more hands than 2 people together or the space around the wheel could furnish. But he got it done. (With the help of his lovely assistant . . . ) And, they work, too, which is even better, as it means he doesn't have to do it again. For a while.

I'm going to go get the tires Wednesday, today, instead of sleeping.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Tooth Fairy

Small Son, now 10 years old, admitted to me last night that I did more work than he thought I did. I was flattered that he had paid attention, at first, until I asked him what work I did that he didn't know about before.

"You take all the teeth out from under our pillows and put dollars under there instead," he answered.


"How did you discover this?" I asked.

It seems he was snooping around in my jewelry box and found my tiny drawstring bag holding all the teeth I have collected (or the dentist collected) from my children.

"Well, that's what you get for snooping," I said, "and eavesdropping is just as bad. You always find out something that you really didn't want to know."

He was worried that I was mad. I wasn't; just sad.

"So, you don't believe in the Hogfather anymore either, huh?" I asked.

He laughed and all was forgiven.